User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 71

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Truth in Numbers?

First of all Happy 10th to Wikipedia! Second, I would like to thank you for you video appearance at Mexico City's bash even though you were up at 4 am your time. (BTW, Im the woman that asked the last question... the one with the hoarse voice). We began with the video Truth in Numbers?, which I found interesting, but please allow me to make few comments. Ill try not to be too long-winded. While I think it was intellectually honest of you to own up to the problems and controversies WP has had over the years, I have to wonder if the video doesnt give TOO much deference to the idea that articles and other works produced by expert academia is automatically superior to that produced by lay people. I can think of a couple of arguments against this. First of all, lots of scientific and other advances in history were not made by university trained intellectuals, but rather by people passionately interested in the area. Thomas Edison and Bill Gates come to mind. There are many more. Second is a dig at academia in its current state. It is still run using the old medieval guild system. Apprentices are chosen by masters to become part of the "guild" and only those in the guild are supposed to do the specified work. That system is all well and good if the only criteria for apprentice selection is merit. However, that has not been the case for at least the last 30 years or so, especially in the humanities. Politics plays a large role now too. Not only politics in the usual sense of the word, but many intellectuals in the humanities have given up on objectivity, blithely stating it is impossible, so now research is meant to be "activist." Again, not too bad if there are competing activists with different point of view, but if you have this, and professors selecting who will suceed them, who do you think they will pick? One idea came up over and over with academics the video went to over and over.... the academic "guild" must be the arbiter of what "knowledge" gets put out there. Lots of condescending references to "the mob," like these guys arent prone to the same passions and human foibles.

I think one thing WP should work on is to show how WP works when it is at its best. It is all well and good to work on our weaknesses, goodness knows we have some serious ones, but let yourself, WP, or those of us who work hard at making WP better be condescended to by a group that holds itself up as our "betters."Thelmadatter (talk) 16:45, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you completely. I am not a big fan of that aspect of the film. Keep in mind that I didn't make the film, and that the director lost creative control of it. The film that was originally meant to be made got buried under a quite dull "think piece" mentality involving bringing in talking heads to hash out a 5 year old debate. Not that interesting, which is the primary reason the movie hasn't really gone anywhere. The director, Nic Hill, is talented and wanted to do something interesting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:32, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
However, it will be good to keep the film and see how these comments stand up against time <BEG> (big evil grin) BTW, the Mexico City event exceeded our expectations significantly. Ivan Martinez did a hell of a job with organization and promotion. We originally wanted it at a traditional academic venue, like a campus, but the downtown nightclub turned out to be perfect... made the event far more accessible than otherwise. You should be hearing more from us!Thelmadatter (talk) 15:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Yo Jimbo

wassup dude? 86.178.141.253 (talk) 17:42, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

10 years

Congratulations to you, Jimmy Wales, (and to Larry Sanger) for those 10 years of wonderful Wikipedia and wishing you another 10 great ones. Nice showing at John Stewart's. --AlainR345Techno-Wiki-Geek 08:25, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Your actual title

There has been a dispute on ten.wiki about your actual title, as an anon user has take founder and changed it to co-founder. The last I knew, you disputed the co-founder title and declared yourself the sole founder status. I don't want to wheel war with another sysop, so could you please provide insight? Thank you, Dusti*poke* 07:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

The debate is silly, but my official title in all Foundation materials, as against what various people want it to be, is founder, not co-founder. On 'ten' it should be founder, but I don't really care and wish people would stop getting so wound up about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:36, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification, and go to bed :) It's late here anyway (2:40AM). Goodnight Dusti*poke* 07:40, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
How about "Mr."? Neutron (talk) 20:13, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Zehn Jahre

Glückwunsch! Jetzt ist [1] Wikipedia zehn Jahre alt.—Wavelength (talk) 07:30, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

[In posting my message of 7:30, I neglected to make the heading with mostly or entirely topical information and with little or no attitudinal information. Instead, I made it with entirely attitudinal information, thus making archive searches less efficient. I am revising the heading to have entirely topical information, and providing a hidden anchor to the old heading, for the benefit of anyone who might have watchlisted the old heading.
Wavelength (talk) 16:06, 17 January 2011 (UTC)]

Please remove

Could someone please remove the Jimbo-head that pops in from the right? I don't like it, but don't see how it got there.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't seem to kill it. Who writes these stupid things?--Scott Mac 09:07, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I think between us we've killed it.--Kotniski (talk) 09:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to show you what the guy was talking about, but I wasn't going to leave it like that. Sorry if it caused a problem. --Confession0791 talk 09:43, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
No problem. And thank you to Scott Mac and Kotniski.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:31, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
It's ok, confession0791 between you and me I thought that was kind of funny that Jimbo was annoyed of seeing himself on the talk page. (It's like looking in a mirror ain't it Jimbo) Personally I only have that graphic in my edit notice. That's the funniest place for it to be in my user page. Jhenderson 777 19:32, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Update the blacklist

When I'm just reading the articles I often see Google's cache and most of them are on external links that are on the blacklist of wikipedia such as eHow Anish9807 t c 09:12, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

May I ask what your point is? If you have a specific item you want removed from the blacklist (and bear in mind, they don't get on there without evidence of prolific spam), then you would need to make that at Mediawiki talk:Spam-blacklist. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:18, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
OK you know the google's cache (do a google search and click cached). There are plenty of articles that have google's cache instead the up-to-date version of the page. People are using google's cache to fool wikipedia's servers (mainly websites that are on wikipedia's blacklist).Anish9807 t c 19:35, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Examples would help me to evaluate this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:17, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Random Smiley Award

Smiley.svg
For your contributions to Wikipedia and humanity in general, you are hereby granted the coveted Random Smiley Award.
(Explanation and Disclaimer)

TomasBat 02:24, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

A matter of human rights

Editing on Wikimedia projects has been very easy. I have had the privileged of editing with 110 students and still counting. I haven't been as successful dealing with administrators and so on.

A little more than a year ago I mailed you a personal appeal for assistance on a problem I was having on one project. This time I'm posting this message publicly because I believe that this is a matter of our common and general interest.

From my own experience and observation, the respect of administrators for the human rights of the editors, across many wikis, leaves much to be desired. This is s serious problem that needs to be addressed effectively by the Wikimedia Foundation before it assumes more serious proportions.

I would like to know if you would welcome and support my participation in that effort within the Wikimedia community.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado

vapmachado talk.cw 01:36, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

This sounds dramatic. Can you tell the rest of us what kind of "human rights" are being violated? Qwyrxian (talk) 01:44, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
My first thought was of the fourth item of the Twelve Articles drawn up in the German Peasants' War of 1525, which demands man's right "right to catch game, fowls, and fish". I thought perhaps trout-slapping had been misunderstood as a perogative that administrators sought to monopolise, which isn't the case. But yeah, my Jimbometer is pointing towards Jimbo asking Virgilio to be a bit more specific, understandably. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:02, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Lemme guess: it's about your personal problems with Portuguese wikipedia... do I get 10 bucks if I'm right? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:05, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

You bet it is. Yes, I can. / Great century, the XVI. / Send me the 10 bucks. You're wrong (again). vapmachado talk.cw 04:09, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Never said you'd get 10 bucks. You wanna tell us what your issue is now? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:08, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

How exactly can you have your human rights violated over the internet? TheFSAviator ( TC ) 05:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I think you need to edit on a wikipedia other than en.wikipedia to find out. And that'd be why Jimbo has a header up above saying to use the most appropriate talk page. Like meta, for example. As for whether "Yes, I can" is a good reply to "Can you tell us..." well that's a whole other question. Lol. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:23, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Virgilio, I think I'll have to echo the request of others. Could you explain to me specifically and briefly just what you are talking about? Speaking of human rights violations is a fairly extreme thing to do, and I'm pretty sure that admins aren't in a position to actually violate anyone's human rights. (Some might say that through page protection and blocks, they may violate the freedom of speech, but such a claim seriously misunderstands what the freedom of speech is all about.)
At the same time, of course if we turn the drama down a bit, it is always possible that admins on a particular project are pursuing unwise policies, or that you have personally been treated unfairly in some way. My ability to assist with that sort of thing is generally strictly in an advisory capacity, and also naturally limited wherever I have an inability to speak the language. I am often able, though, to facilitate a productive conversation that make go some distance towards healing a problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:44, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind message. We agree that this is a serious matter and I appreciate you taking the time to look into it. I have no legal training. That's why my question was only if you would welcome and support my participation in an effort by the Wikimedia Foundation to address this problem effectively, within the Wikimedia community. Your message sounds like "Maybe, if..." and I consider that very encouraging.
What I gathered from my experience and observations is that just a cursory reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[2] is enough to realize that people on Wikimedia projects have the utmost contempt for them. One does not need to go any further than the comments above, in stark contrast with yours, to have an indication that it is so. I´ll excuse myself from answering directly any of them. This is no laughing matter, and some answers are provided in this comment anyway.
There's no "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [as] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace," there is "disregard and contempt for human rights [...] result[ing] in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief [as] freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people," that "it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected [...]." There are gross violations of Articles 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 19, 21, 29 and 30 (out of 30): "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein." Article 30 explains why these rights do apply here, to each and every user. Except for bots, we are all human beings.
Please forgive me for not providing any evidence here, but I'm trying to keep this message short, and that would require a proper venue, maybe lead by a fact finding working group or commission that would, as soon as possible, produce a report to the Foundation. That is however just an idea out of the top of my head. What is important is your willingness "to facilitate a productive conversation that ma[y] go some distance towards healing a problem." If you lead, I'll do my best to follow.
Sincerely,
Virgilio A. P. Machado
vapmachado talk.cw 23:00, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Although this has nothing to do with me, and I'll let Mr. Wales go on with how he wants to respond to this, I have a few comments to add. I looked over his userpage on the Portuguese Wiki, and it had a combination of productive content and blocks on it. I focused mainly on looking to see why the blocks were made, and there was over half a dozen of them, starting at just a day or so and going on to finally be a permanent block. Although I felt that a few of the blocks were a bit too much given the reasons that the blocks cited, I did detect a pattern of disruptive editing. It apparently began with the refusal to follow established consensus on spelling on that wiki, despite having policy and guidelines pointed out several times. However, what really got my attention were the blocks later on. By then the blocks were not so much for refusing to follow consensus, but were for personal attacks. There were some comments made against Brazil and Brazilians that could be termed offensive, but the really serious issue was the hostile attitude that Vapmachado showed to other editors, especially in discussions. He did not act in a very civil manner in those discussions, even going as far as repeated carpet-bombing a discussion with unnecessary notices that above comments violate some policy (that was a disruptive and unnecessary behavior, and should have been referred directly to the administrators instead of posting it in the discussion, where it would only cause an argument and serve little productive use). He also posted a heading directly below a person's post with the words "you lie", which showed disrespect for the viewpoint of other editors. There were other instances, but those are what come to mind when I think about what I saw. Vapmachado was a good editor, but his key flaws were his refusal to listen to consensus and to other editors, and his hostile attitude toward other editors and opinions that differ from his own. Although in some instances administrators may have been too strict, I feel that overall the blocks were deserved and human rights were not violated. --Slon02 (talk) 03:10, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


I agree 100%. This might have nothing to do with you and we all would be much better off if you had followed your own advice. Before you, somebody else has already tried with greater economy of words to link this post to "it's about your personal problems with Portuguese wikipedia," and the answer was: "You're wrong." Please note that on the first paragraph of this section it is stated: "I haven't been as successful dealing with administrators and so on." What you are writing about is nothing new, and that has not been recognized. This section is also not about the sentence just preceding the one quoted above: "I have had the privileged of editing with 110 students and still counting." (I have updated the number). By the way, you must have looked over the user talk page on the Portuguese Wikipedia. The user page is a sorry thing to see. Next time look over the user and talk page on the Portuguese Wikibooks (Wikilivros) and do an equally comprehensive review, but not here, please. Much obliged, Virgilio A. P. Machado. vapmachado talk.cw 04:24, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

If you don't want others to comment, why don't you just email Jimbo? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
That also has already been answered: "This time I'm posting this message publicly because I believe that this is a matter of our common and general interest." Although I started this topic and named it "A matter of human rights," this is not my talk page. It´s not up to me to decide who's comments are welcome or not. vapmachado talk.cw 05:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Looking over the link you provided to un.org, and the specific items you have stated, it's still very difficult to see how most if not all of these could be violated remotely. You say you wish to avoid examples to keep things short - okay, fine. At least choose a handful that you feel to be the most excessive violations so that we can have a starting point to better understanding your concerns. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 06:10, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Virgilio, your accusations are outrageous and false to the point of making no coherent sense whatsoever. No one is violating anyone's human rights on Wikipedia. Please stop wasting people's time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:16, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Wikipedia is not only an important innovation in the distribution of knowledge; it is an important experiment in self governance of communities of interest. I think a measured study of the implications of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Wikipedia is well worth commissioning. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
What??? Have you read it???? It was written because of people gassing others, butchering others, sending others to gulags, and raping them in front of their children! Go to Rwanda or Srebrenica and then come back with some clue. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:05, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:19, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Although some of the articles relate to freedom from torture, right to employment, etc, rights we are unlikely ever to need to enforce at Wikipedia, some are applicable to this community. It is a community. It does have governance, and a penal system where the penalty is exile. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:37, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
To compare not being able to edit on wikimedia projects to breaches of human rights trivialises the issue of human rights. It is an arugument that diminishes those who put it forward and is best dropped. 62.25.109.195 (talk) 13:20, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
That's something of an over-dramatic way to phrase it. Your statement is true in the same way that "Microsoft is a community. It does have governance, and a penal system where the penalty is exile." is true. Organizations – large and small, governmental, commercial, or volunteer – will all ask members or employees to leave if those individuals are working at cross-purposes to the goals of the group. Call it 'exile' if you want, but that's really over the top — as were Vapmachado's comparisons to cruel and unusual punishment or denial of a human being's status as a person in the UDHR. (Indeed, Wikipedia tends to be much more tolerant of individuals who act counterproductively and waste the time of their fellow editors than most organizations, and our 'exile' is very porous — one can return from it at any time by filling out a new name tag and ceasing to do whatever obnoxious thing led one to be banned in the first place.)
Wikipedia is explicitly not a democracy; it is a charitable organization that is building a free encyclopedia. While that goal is sometimes furthered by adopting principles reflecting the spirit of portions of the UDHR – we offer 'freedom of speech' insofar as it includes the ability to have open civil discussion of reasonable duration on topics related to article writing, for instance, and admins tend to come down brutally hard (as appropriate) on editors who discriminate against their fellows on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation – Wikipedia is not and should not be mistaken for a government or legal system, any more than the Red Cross or IBM should. Ultimately, our policies are driven by a desire to produce a better encyclopedia; that's the bottom line. Government is for the politicians. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I implied above that parts of the declaration could or should be enforced on Wikipedia. Sorry. That was careless. I simply mean the declaration could be used as a standard against which to measure the way individuals fare in any community with governance and penalties. I'm not commenting on Virgilio's position, but on Jimbo's point that applying the UDHR to Wikipedia would be a waste of time. (My personal experience here has been very positive.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

your first wife Pam's surname

In reading your wikipage article Jimbo, and elsewhere, I notice that your first wife Pam's surname is never mentioned. I feel that this could be construed as disrespectful to her, or diminishing to women in general. There may be some reason, not immediately apparent, why this is so, such as her wish to remain unpestered, or her security, for example, but if no such bar exists, may I respectfully ask what it was before marriage ? It seems bizarre that even when she is quoted, as in the "castle at age 40" remark that we are only told half her name.--— Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 11:47, 19 January 2011 (UTC) P.S. -Has any one ever told you that you have a touch of Kevin Costner in that photo ?--— Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 11:49, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Since the castle at age 40 remark doesn't accurately depict me or my life or my attitudes at that time (it is, after all, a throwaway quote from a silly article in a fashion tabloid - not a reliable source), it shouldn't be there at all, honestly. (I don't see it there now, but perhaps I'm overlooking it.) I absolutely do not claim an "Anglophile streak" (that's the opinion of the author of that piece in The Independent) and so that should be removed as well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:55, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Fair point about throwaway remarks. I did not see the Anglophile bit. What about Pam's surname/'maiden name' ? and what about Kevin Costner ? around the eyes ?--— Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 12:30, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
It strikes me as irrelevant. And yeah, I've heard that. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:45, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Could I have your input

There is discussion on having a user desysop'd. Can you please see the page and offer your view? Thank you. Dusti*poke* 00:49, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Not really my place to opine, as I know too little of the specific circumstances. I will only say this: I think it is generally a good thing if admins set recall rules for themselves, and I think it is a really really important thing that if they do, they live up to them. Those are broad philosophical statements, not commentary on this specific case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:17, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Open invitation

Mr. Wales, If your time permits, I would certainly welcome your opinion to an idea I have proffered. And the residual effect of having asked you here is undoubtedly as effective as inviting the best imaginable audience as well. Thank you for your time in considering this invitation. My76Strat 05:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Still waiting for clarification on PC

