Wikipedia, the online dictionary that allows users to edit the content, has accused US political staff of editing biographies in order to polish the records of the senators and congressmen they represent.
Wikipedia logs all changes made to articles, as well as the IP addresses of the computer that makes them. This allowed volunteer investigators to track the changes back to senate addresses. In so doing they uncovered a number of interesting edits.
For example, staffers of Senator Joe Bidden are alleged to have removed a paragraph pertaining to a 1996 plagiarism scandal he was involved with.
The logs also saw the removal of Senator Tom Harkin’s false claim to have flown combat missions over Vietnam, along with records of his public retraction after the claim was investigated by the Wall Street Journal.
While these revelations may seem embarrassing, the staffers can legitimately claim that they are as free to edit these articles as any other member of the public, which while true does seem to politicize the supposedly neutral reference tool.
The claims, made in the Wikinews section of the site, have further enflamed a debate that already rages about the service, and whether it can legitimately claim to be an encyclopedia when nobody verifies the information it contains.