Paid Wikipedia Editing

From The Atlantic: The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay. “In 2006, Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia’s most public-facing board member, reportedly said that undisclosed paid editing—trying to alter the content of Wikipedia without revealing a financial conflict of interest—is ‘antithetical’ to the site’s aims. The practice continued at a low hum over the rest of the decade, but a few years ago Wikimedia started hearing from its volunteer editorial corps that weeding out undisclosed paid edits was distracting from more substantive work. ‘They were spending a tremendous amount of their time patrolling articles, particularly articles about celebrities or individuals or companies for PR-type editing,’ says Katherine Maher, a spokesperson for Wikimedia. The issue took on a sense of urgency in the fall of 2013, when a firm called Wiki-PR was banned from the site for using hundreds of dummy accounts to fabricate widespread support for pages that flattered its clientele. To combat activity like this, Wikimedia amended its terms of use last summer to ban any undisclosed paid editing that might carry a conflict of interest. “