User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 138

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

systemic problems evident

{{RfC}}

Look countless articles such as (11452) 1980 KE stand in violation of WP:NASTRO/WP:GNG! What's to be done? Please every/anyone, your thoughts? Chrisrus (talk) 17:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

  • It seems the last of our problems. A concerted effort to merge all of them in appropriate places would be nice, and I'd be glad to help if there are instructions, sure. But it hardly seems to me that these little stubs endanger the encyclopedia or make it substantially worse. -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Does Wikipedia have notability standards or not? Chrisrus (talk) 18:23, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

It may help to watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJsUDcSc6hE. Imagine if each dot were an article on Wikipedia. Chrisrus (talk) 18:35, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I've nullified your RfC template above -- please do not restore it. It is not appropriate to do an RfC on Jimbo's talk page. Instead, please do the RfC at possibly Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy or some other more appropriate venue, but not here. It is appropriate to talk about it here, but not to do an RfC. Rgrds. --64.85.214.168 (talk) 18:47, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I've already done that; the Astronomy community would rather leave this problem under the rug. The question at this point is, if informed about the problem, the rest of the community agree. Do we have notability standards or not? Chrisrus (talk) 18:57, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Not commenting on the question of whether this is a problem or not; just commenting on where to do the RfC. If a local consensus at WP:Astronomy decided one way, and you believe an overriding policy/guideline is being violated, then take the RfC to the main GNG talk page. This is just one (anon) editor's opinion, and someone else might have better advice than I. Rgrds. --64.85.214.168 (talk) 19:07, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Also, it is not a problem: it is a matter of some boring cleanup. No need to create drama about it, just quietly merge the articles and redirect them. Oh and I would love to see an article on each of those dots, in theory -if only we had enough RS for each one of these. We are not made of paper after all...-- cyclopiaspeak! 19:29, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
How? How would this clean up be done? We need at least the beginnings of the outline of a plan. Bots will be needed, but they must be given the right instructions.
If you want to see one of something for each of these dots, it was decided long ago that it be an entry on the List of minor planets, not articles. Let's not re-hash the long settled idea (see WP:NASTRO that these articles should ever have been created. The only question now can we get rid of them. Chrisrus (talk) 20:02, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Which "Astronomy community", exactly, is being attacked here? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:34, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry you used the word "attack". If you would go Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy and ask about cleaning up all these NASTRO-failing articles, you will see what I am trying to say. If I'm wrong and you don't, that'd be great, but I think you'll see what happens when one takes this problem there. Chrisrus (talk) 19:53, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I see no recent posts of yours there. Could you link where you talked with the wikiproject about this issue? -- cyclopiaspeak! 19:59, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Search the archives for my name. brb.... Chrisrus (talk) 20:03, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I found this. Looks like they were quite supportive. -- cyclopiaspeak! 20:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I'm back. Here is some of it: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Astronomical_objects/Archive_22#Straw_poll:_Automated_stub_redirection, Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Astronomical_objects/Archive_21#Notability_.28astronomical_objects.29_promoted_to_guideline. We started in that direction and it was blocked. Chrisrus (talk) 20:36, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, you didn't mention your aim is to have a mass redirection bot for the stubs, that you know will have collateral damage. User:Christopher Thomas explained quite clearly in the discussion why that is not going to fly. The stubs, while not formally GNG/NASTRO perfectly compliant, are basically harmless to the project, while your proposed bot would almost surely damage articles on notable objects. If you want to redirect stubs one by one, after applying a healthy dose of WP:BEFORE, nobody is stopping you. But such a proposal is dangerous. You can't complain it didn't work. -- cyclopiaspeak! 20:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I thought I had been perfectly clear from the beginning that the problem is countless articles represented by a few that I presented. After I was so clearly told at that link there to expect no cooperation from getting rid of these NASTRO violators, I went directly to the good folks at WP:BOTREQ and together with many helpful people there proved that it can, in fact, be done with bots, even safely following all instructions at NASTRO for a "good faith effort" to establish notability for articles that do not do that for themselves. Which, as I read GNG is not how it's supposed to work, but we obediently stepped through every notability check NASTRO asks for. We made substantial progress until at the last moment of the first round of deletions/re-directions to List of minor planets, Rich Farborough was blocked from using bots. I couldn't pick up the pieces and continue without his help, but we did nevertheless prove that those at the Astronomy project who said it couldn't be safely done with bots were wrong. And please don't believe that someone going through deleting them all by hand is any kind of solution; this can only be done with bots or not at all. It can be done safely with bots and I can prove it, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=chrisrus&prefix=Wikipedia%3ABot+requests%2F&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Search . Chrisrus (talk) 21:12, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You have been perfectly clear that the problem is countless articles, you weren't perfectly clear you were proposing mass redirection bots. Thanks for clarifying this part of the story now. It looks like your "good faith effort" is an automated search on http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi for references. However this doesn't prove that the folks at WP Astronomy were wrong. It only proves that you found a possible and relatively clever shortcut, which however cannot substitute human hand, in my opinion. Granted, you could do something similar also looking on Google Scholar, for example, and have a very good case for little or no notability. However, again, the point is that with 10K+ articles, this kind of bot thing is doomed to fail somewhere, redirecting (and effectively killing) an article which instead could have stayed (Hypothetical-but-meaningful example: The title of the article has some special character that the bot/the JPL website does not handle correctly, so it returns zero references -because it can't find the object- where instead maybe there are). And all of this would bring little advantage to the project, overall, while being at risk of killing stubs deserving to be kept.
You mis-characterize the "good faith effort" procedure we followed in Nastro. There were more searches than the one you mention. That was just one phase NASTRO requires. It was done not with one bot but several separate phases, to find articles that couldn't possibly establish their own notability, then to remove from that list all those that returned hits on one data base after another, and then to delete/redirect the remainder. I didn't do anything, just pointed the botreq guys to the requirements at nastro one by one and they followed it after discussing it among themselves in careful conversation. You seem to be saying that the whole good faith effort to establish notability, (which, I'll note again, shouldn't be necessary if an article can't do that itself) was "mine" somehow; it wasn't. There was no risk of deleting articles that were notable. Chrisrus (talk) 22:31, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure, it is also true that such an article can be quickly recreated, if evidence of notability pops out. But I still see a lot of effort (bot writing, debugging, checking, getting consensus, etc.) and no final advantage to Wikipedia. Guidelines like GNG are not meant to be robotically followed no matter what. Guidelines are meant to be followed as long as they improve the project. In this case, it seems that fanatical pruning to comply formally with GNG is not helping Wikipedia in any sensible way, while the solution could be problematic. -- cyclopiaspeak! 21:29, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I suppose these articles don't harm the project as long as people don't know they exist. Chrisrus (talk) 22:31, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Just because it would inconvenient or hard to do a cleanup manually does not mean a bot must be created. If someone wants to delete the articles so badly then they should find the time to do it themselves and not create more problems for others to have to clean up after their bot. As an aside, I hope this brings some attention to the guideline of NASTRO, as I read it I had to scroll to the top just to keep reminding myself it is labeled a guideline and not an essay; as guidelines go it is written poorly, like someone trying to convince someone of something other than to lay down some guidelines that would guide someone to follow established policy (kinda what guidelines are meant to be right? Guides for specific sections or exceptions or flesh something out that an overarching policy couldn't be in depth about).Camelbinky (talk) 21:33, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with some of what you say, but please understand that it's impossible to do all this by hand. I hope you won't make me find it, but the numbers were crunched and it was absurdly time consuming. Put it out of your mind, it's just never going to happen without bots, and the botsmen at botreq have proven that they can do it. see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=chrisrus&prefix=Wikipedia%3ABot+requests%2F&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Search Chrisrus (talk) 22:38, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
That a bot can be done does not mean it should be done, or that the community wants it done. All these discussion show is that yes, you can make a bot that can take care of some edge cases, while being at risk of killing false positives, and you need a firm consensus to do that. I highly doubt you can make a bot that looks for sources and weighs their coverage to see if the subject complies with WP:GNG as a human does. And no, it's by no means "impossible" to do by hand: just slow. But we have no deadline, and this is not a pressing concern. -- cyclopiaspeak! 11:43, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Those botsmen just put the name of the object through the two databases that Nastro asks that they be put through, and eliminated from the list those that reproduced any hits. This, NASTRO says, establishes non-notability. Therefore, there is no need to worry about "killing" (please, no drama) false positives. The firm consensus for this is WP:NASTRO.
In the sense that the laws of physics don't rule it out, to do this all "by hand", i.e.: without bots, is not technically impossible. It is impossible in practical terms. The problem is, when you do the math, it turns out to be impossible in practical terms because it would take zillions of man hours and so, after you look into it, is just not an option. It's not reasonable. Put it out of your mind, it's never going to happen that way. It's bots or not at all.
As to whether it should be done, or whether the community wants it done, community consensus in the form of GNG and NASTRO are clear that it should and that we do. However, when it comes down to talk pages and such, however, you are right: there is a lot of evidence that many people would like to see those ignored, or that when the community wrote those things, they didn't really mean it, or that since that time, they have had a change of heart, or something. Chrisrus (talk) 15:02, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but can you explain what do you mean by "the two databases that Nastro asks that they be put through"? Notability doesn't work like that. Notability requires reliable sources anywhere, not just in two databases. Do your hypothetical bots look in Google News/Scholar/Books, for a start? Whatever WP:NASTRO says (and I can't find, at a glance, what databases you're talking about), it still does not replace WP:GNG, it accompanies and clarifies it for a subset of articles.
About the practicalities of doing it by hand, I am sure it takes a huge amount of time. So what? It's not like we have a deadline. Anyway, the point is not that the community "had a change of mind", the point is that guidelines are not meant to be followed robotically. They're meant to give everyday advice on how to make the project better. You still have to prove that this particular application of the guideline makes the project any better, while there are plenty of reasons to think it can make it worse (or, at best, equal but with a lot of time/resources spent). -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:52, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
It strikes me that what needs fixing is the policy, not the abundance of articles. The reasoning " arbitrary astronomical objects are unlikely to be visited or run across by a general reader of Wikipedia. Therefore..." is flagrantly wrong. Wikipedia articles should be written to serve the general reader - as one constituent. But for any given article there is one future reader with a specific purpose, need, and fate who is as important as all the other readers put together. Wikipedia articles should serve not only the general reader, but the student, the expert, the scientist, etc. We should aspire to have a complete catalogue of all objects with generally recognized names, without any holes in it. Wnt (talk) 14:44, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly endorse your general viewpoint, and the reasoning in WP:NASTRO brings a lot of facepalms here too. But in this case, to be fair, many of these bodies have no coverage whatsoever apart from an entry in a database with some orbital parameters. It is entirely reasonable to merge them in a list including the little information available on them: no information is actually lost. But surely it is not something that deserves a crusade: it is just a boring matter of tidying up. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Please don't dramatize things with terms like "crusade". This is a project to bring Wikipedian reality in line with our guidelines and such, that is all. Chrisrus (talk) 15:07, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry if the wording concerned you. However this is not a "project", this is more of you complaining in several places and doing clumsy things like putting bad CSD tags or writing "Leadership needed!" like if WP could force editors to clean up your pet peeve. This may be not a crusade, but for sure it seems an obsession of yours. And while being "in line with our guidelines" may make sense, again, it is still unclear, what advantage to the readers this "project" would attain, and if it justifies the required time investment. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:47, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
First of all, please be more civil. This is not about me adding the wrong CSD tag or other such things. I'm sorry I added the wrong CSD tag and such, please get passed it. The issue is these articles and how to deal with them and any related problems there might be with NASTRO and GNG, and so on. There is nothing wrong with anyone asking for leadership on any issue or "complaining", even in several places. The fact that I occasionally address this issue does not constitute an "obsession" and even if it did, that's no argument against someone doing things on Wikipedia, because much of Wikipedia is created by people who could be said to have an "obsession" with this or that. Cleaning up all these Nastro/GNG violators surely is a "project". I will address myself to your valid points soon, but break a bit in the hopes that you can calm down. If you are just can't get passed your anger and present only valid evidence and reason, you might need a wikibreak or something, or just quit responding to this issue, I donno, it's up to you. I will address myself to the valid parts of your argument soon. Chrisrus (talk) 18:51, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
(Cont.) I have freely admitted on a number of occasions that I am not the ideal person to be leading this or being involved in it in any way. I would love nothing more than to walk away from it and never look back if only I had any reason to believe it would otherwise be taken care of. I don't have the technical skills, that's true, and so should not and will not do any of the actual work myself. That's what WP:BOTREQ is for. Here is what I think we should do: Go back to botreq and ask them for a full list of Minor Planet stubs that do not establish their own notability. We need a count, to see how big a problem this potentially is, and then move ahead from there. I would hope that someone else would do this, but I don't see any sign of that. I'm sorry it has to be me, but here we are. I will report back here when it's done. Don't worry, we're just counting and making a list, that is all. Nothing will be done yet. Chrisrus (talk) 04:49, 30 July 2013 (UTC)See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Bot_requests&curid=912023&diff=566380577&oldid=566380373

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Chrisrus, I'm sorry if I seem uncivil to you, but I honestly feel I didn't say anything uncivil. Nor I am angry or what. Anyway, accept my apologies. In all this discussion I am basically very calmly telling you that there is nothing to worry about. Again, you want to do that cleanup? That's great! Be bold, go ahead and make the redirects, now that you know how to do them. If you want to ask for a bot making a list, and just a list, of targets for cleanup, also go ahead, nobody is stopping you. But it's a bit naive (and I'm saying this without any animosity or insulting intent, I'm just stating facts) to think that any "leadership" action can be taken by Jimbo or anybody else about this. Wikipedia works by consensus, and it is run by volunteers. If this sort of cleanup does not make other editors interested, your only chance is to do it yourself. And if it takes too much time, well, we're not in a hurry, are we? -- cyclopiaspeak! 09:20, 30 July 2013 (UTC) --- JW: The problem is this: What do we do when Wikipedians, and there are many of these, who don’t agree with notability requirements, manage to get around them by fait accompli: setting a bot to create so many GNG violating articles before it can be stopped as to make it, in practical terms, impossible to undo by hand; blocking efforts to undo them with bots; and blocking any discussion of or progress toward undoing it by all kinds of tactics.

Tactics I have seen often have included including hand-waving, foot-dragging, obfuscating, putting in WP:NASTRO heavy burdens on us to prove the articles are not notable instead the other way around, mischaracterization of the other’s arguments, more hand-waving, prematurely closed straw polls, arguments ad nausium, personal attacks, even hysteria, whatever it takes, to get rid of Wikipedia's article notability requirements invalid as a fete compli.

What do we do in such cases, Jimbo? Because it’s not just asteroids, although that’s what I’m limiting myself to. The asteroids are just one example. Every star in the universe is another I’m aware of.

My solution is this: let these people, and there are very many of them, instead of the above, get enough consensus from the general community to get rid of notability guidelines first. Then go ahead and create such articles on non-notable things, and to stop block their deletion not now but sometime after the article notability requirements have been removed. Would you agree with that? Chrisrus (talk) 18:07, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

putting in WP:NASTRO heavy burdens on us to prove the articles are not notable instead the other way around - Sorry, Chrisrus, but if you want to delete something you are required to check before. Rememember that our notability requirements never ask for sources to be in the article already (the only exception being for BLPs), they just require for them to be available somewhere. Of course is a reasonable search does not find any, then you can argue for deletion, and most probably get it. But articles with notability issues have to go to WP:AFD or, at worst, WP:PROD, and you are not supposed to mass-prod/mass-afd stuff without such checks. The issue is not with the notability guidelines, which are fine: the issue is that you can't take shortcuts around the notability checks. -- cyclopiaspeak! 11:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Are we ready of this:

I thought of a simpler way to ask this:

Suppose someone gets a hold of a database of every object in the known universe and starts creating articles for each of them with super-fast bots.

Are we ready for such a thing? What'll we do? Chrisrus (talk) 18:34, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

That would get picked up almost immediately by new page patrollers. If it is an unapproved bot, it will be blocked in short order. If it is approved, then there would already be some level of consensus that it is a desirable task. Resolute 18:52, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok, questions, then. First, how, then, did countless (5796)_1978_VK5-type articles get around that?
Second, can anti-NASTRO/GNG people block the shut down? Or does the existence of WP:NASTRO and WP:GNG trump the existence of their opposition?
Next, given that tons of (5796)_1978_VK5-type articles do get through, how will they get cleaned up? It's such a huge and thankless task under current rules, how can it be streamlined? Chrisrus (talk) 19:42, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Most probably these articles were created before WP:NASTRO. -- cyclopiaspeak! 11:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia and racists

Please.Help me...

Please help me! complain because they block me from another user account. There is so much inequities in the Persian Wikipedia. way out except complain the Persian Wikipedia show me. Did not even allow my user page is edited by me., I know English Wikipedia here is not related to the Persian Wikipedia. Mr. Wales, I am asking you to help. (Translated by Google Translate)Boyabed (talk) 00:47, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

I really don't think there is anything that Jimbo or the Arbitration Committee of the English Wikipedia can do to address issues in another wiki, it's just simply beyond their area of affect. I believe for seriously egregious problems, something can be raised with the Stewards at http://meta.wikimedia.org/ but I'm really not clear on the parameters of when or how even they can intervene in such matters. Tarc (talk) 01:06, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi again Boyabed
Jimbo already responded when you asked the same question previously. He said that this wasn't the place to ask such a question and he'd sent you an email regarding this. I'd suggest checking your emails and taking his advice he's given you in the email. To me this looks to be a local issue which we can't help with on the English Wikipedia, you will need to take this up with the Persian Wikipedia I think--5 albert square (talk) 23:20, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Visual Editor RFC over the default state

There's been so much discussion of it here, I thought a pointer to Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default State RFC was in order. Please be nice and respectful. Don't vent.—Kww(talk) 01:35, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

👍 Like--Amadscientist (talk) 05:29, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

"total anon editing of articles has fallen 9% in the two weeks since introduction (compared to the prior two weeks). During the same time period total editing of articles by registered users rose 2%.... If I were designing a research program to study VE, I would certainly make getting additional information on anon behaviors a high priority" --Robert Rohde EJM86 (talk) 03:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Verifiability and WebCite?

WebCite which is used for dead links required by Wikipedia:Verifiability is going to close.

without saving dead links Wikipedia:Verifiability is completely meanless!

when we got any offical solution for http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WebCite ? (Idot (talk) 12:04, 25 July 2013 (UTC))

Making loud noises does not prove an argument! The closure of webcite does not make WP:V any more meaningless than it was before webcite existed. Linkrot is a problem we will always have, and will always have to deal with. Resolute 14:13, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
what we will do with dead links as do not have any alternative ways for verification of dead links?
shall we cancel WP:V as meanless rule or what?
or you just going to wait until all dead links will really die, then say "sorry guys..."? (Idot (talk) 16:07, 25 July 2013 (UTC))
Also it should be noted that the vast majority of voters supported acquisition. I was among them. We donate and we should be able to determine how Wikimedia spends our money. — kf8 17:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
How much more do they need to raise and by when? 97.124.165.149 (talk) 16:24, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
They need $30k by the end of year, of which 10k is already raised. Personally, I'm very disappointed by WMF spending large amounts for meaningless activities and not supporting service which stores over 300k pages for verifiability purposes. WMF could acquire WebCite or make similar service of our own, but the Foundation is occupied with its own petty projects like VE, it's a shame! --Akim Dubrow (talk) 10:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Jimmy, how can mere mortals check to see whether someone has put in a FDC application for saving WebCite? 97.122.185.40 (talk) 15:05, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Website should be supported. In the end, one of the pillars of Wikipedia holds, because the service operates. ADDvokat (talk) 15:22, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't acquire it, just support it. $30k is chickenfeed to the WMF - it's the kind of money they lay out to "train the trainers" so that some people in a WMxx organization can have something cool to put on their resumes (without providing a Wikiversity course for the rest of us to follow, either). That money can (a) keep them operating and (b) buy their promise to serve links to Wikipedia with greater reliability, to warn us if they are approaching an outage, etc. Wnt (talk) 20:25, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely. If this was something that the Foundation could purchase with an operations requisition, there is no question in my mind that they would pay for it to prevent service interruptions for all the outgoing links. But why can't they? Jimbo, are you going to ask the Foundation staff to cut a check to keep WebCite up? EJM86 (talk) 06:40, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • will we get at last any offical answer?! (Idot (talk) 11:58, 30 July 2013 (UTC))
I'm glad to see the interest in this, because I think having verifiability for all is part of the mission. But I don't think seeking the fiat of Jimbo is the best way to obtain the dispersal of WMF funds. He's a board member, and there are WMF staff for these tasks. To that end, the bottom of m:WebCite has an answer given on 25 July. The points under m:WebCite#Response_from_WMF_Grants_Program need attention from the relevant parties. I have sent an email to see if there is interest in working towards a grant on WebCite's end. Biosthmors (talk) 09:31, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Where can I file a bug report?

