Talk:Mercy Corps

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Critics observe that any negative feedback is continously erased by Mercy Corps. This is already the fith time censors at Mercy Corpse have been active and erased comments posted here to address the balance. Even constructive comments posted by literate Tsunami survivors complaining about many of M/C's unwise investments and totally incompetend local staff is not allowed to stand. The information seems nothing but a self-advert issued by this controversial NGO. The press has been informed and some are now monitoring future developments on this page. Many survivors in Eastern Sri Lanka feel that any positive achievements by M/C are already eclipsed by lack of local consultation and continous disregard to any democratic value.

AbHa = The original Arugam Bay Hotel Association fully endorses comments above. Mercy Corps has been the main diving force resulting in a split of the entire Community. Incompetence, financial blackmail and selective support for favourite minority groups are some examples of Mercy Corps local activities and complaints thereof.

This is complete unsubstantiated opinion, which is inappropriate to include in an encyclopedia article. The talk section is the perfect place to discuss this until you can provide enough substantiation to include it in the article itself. JTM 21:43, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

My name is Mr. Rifai. I used to have a house next to the formerly famous "Stardust Hotel" at Arugam Bay. I lost my baby son as well as more than 20 close members of my family. I have been shown "Mercy Corps" advertisment on Wikipedia. It cannot be regarded as a balanced view at all. And from own experience I totally disagree with many of the self- statements. Myself, as well as a few hundred of the truly affected flood victims would like to correct the balance and we broadly agree with Abha's statements. Being poor, uneducated people we are at loss how we can overcome the financial muscle and blackmail the US Agency is excersing on us, the silent majority of Sri Lanka's most affected area in Eastern Sri Lanka. Please help us to have a voice!

OK; please indicate which of the previous versions of the page contained the censored material, so we can look at them and judge for ourselves. 16:32, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Hello - my name is Roger Burks, and I'm a writer for Mercy Corps. The negative comments about Mercy Corps' work in Sri Lanka were taken down after feedback from our country staff in Sri Lanka. Apparently, there is a very small group of businessmen in Arugam Bay, where Mercy Corps is engaged in tsunami recovery activities, who are not happy with some of Mercy Corps' program activities. While this issue certainly merits discussion, the comments made by this group on the Mercy Corps Wikipedia article were very general and unsubstantiated. That's why I took them down and asked that such discussion be moved into the "Talk" section, where it belongs. Roger 21:43, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

For an organization to assign a paid staff member to camp out on a Wikipage to ensure that any contributions that do not adhere to the CEO’s dictates are quickly expunged is rather telling. This smacks of one of those religious cults (Scientology) that assign legions of brainwashed foot soldiers to police the internet and make sure the company line is being followed and that no incriminating evidence is ever shown to the public. I have to assume that Mercy Corps knows there is incriminating dirt out there and if brought to the forefront it would damage the organization – otherwise why the dramatic move of a net police officer on the payroll? I don’t fault Mercy Corps. No matter what incriminating evidence may or may not be out there, the organization needs to make sure a most angelic face is shown to the public (just like all the other NGOs competing for the same contributions from the same audience). No, the problem here is Wikipedia. How can the fans of Wikipedia take it seriously and stand by their claim that this is an “encyclopedia” when the subject of an entry is permitted to dictate what does or does not appear on this page? This is ludicrous. This is amateurish. This is propaganda. 02:41, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello there. I do work for Mercy Corps as a writer and editor, but wasn't assigned to take care of the Mercy Corps Wiki. I originally started working on the Mercy Corps Wiki because it was a stub. I expanded it with information from within the organization - which I believe can be objective if simple facts are adhered to - and endeavored to avoid promotional language. As has been mentioned, the objections from AbHa belonged in the "Talk" section were unsubstantiated - the opinion of a handful of people - and didn't belong in an encyclopedic article. I am not the "Internet police" - just someone who wants to represnt things factually. Thanks. Roger 16:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Inappropriate Tone[edit]

As of Dec 25 06, the introductory section especially does not have an approriate, NPOV encyclopedia tone; it reads like a pamphlet soliciting donations. At the very least, it should be enclosed in "Mercy Corps claims." I flagged it with {{advert}} to draw attention to the problem. 16:36, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I have made changes to remove point of view and then removed the advert flag. Thank you for alerting me to the issue. Roger 21:42, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Public relations article, so the citations better be darn good[edit]

This article was mainly developed by User:RogerBurks, who apparently spent about 1 1/2 years keeping this article kind to Mercy Corps, adding other Mercy Corps-related praise into Wikipedia, [1] [2], and neglecting to add independent references. He's apparently not editing under that name anymore. This evening, a new editor dashed through 15 Wiki articles adding external links to " - Global Envision - a web initiative of Mercy Corps." is listed on this article as a Mercy Corps initiative.

