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ESA, EA Caught Editing Their Own Wikipedia Entries

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-no-no dept.

The Internet 86

With the whitewashing of Wikipedia now an easily-reviewable record, it's been noted that games-related organizations are not above tweaking their public image online. Joystiq notes that EA, for example, is unabashed about removing founder Trip Hawkins from their entry. More ominous edits from the Entertainment Software Association are reported by GamePolitics. The organization, which you may recall backing the recent raids on mod chippers, has made a concerted effort to cast mod chips in a negative light. " In one paragraph, someone at ESA deleted a nuanced discussion of mod chip legality, replacing it with a flat assertion that mod chips are illegal. Less than a minute later, a lengthy section on the positive uses of mod chips was deleted, as was a notation that the US Supreme Court has not yet dealt with the DMCA. Finally, a sentence stating that mod chips are legal in Australia was removed."

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As an Australian... (1)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301405)

...I thought that we were now subject to any anti-modchipping clauses that might be present in the DMCA?

Re:As an Australian... (2, Insightful)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301427)

Not that I'm in any way in favour of the act, of course. I think any device you own should be able to be modified in any way you see fit.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301439)

You mean because we're the unofficial 51st state of the US?

Or were you just after first post?

Re:As an Australian... (3, Funny)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301561)

54th. England is 51, Saudi Arabia is 52, Iraq is 53.

Re:As an Australian... (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301609)

Australia has been the US's bitch for much longer than any of those three.

Re:As an Australian... (5, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301753)

I say we should be promoted to 50th, ahead of New Jersey (which according to our American-saturated television stations, nobody likes)

Re:As an Australian... (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302453)

New Jersey (which according to our American-saturated television stations, nobody likes)

That's not true. We love New Jersey.

    -- The TWAA

-

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301915)

Puerto Rico is 51 you insensitive clod.

Re:As an Australian... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302559)

England is the 0th state... :)

Re:As an Australian... (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302207)

No, because the Australia - USA Free Trade Agreement brought in DMCA style anti-circumvention measures, as well as a bunch of other less than savoury copyright changes.
Bizarrely enough, the same bill also made format shifting absolutely legal.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302405)

No, genuinely interested. Modchipping old XBOXen has become de riguer as a media centre machine for cash-strapped student organisations that run screenings of various materials.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20318281)

So you show copyrighted material in front of an audience without a written permission from the copyright holders. That is illegal. ("screenings of various materials", yeah, like, only public domain and self-made? I'm so believing you.)

Re:As an Australian... (1)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20323049)

No, not correct. Because I was covering a variety of different organisations, I was trying to locate a generic enough term. Of course I can't speak for all university or student societies in Australia, but I can can tell you that the UTas Anime Society obtains written permission to screen all material before we do. We have an excellent relationship with our local distributors and copyright holders. They're very forward-thinking and only too happy to increase their audience base.

Heck, they're even cool enough to ship us free stuff for competitions and the like.

Americans are Der Juden (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301473)

Every American death is a victory for the Democrats

Re:Americans are Der Juden (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302647)

Every American death is a victory for the Democrats

Or at least a new registered Democratic voter.

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301931)

As an Australian, it is legal to use modchips in Australia, so long as the modchip is capable of bypassing region coding present on the host device (no, IANAL). I'm glad I installed my boyfriend's Wii chip when I did, because the modchip raids shutdown my source a day later!

Curiously, the cypher is 'rooted'. I'll bet the /. admins use a list of words that are likely to be appropriate to article content. Given Slashdot fare, I expect 'rooted', 'travesty', 'dishonest' and 'damnedrightwingfascists' to all be on the list.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

bakana (918482) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302149)

I personally do not give a fuck if some organization wants to spend its time in a wikiwar with people whom are anal about maintaining their beloved wiki. The action goes something like this: They erase something, someone puts it back, they erase something, someone puts it back, etc etc etc. Doesn't affect me in any way.

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311829)

It was reported that this would be the case, as a requirement of the Free Trade Agreement in '06.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/games/new-laws-target-m odchip-users/2006/09/14/1157827083369.html [smh.com.au]
Initially I read about it on here, but can't seem to find the article anymore.

