User talk:Davidwr/Tsinghua

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Strategy suggestions?[edit]

I don't know of a reasonable way to communicate with such a large group editing such a diverse collection of articles. Can anyone coming here to help guide these newish editors suggest a way to organize how we help? So we don't duplicate effort or interfere with each other?

For starters, I'll begin with the article listed last (the Laredo Petroleum article, since the list is likely to change) and work upward from there, contacting the editors and working on the article talk page and the editors' talk pages. If others helping out would list where they're helping, maybe we can minimize duplication. DocTree (ʞlɐʇ·ʇuoɔ) Join WER 22:23, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I get the idea that most or all of these people know each other or they all know a common person. One person said he was a student and referred to his "supervisor" and at least one has said he is at the same school as the non-logged in editors. It is likely there is some real-world collaboration going on here. If the supervisor/professor were engaged with Wikipedia's university/school project team that would make life a lot easier.
By the way, until I was several hours into composing this list, I was thinking I'd found a huge sock-puppet farm. Thankfully, I think we can continue to assume good faith here. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 04:56, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Affiliation updates[edit]

Based on the user pages, there appears to be more than one university represented. At least one editor says he's from a university outside of Beijing. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 00:50, 27 December 2013 (UTC)


Other editors (example here) are already noticing these edits and assuming that they are WP:Paid editing (specifically, WP:Conflict of interest#Paid advocacy, public relations, and marketing) or are otherwise being made "not in good faith." This could result in blocks or other actions which are either 1) unwarranted and likely to discourage these new contributors if the editors are simply ignorant of how things are done around here or 2) very warranted if my assumptions that these editors are who they say they are turn out to be incorrect and they are in fact editing in bad faith. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 00:50, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

None of these accounts are communicating on talk pages, suggesting that there isn't any actual collaboration going on. It smells strongly of paid editing and sockpuppetry to me. I am curious if they are actually editing from a university, or if that's a ruse set up by a PR firm. Similar things have happened in the past. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:58, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree. (I just said something similar at WP:ENI.) If it is a class, I would want to communicate with the instructor and cut the students a little slack, but it seems very strange that a single class would have students from multiple different educational institutions, which does indeed suggest such a ruse. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:37, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
...And no talk page communication whatsoever. A group of collaborators doesn't contribute to the same article without some reversions or discussions, especially if they aren't co-located. This suggests that this isn't a collaboration, but likely a single entity trying to manufacture an appearance of multiple contributors. I could be wrong, but honestly, this smells too fishy.
I believe a WP:SPI investigation is in order, with checkuser to verify that the edits are coming from where they claim. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:16, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with you about SPI, and I would suggest that this should be the next step. On the other hand, I've watched a lot of class projects, and I don't think that you can conclude anything from the lack of talk page collaboration. Some classes do that sort of thing off-wiki, and some just don't do it at all, and here we also have some cultural and language differences on top of everything else. But it's very unusual to have a class where some students say they are at one university, and others say they are at another. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:03, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

User talk page notice[edit]

I plan on adding the following message to the talk pages of the 24-odd users listed on User:Davidwr/Tsinghua. Suggested changes welcome.

Extended content

==Your edits of business-related articles==

You may have noticed that some articles created or edited by you have been deleted or have been nominated for deletion.

Most of these articles were written in cooperation with other editors creating and editing similar articles or adding similar content to other articles. All told, there appear to be aboug 20-30 editors who have created and collaborated on at least 60 articles.

Collaboration is welcome at Wikipedia. After all, it is one of the largest collaborative projects on the Internet, if not the largest.

The articles in question are being deleted or nominated for deletion because either the company the article is about does not appear to meet Wikipedia's "notability" requirements, the article does not use "reliable sources" that are "independent of the company" clearly demonstrate that the company meets these requirements, or because one or more editors believes that the article is otherwise unsuitable for Wikipedia.

Please read Wikipedia:Notability, Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies), Wikipedia:SIGCOV, Wikipedia:Reliable sources, Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion, Wikipedia:Proposed deletion, and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion for more information.

To prevent other editors from thinking that you are intentionally editing Wikipedia in a way that harms the encyclopedia, I recommend that you temporarily stop editing business-related articles until you have a better understanding of what should and should not be in business-related articles.

I have created a page to bring together these 20-30 editors and other editors who wish to help them learn how to edit Wikipedia in a productive way. The page is at User:Davidwr/Tsinghua. ~~~~

davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 02:59, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Asked for help from WikiProject Business[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Business#Need help from experienced business-article editors (diff). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 02:54, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

David has to be commended on the research and collation of all this. I have been aware of some it it for some while already but I didn't realise the full extent of it
  • None of these companies are notable.
  • A stock exchange listing is as worthless as worthless as a Twitter, FaceBook, IMDB, or YouTube entry.
  • All these articles have the same boiler-plate format and referencing.
  • All have been created from simply working through Stock Exchange listings
  • Most of the articles are in closely related industries: petrochem and pharma.
  • Some user pages bear a striking similarity, even the custom userbox with the admin icon.
  • Either a sock farm or meat farm, whichever way one looks at it, the user(s) is/are have been working in concert.
  • Possibly a university project.
  • I've tagged a lot of the m for CSD A7, some for PROD, and some to AfD. Several had been deleted previouslsy. I summarily deleted several especially multiple re-creations (one had been re-created 6 times!) and some blatant COPYVIOs.
  • Clearly a SPI needs to be opened with request for CU. This is a necessary procedure because we need to get to the bottom of this. If it all turns out to be an innocuous university project, they will have learned somethuing from it. This is no different from the way we had to handle the massive problem from the Pune IEP two years ago.
  • If it is a university project, we need to get in touch with their professors, let the WMF know, so that they can involve whoever is in charge of the GEP these days.

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:04, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Prior to doing the SPI and contacting the WMF, it may be better to put a polite but authoritative message on all of the affected users' talk pages requesting
  • that they tell us how they came to be editing the same material in the same way,
  • that they suspend directly editing business-related pages, except perhaps to undo their own edits if they wish, and
  • until it is clear they have learned how to edit in business articles productively, that they agree to have their business-article related edits be reviewed by established editors on the article's talk pages or, for new articles, an WP:Articles for creation-like process.
To increase the "authoritiaveness" of the message I recommend it be signed by two administrators and at least one editor with a positive-contribution history to business-related articles, and that all 3 signers agree to monitor the situation until either the editors are editing productively or they are no longer editing.
By the way, the article about TXI, formerly Texas Industries Inc, is about a company that passes WP:CORP even if the article doesn't indicate that it does. In fact, there was already an inferior article about the company at Texas Industries (both articles' histories now exist at TXI). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 03:23, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Let's not get overly bureaucratic about this. It doesn't necessarily need two admins or even one admin endorsement. All members of the community in good standing are empowered to issue user warnings and to file SPI. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:41, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Just dropping by to point out that the the number of red links on the articles is now slowly increasing and will increase more when PRODs have expired and AfDs have run their course. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:14, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, and this is probably a good thing as inappropriate articles go away. I'm leaving them in the list so that administrators can use the page histories if needed for whatever reason. Following page histories is how I linked together the editors that are currently on the list. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:31, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents[edit]

A day after I created User:Davidwr/Tsinghua another editor independently opened a discussion at Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents/Archive 2#Group of New/Newish Editors Creating/Editing pages about companies.

I have reconciled the lists of accounts, both lists now contain all names that were on either list. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 07:45, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Gaps in editing history and other dates[edit]

I have added gaps in the editing history for the 5 "older" accounts ("Group 1") that were created in January and June 2013. I added the date of account creation for all accounts and the date of the first (and so far, only) relevant edit for each IPv4 and IPv6 "account."

All 5 of these accounts were inactive from 4 August to 1 September. Only 1 was active from 21 September to 16 October and only two were active from 3 August to 10 November.

