Corporate vanity policy enforcement

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Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Brad Patrick-2
Dear Community:

The volume of corporate vanity/vandalism which is showing up on
Wikipedia is overwhelming.  At the office, we are receiving dozens of
phone calls *per week* about company, organization, and marketing edits
which are reverted, causing the non-notable, but self-aggrandizing
authors, to scream bloody murder.  This is as it should be.  However, I
am issuing a call to arms to the community to act in a much more
draconian fashion in response to corporate self-editing and vanity page
creation.  This is simply out of hand, and we need your help.

We are the #14 website in the world.  We are a big target.  If we are to
remain true to our encyclopedic mission, this kind of nonsense cannot be
tolerated.  This means the administrators and new page patrol need to be
clear when they see new usernames and page creation which are blatantly
commercial - shoot on sight.  There should be no question that someone
who claims to have a "famous movie studio" and has exactly 2 Google hits
- both their Myspace page - they get nuked.  Ban users who promulgate
such garbage for a significant period of time.  They need to be
encouraged to avoid the temptation to recreate their article, thereby
raising the level of damage and wasted time they incur.

Some of you might think regular policy and VfD is the way to go.  I am
here to tell you it is not enough.  We are losing the battle for
encyclopedic content in favor of people intent on hijacking Wikipedia
for their own memes.  This scourge is a serious waste of time and
energy.  We must put a stop to this now.

Thank you for your help.

-Brad Patrick
User:BradPatrick
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Mestel
Maybe we need some kind of speedy deletion process for organisations
which are not notable, but which do assert notability.  Of course,
there would need to be safeguards - perhaps allow any established
editor (>500 edits for the sake of argument) to remove the tag or have
the article undeleted without discussion, like a prod undeletion.
This would mean that we could remove many more articles about nn
organisations and people without having to go through a five-day AfD,
but anything which was notable enough for at least one established
editor to support it would still get the benefit of full AfD process
and discussion.

On 29/09/06, Brad Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Community:
>
> The volume of corporate vanity/vandalism which is showing up on
> Wikipedia is overwhelming.  At the office, we are receiving dozens of
> phone calls *per week* about company, organization, and marketing edits
> which are reverted, causing the non-notable, but self-aggrandizing
> authors, to scream bloody murder.  This is as it should be.  However, I
> am issuing a call to arms to the community to act in a much more
> draconian fashion in response to corporate self-editing and vanity page
> creation.  This is simply out of hand, and we need your help.
>
> We are the #14 website in the world.  We are a big target.  If we are to
> remain true to our encyclopedic mission, this kind of nonsense cannot be
> tolerated.  This means the administrators and new page patrol need to be
> clear when they see new usernames and page creation which are blatantly
> commercial - shoot on sight.  There should be no question that someone
> who claims to have a "famous movie studio" and has exactly 2 Google hits
> - both their Myspace page - they get nuked.  Ban users who promulgate
> such garbage for a significant period of time.  They need to be
> encouraged to avoid the temptation to recreate their article, thereby
> raising the level of damage and wasted time they incur.
>
> Some of you might think regular policy and VfD is the way to go.  I am
> here to tell you it is not enough.  We are losing the battle for
> encyclopedic content in favor of people intent on hijacking Wikipedia
> for their own memes.  This scourge is a serious waste of time and
> energy.  We must put a stop to this now.
>
> Thank you for your help.
>
> -Brad Patrick
> User:BradPatrick
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
>
>


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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 12:53:02 -0400, Brad Patrick
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>The volume of corporate vanity/vandalism which is showing up on
>Wikipedia is overwhelming.

I hear you.  Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
"advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.

Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote

>Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.

Oh. Where it says above the edit box that ''Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products; or articles created as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, may be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies'', I kind of assumed we meant it. And that blatant puffs would be speedied by admins. Don't tell me that this has always been ex-process. Gasp!

Charles


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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

geni
On 10/1/06, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote
>
> >Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> > "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.
>
> Oh. Where it says above the edit box that ''Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products; or articles created as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, may be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies'', I kind of assumed we meant it. And that blatant puffs would be speedied by admins. Don't tell me that this has always been ex-process. Gasp!
>
> Charles
>

Pretty much. Why do you think that [[Template:Db-advert]] was droped?
Doesn't stop people from trying to tag stuff for speeedy with the
reason being "advert" though.

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Mestel
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
Well, our deletion policies also cover AfD.  I think that the first
thing we should do is extend CSD A7 to explicitly cover corporations.

On 01/10/06, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote
>
> >Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> > "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.
>
> Oh. Where it says above the edit box that ''Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products; or articles created as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, may be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies'', I kind of assumed we meant it. And that blatant puffs would be speedied by admins. Don't tell me that this has always been ex-process. Gasp!
>
> Charles
>
>
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
"David Mestel" wrote

> Well, our deletion policies also cover AfD.  I think that the first
> thing we should do is extend CSD A7 to explicitly cover corporations.

I was implying that there has always been the implied discretion for admins to shoot on sight certain types of pages. If you want this in wonkish, those tagging for speedies should stay within the guidelines, but other things can be deleted by sure-footed admins.

