User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 114

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Meta does not allow fair but do not delete files uploaded as fair use

Hi. I do not know who to ask but I trust that you or one of the many talk page watchers here can help.

I nominated files uploaded on meta as fair use for deletion with this reason:

"Per m:Non-free_content#Other_projects meta does not allow fair use. Also see the WMF resolution - there is no exception for meta. Speedy deletion per m:Meta:Deletion_policy#Images."

The request was deleted and it was said it should be discussed somewhere. But I do not see what there is to discuss. Can a project refuse to follow the WMF resolution?

Could there perhaps be an exception for meta? --MGA73 (talk) 17:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi. I'm not sure where the idea of exceptions is coming from. m:Non-free content seems to be completely non-authoritative and is probably simply inaccurate. Meta-Wiki in particular has long hosted non-free content in some form or another (project logos, for example, specifically can't be released under a free license usually). --MZMcBride (talk) 18:30, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes Wiki logos seems to be an (unwritten?) exception - even on Wikimedia Commons that is not allowed to have an EDP. So I think we should keep all wiki logos separate from this discussion to keep it simple.
So with the exceptions of logos are meta allowed to have non-free files without a formal EDP? I see nothing in the resolution that says that. --MGA73 (talk) 19:29, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
It looks like m:Meta:Fair use died due to inactivity, not due to any failed vote. (Is that correct?) It should presumably be resurrected and voted on properly. --MZMcBride (talk) 21:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia 's growing exclusivity

In the beginning Wikipedia was indeed a place where anyone could edit; now, alas, it is increasingly turning into a elitist country club where only those with access to university libraries and extensive (and expensive) prrivate book collections are permitted to contribute to the project. The Internet has long been the preferred place for us amateurs to extract reliable sources which would be used to create new articles. Yet there is a growing tendency here to deem many websites unreliable as regards WP. Let me use as an example the highly-informative Medieval Lands website with which I managed to create well over a hundrdd historical biographies. Now that it's reliability has been questioned and found wanting, a barrier has been erected effectively stopping me from creating new pages. For without this work, which draws from primary sources (difficult if not impossible to find on the 'Net), I cannot continue my work on medieval noblewomen. Moves such as these are merely counter-productive and will only serve to reduce the performance level of previously active editos such as myself. Wikipedia is repeatedly shooting itself in the foot and as a matter of course will lose momentum.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 07:44, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me that its momentum was lost several years ago, and the whole project is now deeply and perhaps irrevocably stagnant and in decay. The basic problem is the ever-growing gulf between those editors who use their experience and knowledge of procedures to disparage and dissuade others, and newer, less experienced and less conscientious editors for whom, essentially, it is no longer fun. WP participation is a hobby, not a duty. If it is no longer a fun activity, no-one will do it. No-one has yet come up with an answer to this, and so the project is becoming fossilised, and will become increasingly irrelevant. Shame really. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:05, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
What is ironic is that during the time Wikipedia was a fun place with much friendly interaction and banter on editors' talk pages, I was actually at the peak of my production as reagrds creating new articles. I am now pretty much restricted to editing in an area which is judged as highly polemic (Northern Ireland), yet I have discovered has netted me the most positive feedback. I was however, thinking of going back to creating and working on articles about noble heiresses but that option is no longer avaialble to me thanks to a few over-zealous Crusader types around here.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 08:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Local libraries would probably contain the necessary information and I there is a wikiproject which helps give access to academic resources Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange. Building articles from unreliable sources just doesn't lead to a trustworthy encyclopaedia. There are still many topics which don't require access to academic sources (most likely even the majority of articles). IRWolfie- (talk) 10:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I know that Jeanne lives in an area that does not have ready access to English-language offline sources - and has been accused by another experienced editor here of (quote) "tainting the project" by using online sources that some (not all) deem to be unreliable. So, there may be specific issues involved. But the basic point remains. How do we return WP to the (relatively) pleasant working environment of a few years ago, when there was a simple divide between good editors and vandals - as opposed to now, when there is conflict between those who seek to uphold the very highest standards of scholarship and devotion to rules and guidelines, and the rest of us who get pissed off by overbearing attitudes and are increasingly unlikely to contribute in any way? Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:50, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree with the way this is being framed. Two different issues are being lumped together. The first is the difficulty of contributing when articles are often already to a very high standard of quality. The second is "overbearing attitudes" and "devotion to rules and guidelines". The first is an inevitable problem that I'm not bothered by (and I will give an example). The second is worth examining.
Awhile back I started to tell someone in England about George Wallace. A fascinating political animal who... augh I have to go now. Will try to finish this comment tonight!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:01, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
The fundamental problem is that Wikipedia retains too much power over the presentation of content on a continuing basis, rather than merely facilitating its assembly by volunteers. The site has become one of the top ten websites, routinely topping Google searches, and a great many people, amateur and professional, want to control public perception of specific issues by controlling Wikipedia. The remarkable impact of Wikipedia on SOPA underscored this. Because content continually accumulates, and especially when continuing development of content simultaneously decreases, over time this aspect of control has grown more prominent relative to content production. The result is that the encyclopedia becomes increasingly unstable as there is more and more incentive for people to battle for control of it, relative to those who want to keep it on an even keel. The way most people encounter this battle is when they start editing and try to add something to an article they've just seen in a news report, and it disappears, often amid a flurry of semi-automated threats and policy invective.
Some things that could, in theory, at least delay its decline:
  • Harness POVs for good. When people scour the sources for additional information that supports their point of view, and add more and more good sources and facts to articles, this is not a bad thing. When they take out any obvious fact you add in minutes to keep people from seeing it, that's the problem. We could reduce the degree of tension by rolling back policies that favor "deletionism", such as overzealous interpretations of BLP that have been used to take obvious things out of articles (like that Breivik was a terrorist). We could be more inclusive and favor a lower standard for retention of articles in AfDs.
  • Give POV content and arguments a place to go. Wikinews once had a "comment" tab to allow people a place to put in their two cents about a story. I think Wikipedia could benefit greatly if there were some sort of penumbra readily accessible for articles, where people could unabashedly soapbox on politics, give literary criticism about their interpretation of popular films and so forth. That's the kind of "social networking" you need, not automated gadgets to put a kitten on Jimbo's page every other day.
  • Implement democratic protections. Beginning with some equivalent of a trial by jury, in which editors accused of various policy offenses can be evaluated by a pool of randomly chosen, uninvolved editors. This would reduce the usefulness of efforts to gain control over the admin pool and arbitration, and reduce the rancor of these processes.
  • Back up the data. When I say that, I mean ideologically independent mirrors, where the CC-licensed data is actually received and stored by independent agents who do not have to go along with the deletion of an article or image. We need more and better Wikipedia mirrors (including even some that are censored for the taste of various notions of propriety), especially for the vast collection of content on Commons, which is particularly vulnerable. This is not just useful to reduce the amount of pressure placed by those seeking to control Wikipedia, but also to prepare for its downfall, which I think it is actually too late to avoid. Wnt (talk) 13:43, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Part of Jeanne's problem seems just to be with http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ being declared origio non gratus. There should be no reason not to use that as a source, particularly as the starting source for an article that others who do have access to the libraries at Cambridge etc could improve. I think the problem may be that some areas (medicine, current events) need very rigorous sources, but articles about mediaeval heiresses should be able to be at least started from a source like this. Elen of the Roads (talk) 14:41, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Elen, you have hit the nail on the head. Collaboration is the issue here. When we create an article it henceforth belongs to Wikipedia, not ourselves. Anybody can and should edit it, particularly those with access to libraries, academic journals, etc. I find editing on Northern Ireland-related topics rewarding because I enjoy an excellent working relationship with editors who are willing to collaborate by adding info from their own books. This is sadly not the case on historical bios. It's easy for an editor to go around knocking up a template on a series of pages claiming that the sources used aren't good enough when there is nothing stopping that editor from finding the sources and adding them.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 14:49, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I for one agree with a lot of what Jeanne is saying but I think that there are so many flaws in the Wikipedia culture of the now its hard to pick just one or 2 things that would turn it around. When the few newcomers show up very few stay because the rules of the place are so hard to learn they make mistakes, those mistakes are deemed vandalism and they are blocked. I have seen this time and time again. Even seasoned editors have been blocked for what amounts to trivial errors by overzealous admins. I also agree with Elen that in some cases using a primary source could be a net positive. Even in some of the science and medical fields there is information that we know is out of date but we can't change because we don't have anything except a primary source. Same with many of the historical articles as mentioned above. What I consider the primary problems though are new user interaction, the immediate assumption that a new user making an edit in error is vandalism, the tendency for admins to block first and ask questions later and the general decreasing amount of civility in the place. Kumioko (talk) 14:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
We are working on that, lots of us. WP:WER, WP:TH and individuals on their own, plus I am seeing a change in admin attitude as well as in influx of new admins that appear to be more patient with new users. It is a slow and non-linear process, but there are a great many of us adopting, mentoring, welcoming and monitoring new editors with promise, as well as simply being outspoken on the issues. It takes time, but I sincerely think the boat is pointed in the right direction now. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 18:44, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
All I can say is good luck. I once had high hopes for improving the overall atmosphere and culture of the place to be more inviting and cordial so we would better cooperate to improve articles but I learned slowly and painfully that there are too many who would rather stay with the status quo, where they feel important and comfortable, rather than to make things better and that group of editors seems to control the consensus. Or at least have enough editors of equal interest to ensure there is no consensus to change. Unfortunately I now have a much more pessimistic view of things. Unfortunately unless someone from the foundation or the Wikia company steps in and does something to change some of things from an organization standpoint rather than let the mob decide, which we are clearly unable to do, things will only get worse as time goes on. The projects you point to are good endeavors but their like a rowboat in a hurricane. Kumioko (talk) 21:21, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
By myself, I can do nothing here. By supporting the efforts of others, I can help a great deal get accomplished. I'm not the one with the great ideas, but I'm willing to go out on a limb and publicly support those that do have great ideas. Today, ArbCom is dealing with one more issue, btw. While I didn't elaborate at my RfA in April, these types of changes are precisely why I sought the bit. I already see some positive, tangible changes in several areas, but we have a long way to go. It probably helps that I'm a bit older and I have faced greater challenges in the real world, so the scope of the problems aren't particularly intimidating. And while I'm infinitely flexible in how I achieve these goals, I'm not easily dissuaded from pursuing them. I am actually quite optimistic that in the long run, very good things are on the horizon. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 21:58, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
You are right that there are some significant changes that will be coming out in the next months. Some might be suprising while others will be welcomed and a relief to some of us (I have spies everywhere). Just remember this comment in a couple months. You'll know what I meant. SSShhhhh, Don't tell. :-) Kumioko (talk) 22:08, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps most editors do not use talk-pages: When I was analyzing the strong participation in the monthly editor levels, I noticed that talk-page edits were rather low, as if people were editing many articles but rarely talking about them. So, discussions about "average editor" incivility should consider that most editors do not "talk" to anyone else. Perhaps a lot of the non-talk activity is with updating numerous sports-article statistics, team members, and lists. However, the rarity of talk-page editors should be understood, because "if one bad apple will spoil the whole bunch" then we have a lot of busy apples who are not talking about anything. I am also wondering about the talk-page edits made as trollish comments, to stir trouble, or outright invite conflicts. Perhaps check the edit-counts of some users, and see if the level of talk-page edits shows a high correlation with trollish types of interaction with other users. Review the monthly counts of talk-page edits, in the later tables of the edit-count statistics:
     · http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaEN.htm
    The reality might be that troublemakers are talking more, while article editors have decided to "duck and cover" while quietly editing thousands of articles and switching subjects when people want to pick a fight. As I recall, the talk-page edit-levels have been fairly constant for several months, but the edit counts do not reflect if the messages have become more bitter, while the relative counts of talk-page messages have remained about the same. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:27, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I would also add that between me and a couple other editors doing WikiProject Tagging and assessment a fair number of those talk page edits are likely just tagging so I would suggest if its possible to factor those out of the equation as well. I do between 5 and 10 thousand a month myself not counting others. Kumioko (talk) 00:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Many articles' talk pages have become nothing more than battle grounds where insults and put-downs are traded more frequently than useful information which could then be employed to improve the respective articles. As I have already mentioned, my most prolific period as a content editor took place when I was engaging in a lot of friendly banter on other editors' talk pages. When discussing civility it would probably be more conducive to pay more attention to the personal attacks rather than the odd curse word which typically has minimal effect on the receiver unlike the snide and derogatory comments.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 11:59, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Greetings from Hong Kong

Hi! I'm a Chinese Wikipedian from Hong Kong! Accidentally I clicked into your user page. What I wanna say is, you are simply great! Wikipedia is really a miracle!Professorjohnas (talk) 14:33, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

How about...

Many book scanning projects, like Google Books, Open Content Alliance, and Internet Archive, aims to build an searchable online library, which is a big step in human history. How about let them upload all their scanned, public domain books to wikicommons, and submit OCRed text to Wikisource, where volunteers can proofread and link the texts, in order to make the step even bigger?

I think you may intersted in the idea of writing an article on a big newspaper to urge book scanning projects to join Wikisource.--王小朋友 (talk) 10:33, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

They are allowed to upload the content if they wish. Rich Farmbrough, 16:23, 31 August 2012 (UTC).

The Fund to End The Deficit

Hi, Jimmy,

As an online encyclopedia do you only feature what exists today? Or do you stay true to the basic principles of Encyclopedias that have trasfixed me and transported me since I was old enough to read Encyclopedia Britannica? I was dismayed to find that you had no entry for The Fund to End the Deficit because it did not exist. Yes, it does not exist today; however, it did exist from 1992 to 1999 and not only that it contributed significantly to President Clinton running a federal budget surplus in 1999.

If you would like any information to create an entry for The Fund to End the Deficit, just let me know and I would be happy to provide historical information. The Fund was created based on a little known Federal statute P.L. 87-58 that Prsident Kennedy signed into law in 1961 to empower all citizens to contribute money on the condition it is only used to retire the principal of America's National Debt. P.L. 87-58 does appear in Wikipedia.

Be Well and Thrive,

Lucile McConnell ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.117.53.128 (talk) 22:41, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is nowhere near complete, and new articles should always be welcome. By all means, get together your sources - the first source about something is always the hardest one to find, and you'll be helping people out quite a bit. The difficult way is to start a new account, learn the core policies, start a new article, and put it up yourself - it's rewarding, but if you don't put in enough sources right away, or if your writing is hard to understand, then you can run into people who want to delete it. The slow way is to go to WP:Articles for Creation, which will let articles develop with more help, but has rather complicated bureaucratic procedures and tends to hang onto them well after they're ready to roll out. Wnt (talk) 23:38, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Civility versus content contribution

At Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#Civility versus content contribution - where's the balance?, I've attempted to start a discussion on this controversial topic within the community. I know it's contentious and I expect big arguments, but I hope we can draw a line. This would reduce much of the drama at the noticeboards.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:33, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Bright Line Essay

Thoughts? User:King4057 03:04, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Ward Cunningham and wikis

You can read about Ward Cunningham and wikis on these pages.

Wavelength (talk) 03:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Leistungsschutzrecht

Seems the web (and Wikipedia in particular) are facing a new threat.... -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 09:32, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Would it affect Wikipedia? The articles only seem to mention search engines and aggregators. the wub "?!" 10:31, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but that would also have a significant negative effect on people in Germany using for example Google to research information to add to Wikipedia and might have a direct impact on the number of contributions from Germany. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 10:35, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I think people in Germany can use proxies, VPNs or tor to enjoy internet freedom.--王小朋友 (talk) 10:43, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
See also Hedemann, F. Leistungsschutzrecht: Wikipedia bald ohne Links? which translates to "Leistungsschutzrecht: Wikipedia soon without links?" -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 10:41, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
For those who do not read German, this article appears to be based on statements made by Wikimedia Deutschland and (as I understand it) suggests that, because the law prohibits quotations of any length, though links are allowed, it might prohibit the use of the title, as is customary in external links and references, and (even if the legal situation is unclear) it could mean that Wikimedia would get a lot of cease and desist notices. As I understand it, specifically prohibiting quotes of any length would rule out "fair use" for citations (short quotes, titles, etc.). I suppose the main problem, if there is one, would be for editors subject to German law (I suppose the lawyers would have to assess if that that just means German residents or also other German nationals and, possibly, people inserting content that will be available to readers in Germany). --Boson (talk) 12:01, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
This sounds like a very serious assault - worse than SOPA, affecting material more critical to normal article writing. Anything that would damage Google's ability to deliver search results would harm Wikipedia as well, because the two sites have similar purposes. It sounds like they want to enforce the ability of publishers to not have their articles indexed on Google - which is very close to them demanding that they not be mentioned let alone summarized on Wikipedia. Note that even English Wikipedia articles freely use German-language sources, so this is not something that can be fobbed off as de.'s problem! We need people who speak German and know German law to look over the draft ([1]) and see if this is in fact a consequence, in what ways it would actually threaten Wikipedia and contributors, to see if it is the intended purpose of the bill, and to advise on the probability that it can be stopped. We need the draft and de:Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger translated to English, and we need WMF to support these German editors. Wnt (talk) 15:55, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Translators available#German-to-English.
Wavelength (talk) 23:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Sounds like I have to stub an article and put it in a category. Which means coming up with a name... While looking, I found this New York Times article. ... for now I'm calling it ancillary copyright, a phrase used by a few minor sources. Wnt (talk) 04:49, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The law was basically created/suggested so the German publishing houses can force Google to pay them money for showing them in search results. Their logic is that Google displays the title and a short excerpt to news sites in addition to advertisements, and that advertising money belongs to the publishers because it's their content that's seen on Google. That's why the law is called "Lex Google" in some German media. It goes further than that, however, as explained above, and could directly affect Wikipedia. Personally, I'd love to see the law being passed and have Google simply de-index all German news sites. The outcry of the publishers would be hilarious. :) --Conti| 00:04, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
These pages have relevant information in English.
Wavelength (talk) 06:26, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

This is an issue that has been simmering in EU law since 2009 and the Infopaq case (Curia 2009) (CN 2009). It has also hit the English and Australian courts, albeit with differing results (Munsie 2011).

