Surely, by now, you've heard of the genius that is Wikiscanner, the program that reveals which corporations are editing their Wikipedia pages. (Exxon cleaning up details on their oil spill, for example; Slate has a great story about it.) Well, it should probably come as little surprise that ESPN is in on the act as well.
Specifically, for Stephen A. Smith's entry. Witness.
On January 6, 2007, the lines "In 2006, Quite Frankly experienced a staff shake-up. A new executive producer was hired to enhance the shows production and tighten the reins on Smith's bizarre production requests. However, even with his arrival, critics say the show continues to lack in substantive content and has little entertainment value. Insiders concede that production of Quite Frankly is likely to continue until the end of Smith's contract with ESPN" were deleted from Smith's Wikipedia page. The editor's IP address is from ESPN headquarters in Bristol.
Here's another one. Smith's page goes from:
In January of [], ''Quite Frankly'' was moved to a new 11pm [[Eastern Time|EST]] slot on ESPN2. Since it's debut, the show has not faired well in household ratings scoring a 0.1. Smith has stated that he hopes the time change will help improve his ratings. He felt that the original time slot conflicted too much with his audiences work schedules.
In January of [], ''Quite Frankly'' was moved to a new 11pm [[Eastern Time|EST]] slot on ESPN2. Since it's debut, the show's ratings have fluctuated between a 0.1 to 0.6, numbers that are considered solid in a cable television environment.
We don't think this is Stephen A. doing this, mainly because it's difficult to edit Wikipedia pages on a Blackberry. But it's clear someone at Bristol is trying to wipe the record clean. Here are some other pages edited by the Bristol IP address.
Those are the ones we've found so far. Please let us know if you find any more.
(In the interest of full disclosure, we have a Wikipedia login in which we occasionally edit our own entries for factual inaccuracies and updated information. Our edits can be found here. We think they're pretty innocent, except for the time we tried to sneak "The Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals" onto the Arizona Cardinals page. We plead guilty on that one.)
(UPDATE: Apparently some of the major sports leagues have been in on this too.)