User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 100

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie wrote the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, which was published in 1936. The article "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (permanent link here) has a list of basic principles. The book has more details, with real-life examples of people acting on those principles and of people not acting on them, and the consequences.

Some Wikipedians have acted on some of those principles on some occasions, even if they have not read the book. Anyone who wishes to do even better can study those principles and then can strive to apply more of them and to apply them more fully.

However, one can easily pick up contrary habits from people who do not act on those principles, and resisting that tendency can be difficult. (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33)

(I used the word "some" without specifying "many" or "few". Non-specificity is different from ambiguity.)

Wavelength (talk) 21:16, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Any particular reason you're connecting up a capitalist/individualist manifesto with Biblical passages? I'm not so certain that the two are very compatible. Also, I'm not so certain that all of us emulating Carnegie's methods would be in the best interest of the encyclopedia (or life, for that matter). Qwyrxian (talk) 21:29, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
When I posted the message above, I was uncertain of what sort of reaction (or variety of reactions) I would receive. Many Wikipedians are familiar with the policy Wikipedia:Civility and with cases of incivility, and it seemed to me that they would make an obvious connection. This is my first occasion of encountering someone who described that book as "a capitalist/individualist manifesto", and I am curious to know how you decided on that description. The Biblical passages back up my comment about contagious habits. There is the non-Biblical proverb "A man is known by the company he keeps", but it is not specific about the direction of causation. If your reaction accurately represents that of the Wikipedia community in general, then perhaps I have erred in posting the message.
Wavelength (talk) 23:36, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
If anything, you brought this piece of vandalism that survived for over a week to my attention. Graham87 05:54, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I meant to post to a former discussion, Losing an editor on Human rights, where I said: "I would like to do the opposite, not investigate a past, but set the tone for a future where the contributor who donates time and skill to this project is first of all treated as a human being, with decency and respect, and not some thing "serial plagiator"." I wanted to thank Wehwalt for a bold edit to put the goal in focus, sort of a clean start :) Thank you! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:46, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Civility is a great thing, but enforcing civility, not so much. It leads to an endless series of allegations: A is being uncivil, B is being uncivil by falsely accusing A is uncivil (and trying to get him punished thereby), C is being uncivil by falsely accusing B of being uncivil by accusing A. Eventually every suggestion, however small, is under constant scrutiny and can lead to overt demands that the speaker be banned from the project. I think the projects would probably be far more civil if we had no civility rule at all. And Lord of the Flies is a sort of propaganda (i.e. that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was wrong about the state of nature); we have no evidence a real experiment would have any similar outcome. Wnt (talk) 19:59, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, civility is a valuable personal quality, as are impartiality, modesty, competence, and good reasoning. Yes, enforcing civility is something less than ideal, and ideally civility comes freely and genuinely from the (figurative) heart. However, even if only one person in a two-person relationship behaves civilly, the situation is still better than if neither one does.
Wavelength (talk) 23:07, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Following on from the recommendations in the ArbCom Civility Enforcement case, some work has been going on to improve and clarify the civility policy somewhat, including ways of dealing with (perceived) incivility short of jumping straight to dispute resolution, and a few more pointers on things to avoid as they can be misunderstood, etc. Hopefully work will continue until we have something in place which is really clear (even to pre-University and ESL readers!), and (most importantly of all) results in something which, being unambiguous, is equally applied. A great deal of disillusionment has arisen in the past for sanctions being handed out in response to relatively harmless comments, while those handing out the sanctions have demonstrably behaved more uncivilly than the person they have sanctioned. Pesky (talk) 14:39, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Dear Uncle Jimbo

Why is Wikipedia like an information super-highway ? I passed by a recent funeral and saw a lot of community sorrow. The questions 'why do the good die young', 'why do they die at all', 'why does anybody have to die ?' haunt me. Is it a mystery nobody can explain sometimes, does it need to be this way. I ask myself, why can't the community raise the dead ? Why is the community unable to bridge the divide, and reach across the abyss ? Penyulap 01:27, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I always think the best answer to questions like this is from the Book of Job: "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?". Looie496 (talk) 03:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps ask at WP:Reference_desk: Questions about "the meaning of life" or other issues of Metaphysics could probably be answered by some people at WP:Reference_desk/Humanities. However, sometimes I wonder if people really want to know a true answer or just what they prefer to hear. If people could really view what was on the other side, would they be able to handle some unpleasant aspects which they did not know existed? The other side might have some horrific aspects which many people would not want to face, or be so complex that the mind would boggle with the details given. Hence, the adage: "Ignorance is bliss". I suppose many people imagine Heaven is where they would get everything they want, without resistance and without consequences. However, consider the possibility that Heaven has a huge set of rules and requirements that would make life on Earth seem carefree by comparison. Meanwhile, see articles "Out-of-body experience" and "Astral projection" and "On Death and Dying" for some other ideas to consider. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
According to the Bible, when Adam and Eve challenged Divine sovereignty, they also forfeited the right to everlasting life. (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1–5, 19; Romans 5:12) Afterward, during probationary human self-government, humans have experienced imperfection in rulers and subjects, and an inability to restore everlasting life. (Psalm 49:7–9; Psalm 146:3, 4; Ecclesiastes 8:9; Jeremiah 10:23) Jesus Christ (symbolized by the Passover lamb) sacrificed his perfect human life to repurchase obedient humans from sin and death, and will rule over them in a perfect government. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:32, 33; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 15:25–28; 15:45; Hebrews 9:11, 12)
Wavelength (talk) 06:51, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
It looks like you are evangelising, was this your intention or is this some sort of joke? -- (talk) 06:59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I did read the questions in the original post at face value and also metaphorically by the piped links, and I tried my best to answer from both aspects. I presented one point of view about death and resurrection, and other respondents have presented other points of view. I also presented one point of view about human imperfection, which is the root of many of the problems on Wikipedia.
Wavelength (talk) 16:37, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion the Five pillars are plenty for everyone to debate and interpret, let's not cast Jimbo as the modern Moses and risk these becoming the Ten Commandments with endless wikilawyering about who might covet another man's ass. Thanks -- (talk) 16:48, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

No disrespect, I don't think any of you actually understand the point Penyulap is making. If you put your mouse over the hypertext, a new story emerges. He is actually talking about the fact that Wikipedia editors, even in the prime of their Wikipedia experience are being driven away by bad tempered bullies etc. That it the cause of his questions such as: "why do the good die young". His example is User:Kumioko who tragically left us recently, as did many other accomplished editors. He asks: "Why is the community unable to bridge the divide, and reach across the abyss?" - in other words, why is there such a divide between the elite group of experiences editors and the newbies who have many fights that drive all kinds of editors away from this project. I'm surprised that all the comments to this post have all been very literal, without actually addressing the point he (she?) is truly making....--Coin945 (talk) 09:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, that's what I got from it even without reading behind the pipes! Over the years, we've lost a lot of good editors (and also some editors-with-glit ches, yes ... but people can grow out of glitches). A lot of people drift away from Wikipedia just as part of a normal progessions in interests, they move on for no particular reason, or because tyhey've done all they wanted to do. But, as Penyulap asks, is there any way to tempt some of those "lost" editors back again? To raise the WikiDead? Worth a go, if there is. Pesky (talk) 09:16, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
No books.pngNo cross.svg.,. He says did not choose THIS IS SPARTA.svg, no wikian chooses, it chooses them. The law says we can raise the dead. But there are no spells and no temple for the petition. We don't stand as one because we don't know how. So we only know how to wander off. Penyulap 10:48, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

No idea what's actually being discussed here, but we should do more of this, couching our arguments in cryptic allusions to esoterica. You can't tell what's going on, but who cares, it's fun! Makes us seem more mysterious, and leaves plenty of room for wild interpretation. In closing, I will leave this message for others to find and decipher: When the owl is missing at night, are we missing the owl, or missing ourselves? Good luck. Ocaasi t | c 11:37, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

No Wikpedian chooses to be blocked; that's a decision which others make for them. And even when consensus says this should be reviewed, or changed,
FireworksGovCenter2.jpg
it seems there is nowhere to go; and, not knowing what to do, people just give up trying. They "wander off".. Pesky (talk) 11:50, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Pesky speaks here for Penyulap, but where does the tribe speak for our lost ? Penyulap 13:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

See thread below, "#Unblocking former editors". -Wikid77 17:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
As the old saying goes, "it takes two to tango." In this case, User:Kumioko was blocked for a policy violation, then did the worst possible thing by completely losing his/her calm. They then scrambled their password, declaring they'd never come back... then went right to socking.
It's not the community's responsibility to bow and scrape to a user who does that. There are clear instructions for challenging a block, so that's not an excuse. You can't say "there is no where to go," as it's laid right out in the block template. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:25, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The Poet and the Engineer may be worlds apart in their particular ways of expressing Life, but when they bring their ideas and add them to "the Soup", competition lessens and developement and collaboration take shape. As Editor Ocaasi so wisely states, "It's Fun". It's also the basic platform for true innovation. Conversations like this break down the walls surrounding and protecting "My Good Idea" from "your good idea" (Please note that my idea is deservedly in CAPS and your idea is relegated to lower case). Our ideas begin to compLete each other rather than compete with each other. The hardest trick at Wikipedia is to remain a Collaborator and not drift into Competitor. Back to the original question: Why do Quality Editors Leave? IMO....Editors don't leave because of the Collaboration. They leave because of the Competition. ```Buster Seven Talk 14:45, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
One of the more troubling aspects of my early days as a member of Wikipedia ws discovering the "lost souls". As with most "newbies" (I would guess) I was jumping here and there and everywhere. Reading articles, discovering the lay of the land, creating an exceptable user page, daring to make the occasional edit. And, also, looking for acceptance and, maybe, a little guidance. The discussion pages were filled with wonderful conversations. But...here's the rub. Often times that editor had given up. 3 years ago, I gathered some examples. I offer them here as verification that there kis a situation that needs attention..
  • "I fought the good fight, but enough is enough",
  • "...the attacks become too personal, too mean-spirited",
  • "...I didnt sign up for this"
  • "I was really wasting my time...."
  • "It was enormously fun at first, but not anymore"
  • "...please make Wikipedia not suck!"
  • "......because I was spending more time defending articles than improving them"
  • "...the futility of spending time editing at WP"
  • "WP said it had no need of me"
  • "I dont believe I can successfully contribute content of any value without it being destroyed by the vicisstitudes of WP politics"
  • "I understand why so many have left"
  • "You have once again bitten a newbie to death"
  • "I've packed my bags, and I'm out of here. Good luck "
  • "I quit editing Wikipedia for almost a year after dealing with uncivil editors and non-stop obstructionists and on one page the incivility was harsh and Jimmy Wales was on that talk page and said nothing. Setting an example starts from above".
It would probably do us all a WikiWorld of good to remember (each on our own) our individual early days at Wikipedia. How bright-eyed we were. How exciting the place was. OMG...The challenge of your first edit. Probably just a minor edit...punctuation more than likely! But you were hooked. You joined a World-wide phenomenon. As you wandered around the changing landscape of WP, your sense of the enormity and value of the place grew. You got a taste of what a free-flowing, ever-changing, stimulating project it was. And you wanted to be involved. You wanted to Collaborate. You did NOT want to compete. ```Buster Seven Talk 15:05, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comparison to personal Heaven: Well, perhaps some responses, above, were subtlely playing along with the metaphor of "the good die young", as when I noted, "I suppose many people imagine Heaven is where they would get everything they want, without resistance and without consequences (WP:OWN). However, consider the possibility that Heaven has a huge set of rules and requirements that would make life on Earth seem carefree by comparison." All joking aside, life on non-Wikipedia Earth can be much simpler than writing an encyclopedia with 10,000 guideline rules in numerous WP:MOS pages (remember: "A decimal numeral should have a lead-zero, as '0.5' while '.5' is improper"!). Even with civility, working in WP can be very stressful, with just trying to save 85 changes without a browser lockup (or WP:Wikimedia Foundation error), then someone politely reverts all those "confusing changes". I can see why people would be "dying" to spend more time with friends or family in outside activities. People who edit for many hours everyday should consider some long wp:wikibreaks. Afterward, then attempt to "raise the dead". -Wikid77 15:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Some people should leave Wikipedia for good because they have become addicts. If anyone finds that they are spending more time here than with their family and friends, and especially their children, it is time to consider that they may be addicted. If they find that they are unable to adhere to self-imposed time limits, they have no choice but to quit cold turkey. Gandydancer (talk) 16:21, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Not just that, but some people need to leave Wikipedia because they're bad for Wikipedia. Some of these "lost souls," as it's so melodramatically put, wanted ownership of articles or simply to ignore our behavioral guidelines. Those folks can stay lost, IMO. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:58, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Very true, unfortunately that very thing is what got me blocked when I confronted a user about article ownership, reverted their reversion as vandalism (as I saw it as vandalism) and got blocked for violating the 3RR rule. Everything else that happened was a direct result of that one action. That is the core reason I am not editing anymore. Because in that case, the community displayed a clear and obvious intent, to support article ownership. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 20:10, 20 March 2012 (UTC)(Formerly Kumioko)
... or, you might take heed that you broke 3RR and the community does not allow that. Trying to reframe it as "allowing ownership" is a non sequitur. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:16, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
My scenario has been talked to death so I'm not going to argue it anymore. I told how I felt and you did too so lets just move on. The bottom line is that 3RR does not, nor has it ever applied to vandalism and the innappopriate reversions of the WikiProject banner tags amounted to vandalism and article ownership. Plain and simple. Don't believe me or do it makes no difference thats how I feel. Here are links to the 3 articles affected. [1], [2], [3] All three pertained to more than Connecticut and even if they didn't WPCT and WPUS are separate projects so there is no reason outside article ownership that can be used to justify not allowing those banners. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 20:29, 20 March 2012 (UTC)(Kumioko)

CiviliNation

Yesterday, I discovered that Wikipedia:Civility (permanent link here) has a link to Jimmy Wales and Andrea Weckerle: Keep a Civil Cybertongue - WSJ.com, which mentions CiviliNation. Other editors may be interested in CiviliNation - Taking a Stand for Civil Discourse.
Wavelength (talk) 21:08, 19 March 2012 (UTC) and 03:26, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggested use of demerits/merits system

(restored from /Archive_100 of ClueBot III) -Wikid77 05:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I have suggested the use of a system of demerits subtracted for each insult posted by a user, where the total demerits would reach a point of semi-automatic edit-blocking for the abusive editors. Also, post demerits for a WP:3RR edit-war action. Any editor who wishes to reverse the total, of accumulated demerits, could earn positive merit points by working on many pre-defined tasks, such as adding 5 sources to each unsourced article in a request list, or such (see 250,000 articles to fix in: WP:BACKLOG). Once all demerits are cleared, then no additional merits are added, and the user cannot build a "fortress against future bad behavior" by extra work, just maintain a clean record like any other user doing routine edits. If a user cannot avoid the excessive demerits, then they would be auto-blocked as an issue of WP:COMPETENCE, rather than labelling them as a "vandal". However, such a system of demerits/merits still requires the effort of moderators to log the demerits, yet the logging of demerits could be another task to earn merits for people who felt misjudged. Also, people might enjoy a system where judgments have real consequences, logging countable demerits for each insult, rather than just "warning" a user to be more civil. Being a demerit moderator would be "no big deal" because the final block actions would still be the duty of admins, to review the log of demerits and see if they were justified. Although the use of demerits might seem too much like a academy, the system has worked well in school systems, and displays a obvious plan for fairness. Meanwhile, it also gives the safety net to earn merits for a user who might think some demerits were unfair, while being only temporary. The current technique of maintaining a "block log" for simple violations leads to "double jeopardy" where people are warned that a long block log could lead to permanent banning of the editor. Harsh blocks are too severe, whereas a system of demerits/merits could keep a balance to encourage helpful editing to offset demerits logged for abusive actions. -Wikid77 14:01, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Who determines what is an insult? Who decides how many demerits each infraction receives? Who reviews incorrectly placed demerits? Does a person who levies incorrectly applied demerits get a demerit themselves? In short, who maintains this bureaucracy? Resolute 14:34, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I can see the benefits of the idea, but feel that trying to implement it would be a logistical nightmare, and unless it were rigorously policed it would be open to abuse by those wishing to pile demerits onto others. Pesky (talk) 14:42, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
What's so wrong with a "fortress against bad behavior"? (at least unofficially; this scheme sounds ponderous) Wikipedia acts like it's doing contributors a favor by letting them prepare valuable free content for the world. I think the collective content and userbase of WMF projects, if privately owned and controlled by a corporation, would be worth billions. When we see productive editors making snappy comments, our first priority should be keeping the valuable contributors, not enforcing some kind of scheme. The point of civility itself is to keep contributors, not drive them away. Giving people the respect and recognition that their past contributions are valuable is part of that; doing otherwise sends a message that they must be wasting their time if nobody cares about all that work. Wnt (talk) 15:04, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
A "fortress against bad behavior" would be a horrible idea. Wikipedia's continued good health depends on an expanding, welcoming community, and not a few individuals. We need to recognize that pandering to a handful of toxic editors that also happen to write good copy is not in our long term interests. The best way to keep contributors is to ensure a healthy environment for inexperienced editors, not to confer immunity from behavioral guidelines upon a few jerks. --JaGatalk 15:34, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Per principle #3 in this arbcom case, article-building work is already (for better or for worse) taken into account when determining how to sanction persistent misbehavior by an editor. However, the trouble with this idea is that if our goal is to retain contributors, we're not going to accomplish that with a policy saying "we allow incivility as long as you outweigh it with unrelated, article-building work" - the person who's been personally attacked, etc and is in actual danger of being driven away doesn't care how awesome their attacker might be at, say, sourcing articles; all they know is that someone belittled them and made them feel unwelcome, and that they therefore don't want to stay around. A semi-automated policy like a merit/demerit system doesn't address the actual issues caused by incivility, namely the driving away of those subjected to incivility; it only addresses the issue of forcing those who are uncivil to also improve articles. An uncivil editor who also writes articles is, indeed, better than an uncivil editor who doesn't write articles, but neither of those editors is going to help Wikipedia grow as much as a civil editor who writes articles, or - I would argue, probably contentiously - a civil editor who gnomes but doesn't drive anyone off.

