[Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

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[Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

jmh649
A not really hypothetical question:

Let say one is the director of marketing at a 16 billion dollar company and
decides to come to Wikipedia in an attempt to alter its coverage of one of
your companies key products (which has been hit fairly hard lately by the
evidence). One also invites 50 of your best friends (most of which are on
your pay role to join you in this effort).

Let say you are trying to do it anonymously but both you and your
associates send out a whole bunch of intimidating emails to a long standing
editor. Than this long standing editor without any real difficulty figures
out who you are (as you sort of did email him). You than "vanish" from
Wikipedia.

What if this long standing editor decided to either hand the story over to
the press or write something up for publication in a peer review journal as
said editor does not stand for intimidation easily? And this long standing
editor believes that the world / patients might be better off if
this behavior become more widely known. How would the Wikimedia community
apply the above two policies / guidelines (WP:COI and WP:OUTING)?

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

David Gerard-2
On 21 January 2013 13:09, James Heilman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What if this long standing editor decided to either hand the story over to
> the press or write something up for publication in a peer review journal as
> said editor does not stand for intimidation easily? And this long standing
> editor believes that the world / patients might be better off if
> this behavior become more widely known. How would the Wikimedia community
> apply the above two policies / guidelines (WP:COI and WP:OUTING)?


The long-standing Internet practice is to publish threatening email as
being in the public interest. Wikipedia isn't the platform for that.

Given the indeterminate parameters of the original question, it would
depend if the editor in question felt that this was sufficiently in
the general public interest.

The (not-so-) hypothetical editor in question could then reasonably
leave it to other less-pissed-off editors to calmly sort out what
should be done in terms of coverage on the wiki itself.

This is of course all (not-so-) hypothetical.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by jmh649
> A not really hypothetical question:
>
> Let say one is the director of marketing at a 16 billion dollar company
> and
> decides to come to Wikipedia in an attempt to alter its coverage of one
> of
> your companies key products (which has been hit fairly hard lately by the
> evidence). One also invites 50 of your best friends (most of which are on
> your pay role to join you in this effort).
>
> Let say you are trying to do it anonymously but both you and your
> associates send out a whole bunch of intimidating emails to a long
> standing
> editor. Than this long standing editor without any real difficulty
> figures
> out who you are (as you sort of did email him). You than "vanish" from
> Wikipedia.
>
> What if this long standing editor decided to either hand the story over
> to
> the press or write something up for publication in a peer review journal
> as
> said editor does not stand for intimidation easily? And this long
> standing
> editor believes that the world / patients might be better off if
> this behavior become more widely known. How would the Wikimedia community
> apply the above two policies / guidelines (WP:COI and WP:OUTING)?
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

Our prohibitions against "outing" of the personal information of other
editors refers to on-wiki accusations and guesses. You can use that
information freely with respect to private communications with
administrators or the arbitration committee regarding socking and
conflict of interest issues. On-wiki communications regarding conflict of
interest editing is OK but should omit such personal information.

If Wikipedia processes are ineffective in dealing with the problem,
publication off-wiki, particularly in a peer-reviewed journal, is
acceptable in my view as assuming power over an issue and information
concerning it implies a responsibility to deal with it adequately.
However, I hope you will attempt to use our processes before you do
something that may be damaging to our public image. Please give us a
chance. For one thing, if there are grounds, our checkuser crew can often
ferret out sock puppets and where they originate; you would have to
promptly, probably before any legal controversy is ripe or before a
court, obtain a court order to get that information on your own if
editing was done using an account name.

A note regarding evidence that you might need in defending a possible
libel action: edits containing personal identifying information may be
deleted or suppressed under our policies and can be retrieved later only
under the terms of a court order, so, obviously, get them before they are
hidden.

Fred Bauder



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

Nathan Awrich
Wikipedia's policies are meant to protect and further the goals of the
project, and to offer what little safeguard they can against undue harm to
good faith participants. People who try to undermine the project, or act in
a way antithetical to its goals, or themselves attempt to cause harm to
good faith participants should find no protection from its rules. That's
how I'd look at it from an "inside Wikipedia" perspective.

But the question is really one of personal ethics, and I think viewed that
way the answer is clear. You have no obligation to these people to continue
helping them maintain the secrecy and anonymity of their actions, which you
(and most) find ethically suspect. They are trying to mislead the public
for profit, using subversive methods, and they deserve at a minimum to have
that made public.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

Jane Darnell
James,
Hmm. I would say "Nail 'em to the wall of shame". But I would probably
do it in the Wikipedia way, namely, make sure it's in the Signpost,
leave the evidence on talk pages, etc. This is a much better and
effective method than using public venues on the internet that will
just disappear in the pile eventually. The nice thing about Wikipedia
discussions is the way you can always dig up the diffs. If the story
is juicy, it will be picked up magically by third parties.

