User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 79

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No Quadriga award in 2011

FYI: German media just reports that there will be no Quadriga awards this year due to the broad discussion about Vladimir Putin's nomination. That is, no one will be awarded the prize. Vaclav Havel had threatened to give back his award. --Aschmidt (talk) 12:01, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Several days ago, I demanded that they call a meeting of the board (including me) who were supposed to be selecting the winners - more than one of us was not included at all in that conversation - to allow us to rescind the prize. I suppose not giving the award at all is in part a response to that. I have still not heard anything back from the Quadriga people despite repeated attempts to schedule a phone call, but I expect to have a conversation with them in the next few days.
For me, I would not have voted to award Putin. But to have the award put forward in my name, as if I were involved in it, was beyond ridiculous.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:34, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I have updated "Quadriga (award)" (redirect: Quadriga award), for news from the Russian source. The Russian phrase "«Википедии» Джимми Уэйлс" is for "'Wikipedia' Jimmy Wales". -Wikid77 17:55, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Your Signature

Hellow Jimmy! I've been doing signatures on Inkscape in order to improve some pages. I found your signature at this page http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=66256&start=25, and I need to know if this is your real signature in order to put it on your wikipedia bio. This is the work I've made so you can see it.] Oh and congratulations for creating Wikipedia! good job Jimmy!. (Sorry for my bad english, I'm learning it) --Dabit100 (talk) 20:35, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I am astonished that any reading of BLP, or even ordinary privacy concerns, would conclude that having a the formal signature of someone included on a web page was a sensible idea. Calling all counterfeiters! Wikipedia makes your job so much easier! Bielle (talk) 20:43, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I am removing the signature. If Jimbo would like to see it, it will be in the page history. But it should not just be sitting on the page without his permission. Neutron (talk) 04:09, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I am appalled at the rudeness of someone who would ask for an autograph and then publish it. With only a few rare exceptions we should not publish people's signatures.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:31, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome, I understand. Sorry for the inconvenience. --Dabit100 (talk) 21:53, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
your english isn't bad, its great! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ethanate1 (talkcontribs) 04:40, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Comment: Jimbo, please note the signature remains on Wikipedia here, linked to here. I will leave it to you or an admin to remove those and leave a message for the presumably well-intended creator. imo signatures should be limited to those attached to widely available public documents, such as the signers of the US Declaration of Independence. Living authors who have signed thousands of books at book-signings might merit a disussion, but living people are in general problematical. No one's going to try to steal John Hancock's identity, but someone attempting to cash in by providing a 'signed edition' of a book by a living or recently-deceased author might find this useful. 75.60.7.172 (talk) 15:27, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Out of interest, is that codified anywhere? There's nothing in BLP about it. Indeed, template:infobox person/doc includes Bill Gates's signature on the example. It isn't uncommon to find sigs on BLPs right now. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 11:19, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that WP:BLP needs a simple addition: WP:BLP#NOCRAP - Don't add anything to a BLP that isn't related to the person's notability, beyond bare biographical facts of the kind one would expect to find in a reputable encyclopaedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:39, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Plus one pony. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 15:47, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Comment: Presidential signatures and the like (valuable collectible autographs) are far different from Jimbo's signature - at some point we should have this codified in WP:BLP which is, finally, getting some teeth. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:44, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Donald Trump... BLPs are full of signatures Jebus989 15:17, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
(Edit conflict with Jebus) Maybe part of the answer here is to remove the "signature" parameters from the "person" infobox template. I do not know whether there is a different template for historical figures as opposed to living persons. If not, maybe there should be, for reasons that may become evident below. I just checked a small selection of "big names" to see whose signatures we have and whose we don't. All articles on U.S. presidents, living and dead, seem to have their signatures. The articles on Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Nicholas Sarkozy have their signatures, but the article on David Cameron does not, nor do any of his predecessors back through Margaret Thatcher (which is as far as I checked.) We have Stalin's, Hitler's and Mussolini's signatures, which I think is useful for historical reasons. Whether we should have the current national leaders' signatures is debatable. I do have serious doubts about non-national-leader living persons. We have Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs' signatures. We do not have, for example, signatures for George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise or Martin Scorcese. I assume this is just a question of availability rather than policy. But I do not see any compelling encyclopedic reason to have Gates' or Jobs's signatures, even as famous as they are. So as I suggest above, maybe the place to start is with these templates. I personally will not be editing any templates, as past history tends to show that I would "break" them. Neutron (talk) 15:40, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Obviously I assume no one is saying we shouldnt have John Hancock's signature at least, even Andy who seems to be on the most extreme end of this discussion ("nothing but the bare biographical details"). I think using the same criteria for signatures as we already use for everything else–has it been published and noted in a reliable source? If a signature is in a published reliable source then it can, and probably should, be used in an infobox; if it is not published and just simply taken from an autograph on a napkin then no it can not be used. I see no reason why we can not take existing policy/guidelines and apply them instead of having drama and having to come up with new specific overly strict BLP rules, which wouldnt apply to dead people anyways. I have never liked "extra" rules for biographies, though I understand the legal concerns due to the fact that if in another non-BLP discussion you make a generalization about policy someone can always say "well not for BLP's you cant!" and they try to make new exceptions from BLP exceptions on to other topics.Camelbinky (talk) 15:56, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
BLP isn't about having "extra rules for biographies" so much as it is actually taking the time to enforce the ones we supposedly stand for on articles where not doing so could have the most damage. In an ideal world we would apply the same rigour to adding random crap to articles on Pokemon as we do to articles on sitting politicians, but we have neither the manpower nor the willpower for that at this time. Anyway, BLP already covers signatures which aren't of obvious public interest by means of the rule on reliable secondary sourcing: this was a signature copied off a Web forum, and I doubt there has been any analysis of it by reliable secondary sources. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 16:04, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that the mere fact that we can find a source for something means it goes in an article. Even if we had a source on someone's shoe size, for example, we don't put that in the article. It's not important information about the person. Unlike a shoe size, a signature that is published far and wide on the Internet can potentially do actual damage to a person. And it's equally unimportant, in most cases. John Hancock is not a very good analogy, because his signature (and specifically the version on the Declaration of Independence) is one of the very few signatures in history that have actual historical significance as a signature, even apart from the historical figure himself. And he's no longer alive. As I say above, I would go further than just signatures that have independent significance, to (for example) signatures of historical figures and MAYBE current and living (former) world leaders. But what about someone like Chris Christie? I just checked his article, and we do have his signature. Why? If he someday becomes president, maybe we should have his signature then. Otherwise, in two or six years he may very well just become yet another former governor back in private legal practice. Should his signature really be all over the Internet? Neutron (talk) 18:02, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Reliable secondary analysis is not just "having a source". We're in agreement here. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 20:29, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
  • - Perhaps we should change our interpretative stance on copyright of a signature? We could say that as someone creates a signature it has artistic aspects and that the creator is the copyright owner. Currently our general position is - that they are public domain because they consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship. - Common property? - no original authorship? - I am the author of my signature and I consider my signature to belong to me, to be a part my personal property. Then we would only include them under a commons license if the author/original creator has released it themselves. Off2riorob (talk) 19:37, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Selective interpretation of copyright law is not really what we're about. You put your signature, 'your property', on debit/credit cards which are the property of your bank, you put it on contracts held by other companies, you give it out freely and many past and present companies have record of it (hence common property). An example is a court of law, where you must sign various declarations in order to testify; it would be entertaining to see you claim that they require a warrant to retrieve your property, the copyrighted 'artwork' which is your written name. This is doubly true of celebrities, who hand out thousands of autographs per year. We've had signatures on BLP articles for years without incident, if JW had scanned over some of the most trafficked BLPs he would have seen this Jebus989 20:10, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The fact that we have had them here for years and that we have been interpreting copyright law in that way does not mean that we can't take another look at it and reassess/update our interpretation. Although some people keep a copy of my signature and that I do not object to then doing that does not necessarily make it public domain. When I write my name and give it to people that request it I reserve my creative rights on that artistic creation and I do not release it into the public domain. Off2riorob (talk) 20:16, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Jebus; I would argue that in such circumstances that you are signing, say, a public document there is an implicit license to use the signature freely in relation to that document - to a reasonable extent. On the other hand, taking that public domain document and interpreting the signature alone as public domain is... well I don;t know what the exact copyright law is but it seems morally objectionable and disrespectful :) Signatures are definitely original artwork (they are designed by the individual and intended to be unique and hard to reproduce), the question really whether publicly accessible signatures become fair use or even public domain.
Whatever the exact legal aspect I think we should work on a "nice" basis with such material - so if the signature has historical relevance for dead people then add it.

I could probably be convinced that for any dead people it is a reasonable piece of information to record. But for living people it seems equally reasonable to keep this piece of artwork private/unrecorded until after their death :) --Errant (chat!) 20:36, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)It seems the development of both the commons guideline and en.wiki guideline has stalled, maybe this is an opportunity for editors such as yourself to contest their usage. Personally, I find the idea of a celebrity author sat at a desk of books passing out miniature copyrighted works of art to each fan laughable Jebus989 20:38, 15 July 2011 (UTC) edit: ErrantX, there's no definite about it, see the commons link above
Thanks for that link I was looking for it - Wikipedia:Signatures of living persons - well, although you find it laughable that was similar to the response of Jimmy, who said, " I am appalled at the rudeness of someone who would ask for an autograph and then publish it" - and I imagine many other celebrities feel the same way. Off2riorob (talk) 20:45, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I have done some lightening reading of the issues here, and had a quick phone call with one of my contacts who would know more about this than me. Apparently it is reasonable, but untested, to assume that a signature is copyrightable as artwork (for obvious reasons). On the other hand, signatures published widely might be public domain (although I'd note that if an author, say, is signing a work for a fan that is simply a private copy for themselves - much the same way as an artist might give away a print of their work to some fans, those fans could not then claim it as public domain :)). On the other hand I consider the legal distinction somewhat irrelevant - we don't have to follow the law to the letter, but should follow our values. So turning to an author and saying "well you handed out your signature, it is ours now!" seems a bit of a jerk move :) --Errant (chat!) 20:49, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes Errant, thanks. I interpret republication of autographs as PDomain in a similar cautious manner. The Commons guideline also seems to support that in some locations signatures are artistic works of art, as in the UK, "The level of originality required for copyright protection in the UK is very low, and it is easily arguable that personal signatures are entitled to copyright protection. Under UK law, a signature may be protectable as a graphic work (a type of artistic work). Artistic works are protected regardless of artistic merit. There are various sources that point in that direction..." - Off2riorob (talk) 20:55, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You'll excuse me for pointing out that you telling me what your knowledgeable contact told you is hearsay. The commons link gives actual precedent cases and copyright law quotes from various countries, it's quite an interesting read. To counter the cherry-picked quote above, the lead of that page contains the sentence "In many - but not all - countries, a typical signature is not considered sufficiently original to be granted copyright protection." Jebus989 20:59, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
This book (admittedly a little old) begs to differ from the Commons interpretation - based on the same pieces of law (and I'd tend to side with the book as authoritative). I'd point out that while my contact's view is hearsay, the Commons listing is much the same :) I have trawled through the various legal databases and have turned up nothing substansive, a few things that agree with the book, and one or two that assert Commons' view. Still, I think a polite policy to BLP's would still work. --Errant (chat!) 21:24, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually there seems to be precedent for using Lanham (trademark protection) for some signatures - if commercial/personality rights are asserted. --Errant (chat!) 21:30, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
A good starting point will be to think about this in the context of consent and reliable sources. Has the subject consented to publication in a reliable source? That isn't the end of considerations against publication, but certainly it provides a starting point. If the answer is that no, the subject has not consented to publication in a reliable source, then we shouldn't have it. The consent bit goes towards BLP considerations (having respect for the human dignity of those whom we write about). The reliable source bit goes towards quality considerations.
Some years ago, I did a speech for American Express in Las Vegas. As a part of the decoration, they wanted to publish my signature on giant posters and on the website. I refused, but the design was pretty far along and they didn't want to change it, so they substituted (with my permission) my name written in cursive script by someone else. If that's on the web somewhere, it might be, you might have a "reliable source", but it would be wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:09, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
They didn't want you to wear the American Express Gold card dress of Lizzy Gardiner during your speech as part of the decoration did they? Somebody should design a special suit for Jimbo made out of wiki logos, although Jimbo appears to be rather more stylish than to wear a wiki suit!! In regards to signatures they've always struck me as a little odd in article infoboxes. It kind of makes it looks like a boxing memorabilia case or something. Really doesn't have any encyclopedic value...♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:15, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Signatures of living persons (wot I helped write a year ago) seems to mostly capture what has been discussed here, and I've just updated it to add the idea of the publication being with the consent of the person. Is it time to revive the suggestion of making this a guideline? Fences&Windows 16:15, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Actually, I would much rather raise WP:COMPETENCE to a policy. No rule is so obvious that we don't have editors who insist on breaking it. It's not feasible to spell everything out for the benefit of those who don't understand the purpose of an encyclopedia, e.g. because they are too young to have ever seen one. What we really need is a method for preventing the immature and the hopelessly clueless from dominating in discussions just because they have more time, energy and motivation for absurd fights. Hans Adler 16:58, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Er, nicely irrelevant Hans. Might I suggest a wikibreak if it's all getting too much? Editors will see signatures on some high profile articles so will assume they can use them wherever they like. The proposal was begun a year ago due to the sigs of various New Zealand politicians being copied in from primary documents, iirc, and someone who was not a child or a blithering idiot obviously thought that was a reasonable thing to do. Fences&Windows 17:12, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Should we say someone is gay, Jewish, African-American, Australian, or Antarctican?

There is seemingly a perennial push around Wikipedia in various forums to make the "labeling" of anyone as anything banned by policy, as if it is somehow defamation to call a person a Jew or gay (personally I wouldnt be offended being called gay though I am not, and I am a Jew). Putting aside instances where the person cant, except in tabloids, be proven to be gay or lesbian for example (being African-American is a bit easier to spot and less controversial one must assume). The idea that Adam Sandler and Sandy Koufax should not have "Jewish" in the infobox or lead is hilarious. I bring this up due to California now making gay and lesbian history and I feel if our educational institutions feel that history and "labeling" of individuals has merit for the scientific study of history, who are we to argue? Letting our readers know who is gay, lesbian, Jewish, Chinese, whatever is not stigmatizing them, it is instead letting other people of those persuasions be proud the people "like them" have done amazing things. Im just curious as to your opinion.Camelbinky (talk) 05:18, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

I am of the opinion that, so long as the subject is described in a number of reliable sources as such, that it's fine to "label" them as that. We're only here to correlate and reflect information from other sources. In a large percentage of reliable sources are noting and commenting that a certain description such as "Jewish" or "gay" is important and correctly applied to a person, then it is proper for us to include it as well, citing those sources. SilverserenC 05:44, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I am more for "does said person carry the banner around," "does said person him/herself emphasize that part of his/her identity." What's the use in saying someone is Jewish when said person has sometimes even stated "I have no interest in Judaism, so please don't label me that way". (and should there ever be someone who's "Antarctican", yes, that should be mentioned :P) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:49, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
It has been mentioned... Pedro :  Chat  06:53, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
damn.. but he's still Argentinian :P Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:02, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
This is usually trivially resolved by simply taking the time to make a fuller summary in a separate paragraph of the lede. With Sandler this seems like the obviously correct choice because his background is of significant importance to both his stand-up and many of his film roles. What is not right is the ADD solution, which is "the person's ethnicity/religion/political alignment must be presented as the fifth word in the first paragraph and anything else is censorship", a situation seen depressingly often. Nevertheless, he's an odd example to pick when it doesn't appear that there is much in the way of a campaign of this sort on his article. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 07:49, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

1. Sex orientation is substantially different from nationality. 2. Unless a person specifically self-idenitifies as a member of any group, it is not up to Wikipedia to categorize them as being in that group. 3. Conflating the two is of no value to the project - Wikipedia ought not care whether or not California now mandates Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transsexual History is of no more import than if Monaco did it as far as the encyclopedia is concerned. 4. Such categorization, in fact, has been a cause of a great many BLP issues in the past, and it would be nice if ArbCom chose the Cirt case to put this all to bed once and for all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 08:38, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Using the infobox, if the person self-identifies as such, is sensible for the same reason we provide birth date and place and other facts which aren't necessarily central but are descriptive. I disagree with its use in the lede unless that's what the person is best known, such as being a rabbi or evangelical preacher or activist for a cause related to identity. In the lede, it's often used in a way which, intentionally or not, deprecates the person's accomplishments. For example, labeling Jane Austen a woman writer rather than a writer. It's insulting. Adam Sandler is a comedian, not a Jewish comedian, even though his identity informs his work. Far better to simply state "his Jewish identify informs his work" or "he frequently incorporates his Jewish background into his routines" if that is true. If it's mentioned, explain the importance of it being mentioned. I especially dislike the phrase 'born into a Jewish family' as it is such odd wording. After reading the above, it may be an attempt to get around the case cited above as "I have no interest in Judaism, so please don't label me that way". It's phony. 75.60.7.172 (talk) 13:11, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Sure, let's see how many stereotypes we can cram into an ifobox. He's Jewish, he's a comedian - he must be funny! He's got dark skin and black curly hair - he's an African-American! (did Camelbinky really suggest that? Yes he/she did!). Can we include shoe size, blood type, and which end of a boiled egg they crack open too, while we are at it...
Or alternately, we could stop trying to turn Wikipedia into a combined ethnobureaucratic database and dumping ground for stuff found on Google, and try to create a reputable encyclopaedia instead. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:23, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Camelbinky may be referring to a proposal I made here to remove the "religion" parameter from the infobox person template (following this discussion at the BLP noticeboard). Well-reasoned comments are of course welcome there. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:22, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

