Journalists, wikiscan thyself

It seems a little online tool called Wikiscanner is generating a lot of media attention. It searches through anonymous edits by IP or IP range, a simple enough concept that in itself would not be worthy of attention (in fact, Wikipedia already allows you to list the edits made by a particular IP address anonymously). What has gotten the media all riled up is the application of this: tying those IP ranges to recognized organizations like the New York Times or the White House.

It’s even got some local attention after a computer from City Hall was fingered as being behind a defacing of executive committee president Frank Zampino — though it turns out that apparently wasn’t the case.
One thing that isn’t really made clear in these reports is that the edits are being made by people who work within the organization, but not necessarily management. In fact, it’s more likely to be some schmuck working a boring office job than a high-level executive wanting to control public opinion.

And like most edits in general on Wikipedia, most of these edits are pretty benign. Fixing spelling mistakes and correcting minor facts on articles about sports teams and musicians.

But some are embarrassing, or just plain silly.

So I’ve applied the Wikiscanner to some Canadian media IPs I know. (Know any not listed here? Let me know.) Here’s some edits I found that were made from within these organizations:


Toronto Star (and related organizations like the Kitchener-Waterloo Record):

La Presse:

The Gazette/CanWest:

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