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 <jrog...@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
> le...@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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