[Wikimedia-l] WMF employee writing articles for $300

Oliver Keyes ironholds at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 07:20:29 UTC 2014

As an apparent "Wikimedia insider"; I think that if the allegations are
substantiated they need to be addressed. I don't mean to run interference
on that. I mean to try and undercut any attempt to turn a subject worth
discussing substantively into an excuse to crow. My objection is not that
you raised this allegation, it's that you insist on posting four hundred
word screeds about how hard-done by you are and how this demands that
people accept you were right all along. If you actually care about the
substance of the discussion, stop doing that. If you don't, just stop.

On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM, Russavia <russavia.wikipedia at gmail.com>wrote:

> Steven,
> Did it occur to you that the reason the account is anonymised is that
> one would likely not want it to be found out? It also beyond the
> realms of imagination that "Wikipediocracy trolls" would create an
> account on 6 January 2012 as a joe-job account, and sit on it all this
> time and then have Odder (who is certainly no friend of
> Wikipediocracy) find out about it, and let him beat them to the punch.
> But here's a little more evidence for you. From that screenshot, you
> will notice in September Sarah earned $96 from a job which is
> described as "Wikipedia Writer Editor". The information for that job
> is found at https://www.odesk.com/jobs/~01fb1fd477c79e30b0 (and I have
> taken the liberty of uploading it at
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8j_w_yHF5ymdHQzTkJkRkY5TWM/edit?usp=sharing
> )
> From this we can ascertain the following:
> * The job was posted on 3 September 2013
> * The client is in the United States
> * Sarah was one of 9 applicants for the job, applying on 4 September 2013
> * The client was interviewing 2 applicants, and they ended up hiring Sarah
> * On 4 October 2013 (a Friday), the client last viewed this job -- the
> little question mark pop-up says "This is when the client last viewed
> or interacted with the applicants for this job." - in all likelihood
> this is when the information was provided to Sarah.
> From Sarah's contributions between this period we can see that she was
> involved in creating and editing articles relating to Turkey, Algeria,
> Guatemala, creating articles such as
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugénie_Luce, etc
> On 6 October 2013 (-8 GMT), after editing articles on places/people in
> Moldova and Ukraine, at 12:14 she made this edit
> (
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stephen_III_of_Moldavia&diff=prev&oldid=576031919
> ).
> At 13:53, a little under 2 hours later, Sarah posted
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub). Again, this is a
> somewhat puff piece article, out of sync with what she was editing at
> the time, with sourcing that one wouldn't really expect in an article.
> The wording at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub)#Music
> is especially telling. Then
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1935&diff=prev&oldid=576044989
> is done straight afterwards. That it was posted a little under 2 hours
> after her edit to the Stephen III of Moldavia article would correlate
> with the 2 hours that she billed the client for cleaning the article
> up to make it presentable, receiving $96. Then it was back to normal
> editing. Not bad for 2 hours editing on a Sunday afternoon, eh?
> And surely you can understand why people would post this information
> publicly. Already on this very list I have been attacked by no less
> than 4 Wikimedia insiders (yourself included) who are clearly trying
> to run deflection and interference. Emailing the WMF and Sue
> privately, so that it can be quietly ignored, or swept under the
> carpet; this is the experience of many people in the past, so why
> waste one's time. And anyway, doesn't the public, including the media
> whom I have also taken the liberty of advising that this issue exists,
> have a right to know that such things are happening on a project that
> prides itself on how transparent it is.
> Steven, does this smell like trolling and an elaborate "set up Sarah"
> joe-job? People can continue to bury their heads in the sand, attack
> me for trolling, run interference, and believe in vast conspiracies
> and other such nonsense. I will look at this logically, and taken in
> with information that Odder provided, it's couldn't be clearer.
> What isn't so clear is how Sue and Jimmy will respond......
> On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM, Steven Walling <steven.walling at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Russavia <russavia.wikipedia at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> >> Odder has published a fantastic blog piece at
> >> http://twkozlowski.net/paid-editing-thrives-in-the-heart-of-wikipedia/in
> >> which it is revealed that a WMF employee is engaged in undeclared paid
> >> editing on English Wikipedia, and charging what it appears to be $300
> per
> >> article.
> >>
> >> I have cc'ed both Sue and Jimmy in on this email, but also sending to
> this
> >> list as I know they, and other WMF employees, do use this list, and I
> think
> >> it would be pertinent that they respond publicly to the issues raised
> here.
> >> It is ever so more important given that the undeclared paid editing
> >> occurred AFTER the whole Wiki-PR debacle (Sue's press release, WMF's
> >> cease-and-desist, and of course the resultant media attention).
> >>
> >> What do Jimmy and Sue believe should occur given that such editing
> violates
> >> Wikipedia policies and also Jimmy's so-called Bright Line Rule. In
> relation
> >> to Jimmy's line, many are still clueless as to what exactly this Bright
> >> Line is (it's not very bright), and how it should be applied in
> practice,
> >> so Jimmy, if you are out there, your comment is requested on that.
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >>
> >> Russavia
> >>
> >
> > I'm with David and Nathan here.
> >
> > The "evidence" presented is an anonymized oDesk account and a screenshot.
> > Screenshots are very easily doctored, and Wikipediocracy trolls have many
> > reasons to attack a Wikimedian like Sarah. I wouldn't be surprised if
> > they'd go so far as to set up a fake account using her picture and
> > information.
> >
> > If you really cared about solving this, you could try emailing Sarah, her
> > superiors, and Sue directly. Considering many staff don't follow high
> > volume lists like Wikimedia-l, especially on the weekend, it's not
> exactly
> > the best way to get a response from the WMF. It is, however, a great way
> to
> > stir up bullshit drama.
> >
> > I'll hold out for Sarah's comment, if she feels comfortable. Otherwise
> > smells like trolling.
> >
> > Steven
> > _______________________________________________
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