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Wikipedia Used For Apparent Viral Marketing Ploy

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the inevitable-abuses-of-trusting-systems dept.

The Almighty Buck 201

jangobongo writes "An article over at BoingBoing discusses what appears to be a viral marketing ploy appearing in a Wikipedia entry. Quote: "Someone has apparently abused collaborative reference site Wikipedia in a viral marketing campaign for a BBC online alternate reality game." "

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319856)

word

Re:FP (2, Interesting)

utnow (808790) | about 9 years ago | (#13320120)

Late breaking news! Somebody made a submission to Wikipedia containing false information intended only to drive links to their product! Surely there's a geek out there working on some cool hobby science project, OSS project, gadget, or gizmo... anything better than this?!? I can see tomorrow's headline. "Slashdot Member Expresses Doubt over Meaningless Headline"

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319860)

Post?

Hmm (4, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | about 9 years ago | (#13319861)

What's so wrong with it:

It's well written, doesnt appear to violate NPOV, contains appropriate factual information that would be useful to somone researching the thing years from now.

Who can better contribute entries than the creators of things, as long as they are carefully watched over by the editors? After all these are the people who have the largest chunk of the story first hand.

Re:Hmm (4, Informative)

Baricom (763970) | about 9 years ago | (#13319864)

It depends on whether you're looking at the live version, or the historical one. The live version was apparently re-written to reflect the fact that it describes a fictional character.

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | about 9 years ago | (#13319908)

Hah nice try. It is obvious that your post is a part of that same viral marketing ploy.

Re:Hmm (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 9 years ago | (#13320116)

Unlike the Slashdot article, which definitely doesn't include a link to the site in question.

Re:Hmm (1, Offtopic)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 9 years ago | (#13320119)

Hah, nice try. It is obvious that *your* post is a part of that same viral marketing ploy.

The article has already been rewritten (5, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 9 years ago | (#13319919)

This [wikipedia.org] is the original, disputed article, and clearly is not factual. The majority of votes [wikipedia.org] were against keeping this article, on the grounds that it was advertising, and fiction presented as fact.

This [wikipedia.org] is the current article, completely rewritten by a third party, which now describes the game rather than a character in it and takes care to present itself as a description of a piece of fiction, with many references to related discussions. Most people seem willing to keep the updated article, despite some lingering accusations of advertising.

There are other [wikipedia.org] article(s) that are still written from the fictional context of the game, and are likely [wikipedia.org] to be deleted.

No, it was fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319925)

The article *now* accurate because it was rewritten, *before* it pretended to be a fan page about a fake dead popstar.

A BBC man (the IP address mapped to their network) added another site on the subject in the 6 hour window between the fake Jamie Kane page and the time it was spotted and marked as false advertising. Confirming it as done from the BBC.

It was marked for quick deletion, various people added information confirming it was fake. Links to the BBC site, I added links to the DNS showing it as a BBC site rather than a fan site.

Self Promotion (4, Insightful)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 9 years ago | (#13320221)

NPOV is far from the only guidelines at Wikipedia, though. There are two other issues... Self Promotion and Original Work.

Now, it is true that a creator or someone involed can often be a good source of information. I write for a few entries in such a position. However, I've also authored what I thought werea few good factual entries, but rightly (it took a bit of pride swallowing to admit) removed (as original Works, not self promotion).

If you are self promoting, the entry will be wiped out. For instance, you cannot make a personal entry. Just because you as Joe_Blow include factual information, doesn't mean you are a "significant person" to be put in an encyclopedia.

Second, you may have a great theory for how the universe started or a unifying theory of all things. Unfortunately, if you are not published elsewhere first, and get some level of recognition, do not post it to Wikipedia. Instead, post it to Wikibooks or elsewhere. If you get some recognition, gain some sources that site you, then you can move it over to Wikipedia (provided you either A) present it entirely as NPOV or B) Segregate your opinion into one section, and provide another section and openly encourage others to present arguements against).

The original (and this current) seems like advertisement... still. This is info you find on the game's site, not Wikipedia. Is Wikipedia going to do an entry on games barely over a week after release now? Unless it has even some minor social impact, it should be deleted... and that's where my vote is going. Scrap it, and tell the BBC to go pay for its advertising on Google like everyone else. It got free press from /., so, good job for their PR team, now it's time for them to quit screwing around with the legitimacy of earnest sites like Wikipedia.

I've voting deletion.

Wow, posting it on the front page of /. (4, Funny)

deminisma (703135) | about 9 years ago | (#13319862)

That'll really teach those BBC punks!

Re:Wow, posting it on the front page of /. (2, Insightful)

Impeesa (763920) | about 9 years ago | (#13320086)

But of course. By posting it here before it makes the usual rounds, it will trigger the Slashdot reflex - though hordes will click the link, none will actually RTFA. Thus, the entire enormous Slashdot crowd will be aware of it, and won't bother clicking the link next time they see it, but they won't know what game or company it's for. There goes the marketing part of their viral marketing campaign. :D

Re:Wow, posting it on the front page of /. (3, Funny)

mshiltonj (220311) | about 9 years ago | (#13320113)

It's okay. It seems the target market of the game is "14-18 year old girls," and there are no 14-18 year old girls on slashdot.

