User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 68

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"you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want."

Hello Jimbo Wales,

could you please take these words out of the appeal? As well in the other languages, because this is simply wrong. You cannot use it in any way you want but in order with the granted licenses. Regards Catfisheye 15:37, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

You can use the information in any way you want. Information is not the same as text.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the OP it is very misleading the same, however. Text is information and, technically, information in WP is the bytes of article content(s). --Cyclopiatalk 16:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Anyone can use the information in articles however they please. Text and images/graphics must be attributed. I understand how some readers may be misled by this, it's indeed a clever marketing pitch, but it's true, the information is not encumbered by licence. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)


(edit conflict)It seems you and Jimbo have a different meaning for "information" than that of mine and the OP. Let me see if I understand: You take as "information" as, informally, being the gist of an article, so to say, the concepts contained there. However technically and more correctly, information is just a sequence of symbols -like the bytes in a database, the characters in a text, or the pixels in an image. Without specifying, to say that I can use the information in WP in any way I want is wrong -I cannot use the textual information of an article in any way I want. --Cyclopiatalk 16:48, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
The underyling information in published text is not copyrightable (or copyleftable) at any step. That's why one can build an encyclopedia like this one from copyrighted sources. Citing the source of the information (attribution) may be demanded by some readers, publishers, academic orgs and so on, but that's another topic. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:54, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Put it this way, you can use the information in Encyclopedia Britannica however you want, too, but you can't simply copy (or closely paraphrase) the text which carries it. In this way, saying you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want is indeed misleading, because it's true for any copyrighted encyclopedia, too. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
English is obviously not my mother language. In German the appeal says "all content" and "without restrictions" (Sie können alle Inhalte hier uneingeschränkt nutzen, wie Sie es möchten.) Nevertheless Wikipedia is not only about text and I guess even a video contains information. --Catfisheye (talk) 17:07, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Translations are fuzzy, that translation from the German may not be strictly what the German means. Meanwhile, information in any published video can also be freely used, but copies of a copylefted video must be attributed and copies of a copyrighted video will likely need permission from the copyright holder. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:11, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
German is my mother language and my translation my have blurry nuances but is quite near. Ask anybody else. As information has different meanings defined by context, I have to say that here a clearing context is missing. And maybe it is not wrong but actually misleading to say you can use the information "any way you want". --Catfisheye (talk) 17:17, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It may be misleading to say so, but, writing English here and not speaking for what the German appeal says, you can use the information found on en.WP any way you want (as you can with any copyrighted encyclopedia). If you copy text from en.WP word by word, you must follow the terms of use. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Something which should IMHO inserted in the appeal. Of course "following the terms of use (to keep it free)" does not sound as sexy as "any way you want". However it is his name under and his portrait above the translations, so I thought to clear this could be in his interest. --Catfisheye (talk) 17:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
That wouldn't have anything to do with the use of information, since the information always stays free in every way. The snippets of language you've given below don't say the same things as the English line in the appeal. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:12, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
As Cyclopia said, there is also a technical definition of information or that that information is organized data. And of course it is possible to plagiarize wp articles but that is not allowed. I do not think that the line in English says the same thing as in these quoted passages but is actually unnecessary misleading and as a donator I might feel betrayed. I do not think that this can be in the interest of this project. --Catfisheye (talk) 18:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

In Italian: Il contenuto di Wikipedia può essere utilizzato liberamente da chiunque per qualunque scopo. The content of Wikipedia can be used freely by everyone in every way. Maybe liberamente has also the meaning "freely but in order with the terms of use", but it seems quite unlikely to me. --Catfisheye (talk) 17:39, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Same thing in Spanish: Cualquiera puede usar libremente el contenido de Wikipedia para cualquier propósito. and French: Le contenu de Wikipédia est libre d'être utilisé par tout le monde, pour tout usage. and Portuguese: Todo o conteúdo da Wikipédia é livre para uso por qualquer pessoa e para qualquer finalidade. Dutch: De inhoud van Wikipedia is vrijelijk te gebruiken door iedereen en voor ieder doeleinde. I guess there is no letter in Latin, so here my knowledge of languages does stop. --Catfisheye (talk) 17:46, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

The core problem seems to be, that many translations replaced "information" with "content". --Pjacobi (talk) 18:15, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes because information can be understood in this way. And hey, these translations were made at least I hope so by people who know this project. So how misleading will it be for those who are unfamiliar with wikimedia projects. (yes, this appeal is also used on commons.)--Catfisheye (talk) 18:25, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
In English, information does not mean content, the English line is true, though somewhat misleading. Looks like some of the translations may be sloppy, though. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, then information cannot be interpreted as the technical content in bits and bytes or organized data, ok. (Then there are some articles here in en:wp needing a workaround regarding this aspect.) But why should a "somewhat misleading" line be kept? --Catfisheye (talk) 18:35, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Gwen, have you read the lede of the information article? Sorry, but Wikipedia textual/visual content is information contained in Wikipedia. Anyway you could even be right but the main point is not its formal correctness (and, believe me, it isn't formally correct) but that it is misleading and we probably don't want people to think that they can do whatever they like with WP content. --Cyclopiatalk 18:37, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
First, you can't cite Wikipedia articles for anything. Second, the word information can have sundry meanings in English, depending on context. Third, in English, under US copyright law, information does not mean text or images or computer programs and so on. The pith is, published information is not copyrightable, the text which carries that information is copyrightable, the underlying information in copyrighted text can be used freely and without attribution. The only worry I have about the line in English is that it also holds quite true for any copyrighted, purchased encyclopedia. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:46, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey Gwen Gale, If you feel attacked by me then sorry. I did not want to. I apologize.
I did not quote any article. But I looked them up. I am going to be a historian of technology and did and do read a lot of scientific books and articles, even in English, about media/information/knowledge etc. and I do know that there is no universal definition for information. But I do accept your argument that here the jurisdictional definition is that what counts. Problem: That is not perceptible from the appeal. :( --Catfisheye (talk) 19:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok I can cite WP articles for anything; we're not discussing notability or WP:RS, sheesh? then let's see what Merriam-Webster says: [1]: and yes, it shows you're entirely right: the word information can have lots of meanings, depending on context. Problem is, the context here doesn't help me at all. I am a scientist and when I think of "information", I think of meaning 2B before anything else. You talk about copyright law. Ok, but why can you cherry-pick that definition and I can't cherry-pick mine? And why should the reader think about the copyright law definition? The point is that everyone can understand a different thing from that sentence -and lead to problems for users that are misled in thinking they can do all kinds of stuff they can't, and for us therefore. It would be enough to substitute "information" with "notions", for example, to solve the issue. --Cyclopiatalk 21:05, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Information has specialized and verifiable meaning as to US copyright law. It is not the same thing as text. If Jimmy or someone else wants to carry forth with verification of this, ok, that's up to them, but I'm saying it can and will be done if need be and the marketing line is spot on true, my only hitch with the line is that in saying, you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want, it's got the same sway as it would with the copyrighted Algebra textbook you likely lugged about in high school. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:14, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

And because this is your talkpage and your words and the translation of your words: Jimbo Wales what are you going to do? --Catfisheye (talk) 18:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Surely it is bothering to write a text for a fundraising where you should mention all those points from the wiki life like do not make personal attacks, be polite, do not spam, formate properly, do not use huge templates ... On the other side: we still have problems with the wikipedia texts that are published widely and wild in the internet. We even habe problems with our editors who do not act according to our own licence guidelines. Thus I would have expected a very short sentence in the text like "you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want when you follow our licence guidlines" (or "you can mostly..."). Some 30 letters. Information is not only the "knowledge", but really: if I cite the information, so it is text/content. -jkb- (talk) 18:53, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
All I'm saying is, in English, the statement is utterly true and stands on its own. Using information found in Wikipedia is not subject to its terms of use. Gwen Gale (talk) 19:00, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It is neither true nor false: it is ambiguous because it depends on which definition of information you cherry pick. And that is the problem. --Cyclopiatalk 21:08, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
In English, under US copyright law, it's not ambiguous at all. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

If I may butt in, I may be able to help clarify something about the definitions here. As written in English, the sentence implies knowledge, which is a synonym for information. If we replaced the word information with knowledge it would not change the meaning. However, what Cyclopia is describing seems to be more related to syntax, (as it applies to linguistics), and syntax would not be a suitable synonym in that sentence. It's not cherry-picking. In a language as complex as English, context is everything. Hope that helps. Zaereth (talk) 21:38, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

plus in the quoted languages that phrase is not ambiguous but wrong, because they use "content". I do understand that here is worried more about the appeal in English because it is the original one. But I don't think, that it would be useful if I leave the same message in those six languages, even because I assume that Jimbo Wales does not know them all and even my knowledge in some cases would not be sufficient. I'd really like to hear clear words from this user, knowing that after 24 h of no reply this goes the way down to the archives, where it will never been seen again. Regards--Catfisheye (talk) 22:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I understand your concern. I don't speak any of these other languages, and so cannot offer assistance in translating. I can only offer assistance with English problems. Translation is a difficult task, because the translator not only needs to be able to fully understand the English context, but must also understand the other language enough to know how to convey the intended meaning. Simple word-for-word (Google type) translations usually do not work well. Sorry I can't help with that. Zaereth (talk) 23:00, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. :) It is very welcome. Normally I do not write or talk in English, just read, but I was quite sure that information in English is not limited to the sense of the American copyright laws.
I presume that Jimbo Wales or someone he trusts has approved these translations. And as I mentioned above I guess it is in his interest, that statements made in his name should be correct. And at least I do perceive it as a problem if anyone does with Wikipedia "contenuto/contenu/etc." what he wants not respecting the licenses. --Catfisheye (talk) 23:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo Wales. Thank you for ignoring my questions, --Catfisheye (talk) 13:30, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I answered your question. I don't know what else you want from me. Can you be more specific? I don't intend to change the letter, and I think it is fine the way it is. Of course it is possible to nitpick over the precise meaning, but I am unaware of any problem with it being the way it is, so I don't see any reason to do anything about it. It is a short statement and for every sentence in it, I could make it more accurate and precise by adding a lot more words, but that would be completely and utterly pointless.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:38, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, maybe you haven't read the discussion, so I sum up: I mentioned 6 translations where instead of information content is used. Sorry, that I try to clear problems that you are "unaware of". You can call it nitpicking but this does not solve anything. "accurate and precise" that is the way I want wikipedia to be written and used, therefore I adopted users in the German version, that is my motivation for doing the arbcom job over there. So I do think if you want somebodys money for this project, you have to be also "accurate and precise". You think this point of view is pointless? So thank you again. --Catfisheye (talk) 13:47, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Dude... your beef is with the guy who translated the German version; go to meta, tell'em to change it. Problem solved. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:51, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Please stop calling me dude. I am none.As I mentioned already above, it is not only the problem of the German translation and by the way I already was at meta. Nevertheless the appeal says it is by Jimmy Wales. So why he should not occupy for being translated correctly? --Catfisheye (talk) 14:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I believe this is a sound criticism. The English version is ambiguous (to most readers), and the translations are, apparently, misleading. If they haven't been already, they should be pulled, or the word "information" should be replaced with "knowledge," per Zaereth above. Anthony (talk) 14:58, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree that "knowledge" is a much better synonym. The problem is not only the translations -they're far worse because they're wrong (my mother language is Italian, and the Italian translation unambiguously wrong)- but the ambiguity of the original version. Gwen Gale can continue to refer to US copyright law, but that's irrelevant, because I don't live in the US, I don't know the nuts and bolts of US copyright law, and if I were a naive European reader reading that I can do whatever I want with WP information, I'd automatically assume that it is a public domain encyclopedia, not a CC-BY-SA-3.0/GFDL encyclopedia. To Jimbo: We're trying honestly to help. Putting the head under the sand and refusing feedback, no matter how informal it is, is not the way to go IMHO. --Cyclopiatalk 15:20, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any jurisdiction where you can copyright information. Even with the Database Directive, it isn't accurate to say information is copyrighted. It seems to me the problem here is a different understanding of the word 'information', particularly of those who have a variety of European languages as their native languages, I guess partly as a result of the lack of a complete synonym in those languages and the different way of thinking different languages and different cultural upbringings can result in. It's nothing to do with differences in the implementation of copyrights. Nil Einne (talk) 22:34, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but in this article information is not mentioned. I checked for instance the Irish laws and have not found a statement to the copyright of information either. Data is different from information.
And even native speakers of English have expressed their doubt here, that information is not ambiguous.
And yes in those languages do exist words that are much nearer to information then to content.
What I do not understand is why I should go to the different wikipedias to have this error changed, if there is a foundation which is connected with its chapters and which receives half of all donations to these chapters? --Catfisheye (talk) 00:09, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
See this FAQ entry at Brandeis. Moreover, my understanding is, information can't be copyrighted in any jurisdiction covered by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and likely, most others. A database is a carrier of information, they're not the same things. You can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want. Quite true. You can also use the information in Encyclopdia Britannica any way you want, such as by putting something you find there into your own words, copyrighting that expression of the information yourself and selling it. So this is a somewhat catchy but empty marketing line, as most of them are, they're meant to draw heed and sway thinking in emotional ways. Swapping in knowledge for information would keep the same meaning, likely sound snappier and be a bit more understandable to some, maybe, but would still be true of any published work, copyrighted or not. As for the line as put forth in other languages, even the fittest translations mostly cannot be spot on in meaning and more often than not, they're done sloppily anyway. Catchy, empty marketing lines tend not to lend themselves to translation at all, which is why knowledgeable marketers often hire native-born speakers to write up marketing stuff from scratch for each market (companies like Nestlé and Coca-Cola have done this for decades). Even then, what they come up with will still be catchy but empty marketing stuff. But the thinking is, one doesn't care if it's empty, one cares if it sells. Gwen Gale (talk) 04:39, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
AFAIK the foundation has largely relied on community translations as they always do. I don't know what, if any, approval process there is but I doubt it's very formal if there is one. I definitely think JW's involvement has been minimal, he has agreed to allow his image to be used as part of the appeals process and trusts the people in charge to do a decent job. I'm not sure whether each individual wiki has their own version although I do know in the past there has been controversy when other wikis have felt they've been ignored by the foundation, for example when the advertising has referred to wikipedia on the commons, wikinews, etc. Regardless if anyone did direct you to each individual wikipedia, this was IMHO poor advice even if well meaning. Your best bet is as Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 has recommend, go meta specifically the part where the donation banners were designed, where both people in the foundation and those who were involved in the translations will listen to your concerns. I would start from Meta:Fundraising 2010/Translation and find the best place to post your concerns. One thing is for sure, the user page for Jimbo Wales on en.wikipedia is the wrong place. BTW, if you really want to get the slogan changed in English, you're going to need to come up with a suitable replacement. "you can use the knowledge in Wikipedia any way you want" sound awkward or even wrong to by my ears. Nil Einne (talk) 09:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
It's misleading and needs to be changed; not because of the law, but because this is Wikipedia. Replacing "information" and "content" with "knowledge" is better: clearer, true. Anthony (talk) 12:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I too think knowledge would be a more helpful fit, for a short and snappy sentence in that fund-raising context. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:30, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I prefer knowledge as well, because there is no more accurate or precise. Either you are accurate or precise or you are not. @ Neil Einne I already was at meta but did not receive help. After I've contacted one of the German chapter they at least changed the words there. Obviously it has to be done like this. oO --Catfisheye (talk) 19:39, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Circumstances warranting a new case file

Hi Jimbo:

Presently I am in the dock facing a site ban. This action can be found here. The spark igniting this case stemmed from a minor dispute, suddenly escalated by an administrator to become a Request for amendment of a prior case. IMO, no attention has been paid to due diligence in examining this issue.

I'd like some advice as to whether it is legitimate to piggyback what is not an amendment at all, but a brand-new sanction (a site ban), upon an old case. That old case presently calls for a topic ban on physics related matters. An earlier sanction from this case that put me on probation to observe WP etiquette has expired.

I think this very serious sanction that is not based upon the previous case should be required to be filed as a full case, and not piggybacked upon this old unrelated matter. That would allow some discovery of facts in this matter to take place, which has not been done so far.

What is your opinion? What can I do to obtain a full hearing on this matter? Brews ohare (talk) 19:32, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

What was the original dispute in the current case, i.e. what started this latest brouhaha? Was it your edits to Euclidean geometry and Pythagorean theorem?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Because Brews is now blocked for a year because of this issue, he'll continue this discussion via email. Count Iblis (talk) 16:39, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Poking into this just briefly, to me it looks like all sides are being dysfunctional here. It was doubtless unwise for Brews ohare to butt into Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics, where he had formerly argued the thing with the speed of light definition that got him banned.[2] Even so, the stuff he was saying there looks to be in good faith,[3] and Headbomb later said he gave him a "free pass" on it.[4] Then EdJohnston said that "anything in the natural sciences. In my mind, that includes mathematics.", a very debatable point. He also said "We have agreed to your stipulation that you may be blocked up to one week each time we decide that the new ban is violated."[5]

Now the way I see it, good arbitrators and administrators should mean what they say and say what they mean. If they want to ban someone from editing about "natural sciences", they should either explain in detail what that means to them ahead of time, or be willing to be contradicted when someone cites a contrary source, as Brews did. If they say someone can be blocked for a week, it shouldn't mean he'll be blocked for a year. If you're giving someone a free pass, you should forget about it and not hold it against him later - if you intend to hold it against him, that's not a free pass but a warning and should be clearly given as such at the time. I know that Brews o'hare can be very vocal in his self-defense, but even if that annoys someone that is not an argument. This shouldn't be about the editor but about maintaining the credibility of the arbitration process.

