User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Can you just block an IP address[edit]

Hi, just want to know a question, can anyone block an IP address of a person that doesn't have a Wikipedia account? Dylan Keane (talk) 20:30, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Admins can.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:35, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, admins can block IP addresses, and entire ranges, and can choose whether the block also affects logged-in users using that address. Guy (Help!) 22:05, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It would be fun to block everyone on April 1 :) . Count Iblis (talk) 19:07, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Define fun. Define April 1. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:45, 26 July 2015 (UTC).
Don't worry, it will take a while before ET can edit Wikipedia. Count Iblis (talk) 17:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
yes, and for example Montgomery County, Maryland schools and library ip is blocked until 2017. it's an amusing form of collective punishment. apparently escalating blocks don't work against proxies; perhaps a rethink is in order. (talk) 19:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not punishment. It is merely protecting Wikipedia from damage. If a certain IP address is used persistently to vandalize Wikipedia, it makes perfect sense to soft-block that IP - it protects Wikipedia while still allowing constructive registered users to contribute. Deli nk (talk) 20:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
To elaborate for anyone reading this who is not a Wiki(m|p)edia insider, shared IP addresses, such as those used by schools, if they are blocked, are typically "soft-blocked", which only prevents edits from that address by users not logged into an account. Sometimes you can still create an account while using the address. If account creation is disabled, and you don't have access to any other IP address, you can request that an account be created for you. -- (talk) 02:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikimania video[edit]

Are there any plans for the Wikimedia-Mexico copyright owners to put up video of Wikimania keynote speeches this year, or are they going to limit themselves to clips of ethnic dancing and demonstrations of translation software without audio? (It's phrased sarcastically but it's an honest question. The better question is how WMF let this unacceptable situation develop...) Carrite (talk) 17:32, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

I wonder... Perhaps it's a conspiracy to stop those of us who did not attend from knowing the cabalistic machinations of the undecennial caravansary based event. (I had thought it was going to be held in the Biblioteca Vasconcelos so I suppose I would have been disappointed.) All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC).
Looks more like basic incompetence, but your mileage may vary. I see that Andrew Lih has a couple videos that he apparently produced up on Where was WMF??? Carrite (talk) 06:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Mexico city??? I would worry more about the air pollution there. Count Iblis (talk) 21:40, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Wikimedia-Mexico and WMF FTL, Andrew Lih FTW. Still no keynote speeches, but at least some semblance of an effort at putting up video.. LINK. Carrite (talk) 17:03, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Bruce Lee[edit]

Hello Jimbo & others! Nobody wants develop this article, as I see (Bruce Lee). How to place information that Bruce Lee was a personal hero of .... Mao Zedong? Kind Regards! Fighter Lion (talk) 23:31, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Being the "personal hero" of someone doesn't mean the subject of that idolation has to be included in the biography. With such a figure as Mao - it seems that this is more or less a bad idea for obvious reasons. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:21, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • This is encyclopedic information. Mao is a powerful figure in the world history (great meaning, he is not "someone"). Fighter Lion (talk) 21:08, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
In your view. Which you could demonstrate by providing reliable independent sources discussing this as significant to Lee's life and work. Otherwise it's just indiscriminate information, and Wikipedia is not a collection of that. Guy (Help!) 22:04, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
In your view. Which you could demonstrate by providing reliable independent sources discussing this as significant to their life and work. Otherwise it's just indiscriminate information, and Wikipedia is not a collection of that. Guy (Help!) 12:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Requesting David Rumsey Historical Maps collection to donate their maps[edit]

I will be doing the soliciting, but I wonder whether we have enough space on our discs. They will have to donate in jpeg though if we don't support the native MrSID files.

Thanks, Logos — Preceding unsigned comment added by Logos112 (talkcontribs) 20:17, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Possibly you meant this as a question solely for Jimbo, but I will just jump in here to opine that the Wikimedia Foundation has more than enough disc space for anything that might be required. So that should never be a concern. I know nothing about the MrSID format other than what I just read in the Wikipedia article about it, so possibly someone else can comment on whether and how it is supported. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 10:53, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I had meant to respond in a similar vein to Arthur goes shopping, after looking at their site. If you need help uploading the content contact me, or USer:Fae, or ask on Commons. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC).

Man Up: The GamerGate Controversy Article[edit]