Re:Wow, posting it on the front page of /. (1)

Altanar (56809) | about 9 years ago | (#13320175)

It seems the target market of the game is "14-18 year old girls," and there are no 14-18 year old girls on slashdot.
Or on Wikipedia for that matter.

Wikipedia will survive this (5, Insightful)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | about 9 years ago | (#13319865)

Please, Wikipedia is maintained by everyone. And not everyone is an advertiser. A few hours, maybe a few days and everything will be stable again.

A bit of sensationalist nonsense is all.

Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319895)

Thats all very well, but the article isn't about Wikipedia so much as the BBC. It was the Beeb that put up the fake article about a fake dead pop star.

It was also a BBC man (from their own network IP range) that put up the fake Boy*Up (?) article too. Although he says he acted alone and not on behalf of the BBC, what are the chances of a BBC man putting up an article connected to a fake BBC website coincidentally? Pretty slim.

Sure it and a few others were spotted pretty quickly, but the big story isn't the vandalism, its that the BBC did it.

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#13319911)

It was the Beeb that put up the fake article about a fake dead pop star. Its that the BBC did it.
A BBC employee did it. That's not the same thing as "The BBC" doing it, or the suggestion that it was BBC policy. (Do you really want to go back to the time where everyones email had "Not speaking for my employers" pasted into the signature)

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320107)

You're both wrong. The original article was not written by any BBC employee.

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320138)

" You're both wrong. The original article was not written by any BBC employee."

You don't know that for sure. All you know for sure is that one of the articles WAS written by a BBC man, and the small window timing suggest that the first one could well have been too. The BBC man knowingly wrote a fake article about a band that he must have known didn't exist.

Perhaps he should have his BBC Internet connection removed by the BBC, until after the Jamie Kane game has finished. If the BBC don't do that, then Wikipedia should do their standard policy of blocking known spamming networks and block the BBC.

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (4, Insightful)

SecretAsianMan (45389) | about 9 years ago | (#13320187)

A BBC employee did it. That's not the same thing as "The BBC" doing it

When you are an employee, during work hours, you are a representative of your employer. Your public actions will have some impact on the public image of your employer. It is the burden of the employer to hire employees whose actions will not damage the public image of the employer.

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320255)

Hey, everyone! Let's get drunk and naked and do some blow off a whore's back! And kill defenseless baby animals!

Shhhh, don't tell anyone I work for Microsoft.

Re:Yeh but it was the BBC corrupting it (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | about 9 years ago | (#13320288)

When you are an employee, during work hours, you are a representative of your employer. Your public actions will have some impact on the public image of your employer. It is the burden of the employer to hire employees whose actions will not damage the public image of the employer.

That's all well and good, and I agree with you about it, but it does not mean that a BBC employee's actions are automatically the BBC's actions as well.

If it turns out that this employee was doing this for fun rather than for work, the BBC's screw-up wasn't abusing Wikipedia, the BBC's screw-up was not keeping a tight enough leash on this person. Is different, it is.

BBC Policy Clarified (2, Informative)

ear1grey (697747) | about 9 years ago | (#13320220)

I contacted the BBC to ask for clarification on the events and received the unequivocal response [boakes.org] that:
the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool.

Re:Wikipedia will survive this (3, Funny)

Spacejock (727523) | about 9 years ago | (#13319950)

A bit of sensationalist nonsense is all.

What, here?

Re:Wikipedia will survive this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320163)

Has anyone read the "votes for deletion" pages for these articles?

They demonstrate, what I consider to be, an important problem that seems to affect Wikipedia (and I love the place myself): too much toleration of crap.

Now I'm not talking about poor writing or mistakes -- I'm talking about Wikipedia editors who are able to talk themselves into justifying any old shit as notable or important, or worth keeping.

Just look at the comments on the VfD page... *actual* fucking Wikipedia editors claiming that because of this fuss, the page/game is now notable. The pages should be summarily deleted on principle, not fucked about with, not tolerated and certainly not justified by idiot editors who are pathologically unable to delete anything because of some bizarre notion that everything should be included and able to perform mental gymnastics to justify it.

And just because some admin rewrote the page to use more acceptable punctuation and bigger words that are spelt correctly doesn't change the fundamental fact that these pages should be deleted -- but yet again, idiot sheep-like editors are suddenly changing their votes to "keep".

It's a wider problem on Wikipedia -- lots of people seem to think that Wikipedia should be a catalogue of everything, rather than an encyclopedia. Every shitty website with half-a-dozen users, every blogger, every Christian-rock singer with a website who sells 20 records a year, every tedious poet with a self-published book, every fucking wannabe artist who paints shitty self-portraits and claimed to be a psychic -- they all want and believe they should have articles, and there's almost always some idiot editors who'll defend them. In short, Wikipedia is collecting worthless cruft and trivia faster than there are clueful editors to manage it.

