The Center for Media and Democracy has previously reported on the PR firm Hill & Knowlton's work for the oppressive regime of the president of the Maldives, Maumoon Gayoom. Thanks to WikiScanner, a program mapping anonymous edits on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, CMD can report that someone on a computer mapping to Hill & Knowlton's UK office edited the Wikipedia article "Politics of the Maldives" in June 2005. The edits removed references to the lack of independent news outlets, election rigging and the imprisonment of political activists in the Maldives. The anonymous editor also rephrased a section on the lack of activity by organized political parties, up until June 2005. The anonymous editor changed a sentence beginning, "Political parties in Maldives was [sic] not allowed, though the constitution allowed it," to "[T]he Maldivian political system was based around the election of individuals, rather than the more common system of election according to party platform." While Hill & Knowlton's computers were apparently used to make the edits, it isn't possible to know who made the edits or whether they were part of the firm's official work for Gayoom.
Posted by Diane Farsetta on August 31, 2007