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Monday, June 16, 2014
Wikipedia Tries To Stop Black Hat Paid Editing

Wikipedia is attempting to improve the transparency and overall accuracy of the online encyclopedia by trying to stop paid edits for marketing purposes.

A change in Wikipedia's Terms of Use may clarify and strengthen the prohibition against concealing paid editing on all Wikimedia projects.

Wikipedia's community editors work at maintaining the accuracy and objectivity of the articles, which requires identifying conflicts of interests and removing bias. Editing-for-pay can be a source of such bias, particularly when the edits are promotional in nature, or in the interest of a paying client.

In response, the Wikimedia Foundation is trying to keep articles free of promotional content.

The revised to the Terms of Use asks that paid editors must disclose any relationship through their profile page, the talk page alongside the edit, or as part of the edit summary. Paid editors may also be subject to other rules beyond the Terms of Use, including "specific policies on individual Wikimedia projects, or relevant laws," such as those prohibiting fraudulent advertising, and may require further disclosure.

While volunteer editors are not subject to the changes, it does affect employees of a gallery, library, archive, museum or any similar institution in instances where the edit is about the institution itself. Such employees, which can include professors, can continue to make contributions in their area of expertise without restriction, but must declare their employer for edits relating to them.

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