User talk:Factsearch

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Hi, regarding your contribution to the State of Palestine article, "legal Status" section [1]. I have removed that background information, because it is already covered in great depth in 2 dedicated sections (2011_United_Nations_membership_application, 2012_United_Nations_observer_state_status) and doesn't actually add or change anything about the 'State of Palestine' Legal status (67.9% or 100% passed is passed). But i'd love some help, I just added some more info [2] if you want to improve on that, please do. --Mor2 (talk) 13:12, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes I agree with what you've done. Sorry I hadn't read the entire page, I was just looking at the reference to the UN and the resolution passed last week, but I see now what I added was already there, albeit in a different section.

A belated welcome![edit]

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Again, welcome! Evad37 (talk) 02:21, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Great, thanks for the welcome, and for the editing tips. Appreciate it. Cheers. Factsearch (talk) 18:00, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

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Comcast[edit]

Hey, just thought I'd drop you a note that I mentioned you at Talk:Comcast ~Adjwilley (talk) 05:18, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, yes I took the 75% as being commonly known. I thought I picked it up from a Reuters article. In any event livemint.com and The Wall Street Journal used the following reference which I believe I picked up from the Reuters article: “A tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would face tough scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission,” Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC, said in an interview in January. The merged company would account for almost three-quarters of the cable industry, according to the National Cable Television Association.

The key is the second sentence, the NCTA being the trade association for the U.S. cable industry. Unfortunately I haven't been able to detect any reference to the Comcast/Time Warner deal on NCTA's website so I agree it would be a stretch to sustain the 75% claim without a direct quote or reference from the apparent source of the information. factsearch.

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ITN credit[edit]

ThaddeusB (talk) 18:57, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

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Your recent good edit.[edit]

Hi Factsearch: Your good edit on Russia was reverted by someone. The thirty year contract seems to be part of high diplomatic importance between the two countries. FelixRosch (talk) 14:52, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

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July 2014[edit]

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  • in an interview with CNN described Hamas as "genocidal terrorists." <ref name="NetanyahuCNN">{{cite news|title=Hamas genocidal terrorists says Netanyahu|url=http://www.israelnews.net/index.php/

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Your recent edit in ISIS[edit]

Could you complete the footnote to your edit, please? The date of the article is missing. --P123ct1 (talk) 22:40, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Done. Thanks.

Welcome to Wikipedia[edit]

Welcome![edit]

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Best, BCorr|Брайен 22:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Factsearch (talk) 23:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

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Ok thanks, will fix. Factsearch (talk) 17:32, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

September 2014[edit]

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  • interest rates to near-zero, and intervening to force down the value of the [[Japanese yen|yen]]]. Only limited relief has occurred as the country has failed to emerge from recession for any

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Fixed, thanks. Factsearch (talk) 07:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Your reference spam campaign is over[edit]

http://spam.bignewsnetwork.com[edit]

http://spam.unitedkingdomnews.net[edit]

http://spam.floridastatesman.com[edit]

http://spam.australianherald.com[edit]

http://spam.thailandnews.net[edit]

http://spam.sacramentonews.net[edit]

http://spam.businesssun.com[edit]

It has become clear that the main purpose of this account is to add links to BigNewsNetwork owned sites. If you continue to do this, or if I find another account that continues to do this, I will add bignewsnetwork.com and it's affiiliates to the spam blacklist.

Stop icon You may be blocked from editing without further warning the next time you insert a spam link. Persistent spammers may have their websites blacklisted, preventing anyone from linking to them from all Wikimedia sites as well as potentially being penalized by search engines. OhNoitsJamie Talk 17:44, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Reply to ohnoitsjamie[edit]

It is extremely disheartening to regard significant work as a spam reference program, particularly without any dialogue. I can however understand how this would be construed.

My company does generate significant unique content for its network. The fact that part of it could be put to use in Wikipedia to me was making more use of that content. Only stories that would contribute to Wikipedia were added.

My interest in Wikipedia was not the motivation to add references, that came as a consequence, where I could see useful content my company was creating being put to further use. Engaging in a ‘spam reference’ program would be somewhat of a useless exercise in any event as virtually no traffic would be generated by it, and there is no value in the links because of the no-follow policy. Another consideration in a tiny way was to provide references with no registration required. One of my pet hates with Wikipedia is to go to a reference and find it is actually an invitation to subscribe to a newspaper, and without it I cannot access the article. Wikipedia is saturated with Wall Street Journal references. This may be ok for WSJ subscribers who work on Wikipedia, but for the 99% of the rest of us it is not. Many news sites now have this, almost all in Australia, and the UK, although there are some that are still freely available. Allowing references that require subscriptions being taken out is using Wikipedia as a promotions tool, in my view.

Not only references from my company were added although they were in the main for the reasons stated. There were other references added and significant work done to tidy up articles, and to add to them without references being added. I would stand by every edit done, as a genuine contribution to Wikipedia. My interest has developed over time mainly because I can see how outdated much of the encyclopedia is with a significant number of articles that have had no changes in years. My recent foray into expanding one contribution to so many sites was that it extended to many such articles, very small countries and articles that receive little to no attention. I can understand however now as to how that was perceived.

Anyway I at least wanted to explain why I did what I did. The work I have added has now been removed so there is nothing to be done there. And I will not use the account again, or any other account. If this account can be closed then please proceed to do that.

Sincerely, Factsearch (talk) 00:43, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2014[edit]

Stop icon
You have been blocked indefinitely from editing for advertising or promotion. From your contributions, this seems to be your only purpose. If you think there are good reasons why you should be unblocked, you may appeal this block by adding the following text below this notice: {{unblock|reason=Your reason here ~~~~}}. However, you should read the guide to appealing blocks first.  Drmies (talk) 00:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
File:Orologio rosso or File:Orologio verde DOT SVG (red clock or green clock icon, from Wikimedia Commons)
This blocked user's unblock request has been reviewed by an administrator, who declined the request. Other administrators may also review this block, but should not override the decision without good reason (see the blocking policy). Do not remove this unblock review while you are blocked.

Factsearch (block logactive blocksglobal blocksautoblockscontribsdeleted contribsabuse filter logcreation logchange block settingsunblock)


Request reason:

I have contributed significant time to Wikipedia and it is disheartening to have that work perceived as being motivated for a benefit to myself or my company, however I fully understand how that came about and I accept that I was absolutely in the wrong, in particular with the last additions I made which were to a large number of articles relating to most of the 134 countries having membership of IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) which has its headquarters in my present home country of the UAE. While it seemed a good idea at the time, in hindsight it was so bad a call that it deserved of a block on its own. Putting that aside, to give you some background my work involves editing news articles. I had become a Wikipedia editor some years ago and I got into the habit, particularly in the past few months, when I came across a good story of adding it to relevant articles on Wikipedia. I had a window open and often I would edit as I was working. I believe I was genuine in my approach to adding to and improving the encyclopedia. I have gone to great care, and done heaps of research, to improve articles. Take the Curtis Palmer page for example. I went to his article as a major sportsman in Australia had become a quadriplegic and we were researching previous incidents. Palmer became a quadriplegic playing the same sport in the 1990s. The information on his page was sparse, rather than go off looking for another source of information I spent the time researching and adding to the page. By the time I left it, it was in much better shape, and no associated references were added. As another example, 3 or 4 days ago I added an associated reference to an article titled Japanese Recession. In the process I saw the article page was a mess, so I cleaned the whole page up.

Every edit I have made was initiated in good faith and I believe would stand on its own, including any reference provided (in 99.9% of cases any associated reference was of an article originated by our network). There is no traffic of consequence generated by individual references on Wikipedia, and there is no link value due to the no-follow policy, however having read the Conflict of Interest page, the link to which was provided in the block notice, I fully accept that I was in breach of the rules, which are more far-reaching than I understood. Not ever having an edit questioned in relation to references used, or receiving an email or notification concerning this I know is no excuse but it is an explanation point as to why I did not become aware of this previously and stop doing it. I hope the administrator that reviews this response will accept my admission that adding associated references was totally wrong, and that I fully accept that and undertake not to add any associated reference under any circumstances at any time in the future. I would like the opportunity to resume editing albeit on a lesser scale, and undertake where references are required to only use fully independent sources. I believe I can provide value to Wikipedia, and would like the opportunity to win back the trust of the administrator or administrators that decided to block me.

Factsearch (talk) 14:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Decline reason:

Per the statement by User:OhNoitsJamie. If you want to actually persuade the reviewing admins, please limit your unblock request to 200 words or less. We do not want to read the entire story of your life before we can understand your request. It is still possible you can be unblocked if you will agree to clean up the improper links that you added. Per your statement below, you are declining to do this, so you will probably remain blocked. EdJohnston (talk) 19:34, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

If you want to make any further unblock requests, please read the guide to appealing blocks first and then use the {{unblock}} template again. If you make too many unconvincing or disruptive unblock requests, you may be prevented from editing this page until your block has expired.

I'll recuse myself from declining this, as I was the originator of the lengthy spam report and initiated the (continuing) cleanup effort. Looking at your edit history, I see since about 2012 (not long after this account was created), nearly every single edit you've made has been to add some tidbit of information that could've easily been sourced from any wire service but to instead source it with a BigNewsNetwork link or affiliate link. Yes, I know about the "nofollow" bit, but it's well known in SEO circles that Wikipedia is still good for boosting PageRank. I wish I could sit in on the BigNewsNetwork meeting where the large dip in traffic is discussed, as I've been focusing my efforts on removal of what appear to be articles that were targeted for high-traffic potential, rather than just adding helpful new information to stub articles. I would be firmly against unblocking unless the editor agrees to assist in the cleanup effort to remove (and replace, when necessary) all of the COI links that have been added in the last two years. OhNoitsJamie Talk 18:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Response to previous post:

Before requesting unblocking I was given the Conflict of Interest link and I was also given another link on guidance in making an unblock request. The tone of that was to keep comments professional, not take issue with anyone, and not make threats. Despite this, having lodged my request I have in response received a hostile commentary, making serious untrue allegations. This is a follow-on from threats and other serious untrue allegations (of plagiarism) made on the same administrator’s talk page, and the administrator’s listing on the Wikipedia spam page of all my company’s news sites as spam sites.

I have tried to address this matter as honestly and transparently as I can, within the guidelines laid down. It is however very difficult to leave unchallenged such grossly inaccurate comments by someone who clearly has significant power at Wikipedia and appears hell-bent on wreaking vengeance, and to do so would indicate an acceptance of them. I can only hope a comprehensive and independent audit is done of the edits which I believe will support what I have said. Factsearch (talk) 03:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by "threats." I simply warned you that I would blacklist the sites if if any other single purpose accounts were created to resume reference spamming. I never said anything about plagiarism; I simply said that the news tidbits you were adding were simple and easily-verifiable pieces that could have come from any wire service. I don't doubt that BigNewsNetwork has it's own wire service; my argument is that straightforward items like this are carried by nearly every major wire service and news outlet; in other words, every single BigNewsNetwork link I checked had about the same amount of information as any other news service link on the same bit of news. OhNoitsJamie Talk 00:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
@Ohnoitsjamie: I think you might be talking about only those links that were caught during the rollback session. I was reading Libyan Civil War, and found one edit from this user,[3] what you think about heraldglobe.com? OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 07:10, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
HeraldGlobe is yet another BigNewsNetwork brand (see bottom of the HeraldGlobe's front page). I have yet to find a reference added by Factsearch that wasn't affiliated with the BigNewsNetwork. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming! I think Factsearch can be really unblocked if he promises to clean up every spam link he added. Otherwise there is no reason to unblock. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 14:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Response to OhNoItsJamie previous posts Sorry about the delay in responding, I have been working on a number of major news stories. As I see it there are two key things that need to be established for you to uphold the conclusions you have drawn and to justify the actions you have taken. One is intent (motivation if you like) as to the editing and within that the benefit, if any. For someone to be intending to deliberately promote spam there has to be a benefit to do that, and one that would be worth the effort of engaging in.

I believe any benefit in search engine rankings has been ruled out because of the no-follow policy. Its now suggested there may be value in PageRank. This is a claim I have disputed, but I recognize I need to respond to it.

I think in general terms it is agreed there is no benefit in relation to traffic being generated by the placement of references, although there is now a claim that high traffic pages were targeted. So that is an issue that has too to be addressed.

It is now suggested that only tidbits were added in place of proper edits designed to enhance Wikipedia and add to the resource. That needs to be addressed along with your general understanding of references added versus articles from other services.

I’ll respond as soon as I can on these issues, as they are the basis on which the concerns you have raised now hinge. I'll also comment on your latest post and your comment OccultZone.

