[Foundation-l] Mywikipediaspace

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Fri Oct 6 16:26:24 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:

>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.
Those are some pretty extreme oppositions, though.  What if a company 
decides that the best way to educate the public on what their company 
does is to have their staff contribute a neutral article on the history 
of the company to Wikipedia?  Your first email seemed to suggest that 
this is always wrong.  It's true that a company paying someone to edit 
an article about themselves is at great danger of producing a 
non-neutral article, but I'd argue many NGOs and non-profits present 
similar risks, since many have specific political aims they wish to 
promote as part of their mission.


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