Editing the Wikipedia Entry About Your Company

Sam Michelson, Updated March 11, 2016

edit-1103599_640Clients often ask us whether they should edit their brand’s Wikipedia article – Is it okay to edit these articles themselves?

Wikipedia says:

“You are discouraged from writing articles about yourself or organizations (including their campaigns, clients, products and services) in which you hold a vested interest. However, if you feel that there is material within an existing article which is incorrect, or not neutral in its tone, you should point this out on the article’s talk page. If you have content which you think should be added, please discuss this on the talk page.”

In short, it’s not completely prohibited, but it is discouraged. Why? Wikipedia wants to ensure that its content is not biased.

Even if you don’t particularly care about Wikipedia’s goals, you probably don’t want to get called out for editing your own Wikipedia page! (see NYT piece: Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits). Editing one’s own page can be seen to imply there is something you are trying to hide. The Wikipedia community frowns on these articles, calling them a conflict of interest.

If you do decide to update your brand’s Wikipedia page, keep the following in mind:

  • Your IP Address and/or username will be recorded and can be seen by others. So it is never a good idea to edit Wikipedia pages about one’s own firm, using a company-owned IP address.
  • Determine if there is significant interest in the Wikipedia article. Is it being tracked by other editors? Will edits potentially trigger alerts for these editors?
  • Edits to Wikipedia pages should focus on adding relevant content and correcting errors.

Do you need help editing your company or personal Wikipedia page?

Five Blocks has assisted hundreds of companies and individuals in creating and editing Wikipedia pages.

Our company works with Wikipedia editors in three ways:

  1. We focus on creating and submitting positive content that may have been missed, as well as correcting mistakes and vandalism.
  2. We work with the editors to ensure that our clients’ Wikipedia pages meet the terms of service and properly represent their interests.
  3. We carefully discuss timing with our editors. Introducing a Wikipedia page in advance of a crisis may be a good idea, while doing so in the middle of crisis can backfire.

For a free consultation regarding your brand’s Wikipedia challenge, Contact Us and let us know how we can help.


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