Gibraltarpedia is a project by the Government of Gibraltar , a British Overseas Territory in the south end of the Iberian Peninsula, to improve coverage of Gibraltar -related topics on Wikipedia. [1] It builds on Monmouthpedia , an earlier project along similar lines linking Wikipedia and the town of Monmouth in South Wales . The Gibraltarpedia project was announced in July 2012 by the Government of Gibraltar.

In September and October 2012, the project became the subject of a public controversy concerning the role of Gibraltar’s tourism board in the project, allegations that the project was being used to promote the tourism interests and arlegments of interests arising out of a Paid consultancy agreement between the Government of Gibraltar and a trustee of Wikimedia UK .

The project

Scope and structure

According to Gibraltarpedia’s web site, the project “aims to cover every single notable place, person, artefact, plant and animal in Gibraltar in as many languages ​​as possible.” [2]Its scope also extends to the Strait of Gibraltar , the Spanish municipalities along the coast of the Bay of Gibraltar , the northernmost coast of Morocco and the Spanish town of Ceuta on the African coast opposite Gibraltar. [2] [3] It is structured as a WikiProject, [2] Involving a collaborative That includes volunteer editors, the Government of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Tourism Board, the Gibraltar Museum, and Roger Bamkin, a form of Wikimedia UK trustee.


The Gibraltarpedia project was announced in July 2012 by the Government of Gibraltar . [7] [8] The idea for Gibraltarpedia originated with Tyson Lee Holmes, a Gibraltarian who contributes to Wikipedia. Holmes read about Monmouthpedia and believed Gibraltar could benefit from a similar project. Holmes contacted Stewart Finlayson of the Gibraltar Museum, and Finlayson then contacted representatives of Wikimedia UK. The organizers of Monmouthpedia were invited to Gibraltar to discuss proposals. [9]

The Government of Gibraltar viewed Gibraltarpedia as a means of promoting tourism, and the Gibraltar Tourist Board played a key role in the project’s training. Gibraltar’s Minister for Tourism, Neil Costa , told a Welsh newspaper, “We as a Government have always said we have to be responsive and be able to seize opportunities as and when they arrive.” [10] Costa arranged meetings in Gibraltar for people from Wikipedia, which included tours of the Gibraltar Museum. [10]

The Government initially had concerns about the fact that Wikipedia editors who did not have Gibraltar’s best interests at heart may write untrue or negative articles. ” [11] Those concerned were reportedly allayed by assurances from Wikimedia UK. A government official told the Gibraltar Chronicle :

The people from Wikipedia UK-have guaranteed to us That this HAS year element of self-regulation and we want to encourage Many local volontaires to keep an eye on what is going on, and if things go on That Is [ sic ] nasty, Then It Is very easy for them to go back to the earlier page in seconds. [11]

In June 2012, the Government of Gibraltar signed a letter of intent with Roger Bamkin, a co-creator of Monmouthpedia and a director of Wikimedia UK, and with John Cummings, a Wikipedia editor. [6] [12] Bamkin provided consultancy advice on the production of QR codes and training for project contributors. [6] He told the Western Mail in July 2012 that he selected Gibraltar as his next project “after being flooded with invitations from places around the world to the second Wikipedia town.” [10]

Training workshops

Tyson Lee Holmes, co-ordinator of Gibraltarpedia, told the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation that the project hoped “to get to Gibraltar in late July 2012. [13] [14] [15] Prominent buildings, biographies. ” [16]

Plans to use QR codes

Gibraltarpedia coordinator Tyson Lee Holmes with trial plate containing QR code .

The project has plans to use QRpedia QR codes to provide multilingual smartphone access to Wikipedia articles covering notable subjects in Gibraltar. Wikipedia articles in their default languages ​​by using their smartphones to read the QR codes. The project plans to install plates with the QR codes on significant buildings in Gibraltar. [7] [10] Roger Bamkin describes the system as “tap technology,” “QR codes with a cellular phone. [10]


BBC report

On 18 September 2012, BBC News published a report on Gibraltarpedia. The Gibraltar’s economy is a big part of Gibraltar’s economy. ” [17] The BBC also reported that volunteers had been producing “up to 20 articles a day in various languages,” and that Roger Bamkin was in Gibraltar for the weekend “seeking more people to contribute photos, maps and information on the territory’s history. ” [17]

Allegations of conflicts of interest

Roger Bamkin at WikiConference UK 2012

Also on 18 September 2012, a CNET report asserted that Bamkin “made to be Wikipedia’s main page ‘Did you know’ feature” and other Wikipedia resources to promote “his client’s project”. [18] Fox News reported that Gibraltar had been “featured in Wikipedia’s coveted ‘Did You Know’ main page section seventeen times in August … giving Gibraltar access to an enviable hundred million page views per month.” [19] A contentious debate developed over Bamkin’s paid consultancy relationship with the Government of Gibraltar, resulting in critical coverage in many media outlets.

