NPR reported yesterday that an unidentified Wiki user made at least 30 changes to Palin's entry in the hours before John McCain announced that she was his pick for VP.
On Friday, 15 minutes before the rumor that John McCain had picked Palin as his running mate, a Wikipedia editor discovered 30 mostly favorable changes had been made to the Alaska governor's profile. She was called "a politician of eye-popping integrity" and sections on her participation in a beauty pageant and her alleged use of influence to get her former brother-in-law fired were diminished. Wikipedia is now restricting who can alter Palin's page.
Whoever changed the page minimized her status as beauty queen and played down the controversy over whether she tried to get her brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper after a nasty divorce with her sister.
NPR interviewed Wikipedia editor Justin Diehl:
24 hours before she became the nominee ... someone spent hours essentially rewriting the article in a way that comes across better but also much more favorably. ... I dug a little deeper and it became clear that this account had only ever been used to make these changes to a single article on a single candidate. At Wikipedia that's usually a pretty big red flag.The screen name of the change artist? YoungTrig.