Jump to content

Submissions/Paid editing: Failed solutions--and a new proposal

From Wikimania


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

Submission no. 2107 - C7
Title of the submission

Paid editing: Failed solutions--and a new proposal

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


Author of the submission

User:DGG (David Goodman)

Language of presentation


E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)


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

Paid editing has the potential to destroy Wikipedia, by turning it into a medium for advertising. Various solutions have been proposed and at least partially implemented, but none actually work.We could:

  • rely on the WMF Terms of Use, but the Foundation will not enforce them, and no individual editors can do the necessary investigations. The Temps of Use rely upon voluntary compliance, but any editor following them will encounter strict scrutiny, whereas an undeclared paid editor may pass unnoticed.
  • rely on the Wikipedia conflict of interest rules, stricter on the English Wikipedia than the WMF terms of use, but with the same problem of detection and enforcemen
  • rely on detecting sockpuppetry, but anyone even a little clever can avoid detection
  • rely on a strict interpretation of the notability and NPOV guidelines, but they are applied with great variation and inconsistency
  • give up entirely, permit uncontrolled paid editing, and let the encyclopedia degenerate.

I propose that for the most commonly perverted types of articles (such as those for new commercial enterprises) we require a confidential statement of identity. I hope that WPedians are not so devoted to the principle of anonymity that they sacrifice the goal of making a reliable encyclopedia. Privacy is exceptionally timportant these days, but so is openness--and honesty.

What will attendees take away from this session?

A greater understanding of the problem, and perhaps the increased ability to deal with it in reviewing and editing articles.

Theme of presentation

Wikiculture and Community

For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?

All active article writers and reviewers

Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes

25 min.

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

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

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Nattes à chat (talk) 11:12, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. GastelEtzwane (talk) 11:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. LaMèreVeille (talk) 15:23, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Katietalk 21:10, 14 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Kudpung (talk) 16:50, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]