Archive:Press releases/Wikimedia Foundation sends cease and desist letter to WikiPR

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

Statement from Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson Matthew Roth regarding a cease and desist letter sent to WikiPR

(San Francisco, California) 20 November 2013 -- The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) issued a statement from executive director Sue Gardner on 21 October 2013, condemning the black hat practice of paid advocacy editing and sockpuppetry on Wikipedia. The statement followed widespread press coverage of an investigation undertaken by Wikipedia’s volunteer editor community into more than 300 sockpuppet accounts that were alleged to belong to public relations firm Wiki-PR. In Gardner’s statement, she noted that the “Wikimedia Foundation is closely monitoring this ongoing investigation and we are currently assessing all the options at our disposal.”

To assist in the assessment, the WMF retained Cooley LLP to review and investigate allegations that Wiki-PR has been engaging in paid advocacy editing in violation of Wikipedia’s Terms of Use. As the investigation progressed, the Wikipedia community banned Wiki-PR and anyone receiving financial benefits from Wiki-PR from editing Wikipedia until certain conditions were met.

Yesterday, Cooley LLP, on behalf of the WMF, sent a cease and desist letter to the CEO of Wiki-PR, demanding that Wiki-PR “cease and desist from further editing of the Wikipedia website unless and until [they] have fully complied with the terms and conditions outlined by the Wikimedia Community.”

Read the complete letter here:

The WMF will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide further updates in the coming weeks.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 500 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property worldwide (comScore, September 2013). Available in 287 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 30 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Press Contact
Matthew Roth
Spokesperson, Wikimedia Foundation
+1 415-839-6885 ext 6635