In the meantime you asked about the threats I was referring to. These included one to add all BNN sites to the spam blacklist. The second was to be blocked without warning. With this you said blacklisted sites would be prevented from being linked from Wikipedia as well as potentially being penalized by search engines. These threats were made without any warning, without any questioning of me as to what I was doing, and without even a single reference I had added being challenged. When I realized what was being perceived I was mortified. I found, again without any questioning, I was being painted as a spammer and was portrayed as having organized a spam reference campaign, and the purpose of my account was only to add associated references. The threats were made against me, yet the damage threatened was against my company’s sites. My name is fictitious, but any damage to BNN and its sites is quite real. I am sure you realise your talk page, which can be accessed by every Wikipedia user, is openly discussing me and my company and its sites in such a way, and has published a list of my company’s sites under the title Big News Network spam sites.

The plagiarism related to your suggestion that "most (if not all) BNN articles originated with Reuters or a similar service." Factsearch (talk) 23:54, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Further Factsearch clarification and explanation:

This situation has developed out of conclusions drawn, which I’ve already said, I can understand. I’ve set out what I was doing, and how I was going about it. It certainly wasn’t to do anything other than to add to Wikipedia as a resource. Why would anyone go to such trouble of adding references that would generate little or no traffic and be tagged with no-follows?

PageRank has been mentioned as a possibility, my understanding is the no-follow policy kills PageRank as well as search engine rankings. I believe too PageRank is mainly ascribed to homepages. News articles have a lifetime of 24/48 hours on average, more or less, where they are linked to the homepage, after that they are orphaned off. I don’t believe any article would have a page rank or be able to achieve one. As I’m really interested in resolving this issue I checked the PageRank of the main Reuters article running yesterday related to U.S. assistance in the fight against Ebola. The PageRank of the article page is zero.

It has been suggested high traffic pages were being targeted. Looking at the logs I'd say 99% of the articles edited would probably not be in the top 10,000 articles in terms of traffic. There has been no targeting of pages at all. In fact I delighted in being able to add an edit and/or reference to a page that had received no update for many years. The David Cameron page was mentioned, I don’t know it would be a high traffic page, but say it was, how many times would the reference added be clicked on? Once every 3 months, 6 months? If my purpose was to generate traffic it just would not be a worthwhile exercise trying to do it by placing references.

Information in the references I added have been compared with information in articles from other sources, saying that not much is different. This is right to a large degree. In recent years media outlets have laid off thousands of journalists. There are now numerous publications displaying content that is on thousands of other publications. The AP, Reuters and AFP news is displaying on the majority of news websites, newspapers, radio & TV. The news originated by BNN is mainly international and business news, and yes it takes information from other sources, as all news organisations do, but the intent is to take a different angle, add to it and to provide more depth. This doesn’t always happen but in many cases it does. BNN is a licensed news agency and it subscribes to a number of other news wires as well. As I’ve said the stories I’ve used as references in the main were 99.9% originated by BNN and its sites, and it was only as I was working on them, editing them, and I had Wikipedia open that I would sometimes write up an entry and add the story, at the same time making additional use of it. Knowing what I know now of course I would go and seek out another reference, but until now I’d seen no harm in it, I thought I was contributing. If the BNN sites references were trash or the edits were clumsily done or if just references were added to accompany other references without any additional editing being done, or existing references were being replaced then the story would be different.

Re tidbits, I have said before I stand behind every edit made. I note the edits I made on the Japanese Recession (article) have been reversed so the article is back to its original state before I overhauled it (a mess). I note on a talk page another editor has queried why an edit of mine has been reversed. On the article page Thai Union Group my edit was replaced with something of “a more promotional tone due to sentences such as "For further information, please visit the TUF website at http://www.thaiuniongroup.com (these are not my words but the words of the editor that placed this note).

In my view with Japanese Recession a lot of good work and research was undone, and with the TUF page a perfectly legitimate edit was replaced with a series of spam additions including an external link which were probably there before I got to the page in the first place. (Just making clear the editor probably just reversed my edits rather than added the promotional material).

Aside from the general editing of both articles, what are being described as tidbits that accompanied the associated references were as follows:

Japanese Recession

By mid-2014, Japan's economy was still struggling to make headway, and was contracting sharply on an annualized basis. For the year to June 30 2014, the economy in terms of GDP contracted by 7.1%. Part of the blame was attributed to an increase in Japan's sales tax on consumer goods from 5% to 8%, in April 2013.

TUF

In September 2014, the group signed a deal for MW Brands to take over 40-year old French company MerAlliance, the fourth largest smoked-salmon producer in Europe. The terms of the deal, which were expected to significantly enlarge the group's chilled seafood business, were not disclosed. MerAlliance's revenue for the year to 31 March 2014 was $220 million.

