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Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

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Reedsy created by founder

Creator has added a link to his userpage which self-identifies as founder of the firm. I think he best thing to do is draftify Reedsy and let it go through AfC. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:12, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

@Bri::- Done Winged Blades Godric 08:18, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
So this was just "re-floated" by User:Tomwsulcer bypassing AFC and the article history wiped clean, both of which I find problematic. ☆ Bri (talk) 15:43, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
The subject Reedsy is clearly notable. I'm not affiliated with Reedsy in any way so there's no conflict of interest. I've been revamping Self publishing and saw the Reedsy link light up red, and scratched my head. That an earlier version had a COI problem is not relevant here. This is a rewritten article with appropriate sourcing and fluff removed.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 16:20, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
From a quick glance, I think clearly notable is a bit of an exaggeration here. I'd give it a 50/50 shot at AfD, at best, maybe 60/40 in favour of deletion. Bri, I haven't run it through duplication detector yet, but I don't see a clear copyright problem in terms of prose. It appears to be different, and wouldn't necessarily require attribution if it was written independently. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:37, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Also, per above, I went ahead and did a BEFORE search and took it to AfD to see what the community thinks. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Reedsy. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:44, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Methinks you're clearly wasting everybody's time here at Wikipedia. It's clearly notable.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 17:02, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

@Tomwsulcer: When you created the article did you not include in the edit summary that it was "copyedited" and preserved references from the old version? This implies that you used the old version for reference does it not? You must attribute such material. ☆ Bri (talk) 01:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

How is this relevant to the discussion? This noticeboard is Conflict of interest noticeboard. Regarding Reedsy, there's no conflict of interest at present. I floated the Reedsy article and I have no affiliation with Reedsy. You're wasting people's time here at Wikipedia.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 02:09, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
If the basis was the article created by a connected contributor, then it is relevant. Copyright is also usually very relevant on this noticeboard because there are questions of ownership of the material and reuse of text that might not be compatibly licensed. If you copied any text or remixed it in anyway from the previous article, you must attribute. If you did, you can place a note here and I'll make the edit summary attribution in a way that the draft can be deleted since there is a mainspace article. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:14, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
There are no copyright issues with Reedsy. I wrote it.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 02:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Thats not what was being asked: we know you wrote it in its current form. Did you use any or part of the text of the previous version/draft as the basis for the article and rework it? As Bri has pointed out, your edit summary suggests you did. If you did, there is currently a copyright issue until we attribute. Attribution is easy, and I can do it in less than a minute in most cases, and less than two when it is more complicated. We do need to make attribution if what the edit summary suggests is true, however. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:49, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
What's up with this case? Noting there has been no reply to an administrator's direct question for a week now ☆ Bri (talk) 20:17, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Admins aren't special. Our janitors do not get paid and have to clean up a lot of shit. The article has been deleted. Does that mean that this has been resolved? (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 22:54, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Mister Wiki

Note - this thread is referenced in Arbcom case evidence. Please do not archive before Arbcom finishes the case.
Active conversation is now at ArbcomBri (talk) 17:32, 15 December 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.

A newish paid editing company has been created called Mister Wiki (website). This company says that they honor the disclosure policy: "All of Mister Wiki’s jobs are fully transparent and disclosed on Wikipedia, in accordance with their paid editing guideline." (too bad they call it a guideline, but whatever)

And indeed, the following two editors have disclosed editing for the company per this search:

They have directly edited the following articles:

rejected AfC submisssion was fixed up by Soetermans with disclosure and moved to mainspace by Salvidrim (Salvidrim said that this was prior to his being involved with them.)
task was getting tags removed per this diff. Also per that diff, the strategy was to put through AfC. Was draftified by Salvidrim with disclosure, accepted at AfC by Soetermans (no disclosure, have an inquiry pending) (per this, not for pay, but via off-WP discussion among wiki-friends)
same deal as above, task was getting tags removed per this diff. Also per that diff, the strategy was to put through AfC. Was draftified by Salvidrim with disclosure, accepted at AfC by Soetermans. (no disclosure, have an inquiry pending) (per this, not for pay, but via off-WP discussion among wiki-friends)
just some minor tweaks, directly made.

Am posting here so folks can review the created articles especially, as they have not undergone prior peer review.

Have been having a long discussion with Salvidrim at my TP at User_talk:Jytdog#Re:_people_with_privileges_who_edited_for_pay. Inquiry at Soetermans' TP at User_talk:Soetermans#AfC_moves. Jytdog (talk) 04:19, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Rgd File:Datari Turner studio.jpg uploaded by Soetermans, a) why is it hosted on enwp not Commons and b) where is the OTRS permission from the copyright holder? Bri.public (talk) 04:44, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Tagged as missing permission. — JJMC89(T·C) 05:01, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi everyone, I've tried to explain the AfC situation on my talk page. I am truly sorry for that mess. For the other articles, I'm just going to take a step back and let the community decide if they're okay. Further more, I've made edits to Arne & Carlos (diff), but I haven't received payment yet, which why I haven't added the disclaimer just yet. There is also an article in my sandbox on Overwerk, an article that has been deleted repeatedly. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 08:51, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I've dediced to not do any paid editing until this is resolved (I might still receive a fee for Arne & Carlos, when I do, I'll update my user page accordingly). I've been a longtime member of Wikipedia and do not want to risk damaging my reputation and credibility any further. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 10:54, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Oh dear. This isn't going well so far. The swapping of "favours" between Salvidrim and Soetermans is particularly concerning and they are clearly conflicted even if they are not specifically paid for the edits. I'm at a loss to think how such experienced users thought that this would be acceptable. I also find this edit to Justin Bieber problematic (better seen in this diff) as it placed undue weight on the topic Soetermans was being paid to write about into a highly trafficked article - a classic example of spamming. I need to look in more detail, but the Shahidi brothers don't appear to be notable independent of their company. SmartSE (talk) 10:55, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I have no excuse. When @Salvidrim! asked me I had my concerns (see this screenshot) from our Facebook messenger conversation). I thought that the articles were notable enough and that it would be okay. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 11:49, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
@TonyBallioni, that image was used by @Salvidrim! on Jytdog's talk page with my permission. I assumed it would be okay to use it here as well. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 13:34, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I've restored it since both parties have confirmed on-wiki that they are fine with the release. That was not immediately clear from your post. Sorry for any confusion. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:55, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
No problem, I should've said so right away. Thanks for restoring the link to the image. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 13:57, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Nice to see how pally and keen you are to "help each other out". I'm seriously concerned about this, and will be investigating these edits -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 13:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd be much less concerned about the Salvidrim/Soetermans interactions if Salvidrim were not an admin, and had he not recently run for RfB as well. It's possible that this should be brought up to the wider community. It's also possible that he should stop reviewing AfCs, and also stop NPP (if he is involved with that). Soetermans should stop doing either of those as well. Softlavender (talk) 11:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I've been removed from AfC. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 11:49, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, mere removal from a list of participants doesn't stop you or anyone from reviewing AfCs or accepting drafts or moving drafts to mainspace. Softlavender (talk) 12:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Oh right. Well, whatever the outcome of this discussion might be, I won't come near AfC for the time being. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 12:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Removal from the list means you can't use the AfC helper script, which makes accepts pretty annoying to do (though any autoconfirmed user can of course move drafts to mainspace.) Galobtter (talkó tuó mió) 16:18, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've added WolvesS to the list of users here since they also declared on these articles, and were the author of Dan Weinstein, one of the articles that was accepted by Soetermans. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:02, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, WolvesS authored both Reza Izad and Dan Weinstein (and wrote part of Studio71) before MisterWiki's involvement, directly on the behalf of Studio71 -- originally without declaration but after I pressed them by e-mail they've added the declaration you linked to. Ben · Salvidrim!  14:14, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, it does further my suspicions at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/CMCreator900 that he is part of an undeclared paid editing ring, yes. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:26, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Jytdog: your update with this diff raises more questions than answers for me. I get how contractor relationships vs. employment relationships work, but I have very serious concerns about two editors working for the same firm (though technically unpaid for the specific edits) assisting each other and "returning the favour" to publish their articles from draft space. The claim that an administrator solicited another paid editor from the same firm to "return a favour" and AfC approve articles that he had been paid to contribute to is in my opinion just as troubling as the recent OTRS drama if not more so.
    This is stretching the limits of the TOU in my opinion and show why we need a clearer local policy on these things. At the very least, I think that admission is conduct unbecoming of an administrator and personally, I think Salvidrim! should resign the sysop bit. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:41, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
When I brought the two drafts up to Soetermans we both expressed concerns about the appearance of collusion but both ended up thinking that because the drafts looked fine and we were acting in good faith, everything would turn out okay. This was an error of judgement: careless, naive optimism that good-faith justifies all. Yes, I fucked up by allowing a fellow paid editor to review the AfC drafts that another paid editor had created and which I was paid to clean up. No, an editor being paid to accept a draft (or accepting the draft of a fellow editor paid by the same outfit even if they are not paid themselves) is not okay and constitutes a perversion of the AfC process, whether the intent was truly to deceive and bypass policy or not -- as Jytdog has said, what matters is appearance, and there is no way that what transpired here can appear proper or rule-abiding. No, I don't think an admission of fucking up by thinking everything was fine when we shouldn't have is grounds for beheading. Ben · Salvidrim!  16:51, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
This is probably the most tense policy area of the community right now. We just site banned an OTRS agent for soliciting payments through that system, and there is currently a village pump discussion on people with advanced permissions not using their rights, but using their position within the community to evade scrutiny.
You as a sysop actively asked an AfC reviewer to move an article you had been paid to edit out of draft space for you because you thought it's just kinda sad to leave the client waiting for potentially weeks and stated that the whole point of moving them back to draftspace was so that they could be afc-okayed and mainspaced again without the npov tags without having to go through WP:COIN. You also said before this that it feels like if someone was was looking for another reason to complain about paid editing, we'd be handing them one (Note: from FB messenger conversation both parties have agreed to disclose on-wiki).
You knew this would be looked down on by the community, and you did it anyway. From a policy perspective you didn't use any of your rights, sure, but you did ask an AfC reviewer to use their position to review an article that you had edited for pay from the same firm that they were also being paid to edit Wikipedia from. Is that violating any of the written rules? Maybe, if you want the song and verse, Doc James gives an interpretation below. Regardless, I think what is clear is that you clearly broke the spirit of the rules of the single most controversial subject on the English Wikipedia currently with the explicit intent of benefiting a client, knew it would be controversial, and did it anyway. That is a breach of the trust we place in administrators and is why I think you should resign as a sysop. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:25, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
you did ask an AfC reviewer to use their position to review an article Soetermans reviewed those two drafts literally minutes after receiving the AfC rights. So it's seems like Soetermans got the rights to circumvent the process for Salvidrim. Galobtter (talkó tuó mió) 17:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Paid editing does not JUST require the prior exchange of money for concerns to have occured. Our TOU states "any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation"
  • Thus one should be disclosing before the actual exchange of money. The disclosure should occur as soon as any expectation of compensation is present.
  • Doing something to help a partner make money with the expectation that they will help you make money in the same way is "compensation". This is the problem with paid editing and thus Sinclair states correctly "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
  • I support User:TonyBallioni request for Salvidrim! turning in the sysop bit. These sorts of activities have a significant potential to harm our shared brand. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:12, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I concur with TonyBallioni and Doc James. Nothing prsonal, but in my view paid editing and the sysop bit are mutually incompatible. Paid editing itself is a bone of contention, with a sizeable proportion of the Wikipedia community opposed to it entirely and for excellent reasons, I think going back to RfA with an open admission of editing for pay would be the only way to do this ethically. Guy (Help!) 17:22, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Every on-wiki action I took against expectation of compensation has been properly disclosed on User:Salvidrim! (paid). Datari Turner predates any involvement with paid editing or any expectation of compensation or return-of-favours. However in the spirit of transparency if you'd rather I add it to the list nevertheless, I don't have any objections. I maintain that I don't think an admission of fucking up by thinking everything was fine when we shouldn't have is grounds for lynching but I understand that anti-paid-editing advocates might see this as further confirmation that paid-editing is a monster to be vanquished. If there ever is consensus that admins cannot also be paid editors no matter how much separation there is between the two roles, then of course I shall abide by that policy (and judging by VPP, it may well be heading that way). In the meantime, I won't already pre-decide which role I will hold on to (although if I had a gun to my head and 30 seconds to decide I'd cease paid editing and continue as an admin), should it become disallowed to do both. FWIW, I have been receiving nothing but praise for my admin actions as of late so I don't think there is any sentiment amongst the community that I am not fulfilling these duties adequately, all concerns stem solely from the dual roles and that's why I am keenly following the ongoing VPP discussion. Ben · Salvidrim!  17:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Salvidrim, starting to use the language of "lynching" and martyrdom here is not helpful to you, and is going very much down the wrong path. (this is exactly the path KDS4444 chose, and it led him to do things that led to an indefinite block at AN). Please be resilient, like we expect of admins, and hear the problem. You did not understand your own COI nor that of Soetermans, and you used bad judgement and based on that bad judgement you did bad things. You didn't respect your own COI - the structure of the situation - nor the processes that the community has put in place to manage COI. (As Guy says, it is a not personal -- it is structural) You thought you were above all that, and you did backroom dealings between the two of you on a process with advanced privileges, instead of doing things correctly.
We trust admins to have good judgement - that is the essence of granting the bit and what gets hashed over at every RfA. An admin who believes they are "above it all" is dangerous for anything, but especially on paid editing where there is the active external interest affecting judgement.
By putting yourself above it all -- above the COI management process -- you left yourself, and your office, and AfC, naked and exposed to that external interest, and you made corrupt decisions. The COI management process protects everyone, including you. But you have to submit to it.. to come into it. Down here with the community. Because you are in a structure where we trust you, and you are putting yourself in a position of conflict of interest by choosing to edit for pay, you in particular need to be so, so clear that you will allow that COI to be fully managed and will be rigorous about that. While I believe that you understand the ... way what you did looks, what I (and i think everybody here) is looking for, is that sense that you are aware that COI can and has affected even you. The way you keep bringing up doing things in "good faith" is showing me, at least, that you don't see that your good faith is maybe not so "good" when you have a COI (when you have a client you want to help). This is the actual heart of the matter. Please understand that. Please. Jytdog (talk) 17:51, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Everything you have just said, I fully agree with. I underestimated the COI by thinking naively that because nobody seemed to be intentionally being nefarious, everything would turn out fine -- perhaps you would call that self-delusion or magic thinking. I've disappointed many people for, in the end, a mere handful of bucks, and it really makes me sad and angry at myself for allowing myself to be put in a situation where I am facing the opprobrium of fellow community members whom I hold in high regard. I am ashamed that I thought myself a paragon of integrity and believed myself "stronger" than any COI and fully able to manage it rigorously and without flaw, which evidently was not the case, since I ended up being proven human after all. I thought I was better than this, but evidently I underestimated the difficulty of the challenge. I apologize unreservedly for the disappointment. Ben · Salvidrim!  18:26, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
This is the self-insight i was hoping to hear. Yes you are a human :) Thank you so much. Jytdog (talk) 19:46, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Le sigh. I am afraid you missed the point. The declarations you made would be sufficient for the normal grudging acceptance of paid editing, but that was not the point. This is about whether admins should engage in paid editing. I think it is unlikely that the community would be in favour, but the only ethical and honourable way to find out is to resign the bit and run another RfA on the basis of full disclosure of paid status. I urge you to do that. It is the decent thing. Guy (Help!) 18:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
There certainly is emerging consensus on VPP against the use of permissions in the expectation of payment, but what is much less clear cut is about admins doing paid editing at all, let's say without the use of tools. This is a general concern that is larger than just my own case and the ongoing RfC seems to be the appropriate venue for a "WP:Paid editing policy" to be hashed out. "Whether admins can engage in paid editing" is a question both you and I would much like to see the community agree on, sooner than later, for everyone's sake. I'm not saying "no" and/or "yes" to a new RfA and/or to resigning adminship to continue paid editing and/or to ceasing paid editing to continue admin duties and/or to retiring altogether right at this minute because I don't like making hasty, emotion-driven decisions in the middle of turmoil, but I'm not closing the door definitively on any option. And neither am I dismissing or disregarding your feedback. Ben · Salvidrim!  18:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I respect that re: time, but the concerns aren't just that you were paid to edit. It's that you intentionally went around our guidelines in a way that seems aimed to look like it's in line with our norms here but actually might constitute paid advocacy meatpuppetry. That is a major concern. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:50, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, a major fuckup. There's been worse, of course, but still. A major fuckup. Failing to realize what I saw as good-faithed collaboration amongst friends basically amounted to paid editing meatpuppetry. No avoiding that. Ben · Salvidrim!  19:08, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

