Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-12-27/Special report

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Are reputation management operatives scrubbing Wikipedia articles?: Son of Wiki-PR

Five and a half years have passed since the Wikimedia Foundation changed its terms of use to prohibit undisclosed paid editing on Wikipedia and most of its sister projects – a measure enacted in response to the infamous Wiki-PR's alleged use of 300+ sockpuppets to "directly edit your page" for a starting price of $500 to $1,000. Recently, The Wall Street Journal ran into Wiki-PR's successor, a Texas firm known as Status Labs.

Meet Status Labs

Wiki-PR managed to keep itself out of the public eye after being banned by the English Wikipedia community in 2013 and being involved in a bizarre piñata store demolition in 2015. That changed on 13 December 2019, when The Wall Street Journal published a report titled "How the 1% Scrubs Its Image Online". The story implicated several notable figures, including U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and billionaire financier Kenneth C. Griffin, as well as the fraudulent blood testing company Theranos.

Former employees of Status Labs, a reputation management firm closely connected to Wiki-PR, shared their insight into the companies' operations with The Wall Street Journal. After establishing Wiki-PR in 2010, two of the co-founders launched Status Labs in 2012 with a third partner. These executives of Status Labs became embroiled in controversy in the company's home city of Austin, Texas: in 2015, they demolished the family-run Jumpolin piñata store – including all of the inventory inside – to the consternation of the local Hispanic community, inflaming tensions related to gentrification. The CEO was subsequently ejected from the company, which led to a round of legal infighting. Despite the conflicts, Wiki-PR and Status Labs continued to operate without attracting the attention of Wikipedia editors; the most recent investigation of the Wiki-PR sockpuppet ring is dated 20 July 2013, but both firms have continued to offer services online for the past six years.

Individual clients and specific tactics are mentioned in The Wall Street Journal's story. Status Labs has a broader scope than Wiki-PR: in addition to whitewashing Wikipedia articles, Status Labs uses search engine poisoning to conceal negative news coverage of their clients. When financier Jacob Gottlieb wanted to hide his connections to Visium Asset Management LP, a hedge fund that was destroyed by an insider trading scandal, Status Labs created a network of fake news websites – including "Medical Daily Times" – to flood search engines with press releases of Gottlieb that were disguised as news articles. When Betsy DeVos wanted to distance herself from Blackwater (now Academi), the military contractor founded by her brother whose employees shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007, Status Labs constructed blogs like "Enable Diversity" to bury negative coverage of DeVos under a mountain of puff pieces in search engine results pages.

Status Labs charges substantially higher rates than Wiki-PR, with Gottlieb paying $4,000 to $5,000 monthly. In comparison, Wiki-PR demanded less than $1,000 per month for article "management" in 2013.

Today, we take a deep dive into the editing history of one of the articles mentioned in the Journal's latest report: Theranos.

Whitewashing Theranos

Theranos was a healthcare company that sold blood tests that it claimed would need only a fraction of the blood volume that was needed in existing lab tests. Following a 2015 Journal exposé which revealed that Theranos' in-house technology simply didn't work, the company faced heavy media scrutiny. Thrust into a crisis, Theranos scrambled to defend its image: the company threatened to sue the Journal's sources, and issued a statement labeling them as "inexperienced and disgruntled former employees and industry incumbents". As part of Theranos' public relations strategy, Status Labs was contracted to alter the Wikipedia article on Theranos; 26 edits were performed by Jppcap, an account operated by Status Labs.

April 2016

Jppcap's first edit to the Theranos article appeared six months after the Journal story and one month after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would revoke Theranos' lab certification. The edit notes that the company established a medical advisory board.

Time (UTC)20:40, 15 April 2016
Edit summaryupd w/ fortune

While two physicians have subsequently been named to the board, and published reference has been made to a "deep medical advisory group,"[1] as of January 2016, no scientific or medical advisory board information appears in the company's public information. In April 2016, Theranos announced its medical advisory board which included past presidents or board members of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.[2]

  1. ^ Marco della Cava, 2014, "Change Agents: Elizabeth Holmes wants your blood, USA Today (online), July 26, 2014, see [1], accessed 28 January 2014
  2. ^ Parloff, Roger (7 April 2016). "Theranos Adds Startlingly Well-Qualified Medical Board". Fortune. Retrieved 14 April 2016.

May 2016

The account rested for a month before making a series of six edits that scrubbed a pair of mentions of COO Ramesh Balwani from the article. At the time, Balwani was in a personal relationship with founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, which was not initially known to the company's investors. According to the Journal, the couple "enforced a corporate culture of secrecy and fear".

Time (UTC)19:20, 17 May 2016
Edit summaryct kp& other non mos, founder 2x
Key people Elizabeth Holmes
Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani (left the company in May 2016)[1]
  1. ^ Carreyrou, John. "Theranos Executive Sunny Balwani to Depart Amid Regulatory Probes". wsj.com. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
Time (UTC)19:21, 17 May 2016
Edit summaryrmv 2x, mentioned in hist.

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani left Theranos in May 2016.[1]

  1. ^ Carreyrou, John. "Theranos Executive Sunny Balwani to Depart Amid Regulatory Probes". wsj.com. Retrieved 12 May 2016.

The May 2016 edits also added Theranos' then-current board of directors, and removed a sentence that described the company's operations as "secretive".

Time (UTC)19:28, 17 May 2016
Edit summary1st pass cu of gov (edited with ProveIt) +1

As of May 2016, the Theranos board of directors are:[1]

  1. ^ Abelson, Reed (11 May 2016). "Embattled Blood Lab Theranos Makes a Bid to Regain Confidence". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
Time (UTC)19:29, 17 May 2016
Edit summaryct pov/spec. intro

While other aspects of its operations remain secretive,[1] Theranos corporate governance has been the subject of various press disclosures and subsequent news reports.

  1. ^ Ron Leuty, 2013, "Theranos: The biggest biotech you’ve never heard of" San Francisco Business Times (online), Aug 30, 2013, accessed 28 January 2014. Quote: "Theranos continues to move stealthily. Requests to speak with Holmes or other executives, board members and the company’s financiers were consistently rebuffed, and the company declined to provide any answers to written questions."

Jppcap then reorganized the article, moving the "Controversies" subsection into the "Governance" section, which was further down the article. "Controversies" was previously inside the "History" section.

Time (UTC)19:30, 17 May 2016
Edit summarymv gov from contro
History

[...]

Controversies

[...]

Governance

[...]

Controversies

[...]

October 2016

The remaining 19 edits were performed five months after the previous batch. These edits constitute the most blatant neutrality violations, and the sheer volume of removed content speaks for itself. Jppcap tended to use innocuous edit summaries, thinning out embarrassing facts by labeling them as "dupes" and "quotefarms".

Jppcap began by reducing coverage of the Walgreens pharmacy chain's discontinuation of Theranos' blood test offerings. Walgreens was Theranos' most significant business partner.

Time (UTC)14:38, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv dupes

On June 12, 2016, Walgreens announced it would no longer offer Theranos services at any of its stores and would sever its relationship with Theranos.[1]

[...]

Subsequently, a key metric of Theranos valuation was notably called into question when Walgreens suspended further expansion of Theranos Wellness Centers.[2]

Time (UTC)15:55, 23 October 2016
Edit summarymv walgreens susp. (edited with ProveIt)

Walgreens suspended its plans to add Theranos' testing services in its stores, and later removed Theranos' testing from all existing locations.[1][2]

[...]

Walgreens suspended plans to expand blood-testing centers in their stores following the report.[3][4] At that time, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it would work to verify Theranos technology.[5]

[...]

