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> Bell Pottinger investigation
Abd
post Thu 8th December 2011, 4:24pm
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The Telegraph.
QUOTE
James Thomlinson, head of digital at Bell Pottinger, told the Independent that “Biggleswiki” was “one of a number of accounts” that had been used to edit Wikipedia entries.

He added: “We have never done anything illegal. We have never added something that is a lie or hasn’t been published elsewhere and we have never tried to ‘Astroturf’, ie create fake positive reviews to sell a product.

“If we have been asked to include things about clients that are untrue we have always said no and pointed to Wikipedia’s strict guidelines.

“We have also ensured that for every change that we have made we have sought the approval of the wider Wikipedia community first.”
Like most text with words "always" or "never" or "every" in it, this may be puffery. However, I did notice Prguruguru (T-C-L-K-R-D) did create Pelham Bell Pottinger, first in user space. It was then moved to Articles for creation, and from there to mainspace by another user unlikely to be affiliated with the company. The only impropriety here is that Prguruguru did not disclose conflict of interest, if any, and did then edit the article after the move. However, the edits seem reasonable, though I haven't checked in detail.

In another post here I got the relationship of Pelham Bell Pottinger and Bell Pottinger Group backwards. The parent company is Bell Pottinger.

All the flap over this, so far, yet there is no serious smoking gun, something where a Bell Pottinger employee drastically violated anything except for COI rules (and COI violation is extremely common, if we take COI seriously and include all forms of involvement that would, for example, cause a judge to recuse.)
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 4:33pm
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QUOTE(Abd @ Thu 8th December 2011, 10:57am) *

Wikipedia has never addressed the problem of COI editing in a sane way.


Excellent observation, Abd.

This all gives me an idea. I should find an unscrupulous client who wants to defame all of his competitors. He (or she, but this sounds like something a guy would do) would hire me to do all sorts of puffy edits on the competitors' articles. Then... whoopsie-daisy! I "accidentally" expose my IP address and get "caught" by the WikiPolice. Then the news would simply have to report that a PAID EDITOR (gasp!) was apprehended polishing up the articles about Company X, Y, and Z.

Client laughs all the way to the bank!
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 4:56pm
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A worthwhile comment was left with The Independent:

QUOTE
Jimmy Wales really does seem to attack our basic human rights at times.

In my experience Wikipedia is a forbiddingly controlled environment. Of course PR people should be allowed to edit its entries! ie without ringing Jimmy and the 'Foundation' first – where they put their own select editors on the case.

Jimmy Wales is a notorious self-marketer, and lives by extremely oddball and right wing "Ayn Rand" Fountainhead politics. He lives in the UK now, and our media is more and more falling for the Cult of Jimbo - ('Jimbo Wales' being his Wikipedia name).

Wikipedia will never be remotely accurate unless people who know about things are "ethically" allowed to edit them. If information is inaccurate the idea is supposed to be that others rectify them (and vice versa - ie PR companies should be able to put things right). That's what PR is about isn't it? PR is a lifeline for many people – how dare Jimmy Wales keep making these judgement calls. He also won't allow people to pay others to do the quite technical act of editing a page for them (ie to rectify falsehoods). Millions of people are simply not allowed to be part of Wikipedia because of Jimmy's convoluted rules and tight-control of what is and isn't allowed.

Wikipedia has a famous "admin class" of anonymous, yet groupself and life-appointed people who ultimately decide what goes and what doesn’t. They follow the line that Mr. Jones is actually being “unethical” if he edits his own own article. For me that is something of a human rights abuse – esp as Wikipedia is absolutely full of filthy lies that only people in the know can properly correct (or at least attempt to balance).

People need to know that before Wikipedia Jimmy was a player in internet porn (via a company called Bomis) - he is really no modern 'hero' at all. In my personal opinion Jimmy's Foundation controls information the way the porn industry controls women – they call it liberating, but we must look underneath – and look philosophically ("ethically" if you will, Jimmy). And it also has to be said that Jimmy didn't invent anything – for many people he has simply taken tight control of a societal development that belongs to all of us: an online 'wiki' that is full of everything. All of us need to develop, control and improve it (ie does it have to cover “everything”? - and esp like a Hello magazine crossed with Penthouse via the Daily Mail?) - not Jimmy Wales (who incidentally often promotes his for-profit 'Wikia' business) and the some-how charity-status WikiMedia Foundation.

