User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 139

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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 17:08, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Perhaps mention Jimbo has created articles in the past: Rather than one example new article, just note how Jimbo, even though quite busy, has also created new articles, as during 2012 (see contribs: Articles created by Jimbo). By noting how Jimbo has created multiple articles, then that should inspire more people to create at least a few. Make sense? -Wikid77 20:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Whilst I will leave this until the WikiProject is up and running properly, I was thinking that this would get a participation boost to the WikiProject, and give impetus to RA. Torchiest was saying that Jimbo C/Ed an article, and I was thinking in a similar vein. However, I will likely come back when the WikiProject is up and running. Thanks, Matty.007 15:51, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Even talk of Jimbo helping WP:GOCE was inspiring: I agree that mention of Jimbo's work on copy-edit of articles could inspire new users, and so that is why I noted all is needed is to report how Jimbo had created several articles, while very busy (as the core of motivation). A new article can be as easy as: 1 line +source, when meeting wp:GNG notability, and so a new article is not totally difficult. -Wikid77 18:07, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Resetting "Edit source" to "Edit" tabs

At Village pump wp:PUMPTECH, they have discussed how each user can reset the "[Edit source]" tabs to again show "[Edit]" by set Preferences to "disable VE while in beta":

No JavaScript is needed, and "[Edit]" tabs will appear even in MSIE browsers (even IE7, IE8) as in prior months. -Wikid77 20:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

  • To relabel tabs as "[VE] [Edit]" in JavaScript. There have been proposed personal-customized settings to place in the JavaScript start-up and CSS files. See: WP:PUMPTECH#Edit_source_vs._Edit, with example to relabel the "[Edit] [Edit source]" tabs as "[VE] [Edit]" by altering the JavaScript element text. -Wikid77 18:07, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

English Wikipedia participating in a Soviet cover-up ... 36 year later

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anatoly Biryukov. Pretty amusing. Brezhnev would be proud. Someone not using his real name (talk) 00:24, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

If you've got a verifiable reliable source to support your claim, why not post it on the deletion discussion? No sure Jimbo's talk page is an appropriate place to discuss this. Looks like potential WP:FRINGE to me. NickCT (talk) 00:43, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
It is a classic case of the problems of Wikipedia:Systemic bias. If no English language refs are available that does not, as some seem to think on the afd page, mean that the article is not notable as we are an encyclopedia in English not an encyclopedia of the English speaking world. But Russian is a difficult language for most of we English speakers and without ppl who can read Russian well it is going to be hard to ref it in Russian. So given this I am not sure it is inappropriate to bring here. Foreign language of itself does not mean FRINGE. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 00:46, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Would you both please desist from telling people what they can/should say on a user talk page. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:33, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Are you saying that we can't tell people that they can't say things on peoples' talk pages? NickCT (talk) 08:03, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I hope you're not implying I can't tell you you can't tell people what they can and can't tell people on talk pages. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 09:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I think I can, so I think you can, and I don't think anyone can tell you you can't. But I suppose, because I can't tell anyone they can't tell you that, and nobody else can tell them they can't, and nor can I tell anyone else to tell anyone they can't, then they can. I think. Begoontalk 12:33, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I have never said what someone can/should say on a user talk page, Anthonyhcole, what gives with the bizarre accusations?. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 17:24, 4 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)
Thank! I hope it will help (Idot (talk) 16:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC))
Me too. I will email the WebCite person again as I haven't heard anything. Biosthmors (talk) 19:20, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
If Jimbo planned to answer, he likely would have already. You're better off emailing someone relevant within the Foundation. Resolute 20:14, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Who? @Sue Gardner: Is this an Ops, Engineering, Community, or Outreach issue? 70.59.30.138 (talk) 02:32, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Doleschallia bisaltide bisaltide (Autumn Leaf) - male, January 2013, Singapore.jpg

Hey Jimmy, I hope you can empathise with me on this. Jkadavoor's talking about this because of me. I'm getting irritated and very disturbed with my image being used, and Commons as well as Commoners' lack of respect (especially to contributors) and morals. I will be sending an email to you within the next 2 hours. Please keep your inbox checked. Cheers. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 13:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, Arctic Kangaroo; my comments here are no way related to your issue; it is only a simple matter that can be resolved with sympathy and empathy, considering your younger age. I too have younger brothers. (My/our topic is well described here and somewhat here.) JKadavoor Jee 05:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Talking about poor morals, and no respect towards fellow contributors, I'm very disappointed to say that Geo Swan is a fellow en.wiki contributor who is part of that group on Commons. He's also carried his very good values with him when he works on en.wiki. Perhaps, you also want to read the discussion conversation argument that I had with him. diff ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:02, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
About User:Arctic Kangaroo above, Jimbo don't be swayed too much by that.If you have a look you find that s/he's just complaining because s/he suddenly changed mind about the copyright of some pictures of butterflies. That is obviously an impossible-to-honour request -if it was, I could revoke my contributions from Wikipedia at any moment, and WP should be obliged to comply. The whole point of free licences is that of giving up some of your intellectual "property" rights on a work. If the creator still holds the power to revoke, then s/he holds all power on the work, and thus it is not free anymore. We've banned users that refused to comply with license requirements, and rightly so. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:26, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
It's all related. And Cyclopia, I haven't sent the email. Inside there will be whatever reasons I have to say. Cheers. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:27, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • In the interests of permanence I added a diff after Arctic Kangaroo's link to my talk page. Geo Swan (talk) 15:44, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Mail-message-new.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.
✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:42, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I've noted here that Arctic Kangaroo asked in all good faith about how to upload the image without others using it, he was given very very bad advice here on Wikipedia as part of a formal adoption process, and appears to have followed that advice in good faith. I'm seeing this issue as being largely the result of that very very bad advice, not a result of any bad faith or incompetence on Arctic Kangaroo or Geo Swan's part. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:01, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I think this is very relevant. Cyclopedia, your concern that if we allow one user to delete a file based on a change of heart, we have to do so in all cases, is simply not true. We can and should make exceptions for a wide variety of reasons. In the vast majority of cases, one picture is worth being jerks about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:41, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If there is evidence he followed bad advice, a case could be made for him not having actually understood the CC requirements, thus invalidating it for his pictures. This is fine by me: he simply did not consent to a contract, de facto. So no exceptions to be made. Then I apologize, and this makes it clear we have to be clearer on what releasing with CC means during upload.
However what I worry is exactly the "make exceptions" issue. If you summarily understand the CC license, then there cannot be turning back, because to do so means the author has full power on the work: and that undermines the whole concept of a free license. -- cyclopiaspeak! 09:08, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
That the CC licence is irrevocable does to compel us to irrevocably host the image or irrevocably use it on Wikipedia projects. We can choose to remove the file from our servers as a result of community discussion. Too often the slippery slope fallacy is used to justify taking a hard-line position. This makes it very hard to remove material because it is the right thing to do rather than because some law or policy absolutely requires it. That attitude needs to change. Commons is not compelled to host anything. An example of a user taking a hard-line principles-first approach is Geo Swan's discussion with AK (linked above). Geo Swan's uploading of AK's picture to his Flickr account not only breaks Flickr's terms and conditions but is a really nasty way of proving one's point. Colin°Talk 10:44, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
It's not a slippery slope argument, because one case where we guarantee this is enough to formally dismantle the whole concept of a free license. Free license = you do NOT have anymore full rights on the work, only those preserved by the license. There is no turning back. This case may be an exception only because the uploader did not actually know about what the license meant really in advance, and it perhaps can be proven by the discussion linked by Demiurge1000 above. But if there is no sound proof of that, going back is a no-no. Even doing it once would immediately make all free licensing moot: it would show they have no bearing whatsoever anymore, even if nobody else asks to revoke them again. Which, however, will most likely happen, if we create precedents. This may look like a one-time mistakes-happen let's-do-the-decent-thing occurrence, but it is instead deeply ruinous. It threatens the very foundation of the concept of a free licence. Don't underestimate that. -- cyclopiaspeak! 12:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Where is the requirement or policy on Commons that says that because the image has a CC licence, Commons must host it. Too many admins and others have got deletion review upside down when they assume that because there is no policy that says we have to delete it it follows that we have to keep it. Time and again you see deletion closures saying that if the image has a valid licence and is in use then and doesn't clearly break COM:IDENT then there is no valid argument to delete. This is wrong. While the consensus at a deletion discussion shouldn't be allowed to decided to keep an image that is illegal or against policy, it must surely be allowed to decide to delete an image that is legal and complies with policy. -- Colin°Talk 13:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)There may be remote edge cases in which a deletion may be required despite policy compliance. In any other case, yes, it does follow that we have to keep it, otherwise policies etc. are just nonsense. For sure "uploader changed her mind" cannot be a reason to do so, because it would imply the uploader maintains more control on the image than the one allowed by the CC license. If an image is free once, is free forever. This must be as crystal clear and iron strong as possible. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:29, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Deletion from Commons does not change the license. It changes how easily the image spreads (which is still desirable for many editors) — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:36, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Technically correct. But a deletion from Commons on request (with perhaps the exception of a "dammit, I uploaded the wrong image, sorry" request a few minutes after upload, or similar obvious mistakes) still acknowledges exceptional control by the uploader. This makes the image "free", but on a leash. Which is not very free. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Cyclopia, I agree with your arguments; which are part of the free concepts. But I don’t think raising them on every courtesy deletion request is very helpful. This is not a case like a long time established user who wants all his files get deleted; when he changed his mind. He has only a few media contributions so far, all are very recent, and all uploaded through en:wiki upload wizard. He may not even notice that they are uploaded to Commons; not to Wikipedia. His first visit to Commons (other than a few POY votes) was when I made a notice on his talk page regarding the FPC nomination. JKadavoor Jee 13:43, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Cyclopia, you are confusing the requirement to relicense the work under the same CC terms when copying, modification, or redistribution occur, with the fictitious notion that the CC license compels Commons to redistribute the work in perpetuity. Commons is not obligated to continue publishing works; it is only compelled to publish them under the same license terms if it does publish them at all. The decision whether or not to publish a work licensed under CC can be made for any number of reasons (one of which might be that the author does not want the work to be published at Commons), and that decision can be changed anytime; what cannot be done is revocation of downstream users' rights to continue to copy, modify, and redistribute under CC terms once they received the work from Commons. alanyst 13:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I am perfectly aware of this distinction. This doesn't change that, de facto, complying to such a request implies that, practically, we give the uploader a level of control that is not present in the license. We may well decide to delete something free from Commons, but setting a precedent where such a decision is made only because of a request of the uploader without extremly good reasons is noxious, because of what it implies -namely, that the uploader has a special level of control on the work. That's exactly the opposite of free content, regardless of how technically it still complies. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:09, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Absurd. Imagine that when the person uploaded the file to Commons, they also gave a copy to a friend under the same CC terms, and when they asked Commons to delete it, they also asked their friend to do so. Commons and the friend are equally free to accede to the uploader's request or to ignore it, and enjoy the exact same degree of control in their decisions. Commons does not need to be bound by precedent any more than the friend does the next time someone gives them a CC-licensed file. alanyst 14:28, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
What seems absurd to me is your analogy. A personal friend is not a public, open website hosting thousands of images that makes a point of being a repository of informative free content, run by a consensus-driven community, where anybody can see what happened before and what precedents have been set. -- cyclopiaspeak! 14:45, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. And you believe we should place the free-content crusade before all else. Some of us believe there are other things equally important, such as editorial and publishing discretion, and moral concerns, even. I'd rather 'anybody' could see that we did the common sense, human, decent thing after due consideration. You never know, that might encourage more people to donate more content to a responsible host. I doubt the two points of view will ever mesh easily, so it seems tedious for us to repeat it all again, no? We can does not mean we must. Begoontalk 15:01, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Hmm, no, it's not matter of a crusade. Nor it is a matter of "we can therefore we must". It's a matter of what does free content mean. In other words, things have to be clear for users of Commons. In the moment I see an image on Commons, and it is obviously compliant with policies, I expect to be able to use it in any way that is compliant with the requirements of the license. That's what free content means: it is something that we can relink, share, reuse, rebuild upon, while keeping only a minimum of clear obligations, because the author explicitly relinquished (most of) her/his rights on the image, and cannot complain if it happens that he does not like what I do with it. If, instead, in any moment the copyright owner can decide to change his mind, then it has never been free: it was only "on loan", something like "hey, I'll give it to you to play until I decide it's fine". And so we jeopardize the whole concept of free content. It's not matter of crusade, I am not a free-culture-Taliban, frankly (heh, I worked for closed-source companies). But if we say that is free, then it has to be free, not "free unless uploader has a change of mind". And it has also nothing to do with "decency" and "common sense". Apart from the fact that there is no such thing as "common sense", because what is "common" in my culture can be far from common in yours, there is nothing in the notion of "decency" that requires us to abide to every whim of uploaders. If there is some serious privacy or real-life complain, then decency may play a part. It doesn't with contributors that want to pick up the ball and suddenly decide that we can't play anymore - it's not their ball anymore, once under CC. I hope I made myself more clear. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:33, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

More clear, no. But you used a lot of words. I already knew where you stood. I disagree. Begoontalk 15:42, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Given that you said that I "believe we should place the free-content crusade before all else" -which is nonsense- I'd say that no, you know really nothing of where I stand. So you're disagreeing with some figment of your imagination, not with me. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:47, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't know much about Commons. You say we should not delete a file from our collection if the uploader has simply changed their mind. But is there a WMF directive or Commons policy that forbids it (that says we may not)? If I add a page to Wikipedia that no one else has added to and ask that it be removed, that will usually happen without any fuss. I'm fairly sure the licensing and ethical issues are much the same, so I'd be curious to know if the two projects' written policies are different on this issue. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 16:13, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
You're correct about the articles removal on WP. It should not happen as well. It is a shame it does. -- cyclopiaspeak! 17:29, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I respect your right to the view that this kind of thing shouldn't happen, and your right to argue from that position. But I'm asking you, may it happen. I'm asking if it is permitted by Commons policy for a file to be deleted for no other reason than that the uploader requests it? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 18:25, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
To clear up, Commons has a policy that we may delete images whose uploaders have requested deletion. We do it fairly frequently actually. But we generally draw the line if the image is used on other projects. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:36, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I know you sometimes delete files upon the uploader's request but the only such deletion discussions I've seen have required the uploader to justify it, beyond simply requesting it. So to be very clear, if the file isn't being used on another project and the uploader gives no reason, or simply says they've changed their mind, policy permits deletion and the uploader's wish is usually respected, without them having to provide any rationale. Have I got that right? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 18:25, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
It does depend on the image in question, and timing. If you ask for deletion after a few days or a month or so, then it's more likely to be granted. If the image is something that is easily replaceable and/or low quality, again, more likely to be granted. But courtesy deletions are not generally granted if the image is in (mainspace) use, and especially not if it's widely used. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:11, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:32, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
OK. That seems to work.[1] --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 06:06, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Not doubting for one moment that your actions are motivated by fairness and good faith, but I am surprised such decisions appear to be based on wholly subjective personal judgements. And individual ones at that. I must have imagined that deletion policy, like determination of copyright, was based upon strict rules that had been refined over the years and tested by particular edge cases. If a contributor disagees with your judgment, I assume they have no recourse to any kind of arbitration. Or does such arbitration always have to happen, in public, here? p.s. whenever I upload an image to Commons I never have to go through a step which explictly confirms the fact that "I am aged 18 years or over". I guess that little detail is carefully hidden away in the CC license? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I've had contact by email with Arctic Kangaroo and he's apparently well under the age of legal competence for this sort of thing anyway. So there's a good case to be made that the license has not actually been granted, period, despite whatever checkbox he may have clicked. For me, this seals it, and I've asked Wikimedia Legal to comment on the issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:51, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Jimbo. That's encouraging. I do a lot of image work for the project, and it's important to me that there is some common sense involved somewhere along the line. It really is important, and it's good to see. Cheers. Begoontalk 19:01, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo, thanks for your understanding. I will be sending you another email, hopefully by tonight (UTC+8). Cheers. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 22:46, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to pour cold water on things, but if we are saying that Arctic Kangaroo is not of legal competence to release images, then they should be globally banned and all their edits on all projects revdeled (and all subsequent revisions as derivative works). There is no difference between the CC-BY-SA the user released the image under and the CC-BY-SA they released those edits under (By clicking the "Save page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL.), other than they don't like the consequences of that particular edit. If you're arguing from a legal standpoint, then you need to be consistent and delete everything. If you argue from a moral standpoint, then the DR was already closed as keep. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:08, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree with mattbuck here as well, it's all or nothing. AzaToth 00:08, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
This is actually a HUGE point in terms of Wikipedia and it would be nice to hear from house counsel on the matter. Bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer and don't play one on TV: in the United States, those under age 18 are not legally able to enter into a binding contract. Every single saved edit is a small contractual release of automatic copyright via Creative Commons license. If those under 18 have no legal standing to make such a release, they should theoretically retain copyright to the content they have created. They should theoretically be able to force its removal. They should theoretically be prohibited from editing until the age of legal majority. Carrite (talk) 17:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
But is a release into a free license a 'binding contract'? I don't think so, although I'm not an expert in USA laws. A contract normally requires two parties, but in case of releasing a file into a free license, there is no other party. Wikimedia doesn't have any contract with the author, they are just storing the text or file, after release by the author. Also after the release, the author doesn't have any binding obligations. He can even use his released work as before. Jcb (talk) 18:07, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I note that one of those giving you a hard time here has uploaded your image to a flickr account. That is contrary to the flickr terms of use

Don’t upload anything that isn't yours. This includes other people's photos, video, and/or stuff you've copied or collected from around the Internet. Accounts that consist primarily of such collections may be deleted at any time.

