DYK and COI/paid editors[edit] If an article was created and/or nominated by paid a COI editor, should that be explicitly disclosed in the nomination? Should articles created and/or nominated by paid COI editors be eligible for DYK? Discussion at Wikipedia talk:Did you know#DYK_and_COI/paid_editors. --Francis Schonken (talk) 21:18, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Clarification of indirect paid editing[edit] I've been thinking about this for a while. In light of the fact that the TOU allows for local-project policies having more stringent requirements than the TOU themselves set, I propose that we clarify the term "indirect paid editing" to include something along the lines of "editing a Wikipedia article or article talk page while being compensated by the subject of the article, even if the editor isn't compensated directly for editing Wikipedia." This is what I always considered "indirect editing" to mean, and on occasion I have stated that understanding to editors who are engaging in promotional activity on Wikipedia in behalf of their employer or client even though the employer isn't paying them to edit here. A recent example that comes to mind is the CEO of a company editing his company's article. He's clearly being paid by his company, it's more than a mere conflict of interest, but he isn't being paid to edit on Wikipedia. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:52, 25 February 2018 (UTC) I can certainly agree that there are cases like that, that should indeed be considered a form of paid editing, but I can also envision plenty of cases where it is a WP:COI without rising to the level of being paid editing as well. I'm not sure how to draw the line between those. If there were a biographical page about a CEO, made notable by that person's status as the CEO of the company, and that CEO edited the biography, that would be a COI issue, but I wouldn't treat it as paid editing. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:45, 25 February 2018 (UTC) Consider the case of someone who works in Apple's music division making an edit to an article on the iPhone. I appreciate that some have previously expressed the view that this should be considered paid editing. However it would be nice to strike a balance, since often employees will follow their companies' news and so be well-positioned to provide reliably sourced, neutral point of view updates. isaacl (talk) 23:45, 25 February 2018 (UTC) This is my concern as well - we can slowly stretch the definition of paid editing if that's really an approach we want, but defining it as "you get paid by the organisation, even if you don't get paid to edit" is placing it in an ugly grey area with no clear point of demarcation. The current understanding, that if you get paid to edit Wikipedia then you are a paid editor, seems like a clear point to distinguish between paid editing and other COI edits. - Bilby (talk) 23:53, 25 February 2018 (UTC) @Bilby: That misses the point of my original question, which is about indirect paid editing. Direct paid editing is when you get paid to edit Wikipedia. That is obvious. That isn't what I'm trying to discuss in this thread. The policy mentions indirect paid editing without clearly defining what that means. And I am proposing that indirect paid editing includes the case where your employer or client is paying you, but isn't explicitly paying you to edit Wikipedia. A public relations employee wouldn't have "editing Wikipedia" as a requirement in the job description. A PR employee isn't being paid directly to edit here, but shows up on his own accord to engage in promotion. That is indirect paid editing. And I propose that this should extend to non-marketing people as well, who are clearly attempting to use Wikipedia as a publicity platform for their employer or client — and that would include a CEO as in my previous example. ~Anachronist (talk) 07:46, 26 February 2018 (UTC) No, if we extend it to non-marketing people we walk down a slope that is going to kill most of the distinction between "paid" and COI. It is reasonable to expect that if you are paid to promote a company, and you edit WP about the company, then you are being paid to edit WP even if it isn't specifically in your job description. But just being an employee of a company and editing WP doesn't make you a paid editor - it only makes you a COI editor. We need some sort of solid line to make sure that the distinction means something. - Bilby (talk) 08:07, 26 February 2018 (UTC) I agree with Bilby and Isaacl. And it wouldn't really accomplish anything practical to extend the definition in this way. We already have a COI guideline, and there really isn't anything that "indirectly paid" editors could do that would be harmful without violating COI. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:30, 26 February 2018 (UTC) ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ Again, the comments above do nothing to clarify what is indirect paid editing. It is mentioned in the policy but not defined. The whole point of this section is to work out what that means, and change the policy document accordingly. We aren't talking about extending the definition, this is all about clarifying the existing policy. At the moment it isn't clear. Let's not be sidetracked. The policy already extends "paid editing" to indirect paid editing. ~Anachronist (talk) 05:53, 28 February 2018 (UTC) My understanding was that "indirect paid editing" is those who are paid to write material for WP, but then have another person post the actual content. They've written the copy, intending to have it added here, but claim that as they didn't edit directly they don't need to disclose. - Bilby (talk) 06:07, 28 February 2018 (UTC) I didn't realize until now that this is what you meant. I've looked through the entire policy page to see where it refers to "indirect paid editing", and it really does not delineate that as a different category of paid editing. The closest I found was this sentence in the lead: If you receive, or expect to receive, compensation for your contributions to Wikipedia, either directly or indirectly, you must disclose who is paying you to edit (your "employer"), who the client is, and any other relevant role or relationship. That isn't talking about indirect edits so much as indirect compensation. So an editor who just happens to be working for a company is getting paid directly for their work for the company, and the nature of their work may determine whether this is paid editing or just COI. What "indirect" means here is where the company pays a third-party broker, and the broker pays the editor to make the edits: we don't let that editor say "I never got any money from the company" as an excuse. In other words the "employer" and the "client" can be two different entities. I would be OK with making that clearer. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:49, 28 February 2018 (UTC) Would it help to make this change? If you receive, or expect to receive, compensation for your contributions to Wikipedia, either directly or indirectly, you must disclose who is paying you to edit (your "employer"), who the client is, and any other relevant role or relationship. It does not matter whether you are paid directly by the client, or paid indirectly by an employer on behalf of the client. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:53, 28 February 2018 (UTC) OK, that looks good. There has been confusion, from me and others, as to where to draw the line, and I started this discussion to define that line. As you proposed, that line is defined by indirect compensation. That's fine. I would still argue that editors who get paid to engage in marketing, promotion, or public relations, and who edit Wikipedia with that intention, should also be classified as a paid editor regardless of whether Wikipedia is in their job description, because they are still receiving payment for executing their duties, using Wikipedia as a platform to do so. That is far more than just a COI. That falls squarely into paid editing territory, although they aren't being paid directly to edit Wikipedia. They are being paid directly to engage in PR, and they use Wikipedia as one of their tools to do their job for their employer or client. As an analogy, if you're a carpenter, you're being compensated directly for doing carpentry. If, for example, the job involves cutting wood planks, your customer or supervisor doesn't care, whether you use a table saw or a hand saw to cut wood, as long as the wood gets cut. You're paid directly to cut wood, but indirectly to use a specific tool to get that job done. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:00, 28 February 2018 (UTC) Thanks. So I think that there are two components to what we are discussing here. One is simply to define what the word "indirect" meant, and I think my suggestion does that. A separate aspect is what you just described. This policy page has never, to my recollection, used the word "indirect" to mean that, so this brings us back to whether we should extend the definition in some way, as opposed to clarifying what the word meant. The question then becomes whether we want to spell out a specific rule for public relations employees separately from employees as a whole. Per the comments already made by other editors, it seems obvious that someone editing about a company as a marketing person for that company is making paid edits, whether or not the word "Wikipedia" is in their job description. I suppose we could say that explicitly, but it's going to be difficult to delineate the distinction between marketing employees and other employees. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:24, 28 February 2018 (UTC) I looked at where we might (or might not) do something like that. I think the most relevant place on the page is where the terms are defined and "employer" is defined as: Employer: the person or organization that pays a user to contribute to Wikipedia, whether that user has a freelance contract with the payer, has no contract, is a salaried employee of the payer, or is a salaried employee of another organization. So if the employer pays a user to make the edits here, that's obviously paid editing (and what you are calling "direct"). If the employer pays a user for work that has nothing to do with publicity, then that's a COI but not paid editing. So we are talking about when the employer pays the user to generate good publicity for the company, but never spelled out that this should be accomplished by editing here. As I see it, they are still paying the "user to contribute to Wikipedia", and editors here need not care what the employment terms are. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:44, 28 February 2018 (UTC) Yes, I agree we should say something like that explicitly. I remember incidents where a company PR person insisted "I'm not being paid to edit here" and that situation should be addressed. I have also encountered several marketers and PR people who come to Wikipedia wanting to do the right thing, be transparent, engage on talk pages, and so on. They would have no problem with putting a {{paid}} template on their user page, since they already make similar disclosures such as "I am the Public Relations Manager for XYZ company." And then there are cases when the owner of a small company gets on Wikipedia to engage in publicity activities because they don't have a marketing or PR person among their employees. I recently encountered a situation like that. An editor who wrote a promotional draft told me he's the company's founder, therefore he wasn't being paid to edit here, but when I explained that promoting his business on Wikipedia may indirectly benefit him personally, he agreed to put a paid editing template on his user page. I think he realized, also, that not doing so would risk his account being blocked because his contributions gave every appearance of an undisclosed paid editor. He wasn't trying to hide anything and wanted to do the right thing. I may have been stretching the definition of "indirect" then, but for that situation it would have been nice to have a clearer policy on the meaning of "indirect". ~Anachronist (talk) 19:10, 28 February 2018 (UTC) Oh, one other example comes to mind: I recall a temporary intern who was ordered by her supervisor to promote the company on Wikipedia, but she insisted she was an unpaid or volunteer intern, therefore cannot be considered a paid editor. I honestly didn't know how to respond to that. As a volunteer or unpaid intern working in behalf of an employer who orders you to edit Wikipedia but doesn't pay you money, are you still being compensated? Possibly yes, because if you find no value in that position, you wouldn't be in it, therefore you must be getting compensated somehow, even if intangibly. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:17, 28 February 2018 (UTC) About interns, the last sentence of the "Meaning of "employer, client, and affiliation"" section actually makes it crystal clear. One can just point to that. And compensation is not limited to money. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:43, 28 February 2018 (UTC) About the other part: Employer: the person or organization that pays a user to contribute to Wikipedia, whether that user has a freelance contract with the payer, has no contract, is a salaried employee of the payer, or is a salaried employee of another organization. Payment to contribute to Wikipedia includes payment for publicity on behalf of the client in any venue, when it includes edits here. It gets a bit WP:CREEPy, but it might work. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:51, 28 February 2018 (UTC) I'm not sure what you mean by "when it includes edits here". I think it kind of contradicts the point that payments made for advertising channels in general still meet the criteria of a paid editor. How about changing the text to something like this: Employer: the person or organization that pays a user, either directly or through intermediaries, for contributions to Wikipedia. This includes users on contract with the payer, users without a contract, salaried employees of the payer, and salaried employees of other organizations. Users being compensated for any publicity efforts are deemed to be paid for their contributions to Wikipedia related to the employer. isaacl (talk) 06:53, 3 March 2018 (UTC) I agree with your criticism of the version that I had suggested. As for your suggestion, I find it confusing to present it as a definition of "employer" that then goes on to talk about different kinds of users. I'd also like something more succinct. I'm still thinking about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:21, 3 March 2018 (UTC) I made the first of those two changes (first of two boxes). I don't intend to do the second unless other editors express support for doing it. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:01, 2 March 2018 (UTC) I like the clarification. Yes, it explains what should be obvious - if you are a PR person and you edit for a client you can not claim that your editing is incidental if it is not a contracted line item - but it seems "obvious" is just another word for loophole in the paid editing world. Jbh Talk 20:38, 2 March 2018 (UTC) I assume you mean the second one, the one that I did not make. I'm certainly open to including it too, if there is consensus, but I didn't feel comfortable implementing it without clearer support on the talk page. I'm still concerned that, even if we add such a clarification, the way I drafted it here probably needs more polishing. I don't feel like it's all that clearly written, and I'm not sure that there isn't a better place on the page to locate it. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:37, 2 March 2018 (UTC) I like them both - anything that closes loopholes is something I am all for. True, the 'payment for publicity' sentence could be better worded but I can not think of how just now - I'll think on it a bit... Jbh Talk 23:46, 2 March 2018 (UTC) How about this, incorporating part of what Isaacl suggested: Employer: the person or organization that pays a user to contribute to Wikipedia, whether that user has a freelance contract with the payer, has no contract, is a salaried employee of the payer, or is a salaried employee of another organization. Users who are compensated for any publicity efforts related to the subject of their Wikipedia contributions are deemed to be paid editors. That said, perhaps the sentence in green would fit better somewhere else on the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:38, 3 March 2018 (UTC) Since it's really more about compensation than about the employer, I think it would be better to place it a few lines down at: Payment or compensation: money, goods or services. Users who are compensated for any publicity efforts related to the subject of their Wikipedia contributions are deemed to be paid editors, regardless of whether they were hired compensated specifically to edit Wikipedia. I also added a bit for further clarity. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:45, 3 March 2018 (UTC) I like breaking up the sentence regarding the employer into two, to emphasize the first part is the actual definition, while the second part are some (but not necessarily all) examples of specific employment situations. How about the following: Employer: the person or organization that pays, either directly or through intermediaries, a user to contribute to Wikipedia. This includes cases where the employer has hired the user as an employee, has engaged the user under a freelance contract, is compensating the user without a contract, or is compensating the user through the user's employment by another organization. Regarding the change to the section on payment, to avoid getting back into the question of what it means to be hired, I suggest dropping the final clause. That is: Payment or compensation: money, goods or services. Users who are compensated for any publicity efforts related to the subject of their Wikipedia contributions are deemed to be paid editors. isaacl (talk) 00:01, 4 March 2018 (UTC) As long as we don't add the new stuff to the "employer" line, I think you are right, and splitting it into two sentences is a good idea. About the "payment or compensation" line, I could go either way depending on what other editors think, but I think an advantage of that last phrase is that it makes the meaning a lot clearer, as in: "you don't get to claim that you are not a paid editor just because you're contract did not mention Wikipedia". But you raise a valid point about "hired". How about just changing it to "compensated"? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:25, 4 March 2018 (UTC) Sure, using "compensated" is helpful. I don't have a big issue with making the implicit—"any publicity efforts" including "not necessarily Wikipedia in particular"—explicit. isaacl (talk) 21:29, 4 March 2018 (UTC) Good, thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 23:05, 4 March 2018 (UTC) Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Paid-contribution_disclosure&oldid=828817894"

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