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UK Government IP Address Reportedly Makes 500 Wikipedia Edits Monthly

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Allegedly, a single unidentified author using a governmental IP address has been editing Wikipedia "on an industrial scale", changing articles in alphabetical order. Amid other changes, the massive edition includes adding an insult toward FC Liverpool fans.

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MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — An unidentified user or group of users made more than 500 edits to Wikipedia articles in a 30 day period in December 2014 and January 2015 from a computer owned by the UK government, the Mirror Online reported.

According to the Mirror, an unidentified user on a government connection has been editing Wikipedia "on an industrial scale": making changes to articles in alphabetical order during working hours on weekdays. The newspaper suggests the edits are harmless, however their scale is worrying.

On December 29, the anonymous editor set a record by making changes to 95 articles in a single day.

A UK Cabinet Office spokesperson told Mirror Online it was impossible to find out which computer is being used to make edits or if they were made by a single person or a group.

The newspaper suggests that changes are being made by a single editor.

The activity of the anonymous editor is being monitored by the UK's Channel 4 news Twitter account Whitehall Edits that automatically tweets when a government-owned computer edits a Wikipedia article.

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According to Whitehall Edits, the most recent change to a Wikipedia article from a governmental IP address was made on January 19. That day someone in the UK government edited an article about "Reproduction" – a 1979 debut album by British synthpop group The Human League. Earlier in the day the same IP-address made changes to an article about the US manufacturer of home appliances, the Whirpool Corporation.

British politicians found themselves in the middle of a Wikipedia editing scandal in April 2014, when the Liverpool Echo reported that government computers had been used to add insults to an article about the Hillsborough disaster – a 1989 human crush at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England that resulted in 96 deaths.

According to the Liverpool Echo, someone from the government added the phrase "blame Liverpool fans" to the article and changed the football club's motto from "You'll never walk alone" to "You'll never walk again."

Later British media revealed other controversial or offensive edits made from government computers, which included adding conspiracy theories to an article about the London 7/7 bombings and homophobic insults to an article about celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

In July 2014, British journalist Tom Scott created Parliament WikiEdits, a Twitter account that tracks Wikipedia edits made from IP addresses belonging to the UK parliament. In August, Channel 4 News created @WhitehallEdits to monitor similar activities by the UK government.

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