User talk:Jimbo Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from User talk:Jimmy Wales)
Jump to: navigation, search
Centralized discussion
Proposals: policy other Discussions Ideas

For a listing of ongoing discussions, see the dashboard.

Administrators and higher roles need to meet more stringent qualifications for their positions[edit]

Jimbo, two enlightenments have emerged from recent discussions here, primarily the contributions from Jytdog and Coretheapple identified below:

The 2 enlightenments are: 1: From Jytdog's edits: The majority of Administrators are unable or unwilling to allow the aggressive usage of administrative tools to shut down paid and unpaid advocate editing and 2: From CoretheappleRe: Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia, including paid editing, Jimbo and the Foundation have taken inadequate action and are not likely to take adequate action in the future

Jimbo, in order to address these and many other recurring issues on Wikipedia, I feel that a solution will not result from your suggestion that we "make more administrators". Our problem is not the quantity of admins, its the quality of admins. I suggest that with more admins with the mindset of Jytdog and Coretheapple, we will have no COI problem, so I think you or we should strike a committee of respected Wikipedians to draft up a test of 50 questions or less to present to all existing admins (1 question at a time, at the same moment to all admins, with 10 seconds to answer, thus avoiding cheating or collaboration on the answers) The questions would be designed to determine the intellect, education, common sense and wiki knowledge of the candidates.

Below are the comments referred to above: "......I want to emphasize that I am seeing a possible solution opportunity in the content ofUser:Jytdog's sentence: "It is pretty easy to tell by reading an article with WP's policies and guidelines in mind, if an advocate has had a big influence on it.". An opportunity to completely bypass the "paid,unpaid,privacy and self-declaration" contortions by simply encouraging our Admins. to use their own experience, observations and judgment to quickly, using their existing authority, bring advocates of all type to heel by way of warnings, blocks and reverting edits made by advocates of any kind. Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:20, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

NocturnalNow admins who go rogue (different from WP:Rogue admin) eventually get their bit yanked. Things have to follow processes established by the community. But sure any editor can bring an edit warring case, supported by diffs; anybody can be brought to ANI for showing a sustained pattern of POV/TENDENTIOUS editing or behavior. Sometimes that is difficult to show especially on issues involving complex content. I have brought a few long term POV-pushing cases at ANI and had them go nowhere, as it takes a lot of work and time sometimes for others to dig in and see the pattern in order to even start judging, and on top of that wiki-politics too often get in the way. Sometimes it is pretty easy to show. And mind you, such cases can be brought against somebody who is overzealous about COI/paid editing as well, and this is very likely going to happen to Inlinetext soon. Jytdog (talk) 19:45, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Nobody is talking about going rogue, just more aggressively using existing Admin authority to deal with advocates. If an innocent editor is mistakenly identified as an advocate, he/she has an appeal process or can go to ANI themselves. At the least, you can shut down the advocates who, as you say, are the most obvious about it. I am sure the community would much rather have aggressive anti-advocate administration rather than getting stuck in this unsolvable COI/paid editing/unpaid advocacy/privacy/ conundrum. I would also note that this may have become, intentionally or not, a victim of "constructive confusion"....a situation which has become much more complicated and confusing than need be which tends to favour the status quo or whomsoever has the most staying power in the debate. Nocturnalnow (talk) 15:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I am exactly talking about "aggressive use" of the tools when I talk about going rogue. The community worries about this, specifically on this issue. For an example, please carefully read Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/Brianhe, which was hard to watch. Jytdog (talk) 21:58, 18 March 2017 (UTC)"

"Nocturnalnow Well certainly, Same here. But there are limits. Over a period of years I've become weary of the lack of interest in the subject from the so-called "community," the opposition from many, and inadequate action by Jimbo and the Foundation, who are the affected parties here. Yes there are occasional legal actions by the Foundation. There is that TOU. There is occasional jawboning by Jimbo. That's it. That's all it ever is. I "Joe Coretheapple," anonymous, brilliant Wikipedia editor, stand to lose nothing if Wikipedia goes to the dogs due to COI editing. That's not even my name. Even if it was, so what? I don't own this site. I have nothing at stake. They do. Coretheapple (talk) 22:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)"

