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> Bell Pottinger investigation
mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 12:25am
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Jimbo declines unblock with a reason: "pending outcome of Bell Pottinger investigation" I do not recall seeing Jimbo declined unblocks. Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?
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cookiehead
post Thu 8th December 2011, 1:07am
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 7:25pm) *

Jimbo declines unblock with a reason: "pending outcome of Bell Pottinger investigation" I do not recall seeing Jimbo declined unblocks. Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?


It's Jimmy's big comeback on Wikipedia, his charge up San Juan Hill. He's back, he's the founder, and he's personally kicking ass.

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/...bell-pottinger/
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TungstenCarbide
post Thu 8th December 2011, 1:10am
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QUOTE(cookiehead @ Thu 8th December 2011, 1:07am) *
QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 7:25pm) *

Jimbo declines unblock with a reason: "pending outcome of Bell Pottinger investigation" I do not recall seeing Jimbo declined unblocks. Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?
It's Jimmy's big comeback on Wikipedia, his charge up San Juan Hill. He's back, he's the founder, and he's personally kicking ass.

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/...bell-pottinger/


He actually created some content this week. How often does that happen.
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cookiehead
post Thu 8th December 2011, 1:14am
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He's determined to catch up to Cla68 in his value to the "project".

No word if "shoot on sight" has been sent out on the soopersekret list yet.

This post has been edited by cookiehead: Thu 8th December 2011, 1:15am
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 1:25am
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QUOTE(cookiehead @ Thu 8th December 2011, 1:07am) *

QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 7:25pm) *

Jimbo declines unblock with a reason: "pending outcome of Bell Pottinger investigation" I do not recall seeing Jimbo declined unblocks. Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?


It's Jimmy's big comeback on Wikipedia, his charge up San Juan Hill. He's back, he's the founder, and he's personally kicking ass.

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/...bell-pottinger/

Ah, I see."The 'dark arts': Bell Pottinger caught rewriting its clients' Wikipedia entries "
QUOTE
Several Wikipedia accounts have been suspended pending an investigation instigated by the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales.

Quotes from the article

QUOTE
Among the changes made in the past year by a user – traced to a Bell Pottinger computer – who made the alterations under the pseudonym "Biggleswiki" were:

* Removal of the reference to the university drugs conviction of a businessman who was a client of Bell Pottinger;

* Edited material relating to the arrest of a man accused of commercial bribery;

* Editing of the entries for prostate cancer expert Professor Roger Kirby and his firm, The Prostate Centre. Both are clients of Bell Pottinger. The user added Mr Kirby into a separate page on "prostatectomy" as a notable expert, and edited the entry on the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to include comments made by Mr Kirby about Megrahi's cancer.

* Editing the articles of both Chime Communications, parent company of Bell Pottinger, and Naked Eye Research after the former company bought 55 per cent of the latter.


It is interesting that so far as of the last revision of the wikipedia entry's for Group there's nothing said about manipulating of wikipedia entries although
the article was tagged by Chase.

It is also interesting that it took a year before the user was discovered, and discovered not by wikipedia. Besides everything else it was a payed editing. I wonder how many other similar situations exist on wikipedia.

This post has been edited by mbz1: Thu 8th December 2011, 3:41am
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 2:27am
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 7:25pm) *

Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?

Yes, it's that thing I brought to everyone's attention here YESTERDAY. Please, pay attention. I am the bellwether around here.

biggrin.gif


Jimmy Wales commenting on ethics is a rather funny thing. Just ask his first two wives, and his ex-mistress. I don't know if PR professional Kate Garvey (the fourth woman, with whom he's fathered a child out of wedlock, before the divorce from Wife #2 was final in Pinellas County) has yet formed an opinion about Jimbo's ethics, but I say give it about 5 years, and then let's check in with her.

This post has been edited by thekohser: Thu 8th December 2011, 3:09am
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:27am
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QUOTE(TungstenCarbide @ Wed 7th December 2011, 8:10pm) *

He actually created some content this week. How often does that happen.


