[Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

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[Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Kim Bruning

Spotted this in my news feed,
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/

sincerely,
        Kim Bruning

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Amir E. Aharoni
Hmmmmmmm, should I stop reading at "Wikimedia Foundation UK"?

--
Amir

2012/9/18 Kim Bruning <[hidden email]>:

>
> Spotted this in my news feed,
>         http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
>
> sincerely,
>         Kim Bruning
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
I'm curious as to the internal view of the details, but... this is
Violet Blue blogging about us.


-george

On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM, Kim Bruning <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Spotted this in my news feed,
>         http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
>
> sincerely,
>         Kim Bruning
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l



--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
>
> Spotted this in my news feed,
> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
>
> sincerely,
> Kim Bruning

Promoting of Gibraltar, and warring over it, is not a new thing. Might
even have been an arbitration case a few years back
Fred



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
>
> Spotted this in my news feed,
> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
>
> sincerely,
> Kim Bruning

http://untrikiwiki.com/ Max Klein's wiki editing business

His blog response:

http://untrikiwiki.com/explanation-to-allegations-of-misuse-of-position-and-paid-editing/

Fred


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Sarah-128
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM, Fred Bauder

> http://untrikiwiki.com/ Max Klein's wiki editing business
>
> His blog response:
>
>
> http://untrikiwiki.com/explanation-to-allegations-of-misuse-of-position-and-paid-editing/
>
> Fred
>
> I don't know anything about this case, but it does seem that paid advocacy
is increasing, and although the community seems opposed to it as a whole,
that message isn't getting through to individual editors. It's becoming
very discouraging to have to deal with it, or to edit alongside it.

Sarah
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Steven Walling
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Sarah <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > I don't know anything about this case, but it does seem that paid
> advocacy
> is increasing, and although the community seems opposed to it as a whole,
> that message isn't getting through to individual editors. It's becoming
> very discouraging to have to deal with it, or to edit alongside it.
>

Your concern is totally legit Sarah, but before we jump to saying paid
advocacy is actually increasing, I think it would be interesting to try and
think about whether it's merely that it's more prominent and open.

The kind of guidelines that PR orgs and Wikimedians are encouraging, such
as being transparent about a COI, could create the misperception that there
is more paid advocacy. Maybe it's just that we're actually starting to see
people be more open?

The thing that scares me the most is the kind of edits uncovered by
WikiScanner back in the day: those who are editing with a COI but who are
acting in secret. The thing that I don't even want to think about when it
comes to paid advocacy is how many skilled sockmasters are writing articles
that look okay but are really spam?

In short: I think people like Max and Roger, who make public declarations
about their identities and conflicts of interest, are not the ones who
scare me. We can always find those people and start a conversation with
them.

Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 3:48 AM, Steven Walling <[hidden email]>wrote:

> In short: I think people like Max and Roger, who make public declarations
> about their identities and conflicts of interest, are not the ones who
> scare me. We can always find those people and start a conversation with
> them.
>


In the past, those conversations were short, and ended in a permaban (cf.
Jimbo's past statements about blocking anyone offering commercial editing,
cf. Kohs).

Today, the people concerned are chapter trustees and Wikipedians in
Residence.

I would say things have changed.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:39:52 -0600 (MDT), Fred Bauder wrote:

>>
>> Spotted this in my news feed,
>>
>> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57514677-93/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
>>
>> sincerely,
>> Kim Bruning
>
> Promoting of Gibraltar, and warring over it, is not a new thing.
> Might
> even have been an arbitration case a few years back
> Fred
>
>

Recently he initiated a wave of Gibraltarpedia advertisements on some
(may be all, I did not check) major projects.

Cheers
Yaroslav


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Andreas Kolbe-2
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In the past, those conversations were short, and ended in a permaban (cf.
> Jimbo's past statements about blocking anyone offering commercial editing,
> cf. Kohs).
>
> Today, the people concerned are chapter trustees and Wikipedians in
> Residence.
>
> I would say things have changed.
>

Precisely. Kohs and his ilk never showed any interest in anything but
themselves, and fully merit permabans. People like Max and Roger may have
conflicts of interest, but at least they've contributed something that
doesn't end in them making a buck. That's how they got in positions like
chapter trustee and Wikipedian in Residence.

Which is not to say that the situation is ideal, nor that Sarah and others
are wrong to be nervous. If someone with a COI did something that was
inappropriate, I think it can and should be dealt with strictly and quickly
by the community, like always. But comments like the one you just made,
which are obviously designed to stir up some kind of moral panic, don't do
us any good.

Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Steven Walling <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > In the past, those conversations were short, and ended in a permaban (cf.
> > Jimbo's past statements about blocking anyone offering commercial
> editing,
> > cf. Kohs).
> >
> > Today, the people concerned are chapter trustees and Wikipedians in
> > Residence.
> >
> > I would say things have changed.
> >
>
> Precisely. Kohs and his ilk never showed any interest in anything but
> themselves, and fully merit permabans. People like Max and Roger may have
> conflicts of interest, but at least they've contributed something that
> doesn't end in them making a buck. That's how they got in positions like
> chapter trustee and Wikipedian in Residence.
>
> Which is not to say that the situation is ideal, nor that Sarah and others
> are wrong to be nervous. If someone with a COI did something that was
> inappropriate, I think it can and should be dealt with strictly and quickly
> by the community, like always. But comments like the one you just made,
> which are obviously designed to stir up some kind of moral panic, don't do
> us any good.
>
> Steven
>
>

Steven,

We know people have been beating a door to Roger's path ever since
Monmouthpedia; there have been enquiries from all over the world from towns
wanting to be the next Monmouth. He gets to decide which town goes forward,
and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.

At the same time, the pitch by Roger, Steve Virgin etc. is that a project
like Monmouthpedia greatly benefits the local tourism industry and
businesses, and that the free publicity generated is worth millions of
pounds.

How is it possibly compatible with the Nolan principles* for a Wikimedia UK
director and his private company to profit from such a situation?

I hear the story has hit Slashdot.

Andreas


*
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Trustee_Code_of_Conduct#Nolan_Committee_Requirements
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Steven,
>
> We know people have been beating a door to Roger's path ever since
> Monmouthpedia;
>

... or even a path to Roger's door :))

(Sorry, tired.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Andreas Kolbe-2
On 19 September 2012 10:24, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We know people have been beating a door to Roger's path ever since
> Monmouthpedia; there have been enquiries from all over the world from towns
> wanting to be the next Monmouth.


Correction: to *everyone's* door. Really, anyone around WMUK has been
getting calls, even me.


> He gets to decide which town goes forward,
> and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.


This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > He gets to decide which town goes forward,
> > and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.
>
>
> This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.



Look, David, if a dozen towns express an interest in his services, and
offer him a consultancy fee, and he decides he will work with Gibraltar,
then Gibraltar go forward and he pockets their fee. The others remain in
the queue. Nobody *made* him take Gibraltar, did they?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 19 September 2012 10:46, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 19 September 2012 10:24, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> He gets to decide which town goes forward,
>> and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.
>
>
> This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.

No, it's pretty accurate. Roger made the decision to work with
Gibraltar and Gibraltar are paying him. Do you really think there is
no connection between those two facts? Of course he's working with
them because they are paying him - that's the point of paid work.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

David Richfield
In reply to this post by Andreas Kolbe-2
> Look, David, if a dozen towns express an interest in his services, and
> offer him a consultancy fee, and he decides he will work with Gibraltar,
> then Gibraltar go forward and he pockets their fee. The others remain in
> the queue. Nobody *made* him take Gibraltar, did they?

I don't think it's quite as simple as a town "remaining in the queue":
it's an open system, and he's not some kind of gatekeeper.  Any town
that wants to become a wiki town can "jump the queue" by doing it
themselves.  There are plenty of Wikimedians who would be happy to
work with a town that wants to do something like this.

--
David Richfield
[[:en:User:Slashme]]
+27718539985

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 19 September 2012 12:08, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 19 September 2012 10:46, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 19 September 2012 10:24, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

>>> He gets to decide which town goes forward,
>>> and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.

>> This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.

> No, it's pretty accurate. Roger made the decision to work with
> Gibraltar and Gibraltar are paying him. Do you really think there is
> no connection between those two facts? Of course he's working with
> them because they are paying him - that's the point of paid work.


"He gets to decide which town goes forward" is completely made-up, as
has been noted.

(How did you manage to quote that and then ignore it?)


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Thomas Dalton
On 19 September 2012 12:51, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 19 September 2012 12:08, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 19 September 2012 10:46, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On 19 September 2012 10:24, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>>> He gets to decide which town goes forward,
>>>> and whichever town goes forward pays him a consultancy fee.
>
>>> This, OTOH, is spurious made-up bullshit.
>
>> No, it's pretty accurate. Roger made the decision to work with
>> Gibraltar and Gibraltar are paying him. Do you really think there is
>> no connection between those two facts? Of course he's working with
>> them because they are paying him - that's the point of paid work.
>
>
> "He gets to decide which town goes forward" is completely made-up, as
> has been noted.
>
> (How did you manage to quote that and then ignore it?)

Of course Roger decided who he was going to sign a contract with. Do
you think he was forced into it?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

Kim Bruning
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 05:19:19PM -0700, George Herbert wrote:
> I'm curious as to the internal view of the details, but... this is
> Violet Blue blogging about us.

Violet Blue is a known quantity to you?

sincerely,
        Kim Bruning

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] CNET News: "Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia"

David Gerard-2
On 19 September 2012 15:36, Kim Bruning <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 05:19:19PM -0700, George Herbert wrote:

>> I'm curious as to the internal view of the details, but... this is
>> Violet Blue blogging about us.

> Violet Blue is a known quantity to you?


Internet-famous blogger and ex-Boing Boing contributor who now
occasionally posts to CNet. And has pretty clearly less idea of what
journalism constitutes than I did when I was eighteen and started an
indie rock fanzine. I wouldn't mind if the article was just critical
of us, but it's actually incompetent.


- d.

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