Corporate vanity policy enforcement

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Gerard-2
On 01/10/06, David Russell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> '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.'


Looks relatively robust against the sincere variety of rules lawyer (I
could be wrong) and seems to follow sensibly from the basic content
policies.


- d.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Anthony DiPierro
On 10/1/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 01/10/06, David Russell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > '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.'
>
>
> Looks relatively robust against the sincere variety of rules lawyer (I
> could be wrong) and seems to follow sensibly from the basic content
> policies.
>
The problem I would say is that it's really easy to confuse an article
written by a third party for one written by the subject.

I've submitted a number of articles on freeware, for instance, and had
them deleted as "vanity".  I also know of a case where an article on a
professor which was copied straight out of the Vanity Fair Magazine
was listed on VfD as "vanity", and it received a significant majority
of votes for deletion as "obvious vanity" at the time I went to
Borders and noticed the plagiarism.

It seems to me that it's far to difficult to recognize which articles
"have been written by the subject, by one of its employees, or by a
third party hired by the subject to write the article" without having
a large number of false positives or a large number of missed
negatives.

I think it makes much more sense to let people remove those parts of
articles they feel are not written from a neutral point of view, or
are not verifiable.  If it turns out there is nothing left, well, then
an article might be a candidate for unilateral removal.

Anthony
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by David Russell-2
>
> 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?

One major problem - to my mind, an article written by the subject  
that is notable, sourced, etc ought not be deleted.

The problem word here is "appears," which is going to get ignored as  
people go on lengthy hunts to make the connections so that they can  
show an apparent commercial motive and thus whack the article.

This apparentness needs to be firmly situated in the article text  
itself. That is to say, "An article about a real person or  
corporation that reads as though it was written by the subject..."

This situates the problem firmly as a content problem, which is key  
in content policies.

-Phil
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by David Mestel
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.

This is an eloquent expression of ongoing problems with process creep.
Not everything needs to be codified in a strict policy involving a 5 day
voting procedure.

One thing to remember is that deletions can be undone.  Deleting an
article is really no big deal.

As far as not biting the newbies, well, of course I agree.  A kind and
loving template which says "Thanks so much for your submission to
Wikipedia, but it was deleted.  Before submitting again, please read
<this>, <that>, and <the other> policy, and if you have questions,
please raise them at <an appropriate page>."

--Jimbo

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
This should be required reading.  Charles is a voice of great experience
and wisdom.

[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

Stephen Streater
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro

On 1 Oct 2006, at 16:42, Anthony wrote:

> On 10/1/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 01/10/06, David Russell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> '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.'
>>
>>
>> Looks relatively robust against the sincere variety of rules  
>> lawyer (I
>> could be wrong) and seems to follow sensibly from the basic content
>> policies.
>>
> The problem I would say is that it's really easy to confuse an article
> written by a third party for one written by the subject.
>
> I've submitted a number of articles on freeware, for instance, and had
> them deleted as "vanity".  I also know of a case where an article on a
> professor which was copied straight out of the Vanity Fair Magazine
> was listed on VfD as "vanity", and it received a significant majority
> of votes for deletion as "obvious vanity" at the time I went to
> Borders and noticed the plagiarism.
>
> It seems to me that it's far to difficult to recognize which articles
> "have been written by the subject, by one of its employees, or by a
> third party hired by the subject to write the article" without having
> a large number of false positives or a large number of missed
> negatives.
>
> I think it makes much more sense to let people remove those parts of
> articles they feel are not written from a neutral point of view, or
> are not verifiable.  If it turns out there is nothing left, well, then
> an article might be a candidate for unilateral removal.

This sounds sensible to me.

We would benefit from a more sophisticated measure
of likely article quality, related to the number of
independent editors and frequency of edits. If we get
the formula right, it will apply to all articles. Vanity is only
one possible cause of NPOV.

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 10:45:55 +0100, <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>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.

It has indeed.  Or rather, one has to come up with creative reasoning
when Mr Troll decides to spend the next three months debating it on
DRV.

