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Wikipedia shuts down editing of potential Romney VPs' pages

Published August 9, 2012 9:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So much for using Wikipedia to predict Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick.

On Tuesday, The Cricket passed along the observation from the website TechPresident, which noted the heavy editing activity on Sarah Palin's Wikipedia entry the day before John McCain announced that she would be his running mate in 2008.

The TechPresident story further noted that some of Romney's rumored VP short-listers were seeing more edits in the last week.

Well, The Cricket wasn't the only person who saw that story. So did Stephen Colbert, who devoted an entire segment of Tuesday night's "The Colbert Report" to the item — and urged his viewers to "go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender."

Colbert got the ball rolling, rewriting former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's page to reflect that his mother's name is Mrs. Buttersworth, and that he briefly worked in Santa's Workshop.

The fun didn't last long. On Wednesday, writes The Hollywood Reporter, Wikipedia put locks on the entries of several of the top contenders, including Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Gen. David Petraeus.