Everyone knew that addressing paid contributions effectively would be a tough issue with legitimate competing considerations. There is a loudly voiced desire by many editors and readers for paid editing disclosures, aiming for transparent and unbiased contributions to Wikimedia projects. On the other hand, others are concerned about privacy, enforcement, harassment, evaluation of the "edit, not the editor," among other things. For us, this consultation was an excellent exchange where we had the opportunity to learn more and understand better the various positions and their implications.
As a next step, the Board will review the community comments. There has been a significant amount of discussion on this proposed amendment, so we expect that, with staff, the Board may take some time to review, discuss among themselves, and reach a decision on the next steps. The !vote is one strong indicator of the importance of addressing this topic, but we have no doubt that the Board will also look at the strength of the arguments and competing considerations, as well as their own experiences, in evaluating how we handle the disclosure of paid editing. In deciding the best approach forward, we anticipate that the Board will examine the need for and language and implications of the original and alternative optional proposals as well as other community proposals.
Thanks again for everyone's detailed review and thoughtful insight in this discussion. We will keep you informed on the process and the Board's deliberations.
We have seen several recurring topics in the discussItalic text below. To help organize and address these topics, we’ve created this section of the talk page to capture these topics as questions. Please add and revise questions here if you think multiple people are interested in knowing the answer. (You can also draft an answer if you think there is a clear answer based on discussions below.)
Depending on the question, we'll try to either address them here (so that newcomers to this discussion can see them), or possibly add them to the FAQ. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WHAT THIS PAGE IS ABOUT:
This page is for anyone to discuss a proposed change to our site policy.
This proposal is that if someone gets paid to put material they write into Wikipedia for money or other gains, or because it is part of their work, they should have to disclose it when they edit, for transparency and quality control purposes.
As a user and reader, you and anyone else are unaffected. You will never have to pay for enjoying and using Wikipedia in full, every part of it, as much as you like - ever. You will never have to pay to read and use Wikipedia - ever.
This proposal is intended to help us improve quality by requiring a transparent disclosure by editors in some circumstances.
FOR ALL READERS AND USERS
There would be no change at all: Wikipedia remains free to enjoy and use, always, forever, and regardless.
FOR UNPAID HOBBYIST AND VOLUNTEER EDITORS
There would be no change at all.
FOR PEOPLE WHO EDIT WIKIPEDIA AS PART OF THEIR WORK OR PROFESSION
IT IS PROPOSED THAT EDITORS WHO ARE PAID TO EDIT BY AN ORGANIZATION, CLIENT, OR OTHER PERSON, WILL HAVE TO BE OPEN ABOUT THIS TO EVERYONE USING WIKIPEDIA, AND NOT HIDE IT, SO OTHER EDITORS CAN CHECK IT FOR ACCURACY QUICKER AND MORE CAREFULLY
Nothing else would change if this passes: no articles would get deleted, and nobody would be made to stop editing.
Wikipedia and its many charitable sister projects are part of a charity, the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation does not get its funding from corporate sponsors and marketing deals. It is funded instead by public donations, small donations by millions of people worldwide, the vast majority from the mass public who read and use it, and occasional larger donations on "arms length" terms (without any rights of control) from companies such as Google and charitable organizations, so that it can remain fully independent from corporate pressures. Of those who support Wikipedia, some donate what they can, as they feel able, to help Wikipedia and its sister sites continue to be accessible in other parts of the world, in hundreds of editions covering over 200 languages, especially in developing and poor areas where textbooks may be missing, education may be slight, or important knowledge may be censored or misunderstood, and to run and maintain its internet websites. Some can't or don't.
But in either case, and whatever the outcome of this discussion may be, everyone on the planet will always be warmly welcomed to enjoy, read and use any of the content held, which is provided free to you and everyone - and by its governing constitution will always be free to enjoy.
The proposal gives community members an additional tool to address potential conflict of interest situations, by helping them identify and scrutinize edits that may have a higher risk of neutral point of view problems.
The proposal gives each project a consistent, enforceable baseline they can use to craft their own policies that are responsive to local conditions and needs.
In the rare case where the Foundation needs to intervene legally against companies that have aggressively flouted the terms and community policies, this proposal would make the legal case even stronger.
The proposal offers new and existing good faith editors a guideline to understand how to best edit when local projects permit paid editing. Disclosure and transparency are widely considered appropriate, both within the Wikimedia community and the PR industry. See, for example, the plain and simple guide to conflicts at English Wikipedia, or the CIPR guide (which we do not necessarily endorse).
Does the Wikimedia Foundation encourage or accept paid advocacy editing?
This question and answer have been moved to the main page, but please continue to discuss or share suggestions. Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WMF feels that paid advocacy editing is a significant problem that threatens the trust of Wikimedia’s readers, as our Executive Director said in her statement on paid advocacy editing. This proposal does not change that position.
However, it is hard to solve the problem of paid advocacy editing without accidentally discouraging good-faith editors, like the various GLAM (gallery, library, archive, and museum) projects. Because of this difficulty, this amendment takes a simple approach: requiring straightforward disclosure of information. This does not mean that paid-advocacy editing is acceptable! Instead, we think that the best way to attack the complex problem while still encouraging new good faith contributions is to combine this pro-transparency requirement with per-project policies that use this new information to make nuanced, difficult case-by-case judgments. We hope that this will lead to the best outcome by combining each Wikimedian's ability to handle nuance and complexity with the resources of the Foundation (when that is absolutely necessary).
Also the proposed amendment makes clear that "community and Foundation policies, such as those addressing conflicts of interest, may further limit paid contributions or require more detailed disclosure." This provision gives the community discretion to further limit paid editing, including paid advocacy editing, according to the needs of the specific project. That is, the proposed amendment is a minimal requirement, but the community may impose greater restrictions or bans.
i prefer to see this ---> amend this --> change that---> editor control etc. finally stop!! -- commit wikipedia in all its fundamental branches to become one company and let the company Lawyers finalize the usual laws of official conduct...have a go at it...good Luck wikipedia Q!!!!!Blondeignore (talk) 21:28, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How will this provision affect teachers, professors, and employees of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (“GLAM”)?
This question and answer have been moved to the main page, but please continue to discuss or share suggestions. Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The intent of these requirements is not to discourage teachers, professors, or those working at galleries, libraries, archives, and museums ("GLAM") institutions from making contributions in good faith. Disclosure is only required when contributors are compensated by their employer or client specifically for edits and uploads to a Wikimedia project. For example, if a professor at University X is paid directly by University X to write about that university on Wikipedia, the professor needs to disclose that the contribution is compensated. There is a direct quid pro quo exchange: money for edits. If that professor is simply paid a salary for teaching and conducting research, and is only encouraged by her university to contribute to projects about topics of general interest without more specific instruction, that professor does not need to disclose there affiliation with the university.
The same is true with GLAM employees. Disclosure is only necessary where compensation has been promised or received in exchange for a particular contribution. A museum employee who is contributing to projects about topics of his general interest without more specific instruction from the museum need not disclose his affiliation with the museum. At the same time, when required, a simple disclosure that one is a paid Wikipedian in Residence with a particular museum, for example, would be sufficient disclosure for purposes of the proposed amendment.
Worries about Wikipedia's answer to GLAM question
Suppose that a professor or GLAM employee is employed in public relations for the university or GLAM institution. If they make edits on Wikimedia as part of carrying out their job of public relations for their institution, surely they should disclose this, regardless of whether their employer has specifically compensated them for contributing to a Wikimedia project. It seems like a better way to carve out these individuals would be to distinguish those who are employed to promote their institution and are editing Wikipedia for this reason from those who are editing for other reasons. ~ Kirsten
Hi Kirsten - Thanks for the comment. I'm having a little problem in trying to express your thoughts as actual language in the proposed amendment. If you could give me an idea of how you would express your idea in the proposed amendment, that would be great. Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 12:48, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Geoff, how about "...you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution to any Wikimedia Projects for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation, and when such contributions arise from the performance of the normal duties of your job whether you are paid or are a volunteer. ..." This also addresses volunteers who are often deemed unpaid employees; it is just as bad for part- and full-time volunteers to tout an organization, its products or its services if they do not disclose their affiliation with that organization. Fest3er (talk) 08:50, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's the definition of a "volunteer"? If the person is physically present at a GLAM organisation on a regular basis (for instance, a group of veteran soldiers putting together an exhibit for a military museum) at what point can one speak of "the normal duties of your job". Ask one of these folks what is their job and they'll likely tell you "retired!" unless they're at the museum nearly full-time. If the entity is something more virtual, such as a website, the lines blur further; "volunteer" admins of a wiki writing about their own site can make a worse mess than a GLAM curator writing about their own museum. Compare w:Antique Boat Museum and w:Uncyclopedia; at least the operators of the former appear literate. Then there's the whole "unpaid corporate internship" rip-off, where for-profit companies try to get inexperienced new grads to work for free (complete with unpaid overtime) as a way to "buy" an employment reference. If there's a way to abuse the system, someone will find it. 2001:5C0:1400:A:0:0:0:121 00:51, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This apparent exemption for GLAMs demonstrates why the proposed amendment is a very poor idea. There is no grounds on which to exempt GLAMs; the articles generated are sometimes even more promotional than what is seen for many businesses. Much as I respect that they are trying to share knowledge, they're also competing for a share of the funding pie, and "reach" and "online presence" are factors considered by many potential major donors. Granting GLAMs an exemption from the proposed amendment is essentially saying "but it isn't applicable to organizations we like, only to ones that we don't like". It's absurd to support an amendment whose purpose is to highlight potential biases, and then bias the amendment itself with exemptions for one's "friends". Either it applies to everyone, or it shouldn't be approved. Risker (talk) 04:42, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And what about sanctioned editing on company time
Many tech companies encourage or allow employees to improve science or general interest pages on company time (where neither topic nor change is specified by employer). Is that covered by the GLAM exemption? --Vilding1 (talk)
Yes. The employees are being asked to write on topics of general interest, without any direction about what those topics should be, and without any additional compensation paid to do it on Wikipedia. Geoffbrigham (talk) 12:50, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This seems too subtle and open to interpretation. If a company is allowed to "encourage to improve" then a company's culture defines what "improve" means. There exists informal peer-to-peer enforcement of culture within every organization, and that culture determines what "improve" translates into. For tech companies, tech employees will likely choose scientific articles and focus on objective content. But what about the marketing department -- they will consider "improve" to translate into "bend the article in favor of benefit to our organization" without being explicitly told what to do. Consider also general employees of influence based organizations such as the RIAA. For them, the culture of the organization puts heavy bias on any edit made by an employee, "improve" will be carried out as "bias towards our interests".. ditto for employees in the marketing department of an oil conglomerate encouraged to "improve" articles.. they will choose, by themselves, ones related to energy and global warming and will inject bias related to their company and position. They aren't being told specific articles, nor specific content.. but they will certainly have strong bias that manipulates people towards that company's interests! Kshalle (talk) 16:10, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why does "additional compensation to do it on wikipedia" have relevance? A company that encourages its marketing people to "write on topics of general interest" will gladly have them cover all the available social media, in order to bias people towards that company's interests. It's irrelevant whether they specify "target only wikipedia" versus "target the top media sites".. the bias they inject into wikipedia is the same, whether they name wikipedia explicitly or not. Kshalle (talk) 16:10, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to clarify - is this an answer about tech companies specifically, or are you saying that employees of any company encouraged to improve a topic (e.g. science, or politics, or manufacturing etc.) or general interest pages on company time (where neither topic nor change is specified by employer) are covered by the exemption? Hchc2009 (talk) 13:39, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hchc2009, in my perspective, the distinction is that disclosure is not necessary if you edit a general interest topic without direction from your employer, but disclosure is necessary if your employer directs how and what you edit. This is the difference between an employee who just happens to be on the clock when making independent edits, versus someone in the marketing department of a company. This is not particular to tech companies or GLAM institutions, per se, but a clarification that disclosure is not necessary when compensation is not connected to an edit. It's a difficult distinction to make, so thanks for helping us clarify! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The driver of the amendment seems to be a desire to prevent targeted biased edits, while not discouraging good intentioned edits. The difficulty appears to lie in finding language that distinguishes the two kinds of edits. The current proposal is to use compensation as a proxy for bias. If explicit instruction is linked to compensation, then the idea is that the resulting contributions will be biased and should be flagged. However, this proxy -- explicit instruction linked to compensation -- misses a large body of drivers of the kind of bias that are wished to be prevented. For example, there must be a person who issues the explicit instructions.. if they simply do the edits themselves, then it sidesteps the amendment, but wikipedia ends up with exactly the same bias! This person could be CEO, or hold some other position that is not explicitly public relations driven. They could just be a regular employee of an advocacy organization such as Energy industry advocacy groups, political organizations, and so on. They could hold a public relations or marketing or sales position, and not be given explicit instructions, and not give others explicit instructions, but generate themselves the same bias nonetheless.Kshalle (talk) 04:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given this difficulty with the explicit-instruction-for-pay approach, it seems that the best policy is simply to require any person making edits during paid time to add their employer to their login information and a disclosure that they are editing during paid time. This shouldn't be a drawback for any employee or company that has good intentions.Kshalle (talk) 04:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To assist in the prevention of bias, also give people who make the edits an easier way to prevent bias. For example, create a policy that gives precedence to people who edit outside of organizational time. When a dispute arises, the edit by the non-paid/non-organization-member person is given priority over the paid edits, especially when "rollback" wars erupt, with edits going back and forth. Perhaps give editors a "this is institutional bias" flag that they can add to edits they feel should be removed.Kshalle (talk) 04:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kshalle, that is an interesting way to look at the question. I think we may be able to find clearer language to address situations of instructions-for-pay, as you suggest. One of the reasons that we are discussing paid edits specifically in the TOU is because there are laws that address the issue, such as the FTC's rules on astroturfing in the US and similar regulations in the EU. Bias and neutrality are complicated topics in general, and my perspective is that it is best handled in a nuanced fashion in local project policies, like WP:Neutrality and WP:COI on English Wikipedia. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 19:46, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
a best practice / standard of excellence practice should include full disclosure for every contribution where undertaking the edits is part of a compensated position - easy to do, and important for reader's consideration of any contribution. As professor of women's studies, declaring that affiliation allows readers to dismiss my work as feminist bias or be open to it as informed and educated. 16:23, 1 March 2014 (UTC)~ Nechako Tess
Agree with above, and would like financial resources allocated from Wikipedia (to which I contribute) to pursue this end legally.Jacksalssome (talk) 08:47, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a related suggestion, that a certain number of random samples be taken of "self-written" type articles on Wikipedia, and these be exchanged between randomly selected Wikipedia contributors who opt-in. After disclosure, all of these types of articles would be open to revision control from a randomly selected outside source.188.8.131.52 20:18, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But what if the "general interest" as defined by the company is "Feel free to trash any of the individuals who belong to a competing ideology/industry/group of think tanks/etc."?? Especially when you have people who admit to having in the past worked for an organization or academic institution that despises and wants to crush its competitors and admit to having a job now which one might guess has some relation to the past one? 184.108.40.206 14:04, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the employee is being compensated for their edits, then disclosure is necessary. If they feel like despise a competitor and edit outside of their compensated activity, then it's not covered by this proposal, but would still be covered by the WIkipedia policy on conflicts of interest. The same general policies and guidelines, such as neutrality, will apply even when disclosure is not required under this proposal. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shouldn't this be handled on a per-project basis?
Requiring disclosure makes clear to all contributors that they need to provide information, while still allowing each project to decide what to do about that information in a way that is appropriate for their project’s culture, size/age, and (if relevant) local legal regulations. It is also consistent with best practices adopted by many projects, like Spanish Wikipedia. So we think this approach strikes a good balance between enforceability and allowing local flexibility to address their specific needs and problems.
Why is it enough to disclose on a talk page or user page? Do we need disclosure for each edit?
There are two primary ways to handle paid advocacy through better disclosure:
disclose to readers, so that they can stop reading, or make their own judgments about reliability; or
disclose to active editors, who can fix any problems in edits, inform the editor how to comply with conflict-of-interest/neutral-point-of-view rules, or otherwise deal with the editor.
These requirements use the second approach—disclosing to editors, through channels regularly visited by editors, namely user pages, talk pages, and edit summaries. This should minimize the disruption for readers while still achieving the end goal of neutral and reliable information. This is also consistent with existing best practices, like those for Wikimedians in Residence, who tend to disclose on user pages rather than on each individual article.
Note that local applicable law may still require disclosure in other locations, depending on the nature of the edit and the compensation. For more details on applicable law, see this FAQ entry.
Also, it is not only a negative tool to facilitate enforcement when bad players are caught - it is a positive tool to provide guidance to help guide good faith editors. That makes it valuable even if enforcement is difficult.
Legally there is no way to prove that editorials are real or fake, hence the rule of 'no original research' to begin with. The same would apply to who wrote the editorial and whether or not compensation came into play. 'Community research' as to verifying sources will be the only recourse as with any information placed on wikimedia.
How will community enforcement of these obligations work with existing rules about privacy and behavior?
This question and answer have been moved to the main page, but please continue to discuss or share suggestions. Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This requirement, like others, should be applied constructively to enable collaboration and improve our projects. Users who violate them should first be warned and informed about these rules, and then only blocked if necessary. In other words: assume good faith and don’t bite the newcomers.
If an editor wishes to avoid the disclosure requirement of this amendment, they should abstain from receiving compensation for their edits.
Please add new frequently-asked questions here, with links to the comments below if that would help provide more context. Don't use this section for questions that have not been asked repeatedly. Thanks! —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 21:21, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One possible area requiring a work-around is where a contributor is also a published author or academic, and where the best evidence to cite for a statement is actually that same author's work. What mechanism is there to enable this, without the same mechanism becoming liable to abuse? Pr0t0type (talk) 10:09, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How long the info should stay on talk or user page? I see this quite dangerous / not very practical as if someone makes several paid edits and chosen to use his user page to say that, that means that the notice should stay on his page (almost) forever even he has changed his job several years ago. 220.127.116.11 19:29, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the details of disclosure on the user page should be clarified. I see another problem though (almost the opposite): Let's say user Alice is hired for editing by company Acme, but just for a few days. Alices publishes her affiliation on her user page, makes all kinds of edits in the Acme article (and their competitors), and after her employment ends a few days later, deletes the affiliation statement from her user page. When other users check her edits later, they would have to look at older versions of her user page to find out that the edits were paid for by Acme. Probably not what we want, but formally in accordance with the proposed paid contributions amendment. 18.104.22.168 20:14, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not all content is the same. There is an enormous difference between paid editors creating content for a city council candidate, citing reliable sources for what are predominately biographical facts, and slanted sourcing and writing in favor of a corporation or brand. How does this policy differentiate between the benign and the real COI-driven POV-pushing problem? NickDupree (talk) 01:00, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could we require edits which don't use references apart from those published by the editor or the entity which pays the editor to mention the affiliation in the talk page? Gred16 (talk) 11:34, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The proposed amendment is extremely vague with regards to the editor/organization nexus that would trigger the requirement to disclose. Which begs two extremely important questions?
What is the definition of “you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation” [to what]. What is missing from this is any definition of what types of organizations this applies to. I would strongly suggest that a least in FAQs, the WMF adopt the description of organization from en:Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) and clarify whether any of these types of organizations are “exempt” from this proposal.
From this part of the TOU: “with respect to any contribution to any Wikimedia projects for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.”, one would assume that any employee or governor of an organization whose specific mission was the advocacy of some POV (very common in environmental, educational, cultural and political organizations), if they were editing content related to the mission of the organization, they would be required to disclose under this TOU. They may not be paid explicitly to edit Wikipedia, but they are being paid explicitly to promote a POV in anyway possible. Is this a correct assumption? If it is, then it should be included in the FAQ. If it is not, then the WMF should explicitly exempt this editor/organization nexus from these TOU. --Mike Cline (talk) 17:25, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With regard to your second point, here is my reading of this policy. If someone works for PR company, but edits on his own risk, without receiving any monetary or other compensation specifically for editing in Wikipedia he is not required to disclose anything per this policy. However, what he is doing still may be a COI problem and require disclosure per WP:COI policy in English Wikipedia, for example. This seems clear enough to me. My very best wishes (talk) 02:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since the question has literally nothing to do with "PR firms", your comment does not address the question. The question asks about the editor/organization nexus when the organization is an avowed advocacy organization. I picked an organization at random from the 1000s that exist: w:Global Green USA. They have an avowed advocacy mission: "Global Green USA has been a national leader in advocating for smart solutions to global warming including green building for affordable housing, schools, cities and communities that save money, improve health and create green jobs." Now the question is, if any of the employees, staff or board members of this organization were to contribute content on subjects that were directly related to the advocacy mission, would they be required to disclose under this proposal? Yes or No? Taking it one step further, if the answer is No, then what specifically would trigger a disclosure requirement if anything for this editor/organization nexus? --Mike Cline (talk) 07:15, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My very best wishes is quite certainly incorrect; from the FAQ: "If you have been hired by a public relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm’s client." I see Mike's question as a FAQ; I think it needs an entry in the FAQ as the answer is not immediately obvious, especially if one of the amendment amendments is made; I asked a similar question; I think the answer both is and should be that such edits by advocacy organization staff, even if the staff are not explicitly instructed to edit wikimedia, are paid edits requiring disclosure, because the staff is paid to advocate, and so edits to wikimedia that could be seen as furthering the advocacy mission require the disclosure. Again, I welcome an authoritative answer from wikimedia staff.--Elvey (talk) 04:54, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
今回の改訂の提案では、自分の業務に関係する編集を行う編集者が自分の業務に関係しない編集を行うことについて次の1,2,3のうちのいずれを推奨しているのであろうか。あるいはそれ以外の方法を推奨しているのであろうか。1.自分の業務に関係しない編集をIP利用者を含むいずれのアカウントでも行なわないこと。2.自分の業務に関係しない編集を自分の業務に関係する編集と同一のアカウントで行うこと。3.自分の業務に関係しない編集を自分の業務に関係する編集と異なるアカウントで行うこと。22.214.171.124 08:29, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(translation) Which way is recommended for editing the articles which are not related to their business ? 1. Neither account including IP user should be used to edit the articles which are not related to their business. 2. Use the same account to edit the articles which are not related to their business. 3. Use different account to edit the articles which are not related to their business.126.96.36.199 18:42, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
N00b here, but a comment and question: Making this amendment and enforcing it will be quite important for U.S. mid-term elections as politicians polish their personas. I suspect that monitoring and editing of politicians' pages is quite often a paid pursuit, not clearly disclosed to the FEC. Question: How can the community help identify those paid editors (sometimes sock puppets) working for politicians to avoid prolonged editing battles? Can the amendments and policies provide clarity on the most efficient way of flagging suspected paid political editing in the U.S.? Akrewson (talk) 16:32, 5 March 2014 (UTC) akrewsonReply[reply]
Wiki needs to make structural changes to the method of allowing users to edit. Due to the multi jurisdictional nature of this issue (essentially covering any place where someone can access the internet) legal incentives will not be sufficient to constrain paid contributions. No enforcement mechanism is currently capable of conforming editor behavior to legal policy. Perhaps a more robust membership model - verified identities through some means - email verification or some government ID, for example. With a more robust membership identification process some of the problem could be curtailed. Reliable identification does not, to my understanding, violate the value of open mass collaboration. If we wish to prevent the commercialization of this Temple, a structural change capable of withstanding capitalistic pressure is imperative. Braigetori (talk) 04:47, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
!Vote count - Total number of votes (as of Nov 2015) in each subsection of this section: (Count assumes mediawiki formatting is correct; ignores votes in the #Unsorted_comments section; miscounts votes in wrong section, e.g. one Abstain described as "Strong Support")
266 Support, but should be stronger
47 Support, and should NOT be any stronger
Please add your vote at the end of the abstain, support, and oppose lists.
Please, do not insert new votes between already existing votes in the list (the number of the vote can serve as a way of referring to particular votes or discussion points, but only if they remain constant after being created).
Vote for disclosing name etc. of paid contributors
-abstain, theirs enough rules as it is. what often happens is people propose new restrictions which seem like a good idea at the time; however, eventually more and more are enacted until you have TOS and the like that could more or less fill an encyclopedia. I think in this case, less is more. 188.8.131.52 07:03, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Check this out, a view from someone who relies on but doesn't contribute to Wikipedia. There are other ways to get around the issue of COI. Whether there are rules or not, people will do 'bad' things so they can profit somehow. Since they are going to do this regardless of rules and risks associated, why not develop a better way of dealing with the issue? An open source encyclopedia shouldn't be so closed minded. Crowd sourced. Innovative. Wikipedia is a bastion of open information and information society, why bother entrenching itself into outmoded ways of thinking? I know I have ideas on this - I'm a 22 y/o male with big thoughts and ideas. Are you all old fuddy duddies trying to protect a baby? Clearly you all have bad arthritis if this is how you protect Wikipedia. This website does not need your protection or arbitration anymore, it is its own engine. If you see someone pouring bad oil into the engine, A. stop them, B. drain the oil or C. set the engine up to process that type of oil.
A: you can't stop them
B: this takes time and legislation and legwork and motivation...
C: this requires excitement, innovation, brainstorming, forward thinking...
Choose any metaphor for the situation and reevaluate your solutions, folks. This one is not a difficult issue, you just need to think outside of the box. Wikipedia was not born in a box, so don't put it inside of one. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 19:50, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I appreciated this comment very much. –SJtalk 21:38, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't. It's rambling, half-baked, and incoherent. If he wants a "better way", he should suggest something more detailed than "crowd sourced" as the answer. A buzzword is not an idea. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"I'm a 22 y/o male with big thoughts and ideas." -So share some, instead of insulting wikipedia, and bad-mouthing the a reasonable solution. Wikipedia's an Encyclopedia, not a social media company. Also, Wikipedia IS using a crowd-sourced solution. They're requiring paid edits be highlighted, so other Editors can come behind and fix any lies or misrepresentations.
Trying to catch and act on traditional notions of COI is a missed opportunity to find a new perspective. (Our strength for years was not caring about identity, COI, individual historical traits such as expertise; and finding ways to scale and layer contribution in simple, clever ways so that those things didn't matter.) The analogy is as good as others that have been presented, and different. Not just a buzzword. This change may be fine as far as it goes, but it's a retro and not a transformative change. –SJtalk 18:04, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
i fokken swor on me mum ill jab u in ur jibber(ish. try again pal)— The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk)
Here's an attempt to unpack option C: keep a list of known paid contributors (account names and IP addresses; possibly split between GLAMS and other) and retrospectively background-colour the text of their contributions. Probably still needs a policy like this, to justify the differential treatment. ArthurDent006.5 (talk) 09:54, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As someone who has yet to fundamentally edit or write a Wikipedia article and likely never will (other than correcting typos or small factual errors on articles that are almost entirely about sporting tournaments in Latin America), yet relies on Wikipedia as a source of information and learning, I can neither fully support nor fully oppose this amendment.
As our generation watches the internet, one of the most promising inventions of its time, fall victim to the plague of commercialization that has destroyed our environment, ransacked our economies and in many cases quite literally murdered our people, I feel strongly and deeply that transparency is a NECESSARY rule for the internet if it hopes to be anything resembling a free means of sharing information. I feel that I am not alone in saying that Wikipedia was one of our great hopes for a universal repository of impartial, or at least balanced, knowledge. Perhaps it isn't perfect yet, but it has become something greater than any of us imagined. I began my post-primary education during a time when students were sanctioned for even considering Wikipedia as reference material, and by the time I entered my post-secondary education, Wikipedia had replaced the ink-and-paper encyclopedia as the starting point for any research project. If Wikipedia becomes anything other than an impartial compendium of knowledge created by a user base that strives for accuracy and fairness, we will lose what I feel to be one of the greatest projects of our time.
And yet, this amendment does not go far enough. As it has been pointed out by other contributors to this page, how many users read the talk, edit, and user pages? I certainly have not, nor do I have the time to; this is not a condemnation of irrelevance, but vox populi. The internal infrastructure of Wikipedia has a purpose and a function, but these are NOT to serve as a public warning for the average user.
Any amendment to the TOU regarding transparency of paid publications that does NOT require a clear disclaimer before EVERY paid edit disclosing the identity of the company that has paid for the edit INVITES the loss of what makes Wikipedia great, and, by extension, the loss of Wikipedia.
Your heart is in the right place, but there are details about this that may be trouble. As others have pointed out, a notice that is only on the user talk page might be put up for a brief period while paid editing is done, then taken down, leaving other editors with no real way to tell unless they go through the full history of every user page; there's no future mandate for registering these in a more centralized way even if a mechanism is developed. Also, the disclosure of employer, client, and affiliation can be problematic: for example, suppose an editor is freelancing for a company. Is he required to know who hired the company? What if they tell him a false or less than useful bit of information about the client, such as the name of the PR person at the client, the name of another company the PR company works with that recruited the client rather than the client itself, the website registrar for the client's private domain name registration, etc.? It may be that you can only tell which way the paid editors will go to defeat your measure by enacting it, but maybe more thought would head off some of their tactics, I'm not sure. This amendment looks likely to pass, and that's not a bad thing, but either way you're going to be back here taking another vote on another wording sooner rather than later. Wnt (talk) 13:44, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Allowing undisclosed paid editing will change the purpose dynamic of wikipedia. It is a way to make money, which could help Wikipedia, but would change what Wikipedia is potentially altering future funding and the entire concept of the project. We live in a world where "truth" is dictated by money - not a path I would want to head down. 18.104.22.168 18:17, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstaining until the policy can be better worded. It should specifically exclude contributions that correct mere grammatical/typographical errors (paid for or not, as they are insignificant enough to sway opinion on way or the other). One proposal to make paid edits known is a check-able box that marks an edit as "p" - paid editor in edits, the option available to all editors logged-in or not. It invites scrutiny from fellow editors checking for NPOV violations, but abuse of the checkbox [much like abuse of "m" (minor edits)] would only be done by the occasional odd-ball. Ellomate (talk) 21:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let it be known that I have changed my vote to support even though it is past the commenting phase. Ellomate (talk) 01:09, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain - Because this is WMF business and I am the type of editor the amendment is intended for (though I already surpass the requirement, unless you dig really far back in my editing history), it feels appropriate that I abstain from voting/commenting. However, I will be very interested in seeing what the court-room outcome is. CorporateM (talk) 00:16, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstaining until the proposed policy covers ALL the issues in a more considered manner. I'm an author of 7 books (is that defined as being paid?). I've contributed to scores of descriptions and content (I have an ID here but never choose to use it due to some bigot/robot/idiot allowed in the past to more than once lord their power over gentle, informed voices). Everyone has an opinion, not everyone can contribute new knowledge. Wikipedia already has a serious problem in that biased, erroneous information is being allowed, so-called managers who can delete valid information (in their ignorance or bias) and people with an axe to grind or are promoting themselves, their company or client, religion or politics and allowed to mislead, lie or otherwise obfuscate. You will never change that as long as you allow unsigned contributions. Yet wikipedia cannot afford to impose itself on the informed who don't want recognition or credit for their knowledge. If you choose to impose regulation which does appear to be needed you only increase the level of bureaucracy, and silence many who would no longer make the effort to add knowledge and that harms the corpus of available knowledge. So if you are truly wise you will make any changes simple and avoid the desire to increase bureaucracy, as doing that creates a point of control for the bullies, bigots and oligarchs to impose themselves in a manner rather like Orwell identified in 1984. 22.214.171.124 11:33, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is it possible to rule out any misdemeanor by paid contributors? And does it make sense? Let's see
If any person wants to contribute anything illicit, he or she will do so.
Unless you are with the NSA, there is no possibility to find out whether the contributor was paid or not.
If the paid contribution is valid and useful, I see no good in excluding it.
If the paid contribution betrays any biased, misinformed or commercial purpose, the community will find out and correct it.
Unless Wikipedia is willing to allow only registered users as contributors, the influx of possibly unwanted content is not feasible.
Abstain, I guess Look, I think your I.P. is registered when you edit, right? Well, what about instead of closing the network you make a teamwork that puts down on a blacklist the I.P.s of crappy, flooder or vandal people. Usually, these scum don't settle for one article. If that I.P. appears two or more times, then block them. It won't stop them all at once, but if you don't show me a chart where I can see that unregistered contributions are at least 100 times smaller than users', I can't agree with such paradoxical decision for this site. And if you do, well maybe I'll make an account. There's someone else that's confused about the introduction. At least I'm not the only one! Please, what's all that paid contribution (who pays? who gets? when? you? what? is that bad or good?) stuff? Thanks for reading and please remove that *sshole from above. --126.96.36.199 15:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain, I think Wikipedia needs to rethink their process. I am in my 40's but my 14yr old stepson told me you can't trust everything you read on Wikipedia. I just think that is sad for his generation. When I was his age before wide spread use of the computer, I went to an encyclopedia as a definitive source of information. When you want to comment on an article in the NY Times your comments are screened by a panel. What if all contributions to Wikipedia were screened by a paid panel representing a wide range of disciples and expertise? Anyone can contribute and edit so it is still "free" but unless sources are verified and companies disclosed, it is not published. How were original encyclopedias written?Soyface (talk) 16:35, 24 February 2014 (UTC) Soyface (talk) 16:35, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain, " I copy this from Soyface user " I think Wikipedia needs to rethink their process. I am in my 40's but my 14yr old stepson told me you can't trust everything you read on Wikipedia. I just think that is sad for his generation. When I was his age before wide spread use of the computer, I went to an encyclopedia as a definitive source of information. When you want to comment on an article in the NY Times your comments are screened by a panel. What if all contributions to Wikipedia were screened by a paid panel representing a wide range of disciples and expertise? Anyone can contribute and edit so it is still "free" but unless sources are verified and companies disclosed, it is not published. How were original encyclopedias written?" Nhung (talk) 16:35, 24 February 2014 (UTC)188.8.131.52 18:32, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain I rely on Wikipedia to as a valuable start for research. I am saddened to see a few comments above suggesting that college students are allowed to treat Wikipedia as a reliable source. As many others have pointed out, as long as anonymous edits (like this one) are possible, Wikipedia can never be considered the final word on anything, nor can such a prohibition be enforced. The prohibition will improve the quality of the information a little, but knowing it's there could increase the misperception of reliability.184.108.40.206 20:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC) (Update) Response to "antiwesley": I'm not so sure IP addresses are becoming more static. It is now possible to have a (sub)domain name that points to a new address every hours. And how many thousands of people are using TOR or a proxy or a VPN to hide their location or identity?Reply[reply]
Abstain As much as I would like to see this implemented, it would be next to impossible to enforce and would invite countless revision wars, as the paid people could just create another account, reset the changes, and so on and so forth. It also brings up the most important aspect of censorship. IP's can be blocked, but what if it blocks legitimate users as well? IP addresses are becoming more and more static, true, but they are still dynamic. What could be an IP for a paid editor in one town today, could be the IP for a user one town over the next. This sounds like an argument for opposition, but I feel that the time would be better used than trying to enforce this rule. AntiwesleyAntiwesley 21:47, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"I reserve judgment" - Montaigne When you're sick you see a doctor. When your car won't start you call a tow truck and mechanic. Most people can't write -- so they hire a writer. Those that can't write but try to tend to produce sub-par prose that won't "start" with the reader. If a paid writer creates an outstanding Wikipedia page for someone else, and the work is neutral, objective and helps an audience, what difference does it make who's name is on it or actually did the work? None whatsoever. Over the years I've written thousands of articles, speeches (and even a few books) that ended up carrying someone else's name as author. As long as the piece in question served the public good, I've never minded remaining anonymous. If there's ever the slightest chance that a proposed article or speech will do harm, I turn down the opportunity. In sum, I write for those people and causes I believe in. Period. Attaching a "bigger name" than mine to the end product serves a purpose: People are more apt to read it. The quality of the work is the thing. In the case of Wikipedia, if there is any doubt about the end result or its intent, I place trust in Wikipedia's outstanding staff of volunteer editors to right the problem. Signed, for once, Jim Crawford.
Abstain I like the idea in concept, but the folks arguing about the content being important, not the editor, have a point. Finances aside, if the content meets WP's guidelines, is impartial, and uses reliable sources, it shouldn't matter. On the other hand, anyone editing and being paid to edit is suspect... I don't see a big need for this, and I dont think this is a solution. PrimalBlueWolf (talk) 15:39, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain I agree with comments #2 and #3 and would like to add a quick comment in addition to their great points. The intention of this provision is great but it needs to be implemented much better to actually be effective, in its current form I firmly believe that users following the requirements will not still serve the intention of this provision.
Abstain I do not think that requiring disclosure will help to fix the problem. Eventually, if enacted, Wikipedia will need to have a police unit responsible for banning such people from posting. Just like the "like" farms of YouTube, people will find a way to reliably subvert the proposed disclosure rule. In addition, with the proposed rule, Wikipedia is setting itself up for doing background checks on contributors. The assumption would need to be everyone is being paid to contribute unless proven otherwise. Logically, employment of contributors would be ascertained. This is a long and laborious process. Perhaps Wikipedia should consider paying people to contribute content. Even though the people would be paid, they would not be getting paid to promote content. Rather the content would be unbiased. As a bridge between current workings and unbiased compensated contributions, an edit might require approval by a page editor. Approval of edits by the page editor could also work as a permanent solution. This would likely make the editing process easier on the page editor while still protecting Wikimedians from bad information, whether the information is compensated for or simply false information. For example, if an expert consistently makes edits, after three or four edits the editor would become familiar with the source of information. While the edits would still need approval, the editor would not need to scrutinize the edits in tedious detail.
