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

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Sat Jan 11 16:58:52 UTC 2014

Craig Franklin wrote:
>I think it's actually foolish to try and split hairs over what is
>acceptable paid editing and what is unacceptable paid editing.  The facts
>of the matter are that paid editing is taking place right now, and it will
>continue to take place regardless of whatever "bright lines" are drawn in
>the sand.  The only question is whether it's done in a covert manner, or a
>transparent manner.
>Rather than arguing over the irrelevant question of whether it is
>desirable to have paid editing or not, we need instead to be talking
>about how we are going to handle it.  To my view, that should be
>requiring that anyone editing for money be upfront about their intentions
>and their edits, and letting the community scrutinise those edits and
>deal with them just like they'd deal with them if they came from any
>other editor.

Perhaps you're correct, though I'll note that in the recent oDesk case,
you had both a real name and photo attached to the activities, along with
a public profile describing (and rating!) the activities. That seems
fairly transparent to me, yet it still resulted in an immediate departure.

I expanded <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Paid_editing> from a redirect
into a stub and created a few additional redirects. It's still a very
rough draft, but I firmly believe that if there's going to be a "bright
line" for Wikimedia Foundation employees (and potentially others), it
should be clearly and explicitly documented.

In the forest, under careful supervision, it may make sense to leave bear
traps lying around. However in civilized society we really ought to
minimize potential danger by deactivating any such traps through better
and clearer information. Posting signs that clearly say "don't enter this
field because it's full of bear traps" is surely better than simply
assuming everyone will somehow know that bear traps are a possibility.


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