Wikipedia talk:Notability (organizations and companies)

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Venture Capital funding and company notability[edit]

Let's add some clarification about venture capital funding and company notability to this guideline. Specifically these 5 points:

  1. A company receiving Venture capital (VC) funding is a significant event, it is NOT a Wikipedia:Run-of-the-mill event
  2. Each VC funding round is a unique event (Seed funding, Start-up, Series A round, Second-round Working capital, and Mezzanine financing)
  3. At least 1 independent, reliable source that discusses the VC funding round is required for verification
  4. When multiple independent reliable sources cover a VC funding round, those sources should be considered as a group when discussing notability
  5. A company is generally NOT notable if the ONLY significant coverage about the company is ONLY about the initial (seed) funding round

Your thoughts? -- 1Wiki8........................... (talk) 08:47, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

About a couple of years ago I interned at a startup (6 employees excluding me) where I was asked to handle the media relations along with technical work. Part of my job was to publicise the company's funding and product. Every 2 weeks I wrote a master press release, then tweaked it and created 5-6 different "newsy" versions written from a journalist's viewpoint. Then, through social media, I contacted freelance writers associated with a bunch of "tech/entrepreneurship news" related websites and asked them to publish it. I explicitly mentioned that I was giving up the copyright and they could publish it under their own name, as long as they did not modify the content (win-win situation for both of us). If I remember correctly, close to 90% of my submissions were published (none of which were edited in any form). I would contact different freelance writers every week and at the end of 3 months, I had even managed to get some stuff published in a couple of well-known American tech-blogs. Most of my rejections btw were from the local Singaporean/Malaysian mainstream media (possibly because the journalists were full time employees and did not want to entertain my request). However, with the help of a friend who was an intern at that time, I did manage to get a brief product description published in a related "list" article. Now fast forward a year later, I noticed that the startup had a Wikipedia article and every single source used (including the one in the mainstream media) was something I had submitted. I learnt later that another intern had been tasked with creating that Wikipedia article. It still exists today and only I know that none of the references is an independent source. Since this experience, I no longer trust these techblogs/venture news websites as "independent sources" any more. They will publish literally anything as long as it is redressed a bit and is not copied word to word from an existing press release. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 14:10, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
  • This anecdote is unverifiable.  Notice that the claim that the sources are not independent is misleading, as rewarmed press releases are secondary coverage, carrying the reliability of the secondary source.  Unscintillating (talk) 23:48, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Give yourself more credit, obviously you're a highly skilled, multifacted and convincing writer :) Of course discussion concerning if an individual source is reliable or not should go to Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. Let's fast forward and assume there is an agreement on what sources are, and are not, reliable. Given that assumption, would the above 5 points be reasonable to you? -- 1Wiki8........................... (talk) 18:44, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Any one have suggestions on appropriate places to ping to see if folks want to discuss this addition to the guideline? Consensus by silence isn't the best option. -- 1Wiki8........................... (talk) 13:45, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
WT:N, WT:NPP, WT:AFC, WT:WikiProject Companies would be four. Jytdog (talk) 18:23, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Run of the mill - venture capitalists give out venture capital; it's what they do. The mere fact that they have done so does not constitute an event of encyclopedic note. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:31, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

RFC - Are publishing companies who publish notable works automatically notable?[edit]

The general consensus is that the principle that notability is not inherited should be upheld, hence it is inappropriate to make any blanket statement that publishers of notable works are automatically notable. However, several participants of this discussion have demonstrated the need for a subject-specific inclusion guideline for publishers in relation to the works they publish. Some participants also pointed out that this question is posed unhelpfully in the abstract; in reality, the circumstances of each notable book's publication may generate sufficient notability for the publisher in a way that falls beyond the scope of this question. Deryck C. 15:51, 17 May 2017 (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.

