November 23, 2020

Allegations Of Paid Editing to Wikipedia

From The Daily Dot:

The Wikimedia community has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks after allegations surfaced that one of the Wikimedia Foundation’s largest donors may have been engaged in a pay-for-play editing scheme. In 2011, the Stanton Foundation made a $3.6 million donation to Wikimedia, the largest one-time gift in the non-profit’s history.

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About $53,000 of that money in turn was used to pay a Wikipedia editor at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Over the course of this editor’s year-long residency at the Belfer Center, he allegedly gave favorable treatment the center’s scholars, and contributed little else of value to the encyclopedia. All this is made even more suspect by the fact that director of the Belfer Center, and the head of the Stanton Foundation are married.

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Once [Timothy] Sandole [the Wikipedia editor hired by the Belfer Center] went to work, he said there was little oversight from Wikimedia—something Wikimedia Deputy Director Erik Möller also admitted in a public letter to a Wikimedia listserv. And what little supervision Sandole did receive came from Wikimedia fundraising staffers, who Sandole described as being clueless about the content side of Wikipedia.

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Most of the concerned parties now seem to agree that the Belfer residency was an ill-conceived and poorly executed endeavour. However, it’s just the latest chapter in Wikipedia’s ongoing saga confronting the thorny issue of paid-editing.

Read the Complete Article (1318 Words)

See Also: Major Wikipedia donors accused of conflict-of-interest editing (via The Daily Dot; March 21, 2014)

See Also: Wikipedia Staffer at Center of Latest Sockpuppet Scandal

See Also: Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Releases Response to Reports of Paid Advocacy Editing and Sockpuppetry

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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