Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

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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.
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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. If revealing private information is needed to resolve COI editing, and if the issue is serious enough to warrant it, editors can seek the advice of functionaries or the arbitration committee by email.
  • 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. However, paid editing without disclosure is prohibited. Consider using the template series {{Uw-paid1}} through {{Uw-paid4}}.
  • 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|Article}}.
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:

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


User with suspicious name editing adding seemingly personal information to article. Also, the article is the only one edited by user

Your too infrequently posted list of suspicious articles[edit]

Extended content

Triage for socks/covert advertising/false positives from others is welcome. MER-C 15:23, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

@MER-C: that is quite a list. I will keep an eye out for any articles in the new page feed that are on the list, and will try to leave comments on articles' status.--SamHolt6 (talk) 17:04, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

List to 9 November[edit]

Gotta keep those at AFD and SPI busy :) MER-C 21:11, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Veterinary practice management software[edit]

Fairly obvious tag teaming COI user in case anyone else wants to give it a go. GMGtalk 13:21, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Well, they've disclosed their paid editing, but are now repeatedly inserting a link farm to promote their company, and I'm at 3RR. So anyone feel free to weigh in there. GMGtalk 14:13, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Tommy Smith (saxophonist)[edit]

Shockingly, since 2012 Tommysmith007 has been evading editors without declaring their obvious conflict of interest. Their only edits are to their own page or regarding himself on other peoples pages [1]. While I have warned the editor, upon closer review of the page I feel it is uncomfortably close to his own bio see here for example and compare it to "Spartacus" section (which I have removed because it is all copied). This may require some rev'dl but at the very least this page requires some major cleanup. HickoryOughtShirt?4 (talk) 02:22, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Luuuuuka[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Luuuuuka. @Doc James and MER-C: you all might be interested in this. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:37, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Also, SamHolt6 who filed the SPI. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:38, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Socks created the drafts listed above. Undoubtedly these are all clients. I hope they paid with refundable credit cards. ☆ Bri (talk) 05:05, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Herbert R. Brown[edit]

Appears to be the subject of the article, editing to puff up the article. User ignored a talk page notice and I do not want to continue an edit war. shoy (reactions) 14:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Talk about crimes against MOS! I reverted the changes and left another note on their talkpage asking them to discuss. There may be some good sources in those awfully formatted refs - I googled a few headlines and they were findable; some of the website ones looked a bit non RS, but the newspaper ones might be good, if they could be tracked down. Curdle (talk) 17:33, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Equality Trust[edit]

Hi, there are promotional edits being editwarred onto the article by the trust themselves and a paid editor 'commissioned' by them. They are removing the independent references for a version sourced only to their website, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 14:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Paul Jessup (artist)[edit]

The creator of this article and other SPA editors are removing/whitewashing referenced negative content and editwarring to do it. The Timberlack edit history indicates a UPE, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 18:19, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Richard Battye[edit]

I am self-reporting myself as I'm working on a rewrite of the article on one of my PhD supervisors/colleagues. I am doing this as the initial version of the article was focused on him being a cricketer, which he was briefly in 1995, but his career is in cosmology. I am trying to do so as neutrally as I can, but a second set of eyes would be useful please. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:10, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

@Mike Peel: Thanks for the self-report. To be entirely correct you should put a notice on your user page and say whether it is paid editing or just a COI. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:41, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
@Smallbones: Thanks for the reply. I have added a note to my user page. It is just a COI - no payment was involved. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:10, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

What About Wiki[edit]

  • Website see Stephen Harrison (2018-10-29). "Wikipedia's Top-Secret 'Hired Guns' Will Make You Matter (For a Price)". Medium.
  • This company has been reported to have been active since 2015 and have "more than 50 sock-puppet user accounts" claiming a revenue of $500k/yr. An example given in the article is about a baseball player who wanted their photo changing from one of them appearing fat for a more flattering photo. Anyone got any ideas what article that could be? SmartSE (talk) 15:42, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
It's an interesting article. There are only about 750 major league baseball players on the regular season roster! Hopefully, some baseball fan/editor has run into this. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:45, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Well I have zero clue where to start. Barkeep49 started Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Baseball#What_Player_Has_Paid_for_Image_Changing. SmartSE (talk) 11:39, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I have checked about 40 players nearly all active or recently retired and have found nothing so far. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:34, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Linh Nga[edit]

If anyone feels like helping with a medium size cleanup, there is a whole nest of COI socks, many of them now blocked, around this and related articles. The damages extend at least to Commons and Wikiquote. More detail at the talk page. Kendall-K1 (talk) 02:52, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Tokai Park[edit]

I'd appreciate it if others could take a look at this. There's extended discussion at User talk:Arebelo, but here's a summary:

  • Arebelo claims to have written this article
  • The author of that article is, according to this page, a member of Friends of Tokai Park, an activist/pressure group which has been doing contentious work in the park, and which, according to this page, is headed by Dr. Tony Rebelo
  • The Tokai Park article was created by user Tony rebelo, by copying the content of this Open University page, of which Dr. Rebelo is the author
  • Arebelo maintains that there is no conflict of interest and that previous content should be restored to Tokai Park (blanked for copyright investigation) and Tokai Arboretum, which is at present a redirect.

