[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

MZMcBride-2
Hi.

Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own site:

>The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> [...]
> * Wikipedia
> [...]
>
> With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
>positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
>different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
>content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
>result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
>name or brand, they immediately find positive content.

Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management

Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I have a
few questions about this work.

How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?

Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has some
of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so I'm
curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine optimization
and for what reason.

How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a company
that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it works
directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?

Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
services access to private user data, as was done in
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to know
why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation Management"
product. This looks bad to me.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of interest
or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in spurious
ousting/doxxing.

Best,

Mario

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own site:
>
> >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> > [...]
> > * Wikipedia
> > [...]
> >
> > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
> >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
> >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
> >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
>
> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
>
> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I have a
> few questions about this work.
>
> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
>
> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has some
> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so I'm
> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine optimization
> and for what reason.
>
> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a company
> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it works
> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
>
> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> services access to private user data, as was done in
> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to know
> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation Management"
> product. This looks bad to me.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Isaac Olatunde
Hi Mario,

I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is posted
here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and this is
not English Wikipedia mailing list.

Regards,

Isaac

On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]> wrote:

There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of interest
or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in spurious
ousting/doxxing.

Best,

Mario

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
site:

>
> >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> > [...]
> > * Wikipedia
> > [...]
> >
> > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
> >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
> >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
> >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
>
> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
>
> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I have a
> few questions about this work.
>
> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
>
> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has some
> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so I'm
> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine optimization
> and for what reason.
>
> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a company
> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it works
> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
>
> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> services access to private user data, as was done in
> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to know
> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation Management"
> product. This looks bad to me.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
In reply to this post by Mario Gómez
Actually, it took just a couple of hours to find:

* Two obvious Go Fish Digital sockpuppets.
* One article with high amount of evidence of COI / paid editing.
* A few other articles with possible COI / paid editing.
* Possible links to multiple big sockpuppet farms that were already blocked.

Since this involves a lot of research outside Wikipedia itself, as well as
personal details of Go Fish Digital employees, I'll wait for guidance about
how can this be disclosed. Also, with this evidence, it seems clear to me
that legal should be involved as soon as possible and consider stop sharing
Wikipedia data with this company.

Best,

Mario




On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 6:42 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of interest
> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in spurious
> ousting/doxxing.
>
> Best,
>
> Mario
>
> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi.
>>
>> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
>> site:
>>
>> >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
>> > [...]
>> > * Wikipedia
>> > [...]
>> >
>> > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
>> >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
>> >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
>> >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
>> >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
>> >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
>>
>> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
>>
>> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
>> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I have
>> a
>> few questions about this work.
>>
>> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
>>
>> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has some
>> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so I'm
>> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine optimization
>> and for what reason.
>>
>> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a company
>> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
>> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it works
>> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
>>
>> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
>> services access to private user data, as was done in
>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
>> Inc.
>> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to know
>> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation Management"
>> product. This looks bad to me.
>>
>> MZMcBride
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Vi to
I concur, this seems to be a clear violation of our TOS.

Vito

2018-07-22 20:34 GMT+02:00 Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>:

> Actually, it took just a couple of hours to find:
>
> * Two obvious Go Fish Digital sockpuppets.
> * One article with high amount of evidence of COI / paid editing.
> * A few other articles with possible COI / paid editing.
> * Possible links to multiple big sockpuppet farms that were already
> blocked.
>
> Since this involves a lot of research outside Wikipedia itself, as well as
> personal details of Go Fish Digital employees, I'll wait for guidance about
> how can this be disclosed. Also, with this evidence, it seems clear to me
> that legal should be involved as soon as possible and consider stop sharing
> Wikipedia data with this company.
>
> Best,
>
> Mario
>
>
>
>
> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 6:42 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> > sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
> interest
> > or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
> > suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
> spurious
> > ousting/doxxing.
> >
> > Best,
> >
> > Mario
> >
> > On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi.
> >>
> >> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
> >> site:
> >>
> >> >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> >> > [...]
> >> > * Wikipedia
> >> > [...]
> >> >
> >> > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> >> >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> >> >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
> >> >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
> >> >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
> >> >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> >>
> >> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> >>
> >> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
> >> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
> have
> >> a
> >> few questions about this work.
> >>
> >> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> >>
> >> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
> some
> >> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so
> I'm
> >> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
> optimization
> >> and for what reason.
> >>
> >> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> company
> >> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
> >> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
> works
> >> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> >>
> >> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> >> services access to private user data, as was done in
> >> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> >> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
> >> Inc.
> >> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
> know
> >> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> Management"
> >> product. This looks bad to me.
> >>
> >> MZMcBride
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >> i/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Pine W
I'd like to distinguish between *monitoring* Wikipedia for changes that
could affect PR, which is fine (so long as they don't put unreasonable
loads on WMF's technical infrastructure), and *editing* Wikipedia in a way
that breaks any number of community rules and/or the WMF TOS. If they were
monitoring without editing, or were editing in ways that were compliant
with our policies around disclosure and handling COI, that might be
manageable. However, if the reports in this thread are true (I have not
personally verified them), then that's a big problem. I am adding Legal to
this thread, but in general my view is that they WMF pays almost no
attention to enforcing the TOS regarding COI issues, and I don't know
whether they will do anything about it in this situation. :( I wish that
they would get energized about COI enforcement.


Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
I sent initial research notes to functionaries-en@ with evidence of
potential undisclosed COI by Go Fish Digital employee(s). The actual scale
of it would require quite more research as well as CheckUser.

Best,

Mario

On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 12:23 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'd like to distinguish between *monitoring* Wikipedia for changes that
> could affect PR, which is fine (so long as they don't put unreasonable
> loads on WMF's technical infrastructure), and *editing* Wikipedia in a way
> that breaks any number of community rules and/or the WMF TOS. If they were
> monitoring without editing, or were editing in ways that were compliant
> with our policies around disclosure and handling COI, that might be
> manageable. However, if the reports in this thread are true (I have not
> personally verified them), then that's a big problem. I am adding Legal to
> this thread, but in general my view is that they WMF pays almost no
> attention to enforcing the TOS regarding COI issues, and I don't know
> whether they will do anything about it in this situation. :( I wish that
> they would get energized about COI enforcement.
>
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Mario Gómez
Mario Gómez wrote:
>There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
>sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
>interest or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some
>user was suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur
>in spurious ousting/doxxing.

Just to be clear on my end, I don't have any firsthand knowledge of Go
Fish Digital's Wikipedia editing, I'm only aware of what the company
advertises as a service or product to customers on its Web site, which
appears to be directly incompatible with Wikimedia's values.

It appears someone at Go Fish Digital or related to them is ch[ao]mping at
the bit to be able to advertise its relationship with Wikipedia, according
to <https://members.nctech.org/list/member/go-fish-digital-7132>:

> [...]
> Our clients range from large corporations like GEICO, the New York Times
>and Marriott to startups you haven't heard of (yet). ((Hopefully you'll
>be able to add Wikipedia here shortly)).
> [...]

MZMcBride
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Gregory Varnum-2
Just a quick note that the Foundation will be replying to this soon. However the people involved were participating in Wikimania and currently traveling - so it may take us a few days to collect the information necessary for an informed response. Thank you everyone for your patience.

-greg

_______________
Sent from my iPhone - a more detailed response may be sent later.

> On Jul 23, 2018, at 2:44 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Mario Gómez wrote:
>> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
>> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
>> interest or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some
>> user was suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur
>> in spurious ousting/doxxing.
>
> Just to be clear on my end, I don't have any firsthand knowledge of Go
> Fish Digital's Wikipedia editing, I'm only aware of what the company
> advertises as a service or product to customers on its Web site, which
> appears to be directly incompatible with Wikimedia's values.
>
> It appears someone at Go Fish Digital or related to them is ch[ao]mping at
> the bit to be able to advertise its relationship with Wikipedia, according
> to <https://members.nctech.org/list/member/go-fish-digital-7132>:
>
>> [...]
>> Our clients range from large corporations like GEICO, the New York Times
>> and Marriott to startups you haven't heard of (yet). ((Hopefully you'll
>> be able to add Wikipedia here shortly)).
>> [...]
>
> MZMcBride
>>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Isaac Olatunde
Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here, please
bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to do it
on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.

i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Mario,
>
> I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is posted
> here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and this is
> not English Wikipedia mailing list.
>
> Regards,
>
> Isaac
>
> On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of interest
> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in spurious
> ousting/doxxing.
>
> Best,
>
> Mario
>
> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hi.
> >
> > Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
> site:
> >
> > >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> > > [...]
> > > * Wikipedia
> > > [...]
> > >
> > > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> > >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> > >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative
> > >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
> > >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
> > >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> >
> > Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> >
> > Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
> > engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
> have a
> > few questions about this work.
> >
> > How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> >
> > Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
> some
> > of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so
> I'm
> > curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine optimization
> > and for what reason.
> >
> > How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> company
> > that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this give
> > Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it works
> > directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> >
> > Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> > services access to private user data, as was done in
> > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
> Inc.
> > legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to know
> > why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> Management"
> > product. This looks bad to me.
> >
> > MZMcBride
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of Sunday
are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on it
themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here, please
> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to do it
> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
>
> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
>
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Mario,
> >
> > I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
> posted
> > here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and this
> is
> > not English Wikipedia mailing list.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Isaac
> >
> > On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> > sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
> interest
> > or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
> > suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
> spurious
> > ousting/doxxing.
> >
> > Best,
> >
> > Mario
> >
> > On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > Hi.
> > >
> > > Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
> > site:
> > >
> > > >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> > > > [...]
> > > > * Wikipedia
> > > > [...]
> > > >
> > > > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> > > >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> > > >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
> negative
> > > >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The end
> > > >result is a positive online reputation because when people search your
> > > >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> > >
> > > Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> > >
> > > Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
> > > engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
> > have a
> > > few questions about this work.
> > >
> > > How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> > >
> > > Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
> > some
> > > of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so
> > I'm
> > > curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
> optimization
> > > and for what reason.
> > >
> > > How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> > company
> > > that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
> give
> > > Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
> works
> > > directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> > >
> > > Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> > > services access to private user data, as was done in
> > > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> > > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
> > Inc.
> > > legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
> know
> > > why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> > Management"
> > > product. This looks bad to me.
> > >
> > > MZMcBride
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