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

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Philip Sandifer-2
On 10/1/06, Phil Sandifer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One major problem - to my mind, an article written by the subject
> that is notable, sourced, etc ought not be deleted.
[snip]

With 'only' 1.3 millionish articles I suppose it's not TOO unlikely
that there are still some seriously notable living people without
articles who might want to start one themselves...

BUT...

If a person is notable, then some unrelated person will eventually
come by and write an article.

Thus, while the deletion of a self authored article about a notable
person might be a loss, it isn't much of a loss.  Wikipedia won't be
done in a day.

Also: an honest and sincere person probably would have a hard time
figuring out if they, their company, or their client is notable enough
for inclusion in Wikipedia (since we, often, can't figure it out
without a poll) ... notability just isn't a good criteria to direct
people about self authored articles. ... But no-self-articles is clear
and can be followed by anyone who is acting honestly.

Some basic thoughts:
1) There are more non-notable people than notable by far.
2) The desire to have a wikipedia article about yourself is at best
weakly and more likely *inversely* related to your actual notability.
3) If someone/thing is really notable a mostly disinterested third
party will eventually want to write about it.

Given the above it would appear that a solid rejection of
self-initiated articles is sound policy.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Stephen Streater
On 10/1/06, Stephen Streater <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This sounds sensible to me.
>
> We would benefit from a more sophisticated measure
> of likely article quality, related to the number of
> independent editors and frequency of edits. If we get
> the formula right, it will apply to all articles. Vanity is only
> one possible cause of NPOV.

Unfortunatly most authors have very few distinct editors. .. And it's
hard to differentiate editors who simply fixed a typographical mistake
and editors who actually read the content (it's not to hard to find
examples of people copyediting fairly obvious vandalism in Wikipedia.
:( )...

As a result coming up with good metrics are hard, and coming up with
ones which couldn't easily be gamed .. maybe almost impossible.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Gregory Maxwell
On 10/1/06, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Unfortunatly most authors have very few distinct editors. .. And it's

s/authors/articles/

Sorry.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by David Mestel
On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 11:01:49 +0100, "David Mestel"
<[hidden email]> 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.

Unfortunately you cannot either legislate or codify Clue.

Actually for my money policy *is* close to perfect: if a subject is
not just unverified but, for all practical purposes, *unverifiable*
from reliable sources, it has to go.  If this is unambiguous, further
debate is unnecessary.  If it's possible that sources could be found,
or it's not your specialist area, then a debate makes sense.
Everything else is just discussion of what are the symptoms of such an
article might be.

Needless to say I am an evil rouge admin and a heartless deletionist.
Some users have spent long and tedious hours debating precisely which
part of policy covers the deletion of an article consisting of one
sentence which is already included in another article and with a title
which does not meet the manual of style.

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

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 17:23:21 -0400, "Gregory Maxwell"
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>Unfortunatly most authors have very few distinct editors. .. And it's
>hard to differentiate editors who simply fixed a typographical mistake
>and editors who actually read the content (it's not to hard to find
>examples of people copyediting fairly obvious vandalism in Wikipedia.

True.  At the risk of losing a treasured friend, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Kell - I believe he meets the bio
criteria (as an author of an article in Britannica if nothing else)
but I would be amazed if more than a handful of other people will ever
edit that article.

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

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell


On Oct 1, 2006, at 5:20 PM, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
>
>
> Thus, while the deletion of a self authored article about a notable
> person might be a loss, it isn't much of a loss.  Wikipedia won't be
> done in a day.
>

You misunderstand my concern - it's not merely that good content will  
be eliminated, though that is a problem. It's that making vanity-
hunting a priority in any way encourages assumptions of bad faith -  
every article on a person or corporation becomes something we have to  
try to sniff out the creator of.

Content decisions should not require paranoid checking of the  
contributors.

-Phil

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

David Gerard-2
On 01/10/06, Phil Sandifer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You misunderstand my concern - it's not merely that good content will
> be eliminated, though that is a problem. It's that making vanity-
> hunting a priority in any way encourages assumptions of bad faith -
> every article on a person or corporation becomes something we have to
> try to sniff out the creator of.
> Content decisions should not require paranoid checking of the
> contributors.


Yes. Are we now rescinding the core hard policy "Assume good faith"
because Danny and Brad don't scale?