Any thoughts on the COI aspect of this? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:29, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

I will look into this as I have some acquaintance with some of the parties and institutions involved. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:59, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  1. I am confident that Arebelo's claim to be the author of this article is true.
  2. The contention between Friends of Tokai Park and Parkscape is real enough. Friends of Tokai Park want to restore the natural vegetation, in compliance with scientific recommendations for rehabilitation of the area. Parkscape want to retain the alien vegetation because it provides a recreational facility for the locals.
  3. Part of the problem is the common one of scientists who are acknowledged experts in their field not understanding how Wikipedia has to work to maintain credibility, and not getting the Wikipedia meaning of verifiability and reliable sources. I will take a look at the blanked article before I comment on whether I think it is acceptably neutral. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I have read the Tokai Park article. I see nothing in it to raise concerns of conflict of interest. It appears to be encyclopedic in content, well written and informative. While I am not a subject matter expert on the local ecology, I do know that the Rebelos are both experts on that ecosystem, and while not infallible, would not knowingly provide misinformation. I am slightly familiar with the area, and though a bit more sourcing would be nice, I did not find one thing there that appears to be contentious or likely to be wrong. Maybe I am missing something?
The copyright issues should be easy to fix. Get the authors to release the material under CC-by-sa 3.0 by whatever means is most convenient.
For the record: I have worked with Tony Rebelo on iSpot and iNaturalist, and we have occasionally been involved in other projects through SANBI, where he works. I am not employed by SANBI, and never have been. My work on their projects has, like on Wikipedia, been voluntary, and mostly through the SeaKeys projects. I have never met User:Arebelo that I can remember. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:18, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Tokai Arboretum could use a bit of work, particularly in-line referencing and some images. There are some opinions expressed in the voice of the encyclopedia that should be eliminated in the interests of neutrality. Otherwise, it too, should be acceptable or at least easily fixable. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:38, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Justlettersandnumbers, Arebelo and Tony rebelo. I hope this helps. Ping me for further comment if it may be helpful. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:41, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Dear Peter (Southwood) , this is SO helpful, thank you so much for your time. Arebelo (talk) 20:09, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Arebelo, Most of us try to be helpful. It is what we do here. Sometimes it works. Cheers · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:34, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

I have unblanked Tokai Arboretum, cleaned up a bit, tagged for inline citations, and expect that Arebelo will be able to provide them within a reasonable time, depending on how accessible the sources are.

Justlettersandnumbers, I would like to unblank Tokai Park as well, so cleanup can start, if there are no objections. I will watch both articles and provide advice where needed. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:43, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

I'd ask Arebelo to please explain this quote: "I have no relationship with Tokai Park, besides the relationship that anyone would have with anything they decide should be on this online encyclopedia. [...] I'm no expert on the history of this site [Tokai Arboretum], nor do I have any vested interest in the area, beyond the interest of any scientist in just seeing things properly documented." I don't think that's an accurate description of the situation, and I don't think it can be excused by a lack of understanding of Wikipedia. Rather, the Vision section indicates quite a vested interest. Huon (talk) 23:25, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Huon, I do not see what you appear to see. Taking the statements at face value, and assuming good faith, I see no vested interest whatsoever. If you start from the assumption that the editor is trying to mislead you, those are possible interpretations. Do you want me to investigate this in real life? If so, will you accept my judgement, as I will not make any private information available to you or any other Wikipedian, and I do not wish to spend the necessary effort to do the job properly to later be told that I have wasted my time. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:30, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
SANParks' documents regarding the future of Tokai can be found here. The newest published document covering plans for Tokai and the Arboretum in some detail is the Management Framework 2005-2025, which is indeed cited as the Wikipedia article's lone footnote. Unfortunately what it says about SANParks' ideas for Tokai does not agree with what Arebelo wrote about the vision. Example: SANParks: "The future role of the Lister’s Place facility can be reassessed to determine its most appropriate use as tea room, interpretive centre, environmental education centre and/or other use." Arebelo: "[...] the Old “Listers tea room” is to be converted to a museum for the Arboretum (as it is not suitable for serving food, was never designed as such)." The unsuitableness of Listers for serving food seems unknown to SANParks which lists "Lister's Restaurant" among the "opportunities". Arebelo: "The vision is for a baboon proof fence to enclose the entire complex." SANParks: Or maybe not. It's possible that the Management Framework is no longer current, but it still was in 2016. This surely is someone's vision, but that someone doesn't seem to be SANParks. Huon (talk) 20:07, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Thank you Pbsouthwood. Thats great. I'll look into it as soon as I possibly can. I have two crazy weeks ahead at work but will do my best. Huon I think it is pretty self explanatory. And please remember, the text is not mine, but belongs to another user, which I took off the iNat website. This was given permission to use by the CC for SA 3.0 licence. If you think that "vision" doesn't belong on the page, not a problem, I will delete it. This is the official vision according to the national parks that manage the area, so I didn't think this would be a problem. But I'm learning as I go along. Arebelo (talk) 18:31, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Vision statements are often somewhat unencyclopedic , but if you feel that it is important enough to quote or describe, provide a reference from the organisation which proclaims the "vision". Often they are simply empty promises and fancy words to boost the image of the organisation. Management plans and policies are generally more likely to be followed up with measurable action and should also be cited from an official document of the organisation. I would not worry too much about the citation of iSpot, links die all the time. The only trouble here is establishing the original author for licensing purposes. Do what you can, and I will see if there is anything more that looks necessary, and we can take it from there. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:12, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Taking Huon's comments above into account, it might clear the air if you provide a reference that quotes the official vision statement of SANParks for the Arboretum, so we can see whether the text you have provided is a fair representation of an official policy statement. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:30, 11 November 2018 (UTC)