It says "Talk: You have new messages" but I have no new messages. Inanygivenhole (talk) 21:29, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Mr. Wales! Inanygivenhole (talk) 21:50, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Mr. Wales undoubtedly agrees that you're welcome. :) Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

FYI

User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_137#In_reply_to_your_question

Hey, Jimbo. You said you were going to respond to this, so I'm just pinging you about it. Cheers. Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:20, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposed clarification of no legal threats policy

Jimbo, I have posted a proposal to clarify the scope of the no legal threats policy. I would be grateful for feedback and comments on this. Prioryman (talk) 19:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Personal and Moral Rights?

Sorry; if I’m trying to bring your attention again to Commons.

We have a discussion on the moral rights of the photographers and the personal rights of the subjects; two different topics and rarely come together as in the case of your portrait where you are the subject and original author as per the work for hire contract. And, that video is showcasing the original Jimmy Wales portrait several times from the beginning to end and finally attributes to it with courtesy notes. So it is derivative work per http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101, "a derogatory action in relation to the Original Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation" (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode 4d); a clear violation of moral rights of the Original Author.

Further, [2]: "Creative Commons licenses do not waive or otherwise affect rights of privacy or publicity to the extent they apply. If you have created a work or wish to use a work that might in some way implicate these rights, you may need to obtain permission from the individuals whose rights may be affected." So that video is a clear violation of the privacy/personal rights of the subject too.

While discussing these matters as a generic concern that seriously affects the photographic community in Commons; we found the current policies of Commons are desperately inadequate for our safety and to protect our reputation. At Commons:Commons:Non-copyright_restrictions, Commons is trying to impose "the reusers of Commons-hosted media to ensure that they do not violate any non-copyright restrictions that apply to the media." It’s OK; Commons can’t take the responsibility of the damages, the reusers make outside it. But it is not good if Commons itself allow and encourage hosting of such works infringing the Non-copyright-restrictions (like moral rights of the authors and personal rights of the subjects).

While looking for a solution, some people suggested that "I strongly agree with you on Commons defending people's dignity through policy but think this must come first through a stronger statement from the WMF. They are legally prevented from direct editorial control (that would make them responsible and so liable to be sued for what content we have) but they can be much more specific about what they want wrt scope and moral issues."

We noticed the resolution http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Images_of_identifiable_people; but it seems only related to privacy rights; we can’t see any resolution related to photographers' moral rights. There is some discussion is going on at commons:Commons_talk:Photographs_of_identifiable_people/Update_2013/Moral_issues under commons:Commons_talk:Project_scope/Update_2013/Stage_2 on the base of it; but I can’t see much developments.

Could you express your stand on these matters; and do you promise us that you make any attempt to protect our rights. I/We feel it is dangerous to make further media contributions in a community which encourages making and hosting derivative works of our own works to humiliate us. JKadavoor Jee 08:54, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

My first comment is that it is absolutely untrue that the WMF is "legally prevented from direct editorial control (that would mke them responsible and so liable to be sued for what content we have)". This is a frequent and unfortunate misunderstanding of the law. Section 230 is explicitly designed to allow for direct editorial control without undue risk. The Foundation can exercise direct editorial control without thereby becoming liable for what other people do. This is important.
Second, I think that the commons community has gone down a very sad and disappointing path with respect to ethical matters. My views on this are not new, and are well known. Our project is a grand humanitarian effort. That it has been hijacked by people who do not share our values is something that needs to be fixed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:53, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Jimmy for your reply. "I think that the commons community has gone down a very sad and disappointing path with respect to ethical matters. My views on this are not new, and are well known. Our project is a grand humanitarian effort. That it has been hijacked by people who do not share our values is something that needs to be fixed." So Jimmy; can we expect a WMF attempt to ‘’fix’’ Commons? If so; I request you to do it immediately. Otherwise Commons will end up as a cemetery of some people you mentioned above and their bot-transferred xxx contents from Flickr or similar sites.
Or you mean, that it is the responsibility of the common community is to fix their issue? If so; I've little hope. We already discussed this matter with Russavia in detail; but he refused to take any responsibility for his rude behaviour. In that discussion, Slaunger (one who started the commons:COM:VI projects) finally offered him three solutions: "If you do not agree with the resolution, you have three options. 1) Work with the WMF and try to make them change their minds, or introduce some notability exceptions in their resolution, which it appears you think would be reasonable. 2) Pretend you love it and be loyal to it, although you really do not entirely agree. This is an entirely normal and pragmatic decision for many individuals being a member of an organization, to bend a little to adapt to the norms, because, overall, you can see that in the big picture values of the organization are aligned with your own. 3) You can come to the conclusion that your own view on the resolution differs so much, that you cannot see yourself as part of it - and resign from a current role."
So I request you to once again to bring this matter to the attention of WMF, make a resolution or something to force Commons make enough policies to protect our rights as a photographer and our commitments to our subjects. I’ve not much knowledge about the WMF hierarchies; don’t know whether this is the right place to make such a request. (I’m living in the opposite side of the world, in a remote place with frequent electricity and Internet connectivity problems; so this late response. Sorry.) JKadavoor Jee 05:15, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I am just one board member on this issue. I will continue to call this to the attention of the board and staff, but I need help from the community to illustrate that this is a problem that concerns many of us.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Jimmy; we’ll try our best from our side, because it is a real concern for us as socially committed photographers. JKadavoor Jee 07:22, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for my erroneous remark concerning editorial control. My limited non-lawyer understanding is perhaps more influenced by UK/EU law see paragraphs 42-47. To me this means (if Commons was based in the EU) that staff could not participate in deletion discussions (especially voting keep) without making themselves liable for the content. Indeed, I am concerned myself about participating in deletion discussions in case that makes me liable for any content I say should be kept. Am I misreading the EU law or is the US law quite different?
On the ethical issues I think have a situation where Commons admins think they own the site and a crowdsourced editorial policy and decision-making fails when not given enough direction from above. Too often the deletion discussions rely on an mechanical interpretation of what freedoms are allowed by law or existing policy (which is generous) rather than any consideration of ethics or of not being a jerk or a creep (see Autumn leaf discussion below). -- Colin°Talk 07:39, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I think that the commons community has gone down a very sad and disappointing path with respect to ethical matters. I fully agree, but the real question is: what do you plan to do about it? Saying that commons should change is all good and dandy, but it changes nothing. It's become overly clear that we mere editors can't do anything about it, because the porn brigade has managed to get some of its members elected to positions of power (which means that they, basically, get to close deletion discussions and may even restrict those who try to interfere with their porn stash). This means that it's time you and the foundation put your money where your collective mouth is and start doing something other than simply repeating commons is broken. Otherwise, nothing will ever change. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:32, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Jimmy already offered "I will continue to call this to the attention of the board and staff" and requested moral support "from the community". I think this includes the other matter you mentioned too. :) JKadavoor Jee 12:25, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Bring it on, guys. And Jimbo, thanks for your concerns with the matter as well. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:12, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
We welcome DRs which will remove low quality, redundant sexual material. Please feel free to nominate some. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:53, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Never, unless Commoners (except for a few, like Colin) change their attitude and learn their morals. You can have my word on this. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:56, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I was actually replying to Salvio, since he was the one who brought up the issue of sexual imagery. You are of course welcome to participate in such deletion requests as well, though I can understand why you would not wish to. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:14, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you joking? Why do we waste our time by begging in front of some people who are morally incapable to make any decisions? This current example is a solid proof for that. I think it will be like begging for justice in front of devils.
Further: A DR is not the best way to keep Commons away from inappropriate contents. Commons will be saved If you (the corrupted admins) take a voluntary decision to refrain from uploading contents without proper preview. Do you need examples? Here he not only failed to make a review before making the upload; he failed to understand the problem after getting the DR too. He exclaimed: “Ummm, can you please explain your nomination reason? Do we have a similar photo to this on Commons?” After getting the second arrogant comment, he desperately accepted that he violated Commons:IDENT. What more we can expect from such a ‘crat and admins?
I would like to repeat the comment that I posted somewhere else: "I believe an admin should be morally and ethically sound enough to understand the essence of those policies to make wise decisions". No community is safe even if they have enough good policies and guidelines; it (the safety) depends more on the goodness of the judges and rulers who act upon them. JKadavoor Jee 16:50, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you should read commons:User talk:Underlying lk#Commons:Deletion requests/File:Haitian Shower (8010089794).jpg. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:51, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I had read it. The civility of the requester after the deletion is not an excuse for a 'crat's ignorance and incapability to understand basic things. JKadavoor Jee 02:42, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I take exception to the assertion that "It's become overly clear that we mere editors can't do anything about it, because the porn brigade has managed to get some of its members elected to positions of power (which means that they, basically, get to close deletion discussions and may even restrict those who try to interfere with their porn stash)." Commons was founded on principles of inclusivity and the admins have merely interpreted them properly, not out of personal bias, but for the sake of the project. It is easy to bully a group of editors based on potential interest in any one topic, but it is not logically valid. If some people had a personal dislike for anime they could say that the "anime brigade" had infested Commons and was failing to delete all of it when they said so, and that needed to be fixed. Or more likely, soon enough after this we will be seeing the claim that a "Democrat brigade" is immoral because it fails to delete facts and illustrations that might be embarrassing to corporate subjects. The fact is, the only people who have been organizing and trying to take power are the censorship proponents, who are trying to make as much a disaster area of Wikipedia as they threaten to do with their native Britain, where under guise of a fictitious decency every word is to pass through the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-wise blackboxes of BAE Detica to be heard. But Commons does not and cannot work as a set of private fiefdoms where only what is politically backed is allowed. Wnt (talk) 21:02, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Would you mind taking exception away from the keyboard please. Colin°Talk 14:23, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Wnt has drunk deep of the Commons kool-aid, it is best to just ignore his dribblings on this subject. The Commons crew have it down to a cold science, all they do is have one of their buds hold back from supporting/opposing, delete/keep, whatever the matter at hand is...then that "uninvolved" person can be eligible to close the discussion. Wipe, rinse, repeat. Tarc (talk) 15:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly; as in the case below. JKadavoor Jee 16:22, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Wnt has it right, and that comments above against him are personal attacks instead of rational arguments go a long way showing who is on the side of reason and NPOV. The truth is that there is a definite moral panic about sexual content, and that what is disruptive is the constant escalation of "I don't like sexual content" to "OMG Commons is broken". This is moral and cultural bias at its worst. -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:47, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I've yet to see a 'rational argument' as to why Commons should be a host to a giant stash of low-quality porn of dubious provenance... AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, we can say "I've yet to see a 'rational argument' as to why commons should be a host to a giant stash of [whatever]". Of parties, for example. Or of dogs. Or of computer keyboards. If redundant content is the problem, I wonder why I never see crusades against having hundreds of pictures of computer keyboards, and instead I always see them complaining about human body parts that the culture(s) of many editors happens to find somewhat disturbing (despite them having them on their bodies as well, I suppose). -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:06, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
If the mob at commons didn't spend so much time obsessing over their porn stash, they could usefully get rid of some of the other redundant material too. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:12, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Guys, this isn't adding anything new to the debate. Please absorb the take-offence/righteous-anger stuff and avoid posting till you have something clam and novel to say. Colin°Talk 17:18, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Then please stop being patronizing. The point is that this has to be repeated even if it is not new, because it is important that it doesn't look like there is only one side on this issue. -- cyclopiaspeak! 18:03, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
We would welcome your nominating redundant material for deletion - we don't want it, so if you find it tell us and we can do something about it. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:51, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Cyclopia, why are you mixing morality and sexuality? Morality only means manner, character, and proper behaviour. I’ve no known hate to sexual contents as far as it respects personal rights. In the above example I mentioned; the woman was bathing in an open space due to her poverty; without expecting that she will be a prey for a wicked photographer with a tele lens. JKadavoor Jee 17:01, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I was not talking about that deletion -which makes perfect sense. I was referring in general to the "porn brigade" comments, Wnt reply and subsequent replies. -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Wnt's comments do not show he "is on the side of reason", but do show he'd rather waste our time with lengthy attacks on some colourful rhetoric than engaging in the real issues. On the issue of deletion closure, to be fair, the consensus at that deletion request discussion was clearly keep, so there wasn't anything unfair about the admin closure result itself. Not that you'd guess that it was a "per consensus" closure from Matt's lecture to the proles. Commons:Deletion policy doesn't even mention the word consensus (though the Commons:Commons:Deletion requests page says it will be "taken in to account"). In other words, we've got a system there where admins have a stronger and final say, and the community has at best an advisory role, and at worst, gets completely ignored. Commons' deletion policy needs improved. It needs to mention consensus, to mention the "courtesy deletions" practice, and to note that the list of "Reasons for deletion" given is not necessarily exhaustive. -- Colin°Talk 17:09, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
In that DR; I have clear evidence for improper admin involvements as a joint attack. See this. Finally I have to report it to the Administrators’ notice board. JKadavoor Jee 17:28, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Because, unfortunately, Salvio occupies a high position on en.wikipedia, I do not feel it is a waste of time for me to speak out against his call for an overturn of basic principles of inclusivity and community. It was a short reply to a long thread; I didn't cover everything, no. Some of the claims in the broader conversation need to be legally evaluated - if the WMF is not totally dysfunctional it needs to see refuting such claims as a core mission - namely, that contributions by under 18 aren't really free-licensed, or that "moral rights" prohibit people from freely adapting a photo of a butterfly as they see fit. If such claims were valid, the entire WMF and all its works would be at risk of being relegated to the realm of pirate distribution. Wnt (talk) 20:11, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your wise words. Yes; WMF should seriously involve to guide the projects they posses than simply watching and maintaining them. JKadavoor Jee 02:42, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
WMF should be a tool that serves the community, it should not guide it. When it tries to guide the community it can fail spectacularly -see the VisualEditor fiasco.-- cyclopiaspeak! 11:50, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
You don't own Wikipedia, they do. They can, and should, set the moral and legal framework that we operate under, and define the scope and purpose of the project we are helping them achieve. IMO they haven't done enough in this regard, especially on Commons. If you want a "tool that serves the community" then you would need to (collectively) own Wikipedia/Commons and the WMF would just be staff employed/appointed by the community to build/maintain it -- like we pay our taxes to the local council and get to vote for their leaders. Colin°Talk 12:20, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I know the community doesn't own Wikipedia, thanks. However, given that most of WMF is financed by donations of the community, I'd say that they are a bit in the situation of a taxes-paid council. But even if they are not, one thing is what they can do, another what they should do. If you feel WMF should govern with an iron fist, you're free to think so. My opinion is more nuanced: WMF should behave, at least, as a tool to enforce the community, not bypassing it, while of course retaining ultimate control for emergency cases (e.g. legal issues). And that's more or less what it does. Again, I personally feel that when WMF attempted to enforce its power, it created more harm than good. The last VE thing however is an interesting case in this respect. But hey, I may be wrong. -- cyclopiaspeak! 12:31, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
No "iron fist" required. Just clarity. Colin°Talk 12:56, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
You keep speaking as if you own Wikipedia and can throw out what you don't like. I assure you, I put great effort into weakening the proposed Commons:COM:SEX so thoroughly that I was actually neutral toward its passage in the end. Nonetheless, when it reached actual voters they rejected it as censorship. When you and I and a half dozen other people finally give up arguing on whichever of the 30-odd RFCs of the "Commons:Commons:Project scope/Update 2013" proposal that MichaelMaggs wants to hear about, whatever comes out of it will be rejected soundly in any vote, while ignoring the vote would splinter the organization. Wnt (talk) 14:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Lordy. Splinter the organisation, you say? Better not do that then - sounds serious. Begoontalk 14:49, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
WMF is not just a dumb tool; it is a non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects. It has a bylaw, vision and mission. It has a responsibility to correct the community whenever it feels they are deviating from its values. They did it several times through many resolutions. They include Personal Image Hiding Feature, Controversial content, Images of identifiable people, Biographies of living people and Nondiscrimination. I can’t see any reason why it can’t make another resolution to protect our moral/personal rights. JKadavoor Jee 15:51, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
The fate of Commons in the hands of some rude admins.
You can't see a reason why it can't because there isn't a reason why it can't. I hope it will see the large number of expressed concerns from the community, at least some of which Jimbo seems to share, as a reason why it should, and will. Begoontalk 15:58, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes; I hope. Thanks. JKadavoor Jee 16:07, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Notice: Kat Walsh replied on her talk page. JKadavoor Jee 02:14, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I have opened a thread at COM:AN/U regarding a concern over Russavias community role as a 'crat. The concern is mainly a spinn-off from the Pricasso incidence. Since I mention your portraits there, you might want to drop by and comment on it. --Slaunger (talk) 21:31, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Samuel Klein commented on his talk page: "I agree that we should take these rights seriously, and second Kat's comments on the matter. As Jimbo says, a clear community position is needed - even if it is a minority position - to articulate the problem and potential solution." JKadavoor Jee 06:45, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

National Security Agency has been recording Wikipedia internet traffic and uses it as an example in training slides

http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-July/thread.html#127360

Top secret slide with Wikipedia logo. (The Guardian source)

Dear NSA, I was only looking at those pictures on Commons to make sure that they were safe for children. 75.166.219.210 (talk) 23:05, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

The attraction for the NSA is obvious. How could anyone in that organization not want to see all the people in the Boston area who had looked up pressure cooker bomb in the past six months, within an hour after the Boston Marathon bombings? The problem is that it is no less tempting to misuse the information - for example, if a spy satellite doing multispectral imaging has identified 100,000 sites to the DEA that might be backyard pot plants, why not just let them have the file of people who looked up something about how to grow the plant on Wikipedia so they can check those out first?
The countermeasure, already taken by Wikipedia, is to implement https connections as the default. Unfortunately, this is not guaranteed because of a man-in-the-middle approach whereby the connection is simply intercepted. [3] But (which the previous link doesn't recognize, but I think it should) the sites using SSL have a secret key, which your browser checks via a certification authority, and how might they mimic that? Well... they simply beat on the door and demand them. [4] One way or another, whether it is through the OS and NSAKEY or by this means or some other thing we don't know about, they are after this data, because they have the unlimited right to spy on you and you have zero right even to reverse engineer Windows let alone anything else. Wnt (talk) 23:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
WP does not use HTTPS connections by default. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, can someone explain? Most but not all of the Wikipedia links in my Firefox history are https. I thought this was part of a planned transition that Wikid77 was complaining about because it fouled up his stats. Wnt (talk) 00:12, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
How do you access the first page of wikipedia of the day? If you have bookmarked a page that is https then all the other links you get fromthe first page (watchlist etc) will also be https. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 00:16, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, that's accurate. But I never typed in "https" in the first place (frankly, I assumed the NSA had the keys anyway, even before the story about the certificates I cited - I assumed https was key escrow from the time when it was introduced) Wnt (talk) 00:26, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm honestly rather surprised that anyone seems to be reacting to this as if it's new information. It's been public knowledge for years that the NSA captures and stores all Internet traffic in the U.S. I don't think we have many users who've lived in a cave without Internet access for the past decade or so and just started using the projects the other day. Did people think the NSA made a special exception for Wikipedia traffic because they thought we're so awesome? Or were people just in denial about it until seeing official NSA materials that confirmed it?