I'm participating in an AfD for a publishing company right now and there are several keep votes that are based around the company being notable for publishing notable works. Right now, WP:CORP says no such thing. My belief is that while authors can be notable for their works per WP:AUTHOR, the publishing company should not have that notability. They didn't research the work or write the work. The company merely published the work. WP:CORP should be changed if I'm wrong. SL93 (talk) 20:06, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes The chief thing that lends enduring notability to a publisher is publishing notable work.E.M.Gregory (talk) 21:27, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
  • No This is an example of inherited notability (the notability of several works imparting notability to the publisher), which we don't allow. There may be a rational to develop a notability criteria that based on the number and volume of works published might lead to meeting the GNG in the future, but that's going to be very limited, and definitely not automatic. --MASEM (t) 21:53, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Not necessarily - If there are independent sources that make note of how the company publishes note worthy works, then the publisher is notable for doing so... but if no sources take note of that fact, then no, the company is not notable. Blueboar (talk) 22:20, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
  • This is posed as an abstract question without context, and as such, any answer can be of only limited use. Having said that, to the question as presented, I'd respond that there are probably no "automatic" passes of notability for publishing companies; however, if you are confronted with a publisher that has produced lots of notable books, that's a reasonable indicator of potential notability that warrants careful further investigation for reliable sources that can support the inclusion of substantive content about the publisher's history, positions, awards, etc. --Arxiloxos (talk) 23:01, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
  • No - Clear WP:NOTINHERITED. It should only be "automatically" notable if it more or less invariably indicates there will be significant coverage of the publisher in reliable sources independent of the subject. (i.e. as usual, "does X make Y automatically notable" means "is X a sufficient assurance that the subject will have received such coverage as outlined in WP:N"). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:19, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
  • No: - of course not. Notability is just not inherited, period, end of statement. (That being said, where's this AfD?) Ravenswing 09:44, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    • I didn't include the AfD because I didn't want people to think I was canvassing. SL93 (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
  • No: Clear violation of WP:NOTINHERITED, and the whole principle of WP:VERIF. Wikipedia requires sources, to a) be accurate, and b) prevent hoaxes. Allowing this would allow many WP:MILL publishers. Nothing should be automatically notable. Period. TheMagikCow (T) (C) 14:49, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Certainly not: as has been said, this WP:NOTINHERITED. If a publisher is alleged to be notable, it must be notable in and of itself; just as a book can be notable without the author being automatically deemed notable. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:28, 22 April 2017 (UTC) (veteran of almost forty years in the book trade)
  • Yes Of course they are. 'Inherited' is a directional value: books do not inherit notability from their publishing house, but having published multiple notable works is, in fact, what makes a publishing house notable. Consider the alternative: Vanity Press XYZ has a scandal, and receives a lot of press about the scandal, but has never published a notable book. Regular publisher ABC has published 30-40 notable books, but itself receives no particular press. If you think ABC should not have an article but XYZ should, please explain yourself in terms of encyclopedic value. Jclemens (talk) 04:39, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Reply: Easy. "Encyclopedic value" is a shibboleth much beloved of those who, fundamentally, dislike that notability flows from WP:V instead of from their own perceptions of "It's important." The current Village Pump discussion in which many people decry that there are so many more articles written about athletes than about academics is part and parcel. Unfortunately for their POV, notability criteria aren't based on "It's important," but upon the precept that the world has heard of the subject. Is it a crying shame that our culture values athletes and entertainers more than it does academics? Arguably, but the fact of the matter is that the likes of Khloe Kardashian and Aaron Hernandez has received more press, and enjoy more name recognition, than every 2015 Nobel Prize laureate combined. The moment you change that paradigm, Wikipedia ceases to be governed by rules and guidelines, and starts to be governed by opinions alone. Want to bet, for instance, that there aren't a lot more editors who'd think that the third-string keeper for Leicester City or a minor actress who doffed her duds for a couple of Game of Thrones scenes are highly notable and that no publishing house is noteworthy at all than the converse? Ravenswing 09:03, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
You have made a total misstatement or misrepresentation of the discussion at VPP, the problem with those athlete articles that are being objected to, is that the sources for their biography do not exist - and those who would keep them violate N/V/NPOV/OR and BLP by asking the everyone to pretend they do. It is your argument there that seeks to have us be governed by opinion, instead of by sources and policy. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:18, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
That's an interesting spin on it, when the sentiments expressed by many (in a discussion titled "The criteria of WP:NSPORT here are too inclusive") are not that the GNG is insufficiently applied, but that the standards are too loose. In any event, you've just as much right to blather as any. Ravenswing 17:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Regular publisher ABC has published 30-40 notable books, but itself receives no particular press. - Putting aside the quasi-technical question of whether it's notable for a moment, how do we write a good encyclopedia article about something that has received no particular press and has not been the subject of significant coverage in reliable sources independent of the subject? Any argument that something is notable irrespective of the standard "significant coverage in reliable sources independent of the subject" has to be sacrificing at least one of those elements (it has insignificant coverage, the coverage is in unreliable sources, or the sources are not independent of the subject). How does that reconcile with other core content policies? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:29, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
We write such an article by including the basic organizational data, and a list of the books that are the most famous. There is implied notability here. The rule about inherited notability is about notability that would flow downwards , as inheritance normally does. It means that no matter how important the publisher, it does not inherently make the book notable. If it did, and this were extended more generally, the results would be utterly absurd, because it would be enough for notability to have gone to a notable college. But it does work the other way--a college with a great many notable alumni is likely to be notable. In the old days, when we were so foolish as to debate the notability of high schools and elementary schools, the key argument that a school was notable was in fact that it had notable alumni, and this was accepted even by the school minimalists. For a publisher, we'd have to judge the actual record. I wouldn't extend to to merely publishing a few notable books, because then almost any publisher would be notable . But some publishers do publish a great percentage of the notable books in a field. Notability is a guideline, and we van make whatever individual or general exceptions have consensus. WP content is not governed by firm rules , neither those that are given to us, or even that we make ourselves, because the most basic of all rules is WP:IAR, whatever will improve the encyclopedia.
The argument about relative coverage given above actually proves the opposite of what it was used for. Very true, popular movie stars get more coverage than scientists. If we went entirely by coverage, even the most trivial actor or socialite or athlete would get an article, and almost no scientists. But we don't do that, because we do take into account importance. We deal with people getting undue publicity by considering a great many sources on them trivial or unreliable; we deal with athletes by having a special rule about levels of competition and full-time professionalism, we deal with academics by having a different rule altogether, independently of the GNG. We deal with scientific journals similarly, with a special rule about indexing. (I should mention that the argument about WP:V makes no sense in this area--it is trivial to prove a publisher published a book.) DGG ( talk ) 19:54, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Inheritance of notability is not considered only in a downward flow, it's from any connection. An employee for a notable business is not automatically notable, but a business is also not automatically notable if its CEO is notable. The only arguement that at some point makes sense (and one that I'm not 100% sure about,, either) is that if you have a "parent" organization/person that is intimately involved in the production or creation of many numerous notable products, there may be reason to create an article on the parent if only to help improve wiki-linkability. But what is critical here is the "intimately involved" aspect. I would not consider a book publisher as "intimately involved" with an author's work, even though they publish it and they often have editorial control; it's simply that they don't often impact the creative direction of the work. In contrast, (from the area I work in), I know there are a lot of video game development studios that have no notability on their own, but the games they have programmed are numerous and readily notable. To that end, there might be a reasonable case to make at least a landing page for the studio. But I'd still be very careful about this being an "automatic" case. --MASEM (t) 14:15, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
To argue that WP:NOTINHERITED requires "downward" inheritance seems contrary to the spirit of that guideline (and others). Ultimately, if your definition of notability includes articles limited to We write such an article by including the basic organizational data, and a list of the books that are the most famous. - then notability isn't doing its job. Thankfully, that's not notability. The problem is editors simply deciding that subject X is notable because it's one sort of subject and category Y is not notable because it's this other subject. That's well and good when there's established broad consensus for that, but otherwise it needs to be based on sources rather than asking everybody else to take their word for it that there are probably sources. A publisher of notable books has published notable books. Perhaps there's a list article in order based just on that fact. Beyond that, we're not a database or catalog. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:54, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
  • No. There's no such thing as automatic notability; NOTINHERITED should be enough to resolve this. GNG works just fine, we need less exceptions to it, not more. James (talk/contribs) 10:18, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes: just as an academic journal (as explained above), there are other ways to establish notability other than other publications talking about it. An article may exist, although it will probably remain very short as not much verifiable information can be found on it, and just some neutral facts can be taken from the entity subject of the article. (talk) user:Al83tito 06:00, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: In the case of publishing companies, I think it is incredibly important for the public to have at least some basic information in Wikipedia that sheds some light on which companies are behind publishing which important publications.(talk) user:Al83tito 06:00, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    • additional comment: Wikipedia fundamentally relies in published secondary sources (with some exceptions). It is at the core of how it is constructed. How ironic then, when publishing companies of some of those sources may remain hidden from the public eye, because some Wikipedia editors deem their notability not proven. I think that when multiple published works of a publisher become notable, so should the publisher be deemed notable and include at least the most basic coverage of it in an article. The need to extend coverage to the publisher is compounded when we also ask of the sources to be authoritative and reliable. (talk) user:Al83tito 06:11, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  • No. Sigh. This is one of those cases - if there are no sources about a company, but it does something interesting, is it enough? If a publishing house (company) has no sources about itself, except we can verify that it exists and it publishes some works, is it notable? I am sorry, I don't see why. If you cannot find a single source saying it is important, discussing its history/significance, than I'd say no, it is not. Publishing books, or making cars, or coffee - it doesn't count. It is not what they do, it is whether what they do is important enough for others to write about them. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:48, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Exactly. How can an article be written that has no original research if sources can't even be found to establish notability. If there are no source, there can be no inclusion. TheMagikCow (T) (C) 16:21, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  • No, but the statement in a reliable source identifying the publisher as the publisher of a notable work is itself a point of notability. If the company publisher 30-40 notable works and somehow no reliable source identifies it as the publisher of those works, then it would have a problem. As soon as sources start identifying it as the publisher of those works, well then it is in sources. bd2412 T 04:12, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Not really; being mentioned as a publisher of a notable work is not "significant coverage" per WP:N. --MASEM (t) 05:29, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
      • If the work, which is a work of that publishing house, receives "significant coverage" than the coverage is just as much about the publisher as the coverage of a new kind of McDonald's hamburger is about McDonald's, or the coverage of a new iPhone is about Apple. bd2412 T 11:50, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
        • Where does the author fit into this analogy? Wouldn't the author be McDonald's? Seems like you'd need to go one more step removed to liken it to the kind of coverage the burger/book would get. Articles about books almost never talk about the publisher except as a brief mention; they do often talk about the author. Articles about a Burger King hamburger almost never talk about Restaurant Brands International, but they do sometimes talk about Burger King. Is coverage of the burger also just as much coverage of the farm who raised the cows, the advertising company who came up with the marketing, etc.? This is the whole point of WP:NOTINHERITED -- coverage of X can establish the notability of X, and not -- if it doesn't actually talk about them -- X's author, mother, uncle, publisher, owner, record label, home town, alma mater, agent, business partner, etc. When someone writes notable books or publishes notable books it's an indication there's very likely sources about them, but it does still have to be coverage of that subject -- doesn't even have to be the subject of the publications, of course, but it doesn't have to provide "significant coverage" of this subject, not related subjects. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 12:47, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
        • The relationship between a publisher and a book is a bit less direct compared to the McD/food or Apple/product relationships. What you are suggesting may make more sense to attribute notability to the author of several notable books since they have a much more direct hand in the creation of it, compared to a publisher who while essential for actually getting the book to audiences, are far less important to the creative process. Hence this type of inference does not work for publishers/books. --MASEM (t) 13:26, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
          • @Rhododendrites and Masem, the "author" of a new McDonald's hamburger is probably a marketing person who came up with the idea of launching a new product. The "author" of the next iPhone is probably actually some committee of technical and marketing people. I have no problem granting that the author of a novel is more notable within the scheme of things than the marketing people who come up with the new product name, configuration, and packaging. However, we can at the same time recognize that publishers have significant input into both the content and the marketing of the books they publish. The decisions made by the publisher may be the ones that determine whether the book ever becomes notable. bd2412 T 15:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Let me give an example of why notability of the work is not inherited by the publishing house... let's say I buy a printing press, which I set up in my garage, and start "Blueboar Publishing Co." I publish Shakespeare's plays, and Milton's "Paradise Lost". These works are very notable... however "Blueboar Publishing Co" does not inherit the notability of these works... It is still a one man operation, operating out of a garage. Blueboar (talk) 12:18, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    • I agree to a point. If a publisher is only reprinting previously published material, then it has played no role in the origination of this material. However, if Bloomsbury Publishing had received no other press coverage beyond being noted as the publisher of the Harry Potter novels, it is hard to see how that would be insufficient. It is a given that the publisher plays a substantial role in shaping and marketing the product. bd2412 T 15:37, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
  • No, clearly. WP:NOTINHERITED covers this specifically: "Similarly, parent notability should be established independently; notability is not inherited "up", from notable subordinate to parent, either: not every manufacturer of a notable product is itself notable; not every organization to which a notable person belongs (or which a notable person leads) is itself notable." The significant coverage in independent sources determines notability: nothing more, nothing less. UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:55, 17 May 2017 (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.

