Wikipedia talk:Reward board

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FAQ and FEO (Frequently Expressed Objections)[edit]

In the spirit of the original PROD proposal, here are some FAQs and FEOs about this board so we can avoid repeating ourselves.

What problem does this solve?[edit]

This will help solve the basic problem of Wikipedia: it isn't done yet.

In particular, it could be used to help combat systemic bias. Bounties could be set to encourage work in areas that Wikipedia currently covers poorly: African topics, for example. Another suggestion is that it could provide incentives to reduce the large article maintenance backlog.

It also solves another problem: Wikipedians need money. More to the point, many Wikipedians pay for books and other information resources simply to perform research for Wikipedia. Reimbursing their costs will only make this easier for a large number of Wikipedians. WP:JOB could also be used as an avenue to purchase professional photography of article subjects to be released under GFDL, reducing or perhaps eliminating our reliance upon fair use.

What postings would be allowed?[edit]

This is currently under discussion, but soliciting any violation of policy (see the first objection) would of course be disallowed.

How long may challenges remain open?[edit]

Challenges may remain open for a maximum duration of one year. After that period of time, the challenge will be moved to expired requests; however, the author of the challenge may repost the challenge with a new expiration period. The aim of this policy is to keep the board clutter-free, ensure editors are available to fulfill such challenges, and to ensure the challenges are still valid.

How would payment be enforced?[edit]

Payment is at the sole discretion of the poster and this should be looked at more as an entry to a contest than a guaranteed trade.

Does this have precedent?[edit]

Yes—Deutsche Wikipedia has something exactly like this currently in place at de:Wikipedia:Auftragsarbeiten.

Won't WP:JOB open up Wikipedia for corporate-sponsored POV editing?[edit]

The fact is, Wikipedia is already vulnerable to sponsored POV editing. As Wikipedia:Requests for comment/United States Congress shows us, even congressional staffers in the United States federal government have spent time "on the job" trying to skew Wikipedia.

But, supposing that WP:JOB was active, wouldn't it be used by corporations to skew editing? Again, this is unlikely. If someone posted "Make the article Microsoft more favorable to the company" with a bounty of $1,000, the bounty itself would be delisted and countless Wikipedians would take action to protect the article against POV-skewing. If the bounty ever was paid, it would be wasted money, as the "favorable" version would quickly be reverted and the editor who took the bounty would face immediate action—even a block or a ban. It seems so much easier for someone working in Microsoft's PR department to be assigned this task without us ever being the wiser, and this is without doubt the route that our hypothetical Microsoft would take.

There's a related issue: what if the bounty was to "Bring the Microsoft article to featured article status", again with Microsoft overtly or covertly sponsoring the bounty. There's two possibilities: either the paid-for Microsoft article would meet FA standards on its own merits (in which case, the hypothetical Microsoft would have in fact helped us) or the paid-for Microsoft article would be biased. If the article itself is biased, then a large number of Wikipedia editors would oppose its nomination on this basis, and mark the page itself as {{pov}}, again derailing the FA nomination. Even in this case it would be better for Microsoft to hire PR staff instead of posting here.

Although simply having a large number of FAs related to your company in order to increase visibility may accomplish the company's goal without needing any POV editing, and the very nature of the board can further WP:BIAS, as evidenced by the Pokemon-related postings ("any Pokemon-related GA/FA"). Moulder 23:50, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't editors contribute out of altruism, instead of monetary gain?[edit]

Wikipedians contribute for a variety of reasons, ranging from pure altruism to logorrhea to enjoyment of the work itself. What's ultimately important is the goal—to write a free, open-content enyclopedia—not the private motivations of the contributors.

Isn't this against the spirit of open source/free content?[edit]

Ask the Linux community. Many programmers have been paid to work on the Linux kernel by corporate employers, and the Free Software Foundation has hired full-time employees to work on GNU projects. Bounty boards are also employed in open source software for bug fixes and feature requests[1]. Even Wikipedia has had a paid contributor—our former editor in chief Larry Sanger, who was an employee of Jimmy Wales assigned full-time to Wikipedia until 2002. If, as a matter of principle, we cannot accept paid contributions, then we ought to take a close look at his edits as well as all otherwise acceptably licensed photographs from paid photographers (such as those taken by NASA researchers and released into the public domain).

Suburban Express[edit]

The user Suburban_Express was criticized and blocked because some user(s) felt that it seemed to be shared username. Pursuant to the block, our posts to the reward board and bounty board were deleted, presumably because the username was blocked. I have registered a new username that is specific to an individual and is therefore compliant with wikipedia rules, and re-posted our entries on the two boards. Suburban Express President (talk) 20:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Example of Wikipedia related Kickstarter campaign[edit]

See [2]. Rather than offering rewards or bounties, here we have the approach from the other end. Any thoughts on this? Should this model be mentioned on this page? Cc User:NittyG and User:bobrayner. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:05, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Getting funds for the hardware or physical material needed to contribute isn't new. WM grants are given out for this all the time. That was a great example of a kickstarter: someone with the personal bandwidth to take as many photos as he can get objects to photograph, working with both a physical museum and WP and the Internet Archive to create a combined physical + digital collection. – SJ + 16:13, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy to see someone getting with the times and using a kickstarter. In an ideal world, it would "kickstart" the community away from supporting self-righteous and self-destructive ideologies and monopolies. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 09:27, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Stats from the archive[edit]

I just looked at the archives; it looks like rewards given out are almost entirely barnstars, and those are clustered into a few successful backlog drives. Other uses of the board have been mostly unsuccessful. Only 5% of the rewards have been individuals getting cash; and half of those were for a single topical drive (for which we've since developed better contest-like tactics).

- 160 barnstars given out as part of four backlog drives (ce & wikification); 60 other barnstars, 1 reverse barnstar (someone offered ce in exchange for a new barnstar design), 2 on-topic gifts.
- 12 cash rewards, 4 asked for money to go to the wmf or another charity.

Perhaps what we need is a board for barnstar-challenges and contests, highlighting regular topical and backlog drives. – SJ + 18:16, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

As we are going to keep this, do we need to tighten the criteria a bit?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Given this page is now kept (which I can understand given the voting), my question is whether we need to tighten up the criteria. Hence I have a couple of proposals below.


Should we eliminate cash rewards?[edit]

There is a clear consensus against eliminating cash rewards. Armbrust The Homunculus 13:32, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Given all the hoohaa about this, do we in the spirit of eschewing paid editing eliminate cash rewards on this page? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:05, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Eliminate[edit]

  1. They are completely anomalous in our present situation. It's absurd of us to strongly discourage paid editing, and then openly provide a place to advertise it. (Needless to say, I have no objection to awarding barnstars, and I am uncertain about merchandise--depending of course on its value. But cash , regardless of amount, is unequivocal. DGG ( talk ) 20:06, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. Definitely for articles about individual people and groups of people (including corporations and groups and departments of corporations). The COI dangers are just too great. Although there is probably much less danger with articles about pure science, it's difficult to draw the line between those and about products on the market (which may have some science behind them), so I would argue against cash rewards generally. --SpecMade (talk) 21:43, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
    DGG and SpecMade - Would you have an objection someone offering cash for work done outside of the mainspace? Say, for example, giving a cash reward for someone fixing the dysfunctional mess that is Help:Table? Sven Manguard Wha? 22:24, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    I would certainly support paying for programming, and I classify fixing help pages as programming documentation. (Tho for the example you give, I'd rather fix the way we make tables in the first place,) I'd also include the more technical templates, or reports, or any other programming. The WMF already does it. . Chapters have done so also. Any other initiatives for the purpose should be welcome. It would be ideal to have such things done by volunteers, but in practice some of it is more practical when done for money. What should not be included is anything related to policy or encyclopedic content. DGG ( talk ) 01:01, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
    I had to think about that for a while. What would the motivation be of someone offering money specifically for one help page but not another, for one piece of software but not another. Most likely it would be the same as for offering it for one encyclopedic article but not another, namely to exert influence. Why should someone with money get to decide those things? Think of the large software corporation that paid money for improved article coverage of one of its own standards over a competing open standard that the community had felt was more notable. I wouldn't want that corporation to decide how our own software gets written either, or what look and feel our user interface should have. If corporations genuinely want to help, they can give funds to the foundation or a chapter, which would (hopefully) involve the community in the decisions how those funds are spent. --SpecMade (talk) 03:18, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
    I support that. To summarize it here, I would happily procure WMF funds then disperse them to get more assistance at WT:MED. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 09:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. It is certainly possible, but unlikely, that an editor would feel so strongly about a subject that he would want to offer a cash payment for an article to be created about a particular subject matter. But ordinarily, an editor who harbored such feelings would create the article himself. Therefore, the likelihood is that cash rewards would be offered as a vehicle for paid advocacy editing (corporations seeking to advance their public relations objectives by paying people on Wikipedia). Of the rewards currently being offered, I notice that one[3] involves a cash payment, and it is for a business, and offered by an editor who states on his user page that he is a paid editor. There is no disclosure, however, whether this offer is made on behalf of the company, and neither is there any such requirement at this time. The article was created, and talk page correspondence indicates that payment for the article is pending. While paid editing policy is in flux, and there are indications that the Foundation will be addressing it soon, I think that it would be a nice gesture if Wikipedia took a solid first step and acted against paid rewards, given the likelihood that they are a not very well-disguised vehicle for commercial operations paying to improve their stature on Wikipedia. Coretheapple (talk) 16:26, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Do not eliminate[edit]

  1. In my proposal below, I added the line "while posters may offer items of monetary value as rewards, posters cannot offer items of monetary value if they are affiliated with the article they want worked on". As I don't really see the difference between "Improve this and I'll give you twenty bucks" and "Improve this and I'll give you a twenty buck video game", I think that this is the best solution. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:36, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. As long as payment for COI editing, e.g. whitewashing or trashing of an article, is clearly excluded I see no objection to cash rewards. For the matter of that we do not "strongly discourage'" paid editing as opposed to paid advocay, not IMO should we. DES (talk) 22:07, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. As long as the community can veto a proposal for a cash payment (see below), I think they should be allowed. And I don't agree that there should be a restriction on who can offer a cash reward, as long as they're not asking for something improper (including whitewashing). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:20, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
  4. No need to eliminate cash payments for requests for content that follows Wikipedia guidelines and policies. Sure, we should eliminate cash payments for advocacy requests, but most Reward Board activity simply asks for "better content", not "lovely content that will advocate a biased position". - I'm not that crazy (talk) 03:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  5. The "you must never earn money" approach does not look for me like a part of the free content / software movement. Freedom is not about the price. Audriusa (talk) 07:32, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  6. On the list of completed jobs I see only four that were completed in the past year, of which two were for cash. Dealing the coup de grâce to this moribund project would be an empty gesture: there are throngs of undisclosed hired writers on Wikipedia, and many of the sources on which Wikipedia articles are based are the work of paid writers. —rybec 20:52, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  7. Money is not evil. Well... maybe. Still, I don't see much problem with keeping it here. I'd just add encouragement to donate any monetary awards to WMF. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:16, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  8. Why not pay users for doing things that abide by the guidelines of Wikipedia? It seems to me like an incentive to work harder to clean up the website. Meeples10 t ~ c 11:19, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  9. As long as it's made clear that the money will not buy them love, I don't see why it's a problematic incentive for making good articles. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 01:11, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  10. A cash reward is a much better incentive than a mehtastic barnstar. Odds are most editors performing the kind of tasks that are typically on the reward board will end up with a barnstar soon enough whether they want one or not.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:23, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Discuss here. Personally I find this a really tricky one for myself and am finding myself sitting on the fence (initially wanted to eliminate but now not so sure...). Happy to see what others think. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:05, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm that happy about people offering cash to improve things like core articles, but for more obscure articles that people are interested in, offers are rarely taken up, so seem a bit pointless (WP:SOFIXIT springs to mind). I don't think the recent posts by User:Cla68 e.g. Wikipedia:Reward_board#Comcast_Business are acceptable however - they look to me like a paid editor outsourcing their work to someone else. Even if this might not break an explicit 'rules' it does fly in the face of everything else the community agrees on regarding editors being paid to write articles about companies. Encouraging people to add content like this is simply unacceptable IMO. SmartSE (talk) 12:25, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Looks like we have a little cottage industry here, with what appear to be contractors and subcontractors. Given the lack of COI strictures, not even disclosure to other editors (much less the reader), allowing paid awards is a scandal waiting to happen. I'm surprised Wikipedia hasn't already been skewered over these bounties. Can't say we don't richly deserve it. Coretheapple (talk) 01:01, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Strengthen ability to get rid of questionable rewards[edit]

