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Updating Paid COI page of the wizard

Wikipedia:Article wizard/HowToDisclose looks like it was written before the WMF started requiring disclosure in the TOS. I would like to see the first paragraph updated to the following:

Before you can begin editing, you are required by Wikipedia's Terms of Use to disclose that you are being paid to edit Wikipedia. Additionally you must comply with the rules listed in our policy page about paid editing. Failure to comply with the above terms may lead to a block and may expose you to legal liability. You are nevertheless encouraged to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia purely as a volunteer.

Is that uncontroversial enough for an edit request, or do we need to vet it somehow with WMF lawyers? - Sdkb (talk) 08:45, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Pinging Mdennis (WMF) Sdkb (talk) 05:51, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
Maybe I missed something, but where in the TOU/PAID does it say there is legal liability for not disclosing? This is an internal Wikipedia rule, and not one that has any standing in a court of law. Primefac (talk) 13:34, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: Maggie's not in the office at the moment but I can chase this up. Joe Sutherland (WMF) (talk) 16:35, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
Joe Sutherland (WMF) asked me to look at this. Thanks for flagging to us, appreciate the heads up when adding something around legal penalties for people. Looking at the change here, I don't think any of the language is inaccurate, but I'd recommend against adding the "legal liability" part because that isn't how we or the community typically deal with paid editing issues, so I think it would come across as a bit scary and maybe misleading. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 19:17, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Jrogers (WMF): That neither the WMF nor the community has sought legal remedy before is no excuse. The community has asked WMF to do more to stop paid editing, which I imagine intones using legal means to seek remedy. If the WMF remains sanguine on the issue, I'd like to see a statement from the Board refusing our requests in an honest and forthright manner. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:32, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Primefac: By way of context, this is a recent village pump proposal that resolved to ask the WMF to take legal action against a paid COI firm. @Everyone, for the sake of keeping discussion centralized/focused, I'd ask that we please try not to get in a debate here about whether the WMF is doing enough to combat paid editing; there is room for that elsewhere. Regarding the question at hand of whether we're on acceptable legal footing using the proposed language, thank you for weighing in to affirm we are, Jrogers (WMF). Regarding the question for the community of whether we ought to do so, I agree with Chris troutman that making editors considering undeclared paid work scared is exactly what we should be doing. I've put out invites to this conversation at WP:COI and WP:PAID, so hopefully we'll get enough input to make some sort of update. Sdkb (talk) 20:49, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 3 April 2020

Please update the first paragraph of the page to the following, to reflect the TOU disclosure requirement. (see the discussion with WMF legal directly above)

Before you can begin editing, you are required by Wikipedia's Terms of Use to disclose that you are being paid to edit Wikipedia. Additionally you must comply with the rules listed in our policy page about paid editing. Failure to comply with the above terms may lead to a block and may expose you to legal liability. You are nevertheless encouraged to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia.

{{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:12, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

