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Wikimedia Sends Cease and Desist Letter To Firm Providing Paid Editing Services

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the going-out-of-business-sale dept.

Wikipedia 186

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "For months, Wikipedia has been battling a company called 'Wiki-PR,' which purportedly sells paid editing services on Wikipedia and in October announced it had blocked or banned hundreds of Wiki-PR's sockpuppet accounts in response. Now Cyrus Farivar reports at Ars Technica that the Wikimedia Foundation (which runs Wikipedia) is escalating its game, issuing a cease and desist letter to Wiki-PR, demanding that the company immediately halt editing Wikipedia 'unless and until [Wiki-PR has] fully complied with the terms and conditions outlined by the Wikimedia Community.' The attorney representing the Wikimedia Foundation, Patrick Gunn, wrote that 'you admitted that Wiki-PR has continued to actively market paid advocacy editing services despite the ban — consistent with evidence that we have discovered independently. ... Should you fail to comply with the terms of this cease and desist letter, Wikimedia Foundation is prepared to take any necessary legal action to protect its rights.'"

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186 comments

I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473009)

With how easy it is to create accounts, it is similar to blocking email addresses with spammers... they will just create a new account, come from a new IP block, or if push comes to shove, seize via malware established Wikipedia accounts.

Re:I wish them success... (5, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 months ago | (#45473129)

or if push comes to shove, seize via malware established Wikipedia accounts.

Slightly risky though. At the moment, this company is just breaching terms and conditions.

If you use stolen accounts, you're well into the territory of criminal hacking (unauthorised acces to computer systems).

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 5 months ago | (#45473293)

If you are knowingly not following the terms and conditions that allow you to edit, then surely your use of the computer system to do so is just as unauthorized as if you had stolen an account to do so?

If my front door is left unlocked, you still wouldn't have a defense to burglary if you come in and take my TV.

Re:I wish them success... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473309)

They're not taking anything, but editing content on a website that allows them to edit content.

Re:I wish them success... (3, Insightful)

devman (1163205) | about 5 months ago | (#45473319)

Allows them to edit content pursuant to terms and conditions.

Re:I wish them success... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473431)

They can do it with or without the terms and conditions. Bringing government thugs into this is silly. Wikipedia can try to block them, since it's their private property, but that's where I think it should end.

Re:I wish them success... (2)

Albanach (527650) | about 5 months ago | (#45473475)

They can do it with or without the terms and conditions.

Funny, here's what the edit page says: Work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited, used, and redistributed—by anyone—subject to certain terms and conditions.

Looks to me like if I want to edit, I am subject to the terms and conditions.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 5 months ago | (#45473493)

Clicked submit too quickly...

And when you go to submit your edit on wikipedia you are told "By clicking the "Save page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, "

Re:I wish them success... (3, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 5 months ago | (#45473543)

Yes, good ol' Libertarian "The government shouldn't violate my right to violate others rights!"

Re:I wish them success... (1)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 5 months ago | (#45474095)

Yes, good ol' Libertarian "The government shouldn't violate my right to violate others rights!"

I assume you made that up to sound clever.

From the very first part of their faq: http://www.lp.org/faq [lp.org] "Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another." I'm pretty sure that the "do no harm to another" phrase applies here.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 5 months ago | (#45474213)

You forget what Liberals call "rights" are their right to take from you to support whatever cause their heart bleeds for.

Re:I wish them success... (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 5 months ago | (#45473719)

So you don't have a problem with me repeatedly spray painting racial slurs on your house then, right? No need to get "government thugs" involved. You can just re-paint your house if you don't like it.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473745)

If I came into your house and spay painted your walls because you left your door unlocked and left a note on the door saying please don't spray paint my house when I am away, would you sue me?

Re:I wish them success... (2)

biodata (1981610) | about 5 months ago | (#45473427)

This. If you access someone else's computer system outside of the allowed terms and conditions it sounds very much like it might come under the Computer Misuse Act in the UK, I guess other jurisdictions have similar laws preventing unauthorised access to computerised information systems.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45473727)

Of course, we've railed against this here on slashdot in the past. Because it was abused to silence dissenters. The plague of unilateral unread contracts and contract-like-legal-entities are putting people under thousands if not tens of thousands of stipulations they don't even know about.

