Wikipedia locks out congress staff

Feb. 4, 2006 at 5:01 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, blocked congressional Web addresses from making changes after finding that staffers were engaged in online spin.

Congressional staffers appear to have been engaged in doctoring their own bosses' entries, the Washington Post reported. For example, a campaign promise by Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., that he would serve only four terms is gone, as is the detailed description of a bill introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., that would have made it more difficult for gay parents to visit their children in hospitals.

There have also been some dirty tricks, like the entry for Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that said he had been voted "the most annoying senator by his peers."

Wikipedia would seem to be a tempting place for the rewriting of history, the newspaper said. But the founder, Jimmy Wales, told the Post that kind of revisionism is actually unusual, except, apparently in Washington.

One of the most popular recent activities is deleting all references to indicted former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, from congressional bios.

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