High profile PR agency Bell Pottinger has made over 1000 edits to their client’s Wikipedia entries (with at least 10 different accounts), removing negative information and adding positive content, according to The BBC.
Jimmy Wales has spoken out to the press and on Twitter:
Some press are now receiving a statement from Bell Pottinger that they followed Wikipedia guidlines. That is flatly false.
Bell Pottinger behaved unethically and broke several Wikipedia rules in doing so. The public record can be seen by anyone.
Bell Pottinger continuing to insist that they did nothing wrong at Wikipedia is a total farce.
The BBC reports that for some pages, like the Paramount Group, Bell Pottinger ‘requested “edit protection” after altering a page in the hope that other users would not be able to change the most recent amendments.’ David Gerard, a Wikipedia volunteer and spokesperson, told The BBC that this event has caused Wikipedia to review the effectiveness of their system for catching blatantly suspicious edits.
More to follow. Please refresh for updates.