Wikipedia asks editing services firm to stop changes to Wikipedia

Wiki-PR allegedly authors articles for money and passes them off as written by unbiased sources

Wikimedia Foundation has asked editing services firm Wiki-PR to cease and desist editing the Wikipedia site for allegedly authoring articles for money and passing them off as written by unbiased sources.

The foundation hosts Wikipedia and other sites, supported by a community of volunteers. Its terms of use warn against "Attempting to impersonate another user or individual, misrepresenting your affiliation with any individual or entity, or using the username of another user with the intent to deceive..."

"Wiki-PR is working with the Wikimedia foundation and its counsel to sort this out," said Wiki-PR CEO Jordan French in an email. He indicated that the issue could get resolved by the middle of next week.

On its website, Wiki-PR offers Wikipedia page creation, monitoring and translation services, though it states that it never directly edits Wikipedia.

Editors of the English version of Wikipedia have started investigating into allegations of suspicious edits and sockpuppetry, the practice of using online identities for purposes of deception, Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia, wrote last month in a blog post.

Wikipedia blocked or banned more than 250 user accounts, as it appeared that probably several hundred accounts may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organizations or products, in violation of website policies and guidelines, Gardner wrote.

The online encyclopedia has been struggling with a credibility issue after reports that companies and some individuals have edited the site to promote their companies, products and viewpoints. "Editing-for-pay has been a divisive topic inside Wikipedia for many years, particularly when the edits to articles are promotional in nature," Gardner wrote.

In October, Wiki-PR and its agents, who derive financial benefit from the editing, were banned by the Wikimedia community of independent volunteers from editing the English version of Wikipedia, according to the letter to French on Tuesday from Wikimedia's lawyer.

Wiki-PR is said to have stated its intention to work with the community to get the ban lifted, yet admitted on Monday that it has continued to "actively market paid advocacy editing services," despite the ban, according to the letter. Wikimedia said it had discovered evidence independently that Wiki-PR was continuing its paid advocacy.

The Wikimedia Foundation has demanded that Wiki-PR cease and desist from further editing of Wikipedia unless and until it has complied fully with the community terms and conditions. It said it would consider legal action if Wiki-PR does not comply.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesWiki-PRlegalinternetWikimedia Foundation

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?