Old VPP decision regarding GNG and subject-specific guidelines[edit]

Hello. The discussion about subject-specific guidelines and WP:GNG was closed one month ago and is archived into Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 135#The criteria of WP:NSPORT here are too inclusive. There, it says that GNG is neither replaced nor superseded by any subject-specific notability guideline. While the discussion was mainly about WP:NSPORTS itself, the closing decision may affect various subject-specific guidelines. Feel free to read further. --George Ho (talk) 06:13, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

This SNG already points to GNG... so the RfC close is not a problem. Blueboar (talk) 09:51, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
The guideline's alternative criteria for specific ones says otherwise, Blueboar: either GNG, the guideline's primary criteria, or any one of alternative criteria. --George Ho (talk) 13:01, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Neither the GNG nor the SNGs limit the ability of the community at AfD to make decisions. The guidelines are predictive. They describe rebuttable presumptions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:33, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I really don't see an issue with this. The top of "Alternate criteria for specific types of organizations" (the SNG part) is clear that the GNG is still available, and all of the criteria here are aimed at showcasing secondary sources, a key facet of notability. It works as it is supposed to given the relationship between GNG and SNGs. The only thing I think is missing is the focus on the word "presumption" to be clear that these are not guarantees of notability/inclusion and can be challenged. --MASEM (t) 13:39, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

WP:CORPDEPTH list[edit]

The length and visibility of this list of examples overshadows the fact that they're supposed to be used as examples of "trivial coverage", leading to really unhelpful discussions of whether a source was "based on an interview" or "an announcement from the company" (aside: how many news articles aren't...?) rather than whether the coverage is "trivial", itself a reference to the GNG/significant coverage. I'd pare down the list or at the very least heavily emphasize the word "trivial". I am no longer watching this page—ping if you'd like a response czar 16:05, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

How to raise NCORP standards?[edit]

Please see We've created a monster at Jimbo talk.

I wrote the following there:

  • I would love it if the style guide and notability guidelines for articles about companies and business people were directed to educational content. In my happy fantasy world, we should only have an article about a business or businessperson if there is something to learn from.
Our articles about business should be along the line of a Harvard Business School case study. Some mistake that proved fatal and why it was fatal, or that they recovered from in some notable way, or some very smart decision they made and how it helped them succeed for a while. That sort of thing. Things to learn from.
Most articles about companies or business people are boring-as-hell recitations of some facts, and are not educational, and in my view they fail the mission. They are really directory entries that tell very mundane stories. Their value to the company or person is simply exposure. The PROMO is via its existence in WP and the accompanying seeming legitimacy a WP article grants.
I don't know if there is a way to frame what I am saying in a way that could actually form the basis of the style guide and N guideline, but at the heart of it would be a requirement for multiple independent sources not just with "substantial discussion" but with "substantial analytical content that describes a challenge overcome or strategic decision that was itself considered important in the field". Something like that....

