[Foundation-l] [WikiEN-l] We really need to avoid the next Microsoft-Wikipedia badpublicity storm

Fred Bauder fredbaud at waterwiki.info
Wed Jan 31 16:02:32 UTC 2007

>-----Original Message-----
>From: David Gerard [mailto:dgerard at gmail.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 03:46 AM
>To: 'English Wikipedia', 'Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List'
>Subject: [WikiEN-l] We really need to avoid the next Microsoft-Wikipedia bad	publicity storm
>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.

We need to add a notice to the software either above (preferable) or below the edit box about conflict of interest. The Arbitration Committee is also devoting too much retail attention to this wholesale problem.


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