Wikipedia locks down editing on Mitt Romney, other Republican entries

Mitt Romney
No Wiki edits for Mitt

Wikipedia has taken measures to prevent anonymous users from editing the pages of U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well as several other Republican candidates believed to be in consideration as Romney's vice presidential running mate.

The collaboratively edited online encyclopedia typically allows anyone to create, contribute and monitor entries.

However, thanks to a recent broadcast of the Colbert Report, Wikipedia locked the ability to make changes to the pages of a handful of Republican politicians.

During the August 7 episode of the Colbert Report, show host Stephen Colbert pointed to a Fox News broadcast in which the pundits revealed that just before Sarah Palin was named John McCain's vice presidential candidate, her Wikipedia entry was edited 68 times.

Colbert then jokingly said, "The number of times a Wikipedia page has been edited predicts the chances for the VP slot."

He then further egged on his viewers by prompting them to have their voices heard.

"Go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender," Colbert quipped.

Protecting sensitive or vandalism-prone pages

People followed Colbert's directives, editing pages for people like Mitt Romney, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Chris Christie and others.

Wikipedia quickly stepped in to prevent further damage, locking out the pages as per their guidelines, which allows them to protect "particularly sensitive and/or vandalism-prone pages."

Volunteer media coordinator David Gerard told the BBC, "It's supposed to be an encyclopedia so a bit of amusement is fine but too much gets messy really.

"We try to keep stuff as open as possible, so once it calms down they'll probably be open again."

Previous pages to be protected due to such rigorous edits are those pertaining to the Virgina Tech massacre and the page for Disney television show Hannah Montana.

While it's interesting to see what types of analysis political pundits are using to determine potential Republican White House hopefuls, it's good to see that Wikipedia is still trying to maintain its editorial standards.