Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Find this page confusing? Just use this link to ask for help on your talk page; a volunteer will visit you there shortly!
Welcome to Conflict of interest Noticeboard (COIN)
This Conflict of interest/Noticeboard (COIN) page is for determining whether a specific editor has a conflict of interest (COI) for a specific article and whether an edit by a COIN-declared COI editor does not meet a requirement of the Conflict of Interest guideline. A conflict of interest may occur when an editor has a close personal or business connections with article topics. An edit by a COIN-declared COI editor may not meet a requirement of the COI guideline when the edit advances outside interests more than it advances the aims of Wikipedia. Post here if you are concerned that an editor has a COI, and is using Wikipedia to promote their own interests at the expense of neutrality. For content disputes, try proposing changes at the article talk page first and otherwise follow the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution procedural policy. Sections older than 14 days archived by MiszaBot II.
Click here to purge this page
(For help, see Wikipedia:Purge)
Shortcuts:
You must notify any editor who is the subject of a discussion. You may use {{subst:coin-notice}} ~~~~ to do so.

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


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


G2003[edit]

declared COI
undeclared COI articles (chronological order)
botched(?) COI
drafts to watch
user

G2003 hasn't come clean as a paid editor per agreement at ANI (see archive 859). Background: has been active for years now. Notified of COI in early 2013 and denied in mid 2014 then admitted in late 2014 with a promise to stop. Never explicitly enumerated paid connection(s). My investigation of articles edited shows big discrepancy between declared COI and the remainder. Brianhe (talk) 16:25, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Seems pretty clear that they are a paid editor, and yet they've failed to actually disclose it properly, and are continuing to do it despite claiming to have stopped. Saying "I've been paid to maintain this article" is insufficient, the Terms of Use specifically require that the client who paid them is disclosed. Joseph2302 (talk) 16:51, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
To be completely clear, his October 2014 promise was to stop paid advertising. Not sure what that's even supposed to mean in terms of our COI policy; is it paid advocacy? Is a list of product "key features" advertising? — Brianhe (talk) 17:12, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
They have not done much editing lately. This is a concern though [1]. Maybe a block until issues can be clarified would be useful. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:54, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Support block proposed by @Doc James:. Tagged Jessica Huie, MBA Polymers, Jay Mo, Yank Barry, Landbay, Henry Herbert Tailors, DAMAC Properties, Charlotte Fantelli, Shane Zaza with COI notices. The others seem to have had a reasonable amount of non-COI input from other editors, else were already tagged. — Brianhe (talk) 18:32, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Added some COI-ful userspace drafts to watch in case of future shenanigans. — Brianhe (talk) 18:43, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Support block, at least until they're willing to disclose properly, and IMO should be longer than that. Undisclosed paid editing is not acceptable, and undisclosed paid editing after apparently claiming that you'd stop it is even worse. Joseph2302 (talk) 18:36, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Tagging Yank Barry on the article page flags a moot issue. It's been almost a year since G2003 edited that article, and that dispute, which went all the way to litigation, has since been resolved. I'd suggest taking the COI notices off articles where the edit wasn't recent and has since been undone. John Nagle (talk) 18:43, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Undid Yank Barry COI notice, thanks for seeing that. What else do you suggest? — Brianhe (talk) 19:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Also useful to note that there are numerous article that G2003 created that were subsequently deleted for failing a range of guidelines and policies (admins can take a look at their long list of deleted contributions). One deleted article was a hoax, although it does appear that G2003 himself was hoaxed (the subject also managed to get similar stuff onto Fox News Asia's site) rather than him having any malicious intent – however it does show the perils of such an approach. Number 57 15:20, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Did we get anywhere with sorting this out? Doesn't look like we did. Joseph2302 (talk) 00:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't look like it to me either. Support block, obviously. — Brianhe (talk) 01:04, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Blocked. MER-C 05:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

EBY3221[edit]

CEOs and the like
maybes
to-do list
AfC approvals "SPA" notes whether the creator is/was an SPA

If there is doubt, then there is NO doubt. I have no doubt this is undisclosed, paid editing. Top three entries -- CEOs, credit loan companies should be convincing enough. Brianhe (talk) 23:45, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting info.svg Administrator note: User has rollback, pending changes rights as of now. — Brianhe (talk) 23:55, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed that they've been creating all these articles as drafts (which is the correct thing for COI/paid editors to do), but then accepting them all themselves, so on the article talkpages it says "accepted via AfC"- this seems pretty odd and dodgy to me, never seen it before. Joseph2302 (talk) 00:01, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
And posting the "article accepted" notices to his own userpage [2]. Beyond dodgy. Brianhe (talk) 00:12, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually if you use the AFCH script to accept articles, it automatically sends a notification to the submitter. But I cannot see a legitimate user doing that, most editors with 7 years experience would just create articles rather than using a draft process. Joseph2302 (talk) 00:18, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

NOTICE: I have commented out the following. {{cot|Lengthy denial by EBY3221}} -Elvey

"If there is doubt, then there is NO doubt"? Wow. Because there's a pattern? But nothing ACTUALLY WP:Puff?!
I'm sitting gobsmacked. How do I respond? I've been on Wikipedia for 8 years. I've donated thousands of hours of my life. NOT PAID. Teahouse, articles for creation, 3O. Logged in, not logged in. I spent two weeks trying to fix that Maryknoll article a few years ago.
This list of articles (all the ones I've written in the last 2 years?) are great!! I wrote them with neutrality and a mature understanding of Wikipedia policies. Show me where I didn't.
Take away the charity articles because I do hunt for charities to write pages for - I gave up fighting the Sun Yun Moon battle a few years ago and decided the best way to fight his horde of followers was to fill Wikipedia with other charities. Take away the topical stuff (Roskopf was on the cover of the newspaper magazine a few weeks ago, Hatmaker's blog is viral). You can quickly figure out my IRL. Yes, mention that Wikipedia is your hobby once and it's all over. I've been in my boss' office and had him run in a person and say I'm a Wikipedia editor like I'm royalty. People immediately ask if they are notable enough for an article. If they are, they want one. We all know this. I always warn them, "You may hate it and once it is up, it won't come down. I only write what conforms to WP:BLP and you don't get a say." My boss has NEVER pressured me to write them, always says I have to follow the rules, and the closest he's come to paying me for Wikipedia articles is a signed copy of a book after the fact.
I just spent an hour editing Ken Sunshine because it was obviously written by a PR rep and was completely peacock. You asking if I have a COI with some of these? Yes - some of these people I've met, some of these people I admire. But I have written every article with a Chinese Wall and always adhered to the same pillars that I teach other new editors. BECAUSE I AM ABOUT THE ETHICS. Go back through my editing history, though much of it isn't signed in the rest tells you who I am.
I am going to say this, Brianhe, directly to you although it bends Wikipedia's policy against personal attack. Listing articles as though CEO's or credit companies or marketing companies naturally shouldn't be in Wikipedia so of course they MUST be PR? This is one of the underrepresented sectors here and one that suffers prejudice (ahem). I will go make a COI statement on my page to the extent of the people I have met who I have written about. I probably should have done that but I am not sure when - frankly, and I was thinking about this with the Ken Sunshine thing, where COI starts is an issue for most of us at Wikipedia. We write about our interests and often they intersect with our real lives. Sunshine's people are paid PR people who sit in cubbies and try to bend Wikipedia to their client's will. But the rest of us do not have that clarity. Once I am done being outraged, this is somewhere I should probably volunteer. Wikipedia deserves SO much better than a page like this. If we want the encyclopedia to keep growing with good articles - we need a way to acknowledge that all of us write what we know, who we know, write what we love, and get more from it beyond the altruistic. Gratitude and acknowledgement to a copy of a book in thanks afterwards. This is not BAD - encouragement in many forms is what keeps all of us here. It may not cut down on the 1000 deletions/day but it may boost the volume of good articles.EBY (talk) 01:22, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I just saw a comment about how I write articles. Seriously? That IS a personal attack. I had the draft page as a bookmark and I like the draft page because it allows me to make all my mistakes without being live and it doesn't force me to do the coding and moving, which I suck at (see all the dangling archives and drafts I've left over the years). I can't be the only one who likes using this system? I used to wait for someone else to approve my articles for publication but as a one of the actual approvers, I realized a while back that I was adding to that backlog and could just publish it and then wait for it to be patrolled - which is a similar process. I did try to write an article live recently and screwed it up by putting an erroneous "S" in the name.
  • This morning, I am looking again at this list and shaking my head at all of you. You made erroneous allegations and assumptions and have no narrative at all stating how these articles are PR. Mike Mohr is not an executive - there's award named after him at MIT, he was a teacher who died (I am not associated with MIT) but I was never sure he met notability. Likewise Howard Sweeney, a doctor who is the former father in law of someone I knew in college. My child really loves Gulla Gulla island. (A MAYBE, REALLY?) John Rennie is an architect I got interested in doing an article on an Australian landmark. David Savage is an artist, he wrote this gorgeous book that was on my friend's coffee table. Jen Hatmaker is a Christian motivational speaker who has a viral blog I've read. Brad Walker wrote a book that physical therapists like to give patients. Benita Refson started a charity that the Duchess of Cambridge made famous. I am so deeply disappointed in this process - why me? Who ARE you people? How did you decide that the pantheon of my interests somehow is questionable? There's nothing in these articles. There's nothing in my behavior. In fact, 80% of my article touches remove puff - and I do it ALL by hand with 20 tabs of refs open. How many tags have I left because of questionable refs and tone? I've been a champion for neutrality. GO LOOK. I happen to work in an industry that brings notable people to my attention who don't have articles. SO I WRITE THEM. Like the guy who wrote most of the Hawaiian ukelele articles. 90% of these people don't know who I am but I am willing to bet all the ukelele players knew that other guy. No one here has made a single example of how my articles are bad, just because I wrote some about these entrepreneurs who wrote books you've put me on a witch hunt. Look, I get the problem of paid PR people damaging articles with slant and puff but what are the rules you live by as you fight that? Doesn't there actually have to be PUFF and SLANT and someone who damages articles?
There has to be a better way than saying "I don't like the pattern of the articles you write, therefore I suspect you and everything you've done." That's just not Wikipedia.EBY (talk) 16:21, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Short reply because I don't want to come across as emotional about this, but you have expressed conditions under which you definitely have a conflict. You're writing about people you know professionally. Your boss lauds you for it. You said (I think) that you receive gifts in return. Your editing history is singularly focused on attention-seeking people, whose own careers benefit from the attention you provide them. It looked indistinguishable from paid COI to me (see User:Brianhe/COIbox2 for a clearly parallel case) and we investigate this sort of stuff day after day, as is appropriate. One additional thing: I write sometimes about authors who probably benefit from attention, and I write sometimes about rocks that don't care if they get attention (my history is also transparently documented at my userpage). But if all I wrote about was attention-seeking people, and never about rocks, it wouldn't be surprising to me if some other editor confronted me about it and at least asked the question "why"? I'll be on wikibreak starting tonight, so others here can comment on their perspective on this and continue the conversation if need be. — Brianhe (talk) 18:41, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I haven't looked into this in great detail yet, but from the few articles I have looked at I agree with Brianhe that there are reasons to be concerned. Take for example these diffs of my removals of content EBY3221 added: [3] [4] [5]. The sourcing of the content was extremely poor, completely failing WP:V and was also promotional. I've also noticed unsourced BLP content e.g. [6] which also makes me concerned as it raises the question of where the information came from. It's also odd that this image was uploaded only 3 days after it was uploaded to Flickr as it suggests that EBY3221 was in contact with the subject. @EBY3221: can you please explain these edits? Thanks SmartSE (talk) 16:02, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Likewise, see these uploads by another user claiming authorship, the same day that EBY3221 started to write David Savage (artist). And again with File:JohnBowenCEG.jpeg [7]. SmartSE (talk) 16:23, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm only finding more problems. See this series of my edits starting to clean up David Savage (artist). Huge chunks of text were referenced to sources which didn't even mention him! If this is typical there is a lot of clean up to do. SmartSE (talk) 17:21, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • This is self-evident promotional abuse, I have blocked the account for now. Guy (Help!) 23:30, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    • @JzG: Thanks. Given the lack of communication and the amount of fake referencing I've found so far there didn't seem to be any other option. SmartSE (talk) 21:27, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
@JzG: @Joseph2302: Yeah, thanks. @EBY3221:: Edits that introduce undisclosed paid advocacy, are illegal in the USA. Keeping the content you contributed, given how obvious it is that it's largely the result of UPAE would be aiding and abetting. So unless you can identify, article by article, what is paid and what isn't, we will need to err on the side of caution and delete most of it. Jimbo himself has said that "FTC 16 CFR Part 255 is relevant" to showing that "PAE (Paid Advocacy Editing) is flat out illegal." --Elvey(tc) 16:57, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Could the rollbacker and reviewer rights userboxes be removed from the userpage? Brianhe (talk) 23:56, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done SmartSE (talk) 16:23, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Justin Lafazan[edit]