Well done the Independent for not allowing Jimmy to bully them into saying he is the sole Founder of Wikipedia (at least not inside the main article).
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SB_Johnny
post Thu 8th December 2011, 6:55pm
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Lulz from the AN/I:
QUOTE
[Note from Jimbo: As a part of this process, we should self-evaluate how we dealt with this systematic attack on our integrity. Outcomes can be classified in a few ways such as “community responded to POV pushing appropriately, ending in no overall impact” or “Bell Pottinger got away with something bad” or “Bell Pottinger successfully changed the entry, but in an innocuous way”. We should be most interested in exploring whether and when we failed, so that we can think about how to improve things. So if you work through the history of an article and mark them with {{done}}, please also add a note reporting on the outcome.]

Emphasis added. Presumably "we" and "our" are intended in the royal sense. dry.gif
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Michaeldsuarez
post Thu 8th December 2011, 7:39pm
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I see that PaoloNapolitano (T-C-L-K-R-D) , who failed at nominating him or herself for ArbCom, is attempting to capitalize on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=464773129

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=464773936

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...&diff=464803059

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=464803843

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=464807609

He or she requested the preemptive protection of an userpage that has never been vandalism, created a special template, and has given Jimbo a barnstar.

It's funny to watch someone trying to profit off of a scandal revolving around profit.

This post has been edited by Michaeldsuarez: Thu 8th December 2011, 7:43pm
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 9:04pm
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quite a few articles are affected
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thekohser
post Thu 8th December 2011, 9:25pm
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Not surprisingly, my comments on The Independent, pointing out Wales' own hypocrisy, have drawn replies that include Google Street View images of my home. So typical Wikipedian behavior.

This post has been edited by thekohser: Thu 8th December 2011, 9:25pm
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mbz1
post Thu 8th December 2011, 11:07pm
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QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Thu 8th December 2011, 7:39pm) *

I wonder if "For the way Jimbo have been dealing with the Bell Pottinger affair in the media! smile.gif " Jimbo was giving only a barnstar or he was actually paid for giving his interviews. smile.gif

This post has been edited by mbz1: Thu 8th December 2011, 11:08pm
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Peter Damian
post Thu 8th December 2011, 11:07pm
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Some puzzling remarks by Jimmy on the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16084861

QUOTE

"Mr Wales said he was "highly critical of their ethics". "I've never seen a case like this. In general when I speak to PR firms they have ethical guidelines that would prevent this kind of conduct." While anyone is free to edit the encyclopaedia, the site's guidelines urge users to steer clear of topics in which they have a personal or business interest. "I offered to pop by their office next week give them a speech on ethical editing of Wikipedia - but I guess they didn't think that was too amusing so they didn't respond," Mr Wales said.


Run that past me. You have never seen a case of PR firms editing Wikipedia? What? And what about "the site's guidelines urge users to steer clear of topics in which they have a personal or business interest." I have a personal interest in medieval philosophy. Does that mean I can't edit? What about all the marxists and anarchists and bondage fetishists who edit Wikipedia?

Or does 'personal interest' mean 'financial interest'? Yes but how do you separate financial interest from personal interest? If an anarchist group wants to advertise in a newspaper, it will cost them a lot of money. Advertising on Wikipedia is free, if you are an anarchist group, of course. Or advertising pornography. Or, er ... (ethical blindness onset)

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Thu 8th December 2011, 11:08pm
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lilburne
post Thu 8th December 2011, 11:38pm
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Oddly enough I spent a weekend pounding the streets of Keighley leafleting for John Cryer's dad. I wonder how well he like the image of "bell tolling".
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Eppur si muove
post Fri 9th December 2011, 12:45am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:25pm) *

Not surprisingly, my comments on The Independent, pointing out Wales' own hypocrisy, have drawn replies that include Google Street View images of my home. So typical Wikipedian behavior.

I think you made a tactical mistake. Rather than talking about Jimbo's playboy image, you should have talked about the edit history of Jimmy Wales (T-H-L-K-D).
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cookiehead
post Fri 9th December 2011, 1:27am
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Lessons learned from this?

it's not Ok to be a corporation rep on WP, but it is OK to edit in a reference to your book on every possibly related article under an assumed name.
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Michaeldsuarez
post Fri 9th December 2011, 1:33am
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QUOTE(Eppur si muove @ Thu 8th December 2011, 7:45pm) *

I think you made a tactical mistake. Rather than talking about Jimbo's playboy image, you should have talked about the edit history of Jimmy Wales (T-H-L-K-D).


http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...&oldid=29772366
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thekohser
post Fri 9th December 2011, 2:37am
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QUOTE(Eppur si muove @ Thu 8th December 2011, 7:45pm) *

I think you made a tactical mistake. Rather than talking about Jimbo's playboy image, you should have talked about the edit history of Jimmy Wales (T-H-L-K-D).

