Talk:Project AWARE

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I am currently attempting to get permission from AWARE to use its logo on the page. Superclear 20:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Projectaware.gif[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Projectaware.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:31, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Added a fair use rationale to the Image page. - Fordan (talk) 13:52, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

The entire article as it now exists is almost certainly a copy and paste copyright violation as follows:

I discovered the above when trying to create references for this article. I have completed the referencing to help save the article, but unless the text is donated under CC-by-SA licence, or completely re-written in the author's own words, I fear it will be deleted as a copyvio. --RexxS (talk) 18:02, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

For the moment, I've reverted the article to the version as of 17 May 2007 as the next edit introduced copyright violations. This is as instructed at WP:COPYVIO#Dealing with copyright violations: "If all of the content of a page appears to be a copyright infringement, check the page history; if an older non-infringing version of the page exists, you should revert the page to that version." --RexxS (talk) 18:15, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Page updated as of 22 October 2009, by a member of the Project AWARE Foundation staff. Previous article was not entirely correct as it was referring to old information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wiskerson (talkcontribs) 23:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the latest update is still a copy & paste of and - all of which is "© Project AWARE Foundation 2008. All Rights Reserved" and therefore not usable in Wikipedia as I explained above. I have reluctantly had to revert the update. --RexxS (talk) 00:37, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Update to entry[edit]

I'm associated with Project AWARE, and would like changes to this entry. As of June, 2011, the organization is focused on two programs = shark conservation and marine debris (there's more information here: Project AWARE empowers divers to take action for ocean protection. Visit for the lates informarion on programs and volunteer opportunities.

Is it OK to remove links to WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing?[edit]

Hi, is it OK to remove the template at the head of this article re WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing? I looked at the WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing homepage and found nothing about the areas of conservation that Project AWARE has historically and is currently involved with. Any thoughts? Cowdy001 (talk) 20:18, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Can I have a bit more time to work on this? I just managed to get enough there to feel comfortable removing the "proposed deletion" tag yesterday. Project AWARE does fund projects that impact that area (example) so I really don't see a problem with their interest. More eyes on something never hurts in my mind. Thanks! --Gene Hobbs (talk) 20:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Gene Hobbs, my question was directed to everyone, not just to you (BTW, thanks for saving the article from deletion). Firstly, my personal experience with Project AWARE was being part of a recreational diving community environmental monitoring project which was successful in 2002 or 2003 in obtaining Project AWARE funding. I am not aware (no pun intended) of Project AWARE funding projects concerned with fishing activity. Secondly, I do see a problem with 'their interest' because editors associated with WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing will be obliged to rate an article which may be outside of their sphere of interest. I looked at articles on WP about organisations with similar interests and areas of activity to find that most were linked to WikiProject Environment. I did not notice any affiliation to WikiProject Fisheries and Fishing apart from Project AWARE.Cowdy001 (talk) 02:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
It was taking longer than I thought it would to pull together info on the projects they funded in fisheries science. If you feel this strongly, take it off. Not sure when I'll have time to get back to it. --Gene Hobbs (talk) 03:21, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
My advice would be to leave the banner. It was added in 2008 by Epipelagic, who is an active editor and a member of several related Wikiprojects (like Ecology). As long as somebody in a Wikiproject is interested in an article (even if only tangentially related), it's reasonable for that WikiProject to add its banner. Remember that rating an article is mainly for the benefit of a WikiProject - to help them prioritise work and measure progress. To put it into context, it wasn't until September 2009 that WikiProject Scuba had a rating system. --RexxS (talk) 17:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Article clean-up, January 2015[edit]

I have made some bold changes to the article in an attempt to make it more NPOV - there was a lot of promotional fluff in there as of August 2014, and then a series of edits today which appeared to take a very dim view of the charity and its work. I've removed most of those attacks as they were poorly sourced with non-specific references to "IRS records," leaving only the section on criticism by the BBB, which is sourced. I also removed a lot of the promotional language that was in the earlier version. The diff for my revisions is here, folks are of course free to revert or change as they fit, however I believe these edits make this article much more encyclopedic and hopefully find a middle ground between the promotional language and attacks that were in there before. Fyddlestix (talk) 04:04, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Oh, Fyddlestix![edit]

Hello, Mr. Fyddlestix...I would like to start a discussion of this entry, how it (and other entities which solicit donations) should be approached, and if it is appropriate to WP at all.

But first, I must say something, and I hope you appreciate why...

