Szerkesztő:Bennó/Conflict of interest

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Elfogult szerkesztés

A Wikipedia conflict of interest is an incompatibility between the purpose of Wikipedia, to produce a neutral encyclopedia, and the aims of individual editors. These include editing for the sake of promoting oneself, other individuals, causes, organizations, companies, or products, as well as suppressing negative information, and criticizing competitors.

In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a clear conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred from the tone of the edit and the proximity of the editor to the subject, are strongly discouraged. Of special concern are organizational conflicts of interest. [1] Failure to follow these guidelines may put the editor at serious risk of embarrassing himself or his client.

Wikipedia is "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but if you have a conflict of interest, you should exercise great caution. In particular, you should:

  1. avoid editing articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with,
  2. avoid participating in deletion discussions about articles related to your organization or its competitors;

and must always:

  1. avoid breaching relevant policies on autobiographies and neutrality,
  2. avoid linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam).
If you feel it necessary to make changes to Wikipedia articles despite a real or perceived conflict of interest, we strongly encourage you to submit content for community review on the article's talk page or file a Request for Comment to the wider community, and to let one or more trusted community members judge whether the material belongs in Wikipedia.

What is a conflict of interest?Szerkesztés

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and should contain only material that complies with its content policies. Wikipedia is not a forum for advertising, nor a vanity press. As Wikipedians and encyclopedists, our job is to put the interests of the encyclopedia first. Anyone who prioritizes outside interests over the interests of the encyclopedia may be subject to a conflict of interest.

Adding material that appears to promote the interests or visibility of an article's author, family members, or associates may place the author in a conflict of interest. When editors write to promote their own interests, their contributions often show a characteristic lack of connection to anything the general reader might want to consult as a reference; conflict of interest is not in itself a reason to delete an article, but lack of notability is.

There is no list of criteria to help editors determine what counts as a conflict of interest. In most cases, the intention of the writer can be deduced from the tone and content of the article. If you do write an article on a little-known subject, or on one in which you are involved in some way, be sure to write in a neutral tone and cite reliable, published sources.


If you fit either of these descriptions:

  1. you are receiving monetary or other benefits or considerations to edit Wikipedia as a representative of an organization (whether directly as an employee or contractor of that organization, or indirectly as an employee or contractor of a firm hired by that organization for public relations purposes); or,
  2. you expect to derive monetary or other benefits or considerations from editing Wikipedia; for example, by being the owner, officer or other stakeholder of a company or other organisation about which you are writing;

then we very strongly encourage you to avoid editing Wikipedia in areas in which you appear to have a conflict of interest. Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy states that all articles must represent views fairly and without bias, and conflicts of interest do significantly and negatively affect Wikipedia's ability to fulfill this requirement.

Lawsuit antagonistsSzerkesztés

If you are involved in a court case, or close to one of the parties in a court case, you would find it very hard to demonstrate that what you wrote about another party to the case, or firm of lawyers particularly associated with the area of law and relevant legislation, was entirely objective. Better not to make those edits.


Conflict of interest often presents itself in the form of self-promotion, including advertising links, personal website links in articles, personal or semi-personal photos, or any other material that appears to promote the private or commercial interests of the editor adding the material, or of his associates.

Examples of these types of material include:

  1. Links that appear to promote products by pointing to obscure or not particularly relevant commercial sites (commercial links).
  2. Links that appear to promote otherwise obscure individuals by pointing to their personal pages.
  3. Biographical material that does not significantly add to the clarity or quality of the article.


Don't write about yourself or about the things you've done or created. If you or your work is notable, someone else will notice you and write the article. In some cases, Wikipedia users write articles about themselves when the more appropriate action would be to create a user page. In these cases, the article is normally moved into the user namespace rather than deleted.

Close relationshipsSzerkesztés

Friedrich Engels would have had difficulty editing the Karl Marx article, because he was a close friend, follower and collaborator of Marx.[2] Any situation where strong relationships can develop may trigger a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can be personal, religious, political, academic, financial, and legal. It is not determined by area, but is created by relationships that involve a high level of personal commitment to, involvement with, or dependence upon, a person, subject, idea, tradition, or organization.

Closeness to a subject does not mean you're incapable of being neutral, but it may incline towards some bias. Be guided by the advice of other editors. If editors on a talk page suggest in good faith that you may have a conflict of interest, take seriously what they say and consider withdrawing from editing the article. As a rule of thumb, the more involved you are in a particular area in real life, the more careful you should be to adhere to our core content policies — Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:No original research, and Wikipedia:Verifiability — when editing in that area.

There is no tidy definition of what is meant by "too close" in this context, and editors should use their common sense in deciding whether this guideline applies. An article about a little-known band should preferably not be written by a band member or the manager. On the other hand, an expert on climate change is welcome to contribute to articles on that subject, even if that editor is deeply committed to it.


