User talk:Jimbo Wales

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RfC on acupuncture[edit]

Since you've previously made some strongly worded comments on alternative medicine, I feel that your input over here might be useful. -A1candidate 06:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I will quote the substantive part of Jimbo's comment, which is indisputable: "If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals - that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately." His well-known "lunatic charlatans" comment about people who operate outside that scientific framework was clear, and in my opinion, does not need to be reiterated. If Jimbo chooses to elaborate, then fine. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:56, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
My concern is that many editors, including at least one administrator, are misusing Jimbo Wales' comments. Notice the way in which a longstanding administrator quoted this essay during a recent arbitration request. -A1candidate 07:25, 23 May 2015 (

It's probably worth noting that the OP has just been given a 0RR restriction on acupuncture and 1RR on alt med more widely, by an uninvolved admin, and that he has tried several times to use Wikipedia processes to silence opponents, and failed every time. The "clean hands" doctrine is relevant here. Guy (Help!) 21:57, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I dispute the validity of the restriction and will appeal it - because I have "clean hands". -A1candidate 21:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
So you say. Your edit history tells a rather different story. Guy (Help!) 09:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Your comment in Radio Times[edit]

"When I first launched Wikipedia on 15 January 2001" [1]. This is the truth, but not the whole truth, and highly misleading. It was Larry Sanger who launched the wiki, under the domain, on January 10 2001. This was immediately followed by a sort of mutiny among the Nupedia volunteers. Carl Anderson, Professor of Classical Studies, Michigan State University, called the wiki 'silliness'. Gaytha Langlois, Professor of Ecology, Bryant College, Smithfield, thought it was merely a “variation on structured chat rooms”. Nearly all the academics objected, apart from John Horvath.

To resolve this, you suggested installing 'the wiki' under a totally different brand name. "That way, we separate the wiki from the Nupedia brand name. It is very important to all of us who have an emotional stake in Nupedia that we not harm the reputation of Nupedia". Shortly after (January 12th) you dismissed the wiki as a sort of chat room, and not even that. " The wiki software, in its current incarnation, is so wide open that it is hard to see it’s [sic] purpose other than as a chat room mechanism of sorts. Even then, I don’t know ". Larry came up with the name ‘Wikipedia’, and the wiki was re-launched under, January 15 2001.

In your closing speech at Wikimania 2014, you said that truthfulness is something that is 'very, very valuable' . "Obviously truthfulness is very important if you're writing an encyclopedia, because you're not supposed to just make stuff up." Well truthfulness starts at home, right?