and flickr will delete the image from their site if you contact them. If you do so then I recommend that you go to the page and click the link at the bottom that says "report abuse". Choose "Other concerns" at the bottom of the list rather than "Someone is posting photos that I have taken ...". In the email explain that you are a minor and the person uploaded the image as a form of revenge in order to "teach you a lesson", add links to the Commons discussions where he did it. If you do it that way and emphasis the bullying aspect Geo Swann's flickr account and his 11,000 images will most likely be deleted, as Yahoo will not countenance bullying of minors. Alternatively you can click the "copyright/ip" link bottom right of the page and just get the one image deleted. John lilburne (talk) 23:27, 26 July 2013 (UTC)


  • We might wish to get legal to review this; this is certainly something that has huge potential to change Wikimedia. If no one who is not of legal age has legal competence to free license their work, that would of necessity include text as well as images. That being the case, I have a hard time seeing how Wikimedia could continue to allow anyone not yet of legal age to edit anything on Wikimedia. If that were so, I'd presume it would have to lead to some sort of identity confirmation of logged in users, and the end editing by users who have not logged in. (IMO this might in the long run do more good than harm, but it certainly would be a major change.) -- Infrogmation (talk) 01:00, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree, we need legal to review the wider implications of this issue, not just the limited question of whether this file should be deleted from Commons as requested by Arctic Kangaroo (AK).
First, is it sensible to keep the image hosted on Wikipedia (as AK wants) if the reason for deleting it from Commons is that AK wasn't legally competent to license it freely?
Second, what should be done with other images uploaded to Wikipedia by AK?
Third, do we similarly need to delete AK's other edits to Wikipedia and other WMF wikis? If AK isn't legally competent to license images freely, would the same be true of text contributions?
Fourth, what should we do about potential future edits by AK? Are blocks on all wikis required until AK is old enough, or until we have OTRS confirmation of his parents' or guardians' agreement to freely license his contributions?
Finally, what are the implications for edits and uploads by other people, including those who we suspect may be under 18, and those for whom we have no idea (including people who aren't signed in)? --Avenue (talk) 03:54, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't presume to speak for Jimbo, but my take on it is that the only precedent we would be setting is that of having respected the wish of a contributor not to host his image any more, and taking into account that he may not have fully understood the rigidness of the terms he agreed to when uploading it. There don't seem to be any licensing implications - anyone who acquired the file under the license offered is unaffected - we just agree to not host the file any more out of consideration for the users wishes. Sure, people will cry "slippery slope", because that's the way of it here, but I think it does us no harm to be seen as responsive to a reasonable request from a good faith contributor. Opinions will, of course, differ. I wouldn't still be contributing images to this site or Commons at all if the rules had been rigidly enforced in a recent deletion discussion which I initiated (although that was more complex, with other reasons to delete), so feel free to see my point of view as "involved". Begoontalk 04:09, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd be a lot happier granting such a request if I believed that he had good reasons for making it, that he now understood the implications of the licenses he has agreed to, and that he wouldn't be making such requests without good reason in the future. Keep in mind that this is very different from a prompt request to remove an unused image that was uploaded mistakenly. The image is used on several projects and has been promoted as an FP on both WP and Commons, after review by several editors.
But the fact that he wants us to remove the image from Commons while keeping it on Wikipedia seems to show that he still doesn't understand the license he applied to the image (or the aims of our movement more broadly), and that he doesn't really have good reasons for its removal. (That's not to say that there aren't good reasons, such as his being a minor, just that he didn't present them in his request.) If we do decide to delete it from Commons, it won't simply be to fulfil his request, but because of these other reasons, and I think the consequences should extend at least as far as also removing it from Wikipedia. I also have trouble understanding why we'd want to risk keeping AK's other uploads unless he changed his tune dramatically. If you think that means I'm crying "slippery slope", so be it.
The implications for his other contributions are messier, and I don't claim to fully understand them, but I would certainly like some legal input on the issues. I'm concerned we could create a lot of unnecessary trouble for ourselves later if we don't. --Avenue (talk) 05:38, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
he still doesn't understand the license he applied to the image - that is the issue. He doesn't understand the licence, and isn't legally competent to enter into a irrevocable agreement. In any other situation if an organisation were to maintain that a U16 was to be held to a contract there would be a page on this site about it. The concerns expressed about his other contributions are ill founded as it is highly unlikely that any of his written article work will be copyrightable. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation fixes rarely rise to the level of obtaining copyright status. I'll note in passing that Geo Swann has wisely removed the image from flickr. John lilburne (talk) 07:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The comments he made here are certainly eligible for copyright. There is no substantive difference between text and images. It is my view that if we accept that (even just under Singaporean law) minors cannot release things under CC, then at the very least Arctic Kangaroo must be banned from all WMF projects, and we should probably follow suit with everyone else who may not be legally compos mentis. -mattbuck (Talk) 08:34, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The retention of comments here and elsewhere most likely falls under fair use. They aren't being sold, they aren't being used to promote the site, the chances of anyone putting his comments onto a tea towel, or mug is remote. No the issue is with media files, and your insistence that they be kept against the wishes of a child, who clearly wanted them to be used solely on WP. It is your, and others, grasping nature that is the real problem here Matt. 62.49.31.176 (talk) 11:35, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it best to wait till we get the legal answers before speculating on the consequences both for AK and other child users -- I would hope Jimbo and WMF are considering the consequences too and not just one butterfly photo. But regardless of whether the licence is valid, I think we should appreciate that children-users are more likely to misunderstand/make mistakes and so we should be more sympathetic in our handling. While AK's behaviour has made it difficult to be sympathetic (myself included), we should rise above this rather than let it anger us to being stubborn. Mattbuck mentions courtesy deletion but it appears Commons has no written policy on the matter (that I can find) -- so I suggest we consider documenting this area in the Commons deletion policy pages. Colin°Talk 11:06, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

@Everyone in this discussion except Jimmy: My text contributions have been OK so far. It's just a misunderstanding of the whole CC thing that made my image contribution bad. Anyway, as long as I learn and fully understand any licence before uploading anything again, then it's absolutely fine right? Blocks are for prevention, not punishment. I've already promised to learn up those stuff, am I not right? Anyway, you guys don't understand the situation fully. Almost everything I need to say is stated in my email to Jimmy and you can ask him if you like to understand the full situation. Anyway, I'm never uploading anything to Commons again. You have my word on that. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:18, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

This is prevention. If you are not legally competent to release images under free licences then you cannot be allowed to upload anything on Commons, and any significant textual contribution is similarly unallowable as they are under a similar licence. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:29, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
FYI, I have no complaints about my text contributions being used. Images are things that I treasure, and thus are very picky about it. Although that doesn't mean I don't value the articles I create. However, I am actually more open (more accurately, 大方) when it comes to articles. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:34, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
That you value text and images differently is completely irrelevant - if we accept the argument that as a minor you were not legally able to release images under CC licences, the same is necessarily true of your text contributions. As I said earlier, this is the difference between legal reasons and courtesy reasons - courtesy can be applied to different contributions differently, but legal reasons must be applied to all contributions equally. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:29, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Mail-message-new.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.

--✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:22, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Hmm. I've spotted this discussion via another user's talk page, and it raises a question from me; if it is ruled that minors are not competent to understand licenses and thus their Commons uploads are invalid, what happens when a user uploads something as a minor, this change comes in, but they're no longer a minor? This doesn't affect me (I didn't upload anything before I turned 18), but it definitely is an interesting problem, at least in my eyes. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 15:10, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Your pictures are wonderfully fine, AK. It's good to be charitable and donate such vivid, well-shot images to Commons. What's frustrating you? Because of some miscommunication and misinterpretation of licensing, we have landed into some mambo jumbo about the competency of minors and legal rights, stuff like that. Wiki-drama indeed. Good luck, AK. ☯ Bonkers The Clown \(^_^)/ Nonsensical Babble ☯ 09:30, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I think for this case we should disregard whatever license AK has chosen. As a minor, holding him at fault for not understanding all these legal licenses is like letting him stand trial in court. What a dilemma -- if the pictures were removed for him being a minor, what happens to the textual contributions? ☯ Bonkers The Clown \(^_^)/ Nonsensical Babble ☯ 09:36, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The text contributions and media contributions of own works are entirely different.
Text contributions: Help:Introduction_to_referencing/1: “One of the key policies of Wikipedia is that all article content has to be verifiable. This means that a reliable source must be able to support the material. All quotations and any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged must include an inline citation of a source that directly supports the material. This also means that ‘’’this is no place for original work’’’, archival findings that have not been published, or evidence from any source that has not been published.” So what?
http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Before_Licensing: “The following list sets out some basic things that you should think about before you apply a Creative Commons license to your work. 1. Make sure your work is copyrightable. 2. Make sure you have the rights.
Here you are only developing an article with third party contents that are verifiable in reliable source. That source is not owned by you; so you can’t grant any rights that you don’t have.
So what may be the text “By clicking the "Save page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license. “ above the “Save page” button mean? Probably it means that you have to ensure that the contributions you made are freely available in a reliable source. I can’t see any problem in such edits by a person below Age of consent as far as the edits are not harmful for this project. (Disclaimer: I’m not an article editor; my area of expertise is photography. So this is my limited understanding on this topic. Correct me if I’m wrong.)
Media contributions of own works: Here you owned the media you created. You hold the copyright irrespective of your age. But can consent of a person below Age of consent to grant/give-away his rights can be considered as a valid consent? No; probably. Hope legal team will answer it. JKadavoor Jee 16:18, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Er, no, text contributions are not "contributions you made [being] freely available in a reliable source", that would mean we could only ever reference anything which was freely licensed. And furthermore, you can have copyright on third party contents which are verifiable to reliable sources, since you make deliberate compositional choices. The FACTS cannot be copyrighted, but your presentation of them can be. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:48, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Many of AK's text contributions would be above the US's low threshold of originality, and we need them to be freely licensed to continuing hosting them. This doesn't apply to uncreative edits such as fixing typos or simple reverts of vandalism, but I think it probably applies to most posts of new content or commentary as long as a sentence. --Avenue (talk) 21:14, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Mattbuck and Avenue for correcting me. I’m not fully convinced; but my knowledge about page editing is limited, as I stated above. JKadavoor Jee 02:48, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Note: AK got blocked from Wikimedia Commons yesterday (not by me, but I fully support it), due to disturbing editing and also due to the very dangerous Jimbo Wales comment. ("I've had contact by email with Arctic Kangaroo and he's apparently well under the age of legal competence for this sort of thing anyway. So there's a good case to be made that the license has not actually been granted, period, despite whatever checkbox he may have clicked."). Following Jimbo in this very weird comment, would endanger the entire project. I hope WMF will not delete the files, because that means that any user can get his licenses revoked by convincing Jimbo Wales of a low age. And we know how accurate Jimbo can judge people. Jcb (talk) 17:00, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Not really; that seems only a procedural block; as commented by Russavia there. JKadavoor Jee 17:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
It was more than just procedural. Yesterday AK removed the featured awards from his butterfly then attempted to change the licence terms to "all rights reserved". That is "disturbing editing" and a sign he still doesn't get it. Colin°Talk 17:21, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmm; it seems he is too young to understand anything. :( But I can’t see any point in Jcb’s bla bla bla. JKadavoor Jee 17:34, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Entire story. JKadavoor Jee 17:48, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Is the Russavia person that blocked Arctic Kangaroo on Commons, a friend of the Mattbuck person? Has there been any dispute between this Russavia person that blocked Arctic Kangaroo, and Jimbo who has exchanged thoughtful emails with Arctic Kangaroo?
What is the status on English Wikipedia of Russavia? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:10, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Such things don’t matter; I think. He is a 'crat on Commons; so he has every right to make a procedural block till they get a reply from WMF-legal. JKadavoor Jee 02:53, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • AK formally changed his mind on 27 July 2013; which is valid per Geoffbrigham. commons: Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive_28#Underage_uploaders: “WMF does not have liability on this issue for the reasons stated above and because we are only a hosting company. On the contract issue, the answer depends a lot on the jurisdiction at issue, but, as a general rule, a minor may make a contract in the same manner as an adult. However, a minor usually may disaffirm a contract during minority or within a reasonable time afterwards.” So Denniss’ attempt to revert it is totally illegal. Now Commons is risking in the act of encouraging piracy; as anybody can now reuse that file even outside WMF projects. JKadavoor Jee 03:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't think it fair or proper to accuse Denniss of illegal actions. As is pointed out frequently, a copyright licence is not a contract so I do wonder if Geoffbrigham's comments are actually relevant or worded appropriately (because it appears "contract law" is quite specific to contracts, and here we are dealing with "property law"). Maybe it makes not difference, and a minor can "disaffirm" a licence too. The CC licence states "Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below" (my bold). If such a licence, issued by a minor, really means "Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, provisional (until I grow up) licence to exercise the rights or the Works as stated below" then we have to wonder if this is any use to us. It might suite BBC News to show a picture for a day, but we'd like a bit more permanency, and it would indeed be a problem for wiki text. None of this, however, requires Commons/Wikipedia to perpetually host the image, nor does it prevent us to choose to delete the image. -- Colin°Talk 07:54, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Neither party challenges the absolute right of a minor to disaffirm a contract for the purchase of items which 245*245 are not necessities. That right, variously known as the doctrine of incapacity or the "infancy doctrine," is one of the oldest and most venerable of our common law traditions. See: Grauman, Marx & Cline Co. v. Krienitz, 142 Wis. 556, 560, 126 N.W. 50 (1910); 2 Williston, Contracts sec. 226 (3d ed. 1959); 42 Am. Jur.2d Infants sec. 84 (1969). Although the origins of the doctrine are somewhat obscure, it is generally recognized that its purpose is the protection of minors from foolishly squandering their wealth through improvident contracts with crafty adults who would take advantage of them in the marketplace.

The above is from a decision by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Is a copyright license a contract? Well the Creative Commons License considers that it is. John lilburne (talk) 21:44, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
That's not a statement that CC consider their licence a contract, more that if someone does consider it a contract, these would be the terms. Whether it being considered contract is their intention is hard to determine. We need clear wording from legal that they are considering the issues with copyright licences (such as CC) not not some general statement about contracts. And they should also think about the rather unusual mixed-authorship issues that wikitext gives us. Colin°Talk 07:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The best thing for AK to do would be to send a DMCA takedown to WMF. Then they can decide whether they want fight a child over the issue. John lilburne (talk) 11:22, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The (official) reply I got from info@creativecommons.org for my question “I know CC licenses are not revocable. But if a N year boy granted a CC-BY-SA license for his photographs and later changed his mind, within a few months; is it acceptable?”

Hi Jee,

All CC licenses are non-revocable, meaning that if your content was ever available under a CC license, licensees can continue to use it indefinitely under the terms of the license. However, that does not mean that you need to keep publishing the content yourself indefinitely. There's nothing to stop you from removing the content from your website or removing the CC license badge. But again, others can continue to use it under the terms of the license.


If you don't like the way in which someone has used your content, you can ask that they remove your name from it so that it doesn't show up in Google searches, etc. See these two questions from the FAQ for more information:

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Faq#What_if_I_change_my_mind.3F

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_can_I_do_if_I_offer_my_work_under_a_Creative_Commons_license_and_I_do_not_like_the_way_someone_uses_my_work.3F

Cheers,

With disclaimer: "Please note: the contents of this email are not intended to be legal advice nor should they be relied upon as, or represented to be legal advice. Creative Commons cannot and does not give legal advice. You need to assess the suitability of Creative Commons tools for your particular situation, which may include obtaining appropriate legal advice from a licensed attorney."

