On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM, Charles Matthews <
charles.r.matth...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Yes indeed. Jimbo neither makes policy nor enforces it, of course. What we
> have here is an ongoing "loop" in being able to read WP:COI properly. I
> believe the guideline on COI to be the best available take on this issue.
> However - and it's a big however - we are learning that the limitation on
> COI to a "universal" statement makes it harder for those with particular
> types of COI to understand. This applies both to paid editing, and to
> "activist" editing (I think you will have no trouble understanding this,
> Andreas ...), as well as autobiography.

That is one of the points the authors of the study picked up on, too:


There are problems with the “bright line” rule. By not allowing public
relations/communications professionals to directly edit removes the
possibility of a timely
correction or update of information, ultimately denying the public a right
to accurate
information. Also, by disallowing public relations/communications
professionals to make
edits while allowing competitors, activists and anyone else who wants to
chime in, is
simply asking of misinformation. If direct editing is not a possibility, an
option must be
provided that can quickly and accurately update Wikipedia articles; as this
study found, no
such process currently exists.


Unfortunately, they do have a point.

Positive bias and advertorials *can* be odious, but activist editing with a
negative bent has traditionally been the greater problem in Wikipedia, in
my view, and is the type of bias the Wikipedia system has traditionally
favoured. Not doing harm is, in my view, more important than preventing the

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