Scott Duffy (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Greg S Reid (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Additional[edit]

MMSS4S has written nothing but promotion.
Justin Lafazan started Millennial Marketing Strategy and Students4Students College Advisory. MMS and S4S. When put together that makes MMSS4S.
Much of the text of Justin Lafazan comes from the subjects own website. The image used [8] comes from Lafazans website and MMSS4S says xe is the copyright holder.
Randy Sutton and Scott duffy are both fully formed advert obviously created by a shill.
Pics of Scott Duffy and Greg S. Reid [9] are promo shots with copyright owned by MMSS4S. Both subjects have had previous spam on here from socking shills. The Reid photo comes from the same shoot as a photo on Reid's facebook page. The Duffy photo appears on his copyrighted website and comes from the same shoot as one that may have been on the previous article which was created by a sock of User:Sibtain 007, this photo[10].
Lafazan, Sutton and Reid are all connect through The Umbrella Syndicate. duffbeerforme (talk) 12:51, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Justin Lafazan advertises a Wikipedia Package for $1000!!! [11]. duffbeerforme (talk) 11:36, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
The "Zachary Barden Bio Draft" inexplicably contains material from the deleted article on Justin Lafazan. @Duffbeerforme: It's obvious that MMSS4S has violated the TOU, and the link you found on his website is enough for me. However, I'm not seeing the relationship with Sibtain 007 that could justify the G5 placed on Randy Sutton. The CU on the SPI is inconclusive, what behavioral evidence is there? The photograph? §FreeRangeFrogcroak 19:04, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
If this part of his bio is true then he might become notable for an age discrimination lawsuit: "Over 30 employees and contractors support the growth of MMS - with the oldest employee age 22." Brianhe (talk) 23:31, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Jeez. Reporting the trademark violation to WMF. SmartSE (talk) 21:07, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
MMSS4S is a confirmed sock/master as of less than 24 hours ago. Their edit history is suggestive of something going on at other articles like Frank Shankwitz and that leads me to Robert Angel via one intermediate editor. I'm going to take a break from COIN for a bit, so another ed. can have at it, if you're interested. — Brianhe (talk) 20:36, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

User:MallExpert[edit]


The user has a confessed COI on their user page related to their "representing" the Westfield Corporation, a major owner of shopping malls, and was advised about it some years ago. However, their entire spate of recent edits (including to the above article and many other Westfield properties) has inserted clearly promotional language, peacock terms and other clear POV issues, directly against the guidelines they were advised about years ago. I do not believe the user can be trusted at this point. oknazevad (talk) 00:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

This was just an honest mistake on my part. I'm new to the site, having taken over the account from a previous person. I will be sure not to make this mistake in the future. Please do not change my account status. MallExpert (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 21:38, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Accounts are personal and cannot be shared or transferred to another person. Please read the username policy. Jytdog (talk) 21:41, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Accounts must not be used by multiple users- as a result, this account should be blocked, and you should create a new account. Joseph2302 (talk) 21:48, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Accordingly, I have blocked this as a shared/role account. Kuru (talk) 22:29, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the block. I have listed the articles and tagged them all for COI and their talk pages too. Jytdog (talk) 22:49, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Quite a lot of them just aren't notable, so I've redirected them to Westfield Group. If/when an unconflicted editor wants to write about them, and can show their notability, I'm fine for them to be recreated. Joseph2302 (talk) 23:04, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
added main page and Westfield editor who edited there, just to round this out. Jytdog (talk) 23:27, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm done trying to clean these up, every time I touch one of them to remove promotional content or just a redirect/PROD of non-notable spam, @Jojhutton: reverts it. I guess we should just let the spammers spam instead. Joseph2302 (talk) 23:35, 11 July 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── added two more historical COI editors. Jytdog (talk) 01:01, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Three things. First, Jytdog, please identify the other two accounts you are referring to above. Secondly, slow down. These articles have existed for years, another few days is not going to destroy Wikipedia. Finally, remember that your own personal point of view of what is and is not notable is not the deciding factor here, and that shopping malls have generally been considered to meet the GNG. (Oddly, I probably agree with you that most of them aren't notable, but our shared view of notability is quite a bit narrower than that generally held to be the case at AfD.) Risker (talk) 05:13, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
    I believe the users in the same diff, Westfield North County (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) and Jeffin60613 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), are the two intended. I corrected a typo in the Jeffin60613 reference. --Unready (talk) 19:30, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Per the case at Arbcom I am not working on COI stuff for a bit. Jytdog (talk) 23:52, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Should some or all of these be merged into Westfield Corporation, the parent company? See WP:CHAIN. Branches of chain stores are not usually considered notable. Macy's Herald Square has its own article, but that is one of the most famous department stores in the world. Westfield's malls are generally big, but not that individually notable. Comments? John Nagle (talk) 19:13, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Normal practice in AfD discussions has been the malls of under 1 million square feet are not usually notable, and I think that at least very few articles for less than 500,000 sq ft have been accepted at afd. DGG ( talk ) 18:39, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

MiamiDolphins3[edit]

I guess I'm coming out of hibernation (my wikibreak) early. The case involving this editor was archived a little more than a month ago, after another editor was blocked, and MiamiDolphins3 gave a commitment to clean up some non-NPOV and/or primary sources in Touch Surgery, Ryze Trampoline Parks, Jenner & Block, and Mile2. This was never done. Plus he's back to work on Jack McCauley this month; it was not listed on the noticeboard previously. — Brianhe (talk) 00:57, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for following up on this, Brianhe. Follow up is so, so important here, so really - thanks! MiamiDolphins3 you did promise to de-PROMO the articles that were raised here before, and I for one was grateful for that. Would you please tell us what has gone with that? If you changed your mind, please let us know and we will pull those out of the archive and clean them up. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 02:42, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

The Next Internet Millionaire[edit]

I'm shocked, shocked I say, that books about promoting yourself on the Internet are attracting COI from several SPAs. I've nominated The Next Internet Millionaire for deletion. — Brianhe (talk) 02:00, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Still at AfD. If it stays, it will need trimming. John Nagle (talk) 06:41, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Just noting that a consensus had not formed, and the AfD was relisted. Here's your chance to express an opinion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Next Internet Millionaire, if you haven't yet. — Brianhe (talk) 14:36, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Amalto and others[edit]

socking?
coordinated editing
added to case August 2015

Obvious COI for commercial articles. The second named editor has systematically !voted keep on several articles identified for blatant COI, and has an editing history nearly 100% matching COI-identified articles. Brianhe (talk) 21:23, 16 July 2015 (UTC) @JamesBWatson: added to list Jenzabar which you had protected in June, 2013, to prevent spam re-creation. @SmartSE: It appears possible there's a connection to the Aviation geek sockfarm via involvement in BLOC Hotels: as you pointed out at the AfD it was created by the sock TimeQueen32. — Brianhe (talk) 23:26, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Just added three four new articles, two I just missed; Tulika Mehrotra was expanded from a crummy stub by Cosmopolite1. Flexenclosure was created by Ianphillipson and the logo uploaded by Cosmopolite1, who also appears to be active on ru.wikipedia where he created the corresponding article with a similarly-named account. Brianhe (talk) 00:11, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm pleased to see a full list of my articles, but I'm very surprised to see an accusation of this kind.
I'm not coordinated with anybody and I don't have any WP:SOCK. All of my articles were written with WP:NPOV in mind. I don't have any "close connection" to any of my articles' subjects. Most of the information comes from secondary reliable sources. --Cosmopolite1 (talk) 01:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Arr4, Renzoy16 and Cosmopolite1 have all been employed as paid editors in the past. However, I don't believe that they have been engaged in paid editing in recent months, so this is a somewhat older issue. - Bilby (talk) 04:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Expanding the case since the Cosmoplite1 SPI is falling through and it has been suggested to continue here. It appears to me that this account, Commonplace Book (blocked), The Librarian at Terminus, and at least one IP are connected. Evidence exists in edit history of Beverage Partners Worldwide, Daniel Chavez Moran, Melanie Iglesias where the various editors appear at intervals of hours to max. 17 days. The strongest case is at Lisa Daily, a celeb bio complete with professional headshot uploaded by The Librarian:

  • The Librarian at Terminus creates article, 19 April 2013
  • The Librarian at Terminus finally edits article, 19 April 2013
  • 174.45.140.146 fixes TLAT's typo, 20 April 2013 (+1 day)
  • Cosmoplite1 is the very next editor to begin editing, 22 April 2013 (+2 days)

@Bilby: for your attention: you blocked Commonplace Book. Brianhe (talk) 19:50, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Added one more article, Jenzabar. Compare this addition of corp history by Cosmoplite1 [12] to this earlier addition by the now blocked sockpuppet(eer) Amburak: [13]. Per consensus at deletion discussion, the article was trimmed to a redirect. Cosmoplite1 re-created the article from the redirect [14], over protection by JamesBWatson. The article is now again under protection, with admin's comment "Article has been repeatedly restored, at least sometimes by a an editor evading blocks by using successive sockpuppets." Brianhe (talk) 20:35, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Maybe my final comment for today: Logical Cowboy is on Wikibreak right now, but left this comment indicating he found off-wiki evidence of paid editing by one of the editors I added to the case today. Brianhe (talk) 20:44, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Andrewjohn39/Articles_for_deletion/Planview[edit]

Per discussion at AfD:

User:LaMona FYI, I don't know User:BiH and the reason I am commenting on the articles created by him is because I read long discussions on his talk page where he also mentioned pages created by him and that are now nominated for deletion because of notability issue. I am only putting evedences of notability and I feel that whoever nominated these articles had not reviewed the references himself and it was a biased decision to nominate them for deletion. Andrewjohn39 (talk) 18:50, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Except that there is no such discussion on his/her talk page -- and that was easy to check. And how one ended up on such a talk page would need explaining. So I'm still dubious. LaMona (talk) 15:47, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I can't help if you have a doubt but be assured that I don't know him...I accidentally landed on his page while reviewing a page created by him and then I went through all the discussions. Apart from this, I am only presenting the fact and doing nothing else..if you don't agree, present counter argument rather than blaming!! someone nominated pages for deletion because he thought that subjects are not notable..I am just trying to prove that nominations were wrong!! Andrewjohn39 (talk) 19:06, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

I haven't posted here before, so apologies if this is wrong place/wrong data. LaMona (talk) 16:45, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

@LaMona: The post seems fine to me. As they were also being discussed in the post above, I've made this a subsection of that discussion- hope that's okay. And yes, it seems dodgy to me that an inactive editor has been voting keep at lots of AfDs of articles created by BiH, who recently declared themself to be a paid editor. Joseph2302 (talk) 16:49, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

User:Andrewjohn39 added a CEO's portrait to an article created by undisclosed paid editor User:BiH here. Brianhe (talk) 23:23, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

There are other very suspect crossovers between Andrewjohn39 and BiH e.g. here where AJ added an awards section to Panaya that BiH had rewritten only 3 hours earlier. Similarly, they overlapped at Lumenis. Also as I noted here there was also suspicious, overlap between User:Arr4 and AJ. Looking back I've found more problems as their very first edit was this (admins only) creation of Healthcare Success Strategies Inc which was 100% promotional and obviously not written by a completely new user. Overall, I think this makes it clear that they are an undisclosed paid editor who is acting deceptively even when asked and as such unless an explanation is forthcoming, I don't see much other option but to block them indefinitely. SmartSE (talk) 11:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Support blocking, of course. Brianhe (talk) 23:46, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done SmartSE (talk) 20:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Rebecca Rice (choreographer)[edit]

music
dance
other publicity-seeking topics

User:Lyricsexpress describes self on userpage as "Writer and assistant to other writers and celebrities who require rewrites, interviews and more".

