Rather than trying to convince Canadians to come to their point of view on the purchase of Joint Strike Fighters, our government, led by the Right Wrong Dishonourable Stephen Harper, has instead tried to influence public opinion by rewriting Wikipedia articles. Their attempt at a wikiality failed. From CBC:
A Defence Department spokesperson confirms computers at the department’s research agency were used to alter a Wikipedia page entry about the Joint Strike Fighter jet and the Conservative government’s decision to spend as much as $18 billion on the aircraft.
Those edits included the removal of information critical of the government’s plan to buy the jets and the addition of insulting comments aimed at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
As first reported in a story by Postmedia, Wikipedia traced the edits to computers owned by Defence Research Development Canada’s Ottawa offices. Wikipedia locked down the entry, labelled the changes as vandalism and only allowed recognized editors to work on the page.
See, they are defacing web pages. Vandalizing. In addition, there is the rather authoritarian tactic of removing the dissents of others. It’s entirely possible that a reasonable case could be made for purchasing these jets, but wikiality is not the way to do it.
In one entry, all information outlining the criticism of the jets and the plan to buy them was removed. In another, someone added that Ignatieff thought the deal to buy the planes for Canada was an “awesome, amazing decision to proceed with this contract.” In reality, Ignatieff has been critical of the sole-source contract, calling for a reconvening of the defence committee to examine the decision.
Another version of the entry inserted that Ignatieff has six toes on each foot.
Putting words in your opponents’ mouths and misrepresenting their positions, and making up juvenile stories about them. I would expect the government to know what’s going on with their own computers.
This incident is of course a good reason not to vote for the Conservative Party whenever the next federal election is held.