Unity08 is a corporation with the aim of nominating its own presidential and vice presidential candidates for the presidency of the United States of America in June of 2008. It opposes lobbyists but is run by lobbyists. It decries the influence of big money in politics but the majority of its contributions in 2007 so far have come through loans from three mega-rich donors. It says it is a “grassroots” “people’s movement”, but over time it has increasingly shoved citizen discussion on its website into a corner, when it hasn’t been deleting critical comments outright.
The Communications Director, the Chief Operating Officer, and the Vice President of Unity08 have all from time to time made comments on this site, which lets us know the IP addresses of computers associated with Unity08. Last night, a little ol’ WikiScanner search brought up the following edits of the Wikipedia entry on Unity08 from one of those very same computers, situated in Washington, DC, taking place earlier this month:
- Multiple changes of references from “Unity 08″ and “Unity ’08” to “Unity08″
- Multiple changes of references to Unity08 from “group” to “political reform movement”
- deletion of reference to “a secure online vote”
- additions of references to “overwhelming” site traffic and appearances of its leaders on the Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews shows
- deletion of the contention that “Unity ’08 hasn’t officially courted any specific candidates”
- deletion of a link to Michael Bloomberg’s homepage
Wikipedia makes this information available so that the sourcing of its entries can be tracked to associated sources. These changes reflect work on the Unity08 Wikipedia entry from just one Unity08 computer; it’s possible that other Unity08 computers were engaged in similar activity. The outcome is not a surprise: we know that Unity08 is interested in buffing its public appearance to a sheen. But it’s interesting to see what Unity08 thinks of itself, and to see what little bits of itself some figure at Unity08 would rather you didn’t see.