Fairly simple observation of mine; the articles created by NeedaAnsari00 exhibit a number of hallmarks of undisclosed paid editing. All were created with a single, large edit, and all are in some way promotional. Furthermore, two articles (Jim Ricks and Rameswar Rao Jupally) contain images (the image of Jim Ricks was given to Needa by the artist) claimed as the personal work of NeedaAnsari00, and a search turns up no clear copyright violations. I asked NeedaAnsari00 about having a possible COI several months ago, and they have not edited since. This leads me to believe they may be a SPA. Therefore, I would like to ask if anyone would oppose me moving the articles to the draftspace so they can be incubated/quarantined.--SamHolt6 (talk) 23:25, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Lila Nelson editing her husband's article again[edit]

I was cleaning up unsourced content from Gunnar Nelson (musician) last week. Apparently, the subject's wife took exception to that, hunted me down on Facebook (which I don't frequent) and sent me a private message. It started with claims of ownership of the article. I stopped reading and responded that the conversation should probably take place on the subject's talk page rather than an outside source. There's no record there and others can't enter to support either side. She responded a bit more aggressively, claiming "I should mind my own business". I then cleaned out potential BLP issues and noticed that the subject's edits are only present to peacocking and adding unsourced content. Clear CoI issues. Walter Görlitz (talk) 07:25, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

And I see they responded by removing peacocking from your userpage. That ought to help them in their editing of that article. Oh well, perhaps they will successfully ask for an unblock, and then start a constructive dicussion on the talkpage. It could happen. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:00, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to understand what WP:PEACOCKing is. That's my fault. I should have linked to the MoS. I have to remember not all editors know the terminology we use. Since the editor has earned an indef for making disruptive edits, we could probably close this. Walter Görlitz (talk) 13:17, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm astonished that the account wasn't blocked years ago for evidence of shared use, based on the edit summary here. --Drm310 🍁 (talk) 01:43, 12 November 2018 (UTC)



Since October 27 this person has worked exclusively on articles related to Portola and its products; the editing is promotional and badly sourced. Per their talk page 3 people (including me) have inquired about the WP:APPARENTCOI. They have said No, I am not paid for my edits. Neither am I affiliated with Portola and have said they are a medical professional at an institute in St Petersburg (their previous edits were all about a district in that city). In response to a question about whether they were studying any Portola drugs they said no.

This disclosure is not credible to me. There was a case in the past where people holding stock of a small publicly traded biotech company, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (now Avid Biosciences), were abusing WP to promote the company and its products in exactly this fashion and were discussing it on a stock-flogging forum (here is where they reacted to the clean up and it goes on from there). That is one thing that could be going on here.

But the exclusive focus and promotional editing behavior = advocacy driven by ...something.

Recbcd feels harassed per this, and wants my behavior examined, so I am stepping out of this. Jytdog (talk) 16:21, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I recently added information about Portola and updated articles, related to this company with theoretically and clinically useful information. These articles contained outdated and false information (e.g. about andexxa mechanism of action). I also changed article name for "Andexanet alfa" to "Andexxa" because "andexanet alfa" is no longer a valid INN for the drug in US and "Coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo" is not a practical name. In my opinion, I used neutral tone. I provided sources - medical journal articles (where they are available) and professional conference abstracts where not (like for cerdulatinib, which is a relatively new drug). I do not agree that my edits were "unambiguously promotional", represented "stock-flogging promotional garbage" and that I "wrote nothing about adverse effects" as Jytdog mentions on my talk page. For example, I mentioned all major side effects of cerdulatinib in the article I created. I didn't touch information about unproportionally high price of andexxa and so on. I feel that Jytdog is overly authoritarian, follows aggressively opinions of himself and does harm to WP.--Recbcd (talk) 16:54, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I'll reply one time here. You have not disclosed if you hold stock in the company. Probably more importantly, you have shown no interest in understanding why your edits were bad and attracted the concern of 3 experienced editors. The latter is for me one of the key signs that you are not here to build an encyclopedia but rather to promote the company and its products. If you cared about Wikipedia you would be at least trying to learn how to edit well, here. Jytdog (talk) 17:36, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Ilana Mercer[edit]

User Kc2290 has been on Wikipedia since 2016, and has exclusively made edits to the page for Ilana Mercer or has added mentions of Mercer to other pages. These edits are usually sourced to Mercer's columns, books, or personal blogs, and usually are far more detailed and more generous than seems warranted. Mercer herself quotes some of the Wikipedia content on her personal blog page (see "Environmentalism" section at the bottom) I mentioned the WP:COI rules on the editor's page several days ago, but I haven't gotten a response to that (or a response to anything else, really) - beyond a brief message on my talk page. However, Mercer published an article in World Net Daily today that appears to use several quotes or near-paraphrases of material that Kc2290 has recently added to the page on Ilana Mercer. For instance - Kc2290 wrote this on November 6:

But in her 2011 book, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, Mercer condemned apartheid, calling it “one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.” (p: 65) “Apartheid showed a gross disrespect for human rights and international law,” she writes. (pg: 222) Mercer has, however, criticized "unrestrained majoritarianism" or “simple majority rule” as applied in South Africa.[12]

Mercer wrote this in today's column:

"“Into the Cannibal’s Pot” condemns apartheid, calling it “one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.” (p. 65) “Apartheid showed a gross disrespect for human rights and international law,” I wrote (p. 222). What I do condemn in the book is “unrestrained majoritarianism” or “simple majority rule,” as applied in South Africa (and America).

It seems that either Mercer is cribbing her articles from Kc2290, or Kc2290 is so closely connected to Mercer that they are anticipating their arguments several days in advance. Either way, it seems like there's a conflict of interest issue here. It's possible that Kc2290 is unaware of the rules here - they seem to be very inexperienced despite their tenure, but they've been largely unresponsive to attempts to contact them, and so it's tough to correct any of those problems.

Nblund talk 18:59, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

I have to agree with Nblund: Kc2290 appears to be here for one purpose only, to promote Mercer and her views. That may at this point be academic, as it seems quite likely that Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ilana Mercer will close as delete; nevertheless, it's not appropriate behaviour in this project. Kc2290, would you please disclose the nature of your connection to Mercer? Please note that if the connection involves any financial or other benefit to you, disclosure is obligatory. Thank you, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:29, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

"These edits are usually sourced to Mercer's columns, books, or personal blogs," Oh my, heaven forbid that when documenting someone and their views using their work as a source.

"and usually are far more detailed and more generous than seems warranted." That's your opinion. I disagree.

"It seems that either Mercer is cribbing her articles from Kc2290, or Kc2290 is so closely connected to Mercer that they are anticipating their arguments several days in advance. Either way, it seems like there's a conflict of interest issue here."

There is no "conflict" of interest. Do I admire Mercer and her libertarian views, yes. But my edits aren't biased. I state her views and offer no person view point. For instance, I don't "Mercer believes X and so should you, because she's always right."

Kc2290 (talk) 04:09, 13 November 2018 (UTC)


I don't know if this is a good faith complaint or malicious (I assume the former) but if you're accusing someone of editing with a COI you're expected to provide at least some evidence. An editor editing from 08:30 to 00:30—i.e. a sixteen-hour day—isn't at all unusual, particularly at this time of the year where in the northern hemisphere—where most of Wikipedia's editors are situated—bad weather often keeps people in the house all day with nothing else to do. If you want Wikipedia to include links to your organization, the onus is on you, not us, to demonstrate that those links are encyclopedic and appropriate, and any editor is well within their rights to remove them in the absence of evidence to that effect.

Obviously, if you actually have any evidence rather than just making insinuations, feel free to re-open this. ‑ Iridescent 16:00, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Jytdog has been a controversial editor on the Finasteride page and their unusual editing behavior warrants a discussion.

Looking back at Jytdog's involvement on the Finasteride page, they have pattern and history of removing any information that is negative for the drug or drug manufacturer. This is a controversial product because it is used for the cosmetic purpose of maintaining hair loss, yet there have been studies reports of thousands of patients taking the drug and developing permanent sexual dysfunction and psychiatric disturbances after taking treatment. As is the case for many situations of this kind, the initial view is that the drug or product is safe but the conventional view changes over time as there are scientific and societal developments.

Whitewashing and information suppression are against Wikipedia's guidelines per WP:NEUTRALEDITOR and WP:NPOVT. Just for one example, Jytdog's most recent edit shows them removing a reference to the Post Finasteride Syndrome Foundation's website, a non-profit health advocacy group that was founded to research and find a cure or treatment for the medical condition. Jytdog's explanation for removing the link was that it was spam, but I would expect any impartial person to agree that such a reference is not just spam and Jytdog's referring to it as spam reveals his biased point of view. This is just the most recent example of dozens from this page and many other articles.

There is a recent discussion on the finasteride talk page about including information about a legal settlement related to the product liability litigation for the drug. Several editors had discussed the matter with civility for the most part and all of the sources that had been discussed showed that the court settlement amount was confidential. This edit shows Jytdog matter of factly stating that the settlement amount was for $5m which was not worth talking about. I asked them where they got that number, since all sources previously discussed indicated that the number was confidential, but Jytdog was unable to show a source and struck their comment. Another user later found a SEC filing that confirmed a similar figure for the settlement, but this was clearly not Jytdog's source. This leads me to wonder if Jytdog was given this figure by a 3rd party and has been editing at the directive of another person or organization without disclosure. I can't be sure about this right now, but when I brought this up on the talk page, Jytdog didn't address the points I raised and told me that WP:COIN was the right place to discuss this.