Apropos of nothing, I'd love to see the Foundation make a formal complaint to the NSA over its unauthorized use of the copyrighted Wikipedia logo in its materials, just to see if there'd be any response. I don't think trademark law would apply, since it's a non-commercial use, though I could be wrong. Of course there's probably some blanket exemption from copyright law for classified materials or something along those lines. --108.38.191.162 (talk) 01:11, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Some of us were foolish enough to think that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was still in effect, and it wasn't a complete capture and index of everything. It's good to know that there are people as intelligent as you to realize that judges, warrants, probable cause, and specificity of search can be relegated to the history books. I hope I never become so intelligent, though, because it would totally shake my faith in the rule of law. EJM86 (talk) 01:55, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo -- I am again iterating the question I posed some time ago:

I have seen some news articles recently about the FBI and various intelligence agencies (US and non-US) asking for details from Google and Facebook about users, including contents of messages. etc. Has the WMF been so asked for such information without warrants, and has the WMF acquiesced to giving out such information about users and editors here? Including contents of emails, revdeled edits, and articles accessed? Collect (talk) 02:09, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for asking! It will be best for Geoff to answer in detail (here is a relevant blog post) as he can be more precise. For clarity, we have never received a FISA style warrant or keep-secret warrant of any kind, so my answer hasn't changed, happily.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Have him post then -- his blog post of 14 June is, frankly, less than heartening utterly. And the responses thereto even more so. All that is needed for "bad things to happen" is for "nice people" to say they can do nothing. (I avoid a quote which any "logically paranoid searcher" would certainly look for <g>). Collect (talk) 13:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean. Why is it less than heartening? I think it's completely and totally direct and clear.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:00, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Here is a much more thorough response to your concerns from a Foundation attorney fresh from yesterday's revelations. EJM86 (talk) 20:05, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely trademark law should apply to this - thanks for pointing that out, 108.! (Though IANAL) When people see this they are furious, or even take it as evidence that Wikipedia voluntarily collaborates with the NSA. That's known as "tarnishing" the trademark. Wikipedia ought to be able to get some kind of injunction out of this, and if there is any unexpected shortfall in donations, they should be able to sue for damages. Wnt (talk) 03:00, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Where do you get the idea that noncommercial government use of trademarks is ever forbidden? On what basis would it be? These are top secret slides. Just forget that please. EJM86 (talk) 08:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, trademark violation is not really an issue here. It is absolutely allowed to use trademarks editorially to explain or illustrate something - trademark law only prohibits uses that are designed to confuse in the marketplace, etc. And even if it were, that's a triviality as compared to the outrageousness of these surveillance programs - let's focus attention on that, instead!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, I've long been opposed to the use of trademark law to silence websites that mock a large company, but nonetheless it has often been pursued. My recollections are out of date though - there was a Supreme Court case limiting it and a new law to reallow it since last I looked, and I don't really understand the situation now. [5] Really, I had it in mind more as a talking point than as a legal action. Wnt (talk) 15:45, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Recent roll-outs

I've only been semi-active of late, so I apparently missed out on a couple seemingly large (to me) roll-outs/changes.

I read the above and see concerns about the visual editor. Maybe it's because I don't have/run java, but I don't see an option to use VE anywhere. I looked in preferences, and the boxes to disable (there are two in two separate sections) are unchecked. So I was wondering if VE went live yet.

The other one (and maybe this should be a separate thread) is that the orange message bar disappeared to be replaced by a tiny red box. Which is on almost all the time because I apparently created an article which is linked to daily (I just now found the option to turn that aspect of it off). I did some reading, and thought there was supposed to at least be a partial orange bar implemented. If it's not showing due to no java, I want to cry foul. The old way didn't require it, why should the new way? (And I fear that this will be a concern also if FLOW gains implementation as well...) Are those who do not use java going to become isolated and unable to adequately communicate or edit, much less, be able to assist others?

I realise this is several questions grouped together, but, to me anyway, they are seemingly related. - jc37 15:17, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

If you are using IE, I believe VE is currently disabled on that browser because of many of the bugs. I beleive the orange bar replacement is in gadgets as "Display a floating alert when I have new talk page messages". I'm not sure if it is javascript based, but I suspect it is, and you will still be out of luck. Resolute 15:26, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
It is Java based. They both are. Kumioko (talk) 15:27, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Javascript-based, not java. Huge difference. --NeilN talk to me 15:35, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Nod. - read "javascript and java" anywhere I'm merely stated "java". - jc37 15:52, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Why on Earth, would we rollout such a huge change without supporting the world's most popular desktop browser? This seems like a hugely bad decision (and I'm putting that mildly). A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:23, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I think you may be believing the hype there. For actual reader numbers, all IE at 16% is about half all Chrome at 30%. IE 6, 7 and 8 (the versions that will never be supported) add up to 6.89% of readers. IE is so insanely horrible to develop for that it does in fact require serious assessment as to whether it's worth it, but they do plan to build support for IE 10+ (4.51% of readers) once the VE basically works (which it really doesn't yet) - David Gerard (talk) 07:42, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Those appears to be numbers for only Wikipedia, not the world at large. I thought that one of the goals, if not the main goal of VE, was to expand our editor base. Out in the real world, IE commands 56.15% of the desktop market. And keep in mind that Chrome pre-fetches resources, artificially inflating its numbers. I'm not sure if there's a way to differentiate for actual traffic by a human being versus pre-fetching. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:00, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't use ie, and talk page notices (and the ability to edit for that matter) shouldn't require java if the old way didn't. This is and should be one of the most basic notification systems we have. Alert someone that someone just left a message on their talk page. Even if we were to strip out all the superfluous bells and whistles (and I mean everything including the watchlist) leaving us just with page histories and use contributions, that basic notification should be in place as core to the wiki environment. Are we really moving to gadgetising the interface? Is it that our current volunteers only know java these days? - jc37 15:33, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Javascript is the only way to implement something like VE natively in a browser. I've never heard of a partial orange bar being implemented. --NeilN talk to me 15:58, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Notifications/FAQ#What_happened_to_the_orange_bar_for_talk_page_messages_on_Wikipedia.3F. However, it apparently is only as a gadget. I could accept the loss of the orange bar if this was implemented, but it's only a javascript "gadget". And my concern isn't only that I would like to see this as part of the wiki software (non-js), but also the trend where it seems that most roll outs now are almost all js gadgets. Gadgets are fine for things like twinkle I suppose, short cuts for doing things that take longer the "normal way", but they shouldn't be used for fundamental things like notification. Hence my question for JW: Is it as it seems? Are we moving to a js model for the wiki? - jc37 18:02, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
@Jc37: Virtually every major web site in the world uses JavaScript. It comes built-in to every web browser (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) and it's use is ubiquitous. Saying that you don't want to use JavaScript is basically saying that you don't want to use the Internet. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:47, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Java and JavaScript have very similar names, but are completely different technologies. They have nothing to do with one another, other than their names. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:35, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@A Quest For Knowledge: However, progressive enhancement is considered a best practice for web development (same as its reverse graceful degradation), Javascript blocking tools are considered sensible security practices, and blocking Javascript for performance reasons may be the only way to browse the web on obsolete equipments - those likely to be used at poor regions. It's reasonable to expect on a major internet site that its core functionality will be available when Javascript is disabled; more so when the site is aimed to a universal audience. Diego (talk) 12:32, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
a.) Yes I know the difference, however, merely speaking as someone who can program either one, I think it's safe to say that they can be grouped when discussing in the frame of reference of internet/browser/website usage. (and js is obviously much much MUCH closer related to java than to fortran, let's say...) But this is a complete tangent from my concern: That the site appears to be more and more using (what some of my programming friends might call "lazy programming") js/java shortcuts in programming rather than actually implementing core things. and b.) Diego said it much better than I seem to be : ) - If that's all our volunteers know how to do, I can understand that, as we are obviously a volunteer site. But I would hope that that is not the case. - jc37 17:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The debate on Javascript is already over - Wikipedia has been designed top to bottom so that we can do anything on here without enabling it. The advantages of running it are generally very small - show/hide boxes can be hidden by default, you can use the visual editor to write Lua scripts. One exception: understanding "Script error" from a Lua program requires enabling it, a problem which I think could easily be fixed (in a sense it largely can by putting error trapping instructions in the code, but I'd like to see something systematic). But making the decision to just break that and require Javascript work for any core function would be a huge loss for the project, and should not be done. It is possible that you just can't get a WYSIWYG editor to work without it, that I would expect, but then there must always be a graceful fallback to the old editing mechanism that does work. Wnt (talk) 18:11, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
AFAIK, editors can still edit Wikipedia without JavaScript, they just can't use the Visual Editor. And no, it's not lazy programming. JavaScript is an incredibly powerful, expressive language. There used to be a time, years ago, where the prevailing attitude was that its use should be optional. But that ship has long since sailed.
The real issue here, and it seems to be escaping everyone's attention is that for some inexplicable reason, the world's most popular desktop browser isn't supported. So let's stop talking about issues that were settled years ago, and focus on something that actually matters. IE commands 56% of the desktop market.[6] Why on Earth are we ignoring such a huge segment of our readers?! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 08:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Maybe "the ship has sailed" for complex user interactions, but there is a very clear distinction between web applications and web pages, and only the first are acknowledged to require Javascript (and for that class of web sites, older IE versions are routinely ignored). For content-centered sites the best practice is and will always be considered that they must be functional without javascript; as you say, discussion on this has been settled years ago. Diego (talk) 10:25, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Verifiability and WebCite?

WebCite which is used for dead links required by Wikipedia:Verifiability is going to close.

without saving dead links Wikipedia:Verifiability is completely meanless!

when we got any offical solution for http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WebCite ? (Idot (talk) 12:04, 25 July 2013 (UTC))

Making loud noises does not prove an argument! The closure of webcite does not make WP:V any more meaningless than it was before webcite existed. Linkrot is a problem we will always have, and will always have to deal with. Resolute 14:13, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
what we will do with dead links as do not have any alternative ways for verification of dead links?
shall we cancel WP:V as meanless rule or what?
or you just going to wait until all dead links will really die, then say "sorry guys..."? (Idot (talk) 16:07, 25 July 2013 (UTC))
Also it should be noted that the vast majority of voters supported acquisition. I was among them. We donate and we should be able to determine how Wikimedia spends our money. — kf8 17:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
How much more do they need to raise and by when? 97.124.165.149 (talk) 16:24, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
They need $30k by the end of year, of which 10k is already raised. Personally, I'm very disappointed by WMF spending large amounts for meaningless activities and not supporting service which stores over 300k pages for verifiability purposes. WMF could acquire WebCite or make similar service of our own, but the Foundation is occupied with its own petty projects like VE, it's a shame! --Akim Dubrow (talk) 10:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Jimmy, how can mere mortals check to see whether someone has put in a FDC application for saving WebCite? 97.122.185.40 (talk) 15:05, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Website should be supported. In the end, one of the pillars of Wikipedia holds, because the service operates. ADDvokat (talk) 15:22, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't acquire it, just support it. $30k is chickenfeed to the WMF - it's the kind of money they lay out to "train the trainers" so that some people in a WMxx organization can have something cool to put on their resumes (without providing a Wikiversity course for the rest of us to follow, either). That money can (a) keep them operating and (b) buy their promise to serve links to Wikipedia with greater reliability, to warn us if they are approaching an outage, etc. Wnt (talk) 20:25, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely. If this was something that the Foundation could purchase with an operations requisition, there is no question in my mind that they would pay for it to prevent service interruptions for all the outgoing links. But why can't they? Jimbo, are you going to ask the Foundation staff to cut a check to keep WebCite up? EJM86 (talk) 06:40, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • will we get at last any offical answer?! (Idot (talk) 11:58, 30 July 2013 (UTC))
I'm glad to see the interest in this, because I think having verifiability for all is part of the mission. But I don't think seeking the fiat of Jimbo is the best way to obtain the dispersal of WMF funds. He's a board member, and there are WMF staff for these tasks. To that end, the bottom of m:WebCite has an answer given on 25 July. The points under m:WebCite#Response_from_WMF_Grants_Program need attention from the relevant parties. I have sent an email to see if there is interest in working towards a grant on WebCite's end. Biosthmors (talk) 09:31, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
What is the advantage of requiring WebCite to apply for a grant versus simply cutting a check as an operational expense to keep a service which volunteers have always depended on running? I'm not sure becoming a bureaucratic behemoth is entirely in the spirit of fun. EJM86 (talk) 20:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Point taken. And I've asked Jimbo about the WebCite issue in person. I'm just stating my impression of the way things work. Biosthmors (talk) 07:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • still waiting for answer (Idot (talk) 17:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC))
See my post above, and I didn't hear a reply from the WebCite person so far. Biosthmors (talk) 07:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Is it safe to use OTRS ?

Hi Jimbo, today I happened to read this. As you see a Wikipedia administrator, and a member of the Wikimedia OTRS team User:Tom Morris "wonders if we could tempt the really fucking perverted by offering a premium Jimmy Wales Real Doll". So his wondering made me to wonder, if it safe to use OTRS. I mean do you believe that the members of the Wikimedia OTRS team are responsible enough to be trusted with people's personal information? Thanks.76.126.140.123 (talk) 03:48, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Those comments are juvenile, insulting and embarrassing. I apologise to both Jimmy Wales and to Peter Damian: it was stupid for me to say those things, and I'm sorry. I also apologise for using a transphobic slur.
I realised at some point between 2011 and now that participation in the "drama" side of Wikipedia makes me miserable and turns me into a sort of person I don't want to be. (On my deathbed, I can't imagine that I will regret not spending more time posting on ANI.) I now try to consciously opt-out of such situations. I think I have matured as a person; I would not take part in a conversation like the one excerpted above today. IRC can promote a rhetorical one-upmanship which can be excessive, mean and immature. I'm far more careful in what I say and have pared down the number of Wikimedia IRC channels I participate in.
As for OTRS, I act with discretion and try my hardest to deal with the emails I handle at OTRS in a kind and considerate way. —Tom Morris (talk) 07:41, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Great, apology accepted from me at least. I expect Peter will accept that apology as well.
One problem with IRC is that it has the feel of a casual off-the-record chat with friends, and joking around is the norm. The result of this is a tone and manner of speaking that is often inappropriate upon further reflection. OTRS, on the other hand, has a formal and dignified tone that tends to bring out the best in people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:06, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
As far as the confidentiality of OTRS goes, I can tell you that User:Fæ has expressed concerns about this more than once. Fæ is in a position to know, having been an OTRS volunteer and participated in a two-day WMUK workshop on OTRS. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Requested Articles

Hi Jimbo Wales,

I appreciate that this will likely be answered by a talk page stalker, but I will ask anyway: I am trying to re-work the design of requested articles, along with the WikiProject, and was wondering if you would, as you did for GOCE, be willing to create an article listed at requested articles. I feel that this would get the WikiProject's participation up, and help improve a neglected area of Wikipedia.

Thank you to anyone who replies, Matty.007 13:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC) (Before I forget: well done founding Wikipedia...)

fringe theories notice board vs forum shop & canvasing

I've noticed that the fringe theories notice board is also a means to recruit other negative minded POV's.

I've just deleted this as an example http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard&diff=prev&oldid=566827525

I think descriptions of editors do not belong on a notice board, if anyone needs to get banned or needs to get topic banned the forum shop seems quite inapropriate.

I question the neutrality of the notice board when it is used to ban users. 84.106.26.81 (talk) 08:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

An editor posted there (the ANI discussion is already closed) because the discussion is about a topic ban in the fringe medicine area. The wording is neutral, and of interest to board regulars who edit in that topic area. IRWolfie- (talk) 08:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not supposed to be "neutral" (i.e. credulous) about fringe medical claims. Mangoe (talk) 10:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Some people wish for false balance, which is not true neutrality. It is not unreasonable to inform noticeboard regulars (anyone can be a regular) who are aware of policy in fringe areas in detail. To draw a parallel, if there was a discussion about a topic ban of an editor due to some COI, I think it would be fair to notify WP:COI/N. I don't see why the POV of different regulars of a particular board would be "negative minded" and I don't know what that means, IRWolfie- (talk) 10:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Fringe Theories Noticeboard is like Wikipedia's version of the Spanish Inquisition, deciding what "heresy" is and by extension who the "heretics" are. Editors can go in there about subjects that have been controversial for 1000s of years looking for a definitive ruling in short order on who is considered "right" - as someone did a few moments ago, asking if it was a "fringe theory" that the Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew. The answer to that is there have been several schools of thought on this for thousands of years and several of them would love to leap at the chance to get rhetoric accusing the other schools of thought of "fringe" endorsed by some ostensibly "neutral" body acting as arbiter. FTN needs some kind of oversight or reigning in as basically a canvassing board because it can quickly attract a swarm of editors all sharing the same biases. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
[7]. I see no such FTN thread. This is a rather poor straw man argument. Til, if I'm correct, asserts there is a "systematic bias" to keep the fringe, ... on the fringes, IRWolfie- (talk) 13:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
There is now a thread on the Gospel of Matthew at WP:FTN. I have asked the person starting it to provide further information - i.e. to explain the grounds on which others have suggested that the material in question is considered fringe. Can Til Eulenspiegel explain exactly who is canvassing for what and how in the thread concerned? AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:42, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Til, if I'm correct, asserts there is a "systematic bias" to keep the fringe, ... on the fringes. Asking for input about whether a topic is mainstream or not is within the remit of the board. Quoting the header: "Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories." Calling this asking for input a "definitive ruling" would be like calling what WP:RSN does as giving "definitive ruling[s]" about source reliability. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:45, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
There is something wp refers to as "Systemic bias", not "systematic". Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It is that the editors don't know you are talking about them behind their back. They are not invited to your little discussion among your buddies. However elite your editor status, talking about people without inviting them is just not polite. Politeness in general is not the strong point of this noticeboard, if it has any.
I understand it is convenient to have the means to summon your elite editor squad to man handle the fringe editor but the so called fringe editor is allowed no such recruitment mechanism. It is always you and your skeptic buddies vs one guy. All he gets out of the notice board is 10 people moaning about how stupid he is and 300 people reverting everything he does. etc
The existence of the whole noticeboard is dubious. It doesn't follow any academic structure. It assumes it self more capable of handling non mainstream medical topics than the medical noticeboards and/or related wikiprojects? It is more physics than physics etc? Didn't we have places for that already? Full of people skilled in those specific arts? Is there such a thing as "pure fringe"? Fringe of a kind that doesn't belong anywhere else?
I think we can limit the tools for talk page stalker recruitment to article purposes not the persecution of editors? If you like talking about people behind their back or not shouldn't matter? Should it? 84.106.26.81 (talk) 14:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
This comment exemplifies a WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude, IRWolfie- (talk) 16:57, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
At the top is a notice saying If you mention specific editors, please notify them. You may use {{subst:FTN-notice}} to do so. I will try adding "Please consider notifying the article's talk page as well." and see what happens. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 15:08, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Til Eulenspiegel, I asked a specific question: who is it you consider to have been 'canvassing' regarding the Gospel of Matthew thread on WP:FTN you mentioned earlier? AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
There was only one post in that thread when I mentioned that. Since then you have dealt with the question in an exemplary fashion. I can only assume good faith that it would have been no different had I said nothing. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 15:28, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't give a rat's arse whether you 'assume good faith' or not. And you haven't answered the question. Are you in the habit of making vague accusations and not following up with evidence when requested? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The changes to the header have already been discussed before and rejected. You haven't demonstrated any issue (in fact you appear to acknowledge your example was resolved in a good way), and you are singling out the FTN board over other boards for no apparent reason except your own personal grievances against WP:FRINGE. On noticeboards in general we don't want all vested parties to pile in on a discussion, it defeats the purpose of the board, which is to offer other outside opinions. If editors talk about another editor they are notified, otherwise other editors are not notified. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:56, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
To explain somewhat, IRWolfie has just removed my addition of "Please consider notifying the article's talk page as well." with the comment This isn't required, doesn't make sense in many contexts and sometimes a quiet question should be asked and answered here. (!) Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
This has already been to an RFC where it was not done: [8]. You want to single this board out for special treatment despite it following the norm for other noticeboards and wikiprojects. IRWolfie- (talk) 17:07, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I can't help but be curious what you'd consider an example of a "quiet question" that should be discussed as "fringe" by the fringe noticeboard without knowledge of participants on the talk page. But if these things are best kept "quiet", perhaps you won't tell me. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 17:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
An example question would be someone asking if something is fringe or not. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Look, Til, first of all it's supposed to be ARBCOM that's the Spanish Inquisition. Us FT/N regulars would be more like Batman or some other vigilantes. But more to the point: we've had run-ins with you time and again with promotion of questionable archaeological, historical, and anthropological material. For people who want to see what really goes on, take a look at this archived discussion of the claim that smallpox-infected blankets were given out by the US Army as a genocidal measure. It's well-known that this assertion traces back to the controversialist and unreliable Ward Churchill, whose allegations have been heavily questioned. Of course, there's another side which want to believe that his over-the-top political statements are what got him into trouble and that his research is perfectly fine. Til pushed hard to keep this assertion in the article as fact, and we kept saying, "no, you need a source that traces back to primary material and not to Churchill." We've had similar problems in the past with fake Welsh lore which traces back to Iolo Morganyg, who flat out made a lot of stuff up. Til kept promoting this too, to the point where I put in an inquiry to Ronald Hutton for a clarification. Not surprisingly the Celtic fringe people don't like Hutton. Someone else finally did get banned because the work of policing him finally pushed us past our limits of patience with him.
The fact is that without people chasing this stuff down, we would have a encyclopedia pushing a lot of false history, unfounded lore, medical quackery, and free energy schemes. Fringe theory pushers are why we have huge articles rebutting 9/11 and moon landing conspiracy theories. Look, if it were up to me, people who pushed these notions would be banned outright and quickly, not merely argued with and reverted ad nauseam. It wastes too much of people's time, but patience has been decreed, so we do go through the motions of talking the nonsense to death. The topic that Til brings up is far different and more difficult issue: gospel authorship is still a hot topic and is likely to remain so, and there's a great deal in the field of simply denying that their opponents need to be taken seriously, so it can be difficult to tell minority viewpoints from ideas most everyone rejects. It's not helped out in this instance by Bart Ehrman saying some things of late about textual transmission that hardly anyone else accepts. But again if you'll actually read the discussion you'll see someone put out a call to the Christianity project, and that it's not just a pile-on. Shortly before that we rejected getting into a dispute about Tea Party origins. It's not just a coordinating point for lynch mobs. Mangoe (talk) 19:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The testimony of Mato-tope is primary and not in the least dependent on Mr. Churchill, but it's a major case of "we didn't hear that, because some sensitive things are too quiet to be heard". Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 19:42, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Mato-tope's accusation that the disease was "caused by those dogs the whites" is not sufficiently specific to serve as independent confirmation that the US Army distributed smallpox infected blankets as part of genocidal policy. (But this isn't the best place for that discussion.) Agricolae (talk) 03:26, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The example of the case of the Gospel of Matthew is not at all like you make it out to be. The claim that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew is clearly fringe. No one has produced any reliable source which makes that claim, probably because no reliable source believes it. There are some sources which argue that there was a Hebrew or Aramaic collection of sayings (e.g., to which Papias refers) that was ascribed to Matthew. Great, very interesting and well worth mentioning. But this is not the same thing as the Gospel of Matthew. Just because the name "Matthew" occurs with some work, doesn't that work is the Gospel of Matthew, and this is something the reliable sources are clear on. The case is sort of like someone quoting a decent biologist that says that seahorses are a type of fish, and then trying to use that source as a basis for changing the horse article to read "some horses are fish". It's just a fundamental misunderstanding of what the reliable sources are talking about. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:07, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Attempts to recruit editors via fringe theories notice board

Obviously, there's nothing wrong with asking other editors to give their opinions but please do it in a neutral manner and not like this, this , this, and this -A1candidate (talk) 23:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Only one of those links is to FT/N. Pinging since diffs of his were used as evidence. Noformation Talk 00:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Do you disagree in some way with what is said? IRWolfie- (talk) 01:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
These message presume a violation of policies and accuses other editors of doing so. Whether or not that's the case, a neutral notification should not be taking positions -A1candidate (talk) 08:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

[edit source | edit beta]

Is there a way for me to remove the "[edit source | edit beta]" to just "edit" again? It's too cluttered for me. Albacore (talk) 16:28, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing and check "Temporarily disable VisualEditor while it is in beta" at the bottom. A change made to the interface inadvertently broke the gadget that was hiding VE. Resolute 16:46, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't work for me. Miss Bono [zootalk] 16:52, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Expand as: [edit source | edit beta | power tools | hand tools]: Well, just kidding, but the obsession to rewrite (or trample) the Wikipedia interface to further push VE seems a bit over-the-top now. Fortunately, the VE usage has plummeted, from 14% to just 8.5% of all edits (sample of 2,000 edits on 3 August 2013), while IP edits continue to be 27% of daily edits as when VE was used 14%. It might be interesting to compare the long-term productivity for VE, as with power tools versus hand tools, and consider the possibilities. -Wikid77 12:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: No one can edit the same article for more than one month

I've submitted this proposal for rejection and would be tickled pink to hear the particular reasons you don't like it. Thanks! Equazcion (talk) 19:24, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

I don't even understand what that means. There is no possible meaning that would make it a good proposal, but an ambiguous bad proposal is even more useless than a clearly stated bad proposal. Looie496 (talk) 23:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't even understand what that means. Equazcion (talk) 23:28, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

"You can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor." --Ed Asner, "Saturday Night Live" 75.71.64.74 (talk) 23:35, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I couldn't possibly be forced to agree more. Equazcion (talk) 23:41, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
While it seems this is unlikely to be accepted as a proposal, it is generating an interesting discussion. A counter proposal was made by me in response. It isn't that Equazcion is incorrect about the issue this attempts to address, it just seems to be that it isn't ideal for our community. But, "Topic ban" discussions could well be incorporated into our current DR process. The community has this "tool". It should not be relegated to just AN or AN/I.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:12, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I counter-counter propose that "indefinite" be replaced by "one month" in all bans prior to 01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC) in the spirit of fun! 71.215.86.35 (talk) 01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
And on a related but entirely serious note, should Jubilee really be a disambiguation page, and if so, shouldn't it have a decent introductory paragraph at least touching on the most common dicdefs? 71.215.86.35 (talk) 01:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Word "Jubilee" is relatively rare as from Jubilee (biblical), and so local meanings can be very strong in each region (because other meanings are not common in each region). Hence, there is only a list of possible meanings for the word, where at some point a new popular song named "Jubilee" might seem the obvious most-common choice, but only as a passing trend. Compare to the word "Enterprise" which has many common meanings, from businesses to town names to ship names, Starship Enterprise or even Space Shuttle Enterprise, etc. -Wikid77 12:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Proposed edit-limits years ago: I also proposed a form of edit-limit, but as a per-article edit-counter to be triggered when other editors nominated an active user to be watched for edit-counts. The maximum edit-limits would apply to all editors, equally, but to simplify the per-article accounting, only some users would be watched for edit-levels (after nomination by other concerned users). The risk I noted was in a few users making dozens of edits, to a single page, whereby a user systematically altered a few phrases on each edit, until the page was slowly transformed into something else, often by deleting phrases on each edit, to "censor" a page into a bland, hollow overview which previously had contained enough details to pinpoint events but was hollowed to leave many of the 6 W's questions as unanswered, as if no sources had reported the detailed answers which many readers would seek. We have seen similar problems in COI-edits, where negative text can be periodically trimmed, while positive reports are slightly "enhanced" over a period of dozens of edits, so the effect is not noticed much from day-to-day. An edit-limit could be flexible, as n-edits per week or month, since only the nominated users would be tallied each time. -Wikid77 12:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
    My proposal had more to do with contentious topics. They tend to become nearly impossible to break into because of the obsessive POV warriors on each side of some debate (abortion, Catholicism vs. sexuality, etc). I think everyone who's been editing a contentious topic for a long period should be required to step away periodically and let fresher perspectives take over. Equazcion (talk) 23:43, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: No one can edit the same article for more than one month

I've submitted this proposal for rejection and would be tickled pink to hear the particular reasons you don't like it. Thanks! Equazcion (talk) 19:24, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

I don't even understand what that means. There is no possible meaning that would make it a good proposal, but an ambiguous bad proposal is even more useless than a clearly stated bad proposal. Looie496 (talk) 23:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't even understand what that means. Equazcion (talk) 23:28, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

"You can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor." --Ed Asner, "Saturday Night Live" 75.71.64.74 (talk) 23:35, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I couldn't possibly be forced to agree more. Equazcion (talk) 23:41, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
While it seems this is unlikely to be accepted as a proposal, it is generating an interesting discussion. A counter proposal was made by me in response. It isn't that Equazcion is incorrect about the issue this attempts to address, it just seems to be that it isn't ideal for our community. But, "Topic ban" discussions could well be incorporated into our current DR process. The community has this "tool". It should not be relegated to just AN or AN/I.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:12, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I counter-counter propose that "indefinite" be replaced by "one month" in all bans prior to 01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC) in the spirit of fun! 71.215.86.35 (talk) 01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
And on a related but entirely serious note, should Jubilee really be a disambiguation page, and if so, shouldn't it have a decent introductory paragraph at least touching on the most common dicdefs? 71.215.86.35 (talk) 01:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Word "Jubilee" is relatively rare as from Jubilee (biblical), and so local meanings can be very strong in each region (because other meanings are not common in each region). Hence, there is only a list of possible meanings for the word, where at some point a new popular song named "Jubilee" might seem the obvious most-common choice, but only as a passing trend. Compare to the word "Enterprise" which has many common meanings, from businesses to town names to ship names, Starship Enterprise or even Space Shuttle Enterprise, etc. -Wikid77 12:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Proposed edit-limits years ago: I also proposed a form of edit-limit, but as a per-article edit-counter to be triggered when other editors nominated an active user to be watched for edit-counts. The maximum edit-limits would apply to all editors, equally, but to simplify the per-article accounting, only some users would be watched for edit-levels (after nomination by other concerned users). The risk I noted was in a few users making dozens of edits, to a single page, whereby a user systematically altered a few phrases on each edit, until the page was slowly transformed into something else, often by deleting phrases on each edit, to "censor" a page into a bland, hollow overview which previously had contained enough details to pinpoint events but was hollowed to leave many of the 6 W's questions as unanswered, as if no sources had reported the detailed answers which many readers would seek. We have seen similar problems in COI-edits, where negative text can be periodically trimmed, while positive reports are slightly "enhanced" over a period of dozens of edits, so the effect is not noticed much from day-to-day. An edit-limit could be flexible, as n-edits per week or month, since only the nominated users would be tallied each time. -Wikid77 12:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
    My proposal had more to do with contentious topics. They tend to become nearly impossible to break into because of the obsessive POV warriors on each side of some debate (abortion, Catholicism vs. sexuality, etc). I think everyone who's been editing a contentious topic for a long period should be required to step away periodically and let fresher perspectives take over. Equazcion (talk) 23:43, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)

"Evil world views"

In the previous discussion on Wikipedia and racism you hatted the discussion with: "We have the right and the ethical responsibility to ban people who bring evil world views to Wikipedia".

Care to clarify what are the "evil world views"? Sure, racism enters into it, and I agree, personally, that racism is evil. But what else? Is belonging to the Catholic church, a frankly not-so-nice towards LGBT people organization, an evil world view as well? I would say so. Who is going to decide what world views are good and what ones are evil? Is communism allowed? Anarchism? Paleoconservatism? What does Wikipedia consider good or evil on abortion? What about euthanasia? (An editor, User:Count Iblis, just got blocked because he made a comment in support of euthanasia, a few days ago, by the way). And what about eating dog meat?

I am asking because I'm frankly terrified of the idea that Wikipedia only allows people who think in a certain way to edit. Sure, I should feel safe: I am a fairly liberal, run-of-the-mill Western editor who despises racism,pedophilia,homophobia etc. But who knows what of my political or philosophical opinions will be considered evil tomorrow. You know, First they came... -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:57, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely agree. I firmly oppose Jimbo's view that we should ban people who have a particular ideology, no matter how horrifying. I accept that editing Wikipedia is a privilege, not a right, but I really do not see the harm in someone on the far-right editing if they are doing so objectively and with a neutral point-of-view. — Richard BB 11:16, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Who decides? We do. Through thoughtful and kind conversation exploring the pro's and con's of drawing the line in different places, taking into account all the relevant facts. My point is that neither extreme is a viable or productive option. On the one hand is the extreme view that no matter how vile and reprehensible one behaves outside Wikipedia, editing is still welcomed as long as it doesn't technically break any already-written rules. On the other hand is the extreme view that only a narrow range of people of appropriate opinions can edit Wikipedia. We want to have diversity and thoughtfulness. Some views, though, are simply and plainly lunatic and beyond the range of reasonable, and we can and should take a very dim view of people espousing them.
In general, it's worth adding, this is a fairly academic or purely philosophical question. As a matter of empirical fact, people who hold destructive philosophies generally find themselves unable to function well in a community based on reasoned discourse. We can imagine, for the fun of a discussion, a perfectly polite and reasonable editor of Jewish history who also writes a personal blog advocating for a 2nd Holocaust, but in reality, that's extremely unlikely. Similarly, and again, I haven't looked at the specific case mentioned above, a KKK member who reasonably and thoughtfully edits is just extremely unlikely. What is more likely is a KKK member who sometimes makes minor edits in some area of pop culture trivia - and losing such an editor is not going to cause anyone, especially not me, to shed a tear. Why? Because putting out the view that we are a humane and ethical community who welcome thoughtful people is going to gain us much much better editors in the long run, than toleration of jerks.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:52, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
*clap* *clap* *clap* It is OK to espouse whatever lunatic or vile view one wants. But what any mainstream organisation doesn't want is to have such espousers associated with the organisation, regardless as to whether they promulgate their views within organisation or not. Not only is it bad PR for the organisation but it also puts a burden on the organisation to be ever watchful that the espouser isn't promulgating their views within the organisation. John lilburne (talk) 12:09, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yup. What John said. Most people are, rightly, selective about the company they keep - and that extends to the volunteer organisations they choose to give their time to. Begoontalk 12:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fully agree with this comment and with John's. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (edit conflict) Jimbo, the whole point is that what is "evil", "vile", "reprehensible", "lunatic", "beyond the range of reasonable" are entirely subjective opinions, that depend on the specific culture, upbringing and personal circumstances. There is almost no opinion that isn't found "evil" by some other culture. For example, in many cultures tolerance for LGBT rights would be considered as "evil", "lunatic" and "beyond the range of reasonable", while we obviously think the opposite. But we don't have to go this far. Slapping your own kids is considered horrible in many Western cultures, while not doing it is considered bad parenting in Italy, a first-world European country (even if things are changing now). What do we do with editors who in perfect good faith, in a civilized European country, nevertheless think that giving a slap here and there is a healthy thing to grow up a healthy child, and that is the majority opinion between reasonable people there? Do we ban them as evil kid beaters?

Also, you have to take into account that in some countries -again Western ones- political parties that we can consider downright "evil" represent a huge amount of people. In Italy the not-so-covert xenophobic party Lega Nord has up to 30% representation in some Northern regions. In France the far-right Front National (France) has similar percentages. Do you want to ban 30% of the population of a Western country from editing Wikipedia due to political views? And again, and I am dead serious, what about religions who have a staunch anti-same sex marriage position, for example? Because that's not far from racism, in my book.

Now, I'm not saying that people should be free to proudly advocate whatever they like. I understand very well that there are lines to be drawn, if we don't want to become a nasty mess, but these lines should be drawn in the sand of behaviours, not of private life positions. The day an editor endorses, on WP, explicitly racist/sexist/homophobic views, for example, I am all for showing them the door, because this would create a problem in the task of having a world-wide inclusive community of editors. But if we begin to have to look at what editors think in their spare time, this is opening the door to becoming the thoughtpolice. A tongue-in-cheek Facebook status, an out of context remark somewhere that can be twisted, would easily become weapons to remove editors from WP. You say we should not tolerate jerks. We should not. But the only way to be a jerk is to behave like one. Thinking like a jerk cannot be a crime.-- cyclopiaspeak! 12:33, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Can you stick to the specific example under discussion instead of raising straw men. We are talking about the KKK here. Lynchers, murderers and espousers of hate. We all know that someone in the KKK is a nasty piece of work, no one has defended being in the KKK. We aren't talking about a random facebook post either, this person knowingly identified themselves on a neo-nazi forum as a member of the KKK and also posted what can only be described as hate filled messages. We only know what he thinks because he posted his thoughts on the internet. There is no ambiguity here. For people who keep making the slippery slope arguments; once we open our door to extremists, where does it end? IRWolfie- (talk) 13:00, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The point that myself and Cyclopia are making is that his comments were not made to Wikipedia. Seemingly, his political views (and I'd argue that he probably defends being in the KKK) have not influenced his editing on Wikipedia (or is there something that I've missed?). Yes, he is going to be a nasty piece of work if he is a Klansman, but as long as that life is kept separate from Wikipedia there shouldn't be an issue. In answer to your final question: it ends when their views affect their ability to edit constructively. — Richard BB 13:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. Yes, he posted that stuff on the Internet, elsewhere. That's exactly what I'm talking about. He thinks stuff. He thinks what we, in our culture, subjectively, see as very nasty stuff. But on WP, he keeps it for himself. And it's not me doing slippery slope arguments, Jimbo himself escalated from "being in the KKK" to "evil world views" in general, and that's what is worrying. Nobody here should be in a position to distinguish the Good from the Evil, no editor, no WMF employee, nobody. Because "good" and "evil" are subjective values, they are emanations of each ones' culture and conscience. In a diverse community, with editors worldwide, from a huge variety of backgrounds and opinions, we can only speak about what practically makes the place workable, and sanction behaviours that are factually detrimental. Not personal opinions. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:26, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
What relativistic nonsense. If someone can't distinguish Good from Evil they are morally deficient. And judging good from evil is precisely what you are capable of doing, as you have said "The day an editor endorses, on WP, explicitly racist/sexist/homophobic views, for example, I am all for showing them the door". You are very capable of judging things when it suits you, IRWolfie- (talk) 13:37, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
You may call it "relativistic nonsense", but fact is that different cultures have different values with different notions of what is good and what is evil, and there is no known objective algorithm capable of distinguishing the two, no matter how some (bad) philosophers squirm about it. I distinguish between "good" and "evil" every day, but that's what is good and evil for me, not for some absolute system written in the laws of physics. About my comment, it is not because advocating such views is intrinsically evil: there is no such thing as intrinsic evil. It is because, practically, such open on-wiki advocacy would drive editors away, and this would be objectively damaging for the project. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:45, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
... and you think having editors who are openly Ku Klux Klan and NAMBLA members won't drive people away and doesn't damage wikipedia? The "its not for us to censor people" mantra doesn't work outside of the wikipedia bubble. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
No, because strangely enough I don't go around doxing other editors and checking what do they believe outside WP (and WP:OUTING requires us not to do so as well). So, if I do not know that someone is a KKK/NAMBLA/SPECTRE member, I can't be driven away by it. And even if I did, as long as they don't become vocal about it, they're not a threat to me or to anyone. They only become so if they begin to advocate explicitly, on site, discriminatory stuff, then making feel other editors explicitly unwelcome. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:01, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

@Jimmy, I have to disagree that "no matter how vile and reprehensible one behaves outside Wikipedia, editing is still welcomed" is too extreme. Nobody should be cut off from humanity - that really would be evil, ask Amnesty International - and we should not play that game in our little microcosm. The only excuse for cutting them off from our "anyone-can-edit" Wikipedia is if they become excessively disruptive to other editors - which, as you point out, is highly likely. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:30, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

