Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A paid contribution is one that involves contributing to Wikipedia in exchange for money or other inducements. It includes adding or removing content from any page, including articles and talk pages.

If you receive, or expect to receive, compensation for your contributions to Wikipedia, either directly or indirectly, you must disclose who is paying you to edit (your "employer"), who the client is, and any other relevant role or relationship.

Wikimedia Foundation terms of use

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

Wikimedia Foundation RGB logo with text.svg

Paid contributions without disclosure

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

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

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

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

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

Meaning of "employer, client, and affiliation"

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

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

  • Employer: the person or organization that pays a user to contribute to Wikipedia, whether that user has a freelance contract with the payer, has no contract, is a salaried employee of the payer, or is a salaried employee of another organization.
  • Client: the person or organization on whose behalf the edits are made; the client is often the subject of the article.
  • Affiliation: other connections that might be relevant including, but not limited to, people or businesses who provide text, images, or other media for the paid edit.
  • Contribution: any text added to Wikipedia, including talk-page and sandbox contributions, and material added to articles by others at the behest of paid editors.
  • Payment or compensation: money, goods or services.

For example, if Smith PR pays an editor to work on Acme Widgets, then Smith PR is that editor's employer with respect to those contributions, while Acme Widgets is the client. If you have been hired by a public-relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm's client.[2] Often the employer and client are the same entity. If Acme Widgets pays an editor directly to write about that company, then Acme Widgets is both the employer and client.

Interns are considered employees for this purpose. If they are directed or expected to edit Wikipedia as part of an internship, they must disclose.

How to disclose

Editors who are compensated for their contributions must disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any paid contributions. They must do this on their main user page, or on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or in edit summaries.

Paid editors who cannot disclose their employer, client, and affiliations are prohibited from editing. Non-disclosure agreements do not invalidate this requirement. There is no confidentiality for the employer, client, or affiliations.

The conflict of interest guideline further advises editors to place the {{connected contributor (paid)}} template at the top of the talk page accompanying any paid contributions (and to fill in the parameters), and to supply a clearly visible list of their paid contributions on their main user page. The template {{paid}} can be used for this.

This transparency helps the Wikipedia community to understand and analyze the source and scope of paid editing, and to ensure that content originating from paid editors complies with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

Wikipedians in residence

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

Promotion and advertising by paid editors

Per WP:PROMO, paid editors may not advertise or promote their services on Wikipedia. The disclosures required by the terms of use and this policy are not regarded as advertisements or promotion.

Changing this policy

This policy may be changed in two ways:

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

When discussing changes to the policy, disclose whether you have been paid to edit Wikipedia.

Conflict of interest guideline

Paid editing is further regulated by a community guideline, Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. This advises that those with a conflict of interest, including paid editors, are very strongly discouraged from directly editing affected articles, but should post content proposals on the talk pages of existing articles, and should put new articles through the articles for creation process, so they can be reviewed prior to being published.

The Foundation's terms of use FAQ advises: "[S]ome projects have conflict of interest policies that are different from (and stronger than) this provision in the terms of use. These policies might prevent you from certain forms of volunteer editing, for example, contributing to articles about yourself."[2]

References

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