As I understand it, your argument is to eliminate everything in the infobox which may or may not be relevant. If not relevnt, it's not needed at all. If relevant, you would put it in the body of the article making it unstructured data not easily found or extracted. One could make a case on that basis for every parameter after Name, and then claim Name is redundant as it's in the article title and the beginning of the lede. Therefore, no need for infoboxes. Is that the goal? 75.60.7.172 (talk) 14:53, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
It is not Wikipedia's purpose to provide 'structured data': it isn't a database. If it was, I wouldn't have anything to do with it, as I've no interest in breaching people's privacy for no better reason than to satisfy the curiosity of the narrow-minded. Indeed, I would be well-advised to avoid it on legal grounds - in the UK, such a database would almost certainly come within the remit of the Data Protection Act 1998, which expressly prohibits such open accumulation of data about individuals. There is also similar legislation elsewhere. Frankly, I wonder if some of the 'data' accumulated on Wikipedia may already be in breach of such legislation, though of course I'm no lawyer... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:04, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not tweaking the English lion's tale here (fine old Irish sport though that is), but if you are right, then the more shame to the UK legislators. The accumulation of openly-published and available information is called research; without it, the advancement of knowledge is crippled. In any case, no such absurd statutes apply in the U.S.--Orange Mike | Talk 15:38, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
75.60.7.152, you appear to have misunderstood the discussion and misstated the goal of that proposal. I have no objection to simple facts being included in infoboxes, although I think it is foolish to assume that even these will fit neatly into the desired pigeonholes. I am opposed to the idea that something as potentially complex as a person's religious beliefs can be distilled into a single choice in a limited set of options. To that end, I have made a proposal so that others may weigh in with their opinions. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:02, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
  • At least, it is important to note the concerns, as to why people want to avoid the simplistic labels. For example, I might designate for Albert Einstein, the tag "Jewish but not really" because he firmly explained that he did not believe in a "personal God". The labeling of "Jew" has a long controversial history, as with the term "Jewish Physics" versus other notions of "Jewish science" and it is important to avoid creating a "hit list" of any particular labelled group, especially when such hit lists have been used in the past to drive hate-mongering, or book-burning bonfires. Meanwhile, we should create more articles about such hit-list issues, to foster a wider, informed debate. -Wikid77 15:50, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Sad we got off-topic and distracted by Delicious' paranoia that I must be talking about him/her and by Andy's attempt to make it seem like I was being racist ("did Camelbinky just suggest that? Oh yes he did!"). Oh well. Just wish these discussions could stick to the hypothetical and actually go somewhere productive instead of name-calling and attacking. And for the record, labeling someone as Jewish more often than not has NOTHING to do with religion, and believe in a personal G-d is not the defining factor for being a Jew. One's mother being a Jew is what makes someone Jewish regardless of religion, and that is the only thing. Those that convert are Jewish by religious affiliation only, and the fact that they converted is not complex or controversial issue, either they converted or they didnt, just as either your mom is Jewish or not. Don't know why these discussions get hijacked by the red herring of "well we dont know what a Jew really is", sure seems like Jews are quite clear on it, it just seems that the goyim are confused.Camelbinky (talk) 21:50, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
So it's that simple, and our Who is a Jew? article is wrong? Ah well, you learn something new every day. And no, I wasn't attempting to make you seem racist, I was merely pointing out that your simplistic attitude to how one identifies an 'African-American' might well be taken that way. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:17, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I accept your apology. I only read the lede to the article, but from that I would say the article is not incorrect because it actually does state that the Mishnah says pretty much the same thing I did above. The State of Israel, the British Parliment, and actually according to a story in the Mishnah–even G-d Himself, can state to the contrary all they want but if consensus of rabbis and the Jewish Community have decided to interpret the Law in a certain manner it is up to them (any decisions they couldnt reach the decision was "wait until the Messiah shows up, he can answer them). In a way you can see Judaism as ancient Wikipedia in structure–G-d is Jimbo, He set things in motion handed down the big picture policies and then the community decides through consensus and "enforced" and "guided" by admins (Rabbis) regardless of what the Big Man would prefer, though theoretically the Big Man could overrule if He wanted. If you wish for me to recite to you the story of a Rabbi who told G-d that He was wrong and the Rabbi's interpretation of the Law was correct I'd be happy to on my talk page, just ask, and no G-d didnt strike him dead.Camelbinky (talk) 22:35, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't meant as an apology, but a clarification. And how about reading the rest of the article before you claim it supports your position? Regarding the idea that Jimbo is G-d, I'd point out that he isn't the only old(ish) man with a beard and strong opinions around here ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:44, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Camelbinky, your initial statement actually refers to putting someone's religion in the infobox, so I thought I was being helpful by linking to the current discussion and inviting you to participate. If that is "off-topic", I clearly lack the intelligence required to discern what your topic is and will stay out of it. Please refrain from using terms like "paranoia" in relation to my actions (or in relation to any editor's actions, really). Thanks! Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:55, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

So is this about "who is a Jew?" or is it about the initial question (e.g. "even if someone is a Jew, gay, Antarctican, should this always be mentioned?") — I answered that one: No. Just because someone happens to be some XYZ doesn't mean it needs to be mentioned, just like we don't mention a woman's breast-waist-size unless she's a model. For any other woman, it's unimportant. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:20, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Anent this discourse and the new ArbCom case to be open, I posted [1] (typos later corrected) concerning my personal opinions about BLPs and, indeed, all Wikipedia articles. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:31, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

If we had a Wikipedia-2

Because the overall Wikipedia is a confederation of languages (and simple language), there is still the option to "do it all over again" within Wikipedia, by a forum-based variation of Wikipedia (as a Wikipedia-2), which perhaps might have your Jimbo-view-of-the-world ideas, embedded upfront, as better-enforced guidelines. You have discussed numerous new ideas about running Wikipedia, so I was imagining a not-Simple but rather, a civilized Wikipedia where a pattern of rude reverts would quickly lead to editing restrictions, rather than WP:GAMING to pretend that numerous rude reverts are helpful to collaboration. The overall rules, in this Wikipedia-2, would not require years of consensus, but rather be defined fairly soon based on the Jimbo view-of-the-world, as converted into workable guidelines. The Wikipedia-2 (WP2) could start as direct links to English Wikipedia articles, but new article revisions would eclipse the original WP versions (as seen under WP2), to allow updates based on civilized collaboration and forum-style discussions, as enforced by the instant new rules where people would not "camp out" on articles for years. Also, the "Top 10,000 articles" would be short, 500-word overviews, with alternate links to the 10,000 full articles for people who want to spent hours reading each subject. However, I also think users should be allowed (reasonable) freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of assembly, so that the "government" would be restrained in how quickly users could be blocked. This would involve to what extent the author of a book would be allowed into talk-page discussions, perhaps with a WP:COI notice in some cases. The idea is to protect a right-to-speak freedom, where restrictions would be clearly noted, rather than the "Athens council" sentences Socrates to "drink the hemlock" for saying the wrong things. Progress could be compared between the current WP (enwiki) and the WP2, to see if the new policies would actually foster better updates, as faster than the old policies on enwiki. I am still trying to find ways to enable your major ideas to have a faster impact, without fighting an entrenched crowd perhaps being misled by troublemakers using the slow movement of English Wikipedia as a game to thwart real progress. You might be tired of discussing such "Wikipedia-2" concepts, but this is just in case you have any new thoughts about it. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:49, revised 01:06, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Because Citizendium has been such a raging success? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:04, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing to stop another attempt, since (nearly) all WP content is available under the terms of WP's license. Once someone has found the host server/service and managed the file dump, removing all the clutter in the meanwhile, and got a working editing environment going (using the freely available wiki software?) then they can advertise for volunteer editors and then process them to ensure that only the collegiate and neutral - and educated and civilised - ones can contribute... Of course, there might be an issue with the volunteer pool but, hey, once you have put in the initial effort then you might as well edit the damn thing yourself to ensure it is properly balanced! LessHeard vanU (talk) 01:00, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I do not think a WP2 should be restricted to only "citizens" but some users seem to think "shoot the messenger" is the way to resolve conflicts, rather than allow (reasonable) US-style freedom of speech, where the better result might be to "agree to disagree". Long-term disagreements should not be seen as a reason to silence the concerns of opponents, but as a part of typical debates which can lead to long-term changes. If users come from formerly fascist countries, they might not get the notion of why outspoken dissent is tolerated in other countries. -Wikid77 01:06, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

If this idea ever gets off the ground:

--Σ talkcontribs 05:51, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Two words: Network effect. The major reason why Wikipedia has been a success and Citizentdiumdmdmum a failure, aside from the uber clumsiness of the latter' name, is that Wikipedia came first and the, uh, other one, later. Yes, Cittizzzendddium has/had a lot of problems. But then, looking at it honestly, so does Wikipedia. C's problems dragged it down all the way to the bottom and made it unviable. Wikipedia survived and prospered despite it's problem. In some ways this is like the story of the Dvorak and QWERTY keyboards (except not really, since Dvorak faked his own tests). I'm mostly pointing this out to argue that just because Citizentiudmdss failed does not mean that Wikipedia cannot learn from it and improve as a result. Look at Microsoft (another possible case of network effects) - they're notorious/admired for taking some of their competitors good-but-clumsy ideas for their own and putting them to good use. Let's not get full of hubris here.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:59, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

It's not that hard to pronounce. Citizen. D.M. --Σ talkcontribs 06:24, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Pronounce, yes. Spell? No.Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:36, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
This thread is almost propaganda-like - I'm tempted to request a CZ account. But I do believe that this is likely to be the future. --Σ talkcontribs 07:27, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Citizendium tried to restrict to experts....and most experts I know have no time....any forking at this stage I think would be a disaster. The more people freely participating and interacting to make a better 'pedia in the one spot the better. Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:25, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is often tough on experts, sometimes with the best of intent and sometimes as a result of organised lobbying against the findings of their field of expertise. This can tend to lead to deterioration of quality, as well as the loss of potential improvements to articles. Forking isn't the way forward, it's a problem that we need to overcome within the 'pedia. . . dave souza, talk 11:12, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I am at a loss as to how taking Wikipedia and removing its rules on a) reliable sourcing and b) neutral point of view, as espoused by the original poster, would be an improvement, though I can see why the original poster (who isn't long off yet another lengthy block) would see that as a positive move. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 12:54, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I've often suggested 2 English Wikipedias. One without diacritics, for english readers & one with diacritics, for those with mother-country pride. GoodDay (talk) 13:02, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I was thinking to request another user-preference setting, for "English English Wikipedia" where Template:Okina would do nothing, so the respelling as "Hawai{{okina}}i" (Hawaiʻi) would show English name "Hawaii". Other words could be filtered, in MediaWiki's NewPP preprocessor, to show "Zurich" when someone writes "Zürich" (but maybe not!). Otherwise, I have an old essay that should be mandatory reading, "WP:English uses plain letters". -Wikid77 18:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

The problem with WP isn't that large - we just need to impose more accountability and/or restraint on those who take out other contributors' edits when there is nothing wrong with them under policy. Deletionists have too much power and damage the usefulness of WP for everyone else. Wnt (talk) 15:23, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

You mean like this. Yeah I agree. That editor could have spent a few minutes sourcing it, instead he chose to delete valid content. Well a a project which attempted to use the cream of wikipedia to produce a high quality encyclopedia failed miserably. @ Jimbo. You weren't embarrassed by my American Express gold dress joke were you. Just the American Express and Las Vegas made me think of it.. I'm not sure what sort of humor you like or dislike. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:48, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Other reasons text is missing: Thanks for those replies. Those seem to be valid concerns, above, to address all the other reasons why text is missing from articles. Hostile reverts are only one reason, whereas the article "Mobile phone" had a major section of text removed, for weeks, when an editor tried to correct a large area of vandalism. Plus, the citation-needed game can be used to gut any article, where someone removes too many footnotes and then (another) complains: "New York City has 5 burroughs,[citation needed] and Fifth Avenue runs north-south[citation needed]" so after a short while, all unsourced text can be axed where people just do not have time to put/restore footnotes on every phrase. Hence, the real solution just seems to be, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" as the effort required for freedom of information. -Wikid77 11:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Just thought you should see this.

I'm sure I'll be chastised by other's for "forum shopping" and "canvassing" and whatever else they can charge me with but given that I recall your very passionate views on swearing and how it is uncalled for I thought I'd let you know that apparently AN/I and many admins think "Fuck off and troll elsewhere, you patronising ignoramus" can be justified due to it being a "heated discussion" and other's were "rude" (thought I saw no one else swear) (and I apologize for swearing, but figured you should see the full sentence). I was not involved in the original discussion in which the swearing occured, but knowing that this wasnt the first time said user had used such language I brought it to AN/I. I thought the defence he was getting was deplorable and thought you should see what happens around here. I know you are busy, and you get blamed for these things happening around here as if you have time to deal with them, and I dont blame you and dont expect you to handle anything. Just frustrated and felt I could vent to you. Thank you for always having an ear (or eyes in this case to read) and always having wise words to allow me to see things from other directions. (and of course now I've opened myself up to accusations of "sucking up").Camelbinky (talk) 19:56, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Links to diffs would be helpful. And it's never "Forum shopping" to come to my talk page to discuss issues.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:41, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
The WP:ANI discussion can be found here, and the original discussion where the use of inappropriate language occurred is here. You might note in each case the discussion has been archived in an attempt to defuse the situation, although it is noted in the ANI discussion that the editor concerned has been warned against further breaches of WP:CIVIL. I further hope that you will note that I have not been involved in any of these discussions but am familiar with the situation as an observer (after the fact) only. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Insults in BLP/N not just ANI: Just when I thought the big insults were in WP:ANI discussions, I see the "ignoramus" text was stated in WP:BLP/N, now archived within:
Search within that archive for "ignoramus" as a term used to discuss the "categorization of living people". There is just so much hostility, that I wish editors could be given a forced (60-day?) time-out from editing some talk-pages or articles. Let them focus on something else, with less hostility. -Wikid77 11:35, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

number

Hi. I have seen you are 5927th place in most edits (8069). Nice! Here:

PS: Will you block me if I said I have, umm, disrupted Wikipedia? A user who has been editing Wikipedia since Thursday, October 28, 2010. 22:01, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

What Jimbo thinks goes. --Σ talkcontribs 02:29, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Email

Mail-message-new.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.

Jasper Deng (talk) 22:30, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
You just deserve this, for the foundation of wikipedia, knowledge is a contribution that benefits the whole humanity, hereby you have Jemartinezt (talk) 07:32, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Just wondering...

Jimbo Wales, do you allow people to {{trout}} you? Or rather, are you ok with people doing so, even if you don't have {{troutme}} on your user page? LikeLakers2 (talk) 12:41, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I'd suggest a trout is pretty banal for Jimbo. Maybe a haddock? Mind you, I'm sure this site gives Jimbo enough haddocks as it is... Tony Fox (arf!) 17:00, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I think a whale (get it? Jimbo Wales; Whales. *shot*) would be better. Or, considering he is the/a founder of Wikipedia, how 'bout a barnstar? LikeLakers2 (talk) 17:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty relaxed. The basic way to understand me is that I'm probably much more calm than most people realize.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:17, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Well in that case...
Jumping Humpback whale.jpgSquish!

=3 (copied from whale template instead of using the template tag because I didn't want it to use alot of space.) LikeLakers2 (talk) 20:20, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

  • As a note, I have already trouted LikeLakers2 for threatening to trout Jimbo. I like to have fun with things like that. =) CycloneGU (talk) 22:21, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • And I'm considering trouting you for trouting LikeLakers2 for threatening to trout Jimbo. It's my firm belief that everyone should enjoy the right for a good trouting. Fish for everyone! elektrikSHOOS (talk) 22:27, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I hate seafood. Can I ask for another animal? Also, twas only good, clean, fun. =) CycloneGU (talk) 22:28, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure how to feel myself about seafood, but consensus is that fish make for decent slapping material. And yes, it's all in good fun. At least for the moment. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 22:32, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, if you think you can slap a cyclone with a fish (I shoot them into the air and back into the water), good luck with that. =) CycloneGU (talk) 22:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
No camel templates?Camelbinky (talk) 02:29, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
A chicken would suffice for me. They can fly at low altitudes into you. CycloneGU (talk) 03:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, how does camel-ing somebody work? I want to know. NickDupree (talk) 03:58, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Something like, "You have been smacked with a wild rampaging camel by YOURNAMEHERE!" CycloneGU (talk) 14:56, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
More like "You have been spat on by a wild rampaging camel by YOURNAMEHERE!" The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:00, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
We need a template for being pigeoned. "YOURNAME's pigeon just pooed on your head! Yuck!" CycloneGU (talk) 21:24, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Jay Brannan

I believe you should have a look at this: WP:BLPN#Jay_Brannan. Especially read the comments this person has made in the edit summaries like, "Wikipedia you are ruining my life". I hope it doesn't, say, lead to a suicide. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:07, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Or to a defamation lawsuit. Unless someone identifies as gay, wikipedia has no business commenting on it. This is wikipedia, not "Out" magazine. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:12, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not defamation or suicide territory. It's not that he's not gay, and perfectly public and at ease about it. It's that he has a political campaign that no one should be labeled as "gay" or "straight" since we are all just humans (or something like that). It's a defensible though rather outré belief, but it's not one that the Wikipedia shares. If the Wikipedia wanted to take the the position that no article should label its subject as "gay" or "straight", fine; but we don't make exceptions for individual articles and allow the subject to define themselves for political reasons or as part of a political campaign. Herostratus (talk) 16:24, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Reply. --JN466 22:46, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Unless Brannan's sexuality is related to his notability, why do we need to discuss it in an article about him? And BTW, can you tell me how you know what Wikipedia 'believes'? We have policies (often ignored admittedly - frequently in regard to this issue), but I'm not sure that there is a requirement that contributors 'believe' anything specific. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:47, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
If he's openly gay, and if sources back it up, then it's fair game for inclusion on that basis. Whether it's notable or not is a different story. Because there's also a political campaign (which turns up in wikipedia, unsurprisingly) to make the "gay" category as broad as possible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:50, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
"It's fair game for inclusion" isn't actually a reason to include it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:53, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
That's why I said notability also figures into it. I'm just saying if you have sources, then you've got that requirement checked off. Having sources is not a ticket for inclusion, though, it's merely one of the requirements for inclusion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:56, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I had to ask to have my name removed from a list of atheists here at Wikipedia, and I think the reason I was on there is precisely the same sort of thing that Baseball Bugs identifies above: some people have a political agenda to broaden categories as much as possible. Whether that agenda is legitimate or not, I leave outside of Wikipedia. All I know is that jamming these things down people's throats in Wikipedia is wrong. Basically, AndyTheGrump and Baseball Bugs are both right: the question here is whether or not it is notable. A sad irony might be, if this guy is part of a public campaign to say "I'm gay but I think no one should be assigned a label" that might cause enough press coverage of his sexuality to make it notable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:38, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Given the BLP over reactions/concerns on here I'm surprised by the fact that this guy wants action taken doesn't account for something. But at the end of the day wikipedia is not censored and to people who know he is a gay or have even heard of him (I haven't and considered myself very knowledge about guitarists and good music) they might find it odd that it is not mentioned yet is in other articles on gay musicians. And he gets 250 hits roughly on average a day, which is 80,000 hits a year so to delete his article, somebody else would inevitably keep starting it at a later date anyway. not sure what his problem is if he claims to be openly gay on his website and that this is known by people who've heard of him.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:35, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm, OK. Well, as to how relevant his sexuality is, I'd say somewhat, since he writes about relationships and sex and so forth, not exclusively, but sometimes, and his being gay informs that (e.g., a song about fellatio, etc.). If he was a tennis player or something It'd be different, I guess.

