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.
  • 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|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.
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5.120.252.218[edit]

Page semi-protected. Discussion continued on talk page. (non-admin closure)--Lemongirl942 (talk) 02:18, 21 July 2016 (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.

5.120.252.218 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is repeatedly adding links to an unreviewed abstract to the article Navier-Stokes equations. Also, abusing multiple accounts: 5.120.209.8 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:53, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


Disruption continues. I guess no one at this noticeboard really cares. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:47, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
@Sławomir Biały: This seems to be the wrong venue. I would try WP:AIV or WP:AN3. TimothyJosephWood 14:05, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The page has now been protected from editing by IP users. Seems like a closed matter now. --Drm310 (talk) 15:25, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
If you think the IP is abusing multiple accounts then I think trying WP:Sockpuppet investigations is best Steve Quinn (talk) 22:58, 6 July 2016 (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.

Barracuda Web Server[edit]

User focus is articles on Barracuda products (there's another in User:Sorisen/sandbox) and uploaded a file to Commons as explicitly licensed to the creators of the product. The live article has been nommed for CSD, but the sandbox article clearly shows it's a larger problem. MSJapan (talk) 06:58, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

There are two articles which relate to the Barracuda technology. Wikipedia has distinguished (correctly) the topics in isolation of Application Server, vs. an HTTP Embedded Server. Given it was my first experience for creating material for Wikipedia and that I spent time researching the background of a particular technical tangent implementation "of course" the subject matter would appear in isolation and the COI acquisition is unfounded. Your reaction to submit everything for CSD and apply a COI acquisition is in haste, clearly evidenced by the reference to the sandbox which is merely the draft area used for the Barracuda Web Server page, therefore it's not "more of",... material, but the basis staging for the content itself. The image has a CC permission and I will add it. (Error that it was unintentionally left out.) Further to the point I have started a new draft on Lua Server Pages located here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft:Lua_Server_Pages, which demonstrates that the material I work on is relative subject matter related to server technology rather than any particular product or use scenario. These technologies are (new) to common knowledge or laymen awareness, time, use in industry, etc. The Internet of Things movement will help to establish a wider audience and the background information such as the areas where I'm focusing will be appreciated by a broader scope of readers that hope to learn and understand how these types of technologies are applied and historically evolved. Personally, as a new contributor I find that receiving this kind of notice with no examples, or guidance for improvement extremely discouraging. It would be useful to understand how the material that I created could be improved relative and in comparison to the same type of material which was already established i.e. Comparison of application servers, where similar technologies are discussed. Sorisen (talk) 01:08, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Considering you pushed both articles live, my reference to the sandbox is irrelevant, and I've added the other article above. You started Draft:Lua Server Pages months ago, and haven't touched it since it was declined after about two weeks. So that's entirely irrelevant, other than the fact that you used a Barracuda/Real Time Logic LLC reference there as well. You've had months to learn about policies and ask questions, and you have done nothing to educate yourself about what is acceptable and what is not. Moreover, if you do not have a COI, why are you writing about a particular set of products by a particular company (instead of a technology), uploading intellectual property of that company that you somehow "know" is CC-BY-SA, and referencing well more than half of the sources on the products to articles written by employees of that company? Our policies are very clear on this, and yet you have done it twice, as well as on Lua Server. You're relying too heavily on one company's material for it to be accidental. MSJapan (talk) 01:57, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Also, as far as license for the file is concerned, the user was somehow able to go find this document on the company servers, which is not accessible from either the public downloads page or the directory immediately above the file. So how did Sorisen find it if he wasn't told where to go to get it by someone at the company? I think it's because he created it himself at work, which explains why it's legally incorrect. I think is the most likely explanation, as he has not yet denied an affiliation with the company. It's the lying here that's the real problem, frankly, because I think Sorisen is well aware that the product is not notable, and therefore, he's either being paid to write the article or he works for the company, and he knows that if he admits it, the articles lose all merit. MSJapan (talk) 22:29, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Also not a new issue: Talk regarding SharkSSL in March 2016. This editor only writes about Real Time Logic products, period. The style of license provided by the user has also been used before, and I don't see why we are finding it acceptable. It was clearly not from an acceptable source available to an uninvolved editor. Every Commons upload he has made is sourced to Real Time Logic. WP:DUCK. MSJapan (talk) 22:53, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Apologies if I am lacking in Wikipedia educate. This is not a full time job for me and given I use Wikipedia regularly to learn about technology attributes I thought it would be nice and kind of neat to make a contribution. I'm neither an employee nor paid writer for these articles. In explanation, I became interested in the server technology behind IoT Internet of Things as used in embedded devices. I have a personal work history in working with embedded operating systems which is a different but related topic all considered within the realm of 'Embedded Programming'. IoT is new evolving and I'm learning as I go along... After reviewing many server implementations on Wikipedia, I didn't understand why no one added the comparison of Barracuda. It is easy to find information about this implementation via google search and in my opinion made a good compatible with unique attributes for its construction vs. the other implementations sited. I looked at the other webserver and application server articles to get ideas for how the material should be shown and then created one for Barracuda. At first, I had complaints that it read too much like a brochure/marketing material and I had help from another experienced editor to fix it. Here I learned (after the fact) that just because other 'like' material exists on Wikipedia doesn't mean those particular articles used correct form. The reason there are separate articles for Barracuda Application Server, Barracuda Web Server, and SharkSSL is because the underlying technologies are interrelated to the whole, but needed clarification explanation in isolation. (Again I am looking at comparable within the same technology realm and how they were shown on Wikipedia.) example: Comparison of application servers, Comparison of web servers, Comparison of TLS implementations
The Lua Server Pages (draft), article shows that I did start to continue into a new topic with similar subject matter but nothing which is owned or controlled by the people that designed Barracuda. The first draft was not approved, but I intend to finish it if my continued participation is allowed. This entire experience is new for me and I would appreciate help to fix the areas where I have made mistakes. In full disclosure regarding my interaction with Real Time Logic, I found the images on google and asked them to release them under a creative common license that would allow use on Wikipedia. I also requested that they review my articles for accuracy to make sure that I had captured the capacity of the technology correctly. Many of the references used for this article do have either Real Time Logic participation as material that editors pulled from for their publications, however we could add more sources and eliminate anything, which is not credible. Additional guidance and help for areas to make corrections would be appreciated. Sorisen (talk) 12:13, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
@Sorisen:To answer your first question, nobody added Barracuda because Barracuda doesn't meet our notability guidelines. The type of material you have found is pretty much indicative of that. I've added a reading list of policies and information to the end of my reply.
Much more importantly, if you are having the company review your article for accuracy, then there are two problems. If you cannot write about a topic without help from others, there's a real possibility that you don't know what you're talking about; why that is a problem should be obvious. Secondly, by allowing editorial oversight by the company about the company's product article, you're essentially functioning as an unpaid public relations employee of the company. You are basically giving them free advertising. Companies do not have the right to vet their Wikipedia entries. The fact that you are in contact with them is also problematic.
For the time being, I would suggest you read the following policies: general notability, reliable sources, promotional articles, existence is not notability, and neutral point of view. I would also suggest you read the essays on independent sources and third-party sources. It might explain a lot of things of which you do not seem to be aware at present. MSJapan (talk) 18:25, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
And the editor has neither responded nor edited in over a week. This thread can probably be closed. MSJapan (talk) 12:59, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I would rather keep this open. It seems the author has not clarified their conflict of interest. Let's wait for a reply. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 06:17, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Articles deleted. MSJapan (talk) 04:35, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Reverting the close - SharkSSL is still active, and I have discovered that User:Sorisen left a barnstar for User:Wilfrednilsen, another editor who was apparently pretty much associated with Real Time Logic through his edits and hadn't edited in almost a year at the point where the barnstar was placed. So how did Wilfrednilsen "review the article", and how did Sorisen know who he was?An explanation is required, and if an explanation is not forthcoming, I will be requesting that the user be banned for clear sockpuppetry. MSJapan (talk) 01:41, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

I have already explained above that a) I'm new, b) This was my first time trying an article on wikipedia, C) I've hidden nothing and you can read above that already disclosed that I asked RealTimeLogic to license some images I found on google for creative commons and also to review my article to make sure I captured things technically accurate. As far as I know there were no edits made and I give Wilfrednilsen a barnstar for taking the time to review my first article. I didn't review his page nor know there was issues with MrOllie as I recall I just clicked the thing that allowed me to give a barnstar. I just got an email notice that said he reviewed it.. that's it. Sorisen (talk) 02:09, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Just making sure that you would reiterate the conflict of interest. Now how did you, apparently unknown to the company, not just get access to people at the company who would take the time to review your article, but someone ostensibly representing Wilfred Nilsen, the CEO? How did you get access to the server to download that license? It's not publically accessible outside of that direct link. Do you see why I don't particularly believe anything you have to say? MSJapan (talk) 04:10, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I went to their website contact page and sent an email to info@realtimelogic.com asking for permission to use pictures I found on google to be used for Commons/Wikipedia. The instruction at the CC site said if you are not the original owner you must contact the copyright holder to obtain permissions... so i did. They responded with a public link that provided a license permission for the pictures I requested. How else would you obtain permissions for copyright pictures? I was just following the instructions and rules. From day one you have been accusing me all kinds of crazy stuff and I have done nothing but been open and honest, however that isn't good enough for you. Sorisen (talk) 05:52, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
No it isn't, and it's because you can't be that naive, nor can the company. First of all, you claim an interest in the "technology", but you're only writing about a particular company's products, not the "technology." You haven't made a single edit to an article here that didn't have something to do with Real Time Logic or its products. That's like me "being interested in" jet turbine engine technology and then only writing articles on Pratt & Whitney engines. So yes, I believe you are being very disingenuous about the reasons why you are here.
Second, you wrote an article on a product, cited articles written by Wilfred Nilsen about that product where his company affiliation is stated, and then had absolutely no hint of an idea that a user named "Wilfridnilsen", reviewing that article, might be the same person? I understand that people can have the same names, but the same name in the same limited subject area? Sorry, not buying that. If you really didn't know who he was, you didn't read your sources carefully enough, even though you had to type his name several times to create your references.
Third, you expect Wikipedia as a whole to believe that a company is going to leave an unsigned, undated, publically accessible document that says "whoever has this image of ours can do whatever they want with it?" No one is that careless with their intellectual property, most especially a company with a multi-national presence simply isn't that dumb. Moreover, I searched for that Barracude block image. It's not "on Google" except for here, which is embeddedtools.de - the other site is a 404. So I don't think this is a coincidence, either.
Last is your overall editing conduct. You don't seem to understand why it is not appropriate for you to ask the company whose products you are writing about to provide "technical review" on an article here. You're also very happy to praise people when they agree with what you're doing, but you don't do anything about criticism other than talk a lot about how you're "new" and you need to "learn", and yet you're not doing that. When this COI was opened, you didn't edit for a month until another AfD came up.
So no, your explanations are not good enough, unless you really think I'm as stupid as you're pretending to be. MSJapan (talk) 19:19, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

China Construction America[edit]

SPA has created an article that consists almost entirely of a list of non-notable projects undertaken by this company and a list of awards, almost all unsourced. I tried to fix it but got reverted. Other than that I have no direct evidence of COI. Kendall-K1 (talk) 02:18, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

I tagged the article and asked if they are a paid or COI editor on their talk page. Have another shot at making some edits to the article and I'll back you up. It's rabidly promotional. Definitely notable though-- I see many sources. The long lists do not belong though.HappyValleyEditor (talk) 02:32, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
I gave it a trim from 10,500 to 2,500K.HappyValleyEditor (talk) 02:43, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you HappyValleyEditor! The article seems much better now. The editor in questions hasn't replied to the queries though. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 06:00, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
The editor is doing this as a school project, so I've dropped some policy links on his talkpage and pointed him to WP:ENB. MSJapan (talk) 14:37, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The editor is also working on what is looking like a much better version in his sandbox. I think we can close this out. MSJapan (talk) 18:44, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Form 1120[edit]

It is difficult to keep track of all this. User:Majesticfish is being paid by User:Vipul to create articles [1]. The articles edited by User:Majesticfish so far are (the U.S. Tax Forms) Form 1120 [2], which this person created as has been editing [3] and Form 1040 [4], [5], [6].

Next I have noticed that -- User Vipul states on his/her User page:

"For more on my Wikipedia editing, see my site page about Wikipedia, my site page about sponsored Wikipedia editing, and the list of all pages I have created, with pageviews across the years".

I wish to point out the above link within this blurb about this editior's link to the description of this person's self-disclosed Wikipedia sponsored editing, which is located at an off Wiki site - for clarity I will place it here [7]. The page discusses detailed paid editing and analysis of its impact via page views:

I am quoting a small blurb here:

2015

"In April 2015, as part of an Experimental Content Creation Grant (ECCG) to (a person), I included reimbursement for Wikipedia page creation. The scheme was as follows: for the period from April 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015, I’d pay (a person):

$1 for every 1000 pageviews of pages he had created before 2015. $1 for every 500 pageviews of pages he created in 2015. If the pages he created were specific ones that I had requested him to create or approved the creation of, and the page as created by him met my standard for quality and completeness, then I’d add a one-time payment for each such page. The one-time payment would be determined per page, but the standard would be $25.

(There is some fine print that caps the total amount I need to pay (a person), but that’s not relevant here since Wikipedia pageviews don’t contribute enough to the overall ECCG to trigger that fine print). (A person) is User:Simfish on Wikipedia. You can also access his contribution history" (link provided on off wiki web page).

There is more on this page that should be read. This also continues into 2016...