What do you think? Jytdog (talk) 03:18, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Is this about corporations, or about corporate brands? Pages like Alleghany Corporation are incredibly dull, but feel encyclopedic. If it's about brands, do you feel that Golden Grahams should have a stand-alone page? Power~enwiki (talk) 03:30, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Alleghany is tied into the history of railroads in the US and tells some of that story; that is why it feels encyclopedic; it discusses large scale events and why they happened (at least until the last bit). The Golden Grahams thing is indiscriminate even by current N standards as far as I am concerned. Jytdog (talk) 09:01, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't get why people are so allergic to having articles about corporations while being so blase about promoting them. I mean, WP:WikiProject Square Enix will continue turning out what some people seem to think are Wikipedia's best articles. It has been a couple of months since the last Final Fantasy ad ran on the Main Page, so 180 days from then another will run, and 180 days after that there will be another, and 180 days after that there will be another, just as it has gone like clockwork since 2007. I don't know who the company paid but I know they got their money's worth. Meanwhile people can figure out ways to delete obscure articles that nobody is going to read, saving no actual disk space, with negative improvements on volunteer time usage. Have fun. Wnt (talk) 11:31, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • First off, you're talking about ditching the GNG, which doesn't require any sort of "educational" component at all. Secondly, any move towards fuzzy value judgments is laden with high explosive: you're pretty much guaranteeing vicious tong wars at AfD between "yes it's "educational"" / "no it's not!" factions. Thirdly, I'm not remotely sold on the premise that the exclusive mission of Wikipedia is to "educate." And what would the result be? The deletion of articles on multinationals that neither pioneered any particular innovations or overcame any unusual challenges? (I expect that applying this premise to biographical articles would eliminate 80% of the bios on Wikipedia.) Finally, this seems to me a solution in search of a problem. Ravenswing 12:29, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
No, I am paying attention to WP:NOT which defines what WP is, and what it is not. GNG is just a guideline that tries to express what is WP:INDISCRIMINATE and what is encyclopedia-worthy. This is about the mission of Wikipedia and how we interpret what is "encyclopedic" with respect to businesses and businesspeople. Jytdog (talk) 18:36, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • This is just an attempt to think out-side the box – so please bare with me. On [1] which is a company that creates WP articles for clients, the Q&A section (that appears lower down on that page) has and I quote: Will I have the control over the content of the Wikipedia? A: “yes, you will have the control over the content.” Also, the [2] page states right at the bottom: “SUCCESS RATE Due to the multiple authoritative accounts, we have with the Wikipedia, our success rate is naturally high.” Are these multiple authoritative accounts no more than sock puppets? The whole site appears to have been composed by a two-handed philosopher, that on the one-hand honestly points out where their clients can't do it themselves without running foul of WP policies but on the other-hand this company can... if the price is right. So my thinking is that we need more transparency. This following suggestion is not in my view sneaky, as it does not compromise editors privacy when confined to WMF projects. How about the WMF employing some of the software first developed by the secret services and now being adopted by law enforcement. Namely, such software that can do link analysis etc. Then we have a chance to identify and oversee these self proclaimed authoritative accounts to see if they are indeed adding worth while content or if they have got their claws into owning pages. Notice also, they have cleverly added, that due to client confidential they can't name their other clients – what a great way to leave no paper-trails for neither their prospective clients nor us to follow. WP grew out of the advancement of new technology. We still need to employ the latest tech as it become available. Think all the editors taking the trouble to contributing here have one thing in common – we are not going to rest on our laurels until find a way to sorted all these issues out. Aspro (talk) 13:09, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Re:"this seems to me a solution in search of a problem." Let me explain some of the problems.
    • We have many companies advertising on Wikipedia who are really dangerous to our readers, e.g. Banc De Binary was a rip-off company taking their customers for about $20,000 apiece on average. There is no question about the binary options industry (the FBI has targeted it worldwide) being almost entirely a rip-off scheme. But to get a real NPOVarticle took about 3 years; e.g. FXCM a broker which was kicked out of the US for lying to its customers for 6+ years. We need to be able to stop these dangerous businesses from advertising here immediately, rather than deal with the delaying tactics of paid editors.
    • We have (by my guess) about 50 articles on businesses added every day. (Can anybody supply a better estimate?) Most eventually get deleted for advertising, POV, no independent sources etc. by many slip thru the cracks.
    • There are 6,000,000 businesses in the US and we can't cover them all in any meaningful sense. Many of these will go bankrupt or otherwise disappear and nobody will ever even notice. We'll end up lying to our readers by suggesting that they are still in business.
    • We could have very good coverage of approx. 50,000 companies world wide, which would cover well over half of the non-agricultural, non-government employment, sales, etc. in the world. But instead we have coverage of donut shops, single location real estate offices, food trucks, a one person lingerie seamstress shop, etc.
We need to have some hard-and-fast cutoffs that are easy to determine if they've been met, so that we don't have to spend weeks going thru AfD to delete obvious nonsense.
Sample proposal, "articles on commercial businesses should link to financial statements audited by licensed CPAs or CAs, or to articles in very reliable financial news sources such as the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, which show that the company's sales or number of employees is in the top 50,000 companies in the world." Obviously tweaks could be made.
The question is: Do we want to have a clear notability standard for businesses, or do we want to cover a mishmash of small companies submitted by paid editors that are impossible to adequately monitor? Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:24, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
We already have clear notability standards for businesses... GNG and NORG. The problem is that many businesses want to use WP to promote their business, and so they don't follow our existing standards. Creating more "rules" won't change anything if people don't follow the rules we already have. Blueboar (talk) 15:17, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
The GNG/NORG standard seems less than "clear" when even national newspaper coverage in the business field can be dismissed as "essentially press releases" or "lightly-warmed over PR pieces". See this AFD as an example. Very much in the eye of the beholder I think. To eliminate such uncertainty over how in fact we assess "notability" of businesses – and reduce the over-representation of run-of-the-mill concerns – I would favour moving to objective criteria of the "top 50,000" type, while not minimising the difficulty about all the existing articles that wouldn't qualify: Noyster (talk), 15:45, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
We do have some rules that could be followed by admins and other much more consistently, and why people argue over them for weeks at AfD continues to mystify me. But we can make them much more clear. If we had a notability requirement for businesses that essentially says "prove that it has over $2 million in sales, or more than 1,000 employees". Those numbers are probably a bit low - we can get better estimates for the "Wikipedia 50,000" later. But those cutoffs would probably eliminate 90% of business article submissions. And there would essentially be no arguments about it. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Make that $20+ million in sales see here which would give us 28,000 US firms, or maybe 140,000 firms world wide. 1,000 employees seems about right. IMHO even a $10 million cutoff (and the requirement to prove the number) would stop 99% of what we're getting now. Of course there could be a huge outcry, perhaps from paid editors. So the next question is how we get this passed? There would have to be exceptions made, e.g. possibly for newspapers, recording companies and other "popular culture" firms, probably an exception for the top 10 firms in each UN member county (we wouldn't want to cutoff all firms in the Malagasy Republic or Fiji). But the point would still have to be to keep it as simple to judge as possible - "notable" or "not notable". Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:43, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
User:Smallbones, I'd suggest that we come up with a few solutions about a new NCORP criteria and hold an RfC to see which if any can get consensus. You've suggested an annual sales bar; I've suggested changes to sourcing requirements. Let's see what other concrete suggestions are offered and after a while, we can draft an RfC. Jytdog (talk) 14:19, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree. Get an RfC drafted. To me the key is simplicity. It would also have to override GNG. It should get wide notification and be listed on Central notifications and stay open for at least 2 weeks. Who would like to draft it? Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm going to strongly caution against this. First, you can make inclusion guidelines that are more restrictive than the GNG in a topic area, that's not a problem, but I would fear that you are going to be cutting off a lot of notable smaller businesses that have valid non-promo articles that aren't in the categories you are proposing. Any issue with notability needs to be based on quality of sourcing, not hard numbers. Hard numbers can be used to set presumptions of notability (eg any company with >10,000 employees is likely going to have some notable coverage somewhere), but to require companies to have a minimum # of employees or sales to have an article, even with exceptions, is going to cause a lot more problems than the current issue with promotional articles. --MASEM (t) 15:16, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • There is no rush to generate the RfC. There are a lot of voices that haven't spoken here yet and that I expect to hear from, and we should have thought several ideas through before launching an RfC, so we have the best chance of gaining consensus and making some effective change. Jytdog (talk) 18:19, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I would think that if a company is "a rip-off company", and this is reported in reliable sources, we should definitely include that information in Wikipedia. To the extent that there are articles about companies that omit negative information in a calculated way, those articles should be kept, but the negative information brought to light. bd2412 T 16:57, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I agree entirely. Once the charges have been nailed down and the rip-off is 100% clear to all, then the article should be kept forever. The problem is before the actual conviction (or equivalent) comes in. For Banc De Binary this process took 2+ years. My back-of-the-envelop estimate is that this delay cost our readers $5-10 million per year. A rule keeping fly-by-night companies off Wikipedia is definitely needed. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm still not on board this train. If every company were on the up-and-up, it would do no harm for Wikipedia to document them all. And if a company is a rip-off, Wikipedia should definitely document it, in the public interest. The only risk is ... Wikipedia might not report the rip-off because nobody knows about it. In which case, what harm did we do that the rest of the world did not? At least the company had to *live in fear* that when a negative article came out about it, someone would post it to the Wikipedia article and the jig would be up.
I asked at User talk:Orangemike to get the original revisions of Banc de Binary undeleted so we could see for ourselves how the editing of that article went while the scam was live. But my feeling is that as long as there are two Wikipedians interested in reading the crime blotter and posting negative data about the companies that comes up there (who haven't been banned by light-and-airy BLP-no-attacks admins, that is) we should not acquit ourselves too badly overall. Wnt (talk) 21:34, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
User:Blueboar it is by now an old saw that people write things like "instead of doing X, raise notability standards on Y" in which Y is very often articles about companies and business people, in reaction to other efforts to address paid editing. I look forward to input on the OP or any other ideas from User:Risker and User:Mkdw who have made such statements. Also pinging NPP workers User:Kudpung and User:TonyBallioni as well as User:DGG who has given a lot of thought to N generally. Jytdog (talk) 23:55, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • There are several things that could be done , but first our US editors need to start thinking outside the American box. Wikipedia might be incorporated in California but that's all. By now, most of the business articles are probably about concerns based in India already. One suggestion would be a time limit on all articles about businesses and requiring them to be renewed every two years, othewise they either auto delete or at least lose their access to Google's bot. There could be one broad Wikipedia category: 'biz', so that we know how many there are and where they are. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:54, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
User:Kudpung, very specifically, how could NCORP be changed so that you could unambiguously delete new spam articles, and creators would have less leg to argue from? This is the focus of this discussion. (I've concretely proposed changing multiple sources with "substantial discussion" to something requiring deeper coverage, along the lines of "substantial analytical content that describes a challenge overcome or strategic decision that was itself considered important in the field". Jytdog (talk) 01:01, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Whatever the focus is, all comments here are interlocked and important. The problem has to be regarded holistically. There are a dozen or more suggestions that come to mind, but I'm sure our 35,000 active editors should be able to list them easily enough. Dangerous though with some 'businesses' advertising on the Internet that their staff includes admins and/or New Page Reviewers who will take upwards from $999 to place a perfect company advert article on Wikipedia. I would be happy if entries (because that's what most of them are nowadays) were strictly limited to Fortune 1000 companies and similar firms outside the US. But the editors who create and fiercely defend articles about tiny 5-star restaurants but persistently send high schools to AfD would not be happy with that - just for example of course. Smallbones above makes a point, and there are plenty of editors who are defending the notion of paid editing. My only single concern in the entire topic is that I'm sick of providing 1,000s of hours of my free free time to Wikipedia so that other can freeload off it. And that's what will eventually drive me and many other like me away from Wikipedia for good, meaning not only will there be a lot more spam, but there will be nobody to clean it out and block the editors.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:29, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I think there are other ways to address the issue, and multiple attacks add up. For example, we could have a mechanism by which new business articles are automatically identified and get a big ugly tag that says that "This article about a commercial activity has not been checked for accuracy and might have been produced by editor(s) with a financial conflict of interest" To get the tag off for more than a short bot cycle per revert, you'd have to actually get the article looked over and whitelisted in a forum of neutral users, very preferably by a random jury mechanism to prevent self-selected gatekeepers from charging for their work. Having companies put up ads on obscure pages nobody reads is not really that bad in itself, provided people aren't being duped, and this would help you feel more confident about your "real" business articles. Wnt (talk) 13:40, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
This is really the only reasonable approach that doesn't disrupt the boat. In-depth human review to make sure that articles do not read as promotional, have third-party, independent sourcing that is not regurgitating press releases, and the like, keeping in mind presumed notability granted by NCORP and the GNG. When such articles are found, this should also tag the editor that created/edited it and to check their other contributions to follow those too. --MASEM (t) 15:20, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
There is a pretty widely held understanding that a) there are too many existing crappy articles about companies and business people; and b) NPP is faced with a torrent of promotional sludge on these topics, and we need to take action by raising N standards here. We don't have more bodies to throw at the problem. I am looking forward to hearing more concrete proposals and putting them to an RfC. Jytdog (talk) 16:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
"In-depth human review to make sure that articles do not read as promotional, have third-party, independent sourcing ..." is just not possible with so many businesses in the world (25 million is a pretty conservative number) who all want an article/ad - or who will want an ad once they see that a bunch of other companies have free ads, or once the paid editing companies send around their ads that show how you only have to pay them a very small amount to get your free ad from Wikipedia.
Let me give a comparison that might show our ability to deal with the flood. WP:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places is probably one of the 5 most successful WikiProjects on enWiki. There are 90,000+ officially listed historic sites that we try to document and photograph. There is a very good source (the nomination form) available, often online, for almost all of these sites. All told were trying to get less than 100,000 articles, which include the administration of the NRHP, county lists, and sometimes "sub-sites", e.g. individual buildings in Historic Districts.
The project has been going for 11 years. It seems like a dozen people participate for any month on the active talk page. We've got almost 80% of the sites photographed, and about 70% of the articles written. So you might say we're taking care of almost 10,000 sites/articles per year - pretty impressive if you ask me.
I'm guessing that 10,000-20,000 articles on businesses are submitted each year now. A project like WP:NRHP is fun to work on. Dealing with paid editors who fight to the death to keep "their article" or "their paycheck" intact is not fun. Just to keep up we need to have "a project" at least as big and successful as WP:NRHP. "In-depth human review" for business articles submitted willy-nilly doesn't look to be an option. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:06, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
The human editor issue, that's a known fact. We are way short on editors in any area of the WP project, and likely the proportion of paid editors to true volunteers is likely increasing due to a number of reasons. I agree some solution here is needed. I just don't think raising NORG's standards will have the desired effect and can create many negative effects. So let's say you do implement "$10M/1000 employees" as a bare minimum for a standalone article on a business. What then? Where is this applied? In our current system, the only place is then at PROD/AFD, and that's already flooded. The better option might be to get a CSD entry in place, which requires less involvement and is semi-automated to a point. Have the CSD be on businesses that do not exceed $10M/1000 employees and show no sign of independent coverage. --MASEM (t) 17:18, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#What_is_the_practical_meaning_of_.22credible_claim_of_significance.22.3F. There is very roughly 50% support for a CSD, but the objections center around having no objective criteria, that this would take too much judgement for a CSD. What we need is objective criteria. If it has to go to AfD it is still not a major problem. If they can't show $10 million in sales or 1,000 employees the result should be almost automatic anyway. It would also be almost automatic for potential paid editing clients who bother to check out our rules. They would usually look at this requirement and say something like "No, I only have $2 million in sales and 24 donut chefs. I'm not going to waste time and money on paid editing." It could also work almost automatically a AfC. Do you have a better idea on how to stop the flood? Just throwing up your hands and saying "I don't know what to do" doesn't strike me as useful at this point. (excuse me if I get carried away, but some solution from somebody is needed) Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:48, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog: When I wrote the thing about the tagging and review above, I was not suggesting we had or will have the bodies to throw at the problem. My assumption was that hundreds of thousands or even millions of articles about little-known companies would build up that would never actually get reviewed. I only wanted that (a) we warn the reader, and (b) the companies understand that when they put up their shingle this way, at any time an editor could come on and find their SEC violations or Consumer Reports rating and stick it on there. Though come to think of it I should add (c) we ought to have a way that articles with the tag go to the bottom of search results, except of course that an exact match to the full query or quoted text should beat any non-exact match. Which would mean some dev work, but it's a low priority issue. Wnt (talk) 21:05, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks to Jytdog for the ping. I would support a more objective NCORP criteria similar to PROF, where the GNG can still be used in extraordinary circumstances, but generally speaking if you don't meet NCORP, you don't get an article. This is because the GNG can be pretty easily argued on either side for a corporation in an English-speaking country (DGG makes this point quite well) Something like the following would help us gauge what companies should be covered:

A for-profit company is presumed notable if it meets any of the following criteria:

  1. It is a publicly traded company that is listed on the most significant indexes in the country of incorporation (i.e. S&P 500 Index, FTSE 100 Index, NASDAQ-100, Dow Jones Industrial Average, or their equivalents).
  2. It has been listed as a member of the Fortune 1000 or an equivalent regarded business ranking.
  3. It is considered by multiple independent reliable sources to have made a culturally significant impact in a geographic area
  4. It is regarded by multiple independent reliable sources as having significant impact in its industry
  5. It has been involved in fraud or another activity that receives enough ongoing coverage to meet WP:NCRIME.

and it is not otherwise excluded by WP:NOT.

These are obviously just draft criteria that I would expect to be edited before an RfC, but I would like to see something like that. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:24, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't like criteria like this because they have to be Wikilawyered over like a death penalty case. I mean, no source is going to say that it made a "culturally significant impact in a geographic area". They might say the company is "renowned among cosplayers" or "is a pillar of Akron's downtown district" or "was a priority at today's City Council meeting". And then ... we get a bunch of people jawboning on and on and on and on, and if they're not paid to do that, they are masochists and they ought to be. For me GNG is simpler, leaving articles up with at worst a tag is simpler. Wnt (talk) 21:13, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Wnt, I used WP:PROF as the model for this, and it is one of our most straightforward criteria. GNG isn't effective either way for corporations because of the PR factor: it is very easy for virtually any company to make a claim to it, and coverage that should be accepted is sometimes not because people are so used to seeing PR-churn. It is actually much less simple to apply in current practice at AfDs, and many participants use criteria roughly like this when evaluating based on CORPDEPTH. In regards to those criteria that you pointed out, it was a way to help specify the type of coverage expected to have been received in reliable sources. Whataburger doesn't meet the first two criteria above to my knowledge, but it clearly has a huge cultural impact in the areas it serves, and you can find sourcing to demonstrate that. Compare this to the Ipswich fish and chips shop that has a local source discussing how its been the favourite in town since 1975. Whataburger would stay, while the fish and chips shop would not meet the bar for inclusion. These are also just drafts,

