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> Bell Pottinger investigation
thekohser
post Fri 9th December 2011, 5:27pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Fri 9th December 2011, 12:22pm) *

"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?


Sigh...

Wikip/media people can say "disclose who you are, be open" all they like; but when a PR firm begins to try that technique, even to remove falsehoods from their clients' Wikipedia articles, "the community" will give them so much push-back and grief, it won't be very long before the PR firm throws up its hands in frustration and just goes back to the "old" way of doing things. Because going undisclosed and pseudonymous is the advantage of the incumbent Wikipediots, any sane person soon discovers that you have to fight fire with fire.

And Jimmy doesn't really care. In fact, the kerfuffle just gives the press another reason to contact him, and that's his objective -- to be in the spotlight.
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mbz1
post Fri 9th December 2011, 5:57pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 9th December 2011, 5:27pm) *

QUOTE(mbz1 @ Fri 9th December 2011, 12:22pm) *

"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?


Sigh...

Wikip/media people can say "disclose who you are, be open" all they like; but when a PR firm begins to try that technique, even to remove falsehoods from their clients' Wikipedia articles, "the community" will give them so much push-back and grief, it won't be very long before the PR firm throws up its hands in frustration and just goes back to the "old" way of doing things. Because going undisclosed and pseudonymous is the advantage of the incumbent Wikipediots, any sane person soon discovers that you have to fight fire with fire.

And Jimmy doesn't really care. In fact, the kerfuffle just gives the press another reason to contact him, and that's his objective -- to be in the spotlight.


OK, but if we are to put all these arguments aside.
Isn't PR firms editing on behalf of their clients no matter how ethical and open it is going to be violates a policy about paid editing, or there are not such policy on wikipedia? confused.gif
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Abd
post Fri 9th December 2011, 6:15pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Fri 9th December 2011, 12:22pm) *
"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?
It already is allowed, in theory. If an editor discloses a conflict of interest, in theory they should be allowed to make suggestions about articles on Talk pages, and even, under some circumstances where opposition isn't reasonably expected, to actually edit. However, in practice, such editors may still come under attack. JedRothwell followed COI rules for years, confining himself to talk page edits on Cold fusion, and was still indeffed by an administrator (MastCell, as I recall) who was supporting his friend JzG, who had essentially lied about Jed, but in a way that easily escaped notice. His signature, which included a reference to the web site he runs (as "librarian," this is lenr-canr.org), but not a link, was the basis for claims by JzG that his talk page edits were "spamming," and that resulted in a meta blacklisting. With no improper links having been added, thus blatant violation of blacklisting policy. Let me present to you in his former glory, Mike.lifeguard, who made that decision after asking for evidence, which was supplied, and then ignored.

Until Wikipedia actually protects those who follow the rules, the rules are not going to be respected. Rules must cut in both directions, otherwise they are just excuses to slam people for "breaking the rules," excuses used by those who themselves are perfectly free to ignore rules, for their own purposes, without hindrance.

I eventually managed to get the meta blacklisting reversed, but the discussion there -- necessary in order to lay the foundation for delisting -- was the excuse for my renewed topic ban on Wikipedia. Yes, the admin had no compunction about using behavior elsewhere, that he found offensive (too wordy, completely neglecting context and necessity), to ban. That ultimately led to my giving up on WP due process, when an appeal was rejected without consideration by ArbComm.

SNAFU. Signing off, this is Kafkaesque (T-C-L-K-R-D) .

This post has been edited by Abd: Fri 9th December 2011, 6:16pm
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thekohser
post Fri 9th December 2011, 7:14pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Fri 9th December 2011, 12:57pm) *

...it is going to be violates a policy about paid editing, or there are not such policy on wikipedia? confused.gif


Two attempts were made to enact policies about paid editing -- one was a strict prohibition, and the other was a more tolerant and regulated view. Neither of them gained "consensus". There were also a few other blatherings about it, formalized in the Wikipedia way. See here.
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TungstenCarbide
post Fri 9th December 2011, 8:07pm
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OMG, Jimbo's "personally going to read them the riot act". I'd be shaking in my boots.

This post has been edited by TungstenCarbide: Fri 9th December 2011, 8:08pm
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SB_Johnny
post Fri 9th December 2011, 11:30pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:37pm) *
Anyway, if they want to post my townhouse on the Internet, that's fine.

I really wish google would announce when the streetview van is in the neighborhood, so I could be sure to stand in the driveway with the dogs wearing my Elmer Fudd hat with a beer in one hand and picking my nose with the other. laugh.gif
QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:37pm) *
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.

The bathing requirement might be a deal breaker.
QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:37pm) *
Jimbo not only wouldn't have them over to his house -- he won't even reveal where his house is!

