Wikipedia:Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia?

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Firstly, Wikipedia is not a directory of all information that might be considered useful or interesting. It is also not advertising space – you cannot just expect to be able to advertise your product here. Services like Softpedia and Download.com are very different, and Wikipedia is nothing like them at all. There are no "all-encompassing product category lists" on Wikipedia. Such things are not allowed.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Its purpose is to document topics that have received substantial coverage in independent third-party reliable sources. This does not mean paid-for reviews. Paid-for reviews are not independent of the person who paid for them. They are biased, and therefore cannot be considered as a reliable source. A reliable source is simply a source that has a reputation for editorial oversight, fact-checking and accuracy.

So what does this really mean? It means that a topic can only be included in Wikipedia if it has received coverage in a reputable newspaper, or it has been detailed in-depth in a published book written by an author considered to be an expert in a related field. Reliable sources do NOT include anything that your company has published, or paid to have published, as these would not be independent third-party sources.

You may have noticed that many products of large corporations, as well as some free software, have articles on Wikipedia. That is only because those products meet the criteria that have been stated above. They either have been mentioned in a reputable newspaper, or they have been detailed in-depth in a published book written by an author considered to be an expert in a related field. Products of which this is not true are not included in Wikipedia. You may have mistaken this for bias. But it is not unethical bias, it is an essential method of assessing notability. It is the only method of assessing notability allowed. Can you imagine what would happen if we didn't have that inclusion criteria? We would be getting articles on every piece of software that anyone once started writing. I trust you can appreciate why that would be impractical.

So what about my company or product?[edit]

Well, take a look at the questions below:

  1. Has your company or product received coverage in a reputable newspaper (or other similar news source)? Note that this does NOT include press releases, or anything else that your company has written.
  2. Has your company or product been detailed in-depth in a published book written by an author considered to be an expert in a related field?

If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, then congratulations, your company or product may be able to have an article on Wikipedia! Please provide full details of this coverage in its article, using appropriate in-line citations.

See also[edit]