I don't like spammers, and I wish they'd burn forever, but these laws make me extraordinarily wary. I read somewhere that if every agreed-to-EULA was analyzed and explained properly by a lawyer, it would take far, far more than 24 man-hours per lawyer in the world per day to do. That's just a symptom that something is terribly, terribly broken.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | about 5 months ago | (#45473769)

This, 100 times over. TOC should not be enforced by any criminal court in any country. Civil courts is a different matter. Breaking actual criminal laws is a different matter. Those criminal laws, however, should clearly spell out the crime and should not leave its definition up to anything a random person or company wants to throw into a TOS.

Re:I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474125)

Everyone just clicks through cease and desists anyway.

This one milliardth times over. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474153)

No.

You see what will happen is that this will be taken by WikiMedia as a civil claim since it

a) can award them money
b) has less of a burden of proof
c) sends a message to other astroturfers

Do you know why?

Because the criminal option is the first option of psychopaths, and it is those who slashdot rail against, not the application of law.

Moreover, the first option of psychopaths when their M.O. is being used against them in potentia is to whine about how that should not ever happen.

Moreover, for example with the McKinnon case and with Aaron more recently is that there was never any attempt to actually show the intent prohibited. Indeed the case for the claims were entirely empty. While in this case, those abusing TOS for WikiMedia are 100% ABSOLUTELY doing what is described as wrong in the TOS DELIBERATELY.

Where McKinnon never cracked passwords and those machines were never showing an internet access TOS because they were not ever supposed to have been visible from random user on the internet, and where Aaron ABSOLUTELY had right to access the documents, the astroturf group here is deliberaltely and with malice aforethought disobeying the TOS.

Where McKinnon and Aaron were doing so for altruism or conspiracy ideation reasons, this astroturf group is doing so purely for personal profit.

Re:I wish them success... (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 months ago | (#45473731)

It's not as clear cut as that. The intent of the law is not to criminalise failing to adhere to the T&Cs. A good defence lawyer will argue that access was authorised, and editing was authorised. The specific editing they do is outside of the scope of the law and entirely a matter of contract. A Jury is likely to be pretty reluctant to find guilty in a case that's clearly a contract dispute.

Stealing a television is stealing a television whether there's a contract clause in place or not.

The case law is inconclusive. There has been a case covering this [wikipedia.org] but while the initial finding was a guilty verdict, this was set aside on appeal. I could certainly imagine others agreeing with the judges point "Allowing a conscious violation of website's Terms of Service to be a misdemeanor violation of the CFAA would essentially give a website owner the power to define criminal conduct".

If you use somebody else's access for a system that you have been explicitly barred from though, it's pretty clear cut.

Re:I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473965)

You can't serously want it to be a criminal offense to not do any random thing that Slashdot (or Amazon or the BBC or any other website you frequent) adds to their terms and conditions? Do you actually check each time you go to a web site (or even the first time), that it doesn't have a term requiring payment, or that you dye your hair green, or change your name to Alfric, or refrain from posting negative comments about the site or anything else?

Re:I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473467)

The US Government has taken the position that a breach of the T&C of a website falls under the CFAA and can be prosecuted with jail time.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | about 5 months ago | (#45473783)

The US Government is, however, wrong. (a distinction which may not change the outcome, but which is, I think, very important).

Re:I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473767)

That has never stopped them before. All it takes is an offshore address and using offshore VPNs, and the chance of getting hammered by the CFAA in the US (especially with all the anti-US sentiment worldwide) is next to zero.

Anonymizing the service can be easy too... just have a BitCoin wallet that is used for payments.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | about 5 months ago | (#45473269)

Well, that's just thinking about the technological countermeasures. They're changing the game here from technological (blocking accounts) to add a legal dimension.

If they keep editing articles for money and violating Wikipedia's terms of service after getting the demand letter, they expose themselves to massive civil claims. Since they make money, this creates assets that can then be sued for and seized/garnished via court order.

Also I severely doubt they'd go the malware/malicious route because they'd have to stop being a open company and retreat into the shadowy branches of the interwebs and thus limit their client base. Once they get caught sending malware, they expose themselves to criminal charges in addition to civil charges, and a whole host more civil damages due to clear malice.

Re:I wish them success... (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#45474033)

The way to stop undesired behavior is to have it result in negative consequences. Just place the names of the offending companies on a T&C violators list at the bottom of each article.

Re:I wish them success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473463)

Right now, the guy running Wiki-PR is simply going onto freelance sites and hiring people willing to write an article for $30 or so. Then he charges companies $500+ for that service. The Wiki-RP articles are generally easy to spot since they use the same 3 crappy websites as "references". I only know of a couple exceptions, and they were companies which would have been considered "notable" anyways. Those articles have been kept though.