geni
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-2
On 23 July 2018 at 14:50, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Just a quick note that the Foundation will be replying to this soon. However the people involved were participating in Wikimania and currently traveling - so it may take us a few days to collect the information necessary for an informed response. Thank you everyone for your patience.
>
> -greg
>

How much longer do you anticipate this taking?


--
geni

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
In reply to this post by Mario Gómez
I have gathered more evidence and opened a sockpuppet investigation,
omitting any parts involving personal data:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/BurritoSlayer

Personal data sent to functionaries-en@ is still relevant to verify some
details, but I think that it is not crucial anymore to prove Go Fish
Digital ongoing and undisclosed paid editing.

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of
> Sunday are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on it
> themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
> investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
> continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.
>
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here, please
>> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to do
>> it
>> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
>>
>> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Hi Mario,
>> >
>> > I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
>> posted
>> > here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and this
>> is
>> > not English Wikipedia mailing list.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> >
>> > Isaac
>> >
>> > On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> > There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
>> > sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
>> interest
>> > or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
>> > suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
>> spurious
>> > ousting/doxxing.
>> >
>> > Best,
>> >
>> > Mario
>> >
>> > On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Hi.
>> > >
>> > > Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
>> > site:
>> > >
>> > > >The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
>> > > > [...]
>> > > > * Wikipedia
>> > > > [...]
>> > > >
>> > > > With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
>> > > >positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
>> > > >different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
>> negative
>> > > >content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The
>> end
>> > > >result is a positive online reputation because when people search
>> your
>> > > >name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
>> > >
>> > > Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
>> > >
>> > > Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
>> > > engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
>> > have a
>> > > few questions about this work.
>> > >
>> > > How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
>> > >
>> > > Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
>> > some
>> > > of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so
>> > I'm
>> > > curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
>> optimization
>> > > and for what reason.
>> > >
>> > > How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
>> > company
>> > > that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
>> give
>> > > Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
>> works
>> > > directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
>> > >
>> > > Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
>> > > services access to private user data, as was done in
>> > > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
>> > > <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
>> > Inc.
>> > > legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
>> know
>> > > why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
>> > Management"
>> > > product. This looks bad to me.
>> > >
>> > > MZMcBride
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > _______________________________________________
>> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> ,
>> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Gregory Varnum-4
Hello,

Thank you to everyone that has provided thoughtful and constructive input on this discussion, and to the volunteers who are investigating the possible policy violations. We have some additional information on this vendor relationship and on steps being taken that we believe will be helpful to this discussion.

The Wikimedia Foundation entered into a short-term contract with Go Fish Digital to conduct a search engine optimization (SEO) audit on Wikipedia. They were contracted to provide information needed by the Audiences department to improve how our sites communicate with search engines and services which provide data to devices like artificial intelligence (AI) assistants. Overall, SEO performance is a strength of our projects, but we were able to identify areas for improvement, and the audit was helpful for Audiences to more effectively focus their efforts. During discussions about Wikimedia values and activities that were held in selecting the vendor, they did not disclose anything which raised suspicion, and we failed to identify this specific concern and question them about it more.

The Foundation's Legal department received the proposal after it had been approved by Audiences and drafted a contract for this agreement following standard procedures. This included a privacy review, which resulted in the inclusion of extra privacy and security protections in the contract. Their activities did not involve reputation management services, and they did not request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The contract concluded last month.

As we are now aware of the vendor's possible violations and feel they should have shared this information with us during discussions, we will not be pursuing any future working relationship with Go Fish Digital and will be requesting that they honor our contractual agreement by not discussing their past relationship with us for promotional purposes. Additionally, we are reviewing the way that this vendor was selected in an effort to see if we can identify what led to this issue and better identify these types of concerns when identifying future vendors and executing agreements with them. Finally, as they regularly do, our Trust and Safety team in Community Engagement are working with the functionaries investigating the possible policy violations.

