A new Wikipedia study with my research partner Marcia DiStaso from Penn State University was published in a special issue of the journal Digithum – The Humanities in the Digital Age this month. Our study analyzes the framing of Wikipedia content on the U.S. companies with the best and worst reputations.
The following is the abstract of our study “Wikipedia’s Role in Reputation Management: An Analysis of the Best and Worst Companies in the United States”:
Being considered one of the best companies in the USA is a great honor, but this reputation does not exempt businesses from negativity in the collaboratively edited online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Content analysis of corporate Wikipedia articles for companies with the best and worst reputations in the USA revealed that negative content outweighed positive content irrespective of reputation. It was found that both the best and the worst companies had more negative than positive content in Wikipedia. This is an important issue because Wikipedia is not only one of the most popular websites in the world, but is also often the first place people look when seeking corporate information. Although there was more content on corporate social responsibility in the entries for the ten companies with the
best reputations, this was still overshadowed by content referring to legal issues or scandals. Ultimately, public relations professionals need to regularly monitor and request updates to their corporate Wikipedia articles regardless of what kind of company they work for.
The complete is study is available for download on the website of Digithum.