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Conservative Group Turns to Wikis to Take on Obama

Conservative group Crossroads GPS is turning to the wiki model of crowdsourcing information for its latest project, called Wikiaccountability. The site targets the actions of the Obama administration, encouraging participants to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and post the information to the site. Users don't just post raw data, though; they also analyze what is posted and craft articles detailing ways in which the group feels the administration has violated its own stated transparency goals.

Unlike Wikipedia, though, Wikiacountability is not 100-percent publicly editable. Because of its partisan nature, the possibility for vandalism is much higher, so editors must be approved before they can make any changes to the site. The site is only a few days old and it's clearly too early to judge. So far, all posts and edits have been made by only two people, but the site's success rests on being able to attract a small army of contributors. But even if the site itself fails to take off, it may succeed in educating people about FOIA, and can at least claim a moral victory. Steven J. Law, the president of the group, told the New York Times, "People automatically assume only journalists can file FOIA requests." Much of the site so far is focused on educating potential contributors about how that law works.

Tags: crossroads gps, CrossroadsGps, Freedom of Information Act, FreedomOfInformationAct, politics, top, web, wiki, wikiaccountability