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Japanese Bureaucrats Reprimanded for Wikipedia Editing 177

Posted by Zonk
from the your-job-is-a-stub dept.
sufijazz writes "Six bureaucrats in the Japanese agricultural ministry have been reprimanded for working on the job ... for Wikipedia. The six officials were publicly chastised for editing hundreds of Wikipedia entries during work hours. These included over 250 entries about robots in anime. '"The agriculture ministry is not in charge of Gundam," said a ministry official, Tsutomu Shimomura ... The ministry's internal inquiry followed recent media allegations that a growing number of Japanese public servants were contributing to the internet encyclopaedia, which anyone can edit, often to reflect their personal views. The ministry verbally reprimanded each of the six officials, and slapped a ministry-wide order to prohibit access to Wikipedia at work, while disabling access to the site from the ministry, Mr Shimomura said. '"
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Japanese Bureaucrats Reprimanded for Wikipedia Editing

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  • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @12:31AM (#20885103) Homepage Journal
    ...millions of years[1]. This is not new. If you plug up one outlet, they'll just find another.

    [1] Thog, you to kill it, not fuck it. Eat first, fun later [Bonk!]
           
  • Tell me.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by nrgy (835451)
    When each were informed of the reprimanded did they magically morph into giant robots and go Super Saiyan 5? Super mega kung-fu energy blasts must of been flying all over the place.
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      No, but it did turn out they were Magical "Girls". After having seen them turn into Sailor Bubba and the Hairy Warriors most of their colleagues immediately left towards the nearest tall building to jump off of.
  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv&gmail,com> on Sunday October 07, 2007 @12:39AM (#20885151) Homepage
    From TFA:

    The ministry, however, did not object to their limited contributions on the World Trade Organisation and free trade agreements.

    I was about to have a slashtantrum about this not being news. As everyone should be thinking "You can't be wasting your employers time working for anyone else like that, even if it is Wikipedia." That would have been 'nuff said.

    However this above statement disturbs me. It's okay if they spend time updating WTO and free trade articles, but not anime pages? They shouldn't be updating either pages. Anime pages are one thing, and they can and should be reprimanded for that. But I shudder at the thought of governments paying employees to update Wikipedia. Why aren't the head bureaucrats getting reprimanded by someone!!! ugh.
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday October 07, 2007 @01:40AM (#20885471) Homepage Journal
      Blah. They're not slaves. If the ministry is not happy with their work output, they can fire them.

      I worked for an employer once that had an IT department which banned things all the time. Including Slashdot. One day I got in trouble for using ssh tunneling through HTTPS so I could have unfiltered Internet. That was the last straw.. I threatened to quit. My employer agreed to have the restrictions removed for my machine's ip address only. I was in such a foul mood by then that I demanded they remove all the restrictions, for everyone, and they refused. Next day I tended my resignation.

      Thankfully, they saw reason, tore up my resignation and removed the web proxy. People in the office who had heard nothing about my annoyance were heard to remark how much faster "the internet" was now.

      About a year after that event I started working remotely for the same company because my partner's work commitments had moved us interstate. I had very rare contact with my coworkers during this time, but occasionally my employer would fly me in for conferences and celebrations. I got told that IT had now banned all workstation-to-workstation communications in the office to stem the use of a scribble-board chat program. Apparently people were using the scribble-board to draw pictures of penises (as is inevitable) and one of the likes-to-think-he-is-upwardly-mobile set was worried this could lead to a sexual harassment issue.

      Something else happened to spark it.. I don't remember what, but the result was that virtually the entire developer staff threatened to quit, then went on strike, as a result of this stupid scribble-board program. Management refused to budge on the issue, but by this point cheap routers and long lengths of cable had been brought from home and a makeshift "dark net" had been setup entirely for the use of this silly drawing/chat program. Some of the guys sent me pictures.

