Wikipedia:FAQ/Article subjects

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Article subjects' FAQ

The information in your article about me is wrong. How can I get it fixed?

Before you do anything else, disclose your conflict of interest. See How to disclose a COI for how.

We ask people to refrain from editing articles about themselves.

However, it is generally considered okay for you to edit the article about you in certain circumstances.

  • If it contains minor "hard fact" errors, such as an incorrect date, a mistake in spelling or grammar, or a dead link, then please correct those errors.
  • If it contains spam, nonsense, or other sorts of vandalism, then please remove that.
  • If it contains private information you strongly don't want shared, particularly if you are not famous, then please remove that. This might include, for example, your email address or other private contact information, date of birth, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.
  • If its tone is clearly derogatory and cites either no sources or questionable sources, then please remove that (but be careful!).
  • For serious legal issues, including libel, please send an email to

If your edit does not fall under these categories, make an edit request, preferably through the Wikipedia:Edit Request Wizard. The wizard will guide you on how to make an edit request.

Your article about me isn't exactly bad, but it could be better. How do I get it improved?

We welcome suggestions for improvement to all articles. Feel free to contribute new information or make suggestions on the talk page. If you do not have any specific improvements in mind, however, you will likely be ignored.

There's no photo of me in my article (or I hate the one that's there).

Feel free to contribute a photo under a suitable free content license. See here for more information.

I work in PR, and would like to fix up the article about the person or company I represent. Is that okay?

You must declare if you are editing for pay or reward. You will be blocked if you fail to do so.

The instructions in the "The information in your article about me is wrong. How can I get it fixed?" section above mostly follows here. Disclose your conflict of interest, and if the edit is simply fixing a minor error, go ahead. Otherwise, make an edit request, preferably through the Wikipedia:Edit Request Wizard.

Please be aware that other people will edit what you've written, and that each article's history page is public and will reflect exactly what you have changed. If you aren't willing to accept that, then you should not edit.


  • try to use Wikipedia to promote or advertise your client(s) (see our guideline on conflict of interest, for details)
  • remove negative material (exception: material that violates our policy regarding living people)
  • copy-and-paste content from another site, even if you manage the other site (if you personally own the copyrighted text, see WP:IOWN for requirements for copying it)
  • add information that cannot be independently verified, or that isn't significant for an encyclopedia article
  • add, delete, or modify text that's particularly controversial or where facts are disputed (again, with the exception of removing unsourced controversial information about living people, per WP:BLP)

Somebody keeps vandalizing the article about me or my company. Can't you stop them?

On Wikipedia, we have a very specific definition of vandalism, see Wikipedia:Vandalism. In short, vandalistic edits are bad-faith edits intended to disrupt the encyclopedia. You can revert those edits yourself, see Help:Reverting. You can also report people persistently vandalising at the Administrator intervention against vandalism board.

Can you "lock" an article so that it stays on my preferred text, or so that only certain people can update it?

No. We can protect articles to halt vandalism or a content dispute, but both our neutral point of view and page protection policies prevent administrators from using the tool to enforce a particular version. Also, nobody owns any article in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a vanity press, and "official" descriptions and biographies do not belong here.

Can I ask the police or someone else to stop it?

No. The fastest and most reliable way to address vandalism is by simply reverting it.

Someone keeps writing negative things about me or my company. What can I do?

If it's uncomplimentary but accurate and backed up by reliable sources, there is nothing you can do about it. If you feel the article is poorly-sourced, unduly negative, contains information that is irrelevant or otherwise not worth including, or is particularly hurtful to someone who's not a public figure, please make those comments on the article's talk page, or post to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard to bring the article to the attention of the wider community. Editors must maintain balance in articles and abide by a neutral point of view. Information won't be taken down just because it makes you unhappy.

This article is an attack on me/my organization. What can I do?

Your first step should be going to the article's talk page. If you feel that the article contains unnecessary attacks or unreliable information for the purpose of portraying your organization in a negative light, please explain why and discuss it with other Wikipedians. Don't misrepresent who you are on a talk page. Openness and transparency will give you more credibility. Say that you represent the organization, calmly and politely present information that makes your case along with citations that back them up. Don't try to spin the facts, it will just lessen your credibility. If you are requesting a change to the article, using the template {{edit COI}} will help draw attention to the conversation.

