The NYPD is back to business as usual following the thawing of tensions with Mayor DeBlasio.
It’s been discovered, through the tracing of IP addresses, that recent attempts to edit and censor victims of police crimes on Wikipedia have been coming directly from the NYPD headquarters at 1 Police Plaza. According to Capital New York:
“Computer users identified by Capital as working on the NYPD headquarters’ network have edited and attempted to delete Wikipedia entries for several well-known victims of police altercations, including entries for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Capital identified 85 NYPD addresses that have edited Wikipedia, although it is unclear how many users were involved, as computers on the NYPD network can operate on the department’s range of IP addresses.”
Notable changes include:
— “Garner raised both his arms in the air” was changed to “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke.”
— “[P]ush Garner’s face into the sidewalk” was changed to “push Garner’s head down into the sidewalk.”
— “Use of the chokehold has been prohibited” was changed to “Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited.”
— The sentence, “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” was added to the description of the incident.
— Instances of the word “chokehold” were replaced twice, once to “chokehold or headlock,” and once to “respiratory distress.”
This is not the first time government agents have been caught manipulating Wikipedia. Recently, it was found that staffers in the US House of Representative were doing the same thing. They were subsequently banned from editing the site further.