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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles 125

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the edits-against-humanity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As reported before on Slashdot, one of the most terrible sins on Wikipedia is to edit articles for pay, or otherwise violate the 'neutral point of view' policy, per their co-founder Jimmy Wales. And yet, the Wikipedia-criticism website Wikipediocracy recently began a study showing that dozens of the Wikimedia Foundation's largest cash donors have violated that policy. Repeatedly, and wantonly. In short, they wrote articles about themselves or their companies, then gave the WMF big donations — and were not confronted about violating the NPOV policy." Do the proposed TOS changes address this? Note that they also found that many of the donors adequately documented their conflict of interest.
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:09AM (#46454241)

    Editing your own article on Wikipedia is not prohibited as long as you disclose your conflict of interest and follow the rules, so I have trouble seeing how this submission is anything other than yet more manufactured controversy and/or anti-Wikipedia astroturfing.

  • Re:Conflict (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:16AM (#46454315)

    Ideally they should document a conflict of interest, but that's not very clear how it should be done.

    Like this [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:40AM (#46454471)

    The summary seems to have the wrong idea about what the NPOV policy actually means. Straight from the link it provided to Wikipedia's definition:

    Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view.

    Note that it does NOT indicate who can or cannot participate in editing an article. So long as their interests are disclosed, it's quite possible that people with vested interests in a subject will be able to contribute more meaningfully to a page than those without firsthand experience on the subject. Their contributions may in some cases need to be revised by others to better conform to NPOV, but they may bring to light facts and sources that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

    It's one thing to edit articles for pay--where your obligation to your employer exceeds your obligation to the policies of the site--but if you're just someone with an opinion or a vested interest, you should be perfectly capable of setting those aside in order to help construct pages that are balanced, fair, and neutral in their approach to the subject at hand, and that's exactly what I've seen people do. Though, I'll certainly grant that the cases where someone hasn't done so are much more memorable. ;)

    And is it really any surprise that the people donating to Wikipedia are the ones editing it? It's a self-selecting sample: people donate to Wikipedia because they're the ones getting the most out of the site, rather than the other way around, which seems to be the perspective that the criticism is coming from.

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