In a CNN.com report posted today, it appears that Microsoft, the 800 lb. gorilla, has once again found its hand caught in the cookie jar. The article reads that the software giant paid a blogger, who is a chief technical officer of a computer company in Australia and describes himself as a “technical standards aficionado”, to modify an entry on Wikipedia that had displayed some inaccurate information. The blogger, Rick Jelliffe, claims that he was doing it simply to have the right factual information posted on Wikipedia and that no money had exchanged hands…yet.
Microsoft’s defense was that it had tried to tell Wikipedia that the information presented on its website was inaccurate and tried to correct it and thought that it might have been due to a proponent of open-source software (IBM was named in the article).
An example of trampling on the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech and/or another way that big-power Corporate America is swinging its enormous weight around to put a spin on information generated in the public. Will we actually read a comment on this blog from Microsoft to put a nice PR touch on the whole story? Doubtful…but Wikipedia sure got their act together as they have already blacklisted any PR firm, campaign worker, and/or someone who may be deemed to have a conflict of interest.