Jimbo, when is Wikimedia foundation going to man up and intervene on the entirely toxic nonsense that is the GamerGate controversy article, which still persists upon being nothing more than a squatted soapbox for a single point of view and a forum for certain individuals to discuss their individual viewpoints on the topic? It's time that those with some degree of authority to get to grips with this persistent problem. (talk) 13:49, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Sadly Jimbo and Wikimedia's hands are tied on this. They play a dangerous game any time they wield their authority to settle content disputes. It is indeed appalling for just how long that article has stood as little more than a propaganda piece for people opposed to the movement. We’ll be soon approaching an entire year now of Wikipedia being abused to libel tens of thousands of people in a movement as serial misogynists, harassers, and general scumbags. The core problem with it seems to stem from heavy administrative bias against editors on one "side" of the controversy. If you have a look at the list of sanctions applied around the topic area maybe 90% or more of them have been against so-called “pro-GG” editors. Until the administration corps grows a spine and learns to deal with bad actors impartially (and those with a bone to pick in this conflict step down and let truly uninvolved admins take over), this site's credibility will just continue to be tarnished by that joke of an article. Already this past year I have noticed a marked shift in attitude towards linking to Wikipedia articles in many of the online communities I visit. People like to pretend that video game enthusiasts exist in a vacuum and can just be bullied and pushed around as they please, but the game generation is all grown up now and many see no reason to trust Wikipedia in other areas when what has happened on that article has been happening for so long in spite of huge amounts of attention.
Here's my analysis of the situation. It has always been apparent to me that video game articles on Wikipedia (and perhaps some other entertainment industry topics) occupy a bit of a separate article space with lower standards than other articles. After all, it’s just something people do in their free time to have fun... Does it really matter? Surely not as much as sociopolitical, historical, or science topics? Ultimately I think what's happened on the GamerGate article is an intersection of two cultures that don't normally come together: people who don't really care for video games much or get their culture vs. video game enthusiasts. And as neither of the two groups together respects the medium much when it comes to writing articles on Wikipedia specifically, the former (which writes articles on more "prestigious" topics than video games) has managed to dominate the latter.
So I think the site’s users need to earnestly ask themselves a question now: What place should video games have on Wikipedia? Should they be relegated to a dark corner of the site--a set of trivial articles of no consequence that nobody really respects and few really care about except the hardcore enthusiasts? Or is it time to give video game topics the respect and professionalism that most other topics on Wikipedia are already afforded? (talk) 20:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I think there are three main issues:
  1. Lack of traditional reliable sources on the GG side - largely because many of the targets were the gaming media
  2. Some significant number of established editors who appeared to take an anti-GG stance
  3. A bunch of not very clever pro-GG editors who stomped on everything with size 10 boots and
I am not minded to contribute much to this area, because the cost-benefit ratio is pretty bad. When the history of the event is written and there are more and better RS to quote I suspect the article will evolve in a manner less likely to rile random GGers.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC).
A very reasonable take... Carrite (talk) 04:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This is about the only take. ArbCom did as much as they could. Admins that didn't toe the anti-GG line have been driven off, even site-banned and there are no uninvolved administrators willing to curb the vitriole. GamerGate is where a number of various social factions coalesced into two factions: pro and anti GamerGate. While we cover the various aspects of anti-GamerGate including the harassment of game developers, tropes in gaming and various other progressive views, we treat pro-GamerGate aspects as a mob of faceless misogynists. Even when sources are available they are dismissed. This is, of course, not reality but the current climate precludes any other viewpoints. --DHeyward (talk) 07:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The Gamergate article today follows the consensus of reliable sources. That consensus is unfavorable to Gamergate because Gamergate’s chief notable accomplishments to date are (a) its widely reported efforts to harass female software developers by threatening to maim, rape, or murder them, and (b) its also widely-reported efforts to use Wikipedia to improve its public reputation and to further harass its targets by using Wikipedia to discuss their sex lives. This is the way the sources now stand, and Wikipedia will continue to reflect the sources; in many respects, the current article errs by extending Gamergate too many benefits of too many doubts. This excess of charity had led to many evasions and much weaseling to satisfy Gamergate and the many new and zombie accounts it recruited in order to take over the page and to drive its opponents off wikipedia -- an effort that, to wikipedia's shame, has been largely successful. Were Wikipedia to actually deviate substantially from the consensus of the sources, the public outcry would surely provoke a swift return to good sense. If Gamergate desires more favorable coverage in Wikipedia, they first need to accomplish praiseworthy things and seek praise in reliable sources. MarkBernstein (talk) 23:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