JKadavoor Jee 01:24, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Here the problem I see is that Commons is not just a re-user, it acts as a central repository for free media (somewhat like Flickr). Anyway, I would like to leave this to the decision of WMF legal and office. I don’t think a courtesy deletion by Office_actions needs any consensus of the community; nor it creates a bad precedent. JKadavoor Jee 03:30, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm disappointed they didn't directly handle the concern that the owner is is under age. But suspect, like their disclaimer, that they aren't really willing to offer legal advice any more specific that what is already in their FAQ. Colin°Talk 07:53, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes; they can only advice as I quoted above: "http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Before_Licensing: The following list sets out some basic things that you should think about before you apply a Creative Commons license to your work. 1. Make sure your work is copyrightable. 2. Make sure you have the rights." I assume only judiciary can say whether he has rights to grant his rights. JKadavoor Jee 08:11, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I actually want that damn license revoked, as I have mentioned in my email to Jimbo. CC may be polite in their response, but it appears that they have also lost their morals. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 14:51, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Commons cannot 'revoke' your license. It is either legally valid, or it isn't. That is a matter of law, not something that Commons can decide for themselves. And if it isn't legally valid, you won't be able to comply with the Wikipedia/Commons terms - so you can't be permitted to contribute further. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:06, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, it looks like this is not really possible. I may be wrong, but it seems there are two possibilities: ither you never could have agreed to the license as a minor (and in this case we would be forced to bar all minors to contribute to Wikimedia projects: has WMF commented on this?) or, if it comes out that you could have legally consented to it, then you can't have it revoked. It's not a matter of morals, it is a matter of how it works. They cannot revoke anything, as far as I understand: CC has no control on the license of your picture. It is simply in the nature of the CC license that, when you upload something under it, you do something intrinsically irreversible. So even if your image is removed from Commons, it will be still, forever, a CC image, and if someone uses it on their website there's little you can do to avoid it. I'm sorry, but some things do not have an "undo" button. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:09, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I've never approved of CC licenses, and it was all a mistake. I'm not sure how many times I've gotta emphasise this, that mistakes can, and should be forgiven, especially for first times. Anyway, I have already mentioned to Jimbo in the email to just delete the images, revoked the licenses, so I can have a peace of mind to understand those licenses, before I decide whether or not to upload those images to Wikipedia again. If I upload them again, I guarantee that I cannot revoke those licenses again. Anyway Jimmy, could you delete those images ASAP and revoke the licenses ASAP? Thanks. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
On a side note, all my works are always All rights reserved. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
That is not a side note. It is an assertion that you are claiming rights incompatible with the CC licence. On that basis, unless you withdraw that claim immediately, I shall be starting a thread at WP:ANI asking that you be blocked indefinitely. I suspect that the blocking will be a formality. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I will be sleeping soon, so may not be able to continue talking about this until the next time I log on. Just to clarify, what I mean by that is wherever else I upload them. Here though, how I wish it's the same as well. Anyway, I did not know that the consequences of a CC license can be that serious. I simply can't believe how immoral people are. Just 1 simple mistake, it's so hard to forgive and forget just "because CC said so, so I have to dump my morals into the bin". ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:51, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Given that response, I can only assume that even after all this time you have failed to understand what the CC license entails. It applies everywhere. It is irrevocable. You cannot impose conditions on it, or limit where it applies. Anyway, I can see no point in arguing any more - your self-evident failure to understand the licensing conditions by which you are permitted to contribute to Wikipedia seems entirely sufficient grounds to ask that you be blocked, per WP:COMPETENCE. You have wasted far too much of far too many people's time, and I can see no reasonwhatsoever why you should be allowed to do so any further. Enough is enough. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:02, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
For this issue you have mentioned, I think the above thread is more suitable for discussing. ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:53, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
AK, it is not a matter of morals. It's the law. If someone uses your image, as long as they comply with the CC license you used, that someone can do that, legally, and there is nothing you can do about it. People can refrain to use your images, to respect you, but since you used a CC license, it is now simply impossible, legally, to force them to do so. That's what it means by "irrevocable". You have no more legal grounds beyond those of the CC license, on those images, ever. If you disagree with this, you have to convince countries to change copyright laws. Is it clearer now? -- cyclopiaspeak! 16:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
ATG, He may be (clear from the comment above) talking about his media files. He was already blocked on Commons. He already said he has no problem about his text contributions here (see above). Please give him more time to understand things. JKadavoor Jee 15:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I've never approved of CC licenses : You did when you uploaded them to Commons under a CC license. You specifically chose a license. You consented to it. You may have done it by mistake, but you did.
that mistakes can, and should be forgiven : It is not matter of "forgiveness", it is that, as far as can be seen, you did something irrevocable, legally speaking. Even if Commons erases all these images, this doesn't change their CC status. Commons can delete the images, but nobody can revoke the license. Not you, not me, not Creative Commons, not Jimbo. It is beyond them all. It is simply done. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:37, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
AK, Are you already contacted the office? If not, do mail to Philippe_(WMF) or info-en-c@wikimedia.org and wait patiently.JKadavoor Jee 15:40, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

One possible solution would be to overwrite the file with an image which says that there previously was an image which was under xyz licence but the uploader requested it no longer to be used on a wikimedia project. If anyone is using a copy of this file they can verify the licence status my sending their copy to ORTS and then revdel the others. Also ban the original uploader as a pre-requisite of such an action to be taken, unless a very good reason for a particular image can be given. Agathoclea (talk) 16:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Note. Given Arctic Kangaroo's self-evident failure to understand CC licensing, and attempts to claim the rights to limit it, I raised the matter at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User:Arctic Kangaroo (yet again). I think we've put up with this nonsense for long enough, and if AK is incapable of understanding it after all this time, this is one contributor we can manage well enough without. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:29, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

It’s a somewhat complicated issue that to date has not been directly addressed by the courts. The short answer is that it’s possible a court could find in favor of disaffirming (i.e. voiding) the license itself, but it’s not very likely that a minor could use it as a method of removing selected content. You are correct that a minor can make a contract and void that contract at any time before or within a reasonable time after reaching majority (subject to some statutory modifications). But under our Terms of Use, all users agree to license contributions under Creative Commons or GFDL. So in order to revoke the license under CC or GFDL, the minor would have to disaffirm the entire TOU. This is unlikely to occur, because California common law recognizes that it would be unfair to allow minors to void a contract while allowing them to reap the contractual benefits. If a user can’t give back the benefits, courts are disinclined to allow them to disaffirm. Because it’s difficult to give back the types of “benefits” derived from Wikimedia, such as education and international recognition/exposure or reputational benefits, the Terms of Use would likely stand and an attempt to revoke the license would be considered a breach of contract.

This discussion links to Wikilegal/Removal of photos of minors which is about photos of minors by minors -- and I think it should be deleted as a confusing mess that confuses licences and contracts and has the additional issue that the photo is also of the minor. The above text is better. In my mind, this seems to settle the matter. There is no legal basis for deletion. However, Commons, no matter how pissed off with AK's behaviour, should as a goodwill gesture, with no claim to set a precedent, choose to no longer host the handful of images, because it recognises this child made a mistake. Whether AK should be allowed to continue edit/upload on Wikipedia/Commons is a matter for another forum. -- Colin°Talk 19:46, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
When Dcoetzee ripped off the images from the NPG the NPG complained that he had broken their Terms of Use. The lawyers at the EFF, that the WMF provided for him, pointed out the case of Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp which basically says that unless a user has unambiguously agreed to the terms of use they are not enforceable. So we have a situation here where WMF lawyers are bullshitting knowing full well that they cannot hold anyone to the Terms of Use, particularly not a child: reprehensible behavior 1. Additionally encouraging stealing from a child is reprehensible behavior 2. John lilburne (talk) 20:20, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it is fair to describe the lawyer comment as "bullshitting". They are obliged to be dispassionate about these things, which can seem cold. We on the other hand, have no obligations whatsoever to host these images. I do think this whole thing means we should reconsider the upload form and upload wizard and any other (mobile phone, API) to ensure anyone uploading images to Commons/Wikipedia is fully aware of the consequences of their actions, and any contract they have entered into. Colin°Talk 20:36, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I would agree with that, I've long wondered how well those not intimately involved actually understand the licences they're agreeing to for their content. Somewhat unrelated but it's been a particular concern of mine when people request external parties to relicence their content. Nil Einne (talk) 21:02, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi everyone. I have been following this discussion and taking some time to think about this. Big picture, I believe that, in the end, this is a community issue, and the community should seek to find a non-legalistic solution which may take into account concepts outside the law - like forgiveness and second chances. That said, this decision rests within the community’s prerogative, not mine. So, with that as introduction, here are some high-level considerations:

  • Minors are important to the Wikimedia community and vice versa. There are fantastic learning opportunities in participating in the Wikimedia projects. Contributors gain knowledge through research, develop reasoning skills, and grow as individuals as they contribute to the wealth of publicly available information. One growth area is comprehension of free licensing, including its value in the promotion of one’s works. As I see it, our projects should welcome everyone - young and old. And, as minors benefit from international recognition and exposure of their work, they are also entrusted with the responsibility of complying with our terms and policies. Like all of us, they may make mistakes, and, as a community, we need appropriate tools and attitudes to educate and encourage their continued participation without sacrificing our framework principles.
  • I think most of you are aware of my often-repeated caveat: because of restraints under the legal code of ethics, I cannot give legal advice on the issues in this thread. I only represent WMF, and any legal dispute would be between the minor and a licensee. Only a lawyer for a party may give legal advice to that party. We are certainly sensitive to the unique nature of this case. And we support Jimmy’s gracious appeal to the common sense and understanding of the community. As s a technical legal matter, the law sometimes allows minors to revoke contracts in certain contexts but only under certain circumstances that vary by jurisdiction. They however cannot generally pick and choose to comply only with select terms in a contract. (See E.K.D. v. Facebook.) So, while we often sympathize with our users, they cannot use our site and not observe all of the ToU provisions. In other words, despite some colorful characterizations in this discussion of the position of the legal department [ :) ], to benefit from the publicity of our internationally popular website, minors who use our site need to honor their licensing obligations under the ToU.
  • Fortunately, this issue rarely comes up on our projects because the Wikimedia movement has selected a creative commons license that permits contributors, of any age, to freely license their work and also sell it for a profit to others, if they so desire. The CC FAQs specifically provide that an author can license a work under a free license and also sell it under the regular copyright regime (non-exclusively). Indeed, this cc license was designed “to encourage creators and rightsholders to experiment with new ways to promote and market their work.” The user can therefore promote his work by distributing it through the Wikimedia projects, which have around 500 million unique visitors per month, and then sell copies (non-exclusively). Again, this is not legal advice, but merely observations regarding the relevant cc license.
  • Finally, as I said at the beginning, in my opinion, this is ultimately a community decision. Though we can endlessly discuss legal nuances, we need a community solution here. My personal opinion - which the community may accept or reject - is that our communities need to show forgiveness and allow second chances in appropriate circumstances. Jimmy is absolutely right that the community can make exceptions to delete content for various reasons. Indeed, showing empathy and understanding is what makes us a community. In deciding to delete an image from a project, the community could take into account a number of factors, including the age of a contributor. And WMF would obviously not interfere with that decision.

Thanks for this opportunity. I so much appreciate the dedication of our volunteers in helping resolve tough issues on our projects in an appropriate and equitable way. Geoffbrigham (talk) 21:38, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your clear reply. Like the statement from Rubina Kwon above, it appears our discussion-focus on whether CC was irrevocable by a minor or whether CC is a contract or licence is a red herring and is anyway a legally untested issue. The point is our terms of use (contract) requires users not to seek to revoke their licence, so AK would be in breach of that contract. I do however, hope that the community will agree with your personal views on this matter. Colin°Talk 21:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
"The point is our terms of use (contract) requires users not to seek to revoke their licence". No. Absolutely not. The license cannot be revoked. It is AK's continued failure to grasp this point that is the problem, and the reason we cannot in good faith continue to let him/her contribute. Please do not confuse the issue by suggesting that s/he was in any way ever in a position to revoke anything. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You do realise that the link you provided to photographers "to encourage creators and rightsholders to experiment with new ways to promote and market their work.” is in reference to CC-NC? Regardless, the notion that photographers can use WP or Commons as a tool for promotion of their works is baseless and bankrupt. Heck, even top photographers are harassed for trying to promote their works: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Link_to_Facebook_account Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Geoff for your detailed reply. Saffron, the matter he provided in the Author field is perfectly OK for me as a pseudonym per http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode 4c.) JKadavoor Jee 04:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
All he needs to do is issue the hosting site (that's you at the WMF is not?) with a DMCA takedown. Then you (the WMF) can decide whether you are going to fight a child (with the attendant publicity) over whether you can enforce your Terms of Use, which you cannot show that he unambiguously agreed to, (in fact when he uploaded the work he said he didn't) or remove the content, which if the WMF office had any honour they would have already done. John lilburne (talk) 21:58, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
You are correct that sending a DMCA notification will get the works taken down. It will also probably get AK banned from the site for life. --Carnildo (talk) 00:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes I read the suggestion by John lilburne over a day ago when it was the latest (well lowest down) post to this thread. I was thinking of saying at the time but in the end didn't bother. Then the thread to ban AK came up and based on comments here and in that discussion, I misunderstood and thought AK had already taken that cause of action and voted to ban accordingly. It seems I was mistaken but my comments there that I've now struck out express my views on this. While it AK's right to issue any takedown request as allowed under the law, they should recognise that doing so may result in a indef ban from both en and commons (indef as long as the takedown notice is in effect or perhaps if the foundation decides to fight it which I think we all agreeing is unlikely pending the outcome of that process), similar to the way we handle other legal threats. Note as I said there, I personally, and I expect others, would support such a ban even though I would also suggest a removal of the images from commons as a once in a lifetime courtesy. It is unfortunate that people are suggesting this course of action without mentioning the possible outcome. Nil Einne (talk) 04:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
1) No one can ban him from here for life. 2) He is young way under 16, a child. If my child had been treated the way that this one has I wouldn't want him interacting here in such a toxic bullying environment. A simple request of his to have an image removed because he'd been badly advised at the outset has been turned, by grasping Commons bullies, into existential attack upon the entire site. John lilburne (talk) 06:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
We have just a claim he's underage but no verification of this claim so somewhat hard for a definitive decision what to do with his contributions. Images won't be deleted without a verifgication via OTRS, only then a deletion may be possible. I doubt images will be deleted if he's 16+ (or even 14+). --Denniss (talk) 06:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
[1] JKadavoor Jee 07:32, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
What we have here is the usual failure to get any sense of perspective. It is a handful of images, nearly all of which are either unused or replaceable from our stock [I found one butterfly and accompanying article that is here solely because of AK]. For example the particular butterfly that started this, is replaceable with File:AutumnLeaf20.jpg, which is just fine. For some things, I might want formal age verification, but asking it for this just makes us look ridiculous. This isn't the next Essjay controversy, nor is it the end of child-editing on WP/Commons, it is just a schoolkid who made a mistake with a few pictures. Do you seriously think this isn't a child -- that perhaps we're being taken for fools by some 30-year-old professional photographer who wants to make $$$$ from some butterfly pics? If that's the case, he's made a complete fool of himself online, and for the sake of a few pictures I'd rather be guilty of being gullible than of being a jerk. Colin°Talk 07:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The age of majority in the US is 18, and if a 17yo can return a damaged car and repudiate the purchase agreement, and that the dealer suck up the damage costs, then a 16 yo can request that a website deletes a butterfly photo. Its this grasping lack of common sense that makes wikipedians look like jerks whenever they open their mouths. John lilburne (talk) 08:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If that were true under US law than it would be stupid for any cardealer to make such a sale. Equally a ban on all under-age users should be called for here. I guess though that laws on minority are similarly graded as they are in other countries. Agathoclea (talk) 10:52, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Here Lemke seeks restitution of the value of the depreciation by virtue of the damage to the vehicle prior to disaffirmance. Such a recovery would require Halbman to return more than that remaining in his possession. It seeks compensatory value for that which he cannot return. Where there is misrepresentation by a minor or willful destruction of property, the vendor may be able to recover damages in tort. See, e.g., Kiefer v. Fred Howe Motors, Inc., supra; 42 Am. Jur.2d Infants sec. 105 (1969). But absent these factors, as in the present case, we believe that to require a disaffirming minor to make restitution for diminished value is, in effect, to bind the minor to a part of the obligation which by law he is privileged to avoid. See: Nelson v. Browning, supra at 875-76; Williston, supra, sec. 238, 39-41.

Indeed it is the law and I linked to it above. Additional case here. John lilburne (talk) 11:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
He's a child now. We can assume one day he will not be a child and may wish to contribute and his parents will have no say in the matter. The community is awfully forgiving but if he had gone done the DMCA route, there is no guarantee he ever would have been able to in the future particularly if he was unwillng to withdraw the DMCA request. The fact that he images were deleted is further evidence of the fallacy of this route, he could easily have compromised the possibilty of him ever contributing here again, even when he has matured due to some spectacularly bad advice to try and unnecessarily circumvent the community process via the route of using legl threats and fear and the knowledge the WMF is unlikely to want to fight such a case (and ironically no one even suggested he should get appropriate advice before submitting a request which may have legal implications for him). As for the behaviour, while I agree some people have been unnecessarily harsh in their responses, it goes both ways. Artic Kangaroo's responses who have been far more toxic bullying than most of those arguing against him, have undoutedly alienated many who supported him in some way and while it's easier to forgive him for it for his age, there are ultimately places where children and teenagers are not always treated with kids gloves and are expected to behave as we would expect mature editors to behave (not that adults always behave in such ways but everyone accepts they have no excuse), wikipedia and commons are two of them. For children and teenagers who can't handle that, they shouldn't be here, and if they do end up here, we can try our best to help them learn and treat them as best as can be expected considering the diversity of people expected in an encyclopaedia of this sort and if they can't adapt, we may be forced to blocked them but aren't ultimately responsible for them ending up here. Nil Einne (talk) 11:56, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

