The Wikipedia Marketing Blog

Wikipedia's Terms of Use for Marketers Explained

By David King

Jun 18, 2014 5:10:00 PM

800px-3D_Judges_GavelThe Wall Street Journal and others have been covering the Wikimedia Foundation's announcement of a new Terms of Use. The updated terms require that if you are editing Wikipedia on behalf of a person or organization that you have a financial connection with, that you disclose your affiliation. In other words, marketing professionals are not allowed to pretend to be another member of Wikipedia's anonymous crowd - we have to disclose our affiliation with a client or employer before contributing.

The FAQ that accomodates the new Terms of Use explains what we've been saying at Ethical Wiki for over a year; that this disclosure is already required by section 255.5 of the Federal Trade Commission's commercial practices law. This law is intended to prevent astrotufing, where financial interests make it appear as though their message is coming from a more independent source than it is actually.

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Topics: Law

Largest PR firms issue a joint ethics statement for Wikipedia engagement

By David King

Jun 11, 2014 10:15:00 AM

A task force of PR professionals, Wikipedians and others had a meeting and decided they were upset that they were only in the press together after Wikipedia manipulation schemes were exposed. So eleven large PR agencies decided to create a joint statement announcing their devotion to Wikipedia's principles and rules; then they made some media hay in TIME MagazineAdAge and others.

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Topics: News

Ethical Wikipedia Marketing: Avoid These Five Myths

By David King

Jun 1, 2014 1:21:00 PM

This post was first published here on SpinSucks

Nowhere in marketing is there more confusion, more misinformation, and fewer authorities you can trust than when it comes to ethical Wikipedia marketing.

From the media’s routine misrepresentations to make a good story to astroturfing businesses defending the ethicality of their practice and PR agencies offering advice after just learning the basics of Wikipedia marketing themselves; sources of poor information are more abundant than good advice.

With so much misinformation about Wikipedia marketing in circulation, it’s about time we debunk some common myths.

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Topics: Law

Does Wikipedia treat marketing pros fairly?

By David King

May 7, 2014 1:27:00 PM

There is a feeling among marketing professionals that we are treated unfairly on Wikipedia. Sometimes it's true. Often it just feels that way as the site's editors prevent us from making edits we mistakenly thought were appropriate. In yet other cases, we're being mistreated, just like everybody else.

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Topics: Conduct

Simple Guide To Wikipedia and Marketing [Infographic]

By David King

Apr 4, 2014 1:29:00 PM

After Wiki-PR was exposed last year for manipulating Wikipedia andrecieved a cease and desist letter from the Wikimedia Foundation, more marketers have been raising questions about their approach to Wikipedia and ethical behavior on the site. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has published a best practices guide for marketers participating on Wikipedia and Ethical Wiki has our own 18-page eBook. For those seeking a short version, I created this infographic with a collection of stats and information on ethical Wikipedia engagement.   Wikipedia and marketing infographic
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Topics: Guides and education

The Wikimedia Foundation's new Terms of Use for Marketers

By David King

Feb 21, 2014 1:35:00 PM

If you follow my blog, you know just how illegal I think it is for marketing professionals to pretend to be crowd-sourced editors on Wikipedia. The Federal Trade Commission requires that those with a financial connection to a company disclose it online. Pretending to be a crowd-sourced participant is a little thing we call astroturfing. It's not just deceitful, it's against the law. Yet a recent survey from the Public Relations Society of America found that 12.5% of public relations professionals believe it is common practice for marketers to pretend to be someone else to get their edits made.

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Topics: Company policy, Law

About the author

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David King is a "Senior Editor" on Wikipedia with more than 26,000 edits and six years of experience. He has created more than 20 "Good Article" ranked pages, which are ranked by Wikipedia's editors as among the top one percent of company articles on the site.

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