Author Topic: Your tax dollars are hard at work … editing the ‘Horse head mask’ page on Wikipedia  (Read 171 times)

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Offline EC

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Apparently, congressional staffers don't have enough work to do, because they're editing Wikipedia pages for the most pressing issues of our time -- including (but not limited to) horse head masks.

On Wednesday, someone with an IP address (a unique number assigned to devices accessing the internet on a network) linked to the United States Congress updated the "Horse head mask" Wikipedia page to include this essential detail: "On July 8th, 2014, [[President Barack Obama]] shook hands with a man wearing a horse head mask in [[Denver]]."

(More on President Obama's encounter with the horse head masked one here. And here.)

Over the years, there has been a lot written about Wikipedia edits – from the mundane to more serious accusations of revisionist history – originating from sources within the U.S. Congress. In 2006, the Lowell sun broke the story of a staffer editing the Wikipedia entry of his boss, whose broken campaign promises were deleted while glossy biographical details were added.

A newly formed Twitter account has automated the process of revealing those changes. @Congressedits is based on a similar account devoted to Britain's Parliament. It uses an algorithm to tweet out Wikepedia changes. The IP addresses are fairly easy to come by, and the algorithm uses a script similar to what you might accomplish with an "If This Then That" command to send notifications to Twitter.

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