For a related Wikipedia problem, see El emigrante (short story) and Ella sigue de viaje, and consequent discussions at User talk:Uncle G#Did you forget anything? and User talk:Moonriddengirl/Archive 48#El emigrante. The French Wikipedia, at fr:L'Émigrant (micronouvelle), still has the entire work in its article, as do the Spanish and Catalan Wikipedias. Uncle G (talk) 12:59, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Observing copyright on four-word phrases is a surrealistically absurd notion. Are you seriously going to strip out coverage of every witticism, every joke, every ad slogan, every tweet, every historical dramatic statement in which newsworthy events is first disclosed, in the name of an infinitely gameable definition of "work"? And even that, I should note, as absurd and intolerable as it would be, is less of an intrusion than banning any extraction of data from a story. The unworkability of such laws is revealed in that "private citizens" can't be subjected to them; the result is that only certain large enterprises are singled out for such extortion. So you could sensibly review and discuss a story like this on your blog, on a chat forum, but collecting it into an encyclopedia and doing so with a more serious intent would be forbidden. Which is a most absurd program of development for anyone to propose. Wnt (talk) 15:06, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm surprised there's been so little comment on this, given that from what I've seen here and at ancillary copyright, the idea really would pretty much out and out prohibit Wikipedia. What is particularly ironic about the legislation is that it goes half-way toward what could be done when legislatures recognize that copyright doesn't work - it sets up a "clearinghouse" to fund production of news articles, which if it were to be implemented fairly, might come to resemble NIH extramural funding or some other such program for research support. Unfortunately, this disbursement is not run from some 0.001% increase on income tax (which would be only fair - in the example of the banker acting on news headlines he's read about the steel industry, his profit depends on how much money he has to invest). Instead it is tied to some Orwellian registration and taxation of sites which discuss the news. Wnt (talk) 15:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
////// Here is a summary of the present situation.
(1) Speakers make statements, and are sometimes paid for them by their supporters or listeners.
(2) News outlets quote some of those statements, and are paid by their advertisers.
(3) Websites compile links to news items, and are paid by their advertisers.
(4) Speakers are not paid by news outlets that quote them.
(5) News outlets are not paid by websites that direct Internet users to their reports.
(6) Google is not paid by speakers who describe its search results.
Wavelength (talk) 00:02, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Here is an exercise that editors can try.
  • Choose a topic, preferably one that interests you but about which you know very little. Perform a search engine search (for example, a Google search) for the topic, and collect information from snippets on search engine results pages (SERPs) and from nothing else. Avoid clicking through to the indexed pages, and avoid looking at preview images of them. See how much you can learn about the topic, and how well you can compose an article, from just the information you see in snippets on the SERPs. (More specifically, you can choose a news topic, and perform a search engine news search (for example, a Google News search).
The objective of the exercise is to show how much or how little information is available in search engine snippets. The less (is) the amount of information that SERP snippets provide, the greater (is) the incentive to click through from the SERPs (with their advertisements) to the indexed pages (with their advertisements).
Wavelength (talk) 04:46, 2 September 2012 (UTC) and 05:07, 2 September 2012 (UTC) and 05:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Notification: moral and material damage (plus copyright violation)

Some more disappointments

[Note from Jimbo: I am posting at the top here to make something 100% clear to everyone who reads the following: I did not in any way, shape, or form defend Andy's comments. I have no idea where Camelbinky got that idea. It was absolutely without question the wrong thing to do. In a comment further down, Andy himself says it correctly: "...he was saying the same thing that almost everyone that didn't propose I immediately be boiled in oil/banned for life + 100 years said: that I'd been a complete $%&*@#, and if I'd shown more sense we'd have been rid of the troll quicker. " My point is therefore two-fold: first good users should always hold ourselves to a very high standard and deal with problem users with good humor. And we have to recognize that troll-enabling decisions, i.e. an excessive desire to treat every possible difficult person as though they can be reformed, is not helpful. An effective policy of banning trolls is the best way to prevent good users from going ballistic at them - we can say that even while saying that we should never go ballistic at them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:46, 30 August 2012 (UTC)]

Reply to Jimbo- I'm sorry if "defending" was not the correct word. I am disappointed you didnt castrate him I suppose is a better way to put it. I see Andy and numerous other editors constantly being brought up on the same charges of rudeness, incivility, swearing, insulting and every time I hear the same thing "other wise good editor pushed over the edge by circumstance". Well, if he and others are pushed so easily and Wikipedians (good or bad) push them over so much then perhaps dealing with vandals or any conflicts that may push them over is not for them.
I'd like for once to see you step in at AN/I and state "I dont care what the other person did, you were rude (insulting/swearing/whatever) and I dont care for that and I'm disappointed in you, and I'm embarressed you, in this instance, are involved with Wikipedia. Please dont do it again." and PERHAPS, but probably not, people at AN/I may start taking an interest in standing up and saying that circumstances or someone else's actions or past behavior does not justify rudeness. I work with fighting bullying in schools, and it starts with a realignment in the thinking of the administration, along with the teachers and the students. Wikipedia has a serious problem that the bullies "hide" by attacking those that stand up and point it out; by attacking them personally and making the issue worse.Camelbinky (talk) 22:04, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia is to build a freely available encyclopedia. The community is endeavoring to find ways to promote good editing and discourage bad, but there is no easy way to allow anonymous strangers to edit constructively without driving away good editors. It is a fact of life that some people are indistinguishable from trolls, and other people are susceptible to trolling. If we mindlessly block editors who react badly to trolling or persistent POV pushing, we will be left with only trolls and persistent POV pushers (I'm unlikely to lash out against such users, but I'm not going to stay in a community where they are a rising force). Any suggestions for how to deal with persistent POV pushers? Johnuniq (talk) 23:13, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
But Johnuniq, it is not that Andy, or Malleus who is mentioned later on in this thread, or many of the other bullies on Wikipedia ONLY blow up at POV pusher, trollers, etc. They have both, and many others, blown up on me and others when all we did was point out that someone else was over the top rude to us, or they blow up when we dont agree on a policy or a potential policy. Tarc is probably the closest person to really only blow up when things get a high-level point, but even he has been occasionally over-the-top rude for no reason other than someone disagrees. I think the smart thing to do is, you swear, you insult, you are rude, you dont get a !vote and you dont comment on that thread or discussion anymore. I just dont get why this concept of civility being placed on all equally is not a universally accepted premise. I got a 3 day block for calling an editor a "stalker" on a third person's talk page, asking for help with this editor who was watching my contributions and commenting every single place I went; but someone else can call another person a long string of insults with swearing and everything, and it's "they're a good editor we dont want to lose".
Good editors EDIT, create articles, add information that is missing. We are not close to being done adding articles or information. Take a small topic such as hospitality, where is Supertel Hospitality, one of the first and at one time the largest of Super 8 Worldwide's franchisee companies (though not any more as they've gone into having other flags as well, such as Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, etc), we're talking about a publicly traded REIT with national exposure, and they dont have an article. I'd love to write it, but well, I dont edit anymore because what is the use? People like me who actually love to create new content get driven out by those who are "good editors who patrol" for trolls and such but are just a "little" uncivil.97.88.87.68 (talk) 15:09, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The Wikipedia is in no way analogous to a school, though. Jimbo is not our principal, we are not his students, so such a stepping-in to ANI or wherever would be ineffective. Tarc (talk) 13:06, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


I return to air some disappointments I see- Jimbo defending Andy's comments basically because the person he was insulting and swearing at wasnt someone we want around. Jimbo, I always held you to the highest standard of someone who had high morals and absolute values. I see this way to much from others at AN/I and other places (is the wikittiquete board even still around?)- as long as the person you insult, bully, wiki-stalk, etc is someone who has done something wrong, you get away with it. That's why we have people openly stating in AN/I "I dont have to defend myself, I just have to bloody the witness" and referencing what defence attorneys in rape cases do... is that the type of mindset we want for our editors? If you're rude make sure you are consistent on it ("That's just the way Andy is, he's got grump in his name for a reason" was one remark in AN/I almost two years ago), you're a "good editor" or at least have a large enough following (usually of other like-minded bullies) who will say that, and you pick on someone who you have "dirt" on. Well that's deplorable. When will Wikipedia join the rest of the world in zero tolerance towards cyber bullying? Missouri, NY, and an increasing number of states have laws regarding cyber bullying and they do apply to Wikipedia. When the numerous number of editors who go around stalking certain users contributions, swearing at them, harrassing them, or taking the enjoyment of Wikipedia out of editing for an editor (which is in fact in the !rules as something that an editor is not to do to another editor and is supposed to be harrassment, if an admin ever enforced it) cause an editor to commit suicide and the news goes viral that "teen commits suicide due to Wikipedia bullying" and these conversations on noticeboards and AN/I are taken "out of context" as some here may call it. Call me morbid, but I look for that day and I hope in a wrongful death suit the Foundation is held liable for inaction to prevent what was a foreseeable consequence of editors actions towards other editors, any one of which may have underlying mental, emotional, or age predispositions to being pushed over the edge. This is real. And I fully expect to be personally attacked regarding this post and this post otherwise to be ignored because the topic will be about ME instead. It's what the bullies do, it works, and it is only more evidence that this is a problem.Camelbinky (talk) 17:10, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Cyberbullying laws do not prevent or prohibit disagreements and arguments on the internet, nor does it make it illegal for the participants in such an altercation to insult or even degrade each other. That wold be an extremely perverse and stifling extension of cyberbully laws, which are aimed at preventing legitimate abuse on the internet. Tarc (talk) 17:16, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Is that like legitimate rape Tarc? Amazing you'd be the first to comment. The bullies themselves are the first to defend bullying. Cyber bullying laws, in Missouri, do in fact cover insults and degradation which leads to suicide or violence. Alot of what I see on Wikipedia, should the same things be said as on Facebook, Twitter, what-have-you, it would fall under Missouri's law, and Wikipedia is no different than social media. There will be a day when the news picks up on all of this that happens "behind the scenes" and the light of public scrutiny is held to Wikipedians actions towards their fellow editors.Camelbinky (talk) 17:28, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
" Call me morbid". All right, I will. Camelbinky, you are morbid. And incidentally, I suffer from clinical depression (hence 'Grump'). What would happen if your accusations of me being a 'cyberstalker' were to push me over the edge? Or are you somehow exempt from such considerations? If you want to accuse me of 'cyberstalking' then do it in the appropriate place, rather than posting personal attacks on Jimbo's page. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:31, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no justice at Wikipedia, only solutions. As to your comment " but I look for that day and I hope in a wrongful death suit the Foundation is held liable for inaction to prevent what was a foreseeable consequence of editors actions towards other editors" You are basically hoping someone dies in order to prove your point, which demonstrates a disturbing lack of character. If being here causes this much distress and drives you to such thoughts, perhaps this isn't the proper environment for you to spend your free time. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 19:00, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I think there have been on-wiki actions that could justify cyber bullying charges, take a look through WP:LTA for details--it's not terribly uncommon to get death threats when doing recent changes patrol. I don't think Andy's recent comments, though contrary to our policies, are in that neighborhood. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:13, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
"Is that like legitimate rape?" - That is quite possibly the worst strawman argument I have ever seen. Congrats. --OnoremDil 19:39, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I think what User:Camelbinky means is that he anticipates a death under those circumstances might happen, and should it happen, he hopes the Foundation would be on receiving end of wrongful death lawsuit. (That if there wouldn't be followup lawsuit, the Foundation might not see the need to make changes Camelbinky would much prefer to see made today, as a preventative.) To accuse Camelbinky of "hoping someone dies" is offensive and the result of a shallow reading; you should apologize. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 19:50, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
"...and I hope in a wrongful death suit the Foundation is held liable" - You can't have a wrongful death suit without a wrongful death. If he's hoping for the case, he's hoping that someone dies. --OnoremDil 20:02, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
That is indeed distasteful and fro mwhat I have seen of Camelbinky in the case, not surprising. This user is twisting and misrepresenting legitimate law into covering something that it does not; it might help if he actually read the legislation from Missouri to see that it does not support his assertions made in this thread. Tarc (talk) 20:05, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
User:Camelbinky's hope is about a lawsuit following, in the event such a tragic death occurs. (His hope is conditional. You're not seeing that.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 20:17, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Before that he says Call me morbid, but I look for that day; seems clear. --Errant (chat!) 20:19, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Clear as mud. (You're making a big conclusion, over careless ascription of what is "morbid". Shame.) Don't be ridiculous people ... Camelbinky wishes for no one's death. To assert that carelessly, is both ridiculous and beastly uncivil. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 20:25, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Either way, his assertion that such interactions could fall under cyberbullying laws are silly. If that were the case, there wouldn't be an internet forum left online. Resolute 20:31, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad that Camelbinky clarified his meaning. He doesn't want anyone to die; he just is very disappointed that Jimbo hasn't cut Andy's balls off. Perhaps it's time to step back from the deceased horse gelding. It's readily apparent that Andy has understood Jimbo's comments and meaning far better than many of the editors here who are still calling for blood. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:40, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  1. "Jimbo defending Andy's comments" - I read Jimbo's comments as indicating that Andy's comments should have been unnecessary (and thus should not have been made). Maybe I'm thinking of different comments to the ones that you're thinking of?
  2. The Wikiquette board is indeed still around. Its usefulness, as ever, is in question.
  3. "I hope in a wrongful death suit the Foundation is held liable for inaction" - on the very rare occasions that I've been in contact with employees of the Foundation about potentially life-threatening situations regarding fellow editors, said employees have been helpful and extremely prompt in responding. Likewise, I've found 99% of Wikipedia administrators and other functionaries to be thoughtful and responsive about concerns related to that.
  4. There is no such thing as an "age predisposition to being pushed over the edge".
  5. Several of the people replying to you make rather good points.
  6. Please use more paragraph breaks. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:19, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Re 'There is no such thing as an "age predisposition to being pushed over the edge"'. Studies correlating the young+male population fraction with the criminality rate tend to disprove that [2]. Tijfo098 (talk) 08:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Regarding Demiurge1000's first point, I don't think Jimbo was defending my comments at all - he was saying the same thing that almost everyone that didn't propose I immediately be boiled in oil/banned for life + 100 years said: that I'd been a complete $%&*@#, and if I'd shown more sense we'd have been rid of the troll quicker. And of course Jimbo is entirely right. I had a bad case of mega-potty-mouth-syndrome, and it wasn't my first, and I should know better. Maybe I should have been banned for this, I'm not the best person to judge, obviously - but I'd sure as hell object to being banned for something I hadn't done. I'd not been cyberstalking the now- banned troll (or the 'entirely unrelated' newly-registered account who's just posted at the Breivik page saying exactly the same things), and unsubstantiated claims that I had been aren't exactly civil in themselves. So again, if anyone wants to make specific allegations in the proper place, feel free to do so. Just don't make vague ones here, and then leave it hanging when asked for specifics. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:50, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly, your sock is a sock, or rather lots of socks, but he's not Meowy, unless he's taken up an interest in Mixed Martial Arts.Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:30, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


Jimbo says: "And we have to recognize that troll-enabling decisions, i.e. an excessive desire to treat every possible difficult person as though they can be reformed, is not helpful. An effective policy of banning trolls is the best way to prevent good users from going ballistic at them - we can say that even while saying that we should never go ballistic at them."

That's only one side of the equation. Trolls on talk pages can be ignored, that's the way to maintain high standards of conduct and effectively deal with trolls. For articles, BRD the substantive edits to articles, state the case, why the edit does not belong, take them to DRN or RfC if they persist -- it's an open wiki, so it's bound to attract multiple POVs. Whoever thought or thinks maintaining NPOV or Civility or the other pillars would, should, or could be easy in such a project, is simply fooling themselves. As for users who persistently cannot keep from "fighting fire with fire", they should, like the trolls, also be banned -- they are trolls or troll feeders, themselves. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Consider some as mental illness: Remember trolls are people, too, even when avoiding the enabling attention. Every "psychopath" is a person with a psychosis, or more than one. However, Wikipedia tends to be a psycho magnet, perhaps to gain attention. We hear news reports of mass shootings at a school, office, or theater, but never "mass shooting in empty classroom at night". In some forms of mental illness, people seek many victims in public areas. We could talk to them, "How long have you hated your mother? or what made you angry with your first girlfriend?" Although that might seem to be "feeding" their antics, perhaps shining some light on their repressed rage would help to diffuse the situation. I still think the Wikimedia Foundation should have trained psychiatrists to help suggest policies for dealing with trouble, the extent of their hatred of women, or ways to reduce escalating conflicts. Some people imagine trouble was their own fault, as if they had said, or done something, to provoke anger, but the hostility has nothing to do with activities at Wikipedia. It is often illness. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    Are you saying that many Wikipedians are attention seeking psychopaths and the problem is so severe that you think the Wikimedia Foundation should have trained psychiatrists to deal with it but instead the Wikimedia Foundation allows these attention seeking psychopaths to govern Wikipedia?--67.169.10.194 (talk) 19:06, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
"We could talk to them, "How long have you hated your mother? or what made you angry with your first girlfriend?"". No. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances. Not ever. Never. Wikipedia is not here to diagnose mental illness. Wikipedia is not here to treat mental illness. We aren't qualified to hand out medical advice, much less dispense it to individuals who haven't even requested it... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:27, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
" We hear news reports of mass shootings at a school, office, or theater, but never 'mass shooting in empty classroom at night'." Well no, we don't. I wonder whyever could that be? We hear few reports of trees falling unobserved in remote forests, either. pablo 23:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you're horribly confused, Wikid77, and you should stop playing psychiatrist on Wikipedia. Or at least bother to read the articles you wikilink to before making howler statements like 'every "psychopath" is a person with a psychosis, or more than one'. From one of the articles you've linked: "psychopaths are, despite the similar names, rarely psychotic." Tijfo098 (talk) 08:29, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, you're talking about the every-day, ordinary psychopath-next-door, who is not delusional, is totally grounded in reality, understands the beneficial tactics of plastic, superficial charm, and realizes that they are the most important person in the world while everyone else is worthless. Okay, not delusional in the slightest. However, there is a difference between an ordinary psychopath and the psychotic one: wait a few days. Seriously, though, be wary of WP articles with quotes taken out of context, where the speaker's current situation is an unknown factor steering their need to write unusual comments. BTW: I am formally trained in human psychology. In general, common logic will show that most psychopaths tend toward psychotic actions because their value system is often in extreme conflict with broader society, and they must, at those times, escalate their peculiar actions to compensate for lack of friends, and lack of interest in healthy activities. Perhaps just call it "psychosis NOS" and expect it to morph into various forms. I hope that clarifies the connections, and I am glad someone is reading the wikilinks! -Wikid77 09:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought that he was talking about the futility and inadvisability of suggesting that website volunteers could, or should, perform a clinical diagnosis on their fellow contributors based on their contributions. If you think that is a good idea though, your recent screeds will no doubt help the amateur psychiatrist with working up your own profile. Carry on. pablo 23:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I was talking about awareness of potential psychotic actions, rather than conducting a "clinical diagnosis" but it seems that a straw man has been constructed instead. -Wikid77 07:37, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
No you weren't. But whatever. "How long have you hated your mother? What made you angry with your first girlfriend? Have you stopped beating your wife" Bad, bad idea. pablo 08:13, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I was thinking about the most recent Andy Episode lately — how he was completely, inappropriately over-the-top, but I was totally okay with it in that context and I think that was the common take at AN/I. Same with Malleus — he goes off from time to time, and no, we don't want people doing that sort of thing and punish it frequently, but when he does it it's almost always appropriate complete and total inappropriateness. Then I figured it out in sports terms. Such people as Andy, etc. are Wikipedia's enforcer defensemen in hockey or elbow throwing low post power forward mashers in basketball. We don't want a team on which everybody plays like that. It would be unpleasant and a crappy team to boot. But it's good to have an enforcer or two on your bench, y'know... Carrite (talk) 04:23, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I have a horrible feeling that, translated to British sports, with which I'm more familiar, I've just been compared to Vinnie Jones. Face-surprise.svg Anyway, to try to nip the inevitable response to this suggestion in the bud, I'd like to make it clear that I don't accept Carrite's 'endorsement' in any way, and I'm well aware that my behaviour has been grossly inappropriate on several occasions, and the next time I blow my top like that (though there shouldn't be a next time), at minimum I expect to be beaten to an inch of my life with deep-frozen trout, before being banned for several lifetimes. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:41, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
"He was sent off 12 times in his career, as well as holding the record for the quickest ever booking in a football match..." — Exactly. Carrite (talk) 16:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
ArbCom are more like The Federal Bureau of Referees, in which instant replay results are decided in no more than 3 months or less than 1. Carrite (talk) 15:58, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo. You write: " An effective policy of banning trolls is the best way to prevent good users from going ballistic at them" Remember this RFC http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Remove_Founder_flag ? Were 405 users who supported the removing of your founder flag good users who were going ballistic at the troll? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.169.11.11 (talk) 23:47, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Re-read Nupedia and compare: It is often good to read back over article "Nupedia" and the linked sources to remember it approved only 21 articles in its first year. There is a very good reason Wikipedia was founded against committee approvals, and worth remembering Who dat. -Wikid77 09:59, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Your Prem Rawat edit has been removed.

