Quite often us PR folks are asked, “Hey can you fix this Wikipedia entry for our company?” Sometimes it’s that something is inaccurate, but more often it’s that things aren’t phrased exactly how they’d like. Let me save you a lot of time. The answer is almost often, no. The reason is sock puppets and meat puppets. Wait…what?
In short, sock puppetry is Wikipedia speak for creating a false identity to influence an entry. Similarly meat puppetry is convincing others to create accounts to support one’s side in a dispute.
Why this post today? Over the past few months several “PR firms” have been advertising that they can help companies change their Wikipedia entries. Today, one of those firms received a cease and desist letter from the law firm representing the Wikimedia Foundation.
Back to the headline, what we usually find when we start digging is that the post is accurate. With that, we recommend that clients fix the problem, and the entry will often follow.