Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard

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Welcome to Conflict of interest Noticeboard (COIN)
Sections older than 14 days archived by Lowercase sigmabot III.

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 meets a requirement of the Conflict of Interest guideline. A conflict of interest may occur when an editor has a close personal or business connection with article topics. 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.
You must notify any editor who is the subject of a discussion. You may use {{subst:coin-notice}} ~~~~ to do so.

Additional notes:
  • This page should only be used when ordinary talk page discussion has been attempted and failed to resolve the issue, such as when an editor has repeatedly added problematic material over an extended period.
  • Do not post personal information about other editors here without their permission. Non-public evidence of a conflict of interest can be emailed to for review by a functionary. If in doubt, you can contact an individual functionary or the Arbitration Committee privately for advice.
  • 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}}.
  • Your report or advice request regarding COI incidents should include diff links and focus on one or more items in the COI guideline. In response, COIN may determine whether a specific editor has a COI for a specific article. There are three possible outcomes to your COIN request:
1. COIN consensus determines that an editor has a COI for a specific article. In response, the relevant article talk pages may be tagged with {{Connected contributor}}, the article page may be tagged with {{COI}}, and/or the user may be warned via {{subst:uw-coi|Article}}.
2. COIN consensus determines that an editor does not have a COI for a specific article. In response, editors should refrain from further accusing that editor of having a conflict of interest. Feel free to repost at COIN if additional COI evidence comes to light that was not previously addressed.
3. There is no COIN consensus. Here, 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 meets a requirement of the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest guideline.
To begin a new discussion, enter the name of the relevant article below:

Search the COI noticeboard archives
Help answer requested edits
Category:Wikipedia conflict of interest edit requests is where COI editors have placed the {{Request edit}} template:

University of Texas at Arlington[edit]

This editor is a single-purpose editor focused solely on this university. I directly (but politely) asked them if they have a connection to the university over two years ago but they ignored the question. They continue to edit and have now expanded to edit warring with multiple editors to insert material and references based solely on historical research using the university's archives. ElKevbo (talk) 10:42, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Their past edit summaries are interesting. Their writing styles vary widely, sometimes reading like a single, random person, someone who sounds like they are in an official capacity with the university, and the university making an official statement. (Notice the use of "we".) They also made a few changes to names to the style "preferred by the University". I don't know about you, but I feel like this is a shared account. Miracusaurs (talk) 11:47, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Hampshire Academy of Science[edit]

Editor was warned about a potential conflict of interest and then was informed that their edits appeared to be paid editing. The editor continued to add promotional information into the article and blew past all requests to declare their potential paid editing. VVikingTalkEdits 16:24, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Editor did not see any messages until now. Rest assured, editor is not receiving any compensation. Kindly restore editor's edits ASAP. WeLoveScience (talk) 18:13, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your edits were entirely promotional and will not be restored, please disclose your connection to the topic. Theroadislong (talk) 18:18, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am a member of the surrounding community and town (it is very insular). This is a popular program that many people participate in (and it has also been gaining some media attention), and so I thought I would add some updated information to the Wikipedia page. Is that against Wikipedia rules? WeLoveScience (talk) 18:24, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, why are the edits "entirely promotional"? The language is very neutral. WeLoveScience (talk) 18:25, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You actually copied and pasted promotional material from here [1]. Theroadislong (talk) 18:28, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So if I word it differently, would it not be considered promotion? I would be talking about the exact same thing. WeLoveScience (talk) 18:30, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I do original writing, can I get my privileges back? WeLoveScience (talk) 18:40, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the problem is your idea of what the article is supposed to be. Wikipedia is supposed to encyclopedically document things. Your edits effectively act as if you're writing for the NHAS's website, which is not what Wikipedia is trying to to do. For instance, much of what you copied over included the words "we" or "our", as if it was on the NHAS website. Hemiauchenia (talk) 22:58, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nagoya University of Commerce & Business[edit]

(Second link is a recent move of the original article's Talk page.) Editor has several times replaced sourced content with unsourced or poorly sourced content which reads promotional. Has not replied to messages on their Talk page. Googling suggests they may have a CoI. This is the most recent diff, which removed the CoI template and introduced promotional statements like "dedicating all his life to keeping up the ideals of the frontier spirit" and "The center holds over 210,000 books and valuable references. Inside is a self-study space designed to effectively improve foreign language skills". Tacyarg (talk) 08:21, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I added some relevant IP editors who seem to be involved. --SVTCobra 13:54, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The editing by Fmason1985 is continuing unabated and without addressing this noticeboard or talk pages. And they removed {{COI}} SVTCobra 06:38, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zainab Salbi article's primary editor is the person herself[edit]

I noticed this article is largely edited by the person who it is about using a self-evident username. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 06:29, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

U.S. universities partnering with ThriveDX to offer "digital skills bootcamps"[edit]

These new editors appeared today and added links to "digital skills bootcamps" in these articles. Each of these "bootcamps" are being supported and promoted by ThriveDX so it's likely that this is undisclosed paid editing in addition to the clear link spamming and sockpuppetry.

