Friday, August 17, 2007

Proof that domestic spying can get a little tedious

We all love Wikipedia, don't we? An organic, peer-edited and -created encyclopedia of everything you could ever care about, and a lot of things you don't. Not only is it useful to lazy college students, but when some big news item happens, its value as a source of entertainment pokes through the stratosphere.

One of my favorite Wikipedia moments--now lost in the e-mists of e-time--was when Bob Huggins, former K-State basketball coach, left that job to be the coach at West Virginia. Within nanoseconds, his biographical entry on Wikipedia suddenly included some odd bullet points about his great love of bestiality, homosexuality and terrorism.

You would think that only a K-State basketball fan, maddened by grief and emboldened by grimy glass jugs of moonshine, could embark on such a destructive mission.

But no. Turns out our government agencies are pretty good at it, too:

On the profile of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tool indicates that a worker on the CIA network reportedly added the exclamation "Wahhhhhh!" before a section on the leader's plans for his presidency.

... snip ...

The site also indicates that a computer owned by the US Democratic Party was used to make changes to the site of right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The changes brand Mr Limbaugh as "idiotic," a "racist," and a "bigot." An entry about his audience now reads: "Most of them are legally retarded."

And that, dear readers, is what you call burying the lede. You expected to read something about Wikipedia, then, what the hell, K-State athletics? Moonshine? And finally governmental (and, to be fair, journalistic) Internet hijinks.

I think we've all learned something here today.

1 comment:

M. Gants v4.0 said...

"legally retarded?" - are they now issuing licenses for this? Funny stuff.