@Salvidrim!: - you should also withdraw your reviewer status from AfC. To both Salvidrim and @Soetermans: full transparency would go a long way toward earning forgiveness. In other words, either of both of you could write up a couple of pages on what it is like to work for a paid editing firm? how you made contact? how assignments were made, how do you get paid? where you got your sources for the articles? were new sources created - i.e. published in "RS" just so they could be included? Get down to the nitty-gritty details and we'll all learn something.

As far as a "WP:Paid editing policy", I'll suggest anybody who wants to start a discussion. It might be added to WP:Paid editing disclosure or simply refer to it. The obvious things to include are:

  • the bright line rule (no editing by paid editors in article space), which is a long time part of WP:COI - but almost everybody - including admins - seems to think they can ignore just because it is "just a guideline".
  • no paid use of advanced tools
  • (feel free to add some more here - but the simpler the better in order to get it passed)

Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:17, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

User:Smallbones Soetermans has been beautiful after all this emerged. Very upfront and completely understands what they did wrong. Please go read their TP. And Primefac withdrew the AfC privilege from Soutermans arlready -- that is done. In my view the only remaining issues are those around Salvidrim and progress on that is happening all above and below... Jytdog (talk) 19:50, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Until English Wikipedia adopts an Alternative paid contribution disclosure policies (here are specific directions on how to do that), the currently enforced policy is Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure, which specifically says that of the details surrounding the paid editing, it is only required is that you disclose your employer, client, and affiliation. If EnWiki ends up adopting a stricter policy, then so be it. I don't intend on writing essays on the topic. However, some "nitty-gritty" details: contact was via e-mail & facebook, payments through paypal, we're talking amounts around 10$ to 20$, and lastly I can't speak about "where you get your sources" since at this time I haven't actually edited any article content against payment. Your assessment that "no mainspace paid editing is a brightline rule" also seems to be inaccurate, as the current "strongly discouraged" wording versus your perceived "clearly disallowed" spirit has been the subject of countless debates in the past that haven't resulted in "disallowing mainspace paid edits altogether" (I could be wrong on this, please point out the consensus if there is one I haven't found). Ben · Salvidrim!  19:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
User:Salvidrim!, I understand that this is a position you have held for a long time perhaps, but please step back from that for a minute and think about it, especially in light of this shitstorm and what you wrote above about being human and even you being affected by COI and about rigorously following the policies and guidelines around your paid editing work. The COI guideline is very clear that people with a COI are very strongly discouraged from editing directly, and should put edits through prior review on the talk page of existing articles or through AfC for new articles. What you are going through, is exactly why. This is an essential part of COI management in WP and protects everyone. Disclosure + prior review in light of the disclosure. It is also the standard in academic publishing. Please reconsider your position on this. Please. Jytdog (talk) 19:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Oh, hey, sorry if I wasn't clear enough above -- I would actually support a proposal to change the policy from "strongly discourage mainspace paid edits" to "definitively disallow mainspace paid edits", especially in light if the experience I went through which has somewhat opened my eyes to the fact that even the bestest of intentions doesn't absolve one from having to carefully manage COI. Ben · Salvidrim!  20:13, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
It is lived policy for much of the community. Yes we need to get it that condensed into writing. Jytdog (talk) 21:07, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Their website explicitly begins With 10+ years of experience on Wikipedia. Assuming they're not lying about that figure, I can only see three possibilities; either:
    1. Despite their "full disclosure" claim, whoever's behind this is in fact an experienced Wikipedia editor who isn't disclosing their edits;
    2. One of the three paid editors Jytdog has named here as admitting connections to this site is actually operating the site, and hasn't disclosed that fact;
    3. This is a reboot of an earlier (and likely banned) paid-editing farm, given a fresh coat of paint.
None of these alternatives is very pleasant, and unless I've missed something extremely obvious there's something extremely dubious going on here. While I opposed the change to the Terms of Use and have long been firmly in the "better to allow it and have it out in the open" camp, I recognize that the community disagree with me. I can't see any permutation of possibilities here in which someone, somewhere, isn't acting in extreme bad faith; if the rest of us are expected to comply with policies regardless of whether we personally agree with them, this particular gang should be expected to as well. ‑ Iridescent 19:21, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure what he touts as "10+ years of experience" is just a way to say "we work with editors who have 10+ years of experience" but I agree that choice of words is very poor. For having personally interacted with the guy behind MisterWiki, I can tell you he's definitely not a Wikipedia editor but is a very much identified young guy working PR in the music industry (and others). I wouldn't have agreed to work with unknown or unidentified parties. Ben · Salvidrim!  19:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC)


The actual timeline goes like this.

  • 12 October, other editor submits Datari article (probably paid, we haven’t talked about this person)
  • 12 October, submission declined
  • 16 October Soetermans starts working on the Datari article
  • 19 October, Soetermans does the AfC “submit”

(based on what Salvidrim wrote here and what Soetermans wrote here, Soetermans didn't want the client to have to wait so asked Salvidrim offline to review -- the quote from Soetermans was "I asked Salvidrim asked personally to okay the draft version of Datari Turner on October 20th so Turner, Mister Wiki and I didn't have to wait for a month for the article to be up again.”. But look at the actual timeline above...

  • 3:24 October 20 diff and diff Salvidrim accidentally (he says) reverted and then self-reverted the disclosure of paid editing on Soetermans userpage.
Meant to hit thanks, accidentally hit Rollback. Ben · Salvidrim!  21:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • 3:27 October 20 Salvidrim accepts the AfC submission - note that there was no PAID disclosure on the article, and Salvidrim placed at the TP in this diff
  • Note that Salvidrim says here and here that he had been in no contact with Mister Wiki directly before then.
(and also on Salvidrim! (paid) now Ben · Salvidrim!  21:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC))
  • Nov 1 Salvidrim created the Savidrim! (paid) account and granted pending changes reviewer, rollbacker, page mover and confirmed user rights to his new paid account with edit note confirming my legit alt (intentionally not giving autopatrol since that has been controversial in the past) (TonyBallioni noted this)
  • 1 Nov Salvidrim disclosed that he was starting to work for Mister Wiki on Studio71 note — 6 Nov Salvidrim uploads the Mister Wiki logo to WP and adds the branding to his disclosure page. he is all in, apparently.
  • Nov 1 Salvidim (paid) uses the page mover right to move client's page to preferred branding. (noted by TonyBallioni)
  • 21:36 25 Oct Izad (Studio71 executive) article created by WolvesS
  • 21:36 25 Oct Weinstein (Studio71 executive) article created by WolvesS
  • 2 Nov Weinstain tagged by JJMC89 for N
(and NPOV Ben · Salvidrim!  21:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC))
  • 2 Nov Izad article tagged by JJMC89 for N
(and NPOV Ben · Salvidrim!  21:35, 20 November 2017 (UTC))
  • 12 Nov Salvidrim discloses the two executives articles at his userpage
  • 12 Nov Salvidrim draftifies Weinstein article using page mover right
  • 12 Nov Salvidrim drafties Izad article using page mover right

(this is apparently when the complaining about waiting happens on the facebook chat disclosed here)

  • The two bullets below are among the two that are most upsetting to me. Note this diligence on behalf of the client to get the tags removed, but zero diligence to protect AfC and indeed citing the corrupt AfC. And putting pressure on an independent editor who is looking out for the project. Upsetting.
    • 13:56 17 Nov Salvidrim asks JJMC89 at his talk page to remove the N tag, citing the AfC
    • 2:07 18 Nov Salvidrim follows up witih JJMC89
FWIW, I expected JJMC89 to either tell me how he wanted the page fixed for the maintenance tag to be removed, or to take it to AfD, which is what he ended up doing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Salvidrim! (talkcontribs) 21:36, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • 18 Nov JJMC89 nominates Izad for deletion
  • 18 Nov JJMC89 nominates Weinstein for deletion
  • 18 Nov salvidrim makes initial !vote at Izad article, notes his “integrity” and cites the AfC
  • 18 Nov Salvidrim makes 2nd comment at Izad article, again citing his reputation
  • 18/19 Nov Salvidrim makes initial !vote at AfD for Weinstein, notes his “integrity” and cites the AfC
  • 19 Nov Salvidrim makes 2nd comment at Weinstein AfD
  • 19 Nov JJMC89 notes on Jytdog TP that Salvidrim is editing for pay, for the list at VPP - that kicks off a dialogue with Salvidrim in which all this became clear
  • 19 Nov Jytdog asks at Izad AfD and asks at Weinstein AfD if Salvidrim is being paid for this AfD work
  • 19 Nov Salvidrim gives more-or-less yes answer at Izad and at Weinstein, discloses that the client wanted the tags removed and putting through AfC was Salvidrim’s solution
  • 19 Nov after figuring out the AfC timelines Jytdog noted at Weinstein AfD and at Izad AfD that AfC review was tainted
  • etc.

5 bullets below added in this diff. Not sure this is the best outcome of these matters and am posting here so others can review. Also the continued and immediate lobbying by Salvidrim is hard to understand in light of everything that else that has been happening. Jytdog (talk) 17:16, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

  • 20:50 Nov 20, User:DGG starts to close the AfD and deletes the Izad article (that is a link to the deletion log). At the AfD DGG per the history hits a snag with the formatting in the AfD (Salvidrim had added a hat that messed up the closing bracketing).
  • Apparently DGG made a mistake using the deletion tool and deleted a bunch of stuff (see DGG deletion log)
  • 20:53 Nov 20 Salvidrim (not paid) opens discussion at DGG's talk page about the Afd formatting snag; see section here and that evolves into discussion about the mistake DGG made using the deletion tool, which also includes Salvidrim suggesting to undelete to keep redirects related to Studio71, which DGG agrees to do in the context of fixing the other errors (see deletion log above for the Izad thing)
  • 20:54 Nov 20 Salvidrim (paid) creates a redirect at the Izad article after DGG undeletes it. (so the talk page is deleted, the article page is not)
  • 21:02 Nov 20 Salvidrim (paid) added the pictures of the two executives to the Studio71 article.
Your post just made me notice the Reza Izad revisions were mistakenly ALL restored. The intent was for it to be deleted, and a single revision for its recreation as a valid redirect to the article where he's mentioned. The other previous revisions should all be deleted per the AfD. (Obviously I won't fix it myself). The AfD closure then re-closure really made a mess of things for sure.
As for the edit to Studio71, it wasn't paid or asked for, but I still think that there is no reason not to promote the use of good freely-licensed pictures in the article where the people depicted are mentioned (it's hardly uncommon for company articles to include freely-licensed pics of key founders), and I only did it with Salvidrim! (paid) due to the past association existing. I consider this remedial edit a form of apology for the mess and scrutiny that the two human article subjects had to go through by my fault, when they should have remained declined AfC drafts instead. Ben · Salvidrim!  17:28, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Remember the whole "judgement" thing that this all about? C'mon man. Jytdog (talk) 17:48, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • See also
Thread at Soeterman's TP
thread at my TP with Salvidrim
thread at WolvesS' TP, which I have only just opened.
No point reaching out to Jlauren22, the creator of the Datari article, as this is very clearly a throwaway sock.

3 further events added below, in this diff Jytdog (talk) 04:08, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

  • 00:00 21 November -- Salvidrim removes all advanced user rights from the paid alt account in response to discussion below. Diff stating that and acknowledging mistakes, log
  • 18:12, 21 November 2017 -- Salvidrim posts in new section. I won't try to summarize it.
  • 19:38, 21 November 2017 -- TonyBallioni opens Arbcom request

-- I also want to give kudos to User:JJMC89 who handled all this with a cool head and with grace. Jytdog (talk) 20:52, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

And I will add. It is so mind-numbingly mundane to get drama from paid editors over fucking tags. All this fucking drama over fucking tags. And people trying to get fucking paid to remove fucking tags. What a waste of... everything. Jytdog (talk) 20:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oh geez. Yeah. Umm. That's less than ideal. GMGtalk 21:01, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Further discussion

Hi everyone, I just had evening class and I'm heading home currently. I've been trying to follow the discussion. Are there any questions people want answered specifically? I'll try to reply tomorrow. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 21:42, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi - thanks for checking in. Not from me. Jytdog (talk) 21:50, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
@Soetermans: I think Salvridimi completely misunderstood me above. I'd just like to get some basic facts about how paid editing works on Wikipedia, from the paid editor's side of things. Could you could write up a couple of pages on what it is like to work for a paid editing firm? how you made contact? how assignments were made, how do you get paid? where you got your sources for the articles? were new sources created - i.e. published in "RS" just so they could be included? Who did you contact at the paid editing firm? How much were you paid for an article? How many co-workers were you in contact with on-Wiki? What were your instructions? What were you told before you signed up? Did they mislead you on this?
Do you now think there should be a clearer "WP:Paid editing policy"?
Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:07, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi @Smallbones, sure, I don't mind. Where and how would you like to see it? soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 08:22, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've been sideways following both the discussion here and at Jyt's talk. So, after a good deal of thought, here's my down and dirty. Even if every single other aspect of the checks out as 100% above the table, Salvidrim! using their access to assign advanced rights to an account specifically registered to make paid contributions is an abuse of the tools. Full stop. Actually using them only makes it worse. No user who showed up at PERM with I'm a COI editor, and I'd please like some extra buttons so I can push them to make myself some money is going to get them. They wouldn't get them because no clear minded sysop is going to give it to them. This account got them here because we didn't have a clear minded sysop; we had a sysop with a conflict of interest. This alone is enough for me to strongly suggest resignation as an act of mercy to save us the trouble.
Besides that, essentially I have a conflict of interest, but you can trust me because I'm a sysop, explicit or implied, is a flagrant abuse of position. COI does not have a good intentions clause. The question of your integrity is already settled when you decide to heavily weigh in on an AfD that you wouldn't have know about to begin with if you didn't have a COI. With only these two points considered, I would plead with you personally to resign, because I don't like ArbCom, I've never filed a case there ever, much less to desysop someone, and I would much rather never have to figure it out, but if no one else does, I will. GMGtalk 23:12, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. I don't believe I've ever said something analoguous to "I'm paid but trust me, I'm an admin", although of course it's impossible to avoid people gathering that fact implicitly. As for the rights I've granted my alt: Confirmed is standard and basically meaningless; rollback is a convenience (redundant with Twinkle which anyone can use); pending changes reviewer I agree should go (I didn't really give it a second thought), removed it now; autopatrol has alway been no-go (and with the "no direct mainspace creations" policy likely to pass soon, won't serve any purpose anyways); so I guess the only user right that really is the object of debate is page mover, which I can't see how paid editors could really abuse, the only usefulness in my eye is for draftifying pages without having to get someone else to G6 the leftover mainspace redirect, and perhaps moving drafts out of user sandbox and into draftspace without having leftovers in userspace. If the concern is user/draft moves to mainspace, that's not okay whether or not a redirect is left behind, meaning page mover has no impact. So if it's really a point of controversy I don't mind removing it and having to CSD leftovers, I just don't think it's a problem either way. :) Ben · Salvidrim!  23:25, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't accept this. Back-channel communication with spammers is a terrible idea. Especially for an admin who is also engaged in paid editing. I mean, really, objectively terrible. Guy (Help!) 23:46, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
What? What "backchannel communication with spammers"? Ben · Salvidrim!  23:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You directly executed a round-robin move on Studio 71 to Studio71. This is a stylization change, which is not an uncontroversial move (I've been taken to move reviews over periods in titles before.) This is what your client was branded as, yes, but that might not be what community consensus and our naming conventions determine that it should have been named. By granting yourself page mover access, you were able to bypass review of this move by other editors either at WP:RM/TR or at a full RM. This was a use of tools you granted your paid account from your personal admin account to bypass a community review process in order to make the page title match the preferred brand stylization of your clients. This was not just something that you did accidentally, you were specifically paid to execute that move, and had granted yourself page mover rights 4 minutes before making the disclosure that you were paid to move the article. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:52, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, the fact I honestly believed the move to be totally uncontroversial similarly highlights how much I let the COI influence me despite beliving myself true and uninfluencable. I removed all user rights from the alt. Community processes provide absolutely necessary oversight which should not be bypassed by paid editors. Ben · Salvidrim!  23:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) No, don't thank me. I'm not doing you a favor. I'm not doing anything that gives me any pleasure either. But I don't think you understand. What I am saying is that you have made a series of decisions that calls into serious question your ability to use the tools in an impartial and responsible manner, and a series of decisions that eliminates the confidence in your ability to exercise the measure of community trust given to you. I am not offering constructive feedback to help you improve yourself as a person or an editor. I'm certainly not offering feedback that will allow you to more effectively make personal gain off of Wikipedia while you hold one of the higher positions of community trust the project has to give.
I am telling you that you will either resign the tools, or I will set in motion a discussion to have them taken away from you. The only acceptable responses are "Yes, I will resign the tools" or "No, you will have to take them away from me". GMGtalk 00:01, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
My answer is that I don't think this single fuckup in which I wrongly believed myself "too good to mishandle COI" means I am incapable of fulfilling adequately the duties of an admin. Ben · Salvidrim!  00:20, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Roger that. GMGtalk 00:33, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
hey User:GreenMeansGo, I appreciate your passion on this. I do. My sense is that Salvidrim is looking at this mess (and I really think he is looking at it) and where it came from with respect to how he thought about himself and about how Wikipedia works, and is rethinking things... and he is doing that in public, and in the glare of a lot of attention. Which is really fucking hard. Please give this some time.... Jytdog (talk) 01:10, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
As it happens I'm busy this week. Happy Thanksgiving. Should be plenty of time to consider where the priorities are. I'd like to find some answer that resolves this without me having to read for three hours about how to file an ArbCom case. An answer that involves both paid editing an the mop is not one that resolves this. GMGtalk 01:26, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

User:Salvidrim!, would you be willing to pledge to completely and unconditionally abandon any paid or WP:COI editing, and not to use your admin rights in connection with any WP:COI editor? That might go a ways toward addressing some of the concerns raised here. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:22, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

This is exactly the question I have been asking myself. I'm likely going to end up doing just that, but please let me think over my shit for a day or two. I'd rather have a well-thought-through commitment than a hasty one. Ben · Salvidrim!  01:31, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I know you said you were busy @GreenMeansGo:, but would you care to share your thoughts on how acceptable you think this proposal to be? Ben · Salvidrim!  01:46, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
If you need to think about it, then block your paid account and remove all rights in the interim, but understand that the fact that you need to think about it means I've probably lost all respect for you for the foreseeable future. GMGtalk 01:53, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
If the fact I prefer to carefully think things through instead of taking rash emotional decisions makes you lose respect for me... whatever. Let me sleep on it at least. Ben · Salvidrim!  02:00, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
GMG really, there is no need for big drama. We can wait a few days. If you take some time and learn about Salvidrim you will see that this is not a small thing for him, to have this go so awry. On the bell curve of community opinion about paid editing, he has been -- very publicly (e..g here in an Arbcom election Q&A -- over on the positive-towards-it slope for a long time, and i think his lived experience has given him some things to think about. To really think about. Please give him space. Please. Jytdog (talk) 02:02, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Jytdog, the fact that I'm surprised to find you on the other side of the argument actually makes me take your position more seriously. But I have to disagree nontheless. I think there is a precise and regrettable need for exactly this drama. I don't think I need to tell you this in particular, but maybe it helps to have it said.
I am not at all comfortable with user with COIs having access to specifically OCRP, the admin toolkit, and AfC, in that order and across the board. Having someone actively use that access to further paid editing is beyond toleration in a way that involves little nuance. Trust is far and away our most valuable commodity. It's something we stockpile because it's what makes this thing work. It's valuable precisely because it's not for sale, and putting a price tag on it doesn't just affect individual users and articles; it affects the bedrock of trust.
None of this is in the interest of attacking any individual. We've already lost one long time editor, probably permanently, and we seem certain to here to lose a sysop. No one wants to see these things happen, but it is an acceptable if lamentable loss if it is necessary to protect the integrity of trust, because the integrity of trust is more important than any one contributor. GMGtalk 12:21, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
My remarks to you here have been just asking for you and other folks to not make immediate demands on Salvidrim nor to escalate immediately. Two reasons for that -- the first is to give Salvidrim time to think, and the second is because we don't know what he will come back with, per my note below. While what has happened in the past is very clear (and I ~think~ we have laid out all the key events and interactions, but I should spend some more time to see if i have missed anything), the question of what Salvidrim intends to do in the future is something that everybody in the community will be thinking about and will change how this looks in the eyes of the community. It will. That is how this place works.
In general, when the community considers taking actions against editors (blocks, bans, and i would say even removal of privileges) it is about preventing future harm. I brought KDS4444 to AN because he had no insight into the problems he was causing - he didn't understand COI and what it was doing to him when he edited under it nor why people were reviewing his paid edits -- and the disruption over managing his ever-growing pile of COI edits was never going to stop in my view. With regard to what he did at OTRS, future damage was prevented by removing his access, and the harm he caused WP in the eyes of the people with whom he interacted there cannot be redeemed... but what bothered me the most was the place in him from which the decision was made to abuse OTRS that way. That was unredeemed as well. I don't want a person like that in the community.
If Salvidrim comes back here and says that he will give up paid editing and he really sees all the harm he has caused, and "the lights are on" with respect to the place in him where these bad judgementa and actions came from, I don't think I will support a desysop. The way I think about people, I trust people more who make mistakes and are able to a) see the mistake, and b) see why they made the mistake; c) can articulate that clearly and without bullshit.
I do get it that for some people what Salvidrim has done is an irredeemable breach of trust and they want his bit stripped no matter what decision he comes back with.
I also think that if he wants to keep the bit, him doing that by resigning it and getting re-certified through an RfA is probably the best thing for him and the community.
If he wants to keep the bit and won't voluntarily resubmit to RfA, and this becomes an Arbcom case, a lot will depend on how the case is brought and conducted (will it be "hey look at this" or "you must strip his bit!") and there are serious risks in my view (i think about risks a lot and try to manage them!). First, if it becomes ugly and antagonistic, it will probably harm relationships among editors here long term. Second if the outcome is that he keeps the bit, it risks confusing and de-solidifying the community consensus around these specific issues. And third, there has always been a faction of the community that doesn't care about paid editing (it is getting smaller and weaker in my view) but one of their lines of arguments is that people who do care about it are moralistic witch hunters who themselves cause disruption. If he comes back "with the lights on" and the Arbcom case gets ugly, and he keeps the bit at the end of the case, that line will be able to sing much louder. Which in my view is not good for the long-term effort to move community consensus toward stronger and more clear COI management. (and all these risks of badness are why i think Salvidrim should voluntarily resign the bit and go through a new RfA - if he decides to keep it and won't do that, I think there will be an Arbom or some other case ... and this is really not good for anybody and will require yet more time on this matter. I am very much hoping he sees this)
Of course if there is an Arbcom case it could be conducted well and ends in a way that clarifies and consolidates consensus too.
Those are the kinds of things I am thinking about. Lots of "ifs" on top of other "ifs". But very much with an eye to long term movements in community consensus around COI management and paid editing, as well as what is best in this specific situation. Trying to think through all those things. We all look at things differently.
But more than anything, we should just be waiting at this point, and discussing various options if people want to. Not making demands or escalating ... not until Salvidrim comes back and lets us know his intentions for the future. Jytdog (talk) 15:40, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
There are, at this point, more than a dozen calling for a resignation. Most after my own comments, but my comments stand on their own, and I would have no qualms about being a lone standard bearer were it the case. There is no resolution to this month long sustained poor decision making that is not a resignation or an ArbCom thread. If they want to stop paid editing, then they are welcome to do so, regain the community trust, and get it back. But there is no world in which we allow someone to have the bit when it's not even clear they can be trusted to have access to AfC, and were this not a sysop, they probably would have already lost AfC as well as OTRS without a thought. I'm sorry they made the decision that their standing in the community was worth a few dollars, but that's the decision they made, and have repeatedly not seen any issues with glaring problems until they are spelled out for them in grotesque detail. GMGtalk 16:05, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I think he is horrified with what he has done now that he sees it. Being human is weird that way - we can do that to ourselves. I agree that an Arbcom case is very likely if he doesn't voluntarily resign the bit. Jytdog (talk) 16:16, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

Reiterating my earlier note for all parties in this thread so it doesn't come as a surprise: I'm planning to write up this case and the paid editor/OTRS case for the upcoming Signpost. ☆ Bri (talk) 01:29, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

I don't know when your deadline is, but if it's got at least a few days, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have that haven't been adressed here. Ben · Salvidrim!  01:34, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Negative three days, officially. I guess nothing at this time, maybe after you make your decision on what next steps to take. ☆ Bri (talk) 01:39, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I ask everybody to make sure you have read this diff and this diff by Salvidrim, in the midst of this flood of words. I think this thread is kind of done until we hear back from him. Jytdog (talk) 01:47, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the discussion is "done". While disclosed paid editing by administrators is still a grey area, engaging in the further previously undisclosed activities and favors as Salvadrim has done, even if he now agrees he fucked up, means he has for all intents and purposes probably lost the community's trust. I think that would be how this would play out if it went to AN, ANI, or ArbCom. This is especially true of someone who ran for RfB four months ago under a platform of "what the hell". Why run for RfB? Was he a paid editor at that time? My sense is that if this whole scenario went to AN, ANI, or ArbCom, what would happen for Salvadrim would be a de-sysop and a topic ban from AfC and NPP. Softlavender (talk) 03:59, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I hear that, totally. But the situation is not stable right now. (please just have a look at his current userpage, for example) Please consider --Salvidrim might come back here and say - "I intend to keep on editing for pay, and I want to keep my admin bit." He might say - "I am going to stop editing for pay and I will not start again without getting prior consensus. Please forgive my breach of trust and let me earn it back." He might say, "I am giving up my bit and becoming a paid editor." Or something very different. I think folks will have very different responses to each of those, don't you?
(btw, I didn't say "done", I said "kind of done until we hear back from him."...) Jytdog (talk) 04:09, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree the ball is in his court, but at the end of the day the situation boils down to this: did Salvidrim! in his actions cause a breach of the community's trust in such a way that in order to function as an administrator he needs to show he still has it through a new RfA. I think he has, and that he should resign and resubmit to an RfA with all of this out in the open if he thinks he still has the community's trust. If he thinks this isn't necessary, the only forum that can resolve that question is the Arbitration Committee.
This is true even if he says he will not edit for pay in the future, because a breach of trust did occur on the meatpuppetry and the assigning himself user rights which were used to bypass community processes for actions he was directly paid to make. I don't want to pile on, and I do respect that he is taking this seriously and is thinking about all of his possible responses. I also appreciate how focused you are on him as a person, Jytdog, which is something we sometimes miss in these discussions. I don't think we can have much more conversation here about what to do until he lets us know what he is thinking, but I also think it is important to him to make clear that it is very possible that the next step from here is an arbitration case request: AN or ANI really can't do anything in regards to the trust question. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:45, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Briefly, I think this is a good plan: resign sysop and stand for new RfA. Softlavender (talk) 04:49, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree completely with TonyBallioni here. Paid editors reviewing and accepting each other's AFC submissions shows a serious lapse of judgment that I think is incompatible with the community trust required to remain an admin - and I think the only honorable response here is to resign the admin bit and re-run for RFA. (And I'll echo Tony's suggestion that, failing that, an arb case request seems likely.) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 07:36, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I too agree with TonyBallioni, and echo the calls for a resignation of the bit and a re-rerun at RfA. I have no trust in the editor, and their access to OTRS is now concerning (given we've all been shown how easy it is to solicit work from there) -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 08:39, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I'll keep this brief because I said enough over the KDS4444 issue that resulted in an indef block and ban: In no way is holding advanced rights of any kind compatible with editing for money or reward or helping anyone else to do it. It would be putting a fox in charge of the henhouse. It dosn't matter what good he might have done for the project, Salvidrim! has lost the trust that was invested in him as an admin - just for starters - and any other trust as an editor has gone with it. The choice is clear, either he hands all his tools in, or Arbcom will do it for him and the end result there may even be a block and a ban. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:51, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

On the nature of paid editing

Hi everyone,

Just for readability's sake I'm going to start a subsection in this discussion. I've been thinking a lot about paid editing and COI. I'm not trying to be melodramatic here, but my reputation on Wikipedia is important to me. I've been talking with @Jytdog on the matter on my talk page, and I agree, I completely fucked up with the AfC thing, thinking that notability would somehow take precedence over neutrality and transparancy. One of my paid articles, Datari Turner, is up for deletion; @Smartse said they're wondering about the notability of the articles on John and Sam Shahidi. To try and avoid any confusion or any other repercussions, I have some questions.