but the intent is to try to make clear what type of coverage is considered acceptable for a corporation and what is considered run of the mill. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:52, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Another possible solution, but it would have to be coordinated with NPP and maybe a few maintenance categories. Develop some very high clear, objective guidelines similar to what Tony suggests, or some revenue figure, or the like. These become a first pass criteria for any new article on a business. For the NPP patroller or category checker, if the article passes the criteria, or otherwise clearly can be seen as unquestionably non-promotional and based on independent sources, which should take all but a minute to validate, then it stays; otherwise it should be tossed immediately to draft space to get it out of the Google-indexed mainspace (or tagged with CSD if it is that bad). Once in draft space, these articles can only be moved back by a noticeboard review specifically set up for this. A guideance page should explain articles on businesses must meet the GNG or NCORP, and provide appropriate resources and examples.
  • Ideally, pushing articles to draft would discourage those who are just trying to boost page ranking in google from doing any more and the draft goes abandoned (reducing workload). In the case where there is an honest, non-paid editor trying to improve the article, they can help fix it in earnest to present to the noticeboard a good draft that can be moved back. The remains will likely then be the paid editors trying to push their clients article, and if they don't take the steps to improve, we just decline the article. If we start seeing patterns from editors that appear paid, but don't state this, but several of their new article contributions clearly run afoul, we can start taking blocking steps against this. --MASEM (t) 17:50, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks Masem!! Pinging User:Legacypac who patrols draft space to get their thoughts on this notion. Jytdog (talk) 18:20, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. Draft and User spaces are awash with thousands and thousands of pages on non-notable businesses and businesspeople. Many of these pages are SEO link building efforts. Most are created by SPAs. Please vote for Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Expand_G13_to_cover_ALL_old_drafts as one way to reduce the use of Wikipedia for corporate spam. Legacypac (talk) 10:36, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • The role of NPP and draft space is currently very grey. There is a general consensus that it is allowed, but the exact standards haven't been defined. I think a proposal like Masem's above would likely get shot down as offering NPPers too much unilateral power to soft delete an article. I see the benefit of objective NCORP standards as being streamlining the AfD process and decreasing that workload. It makes corporations easier to assess. It would also have the benefit of clarifying A7 for a business: it would give patrollers and admins things to look for while assessing significance, while keeping the A7 standard lower than notability. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:31, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't get me wrong, strengthening the NCORP for AFD is also a good step, but reading all this, the problem stems from uncontrolled article creation. Short of preventing editors from creating articles and stopping at the tap, we really only have three lines of defense here: NPP, which every new article should go through, CSD, and PROD/AFD, the last two which are not part of any process chain. NPP is the only place we can assure an article can be looked at. While I agree that the NPP/Draft aspect is not clear and may be some gotchas, presenting a solution to the community that balances the issues of paid editing/promotional business articles weighing against the NPP goal, and made sure we were restricting this idea to only corporation articles where this is routinely a problem, that might be accepted as a solution by the community. --MASEM (t) 21:32, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • We're actually pretty good at catching corporations at NPP. AfD and PROD are the area where it gets tricky because like I said above, the GNG can be argued on either side for most English-speaking corporations. The things that take the most time are South and East Asian entertainment related topics (actors, movies, bands, etc.) Mainly because we lack the knowledge at even a generalist level for many of them to make an accurate assessment. I'll post to WT:NPR to solicit more comments. That is a very active page, and it'll hopefully bring feedback from some of our best reviewers. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • What might be helpful in prepping for an RFC or the like is to get a number of examples of articles that were clearly promotional but were difficult or remain difficult to engage with the involved editors to remove/de-promotionalize, etc. It would be helpful, at least to myself, of how these are argued to know where lines would be drawn, particularly in relationship to sourcing. I suspect a lot are the type derived from press releases or extending from namedrops elsewhere, which easily can flood an article's reflist to appear notable but not really on review. And I do think that while this approach will discriminate against non-Western, non-Japanese businesses (India, China, etc.), it is a necessary step to balance the problem of paid editing, and since, barring cases already for CSD, we're not outright deleting content, is some type of fairer balance. --MASEM (t) 00:43, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Tony provided some examples at my talk page, and I think from them, I've figured a third venue to approach (in addition to strengthening NCORP and a NPP/draft space process), and that is to get global agreement on what actually constitutes "significant coverage from secondary sources" in more precise language. We can't be exact (that is, we can't say "you need 2+ sources" as that will be gamed). But what we can say is this like press releases, even if reprinted in third-party sources, are not sufficient, nor are the company's own documents, social media, etc., nor is name-dropping or mere listing in some article about a broader market. We should also identify that coverage strictly in local (city-level) sources is not sufficient. NCORP can go on to add that for companies, we're looking for significant coverage in why the company was founded/its business goals, how the company has succeeded, how the company has influenced its market, other impacts of the company re: legal issues, and so forth. WP has generally be hesitant about tightening the standards for sourcing for notability, but I think this would be a necessary step that filters then to AFD discussions that should prevent some of the examples Tony gave from being kept since these would fail these tighter sourcing requirements. (It should be noted that all the sources I identified are still valid for WP:V additional material, just not alone to support notability.) --MASEM (t) 18:58, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • How about approaching this as a triage. Separating issues into three categories makes for easy judgements. Most large companies (which fall into the above mentioned cut-off) would I think, already have an article about them by now, as most probably many medium size businesses and organizations that are recognized as being 'notable'. Most of the problems I suggest, occurs in the lower third. For example: Mzoli's first got deleted after 20 minutes of being posted. It is a very small business (in even from a South African view point) but is is deemed by the page creator to have special notability – so it got reinstated and exists to this day. Think it may help, that just as we have an article importance scale, we go on to formulate a software fix (bot or something), to channel all organizations below certain cut-off's into a second sub-level triage (i.e. creating five levels in total) to examine and determine if they have any special notability. Then AfD where applicable (and possibly SALT to save us repeating the effort). If the software analysis then show that some of the articles are 'owned' by a small cohort of paid authoritative accounts we censor them in accordance with existing policies. Aspro (talk) 21:04, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
  • What a sad state of affairs. The anti-paid-promotion has gotten so vehement that we're actively considering throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That is to say, intentionally "strengthening" notability standards to exclude things that meet the GNG. The entire effort is wrongheaded, and genuinely saddens me. Surely the paid editors are in part to blame, but the reactionary forces here remind me of an anaphylactic reaction: far worse than the original problem. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Task Force Tips is a sad commentary on the extent of argument I had to make, and still only got a NC close, for the company that literally invented the automatic Fog nozzle for firefighting use. (If you'll look at that page, the company's logo is clearly visible in 2 of the 6 pictures we use there, and 2 more are recognizably their products) "So just source it!" I'd love to, but like so many other things that happened before the 1990s, there is a very, very small web footprint. I daresay we're expecting companies to prove their innocence, rather than accept that by thoroughly covering companies there will be a certain amount of general advertising--increasing brand awareness, rather than selling specific products. Jclemens (talk) 04:28, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
My sense is that most of the community understands that WP is awash with promotional articles about companies and business people that get spammed into WP daily by the dozens. We'll see how the RfC goes. Jytdog (talk) 04:35, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Clearer notability guidelines would have likely resulted in a keep of the above article if we used PROF as the framework, because it appears to actually be an industry leader. Looking at actual impact rather than deciphering what press a company has received makes our process of dealing with businesses more fair. Making NCORP more objective saves good articles as well making it easier to sort through the startup PR mess. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:47, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
In the discussion above, @Smallbones: said that it took "3 years" to get "a real NPOVarticle" about Banc de Binary. I talked to the deleting admin and then VPT and now have the full article history available at Talk:Banc de Binary/Deleted version. From that I see that the article was created [3] in a day on December 20, 2012 by the single purpose account User:WhoElsePoems, who remains an editor in good standing but has not contributed anything but this one article. That version had a glowing appearance. He tweaked it on January 8. [4] On January 9 an apparently neutral editor, @Hobbes Goodyear:, got on the case, deleting "PEACOCK" terms and adding stuff like an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and the SEC list of unregistered entities with complaints; he also added a notability tag. [5] Oddly, one little bit of PR preprogramming withstood that round of revision, "The platform allows members to trade binary options by selecting the preferred stock, currency pair, index or commodity that they wish to trade. They then choose the amount they wish to invest and click “apply” to execute the trade." But the magic was lost by this point; besides, he fixed it three days later, after @WEP2013: had added some stuff. User:WEP2013, also in good standing, said on his user page the account was a remake of WhoElsePoems because of a lost password; the additions did not wipe out the main negative information but did have a positive tone. [6] That little bit about regulation went back and forth, with one appearance by an IP (stunningly enough, based in Cyprus) [7]; an Israeli IP had added a word previously. On January 13, admin @Orangemike: had nominated it for deletion, citing the dodgy lists as a potential keep reason, but 'not notable enough even there'. The last sign of activity was an Israeli IP Wikilinking Oren Laurent on January 28, and the article was deleted February 6. The Oren Laurent article was deleted first, and twice afterward.
Now the moral I take from going through all this is that yes, a crooked entity got a glowing Wikipedia article for three weeks. Then someone noticed it. Then for a month we warned potential investors that this was a disreputable entity. Then everything was deleted and they were on their own. My feeling is that our performance in the second part was the best, even if we had some ongoing conflict with some IP from Cyprus and Israel, and that deleting the article was a step backward. For an scam of such proportions, the projection to Wikipedia seems remarkably amateur. Another company might have been a more formidable foe, but at least in this case, they were not. Wnt (talk) 10:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sure we deleted it pretty quickly the first time, and the second time, and twice also for the article on the owner. But then the BDB article was created a 3rd time. And when some real news came out about the company - its indictment and a general condemnation of the entire binary options industry by the SEC and the CFTC, the tables turned. BDB editors started arguing for deletion and volunteer editors argued to keep. There's much more in time and hassle that took place over the next 3 years - until a month before BDB was forced to close. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-02-06/Special report for a fairly technical discussion. Or see The Times of Israel for a story aimed at a more general audience. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:07, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

The Times of Israel seems to have followed the Signpost closely. But the main argument in the Signpost is that fighting the company used up a lot of time. It's not that the article was actually bad. And should Wikipedia count it as time wasted if the company is willing to pay something like $50,000 to cover up the facts we're letting loose? (True -- that was probably bull; it's easy for a scam company to promise a lot of money! The $5 an edit figure looks a lot more plausible judging by the amateur tactics.) Looking through the old edits from 2013, even when company shills were on the offensive they rarely had the gumption to delete all mention of the regulatory actions. And they were generally soon reverted. While it is possible that some Wikipedia readers went on to get fleeced, the way I see it, most readers who were going to invest and checked Wikipedia had a chance to be warned off. And I mean, we can only give them the facts we know - we can't convict a company before it's been convicted. So we did our part. The one leftover bit is that Google might change its search results, Google might put the first two sentences in a special box and the idiots investing might only read that -- but that is fucking Google. It's not our problem and it's not our fault if they get played by scam artists whether accidentally or on purpose. So long as our article is fair as read by a human being, that is all I need to know. Wnt (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

(some kind of section break belongs here)[edit]

Standard 1 Above X employees/Y sales or meets a reworked WP:LISTED = Presumed Notable.
Standard 2 below Standard 1 = Presumed Not Notable unless
Standard 3 the company has made ... (establish definable criteria including significant scientific breakthroughs, as others have suggested, )
These criteria apply to companies that currently operate, under any name. Defunct businesses fall under GNG.
Individuals known primarily for their founding or senior involvement in a business are Presumed Not Notable unless the business meets Standard 1 or 3. (This deals with the vanity business bios Legacypac (talk) 10:51, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Avoid the word "presumed"[edit]

Just a side request... in any rewrite, please could we not use the word "presumed" (as in "presumed to be notable"). All too often that word is conflated with the word "is" (i.e. "IS notable"). Instead, we should use "likely" (as in "likely to be notable"). This will make it clearer that we still need sources to substantiate any claims of notability. Blueboar (talk) 12:30, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

That makes sense. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:33, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd be careful with this; there's probably a time and place to use "likely" over "presumed". Broadly we use "presumed notability" to say that we think this topic meets our notability guidelines to allow a standalone article to be created, but that presumption can be challenged through AFD. When you say "likely to be notable" that means the topic will trend towards that but not necessarily met that, so that means a standalone article is not automatic. So for example, we could say that a company that is one of the top 10 in the Fortune 500 is presumably notable (we'd have an article for them based on this fact alone), but that a company that has >$10M in annual revenue is "likely" notable, but you'd need more backing to support that article. --MASEM (t) 18:51, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Revenue/Employees as a metric[edit]

Since this has come up several times above, I do want to have further discussion on it. I actually don't think it is that good of a standard: any line we draw would be arbitrary. This is why I prefer things such as being listed on a major index, being a part for the Forbes 1000 or equivalent, coupled with clearer subjective criteria that clarify what type of coverage is enough to attest notability. I think any line we draw in the sand re: revenue and employees would probably be covered with a clearer and higher standard of coverage like I suggested above. I'm not tied to those ones specifically, but I do think the best model we have for a successful subject guideline is WP:PROF. Finding the right balance of clear objective criteria and subjective criteria that are clearer than the GNG and at a higher standard is what makes PROF so successful. Pinging @Jytdog, Masem, Smallbones, and Legacypac: since they all commented on a revenue/employee standard. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:30, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

I agree it's arbitrary but maybe we need arbitary. WP:LISTED should be part of this. Any non-shell company that is LISTED is gonna generate enough RS coverage. Private companies are the problem - industry plays a big part. A tourist attraction or hot new consumer goods producer might have small sales and few employees vs an industrial pipe company with hundreds of millions of sales to 3 clients but no press coverage. Legacypac (talk) 14:41, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

1st try at comprehensive wording[edit]

This is just a 1st try to synthesize what people have suggested above.  !Voting would not be appropriate yet. Thoughtful reactions are appropriate.

