TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Wikipedia founder Wednesday said it was a "disappointment" Microsoft Corp. approached a blogger to change technical articles on the online encyclopedia.
"The fact that Microsoft made this offer without first checking our policies is a disappointment," Jimmy Wales told United Press International. "To me it seems quite natural that this is something we would not appreciate."
Microsoft acknowledged it approached technology blogger Rick Jelliffe and offered to pay him to correct what the company saw as inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format Microsoft prefers.
No money changed hands, Microsoft said, but Jelliffe had accepted the offer.
Jelliffe, chief technical officer of Australia's Topologi software company, wrote in a blog entry Monday he was "surprised to receive an e-mail a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance" to Wikipedia's open-source entry.
He titled the entry, "An interesting offer: Get paid to contribute to Wikipedia."
Wales said Microsoft evidently "didn't realize how much noise this was going to generate."
Wikipedia's guidelines against real or apparent conflicts of interest strongly discourage "editing articles related to your organization or its competitors."