Wikipedia:WikiProject Integrity

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What we doEdit

This project is to discuss, raise awareness of, and hopefully address issues regarding paid advocacy editing on Wikipedia, in which people are compensated to create and edit Wikipedia articles.

Background: [1][2] and also:

Who we areEdit

Editors who are troubled to some degree by the presence of paid advocates on the Wikipedia.

  • Some of us are opposed to paid advocates editing the Wikipedia at all, recognizing that this occurs anyway and that prohibiting would only drive it completely underground, but that this is either a net positive or worth the cost, overall.
  • Some of us are concerned about paid advocates editing the Wikipedia (at least in some cases), but feel that banning it completely would only drive it underground, and this is not an improvement. Instead, paid agents should self-identify, follow Bright Line, be watched closely, and perhaps be subject to other controls.
  • Others of us have other or more nuanced views. Editors who believe that paid advocates are an overall net positive to the Wikipedia might take more of a welcoming-and-helping stance toward paid agents.

What is a "paid advocate"?Edit

Editors who are 1) editing the Wikipedia for pay (on a contract or as part of their salaried duties) and 2) editing the Wikipedia at the behest of someone else (a boss or client). To this may be added 3) to promote a particular point of view (however subtly), but generally we are to assume that persons who meet criteria #1 and #2 generally must meet #3, absent proof to the contrary.

In a nutshell, we are most often talking about either public relations (PR) agents or else employees of a corporation acting under orders.

The following cases are not considered paid advocates, and not considered problematical, for the purposes of this project:

  • Anyone writing on their own initiative, with no direct material compensation or expectation of personal gain, even if they are technically "on the clock" somewhere. In particular, academics writing in their field of expertise (or any field), even if they are technically doing this during normal work hours and using university equipment most always qualify for this exemption.
  • Participants in the Wikipedia:GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) initiative, even if paid for editing the Wikipedia. And in most (but not necessarily all) cases, editors being paid by academic grants to contribute to the Wikipedia.
  • Editing by employees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Anyone else who is editing the Wikipedia for pay, and editing at the behest of another person, is possibly or at least potentially a problematic paid advocate (even if working for a non-profit entity).

(We're not dogmatic about this. If, for instance, ExxonMobil was (for some reason) to hire a person to edit Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty, it's quite possible that there'd be no problem there. However, this isn't really the core of the problem we're dealing with here, and exceptions like this, as well as classes of exceptions, can be discussed and handled using reason and common sense.)


Wikipedia:Conflict of interest (WP:COI) is the primary guideline. See also plain and simple COI help.

Divisions Project information and scopeEdit

Founding principlesEdit

See Principles.


  • Collect material regarding paid advocacy editing on Wikipedia. A lot is written on this subject and we need to keep some of it as an easily available collective memory. Editors are encouraged to contribute links to outside articles, internal discussions and pages, and other material in the appropriate sections at the bottom of this page.
  • Develop strategies for better control of paid advocacy on Wikipedia. And/or, develop strategies for the elimination or banning of paid advocacy on Wikipedia.
  • Advocate for the better control of paid advocacy on Wikipedia. And/or, advocate for the elimination or banning of paid advocacy on Wikipedia.
  • Identify, watch, publicize, and, as needed, correct articles for which third parties are known to have engaged persons to edit in return for compensation.
Project technical information

WikiProject Integrity (formerly WikiProject Paid Advocacy Watch)


None; this is a top-level Wikiproject.



Coordination IRC channelEdit

#wikipedia-en-paw on

News and alertsEdit


Articles to be checked and corrected (if required)Edit

continued editing, thus time under company name; I blocked, and removed the advertising. Needs further watching. DGG ( talk ) 05:29, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Other alertsEdit

  • Solicitation on Elance for multiple Wikipedia articles. Proposed articles have questionable notability. (talk) 00:29, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Paid editor hired on Elance for entrepreneur/author Tim Levy. Listing states the he wants "Wikipedia entries about me, my books and various cool projects.
  • This guy on Elance specializes in paid advocacy, so it would be helpful if his username could be found. This user was formerly User:WizardlyWho, as well as sockpuppeting under other accounts. See: Administrators' noticeboard discussion and Check User results.
    • Apparently Mercy Ministries is alleged supposedly be a PR agent client. It says so at this blog, which then points to this person at Elance, and there certainly is a lot of Wikipedia stuff there, but the support is this edit by, of all people, über-toxic editor Qworty. Well, the whole thread is here.
  • User:BoomerFoundation (now blocked) created an article Jerry Cahill (now prodded) apparently in response to this Elance posting. The Elance user account also responded to an ad requesting an administrator, and has a fair number of other Wikipedia jobs. Clearly using socks for this editing, so perhaps a checkuser investigation is warranted. On further investigation, the user is probably the client, not the elance user. Best bet is that the elance user is writing the articles for the client to upload.
  • User:IJSRD Editor a single purpose account here to promote the journal they edits. Warned about paid editing and disclosure and has failed to respond to the warning. Fiddle Faddle 09:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Project newsEdit

  • Has anyone seen this: [3] ? One editor is taking credit for having manipulated Wikipedia such that 20% of GA articles on companies were created by this company which apparently maps to User:CorporateM. That seems fundamentally broken to me. The Dissident Aggressor 06:43, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
Are you saying that the GA process is broken? -- 1Wiki8........................... (talk) 07:47, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
@DissidentAggressor: CorporateM, from statements I have seen, tends to take his paid articles to GA which, on the whole, is good because of the added scrutiny of the review process. I am amazed he has done 20% of the company GA's though! I would love to see paid editing prohibited but a requirement for paid articles to be GA before going live would be a great second choice and CorporateM already does that.

Your edit summaries like this are not helpful. There is already a {{Connected contributor (paid)}} disclosure by CorporateM on the talk page. If you find any of his articles that do not have the disclosure bring it up on his talk page. As long as paid editors stay within the terms of use they must be tolerated, or even supported. The ones that do not must be directed to our policies, {{uw-paid1}} is a good thing to use if you suspect an undisclosed paid editor. If they do not comply they can be blocked. If you want to change this please participate in the various discussions about paid editing that pop up every couple weeks or do some work at WP:COIN. Cheers. JbhTalk 13:38, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Articles tagged as part of this projectEdit

Talk pages that include the template of the Integrity project may be viewed at Category:WikiProject Integrity articles.


  • We're in the process of investigating the phenomena of paid advocacy generally, so the list links to helpful internal or external material and so forth continues to be built.
  • Check articles on the Alerts list, and either remove them (if they're OK) or adopt them.
  • Additions to the Registry are welcome and needed. Editors are invited to add themselves if they qualify.
  • (Add other tasks here, or suggest below.)

See Tasks discussion section on talkpage

Nuvola apps kdmconfig.png ParticipantsEdit




WikiProject Integrity (for article talk page)

{{WikiProject Integrity}}

WikiProject Integrity  
This page is part of Wikiproject Integrity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles on Wikipedia having edits by contributors with a monetary obligation to edit the article topic. To participate, you can edit the attached article or contribute further at WikiProject Integrity.
COIN usage templates

{{Connected contributor}} - for article talk page

{{COI}} - for article page


Project userbox:

 This user is a member of the Integrity Project

Alternate project userbox, based on an earlier version:

 This user is a member of the Paid Advocacy Watch Project (WP:PAIDWATCH)

Project barnstarEdit

Suitable for awarding to anyone who has made a material contribution to the project's goals. (Improvement by better artist welcome.)



Internal linksEdit

Rejected proposalsEdit


External linksEdit


Pertaining specifically to paid editing of WikipediaEdit

Not sure about this. On the one hand, some of these links provides a kind of one-stop shop for people looking for ways to influence Wikipedia or sign on with entities that are. On the other hand, forewarned is forearmed. It's no good to blunder about in ignorance. It makes sense to us to have materials collected that would be helpful to Wikipedians wishing to consider and discuss this phenomenon.

Pertaining to the BP contretemps of 2013Edit

These are some PR people's takes:


Here's a couple of older links (preceding the contretemps) about BP greenwashing in general:

Pertaining to the contretemps of 2013Edit

External links
  • Wiki-PR's web page "The easy way to accurately tell your story on Wikipedia".
  • Simon Owens (October 8, 2013). "The battle to destroy Wikipedia's biggest sockpuppet army". The Daily Dot. Retrieved October 9, 2013. -- the Daily Dot article, October 8 2013, exposing Wiki-PR's extensive sabotage here, which brought the issue to general attention.
  • "Is the PR Industry Buying Influence over Wikipedia? Article in Vice magazine, October 2013. Lengthy and detailed article.
  • "Wikipedia Probes Suspicious Promotional Articles" Wall Street Journal article, October 21 2013. Wiki-PR is given some space to state their case.
  • "Is Wikipedia For Sale?" Article at Motherboard.
  • "Click capitalism: PR firms cash in cleaning up clients’ Wikipedia pages" Washington Times article, October 21 2013
  • "Wikipedia’s Sockpuppet Problem" Slate article, October 23, 2013
  • "Wikipedia sockpuppet saga threatens users' trust of the service" Article on Sophos Security's blog.
  • Blog post regarding a Big Pharma person who supposedly and allegedly was a Wiki-PR client.
  • Discussion on Wikipediocracy which I think touches on this a bit. The thread also has an interesting list of paid editing websites.
Internal links


Old materials, old news, tasks completed or expired