Updating Wikipedia Pages

If anyone can edit Wikipedia, why is it so challenging when the page is about you or your organization?

Updating Wikipedia pages when you have a “conflict of interest” can be especially challenging. Except in very limited circumstances, Wikipedia policy prohibits individuals with conflict of interest from making direct changes/edits to an article. Under this policy, employees cannot make their own direct edits to articles about their employer, nor can an individual with a personal connection to the subject of the article. While some people try to get away with making undisclosed “COI edits”, pretending to be unconnected volunteers under the assumption they will not be discovered, very often their edits eventually be reversed and the person who made them even banned Wikipedia. Just the phrasing and tone of the direct edits (and the experience of the editor) is often all it takes for the top of an article to be affixed with a warning box for “undisclosed paid editing”, unreliable sourcing and promotional content.

But that’s just the beginning – dozens of other important Wikipedia policies must be considered. Wikipedia content must conform to a thicket of policy, including Verification, Reliable Sources, Neutral Point of View, No Promotional Content, Crystal Ball, No Original Research, Balance, Undue and many dozens of others. No violating policy is just the baseline: our goal at WhiteHatWiki is to help you substantially improve articles in accordance with Wikipedia’s written and unwritten best practices.

Under Wikipedia policy, individuals with a conflict of interest wishing to make changes must make a proposal for the edits (declaring their conflict of interest) and then ask for independent Wikipedia editors to review the proposal. There is no obligation for an independent editor to approve or implement the changes upon review, however; everything depends on how well-crafted the proposal is to accommodate Wikipedia’s guidelines; how well the proposal argues for the need to make the changes under Wikipedia’s policies; and critically, how well researched the proposals are.

WhiteHatWiki specializes in developing carefully crafted proposals for updating Wikipedia articles. Our proficiency in navigating Wikipedia’s complex policies usually enables us to successfully resolve issues while avoiding the problems that occur when a less expert user tries to “fix” a Wikipedia page without going through the required independent review process.

And our highly knowledgeable and skilled research staff is capable of handling cases involving a wide range of complicated or specialized topics for clients, including corporate transactions, scientific research, technology, legal decisions, and other highly technical matters which require specialized levels of expertise.

Documenting content with “reliable sources” (in the Wikipedia sense) is very often the linchpin to a successful proposal. That’s the reason our staff includes a former lawyer and think tank staffer, two PhDs with impressive academic backgrounds, and two former investigative journalists. We go well beyond Google search, which is the limit of most others who market Wikipedia services. We use a range of specialized commercial databases to access the widest possible range of periodicals, journals, books, and other source materials.

Recommended proposals for updates go through a comprehensive review and revision process with the client. Where the client is acting as the editor doing the submission, the final choice of wording, structure and elements to include in the proposal belong to the client alone. Yet we’re completely forthcoming in advising clients if we believe their decisions will fail to pass muster on Wikipedia.