More rarely than you think. Do you actually believe that Jimbo wrote all of that himself?

Not likely, Tungsten.
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:36am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 2:27am) *

QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 7:25pm) *

Does somebody know what is Bell Pottinger investigation?

Yes, it's that thing I brought to everyone's attention here YESTERDAY. Please, pay attention. I am the bellwether around here.

biggrin.gif



Sorry.

Btw have you noticed this exchange of comments on Independent article:

QUOTE
SimonJonston:the beauty of wikipedia is you can edit it (its not against the law!)

Roy Filer:However, in doing so renders Wikipedia useless and utterly pointless as an information resource because we'll never know what's accurate or not, unless we ourselves have the true knowledge of the subject. And then we won't be looking at things we already know about.

This is why I cannot trust its content, and I treat it with caution.




This post has been edited by mbz1: Thu 8th December 2011, 3:38am
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 5:26am
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Wikipedia probes edits by Bell Pottinger
QUOTE


John Cryer, the Labour MP who has launched a bid to establish a public register of commercial lobbyists with access to Parliament, said he was concerned about the suggestion that lobbyists were able to change clients’ profiles on Wikipedia.

Mr Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, said: “If they’re going in and editing Wikipedia that would be questionable, the whole idea is that the website is completely open encyclopedia, and it is open to anybody, it has a democratic function.”

He added: “If people who are being paid to represent others are going in and editing, it sounds to me to be at the very least open to question. I would be interested to know how they justify that sort of activity, nobody reading it would be aware of what has happened, people read Wikipedia expecting total objectivity.”
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SB_Johnny
post Thu 8th December 2011, 11:28am
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QUOTE(TungstenCarbide @ Wed 7th December 2011, 8:10pm) *

He actually created some content this week. How often does that happen.
Hmmm, Wikimania Caracas coming soon? laugh.gif

If a guy happens to need shelter from the IRS or alimony debts, would Venezuela be a good place to shack up? hmmm.gif
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 12:25pm
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QUOTE
John Cryer, the Labour MP who has launched a bid to establish a public register of commercial lobbyists with access to Parliament, said he was concerned about the suggestion that lobbyists were able to change clients’ profiles on Wikipedia.

Mr Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, said: “If they’re going in and editing Wikipedia that would be questionable, the whole idea is that the website is completely open encyclopedia, and it is open to anybody, it has a democratic function.”

He added: “If people who are being paid to represent others are going in and editing, it sounds to me to be at the very least open to question. I would be interested to know how they justify that sort of activity, nobody reading it would be aware of what has happened, people read Wikipedia expecting total objectivity.”


That may be one of the most gullible, deluded politicians I've ever heard. I suppose he also imagines "people donate to the Wikimedia Foundation expecting total efficiency".

Has anyone made the connection that this was just ONE public relations firm, out of probably thousands of such firms worldwide? If even 10% of them are fiddling with Wikipedia, there's still another thousand User accounts to ban, aren't there?
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Sololol
post Thu 8th December 2011, 2:14pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 7:25am) *

QUOTE
John Cryer, the Labour MP who has launched a bid to establish a public register of commercial lobbyists with access to Parliament, said he was concerned about the suggestion that lobbyists were able to change clients’ profiles on Wikipedia.

Mr Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, said: “If they’re going in and editing Wikipedia that would be questionable, the whole idea is that the website is completely open encyclopedia, and it is open to anybody, it has a democratic function.”

He added: “If people who are being paid to represent others are going in and editing, it sounds to me to be at the very least open to question. I would be interested to know how they justify that sort of activity, nobody reading it would be aware of what has happened, people read Wikipedia expecting total objectivity.”


That may be one of the most gullible, deluded politicians I've ever heard. I suppose he also imagines "people donate to the Wikimedia Foundation expecting total efficiency".

