A week after a coalition of big public relations firms vowed not to secretly edit their clients’ Wikipedia pages, the foundation that runs the online encyclopedia is going a step further by strengthening its rules against the practice.
The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation and the big PR firms said their announcements were not connected. Although the foundation was aware PR firms were working on the issue, “We didn’t know the PR firms’ statement was going to be published,” Maher said. “No one from the foundation was consulted.” Throughout February and March, the Wikimedia community extensively discussed the issue of undisclosed paid editing, resulting in 320,000 words of discussion on the site and 6.3 million views of the proposal that is being adopted.
As a current example of the problem, volunteer Wikipedia editors point to an ad posted on the freelancing bulletin board Elance offering more than $10,000 for “crisis management” of the Wikipedia page for Banc de Binary. The Cyprus firm has been cited for unregistered options trading by the Security Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Along with the ad seeking paid editing of the page, volunteer Wikipedia editor Peter Ekman of Media, Pa., said the page shows many signs of biased editors seeking to remove mentions of the company’s problems with U.S. regulators.
The Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/06/16/wikipedia-strengthens-rules-against-undisclosed-editing/