Did someone forget to tell me about an Internet blackout?

Marc Sanchez Aug 7, 2012

Nope, but Wikipedia did go dark yesterday. For a couple hours on Monday afternoon, no one was able to find fast facts about the 2012 Olympics, spoilers about the Dark Knight Rises, and perhaps most devastating, Mother was shut out of  “looking into” this whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing. Online protests didn’t cause this blackout – it was scissors! The Guardian reports:

… two overland cables were cut between Tampa and Virginia, which took down the website for just over an hour. It took another hour to bring the site back online, although some services were still not fully accessible.

And just whose scissors were they? The Romney campaign, perhaps? Team Romney has been trying to get people to download its smartphone app, promising that will be the first place people will be notified of his pick for running mate. The Washington Post, however, says that you might not need to look past an uptick in Wikipedia activity to figure out Romney’s veep:

On August 28, Palin’s entry was updated at least 68 times, with at least an additional 54 changes made to her entry over the preceding five days. In contrast, Pawlenty’s entry received 54 alterations on the 28th, and just 12 changes during the prior five days.
There appeared to be very little crossover between Wikipedia user accounts editing the Pawlenty and McCain entries, said Terry Gudaitis, director of cyber intelligence for Cyveillance, an Arlington, Va. based Internet monitoring company.

Guadatis goes on to show the same editorial fervor on the Democratic side during Barack Obama’s run up to the presidency:

On August 22nd, the day before the Obama campaign officially named Biden as the veep pick, Biden’s Wiki page garnered roughly 40 changes. Over the five days prior, users would make at least 111 other changes to his entry.
In contrast, Kaine’s Wiki profile earned 28 changes on the eve of the announcement, and just 22 alterations in the preceding five days.

If this theory hold true, then Michael Phelps will not only have captured his 22nd Olympic medal this year, but he will also be chosen as Romney’s running mate.

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