Astroturfing Wikipedia, literally

February 9, 2007

From the Wikipedia Signpost:

In a case of living up (or down?) to its contribution to the English language, AstroTurf became the object of an astroturfing effort on Wikipedia. A public relations firm for the brand was revealed to have been editing the article, as well as that of a competing brand of artificial turf, FieldTurf.

Well, at least they weren’t entirely retarded.

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7 Responses to “Astroturfing Wikipedia, literally”

  1. Ben Requena Says:

    Make sure you read my reply on the Signpost article’s Talk page for the other side of the story. I’m sure PR companies come on Wikipedia with the intent of misleading the public in favor of their clients. However, this was not the case, as I was acting alone and simply trying to correct a bunch of inaccurate and NPOV conflicts on the mentioned articles. Get involved, read my response, and then read the many discussions I’ve tried to start on all of the article’s talk pages.

    Thanks guys, Ben.

  2. daveydweeb Says:

    Ben, a conflict-of-interest is a conflict-of-interest, regardless of the specific changes you that were made. In all cases, you need to suggest changes rather than go ahead and make them yourself; it’s simple, common sense.

  3. Ben Requena Says:

    Dweeb, a false claim, is a false claim.

    I made my COI known as soon as I was informed of the COI policy so there was nothing intentionally scandalous going on. And just because I have a COI according to WP’s policy doesn’t mean that I was part of some “astroturfing” scheme. I wasn’t representing my agency, and I wasn’t representing the their client. I made NPOV changes on my own accord. Doesn’t WP have a AGF policy as well? I just happen to be a unique position where I’ve recently had to learn a lot about the Turf industry. Because of this, I wanted to correct and remove all of the marketing speak that currently existed on the 3 articles.

    I just think it’s lame you would copy/paste just the intro to the signpost article without a link to the entire post, or any sort of disclaimer about the potentially libelous nature of your claim.

  4. daveydweeb Says:

    You lost me with the claim that I copied “just the intro to the signpost article without a link to the entire post”. If you’d taken even the briefest look at the post above, you’d see a bright blue link to the Signpost article in question.

  5. Ben Requena Says:

    So I’m guessing you agree with everything else I wrote?

  6. daveydweeb Says:

    No; you’ve lost all credibility as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Ben Requena Says:

    I don’t think there’s anything I could have said to make you understand that what you copied was nothing more than an over exaggerated editorial based on a heap of assumptions that probably crosses the line of being libel. Pretty much a complete 180 degrees from what WP’s policies stand for.

    You and WP should both be ashamed.


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