I have to say - take a deep breath, go outside, play with a child. Banning someone from Wikipedia is not cutting them off from humanity. Far from it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@Jimmy. I didn't say it was, I said it was a microcosm. The same morality applies whatever the scale. The morality is that one should treat them with the same personal respect as everyone else - even our kids. ;) — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
We aren't an experiment in democracy. This is a private website. It's not some encroachment on their first amendment rights or whatever; they have no implied rights to be here. Invoking Amnesty international makes no sense in this context. Not being allowed to edit an encyclopedia is not being "cut off from humanity". IRWolfie- (talk) 13:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Should then we substitute "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" with "the encyclopedia that people that endorse a well-defined subset of philosophical views can edit"? -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I hate to burst your bubble, but there are already thousands of individuals we don't allow to edit here. If you wanted to change it to "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, except those in hate groups", I don't think that would be as damaging as "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, even KKK members". IRWolfie- (talk) 13:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
We don't allow these editors to edit because of how they did behave, not about what did they think. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:01, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@IRWolfie. At least we agree that Wikipedia is a microcosm and not the real deal. And it's true that we have no equivalent of Amnesty International, other than our collective consciences. We "should be" what we want to be, and we like to pretend on ethical grounds to "anyone can edit". Barring the disruptive minority is necessary to protect that freedom for the majority, barring evil thinkers is not. Let us either live up to our ethics or abandon the pretence. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Honest question: Can anyone show a diff that shows this individual has "brought an evil world view" into Wikipedia? Lets see the evidence. If not, there is nothing to do. Also, homophobia is bigotry in the same category as racism. Given the percentages of people in the general public that believe 'teh gays are evil', if you are going to start prosecuting editors for thought crime, then you had better put your doxing shoes on and get set to ban a not insignificant number of editors. Resolute 14:34, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "Some views, though, are simply and plainly lunatic and beyond the range of reasonable, and we can and should take a very dim view of people espousing them is a position I agree with wholeheartedly. Tarc (talk) 14:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah - I can get behind that. Doubt the lunatics will join us though... Face-smile.svg Begoontalk 14:52, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure. For example it is completely lunatic and unreasonable to think that there is an objective way, free of cultural bias, to separate world views that are "good" from ones that are "evil", and anyone who thinks there is an Absolute Good or an Absolute Evil clearly is not in her/his right mind...Oh wait. Face-smile.svg -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:08, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
As someone who has been accused of having an "evil worldview" based only on who I have voted for or agreeing with the Zimmerman verdict, I have to be very leery of Jimbo's statements and side with Cyclopia. I defended Wikipedia in a fairly prominent conservative blog basically because it distinguishes itself from much of academia by keeping Neutral Point of View as a bedrock. If Wikipedia is now going to decide what are "reasonable" viewpoints and what are not, you can kiss NPOV goodbye (if not tomorrow at least eventually)Thelmadatter (talk) 15:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fortunately, no one really gives a rat's ass what you think, cyclopia. See, this is what the bleeding hearts of the 21st century do; they are aghast at anything that causes offense, and wring their hands over each and everything in the universe that may cause another person to feel bad. "Oh, what, a KKK member? They're just people with a different opinion, let them in!" "Hey, pedophiles? Don't ostracize them, that will just make them feel bad since "nobody should be cut off from humanity". What what people like cyclopia will do is toss out a billion and one absurd examples..."what about X?", "what about Y?", "what about Z?" which serves to dilute the original Truly Bad Things(tm) we were originally discussing. This is the typical defense deployed by the "Friends of Commons" to defend their smut and depravity; someone finds an objectionable image of a teen boy's thighs or a topless Mardi Gras woman, and out comes the "What about XYZ?" trope. Tarc (talk) 15:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fortunately no one really gives a rat's ass what you think too, tarc (ironically enough, someone just endorsed me right above, and others did too - but that's not a popularity contest, is it?). About the "bleeding hearts", um, you got it upside-down. It's more that I am not aghast of anything that causes offense, or at least that we should not be as aghast of such views as to take pitchforks and torchs and go around making political cleansings. And there is no absurd example: examples I did are very much real. You see, if I should decide what is a disgusting opinion, I for sure would ban people who believe in witch-hunt-era concepts like "depravity" in a heartbeat. But differently from you, I know it's just my opinion, and I think you have the right to disagree with me. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:30, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Cyclopia is absolutely right about this issue - with one exception. Given the recent statements and activities of Pope Francis, it no longer seems fair to single out the Catholic church as an evil organization. The Russian Orthodox Church, on the other hand, is another matter.[9][10][11] Indeed, their efforts have even inspired some people to fight pedophilia...[12] I would suggest that at this point, membership in the Russian Orthodox Church is literally, not rhetorically, as bad as membership in the Ku Klux Klan. I'm not saying, of course, that every member of the church participates in brutal acts - neither does every Klansman. If Wikipedia adopts a standard of banning Klansmen but not banning Russian Orthodox members, it is officially promulgating the point of view that gay rights, and attacks on gays, are less important than the equivalent racial rights. There is no mistaking that. Wnt (talk) 15:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh of course, Wnt, I completely forgot about the innocent Klan members who didn't participate in any brutal acts. Like the guys who just did the books, or drew up the posters, or laundered the sheets, or ran down to the hardware store when someone forgot to inventory the rope supplies. Silly me, thanks for pointing out the existence of the non-brutalizing Klansmen. Wnt, you're a peach. Tarc (talk) 15:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The KKK had peak membership around 6 million, and killed 3446 black people in its 86 year history. [13] True, I think bizarrely enough they kill more of their own members, and there were many more beatings and many more acts of intimidation than that, and even more acts of vandalism and harassment - nonetheless, the bottom line is that today's KKK is not in the news any more, except occasionally begging in court with their ACLU lawyers for the right to hold a rally. I bet half the people in it are sad saps roped in by a father or brother or boss or somebody who are just going through the motions. Wnt (talk) 16:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Block them all and let God sort it out? Rhetoric aside, my question remains unanswered. Is there evidence of a user using Wikipedia to push a racist POV? Resolute 16:02, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, according to Jimbo (see hat above), We can ban people for being awful human beings, no less, so that he did or he didn't is not relevant anymore, it seems. Now I only wonder who is an awful human being and who isn't. Is someone who cheated on his wife an awful human being? What about someone who never donates to charities? -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:11, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for continuing to provide for us the dickish "what if what if what if...?" scenarios that I noted earlier. You're the gift that keeps on giving, champ. Tarc (talk) 16:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome, honey. -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
We claim to want to oppose the systemic bias of western, white young techies dominating editing and yet by claiming that what the western political establishment says is okay but believe anything else and you are out we are merely encouraging systemic bias, eg there is far more opposition to LGBT rights in the 3rd world than in the developed west, I guess ppl are saying we dont want these ppl here. Wales comments are extremely depressing and I fear too many arent really interested in a good encyclopedia, they just want a witch hunt, as evidenced here. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 16:06, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
When someone identifies themselves as a witch on a public forum for witches, there isn't much sport left in the hunt. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I lost interest a while ago. But the dribbling is mildly amusing (albeit a little sad) to pop back and watch occasionally (thanks to whoever I borrowed that apt term "dribbling" from - I forget). Begoontalk 16:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, I don't want to go down that path. I don't want to ban Russian Orthodox editors, and indeed, I would never even have mentioned them here if we could have agreed not to single out other editors, i.e. KKK, for exclusion. I provided that as a counterexample, not a call for discrimination, and I want them to be free to document their POV the same as anyone else, including the Klansmen. NPOV is not some kind of extracted, purified, whitewashed essence - it is a white light generated by taking all the colors of nature and throwing them together. But first we have to agree to let people speak, not cull out one group after another. Wnt (talk) 16:29, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
In 2010 "85.2 percent [of Jamaicans] were opposed to legalizing homosexuality" according to LGBT rights in Jamaica. Does this mean less than 15% of Jamaicans are welcome to edit the project? Is this desirable? Do we then have a right to complain about a US/western bias at wikipedia? And could banning the great majority of Jamaicans for homophobia itself be racist given 98% of the population are black? Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 16:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
This is the precise logic that leads many of us to say that KKK members and apologists for pedophilia should remain welcome on the site. That is the only logical way to have one Wikipedia. The other alternative forces us to make one decision after another about who is right and who is wrong, and if forced to do so, we would have to do so based on our own beliefs. That is to say, if we had no choice but to settle for "Wikipedia in one country", for many of us that country would be the U.S. and the value judgments made would be those of Americans, because even American self-loathing doesn't extend to the point of choosing some other country's intolerances. Wnt (talk) 17:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
It isn't about someone who thinks homosexuality is bad or votes against legislation. This is about the people that have a position in the organization that is drumming up the hatred. John lilburne (talk) 19:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The Pope's recent comments notwithstanding, that position pretty much obigates us to ban anyone who is identified as an adherent of most major religions. Resolute 19:46, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure if the primary purpose of the religion is to promote hatred then why would one want their preacher here? John lilburne (talk) 19:57, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Promoting hatred is not the primary purpose of religion. Actually, it seems to me that the real hatred here is being directed at religious people. AutomaticStrikeout  ?  03:12, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

One could argue that you could single out a few extreme cases like the KKK that most people could agree on, and that therefore sliding slope arguments have no merit, because people will not agree on other cases that are more controversial. But this is not true, as there are plenty of groups on which there is a strong consensus that they are extremist groups, albeit less so than the KKK. So, once it is a legitimate argument to raise against an editor that he is a KKK member and must therefore be banned, someone else can raise that you are a member of a less extremist group X and must therefore be, say, topic banned until you renounce your belief in X. Sooner or later, merely having views that most people disagree with will lead to some form of restriction against you editing related topics on Wikipedia.

The rules we have on Wikipedia are not static, they evolve and they will evolve toward internal consistency. If it is not consistent that a believer in X should not be restricted at all while KKK members get banned and the latter is not going to be overturned, the former will change. Count Iblis (talk) 17:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Really, the problem is that most people here are ignorant about the modern Klan because they are not given a full, accurate picture by their trusted media. People treat the Klan today as a monolithic entity and judge it as the same Klan that existed decades ago. The overwhelming majority of groups and individual members are as law-abiding as the rest of us. Generally, they're just a bunch of disparate groups with racist views that advocate for white rights and white heritage, typically by passing out pamphlets, staging rallies, and having barbecues in public parks. If we go with banning Klan members it would be the same as saying we should ban members of the British National Party, the National Front in France, and other far-right groups known for objectionable views about minorities or minority groups with similar views such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:55, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Nice to see that your apologist shtick extends to racist organizations as well as the usual groups that you stick up for at the Wikipediocracy, TDA. Though I cannot say I'm really surprised. Tarc (talk) 17:58, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
So, should TDA be banned as well? Count Iblis (talk) 18:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Filed under "W" for "wishful thinking". Tarc (talk) 18:07, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"Apologist" is one of those insults that is basically akin to saying "you are bad because you disagree with me" as it offers nothing else of substance. I do not believe membership, current or former, in any group should be used on its own as a basis for denying someone the ability to contribute here, including to pages related to the groups and their respective ideologies. That I include racist groups in that is simply a mark of my principled consistency.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I am by no means confident in the modern Klan's peacefulness - it ranks right up there with a boy's love and a whore's oath in terms of reliability. What I am confident about is that cracking down on them by force would set them off, whereas, in the general sense of what is right and wrong for society that Jimbo wants to go along with, there is nothing more beneficial than to draw them in to editing and reading and arguing on Wikipedia. What we have to remember is - what we have to have faith about - is that we are right about racial equality. That means that every single neuron in the Klansman's head is a potential traitor waiting to be activated, and every moment he is reading Wikipedia, they are in communication with the enemy. We need merely recognize that justice will prevail. Wnt (talk) 18:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"A whore's oath"—there's another thought. I take it as granted that we would ban anyone who is known to engage in prostitution—either selling or purchasing—in a jurisdiction where prostitution is illegal. They're not just "bad people;" they're actual criminals, who according to anti-prostitution campaigners are a threat to respectable society, and who, even if only engaged in adult prostitution, create a demand for child sex trafficking. Or does Wikipedia support criminals now?
Wnt also noted above that the ACLU aids and abets the present-day Ku Klux Klan, by giving them legal aid when requested, so I imagine an official pronouncement banning ACLU members is forthcoming? Hey, as a bonus, that would give Wikipedia some good karma among the conservative moral campaigners, many of whom view the ACLU as about as favorably as Stalin. I imagine improving the project's public relations with such people is a priority, given all the hand-wringing that goes on here about Commons containing pictures of boobies and wieners. --108.38.191.162 (talk) 22:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is another argument which I don't think has been mentioned in this discussion so far. One can ask how it is possible for people to have extremist views in this day and age where information is freely available that debunks their beliefs, the total opposite of the situation in Nazi Germany with their Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. What happens is that the extremist ideas are protected from debunking by including conspiracy theories about the media not being free, that scientists are not doing their job properly etc. etc. People are not born as extremists, they can get infected by extremist ideas, but this can only work if the conspiracy theories about the offical sources not being reliable are going to have some traction. So, if Wikipedia would be known for allowing people, regardless of their views no matter how extreme to edit here, then that would help in the fight against extremism. Count Iblis (talk) 23:24, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Why would wikipedia want to do that? I thought we were here to build an encyclopedia not help the govts of the world in their fight against extremism/anything they disagree with. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:36, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Not per se to help any government, but we would make the content of Wikipedia to be seen to be reliable to a wider audience that would include people susceptible to Neo-Nazi propaganda, people susceptible to be recruited by the Taliban etc. etc. So, we would simply be doing our own job better and that would help people to debunk ideas that are known to be wrong. Count Iblis (talk) 23:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Have you never met or interacted with a conspiracy theoriest? People claim there is a conspiracy to suppress perpetual motion machines, despite the existence of the internet with several websites hosting the claimed devices, schematics and forums. Reason does not need to figure into conspiratorial ideation. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I certainly agree, Iblis, that if we publicly ban members of the KKK for nothing to do with what they do on site or what they say about us offsite that all white supremacists will dismiss wikipedia and that is arguably an argument to not ban KKK members for simply being KKK members, we are here to educate ppl and racism, especially as practiced by a group like the KKK whose forefathehrs forcibly brought African Americans to the USA and are now whingeing about this. While the media love to cook up scandals around wikipedia (I myself have been a victim of their lies without the resources to sue for my work here) surely we should be judged by the quality of our encyclopedias and to hell with what the media say about wikipedia that is not directly related to the quality of our articles. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:54, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, and to reply to IRWolfie, consider the son of a KKK member who asks his father critical questions based on what he read on Wikipedia that seem to contradict what his father has told him. While the son won't convice his father that what he read is correct, it will be a lot easier for the father to convice his son of his beliefs if Wikipedia were to be known for not allowing KKK members to edit. Count Iblis (talk) 00:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Something else which was mentioned earlier, but not here, and which I think Jimbo has ignored, is that saying that people who are members of hate groups can be banned creates an incentive for outing--now, some Wikipedians will pry into the personal lives of others as much as they can in the hope of finding something that will get them banned. And yet another factor to consider is that proving oneself innocent has a cost. It's not really enough to say that "thoughtful and kind conversation" will lead to only people getting banned who really should. What about the people who don't get banned, but in order to avoid being banned were forced to participate in a thoughtful and kind flamewar in order to prove themselves nonbanworthy? Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:05, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Hey, c'mon, who doesn't love a little Two Minutes' Hate? Anyone refusing to participate is self-evidently a Brotherhood agent, and should be banned (and reported to the Ministry of Love of course). --108.38.191.162 (talk) 01:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. We are not like that though. There is no limit to our tolerance. We harbor anybody due to our decision to allow anonymous editing.

But we can block any username associated with advocacy of evil behaviours, on- or off-wiki. And so we should. Those of you bleating about the editor's rights have nothing to worry about. They can still edit. Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:09, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. - Perhaps you mean "this purging is a necessary function of any xenophobic tribal community". After all, a vast majority of Europeans, unfortunately, even ones tolerant of all other etnies, are still disgusted by Romani people: are you advocating Europeans should expel them? Your views don't seem far away from the ones you find disgusting. -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No one's suggesting we may be intolerant of Roma or Jews, just pedophiles and Nazis. And your argument that if we reject Nazis and pedophiles we're somehow equivalent to those who reject Roma and Jews is ... words fail me. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 10:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Backpedaling won't get you far. You didn't mention pedos and Nazis in your comment. You expressed a much more general principle. Your words: When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. Given the current public opinion in southern European states (which I'm sadly well aware of, being from there), you just justified the expulsion of Roma people from there. I am sure that is not what you actually meant, but that is what your stated principle justifies. And that "if we reject Nazis and pedophiles we're somehow equivalent to those who reject Roma and Jews" is not my argument. That is, instead, the logical consequence of your stated principle quoted above.
But since race and opinions are not the same thing, you can be justified in saying that you meant "disgusting ideologies". Let's make a better example. In many communities of United States, as far as I know speaking with Americans, being an atheist is considered somewhat disgusting. Do you agree that such communities should expel atheists? -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:46, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
What Anthonyhcole is forgetting is that the offer to make an edit on Wikipedia is not offered as an indulgence to editors, but as a necessity for absorbing content into the site. If "advocacy" is pursued on Wikipedia, of course, he may quickly have a case - we don't want Klansmen participating to skew articles about black history to fringe viewpoints. However, if what they want to do is to document the confusing relationships between 200 Klan chapters, explain the roles of all their fancifully named positions from Kleagles to Klanta Klaus, then we should welcome this. We should welcome this, among other reasons, because if the Klan does decide to go out and lynch someone, that kind of detail is going to help a future prosecutor understand who to interrogate and what questions to ask. Their edits are not an indulgence to them; they are an indulgence to us. Wnt (talk) 15:52, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
You must be working on a different WP than I am, Wnt. On this one we record what reliable sources say about a subject, not what people involved with the subject say about themselves. You seem to be conflating the idea of banning self-identified KKK members with omitting content about the KKK. Those are very different things. And I would suggest that any prosecutor who bases his or her decisions on what they have read on WP is doing a disservice to all parties in the case. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
WTF? What prohibits our hypothetical Klansman to use RS? -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:39, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Nothing. Who said they couldn't? Try to follow the discussion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
If they can, your On this one we record what reliable sources say about a subject, not what people involved with the subject say about themselves. remark makes no sense. -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:04, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Delicious.... under your argument, there then is no reason for Wikipedia to put effort into recruiting women and people from under-represented parts of the world, because Wikipedia only compiles information already out there. Even with the information available, someone familiar with the subject will generally do a better job of finding good sources and evaluating the information before putting it into WP. Not to mention the fact that volunteers will write about what interests them. The basic problem is that Jimmy's original arguments departs from the original principle that it is not about who is writing, it is about the quality of the writing. If the product is good and meets Wikipedia rules, we really shouldnt care who is doing the writing. We can evaluate the writing on its merits using pretty objective criteria, we cant really evaluate the person for all the reasons stated above.Thelmadatter (talk) 17:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't make an argument. I just reiterated what is already WP practice and policy. We use reliable sources, not personal knowledge. If you think this means that we shouldn't address the disparities in the Community's makeup, that's your opinion, not mine. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:43, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I was not suggesting that they should violate OR. The point is, there are a lot of racist publications - many primary sources, but still valid for saying that chapter XXX and YYY merged in 2002 - which I do not expect I would find at my local public library, and which may well never have been digitized. Additionally, they know where to look and I don't. It is possible that they could do some neutral edits to add such sourced material to relevant articles which would help people better to understand what is going on. Wnt (talk) 18:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, are you suggesting you want to actually encourage KKK members to edit here? IRWolfie- (talk) 18:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. If they arent using wikipedia to promote their own beliefs and stick to our rules surely there is nobody we shouldnt allow to edit, or we cant say its the encyclopedia anyone can edit (ie anyone who doesnt break our editing rules). The more diversity of editors who can write in an NPOV way the better. The problem happens when ppl try to use wikipedia to promote the KKK or any other belief. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 18:23, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wow, better keep you away from the newspapers unless we want a complete PR disaster. I can see the headlines now: "Wikipedia editors want more KKK members to edit, diversity strangely low on wikipedia". You can assume good faith with a bunch of racists, but I sure as hell ain't, IRWolfie- (talk) 20:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I did not suggest we single out KKK members to invite. There are, after all larger demographics, such as Africans, who are underrepresented. However, I would say that I support user-friendly, inclusive policies that encourage people to edit Wikipedia, and that anyone be allowed to edit, and so if logically you say that means encouraging KKK to edit, so be it. Wnt (talk) 20:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
But you do understand that welcoming outspoken racists is not actually "user-friendly", "inclusive", or likely to encourage people in general to edit Wikipedia? Don't answer, actually. Consider that a rhetorical question. MastCell Talk 21:37, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Not even Wikipediocracy can dox an editor before he signs up. That leaves us with two options: (a) we immediately welcome and encourage editing by everyone who can type two matching password fields on the signup page, or (b) your new user talk page gets a message like "Hello. We're thinking about welcoming you to Wikipedia, but first we need to know some things. Please fill out this form with your name, criminal history, known associations, and political and religious philosophies and submit to the Political Adjutant for the Central Evaluation Committee. We'll get back to you in 6-11 weeks, depending on how the our purges are going." Now sure, you can say, but not after someone has managed to dox the editor, then we should withdraw our welcome, but that affects new editors how? If you actually do that you won't catch very many real racists that way (lot of trolls though) Wnt (talk) 22:21, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
False dichotomy. I am unsure as to why you need to construct a straw man hypothetical reaction that we must undertake. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes I feel like a visitor from an alien planet when I read the things posted on this page. Wnt, "doxing" doesn't enter into it. By saying that it doesn't matter whether some of our volunteers belong to the KKK, we are in effect welcoming outspoken racists. That's the message. I can assure you that it will be received loud and clear—if not by you, then certainly by people who belong to demographics targeted by the KKK. MastCell Talk 23:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
From my perspective, a racist is little different from any other partisan. Society sees them as different because of the exact nature of their views. Generally, we wouldn't want anyone editing Wikipedia in a partisan manner, though there really isn't much helping it as most people focus on areas of interest to them where they hold strong opinions and people with strong opinions have difficulty separating their opinions from objective reality. If someone edits in a clearly racist manner and is an outspoken racist then they should be blocked or restricted until they can demonstrate an understanding of how to edit in a sufficiently neutral manner. However, merely being a racist shouldn't be used as a basis for banning someone. Saying "well this guy is/was in the KKK!" is a nice defense, but we all know that isn't where it would end. Maybe we won't ban Paula Deen, but we may come close enough to drive away people who are more concerned about having their off-wiki activities mined for dirt than they are about the quality of content on Wikipedia.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Mastcell: I'm not sure if you've read what I talked about above. Is it your position that Wikipedia should draw a clear line that anyone who can be proven to be a member of a racist organization can be thrown out, but someone who is a member of a virulently anti-gay organization should not? Wnt (talk) 02:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It's my position that we can actually build an encyclopedia without the help of virulent racists or homophobes. It's my position that racism, gay-bashing, etc. aren't welcome on this project. It's my position that if we find that one of our volunteers is a virulent racist or homophobe, then we should rid ourselves of that volunteer quickly and decisively (you know, like every other reputable volunteer organization on Earth). It's my position that none of this is at all controversial to sane adults who live in the Real World. MastCell Talk 02:55, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Right, MastCell. So we're going to ban a sizable proportion of editors who vote right-wing/nationalistic/conservative parties (if you get to know them they're most likely xenophobic), we're going to ban a vast majority of Muslims and Christians from various denominations (who have a very dim view of LGBT rights), and so on. What do you think? -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
What about "transphobia"? Are you for banning people who are "transphobic"? If that guy from Penny Arcade were editing here would you ban him because some people think he is transphobic for saying "boys have a penis and girls have a vagina"?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If we are going to say that things like racism or antisemitism or homophobia or transphobia or etc are not welcome here, then it seems consistent to me to discourage people who belong to organizations which exist solely to promote those ideas. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You aren't really addressing my point, but how about we look at it a different way? Are you saying that if a blatantly defamatory claim is made about a notable Klan member and that person removes the claim saying "this is a completely false claim about me" we should then block this person on sight? What if the claim isn't blatantly defamatory, but trivial and clearly added for gratuitously abusive purposes? Does that mean your words to them be: "No, Mr. or Mrs. Klan Member, you are not allowed to come to Wikipedia to dispute the attacks made against you on our site and you will be blocked on sight should you do so"?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 22:58, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
That the system here allows anonymous people to defame others is NOT a reason to have the site infested with white supremacists. John lilburne (talk) 23:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Why should KKK members be treated any better than most people who try to remove defamatory claims from their WP bios? In my experience, anyone who foolishly wanders onto WP to solve their issue directly soon ends up blocked (but not before they have been insulted by "vandal fighters" and "patrollers"). We treat BLP subjects like they don't matter, but you want us to stick up for the rights of hate-mongers so long as they only spew their hate offsite? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Did I say they should be treated "better"? I agree that our treatment of such complaints is not very good, but it does sometimes work and if someone simply showed up to politely ask for something to be removed or to remove it with good reason should it matter that said person is a member of the Klan? Were we in a perfect world then all hate and hostility would be gone, but that isn't the world we live in and there are many forms hate can take, with there not being universal agreement on when you are dealing with hate.
Some reading the "transphobic" comment made by that guy from Penny Arcade might consider his comment to be well within reason and others might consider it hate. If an organization were to primarily advocate for the view that "boys have a penis and girls have a vagina", but never in a way that degraded people who differ, would that be a "transphobic" organization in need of banning forever? If it was deemed to be so, those people who are members of that organization would never be allowed to publicly object to claims made against them or their group on Wikipedia. They also wouldn't be allowed to correct a simple grammatical error, fix factual inaccuracies, or add appropriate sourced content about an unrelated subject.
The Klan is easy to talk about, because it is a perpetual boogey-man, and trivializing that members of the Klan are people like the rest of us makes it easier to dismiss the idea of allowing them to edit. However, if someone can fiddle away productively at Wikipedia without creating controversy through their own actions, then why does it matter? Are we going to investigate every editor's associations and histories to suss out who is not "tainted" by "evil"? The only reason you knew in the recent case that the individual was a member of the Klan is through some off-wiki connect-the-dots actions and you only had reason to suspect anything because of a userspace gallery where the only incoming links were automatic due to the addition of an image to the gallery. In other words, we are definitely not talking about someone who publicly advertised on-wiki "Hey I used to be in the Klan!"
You are saying that you and anyone else here, should be able to trawl through an opponent's activities online, find some sort of connection to something considered odious and then get them removed by revealing the information, even if that person has done nothing of concern on this site. Do you really not see the potential pitfalls of that mentality?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:44, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, TDA, I can't take any more of your ridiculous hyperbole or strained hypotheticals. Would I ban the user in question? In a heartbeat. Do I think anyone who self-identifies as a KKK member should be banned? Absolutely. Is that because I think KKK members are non-persons? Not at all. Do I expect it to become WP policy? No I don't. Feel free to continue arguing with yourself. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:54, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
You don't have to see them as non-persons to trivialize their humanity, you just have to make them sound less persony than the rest of us. I also don't think I have been particularly hyperbolic as what I mention would seem to naturally follow from the arguments presented here and don't fall outside the realm of probability. Out in the rest of the world certain people try to obliterate the reputations of anyone who says something politically incorrect, and sometimes they succeed. Then there are those who are condemned and demonized for the flimsiest of associations, usually because their opponents can't find anything more compelling to impugn the person's reputation.
Stuff like that can and does happen here as well. I know of one prominent editor who was indeffed as a product of miscommunication that was then twisted into a matter of racism. The circumstances are a bit different and said editor was already detested by a large group editors, but that just makes the point stronger. Some people would invoke sanctimonious cries for political correctness to justify expunging those who challenge the abuses of others. Labels of bigotry are often abused to stifle dissent in the same way labels such as "terrorist" and "communist" are or were abused to stifle dissent. It isn't hyperbole, but reality. An unassuming approach that makes one's participation contingent on good behavior is of far more benefit than an approach premised on vetting every prospective editor's ideological views. You may have little hope of seeing your desires realized, but I don't feel so confident it couldn't happen in time.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 05:49, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Please keep the scope of the question in mind. Do you believe that being a member of the Klan should deny a person the ability to object on-wiki to claims made against them on an article? Should our response be to block them for the sole offense of being a KKK member and direct them to some sluggish and labyrinthine complaints process? How seriously is that person going to take such a process when he or she is greeted with a block for raising an objection to content about him or her? Mind you, one would have to then apply this same thinking to any of a potentially growing list of groups and individuals who are seen as having "evil world-views" and who, by virtue of that fact, are going to be at greater risk of having articles about them or their group targeted with abusive edits.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Why should they complain on-wiki? There is a email to the WMF, and there are the courts. Why would anyone want to argue for days with a bunch of children? John lilburne (talk) 00:00, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Presume an e-mail doesn't work and that this person cannot afford a protracted court case, neither of which are unlikely scenarios.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:44, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
If an email to the WMF doesn't work, a week of arguing with self-important children will? John lilburne (talk) 06:56, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The WMF is only likely to intervene in the most serious situations, while regular editors might be persuaded to act on more nuanced offenses. Presumably you would not be one of the "self-important children" you are talking about and there are others like you as I am sure you know.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 16:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

