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2 comments to Klee-Irwin

  • Stephanie Stilwell

    This article about Klee Irwin was deleted from Wikipedia for many reasons including bias, lack of notability, lack of trusted independent sources, contentious material, and violation of BLP policies. It has become an example on abuse of the Wikipedia platform.

    The first version of the article focuses on negative issues that a company he owns and a company he only worked for were involved in. These types of common corporate issues are similarly tied to all top executives of corporations but do not belong on their personal Wikipedia page. many of the sources were broken or non-existent links. There is a lack of notability of the subject as well that ultimately led to it’s deletion. Irwin has also posted a response online to the Wikipedia Admins about the original content:

    Hello, I’m the subject of this BLP. My concern is with the contents of this page that have gone through several revisions over the years by many editors but have ended up in a version of the article that is an unfair representation of myself. The current version of this article heavily focuses on negative issues that a company I own and a company I have worked for were involved in. There have also been versions of the article that mention my other publicized involvements that are not as negative, but these items have been removed. I’m concerned that there may be editors not interested in a fair and balanced article but in an article that highlights negative associations. I respect their opinions, by the way. But I disagree with them and am requesting disinterested administrators to consider my issues because the current entry is doing a poor job of giving readers an accurate and full picture of what I do. And worse, it’s inadvertently creating an inaccurate character representation, as I’ll explain below.

    1. Regulatory issues of companies that I worked for should be included on Wiki pages for those companies, not on my BLP entry. For example, 12 years ago, I worked for a company (I was a minority shareholder as well) that had a disagreement with the FDA on a labeling issue (Omni). Omni ended up winning the public debate on this, as reported in the Tan Sheet, by responding resoundingly to the FDA’s theory. The FDA stood down and the issue ended. It’s common for any large company to have many disputes and notices with regulators. But to connect one of Omni’s regulatory disagreements with the FDA to my personal bio is trivial. I have done my homework and checked countless Wiki BLPs to find out if the Bio of a CEO typically includes the regulatory notices of the companies they worked for. It almost never is the case. The only exception I found is the famous battle that Bill Gates had with the regulators, where he went to court and defended his position to the media. But even with Gates, tens of thousands of other regulatory notices and disputes with between Microsoft and regulators are in the public record (both media and governmental) and they are NOT reported on even the Microsoft Wiki page. And of course, they are certainly not reported on the BLP page of Bill Gates. Regulatory letters are addressed to the CEO of a corporation. So if the matter, for example, with Omni is so important, someone should build an Omni entry in Wikipedia and put that regulatory notice there. Having it only on my page is a rather poor way to organize information. And as far as me personally, it leads a naïve reader to assume that I personally did the labeling action that Omni and the FDA disagreed on. And that is not true. And if it is true for me, it should be true for the board of directors whom I reported to. This argument I’m presenting applies to another legal issue that Irwin Naturals had, which is listed on my BLP. And it applies to the even more obvious mistake of listing Omni’s notice from the SEC on my BLP. Omni went out of business over 10 years ago. And when they did, they had no employees or assets. So, because they were publically traded, the SEC notified them that they cannot trade due to the inability of the company to file quarterly reports (you can’t do that after you close down and have no assets or employees). Anyway, the point about this is that it is irrelevant to a BLP. It belongs on a page that chronicles the rise and fall of the company, in this case Omni. Again, the only reason that my name is in the reliable is because the SEC (or any other sender of a letter) addresses an employee of the company along with the company. It usually is the CEO who is addressed above or below the company’s name in the letter. But this in no way should confuse the regulatory dispute of the company with an employee. Why am I having an issue about this, other than the fact that it is a poor way for Wiki to organize this information (belongs on the company Wiki pages)? Because I’m not the company. In fact, I have no criminal record. I have never been sued. And I have never had a regulator accuse me personally of anything. But the gist of the Wiki presentation leaves a reader with an entirely different assumption. And means that the Wiki accidently misinforms by the take-away inference the reader inevitably has.

    2. Other contributors jumped in to give a more accurate overview of what I’m about, using reliable sources. You will see the history of that build out, which was recently taken down. In the big picture, the editor should be trying to figure out how to make a BLP that is accurate and broad. But it was recently stripped it back down to almost nothing but the few irrelevant regulatory notices of companies I worked for. For example, I’m a scientist and publish papers in peer review journals and places like Cornell’s ArXiv. Those were taken down with a note saying “no RS” or a comment that I wasn’t even one of the authors. I indeed co-authored many scientific papers and the links are here. Not sure why these are not acceptable to some editors of the community.


    More can be found here: http://kleeirwinspeaks.com/

  • Thom

    My experience with Wikipedia has been that they are much more interested in protecting their “community” of contributors, than writing articles with factual information.

    One example is their article on the cosmetics company Yardley of London. The company can trace its roots back to the rein of Charles the I who was on the throne from 1625 to 1649. So the company may have been founded as early as 1625 or as late as 1649, either way that makes it the oldest cosmetics company in the world. This is information off the company website, not hear say, yet the article refers to it as “one of the oldest”. They did add information about the earlier incarnation of the company, but their facts in the article are still incorrect. When I challenged this, they banned me from adding to any articles for a period of time.

    Whoever wrote that article leaves a lot to be desired as far as their writing skills go.

    Then on top of all of this, they have the nerve to ask for donations!

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