Staff from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) edited Wikipedia entries that were damaging to the Goverment, including pages covering the Children Overboard Affair and Mandatory Detention. Other edits included deleting the nickname of “Captain Smirk” from the Wikipedia biography of Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, and a range of bizarre edits, including the addition of the line “Poo bum dicky wee wee” to a Wikipedia article on Bubishi, a book related to Martial Arts.
Australia faces a Federal Election by November this year, and the edits have become major news locally. Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd accused the Prime Minister of directing public servants to change history to suit the Government and that the behavior was “odd.” Notably though, Rudd admitted that his own staff might have edited Wikipedia “for factual changes.” The truth I guess is in the eyes of the beholder.
The Australian press also discovered that staff from the Australian Department of Defence were the most active Wikipeda editors among Australian Government Departments, having made over 5000 Wikipedia edits. DOD edits included changes to pages ranging from the 9/11 Truth Movement, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers. A Defence spokesman said that the Department would move to ban access to Wikipeda for all staff.