NO, it is NOT a viral Campaign (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319869)

WHAT are these "editors doing" ?!
on the linked boingboing-article:

Update: 5PM Sunday -- reader Mike Harris says,

        The article has now been totally rewritten by a user named Uncle G to factually report on the game.

The corresponding discussion page now includes mea culpas from persons responsible for two of the bogus entries. One of them, "Jon_Hawk," identifies himself as someone unaffiliated with the BBC who just digs the game.

        Please do not use my edits to slander the BBC. If this were part of a viral campaign, the grammar of the article would almost certainly be better. I suspect the article would have been created at the same time as the game started also. Jamie Kane was mentioned on several blogs on Friday - did not one of you consider it was created by someone who reads such things? I'm nothing more than a student. I'm sincerely apologetic for purposefully omitting the true nature of Jamie Kane.

But the other, "MattC," identifies himself as a BBC employee:

        I created the Boy*D_Upp page from inside the BBC network on Friday evening after stumbling across the Jamie Kane entry linked from the Pop Justice forums. My action was in no way part of an orchestrated marketing campaign on behalf of the Jamie Kane project team nor was it intended for my page to be attributed to the BBC, which has been implied. It was nothing more than common garden vandalism for which I am sorry.

Re:NO, it is NOT a viral Campaign (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319985)

It was nothing more than common garden vandalism for which I am sorry.

So it was you who trashed the Blue Peter garden, you unspeakable bounder.

Re:NO, it is NOT a viral Campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320038)

"I created the Boy*D_Upp page from inside the BBC network on Friday evening after stumbling across the Jamie Kane entry linked from the Pop Justice forums. My action was in no way part of an orchestrated marketing campaign on behalf of the Jamie Kane project team nor was it intended for my page to be attributed to the BBC, which has been implied. It was nothing more than common garden vandalism for which I am sorry."

That's simply not plausible, in the 6 hours between the article appearing and being flagged as fake a BBC employee puts up an article about a band that does not exist, except on a fake BBC game page?
No, why would he create an article about something he either knows nothing about (because it didn't happen= or he knows is fake.

More likely we are in butt covering mode to distance the BBC from the actions of some producer.

Re:NO, it is NOT a viral Campaign (2, Interesting)

alfboggis (528706) | about 9 years ago | (#13320125)

I had a look at the original page [wikipedia.org] and decided this all smells a bit fishy...

Jon_Hawk doesn't explicitly say he is unaffiliated with the BBC, in fact the only provable claim he makes is that he is a student. Big deal, like many companies, the BBC employ students.

Even if this isn't a case of viral marketing, I am sure it must happen, as of the BoingBoing correspondents says: I do work at a company that uses Wikipedia as a key part of online marketing strategies...

Re:NO, it is NOT a viral Campaign (1)

Metostopholes (592245) | about 9 years ago | (#13320164)

There's also another post [boingboing.net] with a BBC email saying that it wasn't from anyone on the group working on the game.

You've got to be f'ing kidding me. (1)

kokoloko (836827) | about 9 years ago | (#13320289)

If this were part of a viral campaign, the grammar of the article would almost certainly be better.

Yes, if there is any group that helps to promote the use of proper English above all else, it is advertisers.

Hmm very interesting story, deserves some thought (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319874)

I'm a big fan of the BBC and public broadcasting in general, but I think they've crossed a line here.

This guy should be ass raped with a chain saw and then fried.

Only a pathetic little pleb globalist left leaning Zionist fag shit bad would be fan of "the BBC and public broadcasting in general". What a piece of shit. Fuck you faggot piss face lapping up government propaganda and "oooooh so unbiased" small dick.

Take your nazi communist BBC North Korea state broadcasting and SHOVE IT.

ps did I say faggot.

pps. TACO you are mincing little fatty. I poke your fat man boobs until you cry

ppps. slashdot sucks

Re:Hmm very interesting story, deserves some thoug (1)

Spad (470073) | about 9 years ago | (#13319978)

So, not a fan then?

Re:Hmm very interesting story, deserves some thoug (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320155)

Look, we won't tell you again. Move out of your fucking house, the Gaza Strip is closed to Jews now!

Re:Hmm very interesting story, deserves some thoug (1)

wizzdude (755000) | about 9 years ago | (#13320297)

Wow. That was passionate. Confusing, slightly self-contradicting and quite frankly plain rude but passionate all the same.

I wonder what makes you feel this way? Please explain your obviously reasoned arguments behind such comments.

And on slashdot (0)

AlistairGroves (546420) | about 9 years ago | (#13319876)

Thanks to this article it's now advertised here as well...

Re:And on slashdot (5, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 9 years ago | (#13319881)

Yes !

Viral marketing at its very best. Well done, folks.

Duh (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#13319878)

Happens all the time, and has done to a greater or lesser extent since 2001.

It'll be clear in about a week, which is how long wikipedia's processes (and there are plenty of applicable processes) tend to take.

Nothing to see here...

And in other news (5, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 9 years ago | (#13319883)

Online news and discussion forum 'Slashdot' has apparently been used in an almost cleverly self-referential viral marketting ploy.

Wikipedia is working as intended (5, Insightful)

Jarnis (266190) | about 9 years ago | (#13319884)

Why are people overreacting?

