Talk:Caryn Marooney

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December 2017[edit]

I am an experienced Wikipedia editor but have a conflict of interest on this article because I am a paid consultant to the Outcast Agency, a communications firm employed by Facebook. BC1278 (talk) 21:35, 7 December 2017 (UTC)BC1278

good job... checking < Pages that link to "Caryn Marooney" > there is a bunch of unrelevant guy who works for Facebook.. good karma marketing :P (talk) 22:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Request Edit -- Remove Contentious Material re: BLP[edit]


I had a disclosed WP: COI for this article, but I am not being paid for this.


"In March 2019, HuffPost reported that Facebook hired Ed Sussman, a "paid Wikpedia editor," to allegedly "create" the Wikipedia page for Marooney. HuffPost alleged that this effort took Sussman "over a year", and that he had gotten around Wikipedia's rules regarding paid editing by replying to "nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case," which HuffPost claims discourages Wikipedia editors from "dealing with Sussman’s arguments," allowing him to usually "get his way."[1]"


1. WP: Coatrack Discussion of Wikipedia policy in the media is not relevant to the bio of the subject of this article. Most of this paragraph is about Sussman (me), not Malrooney. The editor could try Wikipedia and see how it flies.

2. Administrative Noticeboard has already reviewed this HuffPo article in-depth and found it to be an unreliable source: [1] "The article itself seems to quietly concede that he doesn't actually violate any policies. In fact, it comes across as extremely misleading and obviously written by someone who doesn't understand Wikipedia at all. He "spent over a year lobbying" for the creation of Caryn Marooney? Come on, he created it as a draft and got it approved through the AfC process, not because he's some relentless lobbyist... This article seems to be little more than an unfortunate piece of trumped-up clickbaity garbage, and I actually feel bad for the paid editor here. I hope both the editor and the Foundation will push back in some way." This is from the admin User: Swarm, and was concurred with by Barkeep49. No one disputes in this string disputes these the AN investigative findings.

3. Factually inaccurate summary. None of the following section (poorly summarizing HuffPo) refers to the Maroonet article: "...and that he had gotten around Wikipedia's rules regarding paid editing by replying to "nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case," which HuffPost claims discourages Wikipedia editors from "dealing with Sussman’s arguments," allowing him to usually "get his way."

Aside from the inaccurate attribution of this accusation to this article, it is self-evident, by this Talk page, that there is no "pushback" or "wall of text" leading to its approval. The exact dif showing the approval shows barely any discussion.

4. Contentious material alleging violation of the law. As Wikipedia warns in WP: COI, covert editing potentially violates FTC law, and is certainly a serious violation of Wikipedia policy. WP: COI. Sussman disputes any wrongdoing in the article: "Everything he does is aboveboard." As per BLP policy, weakly sourced contentious material should be removed immediately.

5. Article is also inaccurate in alleging a declared paid editor using AfC can "create" an article in mainspace. Only a reviewing volunteer editor can move a proposed draft to mainspace, as is evident by the above dif above.

6. Undermines WP: COI and WP: Paid Editing. Official policy of Wikipedia is to encourage editors with a COI to disclose and to post to Talk or AfC. Inserting discussion of WP: COI and WP: PAID into a BLP is a great way to undermine anyone ever wanting to abide by these policies. Again, this is a matter for WP: AN, if the editor of this section wishes to report me for more invesigation, and/or for the Wikipedia article. BC1278 (talk) 22:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC


  1. ^ Feinberg, Ashley (March 14, 2019). "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
I have removed the paragraph on essentially coatrack terms. But let's be clear: Swarm and I, or really any combination of users at WP:AN do not get to decide that the HuffPo piece is unreliable and can't be used. Further, throwing six things out there to see if any of them stick is not in keeping with community norms. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:04, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@BC1278: Per this and this, may I kindly ask you to be more concise? I agree English is a beautiful language, but requiring other editors to read walls of text from you on every single issue is tad daunting, sorry. — kashmīrī TALK 12:12, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment The author of the article Ashley Feinberg seems to have a solid reputation as a journalist. Had this not concerned Wikipedia itself and one of the paid editors that are here I am not sure that we would be so touchy about including a brief mention of it. The story was picked up by a Spin (magazine) journalist here and specifically mentions the subject of this article. Spin seems to be a serious publication but maybe someone has a better take on them than me. --Dom from Paris (talk) 18:00, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment The entire above section demonstrates EXACTLY what the article was critiquing, such as cherry picking comments from one or two people & falsely representing them as a consensus or decision, gish galloping issues, beating up COATRACK (seriously, that's his favorite thing), etc. JamesG5 (talk) 19:01, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The quote from me is from an AN thread where we are investigating whether the allegations in the article are true. And, to be clear, if those allegations were true, they would be extremely severe policy violations. My statement that was shared here is not some "cherry-picked", favorable response masquerading as a consensus. Eight admins have replied to the thread. All eight appear to be on the same page that the article is exaggerated sensationalism, and that the editor has not actually has done anything wrong. It has been suggested that the user should probably be more concise, but we haven't seen anything to support the notion that they're relentlessly argumentative or engage in "bludgeoning" behavior. This is an unprecedented scenario in which a supposedly-reliable source is making claims about Wikipedia that we can actually weigh and judge from an administrative perspective, not just from a content perspective. And, when the content perspective holds that an RS is an RS, yet the administrative perspective is that we've investigated the claims and determined that the RS is wrong, it creates an incredibly uncomfortable scenario. There's no guidebook on how to deal with this, and Barkeep is correct that an admin can't simply unilaterally assess an RS to be unreliable, but that isn't to say that editors on the content side cannot use common sense to form a consensus not to include BLP-related content from source based on dubious objectivity. This is a site where consensus rules, and common sense applies. Such a decision would require further discussion, perhaps at RSN or BLPN, but it is no more productive to mindlessly say "HuffPost is RS" without examining the source using common sense. Also, we should keep in mind that, in this context, BC is addressing this as a BLP subject, and not a paid editor, and they should have their concerns heard fairly and taken seriously, and should be able to state their case without grief about having to be "concise". There is nothing wrong or excessive with their above statement. ~Swarm~ {talk} 21:10, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Hi ~Swarm~ -- Noam_Cohen here. What an interesting question for the Wikipedia community, which you set up very well. I'm thinking of writing about the situation, and I wanted to ask a question: does paid editing -- even when it is completely transparent and adheres to the editing rules -- undercut the idea of "assume good faith"? Or is it better to judge by actions, not intentions? Curious to hear yours (and others) thoughts. (User:Chomsky1) chomsky1 14:52, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

@Chomsky1: I'd certainly argue the idea of assuming good faith goes right out the window when someone's paid to edit, whether it be declared or not. They're not here in the service of the ideals of Wikipedia, they're here to advocate for their clients, which puts them directly at odds with what this place is supposed to stand for. JamesG5 (talk) 15:33, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Chomsky1: I think the two are rather loosely related. AGF is a behavioural guideline that mandates kindness towards editors who make a mistake (e.g., violate a policy they might not have known about). It is to be applied as much towards COI editors as towards any other editor. There is a difference, however, between making a mistake and tendentious editing frequently seen in COI editors. Biased, tendentious editing does not fall under AGF, especially if the editor has been warned. Having announced a COI on their profile to give an air of "transparency" makes no difference then. Cheers, — kashmīrī TALK 17:17, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Reading through the discussion, I see consensus in favor of merging this article into Facebook. The extent of the content that is merged, and how the merge itself is carried out, should be conducted as normal editing (WP:BRD, WP:Consensus, etc) - this discussion is solely about whether or not there should be a merge. If you have any questions about this close, feel free to ask me. Closed per request at WP:ANRFC. Thanks, --DannyS712 (talk) 07:33, 29 April 2019 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
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.

I propose to merge Caryn Marooney into Facebook. I think that the content in the Caryn Marooney article can easily be explained in the context of Facebook, and the Facebook article is of a reasonable size that the merging of Caryn Marooney will not cause any problems as far as article size is concerned. Additionally Caryn Marooney has not notability and having pages for figures of little public knowledge or importance is unreasonable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Marooney's prominence in tech was recently further demonstrated by the prominent media headlines generated when she said she was leaving Facebook. Marooney said in Feb. 2019 she will be leaving Facebook, after eight years to work in 'tech and product'. There were several major articles about her when she said she would be leaving (Wired, Fortune, AdWeek, Re/Code)[1][2][3][4] further establishing her notability. These article also have new biographical information about Marooney. Wired's headline last month said she has had "the toughest job in tech."[5] No one has done an update yet. I'll add the sources. I can't touch the article because of my COI. Marooney had a major career before Facebook,founding the most prominent communications firm in Silicon Valley, and while at Facebook has been one of the most senior women in tech. There is more than adequate RS for GNG. Wikipedia has a bad problem with women being under severely underrepresented in BLP. The "Women in Red" Project, WP:WPWIR, which works hard to get articles like this into WP, should be notified for comment if anyone formalizes this proposal. Only 17.6% of WP bios are about women (March 2019-WP:WPWIR) Anyone influenced by the HuffPo article allegation should know that it is false: My first submission for this article has 11 sources. When I resubmitted an expanded version 14 months later, it had 23 sources, establishing notability. Resubmitting an improved draft is normal practice, not "lobbying for a year." See:[2] User: Ipigott, a Master Editor III, did the review and approved the draft. COI Disclosure above. Not being paid for this now.BC1278 (talk) 21:04, 18 March 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cohen, David (6 February 2019). "Vp of Communications Caryn Marooney Is Leaving Facebook After 8 Years". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (2019-02-06). "Facebook's Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  3. ^ Stampler, Laura (2019-06-02). "Facebook Loses Top PR Exec After Long Year of Public Relations Crises". Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  4. ^ Swisher, Kara (2019-02-06). "Facebook's top PR exec is leaving". Recode. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  5. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (2019-02-06). "Facebook's Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
Frankly - if you can't touch the article because of your COI, you should not touch this debate here either. We have to disregard whatever you say, because we understand that your arguments may be as likely be driven by your fat paycheck as they are by rational insight. So, just kindly go away and sit this one out. Wefa (talk) 00:55, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Leaning support. I am not convinced the subject is notable independently from Facebook, so WP:NOTINHERITED might be the decisive factor here. Unless someone is able to show that she is WP:NOTABLE outside of Facebook, Inc. (no, leaving a job in a notable company does not make a person inherently notable!). Do we have a crystal ball? — kashmīrī TALK 21:19, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. None of the sources for this article support the notability of Caryn Marooney, they establish the notability of Facebook. The only reason this page exists is because money and privilege afford her the services of professional Wikipedia editors and journalists. This article is a farce. 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC (talk) 01:53, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm not too happy about a simple merge into Facebook. Marooney was already prominent in OutCast Communications and has other business responsibilities. There are not many women in technology who have reached such significant management positions. I would prefer to see the article maintained in its own right, possibly with additional improvements.--Ipigott (talk) 08:17, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Respectfully, "being a woman manager in technology" is not a notability criterion, nor is having "business responsibilities." OutCast Communications is certainly notable. 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC (talk) 12:36, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Nonsense on stilts This person meets GNG - see refs for the article, and, for instance, PR Week Power List ratings. There's no good reason to even begin considering a merge, and none has been suggested by the OP. --Tagishsimon (talk) 08:32, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
GNG requires "significant coverage." Being mentioned in lists or articles about her employer's HR decisions is not that. 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC (talk) 12:36, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is not a proper merger discussion, which would center around what parts of the content of one article can be copied into another article. It's an AfD discussion, but without the proper process or notifications, or close examination of Wikipedia:Notability_(people) criteria. Please note that 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC is a SPA account established two days ago just for this article.BC1278 (talk) 14:40, 19 March 2019 (UTC)BC1278
    BC1278 A merge can but does not have to go AfD. See WP:MERGE for more information. You're right that the proper tags have not been placed. As to IP addresses the one you reference could have been around here under a different IP before; not everyone has as stable of an address as the IP who initiated this discussion. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:57, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Sure, I know a merge doesn't have to go through AfD. But it does have to propose copying one section of an article into another. WP: Merge The more proper forum for a notability discussion, which is what's happening so far, is AfD, in my opinion.BC1278 (talk) 17:04, 19 March 2019 (UTC)BC1278
so.... - is anyone doing the legwork to get this to conform to WP:MERGE? As I see open points here yet, let me add two:
  • I added the template to the Facebook Article.
  • I also suggest how to merge: we condense the "Career" section into a 3 or 4-sentence paragraph and put it into a newly created chapter 2.7 "Other key personnel" in the Facebook article. Wefa (talk) 18:14, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is, as has already been pointed out, coverage of her going back to her time at Outcast. This is someone who is notable for their own actions not just for Facebook. Whatever she does next will likely also recieve coverage. Facebook is a big deal and helped cement her notability but is not the sole reason she is notable and so merging her into Facebook is not what best serves our readers. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 17:13, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Actually, none of the sources for this article support the contention that Caryn Marooney is notable aside from her employment by Zendesk, OutCast and Facebook. Articles with titles like "Facebook Loses Top PR Exec After Long Year of Public Relations Crises" or "Facebook's top PR exec is leaving" establish the notability of Facebook, not Caryn Marooney. 