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The North Face Manipulates Wikipedia by Stephen Harrison
When Brands Like the North Face Manipulate Wikipedia, Should That Go On Wikipedia?
By Stephen Harrison
The North Face is known for its popular jackets, fleeces, and vests. But warm apparel is not insulating the brand from blowback after it was revealed that the company had unethically manipulated Wikipedia for free advertising.
In a May video ad, the North Face and its advertising partner, Leo Burnett Tailor Made, explained the scam: Before traveling, people typically search the destination on Google, and Wikipedia ranks highly in the search results for both webpages and images. So the North Face uploaded photos to the Wikipedia pages of popular destinations that included the company’s clothing and equipment. When people searched destinations such as Guarita State Park in Brazil and Huayna Picchu in Peru, the top results in Google Images would serve as subtle product placement for the North Face’s brand.
>> Continue reading the rest of the article at Slate
Source Notes is a Future Tense column about the internet's knowledge ecosystem.
In case you missed it...
I wrote about the new documentary Billion Dollar Bully for Yelp, and why Yelp feels unfair to small business owners.
My colleague Omer Benjakob had an important piece come out this week in Wired UK about how Wikipedia can serve as a model for internet fact-checking. Hint: the human factor and community emphasis on "verifiability, not truth" go far.