  • WP:COI says that "COI editing is strongly discouraged", and WP:PAY says that paid editors are "very strongly discouraged from editing affected articles directly". Instead, paid editors should use {{request edit}} or by posting a note here at COIN. Instead of being actually paid to edit, paid editors would get paid to ask others to do the editing for them. For instance, I've been asked to expand and update the article on Norwegian design duo Arne & Carlos (see diff). That took me a little while to get done, and I think it would be unfair to ask other editors to do the work for me and me getting paid for their work. Is there another possible way to communicate any paid edits? What about using drafts first? Or a "paid articles for creation"?
  • What is the use of a COI maintenance template, when it's already established that there's paid editing been done? The documentation says "Like the other neutrality-related tags, if you place this tag, you should promptly start a discussion on the article's talk page to explain what is non-neutral about the article. If you do not start this discussion, then any editor is justified in removing the tag without warning." WP:WTRMT No. 6 says "Some neutrality-related templates, such as {{COI}} (associated with the conflict of interest guideline) and {{POV}} (associated with the neutral point of view policy), strongly recommend that the tagging editor initiate a discussion (generally on the article's talk page), to support the placement of the tag. If the tagging editor failed to do so, or the discussion is dormant, the template can be removed". Should there be an additional discussion, even when a paid editor has disclosed they have been to do paid editing on the article?
  • I fucked up with the AfC situation. For my actual paid edits, I have been transparent about them, and I've tried to be neutral and objective while writing them. Now I'm wondering, is it actually possible for an experienced editor to do paid editing? It's not even that I want to do paid editing at this point -- I've been an editor for over ten years and were paid to edit seven articles since October 2017 and there's this whole mess -- but there are plenty of people and companies out there that are notable by Wikipedia's standards, but don't have any volunteer writing about them. I thought I could help improve Wikipedia, help them out and make a little money on the side. I thought I did. I'm honestly asking, because I don't know anymore. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 08:22, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
thinking that notability would somehow take precedence over neutrality and transparancy I don't think this is the most important point, but I'd like to point out that both articles you reviewed would have taken me two minutes to decline as non-notable. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:26, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I see your point. With those AfC moves, I wasn't being payed (I wasn't even asked to do so by Mister Wiki), but I wanted to help Salvidrim! out. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 14:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • @Soetermans: I'll just say that it is possible to do paid editing. Not ideal, but possible. But it does mean that your actions are in some way presumed to be potentially compromised, and it requires oversight (of the ordinary type, not WP:OVERSIGHT) by someone who is impartial. It also means that you should not be involved in functions that involve that oversight capacity, as AfC does. The real problem with COI not not necessarily malicious bad faith editors out to abuse Wikipedia. Those are fairly common and usually exceptionally easy to spot. The more difficult problem is that a COI can make good faith editors do corrosive things unknowingly and with the best intentions. I think that, more than anything, is probably what happened here, and all this is a good example of how paid editing is possible, but doesn't mix well with also being a volunteer who at some level occupies a position of respect. GMGtalk 13:17, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for assuming good faith towards me. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 14:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
    • The COI template is a request for an independent person to fully review the content in question. As the quality of paid editing is generally very poor this is generally required. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:23, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
@Soetermans:(edit conflict) I think it would be unfair to ask other editors to do the work for me and me getting paid for their work. This is a very valid question. Take a read of WP:BOGOF ("buy one get one free") for Bri's take on it. As you noted, {{request edit}} is available, but don't expect a quick response!
Templates are primarily there to alert the reader to potential problems. The fact that paid editing has been disclosed means that there can be no dispute about the relevance of adding {{coi}} and there is no need to explain why it is necessary. In other cases the coi may be less clear and rquires a note to explain. Even if there are no obvious problems with the current content, unless the subject has been researched by another editor it's impossible to know whether or not the article is written from a NPOV. Obviously that takes time...
It certainly is possible for an experienced editor to write for pay, but you have to tread very carefully and be aware that some editors consider it distasteful, regardless of policies and guidelines. CorporateM was pretty successful, but saying that he was hounded away from editing in the end. I understand how you can see this could be a win-win, but the volunteer time that is required to ensure that content is neutral is considerable and inevitably when we have money on our minds, judgement is compromised - poor sources are more likely to be used, notability standards lowered and content leers towards promotion. I don't think that there is anyway round that. SmartSE (talk) 13:26, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
WP:BOGOF makes perfect sense, even when it's done by a disclosed paid editor. Other editors still need to double-check if the article is at all notable, or if it has any promotional/advertesing tone to it. So WP:PAY, in my opinion, is a bit vague. Paid editors are strongly encouraged not to edit COI articles directly, but can request edits. It's almost like paid editors are more like paid Wikipedia lobbyists. Does that make any sense at all?
Well, the COI maintenance template goes back to the first point, in that other editors still need to check the article. I get that. While I can proclaim I'm being as objective as possible, there's still a COI.
If paid editing is possible, I think it can only be done with extreme patience. How does the community feel about only allowing drafts for paid edits, for COIN to go over? I know this still sounds like the community and COIN still has to do more work, but in that case, there's direct oversight. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 14:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
(ec) I'm sorry, but this, just yesterday, is just taking the piss. Context: Special:Undelete/OverTheTop, Special:Undelete/OverTheTopSEO, Special:Undelete/, Special:Undelete/OverTheTop (company), Special:Undelete/Over The Top (company), Special:Undelete/Over The Top (digital agency), Special:Undelete/Over The Top (digital marketing), User:Larddwe, Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Scorpion293, Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Jamesflare, User:Simonconrads, User:Willo523, User:Lizziehnazo.
Blacklisted and regex salted. MER-C 13:26, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
If I actually had done some research first, I would've known that trying to create an article on Sheetrit was near impossible. I understand how that might've come across, and I apologize. As you can see from my contributions, I decided to hold off on making any possible COI edits after this statement, including Arne & Carlos, which I was still working on. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 14:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
With respect to paid editing, our readers expect us to be independent of the topics we write about. If we become less and less independent our reputation will be harmed. Paid editing thus does not risk harming **just** your reputation it risks harming the reputation of all of us, and thus why many of us are against those with advanced privileges being allowed to take up the practice. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:23, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Using AfC help reduce promotionalism, because it adds an extra layer of scrutiny before NPP. But it does not decrease the burden on the community, because it requires that extra round. Most article submitted to AfC, especially by obviously promotional editors, require multiple rounds of review at AfC before they're ready to go into mainspace--and promotional editors tend to resubmit articles many times without improvement, and thus require multiple unproductive reviews, and finally the extra step of using MfD to remove them one at a time. Outside COI editors trying to promote themselves will often give up after a few tries; paid editors in the past have sometimes argued to the last ditch to keep the work from being deleted (I think some of this may be due to the typical contract offering refund if removed before X months-- which gives an obvious incentive to use every tactic to delay, even for the most hopeless. DGG ( talk ) 18:52, 21 November 2017 (UTC)


Not going to make any resignation announcement today, or tomorrow, or this week. See User:Salvidrim!. I'd be happy to come to an agreement on some level of community sanctions w/r/t paid editing (such as no more paid edits, no approving paid AfCs/edit-requests/PERM-requests or whatever else needs to be agreed upon) but many commenters above have said there were not interested in discusing that: they want desysopping by shame or by force. I still don't think the COI mishandling (resulting in the AfC collusion or alt-perm assignment) requires desysopping; the AfC collusion could have happened with or without the admin tools, and the alt-perm mistake was acknowledged and reverted (and not particularly griveous or requiring an emergency desysop). I don't think there was a pattern of abuse of tools of behaviour unbecoming of an admin (which is what ArbCom usually looks for). I do think there was a mishandling and underestimating of how strongly and openly COI needs to be tackled and reviewed, and am happy to discuss what restrictions should be put in place to ensure it doesn't become a recurrent problem. This is probably the last I'll say for a while on-wiki unless there is agreement to resolve this with community sanctions (to be agreed upon), or if I end up having to defend at ArbCom. Ben · Salvidrim!  18:12, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

yep, at 19:38, Tony Ballioni filed an Arbcom case request. I cannot say that I disagree with that, based on the post above. Jytdog (talk) 22:59, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Arb votes are now <8/0/1> which makes the opening of a case mandatory, if I understand the process. Not sure why it hasn't kicked off yet; several arbs made it clear they want it to proceed quickly. Reading the tea leaves, maybe a result will be at hand by end of year. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:19, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Extended discussion

This is becoming almost a repeat of the user:KDS4444 case. The community does not want want a desysopping by shame or by force, they just want the natural consequences of abuse of trust to be carried out. Notwithstanding, it will also serve as an important example and warning to all other would be paid editors. On Wikipedia, rank does not have its privileges, so please don't be lulled into a false expectation of leniency because you are an admin - in fact many editors would demand even harsher treatment of those with positions of trust. You don't have much choice - you are not in a position to dictate the terms of what happens next, plea bargaining doesn't come into it. With your action you have lost the community's trust vested in your access to special user rights. KDS couldn't have his sysop bit removed because he wasn't one, but all his others, including OTRS were revoked, with everything terminating in an indef block and ban. That's what will be called for at Arbcom if you prefer not to fall on your sword. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:02, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. Seeking to avoid doing the decent thing is so very 2017, isn't it? Guy (Help!) 22:29, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Salvidrim you misused your admin tools by giving your new "paid" account special privileges. This was a completely "involved" move. You combine that with exchanging approvals at AfC with a paid editor from the same firm with the belief that this should technically get one around policies regulating paid editing and yes we have an issue.
Do we need to explicitly spell out every single thing a paid editor is not allowed to do? This is like KDS arguing "well you have no rule against me using OTRS for making money from those emailing in asking for help". Some things we simple expect admins to know. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:06, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
  • This might be a teachable moment for the community at large thinking about paid editing. From private discussions with other editors who have considered this, I think there are definitely under 5 people doing successful inside-the-lines paid editing. Yet here we have two cases in a row where we have lost otherwise productive and valuable community members because they were unable to follow the guidelines around paid editing. At some point do we revisit the cost-benefit equation? ☆ Bri (talk) 00:16, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Are you willing to name those 5ish? I might have some to add... Jytdog (talk) 01:53, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
We do not need a cost/benefit study. We're not that desperate for editors that we have to put the foxes in charge of the henhouse or be lenient with those that only eat chicken or two because they were hungry. Humour apart, the only way to combat paid editing is to outlaw it completely. 99% of it is underground anyway, and we're not doing too bad at smoking some of it out, especially if it involves users abusing special privileges. Paid editing has more than enough hallmarks to raise sufficient curiosity. If we can continue to catch enough of it, it might be a signal that paid editing doesn't pay, particularly when they find themselves having to refund their customers. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:37, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Comment moved to talkpage #Evolving paid policy per consensus ☆ Bri (talk) 17:26, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

  • This noticeboard is not the place for extended discussion of policy. Please. Jytdog (talk) 16:46, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

I didn't know where to put this so feel free to insert it at the top of the case. JacobMW, Jacob Pace is the self-identified proprietor of Mister Wiki. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:36, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Arne & Carlos

Would someone like to take a look at Arne & Carlos, where I removed an ill-written and wholly promotional paid piece by Soetermans, made (as is disclosed above) in violation of our Terms of Use, and was immediately reverted by SkyWarrior. If editor consensus here is to ahead and let this turn into Wikipaidia, then I for one am done with it. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:52, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

I’ve reverted per NOTSPAM: those promoting causes or events, or issuing public service announcements, even if noncommercial, should use a forum other than Wikipedia to do so. and WP:ONUS. The content was challenged, the burden is on those wanting to include it to achieve consensus for any additions on the talk page. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:06, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi @TonyBallioni, let me start by repeating what I've said before, I'm not going to edit anything that has to do with my previous paid editing and the fuck up I've done. I've also said that I've waived any fees I would receive for editing Arne & Carlos. What I don't understand -- and again, this is by no means intended to try to change anyone's mind on the matter -- is how the entire expanding of the article is considered spam. Isn't there anything worth salvaging? I've used reliable sources, and try to describe the history of the design duo. If you think it's one big promotional piece, so be it. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 20:38, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
See WP:BOGOF for one view on this issue. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:47, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It’s a question of weighting and choosing how to present information and deciding what reliably sourced information should be included and which is just noise. For example: Amazon every Friday sends me an entirely neutral email explaining what content Prime video has so I have some idea of what to watch when I have friends over for a movie night. While it is entirely neutrally worded it is still promotion: Amazon is selectively presenting to me what TV watching information I am using and also trying to get me to use Prime video rather than the myriad of competitors. Any content that is written by a contractor for a company about that company neccesarily is going to be promotional, even if neutrally worded, because the purpose is to increase exposure and knowledge of the company on the 5th most viewed website in the world. It is also likely to highlight areas that the company would themselves think the most important. Content must be written by contributors who are not here to promote the subject so it is an encyclopedia article rather than a business directory entry. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:56, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I see your point. While at the same time I do think there's definitely some stuff worth keeping, I can't trust my own judgement in this matter. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 21:04, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Soetermans, to try to answer your question above: in my opinion not all that you had written was "bad", but the overall result was precisely what we are used to seeing in a paid piece, with trivial detail, self-references, and unsuitable tone. I reverted it outright for several reasons:
  • It was, as you have explained above, written – inadvertently, I believe – in violation of our Terms of Use
  • Our COI guidelines strongly discourage conflicted editors from editing articles directly; in practice, after the deed is done the only form that that discouragement can take is reversion
  • It is far simpler and more productive to expand a short stub than it is to cut down a long screed (though I often do that too); despite WP:BOGOF, I was in the process of adding back a couple of reliable sources you had used, and a little detail from them (including some that you had missed) when my previous edit was reverted by another editor. I stopped at that point, I'm afraid.
I also agree with what Tony says above – that a well-written advertisement is still an advertisement because its purpose is still to advertise. I apologise for my "ill-written" comment above, based on little more than the addition of a superfluous "s" to the invariant noun "reindeer". Regards, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:20, 25 November 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.