I'm not really sure where it went from there, but this article seems to suggest that it's not holding up so well, at least in some cases.
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/06/ 1211211 [slashdot.org]

Re:As an Australian... (1)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312287)

That would probably be due to the differences in legal systems between the two countries. Litigation here is generally a last recourse, not a first, and having more money is no guarantee that you'll win.

We also have a proud tradition of the judiciary overturning legislation, or neutering it in execution.

I hope there's a wiki page (4, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301533)

listing all the individuals, organizations, and businesses who are caught doing this. The name of the individuals, along with whom they represent should be posted clearly on a wiki page.

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301671)

So you want to list the names of people caught unscrupulously modifying wiki pages on a wiki page?

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (1)

CypherOz (570528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301701)

So what? Revert!
The point is that *anyone* can edit. Companies who do this will just get bad publicity - they will lose. The system will self heal. The joys of a community based technology.

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (1)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302681)

That would be a very long list. Maybe you could get Sisyphus to maintain it. I hear he's getting tired of that rock and bird routine.

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (2, Informative)

5E-0W2 (767094) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303645)

The bird is Prometheus, Sisyphus is the one rolling the boulder up the hill (and Tantalus was the one with the pool of water and the grapes).

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302727)

There is, but all the people that get caught keep removing themselves from the page!

so what? (3, Insightful)

Geoff-with-a-G (762688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20307147)

Why should someone try to list this? Who cares, and why?

Of course people from various companies or organizations edit the Wikipedia entries for those organizations. They're likely to be more knowledgeable and more interested in the subject matter than the average contributor. That's normal.

If someone created a Wikipedia page about me, and claimed that I cheated on a Geology paper at Harvard, I would probably edit the page and remove it - seeing as how I never went to Harvard or took Geology. Are you telling me that's unfair or unethical of me? That I should wait patiently for someone else knowledgeable and motivated to go make that correction for me? That principle seems absurd to me.

If the edits they make are untrue, if they're trying to give a falsely positive impression of themselves, then fix it. Correct it. Revert it. The fact that they want to do so is neither surprising nor any worse than if some random third party wanted to post falsely positive (or negative) information about the organization in question. If I'm some random crazy jerk and I decide to vandalize Linus Torvalds' entry to say terrible things about him, how is that better than if he himself edited it to say untrue but positive things about himself? Either way it's just someone posting false information to Wikipedia, and either way you should just correct it to the best of your ability and move on.

There shouldn't be some sort of blanket principle or policy that an organization can't update its own Wikipedia page. I'd imagine there are IBM employees who know more about IBM than you do. I'd expect there are EA employees who know a lot about EA. They should be free to contribute that knowledge. If they're lying, correct their lies like you would anyone else's.

Re:so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20320861)

Are you telling me that's unfair or unethical of me?

People are highly discouraged [wikipedia.org] from editing articles about themselves and there appear to be several procedures in place to deal with raising issues about your own article.
So why are corporations given a clean-sweep of things?

Re:I hope there's a wiki page (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20310087)

should be posted clearly

Well, if anyone wants to do so, it's easily done. Ergo, if a company wants to sneak around, it can quickly gain bad publicity. However, any company can also find itself discussed in an undeservedly positive or negative way due to the public nature of Wikipedia.

Perhaps Wikipedia entries should have some reserved space that companies can use to make statements. Then we can really judge.

Change it back? (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301595)

Now that we've caught these people exploiting the part of wikipedia that NO ONE should exploit simply because it undermines the very principle of this community-based system, who will change these entries back? WILL these entries be changed back?

It seems kind of limp to blow the horn on them but not remove the erroneous edits they made. Even if this information is subjective, if a company edits this info to benefit said company, that doesn't seem fair. As a slave/consumer in this country, it makes me cringe every time a large corporation gets away with this kind of bullshit. When is enough, enough?

Re:Change it back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301755)

Yes.

Re:Change it back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20301969)

I KNEW I was on to something...

