On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton@gmail.com> wrote:
On Sep 17, 2012 8:34 PM, "Chris Keating" <chriskeatingwiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.