Above proposal by Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Hard cases make bad law. For the most part, we can deal with crap just fine. Every now and then we get an outbreak of paid editing that exposes a significant and vocal good-faith minority view which is permissive of this. I cannot think of anything more dangeorus to Wikipedia than a culture in which admins do not get challenged at all when they identify abuse. However much those challenges might frustrate the hell out of me sometimes. Guy (Help!) 19:47, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I certainly appreciate the compliment (everyone, not just adminsitrators, should be more like me). But I should point out that making the admin corps stronger, weeding out the many many bad apples and halfwits, and generally improving life for the commonweal is next to impossible at Wikipedia. Still, it's good to keep on thinking. Much appreciated, Coretheapple (talk) 19:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • There is no proposal here, and things are not as simple as you make them out to be. I perhaps mislead you with my "it is pretty easy tell" thing but some is based on a misunderstanding of WP:ADMIN.
Probably most importantly, admins work on what interests them and they can't be compelled to work on any specific admin task or aspect of problematic behavior.
Admins do have the authority to block in certain circumstances (see WP:WHYBLOCK) and to protect pages under certain circumstances (see Wikipedia:Protection policy). As Guy says, somebody has to be really clearly disruptive or NOTHERE to get an admin block without some prior community action; most cases of COI and PAID editing fall below that threshold, which is why we have to do the painstaking work on the ground. Jytdog (talk) 19:57, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
ok, I finally get it. Jytdog,Guy, and Coretheapple , thank you for taking the time to explain everything. The issue is sort of like dealing with an increasing infestation of mosquitoes and the more effective weapons, like DDT have extreme negative effects which prohibit their usage. So, it looks like Jimbo, after all, has come up with the best way to cope with a problem which we can never really completely eliminate, which is to "make a lot more Administrators" i.e. mosquito swatters. So, I think we should all get behind Jimbo's idea of making many more Administrators, and, hopefully, if possible (maybe its not), tasking some of them with focusing on advocate/COI/paid editing abuses. I am very concerned about the possibility of the number of paid editors dramatically increasing because there are lots of locations where $2,000. per year is a lot of money, not to mention that there are lots of students...even pre-teens...who might be recruited by the COI profiteers. But I will say no more about it as, because of your help, I have finally come to understand the complexities of the problem. Also, I do already know that there really are some problems which have no solution and all that can be done is to mitigate the damage, so I'm putting this problem in that category. Nocturnalnow (talk) 14:12, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Your concern and alarm are understandable, but keep in mind that it has been discussed forever and it is wearying. There is for example an entire class of options brokers that is riddled with COI and paid editing, creating and sustaining articles. Jimbo and the Foundation take limited steps, and Jimbo speaks out against the issue, but do little and ultimately want volunteers to sacrifice their time to aid their personal and corporate reputations by curbing such abuses. The rewards inherent in such activity are limited, and it is not entirely risk free. Coretheapple (talk) 14:21, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
"Making more administrators" will not help as they still have to follow blocking policy. If you somehow manage to change policy to prohibit paid editing then you'd see a difference in how the existing admin corps acts. --NeilN talk to me 14:27, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not beyond the realm of possibility for a good, volunteer editor to respond to one of those ads and do paid work. That is the kind of thing that makes paid editing enforcement especially hazardous. They're not necessarily socks and SPIs. But again, it's been talked to death, especially here. Offhand I can't think of a single discussion on this page on this subject that has led to literally anything. Coretheapple (talk) 14:32, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Making more admins would probably help the issue or at least contribute to stabilising it. Obviously as volunteers they can't be assigned tasks, but if we can stabilise the numbers we might avoid admins being persuaded away to other urgent tasks. Otherwise as admin numbers fall so the site will become more vulnerable to spammers and other badfaith editors. Our biggest victories over vandalism came in part from ever improving anti vandalism tools. I'm not entirely sure what anti spam software would look like, but I suspect that a more aggressive policy on checkuser software and range blocking or institution blocking would be useful. Designing such tools to be more effective whilst still privacy compliant will not be easy, but I think that is the area we should be focusing on. ϢereSpielChequers 10:41, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Almost nothing gets fixed from here, unless you wp:SOFIXIT yourself: In many cases, the solution is to create a wp:RfC to get consensus to wp:SOFIXIT in some way, perhaps small improvements each time. It's not just advocacy-edit problems, but many other issues do not get fixed by just "800 viewers" of Jimbo's talk-page. Look back through talk-page archives and count the lost suggestions. Even count the suggested redlink articles that are still redlinks years later. You can ask Jimbo for advice, but few of the readers here will give extra priority to suggestions made. There are too many other issues underway. The Jimbo talk-page even has the top wp:edit-notice advising users to seek solutions elsewhere. Otherwise, try to solve 20 suggestions other users have posted first, before asking here for further help. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:24, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The zeal, however, is commendable. Over time it fades. Coretheapple (talk) 21:35, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Why don't you add to the discussion over at m:Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Cycle 1 and tell them that the single most important thing we can do together over the next 15 years is reduce advocacy editing? The Foundation won't want to hear it though, as increasing "community engagement" is more important to them. Putting serious dampers on advocates will seriously reduce "community engagement" because advocates are a significant portion of the "community". The admins you are looking for are outnumbered and overwhelmed with the flood of personal and corporate "biographical" content. If you make it too easy to become an administrator, you will get advocates becoming administrators and have regulatory capture. wbm1058 (talk) 00:11, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Like most of Wikipedia, there are underlying structural problems which the system won't allow fixing,and then there is a fuzzy system to sort of makes it work anyway. The idea of "once you have the tool belt you are automatically qualified to do even the most high powered and difficult tasks (close RFC's, disclipine even experience editors)" is ridiculous. Second, there is a wide disparity in the admin pool. For most of it the criteria to be an admin is "got in back when it was easy" and, for the few newer ones, in additoin to valid criteria, it's "never got involved in any difficult area". Solution:

  • For current new admins, establish the criteria and have the responders discuss those particular criteria, not the vague political mess that we have now. .
  • Set up additional special skills certifications required for more difficult / higher level admin areas such as: 1. Disclipining established editors. 2. Closing complex RFC's,AFD's etc.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:46, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

That seems like 2 great ideas, North8000 (talk). Nocturnalnow (talk) 03:04, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
North8000 (talk), what's the next step for implementing your 2 suggestions? Nocturnalnow (talk) 15:20, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Getting community consensus for them. Which is highly unlikely. --NeilN talk to me 15:23, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I fear Neil is right. I have been getting crap almost from the moment I was trusted with the Mop-and-Bucket for being too mean to COI editors (paid and otherwise). Unless the consensus finally concedes that they do far, far more harm than good, we will accomplish only the most microscopic of improvements. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:47, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Yep. Example A. "I care about new users", indeed. --NeilN talk to me 16:57, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
The heck?! We need more stringent rules for admins? I don't think that we actually want the community to basically require admins to have like a 10 year tenure (as opposed to the usual tenure that is generally required by some editors of say 2, 3, or 4), which I feel that we are on the path to. Also, I think that the admins that we do have are of excellent quality, but they can't do everything. Also, if we had more admins, then we should be able to have admins occasionally double check the others' work. This proposal would just be the nail in the coffin of new RfA's, which are stopping. Honestly, I think that this proposal isn't paying any attention whatsoever to one of Wikipedia's biggest problems—editor retention. Bad idea. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 16:53, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I also just wanted to add this, we are all volunteers. This goes hand-in-hand with my argument about editor retention, and I just wanted to point this out. RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 16:54, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Corey Stewart campaign editing[edit]

A CNN article documents editing by the Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Corey Stewart. "Stewart acknowledged" that the edits came from his campaign, which seem to be mostly spinning and removing info, plus a few additions. The context screams "paid editing" by the campaign, though those words aren't in the article. There certainly was meatpuppetting or sockpuppetting. BTW some admin should block User:VirginiaHistorian77 and User:Publius2016 who did not declare their paid editing status.

I've often said that the WMF needs to combat this type of editing by letting the world know that undeclared paid editing is against our rules. This would seem to be a perfect time to make such a statement. Otherwise editors will have to make these statements individually, which would be quite clumsy. I'll suggest that the statement be made directly to the Stewart campaign and to CNN.

I'll copy this to the ED's talk page. Jimmy, would you add your comments (publicly or privately as you wish) and let anybody else at the WMF know who you think should know?

Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:21, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Just to add a bit more to this, recently two job ads showed up on Upwork from the same client. The first was posted on the 3rd, and was to hire an editor to move the Corey Stewart (politician) article to Corey Stewart. The second advertisement was posted around the 9th by the same client, and requested a paid editor to add a large list of information about lobbying to the Ed Gillespie article. Not being a follower of US politics, I did not realise that the two people were campaigning against each other, and thus it took a bit longer before I joined the dots and realised that the same person had posted both ads. As far as I am aware, no one was hired for either job, but while I have no reason to believe that the client was anyone in particular, I note that they had previously hired a WP editor for a different article. - Bilby (talk) 16:16, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Well let's see.
  • Corey Stewart (politician) has an article.
  • And CNN is highly notable and considered pretty reliable.
  • The English Wikipedia is one of the most popular and used websites in the world.
So, it makes sense for this info to be in the article. It is both notable, and helpful to readers trying understand the entity Corey Stewart. And indeed it is in the article. If this serves as a cautionary example to others (whether politicians, corporations, or whomever), well... I for one won't shed any tears over that. Herostratus (talk) 19:13, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Herostratus I usually agree with you on COI and paid editing but I have to take issue with your comment concerning the lead (a part of your post I only just noticed; sorry I only skimmed it previously). I don't think it's appropriate to "punish" subjects of articles by going out of our way to put their Wikipedia editing in the lead. Sometimes, perhaps, but it has to be proper weight. I don't think it is in this instance. But yes, it belongs in the article. Coretheapple (talk) 15:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
That's one possible way of dealing with it. I'd think that if the WMF contacted Stewart and CNN directly (perhaps in addition to including it in the article) it would be more effective in getting the word out. Not too many people will be reading the Wikipedia article, whereas 10,000s might be reading a CNN article. Putting the info in a neutral tone at the bottom of the article likely is not going to seem like much punishment to the candidate. At worst we might end up defacing the encyclopedia to make a point (e.g. I don't think I would put the paid/sock editors user's names in the article).
But a nicely worded letter to the candidate, copied to CNN, would likely get a lot of attention and wouldn't allow him to claim in the future "I didn't know this was against the rules" (so far he has just ignored the rules if he ever knew about them). So we just need to make sure that he, and others, know the rules. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:42, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the foregoing and the reference to it in the article, but it's in the lead section, which seems a bit much. Coretheapple (talk) 21:30, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, the CNN article might be more popular today, but a Wikipedia article is one of the top results that comes up if you search on many entities, day after day after day. That's a powerful incentive for entities to not want our article to say things like "this entity hired people to try to corrupt the very reference work you are reading now [ref]". Especially not in the lede. I imagine that, as a point of fact, this goes a long long way to protecting the project -- a lot more than any nice letters from Foundation lawyers, or nasty one either -- and scares off 99% of the people who consider it (and 100% of the smart and prudent ones). It's far and away the most powerful incentive for people to leave us alone, I bet. I'm just saying. Herostratus (talk) 00:12, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Herostratus 100% on this, and I thank him for putting it more succinctly than I ever could have. I'm the one who added the info to the lead, for exactly the reason described. Rockypedia (talk) 00:24, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Your actions go against policy. Regardless of whatever scenario Herostratus described. It must be removed per the policies cited in talk. For participating there as an Ip I have been accused of being the article subject and my words have been ignored. Jimbo is this how you agree it should run? (talk) 00:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I sympathize with 71.203... but don't see any obvious BLP problems with the way the article was written. My concerns are: including the paid editor/socks usernames in the article, the length of the mention in the lede of the paid editing/socking, and just now the "cuck" = racism stuff that has just been added. The usernames stuff seen punitive, the lede looks like we're taking ourselves too seriously (i.e. wp:weight), and I still haven't figured out the "cuck" stuff, but figure it might come from the word "cuckold" and might be used by white supremacists, so is obviously something to be very careful about. But Rocky might be right and that's best left to the article talkpage.

My main point is that I think the WMF should use this as an opportunity to spread the word that we have rules about COI editing, sockpuppetting, and especially paid editing. If they send out the word a dozen times per year on obvious problems like these with media like CNN which have large audiences, folks who are ignorant of our rules will get the word, and folks who think they can get by without being noticed will understand that they are noticed. The media like stories like this and we should encourage them to continue. A dozen per year would be very easy to come up with. So my question is: should we wait for the WMF to send out the word? or should individual editors, like myself, start taking action individually? Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

While I did see the ads, it isn't clear to me that what happened was paid editing, nor is it clear that this was sockpuppetry. Given that, it isn't against policy to edit with a COI.
"Cuck" does come from cuckold, and is used by the alt-right and MRA to insinuate that a person is not a real man, an in particular is under the control of women/feminists. - Bilby (talk) 07:51, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Right now one-third of the lead is about the Wikipedia editing, and Rocky has been edit warring with myself and that IP to keep it there. The article really needs more eyes. I notice that the project's response to paid editing and COI editing seems to swing between utter indifference and shaming of the subject, with a bit of outing thrown in. Right now we are struggling with the "shaming of the subject" phase. Coretheapple (talk) 13:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

I've opened an RfC at Talk:Corey Stewart (politician) and discussion of this particular case should move there.