You put a note on my page, and it was very polite and said pretty much what you said here, on Jan.26. But while that private note was spot-on and helpful, this PUBLIC note characterizes my newbie mistakes as "attacks." Not once, but twice you use this word. In public. This is, as you must know, a very loaded word, and an "attack" is a behavior that is named as a breach of civility on WP.[1]

Rest assured, I am an old guy with a supreme arrogance that prohibits any damage to my ego, and I am not personally offended by this characterization. However, having read through the guidelines in order to understand my own screw-ups, I cannot help but feel that I should do you and the next newbie a favor by referring you to [2] The word "attack," used as you do without specific or objective antecedents, has a deep connotation that carries a distinctly negative moral judgement. In using this word to publicly denounce my intentions without reason or explanation of specifics, and while simultaneously being the essence of politeness in private, has the feel of what we used to call "two-faced" behavior, and is, at some level, 'an attack calling the kettle an attacker.' It should be avoided and a presumption of good faith should be adopted when dealing with someone new. The next person may not have the amused sense of irony that I have, and may feel belittled or misjudged. And as for you, it is obvious to me that you take this WP thing you are doing very seriously, and desire to be a voice of some authority. I admire that desire, and suggest that in addition to your editing work, you should strive in all your interactions not to simply avoid impoliteness, but to achieve "role model behavior." Otherwise, you undermine your own authority. Editor, edit thyself ;)

I apologize for saying this in public, but this is an issue we all share and all can improve upon, and is likely one of the hardest things to learn for many people coming here to take part in WP. It took my wife 15 years to train me out of biting, and another 9 years to stop the incessant barking;)

Now, about this article...

first, I do not necessarily have a 'dim view' of this charity. But neither am I impressed with it. I realize my phrasing gave the impression of non-NPOV, and this is because the entry, as it existed, was pure fluff and overt advocacy. It was this - the article itself - that I had the 'dim view' of. In fact, I was shocked and appalled, given the amount of active editing I have encountered here in just a few days, that such obvious promotional material apparently sat on WP for quite some time. What makes it so egregious is that this is a charity that solicits donations. In no way and no how should WP ever become a de facto advocate for an entity that solicits charitable donations! That is, to me, far worse than a commercial entity posting advertisement as an article, and I believe WP should either disallow active charities, or have very VERY strict rules about the entries for such organizations. (I'd be happy to help with that development process) Just listing "great cause" or "promotion" as a reason for deletion seems insufficient when advocacy, intended or not, might lead someone into giving money to one or another charity, and not to another. That is why my facts were presented in a 'rebuttal'-type manner, and why they seemed to be contemptuous of the topic rather than critical of the presentation. I would have preferred to just delete anything that was fluff, but that was, at the time, all but a few phrases of the article. Arf.

As it stands, if this article is not going to be deleted, and we are attempting to fix it, we should perhaps discuss some ideas on what should and should not be part of it. You did indeed make it "much more encyclopedic," and I also changed a boatload of connotative and suggestive words and phrasings and made them more objective. But have we even considered what is important, what is necessary? Or did we just piecemeal try to transform a promotional pamphlet into an acceptable bit of non-information? What SHOULD be included, and what should not? And is it even possible to describe a charity in a nutshell without just regurgitating its own statements about its mission?? If we cannot do original research, how can we be objective about the goals and achievement of such goals that a charity states and that donors support? If the charity has not been investigated or audited and written about or widely researched, what objective information is there besides first-party documents showing their projects, and budgets and such?? Can we really, by the guidelines of OR and referencing, put in this article a statement by the charity about its mission, but NOT put in any documents that show the projects being undertaken to achieve the mission, or show accountings which show that no such projects exist? Do we just state that, for example, "PA is helping the environment by raising awareness" without any indication what such a statement means, or how effective it is, or if it is just a slogan?

Again, I would propose, if I had a say, to disallow charities and maybe most contemporary commercial entities, except maybe to state the apparent, commonly understood facts: Name, location, type of entity, general business model, etc. But even this gets into shades of OR gray, unless one simply accepts their own self-description. There are too many large charities and corporations to expect that all of them will have comprehensive and verified 2nd-hand sources to work from. And how, given the current state of PR saturation, how can we even separate PR from legitimate 2nd party sources of info on commercial entities, when it is common practice now for those companies to saturate media with promotional shill campaigns, hired bloggers, journalists on the payroll, corporate-funded research, etc.?? What are we compiling, the image that published words have created for PA, or the reality of PA in the world? Can we possibly describe the reality of marketing-intensive entities without crossing the OR line just a little? And if not, do we cross that line and form new guidelines, or do we opt out and delete the entry??

