Geoff Burling (geoff(a)agora.rdrop.com) [041129 06:36]:
On Sat, 27 Nov 2004, Sean Barrett wrote:
> Mark Pellegrini stated for the record:
> > what is to stop them from starting large,
organized astroturfing on
> > Wikipedia?
> > I think it would be a good idea to having some contigency plans in place
> > should that happen.
> From the back of the bottle of contingency
plans: "Revert, ban, repeat."
Internet users hate spam and *despise* spammers. As each of these ...
creatures ... is identified, I predict they will be rapidly dealt with
by natural immune response.
Based on what I know of manipulating public
perception, & the challenges of
the Internet, I think we ought to look at our accumulated experience with
another group: Scientology, & the related Wikipedia articles.
I have stayed away from this topic, except for the occasional peak & the
minor edit or two (I find typos & bad grammar in other people's writings
far quicker than in my own). However, to my knowledge none of the
Scientology-related articles have turned into the no-man's land that some
of our fiercely disputed articles have become.
I believe David Gerard has been monitoring the Scientology-related articles;
perhaps David could offer some ideas of how to deal with possible
astroturfing -- whether initiated by Microsoft or another corporation --
based on his experience.
The Scientology articles were mostly started by Modemac or Chris Owen, who
have been around the Scientology vs the Net thing for years (much like you
or me, Geoff ;-) and so know it backwards.
The thing is that the articles are half-decent to very good because they
were written with good NPOV and references in the first place. Thus, there
was (a) a structure (b) a level of expectation set by that structure for
future additions to measure up to.
Not that they're anything like perfect or even Featured Article status, but
they're better than bad!
In the corporate case, obvious corporate hagiography will get a severe
NPOVing and egregious cases will be VFDed.
In the case that brought this up - [[Mozilla Firefox]] - the current
version is a hideous piece of open-source hagiography that needs a severe
NPOV of this sort.