Companies/brands created
Biographies created

Download has created or been involved in creation of the articles listed above. What brought me here specifically is his creation HUMAN Healthy Vending, a company whose founders went on to do SnackNation and that article was declared paid editing. It isn't beyond comprehension that they might have commissioned both articles, but one of them – the one by Download – was not declared paid.

Some of these are the kinds of companies desperate for good coverage on WP that have gotten editors in trouble before: ASEA, LLC is a multi-level marketing company; Pepperstone is a forex broker; Superfish was an about-to-go-broke Internet advertising company when created; Homejoy,, WebHostingBuzz, and Zady are e-commerce retail/media/service companies.

I'm assuming in good faith that he or she will be able to tell us about this. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:02, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Other editors ☆ Bri (talk) 20:14, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

This doesn't look promising. Took a harder look at some of Download's contributions that weren't full article creations. Found some stuff that looks like straightforward (ref)spam for stuff like Dream Night Limousine Service, Celebrity Cars Blog, Phoenix Appliance Repair, Mosaic Art Source, (,,, and

At this time in light of everything here, I'm formally asking an admin to remove advanced permissions from Download, namely pending changes, autopatrolled and rollbacker. ☆ Bri (talk) 23:22, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

I've nothing to add about Download, but CU picks up these accounts (confirmed):

and Stephen Shih is definitely dodgy. -- zzuuzz (talk) 00:38, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Above accounts and Stephanie Shih all blocked. Bri, I've removed Download's autopatrolled and pending changes reviewer flags. Don't see any edit warring, so left rollbacker. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:17, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
> refspamming a binary options website [1]
> good faith
The only way it could be worse was if the site belonged to a (ahem) company selling binary options, instead of merely accepting commissions from said "brokers".
@Zzuuzz: Were these accounts editing from webhosts? Their behavior is very similar to Special:Permanentlink/811704448#More_spam_socks. MER-C 12:22, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and yes - I can see some direct connection (again excluding Download). There is also a connection to India. Needless to say, we're range blocking as we go. But if you want feel free to drop me a ping about any more VPNs which turn up, because I'm into blocking them with a vengeance. -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:38, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Have applied the WP:ROLLBACK tool to the socks as possible and appropriate. With very few exceptions their contribs were additions of weirdly routine business transactions such as store closures, appointment of new officers, and acquisitions, especially for fashion retailers. Don't think the encyclopedia will be missing them really. Also noting that in many cases the first edit was a "cover" edit and noting in particular that KnownAsNerd-Kirk's first was related to Australia. ☆ Bri (talk) 07:05, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I'd independently noticed that Download seemed dodgy. Unless there is a very convincing explanation soon, I don't see much choice but to block them. Bri hasn't said, but download has made 75k edits and while I've no clue what proportion are dodgy, it would certainly appear to date back a long while given that was created(sorry admins only) in 2011. @Bri: from your look through the contribs, do you have a feel for the proportion that seem bad and when they begun? SmartSE (talk) 21:30, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Have a look at User:Bri/COIbox70 for the answers you seek ... some obviously benign edits related to obscure musical instruments and living species have already been stripped out, a few remain on the list related to Australian geography. I'd estimate the weirdness was there from the beginning with the thing but they laid off for a while. Definitely by November 2011 when the forex article (Pepperstone) was begun, they were doing it seriously. I'm never sure with these guys whether the other editing was either a cover, or pursued when there was a break in work. The long list of sequentially created species reminded me of another dodgy editor I've come across but not recalling right now who it was. If anybody's got a guess what was going on with the testosterone articles, I'd be happy to hear. Also: does anybody else want to take a guess at what was going on with the "adoptees" and "classroom"? This was a bit disturbing to me as one of them (at the time) was a pre-high school student in my area, whose editing reminds me of someone else in the Vipul case – both perhaps on the Aspberger's spectrum. I don't want to list the adoptees here in case they are just caught up in this unawares, but one was Axmann8 who got indeffed for some atrocious behavior so I don't mind listing them. ☆ Bri (talk) 22:12, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Smartse, I would endorse a block here of download. Fits a pattern we have seen with longterm accounts that go inactive and but exist to offer cover for promotional editing under being an established editor. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I can’t easily clean these up for a few days as I am travelling and using an iPad. The articles urgently need pruning of “sources” that are obvious press releases and advertorial. Guy (Help!) 08:04, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • There's been no word from Download and nobody has objected to this being UPE so I will block them. SmartSE (talk) 22:54, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Bravo Telecom

Moved from Talk:Bravo Telecom

Although I am reticent to get involved with "cleaning up UPE/COI" while, as y'all probably are aware already, I am a party to a ArbCom case request likely to go through, I stumbled upon this situation by complete coincidence and it would probably be negligent of me not to ignore it altogether... so I thought I'd post it here for a look by the good folks at COIN. ;)

I stumbled upon this series of edits to Bravo Telecom in 2015 by (clearly COI/UPE and should possibley be corphardblocked although it's never edited after this 2015 spree) and a previous attempt days earlier by Meding46 as well (see the edit summary of their first edit to the page), which apparently highjacked an article about a Saudi telecom company ([]), replacing it by an article about a (probably non-notable) Canadian one ([]). Not sure what should be done but I can at least leave my thoughts here and tag the article appropriately. IMHO the revisions for the Canadian topic should be histsplit into their own page, then tagged & deleted (or draftified) and the "Bravo Telecom" be restored to the prehighjacked version (and then AfD'ed if necessary)? I do think however that even if both the Saudi & Canadian companies are determined non-notable and deletable, the revisions for the two topics should be histsplit before deletion anyways. Ben · Salvidrim!  03:55, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

  • So.... is this getting ignored because I'm the one who reported it and I'm a pariah traitor to COIN, or is "an article being highjacked by a similarly named company" just not worthy of intervention? :P Ben · Salvidrim!  03:03, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I restored the pre-hijacked version. And I am inclined to send it to AfD (BTW the hijacked version deserves the same). Staszek Lem (talk) 19:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Yea, I mean, both topics are probably deletable at AfD, I'm just concerned that an actual histsplit might be needed since they are explicitly separate topics, even if both end up deleted. I'll be happy to perform the histsplit myself, I've experience with that, I just wanted opinions here before waltzing in. :) Ben · Salvidrim!  19:32, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Hi everyone, I try not to bring edit requests to this forum anymore but this is an unusual case. I opened an edit request for my client, MathWorks, four months ago to the day. It got partially implemented and the request was marked closed, but my replies and revisions were ignored. I reopened the request three months ago to try to get an answer to the remaining items, and the request was closed again today by an editor who briefly looked and believed it was answered already. That editor has now reopened the request, but it is back to the bottom of the queue, which typically means another 2+ months of waiting.

I understand that as a COI editor on Wikipedia, I am relying on the generosity of volunteer editors, and no one owes me their time. However, my client has been patiently waiting for a third of a year for a response to these fairly simple edit requests, and has been under significant internal pressure to make the edits directly despite my advising against it. I humbly ask that, if someone has a moment, they would please take a look at the outstanding items from the original request. The discussion and revisions are marked inline. I've also provided sources for a few items marked with cn tags in a reply on the same thread.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Mary Gaulke (talk) 02:56, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Why should you and your client get priority over all the other edits in the queue? I'm sure all those other people think their requests are just as important. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:11, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I completely understand, but my client has been bumped to the bottom of the queue twice now, most recently because of a simple error, and is now looking at an additional 2+ month wait on top of the 4 months already waited. In my mind that is above and beyond the typical edit request experience. Mary Gaulke (talk) 15:06, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Compared to a lot of paid editors I've seen, MaryGaulke has a commendable reputation for good-faith contributions and compliance with WP:PAID. I will examine some of these edit requests soon when time permits. --Drm310 🍁 (talk) 20:42, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
@Drm310: I apologize for pestering, but checking in if this is still on your radar. Thank you so much. Mary Gaulke (talk) 21:10, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
User:Shock Brigade Harvester Boris MaryGaulke is very much one of the "good guys" and she gets WP, in my experience. Reviewing her stuff is pretty quick, generally. Something to reward. Jytdog (talk) 03:57, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

OK, thanks Drm310 and Jytdog. Agreed we shouldn't discourage paid editors who actually are willing to play by the rules. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:41, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

This is not really a paid editor, it is a company representative requesting edits exactly as we advise via OTRS. Guy (Help!) 22:17, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Publicis PR company and US subsidiaries

Lion Resources static IPs

For context, reports it belongs to Lion Resources 35 West Wacker Drive Chicago. The following firms give that as their address: Arc, MSL Group, Leo Burnett Chicago, Starcom MediaVest Group, SMG Multicultural. reports it belongs to Lion Resources 424 2nd Ave. W. Seattle. The following firms give that as their address: Publicis Seattle, Publicis Dialog, Optimedia, MSLGROUP, Razorfish (corroborated here). Most or all of the firms are Publicis subsidiaries.

articles and involved SPAs

I think there's a pretty significant problem in a lot of articles related to the firm Publicis and their subs. The accounts listed above are virtual 100% SPAs for the company. Some have edited pretty recently, others not so recently.

Requesting that an admin examine deleted revisions of The Legacy Lab based on this test edit. ☆ Bri (talk) 05:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Bri. Jytdog (talk) 16:21, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Obviously most of the accounts (& many anons) listed above never declared a COI. The community needs to decide whether the three four declarations that have been made are sufficient per WP:COIDISCLOSEPAY. One was made just today on this page so we can conclude they are aware of this conversation and able to participate if they choose. I'll just note that no clients are visible anywhere as far as I can see, and only YashO listed specific articles. Disclosing clients is specifically required under WP:PAID policy and ToU. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:56, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

For the record, the Lion Resources IP address range to has been blocked for 3 years. The COI-declared accounts should still be able to edit when logged in. ~Anachronist (talk) 17:33, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

User: Nygiants123

Nygiants123 is a new account. I'd like to think that a new editor can learn how to use detailed edit summaries, provide well-formatted references, and work incredibly fast (making 10 substantial additions between 15:06 and 15:59 on 29 November 2017), but this looks more like an experienced editor. However, Nygiants123 has accidenly tagged most of these edits as minor, and has used poor sources all around.

I've reverted 9 of the 10 rapid additions , the exception of the one for Simon Sinek, as being poorly sourced, most overly promotional as well.

There seems to be more going on here. Those 10 rapid additions were to BLPs, many (most? all?) of which have had rather blatant COI editing problems. The subsequent edits are to recreate twice-deleted Joe Vitale (author) BLP, where Nygiants123 has apparently made sure that the new article is different than the previously deleted ones, which Nygiants123 was able to find copies external to Wikipedia.

This looks exactly what I'd expect from a paid editor, so I wanted it to at least be documented here. I'm wondering if someone recognizes this editing behavior as a possible sock? --Ronz (talk) 18:32, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Let me guess, Amyxcell (SPI) who had created Joe Vitale previously? The prior COIN discussion (also part 2) is both interesting and depressing. - ☆ Bri (talk) 02:25, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Looks related. I've not looked closely at the edits from this account yet. --Ronz (talk) 04:40, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Looks like the same editor. I've reviewed the edits, leaving a couple. --Ronz (talk) 17:28, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

Jordanyear23 actually returned to make this edit that is blantantly promotional on its own. I don't think an experienced editor would make such a mistake, so I'm guessing this is meatpuppetry. I suppose a SPI is the proper next step. --Ronz (talk) 19:18, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Nygiants123 is back as well. (More to follow when I have time). --Ronz (talk) 19:31, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Alan Morrison (poet)

I first encountered an article in a poor state of affairs, suffering from considerable lack of NPOV as caused by a COI editor. I embarked upon a large scale tidy to bring within wiki standards, mindful of excess content that was inappropriate, unencyclopaedic or unreferenced. I shared the rationale on the talk page at the time (Lacks sources for entire sections. The tone of language. The excessive linking to external sites. Overly detailed.) The subject immediately (within 8 hours) resisted the change and reverted. Another editor (AdventurousMe) agreed, and was challenged by the subject (What is your problem about this page? You seem to have a real agenda here which is quite puzzling.). There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing on that talk page and when I returned to it, I made swingeing cuts from this to this to bring it back to an acceptable standard. Yorkshades and Translated1 are the same person. Unsure why two accounts exist, but they both exclusively edit this account only, having first done so in 2008. They are linked as proven by this edit. I issued standard COI warnings on their talk page (using a template) and was given this response: How dare you accuse me of 'soapboxing', 'promotion' or 'advertising', none of which I have done on the page you mention. How dare you remove so much neutral information from the article too. There's a lot of inappropriateness in this person's behaviour, from 3RR, ignoring request upon request to address the COI policy, refusing to acknowledge NPOV and other key guidelines, whataboutisms and then issuing barely-veiled legal threats such as 'defamation by implication'. BJBeamish, the creator of the article, has weighed in with his opinion too (calling me a troll). Discussion on the talk page has and always will reach an impasse until intervention from another party. Rayman60 (talk) 01:26, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi User:Rayman60. Thanks for bringing this here. You did exactly the right thing in doing so. This is a very difficult situation, where concerns about conflict of interest arise from a content dispute, an effort is made to address that, and the two get tangled up in the mind of the other person. I believe you are correct that there is a COI here and I have opened a discussion with Translated1, to which I hope they will respond calmly. It will help, if you step back from both the content at the article, and from Translated1's talk page, and let me see if I can work with them to get oriented to what they should do. Once that is done, we can turn back to the article and fix it. It does need fixing, but there is no deadline here, and it will be better if we can bring it into line with Translated1's help and blessing, as opposed to over their dead body as it were.
Again thank you for identifying and raising the issue. I hope the approach I am suggesting works for you. Jytdog (talk) 01:27, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your efforts Jytdog. I note you have worked hard on this since it has been raised. Now you are involved, I'm happy to step back and allow you to direct the page's development. Much appreciated and hope it works out! Rayman60 (talk) 02:52, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Koch Brothers wikiwashing

