Wikipedia has confirmed that it has imposed a 10 day Wikipedia ban on any page edits from the US Congress following ‘persistent disruptive editing.’
Computers using IP addresses from the US Congress have been found ‘vandalising’ specific pages including the former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s page being edited to cite him as an ‘alien lizard who eats Mexican babies.’ Other anonymous changes include false claims on pages of other politicians and US events such as the Kennedy assassination. This page was edited to say Lee Harvey Oswald was acting “on behalf of the regime of Fidel Castro”.
The changes were only discovered though after Twitter followers of the ‘Congress-edits’ Twitter bot @congressedits noticed it tweeted each time a change was made. Although the changes may have been made from only a handful of users, the Wikipedia ban on all page edits from US Congress is imposed on anyone using a US Congress IP address. The decision for this Wikipedia ban was made due to the edited entry regarding the news site Mediaite. This edited page described the website as “sexist transphobic” and that it “automatically assumes that someone is male without any evidence.”
The UK Government has also previously experienced similar issues when it was discovered by the BBC that someone using a UK Government IP address edited a page about veils to include the phrase ‘all Muslims are terrorists.’ However, it wasn’t imposed with a Wikipedia ban.
The free encyclopaedia Wikipedia is used by over 7.1 billion users and can be edited by anyone however ultimately it is governed by volunteers knows as Wikipedians. These governors have the final authority to reverse false edits, and impose Wikipedia bans on users who continually flout the site’s editing rules.