Where did "purely as a volunteer" go? It is in the draft text that was discussed above. Edit requests like this are most helpful for uninvolved admins and template editors when they provide a clear diff showing what is being added, changed, and removed. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:15, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: Sorry, I should have explained why I rolled that into the suggested change. I think it more clearly communicates what we're asking of paid COI accounts. Per our policy, it's not that we allow paid COI editors only in areas unrelated to the topic they have a COI about, it's just that we require them to follow the rules about disclosure/etc. Hopefully that's an uncontroversial change, but if not, we can separate it out and I can go try to plug this conversation more elsewhere to see if I can get any more editors to come here to make consensus clearer. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 05:43, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
 Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. As JRogers from the WMF has said, they recommend against adding "legal liability". No consensus about this change has been built. If no one is commenting here, maybe try starting a discussion at WT:AFC. Primefac (talk) 11:10, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@Primefac: Given that you were the one community editor who expressed opposition above, I honestly would have preferred that you let someone else uninvolved assess the consensus here, as Jonesey95 seemed about to do. I also find your choice of quote a little unrepresentative — the WMF's legal advice was that the update was alright, and the community has (at least so far) rejected their non-legal advice that you quoted. That said, I don't think your reading of a lack of consensus is totally off, so if it's necessary, I'll go bug AFC and see if anyone there is willing to chime in. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:34, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
I didn't express opposition above, I was wondering where the "legal liability" text was coming from. That was answered by a WMF staffer, which is why I was confused as to this latest edit request. I still think it needs to be discussion, and I suggested WT:AFC because more than twice as many people see changes to that page as they do here. Primefac (talk) 17:38, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@Primefac: Apologies, on re-reading, I see you're right. And I've issued an invite at AFC. To further address your question, per the pump discussion linked above, I'd assume the liability would be coming from infringement of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:27, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
so it would, but there has been no instance of its use in this context, certainly no successful use. (and I too have discussed this with the Foundation several times over the years). I do not think we have any basis for making even this tentative a statement of law on our own authority. If there is a successful court decision eventually that can be quoted, that would be a reason to state something like this. Additionally, attempts at scaring people with legal threats as in thousands of public notices tends to be ignored.
Nor do I agree that we should give a wording that implies that we encourage declared paid editing. That is not correct. We permit it under , under stringent conditions. All other notices, and all other messages we have been sending people, are more in the nature. "We strongly discourage paid editing. But, if you do decide to go ahead, our rules require that ... .
About 90% of declared paid editing is declined, or even speedy deleted, at AfC. Very few paid editors have ever been able to write a satisfactory article. If adopted, it will make my work at AfC very much harder.
I think a very broad and well publicised consensus would be needed for this change. And I suspect that we would be more likely to find a consensus to prohibit paid editing altogether. (I've opposed this in the past as impractical--at this point I have become so utterly frustrated with the deluge at AfC that I have come to think it necessary, despite the difficulty of enforcement. ) DGG ( talk ) 18:01, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, DGG! My rough understanding is that, at some point in the past few years, there was a decision made to change the TOU so that paid editing disclosure was not merely encouraged but required. My intention with the edit request was to update the Wizard to reflect this change. I can't find the discussion itself, though; could you let me know if my understanding is correct and (if it exists) send a link to the discussion?Update: found Signpost coverage
Regarding the last sentence, I'll defer to your judgement since you're active in this area. I'm normally very active in efforts to be more welcoming and encouraging to newcomers, but I agree that, when it comes to paid COI editing, the approach ought to be the opposite, since (a) paid COI editors are less likely to be scared away, (b) their contributions are less likely to be valuable, and (c) they're being paid, so if they need to put in some work to get used to how things run here, so be it. The line as it's currently written comes off oddly, since I think it's very unlikely an editor who came here to plug the superior customer service at Jim's Auto Parts is going to just decide "oh well, I guess I'll go edit foobar instead". Perhaps we should just remove it, or at least change "encouraged" to "permitted"?
And regarding the usefulness of a legal threat, I agree that they're not likely to be a panacea (especially if any COI editors somehow read this and see us talking about how we don't know of any examples of them being carried out yet), but they might help a bit and I also don't see much of a downside. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:33, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@DGG: Just quickly following up, is there anything you'd want to add before I try to start a broader conversation? And any advice on where such a conversation should be? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:04, 12 April 2020 (UTC)

Just updating to note the terms of use

It looks like the above discussion has bogged down on the phrase "legal liability". But the page still needs to be updated to note that the terms of use require disclosure. Does anyone object to replacing In order to keep a civil relationship with the community you must disclose that you are being paid to edit Wikipedia with Before you can begin editing, you are required by Wikipedia's Terms of Use to disclose that you are being paid to edit Wikipedia. Galobtter (pingó mió) 00:29, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

Reasonable request. Done. Primefac (talk) 01:06, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad to see this done. There's still more that could be done to improve the wizard and I'd like to see the other proposed changes above implemented at some point, but this is a good start. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 01:46, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

Notability criteria


The notability criteria is well documented. Can it be included into the wizard?

  • Ask the user which topic they write about ( artist or general or company ) and
  • ask them to read the corresponding notability page.
  • Then ask them to number which notability criteria is met,
  • Ask them to copy/paste these relevant criteria into the draft and write 1-2 sentences for each. With copy/pasted links to supporting sources
  • This becomes the ground for first draft. The authors don't have to (and are discouraged from) spending time writing a novel or a promo.