Note that the academic calendar in China is different than in the United States. For Tsinghau University, vacation for graduate students and researchers was July 22-August 18, 2013 and/or August 12-September 8 depending on their field of study.[1] I would expect similar calendars for other major Universities in and around Bejing. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 23:06, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Completing the group[edit]

If it becomes necessary to find older accounts that might share these editing patterns, I recommend that an administrator do what I have done, but with deleted edits included:

  • For each account, check for newly-created business articles that fit this pattern.
  • For each such article, check for edits by unfamiliar editors, then check that editor's edit history to see if it fits this pattern. If it does, add it to the list of accounts.

Doing this with deleted edits, particularly for those accounts created in June and January, may reveal additional editors who would benefit from learning how to edit productively. Who knows, some of those editors may have "moved on" and are now editing other content areas and doing so productively. If we can find these editors, this may be a "win-win" because they likely already have a good relationship with a few of the "old 5" accounts and can teach them how to edit with that "personal touch." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 23:32, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

A checkuser may be able to help with this, and uncover sleeper accounts that haven't edited yet. Generally checkuser results aren't considered reliable if the activity is more than a month old, but it can still yield possibilities. A well formed SPI report that doesn't ask a checkuser to go fishing might yield good results.
I am not convinced that these are university accounts. Checkuser would confirm that also. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:48, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
There is a discussion about the timing of a checkuser request - either before or after attempting to notify and work with the account-holders - over on the WikiProject Education/Incidents page. I expect that the SPI will be opened today (Saturday) or tomorrow. Due to the fact that 3 IP-edits that fit this profile ARE from a particular university, I expect that at least some of the accounts are editing from university networks. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:05, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Copyright issues[edit]

I've seen at least one article, Parker Drilling Company, deleted as a copyright violation. I've also noticed a number of others that are close paraphrases of either the company web site, company publications, and/or company-written Securities and Exchange Commission documents such as 10-K forms. When I find a notable company that does this, such as Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc (an S&P 400 company), I clean it up to forestall deletion. This disrespect of copyright is exactly the kind of thing an editor or group of editors unfamiliar with Wikipedia's respect for copyrights would do. It is also exactly the kind of thing an editor or group deliberately engaging in "promotional editing" would do if they were unaware that it increases the likelihood of their work being deleted. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 03:15, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Student Project[edit]

Hi Tryptofish, thank you very much for your kind guidance on the talk page! Yes, we are indeed a group of students from China working on a class assignment of a course, learning to efficiently contribute knowledge to Wiki, and we wholeheartedly wish to make contributions while being good Wikipedians. We have talked with our course professor, who would like to communicate about the details of the assignment with you (or any of the admins that you think is proper) and seek for your advice, so may I know if it is convenient for you to give me an email address for further contacts? Thank you in advance, and Happy New Year! --Whisoseryus (talk) 10:18, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Odd to see this addressed to me here. It's copy-pasted from a message at my user talk; I was the editor who left Template:Welcome student on this user's talk page. I am going to start a discussion at User talk:Whisoseryus, and I suggest watching there. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:47, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Tryptofish, The message I left on your talk page was the right one I supposed to write, and for this one, perhaps I accidentally submitted it here too when browsing this page, but I'm not sure. If it is so, please kindly disregard this and let's continue the discussion on my talk page. Regards,Whisoseryus (talk) 02:55, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Additional information[edit]

One editor asked for help back in June 2013. It is unclear if he received the help he asked for. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 03:12, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