Abstain Because I'm kinda on-the-fence, I feel that the proposed amendment does not go far enough, imo, although it IS a difficult step in the right direction. A SIMPLER step, and probably a bigger and better one, is the use of a page editor system, as mentioned above. This MIGHT, also, have the additional effect of increasing Wikipedia's perceived reliability, however, I can see where that's gonna be murky waters at best, since it kinda defeats the whole allowing ANYONE to contribute thing. I tend to agree with most of #19 above, although having paid-for contributors would also kinda defeat the point of Wikipedia, I feel. Also, SOME notice, somehow, that content might not be so reliable is absolutely imperative. Whether a big "P" on the page/edited section itself, or quickly visible on the TOP of the talk page, perhaps a big RED coin? The hardest part, as i see it, is gonna be getting across the fact that some or all of the information presented might be biased ASAP, so ppl can form their own opinion. I can see this going either way, and it being good or bad, either way, there's just SOO many variables, and a LOT of them are REALLY important. Be interesting to see the eventual outcome. My 2 cents, you DID ask for it. 220.127.116.11 09:05, 27 February 2014 (UTC)JesterDoobieReply[reply]
If we are to somehow label contributions that are paid, to be consistent and fair, we would need to also label those that were unpaid. We would also need to decide if these two categories, "paid" and "unpaid", were the only two possibilities at this level of classification. There may well be other categories that we decide have a similar level of influence on accuracy and truthiness as do these two. It's worth some more thought I think.18.104.22.168 05:43, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm kind of the person who falls under this proposed amendment. I get the concept, but as we saw with the Arturo at BP account and (hopefully?) how I've approached editing pages dealing with my employer, if we're open, honest, and reach out to other editors BEFORE editing and THROUGHOUT the editing process, then we'll foster the trust (and oversight) to be allowed to edit the pages we are compensated to in a manner that is accountable to Wikipedia's standards. My talk page says what I do, my username says by affiliation, and I reach out to other editors on the pages I'm trying to edit of which I must be under the WP:COI microscope while editing. GRUcrule (talk) 17:28, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Totally abstain: wiki will become an advertisement / promotional portal — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk)
Abstain: this concept is similar to bribing, and bribing is illegal. If paid undisclosed editing editing is allowed, Wikipedia will be unable to track vandalism. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk)
Who runs wikipedia now? There's a board of trustees? Where does funding come from? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk)
Abstain. Here is an example of horrible editing. Whatever policy can prevent a recurrence of this sort of thing I favor, but I am not well enough informed on current proposals to vote here. In the earlier days of Wiki I wrote a long, detailed article on the science of sacrificial anodes, a subject on which I am an expert, have published, and served as a consultant. I had no commercial affiliation at the time I contributed the article, and I contributed information not available in print anywhere else. Subsequently someone selling a corrosion prevention gimmick -- that does not work! -- deleted my article and substituted a a brief article based on junk science that included an advertisement for their gimmick. Needless to say, I never again contributed. I do use Wiki, it is a great resource. signature: Piezoe (talk) 15:33, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some disclosure is necessary As others much more knowledgeable than myself have noted, sources should be disclosed. Sure, there are malicious users who will circumvent any process, but there needs to be guidelines in place for the process. How this can be tracked and/or verified in the current Wikipedia system is extremely difficult, though, and may require some substantial changes. Karoluskaufmannis (talk) 02:13, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain. I feel that disclosure in theory sounds great, but as the proposed amendment is currently phrased... I'm concerned that it is rather vague. However, given that I can count on one hand the number of times that I've edited on Wikipedia, I also feel that I'm not qualified to say "yea" or "nay" on this matter. -- 184.108.40.206 08:11, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Undisclosed Paid Editing when looked at from a different standpoint, could be a way for some users to finally tell the truth. Just my thoughts 1mh3ar1nth3spac3umad3 (talk) 02:03, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain: As currently phrased, it is vague as to what all of the implications would be. It seems not easily enforceable, at the very least - or perhaps I am simply not seeing the details of how Wikipedia plans on enforcing the rules? In any case, it seems as though it should be made a little more clear exactly what policy this would result in. Better to give users more an idea than less of what kinds of changes they can expect. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk)
Abstain the "policing" of this implies that everyone is suspect, and that would take the enjoyment out of contributing to articles. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by MaryJ8743 (talk)
Abstain - Pity I can't just oppose this unwieldy process, it seems to me that unpicking the finer points of quantum mechanics would be simpler than digesting the debate on this page. - That said I am in favour of the principle, however I do think we need to keep it simple. Wikipedias (for example) guidelines are already extremely complex, bewildering and off putting to newcomers. Why the choice of where to make the disclosure? Will thus not result in editors hunting for needles in haystacks if they suspect another of bias due to being paid? I can't see why we can't just require those effected by this change to put a brief (non-redirecting) hatnote on their user page or is that too simplistic for the WMF and wider community? --Wintonian (talk) 21:03, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain - I do think the proposed ammendment has more virtues than downsides, however, as other users mentioned before me, the proposed policy ammendment is not specific enough. How ever I do support the notion about paid contributors disclosing the fact that it's part of their job requirement on their user profile page 18.104.22.168 13:23, 7 March 2014 (UTC) Nemanja StošićReply[reply]
Support I cannot trust that corporate edited is a good idea, it can especiallie lead to biased of the companie paying to performing the edit. Pardon the english, but, I do not think it is a good idea for Wikipedia to does.22.214.171.124 04:22, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain I agree with the idea of full disclosure especially when it comes to paid entries. However, it is unclear how the Board of Trustees would enforce the proposed amendment. Until such time as it is possible to immediately and reliably identify paid sources, the amendment is just politics (all bark, no bite). Alas, I wish there was a better solution, but as of yet I have not seen it. That being said, if in the future it becomes possible to positively identify entries that have been funded, it should be made readily apparent on the entry page itself and not buried in comments or otherwise. It would be useful to the reader if such entries were marked either by a dollar sign, a loud font color or some other demarcation as the Board of Trustees finds appropriate.126.96.36.199 01:02, 8 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Abstain - The idea seems to be good in the first place and I agree that if it will be properly implemented, can help the readers a lot. However, I am not sure how will it be implemented. What if somebody doesn't declare about the paid editing and keeps on editing with a bias? I am afraid of one more thing. What if the information is paid yet true? What impression it will leave on the reader who is looking for a neutral view? Even if the paid information is true, the reader will not believe it since it has a tag as 'Paid Edit'. For this I have a suggestion that instead of sharing the Paid edit information to the reader and make him/her not to rely even on the true paid edits, WMF can use this paid-edit tag as its own mechanism to filter and edit better. In other words, do not share the paid edit information to the reader but use it to help the WMF community as a tool to identify potential biased edits. Makes sense?
Abstain Anyone found getting paid for editing should have both arms cut off and shoved up their ass in tandem.
Strongly Support I'm a regular Wikipedia user. I feel after reading the description that this amendment is needed, and that the Wikimedia organization and community will responsibly enforce it.
Abstain 1.Impossible to enforce 2. Other types of conflict of interests - employment, ownership, affiliation etc are lot more common than direct payment.Serg3d2 (talk) 07:39, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support Paid or unpaid I always felt that Wikmedia lacked information on who is contributing and what their background is. Making that public would seriously enhance the richness of the information as the details of the source and his/her affiliations will be out in the open. My only suggestion is to device to make it easy to enter this information and also view it. Once the basic framework is created I would also like to see how certain sections of an article can be rated by the entire communitity to arrive at a consensus on the impartiality index of the edit/content. Krishsub2011 (talk) 09:33, 19 March 2014 (UTC)krishsubReply[reply]
Strongly Support Paid doesn't mean bad, but the user needs this information to clearly evaluate contributed content. 188.8.131.52 06:19, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Any honest person will be prepared to disclose their business activities. This amendment will give Wikipedia more transparency, and by that, more credibility. Sleepingbeauty (talk) 16:31, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Many PR firm in Taiwan edit Wikipedia for their client, which include companies, politicians, or government units. It must be revealed. --Orion (talk) 19:10, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support It will need some exemplar cases to work though - damages will need to be high enough that multi-billion-dollarpound industries can't just consider them an operating cost!
Blatantly, Strongly Support great idea consistent with the aims and objectives of mediawiki. I am a retired teacher and loaded with information that I do like to pass to younger generations. Frequently my works have been marred and barred as "spams!" because it could shade hidden paid editors or business advertisements with easy free to implement home-brewed ideas. It has happened that my edit had collected viewers and on getting enough viewers and attraction of search engines its original form replaced with commercials -PJ.
Support Great idea, why would anyone want to hide their identity after contributing if they are truthful. Jimmydreads (talk) 10:28, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Being able to see clearly whats going on with a page's politics in the history would be great. If you could see at a glance in the history what position the contribution was coming from, i.e. whether a contribution is for example from the owner of that company, or is an actor in question commenting on themselves etc. If done well i imagine it would make it quickly evident what sort of discussion has been taking place on the subject simply by looking at the title of involved participants and this would add to how much of a feeling you could get about something from its page. Of course people could still post anonymously but the big names posting should have reputations. (that is if it was enforceable though...) Formed4 (talk) 16:23, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support This makes good sense to me. Keep the conversations transparent and above-board. No one should have to wonder if hidden agendas are making it into a global standard source for information. [guest] 14:26, 8 March 2014 (PST)
Support I think this is best for Wikipedia and would be a great decision. Aus0107 (talk) 17:17, 8 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Strongly Support" I am ok with it, As long as there is [sic] s/b ARE no paid contributions. 184.108.40.206 23:13, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support I like Wikipedia and would support this amendment. I'm quoting a statement to abstain from Nhung. "'I copy this from Soyface user' I think Wikipedia needs to rethink their process. I am in my 40's but my 14yr old stepson told me you can't trust everything you read on Wikipedia. I just think that is sad for his generation." Anyone that went to college knows that Wikipedia is not accepted as a valid reference, as we probably all know. All you have to do is verify the reference, hoping that there is a valid reference given by the writer. I use Wikipedia because there is more information on here now than ever before. And most of it IS valid. After all, a lot of good reference sites make you pay for information.Cjstudent54 (talk) 20:44, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
""Strongly Support I think this will be a valuable step towards making Wikipedia a more "trustworthy" [sic] (s/b without quotes as quotes technically de-emphasizes; e.g. President Coolidge was a "talkative" man) resource, and I'm delighted at the breadth of discussion in the community220.127.116.11 08:45, 7 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support In Telugu movies section you can find references from websites that are paid marketing partners of many movies which is listed in their own website and their movie reviews are listed on the Wiki Page as if they are genuine reviews . It is absolutely critical to find some pair movie promotion websites are using Wiki to gain their credibility and putting the content either extract the link juice or to promote the movie that they are paid for . The Telugu actress wiki pages are filled with those few paid promotion companies comments as if they are genuine. There should be limit on the number of outbound links to a website from the Wiki. Otherwise , genuine content gives way undisclosed paid editing. Niranjan gat (talk) 13:02, 4 March 2014 (UTC) NiranjanReply[reply]
Strongly Support I am a web designer and new contributor. My only purpose for making changes on any Wikipedia article at this time would be to add or correct information on behalf of a client for whom I am working to establish or enhance their online presence, so I would come under the category of contributors being paid to make their contributions. I made my first contribution yesterday and found the note about this discussion in the process. I think it's important for anyone who is paid to make changes to articles on Wikipedia to disclose the source of the compensation they will receive so people will know whether or not the changes they make are sponsored by someone with a vested interest in posting correct information. There are too many instances where Wikipedia articles could be "contaminated" by contributors with a vested interest in adding biased or incorrect information, and I think the proposed solution is pretty simple and elegant. This would also help to prioritize tha changes made by paid individuals in the event of a disagreement that needs mediation by the Wikipedia community. I also agree with many of the other comments left by those who also agree that this is a good thing for Wikipedia and its users. In the spirit of supporting this proposed and very reasonable change to Wikipedia's policy I have disclosed the person for whom I am working on my user page and added note regarding another change I'll be making soon for another client. Hanasazi 11:03, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support The previous submitter is a web designer. His purpose is "to add or to correct information on behalf of a client". While I am not a doctor, I live with several diseases that have encouraged me to research them. If I contribute personal experiences and information that may conflict with the Wiki editors or with a corporate entity, what is the limit of my personal liability? Can Wiki, after consulting with someone like me, be an advocate for change? Can a corporate entity suppress one's contributions? For example, I am a Vioxx survivor who had several TIAs, a few atypical hemo-plagic migraines (aka strokes), and a palsy of a right optical nerve. Can Wiki resist an entity like Merck that has lots of friends?
18.104.22.168 06:17, 3 March 2014 (UTC)strongly support It is important to know where information comes from to make a critical decision about the accuracy of it.Reply[reply]
Support Please keep the rules for it simple as I edit in so many ways - for friends, for companies, for non-profits, for individuals alive and dead. Psychetube (talk) 11:23, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
strongly support It is necesary to disclose paid editors but not to discourage them, their edits are important.(Jorge Iani (talk) 24:14, 2 March 2014 (UTC))Reply[reply]
Strongly Support the amendment for similar reasons as #4; Wikipedia and public will only benefit from full disclosure. Wikipedia's gain is improvement of reputation, public will gain in accessing more reliable resources. As a teacher librarian, I consciously endeavored to encourage students to look for conflict of interest and prejudiced sources of information Teach Lib (talk) 19:52, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support The proposed amendment would, in my eyes, do infinitely more good than harm, and should be considered appropriately. Requiring the disclosure of data which would affect the way a reader interprets information in an edit is the obvious course of action. --Polymetric (talk) 17:52, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I am a casual user, but Wiki is my primary information resource. I use it like one used to use an encyclopedia, dictionary, almanac, etc.. I find it VERY helpful to know who the contributors are and their backgrounds, which should include the fact that they are being paid for their contribution. This allows me to weigh the information and contributor and look for balance else where if it is needed. Alizyb````
Support This is a good idea to help preserve the integrity and independence of Wikipedia as a quality data source for online research. ~kbierce, San Francisco, tech startup employee
Support I am a 62 year old trial attorney and I have been a civil rights activist since I was a child. Multinational corporations and their well paid advocates in Washington and in the commerical media are destroying the economic and intellectual bedrock of freedom and justice throughout the world. Many of us cannot even remember when "TV news" was not a euphemism for infotainment, calculated misinformation, rumors and advertisements dressed up as legitimate news, and thinly veiled censorship disguised as editorial discretion. Ever listen to the words of the song Dirty Laundry? Or see the movie Wag the Dog? Or The Constant Gardner, written by a former British spy? Don't let Wiki join the conga line of media whores. If we cave on this one, we may be gong beyond the point of no return. They have so much more money than we do, and they work full time at it. Let them in the door? Better apologize to your spouse and kids first. Who knows, though, maybe the oil companies will give us some of their Honored Customer discount cards if we vote No. Paul Leland Ness, B.A., J.D. (talk) 00:41, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support with my only reservation being that it might not be strong enough. I am aware of one for profit that has clearly used paid people to create what was essentially an infomercial for the company on the wikipedia. Although I'm not competitor, I work in the same business and could see what was going on. I challenged some of the copy and was mildly criticized for being inconsistent with POV policy -- which might have been a fair criticism. But there was no way to pull the covers on this. If this policy had been in place, I would have challenged the contributor for connection information if the proper disclosure was missing. Proposal is better than nothing. Frog one (talk) 20:49, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: While I acknowledge that paid contributions might not necessarily be factually incorrect, the fact that they are receiving compensation implies that there are obvious interests at stake. In other words, there is an obvious risk that the contribution might not represent a neutral point of view at the very least. Such biases can also lead to intentional information, obviously. This is a problem even for unpaid contributions, but where there is financial incentive it stands to reason that points of view backed with large amounts of money stand gain the most influence regardless of their actual validity. An unpaid volunteer could hardly be expected to out-argue someone who's paid to edit full time whether they're right or not. In order to level the playing field, these kinds of contributions need to be disclosed. #--22.214.171.124 20:09, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: The person getting paid should not be allowed to edit in the first place. That's advertising! If you refuse to block this entirely, VERY large text should be added stating "THIS IS A PAID OPINION!". Lostviking (Tim Oster) 10:45, Feb 27, 2014 (PST)
Support: At least the written material is recognized as Paid for. Anwaraj (talk) 14:30, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support and agree that "paid editing" should include political interns, military and the like. I am sorry that I don't know how to "sign" this comment. I have never edited Wikimedia/pedia before.
Support I think this is a step in the right direction. Bradybd (talk) 00:31, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support: My biggest concern is that large corporate or government entities will pay to have scientific data changed on the site. For example, an unknown whistle blower leaks the results of multinational Pharmaceutical Company BIG PHARMA's confidential test conducted by a team of doctors and medical researchers on their staff. To their shock the test proves that their best selling heart drug causes premature dementia in 43% of all users of the drug. Big Pharma's tentacles of influence are so powerful that their crisis management PR agency is able to kill the any story about the leak in major media sources, because the company is an advertiser on a global scale. But the information is here on Wikipedia. Big Pharma pays someone to delete the information, and falsify the test results on Wikipedia. Without a transparent contribution amendment, there will be no way to trace the source of the deletion. Yes, of course, they can be very clever and have a series of safety protocols to distance themselves completely from the contributor, but this amendment adds a legal hurdle for them to confront and if they are caught, they can not only be held liable but the deletion could be enough for a law enforcement body to view it as probable cause for an investigation, including the subpoenas of the test results. They will therefore have to think very, very hard about whether or not they want to pay someone to lie. MusicalTheatreBuff (talk) 08:52, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support (and on the article page itself). Otherwise there is no way to evaluate any hidden bias and ensure integrity. But how to handle the issue of edits by supposedly 'unpaid' representatives of foundations, councils, lobby groups and the like which may be indirectly funded by 3rd parties with clearly vested interests (e.g. mining, energy vs climate debate). I guess what I am saying is that 'unpaid' is just one indicator of independence and objectivity. Adamswr (talk) 22:08, 23 February 2014 (UTC) Adamswr (talk) 22:11, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Overwhelmingly Support. Wikipedia is, by design, an open, non-biased information delivery system. Anyone who has a financial motive for posting/editing anything MUST DISCLOSE their role to the world. Otherwise, Wikipedia would just become a free advertisintg site. My full disclosure: I have and will continue to annually contribute from my meager financial resources to the Wikimedia Foundation so that it can stay free from advertising. I also challenge all readers of this post to donate at least $5 to the same. If everyone who uses Wikipedia did this, we wouldn't even have to see paid posts. BASoonersFan (talk) 23:19, 22 February 2014 (UTC)BASoonersFan.Reply[reply]
Support. I would only add that paid contributors are often in the best position to provide accurate information, as compared to others despite their potential bias. I still support their disclosure, but do not oppose their participation. 126.96.36.199 05:21, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hashtag=support, I guess. I'll support this, because it is something new to try. However, I will not permit such an amendment to exist unless it is able to be nullified. There's nothing wrong with trying something and seeing what happens. I know I've been arrogant about this, but if the people want the amendment, give it to them. They are the community, and they deserve what they ask for. When it all goes terribly like it very well may, just make sure you have a way out, and make sure i'm not involved in the lawsuits. I know you have other opinions to read, so I'm done. I don't like to harass people, but this situation has brought me to tears. I just find it hard to accept that wikipedia would stoop to such a level as bribery under a guise of transparency. Maybe that's just what you need to do to succeed in this fuckeed up world. (brandon).
Support. This is a no-brainer. The real trick will be destroying the powerful machinations of the massive efforts by governments and political organisations to effectively purchase public opinion and/or rewrite history. No easy task maintaining impartiality against so much well-funded hogwash.
Support. The philosophy of Wikipedia is good as is and it's a shame it's being influenced by money. Wikipedia is where people get knowledge and info, it should remain as pure as is humanly possible. Glad to see Wikipedia is recognizing the problem and doing something about it.
Support with the suggestion that editors be required to state either "unpaid" or "employed by ..." whenever they make an edit.Hovenweep (talk) 14:07, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. paid editing is a fundamental problem for the impartiality and balance of wikipedia.
Strongly support. Currently in our society whoever throws the most money at a problem seems to be believed. As a source of information, Wikipedia must be free from this type of propagandizing. (SJB)2602:306:CF02:4250:CD2F:81D3:C2F2:2D73 22:12, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support! Kick peoples ass Barack! Just please for the love of humanity. Only pay the smart people.188.8.131.52 17:21, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Wikipedia is fundamentally open--the first step in deterring those with financial gain is to prohibit such actions. Enforcement is a separate topic.
Strongly Support! Doing this might reduce the risk of biased or partial opinions stated as facts, disguised facts or partial disclosure of facts. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21 February 2014, 22:28 (UTC)
Support -- On the grounds that sunshine is the best disinfectant.
Support -- I think that if people are providing information for pay that it will be slanted news towards the payer. We don't want to start the whole news channel system here where the advertisers determine what information people have available to them. Paid providers of information would be able to silence others because they would have more time and resources available (A special interest group putting 100 people on the task of slanting the information about them in the articles here making it look like there is popular support for a particular viewpoint when there is none...)
Support --220.127.116.11 20:02, 21 February 2014 (UTC), But I suggest a modified wording "with respect to any contribution to any Wikimedia Projects for which you or your employer receive compensation"Reply[reply]
Support - The only thing this can do for this site is make it more reliable. It would be very difficult for a highly monitored paid contributor to decieve users of wikimedia sited.
Support - This seems to work very well on other sites. People interested enough to read about a particular subject are usually very much on target overall, I have found. It's very difficult for 'paid trolls' to effectively deceive on a large scale basis, without the 'bs' meter going off in the mind of the reader.
Support this amendment: it will clarify that the editor/writer could be influenced by a third party. May not affect contect, just puts it in the open.
Support. I doubt that this is very enforceable and there will continue to be people who try (or manage) to take advantage of this wonderful resource for their own ends; however, as an ideological stance on transparency I completely support it. It is absurd that a company, say, Monsanto, would get the benefit-of-the-doubt protection of not being required to have their paid editors/contributors say "I work for Monsanto" based only on the premise that such a disclosure would serve as a de-facto perception of unreliability by the reader, which is the claim many of those individuals opposing this amendment are taking. -Jay A.
Support. Is perfectly reasonable and will only ensure more security and reliability in the site.
Strongly Support. There is nothing wrong with making money by editing WikipediA articles, and being transparent about that contributes to the reliability of this site. AlvinMGO
Strongly Support this and disclosure of sources on all articles and edits.
Strongly support. Please keep paid interests our of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the best place to find unbiased or minimally biased information about most anything a human can be curious about. Paid interests can only mislead, obscure, and confuse the average user; and reduce the value of Wikipedia as a whole. If an addition to Wikipedia contains only the truth there should be no need for anyone to be paid to write it.````
Strongly support even though it will be hard to enforce. Allowing hidden commercial or economic relationships is far worse than not being able to identify every violation every time. The fact of the prohibition is an important factor in maintaining the projects' integrity.
Strongly support- this is required to prevent corruption of information and freedoms related to that information.
I support what Wikipedia is trying to do here in principle, but I don't think it's possible to enforce such a policy, or even to be able to detect a large portion of the population of violations of this policy, and that's just barely scratches the surface of the first face of this issue. Consider just one alternate face of this issue: what happens when someone is NOT being compensated, but their post is flagged due to a false positive hit on some filter or heuristic?