Slate magazine

Once Wikipedia becomes a pay-to-play platform in any sense, it’s no longer a balanced, universal wellspring of information. It’s just another commercial website, with a particularly insidious brand of camouflaged advertising. Any company with a sly enough. If the ‘Did You Know?’ Page was suddenly dominated by trivia about Gap or Mars Bars, many readers would quickly smell a rat, but there are numerous PR professionals who represent subtler brands and causes. [20]

Noting that the controversy was revealed from within by Wikipedia editors, Forbes said that “the incident reinforces the power of Wikipedia’s community to monitor itself and self-discipline violations of its norms.” [21] Brandchannel Reported on the controversy and Noted That payment of money to Wikipedia editors Represented “the greatest threat the [Wikipedia] brand Has Seen to date.” [22] British web site The Registered on the Scandal involving a close-knit group of friends and business associates who run Wikimedia UK’s imperil its charitable status. ” [23]

Responses to the controversy

Various media outlets on the response of Jimmy Wales to the controversy. Wales: “It is an unreliable and inaccurate statement of the law of the land.” Or anywhere else. ” [18] [19] [24]

In his declaration of interest to Wikimedia UK, Bamkin denied engaging in any paid editing. Bamkin noted:

At the end of June Roger signed a contract with the Government of Gibraltar. There is no known COI [conflict of interest] as WMUK [Wikimedia UK] does not have a relationship with this government. The QRpedia is a registered trademark of QRPedia. [25]

On 20 September 2012, Wikimedia UK announced Bamkin had stepped down as a trustee. [26] [27] Chris Keating, the Chair of Wikimedia UK, said: “Roger steps up and down with his colleagues. Back from the Board, and thus the Board has accepted his resignation. ” [26]

On 21 September 2012, the Gibraltar Chronicle reported to Gibraltar Government spokesman as saying that there was no basis for the claim that it had paid for the profile of articles about Gibraltar. The Spokesman Noted That Bamkin continued to Provide advice on the generation of QR codes and training for volunteer contributors to “Gibraltar’s Wikipedia” [sic] [6] The Chronicle aussi Noted que le Gouvernement “AIMS to set up Gibraltar’s own Wikipedia” [ Sic] and identified Bamkin as a prominent role in the development of Wikipedia. [6]

Also on 21 September 2012, Wikimedia UK released a press release stating that it had no formalities with Gibraltarpedia. Gibraltar: “Gender Equality in Gibraltar”, “Gender Equality in Gibraltar”, “Gender Equality in Gibraltar” Wikipedia ‘leaflets, which is the kind of thing. ” [1]

Investigation requested by Wikimedia Foundation

On 2 October 2012, the The Daily Telegraph reported that, as a result of the Gibraltarpedia controversy, Wikimedia UK had been “barred from processing some donations” and faced “an investigation over alleged conflicts of interest.” [28] [29] The Wikimedia Foundation ‘s vice chair stated that the investigation was sparked by “several (highly) irregular activities”, but subsequently clarified that he meant “unusual enough to warrant further review” rather than improper. [28] On 7 February 2013, the report was released, and identified Gibraltarpedia as one of the incidents that led to the review. Among the findings was that WMUK was unable to appropriately handle such conflicts of interest, And that Bamkin’s acceptance of consultancy fees provided an opportunity for the charity’s reputation to be damaged. [30]


Jimmy Wales suggéré a five-year moratorium is Gibraltar-related glad Appearing is Wikipedia’s main page, [31] purpose the idea Was rejected by the Wikipedia community, qui INSTEAD created guidelines limiting how frequently Gibraltar topics Could APPEAR we Wikipedia’s main page, Including Restricting The number of articles for one day or two. [32] The restrictions were lifted in September 2013. [33]