Has anyone made the connection that this was just ONE public relations firm, out of probably thousands of such firms worldwide? If even 10% of them are fiddling with Wikipedia, there's still another thousand User accounts to ban, aren't there?


Indeed. PR firms occasionally turn up in the nets of the Wiki-Inquisitors but no one usually gives a shit. There's also the issue of executives/investors taking it upon themselves to pimp their company and products.

Not that anyone can stop them. Jimmy's just a little upset that someone noticed this time.
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 2:36pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 12:25pm) *



Has anyone made the connection that this was just ONE public relations firm, out of probably thousands of such firms worldwide? If even 10% of them are fiddling with Wikipedia, there's still another thousand User accounts to ban, aren't there?


I believe a better question to ask is: If even all such accounts detected and banned would it resolve a problem, or for every account that is banned a new one would be made?

If you are to add to this problem such people as Johann Hari who was using wikipedia entries to attack his real life opponents,
or such admins as  (T-C-L-K-R-D) who wrote articles about his not notable friends,
or such admins as Gwen Gale (T-C-L-K-R-D) who wrote not just one, but two articles about herself only because she wrote an absolutely idiotic free e-book, and decided it was enough to call herself "Noteworthy separatist feminists."
or even wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales, who used to edit his own bio...
how reliable wikipedia would look to you?

BTW I just found that not only me made a connection between Bell Pottinger and Hari
QUOTE
Meanwhile a number of users of micro-blogging site Twitter have been pointing out that one of the Independent’s own columnists has himself been caught up in controversy over the changing of Wikipedia entries.

One wrote: “It's laughable that the Independent can attack Bell Pottinger for changing Wikipedia entries but not fire Johann Hari who did much worse”.

Hari has apologised after it emerged that he had recycled quotes and used a false name to change his Wikipedia entry as well as those of his detractors.



This post has been edited by mbz1: Thu 8th December 2011, 3:04pm
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Eppur si muove
post Thu 8th December 2011, 2:54pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Thu 8th December 2011, 2:36pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 12:25pm) *



Has anyone made the connection that this was just ONE public relations firm, out of probably thousands of such firms worldwide? If even 10% of them are fiddling with Wikipedia, there's still another thousand User accounts to ban, aren't there?


I believe a better question to ask is: If even all such accounts detected and banned would it resolve a problem, or for every account that is banned a new one would be made?

If you are to add to this problem such people as Johann Hari who was using wikipedia entries to attack his real life opponents,
or such admins as  (T-C-L-K-R-D) who wrote articles about his not notable friends,
or such admins as Gwen Gale (T-C-L-K-R-D) who wrote not just one, but two articles about herself only because she wrote an absolutely idiotic free e-book, and desided it was enough to call herself "Noteworthy separatist feminists."
or even wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales, who used to edit his own bio...
how reliable wikipedia would look to you?


And then there is the faux-objectiveness of NPOV. The policy page on the English Wikipedia has links to other languages, for example Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Turkish. Does anyone expect that the existence of similar policies will mean that the nationalist conflicts in Palestine and Cyprus will be written up in remotely similar ways in these different language versions of the encyclopedia?
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:22pm
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QUOTE(Sololol @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:14am) *

Jimmy's just a little upset that someone noticed this time.


Or rather, Jimmy has concluded that his reputation would be enhanced if he exhibits a reaction that seems like he is upset about this matter.
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Peter Damian
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:42pm
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I have as much free time as a Wikipedia admin!
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QUOTE
(FT.com) “John Cryer, the Labour MP who has launched a bid to establish a public register of commercial lobbyists with access to Parliament, said he was concerned about the suggestion that lobbyists were able to change clients’ profiles on Wikipedia. Mr Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, said: “If they’re going in and editing Wikipedia that would be questionable, the whole idea is that the website is completely open encyclopedia, and it is open to anybody, it has a democratic function.” He added: “If people who are being paid to represent others are going in and editing, it sounds to me to be at the very least open to question. I would be interested to know how they justify that sort of activity, nobody reading it would be aware of what has happened, people read Wikipedia expecting total objectivity.”


