Mailing List Archive

[Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services
I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has discussed
taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit Wikipedia
and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP at
least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their websites,
where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never found
disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and found no
public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other than
Wiki-PR.

Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor and
brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
<https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been wanting
to ask about.

Three questions:

Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?

Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such companies?

If not, would you all please consider that?

Thanks.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of undisclosed COI
editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS policies
as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to recover
the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a statement
in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in certain
types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for attorney fees,
court fees, and other related costs of investigations and enforcement, and
(2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My guess is
that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent than
name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like this
unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed my
question to the board and management.

I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the holidays,
will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.

Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on this.

Jytdog


> Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> offer paid editing services
> Message-ID:
> <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_+M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of undisclosed COI
> editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS policies
> as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to recover
> the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a statement
> in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in certain
> types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for attorney fees,
> court fees, and other related costs of investigations and enforcement, and
> (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My guess is
> that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent than
> name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
>
> Pine
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer
> paid editing services
> Message-ID:
> <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has discussed
> taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit Wikipedia
> and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP at
> least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their websites,
> where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never found
> disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and found no
> public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other than
> Wiki-PR.
>
> Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor and
> brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been wanting
> to ask about.
>
> Three questions:
>
> Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?
>
> Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such companies?
>
> If not, would you all please consider that?
>
> Thanks.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
(: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what they
are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.

If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we aren't
planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something about
this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.

Happy new year!

Pine


On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like this
> unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed my
> question to the board and management.
>
> I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the holidays,
> will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
>
> Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on this.
>
> Jytdog
>
>
> > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > offer paid editing services
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_+M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of undisclosed COI
> > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS policies
> > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to recover
> > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a
> statement
> > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in
> certain
> > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for attorney
> fees,
> > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and enforcement,
> and
> > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My guess is
> > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent than
> > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer
> > paid editing services
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has discussed
> > taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit
> Wikipedia
> > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP at
> > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their
> websites,
> > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never found
> > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and found
> no
> > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other than
> > Wiki-PR.
> >
> > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor and
> > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been
> wanting
> > to ask about.
> >
> > Three questions:
> >
> > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?
> >
> > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> companies?
> >
> > If not, would you all please consider that?
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over those
not following the Terms of use.

I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge for
content;

- would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
- would it drive them to further hide their activities
- what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we already deal
with the EUs right to vanish

sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more discussion
over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that can
only be behind closed doors it going to need community trust(something I
think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to pick a
fight with anyone.

On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what they
> are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
>
> If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we aren't
> planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something about
> this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
>
> Happy new year!
>
> Pine
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like this
> > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed my
> > question to the board and management.
> >
> > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the holidays,
> > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> >
> > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on this.
> >
> > Jytdog
> >
> >
> > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > > offer paid editing services
> > > Message-ID:
> > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > com>
> > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > >
> > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of undisclosed
> COI
> > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS
> policies
> > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to
> recover
> > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a
> > statement
> > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in
> > certain
> > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for attorney
> > fees,
> > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and enforcement,
> > and
> > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My guess
> is
> > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent than
> > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > >
> > > Pine
> > >
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > >
> > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer
> > > paid editing services
> > > Message-ID:
> > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > gmail.com>
> > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > >
> > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has discussed
> > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit
> > Wikipedia
> > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP at
> > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their
> > websites,
> > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never found
> > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and found
> > no
> > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other than
> > > Wiki-PR.
> > >
> > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor and
> > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been
> > wanting
> > > to ask about.
> > >
> > > Three questions:
> > >
> > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?
> > >
> > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > companies?
> > >
> > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > >
> > > Thanks.
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before realizing
that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here for
Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation behind
closed doors.

Pine


On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:

> I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over those
> not following the Terms of use.
>
> I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge for
> content;
>
> - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we already
> deal
> with the EUs right to vanish
>
> sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more discussion
> over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that can
> only be behind closed doors it going to need community trust(something I
> think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to pick a
> fight with anyone.
>
> On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what they
> > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> >
> > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we aren't
> > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something
> about
> > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> >
> > Happy new year!
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like this
> > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed my
> > > question to the board and management.
> > >
> > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> holidays,
> > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > >
> > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on
> this.
> > >
> > > Jytdog
> > >
> > >
> > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > > > offer paid editing services
> > > > Message-ID:
> > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > > com>
> > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > >
> > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of undisclosed
> > COI
> > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS
> > policies
> > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to
> > recover
> > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a
> > > statement
> > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in
> > > certain
> > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for attorney
> > > fees,
> > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> enforcement,
> > > and
> > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My
> guess
> > is
> > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent than
> > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> offer
> > > > paid editing services
> > > > Message-ID:
> > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > > gmail.com>
> > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > >
> > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has discussed
> > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit
> > > Wikipedia
> > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP at
> > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their
> > > websites,
> > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never
> found
> > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and
> found
> > > no
> > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other
> than
> > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > >
> > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor and
> > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been
> > > wanting
> > > > to ask about.
> > > >
> > > > Three questions:
> > > >
> > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?
> > > >
> > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > > companies?
> > > >
> > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > >
> > > > Thanks.
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
This is something that people can natter over endlessly.

The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people who
can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.

Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate decision-making
level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required under
the ToU?

Thanks.

On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before realizing
> that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here for
> Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation behind
> closed doors.
>
> Pine
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over those
> > not following the Terms of use.
> >
> > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge for
> > content;
> >
> > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we already
> > deal
> > with the EUs right to vanish
> >
> > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more discussion
> > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that can
> > only be behind closed doors it going to need community trust(something I
> > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to
> pick a
> > fight with anyone.
> >
> > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what
> they
> > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > >
> > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
> aren't
> > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something
> > about
> > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > >
> > > Happy new year!
> > >
> > > Pine
> > >
> > >
> > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like this
> > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed my
> > > > question to the board and management.
> > > >
> > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> > holidays,
> > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > > >
> > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on
> > this.
> > > >
> > > > Jytdog
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> that
> > > > > offer paid editing services
> > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > > > com>
> > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > >
> > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> undisclosed
> > > COI
> > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS
> > > policies
> > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to
> > > recover
> > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a
> > > > statement
> > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage in
> > > > certain
> > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
> attorney
> > > > fees,
> > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> > enforcement,
> > > > and
> > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My
> > guess
> > > is
> > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent
> than
> > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > > >
> > > > > Pine
> > > > >
> > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----------
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > offer
> > > > > paid editing services
> > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > > > gmail.com>
> > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > >
> > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
> discussed
> > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit
> > > > Wikipedia
> > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in en-WP
> at
> > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their
> > > > websites,
> > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never
> > found
> > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and
> > found
> > > > no
> > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other
> > than
> > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > > >
> > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor
> and
> > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have been
> > > > wanting
> > > > > to ask about.
> > > > >
> > > > > Three questions:
> > > > >
> > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes
> been?
> > > > >
> > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > > > companies?
> > > > >
> > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > > >
> > > > > Thanks.
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > GN.
> > President Wikimedia Australia
> > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
​Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
officially from them until after the 9th​ January.

On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
>
> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people who
> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
>
> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate decision-making
> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required under
> the ToU?
>
> Thanks.
>
> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before realizing
> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here for
> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation behind
> > closed doors.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over
> those
> > > not following the Terms of use.
> > >
> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge
> for
> > > content;
> > >
> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
> already
> > > deal
> > > with the EUs right to vanish
> > >
> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> discussion
> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that
> can
> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community trust(something
> I
> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to
> > pick a
> > > fight with anyone.
> > >
> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what
> > they
> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > > >
> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
> > aren't
> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something
> > > about
> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > > >
> > > > Happy new year!
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > > > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like
> this
> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed
> my
> > > > > question to the board and management.
> > > > >
> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> > > holidays,
> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > > > >
> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on
> > > this.
> > > > >
> > > > > Jytdog
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> > that
> > > > > > offer paid editing services
> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > > > > com>
> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> > undisclosed
> > > > COI
> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of this,
> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS
> > > > policies
> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able to
> > > > recover
> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including a
> > > > > statement
> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage
> in
> > > > > certain
> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
> > attorney
> > > > > fees,
> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> > > enforcement,
> > > > > and
> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My
> > > guess
> > > > is
> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent
> > than
> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Pine
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > ----------
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > > offer
> > > > > > paid editing services
> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > > > > gmail.com>
> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
> > discussed
> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit
> > > > > Wikipedia
> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in
> en-WP
> > at
> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their
> > > > > websites,
> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never
> > > found
> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked and
> > > found
> > > > > no
> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other
> > > than
> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor
> > and
> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have
> been
> > > > > wanting
> > > > > > to ask about.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Three questions:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes
> > been?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > > > > companies?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks.
> > > > > >
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
> unsubscribe>
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > GN.
> > > President Wikimedia Australia
> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
_______________________________________________
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New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Heu

To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.

So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
foresee.

I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
current focus is on the strategy process.

Have a very good day,



Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :

​Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
officially from them until after the 9th​ January.