Banned Rawat follower/editor Momento has returned to the Prem Rawat article, removed your (Jimbo's) edit from the lead that referred to it being a 'cult' and is on an un-opposed spree of CULT revisionism. All neutral editors have given up. PatW (talk) 17:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Actually Jimbo's "cult leader" edit was removed within days with the consensus of half a dozen editors none of which was me.Momento (talk) 08:40, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Momento is a follower of Prem Rawat who has returned from a years ban to continue a fanatical spree of thinly-disguised 'cleaning up' of the article - essentially removing criticism. He is simply continuing where Jossi Fresco left off. The only neutral editor who ever had any success curtailing Rawat's followers efforts to own this article was Will Beback. In his absence years of battling to get some fair reporting back into this article is being undone - largely by Momento. Can you please send some heavyweights over to stop this? PatW (talk) 09:37, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I also think Momento is typically misrepresenting what happened to your 'cult' edit. It wasn't 'removed', it was refined by more sensible editors, given appropriate references but nevertheless the word 'cult' remained in the lead. Momento is systematically removing the word 'cult' and similar suggestions as 'undue weight' etc. I agree with you that this Cult Leader needs to be indicated as such from the get-go. PatW (talk) 09:48, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Careful readers will note that I said "Jimbo's 'cult leader' edit was removed", which it was 18 months ago. I didn't say "cult" was removed. And here I am explaining why I removed ""described as a cult" and asking editor's to work with me so that "described as a cult" can be re-inserted into the Lead but to no avail.[3]Momento (talk) 05:51, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't get why you have removed the cult wording (and the diff doesn't explain it). You have said " it couldn't remain as the main description", why not? IRWolfie- (talk) 17:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't get why we have topic bans that are not indefinite. When Momento got the indefinite topic ban they just stopped editing; the editor didn't make productive edits in any other topic. I think SPA accounts have little value at the best of times, let alone POV SPAs who can use their close and in-depth knowledge of a topic to skew an article; why not only remove topic bans when they have demonstrated actual ability to edit wikipedia in a neutral fashion? IRWolfie- (talk) 17:14, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Since the Prem Rawat article has historically attracted and been edited predominantly by either followers or ex-followers of the man, (I count myself as an ex-follower) there should surely at least be a requirement that SPA's limit their contributions to the Talk page. As someone who only came here to balance the highly offensive partisan editing of followers, I have followed this restriction myself and tried to to attract the attentions of uninvolved, intelligent neutral editors for balance and to mediate the discussions. It has been said (rightly in my view) that SPA's who have in-depth knowledge can be invaluable... but not in cases like Momento who is manifestly primarily concerned with removing criticism (albeit in the most heavily disguised manner possible)! In defence of SPA's: I would love to edit other articles about which I have in-depth knowledge, but the demands on my time of my professional life at this time makes that hard. The Prem Rawat article is just one that has impressed me with such horror that I felt I simply had to get involved as a priority. It seems to me that the problem is finding neutral editors concerned enough to take an interest in this rather bizarrely contentious article - but (sigh) I guess he is the 'Lord Of the Universe' so what d'you expect? PatW (talk) 22:03, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, I'm an uninvolved administrator, and I'm going to handle this once and for all. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:23, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I like the sound of 'once and for all' and 'Blade' :-) If any other admins could also look into this it would undoubtedly be expedient. PatW (talk) 10:49, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Criminal violation of Wikipedia's copyright

Apologies for bothering you with this: I couldn't find another place within Wikipedia to send it to, nor could I find evidence of Wikipedia's awareness of it.

http://www.wipedia.org immediately redirects to http://global-promotions-2012.com/?sid=122514&hid=bjfjjfnhnhbnhnfj&&id=cKnowledge3style ; which apparently infringes on one of the very few copyrights held on the things around here -- your logo:

(the puzzle-piece-built sphere (globe?) above
"WIKIPEDIA"
"The Free Encyclopedia")

They are using:
(a puzzle-piece-built sphere (globe?) above
"KNOWLEDGE"
"We Value Your Opinion")

They are also apparently using your exact typeface {the "W" with the crossed-lines at its center is the most obvious indicator of that}. Perhaps that is also copyrighted. Furthermore, their logo and underlying text is all similarly sized and similarly located (at the extreme upper left of their page).

I suspect that they are one of the same outfits contacting Wikipedians via other routes (email, facebook, whatever) and masquerading as Wikipedia. I found a hint of that here. I did think that they were Wikipedia, but didn't even give them my gender, prior to figuring it out. (Of course, there is no close button on their site, which simulates the look of a pop-up ad; and the redirect makes the browser's "back" button more difficult to use.)

Presumably they are abusing Wikipedia's "good will" within the community to fraudulently obtain email addresses (or whatever their second and third questions are); and deteriorating that good will and causing yall difficulty in the process.

I think that the (primary?) standard of "infringement" is whether a "reasonable person" would be deceived by it. I certainly was. I find NO reasonable doubt as to their intent to infringe; and they are apparently infringing on Wikipedia's copyright, users' information, and good name.

_____________
Many thanks for your massive contribution.

Very Truly Yours,

67.91.184.187 (talk) 20:13, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I was directed to a few different random surveys/adverts from that link, but eventually got the offending one. Here's a screenshot [4]. So not using the actual logo, but clearly trying to pass themselves off as Wikipedia-related. I couldn't find an email address, but there is a contact form. the wub "?!" 20:34, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
For informational purposes, if nothing else this is an instance of typosquatting -- that article explains what can be done about it. Looie496 (talk) 02:05, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I mailed the legal team and pointed them to this discussion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:13, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia spamming its own users talk pages

I would appreciate your input on the appropriateness of Wikipedia using opt-in vs. opt-out for internal postings to user talk pages.

A new internal newsletter used an opt-out model for distributing a notice of itself to editors active in dispute resolution - not sure how they are defining "active" though, as I certainly would not have classified myself active; yet my talk page was one of several hundred to receive it (based on the Bot's contribs, I estimate between 900-1000 recipients.

The only way given to avoid receiving the newsletter is by adding your name to Wikipedia:Dispute Resolution Improvement Project/NewsletterOptOut. A sample of this notification can be found at User talk:Ocaasi#The Olive Branch: A Dispute Resolution Newsletter (Issue #1), and complaints about the spamming can be found at the same user's talk page, at User talk:Ocaasi#I feel spammed.

Is it acceptable for internal newsletters to use an opt-out model, or should we exclusively use an opt-in model as was done for distribution of the long-running The Signpost newsletter? Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 20:45, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

First let me apologize. People are reasonably frustrated and their criticism has been heard. That said, a few precautions were taken to minimize the disruption:
  • The full newsletter was not sent, only a link to the newsletter
  • Only editors who were highly and recently active in dispute resolution received the link
  • An opt-out list was provided immediately
  • The issue was raised at the Administrators' Noticeboard for Incidents prior to the mailing: link to discussion
I hope that mitigates some of the frustration, though I realize it probably won't eliminate it. Our main concern was the dispute resolution is phenomenally important to all active editors and major changes are underway. We wanted people to know about what is informing that process and to participate in it. From here on out the newsletter will be opt-in only. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 21:14, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Ocaasi, thank you for changing future distribution of the newsletter to be op-in only, I very much appreciate your changing that element of the newsletter - which entirely eliminates my complaint on how the distribution was being executed.
That said, I would still like to hear Jimbo's thoughts on using opt-in vs. opt-out for future reference. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Since this has been raised here, I'd also be interested to here Jimbo's thoughts on whether or not Ocaasi was simply following WP:Bold and if the editors who got all up in arms over this were violating WP:AGF. I know that my defense of Ocaasi may be unpopular, but he was only trying to be helpful. I think the outrage has gone too far. AutomaticStrikeout 21:17, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The extent to which people got upset over this is really silly. I can understand getting slightly annoyed at the notification and telling Ocaasi that it should be opt-in, not opt-out, but the amount of negativity and rudeness in the Bot noticeboard discussion is rather sad. Kinda agree with the one comment in there that, if this is how the people involved in dispute resolution areas act...maybe they shouldn't be involved in those areas. SilverserenC 01:05, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Exactly. Makes you wonder why they are really there, doesn't it? Viriditas (talk) 07:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
      • OMG here too? Folks, this is not a big deal. There is no need to open multiple discussions about the same issue in multiple areas. Here, bot owners noticeboard, the bots talk page, enough is enough. Ocassi sent a few newsletters, its really not the end of the world and we are spending too much time arguing about insignificant issues like this. IF you don't want the newsletter just ignore it, or delete it from your talk page. Ocassi has changed it to opt in. Problem solved. Kumioko (talk) 10:02, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
This discussion was started without knowledge that other discussions existed; and yes, the current issue is resolved, but it would be good to have this secondary discussion that was triggered by the newsletter. This thread was started with the specific question (which none of the above replies has yet addressed): "Is it acceptable for internal newsletters to use an opt-out model, or should we exclusively use an opt-in model"? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:09, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Note: I see this question has since being started here, is also now brought up at User talk:EdwardsBot#RfC draft, where other variables to the question are also being listed, so that is likely a better location to attempt to continue the discussion. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:14, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Better link to RfC draft: Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Bulk_talk_page_deliveries Ocaasi t | c 16:24, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

LFLT-B77 Server repair

Good Morning Jimmy, just to let you know that your LFLT-B77 Wikicommons server has been repaired and that I have e-mailed you the error report. I have forwarded this information onto User:Valenciano, who wanted to know whether his SFTML Report was reported. After reviewing the SFTML Report belonging to User:Valenciano, there were no errors to be found in his portfolio. Many thanks. Keith. --KeithMcEnnisLtd (talk) 19:55, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Mmm, ok. I have no idea what you are talking about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:02, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
This is a troll and has been blocked. See WP:Help desk#Questionage and WP:Help desk#Just a quick note if you're interested, but I shouldn't bother. JohnCD (talk) 20:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Change to edit window

Just trying to make sure as many people see this as possible. There is change planned to the edit window for the week of the 17th. Read about the changes and leave your comments at WP:VPT#Upcoming changes to the edit window (please read)Ryan Vesey 23:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Misinformation deliberately planted cannot be removed.

Why is it that misinformation is allowed to be spread by people without any counter allowed? When I try to edit the page my remarks are removed when I try to remove the erroneous information it is put up again. Despite the fact it is untrue and is being used to defame and create hatred against a certain individual and his group.

This planted story is not true and there is substantial evidence to say that it is not true yet I am blocked from amending it and the planted story is allowed to stand. Seems to me that admin should at least ask why the editing is occurring before they simply block one party from making changes.

The pages are below

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPACUK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asghar_Bukhari

I think people should sue you if you allow misinformation to be printed about people, why should your site be used to slander people. It's disgusting.

Plus why can't you make it easier for people to talk to someone, in order to complain you have to trawl through a hundred pages, deliberately intended to put people off. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chetch the Letch (talkcontribs) 00:38, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

You should discuss your desired edits on the article talk page. If there are BLP concerns (if there is unsourced information about people which is negative in the article) please be specific and it will be removed immediately. KillerChihuahua?!? 01:06, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The OP has been blocked as a sock. The editor's ongoing edit-wars are being discussed at WP:ANI#Crazy edit-war at Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK. Singularity42 (talk) 01:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I would just like to note that "Chetch the Letch" is absolutely correct on the substance here -- the material he objects to was a major BLP violation -- but the articles are currently protected with the offending material removed, so the situations seems to be stabilized. It would have been easy for an editor who understands Wikipedia procedures to get that material removed without resorting to socking and edit-warring. Looie496 (talk) 02:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The key there is " understands Wikipedia procedures". I have been here for years and I don't even know every rule. There are just too many, spread across too many areas. Kumioko (talk) 10:07, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
How indeed is an editor who doesn't understand Wikipedia procedures supposed to instantly transform himself/herself into one who does? This problem is endemic on BLP pages, and your statement, Looie, only underscores the justice of the user's plaint "Seems to me that admin should at least ask why the editing is occurring before they simply block one party from making changes." After all that has been said along these lines, not least by Jimbo, do admins sometimes still not "at least ask why the editing is occurring"? Bishonen | talk 10:10, 5 September 2012 (UTC).
I agree completely. It's good that we have rules, but it's always important to keep in mind the greater goal of making a good encyclopedia. Blocking socks is good. Putting stops to crazy edit-wars is good. But whoever has a point, has a point. If there's a person breaking several rules at the same time because they don't have a clue (either temporarily or permanently) then yeah, we have to deal with that, with warmth and good humor I hope. But we also should never make Wikipedia wrong so that some annoying person doesn't "win" something.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:41, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Ehw....I like that. I have to keep that quote somewhere.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:46, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, it looks like the complainant was not really socking, unless you count his inability to remember his account name and creating obviously similar ones. Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Thaaqib.7ameed. This was an obvious WP:BATTLEGROUND though, involving groups of detractors and defenders of that organization. Nothing new here. The only difference between those involved in that spat and a certain kind of "valuable long term contributors" is how much time they've spent editing Wikipedia before they're banned. Tijfo098 (talk) 06:43, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
In other news: Bare-knuckle politics increasingly using Wikipedia as a venue. [5] Tijfo098 (talk) 07:55, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit conflict or similar error

It looks as if you accidentally saved this, without finishing your sentence and at the same time removing someone else's comment in another thread. Fram (talk) 13:46, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I restored the deleted comment and signed Jimbo's incomplete comment, but I am not sure what he was going to say after "The point I'm driving at is that I think there . . ".
Perhaps it was "The point I'm driving at is that I think there are fish in my pants."
Or perhaps it was "The point I'm driving at is that I think there are elves eating spam in my basement."
Can someone figure out what Jimbo's point was? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 16:58, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I expect Jimbo's point is that one should be careful not to accidentally press the Enter key after deciding to abandon an impulsive edit. Looie496 (talk) 18:16, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
How odd. There was an edit conflict and I thought I resolved it properly. Sigh.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:03, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I never try to figure out those edit conflict pages. I end up just copying what I was doing and restarting the edit. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:11, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Hurray for you, and are you listening Jimbo? That "resolving edit conflict" screen trips up more people than it helps IMO. Copy out your comment from the bottom screen, bail out, open the page again, click edit on the section again, do it over. Ha ha on you mister founder, I learned long long ago not to trust that screen. :) Franamax (talk) 06:58, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

WP morphed into knowledge databases

FYI: In working these past months/years to simplify complex, deeply-nested templates, I think there is a general trend emerging. Some people are determined to morph Wikipedia from being text articles into a structured "knowledge database" using the wp:Template system as a "poor man's database" to store/include data extracted and formatted in specific, structured ways. The {cite_web} templates (using wp:CS2 format) are an example of such structure, where the internal COinS metadata and standardized parameter names are intended to interface to cite-tools, as a type of structured knowledge for storing citations. The tree-of-life wp:Taxobox templates, which I have also been working to quicken, are a structured database to have a template named for every upper-level biological taxon, of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and all the related clades and sub-taxons, stored in a tree about 60 taxon-levels deep, beginning with a root taxon named "Life" (see genus "Ursa (spider)" from {{Taxobox/taxonomy|Ursa|10}}: | Kingdom: || Animalia |-




| Phylum: || Arthropoda |-

| Subphylum: || Chelicerata |- | Class: || Arachnida |- | Order: || Araneae |- | Suborder: || Opisthothelae |- | Infraorder: || Araneomorphae |- | Taxon: || Neocribellatae |- | Series: || Entelegynae |- | Superfamily: || Araneoidea |- | Family: || Araneidae |- | Tribe: || Ursini |- | Genus: || Ursa |-

Similarly, our templates to extract town populations from population-list templates, into 16,000 articles for German or Austrian towns, also show the benefit of keeping population data stored in a knowledge base, where a few templates can be updated for lists of census data, and then 16,000 articles are automatically reformatted from those central population-list templates. As actual database interfaces are developed to store and extract such data in articles, then the use of the Template system can be reduced back to formatting of data, or interfacing to the Module system of Lua scripts to perform more complex analysis of article text. In a sense, people are right to structure the data into standardized lists, or trees, where tabular data can be directly extracted into live articles; however, we need more documentation to alert editors that such "knowledge databases" are being stored and interfaced into articles, to lessen the confusion of so many complex templates in use. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

That reminds me of Wikidata.
Wavelength (talk) 05:11, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Scientology articles and our policy on biographies of living people

Recently, a couple changes to List of Scientologists that were in violation of our policy on biographies of living people (WP:BLPCAT in particular) popped up on my watchlist. A few days later, when no one had fixed them, I took a closer look and started some threads on our BLP noticeboard ([6], [7], [8], & [9]). These were all dealt with quickly. The next set of BLP issues I posted there, however, got no response and were archived without being addressed ([10], [11], & [12]). After all the attention that this topic area got some time ago, I am surprised to see that edits like this can be made by anon IPs on the main list article and remain uncorrected when there are over 100 people watching the list. I have no special interest in Scientology except that it serves as a conveniently polarized arena. If Wikipedia cannot enforce its own policies on Scientology where the opposing sides are easy to tell apart, what hope is there for the more nuanced religious subject areas? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:51, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