I wish upon them Anonymous success... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473795)

An attack on Wikipedia deserve a punch in the nose of the attacker. Screw the lawyers, this calls for an Anonymous response. Wiki-PR would be a fun sock puppet. Just imagine what fun could be had with their client list.

enforceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473023)

As much as they have a point here, how do the WM people actually want to enforce this? All Wiki-PR is gonna do is remove the explicit reference to WP editing and make it part of a broader "PR campaign" offer.

Re:enforceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473687)

They'll get a court order. Judges may or may not always enforce the law, but they always kick someone's ass who violates their court order.

Koch Brothers on the prowl! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473029)

Watch it Slashdot Socialists, the Kock Brothers are out for blood! Better hide!

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/koch-brothers-group-uses-health-care-law-to-attack-democrats/?_r=1&

"WASHINGTON — Americans for Prosperity, the political group backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is targeting three of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats who are up for re-election next year. The group’s efforts are part of a new $3.5 million attack advertising campaign that hammers lawmakers for supporting President Obama’s health care law.

The senators — Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana — are all from conservative-leaning states that voted to elect Mitt Romney in 2012. The ads will start running in those states on Wednesday."

I'm stocking up on popcorn truth be told.

Bwahahahahahhahahhahahhaa.

Re:Koch Brothers on the prowl! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473073)

"Kock Brothers"

Unintentional of course, but please spare me the juvinile cock jokes. Fat chance I know.

Oh well.

How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473039)

Any time I try to contribute to wikipedia it's just reverted by some 15 year old control freak. What we need is an open platform where anyone can contribute.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#45473113)

Any time I try to contribute to wikipedia it's just reverted by some 15 year old control freak

One one hand I donated to WP on their last appeal, and on the other hand what you write here is why I don't even care about this story.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473215)

I've made a few dozen major edits to articles -- I mean edits that add or completely rewrite at least one section of an article. I don't think I've been reverted once.

I've had my contributions modified, of course -- usually for the better -- but that's the whole point.

I don't know what you're doing wrong, honestly.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473287)

I can only assume you are from the wikimedia foundation.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45473397)

This merely means that your edits were inconsequential to anyone with more free time than you.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (1)

0racle (667029) | about 5 months ago | (#45473377)

I'm willing to bet the wiki nazis aren't 15 year olds.

Re:How the hell did they get their edits accepted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473423)

You mean somewhere where anyone can revert your edits?

i hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473049)

it came with a huge 11x17 picture of Jimmy Whale's huge head. ...and the law firm has already surrendered.

First world problems (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | about 5 months ago | (#45473059)

Geez, I don't have the time to edit this Wikipedia thingy. Can't I pay someone to do it for me?

Seriously -- and I'm just playing Devil's advocate here so don't flame me -- but don't companies pay people in their communications departments to edit wikis related to their business? So, is it any different if you outsource it?

Re:First world problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473109)

In general you are not allowed to make a business out of violating the terms of service of a website. It doesn't matter whether you outsource it or not. Wikimedia is going after the big fish rather than the small fish because legal action is expensive and they don't have enough money to go after all the small targets.

Re:First world problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473389)

In general you are not allowed to make a business out of violating the terms of service of a website

Really? Under what law? What about ToS that contradict governing law?

Re:First world problems (5, Insightful)

Piata (927858) | about 5 months ago | (#45473217)

If this is allowed then it completely undermines Wikipedia as a reliable source of information. It will be just another marketing platform doomed to a slow death as it loses all relevance.

completely undermines Wikipedia (3, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 months ago | (#45473317)

as a reliable source of information

You mean it wasn't already?

Re:First world problems (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45473429)

"Notability not truth" and "volunteer democracy" (i.e. truth by consensus of people with the most time to waste) are what undermines Wikipedia as a reliable source of information.

EVERYONE is biased. If someone pays to express their bias on Wikipedia, all they're doing is paying for the time to compete. This may make things worse, better, or change nothing much at all, depending on whether the paid-for bias is more or less truthy than other bias.

Re:First world problems (2)

ak3ldama (554026) | about 5 months ago | (#45473635)

You mean like happened to Sarah Palin's page the night before she was chosen to be the VP candidate? Or on any other such page where there is a desire to scrub past or present? I am at least happy that we have a relatively transparent view into the history of these articles - but it has already been completely undermined.

