Aha -- I was pointed to en:wp's List of paid editing companies
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_paid_editing_companies>.
(thanks!)  This is a great resource and deserves to be better linked.   The
page is semi-active - 4 additions in the last month, including the Olaf
case. I've cleaned it up a bit and linked it to the German page. This
really needs some automated scripting and tracking, at the scale of ORES...

Is there any routine analysis / stats compiled of edits associated with
these orgs, or of their activity online?

On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 2:19 PM Samuel Klein <meta...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Jan Böhmermann <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_B%C3%B6hmermann>
> published an amazing expose on political WP editing in Germany; it gets
> good around 15 minutes in
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNsTaKwyAzI&t=900s>. In the video he
> exposed the workings of a paid editing farm run (by Olaf Kosinsky (
> Wikidata <https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q30108329>; CheckUser discussion
> <https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Umgang_mit_bezahltem_Schreiben/Verdachtsf%C3%A4lle/Olaf_Kosinsky>
> ; archived PR-services site
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20210416110100/https://kosinsky.eu/>), an
> excellent long-time editor with over 3 million edits.
>
> *We need to distinguish paid editing from general COI editing*.  Paid
> editing is COI editing by professionals, who have strong external
> incentives to persist, no leeway in the outcome they are aiming
> for, experience in doing this in dozens of cases, and may have colleagues
> who can drop in as 'uninvolved' editors to forge consensus or social
> proof.[1]
>
> This is one of our great recurring challenges, siphoning off both our
> reputation and our community.  There are many things we can do about paid
> editing, starting with maintaining *paid-editing metrics and a dashboard*
> of known and estimated paid editing.  We can estimate its prevalence by the
> availabiity of services online[2]; and look for patterns of such editing on
> wiki.  Even with large error margins, this would be a step above simply
> waiting for outbreaks to be discovered and reacting to the visible bits of
> the iceberg.
>
> What sort of metrics like this do we have already?  Who is working on such
> things?
> Since the above video came out, de:wp started a table of WP editing
> services
> <https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Umgang_mit_bezahltem_Schreiben/F%C3%A4lle#Wikipedia-Web-Agenturen_auf_dem_Markt>.
> It currently includes an initial dozen examples, with no estimate of
> activity (the 1 account known to be associated with each is in most cases
> blocked; but most have active websites soliciting work) This would be
> useful in all languages.
>
> SJ
>
>  [1] as Melmann wrote
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_167#Limiting_the_scope_of_COI_edit_requests>
>  recently:
> "*in my experience, **all the most difficult edits are WP:PAID
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:PAID>**. Most non-paid COI comes
> from a place of desire to make things better, and often can be relatively
> easily guided towards a better place... [or] it is relatively easy to use
> existing enforcement mechanisms to to correct and ultimately control their
> behaviours. PR professionals, on the other hand, are subtle and sometimes
> downright deceptive, and it takes lots of effort to check their edits when
> most of the time you lack context and expertise and you really have to
> research in depth to see their edits for what they really are. I think that
> one of the fundamental mistakes of the current policy is lumping paid
> editors with general COI editing as paid editors are fundamentally playing
> on a different level in terms of PR expertise and incentives*"
>
> [2] Just searching for this online led to ads from dozens of services.
> The first 10 below seem to be clones of the same service (perhaps run by
> the same farm)
>  Elite Wiki Writers
>  Wiki Curators
>  Wiki Genies
>  Wikipedia Legends
>  Wiki Page Writing
>  Wiki Page Creator
>  WikiProfs
>  Wiki Specialist LLC
>  Wiki Writers Workshop
>  Wikipedia Publisher
>  Wikipedia Services
>  360 Ghostwriting
>  Contentfly
>  Otter PR
>  Premium Content Writing
>  ReputationX
>  Upwork
>
>
>

-- 
Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
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