Microsoft tried to hire writer for Wikipedia changes ?
andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Thu Jan 25 08:51:09 CST 2007
International Herald Tribune <http://www.iht.com>
Microsoft tried to hire writer for Wikipedia changes
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Microsoft has landed in the Wikipedia doghouse after it offered to pay a
blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web
While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, its
founder, Jimmy Wales, and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and
moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and
anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting
fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered
out of bounds.
"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that
approach," Wales said Tuesday.
Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay
him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were
inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard
and a rival format put forward by the software company.
A Microsoft spokeswoman, Catherine Brooker, said she believed the
articles were largely written by people at International Business
Machines, which is a big supporter of the open- source standard. IBM did
not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brooker said Microsoft had gotten nowhere in trying to flag the
purported mistakes to Wikipedia's volunteer editors, so it sought an
independent expert who could determine whether changes were necessary
and enter them on Wikipedia. Brooker said Microsoft believed that having
an independent source would be crucial in getting the changes to stick
--- that is, to not have them overruled by other Wikipedia writers.
Jelliffe did not return an e-mail message seeking comment.
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