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Wikipedia CTRL-Z : Rick Schwartz’s entry changes got undone

The Domain King, Rick Schwartz.

Domain entrepreneur, Rick Schwartz, has his own Wikipedia entry, just like numerous other professionals of various industries.

In a recent story about the Domain King, we covered the change that someone made to Rick’s Wikipedia entry, from “domain entrepreneur” to “domain speculator.”

That coverage seems to have piqued Rick’s interest, and he expanded his Wikipedia profile by adding a great variety of detail about his business, achievements and awards. Rick posted factual references to his 20+ year saga as a domain investor, domain show founder and linked to articles supporting his edits.

There seems to be a problem though: when the subject of a Wikipedia article performs these edits themselves, they are considered a point of view, as there is potential for conflict of interest.

According to Wikipedia:

Conflict of interest (COI) editing involves contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial and other relationships. Any external relationship can trigger a conflict of interest. That someone has a conflict of interest is a description of a situation, not a judgment about that person’s opinions or integrity.

COI editing is strongly discouraged on Wikipedia. It undermines public confidence, and it risks causing public embarrassment to the individuals and companies being promoted. Editors with a COI cannot know whether or how much it has influenced their editing. If COI editing causes disruption, an administrator may opt to place blocks on the involved accounts.

Editors with a COI, including paid editors, are expected to disclose it whenever they seek to influence an affected article’s content. Anyone editing for pay must disclose who is paying them, who the client is, and any other relevant affiliation; this is a requirement of the Wikimedia Foundation. In addition, COI editors are generally advised not to edit affected articles directly, and to propose changes on talk pages instead.

A Wikipedia editor, Alexf, has now undone all the edits that Rick Schwartz provided to his own entry; the reason for reverting those changes is quoted as “rm COI – POV.”

The “rm” part is the Unix/Linux command for removing files and directories, and the “COI-POV” acronyms are in reference to conflict of interest and point of view.

It’s a good idea not to begin a war of reverting changes that have been formally tagged with such a note, as this might lead to the locking of the entry, or even its complete deletion.

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