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Wikipedia Whitewash Spin Jobs and Virgil Griffith’s WikiScanner Tool

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I’ve been doing research for more than a year now on a single Wikipedia entry that I have been particularly interested in. I’ve had some suspicions as to who’s making the edits on the particular page, and if any organizations were involved. Thanks to a new tool created by Caltech graduate student Virgil Griffith, known as a wikiscanner, this sort of work is going to get a lot easier for many.

I wrote about it in Planet Chiropractic news earlier today (Web Tool Outs Wikipedia Manipulators) and it’s currently a topic that’s growing hotter by the hour. As of today Virgil’s web site has a PR ranking of 4. It won’t be long before that bumps to about a 7 or 8, thanks to his cool little wiki scanning tool.

The tool helps connect anonymous wikipedia edits to IP addresses belonging to corporations, organizations, and government agencies.

Earlier in the day the tool was showing some database errors likely as a result of Virgil’s web site being struck by tons of traffic from places such as Digg, Wired, Boing Boing, Radar, and even a trickle of users from Planet Chiropractic. The tool, known as a wikiscanner, seems to be functioning much better now but it’s likely to get another wave of heavy traffic this evening.

Save the links above and check it out when you get the time. It’s very cool stuff. Virgil Griffith is indeed the mad scientist and disruptive technologist he claims to be.


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