AK's files have now been deleted from Commons. Colin°Talk 12:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Sense at last. I predict that WP will not cease to be tomorrow. John lilburne (talk) 12:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh "common sense", the worthless shortcut of putting your gut feelings above logic and reasoning. Anyway. No, WP won't case to be tomorrow, but a very ugly, very dangerous precedent has been set. Now every contribution to WMF projects is in jeopardy, because hey, if AK had his contributions revoked, why shouldn't anyone else? -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Do you understand English? I don't mind my text contributions being CC-0. Absolutely fine. But my images are treasured, so I'm very fussy about it. Get it? ✉→Arctic Kangaroo←✎ 15:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I do understand English. What you do not understand is that what you "don't mind" or what you are "very fussy" about is irrelevant legally, and it should also be irrelevant here as a matter of policy. What happens when some next guy instead is "very fussy" about their text contributions? -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
That is always the danger when one relies on the work of children. But its not the child's fault that is the fault of whomever it is that is doing the relying. When the GNU and CC licenses was drawn up they most likely had no concept of children being the major contributors to some work. Most likely when Larry Sanger first proposed sourcing an encyclopaedia via a wiki, he wasn't thinking of children being the main contributors either. Once again that isn't the child's fault and the law has been in place since the 1200s. So if you don't like it get the law changed, or arrange things so that the site isn't dependent on children being misled into licensing content they had no intention of doing. John lilburne (talk) 17:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Though surely unintended, this might be misleading, as AK's uploads were not deleted out of courtesy, but as we had to consider them as never been validly licensed due to AK's ongoing not-understanding of CC licensing (similar to WP:CIR). --Túrelio (talk) 11:09, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Túrelio, you've got that completely backwards. AK's uploads were deleted as a courtesy -- in the sense that Commons freely chose to do so, recognising this was a child who made a mistake. The legal advice we got was they were validly licensed and that AK could not legally require us to remove them or change the terms. See deletion closing comments. Colin°Talk 13:13, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
As I was the one who finally pushed for these deletions[2], please don't you tell me my rationale, especially as it is open to read for everybody[3],[4]. --Túrelio (talk) 14:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The files were deleted by A. Savin with these closing words. Everyone can read them. I'm not telling you yourrationale because your rationale isn't worth repeating -- it is wrong, as clearly stated by legal council. Please just let others read the legal statements and closing words without adding your own misinterpretations. Colin°Talk 14:51, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Seems you didn't care to read Geoff's statement: I cannot give legal advice on the issues in this thread. --Túrelio (talk) 15:03, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
So you didn't see the "My personal opinion" part? Further, you didn't see this edit? JKadavoor Jee 15:20, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Túrelio, *sigh*. I read all of Geoff's statement. Of course he can't give advice that appears to be specific to that thread, that's something he legally can't do. But his general legal comment is quite easy to apply to our situation. The statement "as we had to consider them as never been validly licensed due to AK's ongoing not-understanding of CC licensing" is utterly utterly wrong. To say such after Geoff's statement must be making him shake his head and wonder why he bothered. And then there's also the personal opinion part, which is where he encourages us to consider a courtesy deletion, which we did. Please, rather than fight this, just find a friend to explain it to you. Colin°Talk 19:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Tut tut tut Colin. The one legal case that Geoff brought to the table was E.K.D. ex rel. Dawes v. Facebook, Inc. That case deals with whether a minor can pick and chose parts of a contract to disaffirm. They can't they have to disaffirm all of it which is what he did, he disaffirmed the entire contract. John lilburne (talk) 20:47, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
John, you appear to be conducting original research from the legal document, and not from what Geoff said. And AK has not "disaffirmed the entire contract". I'm really disappointed that despite clear wording from legal (both Geoff and Rkwon) and the clearest possible courtesy deletion, people continue to spread confusion here. I fail to see what purpose there is to that. If you remain confused about it, go ask a friend please. I'm glad that finally Commons has the beginnings of policy/guideline on courtesy deletions and that we can work on that rather than the mess that amateur lawyering and hard-nosed bullies have brought us. Colin°Talk 22:05, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
read carefully what he says, 1. minors can void contracts, 2. If they do they have to void it entirely, 3. You lot had better find a way to remove the images (call it a curtesy) before we have to wipe every trace of him from the site. 4. Capice! John lilburne (talk) 22:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Carefully then: JL: "minors can void contracts" GB: "the law sometimes allows minors to revoke contracts in certain contexts but only under certain circumstances that vary by jurisdiction". JL: "If they do they have to void it entirely" GB: "They however cannot generally pick and choose to comply only with select terms in a contract... they cannot use our site and not observe all of the ToU provisions...minors who use our site need to honor their licensing obligations under the ToU". Rkwon puts this another way "If a user can’t give back the benefits, courts are disinclined to allow them to disaffirm. Because it’s difficult to give back the types of “benefits” derived from Wikimedia, such as education and international recognition/exposure or reputational benefits, the Terms of Use would likely stand and an attempt to revoke the license would be considered a breach of contract." So your first statement is an over confident generalisation. The second is misleading because he can't "void it entirely" -- perhaps he could do this after agreeing to the ToU and before actually editing/uploading, but once he's benefited from the site, he can't decide to reject the few terms he doesn't like. And AK wants to continue editing so he certainly hasn't torn up the ToU. But what Geoff and Rkwon and Newyorkbrad (below) are saying is that some of this is untested in the courts, WP is a bit unusual, and the courts aren't really a desirable way of handling this: the community should have seen common sense long before anyone starts burning cash with legal teams, or issuing take-down notices (which would get them banned). It is only a few butterfly pictures. Let's move on. Colin°Talk 07:26, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Rkwon puts this another way "If a user can’t give back the benefits, courts are disinclined to allow them to disaffirm. Because it’s difficult to give back the types of “benefits” derived from Wikimedia, such as education and international recognition/exposure or reputational benefits You have to show these benefits are material. If someone can disaffirm a car purchase after having had the practical benefit of driving it about for a month or so, then they can certainly disaffirm a contract with WP on the tenuous grounds of exposure. They also need to be careful about claims the the WMF provide 'reputational benefits' as they say they are solely a hosting service. Presumably if the WMF are claiming responsibility for 'reputational benefits' for content uploaded then they also have responsibility for the uploaded content that is defamatory too. Except that they don't. In any case AK derives whatever international recognition/exposure or reputational benefits from the hosting of his material, the point here is that if all his material is removed then he has given back all the benefits that hosting provided. The nuclear option is for a minor to do that. The lawyers here 'know that' which is why they are saying you lot had better sort this out before it reaches that stage. Otherwise the WMF is going to end up arguing for the retention of a butterfly photo taken by a child. John lilburne (talk) 08:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
You are conducting original research on hypothetical things that AK hasn't even suggested he would do. This discussion is not just irrelevant it is over. Colin°Talk 09:46, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
When someone makes the claim Because it’s difficult to give back the types of “benefits” derived from Wikimedia, such as education and international recognition/exposure or reputational benefits it is neither original research to question whether such a claim is valid, nor is it original research to juxtapose those claims against well known rival claims by the same organization. John lilburne (talk) 10:40, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
And Jimmy, is this the way we treat a kid here? JKadavoor Jee 10:25, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I honestly lost my temper when I saw that. @AndyTheGrump:, what a disgraceful comment. Insulam Simia (talk) 20:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break: Perspective needed

It is time to regain a sense of perspective here. I'm an attorney myself, but the legal angle is often not the best starting point for framing a wiki discussion, and it certainly isn't here. If we are doing legal thought-experiments, the chances that the free nature of the Wiki(p/m)edia project(s) is going to be impaired by minors withdrawing their consent to licensing, are about the same as that odds the free-content English Wikipedia is going to collapse when editors or their heirs start to become entitled to assert their termination interests under the Copyright Act beginning in 2036.

To the extent a minor, or for that matter any other, editor wants to withdraw an isolated image from Commons or En-WP or any other project, or perhaps a short article that no one has touched, and the content is not irreplaceable without undue effort, we should accommodate the request as a courtesy. Of course, to the extent the contribution is textual and it has become embedded in an article, we need not accommodate a belated request to remove it. Relevant factors in evaluating any such request include the good faith of the request, the effect that allowing it would have on the content, and any other surrounding circumstances. I would consider reevaluating my views on this topic if it were shown that these requests are beseiging the projects and actually causing disruption, but no one has claimed that is the case.

Short of service of a formal DMCA notice, legal considerations such as capacity to contract will rarely, if ever, play a dominant role in this analysis. Indeed, although Geoff and Philippe have made good points, the entire legal discussion is fictive: Just because a court would not enforce a 17-year-old's contract to buy a house, does not mean it would not enforce his or her "contract" to allow some sentences to be included in an online encyclopedia.

The edge case, in which a 17-year-old writes The Great American Novel and naively uploads it to Wikisource before his agent finds out about it, is left as an exercise for the reader.

Whether Arctic Kangaroo should be allowed to continue editing and on what terms is a separate matter on which I make no comment here. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:38, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Glad to hear ArbCom is seriously discussing this matter than leaving him to the mouths of some disgraceful. JKadavoor Jee 04:44, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
This seems sensible and I have been wondering why a simply request of the uploader and author would not be treated with the same consideration as would be with text when a good faith request is made to delete an article that has few to no other contributions. As for the whether the editor should be allowed to edit here or not, that would seem to be a matter of out terms of service. What does it say about age requirement for registration?--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 04:54, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
It neither lists a minimum age nor a maximum age. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Newyorkbrad and note he is talking about "withdraw an isolated image from Commons" (in our case, it started with one and became a small handful). If a user got into a huff with WP/Commons and wanted to revoke hundreds of their contributed images, that would be a different game altogether. Doing a courtesy deletion will always be an ad hoc small-scale thing, and us doing it for one or a few images for one user does not compel us to doing it for hundreds, or for everyone who asks. Colin°Talk 07:36, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia may contain images and videos which can trigger epileptic seizures and other medical conditions.

VE usage drops 40% but severe bugs continue

Update: Monday sample 10% VE, down only 27%, weekend 20% lower (see below). -Wikid77 16:44, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

By 3 August 2013, the VisualEditor had finally dropped from 14% to only 8.2% of daily edits (in a sample of 2,000 3,000 edits), but the severe VE bugs (or problems) in August continued due to the complexity of handling intricate nested templates and improper markup already stored in pages. Edit-counts were compared as relative levels, to reduce the impacts of Saturday-editing patterns. Meanwhile, IP editing continued even-keel, at 27% of total edits, regardless of VE usage levels. Several people have reported total failure of VE edit-save during some medium to large-scale edits in VE, while some large pages fail to even parse/render when editing. Limits to the Parsoid parser still allow unclosed quotation marks, in older pages, to trigger unexpected duplications of nearby text in VE. Hence, the Parsoid interface will need to be hardened to withstand (and auto-recover) from invalid markup stored in older pages. That is a common and complex problem in computer science, to improve the "robustness" of software to recover from invalid data in prior files. Even computer languages have that problem, where a new compiler will reject prior source code which allowed minor bugs to exist in older software, but now flags the compilation as invalid syntax. So, VE not only needs to handle errors during user editing, but also recover from prior markup errors saved months ago in older pages (such as unclosed quotes: class="wikitable). Currently, when VE (or Parsoid) encounters prior invalid markup, then VE often inserts peculiar garbling of nearby text into the edited page. Another massive problem is with nested markup, or nested templates, for inserting a template call into each parameter of another template being inserted, as a recursive problem of VE-editing inside the parameter markup being added, while VE-editing the page. Then, there is the issue of keeping the user aware of the edit-level, of inserting a triple-nested template into a parameter of another double-nested template parameter, being added into the first template being inserted into the page. Such complex issues of multi-nesting and auto-recovery would likely require months to design, review, implement, test, and document in the software specs. Fortunately, 91.5% of editing continues to use the trusted wikitext editor. Update: The recent IP edits are 20% VE (down from 30% last week), and old/new username-based edits are 3% VE (formerly 9%), so VE usage is 67% lower for usernames, while IP VE edits are down 33%. -Wikid77 12:11/14:29, 3 August, 16:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

I think a big reason for this is the ongoing failure of the development team to get it to work on several versions of popular browsers. Further evidence the software was not and is not ready for full implementation. Its still breaking too many things when it is used. Kumioko (talk) 14:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Is there a way to tell which browsers and platforms are having more problems or user opt out rates than others from our end?--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Yeah sort of. Most of the problems are related to non IEbrowsers because IE is still blocked because they can't get the software to work with it. Once they get that fixed you can count on a lot more problems. So the bugs are actually being minimized for the moment because several of the most widely used browsers can't be used at all. Kumioko (talk) 20:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
That explains why I either don't use it or shut it off. I use IE and can't remember if it failed to work or I shut it off.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:00, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah its currently disabled for IE 8-10 and it will never work with anything less than 8 due to limitations in the browser. Kumioko (talk) 21:21, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • VE usage down by half, mirrors a passing fad: Because the VE-editor usage is down over 40%, in one week (sample of 3,000 edits on Saturday), the large drop-off resembles a passing fad, where the drop-off should exceed 60% within another week, with wikitext-editor usage rising to 94%, while VE drops below 5.6% (60% of 14%). It appears like, "Been there. Done that. No thank you". Meanwhile, many VE bugs seem to have been fixed (which should attract more editors), but severe problems remain, such as easy tampering with headings and one extra backspace will delete the entire infobox (without warning, which one user stated for reason to avoid VE). For energetic users making medium to large-scale edits, several experienced users have reported entire failure of VE edit-save, losing all tedious keystrokes as a colossal "waste" of their time. Even with later fixes, it might be "cry-wolf software" where few still believe the claims of fixes coming soon, and the taste of VE has soured for them. Again, the massive decline of nearly half of users, so quickly, seems to indicate many people merely losing interest, as if a passing fad which offered little benefit for long-term use. Many know the adage, "First impressions mean everything," so never release software with major bugs, or many users will lose confidence for later fixes and dread future usage. That is why we were ultra-careful to test the new Lua-based wp:CS1 cites in March 2013, before releasing the new Module:Citation/CS1 software to reformat 1 million affected pages as 2x-3x times faster. -Wikid77 16:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
    • "First impressions mean everything," - something I've never seen acknowledged by the WMF. --NeilN talk to me 16:57, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Monday 5 August sample had 10% VE, down only 27%: A similar sample of 5,500 edits across Monday, 5 August 2013, averaged 10.1% VE edits, compared to Saturday/Sunday levels of 8.3% which were 20% lower than Monday. The strong uptick in Monday's VE edits refutes any notion of free-fall rejection of VE, but rather confirms the somewhat reduced, but sustained, activity during the prior week. Among those 5,500 edits, half of 559 VE edits (49%) were by anon IP edits, which means IP users had double the levels of username-based VE edits, as half of total when overall IP edits are only 28% compared to 72% username-based edits. So, the pattern might be weekend edits would be 20% lower for VE, while weekday edits would resume higher VE-edit levels but only 10% of total, with wikitext edits holding 90% as old-style editing. -Wikid77 16:44, 5 August, 09:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

U.S. government is trying to edit Snowden's biography

Here's what happened:

  • This edit from a particular IP address changed the wording from "Edward Joseph Snowden is an American dissident" to "Edward Joseph Snowden is an American traitor"
  • Go to the IP's User_talk:156.33.241.5 page, and it says that "This IP address, 156.33.241.5, is registered to United States Senate and may be shared by multiple users of a government agency or facility."
  • For further confirmation, go to Special:Contributions/156.33.241.5 and click on "GEOLOCATE" and the IP will be traced back to the United States Senate.

By labelling Edward Snowden as a traitor, this IP is pushing a strong POV that clearly violates WP:BLP and was done without consensus from other Wikipedia users, but this is not entirely surprising given that the IP is from the government.

Of course, Im sure Wikipedia obviously welcomes editors who serve in the U. S. Senate. But, at the same time, Im concerned that many senators have already publicly voiced out some very strong opinions regarding Edward Snowden and it absolutely digusts me to learn they're coming over to Wikipedia to push a certain point of view.

And this is certainly not the first time it has happened: Wikipedia:Congressional_staffer_edits shows that government officials have had a long history of coming to Wikipedia to push a certain POV, especially those working at the United States Senate. -A1candidate (talk) 10:45, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

While it seems questionable that U.S. government facilities should be used to edit Wikipedia, it seems unlikely to me that only senators themselves have access to the web from such facilities. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
In that case, a rangeblock would be sensible, in order to protect the reputations of the senators from people who share their facilities. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 14:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)


  • Only 1 edit late on a Friday in D.C. In many U.S. Government offices, such as in Washington, D.C., visitors or family might enter offices near the end of the workday, depending on security clearances of visitors, and perhaps use someone's office desktop computer to edit WP. I have had several end-of-day visitors come to my offices in various U.S. cities, so it is common and when restricted, sometimes computer use is only caught afterward, reminding them it is not generally allowed. Undoing the computer access, to remove an edit, could be considered an even greater risk of unauthorized usage in "collusion" with a friend, so a one-edit update would likely slip past security procedures in outer offices. Even a well-meaning user might be in a hurry, as I have often edited with IP addresses at several hotels, when hurrying, especially worried I might forget to logout when rushing away from the computer. Anyway, D.C. is a politically-obsessed town, not planning the "annual strawberry festival" nor "Jazz fest" nor "fishing rodeo" nor championship playoff game, so even friends might come to an office with a political mindset to voice their politics on someone's computer at end-of-day. Instead, look for a pattern of many edits, at earlier hours of the day, as evidence of in-house activity. -Wikid77 14:29, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't block a range of IP's for one edit unless research shows there is history of abuse. I would protect that highly visible article so any changes have to be discussed. Kumioko (talk) 14:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
For me, the question is why could an IP edit the Snowden page to begin with? AutomaticStrikeout  ?  15:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Why not? Is the article experiencing heavy vandalism from logged-out editors? Or have we abandoned the whole "anyone can edit" thing? --108.38.191.162 (talk) 20:04, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I can't believe people bit on this bait. One minor edit is no reason for blocking, naming and shaming, or any other of the usual aggressive-borderline-psycho approaches to administration that are popular on Wikipedia. I happen to agree with the "dissident" interpretation, but in truth it is not much more POV to call him a "traitor" than to call him that, as you will find about as many Americans with either opinion. (Of course, "traitor" in respectable articles should be limited to those associated with treason in the formal sense, and other BLP technicalities such as charges and conviction apply) This kind of change is part of the natural give and take of Wikipedia and needs no further comment. Even looking up where the IP was is a kind of opposition research which should be restricted under a fair interpretation of WP:OUTING only to genuine administrative processes, not winning a content dispute. Wnt (talk) 16:28, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I often approach the administration on Wikipedia in an aggressive-borderline-psycho fashion; it helps to keep them on their toes. Aside from that, I feel the need to point out to you that WP:NPOV is not decided by what the American public thinks. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:32, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd be more interested to see the content of ip edits made from other geolocations. But I think this scenario may have been examined here before? Martinevans123 (talk) 16:48, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • While I personally am fine with the description of Snowden as a "dissident," it has been pointed out in a Wikipediocracy thread that the description "whistleblower" is more neutral. Carrite (talk) 17:27, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Actually, I think the most neutral approach is to not label him at all as he is not seen as a whistleblower by some. He is most widely described as a leaker, though I think it is simpler to say he leaked x information or was the leak for x information.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:09, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

This is certainly not the first time it has happened. WP:CONGRESS shows that government officials have had a long history of coming to Wikipedia to push a certain POV, especially those working at the United States Senate, and WP:CONGRESS says: "Further investigation by Wikipedia members discovered well over a thousand edits by IP addresses allocated to the US House of Representatives and U. S. Senate. These edits had, among others, added libelous statements, removed content with malice, added childish insults, and violated Wikipedia Policy." Which brings me to my point: This edit labelling Edward Snowden as a traitor is just the latest in a series of similar edits with heavy POV issues that borders on vandalism. Im just wondering if something needs to be done or should we let this go on? -A1candidate (talk) 18:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Schoolblocks are commonly used in situations similar to what you (and others) describe. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 18:48, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Malice aforethought? Maybe a range block would lead to a very rapid "cure"? But as with many ip edits from institutions and corporations, it may be more enlightening to see the true colours of those who work there? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:05, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I hate to pour cold water on the persecution complex of some people, but it's massively more likely that the edit is from some bored Congressional page than an organized government propaganda campaign. --108.38.191.162 (talk)

Dear IP, the issue at hand is this: Why do government employees have so much time to edit Wikipedia in the first place?. Shouldn't they have more important things to do like making good on their promises and ensuring welfare for the average citizen? Obviously, there's nothing wrong for them to edit Wikipedia, especially when its done in private.
If you're not familiar with the concept of U.S. congressional pages, did you follow the link I helpfully provided? They're teenagers who do it as a short-term job, generally to get experience in the workings of U.S. government. Several of my classmates at U.S. public school did it. And do you really think every person associated with Congress in any way (which includes U.S. Capitol police, janitors, receptionists, tour guides, etc. etc.) spends every second of their on-the-job time doing nothing but working with laser-like focus on their tasks? Ever heard of "down time" or lunch breaks?
Basically my point is this is all a ridiculous overreaction. I understand a lot of people here have strong feelings about the U.S. government (hey, so do I!) but trying to turn a single edit from some random person with access to the Congressional LAN into some grand scandal is just going to make you look like a bunch of ridiculous zealots. Where are the multiple talk page and noticeboard threads when some anonymous person editing from Anytown, U.S.A. High School makes a single edit to the school's article changing "Principal John Doe has received two awards from..." to "Principal John Doe has received two thumbs down from..."?
And do you really think a disinformation campaign by the U.S. government would be that inept? "Hey, let's fire up the Senate computers and go perform some obvious vandalism on Wikipedia articles!" Come on, give them at least a little credit. Do you really think it would be difficult for some three-letter agency to buy access to a few dozen remote systems in various spots around the world and use them to insert benign-looking falsehoods into articles? --108.38.191.162 (talk) 21:31, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
People have lunchbreaks, and even when not on break aren't being productive all the time. Does it matter if instead of chatting by the watercooler, employees are editing wikipedia? -mattbuck (Talk) 09:58, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
But I dont think they should be doing it at a governmental institution. Not to mention that a significant portion of edits coming from governmental IP addresses repeatedly violate WP's policy, I feel that this is happening more often than normal IP addresses. -A1candidate (talk) 20:56, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I have big reservations about a "whistleblower" who hides in China and Russia and asks Cuba and Venezuela for an asylum. 76.126.140.123 (talk) 20:19, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, a lifetime in jail ain't so bad, is it. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:26, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid the American Indians could find the link you used in your comment offensive, and I think an American jail is a better choice than Cuba. Besides a real whistleblower should not be afraid of the American justice system. It is much more transparent and much more fairer than Wikipedia's justice.76.126.140.123 (talk) 21:16, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I'm afraid they might. Having tried neither of the three, it's hard to judge. But a package deal is available, I hear. You're quite right about "Wiki-justice" of course, normally opaque, but may become temporarily transparent when things get really frosty. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Someone from a federal building added some POV content/borderline vandalism to an article. Federal employees and politicians are people too, with the same flaws as everyone else, and can violate wikipedia policy like everyone else. I don't think there is much to discuss here, IRWolfie- (talk) 23:38, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Like I said, a schoolblock is appropriate if needed. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:13, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
In case it isn't obvious, I think that blocking 535 congressmen, plus a retinue of, I dunno, two, five people each, plus visitors ... over one small edit, and ancient history ... would be more than absurd. It sounds like some people want to report a gag news story if they have to farm it themselves. The whole WP:Congress thing seems like it goes beyond what is allowed by WP:OUTING. We're not here to punish people for editing while being Congressmen. Wnt (talk) 02:24, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Without knowing who used those IP addresses, whether congressional staffers or perhaps end-of-day visitors, then there is no way to conclude the U.S. Congress, per se, has a pattern of WP editing. -Wikid77 16:44, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
  • As far as the content is concerned that was changed, couldn't we mention in the first paragraph of the lead that he is considered "all of the above" as far as dissident, traitor, etc (whistleblower I believe is a legal term, I know as a business owner one of my employees would have to meet certain legal requirements to be considered a whistleblower, namely that they were reporting me for doing something illegal). I'm sure we could find many sources which call Mr. Snowden each those things, thereby meeting our sourcing requirements and BLP rules.Camelbinky (talk) 19:25, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
At any rate, until Snowden is tried and found guilty of being a traitor, no one, not even our Congressmen or Senators or our President, should be allowed to call him a "traitor". Who knows what the future holds? He may wind up being held as an American hero, remember Daniel Ellsberg? Also Boyce and Lee did much worse, revealing our codes during wartime.(Mugginsx (talk) 14:31, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Can we please get readership statistics for Congress, the White House, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Supreme Court? 70.59.30.138 (talk) 02:34, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks!!!!!! For calling out Cameron

Much appreciated. Though IMHO this article missed the most ridiculous part of his proposal, a ban on "simulated rape porn". The problem with that is that people would be sent to jail for three years based on the frame of mind of a fictional character in a movie and perhaps associate books and author commentary - after all, the actor is a consenting adult, and the audience knows that. Wnt (talk) 00:48, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Just FYI, on that subject: simulated child pornography is already outlawed in many jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. Robofish (talk) 02:27, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Without condoning those laws, I should note the important difference that fairly often (but never always) the viewer of legal porn can tell that a photo is not simulated child porn. But an average person who goes onto Bing and requests uncensored photos of an actress cannot be sure, looking at a still screen capture, that she was not playing a role in a movie where she was supposedly being raped. This would ideally position the law, in conjunction with a mandatory filter that records all images viewed, for use in prosecutorial terrorism. The political consent for prosecuting all porn viewers can't be manufactured, but the message can be sent that any of them could at any time find himself being cast as a would-be rapist and sent to jail. Wnt (talk) 04:12, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually the law change would probably make things simpler for viewers. I haven't read the law in detail but it seems unlikely that non pornographic rape scenes from movies would be caught up by the ban any more then someone viewing a non pornographic scene from a movie of a child being raped would be. Nor would they be caught up by a scene from the movie where the depiction of rape was unclear anymore then they would be caught up by a scene from a movie of simulated child porn where the depiction of a child or the depiction of rape/sex or anything else covered by the law. Of course there would be some gray area but there will always be so e.g. our article mentions some for the simulated child porn laws, such as how to decide if the depiction is actually of a child. (Some countries like NZ, possibly parts of the US and a bunch of non common law countries already have bans on simulated rape porn.) However at the moment, where rape porn is banned but simulated rape porn is not, it would seem very easy for a person to falsely believe the rape porn they are viewing is simulated and so be caught up by the law. This is not to say I agree with the proposed law, I don't have a clear opinion instead I'm simply pointing out the flaws in your argument about the problems with plan to ban simulated rape porn. Nil Einne (talk) 14:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The problem with that argument is that apparently there is very little if any real rape porn - here investigators went through clips and found only one they couldn't determine wasn't fake because it was of foreign origin. Of course, that can change! Reportedly there is a $4 billion market in abducting and raping children to produce lucrative black-market videos, and presumably the potential demand for videos appealing to creeps who are not pedophiles is much larger. If everyone making or watching simulated rape videos faced a prison sentence, the ability of the law to prevent people involved from making actual rape footage would be much reduced. So I think that a law like this has the potential to create a new kind of rape, serving a large new organized crime racket. Once such a marketplace is formed, it will be difficult to wipe out even with a repeal of the law -- nor will the people who passed such a law consider the possibility of repeal so long as the problem keeps getting worse. The prospect of being abducted to be used in a rape movie will simply become a new danger that women have to live with, year after year, century after century, as one of the routine ritual sacrifices people make to morality in law. Wnt (talk) 15:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
(Personal attack removed) Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:25, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Wnt makes excllent points, and you, sir, are one of those visibly defending the utterly indefensible. 71.127.134.180 (talk) 17:30, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
If Wnt does, indeed, make excellent points, then I'm going to have to assume that must be in his day job on the production line at a darts manufacturer. I've seen no evidence of that here. In general, I believe the material Wnt posts is about as far removed from a good point as I've seen on this page. I'm sure he's a lovely person, but reality and his theories are seldom comfortable bedfellows. Begoontalk 17:57, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Wnt had made similar points about drugs policies 30 years ago, predicting civil war like circumstances in Mexico. That was dismissed at the time as total baloney. Count Iblis (talk) 18:09, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess prophets are just never recognised in their own time, huh? Or something... Face-smile.svg Begoontalk 18:14, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I understand that carbuncle sees law against obscenity as a tool he can use to track and stop real criminals who do seriously terrible things. However, I honestly believe that the legality of "simulated rape" content is the better way to expose and to prevent crime. I assume that there are, or could be, plenty of amateur and professional investigators who watch the "rape porn" sites and look for any comment that suggests probable cause to investigate a rape. I don't think that driving the phenomenon underground would make their real task - preventing rape - any easier: they might take part in more convictions overall, but if you exclude the casual onlookers and the people who involved only to make money from an underground film, fewer of the original rapists would be caught, and more would be out committing crimes.
Though I did accept legalization about 30 years ago, I actually never predicted the devastation in Mexico - I always assumed air, sea, and Canadian entry would predominate if violence approached such a level. I still don't understand it, unless I suppose that the cartels continually use political pull to see that the other options are more heavily patrolled to prevent competitors from taking root. Wnt (talk) 20:00, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I just hope nobody dismisses your clarification as "total baloney" completely out of hand. That would be terribly unfair. They should at least read it first. I tried. Begoontalk 20:06, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Wnt, please don't make statements about what you think my views are on any subject. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:36, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I've read that movie directors won't get jailed, what matters is if you can show that you are making a regular movie for the usual audience or if you are going to make a movie that is going to end up on youtube which will be viewed by many adolescents and may then pervert their views on what is normal sex. Now, I don't agree with laws like this, but this is how it is supposed to work. Count Iblis (talk) 12:49, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually there is a way to stop or at least reduce the Internet porn, and it is a great news! It will be interesting to find out if the man is a Wikipedian.71.198.213.113 (talk) 00:24, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
With all sorts of applications - for example, a hacker could make a simple application to send a duplicate of the incriminating data to SAIC which would be sent by anyone running that version of Firefox who browses to a right-wing article making the rounds on Twitter, say. But yes, this seems intended, together with the Paypal/VISA crackdown on VPNs, to ban the obvious solutions to Cameron's ban - and since these are American companies, that means that people in the U.S. need to be on notice that this appears to be part of a global strategy. We cannot simply point at Britain and laugh at their unconstitutional backwardness; that is incredibly shortsighted. People also need to understand that child pornography is selected as the beginning of censorship, not the end of it. Britain's expansion of the IWF "black box" system, ostensibly directed only at child porn, to censor all sorts of content is only the latest of many such instances. Wnt (talk) 03:53, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
And videos of real beheadings will always remain legal to upload and view on the internet. There isn't anywhere near the concern that 5 year olds can view such extremely violent videos as there is about 16 year olds viewing porn. Count Iblis (talk) 13:44, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Wealthfront marketing

Happy birthday Jimbo!

Here's a cookie for your very special day! (it's already the 7th in the Philippines) Hope you have many more years to come in encouraging free knowledge around the world. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:23, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Socialtext

Except the Infobox of your bio states you do.71.202.122.179 (talk) 15:56, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out that error. I've fixed it. DoctorKubla (talk) 16:28, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

VE usage drops 40% but severe bugs continue

Update: Monday sample 10% VE, down only 27%, weekend 20% lower (see below). -Wikid77 16:44, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

By 3 August 2013, the VisualEditor had finally dropped from 14% to only 8.2% of daily edits (in a sample of 2,000 3,000 edits), but the severe VE bugs (or problems) in August continued due to the complexity of handling intricate nested templates and improper markup already stored in pages. Edit-counts were compared as relative levels, to reduce the impacts of Saturday-editing patterns. Meanwhile, IP editing continued even-keel, at 27% of total edits, regardless of VE usage levels. Several people have reported total failure of VE edit-save during some medium to large-scale edits in VE, while some large pages fail to even parse/render when editing. Limits to the Parsoid parser still allow unclosed quotation marks, in older pages, to trigger unexpected duplications of nearby text in VE. Hence, the Parsoid interface will need to be hardened to withstand (and auto-recover) from invalid markup stored in older pages. That is a common and complex problem in computer science, to improve the "robustness" of software to recover from invalid data in prior files. Even computer languages have that problem, where a new compiler will reject prior source code which allowed minor bugs to exist in older software, but now flags the compilation as invalid syntax. So, VE not only needs to handle errors during user editing, but also recover from prior markup errors saved months ago in older pages (such as unclosed quotes: class="wikitable). Currently, when VE (or Parsoid) encounters prior invalid markup, then VE often inserts peculiar garbling of nearby text into the edited page. Another massive problem is with nested markup, or nested templates, for inserting a template call into each parameter of another template being inserted, as a recursive problem of VE-editing inside the parameter markup being added, while VE-editing the page. Then, there is the issue of keeping the user aware of the edit-level, of inserting a triple-nested template into a parameter of another double-nested template parameter, being added into the first template being inserted into the page. Such complex issues of multi-nesting and auto-recovery would likely require months to design, review, implement, test, and document in the software specs. Fortunately, 91.5% of editing continues to use the trusted wikitext editor. Update: The recent IP edits are 20% VE (down from 30% last week), and old/new username-based edits are 3% VE (formerly 9%), so VE usage is 67% lower for usernames, while IP VE edits are down 33%. -Wikid77 12:11/14:29, 3 August, 16:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

I think a big reason for this is the ongoing failure of the development team to get it to work on several versions of popular browsers. Further evidence the software was not and is not ready for full implementation. Its still breaking too many things when it is used. Kumioko (talk) 14:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Is there a way to tell which browsers and platforms are having more problems or user opt out rates than others from our end?--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Yeah sort of. Most of the problems are related to non IEbrowsers because IE is still blocked because they can't get the software to work with it. Once they get that fixed you can count on a lot more problems. So the bugs are actually being minimized for the moment because several of the most widely used browsers can't be used at all. Kumioko (talk) 20:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
That explains why I either don't use it or shut it off. I use IE and can't remember if it failed to work or I shut it off.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:00, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah its currently disabled for IE 8-10 and it will never work with anything less than 8 due to limitations in the browser. Kumioko (talk) 21:21, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • VE usage down by half, mirrors a passing fad: Because the VE-editor usage is down over 40%, in one week (sample of 3,000 edits on Saturday), the large drop-off resembles a passing fad, where the drop-off should exceed 60% within another week, with wikitext-editor usage rising to 94%, while VE drops below 5.6% (60% of 14%). It appears like, "Been there. Done that. No thank you". Meanwhile, many VE bugs seem to have been fixed (which should attract more editors), but severe problems remain, such as easy tampering with headings and one extra backspace will delete the entire infobox (without warning, which one user stated for reason to avoid VE). For energetic users making medium to large-scale edits, several experienced users have reported entire failure of VE edit-save, losing all tedious keystrokes as a colossal "waste" of their time. Even with later fixes, it might be "cry-wolf software" where few still believe the claims of fixes coming soon, and the taste of VE has soured for them. Again, the massive decline of nearly half of users, so quickly, seems to indicate many people merely losing interest, as if a passing fad which offered little benefit for long-term use. Many know the adage, "First impressions mean everything," so never release software with major bugs, or many users will lose confidence for later fixes and dread future usage. That is why we were ultra-careful to test the new Lua-based wp:CS1 cites in March 2013, before releasing the new Module:Citation/CS1 software to reformat 1 million affected pages as 2x-3x times faster. -Wikid77 16:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
    • "First impressions mean everything," - something I've never seen acknowledged by the WMF. --NeilN talk to me 16:57, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Monday 5 August sample had 10% VE, down only 27%: A similar sample of 5,500 edits across Monday, 5 August 2013, averaged 10.1% VE edits, compared to Saturday/Sunday levels of 8.3% which were 20% lower than Monday. The strong uptick in Monday's VE edits refutes any notion of free-fall rejection of VE, but rather confirms the somewhat reduced, but sustained, activity during the prior week. Among those 5,500 edits, half of 559 VE edits (49%) were by anon IP edits, which means IP users had double the levels of username-based VE edits, as half of total when overall IP edits are only 28% compared to 72% username-based edits. So, the pattern might be weekend edits would be 20% lower for VE, while weekday edits would resume higher VE-edit levels but only 10% of total, with wikitext edits holding 90% as old-style editing. -Wikid77 16:44, 5 August, 09:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Tuesday/Wednesday samples had 9% VE, down 35%: (edit conflict) Similar samples of 7,000-8,000 edits across Tuesday and Wednesday, 6-7 August 2013, averaged 9% VE edits, compared to Saturday/Sunday levels of 8.3% which were 20% lower than Monday. The strong weekly VE edits further refute any notion of free-fall rejection of VE. Among 7,200 edits sampled Tuesday, over half of 631 VE edits (382=60%) were by anon IP edits, and on Wednesday half of 736 VE edits (398=54%) were IP edits, as half of total when the overall IP edits are only 28% compared to 72% username-based edits. -Wikid77 15:48, 7 August, 17:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Thurday/Friday samples had 9% VE, half in IP edits: Similar samples of 5,000-6,000 edits across 8-9 August 2013, also averaged 9% VE edits, where IP edits were half of VE edits, but overall IP edits were 28% of all daily edits. For 9 August, a sample of 6,065 edits logged 539 VE edits, with 271 (50.2%) as IP-based VE edits. -Wikid77 23:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Paris