Activities regarded by insiders as simply "getting the word out" may appear promotional or propagandistic to the outside world. If you edit articles while involved with organizations that engage in advocacy in that area, you may have a conflict of interest.

Citing oneselfSzerkesztés

You may cite your own publications just as you'd cite anyone else's, but make sure your material is relevant and that you're regarded as a reliable source for the purposes of Wikipedia. Be cautious about excessive citation of your own work, which may be seen as promotional or a conflict of interest. When in doubt, discuss on the talk page whether or not your citation is an appropriate one, and defer to the community's opinion.

Where "vanity" is allowedSzerkesztés

Signed-in users may use their user subspace to publish short autobiographies within the bounds of good taste and compatible with the purpose of working on the encyclopedia. See Wikipedia:User page. If you wish to write about yourself without working on the encyclopedia, consider starting a website or a blog instead. Wikipedia is not a free webhost.

How to handle conflicts of interestSzerkesztés

Conflict of interest often raises questions as to whether material should be included in the encyclopedia or not. It also can be a cause, or contributing factor, in disputes over whether editors have an agenda that undermines the mission of Wikipedia.

Primacy of basic content policiesSzerkesztés

All text created in the Wikipedia main namespace is subject to rules covering criteria for articles (what Wikipedia is not); encyclopedic quality (verifiability and original research); editorial approach (neutral point of view); as well as the Wikipedia copyright policy. All editors are expected to stick closely to these policies when creating and evaluating material.

Who has written the material should be irrelevant so long as these policies are closely adhered to. The imputation of conflict of interest is not by itself a good reason to remove sound material from articles.

Notability and saliencySzerkesztés

The criterion most often relevant to handling conflict of interest via policy and guidelines on content is notability. It is also helpful to bear in mind saliency.

There is some basic understanding on the degree of notability required to justify an article. For example, consensus does exist regarding particular kinds of articles, (see Template:IncGuide.) Borderline cases are frequently nominated for deletion and discussed on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion.

Submitted material often needs to be filtered, especially if it is peripheral to an article rather than salient. It must be in line with policies on content. Even in the case of people who are demonstrably well-known, their unrealized aspirations, thoughts, and hobbies are seldom included in Wikipedia. Wikipedia's policy on verifiability prohibits the inclusion of material not already published by a reliable source. But even if we could verify Tom Cruise's favorite breakfast cereal, that is something that is typically not included in an encyclopedia. [3]

Citations of "Who's Who" directories should not be used alone as evidence of notability. These registries' criteria for listing are, as a rule, over-inclusive and may be nonexistent; some are vanity publishers and offer listing for a fee. The inclusion of a name in such a publication is therefore not sufficient to guarantee notability.

Deleting non-notable articlesSzerkesztés

Articles that make no plausible claim of notability are usually found and deleted shortly after creation under the relevant criteria for quick removals. There are two other main routes:

  • Those that offer some claim of notability, however remote, are usually sent to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. Deletion of the article normally ensues. Sometimes it may be moved to the author's user-page.
  • Where article creators are not active editors, it is usually sufficient to remove content via proposed deletion, reserving AfD for the more contentious cases. Users who lightly create articles of obvious minor interest are most likely inexperienced. If there is nothing particularly offensive about the page, please be kind to them. Before nominating such an article for deletion, try politely informing the author. Pointing to this guideline may gain consent to the deletion. In practice these PROD deletions serve well to clear frivolous articles whose authors abandon them.

Importance of civilitySzerkesztés

During debates in articles' talk pages and at articles for deletion, disparaging comments may fly about the subject of the article/author and the author's motives. These may border on personal attacks, and may discourage the article's creator from future considerate contributions.

Avoid using the word "vanity" in a deletion discussion — such an accusation may be defamatory and is easily discouraging. It is not helpful, and it is not in itself a reason to delete an article. Assuming good faith, start from the idea that the contributor was genuinely trying to help us by increasing our coverage, not being "vain".

Conflict of interest in point of view disputesSzerkesztés

Another case is within disputes relating to non-neutral points of view, where underlying conflicts of interest may aggravate editorial disagreements. In this scenario, it may be easy to make claims about conflict of interest. Don't do it. The existence of conflicts of interest does not mean that assume good faith is forgotten. Quite the opposite. Remember the basic rule: discuss the article, not the editor.

Editors who may have a conflict of interestSzerkesztés

This section of the guideline is aimed at editors who may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a clear conflict of interest, or where such a conflict can be reasonably assumed, are strongly discouraged.