--Gryllida (talk) 05:58, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

@Gryllida: This would take some work to implement, but I support the general idea. The more we're able to walk people through each specific step of the article creation process, the less confused they'll be and the more chances we'll have to make it clear to those creating inappropriate articles that they should stop. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:49, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
We actually had most of this on the "original" version of the Wizard, and following an RFC (at least, I think that was the thread) we determined that v.1 was too wordy and we should simplify it. Primefac (talk) 18:03, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
  1. A person who made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the historical record in their field.
  2. Political people holding international, national or statewide/provincewide office.
  3. Well known people and opinion makers (e.g. members of the Hollywood Walk of Fame)
  4. Sportspeople who have played in a fully professional league, or a competition of equivalent standing in a non-league sport such as swimming, or at the highest level in mainly amateur sports, such as the Olympic Games or World Championships
  5. Published authors, editors and photographers who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work
  6. Painters, sculptors, architects, engineers, and other professionals whose work is widely recognized (for better or worse) and who are likely to become a part of the enduring historical record of that field
  7. People who achieved renown or notoriety for their involvement in newsworthy events
  8. A person who was the primary subject of multiple notable published works whose source is independent of the person (multiple similar stories describing a single news event only count as one instance of coverage)
I've found this too wordy also.
They need the BUTTONS. When a button says "It is notable" and "It is not notable", they will without much thinking press "It is notable".
Changed it from un-numbered list to numbered list... so once they are numbered, the user can "tick the boxes" by indicating the numbers and then their draft should look like this:
"2. John Smith is the MP for California. [1]
8. XYZ published a book about John Smith. [2][3]"
This would be a lot easier to review, and possibly for the authors to comprehend? Gryllida (talk) 21:28, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
It's hard for something like the Article Wizard to handle a concept as complex as notability in any sort of automated way, but it might be easier to introduce some sort of automatic handling of references. Here's the sort of thing I'm envisioning:
  • Ask the editor to use the citation tool within the wizard to add the sources they think are notable.
  • Compare the source URLs to the list at WP:RSP. If they're using at least one reliable source and no unreliable source, let them go ahead and insert their citations into their draft.
  • If they're trying to use a social media URL, give them an explanation of why that's not sufficient. Ditto for an opinion URL or a source judged non-reliable.
  • If both or all of the URLs are unrecognized, give them some brief information on what a notable source is, and ask them to confirm that they think their source meets that criteria. The wording on the buttons should definitely not use "notable", since people don't know that means in the Wikipedia context, and no one trying to write an article is going to think their subject is non-notable. Instead, use something like "my sources meet these criteria" and "I'm not sure", with the latter one directing them to some venue (maybe a sub-forum of the Teahouse) where they can ask.
{{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:58, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
As a minimum, if usinga checklst like the one above,you'd have to add WP:PROF, which is an exception to guidelines based on the GNG, and the multiple conditions giving notability in that rule are difficult to summarize,, but possibly, Academics having impact in their field as judged by publications and citations ,or named professorships, or membership in NAS or equivalent, or presidents of national/international societies, or recipients of major national/international level awards. You'd also have to add thea ccepted special criterion for visual artists (woks in major Museums);
But overall, there's a difference between people who are certain to be found notable using well established undisputed criteria, snd those likely to be found notable, which is difficult to assess and can only be learned by watching current decisions at WP:AFD). there are "quick-pass criteria", which are easy to state, but multiple, with a rather long list, , and "quick-fail", which ae more of a problem because the article may not make the notability clear, and because someone who would be a quick-fail as a minor businessman might be a quick-pass as a legislator. If guiding newcomers, it might be more helpful to give the quick-fail--i.e., do not write an article on .... ; if assesing at NPP or AfC, the quick pass need to be kept in mind to avoid the worst error there, rejecting a bio someone who is actually very notable . DGG ( talk ) 15:24, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

Add a link to the old wizard

Please add a link in the corner of the article wizard that reads: [[Wikipedia:Article wizard/version1|Old article wizard]] on Wikipedia:Article Wizard. This can also be hidden so that only extended confirmed users can see it.

I think this may be uncontroversial because some users may prefer the old wizard. Aasim 21:09, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

 Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. The main reason why the old version was saved is for posterity (as well as pointing to the old version by some for how it was "sub-standard" or "not as good as what we have now"). Those who know the location of the old Wizard are likely not going to be the ones using it, and those who don't know it exists likely don't need it. Primefac (talk) 13:25, 20 June 2020 (UTC)