Trusted Wikipedia editors allegedly involved in favoritism scandal

By Rick
Sep 20, 2012
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  1. An unscrupulous Wikimedia trustee and a fellow, well-regarded Wikipedian in Residence have been accused of offering favorable article placement on the site in exchange for payment. When organization founder Jimmy Wales was confronted with information regarding a possible scandal, he affirmed...

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  2. psycros

    psycros TechSpot Booster Posts: 697   +212

    Wikipedia is almost useless when it comes to current events, politics or pretty much anything that's even marginally controversial or connected to an agenda - and it gets worse when there's money to be made. The legions of operatives retconning the facts would probably fill a couple NFL stadiums. This new scandal just demonstrates how a lot of the trusted Wiki insiders are part of the problem.
  3. Wikipedia is good for looking up smaller detailed things. I wouldn't use it as a source in a paper or anything, though.

    Nice captcha btw. "honey badger don't care"
  4. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,575   +47

    I like Wikipedia, even though it does have some failings with some of it's articles. Sad to hear about this really.
  5. In general I think Wikipedia is quite good. Most of the articles and information that I have read have been helpful and can get you pointed in the right direction. That fact that a couple of people made a choice of money over ethics doesn't change the big picture with Wikipedia, at least not yet.
  6. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    I resisted the idea of Wiki when it first came out. I mean dont we already read a ton of misinformation on the web as is? But I have slowly come to accept that tho Wiki may have SOME false information, in general the information has been really close. I say this because like many other ppl I believe that leaving your own customers/guests to fill in the blanks to be shoddy or sloppy. But it seems to work for them. I have been able to look up TV shows, books, movies plots w/o any issues and left generally satisfied with what I have read.
    However given that all the information out there, with the myriad of words used for a search engine, Gibralter is prolly a word that you rarely use. So its seems a mountain out of a mole hill really. More of a internal office politics aired to the media then anything inncipid or corupt. Maybe someone got butt hurt for not getting a raise and thought this would be a good way to embarass Wiki.
    TJGeezer likes this.
  7. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    Right, Tygerstrike - mountain out of a molehill, and not a very impressive mountain at that. It's a Wiki not a textbook. Of COURSE they'll get a few things wrong but they're always willing to correct mistakes. As for these guys, there was no rule against paid editing services, or there wasn't until now. Paid editing services are not unethical - they keep editors off the streets. Did they misuse their positions of trust? Maybe. But if so, it's easily correctable. As ideologues always say when caught with their hand in the till or down someone's nonspousal pants: Let's move on.
  8. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @TJ
    You are correct good sir. I find it no different then any other company that has ads on their site. Its just like TV. Someone paid to have a comercial aired. Someone paid to have a ad banner placed. Its all advertising. I still think its someone trying to embarass Wiki.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,823   +1,435

    I've never seen Wikipedia as a place for those topics anyway. Why would Wikipedia be any different than any other one sided Newscaster? I use Wikipedia for finding facts and trust that the content provided has been proof read and edited by other readers for accuracy. Its my opinion that anything controversial should never be published as fact, which is what Wikipedia should be representing (A digital encyclopedia of facts).
  10. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 429   +15

  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,260   +464

    He should have learned to properly interpret financial statements before including them in a rant about Wiki's request for donations. He was right to highlight that the tripling of operating expenses between 2009-10, though. Interesting that there weren't more details about that little anomalie in the notes.
     
  12. thekohser

    thekohser Newcomer, in training

    It's refreshing to see the media giving this scandal the ample coverage that it deserves. Year after year, unsuspecting donors chip in $10, $25, $50, and more to support the Wikimedia Foundation, on the premise that without money, Wikipedia might have to shut down. Well in actuality, the WMF is spending on program services only 46 cents of every dollar it receives. The rest is wasted on overhead, "staff" members who look for things to do on top of the thousands of volunteers who are really keeping Wikipedia alive.

    Anyway, one thing I always am amused by -- because it is so predictable -- is this culture of denial and cover-up when the insider corruption at Wikipedia goes public. In fact, I wrote a news piece that carefully exposes the "denial" and the "cover-up" phases, with convenient links to every under-handed action of the True Believers. If you'd like to read: http://www.examiner.com/article/cover-up-begins-wikipedia-s-gibraltar-scandal

    Great work, media -- keep up the pressure on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. There's plenty more just waiting for even a modestly-talented investigative reporter.
  13. thekohser

    thekohser Newcomer, in training

    It's refreshing to see the media giving this scandal the ample coverage that it deserves. Year after year, unsuspecting donors chip in $10, $25, $50, and more to support the Wikimedia Foundation, on the premise that without money, Wikipedia might have to shut down. Well in actuality, the WMF is spending on program services only 46 cents of every dollar it receives. The rest is wasted on overhead, "staff" members who look for things to do on top of the thousands of volunteers who are really keeping Wikipedia alive.

    Anyway, one thing I always am amused by -- because it is so predictable -- is this culture of denial and cover-up when the insider corruption at Wikipedia goes public. In fact, I wrote a news piece that carefully exposes the "denial" and the "cover-up" phases, with convenient links to every under-handed action of the True Believers. If you'd like to read, just search Google for: Roger Bamkin Examiner Denial

    Great work, media -- keep up the pressure on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. There's plenty more just waiting for even a modestly-talented investigative reporter.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,823   +1,435

    BS, while journalism is greatly needed, it is also one of the biggest problems in this world. Journalist have a way of keeping stories alive when they should be dieing down. Journalist have a way of ignoring certain issues (probably bought out or killed) while bombarding others (mostly garbage).


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