If the article continually gets IP vandals adding BLP issues to it, I would think it should be a candidate for indefinite semi-protection. SilverserenC 01:10, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Indefinite semi-protection for all lists that have BLP implications would be a sensible and obvious idea, but it is met with resistance from those who feel that "anyone can edit" is absolute. That doesn't deal with the individual cases, though. One would think that pointing out BLP violations on the BLP noticeboard and Jimbo's talk page would be enough to get them fixed, but apparently not. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:37, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
As for me, after the fiasco of a majority in favor of flagged revisions and it still not being implemented, I'm willing to indef semi anything with BLP implications, and I hope all admins do the same. It's a shame to have to semi-protect things, but without other tools at our disposal, there is often no other choice.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:41, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Many of the additions to religious- or sexuality-related lists and categories (the two areas covered by WP:BLPCAT) are made by signed-in editors, but semi-protection would at least limit the BLP violations introduced by anon IP editors unfamiliar with our policies. I suggest that edit notices be created for all lists by religious affiliation or sexuality reminding editors of the BLP policy regarding lists. If someone feels like semi-protecting these lists, Category:Lists of people by belief is a good place to start, but it is incomplete. List of Unification Church members is one example of a list not included in that category. Similarly, Category:Lists of LGBT-related people would be the place to start for sexuality. Incidentally, since I started this thread, the edit that I pointed out to List of Scientologists has been corrected, but another anon IP has added Will Smith to the list without a source. This is a known problem area, 102 people have the page on their watchlist, page views have more than doubled since I brought it up here on one of the most watched pages on Wikipedia, yet the Will Smith edit has gone unchallenged. Something isn't working. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:24, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I created a bunch of editnotices for most religious and sexuality-related lists in 2010/2011 with some help from Noleander (and the editnotice is implemented on List of Scientologists), but they are clearly not 100% effective. There's a subpage in my user space listing all the ones that were done: User:Jayen466/BLP_Edit_notices. The religious ones look like this: Template:Editnotices/Page/List_of_Scientologists. (If there are any religious or sexuality-related lists that lack an editnotice, let me know and I'll create them.)
I used to do a lot of work on List of Scientologists (and have certainly removed Will Smith in the past) but I am fed up. My time is of some value, and the system is so ridiculously vulnerable that it's just an insult to expect someone to fix the thing over and over again for free.
I share your disappointment with the non-implementation of flagged revisions, Jimbo. The system is a resounding success in the German, Polish and other Wikipedias. It has practically eliminated vandalism there, because there is no point vandalising an article if your edit is only seen by one Wikipedian who reverts it, and is never seen by the public. This past week, Wikipedia was in the news over the Mia Love vandalism (racist and misogynist). Do we actually want to have headlines like that, just to be in the news? I sometimes wonder. I simply do not understand why this project has this addiction to vandal fighting, when there is an obvious, demonstrably working and effective way to prevent vandalism altogether. Do we like the drama so much? JN466 07:00, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
@Jimmy. For some time I've been indefinitely semiprotecting articles I come across where there has been a history of IP BLP violations, and no-one has yet challenged me on any of those actions. But that's only a small proportion of the BLPs I come across. Are you really suggesting locking down any article which has BLP implications? Taken literally that would mean that a newbie who submits a new article on a person would find that their new article had become locked so that they couldn't edit it. If at the same time it had been template bombed with a bunch of tags requesting references or other changes that they were now unable to do then we'd have become much more bitey, and somewhat more perverse. As an alternative, how about filing an RFC on moving BLP semi-protection from "heavy and persistent" to more of a hair trigger - giving admins discretion to semi-protect any article where an IP has committed a serious BLP violation. ϢereSpielChequers 08:19, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Avoiding unpleasant messages

Is there a list of articles that one should not edit if one wants to avoid unpleaseant messages such as this one [13]?

My previous contributions,

  • 11:11, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+267)‎ . . Gjørv Report ‎ (→‎Reactions)
  • 10:49, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+36)‎ . . Ullersmo Prison ‎ (Øystein Mæland) (top)
  • 10:47, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+37)‎ . . Øystein Mæland ‎ (Category:Conscientious objectors) (top)
  • 10:44, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+357)‎ . . Øystein Mæland ‎ (As a conscientous objector who refused to work as a conscripted military physician, he worked as a prison physician for Siviltjenesten at Ullersmo Prison from 1989 to 1990.)
  • 10:05, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+22)‎ . . m Gjørv Report ‎ (→‎Reactions)
  • 10:01, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+6)‎ . . Eurocopter EC135 ‎ (Norwegian Police Service)
  • 09:58, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+678)‎ . . Eurocopter EC135 ‎ (Unsuitable for police snipers)
  • 09:38, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+225)‎ . . Gjørv Report ‎ (Oslo's chief of police wrote in an e-mail)
  • 09:29, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (-78)‎ . . Gjørv Report ‎
  • 08:58, 5 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+109)‎ . . 2011 Mazar-i-Sharif attack ‎ (→‎Riot) (top)
  • 10:26, 4 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+342)‎ . . Øystein Mæland ‎ (The pacifism of the later police director is relevant. Undid revision 510734237 by Saddhiyama (talk))
  • 09:57, 4 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (-83)‎ . . Øystein Mæland ‎
  • 09:53, 4 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+342)‎ . . Øystein Mæland ‎ (He refused to perform military service as a conscript, citing his pacifist views.)
  • 09:45, 4 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+8)‎ . . Gjørv Report ‎ (→‎Reactions and Post report publication developments)
  • 09:33, 4 September 2012 (diff | hist) . . (+296)‎ . . USS Farragut (DDG-99) ‎ (A fact-finding commission has been constituted by Forsvarets operative hovedkvarter) --Lucabrak (talk) 08:17, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Why does a confirmed sockpuppet get unblocked [14] after only one day?

"Maybe that's why there are so few Norwegian editors in here; every time a new user come along and do stuff that one of the admins in this projects dislike, the user gets blocked as a "sockpuppet of Sju hav"? Mentoz86 (talk) 18:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)". --Lucabrak (talk) 08:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

First, I do not believe that Meco is an admin. Second, yes, there are probably much better ways to say "based on your editing pattern so far, you appear to possibly be a WP:SOCK of a previously-banned user - if you're not, sorry for the inconvenience" dangerouspanda 09:37, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

It seems that you are hinting that there are acceptable ways of saying "I do not have good faith in your edits, so therefore I am hereby taking a dump on you on your user page".
Maybe User:Roghue can enlighten us if he thinks "sorry for the inconvenience", is good enough for experiencing a "confirmed" [15] shafting for a day. --Lucabrak (talk) 10:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

The admin made a mistake, removed the block etc and apologised. Mistakes happen, it is human nature. I also don't think Panda is hinting at anything. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:06, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Is there a system in place, so that there will not be cases in the future of rogue administrators/vigilantes doing similar stuff, on a whim? If wikipedia does not formally sanction the administrator that made the mistake, then it does not seem to be an issue taken to seriously. (The administrator handed down the most serious punishment we have. Maybe society can learn from us, by putting people on death row on a whim, and later say "we made a mistake, and we will make no attempt at preventing a future system failure".) --Lucabrak (talk) 09:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Just as the admin is supposed to WP:AGF towards you, you are also required to show the same level of WP:AGF towards them. Admins are given certain powers and responsibilities by the community, and are expected to use their own judgement. For example, one of the most common reasons for blocking is the WP:DUCK test - at it's most basic form, it's simply a "hunch" based on a pattern. Indeed, this appears to be why you were blocked. DUCK-blocks happen many many times a day - some of them are indeed in error. Most admins have used it at least once, and most admins have probably blocked 1 person in error at least once.
Blocking is not punishment - it's protecting the project. Comparing a minor block to death row is more than just a little bit extreme, and is probably detracting from your concern.
The least common thing on Wikipedia is a sincere apology - and you got one. Errors happen, and a minor block from a website for what appeared to someone's judgement to be a right reason is not physically harmful to you, not should it affect you in the future.
If you believe that this is a regular occurrence by the specific administrator, then you can open an WP:RFC/ADMIN about them.
However, if I were you, I would focus on avoiding a future block by reversing the way you're thinking: I would say to myself "more than one person thinks I'm someone else who is a bad, bad person ... how to I avoid this in the future so that it doesn't happen again" dangerouspanda 09:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Lucabrak has actually never been blocked. Looie496 (talk) 17:07, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
No, not with that sock-account. Mentoz86 (talk) 11:06, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I asked a question pertaining avoiding unpleasant messages. And so far I have seen no criticism of the poster of the mentioned message. No criticism and no sanctions can be interpreted as, anyone who wants to send the same message to anyone, can do so without any fallout.
"Comparing a minor block to death row". One of the harshest protective measures of societies, is the death penalty. One of our project's harshest protective measures, is an indefinite block. If one of our harshest protective measures is not punishment, then a case might be made for "death row not being punishment". (Both protective measures might pass a duck test regarding "punishment". Death row can be considered extreme—nothing else in this discussion I would call "extreme".) --Lucabrak (talk) 10:28, 8 September 2012 (UTC) Seriously? You (Sju hav) have approx 100 previous sock-account, and when we do 1 mistake you come to this page and whine about it? Meco just wanted to let you know that you are wasting your time, as all of your edits will be undone, unless your mission is to waste our time. Besides, you should know by now that you should let me know that you've mentioned me here. Mentoz86 (talk) 11:06, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Draft Communications Data Bill

Your comments have been reported in the press and so I have just put an entry at WP:PRESS 12. Your position on this looks good - kudos. Andrew Davidson (talk) 20:08, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Also at arstechnica [16]. I agree with one of the comments there, we should just enable default https regardless of the outcome on that measure. Monty845 20:36, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere Why has this taken 15 years already? 199.16.130.122 (talk) 11:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

The proposed action to the UK government would likely be ineffective

Nearly all of our requests originate from search engines. Search engine links to Wikipedia are HTTP links. When users search for things, then click on those links, they will request pages, then we'll redirect them to HTTPS. The UK government would be able to see the HTTP requests and therefore would be able to see the page being requested. If a user then browsed the site, once in HTTPS mode, their further requests would be protected, but initial requests (which are the vast majority of our requests) would be snoopable.

There's a couple ways this could be worked around:

  1. Search engines could also set our links to be HTTPS if the user originates from the UK. This is out of our control, though. If we switched to HTTPS-only for all regions, then search engines indexes would likely change to reflect this. Initial HTTP requests would always be snoopable, though.
  2. We could set STS headers for users in the UK, so that they will only ever make a single HTTP request to the sites. This action is fairly irreversible, though. Also, not all browsers support STS, so a reasonably large percentage of users wouldn't be protected by this.

There's some problems with the proposed solution from a technical POV, as well:

  1. We don't have a simple way to make this only affect the UK.
  2. We don't currently have capacity to enable HTTPS for anonymous users by default, even for just the UK. Adding capacity would be costly and isn't currently in our budget.
  3. It would greatly increase latency, especially for mobile users.
  4. We currently have no support for STS. Realistically we'd want to add this support at the MediaWiki layer, rather than the SSL termination layer. This isn't a simple change, and it has really heavy implications.

Will Wikia also be implementing this? If so, what's their plan for handling these issues? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryan lane (talkcontribs) 21:10, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Just to chime in from another Wikimedia tech :) -- I'd really like to see us move to HTTPS-by-default for everyone. It's an important security improvement for logged-in users, but the deep packet inspection issue reminds us that it can be a privacy issue for our logged-out readers too. We've started using HTTPS more aggressively in our mobile applications where it's a transparent internal change (though our mobile web site isn't quite HTTPS-friendly for all yet) and I hope we can move towards fuller implementation of HTTPS-by-default for the web sites. Gmail and Facebook's experience switching to https by default have been pretty positive, we just need to make sure we can actually handle the traffic. (As for latency, there is some additional time spent in initial connection setup. Better design can make sure we reuse connections and minimize the impact of that; for instance if we can replace the mobile redirect with serving mobile pages directly, we might actually end up faster in the end.) --brion (talk) 21:32, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I would also like to see this, but there's more than just the concerns about capacity. HTTPS is much, much more vulnerable to DoS attacks. That said, our current plan is to switch all logged-in users to HTTPS, see how that affects the cluster's load, then expand the capabilities from there. I'd like the end-goal for us to be HTTPS-only.--Ryan lane (talk) 21:49, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Permanently blocked because I didn't indent

I have been on English and Swedish Wikipedia for a good while - around four years or so. I have now been permanently blocked on Swedish Wikipiedia because I didn't indent a comment. I kid you not. I went to the help desk - no response. I can make a presentaton of what happened for you or someone else, otherwise this is going outside of Wikipedia. Regards, RPSM (talk) 17:11, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

We don't have jurisdiction over the Swedish Wikipedia, at most we can offer you asylum here and see if the WMF can intervene. Count Iblis (talk) 17:46, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
You did get a response on the help desk, along with User talk:Sjö#Why am I blocked? and User talk:Niklas R#Hello it's quite clear that you are aware of the reasons behind your block and that it is about a lot more than just your lack of an indent--Jac16888 Talk 18:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

One year since WP:Acceptability

Hard to believe it has been one year since your message (on 1 September 2011) about acceptability of text (and "transcription monkeys" versus editorial judgment). I created essay WP:Acceptability back then in 2011, and even though we never publicized, the initial essay has still received about 40-70 pageviews per month. It contains your quote with the famous "monkeys" note and the key concept line:

"We want verifiability and truth. And relevance. And proper weight. And some other things besides! --Jimbo Wales (in User_talk:Jimbo_Wales, 04:52, 1 September 2011, link: diff-3527)

Since there was little effort to spread the word, due to numerous other topics here, I have created redirect "wp:Monkeys" to help increase wider interest. So many topics discussed here are expanded into WP essays, as a method to increase the impact of ideas as they are emerging.

People were trying to limit the focus to only "verifiability and truth" while you were reminding them to think about even more issues behind the overall acceptability of text in articles. The 1-year anniversary is a good time to re-think the issues and make some future plans. -Wikid77 14:18, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

From I sit, I see no evidence whatsoever that truth has any standing at Wikipedia other than as a concept to be paid lip service to, and then used for p.r. purposes. Wikipedia is dedicated quite openly to the idea that "the crowd" determines what will be represented as "true." Serious people are well aware of this, and have been for a long time. Every so often, a Messier-Kruse or a Philip Roth will look up from their life's work and notice the mess, and Wikipedia's reality will be (once again) reinforced throughout the world. Moynihanian (talk) 02:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The New Wikipedia?

  • On this mediation page, the word "judge/judgement" is mentioned 20 times, including "a three-person panel of judges".
  • The phrase "the threshold for a decisive outcome be set at a minimum of 67%", is also there. Could you please look at it?--andreasegde (talk) 21:07, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Very interesting but this sort of thing just hurts my head. I cannot for the life of me imagine why on earth anyone cares enough to spend this many hours fighting about it. I advise the world to relax a notch or two.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:26, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Indeed. Fighting over "T" vs "t"? This place is jumping the shark. I'm reminded of Golgafrinchams not being able to invent the wheel for lack of agreeing what color it should be. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:30, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Ahem! Let It Be... Formerip (talk) 21:49, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Hammersoft: I thought the Golgafrinchams were unable to invent fire because their marketing consultants couldn't agree on why people needed fire... or was it that they couldn't agree on what parliamentary procedure to use in their meetings to discuss inventing fire? My commanding officer swore that the entire planet was about to be eaten by a mutant star goat... sorry about that. Back to your regularly scheduled grammatical dispute. I try to Imagine (get it?) what John Lennon would think about all this were he here to see it. I think he would find it very funny, after all, here's a guy who, whenever asked where the name "Beatles" came from, came up with a different fake story every time, just because he got tired of giving the same answer, and now this project has expended gigabytes of storage (and counting) debating, with great earnestness, the crucial issue of whether to put a "The" or a "the" in front of it. There's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend... Neutron (talk) 22:30, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe Jimbo could just flip a coin. And someone could make a template On 4 September 2012, Jimbo flipped a coin. From that day forth this article consistently uses..... Just think how many pointless arguments could be solved this way - French pancakes, Cultured milk products, hyphens vs n-dashes.... --Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:52, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
This idea amuses me greatly. I am thinking of the natural objections and next steps. Why is Jimbo's coin so special? Even Jimbo himself acknowledges that he'd like to have systems in place so that his authority continues to be diminished over time. Is it really right for any one man's coin to have so much power? What we need is a consensus of coin flips. Decisions can only be made when at least 80% of coins agree.
The point I'm driving at is that I think there— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimbo Wales (talkcontribs) 13:38, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
There was a coin-toss template, but it got deleted by the overly tidy minded. Rich Farmbrough, 15:15, 7 September 2012 (UTC).
I take issue with the dispute being trivialized. Somehow, I don't think everyone's reaction would be the same if we had a contingent of editors going around insisting that every occurence of the indefinite article "a" be capitalized, or that we be banned from using it in the middle of a sentence. It's precisely because the community at large has refused to address this issue in the past that I and other editors have gotten so fed up with the constant bickering that we've quit Beatles-related articles entirely. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 21:57, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
You may say Jimbo's a dreamer, but he's not the only one . . . Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:03, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Get back, Jimbo. (This is terrible, it reminds me of the time I got involved in a fish-pun match, just for the halibut, for cod's sake.) Neutron (talk) 22:35, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Evan, my comments do not in an sense mean that I trivialize the dispute. Quite the contrary. The fact that such a debate can occur and cause such massive upheaval is a testament to how at least some aspects of this editing model have failed. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:17, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I do want to trivialize the issue. There is no reason you can't handle this the same way I handle American/British spelling changes in the articles I watch, namely, ignore it. Just ignore it. Really. Looie496 (talk) 22:40, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Um... No. I can't ignore it. Not when it's being brought up on a continual basis by trolls and sockpuppets engaged in a campaign to drive away everyone who disagrees with them. Not when I've dedicated a good portion of my time online to making sure no one ever has to deal with it again, only to be rewarded by constant personal attacks and threats against my life. If you don't want to care about it, that's fine, but don't presume to tell me what to do unless you know the full details of the situation. It's easy to look at it from afar and say, "Dur-hur-hur; ass-hats fighting over a tee! Funny!" But unless you've spent month after month being degraded and attacked because you tried to help resolve this like I have, you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 22:51, 4 September 2012 (UTC)\
Can't one of you code-bot-wizard guys (or gals) invent a thing where you put in your preferences whether you want to see "The" or "the" in front of Beatles, Yardbirds, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (really dating myself here I guess) and whatever, and it automatically capitalizes the "T" if you want. I've seen more amazing things done on here, that shouldn't be any problem at all. I guess it would be tough for names that are also words, like t/The Who, and let's not even talk about t/The t/The. (A little punctuation humor, or is it humour, there.) Neutron (talk) 22:58, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Or, as an alternative, siteban everybody involved. There you go – problem solved. That would at least get rid of the first over-obsessive batch until, inevitably, another batch comes around. --MuZemike 04:51, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Um....No I can't ignore it? Sure you can. You're not willing to ignore it and there's a huge difference.You can ignore it, but you aren't willing to. Silling f'n worthless argument, but you can't ignore it... --OnoremDil 21:31, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
So you're suggesting... what, exactly? That I bury my head in the sand like you and everyone else have? Everyone has been ignoring it since it started, and have you seen it go away yet? Do you honestly think looking the other way and saying "lalala, I can't hear you" is going to accomplish any more than it already has? You're confusing your own interest in this dispute with its validity; they are not the same thing. If you have nothing to contribute on the subject, then do not comment, and do not demean and insult those who are actually trying to bring it to an end. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 22:34, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
It's the kind of silly disagreement that has led to a complex mediation request and fights across the project, that could easily make one accidentally say "grow the fuck up" in frustration, whether you've been involved in the case or not. dangerouspanda 09:06, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm curious, why are disagreements over typography inherently silly and childish? This is an encyclopedia is it not? I suppose you recommend all parties stop debating voluntarily and agree to allow whoever edits the page last to have the final word? What if I went to the United States article and demanded that all instances of "the" before US be capped, e.g. "The United States"? Or how about if I went to the Toronto Maple Leafs' article and demanded all mid-sentence instances of the team name be formatted: "The Toronto Maple Leafs". I suppose anyone who opposed me at those articles would also be silly immature time wasters. Is it possible that not every party to every dispute is equally wrong to support their position? The only reason this has now gone to MedCom is because others have passed the buck with a "shut-up and find something more important to do" reply. Is it so wrong to want this to end, but not want to voluntarily follow an arbitrary demand not supported by any external manuals of style and without any due process? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:17, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

