[Foundation-l] Paid editing, was Re: Ban and moderate

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Sat Oct 23 03:57:02 UTC 2010

On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 23:57, David Goodman <dgoodmanny at gmail.com> wrote:
> Obviously, the ones who do better at it are the ones we cannot detect.
> My experience is that some in-house PR people do a very poor and
> easily detectable job.  An expert specialist who knows what is
> actually wanted will do far better than a PR generalist who approaches
> it like any other PR. I have, however, seen some PR people from
> institutions learn  the merits of entering a purely factual
> description and of doing only articles on the notable people there,
> not the borderline ones.

I had, actually, good experiences with PR agencies.

Last two years I had contact with a couple of them. I was explaining
to them how to write articles which would stay on Wikipedia. For free,
while there were soft pressure to take money.

They are usually much more reasonable than ordinary POV-pushers. They
want to do their job and nothing more.

It is our interest to have them as editors and to know that they are
editing. They are doing useful job. At last, they are contributing
their knowledge to the free knowledge pool.

As Ryan said, many companies are doing that already. Some of them are
doing that in-house, some of them are doing that via PR companies.
Just the smallest ones are doing that at market. And it is not just
about companies, but about politicians and various state structures.

So, the question is not do we want that, as it will be no matter do we
want, but how to incorporate them in the best interest of our
projects. Explaining to them what the rules are,. what is acceptable
and what is not -- should be our first priority in this area.

If we stay where we are, at the top of informational sources on
Internet, I think that we would have more and more PR departments and
agencies as our editors. And the best way is to build an efficient
framework for such environment. I don't know how it should look
exactly, but I think that we are already doing a good job, as we are
not making witch hunts against them.

The most of our editors are not core ones and the most of them have
some interest to edit Wikimedia projects. Interest could be a passion,
"showing the truth", self-promotion, but it could be money, too. And
we don't want to push away our editors.

I think that the field for professional Wikipedians are exactly PR
departments and agencies. And I prefer much more to see two or more
professionals who are arguing by using facts, than two or more amateur
POV-pushers whose best argument are personal attacks.

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