Haha http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...edia-entry.html . For those too young to remember, labour party member David Boothroyd is Wikipedia’s ex-Arbcom member Sam Blacketer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sam_Blacketer , caught manipulating Cameron’s biography.
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Abd
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:57pm
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Pope Catholic.

Wikipedia incompetent.

The encyclopedia that anyone can manage. Being given a little clue as to the accounts involved, I see just how well the community and Jimbo understand "due process."

Biggleswiki (T-C-L-K-R-D) checkuser block by WilliamH. No explanation. Reg 23 November 2010.

I find this hilarious. Troll account, offensive username, warned for revert warring, then blocked for username similarity (to Biggles, obviously). Al Capone cited for jaywalking.

Ejbsnow (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. Reg 27 October 2011
Charlesstewart99 (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. Reg 21 September 2011
Diginerd84 (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. Reg 1 July 2009, last edit 24 November 2011
Pipsster (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. Reg 17 October 2011
Smythej (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. Reg 1 June 2011, last edit 25 October 2011
GBSewnlim (T-C-L-K-R-D) blocked by WilliamH. This and above blocked December 6. Reg 25 October 2011

Techboy1900 (T-C-L-K-R-D) Reg 6 December 2011. Checkuser block by Keegan, 7 December 2011.
Illyhawaii (T-C-L-K-R-D) No undeleted contributions. Reg 30 June 2011. Blocked by Keegan, 7 December 2011.
Slaine1 (T-C-L-K-R-D) Reg 9 September 2008. 3 contributions to Bell Pottinger. All socks now attributed to Slaine1, see Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Slaine1

Prguruguru (T-C-L-K-R-D) (? see list.) Reg 3 October 2011 (However, now blocked as "checkuser block" by William H., December 8.)

In the other direction, a Bell Pottinger spokesperson said "We have never added something that is a lie ..." It's probable that, for this to be true, we have to gloss it as "we have never added something to Wikipedia mainspace that is a lie," because ... [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Biggleswiki this is probably fraudulent representation].

It finally showed up on AN/I, (permanent link).

Wikipedia is a sitting duck for manipulation, by even single users, all it takes is patience. Multiple users (i.e., a faction, or the employees of a company) if acting with any sophistication, can rule the place. And they do. Remember Raul654 and his essay on Civil POV pushers? His attitude and approach demonstrated successful Wikipedia factionalism. The lack of genuine due deliberative process makes Wikipedia continuously vulnerable, most easily when some point of view attracts a majority of knee-jerk responses, but also whenever admin and other activity flies below the radar, and, should it be detected, there are enough supporters to shoot down any response. The "community" is mostly asleep, and dislikes being disturbed.

Bell Pottinger simply wasn't careful enough. Or are we seeing only a small fraction of what they did?

The only sock "detected" from 2008 made only three edits that stand, to the article on Bell Pottinger itself. All other detections were apparently from recent edits, within the checkuser window. Given that Slaine1 was editing in 2008, and Biggleswiki in 2010, there are probably other accounts. I don't know if any of these are true socks. They may or may not be "meat puppets," they might be individual employees acting on their own. Prguruguru could easily be another person, at the parent company (Pelham Bell Pottinger), or simply someone knowledgeable and interested, but I assume that checkuser led to the company.

Or some account activity might be coordinated. If the latter, then ... only the tip of the iceberg has been sighted. They already have a huge list of articles to be reviewed at Talk:Bell Pottinger Group/Affected articles.