User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 69#Pending changes

Hi Jimbo, I'm still not clear as to if the "release of the new version" mentioned here has actually been completed. As I mentioned in the above linked thread, I've somewhat lost track of what's going on with PC. Also, regardless of whether we're currently using the new version or not, what are your plans for achieving consensus, since you seemed keen to do this at the time of the last poll. (Note to talk page stalkers, I'm here looking specifically for Jimbo's comments, although I also welcome your input). Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:02, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi Kingpin13, like you, I've lost the plot myself. I was completely swamped in every way with the 10th anniversary press, but now I'm digging out from under. I'll ask the Foundation the status, and we should push for the start ASAP of the next test. I believe the Foundation completed the release of the new version, but I don't think we've commenced a formal test. This time around, I want to make absolutely sure before we start that we have absolutely clear conditions on "what happens next", rather than the confusion we had last time around.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:08, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
If you wouldn't mind, Jimmy, could you enquire with the relevant people about whether it would be plausible (hypothetically, for now) to create a higher level of Pending Changes that would require review by admins (and only admins). As an admin who's very active around the Main Page, I think this could have a positive affect on DYK and ITN as an alternative to full protection while still protecting the most visible part of Wikipedia from misguided editors, compromised accounts etc. Obviously it would require consensus to implement, but it would be interesting to hear if it could be easily done as part of an future trial. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:51, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Why admins and only admins?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:48, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Typically only admins can control the content on the main page, as the risk of a defacement to our main page (which would be considerably embarrassing) is otherwise too high. So at present some of the pages at DYK and ITN are fully protected. Changing this to pending changes would allow the non-admin editors working in those areas to help out further, without increasing the risk of defacement. Thanks for your replies Jimbo, I look forward to seeing PC developed for the benefit of the project, in a consensus lead manner. All the best, - Kingpin13 (talk) 01:05, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Kingpin. Jimmy, to give you an example, everything except for the prep areas on T:DYK/Q is fully protected at the minute, because once it's on there, it's in a queue and will be moved onto T:DYK (which, obviously, is transcluded directly onto the Main Page). This has to be the case at the minute, because the risk (or rather the temptation for those who might have a less altruistic use for a page viewed 6 million times a day) is so great, but if we could allow edits by anybody (or, realistically, any autoconfirmed account) pending review by an administrator, we could greatly improve efficiency at DYK and ITN in particular, but without the risk. Both ITN and DYK have several contributors who aren't administrators but are far more experienced than most admins and this would be a great way of allowing them to help out more and we could have non-admins being able to control (to an extent) the content of the Main Page for the first time in at least 5 years (probably longer). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 01:25, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I see the point now. I will ponder this further.
I'd be wary of this idea - in the situation HJ Mitchel points out it would be a plus, but if this feature was in place I can see a push for it to be used more generally, and it would significantly change the role of admins, moving them into the position of using tools to make content decisions. I'd be interested to see where community discussion went on this: I guess it depend to some extent on how people see wider use as being a risk. - Bilby (talk) 02:30, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
While I'm a supporter of PC, I would have to oppose any PC proposal that would implement an admins only PC level. Full-prot is only used rarely, and has significant repercussions if used improperly, I can easily see the disastrous consequences of giving certain admins the option of "Full-prot lite". However, using PC-2 on the main page might be useful, since only reviewers (who are trusted members of the community) can accept those revisions. But I will not support "Full-prot lite" under any circumstance. Ronk01 talk 03:04, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The threshold for reviewer is far too low for Main Page purposes. It's all very well asking them to screen out vandalism and other crap from articles, but the thought of asking such unqualified people to add content to the Main Page in accordance with all the various procedures (the DYK criteria or a consensus and update for ITN) and check for things like BLP violations, copyvios etc. sends a shiver down my spine. I hasten to add that there are many non-admins more than capable of stepping up to this challenge, which is why I suggested this in the first place, but there are many who might hold things like reviewer and rollback but are not competent to be doing this sort of thing. I'm also curious as to how you think a "PC3" would be more open to abuse than full prot is? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 03:25, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Just from my perspective, this idea gives admins a new ability - approving or denying content. Admins can edit fully protected pages, but those edits are done only with consensus from talk, not based on the admin's personal opinions. PC3 moves the admin's role from making changes decided through consensus to approving changes based on their interpretation of the validity of the content. On the Main Page, as described, this would be fine. But if it happened in mainspace it would be a significant change to the role of the admin, and would be at risk of significant abuse if implemented outside of the proposed bounds. - Bilby (talk) 05:40, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Provided that it were restricted to pages directly related to the Main Page, I suppose I wouldn't have a problem with it (though I do have to ask why we need to filter the input of people constructively working on the main page, why not create a Crat-granted permission that would allow them to do so directly). But in terms of potential abuse in the mainspace, full prot is abused already, do we really need to add a "softer" version? PC-2 is more than enough for the Mainspace. Ronk01 talk 03:46, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I can't see a use for it in the mainspace, but I'm sure the devs could prevent its use in the mainspace easily enough. Admins have no way of adding the existing form of PC to anything outside the mainspace and the project space. As to your idea of a separate permission, that would probably have to give them the ability to edit any fully protected page, which would leave it open to abuse. Besides, we already have admisnhip. This is only necessary because a few people at RfA have managed to turn adminship (which, contrary to popular opinion, really is quite dull) into some kind of superhuman status, but I digress. "PC3" would be easier to implement and probably harder to abuse than a new permission of some sort. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 04:02, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, could you please comment on bot-based alternatives to PC. ClueBot NG (talk · contribs) has been enormously helpful recently. I mean professional (not spare-time) development of proper, artificial intelligence based antivandal software. Just to give an example, we do get real maniacs from time to time. It is already one-two weeks since one is daily targeting WP:TFA (and articles around it, have a look here, which is a filter which was set for this, but stalled because it needs daily tuning) swapping many dozens of open-proxies per day and eventually causing massive semiprotection. He/she could and should be stopped by bots. Instead, several admins and editors have to waste their time. Surely, the answer could be "we should go both ways", but manpower is limited, isn't it, and neither of the tasks is trivial, but the bot-based one does not need approval by consensus, just professional programming and smart adjustment at times. Materialscientist (talk) 05:48, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Yahya Ayyash is a hero according to arabic wikipedia!!

what's wrong with these people?? when israeli army becomes occupying force! when "was killed" becomes "martyred"! when armed people becomes resistance army!!! etc... please don't give me the every pedia has its own bla bla bla... this is incredibly against wikipedia rules, and what makes it worse is that the admins accused the ip who were trying to fix that of vandalism [3]!!! would you do anything or i am just vomiting right now? --Fadywalker (talk) 23:11, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

"Ayyash is credited with advancing the technique of suicide bombing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The bombings he orchestrated caused the deaths of approximately 90 Israelis.[2] A master of disguise, Ayyash was the most wanted man in Israel for three years, and the target of a massive manhunt.[3] Ayyash was was assassinated by Israel's Shin Bet in 1996. Shin Bet tricked a trusted friend of Ayyash's into giving him a bomb-laden cell phone. When Ayyash used it, Shin Bet detonated it, killing him instantly." -- from the English Wikipedia. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:24, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
You may need to explain more clearly what the issue is here. Admittedly, I'm using Google translate, but the article text doesn't appear to say "hero" or "was martyred" anywhere (although "hero" is used in the English text). I can't say for sure it is a model of NPOV (because I don't know enough about the subject), and it has few citations, but the Arabic and English versions look fairly similar in tone and content AFAICT. There does seem to have been a short-lived edit war at the end of December over whether the words "occupation" and "resistance" should be used in the article, but surely that sort of content dispute is not uncommon on Wikipedia in any language.--FormerIP (talk) 23:41, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
It might have been vandalism? Well, anyway although I don't speak Arabic, I know enough Arabic language Wikipedians to say that they generally strive for neutrality in the same way that we do. I have no doubt that struggles over words like "occupation" and "resistance" are, as FormerIP says, common everywhere. But I think it is unlikely to be the case for very long that any Wikipedia language will have extreme bias. (Though, of course, it is entirely possible that they will come down in slightly different places, which is unfortunate but likely unavoidable.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:45, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
google translate? it's still no good.. especially when it comes to يستشهد/استشهاد (Martyring) which is translated to cites according to GT!! please check these modifications [4] [5] [6] etc... and translate the highlighted words but please try using a different translator this time, maybe babylon because it's more better --Fadywalker (talk) 19:36, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Mr Wales, yes there might be some arab wikipedians who care about neutrality but the question is how much are they? what is their percentage? how serious are they? how much could they stand against the "dark side" AND FOR HOW LONG? the answer is not good, or why is there many articles about israeli cities which converted to "palestinian"? or there are still some admins fighting for keeping the "pbuh" phrase next to muhammed? etc... --Fadywalker (talk) 19:28, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Do you care about 'neutrality'? Reading that, I doubt it very much. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:57, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
how?? --Fadywalker (talk) 00:31, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This may seem a bit off-topic, but I think one of the greatest things about Wikipedia is that its existence will make it very difficult for future generations to engage in the type of historical revisionism that prior generations have practiced. Every single edit to the article about this guy is in our databases, and looking at that editing history will illuminate whatever is in the top version with an essence of the bitter, emotional conflict that existed in the world he was a part of. --Versageek 03:25, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo IPO

Hi, Jimbo. Congrats on (y)our tenth.
Cold you explain how you have planned to become millionair? You are American, and WP is in the top10. How will you sell wikipedia? Are you planning something like that? What's the non-difference with "MySQL" (now Oracle)? Strangely enough, I have never read any substantial vision of you in these.-DePiep (talk) 00:33, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

I dunno, I think I'll become a fashion model. Ha. But seriously, Wikipedia is a charity. No one is going to sell it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:54, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Is not an answer. As I said: evasive. (hey, how do you talk with these google/facebook collogues? They must be laughing at you now). -DePiep (talk) 02:14, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what's evasive? There will be no IPO or sale of Wikipedia. What else are you trying to ask me? Or are you just trying to be insulting?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:31, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Offensive is, you are turning this question into an "insult". Now what are the plans with wiki, long term? -DePiep (talk) 03:13, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Watch out here, it appears we have a Mr. Slugworth to your Willy Wonka. Better hide the Everlasting Gobstoppers and all the other "exciting new ideas" :p Bozzio (talk) 04:22, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps whoever's in charge over at Encyclopaedia Britannica Online is doing a bit of spying. Bozzio (talk) 04:22, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Why not just an answer? -DePiep (talk) 05:02, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe because Jimbo has already answered the question ? (Just picking one example linked from a recent Wikipedia Signpost, there seem to be several examples per week.) If you've decided that the answer is different to the one that he gives, what can he do about that? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:10, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, 'maybe' it is. If your link is the answer: your link says Jimbo: "celebration of what is to come" (uh, not what is?), "charity with a mission" -- sure. So, like what the western world did in Africa? Mother Teresa? A mission? Hey, he you (Jimbo in the link) says now there will be a "first office outside of Americe (USA)?" I say: not a vision, not a plan. (Oh well, the Office will track me & suffocate me later on). -DePiep (talk) 05:33, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
DePiep, you may find this helpful. I recommend that you drop the hostile tone, it's really not helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:49, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, I can drop a "hostile" tone within a second, if it were present at all. May I note that your first reaction here was not relevant? What is "hostile" at all when asking for a to-the-point reaction? ("Or are you just trying to be insulting" -- is straight trolling, sir). Above this, the two other users who reacted here (Bozzio and Demiurge1000) did not know or point to the strategic paper. -DePiep (talk) 06:12, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

You called me evasive. You suggested that people must be laughing at me. You went on to suggest that you would be tracked and suffocated. That's what I meant by "hostile tone".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:36, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
No I did not. It was you who said "fashion model" in a first reaction. I did not say "people laugh at you". I said two specific persons laugh (by their position), that is not "people". And yes, I call you evasive. Who is trolling? All this is before I react to the paper you linked to (which two editors here did not know about). You did not link to the vision in a first reaction. All this is by questions & facts. In general, really, I do not like the "you are insincere" tone you introduced. -DePiep (talk) 07:05, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
'You are an American and...'? I guess it's time for me to give up what I'm doing and start playing a tin whistle and start telling jokes instead, after all I should have the gift of the blarney. Dmcq (talk) 11:08, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
"these google/facebook collogues" refers to "two specific persons"? No one here has any clue what you're talking about. You asked "How will you sell wikipedia? Are you planning something like that?" Jimbo said, quite clearly, none of that is planned. He has not been evasive; he made a joke. Powers T 13:26, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I understand the answer is in this thread, but maybe not directly visible. Let's close it. -DePiep (talk) 14:27, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
The answer is right there is Jimbo's first reply: "No one is going to sell [Wikipedia]." It's a charity. It doesn't have an owner, so it is impossible to sell it. --Tango (talk) 15:07, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Loughner question

There is a lot of debate going on about File:Photograph of Jared Lee Loughner by Pima County Sheriff's Office.jpg. I wonder if you'd be willing to express your opinion on the matter. Thank you! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:58, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

My opinion is that it's a really interesting edge case. I am very sympathetic and supportive of those who point out that it's very likely reasonably easy to get a properly licensed photo of the man. One of the main reasons for having a strict policy on fair use is precisely the incentive effects for people doing that sort of work, which is quite valuable.
I remember talking to an amateur photographer and baseball fan some years ago who was dismayed that people were taking down his pictures from Wikipedia and replacing them with copyrighted photos with a thin fair-use rationale. The truth was, and he was the first to point this out, the professional ones taken by photographers with access to do a proper photoshoot were actually better. His photos from the stands were not as good for physical reasons. He was disheartened.
When we take a hard line on fair use, we open up a space for people to do really interesting work at getting properly licensed photos.
This case, of course, is different in some ways. First, this is a situation of immense and immediate public interest. Second, getting a fair use photo is likely to take some time - weeks at least.
One of the things that will be great in this debate is if someone who is very strongly in favor of getting a free image actually manages to do so, and in reasonably short order. That'd be a great way to prove to some people that it isn't that hard.
Having said all that, it might sound like I am coming down firmly on the side of 'delete'. But if I am, it's a 'mild delete' because I do think that fair use is an important doctrine, I do think the article ought to have a photo, etc. Mostly I want people to treat each other with respect in the debate, and take every opportunity to grow as a person by trying to really hear what the other side is saying.
If there is anything I can personally do to help get a proper photo, I'm available to send emails in my name or make a phone call, if someone will assist me in figuring out what to do.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:00, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Very good. I am going to link to here from that discussion and see what new discussion it generates. Thank you for your time. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:21, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The guy's existed for a decent amount of years, many pictures of him exist. If none surface then fine, but at the moment we don't need a non-free version. Black Kite (t) (c) 20:08, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I assume BK will accept Jim's challenge and search for one of those free photos. Meanwhile, the picture was removed from the infobox and placed in the section that discusses the arrest, so the case for keeping it appears to be stronger now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:15, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Hey!

RomeEonBmbo (talk) 00:04, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi!

I hope you don't mind, but I added a hyphen to your userpage,to make it look a bit nicer (or so I think). Sactage Talk -- The entire reason I've gotten in to editing wikis and Wikipedia 04:51, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Aaaaargh! A hyphen - replace it with an en-dash immediately! I dunno about that, myself, looks a bit lonely, but then I'm no expert on grammar, punctuation, or most of the things that keep those who enjoy fixing such things (including spelling - got "grammer" wrong, but fortunately realised). That's the great thing about Wikipedia. We can entertain each other for days with hyphens, whether 'gotten' is a word (not this side of the pond it isn't), and whether 'whilst' is archaic (ditto). Sometimes we can write useful articles too, though usually by mistake. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:01, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Sure you don't want an em-dash {—) there? ;) HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 05:09, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Don;t? ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:11, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, the irony! ;) HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 05:17, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Er, if you're serious about the em-dash thing, I guess it would work... Sactage Talk -- The entire reason I've gotten in to editing wikis and Wikipedia 05:19, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I was taking the micky. ;) I don't think it really matters. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 05:33, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure it matters, just not to you or me. Actually, I think the punctuationists and hyphenologists that follow in the trail of the reckless writers of ungrammatical Wikiprose deserve more praise than they get. Fool's rush in while those behind remove unnecessary apostrophes... ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:50, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Japanese business income

I hope to contribute a business income of $12,000 that you got in Japan to the foundation.It is the fund which a Japanese user offered for Wikimedia project, and the income is not your personal income. You should do the personal diversion.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 06:52, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo may or may not have something to say about this, but in the meantime, please could you provide a link to evidence that Jimbo received a business income of $12,000 from one individual Japanese user, for the Wikimedia project? Also, please tell us if you have a connection with that user? Also, please tell us if you are connected with the person from Japan that previously made enquiries about financial matters involving Wikimedia and Japan, here on Jimbo's en.wikipedia talk page? Thanks. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:01, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 15:02, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Presumably that $13,000 was spent on the costs of running those events. --Tango (talk) 15:13, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
A meeting place is an institution of a university and the support company. The expense was gratuitousness or a small sum.As for the machine parts, most are private properties of the staff.
Wikipedia10 in Kyoto is about ¥3000($36) actual expenses of the meal fee, and remains ¥2500($30).
Therefore there is profit by appearance in large quantities.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 15:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I think most people reading this talk page will know this, but just to be clear. I am not involved in any way in running events of this kind for Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation or Wikimedia chapters. I am not compensated by the Foundation or the Chapters in any way for my work on behalf of Wikipedia, neither a salary nor expenses of any kind. (Apart from the occasional meal at a board meeting, sharing a taxi with a paying staff member while on Wikimedia business (fund raising, press appearance, etc.), etc. Small incidentals.)
Having said all that to establish clearly that any accusations of me profiting personally from Japanese events is nonsense, I will say that I am interested in looking into it further. Local activities should be well-managed and responsibly organized. (I should note that I think it could be perfectly fine for local chapters to organize and run quality events that make a profit for the chapter. That's not always going to make sense, but there is nothing inherently wrong with it that I can think of.)
With respect to the Japanese events in particular, I know very little about them, and had nothing to do with them in any way. I am likely not the best person to ask, as I have at hand no information that isn't publicly available. This page says that the conference was organized by the Japanese Wikimedia community and the "Center for Knowledge Structuring". I assume, but I do not know, that it was this Center for Knowledge Structuring - a unit at the University of Tokyo - which acted as the legal entity for collecting money and paying expenses. I have no way of knowing whether they operated the event at a profit or loss, but it would strike me as highly surprising if they were doing anything bad.
Regarding the Wikipedia 10 event in Kyoto, it seems that the sponsors of the event were the Wikimedia Foundation and Hatena. I don't know what Hatena is, exactly, but it appears to be some kind of web company or software company. Where the registration fees went for this conference is not clear to me, and so on this point, I think our visitor has a valid question. I shall pursue it as best I can.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
You gave them a patent by a former argument[7].It was done press release in Japan by wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation when I held WCJ2009[8].Tokyo University does not participate in administration.The place was only offered. It was performed as an official meeting by Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation.The meeting place of the national university juridical person was offered by the condition.It doesn't lend it for the use of mania's group. Therefore, you have a legal, ethical responsibility as the person in charge.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 09:06, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't give anybody a patent or anything like it. I don't even know what that means, really! I certainly did not give permission for this meeting nor the use of our logos for the meeting, but it should be noted: I don't have anything to do with that at all.
I have now checked with the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation had nothing to do with either of these meetings, other than Jay Walsh appearing as a speaker. The second event (party for Wikipedia) was not an official event of the Wikimedia Foundation at all, it was just a group of users. If you thought the price was too high, you were free to organize your own party.
To repeat: I have nothing to do with any of this. I'm happy to help you research it, because I do think it is important that local community events be well-managed. But I know very little about this particular case. (And I know nothing more than what I have told you already.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:16, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
山吹色の御菓子: I wonder if you're making all the correct assumptions regarding the finances for these events. Assuming the 2009 event sold out, this might have brought in anything from ¥300K ($3,600) to twice that - but probably nearer the lower end, since most attendees were probably students at the University. Presumably the organisers needed to at least pay for venue hire, Jay Walsh's expenses (I'm guessing he flew in for the conference) and catering for 300 people.
For the 10th birthday event, there seems to be a note on the wiki saying that any surplus would be put towards the organisation of future events. According to Google translate, there was also a party afterwards in a "suppository shop", which can't have been cheap. (I'm guessing it was actually a sit-down meal).
I'm not sure it looks likely that anyone is making a fast yen out of these events. --FormerIP (talk) 16:30, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
The answer contradicts the fact. As for WCJ2009, Wikimedia Foundation does a patent of the holding right to them.Komura of Wikimedia Foundation permitted this[9].In the event of wikipedia 10 in kyoto, Wikimedia Foundation is written that the project composition was done as "Sponsors"[10].Wikimedia Foundation offered T-shirt and the pin batch.I sent your video visit[11].Director of foundation Ting Chen participated over a video telephone using Skype.
FormerIP: A foundation provides it with the business trip travel expenses of Jay Walsh.Based on a Japanese price level, I think that I am non-reasonable.Severe use is not decided though it is written that the residuary estate belongs to the group, and will be used it for those cost in the future. The group may donate to the religious organization and the political party for instance, and you are supposed buy an individual personal computer.The meeting place is IZAKAYA called The WATAMI[12]. IZAKAYA is a bar where plonk and meal are sold.Drinking is possible in a fixed amount system if order NOMIHODAI.In this store, the system is [13].Because this shop is a very cheap shop, it is low fare.
--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 15:33, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Adding references

