The US Congress has made enough anonymous, occasionally controversial edits to Wikipedia that the changes have warranted their own Wikipedia page. Now a new automated Twitter tattletale, @congressedits, is posting every one of the edits made from the Senate and House.
Wikipedia allows you to view edits by IP address; the congressional IP addresses are public. Inspired by a similar bot set up for the UK Parliament, web developer Ed Summers created @congressedits, which automatically searches for edits made by the IP addresses and tweets a link to the changes.
The account launched this week, and so far it's turned up more inexplicable edits than political impropriety. Following an encounter between President Barack Obama and a man wearing a horse mask, the "horse head mask" Wiki, dedicated to cataloguing the meme, was updated to reflect the meeting.
Horse head mask Wikipedia article edited anonymously by Congress http://t.co/Ddh98AtAzx— congress-edits (@congressedits) July 9, 2014
Even better, someone working from one of the IPs made a grammatical change to the plot of the dance movie Step Up 3D.
Step Up 3D Wikipedia article edited anonymously by US Senate http://t.co/8Cd1HfhUbP— congress-edits (@congressedits) July 10, 2014
Of course, it's not possible to say who, exactly, made the edits. And if members of Congress know they're being monitored, they may be wary of making changes at all during work hours. Summers, in a blog post introducing the project, says that's not his goal. Instead, he hopes the project encourages members of Congress to make important edits, and to make them under real names. More national history, less Step Up 3D.