Comments:Jimmy Wales accused of editing Wikipedia for donations

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And why didn't these individuals just edit themselves[edit]

And why didn't these individuals just edit themselves, rather than pay for edits? Higly unlikely story. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:58, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Because editing an article on yourself, or someone connected to you, is a conflict of interest, and causes huge amounts of trouble in itself. See, for example, Congressional staff actions prompt Wikipedia investigation, Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members, and more on the pay-to-edit idea, Microsoft offers to pay blogger to 'correct' Wikipedia article. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 02:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

This is getting annoying.[edit]

First the Carolyn Doran controversy, then the whole company credit card thing, and now this. These stories will give the Wikimedia foundation a worse image (as if it wasn't bad already) whether they are true or not. At first I thought it was just a bunch a crap from the media, but when it starts piling up like this, you just don't know. Jimbo should make a long public statement to clear all this up. - w:User:Ian Lee 02:53, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Merkey Responds[edit]

Although I have my view of the facts in this matter, I am somewhat shocked and dismayed at how the press has taken a legal settlement between myself and the Foundation/Wikipedia/Mr. Wales over issues dealing with my Wikipedia article, and twisted the facts into something they are not. I have enormous respect for Mr. Wales abilities and I personally like him very much. I am very disappointed in the manner Mr. Wales enemies have taken the facts of this matter and spun them into some sinister conspiracy. It should come as no surpise that during the time period, my article was being used as a "doormat" by a variety of competitors and detractors from the Linux Community to attack me publicly. I also had pending in the United States District Court in Utah a lawsuit against over 200 members of the Linux Community actively engaged in using Wikipedia as a libel mill and sending death threats to my family over the internet. During this legal action, highly sensitive sealed court documents were obtained by Al Petrofsky, Pamela Jones, and other Linux fanatics and posted to Wikipedia's servers. The Wikimedia Foundation at the time had to respond to several Court documents served on the Foundation in response to various abuses being engaged in against the site. Neither Mr. Wales nor the Foundation were responsible for these materials being placed on their servers, and when notified, they promptly removed them and placed the article under "special protection" to prevent further violations of a Federal Court Order issued by Judge Dale Kimball in the Federal Court in Utah. I have personal knowledge the Wikimedia Foundation incurred excessive legal expenses and fees in handling many of these court documents and related matters dealing with my article. I hate to say it, but $5,000.00 did not even begin to cover it.

Despite erroneous claims of "wiki bribery", I do not feel I was the victim of bribery or extortion, just someone who made a business decision and completed a very reasonable transaction. Mr. Wales has always evidenced a strong sense of fair play -- although my opinion is that he does have a tendency to break the rules, but I have to say "so what?". Although I do have to sift his words at times to garner the actual facts, it is no more so than any other businessman in todays world I have to deal with. I was presented with the Wikimedia finanacials by Mr. Wool in early and mid 2007, and there were significant discussions at the time about various expenses, and some very serious allegations leveled against Mr. Wales and the Wikimedia Board by Foundation employees who were in contact with me. These allegations were substanciated by the financial documents I was presented and as a result, I terminated several large deals I was working on for the Foundation.

Are these facts true about edits for donations? Yes, they are, but not as it is being spun by the media. Mr. Wales also needs to stop and consider the fact that when his attorneys negotiate a resolution on his behalf and with his involvement and approval, he does not have the luxury of saying "I never said that" -- it is binding on him because he knew about it and even emailed me about it.

I first learned of these allegations in the press after being contacted for a statement by the Associated Press on Friday, March 7, 2008. I was forwarded links to news stories on Valleywag and other locations containing these allegations. The problem is, I never told anyone about this arrangement. Only four people knew about it: Merkey, Wales, Patrick, and Wool. I do not believe either Danny or Brad Patrick discussed it with anyone. Given the fact that ALL of the early statements were contained in articles concering Mr. Wales sex scandals with Ms. Marden -- I have to wonder if Mr. Wales himself said something to Ms. Marsden. I have emailed Ms. Marsden and asked her for verification of this. Ms. Marsden responded and stated he offered to edit her article as well "as a courtesy" after they entered into a relationship.

When placed in a situation where reporters have clear evidence and they demand you admit or deny facts, lying is something you should never do. I went through years of press training at Novell and my own experience, and lying to a reporter is a huge mistake. You can either say nothing or the truth. If they catch you lying, they will tear you apart. I chose to tell as much of the truth as I felt comfortable with. I was also VERY upset at Mr. Wales at the time for what I feel was a serious lack of judgement on his part in his dealings with Ms. Marsden and my name being mentioned in articles discussing his sexual escapades.

My beef with all of this is I was quietly working on my projects and staying out of everyones way, only to find myself sucked into this scandalous parade of controversies, and to wake up Friday morning on March 7, 2008 to learn my name appeared in articles all over the internet discussing Mr. Wales sexual behavior with Ms. Marsden. No offense to Mr. Wales intended, but seeing my name in print associated with sex scandals on Silicon Valleys biggest gossip site which are discussing detailed blow by blow descriptions of his encounters with Ms. Marsden, along with links to ebay postings complete with a T-Shirt with what appear to be semen stains on it directly beneath my name was very upsetting to me.

I hope this controversy dies down soon and I am very disappointed in the press using these rather innocuous events to cause so much rucus and attack Wikipedia.

Jeffrey Vernon Merkey —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)


I Certify under Utah Code 46-5-101 and penalty of perjury under Utah law that the Statement made by Jeffrey Vernon merkey is true and correct and that I, Jeffrey Vernon Merkey, posted this statement in response to the WikiNews story concerning the "Edits for Donations" article.

Jeffrey Vernon Merkey

Email Discussion with Ms Marsden[edit]

Dear americanada1,

Hello Ms. Marsden,

I never knew we had so much in common. It seems we both have had a rather interesting past couple of weeks. I have a question, what exactly are the stains on the t-shirt (not that I plan on bidding for it at this time, just curious).


- jeffmerkey

Dear jeffmerkey,

hah. we have indeed. :) stains? no clue, to be honest. they may in fact be what they might appear to be...or not. i really have no idea. i'd probably need to have some kind of chemical analysis done in order to figure it out.

- americanada1

Did this answer your question? If not, let the seller know.

Item and user details Item Title: Wikipedia Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales T-Shirt, left at ex-g/f's Item Number: 290212885343 Item URL: End Date: Mar-15-08 12:59:59 PDT From User:

Dear americanada1,

ebay is probably a much safer place to dialouge than email. I never made these allegations against Mr. Wales until I was contacted 4 days after Valleywag and the other stories had been posted, and I was contacted Friday by the AP. I have no idea how they found out about the deal with Wales over the money I gave him. I am curious if he mentioned it to you and that's how Valleywag picked it up because I have not a clue. It looks to me like Mr. Wales shot off his mouth about it.

Needless to day, when cornered by the press, you have to either say nothing or come clean because if they catch you lying, they will tear you to pieces, so I decided to come clean about it -- at least as much as I could.


Dear jeffmerkey,

Nope, when I read about it, it was the first I had ever heard. To be honest, I have never gotten involved in Wikipedia affairs. I was just in a personal relationship with Jimmy (during which, of course, he kindly offered to edit my Wikipedia entry - even though he refused to do so for about 2 years prior to the relationship). Seems like the evidence is pretty solidly in your favour, though. I see he's claiming it's "nonsense". I'm not sure how the evidence backs up his casual dismissal of the situation, though.

- americanada1


I Certify under Utah Code 46-5-101 and penalty of perjury under Utah law that the Ebay Email Exchange between Jeffrey Vernon Merkey and Ms. Marsden on ebay is true and correct and that I, Jeffrey Vernon Merkey, posted this statement in response to the WikiNews story concerning the "Edits for Donations" article.

Jeffrey Vernon Merkey

Potential for follow-up?[edit]

If this is indeed Merkey who has posted these above comments, this could be something for a potential follow-up piece, perhaps in the form of an interview with the various parties involved, perhaps Merkey as well as a representative from the Wikimedia Foundation. Cirt - (talk) 06:04, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

:Agreed. I can be reached at 801-xxx-xxxx DURING THE DAY. Jeffrey Vernon Merkey. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

In that case, best to get a Wikinews accredited reporter or Wikinews Admin to put this together in some sort of follow-up piece, and have that editor also get in touch with the Wikimedia Foundation, so that interviews/information and such can all be verifiable for a potential follow-up piece. Cirt - (talk) 06:30, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Statement given -- interview cancelled. Good night. Congratulations, you won the argument, and lost the interview. Jeffrey Vernon Merkey. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

What does pleasentness have to do with accuracy?[edit]

> After deleting the Wikipedia article about Merkey in 2006, Wales wrote to Wikipedia editors he had done so "because of the unpleasantness of it"

Does this mean that Wales prefers pleasantness to truth? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Comments from feedback form - "of course its wikipedia."[edit]

of course its wikipedia. — (talk) 05:10, 27 April 2010 (UTC)