Who's Afraid of Eric Schlosser?

"Who made the edit?" asks Evan Hessel in his Forbes "OutFront" column. "The edit" in Wikipedia's entry on McDonald's Corporation erased a link to Eric Schlosser's highly critical assessment of McDonald's in Fast Food Nation, and replaced it with a link to a more academic tome. Schlosser, who is now coming out with a book and movie critical of the fast food industry aimed at younger audiences, has also driven the industry to create its own ongoing self-defense website, Bestfoodnation. Hessel, like the Wall Street Journal reporter who recently discovered that the DCI Group concealed itself in a YouTube video to mock Al Gore, traced the Wikipedia "citizen journalist" Internet Protocol address to none other than...McDonald's. Hessel points out that, these days, "neither promotional fluff nor libel lasts long" on Wikipedia. The Schlosser link was quickly restored. McDonald's told Hessel that it has no policy regarding employee changes to Wikipedia. There is one PR strategist out there who seems to get it: Hessel quotes Edelman's Steven Rubel as writing in his blog that "Marketing and Wikipedia are antonyms." Marketers should limit themselves to editing inaccuracies and should identify their PR affiliation, Rubel writes.