Please comment on these issues, this requires much input and thought. I would be especially interested to hear the views of PA staff and supporters on this. Or anyone who serves on the staff of any charity or large corporation.Gst.steven (talk) 11:08, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


Hi Gst.steven, let me start by apologizing for using the word "attack," you're quite right that this was a poor choice of word - "criticism" would have been much better, mea culpa!
In response to the rest of your comment, I don't really have a vested interest in this article at all - I found your earlier edits to it via the "recent changes" feed, and noticed that a lot of the content you'd added was unverifiable because the citation did not point to a specific, reliable source. While I was here, I noticed a lot of puffery and promotional language in the article, which I removed. So far I think we're on the same page there as far as the necessity of those edits. I have no problem with much of what you've added to the article - the content that is sourced to the BBB, for example, is fine. My only concern is with your use of this source, and my concern there is related to wikipedia's policy on primary sources, specifically where it says that:

Unless restricted by another policy, reliable primary sources may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them.[4] Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source. Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so. Do not base an entire article on primary sources, and be cautious about basing large passages on them. Do not add unsourced material from your personal experience, because that would make Wikipedia a primary source of that material. Use extra caution when handling primary sources about living people; see WP:BLPPRIMARY, which is policy.

My concern with the source is the lack of context given, and to the possibility that it is given undue weight. It's a single line from a single tax return from a single year - where is the evidence that this drop in grant funding reflects a change in policy rather than an unusual, one-time drop? Why did you choose to cite the 2011 return and not the 2013 one, which is available here and shows grant funding of 27 000 (more than three times the funding from 2011)? Why not also mention that the charity took in 200 000 less in revenue in 2011 than it had in 2010 (a drop of 30%)? I'm not asking these questions to impugn your motives in editing the article - I'm just trying to illustrate why the source might be considered problematic, or why I might be concerned that it's being given undue weight in the way the article was written. What's needed here are published, secondary sources to help interpret the data form the tax reform and to provide enough context to give that data meaning.
I found the tax form I had through a different portal, and there was only up to 2011 available, so on that question it was just a matter of your research finding more up to date info than mine, which is a predictable thing given your larger experience doing research for wiki and my poor internet skills (which I hope this task at wiki will enhance! Thanks.Gst.steven (talk) 16:34, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

As for the question of why I did not show all the data, well, part of that was redundant search/download resistance syndrome, which is what people like mme get when we have to run through the same portals that are slow to load again and again to get one little bit of info each time. after looking at a few, I got lazy and tired of the hourglass and that was not the proper thing to do. Mea Culpa indeed!Gst.steven (talk) 16:34, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

All that said, I hope you'll note that I didn't actually remove the source or the sentence it was used as a citation for. I think adding an OR tag was actually a pretty subtle way of expressing concern while allowing the content to stay in the article, and I certainly am not out to get you or find an excuse to revert the revisions your making. I would simply much rather see a citation to a reliable, published, secondary source.
You raise a lot of other questions/topics about charities should be handled on wikipedia in your comments here - these are interesting questions but I'm not really sure it's our job to settle them here. I'm only trying to ensure that this article is consistent with wikipedia's rules about verifiability, NPOV, and original research. Fyddlestix (talk) 15:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate the concerns that both of you have expressed about the unencyclopedic tone of the article. Your changes have made a genuine improvement. May I add a perspective about primary sources for Gst.steven's benefit, please? It is possible to spot a drop in grant funding which coincides with a change in policy. Both items may be independently found in primary sources and it may feel ok to place both facts together without editorial comment in an article - after all, it lets the reader "draw their own conclusions". But it's not the way we work on Wikipedia; we need independent secondary sources to do the analysis for us and make the inference for the reader to see. Without that, we are imposing our own POV on that part of the article, albeit subtly.
I get this, but does it mean that both of the data points in your example should be withheld, or that if one is used the other cannot be, or are you simply saying to place the two data points much further from each other and in different contexts so as to not give an impression of correlation or causation? And if someone reads the entire article, and does a Hercule Poirot on their own and puts 2 + 2 together, it is OK because wiki did not encourage or suggest such a 2+2, it was an independent reader's own additive process??
Again, if I had control ;) I'd remove all active charities except basic info and maybe a link to an article called "charity watchdog and assessment" and explain the situation from several sources. Right now, wiki only has entries about the individual watchdog orgs, and OMG those are full of fluff too, I just discovered.