As a philosophical exercise, consider five hypothetical cases. In each, the subject is categorized as a member of the XYZ religion. All five are novelists, and it'd be reasonable to say that their XYZishness informs their work -- a lot of their characters are XYZers and they use terms from XYZ lingo and so forth -- so all things being equal it's worth noting. Each of the five sends a request to Wikipedia to remove the description of them as an XYZer, but each gives a different reason:

  1. I don't to be identified as XYZ because I live in a country where XYZers are executed.
  2. I don't wish to be categorized as XYZ because I'm not observant and don't believe in that stuff, notwithstanding my parentage and upbringing.
  3. I don't wish to be categorized as XYZ. I don't have to say why and I won't; it's my article, so please honor my request, thanks.
  4. I don't wish to be categorized as XYZ, and in fact I insist that you remove all the categorizations and related descriptions of me -- "born in 1957", "from Texas", "was graduated from Rutgers", "American", and so forth. All of these are gross simplifications and therefore falsifications of the complex reality that is me (or any human) and cast an unjustified overemphasis on certain aspects of my existence, which inherently detracts attention from other, more germane, aspects.
  5. I don't wish to be identified as XYZ because this implies a false dichotomy between "XYZ" and "non-XYZ" persons. I reality, everybody is XYZ (since, obviously, everyone is subject to the Law and the Judgement of the True God, XYZ) and the only difference is between those who know it and those who don't. My life's work is to get this understood and accepted by the world and I don't appreciate the Wikipedia undermining this. I'm willing to be categorized as an XYZer if and when the Wikipedia agrees to categorize all persons as XYZers, either observant or non-observant.

For #1 and #2, of course we would accede to the person's wishes. For #3, I don't know -- it would depend, I guess. But for #4 and #5? Not to sure about that, but I dunno. Maybe. It's in interesting question. If one's answer is "accept", this raises some further interesting questions, though. (BTW and FWIW I'd say that Brannan's position includes a bit of #4 and #5.) Herostratus (talk) 23:44, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Nope. Brannan's position seems to be that he doesn't think 'gay' is a meaningful categorisation - Can you explain why this is wrong? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:51, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
In some or perhaps many or most cases, I think it's probably true that the category is not meaningful. A good example might be Anderson Cooper even if he ever does self-identify as gay (as far as I know, he has not). The point there would be that none of what makes him notable or interesting has anything to do with being gay. Even if there has been some press coverage about his sexuality (there has been) and even if he confirms it (he has not) and even if that's worth mentioning in the article, it still would not be sensible to list him in a category of "gay television personality" because there's nothing about his sexuality that has anything to do with his career.
Having said all that, this isn't clear to me in the Brannan case. In the BLPN discussion the following points were raised by Hekerui: "If being gay is insignificant to his career, why does he joke about it in the intro to his official video for "Can't Have It All", makes a parody about having a guy's baby in "Housewife" and sings about a "Half-Boyfriend" (all songs on his first album), not to mention the unsimulated gay sex scene in Shortbus?" I don't think that's definitive, necessarily, but these are valid points.
To sum up: Anderson Cooper is a television presenter who, in his private life, completely unrelated to his career, possibly gay. Even if he confirmed his gayness, it might merit mention, but wouldn't be a defining characteristic. That's very different from someone whose very career is wrapped up with his gayness.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I think we are quite at liberty to describe the gay themes in his work, but should respect his wishes as to his private sexuality. We shouldn't second-guess people on that, as a matter of principle, irrespective of how "obvious" the matter may seem to us. (Heck, Jack White sang "Jolene", including the lyrics "Please don't take my man".) Categories require self-identification per WP:BLPCAT. Per the FAQ on his website, Brannan does not self-identify as an "LGBT musician". He takes strong exception to that label. What else is there to discuss? --JN466 18:33, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I also sometimes wonder if people are playing for sympathy, you know: "Any publicity is good publicity" where fighting Wikipedia becomes a publicity stunt. I'm not saying this applies in this case, but what are any guidelines being developed to downplay using complaints about WP to gain publicity? Mostly, we have discussed avoiding the inclusion of WP:UNDUE details, or a political ideal to not use Wikipedia to maintain Gestapo "hit lists" of Pink Triangle armbands for the next Holocaust (just recently saw The Pianist (2002 film) about the 500,000 Jewish Warsaw ghetto). So, we agree that WP is not "censored" (ideally), but we need to keep the adjust-guidelines conversation going to avoid fueling of publicity stunts, and to avoid hit-list categories (especially when people raise the volume about it). I'm half asleep, but someone please link to discussions about curtailing WP complaints to defuse publicity ploys. -Wikid77 05:06, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

WikiAlpha Using Wikipedia Platform to grow their site

It almost seems that this site is trying to compete with Wikipedia directly. This came up at the AN/I Noticeboard (I've since replied, that permalink is the diff. for what concerns me); namely, when an article is put up for deletion, there is now some weird bot running around notifying users that the article is being "preserved" on WikiAlpha. In other words, they are illegitimately using a bot on Wikipedia to advertise their own Wiki site.

In my opinion, this must be stopped. Also disconcerting is the fact that WikiAlpha looks almost identical to Wikipedia. If it wasn't for the logo in the top left and seeing that I am unable to post because I'm not logged in there (apparently anonymous editing is forbidden), I wouldn't have known the difference.

Is there something we can do about this issue beyond what admins. can? Can they be stopped from promoting themselves on our wiki network? Your input at AN/I would be welcomed on this and anything related. CycloneGU (talk) 04:17, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Relevant to this is Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Require Captcha for Special:EmailUser. I feel that legal action may be necessary to put an end to this if technical solutions do not work.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:39, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I am in agreement that legal action on the part of WMF may indeed be necessary (basically a cease and desist, and if failure of that, further action), yet I have been choosing not to state it aloud myself to this point. I will also refer to this VP bit at AN/I, however. Thanks for that. =) CycloneGU (talk) 04:53, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't consider them a big threat considering that the majority of editors on Wikipedia are well-educated people who would not allow a troll site like them replace us. I mean, it's no different from Encyclopedia Dramatica, and the current website of the former MyWikiBiz.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:05, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
No, they're not a threat at all. But nonetheless, because of the fact that the site looks exactly like Wikipedia, unaware observers could be coming across an article copied from Wikipedia at WikiAlpha instead. That would be a possible concern, that they are copying pages that are nominated for AfD and then when it's kept here trying to compete with us. Google is smarter than that, I would hope, and keep putting Wikipedia results first, but you never know. CycloneGU (talk) 05:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
But even more serious is admin Moonriddengirl (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)'s comment here, which seems to be a huge breach of community trust.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:14, 18 July 2011 (UTC) (This has been withdrawn - please see her talk page and my mentor's)
I wouldn't go that far. But at the same time, if the content is licensed under the Creative Commons license and she freely gives that information to WikiAlpha without properly attributing it to the original authors, then we have a copyright issue under the Creative Commons license, do we not? Please correct me if I am mistaken, I'm not the best source on legal information regarding the license, it's just my understanding. CycloneGU (talk) 05:21, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
If we delete an article, how can we still claim copyright on it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:24, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The material is still on the servers, and thus, the WMF still technically has all rights to it.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:25, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Even so, it strikes me as a classic Dog in the Manger scenario. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:42, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
How does this situation differ from the countless wikipedia mirror sites you can find via google or whatever? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:27, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Those sites seem to be unfavored by WMF, and more importantly, the servers there are not the WMF's. They attribute.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:29, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
What does "unfavored" mean? And as regards attribution, this WikiAlpha thing states out front that it's from wikipedia. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:30, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
WMF doesn't really like the mirrors, particularly the ones that directly load from Wikipedia. WikiAlpha doesn't seem to be really attributing to our editors who spend so much time here. It isn't the only trouble they're causing.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:32, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
So if wikialpha were strictly a "passive" mirror site, nobody would care all that much? And it's the e-mail spamming that's the main difference and the main problem? Or are there other issues? And I still question the complaint that they aren't attributing. They're saying that this stuff is coming from wikipedia. How is that not "attributing"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:39, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons License." Also, they're trying to release it all in the Public Domain. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:42, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

"Public domain" could be an issue. But back to attribution, are you saying that if they had a proper URL for wikipedia, instead of just saying "wikipedia", it would be OK? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:44, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Technically, yes, but they don't.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:45, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I know they don't. But if they did, would the attribution issue go away? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I made some comments at WP:ANI/N that relate to both discussions Nil Einne (talk) 07:20, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't normally comment on Jimbo's talk page, but I was seeing several people above weren't aware of the previous disputes, so I felt I had to list them here. The licensing dispute was discussed at WP:VPM with involvement from WikiAlpha admins. They acknowledged a licensing problem and stated they would work to fix it. Jasper, the comment you quoted from Moonriddengirl was directly related to this first discussion. They were again discussed at AN/I regarding the email spam, and they (then) pledged to stop it. Cue the current discussion where it appears they are again using the email system to notify users of copied articles. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 06:49, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia content is supposed to be freely released to the world. Using the combination of deletion and a Creative Commons license to maintain permanent control over Wikipedia content, by claiming the right of administrators to retroactively remove the right of people throughout the world to copy and use any arbitrarily chosen part of it, would make the entire project a lie. I sincerely hope this is not a legally viable argument - the CC says a link is attribution; it's not WikiAlpha's fault if Wikipedia won't serve it any more except to administrators. Wnt (talk) 14:19, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Attribution requirements are set out in full at Terms of Use and Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content. WikiAlpha has been advised to provide a list of contributors where articles are deleted, and I hope that they are doing so. They certainly seemed willing when I discussed the matter with them earlier and modeled the approach. (In cases where they could no longer access the list of contributors because the articles have been deleted, I've offered to pull up the history for them and did so with that and several other articles.) Jasper Deng is a bit confused about what I did and said to them; I've explained in response to his question at my own talk page. But it's important to note that there is an additional misunderstanding above: "the WMF still technically has all rights to it." The WMF does not own rights to it (except the right to use it as licensed, a right given to everyone); as per WP:C, "The Wikimedia Foundation does not own copyright on Wikipedia article texts and illustrations." Copyright is owned by contributors, who have the option to pursue remedy if their content is being misused; see WP:MIRRORS. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
What if they think other editors deciding to delete something is "misuse"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:37, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
From a copyright standpoint, they're out of luck. :) The license does not require perpetual publication. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:39, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the website is beyond ridiculous...all the wikialpha is is a site picking up the Wikipedia's sloppy seconds. If it was all just a safe haven for Transformers cruft and similar nonsense then I wouldn't give it a second thought, but one problem is their preservation of swilly like the Lewinsky neologism article. Tarc (talk) 14:58, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • They have 133 articles. http://annex.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page has 4,414 articles that were threatened on Wikipedia so they moved them over there. There use to be a deletion-pedia or something also. Plus when people start deleting articles, its common to copy their entire history over to a proper Wikia for them. You just have to put the tag that it originally came from here, and its fine. When people were mass deleting vast numbers of list articles, many were copied over to http://list.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page and the same way with other things. Whenever I save an article up for deletion, I always post on the talk page of the person who created it, telling them where to find it at now. If there is a problem with them emailing people, if anyone getting the email are actually complaining, then tell them to just get a bot to post a message on the user's talk page instead. Dream Focus 16:02, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I think some people have missed the hazard this idea poses to Wikipedia's mission. To give an example, suppose I wanted to set up a cheapo biotech stock information site with market data, commentary, and (reviewed and reworked) Wikipedia articles in a tab for each company. Then some deletionist goes on a spree and half the companies are deemed "not notable" (not at all implausible). Does that mean that everything I've done with that Wikipedia text immediately has to be deleted off my site, because it's "unattributed"? I hope not, but if so, then for any writer to copy text from Wikipedia - even with an attribution "to Wikipedia" - is really no different than copying text off a random Web page with an unknown author! Even if you check the article's existence, it's not safe to use, because the text could have been added by someone whose edit was revdeled or selective deleted on account of unrelated text that was present in the article at the time. Of course, Wikipedia also would be in violation of the same copyright terms in that instance...

I say: (1) authors ought to be safe to cite Wikipedia whether an article is deleted or not, because an admin acting properly like Moonriddengirl should help to ensure that attribution information is available to any third party (2) To avoid the risk that a legal case would disagree, Wikipedia should develop software to automatically provide a full list of editors on demand for any deleted article, no matter what the reason for deletion, except for authors using the "right to vanish" who would be deemed as making a request not to be attributed in the CC license. Wnt (talk) 17:03, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Are you recommending that editors in good standing should also be able to see their deleted stuff, and not just admins? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:50, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the suggestion is basically that when the article is deleted, the history tab remains visible. This is an interesting idea, as it could be useful from an attribution standpoint when articles are deleted. If, for example, content from article This has been merged into article That but the merger not noted on the talk page of article This, we currently are likely to create attribution issues if This is deleted. If we retain the history, we comply with license. (That said, rev deletion does comply with license, so that's not an issue; admins should know that with selective deletion they cannot retain content added by that contributor. I hope they do, anyway.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:56, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Excellent idea, and it would make WikiAlpha's primary reason for existence vanish. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:04, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, people wouldn't actually be able to see the content, if I'm understanding, but only the list of contributors, so it would look like this. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:15, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I was actually proposing even something a bit less - that the list of authors be visible, but not necessarily the edit summaries. I wouldn't mind including edit summaries, but people might complain they contain BLP violations, spam, etc. What's most important is that the bare minimum required attribution (which I think is the names) be available for every article, no matter what, both by individual queries and in a bulk download, so that writers can feel secure using Wikipedia content. Wnt (talk) 18:20, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
@MRG Plus the edit summaries, which, as an off-topic aside, look interesting around 3 Jan.--SPhilbrickT 18:48, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Good point. :) Not pretty, that! --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:49, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I was told that even if I do a full import of the entire history of an article, showing every person who contributed, it still wasn't legal unless I had the proper tag on it saying it was from Wikipedia and linking to the website and its history. Rather silly really. Using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Export gives you the option of exporting the most recent version of things or the entire history. Sometimes the entire history, even if just one article, is too long to import. If there was program to automatically take articles, their talk pages, their images, and the entire history, and save it as manageable pieces to someone's harddrive, so they could then upload it to Wikia or elsewhere, that'd be great. And change the rules to say hey, the entire history is here, no need to link back to where the article use to be before it was deleted on Wikipedia. Dream Focus 18:54, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Without commenting on the rest of the discussion the reason I still think there should be a link back to Wikipedia is because even with a full history dump you can't "truly" attribute because the usernames being referenced in the history 'exist' on Wikipedia (so the guy who edited it is User:Jamesofur@Wikipedia not User:Jamesofur@Wikialpha who could be me or could be someone else). James of UR (talk) 21:22, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
      • That's true, but I think that's currently the responsibility of the contributor. CC-by-SA requires display of "the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied and/or (ii) if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g. a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties...." We could give them that ability, but our Terms of Use do not provide for (ii); the only requirement being made by the Original Author is that any one of the three explicitly permitted practices be followed. I take comfort in the knowledge that even when legal names are used, they aren't generally unique. :D --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:49, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Related Question

I realize that all the content on Wikipedia is covered by the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and GFDL. My question is this. If someone copies information from here that is a violation of Wikipedia policies, like Verifiability or especially BLP, once it leaves Wikipedia, it won't be readily fixed or improved. So, my question is, what sort of responsibility do they have at that point, or do we have at that point? -- Avanu (talk) 15:43, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't see how wikipedia could have any responsibility for what's on someone else's website. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:54, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
True but traditionally we in the community have tried to assist people if there is a serious error which originated at Wikipedia. One problem is that plenty of mirrors are lazy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:12, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Maybe the current date and time could be imposed into the lead somewhere, when an article is saved? Then the mirrors will (or at least might) show how old the article's version is. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:23, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Jimbo, do you have any comment about WikiAlpha's spamming (above)? In any case, I don't see why mirrors try to copy us if they're lazy. You don't copy 3.6 * 106 articles if you're lazy. Yes, Baseball Bugs, I agree that it would be good to timestamp article revisions, but, the logistics of it are so complicated.Jasper Deng (talk) 19:25, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
You don't copy 3.6 * 106 articles if you're lazy.
More specifically, 3,686,878 articles (and growing) is more accurate. CycloneGU (talk) 22:28, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the phrase, "mirrors are lazy" refers to mirror websites not updating the copies for the latest revisions, which requires active uploads, or active comparisons of revisions/dates. It seems that mirror articles have been copied, years ago, and never updated, so that any prior vandalism or factual errors remain, as though Wikipedia keeps that problem text, indefinitely, when many text errors are corrected, in WP pages, within 6 months (but some new errors might be added also). -Wikid77 04:00, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If WikiAlpha copies material which later gets them sued, it's their fault. It is their responsibility to ensure that their content is not libellous. WMF doesn't hold the copyright for individual contributions, and once it'd deleted here they are no longer hosting the completed work either, so there shouldn't be any liability on WMF's behalf. Individuals who happen to have broken the law (copyvio) or posted things which would get them sued (libel) are still responsible for their contributions even if they're deleted here and escape into the wild, as the license to redistribute is irrevocable and thus ill-judged edits may be impossible to suppress. I suppose editors should be aware of that from the very beginning. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 18:23, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Female actor vs actress

I have proposed to split Category:Actors into actors and actresses in the same way male and female singers are split. However, there seems to be dispute that actress is no longer an acceptable term. I said to me Judi Dench will always be an English actress and it would seem natural to categorize her as a Category:English actresses. I need some input here as to what is desirable.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:19, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

