It’s well known that governmental bodies edit Wikipedia pages, so as a way to keep an eye on the continual revisal of the people’s encyclopedia, a number of twitter bots have been set up to monitor anonymous edits from government ip addresses.
It’s a good exercise in programming that subtly ups government disclosure, but it seems like someone in Congress (or, at least, someone using Congress’s IP address) has been having a some fun with the congress-edits bot recently. And it’s getting a little out of control.
Wikipedia edits from government IPs are usually pretty benign updates to government employee articles and the like. But lately someone has been adding “information” than the way members of Congress voted on repealing Obama Care.
Back on September 6, the bot posted some fairly innocent — albeit nerdy — correction to a Game of Thrones Wikipedia page.
Then they got a little more confident. On Sep 13, the anonymous editor went into the Carly Rae Jepson Wikipedia to change her description from “a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress” to “the worlds greatest singer, songwriter, and actress.”
By September 15, as the congress-edits bot’s tweets of bizarre Wikipedia edits gained major retweets and likes across the Twitterverse, the anonymous editor possibly became a knowing troll. Case and point: editing Boba Fett’s Wikipedia article to include the description that “he’s not as cool as everyone thinks he is.”
By mid-October, things seem to have gone off the rails, as the editor adds to the Star Wars species page that “Porgs are dope.”
Then, in what feels like a moment too meta to handle, the editor edits Buzzfeed’s Wikipedia page after they write a post about the ongoing edits.
As of Thursday, the editor had added to the Men’s rights movement page that “It’s trash. Literal trash. It’s not real,” and that Luke Skywalker is “a total bamf.”
It’s also totally possible that there are a few different hackers now running with the attention that’s being given the bot. Under a Wikipedia page called List of imposters, it now says, “Whoever else is making these edits.” Following that, on the page for Narcissism, someone added “whoever thinks they have a monopoly on this shiz.”