On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
>
> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people who
> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
>
> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate decision-making
> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required under
> the ToU?
>
> Thanks.
>
> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before realizing
> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here for
> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation behind
> > closed doors.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over
> those
> > > not following the Terms of use.
> > >
> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge
> for
> > > content;
> > >
> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
> already
> > > deal
> > > with the EUs right to vanish
> > >
> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> discussion
> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that
> can
> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community trust(something
> I
> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to
> > pick a
> > > fight with anyone.
> > >
> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what
> > they
> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > > >
> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
> > aren't
> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
something
> > > about
> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for
this
> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > > >
> > > > Happy new year!
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > > > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like
> this
> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed
> my
> > > > > question to the board and management.
> > > > >
> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> > > holidays,
> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > > > >
> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management on
> > > this.
> > > > >
> > > > > Jytdog
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> > that
> > > > > > offer paid editing services
> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > > > > com>
> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> > undisclosed
> > > > COI
> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of
this,
> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and RS
> > > > policies
> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able
to
> > > > recover
> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including
a
> > > > > statement
> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage
> in
> > > > > certain
> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
> > attorney
> > > > > fees,
> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> > > enforcement,
> > > > > and
> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF. My
> > > guess
> > > > is
> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger deterrent
> > than
> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Pine
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > ----------
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > > offer
> > > > > > paid editing services
> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > > > > gmail.com>
> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
> > discussed
> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to
edit
> > > > > Wikipedia
> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in
> en-WP
> > at
> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and
their
> > > > > websites,
> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never
> > > found
> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked
and
> > > found
> > > > > no
> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies,
other
> > > than
> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid editor
> > and
> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have
> been
> > > > > wanting
> > > > > > to ask about.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Three questions:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes
> > been?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > > > > companies?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks.
> > > > > >
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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> unsubscribe>
> > > > >
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> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > GN.
> > > President Wikimedia Australia
> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
On 02/01/2017 00:52, Pine W wrote:
> (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what they
> are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
>
> If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we aren't
> planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something about
> this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
>

Aren't they likely to get hoisted by their own petard? When Dcoetzee
snaffled those images from the NPG WMF Legal argued that as there was no
specific need to ever having read a websites T&C a website could not
take action if anyone violating said T&C.

Any compliant by the WMF is also likely to raise the ire of the EFF .
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/07/court-violating-terms-service-not-crime-bypassing



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Hi Jytdog, all -

A gentle and kind reminder that the WMF offices are closed for the holidays
right now. Please look for an answer when we return.

Our normal working days resume tomorrow.

Happy New Year!

Yours,
Katherine


On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 05:02 Lilburne <lilburne@tygers-of-wrath.net> wrote:

> On 02/01/2017 00:52, Pine W wrote:
>
> > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what they
>
> > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
>
> >
>
> > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we aren't
>
> > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something
> about
>
> > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
>
> > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
>
> > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
>
> >
>
>
>
> Aren't they likely to get hoisted by their own petard? When Dcoetzee
>
> snaffled those images from the NPG WMF Legal argued that as there was no
>
> specific need to ever having read a websites T&C a website could not
>
> take action if anyone violating said T&C.
>
>
>
> Any compliant by the WMF is also likely to raise the ire of the EFF .
>
>
> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/07/court-violating-terms-service-not-crime-bypassing
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
>
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Thanks Katherine. I look forward to hearing from someone.

On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 11:00 AM, Katherine Maher <kmaher@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi Jytdog, all -
>
> A gentle and kind reminder that the WMF offices are closed for the holidays
> right now. Please look for an answer when we return.
>
> Our normal working days resume tomorrow.
>
> Happy New Year!
>
> Yours,
> Katherine
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 05:02 Lilburne <lilburne@tygers-of-wrath.net>
> wrote:
>
> > On 02/01/2017 00:52, Pine W wrote:
> >
> > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what
> they
> >
> > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> >
> > >
> >
> > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
> aren't
> >
> > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do something
> > about
> >
> > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for this
> >
> > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> >
> > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > Aren't they likely to get hoisted by their own petard? When Dcoetzee
> >
> > snaffled those images from the NPG WMF Legal argued that as there was no
> >
> > specific need to ever having read a websites T&C a website could not
> >
> > take action if anyone violating said T&C.
> >
> >
> >
> > Any compliant by the WMF is also likely to raise the ire of the EFF .
> >
> >
> > https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/07/court-violating-terms-
> service-not-crime-bypassing
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Hi Christophe,

Thanks for replying. I'd like to note that in addition to the quality
problems that are created by some of the COI editors, these editors also
cost us in terms of volunteer time, focus, and energy. With the available
human resources, procedures and tools, my impression is that the community
can't keep up with all of the problems, as well as the need to assist
good-faith COI editors who would like to have their proposed edits reviewed
by a neutral party. So I would very much encourage you and other folks with
WMF to look into what more WMF could do to step up WMF assistance in this
domain. Certain types of COI editing are very problematic, degrading the
quality of Wikipedia and undermining its goal to be a NPOV educational
resource, and diverting countless hours of volunteers' time that could be
used for other purposes.

Thanks,

Pine


On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 12:51 AM, Christophe Henner <chenner@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Heu
>
> To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
>
> So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
> right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
> foresee.
>
> I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
> current focus is on the strategy process.
>
> Have a very good day,
>
>
>
> Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :
>
> ​Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
> currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
> officially from them until after the 9th​ January.
>
> On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
> >
> > The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people
> who
> > can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
> >
> > Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
> decision-making
> > level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
> > editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required
> under
> > the ToU?
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before realizing
> > > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here for
> > > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation behind
> > > closed doors.
> > >
> > > Pine
> > >
> > >
> > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over
> > those
> > > > not following the Terms of use.
> > > >
> > > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge
> > for
> > > > content;
> > > >
> > > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> > > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
> > already
> > > > deal
> > > > with the EUs right to vanish
> > > >
> > > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> > discussion
> > > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of that
> > can
> > > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
> trust(something
> > I
> > > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to
> > > pick a
> > > > fight with anyone.
> > > >
> > > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms what
> > > they
> > > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > > > >
> > > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
> > > aren't
> > > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
> something
> > > > about
> > > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for
> this
> > > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> > > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > > > >
> > > > > Happy new year!
> > > > >
> > > > > Pine
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > > > > >
> > > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like
> > this
> > > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I directed
> > my
> > > > > > question to the board and management.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> > > > holidays,
> > > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management
> on
> > > > this.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Jytdog
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
> > > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> > > that
> > > > > > > offer paid editing services
> > > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > > > > > com>
> > > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> > > undisclosed
> > > > > COI
> > > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of
> this,
> > > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and
> RS
> > > > > policies
> > > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able
> to
> > > > > recover
> > > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by including
> a
> > > > > > statement
> > > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who engage
> > in
> > > > > > certain
> > > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
> > > attorney
> > > > > > fees,
> > > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> > > > enforcement,
> > > > > > and
> > > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF.
> My
> > > > guess
> > > > > is
> > > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
> deterrent
> > > than
> > > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Pine
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > ----------
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> that
> > > > offer
> > > > > > > paid editing services
> > > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> > 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > > > > > gmail.com>
> > > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
> > > discussed
> > > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to
> edit
> > > > > > Wikipedia
> > > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in
> > en-WP
> > > at
> > > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and
> their
> > > > > > websites,
> > > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and
> never
> > > > found
> > > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked
> and
> > > > found
> > > > > > no
> > > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies,
> other
> > > > than
> > > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid
> editor
> > > and
> > > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have
> > been
> > > > > > wanting
> > > > > > > to ask about.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Three questions:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes
> > > been?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such
> > > > > > companies?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Thanks.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> > unsubscribe>
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> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > GN.
> > > > President Wikimedia Australia
> > > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > > > _______________________________________________
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>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Christophe

Thanks for replying!

This is something the board should be paying attention to, as
undisclosed paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream
media on a regular basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is
something that both Jimmy Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made
strong public statements about.

See:
* https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
*
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
*
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2012-10-01/Paid_editing
*
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html

And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.

Doing nothing, especially when WMF representatives make strong
statements and there are legal remedies available (WMF legal sent a
cease-and-desist order to Wiki-PR with regard to use of the Wikipedia
name even before the ToU were strengthened) opens the WMF to criticism
and makes those strong statements appear to be just empty rhetoric.
Action is possible. Where is it?



