New Twitter Accounts Announce Wikipedia Edits By Government Officials

Josh Evans Contributor
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While the ability of anyone to edit Wikipedia has been a strength for the site, it also opens the door for abuse. With this in mind, a group of Twitter accounts have taken up the task of tracking edits made from government IP addresses.

The trend began with @parliamentedits, which uses a bot to post automatically whenever an edit is made using an IP address from the British Parliament, Motherboard reports. The account inspired several others focusing on different countries, including the United States, Sweden, Canada and France.

The American account, @congressedits, was created by Ed Summers, an IT specialist for the Library of Congress. So far he hasn’t uncovered much beyond basic stylistic edits, aside from a change to the page for horse head masks reflecting President Barack Obama’s recent encounter in Colorado. (RELATED: ‘Hold Your Horses, Mr. President’)

In his blog, Summers explained his motivation for creating the account, stemming from the need for innovative methods to encourage government accountability.

“There is an incredible yearning in this country and around the world for using technology to provide more transparency about our democracies,” he wrote.

Summers also stated that he hopes his project will inspire both public debate and further attempts to encourage government transparency.

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