Feeds

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

...except me. And maybe this spammer

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.