.............and you should be off the article. Carrite (talk) 04:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The simple truth is that the article reflects the reliable independent sources, and those sources which fall outside the gaming industry tend to take a dim view of the atrocious behaviour of GamerGate activists. Harassment, doxing and threats of physical violence are completely out of proportion to the trivial supposed wrong inflicted by their targets. As time passes, I think it is unlikely that the consensus of reliable sources will view the GamerGate activists any more sympathetically, and it is extremely unlikely that any article that passes Wikipedia's foundational policies will ever be to their liking.
I could be wrong about this, of course, but somehow I doubt it. Much of what the GamerGate activists try to insert into Wikipedia is essentially revisionism, trying to retrospectively excuse vile behaviour by reference to high principles which somehow never stand up to independent scrutiny.
In short, this is going to be like homeopathy or intelligent design: any article that is neutral and complies with core policies, will be despised by a small group of activists and will remain under relentless attack in perpetuity. The best they can hope for is a neutral description of their beliefs, alongside the documentary evidence that they are wrong. Guy (Help!) 09:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
In really short, the only named GG supporters are not harassing anyone. The allegations of harassment are against an amorphous, nameless group even though there are named GG supporters. This cognitive dissonance of "gamergate is all about harassment" and "all the known gamergate supporters are not harassing anyone" is why it's problematic. the main difference of your example is we can identify adherents of homeopathy and intelligent design. The article on GamerGate borders on BLP violations as the main focus is harassment yet the named supporters are not. It's a bogeyman article. --DHeyward (talk) 11:03, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think it's fairly obvious to everyone that Wikipedia has its own homeopathy and intelligent design advocates. You need look no further than those squatting the #Gamergate Controversy article to identify them. It has became nothing more than a bad bank of biased editing and citogenesis. (talk) 11:09, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think it is ill advised to compare gamergate with pseudoscience since one is refuted by the scientific method and the other is a Multi-faceted controversy, unless of course someone can prove via scientific method, that gamergate is predominantly designed to harass people. (e.g a thorough survey to find out what gamergate movement is actually about, gathering objective facts and stuff.) Until then, all we have are opinions of people mostly involved in the controversy, and a mainstream media that is more interested in the shocking and despicable threats, and not so interested in the somewhat legitimate concerns of gamers. WP article is far from descriptive of the controversy, it's confusing to anyone who is not already immersed in it and painting anyone supporting gamergate side as misogynists and harassers. More than that, the article itself is disruptive to Wikipedia. Draconian measures taken because of this article are disturbing to me, and I'm sure to many others as well. Currently the article is being treated as a battleground, and until that changes it will keep disrupting the WP and perhaps should be terminated. Darwinian Ape talk 12:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
"Confusing to anyone who is not already immersed in it". Absolutely. I had zero knowledge of the subject (other than seeing the drama boards fuss) and read the article for the first time a few days ago. It's so poorly written it's largely incomprehensible. I set myself the limited objective of sorting out the confused and unexplained usage of the word "Gamergate" in the article. It's title use is as a "controversy" but in the main body of the article it's also used as a grouping of people as well as an abstract noun seemingly referring to a set of views or a campaign. I eventually got it after a lot of confusion and reading the unholy mess 3 times. I tried to get the "regulars" to sort it out with a very simple explanatory sentence in the lead, but seem to have failed. (Lots of "look at the archive", "it's too complicated" or, worse, "it's unnecesary".) I'm not going to bother going back. It seems to me that the problem is that most of the regulars are drawn from the narrow world where Gamergate and things associated with it are the biggest thing and they assume either consciously or unconsciously that everyone knows the background, jargon, personalities involved etc. Actually, for the vast majority of our readership it either doesn't exist as a topic or is incredibly peripheral. DeCausa (talk) 12:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
@DeCausa: - re "most of the regulars are drawn from the narrow world where Gamergate and things associated with it are the biggest thing and they assume either consciously or unconsciously that everyone knows the background, jargon, personalities involved etc." - Yes, yes and yes again. GamerGate is really one of the worst examples of navel-gazing nonsense I've ever seen. These folks are pretty much why WP:LAME was written.
I'd strongly urge the community to simply shrink and/or delete all articles generated as a result of the so-called "GamerGate" controversy. NickCT (talk) 13:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
As a Wikipedian who has stared into this particular abyss, I could not support this proposal more strongly. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 14:00, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The only reason there is a disconnect between the harassment and named individuals, as far as I can see, is that anybody who even looks at it gets doxed, which is something of a disincentive to getting involved. I have had to go to court for a Norwich Pharmacal order myself, it is an unpleasant and expensive process even if you do it as a litigant-in-person, as I did. As soon as the stalker was identified, he stopped. I am of the opinion that most online trolls of this nature are only prepared to do what they do as long as they can be assured of no consequences. Have you had death fantasies about you posted online? If not, I venture to suggest you STFU about the "imagined" harassment.
The idea that this is a "multi-faceted controversy" is pure revisionism. The sources outside the bubble world of GamerGate activists are pretty much unanimous: women were attacked, quite viciously, and largely on the basis of their gender, by a group who cam over as a bunch of over-entitled basement-dwellers with no sense of perspective who were probably jealous that someone else was getting some sack action.
I fully understand that this outside view of what they did must hurt them right in the feels. The solution right from the outset was for them to show a little class, and they have consistently refused to do this. Like, you know, saying "shit, I'm sorry, that was a dick move, how can I make it up to you?".
And in the end the biggest reason for the dim view the real world takes of this is that such horrible things were done over something that is of absolutely no objective importance whatsoever. NickCT is absolutely bang on the money here. Navel-gazing nonsense. If every videogame in the world ceased to exist tonight, nobody would die. I can understand people who get passionate about Israel-Palestine, with centuries of bloodshed behind it, but GamerGate? Really? People need to grow up. I ahve two young adult sons, smack in the GamerGate demographic (a mathematician and an engineer, no less) and there is no way they would behave like this. The refusal to acknowledge that what was done was inexcusable, is the root of the problem. Guy (Help!) 13:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
As one (or perhaps the primary one) that has been arguing against the tone of the article since the start, it is not that I (or others that I think are aligned in my thoughts) want to ignore the horrible harassment and other attacks that have happened. It clearly happened, that's actually one of the few factual things we can state about the events because it was all visible on public social media.
However, the problem is that if you look carefully at the high level sources, as well as explore the situation on the centralized forums used by proGG, it is clear that none of those people (albeit broadly anonymous) support the use of harassment or other threats and some even go as far to say they are trying to find the parties that are doing the harassment to try to stop them, with a further postulate that there's third-party trolls doing the harassment "for the lulz". Further, we have absolutely no idea from any source (reliable or not) of any specific individual doing the harassment and their connection to the proGG side. This is not denying that everyone may be getting dupped here, that proGG'ers secretly harass via other accounts, etc, but we don't that.
If proGG was a group of named individuals with a clear membership list and all other factors equal, BLP would be all over this to nuke away any connotation that the proGG side wholly was engaging in harassment, even if the press wanted to make that claim without any evidence. BLP does not apply to nameless groups but the same logic should apply, particularly knowing that the press is implicitly biased against GG (the combination of young male gamers, 4chan mentality, sexist and misogynistic attitudes, and harassment against females is never going to get favorable coverage in the bulk of most reliable sources). Claims made about a group that have no clear evidence to back them up should be left as claims, and not treated as facts to write the rest of the article around that. We still have to document the harassment, we still have to document the contempt that mainstream media has for the proGG's other aspects (their ethics campaign "conspiracy theories", their use of aggressive email drives, their dehumanization of those harassed, their inability to organize and unwillingness to move away from the toxic GG label), and we can still include the claims that suspect that the ethics angle is all a front for a harassment campaign. But at the end of the day, it is clear no one has a firm understanding of what is happening inside GG, and while the press want to push forward a theory based on clear patterns of evidence, we at WP should be treating all of that as contentious statements and make sure they remain claims.
That's been my take from the start, in that the press clearly are marginalizing any respectful coverage of the proGG, which we as a high level , academic, impartial tertiary source, should be able to work around, separating the condemnations and criticism of the coverage from mainstream media from the actual facts. It is not about making the article a pro-GG propaganda vehicle, and it is not about trying to get even close to equal balance (90/10 anti/pro would even be pushing it based on sources). But simply, my stance is about not accepting the press's tone and attitude as the "right" answer without question, and writing for an objective, impartial documentation of the controversy. The bulk of the information and sources are already present to do this, its pretty much a matter of restructuring and rewording a few phrases, and this has been meet with resistance from editors that want to take the press's word as the Bible and not deviate from that, despite NPOV policy saying one should to stay impartial and objective. GG presents a situation that is not well covered by existing policy (either way!), in where there is a clear strong media bias (even if it is unintentional or part of the status quo for reporting), and how to deal with reading past that bias but without sacrificing UNDUE. --MASEM (t) 15:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
They started a mob. They stoked the mob. And then they stand back and say "oh what terrible things the mob did". This has happened many times in history. Guy (Help!) 23:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There is good chance that GG was engineered to start a reaction, and it might be proven out that way. But it is presumption to assume this was the case with what we know (or more specifically, what little we know) now. --MASEM (t) 23:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

