Jimmy Wales: Fox News Is Wrong, No Shake Up

Contrary to several reports, Wikipedia’s Founder Jimmy Wales is not relinquishing his editorial control of Wikipedia and its related projects. On Friday, Fox News reported that “a shakeup is underway at the top levels of Wikipedia…Wales is no longer able to delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content, sources say. Essentially, they say, he has gone from having free reign over the content and people involved in the websites to having the same capabilities of a low-level administrator.”

The report was picked up by Venturebeat and CNET.

An interesting story— except it’s not true according to Jimmy Wales in an e-mail on Sunday. Wales says the Fox News reporter hasn’t even tried to contact him to discuss the alleged “shakeup.” Ouch. Contrary to Fox News’ report of “chaos” at Wikipedia (the article cites an unidentified source close to the company), Wales says everything is fine.

Well, relatively speaking, Wikipedia is still on the defense after Fox News released a report in late April, accusing the site of knowingly distributing child pornography. The article cites former co-founder Larry Sanger (left Wikipedia in 2002), who wrote a letter to the FBI “outlining his concerns and identifying two specific Wikimedia Commons categories he believes violate federal obscenity law.” Wikipedia responded with a statement, defending its editors and its commitment to actively patrol the site: “If and when we are informed by law enforcement agencies of illegal content that has not already been removed through self-policing, we will take quick action to delete it.”

I’ll update with more information soon.