Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

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Welcome to Conflict of interest Noticeboard (COIN)
This Conflict of interest/Noticeboard (COIN) page is for determining whether a specific editor has a conflict of interest (COI) for a specific article and whether an edit by a COIN-declared COI editor does not meet a requirement of the Conflict of Interest guideline. A conflict of interest may occur when an editor has a close personal or business connections with article topics. An edit by a COIN-declared COI editor may not meet a requirement of the COI guideline when the edit advances outside interests more than it advances the aims of Wikipedia. Post here if you are concerned that an editor has a COI, and is using Wikipedia to promote their own interests at the expense of neutrality. For content disputes, try proposing changes at the article talk page first and otherwise follow the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution procedural policy. Sections older than 7 days archived by MiszaBot II.
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You must notify any editor who is the subject of a discussion. You may use {{subst:coin-notice}} to do so.

Additional notes:
  • This page should only be used when ordinary talk page discussion has been attempted and failed to resolve the issue, such as when an editor has repeatedly added problematic material over an extended period.
  • Be careful not to out other editors. Wikipedia's policy against harassment takes precedence over the COI guideline.
  • The COI guideline does not absolutely prohibit people with a connection to a subject from editing articles on that subject. Editors who have such a connection can still comply with the COI guideline by discussing proposed article changes first, or by making uncontroversial edits. COI allegations should not be used as a "trump card" in disputes over article content.
  • Your report or advice request regarding COI incidents should include diff links and focus on one or more items in the What is a conflict of interest? list. In response, COIN may determine whether a specific editor has a COI for a specific article. There are three possible outcomes to your COIN request:
1. COIN consensus determines that an editor has a COI for a specific article. In response, the relevant article talk pages may be tagged with {{Connected contributor}}, the article page may be tagged with {{COI}}, and/or the user may be warned via {{subst:uw-coi}}.
2. COIN consensus determines that an editor does not have a COI for a specific article. In response, editors should refrain from further accusing that editor of having a conflict of interest. Feel free to repost at COIN if additional COI evidence comes to light that was not previously addressed.
3. There is no COIN consensus. Here, MiszaBot II will automatically archive the thread when it is older than seven days.
  • Once COIN declares that an editor has a COI for a specific article, COIN (or a variety of other noticeboards) may be used to determine whether an edit by a COIN declared COI editor does not meet a requirement of the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest guideline.
To begin a new discussion, enter the name of the relevant article below:

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Help answer requested edits
Category:Requested edits is where COI editors have placed the {{Request edit}} template:

Academy of Art University[edit]

Academy of Art University has had a good deal of trouble with less-than-neutral editing in the past, by employees as well as critics. A new editor, AdamNisbet, has recently appeared, and is determinedly adding material to the article. Some of the edits are OK, others are rank promotion. On one edit, AdamNisbet left the summary "This is a minor edit to include Tom Bertino with 3 citations and linking to his wikipedia page which already links to us", which prompted me to ask if he/she was connected to the school in any way, and whether he/she is editing here for financial reward. Those questions elicited no reply, but the editor continues to make changes. I'm concerned that the Terms of Use are perhaps being ignored. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:23, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

That article is very favorable to Academy of Art, which is a sketchy operation.[1] It doesn't mention that they have a 100% admit rate.[2] There's no criticism section. This article needs more editors looking at it. John Nagle (talk) 22:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Possible COI, problematic maps from User:Unocha.visual[edit]

I would like to point out a possible problem with User:Unocha.visual and their locator maps on various country articles. The user adds maps against WP:WATERMARK, clearly trying to promote the OCHA (f.e. File:Tuvalu - Location Map (2013) - TUV - UNOCHA.svg on Tuvalu. A polite request to stop and get community consensus first ([[3]]) was ignored, more maps have been added since then. The user has also added slightly promotional content to the original OCHA article (which i have reverted here [[4]]). (1) As the user seems unwilling to search for consensus, what can/should be done? (2) Do we have a bot to mass-revert such changes? GermanJoe (talk) 15:55, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't see how you can say the warning was ignored. As far as I can tell, the editor's last contribution anywhere on WP was about two hours before the warning was placed on his talk page. Have I mis-read this? Kendall-K1 (talk) 20:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
User:Arnoutf posted a detailed comment with tips and arguments against such maps on 3 September 20.44 (see first link above). 20+ more maps (Mauritius ... Uganda) have been added since then. But my main concern is more about handling the possible COI-content and avoiding future additions of more maps from this source. GermanJoe (talk) 20:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I was caught in a timezone warp between the edit histories, which are in my local time, and the talk page signatures, which are in UTC. Still, I would wait to see if the problematic editing stops before bringing the issue here. Kendall-K1 (talk) 21:55, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
No problem. Agree, it's not very urgent (just annoying). For now i'll revert those additions manually (as clearly against WP:WATERMARK and WP:COI). Would be great, if anyone would know a bot for such a task. GermanJoe (talk) 21:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

