November 1, 2006 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Revisionista monitors news websites and detects when articles change. The versions are viewable and the changes are highlighted. Some edits are miniscule, others are quite interesting. A Recommended Revisions list yields all manner of edits. Also on the News Sniffer site, Watch Your Mouth monitors the BBC's 'Have Your Say' website and detects when comments get censored.
posted by thisisdrew (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool. Exactly the kind of thing the web shines at. Thanks.
posted by Rumple at 4:08 PM on November 1, 2006

But also nonsense: lottery updates is providing more information as it becomes available. Hidden bias?
posted by Huw at 4:15 PM on November 1, 2006

Great idea. this is a keeper. thanks.
posted by quazichimp at 4:18 PM on November 1, 2006

The BBC deletions are remarkable. Top of the list when I looked at it, a topic about NHS reforms, 1 accepted and 340 deleted. The deleted comments were quite innocuous, as far as I read. Maybe they were politically incorrect somehow? This gives some insight into one way in which media can be distorted invisibly.
posted by jam_pony at 5:00 PM on November 1, 2006

Now that right there is about the best use of the web I've seen this year. Good post.

Anyone got the server moxie to make one of these that monitors every government website?
posted by zoogleplex at 5:47 PM on November 1, 2006

Some of those NHS comments were quite good, even informative, such as the one from a nurse on the lack of consultations. But perhaps it all just go so heated the moderators didn't know what to do.

That said, I expected to find the deleted comments offensive or simply inane, but they are hilarious (a mixture of inane/funny and even a few witty).
posted by jb at 5:57 PM on November 1, 2006

It seems to be a bit broken. There is a guardian special report that has 28 revisions and they are all the same.
posted by smackfu at 7:21 PM on November 1, 2006

Ironic that since 1954 BBC has been home to several screen adaptations of 1984.
posted by rolypolyman at 8:52 PM on November 1, 2006

I had failed to note that Cory Lidle's plane crashed into that building in NYC just around the same time the Lancet study that claims 655,000 Iraqis have died in Bush's War would have-- and still should have, of course-- been dominating the news.
posted by jamjam at 9:04 PM on November 1, 2006

Why is this any more interesting than browsing the history of Wikipaedia articles?

Most of the changes to news stories seem quite innocuous. They clearly publish early versions of stories in order to get the news out quickly, and then go back and modify them later as more details become available.

I think you'd see exactly the same kind of changes between TV bulletins. When the news is breaking, you'll get a pretty rough version. Later in the day, the picture will be clearer, and more senior editors will have had a chance to clean up the copy.

The web-site would be much more useful if it showed word-for-word differences, rather than just changed lines.
posted by mr. strange at 2:06 AM on November 2, 2006

Is this a double?
posted by gsb at 3:02 AM on November 2, 2006

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