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Jimmy Wales
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Best practice is very simple and no one in the PR industry has ever put forward a cogent argument (and seldom bother putting forward an argument at all) why it is important that they take the potentially (especially if I have anything to do with it) reputation damaging step of directly editing entries where they are acting as paid advocates. The simple and obvious answer is to do what works, without risking the reputation of the client: talk to the community, respect their autonomy, and never ever directly edit an article. There are many avenues for you to make simple factual corrections, and these avenues actually do work. You can post on the talk page. If you don't get a timely response there you can escalate to appropriate noticeboards. Perhaps the most effective thing you can do is email us! The OTRS team is very good about helping out with basic issues. What I have found - and the evidence for this is pretty comprehensive - is that people who are acting as paid advocates do not make good editors. They insert puffery and spin. That's what they do because that it is what paid advocates do. There's no wrong in doing that when you are writing for your client's website, or for a press release, but it is not appropriate for Wikipedia, and it's best to just not do it. Contrary to the self-interested and false claims above by some paid editors, the community is generally not sympathetic to the cause of paid editing, recognizing that it brings Wikipedia into question in the mind of the public. We can and should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. And by 'we' I mean not only Wikipedians, but ethical PR people. And why not? What's the down side of doing it the right way and staying "hands off" in ALL CASES on the articles themselves?
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Jan 9, 2012