I'm stymied by the apparent fact that the tool bar has a tool that don't do its job properly. I've been called to task for adding bare URLs as footnotes, when all I do is use the footnote tool that appears at the top as a little book with a ribbon bookmark in it. Why is it there if it doesn't make satisfactory footnotes? Or are they actually fine with you but not with some picky editors? I see the advantage of a proper footnote, but see no reason to have the beguiling little tool/icon if it doesn't do its job well. And I can't figure out how to make an MLA or APA style footnote in WP format. Yopienso (talk) 10:43, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

People shouldn't be so picky; they should simply get on and help you out with improving the citations by formatting them. Anyway, see Wikipedia:Citation templates for some info on formatting citations; Reflinks is a tool that helps to convert bare urls into formatted citation (though best to become familiar with it, to try it out in your user space first). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.130.84.62 (talk) 13:47, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Try the refTools gadget: Wikipedia:RefToolbar_2.0. You can add it in your My Preferences-->Gadgets. The little "cite" button is there whenever you edit a page, and does all the formatting for you after filling out a form. It is a courtesy to readers to be able to see what the reference is without having to go search on another website. First Light (talk) 15:49, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
First Light, I've not used that one, thanks for mentioning it! Should it be made part of the defaults? I think Yopienso is right, and it's unfortunate if the best answer is for people who are new to the site to have to go digging around in gadgets.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:22, 23 January 2011 (UTC)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:22, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
It should be a default gadget very soon, as there is strong consensus for just that in a current discussion here at the Village Pump. Nearly everyone there agrees that new users should see it in their editing tools from the beginning, since many of them don't even know that they can search for such gadgets. First Light (talk) 04:29, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Those who edit should learn the conventions on citing and not expect others to go round cleaning up after them. I speak as an offender in this regard .--— ⦿⨦⨀Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 11:52, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
It is a wonderful tool and is very easy to install and use - I have helped quite a few bad referencing editors to install it and they are always really pleased with it, as I am with the not-having-to-go-round-cleaning-up-their-mess outcome :¬) Chaosdruid (talk) 17:15, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

You were quoted

You were quoted here [14] at ArbCom. Please check for accuracy. Best regards. Smatprt (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

In regards to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Shakespeare authorship question/Evidence#Evidence presented by Jimbo Wales (subsection two), I don't understand which admins you are referring to with "I support a strong degree of thoughtful discretion on the part of admins". ScienceApologist (now user:Joshua P. Schroeder) is not, and has never been, an admin, and I can't see any admins in the merge discussion. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:15, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Um...ScienceApologist is not an administrator? We were all led to believe he was. He closed the merge discussion and registered a finding, and in the aftermath, set himself up as overseer of the article, issuing instructions and assigning us all various duties. He was referred to as an administrator on numerous occasions (example - [15]) and never corrected anyone. If this is true, this is really disturbing. His early close and poor decision are the direct cause of so much of the dissension that has now resulted in the ArbCom case... and my earlier topic banning. Wow, I feel like I've been had.Smatprt (talk) 05:12, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
It's a common misconception among editors who avoid the dark corners of Wikipedia that people who step up and organize things are admins. However, there was no attempt to deceive and anyone who jumped to the "admin" conclusion were mistaken on two counts: ScienceApologist is not an admin, and an admin can make mistakes and can be challenged just like a humble editor (i.e. politely question them at the page in dispute if appropriate, or at their talk page). Johnuniq (talk) 07:41, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
ScienceApologist never represented himself as an admin, and IIRC, he never commented on the case that brought about Smatprt's topic ban. It was nothing but his behaviour that brought about his topic ban. ScienceApologist's action stopped an interminiable edit war and set up the conditions that brought about the present Shakespeare authorship question page, and his decision should be used as a model for other pages troubled by WWI-style trench warfare. Tom Reedy (talk) 13:15, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad we agree on at least this - ScienceApologist's action set up the condiditons that brought about the present SAQ page, which is now surrounded with so much fury. But the fact remains that we were all under the impression that he was an Admin. Tom named him an admin on several occasions. He was named an admin on pages he participated in and - here's the deception - he never corrected anyone, but allowed that misconception to remain. No matter though, as I see [16] he has been blocked indefinitely. Smatprt (talk) 15:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Well I, like you, assumed he was. It's too bad when editors get so convinced of their righteousness that they become vigilantes. Eric Hoffer said a lot about that type of mindset. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I was referring to ScienceApologist, as I was thinking at that moment that he was an admin. However, that was irrelevant to my remark really, so I have made an edit to change that tidbit.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:48, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that. John Vandenberg (chat) 22:39, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

when did national scout association of Eritrea founded

Hi dear my name is YONAS i am boy scout Eritrea .As we learn in my country ERITREA scout movment was found on 1945 .But you at this article it wrote it was stared on 1950.but in 1950 it was in ETHIOPIA not in Eritrea.I hope you will be answer my quetion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.55.76.18 (talk) 12:40, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Please ask this at the Reference desk, not Jimbo's talk page. --Perseus, Son of Zeus sign here 16:51, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia creator

{{subst:Wikipedia Creator|GrammarSpellingWatch (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)}}

Awarded for creating Wikipedia.

being invoked in afd

Hi Jimbo, you are being invoked in the afd of Blame Israel first, here. I thought that you might want to take part after reading the article. unmi 13:20, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

A charitable idea

I saw this on CNN a couple days ago, and I was thinking...

Why not hire people who are homeless, disabled or economically disadvantaged to do automated tasks on Wikipedia that are currently done by robots? It could also be a way of getting more people to donate to Wikipedia if people could sponsor a real human being and know that they're doing more than just helping to build an online encyclopedia... 173.66.197.27 (talk) 18:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Because not all bot-related actions are done by bots, especially wrt the antivandalism bots. —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 03:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I like my idea better. ;) -- œ 07:50, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe that letting a human do a job a machine can do faster and easier is degrading to the humanity of the person doing such jobs. If you want to show that the homeless, disabled or economically disadvantaged are perfectly able to do a valuable job, or provide a valuable service, don't let them do jobs that don't have to be done by humans, that have no added value. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 15:18, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
It might sound crazy, but humans could do the job faster and easier if they organized well-enough.
I think letting people suffer and starve to death for the sake of making an efficient encyclopedia is degrading to humanity... probably a reason why I will never donate. 173.66.197.27 (talk) 21:18, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Recent Changes patrollers have a hard enough time dealing with vandalism, and when you factor in the same inherent bias each person has, I can see how easily this idea can and will be turned on its head, especially if an article about something the homeless person(s) hate shows up on the RC feed. A bot's coding doesn't permit such bias, and if a bot reverts in error the coder fixes it to minimize instances of that false-positive. In addition, most bot tasks are so mind-crushingly dull having them relegated to a human has been outlawed in 43 states as a form of slavery. :P —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 04:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • instead of homeless people, perhaps we should hire illiterate non-english speakers from third-world countries; being homeless would be an extra bonus of course. this would be great for them to learn english and how to read. we'll only need to get them internet and laptops and sanitary water first.--Milowenttalkblp-r 05:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

annoying orange

for the annoying orange, i think the character appearances should be like this:


for the annoying orange: 1 appearance to be a main character

for knife: 1 character appearance to be a main character (in chopping and character mode)

for grapefruit (and any other grapefruit family member in the series): 1 appearance to be a minor character, 3 appearances to be a secondary character, and 5 appearances to be a main character

liam the leprechaun: 1 appearance to be a minor character, 3 appearances to be a secondary character, 5 appearances to be a main character, and i also think that he should be the secondary antonagest (how do u spell that again?) (if that isn't there)

and any other characters: 1 appearance to be a minor character, 3 appearances to be a secondary character, and 5 appearances to be a main character.


please go talk to an administrator that knows the annoying orange and tell him or her "do u know the annoying orange? if so, please go to my talk page.".

and tell him to reply

69.236.160.181 (talk) 20:17, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

P.S. if u reply here, please leave a talkback note on my talk.

I don't think Jimbo has been involved in editing The Annoying Orange so you might be better off discussing article improvements on the talk page for the article instead of here. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:22, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I now rue the day I created that now-giant mess.--Milowenttalkblp-r 05:47, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

When I saw this section's name, I thought it was going to be a complaint about the "You have new messages" bar. LadyofShalott 05:53, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Contents pages navigation proposal

A proposal to add topical links to all of the contents pages has been made. As part of that proposal, the navigation bar at the top of these contents pages would look like this.


All who read this invitation, please respond to the proposal, Portal talk:Contents#Adding topical links to contents pages navigational headers and footers, as you see fit. Regards, RichardF (talk) 15:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Great work, indeed

[17] (link to Encyclopedia Dramatica removed). Tijfo098 (talk) 04:24, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Your point? -- œ 04:47, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what his point is, but I've removed one of his links. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Change "vision"?

The statement of "sharing the sum of all human knowledge" was certainly good 10 years ago, but that's clearly not what we're doing. I cannot think of any revised, accurate, yet catchy phrase ("all documented knowledge" sounds too technical), but maybe it's time to chew over it and come up with something different for you to say as you travel around the world. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:08, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Why? Our goal still is "the sum of all human knowledge". Not everything has to be documented, and if certain common knowledge is not likely to be challenged, it doesn't need to a reference. -- œ 04:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm thinking of the Eyak woman in Northern Alaska or the guy on the Highlands of Papua New Guinea who never wrote anything down; what they know is similar to the sky being blue, yet we cannot include it here. One would have to conclude that it's either not knowledge, or (worse yet) that they are not human. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:37, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Well hey, I got a link for everything: WP:NOTDONE, WP:NORUSH. ;) But no, I get what you're saying, but I don't think changing our vision statement is really necessary. It's already too established anyway. -- œ 04:46, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the OP, although perhaps not OP's tone. The goal of Wikipedia is not to include all human knowledge. In fact, one of our five pillars, WP:NOT explicitly lists a whole bevy of types of "human knowledge" that we neither want nor allow. Furthermore, I've seen editors (usually those seeking to include trivial information in otherwise fine articles, or those seeking to include BLP violating info on the grounds that it's "sourced") sometimes even use this vision statement as a defense. Now, I fully understand that a vision statement is not a policy, and that company's routinely neither want nor intend to follow their own mottos in a literal way, and it may not even be possible—if I might be a bit snarky, Google's "Don't be evil" comes to mind. But I think that the problems that Google has faced as a result of its motto point to the reason why this actually matters—because it's awkward to have to say "Well, we don't really mean 'all human knowledge'.". I think it may be worthwhile to consider a more appropriate phrase, although, like Seb, I don't know what that might be. Qwyrxian (talk) 05:08, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
It's not the goal of Wikipedia to include all human knowledge. Nobody here is discussing any Wikipedia goal, this is about the Wikimedia vision. --Yair rand (talk) 06:31, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
You are right that it is not the goal of Wikipedia to include all human knowledge - the key phrase usually overlooked in this criticism is "the sum". It is the goal of Wikipedia to include the sum of all human knowledge.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:58, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
That's 42. --Dweller (talk) 11:06, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Am I missing the meaning of "sum" here? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:24, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
See Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Better still, read the books. There's a reason people go on and on and on about them! --Dweller (talk) 12:03, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Duh. I'm not that stupid... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:16, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Sum is used as "summary" - see definition #4 at http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sum#Noun —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.227.89.95 (talk) 13:02, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
ooooh. hm-kay. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:05, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
So let's have a competition to summarize all human knowledge in, say, 1000 words or less. Then we can just leave the winning entry on the main page and we can all go party.--Kotniski (talk) 13:27, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
"Sum" refers to "summary"? That's not how it's being taken in its translations... Anyway, if that's the goal if Wikipedia alone, why is it the vision for all of Wikimedia? --Yair rand (talk) 21:05, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Going off topic, but there quite often seems to be a confusion in public announcements between Wikipedia and Wikimedia. (Like with this Child Protection/Pedophilia thing - why was that imposed from the centre as a policy on English Wikipedia, when it clearly ought - if it's going to be a centrally decreed policy - to be a Wikimedia-wide one?) (Oh, and on the sum thing, no of course it wasn't intended to mean "summary" - it was presumably a broad statement which, like nearly all of the things we all say, doesn't come out 100% true when subjected to literal pedantic scrutiny.) --Kotniski (talk) 23:50, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree on the second point - literal pedantic scrutiny can generally find some flaw or alleged flaw in just about anything, no question. But on the first point, it was intended to mean summary - I should know, I'm the one who wrote it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:56, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
That's not how the audience will have understood it, then. (Does anyone really use the noun "sum" to mean "summary"? Particularly when prefaced by a definite article - you wouldn't say "I want the summary of this report", you'd say "...a summary", unless some known summary already existed.)--Kotniski (talk) 12:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Not an old guy, and pretty cute!

From AdbMonkey's main user page: "So to summarize, I really just like the cool people on wikipedia, and I LOVE THE WIKIPEDIA SO MUCH! It's so cute! I want to kiss it and marry it! The one that created this really knew what he was doing. And I imagined an old guy when I read about him, but he's actually pretty cute. That's nice. Anyway. I like this friendly, nice wikipedia because it is unbiased and honest and will always love you back." Thought you might be able to use a reason to smile. Best,  – OhioStandard (talk) 12:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Seperated at birth?

Wikipedia, cute, friendly and unbiased? LOL are we talking about the same encyclopedia here?♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:37, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

We're talking about the NY Times article today, right?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:02, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

RE: Prem Rawat

Whilst I agree with the action you took regarding the lead, I would give a general caution regarding the rather curiously controversial nature of the article (two separate ArbCom cases, at least two formal mediations, several informal mediations (one of which I oversaw) and countless RfC's and general debates, along with the Jossi controversy). In fact, the mediation that I settled regarded the placement of a five word sentence pertaining to a particular interpretation of Rawat's teachings. Just a cautionary statement! :) Ronk01 talk 04:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I made my one and only edit, and I'm going to steer clear of it now. (I haven't even looked yet to see if my edit survived.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:56, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
And what an absurd edit it is. The sources you cite for this "important" info, Bob Larson and Ron Rhodes are extreme Christian fundamentalists. Larson preaches against "sexually suggestive lyrics, Eastern religious mysticism, and the antisocial behavior of rock musicians" and is justly famous for "performing exorcisms of callers on the air". Your other expert, Ron Rhodes, is the author of such classics as "The Wonder of Heaven: A Biblical Tour of Our Eternal Home", "Homosexuality: What You Need to Know" and "Correcting the Cults: Expert Responses to Their Scripture Twisting". Anyone else making a sloppy and undiscussed edit would be reverted and cautioned but people are obviously reluctant to apply the rules to you. The best thing you could do for Wikipedia is show everyone how to behave and self revert. Giving such undue weight to two authors who believe anyone who doesn't believe in creationism is in a "cult" is the worst possible example of distorting reality to push a POV.Momento (talk) 18:50, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Prem Rawat - Hi, Jimmy has only made a singe edit to the article and users are as able to revert him (our leader) as much as anyone else in a WP:BRD manner. Its clearly a contensious article and looking at the lede, it does appear to be missing any of the issues that surround the controversial leader of the group, but anyways, I suggest you follow usual editing procedures if you dispute the bold addition. Regards. Off2riorob (talk) 20:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I have been banned from edit Prem Rawat etc otherwise I would have reverted it immediately for being undiscussed and giving undue weight to two totally biased sources. Reputable scholars and reputable encyclopedias allow that DLM has been described as a "new religious movement, a Hindu or Sant sect, a cult, a charismatic religious sect or an alternative religion". It is not appropriate for an editor, even Jimbo, to select the term that suits their POV and stick it in the lead without discussion.Momento (talk) 01:03, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, Momento's topic ban includes "all related discussions". Until it expires, in August, he should not be commenting on the topic on any page.   Will Beback  talk  01:34, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Due Process Denied In Arbitration

[Note from Jimbo: I have glanced at the following but not read it all. If anyone is interested in doing so, I would love to see this marked up with links to relevant bits as they are referred to. I have to confess that off the top of my head I don't even know what some of this is about, "SAQ" means what?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)]

"Shakespeare Authorship Question"? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Here are some links (sorry for the duplication - I wasn't sure whether to put this here or at the bottom of this thread, so I put them in both places. Mr Wales - feel free to delete one of them!: ArbCom Case (Workshop): [18], Jimbo's comments:[19], and discussion of Jimbo's participation:[20] and[21], the last of which are more in the nature of accusations than actual proof. Smatprt (talk) 23:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
In the interest of full disclosure, here is the link to my evidence: [22] and my proposal (which apparently isn't a proposal that ArbCom can even consider: [23]. Thanks Smatprt (talk) 23:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Dear Jimmy Wales,

You are the originator and the public face of Wikipedia, and have just raised millions to keep this wonderful project going. However I think people would have donated funds to Wikipedia would be shocked at the way in which Wikipedia's arbitration process denies due process to editors.

You have intervened in the current SAQ dispute on the issue of the merge, so I know you are aware of the arbitration. What you may not be aware of is the way in which I am being denied due process in this arbitration.

I've copied below the exchanges [24] which show that my request to the arbitrators to clarify the case against me so that I could put in evidence was ignored, and that I cannot even learn whether the two drafting arbitrators have made the other arbitrators aware of my request for clarification, or whether they are withholding that information from the other arbitrators in order to rush to a decision against me.

This refusal to clarify the issues so that a party can present evidence makes it clear that Wikipedia arbitrations are free-for-alls which do not follow the rules of any type of real-world arbitration, and that they have become ad hoc tribunals in which extreme sanctions such as indefinite bans can be handed out without the editor in question having been given any indication of the case he/she has to meet.

I will be putting forward some suggestions for the amendment of the Wikipedia arbitration policy on the Workshop page. I hope and trust you will take them into consideration, and that you will see that something is done to provide for due process in future in Wikipedia arbitrations.

I also hope and trust that there is something you can do to ensure that I obtain due process in this current arbitration, although I do not fully understand your role in Wikipedia. It appears that perhaps, although you are the founder and the fundraiser who keeps Wikipedia going, it may be that you do not have the power to prevent abuses in Wikipedia.

Sincerely,

Nina GreenNinaGreen (talk) 17:32, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


3) Request For Clarification Of The Case Against Me

January 30 is the final day for submission of statements of evidence, as I understand it, and I would like clarification from the arbitrators concerning the case I have to meet, if any.

This arbitration came about because Bishonen first canvassed the Administrator' Noticeboard in an attempt to involve other administrators, and then personally requested LessHeard vanU to act because 'you're so big and strong'[15]. I'm a new editor, so I don't even know whether these actions on Bishonen's part comply with Wikipedia policy for administrators. I would hope not.

LessHeard vanU then brought the matter directly to arbitration without having taken any intermediate dispute resolution steps, on the false ground that there is a 'co-ordinated campaign' among Oxfordians to push their own POV on the authorship controversy articles. One of the arbitrators has stated somewhere that the arbitrators will not be looking at evidence for this 'co-ordinated campaign', so I'm assuming that that issue is off the table.

