Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

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Welcome to Conflict of interest Noticeboard (COIN)
This Conflict of interest/Noticeboard (COIN) page is for determining whether a specific editor has a conflict of interest (COI) for a specific article and whether an edit by a COIN-declared COI editor does not meet a requirement of the Conflict of Interest guideline. A conflict of interest may occur when an editor has a close personal or business connections with article topics. An edit by a COIN-declared COI editor may not meet a requirement of the COI guideline when the edit advances outside interests more than it advances the aims of Wikipedia. Post here if you are concerned that an editor has a COI, and is using Wikipedia to promote their own interests at the expense of neutrality. For content disputes, try proposing changes at the article talk page first and otherwise follow the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution procedural policy. Sections older than 14 days archived by Lowercase sigmabot III.
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Additional notes:
  • This page should only be used when ordinary talk page discussion has been attempted and failed to resolve the issue, such as when an editor has repeatedly added problematic material over an extended period.
  • Be careful not to out other editors by posting personal information here. Wikipedia's policy against harassment takes precedence over the COI guideline. If private information is needed to resolve COI editing, and if the issue is serious enough to warrant it, editors can email with the evidence, or email any functionary for advice. Functionaries and members of the Arbitration Committee will review private evidence and take any necessary action.
  • The COI guideline does not absolutely prohibit people with a connection to a subject from editing articles on that subject. Editors who have such a connection can still comply with the COI guideline by discussing proposed article changes first, or by making uncontroversial edits. COI allegations should not be used as a "trump card" in disputes over article content. However, paid editing without disclosure is prohibited. Consider using the template series {{Uw-paid1}} through {{Uw-paid4}}.
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1. COIN consensus determines that an editor has a COI for a specific article. In response, the relevant article talk pages may be tagged with {{Connected contributor}}, the article page may be tagged with {{COI}}, and/or the user may be warned via {{subst:uw-coi|Article}}.
2. COIN consensus determines that an editor does not have a COI for a specific article. In response, editors should refrain from further accusing that editor of having a conflict of interest. Feel free to repost at COIN if additional COI evidence comes to light that was not previously addressed.
3. There is no COIN consensus. Here, Lowercase sigmabot III will automatically archive the thread when it is older than 14 days.
  • Once COIN declares that an editor has a COI for a specific article, COIN (or a variety of other noticeboards) may be used to determine whether an edit by a COIN declared COI editor does not meet a requirement of the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest guideline.
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Help answer requested edits
Category:Requested edits is where COI editors have placed the {{Request edit}} template:

Sam Ayoub[edit]

I believe this user (Kirsh80) to be the individual this page is about (Sam Ayoub), or someone working for them. The page is about a rugby league manager. Every edit made by this user has been to update pages to include hyperlinks to the individuals personal linkedin page and the individuals personal business website. This is clearly promotional. The users most recent edit is predominantly self promotional of Sam Ayoub, and describes the individuals personal business and its practices, while also linking to the personal website again. It provided no citation


User NYCLion is a single-purpose account with an obvious conflict of interest, promoting the company Lionbridge not only in the company main article but also in multiple other articles. Literally every substantial edit (in Women and video games, Omnichannel, Languages of India, Telephone interpreting, Game testing, Video game localization and Legal translation) from this user adds content that is either directly promoting Lionbridge or is based on a PR publication authored by various Lionbridge employees. Counting 7 articles and the main article this is clearly a systematic campaign to place as many PR sources and other promotional content about Lionbridge as possible into Wikipedia articles.

All of these edits should be reverted, but I have already been accused of trolling after removing phrases like "The company also orchestrates a network of one million passionate experts across more than 5000 cities, partnering with brands to create culturally rich experiences." from Lionbridge's main article. I'd appreciate an uninvolved editor looking into the case - two COI warnings on the user talkpage have been ignored. GermanJoe (talk) 21:32, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

GermanJoe, concur - SPA, probable COI/paid. The sources on the Lionbridge article look pretty bad as well, but I don't have the time right now to evaluate whether to apply a chainsaw to the article to cut out the fluff and promo or just outright send it to AfD. creffpublic a creffett franchise (talk to the boss) 21:39, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
I trimmed quite a bit of garbage from Lionbridge, including a staggering ten uses of Businesswire/PRNewswire as a source.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 01:55, 5 March 2020 (UTC)
The promotional content in the main article and the ref spam have been cleaned up. Thank you all for the feedback and help adressing this issue. GermanJoe (talk) 23:21, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
The editor restored the reverted edits. I don't want to edit war with them, so I will just leave a note here. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 19:53, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Has started reinstating the same edits - Arjayay (talk) 20:09, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
I have reverted the recent promotional edits and sent the editor another request to join this discussion here before making any similar edits. GermanJoe (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

The Eye Wales[edit]

Edits by User:Martin Clintergate‎ to the new article The Eye Wales and Nation.Cymru seem to entirely depend on citations from a fringe blog. It's the first I've ever heard of the website and the articles do not have any notability or credibility. It does have however a very promotional tone for the creator of the website, Phil Parry.

Very recently, some uncanny edits have popped up from User: which lead me to question if this is a sockpuppet for Clintergate or another connected figure with The Eye Wales. It particularly likes [making edits to citations from Phil Parry], who is the operator of The Eye Wales.

The user seems to be making [a number of deletions] to Nation.Cymru which is coincidentally a larger news website and politically opposing website to The Eye Wales. The article makes a number of [assertions] to the website's quality and reputation (not based on third party sources but often its own) and seems to generally be a highly promotional, non notable page created by user(s) with a conflict of interest. Llemiles (talk) 23:56, 9 March 2020 (UTC)

I’m not an administrator, but User talk: Martin Clintergate is not a sockpuppet. They are not involved or indeed have ever met anyone from either Nation Cymru or The Eye Wales according to the sockpuppet investigation. I filed a sockpuppet report to be sure this person is an sockpuppet. Don’t falsely accuse innocent people who are good contributors to Wikipedia.JaneciaTaylor (talk) 14:42, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. I would add that I submitted the query in good faith due to edits which raised genuine COI concerns for me, and I would not target 'good contributors'. In this instance both are new users with few or no previous edits. I would also raise that it is Martin who has accused myself of having a 'political axe to grind'. I'm not satisfied that any of my points regarding the UK daylight hour edits of his were addressed, despite the fact he claims to live in Thailand. Nor were the similarities between his and the IP user's edits addressed. Just trying to objectively judge the facts as best I can here. Llemiles (talk) 23:36, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I am not a new user as I joined wiki in 2015. However I only recently got involved again on my retirement from Reuters TV here in Asia. My location however is irrelevant. My main interest is in foreign news sites and Wales comes under that category in my book. Having done a lot of reading on Welsh politics over the last few months it has become apparent to me that there is a small group of Welsh language supporters who would like independence from the UK. There appears to be an element of propaganda in the way they operate. This will be one of my main interests in Wiki in the future.regards Martin Clintergate (talk) 00:53, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

The Lauter[edit]

While checking a range for an unrelated case, I came across multiple accounts editing the same articles. Meatpuppetry is possible but all accounts are using the same model device with many on the same IPs at the same time on different occasions on three different mobile ISPs. They do not look like institutional devices since they are mobile. Best case, we have some COI editors possibly with UPE promoting a museum and Rolf Lauter. Worst case, we have some socking going on. I did not file an SPI case but putting this here for more investigation. I recommend reading the userpage for The Lauter first and then looking at the other userpages. Beans. Several of the accounts are inserting references to Rolf Lauter works.

See Commons pages User:R. Lauter and User talk:R. Lauter to see that account's activity there.

Zissuu attempted to reset the password for the account Otgo and may have succeeded. Also, see this. Notice Mazarin account made this edit.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:25, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a forum; this noticeboard section is about the accounts and articles listed above. A long wall of unrelated discussion and accusations has been collapsed for now. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:11, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Guten Tag Berean Hunter, bei der Durchsicht deiner Darstellung sehe ich, dass du auf Anfrage oder Anweisung eines deutschen Kunsthändlers mit einer Privatgalerie in Frankfurt handelst [[1]], der in extensiver Weise für seine Künstler wirbt und aus Eigen Interessen und persönlichen Gründen einen Feldzug gegen bestimmte Personen aus der Kultur in Frankfurt und Deutschland geführt hat und führt. Dieses Vorgehen widerspricht den Werten, die Wikipedia aufgestellt hat und ist mehr als fragwürdig. Die respektlose Behandlung und die Ablehnung von historischen Tatsachen, die keinesfalls mit Werbung oder Promotion eines alten, seit Jahren pensionierten Wissenschaftlers zu tun haben, zeigt leider, dass einige WP Autoren unter konstruierten Sachverhalten versuchen, in die Privatsphäre von verschiedenen Wissenschaftlern einzugreifen und ihre wertvollen Recherchen und ihre konstruktive wissenschaftliche Arbeit für Wikipedia zu zerstören. Ein weiteres trauriges Kapitel der Wikipedia Geschichte, wie in dem Zeitungsartikel von 2015 beschrieben. [[2]] Geschichte und Wissenschaft stehen über den persönlichen Interessen von Menschen und müssen beschützt, nicht durch persönliche Interessen unterhöhlt werden. Greetings from Germany to America

Hello Berean Hunter, When looking through your presentation, I see that you are working on request or instruction from a German art dealer [[3]] who advertises extensively for his artists and is leading campaigns against certain people from the culture in Frankfurt and Germany for his own interests and personal reasons. This approach contradicts the values that Wikipedia has set up and is more than questionable. The disrespectful treatment and rejection of historical facts, which in no way have anything to do with the advertising or promotion of an old art historian who has been retired for years, unfortunately shows that some WP authors try to interfere with the privacy of various scientists and their valuable research under constructed circumstances and destroy their historically helpful work for Wikipedia. Another sad chapter in Wikipedia history, as described in the 2015 newspaper article. [[4]] History and science are above the personal interests of people and must be protected, not undermined by personal interests. Greetings from Germany to America --PH_C 12:41, 12 March 2020 (UTC) PhilCult84 talk

"I see that you are working on request or instruction from a German art dealer..."...No, I'm not and I find your accusation bizarre. Also, this has nothing to do with personal interests. You have not explained the apparent conflict of interest that you and the others seem to share. Instead of accusing me of anything, try telling us what is going on.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:52, 13 March 2020 (UTC)


Collapse German. This is
Guten Abend Berean Hunter und User:Melcous, zur Klärung der von mir früher angegebenen Zusammenhänge sende ich folgende Informationen, die nach meiner Meinung in der Tat «richtige» Werbung und Promotion eines Galeristen und Kunstbuch Verlegers für seine Künstler darstellen, während es sich bei der Person Lauter um einen Kunstwissenschaftler mit einer nach Meinung vieler Kunsthistoriker sehr Qualität vollen Ausstellungs- und Publikationsliste handelt, den man nicht promoten muss, da die Fakten für sich sprechen. Personen die die Kultur prägen sind sicher nicht mit privaten Kunsthändlern zu vergleichen, die wo auch immer Werbung machen, um ihren wirtschaftlichen Status zu verbessern. Ich bin selbst Historiker und habe keine grosse Lust, Diskussionen über böswillige Angriffe von Autoren gegen andere zu begleiten. Es ist wichtig, Fakten in Wikipedia einzustellen und diese zur Bearbeitung und Diskussion zu geben, nicht andere respektlos und destruktiv zu behandeln.

Referenz Artmax / Galerie Slutzky: Benutzer:Slutzky wurde durch Benutzer:Raymond als Benutzer:Artmax verändert:

Referenz Artmax "Galerie Slutzky" Bearbeitung der Künstler seiner Galerie in Wikipedia:

Referenz Webpage Galerie mit Künstlern: Beispiele aus der Künstlerliste Galerie Slutzky: Thomas Bayrle, Tobias Rehberger, Gerhard Richter, Walter Stöhrer

Referenzen zu den Künstlern in Wikipedia (Auswahl): Thomas Bayrle (37 contributions):

Tobias Rehberger (20 contributions):

Gerhard Richter (56 contributions):

Walter Stöhrer (20 contributions):


Good evening Berean Hunter and User:Melcous, To clarify the connections I have given earlier, I am sending the following information, which in my opinion is in fact "real" advertising and promotion of a gallery owner and art book publisher for his artists, while Dr. Lauter is an art historian, curator and writer with - in the opinion of many Art scientists - a highly qualified exhibition history and publication list, which does not have to be promoted because the facts speak for themselves. People who shape culture are not to be compared with private art dealers who advertise wherever to improve their economic status. I am a historian myself and do not like accompanying discussions about malicious attacks by authors against others. It is important to post facts in Wikipedia and open them for editing and discussion, not to treat others disrespectfully and destructively.

Reference Artmax / Slutzky Gallery: Benutzer:Slutzky has been changed by Benutzer:Raymond als Benutzer:Artmax:

References Artmax general contributions for the artists of his gallery in Wikipedia:

Reference Webpage Gallery Artists (selection): Thomas Bayrle, Tobias Rehberger, Gerhard Richter, Walter Stöhrer

References for artists in Wikipedia (selection): Thomas Bayrle (37 contributions):

Tobias Rehberger (20 contributions):

Gerhard Richter (56 contributions):

Walter Stöhrer (20 contributions):

Thank you for your cooperation and greetings --PH_C 22:47, 12 March 2020 (UTC) PhilCult84 talk

PhilCult84 linking to edits made by other editors on other articles on German wikipedia does not in fact do anything to answer the simple question you have been asked here. Do you have a conflict of interest (as defined at this link) regarding your edits here on English wikipedia? Melcous (talk) 02:01, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

Deutsch II[edit]

Collapse long question in German.

Berean Hunter, User:Melcous,

Ich möchte die Geschichte möglichst kurz machen, weil ich meine Zeit nicht mit Diskussionen verschwenden möchte, während ich in Wikipedia oder an meinen eigenen Texten und Büchern schreiben kann:


Was heißt: “While checking a range for an unrelated case”? Gibt es in Wikipedia etwa Administratoren, die systematisch IP Adressen von Autoren überwachen? Wo bleibt der Datenschutz und die Privatsphäre der Menschen? Leben wir schon in Orwell’s «Brave new World»? Seit 2007 gab es viele Untersuchungen dazu. (Siehe 4)


Vorwürfe eines «socking» ist absurd, da Studenten und Wissenschaftler zu vielen Seiten historische Inhalte mit nachprüfbaren Quellen in Wikipedia einfügen. Es gibt weder Vandalismus, Drohungen, negative Behauptungen oder andere destruktiven Handlungen. Diese kommen leider gerade von Mentoren und Administratoren. Will Wikipedia den Autoren vorschreiben, von welchen institutionellen oder mobilen Geräten sie arbeiten dürfen? Alle Personen, die die von euch genannten IP Adressen und viele mehr benutzen, die ihr aus welchen Gründen auch immer verschweigt, verfolgen wissenschaftliche Ziele, was bei der Durchsicht der Textbeiträge und Verbesserungen jedem klar sein sollte. Die vielen Studenten und Historiker, von denen ihr einige öffentlich gemacht habt, haben weder familiäre, noch andere Beziehungen, noch wird irgendeine Person von irgendeiner anderen Person für ihre wissenschaftlichen Recherchen oder Arbeiten finanziert. Was ihr Promotion nennt, ist bei uns wissenschaftliche Teamarbeit über historische Persönlichkeiten. Und ich glaube nicht, dass Wikipedia einem Autor vorschreiben darf, wie oft er an einem oder mehreren Artikeln arbeiten sollte! Keine der für Wikipedia arbeitenden Personen, die ich kenne oder auch nur beobachtend begleite, haben jemals respektlos, sondern nur konstruktiv gearbeitet.