Re:Change it back? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302087)

Generally speaking, with regards to consumer abusive corporations, immediately after a successful class action law suit ;). So come on you blood sucking sharks, here is an excellent opportunity to stick to a whole bunch of corporations for vandalising a community based system ;).

Re:Change it back? (5, Informative)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302191)

Of course they were changed back. The whole point of this article is that people found out and weren't pleased with the disinformation being spread. Would they then allow those edits to remain? Besides, I've been checking, and I've found that yes, the redacted information has been restored. So don't worry. :)

Re:Change it back? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302231)

As far as I can tell, at least some of the edits were reverted within minutes of being made, anyway.

Fairness? Depends on which party you are. (-1, Troll)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302259)

Some of the comments in the previous story bear all the marks of being grudges. It amazes me how people justify one entry and then can completely dismiss another. Your self description makes you one person I would not want to edit ANYTHING. You portrayed yourself as a victim and branded corporations as your oppressor. I mean, get real. Grow the fuck up.

It might be fine to live and think that way when your a teenager but the real world isn't concerned about your personal angst. Don't take it out on others and that includes companies you feel somehow slighted you personally. If you can't think beyond that then seek professional help.

Re:Fairness? Depends on which party you are. (3, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302941)

You can't dismiss another persons concerns about the world simply by tagging their arguments as "teen angst". That in itself is an imature perspective.

I'm 30, and as I watch my country slip into a sick pit of capitalistic facism, I think speaking out about it is the best way to show concern and encourage others to act as well. I live in america where our whole world is controlled by entities such as these. I have every right to be irate about the level of dishonesty and corruption in the corporate world. They slight us all on a personal level every time they pull something like this. If you really feel that's being overdramatic, then as a member of "the real world" I implore you to not care about my angst. Please.

Re:Fairness? Depends on which party you are. (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303543)

The strange thing is that the grandparent normally posts very informative and insightful posts. I'm guessing he/she hasn't gotten to the coffee yet.

Re:Change it back? (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303813)

Now that we've caught these people exploiting the part of wikipedia that NO ONE should exploit simply because it undermines the very principle of this community-based system, who will change these entries back? WILL these entries be changed back?

It seems kind of limp to blow the horn on them but not remove the erroneous edits they made. Even if this information is subjective, if a company edits this info to benefit said company, that doesn't seem fair. As a slave/consumer in this country, it makes me cringe every time a large corporation gets away with this kind of bullshit. When is enough, enough?
sofixit

Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (2, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20301981)

This exposes an issue I have with Wikipedia - who edits last wins.

If these people had used IP anonymisers, they'd never have been picked up and the edits would have looked just like arguments back and forth until someone gave up. The problem is that a company can be far more tenacious than any one person, even paying marketing people to make sure Wikipedia has the 'right' information.

The answer I see from Wikipedia fans is "just edit the page when you see an error." That's great, but if someone's determined enough, they'll edit right afterwards, making the entire thing pointless.

The greatest strength of Wikipedia is the reason I believe it must ultimately fail.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

iapetus (24050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302023)

In cases where that happens, isn't editing of the page often locked? That's certainly the case for some higher profile articles...

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (2, Informative)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302031)

Oh, really? Or then the dumb idiot pulls of a three-revert, or the good user brings it up on the talk page, or even better, notifies an admin of a badly behaving IP and gets someone to solve the whole issue. The greatest weakness of Wikipedia is the prejudiced approach that people often hold against it and how it handles vandalism/etc.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20308109)

The greatest weakness for wikipedia the the prejudive people have against it?

Are you kidding? the greatest weakness is that some of its contents aren't true. Period. It's a fun thing to read and a terrible thing to rely on. It would be trivial to have several ip addresses and logins. The reason you aren't hearing anyone complain about that is that you can't catch people doing it. IF something on wikipedia bothers someone with enough time on their hands, that fact will be covered up, and very little can be done to prevent it.