2016

I renewed my content creation grant for 2016 with (a person), with some changes to the rules surrounding payments. I would pay (a person):

$1 for every 2000 pageviews of pages he had created before 2015, or $0.50 per 1000 pageviews. $1 for every 800 pageviews of pages he created in 2015, or $1.25 per 1000 pageviews. $1 for every 500 pageviews of pages he created in 2016, or $2 per 1000 pageviews.

My goal was that, while (a person) could still make money of pageviews of pages he created of his own accord, the focus of his work should shift more in the direction of creating pages I wanted him to create, with a fixed pay from me..."

There is more under "2016" that should be read. Personally, I am taken aback....

However, all this may pale in significance to the page linked from the above quoted page [8]. This page outlines the whole of User Vipul's paid editing operation for (or aimed at) Wikipedia: List of contributors, Money spent this month, Impact (of efforts I suppose) based on Page veiws and anecdotal evidence. The section on "Total Money Spent This Month" is particularly amazing. (Someone else) is a recruiter (recruits paid editors for Wikipedia, apparently from high schools and colleges). (A person), mentioned in the first sentence in "2015" is the paymaster. And most of the others do "piece work".

Sorry for the wall of text - in this instance I felt it was needed for clarity. Hopefully this is so. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 04:27, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

It seems to be entirely altruistic, although it may violate some policies (e.g. sock/meat puppets, COI, paid editing) I found this quote on one of those pages you link to above: "I am interested in funding similar pages on the timelines of malaria, cholera, and influenza, and might consider expanding to things like AIDS, particular cancers, senescence research, smallpox, and other diseases."HappyValleyEditor (talk) 05:27, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks HappyValleyEditor ---Steve Quinn (talk) 05:36, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
That page is a little outdated :). The more up-to-date location is this, linked by Steve. Also, since I wrote the earlier page, I have had success with having many of these other timelines made, as you can see: timeline of global health, timeline of cholera, timeline of malaria, timeline of influenza. It's been great working with a number of enthusiastic Wikipedia writers to create content of lasting value accessible to a global audience. Vipul (talk) 06:13, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Steve, really appreciate the free publicity! As you can see, none of the information you uncovered is particularly secret, and in fact I pride myself (and the people I work with, Issa and Ethan) on an extremely open process for content creation, along with full disclosure of real-world identity and amounts of money exchanged. Let me know if you find anybody else you think would be a good recruit for Wikipedia editing! Cheers. Vipul (talk) 06:13, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
@Vipul: While I commend you for being transparent about paying people to edit articles, I am having difficulty identifying the other users under your employ. Are they all using your own account to do their edits? --Drm310 (talk) 17:57, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
You can access the full list here. If you click through to the pages about them you will see links to their Wikipedia user pages and contributions. Vipul (talk) 18:06, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
@Vipul: I've redirected form 1040 - you're really close to committing a federal offense by disseminating tax advice without a disclaimer. Moreover, changes in the tax forms are not encyclopedic. What's your rationale for having these created in the first place? MSJapan (talk) 04:52, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
The tax form redirects are being undone without discussion by User:Riceissa, another one of Vipul paid editors. I have informed him that said articles are very close to dispensing tax advice, and he seems to be disinterested in listening. MSJapan (talk) 21:57, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I've since taken the liberty of informing WMF legal, because IANAL, but I do know enough about accounting to be concerned about handing out anything that looks like tax advice when one is not qualified to do so. However, that does not address the paid editing farm. MSJapan (talk) 03:20, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Solid acid fuel cell[edit]

I am a freelance science writer. I was hired to write a Wikipedia page about solid acid fuel cells by a company that produces solid acid fuel cells. While I am not writing directly about the company, I want to make sure that this potential conflict of interest is as transparent as possible.

I would like to add a section to this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell#Types_of_fuel_cells.3B_design as well as create a separate page explaining what solid acid fuel cells are.

Should I post what I have written (including all references, which are mostly published journal articles) ? Ldajose (talk) 20:02, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Ldajose. It would be helpful if you posted what you have. One venue for the new article would be Wikipedia:Articles for creation, but you could as easily use your sandbox - please let us know where to find it. And perhaps use talk:Fuel cell to discuss the changes you want to make to that article. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:13, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi Tagishsimon, my sandbox is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ldajose/sandbox . My apologies.. I am somewhat new to using wikipedia so please let me know if this is the wrong place for this discussion. Thanks! --Ldajose 22:38, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Wouldn't the first step here be to make the required full disclosure? - Wikipedia:Paid-contribution_disclosure. That policy says: "Users must disclose their employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any paid contribution to Wikipedia." There isn't a way to know if the article uses an neutral point of view without having the information that is required by that policy. LaMona (talk) 00:44, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

OK, that seems to have been declared here now. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 06:11, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
The editor is using that company's web site as a reference and links to an award the company was given, in a way that I think is unwarranted. It's a wp:COATRACK. Since it is a sandbox, I'll not edit, but it should not be allowed in main space. LaMona (talk) 15:16, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi LaMona, I completely see what you're saying about the Coatrack. If I remove the references to the company, then the piece should be truly about the technology, only citing peer-reviewed journal articles and third-party articles (like Discover, etc). What do you think? Ldajose (talk) 17:55, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I think the real question is: is this a balanced review of the topic? Since I know zero about fuel cells, I can't answer that. I do note that 5 of the references share a lot of names, and that one of those names is the same as the CEO of the company. Would most people working in fuel cell technology see those five articles as the best references on the topic? Is there anyone else developing it as a technology other than the sponsors of this article? Is there a reason to cite more than one the articles by Chisholm, e.g. are the others writing in this area that should be cited instead? (see this which seems to show that there are others writing on the topic that are more highly cited.) The fact of basing so much of the article on the work of the company's CEO does not sit right with me. It does not appear to be a balanced review of the topic. LaMona (talk) 20:18, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I had a look today and I'm not convinced that we should do the changes. Lots of research happens everyday, but we don't immediately add them to Wikipedia. Wikipedia tends to "lag behind" the world and add stuff only when it has been reviewed multiple times in secondary sources - that is, it has become popular. The research papers are all connected to the chief scientist. I appreciate the work but at this moment, I don't think I would like to add this information to Wikipedia. This is similar for health related topics where we don't immediately add any research. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 12:24, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Articles relating to the band Against the Current[edit]

I discovered this user when he added dubious content without a source to Rheumatic fever. However, most of his edits have been related to articles about the band they're in, Against the Current, both editing articles and creating new ones. Most of his edits in the user talk namespace consist of removing notices on his talk page. I have almost no experience with situations like these (and I'm not so good with people), and I have no interest in the subject, so that's why I've put this notice here. Graham87 15:31, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

No apparent COI here; the user outs himself as a fan of the band, so that's the driving force. However. it looks way too much like impersonation, os I've reported the user to UAA. I'm going to drop him a note about that, so maybe he'll change the username before he gets blocked. MSJapan (talk) 17:38, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@Graham87: No COI, but a sock of a user who was blocked for WP:NOTPROMO, and there seems not to be quite a sockfarm, but perhaps a garden, which is going to need to be bricked over. Thanks for bringing this up, and while maybe not a COI in the end, these sorts of things are important to bring to admin attention via noticeboards. MSJapan (talk) 22:10, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Rana (genus)[edit]

The user in question has been engaged in strong, persistent advocacy for the taxonomic viewpoint of a particular group of scientists since 2008, with almost zero other contributions to WP, and has deliberately omitted mention of published rebuttals of that taxonomic viewpoint. Their near exclusive focus has been on opposing the splitting of genera Rana and Bufo (aka. the common frog and toad, respectively), the two taxa of dispute between this group of scientists and other taxonomists, with no interest in even closely related genera of less contentious taxonomy. Most importantly, however, the user has overtly stated in prior discussions (including a Mediation) an awareness of unpublished literature over a year before the appearance of the paper in print, and, when confronted about their possible COI, completely ignores or diverts away from the topic. Note that nobody has demanded their identity, just a simple yes/no to whether they have a COI as an author of one or more these papers. HCA (talk) 16:48, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

In fact, I have been the only person to follow the Arbitration agreement reach in this case, and present a neutral, balanaced viewpoint of the literature. The consensus that was reached in Arbitration was that ALL current views on the taxonomy of this groups would be represented evenly and fairly. There was never an agreement to use the AMNH database exclusively, especially since that database is written by the person (Frost) who proposed using Lithobates as a genus. Despite this agreement, in March HCA unilaterally changed all the pages, which has presented both the AMNH and the alternative, widespread viewpoint, to show the AMNH viewpoint only. Then in June, a consortium of Rana systematists from throughout Europe, Asia, and North America (Yuan et al., 2016), who had previously supported different taxonomic arrangements, published a major systematic review of the group, with the first extensive, multigene data set for the group, and sampled across most of the taxa. They supported the view that Rana, in the sense of all the Holarctic brown/true frogs, was monophyletic; that the group called Lithobates was nested within Rana; and that recognition of Lithobates as a genus made the rest of Rana paraphyletc. They published (in Systematic Biology) a classification of all the species of Rana which kept all these species in a single genus Rana, and they recognized several well known and well supported species groups within Rana as subgenera. Another WP user updated the Rana page to reflect the Yuan et al. (2016) paper; this was immediately reverted by HCA. Consistent with the Arbitration agreement, I then modified the Rana page to show the differences between the Yuan et al. (2016) taxonomy and the Frost (2006) taxonomy, and added the Yuan et al. (2016) reference back to the Rana page. I fixed some non-controversial errors in the page (e.g., the old page said that Rana was distributed in Africa; that is untrue for anyone's classification of these frogs). I also noted that the taxonomy supported by the international group (Yuan et al., 2016) has been adopted by the online resource AmphibiaWeb. All of this is exactly in agreement with the Arbitration agreement, agreed upon by myself and HCA.Ranapipiens (talk) 20:44, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Once agin, you totally evade the question. Do you or do you not have COI. Period. Simple as that. Will you answer the question, or just keep dodging it? HCA (talk) 16:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Why would it be a COI if Ranapipiens has published papers on this topic? Assuming this is a typical academic (as the accusation implies), I doubt that his or her academic or financial standing would be much improved if they switched teams and argued the opposite. Isn't it considered OK at Wikipedia, to have an opinion, or to share expertise? JerryRussell (talk) 00:44, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The problem is when there's a contentious topic in the scientific community (as in this case), and an editor is editing WP to conform to their POV on the topic, rather than reaching a balance in consultation with others. Consider, by analogy, the evolution of flight in birds/dinosaurs, with the two camps, trees-down and ground-up, both with evidence for and against. An academic contributor on either side would be welcome, and need not even disclose their identity, but should at least say "I'm an academic scientist who has published work advocating trees-down" and edit with appropriate caution and discussion, rather than unilaterally changing large numbers of articles to conform to their preferred theory while marginalizing the other. HCA (talk) 14:01, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Wiki policies do distinguish between COI and other types of bias. Editors with an identified COI are supposed to refrain from editing articles, and only participate on the talk page. Whereas editors with bias are expected to work cooperatively with other editors, but are not asked to remove themselves. So my interpretation would be that even if Ranapipiens were to admit to having authored papers on the topic, nevertheless this would not be tantamount to an admission of COI. Perhaps a more experienced editor or admin could confirm or deny this? I am trying to understand these rules for my own participation here as well. JerryRussell (talk) 15:56, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is a distinct difference between an expert and a COI editor, though you can have an expert with a COI as well. Put simply, an expert knows the topic, while a COI editor knows only their view of the topic. An expert with a COI knows the topic, but probably has a stake in getting the viewpoint of their research put forth as the "correct" one. Ranapipiens' edits (at least according to Ranapipiens) are balanced. All that being said, I can see where HCA has an issue: it is a problem if one is adding citations to one's own research, and thus we're in a situation where either Ranapipiens has to be WP:OUTed to refute the COI, or has to cease editing the article because of suspicion of COI. Neither of those options is particularly beneficial without proof, but we're not going to deal with that here. ArbCom has a much better ability to handle confidential information, and as it seems that this is resultant from an ArbCom decision, they will have a better understanding of it. I would suggest that this go to ArbCom instead as a "subsequent enforcement" item. MSJapan (talk) 17:25, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

MSJapan, you didn't address the question of whether doing real-world research or writing on a topic, is sufficient to create a Wikipedia COI with respect to that topic. WP:SELFCITE explicitly says it's OK to cite one's own research, which presumably would not be the case if a self-citation is a COI? JerryRussell (talk) 18:30, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I also want to point out, from a real-world perspective, how absolutely ridiculous it would be if every author who ever wrote on a topic, was viewed as having a COI with respect to that topic. Every author who ever wrote two for two different publishers on the same topic would be COI. Basically, that would mean virtually everyone with any interest or expertise whatsoever on a given topic. JerryRussell (talk) 18:44, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I think the key is that the topic is in active dispute, with academics in the real world taking sides and writing criticism and rebuttal papers to each other. In that case, an academic from one side promoting that side on WP could very well be COI. HCA (talk) 19:08, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
@HCA:"Active dispute" is a different issue, and I would suggest referring to WP:FRINGE as far as that goes, because this is a matter of conflicting theories of different acceptance levels. @JerryRussell: The COI here is that it is not possible to tell whether the information added is neutral or not, because the editor is involved in the real-world debate and may be referencing his or her own work. MSJapan (talk) 22:14, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Sweat Cosmetics[edit]

