“The simplicity of combining Wikipedia and Twitter in this way immediately struck me as a potentially useful transparency tool,” Summers wrote in his personal blog. “So using my experience on a previous side project [Wikistream, a Web application that watches Wikipedia editing activity], I quickly put together a short program that listens to all major language Wikipedias for anonymous edits from Congressional IP address ranges and tweets them.”
The stream for the bot, @congressedits, went live a day later, and it now provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages are made. Summers also posted the code to GitHub so that others interested in creating similar Twitter bots can riff on his work.
So far, @congressedits hasn’t caught anything scandalous; most of the edits caught have been stylistic changes rather than factual ones. The most interesting edit found so far was to the Wikipedia article on horse head masks—adding a reference to President Obama shaking hands with a man in such a mask on a recent trip to Denver.