Strongly support the amendment.
support but agree that paid edits should be marked on the wiki page itself. the provision "a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions." comes closest but the implemented rule should be even stronger and take away the other two options because they are not transparent enough.
Support. Support - but the paid edits should be marked paid in some way on the wiki page itself.
Support. Agree with previous comment's sense that paid edits should be readily identified for readers. If not on the content page, then at least make mandatory that the talk page have the notice. That way a reader need only look at the discussion tab to see what content was contributed by paid editor(s). Stephengeis (talk) 14:23, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I strongly suggest reading these support posts in full, or else they could get out of hand. Open the door, get on the floor. Everyone walk the dinosaur.
Strongly support. Being paid to edit can very easily lead to bias. If this conflict of interest is not laid open, it may be that the bias escapes unnoticed (most likely for a limited amount of time). This would alter much of Wikpedia's reputation as an impartial source of information.
Strongly Support- This is a long overdue amendment. While there are those who suggest embracing these 'paid edits' and earning income from it, the whole point of Wikipedia is that it is a FREE encyclopaedia anyone can edit that is solely moderated by the community. A paid content provider would need to gain elevated 'privileges' above normal users (as they then become 'customers'). While this my not seem like a major issue in the short term, this could lead to major repercussions with regard to objectivity and eventual corporate dominance (Basically the same thing that has happened to many newspapers and 'traditional' media around the world). HOWEVER, I also believe that in addition to disclosure on one's talk page etc., the compensated Content Provider should also be required to put such edits in a different 'style' or coloring to make these edits known to the COMMON reader (who in some cases may not be 'tech savvy' enough to refer an article's or user's talk page). Just my two cents...
Support. But a better way would be to not stop the practice, but rather embrace it by regulating it and earning income from it, by requiring paid editors to register as a Wikipedia Paid Content Provider (WPCP). These WPCPs should pay Wikipedia a fee and be required to list all their current clients and all their Wikipedia IDs. Doing so would enable Wikipedia to place a symbol at the top of any WPCP created page that identifies the content as client provided material. Those WPCP clients should also pay Wikipedia a fee for each article posted in order to cover the cost of tracking these WPCP created articles and to enable Wikipedia to hire a bigger staff.
Support. Any bias in entries should be marked as such, and commercial sponsorship suggests the possibility that an entry may be biased. But should be left to the conscience of the individual editor (should editors also disclose membership of political parties, the Flat Earth Society, etc??)
Strongly support. As has been said before - transparency is key, and must be maintained to ensure the credibility of Wikipedia as an entity. Nothing should be hidden.
Strongly support. The conflict between candor and conflict of interest requires disclosure.
Strongly support. Transparency is key and, although some will disregard the rules, having the rule sends the message of what is appropriate and what is not.
Strongly support. I would also suggest extending the disclosure to memberships and affiliations even where there is no compensation involved, to minimize sock puppetry. For instance, I would find it useful to know that a contributor is a member of political party ABC, or religious organization XYZ.
Strongly support. Conflict of interest is an issue in all other aspects of society, why not when providing information to the pinnacle of human knowledge?
Why have paid editing at all? Editing should be completely democratic! -Sam Bharr
Strongly support disclosure of compensated edits. In most cases this will reflect well on the employer, e.g. when a specialist in a field is encouraged by employer/manager to contribute an article or a clarification on company time. (1) "Refraining from Certain Activities" seems the wrong place for this. IMHO it needs a new heading, "Transparency", (2) also to be listed in the box at the top as the second item below "Under the following conditions". (3) Near the end of the FAQ under the heading "How should I disclose paid contributions in my user page?", suggest delete the indicated words: "If you work for Company Acme, and, as part of your job responsibilities, you edit Wikipedia articles >>about Company Acme<<..." (4) Recommend the disclosure be available in the edited page. I don't want to break off pursuit of a topic to check user pages, talk pages: in scholarly work the citations are at the bottom of the page; I would like comparable convenience.
Duh, legal limits on free speech apply only to commercial speech. Since Wiki doesn't bill itself as a giant ad for anything, this whole issue is moot. Anybody should be able to edit it with or without revealing their identity, funding, etc., and the contribution should stand if it's accurate, and that's IT. You are making much ado about nothing.
I strongly support a requirement that an edit made by a person paid to perform the said edit be disclosed as a "paid edit". In my opinion, further disclosure of the person affiliation is inappropriate. The act of disclosing a commercially directed edit gives the read adequate information to consider that the edit is possibly biased for commercial promotion. The only exception that I would allow is for editors potentially paid by the foundation or its agents. My reasoning for such a narrow disclosure is that all edits are potentially biased in some form. Many of these biases are intentional. If disclosure of an editor's affiliation becomes required, it seems that the foundation could foster an unintentional consequence of partisan (commercial or otherwise) debate in the wiki.
Strongly support. In addition to a simple statement like "I work for ABC Company", additional disclosures like "work as a full-time employee" or "free lance project" could be useful to assess degree of potential conflict of interest.
Stongly support - More than once I have had discussions with people who clearly defend articles related to companies that read like advertisement. I really like the idea! --Jlascar (talk) 10:28, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support, i agree with paid editions they must be reported (cause it will exist always legal or ilegal). Firmemente de acuerdo. A favor de ediciones pagadas deben ser reportadas porque siempre existirán. --KundaliniZero (talk) 03:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support but don't believe any paid editing should be allowed. As they say, "Money is the root of all evil" and you will not have objective information on Wiki if you allow paid editing. So-called paid editing in some cases is nothing more than a public relations release or advertisement. I have noticed some examples of this. Since I am a writer and editor, I can detect such cases but a student may not be able to. Dru Murray
As I understand the intent of the proposal, I support it. Lou Schaefer
Strongly support. The need and the reasons for it seem obvious. Bill Mathews
I strongly support the proposed change.--L3erdr (talk) 02:00, 21 February 2014 (UTC) l3erdrReply[reply]
I strongly support the proposed change for paid contributions to be disclosed. Julianharty (talk) 01:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wiki promotes and cultivates a level of trust with its readers and contributors that the content it supplies is not biased by corporate interests or advertising; because of this, people let their guard down to a certain extent, regarding discernment of the real from the sensational (or outright lies). It is one of the most-read sites on the internet and is in a unique position of earnestly trying to deliver unbiased truth. Any actual or perceived flaws in our material will only be magnified or scandalized by the discovery of information that is secretly put there by paid interests, and trust will be lost. Labeling such material for what it is gives the reader the opportunity to view it more critically and preserve Wiki's reputation.
Support - Wikipedia is based on the principle of transparency. Payments for editing are often perfectly acceptable. I trust the Wikipedia community to be able to discern when it matters and when not. 18.104.22.168 00:54, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support - any paid edit which has not been declared as such, becomes blatantly shameful in case of discovery; therefore I believe that this policy should be accompanied by the explicitly retained right of WMF and/or the Community to give full visibility and emphasis to eventual discoveries, at any extent. It would then be a really good tool to make it quite risky for covert paid contributors to be discovered, a sort of matter of money for shame. --g (talk) 01:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support : maybe ask for a specific keyword to help bots recognize these edits quickly. It makes sense wrt conflicts, and does not harm.
Strongly support - The argument to the contrary (that disclosure would cause undue discrimination) is not compelling. Paid edits have a higher probability for fraud. The poster's comments (and disclosure) should take steps to acknowledge and mitigate that.(scotteemac)
Support (strongly, strongly...etc). Situation with suspected undisclosed paid editing is getting worse. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:25, 21 February 2014 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Support - Paid editing introduces a natural conflict of interest, and edits that are paid and subsequently affect a large amount of the encyclopedia may alter it in a biased way and may not be noticed until far after the event. This amendment would alleviate that by requiring notice when a paid edit occurs. NicatronTg (talk) 02:43, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Disclosure is required in many situations such as when a news story is about a parent company. With or without disclosure readers do have an opportunity to add or edit articles and this does act to limit or stop false or slanted information.
Strongly Support - transparency of the intention behind the addition of information will allow readers and editors to better judge the context of its addition and therefore the merit of it. Information does not exist in a vacuum and transparency allows us to better understand the intentions of a particular addition. Let us not muddy the philosophic undercurrent of this repository by letting pecuniary contrivances on it run rampant and unchecked.
Strongly suport. I can't see a reason for hiding that information. Elucches (talk) 02:47, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. The whole reason I go to Wikipedia instead of just googling is that I can read a neutral, objective writeup about Concept X, without distorting hype like i'd get from the Concept X website, or distorting criticism from a 'Concept X sucks' site. Where else can you get a writeup of, say, Islam or Obama or Spontaneous Human Combustion where both sides have edited and (sortof) approved the details? osamabinlogin
Lucius Chiaraviglio Strongly Support. I strongly support the prohibition of undisclosed paid edits. The effect of undisclosed paid edits on our laws are proof that this is necessary to protect Wikipedia from falling to the same fate. 22.214.171.124 03:03, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This seems sensible. I'd personally prefer an outright ban on paid editing, but this is a reasonable way of clarifying what's probably the community's consensus position on the topic. Nick-D (talk) 03:41, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Weak support : It seems that it just specifically states what is already the net result of existing policy. I don't think it will do anything to improve compliance by the problem users, the vast majority of whom know well what they are doing is wrong (and don't care). I think it just gives admins something concrete to lean on when taking action. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 03:45, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. If you're editing for money, your first loyalty is to your employer, not the project. Simple as that. You can argue until the end of time that this needn't make a difference, or is the paid contributor's right, or whatever, but it does make a difference, so it absolutely needs to be unambiguously disclosed. —Scs (talk) 03:46, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. This is extremely important to upholding a standard of objectivity and a neutral point of view, and is perfectly in line with a policy of transparency. Paid edits are fine, but they are certainly far more likely to be biased, nonobjective or even flat-out advertisement, and editors need to be able to see which information is more likely to be in violation of important policies so they can handle it more quickly. I cannot understand how someone could think that being more discriminating about which information is appropriate is undue discrimination. 126.96.36.199 03:51, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This is very serious problem, much more serious than most people believe. I had a lot of trouble and stopped editing political subjects because of this. Many paid editors on political subjects do excellent and perfectly neutral work. Having a disclosure would not really hurt them. Still, I am certain they will not disclose their real affiliations, because this would expose their employers. But at least they will know they violate our rules. Not so with paid editing on scientific subjects. Here, making a disclosure would be something innocent. Just to be clear about this, I never did any paid editing myself in the project. My very best wishes (talk) 03:54, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. The proposal isn't particularly onerous anyways. Not many people will even bother to look at an editor's user page when considering whether an edit is appropriate or not. Being paid to edit a subject by a company presents an obvious lack of neutrality, which is clearly against the site's core principles. I think this is a pretty balanced way of dealing with it. Mikeman67 (talk) 03:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Payment makes a difference. Else there would be no incentive to pay in the first place.---<(kmk)>- (talk) 04:01, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong support, this is long overdue. I support making the disclosure requirement prominent, and clearly lay out when it is required. Blackhat PR firms will still try to edit, but if we can make it very clear to their clients that they are indeed blackhat, we might just make a difference. --TeaDrinker (talk) 04:11, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - although I think all paid editing should be banned. Delamaran 04:32, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support - it's a small change with good benefits. Biligum (talk) 04:41, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Moneyed special interests are being allowed to deceptively edit Wiki pages to cover up/change public opinion on unfair/poor corporate business practices. This undisclosed paid editing also allows for demagoguery of the worst degree in the political realm. This paid editing issue is closely related to the 2010 SCOTUS "Citizens United" decision. This decision effectively said 'Money equals free speech'.\Citizens United v FEC - SCOTUS dissenting and majority opinions Please keep 'Citizens United v. FEC' in mind when looking at the Wiki paid editing transparency issue. --PUnKeModUdE (talk) 07:30, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Wikipedia should remain true, and possible (note: possible) corporate/religious/political/whathaveyou influence and even outright bias taints this trueness. --Marksomnian (talk) 08:09, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. The question of whether a particular set of compensated edits are constructive is separate from simply identifying when they are paid for. If we are fair in reviewing edits for their merit, this disclosure only helps, doesnt hinder, good editing.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 05:45, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - I strongly support this important but seemingly unenforceable amendment. In addition, I believe that ALL paid editing should be banned. 188.8.131.52 06:04, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Strikes me as a sound response to the issue.
Strongly Support. I also think that paid editing should be banned. It's awful to see criticisms of companies disappear. --Mathmensch (talk) 08:22, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong support for a change long overdue. I've been an editor on English Wikipedia since 2006, and the steady increase in paid advertisements has now reached a disgusting crescendo that almost makes me ashamed to be a writer there. Frankly, I would make it a requirement that paid editors state it in the edit summary for each and every edit they make to their clients' pages. Voceditenore (talk) 09:01, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dafür/Support. Transparenz ist wichtig. Eine Frage zum Verfahren: Findet diese Abstimmung nur auf Englisch statt? Is this voting only in english language?--LichtStrahlen (talk) 09:30, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Though disclosure should be more prominent to the reader. --R2ZER0 (talk) 09:33, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Transparency is better for everyone. Additionally, I think the required notices on user pages or user talk pages should be prominently displayed, not hiding in a paragraph of text where it could be easily overlooked. Smilesplash (talk) 09:42, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongest possible support Non-disclosed COI editing hurts Wikipedia/Wikimedia. To people in the Oppose section, this does not ban COI editing, but provides a way to monitor paid editing and help keep the integrity of the entire encyclopedia. Zhaofeng Li (talk) 10:28, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Nearly everything to be said about this topic has already been written; I think we should certainly do it, despite possible upcoming problems (which are there anyway). --Jussty (talk) 10:59, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. We don't want people to be professionally biasing/vandalising Wikipedia without Wikimedia's knowledge! Let them do so by all means, but requiring them to effectively tell Wikimedia that they are doing it professionally helps Wikimedia keep tabs on those people so that their edits can be more closely checked for bias. Yes anyone should be able to edit, but we are also against unnecessary bias and I feel this would help with this. 184.108.40.206 11:43, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support with further proposals. Require every such edit to be flagged in the edit summary and the user page to include a disclosure of interest; admins able to flag edits and users. New users should complete a short yes/don’t know/no questionnaire on what they intend to do, where needed link them to policy. I also fear that it will be hard to enforce, but I find a statement of policy important. But I do not see unprompted neutral unpaid factual contributions from employees to articles on their employers as a problem. PJTraill (talk) 11:50, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
strongly support. And I agree this is a very weak proposal, it would also be good to go further and require disclosure in a place where most readers will actually see it
strongly support: the only reason that I can think of for a paid contributor to hide their affiliation is because their edits are intended to sway the conversation in a particular direction and not to improve the accuracy of the entries being edited.
strongly support an outright ban on all paid contributions. This inevitably leads to bias - literally re-writing of history and current events.
Strongly support and possibly expand — I was literally just researching, the other day, why enwiki hadn't enacted similar-or-greater prohibitions, because my spidey-senses have recently been going off while closing a few AfDs that both paid editing and paid advocacy is increasing in occurrence. If left unchecked, it will (or has already) insidiously spill[ed] over into shaping guidelines and policies as well as other consensus-building and consensus-dependent processes, which would have the net effect of corrupting the relatively neutral and democratic nature of the wikis and eventually the foundation, much in the same way that the neutrality of The Media™ has been corrupted by paid news stories and corporate censorship and how votes were once directly bought centuries ago by the rich. The sooner this is prevented, the better, because cleaning up the mess after-the-fact is going to be difficult-if-not-impossible, as it will directly drive away honest contributors by simply drowning them out. A volunteer—admin or not—simply cannot compete against someone paid to edit 40+ hours per week to advance a specific point-of-view. --slakr 13:41, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On a related note, the very fact that, looking at the opposes directly below, I, personally, am instinctively led to question whether they're opposing based on genuine belief or because it's "in their best interest" demonstrates how toxic this can be, because all consensus-building processes could fall victim to this kind of thinking, which would inevitably cripple discussions with either overt or tacit accusations of bias and a fundamental resentment and distrust of all parties involved. This would lead to exactly what's had to happen here: someone higher-up stepping in and overruling previous-and-current discussions. This, in and of itself, is extremely counter-productive to an environment where the goal is to avoid ossification of, and strict adherence to, policies and guidelines. --slakr 14:07, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not wish to comment. Wait: I have just commented.
Strongly support. One of the primary assumptions by readers is 'fair and unbiased'. Being able to check sources' potential conflicts of interest strengthens confidence in the sources. Also, this requirement provides both a clear statement to paid contributors that they are a 'special class' and must provide information, and a method for the Wikimedia Foundation to deal with issues caused by paid users who either do not disclose their status or contribute biased information.
Support. While it is true that unpaid contributors can also be biased, I think it reasonable to assume that those who are paid (such as a PR specialist) are likely to be more knowledgeable, harder to detect, and more persistent; it's not hard to see the relevance of this by simply looking at politics and advertising. God forbid wikipedia should become a platform for corporate PR. Though it may be difficult to enforce (and perhaps should be strengthened), I see no reason not to enact mandatory disclosure of paid editing, as a protection against unbiased information. Prohibiting paid editing does seem wise.
strongly support. any financial transactions relating to Wikipedia must be clearly identifiable. give the readers all the information, they will decided bias, veracity, interest, etc etc
Support: I think paid contributions should be increased and cited. Unfortunately, most of what I look up on wikipedia is partial or missing. I would contribute more if I had more free time and motivation. When I do contribute, it takes added time to edit and improve my writing and to properly cite multiple good sources. If people like me were paid to contribute, scientific articles could bring scientific critiques and debate to a layperson's foreground. Regardless, all conflicts of interest should be disclosed- important or not. It allows the reader to critically weight the expertise or bias of the article. (Suggestion: if you mouseover the paid user contributor, all of his/her edits could highlight so that you know what belongs to this person.) --TheNerdyPengwin 11:13 EST, 21 February 2014
Support - This seems like a perfectly reasonable provision to me. Paying Wikipedians for contributions is, at best, an ethically grey area. Requiring disclosure of such activities is a logical minimum step to protect our community from the fraud of dishonest editors and does not, in my opinion, constitute a breach of privacy. -Nutiketaiel (talk) 16:55, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Wikipedia has become a wonderful resource for curious minds, but vigilance will always be necessary. Everything done by humans will be flawed, and good ethics a moving target, but keep up the great work.
Support - although I would argue that the disclosure be mandatory on the article page at all times, as most end users do not read user or talk pages, but only the articles.
Strongly support. The basic principle of assuming good faith will be severely compromised if the idea gets around that Wikipaedia is being used as an advertising medium. And, if someone were paying me for editing articles (that'll be the day!), why should I be ashamed of this if I were editing honestly and in good faith? I can only see disclosure as problematic for editors who are deliberately violating the standards of an encyclopaedia. Лудольф (talk) 18:07, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: If you are paid to edit Wikipedia but you are doing so impartially, why hide it?
Support - I don't think that it will stop paid editing, but will instead provide a method for Wikipedia to take down some paid edits with a strong policy behind their backs
Strongly support: it might not solve the problem completely, but it will do little harm.
Strongly Support: Transparency is good thing!
Strongly support. I declare an interest when I feel I might be unconsciously biased just because of who or what I know, and so declare it in any discussion, yet I have never been paid to contribute to Wikipedia, it just seems like a decent honest thing to do so that other editors or readers can come with clean hands. It is quite right that someone adding something for another, paid or unpaid, should declare that interest.
Strongly support: Truth is always good, therefore transparency is good! SimonTrew (talk) 18:52, 21 February 2014 (UTC) I have somehow got my signature wrong but I am User:SimonTrew at EN:WP and oddly enough came here because I saw the ad flyer for comments while I was editing the article at [en.wikipedia.org/quid_pro_quo English Wikipedia "Quid Pro Quo"]. Sorry to be in a hurry to write this, I do try to consider what I write, but the Wikimedia ads fly by very fast sometimes. I can only say I have contributed a few new pictures to Wikimedia Commons in the last month, created a stub article which went to "Did You Know" on the English Wikipedia main page on 24 January, tried to clear up and add content, and a great deal of trouble is caused, if not by companies or hired help adding content, the suspicion that they have, even when it is neutral content by someone with no personal interest in that company. To declare up front, sure, it is not going to happen, but it will be easier to detect. SimonTrew (talk) 18:59, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: Having worked in industries where independence is paramount, the idea of paid contributions with no disclosure is very disconcerting. That affects whether their contribution is viewed as objective by the communities.