That's why reputation matters. You can rely on sources and professors and experts and universities because they are attaching their reputation to the information. It's harder, slower, and infinitely more reliable. There is no technological solution to wikipedia. You can't have people with no reputation to lose produce something that is reliable on controversial issues.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

scott_karana (841914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314401)

It's not that people are prejudiced against Wikipedia. It's that HUMANS DO NOT TRUST ONE ANOTHER, AND FOR GOOD REASON.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302143)

If these people had used IP anonymisers, they'd never have been picked up and the edits would have looked just like arguments back and forth until someone gave up.

Or more likely, they would have just been presented with a page telling them they were blocked from editing - Wikipedia blocks all the public proxy servers it can find, for precisely this reason.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

peterpi (585134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302315)

Maybe the GP is talking about something like tor [eff.org] .

Tor is blocked (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302425)

And if you use Tor, your exit node's IP address gets blocked unless you log in.

Re:Tor is blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302879)

Use of Tor is banned even if you do log in with a username. Long-time contributors have been permanently banned from the project for using Tor.

Re:Tor is blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20303005)

I don't know about permanently banned, but it was a bloody nuisance when I was working in China and Wikipedia was blocked. I could get past the Chinese filters and read articles, but I couldn't edit them even though I'm a long-time editor with a good record. Wikipedia should have some way for 'known good' contributors to get past IP blocks - it wouldn't hurt against vandals, and it's got to help with countering systemic bias.

Re:Tor is blocked (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303215)

Known good AC's?
Hah.
Plus, what's to say that someday somewhere someone won't start buying off known good editors?

Re:Tor is blocked (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20310259)

Than those editors accounts would be blocked....... This != Science of Rockets

Re:Tor is blocked (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315701)

Would they now? By whom? How can you tell if it's just a bunch of apples gone bad or a whole barrel of cider waiting to happen? Why risk it in the first place?

Re:Tor is blocked (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303405)

Use of Tor is banned even if you do log in with a username. Long-time contributors have been permanently banned from the project for using Tor.
When was this? Current guidelines appear to block only anonymous editing [wikipedia.org] from Tor exits.

Re:Tor is blocked (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20304059)

That page is inconsistent with other pages that say something else - a common problem on wikipedia, unfortunately.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (3, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302521)

Please check out the change history. In most of the cases, the changes were reverted within minutes. It doesn't matter who makes the edits, if the edits are wrong or uncalled for, they will be reverted.

Constantly changing back would lead to the article being locked. Being tenacious does not matter one bit if the article can't just be changed anymore.

If you doubt the information in a Wikipedia article, check out its history. It's there for a reason.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20304167)

Constantly changing back would lead to the article being locked. Being tenacious does not matter one bit if the article can't just be changed anymore.
Right, but without the evidence that they have a conflict of interest, it's a crapshoot [wikimedia.org] whose changes get locked into place.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20309363)

Constantly changing back would lead to the article being locked. Being tenacious does not matter one bit if the article can't just be changed anymore.
Right, but without the evidence that they have a conflict of interest, it's a crapshoot [wikimedia.org] whose changes get locked into place.

I've usually found the Wikipedia editors to be surprisingly objective and reasonable. Do you have examples of where the locked version was "The Wrong Version"?

And again, the history and the discussions are there for a reason. Check them out, especially if the article is locked.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302709)

No, the fundamental flaw is there is always only one article. this article is often one sided, or in the middle so much that several other viewpoints are all mashed together to form something that's worse than being one sided. That's why history books for schools always suck, anything with the slightest controversy must have it all taken out to please everyone leaving nothing, or it only includes the side that makes those in power for the momment happy.... yippee.. news at 11.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

gz718 (586910) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303435)

I believe this kind of activity can be prevented or at least flagged. Couldn't the wikipedia software good a google search on the article title and if the person's ip was in the top XX hits, flag the edit. Certainly won't catch everything and will have false positives, but would at least do something.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20313591)

This is wildly unfeasible for too many reasons to mention.