- d.
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

geni
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 10/1/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is an eloquent expression of ongoing problems with process creep.
> Not everything needs to be codified in a strict policy involving a 5 day
> voting procedure.
>

This would be why we have prod.

> One thing to remember is that deletions can be undone.  Deleting an
> article is really no big deal.
>

If you are not an admin it is.

> As far as not biting the newbies, well, of course I agree.  A kind and
> loving template which says "Thanks so much for your submission to
> Wikipedia, but it was deleted.  Before submitting again, please read
> <this>, <that>, and <the other> policy, and if you have questions,
> please raise them at <an appropriate page>."


Cold and impersonal.

If admins are going to operate outside the system it hardly seems
acceptable to comunicate to those they effect as if they were part of
such a sytem. No statements about personalised deletions should be
personalised in term.

--
geni
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales


On Oct 1, 2006, at 1:22 PM, Jimmy Wales wrote:
>

> As far as not biting the newbies, well, of course I agree.  A kind and
> loving template which says "Thanks so much for your submission to
> Wikipedia, but it was deleted.  Before submitting again, please read
> <this>, <that>, and <the other> policy, and if you have questions,
> please raise them at <an appropriate page>."

This would work great if <this>, <that>, and <the other> weren't  
cruft-ridden hacks of process, and if the regulars at <an appropriate  
page> weren't excessively prone to misreading the aforementioned  
<this>, <that>, and <the other> as didactic laws that must be obeyed  
at all cost.

As long as that is the case, we're in the unfortunate position where  
it's entirely likely the god-given common sense a user comes to the  
project with is going to do them more good than our policy pages. Or,  
rather, we're in the unfortunate case of trying to have policy pages  
replace that common sense. As long as that's the case, they're not  
really even worth citing.

-Phil
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
Steve Summit 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.

In general, I agree. Reprimand and then cull admins who can't get it right, rather than distort policy in defensive mode. Recall that most admin actions are reversible. (Not against people, true, but that's where we have been hardest in the past.)

Charles

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Brad Patrick-2
Phil Sandifer wrote
> As long as that is the case, we're in the unfortunate position where  
> it's entirely likely the god-given common sense a user comes to the  
> project with is going to do them more good than our policy pages.

"Plus ça change" versus "nous avons changé tout celà", IOW. Amateurs can draft encyclopedic pages with greater ease than legalistic documents. All true, but this comes with the territory.

I think the right conclusion is not so much that the way things are done just fundamentally sucks; but that this issue, of accessibility of 'policy', preferentially will put off those who want solid understanding of everything involved in editing. I have never felt I understood all aspects of enWP.

Charles

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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

geni
In reply to this post by Philip Sandifer-2
On 10/2/06, Phil Sandifer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> As long as that is the case, we're in the unfortunate position where
> it's entirely likely the god-given common sense a user comes to the
> project with is going to do them more good than our policy pages.

The evidence suggests otherwise. Or why does stuff keep turning up at
[[CAT:CSD]]?

> Or,
> rather, we're in the unfortunate case of trying to have policy pages
> replace that common sense.

Since common sense has a slight tendency to produce seriously flawed
results I'm failing to see a problem with that.

--
geni
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Re: Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 10/1/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> One thing to remember is that deletions can be undone.  Deleting an
> article is really no big deal.
>

Okay. Given that line, I cannot resist the following. (so sue me, some
straight lines really need to be punched on)

Please (pretty please, with cherry on top) go on the record saying
that undeletion is no big deal. I dare you, I double dare you.

Glossing on...  (you may want to disregard the following, the point is
all above, what follows is just driving it into the ground; pounding a
dead horse, choose your
metaphor for explicating things plain as pikestaffs)

Just because one *can* do something (or in this case _undo_) it does
not mean that doing that is easy/costless/(or likely to happen in any
significant majority of cases).

Undeleting articles does happen, but it does not make deleting
articles a trivial act. "Big deal" really needs to be deprecated
around wikipedia, as a term in general. Because it gives out the
appearances that wikipedia is still a Ben&Jerry operation, when
clearly it is not. (And yes, I could go on and on on this subject, but
I think the point is made.)


--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]
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