The Intercept reports in a December 1 story that Koch brothers have been employing a PR firm, New Media Strategies, owned by Meredith Corporation, to wikiwash articles related to themselves. Editors named in the investigation are listed above, include the MBMadmirer sockfarm (from 2011!). Fang alleged that Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lee Fang, initiated by WWB/NMS Bill was retaliatory or something based on his former association with New Media Strategies. Personally, that seems a stretch, but I thought it should be discussed. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:37, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

An expanded version of what I said to Bri on my user talk page: I worked for NMS until July 2010, which included some work on a few Koch-related topics using a now-retired account, NMS Bill; see the disclosure in my first edit request here, and a favorable summary of my work, by a volunteer editor some time later, here. (FWIW, none of my disclosed, mostly hands-off work is mentioned in Fang's article.) After I left, someone else apparently created an account to edit directly and without disclosure, and the SPI resulted in several account blockings. Fang actually wrote about this very same incident for Think Progress at the time. I'd forgotten putting Fang's entry up for deletion (from my personal account) about a year later, and I don't remember why I decided to do so, except as you can see in my AfD rationale that I felt the case for Notability was lacking. For the record, I still do. WWB (talk) 03:57, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm inclined to take WWB's explanation at face value and not pursue it any further.
However some interesting things came up in this investigative journalism. Do high-profile PR firms infiltrate Wikipedia? Yes. Do they create fake news sites to help their clients? Yes (written about further in here). Something to keep in mind for other cases – foxes in the henhouse. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)


Came by this on NPP, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring to COI (I am however a COI newbie). Antenoels is an account with less than 100 edits that is creating well fleshed articles (formatting, references, infoboxes, etc.) on non-notable subjects (to wit - two of which were recreations of deleted, per AFD, articles). Thepeacebone is a 9 edit user whose sole editing is editing an article (one day after) Antenoels created Alana Camille Bunte + added the article to Why Not Model Management and Laguna Beach High School. Antenoels created YapStone (a payment company, probably notable), Tom Villante (YapStone founder, probably not notable), did major work on David Rasnick to refactor so AIDs denial isn't the "main thing" diff, recreated Chinedu Echeruo (was AFDed to redirect, recreated - [2]), major work on Yahu Blackwell (created 30 days previously by user:Roland H Lester (a 16 edit account that created this, did some work Gary Lockett (another boxer) and in 2014 edited Restoration Hardware (to remove/tone down a scandal)), and re-created (deleted in April 2017 AfD) California Closets. Given the subject matter on the one hand, and the seemingly experienced editing on the other - I thought it appropriate to raise here.Icewhiz (talk) 12:17, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

To me, it looks like a case of possible sockpuppetry or undisclosed paid editing, at least for Antenoels, who could easily fix the problem by going to WP:PAID and complying with the instructions there to tag his/her user page appropriately. ~Anachronist (talk) 17:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this is SPI worthy. See: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Roland H Lester TonyBallioni (talk) 17:36, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
This is LogAntiLog. I've tagged all but one of the pages as G5 and sent the other to AfD. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:06, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm starting a discussion here based upon User talk:Gibmul#Paid editing, etc. and some comments made at User talk:Drmies#Possible paid editing at Yoshiki (musician). Gibmul is a new account who has stated on their user page that they are a newspaper journalist who occassionally does some paid editing. They have only stated on their user talk that they are being paid to update Yoshiki (musician), but have added {{Connected contributor (paid)}} to Talk:Silent Siren, Talk:Alex Cubis, Draft talk:Ximble as well as some other userspace drafts they are currenlty working on. The account is only a month old, but so far pretty much every edit seems to be associated with paid editing.

Gibmul also stated in in the aforementioned "Paid editing, etc." thread that they are using the sandboxes as proof pages for others to assess and review. It's not clear, however, who these others are and no indication has been given in any of the "Paid declarations" regarding who Gibmul's employer or employers are. Then, there is this statement about being a working newspaper reporter and used to this type of thing which taken in combination with this major addition made to the "Silent Siren" article (without any apparent article talk page discussion) might actually indicate a lack of familiarity with WP:NOT.

So, I think the community should require Gibmul to clarify who their employer or employers are as well as to require that article talk pages be used per WP:COIADVICE and WP:COIREQ to propose any future major revisions to any article in which they are being paid to update. That way the content can be assessed on Wikipedia by other editors watching the article so that anything too PR-ish or otherwise not compliant with relevant policies and guidelines can be cleaned up as needed. I think it's important that some specific boundaries with respect to COI/PAID editing be established early on if Gibmul is going to be a regular contributor to Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:23, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this to COIN, Marchjuly. I have opened a discussion with them at their talk page. Jytdog (talk) 18:48, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for stepping in Jytdog. Because of your user talk page post, we know now who Gibmul's employer is and at least one more article he/she has been paid to edit. Unfortunately, I think we also know the following:
  1. The "others" who are reviewing Gibmul's work on these two articles are likely his employer(s), and these reviews are taking place off-Wikipedia without much, if any, serious consideration being given to Wikipedia's policy and guidelines and to editing by consensus.
  2. Gibmul's employer seems to misunderstanding WP:NOT and WP:OWN. The employer(s) may believe they are being objective in acting in the interest of their clients and their clients’ fans, but those interests are not really objective in a Wikipedia perspective. The employer seems to feel "objective" means "their preferred version" or "the best version for the fans" which is an indication in my opinion of WP:NOTHERE.
  3. Although Gibmul is trying be upon front about being paid and is making a good faith attempt to discuss these things, the primarily concern still seems to be to make the employer happy. Of course, keeping the client happy is important when you’re being paid to do a job, but I think this is not necessarily in Wikipedia’s best interests.
Anyway, since you're handling things on Gibmul's user talk, then I stay away from the page unless asked to comment or I need to post there for some other reason. I do think Gibmul should be asked to clarify his paid/COI status on the other drafts being worked on. Connected contributor templates were added to their talk pages as well. — Marchjuly (talk) 23:34, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Facilius / Karishma Rawtani

Thread originally titled "paid editing company", re-titled by Salvidrim! on 21:38, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

We appear to have a company that will both create you a Wikipedia page after first creating the references required to support said page.

They go through AfD looking for customers. For those with OTRS details are here Ticket:2017120510013262 With respect to the quality of the references used in paid for articles this is not really surprising. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Admin Name: Facilius Inc
Admin Organization:
Admin Street: 801 Royals Accord, 14th road, Khar West
Admin City: Mumbai
Admin State/Province: Other
Admin Postal Code: 400052
Admin Country: IN
Admin Phone: +91.9167102602
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: [email protected]
[] is a redirect to [] but the WHOIS data includes the registrant name Registrant Name: Karishma Rawtani, which is consistent with information on the Facilius website as well as found a comment by an ex-employee on a blog post which James linked to on User:Doc James/Paid Editing Companies. Hopefully this helps. Ben · Salvidrim!  22:55, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
What brought them to my attention was Doc James' post at archive 118. The contribs of the editor Uyarafath are not fully disclosed -- we have client but not employer. According to this, there is some kind of unspecified connection between the editor and a PR firm we can conclude is Facilius based on evidence in a related Flickr upload. At best this is skirting the COI disclosure requirements. ☆ Bri (talk) 23:29, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • 50% of the articles have been deleted, including multiple G11s, some A7s, and a G4 on top of AfDs. The TOU don't matter at this point, if this was an ordinary user who had not declared, we would be blocking as a spam only account who continues to upload advertisements to Wikipedia despite warnings (and I consider every CSD notice a warning). Unless there is opposition, I suggest blocking for using Wikipedia as a means of promotion in violation of WP:NOTSPAM. Bri, this is the perfect example of what we have been talking about: editors who declare will almost never actually follow policies and guidelines. They should not be exempt simply because they meet the minimum legal requirement for hitting the save button. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:41, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
His other biographical creations and drafts ought to be looked at too:
  • Limnesh Augustine
  • Priya Belliappa
  • John Adrain
  • Elliott Michael Smith
  • Draft:Jade Mya
  • Draft:UrbanClap
They all look like their notability is questionable. I've already sent Elliott Michael Smith to AfD. – Joe (talk) 00:13, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • It is long past time to create a speedy deletion criterion for material created in violation of the terms of use. The present situation, where people will defend to the death spam articles created in blatant violation of the ToU, is insane. Guy (Help!) 00:15, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Am in complete agreement on blocking for the reasons stated. If another was needed, this barely readable response raises further CIR questions around comprehension of sourcing and content requirements here. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:16, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
In almost all cases, we end up being able to use G5. Generally we identify the problem, try to discuss it with the editor, and end up with a block. At which point anything they create becomes eligible for G5. Prior to that G11 works in the most obvious cases, an AfD for anything borderline. - Bilby (talk) 00:21, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Based on the above concerns, and the additional articles brought up by Joe, I have blocked the account for violating local English Wikipedia policy. There is no need to determine if these were a TOU violation, as they have repeatedly been violating the local policies that control here. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:23, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • By the way, this isn't the only firm offering a package of undisclosed Wikipedia advertising and fake news. Another entity listed on Doc James' compendium says this: "To generate press coverage, we put you in contact with multiple press agencies and guarantee a minimum of 5-7 major media mentions. Once this first hurdle is cleared we can begin work on your Wikipedia page." ☆ Bri (talk) 22:09, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
It has happened quite a lot in the past. Morning277 used to offer the same service (and for all I know still does), and it isn't unusual to see job ads for media coverage in order to get into Wikipedia. That said, if the site accepts fake stories, it isn't a reliable source. If it doesn't, and you can get covered in it, then it seems fair enough. - Bilby (talk) 22:29, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Another Karishma Rawtani editor

Bri, Doc James, TonyBallioni : it was pointed out on my talk page that Mr RD also discloses having created several articles for Karishma Rawtani, and that for some reason, new account Rglor just left a talk page message saying they're "interested in you article creation service" [sic].... at least a few of the paid articles don't have talk page {{connected contributor (paid)}} templates and definitely should. Mr RD's relationship with Karishma Rawtani was also discussed in February 2016 with Jytdog here: User talk:Mr RD/Archive 5#Conflict of interest in Wikipedia. Ben · Salvidrim!  21:38, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi, I do not know Rglor. I used to work with Karishma over a year ago. I've not worked with her since then. For new articles where I have WP:COI, I proceed through WP:AFC or talk page. I only add images and do minor changes that are uncontroversial and non-promotional myself. Apart from these, I prefer community consensus. Mr RD 08:39, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Mark Z. Jacobson

This article should have been deleted under WP:CSD#G5, it was created by a sock of a blocked or banned user. The edit history shows that much of the content is the result of an ill-tempered back and forth between the subject, who has not reacted at all to repeated requests to stop adding promotional content, and one other editor. The subject is contentious, and the edit history is a mess. Much of the grief seems to track back to a lawsuit initiated by the subject against critics of a paper he wrote (see [3]). That's more or less guaranteed to make you no friends in science, I guess.

I think the subject is notable, but the article needs a careful review because it is virtually impossible by now to establish which bits are promotional guff by the subject, what's left over from the original spamming sockpuppet, and what's actually good content that adequately reflects the dominant view independent of the subject. I wonder if I should start by stubbing it? Guy (Help!) 08:43, 6 December 2017 (UTC).

Huge mess. The coi editor needs at least a final warning at this point. The article would probably best be approached as a rewrite. --Ronz (talk) 17:43, 6 December 2017 (UTC)


Editor is a SPA who only edits articles related to The BMJ. Their very first edit was to request an edit on Talk:The BMJ so they are very aware that they have a COI and shouldn't be using Wikipedia to promote their organization and its members. They have created new articles at least one of which, Theodora Bloom, is a WP:COPYVIO. I warned them about COI editing but they continued editing Peter Ashman which they created. All of their edits are completely unreferenced and sometimes they actually delete referenced material to replace it with material pasted from elsewhere. GnomeSweetGnome (talk) 15:50, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Hello, I am not sure if this is the right place to engage, but I need to know where to go from here. Firstly, I have added a COI statement to my own page and identified the pages for which it exists--doing so in the format you suggested. 2 editors here at BMJ have existing pages on Wikipedia which I would like to be able to make uncontentious amendments to. In addition, there are 2 further editors I would like to add to Wikipedia with a new page for each. At the same time, I would like to standardise the entries, making them briefer, and including less personal information, for instance. My completely innocuous edits to the 2 existing pages have been removed--I think because they were made by me, not because of any objection to the content. I have a DOI reference to add to the Peter Ashman page if it can be reinstated. I wish also to assure you that there is no copyright violation in the case of Theodora Bloom's entry. I had never seen the source you mentioned. Perhaps it is in the nature of biographical entries that two people's summary of the same career will be very similar. That said, I am of course happy to try and rewrite it to make it less like the source you quote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DavidAllen,TheBMJ (talkcontribs) 10:06, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Kershaw/Kai/Shun single-purpose editor

KAI owns brands Kershaw, Shun, Zero Tolerance Knives. The work by this editor is unusually focused on those brands including many indications of promotion listed at WP:Identifying PR in the Zero Tolerance Knives article.

  • Lists of patents
  • Unknown or at least non-notable awards – many awarded at trade shows where the company participates
  • TV show product placements
  • "Collaborations" with commercial brands [4] and knifemakers that look like namedropping
  • Company-related sources
    • Corp spokesperson interview
    • Press releases ("outdoor wire")

That article at least needs a thorough scrub for COI. I'm afraid if you take them out, you're left with items in basically a few listings in harwdware compendiums like Gun Digest Book of Tactical Gear.

Also: This appears to have been created as an AfC submission but I don't see any indications that it was approved as such. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:15, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

The submission was submitted on June 1; the guy must've gotten tired of waiting, and he copied from the draft into the article and got the draft deleted Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:25, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
So he waited eight whole days then did a cut/paste of the original content including the AfC headers to the current article and requested deletion of Draft:Zero Tolerance Knives? Interesting. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:30, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Bri (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). I wanted to respond to your concerns so we can clear this up. I’ve been focusing on these pages because the Kershaw page was being cluttered with information about Shun and Zero Tolerance. I felt all three brands were notable and deserve their own pages, because the Kershaw page was previously confusing. I’d like to address your points.
•If patents are not an acceptable or notable addition for Wikipedia pages, then I apologize. I looked at other pages for inspiration, and noticed that patents were cited in knife articles without issue, notably, the CRKT page.
•I don’t see how referencing these awards is inappropriate. They were listed on the Kershaw page, without issue, before I started editing. Instead of cluttering them in long paragraph text, I decided to consolidate them in a formatted table. Both Blade Show and International Forum Design have Wikipedia pages, so I don’t see how they aren’t notable. If they didn’t have dedicated pages, I would not have included them.
•Again, several TV show product placements were listed in the Kershaw article before I started editing. I wanted to separate these references to avoid confusion.
•I included collaborations because that appears to be the standard for many knife pages. In particular, the Strider Knives page already referenced Zero Tolerance Knives, so I found it appropriate to make that connection on the ZT page. Readers may want to know what knifemakers have worked with certain companies. For example, I took inspiration from the Spyderco page, which includes a list of knifemakers. The specific Kershaw collaboration your referenced was not an edit made by me.
•I tried my best to keep sources limited to unaffiliated books, magazines and websites. I see your point about that Outdoor Wire press release, and I agree it can be removed or changed. As for the website, if a journalistic interview with a spokesman is a bad source, then I agree it should be changed as well.
As for the submission process, I am new to Wikipedia, so I was confused by the process. I initially thought AtC was the only way to submit, but when I realized you could submit a page instantly, I switched to that option. I thought both methods were valid. If it is better for these articles to be submitted through AtC, then I apologize. Staplepuffs27 (talk) 18:24, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Other articles have problems too; as you noted Spyderco#List of Collaborators shouldn't be there. Taking inspiration from any article related to consumer goods, consumer finance, etc. should be done very carefully unless it recently passed GA or FA review. The knife industry is interesting because it has "celebrity" artisans/craftsmen like Bob Kramer (I created that article). I'll let another editor take a crack at this before I reply further. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:07, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Staplepuffs27 confirmed on their talkpage that they are an employee of the knife company. But the articles still need attention by an uninvolved editor ☆ Bri (talk) 03:22, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Maximiliano Korstanje (continued)

(See also earlier discussion on this page)

WP:SPA is steadily reinserting resume-padding and WP:PEACOCK into this article after it was pruned back. Guy (Help!) 21:09, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

And today a new WP:SPA has registered and started to edit the same article. PamD 23:42, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

American PR firm

very probably related
strong-ish link, possibly related
weak link but possible

I'll be away for a few days, just wanted to start a discussion on a new finding. There's a PR firm for various creatives that lists themselves as representing Food Babe, Marc Eco, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, Tucker Max, and others since ~2012. The bulk of their business seems to be around printed works especially business related self-improvement. Putting 2 and 2 together leads to at least a few editors. Not ready to name the firm yet; pending discussion with trusted admins about limitations of WP:OUTING. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:13, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Brian Whelan related articles

All edits promote either Whelen or Morra. I asked on the 4th if there was any relationship but there have been no edits since. Doug Weller talk 15:09, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Morgan & Morgan PA

Morgan & Morgan is a personal injury law firm based in Florida, founded by John Morgan and his wife, United For Care is a marijuana legalization campaign in Florida founded supported and run by John M. The top anon ids to the M & M office and has been templated for COI by @Deli nk: Various templates on all the articles or editors (some removed) as well as AfDs. Just guessing from the name, but Weedtruck might be motivated by an interest in United For Care, but is almost an SPA for the law firm, John Morgan and other lawyers or alumni or the firm, and articles of companies they are suing e.g. [5] minor?. Also this first anon [6] which is just a link to A M&M You Can Sue These Guys ad That strikes me as a new low for paid editing - law firms editing their court opponents' articles. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:06, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

It is not a new low, unfortunately. [7]Bri (talk) 23:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I think editing the articles of the companies you are suing (2 of the 3 above) plus Chinese drywall scandal and sinkhole suit and linking them to your ads soliciting plaintiffs/customers to sue them, looks to be beyond the legal ethics pale. I'll look more at the articles of people they sued tomorrow.
It's now clear that the 144.121. anon is the same editor as Weedtruck. WT added very similar paragraphs to 7 of 8 articles of lawyers employed by the firm. Same section heading, same wording, style, and length, similar links. The IP added the eighth. Same section heading, same wording, style, and length, and similar link.
Weedtruck started and is the main contributor to the 3 main articles and of course the IP is assigned to the M&M offices. @Newyorkbrad: does this look consistent with normal legal ethics? Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:23, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Jumping in here as someone with some knowledge about this: I'm not familiar with Florida's professional responsibility rules, but under my state's rules (which are derived from model rules and are likely very similar to those from other states), a lawyer is prohibited from engaging in conduct "involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation." If there's an active lawsuit against the party, it gets even worse: if the opponent's Wikipedia article can be viewed as having "potential evidentiary value," an attorney can't alter it or counsel anyone else to do so (which, frankly, applies to both sides as far as the court is going to be concerned). There's also a provision against attorneys making extrajudicial statements that might prejudice the trier of fact (i.e. a potential jury pool); query whether a revision of an opponent's Wikipedia article constitutes an attorney's "statement".
TL;DR: Not to me. @Newyorkbrad:'s mileage may vary but I rather doubt it. - Julietdeltalima (talk) 20:37, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Further clarification, though: If there's not an active or anticipated lawsuit, and the law firm's additions to the article are merely unflattering but nonetheless true, I don't see an explicit breach of professional conduct guidelines. This is way too interesting a question for me to get out of my head now that I'm done with lunch, dang it! - Julietdeltalima (talk) 20:45, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

I am not going to opine on anyone's legal ethics on-wiki. However, the Arbitration Committee has repeatedly opined (including in decisions I've written) that "[a]n editor who is involved in an off-wiki controversy or dispute with another individual should generally refrain from editing the biographical article on that individual." With modification the same general principle may be relevant here. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:51, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Added Jan Schlichtmann to the article list. Another attorney with the firm and (according to the article, based on a press release) its operation. Public corp records confirm is a John Morgan thing. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:42, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


NYT corporate IP contribs include a long passage on how great their managing editor is, their new China website, also creating bios of other staff members. ☆ Bri (talk) 18:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Cook's Kitchen possible UPE account

I inquired yesterday as to this account's paid status and received no response. They joined in October and instantly started creating articles on organizations and BLPs that have UPE hallmarks. Bringing this here for review of the articles and also to determine whether a UPE/spam block is warranted.

Thanks to all for their thoughts and help. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:18, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

My apologies, I have answered on my own page now. I wasn’t paid by the legal orgs I wrote about, but am a member, of them, is there a way I should be declaring a conflict of interest for this? Cook's Kitchen (talk) 18:36, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Funny how an editor can go straight from asking newb questions at Teahouse to building an entire article about a reputation management firm in a single edit. And of course headshots of corp execs w/o licensing. ☆ Bri (talk) 23:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

KaKao Bank

Articles concerning a Korean bank (KaKao Bank) have been popping up recently. The articles are all formatted along similar lines, with similar, promotion-filled sections (such as "Services" and "Advantages") appearing in all three incarnations of the article. A trio of editors have been involved in creating the article(s) in question, indicating to me this could be a case of either undisclosed paid editing, COI editing, or sock puppetry. It is also interesting to note that, per their edit histories, one of the three edits ([8]) the sandbox of another. Requesting that we watch the subject to see if the article is created again. SamHolt6 (talk) 05:07, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

No.Probably part of student-assignments.Pinging @Piotrus: whose (probable) lack of on-site interaction is concerning to me.Winged BladesGodric 05:20, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
@SamHolt6 and Winged Blades of Godric: Yes, this is part of an educational project (see [9]). I don't understand what you mean by lack of on-site interaction, through most feedback the students got from me was verbal, in class, not on wiki, because, well, this is a physical class. The students I believe did disregard my instructions to work in the sandbox and posted something in the mainspace before it was ready, but there is little I can do about people (students) not following instructions (you know, teaching, herding cats, similar problems :D). Anyway, I fully agree that the article has issues with promotional/how-to no-nos, and I've told students to gut most of the problematic content. I am in fact quite involve in AfDs on WP:CORPSPAM (see this essay I wrote), so the last thing I do is to create more spam promo problems, but I do believe this company is notable (it clearly passes media coverage test, just google for "Kakao Bank" - there are reliable, English sources and a ton more in Korean), and hopefully this project will end up producing an encyclopedic, non-spammy entry. In either case, this is not a COI issue. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:16, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks:)Winged BladesGodric 06:20, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
@Piotrus: Thanks for the response and the clarification Piotrus. I was worried when I saw the article show up under different names, I though someone was trying to circumvent the deletion log. All good now though. Cheers. SamHolt6 (talk) 19:15, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Kaleida Health

Well I didn't really want to do this, as the editor appears to be cooperative, but I feel like this COI needs to be dealt with by the officials because I don't know much about the policies (they seem a little bit vague and ambiguous).

To the marketing editor, I have no vendetta against you or Kaleida. However, WP:COI mandates that editors connected to a subject disclose their interests, and then follow through on associated actions. Buffaboy talk 06:42, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

The IP is a static IP assigned to the hospital group, and the editor has self-identified "I am the director of marketing for Kaleida Health" but uses "we" in edits – they should be encouraged to create an individual account for starters. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:20, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Southbank Investment Research

A majority of Tony Many's involve promoting Southbank Investment Research. The two websites listed above, that Tony Many is adding to many articles, are owned by Southbank Investment Research. (talk) 12:18, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Hmm..By all chances, a paid editor.Moving the article to draft.Winged BladesGodric 05:15, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Maria Goranova and articles alleged to be created by her

Hi all, not sure what to do with this information other than to drop it here. This IP editor flagged three articles as having COI issues:

The IP claimed that Maria Goranova wrote all three articles, about herself and her colleagues. Editor Allensbacher echoed similar dissatisfaction here, here and [10]. Pinging Allensbacher in case they wish to express their objections here. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:45, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

One other note: The creator of these articles Mlgorano was indeffed in 2014 for copyright infringement, so I don't think pinging them or dropping a COIN notice on their talk page is useful. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:48, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Biographies are my hobby. Yet, I have no specific issues with these three persons; clear cases of COI.Allensbacher (talk) 21:06, 12 December 2017
  • Clear-cut COI.I would have draftified but given the timeline, it's way too old.@TonyBallioni:--Any take on their notability? I think, they are.Winged BladesGodric 05:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Watkin Tudor Jones

I would rather need some help here, Watkin Tudor Jones and here, Yolandi Visser. Allensbacher (talk) 21:06, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Particularly the Watkin Tudor Jones article is constantly being redesigned by people obviously fascinated with their star [as indicated by their usernames (including codes such as Zef, designation of the band's background sub-culture movement)]. Allensbacher (talk) 21:19, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Looking.Winged BladesGodric 16:25, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Allensbacher:--YesY One has been cleaned up extensively and one redirected.Shall the promotional activities resume, leave a ping.Regards:)Winged BladesGodric 05:01, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Meg Maheu and False Alarm (band)

An editor identifying herself as Meg Maheu has previously been promoting the punk band False Alarm along with associated musicians. Recently she began putting herself forward as a possible writer for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone.[11] (As if applying for the job via Wikipedia would ever work.)

A quick Google search shows Maheu is connected to the band. She is also posting online videos of bandmember interviews.

A week ago, Jauerback blocked one of the IPs,[12] Ferret blocked a couple of them,[13][14] and Widr blocked another.[15] Rather than playing whack-a-mole, how about a rangeblock? I know that a rangeblock on Special:Contributions/2600:1:B157:E2D5:0:0:0:0/41 would have some collateral damage. Is the disruption from Maheu bad enough for that? Binksternet (talk) 20:09, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

COI with Watkin Tudor Jones (Die Antwood) supportes

Editors like Centerone and Gene Zef2 continue to add and insist on (self-)promotional and non-encyclopedic content supported by low-quality sources such as videos. On the article talk page, Centerone clearly demonstrated a lack of distance to the topic already. User Gene Zef2's lack of distance is already visible by their username, which contains Zef, designation of the South-African counter-movement to which Watkin Tudor Jones' band Die Antwoord (supposedly) belongs. Allensbacher (talk) 05:41, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

@Allensbacher: A fan editing an article on a musician they like is not a conflict of interest. Do you have any actual evidence that Centerone has a COI? If not all I see is a content dispute that is best resolved through the normal channels (e.g. WP:RSN, WP:3O, WP:RFC). – Joe (talk) 12:00, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

I have absolutely no COI when it comes to Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, Die Antwoord, or any of their previous projects, collaborators or otherwise. I have no relation with them, their record labels, publishing companies, the movie studios they worked with, or anything else, either personally or professionally. I've never been to any performances by these artists, and I don't even own any of their work either in physical or digital form. My knowledge and interest in the subject came simply as the result of trying to figure out what the deal with them was when "Enter the Ninja" by Die Antwoord broke out internationally; I mentioned some of this in the talk page when I was making a plea to NOT make a change that WTJ / Ninja wanted made. allensbacher is seemingly misrepresenting or misinterpreting both my relationship with other editors Gene Zef2, as well as my edits - statements he has made both on this page, on my talk page, and on the talk page of the article; I don't insist on adding either 'promotional' nor non-ecyclopedic content, nor am I _adding_ youtube links (if I revert a bad edit that had that link as a reference, then it gets restored.) As Joe Roe said, this is really about a content, or edit dispute. allensbacher made several edits which I reverted and invited him to discuss on the talk page, which he did not do; some examples are, he removed something for being redundant which it wasn't, and then he subsequently removed it for being a hobby, which it also wasn't, and for being yellow journalism, which it wasn't. In my discussion on the talk page I point to the youtube videos because when discussing art, IMO it is helpful to actually look at the art, and the artmaking process. We may need better references in the article, but it might be more helpful if he just asked for better references rather than gutting important parts of the article, and eliciting the help of others to do so based on his beliefs; it would be nice if he assumed good faith first. I'm sorry if this is longer, more emotional, and more detailed than it needs to be, but this whole process, and being accused of edit warring and a COI really leaves a bad taste in my mouth and has been bothering me. Centerone (talk) 21:06, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

I've not seen any reason to call out Gene Zef as having a negative COI on any ZEF related pages. He's made multiple positive contributions to the Yolandi Visser page (where I encountered him,) and has been more than willing to discuss any changes or reversions that have been made. Chaheel Riens (talk) 21:36, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Additional: I've just noticed that allensbacher is potentially NPOV themselves with the comment "the South-African counter-movement to which Watkin Tudor Jones' band Die Antwoord (supposedly) belongs". The inclusion of "(supposedly)" is of concern when one of the few things that is sourced throughout the Zef, Die Andwoord, Watkin Tudor Jones and Yolandi Visser articles is that Zef is a major part of the group identity. I accept that better - or additional - sources could probably be found, but they are sourced nonetheless. Chaheel Riens (talk) 23:23, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