If anyone wants an actual no-bullshit rundown of the toxicity of Gamergate, just go read Rationalwiki's article. Rationalwiki is unabashedly biased in favor of facts and against crankery, which tends to shut down anyone whining about how the article isn't "neutral" because it doesn't treat the subject with kid gloves. (Granted, having much lower traffic than en.wp probably also helps.) -- (talk) 14:32, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

As a reminder of how easily one can be inured to harassment, Guy (with whom I largely agree) writes above that "Harassment, doxing and threats of physical violence are completely out of proportion to the trivial supposed wrong inflicted by their targets." But what "supposed wrong" that Gamergate targets might have done, precisely, would justify threatening to rape them? What supposed violation of journalistic ethics would these software developers be accused of that would justify threatening to murder them? The reason that no named individuals support the only notable accomplishments of Gamergate is that no named individuals are willing to say they support these crimes. MarkBernstein (talk) 14:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

"The idea that this is a "multi-faceted controversy" is pure revisionism." I don't think so, anyone who is following the drama would notice that it is "multi-faceted." It's true that the mainstream media is only interested in the harassment aspect. The other stuff in that controversy is not newsworthy for them. But that doesn't mean other stuff did not exist. There was a controversy of the gate variety few years back in the Atheist circles called elevatorgate. It was a huge drama in the atheist community much like gamergate was to gamers, but so few mainstream sources picked it up, we don't even have enough to write an article about. GG is pretty much the same except for the ample media coverage focused on the harassment.(Why? Because only nerds care about the other stuff.) Now we have a garden variety internet drama, but not enough RS to write a neutral article.(though it can be much better than the current one if not for the overzealous editors) but I also agree this is a pretty minor topic overall, and it's ruining the WP.
PS: Raitonalwiki is rational like Conservapedia is trustworthy. Darwinian Ape talk 15:03, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the GG situation has highlighted that WP is not well prepared to deal with present-day controversies where part of the issue is media coverage, and compounded by one side of the controversy savvy enough to use Wikipedia (beyond the odd edit or two) as to be able to try to swing discussion on Wikipedia's coverage on that point. While page protection works some of the time, I think it is fair to say measures like 1RR and the 30 days/500 edits restriction helps to keep most of groups like this away to avoid disruption. But we also have to recognize that in some controversies, there will be well-established editors that are very passionate about one side of the topic, and we have to make sure that WP maintains a more well-balanced (not necessarily equal) perspective of such controversies, not letting media to swing the tone and presentation, and making sure editors keep civil heads during such discussions. If we can catch these situations early, learning from the GG situation and implimenting such restrictions sooner than later that would make for a much saner situation across all of WP. But these again should be restricted only to the most potentially virulent controversies. Something like dressgate isn't something to pull that trigger on. --MASEM (t) 16:41, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Responding to vicious off-wiki attacks and harassment of editors in a manner other than "topic-ban victims of harassment" might also help Wikipedia's reputation. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
@NorthBySouthBaranof: - Are you seriously proposing a victim of harassment has been topic-banned here? Or are you just fabricating shenanigans to exaggerate an already exaggerated issue? NickCT (talk) 18:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
@NickCT: Yes, I am stating such, and your ignorant response tells me that you have no clue what you're talking about here. I have been viciously harassed and attacked on- and off-wiki by Gamergate thugs after I stood up to prevent them from using Wikipedia pages to attack, libel, out and smear their opponents, and the Arbitration Committee's response to this harassment was to topic-ban me. If you would like to catch up on the issue, this article discusses it in detail. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 19:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Those topic-banned were not topic-banned because they were harassed, they were topic-banned for creating a battleground atmosphere to all editors on the talk page (not just the SPAs and IPs), refusing to engage in collaborative discussions, engaging in personal attacks, and not editing in a consensus-based manner. There are other ways to deal with harassment, SPAs and IPs, including those coordinating off-site, without violating the basic principles of a civil, collaborative environment with other editors (that is what the recently-concluded LB case has further established). --MASEM (t) 20:46, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That's complete bullshit, Masem. I put my own personal safety and sanity at risk to defend living people from vicious abuse, libel and calumny spewed by anonymous troll armies and Wikipedia did not lift a finger to help. The lesson here is clear: anonymous troll armies that can raise endless streams of throwaway accounts to game the system are rewarded by the encyclopedia's fundamentally-broken proceses, whereas longtime editors who stand up to protect living people's good names, the encyclopedia's reputation and core editorial policies are shoved aside and thrown away. Intervene to stop attacks and you become the target. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That's a separate issue. It is a harsh unfortunate truth that with a situation like GG where you have one side that uses harassment and intimidation to silence opponents, they will take to anyone that might get in their way, and that has included in this case admins and editors have been proactive in dealing with SPA and IPs in the GG situation. That's something we all would love to try and stop or prevent, but unless we disable the open nature of Wiki, it impossible to prevent, and certainly would not stop the offsite behavior. We need to figure out if there's a way that we can have admins discretely handle BLP issues that arise from situations like GG without revealing their identity publicly, for example, so that we can keep a clean house without triggering a wave of harassment. The GG situation is just that toxic, no question, and it's terrible that it exists in this manner, and there needs to be a mass sea change of the Internet at large to deter and eliminate harassment as a tactic to silence those that disagree with you.
