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.


> Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:50:07 -0800
> From: Pine W <>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>,
>         Wikimedia Legal <>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that
>         offer paid editing services
> Message-ID:
>         <
> 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 <>
> To:
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Where is WMF with pursuing companies that offer
>         paid    editing services
> Message-ID:
>         <CAAOzcj3cLaJOhvV6LvtqPTtULdj+9Ccanmht7EJQVLv+Lqa=Ww@mail.
> 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
> <
> 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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