Re:First world problems (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473917)

Who would have believed a Sarah Palin supporter could edit a wiki page?

Wikipedia is a reliable source of information? (1)

mveloso (325617) | about 5 months ago | (#45473761)

Even the Wikipedia people say that there's lots of information on Wikipedia that isn't reliable. Wikipedia should never be relied on as a source of truth or accuracy.

In any case, wasn't there a thing a few months ago where the editors were getting paid on the side?

If a company employee changes an article, why is that worse than a volunteer changing an article?

Re:First world problems (1)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | about 5 months ago | (#45473383)

Paid editing isn't banned. Frowned on a bit, maybe, but not banned. It is creating loads of sockpuppets and editing deceptively and disruptively that seems to have got these guys in trouble.

Re:First world problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473411)

If you do so with an eye towards PR spin or market manipulation, yes, it is absolutely different. This isn't a case of a company hiring someone to be their media copyrighter. The company sells its services to clients who want to frame the discussion (whatever their particular discussion happens to be) by manipulating the information.

Re:First world problems (1)

gajop (1285284) | about 5 months ago | (#45473417)

Wikipedia is about facts, and shouldn't be used as your PR/marketing platform.
This is good.

Re:First world problems (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 5 months ago | (#45473575)

I don't have the time to edit this Wikipedia thingy. Can't I pay someone to do it for me?

Why? What article are you editing, that you'd be willing to pay someone to do it instead of yourself?

companies pay people in their communications departments to edit wikis related to their business?

You're not allowed to put in original content. You're not allowed to edit articles about yourself or articles with content that involve you or your affiliations in any way. Paying someone else to do it on your behalf is equally unacceptable. So excluding these, what type of edits could you possibly want to pay to be done?

Charge them as felons! (4, Informative)

NuAngel (732572) | about 5 months ago | (#45473075)

Under our current (ridiculous) law, it is a felony to break a website's ToS. Go on, Wikimedia, don't just sue them, make them into life-long criminals!

Re:Charge them as felons! (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45473191)

but the right to do business trumps that.

besides, that law is there just as joke and as a tool for the feds so that everyone is a potential felon.

Re:Charge them as felons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474233)

Yeah but there is now the matter of "Citizens United". SCOTUS says that corporations are people??? Why not carry that stupid decision to its logical conclutions. Prosucute them as people under this law!

Re:Charge them as felons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473233)

Under our current (ridiculous) law, it is a felony to break a website's ToS.

What's ridiculous about it? A site's ToS is the only thing granting you permission to access the site. If you violate them, you're accessing their computers without permission, which is illegal.

Now, granted, most websites have a default ToS of "read whatever you can get to", but sites which allow changes/updates are generally more restrictive, allowing only limited (by the ToS) changes.

Re:Charge them as felons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473353)

Except of course, that the nature of the web is publicly accessible pages which one can link to. There are plenty of ways to not have completely publicly accessible internet content.

It's like putting up a billboard, then having a TOS in small print on the back.

Re:Charge them as felons! (3, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45473461)

And that right there is fucking retarded.

The public web is an open medium. That is why I get to access web sites, not because of some 10-page list in size 8 font linked to at the bottom of a page, which I can't even have read unless I visit the site in the first place, and which I may not even have to read in order to continue using the site.

"Use of this web site indicates your acceptance of these T&C" is as silly as "reading this comment indicates that you promise to send me a cupcake". No it doesn't, and no it doesn't.

Re:Charge them as felons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473791)

Your house is an open medium. You left your rear windows unlocked and left for the weekend. That is why i get to access it, not because of some 10-page list in size 8 font linked to at the bottom of some law book.

Re:Charge them as felons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473743)

I could have the same thing with my house/residence - a ToS that visitors have to sign if they want to cross the doorway.

But what I couldn't do is get the police to enforce to it... which is what websites can do?

That's the difference - once again private companies can use our legal system to screw us - but we can't do it to them.

Yes you can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474273)

"But what I couldn't do is get the police to enforce to it.."

Yes you can.

The more influential you are, the more likely that an attempt to get the police to enforce it is, but the police WILL, when asked to evict someone or even charge them with trespass, will absolutely be able, if not really willing to put the effort in for a pleb, enforce your TOS-breking eviction of a trespasser.

Ask any Mall Operator in the USA.