In any event, there has not been any evidence introduced that I am part of any 'co-ordinated campaign', which I most certainly am not. Nor has there been any evidence introduced that I have pushed any POV, which again I most certainly have not (the evidence introduced establishes that I have consistently maintained a neutral POV and that I have consistently said that the authorship controversy articles must unequivocally state that the consensus of the Shakespeare establishment is that Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the Shakespeare canon). There has been no evidence introduced that I have engaged in any personal attacks, although there is much evidence that I have been the consistent victim of them. There are some specious and unsupported allegations that I have engaged in Tendentious Editing. I believe those allegations are amply answered by the example on this very Workshop page of how the substance of a point made by me concerning merger to advance the project was entirely ignored by Tom Reedy and Nishidani. Instead of dealing with the substantive point involving merger, Tom Reedy and Nishidani engaged in a lengthy series of untrue allegations, snide remarks, ad hominem personal attacks and revelation of personal information which comes close to violating Wikipedia policy on 'outing'. In this way, my raising of a substantive point concerning merger on this Workshop page was turned by Tom Reedy and Nishidani into yet another opportunity for them to force me to defend myself against a series of false allegations and personal attacks which steadily became more and more irrelevant. As I pointed out in that section of the Workshop page, this is what has happened time and time again during the month or so I edited on Wikipedia, unchecked by any administrator. I have been constantly forced to defend myself against Tom Reedy and Nishidani's false allegations and personal attacks because Wikipedia is a public forum which can be accessed by anyone on the internet. It is clear that it is Tom Reedy and Nishidani who are involved in Tendentious Editing and 'disruptive behaviour', unchecked by any administrator. There are many many examples on the Edward de Vere and SAQ article Talk pages for the arbitrators to see if they require further evidence.

Since no other allegations have been made against me in the statements of evidence, so far as I can see, I do not know what case I have to answer, if any, and I would request clarification from the arbitrators on this. If there is anything the arbitrators would like me to answer, please specify it and I will do my best to answer it.

I'm a new editor, and in my first month of editing I contributed one full-length article to Wikipedia which is thoroughly sourced to WP:RS reliable sources and fully linked to dozens of other Wikipedia articles (the Edward de Vere article). Thereafter I was only permitted by Tom Reedy to add 4 references to the SAQ article for facts which were already in the article and to tidy up one other reference already in the SAQ article. Every other edit I either made to the SAQ article or placed for discussion on the SAQ Talk page was either instantly reverted by Tom Reedy, later silently deleted from the article, or the Talk page discussion of my proposed edit was turned by Tom Reedy and Nishidani into an extended and irrelevant personal attack on me as per the example on this Workshop page.

Bishonen has stated that she wants me banned from Wikipedia editing for a year, and it seems clear that that was almost the sole reason for bringing this arbitration, to subject me to a very lengthy ban, thus eliminating almost the only remaining Oxfordian editor contributing to the authorship controversy pages. I do not wish to be banned, and I do not think it is a healthy thing for Wikipedia to ban me. I have a great deal to offer in terms of background knowledge, and I am committed to a neutral point of view and to working with editors and administrators who do not engage in personal attacks and who do not turn every substantive proposal I make into an excuse for yet another endless digression into personal attacks and false allegations.

In summary, my question to the arbitrators is: Is there any case against me which I have to meet? I can't see one, but if there is one, what is it? What do the arbitrators feel they need to hear from me on before the statements of evidence are closed?NinaGreen (talk) 21:07, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I have heard nothing from the arbitrators concerning the above, and the final date for submission of evidence has passed. It is therefore clear that there is no case against me, and I am therefore requesting the arbitrators to dismiss the case against me forthwith, as justice and equity require.NinaGreen (talk) 17:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I received no reply from any of the arbitrators to my request that they clarify the case against me before the final date for submission of evidence had passed. Having received no clarification, and the final date for submission of evidence (January 30) having passed, I then requested the arbitrators in the statement above to dismiss the case against me, as justice and equity require. I again received no reply. Yesterday I wrote to the arbitration clerks requesting that they inform all the arbitrators of my request, in case any of the arbitrators had not seen it. The arbitration clerks declined to do so. However arbitration clerk AGK today forwarded a blind copy of my e-mail to arbitrator Newyorkbrad. I replied to AGK that I still required assurance that all the arbitrators had seen my request. I received this reply from AGK on my Talk page:
== Your request for the arbitration case to be dismissed ==
In relation to your recent e-mail, I've contacted the first drafting Arbitrator of the case (User:Newyorkbrad) and made him aware of your request for the case to be dismissed. His response was this:
her request for dismissal will be reviewed along with the evidence as we prepare the final decision. We hope to have a proposed decision posted within the next few days.
This should I think conclude our earlier e-mail discussion. AGK [•] 23:39, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
This is unfair and inequitable. At the beginning of the case, the arbitrators stated that they wanted me to put in my evidence first so that others could respond to it. This was clearly prejudicial to me since the arbitration was brought on grounds (see above) of a 'co-ordinate campaign' which had nothing to do with me, so there was clearly no case for me to meet. I stated at that time that I could not put in my evidence first because I did not know what the case was against me. As stated above, two weeks later, with all the evidence now in except for mine, I still do not know what the case is against me. Despite my request to the arbitrators, I have not been told by them what Wikipedia policies I have allegedly violated, and in fact I have not violated any. The case against me has therefore not been clarified in any way, despite my request that the arbitrators do so, and as a result I have been denied the opportunity to submit evidence because I do not know what I am supposed to submit evidence on. It is unjust and inequitable that I should be required to continue as party to an arbitration in which the arbitrators will not clarify the case against me at my request, thus denying me the opportunity to submit evidence on my behalf. I am requesting that all the arbitrators, not merely the drafting arbitrators, deal immediately with my request that the case against me be dismissed.NinaGreen (talk) 00:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You have been advised before that the desire for your evidence to be submitted earlier than that of the others was strictly informal; and indeed, that desire was explicitly rescinded in response to your repeated objections. If you want to, assert repeatedly that there is in your view no case for you to answer, but please do not continue to misrepresent things. AGK [•] 00:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
AGK, informal or not, the making of that suggestion was extremely prejudicial to me, particularly since I am a new editor. I am not imputing any fault to you in making it. I assume you were merely the messenger relaying a request by the arbitrators that I put in my evidence first so that others could rebut it.
To clarify your second point, I am not merely asserting that there is no case for me to answer. I am asserting (and it is true) that I have never understood what case I have to answer because the arbitration was brought on the basis of a 'co-ordinated campaign' that has nothing to do with me, that on 29 January I requested clarification from the arbitrators on the specifics of the case to be answered by me, if there was one, before the final date for submission of evidence on 30 January passed, and the arbitrators ignored my request. I have therefore been prevented by the arbitrators from presenting evidence in the case, and it is unjust and inequitable for the arbitrators not to dismiss the case against me forthwith. I am therefore requesting that the arbitrators dismiss the case against me forthwith.
Moreover I still have not received assurance that all the arbitrators are aware of my request.NinaGreen (talk) 00:38, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Comment by Arbitrators:
The arbitrators are aware of NinaGreen's request for dismissal (although it was very difficult for me to locate in the context of the excess verbiage all over this page). The request will be considered in connection with all the other evidence as we prepare the decision in the case, which will be forthcoming within the next few days. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:45, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Newyorkbrad, thank you for the reply. That is not acceptable. The arbitrators have refused to clarify the case against me and have thereby prevented me from putting in evidence to meet whatever case they consider there is for me to meet. That is contrary to the basic principles of any arbitration, and I feel certain that it is against the principles of Wikipedia arbitration even though Wikipedia arbitrations obviously operate under very different rules than other arbitrations. No arbitration can impose a decision on a party whom the arbitrators themselves have deliberately prevented from putting in evidence. I am therefore requesting once again that all the arbitrators, not merely the drafting arbitrators, immediately dismiss the case against me on the ground that the arbitrators have refused to clarify the case against me and have prevented me from putting in evidence.
I would also like to be assured that by 'the arbitrators' in your statement above you mean that every arbitrator is aware of my request, not merely the two drafting arbitrators.NinaGreen (talk) 02:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you find it not acceptable, Nina, however, that has no bearing on this case. And as for your other point, once the proposed decision for this case is posted (hopefully this weekend), all the arbitrators will vote seperately on whether to support or oppose the decision/. SirFozzie (talk) 02:58, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
SirFozzie, your last comment is unclear. Are you saying that all the arbitrators who will eventually vote do not yet know that on 29 January, before the final date for submission of evidence had passed, I requested that the case against me be clarified by the arbitrators so that I could present evidence if there was any case for me to meet, and that when the arbitrators ignored that request and the final date for submission of evidence had passed (30 January), I requested that the case against me be dismissed because the arbitrators had refused to clarify the case and had thus prevented me from presenting evidence? It sounds as though that is what you are saying, i.e. that you and Newyorkbrad, the two drafting arbitrators, are the only two arbitrators who are in the know concerning these matters, and that all the other arbitrators know nothing about them. To remove any ambiguity, could you please clarify by their Wikipedia names which arbitrators are aware of my two requests. This Workshop page provides for motions and requests to be submitted to the arbitrators, not merely to the two drafting arbitrators, and I clearly submitted my requests for clarification of the case against me and for dismissal of the case against me to all the arbitrators.
Your statement that the arbitrators' failure to clarify the case against me 'has no bearing on this case', is clearly wrong. In every normal and usual arbitration in the real world, the issues are clearly defined and the parties present their positions to the arbitrators based on those clearly-defined issues. If Wikipedia arbitrations do not permit parties to present their evidence based on clearly-defined issues, then Wikipedia arbitrations are by definition not arbitrations, but rather are ad hoc tribunals which permit minor functionaries (administrators) to drag whomever they please through a process in which the parties are subjected to sanctions and loss of rights without being permitted to know the case they have to meet or to present evidence on their own behalf. I am certain that this is not what was intended when arbitrations were provided for in Wikipedia. NinaGreen (talk) 04:37, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── SAQ = Shakespeare Authorship Question. Apparently, it's some sort of long-standing, contentious issue here on Wikipedia. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:26, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

It's not just Wikipedia. There's a very vocal minority who insist that someone other than the man from Stratford-upon-Avon authored what are know as the works of William Shakespeare, with varying opinions on who that "other" is. A few new books about "the true author of the works of Shakespeare" come out every year; occasionally one makes the bestseller lists. --Carnildo (talk) 22:48, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Here are some links: ArbCom Case (Workshop): [25], Jimbo's comments: [26], and discussion of Jimbo's participation: [27] and [28], the last of which are more in the nature of accusations than actual proof. Smatprt (talk) 23:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So far, from what I've read, it sounds like the kind of heel-dragging we've seen in ArbCom discussions before. The individual accused disputes that the evidence is accurate, then claims that this means there is no evidence, and demands a clarification of the cases' scope. When the evidence is accepted, the individual then claims due process has been violated and they're being persecuted. That's a misunderstanding of how evidence works: even if the evidence is disputed, the arbs will at least consider it and then accept or reject it on its merits. Appealing directly to Jimbo doesn't seem to be the best move, in this case. Hopefully it's just a simple misunderstanding on NinaGreen's part, due in part to the (perfectly natural) defensiveness of being put up for arbitration. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 00:08, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree that it may have started out that way, and frankly, Nina is quite inexperienced and has brought a lot of this upon herself - but the ArbCom case has become less about Nina, and more about all the editors and administrators that have become involved over the last 12 months, particularly since the flawed merge decision of March and the resulting complete deletion of the former SAQ article, only to be replaced in early October by a completely new article written by two like-minded editors to the exclusion of anyone who disagreed with them. Mr. Wales did weigh in on a minor point and has now been attacked by administrators and editors alike. It's much bigger than Nina, and will effect future coverage of the topic from here forward. The minority view has been stifled and denigrated, and true neutrality has gone out the window. Pillar number two is taking a beating with only the mainstream "truth" being represented as "the best view", and any opposing views becoming the subject of scorn and ridicule. My experience as the primary anti-Stratfordian editor for several years (most of the others being bullied off) has left a poor message for any newcomers. Oppose us and we will ridicule you til you leave. If that does not work, we'll get you banned. Sigh. Smatprt (talk) 01:24, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Nothing in the above bears any resemblance to the facts. That you labour under the impression you were the 'only anti-Stratfordian editor for several years' is indicative enough. Check the edit history. There were at least 8 anti-Stratfordian, or pro anti-Stratfordian editors working that page supportively before I joined it in Feb 2010. Many respected editors for the orthodox academic perspective have said they were exhausted by wrangling there long before I or Reedy began serious editing there. Neither Reedy nor I are interested in the truth of the matter, but only in observing WP:RS and WP:V to the letter. Since October many editors, pro, neutral, and contra the orthodox interpretation have joined up to pass that new article under the microscope as we strive to get it to FA standard. Judgement on whether it meets the strictest standards required of articles optimally is in the hands of the wider wiki community, something the earlier article you stewarded never aspired to. But this is not the place to argue all this. Nishidani (talk) 03:42, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Many have "said" they were exhausted, but no diffs are ever provided. Upon investigation, several of these so-called "many" have found to be misrepresenting themselves. I'll be back with diffs shortly if you like. Smatprt (talk) 03:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Valery Nikolayevsky

Dear Mr. Jimmy Wales, The article of a famous Russian writer and dissident has been deleted (for having no “notability”) after the proposal of the Russian admin “Andrei Romanenko”. Mr. Romanenko obviously has set the goal for himself to harm Valerij Nikolaevskij, being a personal enemy of his ever since the author's life in Russia. The article is very important. In this article, we get to know how the writer Valery Nikolaevsky lived in Russia and fought against the Gang of Eight during the times of Gorbachev. Obviously the likes of Romanenko still can't get along with it. The article includes precise quotes, dates and sources. The deletion of the Russian article by Romanenko (one of the best articles in the Russian wiki) demonstrated his hatred for the talented Russian intelligentsia and for the writer Valery Nikolaevsky. The article must not be deleted. In it, we read the truth about the Gorbachev era in the city of Tolyatti. The creative intelligentsia is observing this process. We need your help for the recreation of the article, which without a doubt is “notable”. The German and French “Wikipedia” refused to participate in the deletion of their respective articles on the writer/dissident. We attach a copy of the entire deleted article. With everlasting respect to you, Son of the writer, Dan Nikolaevskij PS: My father is 72 years old. He has a bad sight and doesn’t use the computer.

(Copy of the deleted article Valery Nikolayevsky (posted here) removed, for clarity; there is a copy in Wikipedia:Article Incubator/Valery Nikolayevsky. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Valery Nikolayevsky (2nd nomination)  Chzz  ►  18:59, 2 February 2011 (UTC))

--80.109.29.11 (talk) 17:46, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Dispute resolution quandry, higher level issues (Univ Prof)

Mr Wales:

You can forward this as you wish. There is no need for you to personally attend.

I am a University Prof that likes to be able to use Wikipedia in research and teaching, and so am a sometime contributor.

My edits and contributions have in particular have been toward error correction, both factual and in underlying "tone" (scientific presumption)—especially in cases where a reader that is a layman in an area might make decisions deleterious to health based on Wiki content (content related to my expertise). A secondary area is to transfer information from another reliable source, when there appears to be conflicting interpretations or understandings, so conflicting information can stand side-by-side (content unrelated to my expertise). Note, I have done much more editing than what is listed under the "Meduban" login, in my areas of expertise, because I have not always been able to log in (when traveling, limited time, etc.).

I am writing you now because I am nearing the point of dropping participation, and my general recommendation for Wikipedia use and participation as well.

The reason is an apparent preponderance in particular areas of **strongly guarded content** — e.g., natural products/agents with reported nutriceutical or other health benefits — maintained by individuals with limited expertise, where the status quo content is favored over major change. Alongside this is the difficulty, at least perceived, of quickly making major changes, so as to move the whole of the content of Wiki toward greater accuracy and sophistication. In this regard, having overseen undergraduate students using Wikipedia for research, the disputed content flag is simply not enough.

In such guarded areas, there need to be a better process of rapid substantive chance, and for resolving major disputes—especially when there is potential human dietary or medical therapeutic impact. **It is not always the case that having an article extant is better than having no article at all!**

Bottom line, I would like to talk with someone to discuss my concerns. Some of this might be alleviated by Wiki training, but I haven't the time to arrive, alone, at the acceptable set of steps to deal with the different sorts of problem content that I encounter. And I will not use a site that I cannot impact in a positive way, nor will I continue to recommend a site that is not moving in the direction of highest quality scientific content in areas impacting human health.

Finally, in honesty, a part of the exasperation might arise as a result of the overall egalitarian nature of Wiki hierarchy—which, while commendable, also grates at times. I find myself having to debate content issues with people with no or little training in my area, with resolution coming usually in the form of (i) change cannot/will not be made as you are attempting, and so (ii) reversion to status quo. Hence, contributions that are naive, lack sophistication or nuance—often applying "if most web sources say..." approaches instead of "best, most authoritative sources say" approaches to content validation—remain in place. Hence, Wikipedia has areas where it is contributing to, rather than resisting (as it might significantly), the "dumbing down" of web content.

Fundamentally, status by contribution **quantity** alone ignores an obvious psychological down side—in whose experience is it the case, that the most chatty individual on a subject, or the one with most time and motivation to expound, is most frequently the one most well informed? Moreover, it ignores that a person might be of extreme value even if he/she never writes anything of length, but simply removes/flags problem content for correction (a service which a busy Prof might be able to offer). The bar for getting to a point to do such good has to be made very easy, esp. with regard to time required, for qualified individuals. In this regard, I would estimate that >98% of my colleagues do not bother, either to contribute, or to write such an email as this, simply because of the opportunity cost. (And I can't afford to write another.)

Feel free to forward this, to someone to set up a call. My email is medubanAMPRSNDnorthwestern.edu.