I would also question whether it is useful to find an edit engaged in a land war about one single solitary fact, and turn that into a broad, vague topic ban that only gets broader each time it comes into question. ArbCom had the opportunity to take a good science editor and redirect his energies into something productive, but instead they more or less forced him to become a permanent thorn in their own side. If this is how topic bans are going to be enforced, maybe you should just give up on them and block editors for some months instead. Of course, that's now what they've done, but they could have gotten here by a much shorter path, and tried a shorter ban.

Another worse than useless idea is Count Iblis saying "I have therefore decided that I will no longer recognize the validity of the blocks/topic bans on people like Rbj, William Connolley, Brews Ohare, Likebox, Polargeo, etc. etc. etc. etc. I encourage all of them to ignore any bans/blocks as that only poses a problem for the corrupted processes that lead to these people being bocked, which can only be a good thing."[6] This kind of provocateurism is highly counterproductive in real-life protest marches and it's not helping here either. Wnt (talk) 04:06, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I've never looked into the entire saga with Brews ohare, but it seems to me that your being a little unfair here. The wording restricting the ban to natural sciences was clearly poorly choosen but if you run in to problems for involvement in Pythagorean theorem, it seems unlikely it's not going to occur to you that your topic ban may include mathematics and you at the very least should seek clarification on that point (perhaps even at the time the topic ban is proposed). Brews ohare is an intelligent person so it almost seems offensive to suggest it really didn't occur to him. For better or worse, wikipedia doesn't operate like a court of law and I think anyone with as much experience with wikipedias disputes processes as Brews ohare must be aware of that. Rules lawyering doesn't work on wikipedia and no one takes kindly to people who try to use loopholes to get around remedies.
As to why a one year ban was chosen here, my impression is that Brews ohare trying to argue in his defense based on this loophole was the straw that broke the camels back in a very long running saga were multiple attempts had been made to accomodate him. In other words it wasn't just violating the topic ban per se, but that arbcom decided based on the evidence of history, including the most recent evidence, there was little chance of Brews ohare successfully working in the colloborative environment of wikipedia.
In terms of your point about "ArbCom had the opportunity to take a good science editor and redirect his energies into something productive" while as I said earlier, I haven't looked in to the wider case enough to offer highly informed comment, from what I have seen (including I admit outside wikipedia, not something of course that arbcom would consider) whatever faults arbcom may have made here ultimately it Brews ohare was the one who needed to take responsibility for himself and learnt to work in the wikipedia editing environment. Arbcom may try to some extent to help an editor do so, but they don't have the time, nor should it be expected that they can hand hold and personally tutor someone step by step in to becoming a good editor. Brews ohare was given plenty of opportunities to redirect his efforts and to learn to edit wikipedia collobratively and without excessive conflict, I'm sure there were plenty of people who would have been willing to help him if he asked but ultimately he failed to do sufficiently so and continued to run into the same problems.
Or as Carcharoth (the only arbitrator who wanted a less extreme remedy) said "he is capable of good work, but then undoes all that by refusing to move on from the other areas where he runs into conflicts, and to seek to lay the blame with others, and not himself. The golden rule when topic banned is to seek clarification before others object, and to acquiesce if there is any doubt (neither of which happened here)."
Nil Einne (talk) 07:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

"This kind of provocateurism is highly counterproductive in real-life protest marches and it's not helping here either." This has nothing to do with the case under discussion here in particular, it is just a conclusion I reached based on many incidents, most of them have nothing to do with Brews. The system has to be changed and that won't happen via thoughtful discussions only, because of entrenched positions. The reality already is that the way the system works is by reacting to incidents, and that reaction is not always a change for the better. Just consider this amendment on the CC case. That amendment was a reaction to an incident, which already is a negative indicator. Then, I attempt to pragmatically discuss a relevant issue here (had this been addressed when it was raised much earlier, the whole problem that eventually led to the amendment wouldn't have been necessary in the first place). But that discussion goes nowhere, it is even construed by an ArbCom member to be a content discussion of an CC article that has no place there :) .

Now, for the time being, we have to deal with the system as it exists. My input in the recent dispute regarding Brews has been given here and here and on the ArbCom pages where Brews was discussed. Count Iblis (talk) 18:04, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I would hesitate to accept that WP:IAR really means that topic banned editors should discuss the topic of their ban as long as they do it off the article page. I think that Iblis, per your name, you're playing with fire when you ask other editors to start unpredictable conflicts that may miss critical principles anyway, rather than making your own arguments.
WP:IAR and WP:AGF both support that a topic banned editor who makes good edits somewhere on the fringe of the topic ban should be treated gently. Whether or not one believes that a person topic banned in natural sciences should just assume that he has to go back to the committee and ask whether mathematics is covered, that's a power issue and not an improve-the-encyclopedia issue. Wnt (talk) 23:14, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:AN#Wikipedia Experts. A simple opinion would be nice, but just an FYI if you didn't see it. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 16:02, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Issue: Myanmar vs Burma

What does actually Wikipedia like to be? A political movement or an encyclopedia sticking to the facts? I don't understand why wikipedia refuses to use the name Myanmar. About common name: If the common name for USA were "United S**t from the A**" (sorry for these drastic words and comparison), should then wikipedia use that name? --112.205.7.91 (talk) 18:50, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, if "United S**t from the A**" was the most common way to refer to the country, we'd probably use that. Deli nk (talk) 18:55, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why we use Burma versus Myanmar. I very much support our usual policy, which is sensible, but I'm not convinced that in this case we have kept up with the times. A search just now in google news suggests that Myanmar is now slightly more common than Burma. But I do not have a strong opinion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:56, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The naming issue is discussed very thoroughly in the article itself. I don't have much of an opinion about which name is better, but I do have a strong opinion that the IP editor is not going to be able to change this by brute force. Looie496 (talk) 19:06, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
See Talk:Burma/Myanmar and archives thereof - the upshot of which is that there is apparently no consensus to move it to Myanmar. – ukexpat (talk) 19:09, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, the Burma issue. To be honest, I would personally use what is the most common term, which at this time, is Myanmar. I believe there's an underlying bias to using the Burma name (which may imply the junta is illegitimate), and, like some things on the encyclopedia, it's completely accidental: as a Western encyclopedia, we have an underlying pro-democracy and pro-human rights bias as these are things which no-one seriously disputes are bad things. The problem is that the world isn't so black and white (see: Israel-Palestine), but all the same, we relish these challenges. I think that, in the aftermath of the election and Suu Kyi's release, the issue should be revisited. Sceptre (talk) 01:07, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Though this is a bit red herring: This naming policy problem is not limited to the Myanmar/Burma/Birma topic. See Kolkata. You seem to have difficulties with your own policies. --112.205.7.91 (talk) 01:20, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
See, there is consensus to use the "modernised" Indian city names. The overriding policy here, imo, is WP:CONSENSUS, for which there is none to use "Myanmar". Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 01:25, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:Conesus seems only to apply, when it favors Western views. Anyway, I would be keen on to see the day, when it is consensus to use the name Hitlerland instead of Germany. --112.205.7.91 (talk) 01:32, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I get the impression that unless you are being satirical, which is not apparent, you are at least 68 years out of date on that point. Rodhullandemu 01:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
For the record, to non-Burmese people living in Burma (Karen, Yao, etc.), the name Myanmar is highly racially charged; it's akin to the IPs example of referring to the US. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Anyone check out Special:Contributions/112.205.7.91? Looks like we have a POV-pusher here who also engages in [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php? title=United_Nations_Headquarters&diff=prev&oldid=397778829 vandalism]. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 01:29, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

The IP has been blocked. —Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 12:52pm • 01:52, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Personal Appeal

Hi Jimmy. I've seen your banners at the top of articles several times now, so I don't think seeing them again is going to affect whether I donate again or not. Is there anyway for me to customise the view so that I don't have to see them again? Thanks, 93.97.59.17 (talk) 23:25, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

You should see an "x" in the top right corner of the banner - Kingpin13 (talk) 23:32, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Or register an account and check 'Suppress display of the fundraiser banner' under My preferences > Gadgets. --Stephen 02:48, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I can only speak for myself, but I think the appeal would have more resonance if it wasn't so closely associated with Jimbo. I'd be happy to donate to the project, but those ads give me the feeling that I'd be donating to Jimbo, which is a distinctly unappealing thought. Everyking (talk) 06:00, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

The evidence from Banner testing suggests otherwise. In any event, as I'm sure you know Everyking, I don't get a salary or accept any expenses from the Wikimedia Foundation, paying my own way to board meetings, even.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Eh, well as I understand it, the personal appeal one was the only graphical banner used, so it's obviously likely to generate more donations. I'd like to see some of these used. - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:40, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
The methodology of the testing isn't quite that simple. We tested a batch of text only banners first (as they ran last year) against the appeal (also text only) and community submitted (text only banners). From that group, we progressed to testing beyond the message and into design, but we had already determined that nothing was going to come close to beating the personal appeal. Since then, we've learned a lot from the testing, and think we might have it beat, so stick around and watch for it... but don't dismiss the testing without understanding it, maybe? :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 13:49, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Well as I said that was only my understanding of it, and I couldn't really find any clear explanation of the method used for testing. Thanks for clarifying :). So have any graphical banners other than the personal appeal been tested yet? - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:54, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
If the sight of your face persuades more people to donate than otherwise would, then I suppose I can't argue with that. Everyking (talk) 18:43, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Philippe's response was not that Jimmy's face in particular caused people to donate, but rather that a face, versus a text-only banner appealed to people. I can see that sort-of visual appeal working, but I have to agree that testing with only Jimmy's face, versus the faces of a dozen or a hundred randomly selected Wikipedians would have been a much better test. It shouldn't be that complex to create a rotating Wikipedian-face banner. Wjhonson (talk) 21:26, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, I think that the point is that Jimmy's the recognizable face of Wikipedia. Regardless of whatever else role he may have, he most certainly is an icon people readily associate with Wikipedia — a figurehead in the proper sense. — Coren (talk) 04:04, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
In terms Everyking's point above ("but those ads give me the feeling that I'd be donating to Jimbo, which is a distinctly unappealing thought") I suspect most people with limited or no editing experience are unlikely to have strong feelings about JW either way. Nil Einne (talk) 07:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I for one find it very hard to believe that you don't pocket at least a small fraction of the donations Jimbo! Go on you can admit it here Jim, your secret is safe with us anyway. :P Certainly the goons at ED seem to think so with their parody banner! 93.97.59.17 (talk) 04:41, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I think the banner works because of the combination of Jimbo's face and the personal appeal message. I guess people prefer to donate to someone they can identify rather than a faceless organization (no matter how good its intentions are). Laurent (talk) 05:08, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I personally find the appeal pretty close to offensive. Here is an organisation that is so successful that it could raise millions of dollars by advertising, and probably make donations to all sorts of deserving causes. Instead it constantly begs for money, in competition with those other deserving causes. All in the name of independence and lack of bias. Yet the site is happy to tie itself to Google search. And making itself reliant on a limited number of "Benefactors" instead of being much more independent, relying only on non-selective advertising feeds from many. many advertisers.But more importantly, it is tied to people who strongly object to advertising. so strongly that they would stop contributing if it took advertising. That is a huge built in bias against the commercial world. A couple of years back there was some attempt to put Wikipedia on a real road to independence and authority. Including the set up of several working groups. Including a working group to investigate ways and means of funding Wikipedia to ensure it's long lived independence. One strong proposition was to introduce user Opt in/Opt out advertising for a period of time to build up a real Foundation to ensure long term funding. But basically the working group was sham. It's set up was a sham. It turned out Jimbo had already made his own decision. No advertising, not even if a user wanted informative advertising, just never ending appeals, and an uncertain future for Wikipedia. No discussion. The working group just vanished, unheeded.--Richardb43 (talk) 11:25, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Constantly? No, it's once a year I think.
Uncertain future? Where's the evidence for that?
--Demiurge1000 (talk) 11:33, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

You have friends from Anonymous

Its very big, trying to get stuff sorted about copyright stuff.

so enjoy before its deleted :)

Sophie (Talk) 18:37, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo!

Hey I wanted to thank you for having a open door policy with the editors here. While the answer isn't always what a person wants it is at the very least refreshing to see that you are a active member of and not above the wiki community. This is a awesome site and concept even with all the drama. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 16:08, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Personal appeal banners

Hi, just a quick note to say that Jimbo's personal appeal banners seem to be causing a bit of a problem today, for me, at least. The banners keep reappearing even if one clicks to clear them. I gather from this discussion that I'm not the only one affected by this, and I have updated my Adblock filter accordingly. (I edit via Firefox for Mac, if that's of any significance) best, Shawn in Montreal (talk) 20:58, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I see that I'm also unable to remove articles on my watchlist by clicking on the star. I have to remove them manually from the raw list. All of which makes me think I'm experiencing some kind of common server lag problem, making Jim's talk page the wrong place to raise this, surely. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 21:06, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
You'll want to bring this up at WP:VPT instead; Mr. Wales is not one of the programmers. Magog the Ogre (talk) 21:17, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Talk pages by size

Please see the new page Wikipedia:Database reports/Talk pages by size (to be updated weekly). This talk page ranks sixth, with 19085 kilobytes. Perhaps this will motivate greater efficiency in the use of kilobytes.
Wavelength (talk) 21:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:The Jimbo Prayer

Might be interesting for you.--Müdigkeit (talk) 06:22, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Note:This page is 4 years old.--Müdigkeit (talk) 06:25, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Found other strange ones in Wiki namespace: Wikipedia:Rickbag..., Wikipedia:Ric1234, etc. Περσεύς|Talk to me 14:08, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Subject notability guidelines that override verifiability

Jimbo,

It's bugged me for quite a while that we have subject specific notability guidelines like WP:PROF and WP:ATH that are being used to override WP:V in deletion debates. These guidelines allow articles sourced entirely from self published works in violation of WP:SELFPUB and our basic principles of verifiability. I brought this up at the last BLP RFC and it attracted significant agreement, but as the RFC closer rightly noted, this practice is so ingrained in the community, that it's almost impossible to declare consensus on the matter.

Over and over, I see the number of times that a professor's work has been cited (h-index) being used as a criteria for keeping or deleting an article, regardless of the existence of independent biographical coverage. We then base the article entirely on their self-published biography, or even worse, whatever the person wrote about themselves in Wikipedia, since many of these are autobiographies. This recent AfD is a prime example of WP:PROF overriding the requirement for secondary sources.

The fundamental problem here is that the subject specific notability guidelines are taken to override the general notability guideline, which requires actual third party coverage, a prerequisite for satisfying WP:V. Do you have any ideas about how to address this? Do you think there's any way that you or the foundation can provide further leadership on this matter? Gigs (talk) 04:22, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, while I do tend to agree with you, I would like to think about this some more. One thing about professors is that the relevant biographical facts tend to be easily verifiable, so that for example, where a professor works is generally posted on an authoritative page (the website of the Univeristy), and their publications are in peer-reviewed academic journals and thus also easily verifiable. I do see some risk of WP:SELFPUB with respect to some aspects of their biographies (e.g. taking their degree information from their CV), but even here, I see little risk, as faking a CV that is posted on a univeristy website would surely get them fired if false. It's not the same as, for example, a blogging persona who posts about themselves on wordpress with information that could very well be made up from scratch, with no repercussions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:03, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
My impression is the subject specific guidelines never override the GNG per se, and each of the guidelines should make this clear. I have definitely in an AFD in the past mentioned this in relation to one specific subject specific guideline. The subject guidelines simply provide a rule of thumb to deciding whether someone is likely to meet the GNG (since actually hunting down sources is not always easy). Therefore it seems to me the problem is not that the subject specific guidelines override the GNG but that we are having trouble deciding when it has become clear that the subject fails the GNG even though the rule of thumb suggests they should and perhaps that the rule of thumb is overly broad. In terms of the specific wording, Wikipedia:Notability (sports) does make it clear it doesn't overide GNG although WP:PROF doesn't appear to. Nil Einne (talk) 09:29, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
There's currently deferential language in the introduction of WP:N, "A topic can also be considered notable if it meets the criteria outlined in any of the subject-specific guidelines listed in the box on the right." Which, in practice has meant "if it meets the SNG the GNG doesn't matter". Gigs (talk) 14:16, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

RfC regarding child athlete notability

As if on cue, an RfC has opened that, in my opinion, is a symptom of WP:ATHLETE having a bar that is far too low and that doesn't require secondary source coverage. The RfC asks if we should have special notability standards for child athletes. Gigs (talk) 02:19, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

This is a thoroughly incorrect portrayal of the situation and the RFC; the RFC is on all BLPs of minors, not just on those of athletes under 18. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:41, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
At this point, I'm not sure anyone knows what the RfC is supposed to be about. The people at the DRV seemed to ask for an RfC on special notability rules for child athletes, but it looks like the opener tried to reframe it more generally, and posted it on WT:BLP instead of on the talk for the notability guidelines, where it probably should have been. My take above was what I understood the topic to be. Gigs (talk) 18:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

A perennial proposal, I suppose

As an indirect result of editing Bryan Fischer I today looked at Brian Fisher. (The resemblance between the two is limited to their names.) I was surprised to read there that When not working in the field, Dr. Fisher lives with the banana slugs in a treehouse in Marin County. Carefully marked up, but slightly unidiomatic, highly implausible, and of course completely unsourced.