Peter Damian (talk) 13:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

So he told the truth but did not include the entire history of Wikipedia? What is your point? Chillum 13:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
See the whole truth. Peter Damian (talk) 13:26, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
While many people find Wikipedia a great place to spread truth, that is not really why we are here. Chillum 13:48, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
"Obviously truthfulness is very important if you're writing an encyclopedia, because you're not supposed to just make stuff up." Peter Damian (talk) 13:57, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Good job Wikipediocracy isn't about writing an encyclopedia, isn't it? Prioryman (talk) 22:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikipediocracy is about providing external commentary regarding operations of an encyclopedia — some hostile, some critical-but-friendly. It is also a social site. Carrite (talk) 13:38, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think this is more about giving due credit to other people who've also played a key role in creating Wikipedia in its original form. It is not about "spreading the truth", but simply setting the record straight. I doubt Jimbo Wales had any intention to hide the truth, but I have to say that unless one is the sole creator of something or some idea, it's always more ethicial to share credit with others ("We launched Wikipedia") rather than crediting yourself only ("I created Wikipedia"). I'm not too familiar with the history of Wikipedia, but if Peter Damian's statement is correct, then I tend to agree with him that "truthfulness starts at home" and we should focus on being more truthful instead of holding the moral high ground and going as far as to accuse others of deceit. -A1candidate 14:34, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • To be fair, it is hard to tell the "origins" story concisely. But a little less "I" and a little more "we" in the phrasing would be advisable. Carrite (talk) 16:17, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • In fairness, please read Jimbo's entire sentence instead of the OP's selected snippet: "When I first launched Wikipedia on 15 January 2001 there was only a very small number of people giving their time to write articles, but we had a big ambition: to give everybody in the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge through an online encyclopedia edited entirely by volunteers." He is talking about other people also, and uses the word "we". Cullen328 Let's discuss it 17:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • This is still not consistent with Jimbo's statement at the time that "The wiki software, in its current incarnation, is so wide open that it is hard to see it’s [sic] purpose other than as a chat room mechanism of sorts. Even then, I don’t know ". I don't see how that is consistent with the "we had a big ambition" bit. Or was he referring to Nupedia in the BBC interview? Peter Damian (talk) 19:08, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • When you were unblocked, it was obvious that most of the people who (ill-advisedly in my view) voted for it thought you would spend your time more productively in future trying to improve the encyclopedia rather than engaging in the drama and attention-seeking that got you kicked out in the first place. So far you don't seem to be doing a great job proving them right. Prioryman (talk) 21:26, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, this might be a case of trying to right a perceived great wrong. Liz Read! Talk! 21:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Bottom line, this is episode 54,745 in Wikipediocracy's futile quest to harpoon the Great White Wales once and for all. We need a term for people who obsess over who founded Wikipedia in much the same vein as birthers obsess over Barack Obama's birth certificate. For his part, I'd suggest that Peter Damian reflect on the fate of Captain Ahab. Prioryman (talk) 22:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
.....and episode 36,221 in the ongoing effort to discredit a message board by painting it as monolithic and ascribing base motives to a single commenter as a vehicle for taking a potshot. Carrite (talk) 13:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The more I read this discussion, the more I am convinced that Peter Damian may be right. This article in The Atlantic explicitly says: "Most of Nupedia’s expert volunteers, however, wanted nothing to do with this, so Sanger decided to launch a separate site called “Wikipedia.”" Can someone verify if the claim is backed up by other sources? At this point in time, I would really appreciate some clarification from Jimmy Wales. Remember, I am not accusing anyone of wrongdoing, just seeking an explanation that I believe the community deserves. -A1candidate 22:08, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • @User:A1candidate The Atlantic is correct that the expert volunteers wanted nothing to do with the wiki, as it was then called. It is not correct, as far as I know, that Larry decided to launch the separate site. That was Jimmy's decision. But the reason, as I point out below, was to avoid harming Nupedia. Jimmy fully supported the academics in their revolt against the 'silliness' of the wiki. The important thing is the reason it was done. Peter Damian (talk) 10:28, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that much of 'the community' doesn't actually care that much about who exactly did what and when. This is an online encyclopaedia, not a religious cult, and creation myths have very little to do with the day-to-day running of the project. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Equally shocked and relieved that I've actually been trapped in a very damp bog for the past eight years. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll answer a few of the questions that have been raised in this thread, but I very strongly agree with those who point out that this is typical Peter Damian drama mongering. I'll go a step further, and call attention to his typical style: he claims there is an inconsistency between "The wiki software, in its current incarnation, is so wide open that it is hard to see it’s [sic] purpose other than as a chat room mechanism of sorts..." and "we had a big ambition". What possible inconsistency could he mean? He doesn't explain and there obviously is no inconsistency.
Some information about the software at that stage - there were no passwords. There was no genuine concept of a user account. You could assign yourself a name, but anyone else could use the same name. There was no genuine concept of deletion other than going to the command line and literally deleting files (there was no database of any kind - articles were stored in individual files.) At that time, even editing an article too many times (it started at 5 if I remember correctly) would cause the oldest version to disappear forever. The software was very primitive and very wide open.