Off-wiki evidence strongly indicates User:Lyricsexpress has a conflict (beyond his declaration on his userpage) about musician-related subjects. On-wiki evidence such as the edit summary on the creation of Marion Rice and uploads of probable family pictures shows User:Riceflan is writing COI about dancer-related subjects. Crossover between the two editors on Eleanor Norcross on 22 September 2010‎ exists for unknown reasons. Brianhe (talk) 21:35, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Marion Rice at least is not just notable but famous. Some or all of the others are also notable. There may be a coi, but to me the articles do not seem promotional. DGG ( talk ) 18:29, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
My comments here were strictly to the COI aspect of the articles and the editors. — Brianhe (talk) 18:39, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Coolguy365[edit]

Something very odd here involving a vanished user. I'm not sure if that's a violation in and of itself, but the occurrence of articles that have already been subject to COIN scrutiny is not encouraging. Note that Vanished user... started editing a few minutes after the IP from a now blocked webhost. Sandbox hijinks going on with Coolguy365. I kind of stopped pulling on the thread after some well-known articles started appearing, so this list is nowhere near comprehensive.

Worth mentioning, User:Arr4 made an odd an unexplained edit here, blanking Tiburon Incorporated; at the time it was Coolguy's sandbox. Possible retaliation for blanking here on another fishy corp article created by Arr4. Arr4 is also mentioned in another active investigation at this noticeboard, to which he/she has not responded, though was actively editing less than 24 hours before was notified. Arr4 was also active on Fleetmatics around the same time as Coolguy, and there appears to be coordinated editing on Be Green Packaging.

There was mutual sandbox editing on something called Culinaire International here.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Entrepreneur) is a sneaky recreation of Vijay Shekhar Sharma. One of the IPs appears to be aware of its existence as shown by this edit to his alma mater. I have added User:FreerangingAnik the creator of the new version to this case, but the old version was pretty dirty with COI edits as well created via undisclosed paid editing. — Brianhe (talk) 22:56, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Turns out that Vanished user was created as a deceptive name, he wasn't vanished at all. Details here: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Vanished user 6251. Thought this might be relevant to this discussion. — Brianhe (talk) 17:02, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for my late reply, I was busy in our Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. Coolguy365 is undoubtedly a paid editor. That blanking by me was only retaliation/biting when I discovered that cool guy is a paid editor. I had bitten many other paid editors in this way to avoid my being caught by COIN. - Arr4 (talk) 07:32, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

@Arr4: Is there evidence you'd like to share with us? — Brianhe (talk) 14:19, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Everymedia.in[edit]

Cooperation of editors above suggests a commercial connection. One editor's name probably refers to everymedia.in, a marketing company. The other has asked me personally how to write about PrimeFocus Technologies, a perennial COI magnet. A quick perusal of contribs points to extensive COI editing related to Indian cinema. Brianhe (talk) 17:03, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm kind of burned out now but if somebody wants to pick at the scab, EveryMedia Technologies#Clientele would be a good starting point. Prime Focus is there for starters. — Brianhe (talk) 17:44, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Kabir Vaghela also has a COI with respect to Dinesh Vaghela which came out at that articles AfD so he is very well aware of out COI policies. If he is doing more COI editing it indicates to me that he does not take on board community input. JbhTalk 18:06, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Final note from me, Ferriswheel by User:AayushyaBajpai was apparently recreated by same ed as Ferriswheel Entertainment. Not the action of a GF editor. — Brianhe (talk) 18:22, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
As of today, Nikitanayak everymedia is actively editing Hyundai Creta. Hyundai is listed as an Everymedia client at EveryMedia Technologies#Clientele. — Brianhe (talk) 20:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Robert Gerald Lorge‎[edit]

There have been repeated attempts by Runningfox34 and IPs over the course of the past week to add unsourced information to this article about a would-be politician. They have ignored warnings to cease and desist (User talk:Runningfox34, User talk:71.86.217.244). Today the subject of the article made this edit. The changes are mostly unsourced or sourced to the subject's self-published campaign pages. The subject also removed information about an election loss. Given the persistent disruptive editing, I'm requesting some help in dealing with this. 32.218.32.146 (talk) 18:33, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

He has also started whitewashing information in his father's article, removing information supported by reliable sources. 32.218.32.146 (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with 32.218.32.146, it has been frustrating removing uncited materials in the articles only to be put back in. Thank you-RFD (talk) 18:55, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
The subject article was deleted following an AfD and the user was blocked for making legal threats. This may bubble up again in some other form but for now there's nothing left to it. JohnInDC (talk) 20:53, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Dag Creative Media and others[edit]

User:Raju Kapuria has made no declarations but apparently is creating paid stuff. The way corp articles come into being complete with infobox company and such is reminiscent of farms we've seen here before. — Brianhe (talk) 19:43, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Seems like a sock of Rohit Kapuria — Preceding unsigned comment added by 42.0.5.226 (talk) 21:33, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Blur Group[edit]

Please see this recent advert: Content writer needed to create 2 Wikipedia articles

I thought it might be useful to raise it here for consideration so that we can give Blur Group a clear idea of what is appropriate for Wikipedia. Leutha (talk) 11:24, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Rocket Internet[edit]

editors

The Nigerian dot-com startup scene is a fascinating subject documented at Yabacon Valley. Unfortunately, billion-dollar IPOs plus shady business practices equals lots of COI articles on Wikipedia. I've listed here Rocket Internet and several of its creations. The list of SPA editors probably is quite extensive, I've just tapped a few here. @Garchy: you nominated the executive articles for speedy deletion. — Brianhe (talk) 14:11, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Addendum. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kaymu may have been compromised by undisclosed, conflicted editors. @DGG: you nominated the article for deletion. — Brianhe (talk) 15:47, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

The problem, as usual with such articles, was whether the references were truly substantial, independent, and reliable. For many articles, fair people can think either way. In past years, I would usually give articles the benefit of the doubt. Now, for articles on companies, especially new companies, I increasingly think the opposite. For this particular article, I continue to consider the references (except possibly PCWorld) either general with merely a mention of the company or essentially press releases, & many of them from unreliable sources. But a really good press agent can get reliable sources to write respectable articles, and once there is a buzz in even the unreliable press, reliable sources tend to cover it. Our rules are inevitably helpless against such methods, because we must reflect the Real World, which is full of promotion and unreliability. (Incidentally, I just removed a list of the miscellaneous products they sell, which I considered a promotional product catalog.) If someone wants to renominate it, I'll comment.
More generally, perhaps every author of an article on a company should be required to certify in a positive way they have no financial connection. This might have more deterrent value than merely a rule against it. DGG ( talk ) 16:32, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I just placed a tag for merging Kaymu Bangladesh to Kaymu. DGG ( talk ) 17:13, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Multiple SPAs are arguing against the merge proposal, including this IP who appears to be speaking as two people, either accidentally or on purpose. — Brianhe (talk) 19:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Black House Media[edit]

Nigerian public relations company, its CEO and a possibly related newspaper and its owner. Making inquiries to editors. Brianhe (talk) 15:00, 22 July 2015 (UTC) Added Nigerian Entertainment Today owned by BHM group, some of the same involved editors. Brianhe (talk) 15:27, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I just placed afds for Ayeni and NOGIntelligence. DGG ( talk ) 17:12, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@DGG: I think you meant you nominated Remi Aiyela and NOGIntelligence. @Tchaliburton: You nominated Remi Aiyela for speedy deletion, care to comment? — Brianhe (talk) 17:20, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Yep. Ayeni is notable. DGG ( talk ) 17:24, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Declared COI at Skyy Vodka[edit]

SPA with declared COI: "I work with an agency on behalf of Campari America and want to point out the below facts that are not fully represented on the page as it. Appreciate if an unbiased editor can implement these changes." Ref: Talk:SKYY_vodka#Updates_to_bottling_information.2C_sourcing.2C_awards_.26_current_bottle_shot. They're being careful and haven't done anything bad yet. They just want to put PR-type product info in the article. Please watch. Thanks. John Nagle (talk) 06:50, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I cleaned out some promotional wordings/content in the article, and added the {{request edit}} template so the users request will show up in Category:Requested edits. -- Eclipsed (talk) (email) 07:24, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Aleksandar olic and Active Collab[edit]

Aleksandar olic is an employee of the company that sells Active Collab, wrote our article on it, and has been steadily adding wikiliks to it on other pages. No response to the warning I put on his talk page. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:54, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I tried to stay as neutral as possible. Would be glad to see someone more experienced edit the Active Collab article. I disclosed that I work there, so it should be edited by someone who doesn't have an affiliation. Any help appreciated. I added "Request edit" but it got removed. --Aleksandar Olic (talk) 10:10, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi Aleksandar. I removed the Request edit template from the article, because it should be only on the talk page. Please feel free to post to Talk:Active Collab with edit requests. Thanks! -- Eclipsed (talk) (email) 10:19, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
...aaand he went right back to editing the page where he has a COI,[15] less than an hour after saying "it should be edited by someone who doesn't have an affiliation." --Guy Macon (talk) 01:15, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Public utility district[edit]

A lengthy and badly POV edit to the article [16] was made by a self-declared PUD commissioner and stands since 2012. I'd like to recuse myself from editing this one. Brianhe (talk) 15:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I'll give this a copy edit tomorrow morning. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 21:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Carmen Busquets[edit]

Women's fashion is too far outside my expertise to make a good judgement on this, but this person does appear notable, with at least one full NYT story about her. However the article looks heavily non-NPOV and has been maintained by one or more questionable anon editors, and one declared COI editor [no wrongdoing on their part as far as I can tell, just mentioning for completeness]. Also I haven't fully developed this, but I think advert on eLance to create a profile of a new enterprise and its CEO may be related to Busquets. Could some other folks have a look? Brianhe (talk) 19:49, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Woodland Meadows[edit]

The article was a direct result of this elance listing. Same client posted this thing about a book they are writing on Woodland Meadows. Same elance contractor features David Carter (entrepreneur) in his portfolio; almost certain socking going on here ... see prior investigations here and Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/LogAntiLog/Archive. — Brianhe (talk) 20:27, 24 July 2015 (UTC) Posted to SPI as a recurrence of User:LogAntiLog. Brianhe (talk) 20:36, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

COIN team please note that since User:LogAntiLog/User:OWAIS NAEEM and his known socks were blocked on 8 May, the Elance account has taken 7 or 8 more jobs. Every single one of his jobs before or after 8 May either are explicitly Wikipedia edits, or are "private" and probable Wikipedia edits. So there's some buried stuff here still to be found. — Brianhe (talk) 20:48, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

User:Boniafashion[edit]

User:Boniafashion is a WP:SPA, making edits exclusively on Bonia (fashion), unexplained except for one terse edit summary. Clearly seems COI based on WP:DUCK and the promotional tone of the edits, and has not responsed to talk page messages. Instead, there was a recent reintroduction of a promtional timeline [17]. Dl2000 (talk) 22:16, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for posting. Reviewed it; been prodded by Joseph2302 seconded by Brianhe. On my watchlist. Jytdog (talk) 00:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Ken Sunshine staff[edit]

Given the controversy, we should give all the affected users' work a once over

These users have also declared employment by Ken Sunshine's Sunshine Sachs :

  1. User:Blue56349
  2. User:Orangegrad
  3. User:Stapler8

Blue56349 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Orangegrad (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Stapler8 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

A sub-issue:

None of the COI disclosures seem adequate; the ToU require "...you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive..." From the FAQ: If you have been hired by a public relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm's client. I request these users be blocked unless or until their disclosures meet this minimum requirement, in order to prevent further damage. Requests/warnings like this have been insufficient. Also, perhaps a template is needed, use of which could he suggested at WP:COI --Elvey(tc) 23:28, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Kirk B. Jensen[edit]

Draft was created by a SPA, rejected, then article created by another SPA, then edited by the first one. The draft is still there and needs to be histmerged. Brianhe (talk) 01:16, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Smileverse[edit]

existing articles, created by user
prob COI edits by user (not complete)
deleted articles, created by user
Added August, 2015

Does this really need a comment? Brianhe (talk) 03:27, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

  • I have no idea at all about the COI issue, but there was a spam issue where the user was adding their website links to multiple articles and the case of a username that was essentially their website's domain. I had blocked as a spamusername, but the user provided assurances that they would not do that again and was unblocked. That can be seen here. I bring this up only because of the relationship between those links, spamname and COI. —SpacemanSpiff 17:21, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
This wouldn't be the first editor whose veneer of patrolling or other activity masks essentially COI contribs and WP:NOTHERE purpose. I developed the list above just by filtering their contribs by page creations and looking at the deletion warnings on his talkpage. Brianhe (talk) 17:49, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The contributions are there in the userpage history too, in addition to the early contribution history.—SpacemanSpiff 18:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Old dog, same old tricks in 2015:
Wow. See same user at #Comm100 case on this page. — Brianhe (talk) 20:35, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Just ran across this editor's obvious profile at a pay-per-service site. Clearly this is paid, but will give him an opportunity to meet WP:TOU. Kuru (talk) 21:19, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

FYI, there is some relevant discussion related to Smileverse that took place on Daylenca's talk page last night that might be helpful. Inks.LWC (talk) 22:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi all! My name is Daylen. This user is on Fiverr which is a violation of the Wikipedia policy WP:PAY. Below I have some information that I copied from my talk page:
Hi! I was exploring Fiverr regarding some design services and stumbled on this, (a Fiverr account offering Wikipedia article writing services, I can't link the page because Wikipedia won't let me; here is a screenshot of the URL, http://screencast.com/t/Mmw5XZiRfB). Isn't this in violation of the Wikipedia terms? While looking through the page to attempt to find their Wikipedia user name I stumbled upon this http://screencast.com/t/7As0jec01nX (two of his latest works, Tuft & Needle and Lancaster Insurance Services). I found that Dewimani was the only editor on the Lancaster Insurance Services article so I suspect that they are the seller. Also, on their talk page, Inks.LWC noticed that the user stated "I am aware of the Wikipedia notability guidelines & have contributed many with other name.", that leads me to believe that they have multiple accounts which is a violation of Wikipedia's policy. As such, I believe that an administrator should look into blocking this users IP address. Can someone please help me submit a claim because I have no idea how.
Daylen (talk) 23:44, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
If you have evidence that they're improperly using multiple accounts then you should file an WP:SPI. It should be noted there are a few cases when multiple accounts can be used. In terms of paid writing, it's covered under our policy at WP:PAY. It's strongly discouraged, but until the issue is addressed further through complete prohibition, then they may have edited within the limits. Was anything you noticed expressly promotional? Mkdwtalk 03:29, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
My guess, after looking at a comparison of the three accounts and the screenshot that Daylen provided (which shows that Lancaster Insurance and Tuft & Needle are connected), it looks like it might be three people all working for the same "company". Unfortunately, I don't really have time to be of much more help right now, as I'm taking the bar exam in 4 days and only came here now because I was pinged; however, if the issue is not yet resolved by July 30, feel free to give me a reminder on my talk page, and I can look into it some more. Inks.LWC (talk) 07:21, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I actually just realized something... I noticed in the Fiverr ad that it states, "If you want us to write for News about you. Contact us". Smileverse, one of the editors to Tuft & Needle (but not Lancaster Insurance Services) is the editor-in-chief of Bangalorean.net (he posted his personal website information to his user page, so there are no outing issues with what I'm saying). In the past, Smileverse has created articles about subjects that he has written about on Bangalorean.net and used his articles as sources. I informed him that doing this was a conflict of interest. A lot of the articles he was linking to from Bangalorean.net were very promotional in there tone, and with that line about "write for News about you", I have a suspicion that he may be getting paid to write stories on Bangalorean.net so that he can use them as "news sources" to make articles here. I had had a suspicion that he might be a paid editor, just based on the articles he had written before and how promotional in nature they were, but now with this Fiverr post that shows that Dewimani, Smileverse, and Baligema might all be connected, that raises more suspicions. Just looking at the editor interactions, it is not apparent that Dewimani is connected, but quite a few articles that have been created by Smileverse and Dewimani have been deleted, so some common pages between them would no longer show up. I know that at one point, they both created an article on a businessman, William Benson (Smileverse created William Benson (businessman), and Dewimani created William benson(businessman)). So there seems to be some connection between the three, and there are certainly some conflict of interest problems, but the exact connection isn't 100% clear. As I said before, I don't really have the time right now to devote to this (I've already spent more time on it than I should have), but if it isn't resolved by next Thursday, I'll come back to this. Inks.LWC (talk) 08:35, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Daylen (talk) 04:19, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

From the evidence above, as well as their earlier foray as a link spammer it is abundantly clear that this user is not here to write neutral content. I'm therefore going to block them indefinitely, but should note that I would be very hesitant to unblock them even if they disclose their COI as WP:NOTPROMO is the reason for the block. I will have a look through some deleted contributions as well to see if there is a chance of sockpuppetry. SmartSE (talk) 20:19, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
@SmartSE: Can I suggest that you start with AlphaPoint as it has a finite set of pretty clearly connected SPA editors? — Brianhe (talk) 22:06, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Smileverse there were several other suspect editors not included here. I also uncovered links to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/TejaswaChaudhary/Archive. I had a look at those accounts at Alphapoint, but they looked to be more like employees of the company editing Smileverse's version rather than socks. SmartSE (talk) 17:29, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh and if this is at all typical of their writing style, there is a whole lot of content that needs cleaning up. SmartSE (talk) 17:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Added Artesianvc; did not get resolved in the Smileverse SPI. Note, he has not edited since I asked about his paid editing 10 days ago. Have requested block as corpname. Brianhe (talk) 23:31, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Refspam from bangalorean.net[edit]

I'm seeing fallout from the bangalorean.net SEO (at least that's what I think it is) e.g. at James Presley and affecting Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Saurav Dutt. Any suggestions on how to handle it? - Brianhe (talk) 04:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

@Brianhe: check Special:LinkSearch e.g. [18]. There aren't too many links but that may lead to some new articles. It should probably be blacklisted as well. SmartSE (talk) 12:48, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Posted blacklist request at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist#bangalorean.net if anybody wants to chime in. Brianhe (talk) 14:53, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Don Nicholas (publisher)[edit]

Bio of an Internet marketing type, orphan article, created by SPA and rescued from PROD by same. The earliest revision gives you an idea of how badly conflicted this editor is. The text has been whittled away to NPOV, leaving a blurb that basically establishes he's alive and owns an Internet marketing gig called Mequoda Group. They used to issue press releases like Top 100 Media Blogs and were mentioned once two years ago in Adweek [19]. Does somebody want to AfD this? Brianhe (talk) 14:29, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

At AFD. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 19:59, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Comm100[edit]

editors

It has come to my attention through off-wiki investigation of a COI issue that Comm100 employs one or more people with the title "SEO Engineer" and they are active here. Brianhe (talk) 20:32, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards[edit]

users

There is strong off-wiki evidence that Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards was created by a for-pay Wikipedia editing service. Since then various conflicted editors have been maintaining it. Starting report now, will fill in details later today.

[Later today] Note that Sclarke was developing this page in near-entirety well prior to the creation of the current article, which was posted by meat- or sockpuppet Ikey1206. Did they use Wikipedia sandbox here to sneakily transfer it to the other editor?

Getting into outing territory, but there are notes at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Michael Kitces (2nd nomination). Finplanwiki is a contributor to CFP and Michael Kitces. Also the only one of these accounts that appears to be editing in 2015.

Added American Academy of Financial Management for involvement of Wealthadvise there. @Rschen7754: for possible legal ramifications per your edit at Doctorlaw SPI

Finplanwiki seems to have self-identified as Marv Tuttle. This leads to Financial Planning Association and another SPA there, PlanningProf .

Fpresearch ←→ Dave Yeske, FPA president or something. I hope this is not an autobiography but ... this upload of Dave Yeske's portrait is suggestive that he is the same. Brianhe (talk) 19:26, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Umm, I am not Marv Tuttle. Just wrote his bio, and several other leaders in our planning industry too. I try to update pages relevant to CFP planners. I don't know anything about how the CFP Board wiki entry was created in the first place. Maybe it was for pay. I just update it by trying to be an active member of this Wiki community, who happens to be a CFP. So yeah, I am a CFP, that's why I care about CFP Board and the other people I wrote up, but no more special than any of the other 72,000 of us CFPs... and as a CFP, yeah I'm also a member of our membership association FPA. I just post anonymous because our industry has crappy old regulations and my complaince department gives me crap about anything with social media. Not because I work for CFP Board or FPA (no thanks!!). Can't even have a damn Facebook page where I work! Finplanwiki (talk) 19:13, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Refactored your reply with an indent (":" character) for readability. Sorry for the suspicion, but as you can see on this page, we have a major problem on Wikipedia with conflicted and undeclared editors contributing here. Would you mind adding something declaring your connection to the FP industry to your userpage? — Brianhe (talk) 19:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, still learning all this Wikipedia formatting stuff. I added some info to my User page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Finplanwiki. Does that cover what you were looking for? As for the CFP Board page... yeah, can't speak to how it got created in the first place. I'm just trying to keep the important info up to date as CFP Board changes their rules. Finplanwiki (talk) 19:36, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Legal told me nothing at the time beyond a confirmation of getting my email, but you may want to ping User:Philippe (WMF) about this. --Rschen7754 04:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Digging through my archives - I would guess that this is unrelated to that email. Rschen, if you think I'm wrong, could you send me reasoning by email? I may be forgetting something, and I'm sure your memory is better than mine. :-) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 06:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Paymentguru[edit]

editors

Suite of SPAs for this financial company and its CEO. I've opened a SPI against three four enrolled users plus four IPs. Brianhe (talk) 02:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Chungsen Leung[edit]

Campaign manager for Canadian politician repeatedly removing a paragraph describing an incident said politician's career ([20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26]). Did not respond to my message on his talk page concerning reverts ([27]), and proceeded to re-revert anyway. Also removed several previous warnings and questions about the same behavior on his talk page: [28]. Richard Yetalk 09:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

User:Ajbutler proceeded to re-revert again -- without discussion -- despite COI notice on his talk page: [29]. Richard Yetalk 22:09, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Another revert ([30]). Deleted notifications and comments on user talk page ([31]). Clearly, user is not interested in discussion -- can admin intervene? Thanks. Richard Yetalk 03:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Reported to WP:AN3. Richard Yetalk 03:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

NeuLion[edit]

On the NeuLion article:

All of these accounts have only edited on the NeuLion article. Davealloway2001, JaredK511, and Wweiss look like names of employees of NeuLion (I can provide internet pages that show this). —George8211 / T 16:15, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Disclosures need work[edit]

