The Wikipedia entries for politicians are a well-known battleground. Since so much of politics is attempting to define yourself in the best possible terms while simultaneously defining your opponent in the worst, the fact that reference materials are now “open source” has led to them getting drawn into the conflicts. Like the Triple Entente getting drawn into the Balkans, or Lindsay Lohan getting mired in the Paris Hilton vs. Nicole Richie trench warfare.
According to Valleywag, the gossip columnist to the webified nerdocracy, some unnamed (but easily identified) person “cleansed” the Wikipedia entry for surprise GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin, to remove & tweak information, now that she’s on the Big Stage. The story originated on NPR’s All Things Considered, where the reporters practice a bit more due diligence on running down digital info – perhaps because they have more time and resources to do so than the harried ink-stained wretches of the dwindling 4th Estate. Here’s the NPR piece:
If you happened to check Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia entry Thursday, you might have had a good tip about Friday’s announcement.
Someone â€” and apparently it was just one person â€” felt like the
existing biography wasn’t appropriate for a vice-presidential
candidate.On Friday, 15 minutes before the rumor that John McCain had
picked Palin as his running mate, a Wikipedia editor discovered 30
mostly favorable changes had been made to the Alaska governor’s profile.
She was called “a politician of eye-popping integrity” and sections
on her participation in a beauty pageant and her alleged use of
influence to get her former brother-in-law fired were diminished.
Wikipedia is now restricting who can alter Palin’s page.