Wikis Prove Tricky for PR Firms

Thanks to WikiScanner, more PR firms are coming under fire for making anonymous edits to Wikipedia that favored their clients. "Freud Communications' London office was caught making edits" on articles about Pizza Hut and Carphone Warehouse, reports PR Week. Freud Communications' Oliver Wheeler said the edits were "very factual" and "perfectly justifiable." Ketchum's vice-president of new media strategy, Gur Tsabar, said his firm advises clients to edit discussion pages only (not articles themselves), and to disclose their affiliations. The Center for Media and Democracy has used WikiScanner to track edits made on computers at Hill & Knowlton's UK office. The edits whitewashed human rights abuses by the government of the Maldives, which retained the firm in 2003. CMD has also found Wikipedia activity by other PR firms. See how you can join in the fun on our "Tracking attempts to spin Wikipedia" project page on SourceWatch.