History is written by the victors and by those who give money to Jimmy Wales.
Big Oil's Wikipedia cleanup: A brand management experiment out of control | ZDNet
When BP was accused of having a direct hand in improving its environmental sections on Wikipedia, readers were unaware that nearly half the corporation's page had been written and vetted by the oil giant.
The news broke just as BP obtained an emergency April 5 hearing in its Deepwater Horizon spill trial in New Orleans, to fight what it calls "fictitious claims" for victim compensation. At stake for the oil giant is blame and financial responsibility for the disaster.
BP Deepwater Horizon Wikipedia
Editors on Wikipedia were strongly divided about how BP had been facilitating changes made to its Wikipedia page. CNET reported that BP's press representative "Arturo BP" was not touching BP's page, but instead relied on other editors to make changes. Arturo BP was as a proxy to vet facts for Wikipedia from "experts within the company." BP was quick to say it was not breaking Wikipedia's rules.
Indeed, companies can and do manage their Wikipedia profiles. Wikipedia page management is often viewed as brand management. What's unclear is where the line between corporate brand management, community and fact and fiction lie.
However, the Wikipedia community doesn't see BP's page management as so black or white. Editors fought each other on Wikipedia discussion pages about the nontransparent corporate content; were the rules really being broken while they were technically being followed?
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales responded by loudly defending BP's actions. Wales fired off blistering statements saying the oil company was behaving exactly according to the way Wikipedia's rules are supposed to work. Wales specifically outlined that BP's use of Wikipedia was exemplary, 'going above and beyond what is required in order to be very clearly in compliance with best practice."