Is there any way to search for other similar usernames ("* digital skills") to see if there are other articles that need to be edited to remove this spam? ElKevbo (talk) 23:18, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also [2], UM Digital Skills at University of Miami.---Lilach5 (לילך5) discuss 06:28, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All indeffed for promotional user-name, but it's not really conceivable that they're anything but a single person on a socking spree, even if (curiously) the accounts were created several months ago and not all at the same time. A search for 'insource:digitalskills' doesn't give me any more weblinks of the form they've been adding. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:24, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways[edit]

Username seems to be a match with the subject of the page. Also adds unreferenced content (from a primary source?). Liliana (UwU) 06:48, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The two editors are clearly the same, but that's acceptable as the first was soft-blocked only. Shivani Vaid, if you have any connection to the ministry you're expected to disclose it; if you are, or expect to be, paid or compensated in any way by it then disclosure is obligatory. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:07, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Eclary444 and Wjpool at Joe R. Pool[edit]

Eclary444 has declared a COI at Talk:Joe R. Pool, disclosing herself at Pool's granddaughter. In her malformed COI disclosure, she also declares herself to be WJ Pool's daughter. Many of the sources she has relied on while editing at Joe R. Pool have been listed as "Pool family archives. Wesley J. Pool, custodian" (see this version). Today, user Wjpool has come along with the same edits using the same sources (and no declaration of COI). One can safely assume that Wjpool is the Wesley J. Pool of whom Eclary444 spoke -- her father and Joe R. Pool's son. I have warned both users that, due to their conflict of interest, they should stop editing the article, to no avail. The edits at the article are problematic as, in some case, they are copying the text of articles which they hold in their archives verbatim into Wikipedia, in violation of WP:COPYVIO. Further, the edits the article make excessive points out of trivial facts (spinning the sponsorship of one minor piece of legislation into several paragraphs, for example.) WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 18:47, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am the son (Wesley J. Pool) of Joe R. Pool. Wjpool (talk) 15:00, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wjpool: And therefore, should stop editing at Joe R. Pool. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 16:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CT55555/Canadaland podcasts[edit]

I have discovered what looks to be an ever-expanding web of conflict of interest editing on the part of an editor CT55555. The conflict of interest relates to the Canadian news website Canadaland, people involved with and subjects covered by their podcasts and to podcasting host Arshy Mann and/or news editor Jonathan Goldsbie in particular.

CT55555 created the biography of Arshy Mann back in February, then earlier this month one for Jonathan Goldsbie, and just the other day one for Robert Jago:

In at least the first two instances, notability is debatable, especially for Mann. I can't see any pieces here which are actually about Mann or Goldsbie. Thinly-referenced details such as "Goldsbie is noted for his love of theatre" strike me as hallmarks of promotional writing.

He created articles about and uploaded non-free logos for Canadaland's podcasts which, while interesting, probably do not merit their own articles, any more than Wikipedia has individual articles for every piece which appeared in the New York Times:

He also created articles about subjects, narrators and producers of those podcasts and books written by or related to them:

The majority of the articles listed above were posted over only three days (July 11-13) – someone must have been working on them full time for months.

As might be expected, he's also made a lot of edits to Canadaland (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs). One edit places Mann's name before even proprietor Jesse Brown's;[3] another refers to Gooldsbie as "JG".[4] Their podcasts are a central theme.[5] Some of the edit summaries appear to be deceptive, for example:[6]

Even CT55555's articles and edits which at first glance don't appear to be related to Canadaland or Arshy Mann or Jonathan Goldsbie often turn out to be related in ways that aren't immediately obvious. For example, this article below relates to Mann's own biography, which goes out of its way to highlight Mann's very minor role in the Rob Ford cocaine story;[7] see also:[8]. Mann also has a podcast discussing Rob and Dug Ford:[9]:

There are also a good number of edits about Canadian mining firms, about which Mann runs a podcast series.[10] This article about an anti-mining group in Papua New Guinea was featured in one of those podcasts – when another editor questioned the notability of this group on the talk page, CT55555 appealed to Canadaland:

CorrTimes (talk) 20:18, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't have any conflict of interests, but I am flattered that you think my few days work would take months. This is a first, so I don't know if I need to provide any more of an explanation than I hear stuff on the news and then add articles about the things I hear and Canadaland's podcasts are one of the sources of news that I consume. Indeed I have created articles about notable journalists, notable podcasts, notable stories that Canadaland reports. This is one of various themes I've worked on, other themes (that overlap in some ways) include journalism, journalists, books, mining, ecology. CT55555 (talk) 22:13, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And for everyone's information, the linked articles go even deeper than is mentioned above: when I wrote the article about Thunder Bay (podcast) I learned about Seven Fallen Feathers and updated it. Then I learned about a book by the same author and created an article about it All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. I learned of the death of Barbara Kentner and wrote an article about her. This is what happens, I write about something and that thing leads me to the next thing. I edited Jesse Brown (journalist) too, he is the producer of Canadaland. That lead me to learning about the Trial of Jian Ghomeshi and me updating Trial_of_Jian_Ghomeshi#Reactions_and_analysis. I could go on. And if you picked any of my articles about uranium mining, you'll note they are all deeply connected to all my other articles about the same topic too. Uranium mining in the Bancroft area is deeply connected to many other articles I wrote. I write one, and it leads to another. CT55555 (talk) 22:34, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Writing your own biography is a conflict of interest. Writing about and promoting your employer is a conflict of interest. Writing about your own podcasts and the subjects they cover is a conflict of interest. CorrTimes (talk) 07:23, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with those statements. And I have no affiliation with Canadaland (other than being a semi-regular listener to their content). And I have already stated that.
I recognise that you are new to wikipedia, so just a polite comment on process: Normally editors raise concerns on each other's talk pages before they escalate things to notice boards. Also when they do escalate things to notice boards, they notify the editor they are raising an issue about. Please note in red and bold at the top of the page You must notify any editor who is the subject of a discussion" Also please note 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 CT55555 (talk) 12:04, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CorrTimes: While it is true that Wikipedia discourages users from writing about themselves or their companies or other endeavors, I see no COI in writing about a topic that one has podcasted about (not that this appears to be the case here). If I hosted a podcast and had done significant research on the Canadian mining industry, there would be no COI for me to bring the fruits of that research to Wikipedia, as long as I adhere to policies of neutrality and use reliable sources (which I would most certainly have available having done enough research to generate an entire podcast on the industry). (For the record, I do not have a podcast on the Canadian mining industry -- just using this as a relevant example.) In this present case, you appear to have confused a user's particular interest in a topic, and the information he has gleaned about that topic from a particular set of media, with a conflict of interest regarding that topic or that media. I would recommend this COI discussion be dropped. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 13:20, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WikiDan61 He looks to have written his own biography. CorrTimes (talk) 03:24, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have not written my own biography.
You have now made allegations about me in three different places (This page, also here, and also here).
You have not discussed your suspicions with me on my talk page.
You have not replied to my message on your talk page asking why it appears that you are following me around, and repeating allegations about me. Your only AfD contribution ever was to disagree with me. Your only activity on a noticeboard is about me.
I don't know why 75% of your edits since 01:00 on 27th of last month are disagreeing with me in three different places. But I have asked you to stop and because you have not replied to that request on your talk page, I am repeating it here. CT55555 (talk) 11:13, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CorrTimes: I see no evidence that CT55555 has written their own biography. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 11:28, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I second WikiDan's assessment that CT55555 is probably not one of the hosts nor affiliated with Canadaland. An extremely easy way to explain their editing behavior would be that they have an interest in that particular subject, which would understandably lead to them listening to said podcast and subsequently start writing about it or edit articles related to subjects covered in said podcast. There's a definite lack of WP:AGF going on here. Padgriffin Griffin's Nest 13:44, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Carlos Hank González[edit]

SEO effort by paid COI account to distance one Carlos Hank González (businessman) (new page title created by COI) from Carlos Hank González (politician) (new article entry by COI) has generated this disambiguation issue at orignal article Carlos Hank González after conducting a bold page move. Also noticed that the original Carlos Hank González article has a history of critical commentary being removed by a single purpose account. Not sure, what, if any issue there might be with this kind of editing, but perhaps it warrants some attention. Acousmana 09:49, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not seeing any CoI-related issue here. @Acousmana: You're required to notify editors if you mention them here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:23, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Independent Online (South Africa)[edit]

An ongoing pattern of company-promotional edits from a number of single-interest users over an extended period. The users do not respond to dispute the COI claims and do not participate in talk page discussions on pages they are editing. Most recently, user Lemonbisi is in a revert war over an opening sentence. User AzraFredericks creates company pages - Azra Fredericks is the name of the Marketing & Communication Officer, Executive Chairman's Office at the company in the group of companies in question. Similar edits to these pages have been made recently by a number of IP addresses as well as other users over the years. For context, there is political controversy around the group of companies, its owner Iqbal Survé, and an investment by the Public Investment Corporation in the group. The edit history of these articles shows a consistent pattern of removal of negative coverage, always by single-interest accounts with a probable COI. Zaian (talk) 13:26, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Zaian: Please be aware that, unless they have already done so voluntarily, revealing the real-life identity of a Wikipedia user is considering WP:OUTING and against policy - no matter what transgressions they may have committed. --Drm310 🍁 (talk) 16:57, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Understood, but I don't see how it can be considered "outing" if the username consists of a first name and surname and the same name appears as the head of marketing on the company website whose page is being edited in a clearly COI way. Zaian (talk) 17:35, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have blocked Lembonbisi indefinitely as an SOA. Daniel Case (talk) 19:21, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]