Maybe I am seeing this differently because my wife has been on fundraising committees in the past and I have heard her railing not about a specific charity, but about the state of the whole industry (and it does seem to be an industry. Non-profit, yeah, but what does that mean when a half dozen people are paid half a million each and spend most of their time fundraising to pay their own salaries?). Her problem always was the lack of trustworthy info. She says you look at one report, and then later you find on another that the accounting was creatively designed to give a wrong impression even to the initiated. She says you have to really dig and compare before you do an event and ask a company's customers to give to a charity and de facto endorse that charity with the good reputation of a business at stake. It is a shame, but real advocates for charity know how to find the good ones, and they stick with the good ones, which are usually local and very specific, like food programs for seniors.

But even the ratings and assessment orgs. are sometimes bogus, and only in the small print do you find that certain "awards" are based on making a contribution, or just putting info up on their board regardless of what the info actually says. And is what I an wondering if wiki is inadvertently doing - putting the good name of wikipedia as a de facto advocate or endorsement of any charity that can sneak its fluff onto wiki and get unnoticed, if only for a while.Gst.steven (talk) 16:34, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
The general issue about sometimes having only a company's own view as a source is well-known on Wikipedia. There's good guidance at Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources #Self-published sources (online and paper) and the following section, particularly the five conditions for using self-published sources. In brief, we generally accept a company claiming that they make bread-slicers; we don't accept their assertion that they're the best thing since sliced bread. Hoe that helps, --RexxS (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
This would seem to get complicated and maybe impossible when dealing with a charity like this which is in the "advocacy" realm. The example you share is illuminating, but not applicable here: The manufacture of an appliance, or any actual, manifest object, is de facto objective, in the literal sense!! But a charity that "raises awareness"??? What does that mean? Do they really? Or do they post random info on a website? Do they post misinformation? Does their info make many people tune out?? Not saying this one does, just a theoretical question meant to illustrate why I have a basic philosophical/information theory problem with getting wiki info from a charity's own published materials. It is too abstract. The only way to make it objective is to clearly state "The charity's promotional materials, given to potential donors, say that their mission is to..."state the fluffy PR stuff."
But making this clearly the work of promotions, and being relatively certain that a reader will not consider it an objective statement of what they do, requires the addition of language such as 'it is from promotional materials' or 'the charity claims...' which may give the impression that wiki editors suspect the claim is not valid, or that promotional materials are never trustworthy (they are, maybe 2% of the time;) ) and thus give a false sense of distrust. Does this make sense? That is why I do not feel comfortable - not speaking as a contributor here, but as a reader - even looking for basic info on charities on wiki. And I would not recommend it as a source of info to others. Is there anybody at wiki that feels any useful information other than physical location and type of charity, maybe board members or founders, is going to be objective in the wiki sense? Unless the charity's mission is to do something like "build bread slicers and give them away to people," how can it be objectively verified by any party, be it 2nd 3rd or 1000th??
Aren't we just setting someone up to come here for info that is not what they think it is? I guess I'm asking: Does Wikipedia have a duty to avoid unintended advocacy of a donation-seeking organization even though the only people to be mislead are not very savvy? To me, the answer is, yes, we have an even greater duty when donations are solicited to do our best to not mislead the unsavvy and naïve who might search wiki for info before donating. Smart people will not be coming here for such info. My dorky mother would, though. Yes, if she used a computer she would have no clue, even if it was explained a million times, that some web sites are bogus, some are official, and some are user-generated, etc.Gst.steven (talk) 16:34, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
btw please understand that besides expressing my feelings about unintended advocacy , I am new here and I am genuinely attempting to gain a generalized and applicable conceptual methodology of the wiki standards about POV, OR, and objectivity and sourcing, and how they might apply to different, and even anomalous topics and sources of info. To me, this topic provides a lens through which the limits of objectiveness and verifiable, trustworthy sourcing can be seen in a very strange context, where the limits are extreme and very fuzzy. For many charities, the amount of 2nd party source info, much less 3rd party, will be approaching or even reaching ZERO.Gst.steven (talk) 16:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Excuse me tidying the indenting (normally when you reply to someone, you use one more level of indentation - an extra colon before each paragraph). Let me try to move from analogy to concrete: If an organisation claims they are involved in the process of cleaning rubbish out of the ocean, then that is a primary source and is self-published. We apply these tests to see if we are prepared to consider that source: (1) the claim is neither unduly self-serving nor exceptional; (2) it does not involve claims about third parties; (3) it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject; (4) there is no reasonable doubt as to the authenticity of the claim; (5) the article is not based principally these sort of claims. If the editors of an article agree that the claim meets those conditions - and most importantly there are no secondary sources that contradict the claim - then it can be used in the article. That's not to say it must be used because editors may conclude that the claim is trivial or may give undue weight to one particular issue, but generally the bar has been met for including that information.
I appreciate your desire to attribute the claim, but that's a slippery slope to get onto. Once an editor starts making their own analysis of a primary source, we are substituting one point-of-view for another, with no more objective justification than it feels like the right thing to do. What if another editor is equally convinced that the first editor is suppressing accurate information or trying to cast doubt on its accuracy? How would anybody be able to arbitrate the ensuing discussion? (Note that topics like the Israel-Palestine dispute are littered with such disputes, and trying to maintain a neutral POV is a nightmare.)
We don't have perfect answers to your questions. Advocacy actually is likely to have a significant impact on many of our 4.5 million articles, but over the years we have developed policies and guidelines to try to keep the 'pedia honest. Nevertheless, I wouldn't tell anyone to put implicit trust in what it says on a Wikipedia page. All I can say is that if we make it easy for the visitor to read the sources as well as an article where editors have agreed on the content, then we've probably done as much as this tertiary source can be expected to do. HTH --RexxS (talk) 21:31, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in RexxS - I'm not sure what more I can add here as it seems like we've come to a rough consensus on what kinds of sources should/shouldn't be in the article. It looks like Gst.steven has removed the last of the stuff that prompted my initial concern themselves (thanks!). I did make some further edits to the article just now but they were focused on clarity and readability rather than NPOV of OR issues - anyone should feel free to re-word or revert, I won't mind as I think any POV/OR issues are more or less sorted now. Fyddlestix (talk) 01:38, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Original Research Tags[edit]

