Wikipedia:Conflict of interest limit

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Paid Editing Proposals
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)

Wikipedia is a public good, created by an online community interested in building a high-quality encyclopedia, and hosted by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation. A Wikipedia COI is an incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor.

While Wikipedia's motto is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", Wikipedia has policies that limit editing practices (e.g., sockpuppetry) that threaten the integrity of its content. Conflict of interest (COI) policies are used extensively in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and are essential for good governance.

This aim of this policy is twofold: first, it aims to clarify the scope and specify the procedures for good-faith contributions by editors that may have a COI with respect to a given topic; second, it aims to define a set of minimal parameters for prohibiting the most egregious forms of conflict of interest editing, such as paid advocacy editing.

Editing with a conflict of interest can be seriously counterproductive, and can damage the reputation of the intended beneficiaries. Because this kind of activity has come under heavy criticism from the press and general public, and is widely viewed as inconsistent with Wikipedia's educational mission, intentional violations of this policy may result in an editor being blocked.

Behavior of editors with a COI[edit]

An editor shall not edit an existing article directly if he or she is:

  1. paid by or acting on behalf of the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article;
  2. a business partner of the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article;
  3. engaged in competition, litigation, or lobbying for or against the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article; or
  4. paid by or acting on behalf of anyone in the above three categories.

Acceptable conduct includes:

  • suggesting changes on the article talk page, with a disclosure of one's conflict of interest
  • submitting new articles for consideration at Articles for creation, with a disclosure of one's conflict of interest
  • the removal of vandalism or patently libelous material from an article, with a talk page disclosure of one's conflict of interest.

These conditions are not an exhaustive set of all conflict of interest scenarios—see Wikipedia's guidelines on conflict of interest editing for more information. Use common sense in interpreting this policy, keeping in mind that remote connections do not constitute a conflict of interest. The following examples are offered to illustrate what is permitted and what is prohibited.

  • A person can edit an article about their fifth cousin or long-dead ancestor whom they have never personally met, but not about their brother-in-law whom they see every Christmas.
  • A person who receives Social Security benefits can edit an article about the Social Security Administration (SSA), but an employee of the SSA cannot.
  • A professional wine reviewer can edit an article about a winery that they have written about outside of Wikipedia, but not an article about the organization for which they write.
  • A professor can edit an article about their area of expertise, but not an article about themselves or research colleagues.

Administration[edit]

If you are concerned that an editor may be violating this policy, then you should leave a note on the editor's talk page that refers to this policy, politely and without accusations. If the behavior of the editor does not change, then raise a concern at the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard (COIN). You must notify the editor in question of the posting at COIN and must present specific edits related to your concerns. Administrators at COIN shall use appropriate Wikipedia tools (checkuser, etc) to determine whether or not the editor has violated this policy.

If you do not follow this procedure and fail to follow Wikipedia policies and principles, you may become the subject of sanctions. Civility, with its assumption of good faith, is a pillar of Wikipedia and this policy remains subject to that pillar. If an editor discloses a financial interest, it is expected that others will scrutinize the changes made by the editor while not commenting on the editor. Hounding of editors due to their actual or suspected financial interests is not allowed and hounding behavior is subject to sanctions. Furthermore, Wikipedia's "outing" policy expressly prohibits the disclosure of personal information of any editor, including editors who have disclosed a financial interest related to their participation in Wikipedia.

See also[edit]

Official guideline


Other official documents
Essays

These represent the opinions of individual editors on the following topics:




ALTERNATIVE TEXT COVERING ONLY PAID ADVOCACY COI

Wikipedia is a public good, created by an online community interested in building a high-quality encyclopedia, and hosted by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation. A Wikipedia COI is an incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor.

While Wikipedia's motto is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", Wikipedia has policies that limit editing practices (e.g., sockpuppetry) that threaten the integrity of its content. Conflict of interest (COI) policies are used extensively in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and are essential for good governance.

This aim of this policy is to define a set of minimal parameters for prohibiting the most egregious forms of conflict of interest editing,namely: paid advocacy editing.

Paid advocacy editing can be seriously counterproductive, and can damage the reputation of the intended beneficiaries. Because this kind of activity has come under heavy criticism from the press and general public, and is widely viewed as inconsistent with Wikipedia's educational mission, intentional violations of this policy may result in an editor being blocked.

Behavior of editors with a COI[edit]

An editor shall not edit an existing article directly if he or she is:

  1. paid by or acting on behalf of the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article;
  2. a business partner of the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article;
  3. engaged in competition, litigation, or lobbying for or against the subject of an article or an individual or organization that has an interest arising from their association with an event or activity that is the subject of an article; or
  4. paid by or acting on behalf of anyone in the above three categories.

Acceptable conduct includes:

  • suggesting changes on the article talk page, with a disclosure of one's conflict of interest
  • submitting new articles for consideration at Articles for creation, with a disclosure of one's conflict of interest
  • the removal of vandalism or patently libelous material from an article, with a talk page disclosure of one's conflict of interest.

Administration[edit]

If you are concerned that an editor may be violating this policy, then you should leave a note on the editor's talk page that refers to this policy, politely and without accusations. If the behavior of the editor does not change, then raise a concern at the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard (COIN). You must notify the editor in question of the posting at COIN and must present specific edits related to your concerns. Administrators at COIN shall use appropriate Wikipedia tools (checkuser, etc) to determine whether or not the editor has violated this policy.

If you do not follow this procedure and fail to follow Wikipedia policies and principles, you may become the subject of sanctions. Civility, with its assumption of good faith, is a pillar of Wikipedia and this policy remains subject to that pillar. If an editor discloses a financial interest associated with Paid advocacy editing, it is expected that others will scrutinize the suggested changes made by the editor on article Talk pages and the like while not commenting on the editor. Hounding of editors due to their actual or suspected financial interests is not allowed and hounding behavior is subject to sanctions. Furthermore, Wikipedia's "outing" policy expressly prohibits the disclosure of personal information of any editor, including editors who have disclosed a financial interest related to their participation in Wikipedia.

See also[edit]

Official guideline


Other official documents
Essays

These represent the opinions of individual editors on the following topics: