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Wikipedia clamps down on paid editors and sockpuppetry

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Asif WILSON Khan, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/23/wikipedia-pr-paid-editing

    Wikipedia has changed its terms of use in a bid to squeeze out PR companies that are taking money to edit the collaborative encyclopedia without disclosing their affiliations. Those who flout the new terms run the risk of being banned from editing the site.


    The Wikimedia foundation has been aware of the practice of 'Wikiwashing' for a while. There are companies -- often PR companies -- that make money from editing pages on Wikipedia. In some cases it's simply about putting a company on the Wikipedia "map" -- the validation that comes from even having a page on Wikipedia can be useful for a small company -- but in others it's about editing away less favourable historical details. In one high-profile case, Wikipedia actually named and shamed a PR company based in Texas -- called Wiki-PR -- for creating false identities to manipulate the site.


    In October 2013, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner said in a blog post that more than 250 user accounts had been banned for "sockpuppetry and undisclosed conflicts of interest". She said that the Foundation "takes this issue very seriously and has been following it closely".


    "Unlike a university professor editing Wikipedia articles in their area of expertise, paid editing for promotional purposes, or paid advocacy editing as we call it, is extremely problematic. We consider it a 'black hat' practice. Paid advocacy editing violates the core principles that have made Wikipedia so valuable for so many people," she said.


    Providing neutral and verifiable information is one of Wikipedia's core editorial policies, and not disclosing a conflict of interest is already against the terms of use. But as of 16 June, Wikipedia has updated the terms of use to "clarify strengthen the prohibition against concealing paid editing on all Wikimedia projects".





    It's not clear how wide-reaching this issue is in the Wikipedia community. "It's really difficult to tell," explains Wikimedia UK's head of external relations Stevie Benton, "Much of it has been undisclosed." What is clear, he says, is that "the relationship between PRs and Wikipedia hasn't always been a comfortable one."


    A new subsection has been added to Section 4 of the terms to make sure that Wikipedia is free from promotional content. Anyone paid to edit must now disclose any affiliations in their edit summary, user page or talk page.


    At the same time, a number of major PR companies -- including Edelman, Ogilvy & Mather, Fleishman Hillard and PorterNovelli -- have come together to promise to play by the rules and not edit their clients' pages on the sly. And the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in the UK has also updated its guidance for PR practitioners to encourage that members act with transparency and honesty.


    PR companies aren't completely banned from any Wikipedia input -- they just need to abide by the rules. This involves making sure that people working in PR declare any conflict of interest and address the community before making edits. If a Wikipedia article is inaccurate or the tone seems to be biased, then PRs can go to the Talk page of any article to express any concerns they have.


    "It would usually relate to factual amendments, although sometimes it might relate to article tone. Wikipedia should be in a neutral point of view," says Benton. "Any statement you make should be backed up with a verifiable source."


    "The Wikipedia editing community is generally quite reasonable [some would disagree]. Just make your case in an engaging way with evidence and provide sources -- editors will tend to make those changes."


    What are the repercussions for not complying with the new terms of use? "These aren't established yet as we are looking for a test case. But if you are breaching the site's Terms of Use, then Wikipedia can say that you are no longer welcome to edit," Benton says.


    Wikipedia is relying on the fear of being discovered as a Wikiwasher as a disincentive. "The biggest incentive for PR people to play by the rules is that if it comes to light that you have been inappropriately editing Wikipedia it does the image of your clients more harm than good."

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/23/wikipedia-pr-paid-editing
     
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  2. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    How do you post if you're banned? And why they banned you?
     
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  3. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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  4. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    Yeah anybody want to explain whats going on there with W130SN's "Banned Status" ??
     
  5. DarkPixel

    DarkPixel Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Guys he just changed his sig and avatar.

    (I guess ....)
     
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  6. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    W130 was a good guy RIP :(
     
  7. Alpha.

    Alpha. Power Member

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    He was already "banned" this morning and this thread was definitely made this afternoon, so go figure guys.
     
  8. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. cyber.surfer

    cyber.surfer Regular Member

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    W130SN would have turned W130SN if he was actually banned. He is just trolling. :)
     
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  10. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The banned him for changing his avatar.
     
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  11. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    You're all lauging but if Thekidwithstars and Lando bumclench can get the chop then none of us are safe !
     
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  12. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You forgot the main man, CEOSam has departed. He was too good for us all anyway, I heard the other day he even had beans on toast for breakfast, what a baller. I only hope one day I am in the same league.
     
  13. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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  14. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    theyz banned me coz i iz too cool for skool but me uber hacker get account back.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You;re not the real W130SN, he don't hack, he is white hat all the way, OP reported
     
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