On the issue in general, I don't agree that the project's response to paid editing swings between utter indifference and shaming of the subject. Rather, some people are always indifferent (and a few are even supportive) and some people aren't. For those who aren't indifferent, shaming the subject is certainly a powerful tool -- one of the few available anymore.

How much we want to use it is a matter of taste and opinion, but my take is that per the "maintaining Wikipedia" clause of WP:IAR and because our rules are not intended to be a suicide pact, it is reasonable IMO to use this defense. It's not Corey Stewart in particular that I care about. What I want is for people to think "If they did that to Corey Stewart, what might they do to me?" Herostratus (talk) 15:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

WP:WEIGHT and WP:NPOV are not subject to IAR. "This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus." IAR falls under "other policies". Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:05, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.
It's my understanding that this was the very first rule (April 2002) and that all other rules are subservient to this rule, in that it defines how we view what rules are. It is not, however, a pass to do anything you like simply because you see some temporary advantage in it. The flip side of this rule is "Don't be a jerk."
Using IAR to humiliate somebody does not improve Wikipedia. It certainly lowers the quality of that particular article. What I think we should do with this kind of stuff is similar to what Harry Truman said when one of his supporters yelled "Give 'em hell, Harry" at a campaign rally. Truman supposedly responded "I don't give 'em hell. I just tell the truth and they think I'm giving 'em hell." Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:18, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
IAR is a policy. Therefore, when some other policy says "this cannot be superseded by other policies", it can't be superseded by IAR. The fact that IAR came first is irrelevant-- it doesn't limit "can't be superseded" to only those policies that come later.
If you interpret IAR to mean it supersedes everything, you've just got two contradictory policies--IAR says that IAR comes first and NPOV says that NPOV comes first. They can't both come first. Ken Arromdee (talk) 05:15, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Re: Bilby - we are not bound by a level of proof equal to that used in criminal trials. If somebody acknowledges to a reliable source such as CNN that their campaign was making changes to the candidate's article, then if the 2 obvious editors were paid by the campaign then it is paid editing. We can't tell that for sure they were paid, but if the campaign is dictating what they wrote it's pretty close and (with the 2 of them) it's sockpuppeting/meatpuppeting. If the candidate himself was both editors, it's still sockpuppeting. I can't see any scenario that is consistent with the acknowledgement of the facts as reported by CNN that our rules were not broken. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:28, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
You are not considering the very likely possibility that two people, both people involved in his campaign, chose to edit the articles. This would make it a COI, but there's no reason to assume sockpuppetry without additional evidence, and you'll need to show that they were paid to indicate that they broke the ToU. No, this is not a court, and I have argued this often. But if the plan is to use a high profile politician as an example as to why people should not break WP policy, I'd like to be very sure that they did. - Bilby (talk) 22:19, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Bilby are you considering the quote from Stewart reported by CNN?
In an interview with CNN's KFile, Stewart said that the campaign was fixing incorrect information.
"We've had problems with people going on there and putting false information on there, so we've had to keep an eye on it," Stewart said. "In fact there's somebody in there who's put, you know, I cracked down on illegal immigration, I led a big crack down on illegal immigration in 2007, and somebody went in there and said I was anti-immigrant, which isn't true. So, things like that have to be corrected."
Under a section on his page about the 2017 governor's race, his campaign added that Stewart is "widely considered to be the most conservative of the potential candidates for Virginia Governor."
The campaign also removed information about his private practice as a trade lawyer and added information about where Stewart attends church.
So Stewart is saying "we've had problems" "we had to". CNN says "his campaign added" and "the campaign also removed". It's all about coordinating these actions by the campaign (i.e. Stewart), not about independent volunteers accidentally editing the same article. ==> sockpuppeting.
Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:58, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Coordinating actions is not socking. One person controlling two accounts is. That doesn't say that anyone was paid to edit WP, and it doesn't say that anyone created multiple accounts to make the changes. It makes it very clear that they were editing with a COI, but we permit that. We could probably dig up a case for meat or off-wiki coordination, but it is a bit of a stretch. The clear issue is COI editing. - Bilby (talk) 01:08, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
From WP:Sock
"Sock puppetry can take on several different forms:
  • Persuading friends or acquaintances to create accounts for the purpose of supporting one side of a dispute (usually called meatpuppetry)"
This looks like the definition of meatpuppetry to me. Perhaps we should just agree to disagree, but I'm satisfied that this is a blatent violation of our rules and people should be warned in a very public manner (preferably by the WMF) not to do it. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:27, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
We should remember that all roads lead to Rome here, by which I mean, hypothetically there is an ideal article that fully conveys all of the educational content about this campaign, and our only purpose is to get there. We mustn't make the article 'worse', nor can we tolerate it being 'better', toward the subject than what a fair reporting of all relevant facts from external sources will bear out. One thing that means is that whether there are paid editors and they start a Wikipedia controversy, or if the subject shows up here or on a relevant Wikiproject or help desk and simply asks for a better article, we should end up in the same place -- so a paid editor is really paid for not much except, perhaps, the negative publicity attendant to their own activities.
Which brings me to a point: the subject of an article who pays editors is nonetheless potentially a very powerful ally in their suppression. I don't know exactly what happened in Stewart's case, but suppose that a politician hired an editor on Upwork, who performed paid edits in blatant contradiction to Wikipedia policy. And as a result, the politician gets negative publicity on CNN. I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess if there is any actionable damage over that loss of reputation, the liability would be on the schmuck who hired himself out as a paid editor, since a reasonable person might think that someone taking on that job would exercise ordinary care to follow the TOS of the site he's paid to edit. (I actually would worry whether such a lawsuit might be too successful; we'd want to be careful the precedent doesn't go too far) And if the plaintiffs were really hungry, they might look at whether Upwork gave sufficient warning and demanded sufficient certification that the Wikipedia paid editors answering its ads would follow that TOS.
A useful hint for politicians is also that our TOS on paid editing only applies to paid editing. Even COI editing is that user's responsibility, and of course, COI doesn't apply when people only have a political interest; that's just POV. A politician can pay editors who dutifully identify their role and employer, but it would be better optics for a politician to ask his unpaid volunteers to look at an article - though they should still identify as WP:COI and make suggestions rather than edits. For example, volunteers can upload lots of photos of campaign events and meetings and rallies to Commons and ask people to put them in the article, or point out errors, and it doesn't seem like an unfair pressure on the site. And volunteers probably have a lot more appreciation for having a round of Wikipedia volunteer work done closely with a major politician on their resume than any Upwork paid-editing person. But even beyond that, a politician can simply put a mention of his Wikipedia pages in a mailing, and encourage supporters to get involved editing, and kind of let nature take its course; this offers the least control over the process and the most opportunity to control the actual output. We may well find objections to that, but they can only go so far. Wikipedia is one of the most read websites on the planet and we should expect politicians of every stripe to try to engage their supporters with us --- we only hope they will do so in the sense of encouraging useful productive editing and with the intent of seeing obscure but useful information come out that can lend credence to their beliefs. Wnt (talk) 20:25, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
That's not Rome, you did not even make it to Ostia :) When secretly someone (or their agents) writes about themselves and presents it in the objective third person, they are being dishonest to the reader. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:39, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Suggested fix[edit]

