Menu
Wikipedia bans 250 accounts on pay-for-article concerns

Wikipedia bans 250 accounts on pay-for-article concerns

The online encyclopedia's editors are investigating other allegations of suspicious edits and accounts

Amid news reports of groups paying users to write Wikipedia entries, the online encyclopedia has blocked or banned more than 250 accounts, the site announced Monday.

A number of user accounts, "perhaps as many as several hundred," may have been paid to write Wikipedia articles promoting groups or products, Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a blog post.

Wikipedia editors continue to investigate allegations of suspicious edits and so-called sockpuppetry, the practice of using online identities for purposes of deception, she wrote.

Editing for pay has been a "divisive topic" at Wikipedia for years, Gardner said. "Unlike a university professor editing Wikipedia articles in their area of expertise, paid editing for promotional purposes, or paid advocacy editing as we call it, is extremely problematic," she added. "We consider it a 'black hat' practice. Paid advocacy editing violates the core principles that have made Wikipedia so valuable for so many people."

Gartner's statement follows recent news reports suggesting that public relations agencies and other groups have been targeting allegedly negative information in Wikipedia articles. Vice.com recently wrote about PR agencies working as Wikipedia reputation managers, and DailyDot.com reported on an extensive sockpuppetry investigation at Wikipedia.

With the uncovering of alleged sockpuppet accounts, editors "have expressed shock and dismay," Gardner wrote. "Our readers know Wikipedia's not perfect, but they also know that it has their best interests at heart, and is never trying to sell them a product or propagandize them in any way. Our goal is to provide neutral, reliable information for our readers, and anything that threatens that is a serious problem."

Using sockpuppet accounts or misrepresenting your affiliation with a company is against Wikipedia policy and prohibited by its terms of use, Gartner added. "We urge companies to conduct themselves ethically, to be transparent about what they're doing on Wikipedia, and to adhere to all site policies and practices," she said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesinternetwikipediaSue Gardner

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments