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

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Fri Jan 10 15:23:05 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM, Ting Chen <wing.philopp at gmx.de> wrote:
> Wikipedia articles. So they pay 10.000 Dollar to Bryce DeWitt (I know, he is
> dead, I just don't want to name any living people) to write about field
> theory, or John Wheeler to write about general relativity, and so on and so
> on. I wonder if this happens, would there still be anyone who dares to
> change or write articles on topics about theoretical physics? If this

I understand your intentions but the example was faulty, as you mix up
paid editing with authority or celebrity status.

If Albert Einstein wrote an article about relativity (not paid by
anyone but because he really likes to share his knowledge) nobody
really would dare to chime in.

However John Doe, Jr., however he's paid isn't special and people will
trim his advocacy way more than a normal one.

In fact authority is not equal to article protection and humble
silence: we had pleny of cases where notable academics went away in
flaming anger because a "nobody" questioned their authority and
requested, for example, external sources or proofs.

I believe "paid advocacy" vs. "paid article writing" destinction is
valid and important; as well as the general "article writing" vs.
"advocacy" distinction, which may not be black and white but it's
definitely a separate hue or brightness. :-)


More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list