Declaring an interestSzerkesztés

Some editors declare an interest in a particular topic area. They do this in various ways. Many Wikipedians show their allegiances and affiliations on their user pages. You may choose to reveal something about yourself in a talk page discussion. Disclaimer: Wikipedia gives no advice about whether or how to use its pages to post personal details. This guideline will only raise some pros and cons.


  • By declaring an interest, you pre-empt anyone outing you or questioning your good faith.
  • Most editors will appreciate your honesty.
  • You lay the basis for requesting help in having others post material for you.


  • Your declaration may be invoked against you at some point.
  • Your edits to the area in question may attract extra attention.
  • Your declaration will give you no rights as an advocate. You may even be cautioned or, in extreme cases, told to stay away from certain topics. [4]

In the case of commercial editing (editing on behalf of a company):

  1. a disclosure enables you to ask openly for help in getting material posted and edited, but
  2. once your position is known, you will have to adhere stringently to neutral edits of affected articles, or no edits at all. Note that if you only correct bias against your company and its interests, and not bias in its favour, your editing will be different from that of a regular Wikipedian, who would be expected to do both.

Defending interestsSzerkesztés

In a few cases, outside interests coincide with Wikipedia’s interests. An important example is that unsupported defamatory material appearing in articles may be removed at once. Anyone may do this, and should do this, and this guideline applies widely to any unsourced or poorly sourced potentially libelous postings. In this case it is unproblematic to defend the interest of the person or institution involved. An entire article that presents as an attack piece or hostile journalism can be nominated for speedy deletion and will be removed promptly from the site. Those who post here in this fashion will be subject to administrative sanction. Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons gives details on how biographical articles on living persons should be written.

On the other hand, the removal of reliably sourced critical material is not permitted. Accounts of public controversies, if backed by reliable sources, form an integral part of Wikipedia's coverage. Slanting the balance of articles as a form of defence of some figure, group, institution, or product is bad for the encyclopedia.

The intermediate territory will naturally contain some grey areas. In many articles, criticism tends to collect in a separate section. There you may find properly referenced reports of well-publicised debates next to vague assertions that "Some people say X, while others think Y." Treat everything on its merits. Ask for reliable sources. Before nuking a whole criticism section and distributing its parts over other sections of the article, which may be the best way ahead, consult other editors on the Talk page. Use crisp, informative edit summaries to detail what you have done: this is one excellent way to show your bona fides as editor. Raise any less obvious reasoning as a note on the Talk page, with any extra Web links to support your edits.

Suggesting changes to articlesSzerkesztés

If you wish to suggest changes to an article, use that article's talk page.

  1. You may wish to log in and create a user page for yourself that describes you and/or your professional background, using a real name or a pseudonym.
  2. Go to the talk page of the article.
  3. Create a new section by clicking the "+" at the top of the page. Title it "Proposed change" or "Proposed addition." Type in the changes you wish to have made, and sign using four tildes, ~~~~.

Consequences of ignoring this guidelineSzerkesztés

Unintended consequences.
If you write in Wikipedia about yourself, your group, or your company, once the article is created, you have no right to control its content, and no right to delete it outside our normal channels; we won't delete it simply because you don't like it. Any editor may add material to it within the terms of our content policies. If there is anything publicly available on a topic that you would not want included in an article, it will probably find its way there eventually; more than one user has created an article only to find himself presented in a poor light long-term by other editors. Therefore, don't create promotional or other articles lightly, especially on subjects you care about.

Conflict of interest noticeboardSzerkesztés

A noticeboard for reporting and discussing incidents that require editors' intervention related to the application of conflict of interest guidelines is available at:

Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard.

See alsoSzerkesztés


  1. These include, but are not limited to, those posed by edits made by: public relations departments of corporations; or of other public or private for-profit or not-for-profit organizations; or by professional editors paid by said organizations to edit a Wikipedia article with the sole intent of improving that organization's image.
  2. Isaiah Berlin:

    In his own lifetime Engels desired no better fate than to live in the light of Marx's teaching, perceiving in him a spring of original genius which gave life and scope to his own peculiar gifts; with him he identified himself and his work, to be rewarded by sharing in his master's immortality.

    From Berlin's Karl Marx, 4th edition p. 75. This description covers several aspects of what it might be to stand too close to a subject.

  3. The inclusion of names and activities of the children of notable people may well be peripheral, unless those children also have some claim to notability. Material on family may also have difficulty meeting guidelines on biography; there has to be some good reason for its inclusion. Wikipedia is not paper, and neither is it a Christmas newsletter.
  4. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not makes it clear that Wikipedia articles are not propaganda or advocacy. If you want to be an advocate for better topic coverage in an area, the conventional route is to join a related WikiProject, or start a fresh one. If you want to spread your own opinions, you are in the wrong place for that.

Further readingSzerkesztés