Re:Charge them as felons! (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 months ago | (#45474177)

According to slashdot media's T&C's [slashdotmedia.com] if you are under 18 you need your parent or guardian's permission to access Slashdot.

Would you consider it reasonable to charge a 17 year old with a crime for using Slashdot without parents' permission?

Bear in mind, Slashdot media wouldn't need to be involved. The government could choose to prosecute anyway.

What about IAR? (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 5 months ago | (#45473131)

Considering that the "terms and conditions outlined by the Wikimedia Community" include a specific directive to "ignore all rules" if they get in the way of improving the encyclopedia [wikipedia.org], it's going to be really hard to make this stick. I don't see this legal threat going anywhere and I suspect it will simply be disregarded and forgotten.

Re:What about IAR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473311)

As per your link, Wikipedia is very explicit that IAR is a defined phrase, and includes a definition as to its meaning. A judge is going to read that definition, and understand very quickly that the Wiki-PR company has violated that rule as well as many others, in principle, spirit, and fact.

Therefore, it won't be hard to make it stick.

Re:What about IAR? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45473491)

A judge may not be happy with a contract which only one party had the chance to write and which contains deliberately misleading phrases.

"You agree to send me $10. [...] In this contract, references to $10 should be read as $1000."

Re:What about IAR? (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | about 5 months ago | (#45473651)

I respectfully disagree with you. While it is 'defined', the very definition is vague, subjective and open to interpretation. For example: "If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them." Define "improve" and "maintain". An agent for another may feel that they are "improving" an entry by providing their clients information or point of view. Same for "maintaining" their client's entry. IANAL, but there seems to be way more than enough room to argue one way or the other.

cease to exist letter for WMD on credit genociders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473167)

dear corepirate nazi genociders;

your selfish murderous ambitions are not in alignment with the new universal native spiritual awakening, so change your tune or face the music. thank you.

least regards,
former customers

Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473187)

This is bullshit and a clear indication of the authoritarian/statist bias of wikipedia. Wikipedia should base its work on the concept of LIBERTY, not locked down by self-proclaimed strongarm rulers and kings. What a joke wikipedia has become. I hope someone starts up a new one that is, you know, actually FREE to edit. In a TRULY free wikipedia, only the best articles will naturally emerge. Guaranteed.

Re:Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473357)

Use of the word "statist" marks you as a major idiot shithead.

Now FOAD.

Re:Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473515)

Pretty much. I enjoyed the old wikipedia where there were edit wars on articles. I enjoyed the occasional humorous troll editing political articles. Now all we have is locked down articles and policemen keeping you from editing anything anymore who also have political agendas. No longer can we write "bad" things about political figures on wikipedia. No longer can we write about or list controversial issues about certain corporations. This is not the wikipedia I remembered. There's more information in wikipedia talk than on the main wikipedia article.

PR has been a problem since its inception. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473517)

There was a problem years ago when Wiki was just getting started. A bio was placed on Wiki (I can't remember who it was and I'm having trouble getting a cite since it was so long ago. Anyone remember?). The subject of the bio did not like what was said - they did not want some of the true negative things to be published up there. He then deleted them or changed them - or it was his staff.

The original author went back up and changed the article and added back some of the controversial things that were said about this individual (I think it was a politician).

The politicians staff went back and deleted things and changed text .....

The the original author went back .... and on and on it went.

So, depending on when you looked at the article, you would get a completely different impression of the subject.

Wiki had to get a little controlling to stop some of this PR horseshit.

There are always some assholes who have to fuck it up for everyone else.

Re:Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473569)

"I hope someone..."

Why don't you do it?

Re:Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473619)

When you say 'free', do you mean 'free' as in liberty or 'free' as in socialism?

I ask because the Wikipedia you describe lacks purity in its freedom. A truly liberated Wikipedia must be based on market principles. By charging for edits to articles and creating an auction process for edit wars, Wikimedia would both satisfy its own natural self interest, and ensure that only the most dedicated and meritorious get to decide the content of the encyclopedia.

Down with Statism! Towards a monetized wikipedia!

Re:Wikipedia turns to the dark side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473929)

Feel free to start your SPAMpedia or LETTHEMARKETDECIDEpedia. Just don't expect any user who doesn't get paid to visit...

Editing requires time, and time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473279)

To become admin nowadays you need to show significant involvement (i.e. time) and significant skills (i.e. education, experience). Having both is practically impossible for a normal guy, unless he/she is paid to do it. I know of at least an admin that edited for 20 hours/day for months and with considerable efficiency. He finished by imposing his political bias. And of course, I believe he was paid to do it. But this is life. This is why I quit editing. I already have a job.

