The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has announced the creation of the Wikipedia Task Force. The task force will guide and support the education of professional communicators about issues and processes for ethical and effective actions with regard to Wikipedia articles. This will include engaging with the Wikipedia community, others associations and representatives from PR firms to build trust and mutual understanding.

The task force, chaired by Shel Holtz, ABC and IABC Fellow, will investigate the growing concern related to news reports of undisclosed editing of Wikipedia entries by individuals and public relations firms. The task force will support efforts to educate and share information through articles and professional development to shed light on this multi-layered topic.

According to Holtz, the task force has released the following statement:

“With regard to the communication profession and its relationship to the Wikipedia community, IABC supports engagement through accuracy, transparency and ethical behavior, as articulated in the IABC Code of Ethics. We applaud constructive efforts to create a better understanding between these two communities, such as initial steps taken by CIPR in the development of Wikipedia guidelines for public relations professionals. IABC’s overarching commitment is to inform and educate its members and seek opportunities to further the dialogue in addressing this complex issue.”

“IABC supports any initiative for transparent communication,” said Kerby Meyers, IABC Chair. “It is important to maintain open and vibrant online communities while ensuring that the information is factual and shared in an ethical manner.”