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  • Our Mission:
  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
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Wikipedia’s Ketel of public relations

This particular Grayling PR employee tried to follow Jimmy Wales’ Bright Line Rule by the book. The PR specialist’s very first edit on Wikipedia was to announce his employment affiliations and conflict of interest. Since that day in January 2015, he has never directly touched any Wikipedia article, instead restricting himself to conversations on Talk pages and User pages. Looking at his edit history, it becomes immediately clear that his objective is to help Wikipedia improve its coverage of the Ketel One vodka distillery.

…continue reading Wikipedia’s Ketel of public relations

Wikipedia’s Friends With Benefits

By Gregory Kohs

This blog post is one of a five-part series of investigative reports by Gregory Kohs, documenting conflicts of interest among individuals and organizations who have financial ties with the Wikimedia Foundation.

The first report is The Thin Bright line The second report is Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag The third report is Business as Usual The fourth report is Wikipedia’s Friends With Benefits The fifth report is Look who’s visiting the WMF

The big news recently at the Wikimedia Foundation was the announced hiring of Silicon Valley tech professional, Lila Tretikov, to replace Sue Gardner as the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Tretikov will take over an annual revenue stream of about $50 million, garnered almost entirely from donors who probably have no idea how little of that money actually goes toward program services that support the WMF mission. Meanwhile, the WMF board of trustees is edging closer and closer to implementing an amended Terms of Use for editors. The amendment would require editors to “disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution to any Wikimedia Projects for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.”

This rule could become an embarrassing problem for Tretikov, because if past history is any indicator, some of the Wikimedia Foundation’s biggest cash donors seem to regularly flout the ethical demand for disclosure when conflict of interest editing is involved. This is Wikipediocracy’s fourth installment delving into major donors who edit Wikipedia to enhance their profile, but don’t always reveal that they have a conflict of interest. The previous three installments are found here: The Thin Bright Line, Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag, and Business as Usual.

Mark Amin

One

…continue reading Wikipedia’s Friends With Benefits

The Thin Bright Line

By Gregory Kohs

This blog post is one of a five-part series of investigative reports by Gregory Kohs, documenting conflicts of interest among individuals and organizations who have financial ties with the Wikimedia Foundation.

The first report is The Thin Bright line The second report is Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag The third report is Business as Usual The fourth report is Wikipedia’s Friends With Benefits The fifth report is Look who’s visiting the WMF

How many people or organizations donate more than $5,000 in support of Wikipedia? According to a recently published annual report (July 2012 through June 2013) of the Wikimedia Foundation, 166 did so.“There is a very simple ‘bright line’ rule that constitutes best practice: do not edit Wikipedia directly if you are a paid advocate.” — Jimmy Wales

In January 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation published its official 2012-2013 annual report, celebrating ten years of the foundation’s management of Wikipedia and its sister projects. The report is only two pages long, constructed in that annoyingly tall “infographic” layout that makes it nearly impossible to print out and read on paper without a magnifying glass. Toward the bottom of the report, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) lists all of the donors who gave a gift of at least $1,000. Regardless of the documented fact that the WMF spends less than 51% of its revenues from donations on the actual program services that every 501(c)(3) is required to report as accomplishing the organization’s mission, it is nearly impossible to find a substantial donor to the WMF who expresses any concern at all about this abysmal program efficiency ratio. (Most legitimate charitable educational organizations aim for program efficiency ratios north of 80% or even 90%, not 51%.) Why would donors to the WMF

…continue reading The Thin Bright Line