1/30/2006

GMSV: Congress spins at Wikipedia

Congressional House staffers have reportedly made some 1,000 changes to the collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia in the past six months, removing slurs against their bosses and in some cases factual information as well. Late last week members of Rep. Martin Meehan's staff admitted they deleted unflattering information about a broken campaign promise from Meehan's Wikipedia bio. Meehan once pledged to serve just four terms, but later broke that promise. Today, he's serving his seventh term.

''Meehan first ran for Congress in 1992 on a platform of reform," Meehan's original Wikipedia entry read. ''As part of that platform Meehan made a pledge to not serve more than four terms, a central part of his campaign. This breaking of the pledge has been a controversial issue in the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts."

Now here's the bio after the congressman's staffers got to it: ''Meehan was elected to Congress in 1992 on a plan to eliminate the deficit. His fiscally responsible voting record since then has earned him praise from citizen watchdog groups."

Nice, eh? And Meehan's not the only one touching up his public face. According to a Wikipedia investigation, the biographies of Sens. Conrad Burns, Norm Coleman, Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Joe Biden, and Tom Coburn have all been edited by Senate employees as well.

Good Morning Silicon Valley: We should be happy Congress even found Wikipedia

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