A question you may have seen for the nth time[edit]

Hello. I work in the capacity of a clinical faculty at CMH, a non-profit teaching hospital. I do not get paid by CMH to edit on WP. I only edit on WP for fun. Is there a COI with someone like me editing on CMH's article? Let's even say that my edits do end up somehow promoting CMH (e.g. our hospital went up in the US News & World Report rankings, and I added the news and link), are things still not OK as long as I stay within the bounds of NPOV? The WP:NOPAY doesnt exactly seem clear on what is meant and what is not. Thanks.Nightryder84 (talk) 05:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

If you stick to information that is obviously true and obviously relevant, and for which you have an undeniably reliable source, there is no problem; for anything that you have any doubt about, suggest it on the article's talk page., and let others decide whether to include it. What you havedone so far seems OK to me. And for what it is worth, I consider the present state of the article a little promotional: I have removed the charity fundraisers section, which is just an excuse for namedropping. I am in addition not sure that USNews rankings for hospitals are considered a reliable measure of quality, but if they are given, they should at least be correct. The present emphasis on ratings on articles on colleges I consider excessive, and a POV disgrace, and I wouldn't want to see it spread. DGG ( talk ) 07:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Phineas Gage[edit]

It is apparent that EEng has an apparent COI, specifically under WP:EXTERNALREL, due to great personal and academic involvement in the Phineas Gage article. EEng is not related by blood or working on behalf of Phineas Gage, but he is personally and academically involved in the page and has used the article as a soap box and as an extension of his work with Macmillan. Note that EEng self-discloses his identity as [redacted -- see below]. EEng has worked with Macmillan - [ co-authoring this paper, updating Macmillan's site and even acknowledged as a colleague by Macmillan.[5]. EEng edit wars nearly every edit made to the article, even minor ones, and his personal attacks recently got him blocked. He then decided to re-title the block header to "Admin blocks for criticism of himself" just "for the record". EEng has effectively made improving the page akin to Sisyphus and the boulder. An example of the extremely convoluted state of EEng's page can be seen from this diff and entering the edit window. The article was over 50% markup. Of 104,829 characters about 27,000 characters were in text body and some 21,500 characters comprised foot notes. Recently, EEng added some 5000+ characters to reference bomb the text and make it effectively unreadable. EEngs 1300+ edits to the article has improved it, but it seems that EEng's WP:OWNership of the article is a persistent problem. Make no mistake, this is not a content or formatting dispute, these are mere symptoms of EEng using Wikipedia markup and claims of "stewardship" to maintain a preferential state. I feel EEng has a COI under WP:EXTERNALREL. It may not be paid editing, but it is extremely difficult to deal with an editor who has self-cited and displays a strong and selective bias for (his co-author) Macmillan. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 06:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

  • WP:BOOMERANG. There has just recently been a now-archived wall-of-text at WP:ANI about EEng and the Gage page, and it petered out after ChrisGaultieri conspicuously began to play nice with EEng. I cannot begin to spell out how disappointed I was to log on today and see a note at my talk about this COIN thread. And I've looked at the Gage talk page, and the only incivility to come from there has been from Chris, with nothing happening in the past day to justify the opening of this COIN complaint. There has previously been a COIN complaint about exactly the same things, and it ended without a clear consensus. Chris' opening of this complaint is sufficiently disruptive that it may justify a block. Otherwise, there is nothing to discuss here. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I'll discuss this on your talk page to prevent from derailment. The question being asked is simple: Is there or is there not a conflict of interest in editing a page dominated by references to materials co-authored by yourself and your colleague? If yes, EEng has one. If no, please explain it to me. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 22:47, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It depends on the degree to which the editor edits the page so as to promote the possible COI. And in this case, there has been absolutely no issue of concealment of the possible COI. Recently, EEng has been increasingly cooperative about toning down the references to Macmillan, and there has been nothing recent to indicate that the situation is getting worse with respect to COI. The effect of a decision here that there is a COI would be tantamount to topic banning EEng from editing the page, and restricting him to the talk page. I believe that you very recently expressed an opinion on that at ANI. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)


