WikiFraudsters Beware!

CalTech computation and neural systems graduate student Virgil Griffith (pictured) recently Virgil1_2launched WikiScanner which cross references all of the anonymous postings on Wikipedia with a database that matches IP addresses with the organizations that own them and put the searchable results online revealing some interesting, if not fraudulent behavior.

There are over 34 million anonymous posts by nearly 200,000 organizations.  It will take some time, but I’m sure some embarrassing behavior will be unearthed.  Wired magazine already has posted some finds that raise eyebrows including:

  • BBC censors excerpt from BBC-commissioned report criticizing the BBC’s tendency to self-censor.
  • McKinsey & Co. deletes criticisms that they "…restate the obvious with business jargon."
  • Blockbuster inserts advertisements into its own page.
  • And my favorite, the Baltimore Orioles dis pitcher Sidney Ponson as being a "fat…disgrace."

I suspect this won’t be the last we hear from the WikiScanner!