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

Dariusz Jemielniak darekj at alk.edu.pl
Mon Jan 6 07:53:30 UTC 2014

hi there,

my personal reading of WikiPR case was that their fundamental wrongdoing
was twofold: one was possibly violating the rules for content (neutrality,
etc.), and the other was most certainly violating the rules of
representation (sockpuppeting). Paid editing in the mind of many
Wikimedians is strongly negatively associated, as it is assumed that it
requires bending the rules for money.

However, I am not entirely certain this is always the case. I've recently
made a point in The Daily Dot that Wikimedia movement could actually
benefit from explicitly allowing paid editing (even though my main point is
pragmatic, I believe that we basically would be better off if paid editors
had to identify themselves, rather than lurk in the shadows):

To be clear: I have never done paid editing, and I do not like the idea of
WMF employees doing it even if they follow the rules to the letter.
However, even if Sarah did write a Wikipedia article for money (and she has
not had a chance to address this allegation yet) this does not
automatically equate to WikiPR's pattern of behavior, as she has not hidden
her identity (which she obviously could), and we are yet to see how the
created article violated the rules for content neutrality, verifiability,
etc. Granted, she crossed Jimbo's Bright Line, but his is just one point of
view, and not a policy yet. Perhaps it is about time to reflect on how
should the policies be shaped, so that we require ALL paid edits to be
openly registered and declared (allowing a thorough review from the
community), but that we do not automatically forbid all of them (as
effectively it pushes them into the black market and forces them to stay
under the radar).

In any case, I think it would be a much better practice to allow Sarah to
reply to such allegations first. Had Odder contacted her, or passed the
case to the Signpost, it would be handled with more grace, I think.


dariusz "pundit"

On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 6:52 AM, Russavia <russavia.wikipedia at gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, Nathan, please let us cut the bullshit, for I have a pretty low
> tolerance for it, and I am happy to call you out on it.
> You are right, I don't see anywhere in Odder's blog or in my posts on this
> list that Sarah is being accused of sock puppetry. I don't know why you are
> making this totally irrelevation correlation, or is this you simply trying
> to run interference? (Very poorly I might add, but certainly a better
> attempt than Gerard). I suggest that you re-read the cease and desist
> letter (
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/11/19/wikimedia-foundation-sends-cease-and-desist-letter-to-wikipr/
> )
> at the very top of page 2 you can see in pretty plain English that the WMF
> has invoked Section 4 of the Terms of Use, in which the WMF makes veiled
> legal threats of fraud, misrepresentation, etc. It is showing severe
> naivety on your part if you think the Wiki-PR case was built around a farm
> of sockpuppets; that was merely the catalyst for the anti-paid editing
> crowd to really sink their teeth into the situation -- that should surely
> be evident from Sue's press release.
> I seriously don't see why you think me contacting Wiki-PR to alert them of
> these posts here, so that they can follow it, as a bad thing. I thought
> that the "movement" was built around the notion of transparency. If terms
> of use are being invoked with them, don't they have the right to know of
> other such cases where they will likely be ignored because it's an insider
> we are talking about? That Sarah has engaged in undeclared paid editing is
> of her own doing -- we are all responsible for our own editing. She chose
> to engage in such editing immediately after a massive scandal knowing full
> well the possible consequences if it was discovered.
> It is not people like Odder who blogs or myself who dares step into the
> holy inner sanctum who will tear Sarah down, it is the tendentious and
> self-righteous
> barnacles that adhere to the "paid editing is bad mmmkay" mantra that is
> peddled from above on Wikipedia, and lately by the Wikimedia Foundation
> itself, and adhered to blindly by the masses, who will do that.
> So Nathan, where do you stand on the paid editing issue? Does Jimmy's
> bright line rule, and Sue's statements, apply to insiders as well as to the
> world-at-large?
> But again, let's wait for Sarah's comments first on these revelations. And
> then we can get those within the movement who have so publicly taken a
> stance on paid editing, namely Sue and Jimmy, to clarify where they truly
> stand on these issues for once and for all.
> Cheers,
> Russavia
> On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Let's be clear, Russavia - the terms of use bar sockpuppetry, and the
> cease
> > and desist refers to concealing the identity of the author to deceive the
> > editing community. I don't see that you've accused Sarah of sockpuppetry,
> > so why not cut the bullshit? Thanks for notifying Wiki-PR, by the way,
> I'm
> > sure everyone on this list really appreciates that.
> >
> > If there's one thing I love about Wikimedia, it's when tendentious and
> > self-righteous barnacles on the community make it a mission to tear down
> > good-hearted and dedicated Wikimedians at the expense of the movement.
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dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego

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