Think of Wikipedia as a bit like a pyramid scheme (without the illegality and ultimate collapse, one hopes) - the more people we bring in, the more content we will have created and improved. If Editor #1 can bring in three friends to be Wikipedia editors, not only do we have the benefit of #1's contributions, we also have the benefit of #2-4. Incivility leads to stagnation of this pyramid - yes, the old editors remain working on articles, but by allowing incivility to persist among those "old" editors, we lose the potentially exponential contributions of new editors in the "downline", the ones who would be feeding into exponential growth of the 'pedia. Encouraging the "old" editors to contribute more content to balance out their driving off of new editors will never compensate entirely for the lack of content that could have been contributed by the driven-off editors. (Note: yeah, this isn't a perfect analogy, what with the whole part where pyramid schemes are destined to collapse - there will be a hard limit for how many contributors we can bring in and how much content they can contribute, but the main thrust of my point here is that one editor-that-is cannot compensate for the work of [three|five|however-many] editors-that-could-have-been)

A possible way to tweak the merits/demerits strategy to be more workable would be to make it more like "community service" - an editor who's persistently problematic in area X (let's stick with civility for consistency's sake in this example) wouldn't be able to balance out the personnel damage of that incivility by sourcing articles. But they could balance out that damage by working off their "demerits" in an area related to area X, like mediation, newbie-guiding via mentorship, WP:Teahouse, etc - places where their helping out could help bring in or retain editors or settle disputes civilly. This, too, isn't a perfect plan, since someone with a short fuse is going to be limited in what newbie-handling areas they can cope with without blowing that fuse, but it may be a direction to think about if the merit/demerit system is thought to be worth pursuing. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 15:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

A very interesting analysis, until the last paragraph. Every person has areas of strengths and weaknesses. Putting someone whose weakness is Civility in a position as a mediator is just asking for trouble! -- The Red Pen of Doom 14:44, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't disagree with you, Red Pen. It would be a very difficult system to make function without crashing and burning, and I suggested it only as a sort of "well, if we must have merits and demerits..." idea. That said, though, I wonder if there is a way to make "community civility service" useful - if there's any program we can implement where people who have a weakness when it comes to being uncivil could slowly learn how to control that. I suspect the answer to that is "probably not", though. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 14:56, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Perceived or actual nastiness is inherent in any large random group, such as the contributors here. It will never be any different. Perhaps the fault here is in allowing the principle of 'everyone can edit' to override the goal of writing a free content encyclopedia. On a related subject, has anyone ever studied possible correlations between article importance and the level of disruption surrounding it? Kevin (talk) 00:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Database reports/Pages with the most revisions and Wikipedia:Most vandalized pages.
Wavelength (talk) 01:00, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Rare articles almost never have vandalism: In general, the more-popular articles are frequent targets of posting hacked edits, whereas many articles which are read only a few times (per day) have gone years with no vandalism of any form at all. -Wikid77 05:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Dismay over eroding standards of Wiki-etiquette

(restored from /Archive_100 of ClueBot III) -Wikid77 05:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

First, thank you sincerely for founding Wikipedia. I believe in this altruistic, free encyclopedia so much so that as an author and journalist for 30+ years, currently at a major newspaper, I've devoted much time here both out of genuine enjoyment and as a pro bono gesture to help articles reach professional standards of prose, research and grammar. It's a pleasure and an honor.

I read more and more, sometimes in Wikipedia, often outside it, that Wikipedia is a hostile environment for newcomers, and that a lack of civility is driving even longtime editors away. I've just been through the latest volley of name-calling, insults and pronouncements about my mental health, and for the second time in my experience here, I've found that Wiki etiquette assistance has become impotent for anything other that major cursing or threats of violence. Insults, name-calling, and vicious personal comments are considered OK. When one posts a concern at the etiquette assistance page, the discussion too often gets hijacked by verbally abusive types themselves who literally say, "If you don't like it, leave Wikipedia."

I know you have fundraising and image-making concerns that are important to the future of this encyclopedia. I only bring this to you since you seem receptive to hearing big-picture concerns about editors' behavioral issues. And right now, the exaggerated, stereotyped image of Wikipedia editors — which holds more truth than it should — is that of angry, hostile, socially delayed young men who haven't developed the empathy to know that verbal abuse is both intrinsically wrong and detrimental to the welcoming environment Wikipedia needs to have in order to attract and keep good, responsible editors.

Wikipedia civility is at the lowest standard I've seen in my nearly seven years here. Wiki etiquette needs to be strengthened, and the assistance board needs to be taken back from those who tell you to leave if you don't want to be insulted and verbally abused. With sincere regards for everything you've done and created, --Tenebrae (talk) 23:42, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

  • See thread below: "#Suggested use of demerits/merits system". -Wikid77 14:01, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Experts complained about civility years ago: I read in some forum that other users, years ago, had pushed to remove an expert user who would get high fees as a professional speaker. -Wikid77 05:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The best way to promote civility is to practice it. Thank other editors for their good work often, welcome and offer help to newcomers, make friends not enemies, try to defuse conflicts between other editors in a diplomatic way, walk away from conflict whenever possible, and say some kind words to editors encountering problems. I've been active here for almost three years, and have been in very few arguments myself. When a disagreement seems to be brewing, I try to de-escalate the situation rather than ratcheting it up. Go work on another article for a while instead of battling endlessly. Never, ever edit war. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:47, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I generally follow that policy, Cullen (try to calm things down and if that fails, walk away), but it means I do a lot of walking away that I shouldn't have to. The 4th pillar needs to be taken much more seriously by the community. Users who are frequently rude and insulting, despite warnings, should be promptly site banned. It took literally years to rid this place of Treasury Tag. He shouldn't have lasted five minutes. How do you (the community) expect to attract and keep scholars while you preserve an ethos that only a social misfit could enjoy? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:35, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
For starters, it's not that cut and dry. Or else your implying that folks who enjoy Wikipedia are "social misfits" would get you banned by your own rules. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:17, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I too often walk the fence of walking away or joining the fray. Freezing the moment of incivility and stepping forward into it, as a duty-full fellow editor, is a way to change the environment of adversity. It also gives a sense of community to the attacked editor. Maybe not right then, but as peer pressure to behave professionally increases, the occasions of "bad manners" across the talk pages will decrease. Promise! ```Buster Seven Talk 15:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
"Freezing the moment" is a useful ideal, but in practice it becomes more difficult, even for people who wish civility standards could be raised - the last time I asked someone to redact or reconsider rude comments, for example, the person switched to attacking me instead of the person they'd been attacking. Attacks being turned onto the requester is demoralizing, to start, but it also muddies the waters of WP:INVOLVED - if admin Y warns editor X to stop attacking editor Z, and editor X then attacks admin Y in response...is admin Y still uninvolved? Can admin Y block editor X for X's behavior, now that Y has been sucked into the drama? I think you're right that if a critical mass of "behave professionally" proponents can be reached, that will help this matter...but the question of how to gather that critical mass in the face of cases like I describe is rather more difficult. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 15:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Recruiting Retirees and Invalids

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Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email – you've got mail!
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...about this thread topic. I sent it a few days ago with a copy to the Philleppe at the Foundation. Also, why is your page archiving so quickly? Some good conversations are ended before they can get up a head of steam. The naysayers and anti-melodramaticists get their shots in and then, before you can say, "Bobs 'yer uncle", the thread is gone. ```Buster Seven Talk 21:05, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Overly-quick archiving by ClueBot III to /Archive_100

Again, some talk-page threads, here, have been archived within hours of the last reply, by ClueBot_III into /Archive_100. Fortunately, that archive page is still small, so the final replies can be read easily on that page:

  • See: /Archive_100 - archive of threads, including replies within recent hours.

The archive parameter, in User_talk:Jimbo_Wales, was set to "24" which User:ClueBot_III states as being 24 hours, but the auto-archiving has been removing threads within just a few hours of the last reply's timestamp (not after 24 hours). I had thought this time-span problem would be fixed by now (by a Bot person), but perhaps someone else could check for the problem. I am thinking a work-around would be to set the talk-page's archive parameter to "48" which might then act to auto-archive after "48-24" hours (?) since last reply in a thread. Gotta run. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:33, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I see the problem. As I set up ClueBot III for Jimbo, he likes to keep at least 2 threads on the page when the bot archives. As I set up ClubBot III to replace MiszaBot III instead of using the "minkeepthreads" parameter, I used accidentally used the "maxkeepthreads" parameter which was set to 2, which is causing ClueBot III to forcibly archive younger pages. I fixed it now and this should no longer be an issue.—cyberpower ChatOffline 00:37, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Great, thanks. I like to keep it pretty speedy because otherwise the page gets unmanageable. The downside has always been that sometimes due to being busy, I don't get to something in a timely fashion, it gets archives, and someone's feeling gets hurt. But I think fast archiving is still the right way to go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:43, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
With an active page such as yours, I'm amazed you haven't gone crazy yet with the constant notifications.—cyberpower ChatOffline 01:20, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Encyclopædia Britannica article about itself

The Encyclopædia Britannica has an article about itself.

Wavelength (talk) 00:38, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia

Wikipedia has this page about errors in the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Wavelength (talk) 00:39, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting AFD

I nominated this for deletion a while ago and there have been no comments, I would like for there to be a consensus at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Crissi Cochrane. Thank you, Albacore (talk) 04:00, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Replag ridiculously high.

I'm not sure if your able to comment on this but could you possibly give me a clue why the replication process of the Wikimedia databases is lagging 38 hours behind? Replag is 1 Day 14 Hours. That is exteremely high and it's been like this for almost 12 hours.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 11:42, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't know anything about this these days. Can you point me to where I can see these numbers and educate me about what they mean? I'm happy to pass along concerns to the tech staff, but it'd probably be faster and more effective if others did so!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:03, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
See this thread. Goodvac (talk) 17:08, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Replag is up to 1 Day 20 Hours. I believe replication came to a stand still and now the lag is piling on. It's hindering toolserver now and bots may get affected from this as well.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 17:27, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Replag is automatically reported in the toolserver channel, toolserver admins, which are the guys that you should talk to, are surely aware of the issue, prolly recorded on jira somewhere but I haven't checked. Snowolf How can I help? 20:04, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Please please please accept Bitcoins in the next donation drive

Hi Jimbo,

Pretty please could you consider accepting bitcoins in the next wiki donation drive - they're right up your street. I urge you to have a go with them if you haven't already to see what I mean. They are the future. 217.28.6.37 (talk) 18:29, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not the decision maker on such things, but I think we should only do so if it makes financial sense, which it most likely doesn't. As I understand it, and contrary to what many people intuit, it turns out that offering too many payment options actually decreases total revenue, presumably by adding complexity and surprise to the checkout process. I suppose we could accept Bitcoins and publicize it in the bitcoin community (but not add it to the general donation page where it would confuse people) but in that case, it's unclear that the level of donations would be sufficient to overcome the engineering and other administrative costs of doing so. But, really, I'm not involved with this decision at all, I'm just explaining why I think you'll have a bit of an uphill battle persuaded the Foundation to do this!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:35, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you could offer them instead of paypal then Face-grin.svg - it would certainly be interesting to see what effect that had on basically the entire internet. I'm not really serious about that of course - but it would cut your transaction costs and I expect most of your donors would be perfectly capable of working them.
In any case, thanks for your input. 217.28.6.37 (talk) 19:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:44, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Bit-Pay.com can have you accepting bitcoin for donations in a matter of minutes…and if you're a 501c3, there are no fees. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.204.90.78 (talk) 03:18, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
An easy way to accept Bitcoins with minimal user distraction is to simply display on the Wikimedia "Other Ways to Give" page: "Our Bitcoin address: xxxx" and nothing more, taking the position that it's not Wikimedia's job to explain what Bitcoin is. No software is needed to accept Bitcoins. You can generate an offline address (such as with the in-browser javascript-based generator from Bitaddress.org, which can be downloaded and run offline for maximum security). The generator provides a new random Bitcoin address and its corresponding "private key". Print it, stick it in a vault, then publish the address. Donations accumulate offline, your staff can monitor the total at several websites, and if they become significant, you'll know whether it's worth spending the effort to collect the funds, which of course requires your printed key. Casascius♠ (talk) 02:54, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

ArbCom

Dear Jimbo, I refer to this. A few pertinent points. (1) As I demonstrated in my statement there, there was never any justification for topic banning Cla68 in the first place. He was a model editor in the climate change area - probably the best editor who ever dared stick his neck out in that toxic area. If he was banned, I should be banned a hundred times. William Connolley's supporters came up with pseudo evidence in revenge for Cla68's involvement in his banning. ArbCom was too lazy to read all the masses of evidence given, so they arbitrarily banned everyone. (2) The reasons the arbitrators give for refusing to relax Cla68's ban now apply far more to William Connolley, who they unbanned. As you would know, Connolley's blog is largely dedicated to attacking people he disagrees with - including other Wikipedians such as me. (3) In Connolley's ban appeal he engaged in battlefield conduct during the ban appeal itself (which was amusing). He displayed contempt for ArbCom, and implied that there was no justification for his ban in the first place, and dismissed the comments of people like me with personal attacks. As a result, the Arbitrators unanimously agreed to lift the ban. (4) Compare this with the lame excuse given by William Connolley's supporters for why Cla68 should remain banned and the fact that Arbitrators in Cla68's case feel these lame reasons are justification for leaving the ban in place for another six months.

I have always maintained that this banning of 15 editors randomly was hugely damaging to Wikipedia's credibility. In any case, in view of this huge double standard applied now, it is clear that ArbCom is not neutral. If ArbCom is not neutral, why is this lumbering committee not folded immediately and replaced with a merit-based committee where arbitrators are appointed by yourself or the Wikipedia Foundation and given clear rules to follow? Alex Harvey (talk) 01:25, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

(I should add that it amazes me that someone like Cla68 wastes his time on this project given this sort of nonsense.) Alex Harvey (talk) 01:26, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Is this a climate change/CO2 related dispute? I think you need this video. 71.215.75.236 (talk) 05:36, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi anoymous IP address. No, it is about a blatant and hypocritical double standard at the highest levels of Wikipedia. It is about Wikipedia claiming to be about "neutrality" while at the same time clearly being about the opposite. I am arranging for wider visibility to be brought to this issue since Wikipedia can't manage itself. And your little video, while amusing, has nothing whatever to do with the earth's greenhouse effect or the debate about climate change. Go ask William Connolley if you don't believe me. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:34, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Unblocking former editors

In the prior thread ("Dear Uncle Jimbo"), the question was asked, "Why can't the community raise the dead?" in reference to restoring a blocked user. The reasoning appears to be that, if an editor was blocked by a small group of users, then that decision "cannot override" a wider group of users who want the editor to be unblocked. In practice, we have been able to unblock editors by writing support for them during the wp:UNBLOCK appeals on their user-talk pages. There was no need to poll "100 users" to get a wider consensus. However, the blocking of those editors was based on limited circumstances, rather than patterns of extreme hostility. In these cases, several editors had been blocked in connection with the temporary conviction of Amanda Knox (in Perugia, Italy, later acquitted on 3 October 2011). To facilitate the unblocking, some active users merely wrote support on each editor's user-talk page to recommend unblocking those editors. Again, those editors had not been totally wild before being blocked. There had been a long series of other editors who were pushing "block-Amanda-supporters", where if a new user wanted to add footnoted text that there was no reliable evidence against Amanda Knox in the criminal trial, then other editors tended to hound those people as being an WP:SPA. They even tried to accuse me of being "an WP:SPA" but my long and varied edit-history quickly refuted those false allegations, so then I was falsely hounded as being "the ringleader" of the new editors (some with formal training in criminal justice), because I spent time writing to them about nuances of Wikipedia policies, which was seen as improperly "coaching" them. I was blocked repeatedly, and when I began the BLP article "Amanda Knox", and wrote to 4 editors (2 who wanted the new article, one neutral, and 1 opposed), then that was condemned as "wp:Votestacking" and I was topic-banned for 3 solid months. I tried and tried to explain to people that all the interest in Amanda Knox was due to monthly legal reports or family interviews in U.S. national news; however, many people still imagined a nefarious "advocacy group" (not just millions of people who watch U.S. TV news) was trying to take control of Wikipedia and "force" the article to contain sourced text. Anyway, Jimbo finally kept advising people to allow balance in the article. So, by the time Amanda Knox was acquitted of the murder charges, and October pageviews skyrocketed over 2.4 million, then the article even had several photos (not quickly deleted), although the top photo had been sent for wp:FfD deletion twice, with the second attempt lasting not the typical 7-day discussion, but dragging on for 3 weeks before being kept in the article. Anyway, many of the formerly blocked users had been unblocked, after other editors wrote support for them on their user-talk pages. I am not sure if the unblocking admins had been aware of the full hysteria behind blocking so many of those users, or to what extent the written support played in assuring admins that those users were not a potential risk to Wikipedia. Also, some of the editors remained blocked because there were so many of them. -Wikid77 17:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

This is, indeed, a very interesting case study. Wikid77's view on it is, naturally, from one side of the issue and so I suspect that many good people who took a different view would disagree with aspects of it. But I think we can get consensus around a few things in this case: some of the blockings were valid, the blockings were not all valid, the article was at one point highly biased due to the blockings taking out one side fo the debate, and that the article today, despite all that, is much better than it used to be. How to figure out improvements in process that lower the number of inappropriate blocks, and increase the number of appropriate blocks, is tricky business!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:39, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
There is a deeper issue here, though. We are loosing major established editors through a number of mechanisms, death, sadly being more significant than maybe it was five years ago, but also through hounding, apparently legitimate blocks and bans and just plain burned-out-ness. We might name recently, as well as March's two deaths, Fastily on a break, Rlevese blocked, Beta banned, Merovingian retired, Jack Merridew gone and many many more illustrious names. We have also had a large number of established editors come very close to leaving the project one way or another. It seems to me there are a number of mechanisms at work here, and the awkward squad is one of them that it would be good to do something about, but very hard to identify. The other two aspects that would not be such a problem IRL are failure to understand that people have different strengths and weaknesses, and that we should play to the strengths (I think here particularly of those who's technical skills outstrip their community relations skills), and those who have minor peccadilloes but make massive contributions (one might imagine a community group expelling the person who does all the maintenance work to the village hall, because he will dip his digestive in his tea). Rich Farmbrough, 21:35, 21 March 2012 (UTC).