The not-marked-up predecessor of this turned out to have been added by a hit-and-run halfwit--what? "NPA"? so block me!--with a throwaway username on 15 May 2009. Some other user solemnly marked it up later.

I'm unrelated to Brian Fisher. I'd never heard of him till today. I'll bet he's heard of Wikipedia though.

This isn't at the Seigenthaler level, of course, but it's embarrassing.

Wikipedia seems to work hard to avoid anything that might deter newcomers from editing. But I think there are way too many newcomers and the people deterred by some hurdles would have a disproportionate number of halfwits. I'm for a slower-growing but better Wikipedia. Tama1988 (talk) 04:00, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Access Deniedtalk to me 04:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know. And "anyone" encompasses "any halfwit". Corollary: "Wikipedia, the free 'encyclopedia' that makes it so easy to add stupid comments that they are numerous and can last over a year." Or again: "Wikipedia, likely to be the top hit at Google for your name, and likely to publish untruths about you." Access Denied--If only it were! But it isn't. If you've got an internet connection and a mental age of nine, you too can spread lies in a place that will make those lies look authoritative. Never have the silly (or malicious) had so much power. Tama1988 (talk) 07:11, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
You're addressing a problem that's well-known and doesn't seem to have an easy solution; you might want to read all the archives about it at Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons. Personally, I tend to agree with you, but there are quite a few other opinions out there. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I haven't reviewed the history of this in detail yet, but based on your description, Tama1988, this follows a pattern that concerns me greatly - and the analogy to Siegenthaler is apt. The problem here is two fold - first, the relatively minor problem of the initial throwaway bad-behaved account, easily detected and blocked. Second, the much more troubling followup of someone solemnly (your word, and a great one to use here!) marking up utter nonsense instead of reverting it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:13, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I checked this out and hoped the person doing the mark up was a new user or even an IP. Nope, it was an administrator who will celebrate 8 years of editing next month. Disgraceful. AniMate 09:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, after doing some digging, the banana slugs in a treehouse claim appears to be based on this seminar where Dr. Fisher does indeed claim to live in a treehouse with banana slugs in Marin County. AniMate 09:09, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The wording on the seminar page is identical to what was in the article here, so I'd be inclined to suggest that they got that from Wikipedia, given that the seminar was recent. However, while I can't find anything I can really trust to confirm whether or not he does live in a treehouse, (the Marian County sounds right, the rest less so), there is a Brian Fisher who makes treehouses professionally - so even if it wasn't accurate, there's a chance that this is simple confusion over two people with the same name rather than deliberate vandalism. Vandalism is still in the running, though, and this is why WP:V is so important. - Bilby (talk) 12:42, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. In my own talk page, AniMate pointed to credible sources for this claim. (It's odd that they're phrased in exactly the same way, with "the banana slugs"--my emphasis--even though it's the first time the slugs are mentioned.) So I've readded the material, but this time slightly rephrased, and with sources.

I now think I was wrong. Certainly I should have Googled before moaning about the matter here.

My confidence newly shattered, I shall now refrain from deleting from William Foley His favorite colour is purple as seen by the numerous shirts he wears in that colour, and enjoys the Reuben sandwich. / Quotes:"We are all male americans" (my latest bizarre discovery). After all, Foley's photo on his own web page shows him in a purple sweater, there's nothing either implausible or embarrassing about an enjoyment of Reuben sandwiches, and for all I know Foley could have used "We are all male Americans" as an example in some linguistics exercise. Proper sourcing would be welcome, though. Tama1988 (talk) 10:25, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Usurping people without edits

I think there should be something that automatically puts a message and on a user's talk page that doesn't have and edit AND (not OR or AND/OR) hasn't edited in 2 years, then usurps them. That would make it alot easier for people that want their username changed to not have to go through the usurpation process, because the username they want is already usurped. A Word Of Advice From A Beast: Don't Be Silly, Wrap Your Willy! 00:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beastly21 (talkcontribs)

By GFDL, edits must be attributable; so even after a long delay, if an account has edits, these, and their history, should be preserved. Rodhullandemu 01:46, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Request

Dear Jimmy, I am a Wikipedia contributor in the Portuguese language and am requesting your intervention in the project. There exists among us a tremendous amount of intrigue, harassment, personal threats, inadequate block, clash of egos and power abuses. I can not stand such injustice, so many users with destructive behavior, so much political intrigue and partiality in administrators. The new users are intimidated and abandon the project, edit wars proliferate and the bad users trying to silence their opponents with lock requests without foundation. Users with bad behavior are protected by administrators and users who try to expose corruption are blocked. The rule is trying to impose views and threaten to block those who disagree with arbitrariness. I am tired. This project is broken, please dismisses administrators and cancel their arbitrary actions, otherwise the credibility of Wikipedia is extinguished. Thank you.

PS: sorry for my bad english. Leandro LV (talk) 20:07, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo rarely gets involved in other wikis. Problems with other wikis properly belong at Meta, here. Rodhullandemu 01:54, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Copied:[[7]]--Müdigkeit (talk) 02:22, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, Jimbo is a member of the Board. He could discuss this with the other members if it´s as worse as told above.--Müdigkeit (talk) 02:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Leandro LV (talk) 05:58, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Guys, my request was removed by a brazilian steward. This is more a way of hiding the truth from the stewards. Please forward this request for intervention as possible, I do not have experience or good English, so my ability to act is limited. Thanks again. Leandro LV (talk) 02:22, 23 November 2010 (UTC) No, it was moved here.--Müdigkeit (talk) 03:11, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I've writed my reply there. Leandro LV (talk) 04:22, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

This one has all of your your favourites in one horrendous bundle. Except perhaps a member of the British aristocracy.

Spare a thought for poor Moonriddengirl: User talk:Moonriddengirl#Robert Garside. Xe has paid editors on the one side, and a BLP subject who has been edit warring for almost three years on the other. The paid editors apparently all work for a U.S. publishing company subsidiary and are paid to edit the biographies of their clients. One can deduce that the forty single-purpose accounts to be found here are fellow employees, or perhaps just the one person. They clash because the BLP subject doesn't like the information that is in the Franz Lidz article, apparently added by the paid editors, that is about xem. The BLP subject has, separately, been complaining and edit warring over the article about xem since April 2007. The situation has already descended to legal threats being bandied about, and responded to via edit summaries here, here, and here.

Asking for the British aristocracy to be involved as well would seem greedy at this point.

Uncle G (talk) 17:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Just for the record, this has already been through OTRS and escalated to legal: Ticket:2009092210036291. I don't know how it was resolved there, since I have no access to that queue. Other tickets: Ticket:2007040110007284, Ticket:2007090310005684, Ticket:2007090310006209, Ticket:2008060310022347, Ticket:2009072910028611, Ticket:2009092510040725, Ticket:2010101810006691. There may be others also bounced to legal or which didn't turn up in my search.
For the sake of your talk page stalkers, I'll explain further: there's little doubt that User:Dromeaz is also indef-blocked user User:TheLongestRoadToIndiaGate, but he has generally done a much better job of working within procedures this time and blocking him doesn't seem constructive if he will do that. It does concern me that he seems at this point intent on rolling back changes with which he disagrees on the basis that he is comfortable with the article as it was on a given date. He has compromised a great deal, I believe, in what he would like the article to say, but does seem intent to eliminate any reference to the article Mr. Lidz wrote for Sports Illustrated from Franz Lidz: [8]. Some of his concerns are certainly legitimate. The article Robert Garside has had balance issues, text in Franz Lidz has sometimes been unduly slanted against Mr. Garside, and edit summaries have frankly passed the point of "personal attack." He goes overboard, though, when he views words such as "controversial" as libellous and suggests that an editor of three years standing who came to the article yesterday is part of a conspiracy. Today, he wrote at my talk page, "In 2007 Mr. Garside got his world record which is WHY this person became an editor in 2007. They drove this article into an edit war because they are an opponent of Mr. Garside. They have, on and off, been edit warring with Mr. Garside for years under different names." I've been trying to explain things to him, and perhaps he no longer thinks that User:UnicornTapestry is part of this presumed conspiracy, although he does obviously still find his changes "as a personal attack against a living person" which he "must defend that at any cost."
Anyway, I'll continue trying to explain and working as best as I can to try to keep things neutral and in policy. Since I've edited the article, I am no longer uninvolved. Half wish I'd stayed that way. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

"Klaatu barada nikto" A personal appeal.

Sorry for "The day The Earth Stood Still" reference but I wanted to grab your attention.

I remember seeing this appeal last year and had a great idea for you. It's a little twist on an established concept and is definitely not advertising but more a community service concept. Hating to just give it away to some ladder climbing robot reader, I didn't follow up. I'd be happy to give this idea to you and Wiki.

If you run with it, I would ask only that you to consider me to play an integral part of promoting this revenue generating idea.

I will present you with my idea, if I see a non robot response.

75.177.110.227 (talk) 04:20, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Somebody bring me a flower, I'm a robot. Seriously, fire away.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:14, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Code of conduct for 2011

2011 will be here soon.

Do you think it would be a good idea to have a voluntary code of conduct for editors for the new year? Right now, there is a lot of bad behavior in Wikipedia. Sometimes people are just being rude, other times some edits seem like troublemaking.

If there is any interest, I'd be happy to draft it with others. However, I'm not going to waste my time creating a document if there is opposition. பின்லாந்துF (talk) 20:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I think there already is one of those. See Wikipedia:Five pillars, especially the fourth one and the various pages that link from the explanation. Taken together, those are basically the code of conduct. The trick is to get people to abide by the "code", especially when (and I'll keep this as general as possible) some of the people who are supposed to be enforcing the "code" sometimes act in a rude and troublemaking manner themselves. Neutron (talk) 20:42, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
This from the user whose 20th edit ever was to come to the defense of an obvious sock of a banned user (this sock, specifically). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I wish to note that User:The Blade of the Northern Lights appears to be referring to the editor who started this thread, and not to me. I do not know anything about the dispute you are talking about, nor any of the participants. I was just commenting on the general idea that there is too much bad behavior, rudeness and troublemaking on Wikipedia at present, which I agree with regardless of who makes the point or what they may or may not have done while I wasn't looking, and I was also pointing out that there is already a code of good behavior in place. Neutron (talk) 22:44, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
You're correct in who I was referring to; without commenting on its merits, I was simply pointing out the irony of someone raising this issue after defending an extremely disruptive, quacking sock. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:55, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Those interested in the subject may wish to visit Wikipedia:Expectations and norms of the Wikipedia community, a work in progress.--SPhilbrickT 17:54, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
This may be of interest: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-09-27/News and notes#Citizendium adopts charter, Larry Sanger's leading role ends.
Wavelength (talk) 20:47, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I have a question...

Are you going to start charging people to use Wikipedia? I really don't have the money to donate and it seems like Wikipedia is going through very dire times. I hope you don't charge to use it (otherwise, I'll have to use Encarta or pull out my old World Book). Please don't. If you have to do anything, put up ads.

Please! Please don't charge! Waaaaa!!!! I want to cry over this. Don't charge us poor peons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.178.153.244 (talk) 16:40, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia will remain free. Fund raising is an important and serious thing, but the situation is not dire. Don't worry. And if you can't afford to contribute money, that's perfectly fine! Contribute in some other way, like improving an article in some small way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Editors contribute by giving their time. Some will also be prepared to pay for editing. No ads please. Charge money but no ads please.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 07:50, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Ugly mug!

I wouldn't mind giving money to Wikipedia, or, say, paying a couple of quid a year to use it. But your ugly mug doesn't turn me on or make me wanna donate you know...

No offence, like. I'm sure women go for the grizzly look. But I don't need it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.181.253.128 (talk) 19:31, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I suppose I'm making an assumption here, but: Do you only donate to causes where the solicitation is made by an attractive woman? For example, at winter-holiday time, do you only throw change in the can when Santa is female? (I haven't seen one yet, but you never know...) Neutron (talk) 20:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Santa Baby might be a model for next year's appeal. Rodhullandemu 23:26, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
You have aged. "Ugly mug" might be a little far and a little salt and pepper never hurt a guy's image too bad (I'd say see Sean Connery but that is decades away for you). However, it is a little weird that every banner has your face. I assume you are not looking for a personality cult or anything, but this new campaign lacked some vision. The "personal appeal" was overshadowed by your image everywhere. So someone might have screwed up since you don't look like Alyssa Milano. That is partially the problem of the demographics of those who hit the site the most. I'm not donating regardless due to the trainwreck regarding sexual images. It will all work out and we have Google if it doesn't.Cptnono (talk) 09:37, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Hooray! Disregard parts of above. I just saw a banner with someone else in it.Cptnono (talk) 22:31, 23 November 2010 (UTC)


This campaign is only making me consider installing adblock.
It's irritating, pervasive and gives the worst possible message.
If wikipedia is desperate for help it should say so, and your stare is only widely percieved (I checked) as a disturbing "will you come to bed with me?" look.
There are already spoffs and criticism all over the internet including a google chrome extension that puts your big brother face over each and every page you browse.
Ok you made a point, you made something sensational, spectacular, you made people talk, you got some of that Steve Jobs innuendo.
Now stop. I can't stand another monthful of that stare.
Zingus J. Rinkle (talk) 00:48, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

"A swiss-german wikipedia doesn't exist"

Hi Jimbo

You made the quote above during this interview. Fortunately you're wrong, the alemannic Wikipedia (my home wiki) covers all swiss-german idioms. Unfortunately for us you didn't knew. But surely next time! ;-) --Umschattiger (talk) 15:52, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh dear, and I pride myself on keeping track of such things. I apologize for the error!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Kartika

Who is this "Kartika" person, and why is her "personal appeal" being featured? Kartika, while registered on both sites, has never made an edit (at least under that name) to either the English or Indonesian Wikipedias. [9] [10] Could you please clarify this for the readership? Is she actually a "Wikipedia author" at all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.227.56.16 (talk) 18:48, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm not the right person to ask - I haven't seen the banner.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:50, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

This is what I am talking about. 68.227.56.16 (talk) 18:58, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

She was at Wikimania; I don't know what her home wiki is.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a bit of information about her at this blog post by GerardM. From her full name mentioned in that post, I discovered that she edits as 22Kartika in both the English and Indonesian Wikipedias. Graham87 03:00, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Your appeal

This refers to the appeal here[11].

  1. Do you have an India office. Those who don't have plastic money like me can send cheques there, to support wikipedia, a small but regular contribution.
    1. Wikipedia could relocate its operations to India, saving a lot of money and taking pressure off its bottom line. I am not in software etc. by the way and not looking for a job, etc., just a logical cost saving exercise suggestion.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 10:48, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

There are initiatives underway regarding presence in India, but I didn't pay attention so someone more knowledgeable will comment on that. However, I will say this about plastic money. Sadly, so many people have plastic money now, that for most fundraising drives, the cost of arranging for members of staff in a particular country to receive, cash, account, account for, legally clear, audit, etc etc., individual cheque/check (spelling varies according to location, so you were not wrong) donations, is more than the amount of money likely to be received. You also have to consider the possibility that the organisation then has to make separate arrangements for whatever restrictions exist on transferring such monies out of the country back to the parent organisation, then they have to somehow make arrangements for explaining all of these various expenses-incurred-in-fundraising in their accounting in the home country of how fundraising expenses were incurred, and they need extra people (or a portion of some people's time, possibly involving legal or accounting expertise) in order to do this. It just all gets too much.

I know little about Wikipedia's costs, but given its popularity and the robust existing software base, it is obvious that server hosting is a much larger proportion of the cost than software development, so outsourcing the entire outfit to India seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:52, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Most of the software development is done for free I think, pretty hard to undercut those rates. :) Arranging mobile-phone based payments might be more feasible than setting up local offices to handle paper transactions, and possibly available to many more people too. Franamax (talk) 03:16, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no need of physically handling cheques. Payment can be made into the bank account of Wikipedia from other branches of that bank, from any location. For example if Wikipedia has an account with State Bank of India, Dadar, Mumbai branch, and account number is 1234567890123456 (sixteen digit no.), payment can be deposited into that account through any of the thousands of branches in India. Of-course there will be other legal formalities. But I know of atleast one US based charity Rotary International which receives millions of dollars from India Yogesh Khandke (talk) 12:53, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Is the Wikipedia Foundation balance sheet in public domain. What are the salary costs?Yogesh Khandke (talk) 12:54, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes. See here Gigs (talk) 23:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Am I the only one who finds it rather perverse to ask for donations from a country where the GDP, per person, is $1,032, to support an organization which recently decided to move to one of the most expensive locations in the US, and which wants to spend $10 million on salaries and travel? 96.15.21.223 (talk) 01:00, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, there are actually people in India with a lot of money; I suspect that's who the WMF is targeting. If so many people from India edit here, why shouldn't they? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:50, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Well as per anon above I do have a point in that relocation would save costs greatly. I also agree with The Blade of the Northern Lights. For example I am prepared to pay per edit, say Rs. 1 per edit. A small sum. But there are many users and if they contribute Rs. 1 per minute on an average, some contributing more others not at all, that would be a lot of money. How many edits originate from India per year, assuming there are a 44 million edits a year or a 5000 an hour, that would amount to a million dollars a year. Though India is a poor country, it does contribute, for example it has a very high contribution to the Rotary Foundation. It is the third highest contributor to the Rotary Foundation one of the worlds largest NGO.[12]Yogesh Khandke (talk) 07:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I had hoped Mr. Wales would have put in a word.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 07:54, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps Mr. Wales selects replies on edit summaries and I have a poor record regarding that. Mr. Wales please look at the above.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 08:00, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to have taken so long to respond to this one. We are planning to open our first office in India within the next 6 months; the precise location has not been chosen yet. Barry Newstead at the Wikimedia Foundation is heading up that effort.
Regarding donations from India, I have received a few emails from people during this fund drive asking about how we might make that easier than it is right now. I've passed those concerns along to Zack for his consideration for improvements for next year.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:33, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The Rotary Foundation methodology on transfering funds from India could be studied. Perhaps Mr. Wales could comment on out-sourcing as a means of achieving greater effeciency? Yogesh Khandke (talk) 19:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I am all for it and think that it represents an interesting possibility. I should note that it is nontrivial and there are many different factors to consider. Further I note that I am not really the primary decisionmaker on such things, although I am an active board member.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you like the idea. Over and out.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 19:19, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Ugly mug!

