News Politicians Behaving Unethically! (1 Viewer)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

A

Art

Guest
Politicians on Capital Hill have been found editing biographies on Wikipedia.

Congress 'made Wikipedia changes'
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington

Online reference site Wikipedia blames US Congress staff for partisan changes to a number of political biographies.

Computers traced to Capitol Hill removed unpalatable facts from articles on senators, while other entries were "vandalised", the site said.

An inquiry was launched after staff for Democratic representative Marty Meehan admitted polishing his biography.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4695376.stm

And they wonder why many politicians are held in such low esteem. :rolleyes:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cronxeh

Gold Member
928
9
I always thought Wiki couldn't be trusted 100%, but you can always trust the people to be narcissistic :biggrin:

oh look at that full-teeth white smile.. mm-hmm :tongue2:
 
79
0
Politicians Behaving Unethically!
You don't say! :eek: I am shocked. Shocked!
 
A

Art

Guest
Orefa said:
You don't say! :eek: I am shocked. Shocked!
That's the sad part. Very few people are shocked. In fact we have come to expect it, yet these people have tremendous control over the general publics' lives and shape the future of the world.

One would reasonably expect ones' elected representatives to set high standards for society to follow but instead often they are the ones lowering the bar. :frown:
 

cronxeh

Gold Member
928
9
Art said:
That's the sad part. Very few people are shocked. In fact we have come to expect it, yet these people have tremendous control over the general publics' lives and shape the future of the world.

One would reasonably expect ones' elected representatives to set high standards for society to follow but instead often they are the ones lowering the bar. :frown:
I'm an honest, good guy overall, and I'd like to run for Senator oneday. Do I need a JD? Or even a college degree for that matter? I do care about what happens in this country and overall the rest of the world, and always feel like I cant trust any one of those representatives, unless its me.. :rolleyes:
 

SOS2008

Gold Member
0
0
An important point is that hard copy encyclopedias (or for that matter text books) cannot be edited by just anyone to fit their world view or preferences. It's too bad this is going on, because an online version allows for rapid, constant update of information for free. If they hired professional historians, etc. and made it write-protected, updates would be slower, and they would have to charge subscription fees to cover the cost. Perhaps they should.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1
80
I think the Wikipedia edits are just another in a bad trend for the internet. I remember during the Schiavo controversy, it was virtually impossible to find a neutral source on Judge Greer. Any search of his name yielded several pages of hate sites. That's the equivalent of jamming a radio signal to prevent any intelligent information getting from getting through. While Greer's name was the worst example, there's been other incidents where it takes a lot effort to find real information among the garbage sites whose sole purpose seems to be to bury information (site after site that has the same info in the search preview just has to be more than coincidence).
 
A

Art

Guest
SOS2008 said:
An important point is that hard copy encyclopedias (or for that matter text books) cannot be edited by just anyone to fit their world view or preferences. It's too bad this is going on, because an online version allows for rapid, constant update of information for free. If they hired professional historians, etc. and made it write-protected, updates would be slower, and they would have to charge subscription fees to cover the cost. Perhaps they should.
It's a tricky one. As the article says there are already 1.8 million entries in Wiki. It would be enormously expensive to fully oversee something that big and making it subscriber only to finance such a task would probably only kill it. :frown:

On the bright side the article also said that in areas related to science it was as accurate as the encyclopedia Brittanica.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jeff Ford

Confused beyond reason
152
1
cronxeh said:
I'm an honest, good guy overall, and I'd like to run for Senator oneday. Do I need a JD? Or even a college degree for that matter? I do care about what happens in this country and overall the rest of the world, and always feel like I cant trust any one of those representatives, unless its me.. :rolleyes:
Noone who wants power can be trusted to wield it.
 
79
0
Art said:
there are already 1.8 million entries in Wiki. It would be enormously expensive to fully oversee something that big
Yes, is looks close to unmanageable. But since Wikipedia uses the general public as its source of information, at this time it could also use a voting system to accept or reject changes (like the Urban Dictionary). Visitors might see both the content of an entry and the latest suggested changes. Those who already know something about the subject matter can then vote to accept or reject the suggested change(s) which is then accepted only if a good number of visitors approve and few disapprove of it. This can be refined to give more weight to submissions from IPs with a good track record. I'm sure it can be refined in other ways too. This requires software enhancements but not a lot of manual checks by the staff.
 

cronxeh

Gold Member
928
9
Jeff Ford said:
Noone who wants power can be trusted to wield it.
Yeah.. but unless you believe in religious dogmas about people being posessed and having double faced personalities, I'm pretty sure there are people out there who have a better value system and speak their mind, unable to hide the truth from their constituents. I mean think about it, if you were voting for a Senator, won't you want him to openly talk about the problems that country faces, unless its classified, and brainstorm possible solutions and occasionally ask his voters for input?
 
A

Art

Guest
BobG said:
I think the Wikipedia edits are just another in a bad trend for the internet. I remember during the Schiavo controversy, it was virtually impossible to find a neutral source on Judge Greer. Any search of his name yielded several pages of hate sites. That's the equivalent of jamming a radio signal to prevent any intelligent information getting from getting through. While Greer's name was the worst example, there's been other incidents where it takes a lot effort to find real information among the garbage sites whose sole purpose seems to be to bury information site after site that has the same info in the search preview just has to be more than coincidence).
. Yes you're right - Here's an example. Ignoring the rights and wrongs in this particular example it shows how SEO marketing can be used to corrupt the internet search engines to either promote information or hide it in a forest of junk
The Israel News Agency is asking every SEO advertising marketing professional to create Web pages and optimize the keywords: "Iran Holocaust Cartoon Contest" in order to prevent the Iran newspapers, the enemies of Israel, the Jews, the Christians and Western democracy from attaining a high Google and Google News position. The SEO contestants will wrap these keywords around their comments of how Iran has sponsored Islam suicide bombing terror attacks against innocent men, women and children in Israel. Iran directly funds the activities of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbullah.

"SEO contests are held almost every day marketing casino and other commercial Web sites," said Leyden. "It's time we used SEO Internet marketing against Islamic terrorists, those in Iran who wish to "wipe Israel off the map" and turn democracy's key principle of freedom of speech against those of us living in the US, England, France, Denmark, Israel, Turkey, Spain and all Western nations."

Wikipedia defines a SEO (search engine optimization) contests as when SEO marketing Webmasters compete to rank best on Google for a given keyword or keyword combination. They have become an often important method for webmasters to promote their web sites and gain web traffic. While the contestants compete for prizes, fame or glory, the organizing body often benefits as well. The Israel News Agency is launching an SEO contest, not for money but rather in memory of those Jews, Christians, Gypsies - men, women and children who were murdered in the gas ovens of the Holocaust.
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,185
51
Art, this raises what I think is an even broader issue (if you think this side-tracks discussion too much, let me know and I'll split it off, but I'm starting here because it seems pertinent to the example you've cited). I have often wondered how much oversight there is of Congressional aides. When you think about who does the real leg-work in Congress and has a pretty strong say-so in what goes on, it's the aides more than the Congresspersons. These are not elected posts, and while we assume those we elect are hiring aides with views similar to their own and thus similar to those we've voted for, I wonder how much "damage" can a couple of aides do by selectively presenting data to the Congressperson they work for? It's just something I wonder. Does anyone here know more first-hand what goes on with respect to the Congressional staff and who checks up on them?
 

The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top