I still have some basic questions

  • where would we place the text?
  • how to ensure that this supersedes GNG in most cases?

Notability for businesses

Many businesses would like to have an article about themselves in Wikipedia, perhaps as a form of advertising or public relations. The number of these submissions is exceeding our ability to evaluate and monitor them to insure that they conform to our standards. Thus the following notability guideline for businesses is stricter than the general notability guideline and all new submissions for articles about businesses must meet this guideline.

Basic rules

No article can violate the restrictions in WP:NOT. In particular it may not contain promotion, advertising, marketing, or public relations, all broadly defined.

All business articles must by supported by at least three references to books or articles that are from sources that are reliable for information on businesses and independent of the article subject. The 3 required references must not be to the subject's website, industry newsletters, press releases, or routine news coverage. They must focus on the subject at length. The subject must be the main topic of the reference.

At least one reference must be to a source that is internationally recognized for its coverage of business topics, such as The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Handelsblatt, The Economist, or the New York Times. Another reference must be from an internationally recognized source or a nationally recognized source such as the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Telegraph, or The Guardian. Only one of the three required sources may be to a local source.

Articles about any defunct business of a business that was founded over 100 years ago may simply follow WP:GNG.

Categories of notability

If a business belongs to one of these categories an article about it is likely to be notable

1. Large businesses. These must be documented by a link to a recent annual report which contains financial statements audited by a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA)
1.a. Has more than 1,000 employees.
1.b. Has sales or revenues over $10 million (or equivalent in the local currency) (Note:might want to raise this)
2. Has actively traded stocks securitities listed on an internationally recognized exchange.
3. It has been listed as a member of the Fortune 1000, Forbes 400 Largest Private Companies, or an equally well-regarded business ranking.
4. It has received international recognition in multiple internationally recognized business publications for scientific or technological breakthroughs.
5. Private venture-backed companies (“startups”) are unlikely to be notable unless they have raised more than $50M; have been in business for 5 years; or have filed for an initial public offering (IPO). (note change)

I guess that's it for now. Feel free to make suggestions or even completely different standards. BTW, "in multiple internationally recognized business publications" refers to that very limited list above. @Legacypac, TonyBallioni, Jytdog, Masem, and DGG: Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:29, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

discussion[edit]

I'll caution right now: this language will cut off a lot of smaller businesses that would otherwise clearly meet the notability guidelines simply because the "international business" coverage does not cover these. I think what you have are cases where if you only had those three sources, clearly we should presume notability until proven otherwise, and very unlikely this is promotional, and what should be strived for when possible, but it's far too exclusive while trying to deal with the problem of promotional editing. --MASEM (t) 20:06, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't be afraid of small businesses getting completely cut off by the requirement for a source " internationally recognized for its coverage of business topics." It's the source that has to be internationally recognized, not the business itself. As an example, Reuters claims to deliver "more than 2.2 million+ unique news stories per year," from "nearly 200 locations." They know how to cover businesses. Of course, not all these are about business, maybe 10-20% are but that probably includes more companies than we could reasonably include in a year, given our resources. The other named sources would include many, many more articles on small businesses.
Forgive me for oversimplifying but GNG seems to come down to having at least 3 independent reliable sources that cover the subject in-depth. "Independent", "reliable", and "in-depth" probably have a different meaning in the business world than for many other areas. e.g. trade publications aren't really independent IMHO because they are dependent for subscriptions and advertising from the very businesses they cover. Many local newspapers aren't independent as well - as they expect to get advertising from local businesses. Reliability varies widely as well, from the WSJ and the FT which almost always know what questions to ask and get the story right, to many local and regional newspapers which don't seem to know what questions to ask businesspeople, to many publications that simply rewrite press releases. In depth varies from the WSJ front page stories which may still be the best investigative news stories in the world, to 1 paragraph blurbs. My goals here are just to
  • turn down the firehose of business article submission to something we can handle, both by raising the requirements and allowing more efficient handling of the non-notable ones.
  • get a better handle on what notability really means for business subjects.
So yes, fewer small businesses articles will be included here under this - but we aren't now able to ensure the quality of these anyway, and
sourcing will be much more meaningful. If you'd like to include more sources in the "internationally recognized" category, I wouldn't be completely against that, but I'm against treating all source as being of the same quality, or even paring it down to 2 categories. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:37, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
We have never spelled out numbering for the GNG because as soon as you do, it is gamed. One work can provide sufficient notability presumption (but this better be a large volume like a biography), ten works may not be sufficient. Yes, 2-3 usually ends up sufficient in practice but we're not going to spell that out as it emphasizes quantity over quality of source.
"independent", "reliable" and "in-depth" will likely vary from field to field, and that's something that the current proper use of the GNG is aware of. (For example, from my general area of video games, our project has determined a subset of sources that we consider reliable for video game coverage to support the encyclopedia, based on reliability, independent-ness, and coverage depth, but would very much be unable to be used for any other topic field). That's why it's really not appropriate to apply this rather tight set of rules across the board.
I understand you're trying to stop the flow of solicated business articles, but you're talking language regarding notability that is only applied at the end of the process, at AFD/PROD. NPP's instructions are very "soft" on dealing with notability issues (they can address it, but the language seems to support keeping articles rather than deleting), and since we're talking cases of articles that likely avoid the CSD A7 clause, NPP isn't going to change its approach based on just NCORP being made stronger. --MASEM (t) 13:57, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Masem, I agree that the numbers are a bad idea and will be gamed: its why I would prefer to specify the type of coverage we want to see in order to be considered substantial for a company. Re: NPP, I actually disagree pretty strongly with you here. NPP as it stands is very good at catching articles that should at least get community discussion for inclusion. 80% of articles created by new users are deleted within 90 days, and I'd be willing to bet a sizable portion of them are companies. Things do slip through, but we are very good at sorting the wheat from the chaff on commercial things. Where people at NPP get frustrated is when we are doing our best to decipher how to apply GNG to a clearly paid promotional work, and an AfD takes weeks because of nitpicking over whether a press release generated article counts. That is what makes corporations difficult to deal with from an NPP standpoint. Adding clarity at the AfD end would add clarity at the front end.Atsme has been particularly active on this front from our project recently, so she might have some thoughts. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:46, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Which is why I think a significant approach to fix this , in addition to strong NCORP, is to make more explicit definitions of what does and does not work as a "independent coverage from secondary sources" at WP:N. For example, this could be defining that we expect more than local sources, we discount press releases or "reworked" press releases, we don't consider passing mention as significant coverage, we can't use the company's own website, etc. Note that I'm thinking of this from all topic areas, but it seems imperative to define it for corporations and the like. This would need to be a site-wide RFC/discussion so that NPP will know what to look for and that we can point new editors to say why their article was rejected. Basically giving NPP a more proper toolset to do their work against promotional cases. --MASEM (t) 16:16, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
IMHO setting 3 or more sources is not an issue. GNG says "sources" are required. I'd say that means 2 or more. In fact "multiple sources are generally expected" which means "usually 3 or more" so the jump to "3 or more" is very small. Current practice - in all but paid-for business articles - is certainly 3 or more, with commonsense exceptions as are allowed by any guideline.
I just checked WP:N. "We require multiple sources." I must have taken too many math courses, but that says "3 or more" to me. Also most of what Masem seems to be asking for at WP:N is already there, e.g. at WP:SPIP, in at least a basic form. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:33, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
As soon as you replace "multiple" with "3 or more", you will see people go "here's 3 sources, it's notable!" and complain when an AFD comes along. We use vague language there on purpose because every scenario is different. We all have a reasonable idea of what is significant independent, secondary coverage, but how many sources it takes to get there depends. --MASEM (t) 18:17, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes. Part of the problem is that I suspect no one actually reads WP:N because they think that the GNG is a standalone guideline or that the rest of the text doesn't matter. I've stopped citing the GNG at all in AfDs and link to the overall policy now in hopes of getting more people to read it as a whole. WP:N is actually a very sensible document that is clear that a failure of WP:NOT is a reason for deletion regardless of GNG, and that promotional sourcing isn't actually sourcing.