There is a clear consensus for the "veto ability". Armbrust The Homunculus 13:35, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Enable the ability of an editor to raise concerns about any particular entry and raise it for discussion on the talk page. Thus, if an entry was deemed by consensus to run contra to the aims of a NPOV encyclopedia then it would be removed. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:05, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Veto ability[edit]

  1. In my proposal below, I added the line "If an editor thinks that a posting made on this page is inappropriate, they may challenge it at Wikipedia talk:Reward Board, and if there is a consensus there that the posting is inappropriate, the entry will be closed and archived.". I think this is the best option (and yes, I did steal the idea from someone at the MfD). Sven Manguard Wha? 05:38, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. I think we need something like this spelt out. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:28, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Yes, this should be spelled out on the Reward board itself, and yes, this is a good idea. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:21, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

No veto ability[edit]

  1. It is currently not clear that the "Veto" means in this proposal. If any anonymous or SPA account can say no, this does not look like robust enough against the obvious abuse. If we talk about "consensus", any content or proposal can always be rejected by consensus so some special rule seem not necessary. Audriusa (talk) 07:38, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Perhaps this is too complicated. We might easily get into more discussion than the matter is worth, by adding yet another venue for it. DGG ( talk ) 20:31, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Can you elaborate on where? I thought a veto process was fairly local to this page. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:02, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Limit sponsors to established Wikipedians in good standing[edit]

There is a clear consensus against limiting the offering of cash prizes to established editors. Armbrust The Homunculus 13:37, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This might be the loop hole that allowed this idea to go bad: someone created an account, then immediately went to this page & put up cash offers for specific articles. If this is limited only to established Wikipedians -- suitably active for a reasonable amount of time -- it will make monitoring a lot easier. What exactly is meant by "suitably active for a reasonable amount of time" can be hashed out if the general idea is found acceptable.

For[edit]

Against[edit]

  1. Treading into the slippery slope of "outing" other Wikipedians, and also sounds very "bitey" of the newbies. The last thing we need is more arrogant "regulars" saying that while it's okay for them to post requests at the Reward Board, the posts from the unwashed others are unwelcome. - I'm not that crazy (talk) 03:14, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. I think this would be a bad idea. As tempting as it may be to divide the world into Good Old Editors vs barbarians at the gate, I think it's the wrong way round. We shouldn't tell an enthusiastic new editor "No, you can't pay somebody else to improve your favourite topic. Only editors who've already learned how to do things themselves are allowed to outsource work"... bobrayner (talk) 05:27, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Yeah, the more I think about this - wikipedia has always been about the edits not the editors, even though I can see the rationale for this. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 09:28, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
  4. Goes into that too often dicussion of "You're an IP so you can't do anything" or harassing new editors. KonveyorBelt 00:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Discuss here. -- llywrch (talk) 05:27, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Interesting idea. Need to think about this one. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:28, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Proposed revised introduction[edit]

In light of the recent MfD discussion regarding this page, I am proposing that the introduction to Wikipedia:Reward board be replaced with the following:

The reward board is page where users who want a specific task related to Wikipedia (such as the improvement of an article to featured article status, the clearing of a backlog, or the editing of an image) can offer a reward to editors willing to take on and complete that task.