I wouldn't mind giving money to Wikipedia, or, say, paying a couple of quid a year to use it. But your ugly mug doesn't turn me on or make me wanna donate you know...

No offence, like. I'm sure women go for the grizzly look. But I don't need it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.181.253.128 (talk) 19:31, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I suppose I'm making an assumption here, but: Do you only donate to causes where the solicitation is made by an attractive woman? For example, at winter-holiday time, do you only throw change in the can when Santa is female? (I haven't seen one yet, but you never know...) Neutron (talk) 20:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Santa Baby might be a model for next year's appeal. Rodhullandemu 23:26, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
You have aged. "Ugly mug" might be a little far and a little salt and pepper never hurt a guy's image too bad (I'd say see Sean Connery but that is decades away for you). However, it is a little weird that every banner has your face. I assume you are not looking for a personality cult or anything, but this new campaign lacked some vision. The "personal appeal" was overshadowed by your image everywhere. So someone might have screwed up since you don't look like Alyssa Milano. That is partially the problem of the demographics of those who hit the site the most. I'm not donating regardless due to the trainwreck regarding sexual images. It will all work out and we have Google if it doesn't.Cptnono (talk) 09:37, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Hooray! Disregard parts of above. I just saw a banner with someone else in it.Cptnono (talk) 22:31, 23 November 2010 (UTC)


This campaign is only making me consider installing adblock.
It's irritating, pervasive and gives the worst possible message.
If wikipedia is desperate for help it should say so, and your stare is only widely percieved (I checked) as a disturbing "will you come to bed with me?" look.
There are already spoffs and criticism all over the internet including a google chrome extension that puts your big brother face over each and every page you browse.
Ok you made a point, you made something sensational, spectacular, you made people talk, you got some of that Steve Jobs innuendo.
Now stop. I can't stand another monthful of that stare.
Zingus J. Rinkle (talk) 00:48, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

You and Job

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Jim, I'm certain you hear this on a regularly; you are a handsome man with expressive eyes. Very striking. Secondly, I will be in St. Pete. mid. to late Jan. 2011 looking for work and visiting friends. If you know anyone looking for assistant for office or/and home front I've worn many hats in my day and enjoy helping others. Any questions, any ideas for work would be appreciated. thank you, Kate Orcaskayaker (talk) Orcaskayaker (talk) 07:34, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Jim. I love your eyes too, you're such a handsome guy. Why not give me a job plzz? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.27.12.88 (talk) 16:11, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think you look kind of creepy in those banners, but it seems to be working, so.... The Eskimo (talk) 03:02, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations! The donation banners have been parodied by 4chan, with m00t himself replacing your image. You can now say that you are famous at the internet. --Enric Naval (talk) 15:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

A request

  • Can any developer watching this page kindly test out our donation banners for our mobile interfaces? They apparently aren't loading. Wifione ....... Leave a message 10:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Mlpearc powwow 19:07, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

What's up with the Xmas-tree? And what's that dumb picture of white people feeding Indians? Actually, it was the other way around. Just saying. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 19:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Whats with that dumb statement in a post that nothing to do with you. Just saying. Mlpearc powwow 05:10, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Doo shikʼéí baa yáníłtiʼ daásh? Tʼóó ádíshní... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:16, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

More conversations regarding paid editors and Wikipedia

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I am sure you already know, and your feelings on the matter are very well known and understood but there are several conversations currently going on regarding allowing paid editors. I know that usually you allow the community to make a lot of the decisions on policy but in this case I thought you could voice your opinion eventhough you have done so on the subject multiple times in the past. If you do read through you will see that my opinion leans towards strictly controlled allowance so they cant edit in hiding as they currently do but I also understand that there could and would be second and third level affects to doing it (such as a loss of editors, monetary contributions or possibly affecting the nonprofit status of the WMF and WP). I for one and Im sure others would agree that it would be greatly appreciate if you could voice your opinion of the conversation. Here is the link to one: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Wikipedia Experts (there are a couple others as well). Thanks in advance. --Kumioko (talk) 19:13, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

wikileaks-stuff

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

(Was gonna post on meta, but that leads me back here)

In recent days, there have been complaints about wikileaks on meta ("again," I presume); most of the posts are quite angry in tone. Maybe you could go around a bit more and make it clear that we don't control them and are not associated with them. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:25, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Direct them to OTRS and we'll answer them Jimmy! Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:10, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I meant off-wiki... interviews, press-conferences, and whatnot... this is really becoming somewhat of a PR-problem. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:39, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
As far as I remember, it's already been made clear that Wikileaks is nothing to do with the Wikimedia Foundation or Wikipedia. Sadly, journalists see "wiki" and make unnecessary associations because they know no better. However, a clear statement of disconnection might make this distinction plain, although I'm hard put to know where it should go. Perhaps a WMF Press Release is the way to go forward on this. Rodhullandemu 02:45, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, we have WP:WIKILEAKS -- M2Ys4U (talk) 02:48, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Obviously not good enough. Jimbo, you need to talk that message into people until their ears fall off. Doesn't matter whether they think wikileaks is right or wrong; we're not them, that's the point. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:44, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Your attention requested

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:ANI#Was_that_administrator_right_to_speedy_delete_an_article.3F

This is a case of an administrator not liking an article that has survived AFD so he speedily deletes it.

I DO NOT ASK YOU TO INTERVENE in the ANI question but to look at the larger picture

I merely point out to you that Wikipedia is much associated with you. Your picture is on every page asking for money. Yet, these shenanigans are happening are happening right under your picture.

You once wrote a national newspaper editorial about incivility on the internet. When unruly behavior, particularly that of an administrator keeps happening in Wikipedia, people either decide not to donate or wonder what on earth is happening.

If you have ideas to make Wikipedia fair, kind, predictable administrative behavior, and a nice place, please make a comment! If you think a little rudeness and shenanigans (like on facebook) is ok, that is a fair opinion and please say so! Happy Thanksgiving to you! Thank you in advance for your consideration to my question. பின்லாந்துF (talk) 00:43, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

In terms of "shenanigans", this incident appears to me to be somewhat minor, and is already being dealt with by the community. I see no wider issue that would require Jimbo's intervention, particularly since you do not ask him to intervene specifically, and this looks too much like forum-shopping to me. We have Deletion Review for this type of incident, and taking it outside that unnecessarily seems to be a waste of everybody's time. There is still other work to be done here. Rodhullandemu 00:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
This is brought to Mr. Wales attention because I seek his input on how to make Wikipedia more cooperative, not confrontational. If the problem is solved, it is not a waste of time! பின்லாந்துF (talk) 00:55, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Worth noting this user has seemed awfully familiar with Wikipedia from the word go, finding AN on his 8th edit and ANI on his 20th to take part in a highly controversial thread in the latter case. This is, imo, nothing more than trolling. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 01:25, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
So I'm not the only one who noticed? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:56, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

GLAM-WIKI

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Me (Chap in the navy uniform) and Fiona (WikiContrib lady you spoke to who was going through RfA) really enjoyed meeting you today! We'll hopefully see you tomorrow, and again on the 19th! Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:29, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Your comments pertaining to WIkileaks

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I thought you might be interested in a discussion taking place at Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-11-22/In_the_news#Jimbo's dangerous incursions into international politics. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:33, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Your appeal, in music form

Just came across this. I thought that you might enjoy seeing your appeal in a flashy, catchy, musical portrayal. Your appeal is beginning to go viral. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 16:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Hilarious. Although, at 302 views so far, it isn't exactly storming the Intarwebs. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:00, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

It's up to 757 now, probably because it's linked from this page. Moot must be jealous ;-). --SB_Johnny | talk 01:03, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Caos in Wikipedia PT

Here is another evidence of the caos. (Portuguese) This user makes check user without permission! Leandro LV (talk) 22:34, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

CIA activities in Iran

This is a content dispute not explored on article talk page and doesn't belong here

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Articles on CIA activities abroad throughout Wikipedia have been hijacked by editors using neo-Nazi blogs like CounterPunch and ZNet to promote the most outlandish conspiracy theories. On the "CIA activities in Iran" page, I have twice had to remove allegations that the CIA overthrew the Shah and installed Khomeini, but the editors refuse to accept the removal, calling their edits "reliably sourced info." This page should be monitored to prevent the fantasies from again being restored. There are probably legions of these sorts of conspiracy theories in the really obscure pages; the CIA was also blamed for the 1968 coup in Iraq--a coup it vociferously opposed and spent years trying to rollback under Nixon and Ford. (The article now acknowledges: "David Wise, a Washington-based author who has written extensively about Cold War espionage, has disputed the notion that the CIA supported the 1968 coup, as has Middle East analyst James Phillips. According to a 2003 report by Common Dreams "many experts, including foreign affairs scholars, say there is little to suggest U.S. involvement in Iraq in the 1960s," although it is widely acknowledged that the CIA worked to destabilize the Qassem regime in the early part of the decade. Robert Dreyfuss, in his book Devil's Game, maintains that the Johnson administration actually opposed the 1968 coup and used the Shah's Iran as a counterpoint to the Ba'athist regime it established. A 2006 study concluded that the CIA's alleged role in the coup "cannot be considered historical" in the absence of more compelling evidence.") On the Richard Helms page, innuendo to the effect that the CIA killed President Kennedy--which was left in place for months if not years--was removed today.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 00:55, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Who told you this? WAYNEOLAJUWON 01:02, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
No one told me; I read the article CIA activities in Iran and was appalled to see that it claimed the CIA really installed the Khomeini regime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheTimesAreAChanging (talkcontribs) 01:03, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, but I thought you were also talking about specific Wikipedia users hijacking Wikipedia on CIA activities. WAYNEOLAJUWON 01:05, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


I would say that the audience that writes the really obscure CIA articles is predisposed to systemic bias against the CIA, tends to treat any conspiracy theory as worthy of mention, and regards every source as credible. This is my impression after reading the articles--I was not surprised by the Khomeini accusation. It seemed typical.75.63.53.166 (talk) 01:13, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe so, maybe so, but this is not the venue for questioning that. Please discuss on article Talk page first, then follow dispute resolution, then request for comment, and then, Arbitration. Jimbo has not the time to get deeply involved in content disputes, and rarely does so. Meanwhile, feel free to take my advice and take this issue elsewhere, per my closure. Rodhullandemu 01:20, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, diffs for bogus topic ban as requested

Mr. Wales,

You had requested diffs to get to the bottom of this. The arbitrators who filed and actively lobbied for the topic ban never offered any specific diffs that supported their position. No fact was ever established nor did they support their accusations when challenged. There was no direct communication about the issues during the request. The only way to prove these points is to examine the Topic Ban directly. [13]

  • Only one diff supporting the arbitrator's accusations was given against me by an administrator.[14] The administrator's evidence and conclusions drawn by the administrator were challenged for their validity. I think one can safely conclude that the administrator accepted my rebuttal.[15]
  • Only two links were ever provided by the arbitrators. They supported their main notion that, "...the failure to either work together or disengage, is why a topic ban is the option I am supporting here for both editors".[16][17]

Neither link supports these accusations. It is my opinion that the links instead clearly demonstrate my concern with longstanding harassment and also demonstrate harassment of not only myself but of an administrator carrying out an arbitration remedy.

  • The diff that the topic ban request was initiated by an arbitrator.[18]
  • A complete analysis of every administrator accusation made during the TBR.[19]

"No crime, no punishment" - "Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali". The only conduct issues that have ever been proven were edit warring and mild personalized comments from Jan. 2008 and Sept 2008. The edit warring stopped after the second 3R, which was before the 1st of five attempts at a topic ban. [20]

Mr. Wales there was no misconduct. There was no basis to draw a conclusion of misconduct. There was no specific evidence. There was no response from the accusers during the request. Please comment on these issues and consider a remedy to fix this major wrong done to my reputation. --scuro (talk) 15:28, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Your Personal Appeal banner.

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

A few days after you made a personal appeal banner in which you're asking us to donate a sum of money to Wikimedia, it has since been a subject of various parodies and spoofs. Do you find this insulting, or do you consider it as a form of good-natured mockery towards you? Blake Gripling (talk) 10:07, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Go back to Encyclopedia Dramatica and leave Mr. Wales alone. He's busy raising funds for a good cause. They're busy raising funds for a bad cause. Need I elaborate? --harrybagatestes@gmail.com (IP address useless, I live in Torpark.) Now quit your crying and go back to work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.15.255.234 (talk) 21:14, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Pandora's box revisted - discussion of political and/or opinion matters in Wikimedia

First, my apologies to the individual whose user talk page this is for my posting comments which may be better placed elsewhere. If anyone thinks these matters would be better discussed on a separate page, please feel free to tell me or even move the comments directly to the better choice of pages.

I know that there have been previous attempts to have somewhat reliable "opinion" pages on major issues, which have, basically, failed. It seems to me at least in part that the failure may have been based on the pages being structured to basically advance what might be a single opinion on an issue, rather than in a point/counterpoint format, or maybe in a format which would allow for multiple "position of (X)" sections. However, I do think that there might well be a use for such content, particularly regarding the upcoming US presidential election in two years. Yes, it is two years away, I know that. None of the candidates have (so far as I know anyway) even announced yet. Personally, I think that makes this the best possible time to establish ground rules for such material, if it were to be developed, so that we don't have any more individuals clearly advocating for a particular candidate or position than possible.

Maybe, and this is obviously just a maybe, somewhere, maybe in Wikibooks, we could create a location for multiple pages discussing the relevant issues, perhaps one page per issue, with separate sections on the stated or implicit positions of candidates or parties and for any "outside" entities which have addressed the issue. Exactly where to place material regarding, for instance, the clearly conservative Cato Institute might be somewhat difficult to decide, but I think that it could reasonably be done. And, perhaps, in a worst-case scenario, the pages might be placed under full protection rather early on, with changes only made after consensus on the talk page by people from multiple positions. That would entail having individuals state somewhere their own opinions, and having those who make the changes be comparatively neutral, and both of those might be difficult to achieve, but I think it could, maybe, be done.

In any event, if it is possible, I think having some sort of informative guide of as neutral a kind as possible would definitely be both useful for anyone considering a vote in that election, and probably be a major feather in the Foundation's cap if it could be done. If it succeeds in the US, where I think there are probably enough interested parties to make it workable, it might be adapted to work in other countries as well. Maybe. Anyway, just throwing the idea out there, and, again, my apologies to Jimbo if these comments would be better made elsewhere. John Carter (talk) 18:34, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, I have part of your requested essay available.

This is Brian G. Crawford. I have part or much of what you requested from me. Email me via facebook to get it. I think I ran afoul of an impostor. 184.15.255.234 (talk) 21:04, 28 November 2010 (UTC) (I'm on Tor, sorry)

10th anniversary of Wikipedia

Shouldn't Wikipedia have a special logo for its tenth anniversary by putting a cake with 10 candles on top of the Wikipedia logo? What do you guys think? WAYNEOLAJUWON 22:19, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I concur. Maybe not necessarily a cake. Perhaps a ribbon or something. But I agree it would be fitting to have something present to mark the occasion. At the very least, I hope it appears in the "On this day..." section of the main page. Make it happen. Mr Wales! --Dorsal Axe 23:22, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
See Anniversary#Anniversary symbols. -- Wavelength (talk) 23:37, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

tenwiki:Design. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 00:23, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Violent / Hate Speech in Wikipedia

This section, or comments from this section, was/were incorrectly removed in this edit. It/they have been restored. Strange Passerby (talkcontribs) 02:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I already made a thread at ANI [21] about this, so I do not want to forum shop (and do not expect an answer specific to the question at ANI) but I think this is an important core issue. Basically, is hate speech / inciting to violence allowed in Wikipedia when it is sourced? Phoenix of9 03:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Your behavior and attitude in the ANI thread is not ok. I recommend that you sit back and rest from this issue for awhile.
To answer your specific question to me (which was asked in a highly biased way, once I went to see what the real issue was), yes, of course it can be perfectly fine to quote hate speech or incitement to violence in Wikipedia, when it is relevant and a part of the history of some particular aspect of the world.
To answer your specific question over at ANI, first, I will say that it is a content issue best decided on the talk page of the article, but one that is a legitimate content issue that you can't short-circuit by simply screaming 'hate speech' about a quote from the Bible! In an article on same sex marriage, it seems rather obvious to me that at some point Biblical views need to be covered, and one very likely way to explore and explain to the reader the historical roots of traditional Christian opposition to same sex marriage would be to quote from the Bible. I'm not taking a firm stand on whether or not that quote should be included - that's up to a discussion on the page. I'm just saying that it's a worthwhile and perfectly reasonable discussion for people to have.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:29, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I've commented on this in the ANI thread. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I will take your advice and rest from this issue for awhile.
But, I am not sure if you misunderstood me or if I am misunderstanding you. I'm not saying any quote from the bible is "hate speech"; I am talking about "Leviticus 20:13" which seems to call for killing of gay people. And this is not strictly historical, eg: Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which some Christian groups in that country support and it could be argued that the basis of that bill is largely Christian/religious.
So, my final 2 questions: 1) Are you are saying that a reference to a specific text which calls for death of gay people is OK in a gay related article?
2) And the larger question is if incitement to violence is ok in Wikipedia (even if it is a current issue and not necessarily historical) when there might be a relevance to a certain Wikipedia article? Phoenix of9 16:10, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
By this logic, an article on Adolph Hitler would not be able to reference Mein Kampf. It doesn't make sense. The proper response to obnoxious statements is not to pretend that they weren't said. Looie496 (talk) 16:58, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
No that is not a correct analogy. The correct analogy would be adding references to Mein Kampf into Jewish People article under a section like "Contreversy". Phoenix of9 22:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
If someone posts Lev. 20:13 as their personal motto, that's an incitement to violence. To state Lev. 20:13 called for the death penalty for homosexuality is a fact that may be legitimate historical encyclopedic content. As Looie496 says, there are plenty of things in the encyclopedia that would be inappropriate for an editor to promote as their personal opinion, but have a contextual and encyclopedic place in an article.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:14, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I dont know if you are reading my answers. I already clarified that I am talking about a possibly current context, rather than a historical one. Phoenix of9 22:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Current religious teachings for the most part are based at least in part on historical teachings and/or traditions. If being used in the context of discussing certain religions objections to same sex marriage I would not consider it "an incitement to violence." As a content discussion it may not be appropriate for the article in question. It may be WP:OR or WP:SYNTH if there's no secondary sources connecting that verse to official doctrines. Possibly other issues. But that's a content question.--Cube lurker (talk) 23:11, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
If reliable sources indicate that Lev. 20:13 is in some people's opinion relevant to their views on same-sex marriage, then it would be perfectly acceptable to reference it in an article on same-sex marriage. Of course, one would have to consider what weight to give it, and if, on that basis, it merited mentioning - but at a guess I'd say that's quite possible. That some people are offended by those views in neither here nor there. Wikipedia doesn't concern itself with the question of whether article content might offend (see WP:NOTCENSORED). Indeed any editor wishing to exclude content merely on the grounds that it is "hateful" hasn't really understood the meaning of Wikipedia's neutrality. Wikipedia takes no position on whether gay-marriage is good, bad, sacred, or even merits the death penalty. My (or your) views on such matters are wholly irrelevant.--Scott Mac 23:12, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Might I ask how Leviticus is relevent to Same-sex marriage? That section that is quoted and is referenced by various religious groups, along with other sections in the Bible, all refer to homosexuals having sex. The sections are not about marriage. So how is including that really relevant to the topic of marriage between homosexuals? It seems to me that having it in the article is trying to push a bit of an agenda. SilverserenC 23:34, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
If that's directed at me I'm not sure it is 100% relevant. However there's a difference between a content question on "does the verse belong" and declaring it an "incitement to violence" in multiple venues.--Cube lurker (talk) 23:40, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Scott MacDonald, I see your point and that answers my question to Jimbo Wales. However, the final thing I'll say is, we have a higher sensitivity when it comes to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. I think it doesn't make sense that such standards aren't also applied to incitement to violence and you have to engage in prolonged debates to remove WP:OR. Phoenix of9 00:27, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Whether it is OR or not is a normal content decision for the talk page, and nothing more. This gets decided as a content level and nothing more. You don't get to seek an advantage in deciding content by claiming something is "hateful" or "incites" this or that. This is exactly the same game that's been tried by Muslims wanting special treatment over images of the prophet and it was rejected then. BLPs are only different to the extent that we insist that things are verifiable and neutrally presented. Saying "Leviticus says x, and some people, in this basis have argued y" and giving reliable sources, can be perfectly factual and neutral. The fact that some people don't like it is their problem. Frankly, the way you've argued this, and the emotional way you've behaved, gives me concerns that you don't get the basic idea of what Wikipedia is. We deal in sourced facts. If the facts are unpleasant for some people - tough.--Scott Mac 02:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Images of prophet is not a good analogy as those didn't suggest violence. And it is unlikely that you can gauge emotional reactions from written text accurately. Finally, while we deal with sourced facts, because of things like WP:UNDUE, it is not always an exact process. Phoenix of9 02:55, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
And since it isn't an exact process we have content discussions on the article talk page to reach consensus.--Cube lurker (talk) 03:41, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Eh! I don't believe in same-sex marriage or just same-sex. IMHO, sex should be different each time. GoodDay (talk) 03:01, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

You must be single LOL The Eskimo (talk) 03:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

The ANI thread was closed.[22] It is not unreasonable to cite source material or to discuss the beliefs that people have; but I would be concerned that this seems like an issue best covered in an article about some anti-gay perspective and only covered in "WP:summary style" at the same-sex marriage article, which might mean not placing WP:Undue weight on any one quote. One can vigorously contest the idea that because an anti-gay statute is in the Old Testament, and Christianity is based on the Old Testament, hence Christianity condemns it. After all, the Old Testament similarly condemns wearing a garment made out of two different kinds of thread. Its rules are reported to be designed to make Abraham's seed as numerous as the dust of the earth, as opposed to, say, establishing peace on earth and good will toward men. Christianity includes an injunction to "keep the commandments", but the definition of the latter may be open to debate; in any case they don't include the great bulk of Israelite dietary laws. And then, you might cover Jewish, Muslim, and other non-Christian perspectives. Wnt (talk) 23:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

It is quite evident that when the Western liberalism of most Wikipedians comes into conflict with the stated project aim of neutrality, that neutrality loses. I stay well away from all such articles because there's not a hope in hell of neutralising the obvious agendas.--Scott Mac 00:00, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I really appreciate the discussion on this feed. Just for context, the challenged article text at issue here currently reads as follows (it originally didn't have the footnotes, which was my fault):
Some religious arguments against same-sex marriage are based upon Old Testament biblical passages such as Genesis 19:4-11, Leviticus 18:22, and Leviticus 20:13,[1][2][3][4] while others are based upon New Testament biblical passages such as Romans 1, I Corinthians 6:8-10, and Jude 1:7.[5][6]
This sentence is in the religion subsection of the controversy section of an article on same-sex marriage. I must say that I am truly dismayed that another editor would write to the founder of Wikipedia and make accusations of violent hate speech on the basis of this sentence. 184.74.22.161 (talk) 09:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I might have phrased what I said above better. To have a sentence like this in the article is better than nothing — it's just a very narrow look at a broad set of issues. It should be developed further using more scholarly references that review a broader range of Christian beliefs and interpretations. But I should have been clear that it is completely wrong to accuse a contributor of "hate speech" for documenting an argument. Wnt (talk) 08:18, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Using a primary source (such as the Bible) is usually a violation of the No Original Research policy. For example, should someone be allowed (on Wikipedia) to argue that the God of the Old Testament is actually the Devil based on the Bible's claim that God mass-murdered all humans and all other species other than the specific entities that were on Noah's Ark? - WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:04, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

No, but we could certainly reference a Manichean sect's statements advocating such a point of view. Wnt (talk) 01:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
A primary source can certainly be used to substantiate statements about that source. It would be ridiculous, for example, if an article about the Ten Commandments was unable to refer to the Bible. Looie496 (talk) 19:13, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
It turns out that reality is ridiculous. For example, we do need to use secondary sources on an article about the Ten Commandments. Research "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth". You could begin that research with Catholic Religion Purposely takes out one of God's Ten Commandments and There are 613 commandments, not 10. By the way, other than Seventh Day Adventists, how many Christians "Keep the Sabbath (Saturday) holy"? Religious doctrine is only taken seriously by those who have not studied it. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:35, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, the challenged sentence cited some religious groups opposed to gay marriage. Depending on the level of collaboration these groups use in creating published statements of their common beliefs, these fairly may be viewed as "secondary", though partisan, in nature. Secondary sources from a broader and more "neutral" perspective are somewhat more desirable and certainly needed to complete the coverage of the topic, but we shouldn't create a tyranny of the liberal arts commentators. Wnt (talk) 01:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Erdogan confuses Wikileaks with Wikipedia

Thought you might be interested in this NY Times article on the website today[23], quoting the Turkish prime minister as saying the following: “First, let’s wait until Wikileaks spill all the beans, and then we would check how serious or unserious they are,” Mr. Erdogan said. “Because the seriousness of Wikipedia is doubtful." The Times should have pointed out that there is no connection between Wikipedia and Wikileaks. ScottyBerg (talk) 17:23, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I think Jimmy is doing whatever he can to assert that we are not connected to wikileaks, I saw a quite lengthy interview with him with Adam Boulton on Sky news focused on that point at the week end. Off2riorob (talk) 17:45, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, all around. I think the key is that Mr. Assange should start helping with the clarification.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:00, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, are you (are are you able to be) in communication with Assange? There's a wide-held perception (not just by Mr Erdogan) that websites starting with "Wiki..." are all Wikipedia, or, at the least, part of the Wikimedia Foundation. Anything formalised you could do beyond Sky News? The Rambling Man (talk) 18:11, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I guess what troubled me was that the Times didn't point out Erdogan's error. If I wuz Mr. W I'd fire off an email to the Times. ScottyBerg (talk) 20:12, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed this is a constant problem, and it's critical to clarify things especially now more than ever because of all the recent news hype coinciding with the fundraising drive. Many people will be hesitant to donate if they think we're affiliated with Wikileaks. Hopefully it won't affect it too much but we'll have to see. -- œ 09:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, some may be especially willing to donate if they think we are connected with Wikileaks. Of course we should clarify this on principle, no matter what the influence on the donation stream is. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
It may be relevant to point out that [insanely] it sounds like Facebook may get a trademark on the word "face" in any compound at all in their area of business.[24] I doubt this is the kind of IP precedent anyone at Wikipedia would approve of; nonetheless, I wonder if it is potentially a bargaining chip Wikipedia could use to demand that Wikileaks make a statement distancing itself on its website. Wnt (talk) 10:34, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

US photographs

Something occurred to me. Unlike the UK where images of most villages can be uploaded from http://www.geograph.org.uk/ there is a considerable problem for many places in the US and Canada obtaining a plentiful supply of decent freely useable photographs for small towns, and even larger ones, one example I can think of is Calabasas, California.... I was wondering Jimmy if your foundation would endorse the idea of running a US version of geograph to photograph every grid square or whatever you use for the United States. Sure it would be an ambitious project, but not as ambitious as wikipedia... This would not only solve our problem of having a poor supply of photographs for many places in the United States but it would build up a highly valuable bank of images over time under a Creative Commons/GFDL license which I am certain many people would find very valuable. I wonder how many times somebody has looked for a freely useable image of a small US town or unincorporated place and found no images on it. Given that geograph is clearly a massive success and has suppled the majority of British villages with images, I wonder if it would be too much to ask if the foundation could host a US version of such a project to attract people into a project which would photograph the United States in such detail? I know that the United States is considerably larger than the UK but I don't see why such a project couldn't be a success for most places with a high internet population. If I can get some sort of backing I'll make a formal proposal on this.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:21, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I second this - if this can be made viable, it would be a great idea. (It's actually something I've considered before; trouble is I'm not net-savvy enough to know where to begin in creating it.) I've done enough photographing of backwoods Virginia to know that free images for much of the country are next-to-impossible to come by at the moment, even for some of the larger/more notable places (see Big Stone Gap, Virginia for but one good example). I know it's a huge country, but the population is pretty large - I don't see why this couldn't work. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 22:35, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Sheila Hollins, Baroness Hollins

Were you just preparing to start a new article? -- œ 09:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes. She was just recently elevated to the peerage and we don't have an article on her. I am not 100% sure I will have time to create an article, so I thought I would at least post the links I found to assist someone else who may wish to do it. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:45, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

wikipedia helping google with the dissemination of information

Recently I searched google using the term, "theory of adhd". The first link was to the wiki article entitled, social construct theory of ADHD. The gist of this theory is that the disorder has been socially constructed and "could not exist had we not built it". Basically this theory questions the validity of the disorder and is often used to claim that the disorder doesn't exist. ADHD is considered a medical condition and accepted as such by the western world. SCTA would be considered a fringe viewpoint or possibly a minor viewpoint within select populations.

Now I know that google can be manipulated so that search results are skewed and all of this can happen outside of wikipedia. But, is wikipedia also contributing in some small degree in the improper dissemination of information? I could well imagine that this problem could involve many topics.--scuro (talk) 13:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Let me approach the question more generally, because I do think it is philosophically interesting. Let's suppose (I haven't read the article in question and anyway do not have the relevant background to assess it directly myself) the article you are talking about is neutral and high quality. Even so, it is a neutral discussion of one particular viewpoint. If google is (accidentally, surely) sending people to a "sub-article" on a particular viewpoint, rather than the main article which puts that viewpoint in a wider context, this could indeed in some cases be problematic.
I don't have a solution for that, and it is bound to happen in some cases even without "manipulation".
I think people would be rightly outraged in some cases, enough to complain to google about it. From our end, I suppose the main thing we can do is make clear that a subarticle is part of a "series" about some topic, and make sure people are aware of the existence of the general article.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:28, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Wiki UK Limited

The "appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales" is made in the name of the above company (registered in the UK, number 06741827). Having looked up this company at the Companies House web-check service, I find that, although it is listed as active, there is a current "proposal to strike-off". It was incorporated in Nov 2008, but appears to have never filed any accounts as required by law - these are currently overdue.

This doesn't seem to be a very good incentive for people to donate money? -- MightyWarrior (talk) 15:00, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I have been in discussion with the UK chapter about this issue. Perhaps someone from there can weigh in directly. Basically, there was a delay in filing the appropriate paperwork, but doing so is going to happen very soon. The Foundation is aware of the issue. As far as I have been able to determine, it is purely a paperwork matter, not anything substantive. Even so, of course I am not happy about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
A little more info is at WP:VPM#Wiki UK Ltd to be struck off?. Johnuniq (talk) 21:50, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

linking to wikilinks

I thought you might be interested in the discussion about if we should be using and linking to these controversial wikileak documents. At the Administrators noticeboard here - Off2riorob (talk) 16:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

GOCE elections

Greetings from the Guild of Copy Editors
Writing Magnifying.PNG
GOCE Coordinator.png

Elections are currently underway for our inaugural Guild coordinators. The voting period will run for 14 days: 00:01 UTC, Friday 1 December – 23:59 UTC, Tuesday 14 December. All GOCE members in good standing, as well as past participants of any of the Guild's Backlog elimination drives, are eligible to vote. There are six candidates vying for four positions. The candidate with the highest number of votes will become the Lead Coordinator, therefore, your vote really matters! Cast your vote today.

Sent on behalf of the Guild of Copy Editors via SMasters using AWB on 01:44, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Question for Gwen Gale

Comment at Template_talk:PD-USGov-DOE#Template:PD-USGov-DOE_Laboratory_image_use

There is a question regarding the copyright status of National Labratories in the US. Does the WMF have legal counsel which could comment at Template_talk:PD-USGov-DOE#Template:PD-USGov-DOE_Laboratory_image_use? It's probably best not to stagnate this into what happened with US government portraits.Smallman12q (talk) 21:52, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I would email legal@wikimedia.org to inquire.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
You can't ask them to leave a comment?Smallman12q (talk) 23:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
So will the foundation provide some sort of policy/legal comment or should the 1000+ media files be mass listed at Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files?Smallman12q (talk) 23:32, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbcom election re Giano

Can one be an arb and not a checkuser? Kittybrewster 11:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why not. Technically it should be trivial. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:10, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Not all Arbs are or have been. Historically, no Arb has not been an administrator - but since that is nominally an indication of length of editing history and knowledge of WP policy it should be recognised that Giacomo Returned also qualifies. LessHeard vanU (talk) 11:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
One can be arb and not checkuser. One cannot be arb without identifying to the Foundation, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Good. Thank you. Kittybrewster 11:46, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I rather think, Mr Wales, you will find that is a decision for the community - not you. Or are you planning yet another of your ill thought out constitutinal crisis? I shall happily abide by the commuity's decision - no wise man would consider doing otherwise.  Giacomo  12:54, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
This has been the policy in the past; it will continue this year as usual. I would gladly respect an instruction from either ArbCom or a properly conducted community poll showing consensus to change this policy. Perhaps you'd like to lead that process?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Not particularly, but if you personally want to take me on, I am happy to engage with you - you do, howver, seem a little nervous. Perhaps best wait for the outcome of the election, I would imagine that will be as good indication - or don't you trust the polls and scrutineers?  Giacomo  13:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
What did I say which seems nervous to you? I do trust the polls and scrutineers. And I will continue to follow the policy which has been in place in the past, and for good reasons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I should hope that a figurehead aand constitutional monarch such as yourself will indeed follow policy, and like the Queen Elizabeth II, that greatest of constitutional monarchs, will sensibly do as instructed by the votes of your loyal and devoted people.  Giacomo  13:19, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, as I said, I will follow policy. The policy, clearly spelled out on the election page and not written by me, says that I shall not appoint anyone who does not identify. This policy was in place in past years (though regrettably and in error not enforced in the case of Sam Blacketer 2 years ago, thus resulting in a minor scandal and his departure from the committee) and is still good policy today. As always, I will respect legitimate changes to policy done within our traditional constitutional framework. But I see zero support for that at this time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Question. Foundation personel have stated that they only check the persons age, and then destroy the identifying data. (WP:ACN#Statement_regarding_identification_to_WMF). Is this so? And if so how does this policy relate to the Sam Blacketer situation?--Cube lurker (talk) 14:20, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
But I don't want any of your magical tools. I don't want to be a CU, an OS or even an Admin. So even if it were necesary for me to identify - which it's not, my length of service here proves more than adequatly that I am over 18 (I don't even envy 18 year olds - the 30s were the best), so I'm afraid wanting to know my name is just pure noseyness and I am not going to tell you.  Giacomo  13:28, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what permissions you do or don't want access to. As an arbitrator you will at various times be privy to the same kinds of information that a checkuser, oversighter, and administrator would be; and so you need to identify. Submitting a candidacy and having to intention to identify, whilst knowing that identification is a requirement, is a useless and disruptive exercise; but you wouldn't do that, would you? AGK 13:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • But I don't want secret information. I don't approve of secret (and seemingly not so secret) information. I am quite capable of making up my own mind. In fact, I suspect the Arbcom's secret information as actually quite banal and they only keep it because they don't know what esle to do with it and having a secret, special place makes them feel important and clannish. Rather like a lot of little boys who have a secret camp up a tree - quite fun, but utterly pointless to an adult. This place needs a new sense of persective, it is an internet project to write an encyclopedia. It is not the Pentagon - and even that is learning the error of keeping too many silly secrest.  Giacomo  13:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Like your name?--Kotniski (talk) 14:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
 :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't know why Jimbo's laughing - he could not even keep the Arbs most private files secret [25]. So, I'm certainly not giving him (or an of his chosen employees) my name to throw about th internet about.  Giacomo  14:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