None of the COI disclosures seem adequate; the ToU require "...you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive..." From the FAQ: If you have been hired by a public relations firm to edit Wikipedia, you must disclose both the firm and the firm's client. I request these users be blocked unless or until their disclosures meet this minimum requirement, in order to prevent further damage. Requests/warnings like this have been insufficient. Also, perhaps a template is needed, use of which could he suggested at WP:COI --Elvey(tc) 23:28, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm not speaking out of turn since my involvement has been relatively short but seems to me a revamping of the whole process here is overdue. I think the answer is probably an interactive process, such as employed by Jytdog in this instance. Not sure a single template can accomplish that. Also, these three users have just disappeared since June 19 when the COI was uncovered, so what is the solution for that? My suggestion is a policy manual by which users who have gone silent can automatically be blocked. Probably included should be revocation of special rights (rollback/reviewer etc.) at some time prior to that, and revocation of account renaming privilege as soon as an investigation starts. — Brianhe (talk) 00:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Both the COI template {{uw-coi}} and Jytdog note that Wikipedia's terms of use require disclosure of your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation. I'm feeling a shorter template that focuses on this, like {{uw-coi-incomplete}} would be helpful. (I can't say that interactive process stands out as a great example in my view. It's OK, but Jytdog chose to cherry-pick the CoI concerns he sought to address based on his strongly non-NPOV attitude - he tabled any discussion of the CoI of Dr. Lisanby. Intimidation like this is not exemplary either.) I second your policy manual proposal!--Elvey(tc) 01:26, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Note for future self -- procedures manual should include how and when to a) remove permissions userboxes and b) to courtesy blank userpage. — Brianhe (talk) 16:56, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Page archive interval[edit]

I just noticed that the archive bot settings seem to be off. At the top of the page it says auto-archive will happen on a thread after 7 days of inactivity. The bot is configured for 14. We're getting a lot of activity here and the page sometimes gets quite long. If there are no objections in the next 8 hours, I will adjust the bot settings to 7 days as advertised. Brianhe (talk) 17:04, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I moved it to 14 days, as cases kept getting archived before we could deal with them. Not long ago there was a case where that happened, and it ended up at ANI. A long page just means we have a lot to do... Jytdog (talk) 17:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I think 14 is better and agree that cases often got archived before being dealt with when it was 7. SmartSE (talk) 21:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

BankBazaar[edit]

User claims that he created BankBazaar as some kind of "dummy edit" but he's clearly been nurturing it over a period of time, as well as these other things he's created. There are other active editors with names suggesting a relationship to BankBazaar itself. Also I can't help but think that this is some kind of retaliatory thing. Just as a point of interest, this accidentally logged-out edit was from a Bangalore ISP. Brianhe (talk) 18:38, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Looking at BankBazaar, they seem to just pass WP:CORP for notability. They've been written up in the Times of India, the Economic Times, and TechCrunch, mostly because Amazon bought a 5% stake in them. The promotional material in the article needs to be toned down, but most of the hype was already taken out by Brianhe in this edit.[32].
Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test is a notable subject, but the article has a lot of uncited information. Watch for attempts to promote coaching companies.
Eamcet mock counselling probably should be merged into the Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test article. John Nagle (talk) 19:38, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I beg to differ. Eamcet mock counselling is an advert masquerading as an article and I have tagged it for speedy deletion.--ukexpat (talk) 14:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Bankbazaar would be notable (and I think I should be able to find some refs for that in the next couple of days) as they have tie ups with ICICI and HDFC banks for credit card application processing etc as well as their own funding sources. Just on a general principle, these coaching classes and all "add on services" shouldn't be merged to the main articles as they are nothing more than spam magnets (just look at the history of our articles on the Permanent Account Number, Staff Selection Commission etc for some background), and these are the typical companies that use SEOs etc. —SpacemanSpiff 17:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. The coaching company article was speedily deleted, which was probably justified. BankBazaar is close to the threshold on notability; it's at AfD and could go either way. Wait out the AfD; if it stays, we can trim more hype. John Nagle (talk) 18:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

@Smartse: or other admin: Given the obvious COI nature of his contribs, and bald faced dishonesty in answering questions about it, could we get Nash2925 blocked now? — Brianhe (talk) 20:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Flame37fighter[edit]

User has declared he is an employee of the Charlotte Fire Department which the article is about in this edit. Appears to be attempting to use the article to promote the department and is removing material that reflects poorly. Should be noted this is the only page the user has edited. --Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 19:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Raymond James Financial[edit]

It's hard to find a contributor to this article who is not a redlink SPA or drive-by IP. I will follow up in the next 24 hours with developments. Just listing here now if somebody wants to have a look. Edited further to add following This looks like a good candidate for WP:TNT, does anybody else agree with me? — Brianhe (talk) 20:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Added contributor OnceaMetro per April 2015 Signpost report (Sony PR scandal). — Brianhe (talk) 22:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I'll go along with WP:TNT, which might mean a temporary deletion since there is no requirement that we continue to have a badly written, ad filled article. I've also deleted 3 poorly referenced sections. In the long run though, I expect that this company is notable. I even have a word of praise to insert here: at least they have a link to (unaudited) financial statements. I think a link to audited financial statements should be a notability requirement for any company, especially financial companies. Though financial statements are not the end-all and be-all for any company, for financial companies, if you don't have financial statements to start with, anything else they say might as well be pure BS. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Added the most seriously involved editors above. All but one have added "Awards and Accolades" or trimmed negative information w/o explanation. FinEditor100 has been active editing today and I have asked him what his status is as a paid editor or otherwise. Brianhe (talk) 23:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Afraid all the articles that these people were involved in need to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb. Thanks, Briahne. Coretheapple (talk) 17:39, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's an ugly case and a lot of work. This will be an interesting post-mortem, I think we can learn a lot about who hires these people and how they do their business. I put a lot of work into this SPI report because if the real-world operator behind OnceaMetro is who I think it is (a known LTA case), we can use the behavioral evidence in many future cases. Anyway, as for the items that need checking right now, see User:Brianhe/COIbox13#Combined for a start. It's a list I've composed of just two editors' contribs. There are over 175 items to check. I've started some, starting with the ones they've edited most frequently or two suspected socks have edited together. Brianhe (talk) 18:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Various hedge funds and their managers[edit]

editors

In going through the Raymond James case, it appears to me that we have done a crummy job of cleaning up after OnceaMetro. Some of his edits were obvious in purpose, some more difficult to discern, so I'm listing everything that smells "off" here. At a glance it looks like there may have been teams involved in some of these, especially Roy Niederhoffer. Metro's edit history goes way back and the list of apparent clients is quite extensive; I've just cherry picked some of the more egregious and/or recently edited. Brianhe (talk) 23:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Like I said, the full analysis is kind of tedious, but here's a start: User:Brianhe/COIbox13. Brianhe (talk) 00:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
SPI opened against the two editors named above: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/OnceaMetro. Brianhe (talk) 04:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Watch for cherry-picking in reports of fund returns. Pine River Capital Management mentions the return for their best fund in their best year, but doesn't give the usual 1, 5 and 10 year numbers needed to make comparisons. See this WSJ article [33] indicating they were underperforming their market by 2014. Also see this data for 2015 for all their funds.[34] Performance for the last year wasn't so great; several of their funds lost money. John Nagle (talk) 08:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Background: The US SEC requires that investments sold to the public in the US prominently display their 1, 5, and 10 year performance in marketing materials. There's a long history of funds focusing on the good years, so the SEC established 1, 5, and 10 as an arbitrary, but standard benchmark. Hedge funds, which are sold to "sophisticated investors" only, are not required to report in that way. So there are services such as Morningstar and Bloomberg which compute and report those numbers. So, if an article about an US investment has some nonstandard performance numbers but not the 1, 5, and 10 year numbers, it's likely that promotional material has crept into Wikipedia. John Nagle (talk) 18:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh God, my head spinning. Coretheapple (talk) 23:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Blocking non-communicative editors[edit]

Recommend the following editors to be blocked as non-communicative wrt to simple yes/no question about editing for pay:

It has been more than five days for each of them since I asked on their talkpage.

Blocking seems to be the only way to maintain integrity and enforce the Terms of Service for individuals who don't engage with the community. I recommend this be adopted as a regular procedure after a reasonable period of time, like 5 days, as discussed here (diff) previously. Brianhe (talk) 14:38, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

None of them have made any edits in the last five days. Some haven't edited in months. The most recent edit by any of them was July 21st, 2015. What seems to be the problem? John Nagle (talk) 23:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem is stuff like Black House Media (a PR firm apparently writing about itself, complete with a proud recounting of its advertising campaigns) and its CEO, Adekunle Ayeni aka 'Ayeni the Great' according to the article. What are we going to do about it? Wait until these editors come back, then block them? Why? — Brianhe (talk) 02:59, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
None of these editors have made any edits since you asked them your question. Blocking them for being non-communicative would be ridiculous. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:13, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I could as easily say an open-ended waiting period is "ridiculous". That's not an argument. My statement was that it should be a reasonable period of time, open to consensus, and applied by an admin who agrees with the case brought before him/her having followed the correct notification procedures, and with valid grounds. I could see the waiting period being up to something like months. However the longer we wait, a) the more people familiar with the case drop away from the project, lose interest in watching their edits, the fog of memory sets in, etc. b) less disincentive for others who see these paid situations as enticing opportunities and c) we lose the feedback loop to the investigators, who want to see some kind of outcome of their efforts here and not just a black hole. Here's what's at stake as I see it: the future of Wikipedia itself is at risk of being sold by those with the lowest scruples to the highest bidder. We know it's happening, and IMHO it is accelerating because we left the door wide open for the crooks. Is this project more than a blank wall for advertisements for plastic surgeons, celebrity entourages, and get-rich-quick schemes? It's up to us; again, what are we going to do about it? Obviously the current system isn't working. Just scroll up the page: case after case of commercial, baldly promotional stuff is getting through for years on end. We know people are actually forming a commercial enterprise and a way of life around this. Balancing the need to stop that against the inconvenience of some people having to request an unblock seems not "ridiculous" to this volunteer. — Brianhe (talk) 03:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Fixing the article is appropriate. Please remove the PR. Black House Media reads like a press release. But see WP:BLOCKDETERRENT on Wikipedia blocking policy. Blocks are not punitive, they're intended to stop future bad behavior. Blocking inactive accounts is seldom done, since it doesn't do much. It's not a waiting period issue, it's an activity issue. But keep watching for activity on those accounts. If they start putting PR into Wikipedia again, then it's time to ask for a block. John Nagle (talk) 18:58, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Potential COI re: Alex Brown[edit]

Perhaps I am mistaken, and if that is the case, I apologize (consider this more free advertising), but I thought it was unacceptable to advertise or link to your own "paid and pay-for work" on your user page, and/or also to edit articles on WP that references your paid work. For some examples, see the following:

Then there are the WP (controversial?) articles Alexbrn edits and is quoted as follows: Information_Technology_Task_Force which includes a link to Office_Open_XML and then a link to Standardization_of_Office_Open_XML, the latter of which includes the following text in a rather controversial article which also includes a link to his personal blog: On March 31, 2010, Dr Alex Brown, who had been the Convener of the February 2008 Ballot Resolution Meeting, posted an entry on his personal blog[125] in which he complained of Microsoft's lack of progress in adapting current and future versions of Microsoft Office to produce files in the Strict (as opposed to the Transitional) ISO 29500 format:

On this count Microsoft seems set for failure. In its pre-release form Office 2010 supports not the approved Strict variant of OOXML, but the very format the global community rejected in September 2007, and subsequently marked as not for use in new documents — the Transitional variant. Microsoft are behaving as if the JTC 1 standardisation process never happened...

He also removes content he disagrees with but that may be ok since he is an expert in the field: [37].

He does have a COI declaration on his user page:

And there is also his "About Me":

All totaled, it looks like a cozy little promotional site for Alex Brown and his company, Griffin Brown UK. The big question is whether or not the WP suite of Standardization of Office Open XML articles improve the encyclopedia or serve to benefit Alex Brown? If this is acceptable on WP, I'm sure other editors will want to take advantage of it as well. I am also of the understanding that @Risker: works on COI issues, particularly paid COI & advocacy issues, so if she has already investigated this issue and cleared it, then we can put it to rest ASAP. Atsme📞📧 16:51, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I would have an obvious conflict of interest in regard to the company I work for (which I declare). But since (so far as I know) Wikipedia has never mentioned that company or its work, that is moot.
I have a potential conflict of interest with Standards I am involved with (not a financial COI), but generally don't edit those since I declared my potential COIs years ago.
So what is the problem exactly? This looks to me a little like WP:POINTiness because of disagreements in other places. Alexbrn (talk) 17:03, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't notice the links I included. I also don't understand why more admins are not looking at this with sincere concern. The horribly unjust COI that was initiated against me as a volunteer got far more attention. What message are we sending to editors? Your user page links to sites where you sell your products and/or get paid for views. See WP:NOPAY and WP:FCOI. Your book on OCLC & XML Author(s): Alex Brown (Alex Brown is a Technical Director, Griffin Brown Digital Publishing Ltd, Cambridge, UK.) and also here where it costs $28.00/day access [38].
Paid advocacy – being paid to promote external interests on Wikipedia – is a subset of paid editing. It is the type of paid editing of most concern to the Wikipedia community, because edits by paid advocates invariably reflect the interests of the paying client or employer. Advocacy is prohibited by our policies on neutral point of view and what Wikipedia is not, and paid advocacy, including advertising, promotion, public relations and marketing, is an especially egregious form. Sue Gardner, then executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, wrote in 2013 that the Foundation regards paid advocacy as a "black hat" practice that "violates the core principles that have made Wikipedia so valuable for so many people."
Also see: If you have a close financial relationship with a topic you wish to write about – including as an owner, employee, contractor or other stakeholder – you are advised to refrain from editing affected articles. You may suggest changes on the talk page of affected articles, where you should disclose your COI. You can use the {{request edit}} template to suggest changes. You edited several of those articles and you have off-Wiki links to sites where you get paid so that actually makes it a paid advocacy. Atsme📞📧 18:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
So where's the COI? It's difficult to disclose who your employer is without identifying that employer: there's no advertising or promotion going on. I list the real world articles I have written, but I have no financial interest in those (the publishers do maybe). The Gardner quotation seems good, but if you are alleging I am a "paid advocate" you need to produce some diffs of advocacy and say where the pay is coming from. Alexbrn (talk) 18:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

It's starting to look a bit heated here and hard to get a sense of what really is the problem. I'll ask Atsme to leave out material from user pages and off-wiki sources and list only edits made by Alexbrn to Wikipedia articles, and then state very briefly why she thinks each is a COI problem. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Where do you detect "heat"? Surely not from me because I'm cool as a cucumber. [pause while I finish my cucumber salad]. :-) Off-wiki links that promote/advocate one's line of work or place of business carries, well...let's just say, "the lurking suspicion of a COI taint", especially when they link to pay-per-view sites which automatically indicates somebody is getting paid or a business/advocacy is being promoted. It is no different from being paid to promote external interests and is a form of advertising, promotion and marketing (of one's own for-profit company, or as a volunteer Board member of a nonprofit where there is fiduciary responsibility.) I've already provided the links above and was hoping the COIN "team" was going to initiate as thorough an investigation as they have done so many others in the recent past, including my own. Adequate evidence was already provided above but I'll provide yet another off-wiki link to demonstrate the advocacy/promotion controversy - SC 34 meetings, Copenhagen: Within SC 34 there has been discussion about whether Microsoft’s extensions should be taken into the Standard. The consensus has been not to: the market doesn’t care so we will not care on their behalf – the world will get the Standard it deserves. Does this matter? I think it does … but that will have to be the subject of a separate post …. Advocacy? Let's ask Billy Gates what he thinks about it. Read more: http://www.adjb.net/post/copenhagen2.aspx#continue#ixzz3hJFkBH00 It couldn't be more clear after you visit his user page and start clicking on the links. An investigation of his user contributions will also reveal everything COIN needs to know but if the user page alone doesn't create the evidence needed to substantiate paid advocacy, (via business ownership), not to mention the suite of linked articles, and warrant further investigation, then I think we may be opening a large can of worms and setting a new standard regarding financial COI. Atsme📞📧 20:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is very lenient when it comes to what a person can post on his/her own user page, especially when it comes to disclosing conflicts of interest. I personally will ignore any link to the user page, but perhaps somebody else can figure out the point of those links. Links to off-Wiki sources are also somewhat problematic. Wikipedia does not regulate what it's editors can say outside of Wikipedia. Perhaps there are some cases like applying for a paid editing job that might be of interest here, but in general the main complaint here has to be about COI editing to articles. Perhaps that other stuff can help support an accusation of COI editing, but I would have to see an edit to an article for me to recommend any action on this. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand. Where is the COI editing? He has dislosed potential COI and states he has done no paid advocacy. Where are the supposed problem edits? As far as I can tell from what is presented here the editor has been aboveboard and forthright. evidence please? Capitalismojo (talk) 20:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Absent evidence of problematic edits, this should be closed and the OP should apologize. Capitalismojo (talk) 20:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I can't see any problems either. SmartSE (talk) 21:39, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Let me get this straight so there is no confusion. Smartse you said you don't see any problems concerning Alexbrn with regards to a potential COI or FCOI based on the following information I provided:
  1. Information_Technology_Task_Force, (ITTF) an article which Alexbrn created (with no COI disclosure on TP) and he also leads with the most number of edits [39];
  2. ITTF includes in the body of the article a link to Office_Open_XML, an article which Alexbrn was 3rd in number of edits [40], states on the article TP header that The subject of this article is controversial and content may be in dispute, (again no COI disclosure on TP),
  3. ITTF also includes in the body of the article a link to Standardization_of_Office_Open_XML, the latter of which Alex led in number of edits, [41], and didn't include a COI notice until after he finished editing the article, [42];
  4. Even though 1 - 3 above clearly promote his line of work/business advocacy for standardization, you say there is no problem with FCOI and nothing needs to be done, correct?
  5. You are also saying it's ok for editors to advocate, solicit, promote and market one's products/services from their user pages using links to off-wiki sites, correct?
  6. You are saying editors can create and edit controversial topics regardless of having a COI, correct? See #2 & #3 above.
Hmmm...perhaps you can explain the purpose of COIN? Also, what about all the editors who were past targets of COI investigations and brought here to enforce restrictions on their editing ability for far less than what Alexbrn has done - don't they deserve the same consideration? I'm actually ok with whatever you decide as long as it works the same for ALL editors, not just a select few. Atsme📞📧 00:23, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Could you expand on what you mean by 'advocacy for standardization'? What exactly are you suggesting that Alexbrn was advocating on Wikipedia? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Abuse of COIN[edit]

Just as a bit of background here, this all comes after Atsme lodged a case request at Arbcom entitled "Abuse of COIN". Atsme was objecting to her own case here at COIN, which investigated her placement of links to her company into article space, and self-citation, among other things, and which closed with a finding of a COI. Atsme's Arbcom request was declined with a suggestion it be taken to AN/I (which, strangely, it never was).
As is evident from her mentions of her own case above, this appears to be a WP:POINTed attempt at tit-for-tat with one of her perceived opponents. I am open to any question the COIN folk want to ask me, but I fear this is yet another waste of the community's time. Alexbrn (talk) 04:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I think its tit for tat but not pointy behavior. I think there is a failure on the part of Atsme to understand the difference between your COI in relation to Open XML and her COI in relation to that ocean conservation group. For a novice at ethics it would not be a far out mistake. If this COI (it's really very minor. Wouldn't really even consider it a coi personally) wasn't managed as it is, considering recent history, this might be somewhat reasonable. You might consider that. None the less, considering the overall history, I don't think that you would be wrong if you chose to consider ANI.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 08:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
There's no tit for tat. I don't play the same games children play. To begin, Alex was not even involved in my COINoscopy so why was that even mentioned? Do you have a guilty conscience about something? These are two entirely different incidents, so stop trying to make this about me. I simply want the courtesy of having my questions answered because those answers will apply to all editors others across the board. FYI - I didn't pursue an ANI in my case because (1) I chose a 3rd party mediator, Tryptofish, who did an excellent job of listening, and (2) I have no animosity toward anyone and I don't hold grudges. Life is too damn short to waste it on such silly things. I've done nothing wrong by bringing Alex's COI here, and questioning why certain restrictions apply to some but not to all is, quite frankly, a darn good question. Others should be asking the same thing. Read my comments above and stop jumping to conclusions. As for my COI case, I didn't/don't have links to my commercial website on my user page. I disclosed my COI before I edited - it was on the TP of the articles, and the editors who collaborated with me knew ahead of time. They also knew about my retirement. They now know about my emeritus status. The fish I wrote about thanked me for the disclosure. Whoop-te-do. However, if COIN says it's ok to do things the way Alex has done them, then I may just consider changing my user page to take advantage of it as Alex has done. Atsme📞📧 21:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm commenting here only because Atsme pinged me. Thank you for saying that I was helpful. I appreciate that, and I'm glad that I was. I don't know what the issues are here, because I really do not want to be involved, but I can say that I have edited with Alexbrn in the past, and found him to be a good editor. A lot of my advice to Atsme was to let things be and move on, so maybe raising a new issue of COI really isn't that useful. Anyway, I don't want to participate in this discussion any further. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:00, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Atsme is playing games. Games like putting well...let's just say, "the lurking suspicion of a COI taint" above - quoting my own words[43] back at me, which of course I recognise but nobody else will. That looks like a grudge to me. Anyway, let's be clear Atsme: you are saying the putting the words "I work here" on my user page, linked to my employer's web site, is in violation of Wikipedia's COI guideline? You do appreciate, I take it, that this is a teensy bit different from your case where you edit-warred links to your company, and put multiple citations of your own non-RS work, into article space? Alexbrn (talk) 03:27, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
This new section is a diversionary tactic which actually appears to be gaming the system so let's get back on track to Alex Brown's editing. I will not partake in diversionary tactics. I've asked straight-forward questions that deserve simple straight-forward answers. My 4 yr. old COI declaration and the links that were removed are of no consequence here. What is of most importance now are links to your work and personal blog in the article Standardization of Office Open XML which also includes a direct quote from you in an advocacy position in an article where you are listed in the top 3 editors. My COI was about endangered fish species so you're right in that they are not at all similar to what you've done with the suite of articles and promotion of your POV. I'm sure there are quite a few politicians who would like the same opportunity. From the article: On March 31, 2010, Dr Alex Brown, who had been the Convener of the February 2008 Ballot Resolution Meeting, posted an entry on his personal blog[125] in which he complained of Microsoft's lack of progress in adapting current and future versions of Microsoft Office to produce files in the Strict (as opposed to the Transitional) ISO 29500 format) In addition to linking to your personal blog (which I'm not sure is even permitted on WP) it is followed by a quote by you, Alex Brown, advocating your position. Atsme📞📧 13:24, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, it's you who first raised your own case in your complaint, and you need to be prepared to have your own behaviour looked at when you post to a noticeboard. You have been asked by others to provide diffs and explanations here and you have not done so. Instead the goal posts shift again so that "what is of importance" is apparently now a citation of my blog in the Standardization of Office Open XML article. However, I have neither added nor removed that - or anything written by me, so this is completely irrelevant to this noticeboard. Alexbrn (talk) 13:31, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Perhaps Atsme should ask the person who actually added the material concerning Dr Brown whether the edit [44] was done in contravention of Wikipedia COI policy? AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:34, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Alex, I raised the case in a much different context. What you are doing now constitutes an unwarranted PA regarding a resolved issue, apparently to divert attention away from your own advocacy editing. The links above and in the original filing provide the evidence. Atsme📞📧 14:28, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

