User talk:SlimVirgin

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29 April 2015

2015: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec

Essay[edit]

Sarah, Thanks for your comment on ANI. [1] Duck was the word I was looking for. Do you think it might be helpful to draft a COIDuck essay? As I mentioned in ANI, it seems COIDuck-like to violate multiple polices and guidelines such as WP:NPOV, WP:OWN, WP:CHERRYPICK, WP:SYTNTH, WP:BULLY, WP:TAGTEAM, WP:BITE. I agree with you that we need to try do something, especially in light of [2].--BoboMeowCat (talk) 23:42, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

@BoboMeowCat: an essay is an excellent idea. I have too much on my plate to start one, but I'd be very willing to make some edits. If you're interested in starting it, you might want to begin in user space so that you have a decent version ready before opening it up. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:06, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I may be more of a follower type, than a leader here, especially when it comes to policy, as I have limited experience. @Atsme:, any chance you’d be willing to start such an essay and dazzle us :) [3] If you, or any other talk page stalker, could start a draft of such an essay, and get the general essay format going, I will contribute to the writing. Anyone else interested in helping out with this? (pinging @Petrarchan47:,@Gandydancer:) --BoboMeowCat (talk) 00:19, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
You betcha, BoboMeowCat! Anchor's aweigh! Notice that I'm wearing my sunglasses. The dazzle can be blinding. B) AtsmeConsult 01:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(talk page stalker) fwiw, the essay would come out better if you've spent some time working the front lines of dealing with COI in WP. The two places where we need more help are AfC, AfD, and COIN, per this comment by DGG, an Arbitrator - see here. I know that is more grunt-work than the glamour of being dazzling but it would be great to have more hands there. Jytdog (talk) 01:01, 31 March 2015 (UTC) (striking per below. Jytdog (talk) 01:08, 31 March 2015 (UTC))

Jytdog, pleased not refer to me as an arb unless I'm acting as an arb. There, as almost everywhere except on arb pages, I'm commenting only as an editor giving only my own personal opinion. (or, sometimes, as an admin doing something any admin can do.) In neither context does being an arb make any difference at all. DGG ( talk ) 01:06, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
thank you, will keep that in mind. sorry, and striking. Jytdog (talk) 01:08, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Bobo, about pinging, it only works if a signature is added when the ping is, so pings added after the fact as you did apparently don't go through. See WP:ECHO: "if the edit does not add a new signature to the page, no notification will be sent." I don't know whether it's a bug or a feature. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:02, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, (re-pinging @Petrarchan47:,@Gandydancer:) to alert them to this thread.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 01:09, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Ok, I got something started User:Atsme/sandboxCOIduckery. AtsmeConsult 01:48, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Go, Atsme! Oh, and you might find this extremely helpful. petrarchan47tc 05:28, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
(Related: WP:9STEPS petrarchan47tc 16:59, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I've done the damage, and the first draft is ready. User:Atsme/sandboxCOIduckery. I apologize for the verbosity but it was once advantageous when I was paid by the word. Old habits are harder to break than the bank. Feel free to snip away at the verbiage, add infoboxes, images, and whatever else will help break the verbal monotony. The only thing I can confirm as missing is a remedy. I don't have one, so I left it open to suggestions from Sarah (SV) and/or other admins who might be concerned I might inadvertently screw something up, or who just enjoy stalking stealthily in the background (.V.) AtsmeConsult 16:24, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Atsme, I like your essay and your writing. Thank you for putting it together! The one thing I would urge caution over, and I was thinking of mentioning this to Petra too, is criticism of MEDRS. I know it has been misused (and misunderstood), but the people at WikiProject Medicine are very concerned about COI. Doc James, for example, is a strong MEDRS defender and COI opponent. MEDRS provides some defence against COI because for the most part it doesn't allow primary sources (e.g. individual studies). It's a conservative approach, but it's one that keeps out all kinds of misuse of primary sources, including by COI advocates. The more I've seen MEDRS in action, the more I've come to appreciate it, not only for COI but for quality in general. (That's assuming it's used correctly; it's worth reading carefully.) Sarah (SV) (talk) 19:47, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
(For my part, I would much rather address Advocacy editing and leave the COI issue to those already covering it.) My concern is not about MEDRS when used correctly. I do have a problem with the fact that the American medical model has taken over WP, and that WP Project Medicine does not include practitioners from Chinese medicine, Indian (Aryuvedic) medicine, natural healing, ancient forms of healing, etc. When I think of an encyclopedia, I expect to see a rounded picture with the full history and all nations included. Instead, other forms of medicine are *judged* rather than described by this website.
I was dismayed to say the least when WP Project Medicine took over all of the Cannabis articles even though 2 of the 3 editors responsible admitted to a strong bias against herbal medicine. They also did not know anything about the subject, and made the articles sound more like an FDA warning than a presentation of all the facts to date. I actually brought in a Cannabinoid researcher to help them interpret studies in a field that is very new and complicated. I expected he would be welcomed and utilized (I introduced him via the Project Medicine talk page), but instead he was ignored and I was accused of canvassing, with one of the editors *still*, a year later, trying to get sanctions against me for that.
The MEDRS guideline does indeed allow for primary sources to be used with due weight, and we are being told otherwise, which is one way the guideline is being misused and misinterpreted. The misuse of MEDRS is a very complex issue, and is the very reason I would encourage Atsme to share her insights on this matter. She is seeing the exact things I am seeing and describes them clearly. I am sure Doc James does tremendous work, although again, he works in the very field he edits and it is possible that a worldview (encyclopedic view) of medicine might be harder to embrace.
You may remember, Sarah, when I came to you to ask about MEDRS - it was the first time I had heard of it. Jytdog used it as a way to keep information about RoundUp's potential health effects out of the Pedia. How would any human have been harmed by seeing that information? Only Monsanto stockholders would have been harmed. Yet here we are, 2 years later, and WHO is admitting RoundUp probably causes cancer. In hindsight, it seems that if the edit had been allowed to remain, some people may have made different buying choices and potentially have a lesser chance of getting cancer. MEDRS in this case was not used to protect human health, but rather a large corporation. petrarchan47tc 21:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
There are high quality secondary sources that support health effects / concerns WRT pesticides and there has been for years. We hardly give the substances our blessing per Health_effects_of_pesticides. Just because some primary sources are good does not mean we should not do better and use secondary sources.
That you consider the enforcement of using high quality sources to be an example of COI is unfortunate. WP:MEDRS is one of the few effective methods we have of dealing with COI in medicine. One can cherry pick primary sources. It is a little harder to do that with recent systematic reviews and meta analysis. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:20, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect, Doc James, reliable sources is exactly what defenders of genetic engineering lack—see here for a specific discussion of this point—yet the exact same users cry "MEDRS" when it suits their purposes. Despite continual warnings about the state of the genetic engineering articles, which for years have make highly problematic claims about food safety, would-be enforcers of scientific rigor have been conspicuously unwilling to make the necessary changes. The medical "authorities" on Wikipeida lack credibility so long as they continue to enable this whitewashing. shalom, groupuscule (talk) 01:05, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
^Strongly agree. David Tornheim (talk) 05:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Once again: the article called Genetically modified food controversies and other articles related to genetic engineering do not follow "MEDRS" regarding the absolutely crucial question of food safety. Look at the sources for the first sentence in Genetically modified food controversies#Health. These sources are press releases, political advocacy statements, and opinion pieces. Many are entirely devoid of references. Several lack bylines. Meanwhile findings of peer-reviewed literature reviews are kept out of the article. Look what account has contributed the large plurality of edits on the article and functions as a gatekeeper with the blessing of Wikiproject Medicine. Wikipedia has been misinforming people about the scientific evidence on genetically engineered food for several years now. Why are so many weak sources cited to defend genetic engineering—when the WikiProject Medicine Way of improving Anorexia nervosa is apparently to remove 160+ unique footnotes even when doing so leaves many claims completely unattributed? Will the arbiters of reliable medical sources give genetic engineering articles the same treatment? Or is it more convenient to allow bad sources when they favor the industry? groupuscule (talk) 03:13, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Doc, please note that I began my piece by saying that I am talking not about COI editing, but advocacy editing. I have had unfortunate experiences with MEDRS being misused. Another example is here (scroll to the bottom for complete context and Atsme's response). (Here is a direct link to the edit in question). I am not talking in absolutes here, either. I'm not saying it's a bad guideline. I am simply pointing out that is being misused in a way that does not serve the reader, and likely reflects the bias of the editor rather than the "spirit of the [MEDRS] law".
Secondary sources can be cherry-picked as well. Viriditas is aware of this in relation to the Medical Cannabis article. Many editors have pointed out that the Cannabis articles are now POV, and in my attempt to counter what I saw as a coatrack of negative information added to the MediCann article during the great overhaul, I compiled this list using primarily MEDRS-compliant sources. I was told by Alexbrn that none of this was acceptable for the article. petrarchan47tc 03:45, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes that is just a starting point. One then needs to than balance the sources based on how good they are. " Front Public Health" has an impact factor of zero and thus not a very good source.[4] We also need sources that have a reputation for acuracy. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:58, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Lets look at this edit [5]
The first ref is popular press [6], this is a primary source [7], this is more popular press [8] Gah
This is exactly the sources we should be keeping out of Wikipedia. If they were important we would see a review on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or RA discussing it. There is not a lack of high quality recent literature reviews in top medical journals on these topics. The fact that they do not discuss it means it is not widely believed to be important. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:11, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Might you be placing too much faith in the neutrality of the top medical journals? The fact that they do not discuss some things has to do with which studies receive funding, no? I think the Pedia is worse off without this information, and no one was being harmed by its inclusion. Popular press has been the lifeblood of this encyclopedia as long as I have been here, but with the MEDRS rule, people who know more than the rest of us can make sweeping statements and deletions based on it, leaving other editors and piles of information in the dust. I would rather have an encyclopedia that includes more information, not less, unless that info could cause harm to human health (if proven later to be false). MEDRS should be used to protect readers, but I see it used to censor information and to spin articles and attack alternatives so that the American medical industry and it's twin, the pharmaceutical industry, are seen as nearly infallible, when indeed they remain among the leading causes of death in the US. I wouldn't expect anyone receiving a paycheck from this industry to have a truly neutral view of this system and its inherent flaws, which is why it's beyond upsetting that WP has signed off on allowing professionals to control content, and even create policies (or guidelines being used as policy), in their chosen field. This seems the epitome of conflicted to me.
However, WP has signed off on this, for whatever reason, and I have retired. Please rest assured that I am not going to become a disruption to the collegiate atmosphere and the good work you all are doing to fight COI. Thanks for hearing me out. petrarchan47tc 21:24, 1 April 2015 (UTC)


Sarah, you are a breath of fresh air, and so is Petra. I fully understand your concerns, and if you get a chance, please read my response to Petra on my TP because I actually addressed your issues in that wall of text (which I apologize for but it's as much a part of me as are my blue eyes and blonde hair, except those are colors I can change much easier than I can change the color of my dissertations. I am trying, promise). [9] AtsmeConsult 21:54, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Atsme, I'll take a look at your post. Don't apologize for your writing. I like it! Sarah (SV) (talk) 03:29, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

WRT an essay

1) How one should edit Wikipedia

  • Find a good source such as a 2015 review in the Lancet [10]
  • Paraphrase said source and add it (you can use one excellent source many times)
  • Discussion may then occur regarding the paraphrasing or placement of the info

2) How one should not edit Wikipedia

  • Come up with a conclusion you think is true
  • Search the literature to find evidence to support this position
  • Attempt to edit war it into place

If we use the best available sources we have a much better chance of having the best available content Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:02, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Sarah (SV), what else needs to be done in order to make COI duckery a main space essay? Thanks for all you do!! AtsmeConsult 14:55, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Atsme, you can add your essay to project space at Wikipedia:COI duckery (or whatever title you prefer) by moving it using the move tab at the top of the page under "More" (that way preserves the page history), or by copying it onto the new page.
Again, I would urge caution re: MEDRS, particularly the sentence "MEDRS is a content guideline, not a policy." It's widely accepted as a policy, despite the guideline label, though you'll see on talk that there's sometimes disagreement about how to apply it. One thing that might help is to read up about medical sourcing so that you're in a better position to find good sources and recognize when MEDRS is being mis-applied. Suggestions: Trisha Greenhalgh, How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine, and some useful links here at the BMJ, including this article by Greenhalgh. Sarah (SV) (talk) 18:39, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
This is important - it's a guideline, but is widely accepted as policy? The lack of clarity is causing much strife amongst users; a handful have been complaining about this on my talk page. The murkiness surrounding MEDRS needs to be remedied or the conflicts won't end. petrarchan47tc 20:37, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Petra, There are uses of MEDRS that are strongly supported, and then there is the misuse of it. One idea might be to take your strongest case – one that was dismissed per MEDRS but that you feel was policy-compliant or ought to have been – and ask for opinions about it on WT:MEDRS. Sarah (SV) (talk) 20:48, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Break[edit]

Thank you for the tip, Sarah. I'll take another look at it. While I completely understand the purpose and benefit of MEDRS (and have read it), I agree with Petra and the other editors who expressed concern over its misuse and the need for clarity. One of my concerns is censorship of information which inadvertently places WP in the role of advising readers rather than informing them, and doing so is not NPOV. While the information we provide should certainly be RS, we are still an encyclopedia providing general knowledge, the point being WP:NOTJOURNAL. It is extremely fortunate that we have volunteers in the highest levels of academia, medicine and science writing and collaborating on articles about such topics but WP should maintain a more sterile position in lieu of promoting one view over another or protecting readers from learning about one treatment over another. For example, MEDRS basically prevents inclusion of integrative and alternative treatments in an article even though NIH recognizes it [11], as does the Mayo Clinic [12] and other reputable medical clinics around the world. I generally steer clear of these types of articles but MEDRS occasionally bleeds over into related BLPs which is how I initially got involved. WP is global but there have been occasions where MEDRS was used as an excuse to exclude information from Chinese and Indian Journals as not RS. Their health systems can't be too bad considering population numbers: China in the lead with 1.34 billion, India with 1.19 billion, and the United States with a mere 311.1 million and the highest rate of autism in the world. Also, if the NY Times or ABC News runs a story reporting a pattern of behavioral issues or deaths linked to a certain drug, it should not be censored from inclusion in the relative article as long as it includes an inline citation and inline text attribution. I'll close with another concern. We can probably all agree that most people have become quite skeptical of big pharma and its perceived control over government; some of the reasons shown here: List_of_largest_pharmaceutical_settlements. Now look at the following series of reverts regarding the exclusion/inclusion of governmental health: [13] [14] [15] [16], and the following series of reverts regarding academic sources: [17][18][19][20] [21]. I look forward to your response, and thank you very much for the time and attention you've contributed to addressing our concerns. AtsmeConsult 05:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme I just wanted to mention I don't think those countries huge populations are a sign of good healthcare systems. The opposite actually. They need more birth control to be covered for one thing. Popish Plot (talk) 14:00, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Ok, Sarah (SV), take a gander at it when you get a chance...almost a total revamp. User:Atsme/sandboxCOIduckery. I'm also planning to change the title to COI ducks. Hopefully you'll like it better now. 8-) AtsmeConsult 22:54, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Atsme, I'll take a look at it shortly. Just one point for now in response to your post. You wrote:
"... if the NY Times or ABC News runs a story reporting a pattern of behavioral issues or deaths linked to a certain drug, it should not be censored from inclusion in the relative article ..."
When newspapers run that a study has shown a new drug to be helpful (and these stories appear all the time), you would have to include that too. Given that such stories are regularly planted by pharmaceutical companies, you can see where that would lead. Ditto with allowing primary sources: you would have to include individual studies funded by the companies. How would we decide which primary sources to allow in?
The point of relying on secondary sources in medical journals is that those authors make that choice for us. The alternative is to leave it to individual editors, perhaps without relevant training, perhaps with a COI. That's a problem with primary sources in every field, not just medicine, but the risk of COI editing based on primary sources is high in medicine. If you were to allow primary sources, how would you protect articles against this? Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:26, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Censoring information is far more harmful. If cutting edge or break-thru information is reported or published in RS, such as the NY Times, ABC, CNN, and/or in peer reviewed medical journals that publish independent studies with conclusions from different labs, I would think yes, we include it per NPOV in a dispassionate tone with proper weight and categorization as ongoing research or hypotheses. Hypothetical scenario: major research company in US announces plans to conduct further research into a natural substance as the result of new discoveries of unknown mechanisms that show positive results (citing 6 different laboratory tests from different labs in the US, China, India) in-vitro and/or in laboratory animals. Can we not include a short paragraph about it in the relative article under a section titled hypotheses, and/or research directions? It's no longer pseudoscience or fringe because it is ongoing research. We're not calling it a cure - it's ongoing research. Who knows - a young student might be inspired by the information and set a new course in life as a scientist, researcher or doctor. Why would we want to keep such knowledge from our readers? Also, if we can trust CNN, ABC, the NY Times, etc. for breaking news about war, our national defense, politics, ebola, fracing, meteors, etc. why can't we trust them to give us cutting edge reports about science and medicine? If we adhere to policy using inline text attribution, and make sure to not give it UNDUE per the guidelines, why not? AtsmeConsult 02:42, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Partly because journalists sometimes get it wrong (or often, in the view of scientists), partly because the pharmaceutical industry is active in guiding news sources (read Ben Goldacre on the manipulation of patients' groups), and partly because there would be no end to it. You can find a study on PubMed to show just about anything.
Your suggestion would mean that journalists would guide which medical primary sources were allowed as sources on WP. That would mean that researchers good at PR would be included in Wikipedia more often than researchers who don't court publicity. But we don't let journalists do that with history articles – we don't decide which Auschwitz survivors have offered credible testimony based on the view of CNN. We rely on the work of Holocaust historians, academics able to judge which primary sources are credible.
News sources can be used for current-affairs issues in articles about medical issues, though I'm not a regular editor of medical articles, so I don't know where the lines are drawn. It might be fruitful to start a discussion on WT:MED about the parameters, and ask for examples of appropriate current-affairs reporting in medical articles or of the appropriate use of primary sources. Sarah (SV) (talk) 03:12, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Not much hope either way....[22]....see following excerpt:
Big Pharma Sways Opinions - Doctors may be persuaded to allow ghostwriting, which involves Big Pharma paying physicians to attach their names to positive articles about a particular drug with the goal of seeing it published in a reputable medical journal.
Often the commentary is little more than an advertisement penned by a company-paid copywriter showcasing a newer product. Big Pharma used ghostwriting to promote numerous drugs, including the antidepressant Paxil, the recalled weight loss drug Fen-Phen, the anti-epilepsy drug Neurontin, the antidepressant Zoloft and painkiller Vioxx, to name a few.
In addition, even when a medical reviewer, who is an expert in the field, writes a comprehensive assessment of a new drug for a medical journal, it is common practice for those supposedly unbiased professionals to be on Big Pharma’s payroll.
In a 2011 investigation into conflicts of interest in medical literature, an international team of researchers reviewed the funding sources of 29 meta-analyses, or studies of past studies, that involved 509 individual drug trials. Researchers identified seven meta-analyses in which all studies mentioned were funded completely or in part by the manufacturer of the drug being evaluated — or where the study authors had direct financial ties to the drugmaker. In six out of the seven meta-analyses, investigators did not disclose the source of funding.
These slanted studies appear in medical journals that are widely hailed as collections of unbiased scientific evaluation and separated from the long financial arm of pharmaceutical industry influence. Yet Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, says, “All journals are bought – or at least cleverly used – by the pharmaceutical industry.”
AtsmeConsult 03:42, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Atsme: Who is drugwatch.com and why do they want me to call them for "a free case review"? Have you ever used them as a source in a Wikipedia article? Geogene (talk) 17:01, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Geogene, I saw you add a ping (fix a typo) to your edit after you'd signed it. That doesn't work; they need a sig after the ping, so I'll re-ping Atsme for you. There's a script that produces the ping template to avoid typos. I'll find it and post it to your talk. Sarah (SV) (talk) 17:48, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Sarah. @Geogene:, I found them on the internet last night when I Googled the phrase "big pharma influence on medical journals". I just now went to the site again, and found their "about" link if that helps. [23] All I know about them is what the website says. I don't normally write about health or medicine, so to your question, "no", I never used them as a source. They appear to be a law firm who specializes in medical claims and malpractice, etc. I'm not sure, but if they publish a conclusion about a case they handled, it wouldn't actually be OR, but it might be considered a primary source, or would it be self-published? They actually "called you"? AtsmeConsult 19:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Atsme: That's exactly what it seems to be. I looked up the host information for the site, and all I saw is that it's hosted by GoDaddy. It seems to be an intake point to recruit medical malpractice plaintiffs. I don't mean to imply that what they are doing is in any way unethical, or that the information there is necessarily wrong...just that I can't work out who has editorial control of the site. I think that, like pharma companies, they have a horse in the race. Their sources sections could be useful, though. Geogene (talk) 20:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
More info on it is already on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_ghost_writing Popish Plot (talk) 14:13, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
PS - worse yet: "But while the popular press celebrated this sudden attack of nanoconscience and while we still gravely debate whether physicians’ loyalties can really be bought for a disposable pen or a free lunch, the $310 billion pharmaceutical industry quietly buys something far more influential: the contents of medical journals and, all too often, the trajectory of medical research itself." [24] AtsmeConsult 03:44, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
PSS - It might also be of interest to note that the FDA is headed by an ex-Monsanto lobbyist (Michael Taylor), so is a questionable RS when it comes to the issue of GM foods, etc. Also, the FDA is subservient to the White House, it is not an independent scientific organization; it takes money from the pharma industry. (Examples from: FORBES and Harvard)
And again from Harvard:
"The forthcoming article in JLME also presents systematic, quantitative evidence that since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, as it makes large contributions to Congressmen who have promoted this substitution for publicly funded regulation, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths. New FDA policies are likely to increase the epidemic of harms. This will increase costs for insurers but increase revenues for providers.
"This evidence indicates why we can no longer trust the FDA to carry out its historic mission to protect the public from harmful and ineffective drugs. Strong public demand that government “do something” about periodic drug disasters has played a central role in developing the FDA. Yet close, constant contact by companies with FDA staff and officials has contributed to vague, minimal criteria of what “safe” and “effective” mean. The FDA routinely approves scores of new minor variations each year, with minimal evidence about risks of harm. Then very effective mass marketing takes over, and the FDA devotes only a small percent of its budget to protect physicians or patients from receiving biased or untruthful information. The further corruption of medical knowledge through company-funded teams that craft the published literature to overstate benefits and understate harms, unmonitored by the FDA, leaves good physicians with corrupted knowledge. Patients are the innocent victims."
But the FDA is accepted by WP as a trusted source for biomedical claims. petrarchan47tc 05:13, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Atsme and Petra, I agree that the funding and ghostwriting problems stretch beyond the primary sources. I think the hope is that it's less likely that a secondary source will have these problems, because the review articles give an overview of multiple studies, so it's harder to interefere with that. It might be worth having a discussion about funding and sources with WikiProject Medicine because I know they do care a lot about COI. Sarah (SV) (talk) 17:55, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I think it's more likely a secondary source can be gamed. Easier for the medical industry to pay off one researcher who is compiling studies by cherry picking than to pay off all researchers who are working on what would be primary sources. This is the reason for consolidation, easier to corrupt. Popish Plot (talk) 14:16, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme and Petra make some very good points about how money corrupts scientific publishing and regulatory agencies. I can think of no simple solutions to this problem. I do think that identifying funding sources for studies and review articles and connections of authors/editors that have significant ties to industry through current or past employment is helpful. I strongly disagree with a comment made above that because a university performs a study or review that is funded by industry that the study is "independent". Universities rely heavily on industry funding and there is immense pressure to report the result the industry wants reported. See for example this article.. Quotes from that article:
"The odds of coming to a conclusion favorable to the industry are 3.6 times greater in research sponsored by the industry than in research sponsored by government and nonprofit groups, according to a published analysis by Justin Bekelman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues." (paraphrase of comments by Joseph Ross, a professor at Yale Medical School.)
...
“It used to be that drug companies would hand their new drug over to an academic center to have it tested, and then they sat back and waited,” said Marcia Angell, who retired as editor in chief of NEJM in 2000 after more than 20 years at the publication. “Now they’re intimately involved in every step along the way, and they treat academic researchers more like hired hands.”
This article refers to this meta-analysis showing how funding corrupts review articles too with regard to cancer risk from second hand smoke:
However, studies have shown that when industry pays for research, it may influence the outcome. A 1998 analysis of more than 100 articles published on secondhand smoke reported that 37 percent found no health risk. At least 74 percent of the articles exonerating cigarette smoke were written by scientists with ties to the tobacco industry.
The meta-study concluded:
The conclusions of review articles are strongly associated with the affiliations of their authors. Authors of review articles should disclose potential financial conflicts of interest, and readers of review articles should consider authors' affiliations when deciding how to judge an article's conclusions.
Based on this I think Wikipedia should do the same whenever possible. David Tornheim (talk) 21:31, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Lots of good ideas were presented in this discussion, and certainly a lot of information to wrap our heads around. FYI, I finished the essay and it is now online, WP:COIducks. I took the advice of several editors and polished it up a bit, only this time during normal daylight hours instead of late night with only half a brain as I have been. It's far from perfect, but it's still editable. I am duly impressed by Petrarchan47 and the inspiration that has grown out of her retirement. :-P Imagine what we could accomplish if she was back full time! yes

I also wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge Sarah's FA accomplishments. I am in awe. I learned of Sarah only recently, but it was not difficult to recognize her outstanding abilities as an editor and exceptional qualities as an administrator. If only there were more like her! In the recent past, I suggested making FAs a prerequisite for an administrator position. I truly believes it provides for a better understanding of the actual work involved in getting the article right beginning with the most intricate of details from proper citations to comma placement. I have the utmost respect, admiration and appreciation for the work performed by the FA review team and the article nominators/collaborators throughout the process. To have gone through and passed so many FA reviews, Sarah clearly is a shining star, and I say that with the utmost sincerity. AtsmeConsult 23:49, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

She certainly is - that's a well known fact. Sarah, thank you for once again hosting an incredible discussion and sharing your insights. Atsme, you're hilarious and a burst of sunlight. Applause all around ~ petrarchan47tc 23:56, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
As an example of how the MEDRS rules of using secondary sources do not help, take a look at what is happening here. Any review article that suggests that organic is healthier than conventional food is rejected as "too old" from a "fringey" journal, etc.David Tornheim (talk) 08:08, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
One has to wonder what possible benefit theses attackers of anything natural could garner by consuming pesticides and herbicides. The studies I've seen only focus on nutrient content while ignoring the 'elephant in the room' of the biological damage from the application of synthetic chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer and birth defects.--Pekay2 (talk) 01:48, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

RFPP[edit]

I've done an RFPP that you declined. Don't mean to step on your toes, but the title seemed worthy of salting. If you disagree, feel free to unprotect. Deor (talk) 01:20, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

That's fine, Deor, and thanks for letting me know. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:26, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Advice please[edit]

Hi Sarah. Thanks for your cool and measured responses to the RfC at (I won't mention the page in case this is inappropriate). I have just seen an interchange on the user page of one of the editors in this drama which indicates there may be an alliance relating to that RfC. I appreciate this appears all very "cloak-and-dagger", and perhaps even slight paranoia, but, should I do something about this? I am getting extremely weary of all the drama going on over there, so if you suggest I drop this alliance possibility, I most certainly will. Of course I can provide the diff for this but felt better not to make this public at this stage.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:57, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi DrChrissy, I think the best thing for you at that RfC is not to comment on it anymore. It's getting bogged down with "meta" issues, and if that continues the closing editor might have problems closing it. As things stand, most people want the legislation section to be in the main article. That may or may not change as the RfC progresses.
Often with an RfC, the best approach is to ask a clear question, link to what you want, create a separate survey section so that it's not overwhelmed by threaded replies, then stand back and let it happen. Sometimes things work out as we want, and sometimes not. I think focusing on possible alliances will lead to more distress for you, so I'd drop that aspect and focus only on steering the RfC to a conclusion (and, as I said, the best way to do that might be to do nothing). Sarah (SV) (talk) 20:15, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Great advice, thanks very much. As to correctly wording an RfC - I don't think I will be trying this again any time in the near future ;-) Enjoy your evening, morning or wherever you are in the world.__DrChrissy (talk) 20:22, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Hello?[edit]

I pinged you today.[25] Did you not receive a notice? Lightbreather (talk) 03:36, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Lightbreather, I saw it about ten minutes ago, and that it was closed. I wasn't sure what the request was for. If you want to give details, I can take a look, but can't promise anything. Sarah (SV) (talk) 04:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I also meant to say that I'm sorry about your elbow and that your friend is ill. I'm sorry for saving the post without saying that. I hope you're not in too much pain. Sarah (SV) (talk) 04:51, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Talk back[edit]

