Wikipedia bans PR firm offering paid edits to site

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An interesting move by Wikipedia...

Wikipedia bans PR firm offering paid edits to site

LONDON — Wikipedia has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Texas PR company that offers to help clients by editing entries on the online encyclopaedia in their favour.

It follows an investigation lasting more than a year by Wikipedia’s own volunteer editors, which suggested that Wiki-PR, based in Austin, Texas, had created more than 300 “sockpuppet” accounts — fake profiles set up by people and companies — to edit entries about clients.

Wiki-PR has been banned from editing entries on Wikipedia since October because its paid advocacy breaches the site’s terms of use. The latest move from Wikipedia’s executive director Sue Gardner raises the stakes by banning any use of sockpuppet accounts that might have been created by the company.

The move against Wiki-PR is part of growing efforts by Wikipedia to block paid advocacy and sockpuppets on the site, which has grown since its beginning in January 2001 to encompass more than 30 million articles written in 290 languages.
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