Again, we appreciate the attention provided to this by the functionaries and others who raised these concerns. We agree that the Foundation should avoid working with vendors who violate our policies, and hope the discussion around this will help reduce the chances of this happening in the future.

Thank you,
-greg

-------
Gregory Varnum
Communications Strategist
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
[hidden email]
Pronouns: He/Him/His


> On Jul 27, 2018, at 12:32 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have gathered more evidence and opened a sockpuppet investigation,
> omitting any parts involving personal data:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/BurritoSlayer
>
> Personal data sent to functionaries-en@ is still relevant to verify some
> details, but I think that it is not crucial anymore to prove Go Fish
> Digital ongoing and undisclosed paid editing.
>
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of
>> Sunday are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on it
>> themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
>> investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
>> continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here, please
>>> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to do
>>> it
>>> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
>>>
>>> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
>>>
>>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Mario,
>>>>
>>>> I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
>>> posted
>>>> here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and this
>>> is
>>>> not English Wikipedia mailing list.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Isaac
>>>>
>>>> On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
>>>> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
>>> interest
>>>> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user was
>>>> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
>>> spurious
>>>> ousting/doxxing.
>>>>
>>>> Best,
>>>>
>>>> Mario
>>>>
>>>> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi.
>>>>>
>>>>> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
>>>> site:
>>>>>
>>>>>> The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
>>>>>> [...]
>>>>>> * Wikipedia
>>>>>> [...]
>>>>>>
>>>>>> With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
>>>>>> positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
>>>>>> different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
>>> negative
>>>>>> content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The
>>> end
>>>>>> result is a positive online reputation because when people search
>>> your
>>>>>> name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
>>>>>
>>>>> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
>>>>>
>>>>> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on search
>>>>> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
>>>> have a
>>>>> few questions about this work.
>>>>>
>>>>> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
>>>>>
>>>>> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
>>>> some
>>>>> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web, so
>>>> I'm
>>>>> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
>>> optimization
>>>>> and for what reason.
>>>>>
>>>>> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
>>>> company
>>>>> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
>>> give
>>>>> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
>>> works
>>>>> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
>>>>>
>>>>> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
>>>>> services access to private user data, as was done in
>>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
>>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia Foundation
>>>> Inc.
>>>>> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
>>> know
>>>>> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
>>>> Management"
>>>>> product. This looks bad to me.
>>>>>
>>>>> MZMcBride
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>>>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>>>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>> ,
>>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>>> i/Wikimedia-l
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>
>>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Alex Monk
On 28 July 2018 at 03:19, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you to everyone that has provided thoughtful and constructive input
> on this discussion, and to the volunteers who are investigating the
> possible policy violations. We have some additional information on this
> vendor relationship and on steps being taken that we believe will be
> helpful to this discussion.

[...]

As we are now aware of the vendor's possible violations and feel they
> should have shared this information with us during discussions, we will not
> be pursuing any future working relationship with Go Fish Digital and will
> be requesting that they honor our contractual agreement by not discussing
> their past relationship with us for promotional purposes. Additionally, we
> are reviewing the way that this vendor was selected in an effort to see if
> we can identify what led to this issue and better identify these types of
> concerns when identifying future vendors and executing agreements with them.

Thank you, it sounds like some lessons have/are being learnt.

On 28 July 2018 at 03:19, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:

> they did not request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The
> contract concluded last month.
>
This is interesting, considering they asked for and received some data
according to:
* https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T194287 - this one didn't happen but
shows they requested some data
* https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052 - where they received the above
data, I'm assuming that Googlebot etc. bots are not being considered
Wikimedia Users under your definition.
* https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893 - they have some access until
Wednesday (while the contract ended last month)? That console apparently
includes some PII, which may include 'actual users'? Are they 'Google
users' instead of 'Wikimedia users' at that point? Some clarification on
this might be a good idea.

On 28 July 2018 at 03:19, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Again, we appreciate the attention provided to this by the functionaries
> and others who raised these concerns.


There's two more interesting things I noticed from looking at the SPI page:
* The article on SurveyMonkey is listed in the current case. I believe
that's another company/site that has been used by Wikimedia in the past.
** I'm not sure if it's still in use.
** I haven't looked into who made what edit, and the 'LinkedIn search'
comment next to it doesn't tell me much.
* In the history, Deskana (the volunteer account of an Audiences department
PM involved in the Go Fish Digital engagement based on the above phab
links, who is also a CU) was one of the people to have closed a case on
this SPI page the past, for inactivity in December (a few months before the
engagement): https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/BurritoSlayer&
diff=815611486&oldid=805166806&diffmode=source
** I'm not aware of any Go Fish Digital connection being known at that
point in time so hopefully this was entirely normal and not of any concern.
** When did Go Fish Digital in particular first get proposed within the
foundation exactly?
** Who has been included in the functionaries' discussion on this subject?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Mario Gómez
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
Thank you for the update!