      Eventually, after IT cut off the Internet access, things came to a head and management buckled under the pressure. They got to keep their stupid scribble program and the Internet remained unfiltered. But, to this day, IT support in that office is pitiful. If you want RAM or, god forbid, software installed, you do it yourself. Of course, the geeks don't care.. the people most affected by the poor IT support is the likes-to-think-he-is-upwardly-mobile set.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        ***Apparently people were using the scribble-board to draw pictures of penises (as is inevitable) and one of the likes-to-think-he-is-upwardly-mobile set was worried this could lead to a sexual harassment issue.***

        While it sounds like the company overall sucked at the way it was handling these, in this particular instance, that kind of behavior COULD lead to a sexual harassment suit. All it takes is for one person to express that they feel this is unprofessional (which it is) and then management would HAVE
        • by QuantumG (50515)
          Yep, and employees are supposed to be "understanding" of all these crap are they?

          It's simply not our problem.

        • While it sounds like the company overall sucked at the way it was handling these, in this particular instance, that kind of behavior COULD lead to a sexual harassment suit. All it takes is for one person to express that they feel this is unprofessional (which it is) and then management would HAVE to do something else to stop this behavior from happening else said employee could sue the company for a hostile work place and would most certainly win in court because management did nothing to prevent the inappr

      • That you didn't have to do jail time [wikipedia.org] for your offense.
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      However this above statement disturbs me. It's okay if they spend time updating WTO and free trade articles, but not anime pages? They shouldn't be updating either pages. Anime pages are one thing, and they can and should be reprimanded for that. But I shudder at the thought of governments paying employees to update Wikipedia. Why aren't the head bureaucrats getting reprimanded by someone!!! ugh.

      I wouldn't be surprised to find that the agricultural ministry has some expertise in the WTO and international trade issues. Individuals contributing to a public information resource on issues that they are professionally acquainted with seems rather ordinary... even commonplace. I also wouldn't be surprised if these individuals had a lot of other things they were doing as well (and would find themselves hard pressed to justify not seeing to other tasks in order to favor time editing Wikipedia entries).

  • reminds me of the time the FBI/CIA were doing some curious editing of their own. quite random in their posting
  • by SEWilco (27983) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @12:43AM (#20885173) Journal
    OK, so the Agriculture Ministry is not in charge of Gundam. Which Ministry is in charge of Gundam?
  • "The agriculture ministry is not in charge of Gundam."
    srsly, what were they smoking, err thinking ?
  • Which ministry IS responsible for Gundams? This new Zero jet I bought from Japan does *not* transform into a giant robot and I want lodge a formal complaint. There has to be a law saying all jets from Japan transform into robots somewhere.
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Can it at least turn on a dime, Macross Zero style? Thrust vectoring does own the sky, you know.
  • Tsutomu Shimomura? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Siriaan (615378) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @01:32AM (#20885433)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Shimomura [wikipedia.org]

    Not the famous hacker I take it?

  • Tsutomu Shimomura takes down wikihackers too!

    Book and movie to follow WITH Gundam suit!
  • '"The agriculture ministry is not in charge of Gundam," said a ministry official,

    Those clever Japanese, telling the truth as a lie, and burying the Gundam budget in the one for the agriculture ministry. Its the SR71 and Area 51 all over again, I tell you!
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Not that the USA haven't been doing the same... Look at the budgets of the Department of Fish and Game, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Postal Service and the Bureau of Weights and Measures, around the year 2000. I tell you, there's something strange with those numbers, almost as if there's a secret Ag&/%z%#ÌÁ\%&IOEW$%& NO CARRIER
  • by tamnir (230394) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:45AM (#20885767)
    Just in case anyone else wondered that too: this Tsutomu Shimomura has nothing to do with Kevin Mitnick (http://www.takedown.com/bio/tsutomu.html).
  • Repoat (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bender_ (179208) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @05:26AM (#20886397) Journal
    "The agriculture ministry is not in charge of Gundam," said a ministry official

    I lolled.. hard!
  • Thanks, Japan, for cracking me up, and providing me with a new sig. I love you.
  • by Bueller_007 (535588) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @06:41AM (#20886677)
    The supplied article only discusses edits by the Agriculture Ministry. Japanese reports, of course have more details [itmedia.co.jp].

    Someone at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare was busted for editing the Japanese Wiki entry for Nanatsuiro Drops [wikipedia.org], a pornographic video game.

    I will also note that the Japanese media reported this over a month ago.
  • Edit the uneditable, change the unchangeable, ROW ROW, FIGHT DAH POWAH

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