But what if you can't get your election certified without that requirement being satisfied? GoodDay (talk) 14:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing. Giano is one of the more interesting candidates, and it would be a shame if this ID issue kept him off arbcom. ScottyBerg (talk) 14:53, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
He is free to try to convince the community to change policy. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
We have a age requirement and it is impossible to know a user's age whether it is Wikipedia or Facebook or orkut with so many fake profiles and further if someone objects that a particular arb is not 18 now editing history is not proof of it.Jimbo Wales will have accept the objection as age verification which cannot be done without identification and is a requirement for every candidate not just for one.
Further out of the 2 Million users no personal information including name is collected and only those wishing to be Arb ,Checkuser etc are required to identify and this is fully voluntary.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 14:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Which policy would need changing? The only policy I know of is that candidates need to provide you with a list of all their historical accounts, which would have addressed the Sam Blacketer issue, had you done it. The age verification would not have addressed the Sam Blacketer issue. 01:30, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
There was an issue in Alberta here a couple years ago where a colony of Hutterites refused to have their photos taken for their drivers licenses, citing religious beliefs. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, and they lost. In the end, driving was held to be a privilege, not a right, and it was decided they had to abide by the same rules as everyone else or forfeit that privilege. This issue is no different. Giano has no right to sidestep scrutiny in this case. If he is serious about wanting to be on ArbCom and not just wasting everyone's time, then he needs to submit to the same rules as the other candidates. If not, he should be removed from consideration. Resolute 15:07, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Funnily enough I do not reside in Alberta, and neither do I belong to a a colony of Hutterites; suprising is that may seem. So it is quite different. In fact, this is a "community" with a few members attempting to write an encyclopedia that supposedly anyone can edit. It is supposedly democratic, and I am very happy to await a democratic outcome, others seem to be becoming increasingly nervous of that outcome.  Giacomo  15:13, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any evidence of anyone being nervous of anything.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:19, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure you are cool, calm and collected as always.  Giacomo  15:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
What's at stake is whether Giano can vote on arbitration cases if he chooses not to identify. It is not necessary at all to actually be on the Committee to review cases and express opinions. What is the great danger in allowing somebody to vote? Giano is the sum of his contributions to Wikipedia. I for one don't care who he is in real life as long as he's not being given access to non-public info. If the community chooses to elect an arbitrator who does not want CU, OS, Admin, and ArbCom Mailing List access (and therefore does not want to identify himself), that is a statement of consensus that the candidate should be allowed to serve. I will protest quite loudly via appropriate media if the will of the community is subverted by a few who think they know better. Giano has been quite forthright with the electorate, telling them repeatedly that he will not identify. If they choose to elect him anyway, that result should stand. Jehochman Talk 15:45, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I can't support that. It was and still is a stated condition that identification is a condition of being a committee member. The time to have dealt with this was a few months ago, using the correct channels and changing the principle, not possibly using the election and standing in opposition to the entry conditions and then suggesting if selected you will be a member and make your judgements without access to all the information available to the Arbs to assist them make a judgment. Off2riorob (talk) 15:55, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I, on the other hand, would applaud a refusal to seat a candidate who refused to comply with longstanding policies that he was aware of when he stood for candidacy, and that he has not sought to change through any of the appropriate means at his disposal. Seating an unidentified candidate puts an undue burden on the other Arbitrators, who would not be able to discuss cases with their would-be colleague. Worse, it puts them (and other Wikipedia/Wikimedia functionaries who may deal with the ArbCom from time to time, and may not be aware of Arbitrator Giano's special status) at unreasonable risk of iadvertently disclosing private information to an individual who should not have access to it. Why you think avoiding that would play badly in any real media, unless it were reported deceptively and irresponsibly? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
This reminds me of Giano's comment on Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley who argues that he is a member of the House of Lords:
  • As Wikipedia's resident Italian, in high places, in London, I can tell you that most Brits do not think membership is a "good thing." Most think the whole concept is absurd and/or antiquated as proven by the "elevation" of that well known pugilist and example to the nation's young, Baron I-only-took-it-for-me-long-suffering-wife-Prescot. The current House of Lords has succeeded in uniting both in British upper and lower classes in feeling that the House of Lords is a club, now best avoided. I believe Lord Monckton is considered an charmingly eccentric exception to that rule. He knows very well he's not a member, but publicly claiming to be does give him and his causes rather a lot or press attention - doesn't it? Giacomo 18:02, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Kittybrewster 16:09, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────With all due respect, Giacomo, we are talking about the internet. This is arguing (election) about the rights of those who decide arguments (arbcom) about arguments (how we present an issue on the encyclopedia). This "controversy" all comes across as a good deal of navalgazing. Magog the Ogre (talk) 16:01, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Nah, not nervous. Even if I respect several arbs individually, I've very little respect for ArbCom as an institution and your addition wouldn't really change much in that regard. Indeed, it would be incredibly hilarious to see you ruling on issues of incivility. But the key question, of course, is whether you believe all editors should be considered and treated equally or not. Resolute 16:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


Mr. Wales. Up above I've asked a question regarding the nature & purpose of identification. I believe though you may have missed it as the conversation moved on, however I was hoping you could address it.--Cube lurker (talk) 15:57, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

If the requirement (along with being elected) to assume a seat on Arbcom, is to identify yourself to your Arb colleges? Then I don't see where Giacomo has a choice. Unless, after his rejection by the committee, he seeks to get the ID requirement overturned for Arb candidates. GoodDay (talk) 16:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

If the previous foundation statement is accurate there is no requirement to identify yourself to Arb collegues. Supposedly it's only for age verification. That's why I've asked for clarification on Mr. Wales reference to the Sam Blacketer situation.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:00, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Wait, can someone please point me to this long standing "policy" that one must identify yourself in order to be on the arbcom? I can't find it anywhere in the arbitration policy page. Tex (talk) 17:42, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

[26] . Kittybrewster 17:49, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
#2 states "Any volunteer who is chosen by any community process to be granted access rights to restricted data shall not be granted that access until that volunteer has satisfactorily identified himself or herself to the Foundation, which may include proof that such user is at least 18 and explicitly over the age at which they are capable to act without the consent of their parent in the jurisdiction in which they reside." Where does that say that you have to identify to be on the arbitration committee? Giano has already said he doesn't want access to restricted data. Tex (talk) 17:51, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Emphasis added is my own:

In addition to its role in dispute resolution, the Committee determines which editors have access to CheckUser and Oversight permissions, and considers certain matters where exceptional factors such as privacy preclude a public hearing.

Arbitrators are neither Wikimedia Foundation employees or agents, nor Wikipedia executives. They are volunteer users—usually experienced editors and administrators—whom the community of editors at large elects to resolve the most complex or intractable disputes that may arise within the community, and to oversee the few areas where access to non-public information is a prerequisite.

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee

Functionaries are users who perform specialised roles, and have privileged technical access, on the Wikimedia projects. Examples include users with Oversight or CheckUser access, OTRS volunteers, and current and past members of the Arbitration Committee. Functionary access must be authorised by the Wikimedia Foundation, and requires confirmation of the user's identity to be recorded by the Foundation, to ensure compliance with the access to nonpublic data policy. This is in contrast to users such as Bureaucrats or members of the Bot Approvals Group, which are 'community' positions.

Functionaries whose permissions and responsibilities are confined to the English Wikipedia are under the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Committee. These functionaries include:

  • Current members of the Arbitration Committee
  • Former members of the Committee, who retain access to the functionaries-l mailing list (and are considered functionaries for that, somewhat recursive, reason)
  • Users with CheckUser or Oversight access


Functionaries are held to a higher standard of behavior than normal editors, especially in issues related to their area of responsibility. If a user demonstrates a lack of judgment in an area related to their special access, their status as a functionary may be revoked; whether or not an explicit abuse of their privileged access has occured. As functionaries have a high profile within the project, and are the face of Wikipedia both to its editors and to the wider world, it is damaging to the integrity of the encyclopedia as a whole if these users are repeatedly embroiled in controversy.

A functionary may have their status and technical access removed with broad community consensus, or by a ruling of the Arbitration Committee.

Wikipedia:Functionary

-- Avi (talk) 17:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

If it's so important why don't they record the identity instead of just verifying that they are 18+ years old?--Cube lurker (talk) 18:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey Avi, you're doing a bang up job of circling all around the question that I asked. Where is the policy that says one must identify in order to be on the arbitration committee? Neither of the pages above that you quote are policies. Additionally, I have not asked anything about funcionaries or non-public data. Jimbo says above that there is a policy that you must identify to be on the arbitration committee. Where is that policy? Tex (talk) 18:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

It's in italicized bold, the "nonpublic data policy." There is no mention of the bits themselves, it is access to the data that those with the bits supply to ArbCom in the process of ArbCom performing its duty. There is no exemption for volunteering not to have the bits. Members of ArbCom, in the pursuit of their duty, are privy to nonpublic data and fall under the foundation's policy. -- Avi (talk) 18:10, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Please see item 1 of wmf:Resolution:Access to nonpublic data -- Avi (talk) 18:12, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

If you're sufggesting that Arbcom falls under point #1 of the resolution then you're accusing Philippe Beaudette of lying. Please be careful.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If ArbCom handles non-public information, then yes, it falls under point 1. And if Giano were to be elected but refuses to comply to point 1, then point 2 says he cannot take his place on ArbCom. As to whether Philippe is lying, that is your implication, not anybody else's. He could simply be misinformed, or misremembering. Resolute 18:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Philippe is the person who recieves the identification. Either the identity is retained as required by point 1. Or it is only age checked. Philippe has stated they're only age checked and destroyed by Philippe themselves. Philippe can not be "mistaken" about the process Philippe follows.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. So the question then comes back to my "if" statement. Does ArbCom deal with non-public information today, even if it did not (or was not anticipated to do so) in the past? If yes, then it should fall under point 1 and the processes need to be updated. It no, then this is a moot point. Hopefully a current arb is following this discussion and can offer answers from their experience. Resolute 18:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Avi We have a age requirement for this election How do you verify whether a candidate is more than 18 and is of legal age ie How can Age Verification be done without Identity verification?Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 18:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm really not trying to be difficult here, but the foundation's "nonpublic data policy" doesn't say you have to identify to be on the arbitration committee, either. Your link doesn't work, but Kittybrewster linked to it above saying #2 covered it before he changed his response. Now you're saying #1 covers it, but #1 says you can't have access to non-public data unless you identify. Nowhere that I can find does it say that you have to have access to non-public data to be on the arbitration committee. You may be a more effective arb if you do have that access, but it's not required. Tex (talk) 18:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Wowsers, both can't be right. GoodDay (talk) 18:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

It is really very simple, if someone is to be granted access to confidential information and thus be in a position to harm others and the foundation by abusing that access, we need to know who they are. User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:25, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Yet to repeat myself again, we've been told they only age check, not retain identity info. Or was that a lie?--Cube lurker (talk) 19:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

There are two separate links in the chain, it is confusing to combine them. The ANPD Policy categorically requires that users with access to nonpublic data must identify; this covers the CheckUser and Oversight permissions, and mailing lists where such data is routinely presented (arbcom-l and functionaries-en). Enwiki has defined in numerous places, as highlighted by Avi above, that access to these areas is required to be an Arbitrator; by which we conclude that to be an Arb it is necessary to identify. That link in the chain is not unbreakable, but it is currently in place, and to argue that it is not (which requires you to argue that WP:Functionary and WP:Arbitration Committee are not part of the corpus of Wikipedia governance) is basically wikilawyering. A constructive approach to this, if you desire there to be non-identified Arbitrators on the Committee, would be to commence a discussion through the usual channels, and form new policy on the subject, rather than blindly assert that the current consensus on the matter simply doesn't exist. Happymelon 19:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry to interupt you all, but the community will and can decide with its vote. I investigated all of this before standing, and it's constitutinally and legally quite OK to be an Arb without identifying so long as one requires no CU or OS. I will not mention the so called secret Arbcom files because Jimbo and the Arbcom have alllowed access to these by all manner of folk, known and unknown. However, I don't think they are relevant here anyway, unless you are one of the unfortunates mentioned in said files. Regarding behaviour and constitution, that the so called and self styled contitutonal monarch has permitted this thread here on his page (with such biased posts as those by Kittybrewster) is akin to Queen Elizabeth flying the Tory party banner from the flagpole at Buckingham Palace. If I am elected, I shall show you what impartiality and fairness is all about. It will be a learning curve for Jimbo; Arbs not on the mailiong list will be free of his influence.  Giacomo  20:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but I am asserting nothing. It appears certain people in this thread, including Jimbo, are the ones "blindly asserting" that there is a concensus on this. No one has been able to show a policy that says you have to identify to the foundation to be an arb. You are incorrect in saying that Avi has shown "that access to these areas is required to be an Arbitrator". Every instance says that arbs have access to that data, it does not say that an arb has to have access to that data. Instead of coming here with your holier than thou attitude telling me what my desire is, perhaps you should be the one to show that there is consensus for this. As it is, there is a bunch of hand-waving saying that something is so, yet no proof that it is so. Tex (talk) 20:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
You have identified the point precisely. Enwiki has established policies and practices which make being an Arbitrator synonymous with having access to private data, hence requiring identification. To allow the appointment of someone without identification is a redefinition of what enwiki considers 'an Arbitrator'. That is a change of policy. There is indeed no fundamental reason why that consensus cannot be changed, but it does currently exist. Happymelon 20:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

That's an interesting point. Can an arbitrator choose to forgo access to the internal arbitrator forums (the wiki, the mailing lists, etc)? And if he so chooses, would he then be required to identify himself to the Foundation? Raul654 (talk) 20:24, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

A person can very easily be offered access to those forums, and choose not to accept them; the Foundation would not then require them to identify. It is an entirely separate question whether such a person would be an Arbitrator. Happymelon 20:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
By not having OS & CU, a definition of an administrator? GoodDay (talk) 20:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Whether somebody is an arbitrator can largely be decided by the vote. Giano has said from the start that he doesn't want these accesses, and that he would not identify. If the electorate chooses him knowing those facts, then there is a consensus for two things: (1) Giano is an arbitrator, and (2) being an arbitrator is independent from having access to the secrets of Wikipedia. Unless there is some sort of egregious misrepresentation to the electorate (Example: User:Loosmark's sock puppetry), Jimmy ought to appoint whoever the community chooses. Jehochman Talk 20:53, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

To respond to Raul, in my opinion, an arbitrator without access to the data necessary to make decisions is only slightly more useful than a wikipedia editor without internet access. The purpose of ArbCom is to handle various situations on wikipedia which very often requires access to information for which the foundation requires identification. Technically, I guess an arbitrator can be excluded from having any part in every discussion in which confidential information may be necessary, allowing them to take part in discussions in which NO confidential information may be released. However, this places a burden on the remainder of the committee who may need to discuss confidential information. In my opinion, if someone is interested in that kind of role, they would serve the community much better by volunteering for the Wikipedia:Mediation Committee. -- Avi (talk) 20:51, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