Die Überwachung und virtuelle Verknüpfung von Personen, IP Adressen und Geräten erinnert mich an Überwachungssysteme aus ganz dunklen Zeiten in Deutschland. Darauf reagieren wir hier sehr empfindlich. Und dass Administratoren in den USA zufällig IP Adressen von mehrheitlich Deutschen Wissenschaftlern überprüfen kann ich nicht glauben. Die Zusammenhänge zu dem Ursprung Artmax sind eklatant und werden bereits weiter geprüft.


Quote «Mangelnde Diskussionskultur In der Studie The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System wurde nach einem raschen Autorenwachstum in der englischen Wikipedia bis 2007 ein starker Rückgang an aktiven Autoren festgestellt, insbesondere durch Abgänge bei den Neu-Autoren. Zum einen sei das abschreckend kompliziert gewordene Regelwerk der Wikipedia ein Grund dafür, so dass Einarbeitungen durch Neuautoren aufgrund von Regelverstößen häufig revertiert würden. Zum anderen sei ein Einbruch in der „Willkommenskultur“ dafür verantwortlich.[120] Auch in der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia geht die Zahl der aktiven Autoren und der Neu-Autoren seit 2007 stetig zurück.[121] Auf der jährlichen Konferenz WikiCon werden seitdem immer wieder Vorschläge zur Verbesserung der Autorenzahlen erarbeitet – bislang allerdings ohne durchgreifenden Erfolg.» End of Quote' [[5]]

Und genau das ist das Problem von euch und anderen Mentoren und Administratoren in Wikipedia, welches ihr nicht erkannt habt. Administratoren und Mentoren von Wikipedia haben die Aufgabe und die Pflicht, Autoren zu begleiten, zu unterstützen und zu beraten und nicht zu überwachen, überprüfen, zu hinterfragen, ihnen zu drohen oder ihre Beiträge aus Eigeninteressen zu löschen. Dies gilt für Artmax in der Wikipedia D und für euch ebenso. Gerade in den USA gab es viele Berichte über Datenmissbrauch, Machtmissbrauch, Vandalismus und Hoaxes, Anti-Elitarismus, Systemimmanente Verzerrungen, und respektlosen Umgang mit wissenschaftlichen Autoren. Artikel von Autoren mit Fachwissen werden von Wikipedia Mitarbeitern oder langjährigen Mitarbeitern oft nach dem Prinzip kollektivistischer Mehrheitskorrekturen und einem «Digitalen Maoismus» zu wissenschaftlich fragwürdigen Artikeln bearbeitet. Dies kann, wie im Fall von Artmax, auch persönliche Gründe haben, die zu einer Informationsfülle egozentrischer Angaben führen. Die genannten Ursachen führen zu einer Reduzierung von Partizipation, denn ehrenhafte Spezialisten und Forscher werden von halbwissenschaftlichen Personen systematisch bekämpft und vertrieben. Das ist generell ein Problem der «Primitivisierung und Verflachung» von historischen Wahrheiten und Fakten in der Gesellschaft und in Wikipedia.


Und was völlig absurd ist: Was soll die Bemerkung zu der Benutzerin Zissuu und ihren persönlichen Aktivitäten auf einer öffentlichen Diskussionsseite? «Zissuu attempted to reset the password for the account Otgo and may have succeeded. Also, see this.” Willst du jemand wie auch immer outen oder belasten? Dafür habe ich kein Verständnis. Das ist meiner Ansicht nach ein Fall für den Datenschutz.

Quote «Datenschutz Die aktuelle Wikipedia-Datenschutzrichtlinie[163] wurde vom Kuratorium (Board of Trustees) der Wikimedia Foundation beschlossen und trat am 6. Juni 2014 in Kraft. Demnach müssen Daten wie der richtige Namen, die Adresse oder das Geburtsdatum nicht angegeben werden, um ein Standard-Konto einzurichten oder Inhalte zu den Wikimedia-Seiten beizutragen. Jeder Autor hat ein Recht auf Anonymität.[166] Benutzer, die der Benutzergruppe Oversighter[167] (englisch für „Aufsicht“) angehören, können Versionen aus einer Versionsgeschichte oder dem Logbuch so verbergen, dass sie auch von Administratoren nicht mehr einsehbar sind, wenn jemand die Identität eines Nutzers gegen dessen Willen offenbart.» End of Quote [[6]]

Mich haben viele Wikipedianer genau vor den von euch vorgebrachten virtuellen Konstruktionen und den von Artmax vielfach angefangenen edit war gewarnt, doch ich dachte, das kann in einer freien und nach Werten aufgebauten Enzyklopädie nicht sein. Dies bestätigt sich leider doch und es macht immer weniger Freude, sich für Wikipedia ehrenamtlich und mit kostbarer Lebenszeit zu engagieren.

--PH_C 23:30, 14 March 2020 (UTC) PhilCult84 talk

PhilCult84 there is little point writing in German on English wikipedia. And long walls of text are also unlikely to be helpful. If you have a point, please make it succinctly in the language of this noticeboard. Melcous (talk) 03:24, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
ToBeFree, would you please take a look at this? I'm not sure but it appears that PhilCult84 is posting accusations at an account from whose userpage here on states that they were once an admin on He may also be outing him but I can't tell. I'm left wondering if there is socking on surrounding the Lauter subjects. His failure to answer in a straightforward way makes this look more fishy.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:41, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
There are many accusations in the text above but I'll address this one for now: "Leben wir schon in Orwell’s «Brave new World»?" You've mixed up your dystopian worlds. Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World and Orwell wrote 1984 and Animal Farm.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 16:15, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

English II[edit]

I want to make the story as short as possible because I don't want to waste my time discussing while I can write on Wikipedia or on my own texts and books:


What does “While checking a range for an unrelated case” mean? Are there administrators in Wikipedia who systematically monitor IP addresses of authors? Where's the data protection and people's privacy? Do we already live in Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley‘s “Brave new World”? There have been many studies on this since 2007. (See 4)


Allegations of "socking" are absurd, as students and scientists insert historical content with verifiable sources into Wikipedia on many pages. There is no vandalism, threats, negative claims or other destructive acts. Unfortunately, these come from mentors and administrators. Does Wikipedia want to dictate to the authors which institutional or mobile devices they can work with? All people who use the IP addresses you have given and many more, for whatever reason you hide, pursue scientific goals, which should be clear to everyone when reviewing the text contributions and improvements. The many students and historians, some of whom you have made public, have no family or other relationships, nor is anyone funded by anyone else for their scientific research or work. What you call doctorate is scientific teamwork about historical personalities. And I don't think Wikipedia can tell an author how often he should work on one or more articles! None of the people who are working on the same or similar topics for Wikipedia, who I know or even watch, have never worked disrespectfully, but only constructively.