Re:Fundamental Flaw In Wikipedia? (1)

MiharuSenaKanaka (1080135) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313075)

Personally, I'm reminded of the incidents where people in Washington D.C. were caught editing the pages of their opponents with intent to detract from the opponent's public image. I think it was only a matter of time before someone came along and did it the other way around--of course, who knows for how long this sort of thing has been happening on Wikipedia; these incidents may have only exposed the issue. The chances of it going away in the near future are about nil, but as others have said, as members of the Wikipedia community, it's our job to fix errors in pages, even if it means reverting to a previous edit.

I am shocked, shocked... (4, Funny)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302175)

to discover that companies edit their own wikipedia entries...

Re:I am shocked, shocked... (1)

Arabani (1127547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302595)

to discover that companies edit their own wikipedia entries...
The problem arises, I think, when companies make edits that are either inaccurate or attempt to portray their actions in a more positive light.

Of course, I probably missed the memo that stated that such edits are fine unless done as part of an "experiment" [slashdot.org] .

Re:I am shocked, shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302679)

to discover that companies edit their own wikipedia entries...
Does this mean we can expect to find dubiousness in the entry for "Renault" then?

Re:I am shocked, shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302897)

Well I wouldn't say the ESA editing the mod-chip page is editing their own entry. They're editing someone else's entry that they don't like.

Re:I am shocked, shocked... (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303743)

I would like my Wiki info to be correct and thorough, and who knows more about a company than the employees themselves? So it's not inherently bad that employees edit their companies entry, it's the fact that these entries are starting to look like press releases.

Yeah, and...? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302707)

Entity edits freely-editable online encyclopaedia. "News at 11" as I believe the cliche goes.

Why so cynical? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20306307)

If anytime someone does this, people catch it and then we all make a big stink about it, maybe they'll stop doing it. And we'll have a better idea about which entities do or do not play well with others, which matters to some of us when making purchasing decisions. Perhaps you want us to just shut up and be good little consumers?

Something people don't seem to realize... (4, Insightful)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20302905)

Just because the IP belongs to the company doesn't mean it's a company decision. I've made plenty of edits from school/work. It doesn't mean those edits were endorsed or even known to the company.

With Wikipedia, you edit the topics you're interested in. If you work in a certain industry or a certain company, you'll most likely edit pages related to it.

Re:Something people don't seem to realize... (1)

Scratch-O-Matic (245992) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303181)

Excellent point...I have done the same myself. Some of it is relevent to my company's line of work and some completely irrelevent. None of it was endorsed by my company.

Along the same lines, I've browsed through this thread and have not seen a single acknolwedgement (and I may have missed them if there are any) that sometimes it may be completely OK to edit an entry relating to one's self, be it an individual or a company. There is nothing unethical about participating in a community discussion/posting/history so long as the information posted is true, and as long as there is no deception about who is doing the posting (a la astro-turfing.)

Re:Something people don't seem to realize... (2, Informative)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303555)

Since wikipedia itself says it's not a good idea, why would you be surprised to find that no one has acknowledges it is?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Business'_F AQ#Am_I_allowed_to_edit_articles_about_myself_or_m y_company.3F [wikipedia.org]

It gives some ways to get your content into an article you have a conflict of interest over (via the talk page), but just editing the article is clearly not the way to do things.

Re:Something people don't seem to realize... (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20303627)

I believe that is why the talk function exists. In most cases, writing an informative piece about an organization with which you are affiliated is looked upon as potentially disingenuous.

Besides, how do we know those people are really knowledgeable about what is going on in their company, even if they *are* in it? I know some people that work for other organizations that are clearly drinking way too much of the corporate kool-aid and should under no circumstances be allowed to edit a wiki on their company.

The best persona for such a job may be a consultant or industry analyst that has actually done some work consulting with the company or has spent a good deal of time studying them.

Re:Something people don't seem to realize... (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20307423)

There's a huge gray area. Obviously the EA edits are unethical. But what if, for example, EA had edited the entry for "Medal of Honor" to include detailed specs on the weapons used in the game? In some ways, I'd think Wikipedia would want to encourage edits by people involved as long as those edits aren't self-serving.