Jytdog's editing behavior in general is peculiar and warrants a discussion. Jytdog removed one of my edits on the talk page and requested that I bring the discussion here, so that is what I have done. On User:Jytdog, they state they have previously initiated a COI investigation but do not specify many details of the investigation. Jytdog also mentions on their user page that "I edit here purely as a volunteer; it has never been, and is not, part of my day job nor any paid work nor any volunteer work i do outside of my day job." Jytdog's editing history seems to me to be very unlikely. If you look at Jytdog's editing history over the past seven days alone, you will see that they spent about 60 continuous hours over this time period editing Wikipedia, not counting the periods in which Jytdog took breaks. Jytdog's edit history suggests they are a full time editor on wikipedia, in contradiction with the claim from their user page that they have a "day job". During the weekdays, Jytdog began editing between 8:30am to 9:30am EST and continued making edits until 12:30am, taking some breaks in between throughout the day. Last weekend, Jytdog still edited very heavily, but this began later in day and was for a shorter period than during the week. At the very least, Jytdog spends more time editing Wikipedia than the average person spends at their day job. This editing pattern was not unique to this week and went back at least the most recent three months which I checked, likely much longer than that. If Jytdog is a volunteer editor with a day job, why and how are they spending more than full work days during the week editing Wikipedia? I would think that a volunteer editor with a day job would not be able to edit Wikipedia 60 hours a week, mostly during the "day". I would also think that a volunteer editor would spend more time on the weekends editing Wikipedia, rather than less, since it is when they would have free time.

The best explanations I can think of is that Jytdog is a full time editor here or is sharing the account with multiple people, which I don't believe is permitted. I see that Jytdog is very involved on this noticeboard so I expect that many people will be familiar with Jytdog's editing history but I thought this was worthy of discussion since they are causing a lot of controversy on many articles. 2604:2000:E0CF:5100:81B8:A314:4A73:70AF (talk) 15:32, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Haha. I’m getting popcorn. Make accusations like that at a drama board and see what happens! Roxy, the Prod. wooF 15:35, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Something funny going on here with this CEO and connected company. Maybe the editors can explain. There was a paid-editing disclosure only for the CEO bio which is now at AfD.

Curiously several of these editors have just recently come out of a multi-year hiatus. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:25, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Initiated Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Mikefarrington11Bri (talk) 16:45, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Added RightCowLeftCoast per checkuser results. ☆ Bri (talk) 20:07, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I have one edit on this article and it is for tagging this article for notability and need to improve references.
I have not edited on other usernames, and thus am not a meat or sock puppet.
I do make edits at work, but do not want to self out myself in order to defend myself to Bri (talk · contribs) addition of my name.
I do know a Mike who works at where I work, and if the Joe Cheetahs are connected to NuVasive, it would explain why it edits from the same IP, as there is a publicly available wifi. That said I am not in control of the Joe Cheetah accounts.
I do not extensively make edits related to Nuvasive and want my name removed from this list.
@Airplaneman: This is the first time I have been brought up here. What do I need to do to defend myself?--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 21:13, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
What you wrote at your talk page is all I needed to hear. Acknowledging the fact that there is very clear evidence and then turning around and writing about an attack upon me and my character that is wholly unwarranted is complete bullshit. You should be indefinitely blocked. Jytdog (talk) 02:06, 13 November 2018 (UTC) (redact....that was premature, at that point in the discussion Jytdog (talk) 19:02, 13 November 2018 (UTC) )
I have never been paid for any editing.
I may edit while at work, but have never been paid to edit or asked by any of my employers to edit on their behalf.
So am I, or anyone, not allowed to edit while they are at work?
So am I, or anyone, not allowed to edit while being employed?
I think I feel wholly justified to feel attacked, especially when someone is advocating that I be indefinitely blocked.--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 02:19, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
(Personal attack removed) leave the matter to people with the tools, temperament, and access to relevant data (Personal attack removed) Gamaliel (talk) 03:04, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
There are no magic tools needed here beyond what CU has shown (it is not just an IP thing), the edits, and the reaction. If you have nothing to actually say about this matter, please reconsider posting here. Please also see your talk page. Jytdog (talk) 03:10, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

So let me get this understanding clear. I edit at work via a public available wifi. Others maybe editing where I work, thus we may share the same IP, thus why the check user result came up with what it did. One of those others editors acted in a manner that may be seen as a conflict of interest. Because I edit at work, I am roped into this dragnet? Therefore I have to defend myself, and should not feel concerned that I am being disparaged?--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 03:34, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

I've answered at your userpage but will reiterate here. What you just described is a pretty good definition of WP:APPARENTCOI. It is reasonable to ask these questions at the conflict of interest noticeboard. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:34, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
They already said they haven't received any compensation to make edits on Wikipedia. At that point, you have to assume good faith that they may be mistaken for other users on the same IP address. 2604:2000:E0CF:5100:F893:BB10:355F:7194 (talk) 05:34, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
2604, you are wrong about what COI is, and you can read why on their talkpage. Hint, it's not just compensation. Which confusion is one of the reasons we have these discussions here. ☆ Bri (talk) 05:45, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
So do I need to out myself and share my LinkedIn? Based on the above, it sounds like anonymity is no longer allowed in editing.
Bri (talk · contribs) replied to a topic I created on the talk page of the article about the former CEO of NuVasive (yet current member of the board of directors), and my few edits of the two articles listed in this section, could be seen as being opposite the interest of the subject. As such, being outed may negatively impact me, leading to being in a fiscal position where I would no longer be able to afford my current activity with the various projects of WMF. Is this the goal of this inquiry?
Is there a way to meet the needs of this inquiry in a way which does not cause outing?--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 06:36, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
What's the behavioral evidence for WP:APPARENTCOI? The one edit? In which he stated that the CEO's article does not meet WP:ANYBIO and tagged it with a {{notability}} tag which, uhmmm, means the article is more likely to get deleted or merged? Laughable, this does not make any sense. --Pudeo (talk) 14:52, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Additional info for evaluation made visible for those that cannot see deleted contribs:

