Wikipedia talk:Paid editing (essay)

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Paid editing is a necessary part of the future of Wikipedia and I want to encourage it. I inserted some text to move this essay in a different direction. If anyone has any comments on this please post them. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:32, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

I have reverted the edits. This essay is supposed to be used to advise private companies about COI and its dangers. Not public entities trying to push their WP:POV. As far as I can see regarding opinion on wikipedia, "generally frowned upon" is the best wording for how Wikipedia feel about paid editing. There is some wording regarding why some times paid editing is good. If you want to expand on that, feel free. Phearson (talk) 04:22, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Based on your userpage, you seem like exactly the kind of person with whom I want to discuss this. Can you provide links to any other "opinion on Wikipedia" or can you describe where you previously saw more discussion on the background of this? I do not understand how the information already here precludes what I was trying to add. Also, can you respond to what I added and give a rationale about why either it does not belong here - or perhaps, why you think it does not belong anywhere? Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:55, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Hmm... I found these two paid editor projects which are of the sort I am wanting to support.
Other resources, like Wikipedia:FAQ/Organizations, wholly omit this sort of talk. To clarify, I am looking for policy or assistance for paid editors who edit articles which could not obviously be tied to any organization. I found a lot of talk in different places about people being paid to advertise, etc. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I do not know what exposure you have had to this topic, but it is reasonable to say that the community is pretty sick of discussing it. Several exhaustive discussions and edit wars have occurred. Often the arguments got off on the wrong foot because the opening was along the lines of "why should editors object if a philanthropic organization pays someone to write excellent encyclopedic articles?". Of course (almost) no one objects to that, and the strawman effectively derailed several debates. What actually is objected to is (for a not so hypothetical example), an LGBT advocate who is paid to insert promotional text into articles (text which directs attention to various places...I forget the details, but there was both commercial interests and advocacy involved). That editor was very effective at maintaining a "good editor" profile, and frustrated every attempt to write a reasonable essay along the lines of "paid advocacy is bad" (the editor is now banned). There is no reason to decorate these essays with fresh opinions now unless some new situation makes such rewriting desirable. The situation is that there is no official policy or essay that encapsulates community opinions because that opinion is unclear and depends on the circumstance: good paid editing is fine; bad paid editing is destructive (and likely to drive away volunteers who cannot compete with meatpuppets paid to maintain the gloss pushing some point of view). Johnuniq (talk) 00:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Remember the disclaimer, it is the opinion of some and not policy or guideline, it is used to assist. If you are to dig around wikipedia archives, particularly WP:COIN or even WP:ANI and some RfCs, you will find all sorts of spats stemming from this topic. Phearson (talk) 01:37, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

"It is not currently prohibited on Wikipedia" and MyWikiBiz[edit]

If "It is not currently prohibited on Wikipedia" why was User:MyWikiBiz banned few years ago? I thought it was because he was an editor-for-hire. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 04:54, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Editors get banned for what they do, not who they are. Blue Rasberry (talk) 05:19, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Of possible interest[edit]

Users interested in this page may also be interested in this: User:Herostratus/Wikiproject Paid Editing Watch. Herostratus (talk) 21:23, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

It has been moved to Wikipedia:WikiProject Paid Advocacy Watch. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 23:54, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Bold edits[edit]

I've made some additions. Changes of note:

  • I assert unambiguously that any co. employees who edit WP are paid editors. Apparently someone thought employees might indeed not be paid editors, but that's nonsensical from a meanings of words point of view. And if an employee's not getting paid, they have other, worse, problems than COI to deal with.
  • I've broadened the definition of paid editors to include PR people and lawyers, and added some wikilinks to examples of problem areas.

There is an issue of language: "paid editors" carries with it a heap of baggage and preconceptions. One clarification Jimbo Wales made is "paid advocacy", which helps, and makes the process of evaluation and disposition much clearer. But there is this giant class of paid editors which is still nebulous, and hard to wrangle as a concept. Comments, edits, are welcome! --Lexein (talk) 21:12, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

(Moved here from my talk page --Lexein)

References to support personal opinions?[edit]