IIRC it was decided by consensus a long long time ago to bring the two together and trash the "actress" concept. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 18:18, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
There was an ugly fight about it many many years ago. I say follow reliable sources, but that may be difficult to prove one way or the other. What do the style guidelines of the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian have to say about it? "Actress" is still in common usage with 22,637 hits in Google (news.google.co.uk). I don't think anyone can seriously argue with a straight face that it is offensive, but there could be an argument that it is no longer the WP:COMMONNAME, I don't know.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:30, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The Guardian incidentally published this article. It looks as if the word "actress" is going to become like "poetess". But right now I'd sya it is still is wide useage and most people still refer to female actors as actresses. We still have Best Actress Oscar , Best Actress Golden Globe etc. God I hate political correctness. As much as I loathe the word "bespoke" to refer to custom made goods. How in any way the word actress is demoralising or offensive to women beats me. For me is simply refers to a female actor.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:41, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
If we can say "female actor", then we should be able to say "actress". Its shorter, its well known, and its really saying the same thing. Regardless of what Whoopi Goldberg says, who is known for her wit and comic statements, there is no reason an "actress" can't play any part. Her logic from the Guardian article is pretty much a statement on equality in talent. The idea that society needs to entirely eliminate the ideas of male or female is sort of silly. -- Avanu (talk) 18:58, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
People who make a conscious decision to be easily offended will say, with a straight face, that it is offensive. People who aren't crazy will disagree. Resolute 19:02, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Things do get a little blurry in The Year of Living Dangerously, in which Linda Hunt, a woman playing a man named Billy Kwan, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting... Actress. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:22, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The way I see it is all the award ceremonies say "actor" as exclusive to male, and actress for female, no matter how politically correct you "want", actors/actresses are unionized in a guild (Screen Actor's Guild), perhaps we should respect whatever they use in reference to women who act, since that would be their official representative, and at the SAG awards as elsewhere I believe it is Actress and Actor. There is a no more accurate or definitive source for the names than SAG, primary or not. Feminists can decry and publish in secondary sources that it is offensive all they want, but in the end we dont go by what feminists call actresses, we go by what actresses call themselves. I cant publish that from now on all Canadians are to be called Northwest-by-west Australians and get Wikipedia to start putting individual Canadians into a category of that name, no matter how much it catches on, because Canada will (I hope) officially state their citizens are Canadians (though please do feel free to spread around my new name for Canadians). I see it problematic to state in an article that someone won "best actress" or was nominated for such but the category is that the person is a "female actor" (and if this succeeds we'll have to start using this terminology elsewhere in the article as well, or people will complain inconsistent and "offensive")Camelbinky (talk) 20:07, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we should endeavor to be ahead of any language curve which might prefer pushing a term such as "Actress" into antiquity. It is still in common vogue, entirely unoffensive, and easily understood. IMO My76Strat talk 20:25, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree, hence my surprise to be told that it is now politically incorrect to refer to actresses as such. Please copy your comments to the WP:Actors discussion as at the end of this a decision will be made whether or not to update femal actor articles and remove the term "actress".♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:27, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Camelbinky, I agree 100% that the Screen Actors Guild is the "official representative" of actors and that "there is a no more accurate or definitive source for the names than SAG". Therefore, please note that the opening sentence of the SAG mission statement is as follows: "Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors;" no mention of actresses although SAG counts many female members. Further, Screen Actors Guild Awards are presented to male actors and female actors, not actresses. All modern dictionary definitions define "actor" as a male or female member of the profession and there are dictionary definitions that call "actress" outdated and point out that "actor" should be used. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 20:45, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The SAG is notorious though for being politically correct. As being the "nation’s largest labor union representing working actors" they have to try to met the demands of all actors and try to be as a fair as possible. If there are quite a number of actresses like Helen Mirren etc who dislike the term "actress" then of course they have to look into it and speak in a way so not as to offend anybody. One wonders though how long it will be before [[Academy Award for Best Actress becomes Academy Award for Best Female Actor if this is a moving trend. It just looks wrong to me though. "Actor" is a masculine word. "Actress" is a feminine word. You wouldn't call a gay man for instance a Male lesbian. This is how weird it appears to me calling an actress a female actor. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:59, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Personal perceptions don't mean much. You think it's wrong to call Helen Mirren a female actor and I think it's wrong to call Darko Miličić a basketball player but what can you do. And actor is not a masculine word, dictionaries don't define it as such. It is the title of a profession into which women weren't allowed at all until the late 16th century and then they were only allowed in an inferior role and the word "actress" was coined at that time to differentiate them from full-fledged male actors. Occasionally, if an actress proved herself as good as a male actor, she was declared an actor herself and no longer an actress. It is from this original practice of assigning labels of inferiority to female members of the profession that the sense of inequality still arises today. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 21:17, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
We don't call a female Doctor a "Doctress". (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:26, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
But we do call a female parent "mother" and a male parent "father". So what's your point? As I recall Wikipedia is not about spreading or creating concepts or correcting the public. It is about reporting how the world IS, not how it should be.Camelbinky (talk) 21:26, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Words "mother" and "father" may be required for "clarity and precision" as per WP:MOS#Gender-neutral language but actor and actress aren't necessarily the same. And doctress actually used to be real word with a dictionary definition and common usage but was phased out over time, not unlike poetess, songstress etc; it was just no longer necessary. New words gain usage when they become needed and existing words become obsolete when they're no longer necessary to describe something for which a perfectly correct word already exists. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 23:01, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Feminism aside, common practice in English, like all Germanic languages and most non-Germanic as well (such as Arabic and Hebrew and Spanish) is for the masculine to be the gender neutral form. So actor is the word if refering to a group of mixed males and females and is the correct word for use for a generic "may be a male or a female but no clarification". It is only recent with the feminism movement in the English-speaking world and political correctness that we are forced now-a-days to use the grammatically awkward "he/she" every time we dont know the gender of someone and to consider words like "congresmen" as being gender specific when they were never intended to be so, in fact I find "congressmen and women" more offensive as a phrase than just "congressmen" because you are leaving out the word congress from their side. I was not aware that SAG uses "female actor" I was surprised, the Academy does use actress, but I guess if SAG uses female actor then I must support that wording, even though I personally disagree with their doing so.Camelbinky (talk) 02:39, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Comment: The British use actor for male and female (Judi Dench is an actor), Americans use actor and actress (Judi Dench is a actress). There's no need for any Americans to insult the British by claiming this is political correctness gone mad or to imply SAG is an international organization which sets international customs and style guides. There's also no need for anyone British to insist on calling an American an actor instead of an actress. Two countries separated by a common language and all that. Is mutual respect too much to ask for? 75.59.207.233 (talk) 16:35, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think there's any intent for inter-continental disrespect with this debate. The difference in opinion between editors involved applies across the board of the English language world. Same arguments exist on both sides of the Atlantic and I think it's best to use the same term (actor or actress, I will respect the consensus either way) for everyone to whom it may apply, ie a female thespian regardless of her geographical location. Big Bird (talkcontribs)
I disagree ip. I'm very British and I always refer to female actors as actresses, so does my mother, my father and most do in the media too. If it is dying out as a word, it most certainly is still in good health and will continue living.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think this is an easy decision, due to "Once notable, always notable". The name should be both, as "Category:Actresses" with redirect "Category:Female actors" and link an article to either depending on self-identified titles (in perhaps 2 multiple independent sources). If a female impersonator self-identifies as an "actress" than that should be enough, where the category-page text clarifies how the entries are self-identified with the category title (in WP:RS's). Having 200 categories for "female actors" and redirects as "actresses" will not "ruin" WP's performance. This is clear case of WP:NOTCENSORED, because editors cannot ban use of the long-known word "actresses". -Wikid77 05:52, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
    Nobody is trying to ban a word rather we're trying to use the most correct one available, not unlike the way we use "film" instead of "movie". Big Bird (talkcontribs) 08:48, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────All my usual sources on American and British style are conspicuously silent on the topic. I would argue, with unashamed British biases, that in the best tradition of classical liberalism, what is not forbidden is in the realm of individual judgement.

The Chicago Manual of Style, which uses frequent examples to illustrate its instructions, does indicate how one might tie oneself in knots about the matter. One of the illustrations says, in part —

A noun functioning as a subject (nominative case) is the actor or the person or thing about which an assertion is made in a clause, as in the governor delivered a speech ...

Does the grammatical sense of actor as a descriptor constitute guidance about the performer? Has political correctness mandated the modifier ‘person’? Is it Governor Geraldine Brown or Governess Geraldine Brown? If it’s Governor, why not also actor Geraldine Brown? Good grief. A frightfully stiff and schizophrenic approach to pedantry.

I did, however find a marvellous bit of prose that was really quite instructive as well in The Economist Style Guide —

It may be no tragedy that policemen are now almost always police officers and firemen firefighters, but to call chairmen chairs serves chiefly to remind everyone that the world of committees and those who make it go round are largely devoid of humour. Avoid also chairpersons (chairwoman is permissible), humankind and the person in the street – ugly expressions all.

It is no more demeaning to women to use the words actress, ballerina or seamstress than goddess, princess or queen. (Similarly, you should feel as free to separate Siamese twins or welsh on debts – at your own risk – as you would to go on a Dutch treat, pass through french windows, or play Russian roulette. Note, though, that you risk being dogged by catty language police.)

If you believe it is “exclusionary” or insulting to women to use he in a general sense, you can rephrase some sentences in the plural. Thus Instruct the reader without lecturing him may be put as Instruct readers without lecturing them. But some sentences resist this treatment: Find a good teacher and take his advice is not easily rendered gender-neutral. So do not be ashamed of sometimes using man to include women, or making he do for she.

And, so long as you are not insensitive in other ways, few women will be offended if you restrain yourself from putting or she after every he.

My own opinion: it is sad to witness language tortured and litigiously prosecuted to serve egos and ideology rather than the conscious purpose for which it is used by the writer. Regards, Peter S Strempel | Talk 05:10, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Sean Hoare

I started Sean Hoare based on the fact I believe him to be notable in his own right based on his past achievements as a journalist. Yet it is proposed to be merged based on "ONEVENT". Input here is required to decide whether to keep or merge.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:13, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I started Glenn Mulcaire and eventually came to the conclusion that there isn't enough information about him to create a real biography. I haven't looked into this one yet.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:20, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes that looks a very similar case, although there appears to be a little more info in this article. Perhaps more information will become available on this Hoare guy in the coming days. I definitely think they are notable in their own right as journalists, in my view long-time journalists who write for the top newspapers in the UK or US and any other country should be notable enough. Often it takes a WP:ONEEVENT and WP:RECENTISM to identify these individuals in the same way often events such as natural disasters often identify missing articles on notable villages, politicians and organizations. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:42, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Just read a flash news report about Mulcaire, apparently the Murdochs have admitted that News of the World is still paying his legal fees. When somebody is the centre of world media attention it is difficult to ignore it. I'm against a lot of WP:ONEEVENT biographies and feel that they are often best summarized in the article on the event but sometimes they are notable for their profession and qualify for a biography, especially if reliable sources beyond news turn up the goods.. As I said I think we should have articles on journalists for such top newspapers as this regardless of events. The difficulty I've found is finding reliable sources and much biographical info about them. One missing I know of is Joy Gould Boyum,a notable US film critic and professor of English, appears in the Clint Eastwood article. If they are mentioned in multiple books that's usually very positive... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:33, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The Shafta award bit sounds like it makes this a BLP2E, at least. But there's something very mysterious about it. It is something of a joke or nasty award [2] apparently given for Hoare's article about the Beckhams buying a house on an island not panning out in 2006. There's an apparently unrelated porno SHAFTA Award started in 2010 that gets a lot more hits on Google, but that's probably just because the interwebs are full of wankers. :) I'd expect some people from previous conversations to strongly object to this with rosy red BLP glasses, but since it's a negative article about a Murdoch whistleblower, perhaps they'll be all for it... Wnt (talk) 18:08, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Television X's version of the BAFTAs.. Well to claim to keep it based on the fact he won a Shafta is um pretty weak... The non x-rated verison for newspapers is sort of a razzie for lame newspaper story. Haa I like that one, the "Michael Fish award for worst prediction", that's a classic. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:19, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Need an objective formula to measure notability: I have been thinking of creating an "objective" mathematical formula to estimate levels of notability, reaching from WP:BLP1E into "WP:Individual notability" based on a checklist of criteria. When someone is called a "whistleblower" then I would rank that aspect very high, as indicating a separate notable "occupation" or distinctive "major role in a notable event". We have had similar notability debates about UN officials, because they have only negotiated peace agreements to avoid just one nuclear conflict (but probably constitutes a notable life, alongside playing association football for money; isn't nuclear warfare a kind of serious sport, where the UN has a major team roster? ...role: "nuclear goalie" to prevent a hit?). Anyway, a formula to estimate notability could correct for such absurd differences in judging notability. -Wikid77 06:28, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
You realise, of course, that your criteria are entirely subjective. The fact you rate "whistleblower" as highly notable is just your opinion, and there could be instances where the word whistleblower means little (e.g. stories in a local paper), a single title does not correlate to a major role in a notable event. Any formula would be based on subjective rules Jebus989 06:38, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I think it is a good idea but you'd have to be strict and avoid subjective content. The way I see it there is a difference between a WP:BLP1E biography in which the individual has done nothing of consequence in their life and is notable for nothing more than causing an incident or accusation and an event which brings a biographical subject to light, who, whilst perhaps being most famous for that event, has a previous career which meets notability requirements in its own right. For instance many articles on current affairs, from the Middle eastern protests to earthquakes and other disasters identify many notable individuals such as cabinet members in "obscure" countries or notable officials which can be started from the event. It sometimes takes such an event to identify such people. We all know how poorly developed parts of wikipedia have been before certain events, like the Haiti earthquake for instance. And as a result related content developed massively.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:31, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I say this not in an moody way... but. The thing that annoys me is that when I ask a polite question of those arguing that subject is notable outside of one event it seems to get ignored - in favour of you all arguing with each other :S At the end of the day, you have to support assertions of notability with sources - too many AFD's or other forms of discussion descend into "me too" quotations of policy without any substance, and the closures don't even begin to question the arguments being made (both in support and opposition). So little care is taken in !voting. In this case I'd argue that any RS about the individual dating from the last week or so (since his death) sits squarely in BLP1E territory. I think we definitely need sources dating from before the recent furore to establish that he was actually separately notable for these prior things. Whilst there are sources dating from before this year, none of them have any substance. There are many hundreds of tabloid journalists, quite a few of whom have won "shafta's" and other unmentioned awards. Absolutely none of them have sourcing that exists. It is definitely not tenable to say "well these sources dating from today also mention things he did in the past". If they weren't raised in any detail at the time, well, their not significant coverage outside of that one event (as we ask for) - this example is a classic combination of NOTNEWS and ONEEVENT
@Wikid77; we do have an objective assessment - we require significant coverage in in dependant reliable sources relating to more than one event in an individuals life. I would definitely be interested to see a tool for weighting the coverage of an individual on such a scale (though it would be an epic undertaking to obtain and parse the information in a meaningful way, as I hope it would not simply look at Google News; a form of sourcing which tends to have the lowest of weight). However, proposing that "whistleblowers" have a specific extra weight in such a scheme is exactly the problem you'd be hoping to address :S It's a subjective judgement that Whistleblowers are inherently notable... Certainly, I will be interested to see what you come up with. --Errant (chat!) 19:19, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Marcus Bachmann

See also: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Marcus Bachmann

Marcus Bachmann has become a magnet for mostly negative material about the subject. As of 10:33, 20 July 2011 (UTC) there are currently 19 sources in the article, which are mostly about the criticism his clinic has received. Aside from a brief mention about his early life in one AP article, there are virtually no biographical sources on the subject beside his own personal web page. Looking through the paid news abstracts, prior to the controversy over his wife's political beliefs and his business practice, I can find no sources about the subject, except for a letter to an editor he wrote a long time ago. This is someone who has attempted to stay out of the news for a very long time. Granted, the spotlight is on him because he is the husband of Michele Bachmann, but the current biography article reads like an attack on his religion, his business, and his political beliefs. Viriditas (talk) 10:33, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

