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> PR Making Little Headway with Wikipedia, Jack O'Dwyer
thekohser
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 5:45pm
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Monday, January 23. 2012

QUOTE
PR Making Little Headway with Wikipedia

A furious battle, which PR is losing, is taking place on the Facebook site called Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement (CREWE), created by Phil Gomes, SVP of Edelman Digital, Chicago.

As of press time 127 participants had posted hundreds of comments, many of them by frustrated PR pros who can?t get their entries and corrections past Wikipedia's 10,000 volunteer editors. (We tried five postings on PR subjects and all of them were promptly scratched).

Contributors who run afoul of the volunteers too many times can find themselves permanently blocked.

WP boss Jimmy Wales is dead set against entries by anyone getting paid to submit them. He only wants input from “reliable” media and never from “primary” sources.

A Wikipedian, for instance, would never attend a sporting event and report what happened. He or she would wait for a write-up in a “reliable” medium which would then be posted.

WP interprets “encyclopedic” to mean unbiased and neutral although the dictionary says it means “all-encompassing, exhaustive, in-depth,” etc. There is no mention of truth or accuracy.

Such things are hammered out in public debate as is being done on CREWE. Other websites including www.techdirt.com are conducting the same debate.

A chief WP critic is Gregory Kohs, who has paying clients that want their WP entries corrected and updated.

Kohs, who has posted dozens of comments on CREWE, has now been banned from the site. He says PR pros who think they can be “submissive” and comply with WP rules are fooling themselves.

“The system is deliberately rigged to favor anonymous anti-corporate zealots with agendas to push,” he says.


The WP philosophy is that rank amateurs should be in charge of information flow.

We wonder if any Wikipedians would fly on an airplane built by weekend aeronautical buffs?

...(more)...
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Selina
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 5:59pm
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It sounds like you have haven't heard that [[astroturfing]] is actually illegal as well as the obvious self-smear campaign it represents when it inevitably either gets found out or a whistle blown? text100-uk.com/2011/12/why-astroturfing-exposes-your-business-to-legal-risk-hint-because-its-illegal, Text 100, a global PR agency focusing on technology and digital lifestyle
QUOTE
astroturfing is flat out illegal in the EU and the US, if it’s done to promote a brand or product.* The EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices (2005) outlaws a number of activities around the idea of brands misrepresenting themselves online, which includes posting fake consumer reviews and astroturfing.

A similar law exists in the US, and in a high profile 2009 case a plastic surgery firm was fined $300,000 for breaking it.

What’s surprised me is that for all the angry shouting about this issue over the past couple of days, few people seem to be aware that it is already illegal for brands to use these kinds of tactics. I imagine this is a result of the social media land-grab that’s taken place over recent years, which has seen a lot of PR professionals repositioning themselves as social media experts, perhaps without fully understanding the new digital landscape in which they must operate.

The bottom line is that if your business employs these tactics, then it is exposed to legal risk and you should re-evaluate your digital comms strategy immediately.



*Doing it for political purposes is a different game entirely, and one which I’m not qualified to comment on from a legal perspective, but it’s definitely deeply unethical whichever way you look at it.


New York firm fined $300,000 for web 'astroturfing', V3.co.uk technology news, Association of Online Publishers Digital Publisher of the Year 2010
QUOTE
Employees at Lifestyle Lift had posted positive reviews of the company on web sites and message boards, and in some cases had tried to get negative reviews taken down.

New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo said that the firm was guilty of deceptive commercial practices, false advertising, and fraudulent and illegal conduct.

"This company's attempt to generate business by duping consumers was cynical, manipulative and illegal," he said.


guardian.co.uk/media-tech-law/astroturfing-posting-fake-reviews
QUOTE
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 provide for a criminal offence for traders who falsely represent themselves as a consumer or engage in misleading marketing."

Those who cross the line can, depending on the severity of their transgression, face an unlimited fine or imprisonment for up to two years




guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-to-protect-internet-from-astroturfing
QUOTE
there's a long history of tobacco companies creating astroturf groups to fight attempts to regulate them.

After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients
("I'll reveal more about what he told me when I've finished the investigation I'm working on.", but I look at www.guardian.co.uk/profile/georgemonbiot and oh my god I don't have time to comb through all that iin hopes of finding something, why do some people never update old links)

"If the Devil himself walked the Earth, he'd surely be working in PR"

google.com/search?q=site:youtube.com+"the+corporation"
QUOTE
Robert Hare, a University of British Columbia psychology professor and a consultant to the FBI, compares the profile of the contemporary profitable business corporation to that of a clinically-diagnosed psychopath. The documentary concentrates mostly upon North American corporations, especially those of the United States.

