-- (deprecated) Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista)
---- Microsoft Offers Cash for Wikipedia Edit
hyperkik - 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"?