Wikipedia scandal : Top members involved in editing for personal profit.


Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
I came across this article.

A Wikipedia trustee and a Wikipedian In Residence have been editing the online encyclopedia on behalf of PR clients. Add the discovery of an SEO business run on the side, and this tempest is out of its teapot.
Concerned Wikipedians raised the alarm Monday that two trusted men -- one a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, the other a respected Wikipedian In Residence -- are allegedly editing Wikipedia pages and facilitating front-page placement for their pay-for-play, publicity-seeking clients.

Jimmy Wales is not pleased.

It began this week when an interesting discussion started on the DYK ("Did You Know") discussion page.

Roger Bamkin, trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, whose LinkedIn page describes him as a high-return-earning PR consultant, appeared to be using Wikipedia's main page "Did You Know" feature and the resources of Wikipedia's GLAM WikiProject (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) initiative to pimp his client's project.

Bamkin's current client is the country of Gibraltar.

In August, Gibraltar was featured as a Wikipedia DYK front page feature an astonishing seventeen times - that's an unusual frequency of every 2-3 days.

Other than the Olympics, it is the only repeated topic throughout the month.

The "Did You Know" section on Wikipedia's Main Page publicizes new or expanded articles - the publicity viewership on Wikipedia's front page is estimated in the hundreds of millions per month.

When Wikipedia's founder was told about Bamkin's client in relation to Wikimedia UK, Jimmy Wales wrote:

It is wildly inappropriate for a board member of a chapter, or anyone else in an official role of any kind in a charity associated with Wikipedia, to take payment from customers in exchange for securing favorable placement on the front page of Wikipedia or anywhere else. - Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Both Klein and Bamkin are "Wikipedians In Residence," a role held by Wikipedia editors in high esteem who liaison with galleries, libraries, archives and museums to facilitate information between the organizations and Wikipedia community editors.

Wikipedians In Residence are not allowed to operate if there are conflicts of interest and are not allowed to edit the pages of the organization they liaison with.

Maximillion Klein runs a consulting business called "untrikiwiki" whose self-description explains:

A positive Wikipedia article is invaluable SEO: it's almost guaranteed to be a top three Google hit. Surprisingly this benefit of writing for Wikipedia is underutilized, but relates exactly the lack of true expertise in the field. ... WE HAVE THE EXPERTISE NEEDED to navigate the complex maze surrounding 'conflict of interest' editing on Wikipedia. With more than eight years of experience, over 10,000 edits, and countless community connections we offer holistic Wikipedia services.
When the concerned Wikipedia editors asked Jimmy Wales about untrikiwiki (in the thread about Roger Bamkin) Wales commented:

I was unaware of this case, and haven't had time to look into it. If what you say is accurate, then of course I'm extremely unhappy about it. It's disgusting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012

At this time, there is no Wikimedia UK policy against "paid editing" for Wikipedia pages, though Jimmy Wales has said that paid editing is against Wikipedia values and policy.

However, there's no doubt that the lack of a clear policy casts a shadow over the public's perception of Wikipedia's ethical standing.

So much for free speech?


The Power of x480
Staff member
With service such as Wikipedia, it was bound to happen.
What matters is.. how they can tackle the situation without spoiling the reputation of the service.

But, I think damage has been done. :|


Sith Lord
Staff member
no wikipedia is in a constant state of flux, you cannot take everything on it to heart, there are constant and maybe too many reminders of this [Sup][Citation Needed][/sup]
the thing is it keeps getting better and better, so this isn't anything, the policies and guidelines of wikipedia are very strong, and such things are easy to detect, even if the higher level editors are totally infiltrated by paid PR peeps, the bulk of the web site will still continue be increasingly pluralist, and therefore increasingly accurate... so this story not even worth news


Lost in speed
Scandal in here too?
Paid-editing can be acceptable, only if it is used for non-profit purposes.


Sith Lord
Staff member
^cnet bad, gibraltar bad, pr ed on wikipedia bad, not ur bad at all
wikipedia is not at threat from this
but it's dense, because this crime was committed with public records that anyone can verify! you would have to be immensely stupid, or just intending to take the money and run to pull off something like that
this might be news, just deflecting from the angle that wikipedia's integrity is at threat, that's the angle the story tried to exploit instead of saying, something on the lines of "fail ed tries to sell wikipedia to gibraltar", this is as bad as that guy who sold the Eiffel tower
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