Jul 25 3:27 PM

Wikipedia bans edits from congressional troublemaker(s)

Enough, Congress. Wikipedia has had it with you.

The administrators of the collaborative encyclopedia imposed a 10-day ban on edits being made by an anonymous troublemaker (or troublemakers) using a House of Representatives IP address.

The edits were first unearthed by @congressedits, an automated Twitter account that linked to all changes made to Wikipedia articles originating from congressional IP addresses (presumably, by Senate and House staffers, although no one has definitively ruled out an elected official doing the editing himself or herself). Following a considerable amount of media coverage, @congressedits has amassed 24,000 followers.

Among @congressedits’ most amusing discoveries: the time someone on Capitol Hill implicated the Cuban government in spreading conspiracy theories about the moon landing on the “moon landing conspiracy theories page,” the time that an anonymous user labeled BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith “a Smirnoff enthusiast,” or the time that an edit suggested that the blog Mediaite was a “sexist transphobic” news organization “that automatically assumes that someone is male without any evidence,” after Mediaite wrote a post on @congressedits.  

The 10-day ban, made by the volunteer editors overseeing Wikipedia, only applies to a single IP address making a number of “disruptive edits,” which could affect a number of users, since multiple congressional officers often uses one IP address. 

One congressional user anonymously made his displeasure known on the Wikipedia page for the blocked IP address.

“Out of over 9000 staffers in the House, should we really be banning this whole IP range based on the actions of two or three?" they said. "Some of us here are just making grammatical edits, adding information about birds in Omsk, or showing how one can patch KDE2 under FreeBSD."

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter