Editing a Wikipedia entry on behalf of an employer, client or affiliate in exchange for compensation is no longer an anonymous affair. Editors are now required to make such a relationship crystal clear through one of a few different methods outlined below.

As laid out in a recent Terms of Use update, those that fall into the above category will need to add their affiliation to their edit summary, user page or talk page to fairly disclose their perspective. Those that edit as a volunteer or for fun aren’t subjected to these requirements.

What’s more, those employed by a gallery, library, archive, museum or similar institution that may pay employees to make good faith contributions in their area of expertise and not about their institution are welcomed to continue to edit as usual.

Wikipedia’s revisions are designed to help users identify sources of bias, common among those getting paid to promote a client. The site’s administrators believe undisclosed paid advocacy editing is a black hat practice that can threaten the trust of Wikipedia’s volunteers and readers.

After months of discussion on the matter that resulted in more than 320,000 words and 6.3 million views of the proposal, it now comes to life. The change goes into effect immediately. Wikipedia will be notifying all users of the change via banner messages across the top of all pages.