Wikipedia is Working as Intended(tm) - someone posts a bullshit viral marketing article, and it gets edited to be a proper article about the game.

Anyone can put bullshit to Wikipedia. Anyone can edit said bullshit. Anyone repeatedly abusing their ability to post or edit will see their ability to do so removed - by their peers. Ultimate peer review system. End result is usually positive - like in this case.

It's pointless to get worked over a 'bogus' Wikipedia entry. Wait 48 hours and look at it again, and most likely the wheels have turned and it's either nuked or edited.

Re:Wikipedia is working as intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319972)

How is their ability to edit removed? You can do so anonymously, so if you have a dynamic IP address, nothing can be done to stop you.

Re:Wikipedia is working as intended (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | about 9 years ago | (#13320025)

IP addresses and IP address ranges can be banned, for periods of time. Of course it's hardly watertight and unfortunately a few people do abuse Wikipedia. Luckily it is clear that the vast majority of people editing Wikipedia are well-intentioned.

Rich.

OK EVERYBODY!!!! SHHHHHHHHHH (0, Offtopic)

phobos13013 (813040) | about 9 years ago | (#13319885)

Just nobody reply and we will teach them a lesson not to use /. as a marketing ploy EITHER!!! Yes, so nobody reply, except me, and all those first posters that already beat me and those that might have had something important to say, like those insightful young late night cyberpunks who saw through this ruse, and anybody else who might have something informative to add to this particular post. But yea, everybody else, DONT REPLY!

wikipedia problem (4, Interesting)

slashdotnickname (882178) | about 9 years ago | (#13319893)

Not to gang up on wikipedia but as anyone else spent time doing random page jumps? I was surprised how many self-serving pages are out there, often looking like resumes for people of seemingly little fame or encyclopedic value... not to mention the suspiciously POV pages authored mainly by one author.

Seems like there's a larger problem out there that wikipedia needs to address. Certain aspects of human nature (coupled with the security of relative anonimity) are going to be tough to filter out from such an open project like theirs.

Re:wikipedia problem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319990)

I Agree. People doesn't realize that, if you want something good, you have to pay for it. Be it an encyclopedia, Operating system or whatever.
They don't see the quality loss because it's free.

Re:wikipedia problem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320124)

You make the argument that wikipedia is filled with self-serving pages which to some extent, I will concede is true, but you have failed to describe why this is wrong. Their existence hurts nothing. If you looked them up, then they must be of at least some importance.

In addition I take cause with your phrase of "an open project like theirs". As an open project it is ours. If you find a page that you feel has a problem, edit it. If you find a page that doesn't cover both sides of an issue add your side to it.

Re:wikipedia problem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320166)

Not to gang up on wikipedia but as anyone else spent time doing random page jumps? I was surprised how many self-serving pages are out there, often looking like resumes for people of seemingly little fame or encyclopedic value... not to mention the suspiciously POV pages authored mainly by one author.

Yeah, it's either insignificant artists trying to talk themselves up, or towns with populations of 109 clogging up the random search. Very annoying.

Re:wikipedia problem (1, Interesting)

TACD (514008) | about 9 years ago | (#13320178)

So, did you edit those pages appropriately or mark them for deletion? Even a minor alteration bumps it onto the 'recently changed' page, where many others are likely to notice it and finish up whatever needs doing.

If everybody who noticed these small problems put a similarly small amount of effort into fixing them, Wikipedia would be many times better than it already is.

It's No Longer "Fake" (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 9 years ago | (#13319898)

Just so we're clear here, by the time the article was posted on Slashdot, it was corrected as to be a proper writeup on the game itself, instead of being a false article based on the game. You can see the original viral entry [wikipedia.org] from the article's history however if you want to see what the initial fuss was about.

Re:It's No Longer "Fake" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320083)

It's a nice example of Wikipedia at work actually:
  • 2005-08-12 14:26 -- First revision
  • 2005-08-12 21:25 -- Flaged as potentially incorrect
  • 2005-08-13 09:58 -- Note about beeing part of a game
  • 2005-08-14 06:26 -- 'fictional' incorporated into article
  • 2005-08-14 08:10 -- Article is being considered for deletion
  • 2005-08-14 23:22 -- Overhauled

Their Name will be Bukkake (1, Insightful)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13319902)

Although what the BBC has done seems calculating and self-interested, it doens't seem so unlike the folks that fill up the Wikipedia with the Star wars entries about every single character under the sun(s), and not just the coolest ones [wikipedia.org] .

And now that I think of it, perhaps the Star Wars money-machine has paid fanboys (or fed them info) so that they could go out and write up that stuff. I know I spent hours poring over it.

Regardless, by the time this is over, I think the BBC's name will be "bukkake". Not "mud" -- "Bukkake". For more info on the term, I refer you to the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Their Name will be Bukkake (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319983)

Wow. a informal article about bukkake. All bow for the mighty wikipedia!

Re:Their Name will be Bukkake (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 9 years ago | (#13320148)

StarWars? Heck, there are entries for every single of Digimon.