This is an undisclosed paid editing case. A non-notable company is being promoted on Wikipedia. The article was accepted at AfC where the accepting reviewer doesn't seem to have noticed the Conflict of Interest. Now, considering the recent block due to concerns about OUTING I'm wondering how to go about it. Advice welcome. Lemongirl942 (talk) 22:41, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Article is currently at AfD btw, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sweat Cosmetics. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 22:48, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I see there's a COI notice/question on the creator's page, and an AfD started on the article. That's all that can be done at this point, most likely. If the editor/account doesn't just disappear, and continues making promotional articles, bring it up again at COIN and I think it's still OK to notify an admin privately with your off-wiki evidence. - Brianhe (talk) 08:30, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Lemongirl942 I added the COI template with a comment "The COI tag shouldn't be used as a badge of shame, but also WP:OUTING prevents us disclosing - see WP:COIN#Sweat Cosmetics" which may help give other editors a heads up to be extra careful about sources for deciding at the AfD. The tag may be contested correctly if the content isn't POV. Why not add the {{connected}} to the talk page (where the evidence doesn't need to be listed), and not sure if can use a tag at the AfD but something could be put on the AfD surely? My suggestion at the Signpost to take a suspected undisclosed paid editing article and push it back to AfC for the deeper analysis would be a bold move but would prevent the race condition of both sides in WP:BOGOF at AfD allowing longer to scrutinise sources. Widefox; talk 08:40, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Though there is an option for the "connected" tag to be used when not declared, I've never seen it used that way. It is an invitation to drama. I'd suggest that something be added to the COI guideline page indicating that even when not declared, under certain narrowly defined WP:DUCK circumstance it's allowable to add both the connected and COI tag. At one point there was a "COI Ducks" essay but it was broadly worded, as I recall, and was deleted. Coretheapple (talk) 16:57, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
  • This issue was just brought to my attention. This appears to be a promotion-only account, but there is no disclosure. I'd suggest bringing this before ANI and requesting a topic ban if the promotion activities continue. Coretheapple (talk) 14:17, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • There won't be any disclosure - this person's sole purpose was to take 15 minutes out of their day and try to make a buck, with no editing before or since. I do think that notifying an admin privately might make sense, because it may or may not continue to be a problem, but I'm not sure what will be accomplished as a result that we aren't already doing, and I'd rather have a paid editor I can track than block the account and not be able to make the connection. MSJapan (talk) 17:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that COIN isn't really for this kind of situation. This is a job for ANI. Coretheapple (talk) 17:16, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
ANI shouldn't be the right place, but it's a fallback due to COI work being difficult (and the focus being on the editor not the edits so at odds with core principles) and COIN being fairly benign, more so now due to the chilling effect of blocking a COIN editor. Widefox; talk 07:58, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Adding COI tag to article in absence of disclosure[edit]

@MSJapan: @Widefox: @Brianhe: @Lemongirl942: I have a question about the COI tag. The behavior and edit history suggests that it is a throwaway sock account and appears to be a WP:DUCK COI/paid editing situation. I've only added COI tags when COI is disclosed. What is our practice in clear-cut, not denied, DUCK situations when COI is not disclosed? Coretheapple (talk) 16:51, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't know, I do add the {{connected}} tags and let others challenge them. I consider it a convenience for DUCKS to save them doing what the TOU requires for paid editors, and also for just COI. COI is all about disclosure not about them not being able to edit. Widefox; talk 17:34, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
In so far as the template has a parameter UX-declared, which takes yes/no values indicating whether or not the user has declared their connection/financial interest in Wikipedia, it is clearly designed to be used even in the absence of a COI declaration from the supposed-COI user. --Tagishsimon (talk) 17:43, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I assume this is a question of "inappropriate templating." In this case, I don't see an issue - if it is to all intents and purposes a duck, and that assumption is being made in good faith (e.g., with supporting evidence), then it's a duck until unequivocally disproven by the user. MSJapan (talk) 17:52, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I think that I would agree that in clearcut, WP:DUCK situations, when as in this case it is a throwaway sock account, an SPA, a COI tag is justified. Might not be a bad idea to put this practice in writing. I can see how such tagging might be abused. In this case it clearly is not. Coretheapple (talk) 21:01, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, I don't think it's earth-shattering enough to require an RFC, so I will WP:BOLD in the appropriate area and see what happens. MSJapan (talk) 20:26, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, and I would suggest that the addition cover both connected contributor and article tags. Coretheapple (talk) 20:41, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
To aid others to check my reasoning for adding a connected template, I put comments next to each tag. AFAIR, the connected template should be used via COIN consensus. Bold not reckless applies, and one wrong false positive may be BITE / AGF. Widefox; talk 08:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

User:27century[edit]

Has disclosed paid edits to the Daniel Amen article (and from their contribution history has likely made many other paid contributions) but claims they cannot make a declaration per WP:PAID beyond stating their employer is "Rachel Grand". Would appreciate it if somebody better versed in this area could look at this. Alexbrn (talk) 01:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

The article subject has been trying to WP:OWN the article for years now. While the disclosure is important, the fact that they are adding promotional content and discredit well-sourced negative information is far more worrying. You've been right to revert and I would encourage User:27century to not edit the article directly, but instead suggest changes on the talk page, as advised WP:COI. SmartSE (talk) 10:01, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Note that this affects most of the articles the user has edited. I've given them a final warning as they are failing to disclose and adding promotional content. SmartSE (talk) 11:13, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
The editor doesn't seem to be complying. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 05:14, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

The Zerynth Framework[edit]

User seems to be here for the sole purpose of spamming links to Zerynth. Guy Macon (talk) 12:21, 11 July 2016 (UTC) It appears that my first impression was incorrect, and that Luigi is going to be a real asset for the encyclopedia. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:31, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Left the editor a {{welcome-coi}} as a good faith gesture, but having looked through the page histories it does look like the editor is pushing links to the framework. I've removed one reference which was added to Microcontroller. Oddly, the editor is also adding good quality unrelated references. I think it would be good to try to open some dialog and see what they have to say about the situation - they could quite easily be a good faith advocate needing a bit of education Face-smile.svg -- samtar talk or stalk 12:29, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Hi, sorry for the delay in responding. I'm Luigi and I'm interested in embedded software, electronics prototyping and IoT. I'm involved with the Zerynth framework but I would like to contribute to Wikipedia in the above fields in a neutral and transparent way. In compliance with the Plain and simple conflict of interest guide I've changed my username from Lfcerf to "Luigi Francesco Cerfeda", to make it clear who I am and what I do. I haven't edited articles about Zerynth but I've edited those sections where other similar softwares/frameworks/tools were listed. I've also edited some items that are related to microcontrollers programming, specifying that various high-level programming languages, such as Python and JavaScript, are now in common use to target microcontrollers and embedded systems, adding good quality neutral references, as mentioned by samtar. I think that the success of projects such as Zerynth, MicroPython, Espruino, MicroEJ and others makes this a topic of interest to users. By the way, I'm very new here and I'm sorry if I didn't respect the netiquette or the guidelines. Luigi Francesco Cerfeda (talk) 21:18, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

@Luigi Francesco Cerfeda: Hey, thanks for responding to us Face-smile.svg Don't worry, it's quite clear now you're not here to promote Zerynth as a paid employee/developer - your initial edits seemed to focus on adding links to the Zerynth website to a multitude of pages, which tends to be a bit of a red flag to some editors. Thank you for reading our guide and taking it on board, and I hope to see you editing again soon! If you ever need any more help, feel free to drop by The Teahouse or my talk page -- samtar talk or stalk 08:39, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Editing offer by e-mail[edit]

Dear editors: I wrote a draft article about a musician, Saskia Tomkins, but because of COI (she is a friend of mine) I submitted the draft to WP:AFC so that other editors could judge notability and neutrality issues. The draft was declined (with this edit) for an unrelated reason, and has since been accepted and is in the encyclopedia. However, right after it was declined, Saskia (who didn't know I was writing the article) received an e-mail from a person called Tamsin Kelly claiming to be an experienced Wikipedia editor and offering to fix up the article and get it approved. Saskia forwarded the e-mail to me, and I noticed that it had similar language to that used last year when someone sent a number of e-mails pretending to be me (among others) and requesting money for editing. I also noticed that there is an editor called Tamsin Kendra who was blocked and is on the Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Orangemoody/Accounts list, but no editor named Tamsin Kelly. I asked at the Help Desk and it was suggested that I report the incident here. —Anne Delong (talk) 10:45, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Hi Anne Delong, thanks for the message - do you still have the email which was forwarded to yourself? Could you please email it on to us at info-orangemoody@wikipedia.org? -- samtar talk or stalk 10:49, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I have the forwarded e-mail; I looked at the raw version and didn't see anything enlightening, but perhaps more experienced eyes will have more success. I'll send it; I am assuming that my e-mail address will be kept confidential.—Anne Delong (talk) 10:56, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
@Anne Delong: yes, your email address will not be disclosed per the confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information -- samtar talk or stalk 11:03, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Logged as OTRS ticket # 2016071210012761 if any agents are interested -- samtar talk or stalk 18:31, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

School of Economic Science[edit]

Editor User:Skyring who says he is a member of the School of Economic Science has been restoring material on that page which two other editors User:Roberthall7 and User:Fiddlersmouth argue is primarily promotional. The same editor is removing criticism. Accusations and counter accusations are being made. The following timeline may be helpful:

  1. Editor User:Roberthall7 commences adding sourced criticism of the society in June 2008 [9] and becomes the most regular editor of the article with few edits elsewhere [10]
  2. Editor User:Skyring commences removing criticism of the School in June 2013, saying it is not sourced although a source is included [11] [12] and generating confusion on the talk page [13]. He goes on to be the second most frequent editor of the article.
  3. Editor User:Roberthall7 was criticised by User:Skyring for being a single purpose account on 6 August 2015.[14], who did provide an answer that the article "has at times read like Public Relations."
  4. Editor User:Skyring responds in point 3 of [15] he is a member of the School of Practical Philosophy, but has no financial interest or official position and so is not bound by conflict of interest.
  5. Editor User:Roberthall7 claims that sources connecting the school with child abuse are being removed and adjusted, justifying his watch over the article. [[16]]
  6. The recent dispute started on 7 July 2016, with User:Roberthall7 removing material that in parts appears promotional and sourced from the school website [17], and then User:Skyring restoring them several times [18].
  7. An edit war occurs with User:Fiddlersmouth and User:Skyring on July 11 & 12 over the same material.[19]
  8. Recent talk page is primarily about the accusations between editors [20]
  9. User:Skyring says he is a member of the school as of 10 July 2016 [21]

As a member of the School of Economic Science, User:Skyring an external relationship and therefore a conflict of interest. He self-assessed it was not necessary to declare it when he began to edit. The apparent COI lead to the discovery of the membership. The matter has been discussed on the talk page, but has lead to counter-accusations and disruptive editing.

User:Skyring claims that his COI is as weak as "scout leaders hav[ing] an input into the Boy Scouts material, servicemen writ[ing] on military topics"[22], however according to the website of the organisation, members are selected by the Board of Trustees who "progressed satisfactorily in the courses of instruction offered by the School, who have implemented them in practice, and who have acted in furtherance of the goals and activities of the School. There are presently 74 Members in the School." These members elect the Board of Trustees [23]. The comparison to scouting is misleading.

The editor's identity is not mentioned in any way on the school website and is not disclosed though this posting to the COI noticeboard. Editors mentioned above have been informed on their talk page.

The failure to declare COI; the apparent COI; the misleading description of the extent of COI; the accusations against other editors; the edit warring; the presence and defence of alleged promotional material in the edit history, and the inability to resolve differences in the talk pages, all form part of the basis for bringing this matter to the attention of this board. Travelmite (talk) 19:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

