An article on Wikipedia might seem like a valuable asset for your reputation management, but it’s not always the best route to take. While more people will likely see your Wikipedia page than your official website, it’s important to understand that a Wikipedia page about yourself could be a double-edged sword. It’s also important to understand how a Wikipedia page gets approved in the first place.
One of the most important rules about content on Wikipedia is that the information must be notable. For instance, someone like Michelle Obama is certainly a notable person and would accordingly qualify for a Wikipedia page. The reason for this is that she is a prominent public and political figure and her notability has been documented across many reliable sources (print, online, television, etc.). The notability standards would not apply to a cashier who was interviewed on the local news once. In fact, the notability standards would not apply to anyone who did not appear consistently in reliable media sources.
Another requirement for inclusion on Wikipedia is neutrality. This is where having a Wikipedia page could be a double-edged sword. If you are notable enough to have your own Wikipedia article, then you are bound to incur all kinds of information about yourself. A spotless record in your life might translate to spotless record on your Wikipedia page. After all, most vandalism is taken care of quickly and efficiently. But, if a negative news story about you makes headlines, then that information could make it onto your Wikipedia page if properly sourced. You can’t delete those negative news stories from your Wikipedia page if they are written in an unbiased tone and sourced properly.
So, you may be at the mercy of the general public if you end up with a Wikipedia page about yourself.
Conflict of Interest
It also might be enticing to edit or even create your own Wikipedia page. After all, no one knows you better than yourself and you can certainly add new life developments in your own biography as they occur. Of course, both of the previous restrictions apply to this situation. If you aren’t notable enough, then your content will be taken down. If what you wrote isn’t neutral enough, then your content will also be taken down. But, even if you are notable and neutral, you are still violating another of Wikipedia’s policies: the conflict of interest.
It is against the regulations of Wikipedia to write about a topic with which you have a conflict of interest. If the topic is yourself, then you have the most prominent conflict of interest available. Not only is it difficult to write about yourself impartially, it’s also difficult to set up a Wikipedia page on your own, no matter what you topic might be.
In any event, if you really want a Wikipedia page on yourself, then it’s important to understand the consequences of that action. Having a Wikipedia page could be a wholly beneficial experience that allows people to learn more about you and have greater access to you and your work. It could be a PR nightmare in which all of your future misdeeds are cataloged in one convenient location. If you have a history of staying out of trouble and you meet all the requirements for inclusion on Wikipedia, then someone might create a page for you. You could also look into Wikipedia page creation services to get your name on the map.
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Robert Fordham is an online marketing specialist from Clifton, New Jersey. He spends his time blogging and researching best practice methods for promoting his clients.