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Wikipedia Bans Changes From Anonymous House Users After 'Disruptive Editing'

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Wikipedia has instituted a 10-day ban on edits from anonymous users from a single House IP address because of "persistent disruptive editing."

The ban, which began Thursday, is in response to edits such as one that called the news source Mediaite a "sexist transphobic" blog "that automatically assumes that someone is male without any evidence."

The changes were made after Mediaite wrote about increasingly off-kilter edits from Capitol Hill following the launch of @congressedits, a Twitter account that publicizes anonymous edits from congressional IP addresses.

The article was sparked by reporting from Pando Daily, which looked into a number of recent changes regarding conspiracy theories that were highlighted by @congressedits. For example, the "Moon landing conspiracy theories" page was edited from a House IP address to say it was "promoted by the Cuban government."

"That same IP address recently edited the page dedicated to Diana Princess of Wales (adding in her reputation as a markswoman), COINTELPRO (removing the claim that the FBI acted illegally) and Bohemian Grove (adding the single word 'allegedly')," Pando Daily reported.

The user talk page for the banned House IP address now includes a lengthy back-and-forth between would-be editors and Wikipedia administrators.

"Out of over 9000 staffers in the House, should we really be banning this whole IP range based on the actions of two or three?" one person asks, to which an administrator noted that users who sign in to their own Wikipedia account are still able to make edits from the House IP address during the ban.

Later in the thread, someone expresses anger that members of Congress would be playing on Wikipedia, to which another user says the edits are likely being made by staffers. However, there's no way to know for sure.

(h/t The Hill)

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