However, for how ever bad it is, the amount of harassment one gets does not give anyone the right to ditch all consensus-based editing and discussion standards, and lash out and treat existing, non-SPA editors with disrespect and hostility, and that was a central issue in both the GG and LB cases. --MASEM (t) 21:21, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Those topic-banned were indeed not topic-banned because they were harassed: In many cases, they were topic banned because intolerable harassment drove them to be impolite on-wiki to people who were threatening their lives, health, careers, and honor elsewhere. Sanctimoniously to demand ideal deportment at all times from persons placed in such circumstances is to expect too much, which is precisely the reason Gamergate adopted these tactics in its attack on Wikipedia. The project’s survival may well depend on our finding a solution to this threat, about which a thoughtful discussion is urgently required. MarkBernstein (talk) 21:26, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This is my advice for those people. (talk) 21:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
IOW, "snitches get stitches," eh? That's the "ethics" of a sociopath. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
IOW, "if you are unable to handle being harassed, how can you help someone else handle being harassed?" I don't appreciate the immediate assumption of bad faith here. (talk) 22:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
If anyone on-wiki is threatening another editor's life or engaging in such behavior, or forcing obvious BLP and falsehoods into an article, we have clear and almost non-negotiable policies to eliminate that which are handled on boards like ANI, and that should be funneled there. Otherwise, you're dealing in good faith with other editors and civility is one of our highest requirements. That doesn't get thrown out just because there are external circumstances, even harassment, as ArbCom has just pointed out in the LB case. --MASEM (t) 22:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
So what you're saying, Masem, is that it's a perfectly acceptable tactic on Wikipedia for an anonymous troll army to use a sustained, vicious, unrelenting and unapologetic harassment and smear campaign to drive opposing established editors over the edge and into endless bureaucratic nonsense so that their endless stream of throwaway accounts can take over the topic area, thus demonstrating to any and all who may try to oppose them what will happen if they dare to stand up to the abuse? You have handed this and any other troll army a blueprint to dominate any article on Wikipedia that they please. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that it is up to an editor that is easily angered to recognize where their behavior towards all other editors becomes a problem. It's clear that a number of the harassers in GG did it to eke a reaction out of specific editors, knowing that these editors were angered easily and hoping they would slip up against WP policy and be removed from participating in the article. Calming down and not giving what the harassers want may cause them to get bored and go away (not an assured tactic but can't hurt to try), and always serves to maintain a civil environment for discussion with other editors. But editing while angry/upset is a recipe for disaster if one cannot keep their emotions in check during civil discussions. Note this doesn't mean one can't have the occasional outburst (everyone's human) but prolonged behavior fueled by anger is what is the problem. --MASEM (t) 21:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you would be singing a different tune if you had been the one endlessly reverting the libelous attacks on living people. But then you wouldn't have received the dubious honor of becoming "Based Masem," would you? Probably not. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I have to say, Masem and company are placing a very high bar on participating on Wikipedia without Gamergate’s blessing. Those who Gamergate likes can go about their business; those who Gamergate targets must face whatever Gamergate does to them and respond by keeping "their emotions in check." (Note that, even here, we're skirting the precipice: after all, what group is notoriously emotional? Insufficiently "calm"? Haven’t we been urged here to "man up"? Good grief.) Gamergate's targets see their sex lives spread over talk pages, rehashed every two weeks while faked nudes and despicable innuendos are broadcast far and wide. They receive neither support nor aid. When we demand their perfect civility toward the very people who are discussing their targets’ sex lives and distributing the filth, we demand too much. That's the point. Gamergate targeted editors who stood in their way, and their targets were topic-banned. They have new targets and new goals, now. And of course every shady PR agency and intelligence service is studying their gameplan and adapting it for use by an organization with deep pockets and without patently despicable goals. MarkBernstein (talk) 23:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @NickCT: In addition to NorthBySouthBaranof, whose harassment has been prolonged and vicious, there's no question at all that Lightbreather was harassed and topic-banned in the recent ARBCOM case: ARBCOM itself acknowledged this and offered a last-minute compromise because of it. I think it's fairly clear that CarolMooreDC was also harassed and then topic-banned. Ryulong was hounded and his sexual orientation ridiculed. I myself get plenty of anti-semitic abuse off-wiki, most notably from a Gamergater whose user name just happens to be a tribute to a Nazi warplane famous for exterminating civilians. Wikipedia does little or nothing to assist people who are targeted -- it's not even clear that Wikipedia has a policy against using off-wiki sexual harassment to pursue on-wiki goals-- and if some of them at times have reacted in haste, fear or anger, I think haste, fear or anger is entirely understandable. Note, too, that the targets you see here are those who are difficult to harass -- people, for example, with no boss or with extremely secure employment. Gamergate drove its vulnerable targets off-wiki months ago. MarkBernstein (talk) 19:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

  • @ Neither RationalWiki nor Wikipedia trace this 'controversy' back to its true roots -- as a reality TV show. See this editorial from March 2014. RationalWiki says it all started in August. I tried to get something about this added back in Archive 14, but was shot down with the dubious argument that if most sources miss something we should miss it too. But as tempers get hot let's try to remember that there are pros out there who are making a living out of messing with our heads. Wnt (talk) 18:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what you mean exactly. Yes, for years a bunch of troglodytes have been trying to drive Quinn out of the gaming industry and to suicide, along with other people they consider members of the cultural Marxist SJW feminist cabal that in their minds is trying to destroy video games. This is touched on in the RationalWiki article. The thing that started in August was Eron Gjoni whipping up the Internet mob to harass Quinn after their breakup, which led to the mob getting the false idea that Quinn traded sex for a good review of her game, hence the original name the Gamergate mob used, "Quinnspiracy". This is a pretty frequent trope among anti-feminists and reactionaries, who make up the core of Gamergate: women use sex to extort things from men and get ahead in life, which is why they need to be kept "in their place" for the good of society. -- (talk) 19:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I think we have to accept that the Wikipedia model is not going to work under all circumstances. The main problem being with criticisms of journalistic behavior: making those very journals reliable sources, and making critical sources unreliable, means that the article is never going to be very fair and balanced. On the whole the WP system of reliable sources works very well, but we shouldn't expect it to work every time. I don't think any sensible editor would want to get involved, as there are almost intractable problems, which isn't the case on the majority of articles.--Jules (Mrjulesd) 19:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