The monitoring and virtual linking of people, IP addresses and devices reminds me of surveillance systems from very dark times in Germany. We are very sensitive to this. And I cannot believe that administrators in the USA randomly check IP addresses of the majority of German scientists. The connections to the origin Artmax are blatant and are already being examined further.


Quote «Lack of discussion culture In the study The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System, a rapid decline in the number of active authors was found after a rapid growth in the number of authors in the English Wikipedia until 2007, particularly as a result of departures among new authors. On the one hand, the terribly complicated Wikipedia rules are one reason why familiarizations by new authors are often reverted due to violations of the rules. On the other hand, a slump in the "welcome culture" is responsible for this. [120] The number of active authors and new authors in the German-language Wikipedia has been falling steadily since 2007. [121] Since then, suggestions for improving the number of authors have been drawn up at the annual WikiCon conference - so far, however, without substantial success. » End of quote [[7]]

And that is exactly the problem of you and other mentors and administrators in Wikipedia, which you did not recognize and understand. Administrators and mentors from Wikipedia have the task and the duty to accompany, support and advise authors and not to monitor, review, question, threaten them or delete their contributions out of their own interests. This applies to Artmax in Wikipedia D and to you as well. In the United States in particular, there have been many reports of data abuse, abuse of power, vandalism and hoaxes, anti-elitarism, distortions inherent in the system, and disrespectful treatment of scientific authors. Articles by authors with specialist knowledge are often processed by Wikipedia employees or long-time authors according to the principle of collectivist majority corrections and a "digital Maoism" to scientifically questionable articles. As in the case of Artmax, this can also have personal reasons that lead to a wealth of information about self-centered information. The causes mentioned lead to a reduction in participation, because honorable specialists and researchers are systematically combated and distributed by semi-scientific people. This is generally a problem of "primitivization and flattening" of historical truths and facts in society and in Wikipedia.


And what is completely absurd: What is the comment about the user Zissuu and her personal activities on a public discussion page? “Zissuu attempted to reset the password for the account Otgo and may have succeeded. So, see this.” Do you want to out or strain someone anyway? I have no understanding for that. In my opinion, this is a case for data protection.

Quote "Data protection The current Wikipedia privacy policy [163] was approved by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and entered into force on June 6, 2014. Accordingly, data such as the correct name, address or date of birth do not have to be given in order to set up a standard account or to contribute content to the Wikimedia pages. Every author has the right to anonymity. [166] Users belonging to the Oversighter [167] user group can hide versions from a version history or the logbook in such a way that administrators can no longer see them if someone reveals a user's identity against their will. » End of quote [[8]]

Many Wikipedians have warned me exactly about the virtual constructions that you have put forward and the edit that Artmax has started many times, but I thought that this could not be in a free and value-based encyclopedia. Unfortunately, this is confirmed and it is less and less fun to volunteer for Wikipedia and with a valuable lifetime.

--PH_C 16:40, 15 March 2020 (UTC) PhilCult84 talk

(ec – I see translation has already been provided, read my comments below in that light, tx)
  1. if it's "... unrelated ...", that means it has nothing to do with you. This is not about you checking whether Wikipedia editors followed policy regarding privacy & whatnot: once your situation is cleared (which it is not currently) your questions may be revisited, but looking at them now doesn't have much sense as long as you don't answer the simple question: do you have a conflict of interest or not (a simple "yes" or "no" suffices)
  2. English Wikipedia's rules regarding WP:SOCKING are pretty strict: some cases are allowed, others are not (see policy for details): of course, if no socking is involved, no need to check whether it's an "allowed" or "disallowed" case. So first, it needs to be established whether or not socking is going on. If that question is cleared (for which you can help by giving straightforward answers), the next step can be decided.
  3. Afaics the "Artmax" topic (and their edits on German Wikipedia) is a red herring in this discussion. I'd recommend you stop with "Artmax"-related aspersions, which don't help the quite simple topic here, and only reflect poorly on the one casting the aspersions.
  4. More red herring: whether, and why, Wikipedia has too many or too few editors isn't the topic here. Your comments read like an attempt to divert attention from the simple question you have been asked, i.e. whether or not you have a conflict of interest. Again, a simple "yes" or "no" suffices to answer the question.
  5. If you're not connected to either the Zissuu or the Otgo account (as in: not in any way connected, neither to the accounts themselves, nor the editor(s) behind them), it is not up to you reply in the name of either account, and that would make your reply above highly appropriate. The question whether you have a connection to either, can be answered by a simple "yes" or "no".
Please reply in English.
@Berean Hunter: the German editor's behaviour seems mostly "evasive" (trying to change subject – which would make a word-for-word translation of their wall of text a rather superfluous task) rather than "accusing" – there are some "aspersions" in #3 (...which are a kind of covert accusations), which they need to discontinue. The main issue thus far, imho, seems however their refusal to just answer the simple questions they have been asked, and instead presenting a gulf of conspiration theory. If that's the maximum clarity we can get from the editor (I hope not: it will become clear soon whether they grasp a next chance to put the record straight... or not), there should imho not be many qualms about an editor who'd need more work to get them cooperating than net result of decent mainspace content in English Wikipedia. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:08, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • First of all, I want to make it clear that I do not like it when a private person who is a regular member of Wikipedia is posted on a public discussion site. If an admin has a question, he can ask it by email. About the representations about Zissuu: On my page it is clearly written who we are, how we work and that we all do team research for historical facts about historical personalities and post them in Wikipedia. And this does not only concern an older, well-known cultural personality from Germany. I wonder: what do verifiable facts have to do with advertising? Ask for an explanation. And please, can you remove negative and oversubscribed representations from the discussion pages so that our scientists can continue to do their good work for Wikipedia? What should I understand by the sentence: "Zissuu attempted to reset the password for the account Otgo and may have succeeded"? Does anyone in Wikipedia really want to monitor the actions of committed members? Where's the data protection??? I really can't imagine. I ask that the discussion page, which in my view makes no sense, be deleted to prevent further harm from everyone.
Thanks and greetings from Germany --Zissuu (talk) 17:18, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
You put this on your userpage on March 10. So, the simple answer is yes, you have a conflict of interest because you are working for them. Since that is so, do you think that it was right of you to team up with PhilCult84 to mislead Artmax in this discussion? PhilCult84 has not stated his conflict of interest on his userpage on I believe that was what Artmax was speaking about there also.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 22:49, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Multiple articles related to The Slants[edit]

User has long-term history of editing of pages about the band The Slants and related topics. The username suggests this is a corporate account operating on behalf of Populuxe Entertainment, the promotion company founded by The Slants member Simon Tam. Chubbles (talk) 17:39, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Hi Chubbles, I had blocked the user after a report at WP:UAA, partially based on the apparent conflict of interest described in this section. The user is now appealing their block with what I personally find to be an acceptable, credible explanation. Would you mind having a look at their talk page and confirming that despite this initial report, it might well be fine to unblock them? Or - asked differently - am I overlooking reasons against an unblock? Thanks in advance ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:49, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't have any specific evidence to contradict the user, so I suppose we should WP:AGF. It might be worth having a look at subsequent edits, just to be sure the user is familiar with PROMO and NPOV guidelines. Pretty cool rename - appears to be an allusion to the Monkey King. Chubbles (talk) 13:34, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Olive Writing Hub[edit]

Hi, I found the above listed articles listed as personal work samples on Olive Writing Hub's website: I am not entirely sure which users were involved in paid editing, since there are quite a few for each one, so I am not tagging any users here. I leave that to more experienced editors. Additionally, I have placed UDP tags on the articles and the corresponding tag on their talk pages. FelixtheNomad (talk) 22:22, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

FelixtheNomad, thanks for bringing this up, I'll review. One thing to be aware of is that these sites often claim articles which they didn't actually write as their work, so these articles being listed there doesn't actually mean that they're UPE. creffett (talk) 00:59, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
Actually, I see that Beeblebrox appears to have had the same idea about six months ago. I'm looking at the article histories and I don't see much in the way of overlap going on, plenty of IP edits and occasional promotion but no smoking-gun evidence for UPE. Will give the articles another check and then will probably remove the tags. creffett (talk) 01:10, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
Olivewritinghub's website looks similar to (and uses the same insipid chatbox feature) as the Get Wikified series of sites. Like creffett noted above, some sites (including the Get Wikified group) claim articles they did not create, so we should be cautious about placing undue UDP tags. SamHolt6 (talk) 01:26, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
From what I recall they were one of the most incompetent UPE rings ever, couldn't even come up with halfway believable lies, so the articles probably aren't theirs either. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:49, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
I understand how they might have simply chosen some random articles as samples for their website. It seems like you all know how best to deal with issues likes this.. FelixtheNomad (talk) 00:16, 15 March 2020 (UTC)


I have blocked FelixtheNomad, now DoshNomad, for UPE:

Substantial edits

I'm going to block them all, but should they be deemed as Japanelemu socks for the purposes of G5? MER-C 19:19, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Thomas A. McKean and others[edit]

For a long time, the user concerned has been creating - or trying to create (there are two drafts also in the user's creation list; Thomas Clements and Marty Murphy) - articles that promote individuals or organisations that seek to press Autism as a bad thing. The user already has a COI established with the similarly minded Jonathan Mitchell. On the user's main user page there is an admission of editing against WP:NPOV which he added he would cease doing. However the user has persisted and may in fact be acting on behalf of the people concerned - whether they know about it or not. This had led to a tendency to misread sources as reliable in terms of notability and so forth (for example using a Word Press blog on the Singer article). This needs to be curbed and as soon as possible. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:598E:D4ED:5EAB:D689 (talk) 09:57, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

IP, do you think this is a COI issue (editor is working on topics for which they are connected to the subject somehow) of a neutrality issue? The neutrality noticeboard might be the place for this note if it is the latter.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 14:14, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
@ThatMontrealIP: It's both. I came here because of the established existing COI with Mitchell. He is definitely friends with Clements as well. His conduct re the other people is exactly the same and both Escher and Singer are responsible for the NCSA. He has already been reported to the NPOV noticeboard multiple times awhile back leading to his note on his user page. Clearly that hasn't worked. This represents a logical escalation of the issue. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:B9AD:D85B:7A81:6819 (talk) 21:59, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
We have a confession by the user re the NCSA here in the edit summary. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:B9AD:D85B:7A81:6819 (talk) 22:31, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Writing about a topic one is familiar with is not necessarily a problem. For example, if someone had coeliac disease, they may well join organizations linking similar people and could meet medical staff who work in the field. After a few years they might start writing articles about notable people with various views on the disease, people they could have met or at least seen talking as an audience member. We only slap COI tags on articles if there is a good reason to think their editing is a problem. If someone is writing articles about a wonderful product and how everyone should buy it, sure, hit it with any appropriate tags. But for something like the reported case (involving User:Ylevental) you need much more than the dubious evidence produced so far to show there is a problem. How about some diffs of edits showing a disregard for the core policies? While we're here, how is it that a shifting IP and an SPA has such an interest in the topic? Do you have a COI to declare? Johnuniq (talk) 03:53, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
No (shifting IP's is a pain and this time it jumped to IPV4) I don't have a COI because I live in a different country a long way away. The evidence lies in creation of articles. The ones I named, the two drafts - and many others of the same ilk like Jonathan Mitchell where a COI has already been admitted to. As stated above he confessed re the NCSA. He also tried to delete articles of those who come from the opposite side of the "debate". The others he created are - oh I just went to his contributions and he's created another one now. Jonathan_Shestack. The others are Bruce Hall, In a Different Key, David Miedzanik and Matthew Belmonte. The articles he tried to delete are Autism is a World, Julia Bascom Autistic Pride Day, John Elder Robison, Wrong Planet, Aspies for Freedom, Amy Sequenzia, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Network International, Jim Sinclair and Retrospective diagnoses of autism. Sequenzia was the only one that was actually deleted. It is impossible to go beyond this as evidence without outing the user, which is not allowed here. I don't know where you got the sock idea from. (talk) 06:34, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
That is true, but that was four years ago. People kept vandalizing what I was writing, so I got somewhat frustrated in response and pushed back too hard. Ylevental (talk) 13:27, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
No one was vandalising anything and that was the problem. You were out of line totally then and have a reputation that is being repeated now. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:9028:D1DF:E722:E56C (talk) 00:46, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
The link I gave is SPA, not SPI. How is it that out of thousands of active editors, you happened to notice this one? That is just as suspicious as the weak evidence you have presented. As I mentioned, it's very possible for someone to have developed an interest in a topic and to edit in that topic. We need evidence of an actual problem (defined as edits which persistently violate one of the core policies, e.g. as shown at WP:5P). Are you suggesting that, for example, In a Different Key should be deleted? Johnuniq (talk) 06:43, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
No, not that one. It passes the notability guidelines. Shestack may as well. I'm not looking for deletions. That's for AfD. As far as SPA goes, I suggest you go here and look at the first edit. Likewise my previous range [[11]] which shows a lot more different edits. The issue here is the creation of articles on the one side and trying to delete articles on the other. As stated he has already admitted to a COI with the NCSA (see the link I already gave) and with Jonathan Mitchell (see the talk page). As I also said, the additional evidence would out the user and I'm not doing that. It concerns Clements in particular. (And now I'm back on the IPV6 again!) 2001:8003:5022:5E01:D888:CA4C:6B7B:F343 (talk) 07:09, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Update: Ylevental has outed his own name on his user page and his Twitter account. Further, he has used the edit warring rule to avoid scrutiny getting the McKean and Shestack articles protected. Shestack is a friend of Escher, who Ylevental has confessed to having a COI with, which started when they met at an IACC meeting in 2013 (see here for proof of Escher's attendance and the attendance of Shestack's wife Portia Iverson. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:A8AC:B59B:8B88:CB5B (talk) 06:27, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