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “Gibraltarpedia: WMUK press release” . Wikimedia UK. 21 September 2012.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c “Gibraltarpedia project page” . Retrieved 23 September2009 .
  3. Jump up^ “Gibraltar: Gibraltarpedia” . . Agency News Network. 13 July 2012 . Retrieved 28 July 2012 .
  4. Jump up^ How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It, p. 213. Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, Ben Yates. No Starch Press (2008). ISBN 9781593271763
  5. Jump up^ “Volunteers descends on history of Gibraltar’s 200 wineries!” . Gibraltar: Panorama. 7 August 2012 . Retrieved 23 September2012 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:e Reyes, Brian (21 September 2012). ‘Govt rejects’ wiki-nobble ‘claim’ . Gibraltar Chronicle . Archived from the originalon 20 October 2013.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b “Gibraltarpedia” , Gibraltar: Vox . 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  8. Jump up^ “Jul 13 Government on Board with Gibraltarpedia initiative”,YGTV. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  9. Jump up^ “Gibraltarpedia” (PDF) . Government of Gibraltar. 13 July 2012 . Retrieved 23 September 2012 . Permanent dead link ]
  10. ^ Jump up to:e McCarthy, James (23 July 2012). “Monmouthpedia idea goes global as creator looks to Gibraltar for next Wiki town; Project Generated Publicity ‘Worth Pounds 2M’ for Authority” . Western Mail . Cardiff, Wales . Retrieved 16 August 2012 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Sheil, Eyleen (21 September 2012). “Gibraltarpedia: A New Way To Market The Rock” . Gibraltar Chronicle . Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.
  12. Jump up^ Kirsty Weakley (24 September 2012). “Wikimedia trustee resigns over conflict of interest concerns” . Civil Society Governance.
  13. Jump up^ “Gibraltarpedia on the Road to Success” . Vox . Gibraltar. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012 . Retrieved 28 July 2012 .
  14. Jump up^ “GibraltarpediA – the volunteer work begins” . Vox . Gibraltar. 20 July 2012 . Retrieved 28 July 2012 . Permanent dead link ]
  15. Jump up^ “Wikimedia Directors Host Workshops on Gibraltarpedia” . . Your Gibraltar TV . Retrieved 28 July 2012 .
  16. Jump up^ “How to edit GibraltarpediA?” . GBC News . 26 July 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013 . Retrieved 28 July 2012 .
  17. ^ Jump up to:b Katia Moskvitch, “Gibraltar targets tourists with Wikipedia QR codes” , BBC News , 17 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  18. ^ Jump up to:b Blue, Purple (18 September 2012). “Corruption in Wikiland?” Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia ” . CNET .
  19. ^ Jump up to:b “Jimmy Wales ‘disgusted’ as trustee accused of editing for profit” . Fox News. 19 September 2012.
  20. Jump up^ Stern, Mark Joseph (20 September 2012). “A Stealth PR Campaign on Behalf of Gibraltar Provokes Existential Crisis for Wikipedia” . Slate Magazine .
  21. Jump up^ Eric Goldman (5 October 2012). “Wikipedia’s” Pay-for-Play “Scandal Highlights Wikipedia’s Vulnerabilities” . Forbes .
  22. Jump up^ Sauer, Abe (19 September 2012). “Wikipedia Brand Trust Erodes With PRikpedia, Gibraltarpedia Scandals” . Brandchannel .
  23. Jump up^ Orlowski, Andrew (20 September 2012). “Conflict-of-interest scandal could imperil Wikimedia charity status: ‘A positive Wikipedia article is invaluable SEO ‘ ” . The Register .
  24. Jump up^ Gross, Grant (19 September 2012). “Wikipedia contributors decry pay for posts: Critics point to two high-profile contributors who have outside consulting businesses related to Wikipedia content” . Computerworld .
  25. Jump up^ “Declarations of Interest” . Wikimedia UK. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012 .
  26. ^ Jump up to:b “Board Update” . Wikimedia UK. 20 September 2012.
  27. Jump up^ Andrew Orlowski (25 September 2012). “Wikimedia UK trustee quits amid conflict-of-interest row: Hangs on to his QRCodes, though” .
  28. ^ Jump up to:b Williams, Christopher (Oct 2, 2012). “Wikipedia charity faces investigation over trustee ‘conflict of interest ‘ ” . Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 3 Oct 2012 .
  29. Jump up^ Brian Reyes (4 October 2012). “Wiki-Gib Controversy Rekindled” . Gibraltar Chronicle . Archived from the originalon 12 January 2014.
  30. Jump up^ Young, Niki May (8 February 2013). “Wikimedia UK trustees have been ‘too involved’ to effectively govern charity” . Civil Society Governance . Retrieved 16 April 2013 .
  31. Jump up^ “Wales: Let’s ban Gibraltar-crazy Wikipedians for 5 years” . The Register .
  32. Jump up^ Orlowski, Andrew (18 February 2013). “Wikipedia’s Gibraltar ‘moratorium’ – how’s it going?” . The Register . Retrieved 17 April 2013 .
  33. Jump up^ “Wikipedia talk: Did you know” . 13 September 2013 . Retrieved 13 September 2013 .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *