[Foundation-l] We really need to avoid the next Microsoft-Wikipedia bad publicity storm

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 10:46:03 UTC 2007

I got a call yesterday from a press officer for a major UK bank. My
number was one of the few contact numbers they could find.

They spent lots of time yesterday morning adding stuff to the bank's
article from their websites and having it reverted as a copyright
violation. They couldn't work out what she was doing wrong, so they
called me. They hadn't heard about the Microsoft mess at all. Oh dear.

I explained that editing the article about yourself is a conflict of
interest, and pointed them at the talk page and said this was the
right place to put stuff - that they should introduce themselves, etc.
And that people might argue, but that happens on the Internet. I also
said I'd have a look myself.

Well, that's one more innocent disaster averted ...

But we really need something to handle this sort of thing and make it
widely known. Something as n00b-friendly as possible - just type on a
page (or in a form) or send an email.

Which will mean another firehose of crap to find volunteers to deal
with. This is the tricky bit. Compare to OTRS, which has the twin
problems of (1) a firehose of crap with a few important things in it
and (2) too few volunteers, who then get (understandably) tetchy and
close to burnout, and not great success at recruiting more.


0. I submit that we really do need this.
1. Most n00b-friendly interface possible. This is not a big problem.
2. How to get volunteers interested in wanting to look at this? This
is the tricky one.

Ideas please!

(I'm tempted to submit this to Ask Slashdot for ideas ... any objections?)

Another bad publicity storm such as happened last week to Microsoft is
absolutely not in Wikipedia or Wikimedia's interests. We don't want to
make organisations fearful of coming near us.

- d.

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