Support - As the policy is just asking for disclosure for transparency I see no reason to object. Not that I believe that anyone who is editing in a biased way will declare, but I guess this will make any cases that comes to light easier to deal with. KylieTastic (talk) 19:27, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This is a good structural piece for the agreement. By no means is it a final solution to the issue, but it doesn't purport to be one. Any other adjustments for the long term can be made as the need arises. Ultimately, this is an issue that may require more light to fully be solved, perhaps a disclaimer on the talk page of new users or on the edit page itself. This would be the framework for such a project. Wikipedia's independence is safer with this in place. Leoberacai (talk) 19:31, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - This should apply only to the Tea Party and Conservatives. This proposal should follow IRS guidelines and should not apply to progressive and liberal non-profit causes. Also should the FCC become involved with Wikipedia and help determine on the content allowed? They are starting to monitor TV, Radio stations and newspapers to make sure that they are neutral and not right-wing.
Support - It would prevent companies who wanted to promote a product or game from hiring someone to write a page without the readers knowledge.
Support. Hope a way can be found to enforce it! :) (and so much for having an "all WikiMedia logon :( Student7 (talk) 20:14, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support - Wikipedia is becoming so popular that some organizations that are interested in manipulating minds, such as companies, sects, superstitions etc. try to take control of minds through this supposedly impartial and non-profitable media.--Francois C (talk) 20:17, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support, it will hopefully lead more people to be mindful of the rules regarding COI. Perhaps the disclosure can be easily implemented in the form of a standardized template or ubx to be placed on the user's page. RA0808 (talk) 20:48, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
support, if you're in public office you have to disclose, being an editor is like that --Light.olive (talk) 20:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I also want to see a conflict of interest on the article or article talk page though. This is a great first step, but let's go further.
Support: while this may not be an infallible way to prevent COI issues, it does add to the overall transparency of edits. --Tcxspears (talk) 21:32, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: This is akin to journalist who disclose a possible conflict of interest when writing a story about the parent company of the organization that they're writing for. 21:15, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Strongly support. I further suggest that there should be no paid editor from outside without prior approval of EN-WP. This would help in outing paid trolls from commercial, political, religious corner who work for monetary gain without caring biased or fair jobs. Nannadeem (talk) 21:25, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Emphatically Support - Wikipedia's information value is directly linked to the provider's objectivity. That isn't to say that the editor cannot be interested in the subject, but payment creates a conflict of interest in terms of objectivity. The payment is either going to be exclusively or almost exclusively in exchange for promoting a particular view, which will dilute or destroy objectivity.
Support - a clear policy should help
Support. Many paid editors are already declaring their affiliations. This can only help Wikipedia and for the community to provide support and more importantly control of possibly biased content. Something I noticed: Many people who are voting, they are not signing. A community vote is not a series of edits from the same person coming in from several IPs. Vote counters beware. --FocalPoint (talk) 22:09, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: this amendment maintains the spirit of openness fundamental to Wikipedia. Such disclosures can help readers decide whether or not who is paying for a contribution may influence or bias its perspective.--220.127.116.11 22:19, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Undisclosed paid contribution are rife with the risk of political, economic and historical spin and distortion. What makes Wikipedia a useful source of information is that people, in general, have to put their name to the contribution. If someone is being paid to contribute it should be noted so people can evaluate the potential of risk of distortions or spin. And that includes who paid the person.
Disclosure is good. It's also good to make clear that acknowledged and disclosed paid editing can sometimes be appropriate.
Strongly support: it seems an obvious thing to do to keep the integrity of Wikipedia.
Support.Disclosure should not be used to whack someone over the head. Basically, someone with a disclosed conflict of interest should be protected when advocating for a position, as distinct from edit warring over it or actually, without adquate notice, placing POV material into articlees. They should never be dinged for "POV pushing," per se, since we expect a paid or COI editor to have a POV. Disclosure should not protect them from the consequences of disruptive behavior, of course. The wikis may decide, in a case-by-case basis, what restrictions to place on editing by COI editors. --Abd (talk) 23:38, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support IMO, paid editing should be forbidden. I find it very hard to believe that PR people have Wikipedia's best interested at heart. I realize the difficulties involved in banning the practice so I guess this is the best idea for now. (I also recognize at least one person in the oppose section who was previously blocked for whitewashing articles for money.) Captainpanda 00:41, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support for the following reason: I made some edits to the article on opera director Richard Jones after User talk:Traceyelliston had removed the italics and other formatting consistent with WP Opera's guidelines.
Then Mr. Elliston chose to make the following comment: "I am the professional manager for Richard Jones. He has requested that these changes be made to this page and that the information appears in this format. Thank you for your understanding."
I responded to User talk:Traceyelliston's revisions. "Wiki isn't a piece of online personal promo for anyone. This is an encyclopedia. Articles relating to opera use standard formatting, italicizing titles, etc. Argue your case on the "Talk" page if you disagree.)"
Mr. Ellison then posted the following on his Talk page (rather than the article's: italics are mine):
"Richard Jones has requested that I make these changes for accuracy and a personal preference for how the information about his professional credits appear. I note your comments about the standard formatting for opera articles and I apologise that I am not familiar with the particulars of this style. I take your point that this is an encyclopedia, but as Wikipedia is now so widely used, I hope you can appreciate an individual's wish to have a degree of control over the factual content of a page relating to himself. The success of Wikipedia means that regardless of other means of promotion, it does become a first port of call for many seeking information about Richard. I would be most grateful for your understanding. best wishes. Tracey Elliston"
So now we have the perfect reason why someone who is a paid manager of an artist (in this case) thinks that he can create the article the way he - or his client - wants it!! Total rubbish!! Disclosure is essential.Viva-Verdi (talk) 00:59, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: to the strongest extent of all applicable laws. Non-disclosure contributions must be utterly removed and the responsibles SUED to the maximum extent of the law.
Strongly support. I would ban completely, but this is a minimum first step.
Strongly support. A transparency regulation is a non-invasive, commonsense approach to dealing with the long standing problem of paid advocacy. It is not a solution to the problems surrounding advocacy, but it will provide pause to corporations engaging in this type of behavior on a large scale or to obvious detriment to the project. Jaydubya93 (talk) 02:46, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: the fact of substantial commercial resources (internal or via paid public relations firms) being put to use in editing or debating positions in an entry should be available to readers and other editors.
Support. Standard format disclosure on user page, plus edit summary indexed. (MartinGugino (talk) 03:26, 22 February 2014 (UTC))Reply[reply]
Support. I support this simply to have this policy, which is little more than an extension of WP:COI, on the books. But I have serious doubts as to how effectively it can be enforced. Unschool (talk) 03:37, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. The reasons should be obvious.
Strongly support - not only the information we post but also the questions we ask about that information are highly dependent on our position. I expect every contributor to have an opinion. I want to know if that opinion is being paid for by someone else. Money as a multiplier of opinion is fine in a political race but is out of place in an open exchange of information.
Strongly Support. Paid contribution to Wikipedia HAS been used to discredit people. A good example is court documents showing that Syngenta, a chemical company, paid consultants to edit wikipedia to discredit Tyrone Hayes, a scientist, after he published evidence their chemicals are likely be harmful. (See article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrone_Hayes ). I would like to see the wiki foundation have more tools to take legal action against such edits. Gsonnenf (talk) 04:06, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong support. MER-C (talk) 04:12, 22 February 2014 (UTC) Moving to support, but should be stronger. MER-C (talk) 09:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. It's not an ideal amendment, and obviously won't be universally enforceable, but will put the WMF in a stronger position to take action against extreme violators (like these guys) whose work legitimately threatens the integrity of our projects. Kevin (talk) 04:13, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Where opinion is galvanized by money, the people or companies behind it should be disclosed. While enforcement of this policy may not be feasible everywhere, the amendment to terms will provide the foundation with necessary legal tools. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22 February 2014, 04:47 (UTC)
Support. It may help to include a requirement about the duration of the disclosure. Quondum (talk) 05:37, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I see nothing here that prevents other stronger restrictions on paid editing in the future, but this seems to me to be a necessary bare minimum. - Jmabel (talk) 06:40, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
disclosure provision necessary a s phadke — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cmsrjp (talk) 22 février 2014, 07:46 (UTC)
Support. I think openness is essential to impartiality. However, I am concerned about how this might be enforced. What is the process if a violation is suspected? How one might defend against a violation accusation? What sanctions would occur if a violation was discovered? I think these questions need to be addressed before the policy is adopted. Tigerdg (talk) 06:58, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. If the quality of a user's content should speak for itself, surely there is no harm in disclosing anyone paying the user to produce the content. This is not an onerous restriction on anyone, especially not on anyone being paid to make edits. On the other hand, this does not somehow encourage paid editing by "legimitizing" it; paid editing already occurs all the time. A simple, easy-to-follow rule like this is the best way to minimize bias due to paid edits, because it is easy enough for paid editors to follow and because it is dangerous enough for them to violate.
Strongly support. Paid editing of information is similar to paid articles in the news, i.e., potentially misleading with the specific intent to mislead. Never a good thing.
Support, in the interest of full disclosure. Do not conflate this proposal with the stated goal of a free encyclopedia that anyone can use. Others receiving compensation for their effort does not mean that YOU must pay to use it. This merely allows some to be more upfront and honest about something that we all know goes on in some form or another all day every day. Just as soon as you find evidence of true altruism, you let me and the scientific community know and we'll nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize. Until then, if someone is found determined to not have fully disclosed, this policy gives editors, administrators and the WMF ammunition to take action if need be; something to point to and cite if necessary. Having a greater understanding of someone's motives provides a better knowledge of the situation in which action may be necessary. Having a lesser understanding is never preferable. Clearly, WMF up until now has naturally assumed the good faith of its users by default, as it should, but I agree we should also allow (or in this case even encourage) users with alterior motives to state them as such *in* an act of good faith. If bad faith is determined after wrong-doing, then they can't say we didn't warn them. 22.214.171.124 07:50, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Although I think it'll be difficult to enforce --Mirrakor (talk) 08:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support A commonsense approach, which lets paid editors know where they stand, and is consistent with existing legal requirements.--Greenrd (talk) 08:32, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support And even better would be to make it a requirement to disclose payments in each and every edit (in edit comments). Rationale: IMHO, it seems that during last 2 years impartiality of articles about existing companies in Wikipedia has degraded severely (with less blatantly ad-like wording, but still ad-like nature). I tend to attribute this degradation to paid editing, so the more requirements on disclosing COIs - the better. Ipsign (talk) 09:30, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support Wikipedia addresses with this proposal a problem that has always existed. True, controversial subjects have always been written with bias and moderated by the community. This proposal does no harm. It may help, but is rather benign. For that reason, I support it. Halnwheels (talk) 10:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I totally support this proposal. Full disclosure will add to the integrity of Wiki.126.96.36.199 10:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Wikipedia can benefit from paid contributions as long as it's done honestly, openly and on the understanding that it is likely to be edited. http://whirlpool.net.au is an example of successfully managing paid company representatives in a forum that is largely free information sharing - they seem to keep the shills away. It's obviously more difficult for an encyclopedia, but "this page reads like an advertisement" is a loud warning. BAPhilp (talk) 10:46, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I've seen and been annoyed by some entries that are transparently paid press releases, and no doubt there are others written by people competent enough to avoid canned-press-release style. (Oddly, I have once seen an editor's box complaining that something looked press-releasy, and I disagreed completely. The article looked to me like a legit unbiased essay on a non-commercial topic -- but written by somebody who thought press release style was good writing!) 188.8.131.52 10:59, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. I can't really see any downside to these rules as currently worded. Transparency is much more important to me than stopping people. Jasper Janssen - 13:01, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Strongly Support. Requiring writers and editors to acknowledge their affiliations helps to make entries more neutral and not skewed to one particular way of thinking.Bruce WhitehillBrucewhitehill (talk) 13:40, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Paid editing without proper disclosure beforehand is tantamount to using what should be an objective source of information for advertisement. Lucasoutloud (talk) 14:24, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was recently thinking about if it's against policies of WMF/En-WP to make edits for some sort of self-advancement when disclosure is made, actually. While paid edits themselves sound bad because the most visible implication is that neutrality will be violated, there is another side to paid contribution. Paid contributions could strengthen the neutrality policy because, for instance, I could remove marketing-style wording and false positive information on competing products and services as a CEO. Of course, this must all be disclosed and negatives cannot be added by paid editors. The only problem I see is the aforementioned potential legal issue in Europe. Would have logged in as En-WP's NuclearWizard but there's a bug in the login/IPblock feature. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 18:59, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support - transparency is key to the WMF. Bcdm (talk) 16:27, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I would like to see the disclosure strengthened to any edit made while on the clock (as it were) in the edit summary, to simplify identifying paid edits. Wikipedia may be a Hitchhiker's Guide, but I prefer it as the Guide of the first book, not the one of the fifth. Trdsf (talk) 16:46, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support! ~ MarkJerue
Strongly Support with additional proposal The amendment doesn't go quite far enough. I don't think paid contributions will be clear enough if any admission of payment is buried in the user's talk page. A brief disclosure should be required on every compensated edit summary with a detailed disclosure also required either on the user's talk page or the article's talk pagee. But the amendment is a step in the right direction, so I support. Anonymous paid contributions to wikipedia threaten wikipedia's neutrality and credibility. It's difficult to see how a requirement for disclosure could ever negatively affect wikipedia, but it's clear how no requirement for disclosure undermines the project.NZUlysses (talk) 17:40, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Am sick of people trying to pervert what should be an objective forum to advance their own commercial agendas. Keep the forum objective! User: theinrich220.127.116.11 17:05, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
STRONGLY SUPPORT. I also think that the disclosure should be made with the edit, not just on the user page. Tracking back and forth to user pages, I believe, will be an obstacle that will effectively make this rule null and void. We want readers to know when there is content from paid users, and we all know that people are either too busy or don't care enough to have to dig for this information..... Some paid representatives CAN be a valuable source of accurate information. If someone who is paid by Joe Bloe edits his page to correct his place of birth, for example, that would be an unbiased, credible edit. I believe paid users should be allowed to edit as long as that fact is EASY for readers to figure out..... Wikipedia MUST remain neutral and unbiased! Thank you.18.104.22.168 18:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)22.214.171.124 18:18, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Makes sense, gives Wikipedia a foundation from which to correct abuse.
Strongly Support. Any commercial or paid for article should be clearly labeled as such if authorized, without any doubt or ambiguity for the reader.
Strongly support. This is the only way to keep (most) articles neutral. Ozzie42 (talk) 19:16, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: I think this is addressing a significant problem, and one worthy of significant response. I think I agree with those who say that this may not decrease the problem, so this policy may should only be one stepping stone towards a more comprehensive response. I think the intent of wikipedia is in conflict with the intent of paid editors who try to subvert the goals. Just as there are restrictions on vandalism, there are also some restrictions on the activities of editors whose commitment to wikipedia is too narrow, and self-interested.Ottawakismet(talk) 19:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: Transparency is the cornerstone of Wikipedia. Without it, I would stop donating. It is known that paid editors have the time, resources, and motivation to intentionally mislead or in dishonestly characterize the content that they are editing. I would be skeptical of any evidence that suggests secrecy is good for public discourse. Secrecy is good for many things that are good, but this is not one of those things. And just because some clever devils who feel the need for secrecy will indeed find their work-around to this new limitation, I still support, because it demonstrates best practices where possible Seanongley (talk) 19:40, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support - I believe any and all wikis should be free from corrupting influences. 126.96.36.199 19:49, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Some people just do not understand what is wrong with editing Wikipedia pages for marketing. It is fine with them so long as the edit does not look too commercial or too biased. This trend is especially strong in countries where stealth marketing is the norm. I think it is good to make it clear to everyone that we do not want the inherent bias from for-money editing. 三郎 (talk) 20:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support - The issue of disseminating and acting on knowledge is the greatest challenge of our time (see climate change). Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest, particularly financial, is a necessary precondition to engage with any community in an intellectually honest way, intellectual integrity being perhaps the cornerstone of the Wikipedia enterprise. Vrrm (talk) 20:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: Paid advocacy editing should be an exception. Paid edits should be marked in the edit history at least. User accounts for paid edits should be individual accounts. --Minoo (talk) 21:04, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: Transparency is the only way to move forward. A person's motivations are just as important as their actions Bigfatfrog67 (talk) 21:08, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. I would suggest that the words "You must make that disclosure in at least one of the following ways:" be ammended to "You must make that disclosure in EACH of the following ways:" Disclosure is paramount. That said, care should be taken not to discourage contributions from well-qualified paid contributors- but i think that perhaps this might work in favor of some in the arts, education, etc.. For example, if someone credited as being employed by M.O.M.A. is paid to edit an article on Picasso. This change in policy would benefit us all. I hope that this is particularly rigorously applied to political candidates and organizations, and to dissemenators of biased scientific (or pseudo-scientific) thought. Bravo! B. Z. RowanB. Z. Rowan (talk) 21:18, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. I agree with the points made in Support #9. The quality and quantity of articles in Wikipedia will be enhanced by disclosed paid editing. Disclosure: I have hired people to create articles for Wikipedia as I believed (and still do believe) that this was allowed, based on extensive reading of Wikipedia policies. I have no problem disclosing whether my edits are paid or volunteer. TriJenn (talk) 21:31, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Transparency is vital to freedom and democracy. If one writes, one must be open to challenge. We grow immeasurably through open investigation, discussion and transparcency. We die inside bubbles when secrecy and beliefs go unchallenged openly. Take Galileo Vs the Church and State. And Rob vs Church and State :-). Bravo! Education is the light on our world. As Jesus says seek and you find. How can you find stuff if it is deliberately hidden.
Strongly support this measure. It acts as a regulator of potentially untruthful information being introduced on to Wikipedia; forr the sack of political or other motives of slander. In quoting TriJenn, "Transparency is vital to freedom and democracy". Therefore, it is the duty of Wikipedia and it's contributors to disclose if their intentions are for the sake of information or due to being sponsored.--Mrsolan22 (talk) 22:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: I have been editing and contributing, both through my account, and anonymously since the very beginning; when I was only 15. Yes we have all come a long way, when there were less than 500k articles in English!. Now, however the problem is different, malicious changes are being made to sensitive information which has a deleterious effect on public awareness, as well as representing an impediment to the constitutional rights of free speech and press. I have witnessed changes to pages in a number of hours. The Sheer number of pages and articles that have been deleted or merged, witnessed by red links, especially on sensitive topics, is disgusting, and alarming. These actions are being PERPETRATED by small groups and they can be traced through the history of page edits. The actions of these Individuals is tantamount to book-burning, and propaganda riling. however I do not believe them to be Isolated unconnected incidents. For personal reasons I do believe the FBI should be brought in on this and a full cyber crime investigation be launched. Ordinarily this would never be something a person like me would propose. However, I have an intense disregard for tampering, as a machinist I feel it sullies hard work. Furthermore, I believe some or all of these individuals to be acting criminally in manner to cover equally criminal activities. I propose a massive sweep, perhaps automated in nature to reset page history and reset/remove any edits which remove large bodies of text or entire articles and topics. Moreover, the trolls have infested this very discussion. I have had it out with a few of these worms in the past seriously call the Feds in on this one.Default0023 (talk) 22:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Admir@lKrunch.AnonSec.Hawaii...Default0023 (talk)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Our society needs more transparency in general.
Strongly Support. The only truthful information is unbiased information that seeks the light. AlabamaSouthern (talk) 13:32, 26 February 2014 (UTC)AlabamaSouthernReply[reply]
Strongly Support, The purpose of Wiki is hindered when a partisan edit is made without full disclosure Keith Robertsson (talk) 23:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I think a lot of the opposition is worried that this will be directed at anybody with a stake in the content they add, but this seems like it's rather aimed at people _without_ a stake in their content, and who're motivated specifically by money (e.g. WikiPR, who it seems were basically uninterested in whatever their clients told them to write, as long as they got paid to write it). 2601:9:8580:19C0:226:BBFF:FE0C:FA8B 23:34, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support: It's happened too often that I've found articles written about corporations, by those very corporations. Misko15 (talk) 00:10, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Assuming that the board is willing to propose further changes to the amendment and its manner of enforcement if needed, and that this amendment will be enforced with the caution needed in dealing with a young and impressionable web (read both ways), this change seems clearly for the better.
I accept. On the basis that this change in policy will preserve or increase Wikipedia's credibility as a resource, I generally support this proposal. I have not read every comment on this page, but I have read many. I accept the concerns others have raised regarding the proposal's details, such as the acceptable methods for providing disclosure. I am satisfied to leave those details to experienced editors. I am not one. I am not pursuaded against the proposal by the arguments that it is unenforceable, or that Wikipedia's openness implies that it should have no rules. This page contains many examples of situations that could challenge the revised policy. In my judgment, these examples do not demonstrate that the proposal is flawed. Rather, they show that, like regulations in any context, the policy will need to be applied to cases as they arise. However, the Wikimedia Foundation Legal Department (and all of us) should welcome these and more thoughtful examples as a tool for perfecting the proposal before its submission to Board of Trustees. Christopher.ursich (talk) 01:35, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support this proposed amendment since transparency of motive is how Wikipedia can maintain it's NPOV status regarding content, and in the interest of content integrity, I believe this amendment is in the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation across all of its projects. Arcane21 (talk) 01:41, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, and also call for a requirement to use a standard project-defined template for the disclosure, to facilitate automatic processing, as described below. Nealmcb (talk) 02:41, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - as an obvious first step to normalization of paid editing. Carrite (talk) 02:44, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I've used this site as a reference tool for a very long time, and finally just created my account tonight to start assisting with contributions as an editor. At this time, I have never considered being paid in any way for my contributions. Because of such, this proposed amendment therefore does not apply to me, and I honestly really don't care about it right now; just want to enjoy use of the site as I came here to do. Furthermore, even if I were a paid contributor, it wouldn't bother me, either. In any such case, I wouldn't have any problem(s) with providing such a disclosure of information. I just want to learn, and in turn, educate the world; that's all... Josh cannabis sativa™ (talk) 05:20, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support - When someone (a PR firm, a staffer for an elected official) is paid to edit a Wikipedia article, many such cases nowadays are sneaky attempts to "spin" things or remove unpleasant truths. With disclosure, it'll be much easier to detect cases like this and straighten them out. And if someone is paid to edit something in a way that isn't sneaky (GLAM et al.), then they should be OK with making the appropriate disclosure. I say go for it. Robnorth (talk) 05:58, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - it seems like an obviously good thing to include to address a problem which may not have been obvious at the outset. Conflict of interest disclosures are the standard in academic publishing and belong here as well. Sawdust Restaurant (talk) 06:15, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. We need to safeguard the neutrality and integrity of Wikipedia by preventing commercial editors from editing articles in the favour of their clients. Balaam's Miracle (talk) 06:31, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I Support this. Honesty and transparency are the best policy Aethalides (talk) 07:25, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support -- That said, I am very alarmed by the amount of unsigned votes here. Snakebyte42 (talk) 09:13, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I do think that Wikepedia's greatest protection is its existing open transparent nature. If somebody edits something and is paid to do so, anybody else has the right to correct any misinformation or misrepresentation. this is the case whether the editor has been paid or not. 188.8.131.52 10:11, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support - Something stronger could be attractive, but a blanket ban on commercial submissions would have serious drawbacks: it is very useful to keep manufacturers interested in providing accurate documentation of technical specifications and protocols. Douglas Ray (talk) 11:02, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support - good idea. I would make it more clear by insisting on a statement in the edit summary. But one as suggested saying "I work for ..." is not good enough, we want automated searching to inspect such edits, so a tag like [[paid]] should go into the edit summary every time. Mirams (talk) 11:47, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support -- It is unfortunate that such a requirement is necessary, but experience has shown that it is. The requirement is not onerous. It does not eliminate the ability to make anonymous contributions, just PAID anonymous contributions. I would urge that Wikimedia make a significant effort to make these requirements clear and also adopt a policy of assuming good intent, because I would not want new, inexperienced contributors to be driven off because of failing to comply with this policy if they were unaware of it. Mcherm (talk) 12:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
support - APOYO la iniciativa. Es una buena práctica saber cuales son las afiliaciones de quien escribe en wikipedia, particularmente cuando aquellas condicionan el contenido y forma de lo que escribe, como cuando el autor es pagado para decir algo específico que favorece a la institución a la cual pertenece. Enrique Peñalolen (talk) 12:30, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I strongly support the emendment, wikipedia should be transparent and totally free of paid interests. This surely, the idea of paying for entries or edits against everything Wiki stands for. This is make no mistake a wall, a bastion of free will and a balance to corpotate and govt propoganda! Strongly agree! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) 12:57, 23 February 2014.
SupportMemetics (talk) 14:32, 23 February 2014 (UTC) Adding reasoning: Transparency is always desirable. Amendment won't prohibit paid edits: it will just help other editors to more easily identify commercially-driven biases, which as others have said are extrinsic rather than intrinsic. Commercial biases are significant because in an open, democratic context such as this, equitable distribution of power is necessary to maintain the open, democratic nature of the project. Commercial interests have more power than most individuals; therefore, we should know when those actors contribute so that we can make better decisions about the nature of those contributions - i.e., whether those contributions serve to skew the democratic distribution of power or whether they function to preserve the ideally democratic nature of the project. The policy shouldn't be zealously enforced; it should be enforced reflectively, fitting within the democratic culture that we have established. Honestly, the main concern I have is that the worst actors will not self-disclose - but the amendment would allow for consequences for those actors when they are caught. Memetics (talk) 08:50, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, with small addendum - While I like this idea and think it's a good common-sense approach, I am worried that, as others have suggested, editors might use the existence of affiliation to toss AGF out the window on impulse. There also seems to be some confusion over how and when affiliation disclosure is necessary (I read it as "only if you're being explicitly compensated - like, directly receiving $$$ for contributions", and it is under that reading that I support the amendment). Perhaps some clarification on how this applies to AGF and some illustrations on when disclosure is NOT needed would be helpful. --Viqsi (talk) 15:01, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I'ld prefer to mark each site containing paid edits by a sign. On the other side, it is difficult to verify paid edits by users (readers). Therefore, the requested amendment seems to be a suitable compromise. Juetho (talk) 15:15, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support As already stated above, a checkbox (paid contribution) on the page next to the minor-edits checkbox would be good and if there is a check it can be shown in the history of the page as a "p" linked to the users talk page that has to have a section like "Paid contributions / Conflict of interest" where the user should state his COI. If a substantial amount of an article (e.g. more than 50%) is provided by paid contributions (of different authors) (article-history counts the bits) a notice can be left above the rendered article, stating that "Significant parts of this article have been provided by professional / paid authors (see edit-history) which might affect the neutrality of the article." In this way people may as well promote their work for WP and readers can be hinted to the history. I think that this should be supported.--Triple5 (talk) 15:31, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - sunlight is essential to seeing what is happening. Require disclosure so that readers can make their own judgments, but don't ban paid contributions: There will be paid contributors who can make neutral & positive contributions. Alan J Shea (talk) 15:53, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - I agree that paid contributions and conflicts of interest should be disclosed in the wikipedia entries. Rdiehl (talk) 16:16, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unequivocally Support Clearly trolls(unpaid or paid by moneyed interests) prolifically attack irrefutable science of neurological damage by mercury(in vaccines, coal pollution, dental amalgams, etc) by deleting scientific research sources, creating silly ad hominem/strawman entries against anybody (including scientists and doctors) who are knowledgeable about neurotoxins & carcinogens, etc.Yankhadenuf (talk) 17:05, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This can be informative for investigating edits that seem biased; Mr. Shea's comment is apt. Standardrobot (talk) 17:07, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Organizations may employ special workers to manage their online image, and Wikipedia, as one of the most important sources of information on the web, should be able to incorporate the opinions and assertions of persons with a vested financial interest in the material being presented, so long as they disclose their financial ties. I think that more broadly a disclosure of any particular conflict of interest, e.g. my wife works for this corporation &c., would be useful for transparency's sake but perhaps too cumbersome to implement.220.127.116.11 17:43, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. But please simplify the disclosure discovery algorithm by mandating a standard "PAID EDIT" tag in the edit summary, so that other editors can more easily find such disclosures. Details of the disclosure can still be included on the user page. Requiring other editors to search the talk pages and user pages for all edits is far too difficult. -- 18.104.22.168 17:54, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I firmly believe that all violators of this should be forced to chop down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring 22.214.171.124 18:58, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. (a) Wikipedia strives to be an unbiased source of facts. In many cases, it succeeds through a balance of contributions from knowledgeable folks around the world without conflicts of interest. This mechanism works well, exemplified by many excellent and well-rounded articles. Efforts from financially invested parties to deliberately and artificially perturb the balance reached by the unbiased community should come with associated health warnings. (b) Many "oppose" arguments assume that requiring this information will prevent editors who, for example, work for a company from commenting on that company at all. This is of course not the case. Editors will still be able to write anything they wish -- what will change is that readers will see where conflicts of interest may possibly occur, and, crucially, will be able to make their own decisions about the reliability of the source. (c) Many of the recurring themes in the "oppose" category are rather weak arguments, for example, disbelief that this protocol will be enforceable, or that the problem it attempts to fix is widespread. These are not in themselves reasons not to attempt a proposed improvement. Aeioun (talk) 19:01, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. To those who think this isn't a problem (whether you think it doesn't happen or it's OK that it does), you're kidding yourselves. To those who think it needs to be stronger... Sure, maybe, but if anything this is a start. Compromise is useful. Remember, most people will not notice anything. But it will likely help improve the quality, accuracy, and impartiality of a lot of small-to-medium-sized articles about living individuals and extant companies and organizations. Akkifokkusu (talk) 19:09, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I believe that, unfortunately, this will not change the behavior of shady PR and SEO companies, and take slight issue with the legitimization of paid corporate content creation on Wikimedia sites. That said, the practice of paid editing is widespread enough nowadays that it will likely not make much difference, and I support the institution of rules that will support transparency and disclosure of biases.Tgjohnst (talk) 19:14, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Transparency is the way to go. Editors will be assured that their edits cannot fall foul of deceptive advertising law; readers will know that companies may have edited their own article (this should be publicised!); and other users will be better able to keep an eye on paid edits. What is important is to make clear that a disclosing paid editor is a valid and valued member of the community. There must be no stigma attached to it: otherwise people will NOT disclose, and things will carry on much as before, with readers none the wiser that they are reading articles authored at least in part by their subjects. (From that point of view, Jimmy Wales' recent comments on his en:WP talk page that this will make it easier to ban paid editors are deeply unfortunate. If the board gives the same message, this laudable initiative will fail.) AndreasJN466 19:54, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Even presuming that there is a small bandwidth of paid editing that may be beneficial to the encyclopedia, there is certainly no rationale that would justify concealment in such cases. Meanwhile, such concealment poses a(n existential) threat to the non-commercial character of Wikipedia as well as the intimately associated aim of providing reliably sourced neutral information to the public on an open-source platform.--Ubikwit (talk) 20:20, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: I also suggest if there are paid contributors to a page, there should be a section of links to paid contributors at the bottom of that page.
Support but "any contribution to any Wikimedia projects for which you receive compensation." should be emended to "any contribution to any Wikimedia projects for which you receive compensation or for contributions which would reasonably be considered part of your job duties." Other types of Conflicts of Interest are even more difficult to deal with. Let the Sun shine in.Abitslow (talk) 21:14, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - But your lawyers might consider the impact of putting company names on users profiles - could it be used to sue for trademark infringement?--126.96.36.199 21:33, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: I would love to see it made mandatory that one of the first two items be satisfied and ALWAYS make the third one mandatory, so every change has it mentioned somewhere local to the change as well. Spawn777 (talk) 21:44, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support -- may not go far enough The essence of believability is disclosure, but not only in cases where the activity is paid. Washington Post reporters are paid, yet they strive for objectivity in the news pages of their publication, and their reputation stands on the basis of a long tradition of objectivity and public service. To the contrary, what has become even more troubling of late to users about posts in Wikipedia are the deliberate -- and often successful -- efforts by people adhering to one strongly held social or political point of view to defame and miss-characterize the work of another entity holding a different point of view. Material is often selective chosen and cited, with no opportunity to rebut the claims of miss-informed and inaccurate accounts that are cited in support of defamatory statements. Without the opportunity by organizations so impugned to respond and offer the alternate point of view, the impression left is worse than false; it detracts from allowing a true seeker of knowledge from having the information necessary to form their own, well-considered point of view from two sides of an argument. What should happen is the application of this amended rule to the disclosure of past posts that are identified by other, more transparent contributors, to root out the biases they contain. Even the most rudimentary PR campaign about the adoption of the new rules would burnish the Wikipedia brand and infuse a much higher degree of confidence in its material. Moreover, when first-party knowledge is present, it should be permitted to be used to refute inaccuracies. much as they are in the context of a traditional news ethic. With the proposed disclosure amendment, such transparency can actually clean up the larger issue of lack of trust that must unfortunately come from never allowing those closest to an event or fact to comment or correct. Newzmaven (talk) 17:35, 6 March 2014 (UTC)NewzmavenReply[reply]
Seems a very sensible proposal and I hope the Foundation Trustees adopt this. AndrewRT (talk) 22:35, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
support but with moderation If someone is paying someone for editing, it is like rewarding someone for community service. As long as wikipedia itself is not paying anyone, its fine. Paying editors is like contributing directly to editors rather than to wikimedia, who of course also needs funds for its projects.
support188.8.131.52 00:09, 24 February 2014 (UTC) Full disclosure will make it complicated. I think if its just a simple tag of paid edit or voluntary on, its enough. Its actually an interesting choice to enhance wikipedia. However, we need some watchdogs to check that no bias or misinformation is specifically paid for, that is to not allow use of wikipedia as just another media platform. Stricter review and references checks will make it easier to counter biases. Writing name of employer and other details will itself make it look like an advertisement of that employer. A company may come and say, "Hey, I got a million wikipedia edits paid by me. See, I am such a great company that value free knowledge!" and here wikipedia becomes an advertisement platform and you won't even know that! The assumption that paid editors are more likely to write bad or biased articles supremely undermines the power of voluntary community who will counter any such attempts against the free spirit of wikipedia. And even if someone is really getting paid and not disclosing it, how are you going to find out. It's anyways very difficult to enforce. we have to trust people and see it in a positive light. Paying a contributor is different from paying you for maintaining server etc. for running wikipedia. You may even yourself come up with a program to reward (not necessarily monetary rewards) good editors. Moreover, legal terms are complicated and you should rather consult experts, we can just give opinios but how much we know about those legalities! Pradeep115 (talk) 23:14, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I think this is a good change. One page I have edited (on Wikipedia) on numerous occasions had a critical section deleted from an IP address associated with the organization on several occasions. It seems pausible that the person involved was from the 'communications' department of the organization. I'd like to think this policy will discourage that sort of behaviour. Nierensteinlaus (talk) 23:59, 23 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
support. I think this change is for the better as it discourages certain undesirable behaviors with minimal negative effects184.108.40.206 00:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support - and needs to be clear on each edit. Unfortunately the WWW and Wikipedia are ever increasingly being used in manipulative ways. (I sometimes wish there were a similar "declaration of interest" requirement for members of political parties or religious organisations, when editing articles about their own party, candidate or church, etc.). CFynn (talk) 00:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Support" Has anyone mentioned WHY Wikipedia articles are so sought after? Because they come up first in search engines! They are also seen as less biased versions of the company than can be found on the company's website. Perhaps there could be some way of marking paid contributions that could lead to a lower ranking by search engines? Dlwv (talk) 01:48, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support I firmly believe that anyone paid to contribute should be totally transparent. Wikipedia has always been unbiased and a clear model of information that is working without corruption.. so far. The problem lies where a Corporation(s) or Government(s) starts paying people to update and modify a certain article that they find is 'not in their interest'... that's not what Wikipedia is about. Transparency is a must. In this modern age where the governments around the world and corps are trying to get every edge they can, you know damn well they are here and modifying information that they don't like. Like I'm sure my own Government is doing with the article 'Canada Environmental Protection Act' Please amend. Thank you. 220.127.116.11 02:38, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I support despite reservations that this may overwhelm the admin staff of Wikipedia. This may need to be expanded in the future but a small step is still usually a good step. -Taospark (talk) 05:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SupportI am tired of seeing pages being "controlled" by their organizations. --PowerY (talk) 06:30, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Overwhelming Support I support stopping "bad people" from doing "bad things". But I also believe that the amendment needs to specify the actions that will be taken against individuals violating the TOU and how they will be found. The wording needs to become simpler so that everyone can understand without needing to ask questions on the Talk Page. Thank you Wikipedia. Peoplez1k (talk) 06:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Can one really represent or stand for anything without the attribution central to the creative commons mission? While we may justly harbor any afraid to show their faces, we need not extend the same courtesy to those apparently ashamed (or worse) and willing to abuse our trust. This is a collective effort. So: have a policy. State it. Good. I'll suggest that statement of content policy [intellectual/philosophical/justifying/permanent] can and maybe should remain separate from one defining enforcement policies [practical/actual/resulting/transitory]; the latter require diligence, attention, and resources; and that's not why I donate today. Oh, and BTW I agree entirely with Supporter #3! [Unashamed] Paid contributors do add value! But I also want any advertisement to declare itself. Sr Yesterday (talk) 07:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very, very strongly support. Paid contributors may have valuable things to add, but it feels incredibly dishonest not to disclose when one is being paid for what they're doing. NotGaryStu (talk) 07:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I am in general supportive, though I ask for clarification (as mentioned in a comment in the "unsorted" section): what do we do about folks academics or researchers who are paid in a general/generic way, rather than a specific way, to contribute to thought on a topic? In other words, I'm comfortable with the policy of attribution, but I wonder how edge cases of general payment rather than specific payment will be handled. Joebyday (talk) 09:43, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I strongly support the Wikipedians when editing in all Wikimedia projects paid for their efforts so far in developing all Wikimedia projects. And I hope it is retroactive and all the Wikipedian edits in the past are still active and can not be paid so that they can be rewarded for their actions. Aldo samulo (talk) 10:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I support Wikipedia and if the Wikipedia folks need this, then they have my vote. As long as Joe users like me can mold the paid contribution into something resembling the truth, I'm fine with with the continuance of paid contribution. Highlighting what is and isn't paid will simply help me identify those areas which deserve extra scrutiny. Sancarlos1 (talk) 10:44, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Strikes a good balance between "an encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and basic good governance requiring disclosure of COI. Well drafted. Will provide solid basis in policy to go after sponsored sock networks in the future. Disclosure in edit summary, allows easy auditing of articles. Thanks! Jytdog (talk) 12:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Got to say it took me ten minutes just to figure out how the change was worded to know if No meant Yes or if Yes meant Yes. I rarely edit and can only rarely make donations, but if the site goes whore-in-secret I'm likely to stop using it or supporting it. Rodger Asai2602:30B:82E1:2A39:3DD2:A9B9:1AE0:6D02 12:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. I think paid contributions are a severe problem, I would like to limit their impact even stronger, but cannot think of a just method for it. --Weidenrinde (talk) 12:53, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support very strongly, but with a major concern: How can it be determined whether a contribution was paid for? And if it is possible to determine this, I would support, vastly more than disclosure, the outright banning of paid contributions.
