Why is Congress Editing Harry Potter Wikipedia Pages?

By Ed Woodward| July 15, 2014

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By Ed Woodward    July 14, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – That’s what I want to know. And I’m going to get to the bottom of it. In what could be bigger than the IRS scandal or even Whitewatergate, Congress is editing Wikipedia pages! (Editor’s note:  Watergate and Whitewater are two different scandals). This is pretty much Wikipediagate. But why are they doing it? That’s the 700 galleons question, isn’t it? It’s revisionist history happening right under our noses. Wikipedia represents everything George Washington fought a war of independence for. And now it’s being tampered with by mysterious people in the Senate and the House. (Probably congressional interns).

Thank goodness for Congress-Edits for keeping them honest. The government watchdog group, launched July 8, is a Twitter account that tweets whenever someone from an IP address associated with Congress makes anonymous edits on Wikipedia. Check it out on Twitter here


Congress-Edit works like this:

  • Someone with a Congressional IP edits a Wikipedia page
  • The site logs the user’s IP address and information on the user’s edits
  • Congress-Edits gets notified and tweets a link to the revision

You might be asking how this is possible. Well, it’s because Congressional offices share IP addresses (which are public), so every time Wikipedia registers an anonymous edit from a Congressional IP address, Congress-Edits automatically updates.

The Twitter account has only been around for a week but it has already registered a ton of edits. The most egregious changes so far have been the aforementioned editing of the Harry Potter pages. I don’t ever remember the Navy SEALs in Dumbledore’s Army. What the heck? It’s one thing to edit pages about people in Congress or the President or whatever, but it’s an entirely different thing to edit ANYTHING having to do with Potter. It’s obviously what brought me to this story. (Editor’s note: we actually don’t want to know what brought you to the story Mr. Woodward. Please just report the facts. Thanks.)

I immediately started investigating and tried to find out who was responsible for this. But I quickly discovered that tracing the changes back to a Congressional IP address in no way determines who actually made the edits. Total bummer, but the good news is, any time someone with a Congressional IP does make a change to Harry’s pages, @CongressEdits will keep me informed. Once I find out, you can then be sure I’ll break the story on this infringement of our First Amendments rights as loudly and as clearly as I possibly can. that  The WISHington Post will be the first to report it.

Like I said before, the staffers who are making all these changes are most likely interns, so with that in mind, I have a word to the wise for those of you who are Congressional interns: you can make your little edits to politicians and world leaders, but stay off of Harry Potter’s pages! That’s just not cool. Congress-Edits is watching you.

I’ll have more on this developing story as details become available. Stay tuned.

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