And you hide behind shifting IPs without acknowledging your involvement in the topic. People here are not dumb. We see internet advocates battle each other in articles every day and that is why I tried to get you to focus on article content and policies. We don't splash a tag on articles unless there is a reason to think there is an actual problem as opposed to a theoretical one. Again I invite you to specify some inappropriate content with a brief explanation of which policy (see WP:5P) is violated. The edit warring report at WP:ANEW was closed because there are alternatives to blocking you. Johnuniq (talk) 06:57, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
I am not hiding anything, including the shifting IP's. There is no issue at my end. There is an actual problem and it's in the creation of the articles. If you can't see that then maybe it's you with the problem. It's a COI. He's already confessed to the NCSA, and by default in the wording Escher. Escher and Shestack - as proven by my link above - are friends. This is about COI, and only COI, and an actual problem and not a theoretical one. The content issues are the articles themselves. End of. 2001:8003:5022:5E01:A8AC:B59B:8B88:CB5B (talk) 07:07, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
I've now blocked Special:Contributions/2001:8003:5022:5e01::/64 48 hours for IP-hopping disruption across autism-related articles. Things might be different if the user would return with a registered account. However, if they do so their behavior would be more open to WP:SCRUTINY. They would need to be more careful not to edit war on autism-related articles. Certainly the IP editor's campaign against User:Ylevental is exhausting the patience of some of us. The claims that Ylevental has a COI are mostly far-fetched and do not appear to be getting support. It appears likely that the IP must be some kind of an activist on autism matters, and not all activists agree with one another. This is where diplomacy become necessary. User:Johnuniq has indicated that User:Ylevental may contact him for further problems. My closure of the edit warring report may be seen here. EdJohnston (talk) 16:52, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
Oh, this was still ongoing. Interesting. We had declined it at WP:AIV one or two days before, but already noting that the now-blocked IP editor is being unnecessarily aggressive in this matter. EdJohnston, thanks for making this decision. It seems reasonable and possibly overdue to me. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 17:51, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, and yes I'm happy to handle any further disruption. Johnuniq (talk) 23:58, 18 March 2020 (UTC)


Articles created by people associated with the XMOS company. Henk.muller is the CTO of XMOS, per his talk page. I am not sure that these products are notable enough to each warrant their own article. Additionally, the articles read like a combination of marketing materials and in-depth technical manuals. drt1245 (talk) 16:56, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Merge them all into one, delete the promotional cruft. -Roxy, the PROD. . wooF 17:00, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this up. For the record: I am editing these pages to provide a record of the technology in as far as it in the public interest. In the same way that I edit other pages on wikipedia. I happen to have more knowledge about those pages than about other pages. I am not being paid to write those pages (or any other pages on Wikipedia for that matter); it is something I do, often out of hours, because in my opinion these products are notable enough to warrant an existence on Wikipedia. I am aware that I am writing about products that are made by the company that I work for. I am trying to provide objective and verifiable facts rather than hype. Of course, one person's fact is another person's hyperbole, and I am delighted for those to be corrected. If there is a standard against which I can put "notability" I would happily oblige. (talk) 17:05, 15th March 2020 (UTC)
Have you made your COI declaration yet? I haven't looked. -Roxy, the PROD. . wooF 17:17, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I see from your talk page that you have. I have left a note. thanks. -Roxy, the PROD. . wooF 17:21, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Please review the COI guidelines. In particular: "Do not edit articles about yourself, your family or friends, your organization, your clients, or your competitors". Regarding notability, the guidelines are here. As an example, I looked into the XCore XS1-L1. All I found was one technical article, some press releases, and some passing references is discussions of the AmigaOne X1000. I do not believe this meets the notability guidelines. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drt1245 (talkcontribs) 17:25, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I did review the conflict of interest guidelines in detail in the past, and had a discussion about them with a different person about them, where they were happy that I was complying. In particular, I am transparent, I am editing pages on physical products that I have knowledge about, and importantly, and have nothing to gain from these edits, I make them purely as a historical record of fact.
Regarding notability: the criteria you suggest (discussions in public forums and newspapers) are appropriate for information on events or people, say WW II, or Henry VIII. XCORE XS1-L is a device that is the core of consumer electronics devices used by many people. Would this be a statement of notability?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Henk.muller (talkcontribs)
XCORE XS1-L is a device that is the core of consumer electronics devices used by many people. Would this be a statement of notability? No. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 05:11, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Also just added Graphcore and XC (programming language) to the list. -drt1245 (talk) 17:42, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Per XMOS's company page, Graphcore was spun off from XMOS in 2016. -drt1245 (talk) 17:46, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Re Graphcore - I created the original page, but have nothing to do and know nothing interesting about them since 2017.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Henk.muller (talkcontribs)

The XCORE processor pages are ridiculous on many levels. I have redirected four of the five to XMOS.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 05:02, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

University of Phoenix[edit]

The editor Rrrrevolution made some edits in 2016, but has since March 2020 exclusively edited University of Phoenix, where this editor has removed reliably sourced content that could be construed as negative while adding a bunch of poorly sourced puffery. In 2016, this editor edited the page for an individual, Timothy Slottow who now happens to run the University of Phoenix. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:09, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

Tim Slottow now works in Hawaii at a different school. I was hoping to udpate his page as well. I used to work at the University with Tim Slottow but no longer. Happy to admit mistakes and fix wherever I can. Hoping to bring neutral point of view to the pages. Apologies for mistakes on my part. Rrrrevolution (talk) 18:13, 17 March 2020 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rrrrevolution (talkcontribs) 16:10, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

WikiPR is back...[edit]

People have seemed to promote WikiPR-esque services as of late (there are PLENTY of them), should we crack down on them? They will make an article on any company so long as they get paid. This is also a blantant violation of WP:COI. They use several sockpuppets and such to make pages regardless of notability, and breaks Wikimedia's terms of service under paid editing. More on paid editing shenanigans.

Recently, I found an entire network of these paid editors, and these are listed as follows (there might be MUCH more than the ones I listed):

I personally think this is an attempt for WikiPR to conceal itself amidst Wikimedia legal threats. The websites look very similar, too. This is a tactic used by scammers to hide their identity against potential threats under multiple organisations. As with the Hydra; if you chop off one head, two more will take its place.

I think it's time to take action against this. dibbydib Ping me! 💬/ 05:30, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

Dibbydib, oh, they're absolutely related, but I have no idea what we as editors can do. Please keep one thing in mind - those websites often claim to have made pages that they didn't (in order to make themselves look good), so a claim that they created or worked on a specific page doesn't actually mean that page is UPE work. creffett (talk) 12:25, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
This is the kind of issue that can only be tackled by the foundation. You need a legal team to send cease and desist letters and litigate if necessary. We can’t do that, but the foundation can. Kleuske (talk) 15:40, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
Ping @WMFOffice: Kleuske (talk) 15:44, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
For the record, I am unsure if this group is the same as WikiPR. All of the websites listed above are more likely part of the very active Get Wikified paid editing ring. SamHolt6 (talk) 16:25, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
D'oh, you're right, I conflated the two. This is definitely Get Wikified, down to the standard"from common to famously known" line showing up on a couple of those, and the other standard "explanation" of the "loophole" which allows this paid editing. creffett (talk) 17:05, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

These have been listed at WP:PAIDLIST for a while ☆ Bri (talk) 05:38, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

You can notify the WMF Legal team via --MrClog (talk) 10:27, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
It would be great if someone from WMlegal took a look at some of the companies listed at WP:PAIDLIST; it is possible that many could be seen as violating native advertising laws. SamHolt6 (talk) 22:42, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
But why would the WMF do something like that when they could instead put their resources into the much more useful IPs-but-not-really thing?</s> creffett (talk) 02:57, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

User:Therachelyoon and Penta Security[edit]

A web search reveals a person with this name is the global marketing manager for the company mentioned. The user has significant and one sided activity related to the company and its products. No COI was disclosed, although the user has been notified. Kleuske (talk) 08:16, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

Possible UPE[edit]