Partial history of Special:Undelete/NuVasive
  • 00:32, October 21, 2017 . . DGG (talk | contribs | block) (1,451 bytes) (Proposing article for deletion per WP:PROD. (TW))
  • 20:06, October 18, 2017 . . DGG (talk | contribs | block) (1,290 bytes) (remove the rest of the spam)
  • 21:39, October 11, 2017 . . Joe Cheetah (talk | contribs | block) m (1,852 bytes) (Edited description) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 10:12, June 8, 2017 . . Mean as custard (talk | contribs | block) (1,929 bytes) (revert promotional b*llsh*t)
  • 19:21, May 20, 2017 . . RightCowLeftCoast (talk | contribs | block) (5,258 bytes) (removed POV tag due to Template:POV#When to remove, no discussion on the talk page; re-added COI tag due to past edits by User:Lifeofcheetah & User:Joecheetah; added additional tag due to WP:INLINE)
  • 19:26, May 19, 2017 . . Julietdeltalima (talk | contribs | block) (5,229 bytes) (Added POV tag to article (TW))
  • 01:04, May 19, 2017 . . Dnvo (talk | contribs | block) (5,207 bytes) (Removing templates) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 00:56, May 19, 2017 . . Dnvo (talk | contribs | block) (5,260 bytes) (- Added portfolio, refactored headers, added sources.) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 05:43, May 17, 2017 . . RightCowLeftCoast (talk | contribs | block) (3,944 bytes) (added additional tag, no non-primary sources utilized)
  • 05:40, May 17, 2017 . . RightCowLeftCoast (talk | contribs | block) (3,913 bytes) (tagged article)
  • 00:33, April 23, 2017 . . UnitedStatesian (talk | contribs | block) (3,891 bytes) (move logo to infobox)
  • 20:48, February 20, 2017 . . Magioladitis (talk | contribs | block) m (3,876 bytes) (→‎top: Removed invisible unicode characters + other fixes, replaced: → using AWB)
  • 17:58, February 13, 2017 . . Lifeofcheetah (talk | contribs | block) m (3,877 bytes) (Added key acquisitions and NSF/TBWB information) (Tags: Visual edit, references removed)
  • 17:09, February 13, 2017 . . Lifeofcheetah (talk | contribs | block) m (2,059 bytes) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 17:06, February 13, 2017 . . Lifeofcheetah (talk | contribs | block) m (2,053 bytes) (Updated information in paragraph and logo.) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 00:45, February 10, 2017 . . Msfarrin (talk | contribs | block) m (1,929 bytes) (Removed fields that were unused.) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 00:44, February 10, 2017 . . Msfarrin (talk | contribs | block) (1,988 bytes) (Updated CEO, Revenue and Employee information.) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 15:52, January 31, 2017 . . Mean as custard (talk | contribs | block) (1,974 bytes) (revert to less blatantly promotional version)
  • 16:04, January 17, 2017 . . Bender the Bot (talk | contribs | block) m (5,088 bytes) (HTTP→HTTPS for Yahoo! using AWB)
  • 15:38, January 1, 2017 . . Maxime Vernier (talk | contribs | block) m (5,086 bytes) (Added as a S&P 400 component in the infobox)
  • 15:23, September 30, 2016 . . Lifeofcheetah (talk | contribs | block) m (5,037 bytes) (Updated to new logo (2016) and new employee count (2016)) (Tag: Visual edit)
  • 17:58, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (5,024 bytes)
  • 17:36, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (5,018 bytes)
  • 17:35, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (5,012 bytes)
  • 15:53, June 14, 2016 . . Julietdeltalima (talk | contribs | block) (4,976 bytes) (Added news release and peacock tags to article (TW))
  • 15:52, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (4,907 bytes)
  • 15:50, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (4,903 bytes)
  • 15:40, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (4,949 bytes)
  • 15:38, June 14, 2016 . . Joecheetah (talk | contribs | block) (4,948 bytes)
  • Note: the additional tag added by RightCowLeftCoast "..added additional tag due to WP:INLINE.." was a refimprove.
From Special:Undelete/Talk:NuVasive

== POV tag ==
{{ping|Julietdeltalima}} I [ removed the tag], as there was no discussion as to why the article appears to not meet [[WP:NEU]]. I re-added the COI tag due to the names, appearing to be largely [[WP:SPA|single purpose accounts]] with names sharing the [ company's mascot] ({{user|Lifeofcheetah}} & {{user|Joecheetah}}), having made significant edits to the article in the past.<br/> I would also like to invite {{user|Dnvo}} to the conversation as the individual has recently made edits to the article.--[[User:RightCowLeftCoast|RightCowLeftCoast]] ([[User talk:RightCowLeftCoast|talk]]) 19:29, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

