Feeds

Phorm admits 'over zealous' editing of Wikipedia article

Send in the clowns

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Updated Phorm has admitted that it deleted key factual parts of the Wikipedia article about the huge controversy fired by its advertising profiling deals with BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse.

The tracking and ad targeting firm said in an email: "We wanted to clarify a number of inaccuracies in the Wikipedia entry on Phorm."

As we reported yesterday, a number of Phorm-friendly edits were made to the page on Friday. The revisions were quickly reverted by a Wikipedian who argued that they made Phorm out to be "awesome and perfect".

In a telephone conversation, a spokesman for Phorm refused to comment on why it had tried to censor a quotation from The Guardian's commercial executives describing the ethical stance they took against its tracking system. He also refused to talk about the deletion of a passage explaining how BT admitted it misled customers over the 2007 secret trial.

Phorm also deleted a link to the The Register's report on the 2006 trial, and accompanying reference to BT's own document. It said that the aim of the trial was to validate that users were unaware of the presence of the tracking system.

The spokesman said Phorm's PR team had not been aware of Wikipedia's policy on conflicts of interest. Among many other rules they violated, it states: "Producing promotional articles for Wikipedia on behalf of clients is strictly prohibited."

A BT representative meanwhile wrote in an email: "I don't see anything wrong with correcting Wikipedia articles about your own company or services."

However, the edits made by Phorm included silencing factual primary information, that has been acknowledged as correct by the parties involved. ®

Update

Following publication of this article, Phorm sent us this email:

Hi Chris

We let you know yesterday that we had proposed amendments to the Phorm entry on Wikipedia – there were several factual inaccuracies that were pointed out to us. Having reviewed our suggested changes with hindsight, we accept that we were a little over zealous in our efforts to make those corrections and that we erroneously removed some relevant items in the editing process. These were quickly reinstated by Wikipedia’s editors. We will endeavour to make sure that this does not happen in the future.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.