Social Media Breeds Graftaggers
So how do we lock out graftaggers (Def: those who engage in graffiti on Social Media sites) at collaborative sites such as Wikipedia?
Steve Rubel at Micropersuasion suggests that individuals and companies be able to claim (but not own) their entry on Wikipedia. However, this doesn’t being to solve the problem of creating reliable information; it simply puts up a “no trespassing” sign that the graftaggers can heed or ignore.
Truth is, anyone can make changes without registering, and therein lies some of the problem. It is one thing to remain anonymous on a blog (which is know and accepted to be biased) and quite another to remain anonymous in a repository of supposedly true information.
John Seigenthaler, who recently who recently wrote this op-ed in USA Today about being defamed at Wikipedia and how the bad information spread to other sites, was interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation today (audio available after 6 p.m. today).
Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikimedia Foundation, was also on hand and explained that the Seigenthaler biography has been locked down and that Wikipedia now requires registration to create pages, but not edit them.
In my mind, this is one of the minefields of Social Media which individuals, companies and government regulators will have to navigate. It is also why it is so important that these groups, and especially PR practitioners, become adept at monitoring Social Media, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and other media as it evolves.
I am beginning to think that we need an organized list of resources for the PR professional to do this; maybe a constantly del.icio.us tag cloud or a wiki would do it. Any help with this idea would be welcome.
As Seigenthaler pens in his op-ed:
“We live in a universe of new media with phenomenal opportunities for worldwide communications and research — but populated by volunteer vandals with poison-pen intellects.”
Technorati Tags: Wiki; Wikipedia; Vandalism; Graffiti; Graftaggers; Media