What we are talking about here is a way to write a practical subject guideline that takes the principles that already exist in policy and distill them for use as it deals with businesses. Part of NOT that has a very practical impact on notability of businesses is Wikipedia is not a directory. If all that we can build based on the sources is a Yellow Page style listing, the sources don't provide us with enough coverage to be notable, and it should be excluded. I think this is in line with the principles behind the GNG, but efforts in clarifying how notability applies to businesses should strive to make the consensus already present in WP:N and WP:NOT more clear. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

@TonyBallioni: Please change the proposal to reflect this if you'd like. Perhaps in my attempt at clarity I've become too mechanical. But couldn't the same idea be expressed as "Simply meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee notability" (or similar)? Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:23, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Smallbones, I don't like any of the numbers, but I'm fine with them and I'd support whatever anyone else here thinks is the highest number that would a) ensure the purposes of the encyclopedia are upheld (both for inclusion and exclusion) and b) can pass an RfC. Do people have thoughts pegging it to inflation since we do have a template for that. It would have the advantage of not having to adjust the number every so many years. As an example, here is what $10MM USD in the year Wikipedia was founded is now worth today: $13,500,000. It might be too complicated, but I thought I'd point out we can do it technically.
    I would also like some criteria recognizing cultural significance in a geographic region. This is especially the case for restaurant chains or dollar store chains. Those types of things have a real impact on people and might be cut out. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:51, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
    • We could raise or lower the sales or employment numbers over time as we get a better handle on how many businesses we can properly handle. As the number of business articles grow, we could probably gradually handle more new articles, so a bias like inflation might work for us.
    • I'd love to get culturally significant businesses into the mix but how to define it and what size of the geographical area would we use? A lot of the cases I can think of would either already be included (e.g. auto manufacturers in Detroit or in Coventry(?), England) or be defunct (several coal mining companies in Pennsylvania). I hadn't thought much about restaurants other than we have a lot of them (e.g. 200+ in New York City). Big or even medium size chains would certainly be over $10 million in sales. Your thoughts please. Smallbones(smalltalk) 10:58, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
      • I don't think we are ever going to be able to define perfectly what is and isn't notable for a business: my goal is to get more clarity. I think SNGs work best when they have both objective standards with clearer subjective ones than the GNG (I keep using PROF as the example here). Having the objective ones as driving but also articulating subjective principles that regionally significant businesses can be kept, but that sources should speak to their cultural impact and not just their existence is a step in that direction. Once those principles are articulated, Wikipedians will move towards a median as to what they define to be regionally significant. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:46, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • This language leans verily heavily towards a first-world bias, and would be pretty devastating for regionally notable businesses in non-English-speaking countries. It would probably weigh fairly heavily against minority-owned business ventures. It is also unclear how it would apply to entities like private schools, private hospitals, minor-league sports teams, and the like, since all are technically "businesses". bd2412 T 20:58, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
    • I too worry about this, mostly that countries like Bhutan and Swaziland will have their businesses shut out. But actually I doubt if we have many of these businesses, or will get many in the future, under the current system. Perhaps by putting in an exception for "the 10 largest businesses in each country, defined either by sales or employees" would work and would even encourage these articles. As far as school, hospitals, and sports teams - I'm not against referring them to other special notability standards - isn't there one already for schools? Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:23, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose This proposal is contrary to core policies such as WP:NPOV and WP:CENSOR. Editors who have some ideological issue with businesses, commerce and private enterprise should please go away and found their own politically-biased wiki along the lines of Baidu Baike or Conservapedia. Andrew D. (talk) 22:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
    • No personal attacks, please, even veiled. And assume good faith. people do not have issue with businesses; they have issue with spamming businesses and free-riders. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:57, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
      • PS. BTW such kind of disparaging remarks are rather unbecoming for "a member of Wikimedia UK". Staszek Lem (talk) 00:00, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
        • Nobody familiar with my career would ever accuse me of being anti-business or anti-capitalist. I do believe that business should be conducted ethically, however, and much of what I see in many business articles is unethical advertising masquerading as neutral text. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:30, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • re: pretty devastating for regionally notable businesses in non-English-speaking countries IMO the following analogy may be helpful when thinking about regional businesses. Consider this nice guy. He donates to his church handsomely, coaches local football team, a volunteer firefighter and whats not. He is frequently featured in local newspapers. Is he notable on the county level? Definitely yes! For worldwide wikipedia? Probably not yet. Take a Lithuanian Wikipedia for an example. It appears it has an article for every university professor, actress and veterinary. Maybe 10% of them would fit en:wikipedia. Same with businesses. We should not be shy of setting reasonably reasonable notability standards and not be afraid of excluding solid, but small "businesses as usual". Staszek Lem (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
    • By this standard, a Lithuanian company that has been extensively discussed in national Lithuanian media does not get into English Wikipedia because it doesn't get notice in the American (or, presumably, UK) press - and forget about a company, even one of prominent national significance, in Uruguay or Lesotho or Brunei. bd2412 T 01:03, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I've changed Stocks to Securities. The change seems subtile, but it expands the list to many government owned public issuers that issue bonds and other debt instruments but are not publicly traded stocks. Any listed enterprise the public can invest in should have a wikipedia page. Legacypac (talk) 00:10, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Even penny stocks? Staszek Lem (talk) 00:36, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I can't get on board with anything that would overthrow the global scope of WP:GNG. The only quibbling I can put up with is if you can make a case that some industry publications aren't really secondary sources, aren't really independent, don't really have a reliable editorial process, cover companies for the given article in a "routine" way that is not up to their normal editorial standards, etc. But the moment we let anybody damage WP:GNG, that will be like ringing the dinner bell -- the deletionists are going to be all over the encyclopedia writing up special standards to purge it of whatever specific types of topics they don't like being talked about. Wnt (talk) 00:47, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I oppose any reference guidelines along the lines you're suggesting. As long as a company verifiably meets the guidelines, the page should be allowed, even if there is no "national coverage". Power~enwiki (talk) 00:52, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Andrew D., Wnt, and Power~enwiki have it exactly right. General notability can not be lost merely because the subject that meets it is a company. This is especially the case where the guidelines being proposed would operate solely for the benefit of big corporations. bd2412 T 01:07, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Venture-backed startups[edit]

Here’s my proposed addition to the guideline, focusing specifically on startups:

Short version:

  • Private venture-backed companies (“startups”) are unlikely to be notable unless they have raised more than $50M [High option: $100M]; have been in business for 5 years [High option: 10 years]; or have filed for an IPO.

Long version:

  • Private venture-backed companies (“startups”) are unlikely to be notable unless they have raised more than $50M [High option: $100M]; have been in business for 5 years [High option: 10 years]; or have filed for an IPO. Outlets that cover routine funding news and product announcements, such as VentureBeat, TechCrunch, VC Circle and similar, are explicitly excluded from consideration to help establish WP:CORPDEPTH and WP:GNG for startups. Coverage that derives the bulk of their material from company executives is also explicitly excluded; such materials can be identified by the presence of company-provided quotes and data: number of clients, revenue numbers, market share, etc. Such numbers cannot be independently verified for private companies and are not to be considered when evaluating notability for startups.

Even the low options (50M in funding / 5 years in business) would exclude the bulk of “minor-tech-startup-spam” articles, such as “the next Uber of X” or “this 2yr old startup with $5M in funding is revolutionasing the global market” etc. This would also separate the long-standing business concerns from "flash-in-the-pan" newly minted companies. Any feedback? K.e.coffman (talk) 00:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I like short versions (otherwise this could get very complicated). About what percentage of minor tech start-ups are still in business (or otherwise successful) 5 years after they start? Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:01, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:NOTLAW, we are not some sort of parliament, here to pass laws and regulations to govern all the other thousands of editors who don't or care about this discussion. Our guidelines and policies should reflect existing practice, rather than being ad hoc directives. So, in making such proposals, you should start with evidence of what is commonly accepted or not. I can give you a couple of fresh examples of young, start-up enterprises because I wrote much of them myself: Full Fact and WikiTribune. These are both connected with the fake news phenomenon and both seem reasonably notable. Neither of them are large yet -- their turnover is of the order of $1M and their staff is of the order of 10 people. I put these through the DYK process and so they have been read by thousands of people. No-one has suggested that they should be deleted and so these seem to be reasonably acceptable. These therefore seem to be counter-examples to the idea that enterprises must be operating on a massive scale to be notable enough for our pages. Andrew D. (talk) 06:57, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
    • Why not quit opposing everything and start contributing to solve the problem? There is widespread dissatisfaction about the common interpretation of this guideline among paid editors that any 3 sources is enough to ensure notability. It's not what the consensus was when people wrote the guideline, and that's not the consensus now. If you need proof of that go look at WP:COIN. Certainly I am allowed to make proposed changes here. Please do make a suggestion on how to stop the flood of paid ads coming in.
    • Full Fact is a registered charity so wouldn't be effected by this guideline. WikiTribune seems to b a very special case, it hasn't started operations yet, and I'll guess it may also be filing for UK charity status (which takes much more time in the UK than it would in the US). Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:56, 26 July 2017 (UTC)