There's no issue with the Wikipedia model here. The idea that journalists reflexively protect journalists is 100% incorrect -- no one loves to attack journalists more than other journalists, but only when they catch their rivals out in actual errors or misdeeds. There were NO journalistic misdeeds here. Everything that Gamergate pointed to as a "journalistic ethics" issue was bunk, a cover story for their harassment campaign, as per the Columbia Journalism Review (see the article for the citation). Gamergate's idea of "ethics in journalism" was "Reviewers shouldn't be allowed to call a game sexist!" which is laughably wrong, and advocating censorship to boot. Gamergate's thesis that, for example, the New York Times would "close ranks" to protect Kotaku is, frankly, delusional, like the rest of their ideas about "ethics." That's why they have to go to places like Breitbart, which could care less about facts, to get their story pushed. That's why Gamergate can't find any reliable sources to back their story -- reliable sources do research and check facts, like Jesse Singal of New York Magazine did, and they find that Gamergate is nonsense with a heaping helping of vile chan-distilled syrup poured over it and a generous sprinkle of MRA nuts. They then report that, and Gamergate acts like this is some huge conspiracy to destroy their beloved vidya, when it's just reporters doing their jobs. Aspirae (talk) 20:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Who are you Single Purpose Account? I don't think there is much point in arguing with you, except to say I respectably disagree. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 20:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
God, is everyone here this hostile to new contributors? First Pink Ampersand and now you. Random Gamergaters can show up and post long screeds about how Wikipedia isn't fair to them, but I'm not allowed to take two minutes and start an account to disagree? Real nice. This place really is welcoming toward the GG hordes, isn't it? Amazing, after the way they continue to try to organize attacks on the encyclopedia, that you people would rather have them around than people who think they're full of garbage. Aspirae (talk) 20:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
You act as if they're the only ones that get any hospitality? (talk) 20:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm pointing out that Mrjulesd refused to engage with the points I made at all, and instead flounced, claiming I wasn't worth talking to. (I take that as an admission he doesn't have any sensible refutations to make so flouncing is all that's left to him.) I bothered to engage with his points and bring up counterarguments backed with citations, and he just whined. It's atrocious behavior for someone working on an encyclopedia. Where's his evidence that the Wikipedia model has failed in this case? Meanwhile random Gamergaters spout nonsense from IPs and he says not a word about them showing up, because I guess he thinks they have a place here, but I don't? Or something? Aspirae (talk) 21:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC) (Sorry for the signature mess up, that's my housemate's account, I found this discussion because of her.)
I can't speak for Mrjulesd, but your argument had some passionate language (i.e. "laughably wrong"). So it looks like your mind is already set on this issue. (talk) 21:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I would like to second Aspirae’s vexation here. For months on end, we had a constant procession of freshly-brigaded and zombie accounts that appeared at the Gamergate page, and each one was greeted, guided, cosseted, and supported by Gamergate’s experienced fans. To allude to the phenomenon, even indirectly, on the talk page became grounds for an instant block. This particular charade finally ended with the institution of the 30/500 rule -- and also, perhaps, with the exhaustion of Gamergate's file of zombie accounts; the recent increase in Gamergate socks is suggestive as well. Meanwhile, a simple undertaking to patrol the area for blatant BLP violations required a tremendous investment of time because so many editors were so very eager to discuss the sex lives of female software developers, because experienced editors invariably rushed to defend their right to use Wikipedia to discuss the sex lives of female software developers, and -- alas -- because Jimbo briefly lent Gamergate encouragement with remarks like "Wikipedia neither supports nor opposes Zoe Quinn," suggesting that Wikipedia should treat a target of harassment and her harassers as equally worthy. Wikipedia's hospitality to IPs and newcomers is very unevenly distributed, and remains uneven long after we have known that Gamergate is systematically recruiting “supporters” to flood Wikipedia and convert the project to further its own ends. MarkBernstein (talk) 21:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
MarkBernstein, are you connected to this "Aspirae" account at all? You seem to be tag-teaming with almost identical rhetoric, on this thread plus at WP:AN. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 21:54, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That...that makes no sense at all. You have croggled me. Congratulations. I'm still waiting to find out why you think it makes sense that journalists are "colluding" about Gamergate. I've freelanced and really, this just defies reason. Come on, you must have SOMETHING, right? Aspirae (talk) 22:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Beats me! for all I know, Aspirae might be one of my sisters, or one of my cousins, or one of my colleagues. I doubt it, but anything's possible. For crying out loud, Mrjulesd, are you paying attention? I wrote an Arbcom defense in alliterative verse! It's not like my rhetorical style here on Wikipedia -- a pastiche of Milton and the metaphysicals-- would be hard for a literate person to emulate. If you want my normal style, read my research papers or my book. We're not JoeGod or some zombie account; that's the other folks. 02:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Oh my, what a response. I did not ask for dialogue with any of the editors above, I asked explicitly for action on the part of Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia foundation. But, I should also be thankful as you have made my point for me, the whole discussion is littered with admissions that the article is a mess and that it is not being edited in the interest of impartiality or truth, but rather based upon political lines and to serve demagoguery. Thank you for displaying that Wikipedia is being abused in this instance. (talk) 20:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, what you want is for Wikipedia to reflect the world as you see it, rather than as reliable independent sources see it. We don't. This is a feature, not a bug. Guy (Help!) 23:13, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

This is just from my experience but this discussion will continue until it is archived. GamerGate discussions are truly an endless abyss that is bottomless even though the opinions expressed about it rarely change. I actually thought the subject would be over after a couple of months (what hot topic on the internet lasts longer than that?) but, a year on, it still seems to be going on, despite GamerGate suffering from inevitable attrition. I think that the article is gradually getting better and as we acquire more thoughtful and less newsy secondary sources, the article will become more balanced. And, for what it's worth, GamerGate doxed me, too, although I was spared the death threats. Liz Read! Talk! 20:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

  • That's because the 'new' editors and anon ips that are so concerned are trolling this site. Off-site coordinated harassment and attacks have went virtually unpunished, with only the harassed targets having to pay with their accounts. The editors still here making excuses for the GG trolls are the main problem. If they didn't exist, the issue could be dealt with swiftly. As it should be anyway. I've never heard of any place of business that would allow coordinated attacks directed at their volunteer staff by people like the ones that come over here from 8chan/4chan and Reddit. It's unbelievable to me that we can ban users almost immediately for legal threats, but have a several month ArbCom case with bullshit results for obvious and extreme harassment. The members of the committee should be ashamed, as should Jimbo. What company would allow this? .....Dave Dial (talk) 04:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I was doxed by anti-GamerGate, and I wasn't spared the threats. (talk) 06:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The People's Operator logos[edit]

Jimbo, are you okay with the following logos appearing on Commons?

