Well, if you don't say anything, Sir48, you are not misrepresenting
anything, are you?

It's a path many people have chosen in Wikipedia. They just remain silent.
The right to remain silent about who you are and who you work for is
enshrined in the principle of anonymity.

People (including the English Wikipedia's arbitration committee) have long
said that the policies guaranteeing the right to edit anonymously are in
tension with the guidelines discouraging editing with a conflict of
interest, and that the conflict between these two sets of policies and
guidelines is imperfectly resolved.

And in the final analysis, the English Wikipedia's policy against
harassment and outing takes precedence over the conflict-of-interest
guideline.

At any rate, conflict-of-interest editing is discouraged, but not forbidden
in the English Wikipedia, while posting another editor's employer is a
banning offence (unless the editor has previous disclosed it himself on
Wikipedia).

That this creates a lucrative market for companies like Wiki-PR should not
come as a surprise.

While non-transparent paid editing does not seem to me to violate the
Wikimedia terms of use, transparent paid editing clearly does not violate
them either. Surely, the way forward lies that way.

But while the German Wikipedia community for example is quite welcoming to
paid editors who act transparently – the German Wikipedia even has verified
company accounts like User:Coca_Cola_Germany – the English Wikipedia
community is exceedingly hostile to such users, to the point of blocking
company account names *on sight*, with the result that many such editors
prefer to fly under the radar, using a made-up name and the shield of the
anonymity policy.

Andreas


On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM, Thyge <ltl.pri...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not in principle against transparent paid editing, but it could
> actually be considered to violate the ToU's wording: "misrepresenting your
> affiliation with any individual or entity"
>
> Regards,
> Sir48
>
>
> 2014/1/6 Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com>
>
> > Sure, Todd. But that is not actually in the Wikimedia terms of use. The
> > terms of use say,
> >
> >
> >    - Attempting to impersonate another user or individual,
> misrepresenting
> >    your affiliation with any individual or entity, or using the username
> of
> >    another user with the intent to deceive;
> >
> >
> > They do not say,
> >
> >
> >    - Attempting to impersonate another user or individual,
> misrepresenting
> >    your affiliation with any individual or entity, or *using more than
> >    username* with the intent to deceive;
> >
> >
> > That whole section is about impersonating other people, making out that
> you
> > represent someone you do not represent, etc. Silence as to one's
> > affiliations and identity has always been permitted on Wikimedia
> projects.
> >
> > Andreas
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM, Todd Allen <toddmal...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > They are, however, avoiding scrutiny, as evidenced by widespread
> > > disapproval of their actions. That is not a permissible use of socks.
> The
> > > community expects to place more scrutiny on paid editors, not less.
> > > On Jan 6, 2014 6:23 AM, "Andreas Kolbe" <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > That doesn't follow to me from that wording, Nathan. The English
> > > Wikipedia
> > > > for example allows socking to enable contributors to contribute to
> > > articles
> > > > that they would rather not have their real-life name or normal
> Internet
> > > > persona associated with.
> > > >
> > > > User:John Smith is allowed to create an account named
> > > > User:ColourfulCharacter to edit those articles. In doing so, he is
> not
> > > > using "the username *of another user* with the intent to deceive".
> > > >
> > > > There is no other user of that name. (The only exception would be if
> > > there
> > > > were a user called User:ColorfulCharacter, say, and Smith's intent
> was
> > to
> > > > create confusion between the two accounts.)
> > > >
> > > > User:John Smith is using a secondary screen name to obscure the fact
> > that
> > > > both accounts are operated by the same person. And that is allowed.
> > > >
> > > > I don't even see that Wiki-PR infringed the letter of that section,
> as
> > a
> > > > normal person would read it. Just like John Smith, they did not use
> the
> > > > name of some other user. They created multiple accounts. There was no
> > > other
> > > > user whose username they used, or whom they tried to impersonate.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:07 PM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 8:01 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Nathan,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am unable to find a mention of sockpuppetry in the Terms of
> Use,
> > > > > whether
> > > > > > in Section 4 or elsewhere.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I don't think there could be such a mention, really, given that
> > > project
> > > > > > policies recognise a number of legitimate uses of socks.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > A.
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > The term isn't used, but the behavior is clearly encompassed by the
> > > > > prohibition described in the "Engaging in False Statements,
> > > Impersonation
> > > > > or Fraud" - specifically "using the username of another user with
> the
> > > > > intent to deceive."
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