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How to avoid a conflict of interest when editing your company's Wikipedia article

By Marjorie Comer

A woman browsing Wikipedia.Wikipedia articles are edited by volunteer contributors and are meant to have a neutral point of view. There are companies that hire public relations (PR) professionals to edit Wikipedia pages and ethical ways to make changes to a Wikipedia article. 

 

According to Wikipedia, conflict-of-interest (which they refer to as COI) editing on Wikipedia occurs when editors use Wikipedia to boost or strengthen their specific interests, roles, or relationships. The type of COI editing that causes most problems or raises the red flag on Wikipedia is paid editing for PR purposes.

 

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Wikipedia guidelines strongly discourage editing if you have a conflict of interest, including those with a financial conflict of interest. This is why following ethical guidelines for Wikipedia is so important. 

 

In fact, Wikipedia has created a paid contribution disclosure policy that requires any editor to reveal their employer, any clients, and relationships or affiliations to any contribution they make that would fall under the criteria of being paid. This includes any talk page contributions. A talk page or discussion page is an administration page that allows Wikipedia editors to discuss improvements to various articles and other Wikipedia pages.

 

While anyone can post information to any Wikipedia page, it is important to avoid a conflict of interest and be transparent to prevent your page from being removed or you being unable to have an account. 

 

Book a consultation today to review your company’s Wikipedia page situation.

 

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Marjorie Comer.Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Topics: online public relations

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