My point was about the setting up of a court with a panel of judges, who would accept a 7-to-3 decision to enforce a rule.--andreasegde (talk) 07:51, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I thought it might have been about the cultural implications of adopting a judicial model to decide details of our Manual of Style. Like, isn't there some easier way of doing this (eg WP:CONSISTENCY)? —MistyMorn (talk) 10:31, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I see no reason to believe that would be any more effective than any of the other non-solutions that have been tried over the reasons. It's taken outside (MedCom) intervention to put a stop to this because some people can't let it go. Consensus isn't enough anymore. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 10:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Saying "Consensus isn't enough anymore" is what is most worrying. Creating a precedent in this way will give credence to people saying "consensus isn't enough anymore" at any time in the future. It's a long and slippery slope.--andreasegde (talk) 12:26, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I am only asking for clarification about consensus, and if it is to be abandoned in favour of a defined percentage of voters in a poll.--andreasegde (talk) 19:41, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
People obsessing over minutia in articles devising overly elaborate decision procedures to resolve such issues? Who'd have guessed that was going to happen? Tijfo098 (talk) 20:39, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I think the consensus over this issue is almost certainly that it is a monumentally stupid thing to waste so much time over. Jimbo should toss a coin, and everyone involved should find something more useful to do. If they can't, they should be shown the door. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:46, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure the coin will care who gives it a toss.
You're right about what the consensus here is, but we haven't really answered the question asked. It looks like some odd means of deciding have been suggested but rejected. There's going to be a poll (not clear what form this will take if not an RfC), a perfectly reliable editor will close it and the disputants agree to be bound. That seems to me like a good way of doing it. Maybe they care too much. But we're all capable of being nerds from time to time. Formerip (talk) 21:40, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Which proves the point about wasting time? Hot Stop (Edits) 06:33, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Time will tell. If the coming poll yields a clear consensus then it will be at once obvious which side was correct all along and which side was wasting other people's time. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 06:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Wrong. There isn't a 'correct' answer. It is a matter of opinion, nothing more. And since there is no more likely to be a clear consensus now than there has been in the past, it will be obvious that all those involved in this facile bit of nit-picking have been wasting everyone's time yet again. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:41, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Exactly! No correct answer; sort of like the opinion as to whether the word "Wikipedia" should be spelled "Wikipedia" or "gfdxklmkldfmdkl". Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 22:49, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Whoa! Slow down there, Socrates. Seriously, you think there is no right or wrong answer to that?! Formerip (talk) 22:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Why is there not a correct answer to "the" v. "The"? Every known style guide agrees with our Wikipedia MoS, which says very clearly to lower-case the definite article mid-sentence when mentioning the Beatles. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:41, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Again, my original point is being side-tracked to the issue of a definite article, which is not why I originally posted here. The setting up of a judicial system to determine the future of Wikipedia consensus is worrying, IMHO. Are we going down the path of "first-past-the-post"?--andreasegde (talk) 17:17, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't think you have made it clear, why it is of concern. In every edit, consensus possibly has to be determined; either it is done informally or, if that does not work, more formally. In matters of style, it usually is going to fall to a more or less arbitrary agreement, since that is what matters of style are. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:52, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but what do you mean by "more formally"?--andreasegde (talk) 18:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Formal process, other than ordinary editing, (eg. RfC; formal adoption of policy or guideline, etc.). Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
A formal process which follows a judicial line of action? I do understand there are rules about how Wikipedia is edited, but they have all been defined through consensus. Are we to follow the line of thought that is being proposed in the link given above? What will this lead to?--andreasegde (talk) 18:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm? Binding mediation; large scale RfC, with definitive close; are how we have addressed problematic issues. So, if you have objections to whatever process is being constructed there, you can talk with those people about that, and perhaps influence however they decide to get it done. It seems it has to be "done" by those volunteers some way (and the choice is rather binary), and uninvolved people are not really interested, except that it get done, so people move on. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:43, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
"Binding mediation"? Is that not an oxymoron? Let's debate the pros and cons of hanging, until it is decided that a judge's decision is final. The word 'final' is uppermost in this case.--andreasegde (talk) 20:59, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Huh? So, we are back where we started. I don't think I have more to add. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:35, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
"the beaTles". There. End of - David Gerard (talk) 23:47, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I want everyone who has commented here to take a look at this and tell me again how awful, silly, childish I am for wanting to end this. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 05:07, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

evan you have so much to learn 103.9.151.142 (talk) 06:16, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

take a look jimbo at how silly your editors are acting over a silly little teeeeee. We like it! 103.9.151.142 (talk) 06:18, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

  • stop the mediation please it is fake and a kangaroo bs steamroller now okay? 41.77.137.96 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:30, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Again, and again, and again, the original point is trying to be diluted. If Wikipedia is to be led by a decision made by a neutral judge, then why don't we all just lay down and accept that consensus is going to die very soon, and things will be decided by a judge? It's scary.--andreasegde (talk) 19:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Nope. If Wikipedia agrees by consensus that this ridiculous argument over trivia can best be settled by appointing an arbitrary and possibly biased 'judge' (who would probably deserve to keep any bribes offered, as compensation for the inevitable flak over his/her decision), by tossing a coin, or by examining the entrails of a dead goat, the sky won't fall in. The consensus is "we don't care, shut the **** up about it and do something useful instead". And if you find the possibility that a miss-capitalised 't' might occur in an article on JPG&R 'scary', I think you may need to examine your perspectives a little. We are making a decision that it is better in this case to reach a 'wrong' decision by arbitrary means than to go over the same old ground again and again - because it isn't important enough to waste further time over. If someone proposed to use the same procedure to determine what the Capital City of the State of Israel was, you might have a point - but that isn't what is happening. We don't care about the decision, so we don't care how it is arrived at. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:13, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
There you go: "we don't care, shut the **** up about it". I'll doff me cap and get back t'work on 'treddle at' mill. Ta very much.--andreasegde (talk) 09:44, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Andy, to clarify, there are no "judges" at the mediation. This is no different then any RfC, AfD, RfA or FAC. Someone uninvolved needs to evaluate the results to determine if a consensus has been reached, its that simple and not at all something to be feared. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:50, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
No probs, Gab.--andreasegde (talk) 09:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

"silly season protection" proposal

At AN/I [17] in response to a long discussion as to what to do with political articles in election season, I proposed:

Place all WP:BLP covered articles connected with politics for the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France for a period of 3 months prior to any major elections in such countries under "silly season protection" with the goal of reducing the use of such articles as campaign vehicles.

I think this is in line with my consistent position about Wikipedia being used as a campaign vehicle, which has, unfortunately, clearly been a problem in the past. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Aren't we about ready for this to be listed at WP:PERENNIAL? I was dragged to ANI a few years ago because a few partisans had a hissy fit about their favorite non-notable politicians being at AfD. Tarc (talk) 13:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Nope - nothing to do with deleting any articles at all -- just a simple recognition that Wikipedia has been abused as a campaign vehicle in the past, and it is time we do something concrete about it. I did not find any similar older proposal at all -- I wonder exactly why you consider it "perennial"? Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Perennial as in there is a "we must do something about it!" proposal around this time of election year, where someone claims that this group of articles needs some sort of special protection above & beyond what we normally do. Tarc (talk) 17:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And so when the invariable articles get in the press about the problem, the solution is to ignore the problem? Nope -- I suggest that the problem exists (The Earth still moves') , and it is in the best interests of the project to do something instead of pretending that "nothing is wrong, folks." As to saying someone claims something is amiss, that is wondrously absurd - as something is amiss with regard to people using Wikipedia as a campaign vehicle. Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Yet another bad publicity

Exclusive: Wikipedia ignores solution to rampant porn problem although maybe there is no such thing as bad publicity? --24.4.36.87 (talk) 14:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Yikes, Fox must be low on news. Company X trying to promote product Y couldn't sell specific product to organization Z. And somehow this is newsworthy? I see the marketer for the product also views it as an "an important issue, They have a social responsibility to address this", which is hardly surprising considering they are selling the product. I think Fox news will be a little shocked when they discover there is actual pornography on the internet; personally I've never found pornography on wikipedia doing my normal editing and reading. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:17, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Nobody cares what fox news is writing. --Conti| 14:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Many do. In September of 2012 Fox News is shown under number 7 in the top 15 Most Popular News Websites.--24.4.36.87 (talk) 14:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
This must be some great company. "Here, we're willing to offer you an almost FREE deal to set ourselves up to censor what your readers can see [for our own political ends], to "automatically inspects and filters user content requests"[18] [and probably make permanent records of every article they browse to be sold for who knows what purposes], [if not put ads on your pages then at least get loads of free publicity], [and probably dictate terms and conditions about what your users can do so that they don't defeat/confuse our filter]" ... "and if you don't buy we'll go to Fox News and make a huge stink about how you wouldn't take our gracious offer." Wnt (talk) 14:49, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
For this to be bad publicity, someone would actually have to give a damn what Fox News thinks. Resolute 15:15, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Someone please ask Larry Sanger if he's read the support FAQ. "After installing the Dynamic Internet Guard filtering solution on our local network, users are experiencing slower than usual surfing speeds," does not inspire confidence in scaling capability. Perhaps if we installed it FOX News would get more viewers. 31.170.166.17 (talk) 16:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Most of the known issues could be addressed by a category based image filter on Commons, which would not be expensive or difficult to introduce. The real problem is the perpetual cry of "OMG censorship" whenever this is proposed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:03, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I've proposed a method that would not be objectionable to me, which I think can be implemented by anyone familiar with writing user scripts. [19] I've had no answer in a very long time now. Someone else apparently has an actual working (but not user friendly) filter using Adblock that was mentioned on Jimbo's page. It sure seems like a lot of people only want to talk about filters that steer straight for the conflicts that arise when people try to come up with some universal one size fits all standard for what is offensive or not. Wnt (talk) 17:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Every single image issue can be avoided by configuring your browser to not display images... it's not that complicated. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:21, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Now a filter that removed Fox News from hotel lobbies and airports? That I'd be interested in... Carrite (talk) 17:56, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

My final plea. TParis and his actions!

TParis posted this on my talk page “I've removed rollback privileges from your account because you've been misusing the tool on Kashmir conflict. You have used the tool in a content dispute here and here and reverted good faith edits here and here. It isn't to make it easier to undo ~20 edits that you disagree with.”

I first thought he wasn't wrong (I have a very forgetful mind you can say). Hence I replied on his talk page, "It won't happen again, I promise. I fully understand that I had, intentionally or not, overstepped my rights. Somebody told me that repeated disruptive edits, can be seen as vandalism. I again say, it won't happen again. And please consider that I use WP:STiki to fight vandalism mostly, and that that contravention, as far as I can remember, wasn't based on malevolent intent (as a side note, If you see the talk and other edit summaries on kashmir conflict, I repeatedly tried to explain that is not the right place to put an infobox). I understand that it doesn't legitimize my contravention, I am not trying to sanitize what I did, not at all but consider my predicament.

Now, please can I get that right back on this condition? That would be great. You can watch me, I will be doubly cautious after this."

Then I remembered, I have not used "rollback" in the first place. I used either "undo" or "restore this version". I even told him, "Sir, I think you have made an honest mistake. I have not used "rollback" there. I used twinkle. Please give me those rights back." His reply was: “If I could remove Twinkle with it, I would.” - I have never talked to him before in my life.

What is going on? I have not violated any rules which could justify this revocation. Technically I am still entitled to this right/permission. I can swear on anything that there are at least scores of other rollbackers and even some admins, if not more, who, like me, have engaged in multiple edit wars (to protect a page without breaking 3RR) and there privileges are quire rightly intact. What about ignore all rules if you think that they prevent you from improving wikipedia, what about collegial collaboration and policies that give Wikipedia its identity? I implore everybody to check my contributions for the past month and check how many actual edit wars I was involved in. Besides, edit warring, while it's a bad practice I admit, shouldn't serve as grounds for removal of rollbacker privilege when I have not abused it at all.

I tried to explain my every edit on kashmir conflict page. In any case, I have not "abused rollback rights". Hence, I went to Wikipedia:ANI#TParis_and_his_actions, a discussion ensued, where most were in favor a warning, at best, but restoring the right/permission.

The discussion was closed prematurely I'd say, "to stop the dramafest". I think it was closed early so that a consensus couldn't be formed in favor of restoring my rights/privilege. What is going on, is not right, Sir! I am feeling discouraged. I do one thing and then I get punished for another. WoW! Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 06:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

What has not been mentioned and was discussed at Wikipedia:ANI#TParis and his actions is that twinkle automatically uses the user right if it is present. If MrT was edit warring (which the editor doesn't seem to deny) with twinkle, rollback would be used. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Although we've been told that it's not considered to be forum-shopping to post here, it's sure looking like it - however, please allow me to comment. I would hope that you will have read some of the comments in the ANI thread - especially considering the user right (note: it's not "right" as in "rights and privileges", it's a technical switch). The Rollback technical right is entrusted only to editors who do not edit war, and who successfully show a pattern of being able to determine vandalism from non-vandalism. It's typically granted after a request is reviewed by a single admin. It can also be removed by a single admin if those undesired behaviours occur.
In the ANI thread, there's a lot of confusion by a number of people on how the rollback/undo work on Wikipedia - this is fairly common. However, you do NOT have to have used rollback itself improperly to have lost the trust of the community to have the extended right to use it.
The thread was closed to save you further embarrassment: there certainly was consensus to not re-grant you the rollback feature at this time. It was also closed to save you from yourself.
Losing access to a technical feature is only permanent if you make it permanent - I even gave you excellent advice in that thread in order to gain it back fairly quickly dangerouspanda 09:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll acknowledge a mistake that I wasn't aware Twinkle was used. There was no (TW) in the edit summary. Whether or not Twinkle used the rollback tool because it was available to the user also isn't important; I do not want to 'win' on a technicality. However, I don't believe this user can be trusted with the right given their very recent content disputes. If some other admin wishes to restore it, that's fine by me, but I won't. Rollback is rollback despite the tool. I feel this is demonstrative that we need a blacklist for Twinkle despite the consensus against it.--v/r - TP 14:31, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I think you mistake might be a bit bigger. I am sill puzzled why you would claim that any tool, rollback or TW, has in any way been abused. These are the 4 diffs you gave to justify removing Rollback. here and here and reverted good faith edits here and here. Each one provides a very detailed edit summary, including some wikilink to relevant policy. Each one also follows an edit by another editor containing NO edit summary. Are you sure you have not simply scanned the diff incorrectly because from where I'm looking, the complainant's edit summaries could not be more detailed. He might have been involved in an edit war, but he abused no user-rights. Leaky Caldron 14:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Edit summary or not, this editor unilaterally reverted ~20 edits in a content dispute after a prior warning about edit warring. I don't see why you won't acknowledge that. Even considering the edit summary: it is not at all sufficient to explain that revert.--v/r - TP 15:08, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I have not denied his involvement in edit warring but cannot see any of the claimed abuse of Rollback or TW which is what you nailed him for. The only abuse of tools in this case is the removal of user-rights for reasons not substantiated by the evidence. Justice is not served by justifying "punishment" for a different reason to that originally claimed and found lacking in evidence. Leaky Caldron 15:18, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I never justified not restoring it based on his behavioral issues like the ANI thread did. You can review the ANI thread to be certain of that. I've maintained the removal was because he was reverting edits in a content dispute after receiving a warning for edit warring.--v/r - TP 15:20, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
This is what you told him on his TP, including refs and bold. "I've removed rollback privileges from your account because you've been misusing the tool on Kashmir conflict. You have used the tool in a content dispute here and here and reverted good faith edits here and here. Rollback is for vandalism only. It isn't to make it easier to undo ~20 edits that you disagree with." You told him that he had misused Rollback - he hadn't used it. You repeated this claim in the 2nd sentence. Finally you said Rollback is for vandalism only."
Again I say to you, he did not use Rollback in any form. This seems to be about your determination not to be found wrong in your assertions about the editor and finding a suitable justification for your erroneous claim that he had abused user-rights. Why not just pursue a proper edit warring case which would likely find against him and with possibly greater sanctions? At least that would be "just". Leaky Caldron 16:07, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Note it should be pointed out here as it was at AN/I that per WP:Rollback, as long as an edit provides an edit summary, it is irrelevant whether the edit technically used rollback or some other technical mechanism. The restrictions on rollback use apply only when it is used without edit summaries. It is therefor irrelevant wether or not the technical implementation of twinkle called the rollback function or performed the edit in some other way. Monty845 16:14, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with both of your characterizations of the story. The summary used was insufficient and the edit had been warned about edit warring before. Also per WP:ROLLBACK, "Administrators may revoke the rollback feature or issue a block in response to a persistent failure to explain reverts, regardless of the means used. However, they should allow the editor an opportunity to explain their use of rollback before taking any action – there may be justification of which the administrator is not aware (such as reversion of a banned user). Similarly, editors who edit war may lose the privilege regardless of the means used to edit war." The editor had warnings that they neglected. They admitted a misuse of the tool. If you want it restored, feel free to ask another admin to do it. My talk page is littered with instances where I've admitted being wrong and instances of apologizing. It's not a pride issue for me, I do not believe this user can be trusted with the tool and that belief extends to the use of twinkle were it not technically impossible to remove.--v/r - TP 16:30, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I meant to add at the AN/I discussion, (but it got closed) I don't think your action is contrary to accepted practice, you clearly did not do anything wrong. It is just that the practice should be changed, such that removal turns on whether the right itself was abused to bring it more in line with the not punishing ideology. Monty845 16:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I think if you tell someone 3 times that they have abused a particular tool and they have not been near the tool in question it is an open and shut case of a mistake. Coming up with a retro-engineered case subsequently is a bit disingenuous. Leaky Caldron 16:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Monty, thanks for the clarification. Leaky, I'm not sure what you think is retro engineered. I've maintained the exact same position. All I've ever done was support my original statement. If you are talking about how the others on the ANI thread said it should not be restored because of this guy's behavior, I've not partaken in that. So I really don't understand. If you want to explain in more detail on my talk page what I've re-engineered; otherwise I think I've explained myself. If my explanation is not sufficient, as you don't believe it is, then another admin can take action. I've been very clear, always, that other admins and editors can disagree with me and turn around a judgement call I made without me throwing a fit. Feel free to do so (or find an admin to do so in this case) if you disagree. I think that's all I've got left to say to you on Jimbo's talk page. We've all really expended more energy into this than the situation calls for.--v/r - TP 16:58, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure why OP is making such a big deal of this. When rollback is misused, deliberately or inadvertently, the right can be taken away. Getting it back is fairly easy - all you need to do is to demonstrate that you've understood where and when it can and cannot be used. In fact, if OP had done just that, and only that, at the beginning of the ANI thread, he would have likely had the tool back. Instead, we've ended up with lengthy exchanges that have merely added to the drama that dogs Wikipedia. If I may suggest to OP, you don't really need the rollback tool in the first place. Rollback is really only useful for those editors on vandalism patrol and your contribution history shows barely any vandal fighting work. You're expending a lot of political capital on something that you don't need. Forget about it and move on. --regentspark (comment) 16:48, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I would be indignant if I was accused of misusing a user-right I had not used. He didn't misuse Rollback deliberately or inadvertently - he didn't use it at all! Leaky Caldron 16:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we can cut to the chase here; I think enough electrons have been slaughtered on this issue. Summary:
    1. Rollback was not misued.
    2. There was some edit warring. Not enough for an edit warring block, and not using rollback, but it was edit warring.
    3. From WP:ROLLBACK: "[E]ditors who edit war may lose the privilege regardless of the means used to edit war."
    4. TParis was therefore within policy to remove rollback. Since it says "may", it would also be within policy to restore it.
    5. There is no consensus on the ANI thread to restore, or remove, rollback.
    6. I am an admin with a different take on this than TParis, and am willing to restore rollback.
    7. TParis has said that he does not object if another admin restores rollback.
    8. User appears to be doing significant vandal fighting, and appears to be doing it correctly. So misuse of rollback not expected in the future.
    9. Simplest thing to do is restore rollback, and monitor for future edit warring.
    10. Trouts might be appropriate for everyone who has commented in either thread, since we've expended a gazillion bytes of discussion about rollback (which is about the most harmless user right there is) for one user.
OK? --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Just do it :) --regentspark (comment) 17:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I have not been involved in an actual edit war. You can call it what you want but if that's an "edit war" then we ignore "edit world wars" every day.
  • See the talk page, see the edit summaries. Heck, see the user's talk page. I am always amenable to discussion even though I do not behave like a sheep, nor am I always a credulous fool. Yes, I edit controversial pages.