Jim Hawkins AfD

Jimbo, what is your view here? [4] This is a borderline notable BBC journalist who really does not want to have a biography here, and says he feels stalked by Wikipedia. I believe you commented on this case six years (!) ago. This is how long this has been going on. --JN466 14:47, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

It's an unusual case. At least in terms of what has been presented, it is clear to me that a couple of people should be topic-banned from the article for being annoying for no encyclopedic purpose, and it should be indefinitely semi-protected. At the same time, I think "stalked by Wikpedia" is a fairly ludicrous claim. It looks like a handful of people want to include his full name (which is not a particularly remarkable name nor something that I can understand why he would want to hide) and date of birth (which he openly acknowledges publicly in other contexts) into the article. My thought is that although neither of those things should be included in Wikipedia against his wishes without really solid sourcing, including them is hardly 'stalking'. It's just mainly being annoying for no encyclopedic purpose.
Having said all that, it's disappointing that this has gone on for six years, on and off. I wish that the subject had kept in contact with me or OTRS, because this seems pretty easy to solve really.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:38, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Surely it can't be stalking if there are other sources that verify the content we hold within the pages of wikipedia. I would understand his claims if there was deeply personal information on there, that had no verifiable sources. Shame wikipedia doesn't have an article as to what the world is coming to. Mrlittleirish 15:48, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
This low notability subject is talking in a negative way on his radio show and on twitter to a lot of people and putting off a lot of people about the project in general - delete - hes a local radio host of little note that really really does not want a wikipedia biography, he is suggesting it is making him ill - have a little respect - go and vote to delete it - this is not an ordinary case setting a precedent, being repeated all over, its a isolated plea from the subject to delete - Youreallycan 15:56, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
"go and vote to delete it"? Could contributors to this page please take care to make some attempt to comply with the Canvassing guideline. Thanks -- (talk) 16:02, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, shame on wikipedia and shame on anyone supporting the project continue to publish this biography of a local radio presenter that has been objecting to it for years and who states it is adversely affecting his health. - Youreallycan 16:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I must point out Fæ, that this isn't a vote, nor is the AfD, but a discussion, so I don't think canvassing is an issue here. Mrlittleirish 16:15, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The canvassing guideline does apply to deletion discussions and it states "However canvassing which is done with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion towards one side of a debate is considered inappropriate. This is because it compromises the normal consensus decision-making process, and therefore is generally considered disruptive behaviour." The fact that Youreallcan was asking people to go and "vote to delete" is precisely such behaviour. I recommend any reader here take a moment to go and carefully read Jim Hawkins (radio presenter) for themselves to judge precisely what in the current version could possibly be considered a WP:BLP or WP:BLPPRIVACY problem that would require the article to be deleted from Wikipedia. -- (talk) 16:22, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Canvassing never ever ever (ever ever) applies to my talk page. Please stop trying to stop people from discussing here,--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:09, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
(Missed due to indenting) Sorry, I was not aware that was your approach. It was my assumption that the Canvassing guideline applied everywhere on Wikipedia, my apologies for stepping in and referring to it. In future I will check with you if policies or guidelines apply to this page or not. Thanks -- (talk) 20:33, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
No user can decide that policy doesn't apply to his talk page. He can claim so over and over again, but that doesn't make it true. Or else he should declare himself to be some superuser to which the other rules don't apply and who decides on his own what is acceptable or not, but describing him as such is apparently a personal attack, so I'll not do that. Either way, Fae was correct and didn't need to apologize for applying policies correctly and appropriately. Fram (talk) 08:03, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
WP:CANVASS is a guideline not a policy, and even as a guideline it makes exceptions - Jimbo would appear to fall under "concerned editors" who have "asked to be kept informed" and who are not "selected on the basis of their opinions". Jimbo gets informed of these things because of his Yoda-like position as founder not because of any pre-established opinion - which in the link below he claims he will keep an open mind in any discussion brought to him and he asks to be kept informed of "inquiries of any kind" (from his userpage and previously on this talkpage when discussing canvassing[5]) I don't see a breach of the guideline in his claim. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 09:54, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Please tell me what part of the canvassing guideline gives exceptions to editors to go and state "go and vote to delete it" on any page whatsoever? The claim made is not that any post on this page is canvassing, not even if it is about an AfD or an RfC (although the intentions of the posters are often quite apparent), but that this statement would somehow magically be exempt from the canvassing guideline because it is made here. Fram (talk) 10:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Fram, we often have some flexibility about what a user might want on their talk pages and this page is a rather special case due to high visibility and public interest. I have a great deal of respect for Jimbo's views when it comes to free speech, though I disagree when others are being harassed or suffer personal damage. My experience of having my HIV status subject to open speculation (unsourced) on a widely read Wikipedia noticeboard and Oversight failing to remove it despite my request to have it suppressed as a gross invasion of privacy, I firmly believe is a mistaken interpretation of free speech when it directly conflicts with how we would interpret privacy policy or how to deal with personal attacks. In comparison you can see a violent homophobic threat on the top of my user page as I was tired of having these attacks against me invisible for the majority of our contributors and I prefer to know that those that visit my user page might become more aware that Wikipedia does have a very real problem with allowing hounding of LGBT contributors, or those that are suspected of being gay to the extent that they are in fear of contributing to LGBT topics and remain in fear of having their contributions to gay or difficult topics outed against their real life identities off-wiki. As I said above to Jimbo, I am prepared to check with him in future as to his preferences for how to deal with difficult posts here, and I would not be in a rush to get too literal with the implementation of any particular policy against Jimbo's desire to see free speech in action. If the contents of such posts start to demonstrably impinge on the ability for contributors elsewhere to support the encyclopaedia in a collaborative and non-hostile environment then that would be cause for further review, discussion and consensus; I am confident that Jimbo himself would not put up with malicious misuse of his user page. Thanks -- (talk) 10:29, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
It is exactly because of the high visibility that posts here often stray in the canvassing territory (though rarely as blatant as the one discussed here). Coupled with the known or perceived stance of Jimbo Wales on BLPs, porn, and other subjects, this page is often used to influence discussion and action in one specific direction. I am not stating that this is the intention of Jimbo Wales, nor that this is the intention of most users posting here; I am also not stating that the posts here always have the desired result. But that doesn't mean that this page as a policy-guideline-... discussion page is a neutral, pressure-free place, or that leaving blatant canvassing posts here gives the correct idea of what Wikipedia is, how decisions are reached here and what is and isn't acceptable on Wikipedia. Fram (talk) 10:51, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
'Please tell me what part of the canvassing guideline gives exceptions to editors to go and state "go and vote to delete it" on any page whatsoever?' Only if you first explain to me why you think the canvassing guideline applies to the "go and vote to delete it" comment - since the canvassing guideline specifically applies to notifications not the content of discussions that follow a notification. The notification in this case was by Jayen446 not Youreallycan so that comment is nothing to do with canvassing (though it may breach other guidelines) and your previous comment (to which I replied) was solely about Jimbo and his statement, nothing to do with the behaviour of any other editor (either notifying or commenting). Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 12:14, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
My statement didn't come out of the blue. X makes a statement, Y considers it canvassing, and Z claims that nothing that happens on his talkpage can ever be considered canvassing. The claim by Z is on its own incorrect, and in context even more so. The wikilawyering that if you are soliciting delete (or keep) opinions in a discussion, it is not canvassing as long as you didn't start the discussion, is a nice application of WP:BURO though: "Do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policy without consideration for the principles of policies." If anyone would go to e.g. Wikipedia:Article Rescue Squadron/Rescue list and add "Come on, let's go and vote keep on this one" to an entry, it would be considered canvassing by the vast majority of uninvolved editors, despite what the letter of the guideline says. Fram (talk) 13:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Don't misrepresent me, of course you can solicit particular opinions within a discussion that someone else started but the point canvass is to stop people being invited only to vote keep or delete. That didn't happen here - Jimbo was neutrally invited to give his point of view, later on another editor gave his opinion as to what Jimbo should vote. If any editor is invited neutrally to an AfD, anyone else can persuade them that they should change their vote to keep or delete later - that's not canvassing (in a wikipedia sense) it's part of the consensus process (and actually enshrined in policy).I would be quite happy for you to show me an example where any editor has been punished (under WP:CANVASS for suggesting that any editors should vote keep/delete after a discussion about an AfD was already underway on that talk page (at ARS, UT:JW, or anywhere else) - or is this just some hypothetical you're seeking to apply here? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:36, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Where did I misrepresent you? You are arguing at first things not under discussion (no one has complained that the original post in this section was canvassing, I believe), and then go off on your very personal interpretation of policy (or guideline, but a guideline that can get you blocked for not following it is rather policy-like). People are of course welcome to present their arguments for their opinion at an AfD, and will usually try to convince other participants to agree with their position. People are however not welcome, and have never been, to go to another discussion of or mention of an AfD, and make a plea to go and vote delete (or keep) on it. No, I have no examples of this from the top of my head and am not going to waste time chasing for them, most people have the common sense not to do this (and people will not be punished for one comment, they will be warned). Fram (talk) 15:23, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, for a start he has said he opts out of having his birthdate in his article, as is his good right according to policy. It's just that one editor thinks it's not his good right, and for years keeps on about inserting it, based on watching the subject's tweets, year after year, to see when he thanks someone for having wished him a happy birthday. --JN466 16:28, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Only his year of birth is in the article, this appears to comply with WP:BLPPRIVACY. Thanks -- (talk) 16:37, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, there has been stalkery content in the biography in the past, down to such details as to which Yahoo discussion groups the biography subject allegedly frequents and what he allegedly likes on his sandwich (all unsourced). What on earth is that doing in a biography, and being reinserted again and again and again? I can certainly understand it driving someone to distraction. JN466 16:25, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
If anyone can find such content in the current article, please go ahead and remove it in accordance with Biographies of living persons. If some detail from 2 years ago in the article history is a privacy problem, then it can and should be deleted from the history. If Jayen466 provides details of "stalkery" privacy breaching history to Oversight or sends a confidential email to the Volunteer Response Team it will be addressed. Deleting the article does not look like the most reasonable way of addressing such complaints. -- (talk) 16:33, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Why is there no mention in Jim Hawkins (radio presenter) of the fact that his mum babysat Ian Dury? Is that what Hawkins is trying to hide? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:36, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
It's certainly on the CURRENT TALK PAGE with a big heading "50th Birthday" and several hundred words of discussion, which began three weeks ago and is ongoing. Last time I looked, talk pages were included in BLP policy. So we are clearly not able to maintain BLP compliance in this biography, the subject has asked us to get rid of it, and we should admit our failings and do so graciously. JN466 16:40, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Comment The article's entire talk page is presently a BLP violation. The subject opted out of having their date of birth in the article years ago, and yet the talk page is filled with speculation over his birth date, based on stalking his tweets. Further more, the subject is currently being called "deliberately obstructive" on the talk page for exercising his right under policy to have his date of birth excluded, and his objections are called "not relevant". Again, all he has done is exercise his right under WP:BLPPRIVACY. For that, he is abused, while nothing happens to the editors denying him the rights granted him by policy. I don't think that is fair. JN466 16:56, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I think we are in agreement, the talk page must comply with WP:BLPPRIVACY and if we have an OTRS ticket on file to support the complaint (which I think we probably do in ticket # 2009090910048758) then full details of birth date should be removed if the subject has objected in line with policy. I note that "postal addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or other contact information for living persons" should also be suppressed if considered part of the request or complaint. If article editors want to have a long debate about how to use Twitter as verifiable sources (ugh) then I would prefer to see even that in the abstract though there might be a debate to be had about interpretation of "websites maintained by the subject are generally permitted". This is a perfectly good discussion to reach a consensus on WP:AN or similar but not a reason to delete the article, or for that matter a reason to run a dramatic canvassing campaign (on or off-wiki) that runs the risk of allegations of manipulating consensus. -- (talk) 17:05, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
If we keep getting it wrong, for years and years on end, and the subject is of borderline notability and clearly exasperated by what our process of writing biographies produces, then we should have the largesse to say sorry and withdraw the article. JN466 17:22, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Unworkable. Wikipedia is not a vanity publishing site where, say, a low ranking politician might not like details of their published expenses discussed or an American lawyer might want either a flattering article or none at all because they can claim they feel harassed by independent, verifiable and encyclopaedic facts being on Wikipedia. Strategically, I suggest you concentrate on helping everyone understand what WP:BLPPRIVACY really means before attempting to take down the whole of Wikipedia. Thanks -- (talk) 17:39, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Let's drop the vanity that some shoddy little article is somehow the crown jewels of Wikipedia's educational mission. There are probably tens of thousands of more notable people around the world for whom we don't have an article at all. And by the way, it is an established part of deletion policy, and has been for some time, that no-consensus deletion discussions where the subject has requested deletion may be taken to default to "Delete". It is workable, and has worked like this for some considerable time. --JN466 17:55, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that's a rare event. As someone who has made well over 100,000 edits across the projects, I have been part of many deletion discussions and I can't remember being part of such a discussion that was closed in this way. I support the principle, and if someone can point out good examples of our policy working this way, it might be helpful for all concerned. I agree on the problem of how many highly notable people have no articles, one area that irks me is how many highly notable UK academics at chair or head of department level remain unmentioned on the encyclopaedia compared to the endless reality TV celebrutards with excruciating detail based on tabloid gossip about their personal lives (though I would not want to see a deletion spree against celebrutards, public interest, blah, blah). -- (talk) 18:22, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Certainly agree on the latter part, though given the small number of page views and editors biographies of academics attract, and given that they are quite susceptible to malicious editing, I am very wary of saying we need more such biographies. We all know that the number of biographies is increasing daily, while the number of editors is not. As long as that is so, we are digging our own grave here. As I recall there were at least three cases in December and January where academics asked for their Wikipedia biographies to be deleted because they were subject to uncontrolled malicious editing. (Two of these were deleted.) JN466 02:30, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
As an OTRS volunteer previously unconnected with the article, I have taken the initiative to add a reference to the email correspondence from 2009 and a notice to limit all mentions of birth date to just the year both in the article and in discussions in compliance with WP:DOB (diff). -- (talk) 20:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah, yes Fæ, you're right. Please accept my apologies. Mrlittleirish 16:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Well if it keeps trending the way it is now then the article seems to be heading towards a keep. If os, I do urge an AN/I discussion on topic bans be initiated as soon as the AfD closes. Tarc (talk) 16:34, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Comments are now coming in - keep as per User:Jimbo Wales..... also , unidentifiable internet users are commenting - keep , he's a local radio presenter - who cares if he is upset about it for years and claims the article is affecting his health. - Youreallycan 16:41, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it should be deleted so any vote of keep per Jiimbp should be struck.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:13, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Er, no - if someone looks at your argument (or arguments made on your talk page, as I suspect might be the case here) and concludes that it supports a "keep" vote, that's legitimate. You're free to point out that you don't agree, but there's no reason to strike the votes. (Disclaimer: speaking generally, haven't looked at the specifics of the debate). Nikkimaria (talk) 01:24, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Could someone explain to me what an equivalent position to "BBC Shropshire presenter" would be in the US? Would be just be like Steve Inskeep or just some guy who has a call-in talk radio show on an AM station? Mark Arsten (talk) 16:52, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

More like the latter. Shropshire is a rural county with a population of less than half a million, although one of his programmes also reaches a few other counties. --JN466 17:01, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:07, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
It's not really useful to compare US and UK radio. There are many times more stations available in a typical area of the US. Maybe if you imagine a parallel world where there were two or three stations covering one of the smaller states plus eight national radio stations. Radio Shropshire will be listened to by a far greater number of people than a typical AM station in the US. --FormerIP (talk) 17:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
For those that seem to be missing the point, JH's notability does not rise from the fact that he is currently a presenter on a BBC local radio station (BBC Radio Shropshire). If this were as far as he'd got, then there would be a reasonable case to say that notability was borderline enough to enable us not to have an article. His notability comes from two things, firstly, in the past he has been a presenter on a BBC national radio station (BBC Radio 4; and secondly, he has won a major award for his broadcasting. These two give him enough notability to sustain an article.
The article itself is, I believe, compliant with BLP. The talk page is probably not at the moment. This can be dealt with by either selective revdel actions, or maybe by a delete and re-create with relevant discussions reinserted (maybe an IAR case of forgetting the attribution rules here? I'm not sure). I'd suggest that the way to deal with the d.o.b. issue would be by way of an edit notice on both article and talk page expressly forbidding discussion of the subject until such time that he is not a BLP. Any editor ignoring such notice can then be dealt with in the usual course of our processes. Mjroots (talk) 19:17, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Question: if this guy's notability hinges on one award, doesn't one event apply?  Roger Davies talk 08:57, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

No, WP:ANYBIO gives an unambiguous criteria of "The person has received a well-known and significant award or honor, or has been nominated for one several times" and WP:1E is written from a perspective that is obviously not intended to be interpreted as winning an award being such an event. If you or anyone else wishes to challenge whether the award itself (or the particular one given to Hawkins in 2002) is significant enough, there is mileage in that approach, and I have seen several long term Wikipedia biographies deleted on the basis that the award(s) referenced were later judged to be puffery or their own Walled garden of faux publicity. However, a brief Google News or Books search for Sony Radio Academy Awards appears convincing to demonstrate significant social impact and impact on the historic record so though I have not researched this avenue in detail (and I'm no media sector expert), it seems unlikely to substantiate deletion. -- (talk) 09:50, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Without getting sucked into this, WP:BLP1E is policy whereas WP:ANYBIO is only a guideline. Policy always trumps guidelines and guideline pages always say they are "a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply".  Roger Davies talk 11:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Nice distinction Roger, I suggest this is a useful discussion for the article talk page. After checking the 3 references given in the article about the award, it might be useful to reach a consensus to decide if the silver award is sufficient compared to gold winners. Someone might even want invest a bit of time listing out some other entertainers only notable for winning this silver award so we can better judge the impact this class of award has. It would remove doubt if other reasons for notability were put forward and such a discussion may reveal these reasons or make it clearer that the golden notability goose has disappointingly laid us a single silver egg of doubtful value. Cheers -- (talk) 11:12, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah "stalked by wikipedia" is certainly rather exaggerated!. If you look at the daily hits the article got before this blew up he's not exactly Justin Bieber, in fact he's barely Rik Waller..♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:53, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

A lengthy research and drafting process, capped off by a week of thoughtful copyediting by a bunch of folks has resulted in an article I think you'll be interested in reading. I think it does a fair job of cataloging the many incidents that have received press attention over the past decade and also gives coverage to the public relations industry response. Hopefully it does so without Wikipedia jargon or an insider's voice. It's a touch on the long side right now, but I wanted to err on the side of being comprehensive. I welcome comments or suggestions and generally just want to hear what you think about it. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 03:05, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

The question is though Ocaasi, did you get paid to write about Paid editing on wikipedia? LOL.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:55, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

It frustrates me greatly that Ocaasi is taking so much flak for working with COI/paid editors, with people constantly suggesting that he is a paid editor himself or otherwise doing it for purposes other than that he feels that it's in the best interest of Wikipedia. I am not aware he is a paid editor (and he had stated he wasn't here). However, I am aware that he is one of our best assets when it comes to helping new COI editors, being infinitely patient and mild-mannered in the face of the most vexatious of them. Disagree with his stance on COI/paid editing, sure (lately I have had my own doubts about the benefit of helping COI editors fix their articles...), but please stop (subtly or otherwise) questioning his integrity. wctaiwan (talk) 11:58, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Ahem. I think Blofeld was joking. ;) --Errant (chat!) 12:10, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Although I know sarcasm/humour doesn't always come across in the written word, it was 110% obvious this time with the "LOL" at the end (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:13, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Sarecasm never adds much. It just distracts... like here. Criticism, even under the mask of humor, leads to confrontation. ```Buster Seven Talk 13:28, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
No offense taken at all. A nice redundant ironic pun. Thanks for coming to my defense though Wctaiwan, appreciated. Ocaasi t | c 13:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Seems like I'm hankering for some fish. Sorry about that. wctaiwan (talk) 14:17, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Eh, I was, um, kidding... Great job Ocassi! ♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:22, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Could you please help me out with something?

