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Wikipedia bans US Congress edits


Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following “persistent disruptive editing”.

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.

The biography of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an “alien lizard”.

One staffer said they were being banned for the “actions of two or three”.

Edits from computers using the IP address belonging to the House of Representatives have been banned before, following similar acts of vandalism.

Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives

Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives (photo Wikipedia)

The latest block comes after rogue edits were brought to light by a Twitter feed, @congressedits, which posts every change made from the government-owned address.

One of the acts highlighted was an alteration to the page on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which was changed to say that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting “on behalf of the regime of Fidel Castro”.

An entry on the moon landing conspiracy theories was changed to say they were “promoted by the Cuban government”.

Another entry, on the Ukrainian politician Nataliya Vitrenko, was edited to claim that she was a “Russian puppet”.

The biography of Donald Rumsfeld was revised, describing him as an “alien lizard who eats Mexican babies”.

However, the edit that finally brought administrators to ban anonymous edits from the House IP address was made on the entry for media news site Mediaite.

Mediaite had previously run a story on the rogue edits from congressional computers.

Wikipedians have been warning editors from the House of Representatives since March 2012, and moved to block the address for one day earlier this month.

On July 24, the IP address was blocked for 10 days, but one staffer protested that they were being punished for the actions of a few.

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