It’s an open secret that Wikipedia isn’t the last authority concerning almost all the information which it contains as all the articles are written by volunteers, and often only partly free and only partly unbiased editors. Though Wikipedia sweats blood to expose, interrogate and, finally, eliminate partial articles and ban their authors, it nonetheless takes a lot of time to perform these measures.
Last week Wikipedia has completed an interrogation called “Orangemoody” by banning 381 sockpuppet editors’ accounts and deleting 210 articles. Orangemoody, the first sockpuppet account discovered, and others were enmeshed in paid advocacy for the benefit of businesses and business people, some Bitcoin casinos (namely: Bitcoin Casino 365 and Bitcoin Casino 4U), and artists.
Let’s take a closer look. What is a sockpuppet account and who are their puppeteers? Let’s observe this situation in reverse order.
It goes without saying that there are thousands of ways to surreptitiously advertise what one wants, without being immediately recognized as an ad, and which we are accustomed to terming “subliminal advertising”. And as far as Wikipedia concerned, this web encyclopedia isn’t an exception to the aforementioned activity. In Wikipedia no company, no person can post an article about themselves. But nothing impedes them just to hire an “unaffiliated” person who will do it for a requester. All the perpetrator needs is to log in and create a new account ostensibly unrelated to anyone. Then one should make an article shedding light on all the strong points, criticizing some inessential minor details (which almost no one takes care of) and, eventually, obliterating the part one isn’t proud of or interested in revealing. Done! Only if the case got exposed the author of an article would become tagged as a “sockpuppet” and would be banned.
But in the latest case the events had become much more aggravated and escalated from sockpuppetry to extortion racket. “Sockpuppets” set out to act proactively, taking reins in their hands. They wrote draft articles beforehand and offered them to the subjects of articles for a fee. But having published articles, they began to extort roughly $30 every month to prevent article deletion.
The case shows us pronouncedly that even world-trusted and renowned sources are highly vulnerable to fraudulent activity and therefore one has to remain constantly vigilant and alert to any information.
Our advice to every reader is as simple as ABC: before making your final judgement take some time to read material from several sources comparing them with each other. Only by this means you won’t be tricked.
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