If the community agrees with Avi, they won't elect Giano. It's as simple as that. Jehochman Talk 20:55, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Giano has a snowball's chance in hell of being elected, honestly, but at some point this issue should probably be clarified to avoid future clashes over this particular point. Tarc (talk) 20:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think its possible to say that for certain, Giacomo has pockets of support and could well be seen as an alternative vote. But what Jerechoman says is not a correct position. This is the ARBCOM election which although Giacomo has stated right from the start that he won't identify and made that clear, if users support him that isn't a community consensus to change the entry conditions for the commitee because clearly that is not the question beinng asked of voters. Off2riorob (talk) 21:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Then why are you and some others arguing about something that can't possibly happen? Why not just save electrons by waiting to see what does or does not happen? (Okay, quick, somebody slap {{discussion top}} and {{discussion bottom}} around this conversation.) Jehochman Talk 21:01, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
We shouldn't be discussing this at JW's talkpage anyway. GoodDay (talk) 21:04, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Jehochman/Avi We have a age requirement for this election
  • 1 How do you verify whether a candidate is more than 18 and is of legal age ie How can Age Verification be done without Identity verification?
  • Sorry if I am being repetitive but not getting the answer.
  • Even if one agrees that a user will not get CU,OS access or will not take part in cases with private evidence and or be in mailing lists .Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 21:14, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The age verification issue is precisely because of the "imposed by Wikia" privacy aspect of some communications that Arbs may have access to - there is no age limit within policy for accepting, commentating, and voting upon cases. That seems to be the issue here. An arb without access to those lists is pretty much in the same place as non arbs involved in the discussion, except that they have a vote (and get to make their comments in places not available to non arbs). LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Holy smokers, Giacomo has been with Wikipedia since 2004. If he isn't 18 by now, he's been the most precocious minor I've ever come across. GoodDay (talk) 21:31, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Without a confirmed ID, he could be the latest incarnation of the Dread Pirate Roberts. After all, On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. --Allen3 talk 21:57, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe Giacomo_returned is not Giano_II and is playing leapfrog. Kittybrewster 22:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I should think that anyone who reviewed the topics edited, the style of the contribution, the manner of the use of references and sources, the methodology of the editor would have no problem discerning that they were the same person. Of course, such a reviewer would need to be conversant with good article content creation - so I see why you might have some issues with not being certain. Mind you, as has been pointed out, on the internets nobody knows if you are a Doge. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:22, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Really, what does identifying to the Foundation entail? I have been under the impression that it was faxing a copy of a drivers license, passport or other government issued ID. But what's to stop someone sending their mum's, dad's, best friend's or something? Or does it involve more than that? I don't see how though -- the Foundation certainly doesn't have enough employees to send people to editors' houses and demanding proof of ID. Can't Giacomo blank out his name or address or any other personal details he doesn't want the Foundation knowing, as long as his age or DOB is displayed? Matthewedwards :  Chat  05:20, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

When I identified (I'm an OTRS respondent and run the SM accounts), I sent my military ID and my passport. Just checked my email, and I was informed that proof of age/identity may be provided in one of the following manners:
  1. Copy or scan of Driver's License
  2. Copy or scan of Passport
  3. Copy or scan of other official documentation indicating real name and age

Hope that helps answer, although it's not one of the 'super-policies' like this one. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 09:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Imagine if Barack Obama wanted a seat on the Arbcom? The birthers would follow him here & dispute his birth certificate. GoodDay (talk) 22:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbcom elections

Howdy JW. I wish we could see the voting in progress at those elections, as we can at RfAs. Though I can understand why the progess must be kept hidden until results are finalized, the waiting is torturious. GoodDay (talk) 13:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I wasn't particularly excited about the change from our traditional process to the closed process, but I seem to have been proven wrong... the reduction in drama has been a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:09, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I can't argue with that. GoodDay (talk) 14:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
So Jimbo, at the RFC which so far as I'm aware was the key to changing to a "closed" process, you were mentioned as "Jimbo Wales...has already expressed support for such a transition" [27]. I didn't see you object at the time, but this is at least the second time I've seen you say that you weren't initally in favour of a secret ballot. I still can't square that... Franamax (talk) 04:12, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I supported it only with reservations. I didn't know how it would turn out. I feared that it would generate more drama. I think there are good reasons for the sort of transparency that requires people to stand up and say why they are for or against something, and there are good reasons for a closed ballot as well. Which to use depends on the situation. (For example in a parliament or congress, I want legislators to attach their name to their votes. For elections for mayor, I want secret ballots.) In terms of the number of people participating, and how well they know each other, we are much more like a parliament or congress. It's valuable to hear from people why they support or oppose various things. On the other hand, there are valid concerns that if people can't express a concern privately (i.e. through a secret ballot), some concerns might not get expressed at all.
In many things, I will have an opinion one way or the other, but not held strongly enough to campaign for it or do anything to try to stop it. In other things, I have very strongly held views that I choose not to express out of a keen interest in living up to a responsibility that I think I have to stay a certain distance away from specific details of internal politics, in order to fulfill my broader responsibilities in terms of trying to be a long-term stablizing and relaxing voice for the community.
One of our great strengths has always been something that can also be frustrating for people: we have a general reluctance to avoid excessive a priori thinking. This means that a great many curious constitutional questions simply have no answer, because they need no answer unless they come up.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It is highly unlikely though that we will ever be able to re-experiment with a (properly governed) open process, it seems to me like a one-way street. I agree the drama has been reduced, except for the new drama of when-will-the-scrutineers-finish (added to the old drama of when-will-Jimbo-finish :) But at the same time I've been robbed of the opportunity to read the voting comments of my more sober-minded colleagues, and sober-minded rebuttals thereto. For me this represents a loss, and the various voter guides are a poor substitute. I'd agree that this community more closely resembles a demos where people should speak individually and openly. I don't believe for a second that an editor possessing the qualities of an electable arbitrator would nurse secret grudges against all those who voted against them. But I don't see any way to get back "there" to find out for sure. Franamax (talk) 22:57, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the old days

Back then, like in January or February 2001, what was Wikipedia like? Just wondering. Perseus, Son of Zeus (talk) 15:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Lots of typing. Lots of arguing. Same as today. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:10, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
You might want to ask user:Mav, who is one of the few people from early days who is still actively editing. Back then, every couple days, he would go through all of the edits to the English Wikipedia and manually revert the bad ones. A single person could, in a few minutes/hours, see all of the site's edits for the last day or two. Back then, there was very much a wild-wild west mentality where policy and behavior was concerned. Many of today's rules didn't exist, and there was no dispute resolution process to reign in the especially troublesome users. No RFA either - you just asked for an admin bit on the mailing list and you got it. Raul654 (talk) 16:13, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
"Lots of arguing. Same as today." Too much arguing for my tastes. It seems like if I want to make a real contribution, I have to find an article that no one else is editing. Every other article I try to edit, there seems to be some sort content dispute. Or maybe I just have bad luck. :( A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:29, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's a shiny brand new article with no content disputes for your editing pleasure. Raul654 (talk) 16:34, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
It has both Circumcision and Jesus, two of the least controversial topics we cover. Jonathunder (talk) 23:53, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
How about Homeopathic circumcision of Jesus in Islam according to GLBT Eastern European scientologists?. --Enric Naval (talk) 07:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't look to appealing. As mentioned, there was no RFA process, there still is not on some very small wiki's, it was just a request. No week long battle through the elements. Tofutwitch11-Chat -How'd I do? 21:13, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I wonder - it'd be amusing to list for instance the first ever block, and the first edit war. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't there a database crash that wiped out early editing? I may not be remembering right, but I thought the very early editing history was lost (or something). RxS (talk) 05:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The only lost data I am aware of is about a week's worth of uploaded images from January of 2004 that were lost when we upgraded from Mediawiki version 2 to mediawiki version 3.
As far as edit warring, the worst edit war on record was between user:VeryVerily and User:172. It was something like 100 or 150 reverts in the span of about 90 minutes. I cannot remember the article, but it was utterly ridiculous. Raul654 (talk) 07:10, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
meta:February 2005 server crash and Wikipedia:Historical archive has some interesting information. -- œ 07:20, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
(EC) We've lost lots of article histories from the UseModWiki era of Wikipedia plus some other important article history from before June 2004; also see this section about the deletion archive. BTW, Mav started contributing in January 2002, not January 2001. Graham87 07:22, 1 December 2010 (UTC)  
I wasn't counting edit histories as data - I'm well aware that a lot of the early ones are screwed up. I was talking specifically about lost article content or lost uploads, of which there are surprisingly few.
As for Mav - yes, he's from 2002, not 2001, but by "very early editors" I mean pre-2003, when the number of editors was still less than 100. Raul654 (talk) 16:42, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the database does seem to be funky when it comes to early contributions and page histories: I ran across an odd one when trying to research the history of WP:NOT... try loading the first version, then see where you get when you click "previous version" ;-). --SB_Johnny | talk 12:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I believe this is the oldest known edit in the database. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:58, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
What? Jimbo was blocked? Perseus (tcg) 13:20, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I think some of those were just jokes. One of the blocks was for 1 second. According to block log, the longest Jimbo's been blocked was 8 minutes. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
In any case, Jimbo hasn't been blocked in over 3 years, so it looks like whatever conduct issues existed have been corrected. :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, they are all either jokes, accidents, or compromised accounts. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:48, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, did you ever sight any vandalism on very, very, early Wikipedia? Perseus (tcg) 13:53, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

In theory, old days is inaccurate. Each earthly day, can only get 23.25 hrs old, thus each past day is no older then any other past day. GoodDay (talk) 16:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Still this, but first edit says this, not this. Perseus (tcg) 20:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
That's 11 months later. Gwen Gale (talk) 20:08, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Re Raul654 here is the Arb case on the edit war thing here Tofutwitch11-Chat -How'd I do? 20:10, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales Date of Birth

Hello, I could not help but notice on Jimmy Wale's wiki page that his DOB is questionable, either August 7 or 8, 1966. I am familair with numerology, and after a quick look at the numbers for both dates, it is clear to me that the 8th is much more likely to be the actual day of birth. The 8th of July that year produces important master numbers (an 11, 22, and 33) in prominent places on the chart that I think are indicative of Wale's success in technology pioneering. Hopefully this helps! Thanks, T —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.224.245.130 (talk) 01:49, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Great. However, your experience with numerology is not a reliable source, and your judgements constitute original research. Thus, the article will not be changing based upon your numerological musings. LadyofShalott 01:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I just glanced at this, and I have to say, at face value it seems particularly silly. Some sticklers out there are probably going to object on WP:COI, WP:V and WP:RS grounds, but I wonder whether Mr Wales might simply chime in here and give us an answer. NickCT (talk) 15:57, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I was born on the 7th of August, according to my mother. My legal paperwork all says 8th of August, due to an error on my birth certificate. I am of the firm opinion that the discussion in the Wikipedia entry on me should all be removed in favor of simply saying that my date of birth is the 7th. (The year: 1966)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:12, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd see nothing at all untowards if the BLP cited your belief, that you were born on the 7th and the BC date is a bureaucratic mistake. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
(ec)I suspect your mom knows the date. I had an uncle who found out that his birth certificate had the wrong name (that of his older brother) when he had to get a passport, and I knew another person who did not know his own name until he went into the Marines in WW II. Collect (talk) 18:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
- done - Off2riorob (talk) 18:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Are the birthdate & birthplace correct? or shall we seek the advice of the birthers. GoodDay (talk) 22:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

US photographs

Something occurred to me. Unlike the UK where images of most villages can be uploaded from http://www.geograph.org.uk/ there is a considerable problem for many places in the US and Canada obtaining a plentiful supply of decent freely useable photographs for small towns, and even larger ones, one example I can think of is Calabasas, California.... I was wondering Jimmy if your foundation would endorse the idea of running a US version of geograph to photograph every grid square or whatever you use for the United States. Sure it would be an ambitious project, but not as ambitious as wikipedia... This would not only solve our problem of having a poor supply of photographs for many places in the United States but it would build up a highly valuable bank of images over time under a Creative Commons/GFDL license which I am certain many people would find very valuable. I wonder how many times somebody has looked for a freely useable image of a small US town or unincorporated place and found no images on it. Given that geograph is clearly a massive success and has suppled the majority of British villages with images, I wonder if it would be too much to ask if the foundation could host a US version of such a project to attract people into a project which would photograph the United States in such detail? I know that the United States is considerably larger than the UK but I don't see why such a project couldn't be a success for most places with a high internet population. If I can get some sort of backing I'll make a formal proposal on this.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:21, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I second this - if this can be made viable, it would be a great idea. (It's actually something I've considered before; trouble is I'm not net-savvy enough to know where to begin in creating it.) I've done enough photographing of backwoods Virginia to know that free images for much of the country are next-to-impossible to come by at the moment, even for some of the larger/more notable places (see Big Stone Gap, Virginia for but one good example). I know it's a huge country, but the population is pretty large - I don't see why this couldn't work. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 22:35, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Excellent idea - Geograph is a great source for UK images, I am sure there would be great interest in contributing to a "Geograph USA". – ukexpat (talk) 20:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. How do we go about proposing this then as its clear this is the wrong place for talking about it.... I've contacted Sue Gardner, who hopefully sees the potential in it.. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:02, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Why will Gwen Gale not read the sources?

Now, for those who won’t read, let me try once more.

Sheila Hollins

Re: [28], see Sheila Hollins, Baroness Hollins. Just a stub so far. Fences&Windows 22:08, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

founder, please don't overdo it

Your founder message should have served its purpose by now. It's getting to be an insufferable nuisance. Time you desisted?--117.204.89.168 (talk) 02:08, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Our goal is US$16 million this year. We won't keep using Jimmy's face for the whole time, but we're not done yet :) /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 04:11, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The problem with Wiki

I have been trying to make some constructive changes and have run into the same problem time and again. I am looking at if what is trying to be included should be there and the counter I run into all the time is "It is well sourced." I am arguing the ethics of including material or the weight given to material, but the editors seem bent on only arguing over how well something is sourced. Being well sourced is a requirement, but it is not the only requirement. Yet it is the only point that holds any merit. If anyone has something that is well sourced and wish to include it they generally get their way. There must be some way to discuss the writing instead of the sourcing for articles.67.176.220.219 (talk) 10:38, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Take a look at WP:WEIGHT Beyond My Ken (talk) 12:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
"Wikipedia:Systemic bias" is also relevant and may be used as a valid argument in certain cases. -- œ 14:44, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

coerator oro & Curator uro

Hello, i have problem with a uk sister user (Mglovesfun) who remove my adds in wiktionary, like ipa prononciation and related term, can you talk with him please ? What's is problem ? Nemzag (talk) 15:36, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Talkback

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

Scieberking (talk) 05:59, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Galaxy: Exploring the Milky Way

This book has almost everything known about astronomy. Seriously, it is 1.5ft x 1ft x 2in.! I need to know where to start. Which astronomy article is most in need? Preferably ones concerning planets, moons, asteroids, comets, dwarf planets and such, because there is a lot more on them in the book. I might even take multiple months to transfer everything. I cant find much on a list or something, and since your really good at this stuff (you created wikipedia after all)... HELP!
Before I forget, How do I transfer photos? I had a photo I was gonna transfer, then I couldn't make it work, and now I lost it. But there is huge photos in the book, I'm positive I have access to a scanner, and if i don't know how to upload then I can't upload the pictures.
Mocha2007 (talk) 18:33, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I suggest you chat with the folks at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Astronomy. And it is really important that you respect copyrights.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:55, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Repetition variation

Is the WMF applying repetition variation to their fundraiser banners in order to make them more effective?Smallman12q (talk) 23:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I have no idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:53, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Skin

Im guessing you were the first user on Wikipedia. What was the first skin used on Wikipedia??? A Word Of Advice From A Beast: Don't Be Silly, Wrap Your Willy! 00:45, 4 December 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beastly21 (talkcontribs)

There wasn't a skin as such at that time, but Wikipedia looked like this. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles#Archived copies of Wikipedia articles from early 2001. Graham87 03:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

How we handle cyberbullying

Please would you take a moment to read Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#When_we_see_cyberbullying... contributing if you wish. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 12:48, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I left a message there. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and work on this important issue!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
The discussion has developed in a highly positive manner very recently. I have taken the step of creating a very rough draft at User:Timtrent/Cyberbullying for all interested parties to discuss and add to. I'm very grateful for your note of support. There are substantial issues here, ones that may prove surprisingly contentious to resolve. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 14:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Research on writing in Wikipedia

I'm interested in a particular research question and I'm posting here in the hopes that someone can point me in the direction of previous work on the question.

I'm interested in thinking about how to assign "credit" or "blame" for what is in particular Wikipedia pages, with a view towards matching up the resulting data with data on pageviews, to get a fresh perspective on "who wrote what the public is reading on Wikipedia"? I have no particular objective in finding that out, nor do I think it is an accurate way of thinking about who is valuable in the community: I'm just thinking about whether it is easy to determine.