I find Wikipedia's various copyright policies overly long and confusing. Could you please give me a simple explanation of how to make sure I'm not violating copyright laws? I know you're not going to bite. And by the way, is my signature fine or problematic? ChromaNebula (talk) 21:27, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Copyright issues are indeed complex: Policies reflect the true complexity of copyright laws, which vary in detail from nation to nation. Ask for specific help for each section of text or specific images:
However, reading the policies of WP:COPYRIGHT is important, so perhaps do the "speed-reading thing" of scanning all copyright pages quickly, then go back to re-read each part of the policies which seems most interesting at a given time. It took me 3 days of re-reading WP:Fair_use and double-checking of several examples to begin to properly document a copyrighted image for use in a specific article. Again, ask questions at WP:MCQ, because the various copyright issues are so complicated, it would be unfair to ask any particular user to explain them all in a simple manner. I use the term "copyright calculus" to warn of the wide range of complexities involved. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:13, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

United Nations and control of the Internet

It has been reported that the United Nations may soon control the Internet.

Wavelength (talk) 02:44, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

    • The irony here is so thick that you can cut it with a chunk of talc.Jasper Deng (talk) 02:47, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Notability of shooting in Sanford

Another American student is getting frequent coverage in U.S. national TV news. This time: the 26 February 2012 death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, shot by a lone crime-watch guy who was recorded on phone with police in Sanford, FL (pop. 54,000, 20 miles or 32 km northeast of Orlando). Fortunately, many editors have expanded an article:

This is another topic where people should beware that keen interest is not an "advocacy group" but rather all major U.S. TV networks are covering the story; all 3 major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) led the evening news on 23 March 2012, with reports about students protesting that the shooter has not been arrested, after a month. The local grand jury was scheduled to meet on 10 April 2012, an indictment is expected, and the police chief resigned, but President Obama, the FBI, Justice Dept. (etc.) are all involved. The article has been semi-protected against outrageous vandalism, but claims of bias are rampant yet have remained in civil discussions. Google has ranked that article as #24-29 in recent days for the student's name. Perhaps we need a guideline: WP:Handling_bias for suspected crimes, since there are no actual criminal charges yet. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:16, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Did you know...

... that some Wikipedia contributors consider a DYK about an actress murdered (allegedly by her brother) three weeks ago, who's body parts are still being recovered from a canal [6] to be suitable main page material - next to a DYK on 'national masturbation day'? See Talk:Gemma McCluskie#Far, far too soon for this article to have a hook in 'Did you know' and Wikipedia_talk:Did you know#Gemma McCluskie. Given that this 'contribution seems to have been motivated by Wikipedia:WikiCup (see Wikipedia:WikiCup/History/2012/Submissions/Miyagawa), I personally think that we could well do without the cup, DYK or both. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:25, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

There was an ANI thread on this a few hours ago and consensus was that it was inappropriate at this time.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 17:29, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Why are you forum shopping? If you have a problem with the Cup, go bring it up there. Otherwise, we all make mistakes, and going on a witch-hunt to destroy DYK, the Cup, Miyagawa, and everyone else is not exactly helpful. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I have no strong views on 'Forum shopping' in general, but I ask people not to complain about it here on my talk page. I like this to remain an informal and kind place for discussion of deeper philosophical questions, so it isn't really a "forum" in the usual sense. If we treated it as a forum in that sense, people would be discouraged from bringing things to my attention, and even though I'm disinclined to actually take action in virtually all particular cases, it is important that I remain informed, particularly about matters of philosophy. The general questions I see here are: what are the appropriate standards of good taste and decorum for DYK hooks, and (one that I am particularly interested in) - is our current practice of tying DYK exclusively to new articles a good idea? (I think it is not.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:51, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I didn't just mean this page – he's been around to a few others too, including the Cup page, where he didn't raise the issue of getting rid of the Cup. No disrespect intended to this page. :-) I do think, though, that the DYK discussion would be advanced if you posted there rather than here. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:45, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
The issue here is that Andy went to ANI demanding topic bans and got nowhere. He went to WT:DYK demanding bans, and got nowhere. He then went to WT:CUP demanding disqualifications and got nowhere. It was agreed quickly at ANI that it was a bad hook and it was pulled. A few people at DYK are pondering ways to improve the process. Andy, meanwhile, seems disinterested in joining that discussion, preferring to make LOUD NOISES all over the place. It's starting to get disruptive, frankly. Resolute 20:54, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
If you think I'm being disruptive, then take it to AN/I. But don't you think that the 'disruption' might be more down to those responsible for the DYK in the first place? In any case, the discussions at Wikipedia talk:Did you know#Gemma McCluskie are ongoing. As for the cup, I am still waiting to see what response is given. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:36, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't think the "disruption" was at DYK. It was decided that a bad hook was promoted, the bad hook was removed, and people are now pondering how to prevent a similar situation in the future. The only part of this that bothers me is your apparent need to be vindictive. I fail to see what you actually hope to accomplish, because improving Wikipedia clearly isn't a part of it. Resolute 22:52, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
So much for WP:AGF... AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:54, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Key word being assume. I AGFed the first time you called for some sort of ban over this. You lost the right to that assumption somewhere between the second third and fourth demand on the second third and fourth forum. The question remains, however. What are you hoping to accomplish with your demands? Resolute 23:00, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Resolute, you seem much more concerned with what I've posted in regard to this matter than with the DYK itself - which was on our main page, and visible to the many thousands who will have visited the page. No doubt some will have clicked through to the article, where they will have seen it given as a statement of fact that McCluskie was 'murdered' - which as yet is only an allegation, and per British sub judice rules, one that needs to be given a lot more thought than appears to have been done. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:17, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, it is hard to imagine she was accidentally dismembered, but that is beside the point. In seriousness, tell me how one should proceed to prevent a reoccurance: run around everywhere demanding bans and the shuttering of processes, or discussing how to change the process to ensure future hooks are less problematic? Resolute 23:22, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
A technical point, a case such as this may not result in a prosecution for murder even after such charges have be made. There may be grounds for this case to be manslaughter or accidental death and the body to then be determined as unlawfully disposed. -- (talk) 06:37, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
As I've already made clear, in my personal opinion the best thing to do would be to get rid of DYK entirely. Failing that, we clearly need to discourage contributors from nominating material purely to accumulate a 'score', and we need to ensure that what goes on our main page is fit to represent what Wikipedia stands for, rather than being a collection of factoids chosen for no better reason than that they come from new articles. I must admit, I'm not entirely happy with one of the latest DYK factoids either "... that in 1977 AOA, a trade union linked to the Spanish urban guerilla movement FRAP, was founded" Linked? How? The article in question seems to have been written by a single contributor, and all sources appear to be in Spanish. Should we be making such assertions without clarifying what we mean? And should we be describing FRAP as an "urban guerilla movement" at all? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:23, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Getting rid of DYK simply because you don't like it is not an improvement to Wikipedia. As to the rest of your comment, correlation does not imply causation. I'm also a WikiCup participant, and I'd be submitting articles for DYK with or without the competition. As, I strongly suspect, would the submitter of this particular entry. Virtually every single post you have made on this topic has been designed to smear something or someone. It appears that you really won't be happy until you've "punished" somebody. Which is sad, because I really fail to see what you hope to accomplish by badgering content contributors who make Wikipedia a better place. Resolute 14:13, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
So you ask me for my opinion, and when I give it, you accuse me of 'smearing' people? Who have I 'smeared'? How? Put up or shut up - at AN/I. We obviously have differing views on what is in the best interests of Wikipedia - and judging by the response to the contentious DYK, my viewpoint seems to be the majority one. As Jimbo makes quite clear, he considers it entirely appropriate to raise matters of general concern to the project here, but rather than actually discussing the issue, you have instead accused me of 'forum shopping', of engaging in a 'witch hunt', of 'disruption', and much else besides. Since you clearly aren't here to discuss the topic of this thread, I consider this conversation closed. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:28, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

To summarize - if you would like to make a difference and put forward ideas for better editorial control of DYK proposals, please add to the discussion here rather than other, less effective, forums or user pages. Thanks -- (talk) 19:08, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Addressing the question "is our current practice of tying DYK exclusively to new articles a good idea?" I agree, it's not. I'd prefer to see at least some DYKs being drawn from WP:GA's, both new and not-so-new. It would give a needed boost to the valuable GA process. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:52, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Starting with an incorrect question is not a good practice though. DYK is not tied exclusively to new articles, articles with a five-fold expansion (text only) are accepted as well. Apart from that, this is indeed not the best place for this discussion and is a nice example of forum-shopping. Fram (talk) 08:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
"articles with a five-fold expansion (text only) are accepted as well". Because? Why five? Why not four? Or seventeen-and-a-half divided by the number of days since the last full moon? This sort of petty bureaucratic rule-mongering is exactly what is wrong with the DYK system in the first place. It isn't a show-piece for new Wikipedia articles, it is a convoluted exercise in hoop-jumping, engaged in as an online multi-player game. AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:18, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Your point of view. I look at a quality collection such as DYK Germany and have a different perception. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
OK. I'd prefer to see at least some GAs occupying the space currently monopolised by new or recently-expanded articles. What's so special about new or recently-expanded articles? Surely we should be encouraging editors to improve articles, and showcasing good articles. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:34, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
A mixture of quality new articles and recently passed Good articles should really be standard procedure I think. Gerda's right that we do have a great deal of good quality DYKs but we also get a few bad eggs which we all seem to remember and makes a lot of us think of DYK badly. I'm considering proposing something to include new GAs to appear in DYK. Can I count on the support of anybody here?♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:43, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Why are you looking for support for DYK reform on Jimbo's user talk page rather than here? -- (talk) 09:53, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it needs major reform, but I do think we should extend what is featured beyond new articles and try to improve the standards and have some sense about certain topics.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:32, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to again repeat my request that people not be discouraged from posting here in good faith about whatever they think might be worthy of a good philosophical discussion. This page is not part of any actual process, so coming here is not a subversion of any actual process. This is something different - a place for people to come together and discuss in a civil environment without all the politicking that can happen. We should be here for discussing big picture ideas with a view towards gathering thoughtful views from a diverse community, in the hopes of finding interesting solutions that can then be proposed in the appropriate venue. A sandbox for policy deliberations, you might say.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:42, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


One more point about DYK - why does it have to be so mind-numbingly complex? The whole process for submission, validation and use of DYKs seems to me to be an exercise of bureaucratic obscurantism on a scale that is exceptional even by Wikipedia standards. A little more clarity and transparency might make it easier for ordinary Wikipedia contributors to keep an eye on what is going on, and maybe spot the problems that those heavily involved may miss as they go through the processes. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:05, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

I have made a proposal Wikipedia talk:Did you know#Lets introduce recently passed Good articles into DYK which may interest some of you. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:06, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

One of the biggest problems on this website Jimbo is definitely the resistance to change. Few people are willing to be open to new ideas about how to improve the website and seem to oppose something purely because it is a change from the norm.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:19, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Last resort posting

Jimbo Wales, I know you are not the tech guy, but your all-volunteer army needs a recruit in the tech area. VPT unanswered issue has been going on for days, with no one fixing it. Seems to be a global problem, with areas not experiencing this at all. If nobody can pull up Wikipedia, it's counter productive. Maybe you know how to light a fire on this one. Maile66 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:20, 23 March 2012 (UTC).

  • Many worldwide get slow results every few mintues: Several people have responded that they have noticed unusual delays, half-displayed pages, from time to time since mid-21 March 2012. Yet, other websites run fine. For 2 days, I have noticed each time a page gets lockup at the start, it might have nothing in the cache (switching browser offline & redisplay shows no contents for that page). Then, a few minutes later, all seems fine. No one seems totally locked out from pages, just delayed a few minutes, at times. Problem has been logged as bugzilla:35448. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:37, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia ranked by Google and Bing

A study by Search Engine Watch shows that Bing surpasses Google in giving prominence to Wikipedia pages.

Wavelength (talk) 18:59, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Current tests show Google and Bing closer now: At least when comparing the results for Wikipedia among the top-ten results, on both Bing and Google, the search-results show very similar ranks, based on those 1,000 test-cases, which gives a large enough sample to ignore several questionable cases. However, when I have re-run some of the actual data from February 2012, many of the current search-results seem closer than what that report had stated. For example, the Google/Bing ranks are similar 18/19 for: 'united states life tables 2001'. Also, there are several math counting errors in the report, where the count of test-cases (in the report) totals to 1,095, but the actual data-file entries list only exactly 1,000 test-cases (errors: there are only 281 one-word searches, not 290; only 197 three-word, not 208; only 78 five-word, not 86; and 43 cases of six-word searches, not 86). Plus, there are some bizarre search terms among those 1,000, with some unusual misspelled words, such as "tigonal" rather than the more-common "Trigonal" or "mitronchondrial dna" rather than "mitochondrial dna" (see SEW data file: [7]). Again, with 1,000 total cases, then a few spelling errors will not affect the statistical averages; however, errors in the data (or counting) typically indicate that the data was not carefully checked for "tests of randomness". In a formal experiment, the test data should be given a "sanity check" as an independent step, to ensure that the basic data represents realistic scenarios and is not wildly skewed, as being a "false premise" to support false conclusions about that data. Another unusual issue IMHO, is listing 11 month names (except "April") but no weekdays or years, as I would have included: Tuesday, Thursday, 1492, 1493, 1520, rather than 11 months. However, overall, the list of 1,000 entries is a good start. Anyway, I think the best conclusion, from that study by Search Engine Watch, was that both Google and Bing typically list a Wikipedia article within the top ten search-results, but the exact rank might be slightly higher, as either Google or Bing can be higher for a specific search. Beware the report is inaccurate for many specific, current searches. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:13, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
A Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask search on "Jimmy Wales" will all bring up Jimmy Wales as the top result. This helps to explain why Wikipedia BLP articles are the subject of close scrutiny. This is to be expected for a search on the name of a living person.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:43, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Results depend on type of subject: That is a good point about the high search-rank of BLP names, versus other search-phrases. Another issue which seems to limit that SEW report's accuracy is that, for one-word searches, Wiktionary is "Wikipedia" (rather than claiming as "no match"). So, rather than pseudo-calculating "86%" as the percentage where Wikipedia articles appear in the top ten results, I would pick "95.86%" as typical search-results which list a Wikipedia article in the top ten. It is not accurate to run a search for Wikipedia articles incorrectly 12% of the time, then claim "Wikipedia has a 14% failure" (not true) to match within 10 results, when the flawed experiment was the cause of most of those failures. The SEW report started with a "good idea" about using 1,000 search-phrases, but then the experiment went terribly wrong in multiple areas. Another example is the search for "Limerick school of art and design" which currently ranks #1 in both Google and Bing, but the report's data-table claims no match for that phrase, when the article has existed, with that title, since October 2006. Another error is claiming "car" matches WP at Google rank #13 when actually, "car" matches WP "Automobile" at Google #5 (in the top ten) and Bing #9. It looks like those Search Engine Watch people were asleep on their watch. The word "sun" matches WP in both Google/Bing at #2, and "Dell" matches as Bing #4 or Google #5. Both Google and Bing list similar results, and almost no test-cases (from February 2012) now fail to match within 50 results. The claim that 10% (of those cases) fail to match a Wikipedia article within 50 results is just not true. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:48, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I wanted a little help with my wikia's wiki

When I saw that Uncyclopedia is a wikia's wiki, I found that a Wikia's wiki can have the wikipedia's layout.

Jimmy, help me, I was wondering how my wiki can have the wikipedia's layout?

The link of my wiki:: pt-br.weirdpedia.wikia.com

I thought, as co-founder of Wikia, you could help me do this.

