With around 4 million edits per month and approaching two million articles, the English Wikipedia site is a hotbed of contention – especially when it comes the PR world. And the raging debate as to whether PRs should edit their clients’ entries shows no signs of abating. Part of the problem in the past seems to have been Wikipedia’s unwillingness to have a proper debate on it. Yes, there have been some abuses by some unscrupulous PRs but that’s by far, far the minority – and they’ve been called out. The majority of us are ethical and want access to right inaccuracies, the same as any other user.
Last month Phil Gomes set up CREWE – Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement. It’s a brave attempt to get the discussion on the table once and for all. There’s a Facebook page to join as well. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder, last made a comment about Wikipedia and PR back in 2006, where he was clearly anti PRs have any editing rights to corporate pages. The good news is that Jimmy has re-engaged with the PR industry - see some of his comments in a recent Forbes article. It’s worth us all keeping in the loop on this one as it could bear fruit.