Charles

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

geni
In reply to this post by David Mestel
On 10/1/06, David Mestel <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Well, our deletion policies also cover AfD.  I think that the first
> thing we should do is extend CSD A7 to explicitly cover corporations.
>

A corporation is a legal person so they are already covered. the
Problem is that even the most incompetant PR person is going to
include some aparent claim of noteability.

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Mestel
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
explained.

On 01/10/06, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> "David Mestel" wrote
>
> > Well, our deletion policies also cover AfD.  I think that the first
> > thing we should do is extend CSD A7 to explicitly cover corporations.
>
> I was implying that there has always been the implied discretion for admins to shoot on sight certain types of pages. If you want this in wonkish, those tagging for speedies should stay within the guidelines, but other things can be deleted by sure-footed admins.
>
> Charles
>
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
"David Mestel" wrote

> I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
> it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
> and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
> biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
> explained.

Well, as for explanation, when deleting a page one is supposed to fill in a Reason box, and something like 'promotional material' is a quite adequate explanation.

But your reply shows that (per David Gerard, and others of course), we have dialogues here in two languages. Let's for the purposes of argument call them Wonkish and Arbish.

In Wonkish, 'discretion' stands for certain grey and disreputable areas of policy, where what should happen is not yet properly regulated. In Arbish, however, and I speak here as an Arb with the publicly stated aim of keeping admins' discretion something meaningful, you have always to look behind applications of policy to see intention, and the application to the mission statement we have of writing the encyclopedia.

In other words, discretion in Arbish is read as saying that pro-active admins are the first, second and probably third lines of defence of the project. It is much better to have them out there doing their best, and taking away the mop-and-bucket from a very few, than doing up the constraints ever tighter, because it is felt that this pre-empts misuse of admin powers.

This debate, of course, will run and run.

Charles

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Mestel
Well, yes, and what I'm suggesting that we loosen the rules so that
what used to be discretion outside the rules can now be within the
rules, not that we stop admins deleting promotional material.  In
general, I think that policy should describe, as well as proscribe,
the way things are done.

On 01/10/06, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> "David Mestel" wrote
>
> > I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
> > it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
> > and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
> > biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
> > explained.
>
> Well, as for explanation, when deleting a page one is supposed to fill in a Reason box, and something like 'promotional material' is a quite adequate explanation.
>
> But your reply shows that (per David Gerard, and others of course), we have dialogues here in two languages. Let's for the purposes of argument call them Wonkish and Arbish.
>
> In Wonkish, 'discretion' stands for certain grey and disreputable areas of policy, where what should happen is not yet properly regulated. In Arbish, however, and I speak here as an Arb with the publicly stated aim of keeping admins' discretion something meaningful, you have always to look behind applications of policy to see intention, and the application to the mission statement we have of writing the encyclopedia.
>
> In other words, discretion in Arbish is read as saying that pro-active admins are the first, second and probably third lines of defence of the project. It is much better to have them out there doing their best, and taking away the mop-and-bucket from a very few, than doing up the constraints ever tighter, because it is felt that this pre-empts misuse of admin powers.
>
> This debate, of course, will run and run.
>
> Charles
>
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

draicone@gmail.com
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
> Act in a much more draconian fashion
What is it with my username and its various variations?

> When they see new usernames and page creation which are blatantly commercial - shoot on sight.
I'm sure too many sysops are being cautious about such actions. If
there's general agreement, this needs to be emphasised as policy to
sysops for it to really take effect.

In terms of patrolling this, could we somehow tag all corporation
newpages with a specific category? I develop a vandal fighting tool
called MWT (See [[WP:MWT]]), essentially a lightweight recent changes
patroller on wheels. One of its strengths is being able to easily grab
recent changes to articles in a particular category (actually a
feature of recent changes itself, but lacking from other vandal
fighters). I'm sure we could release a build for patrolling articles
on corporations for vanity.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On 01/10/06, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> "David Mestel" wrote

> > I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
> > it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
> > and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
> > biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
> > explained.


You are in fact completely wrong and dangerously wrong.

Humans are not robots. The more rules, the harder it is for people to
follow them. So they won't.

Human judgement is flawed, imperfect and subject to bias and abuse. So
some people attempt to write reliable procedures for all actions and
eliminate grey areas, in the interests of fairness and efficiency. But
the rules are not complete, coherent or consistent, and precedent
isn't binding in any case. (Really - check [[Wikipedia:Consensus can
change]]. You'd be a fool to ignore it, but it's not at all binding.)

That Wikipedia is inconsistent, and permits things it does not
condone, is a feature. Take care not to try to turn Wikipedia into
something which, if it was, would never have become interesting enough
for you to have heard about it in the first place. (See also [[The
Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs]].)


> In Wonkish, 'discretion' stands for certain grey and disreputable areas of policy, where what should happen is not yet properly regulated. In Arbish, however, and I speak here as an Arb with the publicly stated aim of keeping admins' discretion something meaningful, you have always to look behind applications of policy to see intention, and the application to the mission statement we have of writing the encyclopedia.
> In other words, discretion in Arbish is read as saying that pro-active admins are the first, second and probably third lines of defence of the project. It is much better to have them out there doing their best, and taking away the mop-and-bucket from a very few, than doing up the constraints ever tighter, because it is felt that this pre-empts misuse of admin powers.