The film is in vignettes examining and criticizing corporate business practices. It attempts to compare the way corporations are systematically compelled to behave with the DSM-IV's symptoms of psychopathy, i.e. callous disregard for the feelings of other people, the incapacity to maintain human relationships, reckless disregard for the safety of others, deceitfulness (continual lying to deceive for profit), the incapacity to experience guilt, and the failure to conform to social norms and respect the law.
Sound like anyone you know? tongue.gif

twitter.com/TomHarrisMP/status/90492249418371072
QUOTE
@TomHarrisMP Tom Harris
So after all the libertarians' obsessing with the "police state", it turns out the greatest threat to our privacy was a private corporation.
11 Jul via TweetDeck
Retweeted by GoldenGus and 64 others
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carbuncle
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 6:13pm
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QUOTE(Selina @ Mon 23rd January 2012, 5:59pm) *

It sounds like you have haven't heard that [[astroturfing]] is actually illegal as well as the obvious self-smear campaign it represents when it inevitably either gets found out or a whistle blown?
Ah yes, but WP's rules about neutrality and notability prevent any possibility of astroturfing!
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Selina
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 6:20pm
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Haha wink.gif Yeah, on the one hand you could say that the likes of people who do this and the naughty kind of seo are just using the system for what it allows.

But, when I think along that path... it also then goes for people who phish or burgle people so yeah - You can pretty much allow anything unethical, scummy or plain criminal by putting the blame on people to stop you, if you have enough reason to try justify actions to oneself.
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Michaeldsuarez
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 7:03pm
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http://www.odwyerpr.com/blog/index.php?/ar...-Wikipedia.html

QUOTE
PR Society associate PR director Keith Trivitt, who has nine posts on CREWE and who is co-author of a nine-part “CREWE PR Plan,” has made a serious gaffe by saying PRS and global PR groups can combine to put “pressure” on Wales. PRS is currently dealing with 12 international PR groups in a bid to come up with a new definition of PR.

Such a threat is likely to make Wales even madder at PR if that is possible.


So Wikipedia can use blackouts in order to place pressure on its enemies, but no one isn't allowed to assemble into larger groups in order to challenge Wikipedia? Whatever happened to freedom of association and freedom of assembly? Only the "good guys" are allowed to exercise their rights or something?

This post has been edited by Michaeldsuarez: Mon 23rd January 2012, 7:03pm
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thekohser
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 9:49pm
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QUOTE(Selina @ Mon 23rd January 2012, 12:59pm) *

..."astroturfing is flat out illegal in the EU and the US, if it’s done to promote a brand or product"...

Good thing I don't author any promotional material on Wikipedia -- only encyclopedic material.

Whew!
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EricBarbour
post Mon 23rd January 2012, 10:44pm
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QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Mon 23rd January 2012, 11:03am) *

http://www.odwyerpr.com/blog/index.php?/ar...-Wikipedia.html
QUOTE
PR Society associate PR director Keith Trivitt, who has nine posts on CREWE and who is co-author of a nine-part “CREWE PR Plan,” has made a serious gaffe by saying PRS and global PR groups can combine to put “pressure” on Wales. PRS is currently dealing with 12 international PR groups in a bid to come up with a new definition of PR.

It might be possible to pressure Wales, although I doubt these PR guys have the balls to do the
necessary dirty work. One has to have high stakes involved, and since Wikipedia is slowly declining,
there is less and less need for such activities. If there were billions of dollars at stake, I guarantee
someone would be breaking Jimbo's kneecaps right now. But he's just not important anymore.
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Cedric
post Tue 24th January 2012, 12:30am
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QUOTE
I don't know if I would call it a "battle". But there is a misguided sentiment that Wikipedia's policies need to change. That Wikipedia needs to bend to our will. It's us that needs to adapt to Wikipedia and trust experts to understand Wikipedia policy, follow best practices and enforce ethics. We need Wikipedia ethics education in more workshops and events, more experts companies can trust to do the right thing, etc.

-David King
Wikipedia Ethics LCC
dking@wikipediaethics.com
#1 David King (Homepage) on 2012-01-23 15:50

Lemme guess. A Wikipedia admin or a Foundation sinecure-sucker.

QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Mon 23rd January 2012, 4:44pm) *

QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Mon 23rd January 2012, 11:03am) *

http://www.odwyerpr.com/blog/index.php?/ar...-Wikipedia.html
QUOTE
PR Society associate PR director Keith Trivitt, who has nine posts on CREWE and who is co-author of a nine-part “CREWE PR Plan,” has made a serious gaffe by saying PRS and global PR groups can combine to put “pressure” on Wales. PRS is currently dealing with 12 international PR groups in a bid to come up with a new definition of PR.

It might be possible to pressure Wales, although I doubt these PR guys have the balls to do the
necessary dirty work. One has to have high stakes involved, and since Wikipedia is slowly declining,
there is less and less need for such activities. If there were billions of dollars at stake, I guarantee
someone would be breaking Jimbo's kneecaps right now. But he's just not important anymore.

Aw, let the boys have their fun. After all, the Byzantine Empire was well along in its protracted decline when a bunch of avaricious West European adventurers deposed the Emperor and set up the "Latin Empire of The East."
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thekohser
post Tue 24th January 2012, 4:55am
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Herostratus in January 2012:
QUOTE
Most corporations don't have vast resources. Upper Crust Pizzeria doesn't. They've got 20 stores, but they're not Exxon-Mobile. This is typical. Is it right and fair that half their article should consist basically of attacks? Maybe it is. But I'm just asking. (And "real life-and-blood people can be conceivably be harmed" by this sort of thing, yes. Upper Crust Pizzeria is not owned and staffed by robots.)


Herostratus in July 2010, regarding Upper Crust Pizzeria:
QUOTE
What's not notable? This is all over the Globe. They may not like the article, but then they shouldn't stiff their workers. Take to AfD if desired.
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