Three days later, Walgreens, which had partnered with Theranos to provide its blood testing services in stores, ceased all testing at a Palo Alto location, and ordered the company to process all of its other tests from Walgreens locations at its Arizona laboratory instead of the California lab.[6]

  1. ^ "Walgreens Terminates Relationship with Theranos; Will Be Closing Operations at All 40 Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona". Business Wire. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  2. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-of-theranos-controversy-2016-10
  3. ^ "Walgreens halts expansion of Theranos centers". Fortune Magazine. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  4. ^ Rosenbloom, Micah (21 November 2015). "In Defense Of Theranos". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  5. ^ DiChristopher, Tom (30 October 2015). "We'll test Theranos tech: Cleveland Clinic CEO". CNBC. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Theranos Sounded Too Good to Be True—and It Is". Daily Beast. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.

During the fallout of the Journal story, Theranos was forced to cancel its test for the Zika virus, the pathogen responsible for an international fever epidemic in 2015–16. Jppcap strongly de-emphasized the Zika test cancellation and removed board member James Mattis's conflict of interest, while reinterpreting mandatory Food and Drug Administration restrictions as "voluntary". The Status Labs editor described the deleted content as a "pov" (point of view).

Time (UTC)15:33, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrd pov (edited with ProveIt)

On October 28, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reported major shortcomings in the company's practices and ordered Theranos to stop using its Edison device, which it had neither tested for accuracy nor approved, contrary to the company's previous claims.[1] The Arizona Department of Health Services reported issues in the company's other laboratory.[2] Several clinical pathologists and other medical experts also expressed skepticism about Theranos's technology. A week later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that the company's miniature blood containers were unapproved for any test other than the herpes test. Subsequently, Theranos was ordered to limit the use of its proprietary technology to only one of the 200 tests offered by the company.[3][4]

The Food and Drug Administration received a formal inquiry to look at Theranos blood test devices by the Department of Defense in 2012 before the devices were commercially available and did not require FDA approval.[5] FDA inspection reports from 2014 and 2015 stated that its containers for blood collection were "not validated under actual or simulated use conditions" and "were not reviewed and not approved by designated individual(s) prior to issuance."[6] After the inspection, Theranos announced that it would voluntarily suspended its tests apart from the FDA approved herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) test.[7]

Additionally, after an FDA inspection, Theranos reported it had voluntarily suspended use of its flagship micro or low volume blood testing technique except for Herpes virus testing.[8]

Subsequent articles have called into question previous statements by Theranos regarding the nature and source of its income.[9] Though Theranos has often claimed to have FDA approval for its laboratory tests, FDA inspection reports from 2014 and 2015 suggest that the government has noted significant concerns.[10] On August 31, 2016, Theranos withdrew its Zika virus test due to a finding by federal inspectors of a lack of essential safeguards during the testing process.[11]

[...]

U.S. military

On December 2, 2015, The Washington Post reported that the exploration of a partnership with the US military had led to issues being found with the Edison device and a request that the FDA investigate. This request was denied by United States Marine Corps General James Mattis after Holmes's intervention. After retiring, Mattis joined the board of directors of Theranos.[5]

  1. ^ Carreyrou, John. "FDA Inspectors Call Theranos Blood Vial 'Uncleared Medical Device'". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  2. ^ "Arizona inspectors find Theranos lab issues". USA TODAY. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  3. ^ "The Narrative Frays for Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes". The New York Times. October 30, 2015.
  4. ^ Dan Primack (October 15, 2015). "Theranos controversy has little to do with 'unicorns'". Fortune.
  5. ^ a b Carolyn Y. Johnson (2 December 2015). "E-mails reveal concerns about Theranos's FDA compliance date back years". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  6. ^ "The FDA's notes from its visit to Theranos' labs don't look good". Business Insider. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  7. ^ Derla, Katherine (22 October 2015). "Blood-Testing Start-Up Theranos Is In 'Pause Period', Says CEO Elizabeth Holmes". Tech Times. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Theranos suspends micro blood tests to allow FDA review". AZ Central. October 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  9. ^ Duhaime-Ross, Arielle (2015-10-26). "Theranos didn't work with the huge drug company it supposedly made money from, drug company says". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  10. ^ "The FDA's notes from its visit to Theranos' labs don't look good". Business Insider. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  11. ^ "Troubled Theranos hits another wall as Zika test withdrawn". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
Time (UTC)15:34, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv dupe
FDA