This is an initial response to say that I welcome User:Travelmite's objective and highly professional intervention here. It brings a sense of relief that improves one's faith in Wikipedia. I look forward to full scrutiny (of myself included) and sincerely hope that User:Travelmite gets effective peer cooperation. I happen to be busy with work at the moment and intend to make a more detailed statement here within a week. -Roberthall7 (talk) 12:40, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Notice of this posting for User:Skyring was reverted and now restored. [24] Travelmite (talk) 14:31, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
FYI user-talkpage notices are allowed to be removed by the user. If a user removes the notice, it is confirmation they have seen and acknowledged it, and no further action is needed. So do not replace removed notices a user's talkpage. There are very few exceptions to this rule (the main one being removing block appeals while blocked). The relevant page is WP:BLANKING. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:35, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for drawing attention to this rule Travelmite (talk) 13:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
That's okay. "Travelmite" has a history of that sort of thing. Roberthall7 has brought this up before, and this looks like more of the same. I think Travelmite could be wearing his helmet a little too tight if he thinks that as an Australian member of a worldwide philosophy school I'm also a Member of the New York branch, as per his link given above.[25]. For the record, I'm not. I'm just a student of the Canberra branch, holding no office or financial interest. My personal interest is limited to an interest in dead philosophers and their practical advice for living a useful and stress-free life. "Travelmite" could gain some benefit from this, and I suspect that Roberthall7, whose edits on Wikipedia touch no other subject, already has, though will not admit any involvement. I invite her to do so here. --Pete (talk) 18:07, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
If poor old Pete could learn that defending his own position is substantially undermined by attacking other editors, we could get along fine. But he's the victim, apparently, of anti SES hate-crime. There are real issues here that he could help with, mainly the post Maclaren changes in the organisation. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 01:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
If User:Travelmite's intention with the notices was to alert as many interested parties as possible to chime in here, in keeping with Wikipedia values, then the place where a notice of this discussion would be really useful is the School of Economic Science page, where there isn't one. -Roberthall7 (talk) 07:02, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, that can be done. Travelmite (talk) 13:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No person has written that Pete/Skyring is a member of the New York Branch. The matter of taking information from New York Branch, or the Canberra branch is not relevant. The website provides information about the constitution of the organisation, the number, method of selection and duties of members in a branch organisation. Information about the Canberra branch may be found here [26], but has no details about membership. Furthermore, this notice has nothing to do with the the school itself. The most highly reputable organisations will respect the CoI requirements. Although Pete/Skyring says his interest in the school is limited, a strong apparent CoI (see policy page for definition) led to the discussion where Pete/Skyring said that he was a member. He also now says that he is "just a student". Pete/Skyring says that he holds no office or financial interest, however the test is whether the duty to the organisation is overriding the duty to Wikipedia. We should note that this is not a content dispute, but there are accusations, edit-warring and disruption over several years. Travelmite (talk) 14:19, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't see any grounds for COI here. Being a fan, member or supporter of a living person, group or religion does not preclude someone from editing an article. If an editor is not following WPs behavioral or editing guidelines then WP:AI is the proper venue. WP:COI is not a stick with which to beat someone who you are in a content dispute with. It's also not appropriate to accuse someone of COI on the article talk page. Furthermore, having been away from the article in question for several months I am saddened to see it descending into a biased attack against the organization.- KeithbobTalk 14:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
User:Keithbob, thanks for chiming in. I'm refreshing myself with WP:COI and find the opening paragraphs pertinent: Conflict of interest (COI) editing involves contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial or other relationships. Any external relationship can trigger a conflict of interest. (The word interest refers here to something in which a person has a stake.)[n 1] Conflict of interest is not about actual bias. It is about a person's roles and relationships, and the tendency to bias that we assume exists when roles conflict.[4] That someone has a conflict of interest is a description of a situation. It is not a judgment about that person's state of mind or integrity. COI editing is strongly discouraged. It undermines public confidence in Wikipedia, and risks causing public embarrassment to the individuals being promoted. If it causes disruption, accounts may be blocked.
You've raised the point that if an editor is not following WPs behavioral or editing guidelines then WP:AI is the proper venue. Do you mean WP:ANI? So indeed it may turn out that Travelmite should re-post their notice there. Before we rush into that, I'd like to respectfully check whether you are entirely up to speed again on this article. One thing is that the original poster (Travelmite) is not working on the article so they are not in fact in a content dispute there. The other thing is that over two years ago you asked me to remind you to come back to the discussion after notifying me that "Skyring/Pete should not be deleting sourced content"[27]. That behavior which you identified two years ago has not changed and has become disruptive, which Travelmite's diffs make a start of showing. In fact the behavior has extended further into not following other editing guidelines too, including biased misrepresentation of The New York Times as a source [28] seemingly in order to give the organization a better public image. In light of the editor's self-identification with the organization, the behavior does appear to have a biased, public relations agenda. At times that agenda appears to perceive other editors' use of sourced material which is deemed challenging towards the organization as a biased attack on the organization from perceived outsiders. This could be what's motivated this COI notice from Travelmite. With respect, please take another look through the diffs over the last few weeks, please comment here more and please join in the work on the article. In the meantime, I'll go and read up about WP:AI and WP:ANI, on your advice. Much thanks again, -Roberthall7 (talk) 16:25, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I hope it can be resolved without WP:ANI. Indeed, there is no content dispute, nor is this an attack against the organisation. It is the opposite. Turning a wikipedia page into a adversarial contest with insults flying is the worst result for both that organisation, and for Wikipedia. Nor is it about edit bans. Any member with a duty to a small organisation should disclose as per the COI policy. They should be making uncontroversial edits, or edits in co-operation with other editors. Common-sense should apply. If the other editors are behaving poorly, then that would be the biased advocacy and nothing could be said against the member acting openly. Anyway, this is the information from the Sydney website:
"The School of Philosophy in NSW / ACT has been operating in this way since it opened in Sydney in 1967. It has since opened branches in Newcastle, Wagga and Canberra and is affiliated with Schools in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide in Australia and in many other countries around the world. All work in the School is performed by students in a spirit of service and philosophical practice. Except for a small, administrative staff, the work is undertaken on an unpaid, voluntary basis. All tutors are senior members of the School who have studied Philosophy at the School for many years and still keep their learning fresh in the company of their own Group on a weekly basis. No tutors are paid." [29]. No mention of members, but it does seem that "students" do undertake duties for the school. Travelmite (talk) 17:04, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

A point about confusing terminology and jargon. In the same way that it is more accurate to describe the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a university rather than an institute, and the United Kingdom as a democracy rather than a kingdom, it is more accurate to describe the School of Economic Science (a.k.a. The School of Philosophy a.k.a. The School of Practical Philosophy) as an 'organization' rather than a 'school'. Aside from a 'school' it has also been referred by sources as a 'church', a 'cult' and a 'new religious movement'; consensus on our article page has found that organization is the most non-pejorative, accurate and universally acceptable term. We should use it here. To differentiate, bare in mind that the generally understood institution of a school normally has a formal graduation procedure and provides qualifications and encourages attendees to eventually leave: apparently this organization does not, and one can be a member of it for life. By extension, the use of 'tutor' and 'student' here is also misleading. They are all participants in the organization, commonly referred to as 'members'. There may be a higher echelon of 'registered members', which I have not read about, and there is a highest echelon around the 'leader' (not a chancellor as in a university or headteacher as in a school). Members of the organization can be both tutors and students at the same time, depending on whether they are leading a meeting or attending a meeting, respectively. If you're member of one branch, you're a member of the worldwide organization, as our article says - the different territorial branch titles are misleading, but the organization itself states on its website that they are all part of the same organization. All this also helps to differentiate from the organization's primary and secondary schools for children, which are schools in the conventional sense of the word - with graduation, formal qualifications and departure. This is all in the sources we've used on the article, if one has the time or interest to look them up. I hope that helps. -Roberthall7 (talk) 18:31, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Sounds like you know a lot about the organisation, Roberthall7! So, to clarify, if an editor identifies as just a student member, and rules out being a chosen higher-level "Member" of the New York branch (as falsely stated by the OP), and holds no executive office, is there any evident conflict of interest? Or is it in the same class as (say) a Wikipedia editor editing the Wikipedia article? --Pete (talk) 23:25, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
You have disclosed that you are a member of the Canberra branch, where previously it was unknown. Your location is not required. You've said only that you are not on the executive and not paid. You've compared yourself to a scout leader or military. Based on the organisation's various websites, it is much smaller that and very different from scouting, with members electing the executive, and having some duty to the organisation. In response to this COI notice, you now say you're "just a student", however the school offers only short courses and your membership has existed for several years. Please keep in mind, you are only being asked to declare your association and avoid making controversial edits by yourself, so let's keep to this please. Travelmite (talk) 20:50, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
This COI issue continues. Based on new topic, regarding WP:AGF Pete Skyring says that Roberthall7 is trying to depict the SES as wacky [30], when nothing of the sort could be implied. Other editors are engaging with Pete/Skyring responsibly. Despite having a range of sources, Pete/Skyring decides the issue based on his personal experience as a member, and reverts what he doesn't like on the page [31]. Travelmite (talk) 18:54, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Salve Regina University[edit]

Edits have repeatedly been made to this article which read to me like advertising copy for potential students to the university (which was also unsourced). I gave COI/promotional warnings to User:SalveTWeb and then attempted to explain further on their talk page but no response and continued editing - the name seems to indicate a fairly clear COI (if not paid?) The other accounts were then opened and made the same and similar edits. Footnotes have been added recently by User:Weatherfun24 and some of the most blatant promotional wording dropped, so other editors may think it is ok now, however it is still primarily sourced to the University's own website. I would appreciate some objective editors involvement and advice on the article and the COI issues. Thanks, Melcous (talk) 22:51, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Looking at this, I'd say that COI, while probable, may not be the only problem. Have you considered taking this also to WP:SOCKPUPPET to clear up the relationship between these users? I note that earlier on in the article's life it actually had some "real" references, but that was changed quite recently by Joneybear, but that Joneybear appears to have taken over as SalveTWeb stopped editing, which can be a sign of socking. I added the COI template to the Joneybear and Weatherfun24 talk pages (latter user has made only one edit) so that they have the full information. LaMona (talk) 04:21, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi Melcous. I'd say there is definitely COI here in the case of the first two editors. Ditto 198.7.229.2 (talk · contribs · WHOIS) which resolves to the university. I've given it a good going-over and added some independent sources. It was full of copypaste from the SRU website (now rewritten or removed), and the excessive brochure-like information and promotional language have also been removed. Both Justlettersandnumbers and I are keeping an eye on it and will revert any further unwelcome additions. Voceditenore (talk) 15:50, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Voceditenore has (as usual) done a great job of cleaning this up, though there is still a lot of scope for more (replacing the self-published references with independent ones, for example, as mentioned by Melcous). Anyway, I've watch-listed the page. LaMona, I don't know if even checkuser could distinguish meat from sock in this case (assuming, as seems likely, that both editors have some connection with the institution); but maybe it's just that I have a low success rate at SPI … Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 16:39, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm also concerned that SalveWebT (talk · contribs) may be a role account with a shared password and have raised this on their talk page. Voceditenore (talk) 18:28, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you both, Voceditenore you have doing a really great job wading through that and making sense of the COI issues, and its great to have both your eyes on it. Melcous (talk) 00:00, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

WAYN[edit]

I have done some cleanup on this, which bore many marks of PROMO or even paid editing. More work could be done. Notified a SPA who edited the article from 2006 to 2015. There seems to have been wikiwashing of email address harvesting practices here and here and here in one case citing "terms [of service?] of wikipedia". - Brianhe (talk) 02:07, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/WAYN (website) DGG ( talk ) 05:52, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

India national football team[edit]

Not COI. Discuss with the use on the talk page; take to WP:ANI for further direction if this does not work. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:24, 16 July 2016 (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.

The user is continuously reverting my edits without appropriate & valid references. Please take necessary steps. Thank you. 14.99.133.157 (talk) 09:59, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Not a COI issue. MSJapan (talk) 20:29, 15 July 2016 (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.

Betty Boothroyd[edit]

With luck, a one-off event. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:23, 16 July 2016 (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.

This article is being edited anonymously and seriously restructured by someone who claimed to work for the subject. Lizzie Harrison 12:10, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Well, there was a single attempt, reverted, and no action since then. Keep it on your watch-list, but with luck that was that. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:13, 16 July 2016 (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.

Drum brake[edit]

This edit to Drum brake by User:James Hare (NIOSH) contained two paragraphs of obvious how-to advice, with directions to the reader in the imperative mood, which is specifically against the policy WP:NOTHOWTO. I removed the advice, and renamed the section to clarify that this section is not about the safety of drum brakes as brakes, but about worker safety during maintenance.

When my edits were reverted by User:CFCF, I noticed a pattern, in which CFCF was patrolling additions by a group of COI editors working for the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). While User:James Hare (NIOSH) has declared his COI, the other accounts have not as far as I can tell. I can't tell if CFCF has a conflict of interest related to NIOSH, or is editing sympathetically because of his paid editing for Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation task force, or just feels like helping out.

The goal of NIOSH is to educate the workers and industry on occupational safety, and to promote safe practices. The unspoken goal of every government agency is to remain in existence by advertising to the general public that they do valuable work. In so far as these COI editors add well-cited information to the encyclopedia, their edits have been very helpful to Wikipedia. When it comes to promoting safety, however, this has led to a consistent violation of the NOTHOWTO policy, such as the egregious example in the Drum brake article.

Many of their edits seem to contain little or no meaningful information, other than to promote NIOSH, by reminding the public that NIOSH is doing something useful with US tax dollars. For example this addition doesn't tell us anything at all about the level of risk from benzoyl peroxide, and the link to NIOSH's website only lead to more links with no obvious point in sight. When User:Mean as custard removed it on those grounds, it was quickly restored by User:CFCF.

There's a lot going on at the article Buy Quiet. Several COI accounts are involved; they look like sockpuppets though from editor commentary it sounds like NIOSH simply has had multiple paid editors in their employ. Obviously the lack of declaration is a violation of the COI policy.

I realize it's easy to feel good about warning every reader about the risks of asbestos and giving them a list of dos and don'ts, and why shouldn't Wikipedia do that? But it's basically a "think of the children" fallacy. It deviates from the goal of building an encyclopedia. It's particularly problematic when those who try to get an article back on track face edit warring from a coalition of COI accounts that insist on using articles to lecture readers on how to stay safe.

The other problem is that a non-conflicted editor would approach these questions with an open mind about the reliability of the safety standards themselves. For example, are the NIOSH standards for benzoyl peroxide even realistic? Or are the EU guidelines better? I'd try to write something that mentions both. The US Congress has placed politically motivated limits on whether or not the US Centers for Disease Control, NIOSH's parent, can even conduct research into gun deaths. Acting as if NIOSH is an objective, science-based agency obscures its nature as an arm of the US government, whose agenda can be politically manipulated. A paid employee of the US government can't bring a balanced perspective to articles that include NIOSH data and resources, in which potential criticisms of NIOSH's public advice are brought to light. The employee's job is circumscribed by the goals of NIOSH. If NIOSH's workplace standards are woefully inadequate compared to, say, the EU, or Japan, you won't read that in content written by NIOSH employees. Their numerous links in many articles announcing that NIOSH has this that or the other workplace standard treat these safety rules as "the" standard, as if there were only one.

Another harmful effect of this is exacerbating the problem of addressing every Wikipedia reader as if they were an American. I wonder what UK or New Zealand readers think when they read about fishing trawlers or power tools and they find Wikipedia lecturing them on how to comply with US regulations.

