Rows over Wikipedia edits

The media is full of reports about abuse of Wikepedia by organisations wanting to promote their own cause or that of their clients. For instance, the BBC reports that the office of the Australian prime minister John Howard has been identified as the source of damaging or potentially misleading edits to Wikepedia (two days running I get to write about Australia!), while this week’s edition of UK public relations magazine PR Week also reports PR Agencies caught editing Wikipedia. Both stories result from findings published by a new website: Wikipedia Scanner (similar articles have appeared in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, etc).

This is giving greater transparency to the collaborative ‘wisdom of crowds‘ editing of Wikipedia. So long as you are updating Wikipedia articles in line with its factual, neutral point of view (nPOV) guidelines, there will be no arguments, but if – as has been suggested – someone starts trying to influence readers by altering articles to give more flattering perspectives (to themselves or their clients, or more negative perspectives on their opponents or competitors), then the perpetrators deserve every inch of negative publicity they receive.

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    Reading Paul Wilkinson blog, I discovered a sophisticated and pretty useful online tool called Wikipedia Scanner. Using the Wikipedia Scanner anybody can check the anonymous editing of Wikipedia pages done from computers registered under company domain…

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