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" <chen...@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" <gnanga...@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 <jytdogte...@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.p...@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 <gnanga...@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.p...@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 <
 > > jytdogte...@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.p...@gmail.com>
> > > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>,
 > > > > >         Wikimedia Legal <le...@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 <jytdogte...@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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 > >
 > >
 > > --
 > > GN.
 > > President Wikimedia Australia
 > > WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
 > > Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
 > > _______________________________________________
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WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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