WEEK 45: CONFLICT (OF INTEREST) RESOLUTION
The list of horribles continues this week with one of Wikipedia's most enduring challenges: the tendency of some to edit Wikipedia to further their own self-interest. The primary guideline governing this tricky topic is Conflict of interest (COI).
And the topic has been tricky since Wikipedia rose to prominence in the mid-2000s. Since then, Wikipedia has experienced numerous scandals based on actions by outsiders and insiders alike, involving major corporations, government actors, and even criminal networks.
In response, Wikipedia has developed processes that advise paid editors to use talk pages, require paid editors to disclose and police undisclosed activity. Still, the community has not come to a stable consensus about the topic.
This is a vast topic, and one we'll return to later. However, for those interested to read more now, I recommend an ebook I published in September 2014: Wikipedia and the Communications Professional.