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Microsoft Offers Cash for Wikipedia Edit
Brett_Tabke




msg:3230125
 2:09 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

[usatoday.com...]

Microsoft landed in the Wikipedia doghouse Tuesday after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web encyclopedia site.

While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered a definite no-no.

"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach," Wales said.

Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.


 

pageoneresults




msg:3230776
 11:28 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Let's not forget that there could be a hidden agenda here. Link bait from MS's perspective. ;)

nutsandbolts




msg:3230805
 11:47 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach," Wales said.

From the man himself who got caught editing his own bio to make him look like the only creator of Wikipedia....

ripthesystem




msg:3230927
 2:18 am on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, as someone who runs a successful citywiki, based off the mediawiki software I can say for sure that I would love if someone would actually care enough to pay to keep things accurate as long as it wasn't all linkbait and trying for one sided politics. I never thought I'd hear myself siding with MS over something but...

bxbase




msg:3230987
 3:41 am on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I dont know how much bias goes on in wiki but my experiance in the only topic I felt knowledgable enough to add a paragraph of text, and a link that covered tons more than the existing links was immediatly reedited to remove the paragraph and the link.
I just figured the editor that watched over that particular section has one of those sensitive types.

Anyone here have a similar experiance?

amznVibe




msg:3231124
 7:10 am on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WEO = wiki edit optimization ;-)

oldpro




msg:3231327
 12:36 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wales is off the chain on this one. I don't see the problem with Gates hiring someone to clean up Wiki's mess. The problem is with Wiki...it is so full of inaccuracies and editor bias it would take someone with money like Gates to clean it up.

This notion of money is evil and free is good amongst netizens is ridiculous.

RonPK




msg:3231336
 12:46 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia will fail

Masses do not do things for free for very long without some sort of WIIFM factor, which wikis have none of.

Oh please... that's what everybody said five years ago, when Wikipedia started. Look where it stands now.

I'm a volunteer editor at Wikipedia and I've been in combat several times with companies trying to promote themselves. They usually do it anonymously, but the edits mostly are so obviously biased that they're easy to spot. If the edit contains information that is relevant to the topic, I leave it in, maybe edit it a bit to suit writing standards. If not: revert to the previous edit. The company may try again, but after a while they usually give up.

It's only a problem if you believe it.

Spot on. Check and double-check.

oldpro




msg:3231472
 2:48 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been in combat several times with companies trying to promote themselves.

True story...

The thing that turned me off to wiki was my son did an essay on a purely historical subject (no commercial subject matter whatsoever). He used wiki for his information. He got an F because the editor got his/her facts wrong. I take the blame for not reviewing his paper as I am a historical buff of sorts. Went back to double check the wiki source and could not believe what I read...even the dates were off by a couple of centuries.

So, the problem simply is not the evil companies trying to correct incorrect information or trying to promote themselves.

Wiki is not an authoritative source. If you combine non-experts to edit certain subject areas and companies changing information for promotional purposes. How can one really rely on wiki being a trustworthy source of information?

oldpro




msg:3231824
 6:45 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

...and this was for a 7th grade class

cabowabo




msg:3231858
 7:08 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

He used wiki for his information.

That is hillarious. I guess the time has come when we have created the first generation that will not know what a "card catalog" is.

Tragic indeed.

Cabo

oldpro




msg:3232086
 10:27 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Getting back to the OP...

Wiki keeps biting the hands that feed them. First, one of its founders announces a search engine project to compete with Google under the pretense that Google is not good enough... and now Gates gets a slap on the knuckles. Pure arrogance.

Prediction...

wiki will self destruct within 36 months.

hyperkik




msg:3233359
 9:32 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

...founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting fluff or slanting entries.

Had Microsoft wished to do so, it could have simply had an employee make the edits in a manner not easily traced back to Microsoft. Instead it approached somebody to take what amounts to a temporary (apparently paid) position in which he would correct and augment a Wikipedia article in a manner consistent with his own beliefs. I'll grant, it is unlikely that Microsoft would have appraoched somebody they did not believe would edit in a manner that would ultimately improve their standing in the article, but it appears that the person approached would be compensated even if that were the outcome.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people make directly self-serving edits, to the point that nofollow is turned off site-wide. Advocates from lobbying groups and "think tanks" join in the eding of policy-oriented articles to slant the arguments in favor of their clients and employers. If you don't admit to having a conflict of interest, how likely is it that the conflict will be detected?

If you catch somebody editing in a manner which would create a conflict of interest if performed for an employer, does it make a difference if that person claims to be editing "on his own time"?

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