What i'm drawing from this is, if you have an AfD that isn't going your way, take it over to Jimbo's talk page, because if you can get him to agree with you, then you can immediately close it on your side of the discussion. If you had presented this in a neutral manner, just asking him to look at the discussion and come up with his own opinion, that would be one thing, but you're trying to actively sway him to one side before he has even looked at the discussion. SilverserenC 11:11, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I did not ask Jimbo to vote on the AfD, nor did I vote delete, nor were my comments about the AfD, so your allegations are entirely without merit. Viriditas (talk) 11:16, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Of course you're not asking him to vote, you're asking for his opinion, but doing so in a non-neutral manner. If you had just said "There is currently an AfD going on about Marcus Bachmann, Michele Bachmann's husband. What is your opinion about the article?" that would have been completely fine. But, instead, you asked him in a paragraph that also states a slew of reasons that you are correct and the other side is wrong. And you voted redirect, which requires the same arguments as delete would. SilverserenC 11:21, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Where the issue is the imminent shitstorm in the mainstream media that occurs because the usual suspects have written yet another attack piece on a relative of a famous US conservative, I don't see what the problem is in letting Jimbo know about it. Try for five minutes to see this as a BLP issue rather than yet another AfD to win, why dontcha. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 11:24, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
BLP issues are things that should be fixed in discussion on the article's talk page, but that wasn't done. That wasn't even tried. I see it as a BLP and I see it as an article that we should improve and remove any POV issues. Unfortunately, the users who have issues with the article aren't contributing to improving it. And that's just regardless of the fact that BLP issues have nothing to do with notability, they are completely different subjects. If an article has BLP issues, we need to fix them, but it is certainly not a valid argument for deletion. SilverserenC 11:31, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Er, I've been discussing BLP concerns on the article talk page, and you've been obsessively disrupting the discussion just as you are doing here. I started the BLP concerns discussion at 10:26[3] and posted this thread at 10:33.[4] So when you say that this "wasn't even tried", what the heck are you talking about? Please, stop interfering. Viriditas (talk) 11:36, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
No, you've been continually repeating how the article should be redirected. You have yet to actually suggest a way to improve the article in terms of the BLP issues that you're commenting on. If you actually suggest manners of improvement, then we'll have a good discussion going on and we can start work on fixing the article. Your comments since then have been nothing but complaining about how the article shouldn't be around. Please present improvements, as I would also like to improve the article and fix the problems with it. SilverserenC 11:42, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I've made nothing but comments about how to improve the article, from the moment it was created.[5][6] This entire thread is full of nothing but false statements from Silver seren. Viriditas (talk) 11:47, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
You did at the beginning a few days ago, yes, which is why i'm so perplexed on why you've switched your opinion so much. But, regardless, I haven't made any false statements, go look at the links I linked above. If you can start suggesting ways to improve or fix any "attack" bits that you commented earlier are in there, then we'll be getting somewhere. Until then... SilverserenC 11:53, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Relevant essay: Appeals to Jimbo Jebus989 12:05, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't think it was necessary to link that, when I could just explain the whole non-neutral thing. Oh, and I would like to note that within an hour after this section on Jimbo's talk page was made, two new delete votes showed up. Like I said, I expected as much. SilverserenC 12:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
People have different reasons for posting on Jimbo's page. Perhaps they're losing an argument somewhere which may not be a good reason to post here. People may post here, however, because they genuinely want Jimbo's opinion because of his implied role as visionary leader of Wikipedia, or they may be trying to bring more visibility to an issue because Jimbo's talk page is one of the most watched user talk pages in Wikipedia. If people post here for the latter two reasons, I think that's fine. Of course, Jimbo may disagree with me. Cla68 (talk) 04:32, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • And I suppose I might as well present this source here, since so many people are going to see this discussion and only see what Viriditas wrote. It's sources like this that show Marcus' notability. SilverserenC 13:25, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Newspapers' blog section should be treated like OpEds are, in terms of notability establishment, honestly. This is indicative of a larger problem we're having with notability thresholds. Maybe 5 years ago, getting coverage in 2+ reliable sources was a good hurdle to have to overcome. But now we have pretty much achieved total media saturation. Everything from the critical to the banal is instantly posted, reposted, retweeted, podcasted, and Nancy Graced to excruciating, painful detail. I mean, sweet jesus, we actually had to hold an AfD on that woman who walked into the mall fountain last year! The bar is far, far too low, and more and more editors are relinquishing all editorial control and discretion in favor of simplistic "2 RSes == article" formulations. Rule-following has replaced brains, common sense, and good judgement. And that doesn't even get into the aspects of agenda-driven editing that plague the Wikipedia lately, from santorum to lewinsky to bachmann. Tarc (talk) 14:02, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Tarc and other editors have also raised legitimate concerns about whether Wikipedia is being used by advocacy groups to attack BLP's. Viriditas (talk) 14:07, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I thought that had already moved beyond "whether" territory. Regardless of whether as individual editors we agree with a particular POV or not, if we selectively enforce BLP based on personal feelings we've basically lost. And the default policy when it comes to BLP is always harm-avoidance. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 14:30, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Silver, I know that the presentation of this to Jimbo was one-sided, I completely agree with you. But it's Jimbo we are talking about, he's not going to just go by one person's statement, if has time to get involved he's going to look at all the evidence before weighing in, you know that just as much as I do. You shouldnt be getting sucked in to engaging Viriditas and upset yourself over this. Relax.Camelbinky (talk) 14:55, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a choice. We can let editors add well-sourced, accurate information they find which agrees with their personal political perspective. Or we can let editors delete information they find whenever it disagrees with their personal political perspective. The first option gives us finely detailed articles where both sides eventually get all the facts in place. The second leaves us with a war zone with people voting on AfDs like this based on straight politics without so much as a fig leaf of policy to conceal it. Now you might ask, is there a third option, couldn't we all just add stuff impartially? But the thing is, political viewpoint is like any other field of expertise - people know their own side's information more than the other's. Besides, simply getting partisans to stop wrecking the encyclopedia and abusing every administrative mechanism from AfD to ArbCom to try to impose their will would be an impressive enough achievement. Wnt (talk) 15:40, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
There is a third option, but the way you have presented it has no merit. We can try, irrespective of political views, to get people to edit within our policies and guidelines, and to do so in ways that respect the spirit of those policies as opposed to simply trying to find loopholes in them and ways to get around them that are "technically" OK in order to push a POV. In BLP areas I argue for things that are completely against my personal political objectives all the time (e.g. Santorum, Bachmann, etc.). Indeed I would venture to say a majority of the time. I do so because I find that on Wikipedia our BLP policy is much more important than who wins a political election because if we do not strive to keep our principles of neutrality, verifiability and sensitivity to living subjects, etc. then we are no better than a blog, a social media site or USENET where individual users have the freedom to say whatever they want. I don't want to be part of a project that says -- have at it with your POV warring, in the end you'll all even each other out. No thanks. That could be a disaster for BLP, because in the end, factions of like minded POV warriors will make concessions for what they feel is the "greater political good." What we want people to do is to strive for the greater encyclopedia good. We should welcome those who have adopted internal policies as their most salient ideological imperative in editing the encyclopedia, as opposed to external political forces.Griswaldo (talk) 15:55, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree Griswaldo that we want editor's who are so neutral and can put aside their own bias, I wish sometimes I could as well, which is why I stay away from political topics editing even though political science was my major in college and what I am pursuing my master's in (very slowly). We do have to confront reality that political campaigning SOP pretty much demands the use of "vandalizing" Wikipedia in favor of one's candidate and the spamming of the opponent. I attempted to stop such spamming against Albany, NY mayor Jerry Jennings in latest primary campaign in as much of a NPOV manner as I could bring myself to do. We'll see this more and more as campaigns continue to be run by and for and towards more tech-savvy and tech-oreinted individuals. We've already seen how twitter, facebook, youtube, and other social media can be a great source of rallying the base and raising money. Wikipedia is the next battleground. If I went back into working on campaigns the first thing I'd do is send scores of interns to Wikipedia; I would feel bad, but in the end the demands of real-world job in this instance would conflict with Wikipedia's policies, my personal honor would prevent me from personally doing anything on Wikipedia, but hey, interns can do what they want. I'm just basically saying, we need to understand why and maybe the solution is a complete and utter ban on editing the biographies of any politician (unqualified hack with no experience as such) who has declared running for office (or reelection). New information during a campaign is always going to be covered in Wikinews, and we are specifically NOT news nor should be a source for people to go to in order to make a decision on voting. So basically take away the incentive people have for political warring in the first place.Camelbinky (talk) 16:58, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we can end the war, nor should we nuke the battleground - but we can make the war productive through the right sort of Geneva Convention. If we can get both sides scouring their literature for points to make and add, and crack down on those taking stuff out based on all kinds of bogus explanations and "ethics", then we can end up with incredibly detailed articles that make it clear to the reader what people from every point of view are thinking. That is the best possible outcome. Wnt (talk) 17:54, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Up until now I'd always at least understood even the most extreme inclusionist position (if not sympathised with it), but I genuinely don't even comprehend this one. How specifically do you propose, once a seriously negative point has been added to an article, that this can be remedied simply by adding new material? "Multiple sympathetic points of view" (making it "clear to the reader what people from every point of view are thinking") was tried at wikinfo, and look where that got it. Is it simply that to you, deletion is so utterly wrong that it must always be the opposite of the correct solution to a problem? Has it not occurred to you that a great deal of the problems we have with BLPs are being exacerbated by folk whose ideological opposition to the removal of content means they are acting as enablers for the smear brigade? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 18:07, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
As long as the "smear brigade" is using reliable sources to add content that has been published as true, we should enable them - especially in politics, where smears are a substantial chunk of everything that happens. This idea of giving a biography about a politician without covering all the nasty stuff ... that's just some kind of Pollyanna world. The best we can do is, when a smear is made and the flaws start to show, we cover those flaws and present as vigorous a defense of the subject as has been published. Wnt (talk) 20:28, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
That's not the best we can do. That's the best you are willing to do. You keep on presenting your own personal POV as if it is inescapable. Like I said in my last edit summary. Hogwash. Some of us, thankfully, don't share your view that Wikipedia is best off in some Hobbsian war of all against all, and think that we are quite capable of doing better, and that we ought to strive for that.Griswaldo (talk) 21:10, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Quite. Wnt's fantasy Wikipedia is a world of permanent swiftboating. This is the real danger of taking the "anything people say about Pokemon should be added to our encyclopedia" attitude and applying it to people whose lives can be seriously altered by what the Internet says about them. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 23:53, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
If by "permanent swiftboating" you mean I think we should keep Swift Vets and POWs for Truth permanently, then by all means I'm for it. But this constant complaining by Viriditas and Griswaldo and Tarc about the fact we have articles about stuff, and the rancor it brings - that's the Hobbesian war I want to end.
As for "seriously altering a person's life", we're talking about a would-be First Man here. Where do you people find all this unctuous sympathy for celebrities and politicians? They have all the money and power, they want to tell people what they can and can't do, they want to reduce certain sexual minorities to a state of oppression, and the thought that by disseminating published knowledge the collected editors of Wikipedia might briefly bring a frown to their faces is all you care about?! Wikipedia is about providing people with knowledge, which is power; it is an equalizer, and that's how it should be. I make no apology for it, and I make no retreat from it. Wnt (talk) 04:09, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Your usage renders the word "knowledge" virtually meaningless. Maintaining a democratic and just society requires affording the same protections to all people, however unctuous we may find them. I really don't think there is more to say in answer to your comment. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 04:45, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's meaningless at all. Before I decide whose lever to pull in the voting booth, I don't just want to know that Michelle Bachmann makes a few funny gaffes - I want to know that her husband, whom she is Biblically bound to obey, runs a clinic which (on occasion) does quack "treatments" to "cure" homosexuals. That is the most basic kind of honest political reporting that Wikipedia should be doing - a core mission to provide people with the knowledge they need to have meaningful control over their country's future. It's not a frill, not an indulgence. The first and most important protection in a democratic and just society is freedom from censorship! Wnt (talk) 14:31, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── He-said-she-said is not "honest political reporting". It boggles the mind that anyone remotely familiar with this practice as extolled in the US media would consider it to be a good thing. But well done for playing the "censorship" card, because obviously people who disagree with you are censors. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 14:35, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

a core mission to provide people with the knowledge they need to have meaningful control over their country's future - Nowhere does it say that this is a concern of Wikipedia's, nor any other reference source. This is an encyclopedia and not a news organization. Our mission is not to keep apace with the 24 hour news cycle or the demands for information on candidates during election cycles for that matter. Now, clearly the issue here goes deeper than that since what we're talking about isn't simply that kind of information even, but the stuff of tabloid journalism and political torpedoing.Griswaldo (talk) 16:37, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
      • No, Tarc, it is definitely not an OpEd, it is an article made by New York Times staff, as it specifically says, and it is just labeled as a blog. It clearly falls under WP:NEWSBLOG. And, Viriditas, you forgot to mention that Tarc has been attacking other editors. See here for one example and here for accusations of "personal crusades". And i'm surprised you don't remember him being condescending toward you, Viriditas, right here. If you consider "raising legitimate concerns" to be insulting and denigrating other users, then sure, he was raising legitimate concerns, he was raising them all over that AfD. SilverserenC 20:48, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
        • It helps to actually read what I said rather than what you imagine I said...to wit, these blogs should be treated as OpEds. I am well aware of how they are used at this time. As for "attacks", what people like you are doing...trashing living people under the guise of writing article content...is far, far worse than me bluntly deflating some thin-skinned egos. Tarc (talk) 21:30, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
          • See, there you go again. "People like you", huh? SilverserenC 21:38, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Editors are living people too. Let's treat each other with at least as much respect we treat article subjects. Civility is a requirement, not a suggestion.   Will Beback  talk  21:40, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
            • And as I told you when you pestered my talk page a few weeks ago Will, BLP is a requirement as well. I don't place the same level of "living people" importance on anonymous Wikipedia editors as I do to public figures. This is a discourse that 99% of America will never see; Marcus Bachmann's slur of an article is viewable by billions. So forgive me if I take a rhetorical piddle on your attempt to equivocate the two. Tarc (talk) 22:03, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
              • You never actually say how the article is a slur, you just repeat that charge over and over, in uncivil terms. Can you please give a few examples of the slurs or factual inaccuracies found on wp:Marcus Bachmann so that we may fix them? --David Shankbone 22:17, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
                • I've been asking that for a while now on the talk page and given no answer. Maybe because if you're told the issues and fix them, then people won't be as apt to vote delete in the AfD and, of course, we can't have that. SilverserenC 22:25, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
                  • Ahh. Intellectual dishonesty. Refreshing. I have given the reason several times over, beginning with the nomination rationale, but here's the CliffsNotes. Marcus Bachmann is not notable in his own right. An article has been created on him under the false pretenses of writing a biography, when in reality it serves as a platform to attack Michele Bachmann and reparative therapy. There is no fix possible for something that should not have ever existed in the first place. Tarc (talk) 01:06, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
                    • You're conflating two things that don't go together. Non-notability and BLP issues are totally separate subjects. Your non-notability arguments should be all that is being said in the AfD. BLP issues are things that, if the article is kept, should be dealt with and fixed then in the article. Notability has nothing to do with BLP issues. BlP issues are an interior writing problem that we have to fix, but that doesn't affect the notability of the subject. If it did, the moment someone vandalized Obama's article with slanderous things, we'd have to delete it, since that would mean he's non-notable now that his article has BLP issues. Is that what you're saying we should do? SilverserenC 01:19, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
                    • So no factual inaccuracies, no slurs. It just boils down to WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Understood. --David Shankbone 02:54, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
                      • Silver seren you are profoundly confused about how Wikipedia is meant to function. WP:GNG is simply a "guideline" to establish the bare minimum for inclusion in the encyclopedia. WP:GNG does not in any way provide and imperative for inclusion. Indeed actual policies, of which WP:BLP is one, may clearly show us why something that might otherwise be "notable" in a general sense should not be included in the encyclopedia. The idea that only WP:GNG tells us what should be included or not included in the encyclopedia is quite frankly backwards. Only policies establish an imperative for deleting something. You, and your buddies need to break your memorizing gaze upon WP:GNG, take it off the altar you have placed it on, and realize that there are much more important rules here to follow. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 03:07, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
To be clear, the policy about notability is what, ahem, certain people brandish about, and WP:GNG is what is supposed to limit it. Wnt (talk) 04:09, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
To be clear, there is no policy about notability, and that is exactly my point. Ahem.Griswaldo (talk) 04:26, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:BLP has nothing to with notability beyond the singular WP:BLP1E. If you're going be using that as an argument, fine, though no one has yet. Other than that, the rest of BLP only deals with how an article should be written on a subject, not what subjects we write articles on. Notability has specifically to do with the WP:GNG and any of the special notability guidelines. Add in a dash of WP:RS and WP:V and that's it, that's what notability, not BLP. Again, BLP is about how the article should be written. It has nothing to do with notability of a subject. SilverserenC 05:05, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
So it does have something to do with notability, and indeed something that pertains rather pressingly here. That said you fail to understand the larger point or else you're simply ignoring it. There is nothing about "notability" that says we must have an article about any given subject. Notability guidelines merely establish a bare minimum for inclusion. If something doesn't meet those guidelines it should never be included. Policies, on the other hand, can tell us when something needs to be deleted -- whether that something is an entire article, sentence in an article or merely a word. You have the mistaken impression that when deciding what should or should not be deleted the only guiding principle is one section of the notability guideline WP:GNG. You are so mistaken about this that you also seem to believe that anything that satisfies WP:GNG to the letter needs to be included in the encyclopedia. You also claim that policies should be disregarded when deciding on what entries should or should not be deleted, because you think policies only have a place when deciding on specific content questions within existing entries. It is at that point that your misunderstanding becomes a more serious problem. Do you understand? Because policies are the most important rules we have here, not guidelines.Griswaldo (talk) 05:29, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
We have six content policies: WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, WP:V, WP:AT, WP:BLP, WP:DP. None of these content policies have to do with notability of a subject for inclusion on Wikipedia. They all have to do with what sort of content should be within Wikipedia articles and how information within articles should be presented. They do not define what articles we have, thus, we do not have a policy concerning notability. I do wonder why WP:N was never made a policy, but that really doesn't matter. SilverserenC 06:00, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
That mantra of yours is an epic logic fail. None of these content policies have to do with notability of a subject for inclusion on Wikipedia. For the last time, "inclusion on Wikipedia" is not simply a matter of "notability." What about that do you not understand? We do exclude entire articles for policy reasons. For instance look at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion - particularly G5, G7, G10-12 but really all of them since the very page is a policy itself. See also Wikipedia:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people for a very specific policy that leads to deletion. In more general terms, and AfD is decided through consensus, but as such policy compliance is the primary issue it revolves around. From the deletion policy - "These processes are not decided through a head count, so participants are encouraged to explain their opinion and refer to policy." From the AfD guidelines - "When making your case or responding to others, explain how the article meets/violates policy rather than merely stating that it meets/violates the policy." Do you still not understand? Yes, nothing is to be included if it doesn't meant general notability, but articles that do meet the bare minimum threshold for inclusion absolutely must be compliant with policy. You are either willfully ignoring the deletion policy or you are somehow so wrapped up in your inclusionist ideology as to have become delusional about the importance of WP:GNG. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 13:32, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
What's clear from the arguments against the biography isn't that Bachmann isn't notable or not worthy of inclusion, it's that he's controversial. As Viriditas wrote at the top of this thread, the biography reads like "an attack on his religion, his business, and his political beliefs." The problem is that there is no commentary on there, it's just his positions--with no speculation--that have been covered in the press. Somehow, explaining Marcus Bachmann's positions and why the press have focused on him is an attack, yet everything in that biography is undisputed as factual. --David Shankbone 12:45, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
What's clear is that you have created a political attack page. As to notability WP:BLP1E and WP:NOTINHERITED apply. What is becoming more clear at the moment is that your political attack page is fair game for inclusion in an upcoming arbitration case. Hopefully this and other political gaming will be dealt with adequately in that venue. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 13:42, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
If covering political information that one side finds embarrassing is reason to call in ArbCom - and only one side, you don't see Anthony Weiner sexting scandal coming up there - I hope they will consider seriously which side is disrupting Wikipedia. Is it the people who add valid edits with well sourced, relevant information? Or is it the people who run around to every forum on Wikipedia complaining that it is somehow unethical for us to tell the readers what the press has printed? Wnt (talk) 14:41, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you seriously suggesting that it's only conservatives who take umbrage at Wikipedia being used like this? I remember the rescue squad types doing a good job of running around "every forum on Wikipedia" screaming about censorship because Barack Obama's article wasn't devoted entirely to his birth certificate not that long ago. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 14:51, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Wnt, my political organ hangs firmly to the left, but for the good of the project I try to keep in my pants. I can't say the same for a whole lot of other people around here unfortunately.Griswaldo (talk) 15:41, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

  • Question (without taking sides! so it is for both and not intended to mean I support either position)–How is the person we are talking about notable? How many other spouses of congressmen (or congresswomen) have articles? Because she's a declared candidate for the Republican nomination for President? How many other declared candidates from the Republican Party have their spouses with a Wikipedia article. Is there something specific about this man, separate from the notability of his wife.Camelbinky (talk) 08:23, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think Camelbinky knows that, they just wanted a more specific answer. SilverserenC 08:51, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes Silver, thank you. In this entire discussion which was supposed to help Jimbo and others understand this better no one had bothered to lay it out. It was devolving into a rehash of arguments from somewhere else. Thank you Silver for helping educate me a bit more on this subject.Camelbinky (talk) 18:48, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • All of these other spouses have actually done things that are notable, Marcus Bachmann has not. They gay community not liking an anti-gay conservative is not notable, and that is the only reason he is in the news to any degree. Tarc (talk) 15:21, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • There's the flaw in your thinking right there. "Notable" does not mean "surprising"! It's like the debate about the royal visit to Canada recently - no, it wasn't surprising or unusual; but yes, the media would remember and point out the next time they visited that they visited this time, and even ordinary Canadians would remember. It was notable; indeed, it was noted. Also, your position extends to absurd conclusions - Fred Phelps isn't notable because obviously anyone would object to someone protesting a funeral? Doesn't matter if it's unsurprising or boring or obvious - only whether the reliable sources have noted it. Wnt (talk) 20:01, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Please see WP:NOTNEWS and WP:INDISCRIMINATE. Do know how many things are "noted" by the media every day? Do you know how many of them should have entries on Wikipedia? Where does this idea come from that every piece of information that exists in a reliable sources simply must be added to Wikipedia? Honestly, where the heck does that come from? All the policies, guidelines and essays I read seem to point out all the ways in which we limit the kinds of information we can put into the encyclopedia.Griswaldo (talk) 20:36, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Deletionists blatantly misuse policies like that. NOTNEWS says clearly that breaking news should not be treated differently from other information. It is not a statement that Wikipedia has to be years obsolete, no matter how desperate certain people are to interpret it that way. Every single time it is mentioned in a deletion discussion, it is always used incorrectly. I have previously proposed that it be scrapped entirely, because its actual purpose - ruling out feel-good hometown coverage of weddings and high school sports games and such - is just not worth the abuse. Wnt (talk) 06:55, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Marcus Bachmann is more than a news event. "Where does this idea come from that every piece of information that exists in a reliable sources simply must be added to Wikipedia?" For some of us who have been around for quite of few years, that idea probably comes from Jimmy Wales's inspiring quote, "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." Marcus's article is receiving over 3,000 hits a day; by comparison, Jimmy Wales receives about 1000 and Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of Dennis, who has done nothing notable, receives around 100. It does Wikipedia harm when people come to us looking for information about a subject and we don't have it, particularly one that meets all of our guidelines and policies. This article is being considered for deletion for reasons outside of why we purport to exist. --David Shankbone 21:27, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
It shouldn't, but it does, because if he were pigeonholed in there, the same people who wanted his article deleted would, with a bit more validity, complain that saying anything much important about him was "undue weight". BLPs are best separated out to at least one per individual whenever possible - and in this case it is more than possible, but the obvious way to handle it. Wnt (talk) 21:57, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
My question was specifically addressed to David Shankbone, who created the article. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:02, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I think Wnt hit on the issue I raised on Talk:Marcus Bachmann, which is that I myself am concerned it would create weight issues, and her article is pretty long as it is. There are over 20 sources (and more could be added) on Marcus's article, and it's hard to imagine that we could do our readers justice by condensing it down to a paragraph when enough information is out there to give him an article in his own right. I would have argued that we needed a Karl Rove article when GWB was running for President, and I also think it's important we have a Marcus article because, for the first time in our country's history, we have a contender for the Presidency who has stated she is Biblically commanded to be submissive to her husband.[10][11][12] The role he would play in her administration is not insignificant, so IMHO neither are his views, his work and his background. Some of the arguments on here seem to want to protect Marcus from his own views; views that neither he nor his wife are ashamed to have. --David Shankbone 23:36, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • As a specific example, here is a source from 2008 where he was interviewed on KKMS for his center. SilverserenC 08:51, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • All you're doing is clawing about desperately for every scrip and scrap that mentions this person's name. This reminds me of the AfD for that reporter that had the aneurysm on-air last year. When the actual episode/event wasn't sufficient, people went trawling through one-line blurbs about regional emmys and other scant coverage. A mountain of pebbles isn't really a mountain, its it really just a large pile of tiny things. You have a person here clinging to the barest technicalities of the notability gudelines, and you are desperately trying to plug the holes of a sinking AfD. Tarc (talk) 15:21, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I would question whether being a spouse is really a 1E, as in a BLP1E. I believe we accept that a First Lady is a notable position - and as Hillary Clinton has shown, not purely a horizontal one. And if being a First Man isn't a 1E, then maybe being a candidate for First Man isn't a 1E either. Rather it is an involvement in a lengthy series of individual events, each of which is notable. I think we should draw the conclusion not only that Bachmann is notable, but that all candidate First Ladies and First Men are notable, without exception. Certainly this is not such a terrible expansion of Wikipedia's coverage, much more reasonable than what is typical regarding athletics. Wnt (talk) 15:33, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
We have an article on the President's dog: does that make Bachmann's pets automatically notable because she wants to be the President? I would have thought that you'd at least be aware of elementary points of the notability guidelines such as that they aren't inherited, but maybe that's just me assuming a little too much good faith. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 16:18, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
If people start writing newspaper articles all about the Bachmanns' dog(s), I don't see why not. What possible harm is there in it? And if the dog somehow becomes a political issue, then by all means we should cover it. I mean, if some editor on Wikipedia wants to write the article, that is - nobody's forcing anyone to cover trivialities like that. But as I pointed out with Hillary Clinton, a First Lady is a lot more important than a dog - she's not just some private asset, but a significant force in national politics. And so the candidates likewise are that much more important. Wnt (talk) 19:51, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
"What possible harm is there in it?", you say. While you're back there in 2002, before Wikipedia had years of serious strife due to a "gotta include'em all" attitude towards its coverage of living persons, could you grab me some Apple shares? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 23:15, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not thinking of 2002 - just the summer of 2007, when Wikipedia was expanding exponentially, just before BLP became a major nuisance. Even going back as little as a year or two, before the fundamentalists started elevating BLP above every single other policy on the Wiki, above all other procedural measures that were taken to contain disputes... that would be enough to buy Wikipedia some peace.
P.S. nice video of the center, widely covered in the news: [13] Wnt (talk) 07:01, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

It is always ok for people to talk to me - even to give me their opinions

The discussion immediately above this one immediately degenerated into a discussion of whether or not it was appropriate for someone to post on my talk page offering information about something going on in Wikipedia and giving their own opinion.

I'd like to make it very clear: it is always ok for people to talk to me - even to give me their opinions. It's even ok for people to ask me to take an action that I'm not going to take. In some but not all cases, it will even be ok for me to agree or disagree with someone's opinion, or to take some appropriate action.

There are cases where me even offering my opinion would be inappropriate - for example if someone asks me about a matter of religion or politics outside the scope of Wikipedia, I think I shouldn't generally answer, unless it is a matter somehow touching on the fundamental values driving my work. (For example: I think the Chinese government should not filter the Internet regarding Liu Xiaobo, and I think it's ok for me to say that. It is less ok for me to say whether or not I, personally, approve or disapprove of Liu Xiaobo - since that question has nothing to do with Wikipedia.)

And of course there are actions that people might ask me to do, which would be inappropriate for me to do, and which I won't do. It's still ok for people to ask me.

The reason I'm going on and on about this is that I really dislike what happens all too often - people come here to have a conversation with me, and are immediately attacked as if they are forum shopping or what have you. That's not a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:19, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

To cut it short, what you're trying to say is, "I'm cool with queries and people addressing issues to me and am open to questions and discussions". Yes, I'm seen what you describe too often. For me your talk page is more than just your talk page directed at you. it is almost a community outlet which seems to generate more interesting discussions and angles than might appear on several of the main forums on here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:30, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with people asking for your opinion on a subject, I have a problem with them asking it in a manner that is meant to, if it is something you are going to respond to, influence your decision toward their side. If people came to your talk page and neutrally just asked your opinion on a subject without saying anything else, that would be absolutely, perfectly fine. But if they come here with an agenda of "get Jimbo on my side so i'll win", then I do consider that forum-shopping in a sense, in that it is an attempt to gather specific people to their side in a disingenuous manner in order to win an argument. SilverserenC 23:33, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Jimmy, I don't disagree with anything you wrote above. I think the issue this created is that Wikipedia, its readers and its editors would have been better served had such a substantive discussion happened on Talk:Marcus Bachmann or Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Marcus Bachmann. Instead, the discussion is happening far away, where a casual reader or editor might not discover it, and therefore not contribute to it. --David Shankbone 23:42, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I guess I kind of thought that appealing to Jimbo was kind of a last resort after following other dispute resolution steps. That's what WP:Appeals to Jimbo claims... Voyager640 (talk) 01:51, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • That's one of several possible motivations editors might have for posting here. As Jimbo has said, and reminded me a couple of months ago (I don't feel like finding the diff), editors should not be discouraged from posting to his talk page. Cla68 (talk) 02:08, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
How can we add a little blurb to the top of the page to explain this? That way people can see what this page is and is not good for. Jesanj (talk) 14:04, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

You may be interested in this article

I am working on an article for the book Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal at User:Ryan Vesey/Reality is Broken. It might be a while before I finish it (I don't want to dive too deep into the external sources before I finish the book), but I thought you might like to contribute to the article since you were quoted on the back of the book. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:15, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Wales!

I thought I'd finally drop you a line. Maybe you can answer a question I have. I ran for admin recently, and successfully, though I was saddened that you wouldn't come by and support a fellow editor from Alabama. (I even support your hometown economy: only last week a friend and I drank a gallon of good Kölsch from y'all's brewery.) But never mind my sadness--I'll get over it. My real question, though, is that they always promise a t-shirt to new admins; it's been two months now and I still haven't gotten anything. Could you look into it, please? Thanks! Happy days, Drmies (talk) 02:54, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

What ever could you be talking about? Your t-shirt was delivered right here; one would expect an admin to be a bit more diligent. My goodness! ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 03:07, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
That's just a picture! If I don't get my shirt, I'm deleting the main page. I got a hoodie already for doing training, but who needs a hoodie in Alabama?? Look, I'm not asking that he hand-deliver it to me... Drmies (talk) 03:14, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh! You meant that t-shirt! Well, of course it was sent out, but Jimbo, in an attempt to save money, sent it via 4.5th-class mail, which consists of a single arthritic, three-legged zebra. The postal service has only one, and it must deliver mail all over the country, so you must be patient! It will arrive sometime within the next 30 years (unless the zebra develops a resistance to its glucosamine pills, in which case... Make sure your great-grandchildren are aware that it might be arriving). ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 03:22, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Wait - why should only admins be allowed to delete the main page? I have as much right to delete it as you! :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:16, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
With an answer like this, I can hardly imagine how you could have survived if Jimbo had hand delervered the likes. For the sake of curiosity, may I ask Mr. wales; What are your thoughts regarding your own participation at RfA? My76Strat (talk) 23:17, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

A lot of muck being thrown at Wikipedia

Mr. Wales a lot of muck is thrown at Wikipedia, can you arrange for someone competent to look at it please. <link to blatant personal attack redacted>.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 11:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

It's just a silly blog post over which we have no control. It gave us a laugh, and we have all ignored it and moved on - I suggest you do the same yourself rather than spamming the link to it all over the place (here, Sue Gardner's talk, my talk) -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:38, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Mr. Wales a lot of muck is thrown at Wikipedia, please do.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 13:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

A suggestion regarding those accused of high-profile criminal activity

Jimbo, you won't be surprised to learn that there is discussion in multiple venues about redirecting the article on the person accused of the very recent shootings in Norway to the main article. I won't say that this happens every time there is an event like this, but it feels like it does. I would like to suggest that these kinds of debates are largely unnecessary and could be easily avoided if there were a policy or guideline that simply stated whether we should default to having the information in the main article or in a separate article. (My preference would be to always start the section in the main article and move it out only when it became clear that it was necessary to do so, after some reasonable length of time such as one month, but my opinion is irrelevant to this suggestion.) Knowing how your talk page works, I'm just going to leave this here and see if anyone picks up on my suggestion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:11, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

While I agree that a default to the main article is entirely proper and should be codified in policy, I would like to also note that both an AfD and a merge discussion ended with a decision to keep the article on the admitted perpetrator separate. But, either way, I support codifying this into policy. SilverserenC 23:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:1EVENT. --Σ talkcontribs 23:48, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
"If the event is highly significant, and the individual's role within it is a large one, a separate article is generally appropriate. The assassins of major political leaders, such as Gavrilo Princip, fit into this category, as indicated by the large coverage of the event in reliable sources that devotes significant attention to the individual's role." So, yeah, WP:1EVENT. SilverserenC 23:54, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
We have "large coverage" when a woman walks into a mall pool while texting or when the president kills a fly nowadays. Our bar for notability is not keeping up with the times. Tarc (talk) 23:57, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I think there's a difference between your examples and a murderer who has committed the deadliest spree killing in Western European history, according to the sources. But, otherwise, yes. It's not so much as raising the bar as tightening the bar so that it doesn't apply to trivia. Then again, we do have to follow what the world follows. I personally wouldn't consider an article on the death of Caylee Anthony to be encyclopedic, but it was covered extensively in the news for months, so there's not much we can do about it. SilverserenC 00:04, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
My whole Facepalm3.svg Facepalm over this is twofold. Firstly no one ever seems to be able to advance a sensible argument for why the content cannot be covered adequately in the event article in such situations such as this - because splitting essentially the same content over two pages is confusing to our readers. I'm not exactly arguing for deletion of content, just that the same content can be most easily covered in one article, till such a time as it gets too unwieldy (or the individual receives secondary notability in another event or for another reason). Secondly because even sicko spree killers must be treated fairly under our same objective rules - Loughner is an example of where we have failed here. The biography draws in a pile of speculation and details from his past private life that are not really of deep interest, and are unfair to him as a reasonably non-public individual. The same is likely to happen here, and it is next to impossible to keep it out. We have far too much reliance on the news media as a source without taking the time to consider historical significance. This particular individual is perhaps not a good poster boy for this aspect of my argument. To my mind; a biography should draw together the life of someone with historical public interest to detail who they are and what they did. For individuals involved in any form of single event we should consistently favour their privacy and stick to recording primarily the event. Over time, if those individuals stay within the public interest, and more material emerges about them that is not simply driven by the fact that it is the current big news story, then we have something to work with in splitting off the content. If it gets to the point where a book is written on their life then for me that raises removes any further objections to details of their private life (as they are clearly of sustained public interest). --Errant (chat!) 00:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with ErrantX. (It generally seems more and more to me we are not writing an encyclopedia, but a gossip aggregator.) --JN466 02:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm well aware of BLP1E, but as the current case shows, it can be interpreted in two rather different ways. It seems literally farcical to me that people would claim within a day of the event that the alleged perpetrator is historically significant outside of the event, but others take that as a valid opinion. Whichever way this gets resolved, BLP1E is clearly insufficient to prevent these unnecessary squabbles. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:40, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I wish we'd just let people edit. Yes, there was a lot of overlap between the articles on the suspect and the crime in this case. As pointed out, it was only one day. Once people refine the two articles according to WP:summary style, the uniquenesses of each will probably become apparent. Otherwise they can be merged without controversy.
In this case, it's apparent that the shooter has spent what he claims is nine years compiling the Templar Tl;dr Manifesto - for better or worse people are going to be going over his tactical and political ideas for a long time to come. I think we'll need yet another article page for that. Wnt (talk) 03:20, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Crime-based bios are inherently biased: My opinion for years now, is that criminal suspects, in notable crime events, should be given separate article pages, to cover their entire lives, rather than "stacking the vote" and "slanting the deck" by discussing them only within a crime article "Gruesome murder #91205". Note however, in some cases, this could be done by a subpage of "Suspects in July 2011 Norway killings" where each person has a complete birth-to-now bio section, which indicates "never been arrested" or "warned to take meds" or "voted class favorite" or "reported to authorities as menace to society" (etc.). There have been too many incidents of "false confessions". Plus, in a crime article, there should be forced sections for both "Claims of guilt" and "Claims of innocence" to allow readers to quickly read either viewpoint. In the recent May-2011 DSK arrest (Dominique Strauss-Kahn), people kept deleting text that the alleged crime was a set-up (or conspiracy), and I twice restored text that the situation was possibly faked to incriminate DSK, and yet, I think that text was removed again. We are confronting "laws of article physics" here: unless NPOV fairness is forced into article structures, then people want to (and do) remove the other viewpoints where readers cannot get an NPOV-balanced view of what reliable sources are reporting, for all views stated about a crime event. We need to adopt some strict standards:
  • If a person is notable enough to label, by name, as a potential criminal, then they are notable enough for an NPOV-neutral full-life bio page.
  • Any person can be documented for "Claims of guilt" (sources will exist).
  • Any person can be documented for "Claims of innocence" (sources will exist, such as "not guilty by reason of insanity").
In some cases, there will be a feeling of widespread blame: as in the "authorities should be sued because they knew he was a ticking timebomb". To me these standards for article structure seem obvious, if a suspect is treated as a human being first, then a separate page is mandatory (they are people first, not automatically the criminals being claimed for the event), then "proven" (only later) to be whatever other people claim by due process in courts, years later. Previously, suspect bio details have been removed from crime articles as being WP:UNDUE details, such as a person was an honors student (who cares?), never before arrested (who cares?), went to parties that month with the victim (boring), attended classes together (yawn), worked 4 jobs to save money (not a resume), had $4000 in bank when robbery occurred (trivia). A suspect's criminal, medical, financial and social background should be stated in a bio-page, with space for such details. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:30, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Even if you don't mention it by name... you are topic banned from that article. Anyway - "if a suspect is treated as a human being first, then a separate page is mandatory"; see I view that from the other perspective, if we are to treat them as a human being then we should respect the privacy of their life unrelated to the event for which they are notable. And shouldn't be laying it bare for all to see, because that is fairly inhuman - especially as in cases such as this the media are unlikely to care about stuff that reflects him in a good light. Anything written about his past now is going to be cast in the light of his recent actions. And that is why it is a bad idea. --Errant (chat!) 13:27, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
There are 2 overriding concerns: public records & WP:UNDUE restrictions. The record of a person graduating with honors from a major school is a public issue. If a person wants to note they had over $4000 in the bank when charged with a theft, then that becomes a public issue. However, many of those types of details could be considered as "clutter" (re wp:UNDUE) in a crime article, because a suspect having a spotless past does not "explain the crime" and so a separate bio-page would have space to provide background to refute claims, or insinuation, of long-term bad character. -Wikid77 06:21, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Cases like Christopher Jefferies make me think we should never ever write BLPs of murder suspects. That man was dragged through the British tabloids for weeks, with every aspect of his personality impugned and maligned (he is now suing), and he turned out to have been completely innocent. Another guy did it. To have a BLP on such a wrongly suspected and unjustly vilified person adds insult to injury. I am glad (and pleasantly surprised) we never had a BLP of him. --JN466 01:32, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
What's even worse is that when it came out he was exonerated people still supported naming him in the article text! --Errant (chat!) 05:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
NPOV must be enforced. Once notable, always notable, so ensure NPOV balance. We are trying to limit the use of a "British tabloid" as being considered a WP:RS source, and not write mere accusations, such as "2 bartenders claimed the suspect did x". Instead, cite trusted sources that the suspect had no prior arrests, or was financially sound, or was booked for criminal activities or dangerous mental problems but released. The fact that articles are targets for posting rumors will apply to any article, whether as a crime-event page or a full-life bio page, and so BLP vios should be stopped on any page. The main issue to avoid is censorship of other documented NPOV viewpoints, with too much emphasis on involvement with an alleged crime, rather than as a person with other activities in life. In the case of DSK, he was noted as having a wife, who knew about prior rumors, but posted the US$1-million bail bond. In the crime article, people deleted that his wife posted his bail bond to be released from police custody. Put his marriage status and her strong support for him in his bio-page. -Wikid77 06:21, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Question for Jimbo Jimbo when you conceived of this project, you know this encyclopedia, was it your aim to create a resource that is driven by the quest to put as much information into cyberspace as possible and to do at the speed of light? There are several topics of discussion across the project at this time, two on this very page (DYK reform and this) which suggest that we're coming to a bit of an impasse between editors who strive for just that type of project (speed and quantity), and others who are much more concerned with the quality of the work we are doing. Personally, I'm afraid that something has gone seriously wrong here, that somehow people are signing up to this project with the aim, not of creating a reliable reference source, but of competing with media organizations in the 24 hour news cycle, and competing with every possible information archive in the world in sheer size. There seems to be an ideological drive to create more and more and more new articles, as opposed to making sure that what we already have out there is top notch. Likewise there is an ideological drive to keep apace with the news cycle as notable events unfold, despite the fact that news coverage in the first 48 hours, heck the first few weeks, often shows a very mutable and ever changing narrative surrounding those events. What is the point of being an encyclopedia, that is the type of tertiary source that should be trusted above all others, if we are not exercising the patience required to let the real "facts" of a situation solidify? Is it that important for us to compete with the news cycle? If it is I suggest this is not an encyclopedia, and the project needs to rethink its identity.Griswaldo (talk) 13:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