I think it unfair to describe the edits as tidbits. In fact I see now the TUF page has been reverted to incorporate all the edits I made, and the text accompanying the reference which has been replaced with a Reuters article is the exact same text that I created. I also note the Reuters article that replaced the associated reference article comprised 206 words and no photo. The article I added had 446 words and a photo.

One final point. It has been suggested the account was opened for one purpose. And shortly after it opened it began on a large scale. For absolute clarity on this I went back and studied the logs. The account was opened in 2011 and the first edits were in December of that year, quite a lot of them, no associated references. There was quite a lot of editing in July 2012, no associated references. The first edit with an AR was in August 2012, 8 months after the account was opened. There was more editing in August, September and October 2012, all the time references being added, but no ARs. On 20 October 2012 on doing research on an article for Roger Ailes (Fox News Chairman) and a section said ‘citation needed,’ (according to the logs) an AR was added. Editing and adding references continued in November and December 2012 but with no ARs until 5 December 2012 when one was added. Through 2013 there was a lot of editing and a lot of references added but only 15 ARs (for the year). So in summary, there were none in 2011, 3 in 2012 and 15 in 2013. So the logs clearly show this was not a long-term campaign, it has been going for just a few months, and is something that simply developed over a set of circumstances and a change in my work. Where it got out of hand was early this year, when my role changed to editing. When I look at the stories in the past which I have added, they were all stories I was working on. Our approach is to add something beyond what other articles are carrying and often Wikipedia can provide that information. In this situation I would have Wikipedia open, be editing the story and researching elsewhere as well. It seemed a natural thing to be adding good references and writing up edits at the same time as correcting and improving the stories. Obviously not being aware of the COI rules in relation to references, and not being conscious at how that would ultimately be perceived was a major mistake. The stupid part for me was that I was actually delighting in adding more content. Anyone working for a news service and is a Wikipedia editor can be a resource, but not without seeking alternatively-sourced references, which really puts them in a COI situation in relation to their work. A Reuters employee for example who is a Wikipedia editor would have the same problem, having to go out and source another reference which would be hard to do, particularly if it was a story they were working on. Anyway my only objective now is to try and establish I was acting with the best intentions, did not add or change anything that did not improve the encyclopedia, and that the pseudonym Factsearch (named for the research role) can be put back into good-standing. I’ve already given the necessary undertakings and clearly what I need to do in the future if there is agreement on this is to separate my work from any editing I do.

Let me know if you need any clarification on any aspect that I’ve discussed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Factsearch (talkcontribs) 15:46, 18 September 2014‎ (UTC)

You haven't addressed an unblock condition endorsed by myself and OccultZone; are you willing to remove all COI references that you added (and replacing them, if necessary, with a non-affiliated link)? OhNoitsJamie Talk 17:38, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I am sure you appreciate that since you suggested that condition, I have spent countless hours addressing and responding to your claims. I am not now going to spend countless more hours butchering perfectly valid edits and references which would be to the detriment of Wikipedia. Asides, to accept a condition, a penalty if you like, would be an admission to knowingly doing something wrong (intentionally breaking the rules). I have never conceded that because I haven’t. In any event I understood all the edits had been ‘rolled back.’ Factsearch (talk) 13:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Message for OccultZone I checked the edit you queried in Libyan Civil War. The edit was as follows:

By August 2014 the situation had worsened with the country's armed forces battling militias on several fronts. On 12 August 2014 masked gunmen assassinated the Tripoli police chief Colonel Mohammed Sweissi, the second police chief to be killed in a month, as the country appeared to be verging on another civil war.

I stand by the edit, but please let me know if you have any issues with it. I checked the reference and it is perfectly valid. I checked to compare it with Reuters, however it appears they did not cover the story. It seems 99% of other media didn’t either. I found an AP story on the subject. It was 300 words and did not have a photo. The reference added had 367 words and a photo.

Regards your support for me to be unblocked if all ‘spam links’ were removed. Since that condition was proposed I have spent many, many hours researching and responding to the claims that resulted in this block. I can say I would be only too willing to remove any ‘spam link’ made by anybody. But in this case there are none. Every edit and reference added is valid and has been added in good-faith, albeit in breach of the COI. If I was aware of the rules and made the edits that would be a very different thing. I can't see any reason to go and spend many more hours trying to match up or having to change perfectly valid edits and references for no purpose, and by doing so making an admission that I had knowingly breached the COI rules, which I didn’t. I hope you can understand that. Factsearch (talk) 13:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)