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Rape article bias?[edit]

Sarah, I just read our Rape article hoping to find stats on convictions and was surprised to find only a tiny section on convictions as opposed to a very large section on false allegations, with a link to a false allegations article to boot. Even the recent article 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations was included in the false allegations for good measure. Beginning an attempt to expand the Convictions section, I began with the wording, "The courts have been criticized for the surprisingly low rates of rape convictions" with a source, and a UK article. It was immediately deleted. Would this be the sort of article that may need help from a more balanced group of editors, meaning more women involved in the editing, rather than the assumed 10 to 20 percent? While I am not suggesting that only women can edit the rape article without bias - I believe that most WP male editors are perfectly capable to do that - it does seem odd to me to find such an apparent long-standing gap in the amount of space given to these two sections. But for all I know, since one's own bias can be hard to spot, the bias can be on my part and for that reason I'd like some feedback from other women. Thoughts? Gandydancer (talk) 14:10, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Gandy, I agree that it would be good to develop that section. Perhaps start by discussing with Andy on talk (he may only have objected to "the rapist was acquitted," so a quick ce might do it). Posting on WT:GGTF might bring in people willing to help expand it. Sarah (SV) (talk) 18:50, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
This bias seems to be present on all of the rape articles I've read on Wikipedia. For example, Mattress Performance now has issues with editors adding negative commentary into section where it's off topic such as "university hearings" (with no balance of supportive commentary). Pretty much all of the neutrality improvements from when task force was working on it were removed except for the removal of accused name (that's still off). Campus Accountability and Safety Act has an entire section for "criticism", but not for support for this proposed legislation. All of the rape articles I've read on WP seem to have a strong POV regarding false allegations. I've had a similar experiences as Gandydancer where attempts to improve or balance are quickly reverted (like completely reverted, along with normal fixes being undone). The articles related to rape seem to need more balance and neutrality and I'm not sure what's the answer. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 21:34, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
@BoboMeowCat: I've only briefly looked at the suite of rape articles, and as you say I always noticed a bias. Time is the issue. People get burned out trying to deal with it. Sarah (SV) (talk) 19:20, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

One of the reasons for the essay[edit]

One of the reasons I felt clarity of the guidelines was important is evidenced here [26]. It is quite interesting to see the activity the essay has provoked. AtsmeConsult 14:02, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

ok, let's talk about the reasons for the essay shall we? What is up with all the stuff about MEDRS in this essay? Atsme, you wrote that you have little experience on medical articles in WP, and as far as I know you have not worked on COI issues in WP.
What is described in the essay, Wikipedia:Conflict of Interest ducks, are ways that members of WP:WikiProject Medicine keep WP:FRINGE material out of Wikipedia. This essay seems driven in part by your content dispute over FRINGE content (the use of amygdalin as a cancer treatment in the article about G. Edward Griffin) - (where I am no longer active except for a recent RfC vote, but you are still very active).
In that article, you been trying for months now to remove MEDRS-sourced content critical of the use of amygdalin as a cancer treatment, and instead to write more positive content based on sources like naturalnews.com. For opposition to your efforts, see this discussion at BLPN, this discussion at Fringe noticeboard, this additional discussion at Fringe noticeboard, this discussion at RSN, and innumerable discussions on the article Talk page. including a current RfC there. Guy has been the one of the editors most consistently upholding policy against your efforts.
COI has never come up in that article.
your claim - highlighted in the quote box - that health-related articles are among the most conflicted ones in WP is not accurate in my experience, and discredits the essay. In the opinion of others who are experienced in these matters, such as Smallbones (see here for example) and DGG (see here), other subject matter fields are far more rife with COI editing. I believe that SV disagrees with your claim as well, as far as I can tell from her comments above.
In the discussion about developing this essay, you wrote about how policy is used to "censor" content on the basis of MEDRS. G. Edward Griffin is known for promoting conspiracy theories - for example, that the medical establishment has conspired to suppress amygdalin. Hm.
I'll end this by noting that the promotion of amygdalin as a cancer treatment is actually called quackery in the reliable biomedical literature (PMID 219680). There is quacking here, but it is not financial, but rather advocacy for FRINGE medicine.
I'll really end this by saying that the gemisch of ideas in the essay is exactly the reason why lowering the bar to tag someone as a conflicted editor, is a really bad idea. Way too often, editors in content disputes stoop to personal attacks out of an unWikipedian lack of imagination that people can, in good faith, have different perspectives. This essay is just not a good idea. This realization of it, especially ill-founded. Jytdog (talk) 15:34, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, I will give you the opportunity to strike your comments and apologize to me, so consider this a warning which I will also post on your TP. Since the article you mentioned is under DS for both BLP and FRINGE, I hope your behavior on this TP is actionable since BLPs apply to all articles and TPs. Your incivility, the unwarranted PAs and casting aspersions against me is deplorable behavior, and so is your misrepresentation of the situation at Griffin using diffs that do not support your claims. If Sarah (SV) cannot take action on it, I hope she will advise me on what steps I should take. You also need to strike what you included here: Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_Interest_ducks in an effort to gain advantage at the MfD, apparently the reason for your comments here considering you linked to it. Perhaps you should read the essay more closely. You just crossed the line. AtsmeConsult 16:31, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
I gave difs for everything I wrote. What specifically are you objecting to? Thanks. I would be happy to strike anything that is not supportable. Jytdog (talk)
I have only encountered you Atsme (I think) at G. Edward Griffin and I'm afraid to say that Jytdog's characterization seems spot on: you've been POV-pushing fringe views and refusing to drop the WP:STICK there for some time. Alexbrn (talk) 16:46, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
It is wrong for you to cast aspersions, Alexbrn, the same way it is wrong for Jytdog. Both of you have not provided one diff that supports your allegations. Jytdog, providing diffs that do not support your allegations is not any different from providing no diffs. Your attempt to game the system at the ongoing MfD by linking to your comment here wherein you use WP:SYNTH to discredit me was a slick move, and one I hope our admins will consider most actionable. I never supported anything but NPOV and WP:PAG, and never did any of the things you and Alexbrn are accusing me of doing now. Your allegations above are unwarranted and uncivil, including your statement, "you been trying for months now to remove MEDRS-sourced content critical of the use of amygdalin as a cancer treatment," which is a downright lie. Adding diffs that show other editor's who are doing the same thing you are doing does not establish anything except the fact that your behavior is the kind of behavior that is mentioned in the essay you so adamantly oppose. I advise you both to include diffs with inline text attribution that support your claims. Jytdog, I actually thought the warning by Swarm when closing the recent ANI regarding your behavior would have done some good March 28, 2015, but apparently it has not. You are up to the same very dubious and uncivil behavior, casting aspersions with diffs that clearly do not support your allegations. It's all POV-BS, including your PA with the above statement, "In the discussion about developing this essay, you wrote about how policy is used to "censor" content on the basis of MEDRS. G. Edward Griffin is known for promoting conspiracy theories - for example, that the medical establishment has conspired to suppress amygdalin. Hm.." That statement is false, not supported, and is not even relevant to this discussion. I have grown weary of your spurious allegations and attempts to discredit me. I will wait for SV's advice in this matter.
In the interim I will analyze the diffs you provided in your synth effort to deceitfully discredit me with the false allegations you keep making against me:
  1. based on sources like naturalnews.com - there is not one mention in that diff regarding amygdalin, yet you used it to support your claim "you been trying for months now to remove MEDRS-sourced content critical of the use of amygdalin as a cancer treatment, and instead to write more positive content." Jytdog, based on your deceitful behavior, it appears you actually are deserving of a TB for all articles related to medical and health topics fully expanded. Btw, do you believe it is necessary for you to disclose any COIs you might have, particularly at the Essay, such as what you wrote about on your User Page and also here: [27]? I'm thinking you may be too close to the issues in WP:COIducks to not have a conflict. And don't forget, it is considered a COI whether it is real or perceived. Furthermore, I never tried to remove MEDRS-sourced content. Your statement is unconscionable and deserving of remedial action. But it doesn't end there. You continue with more diffs that do not support your allegations....
  2. this discussion at BLPN - none of it supports your statements, rather they disprove everything you claim. Following are two diffs that flat-out contradict your statements, and further exemplifies why the essay is an absolute necessity, and one link which supported my statement: December 11, 2014 December 11, 2014 and [28]
  3. this discussion at Fringe noticeboard - again, it does not support your statement, and the proof is here: December 29, 2014
  4. this additional discussion at Fringe noticeboard - same diff that I disproved above
  5. this discussion at RSN - again, not supportive of his statement. The RSN was to get input - it was the discussion process for confirmation. See my closing comment which further disproves Jytdogs allegations January 23, 2015 AtsmeConsult 18:39, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just one diff tells the whole story: removal of the mainstream view that amygdalin promotion is textbook quackery, coupled with an uncritical presentation of Griffin's fringe views. Fringe POV-pushing. This kind of edit, and your embarrassment of an essay trying to justify it, are - I'm sorry to day - blights on this Project. Alexbrn (talk) 19:14, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

No, Alexbrn, what tells us the whole story is that your comment about "removal of the mainstream view", etc. is false, and that you are casting aspersions against me based on a lie. The section on his literary works clearly states:

Since the 1970s, the use of laetrile to treat cancer has been described in scientific literature as a canonical example of quackery and has not been shown to be effective in the treatment or prevention of cancer.[1] Emanuel Landau, then a Project Director for the APHA, wrote a book review for the American Journal of Public Health, which noted that Griffin "accepts the 'conspiracy' theory ... that policy-makers in the medical, pharmaceutical, research and fund-raising organizations deliberately or unconsciously strive not to prevent or cure cancer in order to perpetuate their functions". Landau concludes that although World Without Cancer "is an emotional plea for the unrestricted use of the Laetrile as an anti-tumor agent, the scientific evidence to justify such a policy does not appear within it".[2]

  1. ^ Nightingale SL (1984). "Laetrile: the regulatory challenge of an unproven remedy". Public Health Rep 99 (4): 333–8. PMC 1424606. PMID 6431478. 
  2. ^ Landau, Emanuel, Ph.D. (July 1976). "World without Cancer; the Story of Vitamin B17" (PDF). American Journal of Public Health 66 (7): 696. doi:10.2105/AJPH.66.7.696-a. ISSN 0090-0036. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
What you just attempted to do is the same as what Jytdog has attempted to do, and I advise you both to go read WP:COIducks, and ask yourselves if any of the behavior mentioned in that essay possibly applies to you. AtsmeConsult 18:08, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict)OK....so.

  • here is the link to naturalnews you provided in [in the diff i provided above. its headline: "The Laetrile Saga, Part II: Cancer Therapy and Medical Duplicity". How is that link not meant to support content about Laetrile?
  • at BLP, both fringe notice boards, and RSN, consensus was against your position on Laetrile. And the really key thing, is that even after four months of your beating a horse on this, the content says pretty much the same thing it said before you started. You have found no consensus for the changes you've wanted to make to this content. Your first edit to the Grffin article was on Dec 10. 2014. here is a diff comparing just-before-Atsme and today.
content on laetrile in lead before: " He is also known for advocating the scientifically-unsupported view that cancer is a metabolic disease which can be cured by consuming more amygdalin, and for his promotion of the conspiracy theory that scientists and politicians are covering up this cure."
content in lead today: "He argues that cancer is a nutritional deficiency that can be cured by consuming amygdalin, a view regarded as quackery by the medical community."
the content in the body is too long to compare, but it is mostly unchanged.
your current version of the lead: "He wrote and produced several other documentary-style videos, most of which focused on topics covered in his books, such as the historicity of Noah's Ark, the Federal Reserve System, the Supreme Court of the United States, terrorism, subversion, alternative medicine, and foreign policy."

so.... what is not accurate about what i wrote? Jytdog (talk) 19:16, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Hello, I had stumbled upon the G Edward Griffen article and saw a lot of controversy so I thought I'd try to help. I saw Atsme talking calm and reasonable and others insulting her but I know sometimes there's more than meets the eye so I wanbted to figure out what the controversy was. Other editors didn't want to answer my questions and just wikilawyered with links to guidelines that didn't apply. Now I am wondering if amygdalin is the main issue? If that's it then it will help me to improve the article, knowing what the problem is is the first step! Popish Plot (talk) 14:32, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Atsme, one problem with the essay is that it implies that FRINGE and MEDRS are invariably invoked to defend a COI, when in fact they're often invoked to defend against COI, and of course both are used when COI isn't an issue. Sarah (SV) (talk) 20:11, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
There must be a way to include the fact that MEDRS and FRINGE are sometimes/often seen in conjunction with COIDuck editing. I believe that the guideline can be used for good or for spin - there must be a way to make this clear in the essay if it isn't already. People are reading the MEDRS guideline differently, too, and that makes it an easy tool for manipulation towards a certain POV, given the editor knows how to (ab)use it. My guess is that the reason for the intense response to Atsme's essay is that it hits too close to home. The desperate attempts to paint her as a nutcase and discredit her work as an editor are repugnant. petrarchan47tc 21:06, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Petra, MEDRS is treated as policy, on a par with BLP. FRINGE is less supported, and I've seen it clash with BLP a few times. But an essay that the community would support would have to acknowledge the good points about FRINGE too, including that it keeps out COI by insisting on independent sources. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:42, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Sarah, isn't MEDRS a guideline, not a policy? That is a key distinction. Popish Plot (talk) 14:35, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Sarah - I actually missed that you have answered my question already. Sorry about that. petrarchan47tc 06:54, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree and also with SV's previous comment. One of the problems I had with the essay is that I believe strongly in FRINGE, and hate to see it implied that it is a weapon for COI editors. Indeed, when I first happened upon this general subject area, FRINGE and MEDRS functioned against COI editing. Coretheapple (talk) 21:59, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
So, a solution would be to point out the ways in which both of these guidelines are used for good as well as for spin, and address this in the essay(?). I have worked on different articles from the both of you, and from my experience, these guidelines are being abused. Perhaps we need to focus on showing (more) examples, but to survey edits takes hours and hours, and so far no one seems willing to go to the trouble. It seems to fall on deaf ears, too. My point is, this isn't an either-or situation, and what you see depends on the topic area you most frequently edit. At the end of the day, if someone is particularly passionate about some topic, and their editing shows this bias, they are likely going to abuse all sorts of guidelines and policies, so to me it seems silly to argue that MEDRS and FRINGE are somehow exempt from this fact. The essay helps explain what some editors are running into in areas of WP where others dare not tread (like GM), or simply have no interest.
Perhaps a special paragraph praising MEDRS and FRINGE would be a solution? petrarchan47tc 22:57, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
@Coretheapple: Perhaps, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction with both MEDRS and Fringe. That was my experience when I was threatened with a substantial topic ban as part of this AN/I, where MEDRS and Fringe were used as "cudgel" against me. I had to write a lengthy defense, where I pointed out a circularity problem with how Fringe is defined and was used to establish what is RS and shows a potential for abuse by those with a strong Skeptic agenda who want their Skeptic sources to supersede and trump those in a particular specialized field they don't care for and would like to bash. I did agree to stand down and let them bash the particular field without further opposition, but that doesn't mean I think that the use MEDRS and Fringe in such cases are not still a problem or that I am not still concerned that they can be used to push an agenda contrary to NPOV and the best interests of Wikipedia and Wikipedia Policies and the creation of a quality encyclopedia. It brought about this discussion. David Tornheim (talk) 23:15, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
you know Petrarchan, instead of continually complaining about me, why don't you do the hard work that was done in the wifione case and bring an actual case against me sometime, somewhere (which you have never done) instead of just carrying a cross around about it? I know my work at the GMO topics is controversial and by now lots of people know that you are really opposed to it and believe i am either paid or an advocate. I am not paid, and I think my edits are NPOV, and I think any careful examination will show that. I encourage you to bring a case, like the one that brought Wifione down. That is the only way - literally the only way - that you are going to "get" me, which it seems pretty clear is your goal. I have said that about as clearly as I could in several places without saying it directly to you, but you don't seem to be catching that. So I am saying it directly to you now. If you want to "get" me, you have to go directly for me per NPOV. That is all you have. But please, lowering the bar on COI, and damaging MEDRS, are only going to harm Wikipedia. Your concern here has nothing to do with MEDRS, and everything to do with me. That is really clear by now.
I don't want to be egotistical, but from where I sit, Atsme was happy to jump on the bandwagon at ANI and rode it over here; i have no idea if you all knew where her beef with me arose. Now you do. Had nothing to do with COI nor with GMO. David is for sure aligned with you on the GMO stuff. Gandy has told me directly she thinks I am too active in the GMO articles and it makes her uncomfortable, but i think she has also never found that i cannot back up what i do, at the end of the day, on any given edit. (and that when i screw up, i acknowledge that and fix it) But in any case she made it clear to David, that she doesn't want to get dragged into this stuff (although maybe she changed her mind, I don't know). SV has expressed some concerns. groupuscule has made it very clear they think the GMO articles are bent, and in my view has the diligence and rhetorical skill to put a solid case together. So there you go. That is your possible team (as far as I know), and the only effort that will get you what you actually want.
But please don't mess up WP with bad proposals to go after me. Just get on with the NPOV case. But as always, you will do as you will. Jytdog (talk) 23:32, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My comment about the misuse of MEDRS in GM articles is a reference to Goupuscule's comment here. Why don't I spend 3 years of my life trying to prove that WP has an advocacy problem, as WikiOne did? Because I have lost my faith in WP's ability and desire to respond appropriately when it comes to large special interests. Sarah (SV) had the idea to seek grants and pay for this work to be done, which sounds like a possible solution, but a large job.

As for J-dog taking all of this so personally, I will say again to him: You doth protest too much, methinks. petrarchan47tc 00:05, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

@Jytdog WP:Civility clearly identifies taunting or baiting as uncivil behaviours - I think you are treading a fine line with Petrarchan47.__DrChrissy (talk) 00:12, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
not taunting. dead serious. Jytdog (talk) 00:18, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
You're baiting to try to get someone to fight back and get banned. Just stick to reliable sources about GMO, or whatever topic. Popish Plot (talk) 14:41, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
i am not baiting. you don't know the background here. if you want to know, ask me and ask petrarchan and then judge. Jytdog (talk) 14:59, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I am finding this all very informative, the background is being explained in these posts. But you are baiting, aka challenging, "why don't you do the hard work . . . ". Like I said, just stick to the reliable sources and the topic. Popish Plot (talk) 15:51, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) petrarchan, it is not fun to be hounded. nor is it pleasing to see key guidelines be degraded as you pursue your goals about me. Great lines from Robert Bolt (from here:

Alice More: Arrest him!
More: Why, what has he done?
Margaret More: He's bad!
More: There is no law against that.
Will Roper: There is! God's law!
More: Then God can arrest him.
Alice: While you talk, he's gone!
More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man's laws, not God's– and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

wise words. Jytdog (talk) 00:16, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
This isn't about you, Jytdog. I don't even understand the mindset that would lead you to make these comments here. We are attempting to address spin doctoring - getting rid of you would not be the solution (you are not that powerful) and I don't believe anyone thinks otherwise. petrarchan47tc 02:43, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
oh right when you talk about GM articles, you are talking about someone else. In light of this and this followed by this, and especially this.... that is about someone else... . Please tell me who you view as the "head of the GMO articles here, who is known on the web as a Monsanto shill going back many years, is also very active in the Pharma (or "health") articles.." and who are you talking about, when write to me "Further, the editing that has held sway over the GMO articles since you have been in control of them is being called into question,... The best encyclopedia articles are written in a dispassionate voice, showing all sides of the story with due weight, and not by industry insiders" (emphasis added). Who are you talking about? (real question) You cannot understand why it is clear as day you are talking about me? (real question) Jytdog (talk) 03:23, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Back to the essay[edit]

A) The MEDRS guideline does need clarity, as Atsme points out above. B) Sarah and Core, if you can suggest writing that would better encapsulate our range of experiences with these two guidelines, that would be helpful. It seems we have touched upon the third rail. The essay shouldn't imply that all uses of these guidelines are suspicious, and I'm not sure what is causing that impression so I can't offer any suggestions. petrarchan47tc 06:24, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Aside Agree that the MEDRS guideline needs looking at and also its application. Surely it should not be imposed in places such as here[29] on the Foie gras article.__DrChrissy (talk) 11:54, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
What I find curious about Jytdog's PAs and his entire diatribe is why he relates to Wikipedia:COIducks in such an aggressive manner? The essay is about incivility and the best ways to respond to it. If an editor is not behaving in the negative manner described in the essay, why oppose its context considering it describes proper ways for an editor to respond when confronted by incivility? It actually serves to lessen disruptive behavior and explains some of the reasons the occasional newbie ends up with a block. As far as the expressed concerns over MEDRS, the essay clearly states: (my bold and underline for emphasis)
  • MEDRS is a content guideline that is highly respected by the community. Read it, learn it, know it. The actionable policies that prevail are WP:VER, WP:NOR, WP:BLP and WP:FRINGEBLP. Learn the guidelines and how they effect policy.
  • Fringe/PS is a content guideline that is highly respected by the community. Read it, learn it, know it. The actionable policies that prevail are WP:FRINGEBLP and WP:NPOV. Learn them well.
Will someone please explain to me how those statements undermine MEDRS? I am certainly supportive of ways to improve the essay, but I oppose calling a guideline a policy. When it becomes a policy, I will call it a policy. Sorry, but I will not use pretense. It is what it is, and until that changes, that is how it will/should be presented. There must be a reason it is not a policy, right? Ok, so fix it.
Furthermore, Jytdog's spin about amygdalin [30] was another attempt to discredit me to gain advantage at the MfD [31]. I forget, is such behavior described at COIducks? For the sake of accuracy, my mention of amygdalin in the Griffin BLP, (which is subject to WP:FRINGEBLP policy) was based on my concern over compliance with NPOV, not what Jytdog spinned above because I was not promoting amygdalin's use as a cancer treatment. I included the reports by the ACS and NIH as well as the ongoing research which was published in PLOS and MSKCC. There were several books and academic papers written about it which I considered to be enough significant mention in RS that the minority view belonged in the BLP according to applicable WP:PAG; not to advocate its use, but to include encyclopedic information of biographical material related to the author. Griffin's book actually advocates for more research of amygdalin and simply documents what was known to be true at the time. Griffin also advocates the medical freedom to choose which has also been censored from the article. There is much more to this issue than Jytdog has revealed in his cherrypicked comments, and far more than we need to discuss here. Jytdog's revert of my work was unwarranted [32]. WP:PAG indicates that consensus and guidelines do not trump BLP policy but that isn't what happened at Griffin. I dropped the issue as I was advised to do, and now it appears the BLP is nothing more than an attack page against the author, and an assault on his political beliefs based on prevailing community consensus. In retrospect, I can understand why Jytdog brought up the Griffin BLP but he spun it the wrong way, and while experience does contribute to what one holds true, it is not the reason I wrote the essay. AtsmeConsult 13:03, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
above you wrote: "The essay is about incivility and the best ways to respond to it" and i agree with that, somewhat. it was supposed to be about how to identify editors with a COI. Jytdog (talk) 14:18, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Stop armchair coaching and start adding what you believe needs to be added. You can also propose changes you think are necessary on the TP first. Pretty simple remedy, don'cha think? AtsmeConsult 14:29, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
the essay you wrote is unfixable. as an editor you surely have encountered works by writers that were off-topic from the get-go. they said they would write about X but actually wrote about Y. that is what you have done. as i wrote in my !vote, there are behavioral cues of COI editing but you describe none of them. WP:TNT is what is needed here. Jytdog (talk) 14:57, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My suggestion to you is to write your own essay. There is substantial input at the MfD that contradicts your POV. For the record, my request to you to strike your unwarranted allegations still stands. AtsmeConsult 15:38, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

@Jytdog:, your combativeness, which we see on full display here (such as in challenging Petra to a kind of "Wikipedia duel") is apparently one of the underlying reasons for this essay. Whether or not you are "paid" or whatever (I don't believe that for a minute) you are so over-the-top sometimes that you give that impression. You also get down and dirty on occasion, as you were at BP, manipulative and warlike. It's hard to distinguish sometimes between the problems you yourself cause and the policy issues addressed in this essay. Coretheapple (talk) 15:54, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry you took that as a challenge. It wasn't, but i do understand how you could take it that way. i really am sick of her saying bad things about me everywhere, and frequently. It feels like shit and it makes WP less than it should be, and that she is trying to drag the community down on her way there (and of course I know that her concerns are wider than me... but it is pretty clear that I am Exhibit 1) is bad for everybody. There is a way she can appropriately with her concerns, and I was telling her what that was. I did not mean it to come across at all as a challenge to a duel. really i didn't. and i really meant what i wrote - that tearing up COI and MEDRS to come after me (and those she views like me) is bad for WP.
Turning - What would you do in my shoes, Core? Have a look at the diffs above (and those are just a few of them!) and tell me how you would feel to be on the receiving end of that. Really. I generally ignore it (which is what WP:NPA advises) - and I really do feel bad for her, carrying all that anger around - but here i did respond. It was simple and direct. I did not intend it to be "challenging" at all. I know it is bizarre to tell someone how to use PAG to come after you, but i would rather she did that, than continue to harass me this way. it would be better for everyone. Jytdog (talk) 16:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Well if you feel you were attacked, you can start by ignoring it. Look I was attacked myself, along with a few other editors, on the user page of a rogue administrator who worked as a paid editor in a particularly sleazy and dishonest fashion and then lied about it, and doesn't like my mentioning his selfish, greedy and scummy activities. He put it on his talk page. It was a clearcut NPA and I ignored it. I didn't challenge him to a duel or try to invoke WP:POLEMIC though it was clearly applicable. This is not to say that you've been subject to personal attacks; I'm just saying that's the way to deal with them. I do know that they way you're behaving here is not new, and that you have only yourself to blame for the heat that results. Coretheapple (talk) 17:02, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
i did write above that i ignore them almost always. i am bummed that you are saying that i am responsible for someone else's behavior. that is dead wrong. we each responsible for what we do here. period, end of story. i acknowledge i can be too harsh sometimes (and i for sure went over the top with drchrissy which was uncharacteristic of me -- if it were i would have been blocked in a heartbeat). you should look through my diffs working with editors brought to COI - you will see how i am when i am not dealing with people attacking me all the time. Jytdog (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
What I'm suggesting is that while you're acknowledging that you are too harsh, you keep on being too harsh. Incidentally I'm still trying to figure out the pertinence of the three arb cases you raised in the deletion discussions. Coretheapple (talk) 17:27, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
(i hear you on the harsh thing - it is a challenge for me. i have tried to become better. f*cking stubborn humanity - the Shakers don't call human nature "stiff" for nothing.) i don't want to answer about the arbcom cases if you don't want to hear - and you didn't actually ask. should i? Jytdog (talk) 17:38, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I raised the issue on the deletion page, but if you want to respond or not is your choice. Coretheapple (talk) 17:54, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
i started replying there and didn't save it, as i didn't want to drive mess up the !voting part. but you know what, i will reply in the discussion section there, thanks. Jytdog (talk) 18:02, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

On the need for MEDRS clarity[edit]

It seems the conversation went sideways, but WP does need to have a clear idea of what is accepted under MEDRS, and either make it a policy or let it remain a guideline, but not both. I noticed that even the deletion proposer for the "COIDuck" essay is in agreement. I found this conversation at WP:Project Medicine talk. petrarchan47tc 01:34, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

"It would be nice to get this language clarified in the MEDRS document, as it currently seems to read "generally omit in vitro and animal data" or at least "don't imply that it is relevant in peoople". Overall the language appears non-clearcut, which may simply represent the fact that it is a compromise document with many fathers/mothers." --Formerly 98 (talk) 01:30, 28 February 2014
"I think the reason some of us see a disconnect is that of the 4500 words of the MEDRS article, nearly 20% (and mainly in the first third of the guideline) describe when and how it is OK to use primary references. At a minimum its confusing. --Formerly 98 (talk) 22:26, 27 February 2014

Essay suggestions?[edit]

I noticed that Core changed his iVote to Keep/Userfy. Should I assume that the language regarding use of the 2 guidelines in question is no longer problematic? If you, or Sarah, have wording changes to suggest, it would be lovely to hear. Thanks for all the input. petrarchan47tc 19:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Actually I crossed off the "userfy," as one of the commenters, Groupuscle I think it's called, correctly pointed out that "it's just an essay" and doesn't have to be a scientific pronouncement on Wikipedia policies. After all, something called "ignore all rules" is also a policy. I think it has to be redone to be more convincing. Remember too that my "keep" is in the minority at this point. Coretheapple (talk) 20:00, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Hm. Groupuscule's was one of the few policy-based arguments, and since iVotes are meant to be 'counted' according to the strength of the argument, I wonder if it would make sense for you to add the above note to your comment at the AfD explaining your vote change (if you haven't already). Danke, petrarchan47tc 00:29, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Well I did expand my rationale and cited Groupuscle. But look, to be frank, the Deletes are so overwhelming it does not bode well for that essay. Coretheapple (talk) 00:31, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Just to expand a bit on my feelings about this essay, per the title of this subsection, my suggestion would be that the essay be reframed so as to take into consideration the real concerns of people with "skeptical" points of view, for whom WP:FRINGE is very important. As in many areas, COI editing can cut both ways. While I'm seeing here some feeling that FRINGE is abused by COI editors, I have seen it disregarded by editors who have a vested interest in pushing fringe points of view. There is a lot of money on both sides of certain debates, such as homeopathy, organic foods, and so on. So this is one area I would definitely address. Coretheapple (talk) 00:37, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
That's helpful. I haven't experienced this personally, we might need to find someone who has worked in those topic areas. petrarchan47tc 01:14, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Coretheapple and Petrarchan47 the retired one - I just made some changes - see what you think of it now. Is this what happens when a stub goes online? Geez Louise - I've got bee stings all over me. Also, not all of the participants made note of their COI statements and should have. The essay is about COIducks so why are they not including their COI statements? AtsmeConsult 01:44, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not comfortable even mentioning "COI", so won't comment on that. But I have been suggesting (the obvious) that we should be able to identify advocacy editing by edit histories and patterns of behaviour alone. I might prefer the term "COI-like" editing. It could be that an editor has retired but still has a deep love for her prior employer/field, and close friends working in the industry. If she joined WP to express that (bias) deep love all over our articles, the damage is equal to that of COI editing, no?
Core, I was also going to ask you to take another look at the essay and possibly give suggestions. Further, what would be the proper way to alert those at the AfD that there have been substantial changes to the essay since the AfD began, and perhaps noting that there have been some iVotes based on misunderstandings about its content? As a side note, Atsme really shouldn't be taking all the bullets, she asked us for help editing the (brand-new) essay and has yet to receive much, if any. It was really too soon to judge the essay, and it's quite unfortunate what has happened. It pains me to see another editor go through this. (But it did shine a light on some of the very behaviour we are addressing.) petrarchan47tc 03:15, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
As suggested by the supporters of this essay, I have read it again. It remains, in my view, a very bad and poorly conceived and poorly written essay that promotes battleground behavior, and I continue to support its deletion. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:52, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunate, but that's your choice. Night all. AtsmeConsult 03:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • @Atsme: Reading through the essay again, what troubles me about it remains: you talk a lot about COI, but you fail to establish in any convincing way how the behavior that you describe is reflective of a COI. Most of what you discuss is already prohibited by a bunch of policies and guidelines, such as WP:OWN. I'm not sure you even can make such a tie-in; it might be a "mission impossible" situation. That is why I believe that your best bet is to take a focused, narrow look at one particular issue that you feel is rife with COI, and build a focused essay around that. I think you may be spinning wheels with this essay, over and above the fact that it seems to be headed for deletion. For example, MEDRS abuse. Maybe an essay along the lines of "MEDRS is a hammer not an anvil" or something to that effect, if indeed there is abuse of MEDRS. By the way, I'm not saying there is abuse of MEDRS. I'm just saying that if you feel that MEDRS is being abused, then you should focus on that.
There may be a way of determining COI based solely upon edits, but apart from obvious cases it's really not easy to do. That is why I personally would prefer to spend my time dealing with cases that stink to high heaven of COI but that simply can be dealt with through ordinary editing. Look at my recent contributions and you can see I've been focusing on a couple of really blatantly bad articles where I suspect COI editing, but in which I haven't alleged it because 1) it's not necessary and would be pointless 2) I am not sure. I suspect there might be connected contributors in one instance, and might raise that at an appropriate time, but even if there are, it's not all that important. Our COI rules are weak so even if there is a COI, so what? Not much you can do about it. Coretheapple (talk) 14:47, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
@Coretheapple: I am trying to understand your perspective. I have seen a number of claims that the essay promotes "battleground" behavior. This has really puzzled me, and I have seen no evidence for it. For those who behave like "COI ducks"(*), such inaccurate assertion makes sense and is predictable because anyone who challenges "COI duck" slanted editing, the "COI Ducks" would want to accuse of "battleground" behavior as a "cudgel" to shut them up or be banned from the article(s) in question, so they can be free to impose their slant. I do believe that's why I have been accused of battleground behavior, when my accuser(s) were the ones who were more easily identified as the more aggressive of the parties. But I don't think you are a "COI Duck". So what in the essay makes you think it supports "battleground behavior" rather than addressing serious problems with editors who impose unreasonable slant in violation of Wiki-standards?
  • "COI ducks": I agree that as with WifiOne, it's often impossible to prove a real COI if the "COI duck" does not admit to it. But as Petrachan has pointed out and I have observed, users can act as if they have a COI when they don't have a financial or strong relationship to the subject, but the problem is the same either way in that it corrupts the article, even if it is just ideology. Just consider how people loyalty to a presidential candidate can be irrational in their belief in that candidate in defiance of the facts. I could easily see followers "flocking" to the article of their candidate trying to force non-NPOV treatment of the article and inaccurate puffery added and criticism muted. To me, they can act as "COI Ducks" just by their strong belief and ideology even without financial relationship to the subject. And I agree that they shouldn't be prohibited from the article simply for having a certain strong belief unless they refuse to follow Wiki-rules.
Did you read what I said about Fringe in the section above where I said: "Perhaps, the pendulum has swung too far"? I want to ask you more about that, especially with regard to the Skeptics and the Skeptic movement (which like Atheism, is like a religion) that seems to be very un-encyclopedic and breaks the rules of NPOV to actually push their own Fringe "skeptic" agenda--I explain that in the ANI. If you are part of the Skeptic Movement, then probably we will have to agree to disagree on that. I think one of the problems is that, I think some of the most powerful people at Wikipedia may be Skeptics, allowing Skeptics to have free reign. David Tornheim (talk) 04:51, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
It's almost like there's some kind of magnet in that pendulum. Skepticism is a virtue, but on Wikipedia some its self-proclaimed advocates seem ironically quite credulous of their own dogma. They go out of their way to reiterate the industry line on certain topics as though readers need constant reminders of the one true viewpoint. People who seek out the article on Ayurveda, they suggest, must be informed of the superiority of Western Medicine. ("Today, ayurvedic medicine is considered pseudoscientific on account of its confusion between reality and metaphysical concepts."—the audacity!) But when it comes to the latest constructs of the psycho-pharma industry such "Oppositional Defiant Disorder", alternative viewpoints cannot be tolerated. (Too bad the USSR didn't last quite long enough to implement Wikipedia; we would have some other examples of unassailable truths from authoritative sources to compare.) If the evidence supporting the validity of these constructs is so strong, why not allow it to shine by contrast with competing positions? Where is the honor in "Skepticism" applied inconsistently? This dogmatism is as intellectually wrongheaded as it is paternalistic and ethnocentric. The "Science" invoked by these "Skeptics" to broadcast dubious claims, not supportable by experimental evidence—for example regarding the relative safety of genetically engineered food—has nothing in common with the spirit of scientific inquiry which I was taught from childhood to respect. defiantly, groupuscule (talk) 05:55, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
That's Wikipedia policy; articles about minority/fringe topics should inform the reader about what the scientific consensus is, to avoid creating a Walled garden. See WP:FRINGE, specifically, WP:ONEWAY. LK (talk) 06:58, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I believe what Groupuscle is pointing out, that I too have observed is that Skeptics misuse policy by declaring a "scientific consensus" (one that does not exist, but which they wish existed and will all work together to defend it) as a way to prevent/censor material they don't want to see the light of day, using WP:Fringe for censorship. It defies NPOV to do to do that, and you won't find it in other Encyclopedias (or the mainstream media) on the same topic (e.g. a topic mentioned by Groupuscle immediately above). The problem as I point out in the ANI is that the definition of Fringe is made to be extremely loose and is circular in nature--a Skeptic only needs to declare something to be Fringe and then the Walled garden is created where Skeptics are the only ones who are entitled to a voice, which is what the Skeptics, of course, want. This is not good for an encyclopedia that is supposed to provide information, not suppress MAINSTREAM views, which I have seen in a number of articles that cannot be challenged because Skeptics hold sway over all those articles, the NB, etc., and anyone who tries to challenge them will find themselves banned for so-doing. David Tornheim (talk) 20:06, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Not ready for mainspace?[edit]

I’m concerned that edits to substantially improve the essay might not help at this point, because so many people have already voted on the initial version, and they may not update their vote based on the improvements. I’m wondering if it would be best to again to work on it in user/draft space. I think in light of the Wifione case, an essay on COI ducks makes sense, but we need to be very careful not to in any way imply that editors who adhere to wp:medrs or wp:fringe are doing something wrong, because when those guidelines are properly utilized, they are of clear benefit to WP. It is misuse of policies and guidelines to push POV with the perversion of consensus, gaming the system, wp:own etc that is of concern here, not requiring quality sources. I think the essay may have been read and interpreted in ways other than intended, and at this point, I’m not sure what is the best course of action in terms of getting the best essay possible on this important topic up and running. Sarah (and talk page stalkers) any thoughts on this?--BoboMeowCat (talk) 14:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Oh I definitely agree with you. Frankly I don't see any significant improvement anyway. I'd suggest that Atsme go back to the user space, though I continue to feel that trying to ascertain COI from behavior patterns, and distinguishing COI behavior from non-COI behavior, is going to be hard. I've worked on many COI articles, and usually the COI is so blatant that it's pretty indisputable, or it is admitted. But in cases where the COI is not blatant, how can one determine there is COI? Is it productive to even try? I'd like to get SlimVirgin's view on this; this is her page and I don't believe she has weighed in on this issue lately or on the deletion page either. Coretheapple (talk) 15:05, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't have the time or energy to ping everybody, but I'd like to get the views of other "keep" people on this isuse. They also should weigh in on the essay itself. I don't know if this is necessarily the best place to engage in such a discussion actually. Coretheapple (talk) 15:07, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Core, Bobo - let's move this discussion to User_talk:Atsme/sandboxCOIduckery. I imagine SV is sick of reading this mess by now. The conflicts over the essay which is about conflicts of interest are ironic and speaks volumes for why the essay is needed. Perhaps you are not seeing it from a newbie perspective? Anyway - let's move the discussion over there, please? AtsmeConsult 16:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Good idea, Atsme, I started a section on this topic over there: [[33]] --BoboMeowCat (talk) 16:49, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that's the place for it. I will copy my extended reply from above over there. Coretheapple (talk) 17:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Given that "COI duck" basically means "pharma shill", I think we now know enough to be certain that this essay is worthless. Guy (Help!) 22:10, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Guy, must you be so hurtful? That isn't at all what I intended. Have you even read the essay? Instead of criticizing it like you are, why don't you offer some productive suggestions so I can make it better? AtsmeConsult 22:13, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Here's my productive suggestion: delete it. Your accusations of COI are absolutely standard examples of the "shill gambit", a form of argument from personal incredulity, where people ascribe financial motives because they cannot believe that anybody would argue the mainstream case for any other reason. Coming from someone who is so very keen on accusing everybody of casting aspersions, this essay shows a singular lack of self-criticism. Guy (Help!) 22:19, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG: do you think that there is any purpose in trying to ascertain COI from behavior? That is how this essay originated. Coretheapple (talk) 22:42, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm very interested to hear Guy's response too. petrarchan47tc 23:55, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
There are many ways COI can be discerned. This essay has nothing to do with any of them, as far as I can tell it's more concerned with promoting the idea that people who promote the mainstream perspective are doing so only because they are paid shills, an entirely routine debating tactic by apologists for quackery which has absolutely no place on Wikipedia. We already have much more useful essays, including the canonical WP:DUCK. There is no need for an additional essay that serves to embolden people in making spurious claims of COI, and actually speculation about COI is treading a fine line on Wikipedia, it may be considered WP:OUTING or harassment, so it needs to be handled with great tact, something absent from this essay. 163.244.62.181 (talk) 07:32, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Would you all mind commenting on this excerpt as well? From the WBB case:

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Conflict of Interest guideline

Many issues concerning paid editing, anonymous editing, outing and harassment, are unresolved. Our policies and guidelines are complicated and sometimes contradictory. Investigating, sanctioning and/or exonerating editors on the basis of who they are or what they do in real life is not only controversial but often impossible. Furthermore, extreme cases apart, there is no consensus about the extent that editors may edit articles on topics with which they are personally involved. Hence, of necessity, review must focus primarily on the editing patterns of those editors about whom problems are claimed. petrarchan47tc 00:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Hi Atsme, I'm sorry, but I agree with Core that it's better moved to user space. I see two main issues.
First, the essay doesn't distinguish, perhaps deliberately, between advocacy and COI. A COI is not just about beliefs and desires. A COI is when an external relationship undermines an editor's role on Wikipedia. A book author has a COI in relation to articles about her books, but an editor who likes those books does not have a COI just because she likes them, even if those feelings might lead to NPOV violations.
If you want to argue that there is no functional difference between advocacy based on likes and dislikes, and COI, that's fine, but it's an argument that has to be made. The equivalence argument ignores that COI editors are unlikely to change their minds about an issue even in the face of strong evidence, particularly if paid. It also underestimates the damage to public confidence caused by COI editing.
The second issue is MEDRS. The essay says: "MEDRS is a content guideline ... The actionable policies that prevail are WP:VER, WP:NOR, WP:BLP and WP:FRINGEBLP." (FRINGEBLP is part of FRINGE, by the way, which isn't policy, though it's correct in that it says BLP takes precedence over FRINGE.) This is problematic as written because MEDRS is policy in all but name. There shouldn't be a tension between V, NOR and MEDRS; V and NOR are more general sourcing policies, and MEDRS is consistent with them. And I can't think of a situation in which we'd have to choose between MEDRS and BLP. There's nothing to stop you from writing an essay opposing parts of MEDRS (I believe we have one that opposes BLP), but it's unlikely to gain community support. An essay helping people how to use MEDRS would be extremely helpful. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:26, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin:I don't know Wiki-Law well enough to know how the WP:MfD/WP:AfD process works. If an MfD/AfD results in delete, does that delete apply to user space or not? It was asserted here that it also applies to userspace. That does not sound right to me, unless the original complaint was very clear that it applied to both... Also, if Atsme agrees or moves the essay back to Userspace, does that allow the AfD/MfD to end? David Tornheim (talk) 00:59, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi David, I don't think the closing admin will apply the deletes to user space, unless s/he deems the essay very harmful. Regarding whether an agreement to userfy would allow the MfD to close, it might, but there's probably little point in doing that now. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:23, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
SV, I think you've captured my views very well. Dealing with COI is sometimes like dealing with shadows, and dealing with it can be frustrating and is not always productive. One reason I asked for @JzG: to weigh in is because I wanted to get his opinion, not because I wanted to sandbag him or yell at him. I think that it is very conceivable that there it's futile to try to deal with COI as one is in effect trying to discern motives with inadequate evidence. It's more productive sometimes to deal with the bad articles, the douchebag articles if you'll pardon my profanity, rather than spending a lot of time prognosticating about the motives of some of their authors. Coretheapple (talk) 02:21, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
But what if you see that it is not just one or two articles, but whole categories of articles? What if you notice that the editing environment is different at those articles, that suddenly the rules are being misapplied, and you are taken to a noticeboard where a whole team of friends show up to 'vote' about what a horrible, disruptive editor you are? This is happening, and it needs to be addressed. Editors are also being mistreated during this process, as is the content of the Pedia. It isn't a pleasant editing environment, and this is one way content disputes are won by spindoctors.
When you stumble into this, it's a very intimidating and confusing experience. I think you remember when I found the March Against Monsanto article in the AfD and decided to work on it (as there was ample RS and it seemed a fun, easy project). This is when I received my first warnings and drama to my talk page, after years of being here and even battling with BP (which, compared to this crowd, was like afternoon tea), and was taken to my first noticeboard for edit warring. A team of people guarded this little irrelevant article non-stop, and spent the entire summer arguing about how many protesters attended the march. This strange activity is not just happening at one article, though. This phenomenon and gang has taken over large swaths of Wikipedia, and I mean that sincerely. Because it is such an unpleasant experience, where the rules aren't the same as everywhere else on WP, and you don't have access to them, and where bullying is the norm, people are leaving those sets of articles, and some are leaving the Project altogether. I am being told this at my talk page and in emails. This phenomenon-which-has-no-name is the reason I am not editing here anymore. petrarchan47tc 02:56, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi, SlimVirgin - first, I apologize to you for my part in this extensive essay discussion on your TP and to the COIduck supporters for my inability to get poop-ola done about it. The COI ducks essay and the following results demonstrate where WP stands on such issues:

Paid Editing Proposals [34] In November 2013, there were three main discussions and votes on paid editing: No paid advocacy (talk) (closed: opposed) Paid editing policy proposal (talk) (closed: opposed) Conflict of interest limit (talk) (closed: opposed)

Follow the money trail and you'll find the answers. Advocacy is also mentioned in WP:COI probably because if you're not advocating for something, you won't have a conflict....maybe. Wiki should divide itself up into separate communities with different sections for its multitude of topics like en.ScienceWikipedia, enMedicineWikipedia, enBiographiesWikipedia, etc. each with its own subsections - similar to how the Categories are done, only in actual sections, each with its own main page, own admins and the like. Each project pretty well has its own community anyway, and based on my experiences, not all editors are welcome to collaborate on topics occupied by COIducks, especially if there is any disagreement over their POV. Of course, their POV isn't the problem - it's your POV that's the problem, even if it's NPOV. I was actually advised to stop editing a particular BLP just before an RfC determined I was right about noncompliance with NPOV but that decision ended up being twisted beyond recognition. Of course the closer and 10 year veteran biography editors were wrong, and they were right.quack, quack It's even worse if the overseeing admin supports the community and reprimands you instead of the violators. Sorry for the skepticism, but I now have a better understanding of why retirement looked so appealing to Petrarchan47. I've finally seen the belly of the beast, and quite frankly it stinks. They refer to it as growing into a seasoned editor. Seasoned for what? A duck's dinner? Yep they like it salted. I used to think policies mattered, and that consensus didn't trump policy, and there was a difference between policies and guidelines, but that's a belief held only by newbies and the naive. The only thing that really matters are the numbers and who comprises your tag-team and WP:IAR which appears to be the standard these days.

Oh, and David Tornheim, it says on Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion that User pages about Wikipedia-related matters by established users usually do not qualify for deletion., but then it could be exactly as Sarah indicated. I added a note below the arrogant close instructions at the page. Chacun à son goût. AtsmeConsult 03:14, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

This is not a user page, you put it in Wikipedia space. That said, user pages that are polemical or which promote an anti-policy agenda have always been fair game for deletion, it happens all the time. 163.244.62.181 (talk) 07:32, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme, you just validated what I wrote above, that your essay about COI ducks was really about your frustrations at G. Edward Griffin, where as far as I know, concerns about COI have never been raised. Yet even in what you just wrote, you refer to "COIducks". i get it that you are frustrated about your views not finding consensus there, but you are mooshing that frustration into something unrelated, that other editors talking here have been concerned with for a long time. SV, Core, and I (and i believe petrarchan too) worked on the multiple concurrent efforts to make paid editing against policy following the wiki-pr scandal and tried to get them passed.... and SV has worked on these issues longer than any of us. i tried to warn you way back in Dec 2014 when you first got involved in the Griffin article (and your first controversy in WP) to take it easy, not personalize things, and really listen to the other folks involved, and really talk. instead you continued just as fiercely, remained adamant (as in rock hard) in your views about what BLP calls for and now, four months later, you are as adamant, but now bitter and frustrated, as your views have gotten no traction - not at the article, and not on any notice board. It didn't have to work out that way. your claiming that nobody agrees with you because they are corrupt.... oy. i know by now that you don't like me and don't trust me. perhaps others can help you see that you are looking in the wrong place for the source of your unhappinesss. i'll stop responding here now. Jytdog (talk) 12:12, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I, too, have a long history of opposing COI edits, and have also rooted out some miscreants on Wikipedia in my time, and been viciously attacked for it into the bargain.
As a long time opponent of quackery I have also been accused of being a "pharma shill" more times than I can count, by fans of both individual quacks and of institutionalised quackery.
For some reason those who promote lucrative woo seem unable to accept that anybody might have any reason for promoting the reality-based view other than covert payment.
I am unwilling to ascribe such a basic and ridiculous fallacy to Atsme, who does not strike me as stupid at all, but whether it was the intention or not, this essay absolutely falls into that trap.
The "shill gambit" fallacy is a manifestation of cognitive dissonance, the inability to accept that something in which you believe, is worthless or worse. It's ironic that Atsme specifically calls this out int he essay, but with the rather obvious intent that, faced with quackery, supporters of the mainstream view should open their minds, presumably to the point that their brains fall out. Guy (Help!) 16:33, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG: I hear you, but the question that I'm trying to address here is this: putting aside ATsme's effort, which I agree is flawed, is there any way of discerning COI from a pattern of behavior ("ducks" so to speak)? I just wonder if we may be spinning our wheels over all of this. Coretheapple (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
For example, someone just made the following comment in the deletion discussion. It's hard to argue with this: "The essay takes the multiple-policy-violating stance that it is appropriate to assume a coi given certain behaviors. If that approach has not already been identified as actionable at ArbCom, it should be given AGF, BATTLE, DR, CON, CIVIL, HAR, NPA, etc. I suggest you review ArbCom for what is actionable, and start a new essay on what you find that isn't redundant with current policies and guidelines." I don't know about the "multiple-policy violating" part, but the rest sort of makes sense. Coretheapple (talk) 20:54, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Of course there is, but it is far better not to encourage it, since that is the path to witch-hunts and outing. Normally a COI becomes evident either through persistent non-neutral editing (which we control in the usual way) or, much more commonly, through naivety, since few COI editors even think about trying to hide it.
The ones which are a long-term problem are practitioners in a field where the practitioners' view is badly out of line with the scientific consensus. Cold fusionists, for example, or homeopaths. Guy (Help!) 22:11, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG:, Jytdog you both know full well that I've put up with a lot of poopy from both of you, some of which went over the edge, but perhaps some day if I'm still alive when you reach the age of semi-retirement, we can meet at a pub and reflect on it. I have a feeling your views will be much different, but who knows? It is what it is. I just hope you will actually read and digest what I'm trying to relay. Your attempts to connect Griffin to the greater context of this issue is a stretch, but I commend you for your last ditch efforts. BLP issues don't extend much beyond BLP policy which trumps all other PAG, so stop trying to make it appear as though guidelines do. Jytdog initially brought up Griffin to gain advantage at the MfD, and while I appreciate his bringing more attention to the real NPOV issues at that BLP, all I'm seeing is another failed attempt by both of you to connect everything I do to Griffin. You would probably switch to citing North American Piedmontese cattle if you thought there was a way to connect bulldung to me. While I hate to disappoint - Griffin is not what inspired the essay. Griffin is a BLP, although I will admit that MEDRS was brought into it as I explained on Jytdog's TP [35]. Please, please, please - stop trying to make me out to be something I'm not and stop trying to connect Griffin to COI. Try to focus more on the reality, and what this collaborative effort is trying to accomplish, and above all, AGF. The essay is not about me, so please stop trying to make it so. You both know a COI/advocacy problem exists, so wipe the sand out of your eyes, and read the posts at respective TP, at ARBCOM, at AN, at ANI, at 3RR and particularly the KEEPs at Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_Interest_ducks#SURVEY because what those editors are saying is important whether you want to admit it or not. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps the reason the disputes haven't multiplied exponentially is because of the retardants in place that protect you from flame throwers? Reflecting those issues is not an indication they don't exist. The issues are a grass roots issue, and WP has lost quite a few GF editors as a result. It's time to start thinking Jack and the Beanstalk because that beanstalk is growing much higher than the grass. You can either deal with it now or ignore it but it will eventually force you to pay attention. As more and more articles crop up on the internet criticizing WP than articles that commend it, you'll understand my concerns. Never think it can't happen. AtsmeConsult 22:03, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
As so often before, you are focusing on the minority who agree with some part of what you say and misinterpreting this as broad support for all that you say.
When you invite me to "read and digest" what you have written, you come across as condescending and patronising. It is perfectly possible for a long-time Wikipedian like me to read your essay and not accept it all, as is the case with me, Jytdog and several others here. That I guess is why there is a large majority for Delete at the MfD right now. You don't seem to be very good at accepting the possibility that you might be wrong, though your essay recommends the reality-based community to consider the possibility that you are right (we have: you aren't). You may not like the fact that we are judging this article on the basis of your long-term efforts to whitewash G. Edward Griffin's involvement in one of the worst health frauds in US medical history. This conclusion is drawn from your actions alone, yet your essay seeks to explain it as everybody else being at fault. Can you see why we don't think a lot of that? Are you really so lacking in self-criticism?
I've been dealing with COIs both on Wikipedia and via OTRS for years and I do not recognise anything in this essay which I would find useful in that endeavour.
And I do mean that. I wrote the standard OTRS boilerplate reply for advice to individuals seeking to change their Wikipedia biographies, and for companies seeking to buff up their Wikipedia presence. I really do know a bit about this.
COI editing is a known issue, and this essay does not describe it usefully. The canonical example is Gregory Kohs, but WordBomb, Wifione and others are also well known. The WordBomb / Mantanmorland case is illustrative: both sides had a COI, both ended up sanctioned, neither really got what they wanted.
The overwhelming impression here is that you are trying to pretend that a consensus of reality-based editors, represents a COI cabal, and the reason looks to most of us here to be a continuation of your long-standing attempts to whitewash one of the worst health frauds in US history in order to make a prominent promoter of the fraud, look better. Ten out of ten for persistence, zero out of ten for following policy. I don't know if this is really what you are trying to do, but it's what it looks like. Guy (Help!) 22:35, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG: Indeed, funny you should mention it, but I just carried out bold edits to MyWikiBiz, was reverted and have just commenced an RfC. I'm not familiar with the other cases, but I sort of understand your point here. COI is just thrown around recklessly sometimes. Hell I was just accused of it on the MyWikiBiz talk page! How's that for irony. But this being an essay, what is the harm of encapsulating COI behavior? I'm frankly surprised you feel it can be done. I'm not so sure. Coretheapple (talk) 23:43, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
You might just as well try to change Jimbo's article to say "founder" instead of "co-founder". These things are policed, and largely by the same people. You know where you'll find the discussion, and it's not on Wikipedia (not least because a fair number of those doing the monitoring are banned). Guy (Help!) 05:51, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes I did notice that this article has WP:OWN issues, looking through the editing history. It really seems to go out of its way to be bad. A voice sample? That doesn't even pass the laugh test. Also, do my eyes deceive or is a checkuser helping to run a site that doxes people? Coretheapple (talk) 11:58, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Coretheapple I see that as an example of conflict of interest and paid editing on wiki being a legit problem, so let's not ignore it. Popish Plot (talk) 19:22, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
There is an RfC ongoing at the talk page, and all interested may weigh in. Coretheapple (talk) 19:32, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

I will not get into a tit for tat with you, Guy - been there, done that. You keep validating my point whenever you bring up the 30+ year old laetrile incidents and refuse to acknowledge what has transpired since then regarding the language you use. It's all irrelevant to the COI discussion anyway, so who cares? The fact remains...the BLP is about a guy who wrote a book, who he is, and what motivated him to write that book. Your attempts to make it into something it is not is not much different from your attempts to make me into something I'm not. You can drape roses all over your reasons for doing so, but it doesn't erase the fact that Griffin is a BLP...and we have established policies to follow, not just guidelines...POLICIES. Forgive me, but I liken what you're doing to sprinkling Pine-O-Pine on bear poop. It's still bear poop only now it smells like bear poop on pine needles. (pause while I rescue a pea that just jumped off my plate onto my laptop...seriously). Hot diggity, I really am a good cook. X-) Anyway, this discussion has devolved which is not unusual when POVs are at issue. Enjoy your evening or your day, whatever the case may be, and as they say in the UK...cheers!! AtsmeConsult 23:53, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

That essay doesn't mention Griffen anyway. I think both sides should stop getting angry and stop insulting each other. One thing I notice is atsme answers my questions calmly while others insult and won't answer. What am I to assume good faith on then? Popish Plot (talk) 17:37, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Break 2[edit]

Hello Atsme. I was reading about laetrile here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laetrile I see it says it had a history of being used for cancer but now is considered to not help with cancer. Well what can we do. I know sometimes like with medical marijuana helping prevent cancer there are just not enough studies to say for sure, and they don't do the studies because they know what the result will be, but in this case it seems they did studies, double blinds with mice and it says no effect. But are you not saying whether it works or not, you just care that it be mentioned in the G Edward Griffen article? I saw other editors said that article should be deleted anyway because Griffen isn't notable enough. I would say maybe he's not notable for supporting laetrile but that is not the main thing he is known for anyway. Popish Plot (talk) 13:42, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
@Atsme: I think that you have to acknowledge that there are genuine concerns being raised here about the utilization of your essay for the purposes of advancing fringe medical issues. However, where I depart from the people who favor deletion is that this is just an essay. It does not establish policy but just represents what editors say. JzG, you seem to believe that in fact an essay showing COI behaviors can be written. I have my doubts. But if so, why doesn't someone make the effort? However, I suggest that it be written on a user page with a significant period of comment first. Coretheapple (talk) 13:53, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Seems like a good essay to me, just common sense and reminders to assume good faith. Not sure the reason for drama. I see lot of odd essays, one says don't let friends of gay people edit. It's kidding around I guess but just very offensive. But the essays are mostly meant for humor I think. Popish Plot (talk) 17:45, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
You have an awfully large number of edits to meta-space promoting controversial material for one who joined Wikipedia so recently. One might be inclined to look for webbing between the toes...
Hello, yyou have the same, maybe we're both quacks? Anyway medical marijuana is quackery too? It doesn't cure cancer I didn't say that but my point is that unlike laetrile, some studies do show that it helps prevent tumors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis#Cancer. Popish Plot (talk) 20:17, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Laetrile is quackery. The history shows it very clearly. It is not a vitamin, there has never been any evidence that cancer is caused by a deficiency of it, and there is no reliable evidence that supplementation with it can cure cancer. The recent studies of potential effects of amygdalin are not relevant to this. I have explained why, in detail, several times, but Atsme doesn't seem to believe me even though she admitted that I am obviously very much better informed than she is on this. Similarly, "medical marijuana" is, for the most part, quackery. There are some therapeutic effects of THC and other canabinoids, but smoking weed doesn't cure cancer, in fact it causes it. Most of the people promoting it are just looking for a way to make smoking weed legal, I reckon. Inhalation of smoke is unlikely to be a supportable delivery mechanism for any medication. Guy (Help!) 20:30, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
" I reckon. Inhalation of smoke is unlikely to be a supportable delivery mechanism for any medication." I see what you mean by that because inhaling ciggerette smoke does cause cancer. There other ways besides smoking and inhaling though. In any event the scientific community says there is more research needed, and that is what the reliable sources say there. It's not like with laetrile where you can point to the cochrane review that says research has been done and it shows laetrile does not benefit cancer. Popish Plot (talk) 20:21, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps SlimVirgin should write this essay, if the subject appeals to her and if she feels it would be a useful exercise. I'm not thrilled with the idea of promoting quackery, even in an essay. Coretheapple (talk) 21:21, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Coretheapple, I actually have acknowledged everything that has taken place, including all the responses. I have a fairly good idea of why some took offense to the essay while others did not. I have became a popular target as author of the essay although several editors actually offered to help improve it, a few actually did. As you may have noticed, I already have one target on my back for opposing the way Griffin's BLP is written and was accused of all sorts of crazy stuff that was not true, and the PAs continue. The spurious allegations being tossed around about me are unsupported and make excellent examples of what takes place when an editor disagrees with whatever you want to call it but it appears to stem from an entrenched POV regarding how certain articles will be represented in WP, the latter of which throws NPOV to the wind. I am on record as having protested the PAs and the responses are on record as well. And Popish Plot, you might want to take note regarding the following.

I find it curious that the Griffin BLP was brought into this discussion in the first place as it appears to be what I consider tactical deployment to gain advantage at the MfD but I'm not sure under what policy such behavior would apply, if one even exists. Core, you said, I think that you have to acknowledge that there are genuine concerns being raised here about the utilization of your essay for the purposes of advancing fringe medical issues. Yes, I acknowledge that concerns have been raised, but I am a bit undecided as to whether or not I agree with your assessment and hope you can help me to better understand. May I ask the impetus behind your question? Was it the comments made by Guy and/or Jytdog about laetrile or amygdalin? If so, then their tactical deployment worked, despite being based on false pretenses. Is there a particular instance you can point me to that demonstrates where FRINGE/PS either made it into an article or was deflected from an article, and how my essay would have affected it either way?

Two more questions for you since the Griffin article was used at the essay to discredit me. There is little doubt that the Griffin BLP is less focused on biographical material about an author and more about discrediting his POV, or that it leaves readers with the impression that the author promotes quackery, (arrgh, dislike that term - it is so antiquated as are the over 25 to 35 yr old sources used to cite it). To begin, the book and his lectures start off with a disclaimer about laetrile as a cancer treatment. Griffin in fact advocates medical freedom of choice, and further research of amygdalin based on documented evidence by medical physicians (who were once considered mainstream). Amygdalin (a natural substance) is also commonly called laetrile (not to be confused with the actual synthetic drug Laetrile, which is prominently noted in the BLP as not approved by the FDA, and not scientifically supported, etc.) [36].

My questions to you
  1. Would you censor any and all mention of recent research in the article and stick with 25 to 30 year articles in medical journals, or would you allow mention, but not undue per WP:FRINGE based on the conclusions in the following sources? [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42].
  2. Would you include any mention in the BLP about the MSKCC cover-up considering Griffin's book talks about a conspiracy to keep the results from the public? Regardless of it being true or false, it is not our job to judge, only to include RS material. The issue is relevant to the book, therefore I felt it was notable enough for inclusion. [43] [44] [45] [46] Just curious to know your take on it since it was brought up at the MfD in some strange attempt to discredit my motivations for writing the essay.

Sidebar Note to SlimVirgin - if you feel I need to provide diffs for any of the incidents I described even though no names were mentioned, I will certainly accommodate with diffs to avoid potential problems. My mention of the incidents are not to be construed as an indictment against anyone, rather it is to be considered a generalization of behavior (not actionable) regarding what some editors may or may not experience and why it can be extremely confusing for some of the more inexperienced editors to understand what's going on. I can't thank you enough for allowing us to discuss these issues openly and respect your input in helping us find resolve.

Core, following is my final line of questioning. Based on your own experiences,

  1. How would you summarize the Griffin incident in comparison to what is happening now at the essay?
  2. Do you consider it advocacy behavior? COI behavior? Tag-team behavior, or none of the above?
  3. Do you think I am exhibiting conspiratorial behavior, or that there may be an actual conspiracy, or none of the above?
  4. What do you believe is at the root of the behavior being exhibited around us? Advocacy? COI? None of the above?

Each side has their own version of a story, of course. As far as I'm concerned, names don't even matter as much as the overall behavior being exhibited which is the problem area I wanted to help resolve. I thought if I could help other editors properly identify the problem areas and learn how to cope with them, it would somehow prove helpful. If we keep denying the problem exists, and refuse to identify it for what it is, or what it causes or what causes it, or the proper steps to take for remedial action, we might as well be spitting into gale force winds. I think prevention is the best cure, (and I hope that comment doesn't get me in trouble with the Fringe cabal, if one exists. mm), but as long as our PAGs remain vague and open to different interpretations, not to mention WP:IAR, the behavior will continue, and that is what I consider to be a most unfortunate circumstance. I also think WP:IAR has more of a consequence for advancing problem areas than my essay, but I will concede to the MfD close whatever it turns out to be, and will leave it at that. AtsmeConsult 21:34, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Is that question for me? Atsme I have no familiarity with Griffin et al. Coretheapple (talk) 19:44, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
You've hinted before that as a writer you go for an angle. The statement that "each side has their own version of a story" is a common theme among proponents of quackery, who seek to portray a "debate" between two opinions of equal weight. This view of the world is profoundly wrong: science is inherently neutral on these matters, and the scientific consensus, by its nature, includes all significant views, weighed according to their merits. In matters of science, any compromise between a correct statement and a false statement, is a false statement. This is not like competing religious or political "truths", it is an objective fact that there is no "vitamin B17", it is an objective fact that cancer is not caused by a deficiency in this non-existent "vitamin", and it is an objective fact that supplementation of the non-existent "vitamin" does not cure cancer. Those are the claims at issue.
And that's where you're going wrong. You are consistently failing to distinguish between matters of opinion, and matters of fact. Griffin asserts many incorrect opinions as if they were fact. You are of the opinion that we can't have a good article on Griffin without giving him the benefit of the doubt in these things, but in most cases there is no doubt of which the benefit might reasonably be given. His AIDS denialism, chemtrail advocacy, 9/11 "Truth" advocacy and so on are not grounded in reality, they are conspiracy theories contradicted by objective evidence and with no credible supporting body of fact.
You bring up, for the umpteenth time, the fact that the data on laetrile we cite is old. How many times does this need to be explained to you before you finally drop the stick? The laetrile scam is fundamentally different from the recent research you claim should override it. The recent research shows some (cautious, early) evidence of beneficial effect as an adjuvant treatment in certain specific cancers. The laetrile fraud, as promoted by Griffin as a tool of the John Birch Society on behalf of one of its members prosecuted for involvement, goes thus: (1) There is a vitamin, B17, which is found in laetrile (or amygdalin). (2) Cancer is caused by deficiency of this vitamin. (3) Cancer, all kinds of cancer, can therefore be cured by supplementation with this vitamin. (4) There is a conspiracy within the scientific and medical establishment to suppress this. Not one of those four claims is true, and not one of them is rendered any less false by the recent research. The recent research is entirely irrelevant to the laetrile scam as promoted by Griffin, and your constant rehashing of this argument shows that you are not competent to argue the case. You need to drop this crusade, because you are objectively wrong. Not matter-of-opinion wrong, but objectively and absolutely wrong.
Laetrile: A Lesson in Cancer Quackery walks you through the history, the John Birch Society connection, the fraudulent claims, and the reasons why there are no recent tests. It describes, patiently and meticulously, why Griffin's claims are wrong, and it also tells you why the recent results will never change that.
WP:NPOV means that if we paint a portrait then it should be, as Cromwell had it, "warts and all". In the case of Griffin, there is little but warts, but that's not out problem to fix. You cannot have an article on this barely-notable crank and not include the fact that he is very obviously a crank who espouses many crank ideas. You cannot do this because of foundational policy. Guy (Help!) 07:03, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Why does it matter if laetrile, chemtrails, 9/11 truth is correct or incorrect? They all are notable topics so have articles on wikipedia. It's povish and original research if you are on a mission to prove things wrong, just worry about reliable sources. Popish Plot (talk) 14:01, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
It matters because this is an encyclopaedia, a project with a foundational commitment to accuracy. Anything that blurs the line, degrades the project. Atsme's attempts to pretend that Griffin's advocacy of quackery is defensible in retrospect, are not only a novel synthesis form primary sources but are also a violation of our policy on coverage of fringe ideas. And that latter policy, incidentally, explains why, in detail, it does matter whether these crazy conspiracy theories are right or not.
Atsme says we are "censoring" mention of irrelevant research that has absolutely nothing to do with Griffin's claims. Atsme keeps saying this, despite the fact that the irrelevance of the recent research has been pointed out dozens of times by now. We are not censoring it, any more than we are censoring coverage of casein geology in the article on the moon. The moon is not made of cheese, cancer is not caused by a deficiency of something that was claimed to be a vitamin largely for marketing purposes. New research finding evidence of calcium in moon rock would not validate the moon-cheese theory. New research finding value for amygdalin as an adjuvant therapy for certain types of tumour, does not validate the laetrile hoax. And this essay exists solely because Atsme appears to have fallen for the idea that the reason laetrile is denounced as a scam, is that there genuinely is a conspiracy - a fallacious debating tactic known as the "pharma shill gambit". Guy (Help!) 16:06, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps this personalized discussion of Atsme could take place on Atsme's talk page (or the Griffen article if there is concern that article is not adequately neutral). I really think arguments regarding laetrile and/or any BLP concerns regarding Wikipedia calling Griffen a quack/crank regarding his statements on laetrile seems a bit off topic with respect to this essay. The essay in question isn't about Griffen and the essay wasn't even originally Atsme's idea. The idea for the essay actually arose from comments between Sarah and I on this talk page and also on recent ANI on topic of COI [47], [48]. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 16:45, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
you are right about that bobo. and then atsme, who had joined hands with you all at the ANI, came over here with you, and offered to write the essay about COI.. but she actually made it about her struggles at Griffin. That is what i have been saying all along. the essay that got written was not about how to identify a conflicted editor. She definitely picked up the anger that was expressed and the sense of conspiracy that was being expressed, but she didn't write about actual COI in WP nor how to identify it. How could she? she hadn't worked on the issues. but this kind of stuff happens all the time. writer says they will do X but they produce Y.Jytdog (talk) 17:16, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not possible to unpick the two. The essay exists because Atsme has decided that her failure to gain consensus for edits weakening the description of Griffin's laetrile advocacy, is due to the reality-based editors who oppose her being "COI ducks". That's why the references to MEDRS are in there, for example. When someone is POV-pushing, they don't get to demand that everybody addresses the content and not the contributor, because the content has already been addressed dozens of times and they refuse to take no for an answer, so the problem has ceased to be the content and becomes the contributor. Guy (Help!) 17:36, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
One thing I will agree with is no need to call you a COI Duck. That can be seen as perjorative and an insult.Popish Plot (talk) 17:40, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, you wrote above: "and then Atsme, who had joined hands with you all at the ANI, came over here with you". If you look at the links I provided, you will see that Atsme didn't even participate in either of the ANI discussions that inspired the essay. Here are those links again: [49], [50]--BoboMeowCat (talk) 00:07, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
bobo, do you see in your second link where Petrarchan approvingly cited Atsme's criticism of me in a different section of that ANI - and pinged Atsme there? That was 21:43, 28 March 2015. did you see this dif by Atsme on petrarchan's talk page, with edit note "ANI: your ping at ANI brought me here - glad you're back even if it's temp". and on we go. Jytdog (talk) 00:44, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Why does this remind me of a playground rivalry between those who want to play baseball, and those who want to play dodgeball? I believe they took dodgeball out of the schools because it was considered a dangerous sport, and so is making spurious allegations against another editor. Rather than address your allegations against me one by one, the bottomline is what the blank difference does it make how I came upon this discussion? The problem exists, and what I find most troubling is how you've turned this whole thing around to focus on me when it was you who created the problem to begin with but worse yet, you refuse to stop. STOP already....PLEASE. I did not relate the COI issue with Griffin but you keep trying to make it appear that way. WHY?? Do you not realize that I copy edit, have actually practiced reviewing other articles, have created an article about a world renowned medical doctor, contributed to the Alzheimer's article once but my edit was deleted, and so on? Griffin is neither the beginning nor end of my world on WP, Jytdog. Jiminy Cricket, why won't you accept that and move on? You are doing exactly what you falsely accuse others of doing, so stop. AtsmeConsult 18:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

i am sorry that you are this un-self-aware. i have said this as clearly as i could. you will do with it, as you will. good luck to you, really. i do mean that. Jytdog (talk) 18:19, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I am very self-aware but not to the point of being self-centered as one occasionally witnesses in others. I even re-read my posts, walk away for a moment, and come back to re-read them again to make sure they were stated in the proper context. In fact, I just struck a comment that didn't read quite the way I intended. It is never my intention to be accusatory or derogatory toward another editor and above all I try to always be polite. Thanks for the good luck wishes. I'm sure my luck will improve somewhat after you stop the false allegations and strike through those you already made against me as I have evidenced below under the subsection Break 3. Happy editing!! AtsmeConsult 19:01, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Break 3[edit]

Guy, my information is based on RS, which is what your information is supposed to be based on as well. Show us the sources because the ones cited at the article are questionable at best, such as Popular Paranoia and Media Matters. As long as NPOV keeps being challenged as it was recently by a seasoned biography editor who has since stopped editing the article, apparently because his work kept being reverted, and the article was PP which tells us it's a long way from being "stable". Anyway, the last time I looked, I was posting to the TP of SlimVirgin trying to sort through behavioral patterns while discussing ways to improve the essay, so if I may please continue without further ado.

In 1974, 60 Minutes broadcast a special titled "Laetrile: Cure or quackery" with Mike Wallace [51]. That report is closer in line to the way I attempted to write the amygdalin segment in the BLP, except my passage was condensed and confined to the section titled Literary works, the latter of which was removed and replaced with a contentious label titled Conspiracy theories and fringe science. WP is not supposed to take a position on anything, particularly a BLP, but that appears to be what happened. The RS I provided to balance the article without giving it undue have been rejected and the information censored. The fact remains, there are treatments in use today which begs the question - if medical doctors are prescribing it as integrative therapy, why should WP assume the position of calling it quackery based on journal articles that are 30+ years old? Why are the following medical centers allowed to use laetrile (amygdalin) as part of their prescribed integrative therapies? [52], [53], [54]. Would the International Myeloma Foundation (June Pruitt) be a RS? [55]. Furthermore, if the therapy itself is worthless quackery, (1) why is it still being used around the world, and (2) why is there still ongoing research?

Updated (2014 & 2015) RS articles in peer reviewed journals and summaries: [56], [57], [58], [59], [60]. Add that to the Moss revelation which 3rd party RS have reported on and compared to the R.J. Reynolds whistle blower incident. Censoring any and all mention of the minority view, as well as refusing to maintain a realistic perspective on historical events in relation to current events, is simply not supported by either WP:FRINGEBLP, WP:NPOV, WP:V, or WP:MEDRS. Editors have asked repeatedly for RS as dictated by policy with regards to citing contentious material in a BLP, and what we got instead was an AfD. Coincidence? Well, it is interesting behavior to say the least. Are we seeing a pattern? Well, maybe, maybe not. What editor is bold enough to risk remedial action by posting what he/she truly believes? Few, I would imagine, but it doesn't prevent us from noticing how the disagreement over my essay also resulted in a MfD without any discussion first. I think there needs to be a task force to investigate patterns of behavior and repetitive occurrences as SV mentioned earlier. In the interim, I would like to get some answers to my questions from editors who are uninvolved at Griffin. I appreciate fresh new perspectives. The combination of input may actually help clarify some of the issues some of us find so perplexing. AtsmeConsult 17:56, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Atsme, the 60 Minutes piece is from 1974, and the first medical centre you cite above is an osteopath's website. (I only looked at the first one.) There is a Cochrane review here from 2011: "This systematic review found that there is no reliable evidence for the alleged effects of laetrile or amygdalin for curative effects in cancer patients." That's the kind of source WP uses for medical claims. Sarah (SV) (talk) 18:16, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, SV, I understand the systematic review, and how two authors drew their conclusion based on a review of 20 to 30 year old research. Please, please, please look a little closer at the review you provided....
  1. The Cochran review selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs The report states we did not identify any studies that met our inclusion criteria.
  2. The Cochran review is actually based on a limited compilation of research that dates back 20 to 30+ years ago, most of which has been disputed as being inconclusive or faulty, (see the RS I included above). The reviewers state not currently supported by sound clinical data.; Exactly. There was no sound clinical data available because it was never conducted.
  3. The MSKCC report was exposed by a whistle blower as a cover-up; (see the RS I included above)
  4. More importantly, the sources being used and defended as RS in support of the whole laetrile-quackery argument at Griffin are: [61], [62], and [63]. Note the dates on the latter two. No way Media Matters is a RS per FRINGEBLP, or WP:NPOV, or WP:V; Do you really believe the aforementioned sources trump the ones I've provided?
  5. According to a statement made by the National Cancer Institute, No controlled clinical trial (a trial including a comparison group that receives no additional treatment, a placebo, or another treatment) of laetrile has ever been conducted. [64]
  6. Griffin's book, World Without Cancer, was first published in 1974.
I am not saying to exclude the 20-30 year old primary sources, just update the information to recent results. A single review that didn't even meet the reviewers' inclusion criteria is misleading, and inevitably resulted in the censorship of material that actually does qualify for inclusion. If the information I am suggesting for inclusion is what you consider to not be RS, than neither are the sources cited for the material that's in the BLP now. Yes or no? Provide that answer after analyzing the diffs and I won't bother you with it again. AtsmeConsult 20:00, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Sarah why did you mention Atsme’s first medical center reference being an osteopath? What does that have to do with anything? On a separate thought, lay people don't understand that 'unproven' does not mean 'disproven'. In fact, the 'unproven’ list at the American Cancer Society was, in effect a blackball of all varied and new ideas for cancer treatment, thereby confining the field to the old timeworn drugs, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, which clearly have failed to stop cancer. So exactly who are the real quacks?--Pekay2 (talk) 21:25, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteopathy is an alternative medicine. Maybe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_battleground ??? Are you that sure drugs, chemotherapy and surgery are proven failed to stop cancer? Sometimes they work. Popish Plot (talk) 21:35, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme, I don't know what the issues are at that article. Someone with no medical qualifications, who in addition is an AIDS denialist and conspiracy theorist, can't be used as a source for medical claims. Writing FRINGE BLPs is always tricky because we want to describe the views to some extent, but without turning the article into a platform, especially for anything that might be dangerous, so careful writing is needed. It's hard to give general advice, because everything depends on context, but websites such as naturalnews.com or osteopaths' websites wouldn't be RS for any of this. I also wouldn't use the sources you linked to (Media Matters, or the 1979 or 1984 articles). I'm wondering what the connection is between this and COI. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:49, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, SV. I understand you're not aware of article content, and you shouldn't be unless you want to collaborate with us to make it a GA? :-) I do wonder why you came to such a conclusion about G. Edward Griffin as it suggests the article is not NPOV. Have you read any of his books or are you basing your conclusion on his WP BLP and/or what his critics have said? You said, " I'm wondering what the connection is between this and COI." I wondered the same thing when I first saw the original post here on your TP, [65], and then realized it had been immediately linked to the poster's comment at the MfD Survey for the COIducks essay falsely accusing me of creating "a tool to allow COI to be used as a cudgel to get FRINGE health claims into WP": [66]. I asked the poster to please strike it. [67] He would not. [68]. Perhaps I should have taken it to ANI, but sometimes it's just better to ignore such childish behavior.
You said, "I also wouldn't use the sources you linked to (Media Matters, or the 1979 or 1984 articles)", and I totally agree with you. I wouldn't use them either but those sources are what was used to cite contentious material at Griffin's BLP, and probably explains why I'm being followed and told to drop the stick. Fresh eyes on the article tends to bring more editors over who want to fix the problems, but they usually give up after consistently being reverted by the team and the WP:OWN behavior. Do I need to provide diffs for that even though I'm not naming anyone? More than one or two seasoned editors have tried to correct the issues, but to no avail. Do you think such behavior relates in any way to the essay? If not, what do you see as the problem? Who gets to determine what is or isn't a RS or if out-dated links can or can't be used while denying inclusion of the same kinds of sources that are more recent? I am also a bit confused over why you would consider a reputable clinic to not be a RS. Do you also consider the Mayo Clinic to not be a RS perhaps because they also prescribe CAM as an integrative therapy or is there another reason? As you have seen at first glance, there are some major issues at Griffin that I've been trying to get resolved since 12/10/2014. Maybe we need an entirely different kind of task force for an entirely different kind of issue. ??? AtsmeConsult 03:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, so you're not alleging COI at that article. That's what had me confused. As a matter of interest, what would you would want to use the osteopath's website to support? Sarah (SV) (talk) 03:42, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
My concern (and I hope I won't get in trouble for saying this because the admin overseer at Griffin told me to drop it) is that the poorly sourced contentious material in the lead of a BLP using terms like quackery should be replaced with something more encyclopedic like scientifically unsupported rather than edge so close to the template warning on the article TP that states: "poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous." If the substance is being used by reputable clinics, it may create a problem to use contentious labels that are sourced to 30+ Journal articles. I believe the ACS, NIH, and NCI have changed their wording now that there is the following: [69]. AtsmeConsult 04:40, 10 April 2015 (UTC) PS: No plans to use it in the article.
Atsme, here and here too (and elsewhere, but two is enough) you link your COIDuck essay to your experience at Griffin. The latter especially, where in the context of discussing a task force to deal with COI you wrote: " As I'm sure we both agree, the issues go much deeper than simply creating an article for $$. It's the business of protecting, advocating and politicizing those articles that creates the problem because it defies compliance with NPOV. .... I am adamantly opposed to its (MEDRS's) use as a shield to censor information before the information is properly considered from a NPOV" . and this from that same diff, which most clearly says it: "If a COI arises (has arisen) as a result of MEDRS, a task force should be able to handle that as well, but of course each situation is different, and must be thoroughly evaluated to determine the root of the problem...., if an editor determines the community is not fair and balanced after they have evaluated how loud COIduckery is quacking, then the task force should be called in to decide." You very clearly link your experience at Griffin to "COI" there; you use the same language about "censoring" etc that you do above. The defiance of consensus and casting it as conspiracy that you lay out in that dif and above, are very well expressed in the essay, and are the focus of most of the !delete votes. you do cast the editors opposed to you at Griffin as being examples of COIduckery. You are alleging "COI" at Griffin, and you are using the term "COI" very differently than WP does. Jytdog (talk) 11:45, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Does it have to mention "quackery" in the lede? What is the policy on using the term quckery in BLP articles. Even if reliable sources say someone is a quack, is it needed in the article? MEDRS doesn't seem to say you need to say he's a quack. The Griffen article does say he advocates conspiracy theories is that enough weight to let people reading wikipedia know his laetrile views aren't supported by mainstream medicine? I looked here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quackery#Persons_accused_of_quackery I see none of these mention them being quacks in the ledes. Popish Plot (talk) 13:44, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I have no desire to discuss the Griffin article - feel free to discuss that with the editors still working at the Talk page, if you like. My intention here is just to clarify how "COI Ducks" came to be, what it is is actually about (not "COI" as we use term in WP), and why so many people have !voted delete (because it is not about its stated topic, and it encourages people who are taking a stance outside of consensus, to consider consensus as a corrupt conspiracy). Jytdog (talk) 13:51, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Understandable. What I will do is copy and paste my comment right above into the griffen page. Popish Plot (talk) 14:35, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Jytdog, the 1st diff simply mentioned how an AfD closed as no consensus with 15 Keeps and only 5 Deletes which I used to demonstrate why we can't jump to conclusions based on votes. It had nothing to do with COI. I used Griffin because it was handy, recent, and should have closed as Keep based on the vote but more so based on the quality of the comments. It relates to the COIducks essay in no other way so providing it so your providing it was clearly an attempt to mislead. The 2nd diff does not include even one instance of Griffin, but it does include very good advice and reasoning. Do you think it is productive to provide diffs that don't support your PAs and false allegations? If that wasn't bad enough, you revealed your motives for linking the Griffin diff to the MfD, and erased all doubt that you were WP:Gaming the system. You couldn't have picked a more perfect venue to do so. I am thankful that SV was part of the essay discussion from the onset and knows exactly how it unfolded. Griffin was never a part of the essay until you made it that way using tactical deployment. My initial reason is here: [70].

SV, now that Jytdog has confirmed his motives, he needs to strike through his Griffin comments above and at the essay's MfD, and apologize to me. I never saw Griffin as a COI because I believe it is actually riddled with far greater issues. Jytdog was recently warned by Swarm about his behavior: [71] but his pattern of behavior is to apologize, strike and continue without changing anything as demonstrated by this diff: [72]. The following diffs demonstrate more of Jytdog in action [73] [74], [75]. His participation on COIN is for the most part beneficial but since he spends such an extraordinary amount of volunteer time on WP, it has its downsides. For example continuous exposure to problems stirs aggressive behavior in any human being, the latter of which he is known to exhibit. It can be very problematic. [76]. The other downside is wrongfully accusing someone of COI where it doesn't exist, so you would think Jytdog would be welcoming my essay instead of opposing it: [77], [78]. Fortunately, one of Jytdog's page stalkers or collaborators, whatever we call each other on WP, stepped in to help. [79]. The diffs clearly exemplify that a problem exists particularly with Jytdog because they demonstrate issues that have arisen between him and several other editors. In the preceding paragraphs, I demonstrated 5 different editors he has had conflicts with in a short time frame. Not good, especially to think one editor could be creating such a stir among many. AtsmeConsult 15:03, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

I've been very clear from the first time I said it, atsme. it is not a personal attack and i am a bit surprised at your intense and very personal response. you just wrote a muddled essay; it is not the end of the world. Jytdog (talk) 15:18, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
And therein lies the problem. Your allegations are not substantive because they are based on your own POV assumptions. Not good. Arguing to justify same does not resolve the issue. What you did was a PA on top of gaming, so whether you get away with it now or not, I believe that if you continue on this path, it will eventually catch up to you. It's what some consider the "rope trick". One day an admin will come along and realize that when there is this much smoke, there is usually a raging fire on the other side. Happy editing. AtsmeConsult 21:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm fine with this continuing on my talk page if it will lead to something constructive, or some kind of understanding, but to do that there should be an effort to move it away from the personal. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:19, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, SV. I truly appreciate your generosity, patience and understanding. AtsmeConsult 23:44, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

alt-med BLP's[edit]

I’ve never edited the G. Edward Griffin BLP, or even heard of Griffin in real life. I haven't really bothered to follow all the disputes there; although, I am aware of multiple noticeboard listings related to that BLP. I mostly think the Griffin discussion seems off-topic with respect to the COIducks essay, but it does raise one potentially relevant issue which could possibly be seen as COI related, in that I’ve noticed BLP’s of individuals associated with alt-med often seem to drift into attack pieces and utilize non-neutral terminology such as “quackery”, “pseudoscientific", “conspiracy” etc. It seems there are multiple alt-med BLP's which could be improved via neutral language such as saying “there is no medical or scientific evidence for x claim” instead of all the emotionally charged "quackery" language that seems to be the norm in such BLP's.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 02:42, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

@BoboMeowCat: I agree with this. A conservative tone is better. Sarah (SV) (talk) 02:51, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Bobo what is the COI issue. I am hearing you articulate an NPOV issue, nothing to do with COI. Please clarify - concretely. Jytdog (talk) 03:28, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, The original intention of the essay was taking an approach to COI similar to that of sock puppets, in that it the problem could be assessed via editor behavior, with the understanding that actual COI cannot always be proven or disproven in an anonymous editing environment. Problematic editing behavior such as industry promoting POVpushing in violation of WP:NPOV....if this POVpushing occurs along with other PAG violations such as WP:BITE, WP:BULLY, WP:TAGTEAM, WP:OWN etc is the concern. With respect to BLP’s, it seems this could possibly apply to the insertion of emotionally charged “quackery” language in BLP’s, if these NPOV violations are maintained via WP:BITE, WP:OWN etc.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 23:11, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for answering. oy. I was afraid you were going to say that. Jytdog (talk) 00:33, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Bobo, I agree that a COI essay would be a good idea, but this one spreads the net wide and arguably turns things upside down. MEDRS and FRINGE are often used against COI editing; the former requires high-quality secondary sources and the latter independent ones, and both offer some protection. (I'm not saying they can't be misused, as can all the policies.) The question is what kind of sources Atsme would have us use instead. The implication is that we should allow primary sources, and CNN reports on medical issues and history. But those sources would open the door to more COI editing. The issues are complex. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:41, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Sarah, I agree that a good essay on this topic needs to explicitly state that upholding WP:MEDRS and WP:FRINGE is not the problem (quite the opposite - these guidelines protect against COI and improve WP). I see the past essay has actually been deleted. If a new essay is created, I think it should stress the importance of these guidelines, but perhaps discussion of misapplication/misrepresentation of wp:medrs and wp:fringe could be discussed, if others think this is important to the topic. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 01:00, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I've seen very little MEDRS misuse; in fact offhand I can only think of one case where I saw MEDRS clearly misapplied by someone who is active in that area, but it was an error rather than POV pushing. I've seen FRINGE misused more often. But I suppose a perception of misuse can be as damaging as actual misuse. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:18, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I think perhaps MEDRS is a confusing guideline for some editors. The terminology of primary, secondary and tertiary source is probably not clear to some users in the context of medical literature, so when content referenced to a peer reviewed medical journal is added to an article, and it is reverted “per medrs”, they might not understand the rationale, and see this as a COI issue, when it’s not. Explaining in plain language that a primary source per medrs is an individual research study, that a secondary source is a review of multiple research studies, and that a tertiary source would typically be a medical encyclopedia or medical textbook etc, and explaining that primary sources are to be avoided per medrs might clear things up for some users. I recall seeing instances of editors saying they were “upholding medrs” when they were not, which could be error or POV pushing. I think if more users understood what “upholding medrs” meant it might help.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 02:27, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with SV, and I also see quite a dichotomy between MEDRS and how it applies to an article about disease, medical treatments, drugs, research and the like VS the way it applies to FRINGE-PS VS the way it applies to a BLP, and therein the problems lies. WP:FRINGEBLP clearly states WP:BLP policy does not provide an excuse to remove all criticism from a biography or to obscure a person's fringe advocacy outside of their field of expertise (see WP:PROFRINGE, WP:BLP#Balance) as well as Caution should be exercised when evaluating whether there are enough sources available to write a neutral biography that neither unduly promotes nor denigrates the subject.
In Wakefield's BLP, his views are not outside his field of expertise yet they are still considered as having crossed the line per mainstream, especially after the revocation of his medical license, although he is still considered a researcher. WP also has qualifiers for writing a "neutral biography" (neither promotes nor denigrates) which is dependent on enough sources. If editors restrict those sources to only those which qualify under MEDRS, then I consider that qualifier to be based on misapprehension or misapplication, and possibly even abuse of the guidelines. Sources like Natural News [80] are rejected by some editors who have no problem accepting Media Matters to cite contentious material in a BLP where a degree of FRINGE may be applicable. Since Griffin is part of the topic now, there are ongoing instances where the Mayo Clinic, MMSKCC, NIH, and ACS were rejected as RS. My guess is because those sources dared mention integrative or alternative treatments or ongoing research, which actually should not be problematic when written as biographical content rather than from a scientific perspective.
It also appears to be getting more difficult these days (21st Century) to hang contentious labels on BLPs that promote research and CAM treatments when reputable doctors, clinics and government health agencies are cited as RS. The fact that so many integrative treatments today rely on natural substances or may be based on ancient remedies and are simply not available in Journal reviews but are known to work. Remember when science laughed at Grandma's chicken soup as a remedy for a cold? [81] And remember how we were told chocolate was bad for us? [82] The point I'm trying to make is that we should not condemn a BLP or censor biographical material because it doesn't strictly adhere to MEDRS as long as other RS are cited. BLPs are not supposed to be coatracks. AtsmeConsult 03:07, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme, a few things:
  • It is great that you are turning back to BLP, which was and has been the focus of your arguments on Griffin. That is at least back to the actual topic. (your COIduck essay was just trying to drape COI over the same set of issues)
  • i don't know if you know this, but every day people add badly sourced content pushing "woo" to Wikipedia. And many of them push and push and push. One of the things Project Medicine does every day is push this back out, relying on MEDRS. The community committed a long time ago - and Jimbo is solidly behind this with his famous "lunatic charlatan" quote - to science-based medicine. The consensus is very deep, and very strong. You are establishing yourself more and more outside this consensus on these issues.
  • above, this is a 15 year old (!) popular media report of the publication of a PRIMARY source. MEDRS speaks directly to this in the section called "Respect secondary sources", which says: "Scientific findings are often touted in the popular press as soon as the original, primary research report is released, and before the scientific community has had an opportunity to analyze the new results. Such sources should generally be entirely omitted (in accordance with recentism), because determining the weight to give to such a study requires reliable secondary sources (not press releases or newspaper articles based on them)." the popular media loves latching onto splashy publications of PRIMARY sources - "look, chicken soup, it works!" but this is no good here.
  • as long as you keep bringing bad sourcing like this and like naturalnews, etc, you are not going to get anywhere in changing article content about health. Instead, you establish a reputation as a pusher of woo. If that is who you want to be here In WP, that is your decision.
  • Back to the BLP thing, as has been said a ton of times -- following BLPFRINGE does not "condemn" anyone - BLP does not mean you can use a BLP as a COATRACK for FRINGE ideas - this has been the crux of the dispute from your first edits to Griffin way back in December, and your view has been solidly rejected in multiple forums.
  • SV, I agree that quack-fighters in WP can be way too harsh and sometimes go overboard. including in BLPs - but in my view that is preferable to letting WP get filled up with woo. (and i think that is community consensus too, as quackfighters have survived many many efforts, using many tactics, to shut them down) And advocates for alt-med are relentless. The harder they push, the harder the quackfighters have to push back. As long as this trench warfare is going on (and Griffin is an example of this, where even now Atsme is trying to push content advocating for laetrile into the article) it is going to be very hard to "tone down" discussion of FRINGE content anywhere, including in BLPs of FRINGE advocates, like Griffin. The acupuncture article is (for me) the classic example of this in WP. That article is a battleground, and it looks like it. I tried for a while to forge a moderate article but it is impossible; pro-acu people keep adding woo and the quackfighters bury them with evidence. About 80% of the content shouldn't even be there, but when pro-acu people add ludicrous content saying things like "acu can treat infertility" the quackfighters will respond by keeping content about acu and infertility just to cite the evidence that it doesn't work. That is how it happens - there are these sections there, that shouldn't even be in the article. This is the dynamic at Griffin now. The harder Atsme pushes to have positive content about Laetrile that would validate Griffin's view (which is far from neutral editing), the more clearly the article will state that laetrile is quackery. Those are my thoughts. What are yours, on BLPFRINGE and how articles dealing with alt-med, arrive at the condition they are in? Jytdog (talk) 13:59, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, it seems quack-fighters/woo-warriors and lunatic charlatans are both disruptive. PAG violations from the later doesn’t justify PAG violations from the former. It seems that reasonable editors really need to prevail, particularly in sensitive articles such as BLP’s.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 20:05, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
One very interesting example of a possible "way forward" may be the Christian Science article, which was a battleground for a while (over the question of whether CS healing is woo or not) until SV arrived and pretty much did a ground-up re-write which is (IMO) very good, and which minimized that particular question while filling out many aspects of the subject which had previously been neglected. The article is still "firm" on the questionable health aspects of CS, and some of the more militant skeptics don't think it goes far enough but ... I commend this example. The acupuncture article could be a lot better if it concentrated on acupuncture in the round and kept the evidence-base/woo aspects in proportion. But with the investment editors of all stripes have in that article, such a re-write would require some patient, skilled and forceful editors to effect such an improvement. Alexbrn (talk) 16:49, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Jytdog, the snide remarks and Wikipedia:POINTY spin are unnecessary as are the sideways allegations that I'm pushing woo. My interpretation of woo has a much different meaning from the pejorative term used today, and refers to making woo, [83], so please address your concerns using phrases considered to be a little more encyclopedic than what we find in the urban dictionary. The topic of this discussion is actually alt-med BLPs, not COIducks in the event you overlooked the subsection title. Griffin has been exampled as has Wakefield, so you might want to catch-up on the discussion so we don't have to keep repeating ourselves. Your comment, "As long as this trench warfare is going on (and Griffin is an example of this, where even now Atsme is trying to push content advocating for laetrile into the article)" is what I consider to be a classic example of skeptic POV pushing although I will AGF and consider it unintentional. I will repeat for the umpteenth time in an effort to stop the spinning of realty and the casting of aspersions without supporting diffs - I am not pushing content advocating for laetrile into the article. I am pushing to include the author's view on amygdalin, and what inspired him to write the book which actually belongs in the article whether we agree with it or not. What I find most disconcerting is the tenacity in which the same editors are trying to prevent its inclusion, the latter of which is censorship and what should be of the utmost concern. If you were doing research to write a BLP on Charles Manson, wouldn't you be looking for RS to demonstrate what inspired him to do the things he did, what his views are today, and what he actually said other than what his critics and haters have said? The references and comparisons to all the other hogwash topics in order to discredit me and divert attention away from the actual scientific research is shameful behavior, and I will not partake. Instead, I will ask you to answer a few simple questions as follows:

  1. YES or NO - Are you saying specifically that the doctors and clinics today that are prescribing/using amygdalin (B17, common term laetrile, not the illegal non-FDA approved, patented Laetrile drug) as an adjunct therapy in medical clinics throughout the US and abroad are all quacks pushing FRINGE/PS?
  2. YES or NO - Are you saying that absolutely no mention of Griffin's views or the catalyst that inspired him to write about amygdalin are allowed in the BLP because such views are FRINGE-PS?

AtsmeConsult 18:13, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Atsme please read Amygdalin#Laetrile. That you call this B17 makes your first question unanswerable, and is one reason why I say you are advocating FRINGE medicine. As for the second question - the article does say that Griffin advocates the user of laetrile as a cancer treatment, which is why the article also says that the use of laetrile to treat cancer is quackery. The question of whether the article should say why he started doing that, comes to WEIGHT and sources. Jytdog (talk) 21:06, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
YES or NO? Please just answer the questions asked in (1) and (2). FYI - I don't call it B17 - NCI, NIH, ACS, and numerous others call it B17 - it is a ubiquitous term and what the book Griffin authored refers to, which you apparently have not read based on your comments. Your claims are spurious and unwarranted. With regards to your second attempt to avoid the YES or NO answer - again, you evaded the question. If you cannot answer even the simplest of questions, there is no justification for your involvement in this topic or much less in this discussion. AtsmeConsult 21:24, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
this is not a trial, and I don't have to answer any questions. especially not questions that are as nonsense as "why is the sky a banana?" but i will keep trying to talk with you. First, no mainstream source calls laetrile "B17" - it is not a vitamin. ( the NCI for example says" "The third theory states that cancer is the result of a metabolic disorder caused by a vitamin deficiency. It states further that laetrile, or “vitamin B-17,” is the missing vitamin needed by the body to restore health. Experimental evidence indicates that the level of intake of individual vitamins and/or the vitamin status of an organism can influence the development of cancer, but there is no evidence that laetrile is needed for normal metabolism or that it can function as a vitamin in animals or humans" and the NIH and ACS are the same. Saying "The KKK believes that people who are not WASPS are inferior to WASPS" does not mean whoever says that, agrees with the KKK). I also won't make essentialist statements that "X is a quack" and you will find no place that i ever wrote that (you will find me saying "X promotes quackery"). I will say that the use of laetrile to treat cancer is quackery. And I really have no opinion on whether the article should describe why Griffin promotes quackery - that is a detailed editing discussion. I will say that it is generally problematic to write WP content about why X did Y; the only sources for that are what X says about him- or herself (which would be based on an SPS and not necessarily reliable) or what other people speculate (also unreliable). Whether that sort of thing deserves any WEIGHT in the Griffin article is something editors at the article to decide. I know you have been saying you want that content in the article for a while now, and I don't really understand why. So the best answer I can give to your first question (pretending it doesn't say "B17") is NO and the best answer I can give to the second question is DON"T KNOW BUT PROBABLY NOT. Jytdog (talk) 21:54, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I am so sick of the hubris behind the use of the antiquated terms quackery, pseudoscience, fringe, and woo levied at anything and everything that isn’t so-called ‘science-based’ drug oriented medicine. Science-based? Hah! Well that’s a discussion for another time. All these antiquated terms have nothing to do with writing Griffin’s BLP. It is un-encyclopedic to introduce judgemental POV terms in a biography, period end of story.--Pekay2 (talk) 21:44, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

science-based medicine advocates eating right and exercising as the key to retaining good health. it also has scientifically-validated treatments for people when they get sick. you mischaracterize & do not seem to understand mainstream medicine. Jytdog (talk) 22:07, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Pekay2, your objections to those "antiquated terms" you mention indicates one or both of two things:
  1. Either you aren't familiar with the fact that they are still accurate and still used by the RS which we quote and use to support inclusion of those terms. If you don't like our content, fringe, NPOV, and RS policies, maybe you should reconsider your adversarial attitude toward those policies which allow and require inclusion of such content. POV objections to properly sourced terminology is unbecoming of a wikipedian.
  2. Or you are allied with the practices so described and don't like them being described in that manner. I can understand that feeling, but as an editor here you must lay aside those feelings and follow our policies. Whitewashing articles of properly sourced non-neutral content is a serious infringement of NPOV, and reveals a misunderstanding of the policy. NPOV does not mean article content is "neutral", but that Wikipedia does not take sides and that editors don't take sides. They document controversies and accurately convey the meaning and language used by our sources, even if they find them objectionable. Whitewashing is not allowed, and any removal of such terms, if they are properly sourced, does have consequences. Pushers of fringe POV don't last long here. I hope you aren't one. I don't recall ever encountering you before, and I hope that you reconsider your attitude toward NPOV, Fringe, and RS. This is a mainstream encyclopedia and we follow RS.
BTW, just like Atsme, I too often look at user pages, but in this case I'll take your clearly stated disdain for mainstream medicine at face value and as of more weight than an assumption that your profession as a mainstream professional automatically means you understand the issues from a mainstream perspective. You may in some instances, but when dealing with the fringe subjects described in RS as fringe, quackery, and pseudoscience, I question both your understanding of the issues and your understanding of policy. OTOH, I suspect that we could, through good discussion, still find ways to deal with such content in a positive manner, if we ever edit the same articles. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:29, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, I have a tendency to read the User Pages of editors involved in topics I am involved in because that's just who I am. If they didn't want us to know who they are or what their purpose is on WP, they would have a blank UP. After reading Pekay2's comments for a while now, I checked the user page: I am an RN emeritus with a Bachelor of Science degree. In my earlier career I was a head nurse in Psychiatry, but after a hiatus to raise a family, continued my education acquiring a Master of Science degree in Biology and Clinical Nutrition. I was in private practice for 16+ years as a nurse-nutritionist. I developed my own successful health and weight control programs. I wrote a weekly nutritional newspaper column for over ten years. My work has been published in medical journals and popular magazines. You said to him/her - "you mischaracterize & do not seem to understand mainstream medicine." Really? And as a biotech, you do? As a sideline somewhat humorous comment because I am in a good mood, I have to ask - how many arms, hearts, livers, lungs, etc. have you actually created and/or grown? I personally have created 4 arms, 4 legs, 2 livers, 4 kidneys, 2 sets of lungs, and....well, it's probably best summarized as gave birth to two kids, and raised them to perfectly healthy adulthood. The only trips to the doctor were for injuries sustained because they wouldn't listen to their mother. X-) Your condescending manner has been noted. AtsmeConsult 22:29, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
people say all kinds of things about themselves on WP. you have said you are some blond haired blue eyed retired writer/editor living on an island somewhere. I have no idea if that is true and don't care. all i care about is what people say and do here. WP is radically anti-essentialist. what you do and say here in working on article content or meta-wiki matters, is what matters here. (and i have no idea what "a biotech" is or what you think that means... and don't care) Jytdog (talk) 22:51, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct about identities which are best left anonymous if the editor so desires. However, I find your comment that you "have no idea what 'a biotech' is" rather curious. I think the best approach is to simply quote from your own UP..."The work I do in the real world, which I have done for many years now, is unrelated to food or agriculture, but does involve biotechnology"...[84]. But that's your business and has no bearing on the biography being discussed now. AtsmeConsult 23:12, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Break 4[edit]

SV, not to change the subject, but I just learned something that is rather disconcerting. It's possible I misunderstood the entire angle, so I'm sending you an email because I don't want to out anybody. AtsmeConsult 04:06, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Altmed BLPs must be careful, but also neutral. If and when fraud, ignorance, COI (of the article's subject), pain and death are involved - then Wikipedia needs to be forthright and it isn't going to make pleasant reading. A couple of articles where I'd say WP was necessarily tough but fair are Andrew Wakefield and Ryke Geerd Hamer, for example. Alexbrn (talk) 06:26, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

For any interested in a better understanding of the Brian Deer/Andy Wakefield/Autism story, watch this documentary: [85]. Truth seekers may also be interested in the CDC whistleblower's conversation on manipulation of data in the 2004 paper he (William Thompson--whistleblower), co-authored with DeStefano [86], and Andrew Wakefield’s defense of his work at [87].--Pekay2 (talk) 17:10, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

No doubt, what Wakefield did was unconscionable and according to some, will be remembered as one of the most serious frauds in medical history. Whether or not that one incident should be the entire focus of the Wakefield BLP is another question. For the answer read WP:BLP#Subjects notable only for one event and WP:Notability_(people)#People_notable_for_only_one_event, and also keep in mind there is already a full article, MMR_vaccine_controversy. The man was a notable scholar (researcher) according to Google scholar - 8305 citations and an h-index of 48 with only one retracted work as a co-author. The retraction of his paper was based on ethical violations and scientific misrepresentations which devolved even further into revocation of his medical license because of what was determined to be deliberate fraud for financial gain, a conclusion based primarily on the findings of an investigative journalist. According to an article in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry: It is a matter of concern that the exposé was a result of journalistic investigation, rather than academic vigilance followed by the institution of corrective measures. Readers may be interested to learn that the journalist on the Wakefield case, Brian Deer, had earlier reported on the false implication of thiomersal (in vaccines) in the etiology of autism. However, Deer had not played an investigative role in that report. [88] The exposé indeed raises concern over the validity of the information being published in what were once considered reliable journals. PMCID: PMC2585965 MMR controversy raises questions about publication ethics. I believe we touched on this very subject in one of our earlier COI discussions.

I believe important information which includes belief systems and the catalyst(s) that brought one notability belongs in a BLP, not deliberately excluded to present the single view of big brother, especially when such a view is challenged or highly controversial. If we do, then we've made WP no better than any other censored propaganda tool. A well-written article in the Washington Post while reporting the man's fraudulent activities also included the following: And in Wakefield, who still preaches the gospel of anti-vaccination from Texas, such individuals find a true martyr — a man who has sacrificed everything to take on powerful pharmaceutical companies and the biggest villain of all: the government. [89] Newsweek reported: Andrew Wakefield is both revered and reviled. To a small group of parents, he’s a hero who won’t back down from his assertion that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can cause autism. To most, however, he’s the man who authored a fraudulent study that has been refuted many times and was retracted by the journal that published it, a man whose views carry dangerous consequences for all of us. [90] To censor opposing views is fundamentally noncompliant with NPOV, V, BALANCE and UNDUE.

A WP BLP should not look like it was written by Micheal Moore, or Andrew Breitbart. As much as we'd like to express what we feel about a person we must not,- and that includes all BLPs. Charles Manson is a convicted criminal, but he was also a musician. Imagine that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atsme (talkcontribs)

PS - from yesterday: [91] *lol* Almost there, too, but not quite ready yet - [92] AtsmeConsult 00:28, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Are there any appellate cases (secondary sources) in criminal law that say that? If not, then it shouldn't be in the article per CriminalJusticeRS.  ;-) Anyone who says that is just an "activist" or is trying to profit off his musicianship.  ;-) LOL. David Tornheim (talk) 03:20, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
take a look at Bayer. I think someone just violates 3RRR. David Tornheim (talk) 04:36, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
David Tornheim, forget taking a look at Bayer. I need two of them. My walls of text are giving me a headache because it feels more like I'm beating my head against them instead of just writing them. m( AtsmeConsult 21:11, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Break 5[edit]

  • Atsme, could you link to a version of the Griffin article that you support, or prefer to the current version? It would help to get a sense of what you're arguing for. Sarah (SV) (talk) 23:05, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely, SV. February 9, 2015 Not saying it is perfect or finished by any means, but it did clean up some of the NPOV issues. It barely saw the light of day before it was reverted. Also, more recent information has emerged that was not included in the February 9th attempt. Since the latter was reverted, I decided to try a slower approach (as if 3 months was going too fast). My latest attempt at improving the lead is here, [93], which was again shot down. I figured if amygdalin was the deal breaker, why even mention it in the lead since that book is not what made his literary works notable. I figured it could go under the section title Literary works with brief mention. That way we avoided all the laetrile controversy which really doesn't need to be UNDUE. I also proposed numerous approaches using GAs as examples, all of which were shot down. I collaborated in GF prior to making any edits after the article went into PP as evidenced here: January 8, 2015. The reason you are seeing month long gaps in my edits is because whatever I attempted to do was reverted. I won't go into the PAs and unwarranted behavior that ensued but can provide diffs if absolutely necessary. The article was actually stable until this edit June 24, 2014. Prior to that time the article creator and collaborators were discussing a GA nomination and ways to make the article better. AtsmeConsult 23:42, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I know this question is for Atsme, but after you asked it, I was curious regarding the state of the Griffin article prior to the flurry of noticeboard listings for that BLP. This past version [94] appears more BLP compliant than today's version [95]. I have no opinion on Griffin. Never heard him before, but his current BLP kind of reads like an attack on Griffin to me.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 23:52, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Atsme, as I wrote to you on my Talk page: " i bowed out of the Griffin article in reaction to your trying to edit war in, the edits to the article that Alexbrn linked to, on SV's page. I re-read that edit you made. The content about laetrile (commenting only on that part) is actually not bad. No naturalnews.com or other flakey sources. if the tenor of the relationship among editors on the Talk page would change, I could see the article ending up not ~too~ far from there. But on the other hand, even the in the current RfC you are still arguing to include content like that on the MSKCC website... so i guess your perspective hasn't changed that much.. and arguing for that, really is arguing for FRINGE, against MEDRS." I opened a door really wide to you there.... and you just walked right past it. Jytdog (talk) 00:00, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Please stop, Jytdog. You know full well it isn't edit warring when an editor removes BLP violations. If you want to point out edit warring take a look at your own actions and your response to the RfC close by Nyttend when he removed the violations [96] and you reverted that admins actions [97], and then challenged his close which was upheld in the review. Your recollection of events is skewed and easily disproven starting right here: [98]. I am through responding to the ludicrous comments. Please, just leave me alone. AtsmeConsult 02:03, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
edit warring is never OK - and as you know Nyytend's close was appropriately made more nuanced at AN to better reflect the RfC. i am sorry you are not interested in compromise with regard to Griffin. I will step out of the discussion between you and SV on this. Jytdog (talk) 03:11, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

HIV/AIDS[edit]

  • Thanks for the link, Atsme. I noticed that version doesn't contain the AIDS denialism. Here on YouTube, from 00:58, he does say the HIV virus doesn't exist. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:04, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome, SV. There are quite a few books and DVDs, [99] so I pretty much focused on works that could be RS. There is definitely room for improvement and expansion, but that is what a GF collaboration is supposed to accomplish. I never got the opportunity to do anything that wasn't immediately reverted. Just scan through the edit history at the BLP and you'll see that every single edit I attempted was quickly reverted, and the same thing happened to a few other accomplished biography editors who eventually gave up and left. My main focus starting out was just trying to clean up the NPOV issues, balance and weight, get the section titles neutral, fix the sourcing issues, and do a little copy editing. Expansion and further improvement would come later. Compare the February link to what is currently the "supported" version there now, and also notice how Media Matters was used to cite the HIV mention in the lead and in the body of the article. Do you believe what we have now is an improvement, or reflective of the kind of content we want our readers to see? AtsmeConsult 01:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I think the YouTube recording is instructive, not only because he says there is no AIDS virus, but because he doesn't know what HIV stands for. I do agree, in general, that FRINGE BLPs are better written in a conservative tone (I'm a fan of "show, don't tell"), but sometimes views have gone so far in a certain direction that it's very diffcult to maintain an encyclopedic tone without it becoming a whitewash. It's tricky. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:56, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, (The ping is because this thread is so long, I didn't want my response getting lost. If pings aren't needed, let me know). I apologize for not responding sooner, but I've been sidetracked by the essay, and a few other projects. I watched the video, and quite frankly I'm not a medical professional, so a lot of the jargon is over my head. Thankfully we do have medical professionals on WP who can help in that area. Since there are a lot of people who challenge what Griffin says, and just as many who are grateful for his exposés, it's rather difficult to decide which ones belong in the article and how much weight to give them. If my take on it is correct, it appears you believe whatever he has written or said publicly in interviews about HIV/AIDS is significant. I haven't had the chance to do any significant research, but in my first attempt, I came across the following article dated June 2014 in USA Today: [100]. According to the article (and there are quite a few others out there), "A former Iowa State University scientist who admitted faking lab results to obtain millions in grant money for AIDS research has been charged with four felony counts of making false statements, an indictment filed in federal court shows." With the latter in mind, it may be worth investing further to see exactly what Griffin is saying and if any of that information relates. Open-minded collaboration in accordance with strict adherence to BLP policy is necessary, and what I believe may be lacking at Griffin. Unfortunately, skeptics believe in science and unfortunately in some cases are actually the ones responsible for denialism in some instances. I'm not sure that is the case at Griffin but based on my experiences as a writer there, it appears we have a one-sided view. There is also little to no information about Griffin, and a lot of hoopla about a drug (laetrile) based on 30+ year old research and no information about the natural substance amygdalin and what recent research indicates. Do you think it would be worth further investigation if you were me? AtsmeConsult 14:15, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) Atsme, are you suggesting that scientific misconduct by an individual HIV/AIDS researcher calls into question whether HIV causes AIDS? I want to be sure I understand the connection you're drawing between Griffin's claims and the Han case. MastCell Talk 17:10, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I provided a link and included inline text attribution. Was it not a RS? There are more if that is the case, but it appears to me that since that same article quoted James Bradac, who helps oversee AIDS vaccine research grants for the National Institutes of Health, as saying this was the worst case of research fraud he'd seen in his 24 years at the federal agency I interpreted it as having more significance than scientific misconduct by an individual researcher, especially in light of how the Andrew Wakefield BLP is written, or are we supposed to give it a different spin depending on who commits the fraud? I beg your pardon, but I'm a little confused by your question because it's actually a medical question when my focus is on writing a BLP. The point being my primary concern is NPOV, V, NOR, BALANCE and UNDUE and how information is disseminated about a living person so it is policy compliant and doesn't come across reading like an article in a medical journal that few readers will be able to understand. Please advise if you see an issue with that approach and I'll see what I can do to fix it. AtsmeConsult 17:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry, either you're misunderstanding my question or I didn't phrase it clearly. There are two questions: whether Han committed scientific misconduct (he did), and whether HIV causes AIDS. I don't see any connection between the two, just as scientific fraud by individual physicists does not undercut the existence of gravity. You apparently do see a connection—at least that's what I inferred from your post above linking the Han case to Griffin's AIDS denialism. I'm trying to understand how you see the Han fraud case as relevant to Griffin, or to the fact that HIV causes AIDS. MastCell Talk 18:43, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I initially thought this discussion of HIV/AIDS denial seemed off-topic, but on further reflection it does seem pretty relevant with respect to the alt-med BLP’s of people who hold such fringe views. With respect to BLP’s, I’ve noticed labeling people HIV/AIDS denialists seems to encompass varying beliefs with two main types: those who don’t believe the HIV virus causes AIDS, and those who do believe HIV causes AIDS, yet also believe that anti-retroviral medication has a side effect of immune suppression, and that AIDS-like symptoms can be from the medications. Not really sure what type Griffin is, I lost interest in his opinion on the matter after he didn’t even know what HIV stood for. My only question with respect to the Griffin BLP stressing his HIV/AIDS denial (particularly in the lead) would be with respect to due weight. Griffin is apparently notable regarding his opinions on the federal reserve and cancer. He has published books on those topics which were apparently covered in multiple reliable sources. It doesn’t seem he has published a book on AIDS. I’m not sure how much weight a youtube vid with Griffin saying ignorant sounding statements regarding HIV/AIDS should be given in his BLP, unless multiple RS have covered the fringe HIV/AIDS views Griffin expresses on youtube. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 20:24, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Ouch - I actually bumped into Bobo's post in an edit conflict. Ha! He basically framed up what my post says, but mine isn't quite as eloquently put.
My goodness me, I beg your pardon, MastCell. Since the first question is a no-brainer, let's just jump to your 2nd question which is actually answered in my response to SV above. I've provided the diff for your convenience: [101]. I am loath to keep repeating myself because that usually results in a reprimand for being repetitive. Regardless, the focus should be on what the author believes and why he claims to believe what he believes. My opinions don't matter - RS do but you already know that. I am one of those pesky editors who believes in following PAGs, particularly in compliance with NPOV and with strict adherence to BLP policy. I also believe that we are supposed to follow WP:FRINGEBLP as it is a circular reference to BLP policy, particularly the part that states Fringe views of those better known for other achievements or incidents should not be given undue prominence, especially when these views are incidental to their fame, but the WP:BLP policy does not provide an excuse to remove all criticism from a biography or to obscure a person's fringe advocacy outside of their field of expertise (see WP:PROFRINGE, WP:BLP#Balance). I focused on Griffin's most notable works such as Creature from Jekyll Island which is RS but the sources regarding his other work is being questioned now. It has not been a pleasant place for peaceful collaboration. If the information cannot be properly sourced, including the contentious statements our PAGs say we cannot include it so I'm of the opinion, why waste my time on it? A few have focused on his less notable work like the AIDS controversy, but again I have not researched it beyond what I've already stated. AtsmeConsult 21:06, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
OK. It appeared to me that you were presenting the Han case as if it somehow might validate Griffin's AIDS denialism. If that wasn't your intent, then never mind (I can't quite parse your response). I think your problem is that Griffin is not actually "better known for other achievements"—he is notable specifically as a promoter of various conspiracy theories, covering chemtrails, HIV/AIDS, the Fed, cancer quackery, and so on.