    Why do I want the rollback privilege back? The answer is I resent injustice and I equally love Stiki. But, why am I still being asked to prove my point??? It's a black and white issue. No amount of sophistry should be able to obfuscate it. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 17:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

The continued refusal to accept that you have been involved in edit warring is the only reason I have to disagree with the idea that your rights should be restored now. You were edit warring. --OnoremDil 17:18, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Gah, after 3 edit conflicts, I lost my text. Rollback restored. Will stop even trying to comment further here, and will do so on Mrt3366's talk page instead. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:21, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's nice that after all this worthless discussion, you gave your proposal all of 10 minutes for response before going ahead with it. --OnoremDil 17:25, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's a feature, not a bug. Wasting all this discussion on restoring rollback isn't worth it. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:27, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
To move things forward, I've started a discussion about this at Wikipedia talk:Rollback#Removing "regardless of the means used". --Conti| 17:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of my restoration in this particular case, I think this is an excellent idea. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:22, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I will defer to the decision you guys come up with. But this time spare me. Thank you all for bearing with me. I personally apologize for whatever trouble I caused. Forgive me if I've been rude. Watch me I will not get involved unnecessarily in an edit war. Criticize me on my talk page. Warn me! Trout me!

But please don't wrong me. Thank you all again, regardless of your views about me. I will try to be better. I am going to move on. You can watch my edits. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 17:26, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

"Watch me I will not get involved unnecessarily in an edit war." - Don't get involved into an edit war at all. That's one of what I think should be the main points in all of this. Edit warring is not part of dispute resolution. --OnoremDil 17:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Mrt3366, we all make mistakes or get too emotionally invested in a topic from time to time, it is part of being human. TParis made a decision, it was within policy for him to make. That doesn't mean that every admin would have made the same decision, or that I would have made that decision (actually, I've never stripped rights from someone, so I probably wouldn't have thought about it). He said he has no problem with someone else restoring them. This is one of the many grey areas in adminship, where you can do something but you don't have to: it is a judgement call. Fortunately, TParis is one of those admins that doesn't dig in, and openly tells other admins they are free to restore or undo his actions, so it really doesn't have to be a lot of drama. Personally, I would just waited a couple of days and approached him on his talk page in a calm manner, and I bet he would have just restored them. He's actually pretty reasonable and someone I've found to be calm and rational about things. If not, you could have just asked one of us other admins, who would have asked him, he would have said "I already said it is fine if you want to." and it would be done. I understand you are frustrated Mrt3366, I might be as well, but the best solution is often a little calm discussion without pointing fingers, hard feelings, or cluttering up Jimmy's page. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 17:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Your opinion

I'd be interested to learn your opinion about this article http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-wikipedia.html --67.169.11.252 (talk) 18:53, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Seconded. The article begins as follows: Dear Wikipedia, I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all. Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.” Thus was created the occasion for this open letter. After failing to get a change made through the usual channels, I don’t know how else to proceed. A case of Wikipedia hubris? JN466 21:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I initially thought that, but once the timeline was explained, it only brought further confusion. His interlocutor appears to have been his biographer, who suddenly began changing the article section in question. Of course, he was reverted for unsourced changes. Then the biographer reverted back, saying that he was the biographer, but without a source for the change, there's no way we could accept it or even really trust him at his word. Thus, the article was reverted back again and other users added in more reliable sources that further confirmed the way the Inspiration section was written. I don't have a problem with things so far.
But, after that, it doesn't appear that the biographer contacted OTRS or any other Wikipedia related noticeboard or service. I'm not sure who this administrator in question is he is referring to or what he means when the administrator "wrote" to him, since there's certainly nothing on the article talk page about this.
So, it's all very confusing. It seems like Roth just strode straight into our COI guideline and didn't even back himself up with any sources or even proof that he was who he said he was (or who his biographer said he was at least). SilverserenC 01:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Is his biographer Special:Contributions/Nabokov9 who is also apparently the biographer of John Cheever ‎and perhaps others? Dream Focus 01:29, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Press coverage within the last week has been given to the fact that Blake Bailey, the much praised biographer of John Cheever, is working on a biography of Phlip Roth. Bailey has enough credibility as a biographer that his reports that he had recorded interviews of Roth that gave a different inspiration for the character should have been taken on face value.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • If the guy doesn't want an article to mention his nervous breakdown, we shouldn't be listing that. I see that was one thing his biographer removed from another article. And if there was a mistake where his book was inspired by, then that should be removed, and list that the writer says it was inspired by, sourcing the information to him. Dream Focus 01:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • It doesn't say "this is what it was inspired by", it said "this is what this famous critic thinks its inspired by". Huge difference there. SilverserenC 01:38, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
This is on the BBC website today.[20] The problem is that a person who is directly involved in an article should not have a free hand to alter it, as there is a potential for conflict of interest. Also, a quote from WP:PRIMARY: "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source", all of which is relevant here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Theoretically, his biographer could have made a helpful edit. His edit was not helpful because it was removing content that was reliably sourced and was NPOV. I stand by the reversions of his edit, although I cannot address the apparent e-mail issue since no one has released the full account. --Jprg1966 (talk) 06:57, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
The same thing happened at Paul Dirac recently. An IP editor claimed to be Dirac's granddaughter [21] and altered the reason why he turned down a knighthood. The edit was reverted because a) it is unclear whether the IP was Dirac's granddaughter and b), even if she was, it is WP:PRIMARY and contradicts the sourcing from Graham Farmelo's biography.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:27, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Do you realise how this looks to the uninitiated? Something that can only, by definition, be known to the author himself - the inspiration for a character - is not changed because they don't represent a reliable source? It's not beyond the wit of man to check such claims. Now I'm a fan of Wikipedia, especially the little foibles. But this is a case of an admirable project disappearing up a bureaucratic backside.86.5.254.174 (talk) 07:54, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I was aware of this possible interpretation at the time of reverting the Dirac edit, and put an explanation on the talk page. It is hard for random IPs to prove who they say they are, and there is a need to ensure verifiability. In 1972, Richard Nixon could have edited his BLP to say that he had nothing to do with the Watergate break-in, but this would not have been a reliable secondary source. The explanation of WP:PRIMARY seems to have been lost in translation in the case of Philip Roth, and the media is having a field day. All the edit history of The Human Stain shows is that an unsourced IP edit was reverted. Roth or one of his representatives could have started a thread on the talk page explaining what they considered to be wrong.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:12, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
One thing that strikes me reading this is that some regular hands seem to expect the 'uninitiated' already to have familiarity with Wikipedia policies and processes. Although it could be argued that a professional might try to gain some familiarity with the rule tome before WP commencement, isn't this the encyclopedia anyone can edit, you really can? —MistyMorn (talk) 08:48, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Whether they can intuit or not, surely they must be speedily made aware that other anonymous people cannot possibly know, they are who they say they are, and that they have a vested conflict of interest in writing about themselves and their own work, partly because these should be obvious to them. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:03, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
This is not the first time I have wondered about the best way to communicate with a new editor who is using only a (possibly dynamic) IP address and cannot be expected to know much about history and talk pages. If you notice something wrong early enough, a message to the talk page might work, but if the edit is a few hours old you can't really expect the editor to ever see the message. This is also a problem I've encountered when handling the new feedback feature. --Boson (talk) 09:46, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I do think this illustrates the reflexive nastiness and contrariness of Wikipedia. Let's look at what happened: someone wanted entirely erroneous speculation removed. The result was pushback, and a reception section that now consisted to 50% of material about this erroneous speculation, along with four lengthy quotations all about Broyard in the footnotes. This – "You don't like it? Well, let me show you! I have sources!" – is Wikipedia's supposed mechanism for arriving at NPOV, and passes for normal here. The other thing it illustrates is how corrosive anonymous editing is to human discourse. Everyone contributing is considered a potential liar and vandal, because there is no way of telling a liar and vandal from an expert who knows what he is talking about. And because there is no way to tell the difference, both are treated the same. JN466 10:48, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
No. The article at that time noted that critics were struck by the parallel to the life of Anatole Broyard. Phillip Roth in an interview agreed that critics were so struck, but that that was not his inspiration, as he did not know at the time he began writing that Broyard, whom he knew slightly, had African heritage. What it shows is that writers can't control the associations they evoke when they write, a good lesson for Wikipedia writers. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Half of the reception section came to be about Broyard, just because someone saying they represented the author wanted that gone. That's at best thoughtless, and at worst a "Fuck you!" It also illustrates how Wikipedia articles so often get bent all out of shape. Adversaries argue about one specific point, and each brings more and more sources focused on that one point, until that one point assumes a totally undue importance in the article, and you end up with the tail wagging the dog. Contrariness and pushback. JN466 14:17, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
And now the "entire" inspiration section is about "Boyard" and the authors reaction, years later. As far as I can tell, this was the first time Roth published in depth about his inspiration, so now the world has more and clearer knowledge of that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • New essay WP:Mindreader: We have talked, for years, to avoid text which speculates about people's private thoughts and motivations, where such text is rampant in society, as verifiable but typically unprovable remarks. I have created essay "WP:Beware mindreader text" (WP:MINDREAD) to give a spotlight. The text about a writer's "inspiration" as imagined by other people, should never have remained in that article. It was inviting big trouble from the writer(s) and their related associates. However, now we have a term "wp:Mindreader" to help reduce future problems. People will more likely complain about major misstatements, not typos. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:41, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Disagree. Literary and artistic critics speculate on inspiration -- this is part of critical reception. Wikipedia's job is to reflect that accurately. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Wikipedia's job is to reflect literary and artistic critics speculations on inspiration but Wikipedia's job is to reflect what the author is saying too. And here we go Today's headlines: "Wikipedia told Philip Roth he's not "credible source" on book he wrote" ;"Wikipedia Tells Philip Roth He's Not A Credible Source On His Own Book"; "Wikipedia to Philip Roth: Hey, you're not credible"; "The Internet Stain of a Philip Roth Wikipedia Entry";"How Philip Roth Outfoxed Wikipedia's Rules"; "Philip Roth Gets Wikipedia to Remove 'Stain'"--24.4.36.87 (talk) 16:03, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Sure. Except now we know more fully Philip Roth's side of the story and more importantly a reliable source has confirmed that it is, in fact, Philip Roth's side of the story, so now we can report with confidence his side of the story. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
We never said Roth was not a credible source. I have access to the exact email sent. It said we needed secondary sources.--v/r - TP 14:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

What you should all note is that this is the first time ever that Roth has stated what his inspiration was. In past interviews, he just said it wasn't Broyard, but he then said there wasn't any real inspiration. So you can't expect us to have had it say what his real inspiration was when, before yesterday, he had never said it either. SilverserenC 18:43, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

No, it is probably not the first time ever that Roth has stated what his inspiration was. He emailed to somebody from Wikipedia and was told that he, "Roth, was not a credible source". This situation is similar to this one in which an expert tried to improve Wikipedia's article but was told "You're more than welcome to discuss reliable sources here, that's what the talk page is for. However, you might want to have a quick look at Wikipedia's civility policy." Wikipedia has problems, and unwillingness of some of Wikipedians to admit it will only make the matter worse.--24.4.36.87 (talk) 19:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
We never said Roth was not a credible source. That quote is from Roth, not us. The text Roth actually quoted was what we sent him. I have access to the exact email sent. It said we needed secondary sources.--v/r - TP 14:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
To be specific Roth's article says his interlocutor was told Wikipedia needed a secondary source not that Roth was not a credible source (although he interpreted it that way). (In the end, this was incorrect, as Wikipedia has accepted, here, and will accept information from published primary sources under these and similar conditions). A few questions: Can you produce, where else Roth published his inspiration? What exactly is the problem that you are referring to? It is known that anonymous people are anonymous, is that the problem, you are referring to? Are you saying the problem is that Wikipedia relies on WP:Reliable sources? It would help if you could be specific. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Need essay "How to work with notable people": These types of inept interactions with notable people, writers, or celebrities have persisted for years, and we need an essay, "WP:How to work with notable people" to improve the lines of communication. The key pillar is, of course, wp:Assume Good Faith, because 99 times out of 100, when a notable person contacts Wikipedia, then they are, in fact, that notable person. Being too suspicious of a person's identity is like saying, "We need proof of your identity because everyone here is absolutely, totally, and utterly convinced that you are actually a lying, deceitful scoundrel, and even if you are that person, also prove that you are not lying about everything now, you deceitful scoundrel". Any hints as to why that type of interaction would fail to impress notable people? Some level of discretion is needed, and many people are not aware of the balancing act in play. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
^Indeed. The biggest problem here was not the content of the article, nor the process by which it was changed, but the way the person (unknown as far as I can tell) who was in contact with Mr. Roth handled the situation. While the sentiment might have been correct: that we cannot remove the opinions of notable literary critics based on emails from the author, the way in which it was explained was clearly lacking. An essay or guideline could be helpful for those that deal with notable subjects. --Daniel 01:18, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
There is still a mystery about who contacted Philip Roth. The media says "an administrator" but nobody seems to know who it was. Could someone clarify this? The controversial interaction is not on the talk page of The Human Stain.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:26, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
We could just AGF the "interlocutor" and everyone else too. I don't know how the new proposed essay will help, though, as AGF is not just for famous people -- it's for the "Wikipedia administrator" and the ordinary folk too. And it doesn't change the need or the burden for identifying reliable sources -- that still remains. In fact, a far a can be determined, at this point, the "interlocutor" was told in effect, 'I believe you are who you say you are but we need something else . . .' Alanscottwalker (talk) 06:49, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
User:Stan Shebs has said that he was the administrator and yes he should have assumed good faith given Blake Bailey's reputation as a biographer.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh. I thought that was a joke since he said "but seriously." But since Roth did not name his "interlocutor" or the admin. They would have to speak about that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I would say something about this, but when I did that on the article's talk page, my contribution was censored and I was warned about "soapboxing." Of course, the comments there that have praised Wikipedia on the article's talk page have not been removed. Therefore, I see little reason to say anything more here. Moynihanian (talk) 01:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

There may be another in-depth article coming up about Roth and Wikipedia (including the talk page) in the Washington Post. See Talk:Philip Roth#Google search result. Regards, Esowteric+Talk 09:00, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

My inclination would be to say "Bring it on". The material which such non-trivial press cases throw up provide a useful basis for discussion here about the sensitive (and complex) underlying issues. They also provide genuine insights into real-world perspectives from people outside the community. —MistyMorn (talk) 09:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
At twitter, there have been a great many tweets about the Roth affair and most do not understand the idea of reliable sources, saying things like "Roth was told he needed a second source." Esowteric+Talk 10:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And looks like there could be some more tweets coming up http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Operation_Shylock&action=history --24.4.36.87 (talk) 17:15, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
In which the interlocutor does confirm that he is Blake Bailey.--Peter cohen (talk) 21:49, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Best to be a little careful, there. The User in that discussion does identify as Mr. Bailey but not that he is the August 25, "interlocutor." Perhaps that is a reasonable surmise, but why surmise? Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, across at twitter, I'd say that 99% of those retweeting the Roth affair simply see Wikipedia's actions as ludicrous. Esowteric+Talk 17:26, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
What can we do except roll with that, though? We could mount a campaign to set the record straight, but I really don't think it's worth it. The saddest thing about this is someone of Roth's talent being reduced to writing this sort of Polyfilla journalism. Hopefully it's a blip and, for our part, we just carry on. Formerip (talk) 22:27, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Set the record straight on what? If we believe him, he was told he needed a secondary source. People who read that and took us at our word didn't misunderstand the idea of reliable sources. Rather, they took what he was told and correctly understood that it was asking for something that was unreasonable to ask for. The fact that actual Wikipedia policy is to require a reliable source is irrelevant, since that is not what he was told and not what critics are responding to. Wikipedia's actions were ludicrous, even though a theoretical Wikipedia that always correctly follows its own policy and told him the correct thing might not have been. Ken Arromdee (talk) 03:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

The Roth case is also referenced in The Telegraph, in a piece commenting on the Shapps article:

A quick browse through the profiles of MPs reveal that a huge number have entries which tortuously detail trivial events in their political lives. For example, Damian Green’s Wikipedia entry devotes well over 1,000 words to his 2008 arrest alone; for comparison that's more than three times as much wiki-ink as any of Disraeli's governments.

