Because no one is going to notice

FIPR: ICO gives BT ‘green light for law breaking’ with Phorm | The Register

Meanwhile a battle over the Wikipedia article on Phorm began on Friday, with suspicious forum posters at Badphorm charging interference by self-interested parties. Widespread criticisms of Phorm were censored in a revision to the entry and more “on message” PR-type statements were inserted.

Wikipedians quickly moved to revert the changes to the article. You can compare the different versions here. The apparently Phorm-friendly edits included removing BT’s admission that it misled customers and the media over its second secret Phorm trial, conducted in summer 2007.

A quote from The Guardian’s advertising manager Simon Kilby where he explained the paper’s decision to withdraw from negotiations to join Phorm’s advertising network on ethical grounds was also censored from a BT IP address. It read: “Our decision was in no small part down to the conversations we had internally about how this product sits with the values of our company.”

This is just plain stupid. Doesn’t whoever is doing this know that lying about something in a really obvious way is generally going to make things worse for them?

And El Reg updates:

The spokesman said Phorm’s PR team had not been aware of Wikipedia’s policy on conflicts of interest. Among many other rules they violated, it states: “Producing promotional articles for Wikipedia on behalf of clients is strictly prohibited.”

A BT representative meanwhile wrote in an email: “I don’t see anything wrong with correcting Wikipedia articles about your own company or services.

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