Re:Their Name will be Bukkake (1)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13320169)

Are they as awful as this? [wikipedia.org]

Move the /. think to wikipedia (1, Insightful)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 years ago | (#13319906)

Note the talk page:
"Crappy marketing. Get rid. --4bnormaldotcom 10:01, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
Viral marketing, delete --MisterBijou 14:05, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
Delete. Shame on the BBC. --Uttaddmb 15:17, 14 August 2005 (UTC)"

Note the group think. jsut like slashdot: there is only one thruth, and spam is not one of them. But note that this article can be merged into a fine description of the game. Deletion should not be part of this. (redirect: fine: delete why?

Re:Move the /. think to wikipedia (1)

arose (644256) | about 9 years ago | (#13320090)

Note that it was rewriten after those comments and wasn't very useful before that.

Re:Move the /. think to wikipedia (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 years ago | (#13320193)

Yes, i did note. I do also note taCo does not point to the orignal article, and that if this article survives /. it will not be deleted.

The way of the world (2, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | about 9 years ago | (#13319907)

This is not the least bit surprising.

Every time a new technology or a new way of doing something appears, someone else figures out a way to possibly abuse it and make a buck with it. That's how the world operates.

Re:The way of the world (4, Insightful)

munpfazy (694689) | about 9 years ago | (#13320040)

>Every time a new technology or a new way of doing something
>appears, someone else figures out a way to possibly abuse it and
>make a buck with it. That's how the world operates.

Usually, I'd agree with you.

But this seems to be the exception, in two ways.

The first (and less interesting) is that it wasn't actually an organized marketing ploy at all, assuming the two posters are to be believed. (It would certainly seems rather un-BBC-like if it were, and news if only for that reason.)

But, what's really interesting is that it failed. Unlike virtually every other medium out there where marketing agreements and dinner party handshaks force thinly disguised adverts on the audience, here's a case where an information delivery system proved so robust that within days it annihilated even a barely visible and seemingly harmless attempt at marketing.

In a world where television journalists hawk movies and products, newspapers add bylines to industry press-releases and ink them without so much as a word change, and public radio hosts are forced to recite advertising copy, it's incredible to find a forum which not only avoids active advertising deals but ruthlessly attacks at the first sign of marketing infiltration.

Score one for wikipedia.

Sure it was the BBC? (4, Informative)

orzetto (545509) | about 9 years ago | (#13319913)

Looking at the page history [wikipedia.org] , one finds that the original author is a certain Jon Hawk [wikipedia.org] , who claims not to be a BBC employee [wikipedia.org] , and with quite a few spelling mistakes too. He has also a few other contributions to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , so maybe this page is all work of a fan and not of the BBC.

However, it is true that this page [wikipedia.org] (in the history of related article Boyd*Upp) was written [wikipedia.org] by someone operating out of IP 132.185.240.121, corresponding to webgw1.thls.bbc.co.uk.

Marketing people twisting facts? (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 years ago | (#13319914)

Really????
I can't believe it!

Original post on Wikipedia (4, Informative)

Anakron (899671) | about 9 years ago | (#13319920)

The original article didn't mention that it referred to a fictional character. For those who missed it, here's the original text:

James Kenton Kane (born 22 October [wikipedia.org] 1982 [wikipedia.org] - 2005 [wikipedia.org] ) better known as Jamie Kane was a British [wikipedia.org] pop musician [wikipedia.org] and was a member of boyband [wikipedia.org] Boy*d Upp [wikipedia.org] .

After the band split up, Kane launch a mildy successful solo career. He appeard on the covers of Top Of The Pops [wikipedia.org] magazine and NME [wikipedia.org] .

Kane was the subject of several scandals in his last year.

Kane died in a helicopter crash of the coast of the Netherlands [wikipedia.org] .

External links

Official site [jamiekane.co.uk]
Fan site www.jamierules.co.uk [jamierules.co.uk]

Re:Original post on Wikipedia (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 9 years ago | (#13320139)

Yeah, and the fact that the date of death is only given as this year doesn't tip anyone off. And how would one get to the page in the first place, unless one knows about who Jamie Kane "is" in the first place?

Being a regular "Random article"-er, I come about much more annoying pages than this, like pages about local bands only a houndred people ever heard of, or stuff like Lynn Deerfield was an ex-wife of former WABC-TV anchorman Bill Beutel. [wikipedia.org] Yup, that's the whole article, not even a single wiki-link. Or stuff that is just plain, non-viral marketing.

Hell, vandalisations to some wikis last longer than this article is old, yet people go all ballistic over what is not (much) more than the product of an over-enthusiastic fan.

It works. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319923)

This crap should have been deleted *silently*.

What came first the news or the story (1)

zenst (558964) | about 9 years ago | (#13319926)

Its all chicken and egg and frankly totaly waste of time reading this article as its the kinda stuff people who have nothing better to do write to generate a hey look at me type effect.

What came first the chicken or the egg, frankly I dont care as I eat them both and thats all I care about.

OMG he soo wrote about that befoe it happened he must be a viral marketing peoon, that nostradamis dude ja soooo viral man :D.