Support without modification. It appears the purpose of this is to give the Foundation a new tool, not admin, although this might not be obvious to the casual observer. Adding more to it only muddies the waters. Dennis Brown (talk) 14:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. After all, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not an ad platform or a platform for advocating views.TorKr (talk) 14:12, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support even though ensuring that every paid contributor will disclose the fact that they are, in fact, paid contributors will be hard. My suggestion is to add a list on the edit page itself where a contributor can choose between "I am a paid contributor and I am affiliated with [fill in the box]" and "I am not a paid contributor" or something similar. And then maybe mark edits by paid contributors so that they stand out in the page history. Adding a note on the user page is not really reliable since a contributor might work for a company at some point and then what happens when said contributor is fired or something? Does he leave the note up? Does he remove it? Does he need to specify from what period to what period he was affiliated with whom? Black3agl353 (talk) 15:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Flagging the edits as commercialized does not invalidate them, and allows the reader to draw their own (hopefully educated) judgments about the validity and appropriateness of the edit given the context of its commercial nature. Not allowing commercialized edits is not only impossible to enforce, but also implies that it is impossible to say anything meaningful while being paid for it, and not flagging them deprives the reader of context which allows them to interpret the edit properly. Popecrunch (talk) 15:43, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. As a user who doesn't have enough time to do more than read the amendment and the titles of the discussion sections here, I'm not familiar enough to give a thorough critique, but it seems to me in general that this is a good move, not too strong, and can become stronger in the future if need be. KoriganStone (talk) 16:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Any "paid" articles have some commercial background and this is not good for an independent lexica Flip67 (talk) 16:36, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. If an editor is being paid by someone, they are beholden to that payer, which is being reflected at some level in the edit, and we should be able to determine who is the real source of the edit, and not allow them to hide behind some anonymizing intermediary.Gsskyles (talk) 17:07, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Developing a class system of some editors who get paid versus those who edit for love reminds of the civilizational problems existing in our greater world. How much inequality can we take before it all falls apart? Gzuufy (talk) 17:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I worry that it will be unenforceable, and that it may be too late anyway as many of the most prolific editors are already folks who are paid to put spins on things and bias is already a significant problem. Regardless, something has to be done if Wikipedia is going to maintain any respect. Feneric 17:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Frothing at the mouth weak support. I am not paid could be a prevarication. What a legal romp this could turn into. - 18.104.22.168 17:31, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. An encyclopedia of information can only be relied upon to be truthful if it is impartial.
Strongly Support. This is a enormously important point, at the heart of the issue of credibility. --Gedrean (talk) 19:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Also what percentage of the opposes do you think are real people as opposed to paid shills? If we don't fix this soon it's going to become a situation that's beyond the ability of the project to fix since once the shills reach a critical mass they can control every attempt to solicit the community opinion. This really might be our last shot at maintaining anything even remotely resembling the goals of the project. I'm also strongly in favor of the shaming plan, whereby the worst corporate offenders are publicly called out. Maybe maintain some kind of Hall of Shame.
Strongly support. I like the idea of having an icon that paid editors can use to alert other editors of their status. Eastmbr (talk) 20:03, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I think this is an excellent measure that allows individual editors to handle biased content. Instead of excluding paid contributors, which would just force them underground, it allows people to make their own decisions, and provides more information to the public, which is the goal of Wikipedia. 22.214.171.124 20:12, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I agree with vote 17, I can't see any real negative outcome from this amendment and it makes sense (to me) to implement it. Dbrain64 (User talk:Dbrain64) 20:23:00, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SUPPORT I once met a savant (the guy is a walking encyclopedia, much like Longinus in the Court of Zenobia of Palmyra) and I asked him about a particular period in English 'Tudor' history, to do with Cromwell and Boleyn. The savant (whom, can *accuratly* list the name of every Monarch, Pope and Emperor throughout the course of European history!) told me of the history of Cromwell. The wikipedia article I checked was *spot ON*, bang on the money. When this savant learned his art as a historian, he did so from primary sources, at a French University, with no such thing as the internet. I have been a firm convert to wikipedia as a valid source of information ever since. I have however, always been apprehensive of editing wikipedia, up until now. The monetary incentive is a marvellous idea; and, furthermore, as a scholar and historian, I shall be making contributions, corrections, with citations, in future. It is a wonderful idea recompensing people for their work. As a poor artist and would-be historian, I embrace this initiative, whole heartedly. Thank you kindly wikipedia, Yours Sincerely, "Anglyn" Mr. Maxwell Lewis Latham Cert.H.E. (Humanities) with Classical History specialism. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Anglyn (talk) 21:19, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support: I also like the idea of an icon for paid contributors. Truth and facts are what this is all about anyway. If paid editors are factual and unbiased, they have nothing to worry about and will hold up to any potential additional scrutiny, which they deserve since they have a potential motive for bias. If they engage in funny business, then not so much. ArishiaNishi (talk) 22:21, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. The only thing worse than a paid troll is a paid troll editing my wiki. If you can make it stick I fully support this.~~LeeAnn
Support. A contributor who is paid may be tailoring the contribution to suit their client and not their personal beliefs. I consider this to be a bad thing. 126.96.36.199 23:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support - The original intent of Wikipedia is extraordinarily important to both current and future users. There is no current viable alternative (i.e. individual viewpoints, not a commercially-driven platform, widespread usage), and there is no historical precedent: Wikipedia is a unique achievement in human social development. Part of the value of Wikipedia is the democratizing nature of individual voices: people think and express themselves differently when writing on behalf of only their own conscience. From a big-picture, historical perspective, it seems blatantly obvious to me: preserve the individual voice. From a pragmatic perspective, I have committed to double my annual donation. It's a big deal. ProtonWest (talk) 23:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)ProtonWestReply[reply]
Support, while noting that a reference to "organization" is to be preferred over "company." I would also encourage specific Wikis to make methods available for editors to further characterize the nature of any potential COI, such as
Employee specifically paid to edit wiki (e.g., PR person)
Employee making edits incidentally to job
Former employee (could go either way on COI!)
Volunteer or unpaid intern
I also believe (based on my professional experience) that a large number of companies attempt to follow the rules, and although some will try to fraudulently mis/non-represent their affiliations, there will be quite a bit of voluntary compliance. Matchups (talk) 00:37, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support It is important that paid editors disclose that they are being paid. Readers are free to make of that information what they will.~~BrekhusR
"Support", While noting my belief that Wikipedia has the moral obligation, in respect to knowledge and information, to provide public access to these user's edits.
Support, It must be noted that this rule already exists, but it has a hard time being enforced, (this is being paraphrased) this page/section is written in a biased view, please improve this article. (Sorry, I can't figure out how to fix the numbers)--DrDominodog51 (talk) 01:45, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, I am a public relations professional that writes articles for consideration to be included in Wikipedia. I think undisclosed paid advocacy editing is highly detrimental to the encyclopedia and I applaud efforts to ban it. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 02:36, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Others have made the case better than I can. BTW, I think vote #374 above broke the formatting, but I don't know how to fix it. Henrymrx (talk) 03:08, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Like the idea (above) that the "paid contributor" note should be on the modified/created page rather than her page, or whichever is more "permanent."
Support with trepidation. Transparency on who writes history seems like a great direction for overall society to go in. This seems akin to a band with a hit song giving credit to the creative mind behind the song; the writer or producer.
However, I'm not sure if this will lead to Wikipedia becoming a better resource. I've worked for several people with their own Wikipedia articles, and it's painfully obvious that they put in the links, quotes, etc. themselves. (One 'famous person' example of this trait is Nardwuar the Canadian). If it explicitly stated that they edited their own pages, that would be extremely embarassing. They would rather lie, or become less reliant upon Wikipedia,.
Now, we are talking about transparency of financial motivation here, not pride.. but are they really different?
A tech company that wants to frame its products in a good light on Wikipedia may find it more prideful to lie about how the info is put up, than to follow this rule. The result in this case would be more lying and less transparency, precisely the behavior this rule is supposed to prevent.
Another company that doesn't want this brand up may disengage itself from the site entirely, and the overall quality of its Wikipedia article would be negatively influenced.
So, I'd either say that this disclosure could maybe be made optional or something, or the quality of Wikipedia as a wholesome resource may suffer. But overall I think it's a good direction for the Web to go in. 188.8.131.52 03:26, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, although I think it would not be easy (or possible) to enforce, nor it will really fix the problem (see below). However, it will provide guide for what is expected, and allow those who are not trying to hide the fact to show their affiliations and expect same of others in good standing. Those who are trying to hide the fact should lose their reputation, but such thing does not seem possible wihout either a very small community, technology-enforced PGP-alike web-of-trust, or tehnology-enforced stackoverflow-alike voting system. Note that technological solutions can be circumvented, and if there is money to be made - they probably will be. --Mnalis (talk) 03:54, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Sockpuppetry is sockpuppetry, and mercenary sockpuppetry is worse. Scutigera (talk) 04:07, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support Without some recourse against whitewashers, we risk Wikipedia losing what critical approval we've earned through our hard effort. Although it would be nice to have editors who could afford to devote their full working day to actually improving Wikipedia, we have to have some way of reigning them in. The hidden ones (talk) 04:16, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. I would like wikipedia to remain a reliable, unbiased source of information, so it is imperative that any biases arising from employment, personal gain etc be made clear, so the reader can sensibly assess where biases may exist.
'Strong Support' should go further, personally I would give an immediate 12 month editing ban to anyone caught gaming the system, this goes against everything wikipedia stands for. GimliDotNet (talk) 08:00, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support on the grounds that transparency is better than lack of transparency. Sheherazahde (talk) 09:10, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support As someone who has a COI statement on my page I'm happy to support this measure. Wikipedia should always be open and honest in it's approach to essentially sharing information with the world - i think this measure simply bolsters that concept. --Jazqer (talk) 09:19, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, with reservations.
Strong Support Transparency is key to the goals of the foundation. Philg88 (talk) 10:54, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This is a step in the right direction. Good-faith paid contributors must be encouraged. We should take additional steps to ensure NPoV, including perhaps requiring additional disclosure or reviews for such edits. --Dionyziz (talk) 11:32, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I note that there is at least one legitimate model for paid contributions, namely when some well-off person supports an expert in preparing a contribution that the author is competent to prepare but unable to afford the time. I suppose this makes the contribution a work made for hire and perhaps should be contributed by the sponsor rather than the expert, but I have not thought through the policy issues sufficiently deeply. There is another context in which a contributor should disclose their interest in a contribution. That is when they are participants in some sort of contentious community and are making a contribution whose point-of-view may not be dispassionate. For instance, I rewrote an entry about the apartment complex in which I reside that had been originally created by a local real estate agent and whose POV was entirely biased by the agent's desire to portray himself as the only broker dealing in apartments in the complex. The broker should have disclosed his authorship (it was anonymous and I can't prove it was him, but the only references were to his web site). Nygeek (talk) 13:21, 25 February 2014 (UTC) [User:nygeek].Reply[reply]
Support, even if the system will probably rely heavily in user's honesty about compensation, the simple fact that this possibility exists raises awareness among readers and ultimately contributes to critical evaluation of pages' contents.
Strongly Support! Wikipedia's value is as an encyclopedic information source, not an advertisement repository.
Support. Wiki readers need to know who is being paid so they can better evaluated their comments.
Support. I prefer declared paid contributions over forbidden but nonetheless paid edits, as you will hardly ever be able to prove that anybody has been paid.-- Gürbetaler (talk) 20:08, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support + Ideas. The key to fixing responsibility for the truth of contents is the truth of personal integrity and the only way to reach this goal is to publish by real-name as I do. (move body to Ossip Groth section - was too long and clogging up the numbering) [User:Ossip Groth|Ossip Groth]] (talk) 17:04, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. It seems like transparency is what we are looking for here. Ximthebest (talk) 21:45, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This would seriously help editors who prowl the newly created wiki pages easily identify the spam and unwanted "advertising" type of content and promptly get rid of it. Biglulu (talk) 22:15, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. This humble and poor reader supports any and all disclosures of compensation. 184.108.40.206 22:33, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support.Requiring disclosure & transparency is a fair & simple way to address the issues brought about paid editing. Only time will how effective it will be (it is based on an "honor system" after all) but it is certainly worthy of a try, and I see no obvious downside.--JayJasper (talk) 22:36, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. While an outright ban would create unnecessary infringement on the public's right to choose their means of exchanging information via the Internet, this proposal respects the rights of all users to know where said information is coming from. Money is speech, remember? We can split hairs over the reliability of Wikipedia but we cannot ignore the wide scope of reference it provides, which is accessed by members of many different demographics. Individuals with lower educations are likely also more inclined to rely on the information Wikipedia provides, which thus creates a societal obligation to preserve the quality of information over time. Any refusal to operate in transparency will make it clear that large sums of money are being spent to reflect the opinions and biases of a powerful entity.
Support. Good to force disclosure of paid affiliations.
Support. Mostly, I support idea of the board of Wikipedia being asked to consider this. I hope that the Wikimedia Foundation has, and will continue to have helpful & good management, directors and legal department. Realistically, I'm unlikely to be able to delve into this question until many months from now. Detailaware (talk) 00:17, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I'm unconvinced as of yet as to the merits of completely banning paid edits, so I support this as a compromise.--Radix838 (talk) 00:57, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support./ I support this measure because of how prevalent calls for commercial Wikipedia editors are on freelance jobs sites. Most employers who want wiki writers pay below minimum wage and they get the poor quality we don't deserve.
Strongly Support. Crush all attempts of capital to destroy the integrity of Wikipedia. Now and in the years to come, only the free flow of information will protect us from the controlling attempts of states and corporations. The accumulation of vast amounts of wealth is inherently corrupt, the product of collusion between capitalists and those upon whom they confer political legitimacy. Their money can purchase away the integrity of Wikipedia, as it has purchased away the integrity of countless institutions of education, journalism and media. To fail in checking the power of money is to finally, ultimately fail. Campaign to eliminate paid shills from Wikipedia.
Support. However, what if a person is prohibited from disclosing that they were paid due to any applicable law (e.g. attorney/solicitor-client privilege, breach of confidence etc.)? The contribution may nevertheless be neutral and useful. Walfin (talk) 03:54, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I agree with the general concern that paid contributions, in any form, damage the credibility of the site.
Strongly support. I've seen innumerable articles 'plugging' all manner of 'causes' and 'self-interest' including, for example, a religious cult's lengthy page with numerous references. ALL such references came from the cult's own publications and, once redacted by a Wiki editor, only around 300 words remained. The editor initially expressed the opinion that the page would probably be taken down but, after consultation, the result described was achieved. I believe this was far too meek a response and the editor's implied, preferred course of action was the right decision. (Especially given the cult's pernicious messages, although I realise that this is subjective.) I'm also aware that the example is unlikely have to been paid-for in most of the conventional definitions already covered. Being sui generis it would little surprise if payment were deferred! There's little to prevent insidious organisations, large or small, from reappearing in different guises but that's no argument against expelling them, and expelling them again, once their 'covers are blown'. Brian Benedetti (talk) 08:32, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Disclosure of obvious potential bias seems a very tame response to the problem. Rwessel (talk) 06:34, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
STRONGLY Support. We come to Wikipedia for verifiable information - not for "paid political announcements", so to speak. Requiring disclosure of payment for information provided to Wikipedia is an insurance against psuedo-academic chicanery. William Woodburn (talk) 12:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Paid-for contributions are an excellent contribution to Wikipedia (and others) as soon as they are visible as such. 220.127.116.11 12:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)FrédéricLNReply[reply]
Strongly support. By knowing whether or not the contribution that was given was paid for we can determine whether or not the pretext for such information has biased attached to it. It can also lend credibility to certain forms of information particularly if the contribution paid for is legitimate scientific or medical research.
Support. I strongly support not allowing any form of paid contributions to the WP project. Good Luck! But I fundamentally oppose overly complex and poorly understood rule-sets which have been the bane of writers, especially where content covers or overlaps commercial interests. Please do not allow this to become the tool of dogmatic witch-hunters who confuse legitimate information about companies and organizations as some kind of capitalist heresy. Cheers! --Kevin Murray (talk) 20:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Sounds a good idea.
Support. Seems correct to prevent 'advertorials' etc ninjabeard
Strongly support How will it be policed? Moruya.
Support In my personal and professional experience, I've seen 'paid contributions' both used responsibly, and abused. However, I think disclosure of affiliation, and adherence to the 5 Pillars is enough to address this problem. FuturePrefect (talk) 23:00, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support On first review, my only suggested change is to have affiliation notices at all three locations. Each of the these locations serves a different purpose and client.#Atoizzard (talk) 23:22, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support While I believe it will be hard to enforce, I strongly support the policy amendment as definitely a step in the right direction. --Jeff Hill
Support I see this amendment as a step into the right direction. PR edits are reality and need to be reflected. Because enforcement will likely be problematic at first, I'd start now easy with the amendment as it is suggested. For a future, I agree with user YakButter that the provision can be made stronger by simply requiring all three ways of letting know about a paid edit - at the talk page, AND at that user's page AND in the edit summary. W.0q (talk) 00:20, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I think this is a step in the right direction. Bradybd (talk) 00:31, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support: I might add a clause to ensure that compensation for editing, "directly or indirectly", is prohibited.
I support any amendment that makes Wikipedia entries more transparent. Its primary value is as a source of general factual "truth" for a better informed world community. Anyone wishing to explore the nuances of knowledge on a particular topic should get an education by other means. 18.104.22.168 21:21, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. --Mike E
Strongly support. -- Matt Z.
Strongly support. Mondebleu (talk) 00:27, 27 February 2014 (UTC) MondeBleu Transparency and ethics, by all means.Reply[reply]
Strongly support. Some kind of disclosure of paid editing is necessary. It seems like editing Wikipedia is becoming part of the standard "to do" lists of industry public relations people, which affects the credibility of this entire effort. I recently ran into this on the page regarding "aspartame," where one editor -- presumably someone from the industry -- diligently edits off or reverses all of the edits from people trying to add a discussion of the damaging health effects of that product. They seem to do on a regular basis, every day, like it's part of their job. -- Zack 2
Strongly support. -- Lindsay As a business we have noticed editors using Wikipedia for fluffy business profiles. These businesses hire editors to work around wikepedia rules. Having raised this issue with Wikepedia management in the past it seems reasonable if someone is going to write a promo for a business profile they should openly declare if they are receiving compensation and whether they are affiliated with the business. If self promotional business profiles are prohibited then it can easily be spotted and removed.
I think that this is a sensible amendment that provides better guidance for the community to hash out the particulars. David Fuchs (talk) 04:29, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Transparency allows the intelligent users of WIKIPEDIA to come to their own conclusions about the accuracy and completeness of information posted. As a corollary to the fundamental WIKIPEDIA fairness model, this amendment must be passed.
However, I have a concern about naive or young or less sophisticated users of WIKIPEDIA who may be less experienced in discerning when a complete picture is not being painted. It is far easier to bias an article by omitting facts than it is by telling untruths. Incorrect information will generally be challenged but most of the time, the omission of information goes unchallenged. This a problem regardless of whether or not editing is a paid or unpaid activity. I suggest that maybe two "heat charts" at the beginning of articles be introduced. The first would be a summary of the neutrality of the article as perceived by users. (Tick or cross at the end of the article or some such mechanism.) The second would be similar but show the degree of paid editing. An algorithm relating amount of editing, number of paid edits vs non-paid edits etc could be reflected in the heat chart. (or whatever mechanism is used to display the relativities.)
I am a reasonably seasoned research scientist and over the years have developed my "bulldust detection" skills in my own disciplines however, in disciplines I have no affiliation with, I am a very naive user. It would be of great benefit to me, (and I suspect other naive users,) to have access to the equivalent of peer review of the articles based upon the two criteria outlined: COMPLETENESS and CORPORATE input.
As an aside, your banner drew my attention to the issue and was a timely and appropriate usage of your "biggest gun".
Thanks for the magnificent resource and congratulations on the current quality of WIKIPEDIA.
Support Even though it will not prevent violations from occurring, having the disclosure requirement in the TOU will provide important tool for enforcing disclosures in those cases where controversy does arise. I hope this amendment will be passed. 07:29, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Support This is common practice in scientific publications and is a good idea for Wikipedia. People saying you can either declare COI or have unprejudiced fact checking are presenting a false dicotomy. Richard.decal (talk) 07:52, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support This is a good balance, it supports transparency whilst not excluding paid editing in any way, professional contributions are a good thing, and a good-faith accurate and informative contribution from someone paid to do it is not something that should be hidden or disguised. --22.214.171.124 10:02, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support for essentially the same reason we require citations. Yes, everyone has bias, but I think we all benefit from being able to research whether the author is a propagandist by profession. Patrickwooldridge (talk) 11:39, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support Medical journals require this, for obvious reasons. Wikipedia must try to stop the paid lobbying/slant/corporate troll wars on the truth. They have been buying off the mainstream media and web journals with ads and threats of pulling ads; they have been buying off researchers in medical, dental and scientific journals but at least they have to disclose that now in the academic press. Please stop them from buying off Wikipedia's compendium of knowledge and reinforcing outdated orthodoxy that represents their interests, not the truth. User:HealthyAgain. Hope this posts, I am new at this, can't find vertical mark.
Strongly Support. This is a good and proportionate response to a very present danger C.jeynes (talk) 13:55, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Wiki is all about using your own critical thinking skills to assess the wealth of content. This information is absolutely necessary to do that.
