Feeds

Wikimedia UK trustee quits amid conflict-of-interest row

Hangs on to his QRCodes, though

Top three mobile application threats

The IT consultant at the centre of the latest UK Wikipedia scandal has resigned his position as a trustee of the £1m charity Wikimedia UK.

The UK chapter's board issued a statement confirming the resignation of Roger Bamkin on Thursday evening. Bamkin is a director of the charity and was, until April, its chairman.

Bamkin had signed a private commercial contract with the government of Gibraltar – and then appeared to have used his position to promote articles about Gibraltar on Wikipedia's front page.

The story highlighted the close-knit group of friends and business associates at the helm of the charity that promotes Wikipedia in the UK. Under UK law, its trustees are forbidden from using the charity for personal gain, or promoting political causes. Wikipedia volunteers concerned that WMUK would lose its newly won charity status threatened court action to remove Bamkin from the board.

The charity's board announced Bamkin's resignation and the appointment of a solicitor, Saad Choudri. Choudri had received 34 votes in the most recent board election (to Bamkin's earlier 47) and his platform highlighted the charity's role in "leading the charge" against copyright enforcement legislation.

The core Wikimedia UK group defended Bamkin, and greeted criticisms with scorn and insults. But it has failed to quell the criticism.

"Thanks, WMUK, but it's not enough," wrote one editor, Lexein. "This does nothing to a) address the public perception of Wikimedia/Wikipedia's ability to police itself (follow both the letter and spirit of all pillar/policy/guideline), or b) repair the damage done to Wikipedia's credibility and reputation.

"Wikipedia's core activity is to document, and not to serve, entities and individuals. I would rather lose some random pet project, than have Wikipedia suffer any further loss of credibility, public confidence, or independence."

"Could we drop the ad hominem crap and the paranoia, and simply address the horrific public relations and ethics problems we have here?" asked long-time Wikipedia adminstrator Michael Lowery, aka Orange Mike. "It's a genuine concern for many of us who spend time and energy we don't have to spare."

A former Wikimedian diplomatically reverts an edit on your humble hack's Wikipedia page

Former WMUK chairman Ashley Van Haeften - he resigned last month after it was revealed he was banned from editing the English-language Wikipedia - said the board had written to the charity commission before the scandal broke "for their comments on our approach, and are awaiting their reply".

Thanks to aggressive appeals for donations, Wikimedia has grown substantially in recent years. In 2006 it declared net assets of $1.004m, but by 2010 this had swelled to $24.19m. It currently estimates net assets to be $30.7m. That's a lot of cash to spread around the local chapters, and only the start of renewed scrutiny for the officers of the charity. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.