------ Original Message ------
From: "Christophe Henner" <chenner@wikimedia.org>
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: 1/2/2017 3:51:49 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
offer paid editing services

>Heu
>
>To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
>
>So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
>right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
>foresee.
>
>I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
>current focus is on the strategy process.
>
>Have a very good day,
>
>
>
>Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :
>
>​Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
>currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
>officially from them until after the 9th​ January.
>
>On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
>>
>> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the
>>people who
>> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
>>
>> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
>>decision-making
>> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
>> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required
>>under
>> the ToU?
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before
>>realizing
>> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here
>>for
>> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation
>>behind
>> > closed doors.
>> >
>> > Pine
>> >
>> >
>> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com>
>>wrote:
>> >
>> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF
>>over
>> those
>> > > not following the Terms of use.
>> > >
>> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that
>>charge
>> for
>> > > content;
>> > >
>> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
>> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
>> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
>> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
>> already
>> > > deal
>> > > with the EUs right to vanish
>> > >
>> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
>> discussion
>> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of
>>that
>> can
>> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
>>trust(something
>> I
>> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal
>>to
>> > pick a
>> > > fight with anyone.
>> > >
>> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > >
>> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms
>>what
>> > they
>> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
>> > > >
>> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and
>>we
>> > aren't
>> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
>something
>> > > about
>> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing
>>for
>this
>> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages
>>of
>> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
>> > > >
>> > > > Happy new year!
>> > > >
>> > > > Pine
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
>> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
>> > > > >
>> > > > wrote:
>> > > >
>> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything
>>like
>> this
>> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I
>>directed
>> my
>> > > > > question to the board and management.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over
>>the
>> > > holidays,
>> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF
>>management on
>> > > this.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Jytdog
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
>> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
>> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
>><wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
>> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
>> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
>>companies
>> > that
>> > > > > > offer paid editing services
>> > > > > > Message-ID:
>> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
>> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
>> > > > > > com>
>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
>> > undisclosed
>> > > > COI
>> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of
>this,
>> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV
>>and RS
>> > > > policies
>> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be
>>able
>to
>> > > > recover
>> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by
>>including
>a
>> > > > > statement
>> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who
>>engage
>> in
>> > > > > certain
>> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
>> > attorney
>> > > > > fees,
>> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
>> > > enforcement,
>> > > > > and
>> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to
>>WMF. My
>> > > guess
>> > > > is
>> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
>>deterrent
>> > than
>> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Pine
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>>------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > ----------
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
>> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
>> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
>>that
>> > > offer
>> > > > > > paid editing services
>> > > > > > Message-ID:
>> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
>> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
>> > > > > > gmail.com>
>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
>> > discussed
>> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services
>>to
>edit
>> > > > > Wikipedia
>> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits
>>(in
>> en-WP
>> > at
>> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and
>their
>> > > > > websites,
>> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and
>>never
>> > > found
>> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have
>>looked
>and
>> > > found
>> > > > > no
>> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies,
>other
>> > > than
>> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid
>>editor
>> > and
>> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
>> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
>> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
>> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
>> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
>> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I
>>have
>> been
>> > > > > wanting
>> > > > > > to ask about.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Three questions:
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the
>>outcomes
>> > been?
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against
>>such
>> > > > > companies?
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Thanks.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > _______________________________________________
>> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
>> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
>> unsubscribe>
>> > > > >
>> > > > _______________________________________________
>> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
>> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > > >
>><mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> > > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > --
>> > > GN.
>> > > President Wikimedia Australia
>> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
>> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
>> > > _______________________________________________
>> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > > Unsubscribe:
>>https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > >
>><mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> > >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > Unsubscribe:
>>https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> >
>><mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe:
>>https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
>
>--
>GN.
>President Wikimedia Australia
>WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
>Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
>_______________________________________________
>Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
><mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>_______________________________________________
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>https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
I should add: I spent a few months following the various AFD queues on
WP lately, and MY GOODNESS THERE ARE SO MANY BLATANT SPAMMERS. What
Jytdog raises is an actual problem. The short reason for a lot of the
Problems with Wikipedia is actually "spammers mean we can't have nice
things".


- d.


On 2 January 2017 at 22:08, Jytdog <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com> wrote:
> Christophe
>
> Thanks for replying!
>
> This is something the board should be paying attention to, as undisclosed
> paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream media on a regular
> basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is something that both Jimmy
> Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made strong public statements about.
>
> See:
> * https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
> *
> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
> *
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2012-10-01/Paid_editing
> *
> http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html
>
> And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.
>
> Doing nothing, especially when WMF representatives make strong statements
> and there are legal remedies available (WMF legal sent a cease-and-desist
> order to Wiki-PR with regard to use of the Wikipedia name even before the
> ToU were strengthened) opens the WMF to criticism and makes those strong
> statements appear to be just empty rhetoric. Action is possible. Where is
> it?
>
>
>
> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Christophe Henner" <chenner@wikimedia.org>
> To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Sent: 1/2/2017 3:51:49 AM
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer
> paid editing services
>
>> Heu
>>
>> To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
>>
>> So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
>> right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
>> foresee.
>>
>> I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
>> current focus is on the strategy process.
>>
>> Have a very good day,
>>
>>
>>
>> Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :
>>
>> Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
>> currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
>> officially from them until after the 9th January.
>>
>> On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
>>>
>>> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people
>>> who
>>> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
>>>
>>> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
>>> decision-making
>>> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
>>> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required
>>> under
>>> the ToU?
>>>
>>> Thanks.
>>>
>>> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before
>>> realizing
>>> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here
>>> for
>>> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation
>>> behind
>>> > closed doors.
>>> >
>>> > Pine
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over
>>> those
>>> > > not following the Terms of use.
>>> > >
>>> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that charge
>>> for
>>> > > content;
>>> > >
>>> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
>>> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
>>> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
>>> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
>>> already
>>> > > deal
>>> > > with the EUs right to vanish
>>> > >
>>> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
>>> discussion
>>> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of
>>> that
>>> can
>>> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
>>> trust(something
>>> I
>>> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal to
>>> > pick a
>>> > > fight with anyone.
>>> > >
>>> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > >
>>> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms
>>> what
>>> > they
>>> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
>>> > > >
>>> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and we
>>> > aren't
>>> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
>>
>> something
>>>
>>> > > about
>>> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for
>>
>> this
>>>
>>> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
>>> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
>>> > > >
>>> > > > Happy new year!
>>> > > >
>>> > > > Pine
>>> > > >
>>> > > >
>>> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
>>> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > wrote:
>>> > > >
>>> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything like
>>> this
>>> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I
>>> directed
>>> my
>>> > > > > question to the board and management.
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
>>> > > holidays,
>>> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF management
>>> on
>>> > > this.
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > > Jytdog
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > >
>>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
>>> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
>>> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
>>> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
>>> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
>>> companies
>>> > that
>>> > > > > > offer paid editing services
>>> > > > > > Message-ID:
>>> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
>>> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
>>> > > > > > com>
>>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
>>> > undisclosed
>>> > > > COI
>>> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of
>>
>> this,
>>>
>>> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV and
>>> RS
>>> > > > policies
>>> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be able
>>
>> to
>>>
>>> > > > recover
>>> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by
>>> including
>>
>> a
>>>
>>> > > > > statement
>>> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who
>>> engage
>>> in
>>> > > > > certain
>>> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
>>> > attorney
>>> > > > > fees,
>>> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
>>> > > enforcement,
>>> > > > > and
>>> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to WMF.
>>> My
>>> > > guess
>>> > > > is
>>> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
>>> deterrent
>>> > than
>>> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Pine
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> > > ----------
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
>>> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
>>> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>>> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
>>> that
>>> > > offer
>>> > > > > > paid editing services
>>> > > > > > Message-ID:
>>> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
>>> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
>>> > > > > > gmail.com>
>>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
>>> > discussed
>>> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to
>>
>> edit
>>>
>>> > > > > Wikipedia
>>> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in
>>> en-WP
>>> > at
>>> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and
>>
>> their
>>>
>>> > > > > websites,
>>> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and
>>> never
>>> > > found
>>> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have looked
>>
>> and
>>>
>>> > > found
>>> > > > > no
>>> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies,
>>
>> other
>>>
>>> > > than
>>> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid
>>> editor
>>> > and
>>> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
>>> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
>>> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
>>> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
>>> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
>>> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I have
>>> been
>>> > > > > wanting
>>> > > > > > to ask about.
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Three questions:
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes
>>> > been?
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against
>>> such
>>> > > > > companies?
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > > Thanks.
>>> > > > > >
>>> > > > > _______________________________________________
>>> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>>> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>>> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
>>> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
It's a difficult challenge. I agree with David; on English Wikipedia, we
have masses and masses of articles of borderline notability that are so
obviously blatant spam....and they have a terrible tendency to be kept at
Articles for Deletion. It's a reflection of our still-optimistic outlook
that there are still people who believe that someone will come along and
magically turn the spam into something encyclopedic; the reality is that
those articles tend to stay pretty much as they are unless someone who has
dug up the sources that supposedly make a subject notable actually edit the
article to transform it from advertorial to encyclopedic.

I do not know enough about how other Wikipedias handle such spam, although
I have heard from some people editing on some projects that similar
articles there would be speedy-deleted without a second thought. I do not
think that it is likely that English Wikipedia will get to that point
unless more people who feel strongly about spam actively participate at
AfD.

As to the WMF investing in trying to track down and take down "paid editing
companies", there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's very
expensive to develop the evidence that makes the direct link from the spam
article to the real identity of the writer of the article. Many of those
"companies" are individual people, and there are also plenty of people who
call themselves "advisors" who may not edit directly but facilitate
companies getting their spam on Wikipedia. And just finding those
people/organizations isn't enough - then the course of action usually
involves the courts (of varying jurisdictions) which means more lawyers and
more external legal fees. We're talking a lot of money here, and that's the
area where I have significant concern - a concerted effort covering the 10
largest projects could easily cost as much as the WMF's annual budget. One
more thing to keep in mind: many courts would expect some evidence that
the problematic organization is causing harm to the brand and financial
position of Wikipedia. That part is tough - it's almost impossible to
demonstrate a financial cost to Wikipedia for having a spammy article,
especially as such a large percentage of the articles on many projectst are
barely of "start" quality. The fact that there is a conscious decision not
to take advantage of mitigating remedies that are already available to us
(such as confirmed identity or not permitting article creation until after
a certain number of edits) would also be a potential barrier to legal
remedies against paid editing. (I'm not advocating those changes at all,
just looking at it from an external perspective.)