Well, to be fair, his baby-mama probably thinks the "WR community" has taken out a hit on him, and would prefer not to have to clean up after that. You could probably find out his address by researching the life insurance policy. hmmm.gif
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thekohser
post Sat 10th December 2011, 12:31pm
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QUOTE(TungstenCarbide @ Fri 9th December 2011, 3:07pm) *

OMG, Jimbo's "personally going to read them the riot act". I'd be shaking in my boots.


Yikes! And he "goes further":
QUOTE
But I'll go further: policy at Wikipedia is going to change to make it even more clear that PR firms can not behave in this way without facing the consequences.


How will Jimbo change policy? It's always fun when he tries to get involved in community policy changes.

Looks like I'll have to stay on my toes with all of the paid editing I have to do this week.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 10th December 2011, 12:42pm
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QUOTE(carbuncle @ Fri 9th December 2011, 1:52pm) *

I haven't looked through the edits made by the various accounts, but it appears that despite their rather naive approach, they managed to slant things they way they wanted them slanted. Of course, they didn't figure on getting caught because they bragged about it to the wrong people, but it seems to me that they has sussed that it wasn't necessary to do much more than what they did.


The depressing thing about this whole affair is that despite the naive approach of this sockfarm, Wikipedia's famed 'control and monitor' systems failed spot the problem editing. It was uncovered only after an undercover investigation into Bell Pottinger itself, run by the "Bureau of Investigative Journalism". They posed as agents for corrupt regimes and taped the conversations, in the course of which it was discovered that they were writing for Wikipedia. The Bureau report was published on December 6th, 2011, by the Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/polit...pm-6272760.html. Only then was there a block on the sock master account (Biggleswiki) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contr...ons/Biggleswiki .

Thus, the naive approach to conflicted editing was not spotted by the Wikipedia control system, and even if it had been more sophisticated, it would not have survived the revelations by the Bureau.

Jimmy Wales is now appearing in the media looking like some sort of Jesus, complaining about the 'ethical blindness' of the conflicted editing in Wikipedia. And the media have bought his story. Nothing about the complete failure of controls that led to this happening at all.

Note there are still 4,000 conflicted articles according to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:WhatL...re/Template:COI

Wikipedia's main control mechanism is to slap a template on something, and hope somebody else will fix it. Which they clearly don't.

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sat 10th December 2011, 12:45pm
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Kelly Martin
post Sat 10th December 2011, 4:23pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 8th December 2011, 9:22am) *
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.
Or rather, Jimmy has been advised that such a reaction would be in his best interest. You don't think Jimmy actually thinks that much, do you?
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SB_Johnny
post Sun 15th January 2012, 1:36pm
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Apparently Jimmy paid them a visit, and has reported on it on his psychophants' favorite page.
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Peter Damian
post Sun 15th January 2012, 3:17pm
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 15th January 2012, 1:36pm) *

Apparently Jimmy paid them a visit, and has reported on it on his psychophants' favorite page.

Thanks for spotting.This is rich:
QUOTE
In their presentation of what went wrong, the main thing that leapt out at me is that they did not know how to appropriately escalate.

As are some of the comments, especially this
QUOTE
Thank you for getting so involved and taking on this important outreach task. We should all aim to move on from being adversarial to Wikimedia (esp. the Foundation and Chapters) being seen as a resource to provide help for organizations that will always have difficulty in helping the encyclopaedia with content, due to their conflict of interest highly likely to be fundamentally engrained. I would like to see such presentations and simple print quality self-help material, pitched for such tricky organizations, being captured and perhaps published on the :outreach wiki. Perhaps you would be interested in helping to make a good quality video that organizations can use for their own internal training? I'm thinking of our "classic" problematic organizations such as corporate marketing, religious evangelizing and political lobbying. As for not everyone providing an apology; well they are a PR company, you have to expect a jolly good spin. Cheers --Fæ (talk) 14:56, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

What is Fae counting as a 'classic' problematic organization here? At least I think I understand that puzzling word 'outreach'. It means going to people and organisations and institutions that exist in the wide world outside Wikipedia, and telling them how good Wikipedia is. I wonder now they have all that money, whether they could employ a PR firm to do this?

Oh and I just saw this
QUOTE
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly.


This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 15th January 2012, 3:23pm
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dogbiscuit
post Sun 15th January 2012, 4:43pm
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 15th January 2012, 3:17pm) *

QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 15th January 2012, 1:36pm) *

Apparently Jimmy paid them a visit, and has reported on it on his psychophants' favorite page.

