If you’re a frustrated lawyer, or you really are an attorney, then Wikipedia’s talk pages can be a wonderful place to vent and advocate and dismissively criticize those unversed in Wikipedia’s lengthy and fussy editorial policies. And if you are a long-time internet user with a love of logic and latin who stands accused, (not specifically but generally along with other wikipedia users/editors), by dailykos.com of “astroturfing” Koch Industries’ Wikipedia site, why then you have both a conspiracy and a brawl. All in the talk pages of Wikipedia!

Managing your media profile is increasingly fundamental for anyone or any organization with any sort of presence, both online and offline. Do the Koch brothers have staffers or consultants who are paid to monitor stories about them in the media, as well as sites like Wikipedia, where a lot of people will go to sate their curiosity about their corporation? It would seem strange if they didn’t. But the point is, do the edits – really the edits of the edits – by wiki-users/editors like the latin-loving user “Collect” comply with Wikipedia policy?

If you delve into the discussions on the Talk page, you will see that User:Collect always has a specific wikipedia policy to point to to support any edit he/she does. And then he/she sums up the policy and throws in a little latin like “ave atque vale” (“hail and farewell” directed to the poet Catullus’ dead brother and his “mute ashes”). User:Collect is imposing and overwhelming in his logic, like a cultured senior judge or the professor in the Paper Chase.

So, is User:Collect paid for his edits? I have been assuming in the last few lines that User:Collect is a he. Or is User:Collect somehow compensated in some other way by the Koch Brothers? A wonderfully erudite and fussy wikipedia editor who really knows the policies of the site, ensuring a reasonably neutral point in view in the wikipedia page. Evil! Evil! One can imagine the adrenaline rush WeAreKochs – the dailykos writer(s)’ moniker – felt as they tapped out the final declaration of their blog/pamphlet – a blogphlet? – that calls for “swift justice” by Wikipedia against the Koch Brother’s astrotufing campaign. Thrilling stuff! Or, they could research the policies of the site – especially those dealing with living subjects; and ensure that any edit complies. Less thrilling, of course.

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