Submissions:2014/Confessions of a paid editor

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Title of the submission
Confessions of a paid editor
Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)
Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)
Author of the submission
Gregory Kohs
E-mail address
US state or country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
Commercial paid editing of Wikipedia has been tumultuously debated since at least 2006 when MyWikiBiz, the first (and longest-running) content creation and editing service devoted to Wikipedia, was launched. In these debates, often the paid editor's point of view is either assumed, not invited, or even muzzled (by reversion, blocking, and banning). Indeed, the Wikimedia Foundation kicked off 2014 by terminating the employment of a star colleague when it was discovered that she was engaging in paid editing contracts in addition to her work for the WMF. In this presentation, you'll hear about the experiences and mindset of one of the most "notorious" paid editors in Wikipedia history, Gregory Kohs.
Kohs and other paid editors have concluded that content decisions at Wikipedia are not at all about the quality of the contribution, but rather, the provenance of the contribution. If the editor is embedded in the community, their content generally stays, even if it is poorly written or inadequately sourced; but if the editor is new and unfamiliar, their content may be deprecated or removed with prejudice, even if it's immaculately constructed and well-referenced. Wikipedia's guideline about paying someone to make edits on your behalf states:
...If you expect to derive monetary or other benefits or considerations from editing Wikipedia, then you are very strongly encouraged to avoid editing Wikipedia in areas where there is a conflict of interest that may make your edits non-neutral (biased).
That sounds clear and fair enough, but what it doesn't tell you is that biased and subjective administrators are frequently the ones who will make the determination whether edits are "non-neutral".
This presentation will review several case studies of marketers and public relations professionals who, frankly, botched their interaction with Wikipedia and paid the price. We'll retrace their steps, so that you can see where they went wrong, so that would-be writers (paid or unpaid) can avoid the same mistakes. You may be surprised by some of the persistent myths about Wikipedia that Kohs may overturn.
Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
75 Minutes
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
A recent presentation to Rollins College delivered by Kohs in 2013.
Special request as to time of presentations
Prefer to present on Saturday or Sunday.

Interested attendees

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  1. --Another Believer (talk) 11:51, 14 March 2014 (EDT)
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