Is undisclosed paid editing a violation of the terms of use? Of course it
is. But outside of security and safety issues, the WMF has historically
left it to the volunteers to interpret the TOU and apply it on individual
projects. Frankly, it's how the WMF manages with only a $75 million
budget, which is less than many similarly large and popular sites spend on
client services, let alone legal fees. Given the longterm frustration of
many community members about fundraising, it may be a very tough sell
within our own broad community to have to raise more money for the purpose
of hiring the staff and paying the bills to address undisclosed paid
editing to the point that there is a genuine effect.

Risker/Anne

On 5 January 2017 at 13:53, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> I should add: I spent a few months following the various AFD queues on
> WP lately, and MY GOODNESS THERE ARE SO MANY BLATANT SPAMMERS. What
> Jytdog raises is an actual problem. The short reason for a lot of the
> Problems with Wikipedia is actually "spammers mean we can't have nice
> things".
>
>
> - d.
>
>
> On 2 January 2017 at 22:08, Jytdog <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Christophe
> >
> > Thanks for replying!
> >
> > This is something the board should be paying attention to, as
> undisclosed
> > paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream media on a
> regular
> > basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is something that both
> Jimmy
> > Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made strong public statements
> about.
> >
> > See:
> > * https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
> > *
> > http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-
> foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
> > *
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> 2012-10-01/Paid_editing
> > *
> > http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-
> scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html
> >
> > And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.
> >
> > Doing nothing, especially when WMF representatives make strong statements
> > and there are legal remedies available (WMF legal sent a cease-and-desist
> > order to Wiki-PR with regard to use of the Wikipedia name even before the
> > ToU were strengthened) opens the WMF to criticism and makes those strong
> > statements appear to be just empty rhetoric. Action is possible. Where
> is
> > it?
> >
> >
> >
> > ------ Original Message ------
> > From: "Christophe Henner" <chenner@wikimedia.org>
> > To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> > Sent: 1/2/2017 3:51:49 AM
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> offer
> > paid editing services
> >
> >> Heu
> >>
> >> To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
> >>
> >> So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
> >> right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
> >> foresee.
> >>
> >> I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
> >> current focus is on the strategy process.
> >>
> >> Have a very good day,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :
> >>
> >> Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
> >> currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
> >> officially from them until after the 9th January.
> >>
> >> On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
> >>>
> >>> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the people
> >>> who
> >>> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
> >>>
> >>> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
> >>> decision-making
> >>> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
> >>> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required
> >>> under
> >>> the ToU?
> >>>
> >>> Thanks.
> >>>
> >>> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before
> >>> realizing
> >>> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait here
> >>> for
> >>> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation
> >>> behind
> >>> > closed doors.
> >>> >
> >>> > Pine
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>> >
> >>> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF over
> >>> those
> >>> > > not following the Terms of use.
> >>> > >
> >>> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that
> charge
> >>> for
> >>> > > content;
> >>> > >
> >>> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> >>> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> >>> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for a
> >>> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
> >>> already
> >>> > > deal
> >>> > > with the EUs right to vanish
> >>> > >
> >>> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> >>> discussion
> >>> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of
> >>> that
> >>> can
> >>> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
> >>> trust(something
> >>> I
> >>> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF legal
> to
> >>> > pick a
> >>> > > fight with anyone.
> >>> > >
> >>> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> > >
> >>> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms
> >>> what
> >>> > they
> >>> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and
> we
> >>> > aren't
> >>> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
> >>
> >> something
> >>>
> >>> > > about
> >>> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing for
> >>
> >> this
> >>>
> >>> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages of
> >>> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > Happy new year!
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > Pine
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> >>> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > wrote:
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything
> like
> >>> this
> >>> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I
> >>> directed
> >>> my
> >>> > > > > question to the board and management.
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over the
> >>> > > holidays,
> >>> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF
> management
> >>> on
> >>> > > this.
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > > Jytdog
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> >>> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> >>> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >,
> >>> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> >>> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
> >>> companies
> >>> > that
> >>> > > > > > offer paid editing services
> >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> >>> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> >>> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> >>> > > > > > com>
> >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> >>> > undisclosed
> >>> > > > COI
> >>> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement of
> >>
> >> this,
> >>>
> >>> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV
> and
> >>> RS
> >>> > > > policies
> >>> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be
> able
> >>
> >> to
> >>>
> >>> > > > recover
> >>> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by
> >>> including
> >>
> >> a
> >>>
> >>> > > > > statement
> >>> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who
> >>> engage
> >>> in
> >>> > > > > certain
> >>> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF for
> >>> > attorney
> >>> > > > > fees,
> >>> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> >>> > > enforcement,
> >>> > > > > and
> >>> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to
> WMF.
> >>> My
> >>> > > guess
> >>> > > > is
> >>> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
> >>> deterrent
> >>> > than
> >>> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Pine
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> >>> > > ----------
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> >>> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> >>> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >>> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies
> >>> that
> >>> > > offer
> >>> > > > > > paid editing services
> >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> >>> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> >>> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> >>> > > > > > gmail.com>
> >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board has
> >>> > discussed
> >>> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services to
> >>
> >> edit
> >>>
> >>> > > > > Wikipedia
> >>> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits (in
> >>> en-WP
> >>> > at
> >>> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and
> >>
> >> their
> >>>
> >>> > > > > websites,
> >>> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and
> >>> never
> >>> > > found
> >>> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have
> looked
> >>
> >> and
> >>>
> >>> > > found
> >>> > > > > no
> >>> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies,
> >>
> >> other
> >>>
> >>> > > than
> >>> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid
> >>> editor
> >>> > and
> >>> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> >>> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> >>> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> >>> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> >>> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> >>> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I
> have
> >>> been
> >>> > > > > wanting
> >>> > > > > > to ask about.
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Three questions:
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the
> outcomes
> >>> > been?
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against
> >>> such
> >>> > > > > companies?
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > > Thanks.
> >>> > > > > >
> >>> > > > > _______________________________________________
> >>> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >>> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> >>> unsubscribe>
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> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > > --
> >>> > > GN.
> >>> > > President Wikimedia Australia
> >>> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> >>> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> >>> > > _______________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> GN.
> >> President Wikimedia Australia
> >> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> >> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> >> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 8:33 PM Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:

> I do not know enough about how other Wikipedias handle such spam, although
> I have heard from some people editing on some projects that similar
> articles there would be speedy-deleted without a second thought. I do not
> think that it is likely that English Wikipedia will get to that point
> unless more people who feel strongly about spam actively participate at
> AfD.
>

AfD is one end of the problem; it is worth recognizing that the other end
is English Wikipedia's notability policy, and specifically the General
Notability Guideline ([[WP:GNG]]).

As you anticipate, some other wikis handle this sort of spam differently,
and the first (and effective) line of defense is their notability policy.
On my home wiki (Hebrew Wikipedia), for example, the notability threshold
for commercial ventures of any kind (including even international
corporations) is fairly high, so that a business needs to have created or
achieved something notable, or to have been involved in notable events, for
an article about it to be considered notable. This, coupled with the lack
of the GNG in Hebrew (i.e. it is *not* enough to have two reliable sources
independent of the subject to achieve notability), weeds out a very large
proportion of the commercial spam that people attempt to introduce to
Hebrew Wikipedia.

This is obviously not the venue to review English Wikipedia's policy, and I
recognize that the thread's topic is a call to action by WMF, aimed at the
board. But since Risker specifically identified "more participation at
AfD" as a key to achieving change, I thought it worthwhile to offer context
about another possible (and not necessarily easier to effect) lever of
change, viz. notability policy reform.

Cheers,

A.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Sending a cease and desist letter costs little. WMF will find many
volunteers happy to provide what evidence they possess linking various
companies to various articles.

Yes, attempting to enforce a cease and desist letter would entail court
costs, and that should be considered. One thing that drives court costs is
the resources of the other side in litigation and my sense is many of these
individuals and their companies do not have deep pockets; I am not sure
how the real is the risk of litigation draining the WMF budget.

