Daimler Stirs Wikipedia Hornets' Nest, Gets Stung Bigtime

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
daimler stirs wikipedia hornets nest gets stung bigtime

Daimler has attracted the wrath of Wikipedia. An anonymous Wikipedia editor had “corrected” a harmless entry about Daimler’s lobbying activities. The edit was caught. The IP address was traced back to “a server of Daimler AG,” writes Der Spiegel. All hell broke loose.

What the editor did not know (or ignored) is that parts of Wikipedia have embarked on a witch-hunt for “paid editors.” Long standing policies that govern conflict of interest edits are being put into question, and anyone who has professional knowledge of the subject matter is being pilloried. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales even proposed an electronic ankle bracelet for paid editors that blocks them from editing Wikipedia. A monstrous RfC is in process.

The anonymous edit stepped into that hornets’ nest. The Wikipedia community slaughtered Daimler.

The anonymous edit was removed, reinstated, removed again. Edit wars broke out and could only be ended through an edit block. Slowly all the old dirt that could possibly be found about Daimler collected in the article. The article even was adorned with an unsourced claim that “Adolf Eichmann, amongst the responsible for the Holocaust of approximately six million people, was hired by the factory.” (Well, he was hired by a subsidiary in Argentina. If you want to update the German Wikipedia article, the source is here.)

The collateral damage even extended to the author of the Spiegel story: Two days before Der Spiegel broke the article about the matter, the author of the Spiegel article was banned from Wikipedia, for “abuse of E-mail.” Apparently, Spiegel author Marvin Oppong had contacted Wikipedia editors through Wikipedia while duly researching citations for his story.

If there ever was a counter-productive PR move, then it’s this one. Whitewash a little, get tarred and feathered.

Daimler needs to find the hapless editor and transfer him or her to Mongolia. However, according to Der Spiegel, Daimler cannot locate the perpetrator, for “reasons of data privacy.”

Depending on who you ask, the IP number either points straight to Daimler or to an obscure Corpinter.net.

Looking a little further, one finds out that corpinter.net appears to host just about any Daimler site, from 125-years-of-automobiles.com, through dieter-zetsche.com to mbenzamg.com. If I would have to find the whitewashing Wikipedia editor, I would start looking among the ranks of my in-house IT-folk.

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3 of 23 comments
  • Grzydj Grzydj on Mar 16, 2012

    TTAC editors get all fussy when I point out on Memorial Day that the US was a large part of Germany's war effort in terms of GM building enough Opel Blitz trucks for Operation Barbarossa, but at least they don't edit my posts. Or do they? I love Jack Baruth!

    • Herb Herb on Mar 18, 2012

      The Opel Blitz was one, but there was the Ford BB, too. I doubt, however, that GM was a "large part of Germany's war effort". What is large, in a well-organized, oppressive, war-mongering society like that? Each and every person, profession or company in Germany between '33 and '45 was "part of Germany's war effort", by design. Any productive work, whether it was hair-cutting, farming or engineering, was meant to be that, even KZ inmates, prisoner of wars could not escape. So, what would we have done then?

  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on Mar 18, 2012

    I remember reading somewhere many years ago an article about various firms work for the German war effort during WW2. They claimed that the Ford management in America communicated with and coordinated openly with their German subsidiary until well into 1944 ,long after the US entered the war . After the war was over , according to this , Ford , GM among others received money from the US government to compensate them from losses sustained during the bombing of the Third Reich.Of course in their defense with or without their cooperation these facilities would have been producing war material. And probably the behavior of various US and British banks was even worse.

  • Art Vandelay Pour one out for the Motors Liquidation Corporation
  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?
  • Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
  • FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.
  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/tesla-model-y-worlds-best-selling-vehicle-1234848318/and any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!