User:Faustus37/On paid editing
|This page is a guidance essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, although it may be consulted for assistance. It may contain opinions that are shared by few or no other editors; potential measure of how the community views this essay may be gained by consulting the history and talk pages, and checking what links here.
Clearing the air on this matter is long overdue. Yes, I have done paid editing on Wikipedia. No, I don't apologize for it, not one little bit. Despite constant implications to the contrary, paid editing is not prohibited and never was. The policy states, "If you intend to participate in paid editing, transparency and neutrality are key." I have no problem with that whatsoever.
Of course, there are those who disagree with me. While I have previously brought up policy points such as WP:NOTPAPER and "ignore all rules," I recognize that and $1.25 gets me on the bus here in Boise.
Nevertheless, it is absolutely possible to provide paid editing services on Wikipedia and respect the well-established guidelines concerning notability, neutral point of view and even the dreaded conflict of interest, which is NOT always synonymous with paid editing. Further, it can be done without violating standards of good faith, and certainly without resorting to stupid tactics such as sock puppetry. Indeed, I strongly support the Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement (CREWE) and other like-minded organizations in their quest for consensus.
It's not a job for the novice or the timid, though. To have any success with it at all you need to know what you're doing and have a strong stomach. If you're a new editor, I strongly suggest you not even THINK about doing paid editing until you get a good amount of volunteer experience in. Achieving at least Journeyman Editor status is a good benchmark. Know even under the best of conditions you're not going to get rich doing paid editing.
Personally, I simply choose not to do it anymore. I reserve the right to do paid editing, but I won't be doing a lot of it. Why? Frankly it's more trouble than it's worth. Potential clients of paid editors generally fall into one of two categories: people with dubious notability who don't have Wikipedia articles, and people who have existing Wikipedia articles and want them "sanitized." Every now and again one will come across a subject with decent notability, or an article which really is slanted unfairly against the subject. Nevertheless, I found these were increasingly the exception rather than the norm. Wikipedia is not a PR service; for many clients there is a profound disconnect between expectation and reality. No one is served by writing an article without making a good faith attempt to keep it out of harm's way.
That said, until the practice is expressly prohibited, I will support paid editors who make a good faith effort to operate within established Wikipedia guidelines.
Last update: 21:44, 24 July 2013 (UTC)