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Wednesday, 07 February 2007


Maarten Lens-FitzGerald

I have an other question for you: Now the value of wiki is good because of the amount of people with a neutral point of view out weighs the amount of people with 'bad' PR motives. Wiki is still a young and innocent instrument.

Now lets look ahead.
In 2008 the US democratic and republican election PR machines will be running at full speed. Imagine what the impact will be on the Wiki value when they start using that instrument fully. We know that it is a good instrument, but will it remain so when the PR power of US politics starts using it. Remember the Weapons of Mass Distruction PR storm to get everybody to fight in Iraq.

Will 'wiki spinning' be common place in the years to come?

I am afraid so. Success has its drawbacks....

My question: how can we prevent 'wiki spinning'.

And on another note: Lets make 'wiki Spinning' a Jargon Watch word for Wired.

Yuri van Geest


Thanks again for your comments/questions. Very interesting thoughts. And I like the term 'wiki spinning'.


In the link above you'll see a 20 minute presentation by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. In this presentation he mentions the most recent US Presidential campaigns and its impact on Wikipedia. He states 1% of the total time the Kerry-Bush entries in Wikipedia were fixed due to politics, fanatics and so on. I'll guess this percentage will be higher in 2008 as the importance of Wikipedia is growing every day. In Wikipedia, only 18% of the users gives input anonymously, the rest is known.

To answer your question: in my view 'wiki spinning' on a fundamental level can not be prevented 100%. However, there are particular measures that might help. Examples: closing entries for newbies or anonymous editors (temporarily), increased moderation by key respected Wikipedians, greater involvement of founder Jimmy Wales himself (as he states in the TED presentation above) and technical (IP address for repeating abusers ?) and geographic (non US, IP ?) limitations on editors. Personally, I only believe in (temporarily) increased social-cultural forms of moderation in these situations as technical ones can be circumvented by using Anonymizer.com etc.


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