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Victoria Taylor, Wikipedian

By Gregory Kohs

In the United States, the tenth-most popular website is Reddit.com, a message-based social networking and news sharing site. On Friday, July 3rd, the various message boards of Reddit erupted in turmoil. Volunteer moderators shut down hundreds of the site’s message areas, in protest of the company firing a popular employee named Victoria Taylor. Taylor was Reddit’s communications director and, more widely known to the Reddit community, a beloved facilitator of the “Ask Me Anything” program, where famous celebrities sit down with the Reddit members to answer their questions. The uproar was so provocative, where two days earlier Victoria Taylor didn’t have a Wikipedia article about her, suddenly she does. If you type in “Victoria” on Google right now, the search engine recommends “victoria taylor” as the auto-fill just below “victoria secret”.

Now that Taylor has a Wikipedia article (that is, if it doesn’t get deleted), we learn that prior to Reddit, she worked in the field of public relations for a company called ID PR. The ID public relations firm has its own Wikipedia article, too. If you look at the “history” tab on that article, you can see that it was created in March 2011 by User:AnnBLea, who has also been the most productive editor of the article since its creation. Is it possible that the ID public relations article was written by someone with an affiliation with the ID PR firm itself? AnnBLea’s wiki editing history certainly crosses over several known clients of ID PR, too.

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