It’s not just Fox News, guys. Not by a long shot.
Wikipedia is in the midst of a crackdown on ethically dubious practices by “sockpuppets” paid to write and/or edit slanted entries. As of last night, the site’s administrators have shut down more than 250 “suspicious” accounts following a Wikimedia Foundation press release lamenting the fact that they “may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organizations or products” and violating numerous site policies that prohibit conflicts of interest.
We get it: repeated studies have shown that inaccuracies in Wikipedia profiles can significantly damage corporate and personal reputations, and the same studies indicate that the process of correcting such errors is too inefficient for such an important source of public information.
At the same time, we see this development as bad news for both Wikipedia and the PR industry at large: it could not play more perfectly into the perception that we’re all paid liars.