Germany's Der Spiegel newspaper reported this morning that on February 22nd of this year, a Wikipedia user named Inkowik deleted the entire subsection on Daimler's German Wikipedia page that dealt with the company's lobbying activities.
Normally that wouldn't cause an issue. Anyone with a working internet connection is free to add or remove just about anything from any Wikipedia page. The issue here is that the user's IP address was 188.8.131.52, an address that is associated with Daimler AG's headquarters in Germany.
The deleted information mentioned that Daimler, BMW, and Porsche had been given the "Worst EU Lobbying Award" in 2007 for their joint efforts to loosen and delay upcoming CO2 regulations.
Daimler spokesman Florian Martens replied to the allegations shortly after they were made public. He claimed that the edit was absolutely not made on behalf of the automaker, and that it was "obviously" the work of an independent and private party. He backed up his claim by pointing out that the same user with the same IP address had also edited an article about Victoria, the Crown Princess of Sweden, as well as another article about müesli.
For many in Germany, Daimler's explanation are not sufficient.
"Daimler should be investigated, and we will work to ensure that such actions do not happen again in the future," said said Ulrich Müller, the executive direction of a German association called LobbyControl, the same association that bestowed the "Worst EU Lobbying Award" upon the three German companies in 2007.