[Wikimedia-l] Paid editing v. paid advocacy (editing)

Erlend Bjørtvedt erlend at wikimedia.no
Thu Jan 9 23:52:29 UTC 2014

I agree with you, Dariusz.

We have discussed this at length in the community, and at Wikipedia Academy
in Oslo in december.

There is minimal support of a ban of paid editing. One thing is the fact
that we have both Wikipedians in Residence and editing scholarships with
GLAM institutions. It is naive to believe that cultural institutions like
museums, etc, are not commercial. I am myself among those receiving USD
1.500 from the Directorate of Cultural Heritage to write about 19th century
trappers' huts at Spitsbergen. Commercial? Probably not. Paid editing?

The debate among admins and at the Academy last month, revealed more or
less consensus along several lines of thought.

1) A ban of paid editing is illusionary and impractible, and will just
force paid editors "underground"
2) A ban will deprive us of invaluable expertise on a wide array of
subjects that would otherwise not be covered
3) Guidelines and 5 pillars take presedence over COI anyway, judge people
by what they do, and not who they are.
4) In-house employee editing is not only tolerated, but quite common at
5) The line runs at paid advocacy = third-party for-pay editing for a
commercial customer, or for-pay POV editing.

During the discussion, it appeared that a large proportion of the admins
and bureaucrats who joined the discussion, had edited the articles about
their employers. Most were aware of the COI potential involved, but
asserted being able to write  objectively even about an employer.

Erlend Bjørtvedt

2014/1/9 Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>

> On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM, Tomasz Ganicz <polimerek at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Yes, but the question is how to enable such a system. If the rules for
> >  paid editors were to be very strict - many paid editors would have
> > still decide to do it in secrecy anyway,
> oh, but there will ALWAYS be those lurking in the shadows. However,
> currently we frown upon edits which are according to the rules just as much
> as upon those which cross the line. I think it would be good to make and
> explicit, ostensive bright line, like Jimbo suggested - I just think the
> line should be elsewhere.
> Paid editing, when done according to the rules, and when subjected to
> transparent community control, is definitely better than a system in which
> paid editors are, in fact, motivated NOT TO reveal their affiliations.
> best,
> dariusz "pundit"
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*Erlend Bjørtvedt*
Nestleder, Wikimedia Norge
Vice chairman, Wikimedia Norway
Mob: +47 - 9225 9227
 http://no.wikimedia.org <http://no.wikimedia.org/wiki/About_us>

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