No news is bad news (3, Interesting)

djkitsch (576853) | about 9 years ago | (#13319928)

I'm sure it's occurred to many other Slashdotters, but this is probablly the best kind of press Wikipedia can get.

This, along with the London bombing coverage [wikinews.org] in Wikinews [wikinews.org] last month, is an excellent example of the power and self-healing of MediaWiki sites.

You can rant and rave about misuse, and I agree, but this is evidence in favour when the critics talk about how a community-edited encyclopedia can never be a reliable information resource.

Re:No news is bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13319973)

this is evidence in favour when the critics talk about how a community-edited encyclopedia can never be a reliable information resource.

Er ... yeah, right. This is a high-profile case, and you can still not get a straight answer from the horse's mouth (the article currently reads "bullshit" - yay!)

But how many low-profile cases of this nature are hidden on the pedia? How much misinformation does it contain?

The answer is: nobody knows.

That may be your idea of a "reliable information source" but it is not mine.

Re:No news is bad news (4, Interesting)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#13320006)

It also highlights some of the problems with community-edited encyclopedias. First, if you look at the article history [wikipedia.org] , you'll see that it's been edited something like five hundred times in the course of the past three days, vandalised in many cases (I wonder if the last ones were due to the Slashdotting?). Secondly, he overwhelming reaction of the community to the creation of such an entry about a fictional character seems to be "Delete! Delete!" which is really stupid (it's a lot wiser IMO to keep it in its current state, noting the controversy over the creation of the entry).

These two problems are really just different sides of the same coin: the first reactions to practically any news will be irrational. On news sites that allow the users comment on the news, there'll always be a billion people screaming bloody murder over anything, instead of giving it a couple of moments' thought. And the reactions to negative news are always the same: throw them to jail! Banish! Destroy! The same thing happened with this Wikipedia entry. Someone read about it on Slashdot and quickly vandalised it, thinking (well, not really thinking) that they'd be doing the community a favour by this. Of course the entry was restored just as quickly, but this doesn't make the problem -- that people do not realise that there are other ways of dealing with problematic things than just "shooting" them -- disappear.

Re:No news is bad news (1)

arose (644256) | about 9 years ago | (#13320101)

IMHO it does the oposite. As I see it the article underwent rapid editing in an atempt to make it factual and NPOV, and was completely rewriten to bring it to it's current state (the 'delete' comments are before that, it wouldn't have been a big loss). Both obvious atempts at vandalism have been undone under 2 minutes.

Slashdot used for `Apparent` viral news ploy (1)

zenst (558964) | about 9 years ago | (#13319933)

Technicaly this subject shoudl appear on the BBC site to help circular promote this digital rubbish.

Wikipedia truth and fiction (4, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | about 9 years ago | (#13319934)

Wikipedia says all over it that anyone can edit and that it is not a "reliable" source, so this is not a big deal.

I see the larger problem with Wikipedia in that it is run by a millionaire, Jimbo Wales, who has said he manages it according to the philosophy of Ludwig von Mises. And the powers-that-be who have a hand in shaping rules, what content gets in, which users get banned, follow on some level from this.

While anyone can contribute, in a democratic fashion, there is a counter-force to this, in the same manner that the US is a democratic republic, with a counterforce of an authoritarian financial hierarchy, with landlords and tenants, moneylenders and debtors, company owners and workers. In the same manner, while anyone can contribute to Wikipedia, the "cabal" as they themselves mockingly call it, headed by Jimbo Wales, and with his various lieutenants in Arbcom (the Arbitration Committee), on the Mediation Committee, as bureaucrats, as admins, exercises a great deal of change over things, and points in the direction things will go.

There is a project on Wikipedia whose premise is that the English Wikipedia users are mostly from England and its former colonies and they have a certain view of the world. Plus demographically the users are generally people like me, white male professionals from the US and whatnot. Wikipedia says it is "neutral point of view" on topics like Palestine and Israel, the US vs. the USSR and that sort of thing, but that's BS. But anyhow the "counetring systematic bias" project mainly works on things by spending time writing articles about stuff most white male professionals from the US don't spend much time thinking about, like culture in Burundi and stuff like that.

Wikipedia does very well in it's top categories of mathematics and science, because most everyone is on the same page about these things. Wikipedia completely falls apart in terms of neutrality with things like the John Kerry and George W. Bush pages. They are not neutral. And it has not gotten better, and I am not Panglossian about the worsening situation, unlike the Wikipedia core group. It is obvious to me that the main categories that experience massive edit wars and fights like history and society, will eventually break off into different wikis. The most hardcore John Kerry people will go to one of the wikis, the most hardcore Bush people will go to another wiki. Then these groups might draw more people. This has already happened to some extent. And I tell people - don't bang your head against a brick wall. See how these things will not work out for you on Wikipedia, then go check out a wiki encyclopedia run by either a conservative (wikinfo [wikinfo.org] ) or by liberals (dkosopedia [dkosopedia.com] or Demopedia [democratic...ground.com] ). And if all you're interested in is looking up articles on Wikipedia in quantum mechanics [wikipedia.org] - well then, you'll probably be happy with Wikipedia. And I'm sure all the non-political people would love to see all the fanatic Air America listeners and Fox News watchers leave (actually that's being mild, communists and fascists are the real ends of the extremes that exist on Wikipedia).

