Public and Wikipedia Cry FOUL!

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BP Attempts to Rewrite History

“History is wRewriting Historyritten by winners,” is the general rule for military history. BP (British Petroleum) seems more than determined to write the history of the “spill” in the Gulf of Mexico in a manner that points favorably to their response and shows less than accurate deference to the details of the actual DISASTER.

So it is determined in the review of facts by Wikipedia and other collectors of facts on the internet. The public response if a simple cry of “FOUL!”

monopoly-go2jailAngry Wikipedia editors estimate that BP has rewritten 44 percent of the page about itself, especially about its environmental performance. A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for April 5 on BP’s request to prevent payments of what the oil company calls “fictitious or inflated claims” in a class action settlement reached with victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (Gulf of Mexico) oil spill.

BP says the claims could cost it billions of dollars.

BP’s emergency request for the hearing is in the civil trial currently under way in New Orleans which, according to The Economist, “will apportion blame for the accident, determine how much oil gushed out, and apply financial penalties.”

Meanwhile, the company may be working on cleaning up its environmental record on Wikipedia — in a way that leaves the Wikipedia reader none the wiser. BP may not be directly editing its page, but instead has apparently inserted a BP representative into the editing community who provides Wikipedia editors with text.

Redesigning-HistoryThe text is then copied “as is” onto the page by Wikipedia editors, while readers are none the wiser that the sections pretending to be unbiased information are, in fact, vetted by higher-ups at BP before hitting the page.

Sections edited by “User:Arturo at BP” include the sections “Alternative Energy,” “Allegations of greenwashing,” and “Environmental record,” among others.

“Arturo BP,” who identifies himself as a member of BP’s press office, is providing the content for Wikipedia’s BP page, especially about the company’s environmental performance. He skirts direct page editing prohibitions by posting a notice on the BP “talk page,” and then Wikipedia editors copy and paste the content as provided onto BP’s page.

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