I make hundreds of strategically sound comments every year. I hope I'm granted a single tactical mistake once in a while?

Anyway, if they want to post my townhouse on the Internet, that's fine. I'm happy to have any Wikipediot over for tea, if they'll only set an appointment with me, and that they've bathed in the past 24 hours. Jimbo not only wouldn't have them over to his house -- he won't even reveal where his house is!
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thekohser
post Fri 9th December 2011, 2:43am
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Who is this "previousdenial" character on Independent? He says of me:

QUOTE
I am a decent person and you are a dishonest self-enriching hypocritical piece of keech. You smear Wikipedia while driving around WiFi hotspots disguising your IP and inventing new identities in order to post lies for cash. Rest assured that once I've investigated Bell Pottinger to my satisfaction then I'll start tracing your malign influence.
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Eppur si muove
post Fri 9th December 2011, 4:19am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 9th December 2011, 2:43am) *

Who is this "previousdenial" character on Independent? He says of me:

QUOTE
I am a decent person and you are a dishonest self-enriching hypocritical piece of keech. You smear Wikipedia while driving around WiFi hotspots disguising your IP and inventing new identities in order to post lies for cash. Rest assured that once I've investigated Bell Pottinger to my satisfaction then I'll start tracing your malign influence.



He has made 1289 comments on the Independent site so he hasn't just turned up because Wikipedia was under discussion. At places such as here you sort of admit to using hotspots. SO he could have picked stuff up via a bit of googling.

As I said, you might have succeeded more with his type if your attack on Jimmy had been more about the massaging of his wiki bio. You'll know better than me which of the discarded partners it was who came clean about her efforts on his behalf.
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thekohser
post Fri 9th December 2011, 4:25am
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QUOTE(Eppur si muove @ Thu 8th December 2011, 11:19pm) *

...admit to using hotspots...


Wikipedia has so many unusual rules that must be obeyed, like "when we ban you for criticism of Wikimedia ineptitude and graft, please don't use hotspots to help clients fix falsehoods in their Wikipedia articles".
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Zoloft
post Fri 9th December 2011, 6:57am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 6:43pm) *

Who is this "previousdenial" character on Independent? He says of me:

QUOTE
I am a decent person and you are a dishonest self-enriching hypocritical piece of keech. You smear Wikipedia while driving around WiFi hotspots disguising your IP and inventing new identities in order to post lies for cash. Rest assured that once I've investigated Bell Pottinger to my satisfaction then I'll start tracing your malign influence.


He makes you sound a bit like a supervillain. Do you have a white cat willing to sit in your lap? I would send you a monocle.
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powercorrupts
post Fri 9th December 2011, 1:40pm
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QUOTE(Zoloft @ Fri 9th December 2011, 6:57am) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 6:43pm) *

Who is this "previousdenial" character on Independent? He says of me:

QUOTE
I am a decent person and you are a dishonest self-enriching hypocritical piece of keech. You smear Wikipedia while driving around WiFi hotspots disguising your IP and inventing new identities in order to post lies for cash. Rest assured that once I've investigated Bell Pottinger to my satisfaction then I'll start tracing your malign influence.


He makes you sound a bit like a supervillain. Do you have a white cat willing to sit in your lap? I would send you a monocle.


He looks to me like an arrogant paranoid who uses the Independent like Facebook, at least looking at his Scottish "pro independence" edits (which says it all in terms of common sense). He looks like he just hates Pottinger and knows little or nothing about Wikipedia. Those Facebook types on comment pages always seem to want the last word, and have little sense of putting new information in their posts. It would be interesting if he really was a Wikipedian, but I doubt it. What's interesting to me is people's response to what is "ethical" or not on Wikipedia. Of course St. Jimbo will always lead the way on this: Wikipedia is innocent and pure, and only a few "unethical" villains soil it.

This post has been edited by powercorrupts: Fri 9th December 2011, 1:41pm
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mbz1
post Fri 9th December 2011, 5:22pm
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"Jimmy" is teaching Bell Pottinger how to it right
QUOTE
Jimmy is supposed to be giving a talk to them on how to edit Wikipedia ethically, being open about who they are.


I believe it is a very interesting development. If PR firms are allowed to edit on behalf of their clients,does it mean that a paid editing (which I personally have nothing against) is
going to be officially allowed?
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