“Jimmy Wales Allegedly Does Something Ethically Merkey”

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BBC producer will teach you how to get noticed on Wikipedia! Screenshot taken on MediaBistro.com, July 17, 2007. Click to zoom.

Wales also said he frequently helps persons whose Wikipedia pages contain false information and warns that “donations do not influence [me] at all.”

The edit history of the page does show changes made by Jimmy Wales and that the page was “protected”, so that no further edits can be made by the public. –BBC

The history of edits to the page do not show changes made by Jimmy Wales, and the page is not locked to prevent further modifications. —BBC in Portuguese translation

Criador da Wikipedia é acusado de editar perfil em troca de doações (Computerworld Brasil) — Word gets around Brazil that the BBC is reporting on charges that Jimmy “A Child’s Christmas in” Wales of the Wikipedia Foundation has been behaving in a sleazy manner.

Or not. The translated news item winds up stating the nonexistence of a factoid stated as existent in the original.

In either case, you could knock me over with a feather. See also

Wikipedia has met the hidden hand of undisclosed conflicts of interest, and they are us. Except that they could not possibly be us. We wear Confucian pyjamas, after all. How could we possibly be dishonest?

What is truth, anyway?

BBC seems to be on something of a finger-wagging crusade against undisclosed conflicts of interest after a review of its business journalism turned up uncritical advertorial coverage of companies that happen to be BBC business partners.

See also

And then there was

O criador da Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, foi acusado de permitir a edição de uma página na enciclopédia online em troca de dinheiro, segundo divulgou a BBC na terça-feira (11/03).

Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales was accused of permitting the editing of a page in the online encyclopedia in exchange for money, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

We should check to see if anything has been lost in translation there, as it sometimes is in passing from The Beeb in the Language of Shakespeare to The Beeb in the Language of Euclides da Cunha.

O cientista da Former Novell, Jeffrey Merkey, afirma que doou cinco mil dólares para a Fundação Wikimedia para que fossem feitas alterações no seu perfil da Wikipedia.

Former Novell scientist, Jeffrey Merkey, says he donated $5,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation in return for edits to his Wikipedia profile.

Merkey diz que Wales concordou em “usar sua influência” para remover comentários difamatórios na página do cientista. Em réplica, Wales disse que as acusações “não fazem o menor sentido”.

Merkey said Wales agreed to “use his influence” to remove defamatory comments about the scientist.

And here I thought Wikipedia was a pure product of emergent hypercollaborative truth-seeking smart mobs with transhuman hive minds.

In response, Wales said the accusations “do not make the least bit of sense.”

The right answer in a crisis-communications situation like this is “the accusations are demonstrably without factual foundation,” not “the accusations are implausible.”

Implausibility is not untruth.

That Eliot Spitzer would frequent high-end bordellos I find totally implausible. Don’t you?

But it seems maybe there is good reason to think he did. Go figure.

O histórico de edição da página não mostra alterações feitas por Jimmy Wales nem impede que mais modificações sejam feitas.

The history of edits to the page do not show changes made by Jimmy Wales, and the page is not locked to prevent further modifications.

Notice what has been lost in translation here. From the original BBC story:

The edit history of the page does show changes made by Jimmy Wales and that the page was “protected”, so that no further edits can be made by the public.

In the translation process, “does show” becomes “does not show.”

Em uma lista de e-mails da Wikimedia, Merkey copiou uma frase de uma mensagem que ele diz ter enviado para a agência de notícias Associated Press.

On a Wikimedia mailing list, Merkey copied a passage from a message he says he sent to the Associated Press.

A frase era a seguinte: “Wales aceitou expressiva doação e outros auxílios financeiros para os projetos da Wikimedia Foundation em troca de usar sua influência para fazer modificações na minha página da Wikipedia e colocá-la sob “proteção especial do editor.”

The passage read: “Wales accepted a substantial donation and other financial support for Wikimedia Foundation projects in exchange for using his influence to make edits to my Wikipedia page and place into under “special editorial protection.””

A resposta de Wales foi: “Obviamente nunca ofereceria isso nem aceitaria essa proposta”

Wales reply: “Obviously I would never offer this or accept this proposal.”

The contrary-to-fact conditional is the first refuge of a scoundrel. But the Computerworld Brasil clipping of the story does leave out a categorical factual denial (by someone other than Jimmy):

Jay Walsh, a spokesman for Wikipedia, told the Daily Telegraph that the allegation was “absolutely false”. “Jimmy never made this offer, and of course this is a practice the Wikipedia Foundation would never condone,” he told the newspaper.

[tktktktk]

Ele também afirmou que frequentemente ajuda pessoas cujas páginas na Wikipedia contêm informações falsas e as avisa de que “doações não influenciam em nada”.

He also said he frequently helps persons whose Wikipedia pages contain false information and says that “donations do not influence [me] at all.”

A Fundação Wikimedia se define como uma “organização sem fins lucrativos dedicada a encorajar o crescimento, amadurecimento e distribuição gratuita de conteúdo em variados idiomas.” A Fundação gerencia a Wikipedia, um dos sites mais populares do mundo.

[tktktktkt]

More later. Busy.

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