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Newt Gingrich's team appears to be working overtime to tweak the candidate's Wikipedia page to paint a more positive picture of his past—and the editors of the crowdsourced online encyclopedia have taken notice.
CNN reports that a number of Wikipedia editors have complained that Joe DeSantis, the candidate's communications director, has made or suggested more than five dozen changes since 2008 to entries concerning the White House hopeful, his current wife Callista, and one of the books the pair co-authored.
Some of the changes involved only small grammar issues, while others were just a touch more substantive, such as pushing for the removal of "factual references to Gingrich's three marriages as well as mentions of ethics charges brought against him while he served as speaker of the House," as CNN put it.
DeSantis says that he stopped making the edits himself in May of last year once he was alerted about the site's conflict-of-interest recommendations, and says he now focuses on requesting the changes on the site's Talk discussion page.
BuzzFeed explains the impact of cutting a single word on Callista's page, as DeSantis attempted in one change. By striking the word "third" from the line "Callista is the third wife of former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich," an uninformed reader wouldn't learn that Gingrich had been married twice before.
He also used a heavier editing hand to strike this line altogether: "[Callista] met her husband while he was in the House, and had an affair while he was conducting the impeachment investigation for President Bill Clinton."
DeSantis has actively lobbied for a handful of changes since mid-December on the discussion page, a move he says has proved more effective. Still, the change in strategy clearly hasn't appeased all of the site's editors.
"I have to say this micro-managing by a Gingrich campaign director is a matter of concern to me even though you now are identifying yourself," wrote an editor with the alias Tvoz. "Pointing out factual errors is one thing, but your input should not go beyond that, even here on Talk."