So - exactly as I said - the state of the software at that time (Usemod wiki) was so wide open that it was hard to imagine it serving as much more than a glorified chat room. There was no concept, even, of "talk pages" - Tim Shell came up with that idea and we started causally using it by appending /Talk on article names - the software itself didn't support it.
At the same time - we had a big ambition. The ambition was my vision of creating a free encyclopedia for everyone. (Was it my vision? We'll let Larry Sanger speak to that: "To be clear, the idea of an open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people, was entirely Jimmy's, not mine".)
I have said many times, and I stand by it, that Larry Sanger deserves more credit than he usually gets for his work in the early days.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:29, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no drama mongering. The inconsistency is that Jimmy implies that in 'launching Wikipedia', the purpose was giving "everybody in the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge" etc. It implies that was the reason he set up Wikipedia (i.e. a Cunningham wiki on '' on January 15. But it wasn't the reason. Larry set the wiki up on January 10, at That's five days before ''. When he announced this, there was an immediate revolt on the mailing list. Opponents included Michael Kulikowski, professor of medieval history ('a gimmick'), Carl Anderson, Professor of Classical Studies, Michigan State University ('silliness'), David Spurrett, Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Natal (“Big wiki with a side-show encyclopaedia”), Gaytha Langlois, Professor of Ecology, Bryant College, Smithfield (“variation on structured chat rooms”).
This was why Jimmy suggested installing the wiki under a different 'brand name'. "That way, we separate the wiki from the Nupedia brand name. It is very important to all of us who have an emotional stake in Nupedia that we not harm the reputation of Nupedia. Nupedia, in my mind, _stands for something_ -- quality in an age of declining standards, openness in an age of mad scrambling for proprietariness". Note the idea that the wiki might 'harm the reputation of Nupedia'.
Michael Kulikowski agreed. "Jimmy's suggestion is very reasonable and I think we should adopt it. The wiki in itself is not a bad idea, and might, perhaps, gain us some supporters. Nevertheless, dissociating the Nupedia "brand name" from what *might* (by stodgy academics like myself) be perceived as the unserious wiki is, in my view, essential. MK"
The full context of the 'chat room' remark was this. "If we divide ourselves into two camps here (which we shouldn’t), the “conservatives” and the “progressives”, then I usually side with the “progressives”. (I don’t many [sic] _any_ political connotations here, I am referring to how cautious, academic we are versus how aggressive, open we are.) But in this case, I tend to side with the conservatives. The wiki software, in its current incarnation, is so wide open that it is hard to see it’s purpose other than as a chat room mechanism of sorts. Even then, I don’t know".
I read this as Jimmy saying he doesn't normally take sides, but in this case he sides with the conservative academics, and wants to separate the Nupedia brand from the wiki, which might harm the academic reputation of Nupedia, and which has no purpose that he can see.
So there is the inconsistency. Jimmy did not set up Wikipedia with the purpose of giving everybody in the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That was the purpose of Nupedia. The purpose of setting up Wikipedia was to avoid harming Nupedia. Peter Damian (talk) 10:16, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't realise you were actually there, Peter. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:51, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
And the purpose of Peter Damian is...? The amusing feature for disinterested onlookers is the naive assumption lurking in the above "analysis" that the development of Wikipedia had a single cause, and that a considerate off-the-cuff statement was necessarily the full story. Johnuniq (talk) 10:53, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
"Jimmy did not set up Wikipedia with the purpose of giving everybody in the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That was the purpose of Nupedia." - so there can't be more than one thing with the same purpose? Mr Potto (talk) 11:00, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
The quote presented above shows Jimbo Wales wanting to create Wikipedia in order to preserve the integrity of Nupedia. When it was Nupedia's "purpose of giving everybody in the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge" any action to safeguard that goal can legitimately be described as subscribing to that same goal... what a load of crap to attempt fantasizing an alternative creation myth... take it elsewhere as suggested above. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:22, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we should call him Papa Wales. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:33, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
These are all interesting remarks. Peter Damian (talk) 11:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
As someone who !voted "Strong Support" of Peter Damian's return to WP, I am disappointed by this discussion. It starts with what seems, to me, to be a loaded question. Despite my best efforts, it is hard to see what is expected to be accomplished:
  1. A response from Jimmy that is a contrite "mea culpa, you caught me, thank goodness you raised this question raised many times before by others",
  2. A series of responses, some less than civil, from those who see this as a never-ending grinding of axes, or,
  3. A gleeful blog article or discussion thread (or both) on the "criticism of Wikipedia site", WO.
We've gotten 2. If it hasn't happened already, expect 3. JoeSperrazza (talk) 13:03, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding item 3, as predicted, Peter Damian started a thread at WO today. A follow-up post to mock the responses (per my item 2) is made there by him less than one hour later. Per WP:DENY, I recommend that someone please close and collapse this thread. JoeSperrazza (talk) 13:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of Wales perception of the events surrounding the founding of WP, it appears that these days the media is disregarding the WMF spin and conforming to Wales WP BLP by referencing him as co-founder. NY Times The Mirror The Guardian BBC. The fact that the Radio Times article does not do this only underscores the paper's cooperation with Wales and his self serving promotional piece to advertise his latest for-profit venture.-- KeithbobTalk 15:29, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Detail: Referring to Peter Damian [2] and others’ [3] edit warring to prevent the close of this section that has lost usefulness, suggesting “Surely this is for Jimbo to do?”, refer (among other places) to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Banning_Policy#Statement_by_Jimbo_Wales. There, @Jimbo Wales: states:

There is fairly universal agreement and understanding that there is an important reason why my talk page has to be handled somewhat differently from others as a traditional space to have philosophical debates about the principles of the project, and for editors with grievances to have a chance to be heard. That openness to criticism and debate is part of what has made Wikipedia successful. At the same time, ending useless conversations with people who have no interest in actually fixing anything is also part of what has made Wikipedia successful. The difference between the two will always be difficult to draw.

Further comment from Jimbo is not likely. I think most would agree that even if this did start as a “useful conversations” (i.e., a philosophical debates about the principles of the project, nor about grievances of the original poster - although the OP’s actions suggest its purpose was to generate commentary to then be mocked off-Wiki), it has certainly devolved into a “useless conversation”. Thus, it would be a reasonable thing to close this section, and one clearly supported by past precedent (discussed many times at this talk page) as well as by Jimbo’s comments I referenced.

TLDR: WP:DNFTT. JoeSperrazza (talk) 16:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I object to this unilateral close. The editor that some found offensive is no longer dominating the conversation. Jimbo has commented on his own behalf. I don't see this thread as essentially any different than dozens of prior ones that discuss a recent media report about WP and Wales' role as co-founder and spokesperson. It could be that the discussion is done but in either case I think it should be allowed follow its natural course.-- KeithbobTalk 16:50, 25 May 2015 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 16:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Per Keithbob's objection, I have reverted the hatting. I also object to characterizing Peter Damian as a "troll" and using the WP:DENY verbiage against him. Carrite (talk) 19:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
It is not very productive to drag up the Jimbo founded/co-founded Wikipedia debate for the umpteenth time. I supported the hatting as the debate had run its course.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I do not know any of Peter's history but this thread seems to fit the definition in the first paragraph of Internet troll. Nyth63 20:23, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
The thread is pointless, it is going round in circles and getting out of control which is why I hatted it. It was originally hatted by @Prioryman:, presumably for the same reason. --5 albert square (talk) 20:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
If the discussion is done, OK, let the thread end like any other. No reason to censor it because some feel it's pointless.-- KeithbobTalk 20:32, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Peter Damian brought here some straight and unambiguous facts regarding the origins of the Wikipedia. The facts possibly contradict Jimbo's claims in a recent interview, but they seem to be supported by relevant evidence. Peter Damian laid out some questions, maybe not packed in a nice pink box (...truthfulness starts at home...), but fair questions laid out straightly, without any apparent intention to discredit anyone. I think that it is a big mistake to confuse this attitude with trolling. I also think it is a mistake to start a response by pointing to someone's "typical" (bad) behavioral patterns. By this, you try to discredit the messenger before you actually address the message. I learn to avoid such generalization and grudge-bearing in real life, and also here on Wikipedia.

