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A Truce the Government Missed
By: Mike Bush
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A few weeks back, Flack Me counterpart Doug Bedell covered a statement issued by 11 (darn big) PR Firms recognizing the way that PR folks should be able to edit articles on Wikipedia. Essentially, these 11 firms agreed that it was time to play fair, admitting that maybe, in the past, that hadn’t always been the case on the website that killed off Encyclopedia Britannica has become such a major source of information.*

Essentially, we have two truces being mentioned here:
  1. 11 PR firms got into the same room and came up with something together (somewhere, a journalist cuddles their blanky, shudders in fear, and gently rocks back and forth, imagining the horror).
  2. A large segment of PR firms asked for a truce with Wikipedia’s organizers ("Asked" may be too strong a word…but the point remains).
Enter this week, and apparently someone On The Hill didn’t get the memo. Maybe it was accusing Cuba of spreading moon landing conspiracies that did it, or perhaps it was calling Donald Rumsfeld “an alien lizard who eats Mexican babies,” but Wikipedia has banned Congress from editing (for 10 days) after someone (pranksters? staffers? alien lizards? interns?) took a few liberties with the site.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says that “vandalism” like this “always goes on and always will.” Guess that’s what happens when you let flacks politicians get their hands on editing abilities.

*You’ll note, as Doug did, that Wikipedia hasn’t commented on the gesture. Until there’s an actual policing policy in place for flacks, there will be firms who take advantage of Wikipedia. I wonder what Jimmy thinks of this whole thing. 


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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