[Foundation-l] Mywikipediaspace

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Fri Oct 6 12:01:21 UTC 2006

Daniel Mayer wrote:
> No it is not a policy and it never will if I have anything to do with it. I'm sure Jimmy was
> talking about companies paying PR firms and similar ilk to promote them by writing sanitized and
> glowing Wikipedia articles about the company paying the bill.

That's right.

> I would *love* to see many groups pay or otherwise get people to edit Wikipedia to add NPOV and
> verified content; esp in areas and in languages we now have poor coverage in. 


There are two entirely separate issues here.  Imagine that a grant is 
secured to hire people as "evangelizers" and initial admins in, say, 
African languages.  Great.  Or, imagine that a health education 
organization decides that the best way to educate the public on health 
issues is to have staff contribute their work to Wikipedia.  Great.

Now imagine that someone sets up a website that strongly implies that 
paying him will get a company a good article in Wikipedia, and follows 
that up by posting blatant PR puffery and claiming that it is NPOV. 
That's a very serious problem, especially in an era when we are seeing 
increasing attention paid to "how to manipulate wikipedia for the good 
of your client" by the lower dregs of the PR industry.

We can not and should not engage in witch hunts related to this.  But we 
can and should stand firm on the ethical principles.


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