So this just happened. Someone edited anti-video game research Dr. Bushman's Wikipedia page so that it no longer contained information about his retracted study and the fallout around it. Whoever it was is located in Columbus, Ohio. Coincidence? https://t.co/fFjG05pps9 pic.twitter.com/H8oVTQWd52— Patrick Markey (@patmarkey) May 1, 2018
This mystery person in Columbus Ohio also added in lots of positive comments about Dr. Bushman. pic.twitter.com/3La3N6T9Ht— Patrick Markey (@patmarkey) May 1, 2018
I did notice that the edits in question (from April 10 and 11, 2018) were corrected by another Wikipedian. A fellow Wikipedian by the handle FuriouslySerene offered this kind note to the user only known by an IP address, 18.104.22.168:
I do edit Wikipedia entries every so often. I do so under a username that is probably pretty identifiable, and I do not edit except under that username. I would never let my IP address show up in an edit. That's sloppy. I would make sure I was logged in first, and then edit. In this social media era, any slip-up, and any attempt to cover up a slip-up, will be uncovered - especially by those with something to gain by doing so.
Update: Please note that I am not convinced that Bushman edited his own Wikipedia entry (which from a conflict of interest standpoint is a big no-no) nor am I convinced that he didn't. What I do know is that he has anonymously or semi-anonymously commented on public forums (like pubpeer) in the past, and so this incident is not entirely out of character. The time-stamps of the entries are fairly late night, and from what I know of Bushman's character, he's very much an early-to-rise and early-to-bed sort of person. It is a bit out of character for him to try to make Wikipedia edits, or do much of anything else, after the early evening. I am not saying it's impossible. After all, enough stress can cause a few sleepless nights. I am saying that so far I am not yet convinced he would stoop to editing his own Wikipedia entry. I really want to believe that he wouldn't, and I also want to believe that he would not instigate someone close to him to do so on his behalf. However, I cannot rule that out, based on the evidence I have at my own disposal. That is, to say the least, troubling.