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

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 10 21:11:06 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) <bjorsch at wikimedia.org
> wrote:

> (Note these are my own personal views and in no way reflect any views of
> the WMF or anyone else)
> On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 7:34 AM, Christophe Henner <
> christophe.henner at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Now, the question about "paid advocacy". Again, one of our core
> > principle is NPOV. We don't want people to push their POV. Whether
> > they're paid or not, is not relevant.
> >
> > So, to me, the "paid foobar" question is not the one in debate here.
> > The one we're actually debating about is "do we want for profit
> > organization to edit Wikipedia".
> >
> I'd take this one step further: *paid* advocacy isn't necessarily the thing
> we should be that much concerned about, as unpaid advocacy is just as bad
> for the integrity of our content. There's no difference between someone who
> inserts POV content because they're being paid to do so and someone who
> inserts POV content because of their religious beliefs or personal
> relationships or the like.

That's the key point right here. The entire focus on preventing "paid
advocacy editing" is like fitting a 12-inch steel door at the front of the
house, while leaving open doors and windows for social entrepreneurs of all
sorts on all the other sides of the building.

> On the other hand, a paid advocate may perhaps be more concerning from a
> community standpoint because it's likely that the paid advocate is going to
> have more time and resources to devote to inserting POV content (and to
> doing so in ways less likely to be "caught") than most unpaid advocates.
> Even more generally, even paid editing without advocacy may give a stigma
> to the project even if the content really is fully NPOV. And, as mentioned
> elsewhere, even paid editing without advocacy might discourage non-paid
> contributions for various reasons. These reasons might be behind some of
> the opposition to all paid editing.
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