Submissions:2015/promotionalism vs. notability

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Title
Decreasing promotionalism to preserve the encyclopedia
Theme
community
Type of submission
presentation
Author
David Goodman
E-mail address
dgoodmanny@gmail.com
Username
DGG
Affiliation
Wikimedia NYC
Abstract

Video recording on Commons at File:Decreasing Promotionalism to Preserve the Encyclopedia.webm

Once we become a vehicle for promotion, we're useless as an encycopedia. We have many rules to try to prevent it: they are not effective. The publicly perceived increase in the importance of Wikipedia inevitably increases the pressure for people and organizations to have an article. This has been evident from the beginning, and the indistinguishability of Wikipedia articles on organizations and other topics from press releases has been there from the start. But the rise of individuals and firms offering paid editing services is relatively recent, and the result has been a flood of unacceptable articles on unacceptable topics. The justification for a notability requirement is partially in order to look like a conventional encycopedia , but even more to decrease the number of articles which would not be written by NPOV editors. We have been dealing with this by:

  • screening articles at New PagePatrol and AfC,
  • searching for an eliminating sockpuppets,
  • centralized action against the most visible and obnoxious groups of undeclared paid editors.

None of this has been adequate. While nothing will solve the problem completely (at least if we insist upon maintaining the principle of anonymous editing), we can do it better. Current and proposed initiatives include:

  • Increasing the quality of reviewing at NPP and AfC, by requiring increased experience and removing those doing it poorly
  • Requiring new users to go through the Article Wizard and AfC procedures
  • Increasing the notability standard for certain types of articles
  • Combining the AfC and NPP pathways and eliminating loopholes to ensure articles are not missed

Substantial improvement will however require non-technical steps. The most critical include:

  • Effective outreach to prospective subjects about the inadvisability of using paid editing services
  • The much closer monitoring of declared paid editing to improve its quality, or--if practical--its abolition entirely
  • The determination of experienced wikipedians to remove promotional articles at deletion processes
  • Willingness of NPOV editors to work on commercial topics.
Length of presentation
30 min.
Special schedule requests
if possible, adjacent to "Interaction with article-subjects"
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
yes

Interested attendees

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  1. DocTree (talk) 09:48, 7 September 2015 (EDT)
  2. A DGG presentation? I'm there - especially given how big of a topic this is and his experience dealing with it. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 05:50, 9 September 2015 (EDT)
  3. CorporateM (talk) 15:51, 10 September 2015 (EDT)
  4. Wa17gs (talk) 12:56, 10 October 2015 (EDT)
  5. Add your username here.