Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has described reports that a number of government computers have been linked to malicious edits on the reference site as ‘appalling’.
The charity is investigating a number of media reports which link linked IP addresses used by government computers to several incidents of vandalism on the popular website; including the phrase ‘all Muslims are terrorists’ in a page documenting religious veils.
This followed earlier reports that insults had been added to a description of the Hillsborough Football disaster and entries had been deleted from a reference to a flat buying scandal which engulfed former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife in 2002 – all subsequently linked back to the government.
Responding to questions posed by the BBC Wikimedia UK’s Stevie Benton said: “We find this kind of vandalism appalling. Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.
"This openness has led to an enormous reference work of great value. While vandalism does occasionally happen we are grateful to the many thousands of volunteers who write, edit and organise the content.”
The Cabinet Office has launched an investigation in an effort to identify the civil service employee responsible for the ‘sickening’ amendments, describing the activity as ‘entirely unacceptable’.