The best practice for COI editors is to make talk page suggestions and let non-conflicted editors implement them. If a COI editor is going to edit articles where they have a conflict, they should not be edit warring to defend COI additions, and links to their employer's website, but rather take more of a WP:0RR approach for non-vandalism edits. I propose these NIOSH editors should agree to refrain from adding any more how-to instructions to any article [32], and to reconsider the large number of edits [33][34] that are near content-free advertisements for NIOSH activities. Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:08, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

This is bizarre — the reason I went through those edits was because decent edits were being stomped out for no reason at all. Sure, any edit can always be better — taking into account more views, more sources and better explaining the source — but this is Wikipedia, not some utopia where everything we do is perfect on our first try. Also, they did use European sources — and they did include non-NIOSH sources. This entire thing is stupid and silly, stop wasting time and instead help these editors get accustomed to what is expected of them on Wikipedia. If the problem is that they are stating certain NIOSH positions as fact, say that — don't say that there is a issue with government employees writing about what they are experts on. But then again, quite a sizable portion of the content NIOSH produceced can be said to represent fact, and can be included. NIOSH produces some of the best information about its topics in the world, and having them care enough about Wikipedia to want to contribute is a great thing — and my only interest here is I want the best information on Wikipedia, and I frankly don't care who puts it there. The fact that we need to spend time explaining these things puts Wikipedia to shame and scares away editors who could be a massive force for good here.
I can add that these are most likely people who are very accustomed to operating with any issues of conflicts of interest in mind. If government in the United States is similar to elsewhere in the world then — each employee, and in everything they do must declare and take into account potential conflicts of interest. Don't assume that just because someone working for NIOSH is linking NIOSH that it is bad — if this is the best source of information, or even the best source that they can reasonably be aware of then it is a good and valid edit. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 00:15, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. And yes, they should definitely add a disclaimer, but with new editors lets have some leniency and help them add it/ask nicely. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 00:35, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Are you aware there is a policy against how-to advice? You seem to be showing hostility to those of us who have tried to adhere to this policy.

Also, it only took me a few seconds to find examples of people who don't think NIOSH's standards are all that: [35][36][37][38]. That doesn't even scratch the surface of right-leaning, "pro-business" critics of regulatory agencies like NIOSH. You and I might think certain advice is "true", but many readers see it as blatantly biased, and it destroys Wikipedia's credibility. For example, many articles in the past expressed opinions about motorcycle helmets that were in lockstep with the advice of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and treated motorcyclists who disagree as if they don't exist. This had produced a warped view of motorcycle safety in the US, failing to account for why the majority of US states have repealed helmet laws. I don't agree with those who oppose helmet requirements or mandatory rider training, but by describing their point of view fairly, we add credibility to Wikipedia articles on the subject. When you write something that sounds like a PSA, you lose your audience.

It isn't enough to have good intentions. When it's your job to have a certain point of view, even with the public's best interest at heart, that can conflict with Wikipedia's goals. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:56, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Are you aware of WP:BITE? If you wish to participate in this project, then it is your responsibility to welcome, assist and advise good-faith new users. Your "good faith intentions" are as harmful to our mission as anything you've encountered in these edits; quite possibly more so. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:48, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Which newbie did I bite? You suggest I read WP:BITE. OK. It says "If a newcomer seems to have made a small mistake (e.g., forgetting to put book titles in italics), try to correct it yourself: do not slam the newcomer." I did exactly that. On Drum brake, I tried to correct some edits. I didn't "slam" anybody. I changed the parts that needed fixing: WP:REFNAME, a section title that was confusing, and two paragraphs of how to advice written in the imperative mood. I got slammed for it, and now here we are. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:57, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Identical opinion to Doc James below -- James Hare is an excellent WiR and I don't see a problem. SWATJester Shoot Blues, Tell VileRat! 15:18, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Do not see a major concern. Of course you can tweak the wording a bit. James Hare is a WiR at NIOSH. NIOSH is about promoting high quality information as are we. As long as they are not writing about NIOSH itself I do not see a meaningful COI. That you bring CFCF into this is a tangential stretch. They have no association with NIOSH. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:29, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
    • These are single-purpose accounts. All of their edits are about NIOSH. Unless you're saying it's fine for a Microsoft employee to add links to articles pointing out all the instances where Microsoft makes a solution relevant to whatever the topic is. As long as they don't actually edit an article about a Microsoft product? I'm not following this line of reasoning at all.

      I don't have a problem with edits that add objective facts to an article and cite a NIOSH publication. But many of them add no information except to give a shout out to NIOSH. @Mean as custard: noticed the same problem.

      I was considering trying new wording in some cases, but it was clear that CFCF was going to keep doing full rollbacks to the NIOSH worker's version, including irrelevant copyedits and MOS fixes. The impression I got was of article ownership and edit warring in defense of a COI point of view. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:18, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

      • That just isn't true. What copyedits and MOS fixes? Just saying you were going to do something doesn't mean you did, the one instance where you did you removed over half the information stating it was How-to, when it really wasn't. Also you've got to make a distinction between a for-profit entity like Microsoft and organizations that work to promote access to quality information — anything else is inane. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 07:27, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
        • +1. Microsoft, the for-profit company, is not comparable to NIOSH in any way, shape, or form. Wikipedians in residence are not the same as paid editors. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:54, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
          • Just isn't true? Go back look at what you reverted.

            Wikipedia's rules on COI, promotion, spam, and what-Wikipedia-is-not do not carve out a special exception for non-profits. Same rules apply to anyone who isn't here to build an encyclopedia.Dennis Bratland (talk) 14:50, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Although some of the edits were adding vaguely useful information, I got the definite impression that their sole purpose was to add links to NIOSH publications in order to promote that organisation. . . Mean as custard (talk) 07:08, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Then you got the wrong impression — this issue isn't about COI at all, its about WP:Don't bite the newbie. They know where the information is, they write that these guidelines exist or link it — pretty much amounting to the simplest edit they can make. It might not be very useful, but it is far more useful than nothing. If we shoot down simple edits we're never going to get any better ones. Instead help Harej and others by giving them suggestions on how to guide these new editors. If we treat institutions that do the right thing: hiring a WiR, having lengthy discussions about bias, taking time to see how to best help Wikipedia — like this — then we're only promoting non-disclosed paid-editing, because if the hoops are so impossible to jump through you're only going to get pharma companies and for-profit actors working, never disclosing anything. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 07:27, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Have you looked at how long these accounts have been active? How many years of editing does it take before we can finally drop the noob excuse? Also, lectures on civility with seem more sincere coming from someone not calling everyone "stupid", "silly" and "inane". --Dennis Bratland (talk) 14:57, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Let me explain some of the perceived hostility here. These editors are beginners, none of them have any significant edit count to speak of. I get pretty damn annoyed when people misinterpret COI to include every potential interest there is — as if writing about your city is a no-go because you might have a COI in wanting to promote tourism or to increase the land-value of your house.
These editors have used the sources they know of, which they know to be vigorously vetted and controlled — in this case happening to be some of the best sources in existence. They do this not because they intend to promote their organization, but in order to spread the information they've work hard to produce and are rightfully proud of. This is why you can't confuse for-profit companies and government agencies — one of them writes to increase revenue, while the other has the goal to promote knowledge and awareness about important topics. Now stop wasting everyone's time! Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 15:24, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Regarding how long the accounts have been active:
  • The ones that started editing on July 15 aren't NIOSH employees; they're editors recruited as part of the edit-a-thon at NIOSH held on that date. The fact that their edits all relate to the topic should be entirely unsurprising, given that it was the focus of the event at which they started editing.
  • The ones that last edited in 2010 or 2011 are presumably not going to respond here. While I have no idea whether any of them might have had a COI that needed to be declared, it's entirely unclear what could be constructively done about that question six years after the fact.
Kirill Lokshin (talk) 15:39, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
So NIOSH has had a program of COI editors working for several years. Old ones leave, and new ones rotate in. Apparently I'm supposed to believe that on the one hand NIOSH is a scrupulous scholarly research outfit, but on the other nobody in this group of COI editors talks to each other or writes anything down? Nobody trains them or supervises them? But still, NIOSH produces "the best" information. It sounds like Donald Trump talking about himself, doesn't it? If NIOSH is so universally trusted, then it should be easy to cite independent sources saying so. When I have tried to check some of these edits, I've been buried in long articles recounting the 40 years of controversy that have swirled around NIOSH since its inception. The agency has been the particular target of the Heritage Foundation, the Reagan administration, John Kasich, the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Their motive -- corporate cost-cutting -- is obvious, but that is exactly why I think articles like Buy Quiet, which are nothing more than warmed over press releases from NIOSH, need to be scrupulously neutral, and based on independent sources. NIOSH is controversial, and letting the agency use Wikipedia as a soapbox for their point of view only serves to reinforce the judgement of right-wing critics.

I don't think it helps at all to have a permanent policy of treating NIOSH editors with special privilege because the agency is constantly replacing them and apparently not giving them any training or developing any institutional knowledge. NIOSH has been at this for several years, since 2009 I think? Seven years? Will we be required to baby talk to their COI editors indefinitely?

I should note that I did not call anyone stupid, silly or inane. I did not roll back entire additions, the good with the bad indiscriminately. CFCF did that, not me. What I did was remove the how-to parts, and keep as much as I could. That is not biting the newcomers, that's collaborative editing. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:23, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

You're basically listing organizations that have come out as anti-regulation, anti-government and anti-science. This isn't what conflict of interest is about. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 16:50, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I see. NIOSH alone speaks the TRUTH. Anyone who says otherwise should not even be mentioned on Wikipedia. This is why COI editing is so problematic: when you're convinced your cause is righteous, it becomes impossible to even see, let alone describe, any other point of view. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:10, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
WP:False balance Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 18:29, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Dennis, do you have any actual evidence—any evidence at all—that the people you're accusing here have a conflict of interest? Or are you just casting aspersions? Plenty of people add content from NIOSH without having any financial interest in the matter.
Or should we assume that you've been paid off by the Heritage Foundation, given how eager you are to remove it? Kirill Lokshin (talk) 17:40, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, let's see, User:James Hare (NIOSH) describes himself this way: "I am a paid contractor of NIOSH." I believe him. That's a COI. User:Mean as custard indicated that it is common knowledge that User:Brock-brac and User:Flarf21 are James Hare's colleagues at NIOSH. I don't have any evidence about the other SPAs, or what CFCF's relationship is, which is why I raised the questions here, in order to investigate it further. This is the place to evaluate possible COI problems isn't it?

I'm not sure what you're accusing me of being "eager to remove". The only thing I deleted was obvious how-to advice. I have not engaged in mass rollbacks of contributions from NIOSH's team. I have selectively edited material that I thought was inappropriate, and when I ran into a stonewall of opposition, I came to this noticeboard to try to sort it out.

Besides corporate critics of NIOSH, there is significant criticism of OSHA from the other direction: [39][40]. CFCF keeps saying NIOSH must be accorded special status, but I have shown many reliable sources that show that other significant points of view exist. So NIOSH's publications are not "TRUTH", they are a POV. Editors paid by NIOSH who only cite NIOSH are promoting a single POV. Hence the need to put some limits on this activity. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:05, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict) NIOSH provided me with a name-tag at one of their Wikipedia meetings last year. I paid for my food myself, coffee was on Wikimedia DC. So, there's my relationship with NIOSH in a nutshell. Now, forget about what you deleted, I don't agree that it was how-to advice, and I don't see anyone else saying that either. But to get to the heart of your concerns, they're not as far as I can see promoting NIOSH.
To give you an analogy, we have something called Visiting Scholar Wikipedians, who get access to a library in order to promote knowledge. Now, imagine that this library stocks a certain publisher more than any other — that will garner this publisher more citations than other publishers. This is an example of bias, not of conflict of interest. And when it comes to bias, I see these editors who you've included on this page doing the right thing. They look for the best sources, they aren't afraid to move out from only citing the documents they've created and they're having the discussion internally.
Now, be honest — do you really think that posting here, and raving about the Heritage Foundation is going to help clear up issues? Or do you only think that this will scare NIOSH from ever attempting to perform a new editathon event?! You didn't even take it up with the people who ran the event, suggesting improvements or anything!? James Hare, Harej is a long standing Wikipedia editor with very good judgement, he would most likely have taken aboard any constructive criticism immediately — had it only come in the form of constructive criticism. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 18:26, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Wait, is James Hare a noob or a long standing editor? First you accused me of biting the newbies, now you accuse me of not giving a regular the benefit of the doubt? Not sure what you want me to do. I have seen you simply revert at least seven times on the articles Drum brake, Benzoyl peroxide, oil refinery and others, all without starting a single talk page thread. I don't really take your insistence that nobody can touch edits by the NIOSH team without discussing it first, when you seem to feel free to revert whatever you like with no discussion at all. With edit summaries that say things like "no". Is "no" your idea of participating in collaborative editing? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:50, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
James Hare (NIOSH) is a Wikipedian-in-Residence at NIOSH, and has fully declared his conflict of interest in that regard, as required by policy. Brock-brac and Flarf21 are not NIOSH employees or otherwise affiliated with the agency; as numerous people have tried to explain to you, they were attendees at yesterday's edit-a-thon at NIOSH. CFCF's identity and affiliations are a matter of public record; he has no affiliation with NIOSH either.
So, to sum up: out of the seven editors you've accused here, we have one who has appropriately declared his affiliation, three who have nothing to declare, and three for whom you admit having no evidence of a conflict. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 18:17, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I haven't "accused" seven editors. I have started a thread to determine whether these editors have a conflict of interest, and whether their edits violate the guidelines. The reason I have started that thread here is, "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."

