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Stephen Colbert in the Colbert Report

Joel Jeffries/Comedy Central

Do the stars edit their own Wikipedia entries?

Sure. Stephen Colbert did that once, right on his show in front of millions of people, and everybody laughed at the joke, ha ha, until they actually went to Wiki and saw that Colbert's changes were real.

But more often, celebrities let their publicity minions handle such mundane nonsense. Here's how, and why:

"Despite my personal admonishments to the contrary, I find that most celebrities relish looking at what people are saying about them online," says longtime Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman, author of the upcoming book Where's My Fifteen Minutes?, as well as a rep for Isaiah Washington and Lost's Harold Perrineau.

"Indeed they personally, or their publicists, often change Wikipedia entries."

For the record, it's nearly impossible to know for sure who's making changes on that vast egalitarian veldt of factoids. People can log on as anything, and unless you want to take the time to trace the source IP address, it really isn't worth it.

Even more often, the publicists simply call Wikipedia and bark at someone to get something changed.

Jay Walsh, head of communications at Wikipedia, tells me he gets a few complaints a week from publicists or other star reps asking for changes. Usually, he says, the beefs are over small details like a hometown or a birth date, and about 75 percent of the time the complaint is resolved with few to no changes in the Wikipedia entry.

As for my own Wikipedia entry, well, it's small, but at least it's there.

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