Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wikipedia and the Vatican

The BBC recently accused the Vatican of tampering with Wikipedia articles, but this is something that Vatican officials deny. (Article)
The Vatican on Friday denied BBC reports that it tampered with the Wikipedia online encyclopedia entry for Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, said such an initiative on the part of the Vatican would be “absurd,” reported ANSA.

The BBC reported on Wednesday that the Wikipedia Scanner, which reveals the identity of organizations that edit the online encyclopedia, recorded that Vatican computers were used to change a Web page about Adams.

The edit removed links to newspaper stories, which alleged that Adams' fingerprints and handprints were found on a car used in a double murder in 1971.

Fr. Lombardi said there are many computers at the Vatican and it is possible that an individual may have accessed Wikipedia from a Vatican computer. But the idea that the edit was an initiative of the Holy See is “without any logic,” he said.

As if the Vatican had nothing better to do. I'm sure that this article tampering/editing list has thousands of listings, but the one from a computer located at the Vatican stuck out. I wonder if in a library or something in the Vatican, if there is wireless access and any computer that wanted could access the internet and be considered a Vatican IP.

Isn't that what Wikipedia is for, though? A place for whomever, wherever, to edit and change articles as they please? Isn't that the point of a Wiki? Why should anyone even care if the Vatican wanted to change facts, just like Steven Colbert.

No comments: