On his "The Wikipedian" blog, William Beutler (User:WWB) examined the edits further, calling the conjecture plausible ("it usually turns out that this type of account is exactly that person"), but arguing that, all in all, the article had been improved slightly by her edits (for example, by providing a photo of her). "While some of her edits were self-serving, they were of a mild sort. At most this was a venal sin, not a cardinal one."
Beutler, an employee of the American PR and marketing firm New Media Strategies who works as a consultant "on matters of Wikipedia", also mentioned several recent publications on the general problem of conflict of interest editing, including:
An article by himself in this month's Politics Magazine ("It’s A Wiki World"), advising political campaign consultants how to edit or influence the Wikipedia article about their client to his or her benefit without risking negative publicity
A March interview on PRWeek with Jay Walsh, (Head of Communications of the Wikimedia Foundation), in which he encouraged "PR pros" to "participate on Wikipedia in any way they like", as long as they respected Wikipedia's policies.
In an article on web site The Cutting Edge News, entitled Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge, U.S. author Edwin Black gave a lengthy overview of criticism of Wikipedia, including coverage of Larry Sanger reporting the Wikimedia Foundation to the FBI for allegedly distributing child pornography (see separate story). In the last part of the article Black describes his own unhappy experience with Wikipedia's coverage of himself and of the subject of a book of his. According to Black, "In recent days, IBM advocates on Wikipedia edited the “History of IBM” entry to gloss over, dilute, or outright delete the company's involvement. To accomplish this, coordinated revision on Holocaust history required deleting or vilifying my book, IBM and the Holocaust." One of his complaints about the article about himself appears to have been prompted by the simultaneous inclusion of the weasel words warning template and the Category:American Jews, which Black related as "such tags as 'weasel American Jew' being branded on my bio page", "which danced perilously close to hate speech". Black then mentions his efforts to uncover the real life identity of several Wikipedians, since he refused to deal with "an anonymous committee".
Black ends by posing the following question to his readers:
"As society careens into the unchartered roadways of the next rev of the Internet Age—called Web 2.0 by some—will mankind's itinerary be determined by the open vanguard of our best thinkers and writers democratized to include all who identify themselves or by the shouts and jeers of an anonymous, masked crowd operating in the shadows?"