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Wal-Mart, CIA, ExxonMobil Changed Wikipedia Entries

070824_wiki.jpgA new Web site built by an American technology student has uncovered the lengths that companies apparently go to improve their public image by tweaking their entries on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that – famously – “anyone can edit.” The WikiScanner site, developed by Virgil Griffith, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, reveals changes to the online encyclopedia by linking edits back to the computers from which they emanate using each computer’s unique IP address. Among those he alleges have been updating their entries are Wal-Mart, the world’s largest grocer, AstraZeneca, the drugs giant, Britain‘s Labour Party, the CIA and the Vatican. In one example he gives, a computer linked to an IP address registered to the Dow Chemical company is seen to have deleted a passage on the Bhopal chemical disaster of 1984, which occurred at a plant operated by Union Carbide, now a wholly-owned Dow subsidiary. (…) ExxonMobil, the U.S. oil giant, made sweeping changes to an entry on the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989. A claim that the company “has not yet paid the $5 billion in spill damages it owes to the 32,000 Alaskan fishermen” is deleted and replaced with references to the funds the company has paid out. A Web surfer using a machine on Wal-Mart’s network has amended a passage on the wages that the retailer pays its employees – to the benefit of the world’s largest retailer. A computer registered to Disney, the media giant, was used to delete a reference to criticism of the use of digital-rights-management software, used by the group to safeguard digital media from piracy. Image source: wikipedia.org. > Continue.

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, AstraZeneca, Wal-Mart, Disney | Source: FOXNews

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