Last month I promoted Paris to GA. It previously looked like User:Dr. Blofeld/Paris April 2013. As you can see the sourcing was diabolical, poorly sourced, most sources being dead links and shoddy websites, completely overhauled with book sources. I and several others added a wealth of new material including information on the media, healthcare, fashion, music and cuisine etc. I felt it necessary to condense the overly long Demographics and Administration sections to balance out the article. My version of the article is endorsed by some of the experienced editors on here, including User:Tim riley and User:Schodringer's Cat who have produced dozens of GAs and FAs, but a small group of disgruntled editors from the wiki Jurassic period have since crawled out of the woodwork with nothing but unpleasant comments on the changes I've made to "their" article. It's a classic case of WP:OWN and one of the former editors is making a proposal to completely revert my additions and sourcing back to the April version. They also think the lead was better back in April and don't understand that the lead is supposed to summarize a full article. I'd greatly appreciate some input from some of the more experienced individuals here as to whether their proposals are justified or not. I'm not canvassing for support, I'm simply asking some decent editors who watch Jimmy's page compare the article versions and to comment on the issue at Talk:Paris.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 11:40, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Beware resistance when improving major articles: Many of us have met severe resistance trying to improve major articles, and I estimate to expect work "100x times" slower than rewriting minor articles, for summary, sources, and wider coverage. That is why I favored the "Concise WP" or at least, the wp:micropages where "Paris (micro)" could be the rapid, easier rewrite, as a condensed summary of "Top 30 things to know about Paris". Expect to write 100 micropages faster than haggle over a single major article: "Wikipedia is 10% information and 90% deformation". Unfortunately, I have also met wide resistance in changing the major articles, so it is frustrating to think: "The major articles are read most, but 100x times harder to rewrite for quality" (due to conflicts). This is just "life in the big city" having to handle bureaucratic bottlenecks, so perhaps try to rewrite the subarticles of Paris, instead, with less of the 100x-slower resistance to major improvements. I hope many of us can assist in supporting the rewrite of "Paris" but there is no guarantee weeks of debate would not be futile. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Ditto. Ive been asked to rework Mexico City but I wont touch it for the reasons stated. I have no patience to fight with all the people who would resist having their two cents taken out, no matter how good the rewrite happen to be. This is one major reason I think we should have protection for GA and FA status pages. Then it would be worth the effort to tackle major articles.Thelmadatter (talk) 02:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps rewrite neighborhoods or subarticles as in "Search engine": I was thinking it might be easier to write "Neighborhoods in Mexico City" or the major areas. Several years ago, the page "Search engine" became a trampled sandbox about whatever engines-with-searching, and subarticle "Web search engine" was then expanded as the sourced page about computer search-engine features and history. Eventually, page "Search engine" (containing nonsense) was reset to redirect to "Web search engine" years later. For Mexico, look at the readership levels in stats.grok.se and fix related articles which are read nearly as much as Mexico City (views 4,000/day). Half of readers come via Google, so there is no need to explicitly link inside a trampled page. -Wikid77 09:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I have worked on most of the articles related to the city's boroughs such as Cuauhtémoc, D.F. and notable neighborhoods like Colonia Doctores (both were my apartment is! but give me a heads up on my talk page before you come over :D) I think, however, many prefer to say they contributed something to an article that everyone knows and gets 4,000 hits a day rather than a more obscure article. I think its a case of "too many cooks" and I dont think that will change until we modify the meaning of "everyone can edit" more away from anyone on ANY page (we already limit that with controversial articles). I see no problem with limitations such as protected page or proposed changes on articles that achieve a certain level of quality as ranked by the community.Thelmadatter (talk) 15:57, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • A proposed-changes gate does seem workable: (edit conflict) There were some months when old article "Search engine" was still balanced, but later rampant changes turned it into nonsense, and few people wanted to rewrite the continual chaos and removal of computer-related search topics. Honestly, the twisted views of engines-which-search were so unusual, I cannot even remember what they were saying beyond Web searches. Instead, a proposed-changes gate could deter the landslide of rambling edits which often overwhelm editors trying to focus on basic aspects of a topic like Mexico City. Meanwhile, also consider writing new subarticles, or translate districts of a city, rather than fight over a city article. For example, with Vienna, the city district articles, such as "Favoriten" or "Margareten" or "Wieden" or "Alsergrund" or "Mariahilf" get 20-40 pageviews per day, compared to 4,500 views for "Vienna". -Wikid77 16:07, 7 August, 17:20, 8 August, 23:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Feedback on Visual Editor

Did you forget us? http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=prev&oldid=566303654

Did you forget us? (talk) 15:10, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Actions of Wikia WYSIWYG editor are different: Many did not know Wikia had a different WYSIWYG text editor (compared to VE), and expected a fast, simple, interface with the VisualEditor to instantly accept "[[link]]" and show "link" but VE refuses. Instead, some users have noted how the Wikia interface will accept markup directly into the page, and quickly toggle (switch back) between the WYSIWYG and markup editing modes (without losing data, imagine that). Recently, users have complained that VE is very slow (crawls with large pages), and I have wondered if a Java applet should be used to quicken the VE interface for many operations, or if JavaScript-only is the best design. They are saying huge JavaScript interfaces tend to be slow, unless on mega-fast computers. Some people suggested to hire Wikia as consultant, but would Wikia people reveal their software secrets(?), knowing clever fixes to the MediaWiki software would be exposed to public inspection. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:38, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Indeed; I have no idea why the VE team doesn't want to accept typed wikitext for backwards compatibility. Pinging @Eloquence: and @Jdforrester: in hopes they may explain. 70.59.30.138 (talk) 02:29, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Can we get some kind of answer? You promised to come back on July 30 and give us an answer. It's been a week. Did you forget us? (talk) 13:51, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

VE plans were misunderstood last week: A major part of the difficulty has been the complex structure and design plans for VE, whereas last week, people imagined a quick upgrade to allow "[[link]]" and show "link" but VE treats some wikitext as a fatal warning to block the Save of the page. Numerous users have complained that VE is extremely slow as a JavaScript implementation, claiming almost "unusable" on their relatively fast computers, and that is another issue which compounds improvements, especially if new features would be even slower. Hence, it is not easy to comment about VE's future. -Wikid77 (talk) 09:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm at the board meeting getting a download from Erik about the current state of play. Will be better poised to talk about it by Monday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:03, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I have no doubt that the discussion will containing wording to the effect of "Visual editor is doing great, life is great and those who say to the contrary are just being dramatic."Kumioko (talk) 14:40, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Any update on when your thoughts will be available? Did you forget us? (talk) 02:18, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Just saw your note. Did you forget us? (talk) 02:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, "Monday" refers to 12 August 2013, after Wikimania 2013 discussions. So more then. -Wikid77 17:20, 8 August, 23:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

VisualEditor newsletter for 06 August 2013

It's been almost two weeks since the last newsletter, and a lot of improvements have been made during that time. The main things that people have noticed are significant improvements to speed for typing into long pages (bug 52012http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52012), scrolling (bug 52014http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52014) and deleting (bug 52013http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52013) on large pages. There have also been improvements to references, with the latest being support for list-defined references, which are <ref>s defined inside a <references> block (bug 51741http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=51741). Users of Opera 12 and higher have had their web browser removed from the browser black-list, mostly as a result of work by a volunteer developer (bug 36000http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=36000). Opera has not been fully white-listed yet, so these users will get an additional warning and request to report problems.

Significant changes were made to the user interface to de-emphasize VisualEditor. This has cut the use of VisualEditor by approximately one-third. You can read about these at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Updates/August 1, 2013, but they include:

  • Re-ordering links to the editors to put "Edit source" first and VisualEditor second
  • Renaming the link for VisualEditor to "Editbeta"
  • Disabling the animation for section editing.
  • Changing all labels for the classic wikitext editor to say "Edit source", regardless of namespace.

There have also been many smaller fixes, including these:

Most of the Wikimedia Foundation staff is traveling this week and next, so no updates are expected until at least August 15th. If you're going to be in Hong Kong for Wikimania 2013, say hello to James Forrester, Philippe Beaudette, and the other members of the VisualEditor team.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions, or if you encounter problems, please let everyone know by posting problem reports at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback and ideas at Wikipedia talk:VisualEditor. Thank you! Whatamidoing (WMF) 23:31, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Independent samples confirm VE use 9%, down 35% from last week: (edit conflict) In daily samples of 4000-8000 edits (on each of 5 days), I have confirmed VE usage as 9% of edits, down 35% since last week, but I won't say it was because of link "[Editbeta]" rather than editors losing interest in VE. About half of VE usage was by IP edits, rather than username-based edits, while IP edits are only 27%-28% of total daily edits this week. -Wikid77 15:48, 7 August, 17:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Todays articles for improvement on the main page

Hey Jimbo, Amadscientist here. Just had my user name changed so I wanted to be sure and state my old username. I have been avoiding asking for yours and other's opinion on this because I don't like asking about something that I lack such an understanding on, but then....isn't that why we ask questions to begin with?

TAFI went before the community to decide whether or not to put it on the main page. There was a very extensive Village pump discussion. The consensus of the general community was that TAFI should be implemented on the main page. However , it was removed after only a very short period. In the spirit and letter of a local consensus not overriding the larger community consensus, I ask that TAFI be returned to the main page. I was wondering If you might have a minute or two...or an hour or two, to look into what I see as a bit of a mess.

I didn't start TAFI and I am not as involved as I probably should be, but frankly why would anyone care anymore about getting involved in such collaborative efforts if they can be dismissed by a single editor or few editors that control content away from the rest of the community.

I get so frustrated seeing Wikipedia's Facebook page continue to bring up TAFI constantly, as a reminder to me, even off Wiki, how ridiculous this situation has become. What do I or others need to do to get TAFI back on the main page?--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 07:54, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Why don't you propose an experiment to see if there are some kinds of articles more likely to get editor participation when they are listed on the front page than others? The data you need is already in the editing logs from the time that TAFI was on the front page. Which articles had them largest number of edits (and editors) while they were on the Main Page? If you post the top ten in all four categories, then people might have hypotheses, and if they do, you will have grounds to run a confirmatory experiment by listing the two articles you think will garner the most and least participation from Main Page viewers. I'm sure the admin who took TAFI off the Main Page will be willing to help test such hypotheses. Would you please ask then? 67.165.224.185 (talk) 22:18, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
This was very helpful. This is something to look deeper into. Thank you.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:49, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Google and Facebook links might exceed Main_page impact: (edit conflict) We see half of many article pageviews come via Google, and U.S. interest in Facebook remains strong, so that might be more important. Because Main_page is so large perhaps few people read much of it. -Wikid77 15:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Today's articles for improvement/Archive 5#Failure. The main page implementation of TAFI was ineffective at bringing in new editors, and the box itself was not being updated. Community consensus was for a trial, and that trial failed. Resolute 15:57, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Now link where this was a consensus for a trial, how it is determined that it was a failure...because for that reason the main page is a failure and should be deleted. Seriously, what good is it except to allow a handful of editors the right to really have power and authority. Who are these main page editors and why is the main page not subject to the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia? I think it may be time for the community to decide whether the main page has been effective at all. Wikid77 is correct. The main page gets less views than the Wikipedia Facebook page. Delete the main page. It is truly a failure that can be demonstrated.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 19:56, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
When you're finished arguing in logical fallacies and wish to make a serious counter, let me know. Resolute 22:32, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I tell you what. Please feel free to ignore this thread if your input is restricted to such inaccurate statements. The main page is a huge failure. It creates a segregated tier of participants who have the authority and power to make unilateral decisions. If, on the other hand you would actually like to discuss this as others have...in good faith, I am willing to as well. If not, your sarcasm is noted as being your only form of collaboration here. Thanks.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:48, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Birth name of a porn actress

This topic is up for a new round of discussion. Would you care to weigh in? David in DC (talk) 11:20, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Never mind. :) David in DC (talk) 21:09, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

E-mail service Lavabit shut down, Snowden involvement suspected

This is important and has implications for Wikipedia, since its servers are based in Virginia. Lavabit founder Ladar Levison commented "This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:42, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, there goes my Nth free email account. The good news is that cooltoad.com is no longer giving me warnings of virus infestation... whether that means they went along with the sort of people known to be hacking sites recently is another question. Wnt (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
This was one of the services listed in a Salon article about "avoiding PRISM" two months ago; which gives us others to keep an eye on.[7] Wnt (talk) 11:46, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
As a side note to this (and thanks to both of you for sharing information about it here) I wanted to point out that there appears to be nothing specifically Virginia-related about this particular case. What I mean is: the legal situation would be very much the same in every part of the US.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:12, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback#Visual_Editor

I apologise for this, but I wish to retract a lot of comments I made about VisualEditor, and, as I said them widely, I want to make people widely aware of my retraction. Thank you for your time. Adam Cuerden (talk) 15:31, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

We've always been at war with Eastasia! Tarc (talk) 15:36, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Nah. I just feel stupid. I understand programming enough that, once I knew how VE was implemented, a lot of strange things about it that seemed capricious and arbitrary became decent temporary solutions that could be easily improved upon. It'll need more work, but... well, the worst I can say about it with my new understanding is that the launch was handled poorly. And that's not something worth staying upset about. And, honestly, a week ago, when the beta tag was added, the section editing fixed, and so on, I looked at it, and pretty much realised it wasn't worth being upset about any more. Learning more about it only served to make a lot of comments I misinterpreted become actually quite reasonable, explain the weirder aspects, and show that, actually, this isn't a bad start. So, yes. I do want to retract. But this is because of new evidence, and because, even before that new evidence, the launch issues had been corrected in a completely acceptable way.
And, honestly, I have never seen refusal to reconsider opinions in the light of strong evidence against them a virtue. If someone shows me that I had evidence that should have convinced me sooner, for that I will apologise. But I will not apologise for changing my mind. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:35, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Wow, thanks. I never thought you were being unreasonable or anything at all. I have found your comments helpful throughout. I'm at Wikimania now so I don't have time to really dig in, but I still have your list of problems and I still plan to work through them myself based on the latest version and see how it is going. I'm also planning to give the VE another workout myself when I get home. I have been hearing encouraging things although everyone seems to agree there is still a long way to go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:14, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for retraction and prior lively debates: I appreciate the apology, but I also want to thank you, Adam, for expanding the debates about the VisualEditor for many aspects of the situation, as with comments in wp:VisualEditor/Default_State_RFC. Although, as a computer scientist, I have written several macro scripting languages, text editors, graphics editors, hypertext search-engine programs, and WYSIWYG applications, I was surprised at the scope of the dialog about VE, with the variety of people who had already used (or developed) other WYSIWYG-editing programs (some slow), plus the number of people advising to shutdown VE, except as an opt-in feature, to promote newcomer awareness of the internal wikitext structure, embedded comment notes, and style guidelines used by pages. Also, it was interesting to hear from people who noted the two-worlds mindset, where users of Internet Explorer (and other browsers) seemed to be treated as "second-class citizens" and some people felt there was a stratification of social classes tied to the limited availability of VE for some users. So, even though VE, now used in only 9% of edits, had caused extensive turmoil in July (I noted "July 2013: the month VE ate"), I thank you for expanding the dialog with many long-term themes to be addressed in the coming years. It should become common knowledge how the anon IP editors make ~28% of daily edits (but 81% used the wikitext editor), and now new tools (and wp:helpboxes) for the power users can be discussed with a wider appreciation for those 10% of active editors who make most of the edits to articles. By encouraging more people to express a range of various opinions, I think many frustrations were reduced. And yes, some people were utterly shocked when they saw what the new "[Edit]" button was doing on their screens; it was quite a circus. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:58, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure I said some constructive things. But my tone was terrible, and I got a bit paranoid at times about the direction of the development based on a misunderstanding of priorities created by not knowing the structure of VE, and thus, not knowing that the apparently-deprioritized parts were merely the parts that were more difficult in that programming structure. Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:42, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Very disturbing and eye-opening essay by retiring editor on how "Wikidata" is turning WP volunteers into unpaid workers for Google and other corporations

