The editors said they have blocked 381 user accounts, saying they were engaged in what Wikipedia calls “undisclosed paid advocacy” – that is taking money from companies or individuals to hype up particular entries.
The editors said in a blog post that they want to make sure Wikipedia is “an accurate, reliable, and neutral knowledge resource for everyone”.
The volunteers said they wiped out 210 articles created by the 381 “sock puppet” accounts and believe the articles they killed – related to businesses, business people or artists – were promotional in nature.
They believe the Wikipedia violations were created by a coordinated group but they did not say who or what organisation was responsible for the shills.
Wikipedia doesn’t believe all paid editing is a violation of their Ts&Cs, citing, for example museum and university employees who do, however, disclose their affiliations.