One of our core values at Wiki Strategies is dealing with Wikipedia (and the collaborative Internet in general) in a way that is responsible and ethical. Wikipedia is a project that requires neutral presentation of factual material. Conflicts of interest are inevitable; they can be managed ethically, but it takes a clear focus on transparency and respect, as well as technical knowledge of the policies and functioning of Wikipedia. We guide our clients in maintaining an ethical approach, and we are diligent and explicit in maintaining an ethical approach ourselves.
In this, the first of a short series of blog posts, I’m collecting links to highly relevant pages on Wikipedia, and my own past writing. Wikipedia and Wikimedia are vast, complex, and relatively new in the world; new ideas and situations arise frequently, often with unique ethical dimensions. Watch for new posts in the coming week, exploring some specifics related to my dual identity as a Wikipedian — i.e., a volunteer, and a member of a global community — and as a Wikipedia consultant, who advises clients on how to engage with Wikipedia.
But first, a brief overview of existing pages:
- English Wikipedia’s Conflict of Interest guideline
- My related op-ed in the Wikipedia Signpost (February 2014): There are better ways of combating unethical paid editing
- Wiki Strategies statement of ethics (regarding our own work)
- Responsibly managing (COI) (our recommendations for our clients)
- Interview: Jake Orlowitz: Does Wikipedia Pay? The Consultant: Pete Forsyth (April 30, 2012), Wikipedia Signpost.
- Full/unedited transcript from the above interview