  • RightCowLeftCoast added additonal projects and changed from stubs to start class. diff
  • Possibly a coincidence but a new account with a COI, P.B catalent (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has just popped up yesterday using a proxy and editing on Catalent. Related to Gregory T. Lucier article.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 14:46, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Thanks very much for digging that up. So here is where I think we are (cross posted from SPI): RCLC has said My employers are aware that I edit Wikipedia, but have not asked me to edit on their behalf.. RCLC has talked about "shared wifi" but that only covers IP; the tagging by RCLC could just as well be mundane cover for socking. Given the technical indistinguishability here, it appears fairly clear that there is at least MEAT, if not SOCKing. The throwing up of chaff in So, I find this attack upon me and my character to be wholly unwarranted. makes this all the more lacking in credibility. This bit from the deleted NuVasive page (kindly posted above) -- I would also like to invite Dnvo (talk · contribs) to the conversation as the individual has recently made edits to the article appears especially deceptive. It is not a bad thing to have a conflict of interest; it is a bad thing to obscure it, as RCLC actively has, and to MEAT or SOCK -- one of the two of which is very clearly going on.
    • At this board we deal with the COI issues. RCLC, please disclose your relationship with NuVasive. It would be best all around if you made it clear whether the interactions with the other accounts are MEAT or SOCK. If you come clean, simply, about what is going on with Nuvasive and these other accounts, there is a way forward. There is. Jytdog (talk) 18:10, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
CONSIDER ME SHOCKED. I am not a meat or sock puppet. I do not maintain any other accounts other than this one RightCowLeftCoast. I am not any of the cheetah accounts. I am not Mikefarrington11 or any of the other usernames. While I work at the same location as NuVasive for one of my employers, I am not a direct employee of NuVasive or Gregory T. Lucier. NuVasive has a publicly available wifi at the location I am editing from at this time, and I edit through this publicly available wifi. I have not been paid to edit on behalf of NuVasive, Gregory T. Lucier, or any of my employers or organizations which I have, or had, associations with. To accuse me of such, is hurtful IMHO.
My real identity is known to WMF and it is known I am only RightCowLeftCoast, and am not Gregory T. Lucier, Mikefarrington11, or any other person, other than who I am.
If feeling impugned is a knock against me, then consider it a knock.
I have been editing since 2006 as an IP, and since 2009 as this username since.
My edits have largely been within areas that are not within the interest of NuVasive or Gregory T. Lucier, therefore to cast my few edits about it as a violation of COI is something I find concerning. If I have violated COI in the past, it was inadvertent and was not my intention.
IMHO none of my edits have advanced the interest of NuVasive or Gregory T. Lucier, and I find this entirely absurd that I am being accused of being a Meat puppet or sock puppet. I have ever right to feel impugned to have this allegation thrown at me. If broadly construed apparent COI is anything I have a connection to, I shouldn't edit anything about or within the United States as I am a citizen of it, I shouldn't edit anything about or within anything that relates to Filipinos, as I am of that ethnicity, I shouldn't edit anything in particular about or within the County of San Diego as I am active in the usergroup whose region is that aforementioned county. And so on and so forth. If COI were to be taken to such extremes, no one would edit anything that is within hundreds of miles of them.
If I am defensive than accept my apology, but that won't change how I feel about it. I am of the opinion that the threat of getting me indefinitely banned due to the false accusation that I am a meat or sock puppet is a direct threat against my continued work on Wikipedia and other WMF projects and activities.
After this I might as well go on a wiki-break from having had my character assaulted as what has occurred above. But I am sure there are some who would like that.--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 01:03, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
100% chaff and distraction; no simple disclosure. This is not the way forward. Jytdog (talk) 01:16, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
This is ridiculous, you are menacing Jytdog. RCLC has clearly stated that they are not employed by NuVasive and they have not been paid by anybody to edit the aforementioned articles. It can't get any more clear than that and you cannot force them to out themselves and you have already been blocked for outing. The explanation that this person works in close proximity and thus shares a free wifi with the NuVasive network is totally believable. They made a single edit over one year ago suggested that the CEO of said company was not noteworthy of a Wiki article in fact suggests that they would be editing against their own interests in they were in fact employed by NuVasive.
The way this is being handled is wildly inappropriate. There is no justification to bring this case against them because they don't have an apparent COI, they deny working for the company, and they deny getting paid. This should stop there. Even if there was reason to continue, trying to force an outing on COIN is despicable. You should go through an admin privately or the WMF contact that knows RCLC personally to deal with the issue judiciously. At the very worst, RCLC could agree to simply not edit articles related to NuVasive anymore which isn't a problem because they don't even currently do that. This is not to mention that NuVasive has over 2,400 employees so it should be no surprise that multiple wikipedians could show up as having used that same IP address and not be coordinating with one another. Shame on you. 2604:2000:E0CF:5100:41FC:D066:875B:F0A7 (talk) 01:42, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Editor at Frank LaRose[edit]