Re:Wikipedia truth and fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320131)

You accurately identify some serious flaws, but it gets worse.

Wikipedia has a ridiculous Zionist agenda that has become more intense and twisted as time has gone on. Some articles are so colored by this slant that they start to bend reality and rewrite history.

There are serious problems with Wikipedia. It's a great idea but it just can't deliver thanks to the blinkered, zionist attitude of those who moderate, edit and of course unfortunately run it.

Re:Wikipedia truth and fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320191)

What percentage of articles reflect this "blinkered, zionist attitude"? I think if you include all 10 articles on Palestine, about nil.

Bias (3, Insightful)

Stalyn (662) | about 9 years ago | (#13320132)

Wikipedia has bias but what human institution doesn't? At least with Wikipedia we can see it at such a large scale one could actually examine it in great detail ( dissertation perhaps ). Anyway my point is the key is not to eliminate bias ( which might be impossible ) but to recognize it. I think Wikipedia teaches us all that lesson.

Re:Wikipedia truth and fiction (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | about 9 years ago | (#13320152)

Wikipedia does very well in it's top categories of mathematics and science, because most everyone is on the same page about these things.

sure. [wikipedia.org]

Nice (2, Interesting)

Icephreak1 (267199) | about 9 years ago | (#13319940)

Well shit, now that the Wikipedia entry has been Slashdotted, I bet the game's producers are beyond giddy. Perhaps the game's producers submitted this Slashdot story to begin with.

- IP

Re:Nice (1)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#13320046)

now that the Wikipedia entry has been Slashdotted,
Yeah, that's likely to happen, what with Wikipedia having more traffic than slashdot [alexa.com]

Re:Nice (2, Funny)

RidiculousPie (774439) | about 9 years ago | (#13320080)

However, the article is linked on the front page of slashdot, but it is only one of many pages in wikipedia.

"Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that."

Why (3, Interesting)

smallguy78 (775828) | about 9 years ago | (#13319948)

If it's an 'online alternate reality game' what benefit would there be to the BBC, in having a viral marketing campaign? There's no advertising revenue gained from attracted a lot of new (mostly nerds) to their website.

Re:Why (1)

BenjyD (316700) | about 9 years ago | (#13319993)

The BBC still has to justify its existence and funding to government and to the public, who pay for it. Viewing figures and page impressions give them evidence that their output is still worthwhile.

Re:Why (1)

STrinity (723872) | about 9 years ago | (#13320074)

ARGs are advertising.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320140)

ARGS are not advertising. ARGS are, as the G stands for, Games. The BBC is trying out a new form of entertainment - it already does TV, Drama, Films, a great website. (and remember, BBC is funded by government and TV licences)

Whilst it is true that some ARGs that have been done have been funded by companies - they can be compared with a company supporting a sports match - they benefit by positive press from playing the game.

Teaching them a lesson (4, Insightful)

blyloveranger (525451) | about 9 years ago | (#13319951)

I think my favorite part of the article is when someone says:

.I've marked the Boy*d Upp and Jamie Kane articles on Wikipedia for deletion. Hopefully this will teach people that Wikipedia isnt the place for viral marketing.

Since I can only imagine how many more people have seen the wikipedia page and heard about the game, after people started making a big deal about it and writing articles about it. I can only imagine what all viral advertizing firms are thinking. Damn, well I guess we can't use wikipedia to try to gain recognition for our product, because if someone notices, our pages will get slashdotted then no one will be able to view them, because too many people will be viewing our product... Oh, wait...

Despite that, I am still not sure what the big deal was in the first place. It was just good fun, and didn't really harm anyone. What is wrong with a wikipedia page about a fake artist, as far as some people are concerned (see earlier slashdot article about mmorpg) there actually is/will be no difference between reality and what is found on the internet, so in those terms the BBC is actually ahead of the game.

OMG (3, Funny)

Michael_Munks (869444) | about 9 years ago | (#13319958)

It's infected slashdot.

Oh the shame (1)

squoozer (730327) | about 9 years ago | (#13319991)

What has happend to /.. We can't even cause a slow down on a little site like wikipedia any more and worse they they are rubbing our noses in it with the little post at the bottom of the article. We must fight back. Hordes, click those links. Leave those servers a smoking pile of twisted metal.

Wikipedia page history (5, Interesting)

citizenc (60589) | about 9 years ago | (#13320002)

It's interesting to start at the original entry [wikipedia.org] and then progress through the various versions. You can really see the Wiki editorial process at work.

It was caught in 7 hours (5, Insightful)

citizenc (60589) | about 9 years ago | (#13320008)

Seriously. The article was caught, according to Wikipedia's timestamps, within 7 hours:

14:26, 12 August 2005 [wikipedia.org]
21:25, 12 August 2005 [wikipedia.org] - "The factual accuracy of this article is disputed."