On August 31, 2016, Theranos withdrew its Zika virus test due to a finding by federal inspectors of a lack of essential safeguards during the testing process.[1]

  1. ^ "Troubled Theranos hits another wall as Zika test withdrawn". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
Time (UTC)17:02, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv dupe &ce

In August Theranos announced, and then later withdrew its request, for emergency clearance of a new Zika-virus blood test. The Wall Street Journal reported that according to unnamed sources, federal regulators had found that the company didn’t follow proper patient safeguards in a study for the test. Theranos’s vice president of regulatory, quality and clinical affairs Dave Wurtz stated: “We hope that our decision to withdraw the Zika submission voluntarily is further evidence of our commitment to engage positively with the agency.” [1]

[...]

On August 25, 2016, Theranos announced its plans to appeal the decision by regulators to revoke its license to operate a lab in California, among and other penalties sanctions, because of unsafe practices.[2] On August 31, 2016, Theranos The company withdrew its request for emergency clearance of a Zika virus blood test due to a finding by federal inspectors of after a lack of essential safeguards during the testing process was found by federal inspectors in August 2016.[3][1] On October 5, 2016, Theranos announced that it would close its laboratory operations, shutter its wellness centers and lay off around about 40 percent of its work force, while henceforth focusing on an initiative to create to work on miniature medical testing machines in October 2016.[4][5]

  1. ^ a b Carreyrou, John; Weaver, Christopher (30 August 2016). "Theranos Halts New Zika Test After FDA Inspection". Retrieved 6 October 2016 – via Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ "Theranos to Appeal Regulatory Sanctions" Wall Street Journal,Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Troubled Theranos hits another wall as Zika test withdrawn". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Theranos to Close Labs and Lay Off 340 Workers". New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  5. ^ "An Open Letter From Elizabeth Holmes". Theranos Newsroom. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.

Theranos eventually became the poster child of "Silicon Valley excess", and the company's notoriety damaged the prospects of female CEOs in the startup sector for years to come. Status Labs decided to remove some financial details from the article, which had the effect of smoothing out the contrast between Theranos at its zenith and its nadir.

Time (UTC)15:39, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv spec. pov & mv forbes

[...]

Wired asserted that the company may have succumbed to Silicon Valley pressures of trying to "spin hype into startup gold" and promising more than they could deliver.[1] Theranos has claimed to have partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, which both companies have denied.[2] Theranos also claimed the successful venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson had invested in them, but company principal Steve Jurvetson clarified that it had provided the company's first $500,000 seed investment and nothing more.[3]

Although Theranos was valued at $9 billion by some of its investors, which would have valued Holmes's stake at $4.6 billion, The Economist noted that startups of this nature can wind up being valued as a "fantasy" rather than based upon present reality.[4] [...]

  1. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (2015-10-15). "Theranos' Scandal Exposes the Problem With Tech's Hype Cycle". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  2. ^ Duhaime-Ross, Arielle (2015-10-26). "Theranos didn't work with the huge drug company it supposedly made money from, drug company says". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  3. ^ Caroline Chen (19 October 2015). "Early Theranos Investor Stands by Blood Testing Startup". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  4. ^ "The fable of the unicorn: A much-hyped medical startup is suddenly plagued with doubts". The Economist. October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.

The Journal report was too significant for Jppcap to remove at this point, but that did not prevent the editor from massaging the language of the coverage to redirect blame away from Theranos.

