Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure

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The Wikimedia Foundation's terms of use require all editors to disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which they receive, or expect to receive, compensation:[1]

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Paid contributions without disclosure

These Terms of Use prohibit engaging in deceptive activities, including misrepresentation of affiliation, impersonation, and fraud. As part of these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation. You must make that disclosure in at least one of the following ways:

  • a statement on your user page,
  • a statement on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or
  • a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions.

Applicable law, or community and Foundation policies and guidelines, such as those addressing conflicts of interest, may further limit paid contributions or require more detailed disclosure.

A Wikimedia Project community may adopt an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy. If a Project adopts an alternative disclosure policy, you may comply with that policy instead of the requirements in this section when contributing to that Project. An alternative paid contribution policy will only supersede these requirements if it is approved by the relevant Project community and listed in the alternative disclosure policy page.

The above is the policy of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and of the English-language Wikipedia.

Changing this policy[edit]

This policy may be changed in two ways:

  • An alternative policy can revoke the disclosure provision of the terms of use as it applies to the English Wikipedia, and replace it with a new policy, which may be stronger or weaker. A proposed alternative policy must be clearly identified in a Request for Comment (RfC) as revoking the WMF policy. Upon approval the new policy must be listed on the alternative-disclosure policy page. The RfC must be conducted in a manner consistent with the standard consensus-based process for establishing core policies.
  • Other changes to this policy that do not seek to revoke or weaken the terms of use are permitted, consistent with community practice for adding such material.

How to disclose[edit]

Editors who are compensated for their contributions should make the disclosure by placing the {{connected contributor (paid)}} template at the top of the talk page of affected articles and filling in the parameters. They should also supply this information as part of a list on their user page of all their paid contributions. This transparency helps the Wikipedia community to understand and analyze the source and scope of paid editing, and to ensure that content originating from paid editors complies with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

Meaning of "employer, client, and affiliation"[edit]

Further reading: Terms of use/FAQ on paid contributions without disclosure

Users must disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any paid contribution to Wikipedia.

  • Employer: the person or organization that pays a user to contribute to Wikipedia, whether that user has a freelance contract with the payer, has no contract, is a salaried employee of the payer, or is a salaried employee of another organization.
  • Client: the person or organization on whose behalf the edits are made; the client is often the subject of the article.
  • Affiliation: other connections that might be relevant.
  • Contribution: any text added to Wikipedia, including talk-page and sandbox contributions, and material added to articles by others at the behest of paid editors.
  • Payment or compensation: money, goods or services.

For example, if Smith PR pays a user to write about, or provide sources on, Acme Pharmaceuticals, then Smith PR is that user's employer with respect to those contributions, while Acme Pharmaceuticals is the client. If you have been hired by a public-relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm's client.[2]

Often the employer and client are the same entity. If Acme Pharmaceuticals pays a user directly to write about that company, then Acme Pharmaceuticals is both the employer and client.

Wikipedians in residence[edit]

Wikipedians in residence who are paid must disclose which GLAM organization pays them.[2]

Conflict of interest guideline[edit]

Paid editing is further regulated by a community guideline, Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. This advises those with a conflict of interest, including paid editors, not to edit affected articles directly. The terms of use FAQ advises: "One small caution: some projects have conflict of interest policies that are different from (and stronger than) this provision in the terms of use. These policies might prevent you from certain forms of volunteer editing, for example, contributing to articles about yourself."


  1. ^ Wikimedia:Terms of use#4. Refraining from Certain Activities, Wikimedia Foundation. The terms of use were amended on 16 June 2014 to include this content, after extensive discussion.
  2. ^ a b Terms of use/FAQ on paid contributions without disclosure, Wikimedia Foundation.