Fun with Wikiscanner: The U.S. House

I’ve been having some fun with Wiki Scanner, a Web-based program that allows you to uncover anonymous posters on the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Wiki Scanner is the brainchild of Virgil Griffith, a grad student with a devilishly clever imagination.

Turns out that some of these anonymous postings — 3,733 of them — came from users logged on to computers at the U.S. House of Representatives. All the posts come from a single IP address, but it’s apparently used by many people.

Here’s what the people of the House has been up to (see here for yourself):

  • Score Settling. Edited Rep. Eric Cantor’s entry to read: “He is a bad person and member of the House Ways and Means Committee” and “Cantor is also Chief Deputy Majority Whip and smells of cow dung.”
  • Trivia about Masturbation. “According to one biography, Allen Ginsberg came up with the idea for his celebrated poem “Howl” while masturbating with a broom.”
  • Expressing opinions about monster-themed cereals: “It [Boo Berry] is by far the most delicious of all the monster themed cereals.”
  • Posting at least six entries to the Wikipedia entry on Dimples
  • Calling a whole long list of people gay.
  • Vandalizing the entry for basketball player Ray Jackson: “JOHN SANTORE: SUCKS?”
  • Giving a shout out to a friend who shares the name of a dead British poet: Thomas Dermody is an awesome intern who was born in Stockton, CA. He went to school at Cal Berkeley. He is now going to GWU to earn his masters degree in environmental policy planning. If you don’t know him yet, you’re missing out.”
  • Oh, and removing unflattering references from a long list of Republican members of Congress.

So far, only Timothy Hill, a spokesman for Rep. David Davis of Tennessee, has admitted editing entries about his boss and his brother, who’s also a congressman. So who’s the Boo Berry lover?

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