Wikipedia bans 250 contributors after suspicion of ‘sockpuppetry’

by Curtis Lee Fulton

Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, the backer of Wikipedia, says the foundation has “blocked or banned more than 250 user accounts” after it suspected the contributors were engaging in “sockpuppetry,” which the encyclopedia defines as using an “online identity used for purposes of deception.”

Gardner says that Wikipedia editors have “expressed shock and dismay”  to learn that contributors “may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organizations or products” a practice that violates “numerous site policies and guidelines.”

Gardner says the encyclopedia editors are doing “difficult, painstaking work of trying to figure out what’s happening here….. we are currently assessing all the options at our disposal. We will have more to say in the coming weeks.”