We don't tend to do a good job on Wikipedia with biographies of people who are primarily notable for holding odious, extremist, or ultra-fringe viewpoints. It's hard to find the balance—to describe their views without endorsing them, and to make clear their utter lack of mainstream credibility in a way which doesn't come across as excessively critical. The best solution is simply not to carry biographies of such individuals (after all, no other reputable reference work or encyclopedia would give the time of day to someone like Griffin, much less cover him as extensively as we do). But Wikipedians have generally interpreted "notability" so broadly that this is not an option. MastCell Talk 00:23, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

It seems there are plenty of strange people in the world who hold all sorts of fringe beliefs, but the vast majority of them are completely non-notable. It appears to get significant attention for fringe beliefs, you typically need to be notable for something else (in Griffin’s case it appears he wrote a book that spent time on the business list bestsellers, and that he was also a child actor on the radio) . My concern with respect to fringe BLP’s, is that they sometimes do not seem to give due weight to whatever notable achievements the subject has, which has afforded them this platform to gain attention for their fringe views, and instead the article ends up reading like an attack page. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 02:42, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
If Wikipedia would stick to describing, rather than judging a topic and steering the reader, fringe, controversial, and non-mainstream articles would be less of a problem. I always thought it was common sense that editors with a strong POV about the topic should recuse themselves, and allow completely neutral, or uninvolved editors to do the writing. But it is usually those with a POV to push who are committed to any given article, not neutral editors here to improve the encyclopedia as a whole (and who are very rarely encountered). The Griffin page for instance reads like an attack from start to finish. The section about his best seller is the smallest section of all. It's frankly embarrassing that this passes as acceptable. For someone with no opinion on the subject, it is easy to differentiate a bitter attack piece from a well written, informative encyclopedic article. And that's the type of editor who should be working on our fringe articles. A true, ingrained POV makes NPOV and honest self awareness impossible to attain, therefore editors should stay away from topic areas about which they have strong feelings, and I think we all know this truth, though we are just human and are often quite manipulative by nature. petrarchan47tc 18:39, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
@BoboMeowCat: I think the problem is that Griffin isn't notable for anything besides promoting fringe conspiracism. He's certainly not notable as a child actor; doing a few years of voiceovers for a local radio station doesn't come anywhere near our notability bar. And his bestseller is, in fact, devoted to promoting conspiracy theories about the Fed. Regarding "steering the reader", that's a tricky area. We should let readers make their own judgements, but we're obligated to provide them with a full set of information to base those judgements on. If we omit key facts about the extremist/fringe nature of Griffin's work, then we are steering the reader by omission. I think that this subtlety is generally not appreciated by Wikipedians. Of course, we shouldn't be in the business of ridiculing Griffin, or anyone else, but our basic compact of honesty with the reader also compels us to present his work in context. MastCell Talk 21:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Personally, I’ve never heard of Griffin before all the controversy regarding his BLP started hitting the noticeboards. It does seem interesting that most fringe AIDS denialists are mostly just ignored whenever they blog, or rant on twitter, or post youtube vids, while Griffin apparently has enough notability to get covered by RS. Seems attention on Griffin must be due to something because most fringe promoters just get ignored. Perhaps the bestsellers list book earned him some degree of notability. I’m not suggesting omitting info from his BLP, but looking over his BLP, there don’t seem to be many sources covering his ignorant sounding opinions on AIDS (just one I think) so stressing it in the lead seems possibly undue. Seems his belief that HIV doesn't exist is the least covered of his fringe beliefs, although perhaps the most interesting to the reader, because it's arguably the most ignorant sounding thing among many ignorant sounding things, but does that make it due weight to put it in the lead? I'm not sure. I’m not interested in whitewashing BLP’s of people like Griffin, or writing in such a way to suggest uncredible views are credible, I just cringe when I read articles on WP that come across as attack pages, even when the subject is an individual I find not credible.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 22:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
@BoboMeowCat: the point about steering the reader by omission is important. The AIDS denialism is a red flag, and lots of people only read the lead, so leaving it out is problematic. Sarah (SV) (talk) 03:57, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────MastCell and BoboMeowCat, your posts are music to my ears. Adhering to BLP policy, maintaining compliance with NPOV in alliance with FRINGEBLP, no UNDUE to fringe views, maintain a dispassionate tone with a summary of the BLP's most notable works along with other biographical material per RS. We include what his critics have said with inline text attribution while making sure editors steer clear of stating contentious material unless RS by high quality sources using inline text attribution, not in Wiki voice. Now then MastCell I have a question for you - do you think editors who have openly expressed a hatred or strong dislike for a BLP should be collaborating on it, especially if those views are evident in their edits? Examples: January 15, 2015 February 20, 2015 [102] Looking forward to reading your views. AtsmeConsult 00:26, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Another $.02 - my remarks about the Griffin page were more about tone and weight, not about which details are mentioned.
The lede is poorly written:
"G. Edward Griffin (born November 7, 1931) is an American author, lecturer, and filmmaker. He is the author of The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994), which promotes conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve System. Griffin's writings promote conspiracy theories about the political and health care systems. He argues..."
Of the 6 sentences in the lede, only one doesn't mention that he's a quack (however the body is not 5/6ths criticism, so this is not due weight). This is probably the biggest indication it's being used as an attack piece.
One-fourth of Charles Manson's lede covers the man's music career, only 3/4ths talks about his murderous ways. petrarchan47tc 07:03, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
SlimVirgin just so you'll know, my question above may have been directed to MastCell, but I would value your opinion as well. Please don't hesitate to provide your insight as well. I cannot express in words how helpful this entire discussion (weeks worth) has been and how much I've learned from it. Thank you again, Sarah, for affording us this opportunity. It is greatly appreciated. AtsmeConsult 17:20, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm also interested to hear. I know that when the Medical Cannabis article was rewritten by 3 editors from Project Medicine, two of them admitted without hesitation to having a strong bias against herbal medicine, and although I pointed this out, the fact was ignored. At this point I presume that POV on WP is fine as long as it fits the house POV, which is strongly in favor of pharma pill$ over anything natural. This might be the key to how one becomes a "medical editor" sans training in the field. petrarchan47คุ 17:05, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

A new reference tool[edit]

Hello Books & Bytes subscribers. There is a new Visual Editor reference feature in development called Citoid. It is designed to "auto-fill" references using a URL or DOI. We would really appreciate you testing whether TWL partners' references work in Citoid. Sharing your results will help the developers fix bugs and improve the system. If you have a few minutes, please visit the testing page for simple instructions on how to try this new tool. Regards, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:48, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Message from Sceptic1954[edit]

I've mentioned you on my talk page. Really this whole thing is very silly, all that was needed was a little polite discussion, I wasn't going to insist on my way, and you appear instead to have got me blocked on a technicality. I'm afraid you have gone way down in my respect. Sceptic1954. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.80.70.199 (talk) 22:27, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Edit conflict on RFPP[edit]

Howdy, It appears that I made a conflicting edit on WP:RFPP on the Wilma Rudolph section. I extended the pending changes protection by 2 weeks, just after you declined the protection. Please feel free to revert my extension if you feel it's necessary. Thanks, Nakon 00:54, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know, Nakon, but it's fine. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Plagiarism of my essay[edit]

I got beat up over my essay - one of the editor who held a pretty heavy hammer just plagiarized my essay making a few minor changes knowing full well it was in my SandBox and being worked on. He didn't even change the order of the pictures. He made some modifications while my collaborative team is still working on it. [103] [104] Can you act on it, or does this have to go to ANI? AtsmeConsult 11:59, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

It was expediently deleted by Zad68. Our discussions continue. AtsmeConsult 13:48, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Signs of COI editing[edit]

So in an effort to provide some signs of COI editing, I am several other editors did this, which was taken out here, and discussion is taking place here, which is not going well. Jytdog (talk) 04:05, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll take a look at the discussion. I did see your section. I've got mixed feelings about it, so I'm not sure which way I'd go, but thank you for taking the time to write it. Sarah (SV) (talk) 04:09, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
you're welcome, thanks. Jytdog (talk) 04:32, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Lack of enforcement of MEDRS in food-related articles[edit]

Hi. I've noticed that health claims about eating certain types of animals are generally left intact in articles about cultural "delicacies". However, if we were to apply MEDRS to food-related topics, the claims would either be removed or directly challenged as unsupported superstitions. If these types of health claims were found in an article about herbs or drugs, they would not be allowed to stand. There's so many of these articles, it's difficult to know where to start, so I'll just dip in and take a sample:

Edible bird's nest
  • "The white nests and the red nests are supposedly rich in nutrients, which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system."
Dog meat
  • "Dog meat is believed to have health benefits, including improving circulation and raising body temperature."
  • "The most popular of these soups is bosintang and gaejang-guk, a spicy stew meant to balance the body's heat during the summer months. This is thought to ensure good health by balancing one's "ki" or vital energy of the body."
  • "Dog meat is also believed to raise the libido in men."
Cat meat
  • "others believe eating cat meat will bring good luck or health."
  • "In some cultures of Cameroon, there is a special ceremony featuring cat-eating that is thought to bring good luck."

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of food articles that make health claims based on little more than folk wisdom. In the vast majority of these articles, the health claims are not challenged, but actually form an unquestioned, superstitious, cultural framework for supporting the eating of the cuisine. This is not acceptable in any non-food article, so I'm curious why WikiProject Medicine gives these charlatans a free pass. Viriditas (talk) 21:10, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

That is not only alarming, it is pretty damn nauseating. However I can see circumstances under which folk customs are described, albeit not giving them any credence in Wikipedia's voice. Coretheapple (talk) 21:20, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Good spot. These are medical claims and would have to be backed by WP:MEDRS sources if stated as fact. If stated as opinion ("are believed by identified group to...") we'd need a MEDRS to say that there is absolutely no credible evidence to support this belief. Without a reliable reality-based judgment it is hard to defend including the claim, per WP:FRINGE. Guy (Help!) 21:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The sad truth is, WP is full of bogus health claims and there are too few savvy editors to deal with it. Just dealing with the most egregious stuff (e.g. fake cancer cures) is time consuming enough. If anybody could help clear out the food articles, that'd be great - but I suspect there is a *lot* and some of them which will be fought hard. Alexbrn (talk) 21:26, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The difficulty is that there may not be a MEDRS (or any other) source that addresses claims like this. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:34, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, and there has never been any way of stopping idiots from making bogus claims about foods, pseudomedicines or anything else. Absence of a reality-based source speaks to notability. Notable quackery has notable critical commentary. Guy (Help!) 22:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
If there's no RS addressing them, the best thing is to remove them per FRINGE and UNDUE. There's a Holocaust-denier article that I maintain, and I haven't included the views of Holocaust scholars there, mostly because the FRINGE view (particularly as expressed in the case I have in mind) is so absurd that it speaks for itself. Or at least, I assume it does. Sometimes I wonder whether I rely too heavily on the reader seeing these things as ridiculous. Sarah (SV) (talk) 22:51, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps one solution to this problem would be to identify these food related beliefs as folk lore. I would assume any scholarly source regarding such beliefs would identify such beliefs simply as legend/folk lore, rather than as any sort of serious or legitimate medical or nutritional advice. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 23:18, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I was brought up to believe that kasha had life-extending qualities. As a whole grain that is arguably correct. But I think that nutritional claims in general, whether it's kasha or cat meat, need to be left out of articles in general, or handled with the greatest of caution. People have an annoying tendency to believe what they read in Wikipedia. Coretheapple (talk) 01:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Many of them aren't really even folklore, a lot are invented from whole cloth by individuals and have only a brief life before they move on to the next bogus miracle food. Guy (Help!) 07:08, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
To be fair, Alexbrn did apply MEDRS at Foie Gras. It was used to remove information about possible negative health effects. petrarchan47คุ 00:40, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, overselling health detriments - though rarer - is as problematic as pushing invented health benefits. If people have time they might also want to look at how some branded diets have been treated on Wikipedia: that is another problem area (I've tried to address). Alexbrn (talk) 04:25, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
But after the edit on Foie gras, the edit summary was " rmv. bogus biomedical information)". Who decided it was bogus?__DrChrissy (talk) 10:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
"Bogus" is the opinion of our "medical editors". Alexbrn, did you ever get a chance to respond to DrChrissy's inquiry about how to receive such an honor? Would you do so now, if I've missed it? Do you need special medical training to qualify? petrarchan47คุ 16:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
so unhappy and bitter. just sad. Jytdog (talk) 17:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Please keep your reflections about me to yourself, or save them for the proper venue. This is a serious question and has been posed to Alexbrn twice now. What is a "medical editor"? He claimed at the admin board to be one, but refuses to explain what it is. I can't claim to understand your interference here. You are one of the biggest proponents of "no personal attacks", but this is only applied to your group of buddies, and against those who question you. There is no neutrality in the way guidelines are applied in your case, almost as if WP is a game. I am certainly not the only one to witness this. It doesn't appear that you are even pretending to be a neutral, independent editor anymore, if you ever did. To call me "sad", which you have done numerous times, is definitely a personal attack. Don't strike it out, just please quit replying to me. Comments like the one above only make you look silly and immature. They say nothing about the person you're attempting to analyze. petrarchan47คุ 03:20, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you did miss my answer, which was: see WP:MED. Alexbrn (talk) 05:07, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I missed that too! After looking at WP:MED, I can't find anything that tells me how to become a "medical editor" other than joining the project. Does joining this project automatically upgrade an editor's status from "editor" to "medical editor"? Is this related to becoming a medical expert? How does one become a "medical expert". You must appear to consider yourself one of these by replying to a section "Any medical expert comments on this article as a source?" here[105] without any disclaimer of your status which other editors were careful to include.DrChrissy (talk) 09:32, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
This is too tiresome to merit continuing, sorry. Alexbrn (talk) 12:50, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
See WP:BURDEN. It's even in bold type. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 13:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
But that article relates to the verifiability of material, not the way in which the quality is assessed. We are supposed to be editors, not authors.__DrChrissy (talk) 13:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I just wish that more people here could see the common sense in Bobo's suggestion that there is no harm to include health claims when they are labeled as folklore. I've always been a "plant person". Many of my very first memories are of plants, the way they look, feel, smell... Being here since 2006, I've slowly (and sadly) watched the folklore go from many of articles if it was health-related. Or sometimes even not - as I say on my user page, it took me two years to get a Halloween section at the rutabaga article. As a certain mindset seems to take over our free encyclopedia, in many cases I've seen a lot of articles get worse, from my POV. Folklore is important and the fact that at one time Hepatica was thought to be a "liver tonic" because the leaves looked like a liver is a good thing to know, I think. I doubt that anyone will run out and eat them to improve their liver function. Gandydancer (talk) 15:23, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
sure, folklore is fine - and great content - as long as it is described that way. but way too often people push for stuff like that to made into actual health claims. WP is full of that. :( Jytdog (talk) 15:43, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
That's right - "folklore is fine - and great content - as long as it is described that way." So, as in the opening post here: The white nests and the red nests are supposedly rich in nutrients, which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system, which clearly states that it is according to tradition, aka folklore, there is no need to get our pants in a bundle with concern that people will run out looking for edible bird nests to eat. Gandydancer (talk) 16:35, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────, gandy, you are right that this example isn't a great example of how bad things can get - but it is thrown into the Harvest section (which is all factual) and could be better framed. but there are lots and lots of examples of very bad. Jytdog (talk) 16:49, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

To make it clearer that these beliefs are simply folklore, perhaps such text could be placed under a "folklore" section header. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 16:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Jytdog, I think one of the issues is that editors who focus on improving biomedical sourcing aren't often seen doing it on articles that could negatively affect mainstream industry. That is, the concerns about sourcing sometimes appear to go hand-in-hand with pro-industry editing, or with an assumption that whatever is mainstream is okay.

    For example, GlaxoSmithKline used to contain a section on the company having been fined for making false claims about the vitamin content of Ribena, traditionally marketed as a health drink. Formerly98 removed the section in May 2014. You were editing the article during that period and didn't object. Also no mention in that article of the High Court ruling in the UK about GSK's marketing of Ribena Toothkind (which contains sugar) as good for teeth. But if a company known for its alternative health products had been fined for making false claims, the same editors would have insisted on inclusion. I'm not accusing anyone of COI, by the way, but there does seem to be an uneven approach. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:08, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

SV, you addressed this to me with a ping, and you made some statements and asked me no questions. What do you want? Jytdog (talk) 05:42, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
The question seems obvious. If G. Edward Griffin had been told to stop marketing a sugary drink as good for teeth – and to stop distributing photographs of "Griffin's Toothkind" in place of the bristles on a toothbrush, which was one of the GSK ads – you would have included it in his article. If someone had removed that he was fined for making false claims about the vitamin content of another product, you would have reverted. The question is why you acted otherwise when it involved a pharmaceutical company.
This is just one example. The point is that there seems to be an uneven application of policy, or an inconsistent view of what's acceptable or not worth mentioning. Sarah (SV) (talk) 06:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I don't know about the article in question (in general I'm not interested in corporate articles) but I suppose if an individual gets involved in such a controversy, it's likely to be a big part of their life; for a large corporation day-to-day business is going to include controversy, bad behaviour, litigation, etc. That's just normality. But of course if such things rise to prominence in secondary coverage our articles must duly include them. That said, there is a lot of editing on WP from a anti-corporate POV that has given us some really crappy content. For example just take a look at Criticism of Tesco which contains such gems as:

Substandard cement was used in the railway tunnel under their new Gerrards Cross store.[15][16][17][18]

One problem may be a parallel to that which afflicts altmed articles: once editors see a POV pushing one way, they can tend to push-back hard the other way as a counter. Does this go too far sometimes? maybe (and maybe I do that too). Alexbrn (talk) 07:48, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't think it's true that you are not interested in corporate articles. I met you at the March Against Monsanto article, where you expended quite a bit of effort * * * * to keep the fact that some have questioned the safety of GM foods and the reliability of 9-month, industry-funded safety studies out of the article, calling the addition SYNTH, whilst supporting the OR/SYNTH paragraph claiming GM foods are perfectly safe. petrarchan47คุ 21:11, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Petrarchan, that there is regulatory capture at the federal level is a given (in the US). That biotech companies work closely with government agencies to get regulations that favor them is also a given (in the US). Unless you address the underlying political factors behind the relationship between special interests and the agencies that are supposed to regulate them, you'll just end up going in circles. In other words, some editors might think this situation is normal, and edit accordingly. Viriditas (talk) 04:34, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Alexbrn, can you define what an "anti-corporate POV" is here? I only ask because I've been here for a decade and I've never seen the slightest bit of evidence for it. On the other hand, Wikipedia is chock full of paid and unpaid pro-corporate POV. Viriditas (talk) 09:07, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
It's the POV that corporations in general (or more usually, bogeyman corporation X) is best described in an encyclopedia article by producing a shit list of every apparently bad thing that can somehow be connected to it. Witness the Criticism of Tesco article. There is also of course a big problem with PR people boosting companies (I mentioned branded diets above), with academics boosting their own work or the work of colleagues, with people writing CVs, and with creed-led communities working had to whitewash coverage: one sees it all. And let's not even get started on politics, religion or race. The fact that we've got a problem with paid shills does not mean we can't also have a problems with anti-corporate tinfoilery too. Some of that problem has surfaced recently with a few editors here even seemingly believing that people who disagree with them must be being paid to do so (hence: "COI ducks"). Alexbrn (talk) 12:46, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Viriditas, one form that POV corporate criticism takes is the inclusion of lawsuits filed against companies, sometimes even referencing the filing law firm, before the suit is resolved. While I am generally wary of removals of WP:RS referenced criticism on the basis of undue weight, in the specific case of unresolved lawsuits, these could reasonably be removed as POV.Dialectric (talk) 15:21, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Another example to demonstrate what Alexbrn just said, It's the POV that corporations in general (or more usually, bogeyman corporation X) is best described in an encyclopedia article by producing a shit list of every apparently bad thing that can somehow be connected to it., just witness the criticism in the Griffin article - a BLP nonetheless - which ironically appears to rank lower on the scale of importance regarding shit lists than does a company? Interesting. AtsmeConsult 18:06, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • SV I emailed you a response. I'll respond to your question about the GSK edit on the GSK talk page. Jytdog (talk) 21:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Wow - I was reading the post by SV and your response - left to check something on another page, came back and it was gone? Then I look at the edit history, and discovered Jytdog moved it? Hopefully you had permission to move another user's TP discussion. AtsmeConsult 21:10, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I think it's OK for him to move his own comments. Viriditas (talk) 02:24, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Alex, I agree about the back-and-forth (people see a POV in one direction and therefore push perhaps too hard in the other). It's all supposed to work out in the end, but in fact editors get burned out and articles deteriorate. I went to Beef yesterday to use it as an example, because I supposed that it probably didn't contain information about its link to bowel cancer, but I was pleased to see that you had added it. Sarah (SV) (talk) 02:35, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Thank you for being willing to test your assumptions. I hope it rubs off. MastCell Talk 05:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

It's not just food related articles. Take a look at this article which is based on primary sources, Neuroscience of sex differences, and then tell me why it hasn't been deleted. Most of the sources are primary and do not meet the qualifications of WP:MEDRS. Yet, I attempted to update Griffin's BLP regarding amygdalin, and the skeptics piled on en masse to make sure nothing is mentioned because it doesn't qualify under MEDRS. Anxious to hear your input. AtsmeConsult 16:11, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT. That article isn't even registered with WP:MED. Alexbrn (talk) 17:29, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the article seems to be based on a mixture of primary and secondary scholarly sources, with some supporting material from high-quality lay press. The use of primary sources isn't categorically forbidden, so long as they're not misused to contradict actual expert opinion or to make excessive or grandiose claims. In contrast, it is inappropriate to cherry-pick primary sources to "rebut" expert opinion, as with Griffin and laetrile. While these two articles are presented by Atsme as evidence of a double standard, they are in fact both consistent with the letter and spirit of WP:MEDRS. MastCell Talk 18:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Duly noted. AtsmeConsult 20:24, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Interpreting MEDRS[edit]

MastCell, would you mind giving me your reflections on this edit summary? It seems we are not all on the same page regarding use of primary sources (very frustrating). petrarchan47คุ 02:54, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I will also be interested to read those comments. I especially found the word "overhyped" to be rather curious. Surely this is OR by the editor?DrChrissy (talk) 10:32, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't agree with that edit summary or edit by Jytdog. I think that a news piece from Nature is a high-quality secondary source on scientific or medical matters, and can be used as such. MastCell Talk 18:37, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
MastCell thanks for the ping. lots of hysteria on that primary source in the media and poor content introduced in several places in WP on that. happy to discuss that edit on that article's talk page. i will say that the added content ("In 2015, scientists reported the first genetic modification of human embryos...") was false. (see this headline from Wired in 2008.) i've added accurate content starting with content developed in other articles where this has popped up. and i'll add with regard to all the hysteria, this is the best comment i have seen in WP to date.) Jytdog (talk) 19:38, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I copied this part of the conversation over to the Genetic Engineering talk page here and pinged those who commented on it there. David Tornheim (talk) 19:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I reverted that. it is not OK with me to put my comments there - in general you should do stuff with other people's commeents like that. thanks. Jytdog (talk) 20:00, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
@Petrarchan47:, @MastCell:, @DrChrissy:, @Jytdog: For some reason Jytdog undid the copy there. I have no idea why he objects. That's clearly where the conversation belongs. Many times Jytdog has moved and reorganized conversations I have been involved in without my permission. I keep forgetting that his preferences are more important than ours. David Tornheim (talk) 20:11, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── more hysteria. i wrote what i wrote here, for this context. when i wrote "i am happy to discuss on the article talk page" i meant just that. david you haven't even partipated in the discussion above. if you want to jump in, here or at the article talk page (where you can always link to this) knock yourself out. Jytdog (talk) 20:17, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks, MastCell, et al. This was an example of why I don't believe WP remains an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. I'll repeat what I've said before: there are certain areas, especially to do with special interests, where the simplest rules governing RS are ignored, and oftentimes drama is invoked to distract from good ole article creation. MEDRS is commonly misinterpreted as disallowing all primary sources whenever human health is concerned, and there seems to be a subtle creep towards disallowing all primary sources across the board. Earlier on this talk page, we agreed that more clarity regarding MEDRS is needed. A "guideline acting as policy" requires more explanation, if not an actual discussion, and clear rules about what sources are acceptable are a must, so that truly all editors are on equal footing. To state the obvious, there should be no rulers of an article or topic area - because really, what are the chances that any one editor is perfectly NPOV? The only ruler should be clearly written guidelines available to all. petrarchan47คุ 00:27, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
petrarchan with you and david, there is no end to your griefing, and no beginning to your editing. i am sorry you are so unhappy. you have been trying to right great wrongs in Wikipedia for so, so long, and this is just not the place for that. both of you. your unhappiness lies within you, not on me. (and there is no Huge Gotcha here. no Abomination. people disagree all the time here, and they talk it out. that is what we do.) Jytdog (talk) 00:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, there really is a problem with MEDRS being misinterpreted. Primary sources are allowed with caution; personally I mostly avoid them when writing medical content because of the danger of inadvertently misusing them, but it's not true that they're always inappropriate. High-quality news sources are also allowed in medical articles if used carefully for issues such as current affairs and history. I've seen editors being told they can't use a news source to say that people reported feeling unwell after a certain event, even when the issue was being widely discussed. I was told I couldn't say that a clinical trial had been set up by a certain company without a MEDRS source (even though there were plenty), and that to add the information about the company was to second guess sources that hadn't mentioned it. This is time-consuming to deal with, it frustrates new editors who don't realize that it's wrong, and it brings MEDRS into disrepute. Anything you can do to make sure MEDRS is used sensibly would help a lot. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── some vague examples. discussions/disagreements about content and sourcing are part of life here and yes, working things out with other editors does take time. do i really have to say that to you? i have written you two long replies and deleted them both. i am struggling because by now, i am pretty convinced that you are not dealing with me as though i deserve your good faith. but what the hell, i will give you both versions.

version 1 this fuss over the chinese CRISPR experiment, is a great example of what we should not be doing. i found a bunch of places where people were following the hype and writing crazy wrong things about that paper. we are an encyclopedia, aimed to give the public reliable information. we have no deadline. but people rush and add content that is not even accurate, driven by WP:RECENTISM about stuff like this, all breathless. and the worst part is, that paper might be retracted in two months. (although in this case, i kind of doubt it since the results they published were less than glorious). and we have no idea how the field will accept it. and that is what matters - how it is worked into the fabric of the field, by the experts in the field, as expressed in reviews. our aim is to present what We (humanity) Know, and to do that, we have to let our institutions guide us. Reviews are where scientific fields figure themselves out, map their progress. They are what we need to let guide us.

similar example -- that scientist who published work showing that if you shake cells (really!) you could turn them into stem cells. huge media hype around that. and yep, people rushed to add content based on the hyped primary source to WP, (note the edit date, and the date the paper came out) only to delete it later when the paper was retracted. we should not be jerking the public around like that. there is no reason to do that.

the popular press jerks people around - even the NYT hypes things. Let's see, should I drink coffee or not? Maybe I will live longer and drive safer, and hey, if I am woman maybe I will be less depressed, but oh, no! it alters my estrogen levels (whatever that means, healthwise) and maybe it will screw up my baby. Every one of those links is from the New York Times, and is just from the past couple of years. I think it is terrible to jerk the public around like this. A newspaper has an excuse (gotta sell papers), but Wikipedia has no excuse—we need to provide reliable information to the public and there is no deadline here.

so yeah i think it is pretty irresponsible for Wikipedia to be diving into primary sources in the biomedical literature. and to popular media reporting on it. so many media sources said this chinese paper was "the first" genetically engineered embryo, but it wasn't, by at least 7 years. And the BBC—very respected! —reported in 2011 that some Swedish surgeons "carried out the world's first synthetic organ transplant". They put that in bold print at the top of their article. The problem is that this was dead wrong. Another team published an article in 2006 on their work with artificial bladders—work they started in 2001. Again, dead wrong. (and this was just history, where per MEDRS you don't need biomedical reviews or statements by major bodies) But it was popular media hyping a primary source.

