Submissions:2017/Horror and humor:The effects of paid editing

From WikiConference North America
Jump to: navigation, search

Due to limited space, WikiConference North America 2017 could not accommodate this submission in its program.
Please check out the Unconference for opportunities to present and share there.


Horror and humor: The effects of paid editing

Note that this is meant to replace Submissions:2017/The future of paid editing: Policy, enforcement, and legal issues

Theme (optional)

Community; Paid editing

Type of submission




E-mail address




English language Wikipedia, Commons


It is often argued that paid editors do not damage Wikipedia; that all we need to do is enforce our normal rules, such as NPOV, and any problems will disappear. This presentation will show the extensive damage that paid editors cause, making the above argument untenable.

A mere list of the horrors caused by paid editors would be terribly depressing. To lighten up the presentation, some of the absurdities passed off by paid editors will be highlighted. Topics include:

  • A brief recap of the classic paid editing scandals (with links to existing material). Note that these are all ongoing problems
    • The Morning77 scandal (Fall 2013)
    • The Orange Moody scandal
    • The Bell Pottinger scandal
  • Examples of absurd articles on Wikipedia that could only have been written by paid (or COI) editors, e.g.
    • the article about a specific NY City coffee truck
    • about a mysterious all-white food truck that never discloses its location
    • about the made-to-order lingerie business which has a single seamstress (who won an award)
    • about a donut shop "chain" with an article written just after it went bankrupt. It is now down to a single (you guessed it) donut truck
  • The million dollar ripoff company Banc De Binary (as I wrote up in the Signpost, with updates) and other financial ripoffs with formerly pro-company articles in Wikipedia
    • Articles on other players in the binary industry (most now deleted)
    • The retail forex industry in Wikipedia which encourages speculation on foreign exchange rates. One CEO was quoted by the Wall Street Journal (approx.) "15% of our customers make money." But what happened to the business? the article? the customers? and to the other 50+ articles on companies in the business.
  • Medical articles (this is deadly serious business, but I'll try to find one that is funny)
  • Summary on the damage done by paid editors

What will attendees take away from this session?

Attendees will understand that paid editors damage Wikipedia in ways that are often horrific, and sometime incredibly funny (in a black-humor way)

Length of presentation

30-45 mins, lecture

Special requests

Overhead projector for computer

Preferred room size


Wikimania submission?

Was submitted, not on program

Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Funcrunch (talk) 17:46, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  2. MonikaSJ (talk) 16:01, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
  3. Add your username here.