Repubican vice presidential contenders’ Wikipedia pages locked after Colbert calls for edits

A segment on Monday's edition of The Colbert Report encouraged viewers to edit the Wikipedia pages of Mitt Romney's prospective running mates. 

Mar 3, 2020, 3:46 am*


Fidel Martinez 

Fidel Martinez

Thanks to faux political pundit Stephen Colbert, citizen editors are restricted from editing the Wikipedia pages of potential Republican vice presidential candidates.

The editorial constraints came after Colbert ran footage on his Tuesday show of a Fox News report that highlighted the fact that Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page had 162 edits before John McCain picked her to run as vice president in 2008. From this, he deduced that the more edits a page has, the likelier a candidate was to be selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Colbert then proceeded to edit the page of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a former guest on The Colbert Report. At first, Colbert humorously changed Pawlenty’s biographical information. He then wrote that on Friday, August 10, 2012, Mitt Romney had selected Pawlenty as his running mate.

Before closing his segment, the comedian encouraged his viewers to go to Wikipedia and edit the pages of the other potential candidates.

You can watch the video below. The relevant portion starts approximately at the 2:03 mark:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mitt Romney’s Protective Pool & Running Mate Clues
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

The Wikipedia pages of Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and David Petraeus are now “semi-protected,” meaning that unregistered and new users are prohibited from making any changes.

Several theories on how to correctly predict Mitt Romney’s running mate have surfaced over the past couple of weeks. The Daily Dot’s own Justin Franz theorized a few weeks back that looking at whose Facebook and Twitter pages have gone silent might provide some insight on who will be the Republican VP candidate.

Looking at the number of Wikipedia edits to a potential candidate’s page was suggested by Micah Sifry of on Monday. Thanks to Colbert’s Tuesday move, this theory might no longer be an accurate predictor.

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*First Published: Aug 9, 2012, 1:35 pm