An anonymous user has allegedly tried to whitewash Upper Crust Pizzeria’s Wikipedia entry in order to remove all mention of the U.S. Department of Labor’s investigation into its pay practices and subsequent lawsuits.
The Boston-based pizza chain — once deemed best in the city by Boston magazine and the Improper Bostonian — has seen its number of restaurants shrink from 21 in 2011 to a meager seven this year following numerous legal troubles.
Over the weekend, someone repeatedly tried to edit the company’s Wikipedia entry to exclude a section titled, “Department of Labor findings and subsequent lawsuits and investigations.”
“For questions, please contact UC Acquistion Co LLC’s attorney, Christopher Panos,” said the user. “This page is being monitored for libel, and the new ownership will take appropriate steps to address those contributing to libeling the new company ownership.”
The user’s edit removed all information regarding the recent controversies that have plagued the company and inserted a sentence that read: “In 2012, the company went through a reorganization, and the company now plans to expand the brand nationally over the next several years.”
A mere three minutes later, another Wikipedia user corrected the edit and restored the entry to its previous form. The entire entry gained “protected” status on Saturday due to “persistent vandalism.” The protection expired yesterday.
“We certainly didn’t authorize it . . . UC Acquisitions is not responsible for any Wikipedia posting,” said Panos in a phone interview.
When asked if this might be the work of a rogue editor, Panos said he “did not want to speculate.”
Though Wikipedia claims to maintain a “neutral point of view policy,” the site does does face conflict of interest editing. In 2007, a CalTech computation and neural-systems graduate student named Virgil Griffith created WikiScanner, a searchable database that cross-references Wikipedia edit logs with IP address ownership data. WikiScanner found that the Vatican, FBI, CIA, U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties, Anheuser-Busch, Nestlé, Walmart, Pfizer, Pepsi and Boeing had all allegedly conducted conflict of interest edits.
[h/t to Universal Hub for breaking the story]