If this yields no response, or if you feel that the response is unsatisfactory, you have several options.

  • If a claim in the article is questionable and not supported by a cited reliable source then it may be challenged by anyone. You can put a {{fact}}, {{Verify credibility}}, {{Verify source}}, or {{Failed verification}} tag beside it to request a citation or question the source. If the tag has remained there for several days, you can remove the claim.
  • If unsourced information about an organization or person is especially libelous, Wikipedia policy is "to delete libelous material when it has been identified." You may remove the material and leave a note as to why on the article's talk page.
  • If an article contains non-libelous but derogatory information about a living person that is not substantiated by a reliable source, this is a violation of Wikipedia's "biography of living persons" policy. You can ask for help at the biography of living persons noticeboard.
  • If you believe editors are trying to make your organization look bad, you might ask for another opinion at the neutral point of view noticeboard. If you have evidence editors are involved with an opposing organization, post a note to the conflict of interest noticeboard.
  • If the entire article is libel attacking a person or organization, and you have examined the history of the offending page and found nothing but unsourced attacks, this is considered an "attack page." Add the code {{Db-attack}} (include the braces) to the top of the page. An administrator will then examine the page in question and delete it if they agree with you that the article is nothing but attacks.

What you should not do is engage in edit wars with other users. If you perform a change and somebody else reverses you, don't simply put the change back. Instead go to the article's talk page and create a topic about it, making your argument. Escalating conflict will not help. We don't allow this and if you do this you may end up being blocked.

Above all, do not make legal threats on Wikipedia. If you do, you will be blocked until the threat is withdrawn or the legal action is resolved.

I keep making a change in my article and somebody keeps changing it back. Why?

There are a variety of possibilities. Maybe someone thought your change was self-promoting or biased. Possibly the facts are disputed. Or it may be simply that someone thought your material wasn't worthy of inclusion, or was written in a style not suitable to an encyclopedia.

To find out what happened, the first thing you should do is look at the history page for the article you edited. This will tell you who changed it, when, and often why. If it says something like "see talk", then look at the article's talk page. If you don't find a reason that makes sense to you, politely ask in talk page what happened to your change. Generally, then someone will tell you why your change was reverted.

Can I start an article about myself or my company?

We strongly discourage this. Wikipedia is intended to be an objective resource, and it's very, very difficult for people to be fully objective about themselves or their company.

If your life and achievements are verifiable and genuinely notable, then sooner or later someone else will probably create an article about you. If you write an article about yourself, the chances are pretty good that it will be deleted.

Please note also that anything you write on Wikipedia will be mercilessly edited by others, and An article about yourself isn't necessarily a good thing. In fact, sometimes people who write about themselves end up requesting that their articles be deleted because the original piece has, over time, changed in ways they didn't like.

Should I pay someone to write an article about me or my organization?


If you have been contacted by someone who proposes writing an article, it's probably a scam. Look out for lies such as "recommended by The New York Times" or claims that they pay Wikipedia administrators. (Our administrators are volunteers, just like all other editors.) These articles – assuming the scammer submits anything at all – tend to be poorly written, reflect badly on your organization, and end up deleted by Wikipedia's administrators within a few weeks.

Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is not a place for you to promote for your services, products or to promote any other cause. While a list of the key services your organization provides might be appropriate, such a list should only include those that are necessary to adequately describe the organization. Our policy on neutral point of view mandates that promotional material and advertising be removed. Advertising may be in addition considered spam and will likely lead to a block or even a banning.

Please see Wikipedia:Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia? for more on this.

Who wrote the article about me or my company?

The articles on Wikipedia are collaboratively written by volunteers. Almost all articles have more than one author. If you want to know who wrote a particular article, click on the "history" tab at the top of that page. That will show who has edited the page. It will display usernames for editors who have registered with Wikipedia, and IP addresses for editors who haven't registered. Another way to find who wrote the article is to find the "Tools" section located on your right side of the screen. Then find the "General" section below the "Actions" section. Touch or click on the "Page information" button. Then you could get all the information about the article, such as how many views it's gotten in the past 30 days. Scroll down to the section "Edit history". There on the first row, you could see the what user created the article, when they had started created it, and more.

How can I get rid of the article about myself or my company?

We generally aim to improve articles rather than delete them. Saying an article is "bad" (or inaccurate, or biased, or badly written) isn't reason enough for it to be deleted: we would prefer you try to help us make it better. See our deletion policy.

I am mentioned in an article about something else, and I would like the reference to me removed. How can I do that?

You probably cannot. If you think the reference doesn't belong in an encyclopedia (because it's incorrect, or not worth mentioning), you can make that comment on the talk page. Editors won't remove the reference just because you don't like it.

I would like to sue you for lying about me in your article. How do I proceed?

If you say this on Wikipedia, you will be blocked. See Wikipedia:No legal threats.

If you have a genuine legal concern, tell us about it by emailing with "Legal concern" in the subject line, and giving the exact URL of the article, and what you think is wrong.

Some notes:

  • Your email will be answered by a volunteer who will attempt to resolve your concern, but is unlikely to know anything about your situation in advance, so please be patient.
  • We won't make your email (including your email address) public. Nor will we give you other people's information, such as the IP addresses of registered users.
  • Please don't send legal concerns to other Wikipedia email addresses: that just slows things down.
  • If you don't hear back, check your junk mail folder.
  • We will not telephone you, even if you request that.

How can I prove my identity to the Wikipedia Community?

Sometimes editors claiming to be an article subject are blocked for impersonation. If you want to avoid this situation, please send an email to including your real name and your Wikipedia username to receive instructions from our volunteer response team about account verification. Please do not send documentation without being requested to do so.

Can I add a link to my organization's website?

If the article about your organization does not contain a link to your official website, you are welcome to add one. You may also update the link if the URL has changed.

However, you should avoid adding other External links to your or your organization's website. If the link is relevant, helpful and informative and should otherwise be included, please consider mentioning it on the talk page and let neutral and independent Wikipedia editors decide whether to add it. Whilst it may be tempting to linkspam, editors often notice and will remove them. Persistent linkspammers are usually blocked and may have their website(s) added to the Wikimedia spam blacklist.

It is important to understand that our blacklist is public, and many website operators use this list for their own websites, so if you end up on our blacklist other websites who use this list may block your link as well.

Can my organization have an account?

It is against our policy for two or more people to share an account. If there is evidence that an account is being shared, it will be blocked.

Usernames that match your organization's name or website name (e.g. "Widgets Company") are usually viewed as inappropriate under Wikipedia's username policy. Instead, please have your organization's representative register an individual account (include your company name, e.g. "Mark at Widgets Company") and declare the affiliation on the account's user page.

What materials can I upload? What do I need to know about the CC BY-SA license?

Public relations agents often copy and paste content from organizations' websites into their Wikipedia articles. Please be aware that all text on Wikipedia is and must be explicitly licensed under the CC BY-SA at its original point of publication, and almost all images must be under a free license. Additions to Wikipedia that do not fall under such licenses will be removed.

The CC BY-SA and other free licenses mean that other people can take your contributions and modify them however they see fit. You are welcome to upload images, diagrams, logos and other media, and will receive a warm welcome if you license them freely. However, images that are overly promotional may be deleted.

Be aware that PR copy is almost always inappropriate in tone for Wikipedia, even if released for use under the CC BY-SA. The tone of a Wikipedia article must always be neutral, but promotional materials have an inherently non-neutral tone. Use of peacock terms common in PR, such as "innovative" and "exciting", contravene Wikipedia's Manual of Style and are often deleted. Content added to Wikipedia will almost always have to be written specifically for Wikipedia—by somebody other than your PR agent. If your PR agent adds promotional material to Wikipedia for you without disclosing their professional relationship, that's astroturfing and will be removed.

Can I use Wikipedia as an organizational wiki?

No, but you may download the MediaWiki software for free, the same software which powers Wikipedia, and set up your own corporate wiki. There are also many other wiki software packages, some of which may better meet the needs of your organization. For more information, see: b:Starting and Running a Wiki Website, mw:Manual:Installation guide, and mw:Manual:Wiki on a stick.

Do these rules apply when the organization is not for profit?

Yes. We make no distinction between for-profit and non-profit organizations.

I would like more information on the topics covered in this FAQ.

To ask for help, visit the Wikipedia:Teahouse.

See also