I invite Jimbo and others to comment on the reasons why this editor is leaving : User:Riggr Mortis - "As long as Wikipedia drifts from its origins as a tool for human learning to a second-rate quasi-database—apparently to the benefit of ADD-inducing tech companies—I will no longer participate as a volunteer. Neither should you." If this has been discussed here before, apologies.Smeat75 (talk) 03:23, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

not sure how he can say that. wikipedia has zero tracking scripts. ghostery does not show any analytics at all, beyond wikipedia's own. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 03:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
One of the factors leading to that essay is the ongoing infobox war, now at Arbcom. Johnuniq (talk) 04:09, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, so as a community we're putting effort into structured data. But why should that imply that we're losing interest in the traditional encyclopedia text? Aren't projects like Wikidata additive? GabrielF (talk) 04:16, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
There is a long and very ugly backstory associated with the link in my above comment. In brief, about a dozen good editors who develop content for classical music (and related) articles have come to an agreement that certain articles are best without an infobox (example—check its talk). Another group of editors, smaller in numbers but much more vocal and prone to litter talk pages with links to prove their case, insists that infoboxes are mother's milk—one reason mentioned concerns metadata that infoboxes provide. For example, Google (and a host of others) crawl articles developed by volunteers, and extract key points, and that is done most easily from an infobox (or other structured data template, but infoboxes are the most common, and are maintained by volunteers). Google (and others) can then display that key information to their readers to save them the bother of going to Wikipedia to see the article. The essay mentioned above is strongly objecting to the battles that have been fought by those trying to insert infoboxes against the wishes of those who have built the article (which leads to questions like "are we editing for our readers, or for Google's commercial interests?"). You can read the views of both sides (rather confused, I'm afraid) at the Arbcom case I mentioned. Johnuniq (talk) 05:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
One possible compromise is to go the route of persondata and have hidden structured data which is present but not displayed in the article. This comes with disadvantages though, like errors being less likely to be detected. Dcoetzee 15:40, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • An ageing bureaucracy spends more time shifting departments: For years, management experts have warned about expensive distractions when work is split among different departments in a bureaucracy. Data records might be shifted from one computer system into another, where the rules change ("only one interwiki link per language per article", "infobox for every person"). Because of the implicit overhead in running an wp:ageing bureaucracy, attention (and resources) will divert from the core mission, from the original goals. Each department might develop competing, alternate tools: Platform Engineering would have a wikitext editor, while the User Engagement department would promote a VisualEditor. Each department would want to be represented in the user interface, most likely with dedicated menu options for each department, rather than hide the less-used tool (VE 9%) as a preference option, and instead receive "top billing" with the other department's tools. In the ageing bureaucracy, there will be periods of huge restructuring (typically recalled "reorg"), where the original work is overshadowed by the busy efforts of the reorg. When Wikidata took control of interwiki links, then page edits soared by +30% that month (+1 million edits) not to improve references, nor copy-edit for grammar, nor reword to clarify pages, but instead, total edits soared by +30% to remove the interwiki links from pages while being shifted into the Wikidata department. As could be expected, Wikipedia's bureaucratic growth has risen faster than the original goal as an encyclopedia, which would have written articles about the problems of bureaucracy, such as: ageing bureaucracy, reorg, division of command, duplication of effort, department rivalry, interdepartmental conflict, interoffice conflict, or even Management by Objective. However, there is a minimal article about "The Peter Principle" (and "creative incompetence") for workers to avoid promotion outside their limited expertise. In many cases, the office bloat is unstoppable; however, it can inspire people to research and write about similar problems in other old-growth organizations, before the burgeoning layers of bureaucracy become (more) unbearable. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:02/15:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
There is some validity to the original argument - there has long been a debate about CC-by-NC versus CC-by-SA, GPL versus LGPL, etc. Wikipedia chose to make its product available to corporations, and so far this seems reflected mostly in online drivel that comes up at the tail end of Google's search results. My feeling is that if we are developing only for Google, then this is a problem; but if we are creating a resource that actually serves competitors also, and one wishes even some free alternatives, that is another story. (This goes all the way back to the unfortunate 'WP:NOT' and the failure of Wikipedia, or preferably a sister project, to act as a primary search engine and directory to begin with)
There is a very good argument to be made that Wikipedians are unpaid laborers in general, and from a class war perspective (which is ever more valid nowadays) that is a big problem and you can weigh whether the class-war advantage of getting information to people outweighs it, and whether that is retained when your goal is to get out data more easily used by corporations. However, when we recognize that copyright and intellectual property is a failed system, that it is failed for rich and poor alike, a block to overall technological progress so that even the ultra-wealthy elite commanding those legal powers finds itself without the medicines, entertainments, and inventions that they would have had if it were reformed, then we should see Wikipedia as more importantly a proof of principle of voluntary collaboration (as well as a demonstration of its pitfalls whenever a central authority exists).
In short, Wikipedia editors should not be unpaid -- we should reform the copyright system so that individual taxpayers set aside an amount of money roughly equal to what they would have spent on copyright, and choose how to allocate it to independent funding organizations that support content generation (subject to very small monetary upper limits per recipient per taxpayer vote to prevent abuse). In other words, instead of copyright royalties we should have voluntary choice of who to fund, so that filmmakers, Google back-end programmers and Wikipedia editors all can collect actual cash for their work according to what voters think is important, without anyone being prohibited from reading or copying anything. Wnt (talk) 15:36, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

So someone is led to retiring because we're making it easier to reuse data and make Wikipedia interoperable with other tools? I am sorry but I can't think of anything else but "insane" when reading this essay. -- cyclopiaspeak! 15:47, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

The issue is to "reuse data" but also not trample the wishes of the people who wrote the original data. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:07, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Licensing is how we deal with wishes of people who wrote the data. If you don't want your contributions to be used in ways you wouldn't think of, you better not contributing to a project under a free license.-- cyclopiaspeak! 16:47, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
In Wikipedia, how we deal with wishes of people is by wp:Consensus, so pages would not be changed in "ways you wouldn't think of". When someone says "no" it means "no" and so a dialog must begin. -Wikid77 17:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
No. What can be done with your contributions only depends from the CC licensing. So much that it is perfectly legit to rip WP, print it and sell it as books, even if this infuriates many people. Consensus is instead only about what we here, on WP, actually manage such contributions. And consensus can decide to do everything which is permitted by the licensing, including things the original contributor would have never thought about and that maybe even despises. The contributor surely then has the freedom to disagree and retire, but cannot say that he couldn't expect this to happen. If someone doesn't understand the consequences of the licensing, it's their fault, not ours. -- cyclopiaspeak! 11:24, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia's vision is to help create a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. I'm sure you know who formulated that laudable goal. At present there are 7 billion people on Earth and we have only 141,655 active editors on the English Wikipedia, so we are going to need some help to reach every person on the planet. The big players like Google are our fellow-travellers in that mission - for whatever their reason, I don't care; I only know that these people are generous with their time and resources and you only need look at Google Summer of Code for a good example. A Google Talk on "Intelligence in Wikipedia" shows some of the innovative ways that they use our data. I fully endorse making our content more easily available to all of our re-users, because without them, we're going to have an uphill battle to fulfil Jimbo's vision. And before some little troll tries to smear me with unsupported innuendo, I have no connection whatsoever with Google (or any other commercial interest - I'm happily and comfortably retired, thank you). --RexxS (talk) 16:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

A reasonable sentiment - still, to be fair, if people are going to tell us that Wikipedia is "not a directory", why must we avoid saying it is not a repository for machine-oriented datasets? (To be sure, I'd rather resolve this by allowing a directory function) There's a certain perverse bias with the Wikidata implementation so far - you can make really good use of the data if you run a server and import json or xml, but you can't put that into a straight Wikipedia page. So far the Lua is more limited, hardwired to only access fields from a specific article name, and the #property tag even more so. Mind you, I'm not agreeing with the person the OP referenced, but ... he's not altogether without a point. Wnt (talk) 00:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Which is good for him. How is your own search for a point going on, Wnt? Let me know if I can help. Begoontalk 00:17, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
If Wikipedia were a directory, every two-bit holiday company would be writing about itself in every scuba diving article, so that prohibition is useful. There's no corresponding reason for us to suggest that Wikipedia doesn't contain a massive collection of machine-readable datasets. On the other point, back in May, three of us demonstrated how you can use a Lua module with a slightly modified template {{Infobox person/Wikidata}} to pull the relevant parameter value from the Wikidata entry for whichever article contains that template - there's a quick report at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Wikidata Phase 2 #Progress in implementation with Lua. It was set up to allow a local value to override the Wikidata one. Allowing us to draw our data from a source common to all language Wikipedias (when we choose to) offers considerable potential advantages in gathering and maintaining that data, not only to us, but to many smaller wikis who don't have the resources of enWP. --RexxS (talk) 01:52, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Just because we're making it easier for someone else to make money, yes even a "big" company like Google, doesn't mean we're not benefiting humanity in a manner similar to Wikipedia's roots. Money grubbers already mirror Wikipedia directly, and I didn't sign up to help them out, but I don't care much that they exist. In contrast, at least Google uses my efforts to provide services people actually find useful. Equazcion (talk) 02:25, 8 Aug 2013 (UTC)
I hate Infoboxes. Infoboxes should be eliminated. They are a bad idea. A well-written article doesn't need an Infobox because information is easy to find in the body of the article. Section headings and a table of contents should be tailored to that particular article with the aim of making the information in that article easy to find. Bus stop (talk) 02:51, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
@Equazcion: That's not really the issue—nearly all content builders accept that any good article they create will end up being sold by someone in a "book". Content builders object to having infoboxes forced into articles they have developed, with one of the justifications being the metadata matter. As a matter of interest, there is a proposal here to add "gender" for metadata purposes. Johnuniq (talk) 03:02, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I fail to see the difference. Services that benefit people should be hindered because a company is also profiting from it? Why? To prove a point? To stick it to the man? Wikipedia is about providing your knowledge for free to whoever might use it for whatever purpose. What's the difference if it's structured data or prose? The same argument holds either way. I guess it sounds scarier when you throw around words like "Google" (big ie. evil) and metadata (automated ie. evil), but really, it's all the same. Equazcion (talk) 03:16, 8 Aug 2013 (UTC)
You say "What's the difference if it's structured data or prose?" In some cases there is no difference. But in many cases we are forcing information into fields in Infoboxes in which it does not quite fit. There is compromise involved in filling in fields in Infoboxes, in many cases. Prose is much more expressive. Information can be presented with much more subtlety in prose form than it can in the limited choices of possible terms for filling out the fields in an Infobox. At issue is accuracy versus inaccuracy. The potential is there to be accurate when using prose but sometimes accuracy is impossible when filling out Infoboxes. Bus stop (talk) 13:00, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Perfect is the enemy of the good. Yes, the strict format of an infobox may sacrifice some accuracy. But infoboxes and prose, AFAIK, are not meant to be mutually exclusive. You can have a quick, at-a-glance, machine-readable box, but of course you refer to the article prose to get the full, nuanced picture. Best of both worlds. You say you hate infoboxes because "a well-written article does not need an infobox". I don't agree in general with arguments of the form "if we have X, Y is useless". That you don't find them useful doesn't mean nobody finds them useful. I think well written articles can still benefit of the structured, quick, standardized presentation of an infobox. You may find them redundant, but some people do not, and if you choose to remove them, you remove a useful tool for many only because you don't find it useful yourself. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:44, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
If you want to get a taste of the sort of thing Johnuniq is talking about, you could have a look at [8], just for one instance of many. A volunteer has spent hours, days, weeks, months or years working on an article out of love and desire to share his/her knowledge, along comes someone else who has made no previous contribution and adds an infobox which the creator of the article does not want. When the objection is made "the infobox does not add anything useful" the retort is "Yes it does, it emits "metadata" that people can see on their mobiles and Google, etc., can re-use." This is an all-purpose reason for a combative and aggressive campaign to attempt to force infoboxes on articles all over the project and quite a few content creators do not like it at all. Primary contributors to articles who do not want infoboxes in the articles they have worked on are also sure to be told "You don't own this page. Smeat75 (talk) 04:16, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The issue is the fact that there is an infobox war, and metadata is just something that arose during skirmishes. There would be no problem if a group of people were adding invisible metadata boxes to articles. This is not the place to continue that battle (and I am not advocating for either side)—I'm just reporting that good reasons have been provided by the developers of certain articles as to why they find infoboxes to be unsatisfactory, and the issue is that a group of people with no interest in developing an article have insisted that an infobox be added (I am advocating that the latter is unsatisfactory in the absence of a policy mandating infoboxes). Johnuniq (talk) 04:24, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess I can't speak to other arguments against infoboxes since I haven't seen them, assuming they exist beyond the general distaste I have seen from some. I will say that the wishes of the "primary" contributors shouldn't take any kind of precedence; The counter-arguments based on WP:OWN are perfectly valid in response to arguments referencing the amount of time or effort contributors spent creating or developing articles. We have that policy to deal precisely with these types of situations. You shouldn't contribute here if you think you have some sort of right to maintain control because it was "your" work. Equazcion (talk) 05:02, 8 Aug 2013 (UTC)
The situation is not as you imagine it. Let's AGF and assume there are plausible arguments against an infobox in some articles, and we know there is no policy or guideline mandating their use. For any particular article, the question then becomes "does consensus favor the addition of an infobox?". Everyone knows that consensus is not local, and that no individual is more important than another, and that no one owns an article—everyone involved knows that basic stuff. The problem is that one side says that consensus favors their view because only their arguments are policy based, while the views from the other side are simply IDONTLIKEIT. Meanwhile, the other side says pretty much exactly the same thing, and there is no procedure to decide the outcome—that's why it is at Arbcom. Often third parties form a view based on whether they favor infoboxes, but that is not the issue. The problem is the disruption caused by the combative nature of the campaign. One resolution would be to ban both sides from making changes while a community-wide RfC is held to settle the question—are infoboxes mandatory? However, leaving it to the present participants is causing enormous damage. Johnuniq (talk) 06:37, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I came to post my thoughts on User:Riggr Mortis's essay that the OP pointed out, and various subsequent comments in this section. Whether those concerns are being voiced on their own or they are being used as an argument in a larger war, I find them invalid. I wouldn't get into the larger matter here. Equazcion (talk) 06:52, 8 Aug 2013 (UTC)

"The problem is the disruption caused by the combative nature of the campaign." Quite so, and it appears to me that the handful of aggressive pushers of infoboxes have "ownership" issues not just with single pages but the entire project - "Gotta move with the times and put machine-readable metadata in every article!" Smeat75 (talk) 12:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Encyclopedia anyone can edit with database certification: Previously, we tried to limit the Wikipedia data to free-form lists which any user could edit, as any typical page with rows of data, such as rare population-data templates. But now, it has become official data-identifier groups. Wikipedia has become total schizo, like Jekyll/Hyde+Eddy, with Dr Jekyll saying, "Remain calm and use the point-and-click editor" to change the page; meanwhile Mr Hyde says, "Please complete the data description in third normal form and select the data-identifier" to be changed. Meanwhile, both Jekyll and Hyde are trying to deny their alter-ego Eddy Conflict, who insures, whether too simple or too complex, the data update will fail to save. Whatever happened to simply editing the wikitext page, and building tools that checked for problems or Bot-edited the repetitive data? Instead, people are asked to use peculiar data-entry screens because the simple wikitext pages are now too-easy-no-too-hard (which is it?) for newcomers to handle. This is apparently another aspect of an wp:ageing bureaucracy, where one department argues how the data is too complex, while another department argues how the same data is too simple and requires data id-codes for the end-users. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:16/07:27, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • If you don't want your contributions edited or reused elsewhere do not post here - To the question of the infobox wars - the ARBCOM case makes interesting reading and highlights how a small number of people can hold the rest of wikipedia to ransom until there is a final decision by the community. There is a similar issue on the various policy and MOS pages where a small number of people can dictate what should be done. On the subject of woring for Google. The German Wikipedia has developed an internal project on listed buildings where in a number of the German states the responsible departments are using the feedback and edits of our editors to update their data. Agathoclea (talk) 11:42, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I am late to this - I was busy in the ArbCom case.
  1. The heading reads as if someone is retiring now, but it was last year.
  2. The essay is as old and not related to 2013.
  3. Adding structured data does not take away the prose text, so how does it "trample the wishes of the people who wrote the original"?
  4. May I point you to a simple comparison of an article with infobox and without? I would like like to learn how consensus can be achieved. I am late to the wars as well which - I was told - have been named so in 2005. Can we move forward? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:41, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
" The essay is as old and not related to 2013." The person who wrote it amended the essay on 13 July.Smeat75 (talk) 14:08, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Taken. I was just so used to people repeating in the arbcom case their experiences of past years instead of looking at evidence from 2013. I would like an answer to "Adding structured data does not take away the prose text, so how does it "trample the wishes of the people who wrote the original"? I compare the prose to a book, the infobox to its cover, with structured data like title, subtitle, author, year, publisher, location? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:52, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, for wider problems with Wikidata, people are complaining that interwiki links are forced now as one-to-one ("That link is already used by another page"), whereas enwiki allowed many articles to all consider the same target-language page as their "interwiki link" to that language. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth - the person who wrote the essay is one of the brightest and valued contributors to scores of important articles related to the arts. His absence is a major loss...Modernist (talk) 17:20, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Similar fears about other long-term editors: Many of us were similarly scared that the turmoil about VE, derailing the "[Edit]" button to force VE on prior (all) JavaScript users, and subjecting people to buggy software (while edit-conflicts not yet fixed), would discourage the power users, further destroying user morale; however, I think most of the long-term users are persistent and continue to help despite all the turmoil. Plus, now we have more examples of how the power users work on WP, with 96% of username-based edits using the wikitext editor instead of VE this week. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

First of all:

  • A longstanding problem on Wikimedia Commons - I've heard this talked about at least five years ago - is that a child from, say, France has no way to find a picture of a duck, since the category tree is based on either English or Latin. One aspect of Wikidata is that we may be able to link the commons category for ducks with the Wikidata links to articles on ducks in other languages... thus getting the local-language names.
  • Searching is a two-way street. It may make things easier for Google, but it makes it easier for Google to direct people to us.

So, honestly? It may have incidental benefits to Google, but it'll benefit us first. Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:27, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Readership statistics by public organizations

It seems reasonable to publish readership statistics localized to the IP ranges of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, etc., but how about public companies? Would anyone's privacy be violated if we found out what Koch Industries was reading about? How about private prisons? Do prisoners even have access to Wikipedia or some supposedly sanitized subset? Is it fair to know what Australia is reading about? Should each range of IP addresses be associated with a CIDR-style subrange over which readership statistics may be queried by interested parties? 70.59.30.138 (talk) 07:59, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Keeping track of which IP addresses read a page would be an irresistible lure to various spies looking to subpoena or otherwise obtain records, and its use even in aggregate would be highly unethical and partisan (as in the Koch Industries case). If the NSA wants to keep those sort of records they can pay their own bill for the server to track and store the connection data, not sponge off Wikipedia donors. Wnt (talk) 11:30, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
But the IP address information is already in the squid logs. Why would studying the aggregate readership statistics of a corporation be unethical? 70.59.30.138 (talk) 08:42, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Wow, Jimbo's talk page must be where stupid ideas come to die. - 50.195.59.125 (talk) 02:43, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Constructive debate involves providing reasons for beliefs. 70.59.30.138 (talk) 02:52, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Access to deleted images on Commons

Jimbo, as you know, when images are deleted on Commons those images can still be viewed by admins. Without going into the details, I recently contacted Commons' Oversight Committee about nude images whose filenames contained the name of the subject and were uploaded without the subject's consent. I was told by one oversighter "I am not convinced that these images fall under our oversight policy and would prefer them to be taken care of by regular deletion". "Regular deletion" would mean that these images could be viewed by any of the current 271 admins on Commons.

