London - Wikipedia has made an unprecedented admission that its site is being manipulated by paid spin doctors and “sock puppets” using false identities to change entries.
A statement from the Wikimedia Foundation revealed that about250 people have been “blocked or banned” after being found to have carried out “non-neutral editing” of pages.
Wikipedia, which has grown to more than 30 million articles since it was founded in 2001, and is now the sixth largest site on the web, uses a team of about 250 000 volunteer editors to protect the authenticity of its content.
But in the statement, Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, acknowledged that it had been the victim of concerted activity in falsifying pages for commercial and other motives. “It looks like a number of user accounts - perhaps as many as several hundred - may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organisations or products,” she said, “and have been violating numerous site policies and guidelines.”
Users will be hoping that the latest statement indicates that the site will be doing more in future to tackle “editing for pay” and sock puppetry.
“Our goal is to provide neutral, reliable information for our readers, and anything that threatens that is a serious problem,” Ms Gardner added. - The Independent