I've tagged several sentences/citations of this article as original research - the cited sources appear to be tax documents, I'm not sure they qualify as a reliable source or actually demonstrate what is being claimed in those sentences.Fyddlestix (talk) 20:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Interesting point. My opinion follows (I have no idea if there is a WP consensus on this).
  • The tax document I looked at looks quite official and was not authored by the WP editor. It should be a reasonably reliable source. If the edit consists of reporting on information provided in the tax document, I would not consider it original research, even if it is a summary. If the relevant text is an interpretation of the information in the tax document, it might be original research, particularly if alternative interpretations are plausible. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Just to be clear, those were my references, so I obviously have a pre-conceived notion about this. So I will try to be clear and objective:
  • Given that the principle, and maybe ONLY reason a charity exists is to a. collect money and b. spend that money on projects that support a 'cause,' how might we possibly write an encyclopedic article on such a charity without including an objective assessment of their 'cause,' an objective run-down of the projects they fund, and an accounting of the money they collect and how it is distributed? That is the very essence of these entities: Money in/money out. The rest is abstract promotional fluff, or a run-down of administration structure/fundraising strategies. What else is there besides the money and the mission, and the projects meant to achieve those goals?
  • Imagine you are a historian in 100 years. What would you want to know about a conservation charity from 100 years ago? Should that not be a large part of our guiding vision for writing about contemporary entities such as this? In 100 years, people will want to know how these efforts succeeded in saving ecological systems, or maybe they will want to know why they failed miserably. But they will not care about fluff like "they worked to build sustainable practices by raising awareness of the need for sustainable practices." They will want to know...What??
As for the supposition about tax documents "...not sure they qualify as a reliable source ..."
Really? I would like more information on your sense of doubt, because I find it to be literally incomprehensible. I am not being facetious, I actually cannot form a single thought that allows me to conceptualize that proposition. I would like to have it explained, not just for this present purpose, but because I am a linguist/semanticist and I would truly and sincerely appreciate it if you could describe your ideas about sourcing and reliability to me. I do not doubt for a moment that you have valid and rational thoughts on the topic that have been informed by your experiences here at WP, which I simply do not (yet) share. As for my thoughts - I don't know of any documents that could possibly exist that are more scrutinized and vetted by a 2nd party (the IRS and auditors), contain more objective and absolutely factual information (numbers of dollars), and are more obliged to be truthful - to the point of criminal sanctions for falsification - than tax documents that a non-profit is legally mandated to make available to the public for this very use. Sure, they may be full of lies - but so then may ANY 'reliable' source. And Al Capone didn't go to prison for lying to Time magazine! (Please note that the documents are posted explicitly for public viewing on a government website, and I found them easily with a simple google search) If I came to any conclusions that were not apparent in the numbers, that is OR. But the numbers themselves, and any simple statement such as, "spending on grants decreased over a time span from $x to $z," seem to me to be the essence of objectivity and reliable sourcing. But now you have me doubting my assumptions... Arf! Gst.steven (talk) 12:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi Gst.steven, I've replied to your comments here above so that we can keep this discussion in one place. Fyddlestix (talk) 15:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

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