Feeds

Jimbo Wales: No one can make money from Wikipedia...

...except me. And maybe this spammer

Security for virtualized datacentres

A longtime Wikipedia admin has been caught editing the online encyclopedia in exchange for cash. But the Wikicult can't decide if that's a problem.

Earlier this week, someone noticed a post to an online job marketplace where an entrenched Wikifiddler was advertising his Wikiservices. "Besides technical writing, I also am an accomplished senior Wikipedia administrator with several featured articles to my name," read the post, which has since been changed. "If you need a good profile on Wikipedia, I can help you out there too through my rich experience."

The job site actually shows two cases where the admin was hired to edit Wikipedia - here and here. And as a result, it would appear that article edits were at least begun, including those here and here.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales was promptly notified with a public Wikipost, and an army of Wikifiddlers proceeded to search their Wikisouls, asking whether the so-called "Cash for Spam" offer undermined their efforts to maintain an encyclopedia with a "neutral point of view."

For many, the answer is "no." You see, as it seeks to build a "neutral" encyclopedia, the Wikicult is also intent on creating some sort of Web 2.0 utopia where you assume that every anonymous fiddler will gladly police themselves.

"If a paid editor is going to be editing, they should be following the PRSA code of ethics," writes someone calling themselves Hipocrite, "specifically the parts about avoiding deceptive practices and revealing the sponsors for causes and interests represented."

Jimbo disagrees with this Wikilogic, arguing that paid edits would certainly undermine the site's credibility. Back in 2006, Wales famously shot down a fledgling paid-edit outfit known as MyWikiBiz, which was forced to reinvent itself outside of Wikiland.

"It is not ok with me that anyone ever set up a service selling their services as a Wikipedia editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc.," he writes. "I will personally block any cases that I am shown. There are of course some possibly interesting alternatives, not particularly relevant here, but the idea that we should ever accept paid advocates directly editing Wikipedia is not ever going to be ok. Consider this to be policy as of right now."

But some cult members have complained that in voicing his disagreement, Jimbo has undermined the site's commitment to Wikidemocracy. You see, in Wikiland, no one person is allowed to set Wikipolicy. And that includes the cult's self-proclaimed Spiritual Leader.

Some have also pointed out that whereas Jimbo frowns on individual editors making cash from the free encyclopedia, he has no problem doing so himself. Wales makes upwards of $75,000 for each of his Wikipedia-centric speaking engagements. And it's no secret he has dreams of turning the Wikimedia Foundation into a for-profit operation.

Then there's that time he had Wikipedia edited in exchange for sex.

But this is Wikiland - where such self-contradiction isn't a contradiction. Wales has vowed to block anyone who edits Wikipedia for money. But someone was just been caught doing so. And the vow is still just a vow. Presumably, the site's credibility just took a hit. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.