NFL and Wikipedia

In what ways do football players hold value through their reputation? What information indicates that a player should be desirable? To understand this, look at how information is reported about most players. The most obvious example of reputation worthy data are players statistics which are reported meticulously by many sites like ESPN.com. Players statistics are the primary way they can demonstrate value and profitability, much like a CV or resume for non-sports related professions. Keeping this information entirely accurate is of utmost importance when dealing with a player’s longevity in the field concerning for their sports agent, team, and most importantly themselves.

Unsurprisingly, along with big attention and big paychecks comes interest in the personal lives of these players. For better or worse, football players are subject to the same paparazzi-celebrity level of fandom in their private lives as they are on the gridiron. A personal reputation also holds high value in the sports world, as teams are privately owned and profit-driven- team owners do not want players who create personal scandals and point negative attention in their direction. Therefore, it is also key that players maintain a low key personal life, which can be challenging with the typical temptations of a high profile lifestyle.

Sometimes though, even information that never went public in the news can make it into other platforms that are largely edited by independent people with no answer to a higher authority. Social media of all forms have become increasingly challenging to manage, but the recognition of this fact has created a demand for a solution, and for the most part, a solution has been provided. But when one speaks of social media, the typical reference is made to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. with little or no attention paid to Wikipedia, which seems to be where many problems still lay. Wikipedia has not proven itself regarding accuracy of its content, but one would never know because it is touted around as fact. For example, Siri, Google Home, and Alexa use Wikipedia to source information for questions their users ask. It is concerning that is the case, because an academic study of the quality of Wikipedia content on the top 10 disease in the US found that 9 of the 10 Wikipedia articles selected had significant false information reported in them. If an objective and relatively uncontroversial set of information cannot be crowd sourced accurately, imagine when sports politics and passionate fans become involved.

Wikipedia has not proven itself regarding accuracy of its content, but one would never know because it is touted around as fact. For example, Siri, Google Home, and Alexa use Wikipedia to source information for questions their users ask.

I recently spoke with a sports client who was at a loss trying to delete some inaccurate information on his Wikipedia page. His page had been edited with incorrect information about his personal life that was then used as a source to report that content on IMDB. Unfortunately, IMDB is a closed-editing platform, therefore once it makes it way off of Wikipedia, there is not guarantee the false information doesn’t spread. He experienced the direct consequence of inaccurate information lying around one’s Wikipedia page and the blind trust many people have towards Wikipedia. In addition to incorrect information sneakily hidden behind true sounding statements, many players experience false and vandalistic edits. Emmanuel Sanders, player for the Denver Broncos, had his page vandalized in response to a game:

Emmanuel Sanders Death.PNG

It may seem as though Wikipedia is untamable, but fortunately this social platform can be taken under control as not to damage reputations with false information by monitoring changes to the page. Keeping on top of edits to a page enables a person to spot vandalism as it occurs and take steps to remedy the threat.

Branding is everything. From websites to social media and editorial coverage, you work hard to craft that brand. But what about Wikipedia? For athletes, politicians, celebrities, or companies, WikiPatrol is the first line of defense against damaging changes to Wikipedia pages. With 24/7 monitoring, instant alerts, and comprehensive analytics reports, you can spend less time on manual reviews and more time cultivating a brand.

Thea FriesWikiPatrol