I think I'll be quoting that as a voice from on high.


- d.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Steve Summit
David Gerard wrote:
>>"David Mestel" wrote
>>> I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
>>> it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
>>> and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
>>> biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
>>> explained.
>
> You are in fact completely wrong and dangerously wrong.

Careful, David, you don't want to turn into a robot, yourself,
in your anti-process crusade!

"Codify it in policy" might be a little strong here, but certainly,
if Brad's call to arms on corporate vanity isn't matched by some
reasonably explicit corresponding language in our notability and
deletion guidelines, it should be.  (In particular, someone
mentioned CSD A7, or something, and while I'm not one to memorize
CSD numbers, that sounds about right.)

> Take care not to try to turn Wikipedia into something which, if it was,
> would never have become interesting enough for you to have heard about
> it in the first place.

Nice.  Where'd that come from? :-)

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Guy Chapman aka JzG


On Oct 1, 2006, at 4:50 AM, Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:

> On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 12:53:02 -0400, Brad Patrick
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The volume of corporate vanity/vandalism which is showing up on
>> Wikipedia is overwhelming.
>
> I hear you.  Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.

Oh God, please no.

You have no idea what that would become in the hands of some of our  
admins.

-Phil
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Steve Summit
On 01/10/06, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Careful, David, you don't want to turn into a robot, yourself,
> in your anti-process crusade!


Anti-crap-process! Aargh! DOES NOT COMPUTE. DESTROY THE HUMANS.


> > Take care not to try to turn Wikipedia into something which, if it was,
> > would never have become interesting enough for you to have heard about
> > it in the first place.

> Nice.  Where'd that come from? :-)


Some guy added it to this page ...


- d.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

MacGyverMagic/Mgm
In reply to this post by Philip Sandifer-2
I'd be happy with one that explicitly allows deletion of obviously
promotional material written by the owner or an employee of the company. The
person who wrote it is often a good indication of the amount of vanity it
contains.

Anyway, if we can't get it through on CSD, we should indeed have some
company vanity patrol. We have the "Do not write articles about yourself,
your business, etc" message, so we shouldn't be afraid of biting newbies.
It's out in the open what they are and are not supposed to do. We can always
leave a message to the obviously well-intended newbies who tried to write
encyclopedically, but who's subject isn't suitable.

Mgm


On 10/1/06, Phil Sandifer <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> On Oct 1, 2006, at 4:50 AM, Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:
>
> > On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 12:53:02 -0400, Brad Patrick
> > <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> The volume of corporate vanity/vandalism which is showing up on
> >> Wikipedia is overwhelming.
> >
> > I hear you.  Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> > "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.
>
> Oh God, please no.
>
> You have no idea what that would become in the hands of some of our
> admins.
>
> -Phil
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Steve Summit
In reply to this post by Philip Sandifer-2
Phil Sandifer wrote:
>On Oct 1, 2006, at 4:50 AM, Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:
>> I hear you.  Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
>> "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.
>
> Oh God, please no.
> You have no idea what that would become in the hands of some of our  
> admins.

Is there anything we can do about *that* problem?  If we can't
at least document our norms for fear of the documentation being
misused, that sounds like a precarious situation.

(In particular, if an argument for not writing down a policy is
that people are supposed to be flexible but reasonable and, most
of the time, do the same sorts of thing that the hypothetical
written-down policy would stipulate, but if the additional fear
is that, once the policy got written down, it would be misused
by unreasonable people, what does that say about their behavior
in the absence of the written-down policy?)
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Gerard-2
On 01/10/06, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Phil Sandifer wrote:
> >On Oct 1, 2006, at 4:50 AM, Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:

> >> I hear you.  Perhaps that long discussed speedy criterion for
> >> "advertisements masquerading as articles" should be introduced.

> > Oh God, please no.
> > You have no idea what that would become in the hands of some of our
> > admins.

> Is there anything we can do about *that* problem?  If we can't
> at least document our norms for fear of the documentation being
> misused, that sounds like a precarious situation.


Write guidelines as guidelines, go out of your way to avoid didactic
language? This was an important stylistic consideration in the
proposed rewrite of [[Wikipedia:Blocking policy]].

"Convention as at [date] includes ..." might be worth a try.


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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Russell-2
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I've replaced the G11 that was added with (what I think is) a
better-worded A9. The current text of it (assuming no reverts) is:

'Vanity articles. An article about a real person or corporation which
appears to have been written by the subject, by one of its employees, or
by a third party hired by the subject to write the article, regardless
of the notability or otherwise of the subject.'


This solves the concern that admins would use the 'shoot on sight' as an
excuse to delete good articles which they thought were 'non-notable'. My
 A9 draft makes it clear that an article has to be a VANITY article to
qualify - and that its notability is not the issue. Thoughts anyone?

Cynical
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