While it is up to the person posting the reward to set the terms of the request (what is being asked for, what is being offered in return, and how long the request is valid), certain terms are expressly prohibited. While it is perfectly acceptable to ask that an article be improved in general ("my favorite rapper is MC Example, please bring his article up to GA status"), it is not acceptable to ask for specific content changes ("my favorite rapper is MC Example, please remove or alter the criticism section in his article"). Additionally, while posters may offer items of monetary value as rewards, posters cannot offer items of monetary value if they are affiliated with the article they want worked on. See Wikipedia:Conflict of interest for information about monetary compensation and possible conflicts of interest. Finally, it should go without saying that posters cannot ask for someone to violate site policies or engage in meatpuppetry on their behalf. If an editor thinks that a posting made on this page is inappropriate, they may challenge it at Wikipedia talk:Reward Board, and if there is a consensus there that the posting is inappropriate, the entry will be closed and archived.

The Wikimedia Foundation is not hiring contributors through this venue and no payments are made by the Foundation. This is purely a page for editors to offer rewards to other editors. Challenges may remain open for a maximum duration of one year. After that period of time, the challenge will be moved to expired requests; however, the author of the challenge may repost the challenge with a new expiration period. The aim of this policy is to keep the board clutter-free, ensure editors are available to fulfill such challenges, and to ensure the challenges are still valid.

Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 05:31, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

I think we need something like this to really clarify how it works, despite it being quite a long intro. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:32, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
the key thing is removing the cash, but a cut off date would help. DGG ( talk ) 20:29, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Sounds like yet another attempt to turn Wikipedia into a witch hunt, what with saying that people with money in their pocket, interested in the expansion of freely-licensed content about a subject, may not be "affiliated" with the subject. How can we say this with a straight face, when the Wikimedia Foundation politically supports "Wikipedian-in-Residence" programs and personnel? - I'm not that crazy (talk) 03:19, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

The new wording looks contradictory:

[...] users who want a specific task related to Wikipedia [...] can offer a reward to editors willing to take on and complete that task. [...] it is not acceptable to ask for specific content changes [...]

(emphasis added). Many of the requests posted here have been for the creation or alteration of articles. Being prohibited from making specific requests for such changes could seriously hamper the operation of this project, which already sees little productive activity. The example given, removing the "criticism" section from an article, would almost certainly violate a Wikipedia policy and anyone who took it up would be dealt with; prohibiting all specific requests just because someone might make such a request is unnecessary. —rybec 21:33, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

The future of this[edit]

I understand the concern about developing policies that are more in-line with modern Wikipedia, but there's no indication that this will ever take off. It's not well advertised, and someone would have to basically find it by accident. We can just let it continue its quiet fade into obscurity. Gigs (talk) 17:54, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Alternatively, people could cross-post their reward board postings to relevant WikiProjects and increase awareness of the board. More eyes on the page means more people to weigh in if there's a problem, and a higher likelihood that positive/constructive postings get answered. Sven Manguard Wha? 20:28, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I am unhappy with letting things slip into obscurity - wikipedia suffers greatly with large numbers of wikispace boards and areas where people's posts, comments, queries and ideas go unanswered. We need to be more aggressive in keeping things active or marking them inactive/historical. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:00, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
In an ideal world where people didn't vote to keep obsolete boards at MfD to make an unrelated political point, that would work. Gigs (talk) 20:32, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
There's also redirecting. What was the noticeboard that shut down recently? Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 09:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)