M-E Duban — Preceding unsigned comment added by Meduban (talkcontribs) 20:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Can you give me a specific example? I find questions like this very interesting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
It looks like the above user inserted what was basically a discussion at the top of Polyphenol (diff:[29]) and then edit warred when another editor moved his contribution to the talk page.[30] By now it looks like a third editor had incorporated some of the material into the article. Siawase (talk) 00:16, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

This must have already been brought up

Lets hope that Wikipedia can figure out ways to increase female editing participation as was discussed in yesterdays New York Times here. I think the article touches on some of the reasons why we have far fewer female editors than males, but there must be more to the story.--MONGO 03:34, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

There was a discussion right here on this subject in mid-January. Stephen 04:43, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

In all seriousness, I do not see how you can "attract more female editors". I agree we need more female editors but the current system really doesn't attract many women for a number of reasons. Unless you offer some sort of special incentive wikipedia will remain as masculine as it always has been.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:40, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

There was a discussion on this topic, as Stephen pointed out. I wasn't involved, but I do know what resulted.-RHM22 (talk) 17:43, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Not to open up this can of worms any further, or to play the devil's advocate, but I really dislike all of this "let's attract women to WP" sentiment. Perhaps it's my general distaste for affirmative action, but it strikes me that WP is open to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, who chooses to participate. If women aren't participating, it's because they are choosing not to.
The Time's article makes no real effort to explain why women are less prevalent on WP beyond this -
I'd ask, is it WP's fault that "women are less willing to assert their opinions"? Is WP obligated to adapt to compensate for this unwillingness....? I say no.
Now, before I open myself to reams of hate mail, let me temper the above by saying I think it would be a great thing if more women did participate on WP. I just don't think WP should have to change to make that happen...... NickCT (talk) 19:14, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
So if, I'm understanding you right, you think that it would be a good thing, but you also think that nothing should be done to encourage it (?) --FormerIP (talk) 19:33, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
What must be understood is that women's brains are functionally different than men's. [31] What is critical in any environment is that the environment supports who in habits it. Wikipedia is constantly changing, and not a static environment that has to be maintained as "it always was". Women don't choose to be some way, they've evolved this way as have men. If Wikipedia was designed by men then its worth looking at its structures to see how better it can accommodate both sexes. For example dispute resolution often depends on a short statement and a diff. For many women the situation cannot be explained in a diff. Women may be will be gathering certain kinds of subtle information men may not pick up. I have no idea how Wikipedia can change to adapt to women. I've always worked with men on an equal basis and defend my right to do so, so would have to think of this more. Online collaborative communities of which Wikipedia was one of the first have to deal with these issues as they evolve. Of course this has nothing to do with intelligence. We all know women are more intelligent than men.:o) (olive (talk) 19:46, 1 February 2011 (UTC))
@FormerIP - Yep. That's right. I really feel the onus is on women to participate, not on WP to try and adapt itself to appeal more to women. WP should only really be obligated to ensure there are no obvious barriers to entry based on sex/ethnicity/religion etc... As far as I can tell, there are none. Given that few people are offering many concrete examples of policies or practices that exclude women, I figure others can't identify obvious barriers to entry either.
@olive - re "For example ..... cannot be explained in a diff." I think we're free to engage in dispute resolution in any form we wish, no? re "We all know women are more intelligent than men" I'd dispute, but my girlfriend might read my post and then I'd get pummeled. I know my place... :-( NickCT (talk) 22:35, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

"We all know women are more intelligent than men." Mmm, and you removed my comment Jimbo for being "sexist".....♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:50, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, this discussion isn't going anywhere perhaps not here you might discuss at a more relevant noticeboard. Off2riorob (talk) 23:37, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

The apathy displayed here by a few commentators indicates they are unwilling to make adaptations that might rectify this situation. All I did was ask what we might do...and the responses are generally unconcerned, callous and clueless. I'll work on some ideas after discussing this matter privately with the dozen female former editors I know that have been run out of this website.--MONGO 01:12, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I am with you, Mongo. This discussion was embarrassing, and those who expressed such opinions should be ashamed of themselves. They won't be - and that's a big part of the problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:35, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, my intent wasn't to open a can of worms as one editor visually suggested, nor to platform this matter here per se, though it really doesn't fit a noticeboard. Anyone who has been around as long as I have knows full well that male editors are more interested in the project...but 15% female involvement (as shown in the NYT piece) is something that needs to be addressed. I can say that I have heard from a few female editors that they find the discussions with some of the males to be intimidating and that they find some of the males to be rude, condescending and even cruel. I have heard a few females complain that Wikipedia is a "man's world"..I have never heard a single male Wikipedian complain that the opposite is the case...now some of this is a reflexion of the English speaking world...amd I cannot say what the gender breakdown is at the Spanish or German Wikis...but the 15% caused alarm bells to ring for me (I assume the NYT piece was about en.wiki)...I would have guessed 30% (which is still too low) but 15% represents a problem. So, I ask myself, not being female, what I can do to maximize the interests here for females, and ask other males to do the same. But more importantly, how do we retain our female editors and encourage them to explain to ogres such as I what we can do to expand female participation.--MONGO 03:15, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Does it hurt women more when their stuff is deleted? Did the rise of the deletionists drive them all away in greater numbers than men? There are 43,051 articles on the Recipe Wiki [32]. The wiki for the Twilight series has 934 pages. [33] Women are editing things they like. Just some of those things aren't welcomed on Wikipedia anymore, so they are shifting their attention elsewhere. Dream Focus 01:54, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Women suffer more than men do from a given painful stimulus.[1] Hurt feelings from social rejection, and hurt from physical pain are, neurologically speaking, the same thing. [2] So it is possible that women hurt more than men do from perceived rejection - but the research on that hasn't been done yet, as far as I know. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 03:22, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
      • Women also might not want to edit at a place where regulars suggest that Twilight and cooking are the two things most women care about.--AniMate 03:49, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Mongo. I'd be very interested in discussing this further and in seeing if I can help arrive at solution. I assume that no one took my comments lightly ..(well except for the little joke at the end). Brain function is something I deal with in my teaching, and understanding how it plays a vital in human interactions is at the basis of designing an environment that supports both sexes. I also have a strong interest in how online communities develop and evolve. Thanks (olive (talk) 02:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC))

While I hear stuff like this quite often, I'm not so sure it's as black and white as women being smarter or men more assertive. Everybody has different talents and different things that interest us. It's true that men and women tend to gravitate in different directions. Men are often thought to be more oriented to the technical aspects of things and women more toward the creative, but in reality that's not always the case. I've met many women who are mechanics, fighter pilots, engineers, and other professions that are typically associated with men, and visa-versa. People are as varied as they are many, and what attracts one may ward off another. It is for this reason that I have to question whether or not it's a good idea to try to attract users based upon such a broad spectrum, (ie: race, sex, religion, etc...).
Instead, I think it would be better to try to attract users based upon what specifically they can offer to the project. Users with a talent for copy editing seem to be in high demand. Users who are interested in writing, or doing research (secondary) on a topic will always be a great asset. So are users with a talent for the sometimes ruthless art of editing content. Added to that is something rather new in writing environments, editors who are well versed in formatting codes, mark-ups, programs and other computer magic.
Now I can't speak as to what specifically will attract women to Wikipedia. Nor can I speak for anybody else for that matter. I can only say that what attracted me here is the oppotunity to make information, which I have spent a lifetime collecting, readily available to to anyone. It is a very rewarding feeling to know that I may possibly ihave helped that kid out there somewhere who wants to be a pilot someday, or a scientist who needs to build a laser, or helped the next director who will re-make the movie "Top Gun" to achieve some level of realism. In much the same way, it's also rewarding to be able to help out other users when they need it. It's nice to gather expertise and then not let it got to waste. The way i see it, unless you're a troll, spammer, or public figure, Wikipedia doesn't really have much else to offer in the way of attracting users.
On the flip-side, I think there is also a lot to ward off users, new and old alike. Cpt. Occam brings up some good points about civility in the section above. I think we should strive to be friendlier than the standard internet-site-comment-section. (Although I think it is up to the community, and in particular, those who would normally just stand by and watch but say nothing, to speak up and help set the level of decorum that is tolerable.) To those like me, who are not very adept at computers, Wikipedia can be very intimidating at first. I'm often confounded at things like wikimark-up, and most of what I've learned so far came from looking at edit screens to see how someone else did it. The list of policy and guideline pages is very large and complex. (I tend to lean toward small and direct.) Something like a parent-policy page --one to three pages, with a paragraph summarizing each policy and demonstrating how they interrelate-- would've been helpful to me. I don't know if it's possible to make the environment more user-friendly, but that would surely make it more attractive to new users, male and female alike.
In the end, I think it is our personal interests, experiences and talants that attract most of us here. There is a subject here for just about everybody, and the rewarding feeling helping out is very powerful. Maybe what we should really be concerned with is what drives people away. Zaereth (talk) 02:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I get the distinct sense that my light hearted comment about women being more intelligent than men, and that should have been taken in the context of the comment and the page I linked to, wasn't. Brain functioning and the page I linked to which describes why brains function differently, clearly makes the implied point that intelligence has nothing to do with any of this. I assumed editors interested in the topic and this discussion would read the page I linked to. Maybe not. Teachers are familiar with this topic and as a teacher I assumed a bottom line of awareness which may not have been appropriate. Not only does a good teacher have to know male and female children learn differently but that every child has complex learning styles that must be understood to teach effectively. This isn't simple and multiple ways of looking at learning and brain functioning could possibly help us set up something ground breaking. I agree with the editor above as well.(olive (talk) 02:48, 2 February 2011 (UTC))
In the end, none of this is going to work. Those interested in it should go out there and change the world, then wikipedia's base will change; it's not gonna happen the other way around. We've come a long way from my Grandma's perspective — "Money is for men" — but it didn't happen because some club started teaching women how to run a bank-account (they knew that already anyways). Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:40, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
@Mongo - Re "The apathy displayed here by a few commentators indicates they are unwilling to make adaptations that might rectify this situation" - Well, I hope I'm not part of those callous and clueless "few commentators". I just don't understand why affirmative action folks can't accept that maybe there are different strokes for different folks. Sometimes subjects appeal to guys that don't appeal to gals and vice versa. It doesn't necessarily reflect negatively on either gender or the subject in question.
My message is simple. Don't generalize, of course. Try your best to make sure you're not discriminating, yes! Treat everyone equally, to be sure. But at the same time, don't try to force equal participation from all groups of peoples in everything. You'll end up trying to force square pegs through round holes.
If that opinion makes me a sexist pig, then I guess I'm guilty as charged......
@olive - Re "my light hearted comment about women being more intelligent than men, and that should have been taken in the context of the comment and the page I linked to, wasn't." - For the record, I took it as a light hearted comment. Peoples' nerves become so frayed on this subject. I don't understand why...
@Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 - Re "Those interested in it should go out there and change the world," - Agree. This issue is much larger than WP. Unlikely much is going to get done here.
@Off2riorod - Re "you might discuss at a more relevant noticeboard." - Probably right... I'm going to cease cluttering Jimbo's talk page. NickCT (talk) 03:47, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
If this is going to be continued elsewhere, please post a link here. LadyofShalott 04:12, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
NickCT...it isn't about affirmative action...it was a question posed as to what can be done to encourage more female participation and to better retain active female editors...(as if more female participation would be BAD?!)...no one says you have to quit Wikipedia to make sure there is room for a female to replace you!!! Nor are you or any men at risk of being passed over so we can promote a female in your place.--MONGO 00:36, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Ya'll love talking to Jimbo, but you may also want to try the gendergap mailing list, or something. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I would have to say that its more embarrassing Jimbo that you and Sue think you can manipulate what proportion of editors edit wikipedia. If you are serious about it (I agree ideally we'd have equal male and female editors) then issuing a public statement without actually doing anything to attract women to the project isn't going to magically improve the percentage to 25%. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

It would be embarrassing if we thought that at all. Of course we don't. If you want to be a more effective advocate, I recommend that you start by assuming good faith and paying attention to the facts of reality.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

The truth hurts. You've accused me of being "sexist" and a "troll". Never mind the fact that I've have never even received a word of thanks from you for the years of work I've done for wikipedia. Thanks Jimmy, I'm out of here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Could it simply be that this Wikipedia is an area where men choose to volunteer more frequently than women do at present ?--— ⦿⨦⨀Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 14:28, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wikipedia, in general, appeals more to technically-minded folks. The coding, formatting, and rules are all presented in a manner most appealing to folks who are already immersed in such systems. And, generally, the academic world has encouraged men to follow such paths while, if not actively discouraging women, certainly has not gone out of its way to appeal to them. Yes, there are "geek girls," but they're not common. Wikipedia's not difficult to learn, but it's structured in a way that seems extremely complicated at first, which turns off many people in general.

Wikipedia certainly can't change the world, as some cynics have pointed out, but it can at least attempt to restructure to be more appealing to folks who aren't necessarily interested in the minutiae of formatting their posts, coding tables and so forth. That would not simply encourage women, but would also help bring in folks in general. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 23:36, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the last comment. That and working out some better way to handle content disputes. This is far more pressing than worrying about doing some kind of female affirmative action. Besides, most of the reasons here are nothing more than speculation. Thelmadatter (talk) 23:54, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Most regulars on here fit something of a profile:
  • Slightly geeky
  • "Power" internet users
  • Mid-twenties
If you look at that carefully I bet you will find it a predominantly male group full stop, not just on WP (studies tend to show that younger women tend towards casual internet use over active involvement). The bottom line is that most women don't fit into our main demographic. BUT 15% is damned good and we should be a little proud. Take a look at some other sites on the net that appeal to the same sort of demographic and you will be lucky to find 1% female population. It might be a product of such a large user base of course, but I suspect it is because of the nature of the project that it attracts more women than usual.
It is impractical to expect 50% female population :)
On the other issue the article raises (girly topics receiving less interest), that is of course a product of the system - but wherever you go (on the internet and real life) you will find military topics well filled in because there is a massive group of military enthusiasts who exist to document such things; so I think that is an unfair comparison. We have plenty of "boy topics" that are in need of work (Meccano, Lego). You'd expect computer topics to receive a load of interest, but they don't. People here have their specific interests, and most of that focuses outside of the core topics (look at the sorry state of the core topics...). Our heaviest areas seem to be law, socio-political topics, physics (particularly astro-physics), some areas of Maths, politics (ish), medicine, military and history.
The issue (or, rather, the elephant in the room) is not WP being a sexist environment (most of us don't disclose our sex... so I hardly see how it could affect things). The "problem" is we accidentally have ended up with a fairly specific demographic; the system rewards people with experience in typing/working on the internet, who are slightly passive aggressive and who can devote fairly lengthy amounts of time. It's just how it is; of course, anything to widen the appeal is a good thing :)
The article isn't very good, it makes poor comparisons and fails to address any of the real problems. It demonstrates a lack of understanding of our eco-system, and is an example of the typical bad mass media journalism. It's out to make a point, not to identify a problem we can fix. This is not a story about sexism on Wikipedia. --Errant (chat!) 09:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
It's also worth pointing out that female editors being hounded off the project is a separate problem, and a very real one. And also one we can probably address. --Errant (chat!) 09:57, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
If I may offer an analysis. My theory is that topics like Meccano and Lego in a seemingly paradoxical way languish exactly because Wikipedia is male dominated. Most articles on toys and such are first created by enthusiasts or collectors. When it comes to say, doll articles, male editors looking through these articles and not being familiar with the subject matter scrutinize them from an outsider's point of view, and tag and delete them and so forth depending on how well the conform to Wikipedia's content policies. (And in some cases also expand doll articles with material from general sources.) This outside scrutiny and contribution has lead to quite a few doll articles reaching decent quality, several have good article status. Meanwhile articles on male oriented toys do not get this outsider scrutiny, and stay enthusiast-centric. They are allowed to sprawl with minutiae that is often inpenetrable to those not already familiar with the subject (aka WP:FANCRUFT) both with regard to the material in articles, and in the number of articles covering the subject. Category:Transformers (franchise) is one of the most infamous examples, but the same pattern is repeated over and over. Compare for example Category:Barbie and Category:G.I. Joe, in particular Category:G.I. Joe characters, and note that Barbie is probably the most sprawling of all girl-oriented topics on Wikipedia.
Rather than focusing on ways to coddle or not chase female editors away, put more focus on male topics and subject those to more scrutiny and convergence with content policies. This might also have the side effect of chasing some male editors away, and even out the gender ratio that way (half-joking here.)
But I'm not sure female editors being chased off is an entirely separate matter. I have seen new female editors get bitten hard when trying to create new articles on clearly notable topics that would be unfamiliar to male editors. Article(s) get deleted and the editor accused of WP:COI (which in one case was almost humorous as the subject was dolls from the 1800s.) Siawase (talk) 14:03, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Not to stereotype females as more social, but: females are more social, or at any rate differently social.

Consider another popular internet site, Facebook. Facebook has even more participants than Wikipedia, and the participation is about 50-50 male-female - a bit above 50% female, even. They don't have this problem.

Oh, well, sure - Facebook. But here's something to wrap one's neurons around: on any given day, the information posted to Facebook is n times more valuable than the information posted to Wikipedia, where n is some large number. Because the Facebook information tells its users useful and important information about people that matter to them, whilst the Wikipedia information is, at this point, stuff like the gross tonnage of a 19th-Century Chilean light cruiser.

Wikipedia is not Facebook - We even have policy to this effect, WP:NOTMYSPACE. Well why not. Would you rather fail? Prove to me that changing Wikipedia to make it more social would be a detriment.

IIRC correctly, we had a social component, WP:ESPERANZA, which IIRC was more or less hounded into the ground (maybe I have that wrong, I'm not really up on the particulars).

I mean, fine - of course we can't be like Facebook, it serves a different purpose - but do we have to be hostile to the idea that people are social creatures?

For instance, thinking outside the box: we could (obviously after partnering with Facebook and doing much software magic) have a button "post this article to my Facebook list of favorite Wikipedia articles" (or "...Wikipedia articles I have contributed to" or whatever), with maybe a button on Wikipedia "access user's Facebook page" (opt-in, obviously), and conversely a link on Facebook to one's Wikipedia profile or something.

(Obviously we would have to beg Facebook to agree to this, and why should they, but you never know - we are a popular website.)

Or something. Herostratus (talk) 15:06, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Facebook as a humungous user base - basically the majority of internet users below a certain age. But they are casual internet users; the vast majority of (male or female) people are. The vast majority of Facebook users, male or female, would not be interested in contributing to Wikipedia. Only a tiny portion of the population are - and that comes from a demographic of internet users that is mostly male (probably about 70-80%) - i.e. the "power" user group.
we could (obviously after partnering with Facebook and doing much software magic) have a button "post this article to my Facebook list of favorite Wikipedia articles"; interestingly Facebook "Pages" often have Wikipedia content :) --Errant (chat!) 15:15, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

(I'm not sure how to indent this, because it's a response to something quite a ways up, not to anything directly above.) I can't let this thread lapse into obscurity without objecting to the strong statement made above "What must be understood is that women's brains are functionally different than men's" sourced not to scientific research but to the website of an "executive coach." The actual scientific research is equivocal on this question; there is research that suggests that there's no functional difference between men's and women's brains as well as research that suggests that there is. So the most definite statement that can be made on the basis of scientific research at this time is that the jury is still out. The Wikipedia article on this topic is actually not bad, making it clear that there's not a settled consensus in the research and citing some good literature reviews for the reader to consult. Woonpton (talk) 19:33, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

My statement was not meant to be sourced. I'm not writing a Wikipedia article, I was simply linking to an overview article that others might find interesting. The article references in general that there is research on the topic and I assumed anybody really interested would look further. I don't agree that the jury is still out, but this is neither the place or the time to debate the topic and the research...(olive (talk) 02:25, 4 February 2011 (UTC))

There really isn't any need to continue this discussion but I wanted to say that I was simply surprised that we only have a female participation level of 15%. I wasn't at first aware of a previous discussion on this matter...I should have closed it after being provided that link. For the record, we have room for everybody that is being constructive...and so there is always plenty of room for more females...having more female editors wouldn't push a single male out. Perhaps more female involvement would enhance articles that interest females more than males...that surely couldn't be a bad thing. Anyway, I commented at Dr. Blofeld's talkpage after seeing he retired after engaging in this discussion, an impact that I would never want to see happen...in case anyone didn't notice, Dr. Blofeld has started more than 70,000 articles...a truly impressive achievement.--MONGO 01:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

The only possible solution I see to this "problem" is make a WYSIWYG as default editing tool for IP/newbie users. --Neo139 (talk) 16:44, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

The way to encourage more participation from under-represented groups (including women) is to encourage more partipation, period. Make it easier to get involved in Wikipedia, and Wikipedia enjoyable place to contribute, so that more people join, and fewer people leave. The discussion here suggests to me that this would have a disproportionate affect on editors in marginalized groups, who are more reluctant to join and more likely to leave.
Where this discussion went wrong, in my view, was in criticizing the existing community for its demographic and lack of positive response. Of course one way to fix imbalances would be to drive away established editors from overrepresented groups, but I hope no one believes that is a sensible way forward. Ideally, Wikipedia should be a place where our social groups (including nationality, gender, race, sexuality, political affiliation) are left at the doorstep, as we join in a common goal to create encyclopedic content. What we need to promote is an environment welcome to all. Geometry guy 01:26, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld

I have just noticed on Dr. Blofeld's talk page that something you said has upset him so much he is leaving WP. I have no idea what the dispute is about - I will write to him later. I am just very concerned as I know him to be one of the most prolific and well-meaning editors I have had the pleasure of meeting on WP and he will be sorely missed by myself and thousands of others if he leaves for good. I have worked with him on many articles and have always admired his search for truth and balance (with a dash of humour where appropriate) and his willingness to seek help when working on subjects he feels he doesn't know enough about. Truly, he has been a real inspiration and support to me and countless others. As I said, I have no idea what brought all this on - but is there any way you two can make up and you could (please) encourage him to return? Many thanks. Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 04:45, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

[34] and [35] is what upset him.  -- Lear's Fool 04:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm. I'd have to say he was likely upset before those edits. Jclemens (talk) 05:36, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
We are engaged in an email conversation that I hope will be productive.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:18, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Good to know. His stats are amazing.Thelmadatter (talk) 14:24, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I saw the "rm sexist remarks" revert and felt that that was a very unfair characterisation. Or maybe a misunderstanding? Women get children earlier than men do, and once they have children they are more likely to care for them while their partner is occupied with a hobby than the other way round. Whether we want things to be like that or not (I don't), these are facts that make it appear likely that Wikipedia will always have more male editors than female editors.
But be careful about Dr. Blofeld's ideas. They usually involve creation of massive numbers of almost identical stubs on various borderline notable topics. This also explains the inflated editing statistics. Hans Adler 21:18, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
We're fine. He's a sensible and calm human being and so am I. We're talking. Nothing to see here, move on. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:47, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Good. It is better to talk than to try to mind read. Geometry guy 01:08, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

About a russian writer

Dear Mr. Jimmy Wales,

The article of a famous Russian writer and dissident has been deleted (for having no “notability”) after the proposal of the Russian admin “Andrei Romanenko”.