Time (UTC)15:46, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryce & pull rev. 745827142 in prop. place

On In October 16, 2015, The Wall Street Journal, quoting many unnamed current and former employees, reported that Theranos was using traditional blood testing machines, such as Siemens, to run its tests and that Theranos's flagship the company's Edison testing device machines might provide inaccurate results.[1] The alleged discrepancies in Theranos' proficiency testing and reporting to regulators led to a formal complaint filed with the New York State Department of Health that was forwarded to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).[1] Moreover, the bulk of the blood tests being performed by Theranos were reported to be conducted on traditional machines of competitors' companies, such as Siemens, rather than its own Edison machines.[2] Theranos attacked the Journal, but did not refute any of the allegations. Theranos claimed that the allegations were "factually and scientifically erroneous and grounded in baseless assertions by inexperienced and disgruntled former employees and industry incumbents."[3][4]

  1. ^ a b Carreyrou, John. "Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  2. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (2015-10-15). "Theranos' Scandal Exposes the Problem With Tech's Hype Cycle". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  3. ^ "Report Claims Theranos Struggling With Blood Test Tech". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  4. ^ Dawn Chmielewski. "Theranos Attacks Wall Street Journal (Again) in a Rebuttal You'll Need a Medical Degree to Understand". Re/code. Retrieved 26 December 2015.

Theranos also embarked on an extensive legal campaign that affected former employees, generating a conflict of interest when the company positioned its new general counsel, David Boies, on its board of directors. The legal maneuvers were unpalatable enough for Jppcap to prefer restoring a mention of the Walgreens discontinuation, on balance. In one of the edit summaries, the word "sythn" is presumably a misspelling of "synth", which is an abbreviation for improper "synthesis" of sources.

Time (UTC)16:04, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv sythn
Board of directors appointment of David Boies

Famed litigator David Boies was hired by Theranos after it failed a federal laboratory inspection.[1] The company’s general counsel is a former partner at Boies Schiller and Theranos had hired Boies in the past.[1] Theranos attracted controversy however, by also granting Boies a seat on the board of directors.[1] While the 2013 adopted high-vote stock structure gives Holmes total control of the company, business ethics insiders, reporting to the New York Times, argued that, while it has been done before, having Boies serve both on the board and as the company’s attorney would be difficult as he would have to represent both the Company (as lawyer) and the Investors (as a Director), and that this could in some circumstances result in making a choice between the two.[1]

  1. ^ a b c d Solomon, Steven Davidoff (2 February 2016). "David Boies's Dual Roles at Theranos Set Up Conflict". The New York Times' Dealbook. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
Time (UTC)16:39, 23 October 2016
Edit summary+lab susp. &withdraw, rmv nn suits (edited with ProveIt)

Walgreens and Capital BlueCross announced a suspension of Theranos blood tests from the Newark laboratory.[1] In May 2016, Theranos announced that it had withdrawn all blood test results run on its Edison machine from 2014 and 2015.[2]

[...]

Litigation

In 2007, Theranos filed suit in Santa Clara, California, accusing former employees of breaching company secrecy.[3] In 2011 the company filed suit against Fuisz Pharma LLC, accusing them of stealing Theranos' patent files from McDermott Will & Emery. The suit was settled in 2014.[4] Another case, in Washington, D.C. against McDermott Will & Emery itself, was dismissed in August 2013.[5][6]

[...]

Theranos is facing class-action complaints alleging misrepresentation of its testing services.[7]

  1. ^ Ramsey, Lydia (29 January 2016). "Another partner just asked Theranos to stop running blood tests". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  2. ^ Carreyrou, John (2016-05-19). "Theranos Voids Two Years of Edison Blood-Test Results". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  3. ^ Leuty, Ron (30 August 2013). "Theranos: The biggest biotech you've never heard of". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  4. ^ Beth Winegarner (March 17, 2014). "Patent Theft Trial Over McDermott Docs Settles". Law360.
  5. ^ Overly, Jeff (5 August 2013). "McDermott Ducks Health IT Client's IP Theft Suit". Law360. LexisNexis. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  6. ^ Tillman, Zoe (5 August 2013). "Malpractice Suit Against McDermott Dismissed". ALM. pp. The Blog of Legal Times. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  7. ^ Rappleye, Emily (2016-06-03). "Third Theranos lawsuit brings Walgreens into the mix". Becker's Hospital Review. Retrieved 2016-07-02.

The word "quotefarm" is a dubious term for the article's coverage on Theranos' failed regulatory inspections. Jppcap removed the auditor's description of the company's questionable operating practices, replacing it with language that incorrectly limited the scope of the failure to a test related to the warfarin anticoagulant. The cited article from The Verge does not mention warfarin.

Time (UTC)16:12, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrd quotefarm+intro letter
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Certification

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported issues with the company's Scottsdale, Arizona laboratory meeting regulations in October 2015.[1]

A report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released in 2016 detailed a number of deficiencies with Theranos procedures and testing results.[2] The inspection report indicates that 29% of the quality control checks performed on the Edison devices produced results outside an acceptable range.[3] In addition, federal inspectors also cited Theranos for "doing tests with unqualified personnel, for long delays in notifying patients of flawed test results and for storing blood samples at the wrong temperatures."[3]

On In January 25, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a strongly-worded letter to Theranos following based on an inspection of the company's its Newark, California laboratory, conducted in November in the fall of 2015. "[I]t was determined that the deficient practices of the laboratory pose immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety," the letter noted.[4] CMS gave Theranos a deadline of 10 business days to prove that the laboratory was complying with hematology-related and other lab requirements. The inspection found that the facility did not "comply with certificate requirements and performance standards" and caused an "immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety" due to a test to determine the correct dose of the blood-thinning drug warfarin.[5]

  1. ^ "Theranos suspends micro blood tests to allow FDA review". AZ Central. October 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  2. ^ "Theranos Scandal Widens on Scathing Report". Fox Business. April 4, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements". Wall Street Journal. March 31, 2016.
  4. ^ "Regulators warn testing startup Theranos over lab conditions". Associated Press. January 27, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "US government says Theranos lab poses 'immediate jeopardy to patient safety'". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-01-27.

Jppcap's most significant edit affected the lead section of the article, serving as a smoking gun for the entire whitewashing operation. Virtual assistants such as Alexa quote extensively from the lead section of Wikipedia articles, and the first couple of sentences have an outsized impact on our audience's perception of any given subject. Thus, it is unsurprising to see Status Labs remove the criminal investigation from the beginning of the article.

The editor also sharply reduced coverage of a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigation and removed a lawsuit from a corporate investor, describing the deletions as a "reorg". As a finishing touch, Jppcap included an opinion column from the San Francisco Chronicle that attempts to explain away Theranos' fraudulent operations by pointing the finger at other startups.

Time (UTC)16:50, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryreorg gov. investigations &ce lede (edited with ProveIt)

Theranos is an American privately held consumer health-technology health technology company based in Palo Alto, California.[1] It is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.[2]

Theranos developed a blood-testing device named Edison. The company said the device uses a few drops of blood obtained via a finger-stick, rather than vials of blood obtained via traditional venipuncture,[3] utilizing microfluidics technology.[4] The company has been recognized for its fingerstick and microfluidics technology. It was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes at the age of 19.[3] By the summer of 2014, its founders Theranos had raised over more than $400 million from investors, valuing the company at in funding with an estimated value of $9 billion.[5][6]

[...]

U.S. House of Representatives Committee Investigation

It was reported on July 1, 2016, that a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigation was being undertaken into Theranos' past practices. The Committee on Energy and Commerce requested information on what Theranos was doing to correct its testing inaccuracies and adherence to federal guidelines. In the letter sent to founder Elizabeth Holmes, a response was requested by July 14.[7] Theranos said in a statement that it looked forward to responding to the inquiry with an explanation of its improvements, including “new operational leadership, best practices in our laboratories, continuing and constructive engagement with our regulators and ongoing communications with physicians and our patients.”[8]

Theranos is currently under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.[2]

Theranos is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly misleading investors and government officials about its technology.[2] The case is considered "extremely unusual" by a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Justice Department.[9] The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce requested information on what Theranos was doing to correct its testing inaccuracies and adherence to federal guidelines.[7][8]

On August 25, 2016, the company said it plans to appeal the decision by regulators to revoke its license to operate a lab in California, among other penalties, because of unsafe practices. [10]

