Marcia DiStaso, (one of the authors of the recent very popular Millennials vs. Facebook research), has today published two papers concerning inaccurate Wikipedia articles and the difficulties involved in correcting them. See the infographic to the right for a summary of findings.
One is a paper in Public Relations Journal entitled "Measuring Public Relations Wikipedia Engagement: How Bright is the Rule?" (Download DiStaso Wikipedia_Survey_PRJ) Here are the first three sentences:
Wikipedia has become almost a staple in society, and its prominence in search engines and frequency of use make it a very powerful website. While the goal of Wikipedia is to be considered an accurate and reliable resource (Wikipedia: Why NPOV, 2012), this study found that the “bright line” rule as co-founder Jimmy Wales has called it, is not working. This rule forbids public relations/communications professionals from editing Wikipedia articles for their company or clients and results in providing the public with inaccurate, outdated, and incomplete information, ultimately undermining Wikipedia’s value as a resource.
The second article covering the same research has been published today by the IPR, "Exploring the Problems with Wikipedia’s Editing Rule for Public Relations." Here is a paragraph:
"The purpose of this article is to provide a thorough cogent explanation of the problems associated with the “bright line” rule and procedures for public relations/communications professionals who wish to edit Wikipedia articles. Hopefully, doing so will aid in the efforts of Wikipedia and public relations/communications professionals to work together for the mutual benefit of accurate and balanced Wikipedia articles."
Dr. Marcia W. DiStaso is Chair of the PRSA Financial Communications Section, and Assistant Professor of Public Relations at the College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University. --WTP