On Sat, Jul 28, 2018 at 4:19 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Thank you to everyone that has provided thoughtful and constructive input
> on this discussion, and to the volunteers who are investigating the
> possible policy violations. We have some additional information on this
> vendor relationship and on steps being taken that we believe will be
> helpful to this discussion.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation entered into a short-term contract with Go Fish
> Digital to conduct a search engine optimization (SEO) audit on Wikipedia.
> They were contracted to provide information needed by the Audiences
> department to improve how our sites communicate with search engines and
> services which provide data to devices like artificial intelligence (AI)
> assistants. Overall, SEO performance is a strength of our projects, but we
> were able to identify areas for improvement, and the audit was helpful for
> Audiences to more effectively focus their efforts. During discussions about
> Wikimedia values and activities that were held in selecting the vendor,
> they did not disclose anything which raised suspicion, and we failed to
> identify this specific concern and question them about it more.
>
> The Foundation's Legal department received the proposal after it had been
> approved by Audiences and drafted a contract for this agreement following
> standard procedures. This included a privacy review, which resulted in the
> inclusion of extra privacy and security protections in the contract. Their
> activities did not involve reputation management services, and they did not
> request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The contract
> concluded last month.
>
> As we are now aware of the vendor's possible violations and feel they
> should have shared this information with us during discussions, we will not
> be pursuing any future working relationship with Go Fish Digital and will
> be requesting that they honor our contractual agreement by not discussing
> their past relationship with us for promotional purposes. Additionally, we
> are reviewing the way that this vendor was selected in an effort to see if
> we can identify what led to this issue and better identify these types of
> concerns when identifying future vendors and executing agreements with
> them. Finally, as they regularly do, our Trust and Safety team in Community
> Engagement are working with the functionaries investigating the possible
> policy violations.
>
> Again, we appreciate the attention provided to this by the functionaries
> and others who raised these concerns. We agree that the Foundation should
> avoid working with vendors who violate our policies, and hope the
> discussion around this will help reduce the chances of this happening in
> the future.
>
> Thank you,
> -greg
>
> -------
> Gregory Varnum
> Communications Strategist
> Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
> [hidden email]
> Pronouns: He/Him/His
>
>
> > On Jul 27, 2018, at 12:32 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > I have gathered more evidence and opened a sockpuppet investigation,
> > omitting any parts involving personal data:
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_
> investigations/BurritoSlayer
> >
> > Personal data sent to functionaries-en@ is still relevant to verify some
> > details, but I think that it is not crucial anymore to prove Go Fish
> > Digital ongoing and undisclosed paid editing.
> >
> > On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of
> >> Sunday are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on
> it
> >> themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
> >> investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
> >> continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.
> >>
> >> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here,
> please
> >>> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to
> do
> >>> it
> >>> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
> >>>
> >>> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi Mario,
> >>>>
> >>>> I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
> >>> posted
> >>>> here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and
> this
> >>> is
> >>>> not English Wikipedia mailing list.
> >>>>
> >>>> Regards,
> >>>>
> >>>> Isaac
> >>>>
> >>>> On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> >>>> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
> >>> interest
> >>>> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user
> was
> >>>> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
> >>> spurious
> >>>> ousting/doxxing.
> >>>>
> >>>> Best,
> >>>>
> >>>> Mario
> >>>>
> >>>> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Hi.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
> >>>> site:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> >>>>>> [...]
> >>>>>> * Wikipedia
> >>>>>> [...]
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> >>>>>> positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> >>>>>> different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
> >>> negative
> >>>>>> content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The
> >>> end
> >>>>>> result is a positive online reputation because when people search
> >>> your
> >>>>>> name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on
> search
> >>>>> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
> >>>> have a
> >>>>> few questions about this work.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
> >>>> some
> >>>>> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web,
> so
> >>>> I'm
> >>>>> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
> >>> optimization
> >>>>> and for what reason.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> >>>> company
> >>>>> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
> >>> give
> >>>>> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
> >>> works
> >>>>> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> >>>>> services access to private user data, as was done in
> >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia
> Foundation
> >>>> Inc.
> >>>>> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
> >>> know
> >>>>> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> >>>> Management"
> >>>>> product. This looks bad to me.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MZMcBride
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>> ,
> >>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >>> i/Wikimedia-l
> >>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
Gregory Varnum wrote:

>The Wikimedia Foundation entered into a short-term contract with Go Fish
>Digital to conduct a search engine optimization (SEO) audit on Wikipedia.
>They were contracted to provide information needed by the Audiences
>department to improve how our sites communicate with search engines and
>services which provide data to devices like artificial intelligence (AI)
>assistants. Overall, SEO performance is a strength of our projects, but
>we were able to identify areas for improvement, and the audit was helpful
>for Audiences to more effectively focus their efforts. During discussions
>about Wikimedia values and activities that were held in selecting the
>vendor, they did not disclose anything which raised suspicion, and we
>failed to identify this specific concern and question them about it more.