A suit accusing Theranos of securities fraud was filed in October, 2016 by Partner Fund Management, which invested $96.1 million in the company in February 2014. The suit demands return of investment and damages. The company released a statement asserting "The suit is without merit, the assertions are baseless, and the plaintiff is engaging in revisionist history."[11]

  1. ^ "Theranos". Manta.com.
  2. ^ a b c Stross, Randall (27 April 2016). "Don't Blame Silicon Valley for Theranos". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Rago, Joseph (2013-09-08). "Elizabeth Holmes: The Breakthrough of Instant Diagnosis". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  4. ^ Scott, Cameron (8 November 2013). "Small, fast and cheap, Theranos is the poster child of med tech — and it's in Walgreen's". Singularity Hub. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  5. ^ Parloff, Roger (2014-06-12). "This CEO is out for blood". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
  6. ^ Johnson, Carolyn Y. (2015-10-15). "The wildly hyped $9 billion blood test company that no one really understands". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  7. ^ a b Lagasse, Jeff (2016-07-01). "Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes asked by Congressional committee to detail company's compliance efforts". Healthcare Finance News. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  8. ^ a b Tracer, Zachary. "Theranos Queried on Blood Test Failures by House Democrats". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  9. ^ Lee, Thomas (11 May 2016). "Federal criminal probe of Theranos rings hollow". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Theranos to Appeal Regulatory Sanctions" Wall Street Journal,Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  11. ^ O'Brien, Sara Ashley (October 11, 2016). "Theranos investor: We want our $96 million back". CNN. Retrieved October 11, 2016.

Theranos withheld its apology from the article. Sorry, not sorry.

Time (UTC)16:55, 23 October 2016
Edit summaryrmv company response

In July 2016, Theranos announced that it had received notice from the CMS regarding the revocation of had revoked its CLIA certificate. Sanctions include a prohibition of the as well as sanctions prohibiting its owners and operators from owning or operating a lab for two years, suspension of approval to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments, and a civil monetary penalty. Theranos' CEO Elizabeth Holmes responded in a statement: “We accept full responsibility for the issues at our laboratory in Newark, California, and have already worked to undertake comprehensive remedial actions. Those actions include shutting down and subsequently rebuilding the Newark lab from the ground up, rebuilding quality systems, adding highly experienced leadership, personnel and experts, and implementing enhanced quality and training procedures. While we are disappointed by CMS’ decision, we take these matters very seriously and are committed to fully resolving all outstanding issues with CMS and to demonstrating our dedication to the highest standards of quality and compliance.” Theranos announced it was discontinuing The company discontinued testing at its Newark location while attempting to resolve the issues identified.[1]

  1. ^ Carreyrou, John; Siconolfi, Michael; Weaver, Christopher (2016-07-08). "Theranos Dealt Sharp Blow as Elizabeth Holmes Is Banned From Operating Labs". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-07-09.

Unfortunately for Theranos, attempting to rewrite history did not compensate for the fundamental deficiencies in the company's product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigated Theranos in late 2015; the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission followed in 2016. Theranos began laying off employees in late 2016, and was liquidated in late 2018.

The author of the 2015 Journal exposé, John Carreyrou, later documented Theranos' collapse in a book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Forbes named Holmes as the wealthiest self-made woman in America with a net worth of $4.5 billion in 2015; that figure was revised to $0 in 2016. Holmes and Balwani were indicted for fraud later that year.

Other articles

The Journal's latest report referenced other articles that were affected by paid editing:

Further details are listed in a conflict of interest noticeboard discussion.

Reporting incidents

Our investigation covered only 26 of Jppcap's 3,000+ edits. The edit counter reveals that the Theranos article received the sixth-highest number of edits from the Status Labs associate. The top five articles edited by Jppcap are:

To the reader, if you ever encounter undisclosed paid editing – including but not limited to operations associated with Wiki-PR and Status Labs, please report the incident on the conflict of interest noticeboard. Happy editing!