Some self-editing can be legit, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20303109)

Some self editing can be helpful. For example, certain timelines, company historical info, etc., might be well documented within the company, and an interesting read for those looking for info on the subject. However, removing other critical edits is often the primary purpose of some self-editors.

Take for example, Ars Technica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ars_Technica). Completely whitewashed, and now also sadly lacking any depth or real content. It's the same reason there are so many Ars articles linked from Slashdot, even though many are just press releases covered by Ars. They have a small mob of editors and writers and fans who continually submit those "stories" to Slashdot, and the same mob takes turns monitoring the Wikipedia entry, removing not only critical information, but other information that may be interesting to someone interested in the site's history.

Also sad to note is the media using Wikipedia to find "tech experts" to comment on stories. Disturbingly, I heard an empty piece on NPR, mostly composed of quotes of Ken Fisher, owner of Ars, regarding modern music distribution. He was put forth as an "expert". I would have much rather heard the enlightened commentary of a Lawrence Lessig, for example.

Nothing inherently wrong with editing own entries (1)

kingduct (144865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20304301)

I see nothing inherently wrong with a company editing its own entries...in fact it could often help improve information. The problem is that they'll likely try to censor aspects of the entry. Still, that's what everybody else is for. I've considered proposing at the organization I work at that we edit our Wikipedia entry. Right now, it has a couple of paragraphs (and they are accurate), but we certainly could make it more informative.

wikipedia fundamentally flawed. Time for better! (2, Interesting)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 6 years ago | (#20304541)

...also known as citizendium. [citizendium.org]

Wikipedia is a great idea, and a great interface, but leads to exactly this sort of behaviour. If a company edits their entry to reflect their side of the story, is it editing or abuse?

He who edits last, wins. Over the long run, that doesn't work. That's why one of the founders of wikipedia (Larry Sanger [citizendium.org] ) decided to take the idea of wikipedia and add in some accountability. The project was named citizendium, and was started just about a year ago. It is based on three fundamental differences from wikipedia:
        * all contributors must apply for membership in the project under their real names, which are then visibly associated with all articles
        * all articles are reviewed by experts in their particular fields, offering suggestions and criticism as the articles evolve with the goal for each article to be "approved"
        * that vandals, trolls, and disruptive editors are quickly and permanently banned from further work on the project.

It's MUCH smaller than wikipedia at present , but also not loaded with garbage and editorial pissing matches. Take a look, join the community, and help make the next generation online encyclopedia better.

Re:wikipedia fundamentally flawed. Time for better (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20307681)

I'm glad to see that Citizendium has adopted a more realistic policy on the expertise requirements by moving to approval instead of pre-vetting. I still think the barriers to entry for "trivial" editing are going to be a problem. Most of the barriers are a function of the MediaWiki software, which is really not well-suited for the type of workflow changes that would be needed to support it. I think something working like a distributed SCM system would be more appropriate, where diffs could be pushed upstream as patchsets instead of just blindly saved into the head branch. I'm not holding my breath that Mediawiki will ever make this happen though.

Wikipedia is lame anyway (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 6 years ago | (#20320469)

Wikipedia rules are lame, particularly rules about "experts" editing pages (including the person/entity who is the subject of the article). Not only does this often lead to dumbed down and incorrect articles, it can also lead to very one-sided articles. In cases where there is contention, such as this, why should biased outsiders be allowed to say whatever they want, while biased insiders are banned? Anyone should be able to edit, or everyone except actual professional/expert editors should be banned from editing. There are hundreds of examples where someone had a bone to pick and wrote hurtful, incorrect and crazy things in a wikipedia article, because it gives them a platform to hurt others or stand on an unassailable soapbox (see the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory [pennyarcademerch.com] if you don't get what I mean). Editors should be required to pass some scrutiny by wikipedia before editing is allowed, and anonymity should be removed. Moreover, wikipedia should be about facts, not opinions or whatever the latest news articles say in lieu of actual facts.

I fully support anyone, even the bad guys mentioned in this article, in editing articles about them or things that are important to them. Otherwise it's life out of balance, tilted quite unfairly.
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