Wiki pages of Napoles, pols defaced

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Wikipedia pages of Janet Lim-Napoles and at least 10 politicians, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, have suffered an increase in vandalism at the hands of netizens this week, The STAR discovered yesterday.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Wikipedia pages of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV were defaced to include references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lord of the Rings.

A link to a defaced page of Binay, which included personal attacks against the vice president, also circulated on the social media site Facebook yesterday.

Upon further examination of the history of different Wikipedia pages of top government officials, The STAR learned that seven other incumbent senators have suffered the same fate since April 21: Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Alan Peter Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Poe, and Cynthia Villar.

Most of the vandalism cases were personal attacks, with the exception of the pages of Estrada and Revilla, which suffered changes that allude to the pork barrel scam.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier recommended the filing of plunder charges against the two, as well as Enrile, before the Sandiganbayan.

The STAR also discovered vandalism attempts on the Wikipedia page of Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind who was in the headlines this week after her supposed tell-all meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Based on the examination of the Wikipedia history pages, which showed all changes that were done to the subject profile, most of the vandalism cases happened starting Thursday, after media organizations reported the defacing of the pages of Aquino and Enrile.

Revilla’s page had the most changes this week – 66, with most of the variations occurring on Friday. Aquino’s page came in second with 51 changes.

In March, Revilla’s page was changed four times, without any vandalism attempt. Aquino’s page was changed 14 times in March, including at least two possible attempts of vandalism.

The Wikipedia pages of Revilla and Aquino – as well as that of the Vice President, Senators Binay and Enrile, and Napoles – have since been protected by Wikipedia from further vandalism.

Records of the changes showed that the vandalism was made from different Internet Protocol addresses. The affected pages have been corrected.

The changes in the Wikipedia pages of the senators could not be considered as hacking since Wikipedia is a collaborative website that allows netizens to edit posts.

“Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields,” the website said in its disclaimer page.

“Even articles that have been vetted by informal peer review or article processes may later have been edited inappropriately, just before you view them,” it said, adding that the contents of the website is not uniformly peer reviewed.

Wikipedia further said that none of the contributors, sponsors, administrators or anyone else connected with it in any way can be responsible for the appearance of any inaccurate or libelous information or for the use of the information contained in or linked from the web pages.


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