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"DonorGate" Is Latest Scandal To Hit Wikipedia 274

MSTCrow5429 writes "In the latest of a long train of scandals to hit Wikipedia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports on an accusation that founder and Wikia President Jimmy Wales traded a multi-thousand dollar donation for an article re-write. Jeff Merkey, formerly of Novell, claims that Wales approached him in 2006 and said that for a fee, Wales would personally see to it that the article on Merkey, which had cast him in a negative light, would be re-written in Merkey's favor. Merkey claims that after he donated $5,000, Wales followed through on this quid pro quo. The Wikipedia edit history does indicate that Wales wiped out the article on Merkey, and then personally re-wrote it. The SMH reports that Wales has called the allegation 'nonsense.'" Merkey filed a harassment lawsuit in 2005 against a number of people and organizations, including Slashdot. Slashdot was removed from the suit on 2005-07-20.

Update: 03/12 00:39 GMT by KD : Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh provided this official statement: "Current allegations relating to Jimmy Wales soliciting donations for the Wikimedia Foundation in order to protect or edit Wikipedia articles are completely false. The Wikimedia Foundation has never accepted nor solicited donations in order to protect or make edits to a Wikipedia article — nor has Jimmy Wales. This is a practice the Wikimedia Foundation would never condone."

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