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London,
21
November
2012

CIPR Social Media Panel criticises Wonga for directly editing Wikipedia entry

Responding to reports in yesterday’s Guardian, the CIPR Social Media Panel has criticised Wonga for the practice of editing the Wikipedia entry about the company.

Wonga has admitted to making direct edits to remove material from the Wikipedia entry about the company, which goes against the practical advice and principles of openness and transparency detailed in guidance published by the CIPR Social Media Panel, and contravenes aspects of the CIPR Code of Conduct.

In June 2012, the CIPR Social Media Panel collaborated with Wikimedia UK to develop and publish guidance for the public relations profession on the use of Wikipedia. The guidance includes the key recommendation that public relations professionals should not directly edit Wikipedia pages relating to their organisation or brand but should instead suggest amendments via the well-established process described in Wikipedia policy.

Best practice guidance from the CIPR Social Media Panel can be downloaded via the CIPR website.

Commenting on the issue, Rob Brown, chair of the CIPR’s Social Media Panel, said:

The CIPR has shown leadership by working with Wikimedia UK this year to develop clear guidelines on editing Wikipedia for the PR industry and anyone involved in communications. This is about having the right skillset to do your job but it is also about ethical practice.
Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR Social Media Panel Chair
Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public relations (CIPR) is the professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK. With over 10,000 members involved in all aspects of PR, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. The CIPR advances the public relations profession in the UK by making its members accountable through a code of conduct, developing policies, representing its members and raising standards through education and training.

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