[Foundation-l] Wikipedia Editing is project number 832465

Robert S. Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Oct 24 01:06:15 UTC 2010

On 10/23/2010 03:02 PM, Nikola Smolenski wrote:
> Дана Saturday 23 October 2010 22:44:52 Fred Bauder написа:
>> Is this an acceptable project? How should someone who gets this contract
>> handle it?
> can form
> I'm not sure if I said this before, anyway: I don't see anything wrong with
> this in principle, but only in principle. If an editor follows all the
> Wikipedia policies, I see no principal reason to ban him solely because he is
> getting money for his editing. However, in practice, whenever I see an editor
> who appears to be financially connected to the articles he is editing, the
> edits do not follow Wikipedia policies. So, no.

 From my experience, those who are being paid to edit Wikipedia usually 
are those who have experience writing in other contexts but are not 
familiar with Wikipedia in and of itself.  They aren't familiar with 
writing in an NPOV tone (not an easily learned skill!) or familiar with 
any of the other Wikipedia policies other than perhaps the most basic 
principles mentioned in a typical welcome message.  Even then, even if 
these folks have read these policy pages, they don't really have 
experience writing Wikipedia articles or any sort of encyclopedia 
article.  This is a learned art in and of itself.

  If you can compare experienced Wikipedia editors who get paid vs. 
other experienced Wikipedia editors, I might agree here but I don't 
think that this is a proper comparison in general.  If anything, those 
getting paid to edit Wikipedia are usually hired because they have a 
fairly good grasp of the written language in the first place and can 
write a coherent sentence and a well structured paragraph.  In this 
regard, they are a cut above the typical brand new Wikipedia user who is 
often just starting out in terms of doing some significant writing that 
matters.  Since it matters to them, a friendly note on their user talk 
page is usually going to be listened to as well.

I'm sure you can point to specific instances of somebody like this being 
a troll, and I'm sure there is some arrogance on the part of some where 
they feel that some geek pointing out flaws in their writing is somehow 
wrong.  Mostly, I would see their first introduction to Wikipedia and 
other Wikimedia projects (or even community editing in general) as 
something a bit bewildering if they aren't used to the idea and mostly 
mis-communications that simply can't be dealt with via some new page 
patroller who is using some quick scan tools but instead needs some 
thoughtful advise and a friendly greeter who can hold their hand for a 
bit while the get started, as well as being tactful and diplomatic 
enough to not insult their intelligence.  If you get all confrontational 
about folks like this participating in Wikipedia, they will fight 
back... particularly as the written word is something they are good at 

If they are being trollish, treat them like trolls, but don't turn them 
into trolls either.  Most people who get caught up into the war of words 
when starting out contributing to wikis usually do so out of 
misunderstanding and getting a little conspiratorial about the whole 
process. (aka the "cabal" of admins out to get them and kick them off 
the project)   Of course all of this is why pages like [[WP:BITE]] and 
[[WP:AGF]] and associated pages on other non Wikipedia projects were 
written in the first place.  These are well enough written that I've 
seen them copied and used on non Wikimedia projects too.

--  Robert Horning
Go Back to School
Grant Funding May Be Available to Those Who Qualify

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