Congress Can't Be Trusted to Edit Wikipedia? What About Screwing With the Laws?


It's really not a surprise that Congress can't be trusted to edit an online encyclopedia—and let's be clear, it's not really Congress, but one shared IP address associated with the House of Representatives. The obvious question then is: What else can't lawmakers and their minions be trusted to edit?

Strictly speaking, if "persistent disruptive editing" of the Mediaite entry at Wikipedia is a problem, then whatever the fuck it is the nation's lawmakers have been doing to health care, the tax code, the national budget, the (un)leashing of the various spook and law enforcement agencies, and any other policy you care to imagine probably deserves a few stronger words.

Congress edit-blocked

Wikipedia editors have taken to referring to the specific person or persons abusing privileges at Wikipedia as "trolls," but the folks who voted the PATRIOT Act into being certainly live under a bridge. And they're sitting on the heads of whoever crafted the accumulated detritus—or authorized the Internal Revenue Service to do so—of the rules many of us pay accountants good money to navigate (or just sweat it out ourselves) so that we don't face fines or imprisonment every time April 15 rolls around.

The tale of edit-blocked legislators and congressional staffers at Wikipedia is funny as hell, but it's a sign of a larger problem. We're at the mercy of a bunch of petty and malicious trolls who really do have the power to screw with us by switching around the arrangement of a few words, or adding and deleting verbiage, in the U.S. Code. Whatever they do, the rest of us are stuck with the results.

Now if only the executive branch weren't at least as unworthy of trust with any sort of serious responsibility.