Qorvis is connected to WikiBilim
Despite anything that Jimmy Wales might say or try to hide from the public, there is an intrinsic connection between Qorvis, a public relations firm, and WikiBilim, an organization that is guiding state-approved content development on the Kazakh-language Wikipedia.
Please follow the reasoning:
- Alexander Mirtchev is represented by the PR firm, Qorvis.
- Mirtchev is an "independent director of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund of Kazakhstan".
- Samruk-Kazyna sponsored WikiBilim's expansion of the Kazakh Wikipedia, with funding of $340,000 spent in part on paid editing (71 contracts signed), digitization of documents, and conversion of the licensing rights of the "official" state-authored Kazakh encyclopedia, so that it could be copied (largely verbatim) into the Kazakh Wikipedia. Samruk Kazyna awarded 100 laptop computers to editors for transcribing articles within a given time frame and written to "a satisfactory level".
Now, anyone can see how easily the two entities, Qorvis and WikiBilim, are linked. The man who at least partially holds the purse strings of WikiBilim -- Alexander Mirtchev -- is a paying client of Qorvis.
With such a simple connection, why would the co-founder of Wikipedia go out of his way to deny any connection and hide discussion of this connection?
The reason is because Jimmy Wales is inextricably tied into this relationship with WikiBilim. Qorvis has been accused of sprucing up the Wikipedia article about Mirtchev, as well as deprecating content about Mirtchev's critics. Jimmy Wales has spoken out repeatedly about how PR firms should not cross the "bright line" and edit any Wikipedia articles directly. However, Wales will be hard-pressed to criticize Qorvis in this instance, because he personally selected the head of WikiBilim as the "Wikipedian of the Year 2011", and Wales promised a personal financial grant to WikiBilim.
If Jimmy Wales were to now criticize Qorvis for manipulating content on Wikipedia, he would be criticizing an organization that supports Mirtchev, who in turn supports Jimmy Wales' "Wikipedian of the Year".
Therefore, we predict that Wales will level no meaningful criticism of Qorvis, since that would be a thorn in his own side.
- ^ Jimmy Wales, Kazakhstan, Tony Blair and Wikipedia: A Timeline, 2 January 2013, Wikipediocracy.com, accessed 27 February 2013.