This happens because Wikipedia has become a magnet for political nerds who want to fight proxy battles. With a general election two and a half years away, some think the best way to damage the other side is to use Wikipedia as a vehicle for smears. Equally, many see it as nothing more than an online CV service.

You may question if it matters whether Shapps is reported as having four or five O-levels. The trouble is that ease of access to articles on Wikipedia means they're often used as sources for the media. Wikipedia has mutated from an encyclopedia into the central source for information on public figures. An untrue fact can cascade through a person's life, causing all manner of problems for them.

Self-editing is forbidden is to stop self-promotion; however, it can lead to frustrating situations when false information appears. For example, Philip Roth complained recently that Wikipedia would not accept him as a reliable source on his own novels.

However, Wikipedia allows anonymous editing. Thus those who honestly correct incorrect information are penalised, whereas those willing to edit anonymously, or create sinister false online personas, are given free rein. Johann Hari used Wikipedia as a weapon to attack other journalists, and puff his own achievements. Since then, plenty of others have adopted Hari's tactics.

It's nice to see some of the press finally wake up. JN466 01:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

One problem is that people take the attitude that no information at all should be removed as long as it is verifiable, and that the way to resolve undue weight concerns is to turn on the complainer and say "if you think this section is undue weight, it's your own fault for not adding more information about other topics. Don't remove things that people may be interested in reading." This is a bad idea, but I've seen it a lot. Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:50, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Quite. The thing to note in the Shapps case is that the material Shapps took out was very problematic, and put in by an anonymous editor (User:Modernway) who only discloses that he is "a British Liberal. He lives in London and Brussels." Sounds like someone with LibDem and EC involvement. This was of course well before the LibDem-Tory coalition, when LibDems and Tories sniped at each other happily. This was the edit where the anonymous (or pseudonymous, if you will, though I don't see much difference) "Modernway" added his material. If you look at what the sources said, and what Modernway wrote, skewed and omitted, you could forgive Shapps for being somewhat aggrieved. This is something the press don't pick up on enough: when you get a BLP subject editing their own article, it's often because the article is grossly unfair to them, and in violation of Wikipedia's own policies. Shapps told the Daily Mail, "these days when I see stuff that's blatantly wrong on my Wiki page, I just shrug my shoulders. If people want to claim I'm a Jehovah's Witness, agnostic or crashed a car into a school wall—all real edits I'd previously changed—then I just leave them to it." Those edits he refers to can indeed be found in the edit history. What you see here is that almost the only people editing articles like this are the BLP subject, and people who have an axe to grind against them. Without flagged revisions, no one else bothers to check in and see what is going on, no one picks up on poor content. John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun summed it up well yesterday: I remain convinced that Wikipedia's confidence in its self-correction mechanism is an illusion, that the editing it does is inadequate, and that the outright errors and constant manipulation of entries by interested parties make it an unreliable reference. --JN466 15:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
And, returning to Roth, even though the press have been reasonably favourable to him, established Wikipedians have responded by dopon things such as calling him an arsehole/asshole in the article. Even when they don't do so that blatantly the undue weight now given to this matter in the article amounts to saying "fuck you asshole!".--Peter cohen (talk) 19:07, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Barbara Osgood is hardly what I would call an established Wikipedian and they have been indefinitely blocked for that edit, so I don't see the issue here. As it appears other editors have figured out from the minimal amounts of responses lately in this thread, there's no point in responding to any of you, because no one wants to be in a discussion that's a Wikipediocracy echo chamber and hatefest for Wikipedia. SilverserenC 01:54, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Barbara Osgood was indefinitely blocked well over three days after s/he made that edit, but just three hours after her edit was highlighted on Wikipediocracy. Your guess what was the proximate cause. :) But I know, to you it's all proof that the Wikipedia system of governance is working, when it clearly isn't. Well done. JN466 03:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
She was blocked after I wrote the above. And several years old account, approximately 3K edits. I would hardly call that unestablished. And that's before people consider the suggestion of sockpuppetry.--Peter cohen (talk) 12:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
On the Grant Shapps case, there is [ridiculous SPI] now against him. Two historic BLPNs [[22]] and [[23]] only provided some temporary respite.--Peter cohen (talk) 12:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to all editors to participate in WikiProject ArbCom Reform Party

See here. I've just written up the rudimentary outlines of this. Instead of bickering about ArbCom, let's change the ArbCom system via the elections. Count Iblis (talk) 16:30, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

So throwing more politics on top of the current politics and bureaucracy is going to do any better? --MuZemike 18:15, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, because you need a political process to make the right choices for a system that everyone is subject to. What we need is a debate on a new system and candidates who want to implement that if elected. They run together and ask voters to vote for everyone with that same candidate statment. If there are enough of them elected, they can implement the new system. Other arbitrators who don't want to work in this new system will then be sidelined. So, this solves the problem of having to have a huge supermajority to change things. Count Iblis (talk) 20:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
And we all know how well Parliamentary political systems work in the real world. </sarcasm> Anyways, I know which door I'll be heading to in the event Wikipedia does become a microcosm of the U.S. or UK Government, and that's the exact door I came in some 4 years ago. --MuZemike 20:27, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Before you invite "all editors" to join a political party, don't you think it makes sense to tell your prospective members what your proposed platform (or program, manifesto, or whatever term you choose) for the party is? It is apparent from the Wikiproject page that you have something(s) in particular in mind, so why don't you say what they are? "Reform" can mean almost anything, and therefore, without some additional definition, it means virtually nothing. Neutron (talk) 23:57, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
In other words, you are attempting a coup? Resolute 00:11, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
BTW, I can't really see this proposal ending anywhere other than MFD, but if this nonsense isn't nipped in the bud, you can guarantee that I will be voting against any so-called "reform party candidate" with extreme prejudice. As MuZemike notes, politicizing Wikipedia will do nobody any good. Resolute 00:15, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Voting blocs I think are much more vulnerable to takeover and gaming than individuals. That would worry me. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:28, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I have been a very outspoken critic of Arbcom and I think that there needs to be a serious reengineering effort of Arbcom, how it works, what it does and how it can do it but this is not it. This IMO is replacing one bad thing with problems with another bad thing with different problems. I commend your efforts but this won't work either. Kumioko (talk) 00:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

No comment on the MfD, but doesn't "Reform Party Arbitrators who will hear and conduct cases according to the rules in the Party Program"sound just a teensy bit...Stalinist. I've always thought that one of the strengths of Arbcom is that we disagree with each other so much, that it forces us to constantly think about what we are doing in order to reach consensus decisions. Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:39, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe you could provide some statics to back it up? How many motions (cases) that did not pass because of your "disagreements"?--24.4.36.87 (talk) 17:02, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Or is that the "posse's of people who received sanctions from Arbcom and didn't like them" party? North8000 (talk) 15:11, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I understand if some may see this as "Stalinist", however for Resolute to form an MFD and everyone to be so... well, scared I suppose, that they are so vehemently against the even discussion of this party that they have to destroy it seems MORE Stalinist in nature. That's what Stalin would do to any formation of even just two individuals who went against the status quo of the USSR, destroy it before it went beyond two people. The United States Constitution did not predict the rise of a two-party system (though a political scientist can tell you it was inevitable given winner-take-all elections that the US can only have two major parties), nor did was it written with the intention of political parties whatsoever. Political parties DID however make the Federal government actually able to function (and if you think current disfunction is bad, it would have been a lot worse if party formation had not occurred). As much as you can rail against bureaucracy and politics, it already exists upon Wikipedia, if you are against parties, bureaucracy, politics and such then start your own party against that stuff (perhaps call it the Republican Party? Sounds catchy...) As oxymoronic as it sounds parties in government that are against government actually exist... Turkey even has a Kurdish party that advocates Kurd homeland independence and they get elected to the national legislature that they dont even want to be a part of. The time is here for such an "evolution" of Wikipedia. You started this road the minute the first Administrator was crafted from the clay by Jimbo (or whatever our future Wikipedia Bible will say, because first comes government, then comes religion to justify the government's existence, then something about kissing in a tree and then comes love and a baby... maybe in a treetop... then Athena is born from Zeus' head... then Jimbo is reborn as our Saviour from Arbcom sin after 30 days and nights of worldwide flooding...)
Basically- if enough people really want to join this party and they make a difference, for good or bad, they should have the opportunity to try. Conservative overreacting and crushing change is not what Wikipedia is about.Camelbinky (talk) 16:18, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
My comment was more based on the discussion I've seen so far. The gist of the vehement stuff usually is "they made a finding I didn't like therefore there must be something wrong with them" North8000 (talk) 17:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
What a load of bollocks. A 'political party' on Wikipedia? Some people clearly need to get a sense of perspective. Or a life... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:35, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I think he was referring to Wikipedia:WikiProject ArbCom Reform Party/Bill of Rights Elen of the Roads (talk) 17:50, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
To clarify - I was suggesting that the idea of 'political parties' amongst Wikipedia contributors is bollocks. I probably got the indentation wrong. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

This page Wikipedia:WikiProject_ArbCom_Reform_Party/Bill_of_Rights for the "party" appears to allow:

    • polemic blogs on userspace
    • secret hidden accounts
    • automatic unblocking of blocked editors
    • civil POV pushing
    • limitations on all block lengths
    • allows unsubstianted allegations of discrimination.
    • Opportunities for gaming the system with "juries"

Quite frankly, no sane editor would support it. IRWolfie- (talk) 17:49, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

And so it will fail. But the point is to let it fail. Censoring them and trying to destroy them is only going to make it worse. Let them have their place to feel like they are doing something. Perhaps another "party" will attempt to form with a more reasonable platform.Camelbinky (talk) 17:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
"Censoring them and trying to destroy them is only going to make it worse". Yup. Don't censor them, tell them they are talking bollocks, that their premise is a joke, and that their platform is facile. And as for the 'Trial by jury' section of the 'Bill of Rights', I've not seen such a blatant attempt at jury-rigging in years: "the editor shall have the right to request a pool of editors be canvassed and invited to join the discussion as jurors, who have been chosen by a provably random method biased toward selecting jurors who have been recently active in edits made within the accused's approximate time zone" (my emphasis). If you are going to try to rig a jury, please at least have the sense not to tell everyone you are doing it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:07, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the bad wording in my draft - I never actually meant to geolocate jurors, but only to find jurors chosen on the basis that they had recently been active within a range of time chosen by the defendant. That was indeed bad wording, and I didn't even realize last night after you bolded it! Wnt (talk) 12:23, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
LOL! And what legitimate jury would be prepared to face the barracking Arbcom gets from the same group of people every time it acts. No chance of ever removing a rouge admin's bit or banning an edit warrior ever again.Elen of the Roads (talk) 18:16, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Or put the other way, all you need to be immune from blocking/banning is to be friendly with the people who own the party. And no, Camelbinky, MfDing a stupid idea does not constitute "censorship", as Count Iblis and any other people behind this are still free to propose their changes at legitimate venues. What I was hoping to shut down was the transparent attempt to bypass policy and consensus that is proposal entails. This "party" would take policy decisions out of the hands of the community, and restrict it to party supporters. That is not cool, nor should it be encouraged. But, thus far, it seems people wish to waste their time on this nonsense. A pity, but there it is. Resolute 21:59, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing to prevent editors from standing in ArbCom elections who ask voters to also vote for some other candidates. So, whether you like it or not, one can use the ArbCom elections to reform ArbCom and thereby bypass the huge supermajority you normally need to reform the system. This is best done on-Wiki with a lot of feedback from editors. If it can't be done on that Wiki-project, it can be done on my userspace. if that isn't allowed either, it can be done on my blog, via email or via other means. Count Iblis (talk) 22:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
To do what you would say you need an actual concrete proposal. Your proposed bill of rights is counter-productive and would damage wikipedia if ever in-acted. For example, automatically unblocking people who are blocked is just plain stupid. Your rights aren't even related to reforming arbitration, they are actions that are designed to effect all throughout wikipedia. What you are actually proposing is to add new pillars to wikipedia. I've set up the Things mostly work, let's keep doing roughly the same thing party which proposes to be the do-nothing party. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:43, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Arbitration policy cannot be changed, even by Arbcom without putting it to a community vote, though Arbcom can put a proposed amendment to a vote much more easily then a community proposal that Arbcom does not approve, which requires an onerous petition. Changing policy without putting it to a vote would create a major governance crisis. Monty845 23:48, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The so-called "Bill of Rights" is actually rather amusing. Count Iblis' proposal to remake ArbCom as he sees fit suddenly became a proposal to remake all of Wikipedia to suit the viewpoint of the central committee. A poor proposal became bad faith in less than a day, imnsho. Resolute 00:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
There's already (unofficial) political parties & voting blocs on Wikipedia. They're called WikiProjects & WikiProject members, IMO. GoodDay (talk) 01:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

User Iridescent was the only honorable person who served on the Arbitration Committee in the recent years. That's why he was voted off the island.--37.157.246.90 (talk) 03:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Iridescent was removed by motion from the committee solely in order to allow the community to elect a replacement at the next scheduled election--or more precisely, to allow the community to decide whether to elect a replacement for the remaining year of Iridescent's two-year term after months of non-contribution to and rather complete non-communication with the committee. Since I have been the beneficiary of that unexpired term, I believe I'm in a reasonable position to comment on the effect. Were Xeno in the same position (with an unexpired year of tenure, an upcoming election, a lack of communication, and an inability to discharge the duties of an arbitrator), we would almost certainly be considering the same outcome. (In fact, the situation is rather unlike, since Xeno has been in contact with us and his term expires at the next scheduled election, but he is the closest relevant example) Jclemens (talk) 04:31, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • My reaction after a first read: A bad idea in that it will factionalize Wikipedia. Full disclosure: I am hardly pleased with several rulings by ArbCom of late. However, the concept of voting blocs organized by "parties" is unseemly, awkward and an embarrassment. We are all Wikipedians in the final analysis. We need to act as a community. Jusdafax 05:56, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I believe non-communication with the committee was Iridescent's way to express his disagreement with the Committee's practices. Iridescen writes: It's no secret that I think Wikipedia in its current form has become overwhelmed by its own bureaucracy and a self-appointing elite who control that bureaucracy, and that the structure will collapse completely if given a strong enough kick and you know what,I think he's right!--24.4.36.87 (talk) 06:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Arbcom is the best bit of the dispute resolution process. I don't think politicising Arbcom will offer any improvements, and although I have called for changes before I would be tempted not to make too many changes as it seems to work reasonably well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't buy that; no one knows what, if anything, would cause Wikipedia to "collapse". That just sounds like bluster from a burned-out person who should have quit a long time before she did and is attempting to blame the community for her now lack of interest; see WP:OWB#2. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The way Wikipedia collapses is if (when) outside interests, whether driven by monetary or political considerations, manage to get enough board members or perhaps WMF employees and arbitrators on their side to fully subvert Wikipedia from the inside. To me, the Fae decision looked like a major step in such a program, even if I don't recognize the details. To "corporate raiders" Wikipedia's credibility and site traffic are vast assets waiting to be liquidated in exchange for votes and market share. Once the encyclopedia is discredited, the push to fork begins in earnest - which may involve a small number of noble and innovative solutions like fed.wiki.org (though I think a MediaWiki implementation of its principles might work better). But I'm thinking that Hudong, Baide Baiku, maybe Google itself ... someone would rush in to try to make the best-known fork using a quick infusion of capital. Once that happens, and once Google starts linking to the new copy instead of the old, Wikipedia would probably implode quite quickly under a huge operating budget. I would guess Wikipedia will take years to sink, but the end will come with surprising speed. Wnt (talk) 18:22, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, why are you still wasting your time here instead of getting a head start on your own fork which will be the one true Wikipedia when the original inevitably falls to the machinations of the New World Order? I would even be willing to help you set it up, if it will make you go away. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Delicious, do you ever go to any discussion and say anything constructive (Personal attack removed).Camelbinky (talk) 19:12, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Re: Bill of Rights