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC (talk) 23:53, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Simply working for a big company doesn't make you important unless you DO something really notable there. No evidence she has. She'd need a lot more coverage independent of FB or involving something notable there to warrant her own article. JamesG5 (talk) 01:07, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per above. Also, a relatively low-level of corporate hierarchy. Brandmeistertalk 17:50, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: not independently notable of Facebook. --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:59, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Kashmiri's WP:NOTINHERITED argument. The subject appears to be a run-of-the-mill low-level corporate executive. Her pre-Facebook coverage doesn't meet WP:GNG/WP:BIO. Her Facebook-related coverage includes a venture capital firm's writeup on a non-notable piece of corporate jargon she coined, a Vogue listicle that quotes her, and rankings on PRWeek's Power List that highlight her for her position at Facebook. That doesn't meet WP:BIO, either. In response to BC1278's diversity argument, I note that a 2018 RfC showed strong opposition against adding diversity to the notability criteria. — Newslinger talk 09:37, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I don*t see the notability either. What has she done independently of Facebook? Wefa (talk) 00:49, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: It seems clear that there is a consensus here to merge. I have listed it at Proposed Merges to gain a neutral editor to close. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:23, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
    The proposed merger request is stalled, as this discussion requires closure. I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Talk:Caryn Marooney#Merger proposal. — Newslinger talk 02:49, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Amazing that we won't have entries on Next Fifteen ([3]) or Tim Dyson or Richard Eyre either once this is deleted... one does wonder how many Next Fifteen (etal.) wiki-workers might be wearing 🎩 more colo(u)rful 🎩 hats for more exposed missions. In any case, is usually pretty silent about PR firms and their roles in the mission movement. Why isn't this going through AfD, incidentally? (I don't understand all the procedures). By the way, I just read a 20 March press release that says she's headed to the BoD of Elasticsearch. SashiRolls t · c 22:14, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
    SashiRolls This won't be deleted merely redirected. Because it's a merge discussion it doesn't have to go to AfD. And the level of participation in this discussion would put in the top 5 or 10 percent of discussions at AfD so it's certainly getting a full airing.
    As for the Elasticsearch, being on the Board of Directors is not generally thought to convey notability. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:21, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
    if you don't understand the procedures, go read up on them. It's not that hard. WP: merge has been linked several times in this debate, and WP:AfD is equally easy to find, Wefa (talk) 15:56, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: @Barkeep49: and others. I would suggest you let this go for another 30 days (or at least 14) and that several more projects be notified. I think the circumstance are unusual here in that a widely-read national publication singled out this article in a story that falsely alleged systematic Wikipedia "whitewashing." It's like a super-charged example of Inappropriate Notification in WP: Canvas. Some independent editors feel very strongly that this article should not be merged, so it's not as though there's no disagreement about what to do here. The only way to address this is to bring in a larger than usual number of experienced Wikipedia editors, unaffected by reading the false allegations in the HuffPo article, to weigh in here. Perhaps also a request at a more general discussion board? If you take my suggestion, someone other than me should decide how to do this on this article. I would not be suggesting this except for the discussion at AN largely discrediting the HuffPo article, so its conscious or subconscious influence here seems inappropriate. [4] I have not been paid, or consulted with anyone, for anything I've done here on Talk since the HuffPo article, although the previous COI I disclosed is, of course, accurate. BC1278 (talk) 18:20, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
BC1278, obviously no one has chosen to close this yet and so people can, as SashiRolls did, express further opinions. However, just because it was talked about at a very public space does not mean users were canvassed here - the majority of comments I see here are strongly rooted in policy. Further just because they came here because of seeing it at AN doesn't dictate what position they would take in this discussion. Indeed I am here because of that discussion and have !voted similarly to you. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:21, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Barkeep: I do see that most people are sincere in their positions. But the situation is unusual because I think the canvasser here is Ashley Feinberg, who self-disclosed on HuffPo. If a Wikipedia editor, under their Wikipedia user name, wrote a column for a Wikipedia blog attacking a specific article (and then, almost immediately, multiple proposals opposing the article appeared on Talk), wouldn't it be a canvas, no matter how sincere the ensuing discussion? Why is this all that different? Feinberg probably even has a user account given how much time she spent on Wikipedia for her article. I don't say this issue presents any argument "pro" or "con" merger. Just pro more discussion. BC1278 (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Media coverage does not count as canvassing, as it's outside the scope of the WP:CANVASSING guideline (especially if you can't identify the reporter's hypothetical Wikipedia account in your allegation). Edits on Wikipedia are public and subject to scrutiny from both editors and non-editors. Articles from news organizations play a key role in Wikipedia content, in areas including sourcing, determination of notability and due weight, and merge discussions. It's unusual for sources to cover a topic's relationship to Wikipedia, but these sources can be used for editorial decisions on Wikipedia when they exist. — Newslinger talk 02:37, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: It's clearly self serving attempts at manipulating the system like the one immediately above this that cause many of us to question you being here, @BC1278:, self proclaimed "white hat" status or not. JamesG5 (talk) 19:03, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I the article puffs up her notability with a lot of low-grade trivial reports about her job moves. All I saw in a search was she's leaving somewhere, she's going to a new job, she got a promotion and so on. I saw one or two interviews and tangential mentions, but they were before Facebook. I saw basically no in-depth coverage of her. Even this Wired article only tells me she is leaving, she worked there and had such and such title. The article section about her motivational essay or whatever it was is also puffed up baloney. Moving this to a couple lines in the Facebook article sounds fine. Or Deletion.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 08:04, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Puffery, promotion and ego booting based on trivial mentions.Slatersteven (talk) 13:32, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Not independently notable; relies far too heavily on trivial mentions. --Aquillion (talk) 01:09, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support or total Delete: There's no 'there' there. References that aren't dead or behind paywalls or register requirements are almost all minor mentions and job change notices. Not notable. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 19:50, 24 April 2019 (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.