A hug from your fan Renan Marcos (A Brazilian Wikipedian) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 187.15.121.227 (talk) 01:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi, questions about Wikia are best directed to community@wikia.com!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:03, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Wrong

Is appropriate for users to create a user page about an Ip that keeps coming back,about what he does,or personal info.Doesn't that break a Wikipedia rule,if not we should have a rule about it. 74.163.16.20 (talk) 22:10, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

It is their responsibility to not disrupt our project, and we will out things like IP addresses (at least suspected ones) and location (as a result) if necessary to prevent further disruption.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:13, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I would have to look at the specific case before I could have an opinion about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:18, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
This is illuminating. Resolute 22:26, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry that is me being stupid,forgive me anger is something I half to control here,but User:Tailsman67.74.163.16.20 (talk) 22:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
You are de facto banned. Stop editing, go away, and then nobody will bother collecting information to use for spotting your IP addresses. Looie496 (talk) 22:54, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
See That's what I don't understand,people like you scaring people off.Just delet the page or make a rule about it.Besides I can't stop these open Poxy changes74.163.16.20 (talk) 23:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Here's what I've done. I've deleted the redirect at User:Tailsman67. I've also deleted the destination at User:Salvidrim/Tailsman67, but only so I could remove personally identifying information and information that was linked to non-Wikipedia related accounts. I'm leaving the rest of that up there, as it directly pertains to the way you've been disrupting Wikipedia for some time now. Perhaps an entry at WP:LTA would be more appropriate or perhaps it should be used for a more formal community ban. I'll leave that up to others. AniMate 00:21, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much friend.74.163.16.20 (talk) 00:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
  • This was hosted in my userspace, so I feel compelled to chime in. I've addressed AniMate's concerns on my talk page. I will agree the redirect from the Userpage of the non-existent account was not okay. I will note all personal information on that page was information publicly released by the user. The age and ethnicity is indeed irrelevant, but the off-wiki accounts, especially the Wikia account, is highly relevant to this particular editor. As for the WP:LTA suggestion, we've decided to heed WP:DFTT at MuZeMike's direction. I will also note that this particular editor, as noted on the page being discussed is known for posting messages to this talk page with goals other than improving the encyclopedia, and has done so at least twice in the past. Salvidrim! 01:07, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
You have gone to far,I just want to be left alone,my motive is just to add info,but I can't,because of you,I want you to stop.74.163.16.20 (talk) 01:10, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, you are not currently under any blocking sanction; you are free to edit as you see fit. Don't give people a reason to take action and you'll be "left alone" as you want. However if solitude is what you're seeking, I may recommend that you seek avenues other than the primarily collaborative environment Wikipedia is meant to be. I apologize if I come off as rude, but please do understand that with your past actions it is difficult to be anything but wary. But as always, I am willing to forgive and give the benefit of doubt. The best you can do at this point is prove me wrong to worry. :) Salvidrim! 01:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I see that this is no longer the case and that a block has been issued; the jusitification is your past disruption. I believe that as of right now these punishments have served, and unless I've missed something you've not given reason to block; I've asked the admin for some manner of clarification... :) Salvidrim! 01:21, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Here is the last block, which is a 6 month range block enacted last month. He's evading a block. Simple. AniMate 02:03, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of the rangeblock extension; I then clearly support the action. This is "case closed" as far as I am concerned. Salvidrim! 02:07, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

My password

I forgot my password and have proof that it is me. User name: Scientific Alan. I gave you a barnstar in archive 94, section 23. I have 50 userboxes. I've made 53 contributions. In case you are wondering why I'm not resetting it by email, I never set it up. 184.57.204.9 (talk) 00:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Nothing Jimbo or anyone else can do, I'm afraid. Technically speaking I think it's possible, but the people who can do it are unlikely to. Just start over. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 00:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
If anyone can help, help. Until then I'll try to remember it, but I think it has to do with 1 or 2 glitch Pokemon from Pokemon Yellow. 184.57.204.9 (talk) 00:48, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
What you could do is make a new account and mention in your userpage your old account (and wikilink it). That way you have your new account and the history of your old account. Regards.--MarshalN20 | Talk 03:24, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I might do that if I don't remember my password. 184.57.204.9 (talk) 13:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Haz Kitten ^-^

Kitten-stare.jpg

Beep beep meow (Cheers to homestuck fans)

⌯⌯☲☲Zenith042☲☲⌯⌯ (talk) 04:44, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Unacceptable homophobic attacks by Yrc/o2r

ARIN CEO asks us to go to IPv6

I cannot verify the authenticity of it, but apparently ARIN CEO John Curran has asked us to hasten the move to IPv6 to the point that the WMF can participate in World IPv6 Launch. It would be sad if the WMF could not take the leap with everyone else, but I realize that there are major outstanding issues that need to be resolved. Nevertheless, it seems that contact by Curran himself is a big motivator.Jasper Deng (talk) 01:12, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

  • IP Address: 12.174.51.2
  • ISP: AT&T Services
  • Organization: INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP
  • Region: Austin (US)
    cyberpower ChatOffline 01:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Who says he couldn't have been traveling? The topic, whether the message is real or not, is still a valid, pressing one for the WMF.Jasper Deng (talk) 01:23, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
      • I'm simply giving information to start the discussion with. I'm not trying to prove anything. I would suggest contacting ARIN's CEO by e-Mail or phone to verify that he indeed did write that.—cyberpower ChatOffline 01:24, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
SxSW just wrapped up this past weekend - lots of tech types were there, or so I understand. Then again, you'd think he'd use a more official channel. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 02:35, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, we aren't too transparent about how to contact the WMF either...Jasper Deng (talk) 02:37, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I've met him before, and I see no reason to doubt this request is genuine. Perhaps someone can help him find the right people to talk with!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:09, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
However, with it being a hotel IP, I don't believe there's really anything the community can do; the WMF has to do something, I think.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:20, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
There is a problem with quickly switching over to IPv6. Majority of systems out there are old style an run off of IPv4. Anything earlier than Windows vista will not be able to connect to IPv6. By switching over to IPv6, we may be kicking off millions of experienced editors including me.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 10:06, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Um, my Windows XP is IPv6 ready (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
It's not so by default, and I can't expect all users to know the command.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:23, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
It's expected that the IPv4 address's will be running out by the end of 2012. To be fair, we're in March. Testing and stuff could go underway, but I don't think there is a major rush to have it completed. I just did a quick search and there are also ways to communicate with IPv6 websites from an IPv4 address through a proxy, so it may not mean getting an upgrade in hardware straight away, however, I would assume, it will eventually be phased out entirely. Mrlittleirish 11:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Isn't it possible to support connections from both IP versions? If WMF implemented support forth both, then they wouldn't force old users to have have to upgrade to new hardware to continue editing Wikipedia.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 11:39, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there is any reason why we shouldn't seamlessly support both. I have been told (but only randomly by random people) that we don't yet do IPV6 at all. This is not about kicking people off who use old hardware/software or making them use a proxy or anything - that would be very very wrong for us to do. This is about making sure that we are proactive about assisting with the move into the future. I personally have no real idea of the status of that right now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:41, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, we have some on-wiki issues too. We just talk to you as you're the head of the WMF; unfortunately we don't know how to reach the WMF network admins.
With that said, though, I think that we can resolve these in time if gadget and Toolserver developers hurry up.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:23, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
You can always write to answers@wikimedia.org. :) Currently I man this email address, but if I don't know, I'll ask around. Director of Technical Operations CT Woo tells me that, while there are a couple of tasks to be completed first (including particularly to do with Mediawiki and load balancer LVS), the WMF hopes to participate in the IPV6 Launch Day on 6/6/12. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:56, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, the WMF does not appear on the participants list, yet.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:11, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Does it need to? That's not a sarcastic question; I've read what they say about IPv6 there, but that's the extent of my personal knowledge. :) I can suggest that WMF sign up, but there may be good reason they haven't. I don't know. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Being ready is a possible issue, but I think it's worth asking...Jasper Deng (talk) 19:31, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
All right; I'll pass along the suggestion. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Most things are working although there are a zillion little toolserver scripts and bots which don't know about ipv6 yet and may need to be upgraded. Also, there are still some bugs. In general, reading from ipv6 is ready for prime time, but editing might still be months to years out. 70.59.28.93 (talk) 17:00, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

I think you've been informed right Jimmy, there is a way to seemlessly support both, many sites have already implimented it. It would definately need to be something that gets implimented by tech staff. Most people, I would imagine, would be contacted by their ISP's about the transition. Mrlittleirish 14:32, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Here's something of interest that would like a WMF comment: mw:Roadmap#April 2012 (search for "IPv6" in that section).Jasper Deng (talk) 06:34, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Do you (Jimbo) think that if I start an active on-wiki movement to get ready, you can convince the WMF to follow suite and be ready ahead of World IPv6 Launch?Jasper Deng (talk) 04:42, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Not entirely true, the problem with dual stack (as this is called), is that people who have IPv6 enabled, but incorrectly working (either due to older OS or due to ISPs being incompetent) would not even be able to reach the IPv4 website. That's why the IPv6 change is being done so carefully, even by large organizations like google. Just flipping the switch will loose you about between 1 to 4% of traffic. That was part of last years effort. To better get a feel about what would break, and make it possible for infrastructure organizations to better assess where they themselves had issues. But in general yes, dual stack is possible (actually it's what everyone is doing) and it's the organizations idea to go there as well. Last years effort was unable to succeed because it was forgotten that we would need to update the databases, which would be at least 1 week of work, before IPv6 can be enabled for wiki. Because of that we missed the window of opportunity. It would be good if someone could at least put that Db update on the map for the immediate future, before we again are too late. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    • IPv6 brokenness was listed as an issue on wikitech, but it's not directly related to the MediaWiki software and the webservers themselves.Jasper Deng (talk) 18:35, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

A DYK in the making

See Template:Did you know nominations/Zhirinovsky's ass.

I mean, seriously? --JN466 20:56, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, please, can you step in and sort out DYK? The Eastenders incident was horrific, and this looks as though it's heading into a similar way. I cannot believe these kinds of 'jokes' are being permitted for the front page. The shop window of Wikipedia is going to look like it's splattered in post-Friday night vomit. doktorb wordsdeeds 21:11, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

I mean, seriously, a move was done, it was challenged by moving back, with a request to discuss as per WP:BRD, and you ignored that and moved back without discussion. Please discuss. The hook was clearly done for April Fools DYK, and yes, yes we know we have to turn the project into Prudeapedia. Hence, why for the next Russian election, I am going to suggest to Zhirinovsky that he get a giant rooster, put a circular band on one of its feet, and then place 2 chickadees belonging to Ms XXX on either side. We should then have the hook,...DYK...Vladimir Zhirinovsky put a ring on his big cock, and then placed it between Ms XXX's tits? Let's see how you guys would handle that one eh. Lighten up.....geeeez. Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 22:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
If I'm reading it correctly, it's up for April 1st. For those who don't know, our April Fool's tradition in English Wikipedia is to have the front page of the site be 100% accurate and very well sourced - but also as implausible seeming as possible. I think this has traditionally been done with good taste, and I think this one should be done with good taste. Russavia, I think the term 'Prudeapedia' may not be the most helpful way to conceptualize people's desire for good editorial judgment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
My objection to this is not based on the childish attempt to slip a "naughty" word in the main page, but on the fact that it is being done at the expense of a living person. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:34, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, at the expense of a living donkey... Resolute 22:35, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
In case you're not just making a joke, check out Template:Did you know nominations/Zhirinovsky's ass. I'm surprised that no one suggested "Did you know that Vladimir Zhirinovsky has a big hairy black ass?"... Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:40, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course I am! Though in seriousness, we may need to write a WP:Biographies of Living Asses policy to protect donkeys and politicians... Resolute 23:02, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
At the expense of a living person? Zhirinovsky would be relishing in the attention. Have you not seen his infamous drunken rant? It is the stuff that legends of made of! Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 22:42, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Zhirinovsky's infamous drunken rant -- watch it in its entirety, it is pure class from beginning to end!!! Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 22:52, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Russavia's example brought a tear to my eye, though I admit that I would rather see a jest with more appeal to Noel Fielding fans than Butt-head enthusiasts (and if dependant on wordplay, one that transfers well into British English rather than assuming some less well established vocabulary). Shade.png -- (talk) 22:42, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The only objection I would have (I find the wordplay barely*cough* amusing, but it's not too far into the realm of childish IMO) is that the article tries too hard to be funny/amusing/ironic. There are far too many childish asides and "nods" - per our traditions the joke goes on the front page, but the article must be of the normal high quality. But I've moaned about that all the time, and we still end up with poor quality articles. --Errant (chat!) 00:07, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

You don't consider this a BLP violation? How would you feel if this was Obama's ass, or Romney's ass ... or whoever's? --JN466 00:09, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Zhirinovsky.27s_ass --JN466 00:19, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Seeing as Zhirinovsky was using an ass/donkey to make a deliberate political point, with that exact context - no, I really don't think it is :) the BLP issue is with the name of the Donkey and the issues such as the image of its namesake in the article... I fixed some of those problems. If president Obama filmed himself riding an Ass, and claimed it the new symbol of the US, then that would work for me. I can't say how I would feel though - probably depends on how much beer I had drunk. --Errant (chat!) 01:05, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with JN. This is painfully inappropriate. We need a full investigation into the future of these stunts, it's not funny, it's not appropriate, it's not tasteful and if we had anything about us, it would be stopped before it started. doktorb wordsdeeds 06:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
A mildly amusing double entendre on ass (donkey) is not painfully inappropriate and can reasonably be taken in good faith; after all it isn't on the main page of Wikipedia yet. Making light of a recent alleged murder and dismemberment was painfully inappropriate or the open harassment of a Wikipedia editor by speculating about their gay sex life and HIV status was painfully inappropriate. -- (talk) 07:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Guys, the ass/donkey double-entendre is so old, it not only fails to be mildly amusing, it's profoundly embarrassing. What's next? Is someone also dreaming up a DYK about Uranus? Volunteer Marek said the other day that Wikipedia is becoming, or has already become,

Encyclopedia Dramatica-lite, with some real content in the background. The articles featured on the main page - particularly DYK but also In the News - are becoming more and more "lulz" internet memes. It's only partly accidental that the front page keeps embarrassing itself by featuring offensive or morbid articles time and time again. The non-accidental part is simply the reflection of the fact that these articles are written by editors who show up to Wikipedia thinking that "this is what this is all about" - lulz, memes, porn, donkey punches, misogyny, bigotry, harassment - that is what this is supposed to be, right?"

Looking at the tone of the discussion above, he seems to have a point. --JN466 08:49, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Jayen466, I'm not dreaming about Uranus, sorry, not even in my top 10 of heavenly bodies. Thanks -- (talk) 08:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Oh for goodness sake. Your soapboxing would carry a lot more weight, you know, if you had actually tried to fix some of the problems in the article (which I hope will eventually be merged) instead of moaning about it in multiple forums. Banality is a part of human culture; even though I've never found it very amusing the day we shove a stick up our ass is a sad one. I'm unsure what point you are trying to prove; if it is that the April fools DYK has inspired someone to write a joke article which contains BLP issues and violates the serious nature of the project, then I agree with you. If you're moaning about a piece of banal humour being put together for April fools day, I definitely don't. Either way; action speaks louder than words. --Errant (chat!) 08:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
"if it is that the April fools DYK has inspired someone to write a joke article which contains BLP issues and violates the serious nature of the project, then I agree with you."
"If you're moaning about a piece of banal humour being put together for April fools day, I definitely don't."
So it's alright to say that someone has written an April fool's "joke article which contains BLP issues and violates the serious nature of the project", but it's not alright to complain about "a piece of banal humour being put together for April fools day"? Gee. Why don't you make it easier on yourself: "I agree with you, but I don't like the way you make your point." There. That wasn't so hard? --JN466 10:41, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Perish the thought. :) --JN466 10:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Checking the article, it looks to be an example of Recentism (WP:Recentism). It looks like it only deserves to be a small section in a few articles, instead of having a full article of itself. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 18:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC) So, I think the article should be sent to AfD. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 18:42, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Delete this one?

The point above about DYK becoming a 'meme' is valid. I am deeply concerned that a lack of oversight amongst DYK has given the regulars there a sense of being 'autonomous'. Is there a mechanism through which this specific nomination could be deleted or removed? I mean this - I am very uneasy with the idea of this being on the front page and consider it important that we do what we can to ensure it never does doktorb wordsdeeds 12:47, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

The process is open and transparent. Anyone can go to Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Did You Know#Zhirinovsky's ass and add their opinion. No need to ask for the secret police to send out a van. Thanks -- (talk) 12:55, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Let me quote somebody else on this: Ideally the best humor is not offensive but rather intellectual. Making jokes of sexual or scatalogical innuendo should be left to those without the intellectual power of Wikipedians. (With the exception of jokes of such innuendo that are sufficiently clever/geeky that most people won't get it). Everything should be ruthlessly accurate. Jokes that depend on being misleading should be kept to a minimum, although I know that's one of the easiest kinds to construct! [14]. It seems to apply.VolunteerMarek 21:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

2012 April Fools On this Day

Not sure what's happening with the rest of the AF preparations, but this is a page that has been very dormant this year. I found this out a few days ago, and came up with some ideas accordingly. Contribution/critiquing would be awesome. I assume the "On This Day"s are going ahead whether we've got funny/clever ones or not, so we might as well get some humorous juices flowing in the final few days that we've got left.--Coin945 (talk) 14:30, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Ideally the best humor is not offensive but rather intellectual. Making jokes of sexual or scatalogical innuendo should be left to those without the intellectual power of Wikipedians. (With the exception of jokes of such innuendo that are sufficiently clever/geeky that most people won't get it). Everything should be ruthlessly accurate. Jokes that depend on being misleading should be kept to a minimum, although I know that's one of the easiest kinds to construct!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:47, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
My jokes are misleading but that's the whole point of April Fools. It's not like disruptive misleading but misleading nonetheless. It's already implemented, gets activated automatically and dactivates after April Fools.—cyberpower ChatOnline 21:49, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean that every year you write the OTD for April Fools, which get automatically uploaded?--Coin945 (talk) 23:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
If you mean me then no.—cyberpower ChatOnline 23:50, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh... got slightly muddled with your response.. :D--Coin945 (talk) 00:18, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Is there a specific place where joke articles for this day could be created? Calabe1992 00:22, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Userspace. Joke articles in mainspace will get deleted, the same as they would on any other day. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:02, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Some time ago, it was decided that April Fools Day would tend towards "strange but true" on Wikipedia, rather than directly misleading people with false information. I have been told that joke articles are quite common on April Fools Day on other wikis though...--Coin945 (talk) 02:09, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, obviously userspace would work, but nowhere within April Fool's sections? Calabe1992 02:49, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately It wouldn't end up on the main page. Discussion around the "sillyness" of the Wikipedia AF tradition has been heavily debated on the Wikipedia April Fools page, and I fear you may not win a chance to get your article on the main page, even if you fully write it and propose it...--Coin945 (talk) 02:52, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
haha - as a sidenote, I just realised that FA (feature article) has the opposite letters as AF (april fools) - maybe thats a sign from the great Jimbo himself that while FA's represent our very best content, the stuff that gets posted on April Fools day may be our worst - the sillyness disrupting the professionality of the site and all... :D--Coin945 (talk) 02:55, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Very desperate situation where I need your help.

