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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wikipedia Blames Texas PR Firm For Changing Hundernds Of Entries

The Wikimedia Foundation accused a Texas-based public relations firm of creating hundreds of fake Wikipedia entries on behalf of its clients.

On October 21, the Wikimedia Foundation issued a statement from Sue Gardner, its executive director, condemning the black hat practice of paid advocacy editing and "sockpuppeting" on Wikipedia.

The firm, Wiki-PR, is believed to have created more than 300 fake accounts used to edit Wikipedia pages.

The Wikimedia Foundation and its lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company on Tuesday, requesting that Wiki-PR refrain from further editing Wikipedia pages until it complies with the site's terms of service.

To assist in the assessment, the WMF retained Cooley LLP to review and investigate allegations that a company named Wiki-PR has been engaging in paid advocacy editing, in contravention of the Wikimedia Foundation?s website Terms of Use. While the WMF and Cooley were investigating this question, the Wikimedia community banned Wiki-PR and anyone receiving financial benefits from Wiki-PR from editing until certain conditions were met.

A Wiki-PR spokesperson said the company "is working with the Wikimedia Foundation and its counsel to sort this out." The organization said it would pursue legal action if the issue is not resolved.

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