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Wiki-PR Reform Roadmap

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  1. ** I’ve edited this document with some commentary. To return to [the] 11/5 version, highlight the document name, pull down the "actions" list, and select "revisions”.
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  3. Wiki-PR agrees to all of the terms laid out in this roadmap. We’re working on implementing them. 11/18  [--Michael French, CEO of Wiki-PR]
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  6. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, which values neutrality above all else.  Editors who have a commercial interest in Wikipedia have a conflict of interest and must follow Wikipedia’s best practices should they engage with Wikipedia at all.   Editors with a conflict of interest can be neutral, but as neutrality is difficult for anyone, it's especially important that paid editors acknowledge this challenge publicly and take active steps to avoid misuse or abuse of Wikipedia.
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  8. Wiki-PR has seriously abused Wikipedia’s terms of use (TOS) and community policies.  In an attempt to redeem their conduct, Wiki-PR agrees to a comprehensive review of their practices and a detailed program of reform, in collaboration with members of the Wikipedia community.
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  10. Note:  Herein, “Employees” refers to all employees, contractors, freelance hires, staff or other individuals or companies paid or compensated by Wiki-PR, who are working with Wiki-PR now or are hired in the future.
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  13. Reform Roadmap
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  15. Wiki-PR will cease all editing of articles until the following reforms are complete, per its community ban on English Wikipedia.  Wiki-PR will pay for a full audit of its editing practices, conducted by a mutually-agreed-to third-party organization.  The third-party’s role to make sure that Wiki-PR as a company has instituted processes to follow-through on these reforms, evaluating whether Wiki-PR has taken necessary, effective, and sustainable steps to remedy their abusive practices.  Only after these steps are complete, Wiki-PR will submit a community unban and unblock request for their accounts through the appropriate channel(s).
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  18. Initial Requirements
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  20. Wiki-PR will be fully forthcoming about the errors it made, documenting in detail its prior procedures and editing practices, specifically identifying what conduct went on under its watch or purview which violated Wikipedia’s TOS or policies.
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  22. Wiki-PR will prepare a press release acknowledging the errors made--with specific mention of what problems were identified.  A link to a summary of the internal review will be included.  A link to a document of the following reforms will be included.  Wiki-PR will send out the press release broadly.
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  25. Practice Reform
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  27. Every Wiki-PR employee will read the Conflict of Interest Guideline and The Plain and Simple Conflict of Interest Guide, as part of their standard onboarding.  Monthly webinars will be conducted with an experienced Wikipedian available to answer questions.
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  29. Every Wiki-PR employee will add a conflict of interest (COI)  declaration to any account they operate.  These are clear and simple statements that editors have a COI and will do their best to follow best practices and respect both neutrality and community consensus.  Editors engaging at articles will link to or restate their conflict of interest on article talk pages where they are involved.
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  31. Wiki-PR employees will never use 'sockpuppet' accounts.  One person will have one account only, always.  Discovery that employees are breaking that policy will be “material breach of contract with Wiki-PR” and thus a fireable offense.
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  33. Wiki-PR employees will not misrepresent sources as reliable when they are not.  All employees will review the Verifiability and Reliable sources policy.  For example but not with exclusion, sources like CNN’s iReport or other crowdsourced references will never be used as citations or sources.
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  35. Wiki-PR employees will not skirt notability requirements.  All articles will have significant coverage in reliable sources or uncontroversial compliance with the relevant Notability Guideline.  All articles submitted to Wikipedia will be reviewed by an uninvolved editor.
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  37. Wiki-PR will review its freelance contractor procedures.  All contractors, existing and new, will sign a contract declaring that they will follow Wikipedia’s TOS and community policies. (We can build this into the NDA).
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  39. Wiki-PR will prepare a detailed proposal for how it will manage and maintain a high standard expected from all employees. Employees will declare to Wiki-PR all of their Wikipedia accounts for monitoring.  Employees will not be paid if a review of their conduct does not meet a high standard.  Defining high standard: Contractors will be removed if conduct seriously breaches Wikipedia’s TOS or community policies.
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  41. Wiki-PR will review its direct article editing practices, and acknowledge that while not all paid editors follow the 'bright-line' rule of never editing articles, the ones that consistently avoid ethical trouble and scandals do. (We can state this in a press release). Wiki-PR will change its primary practice to leaving suggestions on article talk pages and using third-party review by uninvolved editors.  Direct edits will only be made per the ‘uncontroversial edits’ exception to the COI guideline.
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  43. Wiki-PR will facilitate a cleanup process for its existing content on Wikipedia, inviting uninvolved Wikipedia editors to review content that may have been inappropriately included.
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  46. Final Considerations
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  48. Wiki-PR will drop any litigation targeting Wikipedia editors investigating their company’s abusive practices. There is no litigation whatsoever.
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  50. Wiki-PR will accept to be interviewed for the Wikipedia Signpost [ ].
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  52. Wiki-PR will produced a case study or white paper and an accompanying pamphlet on best practices called “When to tell clients no”, outlining the situations and ways in which a PR company cannot edit Wikipedia.
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  54. Once a year for the next 2 years, Wiki-PR will invite and pay for flights and meals for 2 experienced editors to come--at the same time-- to its Austin office and host an event about best practices for paid editors.
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  56. Wiki-PR will host monthly editathons, as pro-bono work to improve Wikipedia in areas where it needs improving, outside the scope of its company's clients. It is suggested that Wiki-PR give 5% of its profits, per year, 1% each to organizations which support free culture and humanitarian causes such as: the Open Knowledge Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, Girls Who Code, and Doctors Without Borders.
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  58. While these steps may be reasonable and useful for Wiki-PR to take, their completion does not ensure Wikipedia’s community acceptance.  The community will have to determine consensus through its own processes.  Nothing in this roadmap constitutes a binding agreement, contract, or guarantee.
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  61. [This draft of suggestions was put forth individually, not in concert with the WMF, nor does it represent in any way the authority or consensus of the WMF, nor of the broader Wikimedia or Wikipedia community.  Since the document was created, WMF sent a cease and desist letter to Wiki-PR requiring that they immediate cease all editing until unbanned.  Though drafted before the cease and desist, this document appears consistent with that requirement, and in cases where it may conflict, the community ban and the cease and desist of course take precedence.  For the record, no one involved in drafting this document was paid or compensated by Wiki-PR, nor were they under employment or any contract.  It was a wholly voluntary, individual effort to provide suggestions for reform in line with community expectations.  Wiki-PR last edited this document on Nov. 19th, and no other contact has been had with them since Nov 6.   --Dec, 1, 2013]
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