Seven Most Notorious Wikipedia Editing Scandals


Wikipedia has become one of the legitimate resources for an endless stream of facts and information from a small screw to a complex philosophical concept across the world. Even though it has been improving since Wikipedia’s user-edit nature has outed some serious editing scandals. Some of these scandals some of the most prominent are discussed below.

Paul Revere and Sarah Palin

In 2011, Sarah Palin maintained the already scandalous event of Paul Revere’s famous ride of warning Americans of the British advance was given a new twist. Palin’s supporters, believing that she could not be wrong, set out to edit the history of the Wikipedia page where, at the same time, some of the edits were already in process with an obvious agenda of mocking Palin.

As a result of these edits, the American patriot, Paul’s page received over 50,000 views per day from just 2,000.

Political pursuits of the UK politician

In 2007, eagle,-eyed politicians noticed the senior UK politician David Miliband followed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown had entered untrue facts about drugs abuse and criminal convictions added to their Wikipedia pages. While this was highly scandalous, what made it more so was the IP addresses from which the edits were made which traced down back to the British government’s buildings.

Government Expenses scandal

Well, the mischievous UK government editors and Wikipedia page creators could stop at just that!

Three years after the scandal mentioned above, the Parliamentary expenses scandal rocked British politics in 2009. A recent report shows that it has gone over 10,000 edits made from the UK government buildings.

Johann Hari, also known as David Rose

After already suffering from the indignity of having his Orwell prize drawn due to plagiarism, the British journalist, Johann Hari, has set his secret life as a Wikipedia editor named David Rose.

David was exposed to attacking other journalists who had criticized him of his work as well as editing his own page in order to improve his status. Despite the IP address being traced to the independent Newspaper office where Hari used to work in January 2005, it was not until 2011, that David Rose has unmasked as Johann’s hair himself. Once exposed, he apologized for attacking other criticizing journalists and promised to work on his journalism ethics.

Jimmy Wales getting paid for editing Wikipedia pages

According to wale’s own account in 2008, Jeffrey Vernon Markey, a former novel scientist contributed $5,000 to Wikipedia, in exchange to the contribution, Jimmy Wales agreed to edit Markey’s page and remove some information which Markey found speculative. While Wales denies these allegations, the page did show the records of Wales personally editing and locking the page. However, now searching the page on Wikipedia, it is nowhere to be found!

Hire a PR firm

In 2011, it was found that a renowned British PR firm used Wikipedia editing to give its clients a competitive edge. The company routinely deleted negative comments and information while adding positive facts about the client. They had about more than ten accounts for editing which were later edited by Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales helping out his girlfriend

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, got a little too far with his girlfriend’s Wiki page. Rachel Marsden is a radio commentator and asked her page to be deleted in 2006 and Wales took charge of the assignment himself and got personal about it. According to Wales, he had not edited the page, but IM conversations released by Marsden says something different.

Who else thought Wikipedia would be the platform for such scandals!


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