You have provided no evidence that Alexbrn edited the Standardization of Office Open XML article in contravention of policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Agree. This looks to be resolved as not COI editing. Capitalismojo (talk) 14:34, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Unless Atsme can actually provide evidence that Alexbrn has violated policy, this should be closed as no action. Winner 42 Talk to me! 16:41, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Why don't the editors who are defending Alex explain why they think the evidence I provided is not adequate? The defense is not substantive. And while you're at it, explain why others have to request permission here at COIN to edit articles involving their COI while Alex can edit articles involving his COI without requesting permission. Atsme📞📧 04:45, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
As I have already told you elsewhere[45], "I used to be a sinner" (though, even looking back, I don't believe even my edits in areas of potential COI are controversial). I haven't edited on conflicted topics for years. Other editors are asking you for evidence in the form of diffs of edits and "brief" descriptions of why those edits are bad. The more you prolong this without providing such evidence (and I don't think you can) the more this just looks like a vexatious posting trying to redress the balance for you yourself having being caught-out here. Alexbrn (talk) 05:08, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I didn't get caught, I got an apology. You're the one who didn't declare until after the fact, and you're the one who continued to edit those same 3 articles while ignoring your FCOI so I hardly consider that managing your COI. There are too many edits to list diffs individually because they comprise most of the article x 3 articles, one of which you created, so I used wikiinks for them in addition to diffs. The closing admin can decide if something needs to be done about your FCOI. Seriously, a controversial article that includes a paragraph about you with a link to your personal blog, and a quote by you? Jiminy Cricket. And that doesn't include the links to your pay-per-view commercial products on your user page. If COIN finds what you've done to be acceptable then other editors should be able to do the same, don't you think? Atsme📞📧 06:02, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Still not a single diff. From the above I don't think you understand what a COI (let alone a FCOI) is, since nothing you mention is problematic in that context. I don't link to any of "my" (or my company's) products, so what you say is false. Anyway I think it should be obvious to the closer what's going on here, not least from your edit summary[46]. Alexbrn (talk) 06:15, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
My initial post is full of diffs and links - scroll up, up, up. I've certainly learned the benefits of COIN from some of the best teachers on WP - I get it now - so rather than belabor this discussion thinking my questions will be answered, I will simply follow your lead because no response indicates a green light to me. A very valuable lesson, indeed. Oh, and Alex - you need to update the external links on the 3 articles I mentioned. They now lead to nowhere. I will be happy to help you add new links if you think your involvement would create a COI. Atsme📞📧 20:37, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Just so there is no misunderstanding or confusion then, can you please post again a diff of where where Alexbrn makes an edit in violation of WP:COI. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:13, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
WP:HEAR - the diffs are in my original post - scroll up, up, up. Alex also added: [47]. At the time of his edits, he sat on the UK government's Open Standards Board. He also edited the following articles directly, Standardization of Office Open XML (see info above about controversial topic I posted above with a paragraph about him and a quote by him), [48], [49], [50]. He also directly edited Office_Open_XML, [51], [52]. As for the promotional links on his user page, see WP:UP#PROMO. I'm of the mind that if admins and the COIN community don't see a COI issue or have any concern over his promotional off-wiki links on his user page, and/or don't have an issue with the information he added or excluded from the highly controversial article, Standardization_of_Office_Open_XML per the diffs I provided, and they also don't consider inline links in that same controversial article regarding his advocacy to be a problem, including an inline link to his personal blog in the body of the article, then that's wonderful. WP is fortunate to have such experts freely volunteering their time and energy. What I don't think is proper are double standards so if one editor is cleared then all should be cleared and vice versa. I would also like for the questions I asked to be answered for the record. Atsme📞📧 22:51, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be under the misapprehension that editing a subject you know something about - or indeed are paid to know something about - constitutes a conflict of interest. It doesn't. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:44, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
  • This report raises an enormous WP:CIR question because it contains nothing other than bluster and ignorant posturing. No evidence of a conflict with WP:COI is presented above. Editors are welcome to post links about their work and achievements on a user page—nothing presented above shows a problem. People are welcome to edit articles on topics they understand—nothing approaching a COI edit has been presented. When pressed for details, Atsme quotes text from an article but fails to acknowledge that the text was added in April 2010 by Chilly Penguin. The only COI shown here is in "The horribly unjust COI that was initiated against me as a volunteer got far more attention". Johnuniq (talk) 12:25, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I think your comments raise an enormous WP:CIR question. I have asked for an admin to please respond to my questions and you keep trying to make this case about me. My case is closed so please drop the stick and allow the process to work. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect direct answers to my questions. Atsme📞📧 20:00, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
This administrator does not think there is any actionable conflict of interest; the diffs you cite are, at newest, two years old. The articles have had plenty of time to be cleaned up by neutral parties, and there is no recent COI behaviour that needs addressed. —C.Fred (talk) 20:11, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

More spoofing/impersonation[edit]

Just to be absolutely clear, in case there was any doubt, this is not me. Someone has been, maybe still is, impersonating me and offering to create articles for payment. As mentioned the last time I reported this, I have an email response from one impostor, maybe the same person, promising they would not do it again. Happy to forward it as necessary. I don't want to out myself so I have not replied to the Facebook post.--ukexpat (talk) 20:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

If someone can post there, they should point them here. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 20:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
<Venting> I am extremely pissed off about this. I have an unblemished Wikipedia history and now I am getting shat upon on Facebook and cannot even respond...time for a bike ride and a beer.--ukexpat (talk) 21:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)</venting>
I know. They've used other userpages as well. I wish the Foundation would step in but they don't seem very interested. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 21:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is bad. Maybe you could add a notice to your userpage stating that you are being impersonated? I'd of thought that should put a stop to it fairly quickly. SmartSE (talk) 21:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I hope that this is also an attempt at impersonation ... claims to have 5 years on Wikipedia and over 50,000 edits, and offers to "add links to most pages of your choice for a low flat fee, along with a 3 month guarantee", and "creating new pages and getting them to stick, including difficult ones about 'unnotable' [sic] businesses". However, does not name his supposed Wikipedia account. Brianhe (talk) 21:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This editor does not accept paid editing work. If somebody claims that he/she is me and is soliciting paid editing work, then they are impersonating me, and likely scamming you. Feel free to contact the proper authorities.

I'll suggest something like the notice here for your user page. We should also post something similar about scammers at AfC and other places where it might come up. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't understand why anyone would be foolish enough to claim that he is a particular editor if he is not, as it is easy enough to disprove. You just ask the person, ok if you are that editor, post a confirmation or something on Wikipedia. Impersonation is a form of identity theft, can be a criminal act. Coretheapple (talk) 15:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I see that Facebook post has been edited and acknowledges that there was an impersonation of Ukexpat. Coretheapple (talk) 15:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it could be much worse than impersonation or fraud, it could be racketeering as in RICO, which is extremely serious. The scam, as I understand it, works as follows:
  • An article on a small or medium size company is subject to attacks by the racketeers, based on WP:COI, the terms of use, or other rules. It's easy enough to find these here, as we all well know.
  • The company is then contacted anonymously and told "we can fix this problem for you and you can get your free advertising back to normal" for only $xxxx.
  • If there is no response, somebody identifying themselves as "an administrator" contacts them, assuring them that the problem can be taken care of. Explicitly or implicitly part of the message is "don't contact me publicly on Wikipedia." Yes, that makes the company something of an accomplice if they respond to the e-mail. But it's really only the smallest of steps. wink-wink. Making the victim into an accomplice is a key step in many scams.
  • When the company finds out that nobody can guarantee on article on Wikipedia, they have nobody to complain to because of that small step ("just ignoring the rules a tiny bit; beside the rules can be pretty unclear at times")

BLP disclaimer - No, I have no proof that this is exactly what is going on. But off Wikipedia this is the oldest scam in the book. Throw a few rocks thru a store's windows, have them contacted by a "concerned member of the community," send in the protection boys soon after. That is racketeering in its classic form. If more than 1 person is involved in more than 1 incident it is RICO. Seriously bad stuff for everybody involved. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the support folks. I have added a message box to my user and user talk pages. Others have commented about the impersonation in the Facebook thread, and it has been acknowledged. I have cooled down a bit, regular service is now resumed.--ukexpat (talk) 13:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Please do keep us informed, even if there is the smallest similar problem. I'm sure that we all can help, even if it is just to keep a look out for similar problems elsewhere. Your messages will also help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Lia Chang[edit]

users

These accounts raison d'etre is the promotion of Lia Chang through photo credits [53], refspam [54] and an article [55].

Photos [56], [57], [58], [59], [60], [61], [62], [63], [64], [65], [66], [67], [68], [69], [70], [71], [72].

Refspam [73], [74], [75], [76], [77], [78], [79], [80], [81], [82], [83], [84], [85], [86], [87], [88], [89], [90], [91], [92], [93], [94].

Blatant promotion and linkspamming. duffbeerforme (talk) 11:35, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

That's not all the refspam. We will need to do an external links search for liachang.wordpress.com to finish this. Brianhe (talk) 14:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Done. --damiens.rf 15:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think this case is over. The headshots added to performing-arts bios screams PR firm at play. I'm going to investigate a bit, but will have to start a wikibreak soon. — Brianhe (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
n.b. 63.138.145.226 is one of the above editors logged out; it belongs to "Eidesis Management", 500 Fifth Ave, NYC. Would this be talent management? — Brianhe (talk) 18:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Whoa! What is going on here? As far as I can tell, Lia Chang is a legitimate journalist. I have seen her reporting on theatre items in the past where the reporting was clearly legitimate, and I was drawn here by the abrupt deletion of those refs. Is everyone sure you are doing the right thing here? The references listed under "refspam" above look legitimate to me, at least at first glance. Would someone please explain what the evidence is here? What is this list of stuff above? Would someone please explain it in words? Be careful that we are not attacking Asian bios in a systemically biased way. Also, I have noticed User:Damiens.rf making serious mistakes in the past and wonder if this is also some kind of mistake. -- Ssilvers (talk) 07:08, 31 July 2015 (UTC):Ssilvers

This is the noticeboard for bringing issues with conflict of interest editing to the community. What triggers a listing here is editing that is promotional. Reviewing the above, it appears that Duffbeerforme noticed a pattern of promotional editing around Lia Chang that affected the article on her, and several others in which references to Chang were inserted. Edits like these violate the WP:PROMO policy and often produce content that violates NPOV (UNDUE weight on "good" things, removal of negative information, puffery/promotional language... that sort of thing) and such content is also often unsourced or poorly sourced too, violating VERIFY and RS or MEDRS. This sort of thing generally happens for two reasons - the subject of the article themselves, or someone who is an employee or contractor (a freelancer hired at elance or the like) come to Wikipedia for the purpose of promoting someone or something, or a "fan" is doing it. Either way, we end up with policy-violating content and the integrity of WP is harmed. Sometimes mistakes are made in the course of this work - I haven't seen all the work done on this case. I started working on the Lia Chang article itself, which does appear to have been the subject of promotional editing - have a look at it and you will find a significant amount of promotional, unsourced, or badly-sourced content. Does that explain what is going on? Jytdog (talk) 11:34, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
But what if these two proponents are wrong, or on some kind of anti-Asian editing spree? Someone should look carefully at what Duffbeerforme and Damiens.rf are doing to be sure, especially because of WP:BLP. For example, in recent days, I have noticed at least two instances of Damiens.rf deleting information that is properly sources and obviously not promotional, since I had inserted the refs over a period of years and have no connection whatsoever with Lia Chang. Just some information in an article is unreferenced does not automatically mean that it should simply be deleted. Perhaps a simple google search can find Reliable sources for that information. In the case of Lia Chang, I see her photos appearing in legitimate sources, like Playbill (see, for example this), and I believe that her theatrical reviews at this site are legitimate per WP:RS. -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:13, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for continuing to talk, btw. I have seen you wrote twice now, about anti-asian bias. I don't know where that is coming from and to be frank I am not going to touch that, except to say that if you have such concerns, this is not the place to bring them. And I encourage you not to repeat statements like that except directly with the users about whom you have those concerns, on their user Talk pages, or at an appropriate forum like ANI. Again, this is not the forum for that.
About specific bits of content - people have various views on deleting unsourced content per WP:VERIFY and keeping it per WP:PRESERVE and debates like that have raged since the early days of WP; ditto what constitutes a reliable source. I would encourage you to address any specific edits made to specific articles at the relevant article Talk page. This board is for addressing large scale patterns of COI editing. If you look at the contributions of Asia Lauren (easy to do via the link above), you will see that every edit was to the Lia Chang article, or adding references to Lia in other articles. This account is a WP:SPA and their edits are violating WP:PROMO, which is policy. Please take some time and look at other cases posted here, and in the archives. You will see that regardless of anyone's race, ethnic origin, or gender, even whether they are for-profit or non-profit, or with industry or suing industry - many many people do the exact same behavior as Asia Lauren - a SPA is a SPA.
You are right that when we go to clean up WP in the wake of editors who have abused WP for promotional purposes, we have to be careful. And sometimes people trim too far, too fast. That happens. And then folks like you come back around and clean up after that. This is all normal WP ebb and flow. yes? Jytdog (talk) 17:45, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Hello, Jytdog. Someone is adding free images to Wikipedia. Why is that a problem? Who cares if the subjects asked (or even paid) someone to add free photos to their WP articles? It seems to me, from a quick glance, that the massive deletions going on here, in response to some possibly good-faith encyclopedia building (albeit by some editors who may or may not have a COI in some cases) are alarming. I notice that Damiens.rf is massively deleting references from numerous articles in Wikipedia. I don't have time to follow him around and, as you say, ebb his flow. So, if I hope this is *not* "normal"! Also, why is it not proper to investigate, when numerous WP:BLP articles seem to be under attack, whether there is an agenda at work? -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:12, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Let me clarify that I am not the boss of this place or anyplace and I am not an admin. I just work at COIN a lot. My advice to you, to not go around WP accusing people of racism, is just general advice - but you will of course do as you will. You are writing a very serious thing, when you write that and especially when you say you have seen it before you mentioned it here; it is not something I take lightly or would write lightly myself. If you think someone is editing in a racist manner you should address that with them and if that doesn't resolve it bring it to ANI.
I asked you to look at the Lia Chang article to tell me if you find it promotional and badly sourced, and your didn't respond.
With regard to larger issues of conflict of interest - if you are unaware of how COI editing generally damages Wikipedia by making articles biased, I don't know what to say, other than that I encourage you to read our WP:COI guideline and maybe have a look at Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia, and then perhaps review the 3 or 4 debates over banning paid editing that raged within Wikipedia over the Wiki-PR and Banc de Binary scandals, and review other COI cases on this board, and maybe spend some time looking at the flow of websites getting spammed into WP at the spam blacklist. There are boatloads of people who abuse WP all the time to try to sell stuff or promote somebody or some idea, and don't care if our content ends up warped. It is a problem.
Based on my quick glance and some initial clean up work I did, the activity around these articles seems to be made of the same cloth - which has nothing to do with race but with garden-variety promotionalism. But I will look over what has been going on in the rest of these cases - as I wrote above, I've only started looking at the Lia Chang article itself and the overall contribs of Asia Lauren. Jytdog (talk) 18:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

[left] I'm not accusing anyone of anything beyond massive deletions without discussion. All of the targets in this massive deletion problem seem to be about Asian or Asian-American persons or topics, so I look forward to your further investigation. Yes, of course I think the Lia Chang article is insufficiently referenced, although some of the references already cited cover some of the facts that are not yet footnoted. I know a lot about COI editing. I have battled it numerous times over the past 9 years and 100K+ edits here. But I have not battled it by doing a search and massively deleting *references* that have been contributed to the encyclopedia, and other information without any attempt to determine whether it is useful or not. I have no problem with banning paid editing and asking PR firms to, instead, suggest changes and refs on the relevant Talk pages. But from what I have seen here, it looks to me like some editors are adding (mostly? partly?) legitimate information to articles in the arts area that in fact need that information, even though those editors did not add sufficient references in some cases. Moreover, Damiens.rf is deleting *references* in the mistaken belief that *all* articles on Wordpress are illegitimate; but WP:RS explains when certain blogs are permissible. So I look forward to your response to the massive deletion that is going on, and I hope you will restore the material that has been deleted by Damiens.rf (and others?) when you determine if it is helpful and appropriate. All the best, -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:59, 31 July 2015 (UTC)[

User:Ssilvers. The Asianess or otherwise of the subjects articles is irrelevant. Your raising it in the way you did is inflammatory and insulting. Your continuing attacks on Damiens.rf are unbecoming. Let's put that aside for now and look at other things.
"As far as I can tell, Lia Chang is a legitimate journalist." Lets look at her linkedin page. [95]. "Lia Chang. Filmmaker at Bev's Girl Films. New York, New York. Public Relations and Communications." PR. Not according to her a "legitimate journalist", a PR agent.
"Someone should look carefully at what Duffbeerforme and Damiens.rf are doing to be sure, especially because of WP:BLP." I welcome anyone to look at what I'm doing here with respect to WP:BLP. Removing questionable sources from BLPs is not bad. If mistakes are made, it can be fixed. Err on the right side. This source is worse than questionable.
"The references listed under "refspam" above look legitimate to me, at least at first glance." Try a second glance. First link goes to [96]. This is a reproduction of a press release from Columbia University School [97]. Contrary to the claim on Lia Changs blog that "All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia." this text is © 2015 Columbia University School of the Arts. Clearly not an independent reliable source. Second link goes to [98]. This is a reproduction of a press release from [99]. Contrary to the claim on Lia Changs blog that "All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia." this text is © 2015 Ford Foundation. Some Rights Reserved. Clearly not an independent reliable source. This sort of reproduction goes on. Not legitimate reporting. PR.
Next time you accuse someone of racism, get your facts right first.
This is not a case of multiple people thinking Lia Chang's personal blog is a good source and adding it to articles. This is one single editor (Asia Lauren) adding that one bad source to over 100 different Wikipedia articles. Clearly refspamming. duffbeerforme (talk) 14:20, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Declared COI, Edit Assistance[edit]

I have a COI that precludes me from making this addition, and would like to request an uninvolved editor consider adding to the list of Notable People for Shenandoah, Pennsylvania the following:

Thanks - LavaBaron (talk) 20:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Frankly, even though I occasionally like pierogies and even have a liking for Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania (enough so that I can spell it), I don't think Ted Twardzik, Sr., or Mrs. T's Pierogies is notable enough for an article, or even for Mr. T to be added to the list of notable people in Shenandoah. The only refs I've seen are to the company website and to a promo piece in the Pottsville Republican-Herald Maybe it's the Pottstown paper (a larger city nearby), but I've never heard of it and have no reason to believe that it's a reliable source, except perhaps for straight news stories in Schuylkill County. I'm a bit mixed on whether the Great Pierogi Race should have an article, except for the firing and hiring of the outspoken pierogy, there's nothing even remotely notable about a normal ballpark promotion. I tend to think not. Smallbones(smalltalk)
Ok, it's the Republican & Herald, but they appear to have dropped the "&" online. They even won a Pulitzer Prize 36 years ago, but the article you linked to still looks like a blatant home-town promo piece. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Not to split hairs, but, I think, technically it's called a feature story. Anyway, here's, additionally, a 1996 article from the Morning Call [101], a 1990 article from the Los Angeles Times [102], a 1994 article from the Philadelphia Inquirer [103], a 1998 article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [104], a 2001 article from Inc. Magazine [105], a 2014 article from the website of the Pennsylvania State University [106], an article from the website of the University of Notre Dame [107], and text from the website of the Shenandoah Chamber of Commerce [108]. I can provide additional sources, but this (one national newspaper, two regional newspapers, two local newspapers, one national magazine, two AAU-member university websites, and a trade association's website), objectively, would meet GNG criteria (significant coverage spanning a period of time in RS that are independent of the subject) required under our WP:USCITIES guideline for notable people inclusion. LavaBaron (talk) 00:53, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, LavaBaron, for declaring your conflict of interest and for refraining from making the edit yourself (all too rare, unfortunately!). The best place to make your (apparently reasonable) suggestion is the talk page of the article, Talk:Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. You can start your post with {{request edit}} (exactly so, with the curly parentheses) to attract the attention of other editors. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 07:32, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Note: I've updated Mrs. T's Pierogies with some of the references mentioned above, did some copy editing, and removed the notability and advert templates. -- Eclipsed (talk) (email) 08:08, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Justlettersandnumbers, I normally would broach a COI edit request on the Talk page, however, intentionally bypassed it since it hasn't been visited in five years and this seemed to me (apparently erroneously) like a clerical edit, rather than one that would necessitate the level of scrutiny it apparently requires. I do have to admit I greet with some bemused irony that the leading name currently on the Shenandoah, Pennsylvania Notable People list whose sanctity my fellow editor is admirably and very passionately arguing to protect from the intrusion of vested interests is Joseph Awad, the president of the Public Relations Society of America ... anyway, thanks for your consideration and kind regards - LavaBaron (talk) 08:56, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Solar City[edit]

The article reads like an ad, and one can see why after looking at those edits. The COI editing was years ago. There's nobody worth blocking, but some hype has to come out, and there's a lack of criticism in the article. Anyway, please take a look and clean up. Thanks. John Nagle (talk) 07:15, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

This reminds me that I'd seen an ad to place an article on Wikipedia about an Ohio solar company, lately. It was written in a way to make it hard to determine the name of the company. Brianhe (talk) 19:10, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Chris Bashinelli[edit]

This user has only made promotional edits on Chris Bashinelli. I've warned the user twice on their talk page about conflicts, but the user is not responding. Extremely basic off-wiki research has lead me to believe that the user has a conflict with this subject (admins, email if you want details). agtx 21:04, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Resolved with user. agtx 22:52, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Stefan Ginchev[edit]

Creation of autobiography, persistent removal of maintenance templates. WP:OWNERSHIP. 2601:188:0:ABE6:2CE7:9FE7:32F1:AC2A (talk) 21:06, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

The article creator/subject has now blanked it, and added a speedy deletion template - the wrong one, but I don't think that matters since the intent is clear. I suspect it will be deleted shortly. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:24, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
Editor has changed names, re-created the article. 2601:188:0:ABE6:2CE7:9FE7:32F1:AC2A (talk) 12:11, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Jane Wesman Public Relations and others[edit]

Looks like some questionable stuff, including a bit on the founder of a PR firm, was created by one editor. Needs a look-see. I found some significant problems with Agostino von Hassell too, which looked a whole lot like a vanity bio, including a probably false portrayal of the subject as a U.S. Marine. Brianhe (talk) 04:27, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Second editor for Agostino von Hassell and his father [109] suggests connection. Brianhe (talk) 14:38, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
@Sitush: you seem to have some more knowledge of this situation. Brianhe (talk) 20:05, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
I had dealings with the Belesis and John Thomas Financial articles, yes. Both have been very promotional/whitewashed and included wild claims that could only be substantiated to poor sources. I know nothing of the others that you list, nor can I recall whether any of those accounts were involved. - Sitush (talk) 20:09, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. The "art editor" created Thomas Belesis and has an interest in SEO [110] and online reputation management [111]. Brianhe (talk) 20:20, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Removed much of the peacocking. John Nagle (talk) 20:30, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Agostino von Hassell has a problem. The article is carefully written to give the impression that he has a military background. His illustrious military ancestors are mentioned, there's a picture of him in uniform, and a long list of his military publications. But there's no mention of him having actually been in the military. Ripoff Report (not a reliable source) says he wasn't.[1] The picture of him in military uniform can be seen at higher resolution, but there's no insignia of rank. That's what civilian contractors and journalists wear in war zones. John Nagle (talk) 19:58, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

DJ Kamal Mustafa[edit]

User "Dj1kamal" seems to be the subject of the article and he has edited the article in a promotional way for some time now. He removes every tag placed on the article. "GoingBatty" placed an Orphan tag, he removed it. "Tll85" placed a speed deletion tag on the account of "G11. Unambiguous advertising or promotion", he removed it without contesting. A COI tag was also placed, he still removed it.Tll85 (talk) 15:11, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Pegasystems[edit]

This article about a software company needs a look by a disinterested editor. Has had a history with a declared COI editor, an accidentally? disclosed one, what looks like one or more PR agents, and many SPAs. Brianhe (talk) 16:37, 4 August 2015 (UTC)