As one of the first destinations for people who search for a brand name, a Wikipedia article can be vital to online reputation. If something in your brand’s article is inaccurate or inadequate, it’s natural to want to step in and fix it. Luckily, as we’ve previously explained, Wikipedia has an established process for how editors with a paid conflict of interest (e.g. brand representatives or employees) can propose changes to related articles in a straightforward, ethical manner.However, many brands take a more underhanded approach to updating their Wikipedia articles, editing anonymously or paying others to make biased updates while posing as neutral editors. Recently, an article in The Atlantic highlighted this trend of “black hat” Wikipedia editors who can be paid to whitewash brands’ profiles. As The Atlantic notes, several PR firms (including Porter Novelli) have signed a pledge to counteract this trend by engaging with Wikipedia ethically, disclosing conflicts of interest, and working toward community consensus. Not only is this alternative more ethical, it’s also better for business.
PNConnect (Social Media) 10.07.15