Prosper.com Edits Wikipedia: Removing Criticism

Wiseclerk mentioned the fighting over the Wikipedia article on Prosper. (The disagreement can be seen on the Wikipedia talk page. ) This reminded me of the wikipedia scanner. The wikipedia scanner checks Wikipedia edits versus the IP address of the editor and looks up the domain to find out possibly what company or governemnt agency made the change. Some interesting examples of Wikipedia Scanner usage include:

So what did Wikipedia users with Prosper Marketplace IP addresses edit on the Prosper wikipedia page?

Since all the following edits came from Prosper Marketplace IP addresses, the implication is that someone from within Prosper’s offices made the following changes. Here is the link to the Prosper.com edits of all Wikipedia pages. The changes include a few of edits of self promotion such as adding Prosper.com to the Wikipedia page on loans, businesses in San Francisco, and Peer to Peer Lending. I don’t consider those edits much of an issue, but technically businesses are not supposed to use Wikipeida to promote themselves.

On the Prosper Wikipedia page itself, Prosper employees likely made several changes:

By the way, someone at Prosper is also a huge fan P2PNoBank and RateLadder. They added links to those sites One, Two, Three, Four, and Five times. The first edit was actually made to Kiva’s web page! Why is someone at Prosper so fascinated with those websites?

Also, Prosper.com is not unique in making changes to their Wikipedia web page. Someone at Kiva removed negative information about their web servers crashing. I checked for Zopa edits and found none.

Of course, we’ll never know if any Prosper employees knew about the Wikipedia scanner and made other edits from home…

Disclaimer: I am relying on the Wikipeida Scanner to accurately reverse look up IP addresses of edits. If those lookups are incorrect, my data is also incorrect. I used only the IP addresss alloted to “Prosper Marketplace.” Additionally, there is now way of knowing if an employee made these edits on their own initiative and were not directed by Prosper Marketplace management. However, these Wikipeida edits taken together with removing the old forums and moderating the new forums may indicate pattern. Of course, they were dealing with rebellion in the forums, but it seems like they may be deleting criticisms rather than dealing with the root causes.

What do you think users from Prosper Marketplace IP addresses editing Wikipedia? Do you consider it abuse or vandalism? Or was Prosper making some minor corrections?

Wikipedia, Prosper, P2P Lending, internet, criticism

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Comments

  1. madhatter says:

    “By the way, someone at Prosper is also a huge fan P2PNoBank and RateLadder. They added links to those sites One, Two, Three, Four, and Five times. The first edit was actually made to Kiva’s web page! Why is someone at Prosper so fascinated with those websites?”

    Rumor has it that rateladder works at Prosper as a contractor (and even has his own desk). Perhaps rateladder is promoting his own websites on wikipedia?

  2. LenderBe (17 comments.) says:

    Thanks Madhatter for commenting. The attempts to add links that many times to two websites would certainly support your hypothesis. There must be some link between Kevin and Prosper because no one from Prosper was trying to add any other links.

    I am surprised that this post has not generated more interest in the comments section (although by the hits it has been popular), but maybe after poor collections and bad forum management most P2P lenders are just expecting this type of behavior from Prosper.

  3. RateLadder (9 comments.) says:

    All of those edits are very near my p2pnobank laucnh date and on the SAME day…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] are several items related to Prosper.com that people complain about 1) censorship (see my article and the comments at the WSJ) 2) poor collections (link to one of Prosper’s Top Lenders [...]

  2. [...] with the SEC cease and desist order. I can only assume that Prosper will be smart enough to not edit their Wikipedia article from Prosper Marketplace IP addresses this [...]

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