[Foundation-l] Fwd: [WikiEN-l] Is editing for payment a fundamentally a problematic conflict...

Rob Smith nobs03 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 23:10:54 UTC 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Smith <nobs03 at gmail.com>
Date: Mar 7, 2007 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Is editing for payment a fundamentally a problematic
To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l at lists.wikimedia.org>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Smith <nobs03 at gmail.com>
Date: Mar 5, 2007 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Is editing for payment a fundamentally problematic
conflict of interest?
To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l at lists.wikimedia.org>

There are various techniques in the Internal Revenue Manual that could be
employed; for example, reviewing the edit contributions of an employee of a
non-profit organization, a reasonable estimate of manhours allocated by that
non-profit organization over a given period of time would meet standards of
proof to establish income from paid editing, as well as the activities of
the employer, not to mention possible conflicts of interest, or violations
of Wikipedia's internal policies.

On 3/7/07, Mercenary Wikipedian <mercenarywikipedian at hotmail.com> wrote:
> What does any of this have to do with Wikipedia? There are already
> policies
> in place regarding NPOV and NPA, and there are multiple dispute resolution
> processes in place to handle serial/chronic non-compliance. What
> protections
> does _anyone_ have against defamation on Wikipedia? Well, if they are the
> subject of an article there is WP:BLP. If they are just an editor and not
> the subject of the article there is the policy mandating No Personal
> Attacks. What makes you think these won't work if people are getting paid?
> Is this an issue of scalability? If so, it seems a little late to be
> worried
> about whether or not the idea of Wikipedia is scalable.
> MW
> **********
> The point here is paid employees of a non-profit entity with an agenda
> evidenced by initiating internal processes of dispute resolution.  This is
> something not addressed in any policies anywhere.  ( 1 ) They are agents
> of
> a non-profit entity; ( 2 ) volunteers in dispute have no disclosure as to
> *
> whom* they are in dispute with; ( 3 ) the dispute may not be initiated for
> the purposes of improving articles or writing an encyclopedia; ( 4 ) what
> protections do volunteer editors, acting in good faith, have against being
> targeted and publicly defamed by a non-profit entity with a political
> agenda?
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None is addressed in current policies.  And there is evidence Wikipedia is
being used for purposes *other than* writing an encyclopedia, i.e. to target
certain individuals and smear their character.  The Daniel Brandt episode is
one such case.  Stephen Kinsella and the Ludwig von Mises Institute is
another. The Free Congress Foundation and Paul Weyrich is a target for much
questionable content being added, as well as an anonymous editor who
identified himself as a professional journalist and friend of Weyrich
received a community ban for efforts to instill NPOV & fairness in those two

By contrast, User:Katefan0, aka Kathryn Wolfe of *Scripps Howard* did
precisely the samething as Weyrich's friend, admitted a conflict of interest
prior to initiating official Wikipedia Dispute Resolution Policy, was
promoted to Admin, presented evidence before Arbitrators admitting her
conflict of interest


yet the Arbs used her evidence against an aggrieved party.  There are
numerous other instances to be cited where a pattern is established that the
intent of some parties, acting as agents of others, are using Wikipedia to
pursue their own aims and not constructively contribute to the encyclopedia.

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