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Submissions/Maintaining a Neutral Encyclopedia when Users are Anything But

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Maintaining a Neutral Encyclopedia when Users are Anything But
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
David King
E-mail address
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

There have been extensive discussions recently about paid editors on Wikipedia: in the media, on the Signpost, on Jimmy Wales' Talk page, and on two new projects -- the Paid Advocacy Watch and Wikiproject Cooperation.

Public relations professionals claim they're banned from making factual corrections and have organized under the CREWE (Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Editing) Facebook group. Meanwhile, some would like to have a policy outright banning corporate editing, and Jimmy Wales is urging for a "single bright line" that prohibits paid advocates from directly editing articles.

One counter-argument is that companies are victims of the biased editing of passionate users, disgruntled employees, or angry customers. Some would argue that bias is a good thing, because anyone interested enough to contribute on the topic brings their own point of view. Can Wikipedia articles remain neutral, even when editors are not?

Even some of Wikipedia's editors who may be regarded as unfailingly neutral are paid by institutions with a charter to educate the public on issues of public interest. Some paid editors have the resources, expertise, and motive to be some of Wikipedia's best editors.

Suggested panelists:

  • Jeff Taylor, Wikipedia specialist at New Media Strategies
  • Risker, an arbcom member with extensive experience dealing with volunteer editors with a bias
  • Lane Rasberry, who is starting an initiative for a partnership with research institutions
  • Moderator: David King
Track (Wikis and the Public Sector; GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums); WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education; Technology and Infrastructure)
Wikiculture and Community
Length of presentation/talk (if other then 25 minutes, specify how long)
35 Minutes of panelists with a 25 minute Q&A (55 minutes), as suggested by Risker
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I will only be attending if this topic is covered, but regardless of whether I'm a participant.

Interested attendees

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  1. --Poupou l'quourouce 20:24, 6 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Buster7 11:49, 7 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Cullen328 22:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --AroundTheGlobe
  5. -- 19:20, 10 February 2012 (UTC) (Strongly anti-paid-editor)[reply]
  6. -- 16:13, 13 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:17, 12 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Bináris 07:02, 13 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. GJK at Wikimania 18:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Fluffernutter 18:50, 14 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. CT Cooper · talk 20:50, 14 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Philgomes 23:34, 15 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Curious... Resident Mario 00:12, 16 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Pgallert 14:25, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Wikitafa (talk) 18:45, 9 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Haxpett (talk) 23:34, 10 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Marclaporte (talk) 05:53, 11 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Jeff Bedford (talk) 20:37, 14 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Carolmooredc (talk) 20:23, 16 March 2012 (UTC) Throw in some talk about when POV becomes or indicates COI; and don't forget the influence of "taboos"[reply]
  20. Zellfaze (talk) 18:51, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  21. SarahStierch (talk) 16:53, 21 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  22. C.R.Selvakumar (talk) 01:03, 23 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  23. Add your username here.