Wikipedia Articles Edited by IP Address Coming from Congress to Write ‘Ted Cruz Is the Zodiac Killer’

Ted Cruz Downcast Patrick Semansky AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

The day after Ted Cruz posted a reference to conspiracy theories claiming he is the Zodiac Killer on Twitter, an IP tied to the U.S. Congress made edits writing out “Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer” in articles related to the Kennedy Assassination.

A Twitter account that tracks Wikipedia edits made from IP addresses in Congress first picked up the edits. The IP address, originating from the House of Representatives, started the series of edits at the entry for “solicitor,” with the next five edits being related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  The final edits in the series were related to Jack Ruby, the killer of Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

It is unlikely a coincidence that the IP user chose articles about the assassination to make these edits. During the 2016 presidential campaign, a National Enquirer story subsequently referenced by Donald Trump accused Cruz’s father of being linked to Kennedy assassin Oswald.

Edits to Wikipedia from Congressional IPs have been the subject of considerable coverage and speculation as to the identities of the authors. As the account only detects IP addresses belonging to Congressional computers, the editor could be anyone from a lowly staffer to a sitting Congressperson or just someone who has managed to get access to an IP linked to Congress. In 2014, vandalism from Congressional IP addresses got so bad Wikipedia administrators banned the entire IP range belonging to Congress for ten days.

The identity of the IP users may be a mystery, but it seems some delight in the attention. After a recent BuzzFeed report suggested someone was trolling the Twitter account tracking congressional edits, a Congressional IP edited the Wikipedia article on BuzzFeed to say “They’ll never find me.” One Congressional IP has since edited the list of imposters on Wikipedia to add “Whoever else is making these edits” to the list and then claiming in another article that “Ted the Cat” was responsible.

T. D. Adler edited Wikipedia as The Devil’s Advocate. He was banned after privately reporting conflict of interest editing by one of the site’s administrators. Due to previous witch-hunts led by mainstream Wikipedians against their critics, Adler writes under an alias.


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