This is particularly bizarre since Google has, for years, special-cased
its handling of Wikimedia wikis. As far as I know, the standard Googlebot
crawler is not used for Wikimedia wikis, so it's very strange that a
standard "search engine optimization" company would be hired. Go Fish
Digital's online reputation management work is very prominently featured
on its Web site (gofishdigital.com), so I'm curious how the most basic
check by someone in the Audiences or Legal departments missed this.

>The Foundation's Legal department received the proposal after it had been
>approved by Audiences and drafted a contract for this agreement following
>standard procedures. This included a privacy review, which resulted in
>the inclusion of extra privacy and security protections in the contract.
>Their activities did not involve reputation management services, and they
>did not request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The
>contract concluded last month.

Will anyone from the Audiences or Legal departments be commenting on this
incident? Will anyone be outlining what steps will be taken to prevent a
repeat of this incident?

It appears that Go Fish Digital has whitewashed its own site, removing
"Wikipedia" from its list of "primary platforms that define your online
reputation" at <https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management/>.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Andy Mabbett-2
"On Thu, 9 Aug 2018 at 00:55, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It appears that Go Fish Digital has whitewashed its own site, removing
> "Wikipedia" from its list of "primary platforms that define your online
> reputation" at <https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management/>.

But still, on:

   https://gofishdigital.com/create-google-knowledge-panel/

   "How do I get a brand KP?

   "So, what should you do to get a brand KP created for your
    organization?  We recommend following these steps:

   "Find someone to create your Wikipedia page or learn about
    the Wikipedia ecosystem and create it yourself..."

and on:

   https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management-expert/

   "From Autocomplete to Search Results, Yelp to Wikipedia, there
    is an endless list of websites where you must pro-actively protect,
    and reactively defend to ensure that your brand is not adversely
    impacted by negative content."

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

Effe iets anders
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
Thanks for sharing, Greg.

As it proves to be quite hard to filter out this kind of companies, it must
be even harder for affiliates that don't have the WMF infrastructure at
hand. I can imagine there exists some kind of 'blacklist' of companies that
the WMF doesn't want to work with for this kind of reasons. Does the WMF
share that list (proactively or passively) with affiliates to avoid that
they unknowingly end up hiring a company with undesired other activities
such as in this case?