Long-time users habitually cite "Subject fails wp:PROF" even in the face of the fact that the wp:PROF guideline itself is designed merely as an alternate means of establishing notability in cases where a potential academic bio subject doesn't prove notable otherwise, viz., through there being in-sufficient reliable secondary sources per wp:BIO. These users' awareness of this language at these guidelines indicates their lack of candor in promoting their favored work around WP's actual guidelines. This needs to be fixed by rewording the guidelines at wp:BIO and wp:PROF, etc., to indicate that academics and the like are to be held to a higher standard in certain cases than other potential subjects.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 22:06, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Alternately: Train a cadre of closing admins to discount !votes lacking candor as to their attempt to end-run WP guidelines.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 22:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I do not understand this post. Can you please rephrase it? What exactly is this a suggested fix for?--greenrd (talk) 23:03, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Decade-long editors routinely !vote to delete scholars otherwise notable, eg as bloggers or commentators, if they "don't pass wp:PROF", despite the guideline wp:PROF itself which says,

Academics/professors meeting none of these conditions [Edited: as wp:PROF will list below] may still be notable if they meet the conditions of WP:BIO or other notability criteria, and the merits of an article on the academic/professor will depend largely on the extent to which it is verifiable.

--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 23:12, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying about inclusion standards for university college professors, and I still think that a college professor is more notable than a new player who kicks a ball for money, especially where "publish or perish" causes those professors to write for professional journals or academic conferences. Too bad there are thousands of professors, beyond the 250,000+ footballers on record. I would like to know about 30 professors who taught at Princeton University when Einstein was a professor there, and similar. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:25, 25 March 2017 (UTC)