That echoes my feelings. If I look at something like this, which ran like that on our main page, I think we are more like Gawker or Radar online than Britannica, or any encyclopaedia I know. On the positive side, our news-driven coverage of the Japan earthquake earlier this year was pretty damn good. But we should face up to the fact that much of what we are doing is essentially real-time news aggregation. --JN466 01:38, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Self-promoted article titles

We need better guidelines about restricting article titles, including name slurs, where the article title popularizes the phrase which is being disputed, such as a title with "Johnny's wife-beating accusations" or "Celebrity-name cocaine". This is a confusing issue, because it is related to "begging the question" of wiki-publicity of phrases. People should not be allowed to name articles which imply a connection which is not held by mainstream sources. We cannot create an article named "Einstein's flat-earth views" or "Microsoft's excellent software" or any such POV-slanted, misleading title, and this issue has taken months for many people to comprehend. End soapbox. -Wikid77 06:49, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Do you think Wikipedia will ever have serious competition?

I got to thinking about this question when I was invited to join in using Google Plus, Google's answer to Facebook (which if you have not been invited already, I would love to be the one to invite you! I believe you still have to be invited by a current user, it hasnt gone totally public as far as I've noticed). We have seen Myspace get eclipsed by Facebook to where they are predicting Myspace will be shut down next year, and now we see talk that Google Plus may be the serious competition to Facebook now (and I agree, I enjoy the extras more). So, have you ever seen anything that has made you think "wow, if someone ever did X, it could really do some damage to Wikipedia editor count or reader count", were you ever "worried" that Conservapedia for instance might threaten Wikipedia's popularity for instance? Would there ever come a time were you would encourage the Foundation to put out tv commercial's for instance, if a serious competitor did ever cut into Wikipedia.Camelbinky (talk) 07:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I know you're asking Jimbo and I do hope he responds, but I just wanted to make one comment. This did happen actually at once point for Spanish Wikipedia back in 2002, when a very significant amount of their community got fed up with the practices over there and left to form Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español. The Encyclopedia did far better than Spanish Wikipedia, having more articles and better content. This kept up until 2004, when Spanish Wikipedia finally overcame them and has stayed on top every since. I think the issue with the whole competition thing is that Wikipedia is different from a social networking site like Facebook and Google Plus. If one has better features and works better, it's very easy to switch over to another system, much like people switched to Facebook from Myspace back in the day. But when you're dealing with an encyclopedia, such a thing as competition would only be really feasible in the early days, when things are still not very large. But once you get the ball rolling and are a household name like Wikipedia is now, you kinda become a monopoly unto yourself, like Google has become. It's extremely unlikely that any competition that is actually a concern will ever pop up and, if it ever does, we would know about it long beforehand. I mean, our only real competition at this point would be that Chinese online encyclopedia thing that has almost as many articles as us, I believe. If they ever went global, they might be a concern, but it's highly unlikely at this point.
That's just my 2 cents though. Sorry for butting into your question. I look forward to Jimbo's response. SilverserenC 08:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
It's also worth pointing out that MySpace had practically nothing going for it barring the network effect. There was quite evidently a market need for a MySpace without the annoyances (eye-bleedingly terrible markup styled using a hack in the extensions system, frequent security problems due to the same, seemingly mandatory use of autoplaying music on page load) which Facebook filled. While most of the various Wikipedia competitors have tried to have an edge like this (Wikipedia without annoying NPOV, Wikipedia without annoying anonymous users, Wikipedia without annoying calls for consistency, Wikipedia without the liberal bias of reality) none of its shortcomings are so obvious that people have jumped ship in any real numbers. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 08:54, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
A bit of dumb question to be honest. a] Jimbo is hardly Mystic Meg or is able to predict the future of the internet and what will prevail. b] Wikipedia combined has become massively big with 17 million odd combined articles and millions of readers and editors. At present there is no such competition that comes close. c] A rival encyclopedia to generate the sheer depth and scope of wikipedia would likely the the same amount of time to develop, during which time wikipedia will probably double in size. d] Such an encyclopedia to surpass wikipedia would require more manpower than we currently have and would depend upon all wikipedia editors moving to another site. Conclusion, very unlikely to happen with the next ten years, we have way to good a head start and if it did we are unlikely to go "out of business" as Britannica or somebody might because of our open system and wikipedia will be free and contain invaluable content which will still attract people. The only encyclopedia working which could rival wikipedia I see is if it paid its editors to develop content and became some massive corporate machine providing millions in investment which is able to employ any half intelligent individual from around the planet to write articles for an encyclopedia. That's the only way a rival encyclopedia could work is if it was a source of income for millions of people, Citizendium, Veropedia have shown that the snobby approach to better wikipedia doesn't work. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:24, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I just read that World of Warcraft Wiki is the second biggest Wiki in the world under Wikipedia. Stats show that if players stopped playing for two months and spent all of their time improving the Wiki they would surpass Wikipedia. Ryan Vesey Review me! 09:42, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, especially given that WowWiki itself was forked recently, with most of the main contributors moving to Wowpedia. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 11:59, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Ahh, my source was a book that came out in 2011, probably before the split occurred. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:44, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Short answer: no. WP (at least en.WP) is too far ahead of the field in its social, political, and technical infrastructure to have serious competitors. The only risk would be if the community didn't stay open to reform and adaptation (see DYK and the main page, ahem: there's movement, even though it requires a lot of huff and puff). Tony (talk) 09:48, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • In wiki-war, it depends on weapons and soldiers: It might be possible to wage a "wiki-war" with some new wiki-interface ideas which make articles easier (such as auto-suggested article source tags generated from Google Books) or "I'm-busy-finish-this-article" groups who are ready to quickly polish a draft article. Plus, improve soldier morale (limit IP-user vandals, and invite many of the current 3,700 die-hard WP editors as paid professionals in a rival wiki). Also, any "madmins" would be removed in favor of polite, friendly helpers. For example, if a wiki had "deep pockets" (like Facebook funding), and assigned some paid-leaders of wiki-tasks, who ensured 24/7 friendly help-support for users, then WP would likely suffer. Paying people (and providing paid-friendly helpers) does wonders for shifting attention, so that is an option, but the core problem is how to get money for such activities. Enough said: I will avoid offering any more ideas, to the possible competition.... -Wikid77 13:06, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Citizendium tried and failed. --Σ talkcontribs 17:40, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
There would be a lot to be said in favour of an alternative that specialised in the elimination of the blight of Anglo-American perspective/bias that pollutes so many articles that touch on history. politics and global current affairs. Sarah777 (talk) 18:31, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia will either have to evolve, and that requires a willingness to make changes to its fundamental policies, or it will eventually go extinct. I see a big reticence to address problems raised on the policy pages (take e.g. the discussions on "not truth"). It's similar to the evolution of life on Earth. Compare the "not truth" doctrine to the rule to not use oxygen. Life on Earth did well without using oxygen until the Great Oxygenation Event: "The rising oxygen levels may have wiped out a huge portion of the Earth's anaerobic inhabitants at the time. From their perspective it was a catastrophe (hence the name). Cyanobacteria, by producing oxygen, were essentially responsible for what was likely the largest extinction event in Earth's history." Count Iblis (talk) 18:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree with Tony that Wikipedia is probably too big and too far advanced to have any serious competition, though if Britannica expanded and simultaneously stopped charging for access to its content, it might pose a threat (but that would defeat its business model!). However, that doesn't mean we should get complacent. Wikipedia is not finished and it's not perfect. It will never be either, but Wikipedians should strive to make it so. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 01:39, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I like these responses and hope Jimbo chimes in if he finds time and is interested. I'd like to point out that Montgomery Wards, Kmart, IBM, and General Motors are just a few companies that once dominated their industries and at one point never thought that any company would come along to threaten their dominance, even today Walmart has Target, Walgreens has CVS, Boeing has Airbus, McDonald's has Burger King, Subway has Quiznos, Intel has AMD/GlobalFoundries (though in this case Intel has over 90% market share), and Microsoft and Apple have each other in certain industry markets. Maybe a rival SHOULD exist for Wikipedia to always not be complacent is a thought, perhaps it is inevitable. Even Encyclopedia Britannica has rivals in print (Funk & Wagnall most notable I suppose?).Camelbinky (talk) 05:54, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Some organizations have builtin alternatives, as rival sub-groups, which adopt different business models and see where the other ideas lead. We could have a Wikipedia 2 (WP2), based on a new leadership plan, such as Jimbo's ideas about 500-word intro articles, blocking BLP slurs, and alternate RfA approvals. The way this could work is to implicitly show WP articles while in WP2, until those articles were changed by WP2 editors (divergent revisions). Have a different set of admins, perhaps based on courtesy first, with a "House of lords" as being editors with years of experience, who help decide complex issues, and then block many IP addresses from editing to curtail 90% of vandalism. This is only possible by following a clear new set of rules, such as based on Jimbo's current ideas, otherwise there is too much debate as to "What is Truth?" and why not "have your writing edited mercilessly". It would not solve all problems, and might seem too hard, but it would likely be faster than trying to steer the current system into new waters. At the core, there should be a cost-benefit analysis to see if the potential gains would be worth the extra effort, versus strong ways to overcome resistance to change Wikipedia internally. -Wikid77 07:25, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Our aim isn't to be the largest encyclopaedia ever written, our aim is to make the world's knowledge available to humanity. If we achieve that by provoking other people to compete with us and produce something even better then actually that is a success.
As for practical alternatives, we've taken the "No advertising, volunteer written" route. I prefer that route and can see several problems for the rival "advertising funded & editors paid" business model. But if I was running the Encyclopaedia Britannica I'd work out the minimum threshold below which subscription funding and dead tree version sales needed to fall before the best option was to try such a route.
In my view our biggest rival is Chinese, and the biggest threat is improved translation software. When and if the quality of translation software gets to the point where an Arabic, Hindi or Swahili translation of a Chinese Encyclopaedia becomes the most read encyclopaedia in that language, we will know we have serious global competition. It is possible that once we get that sort of technology we will see the balkanisation of wikipedia with different language versions competing with each other, written and maintained in one language but read in many. In that contest the English language version would have the initial advantage of size and a large current and potential editing community, but the Germans and others who've already implemented flagged revisions would have the advantage of better defences against vandalism. I suspect that rival wikipedias would find themselves competing for editors in terms of functionality and culture, and ultimately the more inclusive ones would eclipse the more deletionist ones (someone tried deletionpedia model, apparently they were serious, but without contributors there is nothing to delete).
The other possibility is that we will get a crisis of governance on the English language wikipedia and either implode or fork. With goodfaith editors getting scarcer, spam still a small minority of edits but rising broadly with readership, and the risk of consensus degenerating into mutually blocking minorities that prevent any change, there are several problems to resolve in the next few years. I think I can see the answers to some of them, and I'm hopeful that in ten years time we will be able to look back on Wikipedia's second decade with a sense of satisfaction. But if we are feeling smug it will be well earned smugness. ϢereSpielChequers 11:14, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Zhi Gang Sha

Hello Jimbo, I just wanted to let you know that I've just restored Zhi Gang Sha, an article you deleted as an expired PROD, because the PROD was contested at WP:REFUND. Salvio Let's talk about it! 17:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

hi

hi jimbo wales — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sdtfs (talkcontribs) 02:13, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

DYK reform

An article of mine, Ghumdan Palace was recently pulled from the main page because the hook was "considered" to contain weasel words and the sourcing was suspect. The problem is, generally the quality of DYKs are substandard and issues could be identified with most DYKs. As some have mentioned previously, the fact that now editors self review other articles just so they can push their DYK through, issues are appearing to go increasingly undetected and we lack any real system which maintains quality for those nominated; we can't rely on just a few individuals to ensure every hook and article is satisfactory. If DYK has now become as problematic as this I think its time it underwent reform. As I remember one editor putting it "DYK is like a microcosm of everything that's bad about wikipedia articles, POV, plagiarism, needs copyediting, non RS and sometimes non notable/utterly uninteresting subjects, not to mention boring hooks." Why I don't necessarily agree 100% with this and think some DYKs are of a high standard and a pleasure to read, I agree that there is a major inconsistency and at times is embarrassing that these articles are on the main page right? So what do we do? Do we scrap the entire DYK process or do we modify it so articles have to undergo a formal review before they hit the main page? My feeling is that there are far too many articles going through with little consideration of maintaining a high quality. The main page of wikipedia is by far the most visited and I feel it should be representative only our best content. I am one of the top contributors to DYK myself and even I can admit to the problems with it. I would rarely bother with it if it wasn't for the fact I enjoy collaboration with several others and like having a bank of half decent articles I've written for looking back over. I think its time it was changed and given a new lease of life.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:41, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I complained about people promoting their own hooks and images a long time ago, and was criticized for it (lost some !votes on my RfA for that reason, IIRC). The two key words should be transparency and quality.  – Ling.Nut 12:13, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Limiting editors to one DYK every six months might finally get all parties to stop treating it like a game. The minute a wikiprocess becomes an end to itself we've got problems and that applies everywhere in the project. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 12:24, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
      • No, people aren't even limited to one FA per six months, and DYKs are ice cream compared to FAs. No, the process needs rules and reform, transparency and quality.  – Ling.Nut 12:26, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I'd rather see people limited to one AfD per six months. Wnt (talk) 13:57, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The thing is a lot of editors produce some very decent DYKs which are very interesting to read and contain solid sources. Others, are barely long enough. with a lack of RS and have issues. The most positive aspect of DYK is that it encourages a diversity of articles and gives editors an incentive to expand/create. But at present I think the complaints are coming in too fast and too thick for it to be ignored. We need a change.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:31, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • This may be a good forum to raise awareness of the issues, but i doubt that it's a good place to resolve them. – Ling.Nut 12:34, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Just because problems exist doesn't mean we should change. In my opinion, these three questions are important. What changes are proposed? What problems would likely result from those changes? And is it anticipated that one of those new sets of problems is more desireable? Jesanj (talk) 14:00, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Id like to see the number of characters for new articles nominated for DYK go up. 1500 is pathetically small and we have enough pathetic articles. 3000 minimum. After all, there is a huge gap between qualifying for new articles and qualifying for expansion (5x!) We need to be encouraging the improvement of the articles we have.Thelmadatter (talk) 14:40, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The thing is length in many cases encourages editors to warble on and may make the article less concise as they struggle to make it an appropriate length. An idea would be to have bank of articles proposed for DYK and only the cream of the crop so to speak hit the main page and for a long time, like 12 hours. Potential DYKs are put into a pool or something and people vote which they'd like to see reach the main page. A mechanism to improve existing articles could be to only permit articles expansions rather than new creations and keep that at 5 times expansion.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:45, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I dont think 3000 characters is long at all, maybe the equivalent of a one page to 1.5 page paper for school. If youre topic doesnt merit that much, is it worthwhile to be on the front page? 5x is fine for pathetically small articles (and it give people less reason to be concise in expansions to try to meet the requirement) but for ones that are longer but horrible (like Mexicans of European descent was) a lot of work goes in but it doesnt merit DYK than something with 10-15 individual lines that happens to be new.Thelmadatter (talk) 15:29, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
You're right that it isn't much, but I don't think it would alleviate the problems. I personally would be happy to see DYKs geared towards GA candidates and them appearing on the front page for a long duration. GA candidates are likely to contain few major sourcing and prose issues. The most importance step on wikipedia in my view is GA, articles which have had a formal thorough review, but many editors are unwilling to work towards them. This needs to change I think. Whilst GAs are not the be all and end all of wikipedia and many editors, such as yourself Thelma ,regularly produce more than satisfactory B class articles our ultimate goal for every article is FA and GA is the first major step to achieving it. We need a mechanism which encourages more people to bother putting articles through GA and more competent reviewers to deal with the log of them. The best solution I think would be for only the best new articles to hit the main page thorough an elimination process.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:20, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Here's what I would change first: "DYK is only for articles that have been created, or expanded fivefold or more, or newly sourced BLPs that have been expanded at least twofold over the past five days." From an editorial perspective, that rule makes zero sense. I suppose it was originally designed as an incentive system for people to create new articles, or to expand stubs. But there is nothing about the reader's perspective on "Did you know" that would recommend limiting to just those articles.