I assume something like Wikipedia:WikiBlame is relevant. But I wonder what work has been done in this area that I should know about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:28, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

The difficulty is that there is no way to tell which part on an article a viewer is looking at -- and for major articles, my impression is that the great majority of page views are pretty superficial. It's reasonably straightforward to assign credit for viewership at the article level, but I don't see how it could be done at finer levels of resolution. Looie496 (talk) 18:54, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
You may be interested in the following external links, which are related to the reliability of Wikipedia and of wikis in general.
You may also be interested in the following internal link.
Wavelength (talk) 20:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
User:AaronSw (Aaron Swartz) authored the article Who Writes Wikipedia? (Swartz 2006).
Wavelength (talk) 20:50, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Trading Card Game

In case you want to see it, we are now working on designing your card; it isn't perfect yet, butI thought you might like to have the link so that you can follow its progress. You can see it here. I hope you like it! ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 03:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Some good press

Not sure how often this happens, but I'm happy to report that I got the project some good press in the Albany, New York area. [29] upstateNYer 06:41, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

And I did not come up with the term "wiki-legend", for the record. :) upstateNYer 07:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Someone asked me to be really clear on this

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
My motion to close this was seconded. Let's go to a better venue and spare Jimmy the constant "You have new messages". Jehochman Talk 18:18, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The rules of this election are clear. Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2010/Candidates. One of the rules, not written by me, says candidates must "be willing and able to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation before taking their seat." I am not empowered to make appointments in explicit contravention of policy. Therefore, I will appoint candidates to ArbCom who are eligible for appointment only upon their identification to the Foundation. Any future discussion about this should be focused on whether that policy should change, not on what I should do, because I've already said what I am going to do - I will follow policy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:47, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I am going to start a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2010/Candidates to resolve what I view as ambiguity. Jehochman Talk 16:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I see no ambiguity in "before taking their seat". It's black and white.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Here by way of the RfC… Please, could you explicitly state (with wikilink) which Policy mandates candidates identify? The Candidates page you reference isn't policy—at least, not with a capital P; it may, however, reflect Policy—again though, which? If you're simply referring to that page as the policy, that underlies what you said, in a general dictionary sense of the word, please confirm same for avoidance of doubt. Thank you. –Whitehorse1 20:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know the answer to this question. I doubt if it has one. Identification has been a requirement for the previous two elections and this one. I have strongly supported it, and still do. It emerged without controversy, as many things do. Certainly, for this election, it is too late to change the policy, and I doubt very much if the policy will be changed in the future, except perhaps to be made a great deal stronger.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, just to check I understand you correctly: You're saying it's de facto policy, even if it ultimately may not be documented as being Policy (local/foundational), and of sufficient strength by its having been accepted in practice for such duration as it has. –Whitehorse1 21:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not taking a strong position on why it is policy. I'm just recounting the history of how it came to be as best I know. I have always strongly supported it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
That's fine. I just wanted to check my understanding of your answer. Thank you for responding. –Whitehorse1 22:01, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
For something this important it would be best to go through the formalities. As far as I know, that hasn't been done. Jehochman Talk 21:49, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by formalities. Excessive formality is a very bad idea. And some people seem to have the mistaken view that the only valid way we can get to policy is through a project-wide vote. Particularly with respect to the ArbCom appointment process, that's not been true historically, and isn't true today.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Policy can be merely an unwritten reflection of practice. This would be a serious change to how things are done. That it would be a horribly bad idea doesn't matter -- the middle of an election isn't the best time to come up with new rules for the office at hand even if it were somehow a good idea. IronDuke 02:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

←(ec) I personally find it somewhat shocking that the identifying information is discarded. That strikes me as a very shaky way of doing things. Looie496 (talk) 21:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Philippe, the WMF employee responsible for identification, indicated "Once we verify that the identification is for someone who is of legal age we …", FWIW; someone of legal age at one time, remains so. –Whitehorse1 21:42, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Damn right! What if the identifying functionary does something horrible and the police ask, Who is this person you trusted with to private information? It will look pretty bad if the answer is, We have no idea who this person is, but we are confident that they are at least 18 years old!. I think the media would have a feast on that one. Jehochman Talk 21:49, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Jehochman? How would the police know that the perpetrator was said functionary unless they had their identity already? :) -- Avi (talk) 22:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The police would typically tie a perp to an IP address. Then they'd go to the ISP and get the logs for that IP and see what sort of HTTP queries they were making. The queries would then identify the perp's Wikipedia login. Wikipedia's logs would establish that the perp misused Checkuser to gather confidential info about the victim. Ready to make an arrest, the police ask WMF, "Who is this person, and where do they live." Do you want more scenarios? I can think of a bunch. Jehochman Talk 22:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Huh? How did the police get the IP address? That would be done only by a subpoena to WMF to reveal IPs tied to a pseudonym, or by previous physical surveillance of a suspect. Franamax (talk) 23:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the "rules" also say that Jimbo Wales' role is only a ceremonial one, so if Giano get over 50% and finishes in the top 12, then he is an arbitrator no matter what ceremony he is bestowed. 69.155.225.25 (talk) 23:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Jehochman, even in the case where the crime was a cyber crime, so that there is no connection between the perp and the crime other than the IP, how would that conceivable be connected to wikipedia? The only thing I can conceive of being possible would be if somehow, someone, whilst logged in to wikipedia, performed a crime using the wikipedia account, AND that person is a functionary and is ostensibly ID'd to the foundation. That is so remote that I think it is overkill to consider it, but I am not an expert on cybercrime, FWIW. -- Avi (talk) 02:23, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I think what Jehochman is suggesting is that the authorities have connected the IP to a crime and/or criminal and are examining the sites that were accessed by the IP in order to find more information (associates of the criminal, for example, or aliases and online identities). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:53, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
So how do we know this IP belongs to a wikimedian functionary, via checkuser? Did someone send a subpeona to the WMF asking that a CU be done? -- Avi (talk) 03:05, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Under this scenario, criminal activity is reasomably suspected and surveillance has begun. Examination of logs and transactions held by the ISP could reveal the en:wiki pseudonym(s) used on-wiki, for instance in the authentication cookies passed in editing sessions. Very much like what CU data reveals actually, but from the other end. This presupposes that the IP address has already become of interest to a police force. Franamax (talk) 11:23, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

The far more likely situation is of a functionary acting poorly (selling private information, etc), and/or acting illegally and the foundation having no way of holding them accountable. A confirmed identity is a small step to ensure a small degree of accountability. 75.23.47.60 (talk) 03:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it that way at all. I could submit my girlfriend's ID or download myself a whole persona and use that. WMF staff are likely not experts at spotting document fraud, and there are no fingerprints or cheek swabs involved. This is simply due diligence on the Foundation's part to ensure that someone claiming to be eligible to receive private information has shown reasonably acceptable evidence that they are of age of majority. It's very diffcult to hold volunteers accountable for much of anything, instead you just terminate their access. Franamax (talk) 11:35, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
And in general I would say that if you judge someone's character to be such that they would defraud the Foundation by engaging in deceit like that, then don't vote for them in the first place. I think the "faked identification" is a red herring, it isn't the primary concern here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Relying on a faxed ID is an extremely shaky method of verifying anything; with today's technology it would be ridiculously easy to scan a passport, change one figure in the birth date, and fax the result to the Foundation. If we are not interested in an arbitrator's identity (given that this information is in fact shredded, as Philippe said), but only in the fact that a candidate is verifiably overage, I could think of other methods a candidate could use to prove they are overage. One would be a video phone call. Or a candidate could go to a solicitor, identify to them, demonstrate to the solicitor that they are the holder of that Wikipedia account, and ask the solicitor to write a letter to the Foundation confirming that they are overage. Fraud using this method would be more difficult and more expensive than faxing an altered ID, or someone else's ID. Generally, the present method of identification seems very half-baked though, given our history. If we did this properly, we'd have an external background check done on candidates before they are even allowed to stand. Perhaps being an arbitrator should be a modestly remunerated job, subject to a part-time employment or service contract. --JN466 11:51, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo that this is a red herring for this election. The election rules were posted as requiring ID from successful candidates; the time to dispute that was during this last year, not once voting has begun.
But in general, Jayen, I agree with you, and I hope we can sort it out for next year. I know of one person who stood for ArbCom (not this election) who had already given what appeared to be a false name to various people in an attempt to gain CU access, so the chances are high that, had he been elected, he had a false ID ready to use.
Ideally we need two things. First, that the Foundation find a way to retain the ID securely, so that, if it turns out someone used fake ID to gain access to private data, at least there's sufficient evidence to consider pressing charges; if that's known in advance it would be a major deterrent. Secondly, there's the issue of real ID that rings no bells. Someone with knowledge of the English Wikipedia's issues (e.g. Jimbo) should have access to the IDs. A lone Foundation staffer can't be expected to know what's going on. Poetlister gained CU access using a real ID, and an editor was appointed to ArbCom a couple of years ago using a different account, but presumably real ID. Letting it be widely known that Jimbo (or someone on ArbCom) has access to the IDs might be another deterrent—and what we want here is prevention, not cure, so the deterrent factor is important, but currently entirely absent. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:28, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It's correct that the eligibility criteria for this year's election were posted clearly, and required willingness and ability to identify to WMF. Given though that this topic currently has the community's attention, and probably will retain it for a few more weeks, this is a good time for a wider discussion, to ensure that a better system is in place by next year – requiring more solid identification and background checking, and/or allowing alternative ways of providing proof of age, without identifying by name to the Foundation. An RfC or poll perhaps? --JN466 13:32, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
An RfC would be good, but it would have to be kept simple and succinct, or it'll become unreadable. There are several issues: (a) whether to require identification for ArbCom per se; (b) whether ID can and should be securely retained by the Foundation; (c) who should have access to it. Regarding (b), we would first have to ask the Foundation what is possible, in terms of their security and legal concerns, because there's no point in an RfC asking them to do something they can't or won't do. So that will take a bit of research. And we definitely shouldn't start anything before the next ArbCom is declared. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:38, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Clarification

Jimbo, would it be possible for you to explain specifically how identification is verified as far as ARBCOM goes? I think that would be very helpful. The Eskimo (talk) 05:17, 4 December 2010 (UTC) :Because it obviously has to do with legal problems. I know in some instances (regarding photos, usually), an editor submits a photo with a sign saying "I am so-and-so." So I wonder if, in the case of ARBCOM, it is something similar, or if a credit card authorization is required, or if it is a 1-800 # voice prompt, or a personal visit by Wiki-legal, or something else. The Eskimo (talk) 05:27, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Scratch that. If you could just answer the question, that would suffice. The Eskimo (talk) 05:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
[30] --JN466 12:03, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I think what I can say is that I agree very much with Jayen466 and Slim Virgin in that identification for the purposes of ArbCom should be strengthened to be more meaningful. It is too early right now, but I think we should be moving in the direction of understanding that as the highest community dispute resolution group on English Wikipedia, there is a serious responsibility to the public, and that real names are a critical means to accountability and transparency. Keep in mind that English Wikipedia alone has more traffic than many of the major newspapers in the world combined. There are some very valid reasons why some people prefer to keep their real names quiet, and I respect that very much. But there are no valid reasons to keep real names from me, fellow ArbCom members, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

For this election, I am not going to invent novel policy. I try to keep my role at the moment of appointments as minimalist as I can, consistent with my real responsibilities to the project. Therefore, I will follow the policies set down at the outset of this election. And for next years election, I think people should anticipate that I will be much more likely to strengthen these requirements, as usual upon the conclusion of a thoughtful community discussion and a period of reflection away from the issues of the current election.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:41, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

  • We've had a long discussion and everybody had a chance to state their views. A year from now we'll be in a much better place. While we may disagree about the current situation, this is a temporary disagreement. Let's all accept what's going to happen, and try to smooth the appointment of new arbitrators, rather than shouting and yelling about the results. There is no way to make 100% of the people happy. If you didn't get your way, (I didn't) please be gracious. Jehochman Talk 14:25, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Agreed, though with the caveat that we must return to this well before the next arbcom election, or we'll still be in the same place in a year's time. Perhaps we should put something in our calendars, or agree a date now. --JN466 16:57, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Dear Jehochman, as you initiated the RfC, which evidenced much discussion and viewpoints from both platforms, and now that we've more or less discussed considerable points related to the RfC, do you think this might be an appropriate time to archive/hat-hab the discussion? Your call. Regards. Wifione ....... Leave a message 18:16, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I really just wanted to know if they have to fax you a copy of their ID with some sort of PIN # verified through e-mail or something. I also suspect there is a "terms and conditions" agreement, but that's just speculation on my part. Anyway, I understand if you can't elaborate on the specifics. For what it's worth, I think that people should respect the existing rules (and the available methods to change those rules, if they so desire) rather than trying to circumvent them to make a point. Anyway, thanks for replying :) The Eskimo (talk) 03:25, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Speaking from experience, I sent a scanned drivers license and business card to Cary, encrypted to both his and my PGP key. This allowed Cary to be certain that the information sent came from the person who controls the this account as the e-mail address behind it. By sending the business card, I offered the WMF the ability to call me and verify any information if they wanted. Lastly, given the only thing sent was an encrypted e-mail and separately encrypted file, if Cary deleted the decrypted version, my information is safe but accessible at any time. I'd welcome having someone, or maybe two people, in the office responsible for this (Jimbo and Phillipe; Jimbo and Jay Walsh, etc.), responsible for receipt, encryption, and safety of the information, and having the "keys" to decrypt the ID if necessary. -- Avi (talk) 17:22, 5 December 2010 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Wikipedia will complete 10 years

In little over a month, Wikipedia will complete 10 years of existence, since January 2001. I want to congratulate you and thank you for founding Wikipedia. Another thing: I read rumors saying that Wikipedia will become a paid service. Is this true? I hope he responds. Happy Holidays! - Eduardo Sellan III (talk) 19:26, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

No, there is no truth to those rumors at all. Where did you read that?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:48, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Hello. Will you celebrate (personally)? 109.111.31.95 (talk) 11:49, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Of course he will—it only made him famous... ǝɥʇM0N0farewell 01:48, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Why?

Hi Jimmy,
Why you, in the deletion of a sexy contents on commons (excellent idea, compliments) you have deleted the images if not you are a adimn? Thanks! (Sorry, it's a my curiosity :) ) « CA » (talk) 16:48, 5 December 2010 (UTC) Postum Scriptum: reply on my talk page, please.

I couldn't help but lol at your deletion of Commons' sexy contents, Jimbo :) I wonder what the sexiest page on enwp is ... /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:36, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

help

sorry but i can't work out how to ask someone else! I have a mad family history. you have a page on a weymarn who was the first german female general but she is part of a much bigger family with a huge history - friends with the csar, the csarina, tortured, smuggled out of russia etc. had own estate, employed several 100 people,several breweries etc. want to start an entry please. How do i go about that.....seems too complicated. If you search google you can find my brothers (even on google images) and multiple other family members. It's an interesting family full of factual historical characters..... all seems too complicataed.

Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.172.108.125 (talk) 00:38, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

The page WP:Your first article should help. For future reference, you can ask questions on how to use Wikipedia at the Wikipedia:Help desk. -- œ 03:58, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Little question

Mr Wales, do you consider yourself left wing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.79.249.15 (talk) 11:28, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions

Dear Mr Wales I have been Wikipedia contributer since 2005 and in that time have started 140 original articles and modified about 700, all on subjects that I have knowledge on. I am writing to you as I believe that there has developed considerable waste in both computing effort and consequently money in the uncontrolled editing. I believe that the use of info-boxes do not add to the information of an article, and the majority have many items blank. What is there is duplecated from the text to be read. This must be quite a drag on resources when considering the whole encyclopedia. Every day I see changes that do not make any improvement to the use of the encyclopedia. Adding links to the country entry after already linking to the town entry; Changes in date format (29th May to 29 May); Changes in word order: changes of "&" to "and"; changes from UK English to US English (& vice verse); changes in category and spliting of categories. the use of bots and AWBs which do not alter the sense of the text. Even single spelling mistakes could be left unchanged (to be changed at a later major edit), where the meaning is obvious. I have long been of the opinion that editing should only be allowed by registered contributors, it is easy to register and has no cost. This would also reduce vandelism. I also believe that one's pesonal page should give an indication of one's background. I do not believe that changes should be made by people with no knowledge of the subject on purely what they have obtained from the internet. Without a little understanding of the subject, no judgement can be made on authenticy. When I read of a contributor has made tens of thousands of edits, it immediately makes me discount the accruacy of his work. This must be change for the sake of change and that the editor treats Wiki as a kind of game. One other point is that of copyright of photographs. The classification for copyright has changed at least five times. Many photographs wheremuch effort was made to obtain the owner's permission to use on Wiki, have been deleted because they did not conform to a later classification. Surely there is no hazard if permission is granted. Could not such photos be protected by grandfathering?

Don Joseph

DonJay (talk) 15:08, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Gosh, yet another very young editor failing to understand how things work on Wikipedia :-)
Don, please be assured that the computing resources (and consequently money) consumed by creation and updating of infoboxes, minor edits to grammar and spelling, and minor bot-driven changes, are absolutely negligible.
Bot-driven edits are very valuable because they allow some tasks to be carried out faster, and they permit some tasks to be carried out which would be impossible to complete manually in a reasonable time (and some of those tasks are essential, for example in the field of major copyright violations). In addition, automated edits by bots, and semi-automated edits using tools, are together the most important defence against vandalism on Wikipedia. It is true that sometimes bots are run in an inadequately controlled manner, and sometimes some users use the automated tools too quickly (and, yes, sometimes because they are seeking a much greater edit count) - but in those cases, the community is entirely capable of reining in such bots and users.
Changes in word order are part of people's attempts to subjectively improve the quality of the articles on Wikipedia. Given that the computing resources involved are very inexpensive, it doesn't really matter whether such changes come one word at a time, or all in one gigantic copy-editing edit that cleans up an entire article.
The issues over UK versus US English do arise, but are covered adequately by Wikipedia guidelines. I personally would agree that only registered users should be allowed to edit, but there is no concensus among the community as a whole for such a change.
Likewise the issue over laypeople being considered just as good as experts in the field is raised regularly. However if Wikipedia were to demand details of every editor's credentials before they could even edit, Wikipedia would lose 99% of its contributors. The solution is to go and write for a paper encyclopedia instead.
There is indeed a certain amount of change for change's sake, partly because in many areas there is no longer as much scope for "new articles" and therefore people work on what already exists. However clicking Random Article a few times will show you that much of what already exists really can benefit from further improvement. If masses of changes bother you, you can avoid seeing them by not looking at article histories or your watchlist, or, better, you can alter your preferences so that minor changes are not displayed. Alternatively, you can revert damaging changes and thus help to slow the pace of change. However I would encourage you only to revert edits that really are negative to the quality of the encyclopedia, not to revert all edits that you don't see as substantively beneficial.
--Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:43, 6 December 2010 (UTC)