This looks like a single-purpose account possibly involved in undisclosed paid editing. Their only edits are to create Dj Ernesty. I draftified the article and asked them to follow the AfC process, but they choose to ignore and moved it back to main twice with a comment that Hi GSS, if you say the sources are interviews what you're trying to say is that everything written by those sources is an interview which is not true and if you read my article carefully you will notice I didn't add or cite claims with any of the information from the subject (see also WP:INTERVIEW). If you don't agree with me nominate it for Afd instead. As per their move reason, they appear to know a lot about Wikipedia, and I don't expect this kind of comments from brand new users with no edit history in the past especially when they act so professionally and ask you to nominate their page at AfD. I then proposed the article for deletion and they removed the prod after citing some sources including this which was published just two days after the article was proposed for deletion that hinting paid-news as well. GSS💬 04:47, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

ROIDMI ‎[edit]

The title (ROIDMI) was in my watchlist since an advert to create this page was posted on a freelancing website so, Grimymood chooses to create this article under ROIDMI (XIAOMI) and I wasn't notified at that time, but after they posted Draft:ROIDMI I asked them to disclose their paid editing status which they did on their userpage today, but just after I asked them to provide links to all active accounts at websites where they advertise paid Wikipedia-editing services the disclosure was immediately removed and they changed their statement to ..I would say that I am just a friend with the manager of ROIDMI. I am not getting any compensation for this. They also created Draft:Ahmad Ashkar (a promotional article on a non-notable businessman) and just two days after the account was autoconfirmed they moved it to main, then a few days later they created "Will Powell (businessman)" yet another promotional article on a non-notable businessman. GSS💬 12:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

This looks like a paid sock farm to me. After reviewing Grimymood's global edits I notice on December 3, 2019,‎ they moved Will Powell (businessman) to draftspace and on January 20, 2020, user Perogrimadi who was inactive since November 2017, suddenly appeared and posted the same article under Will Powell (racing driver) and user Tigermeemee whose last edit was in April 2019, popped in and uploaded File:Will Powell racing driver.jpg as their own work on Jan 24th so, is it possible check? GSS💬 13:08, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Pearl Thompson[edit]

Editor has been a WP:SPA since 2015, and claimed to be the subject's agent [12]. A lot of contributions to the article, not always encyclopedic in quality, with nary a source provided. 2601:188:180:B8E0:65F5:930C:B0B2:CD63 (talk) 17:44, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Full Tilt Poker[edit]

The Wikipedia article for Full Tilt Poker is for sure a COI case of paid editing without disclosure. Just go to wikiprofessionalsinc website and scroll down to "What our clients say" section - you'll see that Full Tilt Poker is mentioned there: "The great thing about the Wiki Professionals Inc. team is that they make sure you get what you want and go an extra mile for you." -Full Tilt Poker, online poker site. By the way, I have no idea which user did the paid editing because the history log is very confusing. Ta,jhk (talk) 08:16, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Ta,jhk, Fwiw, I think a bunch of these sites claim clients they don't actually have. If they are unethical enough to do paid editing with disclosure, then it is also reasonable to assume they are also unethical enough to make up fake clients. It also doesn't look like there's been any substantial content added or removed in years, mostly just housekeeping. Sulfurboy (talk) 16:08, 23 March 2020 (UTC)


The editor has been asked on their talk page about a conflict of interest and has not made any declaration. The name of the account is unmistakably the name of a company about which the author has submitted a draft. Other drafts submitted by the author are also impacted by conflict of interest. Lithography-based ceramic manufacturing is a process that probably should be documented in Wikipedia, but the draft may be biased by interest in a particular company with involvement in marketing the process. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:02, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Uptown Tampa[edit]

Presumably doing these promotional edits on behalf of "Tampa Innovation Partnership", but no disclosure whatsoever. Orange Mike | Talk 04:06, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Thomas Maier[edit]

This user has admitted to a connection here to the article Thomas Maier. User has a promotional username, which seems fairly obvious is connected to subject of article. User has been repeatedly adding self promotional content to article for several years, 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020. User has a warning on their talk page going back to 2013 in relation to other article which they may have a COI, Masters of Sex and Masters of Sex (book) is another article they have edited in the past. User was also warned in February 2019 to disclose any COI they may have (no response) and was warned by me about their username (March 2020). I tagged the article with a COI notice as well, due to the evidence listed above. User has been notified about this discussion. Isaidnoway (talk) 11:15, 26 March 2020 (UTC)


Llewop Eidoj seems to be a Single Purpose Account who was paid to make a page. Their only (well, one of 2) edit was to create Draft:MegsMenopause in one edit (31000 bytes), which is well-formatted, has images and plenty of citations. As well as that, the page contains intricate details about the creators of MegsMenopause that are in no sources as well as heavily praising the subject of the article. Weirdly, the logo of the company on commons is also CC 4.0 and the edit summary for the huge edit was "spelling". The one edit before was to also link to the MegsMenopause website. — Yours, BᴇʀʀᴇʟʏTalkContribs 16:20, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

There was also this edit to Meg Mathews which also heavily promoted the website. Something is afoot here, and it sure feels like COI editing to promote the website. —C.Fred (talk) 18:34, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
This is about the worst case of plain old advertising I have seen on Wikipedia. I started to trim out the junk (Products section, for example) but decided that G11 speedy deletion was the best solution.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 18:35, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
This is the work of a London PR agency, Genius Brand – see here. The Meg Mathews page was a redirect until TeamGeniusB did this. That editor also created Anastasiia Masiutkina (see also here). I've indeffed Llewop Eidoj and Tiago Justo, don't see much value in doing the same for the two corporate accounts as they haven't edited for a while. But what should be done with the content? It was created in violation of our terms of use, so I don't see how it can be kept (unless there's a consensus somewhere that I'm unaware of that we can keep TOU violations as long as they are by UPE editors?). Any suggestions? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:28, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

COI related comment at BLPN[edit]

An anon editor made a COI related comment at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Bernard J. Taylor – maybe someone from this noticeboard could look at it? Tx. --Francis Schonken (talk) 22:11, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

COI aside, I did not follow the link to the specific Facebook post that they linked, but instead deleted it as we ae not in the business of linking off-site discussions to editor identities. Probably needs rev-del.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 22:19, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Dorothea Nicolai‎[edit]

Accounts Moritz nicolai and Mo nicolai are single purpose accounts, editing Dorothea Nicolai internationally. (global edits from Moritz nicolai, global edits from Mo nicolai). Edits are usually badly sourced or unsourced. The account "Mo nicolai" has been asked to provide sources on it.wikipedia in March 2019 and warned about disruptive editing on de.wikipedia Links added from account "Moritz Nicolai" have been reported as spam in 2018. Account Michi62 created the German version of Dorothea Nicolai on June 30 2013, the wikidata entry on Oktober 8 2013, the version for en.wikipedia on Oktober 11 2013, the version for fr.wikipedia on December 17 2013, and the version for it.wikipedia on January 7 2015. Unsourced or badly sourced edits have been added to all the international versions from this account till 2017.

