Wikipedia Editors Must Now Disclose Any Paid Contributions

A word of warning to content marketers out there: if you make a contribution to Wikipedia on behalf of a client or employer, a new amendment to Wikipedia’s terms of service now states that information must be disclosed.

Wikipedia’s community editors strive to keep the content free of bias, and they believe that editing-for-pay can be a source of such bias, “particularly when the edits are promotional in nature, or in the interest of a paying client.”

When disclosing a paid contribution, it must appear within your profile page, as well as a notation next to edits where this might apply. You need to add your affiliation to your edit summary, user page, or talk page, to fairly disclose your perspective.

The disclosure process appears to be only targeting editors with relationships to for-profit organizations rather than non-profits, or those involved in education or research.

The amendment is not intended to impact participants in gallery, library, archive, and museum (GLAM) projects, or professors, when they are writing about topics of general interest on their own rather than writing about their own institutions while being compensated directly quid pro quo, for example.

In addition, if you edit on a volunteer basis, or for fun, Wikipedia says you’re welcome to keep editing. No changes there.

Wikipedia said it will continue monitoring this recent policy change to make adjustments as necessary. This change is effective immediately, for more information you can visit the FAQ page about this amendment.