I have removed the merge-from and merge-to tags from the articles, and will leave it to the primary editors of this page to execute the merge. --DannyS712 (talk) 07:39, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

I have gone ahead and redirected the article. After doing a reread of the Marooney article (last version for reference) and the Facebook article I did not locate any material which made sense to actually incorporate into the Facebook article. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:39, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Discussion of HuffPost article on paid editing at the reliable sources noticeboard[edit]

There is a discussion of the reliability of Ashley Feinberg's HuffPost article "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages" on the reliable sources noticeboard. If you're interested, please participate at WP:RSN § HuffPost for paid editing at Axios (website), NBC News, Caryn Marooney, and other articles. — Newslinger talk 17:58, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

Article Tag[edit]

User: GenQuest, I believe the tag you placed on the article is inaccurate and I'd ask that you remove it. The COI was disclosed from the onset of this as a draft -- it's at the very top of the Talk page and also as a tag. The "Connected Contributor" tag is used when there is no disclosed COI on the Talk page and COI editing is suspected. The resolution of a "Connected Contributor" tag would be for the suspected COI editor to fess up and disclose or, to deny having a COI and explain why. Furthermore, as you can see, there's an active merge discussion just above here, which is mostly about notability, with pro and con arguments. And there is already a merge tag on the article directing people to the discussion. People should express their opinions in the discussion, instead of with tags on the article. Tags are to alert editors what they can do to improve articles. BC1278 (talk) 19:39, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

I have removed the COI tag - given the way the page was made an independent editor was responsible for ensuring that no edit was promotional and so there should be no issues around the COI. I have also moved the clean-up tag because its explanation basically was a duplicate of the notability tag. Arguably the notability tag is not needed given the RM discussion above but I left that for another editor to remove, if they think it appropriate. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:40, 8 April 2019 (UTC)