Microsoft Offers Cash to Blogger to Change Wikipedia Articles

Dennis Faas's picture

Wikipedia has publicly revealed their disappointment towards the Microsoft Corporation, after learning that the computer software powerhouse approached a well-known blogger and offered to pay him to make changes to a number of technical articles found on the online encyclopedia's website.

Although Wikipedia has the reputation of being a publicly accessible encyclopedia that can be easily modified by a number of individuals (often anonymously), the moderators of the website have attempted to block a number of public relations firms and political campaign workers from posting fictitious or slanderous entries. (Source:

Representatives of the Microsoft Corporation did acknowledge approaching the blogger and offering to pay for the time it would take to change a number of articles posted on the website, but the company contested that the changes were only to be made to the articles that directly pertained to their products and software.

Microsoft justified their decision to make changes to these postings by claiming that a number of inaccuracies were prevalent throughout the articles and that the blogger was only attempting to rectify the misrepresentation of the Microsoft Corporation.

Microsoft also claimed that they were the victims of slanderous behavior, and many within the company have speculated that the misinformed articles may have been posted by rival company IBM Corp. IBM has added to these suspicions by not making themselves available for comment. (Source:

Although no money officially changed hands between Microsoft and the blogger, Rick Jelliffe, the two parties reviewed an outline that explained the changes that needed to be made within the articles. Jelliffe would then have complete control over the operation, because Microsoft agreed not to review his writing before the revised article was submitted to Wikipedia.

In a recent blog, Jelliffe addressed himself as a "technical standards aficionado" and not a "Microsoft partisan". He admitted that he was surprised to be approached by the company, but decided to accept the offer to revise the articles because he considered the task important in ensuring the integrity of the Microsoft Corporation. (Source:

Microsoft admitted that this was the first time they had hired someone to influence a Wikipedia article.

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