World Branding Forum

I have engaged with the editor on their talkpage, User_talk:SMasters#World_Branding_Forum, and they state, "No, I have never, ever had any relationships of any kind with any of these people or companies, now or in the past." [the first four articles above] They also state, "For Bryan Loo, it is the same situation as the rest. I get Google alerts on branding stories and I sometimes think they are notable enough and work on them. I have seen the state of the current article and it is nothing like how I first drafted it a long time ago." In my reply, I noted, "As for Bryan Loo, you started it on 8 June 2014, and last edited it on 9 June. However, the article you created is much more promotional than the current version." That version can be seen here, Bryan Loo on 9 June 2014. This is a very experienced editor with an edit count over 50,000 (although they have edited little in recent years), yet many of the articles they have created seem to bear the classic hallmarks of COI/paid editing, especially if one looks at the article versions at the time of their last edits to them. The thoughts of other editors on this matter would be much appreciated. Edwardx (talk) 13:00, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Comment--Interesting.Will be looking in details.Winged BladesGodric 16:19, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Let me help connect the dots. I work as a copy editor and have worked for various news outlets. When I started in Wikipedia, I was primarily based in Malaysia. I have a personal interest in branding and related topics. As such, quite a few of my contributions are on subjects based in Malaysia. In the early to mid 2000s, there was a lot of media coverage about the Superbrands project in Malaysia. This is where I started the Superbrands article. It is worth noting that this is a global organisation and not just one that is in Malaysia. One of the people who ran the Malaysian project, Peter Pek, was often quoted in the media and he was also quite well known in the advertising and marketing circles, and had quite a number of speaking engagements at conferences, etc. Now, in 2007, a reality TV show called The Firm hit Malaysian TV screens. At the time, I remember that it was one of the highest rated English language shows on local TV, and I started the show's article. This is where you can connect the dots, because Peter Pek, Ng Ping Ho and Anne Low (listed above) were all involved in this show. By the way, Ng was actually the director and not a "reality TV star" as someone said in his AfD. If you want to mention these people, you will also need to mention Chan Boon Yong, Zafrul Aziz and Joel Neoh Eu-Jin, who all featured in the show. All these articles were started by me. Pek, Chan and Zafrul were the millionaires judges, and are all well known in their respective industries. Joel was winner of the first season, and went on to become Vice President of Groupon Asia-Pacific. Christian Neal Capes was also on TV as a reality TV star at around the same time which is when I started writing about him. For Bryan Loo, this caught my attention as he won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. I have mentioned in his AfD that it would be worthwhile asking Wikipedia:WikiProject Malaysia for comments as he has been in the news quite a bit and also appears in social publications like Tatler, etc. As for why the editing appeared to take place in one day, you can see from how the article was started. I wrote it in my sandbox and moved the entire article to start it. It was certainly not written in a day. As I follow Peter Pek and set up alerts for him I found that he had left Malaysia and was now attached with the non-profit Branding Forum. It also organises an awards programme that is interesting to me since I like branding and it is related to this. In addition, the winners are all very large brands (many are public listed companies). Now, while I am somewhat flattered that people think that I am so well connected to personally know all these rich and famous people, I can assure you that I have never met them in real life, nor do I have any connections with them whatsoever. So, I am not sure how there is any conflict of interest here. As for paid editing, I wish! Unfortunately, none of these rich and famous people paid me a penny. I have also started (or made major contributions to) Anthony Soter Fernandez (Malaysia's first cardinal), Lillian Too (Malaysian author), Marcel Knobil (author and Superbrands founder), Arab Banking Corporation and EMI Classics, none of whom I have any relationships with. I did contribute quite a bit to Murphy Pakiam (Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur), and he is the only one that I have actually met in real life and took this picture. So, if you have any further questions, do ask away and I will be happy to answer them. – SMasters (talk) 14:25, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • SMasters states above, "I work as a copy editor and have worked for various news outlets". This only makes their article on Bryan Loo (specifically the version they last edited on 9 June 2014) more of a concern. And they are stating above that Loo won the "Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award", exactly the same claim as in that article version. However, the cited source makes it clear that it was only in respect of Malaysia, and that he was not even the overall country award recipient. This is the sort of creative use of sources that we expect to see from COI/paid editors. In any event, a cursory glance at the sheer number of baubles handed out by the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award program suggests that they may be close to vanity awards. Edwardx (talk) 23:40, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Sorry, is this a discussion about COI or notability? I never said that I wrote an entire article because he won an award. I said that this caught my attention, as it was covered in the local news. I wrote about him because he started a franchise that grew to a hundred branches and people were talking about it. And what are you trying to say above? That all copy editors here are paid to edit? I have disclosed this on my user page for many years, so why is it suddenly a concern? If you want notability then look at [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], and [23]. I'm sorry but if you have issues with the article then go and join the AfD discussion. I have also explained that I have no COI with this. I will answer any questions, but I don't know what else to say. It looks like you have made up your mind and nothing will change it. – SMasters (talk) 11:58, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Draft:Julian Emeshali

Charlene Callahan has disclosed here what her motivation is to create articles about Beverly Hills Fashion Paris Group, Julian Emeshali and herself. Additionally, here she states that she has been asked by her boss to create an article about him. She has been warned about COI on her talk page, but has not made the necessary disclosure of her connection to the company and people. She is continuing to edit in a promotional way. Additionally, I suspect the Charlene Callahan account is a WP:SOCK of Coffinkid. Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 13:10, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

"I need to create 2 business pages, 1 page for me, and 1 page for a dear friend of mine" definitely sounds like a conflict of interest. @Charleen Callahan: we need you to come to this conversation and tell us what's going on. ☆ Bri (talk) 22:05, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Curb Safe Charmer I really appreciate all of your help, I have been doing lots of reading thanks to the various pages you recommend. I now understand the problem Charleen was facing when she tried... See I am Charleen's roommate, as I have already helped her understand the COI which is also the reason I didn't try to publish an article on Charleen. Though I have no affiliation with Julian nor the company and Charleen is not in any way compensating me for this. I have done all of my own research, I felt bad, I have never seen a person so frustrated, and as I stated on my talk page I love to write so I just had to help her. Please allow me to submit my version of the article, being that it does comply with all of Wikipedia's terms. Including COI because I, myself have no personal affiliation with the man or company, and again after doing some research on the COI topic, will not be publishing an article about Charleen and I explained this to her as well. I may still need a bit of help with structuring this article however. Thank you all so very much for taking the time. --Coffinkid (talk) 15:36, 14 December 2017 (UTC)Coffinkid
I assume you wanted to ping @Curb Safe Charmer: Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:41, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Anil Aggrawal

Pretty blatant self-publicising here. What should be done with these articles? Guy (Help!) 14:11, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

They were both discussed in a 2009 AfD, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anil Aggrawal. Both Aggrawal and his Journal are notable, and the articles are short and NPOV, although as DGG has pointed out, the name is unfortunate. Edwardx (talk) 16:32, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
The name of the journal may be unfortunate, but that's what the name is, and we have to use it. It's a notable journal by our standards . The bio was originally self-written, but is currently neutral (actually, I think some of what has been recently removed by another editor could be restored), and he's notable also. We have a number of other self-written faculty bios from earlier years . In principle, they could be rewritten from scratch, but thee would be no actual advantage in doing so. What would be more useful is to make sure they are NPOV, DGG ( talk ) 18:44, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


Latest in a long line of people who have showed up to promote this marketing software - used to send mass emails i.e. spam. I asked them about COI and they said no, but their behavior and "arguments" say something else. Just listing here to get more eyes. I do not think we will get a different answer from the person. Jytdog (talk) 22:36, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

The editor did nominate the article for deletion and mentioned me in a conflict of interest noticeboard just because he didn't want my edits being placed. The editor has a long history of trimming a long informative article (GetResponse) down in addition to many edit war warnings and disruptive editing. He failed to provide a reasonable explanation for his adamant behavior repeatedly trimming the article. This editor has some other intentions, well, in addition to, building a good encyclopedia. Kevdaren (talk) 22:53, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


After being asked directly by Jytdog, Annakoppad has disclosed being commissioned to write the following articles last month:

They are typical paid editing fare: poorly written, promotional biographies of marginally notable figures or articles on small companies. I'm also suspicious of the following articles, which Annakoppad has not disclosed but look similar:

I tried PRODding the first lot but two newish accounts appeared to object [24][25] – one a disclosed paid editor, one who hasn't disclosed but who has edited many of the above articles. Annakoppad removed the rest herself. Help reviewing and cleaning these up as necessary would be appreciated. – Joe (talk) 15:08, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

@TonyBallioni: You're quite right, the initial edit was a word-for-word copy of the version deleted at Avaza (software), so it's eligible for G4. That presumably also implies that Annakoppad is either part of the same sockfarm, or somehow obtained a copy of the deleted version from them. – Joe (talk) 15:44, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • @Joe Roe: Just for info Annakoppad declares herself, on her user page, to be female, so "himself" above should be "herself". PamD 22:03, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Another FYI for Joe, I have seen "how to" guides for Wikispammers that say to get the old copy from Deletionpedia. So the two possibilities you enumerated aren't the only two. ☆ Bri (talk) 22:32, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
The question here is if they are WP:PROXYING, are a new freelancer, or are part of the same ring but are acting as a good hand account. If they are simply a new freelancer that got the content from a mirror, we don’t necessarily have an issue. If it is PROXYING or a new semi-white hat good hand account, there are problems. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:41, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Everyone, I was paid to write the ones that I mentioned earlier. The rest of the articles are unpaid ones that I did primarily out of interest not for money. I did not realize that Avaza software was deleted once before. Manjunath sent me the details for uploading on Wikipedia and I did it.I am very keen on writing more and more, so I take up any freelancing job and I find little help in writing wikipedia articles. The only way I can contribute more is by writing as much as possible. Writing on wikipedia is a hobby after doing a full time job and I invest a lot of time to pursue this as a hobby. So, please be considerable when you think that I am part of a bigger scam on Wikipedia.Annakoppad (talk) 02:23, 16 December 2017 (UTC)Annakoppad
Hi Annakoppad. Thanks for responding. The problem is that your disclosures of paid editing have been neither complete nor forthcoming. For example, on Talk:Blueshift Labs Inc, you edited a paid editing tag that another user had placed, implying you admitted it was edited for pay, yet it was not one of the articles you mentioned to Jytdog when he asked you directly. So which is it, were you paid to write an article on Blueshift Labs or not?
Wikipedia is a fine hobby and I'm glad you enjoy contributing, but it is not a good place for freelance writing, especially of the type you have been doing (e.g. re-adding deleted material, creating promotional articles on non-notable people and companies). You should know from reading WP:PAID and WP:COI that the community strongly disapproves of paid editing, and as you can see below your less-than-open approach is already raising the possibility that you might be indefinitely blocked from editing. I would strongly advise you to stop and work with Jytdog to fully disclose all your paid editing up to this point. – Joe (talk) 11:42, 16 December 2017 (UTC)  
  • given that Annakoppad has stopped working with me on their talk page, I suggest an indefinite block until they finish making their disclosures and i can talk them through the rest of the COI management process. Hard to work with someone who won't cooperate. Jytdog (talk) 04:31, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I gather that they have disclosed the client for the articles concerned. Is the issue simply that you believe that they have other articles which they have not disclosed? - Bilby (talk) 05:13, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Jytdog, Please let me know what information you require for completing the COI management process. Thanks Annakoppad (talk) 12:00, 16 December 2017 (UTC)Annakoppad


I first encountered Sustainability12345 trying to edit the Ria Persad article, changing her last name to reflect the fact that she had gone back to her original name as she had been divorced. I undid that edit, but I did later move the page (you may revert it, I shall openly say that I did not consider the merits of moving or not moving it). Some edits of interest here are this very nice peacock term added. Problems for me only started arising when I removed this random list of awards, when this is almost always not encyclopedic. They undid that, saying that this is the article's notability licence in a sense (which is obviously not correct unless in an WP:A7 sense of course).

Attempting to discuss with this editor hasn't led to too much, they haven't replied to a single thing on their user talk page. I then noticed that they created a draft, Draft:Bryan Benitez McClelland, which I initially declined for being too promotional sounding. It is very interesting how this article has been constructed -- the whole article created in one hit, unformatted, then formatting added later. It is as if the article was sent to the editor in one whole go and then it was the job of Sustainibility12345 to make the relevant formatting changes. Seems like undisclosed paid editing to me. !dave 16:49, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Melissa Miles McCarter

"Lissahoop". Google that username. First hit shows you that this is an autobiography plus a biography of her husband. The husband's biography included much self-published material, Amazon sales links and the like. I pruned it, it is as close to an A7 as you get, I think AFD is next for this. The autobiography, I am not so sure. What do people think? Guy (Help!) 19:56, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Tony Ahn PR/reputation management

The first six listed articles were started by the same editor. A reputation management company claims responsibility for getting one of them on WP front page. Does this look like paid editing to anybody else? ☆ Bri (talk) 23:06, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Just found another source that the firm claims two more articles were done by the firm [26]. It looks like they are definitely socking active with multiple accounts on Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company. Also making edit requests for paying clients with his "personal" account here.
At this time I think it would be appropriate to require that Ahn disclose all his personal and firm-affiliated accounts, and all works created for clients per WP:PAID in order to continue as an editor in good standing here. It is obvious that this has not been complied with for Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, at least. Articles created with "alternate" account are highly suspect as well -- horse betting, CEOs, lifestyle bloggers; the usual. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:26, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Should we begin tagging these articles with {{UDP}}? Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:10, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Noting existence of Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive929#Undisclosed paid editing concerning the same editor. IMO the opener was correct when they stated "extensive review of this user's practices seems to be in prompt order". Thread was closed July, 2016 with the comment "not undisclosed". By my standards, disclosure has been haphazard and hard to locate (i.e. articles are not uniformly tagged). Not sure what the best remedy is here and I'm AGF that Tony Ahn will show up to this discussion and give us reason for hope. ☆ Bri (talk) 20:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd be inclined to tag these, and review for resume-padding and actual notability. Guy (Help!) 20:30, 16 December 2017 (UTC)


I saw IiitHyd make an edit adding information about International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad to Felicity.[27] Their username is clearly an abbreviation for that organization so I placed a WP:COI template on their talk page. They didn't respond but instead a half an hour later created Draft:Felicity, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad and edited the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad article.[28] GnomeSweetGnome (talk) 16:11, 16 December 2017 (UTC)


The edits of Constructo have the hallmarks of undisclosed paid editing. Of particular concern is the photo of Seth Levine, File:Seth_Levine_photo.png, sourced to a blog post from 2010 [29]. However, the photo was added to the article recently since it doesn't appear in the snapshot from November 2016 (compare [30] and [31]). The caption states "This photo has been published under a Creative Commons 1.0 Universal Public Domain declaration", which is unusual under normal circumstances. Experience shows that photos are often released under a free license over the course of a paid editing contract. Rentier (talk) 22:27, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

I will disclose my relationship with Seth Levine on my talk page here in a moment, and any other conflicts of interest I have. This includes disclosures on two pages. I am now aware of this rule and want to follow it this point forward. Constructo (talk) 07:44, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I have also disclosed any conflicts on my user page. Constructo (talk) 08:08, 17 December 2017 (UTC)