User:Dennis Brown/EASYMONEY

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A paid advocate is an editor on Wikipedia on behalf of an organization or individual, such as marketing professionals, public relations, SEO, non-profit advocacy groups and political campaigners. Wikipedia hosts several documents that provide instructions or guidance for paid advocates, such as the COI guideline, COI best practices, and plain and simple COI. The variety of instructions available on Wikipedia represents the different points of view the editorial community has about the subject. Paid advocates are strongly encouraged, but not necessarily required, to avoid directly editing Wikipedia in most circumstances. This essay provides straightforward instructions on how to request corrections, offer contributed content or discuss controversial issues without directly editing the page. Many editors may choose to follow the instructions in this essay, in order to contribute to Wikipedia in a manner that is generally accepted and non-controversial.

Instructions[edit]

Share sources

A paid advocate can be a resource for Wikipedia's volunteer editors by sharing independent sources on the Talk page, answering questions, providing technical expertise and generally making it easier for the volunteer community to improve the page. Immediate implementation shouldn't be asked or expected, but it is an easy way to increase the odds of improvements to the page by volunteers better qualified to be impartial.

Request a factual correction

To request a factual correction, describe the error in detail on the Talk page with {{request edit}} at the top of the request. This will put your request in a queue for review by an impartial editor. Be sure to include an independent source where the fact can be verified.

Flag an issue of overt bias

Controversial issues often require significant time investment from an impartial editor. Avoid writing a re-written version impartial editors will undoubtedly disapprove of, and try to calmly describe in detail where you think the article is bias or incorrect. If no one responds on the Talk page within a few days, post your issue on the conflict of interest noticeboard.

How to create a new article

If the organization, product, individual or topic has been the subject of significant media coverage, but no article exists, you may choose to try to create one. To suggest the article be written, you can follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Requested articles. To submit a draft article yourself, follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Articles for creation. Be warned, most paid advocates struggle to meet Wikipedia's content needs and comply with its many policies and guidelines, in particular those for neutrality and balance. Inexperienced editors will struggle with this process. Those that hire a Wikipedia consultant are encouraged to work with ones that respect Wikipedia's rules.

Other content contributions

To make other content suggestions, provide your draft content on the Talk page. If no one responds within a few days, add a {{request edit}} to the top of your comment. Again, be warned, most paid advocates struggle to meet Wikipedia's content needs and comply with its many policies and guidelines, in particular those for neutrality and balance. Inexperienced editors will struggle with this process. Those that hire a Wikipedia consultant are encouraged to work with ones that respect Wikipedia's rules.

Non-COI

We encourage organizations to contribute to Wikipedia in areas where we don't consider them to have a conflict of interest. Contributing images of your executives, products, headquarters, diagrams and archival images is mutually beneficial, but not a conflict of interest. Offering these images under a free license makes it easier for Wikipedians and the internet to use them. We also encourage corporate social responsibility programs that seek to improve Wikipedia's coverage of topics the company is involved in.

Consequences of ignoring this guideline[edit]

Editors who choose to ignore this essay may not necessarily violate Wikipedia's policies, but put themselves in a position that often results in blocks, reverts, flags, humiliation in the media and other issues. Wikipedia cannot offer legal or business advice, however professionals should also refer to the ethical standards set by their professional bodies, such as the best practices established by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Paid advocates are also encouraged to understand potential real-life repercussions of ignoring the advice in this essay. While individual experiences may vary, the community will generally make it difficult for an editor that doesn't respect our rules and processes, while those that respect our autonomy and follow our rules will be more successful at making genuine improvements to Wikipedia.

Principles[edit]

There are a few basic principles you should know:

  • Share: Articles on Wikipedia are community assets supported by a team of anonymous citizen editors. Like any independent news and information source, editorial decisions are made by the site's editors, not by the companies we cover.
  • Content: Wikipedia is not a place for thought-leadership, product promotion, or trends, but for factual information (often historical in nature) supported by independent, neutral sources.
  • Disclosure: Disclose your identity on your user page and at least once on every Talk page you edit.
  • Sources: All the information on Wikipedia comes from independent, neutral sources we feel we can trust to be impartial and factual. This means we can only cover companies and products that have been the subject of significant media coverage and can only include information that can be cited from a book, website, article or other source.
  • Your account: Do not create more than one account, share accounts or create a company account. Don't name the account after a product, organization or trademark. Your account should represent one individual person.
  • Editing: While Wikipedia's policies don't require you to, the single best way to avoid controversy and other issues is to never directly edit an article. Instead, offer Wikipedia's editorial community contributed content, factual corrections, perspective and other resources.
  • Behavior: Remain civil, professional and respectful in every circumstance. Trust the judgement of impartial volunteer editors. Don't get argumentative even if other editors disagree with you.
  • Timeline: Generally, Wikipedia works in a timeline of days, weeks or sometimes months or years. Use good judgement on when to escalate your issue and understand how urgent it really is. Remember Wikipedia has large backlogs. Be patient.
  • Resources: Keep in mind Wikipedia is not a customer service organization and all our editors are volunteers who merely edit where and how they choose. Some editors may choose to offer substantial help, while others may ignore you or even advise you just not contribute. Cases of blatant defamation may be taken more seriously.

Reading list[edit]

The amount of time a marketing professional should be willing to commit to learning about Wikipedia and its community policies will depend on the depth of their participation. Editors should avoid using the rules to be argumentative about their point of view and trust the judgement of impartial editors in most cases. Many of these rules override one another, require good judgement or have community-accepted interpretations.

Basic: Corrections & sharing sources[edit]

Sharing sources, requesting a factual correction or flagging overt bias is relatively easy to do. These don't require a significant investment to learn Wikipedia's rules, but there are several resources that may be helpful:

  • WP:V - Verification policy covers how all the content on Wikipedia is based on what we've read in sources we trust.
  • WP:CIVIL - A behavioral policy on being respectful in interactions between editors.
  • WP:RS - Reliable Sources covers what sources we trust in which circumstance.
  • WP:Five pillars - The Five Pillars explains Wikipedia's goals and the fundamental principles it's based on.
  • WP:NOT - To understand what Wikipedia is, it is helpful to understand what it is not.

Advanced: Major content contributions[edit]

Contributing new articles or making substantial content contributions yourself requires a large time investment to do well, because you have to learn the rules that guide Wikipedia's definition of good content. Additionally, you must create neutral content despite your conflict of interest. It's strongly advised you gain experience by editing in areas where you do not have a conflict of interest before taking on the project.

  • The plain and simple COI essay is the single best place for paid advocates to get get a crash course in making major content contributions that are compliant with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines
  • WP:N - Notability guideline covers the specific criteria for whether a subject deserves an article. WP:CORP has specific criteria for companies and organizations.
  • WP:NPOV - A Neutral Point Of View is expected of all editors.
  • <insert more>

Generally helpful links[edit]

If you've been blocked[edit]

If you are already blocked, do not log in from a different IP address and continue to edit. This is called sockpuppetry and will pretty much end your career at Wikipedia. Evading a block is not acceptable behavior and is typically discovered and deal with swiftly. You must instead address the reasons you were blocked. Log into your blocked account, and follow the instructions at the block template Ask for help. Be polite. Take the time to learn what you did wrong that led to the block. This will allow you to hopefully return to editing in full compliance of the expected norms of Wikipedia. Many respected editors at Wikipedia have been blocked before, so it isn't an end to a career at Wikipedia, but it does mean that there are problems that need addressing.