A Caltech grad student has created a service that cross references Wikipedia edits with whois information to reveal the owners of the domains where edits came from (article link).

I foresee this becoming directly integrated into Wikipedia. I also think it might become like an alarm; for example, when someone from a McDonald’s owned domain edits a page related to McDonald’s the edit might be flagged for review.

I expect this service to reduce the amount of self-serving editing that goes on. This service will make it more costly to modify pages to your self interest, because 1) self interested edits done from obvious domains will immediately stand out, and o they will probably be undone, and 2) getting caught may generate bad publicity. Cost increase should decrease the number of self-interested edits, and therefore reduce some of Wikipedia’s biases and increase Wikipedia’s trustworthiness. 

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