Mr. Romanenko obviously has set the goal for himself to harm Valerij Nikolaevskij, being a personal enemy of his ever since the author's life in Russia. The article is very important. In this article, we get to know how the writer Valery Nikolaevsky lived in Russia and fought against the Gang of Eight during the times of Gorbachev. Obviously the likes of Romanenko still can't get along with it. The article includes precise quotes, dates and sources. The deletion of the Russian article by Romanenko (one of the best articles in the Russian wiki) demonstrated his hatred for the talented Russian intelligentsia and for the writer Valery Nikolaevsky. The article must not be deleted. In it, we read the truth about the Gorbachev era in the city of Tolyatti.


The creative intelligentsia is observing this process. We need your help for the recreation of the article, which without a doubt is “notable”.

The German and French “Wikipedia” refused to participate in the deletion of their respective articles on the writer/dissident. We attach a copy of the entire deleted article.

With everlasting respect to you,

Son of the writer, Dan Nikolaevskij

PS: My father is 72 years old. He has a bad sight and doesn’t use the computer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jahggy (talkcontribs) 12:38, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the full text of the article that you pasted here, as it isn't really particularly helpful to our discussion at this time. The article in question was at Valery Nikolayevsky. The deletion discussion was here. It is entirely possible that evidence could be produced for notability, but such seems unlikely at this time. Others may be able to advise you in more detail. What we will need are reliable third party sources: magazines, newspapers, academic journals, etc. It can be ok, although more difficult for us to work with here in English Wikipedia, if some or all of the sources are in Russian. That Russian Wikipedia deems the author to be non-notable, though, says a lot.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:41, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Japanese business income 2

The answer contradicts the fact. As for WCJ2009, Wikimedia Foundation does a patent of the holding right to them.Komura of Wikimedia Foundation permitted this[36].In the event of wikipedia 10 in kyoto, Wikimedia Foundation is written that the project composition was done as "Sponsors"[37].Wikimedia Foundation offered T-shirt and the pin batch.I sent your video visit[38].Director of foundation Ting Chen participated over a video telephone using Skype.

FormerIP: A foundation provides it with the business trip travel expenses of Jay Walsh.Based on a Japanese price level, I think that I am non-reasonable.Severe use is not decided though it is written that the residuary estate belongs to the group, and will be used it for those cost in the future. The group may donate to the religious organization and the political party for instance, and you are supposed buy an individual personal computer.The meeting place is IZAKAYA called The WATAMI[39]. IZAKAYA is a bar where plonk and meal are sold.Drinking is possible in a fixed amount system if order NOMIHODAI.In this store, the system is [40].Because this shop is a very cheap shop, it is low fare.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 12:57, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

I understand your concern, but I think you are wrong. First, to repeat, the participation of some members of staff in an event does not mean that the event is organized by the Wikimedia Foundation. I made a video which was made available freely, and it was viewed by dozens or possibly hundreds of different local events large and small. However, none of that is really relevant because I agree that if local events are being organized by community members, and there is some money involved in the organization, I want people to be thoughtful and responsible about it.
It occurs to me, then, that you are asking the wrong people and in the wrong place. This is English Wikipedia, and it seems obvious to me that no one here knows any more about this than I do.
Have you asked politely to the people who actually organized the meeting? How much money was collected, how much was spent, and what is to be done with the surplus?
In my very long experience, I would suggest that everything is usually completely fine in situations like this. The party was organized, everyone had a good time, some small amount of money was left over, someone has the money, and it will be used for some future event. I really doubt if there is a problem here.
If you come to them as you have come to me, I don't blame them for not answering. You accused me of pocketing the money personally for an event I had no knowledge about, an outrageous accusation. If you approach people in that manner, they are likely to simply ignore you for being rude.
Here is another idea: why don't you find some member of the Japanese Wikipedia community who speaks very good English, and ask them to help you communicate with me. Your posts here read like they were made with the help of Google translate. That can be perfectly fine, but it does mean that some of your sentences don't always make sense. For example, when you write "I think that I am non-reasonable" you almost certainly meant to say the opposite: "I think that I am reasonable". I fear that other bits of meaning may be getting lost in translation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:10, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
It is correct that you think.However, the information addressee of the event has only here.I paid propriety four months ago, and inquired of the group.However, there was no response at all.It was written the Wikimedia foundation official meeting in the document that they had made.Permission by the foundation was written giving, the logo was used, and it was confusing.You take responsibility for having consented tacitly to it.
You gave a patent. To the Japanese group. The abandonment of the authority, a domain transfer, transfer of the management."English speaker" that you say are their all groups. In Japanese Wikipedia, nobody helps.
You have the responsibility of proving the accountability and the fact. In Japan when you granted the group a management right transfer and official permission. --山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 19:33, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I am going to ask someone with dual linguistic skills to assist, as there seem to be nuances of meaning here that are not properly understood on both sides. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Check here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:User_ja . It shouldn't be too hard to find somebody to translate. 山吹色の御菓子, if you can try posting your concern here in Japanese, I'm sure someone will come along and translate it for you. Zaereth (talk) 21:22, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
What would be nice for this is a script or tool that can identify users who are in both of two given categories, and also have edited within the last week (or similar). Anyway I've dropped an email to one such person. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:32, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Did someone call for a translator? 通訳者が必要のようですね。Just so everyone knows, I was contacted by Demiurge1000 and do not yet have a grasp of the details of the argument. 最初に断っておきますが、今日Demiurge1000さんに頼まれてまだ議論の内容を把握していません。I will just try to convey what 山吹色の御菓子 wants to say. I don't have a lot of time to put into this. この件にかけられる時間が限られているので、とりあえず山吹色の御菓子さんの言い分を皆さんに伝えておきたいと思います。 So, maybe 山吹色の御菓子 can tell me in Japanese what s/he wants to say on my own talk page. まずは山吹色の御菓子さんに日本語でご自分の言い分を僕のTalkページにて教えていただければと思います。よろしくお願いします。Matt Thorn (talk) 14:57, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Whoa. I just did some digging. This person, 山吹色の御菓子, has apparently been banned from contributing to the Japanese version of Wikipedia. I don't know why yet, but it seems s/he is basically venting here because the folks on the Japanese side have had enough of him/her. In short, and I apologize for being blunt, it would seem the person may be a kook. Sorry, I just call them as I see them.Matt Thorn (talk) 16:02, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, his rolling up here and accusing me of pocketing the money he's concerned about was not a good sign, but I say assume good faith. He does raise a valid question: if someone is having events in the name of the Foundation and turning a profit, then who is it and where is the money going? My point is: it's perfectly valid to ask that question; it is not valid to assume the worst and issue random accusations.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:42, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I have scanned theJapanese material (There's a lot of it) that 山吹色の御菓子 refers to. It's a lot of good-faith, hair-splitting discussion that you see on Wikipedia anywhere. I see no sign of the sort of coup 山吹色の御菓子 describes. I haven't read it all, but I've read enough to conclude that 山吹色の御菓子 threw around a lot of unsubstantiated accusations that are no more coherent in Japanese than in English, and eventually made such a nuisance of himself that he was banned. If there was a genuine faction of ja.wikipedia editors who felt something sketchy was going on, you would be hearing from more than 山吹色の御菓子. He says there was plenty of dissent. There was plenty of discussion, and as far as I can tell, consensus was reached, and 山吹色の御菓子 didn't like it. He is acting entirely on his own. He has blown up the tab from a meeting at a pub to the scale of a JFK assassination conspiracy. Nothing to see here, folks.Matt Thorn (talk) 02:22, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Matt. You do know, of course, that you've accidentally volunteered to help me whenever something interesting and complex is going on in Japanese Wikipedia. :p--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Oops. Matt Thorn (talk) 03:26, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry, Matt. Jimmy will be able to pay you using cash from the Japanese conferences, which is sitting in a secret Hamas-linked Swiss bank account. --FormerIP (talk) 03:43, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Haha. FormerIP, I think that's supposed to be a secret. It is a secret, that's what I said...--FormerIP (talk) 04:06, 30 January 2011 (UTC) UPDATE: I read the discussion on the proposal to block 山吹色の御菓子 indefinitely. Contributors were nearly unanimous in support of the indefinite block. Even those opposed agree that 山吹色の御菓子 is a serious pest, but felt he should be given a limited ban of several months. No one took his side or defended him. The proposal was introduced on April 19, 2010, and approved on July 7, 2010.Matt Thorn (talk) 03:54, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Matt Thorn. Please do not describe my impression but translate the fact. It is necessary to translate taking the responsibility as a specialist.In Japanese Wikipedia,Translate paging web all.the translation like Matt Thorn that is irresponsible, and fabricated is done, and the intention of Jimbo is not transmitted either. --山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 02:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
山吹色の御菓子, make your posts in Japanese and let someone else translate them. I don't know if you realized this, but translation software often garbles what you're actually trying to say, making it hard to understand. —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 19:52, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The translator refuses to translate it.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 08:16, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I trust Matt Thorn. I'll also trust Britty/Aphaia from Japanese Wikipedia, or any admin from Japanese Wikipedia. But if you want to continue this conversation, I am afraid I must insist that you get a human to translate for us. And I may insist that we move this conversation to email or to my user talk page in Japanese Wikipedia - I'm sure it is beginning to bore visitors to this page.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:53, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
It is correct to trust the person.However, the problem has occurred. It is not understood whether the act is correct even if you trust them.You have the responsibility of investigating the fact.If you do not take action,You are the same as giving them a patent.--山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 16:16, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Seriously, 山吹色の御菓子, post your replies in Japanese. Your grasp of English is not very good, and it is making it hard to understand what you're saying. —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 21:51, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
May I write really in Japanese?Up to now, nobody has translated. --山吹色の御菓子 (talk) 02:50, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, please write in Japanese. There may be a short delay for a translation, but, please, write in Japanese. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:05, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

With all due respect, I think it is a mistake to offer this person yet another soapbox and furthermore promise to have someone translate what s/he writes. This person contributed nothing to ja.wikipedia, yet managed to waste a great deal of time with obscure, circular arguments over trivial matters. Despite being given a fair hearing in good faith by people who actually contribute to ja.wikipedia in important ways, 山吹色の御菓子 was unable to make himself/herself understood to fellow native speakers of Japanese. (Not a single member of the community took his/her side, though a couple of accounts seem to have been created solely for the purpose of chiming in, "Hear, hear"; the conclusion drawn by several members is that those accounts may have been sock puppets.) If 山吹色の御菓子 could not be coherent (let alone convincing) in his/her native language, I strongly doubt s/he can be coherent in English, even with the help of a translator. I, for one, have no intention of wasting my own time in translating just to feed the ego of 山吹色の御菓子. I would remind you all of that tried and true rule of Internet discourse: Don't feed the trolls. Matt Thorn (talk) 03:13, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's coverage in The Economist

Mr. Wales,

I was wondering whether you’ve been following the coverage that Wikipedia has been receiving in The Economist. The most recent issue of The Economist published a letter from me in response to an article about this in their previous issue. My letter is here, the first one listed under the “WikiTweaks” heading.

The Economist edited my letter in order to make it fit in their magazine, which may have slightly altered the meaning of some parts of it. I’m aware that you began delegating your authority to ArbCom before 2007, but the point of my letter’s last paragraph is that this trend and the decline in participation still seem correlated with one another. The Economist also left out where I mentioned who was the user whose reason for leaving I described in detail. The user I was referring to is user:Varoon_Arya, and my letter is summarizing the reason for quitting the project that he gave in this comment.

My goal here isn’t to undo any specific decision made by ArbCom or by the community, so I’d rather not get into specific decisions that I think were examples of the problem that I described, although I can do that if you think it would be productive. What I’d like is just to reduce the incidence of this sort of problem in the future. During last month’s arbitration election, some of the candidates also brought attention to this issue—for example, this is how Sandstein described it:

In my view, the main problem with policy enforcement is not that it is either too strict or too lenient, but that it is conducted unevenly, because in practice it is shaped too much by social dynamics and not enough by rules. Popular and experienced editors can often get away with problematic behavior more easily than new editors who espouse fringe opinions. But it should be the other way around: The longer somebody participates, and especially if they hold positions of trust such as adminship, the higher a standard of conduct should they be held to, because they are expected to know better.

I think this statement is intended to be referring to community-imposed sanctions rather than to ArbCom, but the same problem theoretically applies in both situations.

Do you think it’s worth making an effort to do something about the problem described in my letter and Sandstein’s statement? If so, I have some ideas about how a system of checks and balances for Wikipedia could work, but I’ll only explain it if you’re interested. --Captain Occam (talk) 18:44, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Your letter seems to reflect the assumption that minority viewpoints are under-represented on Wikipedia. The truth is diametrically different. For virtually any minoritarian/fringe/extreme-fringe viewpoint, Wikipedia is almost guaranteed to contain more coverage than any comparable serious reference work. And I'm talking orders of magnitude more coverage, much of it written by adherents of the minoritarian view in question. For example, our article on AIDS denialism is twice as long as our article on penicillin; I'm not aware of any comparable reference work which so much as mentions a view as far-out as AIDS denialism.