Isn't this EXACTLY how Wikipedia was designed to operate? ;-)

Change indicator (3, Interesting)

Frans Faase (648933) | about 9 years ago | (#13320049)

Wikipedia should introduce a "change indicator" that uses background colours to indicate which parts of the text of an article have been modified (deleted) in the past ten days.

Should Jamie Kane be treated like Lightsabers? (1)

ace_brickman (883858) | about 9 years ago | (#13320059)

I'm assuming you all have seen this [howstuffworks.com] [www.howstuffworks.com] already, but may I use it now as a point in the discussion at hand? Would it now be considered viral marketing on Lucasfilm's part to place a lightsaber how-to in an otherwise factually sound encyclopediac (sp?) site, or yet just another clever application of geek humor? Should our feelings on this Wiki entry == feelings about the HSW article?


--btw, I am a StarWars fan, and would love to get my hands on some Diatium power cells if given the chance!

The myth of consensus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13320079)

is that it can't be gamed. Google and the other search engines which try to use some sort of consensus criteria (# links, etc...) to determine page rankings have found this not to be true. There is an ongoing and unresolved battle between the search engines and spammers on this. Wikepia is no different. It just hasn't been hit by spammers that hard yet.

It's obvious! (2, Funny)

dancallaghan (890674) | about 9 years ago | (#13320091)

... that the fan site [jamiekane.co.uk] is fake, because it doesn't look like my 12-year-old sister made it using 1997-vintage Geocities Page Builder (cf a lot of other fan sites out there).

Re:It's obvious! (1)

dancallaghan (890674) | about 9 years ago | (#13320097)

OMG so there is a reason it says "check those URLs!" (the fan site is here [jamierules.co.uk] )

If you want to advertise your business... (2, Informative)

wikinerd (809585) | about 9 years ago | (#13320100)

...you are free to come to my wiki JnanaBase [jnanabase.org] which has only one policy: You are free to do whatever you want within the minimum possible legal and decency limitations. The goal of the project is to document all information that exists in the universe, thus creating a copy of our brain (we will later organise and manage all that information with some special software [wikinerds.org] we develop). Yes, you can write an article about your business or even a biography for your dog, as long as the information is useful and accurate. We created this project as an alternative to Wikipedia because we believe that there should be no limits in information.

Troll Tuesday came early this week! (1)

richie2000 (159732) | about 9 years ago | (#13320102)

Sad news ... Jamie Kane, dead at 23

I just heard some sad news on a news podcast - boy band singer Jamie Kane was found dead in a helicopter off the Dutch coast this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a British icon.

Linking to Wikipedia (4, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 9 years ago | (#13320134)

When submitting a Slashdot story, please consider linking to a specific page revision (from the History page), rather than to the normal article link. This way, Slashdotters visiting the site need not be subjected to pages full of pictures of penises. This article was only vandalised three times today, and none were terribly obscene, but it's happened in the past and reducing the impact of trollish behaviour should in turn reduce such behaviour.

This is not official Wikipedia policy, just a suggestion from a Slashdotter and a Wikipedian.

Move along, nothing to see. (1)

dustrider (797233) | about 9 years ago | (#13320150)

Seems like there's been an official denial by the BBC, over at BoingBoing.

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/08/15/bbc_wikipedia _is_not.html [boingboing.net]

I think everyone agrees that information should be kept as clean as possible and that something as helpfull and so obviously in everyones best interest as wikipedia should be kept free of commercialism, thankfully, the BBC tend to agree too:

From BoingBoing:
"Just to confirm, the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool. The first posting was simply a case of a fan of the game getting into the spirit of alternative reality a little too much. The follow up posting was made by a fan of the game who happens to work for the BBC and was made without the knowledge of anyone in the Jamie Kane Team or BBC Marketing."

Update: No its not (4, Informative)

AceJohnny (253840) | about 9 years ago | (#13320172)

Extra Extra! Read all about it! [boingboing.net]

Actually, it seems to be more of a case of fanbase going wild. From the article:

I'm Rob, the Senior Producer on the Jamie Kane game. A couple of people have emailed the BBC asking for an official response to the Jamie Kane/Wikipedia thing. If you guys still have space for it, would you mind adding in the following, as there seems to be some confusion:

"Just to confirm, the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool. The first posting was simply a case of a fan of the game getting into the spirit of alternative reality a little too much. The follow up posting was made by a fan of the game who happens to work for the BBC and was made without the knowledge of anyone in the Jamie Kane Team or BBC Marketing."

wikipedia archive (1, Funny)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | about 9 years ago | (#13320174)

this thread points out the need for a wiki archive; on historical/scholarship grounds this aritcle should not be deleted into nothing, but deleted into the archive - or am i unaware of, say, the wiki snapshot, that takes asnapshot of thew ikipedia every 15 minutes..

Re:wikipedia archive (2, Informative)

wikinerd (809585) | about 9 years ago | (#13320197)

I usually copy the most interested deleted Wikipedia entries to my wiki [jnanabase.org] , but I think Wikipedia is already archived automatically by many sites around the world, including the Internet Archive [archive.org] .
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