Best,
Lodewijk

On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 7:20 PM Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Thank you to everyone that has provided thoughtful and constructive input
> on this discussion, and to the volunteers who are investigating the
> possible policy violations. We have some additional information on this
> vendor relationship and on steps being taken that we believe will be
> helpful to this discussion.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation entered into a short-term contract with Go Fish
> Digital to conduct a search engine optimization (SEO) audit on Wikipedia.
> They were contracted to provide information needed by the Audiences
> department to improve how our sites communicate with search engines and
> services which provide data to devices like artificial intelligence (AI)
> assistants. Overall, SEO performance is a strength of our projects, but we
> were able to identify areas for improvement, and the audit was helpful for
> Audiences to more effectively focus their efforts. During discussions about
> Wikimedia values and activities that were held in selecting the vendor,
> they did not disclose anything which raised suspicion, and we failed to
> identify this specific concern and question them about it more.
>
> The Foundation's Legal department received the proposal after it had been
> approved by Audiences and drafted a contract for this agreement following
> standard procedures. This included a privacy review, which resulted in the
> inclusion of extra privacy and security protections in the contract. Their
> activities did not involve reputation management services, and they did not
> request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The contract
> concluded last month.
>
> As we are now aware of the vendor's possible violations and feel they
> should have shared this information with us during discussions, we will not
> be pursuing any future working relationship with Go Fish Digital and will
> be requesting that they honor our contractual agreement by not discussing
> their past relationship with us for promotional purposes. Additionally, we
> are reviewing the way that this vendor was selected in an effort to see if
> we can identify what led to this issue and better identify these types of
> concerns when identifying future vendors and executing agreements with
> them. Finally, as they regularly do, our Trust and Safety team in Community
> Engagement are working with the functionaries investigating the possible
> policy violations.
>
> Again, we appreciate the attention provided to this by the functionaries
> and others who raised these concerns. We agree that the Foundation should
> avoid working with vendors who violate our policies, and hope the
> discussion around this will help reduce the chances of this happening in
> the future.
>
> Thank you,
> -greg
>
> -------
> Gregory Varnum
> Communications Strategist
> Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
> [hidden email]
> Pronouns: He/Him/His
>
>
> > On Jul 27, 2018, at 12:32 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > I have gathered more evidence and opened a sockpuppet investigation,
> > omitting any parts involving personal data:
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/BurritoSlayer
> >
> > Personal data sent to functionaries-en@ is still relevant to verify some
> > details, but I think that it is not crucial anymore to prove Go Fish
> > Digital ongoing and undisclosed paid editing.
> >
> > On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of
> >> Sunday are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on
> it
> >> themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
> >> investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
> >> continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.
> >>
> >> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here,
> please
> >>> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to
> do
> >>> it
> >>> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
> >>>
> >>> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi Mario,
> >>>>
> >>>> I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
> >>> posted
> >>>> here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and
> this
> >>> is
> >>>> not English Wikipedia mailing list.
> >>>>
> >>>> Regards,
> >>>>
> >>>> Isaac
> >>>>
> >>>> On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> >>>> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
> >>> interest
> >>>> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user
> was
> >>>> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
> >>> spurious
> >>>> ousting/doxxing.
> >>>>
> >>>> Best,
> >>>>
> >>>> Mario
> >>>>
> >>>> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Hi.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its own
> >>>> site:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> >>>>>> [...]
> >>>>>> * Wikipedia
> >>>>>> [...]
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> >>>>>> positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> >>>>>> different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
> >>> negative
> >>>>>> content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The
> >>> end
> >>>>>> result is a positive online reputation because when people search
> >>> your
> >>>>>> name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on
> search
> >>>>> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>. I
> >>>> have a
> >>>>> few questions about this work.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia has
> >>>> some
> >>>>> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web,
> so
> >>>> I'm
> >>>>> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
> >>> optimization
> >>>>> and for what reason.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> >>>> company
> >>>>> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
> >>> give
> >>>>> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
> >>> works
> >>>>> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing Wikipedia
> >>>>> services access to private user data, as was done in
> >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia
> Foundation
> >>>> Inc.
> >>>>> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious to
> >>> know
> >>>>> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> >>>> Management"
> >>>>> product. This looks bad to me.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MZMcBride
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>>> Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>> ,
> >>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines> and
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >>>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >>> i/Wikimedia-l
> >>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. working with Go Fish Digital, a company that whitewashes Wikipedia

jmh649
Commenting in my personal capacity, on English Wikipedia we have this
community curated list off paid editing companies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:PAIDLIST

Not sure if the foundation keeps an internal list. Some of the companies
regularly change the names they are operating under. An exhaustive list
will be difficult as most companies involved in this type of work try to
operate covertly.

