We have pledged to abide by Wikipedia’s guidelines as set out for communications agencies. Not to follow so-called “black hat practices”; instances occurred last year where agencies had been caught directly supporting the needs of their clients by editing details on Wikipedia, but doing so without respecting community guidelines.
We abide by the fundamental principles of Wikipedia and have signed our name to the joint statement of ethics for communications firms on Wikipedia. We have agreed to the following:
On behalf of our firms, we recognize Wikipedia’s unique and important role as a public knowledge resource. We also acknowledge that the prior actions of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the community of Wikipedia editors.
Our firms believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of ethical engagement practices.
We therefore publicly state and commit, on behalf of our respective firms, to the best of our ability, to abide by the following principles:
- To seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
- To act in accordance with Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines, particularly those related to “conflict of interest.”
- To the extent we become aware of potential violations of Wikipedia policies by our respective firms, to investigate the matter and seek corrective action, as appropriate and consistent with our policies.
- Beyond our own firms, to take steps to publicize our views and counsel our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.
We also seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue with Wikipedia editors, inasmuch as we can provide accurate, up-to-date, and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its goals.
A significant improvement in relations between our two communities may not occur quickly or easily, but it is our intention to do what we can to create a long-term positive change and contribute toward Wikipedia’s continued success.
It’s important that we, as Keene, serve the needs of our clients but also respect the process of Wikipedia. Our content will ultimately shape Wikipedia and people’s judgment of the free encyclopedia. We are always willing to have open and honest relationships with Editors, as well as challenge them on key topics of debates that are central to client campaigns.
You can read the full statement from Wikipedia here.