How to Manipulate Wikipedia for Fun and Profit

from http://www.leanleft.com/archives/2007/08/12/6234/

Here’s a consultant’s online advice page for how to manipulate Wikipedia to keep people from seeing damaging information about your company:

Anyone can make changes [in Wikipedia], and there is little you can do to keep the public from adding, expanding and telling your story, their way. While you can’t make it disappear, you there are things you can do to mitigate the visibility of any negative content on your company’s Wikipedia page. . . .

  1. Push negative content below the fold. . . . Add content to the top of your Wikipedia page to push down negative copy far below the fold.
  2. Reduce the numbers. Eyes flock to numbers, so make minor grammatical corrections to the page that change numbers 1-10 to text. This will give the unfavorable content less attention as a reader’s eyes scan the page.
  3. Bury the bad stuff in noise. When people read online, they don’t read everything; they skim, likely catching the beginning and/or end of a paragraph. Use this knowledge to your advantage by adding positive content at the beginning and end of a paragraph, and placing the negative comments in the middle.
  4. Fill the entire page with content. People do not like to read a mountain of information, and the more content on the page, the less likely they are to see the bad elements within the copy. . . .
  5. Include pictures. Eyes navigate toward photos. Notice how the Starbucks page has many pictures, if you place the right photos at the right place on the page, you can divert eyes from negativity that might otherwise catch their attention as the user scrolls through the page.