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. You have new messages at Hghyux's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Please. This is only for Jimbo. Thanks Hghyux (talk to me)(talk to others) 00:33, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to encouraging new editors and articles - on the Village Pump proposals page

Just to reiterate what I've said above (in a "==" style heading to make it more prominent), I have made a proposal to essentially have a feature on the Main Page that encourages newbies to create the "100 articles of the week" (the proposal is in much more detail on the Village Pump page). It's being heavily debated as we speak, and would greatly appreciate as many opinions from the community as I can. Perhaps even if Jimbo himself could pitch in...? It will affect the Main Page and all if it's passed.....!--Coin945 (talk) 08:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

User script list deprecation

The current list of user scripts is in bad shape, and its cleanup has been on the to-do list for some time. To finally get the list back to a useful state, it's now set to be deprecated and replaced entirely. The new working draft is at Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts cleanup. Checking your .js pages didn't show much, but I assume you do most of your editing from outside this account; so if you know of useful, working scripts that you'd like to survive the deprecation, I'd prevail upon you to add them to the draft. Thanks :) Equazcion (talk) 11:42, 28 Mar 2012 (UTC)

Searching for ship films in 3D

New article "Titanic in 3D" (which I created today) is rising now in external search-results. However, prior to that article, there had been no near-matches. After reading about the controversial 1,000-search test done by Search Engine Watch (in February 2012), then I became curious about searching in Google/Bing for other common topics, and I discovered how searching for the re-release film "Titanic in 3D" had failed to match within the top 50 search-results on Google or Bing. Of course, the editors of film articles tend to append the major re-release of a film near the bottom of the original article, so Titanic in 3D was described, near the bottom, of high-ranking article "Titanic (1997 film)" but that failed to match in Google or Bing. Next, I created a redirect to that article, as specifically "Titanic in 3D" but it still failed to register in Google/Bing (after 24 hours). Well, after researching the term "titanic in 3-d" then I found other films which were about the RMS Titanic in 3D filming. That gave a reason to create separate article "Titanic in 3D" to also link to a prior 3D film about the underwater shipwreck, as the 3D one-hour documentary film Ghosts of the Abyss (2003), but also focus on the more-notable re-release of the 1997 blockbuster. With the new article in place, voila! the search-results began matching and rose higher every few hours of the day, even before the premiere screening of the film began this evening in West London. Bottom line: if we want Wikipedia to reasonably match search-requests for major topics, then those topics need separate spinoff articles, rather than be buried at the bottom of some other large article (even if that article ranked #2 for years). A rare topic is likely to match anywhere in an article, but a major topic will be covered by many other websites to clutter the results. Apparently, an article also needs to get a head start, to gain search momentum, as it takes many hours or days for other readers to click an article and improve its search-rank as a webpage which other readers are actively viewing. If the prior search-test by Search Engine Watch (SEW) had tried to find "Titanic in 3D" last month, then it would have been an actual complete failure to match within the top 50 results (on Google or Bing), despite WP having described the re-release film near the bottom of "Titanic (1997 film)". Again, this does not apply to rare topics, not covered by many websites, but I conclude that major topics need a separate article and days of preparation, for readers to find them in search-results. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:17/23:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Maybe we could just add a "notable re-releases" parameter to film infoboxes to get the term into the top of the page? Equazcion (talk) 22:33, 27 Mar 2012 (UTC)
Two things: I'm not sure why being at the top of a Google search is necessary for Wikipedia, and links are not ranked by how many people click on them. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
If a separate article is needed for each major topic, then that need is relevant to Wikipedia:Merging and Wikipedia:Splitting.
(Evidently, you meant "voilà" and not "viola". Maybe your spell checker changed what you typed.)
Wavelength (talk) 23:23, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, so much for wikilinking to check spelling errors; if it's not a large violin, then the misspelled word is often a rare village name, somewhere. For merging/splitting, the rank in Google/Bing is likely to be considered as an outside, off-topic issue. However, in cases where the search-engine access is considered important, then creating a separate article should be noted. For active editors, it is often a concern because searching in Google or Bing is where we get some good ideas for article titles. Seeing WP articles listed there (or not) helps us sort out which are the most-likely missing titles. -Wikid77 01:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that if people are searching for the sort of information that we have then we should try and make our information available to their search. However I'm not sure that spinout articles are necessarily the right way to go, why not create redirects from common search terms to the relevant Wikipedia article or section of article? ϢereSpielChequers 07:56, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I think his point is that he tested a redirect and it didn't help, but creating a separate article did. While I agree that getting ranked higher in google/bing is not a valid reason to create a separate article in and of itself, I do think this is a really interesting anecdotal piece of evidence. It is not completely wrong for us to think about how to help searchers find the information they are looking for, and while it shouldn't solely drive the structure of Wikipedia, it can reasonably be considered one factor.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:31, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Only separate a major topic, minor ones match anywhere: If a search topic is a relatively minor subtopic, in the world's view, then only a few webpages will match and most likely, Wikipedia will be listed in the results. The search-engine tests with "Titanic in 3D" were just an overlooked major example, where a major topic did not have a separate article, immediately before the major event of a international blockbuster film premiere. That scenario is rare, because most major topics get articles during the initial phases of intense public interest. Today "Titanic in 3D" matches to WP within the top 20-30 results. I agree this issue should not solely drive the structure of Wikipedia, but it would be a key concept for "#Preparing a Wikipedia mega-article". -Wikid77 (talk) 16:13, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Microsoft Word Spelling and Grammar Check Demonstration

This is relevant to the work of all editors of English Wikipedia.

Wavelength (talk) 23:27, 27 March 2012 (UTC) and 00:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Much as I revel in any opportunity to bash Micro$oft, I don't see why this is even remotely relevant to us here. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:32, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Correct spelling is important (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling), and often words are misspelled (Wikipedia:Lists of common misspellings). Wikipedia:Spellchecking mentions Microsoft Word, but it does not mention the problems discussed by Sandeep Krishnamurthy. There is also Wikipedia:Typo Team.
Wavelength (talk) 16:48, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Preparing a Wikipedia mega-article

After years of getting pageview stats (since 2007), there is ample evidence to show readers flock to mega-articles (viewed 25,000+ per day), often depending on recent events. Whereas a minor footballer article might get only 1 pageview per day or 2, when a famous singer drowns, then pageviews can reach 6 million in one day (1,235x higher: stats). In creating, or updating such a mega-article, there are some common problems, including: (1) systematic removal of sourced text, to leave nothing about that viewpoint; (2) edit-wars which cause an article to go "Jekyll-Hyde" in content; (3) edit-lockouts to stop edit-wars; or (4) failure to match in search-engine results.
As shown with "Titanic in 3D", having a separate article helps search-engine results for a major topic, so that is easy to address. It might even foster a temporary spinoff sub-article, to be re-merged if no sources find additional details written about the topic. However, for content wars, it seems that monitoring by admin teams (or admin helpers) is the only hope to ensure NPOV-neutral contents. In the recent mega-article "Shooting of Trayvon Martin", pageviews doubled one day, then doubled the next day, and the next, the next, and the next (TM-stats). However, the article was edit-locked for 3 days due to edit-wars, just when news reports broke with a major POV shift of past evidence of questionable actions by the victim. His hometown newspaper, The Miami Herald, revealed a past of 3 school suspensions for "getting spotted defacing lockers [W.T.F.] to getting caught with a marijuana baggie" and in his backpack were 12 pieces of "women's jewelry" ("silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds") and a "large screwdriver" (MHerald-3-26-2012). Also, he was not the young child portrayed by outdated photos in the media. The WP editors were not "blindsided" however – some editors noted a "10-day suspension" is overly long and indicated deeper student problems. Of course, Wikipedia does not force a balance where none exists, but when multiple additional sources provide detailed text to vastly counter the presumed calm, "young-child" image, then Wikipedia needs to get that information prioritized and posted in a timely manner. The article was heavily criticized by many readers because it seemed one-sided, to favor the young child, due to lack of opposing sources. However, there was not even a structure to anticipate balance of the background details of both sides. This is just as bad as pretending a suspect in Italy will not be acquitted, even though over half of verdicts in Italy are overturned on appeal. By refusing or blocking other-POV text, then WP is facing a "sin of omission" by blocking such text, or locking the article, so that other-POV text cannot be added to the article. Those mega-articles need better guidance during the lifecycle of their prominent viewing in Wikipedia.
One possible technique might be periodic half-day locking of an article, until an admin has time for monitoring content and gauge edit-war levels, rather than total lockout for 3-14 days solid. Long term, we still need some WP:Crime_text guideline about writing a balanced article, even while waiting for more details, to at least "structure" an article to have pro/con sections to reflect a minimal balance to the readers. If no record of background events has been found, then state such as a minimum level to balance the contents, somewhat. There are always big gaps to consider: with the Costa Concordia shipwreck, there were indications that the ship slowly tilted, but then suddenly capsized to near 90-degrees down, risking the death of perhaps 300 passengers, but then slowly rising the next morning, on the undersea ledge, to appear only "half-sunk" after the ocean tide lifted the shipwreck before sunrise. Such "big gaps" in coverage of actual events can be formalized, as to when did a ship capsize, or sink, and what are some unknown aspects yet to be found. In archaeology, two of the big mysteries for centuries, and two possible mega-articles will be the "Tomb of Alexander the Great" (redirect) and "Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra" purposely designed to not be discovered and still undiscovered today. The focus is to prepare some guidelines for monitoring the development of such articles when pageviews skyrocket. More later. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:02, revised 02:23, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Stubbed. Just because something hasn't been found yet doesn't mean we can't have an article, and the more we get down in writing now, the less hustle and bustle later. Wnt (talk) 20:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I suppose most mega-articles will be based on somewhat notable topics, at first, with only a few mega-articles based on complete unknowns, so the stubs are a fine way to start. Only 100 articles, on average, receive over 15,300 pageviews per day, such as article "2010 Winter Olympics" during 2010. So, the work is not like trying to continually update 3,000 articles, or such. Instead, only about 100 articles would need constant attention each day, to ensure updates for NPOV-neutral text. -Wikid77 02:23, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Declining editorship

I just saw this Signpost article and wanted to comment. I think its ok to sell Merch and to restructure but I think that the organization is kidding themselves if they think this is why editors stop editing. They stop editing because its difficult to edit, the community is frequently mean and impatient, there is a general sense of IP hatred and a variety of other reasons. If you want to seriously improve retention you need to consentrate your efforts on two main areas, simplifying the rules and instructions and improving civility. No matter how much merchandise you sell and no matter how many college students you talk to, if they have to spend months to learn the rules and get constantly attacked by other editors because they don't know the rules its just a waste of time. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 14:01, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Editorship is declining because the easy articles are already done. There's not much to draw people in now. Cleanup and maintenance is not as glamorous sounding as creating a new article. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:40, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
What strikes me is how obvious the decline has become. It's possible to monitor watchlists now for weeks without seeing much change. What used to be 'popular' pages now lay dormant. Where there was once busy activity and a sense of community, there is now a small bunch of people who are in danger of becoming de-facto 'slaves' to a long forgotten machine. You are right about the complexity of it all - to even build a basic table for information needs weeks of understanding code and programming. To delete an article means having 4 or 5 tabs open to go through a rigorous nomination process only for a BOT (which nobody tells you about) to warn you against a specific oversight. It's notable that many popular pages, from US Presidential elections to television series, are now effectively left monitored by obsessives who - through no fault of their own - probably fall against WP:OWNERSHIP by virtue of being the only editors left. Selling tat for cheap profit will do nothing. Wiki used to be racing ahead of the pack; it's quickly falling behind Google+. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.86.102.100 (talk) 14:44, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Reply to The Hand That Feeds You - True that is one reason, and there are some things that can be done there too. With respect though, more often than not these days, if someone does create an article its deleted or at least submitted for it, they then have to face the gauntlet of unsympathetic editors making incivil comments. Granted many are not notable and probably shouldn't have an article but the experience drives away editors. This ties directly to civility. Additionally, many of these articles are deleted because the author simply doesn't understand the hundreds of editing rules and most editors are too interested in pointing out problems than helping a new editor fix them. Then these editors leave with a bad impression of Wikipedia and some come back as vandals and Sockpuppeteers. If we can change civility and this like article ownership as mentioned by the other IP, then we can start to change these things. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 14:55, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, declining editorship is a good thing, the project has...slowly and agonizingly...raised the bar for what it deems as an acceptable article. The local bar band you love, the game your youth rec center leader created yesterday, every street and avenue in every mid-sized city, every one-event drive-by media sensation, every porn starlet whose PR team uses the Wiki Commons for free image galleries to color their free Wikipedia bio. All *poof*. New editors need to be steered away from "I create" mindsets and towards "I contribute" mindsets. Tarc (talk) 15:20, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Meanspiritness is the PRIME reason for decline in membership. Certainly with all of the scholars here someone can come up with a simple way to discourage this.This does not apply exclusively to just editors. Having said that there are some very fine editors and administrators which I have had the good fortune to interact with. It is the few causing all the trouble, in my view. Also, we have not nearly begun to run out of good articles to create and/or improve. Mugginsx (talk) 15:25, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
It is not "meanspiritedness", it is thinskinnedness on the part of the person receiving criticism. Tarc (talk) 17:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
(ec)I whole heartedly disagree that declining editorship is a good thing and I don't agree that new editors shouldn't be creating content. There is simply too many articles that still need to be created/expanded for a couple hundred editors. I do agree that we can make it a lot easier for them, the New article wizard is a huge leap in that direction but it still has some shortcomings that need improvement. There are still tens of thousands of articles that could/need to be created on a wide variety of subjects, Biographies, flora and fauna, science, history, geography, etc. With that said just because we raised the bar doesn't mean that we should become elitist or we might end up like Citizendium. I also agree that is the prime reason Mugginsx. 138.162.8.57 (talk) 15:32, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)There are still articles to create, sure. But those tend to be obscure topics, not the kind of thing your average new editor tosses out for their first article. No one says we should be "elitist," so I don't know where you're getting that. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:21, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
The idea that new editors should be discouraged from creating new articles and, more importantly, the attitude which is behind it, is PART of the problem, not a solution. There are many new editors that have a learning curve which is not helped but discouraged by this kind of thinking. A gentle nudge, a pleasant message, ...I see you have created a new article, it needs more content before it is ready, please start in your sandbox, if you do not know how to do that, I will talk you through it ..... or .... your reference or references do not comply with our guidelines, let me direct you to the ones in point and if you do not understand them, I will help explain ....... Often one time is all it takes to help a new editor who may have a good article in his or her mind but simply needs "a little help". All one has to do is check the editors contribs, as we all know, to find out if they are a new editor or not. This should be mandatory for an administrator and vigoursly encouraged for editors. If it is "beneath" any editor or administrator to do this kind of thing then perhaps their fitness should be questioned by a board or panel of veterans. Mugginsx (talk) 15:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Whoa, slow down there. Admins are volunteers, just like the rest of us. You really can't "mandate" anything outside of our policies. And even that is flexible.The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:21, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Then mandate through the policies. It is new editors that are being discourage with "Speedy Deletion" notices rather than a kind message with a message that if they do not have sufficient information or significant information and reliable sources the article could be deleted rather than these big NOTICES that stop a Newbie dead in their tracks. One was even given to a young child when a helpful word would have encourage her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Erin_Brault Where is the foresight in that? Mugginsx (talk) 16:28, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't see a single welcome message or word of advice to a new editor in your last 1000 contributions. It is easy to propose such things when you leave the work to someone else. Resolute 16:42, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Feel free to suggest a new policy here, then. I don't think you'll get much traction with the way you've framed the issue, though. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:44, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Look here and see how this new editor, "obviously a child" was treated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Erin_Brault
LOOK AT WHAT SHE SAYS - it says it all!! - "I was just figuring this stuff out!" Erin Brault (talk) 00:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Using all caps, bold and extra exclamation points does not help sway others to your side. And, personally, neither does "Think of the children!" Further, that comment is from 2008. Are you seriously going to dredge up 4-year-old posts to make your point? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:28, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I was so hoping you would have something useful to say. Mugginsx (talk) 17:31, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I rather doubt that. Regardless, I did have something useful to say: you're basing your argument on a post from 4 years ago, and you exaggerated its importance with bold, caps and extra exclamation points. No one is going to take you seriously when you do that. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
On that thing 78.86.102.100 was talking about - the complicated AFD process where people are more willing to judge than actually advise, I personally think it is absolutely ridiculous that the attitude at AFD's is: "going to make a vote and leave ti at that. it's someone else's problem now", rather than actually helping edit those struggling articles to give them that new burst of life to push them over the edge into being kept on Wikipedia. It's all talk, no action. 20 people can say keep but improve, the article probably gets kept, but no work gets done on it at all. Instead of all this background bureaucratic behind the scenes nonsense (I acknowledge there are some vital behind the scenes things but in general, people waste so much of there time arguing about what must be done rather than doing it... it drives me up the wall just reading it.. IMHO, everyone should just get back to work....--Coin945 (talk) 16:36, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
AfDs are not for advisement or for hand-holding, it is for determining whether an article merits inclusion per our standards. If a better job was done getting new users away from article-writing, or at the very least into creation/incubation spaces, then the misconception that AfD is WP:BITEy would be lessened. Tarc (talk) 17:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to encouraging new editors and articles - on the Village Pump proposals page