Of all the problems faced by Wikipedia, an under-representation of minortarian viewpoints is not among them. And while incivility undoubtedly drives away good users, I would argue that many more leave after months or years of trying to "collaborate" with single-purpose, agenda-driven, often frankly obsessive editors who are never shown the door out of a misguided sense of priorities. MastCell Talk 19:12, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Wow! Have you had your blood pressure checked recently?--Aspro (talk) 19:33, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
No; it's somewhere between "unconscious" and "splitting headache". Although according to Wikipedia, a few garlic capsules will fix me up... :P MastCell Talk 19:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
My letter has nothing to do with any viewpoint being under-represented or over-represented on Wikipedia, and I don’t understand how you’ve drawn the conclusion that it does. Both my letter and the comment I quoted from Sandstein are about policy being enforced selectively, especially the policy about civility. Civility is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia, and should be required to the same degree from everyone regardless of their viewpoint, or whether that viewpoint is under-represented or over-represented here. Can we please keep this discussion on topic, and not bring up irrelevant tangents like this? --Captain Occam (talk) 19:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
You wrote: "The basic problem is that without a system of checks and balances, Wikipedia cannot ensure that people who hold minority viewpoints are treated fairly." I inferred that you were concerned about the suppression of minority viewpoints, and that you considered this the "basic problem". MastCell Talk 19:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Even if people who care about unpopular viewpoints being represented here are often driven off because of incivility directed at them, and a lack of action taken about it, there still tend to be enough who stick around that the suppression of the viewpoints themselves probably isn’t a major problem. But that doesn’t make the driving off any less problematic. Continuing with Varoon Arya’s example, the majority of his involvement in Wikipedia was in archaeology articles, and he didn’t become involved in race articles at all until after he’d been active here for more than two years. But because nobody appeared to care much about the incivility that was being directed at him, the project has now lost his contributions to articles about archaeology as well as about race. This is an example of how it isn’t just articles about controversial articles that I think suffer because of this trend; it’s the whole project. --Captain Occam (talk) 20:18, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Captain Occam, thank you for your comments. I agree with the quote from Sandstein, although I think not as severe as some people seem to think, and I would be eager to hear ideas in this area. It's probably important to keep in mind that ideas have to be practical, i.e. have to be about changes to policy that we can actually enact and enforce in some reasonable way. "How to get there from here?" should always be at the top of our minds. One aspect of this is that we are really a pretty small community - always have been - and this community does run (and properly so!) on friendship and mutual respect. That necessarily introduces some dangers of subjectivity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:37, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Just to inject my two cents here; the general gist of Occam's comments seems to be that "rules get enforced selectively" on Wikipedia. I wonder Occam, wouldn't you agree that this is just a fact-of-life? Rules get applied selectively in a whole bunch of places and contexts (e.g. academia, the legal system) and they are similarly subject to the "social dynamics", that Sandstein refers to, in those contexts. Is WP really any better or worse than other places where people have to interpret and apply laws and/or rules?
And echoing Jimbo Wales's comments; if it is worse, can you identify how or why it's worse and what practical measures might be taken to make it be better? NickCT (talk) 20:14, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Mr. Wales: I appreciate your open-mindedness about this. What I would suggest is that it might be a good idea for you and other members of the Board of Trustees to appoint an independent body whose job would be to supervise both administrators and ArbCom. The really essential thing is that they be accountable to you and to the Board of Trustees, not to the community. I think this would help eliminate the problem I described in my letter, which is that since administrators and ArbCom are accountable only to the community, biases which exist in the community can end up being reflected in administrative decisions, which in turn propagate this trend by driving away editors who disapprove of it.
This body would not have to be considered a “higher” authority than ArbCom. Going with the analogy of the system of checks and balances in the U.S. Government, I’m imagining you, ArbCom and this new body to occupy roles similar to the president, the Supreme Court, and Congress. ArbCom would still be the uppermost authority for resolving individual disputes, and the purpose of this new body would be just to evaluate the performance of admins and arbitrators. Although since you theoretically have the authority to overrule ArbCom, if this new body were to ever determine that ArbCom has shown improper judgment in some case, they could make also a recommendation that you make an alteration to that aspect of the ArbCom decision. I think this would be an improvement over the current system, where if an arbitrator ever misuses his or her power, the only negative consequence is for them to not be re-elected in the next ArbCom election.
Another benefit of what I’m suggesting is that I think it would improve the accountability of ordinary admins. The way things are at present, admins can use their tools with a certain amount of impunity, because even though bad decisions will usually be undone by other admins, it tends to take a very long and severe series of misuses of the tools before an admin is desysopped by ArbCom. This can involve dozens or hundreds of users being incorrectly blocked, some of whom end up not returning even after their blocks are lifted. The reason why arbitrators can’t evaluate every case of admin misbehavior is because they’re somewhat overloaded as it is, but creating a new body whose job is specifically to evaluate admin and arbitrator behavior would take some of this strain off of ArbCom.
I think the benefit of this body would also extend beyond taking action against administrators or arbitrators who show poor judgement. Just the fact that a body exists that’s devoted to evaluating their performance, and that has the authority to suspend or demote them if their actions ever warrant that, would encourage both admins and arbitrators to show more caution in making sure their decisions show the proper amount of responsibility and neutrality.
In response to NickCT’s comments: I don’t have enough experience with academia or the legal system to say whether Wikipedia is better or worse in this respect than either of those. However, one thing I can say is that I think it’s below-average by the standards of online communities I’ve been involved in, even those that have a comparable number of members. One forum where I’ve been active had around 300,000 members, but its rules were still enforced fairly and consistently because the head admin cared about this a huge amount. He was the sole person responsible for appointing the other senior administrators, and he made sure that all of them would hold the normal admins to a high standard. I think if Mr. Wales were to try something along these lines at Wikipedia, he might be able to obtain a similar benefit. --Captain Occam (talk) 21:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
[citation needed]. Can you name any current or former sysop who has incorrectly blocked hundreds (or even dozens) of users? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:43, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Seconded. Also, I notice how the benevolent dictator model has worked so well wherever it has been tried... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:12, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking in particular of Betacommand. The finding of fact from his arbitration case states that within a period of one month, he blocked around 1,000 editors for alleged violations of the username policy. The evidence presented against him lists 16 of those which were subsequently reversed, but the finding of fact implies that the actual number of erroneous blocks may have been much higher than this.
Betacommand was eventually desysopped by ArbCom, which I think was clearly the right decision. But that decision wasn’t made until May 3rd, after misuses of admin tools stretching back at least to the previous November. In cases like this, I think there needs to be a way of evaluating admin behavior which doesn’t require the several-month delay that’s inherent to arbitration.
YellowMonkey is a more current example. Assuming that the initial statement on that page from Serpent’s Choice is accurate, in a period of six months YellowMonkey has blocked over 80 users with whom he has had no interaction other than the block itself, either to warn the user beforehand or even to put the “blocked” template in their user talk. Most commonly the reason he’s listed in the block logs of these users has been “sock”, although he’s blocked them without an SPI or checkuser, and without any indication of who the purported sockmaster is. In YellowMonkey’s case, ArbCom took no action because YM stopped participating in Wikipedia on November 24. I suppose that’s appropriate, but it makes me wonder how long it will take for his inappropriate use of admin tools to be dealt with if he ever resumes it. --Captain Occam (talk) 22:40, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Under the system that I’m proposing, this body whose job is to review admin conduct would have warned Betacommand after the first several times that he blocked users based on the username policy when they weren’t violating it, and would have warned YellowMonkey after the first several times he blocked users with “sock” as the block reason without an SPI or checkuser, without putting a block template in their user talk, and without specifying who the sockmaster was. If either of these admins had continued the same conduct even after being warned, this body would have desysopped them, most likely temporarily at first, and then for longer and longer periods if the misuse of their admin tools continued even after they were reinstated. That’s the system we use while dealing with vandalism—we don’t allow someone to keep repeatedly vandalizing pages for several months before anything is done about it. I don’t think it makes sense that Wikipedia is more lenient about misuse of admin powers than it is about vandalism. Vandalism can be reverted by anyone, but inappropriate blocks require another admin to undo them, and even then the user who was erroneously blocked is sometimes so discouraged from participating that they don’t come back even when the block is lifted. --Captain Occam (talk) 00:23, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
As a point of information, the Betacommand desysopping was four years ago and things have changed a lot since. As a further point of information, admins frequently don't specify the sockmaster per WP:DENY. You may also be seriously misinformed about YM and his use of checkuser. In any case, many socks exhibit distinctive behaviour rendering checkuser superfluous: we don't publicise these for WP:BEANS reasons.  Roger talk 18:44, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (ec) Agreeing with Jimbo's principle that persons in authority on Wikipedia ought to be held to a higher standard, I would suggest a different response to the problem raised by the ArbCom case on Race and intelligence. The response I suggest is that persons who claim to be editors of an encyclopedia (rather than commenters on a political blog) learn to look up scholarly sources, and use reliable sources when editing Wikipedia, especially when editing articles on topics that the sources show are contentious topics in the world outside Wikipedia. Most of the 4,657,873 articles on Wikipedia are still in dire need of improvement by better sources, as a goal set in the Wikimedia Foundation strategic plan acknowledges. The best way to increase participation by editors who know sources and use sources according to the best standards of scholarship is to make sure the Wikipedia's leadership is held to the high standard of digging into sources and checking to make sure that Wikipedia article content doesn't put undue weight on fringe viewpoints found only in questionable sources. Much work needs to be done in this aspect of quality improvement on Wikipedia. The best way to encourage volunteers to do this work is for leaders to lead by example by taking the time and effort to look up reliable sources and check what those say, and what the overall weight of emphasis in the published sources is. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 02:02, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

If what you’re suggesting is that ArbCom ought to familiarize themselves with the source material for every topic about which there’s an arbitration case, I don’t think that’s going to happen. ArbCom is already short on time; there’s no way they would have time for this in addition for everything else they need to do. The fact that they don’t have time for this is one of the reasons why ArbCom never rules on content. This also wouldn’t address the problem of users being held to differing standards of civility, which is a completely separate issue from who’s right as far as content is concerned. --Captain Occam (talk) 03:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
User:WeijiBaikeBianji/IntelligenceCitations (the list you spam that everywhere you can) are some sources that you personally like and they usually share your personal POV not all reliable sources about the topic. --Dezidor (talk) 00:16, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Dezidor, your comment suggests that you know other sources. What are those? The source lists I maintain include links to allow other wikipedians to suggest sources (as Captain Occam did quite a while ago), and all such suggestions are posted even-handedly for all editors to see. If you are here to edit an encyclopedia, and have opinions on what sources are good, then surely you must have some sources to suggest. Feel free to make the suggestions. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:27, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


Mr. Wales, before this thread gets archived I would appreciate you letting me know what you think of my suggestion. You told me you were eager to hear ideas about this, so now that you’ve heard my idea it would helpful to let me know whether you think it’s worthwhile. --Captain Occam (talk) 23:26, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I think it merits more discussion, for sure. I have some doubts/questions about the precise structure you've put forward, but I didn't take you to be saying you had found the perfect solution but rather to be opening a dialogue (with me, but also with the broader community) about how we might think about governance structures which would deliver more consistency as well as faster justice.
I'm not sure that a body tasked in the way that you have described it would be the right way forward. It just sounds like another layer on top of what we already have. But perhaps I just haven't thought through it clearly enough.
As an alternative, imagine the ArbCom as continuing in a "supreme court" mode, so that the new body (or bodies) don't sit in judgment of ArbCom, but rather a group of lower courts (or juries) which can act more quickly, and whose selection is somehow randomized to prevent them becoming politicized. (For example, I would not like to see a Climate Change Court, unless it were composed of admins chosen somehow randomly, because otherwise it would just become a focus of political wrangling itself.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Jimmy, I find this remark interesting, and I'm open to the concept of juries for some questions (especially things like civility, where common editors are more likely to understand precisely how obnoxious certain behavior is than arbitrators), but could you explain what you mean about the "Climate Change Court"? Are you suggesting that ArbCom should not operate in such politicized disputes? Cool Hand Luke 18:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Mr. Wales: I wasn’t intending to imply that I’d found the exact right solution. The essence of my idea is just to have a body whose primary purpose is to review admin and ArbCom conduct, and whose members are chosen in a manner that isn’t subject to politics. All of the other details were just speculation about how such as body might operate.
The way I’m envisioning the new body I’ve proposed, it wouldn’t really be “on top” of ArbCom but on the same level, in the same way that Congress and the Supreme Court are on the same level. ArbCom would still carry the exclusive authority about resolving most types of disputes, and the new body would be limited to evaluating how administrator and arbitrator power is used. And members of the new body would still be subjected to arbitration rulings about articles and editing, the same as everyone else.
Also, I would appreciate it if someone could do something about personal attacks in this thread. I have a problem with Mathsci’s suggestion that I attempted to commit libel in my letter to the Economist, and that this is the reason why my letter was edited before publication. If anyone actually believes this, I guess I’d be willing to post the un-edited version of my letter on-wiki, so that others can see that this assertion is false. --Captain Occam (talk) 19:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I think you misread Mathsci. UK's libel laws are thought to discourage all kinds of speech. Because the Economist cannot easily ascertain whether the things you write about third parties are true, it would be legally imprudent for them to include such claims. That does not mean, however, that your proposed letter was libelous, and Mathsci does not claim that they are. Cool Hand Luke 19:42, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I too agree with Sandsteins observations,"..the main problem with policy enforcement is not that it is either too strict or too lenient, but that it is conducted unevenly". Here is the problem. Consensus is the ultimate authority. Consensus in wikipedia above all else is political. Rules are based on observed truths. How do truths and politics mix?--scuro (talk) 04:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
In the circumstances ArbCom seems to have been quite lenient towards Captain Occam. One of the other editors involved in the R&I case, Mikemikev, has expressed extreme views on wikipedia using multiple alternative accounts and in more direct terms on YouTube. I am quite surprised that moderators on YouTube have not also banned him there. The premature lifting of my ban on the initiative of ArbCom might possibly be what what was referred to as "leniency" in the letter to the Economist. It might be that that letter was not published in its entirety because of problems with UK libel laws; but I have no idea about this. Mathsci (talk) 08:37, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

imagine a more extreme hypothetical situation. let's say a nazi sympathizer who collects nazi artifacts, has a grilfrend who has a nazi fetish, and who holds nazi war generals in the highest regard comes to wikipedia to edit articles related to his personal hero arther jensen. this nazi sympathizer then embarks on campaing to insert pov statements about race, recruiting other editors for all parts of the internet. how should we handle this sort of situaton ??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.21.169.116 (talk) 18:12, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Uh, ban him? Cool Hand Luke 18:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
How is this relevant to what we’re discussing? We’re talking about inconsistent enforcement of the civility policy, and how to deal with irresponsible behavior from admins in a timely manner. If a person is POV-pushing, that’s a completely separate issue, isn’t it? --Captain Occam (talk) 18:23, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The behavior described in the hypothetical situation would certainly warrant at least a topic-ban, and might well warrant a community ban (site ban). But how might the community build a culture to prevent, rather than react to, such disruption of the effort to build a neutral point of view encyclopedia based on reliable sources? What can encourage a culture of editors checking one another's sources and especially checking articles for skewed points of view resulting from undue weight on questionable sources? Over the long haul, will Wikipedia rise above the level of content accuracy expected in blog comments to reach the level of content accuracy expected in serious reference books on controversial subjects? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:35, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I've thought a good deal about this issue. Policy is conducted unevenly because process is conducted unevenly. For any possible sanction event to occur a process with a set criteria should have been followed first. For arbcom to get involved further processes with a set criteria should have also been followed. In the name of consensus you can ignore any of these processes and I have seen an administrator talk about the quick way of doing things that avoids proper due process. Granted, in rare cases immediate action is required but that sort of action should also require process and criteria.
Instead we have the wild west here where one administrator using a metaphor told me it's like a land of gangs here and you have to join one and pay your dues before people will act on your behalf. In the end it might come to showdown where you hope that your gang has more "firepower" then their gang. That is oh so wrong on so many levels. But wikipedia has built a culture which disdains bureaucracy. Is it any wonder that injustices happen on a regular basis here? That people get really pissed off? The foundations are good, what was constructed on top of it has obvious blemishes.--scuro (talk) 18:34, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I think this is an apt metaphor. A State of nature gives way to rule by mob and ad hoc warlords. Structure and process is desperately needed, but there's a deep-seated mistrust of these things. Cool Hand Luke 18:42, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That is the conundrum, isn't it? This culture won't like reform that insists on process. Perhaps baby steps, small little reforms implemented over a longer period of time. As a stop gap measure perhaps some transitionary and totally independent body free of the warlord's influence, to look at the most egregious cases.
The other big issue not yet mentioned yet is that wikipedia tolerates bearing false witness against other contributors and that should be discouraged as strongly as possible especially during sanction processes. That sense of freedom that contributors feel from oversight shouldn't extend to doing other contributors harm.--scuro (talk) 22:33, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

<sigh...> Once more, beating one of my two favorite drums...

The problem under discussion here is actually not difficult to resolve, it's just difficult to get people to commit to resolving it (for a number of reasons I probably won't get into). Understand the problem, first: as best I can tell, the original (undeclared, informal, idealistic) conception of Wikipedia was as a cultureless, pleasantly anarchic, rationally collaborative system in which people would get together and add what they knew to articles. Articles in that model would gradually grow and improve through a kind of pseudo-scholarly debate process, and everyone would find their own little niche to work away in happily. In fact, that model probably worked as advertised at the very beginning (I don't know, I wasn't there) when wikipedia was relatively unknown and editors were a small, relatively homogenous group of technophiles. Unfortunately, no one planned for success. Success brought with it people interested in mucking around, people with real-world agendas to push, people with broadly varying degrees of knowledge and competence, and all of these mixing together created tensions. The reactions and responses to those tensions is the problem we're trying to cope with. There was no rational approach to solving these problems: editors would encounter specific problems and create a specific solutions to deal with each. What grew out of that was an uncoordinated, ungainly, often self-contradictory mass of written policy and guidelines, informal suggestions (like essays), unwritten social conventions, loosely organized but strongly identified cliques of editors organized around incommensurate project goals (incommensurate because they are concerned about different on-project problems). Out of this got born a whole lot of tendentious on-project politics, and (as Scuro put it) a serious Wild West attitude across much of the encyclopedia.

I don't think any of the original editors anticipated Wikipedia developing its own noxious political undertow - too much Locke in the original conception, I suppose, and not enough appreciation for Hobbes. c'est la vie...

At any rate, what we have now is no longer cultureless and pleasantly anarchic, and there's no getting back to that. What we can do is start to enforce the 'rationally collaborative' aspect of the encyclopedia. This would mean protecting content discussions from a broad assortment of disruptions (incivility, rants and tirades, off-topic distractions, etc.), primarily by creating strong, well-defined, and clearly limited rules about civil interaction on project, and seeing that they are enforced stringently and uniformly to everyone. If you keep discussions from turning into cock-fights (which they all too often do), then discussions will naturally start to become productive - editors who aren't allowed to snipe either have to get to work or sit in silence, no?

I actually have a project that I started fleshing out some time ago, and just recently got back to in discussion with other editors - it's the Town sheriff project (riffing off the wild west metaphor). It would create a cadre of volunteers who (at the community's behest) would step onto a page with expanded rights and powers (and strict limitations) to ensure civil interaction without interfering with content. It's a simplistic police model - wrap authority and accountability in one individual and give them a clearly defined and restrictive mandate to make the page 'fit for decent folk to gather and talk'. It still needs development, but if put in practice I think it could obviate a lot of these kind of problems. Trust me, if there had been a town sheriff of that type on the Race and Intelligence debacle it would have cut down the nastiness of it by a factor of a hundred and the volume of produced text by a factor of a thousand. And no, I'm not exaggerating those numbers: I actually put it into practice there as best I cold without a sysop bit, and it was working very well for a while (at least until people remembered I didn't have a sysop bit - one can't psych out people endlessly on things like that... Face-blush.svg).

Yeah, advertising, sorry. Check it out, comment, suggest revisions, and look at the discussion here where I've been going over it with others. --Ludwigs2 00:51, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I find the title of this thread, "Wikipedia's coverage in The Economist", quite interesting. From what I can understand, The Economist itself wasn't covering Wikipedia, but rather a contributor wrote a letter to "The Economist" and the magazine published the letter online. I think it is a bit of an exaggeration, (possibly even self-indulgent) to state that a letter to the editor represents The Economist actually reporting on Wikipedia. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:08, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
If you actually read the letter, you’ll see that it was in response to a recent article about Wikipedia by a staff writer for The Economist. The letter was also published in the print edition of The Economist, not just online. --Captain Occam (talk) 21:17, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
The idea of "town sheriff" has merit although the pitfalls seem obvious. Like with any sheriff who is not wanted, the gangs will try their hardest in as many ways possible to make them ineffective. Perhaps something like this is needed for LARGE scale conflicts but it would require manpower. With a small conflict escalation often happens because people are inexperienced with sanction processes and feel threatened. How about the informal offer of advocates to advise? Another idea would be to make the process involved with the initiation of a sanction event much freer of poor consensus decision making. Did the forum do what is was supposed to do or did consensus allow jumping the cue. Like the process of filling a 3r, wikipedia should always insist that strict criteria must be met for the process to go on. Finally, how about every sanction event in the final decision briefly state: the merit of the original appeal for that forum, and the decorum of the individuals involved. This stuff could be logged for easy access. If contributors knew that their reputation would be harmed for acting inappropriately, and all could see this easily, they may behave better. This would make contributors more accountable also. --scuro (talk) 04:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipleadia article in The Economist does cover Wikipedia, but there is very little discussion about the Wikipleadia article in this thread. Rather the discussion centers on the letter written by a Wikipedia contributor. Though published in The Economist it isn't really the opinion of The Economist per se. The matters raised in the Wikipleadia article are worth considering as well, such as the decline in participation, or that neophytes are being put off, though there is the policy WP:Don't bite the newbies that is supposed to deal with this problem. Wapondaponda (talk) 05:45, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
@Scuro: It's actually quite possible for one person to clean up even a very active page, given proper focus and the right tools. The problem sysops currently have when they try to clean up pages is primarily social: wikipedia culture has imbued sysops with an ingrained reticence (there's a strong expectation that sysops will be hesitant to interfere with editors unless absolutely necessary) and there's generally a lot of cross-talk and interference from other sysops (not to mention involved and uninvolved editors) who have varying allegiances and viewpoints. Decisive action by a sysop on a contentious page often means hugely tumultuous ANI threads, decisive counter-actions by other sysops, and weeks if not months of petty bickering and accusations. But without those social inhibiting factors, taking charge of a page is a simple technical exercise requiring no great effort. The issues lie in establishing legitimacy for such acts and creating structures that ensure fairness.
@Wapondaponda & Occam - Is there something substantive in this debate over the title of the thread? I just don't want it to boil down into yet another endless argument over trivialities; I've seen you guys indulge in way too many of those. --Ludwigs2 07:10, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Presumably as a follow-up to his essay WP:Town sheriff, Ludwigs2 made another interesting proposal today. Apparently we are now free to choose between Robin Hood and his Merry Men and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Does Ludwigs2 know of any individual currently editing wikipedia capable of performing all these roles? And if they do so, will they have to wear tights? Mathsci (talk) 08:36, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Ludwig: I don’t think there is. I wasn’t sure whether I ought to respond to him at all, but this was another situation where he was making a claim about me (that my title for this thread was self-indulgent), and the assumption that it was based on (that “The Economist itself wasn't covering Wikipedia”) was so obviously false that I didn’t think I could just ignore it. Now we’ll just have to see how much he cares about proving that his claim about me was still right… --Captain Occam (talk) 12:52, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is frequently mentioned in the press. The page Wikipedia:Press coverage lists some of the news items that discuss Wikipedia. In this case, I felt it was a bit misleading to give the impression that a media organization, The Economist, was specifically and independently discussing Arbcom and other Administrative issues, when in fact, the originator of the letter that appeared in The Economist is a Wikipedia contributor. As previously mentioned, the actual article that was covered is
Yet there isn't much discussion about the actual article in this thread. It's not a big deal, but I just wanted to make that clarification. Wapondaponda (talk) 15:43, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
The issue of cliques and declining participation is relevant to this conversation. Newbies and loners certainly are made aware when they step on some "gang's" turf and if you don't back down with your tail between your legs they have all the tools and know how to use them to make your life unpleasant. Where there is no consistency or respect for process abuse will happen. So you can have a free and wild west or you make everyone live under one law that is equal to everyone.--scuro (talk) 17:17, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
@ Matsci: I can't speak for anyone else, but I look good in tights - one of the advantages of being an avid bicycler. It's not really my style, though. Can we go for a kind of Clint Eastwood look, instead? Or maybe Jimmie Stewart from back in his 'Six Shooter' days. Face-smile.svg
@ Wapondaponda and Occam: just trying to keep things on tack. But since Mathsci is out snark-hunting that seems an unlikely prospect (at least as long as I'm active here), so I'm going to retire from this thread gracefully as of now, before my inner boojum arises.
@ Scuro: yes. Your input would be welcome over on the TS page, if you care to get involved with hashing out the details. --Ludwigs2 18:49, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm a wikipedian nihilist. Little on this website inspires me anymore. All I know is when I hear truth or when I hear BS and I respond to both!--scuro (talk) 03:59, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

This thread will be archived soon if no one else comments, so before that happens I’d like to get a clear answer one way or another about whether or not the idea we’ve been discussing in this thread (or something similar to it) is likely to be implemented. If the answer is no, that’s okay, since I think Ludwigs2’s “Town Sheriff” proposal shows promise also and would address a lot of the same issues that my own proposal is intended to address. There are some aspects of Ludwig’s proposal I’m not completely satisfied with, though, so what I’d prefer if possible is if his proposal and mine could both be implemented. --Captain Occam (talk) 00:00, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Who needs books when you have Wikipedia?

