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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dutch Justice Department bans Wikipedia for employees following vandalism

A spokesperson for the Justice Department in the Netherlands has confirmed to the Dutch magazine Intermediair that it will temporary suspend access to Wikipedia for it's 30,000 employees, following recently revealed vandalism by staff members.

The magazine has confronted the department with some untasteful edits which originated from their IP addresses. Anonymous users are registered through these unique internet fingerprints when they edit Wikipedia. The magazine exposed the vandalism through, a website which combines a database of Wikipedia alterations with a server database from large institutions. The site can be used to reveal which organisations are behind anonymous Wikipedia editors.

One of the edits involved the article on the murder of controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a muslim extrimist, which shocked the Netherlands and led to an intense debate about integration and the safety of public figures. In 2005, the vandal added to the article that Mr. van Gogh was riding his bicycle through a street in Amsterdam "with his penis hanging out of his pants" when he was shot.


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