Just made a proposal to the Village Pump proposals page directly related to this discussion. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.--Coin945 (talk) 16:54, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Good idea Oops - And look at the "friendly" message someone put on the page when you try to answer your comment. I think I made my point. Editing Talk:Main Page (section) (can't make the link work) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Main_Page&action=edit It states: This is NOT the place to make suggestions for Main Page content. Please direct your suggestion to one of the forums listed above or your post may be removed or ignored. I believe this message makes my point.Mugginsx (talk) 17:05, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
... what? How is that offensive? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:28, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
The message in its format just discourages new thoughts and new ideas. A better way would have been to say something directly to the editor like: I have placed your message in its proper place - you may inform editors to answer you there Mugginsx (talk) 17:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that's easily sorted... (oops... forgot the talk page wasn't for general discussion about the main page.. :P) all I have to do is relocate the proposal to the suitable page, and then change the link. Give me 5 minutes. :)--Coin945 (talk) 17:36, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done--Coin945 (talk) 17:39, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
So, Mugginsx, your entire problem is with the "may be removed or ignored" bit? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that "sometimes" a personal message is more effective than an automated one. It conveys to the editor the same message but without the harshness of the automated message. Either that or the automated message could be worded in a more friendly tone. While veteran editors are used to them, newer editors are not. That was my only point but I think it is an important point to be made in a discussion about encouraging new editors or even experienced editors with a new or novel idea. Mugginsx (talk) 18:12, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree, a personalized message is more friendly. But, your complaint was the warning on the page. That's not possible to personalize, because there's no one "interacting" with the editor at that point. IIRC, the stern wording was due to people not getting it when it was worded in a more friendly manner, then being upset that their additions were moved/removed. I wouldn't be opposed to wording it differently, but I don't think it'll make a difference in the long run. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

A welcome bot

In the spirit of above I think it would also be very beneficial to welcome new users with some sort of automated message. Perhaps this could even help them with some kind of wizard to a WikiProject that might interest them (I would limit this to active ones). Projects are a great place for users to get advice and learn. We do not, IMO, do enough to promote our productive WikiProjects. Creating such a bot would be trivial, IMO determining what the message should say is a bit harder. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 18:01, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Totally agree with the WikiProject thing. I had to fish out all this info about the innerworkings of Wikipedia by my self. I would've been much more enthused to enter the project if i had known about things like WikiProjects, Wikipedia:Requested articles, etc. Knowing there are others out there with similar interests to you is a great feeling. Knowing that your miniscule contribution is part of a much larger project and is therefore essential is awesome - working freelance is much harder than being relied upon/having deadlines etc. Anything we can do to make these things more noticeable, I'd say go for it!--Coin945 (talk) 18:11, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Also a good idea. Mugginsx (talk) 18:14, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Er, there's already Template:Welcomeh. And I'm pretty sure there's already a bot that applies it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:47, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
And it is a very nice template but could say more, like, if you wish to create a new article, please feel free to do so but start it in your sandbox first (with directions) Mugginsx (talk) 18:50, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Not a bad suggestion. Might want to bring it up on the template's Talk page, see if that piques anyone else's interest there. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:53, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Why is it called Template:Welcomeh - what's the "h" for?--Coin945 (talk) 19:01, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's a better answer than "it comes after G." There's a Template:Welcomef and a Template:Welcomeg. Template:Welcomeh was a natural progression. The pattern seems to have been started by Can't sleep, clown will eat me in December 2006, but it may have earlier origins. Dig through the page histories to learn more. I imagine this has already been previously discussed elsewhere on Wikipedia as well; Special:Search is your friend. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
This has been discussed and debated endlessly. It just came up again on foundation-l. A few other Wikimedia wikis (22 of them) already have this feature through a MediaWiki extension called NewUserMessage. This isn't a technical problem; it's a political or social problem. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:00, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree this is a Socio-political problem rather than technical. I don't think there is a bot that leaves a welcome message in all cases although it might under certain circumstances (such as use of the New User template. I think another good helpful thing would be to add a link to the Article creation andn account creation Wizards to the toolbox. We have a link for uploading an image, why not an article too and creating an account. If we want poeple to join and start editing we need to make the process as transparent as possible and it seems to me we still have plenty of realestate over there on the left. 138.162.8.57 (talk) 19:42, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia, corporate shills, and anonymous editing/money trail

Hi, I know you helped participate in the founding discussions of WP:PAIDWATCH and I linked to them for reference at the top.

I have put together some of the links and somee info about how the processes going on behind the scenes with the corporate infiltration of Wikipedia work, and some case studies:

Wikipedia:WikiProject Paid Advocacy Watch/Editor Registry

Where does this leave Wikipedia? When we last had this discussion[15], the outlook looked bleak[16] and you didn't seem to be able to give any ideas on how Wikipedia can ever base saved, going forward...

Is there any plans? I can't really think of many ideas, it seems a bit like Wikipedia is already doomed, (aybe has been for a long time given how some stuff has been going on for years and only just found out about) unless you can provide some sort of internal money trail by verifying IDs of editors, at least internally... Even then I'm not sure if WMF would really be up to the vast job of policement internally given how much has been going on in public without anyone really chasing after it, it seems like the only thing that would work is people being forced to show their COIs publicly like OpenCongress's wonderful work with SOPA contributors:[17][18]. But then that's a double-edged-sword too, since real life information can also stop people dissenting about corporations, governments, and politics because they could be targeted. I'm not sure if there is any answer, are you? Is there any hope, do you think this situation can be changed and if so how? --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 13:43, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

If an editor openly states on this website that they are a here as a paid advocate and editing on behalf of a company, entity or similar, then they should have their account blocked....not unlike what happened to Wordbomb. However, much of the statement above is either unworkable or contrary to our general policy that all editors have the right to privacy. I will add that if. We don't find a way to recruit more editors, then this website may have an increasingly difficult time in its fund raising efforts, forcing us to solicit donations from areas that might expect something in return which would be contrary to our policies such as NPOV.MONGO 14:12, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
There's zero chance of that. Funding will never take priority over NPOV. That's not to say that paid advocacy isn't, in my view, a front line issue to be dealt with firmly. And it is not to say that editor recruitment/retention isn't a front line issue as well. I'm just saying that funding will never take priority over NPOV.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:38, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course...hence my reason for mentioning it...it would ruin the website.MONGO 14:48, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
The key thing is NPOV. If a properly declared COI editor can improve the accuracy and quality of content in accordance with NPOV — power to them. It's not a banned activity, nor should it be. Of course, if such a person crosses the NPOV line, which can be hard for newcomers to see, things will end poorly for them. And this also is as it should be. A better encyclopedia is better — that should always remain our focus. Carrite (talk) 17:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 17:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your sentiment but in every instance I have so far seen, they create a non- encyclopedic stub – then take the money and run- hoping we will some how turn their promotional verbiage (without verifiable links) into to something half descent. They wast our time! The time for expectant hope, that one day things will turn out different -is over.--Aspro (talk) 17:28, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
The other thing to point out is that organizations wishing to have a 'presence' on WP employ copywriters. NPOV and ditching the superlatives is an anathema to everything they have been trained and taught how to do. JW may well know what I mean by this due in part to the circles and people he comes into contact with. --Aspro (talk) 17:42, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Is Jesse Thomas (graphic designer) a non encyclopedic stub? Or The Glover Park Group? Or the C-SPAN Video Library? SilverserenC 17:56, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I said “every instance I have so far seen”. How can you suggest that your four examples nullify the time waisted on the rest? We have an article about Confirmation bias.
I was counteracting your point that there is no "hope" or whatever it was you were trying to say. There are a number of paid editors who want to follow our guidelines and to provide reliable sources, but they, just like every other new editor, don't know how to. All we need is a method to help facilitate them, which I created, and it has been working extremely well. SilverserenC 21:20, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
On that account, I congratulate your efforts. Would you therefore give your support to my recent Village_pump_(proposals) of : “What I'd like to see when a new page is created, is a message: Click here if you have created this under contract with the company that has employed you to create the article. Then have automatically add to it: Category: Article written or edited under contract. This could direct a lot of new stuff right into you watch-list. At the moment I feel like your comparing your little little project (as yet) (also, miscounted on last post – sorry, you didn’t even offer up 4 articles as I said -but only 3 -even less than a miscue drop in a very large ocean) to holding back the tide à la King Cnut.--Aspro (talk) 21:56, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I wish that the Paid Editor Watch and others with an interest would put more effort into categorizing the different types of editors. Glancing through the list of editors, it seems like everyone has a different circumstance - professors, marketers, people who have self-identified as an honest disclosure, people who have pushed articles covertly for pay. By naming things we can discuss them, and ultimately govern them, with some degree of plausibility. Wnt (talk) 18:32, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Have you looked at those freelance site links I provided? (Jimbo did you browse through those too? Seriously) — The actual individuals I listed are just the tip of the iceberg.... It's impossible for that to ever be policed...

Let alone when companies actually do outsourcing internally rather than on public sites, which is the norm. So, the tip, of the tip, of the iceberg...

Wikipedia:WikiProject Paid Advocacy Watch/Editor Registry#Covert_paid_editing

The problem is not the minority that work with WP CO-OP that are honest, but those found on who go out of their way to divert and distract with Essjay like personas as uninvolved 'researchers' when you literally have no idea who anyone is, you rely too much on someone blowing a whistle when that's even rarer Face-sad.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 21:32, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/COI. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 23:15, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Consider this recent comment @ Talk:Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement#COI template "Don't worry. Persistence will win in the end, and volunteers cannot compete with professionals." Except for the worry part, I agree. Volunteers will be hard pressed to maintain NPOV when they are not even aware that it is being subverted by a team of professionals.```Buster Seven Talk 04:04, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
An organized group of professionals, especially those well versed in policy, will likely be hard to "beat." Was this supposed to be a competition? I still have faith in volunteers. It seems like the argument being made is that if we can't stop COI editing, we might as well accept it. WP:NPA prevents me from saying what I actually think about that. --OnoremDil 04:42, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
"Beat" may have been a bad choice since you misunderstood my intent and missed the ominous quality of the quote. I'm not worried that paid editors are versed in policy. I'm worried that they (and all their friends at the Campaign Office of Candidate X) are versed in "word-smithery". Certainly moreso than the common volunteer editor (like you and me). No, its not a competition. Its collaboration. But its hard to collaborate with someone (or a group of someones) that are paid to win. Hidden agendas have a way of subverting the editing relationship. ```Buster Seven Talk 04:58, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I suggested on the paid editor registry Talk that they categorize us as "disclosed," "suspected" and "TBD," acknowledging that disclosed doesn't necessarily mean ethical or honest. There was a Wikimania presentation that broke it down roughly as unethical, hopeless, needs help and positive contributors. IMHO the primary difference between "hopeless" and "needs help" is a willingness to read and understand policy and collaborate with (instead of argue with) neutral editors.
I'm one of the editors on the registry and in the Wikiproject Cooperation mentorship program. User:King4057 (COI Disclosure on User Page) 21:38, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Possible paid editing violation

I just stumbled onto this site that seems to offer paid editing expertise. Might be worth looking at in case there is any improper editing going on. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 19:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

This website appears to have been written by User:Peteforsyth. Am I doing something wrong here, I never get paid:)--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:55, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
On paper it's well-intentioned. From the website:

Our clients are often looking to add factual information, remove inaccurate or inappropriate content, or address issues that have resulted in unsightly tags at the top of articles. We also work with organizations interested in improving a broad topic area on Wikipedia. Typical engagements begin with an in-depth needs assessment, training on what Wikipedia can and cannot provide, and setting goals; we then craft and help execute a strategy for meeting those goals. Wiki Strategies offers deep expertise in Wikipedia engagement and professional writing. In addition to an extensive portfolio including technical writing, strategic planning, and journalism, we offer over a decade of experience with a wide variety of Wikipedia articles and editing communities. We work exclusively with clients who share our high regard for Wikipedia’s mission, policies, and culture – and especially for Wikipedia’s Conflict of Interest Guideline...Wikipedia’s thousands of volunteer editors take the editorial process very seriously. If you try to simply delete the tags, without improving the article accordingly, your changes will usually be reverted in a matter of minutes.

Reasonable editors will disagree over whether such editors can in fact be neutral. One thing is reasonably sure: there are many more such paid editors than we know about. Ocaasi t | c 19:58, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Peteforsyth&diff=435834752&oldid=413209836 – Peteforsyth has been open about this. I'm sure that if you leave questions about this on his talk page, he'll be happy to answer them. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that simply being open about it is enough. If we are seeing a change in climate about allowing users to perform paid editing as long as certain criteria are met then thats one thing. If the attitude though is the one that has been historically prevelant, which is that paid editing is not allowed, then that is different entirely. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 19:14, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Peteforsyth&diff=484464455&oldid=484428347 – Please read Peteforsyth's statement. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:29, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
As I mentioned before. If the community is ok with this, which they seem to be, then thats fine. I found the site and mentioned it here so it could be addressed. If no one cares that one or more editors seem to have started a business advocating some form of paid editing then its really no concern of mine. Since it appears that at least 2 of the people on the list of "Friends" have or are currently working for the foundation in some capacity I find it a little dubious and a somewhat hypocritical. 138.162.8.57 (talk) 20:16, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

We need a better text editor

Jimbo, we need a better text editor. At the very least, how about adding syntax highlighting? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:38, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

The WikiEd gadget is pretty decent. But we're one-upping this to be even better; see our WYSIWYG project.Jasper Deng (talk) 01:42, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Other editors are the best "text editors" but consider NoteTab: Many of the worst problems are fixed by "waiting for other editors" to correct articles (sorry if that seems cynical). However, for massive changes, I copy the wikimarkup text into the free text-editor NoteTab Light, which allows regular expressions in string substitutions. It takes some practice, but offers the ability to change patterns, such as to remove wikilinks from all year numbers within a few seconds.
  • Remove any double-brackets from years "19xx" or "20xx":
Search for:   \[\[(19..|20..)\]\]   and replace by:   $1
Results:   [[1936]] or [[2008]]   will become:   1936 or 2008.
NoteTab allows the Unix-style regular expressions (which have been standardized for 30 years?). So, during search:
  • ^  - the caret matches the beginning of a line (before the first character);
  • $  - the dollar sign matches the end of the line, but matches a numbered subpattern upon replacement (if "xxxx$" fails to match, there might be spaces at the end of a line);
  • [   ] - brackets define a set of characters, such as "[abcxyw]";
  • [0-9] - a hyphen defines a range (such as 0 to 9);
  • [-9] - a leading minus sign is literal (matching "-" or "9");
  • (   ) - parentheses define a subpattern (recalled by $1, $2, etc.);
  • \1, \2 - backreference numbers rematch earlier subpatterns \1, \2,... \9.
NoteTab Light has the drawback that it does not support Unicode letters, so avoid editing the bottom interwiki links, such as the Japanese letters, Chinese, Greek, Turkish, etc. Again, the work done by other editors is often faster, as they fix many problems in articles beforehand. For that reason, most typical changes to articles are isolated, and do not benefit from the regular patterns. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:13, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Then again, not everyone understands regex, which is pretty much what Unix searching uses.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:15, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
There's a gadget for regex substitutions with the current editor; go to My preferences/Gadgets/Advanced to enable it. I think it has all the features you mention. InverseHypercube (talk) 15:52, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I think moving in the direction of Unix-style regex's is exactly the wrong approach. Anyone who knows how to do that can do all kinds of interesting things. I'm much more concerned about the ancient Chinese poetry professor who should not have to learn wikitext markup at all! I'm perfectly happy if there are cool extensions and gadgets that let people geek out - but they don't solve many real problems for most people!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:13, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll give WikiEd a try. I agree that a WYSIWYG editor is even better. I completely agree with Jimbo. In my opinion, markup code is for programmers, not ordinary people.
BTW, there's a joke about regular expressions: Let's say you have a problem that you can solve with a regular expression. Now you have two problems. :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:46, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The current setup up the visual editor is designed to write the Wikimarkup realtime as one edits and vice-versa. The wikimarkup is preserved as many essential systems depend on it in order to function such as the bots.—cyberpower ChatOnline 20:42, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

It's not the culture, it's the tools

(continued from thread above "Declining editorship").
  • Regarding the comment above that "Editorship is declining because the easy articles are already done." This is one way of phrasing the situation. Another way to phrase it would be: "Wikipedia is now at the point where it needs specialist contributors with access to specialist sources to take esoteric topics to a higher level of quality." This means "Wikipedia needs academics in number." Unfortunately, WMF seems fixated on the stream of random new editors, wanting to throw more at the wall in hoping that some "stick." I've come to appreciate, after trying and pretty much failing to get ANY of a pool of half a dozen willing academics up to speed, that until article writing becomes a WYSIWYG process no harder than using MS Word, there won't be much headway getting academics involved. Nobody wants to learn how to "write code" to insert footnotes — and who can blame them? Wikipedia's vast and expanding book of rules and manual of style is no help either — but the fundamental problem is the software. People can be taught to navigate the bureaucracy, but actual WRITING has got to become easier. Carrite (talk) 17:00, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with everything you said here except "WMF seems fixated on the stream of random new editors"... that's at odds with the work they are doing on WYSIWYG (which you correctly identify as part of the solution) as well as at odds with various outreach efforts. It would be easy for the WMF to get a much bigger stream of random new editors (just make the edit button bigger, etc.) but they aren't because they aren't fixated on it. That doesn't mean that they are doing everything perfectly - no organization ever will - but it's just wrong to think that the WMF isn't thinking along similar lines about the need to get good editors.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree totally. This is something that has really bugged me about Wikipedia for a really long time. It's so damn hard to make things like tables and moving a picture to the perfect spot etc.... why has this never passed before? It seem like such an obvious thing to do with many editors not experienced in the art of using code making up the core editorship? (I've noticed that many new articles are dismissed due to looking unpresentable simply because the user doesn't understand how to bold/make headings etc.--Coin945 (talk) 11:17, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I also agree, especially how hard it is to edit and the ever expanding rules and policies requirements. 138.162.8.58 (talk) 12:55, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • WYSIWYG editors are harder, slower in a multi-user system: I know it seems like an easy solution to "point and click" to update a page with tables, but when there are other users also attempting to update the same tables, and then edit-conflicts can become a nightmare to coordinate. When a table is treated as markup text, then sections can be copy/pasted to interleave with another editor's changes, in an effort to reconcile edit-conflict updates. However, for a WYSIWYG interface, the easy fix would be to have one or the other editor simply redo their changes, one-by-one, re-typing all entries, by hand, in the glorious change-and-look, WYSIWYG manner. If you have done the largest changes, then undo the prior editor's small changes, re-attempt to save your larger changes, and then redo the other editor's work, by hand, or ask them to redo. The same applies to changing similar text in other articles. The use of markup coding allows sections of text to be copied, and altered, such as adding similar text or rows to several athletes who all played in the same team competitions. Also WYSIWYG efforts tend to be a "near-miss" to the actual alignment settings of the live article, so there is likely to be some frustration, when trying to exactly align data. Then, there is the learning curve for how to do something with a bunch of "point-and-click" menus, as opposed to typing an asterisk and 2 apostrophes to format a bullet-line with an italicized title, as: "* ' 'My Film Entry' ' ". Again, the easiest editing is to get other people to help, such as asking for assistance at WP:Help_desk and related noticeboards, to see if there are some other editors who would be keen to help format a set of raggedy lines into a multi-column table. Asking other people is really more powerful than it might seem, when there are 72,000 active editors on English Wikipedia every month, many who might be willing to help. For instance, there is a tool which can convert a Microsoft Word mult-column table into wikimarkup, and other editors can explain how. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:44, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Email

I know your inbox probably gets full, but I just sent you an email you might find interesting! :) --Errant (chat!) 09:43, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Having trouble finding that... subject line?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:04, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Hopefully not "Wikipedia e-mail". :P—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 11:12, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
"Possible CREWE session in May (London)" -> things have moved on slightly (so basically that email is wrong) but if you're interested send me a reply and I can fill you in. --Errant (chat!) 11:48, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Quality of new editors

One study found that "the quality of new editors has not substantially changed since 2006".

