Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A paid contribution is one that involves contributing to Wikipedia in exchange for money or other inducements. It includes adding or removing content from any page, including articles and talk pages.

If you receive, or expect to receive, compensation for your contributions to Wikipedia, you must disclose who is paying you to edit (your "employer"), who the client is, and any other relevant role or relationship. It does not matter whether you are paid directly by the client, or paid indirectly by an employer on behalf of the client. Editors who receive payment for their edits or actions on the English Wikipedia must comply with both the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use and the local policies and guidelines of the English Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use

The Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use require that all editors disclose their "employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which they receive, or expect to receive, compensation":[1]

Paid contributions without disclosure

These Terms of Use prohibit engaging in deceptive activities, including misrepresentation of affiliation, impersonation, and fraud. As part of these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation. You must make that disclosure in at least one of the following ways:

  • a statement on your user page,
  • a statement on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or
  • a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions.

Applicable law, or community and Foundation policies and guidelines, such as those addressing conflicts of interest, may further limit paid contributions or require more detailed disclosure.

A Wikimedia Project community may adopt an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy. If a Project adopts an alternative disclosure policy, you may comply with that policy instead of the requirements in this section when contributing to that Project. An alternative paid contribution policy will only supersede these requirements if it is approved by the relevant Project community and listed in the alternative disclosure policy page.

The above is the policy of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and of the English-language Wikipedia.

Meaning of "employer, client, and affiliation"

Editors must disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any paid contribution to Wikipedia.

  • Employer: the person or organization that pays, either directly or through intermediaries, a user to contribute to Wikipedia. This includes cases where the employer has hired the user as an employee, has engaged the user under a freelance contract, is compensating the user without a contract, or is compensating the user through the user's employment by another organization.
  • Client: the person or organization on whose behalf the edits are made; the client is often the subject of the article.
  • Affiliation: other connections that might be relevant, including, but not limited to, people or businesses who provide text, images, or other media for the paid edit. If a paid editor is working as a contractor, "affiliation" would include any broker involved in the transaction (e.g. Fiverr, Upwork, etc.).
  • Contribution: any text or file added to, or deleted from, Wikipedia, including talk-page and sandbox contributions, and material added to or deleted from articles by others at the behest of paid editors.
  • Payment or compensation: includes, but is not limited to, money, goods or services.

For example, if Smith PR pays an editor to work on Wikipedia content about Acme Widgets, then Smith PR is that editor's employer with respect to those contributions, while Acme Widgets is the client. If you have been hired by a public-relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm's client.[2] Often the employer and client are the same entity. If Acme Widgets pays an editor directly to write about that company, then Acme Widgets is both the employer and client.

GLAM or similar) pays them.[2]

Additional notes on who must disclose

Users who are compensated for any publicity efforts related to the subject of their Wikipedia contributions are deemed to be paid editors, regardless of whether they were compensated specifically to edit Wikipedia.

Interns are considered employees for this purpose. If they are directed or expected to edit Wikipedia as part of an internship, they must disclose.

How to disclose

Editors who are or expect to be compensated for their contributions must disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any paid contributions. They must do this on their main user page, or on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or in edit summaries. Disclosure on user pages may be done using the {{

conflict of interest guideline further advises editors to supply a clearly visible list of their paid contributions on their main user page (see the {{paid}} template documentation for instructions). Disclosures on the talk page for the page in question may be done using the {{connected contributor (paid)
}} template (see its documentation for instructions).

Paid editors who cannot disclose their employer, client, and affiliations are prohibited from editing. Non-disclosure agreements do not invalidate this requirement. There is no confidentiality for the employer, client, or affiliations.

It makes no difference if the paid editor writes the content off-site or in userspace and then another editor moves the material into mainspace

on their behalf
. Both editors are required to make a disclosure.

Disclosing external accounts on Wikipedia

Paid editors must provide links on their Wikipedia user page to all active accounts at websites where they advertise, solicit or obtain paid Wikipedia-editing services. If such an account is deleted or removed, any corresponding links on the Wikipedia user page must remain visible for at least one week.[3]

Disclosures to clients

Paid editors must provide links to the user page(s) of their Wikipedia account(s) on each website on which they advertise, solicit or obtain paid editing services, as well as in direct communications with each client and potential client (such as through email). If the paid editor has used or controlled more than one Wikipedia account, each account must be disclosed.[4]

This transparency helps the Wikipedia community to understand and analyze the source and scope of paid editing, and to ensure that content originating from paid editors complies with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

Promotion and advertising

Paid editors

may not advertise or promote their services
on Wikipedia. The disclosures required by the terms of use are not regarded as advertisements or promotion.


Administrators making paid edits are subject to the same disclosure requirements as all other users, and are not permitted to use special privileges for paid editing. The

administrator policy
states: Administrator tools may not be used as part of any paid editing activity, except as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or when the payment is made by the Wikimedia Foundation or an affiliate of the WMF.

Conflict of interest guideline

Paid editing is further regulated by a community guideline,

articles for creation
process, so they can be reviewed prior to being published.

The Foundation's terms of use FAQ advises: "[S]ome projects have conflict of interest policies that are different from (and stronger than) this provision in the terms of use. These policies might prevent you from certain forms of volunteer editing, for example, contributing to articles about yourself."[2]

Reporting undisclosed paid editors

If you believe an editor is conducting undisclosed paid editing as defined by this policy, please report it to the

revealing the private information
of an editor. Otherwise, please email with why you believe an editor is engaged in paid editing and there is private information.

Changing this page

The guidance on this page may be changed in two ways:

When discussing changes to this page, disclose whether you have been paid to edit Wikipedia.

See also