  • I should note that I unilaterally proposed the Bill of Rights after reading Iblis' call for ideas, and it hasn't been ratified by anyone. Yes, much of it is in response to specific cases where I feel ArbCom made the wrong decision - which should be taken as a sign that I intend it as a list of procedures that ArbCom can implement within (or to limit) its own purview, rather than a plan to increase their power and impose "Stalinistic" central control. It is indeed a very rough draft which cannot be fully refined until those interested in the project put themselves forward to discuss it.
  • In defense of my proposal to limit the length of indefinite bans, I can only say that I don't believe that people will necessarily be re-blocked if they return to the project five years after a previous ban. It is entirely possible that they will have changed. However much it may match the pattern of the "real world", we should not subscribe to a cult of youth where those who first come to us are regarded as perfect characters and then we gradually brand, mutilate, and destroy editors in a slow accumulation of complaints over time. We should allow people a fresh chance, which has to mean being willing to place some sunset on how far into the past we are willing to look for problems.
  • As for the trial by jury and the biasing thereof - the scheme I have in mind is that we take the results of one or more national lotteries, use them to select a revision number beginning at a specific time which is convenient to the defendant (so that he is more likely to be able to converse in real time with the jury). The odds of a juror being selected would be proportional to the amount he had been editing in the days leading up to the lottery. After selections, the defendant (and also the accuser, I imagine) could issue peremptory challenges against a few jurors they know or think or imagine to be biased. Then the rest would be canvassed, preferably by a neutral party i.e. a clerk, to come and look at the situation (presumably the parties have already laid out their positions regarding the facts). In this way a jury of people not directly involved in the case could make an impartial decision. I'm picturing that this would be a way to make ArbCom proceedings more democratic, but it would be desirable to emulate at other proceedings such as RfC/U. That said, I proposed this Bill of Rights for the ArbCom Reform Party and recognize that without further community action it would be applicable only to those situations where the candidates elected had the power to do so. Wnt (talk) 05:24, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Can you clarify why you think 'juries' need to be selected from the same nationality as the 'defendant'? For the life of me I can't see why this is likely to reduce bias. And why is it necessary to 'converse in real time'? Are you proposing that 'jurors' actually investigate the 'case' themselves, rather than reaching a 'verdict' according to evidence provided by others? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
My only consideration was that juror could ask a question and get an answer in near-real time. If two people are both on Wikipedia at once, they can have a conversation in fifteen minutes that otherwise might take four days. Because some people edit in the morning, some at night, some even at work, I didn't think that the effect on nationality of jurors would be particularly important. I suppose I could take it out if there's this much rejection of it - the whole point of the process is to be fair - it would actually make it easier to implement simply. Wnt (talk) 12:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Ooops! I just reread this and finally got why this was so wrong - I didn't actually mean to determine the physical time zone where jurors live, but only to find jurors who, by chance edited within the range of times at which the editor was active. Sorry for all confusion - I didn't realize my first draft would get so much attention here so quickly. Wnt (talk) 12:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I should also clarify that yes, I expect jurors to have some investigative role. The moment you cite a diff in a presentation of evidence, you're inviting the juror to go back and investigate - it's inevitable. Supposedly there are still some states in the U.S. where jurors are allowed to raise their hands and ask questions at trial, and I don't see what is wrong with that. We won't be able to enforce the sorts of rules of evidence that keep jurors in IRL trials ignorant of key points - actually that doesn't seem like such a bad thing to me. So yes, I'd want them to be able to ask questions. Wnt (talk) 14:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Why not to pardon some blocked users? I would have started with Will BeBack, Ottava Rima, Peter Domain and Fae. I am sure this approach will greatly improve the atmosphere around here. --24.4.36.87 (talk) 06:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
By the time good ArbCom candidates are found, voted on, empanelled, and have a chance to implement reforms, any user I could name would already be at least eligible to ask ArbCom to return, so this would be pointless. The important thing is to create and strengthen the sense of rights - social highways within which people feel safe and free to navigate without being stopped and questioned. The more rights people have, the more harmonious their interactions can become. To take an example from real life, if you don't have free speech, saying someone is a liar can lead to a duel - but with it, it is just idle complaining. Wnt (talk) 12:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Rights for the sake of rights are counter-productive unless they have some sort of proven usefulness in terms of encyclopaedia building. US style Free speech for example would definitely be a net negative for wikipedia and would lead to more polemic blogs and rants.
This "right" is specifically problematic: "When each individual edit is acceptable under Wikipedia policy, he shall not be subject to penalty because of the "overall bias" or effect of such edits taken in collective." i.e if you can civil POV push or edit war, you can't be blocked, because each individual edit is not a blockable offence. You have constructed a system which is perfect for gaming wikipedia. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe there's a way to put this better, but the fourth edit in a 4RR is not the same as the first; it's recognizable as a fourth revert banned by policy. Now "civil POV pushing" is another matter - I've seen this vaguely defined, mostly in terms of admins saying what they can't do about it. When civil POV pushing is done by reverting and Wikilawyering, the edits are not good edits. You have edit after edit in which the "pusher" is saying "this violates policy X", and it's a line of bull, so X changes every time. But other people will try to claim it's "civil POV pushing" if, say, you edit Wikipedia to add a mention of a news story every time a Republican gets indicted for something. I find that to be improper - it's unreasonable to expect an editor to be neutral overall in his editing style. Wnt (talk) 14:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The use of the term 'rights' in this context is meaningless anyway. Wikipedia is in no position to either extend or restrict individuals legal rights, as set down by applicable laws. It is pretentious twaddle to suggest otherwise. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why we should go around pardoning lots of editors until we can improve our behavioural dispute resolution processes significantly - I'm sure as it is you could ask Arbcom to allow you to come back after 5-10 years or so with a fresh account with no particular problem. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I think you should go around pardoning lots of editors because besides being Wikipedians you should try to remain humans. Besides 5-10 years is way too long. By that time Wikipedia could collapse as Iridescent predicted just above.--109.123.87.153 (talk) 14:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
You have to understand that the vast, vast majority of Wikipedia editors don't end up getting community banned because they seem to manage to behave to an appropriate standard. I really see very little reason to change the process for a tiny minority of editors who get community banned.
If anything editors are driven away from the project because the current process to remove editors who aren't able to contribute appropriately is too convoluted and difficult to deal with. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
There already is a process for editors to request to be unblocked. "Indefinite isn't permanent". IRWolfie- (talk) 13:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I understand this; even so, there is a certain pride barrier to deal with, and a vulnerability afterward that may be too maddening for some people. I think it would be good to sunset everything after some substantial time has passed - the sanctions and any "unindicted" offenses; just put it all out of our minds and start fresh with an editor just as if he were starting for the first time, but without having to actually be ignorant of how things went before, so that we can still try for a better outcome. Wnt (talk) 14:30, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, do you not agree that the reality is that an editor who was banned five years ago and has never edited since, and who asks to return, is likely to be allowed to return. If not, would a better suggestion be to load the appeal procedure more in favour of allowing a return in such situations. What your suggestion would do is force us to readmit Johnny the Vandal because it was five years since we first banned him, even though he's still socking and vandalising.Elen of the Roads (talk) 14:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't think I was that unclear; I'm not saying he couldn't be penalized for things he's done more recently. Wnt (talk) 15:22, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't think that was what you meant. It was the way it was focused made it sound like that. I'm saying it would be better on focusing on a better unban process (the current BASC process by no means qualifying as the bees knees), rather than just making bans time limited. Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:52, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Just as a general statement, I see several areas where the proposed "Bill of Rights" does not comply with the Terms of use, and the majority of it refers to community–developed and approved policies that are not under the control of the Arbitration Committee. I will make further comments on its talk page. Risker (talk) 15:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
@Elen why are you trying to pretend that the Arbitration Committee acts only against vandals? When was the last time a vandal was banned by the Arbitration Committee? The Arbitration Committee acts against editors not vandals. Iridescent was mentioned a few times here so let me quote him one more time "...but you're not arguing for the return of Ottava, Mattisse, Peter Damian, Kohs, Mbz1 and many more, all of whom were considerably more productive and certainly no more disruptive.)" --176.67.165.198 (talk) 16:09, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Point me to where I said the Arbitration Committee ever dealt with vandals. It almost never deals with vandals. Vandals get dealt with at a very low level. And I think the creators of this initiative have just let their slip show.Elen of the Roads (talk) 16:15, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
(As an aside, uninvolved administrators and/or checkusers might want to look at some of the IPs that have been posting in relation to this issue, as at least two of them appear to be confirmed open proxies. While I support members of the community participating in this discussion — there is always room for improvement — the community has a longstanding prohibition on avoiding scrutiny and/or evading sanctions. Risker (talk) 16:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC))


You like Wikipedia's policices don't you? Then you should probably know that CU is not for fishing.

Oh these Wikipedia's policies, the polices that are executed by true believers, the policies that make this site laughable, the polices that bring more harm than good.

Example: A banned user made a sock account named Warrah. This sock account created lots of valuable, encyclopedic articles. The sock was discovered and blocked which is fine. More than 1.5 years later admin DragonflySixtyseven deleted articles created by Warrah with the reason "article created by banned user in violation of ban".

In particular the administrator deleted:

Two articles on films that are part of the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry: "Commandment Keep Church, Beaufort, South Carolina (May 1940)" and "Kannapolis, N.C. (1941 film)." A third National Film Registry-related article, "Traffic in Souls," was also deleted but was later recreated by another person.

Two articles about noted U.S. zoologists William G. Conway and Susan K. Avery.

An article about the critically acclaimed biography "Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just."

An article about the book “The Biology of the Cell Surface,” written by the aforementioned Ernest Everett Just (it is one of the most important books in early 20th century marine biology).

An article about the American Wind and Wildlife Institute, a prominent U.S. wind energy and environmental organization.

An article about the environmental book and documentary "River of Renewal: Myth and History in the Klamath Basin."

An article about Absalom Boston, the first African American whaling ship captain.

An article about the maritime folk song "John Kanaka."

Articles about the famous paintings "The Dream" (Rousseau), "Lions in the Desert" (Tanner) and "Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio" (Chagall).

Articles about two New England museums: Azorean Maritime Heritage Society and Kendall Whaling Museum.

Articles about two organizations that preserve U.S. whaling history, The X Seamen's Institute and Melville Society.

An article about the acclaimed indie publishing company Orchises Press.

An article about the Sarawak pygmy swellshark. (I guess it is not such a notable shark after all?)

An article about the influential U.S. pediatric physician/researcher Sidney V. Haas.

An article about the U.S. television program "Zoorama."

An article on Scottish historian Ashley Cowie (someone else rewrote it).

An article on the Giant Solenodon (somehow that got restored).

To protect Wikipedia don't go after socks of banned users, better look at actions of Wikipedia administrators.--31.193.138.200 (talk) 23:41, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

  • And that sounds like a bad decision. And it is probably fair to say that we need to completely re-write a portion of our admin policies. Arbcom seems to be one of the relatively well working bits. Not that it is a high bar, but Arbcom is considered in a significantly higher esteem than the British Parliament or the US Congress. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:39, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
    You suggest re-writing a portion of Wikipedia admin policies, Wikid77 thinks writing a new essay could be helpful. But you fail to understand that no policy could overpower the lack of intelligence and no essay could stop overzealous true believers.--31.193.138.223 (talk) 16:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I think you've hit the nail on the head there, Eraserhead. "Wikipedia is corrupt, we need politicians to take over and run it!" AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:36, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems likely that this IP is the banned editor. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. Any CU's around? Yeknom Dnalsli (expound your voicebox here) 17:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's completely asinine for us to pretend we can ban anybody as long as we have IP editing, no real name/verified email registration, and multiple accounts allowed. As long as anonymity is worshipped, we're just chasing our tails trying to snuff out participation from anyone, be they a good or bad actor. I don't think ArbCom is a problem at all, other than the fact that they deliberate opaquely by email and work far too slowly; the problem is our obsession with playing Whack-A-Mole with sockpuppets when the "game" is completely unwinnable from the get-go due to the cult of anonymity. In the case above: who cares if an editor is "banned" if the contributions are good? The key thing is that the contributions made meet site standards for sourcing, tone, and accuracy. Judge the edits, not the editor — and if you really want to start banning people, make the process possible with fundamental structural reform in terms of registration and Sign-In-To-Edit... Carrite (talk) 18:08, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

How many defamatory edits before an established editor is blocked?

  • 10:39, 8 September 2012 Barbara Osgood "Philip Milton Roth (born March 19, 1933[1]) is a well-known arsehole and novelist." Earned the editor (established since 2006) a mild rebuke [24]. Then someone else spotted this contribution on 22:11, 7 May 2010 "David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a cunt". Editor now blocked. So the rule is that calling a world-established author "an arsehole" gets a telling-off. Calling the Prime Minister a 'cunt' gets an indef block [25]. Actually I see that if the editor says it won't happen again, they will be let off. Fair do's. 31.53.54.93 (talk) 19:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I have a talk page, you know. If you have a question about a block I've made, ask me about it. You have completely misinterpreted the reason for the block, of course. I blocked Barbara Osgood because they made both edits - the second one after being warned about the first one - not because I consider one worse than the other. There's really no other reasonable way to interpret what I wrote on their talk page. "...if the editor says it won't happen again, they will be let off" is another intentional misreading of what I said; I'm beginning to see a pattern here. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:11, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I left the user a mild (#2 vandal) warning, since I'm merely a fellow editor, not admin and didn't dig into history too deeply. Regards, Esowteric+Talk 20:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I think this is all fine. It's a judgment call based on the circumstances, but many people who make an obnoxious edit as their first edit are just testing - they can't quite believe that we are as open as we are. Then, after they are reverted and told to knock it off, they feel sheepish and behave going forward. No big deal.
Now, given that the account had been established, it is said, since 2006, I'd take a different view and block them immediately. But if someone overlooked that tidbit, then I think that's a valid criticism of our primitive tools.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:23, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Did I understand you correctly? If I create an account and edit your bio like this: "Jimmy Donal Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur also known for using his website to dump his lover, you'd say "this is all fine. No big deal. A newbie is just testing." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 37.123.114.52 (talk) 21:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
No, you did not understand me correctly. Let me repeat: "It's a judgment call based on the circumstances".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
31.53.54.93 has been blocked, I think it's clear that 37.123.114.52 is the same editor. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:51, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
And what is this IP is blocked for?--176.67.166.218 (talk) 22:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It is clear that you are the same editor, and that you are an experienced editor (who has been blocked?). IRWolfie- (talk) 22:48, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Open proxies, socking and block evasion...take your pick as all apply.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 22:51, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
This version of the user's talk page is a little unforunate, though. I presume it results from a level of automation in the process for granting the pending-changes reviewer privilege . --Boson (talk) 22:26, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Without getting lost in the individual details of the IP's complaint, vandalizing wikipedia with a registered account is just like speeding in real life. Sometimes no one catches you. Sometimes you get pulled over, but the cop gives you a stern warning. Sometimes you get a ticket. Sometimes you get out of the car, take a swing at the cop and end up in jail with a busted lip. Is one way better then the rest, probably. But it's the way the world works when you have multiple people making judgement call.--Cube lurker (talk) 22:32, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Add this complexity to your speeding ticket analogy: If I'm ticketed in the real world for speeding, but was in a group of cars all travelling at the same speed, the officer shouldn't ticket me and if he does I can have it thrown out since the officer exercised selectivity in picking me out of group. Not the same at WP: blocks made aren't thrown out based on any argument based on selectivity. As a result it's a contributor to unequal/inconsistent CIV enforcement, and users' complaints regarding same. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 23:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
There is no justice at Wikipedia. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 23:46, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
No justice is fine so long as its equal injustice. On wikipedia though, registered users are given a much wider birth than ips which is not right to me. Users get away with everything and ips get blocked for anything. 79.172.242.158 (talk) 01:31, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Registered users have an established and searchable track record. IPs can switch in a minute so continuity is impossible in most circumstances. And while most IPs edits are very good and every article edit should be judged on its own merits, it has been documented that 80% of all vandalism comes from IPs, a fact that can not be ignored. It is no wonder that people tend to give registered users a little extra leeway as there is a higher degree of accountability with a registered account. Registering is free, by the way. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 01:38, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Ihardlythinkso - you might want to check with a lawyer before you try that. You'll be disappointed.--v/r - TP 13:01, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:NOTTHEM arguments work in real life with a cop as well as they work in unblock request on WP. If you are speeding with a group of cars and you get pulled over the officer is fully within his rights to give you a ticket. American legal systems generally don't have a "well they were doing it too" clause (I say American only because I am unfamiliar with other legal systems, and I would be surprised if such excuses worked in the Congo). Sædontalk 01:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
What is this "equal injustice" of which you speak? Injustice is never equal; that's why it's injustice.
That said, established users should damn well know better than to vandalize pages. Whether it was done maliciously or for other reasons, it raises serious questions about the editor's future behavior. Beyond that, I agree with Dennis. Most of the problems I've dealt with on Wikipedia have been from IPs, so a little bit of profiling is called for in certain cases. Not all IPs are vandals, of course, but a large enough portion of them are that it makes sense to give them a shorter leash than registered users. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 01:49, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
(Primarily directed to IP 79.....) If we're discussing the difference between IP vandalism blocks & registered user vandalism blocks it's true that IP's may get less rope than regular users, but in most situations it only ends up with a 24 hour block for the IP. Once the rope runs out for the registered user they end up indeffed. (note i'm talking about vandalism, not more grey areas).--Cube lurker (talk) 01:53, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Blocking dynamic IPs and proxies is the silliest thing to do. This IP I am using now has some Wikipedia's record but I am using this IP for the first and for the last time as well. Next time I go to Internet my ISP will assign an absolutely different IP to my computer, and this does not depend on my wish. If you are to block this IP I would probably never find out about this but blocking this IP could prevent somebody else from making positive contributions. Also please remember that some users are editing from Iran, and they are using proxies because of privacy concerns. Please stop tilting at windmills, just admit that blocking dynamic IPs and proxies brings more harm than good. --216.119.153.205 (talk) 03:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

  1. Most IP addresses are sufficiently stable so that a vandal will notice a 31-hour block. For those that are not, we often use rangeblocks. One bad apple does spoil the whole batch.
  2. Nope. Proxies in the past have brought too much disruption to permit editing from them.
In short, until computers can read the minds of editors to check whether they are vandalizing or not, this won't stop.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Can you provide any actual evidence that "blocking dynamic IPs and proxies brings more harm than good", or is that just you opinion? AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
80-90% of the time, blocking IPs or rangeblocking a group of IPs is effective the first or second time, at least for a reasonable period of time. That is a pretty solid track record, so I think I will keep doing it. As for proxy's, of course we will block open proxies on site, without cause, and will closed proxies if they create enough issues. There is always the risk of collateral damage, but it is less than the price of doing nothing. This is why we have block exemptions available for registered users who need it. I did one of those just two days ago. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 14:04, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Here's a piece of good news about Wikipedia.

Here is an article about a student who discovered how Wikipedia can be used reliably. I notice a bunch of people come to your talk page to complain. I hope this offsets some of their doom and gloom. I'd say thanks for creating Wikipedia, but really it's thanks for letting us create Wikipedia. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:08, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Someone might want to check what the rival school is: "A few years ago, my friends and I looked up the Wikipedia pages for our school and our rival school. We messed around on those pages, changing descriptions and sports statistics to make our school look better and the rival school worse." IRWolfie- (talk) 09:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
"...there’s a network of thousands of trained volunteers who try to prevent errors and solve disputes. I thought this was cool." Yes, that would be cool! DeCausa (talk) 09:52, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
IRWolfie-, no need to check the rival school; "We hit refresh and all the changes were gone." -- Cheers, Riley Huntley talk 14:34, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I scanned through the page and missed that. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
"Bang and the vandalism is gone!" - I wish we had more of those magic wiki-household cleaner buttons... Martinevans123 (talk) 14:51, 12 September 2012 (UTC)