On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 11:33 PM, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:

> It's a difficult challenge. I agree with David; on English Wikipedia, we
> have masses and masses of articles of borderline notability that are so
> obviously blatant spam....and they have a terrible tendency to be kept at
> Articles for Deletion. It's a reflection of our still-optimistic outlook
> that there are still people who believe that someone will come along and
> magically turn the spam into something encyclopedic; the reality is that
> those articles tend to stay pretty much as they are unless someone who has
> dug up the sources that supposedly make a subject notable actually edit the
> article to transform it from advertorial to encyclopedic.
>
> I do not know enough about how other Wikipedias handle such spam, although
> I have heard from some people editing on some projects that similar
> articles there would be speedy-deleted without a second thought. I do not
> think that it is likely that English Wikipedia will get to that point
> unless more people who feel strongly about spam actively participate at
> AfD.
>
> As to the WMF investing in trying to track down and take down "paid editing
> companies", there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's very
> expensive to develop the evidence that makes the direct link from the spam
> article to the real identity of the writer of the article. Many of those
> "companies" are individual people, and there are also plenty of people who
> call themselves "advisors" who may not edit directly but facilitate
> companies getting their spam on Wikipedia. And just finding those
> people/organizations isn't enough - then the course of action usually
> involves the courts (of varying jurisdictions) which means more lawyers and
> more external legal fees. We're talking a lot of money here, and that's the
> area where I have significant concern - a concerted effort covering the 10
> largest projects could easily cost as much as the WMF's annual budget. One
> more thing to keep in mind: many courts would expect some evidence that
> the problematic organization is causing harm to the brand and financial
> position of Wikipedia. That part is tough - it's almost impossible to
> demonstrate a financial cost to Wikipedia for having a spammy article,
> especially as such a large percentage of the articles on many projectst are
> barely of "start" quality. The fact that there is a conscious decision not
> to take advantage of mitigating remedies that are already available to us
> (such as confirmed identity or not permitting article creation until after
> a certain number of edits) would also be a potential barrier to legal
> remedies against paid editing. (I'm not advocating those changes at all,
> just looking at it from an external perspective.)
>
> Is undisclosed paid editing a violation of the terms of use? Of course it
> is. But outside of security and safety issues, the WMF has historically
> left it to the volunteers to interpret the TOU and apply it on individual
> projects. Frankly, it's how the WMF manages with only a $75 million
> budget, which is less than many similarly large and popular sites spend on
> client services, let alone legal fees. Given the longterm frustration of
> many community members about fundraising, it may be a very tough sell
> within our own broad community to have to raise more money for the purpose
> of hiring the staff and paying the bills to address undisclosed paid
> editing to the point that there is a genuine effect.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
> On 5 January 2017 at 13:53, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I should add: I spent a few months following the various AFD queues on
> > WP lately, and MY GOODNESS THERE ARE SO MANY BLATANT SPAMMERS. What
> > Jytdog raises is an actual problem. The short reason for a lot of the
> > Problems with Wikipedia is actually "spammers mean we can't have nice
> > things".
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
> >
> > On 2 January 2017 at 22:08, Jytdog <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Christophe
> > >
> > > Thanks for replying!
> > >
> > > This is something the board should be paying attention to, as
> > undisclosed
> > > paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream media on a
> > regular
> > > basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is something that both
> > Jimmy
> > > Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made strong public statements
> > about.
> > >
> > > See:
> > > * https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
> > > *
> > > http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-
> > foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
> > > *
> > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> > 2012-10-01/Paid_editing
> > > *
> > > http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-
> > scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html
> > >
> > > And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.
> > >
> > > Doing nothing, especially when WMF representatives make strong
> statements
> > > and there are legal remedies available (WMF legal sent a
> cease-and-desist
> > > order to Wiki-PR with regard to use of the Wikipedia name even before
> the
> > > ToU were strengthened) opens the WMF to criticism and makes those
> strong
> > > statements appear to be just empty rhetoric. Action is possible.
> Where
> > is
> > > it?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ------ Original Message ------
> > > From: "Christophe Henner" <chenner@wikimedia.org>
> > > To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> > > Sent: 1/2/2017 3:51:49 AM
> > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > offer
> > > paid editing services
> > >
> > >> Heu
> > >>
> > >> To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
> > >>
> > >> So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an answer
> > >> right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
> > >> foresee.
> > >>
> > >> I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as the
> > >> current focus is on the strategy process.
> > >>
> > >> Have a very good day,
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit :
> > >>
> > >> Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
> > >> currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
> > >> officially from them until after the 9th January.
> > >>
> > >> On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
> > >>>
> > >>> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the
> people
> > >>> who
> > >>> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
> > >>>
> > >>> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
> > >>> decision-making
> > >>> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise WP
> > >>> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as required
> > >>> under
> > >>> the ToU?
> > >>>
> > >>> Thanks.
> > >>>
> > >>> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before
> > >>> realizing
> > >>> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait
> here
> > >>> for
> > >>> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation
> > >>> behind
> > >>> > closed doors.
> > >>> >
> > >>> > Pine
> > >>> >
> > >>> >
> > >>> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > >>> >
> > >>> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF
> over
> > >>> those
> > >>> > > not following the Terms of use.
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that
> > charge
> > >>> for
> > >>> > > content;
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > >>> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > >>> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok for
> a
> > >>> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia. we
> > >>> already
> > >>> > > deal
> > >>> > > with the EUs right to vanish
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> > >>> discussion
> > >>> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some of
> > >>> that
> > >>> can
> > >>> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
> > >>> trust(something
> > >>> I
> > >>> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF
> legal
> > to
> > >>> > pick a
> > >>> > > fight with anyone.
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general terms
> > >>> what
> > >>> > they
> > >>> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much and
> > we
> > >>> > aren't
> > >>> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
> > >>
> > >> something
> > >>>
> > >>> > > about
> > >>> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing
> for
> > >>
> > >> this
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early stages
> of
> > >>> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > > Happy new year!
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > > Pine
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > >>> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > wrote:
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do anything
> > like
> > >>> this
> > >>> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I
> > >>> directed
> > >>> my
> > >>> > > > > question to the board and management.
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over
> the
> > >>> > > holidays,
> > >>> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF
> > management
> > >>> on
> > >>> > > this.
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > > Jytdog
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > >>> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > >>> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.
> org
> > >,
> > >>> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > >>> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
> > >>> companies
> > >>> > that
> > >>> > > > > > offer paid editing services
> > >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > >>> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > >>> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > >>> > > > > > com>
> > >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> > >>> > undisclosed
> > >>> > > > COI
> > >>> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement
> of
> > >>
> > >> this,
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's NPOV
> > and
> > >>> RS
> > >>> > > > policies
> > >>> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might be
> > able
> > >>
> > >> to
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > recover
> > >>> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by
> > >>> including
> > >>
> > >> a
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > > statement
> > >>> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who
> > >>> engage
> > >>> in
> > >>> > > > > certain
> > >>> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF
> for
> > >>> > attorney
> > >>> > > > > fees,
> > >>> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations and
> > >>> > > enforcement,
> > >>> > > > > and
> > >>> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to
> > WMF.
> > >>> My
> > >>> > > guess
> > >>> > > > is
> > >>> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
> > >>> deterrent
> > >>> > than
> > >>> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Pine
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > >>> > > ----------
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > >>> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > >>> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >>> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
> companies
> > >>> that
> > >>> > > offer
> > >>> > > > > > paid editing services
> > >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > >>> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> > >>> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > >>> > > > > > gmail.com>
> > >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board
> has
> > >>> > discussed
> > >>> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer services
> to
> > >>
> > >> edit
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > > Wikipedia
> > >>> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits
> (in
> > >>> en-WP
> > >>> > at
> > >>> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies
> and
> > >>
> > >> their
> > >>>
> > >>> > > > > websites,
> > >>> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and
> > >>> never
> > >>> > > found
> > >>> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have
> > looked
> > >>
> > >> and
> > >>>
> > >>> > > found
> > >>> > > > > no
> > >>> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these
> companies,
> > >>
> > >> other
> > >>>
> > >>> > > than
> > >>> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term paid
> > >>> editor
> > >>> > and
> > >>> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > >>> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > >>> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > >>> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > >>> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > >>> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something I
> > have
> > >>> been
> > >>> > > > > wanting
> > >>> > > > > > to ask about.
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Three questions:
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the
> > outcomes
> > >>> > been?
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against
> > >>> such
> > >>> > > > > companies?
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > > Thanks.
> > >>> > > > > >
> > >>> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > >>> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >>> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >>> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >>> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > >>> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > >>> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
> > >>> unsubscribe>
> > >>> > > > >
> > >>> > > > _______________________________________________
> > >>> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >>> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >>> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >>> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > >>> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >>> > > >
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > >
> > >>> > > --
> > >>> > > GN.
> > >>> > > President Wikimedia Australia
> > >>> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > >>> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > >>> > > _______________________________________________
> > >>> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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> > >>> > _______________________________________________
> > >>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> --
> > >> GN.
> > >> President Wikimedia Australia
> > >> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > >> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > >> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
I've just crossed
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Paulinapaulina3030 but
I must confess I won't do anything out of the wiki (it.wiki) where I am a
local sysop.
Catching crosswiki paid editing is the most frustrating activity ever, a
couple of years ago I wasted two months in defending myself against the
trolling I drew for deleting userpages of someone massively creating them
to promote a "customer".

Vito

2017-01-06 6:17 GMT+01:00 Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>:

> Sending a cease and desist letter costs little. WMF will find many
> volunteers happy to provide what evidence they possess linking various
> companies to various articles.
>
> Yes, attempting to enforce a cease and desist letter would entail court
> costs, and that should be considered. One thing that drives court costs is
> the resources of the other side in litigation and my sense is many of these
> individuals and their companies do not have deep pockets; I am not sure
> how the real is the risk of litigation draining the WMF budget.
>
> On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 11:33 PM, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > It's a difficult challenge. I agree with David; on English Wikipedia, we
> > have masses and masses of articles of borderline notability that are so
> > obviously blatant spam....and they have a terrible tendency to be kept at
> > Articles for Deletion. It's a reflection of our still-optimistic outlook
> > that there are still people who believe that someone will come along and
> > magically turn the spam into something encyclopedic; the reality is that
> > those articles tend to stay pretty much as they are unless someone who
> has
> > dug up the sources that supposedly make a subject notable actually edit
> the
> > article to transform it from advertorial to encyclopedic.
> >
> > I do not know enough about how other Wikipedias handle such spam,
> although
> > I have heard from some people editing on some projects that similar
> > articles there would be speedy-deleted without a second thought. I do not
> > think that it is likely that English Wikipedia will get to that point
> > unless more people who feel strongly about spam actively participate at
> > AfD.
> >
> > As to the WMF investing in trying to track down and take down "paid
> editing
> > companies", there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's very
> > expensive to develop the evidence that makes the direct link from the
> spam
> > article to the real identity of the writer of the article. Many of those
> > "companies" are individual people, and there are also plenty of people
> who
> > call themselves "advisors" who may not edit directly but facilitate
> > companies getting their spam on Wikipedia. And just finding those
> > people/organizations isn't enough - then the course of action usually
> > involves the courts (of varying jurisdictions) which means more lawyers
> and
> > more external legal fees. We're talking a lot of money here, and that's
> the
> > area where I have significant concern - a concerted effort covering the
> 10
> > largest projects could easily cost as much as the WMF's annual budget.
> One
> > more thing to keep in mind: many courts would expect some evidence that
> > the problematic organization is causing harm to the brand and financial
> > position of Wikipedia. That part is tough - it's almost impossible to
> > demonstrate a financial cost to Wikipedia for having a spammy article,
> > especially as such a large percentage of the articles on many projectst
> are
> > barely of "start" quality. The fact that there is a conscious decision
> not
> > to take advantage of mitigating remedies that are already available to us
> > (such as confirmed identity or not permitting article creation until
> after
> > a certain number of edits) would also be a potential barrier to legal
> > remedies against paid editing. (I'm not advocating those changes at all,
> > just looking at it from an external perspective.)
> >
> > Is undisclosed paid editing a violation of the terms of use? Of course
> it
> > is. But outside of security and safety issues, the WMF has historically
> > left it to the volunteers to interpret the TOU and apply it on individual
> > projects. Frankly, it's how the WMF manages with only a $75 million
> > budget, which is less than many similarly large and popular sites spend
> on
> > client services, let alone legal fees. Given the longterm frustration of
> > many community members about fundraising, it may be a very tough sell
> > within our own broad community to have to raise more money for the
> purpose
> > of hiring the staff and paying the bills to address undisclosed paid
> > editing to the point that there is a genuine effect.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> > On 5 January 2017 at 13:53, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I should add: I spent a few months following the various AFD queues on
> > > WP lately, and MY GOODNESS THERE ARE SO MANY BLATANT SPAMMERS. What
> > > Jytdog raises is an actual problem. The short reason for a lot of the
> > > Problems with Wikipedia is actually "spammers mean we can't have nice
> > > things".
> > >
> > >
> > > - d.
> > >
> > >
> > > On 2 January 2017 at 22:08, Jytdog <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > Christophe
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for replying!
> > > >
> > > > This is something the board should be paying attention to, as
> > > undisclosed
> > > > paid editing that causes scandal that reaches mainstream media on a
> > > regular
> > > > basis, damages the reputation of Wikipedia, and is something that
> both
> > > Jimmy
> > > > Wales and Sue Gardner (when she was ED) made strong public statements
> > > about.
> > > >
> > > > See:
> > > > * https://www.ft.com/content/3f726eba-bb6f-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de
> > > > *
> > > > http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/wikimedia-
> > > foundation-employee-ousted-over-paid-editing/
> > > > *
> > > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> > > 2012-10-01/Paid_editing
> > > > *
> > > > http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/09/19/new-wikipedia-
> > > scandal-uk-head-was-paid-to-promote-topics.html
> > > >
> > > > And there are many more references to this issue in mainstream media.
> > > >
> > > > Doing nothing, especially when WMF representatives make strong
> > statements
> > > > and there are legal remedies available (WMF legal sent a
> > cease-and-desist
> > > > order to Wiki-PR with regard to use of the Wikipedia name even before
> > the
> > > > ToU were strengthened) opens the WMF to criticism and makes those
> > strong
> > > > statements appear to be just empty rhetoric. Action is possible.
> > Where
> > > is
> > > > it?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ------ Original Message ------
> > > > From: "Christophe Henner" <chenner@wikimedia.org>
> > > > To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> > > > Sent: 1/2/2017 3:51:49 AM
> > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
> > > offer
> > > > paid editing services
> > > >
> > > >> Heu
> > > >>
> > > >> To be fair it's a topic that isn't currently in our plate.
> > > >>
> > > >> So to be honest, from a board level, I can't really give you an
> answer
> > > >> right now. As said before, there might be legal constraints we can't
> > > >> foresee.
> > > >>
> > > >> I made a not to work on that topic, but it might take some time as
> the
> > > >> current focus is on the strategy process.
> > > >>
> > > >> Have a very good day,
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> Le 2 janv. 2017 9:46 AM, "Gnangarra" <gnangarra@gmail.com> a écrit
> :
> > > >>
> > > >> Like most in western countries you'll find most of the WMF staff are
> > > >> currently out of office so I wouldnt expect much back especially not
> > > >> officially from them until after the 9th January.
> > > >>
> > > >> On 2 January 2017 at 16:42, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > >> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> This is something that people can natter over endlessly.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> The question is to the WMF board and management. These are the
> > people
> > > >>> who
> > > >>> can authorize action or not. Anything else is just talk.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Again - what discussions has the WMF had, at the corporate
> > > >>> decision-making
> > > >>> level, about taking legal action against companies that advertise
> WP
> > > >>> editing services and that have no evidence of disclosure as
> required
> > > >>> under
> > > >>> the ToU?
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Thanks.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 11:04 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > Good points, Gnangarra. I started to write out a reply before
> > > >>> realizing
> > > >>> > that maybe I would give ideas to our adversaries, so I'll wait
> > here
> > > >>> for
> > > >>> > Legal to talk. Perhaps some of us can continue this conversation
> > > >>> behind
> > > >>> > closed doors.
> > > >>> >
> > > >>> > Pine
> > > >>> >
> > > >>> >
> > > >>> > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Gnangarra <gnangarra@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > >>> >
> > > >>> > > I think it would be nice for a more direct input from the WMF
> > over
> > > >>> those
> > > >>> > > not following the Terms of use.
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > I see some potential pitfalls, even in chasing companies that
> > > charge
> > > >>> for
> > > >>> > > content;
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > - would this draw WMF into a legal editorial position
> > > >>> > > - would it drive them to further hide their activities
> > > >>> > > - what would damage would be done if a court says its ok
> for
> > a
> > > >>> > > company/individual to control its image even on Wikipedia.
> we
> > > >>> already
> > > >>> > > deal
> > > >>> > > with the EUs right to vanish
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > sometimes its better to not open the can. I think a lot more
> > > >>> discussion
> > > >>> > > over the implications and impact is needed unfortunately some
> of
> > > >>> that
> > > >>> can
> > > >>> > > only be behind closed doors it going to need community
> > > >>> trust(something
> > > >>> I
> > > >>> > > think isnt all there at the moment), before asking the WMF
> > legal
> > > to
> > > >>> > pick a
> > > >>> > > fight with anyone.
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > On 2 January 2017 at 08:52, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > > (: I think that Legal could at least describe in general
> terms
> > > >>> what
> > > >>> > they
> > > >>> > > > are currently doing and have plans to do in the near future.
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > > If it turns out that the answers are "we aren't doing much
> and
> > > we
> > > >>> > aren't
> > > >>> > > > planning to do more", then yes, asking the higher-ups to do
> > > >>
> > > >> something
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > about
> > > >>> > > > this sounds like a good idea. By the way, I think the timing
> > for
> > > >>
> > > >> this
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > discussion is good, because WMF should be in the early
> stages
> > of
> > > >>> > > > formulating the 2017-2018 annual plan.
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > > Happy new year!
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > > Pine
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > > On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <
> > > >>> > > jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > wrote:
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > > > > Pine, thanks for your reply, but Legal will not do
> anything
> > > like
> > > >>> this
> > > >>> > > > > unless they are instructed by management. That is why I
> > > >>> directed
> > > >>> my
> > > >>> > > > > question to the board and management.
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > I've asked at Jimbo's talk page (bad timing, archived over
> > the
> > > >>> > > holidays,
> > > >>> > > > > will repost) and at Katherine's WP talk page.
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > Am very interested to hear from the board and/or WMF
> > > management
> > > >>> on
> > > >>> > > this.
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > Jytdog
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> > > >>> > > > > > From: Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com>
> > > >>> > > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.
> > org
> > > >,
> > > >>> > > > > > Wikimedia Legal <legal@wikimedia.org>
> > > >>> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
> > > >>> companies
> > > >>> > that
> > > >>> > > > > > offer paid editing services
> > > >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > >>> > > > > > <CAF=dyJhC8UqxkOY9FG9diGyobdgbbQaK_
> > > >>> > > > +M=m9E5Bo3aysPAOw@mail.gmail.
> > > >>> > > > > > com>
> > > >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Forwarding to Legal. I'm aware of the general problem of
> > > >>> > undisclosed
> > > >>> > > > COI
> > > >>> > > > > > editing, and agree that there should be some enforcement
> > of
> > > >>
> > > >> this,
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > > > particularly given that WMF wants to use Wikipedia's
> NPOV
> > > and
> > > >>> RS
> > > >>> > > > policies
> > > >>> > > > > > as part of WMF's marketing. I also wonder if WMF might
> be
> > > able
> > > >>
> > > >> to
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > recover
> > > >>> > > > > > the costs of enforcement expenses somehow, perhaps by
> > > >>> including
> > > >>
> > > >> a
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > > statement
> > > >>> > > > > > in the TOS that says that people and their employers who
> > > >>> engage
> > > >>> in
> > > >>> > > > > certain
> > > >>> > > > > > types of undisclosed COI editing must (1) reimburse WMF
> > for
> > > >>> > attorney
> > > >>> > > > > fees,
> > > >>> > > > > > court fees, and other related costs of investigations
> and
> > > >>> > > enforcement,
> > > >>> > > > > and
> > > >>> > > > > > (2) forfeit all revenue from their related activities to
> > > WMF.
> > > >>> My
> > > >>> > > guess
> > > >>> > > > is
> > > >>> > > > > > that significant financial penalties would be a bigger
> > > >>> deterrent
> > > >>> > than
> > > >>> > > > > > name-and-shame and cease-and-desist letters.
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Pine
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > ------------------------------
> > > ------------------------------
> > > >>> > > ----------
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:50:03 -0500
> > > >>> > > > > > From: Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
> > > >>> > > > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >>> > > > > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing
> > companies
> > > >>> that
> > > >>> > > offer
> > > >>> > > > > > paid editing services
> > > >>> > > > > > Message-ID:
> > > >>> > > > > > <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+
> > > >>> 9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> > > >>> > > > > > gmail.com>
> > > >>> > > > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > I am interested to learn if WMF management or the board
> > has
> > > >>> > discussed
> > > >>> > > > > > taking legal action against companies that offer
> services
> > to
> > > >>
> > > >> edit
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > > Wikipedia
> > > >>> > > > > > and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits
> > (in
> > > >>> en-WP
> > > >>> > at
> > > >>> > > > > > least) per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies
> > and
> > > >>
> > > >> their
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > > > websites,
> > > >>> > > > > > where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked
> and
> > > >>> never
> > > >>> > > found
> > > >>> > > > > > disclosure by any of those companies in en-WP. I have
> > > looked
> > > >>
> > > >> and
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > found
> > > >>> > > > > no
> > > >>> > > > > > public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these
> > companies,
> > > >>
> > > >> other
> > > >>>
> > > >>> > > than
> > > >>> > > > > > Wiki-PR.
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Some en-Wiki editors recently identified a long-term
> paid
> > > >>> editor
> > > >>> > and
> > > >>> > > > > > brought the matter to ANI: thread is here
> > > >>> > > > > > <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> > > >>> > > > > > Administrators%27_noticeboard/
> Incidents&oldid=757170150#
> > > >>> > > > > > Earflaps_-_accusations_of_being_an_undisclosed_paid_
> > > >>> > > > > > editor_and_a_sock_puppet>.
> > > >>> > > > > > This brought this whole thing to mind, and is something
> I
> > > have
> > > >>> been
> > > >>> > > > > wanting
> > > >>> > > > > > to ask about.
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Three questions:
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the
> > > outcomes
> > > >>> > been?
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action
> against
> > > >>> such
> > > >>> > > > > companies?
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > If not, would you all please consider that?
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > > Thanks.
> > > >>> > > > > >
> > > >>> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > >>> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >>> > > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > >>> > > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >>> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > > >>> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > >>> > > > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
> > > >>> unsubscribe>
> > > >>> > > > >
> > > >>> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > >>> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > >>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >>> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > >>> > > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > >>> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> unsubscribe>
> > > >>> > > >
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > > --
> > > >>> > > GN.
> > > >>> > > President Wikimedia Australia
> > > >>> > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > > >>> > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > > >>> > > _______________________________________________
> > > >>> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >>> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > >>> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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> > > >>> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=
> > > unsubscribe>
> > > >>> > >
> > > >>> > _______________________________________________
> > > >>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > > >>> _______________________________________________
> > > >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> --
> > > >> GN.
> > > >> President Wikimedia Australia
> > > >> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> > > >> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Hi all,