Usernames of accounts "Moritz nicolai" and "Mo nicolai" indicate a personal relationship with the article subject. Edits from account "Michi62" seem primary sourced. OrestesLebt (talk) 16:25, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

She does not appear to be notable based on sourcing. Sent to AfD. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 16:34, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Potentially an undisclosed paid editor account[edit]

Can I get a second opinion on this matter? I may have came across undisclosed paid editing when I stumbled across Me to We. In this edit, the editor added contents and what caught my attention was that she added this "reference" :File:///C:/Users/User/Dropbox (Veribo)/Delivery/Active Clients restored/We/Wikipedia/May 2019 project/ME to WE wiki page - phase 3.docx#%20ftn5. It looks like a Dropbox file path for delivering a service for the client (Me to We). Further examination on this editor's history showed that she edited extensively on charities but I haven't found other "smoking guns". OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:44, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Veribo is interesting. "Cyclicom's Veribo is a international online reputation management agency." I would concur that it looks like paid editing... real editors do not prep their files in MS Word, or at least I hope they do not! Nice catch. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 06:47, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Hmm, never thought of looking up what Veribo is even though I should have. This is the first time I came across undisclosed paid editing. OhanaUnitedTalk page 07:00, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm going to bet this is some kind of mistake (restoring an old edit?) or good faith but out-of-policy editing or something like that. The user's contributions are quite positive. But it does need explanation... they have also added material on the WE charity to Craig Kielburger. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 07:04, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
A WikiBlame search reveals that MarthaLetter is the only account that has added content referring to "Veribo" in the Me to We article. I've indefinitely blocked this account for undisclosed paid editing, and I've added Percepto (Veribo's current name) to the list of paid editing companies. MarthaLetter is free to appeal with an explanation and with proper disclosure. — Newslinger talk 07:19, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Using the "insource:" operator in this search, I located another undisclosed paid editor ( who made the same mistake in the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center article at Special:Diff/900096730. I've also indefinitely blocked this account. I will initiate a sockpuppet investigation to scan for other accounts related to Percepto/Veribo. — Newslinger talk 07:28, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
For the record, I think this case can almost certainly be tied to Percepto; the company's clients are hard to pinpoint, but their website indicates they are predominantly non-profits, companies, and company heads, all of which align with the sockfarm's areas of interest. In addition, Percepto's website contains a subpage titled Wikipedia - The Rules of the Game in which they describe Wikipedia editing. In addition, they state "To consult on any and all Wikipedia-related queries for you or your clients, leave us your contact info and we will get back to you promptly.". Checkmate. SamHolt6 (talk) 02:30, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
That page has been removed from their website (but can still be seen, for now, in the Google cache) I suggest always submitting such pages to the Internet Archive before mentioning them here.
@Pigsonthewing: I see, and am guessing that Percepto is aware that they have been blocked. Thankfully other indicators of Percepto's activities remain visible online... and in archives. SamHolt6 (talk) 14:18, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
for UPE. Torontopedia is a slam dunk UPE per the deleted contributions and File:Loizza Ilag Aquino at YMCA 175 Conference.jpg, the others have been promoting WE ____. MER-C 10:12, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Links to:
need to be systematically stripped from celebrity articles because they were added by the above spammers. MER-C 10:48, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

The SPI resulted in a 12 account haul. Some of the accounts were fiddling with Penis enlargement among other things, so all major contributions need close scrutiny or removal. MER-C 19:19, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

"real editors do not prep their files in MS Word" That's bullshit; and no-one gets to define "real editors" that way. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:10, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
super helpful, thanks.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 12:50, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Conflict of interest with Josh Milburn on Ed Winters[edit]

Ed Winters is a fringe vegan activist and a user Josh Milburn commenting on his adf discussion has a COI which he did not declare. Milburn works for the Vegan Society and sits on their Research Advisory Committee. Winters is also a member of the Vegan Society.

Winters and Milburn also (Redacted). Despite all this Milburn says he has no conflict of interest and no association with Winters but that is obviously not true. He also accuses me of digging up dirt on him which is not true. On his user-page he links to his identity and admits to being on the Research Advisory Committee for the Vegan Society in a link he provides himself, so I have not outed him. As this user works for the Vegan Society he should not be editing articles related to veganism. I made this clear to him but he has taken offense to this. What can be done here? Psychologist Guy (talk) 21:20, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

The Research Advisory Committee for the Vegan Society can be found here. You will see that Josh Milburn is listed. Psychologist Guy (talk) 21:33, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I have always been open about who I am - I edit under my own name, and, as Psychologist Guy points out, include details about myself on my userpage. Nonetheless, many of the claims Psychologist Guy makes about me are false. For example, I have never met Ed Winters or knowingly communicated with him (though, yes, we were due to speak at the same event - against each other, as it happens), and I do not work for The Vegan Society (though I am a member of their Research Advisory Committee, as I am an academic with an expertise relating to veganism). I tried to disengage from the conversation when Psychologist Guy said things that I thought bordered on the offensive, but, since then, Psychologist Guy has made a number of accusations against me, called me names, and spread falsehoods about me, despite my repeated request that he leave me alone. (In addition to the comments in this thread, see his comments here and here.) I believe that the way he is speaking to/about me is appalling, and constitutes harassment. Josh Milburn (talk) 21:57, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Further false claims/harassment. This is deeply unwelcome. Josh Milburn (talk) 22:04, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Without addressing most of the claims, the good faith denial by J Milburn of an actual connection with between Ed Winters (beyond the fact that someone booked them to speak at the same event, which they ended up not doing) should be enough to leave that chestnut alone. While there may be substance to what User:Psychologist Guy says about other things, this is getting pretty close to some aspects of WP:OUTING, as we do not dig up and post the private lives of other editors.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 22:21, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
The relevant text of WP:OUTING is this part, which seems to be what is happening here: "The fact that an editor has posted personal information or edits under their own name, making them easily identifiable through online searches, is not an excuse to post the results of "opposition research". Dredging up their off-site opinions to repeatedly challenge their edits can be a form of harassment, just as doing so regarding their past edits on other Wikipedia articles may be." so let's have alittle WP:AGF if possible, please. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 22:25, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
No, I am not harassing you I have stated some facts about your COI on this topic. You work for the Vegan Society and you are heavily connected with their Society. I have pointed out you should not be editing Ed Winters article because of this COI. He is a vegan activist and a member of the same Society as you yet you seem to think this is not a problem. You were also planned to speak at an event together. Yes I added your name to the vegan society talk-page. There is COI because you are an active member of their society and work for their Research Advisory Committee. Psychologist Guy (talk) 22:29, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
@Psychologist Guy:, what is wrong with the statement I have never met Ed Winters or knowingly communicated with him. We take other editors at their word here most of the time. Why not now? It seems like a clearly good faith declaration.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 22:32, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
@ThatMontrealIP: Thanks for your comments - I am pleased that this is explicitly written into the guideline. Because I was worried that this was not the right venue for the conversation, I have opened a thread at WP:ANI about possible harassment. (If you are concerned that there may be COI problems with my edits, I am naturally very happy to discuss this with you.) Josh Milburn (talk) 22:33, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Ok. You may find it goes both ways at ANI! It seems like you both might have something to clarify or correct, in the interests of transparency and good faith.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 22:36, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
@ThatMontrealIP: This is very deep but see my edit here, [13], there is conflict of interest and it has been going on for years. Psychologist Guy (talk) 00:20, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
This conflict is all going to get sorted out at ANI, so there is no point in discussing it here.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 01:29, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
This matter has been closed at ANI. I'd archive this discussion but that seems not be standard practice on this noticeboard. Please do not revive this discussion or conduct any more "opposition research" on your fellow editors. Liz Read! Talk! 03:03, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd[edit]

Sort of disclosed his COI at his talk page ("I represent His Highness, and I will not tolerate changes to his page that are uncalled for and are not verified by neither the Saudi government or internationl media organizations") but fails to comply with the guidelines. WikiHannibal (talk) 15:01, 30 March 2020 (UTC)