  • The redlinks are growing. Mainly due to a lot of expired PRODs. DGG has recued one or two of them, but that doesn't automatically mean that he would be adverse to them being taken to AfD. Most of the ones at AfD are being deleted.
Not all the aticles have been reviewed yet or PRODed, but ithis is very time consuming so it would be great if someone could chip in, doing a quick WP:BEFORE and to be sure that they haven't already been PRODed and since dePRODED, and if so, send them to AfD as appropriate.
With all due sympathy for the educational exercise - and I agree that an SPI may not now be necessary - the non notable articles cannot be allowed to stay. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
The principle I am using in deprodding is that the ones which are listed in the NYSE should stay, and the others not, unless thee is some special notability, such as particularly large in terms of financial strength (typically over $2 billion in assets) . I've defended the use of NYSE as a criterion before--it's similar to the use of major leagues in baseball,and so on. It's an indication of recognition from an established outside authority. I will do my best to defend every one of them. I can't be "adverse" to their being taken to afd--anybody has the right to do so, but I don;t really see the point. Borderline notable topics do not really harm the encyclopedia--it's the utterly non-notable ones that give the impression of indiscriminate that do the harm, and there are a great many fields with hundreds of thousands of articles where our accepted standards do correspond to what many people call indiscriminate. Since we in practice do have a prejudice against articles on businesses, it may be the other way round there, and we should be aware of the systematic bias from our own views of what is important in the world.
Unfortunately, the class did not seem to use a criterion of importance in doing the selection , unless it thought that having shares listed anywhere was sufficient. I think we can agree on the moral: that in working with a class, one should make certain to pick topics that won't have notability problems, and if there's a group of possible topics, work from the most notable. For us, the problem is recognizing these classes early, but if they're not in the ed program, I do not see how we can in practice do that. DGG ( talk ) 20:02, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with NYSE being equivalent to the Major Leagues in baseball. A better comparison would be "players in the Major and Minor Leagues, form single-A on up." There are 3000 companies on the NYSE give or take (I saw numbers ranging from the 2800s to the 3300s in a quick search). I find it implausible that 95% or even 80% of these meet Wikipedia's existing notability criteria if you exclude "routine" and "local" coverage when looking at WP:GNG as one does with, say, minor league baseball players whose only "significant" independent coverage since leaving high school or college is either in their local team city's paper/web site or in a publication specifically dedicated to following that team, that league, or teams at that level of play (e. g. the hypothetical "Minor League Newsletter," a reliable source which exhaustively covers everything happening in Minor League baseball, providing in-depth coverage of all games, teams, and players). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 00:38, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Having read WP:LISTED, I find that the guideline is either somewhat ambiguous or at least open to a lot of free interpretation. What I gather from it however, it that articles should nevertheless be supported by further independent in-depth sources. This brings to mind however that sports people get a one-line stub with an infobox with no further biographical information, based purely on a mere listing on their ball club website and having played (not always sourced) in at least one major league game, while on the other hand, academics who have significantly contributed to research and human knowledge have to jump through a variety of hoops before they can be included. There is a lot of disparity in our notability standards. Personally, I believe that major, billion $/£ corporations quoted on the NYSE, NASDAQ, and on the FTSE 100 Index (for example), are inherently notable, but as regards providing sources, I tend to play by the Wikipedia book until such issues are expressed clearly in policies and/or guidelines, or, as for example in the case of schools, by clear precedent set by massive but tacit community practice. That said, articles about companies are always delicate due to the possible promotional element, and the suspicion of paid advocacy. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:34, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Course page[edit]

User:Uttsinghuajoint2014/Course Page. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

User:Uttsinghuajoint2014/Course Page[edit]

Finally, User: Uttsinghuajoint2014, one of the course instructors, has stepped forward.

Please read User:Uttsinghuajoint2014/Course Page and a thread he opened on my talk page: User talk:Davidwr/Archives/Archive 16#About the New Editors of Education Assignment. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 05:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

User talk:Davidwr/Archives/Archive 16#About the New Editors of Education Assignment has been updated with a comment by one of the professors and my reply. One key point in my reply is that even among experienced editors, there is disagreement on whether being listed by the NYSE means that a company meets Wikipedia:Notability. If this lack of consensus becomes a serious issue that starts affecting the whole project in a big way, then an RFC should be opened at WP:WikiProject Business or as a centralized discussion. However, as long as it's the hopefully-small fraction of these 90-odd articles that "would fail WP:Notability but for their presence on the NYSE," I think we can handle them on a case-by-case basis on the article's talk pages and/or at AFD should they be nominated for deletion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:14, 19 January 2014 (UTC)