The Denver Post
Denver Mayor and Colorado gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper has received "poor ratings" from "some Denver employees," according to one version of his online biography on the website Wikipedia.
Seconds later, the ratings of the mayor are still poor, only the group responsible for them has been changed to "small businesses."
And with a few more clicks of the keyboard, the original could just as easily reappear, disappear and appear again.
Like county fairs and gossip fences of days gone by, the Wikipedia biography is an emerging battleground in the modern political campaign.
The online encyclopedia lets anyone and everyone edit the posted articles. And while that may be a boon for the First Amendment, it can be a nightmare for politicians who want to maintain control of their personal narrative — and want it to tilt in their favor.
In Colorado, Wiki wars have already been waged over U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's ethnicity, challenger Andrew Romanoff's standing within the party, Hickenlooper's reputation with small business and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis' relationship with former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay.
Snapshots of the pages for leading candidates for governor and U.S. Senate taken last Monday trace how the pages had changed during the prior months.
Tracking the changes shows a pattern of online political intrigue, some originating from government offices.
All the pages had been changed, usually anonymously, since the candidates had announced their intentions to run for office.
Filed under: Internet
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