It is very difficult to retain opinion consistency in the Internet age, as we are changing and we forget while the Internet memory is frozen and unforgiving, always prepared to convict us of "our sins". We are different people than we were 10 or 15 years ago, but it doesn't mean it is a crime to question our past claims.

At the end, this conversation led to subsequent clarifications in the article History of Wikipedia, which were not questioned by anyone, for the time being. It is an interesting and productive conversation, in my opinion, even if not comfortable for everyone. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 08:55, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Talk:History of Wikipedia#Disputed edit --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:57, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
No, it's (sic) tiresome because, no matter how politely worded, it's (hic) just another round in the same camaign that some feel the need to continue and still boils down to trolling. Nyth63 13:22, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
If you are tired don't watch/comment here and try another activity, for a while. Some people might strive for accuracy and truth in a persistent and thorough way which might be confused with trolling by others. It's a matter of interpretation. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 14:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Icky, you just proved my point. Nyth63 16:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
You mean you have confused striving for accuracy and truth in a persistent and thorough way with trolling? Peter Damian (talk) 18:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
"Icky" I see an open, somewhat loaded question and I also see just plain name-calling personal attacks. One of these people is trolling here. (hint: It's not Peter) KonveyorBelt 21:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

For the record, see I was wrong, and I apologize…. JoeSperrazza (talk) 18:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Joe, I put a note on your talk page but I also wanted to thank you here for your willingness to self-correct. I know you were acting in good faith with the best of intentions. Cheers!-- KeithbobTalk 15:04, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I apologize for the poor guess on the diminutive for Vejvančický But I was being lazy and did not feel like trying to copy/paste from my ipad. Did not think that someone would find a way to be offended by that choice. Perhaps the user in question could provide a suggestion. This continual use of buzz phrases like accuracy and truth or persistent and thorough feels like window dressing on an attempt to stir things up. I don't see that there was any more truth found here than before the thread was started, so I question the assertion that was the goal to begin with. That only leaves trying to create controversy for it's own sake. Please demonstrate what truth was uncovered here that was previously unknown that would negate the assertion that original post met the definition of trolling. Nyth63 21:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

A cup of tea for you![edit]

Meissen-teacup pinkrose01.jpg Hi Jimmy,

I write in Bangla wikipedia. It's a kind of craze once you start writing for wiki. I love it, and I love people like you. By the way, I was born near a tea garden in the north-east of Bangladesh. Have a cup of tea.

Thank you so much for you got a great idea to change the world of information.

আবারো ভালবাসা ("love again", in Bangla)

Salman Md Habibur Rahman Salman (talk) 12:57, 26 May 2015 (UTC)



Hello mr Wales,

You are hereby invited for a suprise visit to our wikinic sunday juin 7, in Louveigné, place des Combattants (starts at 16 hours) in Belgium. We are looking forward have a few Belgium beers with you and listen to your wise words about wikipedia.

Please donot respond! If you do it is not a suprise anymore ... Kolonel Zeiksnor (talk) 03:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

What a lovely idea. Indeed, if I could, I would not respond and I would surprise you. But as it turns out, it really is impossible for me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:07, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Pavel Durov donation[edit]

Durov pledged $1 million to the Wikimedia Foundation in early 2012. Do you know if his donation actually came through in full? Seems that Durov soon came upon some more challenging times for himself. - 2001:558:1400:10:DC2E:BB4E:F4E2:56AD (talk) 15:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)