Lots of chatter around PR, Lobbyists and Wikipedia this week. The CIPR has put out guidance that the PR community should not directly edit Wikipedia pages they have an affiliation with but rather work with the Wikipedia community. So how will that work in practice for those who see tangible value in their Wikipedia pages?
Let’s face it there are always creative ways around such edicts – I’m not advocating them but let’s get them out in the open at least. What of the practice of engaging a member of the Wikicult to edit for cash? Jimbo Wales has always maintained that he will block any such practice should he find out about it but we know it happens and so does he. Back in 2009 a longtime Wikipedia admin was caught editing the online encyclopedia in exchange for cash. There are others still doing it too.
Also what of the apparently permanently-banned MyWikiBiz? That was a bit of a bun fight back in 2006 between it and Jimbo but it still exists and is still very active. Proudly so in fact.
Ethics and standards should be adhered to – dishonest editing if you are a lobbyist is not on but that’s not really what most PRs are about. 99.9% of the time PRs want to edit Wikipedia to make fair corrections, adding genuine topics of interest and so on. There is still a place for that.