How do we go about banning people with evil world-views? Is it down to administrator discretion or case-by-case community consensus? Formerip (talk) 23:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Having suffered a nasty racist attack on wikipedia where the sock was blocked but the person the blocking admin suspected was the puppeteer wasnt even investigated, IMHO wikipedia would do well to focus on a zero tolerance policy towards racism on wikipedia rather than trying to out potential racists who have acted impeccably (or at least not in a racist way). Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest that any enforcement attempt would soon degenerate into farce, perhaps even illegality. Perhaps we should rely on reputable published sources for the fact that a given person is evil. Or perhaps we should designate a given mob and allow it to rule. What about cases who are up for trial, or convicted but up for appeal? Whatever we do, Dr. Evil need only wait a while and then become a perfectly tame IP editor, avoiding contentious topics in the long-established manner, and thus make a mockery of the ban. Meanwhile, maintaining a database of "evil people" (as opposed to disruptive user accounts) might be illegal in some countries. For example I live in the UK and it could run up against our privacy laws such as the Data Protection Act (e.g. If a court is satisfied on the application of a data subject that personal data of which the applicant is the subject are inaccurate, the court may order the data controller to rectify, block, erase or destroy those data and any other personal data in respect of which he is the data controller and which contain an expression of opinion which appears to the court to be based on the inaccurate data.), and/or our equality laws (don't discriminate against gays, don't discriminate against homophobes per se either). All this seems to me to be quite untenable. Or, perhaps we should just rely on their editing behaviour as we do now. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:46, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
" Perhaps we should rely on reputable published sources for the fact that a given person is evil", we do, primary sources are generally reliable for the opinion of the author. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I am still waiting for these mysterious objective, unarguable, free of cultural bias criteria for "good" or "evil". Since we're here, when you find them please notify the Nobel committee. Finding the One True Ethics that you can prove is right beyond every cultural boundary would make you the most important person of human history, arguably. -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it would be pretty significant, but I don't see that it has much to do with the question of banning people from Wikipedia. People get banned all the time in ways that are not mysterious, objective, unarguable or free of cultural bias.
The more important questions are about the process. If I believe someone to be evil, how do I go about getting them kicked them off the project? Formerip (talk) 10:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • There are already KKK members who edit Wikipedia. And neo-Nazis. And Communists. And misogynists. And people who hate gays. Religious fundamentalist nutjobs, deniers of science, cult members, ultra-Nationalist creeps, apologists for genocide. Anti-Semites. And Socialists, Centrists, Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, and apolitical sorts, too. It's a website where people can edit anonymously and set up multiple accounts in minutes, no questions asked. To pretend that it is even possible to have a political test for editing privileges based upon real world identity is so out of touch with reality as to be laughable. All we can do is judge the edits. Some editors need to be watched more closely than others for insertion of malicious POV, that's all. Those who attempt to insert malicious POV should be dealt with harshly. And they are. Carrite (talk) 15:58, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I cannot believe I just read some people are seriously advocating for the Russian Orthodox Church to be banned from wikipedia. You may as well shut down the Russian language wikipedia entirely if you are going to be that backwards-minded. Is that the sort of witch hunt and persecution of people for their firm beliefs and native culture you'd always dreamed wikipedia ought to be someday? You really might want to think about letting go of that firebrand. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Wnt is not to be taken seriously. They have a habit of misstating other people's positions and generally get even the most basic facts wrong. Wnt, Cyclopia, and The Devil's Advocate can usually be relied upon to suggest the most extreme and least empathetic view of any issue that comes up on Jimbo's talk page. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
      • Do note that I did not want Russian Orthodox editors banned, just as I do not want Klansmen banned. It is MastCell who answered my question by saying that he would ban members of anti-gay organizations (which is the only way to be consistent with banning Klansmen), and the sources I posted establish that the ROC is such an organization. There is only one solution to this puzzle, which is, to ban no one based on their beliefs. Wnt (talk) 18:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
        • Since I stated my position clearly, above, I'm confident that people will readily recognize your shabby misrepresentation of it. I don't think it's worth my time to post further here, so I'm going to listen to my own advice. MastCell Talk 02:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
It was a strawman that Wnt raised. No one was actually suggesting it. Those who object to banning KKK members have invariably either used straw men or made utterly bizarre irrelevant statements like Count Iblis's statement below. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:50, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Not a strawman but reductio ad absurdum, which is valid. For that matter, how would you answer the issue of whether members of anti-gay organizations should be treated the same way?
I understand of course, that you are appealing to "common sense", and common sense is indeed that many KKK members would quickly distinguish themselves by putting strong POV bias into articles or even by baiting editors of certain ancestry. However, such editors are specifically excluded from consideration in our initial scenario, which is that KKK affiliation is discovered only by doing a private eye investigation of the editor's online persona, rather than emerging during a proper administrative process pertaining to on-wiki conduct. Wnt (talk) 19:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Shoot, if anybody is editing from Pakistan and makes edits opposing drone rights, that might count as a "pattern of activity" consistent with a valid military target right now.[14] The ban procedure in that case would be particularly expeditious. Wnt (talk) 19:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

In defense of Jimbo to some extent, while Jamaicans, the Russian Orthodox Church, most versions of Islam, etc. are anti-gay, acting anti-gay isn't their main reason for existing. They're people who are associated mainly for other reasons, and acting anti-gay is only a tiny portion of what they do. On the other hand, the primary purpose of the KKK is to be anti-black. So it really is easy to distinguish such cases from the KKK.

It still does open a can of worms, though. We don't want to ban everyone who is a member of an anti-gay-marriage organization, even though such organizations are primarily created for anti-gay activities. And if you consider gun ownership to be a right (it's in the US Constitution, after all), should you ban everyone who's in an anti-gun organization because the organization's primary purpose is to deny people's rights? What about someone who is not a member of the KKK, but thinks that black people have a higher crime rate than white people and refuses to blame that on poverty? Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:26, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

The Russian Orthodox Church, most versions of Islam, Christianity and plenty of denominations in other major world faiths have maintained this for so many centuries, that it's amusing that in 2013 it becomes an issue suddenly - as if that's going to change overnight because some editors just found it annoying! Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 21:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Would we ban someone like Alan Turing from contributing to Wikipedia if society had the same opinions about gay people as in the 1950s? Or should Wikipedia have rules that restrict what arguments can be brought in to ban people even if these arguments reflect the sentiments of the vast majority of the population? Count Iblis (talk) 23:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Another knock-out argument: Alan Turing = homosexual = KKK racist. Johnuniq (talk) 23:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, one assumes a project then may well have felt forced to ban Turing. But here's the point: there was no Wikipedia in the 1950s. That isn't really a matter of technology - from the very beginning, we could have made radio an egalitarian forum for human conversation, with no special privileges for licensed corporations. We could have had many more self-publications rather than publishers having to OK everything they printed. But with the 60s revival of belief and confidence in free expression came the sort of freethinking mentality expressed in the Youth International Party Line, the ancestral forerunner of all hackers, which eventually came to fruition in a web of libertarians and information socialists which could accept and support projects like Wikipedia, rather than seeking to dominate and control and own everything. Understand that the level of technology of any culture is strictly limited by its political philosophy! For example, the Aeolipile was a steam engine, but a society built on slaves couldn't accept it, so instead of moving forward the ancient Roman world regressed. In this instance, Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia anyone can edit - if you cannot develop the political philosophy that anyone can edit, you cannot make the free encyclopedia. In much the same way, the World Wide Web could not exist if the ability to edit and develop was not granted to everyone - and I'm not sure why someone suggesting banning some people from Wikipedia based on their beliefs wouldn't suggest banning them from the Web. Wnt (talk) 00:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
You arguing that members of the KKK will be acceptable at some future time? You are somehow equating the opinions of Us about the KKK at present with those of Alan Turing in relation to the British government? Is there something you would like to tell us about your opinions of the KKK? In between your bizarre claims, I'm sure there is a point waiting to break free, IRWolfie- (talk) 03:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
No I don't think KKK will ever gain acceptance. You can invoke the KKK, Neo-Nazis, but these are actually exceptional cases. We all know that exceptional cases make bad laws; the rules for banning won't mention the KKK specifically, they will simply allow for editors to be banned if they hold views that the larger community thinks are strongly objectionable.
Rules like this typically end up affecting the analogues of Alan Turing more than hard core problem people like KKK members that the rules were designed to deal with. A KKK member will probably keep his affiliation secret, while someone like Alan Turing is more likely to passionately argue what he believes in. Also there are more people with ideas for whom the Turing case is a better description than than the KKK case, precisely because the former are more reasonable than the latter. Count Iblis (talk) 13:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree with everything that everyone has said above. Herostratus (talk) 03:06, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Someone above said something evil. For agreeing with it, consider yourself banned. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:03, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Please stop referring to banning people. We don't - we can't - do that. We can and do ban usernames. That's all. We may ban a username for being associated with "disruption" or for being associated with an arsehole. So what? It's a futile hand wave, feigning giving a damn about what the people behind these accounts do or stand for while doing nothing at all about it. Who thinks Qworty isn't tinkering away on a BLP backwater right now? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:52, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

"Evil world views"

In the previous discussion on Wikipedia and racism you hatted the discussion with: "We have the right and the ethical responsibility to ban people who bring evil world views to Wikipedia".

Care to clarify what are the "evil world views"? Sure, racism enters into it, and I agree, personally, that racism is evil. But what else? Is belonging to the Catholic church, a frankly not-so-nice towards LGBT people organization, an evil world view as well? I would say so. Who is going to decide what world views are good and what ones are evil? Is communism allowed? Anarchism? Paleoconservatism? What does Wikipedia consider good or evil on abortion? What about euthanasia? (An editor, User:Count Iblis, just got blocked because he made a comment in support of euthanasia, a few days ago, by the way). And what about eating dog meat?

I am asking because I'm frankly terrified of the idea that Wikipedia only allows people who think in a certain way to edit. Sure, I should feel safe: I am a fairly liberal, run-of-the-mill Western editor who despises racism,pedophilia,homophobia etc. But who knows what of my political or philosophical opinions will be considered evil tomorrow. You know, First they came... -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:57, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely agree. I firmly oppose Jimbo's view that we should ban people who have a particular ideology, no matter how horrifying. I accept that editing Wikipedia is a privilege, not a right, but I really do not see the harm in someone on the far-right editing if they are doing so objectively and with a neutral point-of-view. — Richard BB 11:16, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Who decides? We do. Through thoughtful and kind conversation exploring the pro's and con's of drawing the line in different places, taking into account all the relevant facts. My point is that neither extreme is a viable or productive option. On the one hand is the extreme view that no matter how vile and reprehensible one behaves outside Wikipedia, editing is still welcomed as long as it doesn't technically break any already-written rules. On the other hand is the extreme view that only a narrow range of people of appropriate opinions can edit Wikipedia. We want to have diversity and thoughtfulness. Some views, though, are simply and plainly lunatic and beyond the range of reasonable, and we can and should take a very dim view of people espousing them.
In general, it's worth adding, this is a fairly academic or purely philosophical question. As a matter of empirical fact, people who hold destructive philosophies generally find themselves unable to function well in a community based on reasoned discourse. We can imagine, for the fun of a discussion, a perfectly polite and reasonable editor of Jewish history who also writes a personal blog advocating for a 2nd Holocaust, but in reality, that's extremely unlikely. Similarly, and again, I haven't looked at the specific case mentioned above, a KKK member who reasonably and thoughtfully edits is just extremely unlikely. What is more likely is a KKK member who sometimes makes minor edits in some area of pop culture trivia - and losing such an editor is not going to cause anyone, especially not me, to shed a tear. Why? Because putting out the view that we are a humane and ethical community who welcome thoughtful people is going to gain us much much better editors in the long run, than toleration of jerks.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:52, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
*clap* *clap* *clap* It is OK to espouse whatever lunatic or vile view one wants. But what any mainstream organisation doesn't want is to have such espousers associated with the organisation, regardless as to whether they promulgate their views within organisation or not. Not only is it bad PR for the organisation but it also puts a burden on the organisation to be ever watchful that the espouser isn't promulgating their views within the organisation. John lilburne (talk) 12:09, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yup. What John said. Most people are, rightly, selective about the company they keep - and that extends to the volunteer organisations they choose to give their time to. Begoontalk 12:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fully agree with this comment and with John's. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (edit conflict) Jimbo, the whole point is that what is "evil", "vile", "reprehensible", "lunatic", "beyond the range of reasonable" are entirely subjective opinions, that depend on the specific culture, upbringing and personal circumstances. There is almost no opinion that isn't found "evil" by some other culture. For example, in many cultures tolerance for LGBT rights would be considered as "evil", "lunatic" and "beyond the range of reasonable", while we obviously think the opposite. But we don't have to go this far. Slapping your own kids is considered horrible in many Western cultures, while not doing it is considered bad parenting in Italy, a first-world European country (even if things are changing now). What do we do with editors who in perfect good faith, in a civilized European country, nevertheless think that giving a slap here and there is a healthy thing to grow up a healthy child, and that is the majority opinion between reasonable people there? Do we ban them as evil kid beaters?

Also, you have to take into account that in some countries -again Western ones- political parties that we can consider downright "evil" represent a huge amount of people. In Italy the not-so-covert xenophobic party Lega Nord has up to 30% representation in some Northern regions. In France the far-right Front National (France) has similar percentages. Do you want to ban 30% of the population of a Western country from editing Wikipedia due to political views? And again, and I am dead serious, what about religions who have a staunch anti-same sex marriage position, for example? Because that's not far from racism, in my book.