  • ChrisGualtieri, I have asked you repeatedly [6] [7] not to spell out my IRL identity explicitly in posts, yet here you've done it again. (I've redacted it above.) I imply my identity on my user page in such a way that those who want to know can easily figure it out -- specifically in the context of Gage [8] -- but my employer and clients will not tolerate my name popping up in web searches, particularly in conjunction with reckless accusations such as yours. This is serious business, and way over the line. You're much better at urging probity than practicing it. Don't ever do that again.
  • I am an engineer and computer scientish with no career or financial interest of any kind in any of this -- Gage is strictly a hobby for me, and I just want the article as complete and up-to-date as possible. As for Macmillan, I've never met him and have spoken to him on the phone maybe four times, the last time many years ago; I doubt we've even exchanged emails in the past six months. That you think I've put up with all your crap for a year just to inflate Macmillan's Wikipedia citation count underscores your ignorance of research, relationships among researchers, and scientific publishing. You've been told all of this several times -- can you get a clue at long last?
  • Two of your recent conversations with other editors are worth linking here for the record: [9][10]. One very useful comment is an evaluation of sources by editor DGG, a research librarian:
I conclude from this that Macmillan's book is the most important secondary modern principal source, unless there are reliable review sources to be found that consider it inadequate.
What, then, do the reviews say? Well...:
This -- not the fealty you fantisize I owe Macmillan -- is the reason the article has more cites to Macmillan than to pop books, children's book, authors giving unsourced paragraph-length fables of Gage, and other sources you've championed. EEng (talk) 04:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I've requested oversight to redact it from the record. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate your taking that trouble, though actually it's not necessary. My IRL identity is not a secret -- I just don't want it popping up in web searches . Editing it out from the live version of this page, as I've already done, takes care of that, and it really doesn't matter if it's in the revision history. So if any doubt is expressed about oversight or revdel, don't worry about it. EEng (talk) 06:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Guess I got a second message to send - close this COIN. I'm done dealing with EEng on the Phineas Gage page entirely. No page is worth this. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 06:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You know what I dearly wish, Chris? I wish that six months from now all of this is forgotten, and we're great pals. I really mean than, and it's really possible -- sometimes former "adversaries" (maybe not the right word) become the best of friends, because the intense shared experience begets mutual understanding. But that can't happen so long as you spend more time talking about my motives than about the sources and their relative reliability. EEng (talk) 13:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Rob Hegel[edit]

The article Rob Hegel (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views) was created and is almost exclusively edited by Robhegel (talk · contribs). Robhegel has only edited this article; nothing on talk pages nor other articles. This strongly suggests an autobiography which is strongly discouraged by Wikipedia policy. The article contains much poorly referenced material including puffery and peacock terms. The few attempts to discuss the issues seem to be ignored. Tags have been repeatedly removed, though in some cases with good cause. I have done minor copy/editing but much more needs to be done. Jim1138 (talk) 07:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Kevin Mitnick[edit]

Suspect that is in fact the subject of the eponymous article. Single-purpose account is engaging in namecalling, 3RR violations, blanking vandalism, and threats on the user pages of other editors, and has adopted a very personal approach to the article's edits. Friendly attempts to gently guide the individual's efforts through talk page feedback has been met with threats and aggression. Boorsours (talk) 11:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

You are also a single-purpose account, no? --SubSeven (talk) 16:09, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Unusual eBay listings[edit]

User:Officialmichaelgreen edited the article Unusual eBay listings to include their own self-promotional entry beginning with this edit added the story of Michael Green attempting to sell a GIF for $5800 (...) and ending with small grammar error touched up.

The edits were then removed by with the edit summary "Let's just pretend this whole thing never happened....".--DrWho42 (talk) 22:35, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

  • COI aside, I've blocked the account per WP:ISU. The editor is welcome to request a rename or create another one if they so wish. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 23:24, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
All that aside, the whole premise of that article seems dubious to me...--ukexpat (talk) 16:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

The Hype Magazine[edit]

Chastized is here to promote, mainly around The Hype Magazine.
"His photography work is celebrated globally" [12]. " a plethora of testimonials" [13]. Admins can see the promotional material added to Rahim Hirji

Claims to "have not connection to Jerry Doby" [14] but activity shows otherwise.
Primary edits have been around The Hype Magazine

Editor In Chief is Jerry Doby.


File uploaded by Chastized. "Evidence: The license statement can be found online at:". User Jerry Doby.


Uploaded by Chastized. From Flickr [17] which shows a request from Jerry Doby, "Can you make this photo available for use on Wikipedia?"


Claims to be the copyright holder of a proclamation given to Just Jay of The Hype Magazine.


File uploaded by Chastized. "This file is directly from the magazine's archive and placed on it's Wikipedia page with permission from the publisher." The publisher being The Hype Magazine. duffbeerforme (talk) 10:47, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

U.S. Army Communications Information Systems Activity, Pacific[edit]

Replace this with a brief explanation of the situation. (talk) 00:49, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

A newly created page, which lists the organizations current commander as "USA Lt. Col. Lan T. Dalat, Director."

The user that has created the page, and every edit, is Landalat. This appears to be a COI as the head of the organization is the one that created the page and all information contained within.