If NIOSH is going to have one group of paid editors who essentially do nothing but add citations to NIOSH publications to articles, and another group of volunteers who also do essentially nothing but add citations of NIOSH publications, without any of them saying anything about who they are or what they are doing, then it shouldn't come as a surprise that the SPA accounts have the appearance of a COI. A little due diligence with the editathon would have gone a long way to avoiding the appearance of promotional editing. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:50, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

You have accused seven editors, and you continue to do so:
  • "a group of COI editors working for the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health"
  • "NIOSH has had a program of COI editors working for several years"
  • "contributions from NIOSH's team"
  • "NIOSH is going to have one group of paid editors"
If you have—as you admit—no actual evidence that these editors are being paid by NIOSH, then stop accusing them of being paid editors. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 18:59, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

I note that none of this was discussed on the talk page, which would have been a good first step. The "how to" section has been reworded as "It is recommended..." with references, so that seems ok, although it is heavily weighted to NIOSH standards, so adding other standards would be an improvement. User:Dennis Bratland, are you suggesting that the folks representing NIOSH should use the talk page to request edits, rather than make edits directly? That would be normal COI behavior, and I don't see why it couldn't be a solution even for a government agency or non-profit. I'm not aware of an exception for such organizations. LaMona (talk) 15:40, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

There is no exception, the point is that there is no real COI issue here and posting on talk pages when edits are non-problematic and not subject to what the COI-clauses intend to address isn't amenable to the cause of building an encyclopedia. I agree that there might be some form of discussion to be had, but it shouldn't be here, I can't believe we really need an explanation like WP:Don't drag newbies to the noticeboards or revert everything they do before even discussing things. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 15:47, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, I removed the "one source" tag, which dated from 2008, but replaced it with "refimprove" because there are large sections that are not referenced at all. Improving the references about the technology would lessen the perceived impact of the NIOSH references on the article. LaMona (talk) 15:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

-- separation for clarity by next commenter, user:econterms --

I think User:Dennis Bratland has some useful insights here and made constructive edits, but also takes some theories as fact. I lay out some contrary facts and opinions below, prefixing quotes from User:Dennis Bratland with an indented ">". It's long, sorry. I think it is feasible to get to a balanced position, preferably though normal editing but here instead if needed.
The spate of edits comes from an editathon: Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/Safe_and_Healthy_at_Work. It was announced multiple places and the public were invited. I attended practically the whole thing. Having organized a dozen such events myself, I thought it went well.
> a group of COI editors working for the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
No, the editors present were mostly volunteers, organized by a Wikipedian-in-Residence there for a particular event. As is usual we got coffee and lunch, but I took time off work to be there, which is costly to my potential vacation time and work I'm supposed to be doing.
> The unspoken goal of every government agency is to remain in existence by advertising to the general public that they do valuable work.
That's is a model or theory of government agency action, not an agreed fact. I think the statement is false and I could convince most reasonable people that it is false, thus: The phrase suggests every government agency has one unified goal. But the agencies are made up of people with a variety of goals, actually. Often the workers want to do "valuable work", and not just advertise it nor just to keep the institution in existence. I observe as a government employee a diversity of goals--get the job done, play it safe, advertise as described, etc.
> Several COI accounts are involved; they look like sockpuppets though from editor commentary it sounds like NIOSH simply has had multiple paid editors in their employ. Obviously the lack of declaration is a violation of the COI policy.
I was there, and knew the people generally. I'm trying to follow a rule not to "out" anyone. I don't think there was any undeclared COI. I don't think there were any sockpuppets. I don't know who from NIOSH was editing outside my room but I did not observe "multiple paid editors", just the organizer.
> Obviously the lack of declaration is a violation of the COI policy.
Nope, not obvious. And, no violation has been established. My best guess is that there wasn't one. A violation might also have existed but be insignificant. User:Dennis Bratland has made a string of statements here that look reckless to me. It would be possible to dig in further but investigating our volunteers would not in my judgment pass any cost-benefit test.
> . . . edit warring from a coalition of COI accounts that insist on using articles to lecture readers on how to stay safe.
Agreed, we must emphasize COI statements at editathons, and discourage reverts/edit-warring.
> a non-conflicted editor would approach these questions with an open mind about the reliability of the safety standards themselves. For example, are the NIOSH standards for benzoyl peroxide even realistic? Or are the EU guidelines better? I'd try to write something that mentions both.
There is some wisdom here -- an interesting blog post, I'd say -- but it's off topic. Statements about whether a standard is "realistic" or "better" should generally be sourced from third-party experts not Wikimedians. I agree that mentioning multiple standards would be good. That information is not always at hand. Lots of the information we had at that editathon was good and organized and useful and appropriate to add.
>The US Congress has placed politically motivated limits on whether or not the US Centers for Disease Control, NIOSH's parent, can even conduct research into gun deaths.
Interesting point, and roughly true as I understand the facts. But civil servants often don't agree with this constraint, and editathon volunteers aren't bound by it. Control by Congress of the materials or content at this (or any) editathon is thus pretty attenuated. We might have had slightly more materials about gun deaths if the political limits weren't there.
> Acting as if NIOSH is an objective, science-based agency obscures its nature as an arm of the US government, whose agenda can be politically manipulated.
It's both a science-based agency, and an arm of the U.S. government. Unambiguously. Participants understood this. "objective"? Well, that's ambiguous as usual -- science is partly debate, but mostly digging into evidence. The agency has laboratories and publishes hundreds of scientific papers a year. I think "politically manipulated" is misleading, as if there were danger in using and studying NIOSH materials.
> A paid employee of the US government can't bring a balanced perspective to articles that include NIOSH data and resources, in which potential criticisms of NIOSH's public advice are brought to light.
False. I'm no expert on NIOSH but specialists at GLAMs and NASA and dozens of government agencies have added constructive, balanced, well-informed content routinely, on their paid time and off.
> The employee's job is circumscribed by the goals of NIOSH.
Yeah, but that's only in theory a complete constraint on edits. We observe also Edward Snowden, a famous provider of evidence his government employer didn't want to expose. Whistleblowers exist, and this is one path. Honest scientists and other editors posting science also exist. The overwhelming majority of these participants weren't NIOSH employees.
> If NIOSH's workplace standards are woefully inadequate compared to, say, the EU, or Japan, you won't read that in content written by NIOSH employees.
That is a statement of theory, or a model of the employee, not an agreed fact. And right, "woefully inadequate" is not the kind of phrase for Wikipedia, though it could be cited from a source. NIOSH employees might well use that phrase in discussions internal to that organization. And they might use it or refer to it in content on the encyclopedia. Government employees often care about their subjects, and know the topic. Fine debating points aside, I/we judged the NIOSH publications to be appropriate sources.
> Their numerous links in many articles announcing that NIOSH has this that or the other workplace standard treat these safety rules as "the" standard, as if there were only one. [Also] exacerbating the problem of addressing every Wikipedia reader as if they were an American.
Yup, legitimate problems. We have to watch out for that at editathons, and don't always get it right.
> The best practice for COI editors is to make talk page suggestions and let non-conflicted editors implement them.
It's clear to me that that is not always best, because it delays useful information flow so much. That policy often fails a cost-benefit test. If a knowledgeable specialist makes a suggestion on the talk page of an obscure topic, it could well take years for a passing volunteer to make use of it, and the volunteer probably knows much less about the topic. The volunteer's time is mostly wasted, and expert information sat in a buffer instead of being in the article.
There's often a tradeoff between getting expertise and avoiding a minor COI. So, making tradeoffs, the WMF and its chapters and volunteers often DO team up with Wikipedians-in-residence and include other experts with job or ideological COIs. De facto, we do not require an extreme criteria of neutrality, and for good cost-benefits reasons as we try really to make a better online encyclopedia which is topical and draws from expertise. I gather that you think the criteria of COI should be higher. I hear you.
Re the Drum brake article specifically, it looks to me like everybody involved was making constructive edits, trying to make a better article. User:Dennis Bratland's WP:NOTHOWTO observation is a good one. I personally try to avoid simple reverting when another editor is really trying. Reverting can enrage me and others. Synthesis is often possible.
Conclusion: I don't buy most of the claim, theory, harsh language, and tendentious language of the accusations by User:Dennis Bratland here. Personally, I'll take on board that editathons have to emphasize declarations of COI and discourage too much how-to, and reverting. I didn't think it went wrong, but I definitely recognize the painful fact that we were accused and it ate up a lot of time to analyze and discuss it. I hope no administrative action is taken on the accusations here; let's edit on content and avoid lots of reverts. -- econterms (talk) 17:45, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Over at Talk:Drum brake#How-to advice I've been collecting some notes and sources that show that this is how-to advice, not an encyclopedic description of how people do things. I also cited a few sources that outline at least two major controversies about brake asbestos, from industry groups resisting regulation and from health and safety advocates condemning the EPA and OSHA for failing to sufficiently warn mechanics about asbestos. The reason that is relevant here is that "Editors who have such a connection can still comply with the COI guideline by discussing proposed article changes first, or by making uncontroversial edits." This idealized notion of NIOSH as being a totally objective, "pure science" institution free of controversy is incorrect. Maybe James Hare or the others don't realize at first that one of their NIOSH additions is controversial, but when antother editor makes a correction, that is a message that their COI edit is controversial. That is when the editor with a COI should go to the talk page and seek consensus, not revert.

The other problem is that all advice about brake vacuum units indicates a serious disconnect with reality. The brake vacuum equipment NIOSH is talking about was never widely adopted, and appears to be totally out of use now. It suggests that NIOSH's research might be accurate in an abstract sense, but is far removed from everyday reality.

The attitude taken by CFCF and somewhat by James Hare (NIOSH) is to instantly revert anyone who questions the value of a NIOSH citation. That needs to stop, and anyone working for NIOSH needs to talk instead of revert. I get the sense that James Hare (NIOSH) can take care of himself, and speak for himself, and having CFCF patrolling edits and instantly reverting is not helping. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 19:26, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

This idealized notion of anything being totally objective, "pure science", free of controversy is incorrect.[1] Wikipedia is about sources, and NIOSH is according to our guidelines one of the best in its field. That you or anyone else thinks its far removed from reality doesn't matter. It belongs in articles, and if you can find any properly sourced criticism feel free to include it, though little of what you've linked is WP:RS-compliant, and even less is WP:DUE without WP:False balance
As for the how-to issue. Just rewrite it without removing over half of the information and there won't be a problem. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 19:40, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, we agree that NIOSH is not free of controversy. Hence the need to talk instead of revert. If we could have that, we'd be fine. I think you could help by holding your horses and letting James Hare speak for himself a little bit. The editathon accounts don't need to declare a COI, though it certainly wouldn't hurt to be up front about who they are and what they're doing, to avoid the appearance of a COI. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:05, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree that NIOSH is not free of controversy. I agree also that "Editors [can] comply with the COI guideline by discussing proposed article changes first, or by making uncontroversial edits" and in practice that sometimes "when another editor makes a correction, that is a message that [a] COI edit is controversial". Dennis Bratland's section launched at Talk:Drum brake#How-to advice looks constructive. I'll participate there in the next day or two. I don't know the subject but have asked an expert to review it and advise.
It seems to me that all are participating in good faith here, and we could constructively focus on content not accusations. I don't see a COI problem. Wikimedians have good reasons to hold occasional editathons with specialized institutions. -- econterms (talk) 19:31, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I took time off work to attend this edithon as my personal tribute to a deceased co-worker, with the expectation that I would be adding US scientific and regulatory information to articles about occupational health. I was pleased that the NIOSH host indicated they were interested in reaching out to their foreign counterparts to include a broader range of scientific and regulatory information in these articles. As someone walking in off the street, I am not willing to do any more than add links to sources. You are out of line to berate me for having insufficient knowledge of occupational health and chemistry to write articles, because this was not a requirement to participate. I suggest the organization hire some trained professionals to work on articles like this that contain information which is vital for preserving human life, not just rely on random Google surfers. I also suggest you start treating your volunteers better. I would happily support the scientific work of NIOSH as a volunteer, but am not so sure I feel that way about Wikipedia right now. (At least I was finally able to cry this afternoon to mourn my friend's death, so I guess something good came of it.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Flarf21 (talkcontribs) 18:27, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
This is exactly the type of outcome that I feared when some misguided person who doesn't understand what conflict of interests is — decides to revert valid edits and raise concerns about the motivations of good faith beginners, dragging them to noticeboards on made-up accusations. No one here agrees with you, and the fact that you don't like governments or regulations shines through so blatantly as to border on ridiculous. But guess what, Wikipedia actually promotes including guidelines and agrees that government agencies produce some of the best information there is - see WP:RS & WP:MEDRS! I implore you Dennis Bratland to never do anything this stupid again! Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 19:28, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Please use gentle language, Carl Fredrik. It seems that Dennis Bratland knows the topic and the guidance against how-to's, saw problems in an article, and believed there was a COI problem. Let's address it. Your good faith seems clear too. Let's get toward consensus and not walk away aggrieved and injured for the long run. -- econterms (talk) 19:42, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Flarf21, where exactly were you berated? I did not say you had insufficient information about occupational health. I said if NIOSH is going to have a series of paid editors spanning several years -- of which you are not one -- NIOSH should train them, and should pass on the Wikipedia editing knowledge gained by the current paid editor's predecessors. Perpetually asking for special consideration because the paid editors are always new wears thin. The weird thing is, James Hare is not a newbie. The suggestions that his edits must be treated with kid gloves makes absolutely no sense.

The only reason Flarf21 was caught up in this discussion of NIOSH's paid editors is that Flarf21's edit history is indistinguishable from the paid editors, and so I came here to try to sort this out. Noticeboards don't have to turn into witch hunts and dumpster fires of hurt feelings. But they do when someone is carrying on a campaign of personal attacks and defamation.