Now, I'm not saying that people should be free to proudly advocate whatever they like. I understand very well that there are lines to be drawn, if we don't want to become a nasty mess, but these lines should be drawn in the sand of behaviours, not of private life positions. The day an editor endorses, on WP, explicitly racist/sexist/homophobic views, for example, I am all for showing them the door, because this would create a problem in the task of having a world-wide inclusive community of editors. But if we begin to have to look at what editors think in their spare time, this is opening the door to becoming the thoughtpolice. A tongue-in-cheek Facebook status, an out of context remark somewhere that can be twisted, would easily become weapons to remove editors from WP. You say we should not tolerate jerks. We should not. But the only way to be a jerk is to behave like one. Thinking like a jerk cannot be a crime.-- cyclopiaspeak! 12:33, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Can you stick to the specific example under discussion instead of raising straw men. We are talking about the KKK here. Lynchers, murderers and espousers of hate. We all know that someone in the KKK is a nasty piece of work, no one has defended being in the KKK. We aren't talking about a random facebook post either, this person knowingly identified themselves on a neo-nazi forum as a member of the KKK and also posted what can only be described as hate filled messages. We only know what he thinks because he posted his thoughts on the internet. There is no ambiguity here. For people who keep making the slippery slope arguments; once we open our door to extremists, where does it end? IRWolfie- (talk) 13:00, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The point that myself and Cyclopia are making is that his comments were not made to Wikipedia. Seemingly, his political views (and I'd argue that he probably defends being in the KKK) have not influenced his editing on Wikipedia (or is there something that I've missed?). Yes, he is going to be a nasty piece of work if he is a Klansman, but as long as that life is kept separate from Wikipedia there shouldn't be an issue. In answer to your final question: it ends when their views affect their ability to edit constructively. — Richard BB 13:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. Yes, he posted that stuff on the Internet, elsewhere. That's exactly what I'm talking about. He thinks stuff. He thinks what we, in our culture, subjectively, see as very nasty stuff. But on WP, he keeps it for himself. And it's not me doing slippery slope arguments, Jimbo himself escalated from "being in the KKK" to "evil world views" in general, and that's what is worrying. Nobody here should be in a position to distinguish the Good from the Evil, no editor, no WMF employee, nobody. Because "good" and "evil" are subjective values, they are emanations of each ones' culture and conscience. In a diverse community, with editors worldwide, from a huge variety of backgrounds and opinions, we can only speak about what practically makes the place workable, and sanction behaviours that are factually detrimental. Not personal opinions. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:26, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
What relativistic nonsense. If someone can't distinguish Good from Evil they are morally deficient. And judging good from evil is precisely what you are capable of doing, as you have said "The day an editor endorses, on WP, explicitly racist/sexist/homophobic views, for example, I am all for showing them the door". You are very capable of judging things when it suits you, IRWolfie- (talk) 13:37, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
You may call it "relativistic nonsense", but fact is that different cultures have different values with different notions of what is good and what is evil, and there is no known objective algorithm capable of distinguishing the two, no matter how some (bad) philosophers squirm about it. I distinguish between "good" and "evil" every day, but that's what is good and evil for me, not for some absolute system written in the laws of physics. About my comment, it is not because advocating such views is intrinsically evil: there is no such thing as intrinsic evil. It is because, practically, such open on-wiki advocacy would drive editors away, and this would be objectively damaging for the project. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:45, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
... and you think having editors who are openly Ku Klux Klan and NAMBLA members won't drive people away and doesn't damage wikipedia? The "its not for us to censor people" mantra doesn't work outside of the wikipedia bubble. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
No, because strangely enough I don't go around doxing other editors and checking what do they believe outside WP (and WP:OUTING requires us not to do so as well). So, if I do not know that someone is a KKK/NAMBLA/SPECTRE member, I can't be driven away by it. And even if I did, as long as they don't become vocal about it, they're not a threat to me or to anyone. They only become so if they begin to advocate explicitly, on site, discriminatory stuff, then making feel other editors explicitly unwelcome. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:01, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

@Jimmy, I have to disagree that "no matter how vile and reprehensible one behaves outside Wikipedia, editing is still welcomed" is too extreme. Nobody should be cut off from humanity - that really would be evil, ask Amnesty International - and we should not play that game in our little microcosm. The only excuse for cutting them off from our "anyone-can-edit" Wikipedia is if they become excessively disruptive to other editors - which, as you point out, is highly likely. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:30, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

I have to say - take a deep breath, go outside, play with a child. Banning someone from Wikipedia is not cutting them off from humanity. Far from it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@Jimmy. I didn't say it was, I said it was a microcosm. The same morality applies whatever the scale. The morality is that one should treat them with the same personal respect as everyone else - even our kids. ;) — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
We aren't an experiment in democracy. This is a private website. It's not some encroachment on their first amendment rights or whatever; they have no implied rights to be here. Invoking Amnesty international makes no sense in this context. Not being allowed to edit an encyclopedia is not being "cut off from humanity". IRWolfie- (talk) 13:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Should then we substitute "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" with "the encyclopedia that people that endorse a well-defined subset of philosophical views can edit"? -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I hate to burst your bubble, but there are already thousands of individuals we don't allow to edit here. If you wanted to change it to "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, except those in hate groups", I don't think that would be as damaging as "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, even KKK members". IRWolfie- (talk) 13:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
We don't allow these editors to edit because of how they did behave, not about what did they think. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:01, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@IRWolfie. At least we agree that Wikipedia is a microcosm and not the real deal. And it's true that we have no equivalent of Amnesty International, other than our collective consciences. We "should be" what we want to be, and we like to pretend on ethical grounds to "anyone can edit". Barring the disruptive minority is necessary to protect that freedom for the majority, barring evil thinkers is not. Let us either live up to our ethics or abandon the pretence. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Honest question: Can anyone show a diff that shows this individual has "brought an evil world view" into Wikipedia? Lets see the evidence. If not, there is nothing to do. Also, homophobia is bigotry in the same category as racism. Given the percentages of people in the general public that believe 'teh gays are evil', if you are going to start prosecuting editors for thought crime, then you had better put your doxing shoes on and get set to ban a not insignificant number of editors. Resolute 14:34, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "Some views, though, are simply and plainly lunatic and beyond the range of reasonable, and we can and should take a very dim view of people espousing them is a position I agree with wholeheartedly. Tarc (talk) 14:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah - I can get behind that. Doubt the lunatics will join us though... Face-smile.svg Begoontalk 14:52, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure. For example it is completely lunatic and unreasonable to think that there is an objective way, free of cultural bias, to separate world views that are "good" from ones that are "evil", and anyone who thinks there is an Absolute Good or an Absolute Evil clearly is not in her/his right mind...Oh wait. Face-smile.svg -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:08, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
As someone who has been accused of having an "evil worldview" based only on who I have voted for or agreeing with the Zimmerman verdict, I have to be very leery of Jimbo's statements and side with Cyclopia. I defended Wikipedia in a fairly prominent conservative blog basically because it distinguishes itself from much of academia by keeping Neutral Point of View as a bedrock. If Wikipedia is now going to decide what are "reasonable" viewpoints and what are not, you can kiss NPOV goodbye (if not tomorrow at least eventually)Thelmadatter (talk) 15:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fortunately, no one really gives a rat's ass what you think, cyclopia. See, this is what the bleeding hearts of the 21st century do; they are aghast at anything that causes offense, and wring their hands over each and everything in the universe that may cause another person to feel bad. "Oh, what, a KKK member? They're just people with a different opinion, let them in!" "Hey, pedophiles? Don't ostracize them, that will just make them feel bad since "nobody should be cut off from humanity". What what people like cyclopia will do is toss out a billion and one absurd examples..."what about X?", "what about Y?", "what about Z?" which serves to dilute the original Truly Bad Things(tm) we were originally discussing. This is the typical defense deployed by the "Friends of Commons" to defend their smut and depravity; someone finds an objectionable image of a teen boy's thighs or a topless Mardi Gras woman, and out comes the "What about XYZ?" trope. Tarc (talk) 15:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fortunately no one really gives a rat's ass what you think too, tarc (ironically enough, someone just endorsed me right above, and others did too - but that's not a popularity contest, is it?). About the "bleeding hearts", um, you got it upside-down. It's more that I am not aghast of anything that causes offense, or at least that we should not be as aghast of such views as to take pitchforks and torchs and go around making political cleansings. And there is no absurd example: examples I did are very much real. You see, if I should decide what is a disgusting opinion, I for sure would ban people who believe in witch-hunt-era concepts like "depravity" in a heartbeat. But differently from you, I know it's just my opinion, and I think you have the right to disagree with me. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:30, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Cyclopia is absolutely right about this issue - with one exception. Given the recent statements and activities of Pope Francis, it no longer seems fair to single out the Catholic church as an evil organization. The Russian Orthodox Church, on the other hand, is another matter.[15][16][17] Indeed, their efforts have even inspired some people to fight pedophilia...[18] I would suggest that at this point, membership in the Russian Orthodox Church is literally, not rhetorically, as bad as membership in the Ku Klux Klan. I'm not saying, of course, that every member of the church participates in brutal acts - neither does every Klansman. If Wikipedia adopts a standard of banning Klansmen but not banning Russian Orthodox members, it is officially promulgating the point of view that gay rights, and attacks on gays, are less important than the equivalent racial rights. There is no mistaking that. Wnt (talk) 15:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh of course, Wnt, I completely forgot about the innocent Klan members who didn't participate in any brutal acts. Like the guys who just did the books, or drew up the posters, or laundered the sheets, or ran down to the hardware store when someone forgot to inventory the rope supplies. Silly me, thanks for pointing out the existence of the non-brutalizing Klansmen. Wnt, you're a peach. Tarc (talk) 15:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The KKK had peak membership around 6 million, and killed 3446 black people in its 86 year history. [19] True, I think bizarrely enough they kill more of their own members, and there were many more beatings and many more acts of intimidation than that, and even more acts of vandalism and harassment - nonetheless, the bottom line is that today's KKK is not in the news any more, except occasionally begging in court with their ACLU lawyers for the right to hold a rally. I bet half the people in it are sad saps roped in by a father or brother or boss or somebody who are just going through the motions. Wnt (talk) 16:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Block them all and let God sort it out? Rhetoric aside, my question remains unanswered. Is there evidence of a user using Wikipedia to push a racist POV? Resolute 16:02, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, according to Jimbo (see hat above), We can ban people for being awful human beings, no less, so that he did or he didn't is not relevant anymore, it seems. Now I only wonder who is an awful human being and who isn't. Is someone who cheated on his wife an awful human being? What about someone who never donates to charities? -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:11, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for continuing to provide for us the dickish "what if what if what if...?" scenarios that I noted earlier. You're the gift that keeps on giving, champ. Tarc (talk) 16:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome, honey. -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
We claim to want to oppose the systemic bias of western, white young techies dominating editing and yet by claiming that what the western political establishment says is okay but believe anything else and you are out we are merely encouraging systemic bias, eg there is far more opposition to LGBT rights in the 3rd world than in the developed west, I guess ppl are saying we dont want these ppl here. Wales comments are extremely depressing and I fear too many arent really interested in a good encyclopedia, they just want a witch hunt, as evidenced here. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 16:06, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
When someone identifies themselves as a witch on a public forum for witches, there isn't much sport left in the hunt. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I lost interest a while ago. But the dribbling is mildly amusing (albeit a little sad) to pop back and watch occasionally (thanks to whoever I borrowed that apt term "dribbling" from - I forget). Begoontalk 16:27, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, I don't want to go down that path. I don't want to ban Russian Orthodox editors, and indeed, I would never even have mentioned them here if we could have agreed not to single out other editors, i.e. KKK, for exclusion. I provided that as a counterexample, not a call for discrimination, and I want them to be free to document their POV the same as anyone else, including the Klansmen. NPOV is not some kind of extracted, purified, whitewashed essence - it is a white light generated by taking all the colors of nature and throwing them together. But first we have to agree to let people speak, not cull out one group after another. Wnt (talk) 16:29, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
In 2010 "85.2 percent [of Jamaicans] were opposed to legalizing homosexuality" according to LGBT rights in Jamaica. Does this mean less than 15% of Jamaicans are welcome to edit the project? Is this desirable? Do we then have a right to complain about a US/western bias at wikipedia? And could banning the great majority of Jamaicans for homophobia itself be racist given 98% of the population are black? Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 16:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
This is the precise logic that leads many of us to say that KKK members and apologists for pedophilia should remain welcome on the site. That is the only logical way to have one Wikipedia. The other alternative forces us to make one decision after another about who is right and who is wrong, and if forced to do so, we would have to do so based on our own beliefs. That is to say, if we had no choice but to settle for "Wikipedia in one country", for many of us that country would be the U.S. and the value judgments made would be those of Americans, because even American self-loathing doesn't extend to the point of choosing some other country's intolerances. Wnt (talk) 17:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
It isn't about someone who thinks homosexuality is bad or votes against legislation. This is about the people that have a position in the organization that is drumming up the hatred. John lilburne (talk) 19:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The Pope's recent comments notwithstanding, that position pretty much obigates us to ban anyone who is identified as an adherent of most major religions. Resolute 19:46, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure if the primary purpose of the religion is to promote hatred then why would one want their preacher here? John lilburne (talk) 19:57, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Promoting hatred is not the primary purpose of religion. Actually, it seems to me that the real hatred here is being directed at religious people. AutomaticStrikeout  ?  03:12, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

One could argue that you could single out a few extreme cases like the KKK that most people could agree on, and that therefore sliding slope arguments have no merit, because people will not agree on other cases that are more controversial. But this is not true, as there are plenty of groups on which there is a strong consensus that they are extremist groups, albeit less so than the KKK. So, once it is a legitimate argument to raise against an editor that he is a KKK member and must therefore be banned, someone else can raise that you are a member of a less extremist group X and must therefore be, say, topic banned until you renounce your belief in X. Sooner or later, merely having views that most people disagree with will lead to some form of restriction against you editing related topics on Wikipedia.

The rules we have on Wikipedia are not static, they evolve and they will evolve toward internal consistency. If it is not consistent that a believer in X should not be restricted at all while KKK members get banned and the latter is not going to be overturned, the former will change. Count Iblis (talk) 17:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Really, the problem is that most people here are ignorant about the modern Klan because they are not given a full, accurate picture by their trusted media. People treat the Klan today as a monolithic entity and judge it as the same Klan that existed decades ago. The overwhelming majority of groups and individual members are as law-abiding as the rest of us. Generally, they're just a bunch of disparate groups with racist views that advocate for white rights and white heritage, typically by passing out pamphlets, staging rallies, and having barbecues in public parks. If we go with banning Klan members it would be the same as saying we should ban members of the British National Party, the National Front in France, and other far-right groups known for objectionable views about minorities or minority groups with similar views such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:55, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Nice to see that your apologist shtick extends to racist organizations as well as the usual groups that you stick up for at the Wikipediocracy, TDA. Though I cannot say I'm really surprised. Tarc (talk) 17:58, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
So, should TDA be banned as well? Count Iblis (talk) 18:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Filed under "W" for "wishful thinking". Tarc (talk) 18:07, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"Apologist" is one of those insults that is basically akin to saying "you are bad because you disagree with me" as it offers nothing else of substance. I do not believe membership, current or former, in any group should be used on its own as a basis for denying someone the ability to contribute here, including to pages related to the groups and their respective ideologies. That I include racist groups in that is simply a mark of my principled consistency.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I am by no means confident in the modern Klan's peacefulness - it ranks right up there with a boy's love and a whore's oath in terms of reliability. What I am confident about is that cracking down on them by force would set them off, whereas, in the general sense of what is right and wrong for society that Jimbo wants to go along with, there is nothing more beneficial than to draw them in to editing and reading and arguing on Wikipedia. What we have to remember is - what we have to have faith about - is that we are right about racial equality. That means that every single neuron in the Klansman's head is a potential traitor waiting to be activated, and every moment he is reading Wikipedia, they are in communication with the enemy. We need merely recognize that justice will prevail. Wnt (talk) 18:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"A whore's oath"—there's another thought. I take it as granted that we would ban anyone who is known to engage in prostitution—either selling or purchasing—in a jurisdiction where prostitution is illegal. They're not just "bad people;" they're actual criminals, who according to anti-prostitution campaigners are a threat to respectable society, and who, even if only engaged in adult prostitution, create a demand for child sex trafficking. Or does Wikipedia support criminals now?
Wnt also noted above that the ACLU aids and abets the present-day Ku Klux Klan, by giving them legal aid when requested, so I imagine an official pronouncement banning ACLU members is forthcoming? Hey, as a bonus, that would give Wikipedia some good karma among the conservative moral campaigners, many of whom view the ACLU as about as favorably as Stalin. I imagine improving the project's public relations with such people is a priority, given all the hand-wringing that goes on here about Commons containing pictures of boobies and wieners. --108.38.191.162 (talk) 22:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is another argument which I don't think has been mentioned in this discussion so far. One can ask how it is possible for people to have extremist views in this day and age where information is freely available that debunks their beliefs, the total opposite of the situation in Nazi Germany with their Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. What happens is that the extremist ideas are protected from debunking by including conspiracy theories about the media not being free, that scientists are not doing their job properly etc. etc. People are not born as extremists, they can get infected by extremist ideas, but this can only work if the conspiracy theories about the offical sources not being reliable are going to have some traction. So, if Wikipedia would be known for allowing people, regardless of their views no matter how extreme to edit here, then that would help in the fight against extremism. Count Iblis (talk) 23:24, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Why would wikipedia want to do that? I thought we were here to build an encyclopedia not help the govts of the world in their fight against extremism/anything they disagree with. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:36, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Not per se to help any government, but we would make the content of Wikipedia to be seen to be reliable to a wider audience that would include people susceptible to Neo-Nazi propaganda, people susceptible to be recruited by the Taliban etc. etc. So, we would simply be doing our own job better and that would help people to debunk ideas that are known to be wrong. Count Iblis (talk) 23:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Have you never met or interacted with a conspiracy theoriest? People claim there is a conspiracy to suppress perpetual motion machines, despite the existence of the internet with several websites hosting the claimed devices, schematics and forums. Reason does not need to figure into conspiratorial ideation. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:44, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I certainly agree, Iblis, that if we publicly ban members of the KKK for nothing to do with what they do on site or what they say about us offsite that all white supremacists will dismiss wikipedia and that is arguably an argument to not ban KKK members for simply being KKK members, we are here to educate ppl and racism, especially as practiced by a group like the KKK whose forefathehrs forcibly brought African Americans to the USA and are now whingeing about this. While the media love to cook up scandals around wikipedia (I myself have been a victim of their lies without the resources to sue for my work here) surely we should be judged by the quality of our encyclopedias and to hell with what the media say about wikipedia that is not directly related to the quality of our articles. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:54, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, and to reply to IRWolfie, consider the son of a KKK member who asks his father critical questions based on what he read on Wikipedia that seem to contradict what his father has told him. While the son won't convice his father that what he read is correct, it will be a lot easier for the father to convice his son of his beliefs if Wikipedia were to be known for not allowing KKK members to edit. Count Iblis (talk) 00:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Something else which was mentioned earlier, but not here, and which I think Jimbo has ignored, is that saying that people who are members of hate groups can be banned creates an incentive for outing--now, some Wikipedians will pry into the personal lives of others as much as they can in the hope of finding something that will get them banned. And yet another factor to consider is that proving oneself innocent has a cost. It's not really enough to say that "thoughtful and kind conversation" will lead to only people getting banned who really should. What about the people who don't get banned, but in order to avoid being banned were forced to participate in a thoughtful and kind flamewar in order to prove themselves nonbanworthy? Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:05, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Hey, c'mon, who doesn't love a little Two Minutes' Hate? Anyone refusing to participate is self-evidently a Brotherhood agent, and should be banned (and reported to the Ministry of Love of course). --108.38.191.162 (talk) 01:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. We are not like that though. There is no limit to our tolerance. We harbor anybody due to our decision to allow anonymous editing.

