Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fluffing Wikipedia

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others (or at least try to be) comes to mind reading about Microsoft's latest woes trying to doctor Wikipedia.

While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, 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 a definite no-no.

"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach," Wales said Tuesday.

Sounds like all MS had to do was to hire someone whose entire job description would be to monitor Wikipedia and the like, prettify and fluffify everything that the dissenters were saying. The official title for this position could be Web Media Hygiene Specialist. They would have been playing by the rules and not be causing so much "disappointment".

This could be Wikipedia's finest hour yet and a huge win for the vision of a democratically edited encyclopedia.

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