It is obvious to anyone who has studied and considered the matter that sock puppetry can be utterly indetectable, even if there is only one user involved. If there is a company, all the company has to do is prohibit editing from the company computers and IP, and then each "agent" uses their own outside access. If the company wants on-site editing, they just obtain independent internet access. The cost of that would be trivial, by comparison with the value of employee time. My guess, though, is that employees would love to work from home. And there you go. Each one develops their own identity and edit history, and can't be checkusered as socks. Someone would need to coordinate, to avoid undue article overlaps, and almost all employees would be prohibited from editing the company article.

We are simply seeing a clumsy PR firm. My guess is that there are hundreds of firms, at least, which are not so clumsy. Wikipedians are not only trying to lock the barn door after the horse escaped, they haven't even locked the door. And they can't, not with the structure they saddled themselves with, years ago.

The Wikipedians are very satisfied that nobody has been detected who had gained the special trust of the community. It is a practical certainty that such exist, if not from Bell Pottinger, then from others with a COI. It's trivial to gain admin privileges, if that's your goal. It takes a little work.

At least one sock was detected and demonstrated, as reported by The Independent as having edited their user page while logged out, which revealed their IP, which was registered to Bell Pottinger. Damn! Don't you hate auto-logout? But if precautions were being followed, this would have had no effect at all, because the IP would not have been traceable to Bell Pottinger, except maybe through a court-ordered investigation that could dig into ISP records, etc.

The fact is that there is a high probability, as well, that the articles, over which the community is now panicking, are better than average, if they were truly being edited by professionals. Wikipedia has never addressed the problem of COI editing in a sane way. COI editors are, almost by definition, more knowledgeable than "neutral" editors. The theory is that COI editors can operate openly, but the fact is that, if they disclose their Conflict of Interest, they will be attacked, and the community hasn't protected them.

Anyone else notice the problem with the page listing "affected articles?" It's in Talk mainspace , where it clearly doesn't belong. It's not about the article! It's about the rest of the project as it might have been affected by some COI editing.
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 3:57pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 8th December 2011, 3:42pm) *



Haha http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...edia-entry.html . For those too young to remember, labour party member David Boothroyd is Wikipedia’s ex-Arbcom member Sam Blacketer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sam_Blacketer , caught manipulating Cameron’s biography.

Is there any govcom member and/or admin who has never been exposed in manipulating of any article confused.gif
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Abd
post Thu 8th December 2011, 4:07pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Wed 7th December 2011, 8:25pm) *
It is also interesting that it took a year before the user was discovered, and discovered not by wikipedia. Besides everything else it was a payed editing. I wonder how many other similar situations exist on wikipedia.
OMG! "Payed editing." Maybe someone who is paid will be able to spell the word.

Wikipedia decided that free editing was Good. From this, it was concluded that the opposite, paid editing, was Bad. However, all editors are paid, it's just that some are paid in dopamine, as Moulton was fond of pointing out.

Now, whom do you trust more, someone paid with dopamine or someone paid with cash? An addict or a professional? It does depend on what they are being paid for, I'm sure. To provide high-quality content that will stand examination is what a real professional would seek to do. A professional with an idiot for a client might try "astroturfing," which Bell Pottinger denies doing, and they might be right. Waste of money, genuine professionals may refuse to do it, out of hand.

I have years of experience with both business and nonprofit organizations. The most cut-throat behavior I have found to be in non-profits. People will literally kill you for a "good cause," far more readily than for a modest amount of money.

Wikipedia needed to use unpaid labor, but did not understand how to harness paid labor, which could, with sound structure, produce high quality content, neutral. Instead, Wikipedia becomes a battleground, no matter how much it's claimed that it isn't.
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Ottava
post Thu 8th December 2011, 4:15pm
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I saw a politician say that Wikipedia is democratic so paid editors shouldn't be around. I don't really think that makes sense.

If things are a democracy, don't people have the right to edit? Why can't they then pay someone who is a better writer to put together what they want? How is that really a problem? Because their writing might follow proper grammar rules? Might have actual information?

In a Democracy, it would seem that having paid editing would be allowable and essential. Otherwise, those who lack the ability to effectively write will be ignored.
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