Now Australian Politicians Are Editing Their Own Wikipedia Entries

Kim Carr.jpgYep, we’re still hating on the politicians today. This time though, it’s the pollies who not only want their crackers, but want to edit them on Wikipedia as well.

Online Young Journalist of the Year Asher Moses over at SMH (congrats Asher!) tells us that  the politicians changing their own entries to remove information that is either incorrect or biased. What’s more, Parliamentary Librarian Roxanne Missingham is emailing MPs instructions on how to do it.

The problem with this is that it contravenes Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guidelines. And while most edits have been done simply to correct factual errors, there are some changes that remove criticisms of the politicians, or remove biographical information, like Alexander Downer’s wealthy family background.
The most surprising aspect about the politicians changing their Wikipedia entries is that 12 months ago, Asher broke the exact same story when the Howard government was doing the same thing – and they were slammed for it. Why the current crop of officials believe they can get away with it now is beyond us.

So what happens next? Probably nothing. Unless somebody goes and changes those Wikipedia entries back, and adds in some commentary about how the politicians changed their own entries…

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