Feeds

Wikimedia wants forced disclosures of paid edits

Saving you from lawsuits, not flaks from exposure

The Power of One Infographic

The Wikimedia Foundation will attempt to alter its terms of service so that users who create articles or make edits as part of their jobs or a paid engagement must disclose their affiliation.

Paid edits and articles are often considered to be astroturfing – the marketing technique of making something look like a grass roots movement when it is in fact a well-funded and co-ordinated effort. Wikimedia therefore wants disclosure of “your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution to any Wikimedia Projects for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.” Such disclosure should comprise:

  • a statement on your user page,
  • a statement on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or
  • a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions.

The Foundation's rationale for this change is that while its terms of use “already prohibit engaging in deceptive activities, including misrepresentation of affiliation, impersonation, and fraud” amendments could “ensure compliance with these obligations”.

Such regulation might even protect you the Foundation argues, as those who create or edit articles at work could conceivably find themselves the subject of legal action under “unfair competition and simple fraud statutes”.

The change to the organisation’s terms of service aren't signed, sealed and delivered. But with the Foundation's legal team planning to “ask the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees” to make the alteration, it's hard to imagine they won't go through, given Boards' liking for things that lower risk.

If the change is adopted, it should mean some fun times in vendor-land, as their marketing teams and hired hands do love to ensure that Wikipedia and other Wikimedia outlets offer the shiniest-possible view of their products and activities. Figuring out just what users with obscure names are so insistent bad behaviour was actually angelic will be fun to watch. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.