Palin and Wikipedia: Did someone try to scrub her profile?

On Friday, I blogged about the intensive editing surrounding Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia entry. I later re-wrote that for the Saturday for the print edition of the Mercury News.

But it turns out there may be even more to this tale. On Saturday, I noticed a post on J.D. Lasica’s blog: Did Sarah Palin scrub her own Wikipedia entry? J.D. notes a brewing controversy:

“Well, now it appears that one of the citizen editors on the entry was … a member of Sarah Palin’s family.”

National Public Radio had reported that either a member of Palin’s family or the McCain campaign had rewritten portions of her entry in the hours before she was officially announced as McCain’s running mate. Apparently, the offending editor created an account called “Young Trigg.”

It turns out that Trig is the name of one of her kids.

You can see the full list of edits made by Young Trigg here.

I had several different reactions to the latest news, one of which included kicking myself. In my original post, I stumbled across part of this issue but didn’t recognize the significance at the time. I wrote the following for the blog, but later dropped it for the print version due to length reasons:

“And then there appeared to be some moderator, floating around, trying to keep things moving while gently enforcing Wikipedia’s rules. For instance, a user named “Young Trigg” received an “advisory note” for a possible conflict of interest for one of the user’s edits:

“Last night, you made a number of great improvements to the Sarah Palin article. However, some of your edits may have affected the article in such a way so as to reflect more favorably on the subject of the article. Given the timing and significance of your edits, I wanted to make sure you were familiar with Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guidelines.”

The changes sound nefarious, but it’s not so cut and dried. Check out the ongoing conversation taking place at Wikipedia about the intentions and implications of all this.

But my other thought, was “Bravo.” Even if someone tried to game the system and rewrite her entry, the community caught on pretty quickly and dealt with the issue. Again, I’d say this is a good sign for Wikipedia.


Tags: , ,


Share this Post

  • Paige

    Sarah Palin’s wikipedia has been changed once again to remove information about her membership with the Alaskan Independence Party.

  • Bruce

    An entry by “Young Trigg” is surely proof that someone in the family is editing the Wikipedia entry. Trigg is Sarah Palin’s 4-month-old infant with Down Syndrome.

    I’m certain that no one related to the Obama campaign would even think of editing Wikipedia entries for their candidate, so no double-standard here.

    If Palin had simply alledged that John Edwards was the father of the baby, the story would’ve dropped from sight instantly and we’d never hear another word about it.