Common sense suggests that anyone running what amounts to a single-purpose account should explain something about who they are and why they are editing in a peculiar way. The hosts of an editathon have the burden to help participants avoid these kinds of misunderstandings.

As far as me treating "my" volunteers better, Flarf21 is not my volunteer, any more than I am Flarf21's volunteer. Flarf21 was not called stupid, silly, or inane by me. I was called those names by CFCF. I did not revert any of Flarf21's edits. CFCF went on a mass revert campaign, and did not use the talk page anywhere until well after this noticeboard process was begin.

Now CFCF has decided to try to bully and marginalize me by falsely claiming that "nobody agrees" with me. Mean as custard agrees that some of these additions appeared to be advertising. LaMona agreed with me that, "folks representing NIOSH should use the talk page to request edits, rather than make edits directly? That would be normal COI behavior, and I don't see why it couldn't be a solution even for a government agency or non-profit. I'm not aware of an exception for such organizations". Econterms agreed with me that "we must emphasize COI statements at editathons, and discourage reverts/edit-warring", that we shouldn't address readers as if they were all Americans, and that my drum brake "WP:NOTHOWTO observation is a good one". Econterms also agreed with me that editors like Flarf21 would not be involved in this at all if editathons were to "emphasize declarations of COI and discourage too much how-to, and reverting".

I have been criticized for making my case too harshly -- and the point is well taken -- but anything I have said pales in comparison to CFCF's personal attacks.

Anyone can scroll up see this, and I can't imagine how CFCF could be unaware that these editors have voiced agreement with at least some of my points.

The cheap shots that I "don't like governments or regulations" is also an inexcusable falsehood. Anyone can read that I am primarily concerned with treating points of view with which I don't agree with respect for the sake of article credibility. I have said this repeatedly, in several different ways, with examples and illustrations, and only one editor has had trouble getting that. For CFCF to read what I have said as anti-government POV pushing is an attempt to attack me personally rather than allow my policy-based intent to "explain the sides" to be taken seriously.

This is gaslighting, repeatedly presenting a false reality and ignoring me ever time I object. By denying that anyone finds anything I say valid, and falsely saying I don't "understand what conflict of interests is", CFCF is trying to portray me as an outsider, denying my membership in this community, and hoping to enlist others to begin mobbing me as well, kicking off a pecking party. This entire discussion could have been handled with far less drama without CFCF's hypocritical failure to AGF. CFCF's personal attacks, particularly these highly abusive bullying and marginalizing tactics, are egregious violations of the no personal attacks policy and amount to disruptive editing. I asked CFCF several times to stop posting personal attacks, and he persists. The time has come for consequences. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:30, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

"Consequences" . . . to CFCF? Ooh, let's not go that way. This discussion is enough consequence for me. My time is short. Let's focus on the articles. We do not need a love utopia here but let's reduce accusations and not spend time fighting. CFCF, please use careful language, never personal attacks. DB, the original COI accusation generated high costs all around; please let's not go through that again. -- econterms (talk) 20:51, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. There's nothing less fun than than WP:ANI, and I don't want to go there. OK, ArbCom is way less fun than ANI, and I don't want to go there either. But I'm not going keep putting up with the personal attacks and false accusations, and this classic bullying tactic of trying to marginalize me is intolerable. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:09, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm just sad to see great initiatives like NIOSH's flounder in the face of attacks based on the idea that COI-editing is entirely impossible. They've done everything right, and have spend considerable time training their staff - to the point where they've employed two WiRs who focus on that. However , NIOSH has 1,200 employees, and even more affiliates — of the type which engaged in this editathon — you can't expect perfection. Editing Wikipedia isn't something you can be taught in a couple of hours — and even more to the point you have to edit to learn it. You have to begin making minor edits, probably with quite little value before you can move up the ladder.
My reverts were in the face of what I saw as overzealous interpretation of a number of guidelines — and unconstructive removal of quite valid edits. This is probably the single most powerful way in which we scare away new editors — quite well illustrated in Flarf21's comment.
I consider it absolutely imperative to consider WP:Don't bite the newbie — and that we have leniency, helping them edit and instructing them on how to edit. I may have used less-than-savory language to express this, and I'm sorry, but I feel in the face of the damage done that it was at least somewhat justified.
These types of initiatives are so important if we want Wikipedia to expand in fields that run beyond "pop-culture" and video games. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 00:29, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Having briefly looked at the edits, I agree with User:Kirill Lokshin and suggest that his advice be taken. The "shoot first, questions later" approach demonstrated here shows a gross lack of good judgement. Wikpedia does not need this sort of paranoid and toxic inquisitorial culture to develop around COI. I suggest that this discussion be closed and that Dennis Bratland provide an apology to James Hare posthaste. Lankiveil (speak to me) 05:20, 18 July 2016 (UTC).

References

SravaniChalla[edit]

SravaniChalla is an undeclared shill. Creating promotional articles for non notable entities. duffbeerforme (talk) 10:32, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

The Jason Snyder was grossly promotional and misleading. I've slashed it down to some more bare essentials; it could do with a more thoroughgoing edit, but I'm uninclined to waste any more time on such an unappealing character. Freddy Fusion, who sounds like he should have an article merely based on his excellent name, is at AfD where I hope he'll disappear without trace. Edy Sulistyo looks a more benign sort of an article and, notably, not something that SravaniChalla appears to have touched. Not sure why the article is on the list. All the rest are red or a redirect. We're probably done here. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:12, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
SravaniChalla created an earlier and now deleted version of Edy Sulistyo. duffbeerforme (talk) 11:04, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
SravaniChalla has now been blocked as a sock of a spammer. duffbeerforme (talk) 12:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

User:Stephanielquick[edit]

Very obvious case of WP:DUCK from what appears to be a corporate account.

The edits to John Perkins (the first article), appear to be written almost as a direct response to criticisms from the publisher themselves. John Perkins published his famous book on -- you guessed it, Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Who does Berrett-Koehler Publishers also publish? Chip R. Bell -- the name that this account keeps editing (positively) into the La Quinta, Premiere Motivational Speakers, and Customer Service articles.

It's pretty clear given the name of the account that this is an employee at Berrett-Koehler Publishers themselves, or a PR firm on their behalf, editing with a clear undisclosed COI to puff up names and respond to criticism in articles. Seems problematic to me. Second opinion? SWATJester Shoot Blues, Tell VileRat! 15:15, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

First question: why has there not been any attempt to engage with the editor in question? I see a red link to the talk page, so no {{welcome}} or {{welcome-coi}}. —C.Fred (talk) 15:18, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I have also added the required notification to the user's talkpage for you, to inform the editor of this discussion (see instructions on top of this page). GermanJoe (talk) 12:14, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

George Ranalli[edit]

This article has previously been edited by an individual who identifies as the wife of the subject (User:Annevalentino). It has recently come under an increasing amount of attention from the individuals named above which while not leading to egregious spam seem to have introduced some questionable practices, including altering quotes so that they were no longer accurate. (I fixed two today: [41] - which required a bit further clarification, and [42]). An IP from New York also removed critical content from the article ([43]) as "irrelevant." (I believe the source in that case is usable for reasons I explain at Talk:George Ranalli#Leave.)

The reason why I strongly suspect COI here - beyond fluffing up the article with positive language and altering quotes so that they seem more strongly positive of the subject than they are (they aren't at all bad as they are) and beyond seeming to attempt to restore the article more to the condition it was in after the subject's wife greatly expanded it is that an individual identifying as the subject uploaded images to Commons on July 10th. Less than an hour after somebody claiming to be Renalli uploaded a portrait of Renalli, Ddperks added it to the article. At 23:58, Ddperks added three more images - all of which had just been uploaded by the person claiming to be Renalli, one only 8 minutes prior.

At this writing, all of Gurulupina's edits are to this article or to articles that seem related. Ddperks, who has been here a few months longer, has more diversity but does focus heavily on a few favorite areas. I note that the top # of edits are to the article on Lisa Staiano-Coico - whose connection to Ranalli is attested here. Another major article of interest is Gregory H. Williams, the predecessor of Staiano-Coico. And Yolanda T. Moses - another predecessor of Staiano-Coico.

I don't have time to keep an eye on this one, but the history and the types of alterations do lead me to some concern that we have connected and possibly even undisclosed paid editing going on here. :/ I bring it here in case any of you have time to look into it more closely, for instance to make sure that new content is neutral and that other material hasn't been altered to be incorrect. This article has previously been through BLPN and ANI, which has led to it being examined by several people, including User:Justlettersandnumbers and User:Drmies.

I will, of course, notify the contributors. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:53, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm finding some resume inflation. See Talk:George_Ranalli#Actual_buildings_built.3F. The list of architectural works listed in the article includes at least one unbuilt project. Also, most of the links in the article are to the main site of a publication, not a specific article, making it hard to fact check. The Fashion Center job was just a lobby remodel.[44]. He did do a very nice community center in Brooklyn. But for a major architect, his portfolio is weak. He passes notability as an academic, not an architect. John Nagle (talk) 05:25, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Then there's this: Talk:George_Ranalli#Sexual_harassment_lawsuit. Sigh. John Nagle (talk) 05:40, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
While not explicitly mentioned in the article, that suit was referenced in one of the sources - the one the IP earlier deleted. Gurulupina has now, just as the IP did, erased all hint of it from the article - with the highly questionable edit summary "spamming article": [45]. This looks strongly like an attempt to whitewash and for me at least seals the COI. This person's interest is inflating the subject, not building a neutral article. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:57, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the only major building he ever designed that was actually built was the community center in Brooklyn. Everything else was an interior, a remodel, an unbuilt design, or a model of some other architect's work. Is that right? John Nagle (talk) 21:33, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Still trying to find more real world significant buildings designed by this architect. I've been going through his site, looking at his "projects". Many are just sketches, or unbuilt designs. His site shows an "Amtrak Tower", with pictures, across from Madison Square Garden in NYC.[46] But that's apparently a photorealistic render; here's the location in Google StreetView, and the building isn't there.[47]. I did find a lap pool building he designed for a private home, and he's done some houses. But for a supposedly big-name NYC architect who's been active for 40 years, one would expect more major completed projects. If it weren't for his academic affiliations, this would be an AfD candidate. John Nagle (talk) 02:26, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Problems with Gurulupina (talk · contribs) removing any attempt to distinguish architect's actual built projects from non-built, conceptual, and renovation jobs. See [48]. John Nagle (talk) 03:44, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Sent to AN/I: WP:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#George_Ranalli. John Nagle (talk) 20:13, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

User:Tjebn[edit]

Macular telangiectasia (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

  • have left a note on this users page [49], I suspect they are COI/SPA. They did not respond to my note and have continued to edit articleSpecial:Contributions/Tjebn, could an administrator look into this, thank you--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 15:28, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
    • usually I would take COI to Jytdog however[51])--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 11:31, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

@Ozzie10aaaa: This looks like a content dispute, and the editor has stopped editing. What exactly is the conflict of interest here? Simply the addition of the clinical trial link? I've copyedited the article, so some of the material may have been removed as a matter of course. MSJapan (talk) 06:03, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

if you look at:
  1. Special:Contributions/Tjebn all edits are direct at same article SPA Wikipedia:Single-purpose_account
  2. I deleted links here[52] to [53]
  3. [54] was readded by Special:Contributions/194.74.145.68 then reverted by a bot here [55]...(sock?)
  4. this link[56] as indicated above was deleted by me, and then a bot.... it was originally added here [57] by Special:Contributions/Stemcc82 (SPA as well)
thank you

--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 10:53, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Camp Mack's River Resort[edit]

Obvious username/article conflict. The user created the article, and their main user page is about the campground as well. The article is sourced, but still seems questionable as promotional. Ebyabe talk - Inspector General ‖ 18:13, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

I left information on the user's talk page about COI and usernames. Some new users don't understand the difference between a username and an article name, so I always give them the option of changing their username as early on as possible. LaMona (talk) 18:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Nick B. Nicholaou[edit]

Article speedy deleted via AfD. NAC. MSJapan (talk) 05:48, 23 July 2016 (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.

User NNicholaou created the article Nick B. Nicholaou, he has admitted to being the same person. In addition he has admitted that he is canvassing off wiki for help with editing with these two edits [[58]] [[59]]. He has been told about COI policies and continues to edit his own page. VVikingTalkEdits 20:37, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I've communicated with him in no uncertain terms, because the conduct is wholly inappropriate. It might be a bit harsh, but he doesn't get the AGF here. Given what's going on in the AfD, his talk, and the article talk, he's clearly not listening to nicely-worded statements, he's not even remotely reading policy, I don't think he's here to do anything else but self-promote, and I really don't know how "you can't write an article about yourself" is unclear to anyone capable of reading. MSJapan (talk) 19:34, 20 July 2016 (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.

Susman / Sommacal[edit]

Per comments that came up at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Erika Tazawa: some undisclosed COI seems to be going around here, would like to see that sorted ASAP, while it may influence the results of the AfD. Francis Schonken (talk) 13:13, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

I noticed this too and was about to comment. The image uploads seem to show that there is indeed some connection. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 17:05, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Considering Foothill created Susman, it's pretty obvious. I'll go deal with the soundtrack albums for now, as well, and while I didn't vote on Tazawa, there are sources, but the ones in there now are poor. MSJapan (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Most of this is coatracked to death without actually saying anything of substance, especially Piccola Academia. Apparently the writer thought spamming a lot of stuff in would pass GNG, but a lot of it is tangential. There's also excessive links where single one-off radio shows are used as sources, works, and indications of notability. There's a lot of false "blue-link" (superficial) notability as well going on. I've also SPI'ed the group of users, as one contested the prod of another and claimed to be a co-writer with only one registered edit on the article, but it looks like a lot of it may be stale. AfD should sort the rest, I hope. MSJapan (talk) 20:46, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Slew of articles from a prolific sock farm[edit]

Nuked at ANI. NAC. MSJapan (talk) 05:49, 23 July 2016 (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.