I have never before come across any suggestion that citing references is necessary in an "essay", as you suggested here. Where do you get that idea from? Indeed, I'm not even sure offhand that I can ever remember seeing a reference in an "essay", nor can I see that it would make sense to do impose such a requirement, since an "essay" by its nature merely expresses the opinions of its author(s). Also, this revert does not seem to conform to the spirit of bold, revert, discuss. JamesBWatson (talk) 09:20, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm suggesting that essays should have some sort of foundation somewhere upon which opinions can be based.
"Some tactics used by paid editors not getting their way include the following: disruption, personal attacks against opposing editors, attempting to use made-up words or Corp-speak to confuse editors away from the problem, and gaming the system"
I'm not saying the statement is false, but it's hanging way out there on an unsupported limb. Hence, either wikilink, or cite a source which can be a diff - is that really such an outrageous request? I'd like to see evidence of extant occurences linked in the essay, especially if such incidents have made their way to DR, ANI, or arbitration. Just like Wikipedia isn't about something made up one day, essays should hew closely to verifiable truth, when they make bold claims about a class of editors. No, not the same standard necessary for articles, but seriously, do you disagree so much? I wish there were a List of paid editor attacks on non-paid editors or such a category, but there isn't. Hence my request for some sort of at least internal sourcing of at least one example of each alleged bad paid editor behavior. --Lexein (talk) 12:49, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Should paid editors post on the COI noticeboard?[edit]

The discussion with Cordless Larry at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Kathleen Conway brought this essay page to my attention. The essay currently states:

editors who are paid represent a clear conflict-of-interest and are strongly encouraged to state this on the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard what articles they are being paid to edit and declare whom they are working for before doing so

However, none of the other guides for COI editors say this: WP:COI, WP:PSCOI, WP:PCD, {{uw-coi}}, etc. They only say that a notice should be placed on the user page, article's talk page and edit summary.

I believe such inconsistent advice is a bad thing. Should we remove this statement from this essay, or at least tone it down? Or add it to the other pages? -- intgr [talk] 13:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Unless there is a good reason for COI editors to declare on the COI noticeboard, which is missing from the guidelines, can I suggest that we replace that quote with something consistent with the advice at WP:DISCLOSE? Cordless Larry (talk) 13:59, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
@Cordless Larry: Well, we're in agreement and two weeks have passed without any comments. If you wanted to make changes to the page, go ahead. :) -- intgr [talk] 08:11, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I decided it was best to replace that paragraph in its entirety - see this edit. Please revert or re-edit me if that was inappropriate. Cordless Larry (talk) 22:19, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Community trust addition[edit]

SlimVirgin, I restored section that you removed because it was actually in response to KDS4444's complaint that he was unaware of the backlash he might face (and I referenced it to the conversation about it). If you think there is a better way of phrasing it, please feel free to edit it, but I do think that adding a line to the essay letting people know that it is controversial even if there is no consensus on it is fair. KDS4444 appears to have felt blindsided to the backlash. Letting people know that these sentiments do exist within the community I think is fair, especially since this is just an essay and not policy. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:04, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Tony, where is the evidence that it's controversial? I see around three people taking part in that discussion. I've never heard of anyone before that objecting to paid editors having certain user rights. Also, when you add something and there's an objection, it's better to observe WP:BRD rather than restore it. SarahSV (talk) 17:13, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
From what I counted, there were 25 different editors that took place in that discussion, the majority of whom were opposed to the autopatrolled user right. That's from a wide swath of the community too: several admins, a member of the BoT, some of the NPR regulars, as well as some of the AfC crowd. There were some who disagreed too. In my mind, its fair to say that it is controversial based on that. Since something like this was requested at another talk page explicitly, I reverted your removal, added a ref and opened up the conversation, trying to follow BRD. Jytdog also commented in agreement with the summary on the other talk page, so alerting them to this discussion as well. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:21, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Tony, in that case, I'm thinking of a different discussion. Can you link to the one with the 25 editors? SarahSV (talk) 18:03, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, sure, this is the one referenced in the essay: Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol/Reviewers, Conflict of Interest-of a different kind. I've permalinked it because it will eventually be bot archived, but that is the current revision. It won't have a formal close because WT:NPR is a forum to facilitate communication, and I think there has only been one quasi-RfC on it in recent memory (which was to mark WP:NPPN as historical.) TonyBallioni (talk) 18:08, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Tony, thanks, I see what you mean now. I know that adminship has been discussed, but I didn't realize there were objections to autopatrolled. SarahSV (talk) 18:49, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I cannot understand where this objection is coming from. I cannot imagine that SlimVirgin would assert that the notion of people having advanced user rights or any position of trust in the community, and editing for pay, is not controversial. As for the "never heard of" bit is odd, given this comment made in a section at WT:COI a few months ago about whether admins should be barred from editing for pay, here. That links in turn to an older proposal that was well attended and ended up being split roughly 50/50 on the issue. The issues around Gibraltarpedia are well known. This objection is just... odd. And the link to the NPP was linked at the prior discussion where SV just participated. Jytdog (talk) 17:54, 30 August 2017 (UTC)