Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wikipedia abuses

Obviously, I underattend this blog. Although there are dozens of governmental and business abuses every day, I cannot report on all of them, and there are so many other places to find such shenanigans. But when I read about this, I knew I had to say something. Our elected officials (I'll refrain from calling them representatives of the people) have been known to abuse their power. They have also been known to indulge in the sin of pride. With the power of Wikipedia, an open source encyclopedia, anyone can make changes to entries. There has been a lot of talk lately about how such an open system can get abused. Duh. Email is an open system, and it is being abused daily, hourly by spammers. Open is insecure is open. Can't escape it. However, most people didn't realize just how this could be until recently. I won't rehash the news, except to say that the most recent abuse to come to light is the uncomplimentary changing of entries by congressional staffers. You can read more about it here and elsewhere.

I think Wikipedia is great. It has the potential to be a truly useful tool. But it only takes a few bad apples to ruin the pie. Perhaps they should tighten up security, add accountability to the editing procedure. However, the abuse by people in government, even if they are merely staffers, is inexcusable and childish.

I remain unchanged in my view of politicians.