Browse Definitions:
Definition

WikiScanner

WikiScanner is a free, Web-based database application that tracks the source IP addresses of computers used to edit anonymous Wikipedia entries. Within a simple, minimally designed interface consisting of a form, text, drop downs and hyperlinks, WikiScanner allows users to first determine what the IP address of an organization is and then search to discover what edits have been made from that IP range.

Virgil Griffiths, a graduate student in computation and neural-systems at the California Institute of Technology, created the application:

  • To improve virgil.gr 's Google page rank for the query ' virgil'
  • To create a fireworks display of public relations disasters for all the world to sit back, and enjoy
  • To see what 'interesting organizations' are up to.

WikiScanner makes it easier for the average netizen to track and report on examples of abuse. Although Wikipedia discourages what it calls "self-interested" edits, it does not actively prevent them. Any user can edit any entry anonymously. According to Griffiths, self-serving edits typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Removal of critical information
  2. White-washing
  3. Adding negative information to a competitor's page.
( Source: WikiScanner FAQ )

Wired Magazine's Reddit news community site is among several sites publishing information about unscrupulous changes to Wikipedia content. Here's a sampling of documented edits:

  • An edit from the Exxon network altered content to downplay the environmental impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • An edit from the Wal-Mart network changed a negative comment about the company's wages.
  • An edit from the Pepsi network removed details about health effects of the company's products.
  • An edit from the Microsoft network added negative content to the entry about Apple .
  • An edit from the Apple network added negative content to the entry about Microsoft .
This was last updated in June 2010

Continue Reading About WikiScanner

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • biometrics

    Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioral characteristics.

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close