Changes in Wikipedia’s EA Entry Traced Back to EA Headquarters

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Someone using an IP traced back to Electronic Arts’ headquarters in Redwood City has made numerous modifications to the company’s Wikipedia entry, including removing several references to EA founder Trip Hawkins.

The changes were discovered and first reported by Shacknews, using a service called Wikipedia Scanner that can link anonymous Wiki edits to their originating sources. According to their report, the entry underwent a “cleanup” in November 2006, which included removing Hawkins as the company founder from the “key people” section of the company’s description, as well as a reference to him in the company description.

Months later, someone using the same IP deleted Hawkins’ name from the opening paragraph of the company’s history, and added a new paragraph highlighting the role of current EA Chairman Larry Probst.

Criticisms of EA were also heavily deleted, and references to a class-action lawsuit brought by employees were modified to put a positive spin on the company’s role, saying EA “led the industry in reforming work/life balance issues that are endemic to the software industry.” Links to the ea_spouse blog were also deleted.

According to the report, the offending IP is the most active Wikipedia user among all IP addresses registered to EA, and has been responsible for a full third of the over 1,300 Wikipedia changes made by those IPs. EA has declined to comment on the matter.

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