I want to share a few thoughts on the paid editing issue. First of all, we
do have the ability to enforce our terms of use. If there are cases where
you're encountering a severe problem with paid editing and community
efforts are not able to solve it, please get in touch with us via
legal@wikimedia.org and we can discuss how we can provide support depending
on the details of the case. With apologies, I'm not able to discuss details
of any specific cases here because we don't want to reveal information
about ongoing or future investigations or legal actions.

In general, I do want to say a few words about the role of legal tools in
these kinds of cases. Legal actions are a blunt instrument: courts use the
same solutions to every problem, and have not kept up with the speed of
modern technology. So we are interested in helping to improve community
systems and technological tools (like tools to help admins investigate and
block problematic users) that can make it so that legal action isn't
necessary in many cases.

I also want to note that we've been working on a longer statement outlining
some of our thoughts about our role in dealing with paid editing concerns
and some ways the communities can effectively approach these issues as
well. We plan to post this on-wiki soon.

Lastly, let me say thank you to all the community members who help out with
these issues. We really appreciate everyone who reports cases to us and
helps us take action where we are able, such as reporting some job postings
on third-party sites.

Best,
Jacob Rogers

--

Jacob Rogers
Legal Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see
our legal disclaimer
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Just thought, all the solutions have been directed at the people making
money for providing the service has anyone tried contacting the companies
paying for the service, if so what was the outcome?

On 7 January 2017 at 13:41, Jacob Rogers <jrogers@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I want to share a few thoughts on the paid editing issue. First of all, we
> do have the ability to enforce our terms of use. If there are cases where
> you're encountering a severe problem with paid editing and community
> efforts are not able to solve it, please get in touch with us via
> legal@wikimedia.org and we can discuss how we can provide support
> depending
> on the details of the case. With apologies, I'm not able to discuss details
> of any specific cases here because we don't want to reveal information
> about ongoing or future investigations or legal actions.
>
> In general, I do want to say a few words about the role of legal tools in
> these kinds of cases. Legal actions are a blunt instrument: courts use the
> same solutions to every problem, and have not kept up with the speed of
> modern technology. So we are interested in helping to improve community
> systems and technological tools (like tools to help admins investigate and
> block problematic users) that can make it so that legal action isn't
> necessary in many cases.
>
> I also want to note that we've been working on a longer statement outlining
> some of our thoughts about our role in dealing with paid editing concerns
> and some ways the communities can effectively approach these issues as
> well. We plan to post this on-wiki soon.
>
> Lastly, let me say thank you to all the community members who help out with
> these issues. We really appreciate everyone who reports cases to us and
> helps us take action where we are able, such as reporting some job postings
> on third-party sites.
>
> Best,
> Jacob Rogers
>
> --
>
> Jacob Rogers
> Legal Counsel
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
> information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
> delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
> Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
> to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
> members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see
> our legal disclaimer
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.
> _______________________________________________
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--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Thanks for your note, Jacob.

It is great to know that WMF is happy to help with specific on-Wiki issues,
working from the ground up, as it were. Yes members of the community are
constantly playing whack-a-mole to deal with specific incidents.

The reason I asked the original question, is that from the point of view of
myself and some other editors, the WMF could do a lot to address paid
editing by acting where *only* it can - from the top down. Namely, taking
efforts to prevent companies from using the Wikipedia name to advertise
services that are performed in violation of the Terms of Use. That would
go for both companies that provide editing services and companies that
allow freelancers to connect with customers.

With those companies freely (and often mockingly) advertising their
services, the spigot is opened wide - they constantly get more customers
and send people here to edit. I would like to know if legal is
authorized to take action to cut that flow off from the top. To close the
spigot.

If legal is not authorized to take such action, I would like to know why.
Is it that the board and management have not talked through this, or that
they have talked through and decided not to do it?

Thanks.



On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 12:41 AM, Jacob Rogers <jrogers@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I want to share a few thoughts on the paid editing issue. First of all, we
> do have the ability to enforce our terms of use. If there are cases where
> you're encountering a severe problem with paid editing and community
> efforts are not able to solve it, please get in touch with us via
> legal@wikimedia.org and we can discuss how we can provide support
> depending
> on the details of the case. With apologies, I'm not able to discuss details
> of any specific cases here because we don't want to reveal information
> about ongoing or future investigations or legal actions.
>
> In general, I do want to say a few words about the role of legal tools in
> these kinds of cases. Legal actions are a blunt instrument: courts use the
> same solutions to every problem, and have not kept up with the speed of
> modern technology. So we are interested in helping to improve community
> systems and technological tools (like tools to help admins investigate and
> block problematic users) that can make it so that legal action isn't
> necessary in many cases.
>
> I also want to note that we've been working on a longer statement outlining
> some of our thoughts about our role in dealing with paid editing concerns
> and some ways the communities can effectively approach these issues as
> well. We plan to post this on-wiki soon.
>
> Lastly, let me say thank you to all the community members who help out with
> these issues. We really appreciate everyone who reports cases to us and
> helps us take action where we are able, such as reporting some job postings
> on third-party sites.
>
> Best,
> Jacob Rogers
>
> --
>
> Jacob Rogers
> Legal Counsel
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
> information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
> delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
> Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
> to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
> members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see
> our legal disclaimer
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
On 7 January 2017 at 20:31, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com> wrote:

> With those companies freely (and often mockingly) advertising their
> services, the spigot is opened wide - they constantly get more customers
> and send people here to edit. I would like to know if legal is
> authorized to take action to cut that flow off from the top. To close the
> spigot.


