Entries in wikipedia (2)


Wikipedia Locks Down Potential VP Pages

Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation)(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney’s campaign might be asking supporters to download “Mitt’s VP” app to get the first notification of his running mate, but tea leaf readers were turning to Wikipedia for clues.

The thinking was that a flurry of Wikipedia edits indicated a potential running mate’s online persona was being scrubbed.

The popular, user-edited site has locked down the candidates’ pages after comedian Stephen Colbert encouraged viewers to update potential running mates’ Wikipedia sites with jokes and falsities.

Earlier in the week, Tech President’s Micah Sifry introduced the unassuming idea that Wikipedia activity may be an early indicator of who Romney will pick as his running mate. According to him, updates to the Wikipedia pages of previous VP contenders have suggested that the popular site might have a lead.

In the 2008 election, Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated close to 70 times the day before GOP nominee John McCain publicly announced her selection, and five days prior to the announcement there were another 54 updates made to the page.

Tim Pawlenty, one of McCain’s leading contenders for the VP pick and coincidentally one of Romney’s, too, had 54 quick updates initially, ultimately trailing Palin with only 12 in the five days prior. Vice President Joe Biden also saw an unusual spike in web activity before Obama’s big announcement back in 2008.

Earlier this week, the Wiki pages of a few of Romney’s VP choices were causing a stir. The pages of Rob Portman and Marco Rubio saw overwhelming activity.

Though Sifry’s finding seemed promising, those impatient for Romney’s VP pick might have to find a new indicator.

On Wednesday, the Tech President reported that Wikipedia put a lock on the pages of leading VP candidates in an attempt to protect them from vandalism. Contenders such as Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Chris Christie have all had their Wiki pages protected by site administrators allowing only registered users to makes edits.

Whether or not Wikipedia will reopen its pages to allow updates before the big announcement is unknown.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Group Launches Wikipedia-Style Website of Obama Records 

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- One of the country's largest and most powerful pro-Republican advocacy groups with ties to Karl Rove has launched an online clearinghouse for internal Obama administration documents to expose what it says is a failure by the president to be as transparent and open as promised.

The database at allows registered users to upload and search information obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, much as they would at sites like Wikipedia or Wikileaks.

Thousands of pages of information already in the wiki reveal expenses incurred by the administration in promoting its health care overhaul, dozens of meetings between Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and union leaders, and the pay and travel of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Elizabeth Warren. All the documents have been legally acquired.

The site also lists more than a half dozen outstanding FOIA requests, some dating to August 2010, despite a legal requirement that they be fulfilled within 20 days.

"President Obama's record on FOIA doesn't come anywhere near his lofty rhetoric," said Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS, the Rove-backed nonprofit group that created the site.

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Obama vowed to make his administration the most open and transparent in history and directed federal agencies to "usher in a new era of open government."

"Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing," Obama said at the time.

Two years later, several independent analyses show the administration has fallen short in meeting its goals.

A study released earlier this month by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Knight Foundation found that only about half of federal agencies had made changes in their FOIA procedures in response to Obama's directive.

"At this rate, the president's first term in office will be over by the time federal agencies do what he asked them to do on his first day in office," said Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation, which funded the study.

"Freedom of information laws exist to help all of us get the information we need for this open society to function. Yet government at all levels seems to have a great deal of trouble obeying its own transparency laws." The unveiling of the site comes as Crossroads GPS Wednesday sued the Department of Health and Human Services for its alleged failure to comply with a Jan. 7, 2011, request for information on procedures for granting waivers under the health care reform law, which was enacted one year ago.

"Until President Obama is willing to grant the entire country a waiver from Obamacare, his administration needs to come clean on how they decide who wins and loses in the waiver lottery," Law said. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio