Passando pelo GameSpot dei de cara nessa notícia de que os empregados de famosas distribuidoras como a EA, Nintendo, SCEA (Sony of America) e etc estão editando artigos na Wikipedia (em inglês) sobre seus jogos e sobre suas companias. Alguns chegam ao cúmulo de deletar links para sites de abandonware e sobre modchips, colocando no lugar que sua forma legal é ambígua…

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Publisher employees go wild on Wikipedia

This morning, Shacknews reported on Wikipedia edits made from an IP address traced to Electronic Arts’ Redwood Shores headquarters with the help of a recently publicized search tool. However, it isn’t an isolated incident among publishers. Given that it would only take one employee of a company a lapse of judgment lasting a few minutes to make an ill-advised alteration to an entry, it wasn’t hard to guess other companies would have similar skeletons in the wiki-closet.

GameSpot found that the majority of Wikipedia edits made to game-related topics by publisher-owned IP addresses were helpful–correcting spelling errors, updating company information, and refreshing lists of published games. Not all edits were innocent, though. Many straddled a gray area between correcting misrepresentations and manipulating entries in order to whitewash anything that casts the company in a bad light.

For example, IP numbers owned by Sony Online Entertainment were credited with editing the company’s own entry, as well as the page for its EverQuest massively multiplayer online role-playing game, in order to remove mentions of controversies and criticisms. In the former case, the deleted passages made exhaustive reference to fan uproar over Star Wars Galaxies’ new game enhancements reboot and player gripes with The Matrix Online in the company’s “Recent History” section.

In the latter case, the cut was a single paragraph referencing a St. Petersburg Times article about a man sentenced to 15 years in prison for fracturing his 9-month-old son’s ribs and leaving the child in a utility closet to die of a punctured heart while he played EverQuest. That paragraph was included under the apparently appropriate header of “Controversies and Social Issues.”

As pointed out by GameSpot reader Jason Brozek, an IP owned by Nintendo eliminated a paragraph stating that “earlier and later” versions of the GameCube were prone to disc read errors. However, that paragraph did not include any citation or reference to back up the claim. Another edit from Nintendo, this one to the DS Lite page, eliminated from the list of features mention of a sturdier hinge, which was supposedly fragile in earlier models.

An IP address owned by the Entertainment Software Association had tweaked the entry for mod chips, as well as Abandonware site Home of the Underdogs. The mod chip edit truncated a section describing the legality of mod chips in the US as “ambiguous,” instead flatly stating that they are illegal because of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The omitted text also mentioned the creation of mod chips that would allow users to play legally purchased imported games, but still prevent the use of pirated, burned game discs. In the Home of the Underdogs entry’s case, a reference to the site’s “illustrious career” was simply changed to read “illegal career.”

It was evident from a cursory glance through various publishers’ edits that their employees are updating Wikipedia entries for their own personal reasons. Whether they be edits to information about starlet Tara Reid’s family members, or tweaks to the “Other Uses” section of the Urine entry, many changes made were to seemingly random subjects about inconsequential issues.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Wikipedia without a few vandals. One edit traced back to an industry trade group added reference to a pornographic Web site and hideous Internet meme to the entry for GameSpot sister site GameFAQs. A game publisher with an apparently disgruntled Minnesota Vikings fan on staff was linked to an edit of head coach Brad Childress’ entry that said “this meat-whistle couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.”