It has come to my attention that Roger Bamkin has been editing
articles on Gibraltar:
and nominating and reviewing them at DYK:
Since Roger is, I understand, being paid by the Government of
Gibraltar to work on GibraltapediA, I think this constitutes paid
editing. That is not strictly against Wikipedia policy (although it is
certainly frowned upon) but I'm pretty sure it is against WMUK policy
for board members or staff to edit Wikipedia in relation to chapter
activities. Since GibraltapediA is being supported by the WMUK office
(as approved in the 8 September 2012 board meeting), I think it
qualifies as a chapter activity for this purpose.
I invite Roger to make a statement on this list explaining his
relationship with the Government of Gibraltar and how it relates to
his Wikipedia editing, and to give assurances that all such conflicted
editing will cease immediately.
The GibraltapeidA issue has raised a number of concerns which have led to
a number of members spending time on the matter, and indeed staff time
will have to spent on clarifying the issues involved as well. While
GibraltapeidA has been the occasion of this discussion, and could well
benefit materially from any clarity which results from this mental labour,
they would not be the sole beneficiary. Indeed, the situation arises from
a situation in which WMUK finds itself involved, before having an
opportunity for proper consideration.
Several months ago I raised with Jon Davies the idea of setting up a
trading arm on a co-operative model, primarily with a view to allowing
Wikimedians to provide training on a paid basis. This could include
Mediawiki coding in general above and beyond immediate Wikimedia sites.
This issues - and I suspect there will be more - reinforces my view that
some sort of trading arm would be useful.
Certainly amongst the first wave Wikimedians, Wikipedia had not become a
household name and the prospects of applying skills gained through editing
was unlikely to be a significant concern. That situation has changed. Paid
editing on Wikipedia is one thing, but the situation on sister projects
can be quite different: e.g. making material available on Wikisource. I
feel we are at a turning point, and we need to find away of looking at the
overall situation above and beyond the circumstances of GibraltapeidA.
Perhaps the Board could consider:
1) Organising an effective discussion of what role Board members should
play amongst the whole membership.
2) Linked to this could be the establishment of a social enterprise
through which Wikimedians could gain paid work in an open and moderated
way - including revenue generation for WMUK.
3) Development of a framework to take matters forward, which, in my view,
should include balloting the membership about any limitations above and
beyond the legal minimum which they might consider appropriate for board
I realise this is quite a daunting amount of work, but I see it as an
inevitable consequence of the success of Wikipedia. This I see as one of
the key social challenges which the Wikimedia movement faces as we move
into the second decade.
all the best
*sigh* caught in the reply-issue....
On 18 September 2012 00:04, Thomas Morton <morton.thomas(a)googlemail.com>wrote:
> On 18 September 2012 00:03, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 17 September 2012 23:50, Thomas Morton <morton.thomas(a)googlemail.com>
>> > OK, having done some digging; this project seems to be often referred
>> to or
>> > introduced as a WMUK project.
>> > (e.g. this Wikimania video:
>> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GibraltarpediA_introduction_video.ogg)
>> > Obviously that is a concerning facet that needs to be cleared up also.
>> That video just says WMUK is looking forward to supporting the project
>> (which it is - that's why an MoU is being discussed). It doesn't say
>> it is a WMUK project (at least, I didn't notice anything saying that).
>> There has been some confusion about WMUK's involvement, though,
>> certainly. In particular, the project has been repeatedly linked to
>> Monmouthpedia in a way that suggests it is being organised by the same
>> organisation. The "GibraltarpediA" mark doesn't help - in fact, it
>> probably infringes on the "MonmouthpediA" mark. I know there were some
>> issues with the use of the Wikipedia mark, which I believe were
>> resolved with the WMF. I'm not aware of WMUK granting a license to use
>> the "[Placename]pediA" mark, though.
> It goes back to your point about demarcation though. At no point did Roger
> really identify this as *his project*. And the outro discussing WMUK leaves
> one assuming (quite fairly, I think) it is a WMUK project.
On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com>wrote:
> On Sep 17, 2012 8:34 PM, "Chris Keating" <chriskeatingwiki(a)gmail.com>
> > Dear all,
> > Though I should clarify a few issues. 4 different issues have been
> raised in this thread and it's important that they don't get conflated.
> > 1. "Paid editing"
> > To respond to Tom Dalton's original point, there isn't any specific
> Wikimedia UK policy on "paid editing". We have never actively decided not
> to have one, we just don't - this is really the Wikipedia community's call
> not ours.
> Whether it is written down anywhere or not, we do have a very clear policy
> that WMUK does not pay people to edit. Obviously, that isn't what is
> happening here - the government of Gibraltar is paying Roger, not WMUK -
> but the reasons behind that policy still apply.
> Conflicts of interest are not, in themselves, a problem, but they must be
> carefully managed. One of the key ways of managing a conflict is to have
> very clear demarcation. It must be very clear in what capacity you are
> acting at any given time. I don't think there is sufficient demarcation
> between Roger's roles as a trustee, a Wikipedia volunteer and a Gibraltar
> contractor. The confusion is primarily between the latter two, but that
> should still be of concern to the chapter.
Well said, though I think the confusion between the roles of trustee and
contractor is greater than you indicate – simply because a consultant who
is also a director of Wikimedia UK may be a more attractive proposition to
a client than a consultant who is not – because a client may set greater
store by an assurance that content will not be "nasty" if it is made by a
consultant who is also a director of Wikimedia UK.
Such assurances were reportedly made. From the article "Gibraltarpedia: A
New Way to Market the Rock":
'As Wikipedia is written by volunteers, concern was expressed that those
who did not have Gibraltar’s best interest at heart may write untrue or
negative articles, Professor Finlayson said; “The people from Wikipedia UK
have guaranteed to us that this has an element of self-regulation and we
want to encourage many local volunteers to keep an eye on what is going on,
and if things go on that is nasty, then it is very easy for them to go back
to the earlier page in seconds.” '
A client unfamiliar with Wikipedia would have an expectation that a
director of Wikimedia UK would be able to deliver on the promise that
disagreeable content would be reverted in short order – or at least more
able than someone who was not a Wikimedia director.
I'm at an event about open data and charities and someone has just
asked how many people each delegate's charity has worked with (term
not defined) in the last year. I wonder whether Wikimedia-UK keep such
To list as well. Gah! Why did we set it this way again?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com>
Date: 17 September 2012 13:32
Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Paid editing by Roger Bamkin
To: Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)gmail.com>
On 17 September 2012 13:19, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry, but I agree with Jimbo as well on this. It's simply not
> appropriate for board members to do private business on the strength of
> their board membership.
You've turned Jimbo saying "*If* what you say is true" into "Jimbo
agrees with me". That's logically invalid.
I've just accidentally sent another email offlist... as previously
requested, can someone please change the list settings back to having
replies go to the list automatically like they do on every other
mailing list I subscribe to? Inconveniencing everyone like this in
order to protect a few people that are too careless with their
personal information is not a good decision.
Parkinson's UK has contacted Wikimedia UK with a request to have a
introductory Wikipedia training run for them on Thursday* 11 October*,
10am-4pm, London. They have found out about us after hearing about the
Cancer Research collaboration, and were inspired to also help Wikipedia in
the field of their expertise. There are about 10 people from the charity
that are interested in taking part in the event, most/all of these would be
newcomers to Wikipedia.
I have created a simple page with the details:
If you would like to run/help run this session, please do sign up on the
page or let me know. You can also get in touch if you have any questions.
Daria Cybulska - Events Organiser, Wikimedia UK
+44 (0) 207 065 0994
+44 7803 505 170
Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).
*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*