Support. However, the amendment does not fully address the issue of those seeking to edit Wikipedia content in pursuit of a personal "hidden agenda" whether compensated for the edits or not. The Wiki concept appears to heavily depend upon an implicit "honor system" whereunder individuals are assumed to provide and edit content with pure motivations of providing factual, unprejudiced, and reliable information. This honor system and the Wikipedia content upon which it depends are easily and readily compromised by unpaid and paid contributors. Because of this, Wikipedia is a great starting place for research; however, it should not be the only place used of research.
Strongly Support. I think it is vital to place this issue out: front & center. Many of the recent comments are cogent and I share in them. And although Wikipedia cannot stop the paid "lobbying/slant/corporate troll wars on the truth," that shouldn't keep us from voicing our dissent. There should not be undisclosed paid editing practices on Wikpedia. When this has occurred, then users, editors, and contributors need to know this. We can not (and will not) bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't happen (even if, at the same time, we are skeptical that any "regulations" can really and truly stop this from happening). The fact is that there is a war on the "truth," and there will continue to be a war. And yes, it will continue here on Wikpedia just as there continues to be the insidious (and ubiquitous) practice of Public Relations and business-sponsored "think-tanks" and "Foundation" lackeys "buying off the mainstream media and web journals with ads and threats of pulling ads." And of course there's no way, within the current "system," to completely stop or eliminate this practice of undisclosed "paid contributions." In fact, I don't believe this can stop unless there's some kind of collapse or systemic break with the current world-system which is a Capitalist world-system (see the "Immanuel Wallerstein" page on Wikipedia for more information). So for now let's do what we can do to limit what the "lobbying/corporate" shills can do with the truth. After all, there is a "human right" to information (in fact, September 28 is the International Day devoted to that right; and that is an 'observance' that we recognize as happening everyday on Wikipedia). But I digress. I vote here to "strongly support" this amendment because we must do whatever we can to make it difficult for the "shills" (and that's what you are when you're paid to either "edit" the truth or otherwise traffic in ideology & propaganda on behalf of 'special interests' and undisclosed agendas. Even if your motives are well meaning or done in 'good faith.' That's not up to you. It's up to us. That's up to the Wikipedia community to decide). Finally, we traffic in the real world, we partake of the truth. We also must, as a "commons" and a community on Wikipedia, pay attention to how the truth is being manipulated and make every effort to prevent the lackeys and shills from "buying off Wikipedia's compendium of knowledge and reinforcing [an] outdated orthodoxy that represents their interests, not the truth." Christian Roess (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support the amendment. Wikipedia and associated properties are the single biggest resource globally for many many people on an daily basis. The transparency and collaborative community are part of the very *foundation* of this resource. Please keep the transparency.
i strongly support any an all measures that allow the reader to evaluate both the wiki-offerings themselves as well as their source.— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mrbklyn1943 (talk)
Support. Glad to see this effort by the WMF to reduce astroturfing and the like. --126.96.36.199 17:30, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Additionally, I believe that a template should be required for this purpose. --188.8.131.52 18:48, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support with reservations. Proposed language is probably unenforceable except perhaps against fools. I sympathize with view that we should police content, not contributors, but COI rules already police contributors. This is essentially an extension of the COI policy, and will probably only keep honest people honest, but it may offer some protection to legit editors who delete biased articles or edit them to remove bias. Jdcrutch (talk) 20:00, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Strongly Support" Transparency works for me. This gives us the tools to judge an article. I don't think that it's possible for everyone to argee on what is true... but this will give a red flag to people who are hiding attempts to manufacture the self-interested truths.
Support: Wikipedia is the place where I come seeking knowledge and information. The sole nature of information is that it is factual. Undisclosed paid edits are harmful in this regard as lesser transparency in the editing system means that it can be a potential tool to weed out deliberate misinformation with material gains in mind. Just a simple act of disclosing if you are compensated for your edits will allow people to better exercise their power of judgement on the topic and decide on the validity of the data presented. However, the system will only work if editors believe in goodwill. But as is in the nature of wikipedia, one and all should be able to add or correct information present in the site. Disclosing your intentions behind doing so makes it easier for us to interpret the data and the information conveyed. ~~~~
Support: The requirement makes sense and should be passed. That said, disclosure makes only a modest contribution toward objectivity. As always, NPOV itself is still the key attribute that has to be monitored by the community. Not every paid contribution will violate NPOV, and some unpaid contributions will violate NPOV just as in the past. ~~~~
Support. Undisclosed conflicts of interest (which are not always monetary) are always a problem. This particular class of conflicts is fairly easy to identify (either you received/expect to receive money and they expect you to edit in return, or not). I have supported stronger rules (e.g. the unsuccessful Wikipedia:Conflict of interest limit proposal on English Wikipedia) recently. However, importantly, this does not take away the ability for individual wikis to make such rules. It explicitly says, projects can "require stricter requirements for paid contributions". This unambiguously applies across the board, including legitimate paid editing (e.g. Wikipedians in Residence). However, it does not burden such programs, which are generally viewed as positive (Residents generally have notes on their user page already). I'm speaking only for myself, in my personal capacity. Superm401 | Talk 20:17, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I'm also on-board for transparency, especially where the integrity of the information is as important as it is on Wikipedia.Joewwilliams (talk) 20:24, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support -- paid edits can be useful and desirable due to information unavailable elsewhere, but unless such edits are disclosed they cannot be determined to be NPOV. If entered with stealth they must be assumed violations of NPOV.
Strongly Support. Undisclosed paid contributions defeat the entire point of Wikipedia: unbiased information. Athomas24 (talk) 02:12, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. I think transparency is good for everything.Jjroper (talk) 10:54, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support. if someone who is paid has an entry that in any way supports whoever is paying him, even if it is an "honest" attempt to enter value, it's still a conflict of interest situation, and he should recuse himself. (But I'm really curious how you could tell!) RaverDad - Sam Galetar, firstname.lastname@example.org. BTW, I'm a total newbie at this (commenting), so I'm hoping I did it right and didn't break any protocols.
I support the proposed amendment. I'd like to think anything I read on Wikipedia is fair and unbiased. (Heather M. Lane)
Support. I've observed a whole spectrum of bad behavior on Wikipedia, and in particular, horrible behavior coming from the admins. Any measure to limit any of these abuses has my support. # Support
Strongly Support This is a crucial step in pursuing an objective Wikipedia. Matt I.
Very Strongly Support Need to keep Wikipedia transparent and free from vested and opaque commercial interests. Venkat.
Support - this project in many ways (apart from apart from anonymity and openness to all) is similar to more traditional encyclopedias, reviews, summaries and so on. The similarity being the trust that all edits are done on an impartial basis and with the aid of independent sources. It would be näive to claim that is is always the case - but it is the basis of our (and readers) trust. Therefore a full disclosure of paid (in whatever form) editing is a must that was overlooked for a far too long time. An academic paper that has a shadow of being paid for by interested industry looses automatically any moral (and often formal) right to be called 'academic'. Same implies to literary reviews, art critique and even plain journalism. There should also be a consideration given to possibly penalties (however rare - hopefully - that might be) for editors who failed to make such a disclosure and were found later to engage in such an act. yours,
Strong Support - Content that is provided by paid agents seeking to promote a person or product or point of view should be identified in a clear manner, such as a different color, than the rest of the content. Also, such people should not be allowed to edit the content of others in the same article.
Strongly support - It is true that this would be difficult to enforce, but I still feel that it is important. It might actually have a real impact in reducing misleading or manipulative edits, or increasing scrutiny thereof. More importantly it would send a clear message about what Wikipedia is NOT. We should not discourage professionals from writing about their fields of expertise, and stating one's profession on one's user page should be a matter of establishing credibility. I edit pages relevant to my profession (archaeology), and sometimes cringe at the edits made by obvious non-professionals. Expertise should not be shunned. This is a different matter from PR hacks and government flunkies making edits to manipulate opinion.
I moved a comment header that was keeping peoples' support entries from being displayed, and now everyone's signoff (4 tildas) from that point to this are displaying my ip address. I added a lot of space above the comment at the bottom to hopefully keep people from splitting the comment again. I will let someone else fix the renumbering problem184.108.40.206 10:30, 28 February 2014 (UTC) [thanks, fixed.]Reply[reply]
Support. There are endless possibilities about where you might draw the line on this, but the proposed amendment gets the balance about right. Sue Zuki (talk) 14:43, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a blog or an advertising space. I feel this proposal is an acceptable minimum to avoid the corruption of a valuable source of knowledge by paid advocacy. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:14, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. The amendment is a very good idea; the wording achieves the right balance as it pertains to paid editing. APerson (talk) 17:12, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Good, but doesn't go far enough. There are other kinds of venal interests besides direct payment for services that have equal corrupting influence. What we call "log rolling" is an example. I write a flattering bio of you, and you write a flattering bio of me. No $$ change hands. I see stuff that reads like a promotional brochure all the time, but I doubt that all the writers were being directly paid to edit that stuff in. Here.it.comes.again (talk) 17:29, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Quoting Wikimedia, "There is an extreme likelihood that contributions which are paid for, but intentionally not disclosed as such, do not serve the public interest in a fair and beneficial manner...there is at least an implied conflict of interest that the balance will tend to serve the more private interests of the paid contributor." History reveals that hidden affiliations produce hidden bias; so it seems self-evident that a Wikipedia reader deserves full disclosure to weigh the question of whether he or she is reading an attempt to objectively report or to instead advance a biased point of view.Djonesvb (talk) 17:36, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Compensated article creation/editing can never be neutral. Nevertheless sometimes it can be constructive. Knowing those authors who are receiving payment can only help judge the value of their edits. Prestonmag (talk) 18:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Cause Wikipedia have to be "free" of corruption and criminal affairs. Wikipedia is not a marketplace to offer informations like trends and goodwill contents.
Support. Conflicts of interest should be disclosed and monitored. I am certain that despite occasional good additions or creations, the overall effect of paid contributors will be detrimental to the quality of the Wikipedia encyclopedia and to the ability users have to rely on the information found here. Anything that can be done to eliminate it should be done Kdannehl (talk) 19:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Sometimes paid experts are the best experts. Sometimes they are the worst. Disclosing helps to tell the difference. And though there can always be an improvement, I'm tempted to be in the "and should not be any stronger" column after reading some of the draconian "stronger" suggestions. --GRuban (talk) 19:23, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. Any paid edit, irrespective of who paid and who got paid, must be disclosed. Nobody should be allowed to influence the content anonymously.
Support. I find it amazing that transparency, and that is all that is being proposed here, is such a controversial issue. It is heartening to see that so many uses are in favor of this modest proposal, which will cost nothing and affect only those contributors that we have the most reason to distrust, and even then that effect ultimately amounts to "be honest." Wikipedia is a success because of good faith collaboration. If you're getting paid, tell us in good faith. That is all.
Strongly support existing amendment. I am for a total ban on paid contributions, however the amendment as is will be a good way to begin to assess the amount of paid contributions which exist today. Bhuston (talk) 22:06, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. Imagine advertisement e.g. during news shows on TV weren't made recognisable as such. If paid for - and per definition biased - contributions aren't avoidable in the first place they would clearly have to be distinguishable from serious articles. SW2001 E (talk) 22:19, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. If you are advertising or promoting something you should be made to declare this.
Strongly Support. As a librarian, knowing the source of the information and potential biases of authors is critical.
Support. The amendment works as written, and I'm confident in the Wikipedia bureaucracy's ability to handle exceptional cases. Beige.librarian (talk) 22:59, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support. If Wikipedia were filled with paid-for items, it will become nothing more than just another way to advertise, for free, to uninformed users. Notta skeptic (talk) 02:28, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Notta-skepticReply[reply]
Strongly Support. Wikipedia must remain separate from monied interests. Johnnyhorse (talk) 03:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support. I agree with the proposal. This type of content should be identified by the editor. Holierthanthou (talk) 04:20, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly Support Not only is transparency a key to honesty - and ideally, truth - but this gives the WMF the legal tools to deal effectively with the worst and most persistent offenders. Additionally, my experience has been that many people, even in COI situations, are striving towards improvement. In these cases, this measure would improve the ability of other editors to find and verify potentially biased information from even the most well-intentioned editor in a COI situation.TheAmbsAce (talk) 07:26, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I have had my content removed on two occasions, by editors who failed to respond to questions about whether that was the right thing to do. I am beginning to wonder if I was the victim of paid editing. ArthurDent006.5 (talk) 10:48, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, in the name of transparency. I appears that certain changes/omissions are being made by paid image watchers; such activities need to be in the open. Ekem (talk) 17:55, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, to think that billionaires and special interest can, and in secret, pour money into the constant editting or manipulation of a topic nullifies the entire credibility of wikipedia. this is not a "blog" as others have said, but rather the world's largest encyclopedia. Any steps that move it further from a blog, which is opinion, or propogandized, or biased without transparency, is a good one. I don't come her for anyonymity, I come here for the wisdom of crowds, and that is where the value of wikipedia lies.
Strongly Support - There is a tremendous amount of incorrect information on Wikipedia. Editors in some situations censor their pages based on their own opinions or biases. Editors often do not check cited sources, but accept the information as facts. Wikipedia can essentially re-write history as a result at times, and cannot be trusted as fact. All relationships should be disclosed to increase integrity.
Support Agree with the idea of full disclosure.
Support This is an important change. Many people in oppose seem to leave comments indicating they actually support the change, so I think support is actually more wide spread than the raw numbers indicate. Cdehaan (talk) 23:07, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Support" I think some people will be paid to monitor the information about an article no matter what policies are in place. Also, I usually can tell when I am being pandered to. I guess you have to "consider the source" when you read these articles. De acuerdo
Support - transparency is important, so is accountability.
Support - I support efforts to prohibit, discourage, or otherwise limit drafting or editing articles with the intent to persuade, deceive, slant or otherwise act to write or revise the meaning of any article that a knowledgeable neutral observer would determine on the preponderance of the facts or style of writing would present a false or slanted perception on the part of an average reader; whether paid or unpaid. I support efforts to prohibit to the greatest degree possible on a site that depends on the ethical intent of its editors writing for hire to present other than objective language or facts. I support efforts to encourage whistle blowers to bring such activity to task through some kind of initially nonpublic fact-finding body within the Wiki editing community, with an appeal process for editors called out to make their case that they have been erroneously charged. 22:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Strongly Support Academic papers are generally required to make the same disclosure. I would make inclusion in the Editing Summary mandatory, for ease of reference.
Strongly Support Strongly vested interests such as compensation for edits should be disclosed. 220.127.116.11 23:25, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I think the wording is fair, viz "you must disclose ... with respect to any contribution ... for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation." In other words, just having a paid job does not require disclosure, but if are paid to make specific edits... That's fine. Equally, the statements from US laws seem fair, such as "creating the impression [of] not acting for ... his trade... or falsely representing oneself as a consumer." There is no reason why every editor, no matter where they live, should not be subject to a robust requirement against misrepresenting themselves. I have in the past battled against specific editors that I was certain were paid shills. They appear from nowhere on a limited range of articles, making outrageously biased edits, and getting very angry when challenged. They get better at Wiki-lawyering, prepared to fight anybody and everybody at AN/I and everywhere else, then, just as suddenly, disappear - either their contract ran out or they got banned. w:Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia --Nigelj (talk) 23:27, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support I have no moral objection to paid contributions, but disclosure can help contributors to be honest, and can help readers judge when to be skeptical. Sue D. Nymme (talk) 23:57, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
weak support like 111 said, I dont see how this is going to actually work. People lying will not be deterred by yet another rule.
Strong support The purpose of this rule is not just redundant deterrence, but also to clarify the legal standing of the Foundation and its editors when faced with a party that has violated the rule. 18.104.22.168 00:53, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong support This is clearly in line with the aim of wikipedia itself. I do not require a stronger action, because first we have to test this action, which is already a big change and may be more difficult to implement than it seems. But we need absolutely to know if a contribution is free or paid.--Rdelre (talk) 06:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paid contents should be allowed for fund raising but it should be clearly indicated to users .
Strong support With a question: does Wikimedia have any sort of strategy to implement this? How will ordinary editors be involved, if at all? Unless this produces results and discourages violators, it will be an empty gesture. Tapered (talk) 07:20, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support It is unethical to to obscure or omit one's affiliation with a company when one publicizes a company, its products or its services. The amendment should clearly state that ethical behaviour requires disclosure of one's relationship with an organization in such cases, be it as part of a contract, as a paid employee or as a part- or full-time volunteer (who is considered an unpaid employee). Fest3er (talk) 09:24, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Print encyclopedias had signed articles; why should Wikipedia be any different? If this amendment doesn't work as intended, it can be modified. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 10:53, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
HERE HERE I appreciate the proposed amendment manages to address this problem without being too onerous. The exceptions are both generous and reasonable; the disclosure requirements pretty simple. DO APPROVE! 22.214.171.124 11:07, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support This encyclopedia should not be written on any slant. If any changes are needed to be made for accuracy, they should be made personally, without pay. 126.96.36.199 11:37, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Proposal is similar to the disclosing of a conflict of interest that one must do in scientific journal publishing. I think this is a good practice. Miguel Andrade (talk) 12:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly support as well.
Fully Support this initiative. It will restore some level of integrity to articles, as many people have noticed the prevalence of professionally constructed PR-type analysis and influence in certain subject areas. Full transparency on source and motivation will help. The professionals writing articles for money should be prepared to state that they are doing it in a professional, research capacity. This will add credibility to their work as well - An important point. Brett West - London, UK.
"Support" Just as you said, "there is an extreme likelihood that contributions which are paid for, but intentionally not disclosed as such, do not serve the public interest in a fair and beneficial manner." That should speak for itself. It's not going to stop the problem, but it will do something to make it better and it's relatively low-maintenance. 188.8.131.52 20:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC) JosetteReply[reply]
"Support" Complete objectivity is never possible. It is always useful to have knowledge about the source of your information, and it seems that having someone disclose if they are a paid editor would be useful. The downside, thought, is that , due to ease with which a source could simply not disclose this information, it could actually act to make viewers less wary of contributions.
Strongly Support I believe that it is VITAL that Wikipedia remain (as far as reasonably possible) a source of unbiased information - and not become yet another internet corporate-money-making/misinformation-spreading/advertising website. The danger of corporations employing workers to pollute Wikipedia with profit-motivated misinformation is real and likely - and this goes against the real spirit and value of Wikipedia. Here are a couple of questions for all here to consider: Would a print encyclopedia allow corporations to pay for non-reviewed entries? What would be the long-term effects if profiteers could 'buy' encyclopedia entries? This stance might seem to go against the 'freedom of speech' of contributors, but this false conflict is actually only a result of not differentiating 'free speech' from 'profit-seeking advertising'.
"Strongly Support" I agree with supporting this action wholeheartedly. Over the years I've relied less on Wikipedia because I've personally known the facts on several people it has articles on, only to discover Wikipedia spewing negative about them. I've seen multiple articles that always seem to highlight the negative sides of a story, and many of the articles appear to have an agenda. To be completely honest, I skip wikipedia now when searching for information. Today was an interesting exception. Many peopl are aware large corporations control information on the internet. The normal news outlets are under this influence. Thus many people know the information they are getting is biased, no matter how much they claim its not. If Wikipedia is going to claim to be un biased, it must have the integrity to disclose who's paying them to say what they want. What's the goal of Wikipedia? To inform people and help them lead informed empowered lives? Or take money from anybody who is willing to pay and do what they want, instead of what the millions of readers want. If you are truly an organization of integrity and honesty, I would suggest disclosing paid editing 100%. If you take this action, I feel your credibility will be restored and it will pay off in the long term. If not, its just a matter of time before people get sick of Wikipedia as a propaganda outlet.184.108.40.206 16:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PLEASE keep Wikipedia a source of knowledge, bending EVERY effort to block unbiased content. Only if we all stand strong to insure that happens will Wikipedia continue to be the modern-day oracle we all appreciate! --Lew Sheen (talk) 01:39, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support Any published factual work requires conflict of interests disclosure. Wikipedia should be no different, especially when we take into account that it's a main source of knowledge in the world today. Not only this helps writing unbiased articles, it also might help its reputation with people who still question Wikipedia's integrity. --AbderrahmanNajjar (talk) 01:24, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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Strongly Support. I think disclosure of interest, especially paid interest, is the most basic ethical requirement for contributors.
Support. Many of us rely on Wikipedia for some sense of objectivity in our hyperpoliticized world. This ammendment will at least justify this practiceVVVVVV EYE (talk) 15:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]