Thanks for spotting.This is rich:
QUOTE
In their presentation of what went wrong, the main thing that leapt out at me is that they did not know how to appropriately escalate.

As are some of the comments, especially this
QUOTE
Thank you for getting so involved and taking on this important outreach task. We should all aim to move on from being adversarial to Wikimedia (esp. the Foundation and Chapters) being seen as a resource to provide help for organizations that will always have difficulty in helping the encyclopaedia with content, due to their conflict of interest highly likely to be fundamentally engrained. I would like to see such presentations and simple print quality self-help material, pitched for such tricky organizations, being captured and perhaps published on the :outreach wiki. Perhaps you would be interested in helping to make a good quality video that organizations can use for their own internal training? I'm thinking of our "classic" problematic organizations such as corporate marketing, religious evangelizing and political lobbying. As for not everyone providing an apology; well they are a PR company, you have to expect a jolly good spin. Cheers --Fæ (talk) 14:56, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

What is Fae counting as a 'classic' problematic organization here? At least I think I understand that puzzling word 'outreach'. It means going to people and organisations and institutions that exist in the wide world outside Wikipedia, and telling them how good Wikipedia is. I wonder now they have all that money, whether they could employ a PR firm to do this?

Oh and I just saw this
QUOTE
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly.


Professionally, the biggest lesson I learned was, except in the rarest of circumstances, that it was never appropriate to apportion blame if you want to have constructive relationships. In fact, I usually went overboard to ensure that the other side felt that they had solved problems themselves. Not only do people work better, it also doesn't blow back on you when you discover you'd been an idiot yourself (Jimbo take note!). The only time I would ever say "you screwed up there" would be with a big grin when the poor soul who had just done the recursive delete all on the root directory of the live production machine, when he and everyone else knew it to be true and they also knew that we were all going to work together to sort it out.

As far as Wikipedia is concerned, the lesson that they have totally failed to learn is that they should always assume that it is Wikipedia's own fault that outsiders do not understand how it works. For example, for all the money the WMF has gathered, where is the "Manual for Business Use" or "How to use Wikipedia successfully" book.

This is a double failure because the initial exhortation is "Just get stuck in". Jimbo is charging around essentially calling intelligent people idiots because they are bemused by the bizarre and illogical way Wikipedia is claimed to work (especially when it clearly does not work the way Jimbo thinks it might do).

It is classic programmer attitude: user error. Computers are hard work and I basically left the computer industry because I was fed up of how it has let people down in many ways. Wikipedia is a classic case of a poor computer system where the programmers blame the users for not being able to use the system.

If Wikipedians for one minute assumed that they had the problem, not the whole rest of the world, then they might then start thinking clearly about how to operate. For example, in these GLAM projects, they might discover that there is a better way of working. Instead, we can guarantee that they will drive people off casually or deliberately without it ever occurring to them that they had lost something to the project, and they will pat each other on the back for driving out the misfits. "Why didn't Joe90 turn up last week to the Monmouthshire meeting? I really needed to sort him out for all the fuck ups I told him about. Had to block the idiot - he seemed to think that being a professor of history counted for something in a history project - what a dork!"
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melloden
post Sun 15th January 2012, 8:19pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Sun 15th January 2012, 4:43pm) *

For example, for all the money the WMF has gathered, where is the "Manual for Business Use" or "How to use Wikipedia successfully" book.

That would be a waste of the money that should be going to genuinely useful charity activities. Like, hiring people to raise more money.
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Fusion
post Sun 15th January 2012, 9:32pm
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QUOTE
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly.

What, show these paid editors sick.gif how to game the system properly? wtf.gif
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Cedric
post Sun 15th January 2012, 9:57pm
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QUOTE(Fusion @ Sun 15th January 2012, 3:32pm) *

QUOTE
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly.

What, show these paid editors sick.gif how to game the system properly? wtf.gif

There is no need to worry. Despite Jimbo's "outreach" to the horrid infidels, this won't get past The Wiki Holy Office. Heretics and apostates are for burning; the fires have never gone out.
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SB_Johnny
post Sun 15th January 2012, 11:59pm
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QUOTE(Fusion @ Sun 15th January 2012, 4:32pm) *

QUOTE
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly.

What, show these paid editors sick.gif how to game the system properly? wtf.gif

Sometimes I envy the people that live in mom's basement. Life can only get better, right?
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Detective
post Mon 16th January 2012, 1:19pm
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 15th January 2012, 11:59pm) *

Sometimes I envy the people that live in mom's basement. Life can only get better, right?

My parents' basement is distinctly damp. I'd call it unfit for human habitation, though arguably not unfit for WP editors.

Fortunately, when we stay with them we can use an upstairs bedroom. smile.gif
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