Never underestimate the power of a suggestion given by Stephen Colbert.
On Tuesday night's episode of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," he pointed out that Wikipedia had in a way predicted Sarah Palin would become John McCain's running mate in 2008. Shortly before McCain's decision was announced, Palin's Wikipedia page was updated 68 times.
Colbert took that bit of trivia and ran with it, advising his viewers to update the pages of their favorite VP picks for Mitt Romney. Unfortunately for all his viewers who wanted to spend their Wednesday changing Rob Portman biographic information on Wikipedia, they weren't able to. According to The Hollywood Reporter the Web's free encyclopedia has locked the pages of the VP frontrunners, allowing no edits to be made. Of course if you want to edit a dark horse candidate's page, you're free to do so.
The Huffington Post reports pages that have been shielded from Colbert-inspired edits include those of Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and David Petraeus. While those who never even changed a date on Wikipedia have been shut out, certain Wiki users can change these pages, provided they've been on the site for four days and have at least 10 edits under their belt. These requirements should effectively weed out many who would have flocked to the pages only because of Colbert's comments.
The locks didn't come quite quickly enough to stop some fans who wanted to acknowledge their favorite candidates. Rob Portman's page was altered 112 times before the restrictions were put into action, and Marco Rubio's gained 52 edits. If Romney needs some guidance before he makes his choice, it looks like the Colbert Nation has thrown in their opinion.