New Addition to the Wikipedia Terms of Use

Wikipedia, a non-profit website known for its vast amounts of information, has recently undergone a major change to the website. The change adds another section to the Terms of Use requiring individuals to disclose publicly through the edit summary that they are getting paid to edit. Wikipedia released a FAQ which explains this more in depth.

The Wikimedia Foundation decided to release this update after deleting nearly 250 accounts for which they believed were connected to a public relations firm that was editing and writing articles on the site.  Wikimedia believes that unidentified paid editing is a form of Black Hat SEO which is both bad for Wikimedia as well as the volunteers and readers. This practice was having an alarming effect on how valid and reliable the information on each page was, leaving the community with a number questions left unresolved.

This small addition to the Terms of Use provides a number of benefits to the community. It will further enhance the practice of “good faith” editing allowing loyal volunteers to continue to enhance the quality of the information found on the website. Next, it will empower the community to question the issue of undisclosed paid editing by identifying potential pages that should be reevaluated.

The change to the website was almost immediate. Wikipedia notified every user through banner messages through every Wikipedia project.

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