Jytdog is not exaggerating here, by the way - this is literally what
happens. I see cases of people editing using a certain username, you
Google that username and you will literally see their webpage
advertising their services as a Wikipedia article writer for your
business. You ask them if they have a COI and they say "no". Posting
the smoking gun evidence is a violation of the outing policy. I
realise the extremely good reasons for our outing policies, but that
doesn't make the flood of spam go away. We have an actual problem.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Just want to note that in my OP I had linked to an ANI thread (now archived
here
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/IncidentArchive942#Earflaps>)
about the discovery of a long term paid editor; the same editors who found
that, have found another -- this time the editor had 70K edits on en-wiki.
ANI thread is here
<https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=758846199#Proposal_to_ban_FoCuSandLeArN_due_to_undisclosed_paid_editing>.
They edited on behalf of Banc de Binary, Alcoa, and some other big
players. It appears that this editor worked for wikipediawriters.com.

Is WMF in discussions with that company, and companies like it, with regard
to following the ToU? If not, why not?

What if WMF started a list similar to Beall's list of Predatory Publishers,
of companies that advertise editing WP for pay for which there is no
evidence of them complying with the ToU? It would also be useful to list
editors associated with the companies who have been blocked or banned by
one or more WP communities (this would take some delicate work). Beside
this sort of public list (which people who want to hire paid editors would
probably appreciate being able to check), such companies could also be sent
a letter informing them of the ToU and telling them to stop using the WP
name until they start complying with the ToU - including the
blocking/banning policies - and you could link that letter in the list.

There are things the WMF could be doing that the community cannot.


On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 3:31 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Thanks for your note, Jacob.
>
> It is great to know that WMF is happy to help with specific on-Wiki
> issues, working from the ground up, as it were. Yes members of the
> community are constantly playing whack-a-mole to deal with specific
> incidents.
>
> The reason I asked the original question, is that from the point of view
> of myself and some other editors, the WMF could do a lot to address paid
> editing by acting where *only* it can - from the top down. Namely,
> taking efforts to prevent companies from using the Wikipedia name to
> advertise services that are performed in violation of the Terms of Use.
> That would go for both companies that provide editing services and
> companies that allow freelancers to connect with customers.
>
> With those companies freely (and often mockingly) advertising their
> services, the spigot is opened wide - they constantly get more customers
> and send people here to edit. I would like to know if legal is
> authorized to take action to cut that flow off from the top. To close the
> spigot.
>
> If legal is not authorized to take such action, I would like to know why.
> Is it that the board and management have not talked through this, or that
> they have talked through and decided not to do it?
>
> Thanks.
>
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 12:41 AM, Jacob Rogers <jrogers@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I want to share a few thoughts on the paid editing issue. First of all, we
>> do have the ability to enforce our terms of use. If there are cases where
>> you're encountering a severe problem with paid editing and community
>> efforts are not able to solve it, please get in touch with us via
>> legal@wikimedia.org and we can discuss how we can provide support
>> depending
>> on the details of the case. With apologies, I'm not able to discuss
>> details
>> of any specific cases here because we don't want to reveal information
>> about ongoing or future investigations or legal actions.
>>
>> In general, I do want to say a few words about the role of legal tools in
>> these kinds of cases. Legal actions are a blunt instrument: courts use the
>> same solutions to every problem, and have not kept up with the speed of
>> modern technology. So we are interested in helping to improve community
>> systems and technological tools (like tools to help admins investigate and
>> block problematic users) that can make it so that legal action isn't
>> necessary in many cases.
>>
>> I also want to note that we've been working on a longer statement
>> outlining
>> some of our thoughts about our role in dealing with paid editing concerns
>> and some ways the communities can effectively approach these issues as
>> well. We plan to post this on-wiki soon.
>>
>> Lastly, let me say thank you to all the community members who help out
>> with
>> these issues. We really appreciate everyone who reports cases to us and
>> helps us take action where we are able, such as reporting some job
>> postings
>> on third-party sites.
>>
>> Best,
>> Jacob Rogers
>>
>> --
>>
>> Jacob Rogers
>> Legal Counsel
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>> NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
>> information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
>> delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
>> Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
>> to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
>> members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please
>> see
>> our legal disclaimer
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer paid editing services [ In reply to ]
Undisclosed paid promotional editing is one of the biggest risks we face
not only to the quality of our content but to our reputation. We need to do
a more to address it.

No company editing Wikipedia for pay should be allowed to use the Wikipedia
logo or name IMO. I am not sure how much the law allows us to enforce
though. Is "wikipediawriters" a trademark infringement?

James

On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Just want to note that in my OP I had linked to an ANI thread (now archived
> here
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/
> IncidentArchive942#Earflaps>)
> about the discovery of a long term paid editor; the same editors who found
> that, have found another -- this time the editor had 70K edits on en-wiki.
> ANI thread is here
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:
> Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=758846199#
> Proposal_to_ban_FoCuSandLeArN_due_to_undisclosed_paid_editing>.
> They edited on behalf of Banc de Binary, Alcoa, and some other big
> players. It appears that this editor worked for wikipediawriters.com.
>
> Is WMF in discussions with that company, and companies like it, with regard
> to following the ToU? If not, why not?
>
> What if WMF started a list similar to Beall's list of Predatory Publishers,
> of companies that advertise editing WP for pay for which there is no
> evidence of them complying with the ToU? It would also be useful to list
> editors associated with the companies who have been blocked or banned by
> one or more WP communities (this would take some delicate work). Beside
> this sort of public list (which people who want to hire paid editors would
> probably appreciate being able to check), such companies could also be sent
> a letter informing them of the ToU and telling them to stop using the WP
> name until they start complying with the ToU - including the
> blocking/banning policies - and you could link that letter in the list.
>
> There are things the WMF could be doing that the community cannot.
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 3:31 PM, Jytdog at Wikipedia <jytdogtemp1@gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks for your note, Jacob.
> >
> > It is great to know that WMF is happy to help with specific on-Wiki
> > issues, working from the ground up, as it were. Yes members of the
> > community are constantly playing whack-a-mole to deal with specific
> > incidents.
> >
> > The reason I asked the original question, is that from the point of view
> > of myself and some other editors, the WMF could do a lot to address paid
> > editing by acting where *only* it can - from the top down. Namely,
> > taking efforts to prevent companies from using the Wikipedia name to
> > advertise services that are performed in violation of the Terms of Use.
> > That would go for both companies that provide editing services and
> > companies that allow freelancers to connect with customers.
> >
> > With those companies freely (and often mockingly) advertising their
> > services, the spigot is opened wide - they constantly get more customers
> > and send people here to edit. I would like to know if legal is
> > authorized to take action to cut that flow off from the top. To close
> the
> > spigot.
> >
> > If legal is not authorized to take such action, I would like to know why.
> > Is it that the board and management have not talked through this, or that
> > they have talked through and decided not to do it?
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 12:41 AM, Jacob Rogers <jrogers@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Hi all,
> >>
> >> I want to share a few thoughts on the paid editing issue. First of all,
> we
> >> do have the ability to enforce our terms of use. If there are cases
> where
> >> you're encountering a severe problem with paid editing and community
> >> efforts are not able to solve it, please get in touch with us via
> >> legal@wikimedia.org and we can discuss how we can provide support
> >> depending
> >> on the details of the case. With apologies, I'm not able to discuss
> >> details
> >> of any specific cases here because we don't want to reveal information
> >> about ongoing or future investigations or legal actions.
> >>
> >> In general, I do want to say a few words about the role of legal tools
> in
> >> these kinds of cases. Legal actions are a blunt instrument: courts use
> the
> >> same solutions to every problem, and have not kept up with the speed of
> >> modern technology. So we are interested in helping to improve community
> >> systems and technological tools (like tools to help admins investigate
> and
> >> block problematic users) that can make it so that legal action isn't
> >> necessary in many cases.
> >>
> >> I also want to note that we've been working on a longer statement
> >> outlining
> >> some of our thoughts about our role in dealing with paid editing
> concerns
> >> and some ways the communities can effectively approach these issues as
> >> well. We plan to post this on-wiki soon.
> >>
> >> Lastly, let me say thank you to all the community members who help out
> >> with
> >> these issues. We really appreciate everyone who reports cases to us and
> >> helps us take action where we are able, such as reporting some job
> >> postings
> >> on third-party sites.
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Jacob Rogers
> >>
> >> --
> >>
> >> Jacob Rogers
> >> Legal Counsel
> >> Wikimedia Foundation
> >>
> >> NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
> >> information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
> >> delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
> >> Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal
> advice
> >> to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
> >> members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please
> >> see
> >> our legal disclaimer
> >> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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