And I'll bet you can do that.
Jane

2013/1/21, Nathan <[hidden email]>:

> Wikipedia's policies are meant to protect and further the goals of the
> project, and to offer what little safeguard they can against undue harm to
> good faith participants. People who try to undermine the project, or act in
> a way antithetical to its goals, or themselves attempt to cause harm to
> good faith participants should find no protection from its rules. That's
> how I'd look at it from an "inside Wikipedia" perspective.
>
> But the question is really one of personal ethics, and I think viewed that
> way the answer is clear. You have no obligation to these people to continue
> helping them maintain the secrecy and anonymity of their actions, which you
> (and most) find ethically suspect. They are trying to mislead the public
> for profit, using subversive methods, and they deserve at a minimum to have
> that made public.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by jmh649
This happens all the time. It sounds like their attempt to alter the
content was thwarted. If not, alert a few admins privately, or send more
specific info to the functionaries-en mailing list so they can keep a
watchful eye on the articles in question.

And talk to the offender and explain what they did contravenes Wikipedia
guidelines.

In my opinion you should report it to an ethics board privately, if you
believe they did (intend to) break the industries ethical guidelines. Even
if they acted improperly, by intimidating someone, you need to follow
appropriate protocols. Two wrongs dont make a right.

It sounds like you can inform press without breaking any confidences. Tell
them the account name or IP and let them independently guess who it is.

John Vandenberg.
sent from Galaxy Note
On Jan 22, 2013 12:09 AM, "James Heilman" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A not really hypothetical question:
>
> Let say one is the director of marketing at a 16 billion dollar company and
> decides to come to Wikipedia in an attempt to alter its coverage of one of
> your companies key products (which has been hit fairly hard lately by the
> evidence). One also invites 50 of your best friends (most of which are on
> your pay role to join you in this effort).
>
> Let say you are trying to do it anonymously but both you and your
> associates send out a whole bunch of intimidating emails to a long standing
> editor. Than this long standing editor without any real difficulty figures
> out who you are (as you sort of did email him). You than "vanish" from
> Wikipedia.
>
> What if this long standing editor decided to either hand the story over to
> the press or write something up for publication in a peer review journal as
> said editor does not stand for intimidation easily? And this long standing
> editor believes that the world / patients might be better off if
> this behavior become more widely known. How would the Wikimedia community
> apply the above two policies / guidelines (WP:COI and WP:OUTING)?
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI versus OUTING

Richard Symonds-3
My advice would definitely be to email [hidden email].
Keeping them in the loop is very, very helpful.

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992

Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*


On 27 January 2013 23:43, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This happens all the time. It sounds like their attempt to alter the
> content was thwarted. If not, alert a few admins privately, or send more
> specific info to the functionaries-en mailing list so they can keep a
> watchful eye on the articles in question.
>
> And talk to the offender and explain what they did contravenes Wikipedia
> guidelines.
>
> In my opinion you should report it to an ethics board privately, if you
> believe they did (intend to) break the industries ethical guidelines. Even
> if they acted improperly, by intimidating someone, you need to follow
> appropriate protocols. Two wrongs dont make a right.
>
> It sounds like you can inform press without breaking any confidences. Tell
> them the account name or IP and let them independently guess who it is.
>
> John Vandenberg.
> sent from Galaxy Note
> On Jan 22, 2013 12:09 AM, "James Heilman" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > A not really hypothetical question:
> >
> > Let say one is the director of marketing at a 16 billion dollar company
> and
> > decides to come to Wikipedia in an attempt to alter its coverage of one
> of
> > your companies key products (which has been hit fairly hard lately by the
> > evidence). One also invites 50 of your best friends (most of which are on
> > your pay role to join you in this effort).
> >
> > Let say you are trying to do it anonymously but both you and your
> > associates send out a whole bunch of intimidating emails to a long
> standing
> > editor. Than this long standing editor without any real difficulty
> figures
> > out who you are (as you sort of did email him). You than "vanish" from
> > Wikipedia.
> >
> > What if this long standing editor decided to either hand the story over
> to
> > the press or write something up for publication in a peer review journal
> as
> > said editor does not stand for intimidation easily? And this long
> standing
> > editor believes that the world / patients might be better off if
> > this behavior become more widely known. How would the Wikimedia community
> > apply the above two policies / guidelines (WP:COI and WP:OUTING)?
> >
> > --
> > James Heilman
> > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> >
> > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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