Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia

From CNET:

Concerned Wikipedians raised the alarm Monday that two trusted men — one a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, the other a respected Wikipedian In Residence — are allegedly editing Wikipedia pages and facilitating front-page placement for their pay-for-play, publicity-seeking clients.

Jimmy Wales is not pleased.

It began this week when an interesting discussion started on the DYK (“Did You Know”) discussion page.
Roger Bamkin, trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, whose LinkedIn page describes him as a high-return-earning PR consultant, appeared to be using Wikipedia’s main page “Did You Know” feature and the resources of Wikipedia’s GLAM WikiProject (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) initiative to pimp his client’s project.

Bamkin’s current client is the country of Gibraltar.

In August, Gibraltar was featured as a Wikipedia DYK front page feature an astonishing seventeen times – that’s an unusual frequency of every 2-3 days.

Other than the Olympics, it is the only repeated topic throughout the month.

The “Did You Know” section on Wikipedia’s Main Page publicizes new or expanded articles – the publicity viewership on Wikipedia’s front page is estimated in the hundreds of millions per month.

When Wikipedia’s founder was told about Bamkin’s client in relation to Wikimedia UK, Jimmy Wales wrote:

It is wildly inappropriate for a board member of a chapter, or anyone else in an official role of any kind in a charity associated with Wikipedia, to take payment from customers in exchange for securing favorable placement on the front page of Wikipedia or anywhere else. – Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

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