Re:Editing requires time, and time is money (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45473559)

Bingo.

All you're doing is paying for time, in order to compete with people who have copious free time.

Wikipedia is a war of attrition.

Surprised (4, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | about 5 months ago | (#45473313)

Every complex ecosystem has parasites and bottom-feeders. The internet and Wikipedia is no different.

I wish them luck in shutting these guys down.

Just destroy their business (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#45473433)

This page has been reverted and locked due to repeated marketing edits to the benefit of the subjects [X, Y, Z] and/or the detriment of subjects [A, B, C]. Page has been reverted to a pre-marketing edit and locked pending review.

Re:Just destroy their business (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474241)

So instead of getting paid to promo a company, they'll get paid by destroying the competitors?

suitable punishment (3, Insightful)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 5 months ago | (#45473637)

They could just lock and revert any page that has shown evidence that it has been edited ny paid pr companies and put a banner ontop of the page in question stating that the page has been locked for six months due to paid editing from a pr company. This would encourage companies not to do such things for fear of looking bad. The opposite of what they were hoping for.

Re:suitable punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474255)

That would encourage businesses to pay PR firms to edit their competitors' pages.

Official editors at Wikipedia are zionists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45473659)

Any article at Wikipedia that touches on any subject linked to the zionist 'cause' in any way is repeatedly modified to be pro-Israel/pro-Saudi Arabia/pro-Jewish and/or pro-USA. It is IMPOSSIBLE to maintain an edit on such articles based on truth.

Zionist figures (including major individuals from Saudi Arabia) have anything bad from their history erased, and if the truth keeps getting re-edited, the article is locked for the editing of Wikipedia's official mods only.

Famous Jewish criminals have the fact of their 'Jewishness' removed from their articles. On the other hand, people considered 'good' are described as 'Jewish' in their articles even if that person never considered themself 'Jewish', but merely came from a family of some so-called 'Jewish' heritage (you are, of course, ONLY Jewish if as an adult you make the choice to either follow the religion of Judaism, or the cult of Jewish zionism- no one can be born 'Jewish', 'Christian', 'Muslim' etc by definition).

Wikipedia was set up as a tool of social engineering. Its owners and organisers are un-abashed supporters of Israel. However, Wikipedia works to maintain a FALSE legitimacy in the minds of the sheeple. Given that the mainstream media in the West is almost entirely in the hands of zionists, Wales assumed most sheeple would not be bothered by any apparent zionist slant on Wikipedia.

However, mainstream stories of massive organised corporate editing of Wikipedia runs the risk of lowering confidence in the online resource. There will be no point editing every appropriate article with a pro-Israeli slant if no-one believes in the truth of the articles there anyway.

Smart people use Wikipedia fully aware of its disgusting and racist bias, and understand, for instance, that biographical articles on Wikipedia are total GARBAGE (Wikipedia even edits OUT references to the crimes of dead people, if those people are deemed to have a 'positive' reputation useful to the 'tribe'). However, given that Wikipedia and the waves of terrorists sent into Syria are initiatives from the same people with the same goals, one should be aware that visiting Wikipedia is an act of visiting a very dark place.

TOS Violation = Jailtime? (2)

Thruen (753567) | about 5 months ago | (#45473741)

It seems as though this company is violating Wikimedia's ToS. Doesn't that mean the same law they used against Aaron Schwartz applies to them? Maybe Wikimedia can press charges and have these people who actually have malicious intent and are knowingly breaking the law can serve some jail time. If only there were some system in place that could apply laws evenly to all people...

Climate Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474193)

I can't wait until it is inevitably revealed that Wikipedia is being systematically edited by hired firms to suggest that there is no real scientific opposition to the climate change hysteria prompted by the ringleaders at the IPCC. Many young people who blindly rely on the information in Wikipedia will start to realize that they have been duped by hucksters.

Universal problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45474301)

Any and all sources of information will be subject to distortion by individuals and organizations with a financial or political interest. It doesn't matter whether the source is a wiki or some commercial entity or some govt. agency or some professional organization. That's why it is critically important to pay attention to where information comes from. One huge> problem is that a single bogus insertion of malfeasant misinformation into the right hands can be picked up by the mass media, generating hundreds of stories in hundreds of media outlets, creating a society-wide impression of truth based on a single lie.

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