As described on our ethical editing page, one of Wiki Strategies’ core offerings is guidance on ethically managing a real or perceived conflict of interest (COI). It is common practice on Wikipedia for somebody to write or modify a Wikipedia article, even where a COI exists; in some cases this is problematic, in others it’s normal and worthwhile. Wiki Strategies guides its clients through a process designed to keep this kind of editing solidly within reasonable and defensible ethical boundaries. Our clients take pride in engaging with Wikipedia in a respectful way. Our clients can also be confident they will not become the next Wikipedia “scandal”, which can happen when a Wikipedia volunteer, journalist, or competitor discovers and publicizes secretive editing.
We encourage our clients to:
- Clearly and substantively disclose any personal or professional connection to the topic of articles they edit;
- Pay close attention to the Wikipedia policy on “non-ownership” of articles; and
- Provide clear, public assurances that one aims to uphold Wikipedia’s core values and policies.
Where we are working with a client to create or improve a specific article, our process takes this following form:
Either the client or Wiki Strategies privately composes a draft article, or an updated version of the existing article.
Wiki Strategies and the client review and edit the draft together privately, until we have agreement that it both meets the client’s objectives, and meets Wikipedia’s content standards.
Wiki Strategies coaches the client on the following: creating a Wikipedia user account; creating a user page that clearly discloses his or her connection to the company; posting the article publicly; and seeking out feedback from Wikipedia volunteers interested in the subject area.
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