Another guest post from the Man in the TARDIS, Doctor Why.
Ever heard of "Operation Swill"? Happened in May 2013, and was widely reported, yet today it's barely remembered. One would swear there was no such bust.
Note this part: "Twenty-nine bars and restaurants, nearly half of them TGI Fridays", okay? Ya got that? One of America's biggest restaurant chains was involved, at multiple franchise locations in New Jersey. Something about putting rubbing alcohol in liquor bottles and serving it to patrons, disgustingly enough.
Now, go to the TGI Friday's article on Wikipedia. Nothing. Not even a "Controversies" or an "Issues" section. Nothing bad ever, ever happens at or around TGI Friday's, according to Wikipedia.
Look at the history of the article, it shows the common signs of carefully concealed paid editing. Numerous small changes by a mess of IPs and minor accounts that do an assortment of things. More obvious is the presence of that notorious Burger King employee, Jerem43. He's been "watching" this article quite a bit, until recently.
Here's the thing: last May, someone tried to insert a paragraph about "Operation Swill", a fact which would embarrass any restaurant chain mightly. Other editors expanded it. But it only lasted a month, because Jerem43 smugly removed it, snarling "Remove section that concerns TGI Friday's franchisees, it is not about the corporate entity known as Fridays."
Jerem43 also removed a section about a number of Friday's locations being closed due to the 2008 recession. "Remove section relating to defunct franchise in one city - unrealted to the company as a whole." (sic)
So, this is one of the "clever" things about business franchising. If a franchisee feeds his customers rubbing alcohol and "dirty water" and calls it "top-shelf liquor brands", well, hell, that's not the fault of the brandname owner. Not only that, they'll get their paid editor to remove any such scurrilous information from Wikipedia.
Which, to this day, does not mention "Operation Swill" anywhere. The head of the New Jersey Alcohol Board of Control, Mike Halfacre, had a Wikipedia biography. Which was put up for deletion two months after Operation Swill, by "I am One of Many", a "spamfighter" who likes to report usernames as "spamusernames". Media coverage of Operation Swill was mentioned as one reason to keep it, and it was kept. Yet even Halfacre's biography today doesn't mention Operation Swill, one of his biggest career successes. Why?
And as of November 2014, Jerem43 is still carefully manicuring "History of Burger King", in spite of his user page being prominently tagged "I am going back to school after 25 years. I will be editing Wikipedia a bit less. I am checking up daily, but cannot devote a lot of time to it." Guess the money's worth neglecting schoolwork. What other restaurant chains is he "serving"? His edit summary mentions hundreds of edits to "List of McDonald's products", "KFC", and "Wendy's", in addition to his thousands of edits to Burger King articles, so he must be a full-service editor for the fast food industry.
As if anyone cares, mind you. And so far as we can see, no one does. Enjoy your whiskey sour.