The Russian government has reportedly been caught editing a Wikipedia page relating to crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and removing references to Russian involvement.
The London Telegraph reports that a Russian-language Wikipedia page about civil aviation accidents was edited from within the government-run All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
The user wrote that "the plane [flight MH17] was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers".
That replaced an entry written just an hour earlier that said the plane had been shot down by “terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation."
The edits were uncovered by @RuGovEdits, a Twitter bot that automatically tweets every time Wikipedia is edited from a computer with a Russian government IP address.
An IP address is a unique number related to certain computers or networks.
All edits made to Wikipedia are permanently logged along with the editor’s username and IP address.
A similar Twitter bot set up earlier in July to monitor Wikipedia edits made from computers inside the United States Congress, @congressedits, has uncovered edits ranging from the banal to the bizarre.
This includes edits improving grammar on an article about the dance movie Step Up 3D and adding US President Barack Obama to an entry about horse-head masks, technology website Gizmodo reports.
- The Age