Microsoft and Wikipedia

Man, I’d hate to be in Microsoft’s shoes.  Everything they do is villified, no matter their intentions.

Let’s say you have a company, and you make widgets.  A competing company also makes widgets.  Your competition’s employees have been posting to Wikipedia about Widgets, but the articles on Widgets are not unbiased.  They’re biased towards the sort of widgets that your competition makes, making your widgets seem inferior.

What’s the right thing to do in this situation?

Usually what people do is just edit the entries directly.  Especially in cases where there aren’t a lot of impartial experts monitoring content, really there isn’t much alternative.

Microsoft went out of their way to find an alternative, one that would try to neutralize the articles in question.  They hired an impartial third party to update the Wikipedia entries.

This seems like a real attempt to be fair on their part, but look at the headlines it’s garnered them:

Microsoft ‘tried to doctor Wikipedia’

Microsoft lands in Wikipedia’s bad book

Microsoft in hot water for offer to pay for Wikipedia edits

Microsoft busted offering cash for Wikipedia edit

Microsoft angers Wikipedians

Like I said, I’d hate to be in Microsoft’s shoes.