I've tagged this article for references, which in the circumstances is pretty light treatment. Wikipedia is not to be used by ANY organization or person for self-promotion. Please get citations in place as soon as possible. Thanks! --Busy Stubber 02:28, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any citations yet, so I'm adding a COI warning for unwary readers. --Busy Stubber 23:54, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I just added references. This is an objective treatment of Mercy Corps' history and work, free of public relations language. Just facts.Roger 00:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

The Charity Navigator website requires registration to obtain detailed information on an organization.[3] Apparently you've provided your registration code in citing this website. Please do not provide personal or organizational website access codes in Wikipedia. Thank you! --Busy Stubber (talk) 00:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

So, if someone works for an organization, can't they edit that organization's page without someone tagging it "COI"[edit]

Hello, I have been maintaining this page for Mercy Corps, as I am a writer and editor here. I have worked hard to keep it from sounding like an advertisement or public relations vehicle - and have now added references. The article in its current form simply lists facts about the organization - history and current work, mostly. It doesn't read as a solicitation, just as an explanation of the agency's good work around the world.

I realize that there's a fine line to walk - but I believe we've done it. This is not spam. It's not spam when we add to other topic articles, when appropriate.

It seems like folks have been overzealous in editing and tagging this page. If someone thinks it still reads like an ad, please let us know the specific sections that sound like an ad.

Thank you. Roger 00:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Roger, I commend you on your hard work on this article. It is valuable to have an insider editing this article. But I feel I must also remind you that all Wikipedia articles are collaborative. No single person maintains an article. You are but one of many people who choose to edit and shape this article. It is a bit unsettling that you use language like "we've" walked that fine line and "I have been maintaining this page." That shouldn't be your role here. Here you are a Wikipedian first! :) Your role here should be fairness and balance for Wikipedia's sake, not for Mercy Corps' sake. There's a difference, somehow. Kingturtle 04:10, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

So, how can we all work to get the COI tag removed?[edit]

I see that there's been some recent work on the page to make it more neutral - thanks to all doing that. Now, I'm wondering what can be done to get the COI tag removed. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance for help. Roger 06:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we might be getting close to taking that tag off, because many editors have been helping a lot in the past few days. But I'm not sure you understand the problem here. You used Wikipedia for your own purposes for over a year. Now a lot of good people are spending a lot of time trying to repair the damage you caused in this article and in other Wikipedia articles. If I were you, I'd show my good faith intentions by removing or re-phrasing my previous edits to Wikipedia. It's no good sending messages to editors who are trying right now to correct for the damages you have inflicted over such a long time to this article,[4] [5] so please stop doing that. Please accept that you made mistakes in your edits and move on peacefully, okay? Nobody here opposes the activities of Mercy Corps, as far as I know, but this is an encyclopedia, with editorial policies and guidelines about content. Please try to understand that. --Busy Stubber (talk) 01:38, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I think using the words "inflict" and "damages" is more than a little over the top. That implies the work done by me - and others at Mercy Corps - was malicious in nature, which is not the case at all. I am trying to be helpful as the article is being revised; please extend me the same courtesy by not accusing me of "damaging" anything. Thank you - and thanks to those who are working to make this article more acceptable to Wikipedia standards. Roger (talk) 20:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The effect of such edits, in diminishing the impartiality and reliability of Wikipedia, damages our reputation for neutrality and reliable sourcing of information, which we take very seriously. That is why Stubber uses such language. --Orange Mike 20:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi there, all. It seems like, at this point, the content has been pretty much consolidated, cleaned up and vetted by many. Does it seem like we're getting to the point where we can consider removing the COI tag now? Thanks for your consideration. Roger (talk) 23:48, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Please stop diminishing the impartiality and reliability of Wikipedia by contributing in order to promote your own interests. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a forum for advertising or self-promotion, or a vanity press.--Hu12 (talk) 00:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that has already been stated. Please answer his question. What still needs to be done to bring this article into compliance? --Mperry (talk) 00:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I haven't submitted anything to this article since November, instead watching other kind Wikipedians shape this article into more of an encyclopedic piece - which I appreciate. Since there have been many, many changes since that time, it seems like we should be getting close to having the COI tag removed. Please let me know what needs to be done. Thanks, all, for your help. Roger (talk) 05:10, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

There is no hard and fast rule; I suspect that after a few months the tag will be removed by consensus. Obviously, the worst thing you could do, Roger, would be to remove it yourself, or do any editing to it more grave than fixing a typo. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:27, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
A Mercy Corps IP ( became active yesterday adding links to an associated spam article (admins, see deleted contribs, The Film Connection), coincidently around the same time this request appeared. See WikiProject Spam report--Hu12 (talk) 16:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

As I said, I haven't made any kind of edits whatsoever to any Wikipedia article since early November. There are more than 3,000 Mercy Corps employees around the world, including at least 100 who use the IP address you refer to. If you'll notice, no edits were made to the actual Mercy Corps article. I am relying on help from other Wikipedians to get the COI tag removed. As a Mercy Corps employee, I'd appreciate any advice on how we can move forward - without accusations - to get this issue resolved once and for all. Thanks in advance for your help. (talk) 18:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

  • November, or did you mean December? From[6]

17:46, 4 December 2007 (diff) (deletion log) (Restore) . . The Film Connection (Fixed link)

17:45, 4 December 2007 (diff) (deletion log) (Restore) . . The Film Connection (Added Film Connection's web site)

