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.
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.
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.
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.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.