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Electronic Arts, Nintendo Editing Wikipedia

Yesterday the Associated Press picked up on a news story with far reaching tentacles. According to the article, a new tool known as WikiScanner is capable of tracing the IP address of computers that edit Wikipedia entries back to companies and government institutions. The tool revealed that the CIA and FBI were using Wikipedia for their own purposes, as were companies like Exxon and Fox News, deleting critical entries.

Electronic Arts and Nintendo were two game companies found to be abusing the open nature of Wikipedia. Electronic Arts deleted full paragraphs referring to their employment practices and the company’s founder Trip Hawkins. Nintendo deleted a paragraph referring to disc read errors that occurred on GameCube hardware. A full list of the companies and organizations involved can be found here.

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Electronic Arts’ edit removed “The company has also been the subject of criticism, most notably for its business tactics and its employment policy.” They also replaced “its employment policy of requiring employees to work extraordinarily long hours, up to 80 hours per week, as a general rule and not just at ‘crunch’ times leading up to the scheduled releases of products,” with “Electronic Arts has led the industry in reforming work/life balance issues that are endemic to the software industry.” The removed paragraph went on to say, “The current mandatory hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.—seven days a week—with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behaviour (at 6:30 p.m.)”

Nintendo removed the following paragraph from Wikipedia: “Some earlier and later revisions of the GameCube consoles developed disc read problems with the optical pickup becoming thermal sensitive over time, causing read errors when the console reached normal operating temperature. Failures of this sort require replacement of the optical pickup. Affected consoles had sometimes been serviced free of charge by Nintendo even after the expiration of the warranty period.”