Wikipedia Starts Investigation of Bell Pottinger’s Edits, Suspends 10 Accounts

Wikipedia is investigating allegations concerning Bell Pottinger edits and has suspended around 10 accounts that were linked to the PR firm.

Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales has confirmed the suspension to FT: "Ten accounts that have been traced to Bell Pottinger have been blocked from editing, and now we're looking through the edits to see what it all looks like", reported The Telegraph.

Wales confirmed that a team of volunteers was investigating for possible "breaches of conflict of interest guidelines". Wales also commented that he is "highly critical of their ethics" while referring to Bell Pottinger.

Wales said, "I've never seen a case like this. In general when I speak to PR firms they have ethical guidelines that would prevent this kind of conduct", reported BBC.

On the other hand, Bell Pottinger has admitted to have edited the entries; however, they claimed that it had "never done anything illegal".

Even though free editing of encyclopaedia is permitted, Wikipedia has few guidelines that urge the users to steer clear such topics upon which they have personal or business interest.

The investigation started after blogger and search engine optimisation consultant Tim Ireland discovered activities by a user of the website under the nickname Biggleswiki. According to Mr. Ireland this account is responsible for removing negative information from various entries that were related to Bell Pottinger's clients.