Tracking the Bizarre Edits Congress Makes to Wikipedia

Illustration for article titled Tracking the Bizarre Edits Congress Makes to Wikipedia

The elected representatives you chose to represent you in the legislative branch of the United States of America aren't just making modifications to national law. They're also editing the Wikipedia pages for "Horse head mask" and "Step Up 3D." Or at least their staffers are. And thanks to @congressedits, you can keep tabs on it.


The relatively new Twitterbot, inspired by the decidedly more British ParlimentEdits, is a pretty brilliantly simple little sucker that scrubs Wikipedia's list of most recent edits, and cruises through the IP list looking for numbers that belong to the US Congress. When it finds a match, it spits them out. Not just the title of the entry, mind you, but also a link to the page that shows what was changed. It's only been at it for a few days, but already the results are pretty great.

Some are pretty understandable, like adding yourself to the page for the town you were elected from:

Some are a little weirder, like adding a reference to President Obama in the article for Horse Head Mask:

But some are just sublime, like tweaking the grammar on the page for Step Up 3D:


All of Wikipedia's edit data is public, so unless folks at Congress start using proxies when they're going to edit Wikipedia, there's a lot more fun in store. And while there's no assurance these edits are being made by Congressmen and not just bored secretaries, it's still a fun little follow. Maybe one of these days you'll find Congress geeking out over your favorite movie. [@congressedits via Hacker News]



I'll pass...

What do you mean "no assurance these edits are being made by Congress[people] and not just bored secretaries" - the idea of a congressperson doing this is pretty dang unlikely. Just look at the odds - every one of those congresspeople have 10+ staffers, plus all the support staff for facilities etc. Extraordinarily misleading title.