Am sure we have all accessed Wikipedia website to quench our thirst for knowledge only to find information such as 2 + 2 = 5. From today no the Wikimedia Foundation is embarking on cracking down on deceptive and spammy Wikipedia entries. This is done as to maintain the credibility of the online encyclopedia. The two main culprit practices to crack down on include “sockpuppeting”— whereby Wikipedia users create fake online identities “for the purpose of deception” — and paid advocacy editing, which pays users to edit Wikipedia pages on behalf of a brand, product, or company.
According to expose report from the Daily Dot that was published early this month, described a sockpuppet network that, as
of September, encompassed more than 300 confirmed and 84 suspected offenders. This not new to Wikimedia as paid and deceptive editing have been an ongoing issue for them, though the sockpuppet operation uncovered last month was so big to ignore.
The ‘black hat’ theory
Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, responded to the report in a blog post published Monday, confirming that the organization is investigating the matter, and that users have already shut down or banned more than 250
fraudulent user accounts.
Unlike a university professor
editing Wikipedia articles in their area of expertise, paid editing for
promotional purposes, or paid advocacy editing as we call it, is
extremely problematic. We consider it a ‘black hat’
practice. Paid advocacy editing violates the core principles that have
made Wikipedia so valuable for so many people.
Gardner notes that such practices can severely damage a brand’s reputation, as well as the credibility of Wikipedia’s information. She writes that the organization is currently “assessing all the options at our disposal”, and that it
will have more information “in the coming weeks”.