Submissions/Horror and Humor: The effects of paid editing

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This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 2091 - C7
Title of the submission

Horror and humor:The effects of paid editing

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Smallbones (talk) 01:02, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Language of presentation
E-mail address



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

English Wikipedia, Commons

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

It is often argued that paid editors do not damage Wikipedia; that all we need to do is enforce our normal rules, such as NPOV, and any problems will disappear. This presentation will show the extensive damage that paid editors cause, making the above argument untenable.

A mere list of the horrors caused by paid editors would be terribly depressing. To lighten up the presentation, some of the absurdities passed off by paid editors will be highlighted. Topics include:

  • A brief recap of the classic paid editing scandals (with links to existing material)
    • The Morning77 scandal (Fall 2013)
    • The Orange Moody scandal
  • Examples of absurd articles on Wikipedia that could only have been written by paid (or COI) editors, e.g.
    • the article about a specific NY City coffee truck
    • about a mysterious all-white food truck that never discloses its location
    • about the made-to-order lingerie business which has a single seamstress (who won an award)
    • about a donut shop "chain" with an article written just after it went bankrupt. It is now down to a single (you guessed it) donut truck
  • The million dollar ripoff company Banc De Binary (as I wrote up in the Signpost, with updates) and other financial ripoffs with formerly pro-company articles in Wikipedia
    • Articles on other players in the binary industry (most now deleted)
    • The retail forex industry in Wikipedia which encourages speculation on foreign exchange rates. One CEO was quoted by the Wall Street Journal (approx.) "15% of our customers make money." But what happened to the business? the article? the customers? and to the other 50+ articles on companies in the business.
  • Medical articles (this is deadly serious business, but I'll try to find one that is funny)
  • Summary on the damage done by paid editors
What will attendees take away from this session?
Attendees will understand that paid editors damage Wikipedia in ways that are often horrific, and sometime incredibly funny (in a black-humor way)
Theme of presentation
* WikiCulture & Community
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)

35-55 minutes (to fit your needs and schedule) 55 minutes preferred

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Will be slides
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final? final submission

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. Slowking4 (talk) 02:10, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. GastelEtzwane (talk) 11:40, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Nattes à chat (talk) 12:45, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Thiemo Mättig (WMDE) (talk) 13:25, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. LaMèreVeille (talk) 15:01, 12 April 2017 (UTC) Very interesting submission[reply]
  6. Airwolf (talk) 10:22, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. DGG (talk) 03:56, 12 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]