Submissions:2016/COI and paid editing - Broader political implications
From WikiConference North America
- COI and paid editing, implications regarding elections, public policy and consumer behavior
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- It is clear that there are paid Wikipedia editors who maintain a substantial presence on articles about specific political campaigns, politicians, pundits, corporations, organizations and public policy issues. These include clear COI editing, where the editors are actual employees of the organization which is the subject of the article, and, more insidiously, presumably paid editors, whose behavior can most reasonably be explained by examination of edit summaries that establish parameters of their conduct. These variables may including hours of activity (i.e. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., in specific time zones) and days (i.e. M-F) of "work," frequency and volumes of edits, tenacity in control of content, additions or deletions of well-sourced negative content about the subject of the article, additions or deletions of positive information about the subject, reputation defenses, presumptive client lists and often an extremely narrow subject focus. The implication in this era of a broader decline of print media is that such client advocacy can have an effect on elections, acceptance of products and services, etc., because historically lower paid and less educated reporters are increasingly dependent on Wikipedia articles to research their prospective published work. I propose to use slides of edit summaries to make a such a case. Audience participation would be welcomed. I am open alternatively to joining any panel that would focus on these issues.
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- none, though earlier in the conference, rather than later, would be preferred
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