There is an editor at Frank LaRose named Mmcdonn245 who has exclusively edited this one page. The editor adds various mundane biographical trivia, adds text that seems very promotional, adds pictures of LaRose, and has now most recently spent the last couple of weeks edit-warring to remove reliably sourced content. All the hallmarks of an account with an undisclosed COI. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:46, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Baraboo High School[edit]

Appears to be a, possibly paid, and then undisclosed, legal company attempting to fix up a mess, perhaps on behalf of the article subject. My "undisclosed paid" tag has been modified by a different editor shortly after placing it. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:07, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Calling Bonsaiburglar to the discussion per Special:Diff/868532788. If you made the edits listed at Special:Contributions/, please do not remove the tag; clarify the situation first. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:17, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Bonsaiburglar here. I'm a new user and have no conflicts of interests here and am not paid whatsoever for edits. How can I clear this up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bonsaiburglar (talkcontribs) 20:26, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Bonsaiburglar, thank you for the clarification. Please explain your statement at Special:Diff/868532788; which IP address are you referring to? See the "history" of the article to get a list of contributions and IP addresses. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:29, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Hello, I'm still unsure what to clarify. I made the edits at today only. I was merely trying to remove the paid disclosure section, for I am not paid for my edits, nor am I representing the 'legal company' whose internet connection I was using. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bonsaiburglar (talkcontribs) 20:37, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Hi Bonsaiburglar, thanks again -- this explains a lot. Face-smile.svg
Please see Special:Diff/868536037: I have removed the template. Please note that, even if there has been no compensation, you may still have a "conflict of interest" per WP:COI. Please carefully read that page and decide for yourself if you may have such a conflict of interest. If you have a conflict of interest, that's okay, you just need to be aware of it and avoid editing the article directly. The article's talk page always allows you to request further changes. Ideally, you should disclose such a conflict of interest, to avoid any confusion. If there is no such conflict of interest, and all of this has been a completely random misunderstanding, please say so here. I'm already sorry for mistaking you for an undisclosed paid editor, and I thank you very much for your contributions. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:49, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Hello ToBeFree, thanks for the clarification.
I do not have any conflicts of interest that would impact these or any other edits. Again, apologies for the confusion regarding my perhaps heavy-handed attempts to remove the Paid Disclosure template. Thank you for removing it. I made most of the edits regarding this page as news broke this morning, and then the Paid Disclosure template popped up, which I accidentally removed without providing an appropriate messaging, then tried to create a account to try to clear up my conflicts of interests (or lack thereof), that account being newly created Bonsaiburglar. Do I need to take any other action to get my account cleared or should I be in the clear now? Bonsaiburglar (talk) 20:58, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi Bonsaiburglar, please don't worry! This, I think, completely clears up the case. I have been wrongly assuming that the legal company IP implied paid contributions in the name of the school. I have also wrongly been assuming that you may at least be involved as, for example, a parent or teacher in this debate. This all is not the case. There is no need to feel bad for your good contributions, and I hereby personally invite you to improve the article further. I believe that your edits are of high quality and have noticeably improved the section about the current event. Because you do not have a conflict of interest, your edits are especially valuable to Wikipedia: You possess the ability to describe the whole situation from a neutral point of view. The students don't, the teachers don't, the parents don't. You do. Please continue what I have been interrupting you with, and feel free to ask any questions that arise when doing so, for example on my talk page. Thank you very much and have a nice day. Face-smile.svg ~ ToBeFree (talk) 21:24, 12 November 2018 (UTC)


User Vincente Saintignon claims, by way of edit summaries, to be a member of this noble family. According to his contributions, he is a college sophomore, which doesn't mean he isn't a Saintignon but suggests that he lacks a certain amount of life experience/perspective to understand why he shouldn't be glorifying himself on Wikipedia. There are IP contributions purporting to be, via edit summaries, from his "assistant". I don't have the bandwidth to deal with this, or the foreseeable ensuing melodrama, in the next 24 hours. I left a templated COI-welcome that is unsatisfying to me but at least puts him on notice of the issue, which no one appears to have done yet (on this American federal holiday on which a lot of usual-suspect recent-edit patrollers are likely away from their computers). Thanks for any help any of y'all can contribute here! Julietdeltalima (talk) 01:35, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

I did a bit of clean up, will see what happens :) Melcous (talk) 03:33, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Oy vey, that went pretty much exactly as expected. Thank you so much for dealing with that. Back onto conference calls for me, alas... - Julietdeltalima (talk) 22:11, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Hundreds of potentially affected articles[edit]

User:Smartse/sandbox contains a list of 405 articles that were created by users suspected of UPE based on inclusion in this dataset created by @Bri, TonyBallioni, Doc James, and Halfak (WMF):. I've automatically checked them so the list should only be (mostly!) biographies and corporate articles. I'm sure many of them are fine or innocuous, but from a brief look, I've found stinkers like AutoeBid and Crystal Lagoons (and Fernando Fischmann in turn) that definitely need attention. Sorting by the CORP? column helps find the problems. SmartSE (talk) 23:45, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Important work. Lots of trimming needed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:29, 14 November 2018 (UTC)