The wide-ranging discussion touched on a number of topics. PC Magazinetook note of comments on the FBI–Apple encryption dispute ("I'm really proud of Apple for fighting this thing"), Chinese censorship of Wikipedia ("I'm ready to wait 1,000 years. I'd rather the Chinese people understand what's happening to them when they understand that the government won't let them view any of the Wikipedia pages."), and problems in the Wikipedia editing community ("[W]e may be too tolerant of bad behavior. We want women to participate more."). TechCrunchhighlighted Wales' strong comments on paid editing: "Companies think it’s a powerful marketing tool but I think they’re deranged and should leave us alone." However, Wales did note that "The top PR companies tend to be very good about their interactions with Wikipedia". Business Insiderrecounted an anecdote about Wikipedia's beginnings: "As a programming geek, I wrote 'Hello World' and those were the first words of Wikipedia." G
Wikipedia is playing a central role in a lawsuit between a London venture capital firm, Ariadne Capital, and a public relations agency, Lansons Communications. Business Insiderreported that Ariadne charged that a "botched attempt to improve" the Wikipedia article for Ariadne founder Julie Meyer "did its reputation more harm than good." Bloomberg Newsreported that Ariadne claimed Lansons' attempts at addressing the Wikipedia article resulted in accusations that Ariadne had attempted to "manipulate its own entry" and prompted "further negative updates on Wikipedia." The lawsuit charged that "this has caused and will cause further reputational damage which has led to lost opportunities and income."
The lawsuit alleges that an email was sent to "Wikipedia" and this email was posted on Talk:Julie Meyer. There is a message on that page signed by a self-identified Lansons employee, posted in 2014 by a London-based IP address. It seems unlikely that a Wikimedia Foundation employee or an OTRS volunteer would post a secondhand email to a talk page at all, much less using an IP address instead of their own account. It seems more likely that this "email" was actually a talk page message from that employee himself.
Regardless of the origin of the message, it is a sticking point in the lawsuit. Meyer told Bloomberg "To have an intern contact Wikipedia was not what we paid for". Lansons co-founder Tony Langham told Bloomberg it was "a joke lawsuit" prompted by Lansons' demand that Ariadne pay their "outstanding invoices". (Mar. 14) G
The fourth anniversary of Bassel Khartabil's detention is being marked by protests on 19 March in London (Marble Arch, 2pm), Paris, Berlin and other cities throughout the world, calling for his immediate release. Part of the campaign is a #WhereIsBassel Twitter hashtag.
Bell Pottinger in the news again: Business Dayreports that the Gupta family, a prominent South African business family, has hired the British public relations firm Bell Pottinger to "burnish its image". Bell Pottinger has been criticized previously for its Wikipedia editing on behalf of its clients and numerous accounts used by the agency were blocked (see previous Signpostcoverage). (Mar. 19) G
RepRap: 3DPrint.comdiscusses the editing conflict currently ongoing at the article RepRap project, which they characterize as "more like vandalism than editing". Naturally, other editors at the article have a different perspective, with one describing it as removing "promotionalism". Discussion is ongoing at the article talk page and ANI. (Mar. 17) G
The age of Wikipedia wars: An opinion piece by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein in Israel Hayom, commenting on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, argues that "The media likes to focus on the war that is being waged with knives and guns and tanks, but today the most furious fight is being fought in the new media arena, where everyone is a soldier and no one has a name. However scary this may seem, it also brings hope to our cause -- it means that anyone can get involved and make a mark in the fight for truth and freedom. This is a Wikipedia war in that the facts need to be checked and rechecked by every man and the winner will be the side that manages to sweep the masses in this reality of intellectual sharing." (Mar. 15) AK