I was cleaning out my bookshelf today, doing some spring cleaning... And I realized: I don't need any of my old dictionaries and encyclopedias now because of Wikipedia. Thanks!

Also, I was also thinking... Why does anyone need human beings really? Everything on earth could be fully automated by robots. Mother-father robots, daughter-son robots, brother-sister robots, etc.. They could whiz around doing everything so efficiently, while we just lay there as fat blobs of partially-sentient gooey matter pressing buttons so we could let the robots do everything for us.

FYI, this advice from an anon IP. [41] That was me. And I still hate robots.

When robots start walking and talking, I'll be the first to start an anti-robot hate group against them. See [42] for where I get these crazy ideas from.   Zenwhat (talk) 19:59, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Prem Rawat article

Hello Jimbo. More in sadness than in anger I must say that I found your wildcat change to this article and the edit summary that went with it (This is, without a doubt, the most important thing readers need to know...) a deplorable piece of anti-democratic editing. Do you believe any ordinary citizen of Wikipedia could get away with that? I am, as I said, saddened. This article has been hotly and thoroughly contested for years, and in the contest many diverse people have had to learn to get along. It has been Wikipedia at its best, far from some kind of systemic failure. In our work, the expression "cult leader" that you seem to favor so, has been thrashed to death. The scholarly sources that we have agree that Prem Rawat and his father descended from orthodox Indian spiritual traditions. Calling these traditions "cultic" is an expression of the religious ignorance which back in 1970 in the US and Britain was a common thing. In 2011 it is inexcusable. The word "cult" is a sinister buzzword inappropriate for a living biography. It is an insult entirely without meaning, used only by the religiously minded to denigrate what they see as their opponents. Please say something that tells us you understand these points I am trying to make. Rumiton (talk) 11:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

He might of his roots in traditional Indian spirituality but it appears commonly accepted that the group has has clear cultic aspects and is considered and reported as such. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8478418640149871308#docid=8426521119377491848 - Maharaji (aka Prem Rawat) Dances All Night Long - 1979 - a god like figurehead ... Off2riorob (talk) 11:58, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Wales simply copied a footnoted sentence from the end of the article to the lead. The sentence has been in the article for over two years without controversy. Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill.   Will Beback  talk  12:37, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Just noticed

It was just silliness to post here, a few days ago, informing you of a contributor whose user page characterizes your personal appearance favorably. I meant that well, of course, but perhaps it was too great a liberty to take. It just occurred to me, though, that it probably looked like I also posted the "separated at birth?" comparison panel depicting you and Daniel Craig. I doubt you care at all, but I didn't do that: It would have been just a bit more presumptuous an act than I'd be willing to effect, since we're not personally acquainted at all. The more so, because the photo that was posted of Daniel Craig was, imo, a somewhat unflattering one. At the risk of repeating the possible offense of having allowed myself more familiarity than was quite right, with my single post, I'll mention my opinion that you were sleighted by the comparison to that particular picture. In any case, please accept my apology if the brief thread embarrassed or annoyed you at all. Best regards,  – OhioStandard (talk) 21:52, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

No problem. Amusing. Not hilarious. But amusing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

FPAS

A heads up, relating to ArbCom-SAQ

The following rather large discussion seems to me to have simply spilled over from elsewhere. I fully support ArbCom taking a holistic approach to looking at cases, and as usual, Newyorkbrad seems eminently sensible.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Requested/Suggested Move

I have suggested the move of the Pro-life article to Anti-abortion, my arguments for that are at the discussion. I was wondering whether you would consider weighing in on either side... I believe the current title holds an inherent endorsement of "pro-life" views in considering the fetus a life and think it should be replaced by "anti-abortion" in the same way the AP, NYT and other reliable/neutral sources do so. I would be interested in hearing what you think. WikiManOne 00:16, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Wouldn't that require us to also rename Pro-choice to Anti-life? -- œ 02:20, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Where did you get that logic? You'd keep it the same because the side doesn't advocate abortion, it advocates the choice to have the abortion. Either way you would have a re-direct. TheFSAviator ( TC ) 02:44, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a strong view, and wouldn't really want to have any particular influence on that particular question.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I see, and it is understandable you don't want to get involved there. I feel as if I opened a can of worms by even bringing it up. WikiManOne 03:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
@ User:OlEnglish: No, you'd re-name it Pro-abortion, since Anti-life has the same POV concerns that Pro-life does. That is, of course, if you buy into the argument made for the move. I'm on the fence about it, but, from a practical POV, I don't think it would ever be possible to gain consensus for a move that contentious...so I just try to ignore it:) David Able 21:39, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Your recommendation

Dear Sir:

I've been contributing to this project for over two years now, and never imagined I'd share any correspondence with you, personally. I'm very honored.

Earlier, I had suggested that the article be renamed European Argentine, as this more closely reflects what people fitting that description call themselves in Argentina.

Please write to me at your convenience with your thoughts.

Yours cordially, Sherlock4000 (talk) 15:51, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I would need to be convinced that this is an actual concept that has received sufficient 3rd party reliable discussion to be noteworthy. I very much doubt that there is anything here which wouldn't better be discussed elsewhere. For example Immigration in Argentina strikes me as a perfectly valid article, as does Demographics of Argentina. Italian Argentine is at least potentially a very good article because, especially for most English speakers who aren't that familiar with Argentina, it is likely a surprise of solid historical interest that Argentina was populated by more people from Italy than Spain.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:43, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for writing back, Mr. Wales.
European Argentines (as they should be called, I think, rather than the potentially offensive "white") have also been discussed, both as a distinct group and as the direct result of a sudden wave of immigration from Europe between 1870 and 1930, by among others James Scobie, David Rock, and in numerous National Geographic articles, all of which mentioned not only the phenomenon, but also their differences with Argentine indigenous and part-indigenous cultures (criollos as they are affectionately known in Argentina). In discussions prior to the AfD submission, Pablozeta, mentioned other examples where the concept is discussed. He listed these here.
This article recaps the experience of many specific European nationalities that settled in the country. The group, in turn, is also distinct from the sum of its parts, since most European Argentines alive today, as you know, have great-grandparents from several different countries in the old continent. You may have also noticed that articles on white communities can be found for nearly every Latin American country, and numerous others.
Thank you, once again. for your time.
Sherlock4000 (talk) 20:08, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Female participation

FWIW, here is a bit of anecdotal evidence I was going to add to the just-archived thread (I edit-conflicted with Miszabot):

My wife (a former music journalist) says the thing that turned her off most about trying to contribute here was that her first article was deleted within hours, because it had a key word that set off a bot (the article cited three mainstream press sources that had in-depth coverage of the subject). The comments by the new-page patroller made it clear to her that he hadn't even read the article. Her second article was speedied by a new page patroller within minutes of her first clicking Save, while she was still in the process of expanding the article and adding sources. This patroller is a chap who, somewhat unusually, has awarded himself eight barnstars on his user page – one of them patting himself on the back for the fact that "You play whack-a-mole with terrible new pages like no one I've ever seen! Awesome!" He made himself look ridiculous in her eyes, and she resented having to discuss music with someone who clearly had no idea what he was talking about, and just seemed keen to get another deletion under his belt. I helped her out, and both articles eventually made DYK, but my wife's enthusiasm was permanently dimmed. While she can live with the clunky mark-up language, she would welcome a change in attitude towards new contributors. In her view, people who delete pages should at least be familiar with the subject area they control. Both her articles dealt with contemporary music, and the user pages of the patrollers concerned indicated no interest or expertise in music. --JN466 16:12, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Does New Page Patrol actually have the manpower to have subject-specific page patrol teams, though? Surely the first impact of any such rules would be that most new page patrollers would be banned from patrolling most topic areas. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Subject-specific page patrol teams are not probably the solution (maybe checking with another admin who does know something about the topic might help -- patrollers could indicate their areas of expertise on a page somewhere, and if in doubt, the patroller could "ask a friend" before whacking the page).
As someone familiar with it, I will say that NPP is largely about who decides to do it. There's no set group of people. You can go do it right now if you'd like to give it a whirl. There's never been any attempt to organize it along topic lines, much less even organize it along any lines.

And there should be. When I did it regularly, years ago, before the patrol function was added, even then you had to be able to evaluate quickly whether the article might eventually become something we could keep, regardless of what it was then. It required not only some knowledge of our notability policies but the sort of things we already had.

And, I would also add, I at least considered it as much part of the job to categorize the new article properly and do some cleanup (Someone had done that on my first edits, which I appreciated, and I felt compelled to pay it forward). It wasn't just about playing thumbs up or thumbs down. Daniel Case (talk) 05:52, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

This is just what it is -- anecdotal evidence. But I think women react differently to incidents like this. A bloke will dig his heels in and on some level relish the pissing contest, and if need be waste three hours online on it. A woman will say, I can't be bothered to waste my time arguing with that ignorant twerp and go and do something else – and remember that WP ain't worth her time. In this way, enthusiasm is killed very quickly. --JN466 16:54, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps links would allow us to evaluate the situation ourselves, Jayen466, rather than rely on your interpretations.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:24, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'd love to have links to this as well. It sounds very interesting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:49, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
The articles concerned were Neil Cooper (ROIR) and swim ~. --JN466 18:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
There is a related post from Sue, about women's reluctance to "to repeatedly make a case for topic notability in the face of what they are perceiving as clueless male 'obnoxious gatekeepers'", at [44] --JN466 18:06, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Since this subject was re-opened, if anyone is interested, there was a lengthy discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Feminism, and apparently there is a mailing list at https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/gendergap . NY Times also had a debate forum on Where Are the Women in Wikipedia?, of which Editing Wars Behind the Scenes from Justine Cassell was referred to at talk:WikiProject Feminism. Siawase (talk) 18:03, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I have notified the user in question User_talk:Timneu22 about this discussion. User:Fred Bauder Talk 18:57, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Personally I'm not too crazy about having people template my page when I forgot to use preview and am in the process of fixing a mistake; and have people speak to me as they have here. On the other hand I've made very good friends and mostly enjoy being here. So, I think it's a little hard to generalize. It is true that my first article was immediately templated but that was easy to fix. Generally I think it's an issue of respect - which should have absolutely nothing to do with an editor's gender in my view - but unfortunately I do see a lack of respect fairly often which can be discouraging. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
The obnoxious and bombastic gatekeepers are not all male by any means --— ⦿⨦⨀Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 03:34, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Not a direct response to Tumadoireacht, just a general commentI've worked a lot with Timneu22, and I can safely say that without him NPP would be having even more problems than normal. The few of us who do it know that they'll be maligned by just about everyone else for either tagging or not tagging an article, and if you don't believe Timneu22's self-awarded barnstar about "awful pages like no one else has ever seen" you should try it sometime. Just to rattle off two examples, I've seen 1. a man who spammed his resume 9 times in 5 minutes (by creating the same content under different titles) and 2. a screed of text accusing a man of child molestation with one link that was a random article about three people going to a basketball game. I've got a lot more. Timneu22 does a tremendous amount of work on NPP, more than most of the rest of us. I'm sorry, but you'll have to do more than bitch about us on NPP if you feel we don't do well enough; we have one of the largest backlogs to deal with here, and very little help doing it. Either do something about it yourself or back off. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:26, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
If you ask me, his attitude could do with some tweaks: Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion/Archive_40#Inability_of_admins_to_recognize_patent_nonsense, Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive657#Poor_admin_conduct_of_User:Elen_of_the_Roads. More in that vein could be added. I'd rather have an unattended backlog than have volunteers who feel overworked take it out on new contributors. If the backlog is too big, start a thread at WP:CENT, or the village pump, or write an article for the Signpost. --JN466 18:05, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
The patent nonsense issue is one that is very open to interpretation and has caused a lot of frustration on everyone's part. His points are valid in those discussions, even if you don't like his tone; note that not everyone is disagreeing with him either. But even in the essay articulating why we're hated so much (an essay I very much like, by the way; Balloonman did an awesome job with it), it's acknowledged that NPP is necessary. And no, you don't want to have an unattended backlog unless you want things like libelous, unreferenced articles about a bishop molesting ten children (another great example) getting through. Believe me, I know WP:BITE and its value, but we can't seem to get any attention for our cause no matter what we do. There's actually a discussion now at WT:CSD regarding this issue; ideas are welcome. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────While I haven't actively done NPP on a regular basis in a very long time, you do not need to remind me of the crap that gets posted there ... I saw plenty of it myself (and as an oversighter, I get :-/ to see the choicest bits even today). And I know we need this.

But even in my most avid days as an NP patroller, it was always just a way of warming my brain up for article namespace content development. I believe working on that at the same time made me a better NP patroller. Timneu doesn't seem to do much else ... perhaps he would benefit from the occasional break to work on articles?

There is a real-world equivalent. My wife is a correctional officer, which although it isn't as stressful as you might presume is still stressful enough (for one thing, when you punch in and go to wherever you've been assigned, you're usually there for the full shift. There is no going out to lunch or even the dining hall when you're on a gallery several locks deep inside a maximum-security prison) that she and her coworkers are required to take days off every now and then (they can get around this by swapping shifts if they want, but that does make for crazy work schedules).

I don't see why we can't have some similar guideline for our more enforcement-minded editors. Daniel Case (talk) 18:45, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I could see that; I do that periodically myself, which has allowed me to create this and dramatically expand this. Might not be a bad idea. It'd help too if we could get some more people to help us; then we wouldn't feel the same pressure to be constantly on guard. Vandal fighters seem to have it down pretty well, now we need more NPPers. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:07, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
As an active vandal fighter, I can say that I think the reason we have it down so well is that we've gotten so many vandalism IPs under long-term blocks. We can't do that with newpages (the closest thing I could think of would be an increase in saltings, but I don't think we're willing to go there yet). Daniel Case (talk) 20:31, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
There is also the fact that there is really no need for an article -- that has nothing remotely libellous in it -- to be proposed for speedy deletion within a minute of a person having clicked Save. If backlogs at Special:Newpages are significant, it would seem to make more sense to work on the older unchecked entries first, rather than jump on a new article within seconds of its creation. --JN466 20:40, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
That's the balancing act we have to pull off; as much as we try to patrol from the back of the log (there are instructions at the top of Special:NewPages that say as much), we always need a set or two of eyes on the front to watch for the vandalism/attack pages and the copyright violations (which are just as big of a problem, and as an aside most G11s could probably be tagged G12 if someone wanted to go and find the website the text was almost certainly copied from). I frankly was all in favor of a proposal at the village pump a while back that would've required editors to be autoconfirmed before making their first article; maybe I'm just weird (my first article was after I made about 8000 edits), but I think that'd go a long way towards knocking the backlog down. The amount of garage bands and other such things would be dramatically reduced by that, and that'd make our job way easier. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:28, 8 February 2011 (UTC) And lest my attitude seem disgruntled; I have no intention of stopping NPP. I've learned a lot from the various pages I've patrolled, and the good pages are often quite fascinating; I've also referenced a bunch of BLPs to keep them from getting BLPPRODded too. It's never all about tagging and warning; you can learn an awful lot too.
  • I was at an interesting meeting tonight where both the topics of new page patrol and encouraging greater diversity (including women) came up. I found it encouraging that quite a few men who attended found the female participation ratio to be quite disturbing; interestingly, the male to female ratio of meetup attendees was not all that far from the same numbers, though. One thing that men and women agreed on was that the barriers for participation affect new editors generally speaking, and aren't gender-specific; it is the *response* to those barriers that may vary more by gender. One woman I spoke with said simply "It's a time management thing: I've got a full life and I don't have hours to spend arguing with someone, and if that is the only option, I'm not going to be bothered." Changing that particular dynamic may be pretty hard, but the first step may be ensuring that editors understand that "consensus" does not exclude the possibility of finding middle ground, of seeking compromise. In some things, yes, there is very little leeway (no matter what anyone else says, the ulna is in the arm, not the leg); but instead of beating up editors new to the project for "not having sources", teaching them how to find sources will be more likely to (a) lead to a resolution and (b) help to develop the skills that the new editor needs to become a productive member of our community. (If Sue is reading this, much of this conversation occurred before you arrived.) Risker (talk) 06:20, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • In 2007, I alerted [45] the community to the WP:BITE going on at WP:NPP. I am not laying claim to being the first to do so. During the discussion, it came to light that one game there was to see who could SPEEDY the most articles or, as one of the participant put it, "it is a fact that there runs a competition between several new page patrolars that who will take the credit for highest number of speedy deletions." --Lyncs (talk) 22:25, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
    • This would certainly explain how articles come to be speedied one minute after creation. ;)
    • While this has nothing to do with female participation, the routine blocking of users with names that are deemed promotional (rather than a polite request that they rename their accounts) is another BITE issue where I feel we're doing poorly. --JN466 23:07, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
As a UAA admin, I am grateful for any support on this issue (see what I'm up against [[46]]. I feel that WP:ORGNAME as written and too often enforced is in serious conflict with WP:AGF. There is almost a willful refusal to recognize not only that there are nuances, but that nuances can even exist. There are a myriad of reasons people might choose a company/product username ... we can't assume they're all out to promote something. And it is most definitely not trademark or copyright infringement. Daniel Case (talk) 23:22, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
This looks better now. --JN466 17:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)