The net result is, too often, all the problems discussed above. An article which has only existed for 5 days, or which has hurriedly been expanded in the last 5 days, is an article which has not stood the test of time.

I would change it to this: "DYK is almost exclusively for featured articles. Generally, an article should have existed for at least one year, and should have been edited by at least 20 different editors. There can be exceptions, but any DYK hook from an article not of feature article quality should be subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny."

If we want to give people incentives to create or expand articles, we should talk about that separately. My view is that rewarding people to do anything other than simply write passionately about something they are really interested in, to the highest possible quality standard they can muster, is a bad idea. It's the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:34, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Excellent! (insert Mr Burns impression here). That has got to be the simplest solution to the endless stream of DYKs about things I not only didn't know, but have no wish to, that grace the main page. Best content, not newest... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:50, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you're right that DYK is flawed, but turning it into a FA duplicate seems like an overreaction. I think it would be enough to change the 5 days to 30 or 90 days so more eyes go over the articles, more articles can be candidates, and there'd be less role for "ownership" or bias from the original creator. Maybe require the article to get a critique from a Wikiproject or a peer review before the DYK runs. At the absolute most, pick DYKs from among the recently elevated Good Articles. FA has its own biases (too many video games), too few articles in total, and with five or so on the page each day people would notice the repetition in no time at all. Wnt (talk) 18:01, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Wnt a duplicate of FA would be redundant. But a selection of hooks from recently passed GAs would be a good idea. The problem is that we still have the problem we had when DYK started. We do need this as an incentive to encourage editors to expand our stubs and create new content. i just think something's got to changes as its flaws at present are too numerous and too frequently reported to go on being ignored.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:28, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • By the time a page has been properly (other than clean ups and typos) "edited by at least 20 different editors" it has usually been abandoned by it's knowledgable, orignal authors and become mindless crap. Hardly a showcase for the project. Giacomo Returned 20:48, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The vast majority of articles never have a "knowledgeable" author :) Jimbo is non the right track though... I think we should rework the criteria to be articles above X length, with no obvious editing issues, with an interesting fact to cite. After all, it is "did you know", the entire point is to find interesting things in good articles to inform people about :) --Errant (chat!) 21:06, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I thought one of the objectives of front page DYK appearances was to get more eyeballs and edits for poor little articles that need a helping hand. William Avery (talk) 21:09, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Could not agree with William Avery's commment more. DYK is supposed to be a short, interesting, obscure/amusing fact, that will encourage people to either dig deeper into Wikipedia, for similar interesting facts, or expand the page. If someone wants to read a long FA to the end, it will be because they have googled the subject or have a special interest - people are not going to want to study Tudor foreign policy because they were fascinated that "Henry VIII needed a huge codpiece." Giacomo Returned 09:46, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

There is also a relevant RfC about this issue. Graham87 09:57, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree that replicating FA is a bad idea, but the appropriate distinction - from a reader's perspective - is not between "taken from a new article that may or may not be valid" versus "taken from a really great article that has gone through a serious process of testing". The valid editorial distinction is that DYK is, as Giacomo says above, "a short, interesting, obscure/amusing fact". These will be all the better if taken from famous topics rather than obscure topics. FA is where we showcase our very best work - sometimes these are quirky, and there is nothing wrong with that - Wikipedia should strive to be interesting every day.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:15, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Good article did you knows would seem appropriate and would meet the good article gone through testing requirement and would not replicate FA. My feeling on this is that we should replace did you know of new articles on the main page with did you knows of recently passed good articles. Then I would have a link underneath like in the featured article section, more DYKs of recently created/expanded articles and then I'd demote the DYK for newly expanded article as it currently appears on the main page to a sub page. This way it gives credit to those who've recently had a good article promotion, general quality on the main page would be much improved without obvious blunders and the often embarrassing did you knows would appear on a sub page and be hidden from appearing on the main page. The problemis we can't paint all DYKs with the same brush. There are some very good DYKs which are new GAs anyway which I've seen today, but to keep that sort of level for every entry would be great in my view. Maybe I'm biased I don't know but the deal with DYKs for me has never been an excitement about it appearing on the main page so I could accept that the current system could be demoted to a sub page and replaced with GA DYKs. I've made a proposal for this here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:37, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

(almost e.c.) Jimbo, thanks, you've brought clarity to this debate, and it's especially valuable because you can view the process with a little distance. My view is that the scope should be wider, though: GAs, FAs, and FLs—since all groups have articles that are at or close to main-page quality, some of which also contain statements that are naturally hookable (the interesting, catchy, punchy fact). I've diffed your last post at DYK talk, where Dr. Blofeld has put a proposal for changing the scope of DYKs. Tony (talk) 12:16, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Changing the scope would seem reasonable - but I think article creators who write good content should continue to be rewarded. I suggest extending the scope but leaving new material in as one of the possible sources for DYK this creating more competition and hopefully a better veting system Agathoclea (talk) 12:29, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Tony here. While it would be tempting to use GA-standards as a way to guarantee DYK quality, that would miss one of the primary purposes of DYK, which is to motivate and showcase new content. Any fix in this area which doesn't keep that intact is losing something significant. If we need better quality control, let's add it. But let's not do that at the expense the bigger goal without careful consideration. There may be something 'boring' about some of the DYKs, but that is just a local problem and can be tweaked with better DYK criteria. Continuing to expand the encyclopedia with new topics, and integrating them through a refining process is awesome and delivers many benefits to the encyclopedia in addition to what it offers readers on the main page alone. Ocaasi t | c 13:05, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
We need to motivate people to improve our current content first. I think that's essentially the issue here and the ideological divide between some people. Putting GA or FA standards on the process would motivate people to improve the quality of the encyclopedia instead of simply adding quantity to it. We have a recent RfC/U and upcoming arbitration case which involve accusations of abusing DYK for political aims (not necessarily national politics but personal politics). I think it is clear that the process is broken, and that one of the problems is that it is too easy to get unvetted content out there.Griswaldo (talk) 13:12, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree, which is why I've proposed a sub page dedicated entirely to new DYKs which would be featured for much longer, nominators would see a photograph accompanying their hook and there would be more room to view the hooks. Page view stats indicate an extremely small percentage actually visit the DYK hooks anyway. I've lost count how many times I've yawned or shook my head at some of the hooks hitting the main page, at times they are an embarrassment. I think the main page should be reserved only for content which has been given some formal review and quality approval. The DYKs appearing right now are very inconsistent and you never know what to expect. I don't see why a link to a sub page from the main page would be that damaging to the promotion of new content. If all that motivates editors to writing articles is to go "wow my article is on the front page of wikipedia" then I question their purpose on wikipedia. In fact that's part of the problem in that some people are so keen to push their hooks through and get on the main page they may spout and add poor sources just to make it loook of acceptable length. If they are pasisonate about a subject and writing they will do it anyway. One could argue anyway that replacing them on the main page with Good article snippets might encourage more editors to produce GA quality articles and create articles like that and actually give more value to work appearing on the front page. If that is a motivator as you claim then more editors would be inclined to want to get their articles to GA, which is what we want.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:15, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Comment We could use some statistics. Which sections of the Main Page do our readers follow out (click on a link to see more)? How many follows on each DYK article over the last month would show us which sorts of articles are popular. I wouldn't expect many readers to follow the Picture of the day or On this day, as they can see them on the Main page, but I would like to know how many readers are interested in DYK, v Today's featured article. Let's see what's working and what's not before discussing whether it should or should not be changed, assuming the section's purpose is to provide something our readers want. Perhaps readers would prefer something else entirely. 99.50.186.100 (talk) 14:47, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Based on page hits the main page averages about 4.8 million hits a day I think. Most DYKs get less than 2000 hits. So if you work it out about 2499 in every 2500 ignore DYK which is extremely pathetic.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:06, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


Did you know, the first DYK was on 24 February 2004, a month after the English Wikpedia reached the milestone of 200,000 articles?

While I haven't read the discussion leading to the formation of DYK's, it is understandable that the community would support a mechanism to encourage the creation of new articles at that time. Now that we have over 3.6 million articles, and manage to add about 900 a day, prehaps it is time to use the high profile of the main page to support a different goal. I'm not saying 3.6 million is enough articles, I'm simply saying that sheer article creation is not a goal that needs extra help. I'd prefer to see the main page support a quality goal, rather than a quantity goal.--SPhilbrickT 15:05, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

In part because I hang around the Refdesks, I think Wikipedia still is nowhere near having enough articles, and making new ones is still worth encouraging. The DYKs do the service of showing what kinds of new topics people can still think of to add, and that's a frontier I never want to see closed. But forcing people to come up with the next new articles in five days is an artificial constraint we don't need. There's no reason why we can't allow more time and more consideration. In fact the DYK process actually does that, because your DYK can hang around for a week or more while people look over your article and debate the facts - I just think we could go further in that direction.
Also, on consideration, I think that pulling DYK hooks from FAs could greatly intensify POV debates. When people pull a hook from a new DYK, they're looking for the most interest thing from their article to make it seem worth looking at, in competition with others - this imposes a sort of functional constraint on what can be used. But if people have to mine the FAs or even the GAs looking for hooks to cite, I think we'll start seeing a lot of minor points, pointed political commentary chosen because it's "interesting" (and indeed, it may be interesting, but it will also be a PITA). Wnt (talk) 18:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
All people want to see from DYK is something funny and/or obscure - preferably both. Brand new articles are the best source of these. If I wished, I could post a 1,001 amusing and obscure facts and use them decorate FAs and have my name permanently in lights, but would they help the FA/established page and be beneficial - probably not. Things work quite well as they are, there are hords of editors writing DYK worthy stubs and they are a net plus to the project - let them have their moments of glory. Giacomo Returned 20:16, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
As I said, I'm not arguing that there are enough articles. But if DYK helps generate 20-30 new articles a day, that's a tiny percentage of the 900 per day that are created. If the DYK carrot didn't exist, I doubt the article count creation drop-off could be measured.
We have a prominent place on the front page for FA, but no such place for GA. If the DYK were for newish GA's, that would mean almost 9,000 new GAs in a year, which would be meaningful. In fact my guess is that it would not be feasible, but what if half the DYKs were for new or expanded articles and half for GAs. I suggest that would result in a more meaningful improvement in the encyclopedia. In addition, I would impose a seasoning requirement. Instead of requiring that nominations occur within five days, go the opposite direction and require that they must be new, expanded or reach GA between 60 days and a year ago. The 60 days requirement would although for some seasoning, let editors take the time to check out the facts, and let the article settle down. The one year limit is to make sure people don't just scour the existing articles for something to promote.
Limiting DYK for new or expanded would mean that there would be a need to select those eligible, a simple ranking mechanism would mean that only the (roughly) best half of the new material would qualify. That might help reduce the existence of marginal articles featured on the main page.--SPhilbrickT 20:25, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Many of us, myself included, have questioned the DYK nominations of User:Billy Hathorn, which have led to the current kerfuffle. Most of his hooks have been thin on notable and/or interesting material (a lot of DYKs on obscure and fairly boring local legislators). See here, where I reviewed a Billy Hathorn DYK about a Louisiana state rep. and shot down a weird and not particularly notable hook about the state rep 'gator hunting. The ALT hook he gave me was similarly thin on notability, but unlike the gator huntin' hook didn't appear to poke any "WTF buttons" and the article solidly met the DYK criteria (new date and length, etc) so I felt compelled to pass it[14]. Listen carefully, existing DYK criteria compel us to pass boring-as-sin hooks thin on notability! Creating a new DYK checklist to address the criteria problem is an important first step, but the problem is bigger: we're incentivizing quantity and newness above all, not quality content, and the result is weak articles on the front page. Yes DYK should be overhauled, interesting-ness should be the rule, not a rarity in a haystack of dull, borderline articles designed to meet arbitrary criteria. And Jimmy Wales' proposal for DYK Reform should be heard; it's the best approach I've seen so far. No, this isn't an idiotic Jimbo said... argument ("Argumentum ad Jimbonem"). The principles outlined here should merit a look whether a newb with an I.P. or an ol' wikipedia gray beard brought them up. NickDupree (talk) 00:22, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I'll affirm one point here. For me the main problem with DYK is that nearly everything there is simply dull as dishwater. I hardly ever look at it, but each time I do, I find that every single piece of information is a yawner. I don't really care whether the articles are FAs or stubs, but I would like to feel that time spent looking at DYK is not time wasted. Looie496 (talk) 01:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I suggested this a year or so ago, DYK should be redirected from article creation to article improvement. Rescue an article from one of the main maintenance categories as a criteria. RxS (talk) 01:33, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • DYK is a useful, valid, and interesting part of the Main Page. It is not an embarrassment to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. The DYK process has motivated me to create and helped me to improve a lot of articles that benefit Wikipedia, typically for science items that show up in the NYT or BBC but did not have articles yet [15][16][17] but also for stuff I just thought would be cool.[18][19][20] Don't throw the DYK babies out with the bathwater. Dr Blofeld might not care about seeing his stuff on the front page but I do, and so do a heckuva lot of other people. I have no objection to people coming up with other fine new projects -- showcasing some GAs or rescuing maintenance orphans -- you don't have to kill DYK to do something else. Sharktopus talk 11:58, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Given that the stats show about 2499 people out of every 2500 people ignore DYK articles its hardly a key factor for motivation, for me at least. If the standards have to be forcibly raised so high then it would take a lot of the fun out of it. I for one am not willing to keep having to make niggly edits just to get a credit. I'd rather scrap it and spent my time working towards good articles which are more important. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:48, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Given that I for one don't want Egg McMuffin (though I've eaten plenty), I think the McDonalds in my hometown should be torn down so that I can eat in the small gourmet bistro I'm sure would replace it. Sharktopus talk 22:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Very good analogy actually, replace the junk with healthier, more nutritious option.♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:09, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I saw your stat above, Dr. Blofeld, and I have to say it is misleading. 2499/2500 people might ignore an individual DYK entry, but DYK has 7-8 entries, updated four times per day. If an average DYK entry gets 1500 views (lower than your estimate) the day it is on the main page, and there are 28 hooks per day (7 per update), that comes out to 42,000 page views per day for DYK. Still quite small, but consider that the TFA of two days ago, Robert Peake the elder had only 14.7k views while on the main page, and Canadian heraldry had 21.1k the day before. I've had five TFA's myself, with Terry Fox around 85k, iirc, but the other four landed in the 20-40k range. As a whole, the DYK section easily pulls as many readers into the 'pedia as TFA does on average. In my mind, there is no question that DYK is a valuable section on the main page. But the questions that need answering are 1: what is it we want the section to accomplish, and 2: are we utilizing the space efficiently for that purpose? Resolute 23:18, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
And 42,000 out of 4.8 million is somehow impressive and shows the widespread demand for DYK? OK you have a point that TFA brings in an equally poor turnout. Perhaps then we are worrying too much about the quality of the main page and should be worrying more about the quality of the most visited articles on wikipedia which get more daily hits that either DYK or TFA. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:07, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
It's wrong to assume all 4.8 million page views are just 'browsing' the main page aimlessly, waiting for something to take their interest. I would estimate the majority see the main page for seconds as they enter their article title in the search box. The number of users which load up the main page to look for something of interest, and then leave due to poor DYKs/TFA/TFP/ITN must be a tiny proportion of that 4.8 million Jebus989 09:00, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Chiming in as one more diverse viewpoint, particularly since I see with some distress that names are being named - ok, name me, I'm here. I would be saddened to see DYK replaced with yet another FA showcase, even if it's labeled GA quirky facts, or made a parallel of GA (which would be the effect of your proposal to require a year and 20 different editors). It's the only place on the Main Page where we demonstrate our breadth, and FA and GA are always going to demonstrate institutionalized bias, so that would be a serious loss. It's also the only place on the Main Page (except possibly the Featured Picture) where we explicitly try to draw eyes by being interesting. That's an important part of the public face of an encyclopedia. Also, as I have said many times on the project page, I disagree with the underlying assumptions that DYK is badly broken and requires fundamental change. One of those assumptions is that DYK nominators do it for the glory: I believe that's a corrosive example of assuming bad faith, and an accusation much more natural to level at GA and FA participants. In my view we simply have different tastes at play here: some seek accolades from their peers and are willing to spend many, many hours responding to criticisms to get that (GA, FA), some seek to share their work or others' and then move on to create or improve another article (DYK). Different tastes. Your proposal, and to a lesser extent Dr. Blofeld's original post here, proceed from the GA/FA mindset. With all necessary apologies, that isn't the only way to get passionate writing and co-operative editing. As Giano has said, the "many cooks" thing can sometimes drive away passionate and knowledgeable writers - but not always. The thing about Wikipedia is that all types of collaboration co-exist here, including both hundreds of editors working together (as happens on the articles on breaking news stories, for example) and lone nerds crafting articles that then have a category added, or the measurement conversion template added, or are moved to a different capitalisation of the title per MOS - and other than that, the article is left alone as a good job. Requiring an article to be edited by many people is counterproductive - even if it just means some articles won't be shared via the front page, that's a loss. It's also discouraging to a significant portion of those you say you want to encourage, and whom the project as a whole always says it wants to encourage - content creators. DYK is in fact the clearest way in which Wikipedia shows it means that. Moreover, the value of DYK in drawing in editors to make new articles and improve stubs should not be discounted. I have run into so many people for whom that's true. Again with all due apologies to those with different tastes, GA and FA are different games - they involve changing an article and arguing it through a gauntlet. As I raised on the DYK page, maybe it's a competitive thing. DYK is not competitive - the assumption that it is is unjustified, and I have gone so far as to withdraw from DYK to make clear that that's not my motivation. GA and FA intentionally are. The encyclopedia needs both - and it very much needs to offset the pressure of unconscious bias. For those reasons alone, DYK was a very good idea and should be left substantially alone. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:23, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

I think the criteria should include not only new articles or newly expanded articles, but also newly promoted "GA" and "FA" as well. This would be a good incentive on several fronts and mitigate some of the concerns mentioned. My76Strat (talk) 01:21, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
There's a proposal a bit like that currently open, it's definitely worth commenting on. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 08:40, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Why Wikipedia is not reliable.