Wavelength (talk) 00:34, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

An alternative account just for you

Hey Jimbo, I made an alternative humor account named in your honor: jimbo wails away and don't intend to use it for editing. If you want it, you can have it. Thebestofall007 (talk) 16:00, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Meh.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:04, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Research findings reportedly false

Mendeley has a document claiming that "most current published research findings are false". (The context is unclear as to whether the claim is about medical research in particular, or about scientific research in general.)

Wavelength (talk) 00:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Actually, the original paper claiming that most research findings are false was published in 2005 by John Ioannidis (free full text). It provoked quite a bit of discussion at the time, and the paper is justly regarded as a classic and, I think, required reading for anyone interested in research methodology or the interpretation of scientific data. Goodman and Greenland criticized the original Ioannidis paper, and then you're linking Ioannidis' response to that criticism. It's probably worth going back to the original paper, though - like I mentioned, it should probably be required reading. MastCell Talk 03:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. (Understanding the original document depends upon understanding p-value, statistical significance, type I error, type II error, and positive predictive value.) The URL of the link in the Wikipedia article about John Ioannidis (permanent link here) is the same as the link that you provided, except that it has ?tool=pmcentrez appended at the end.
Wavelength (talk) 06:18, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, yeah, but if you want to interpret modern published scientific literature, then you need to understand those concepts. They're well within the cognitive reach of the average young adult or adult, and there aren't really any shortcuts, although Wikipedia (and the Internet in general) encourages us to think that there are. The statistical methodology of many peer-reviewed papers (especially in the social sciences; to a lesser extent in the biomedical sciences) is embarrassingly ignorant. If you don't have the tools to independently and critically assess at least the basic statistical claims made by an article, then you're bound to end up confused at best or misled at worst. MastCell Talk 18:06, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Really poor reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States#cite_note-Dog_Bite_Law-1

This should not be cited as a credible source since it is nothing more that a biased advertisement for an attorney "specializing in dog bite litigation." I would think Wikipedia would contain better information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.240.126.247 (talk) 20:22, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Fortunately, Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, so you can remove the really poor reference yourself. I doubt that Jimbo is responsible for adding that reference anyway (you're not a dog-bite lawyer on the side, are you Jimmy? :-)). Happy editing! 161.225.129.111 (talk) 00:45, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Operation Global Blackout 2012

It has been reported that hackers are planning to shut down the Internet this weekend.

Wavelength (talk) 00:35, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

"Whatever" Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:45, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I doubt it'll work. There's no way take down every server on the earth to cause a blackout.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 17:09, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Would disabling all 13 root name servers shut down the Internet?
Wavelength (talk) 20:13, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
No. World Wide Web? Maybe.--Gilderien Talk|Contribs 20:42, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
The "threat" is utter tosh from clueless script kiddies, and every security expert who's been asked about it has said so. This post goes over some of the reasons why. the wub "?!" 21:35, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe an April Fool? —MistyMorn (talk) 22:39, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
But April Fools isn't on March 321st.—cyberpower ChatOnline 23:12, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Earth Hour (on the last Saturday of March) happens to be on March 31 this year.
Wavelength (talk) 00:23, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah, that's plausible. And of course, from a global perspective, March 31 and April 1 do overlap. —MistyMorn (talk) 14:09, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
The fact that I'm still editing now, should say something.—cyberpower ChatOnline 14:17, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh well, must get back to the real world! —MistyMorn (talk) 15:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I could really use a spaghetti tree. :P—cyberpower ChatOnline 17:32, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I see the real world is alive and well right here. —MistyMorn (talk) 17:42, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks

Thanks for your comment on the progress of the Yoruba Wikipedia. Appreciated. I hope you had a good time in Nigeria. Demmy (talk) 15:11, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I hope we can talk in some detail soon. Can you email me and we can arrange something? A pleasure to meet you!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:40, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

It's almost time.

Only 6.5 more hours until April Fools.—cyberpower ChatOnline 17:28, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

February 2012 data reconfirms editors are staying

The February editor-count data is finally ready (edits >5 or >100 per month), and the counts again show that the "feared exodus of editors" is over, has been over, and is still over. Despite those many repeated claims pretending, "everyone is being driven away in alarming numbers" (just not true), the February 2012 counts for English WP, global counts, with the top 15 languages, show solid evidence that 96% of English WP editors are active in numbers similar to February 2011, over 1 year ago. I am sorry if some people's friends have left in recent months, but they are being continually replaced by other editors who keep coming back.
The declining editorship reached the bottom during 2011, and has remained steady for the past year. There are an average of 34,000 active editors (making >5 edits/month), and 3,500 busy editors (with >100 edits/month), also called "highly active". The busy editors, in 15 languages (English WP averages 3,500 busy/month):

Editor counts for >100 edits per month
Month Year  Total en es ja de ru fr it pl pt zh nl tr   sv   ar  cs
Year% 99.9% 96% 98% 104% 98% 101% 105% 110% 101% 95% 111% 104%
  Feb 2012 10,370  3,334 493 337 1080 716 788 481 300 209 265 252 68 129 62 98
  Feb 2011 10,385 3,471 504 323 1102 709 750 439 296 221 239 242 62 144 57 91
 Jan 2012 11,149 3,556 552 359 1164 744 829 507 316 242 252 283 78 145 72 109

Of course, those counts do not indicate where those editors are making edits, so perhaps people are not rewriting the same articles from 2010, but those editors, as a monthly average, have been logging just as many edits for the past year. A look at WP:Special:NewPages reveals that many new articles are being added, fully-written everyday, as if "sprung full-grown from the head of Zeus" – very few new articles being kept are one-line blurbs about a topic, as in 2002-2005.
Even the occasional editors keep a steady pace, staying long enough to log, at least, >5 edits per month). The table of active editors, for the top 15 languages, is shown below (English WP averages 34,000):

Editor counts for >5 edits per month
Month Year  Total en es ja de ru fr it pl pt zh nl tr   sv   ar  cs
  Feb 2012 81,792 33,998 4353 3879 6903 4420 5128 3118 1568 1594 1969 1419 483 831 612 659
  Jan 2012 85,054 34,916 4470 4045 7421 4662 5256 3213 1667 1702 1931 1526 462 921 655 758
  Dec 2011 79,663 34,024 4242 3675 6512 4122 4797 2835 1535 1612 1707 1423 449 830 569 647
  Nov 2011 79,607 34,353 4224 3662 6626 4178 4931 2669 1434 1446 1689 1395 399 801 604 599
  Oct 2011 80,273 34,955 4067 3904 6713 4138 4863 2676 1508 1506 1701 1406 412 835 664 597
  Sep 2011 79,682 34,733 4132 3958 6653 4041 4791 2900 1433 1576 1716 1381 461 819 636 586
  Aug 2011 82,313 35,578 4152 4037 6970 4213 5060 2878 1569 1613 1903 1511 495 793 507 622
  Jul 2011 81,558 35,432 4209 3725 7080 4122 4888 2912 1616 1674 1915 1470 484 743 537 639
  Jun 2011 81,416 35,673 4073 3539 6858 4250 4807 2935 1555 1638 1674 1573 469 763 511 606

  Feb 2011 83,463 36,598 3919 3957 7365 4528 4783 2930 1711 1668 1713 1457 514 945 460 671

Of the top 15 languages, the greatest monthly fluctuation (to leave, return, leave, return) seems to occur on the Swedish Wikipedia. To view the full edit-counts per month, for the past years, see statistics data file:

But, anyway, keep this positive information a guarded secret (!) – don't tell anyone else that everyone has decided to stay here, or more people might want to join all the active editors who are steadily writing and improving articles. Of course, the bad news is that there will likely be just as many people coming here to your talk-page, every month, to complain how everyone is leaving, in droves (except them). -Wikid77 (talk) 12:31, 30 March, revised 02:52, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Two points: First of all, quantity and quality of editors are very different things. You may say that "some people's friends have left in recent months, but they are being continually replaced by other editors who keep coming back" - however I question if the standard of Wikipedia editor has dramatically decreased. That's where my proposal would fit right in - actually encouraging non-Wikipedians to become good talented Wikipedia editors.Secondly, even if this data holds up, I don't think that this new info makes things like my proposal any less valid. We should still try to get this stuff implemented.--Coin945 (talk) 12:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I think questions regarding 1) trends in the global numbers of contributors, and 2) individual cases of untimely departure by certain editors of note need to be kept largely separate and explored in quite different ways. My 2c, —MistyMorn (talk) 13:27, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Wikid77, I think that this is good info and could be perceived as happy news but I am a little unclear about some of it. For example, does this include all new editors including Socks and Vandals? How do we count an editor? Is it anyone who edited that month or in the last X number of days? What are the edit counts of how many edits are being done? I think having a consistent number of editors is good but this doesn't tell us if the number of contributors is increasing or the number of socks and vandals! I understand the desire to make the numbers look good but we aren't hurting anyone but ourselves by presenting a partial picture. If we are maintaining an even number of edits and editors and things are good then great but we need to present the data in an unbiased and clear way so if there are problems we can address them. Maybe we could setup a page somewhere to hold some of these results and have a discussion about some things that could be done to retain/recruit new editors. 138.162.8.57 (talk) 13:30, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Counts are only registered usernames, but by using some deductive reasoning, most vandals can be excluded. Because 80-90% of vandalism is done by IP-address users, then it is safe to conclude that those counts of registered usernames exclude most of the users who commit vandalism. The impact of sockpuppet accounts is a different matter. However, considering that maintaining a 100-edits-per-month username is a significant effort (ratio: 3500/34,000 ~= 10%), then that figure of 10% of active editors indicates a 90% chance that sockpuppets are not active with other usernames: keeping a busy 2nd sockpuppet would be a major effort for most people. Hence, the average count of 3,500 busy editors, per month, would be 90% stable users, as a worst-case scenario of 10% are active vandals or sockpuppets who do not get detected and stopped. For the 34,000 editors who make >5 edits per month, there are also limiting factors, such as the likelihood that username vandals would get blocked before making 6 edits, and not further edit their user-talk pages to protest being treated as a vandal. Hence, using deductive reasoning, then those counts of 3,500 busy editors, plus 34,000 active editors would likely exclude most vandals or sockpuppets. I realize this line of reasoning might sound somewhat like proving a theorem in Euclidean geometry, but the point is that the statistics can be shown to reflect the actual counts of typical users and exclude most vandal, or sockpuppet,users. -Wikid77 19:07, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
After looking closer at the link I see that the counts are only for editors with over 5 edits. I also see there has been steady decline in new editors for the last several years from a high of 50, 000 editors in Feb 2007 to 33,998 in Feb 2012, almost 3000 this year alone between Feb 2011 and Feb 2012 which to me would indicate a problem. I think this is a good foundation to start a discussion. I also think that as well as recuiting "new editors" we should try and coax some of these folks back. Maybe a simple message on the talk page or to their Email if its available. Not all the time, maybe once a year, twice at most. 138.162.8.57 (talk) 13:41, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
The 3,000 fewer editors (since Feb. 2011) reflects the overall 2010 annual decline in editors: The drop of 3,000 active editors, between February 2011-2012, was considered a scary problem, but now the count has bottomed out at 34,000 active editors, on average. When comparing consecutive months, then the general average count of 34,000 active editors can be shown as the minimal level of editing. There is no longer a pattern of dropping 3,000 editors in a successive month. Because the bottom-level count of 34,000 active editors has persisted for months, then if some major new initiative did result in a massive increase of active editors, then it would likely show a cause-effect link. Everything else, which has been tried, has apparently had almost no effect on editor retention (other than to keep it steady). No policies have driven away "20%" or attracted "15%" more editors to the English Wikipedia in the past 2 years. In fact, the seesaw effect of rising/falling editor-counts in Swedish Wikipedia seems to indicate a multi-month cycle which loses editors, then gains them back again, as a periodic pattern. If anyone cries, "OMG, we now lost 400 editors in one month!", then show them how the Swedish WP has experienced similar losses (scaled by a factor of 25), but then immediately offset by similar gains in the next month, for years now. My focus is to get editors to stop worrying about the editor-counts, but I have no objections to creating an initiative to attract "20%" more editors, because the editor-counts data would clearly show such a result if it were to happen. -Wikid77 19:07, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Working on graph to show editor-retention: As commented above, the drop of 3,000 active editors, since February 2011 (last year) gives the false impression of an ongoing exodus of editors. The data file contains hundreds of numbers, so the past year's trend of steady editor-retention, can be difficult to "see" among all those tedious numbers. Instead, I will work on a multi-year graph which will show the trend, as reaching a stable level of 34,000 active editors (since October 2010). That graph should help clear confusion with the up/down fluctuations in active editors each month. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:57, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Wales has no interest in commenting on

... this? --Τασουλα (talk) 16:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

What an oddly worded way to ask if I'd like to comment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:02, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm in 3rd person mode. Apologies. --Τασουλα (talk) 20:09, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay: Would you like to comment on this, Jimbo? Equazcion (talk) 20:14, 30 Mar 2012 (UTC)
Keh! You ruined my joke. Wait, what joke? Yes. I'll second that, would you? --Τασουλα (talk) 20:18, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

This is a complex issue and I haven't had time yet to fully review and reflect on every one of the ten questions, although my position is well-considered and (I think) generally well known. The most important point that I can make is that I see a lot of people talking about WP:NOTCENSORED in a way that is completely irrelevant to the question at hand. WP:NOTCENSORED does not mean that we should be historically inaccurate and offensive, just to show that we don't take things down just because some people are offended. There's a bit of a "chip on the shoulder" attitude around, and I think that's unfortunate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I think we might be better off making a slight amendment to WP:NOTCENSORED - by removing the word 'not'. Instead we should make clear that we exclude (or if you prefer, 'censor') things all the time on the basis that they don't belong in a Wikipedia article. This has nothing to do with censorship at all of course. Censorship is a function of state machinery, as (in theory at least) predicated by law. What we do is employ editorial judgement, which happens to be something that every publication of more repute than a graffiti-covered toilet cubicle also employs. If people want to climb on a soapbox and exercise their rights to 'free speech' (in as much as they have them), there are plenty of other places to do it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:25, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
RE to Mr. Wales's "Chip on the shoulder" comment - sadly this is true. Maybe I'm even guilty of it. --Τασουλα (talk) 21:50, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

New Articles

When a NEW EDITOR searches how to create an article this comes up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_create_a_Wikipedia_article which has a tag which states:

For more detailed, updated information see Wikipedia:Your first article, and Wikipedia:Starting an article

and also refers one to this: Wikipedia:Starting an article

And also refers the new editor to the Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals).

I would say it is not just the new editors that need instruction but whomever put this debacle up. Mugginsx (talk) 12:31, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Why not just redirect that old page to the best new page?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:34, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Sir, I would be happy to comply if I could find that page. Mugginsx (talk) 12:47, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, I just redirected Wikipedia:How to create a Wikipedia article to Wikipedia:Your first article. Does that fix the problem, or am I misunderstanding?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:50, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
That does it for me. Thank you. Mugginsx (talk) 12:54, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I've changed the redirect to Wikipedia:Starting an article because it's slightly more relevant to the title "Wikipedia:How to create a Wikipedia article". I don't really care either way though. Graham87 07:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

MfD nomination of User:Jimbo Wales

User:Jimbo Wales, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Jimbo Wales (2nd nomination) and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of User:Jimbo Wales during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Six Sided Pun Vows (talk | contribs | former account) 01:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, THAT had to happen eventually.
To be serious, page-watchers are quick to revert the "damage" done on April Fool's Day within minutes sometimes; this is a rare time I haven't seen it happen on your user page. Would it not be fair to say, for 24 hours every year, those wanting to prank can freely do so and, at 0:00 GMT April 2, it ends and the final version noted on the pranks page for the year? Also, I'm not taking part on your page; I already nominated Irony for deletion. =D CycloneGU (talk) 02:14, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Contested deletion

This page should not be speedily deleted because Wikipedia without Jimbo wouldn't be the same Scientific Alan 2 (talk) 02:48, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Welcome. CycloneGU (talk) 03:19, 1 April 2012 (UTC)