Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Wikipedia Weirdness From Petraeusworld

In followup to yesterday's post about how Paula Broadwell's wikipedia page was edited in January 2012 to hint she was having an affair with General Petreaus, I stumbled across this post at Boing Boing a few hours ago with another interesting wikipedia find:

About two weeks after the Broadwell edit, on February 6, an editor from an IP address associated with the United States Central Command made an edit to the entry for Arcadia University to add Jill Kelley to its list of notable alumni. (Kelley is the Tampa woman to whom Broadwell later sent reportedly threatening emails) The edit read:

Jill Kelley, amateur ambassador and chess player

A few days later ", B.S.C." was added after Kelley's name as a mocking suffix of her degree by the same editor. The addition remained, unnoticed, for months! It was only removed a few days ago, after the scandal broke. The ambassador reference, of course, is a joke about Kelley's unofficial (read: made-up) "social liaison" status for MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa -- which is where the US Central Command is headquartered.

Reviewing the editing history of this IP address a bit further, I also noticed that seven minutes after the first Arcadia edit, the same person edited the wikipedia entry for ambassador to add:

"Occasionally, in some cultures, people can self-appoint themselves as "''ambassador''" by simply writing it to thier bio."

This is obviously another crack about Kelley. The edit remained for 10 days (someone helpfully corrected the misspelling) before it was removed as "preposterous".

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wikipedia Speculation About Petraeus Affair - 10 Months Ago

The day after Paula Broadwell appeared on The Daily Show in January 2012 to promote her book "All In" about General David Petraeus, a very brief wikipedia page was created for Broadwell by a new editor who appears to be a Daily Show fan. Within one hour of creation, an anonymous editor (IP address, their only edit ever to wikipedia) edited the page to add:

"Petraeus is reportedly one of her many conquests."

This was removed about an hour later by an infrequent editor (DSutton) with the commentary "Remove libel / vandalism." No attempt was made to re-add the information. About a month later, the article was speedily deleted as not showing how Broadwell was "notable". After deletion, this editing history was hidden from public view until after a new article on Broadwell was created on November 9 when news of her affair with Petraeus broke.

Hard to know whether this anonymous editor had real knowledge, or was just reacting to Broadwell's awkward interview on The Daily Show, but it appears no one commented on the video of Broadwell's interview at the Daily Show website (posted the day after her appearance) until the story broke, at least based on the comments that are currently available.

ETA 2:07 PT 11/12: Thanks to LGF for linking me and confirming the info. He could not trace the IP either.

ETA 8:53pm PT 11/13: New post: More wikipedia weirdness