But we can block any username associated with advocacy of evil behaviours, on- or off-wiki. And so we should. Those of you bleating about the editor's rights have nothing to worry about. They can still edit. Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:09, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. - Perhaps you mean "this purging is a necessary function of any xenophobic tribal community". After all, a vast majority of Europeans, unfortunately, even ones tolerant of all other etnies, are still disgusted by Romani people: are you advocating Europeans should expel them? Your views don't seem far away from the ones you find disgusting. -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No one's suggesting we may be intolerant of Roma or Jews, just pedophiles and Nazis. And your argument that if we reject Nazis and pedophiles we're somehow equivalent to those who reject Roma and Jews is ... words fail me. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 10:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Backpedaling won't get you far. You didn't mention pedos and Nazis in your comment. You expressed a much more general principle. Your words: When someone disgusts a normal community, that community expels them. This purging is a necessary function of any healthy society. Given the current public opinion in southern European states (which I'm sadly well aware of, being from there), you just justified the expulsion of Roma people from there. I am sure that is not what you actually meant, but that is what your stated principle justifies. And that "if we reject Nazis and pedophiles we're somehow equivalent to those who reject Roma and Jews" is not my argument. That is, instead, the logical consequence of your stated principle quoted above.
But since race and opinions are not the same thing, you can be justified in saying that you meant "disgusting ideologies". Let's make a better example. In many communities of United States, as far as I know speaking with Americans, being an atheist is considered somewhat disgusting. Do you agree that such communities should expel atheists? -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:46, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
What Anthonyhcole is forgetting is that the offer to make an edit on Wikipedia is not offered as an indulgence to editors, but as a necessity for absorbing content into the site. If "advocacy" is pursued on Wikipedia, of course, he may quickly have a case - we don't want Klansmen participating to skew articles about black history to fringe viewpoints. However, if what they want to do is to document the confusing relationships between 200 Klan chapters, explain the roles of all their fancifully named positions from Kleagles to Klanta Klaus, then we should welcome this. We should welcome this, among other reasons, because if the Klan does decide to go out and lynch someone, that kind of detail is going to help a future prosecutor understand who to interrogate and what questions to ask. Their edits are not an indulgence to them; they are an indulgence to us. Wnt (talk) 15:52, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
You must be working on a different WP than I am, Wnt. On this one we record what reliable sources say about a subject, not what people involved with the subject say about themselves. You seem to be conflating the idea of banning self-identified KKK members with omitting content about the KKK. Those are very different things. And I would suggest that any prosecutor who bases his or her decisions on what they have read on WP is doing a disservice to all parties in the case. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
WTF? What prohibits our hypothetical Klansman to use RS? -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:39, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Nothing. Who said they couldn't? Try to follow the discussion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
If they can, your On this one we record what reliable sources say about a subject, not what people involved with the subject say about themselves. remark makes no sense. -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:04, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Delicious.... under your argument, there then is no reason for Wikipedia to put effort into recruiting women and people from under-represented parts of the world, because Wikipedia only compiles information already out there. Even with the information available, someone familiar with the subject will generally do a better job of finding good sources and evaluating the information before putting it into WP. Not to mention the fact that volunteers will write about what interests them. The basic problem is that Jimmy's original arguments departs from the original principle that it is not about who is writing, it is about the quality of the writing. If the product is good and meets Wikipedia rules, we really shouldnt care who is doing the writing. We can evaluate the writing on its merits using pretty objective criteria, we cant really evaluate the person for all the reasons stated above.Thelmadatter (talk) 17:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't make an argument. I just reiterated what is already WP practice and policy. We use reliable sources, not personal knowledge. If you think this means that we shouldn't address the disparities in the Community's makeup, that's your opinion, not mine. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:43, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I was not suggesting that they should violate OR. The point is, there are a lot of racist publications - many primary sources, but still valid for saying that chapter XXX and YYY merged in 2002 - which I do not expect I would find at my local public library, and which may well never have been digitized. Additionally, they know where to look and I don't. It is possible that they could do some neutral edits to add such sourced material to relevant articles which would help people better to understand what is going on. Wnt (talk) 18:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, are you suggesting you want to actually encourage KKK members to edit here? IRWolfie- (talk) 18:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. If they arent using wikipedia to promote their own beliefs and stick to our rules surely there is nobody we shouldnt allow to edit, or we cant say its the encyclopedia anyone can edit (ie anyone who doesnt break our editing rules). The more diversity of editors who can write in an NPOV way the better. The problem happens when ppl try to use wikipedia to promote the KKK or any other belief. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 18:23, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wow, better keep you away from the newspapers unless we want a complete PR disaster. I can see the headlines now: "Wikipedia editors want more KKK members to edit, diversity strangely low on wikipedia". You can assume good faith with a bunch of racists, but I sure as hell ain't, IRWolfie- (talk) 20:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I did not suggest we single out KKK members to invite. There are, after all larger demographics, such as Africans, who are underrepresented. However, I would say that I support user-friendly, inclusive policies that encourage people to edit Wikipedia, and that anyone be allowed to edit, and so if logically you say that means encouraging KKK to edit, so be it. Wnt (talk) 20:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
But you do understand that welcoming outspoken racists is not actually "user-friendly", "inclusive", or likely to encourage people in general to edit Wikipedia? Don't answer, actually. Consider that a rhetorical question. MastCell Talk 21:37, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Not even Wikipediocracy can dox an editor before he signs up. That leaves us with two options: (a) we immediately welcome and encourage editing by everyone who can type two matching password fields on the signup page, or (b) your new user talk page gets a message like "Hello. We're thinking about welcoming you to Wikipedia, but first we need to know some things. Please fill out this form with your name, criminal history, known associations, and political and religious philosophies and submit to the Political Adjutant for the Central Evaluation Committee. We'll get back to you in 6-11 weeks, depending on how the our purges are going." Now sure, you can say, but not after someone has managed to dox the editor, then we should withdraw our welcome, but that affects new editors how? If you actually do that you won't catch very many real racists that way (lot of trolls though) Wnt (talk) 22:21, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
False dichotomy. I am unsure as to why you need to construct a straw man hypothetical reaction that we must undertake. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes I feel like a visitor from an alien planet when I read the things posted on this page. Wnt, "doxing" doesn't enter into it. By saying that it doesn't matter whether some of our volunteers belong to the KKK, we are in effect welcoming outspoken racists. That's the message. I can assure you that it will be received loud and clear—if not by you, then certainly by people who belong to demographics targeted by the KKK. MastCell Talk 23:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
From my perspective, a racist is little different from any other partisan. Society sees them as different because of the exact nature of their views. Generally, we wouldn't want anyone editing Wikipedia in a partisan manner, though there really isn't much helping it as most people focus on areas of interest to them where they hold strong opinions and people with strong opinions have difficulty separating their opinions from objective reality. If someone edits in a clearly racist manner and is an outspoken racist then they should be blocked or restricted until they can demonstrate an understanding of how to edit in a sufficiently neutral manner. However, merely being a racist shouldn't be used as a basis for banning someone. Saying "well this guy is/was in the KKK!" is a nice defense, but we all know that isn't where it would end. Maybe we won't ban Paula Deen, but we may come close enough to drive away people who are more concerned about having their off-wiki activities mined for dirt than they are about the quality of content on Wikipedia.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Mastcell: I'm not sure if you've read what I talked about above. Is it your position that Wikipedia should draw a clear line that anyone who can be proven to be a member of a racist organization can be thrown out, but someone who is a member of a virulently anti-gay organization should not? Wnt (talk) 02:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It's my position that we can actually build an encyclopedia without the help of virulent racists or homophobes. It's my position that racism, gay-bashing, etc. aren't welcome on this project. It's my position that if we find that one of our volunteers is a virulent racist or homophobe, then we should rid ourselves of that volunteer quickly and decisively (you know, like every other reputable volunteer organization on Earth). It's my position that none of this is at all controversial to sane adults who live in the Real World. MastCell Talk 02:55, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Right, MastCell. So we're going to ban a sizable proportion of editors who vote right-wing/nationalistic/conservative parties (if you get to know them they're most likely xenophobic), we're going to ban a vast majority of Muslims and Christians from various denominations (who have a very dim view of LGBT rights), and so on. What do you think? -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
What about "transphobia"? Are you for banning people who are "transphobic"? If that guy from Penny Arcade were editing here would you ban him because some people think he is transphobic for saying "boys have a penis and girls have a vagina"?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If we are going to say that things like racism or antisemitism or homophobia or transphobia or etc are not welcome here, then it seems consistent to me to discourage people who belong to organizations which exist solely to promote those ideas. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You aren't really addressing my point, but how about we look at it a different way? Are you saying that if a blatantly defamatory claim is made about a notable Klan member and that person removes the claim saying "this is a completely false claim about me" we should then block this person on sight? What if the claim isn't blatantly defamatory, but trivial and clearly added for gratuitously abusive purposes? Does that mean your words to them be: "No, Mr. or Mrs. Klan Member, you are not allowed to come to Wikipedia to dispute the attacks made against you on our site and you will be blocked on sight should you do so"?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 22:58, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
That the system here allows anonymous people to defame others is NOT a reason to have the site infested with white supremacists. John lilburne (talk) 23:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Why should KKK members be treated any better than most people who try to remove defamatory claims from their WP bios? In my experience, anyone who foolishly wanders onto WP to solve their issue directly soon ends up blocked (but not before they have been insulted by "vandal fighters" and "patrollers"). We treat BLP subjects like they don't matter, but you want us to stick up for the rights of hate-mongers so long as they only spew their hate offsite? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Did I say they should be treated "better"? I agree that our treatment of such complaints is not very good, but it does sometimes work and if someone simply showed up to politely ask for something to be removed or to remove it with good reason should it matter that said person is a member of the Klan? Were we in a perfect world then all hate and hostility would be gone, but that isn't the world we live in and there are many forms hate can take, with there not being universal agreement on when you are dealing with hate.
Some reading the "transphobic" comment made by that guy from Penny Arcade might consider his comment to be well within reason and others might consider it hate. If an organization were to primarily advocate for the view that "boys have a penis and girls have a vagina", but never in a way that degraded people who differ, would that be a "transphobic" organization in need of banning forever? If it was deemed to be so, those people who are members of that organization would never be allowed to publicly object to claims made against them or their group on Wikipedia. They also wouldn't be allowed to correct a simple grammatical error, fix factual inaccuracies, or add appropriate sourced content about an unrelated subject.
The Klan is easy to talk about, because it is a perpetual boogey-man, and trivializing that members of the Klan are people like the rest of us makes it easier to dismiss the idea of allowing them to edit. However, if someone can fiddle away productively at Wikipedia without creating controversy through their own actions, then why does it matter? Are we going to investigate every editor's associations and histories to suss out who is not "tainted" by "evil"? The only reason you knew in the recent case that the individual was a member of the Klan is through some off-wiki connect-the-dots actions and you only had reason to suspect anything because of a userspace gallery where the only incoming links were automatic due to the addition of an image to the gallery. In other words, we are definitely not talking about someone who publicly advertised on-wiki "Hey I used to be in the Klan!"
You are saying that you and anyone else here, should be able to trawl through an opponent's activities online, find some sort of connection to something considered odious and then get them removed by revealing the information, even if that person has done nothing of concern on this site. Do you really not see the potential pitfalls of that mentality?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:44, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, TDA, I can't take any more of your ridiculous hyperbole or strained hypotheticals. Would I ban the user in question? In a heartbeat. Do I think anyone who self-identifies as a KKK member should be banned? Absolutely. Is that because I think KKK members are non-persons? Not at all. Do I expect it to become WP policy? No I don't. Feel free to continue arguing with yourself. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:54, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
You don't have to see them as non-persons to trivialize their humanity, you just have to make them sound less persony than the rest of us. I also don't think I have been particularly hyperbolic as what I mention would seem to naturally follow from the arguments presented here and don't fall outside the realm of probability. Out in the rest of the world certain people try to obliterate the reputations of anyone who says something politically incorrect, and sometimes they succeed. Then there are those who are condemned and demonized for the flimsiest of associations, usually because their opponents can't find anything more compelling to impugn the person's reputation.
Stuff like that can and does happen here as well. I know of one prominent editor who was indeffed as a product of miscommunication that was then twisted into a matter of racism. The circumstances are a bit different and said editor was already detested by a large group editors, but that just makes the point stronger. Some people would invoke sanctimonious cries for political correctness to justify expunging those who challenge the abuses of others. Labels of bigotry are often abused to stifle dissent in the same way labels such as "terrorist" and "communist" are or were abused to stifle dissent. It isn't hyperbole, but reality. An unassuming approach that makes one's participation contingent on good behavior is of far more benefit than an approach premised on vetting every prospective editor's ideological views. You may have little hope of seeing your desires realized, but I don't feel so confident it couldn't happen in time.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 05:49, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Please keep the scope of the question in mind. Do you believe that being a member of the Klan should deny a person the ability to object on-wiki to claims made against them on an article? Should our response be to block them for the sole offense of being a KKK member and direct them to some sluggish and labyrinthine complaints process? How seriously is that person going to take such a process when he or she is greeted with a block for raising an objection to content about him or her? Mind you, one would have to then apply this same thinking to any of a potentially growing list of groups and individuals who are seen as having "evil world-views" and who, by virtue of that fact, are going to be at greater risk of having articles about them or their group targeted with abusive edits.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Why should they complain on-wiki? There is a email to the WMF, and there are the courts. Why would anyone want to argue for days with a bunch of children? John lilburne (talk) 00:00, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Presume an e-mail doesn't work and that this person cannot afford a protracted court case, neither of which are unlikely scenarios.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:44, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
If an email to the WMF doesn't work, a week of arguing with self-important children will? John lilburne (talk) 06:56, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The WMF is only likely to intervene in the most serious situations, while regular editors might be persuaded to act on more nuanced offenses. Presumably you would not be one of the "self-important children" you are talking about and there are others like you as I am sure you know.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 16:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

How do we go about banning people with evil world-views? Is it down to administrator discretion or case-by-case community consensus? Formerip (talk) 23:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Having suffered a nasty racist attack on wikipedia where the sock was blocked but the person the blocking admin suspected was the puppeteer wasnt even investigated, IMHO wikipedia would do well to focus on a zero tolerance policy towards racism on wikipedia rather than trying to out potential racists who have acted impeccably (or at least not in a racist way). Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest that any enforcement attempt would soon degenerate into farce, perhaps even illegality. Perhaps we should rely on reputable published sources for the fact that a given person is evil. Or perhaps we should designate a given mob and allow it to rule. What about cases who are up for trial, or convicted but up for appeal? Whatever we do, Dr. Evil need only wait a while and then become a perfectly tame IP editor, avoiding contentious topics in the long-established manner, and thus make a mockery of the ban. Meanwhile, maintaining a database of "evil people" (as opposed to disruptive user accounts) might be illegal in some countries. For example I live in the UK and it could run up against our privacy laws such as the Data Protection Act (e.g. If a court is satisfied on the application of a data subject that personal data of which the applicant is the subject are inaccurate, the court may order the data controller to rectify, block, erase or destroy those data and any other personal data in respect of which he is the data controller and which contain an expression of opinion which appears to the court to be based on the inaccurate data.), and/or our equality laws (don't discriminate against gays, don't discriminate against homophobes per se either). All this seems to me to be quite untenable. Or, perhaps we should just rely on their editing behaviour as we do now. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:46, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
" Perhaps we should rely on reputable published sources for the fact that a given person is evil", we do, primary sources are generally reliable for the opinion of the author. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I am still waiting for these mysterious objective, unarguable, free of cultural bias criteria for "good" or "evil". Since we're here, when you find them please notify the Nobel committee. Finding the One True Ethics that you can prove is right beyond every cultural boundary would make you the most important person of human history, arguably. -- cyclopiaspeak! 10:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it would be pretty significant, but I don't see that it has much to do with the question of banning people from Wikipedia. People get banned all the time in ways that are not mysterious, objective, unarguable or free of cultural bias.
The more important questions are about the process. If I believe someone to be evil, how do I go about getting them kicked them off the project? Formerip (talk) 10:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • There are already KKK members who edit Wikipedia. And neo-Nazis. And Communists. And misogynists. And people who hate gays. Religious fundamentalist nutjobs, deniers of science, cult members, ultra-Nationalist creeps, apologists for genocide. Anti-Semites. And Socialists, Centrists, Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, and apolitical sorts, too. It's a website where people can edit anonymously and set up multiple accounts in minutes, no questions asked. To pretend that it is even possible to have a political test for editing privileges based upon real world identity is so out of touch with reality as to be laughable. All we can do is judge the edits. Some editors need to be watched more closely than others for insertion of malicious POV, that's all. Those who attempt to insert malicious POV should be dealt with harshly. And they are. Carrite (talk) 15:58, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I cannot believe I just read some people are seriously advocating for the Russian Orthodox Church to be banned from wikipedia. You may as well shut down the Russian language wikipedia entirely if you are going to be that backwards-minded. Is that the sort of witch hunt and persecution of people for their firm beliefs and native culture you'd always dreamed wikipedia ought to be someday? You really might want to think about letting go of that firebrand. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Wnt is not to be taken seriously. They have a habit of misstating other people's positions and generally get even the most basic facts wrong. Wnt, Cyclopia, and The Devil's Advocate can usually be relied upon to suggest the most extreme and least empathetic view of any issue that comes up on Jimbo's talk page. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
      • Do note that I did not want Russian Orthodox editors banned, just as I do not want Klansmen banned. It is MastCell who answered my question by saying that he would ban members of anti-gay organizations (which is the only way to be consistent with banning Klansmen), and the sources I posted establish that the ROC is such an organization. There is only one solution to this puzzle, which is, to ban no one based on their beliefs. Wnt (talk) 18:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
        • Since I stated my position clearly, above, I'm confident that people will readily recognize your shabby misrepresentation of it. I don't think it's worth my time to post further here, so I'm going to listen to my own advice. MastCell Talk 02:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
It was a strawman that Wnt raised. No one was actually suggesting it. Those who object to banning KKK members have invariably either used straw men or made utterly bizarre irrelevant statements like Count Iblis's statement below. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:50, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Not a strawman but reductio ad absurdum, which is valid. For that matter, how would you answer the issue of whether members of anti-gay organizations should be treated the same way?
I understand of course, that you are appealing to "common sense", and common sense is indeed that many KKK members would quickly distinguish themselves by putting strong POV bias into articles or even by baiting editors of certain ancestry. However, such editors are specifically excluded from consideration in our initial scenario, which is that KKK affiliation is discovered only by doing a private eye investigation of the editor's online persona, rather than emerging during a proper administrative process pertaining to on-wiki conduct. Wnt (talk) 19:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Shoot, if anybody is editing from Pakistan and makes edits opposing drone rights, that might count as a "pattern of activity" consistent with a valid military target right now.[20] The ban procedure in that case would be particularly expeditious. Wnt (talk) 19:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

In defense of Jimbo to some extent, while Jamaicans, the Russian Orthodox Church, most versions of Islam, etc. are anti-gay, acting anti-gay isn't their main reason for existing. They're people who are associated mainly for other reasons, and acting anti-gay is only a tiny portion of what they do. On the other hand, the primary purpose of the KKK is to be anti-black. So it really is easy to distinguish such cases from the KKK.

It still does open a can of worms, though. We don't want to ban everyone who is a member of an anti-gay-marriage organization, even though such organizations are primarily created for anti-gay activities. And if you consider gun ownership to be a right (it's in the US Constitution, after all), should you ban everyone who's in an anti-gun organization because the organization's primary purpose is to deny people's rights? What about someone who is not a member of the KKK, but thinks that black people have a higher crime rate than white people and refuses to blame that on poverty? Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:26, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

The Russian Orthodox Church, most versions of Islam, Christianity and plenty of denominations in other major world faiths have maintained this for so many centuries, that it's amusing that in 2013 it becomes an issue suddenly - as if that's going to change overnight because some editors just found it annoying! Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 21:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Would we ban someone like Alan Turing from contributing to Wikipedia if society had the same opinions about gay people as in the 1950s? Or should Wikipedia have rules that restrict what arguments can be brought in to ban people even if these arguments reflect the sentiments of the vast majority of the population? Count Iblis (talk) 23:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Another knock-out argument: Alan Turing = homosexual = KKK racist. Johnuniq (talk) 23:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, one assumes a project then may well have felt forced to ban Turing. But here's the point: there was no Wikipedia in the 1950s. That isn't really a matter of technology - from the very beginning, we could have made radio an egalitarian forum for human conversation, with no special privileges for licensed corporations. We could have had many more self-publications rather than publishers having to OK everything they printed. But with the 60s revival of belief and confidence in free expression came the sort of freethinking mentality expressed in the Youth International Party Line, the ancestral forerunner of all hackers, which eventually came to fruition in a web of libertarians and information socialists which could accept and support projects like Wikipedia, rather than seeking to dominate and control and own everything. Understand that the level of technology of any culture is strictly limited by its political philosophy! For example, the Aeolipile was a steam engine, but a society built on slaves couldn't accept it, so instead of moving forward the ancient Roman world regressed. In this instance, Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia anyone can edit - if you cannot develop the political philosophy that anyone can edit, you cannot make the free encyclopedia. In much the same way, the World Wide Web could not exist if the ability to edit and develop was not granted to everyone - and I'm not sure why someone suggesting banning some people from Wikipedia based on their beliefs wouldn't suggest banning them from the Web. Wnt (talk) 00:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
You arguing that members of the KKK will be acceptable at some future time? You are somehow equating the opinions of Us about the KKK at present with those of Alan Turing in relation to the British government? Is there something you would like to tell us about your opinions of the KKK? In between your bizarre claims, I'm sure there is a point waiting to break free, IRWolfie- (talk) 03:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
No I don't think KKK will ever gain acceptance. You can invoke the KKK, Neo-Nazis, but these are actually exceptional cases. We all know that exceptional cases make bad laws; the rules for banning won't mention the KKK specifically, they will simply allow for editors to be banned if they hold views that the larger community thinks are strongly objectionable.
Rules like this typically end up affecting the analogues of Alan Turing more than hard core problem people like KKK members that the rules were designed to deal with. A KKK member will probably keep his affiliation secret, while someone like Alan Turing is more likely to passionately argue what he believes in. Also there are more people with ideas for whom the Turing case is a better description than than the KKK case, precisely because the former are more reasonable than the latter. Count Iblis (talk) 13:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree with everything that everyone has said above. Herostratus (talk) 03:06, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Someone above said something evil. For agreeing with it, consider yourself banned. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:03, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Please stop referring to banning people. We don't - we can't - do that. We can and do ban usernames. That's all. We may ban a username for being associated with "disruption" or for being associated with an arsehole. So what? It's a futile hand wave, feigning giving a damn about what the people behind these accounts do or stand for while doing nothing at all about it. Who thinks Qworty isn't tinkering away on a BLP backwater right now? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:52, 4 August 2013 (UTC)