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Microsoft offers pay for Wikipedia fix

January 24, 2007|From the Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. landed in the Wikipedia doghouse Tuesday after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced encyclopedia website.

Although Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and moderators have blocked public relations firms, campaign workers and anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered a definite no-no.

"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach," Wales said.

Microsoft acknowledged that it had approached the writer and offered to pay him to correct what it was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format by Microsoft.

Spokeswoman Catherine Brooker said she believed the articles were written by people at IBM Corp., a supporter of the standard. IBM did not respond to a request for comment.

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