Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest

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Non-Governmental Organisations[edit]

Good Afternoon, How are small NGO's supposed to gain influence if they cannot create a wikipedia page to provide information on what they do. No one outside these organisations will create a page that has correct, factual information that will be a reliable source for those simply wishing for quick information. However, whenever someone within the organisation creates one it is denied due to conflict of interest. As a small organisation, no one will create an effective page for us. Please give information on what can we do to create a wikipedia page for a NGO, charity with no paid editing involved. Peace2022 (talk) 11:11, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Peace2022. The 'paid' part of "paid editing" can sometimes cause confusion. We're not really concerned by financial remuneration per se, but by the inherent tendency to bias an editor has when they're editing on behalf of their employer or some other entity in which they have an 'interest'. In that sense, it doesn't matter whether that employer is a for-profit or non-profit organisation. The editor is not editing purely in Wikipedia's interest any more.
Small NGOs are not supposed to gain influence by creating a Wikipedia page. That is not what Wikipedia is for. We're a volunteer-written encyclopaedia and we only cover topics that have already been written about by independent sources. If the NGO you work for meets that criterion, then you may have luck with the draft you are working on, or you can request a volunteer write an article about it. But many very worthy organisations do not and will not have articles written about them. And in general, as this page makes clear, we do not want you to write an article about your employer. We can wish you the best of luck in your efforts to increase their profile, but this is not the right place to do it. – Joe (talk) 11:38, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Joe, Thank you for your kind words. I will look into requesting a volunteer to write it for us. I appreciate your quick response, Thank you, Peace2022 (talk) 12:37, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is worth baring in mind that Wikipedia pages do not help with SEO or PPC. Furthermore, it needs to be covered by reliable sources. Strongly suggest drafting something first. >> Lil-unique1 (talk) — 12:51, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, you are better off not asking someone to create an article about your organization. The author will still be considered to have an interest in promoting the entity. isaacl (talk) 15:36, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Peace2022: The case of small NGOs is a genuine problem for Wikipedia, and if you have a solution that we haven't thought about before, then you're welcome to propose that. Currently, you would need to convince several different online mainstream media, which are currently accepted as reliable sources in Wikipedia, or which are at least tentatively accepted by editors interested in the article as reliable, to do in-depth investigations and reports about your organisation. Obviously, you cannot pay the media to do the report, and the report may show you in a bad light - that's the risk you have to take. If you choose responsible media that are unlikely to have a special bias in your NGO's favour, then most likely you'll get a nuanced report, commenting on what's going right and what's going wrong in your NGO. After the reports are public, then those should be usable to establish that the which/what/when/where/how/why/who of your organisation, based on those and any other reliable sources. You might also find academic (university researchers') reports on your NGO. Peer reviewed academic articles are generally considered stronger sources than mainstream media articles. Some other sources may be accepted - you can try them and find consensus with other editors about how independent and solid those sources are. There's no problem creating a WP:DRAFT, especially if you already have some good sources and clearly declare your COI.
There is effectively a trust network of online sourcing, which at times has been abused, for example by Avisa Partners, whose clients are rich oligarchs rather than grassroots NGOs; I suspect that we quite likely have a statistical bias in favour of rich clients and against grassroots NGOs (see WP:BIAS), though I'm just guessing. In the long term, we hope that fake information will be weeded out and that the trust network of reliable sources of information will be strengthened.
I agree with Isaacl that asking a volunteer to write the article instead of someone working for your NGO won't make any difference. If you can write a good draft at WP:DRAFT based on good sources, according to Wikipedia principles and guidelines, and declaring your COI on the talk page, then chances are that someone will approve it and shift it to WP:ARTICLESPACE, where regular articles are. Boud (talk) 21:14, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I apologize for missing that "requesting a volunteer" came from the advice of Joe Roe, who linked to Wikipedia:Requested articles. (I had mistakenly thought that the editor was considering asking one of the NGO volunteers to write an article.) Posting a request through that venue is a reasonable way to look for a Wikipedia editor interested in writing an article, though as can be seen from the lengthy list of requests, it might not be very fruitful. isaacl (talk) 21:32, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History of this page's lead[edit]

I was talking to another editor about how the lead for this page changed in 2015 (here's the diff). The first sentence changed from "A Wikipedia conflict of interest (COI) is an incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor" to "Conflict of interest (COI) editing involves contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial or other relationships. Any external relationship can trigger a conflict of interest. (The word interest refers here to something that a person has a stake in or stands to benefit from, not something he is merely curious about.)". It looks like there were a lot of changes in 2015 and I'm not sure if they were a product of consensus (you can see the discussion from then here). Do most people prefer the current wording? Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 16:50, 12 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Avisa Partners[edit]

Just an alert that might help people tracking COI situations. On fr.Wikipedia, there's fr:Avisa Partners#Controverse sur la manipulation de l'information et de sites internet. Per the article and its WP:RS, Avisa Partners is a consulting firm with very strong political connections in France that has been heavily involved in COI editing of blogs and the fr.Wikipedia. Enquiries by nine different news sources have documented Avisa Partners' false news campaigns since 2013. During 2013 to 2014, according to the current state of the fr Wikipedia article (I haven't checked the sources myself), the directors of the firm directly supervised writing false news articles and this type of activity constituted over 90% of the firm's activities. This would clearly be notable if somebody wanted to create Avisa Partners here at en.Wikipedia, for those interested in knowledge about disinformation. The fr article was only created on 18 Feb 2022 - and the talk page has a section dated today (21 July) commenting that the Wikipedia page itself was COI-edited by Avisa Partners. Seems like the firm wants to get more and more bad publicity and doesn't know about the Streisand effect. Boud (talk) 14:41, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks like fr.Wikipedia admins and other editors are proposing a major list of pages needing investigation - within fr, at least - for COI-damaged pages: see fr:Wikipédia:Bulletin des administrateurs/2022/Semaine 29#Enquête avec Mediapart : activités wikipédiennes d'Avisa Partners. Pages concerned include the fr equivalents of
Boud (talk) 18:46, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Yug and Elinruby: You may want to keep an eye on the en version of the article Avisa Partners. If you look at the topic of this talk page and the article itself, and if you look at the French version, especially if you skip straight to the talk page and read this admin work page, then it should be obvious why this is an article that needs plenty of watchers, especially French-speaking watchers.
As for investigations into damage already done on en.Wikipedia by Avisa Partners (if any has been done), I think that's up to whoever is motivated to try to investigate. Boud (talk) 20:50, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thank you for bringing this to my attention. Elinruby (talk) 20:57, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mathglot: as another French speaker who has shown an interest in disinformation topics Elinruby (talk) 21:32, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And me, too. Mathglot (talk) 22:11, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems like some tidying has already been done on en.Wikipedia with indefinite blocks of Jaffredo and Sedentaire, but it's possible that those who have dramatically violated online community principles for cash might not yet understand the Streisand effect, so staying alert will still be wise. Boud (talk) 03:15, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In regard to that, I filed an ANI report about this, here, linking the French ANI report and summarizing it. Mathglot (talk) 08:30, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conflicts of interest resolution[edit]

I want to create an International Human Right NGO page in Wikipedia but I am facing the Conflict of Interest every time while creating, how can I resolve this need some detailed guidance. SarimBurney12 (talk) 11:12, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@SarimBurney12: The best would be to create the article in draft space. But first you need to collect together reliable sources that are sufficiently independent from the Sarim Burney Foundation. Information that the foundation says about itself can be a minor component of information in the article, for information likely to be uncontroversial, but most sources should be independent. For example, I saw these:
In any case, you can propose a draft based on the best sources you can find and others will give you suggestions on the talk page there. Boud (talk) 01:14, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]