James

On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 8:14 PM effe iets anders <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Thanks for sharing, Greg.
>
> As it proves to be quite hard to filter out this kind of companies, it must
> be even harder for affiliates that don't have the WMF infrastructure at
> hand. I can imagine there exists some kind of 'blacklist' of companies that
> the WMF doesn't want to work with for this kind of reasons. Does the WMF
> share that list (proactively or passively) with affiliates to avoid that
> they unknowingly end up hiring a company with undesired other activities
> such as in this case?
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
>
> On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 7:20 PM Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > Thank you to everyone that has provided thoughtful and constructive input
> > on this discussion, and to the volunteers who are investigating the
> > possible policy violations. We have some additional information on this
> > vendor relationship and on steps being taken that we believe will be
> > helpful to this discussion.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation entered into a short-term contract with Go Fish
> > Digital to conduct a search engine optimization (SEO) audit on Wikipedia.
> > They were contracted to provide information needed by the Audiences
> > department to improve how our sites communicate with search engines and
> > services which provide data to devices like artificial intelligence (AI)
> > assistants. Overall, SEO performance is a strength of our projects, but
> we
> > were able to identify areas for improvement, and the audit was helpful
> for
> > Audiences to more effectively focus their efforts. During discussions
> about
> > Wikimedia values and activities that were held in selecting the vendor,
> > they did not disclose anything which raised suspicion, and we failed to
> > identify this specific concern and question them about it more.
> >
> > The Foundation's Legal department received the proposal after it had been
> > approved by Audiences and drafted a contract for this agreement following
> > standard procedures. This included a privacy review, which resulted in
> the
> > inclusion of extra privacy and security protections in the contract.
> Their
> > activities did not involve reputation management services, and they did
> not
> > request or receive access to any Wikimedia user data. The contract
> > concluded last month.
> >
> > As we are now aware of the vendor's possible violations and feel they
> > should have shared this information with us during discussions, we will
> not
> > be pursuing any future working relationship with Go Fish Digital and will
> > be requesting that they honor our contractual agreement by not discussing
> > their past relationship with us for promotional purposes. Additionally,
> we
> > are reviewing the way that this vendor was selected in an effort to see
> if
> > we can identify what led to this issue and better identify these types of
> > concerns when identifying future vendors and executing agreements with
> > them. Finally, as they regularly do, our Trust and Safety team in
> Community
> > Engagement are working with the functionaries investigating the possible
> > policy violations.
> >
> > Again, we appreciate the attention provided to this by the functionaries
> > and others who raised these concerns. We agree that the Foundation should
> > avoid working with vendors who violate our policies, and hope the
> > discussion around this will help reduce the chances of this happening in
> > the future.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > -greg
> >
> > -------
> > Gregory Varnum
> > Communications Strategist
> > Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
> > [hidden email]
> > Pronouns: He/Him/His
> >
> >
> > > On Jul 27, 2018, at 12:32 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > I have gathered more evidence and opened a sockpuppet investigation,
> > > omitting any parts involving personal data:
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/BurritoSlayer
> > >
> > > Personal data sent to functionaries-en@ is still relevant to verify
> some
> > > details, but I think that it is not crucial anymore to prove Go Fish
> > > Digital ongoing and undisclosed paid editing.
> > >
> > > On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, Mario Gómez <[hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > >> I will not post actual evidence to this mailing list. My notes as of
> > >> Sunday are already sent to functionaries and I'm sure they will act on
> > it
> > >> themselves. As I collect more evidence, I might open a sockpuppet
> > >> investigation on English Wikipedia anyway if there is enough of it to
> > >> continue even without personal data, which is just a small part.
> > >>
> > >> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Without getting into whether an outing policy exists/applies here,
> > please
> > >>> bear in mind that if redaction is required, it is rather difficult to
> > do
> > >>> it
> > >>> on a mailing list, especially a mailman mailing list like this one.
> > >>>
> > >>> i.e. Please avoid posting something here which may need redaction.
> > >>>
> > >>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 16:00 Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]
> >
> > >>> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>> Hi Mario,
> > >>>>
> > >>>> I don't think it will be considered harassment if the information is
> > >>> posted
> > >>>> here. I believe the WP:OUTING applies to the English Wikipedia and
> > this
> > >>> is
> > >>>> not English Wikipedia mailing list.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Regards,
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Isaac
> > >>>>
> > >>>> On Jul 22, 2018 5:43 PM, "Mario Gómez" <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >>>>
> > >>>> There, is at least, one user that works for Go Fish Digital with a
> > >>>> sockpuppet account in English Wikipedia and has denied conflict of
> > >>> interest
> > >>>> or paid editing disclosure even if he was asked too, since some user
> > was
> > >>>> suspicious. Should I send this privately? I don't want to incur in
> > >>> spurious
> > >>>> ousting/doxxing.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Best,
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Mario
> > >>>>
> > >>>> On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 12:24 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >>>>
> > >>>>> Hi.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Go Fish Digital is a company that whitewashes Wikipedia. From its
> own
> > >>>> site:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>> The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
> > >>>>>> [...]
> > >>>>>> * Wikipedia
> > >>>>>> [...]
> > >>>>>>
> > >>>>>> With Online Reputation Management, we work hard to make all of the
> > >>>>>> positive information easy to find.  At the same time, we use many
> > >>>>>> different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of
> > >>> negative
> > >>>>>> content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether.  The
> > >>> end
> > >>>>>> result is a positive online reputation because when people search
> > >>> your
> > >>>>>> name or brand, they immediately find positive content.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Source: https://gofishdigital.com/online-reputation-management
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Wikimedia Foundation Inc. has been working with this company on
> > search
> > >>>>> engine optimization: <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T198970>.
> I
> > >>>> have a
> > >>>>> few questions about this work.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> How was this vendor chosen? Which other vendors were considered?
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Why is this work being undertaken? At least the English Wikipedia
> has
> > >>>> some
> > >>>>> of the best search engine results placement of any site on the Web,
> > so
> > >>>> I'm
> > >>>>> curious to know who's prioritizing Wikipedia's search engine
> > >>> optimization
> > >>>>> and for what reason.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> How is it appropriate for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to work with a
> > >>>> company
> > >>>>> that is, by its own admission, whitewashing Wikipedia? Doesn't this
> > >>> give
> > >>>>> Go Fish Digital a ton of legitimization by now being able to say it
> > >>> works
> > >>>>> directly with Wikimedia Foundation Inc. ("with Wikipedia")?
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Is it appropriate to give a company that sells whitewashing
> Wikipedia
> > >>>>> services access to private user data, as was done in
> > >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T192893> and
> > >>>>> <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T193052>? The Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > >>>> Inc.
> > >>>>> legal department apparently approved this access, but I'm curious
> to
> > >>> know
> > >>>>> why, given the company's role in selling an "Online Reputation
> > >>>> Management"
> > >>>>> product. This looks bad to me.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> MZMcBride
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
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--
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MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
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