On February 8 in Nashua, New Hampshire, US Presidential candidate Jeb Bush took a light-hearted swing at Wikipedia when he suspected the speaker introducing him at an event in New Hampshire of having read his Wikipedia biography:
|Did you go on Wikipedia to get that introduction? Yeah? So I've got to tell my first story.
It's the story of being introduced by someone, and they were trying to find things they had in common – the guy gets up and says, You know, I'm tired of regular kind of introductions, so I went on Wikipedia to find if I had anything in common with our guest speaker. And he proceeded then to go into this pretty lengthy introduction that I was an avid rock climber and that I had a secret desire to be a movie star. Neither of which is completely true.
I'm from Florida – I mean, we don't have rocks, like you all here have in the Granite State – and I have no interest in being a movie star – you can tell that by my candidacy, can't you?
So I get up and I have to tell the guy the truth, I am not any of this stuff, and it turns out there are people – they're typically, they're probably unemployed kids with student debt that are stuck in their parents' basement, with Cheeto stains on their T-shirts, that haven't been able to get their first job, and so, what they do, they play games to see how long they can edit Wikipedia pages in order to have games with their friends all around the world.
So my advice to you is, if you do have a Wikipedia page, check it once in a while, 'cause you too may be an avid rock climber, or want to be a Hollywood movie star. (video: 5:14 onwards)
Investigation shows that for three and a half years Wikipedia did indeed claim that Bush was an avid rock climber. The unsourced claim was introduced by an IP on 10 December 2008, and deleted on 27 July 2012 by an IP address belonging to Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future.
Many other questionable claims have been introduced to Bush's Wikipedia biography over the years; directly adjacent to the rock-climbing claim, for example, the article once briefly asserted that Bush "also, with his limited spare time, raises Wolf cubs and releases them into the wild." That passage lasted less than three hours, when AlisonW deleted it as unsourced – while leaving the adjacent, equally unsourced claim in the article.
The incident was also mentioned in a Wall Street Journal piece.
Bush went on to come in fourth place in the New Hampshire Republican primary with 11 percent of the vote. In fairness to Jeb Bush, the likelihood that the insertion of the rock climbing claim was performed by a kid living in their parents' basement is > 0.