Hmmm. added the Mercy Corps site "http://" then fixed the double "http://'--Hu12 (talk) 19:00, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

As I mentioned, there are more than 3,000 Mercy Corps employees, including at least 100 who use the IP address in question. The Film Connection is an initiative of Mercy Corps, but a separate entity. So, no, I meant November. In fact, the last edit I made on the article was on November 13. By the way, thanks to Kingturtle for removing the COI. Much appreciated. I look forward to working with other Wikipedians to make sure this article is updated and reflects community standards. Thanks again. Roger (talk) 19:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the tag. The article looks clean enough. For example, none of the citations are Mercy Corps. The article is just facts, with limited POV. I would advise though that Mercy Corp employees and volunteers try to leave this article alone. Kingturtle (talk) 19:08, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

In furtherance of that goal, I'd advise a strongly-worded order to the employees using that IP address, telling them to stop fooling around with Corps-related articles altogether, in order to avoid such problems as these. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:18, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Roger, certainly work with others to help maintain this article, but please consider editing this article sparingly - otherwise I foresee another Conflict of Interest situation arising here. I encourage you to widen the breadth of your edits to other articles, and involving edits in other articles that don't involve Mercy Corps. I am sure you have a great deal of knowledge about third world nations and poverty, etc. Maybe use some of that knowledge to help other wikipedia articles, but lessen your edits that promote Mercy Corps. Kingturtle (talk) 19:25, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Kingturtle, for your encouragement and reason. I anticipate that any changes I'd make to this article would be purely statistical in nature - if numbers change - or else reflective of larger organizational shifts. If that's the case, I will describe the action in the edit summary. Thanks again, all. Roger (talk) 19:37, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Roger, it would be very helpful to everyone if you and others at Mercy Corps would avoid editing this article. Your organization has a good reputation. It doesn't reflect well on your organization if you or other Mercy Corps staff attempt to use Wikipedia to maintain or improve this article about Mercy Corps. It suggests that you're trying to stifle information that might be of interest to encyclopedia readers, such as links to politicians and grants that suggest favoritism or pork. Let's not get into that, okay? It just gets ridiculously nasty. Wikipedia isn't a battleground.
Much information in this article lacks citations. If you can suggest good citations for the information in this article on this talk page, your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
To begin with, can you give the source (citation) for "Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided more than US$1.3 billion in assistance to people in 100 nations. Supported by headquarters offices in North America, Europe and Asia, the organization employs more than 3,400 staff world-wide and reaches more than 14.4 million people in more than 35 countries." that appears in the lead?
Your help is greatly appreciatd. --Busy Stubber (talk) 03:24, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


I removed the list of countries where you work; just as a list, it is not in my opinion encyclopedic information, and serves merely to produced links to as many pages as possible. The organisation works in about two dozen countries, distributed over the usual regions of the world. Some of the places where there is notable work has been mentioned in the article, and that is appropriate. Just having a list is one of the thinks that makes it look like an ad or public relations piece. I see now that something of the sort was already said in the introduction, so I will remove the heading and the remaining sentence as well. Inappropriate over-weight on details, and non-encyclopedic tone. DGG (talk) 21:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Please edit article[edit]

I noticed that "Dan O'Neill" links to the cartoonist Dan O'Neill rather than the humanitarian (whose entry no longer exists). Could someone please remove that link? Thank you. (talk) 17:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the "Dan O'Neill" links since there appears to be no O'Neill Wikipedia articel. I also removed other links for the same reason. Geohumphrey (talk) 05:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Press Release[edit]

- I added the advert tag -

Okay, I'm sorry. I'm a contributor to mercy corps, and I appreciate their mission and message, but this page as it exists is essentially a press release. At the very very least, the introductory paragraphs need to be far far more neutral. I cannot believe that they were not written by a staff member.


It's a point of minor interest, but Dan O'Neill is Pat Boone's Son-In-Law. Check the Wikipedia Cherry Boone entry. Should be included, perhaps? Macousticboy (talk) 22:17, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Still overly promotional, May 2015[edit]

I was inspired to contribute to Wikipedia by the prospect of advancing freedom of thought through making factual and relevant information accessible to as many people as possible. I don't think that it serves to advance the Wikimedia vision of "every single human being [being able to] freely share in the sum of all knowledge" to have articles written like promotional fluff in a self-serving manner. The lead section of this article (at the least) is very promotional and not encyclopedic in tone or content (WP:NOTPROMOTION). For one thing, it employs vague jargon ("transitional environments", "market-led"), describing the organization's activities in subjective terms favorable to itself ("move as quickly as possible", "enabling people to rebuild their economy", "focuses on connecting to both government and business for the changes they would like to see"). And it gives undue weight to what the president of the organization herself has to say, violating all in violation of the neutral-point-of-view guideline (WP:NPOV). Add to this that the various self-reported figures quoted at the conclusion of the lead section are misplaced unnecessary unless the intent is to boost the organization's philanthropic image. Such details have their place (properly attributed regarding their source), but the lead section is meant as a general introduction and summary of the broad points of an article (MOS:LEAD). —Coconutporkpie (talk) 11:51, 6 May 2015 (UTC)