This prolific farm, discovered today are not only the same person but clearly a paid shill, usual MO—fully formed articles (mostly for start-ups and products) with multiple perfectly formatted "references", infobox, logo, image, etc. as the first edit. Below are the articles they have created which all need to be checked. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do it myself:

Voceditenore (talk) 16:56, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

There is an ongoing discussion regarding these articles and possible WP:TNT at WP:ANI#Undisclosed Paid Editing Farm. -- Gestrid (talk) 17:15, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Shark Shield could use a look as well. One of the reported socks added significant content, and the whole article is full of promotional editing by several SPA-accounts in the past. According to the article the product is 100% perfect, and never had any kind of notable problems or criticism. GermanJoe (talk) 17:57, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • There is a unanimous consensus building to have these articles nuked. Administratively I will handle the deletions pending the final outcome of the ANI discussion. However, I think looking into some of the other edits (not just new article creations) is worth investigating from a COI perspective. Mkdwtalk 18:03, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • The ANI thread has closed with an overwhelming consensus to delete 'em all. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:49, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
The thread was re-opened because the close was not by an admin and so non-official. However, there is indeed overwhelming consensus to delete them all. Softlavender (talk) 07:01, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I batch-deleted these per the ANI but there are still some contributions left to root out. BethNaught (talk) 09:19, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
    • Since I couldn't get d-batch to show on Monobook I couldn't get to it fast enough, but here's a list of all that I collated from the SPI. —SpacemanSpiff 09:30, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I've gone ahead and salted the articles as well. Autoconfirmed is still a low threshold and there are other avenues available such as AFC and WP:RPP to have the protection removed. Mkdwtalk 17:22, 21 July 2016 (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.

Genie - A Terex Brand[edit]

Article speedied per G11. NAC. MSJapan (talk) 05:50, 23 July 2016 (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.

Article could use some work to comply with wp standards. Maybe w/o bashing the COI editor over there and be nice for a change? Just a thought :) --TMCk (talk) 19:04, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

I consider it a G11, and have tagged it accordingly. DGG ( talk ) 21:22, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
That works.--TMCk (talk) 23:16, 20 July 2016 (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.

Frederick Achom[edit]

So in the interest of full disclosure, I do occasional work on Fiverr to help people with Wikipedia, trying to help them create content that's withing Wikipedia guidelines. So as part of that work I some times get asked to do something that I have to turn down as it's not within guidelines. This is why I am here, in regards to article Frederick Achom and edits done by Awais Azad - The wording of a lot of the edits on the article and talk page of the article are so similar or identical to the request I received that it cannot be a coincidence - so either Awais Azad is paid for it, or they are the same person who approached me on Fiverr - Note: I will not divulge the Fiverr user name to avoid any issues in that regard. So listed below are various edits I was asked to make and then the diffs showing Awais Azad's edits to illustrate the overlap. I have not seen a declaration of COI from the user, I have also notified them that I am aware of the nature of the edits - user still made more edits afterwards to the Achom article without disclosing anything.

So I will present my case and leave it in your hands to decide, I make no judgement on anyone else involved in this, I just cannot sit by when I suspect undisclosed paid editing

Fiverr request
  • Change “Wine Fraud Scam” to “Controversy”
  • Mention that the reason for changing the heading is because reference 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 does not connect Frederick Achom was involved in the wine scam.
Article edit
  • First edit on article (Changed "Wine Fraud Scam" to "Wine Fraud Controversy") - Edit Summary "Sravani Challa aim is to brand Freddi Achom’s has a wine fraudster and diminishing Mr. Achom’s credibility. reason for changing the heading is because reference 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 does not connect Frederick Achom was involved in the wine scam.)"
  • change to "Wine Controversy"
  • changing header to simply "Controversy" gives edit summary "The reason for changing the heading is because reference 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 does not connect Frederick Achom was involved in the wine scam."
Fiverr request
  • Replace the two paragraph underneath Wine Fraud Scam (Controversy) with the below:
  • "In 2000, prior to his involvement in the investment sector Achom and several others fell foul of the UK’s department of trade and industry and a conviction was secured against him and four other defendants at Southwark crown court in 2000. Subsequently, he was disqualified from holding UK directorships for eleven years."
Article edit
  • changing Controversy section to "n 2000, prior to his involvement in the investment sector Achom and several others fell foul of the UK’s department of trade and industry and a conviction was secured against him and four other defendants at Southwark crown court in 2000. Subsequently, he was disqualified from holding UK directorships for eleven years."
Note in Fiverr request
  • Sravani Challa and Nihartou Jason are the vandals aimed to sabotage Frederick Achom’s reputation (I believe they are the same people operating theses accounts)
  • Claim in Edit Summary "(Sravani Challa and Nihartou Jason are the vandals aimed to sabotage Frederick Achom’s reputation (I believe they are the same people operating these accounts). On June 2016 Sravani Challa deleted 2,485 words)"
  • I can also show similarities on talk page edits, but I think by now the case has been made.  MPJ-DK  20:43, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Reference to Context Addition of Information about Fredrick Achom, and the Conflict between Editors[edit]

I studied the whole case, and I found that the heading of the section about the fraud scam was not right and some of the editors were trying to intermix intentionally or unintentionally. So I corrected the information after studying the references. Then I made more changes to add information about His childhood and business, it was all because of principles to spread right information. Now I am being blamed to make those edits and I am watching the page is being under attack by editors to make it biased and use it against Mr. Achom. I believe being Wikipedian we should be very careful in addition of wrong information as it can cost a lot to someone. It can destroy careers and lives. So we should stick to our policies of being neutral not biased or payed. Replace this with a brief explanation of the situation. Awais Azad (talk) 08:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Legitimate changes or not, if you are paid you must disclose. I made only one judgement here, that I would not change the wording that you are because the "run afoul" comments were an attempt of downplay the conviction. If you are okay with the making the identical change is between you and your consciene, but the paid nature must be disclosed.  MPJ-DK  10:48, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Discussion with User:Awais Azad[edit]

Hi Awais Azad. Before commenting on the content issues, I would like to clarify the COI and paid editing issue. Paid editing is not forbidden on Wikipedia, but editors need to comply with our Terms of use and provide a Paid-contribution disclosure. The first step is a disclosure notice. As a step forward, would you please disclose if you have been paid to edit any article? --Lemongirl942 (talk) 13:01, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Comments from other editors[edit]

This article has a clouded history as having been created by now-indeffed sockmaster Reuvengrish and visited by at least one of his socks. I did some cleanup of most obvious WP:PROMO in June 2015 starting with this, but left it as more or less hopeless yet not worth more attention. - Brianhe (talk) 00:08, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

RJ Tolson[edit]

I need more eyes on this. The article is about a non-notable author and there seems to be some sort of offline canvassing going on (possibly paid jobs for !voting). SPAs have constantly used this article for promoting the subject and are now swarming on the second AfD. Lemongirl942 (talk) 06:34, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

File an SPI after the vote closes, as well. MSJapan (talk) 01:45, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Note, the guy I listed right above here is one of the people who out of the blue voted "keep" for this article but never gave an actual reason based on the guidelines and rules.  MPJ-DK  23:58, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that the editor in question (Awais Azad) !voted "keep" in their first and only AfD and on a totally obscure self-published American teen-age author, a subject area in which they have never edited. I will be away but someone should definitely file an SPI when the AfD closes. Voceditenore (talk) 12:18, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Factor analysis of information risk (FAIR)[edit]

More eyes on this would be welcome. It appears to be a methodology promoted by a single organization. The article has structural problems: 1) sections titled "The FAIR Book" etc. 2) three of four references are to the same org 3) excessive list of see-alsos 4) SPA editor contributions are of concern. - Brianhe (talk) 23:48, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

I've flat-out reverted the edits. The article itself is not new, and with only two edits, there's no immediate proof of COI. However, the tone (and some of the focus) of the article changed substantially, and that's a problem. If the editor wants to make the edits, the editor can discuss them on the talk page. I believe the editor has knowledge, and things have changed in the topic, but the history of the topic should be preserved, not overwritten. The editor is likely is not maliciously adding info for any particular reason yet that I can see. MSJapan (talk) 06:38, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Fashion Net[edit]

Would anyone care to take a look? IP editor has asked for a review of my possible conflict of interest (which of course I don't have). I'm travelling, no time to respond in detail. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 06:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Done, Justlettersandnumbers, and while I was at it, I gave the IP an earful :). Voceditenore (talk) 08:54, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
This seems to have come up earlier btw. See Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard/Archive_68#Fashion_Net. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 09:08, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Robert Morrow[edit]

Morrow, or someone connected with his campaign or office, appears to be editing his Wikipedia article. FiredanceThroughTheNight (talk) 01:24, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Welsh (Walled Garden)[edit]

I'm not sure what to make of this. I have had a few run ins with this topic and I am unable to figure out the notability. Certain edits like this make me wonder if this is some kind of promotional campaign. Would appreciate others who can have a look. Lemongirl942 (talk) 07:05, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

I tagged James Conwell Welsh (created by Zpeopleheart for A7 (diff). 5 minutes later Maybeparaphrased removed the speedy (diff)saying "speedy declined, article asserts signifigance and notability". I'm noting that there seems to be a similar WP:TAGTEAM behaviour previously seen at Draft:Suzanne S. Welsh which was moved into mainspace within 3 days of an AfD concluding that the subject is not notable. I had tried to speedy that and it was similarly removed by Maybeparaphrased [60], [61]. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 07:19, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Pinging K.e.coffman who was involved in rewriting one of the articles as well. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 07:21, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
In addition to Draft:Suzanne S. Welsh and Frank S. Welsh, I also found this related article problematic: Historic paint analysis (the topic that Frank S. Welsh specialises in). All three are being edited by the same editor Zpeopleheart; the latter two could be perceived as being on non-notable subjects and somewhat promotional. K.e.coffman (talk) 07:45, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
  • It appears that James Conwell Welsh is the ex-husband of Draft:Suzanne S. Welsh, and Frank S. Welsh is one of their sons. There's more to the garden, e.g. Frank E. Sagendorph, 2nd and L. Lewis Sagendorph who are the father and grandfather respectively of Suzanne S. Welsh. From the look of it, I think this may well be Bkbeltgal creating articles about her family members, some of whom are clearly prominent, others less so. For example I doubt James Conwell Welsh (created by another editor named above) meets the criteria for inclusion and probably should be brought to AfD. Frank S. Welsh is marginal but probably does meet the criteria. The two elder Sagendorph's do meet the criteria. I don't think this is a paid editor at all, simply someone with a mild COI which they should declare, but is not required. Judging by their additions, Bypassed is probably also a family member as are a couple of other red-linked SPAs who have briefly edited Draft:Suzanne S. Welsh but are not named above. As for the other two editors listed (Maybeparaphrased and Zpeopleheart), I think their participation was probably sparked by the kerfuffle they had with Lemongirl942 stemming from a discussion at WikiProject Women in Red and with another editor stemming from a discussion at ANI, followed by a bit of "following around" and "tag teaming" with one article leading to another, as often happens. Not good, but I don't think they have a COI in these articles. Voceditenore (talk) 09:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm surprised that an editor with this editing behaviour frequently accepts articles for creation; see for example Daniel Lightwing; Ashante_P.T._Stokes.. Not sure if this falls under the purview of this board, but I thought it's worth pointing out. K.e.coffman (talk) 23:18, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I share that surprise. LaMona (talk) 15:36, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
FYI, there's a current ANI re two of the editors who have edited within the "walled garden". K.e.coffman (talk) 15:45, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Pell Research[edit]

An old stale one. Jb3141 is a single purpose account dedicated to promoting Pell Research. Outside of creatin that article all contributions are to refspam Pell's research. duffbeerforme (talk) 12:25, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

added another spammer. duffbeerforme (talk) 12:58, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
@Duffbeerforme: Pretty stale as you say (2014), I'm not sure much can be done in this instance? They're unlikely to get blocked -- samtar talk or stalk 13:02, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Not trying to get anyone blocked. Merely documenting. duffbeerforme (talk) 13:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Ubiquiti Networks[edit]

From the name, this user works for Ubiquiti: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Jamie-Higley/2058314275

They have only edited Ubiquiti-related articles, and have blanked the "Security" section, presumably because it contains negative information about the company. Orthogonal1 (talk) 10:13, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Rich Riley[edit]

This article had a number of COI/SPA editors majorly contribute to it by the time I first discovered it. My main actions were to remove the overly promotional stance and neutralise it a little. I also added BLP sources tag, CN tags and COI. Following that, an interested and determined new editor Rampage45 showed up to the party. They haven't been particularly interested in any other part of the wiki project, but have taken genuine interest in this article. (62 edits, all on this article or its talk page, their talk page, and 3 on educational institutions linked to subject making edits regarding the subject) Since I first started editing/watching this article, I have added COI tags 5 times and each time they've been removed by this person. I have posted on article talk page and user's talk page to check COI policy, to not remove tags without justification. Reviewing my comments, I may have not specifically stated that removal should be a consensus including arm's length editors, but I think this was implied. Anyway, this issue is going round in ever decreasing circles. I do not believe this user should be editing this article at all because to me there is a clear COI issue, and I don't think they're going to be very co-operative with anything they disagree with (such as COI tags) Rayman60 (talk) 16:00, 27 July 2016 (UTC)