paid editing

Paid Wikipedia Editor Sanitizes the Page of Biden Coronavirus Czar Jeffrey Zients

Politico reported last Thursday that a paid editor earlier this year had scrubbed and fluffed the Wikipedia page for Jeffrey Zients, an adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden recently named as the “Coronavirus Czar” for the prospective Biden Administration, to burnish his progressive credentials. The company behind the edits did not disclose their connection to Zients at the time as required by the site’s Terms of Use, and the account used for the edits has since been banned from Wikipedia by a site administrator.

Jeffrey Zients and Joe Biden

Wikipedia Editors Sanitize the Page of Potential Biden VP Kamala Harris

An article in the Intercept last week reported that a Wikipedia editor was scrubbing the page of former Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), considered a prominent member of the shortlist to be Joe Biden’s Vice Presidental pick. The piece mentioned changes such as removing a past campaign finance scandal and Harris’ record as a hard-line prosecutor. Changes not mentioned include removals of the alleged role nepotism played in her early political career and significant favorable additions about Harris.

Kamala_Harris Laughs, Applauds

Wikimedia Trustee: Wikipedia ‘Censors’ Medical Articles for Drug Industry

Last month Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, often likened to a Supreme Court, sanctioned a member of the Board of Trustees for the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns the site. The board member, Dr. James Heilman, was barred from edits related to drug pricing in medical articles following disputes with other Wikipedia editors about the propriety of such edits. Heilman, an ER doctor, argued for the inclusion of drug prices in articles and accused the American drug industry of seeking to conceal such details.

Dozens of prescription medicine bottles in a jumble. This collection of pill bottles is symbolic of the many medications senior adults and chronically ill people take.

Studies Show Wikipedia Shapes Scientific Literature, Business Environment

Researchers found in a 2017 study that edits to Wikipedia about scientific subjects influenced the content of scientific literature and what studies would be cited in papers based on their usage on the “online encyclopedia.” Last year, another study found edits about Spanish cities had a measurable impact on tourist activity and an earlier study found investor sentiment could also be influenced. In the case of scientific research, the results showed that the creation of one Wikipedia page influenced up to 250 scientific papers.

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Andrew Yang’s Wikipedia Page Was Created by His Own Marketing Team

Early in 2017, just months before 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced his resignation as head of his non-profit firm Venture for America, the organizations’s Marketing Manager, Katie Bloom, created his Wikipedia page. No affiliation was disclosed, potentially violating the site’s Terms of Use.

Democratic presidential hopeful, US entrepreneur, Andrew Yang gestures as he speaks at the California Democratic Party 2019 Fall Endorsing Convention in Long Beach, California on November 16, 2019. (Photo by CHRIS CARLSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS CARLSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Wikipedia Censors Report on Conflict of Interest for Editor that Created Buttigieg Article

Slate reported in December that the Wikipedia article for 2020 Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was created by Neehar Garg, a former volunteer for one of his state campaigns. While Garg admitted to Slate that he operated the accounts responsible for Buttigieg’s page, Wikipedia administrators used their advanced privileges to censor mentions of the report from both Buttigieg’s article and other parts of Wikipedia, claiming it was to protect Garg’s identity.

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a town hall meeting, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Creston, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Wikipedia Editors Paid to Protect Political, Tech, and Media Figures

A report in Huffington Post recently revealed the case of Wikipedia editor Ed Sussman, who was paid by media clients such as NBC and Axios to help diminish critical material. Paid editors operating in a similar manner to Sussman have worked on behalf of CNN contributor Hilary Rosen and the CEOs of Reddit and Intel, among other clients.

Turkish officials say Wikipedia failed to remove content deemed to be false from its pages that linked Turkey with terror groups