Oversight should be automatic in cases where there is reason to suspect that the subject has not consented to the uploading of the image. Removing the image from public view while leaving it visible to hundreds of people (the vast majority of whom have not identified themselves to the WMF) is unacceptable. While this situation occurs all the time on Commons, it may also occur on any other project that allows image uploads. In the case that I refer to earlier, admins would have had access to naked images of the subject, along with her name. That was more than enough to track her down online, should anyone wish to.

Jimbo, can you help me to get the WMF's Access to nonpublic data policy changed or amended to take this situation into account? Point 6 of the policy seems to say that deleted revisions are not covered by the policy. I do not believe that the intention of the policy is to allow any admin to access non-public information of the nature I have described. How can I get the board to review the policy with my example in mind? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:49, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

While in general I trust Commons admin to not access such private images without an administrative reason to do so, currently such views are not tracked and so there are no checks or audits on this. On the other hand oversight can make it more difficult for Commons admins to do their job when undeletion is requested, or when validating that other admins are deleting images according to policy. While I tentatively support Delicious carbuncle's proposal under the present circumstances, I think an audit log recording views of deleted material is a better option and necessary in any case. Dcoetzee 15:46, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
This is about admins having access to private and personal information, which is exactly the type of information that is meant to be restricted by WMF policy. I take it as a given that admins will access deleted images without cause. It would be both naive to assume otherwise. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:17, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
My take on this is that, assuming the above description of the image and associated personal data is correct, the image should indeed be oversighted. (I have no personal experience with oversight decisions, so this is based only on my reading of Commons:Commons:Oversight and meta:Oversight policy.) However I'm not convinced that a "reason to suspect" subject consent for upload wasn't given should automatically trigger oversight, although IMO a "reason to believe" should probably be enough.
IMO admin tools shouldn't be a big deal, and admins shouldn't generally be placed in a position where they are dealing with such private information. But I also don't see a great need to track views of deleted material. Disclaimer: I'm an admin on Commons, and I've viewed deleted material when I've felt this would help me follow or contribute to a discussion on Commons. --Avenue (talk) 05:29, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
On second thought, tracking views of deleted material might not be a bad idea. Viewing deleted material does require admin tools, and I believe that for all such tools there should be a way to audit their use to establish whether or not any abuse may have occurred (even for tools like these which have no direct effect on the wiki). --Avenue (talk) 06:08, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Moreover, I think already deleted images like File:Teen boy's Nipple.jpg should be reported to legal-reports AT wikimedia.org for a bolder action per inappropriate image of a child. JKadavoor Jee 13:51, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
That particular image was "kept" in each of the three deletion requests. It was courtesy-deleted some months later, which should clearly have been the result of the original deletion request. I am suggesting that all courtesy deletions also be oversighted (no additional request should be required) in order to be in compliance with the WMF policies. If we have reason to delete the image from public view, why would we allow hundreds of admins free access to the image? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:57, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
All courtesy deletions, even ones that don't show a human being? I hope not. Courtesy deletions with privacy implications? Perhaps, nothing against such a change to the oversight policy. Tracking anything and then perhaps asking admins to explain themselves simply for looking at something? I strongly oppose that, this should be left for extremely sensitive information like the information available to checkusers, not standard admin tools. darkweasel94 (talk) 00:05, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Whether or not an image shows a human being is not a good way of determining if there are privacy implications. I suggest that in every case of courtesy deletion, the image and logs are oversighted. Having had much experience with the judgment of some Commons admins, I would not leave it up individual discretion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:10, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
This way we will be unable to track/spot abuse of courtesy requests by, for example models or politicians who sometimes ask a file to be replaced by something they submitted to OTRS. The consequence would be: No courtesy at all. -- Rillke (talk) 07:05, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I think there's a big difference between a few hundred admins being potentially able to view your image, if they happen to find out about it and feel the need to do so, versus your image being the top Google hit for certain searches, for instance. There are legitimate reasons for admins to review deleted content, including some courtesy deletions I think.
By the way, a guideline for courtesy deletions on Commons is currently being developed here (talk), so that might be a more effective place to raise these concerns. --Avenue (talk) 06:11, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
That would require DC to contribute constructively, so it won't happen. -mattbuck (Talk) 07:12, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Moreover, it would require people to understand that this applies to all projects and that I am asking Jimbo to help me get the WMF policy (not the Commons policy) fixed. I know better than to waste my time trying to get the Commons problems addressed on Commons. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:41, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Quoted there. JKadavoor Jee 08:04, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Question

Jimbo a month ago you said "I personally think in general Snowden is an "innocent party" - a hero, in fact." Yesterday one of your admins said "Good point, there are some (non-pedophile) subject-matter experts in prison who could be very helpful. It would be great if we could get, say, Bradley Manning to start editing. Mark Arsten (talk) 23:07, 7 August 2013 (UTC)" So it looks like Wikipedians and you personally praise Whistleblowers, then why Wikipedia's Whistleblowers are treated so badly here, on Wikipedia? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.240.35.86 (talk) 22:52, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

To clarify, my statement about Manning should really be read in the context of the thread at the village pump. What I was saying (in response to some editors who were categorically opposed to anyone in jail editing Wikipedia) is that there are some people in jail who would probably make good Wikipedians. I suspect that Manning or Snowden would make fine Wikipedians. But I don't think I've ever stated on Wikipedia my opinion of whether their leaks were heroic or misguided. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:20, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
And I'll respond by saying that I'm unaware of any "Wikipedia whistleblowers" being treated badly.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:32, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess I don't count as a whistleblower. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:10, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Why did you think that you would? And why would you want to? [removed] So now you know, Delicious carbuncle. Please arrange to fix this disagreement. Thank you.--Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:23, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure who you are quoting or which disagreement you wish me to fix. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:37, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Does it sound to you like a well-adjusted person or not? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:47, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd rather not speculate. Perhaps you can just say whatever it is you are trying to say. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:55, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Don't worry sweetie, I'll wait. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:58, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, honey. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:39, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
DC, you do count as a whistleblower, and a very successful one. Not only you were able to free Wikipedia from some of its trash, but so far you've survived your whistleblowing. Hope it stays this way. Your noble task hasn't finished yet. 71.202.121.42 (talk) 14:24, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
The overwrought screed that Demiurge1000 quoted has been rev-deleted by User:Mark Arsten with the comment "Removing per WP:POSTEMAIL". Demiurge1000 does not seem to have been warned either for posting it or for his rather obtuse comments here. Anyone who know the origin of the quote is welcome to contact me. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:09, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

To hark back at the past somewhat, William Chester Minor would be a good case to consider. -- Hillbillyholiday talk 05:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Great link! The OED has always been so snooty about its precious copyright, and meanwhile it's being written by a volunteer in a loony bin. We should never forget that copyrights are not meant to reward creators, rather those with power in the marketplace. Wnt (talk) 11:16, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Is that so, Mr. Wales? Then maybe you could comment on the case in which the Wikipedia inner circle banned edits from 1,000 homes and one massive online retailer in an attempt to suppress the voice of one man? ""We aren't democratic." That's how Wikipedia founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales described his famously-collaborative online encyclopedia in a recent puff piece from The New York Times Magazine. "The core community appreciates when someone is knowledgeable," he said, "and thinks some people are idiots and shouldn't be writing."This is true. Despite its popular reputation as a Web 2.0 wonderland, Wikipedia is not a democracy. But the totalitarian attitudes of the site's ruling clique go much further than Jimbo cares to acknowledge. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.240.37.48 (talk) 16:12, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, if nothing else this is a rather enlightening piece that demonstrates why we don't block IP editors indefinitely.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 21:24, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Block log here. Wnt (talk) 21:35, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I think you may have misunderstood my point, but I was rather vague. Sorry. I meant that a recent discussion on AN about blocking IP users for only a short period verses indef block seems to be reasonably demonstrated in that old 2007 article.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 21:57, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm still catching insults related to when I helped blow the whistle on an abusive group of editors/admins in Wikipedia about five years ago. Notice that nothing has been done to stop this particular editor from continuing to hector me about it. There is no protection for whistleblowers in Wikipedia. Also, Jimbo, I think you sent me a rather critical email when I spoke to the media about yours and David Gerard's range block of that town in Utah that someone else mentioned above. Cla68 (talk) 12:17, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

It's absolutely fascinating to hear Jimbo say, "I'm unaware of any 'Wikipedia whistleblowers' being treated badly." Sometimes the whistleblowers are journalists who carry a problematic Wikipedia story to a wider audience. Take, for instance, when Seth Finkelstein (at the time, a journalist for The Guardian and a winner of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award) observed how a member of ArbCom released a controversial decision without the consent of the rest of ArbCom, Finkelstein asked for a NPOV summary of the personnel involved in the matter, Seth was treated rather badly by being told, "Real journalists don't involve themselves in stories they are writing about." It's difficult to imagine a more dismissive tone than this being leveled at a sort of Wikipedia whistleblower, but the Wikipedian who treated Finkelstein so badly was never admonished for this rotten attitude. More recently, a professional journalist named Kevin Morris blew the whistle about former "Wikipedian of the Year" winners not actually receiving the money they had been promised. Morris is a former ABC News Carnegie Fellow, with a Masters degree in Journalism. Nonetheless, his reception on Wikipedia was as follows: "The author is not a real journalist." I can't imagine a more insulting thing to say to a professional who has studied and practices in a particular craft, but the Wikipedian who treated Morris so badly was never admonished for this rotten attitude, either. So, it's fairly reprehensible for Jimmy Wales himself to say he's "unaware of any Wikipedia whistleblowers being treated badly", when he himself is a prime nominee for the "Worst Treatment of Wikipedia Whistleblowers Award", if one should exist. - 50.195.59.125 (talk) 12:16, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Not to mention, Larry Sanger was roundly vilified on Wikipedia for his publicizing the problematic nature of certain "youth focused" sexual material on Commons. There also was the case of Danny Wool (employee #2 of the Wikimedia Foundation) blowing the whistle on inappropriate financial transactions at the Foundation. Within days, Sue Gardner was conducting a video interview on CNET to discredit Wool as a "disgruntled former employee". It's hard to imagine that Jimmy Wales has blocked these events from his memory, or perhaps he doesn't consider the revelations of these two individuals as legitimate "whistle blowing". Whatever the case, it's highly likely that some excuse will be found, so that Jimbo's claim above will be held in front of us as "completely reasonable" or "highly accurate", and that we should just get back to editing his encyclopedia and donating in December, just like we always do. - 50.195.59.125 (talk) 13:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
There's a difference between blowing the whistle when there's a problem and blowing it when it's a false alarm, and there's a difference between saying nasty things about a whistleblower in chat and having Lavabit shut down because he once emailed through it and the plane of the president of Bolivia downed and searched because he might have been on it. Sanger went to the press and the FBI screaming Commons was loaded with child pornography, but nothing came out of it; it was essentially a false accusation. His block log shows one block that was reversed after 31 minutes. Wnt (talk) 17:53, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
"essentially"? Interesting qualifier. Wnt, would you care to expand, for the benefit of those of us who don't know the full story? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:00, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, after debating censorship for a year or two I ran into the curious case of Wilhelm von Gloeden and Wilhelm von Plueschow. These were renowned photographers in the late 1800s who took naked photos of boys around 14-15 years of age who they were having sex with. One of them was even convicted of corruption of minors and got a few months of jail for it (people were apparently more laid back about this stuff in the Victorian Era). The thing is, the photos are apparently widely accepted as groundbreaking among photographers, with a dozen books cited about them, they are seen as pioneering in the gay community, and indeed the photos of one of them were even exonerated in a censorship proceeding under Mussolini. Nonetheless, they are a curious case of what would seem to qualify under modern definitions of child pornography (using modern age standards and based on some of the sexual characteristics per Dost test). The ACLU has not been willing to defend child pornography cases under the Miller test so far, but if a prosecution ever came about based on these photos, I think that they should be a test case demonstrating that this test (at least) should apply to the content. The Virgin Killer album cover was also raised with similar conditions (but that's not on Commons as a Fair Use issue as I recall). So the strict truth of the issue is that Commons has child pornography, but it's legal child pornography that the FBI indeed took no action against, but that's a little surprising for people to hear. :) Wnt (talk) 20:14, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
On this occasion, Wnt, I don't blame you for the dribbling nonsense you posted. I blame Andy, he should have known better than to ask, and I trust he'll take my advice on that matter on board. Really? Miller test, ACLU, Virgin Killer? You can do better than regurgitating that or you're just a pale imitation of the Wnt we know and admire. Best. Begoontalk 20:35, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Are any of these reliable sources for DOB

I give up. I really don't understand why this isn't being taken care of by the subject in a manner that is acceptable to Wikipedia so, I will just ask you Jimbo, as you were very helpful with the DOB situation at the Paloma Faith article.

Is this a reliable source for DOB: 200px


Is this a reliable source for DOB:

Uncategorized blog from "Rick"

I have no additional comment on either of these. I have made it more than clear on the subjects talk page how to source their date of birth if they are communicating with an editor they trust via e-mail. For some reason "Rick" can't seem to get the official website biography changed and that seems odd to me. It could be that they are just resisting any of the advice given or it could be they really don't care that much but it seems to me if this is the limited amount of sourcing we have we shouldn't include a DOB. What do you think Jimbo?--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:16, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

wouldn't that fall under WP:SPS? -- Aunva6talk - contribs 01:04, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I would only assume not from the wording:

Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.[7] Take care when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have done so.[9] Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer.

From reading that it seems that the information and how it was 'Published" do not qualify as self published.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 01:34, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
But it would seem to me that if the DOB was simply placed into the biography section of the official website it would.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 01:36, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I think Aunva6 meant the closely named WP:SELFPUB. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:47, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Possibly. That might be acceptable but for one problem.....it appears to me that the subject of the article taking a picture of himself holding a notepad with their date of birth for sourcing is very much unduly self-serving as is a blog post directed to Wikipedia stating a partial DOB and not placed into the official biography.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 02:54, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
What? What is "self-serving" about his DoB? Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:54, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Of course it's not reliable as in WP:RS—it might be a doctored image, or a joke, or a lie, or an attempt to show how silly Wikipedia is. However, if someone says they born on a certain date, and if there is no reason to believe otherwise, and if it is not of some critical importance (like if a particular DoB involved some legal matter regarding age), what is the problem with accepting it? Do you doubt the date? Is there a reason to believe it is implausible? Johnuniq (talk) 04:21, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
You're basically right about this, but there's actually noting in WP:RS that requires sources to be immune from doctoring etc in the first place. What we have here is just an example of a self-published source, completely usable within our policies. There's always a theoretical possibility that self-published sources contain false information. Formerip (talk) 14:22, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with virtually everything that Mark Miller has said on this topic, both here and on the discussion page of the article. I would say that out of the more absurd antisocial bizarre behaviors that we can engage in at Wikipedia, doubting people about their date of birth when there is zero evidence of any kind that they are lying, is near the top of the list. I've seen it multiple times now, and it really needs to stop. There are cases where a person's date of birth is legitimately in dispute, but they are extremely rare.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:57, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Jimbo, for you response. It appears I have stuck too close to the letter of the policy here. I don't doubt the DOB Jimbo and absolutely do not feel I have ever said anyone is lying. I certainly hope you do not feel I have stated that in any way as I have strived to remove such claims against BLP subjects even at your own direction. I am trying to figure out how to source it and if either two of these attempts are usable. While it appears you did not address my question I am pretty sure the spirit of what you stated makes it clear we can just trust the subject themselves on this issue. My apologies for making this more than it need be.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 18:08, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Just curious, how would you classify the "dispute" over your own DOB on your article? I don't remember all the gory details and drahma, but I do remember that it was a serious serious time sink and pretty ridiculous. Cheers, --Malerooster (talk) 15:22, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that was a fair comparison, but I know very little about the dispute. Jimbo was talking specifically about me and I see no reason to turn this around on him.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 18:50, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Mark, you might think that based on reading that passage, but you are not reading the correct policy. BLP is the correct one. Let me quote Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Avoid_self-published_sources: "Never use self-published sources – including but not limited to books, zines, websites, blogs, and tweets – as sources of material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject". Emphasis mine. Living people can self publish certain details about themselves which should generally be accepted unless there are reasons for doubt, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:00, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
    • We'll just assume "written or published" means in any form.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 18:10, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
He wrote the words. If someone took a photo of a book, its still a written source. He also published the image. So I've got you coming and going :) IRWolfie- (talk) 00:49, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, because if we are assuming written and published to mean exactly that and nothing more it should be applicable to just what you mention.--Mark Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:55, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
That's not the assumption. He wrote and he published it -- in a format that assures it is public and that he wrote it -- a freely licensed publication (that is an image). Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:51, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
We may be stating the same thing at this point. Not clear on the emphasis of and but I still see that correct from the explanations above.--Mark 18:01, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I though you were saying "wrote" and "published" are assumed to be the same thing. But that is not so, as the present example shows, they are two different acts. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:13, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Just to let you know

You have been mentioned at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Why_wikipedia_is_losing_editors. XOttawahitech (talk) 19:29, 11 August 2013 (UTC)