It appears that User:Coentor has submitted them as his "Own work". Can you confirm that Coentor is entitled to claim these logos as his own, and/or confirm that these are even associated in any way with The People's Operator? - (talk) 16:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Own work or not, they are too simple to be copyrighted so what's the issue?--ukexpat (talk) 20:02, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
So, a simple copy of a corporate logo can legally be released into the public domain, as these logos were? I didn't know that! - (talk) 23:31, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
No, it's more complicated than that. The logo has to match this condition: "This image or logo only consists of typefaces, individual words, slogans, or simple geometric shapes. These are not eligible for copyright alone because they are not original enough, and thus the logo is considered to be in the public domain." --NeilN talk to me 23:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
My understanding is that even if a logo doesn't meet the threshold of originality to qualify for copyright protection, it is still protected by trademarks. I don't think any logos can be hosted on Commons for this reason. @Justlettersandnumbers: does a lot of work on copyrights and might be able to confirm. CorporateM (Talk) 00:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
CorporateM, you can check this yourself. Go to a company article and it's likely the logo is hosted on Commons. --NeilN talk to me 00:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
See, e.g., commons:Category:Logos of companies. -- (talk) 00:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Awww, yes. Poking around at a few of them seems to confirm that they are trademark-protected, but also that Commons allows trademark-protected images. CorporateM (Talk) 01:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The rationale being that uploading trademarked logos to Commons isn't a trademark infringement, whereas uploading a copyright logo can be a copyright infringement.--ukexpat (talk) 03:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Rush to Judgment[edit]

There's a disgraceful thread over at ANI[1]. Many editors were blocked for sockpuppetry just on the basis of them being welcomed to Wikipedia by a now blocked or banned editor. A CU was done and revealed that some of the accounts were unrelated but not before these editors, some of who have no edit history, were blocked. The blocks were removed but they are all still on these new editor's block histories. Welcome to Wikipedia, you're blocked for doing nothing at all....William 15:00, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Well it's difficult to see this as anything more than an honest mistake. It did appear that a sockmaster had welcomed newly formed socks, but it turned out that it was a red herring, and the sockmaster was welcoming mostly random accounts taken from a log. The most that can be done now is for the accounts to be unblocked, and this seems to be taking place.
The moral of the story is that CU confirmation is needed before blocking with this kind of occurrence. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 15:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The removal of MathJax[edit]


I would like to let you (and the WMF) know about the recent discussion regarding math rendering issue at #Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Mathematics#Future of MathJax on wiki. It seems to me that, at heart, the issue is how the whole development process is framed currently (more precisely the lack of any process at all). The math editors, myself included, has a trouble with the WMF's attitude that the math rendering not only has less priority than some other "big" stuff like Visual Editor, but in fact that the WMF has "essentially no plan." Right now, some "volunteers" maintain and develop the math rendering support; there is nothing wrong with that. But this setup has a consequence that he tends to work on what he likes not what is being asked. This consequence is unfortunate in two ways: (1) it sends messages that the WMF doesn't care about math editors, and (2) the math support in Wikipedia is not keeping up with the standard practice; this sends messages to the readers that Wikipedia is not hip anymore.

I get the "If there is a problem, fix it yourself" principle. This is not my problem; the math rendering is fast and looks good on my screen and personally I don't need any fix. But the aforementioned problem that is clearly relevant to the WMF does exist; it's not something for "me" to fix it. I think it is important that there is someone in payroll that works on this specific problem and is held accountable. That would send the messages in the reverse: the WMF does care about the editors and can still produce something "hip" that can attracts new contributors and the editors. -- Taku (talk) 22:51, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Please see also User_talk:TakuyaMurata#Plans. For me, the interaction is very disturbing. I hope it is a simple mistake on the WMF's part to hire a "liaison" of that type; someone whose mission is drive the editors away. -- Taku (talk) 01:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Why did you put volunteer in scare quotes? Legoktm (talk) 05:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That interaction is disturbing to me, too. But mainly because you are communicating like an asshole. Questioning WhatAmIDoing's competence is your first "go to" comment? I'm glad you're not a diplomat.--Jorm (talk) 06:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

DBpedia and wikipedia[edit]

I wonder whether we could implement the capabilities of DBpedia right here in Wikipedia. It will allow us to explore the information in Wikipedia as a collection of related data, and not just articles and data disconnected. Although DBpedia works with infoboxes, I do not know whether they work with templates (boxes that usually follows articles at the bottom).


Logos112 (talk) 01:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

So like.... Wikidata? Legoktm (talk) 05:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

An interesting question about reliable sources[edit]

I have a question about the recent revelation that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) proposed an anti-Google campaign involving segments on the Today show and an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Assume for a moment that Google had not been able to obtain the smoking gun email and that the MPAA proceeded as planned; the Mississippi Attorney General buying fake IDs and stolen credit card data through Google, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show, followed by a large Google investor (paid by the MPAA) demanding reform, then finally an editorial in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Google's stock will lose value unless they do what the MPAA wants them to do.

Had that happened, what would Wikipedia's articles on the topic say? Would we dutifully reported the entire incident, backed up by reliable sources? Without the email and the media reports of same, would anyone who disputed the Today Show / Wall Street Journal version be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist? I can't see any way that our policies on verifiability and reliable sources would have allowed us to do otherwise, and I can't imagine any changes to those policies that wouldn't totally screw up the 99.9+% of articles that aren't based on a real conspiracy that involved multiple reliable sources.

So, is there anything Wikipedia can do about situations like this, or do we just have to accept them as a necessary consequence of being an encyclopedia? --Guy Macon (talk) 02:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)