[Foundation-l] Mywikipediaspace

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Thu Oct 5 14:28:25 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:

>Lars Aronsson wrote:
>>Not in all that detail, no.  But that would be judged by the 
>>encyclopedic qualities of the text, not by the commercial motives 
>>behind it.  There certainly are notable hotels that deserve 
>>articles of their own, even if it's almost always a good idea to 
>>avoid writing about yourself.  What I wrote is that commercial 
>>companies are free to pay someone to write *good* articles for 
>>Wikipedia.  And prices and phone numbers are not part of any good 
>>article that I can think of.
>No, actually, they are not free to do that, and I consider it deeply 
>unethical if they do.  They are free to pay someone to write whatever 
>they like, and put it on their own website, and release it under the GNU 
>FDL.  They are not free to edit Wikipedia for pay.
I guess I don't see what's wrong with that.  We've said in the past that 
we would support organizations paying people to write Wikipedia articles 
on under-covered subjects, so long as they are NPOV (i.e. cover the 
subject, but don't *promote* it, which is a fine line since some of 
these "raising awareness" groups really do mean to raise awareness in 
order to promote particular subjects, and are likely to be loathe to 
cover viewpoints that directly oppose theirs).  Companies paying people 
to write articles seem likely to have many of the same advantages and/or 

On a more practical level, it's impossible for me to determine as a 
Wikipedia editor whether the person writing an article is being paid to 
do so or not, nor do I much care---it's either a good article or it 
isn't, and I edit it or don't accordingly.  Seems a lot easier than 
trying to track down who wrote it.


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