Fox News, NYT personnel cleaning up Wikipedia entries?

According to analysis, people using Fox News and New York Times IP addresses have been scrubbing Wikipedia entries.

Update: One of the biggest gotchas in the Web 2.0 world is getting caught editing Wikipedia entries that you have some relationship with. It seems it happens nearly every day, but it's still news when big names are discovered doing so.

That's why analysis suggesting people at Fox News and The New York Times are guilty of making such changes could be embarrassing to both organizations.

According to the political blog DailyKos, someone at Fox News--as identified by usage of a Fox News IP Address--has "scrubbed" a series of entries having to do with several of the service's personalities, including Brit Hume, Chris Wallace and Bill O'Reilly.

At the same time, The Times has allegedly been mucking with the Wikipedia entry on The Wall Street Journal, as well as about Rep. Tom DeLay, according to Media Bistro. And while the changes allegedly made by someone at The Times don't directly relate to the publication, they still would most likely be considered outside the boundaries of proper Wikipedia behavior.

Representatives of Fox News did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon. I will update this entry when I hear from the company.

But Abbe Serphos, director of public relations for The New York Times Company, told CNET News.com that, "The IP address listed is our external IP address for all Internet browsing. Therefore, we cannot tell who may have made a posting to the site."

To be sure, such conduct is often done by individuals using company computers and can't be attributed to the organization itself. But in this day and age, it is well-known that editing Wikipedia entries in such a way is verbotten.

Further, thanks to this new tool, which allows for easy tracking of articles on the free encyclopedia, it is going to be harder and harder to get away with it.

 

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