Wikipedia editors have identified hundreds of user accounts set up to make paid-for entries. This violates the aims and objectives of the online encyclopedia.
According to the BBC, Sue Gardner, executive editor of the Wikimedia Foundation, has said that "as many as several hundred" accounts were suspect. She added that “Our goal is to provide neutral, reliable information for our readers, and anything that threatens that is a serious problem. We are actively examining this situation and exploring our options.”
The investigation indicates that most of the disputed entries appear to originate from a U.S. company called Wiki-PR, which claims to "build, manage, and translate Wikipedia pages for over 12,000 people and companies." Many entries appear to have been commissioned by Silicon Valley dot-coms (including a user called Morning277), small financial institutions, authors, medical doctors, a musician and an oil company.
Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia's 30 million articles in 287 languages, including over 4.3 million in the English Wikipedia, are written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone having access to the site.
Wikipedia has taken action to ban several hundred accounts.