The NZ Herald has a story on edits done to Wikipedia by Aaron Bhatnagar, highlighted a few days ago by Russell Brown.
Auckland City councillor Aaron Bhatnagar has been caught doctoring the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to paint his opponents in a bad light at last year’s local body elections.
Using the alias of Barzini _ a power-hungry psychopath from Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather _ Mr Bhatnagar created entries for his Action Hobson opponents in the Hobson ward and made unflattering changes to the entry for Mayor Dick Hubbard.
After winning a council seat and watching Action Hobson councillors Christine Caughey and Richard Simpson go down to a C&R rout in Hobson, Mr Bhatnagar tried to remove the Wikipedia entries for his opponents at 3am the following morning.
An unrepentant Mr Bhatnagar yesterday admitted setting up and editing entries against his opponents on Wikipedia, but claimed everything he said was true, such as broken promises on rates. He said Wikipedia was self-regulating and a community where everyone could have a say. There were mechanisms to delete or rewrite entries. …
Mr Brown yesterday said anyone could edit an entry in Wikipedia, but the main barrier was ethical. There was a Wikipedia rule that stated it should not be used as a soapbox. “I think his behaviour is incredibly inappropriate. It was really the wrong thing to do,” Mr Brown said.
I agree that the editing was inappropriate. It wasn’t vandalism (this is vandalism), but it is inadvisable to make questionable changes to topics you have a vested interest in.
This isn’t an absolute. I’ve made some changes to articles on National and the 2005 funding controversy. But when they are political topics, I try and be extra careful that the edits are neutral point of view. Also I try to avoid edit wars by sometimes using the Talk page on a topic to propose a change. For example the debate over whether Adam Hamilton or George Forbes was the first Leader of the National Party (I say Hamilton, not Forbes).
UPDATE: A commenter has pointed to some Wiki vandalism done by IP address 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206, where the author signed a comment on a talk page as philu. The Phil U who posts here has told me it was not him, he has never edited Wikipedia. He has also never commented here from those IP address which are on the Telecom network, and Phil is on Woosh. So I take his word it was not him, and the person who did the edits either signed his name falsely or maybe has the same first name and initial.Tags: Aaron Bhatnagar, Russell Brown, Wikipedia