I think people who want to add primary sources to Wikipedia to support health content, are almost always doing it for wrong reasons - WP:RECENTISM mostly, but I find POV-pushers doing it all the time. they have some ax to grind, and they go looking for sources to support content making that point, and boy can you find some primary source to prove just about any point you want, in the biomedical literature. you sure can. it is ass-backwards from how we are supposed to build articles - where we read the relevant literature, figure out WEIGHT, and then write. yes that is a lot of work. but sure sometimes primary sources are OK. some gynormous clinical trial maybe. maybe. but even there, the interpretation in the primary source is likely to be funded by the company that is bringing the product. so even that is problematic.

but enough of a rant, already.

answer 2 in some of what you say in the passive voice, you are obviously referencing your discussion with formerly at the GSK article. ( i have no idea what you are talking about with the "feeling unwell after a certain event" thing) but really, on the thing with avandia at GSK that you are pushing on.... it's really the same issue doors22 is stuck on. he took a drug and then he had sexual problems. he is convinced that one caused the other. but correlation is not causation. it is really, really hard to figure out if uncommon or rare side effects are caused by a drug or are things that happened to people who happened to be taking the drug. that is the struggle that people have, who try very hard to figure out "the truth" with things like avandia or finasteride. i don't know if you have ever read the transcript of an FDA advisory group meeting, discussing a clinical trial of some potentially important treatment. you hear the voices of really smart people doing really important stuff, earnestly - people who dig deep into the data they have (which is never enough, which often causes them anguish) and who know three things - 1) there are sick people who need better treatment options; 2) they cannot let a drug or device get to market that doesn't work well enough for its intended use to justify the harm it will cause (all treatments have side effects); and 3) they can't let a treatment get to market that hurts too many people, too seriously (all treatments have side effects). That is morally and intellectually challenging work. And on the one hand you have patient groups like the Abigail Alliance who are demanding that the FDA get the hell out of their way so their kids can get access to whatever drugs are even close to the clinic (no matter how poorly we understand them) because their kids are dying - real anguish - and on the other hand, you have Frank (random name) saying "Avandia killed my Betty! How could the FDA let this happen??" - real anguish. A rock and a hard place. But yes, people are still poring over the extant data from the Avandia clinical trials, trying to understand them. so yes the more recent evaluations are the ones we should rely on to generate content, especially if they are independent of GSK. and of course GSK paid for the clinical trials that generated the data. the risk of bias is not in the data so much, as in how the data are interpreted .. and therefore by whom, on whose dime. and so yes, the questions at the GSK article, which are about other people interpreting data that GSK paid to gather, are very different from the post finasteride syndrome foundation paying researchers to gather and interpret and publish data & conclusions about whether finasteride causes sexual problems. based on what you wrote at GSK, I don't see that you understand any of that, but I see your ax is gleaming in your hand. i am not saying that you have no right to be in the discussion. i would never say that nor mean it. but to be pushing hard, carrying a bad faith assumption (above you wrote that you think Formerly and I are pro-industry POV pushers), and trying to blow up resistance to you getting what you want, into Some Big Problem in Wikipedia, when you don't seem to understand the subject matter, is just malarky in my view. (it is not a bad thing to not understand stuff. i am ignorant about boatloads of things. but to not understand stuff and take a strong stand and come with a bad faith assumption and blow that up into some big issue all at once - malarky)

so there you go. maybe you will try to use this to try to shred me somehow. who knows. but you made a claim and wanted me to respond, and i answered you straight. Jytdog (talk) 04:20, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

You misunderstood what I wrote, I think. I said high-quality news sources are good for current affairs and might be appropriate for historical issues about medical matters. I'm not arguing that primary sources picked up by newspapers should be used; a lot of that material is placed there by industry, which is one good reason not to do it. As for messing people around with claims and counter-claims, medical sources do exactly the same as journalists, of course, which is why it's important to use primary sources well or not at all.
I didn't understand that last long paragraph of yours, I'm afraid. In brief, again, the problem is not use of MEDRS, it's misuse by a small number of editors. If that would stop, I think it would heal some wounds. Re: our earlier discussions about medical editors not being concerned about food, there's Boost (health food). It would be good to find a MEDRS-compliant source for that claim, or move it. Sarah (SV) (talk) 04:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
well, if there is something specific in that last long paragraph you don't understand, i would be happy to try to explain what i meant. or if you don't understand how that reads on the GSK discussion, i'd be happy to explain what i meant on that too. on the other hand, that you just shrugged and repeated your claim, makes me think you are maybe not interested. Jytdog (talk) 04:59, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Example[edit]

Jytdog another example of the different approaches re: MEDRS and food, you've been keen to describe Ribena as a healthy drink, or one perceived as such. You recently edited the history section of the article, which says in Wikipedia's voice, without a source: "The blackcurrant variety was found to contain high levels of vitamin C." You didn't remove it, clarify that this was a perception, or ask for a MEDRS source.
Ribena is a syrup, which means it's high in sugar and probably best avoided. Blackcurrants themselves are a good source of vitamin C, but that's a separate issue. We don't know what percentage of the syrup was fruit (it's about five percent now), to what extent the vitamin C survived the production process, or how quickly it deteriorated in the bottles. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
what you say is not true. and asking me here is gamesmanship. i have no desire to work on the article while you are creating a toxic atmosphere so I am unwatching it. Jytdog (talk) 22:53, 25 April 2015 (UTC) (i made the underlined edit after the comment below was made, my apologies for not noticing Jytdog (talk) 23:45, 25 April 2015 (UTC))
Which part isn't true? You recently edited that section, and you didn't remove the unsourced "The blackcurrant variety was found to contain high levels of vitamin C," much less ask for a MEDRS or serious history source. It's still in the article and doesn't say what is meant by "high levels" of vitamin C. This is the kind of thing you would challenge if it involved a fringe product. Please challenge it here too. Sarah (SV) (talk) 23:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, please don't change your posts after someone has replied. It's not just those articles, it's every article. All people are asking of you is that you use MEDRS carefully, rather than extending its meaning, and consistently, so that you're equally sceptical of claims made by industry and by fringe actors. Sarah (SV) (talk) 23:11, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
sorry about that. i showed the change with REDACT - you replied so fast! the original ribena (which as far as i know doesn't exist anymore - so a historical matter, not a live MEDRS one) was clearly a much healthier product - it was given by the british government to pregnant women and kids during WWII as a vitamin C supplement. later when it became commercial they introduced diluted sugary softdrinks but still under the aura of that original brand. it is obvious. you are just playing some kind of weird game over ~five words that make sense out of the story of Ribena and i am not playing with you. like i said above, knock yourself out at the GSK article. I won't be editing, but i will be checking in, and to the extent you make it an attack page, we'll talk about that when you are done. it will be interesting to see if all you are going to continue to do, is add negative information and give it additional weight, and continue to reduce weight given to describing the company's business and products. Jytdog (talk) 23:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I wish the point would be addressed, namely why you require MEDRS sources for some health claims, but not others.
There's no reason to suppose the original Ribena was different; there are old labels around that you could look up. It is/was water/sugar or water/glucose syrup/high-fructose corn syrup. Babies were given it in dummies, and children when they were sick, setting them up (though far from alone in that) for childhood obesity, dental problems and a sugar addiction. Lucozade, another water/sugar drink, was sold in pharmacies wrapped in yellow cellophone and taken to people in hospital instead of flowers. We can't blame people for doing this during the war, but as we moved into the 2000s – and even in the 1950s – it became increasingly difficult to claim any health benefits. (Please stop saying this was only because GSK introduced variants.) Perhaps that's why GSK sold Ribena and Lucozade in 2013.
People who edit WP under the mantle of scepticism often focus on issues that affect small numbers of people, while health claims by industry that affect millions are allowed to remain unsourced or sourced to PR campaigns. I really hope you and others will try to address this. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:56, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
i wish that you would read the sources cited cited in the section already, which tell the story quite clearly. and read what i wrote too. the product was commercialized shortly after the war - in the 1950s. when it was commercialized, they started making diluted, sugary brands under the name Ribena. Jytdog (talk) 01:09, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Please provide a source showing that the blackcurrant syrup produced by H.W. Carter during the war was any different from the syrup the same company produced after it, and which is still produced, called Ribena. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:15, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
look at the "brandfail" source which is the most comprehensive source of the history of the products sold under brand that i could find (i looked for a pretty long time). the "we have frank and vernon to thank" source also discusses the history of the products some. there is not a lot out there on this but those are the best two i found. they make it clear that the original product developed by frank or vernon and used in WWII (that gave the healthy aura) was different from the subsequent diluted consumer products that followed. Jytdog (talk) 01:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I can't tell whether you're being deliberately obtuse, but I'll AGF. (But what a waste of time this is.) First, those are not good sources, but in any event they don't say that original Ribena changed. Forget the diluted versions, Toothkind, etc (which contained less sugar). I'm not talking about those. They are recent inventions. I'm taking about the standard bottle of Ribena that practically every home in the UK had somewhere, if only in a dusty old cupboard, the sole consequence of which is that decades later we all have horrible dental bills. That Ribena, so far as I can tell from reading old and current labels (please google them), remains unchanged or barely changed, as you'd expect given that it's a syrup. This is my last post about Ribena, by the way. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:35, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, my second last. Source here says that under rationing blackcurrant syrup was distributed from December 1941 until April 1942 to children under two, then replaced with orange juice. I'm finding other sources that say the name Ribena was simply suspended during the distribution, but that it was the same syrup. I may add them to the article. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:54, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict) (this is not taking whatever that last thing is into account) so this is progress... you are allowing that i have been making a distinction between the original product and the sugary diluted ones that caused scandal. thanks for that. you found ribena labels from the 1930s on line? where? if the product is the same i will be happy to stand corrected. the brandfail source says "Ribena blackcurrant drink was launched in Britain in the 1930s and won lasting fame during World War II as a source of vitamin C for British children denied fresh fruit such as oranges...." and the frank/vernon source says "Certainly, when Ribena was invented in Bristol it was not really seen as a "consumer" beverage at all....Ribena's finest hour came during WW2 when the German U-Boat campaign made importing oranges and lemons all but impossible. The government encouraged cultivation of blackcurrants.... It was turned into blackcurrant syrup which was then distributed to the nation's kids and pregnant women for free as an important source of vitamin C." that is what i have been going on, in this.

i agree that this is a waste of time. this is a discussion about content that could have been really easily resolved, but you have brought an ax to the table and blown this up into Some Big Deal About MEDRS. All the drama (and us even having this conversation here) is your creation. you have clearly thrown in your lot with the FRINGE-pushers who have been harassing me with the pharma-shill gambit for a long time now. more trouble for me, but that is how it goes. but i will take your word, that you are dropping this Ribena drama in any case. i do reckon that you will be watching for some other thing to try to exploit in the same way. i am pretty used to being harassed by now. i've asked why you of all people would join in this ugly behavior. i still don't get it. Jytdog (talk) 01:55, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Wising up to Astroturfing on Wikipedia[edit]

(talk page watcher) The main wiki conversation begins at 3.57--everyone should watch this to see what's happening to our encyclopedia [106]--Pekay2 (talk) 03:29, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Interesting, thanks for posting it. Philip Roth is a poor example, though, and I wonder where she gets that figure about WP contradicting medical research. I would want to see her source for that. Sarah (SV) (talk) 03:34, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
per mastcell on jimbo's page, the source is probably this paper, which mastcell described in that dif as "irredeemably poorly conceived and statistically unsound" Jytdog (talk) 04:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree, thought the same thing when she said it.--Pekay2 (talk) 04:45, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Look at they way this guy talks. He's right out of Astroturfing's playbook as defined by Sharyl Attkisson. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:JzG&diff=642641936&oldid=642639833--Pekay2 (talk) 04:01, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Pekay i can't believe you are flogging a video by an anti-vacciner.... but on the other hand, that does make sense. this video has been shredded twice now at jimbo's talk page. :
  • Anti-vacciner??? What has that got to do with this conversation and with the JzG ad hominum attacks? This conversation is nothing short of Bizarre!--Pekay2 (talk) 04:41, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
you are saying you didn't know? FRINGE and conspiracy theorizing go hand in hand. Jytdog (talk) 04:45, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
You are totally off topic, but as long as you've gone off into fringe and conspiracy land, may I point out you forgot to include quackery, so let's throw that anachronism in...but its getting harder and harder to figure out who they are, so will the real quacks please stand up!--Pekay2 (talk) 04:53, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
what atkinsson spins there, is a terribly corrosive conspiracy theory. basically, "don't trust anybody". but society can't survive that way. i believe our institutions are reasonably robust, and that includes WP as well. everything is not shot through with corruption. there is corruption sure. but finding it everywhere is just conspiracy theorizing. and her spinning the conspiracy theorizing that mainstream medicine is corrupt - well that just goes so well with swallowing all the anti-vaccine crap, right? "don't listen to the experts when they advise you to vaccinate your kid. they are just in the pocket of pharma or have fallen for the astro turf." terrible. Jytdog (talk) 05:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Does astroturfing exist and affect Wikipedia? Yes, but it's a small problem which does not undermine our requirement to AGF, especially since an editor's identity and POV are not the determinative factors, but sourcing and following policy are. Is it a clearly blockable violation of our AGF policy to accuse someone of astroturfing and COI editing without clear evidence? Yes. That should end these horrible discussions that seek to make policy violation a virtue. I'm surprised an admin still tolerates this stuff on her talk page. The essay discussion above was bad enough. Now this is the second thread here which seeks to tear down our AGF policy. Why is this line of thought tolerated here? -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:25, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thank you, Sarah, for allowing freedom of speech, and for tolerating our various lines of thought. While she may be an imperfect messenger, what Atkisson describes is exactly what I experienced here. I'm not sure if the claim "astroturfing is a small problem" can be validated; I would be interested in seeing some stats on that. I'm pretty sure it's actually a gigantic problem at WP. petrarchan47คุ 09:48, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

there is no data. how big or small a problem people say corruption from paid editing is, and whether they emphasize corruption from that subset of advocacy, or corruption from the broader problem of advocacy, seems to be very personal. but i have tried to find out if there is data and there isn't any. here is one take on the extent of paid editing from a very experienced editor; here is another. Gregory Kohs of mywikibiz did an analysis, and his work is in a powerpoint you can download here, for what that is worth. Jytdog (talk) 15:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
and i'll note again that i do not appreciate you saying that i am corrupt, however much you veil it. your intention is clear. you still have not responded to my direct question to you above. Jytdog (talk) 16:01, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

@Pekay: I see you are learning how Wikipedia works. Certain "uncomfortable" or "inconvenient" truths that big financial interests would prefer not be too visible seem to be disappearing at a rapid rate. But, there's no conspiracy or "cabal" that cause that to happen: you will always be reminded that it is the edits not the editors that make the material change this way. For some reason the edits have decided to be more pro-industry and no one is really sure why. It's a big mystery for us all--almost like magic. You might enjoy this quote from Noam Chomsky: "It's true that the Emperor doesn't have any clothes, but the Emperor doesn't like to be told it, and the Emperor's lapdogs like the New York Times are not going to enjoy the experience if you do." at 5:05 of this video "Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)". -David Tornheim (talk) 11:09, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Coming from the UK, Atkisson and her history were unknown to me before seeing this video, as was the term "astroturfing". So, I watched the video with a completely open mind. My jaw dropped further and further toward the ground as I watched the video. She was almost reading my mind of my own recent bruising experiences here Wikipedia. Do not be distracted with arguments trying to discredit her. She might have a grudge against WP (I have not looked at that yet), but the practice of astroturfing as she describes it, exists! Furthermore, it is a HUGE (sorry for shouting) problem; WP is losing editors because of it. What problem could be bigger?DrChrissy (talk) 11:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The good thing about Wikipedia is that discussions mostly focus on facts—please either strike your statement or produce some examples of the astroturfing you claim exists here. What editor has been lost due to an astroturfing problem? Johnuniq (talk) 11:56, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Me. You lost me. I haven't edited an article here since last June because of it. I explain more on my talk page if you're interested. I finally gave up after seeing the futility of such an uneven playing field, with teams of POV pushers/advocates who always seem to be editing on the side of special interests, supporting each other in edit wars, at noticeboards, applying the rules only to 'the other side', coupled with the utter lack of independent editors upholding WP NPOV guidelines. I didn't want to fight this, I didn't want to see it - but subtle ads in an encyclopedia page are obvious to me, and couldn't be ignored. The only success I saw whilst fighting this spin doctoring was at the BP page. However, it took two years to get any traction and it was not due to our hard work and diligence that things changed, since the BP supporters always had enough on their side to keep the page static, it ended up in the media and attracted oodles of editors because of that. They overwhelmingly agreed with the spin that I saw, and it was finally remedied. It's most unfortunate that this stuff has to end up in the press for WPs to see it. (Further, there is absolutely no reason DrChrissy would need to strike his statements on this talk page unless he was personally attacking someone. If astroturfing could be so easily proved, it wouldn't be such an insidious problem.) petrarchan47คุ 18:42, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The Atkisson video opens with a description of severe astroturfing—in the fictional scenario, big pharma manipulates many websites to remove mentions that a drug may cause cancer. However, the real example (the only example) deals with trivia—a novelist finds that editors reject his proposal for a change to an article, something totally unrelated to astroturfing. The claim about 90% of medical statements contradicting medical research is obviously bogus—any check of a few articles shows that the claim is nonsense, and the links from Jytdog at 04:17, 19 April 2015 above explain how ridiculous is the claim. The mention of Wiki-PR editing of Wikipedia is similarly incorrect with its assertion of the involvement of "Wikipedia officials". Of course POV pushers and astroturfers ply their trade at Wikipedia, but the video provides no examples and no insight. Johnuniq (talk) 12:10, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

@Johnuniq Please state which policy/guideline makes you think I should strike my comments. If you can not come up with a satisfactory reason for me to do this, I will deem your edit to be attempted bullying and uncivility.DrChrissy (talk) 19:00, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I thought we already debunked the Atkisson material on Jimbo's talk page last month. Why are you and others still talking about this? Viriditas (talk) 21:43, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Seems the topic of astroturfing, and whether or not it's happening on Wikipedia goes beyond Atkisson and her beliefs regarding her computer being hacked etc. Seems this is perhaps an important topic to discuss and be aware of in light of recent news [107] --BoboMeowCat (talk) 21:54, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Her video was not "debunked". If I remember correctly, she doesn't talk about vaccinations, so that's a red herring. And although I agree with Sarah (SV) that Philip Roth example was poor and that some of her # claims need proof and are likely exaggerated, if you take out the exaggeration, the problem of astroturfing is not small and everything she says about the techniques of ad hominem attacks is spot on, especially among those who try to discredit those who raise valid concerns, including those who have bashed her video her and the two times the video was bashed at Jimbo's page. I have come to like Petrarchan47's citation of the phrase, " "thou doth protest too much". David Tornheim (talk) 22:10, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Don't make me quote Nietzsche, David.  :) It may very well be that her video was not debunked, however, Atkisson has made numerous unsubstantiated claims that make her a less than desirable source in this discussion. I like Paul Offit's sensible approach and I favor his criticism of her position. For me at least, she's been debunked. People should stop bringing up Atkisson here and anywhere else because her credibility has been seriously questioned. BoboMeowCat, thank you, but I'm fully aware of the Wifione case and I've previously discussed it on Jimbo's page. Viriditas (talk) 00:57, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Paul Offit is ignorant of important vaccine issues as this debate with real expert Dr. Boyd Haley demonstrated: [108]--Pekay2 (talk) 04:37, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Because someone has said or done something that is questionable, does not mean that everything they have ever said or will ever say should be disregarded. Consider for example that Martin Heidegger became a Nazi and received a powerful position at University of Freiburg because of his loyalty and never publicly apologized for it. However, his essay "The Question Concerning Technology" (1949-1952) and his preeminent work Being and Time (1927) are as relevant today as when they were first presented. (I would love to see the skeptics' reaction to such fine work. LOL!) To talk about what Attkisson has done outside of the scope of the lecture is irrelevant and more like ad hominem. As for Paul Offit, I am all ears. Please show us what you are talking about; I have never heard of him. But only if it relates to what she said in the video: I am not interested in any discussion of vaccination issues which is not a subject of the video. Also Please, feel free to quote Nietzsche! LOL. At one time, I almost put this quote on my user page: "All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth." I hesitated, because I believe he did not say it directly, but it was an amalgam of various things he did say. - David Tornheim (talk) 06:23, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I would list examples of articles that are slanted to be pro-industry and are not NPOV, but by doing so I have been accused repeatedly of WP:canvassing, WP:Battleground behavior, WP:hounding, WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, making personal accusations, etc. and been taken to AN/I twice for just talking about the problem. Such intimidation has a similar effect on me as on Petrarchan47. I could also point to other editors who were threatened and stopped editing articles for similar reasons, or who were topic-banned, etc., but the same concerns of being disciplined for speaking honestly about particular examples keeps me from pointing them out. Yes, there is a problem. David Tornheim (talk) 21:57, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
@Johnuniq Please state which policy/guideline makes you think I should strike my comments. If you can not, please strike your own.DrChrissy (talk) 23:24, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Why is Sheryl Atkinson's credibility questioned? Is it because she came forward as a whistleblower of MSM and left CBS News? [109] Is this kinda like don't be a tattle tale or the kids won't like you? Just wondering. AtsmeConsult 03:35, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
She's made a great number of claims, many of which have little to no substantiating support. If she just did this once or maybe even twice, then I think we could give her a free pass. But when there's a pattern, it becomes something else. Paul Offit successfully debunked Atkinson's claims by directly confronting them, no holds barred.[110] Other sources have also taken her to task, and you know what, she's still at it.[111] Rather than asking why her credibility is questioned, you should be asking how it is supported. You and others in this discussion seem to support her only because she supports your argument. That's a form of cherry picking in and of itself. Viriditas (talk) 03:44, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Paul Offit, MD is a vaccine creator and major proponent of the safety of vaccines. Boyd Haley, PhD is scientist laying out critical facts that are in opposition to the safety claims of Paul Offit and others. You can watch the virtual debate here: [112]--Pekay2 (talk) 05:10, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Oh the irony! In this thread of all threads we are supposed to "learn" from the conspiracist nonsense of Boyd Haley by viewing a quackery-filled video of a "virtual debate" (which is not a real "debate") posted to Youtube by ... a PR company! Alexbrn (talk) 05:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Wow, when did name calling and cyber-bullying become a substitute for scientific discussion? Please identify exactly which of Boyd Haley's statements you purport to be 'conspiracist nonsense' and list the 'quackery-filled' statements. Otherwise, I see no point in your communication on this video.--Pekay2 (talk) 00:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
BTW, what credentials do you hold that permit you to even enter this debate, much less engage in name calling?--Pekay2 (talk) 02:14, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Although this is specific to "spies", I found that it makes for an interesting read after coming upon certain anomalies in forums where anonymous comments are allowed. See especially Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation. [Please know that I am absolutely not accusing anyone of anything by sharing this piece; it was widely misunderstood previously that I was doing just that. It's simply interesting to me, nothing more.] petrarchan47คุ[[Special:Contributions/Pe[trarchan47|]] 01:30, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Very interesting. Reminiscent of Rules for Radicals [113]--Pekay2 (talk) 02:14, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Please see my response above. I am not interested in what she has to say about vaccines, which is not covered in the video being discussed here. It's a red herring and exactly the kind of strategy she mentioned at the end of the video that is used to try to keep us from looking at the important problems she is talking about. If you or Paul Offit question the material and claims she specifically presents in the video, that would be relevant to this discussion. Her position on vaccines is not relevant. David Tornheim (talk) 06:35, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
As strange as it may sound, I think the continued appeal and use of Sheryl Atkinson in these discussions is the real red herring and I can't quite figure out why she keeps being brought up. The overall pattern of her reporting, which includes the vaccine material, is the problem, not the vaccine issue in isolation. In any case, since you seem interested, perhaps you can explain to me why she keep getting injected into this and other discussions. Viriditas (talk) 08:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
The reason the video keeps getting brought up is that people see the video, and it is a real wake up call, because they too have seen the kind of behavior mentioned in the video and they find it troubling. This is exactly what Pekay2 said. Did you read what I wrote about Heidegger above? David Tornheim (talk) 09:26, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm having a very, very difficult time accepting this. You're referring to a TEDx video called "Astroturf and manipulation of media messages" made by Sharyl Attkisson of the Heritage Foundation, an organization that wrote the book on astroturfing and manipulation of media messages? I'm sorry, but the irony here is so strong here I can barely type. This pretty much says it all. To anyone and everyone continuing to refer to Attkisson: stop. You've debunked your own argument by relying on poor sources like this. Viriditas (talk) 10:33, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
The title of the linked article above is "An Astroturf Reporter's Laughably Inane List Of The Top 10 Astroturfers". This clearly shows the writers/publishers have their own agenda. I struggled to read on and the bias becomes wholly apparent. Would be nice to see a more balanced source.DrChrissy (talk) 11:05, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
It's no more biased, agenda-driven, or unbalanced than Attkisson's talk, which you seem to expect us to take seriously. MastCell Talk 17:59, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@user:Johnuniq You have requested that I strike my statement here.[114] I requested you to cite which policy/guideline you were using to support this request.[115] You have, so far, not provided this. Please do.__DrChrissy (talk) 10:48, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
A policy/guideline is not required to make a request. The situation is that you made certain claims ("the practice of astroturfing as she describes it, exists...WP is losing editors because of it"), and I pointed out that discussions at Wikipedia [should] mostly focus on facts. It follows that large claims (astroturfing exists and WP is losing editors because of it) should be substantiated or withdrawn. It would be fine for someone to say they imagine that to be the case, but the topic in this section is a misguided video, and you seemed to be endorsing the video's conclusions from your personal experience. Is there any basis for that endorsement? What do you think about the video's claim that 90% of Wikipedia's medical statements are contradicted by medical research? Johnuniq (talk) 12:34, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Please stop trying to sidetrack the issue. The video discusses a pattern of editorial behavour that exists here on WP ... you are contributing to it right now at this very moment by attempting to bully me into striking comments when there is absolutely no need to.DrChrissy (talk) 13:29, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Aren't you asking Johnuniq to strike his comments as well? 3 times instead of just once? Doesn't that make you the bigger bully? Or at least the more annoying one?--Atlan (talk) 14:43, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Atlan You have stated that I have requested 3 (three) times that Johnuniq strikes their comment. Please provide the diffs showing these 3 occasions.DrChrissy (talk) 17:19, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you have in fact asked only once, while asking for clarification three times. So I stand corrected, but my point remains the same. You are doing the same thing you accuse another of (asking to strike comments), which by your own standards is bullying. In fact, your badgering Johnuniq over it comes across as bullying more than Johnuniq's participation in this thread, despite how much you play victim. But don't let my observations get in the way of your double standards. Carry on.--Atlan (talk) 22:16, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for acknowledging your complete misrepresentation of my edits. Telling lies about the behaviour of another editor is extremely serious and can lead to blocks. I strongly suggest you strike through your comment and I invite you to make a more humble and contrite apology.__DrChrissy (talk) 22:30, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Atlan I am reminding you again about the seriousness of misrepresenting another editor's edits and allowing these to remain once you have been informed of this. Please strike your offending comments and I again invite you to post an apology.DrChrissy (talk) 17:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Let's not allow this discussion to veer away from content discussion to editor behavior. Let's focus on what's happening to articles on Wikipedia as a result of advocacies and COI. It is a growing problem and is bleeding out in big doses onto the internet. I am also seeing abuse of the guidelines which haven't changed. See User:Atsme/sandbox_Adovacy_ducks for more information. AtsmeConsult 14:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

