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June 28, 2012

PRSA Wants More Freedom for Profession to Edit Wikipedia Entries While Abiding by Wikipedia Rules

In a June 28, 2012 article in PRWeek, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) says they want more freedom for public relations professionals to edit Wikipedia entries.

“We commend CIPR in reaching a point of agreement with Wikipedia, but nothing has changed at all,” said PRSA chair and CEO Gerard Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA. “The fact is that Wikipedia does not allow public relations people to edit information directly.”
Corbett added that PRSA encourages all industry professionals to respect and abide by Wikipedia rules, but the industry organization wants to see changes on who can and cannot correct information on the site's pages. 
Jay Walsh, head of communications at Wikipedia operator The Wikimedia Foundation, said the CIPR recommendation that individuals with a conflict of interest should not directly edit articles is a consistent belief of Wikipedia editors and contributors. Walsh also recommends that any professional with a conflict of interest should use the “talk page” and wait patiently for a response.
Corbett acknowledges that some users have taken advantage of the right to edit Wikipedia pages, but reinforces that ultimately it is unfair to blame the whole industry.
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