Prison Sponsor Tries To Delete Wikipedia Information After Sponsoring NCAA Football Stadium
from the ain't-gonna-work dept
Take, for instance, what has happened now that Geo Group, a company that runs for-profit prisons, has a spokesman running around trying to delete negative information about them from their Wikipedia page. This began shortly after Geo Group inked a deal with Florida Atlantic University for the naming rights to their football stadium, because nothing says irony quite like a prison name for college football, where the athletes are grossly exploited for the profit of the NCAA.
If you want a full litany of abuse, read the "controversies" section of Geo Group's Wikipedia page. But read it fast: Geo Group is desperately trying to wipe it before you see it. As their naming rights deal became national news, a Wikipedia user named Abraham Cohen attacking the page, clearing the entire "controversies" section and replacing it with, essentially, a PR packet. As first noted by the Huffington Post, Abraham Cohen is a spokesperson for Geo Group, and the new material contained multiple instances of the pronouns "we" and "our."This, obviously, is seen as bad form on Wikipedia and editors almost immediately began fighting back, both restoring the deleted section and calling out Cohen. But Abe wasn't done. After the page was restored, an anonymous IP address which leads back to Geo Group's servers showed up on the page claiming that the PR information Abe had added wasn't PR information at all, but was an accurate reflection of the company's history.
The result of all this nonsense? Well, none of it is good for Geo Group. Deadspin picked up the story and there's little doubt their massive audience is now exponentially more aware of some of the company's more controversial moments, which include mistreatment of prisoners, withholding prisoner medication, withholding medical care for prisoners resulting in their deaths, and guards engaging in sexual intercourse with prisoners. Like me, it's likely that as of last week, most people didn't even know a company called Geo Group existed. But now, because they want to get into the football sponsorship business, and also because they think they can just remove negative information off of the internet, a whole lot of people are more informed about that negative information.