^Indeed! David Tornheim (talk) 18:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
How's this for advocacy/astroturfing? Susan Gerbic speaks about controlling a team of "guerrilla skeptics" on WP to promote a "skeptical ideology" (scientism coupled with fanatic atheism) in Wikipedia articles. It's supported by the James Randi Foundation and includes at least 90 editors. They organize on Facebook and elsewhere off-WP to take control of pre-determined pages, attacking critics and adorning those of fellow believers. I hear them echoed on almost every talk page I visit these days. petrarchan47คุ 19:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Yay! Policy-aligned outreach trying to draw in (badly needed) quality editors. All power to sgerbic. Alexbrn (talk) 19:15, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
"Skeptics" in the militant sense are aligned by an ideal, not necessarily by a neutral use of science. On this talk page it is asserted (above) that "medical marijuana is quackery" and smoking it causes cancer. This is exactly the opposite of what we know from current science, and adheres instead to an ideology that favors chemicals, or at the very least poo-poo's all but the Western medical model. When science becomes one's god ("scientism"), and that religious fervor bleeds onto the pages of WP in the name of Righting Great Wrongs, it is just as damaging to NPOV as is the work of any zealot or advocate, and leaves the reader with an article that is nothing more than the viewpoint of a small group of people. The teamwork is especially hard to deal with for independent editors, and can really be a turnoff. petrarchan47คุ 05:44, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh yes, you are one of the guilty ones responsible for the appalling state of the cannabis articles, stuffed full of bogus health claims, before the huge cleanup operation that WP:MED needed to do. I don't know where all this stuff about "science as god" is coming from - sounds like you've been watching too many Youtube videos about Jimbo. Wikipedia is a reality based Project that shall reflect the rational, enlightened and mainstream view. Those who have trouuble with that would be better off spending their time elsewhere. Alexbrn (talk) 06:04, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Sounds great, the only problem is that most mainstream views are neither rational nor enlightened. Viriditas (talk) 07:55, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough, but then the answer is work to improve our understanding of the world, not to substitute even less rational ideas. MastCell Talk 15:54, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. Then, how do you explain the history of medical cannabis, for example the failure to fund cannabis studies that show benefits while throwing money at studies that only alleged harmful side effects? (Abrams and NIDA). How do you explain the position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which in the face of all evidence to the contrary, refuses to recognize any medicinal use of cannabis while brazenly claiming it "has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment". Where's the effort to improve our understanding? And, where's the rational approach? Sorry, but in the example of medical cannabis, government agencies manipulated academia and the medical industry to distort the science. That's a matter of historical record. Viriditas (talk) 21:09, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@Viriditas: The prohibitionist war-on-drugs view of marijuana that you describe is not the mainstream view. The mainstream view—both among the lay public and among the medical community—is much closer to viewing marijuana as a largely harmless intoxicant and a potentially beneficial therapeutic. Legalization tends to be successful when put to a popular vote in the US, and the medical community is conducting countless clinical trials to better understand the benefits of marijuana (seriously, go to clinicaltrials.gov and take a look). Many of these studies are government-funded, through the NIH. To name only a few, Wayne State University has an NIH-funded cohort study of marijuana's effects in HIV+ people; Johns Hopkins is recruiting subjects to study the pharmacokinetic profile of oral marijuana; UCSF is running an NIH-funded clinical trial of marijuana as a treatment for painful crises in people with sickle cell disease; and so on. These studies aren't designed to prove marijuana harmful; they are efforts to better understand how it works and how it might be helpful. MastCell Talk 00:41, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, we are going to have to agree to disagree, then. Not only is the "prohibitionist" view mainstream at the federal level, it's actively enforced at the level of international bodies, such as the UN, an organization that continues to threaten other countries that have decriminalized cannabis. I appreciate your bright-eyed optimism, but it ignores the last 70 years since cannabis was removed from the US pharmacopeia and elsewhere. Up to the end of the 19th century, it was an accepted medicine. Your comment implies that we have to "better understand how it works" before we can accept it back into the pharmacopeia again, but this is a common fallacy. In fact, many drugs in the current pharmacopeia have an unknown mechanism of action, yet this has never stopped their wide adoption. For some strange, unknown reason, cannabis has been treated differently than 99% of the drugs on the market. We are told, year after year, decade after decade, that we must better understand how it works before we can use it again. This is entirely false, as we don't know how many drugs work, yet prescribe and use them on a daily basis. Viriditas (talk) 04:13, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
@Viriditas: I wouldn't say that there are many drugs with unknown mechanisms of actions—I can only think of a couple—but I realize this wasn't central to your point so it's just a quibble. I don't think I'm being overly optimistic (something I am rarely accused of); I think I'm being realistic when I say that there is a lot of momentum behind both decriminalization of marijuana and more meaningful scientific study of its pharmacologic properties. I understand that cannabis was an accepted medicine in the 19th century, but that's a weak argument: after all, mercury was an accepted medicine as well in those days too. There's no doubt that cannabis has been treated differently than virtually every other drug in existence; I think we agree on that (for instance, it makes no sense that cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance while cocaine and methamphetamine are Schedule II). Where we differ, I guess, is that I see a lot of momentum in both the scientific community and the lay public to rethink that view, and I think the current "mainstream" view is much more permissive than the governmental viewpoints that you describe. MastCell Talk 23:57, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
@Alexbrn: and MastCell: Did either of watch the beginning of the video “Susan Gerbic Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia JREF Workshop” mentioned above by Petrarchan47? I watched the first 8 minutes. The purpose of the workshop and recruitment is not to create NPOV articles or improve them. Gerbic indicates that people she urged to edit grew tired of annoying things like having to do research for an article, so instead she gives her team of 90 editors in 17 languages a resource such as any article from Skeptic Magazine, and she asks editors to find a place to add the material. Both she and D. J. Grothe (president of the James Randi Educational Foundation) say that it is activism, marketing and outreach to expand and recruit new people to the skeptic movement and ideology, and that Wikipedia is an excellent "tool", because most skeptics are not very good at marketing and "punking" or "something like that"; instead, skeptics can use Wikipedia as a "tool" to do their marketing in the safety and comfort of their home. So you both feel that is okay for the skeptic movement to use Wikipedia to recruit more people to their movement and ideology this way? Would it be okay for Christians, Scientologists, gamblers, mountain climbers or anti-GMO activists to do the same? David Tornheim (talk) 16:57, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Christians, Scientologists, and anti-GMO activists are already doing this (the Scientologists, in particular, got so bad that all IPs belonging to the Church were blocked in 2009). Not sure about gamblers and mountain climbers, although I don't trust either group as far I can throw them. MastCell Talk 18:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I am hurt, deeply hurt, at mountaineering editors being lumped in with all those other "bad people", David Tornheim and MastCell. Just kidding - use my kooky sport as an example if you like. I have written and expanded a lot of biographies of climbers, and in my opinion, there is relatively little promotionalism in that topic area. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:24, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@MastCell: So would you support an immediate ban on all IP's coming from computers known to be owned by skeptic organizations--especially the James Randi Education Foundation--based on what was said in that video about using Wikipedia for advocacy and recruitment to the skeptic movement? Also, you allege that anti-GMO activists are "already" using the same techniques I identified in the "Guerrilla skeptic" recruitment video. Do you have any Off-Wiki or on-Wiki evidence to back up that allegation? David Tornheim (talk) 04:11, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry—I didn't realize that evidence was required before accusing people of agenda-driven COI editing in this venue. This is an unexpected but encouraging development! :P MastCell Talk 23:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You can read all about it here. Skepticism is central to the Wikipedia Project (not pseudo-skepticism, N.B.) and the more skeptic editors the better (conversely the fewer True Believers in The Truth™ we have the better too). At a basic level the principle of being doubtful of assertions without evidence (i.e. skepticism) can be seen as mirrored in our core policies of WP:V and WP:RS. More particularly WP:PSCI particularly commits Wikipedia to make obvious in its very article content when notions are fringey. Skepticism is not a subject-specific interest so comparisons with rock-climbing etc. are nonsensical. Alexbrn (talk) 17:33, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

@Alexbrn: and @Mastcell: I picked gamblers and mountain climbers as an example because their interests are more craft and less ideological or conceptual indeed. However, imagine either group used Wikipedia in exactly the way the James Randi Educational Foundation encourages and recruits skeptics to do: (1) marketing (2) dissemination of the group's message, ideas and work (3) to find and recruit new members (4) to inject (and promote) particular articles (and authors) with a particular agenda, especially works produced by members of the group, into the encyclopedia and similar advocacy. If gamblers, mountain climbers, bikers, skiers, etc. or any other group did this to increase its membership, etc., you'd be okay with that use of the encyclopedia, since it is okay for the skeptics to do it? Mastcell: why do you distrust mountain climbers? David Tornheim (talk) 04:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
This is an entirely useless line of inquiry. Critical thinking is sorely needed here and everywhere else. If JREF and skeptic groups can help, then great. We don't need another fake cancer cure. We do need more skepticism and less wide-eyed belief, and that applies to all sectors, not just medicine. Viriditas (talk) 05:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
When recruiting new editors, I would greatly prefer those of a skeptical frame of mind to those who are credulous. I do not want new editors promoting UFO tales, or the notion that homeopathy is more than a placebo and that it that actually cures diseases, or the notion that "organized medicine" suppresses cancer cures to protect their profits, or the notion that a real creature called "Bigfoot" actually roams the Oregon/California border area. All this talk about losing editors? Well, show me the proof, but if that sort of demented kookiness gains traction on Wikipedia, which I doubt will ever happen, then I will be gone forever as the project collapses. Let's always favor reason and science. All that other crap isn't worth a plugged nickle. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:41, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not either/or - this line of reasoning persists whenever the suggestion of WP being gamed by big business arises. Are we seriously going to deny that astroturfing/spindoctoring exists here?

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Atkisson is only one in a long line of folks to speak of it:

"Wikipedia seems more a campground for paid shills and such. No interest without enough finances to hire dedicated campers to squat on pages are going to get past those that have. Some areas are without corporate interest or political controversy but on the pages that are, OCD wins ... Not many people can defend against claims that Wikipedia is being distorted by PR agencies and out-of-control employees who won’t disclose conflicts of interest. I myself had found and reported many incidents as such, but I just can’t be bothered anymore. Be cautious of Wikipedia. I only fix the occasional typos I come across; for divisive issues or products (monetary interests) I don’t even visit Wikipedia." Wikipedia Got Ruined by the Likes of Microsoft Who Pay People to Edit Articles About Microsoft

When we speak of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia, it should not be seen as synonymous with 'all editors of a skeptical mind'; skepticism is a requirement for writing neutral, informative articles. We certainly aren't promoting UFOs or wacky, new-age healing techniques. I am complaining about a group of people who are organizing off-Wiki to promote a certain POV and to create consensus, making this is hellish experience for anyone who questions them. And WP is loosing editors because of it. I am one of them. Editors who see neutrality giving way to the POV of the government and special interests can very easily become discouraged and leave. This is not a group of people with skeptical thought processes in general, it is a group that attacks competitors of the American Medical model/Pharmaceutical Industry and also promotes Atheism on WP, according to their Facebook posts. Organizing/canvassing off-WP, considering our consensus model is now essentially vote-counting, should trouble everyone, regardless of whether you like their POV. But again, we are just humans and I have quit expecting WP to operate at a higher level than humanity has attained. We're biased, we have conflicts, and we will sometimes/often lie to get ahead. Some of us work on articles that we shouldn't, knowing our COI will never be revealed. Bashing natural healing methods, UFO-believers, or me personally in no way disproves what I, and many others, have stated. Wikipedia has been pwned. petrarchan47คุ 23:24, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Cullen, couching the problem in terms of sceptical minds v. incredulous ones misses the point that what's viewed as the sceptical position on WP can boil down to an unthinkingness too. What's needed from everyone is a bit more critical thinking. Sarah (SV) (talk) 23:56, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Having almost gotten a Masters in Philosophy, I agree that Critical Thinking is very important, and it is quite different from Skepticism, especially scientific skepticism, which was what the Guerrilla Skeptics promote. Scientific skepticism is a very limited epistemology that is not a widely accepted standard in academy (except, perhaps, in the sciences) for good reason and is more like a religion where science is the new "god" of Truth (with capital T). Applying scientific skepticism to a subject like history or literature shows why it is a problem. Doing the same with Critical Thinking is not so much a problem, although one could overdo that as well with literature--one has to recognize the utility of a tool and not assume that if you have a hammer EVERYTHING is a nail. The major issue with these organized "Guerrilla Skeptics" is that they are promoting their religious fervor for this one limited epistemology with their magazines on Wikipedia and trying to increase the membership to buy into their limited dogma--similar to Mormons, Scientologists, etc. I'm sure they would be appalled if some organized religion would do the same thing. I think the use of Skeptic Quarterly and other skeptic advocacy literature that "Guerrilla Skeptics" encourages their membership to promote by inserted it into Wikipedia articles should be looked at with some skepticism as to whether it is really RS. [pun intended] David Tornheim (talk) 04:38, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Assistance with a Noticeboard Incident[edit]

Hi SlimVirgin,

I don't believe we have interacted before but I am in the middle of a dispute with Formerly98 and JYTDog. I would like to ask your advice on how to deal with the situation since I know you have worked with them before. I saw on the GSK page that had discussed the recent finasteride edits where Formerly98 wanted to include an insignificant study gift to discredit a high quality meta-study but he pulled a complete 180 the next day and argued it was immaterial to include the same for the GSK sponsored source. In that case, I believe GSK was the full study sponsor which is much more relevant than a gift. Formerly98 comments

Based on my disagreement with him, both Formerly and JYTDog have initiated a large wall of accusations against me of which many I feel are misleading, outdated, or completely inaccurate. I have openly admitted to making mistakes in my early days in wikipedia when I was not aware of the guidelines/policies and I have occasionally become frustrated with these two editors. I imagine you would be able to participate objectively since I don't think we have interacted before but you have appeared to have reviewed the recent finasteride edits that are in question. As your extensive experience with wikipedia and these particular editors would be likely valued, would you please care to share your opinion in the relevant forum? ANI Incident Thanks Doors22 (talk) 04:43, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

and this would be some pretty rank WP:CANVASSING right there. the BATTLEGROUND behavior just continues. Jytdog (talk) 06:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Don't quite agree with you there, but appreciate another attempt to wikilawyer. As I made clear, I have never spoken with SlimVirgin and would have no idea how he/she would come out on this. As an administrator that has worked with both you and Formerly98, I am interested to request the feedback of an uninvolved party who is already familiar with the issues. Your incident has not gained any substantive traction yet and the involvement of a competent party could put this to rest quickly since I think it is baseless. I can point to numerous cases where you and Formerly have egregiously canvassed but I will save that for the appropriate time. Please take extensive notes where the article you reference says it is appropriate to contact individual users if the scale is limited (single person), the message is neutral (not requesting any specific action), audience is non partisan (never engaged Slim Virgin before), and open transparency (message speaks for itself). This is the second example today where you quoted wiki policy and your point is completely off-point. Doors22 (talk) 06:18, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
not uninvolved. and as you referenced the COI ducks essay in your Oppose vote you knew darn well what you were doing in posting here. It's more of the BATTLEGROUND behavior that led me to post the ANI, doors. Please do read the link on canvassing; it is what you have done. I do understand you are, in your words, desperate to keep advocating your POV on finasteride and that is leading to these tactics. But Wikipedia is not a place for soapboxing. It is just isn't. I'm sorry. Jytdog (talk) 06:26, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I do appreciate your being upfront about not assuming my good faith with zero evidence to back it up. I am not involved with COI Ducks and I am not sure what you are referring to. I only quickly skimmed the article a couple weeks ago but I did feel it was quite a clever description of you and Formerly. SlimVirgin is an administrator and I imagine will only get involved if he/she feels appropriate. I have no "POV" to push on the finasteride article other than objectivity. Every few months new medical research is being published that advances our knowledge of the risks involved with the drug and this will continue. Once of the nice things about Wikipedia is the truth eventually finds its way on here even if it is less timely than one would hope. Doors22 (talk) 06:57, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Jytdog, apparently you see Door's action as canvassing but not Formerly's when he requested help from Waid (#45 Discussion [116] ). They seem similar to me. Gandydancer (talk) 11:28, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
it's not "apparent" that i see doors22 as canvassing. he did canvass (and at the least, i definitely see it that way). about formerly's post, i wasn't aware of that. reading it... a) he says it might be canvassing (some self-awareness at least) and asks her to consider that and if she thinks it is, to ignore it; b) says he is not sure what she will say and asks for thoughts on his own talk page if she doesn't weigh in at ANI. so ~appears~ to be looking for real third party insight from someone he trusts but whose thoughts he actually doesn't know. to judge if that is just deception on formerly's part and her thoughts really are a foregone conclusion, i'd need to look at the ANI, the issues, and the parties there, and see what kind of stuff WAID had said about that or her interactions with those folks. the link at WAID's page to ANI is dead.... some digging... it appears to be a link to this: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive879#How_to_deal_appropriately_with_COI_concerns.3F. I am not aware of WAID weighing in much about COI issues at all. I am not aware of her being allied or "enemies" with anybody in that discussion. So it doesn't look canvassing to me - like formerly is trying to get someone he knows is on his side, or has expressed concerns about his "opponents" (enemy of my enemy is my friend) to come and give comments sympathetic to his "side". (which is very unlike Doors' post here, where there is plenty of criticism of me, and doors' main effort at the ANI about him, has been to attack me and formerly... so clearly canvassing). But what do you think, gandy? do you view it as canvassing? (btw if you do, you should notify him.) Jytdog (talk) 12:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Especially after seeing this exchange, I can't believe JYTDog is anything but disingenuous here. Not only had Formerly interacted with the editor, but he personally thanked him for an editor that worked out in his favor. What I did certainly wasn't canvassing as it fits zero of the criteria for that specific guideline. The guideline specifically points out that what I did was appropriate.Doors22 (talk) 12:43, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
i wasn't aware of that. that does make it much more canvass-y, yes. i'll warn formerly. Thanks for pointing that out. And Doors that you cannot see that what you did by posting here, was looking for allies.... i don't know what to tell you. It is just obvious. Done here - this is a lot of dramah. Jytdog (talk) 13:12, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I usually don't comment here, but the discussion in which I solicited WAID's opinion was a general discussion of policy issues. It was not a decision-making discussion nor was it associated with a vote. So I'm not quite sure what the point is here. WP:CANVASSING states:
"In general, it is perfectly acceptable to notify other editors of ongoing discussions, provided that it is done with the intent to improve the quality of the discussion by broadening participation to more fully achieve consensus. However, canvassing which is done with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion in a particular way is considered inappropriate. This is because it compromises the normal consensus decision-making process, and therefore is generally considered disruptive behavior."
The note to WAID could not possibly be intended to "compromise the normal decision-making process", as no vote or decision was associated with the discussion. Nor could it have led to a decision, because changes in COI policy would require a discussion at the COI board, and this was merely an off-topic discussion on the ANI board. Formerly 98 talk|contribs|COI statement 14:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Jytdog asked me if I felt that Formerly 98's note on Waid's talk page was canvassing. No I don't and apparently Waid did not either or she would have not complied. What I said was that it seems similar to this instance, but that's just going by what is written here as I don't know anything about Doors. I'll add, I didn't think that when David T. an inexperienced editor, asked for input from several experienced editors, including me, for input on the Monsanto articles was canvassing either, at least not to the point that every time I turned around it was getting brought up on one board or another as though he had committed some sort of criminal act that needed to be reported and punished. Gandydancer (talk) 14:41, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

The above quoted definition of canvassing provided says, "However, canvassing which is done with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion in a particular way is considered inappropriate." [emphasis added]. If one cannot prove intent, then accusing someone of canvassing under this definition is little more than assuming bad faith, something Jytdog strongly objects to in the various versions of the COI Duck and Advocacy Duck essay pages. Based on Door22's statement, we should assume good faith, and assume his/her intentions were to seek advice and not to canvass. Hence, the accusations of canvassing should be stricken. David Tornheim (talk) 16:25, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Uncivil behaviour by another editor on your talk page[edit]

Hi SlimVirgin. User:Atlan has posted inaccuracies (along with a personal attack) about my editing on your Talk page here[117] which they subsequently admitted was inaccurate[118]. I have asked Atlan to strike the inaccuracies. They have indicated here on their talk page [119] that they have no intention of striking their comment or responding to my invitation to post an apology. This appears to be against WP:Civil Because the original posting was made on your Talk page and you are an administrator, I thought I would seek your advice. Which dispute resolution process should I use? It is not a content dispute, but I would only go to ANI very hesitantly after my last experience of this process. Please could you advise.DrChrissy (talk) 10:21, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

You didn't ask for my advice, but: Atlan already admitted he'd made an error and corrected it. Demanding that he also strike the material, and then repeating this demand in multiple threads and multiple venues, makes you look sort of belligerent and obnoxious. The "dispute resolution process" that you should use is simple: accept his admission of error and move on. That was easy, right? MastCell Talk 23:48, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
@User:MastCell You are correct, I did not request your advice. Your suggestion that I look "...sort of belligerent and obnoxious" is inflammatory and seems to be an attempt to bully another editor into not requesting advice on a dispute resolution. Is this a personal attack? If in the future I request advice from a user on their user page, please do not intervene, but keep your inflammatory comments to yourself.DrChrissy (talk) 10:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
@DrChrissy: when someone posts an inaccuracy that you feel matters, you or the other person can post a correction below it. You can ask them to strike too, but if they won't, a correction is usually enough to fix it. That has been done in this case, so the best thing is to let it go. Sarah (SV) (talk) 00:52, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Sarah. Once again, thank you for your calm, neutral advice. I will follow this. I think it is a great irony that this editor's statistical inaccuracy ocurred in the middle of a discussion where the credibility of a person (Atkkisson) was called into doubt because of possibly stating a statistical inaccuracy! Thanks again for the advice.DrChrissy (talk) 10:10, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Stable wikipedia[edit]

Here.Peter Damian (talk) 09:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Older FAs[edit]

A few of your FAs were included in a recent script-compiled list of older FAs that haven't undergone a recent formal review. If you are still monitoring them and feel they are up to current standards, we'll simply remove them from the list (we're far more worried about those that aren't maintained).

These are the listed FAs that you nominated back in 2006–2010:

Presuming that you monitor them, I'd be inclined to remove all except perhaps the Tomlinson BLP and the al-Durrah incident article (which I imagine should also be tagged as BLP?). Please let me know what can safely be removed, and we'll retain the rest as a reminder that some work may be needed. Thanks. Maralia (talk) 20:59, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll take a look at the list and reply there. Sarah (SV) (talk) 21:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Female genital mutilation[edit]

It's better to discuss this on article talk. Sarah (SV) (talk) 02:11, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

You reverted my amply sourced edit as unsourced and because of your status the cabal will no doubt block me if I continue to include it without discussion. I can definitely paste in all the sources from the prevalence article, but I think adding (see prevalence of female genital mutilation by country) would be more than sufficient. PolenCelestial (talk) 01:38, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi, I've replied on the talk page. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you're ignoring what I'm saying, which is that the information in the prevalence article backs up my edit.
Indonesia: 85% (calculated from verifiable source for prevalence among Muslims times percentage of Muslims)[1][2]
Malaysia: 57% (calculated from verifiable source for prevalence among Muslims times percentage of Muslims)[3][4][5]
Oman: 78% [6]
UAE: 34% [7]
Kuwait: 38% (in prevalence article)
It is also prevalent in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Syria according to the sources in the article, which is basically all the rest of the countries in the Middle East. "Worldwide" at the beginning (before listing most common areas) because FGM has been documented in just about every country in the world (presumably not Antarctica), including by non-immigrant populations of many (all?) countries in South/Southeast Asia, Australia and several Latin American countries. Where is your argument? PolenCelestial (talk) 02:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Hillary Rodham Clinton - Move Discussion[edit]

Hi,

This is a notification to let you know that there is a requested move discussion ongoing at Talk:Hillary_Rodham_Clinton/April_2015_move_request#Requested_move. You are receiving this notification because you have previously participated in some capacity in naming discussions related to the article in question.

Thanks. And have a nice day. NickCT (talk) 18:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Notice of Edit warring noticeboard discussion[edit]

Information icon Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion involving you at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring regarding a possible violation of Wikipedia's policy on edit warring. Thank you. PolenCelestial (talk) 02:54, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Sourcing help please[edit]

Hi Sarah, I'm sure that you have little time to help others but I'm wondering if you could take a look at the Atrazine article where I'm having a sourcing problem, an area where you have a great deal of experience. I used a primary source for an insect section because there are, as yet, no secondary sources. I felt that I used it according to guidelines but others feel differently. I don't want to try to drag you into something that is quite complex and time consuming, but it seems quite cut and dried to me and would involve reading only the last section on the talk page. On the other hand, if it is something that you just don't have time for I understand. Either way, thanks for your time. Gandydancer (talk) 14:32, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Gandydancer, I left a note but I can only speak in general terms about primary v secondary. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:24, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)[edit]

Hi Sarah, I'd appreciate your involvement on the talk page to this article, what Emma Sulkowicz has evolved into. It's now got a huge defensive section on Paul Nungesser, whom you know didn't create the article. thanks!--A21sauce (talk) 19:13, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi A21sauce, I'm not sure there's anything I can do. Ideally the article should be written carefully, then defended against anyone arriving to push one or the other view. It should probably be semi-protected too for BLP. But the lack of agreement between regular editors meant that it was easy for SPAs to take control. I can't take admin action because I've edited it, and trying to rewrite it now would be a big job, with no guarantee that it would last five minutes. Sarah (SV) (talk) 01:22, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
What's an SPA? Thanks for considering.--A21sauce (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
A21sauce: an SPA is a single-purpose account, someone who is on Wikipedia only to work on one article or one type of article, usually to push a point of view. Sarah (SV) (talk) 05:16, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, definitely one SPA there I know of. Put in another note with my request for semi-protection. Thanks so much for your help.--A21sauce (talk) 13:47, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello! There is a DR/N request you may have interest in.[edit]

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This message is being sent to let you know of a discussion at the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute discussion you may have participated in. Content disputes can hold up article development and make editing difficult for editors. You are not required to participate, but you are both invited and encouraged to help this dispute come to a resolution. The discussion is at DRN:Female genital mutilation. Please join us to help form a consensus. Thank you! --Guy Macon (talk) 23:39, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Veganism article[edit]

Hey, SlimVirgin. Have you abandoned the Veganism article? While a few people seemingly considered you WP:OWNING that article, I appreciate the work you put into it and that you kept it clean. See this revert I just made to it, for example. Your editing of that article is what WP:OWNING calls stewardship. Flyer22 (talk) 05:29, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Flyer22. I've noticed the edits, but haven't checked the diffs. I'll try to find the courage to look soon. :) Sarah (SV) (talk) 05:40, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Flyer22 (talk) 05:44, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh please do Sarah (Nice to know you btw, and blessings of Vegan peace from Israel), and please see the talk page, there I've detailed my edit and spoke with Flyer of it. Ben-Yeudith (talk) 06:35, 2 May 2015 (UTC)