This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 21, 2007 12:21 AM. The previous post in this blog was Grow some funk of your own, amigo!. The next post in this blog is Can't say as I blame him. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mmmm, words taste good

Yesterday we posted an entry (which we just removed) about the use of official City of Portland computers to make changes to various entries on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. We noted that there have been quite a few such incidents -- and there have been -- coming from the IP address, which is city property.

But we also complained that they were all coming from "torridjoe," a.k.a. Mark Bunster of the Fire Bureau, who often posts internet offerings from a city computer during working hours. When Bunster posts comments to this blog, that's the IP address he comes in from.

It has been pointed out to us by a thoughtful third party that in fact one can't tell from the IP address which city employee it is -- that many city employees' postings would have that same IP address. We did not realize that. (Not every comment coming from a city employee onto this blog has come through that address.) And therefore, who knows which city employee or employees are posting to Wikipedia about such topics as the Beatles, Howard Stern, the Eastbank Esplanade, Vera Katz, and Tom Potter? It could be Bunster or any one (or more) of hundreds of other people.

If we were wrong about the authorship of those posts -- and the odds are that we were -- we're deeply sorry to Bunster and to anyone else who took offense at the error. We don't like the guy, but it's not right to accuse him without better evidence than we had.

However, we do stand on our observation that a city employee's promoting or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure during working hours violates state law (ORS 260.432(2)). And that's true regardless of whether you also play around on Wikipedia.

In any event, whoever's been editing the Wikis, they've been having fun. Last week somebody from the city threw in a nasty little dig at Vera Katz -- worth checking out.

Comments (4)

Good style, Jack. Props.

Bad scene.

Bad scene.

Yeah, but the notion of subsidizing TJ's skewpoint does raise one's hackles. Self-flagellation is overrated, anyway.

Something tells me this ain't exactly over....

Can't undo the past.

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