User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 96

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After SOPA, Muhammed article's picture is a giant picture of text, and an arbitration case to decide to remove *all* pictures?

RE: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Muhammad images (via Talk:Muhammad#Image_poll)

... After SOPA really this looks insanely hypocritical...

An enyclopaedia should be about facts and an objective view of the materials available, not hiding things away depending on whose pressure/lobbyist group is larger...

'WP:NOTCENSORED - "Any rules that forbid members of a given organization, fraternity, or religion to show a name or image do not apply to Wikipedia because Wikipedia is not a member of those organizations."

You either are, or you aren't... If you're going to hide this stuff then it's going to be other "blasphemous" material next...

Why not go the whole way and just start letting people opt out from links and articles that could offend them, per Websense let people live in an maginary world of their own creation: Filter bubbles in internet search engines, BBC News Online

  • sigh* I thought you cared about this stuff. --Mss. Selina Kyle (talk) 02:52, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Umm, the situation at Muhammad has nothing at all to do with SOPA. For instance, the usage of calligraphy as the lead image instead of a depiction has been the situation on the article for at least two years, if not longer. Also, the arbitration case has nothing to do with keeping or removing the images. Such a decision is well beyond Arbcom's remit. The case is about the behaviour of some editors during such debates. Keeping or removing the depictions will be a community decision, and personally, I think it decidedly unlikely that they will be removed. However, please do consider leaving your opinions on that image poll discussion, though perhaps with less hysterics than displayed here. Regards, Resolute 03:07, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"It's always been done that way" is not a good reason for anything. What if you were to do the same to pictures of Jesus, it's exactly the same thing as if it were replaced by big stencilled letters - to say that it's ok because it's in arabic is similar to people who get tattoos in kanji script they don't understand the meaning of (and people in Japan who get silly tattoos in english!)
Yes, I feel strongly on censorship (and put it bluntly rather than a page full of flowery language that a lot of people just end up skimming over or not reading, because I felt it important) but it's a bit insulting to call that "hysterics". --Mss. Selina Kyle (talk) 06:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"What if you were to do the same to pictures of Jesus"? As far as I'm aware, there is little within the Christian tradition that suggests that depictions of Christ are in any way objectionable - your comparison is meaningless. As for the rest of your post, are you suggesting that Muslims cannot read Arabic? It seems to me that your post has nothing much to do with 'censorship' at all, and instead you are using the SOPA question to give vent on another issue entirely. If you wish to do this, I suggest you do it somewhere else. AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:03, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Andy, I suggest you start at Aniconism in Christianity, and increase your awareness. There has been a long, and often violent, tradition of opposition to depictions of Christ within Christianity. Johnbod (talk) 22:40, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
WP:NOTCENSORED is either true or not, religions no more deserve special treatment than political groups or any other strongly held beliefs - No one has a right for their view of the world to be put over anyone else, if Wikipedia is to be taken seriously as an encyclopedia then it needs to look at things from a neutral, scientific point of view e.g. illustrating what facts are known as best as possible, not whoever's version is less likely to offend on anything :( --Mistress Selina Kyle (talk) 03:19, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Photo of horse, as example of inappropriate image for article "Cat dentistry".
    To User:Mss. Selina Kyle: Yes, Jimbo has discussed the issues of pictures in Islamic topics. The key concerns have been about showing images which are most relevant to the topic rather than about censoring "blasphemous" images (not really a concern here). In fact, it seemed as though some users purposely put unusual images into articles to appear offensive to many readers. It would be like starting an article about "Jesus of Nazareth" with a cartoon of Jesus dancing the Lindy Hop or some other unusual, inappropriate image. If you consider the displays in the Islamic Museum in Cairo, Egypt (core of the Arab World), there have not been many portraits of anyone in there. As an analogy, I have shown the photo (at right) of a horse as being an inappropriate image for an article on "Cat dentistry" (it would be better to have a picture of a cat's head, at least). That is why unusual images have been removed from articles about Islamic topics. English Wikipedia has tried to present articles with the typical commonplace treatment, such as with WP:COMMONNAME about article titles. However, several users have misunderstood that as being a "form of censorship" but other articles do allow such images (see article: "Images of Mohammed"). -Wikid77 (talk) 15:39, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
That image is both inappropriate and rude considering the seriousness of the issue. My point is that to you it may look like pretty patterns but the fact is the picture is censored and replaced with a giant name in text... I'm sorry but your argument is fundamentally flawed on the basis that WP is in the business of deciding what is or is not offensive - the Wikimedia Foundation and Mr Wales has always been pretty clear on that: wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Controversial_content which is why I'm saddened to see exceptions being made. If this, then why not Xenu...? The first paragraph of text in that article is forbidden knowledge to most Scientologists as such that if it's known that they viewed the page they would get outcast.
I was expecting this issue to probably not get much reply possibly because of the the potential threat of harm to anyone involved, but I thought someone should say something, it's not right to give anyone special treatment and especially when if it's through fear of violence. The lack of anonymity is probably where WMF is less safely balanced to be open about issues than Wikileaks I guess, I'm not sure if there is any real solution but saying something about issues is better than silence --Mistress Selina Kyle (talk) 03:19, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, many people have already replied in prior discussions, and the consensus seemed fairly clear wrt the "principle of least astonishment". Images of Muhammed have been extremely rare, or considered taboo, in Islam for many years, and it would be bizarre for Wikipedia to plaster rare images into an article just because someone did not like the very common images of the calligraphy for Muhammed's name. However, some painted images are shown in the tangent article "Depictions of Muhammad". Please read that article for more explanations, and then other editors would be better prepared to answer any further questions. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
We presently have 6 images of Muhammad in the article Muhammad. Following the conclusion of the current arbitration case, there will probably be some sort of community process to look at whether this is appropriate, or should be revised. --JN466 08:37, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright

Is copying verbatim an extensive part of an article abstract likely to be a copyright violation? [1] The section copied is over seventy words long. Is it proper for an editor to revert edits designed to avoid a coopyvio in favor of the full exact quote proper in your opinion? BTW, the exact excuse given is

"I did not copy the entire abstract. The entire abstract is 168 words"

but would anyone think that only copying 40% of an abstract (all in consecustive words) is proper? I give this as an example since we have a discussion above on this talk page about copyright and Wikipedia, and copyright in general. Cheers. Collect (talk) 03:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Some relevant information has been lost here. The quote was made in the form A 2012 study found that "blah blah blah" (ref). That's the correct way to quote directly. The length was on the margins of fair use, but the length limit for fair use has never actually been defined with any precision by US courts. Looie496 (talk) 03:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
40% has always been found to exceed fair use. Cheers. Collect (talk) 03:35, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Says who? Looie496 (talk) 03:38, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Collect just raised this issue at ANI AN [2], and there hasn't been much chance for people to respond there. Not sure if forking this is a good idea. But briefly: Discover Magazine's blurb about this quoted the entire 168-word abstract, so it's probably legal. And relevant policy gives only the figure that 400 words can be too high in "an extreme case". Wnt (talk) 04:01, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The relevant "work" in this case is the full paper, not the abstract. Compare "is copying the whole book title a copyright violation?" Properly quoting two sentences from a research paper is routine. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 05:35, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it perfectly appropriate to quote, with attribution, 40% of the abstract of an academic paper. I'd go a lot higher than that, actually, to say that it is appropriate to quote, with attribution, the entire abstract. That's what an abstract is for, really. Note well what I am saying - the original complaint here said "copying" but quoting is not "copying". It's very different to simply assert word for word what someone else asserted, even with a footnote, because that misleads the reader into thinking that we wrote it ourselves - wrong. But to quote someone at length is often the right thing to do. Notice too, that we are talking about the abstract of the paper, not the full paper. So the 40% number is pretty meaningless. I'm unaware of any court cases ever which found that quoting the abstract, even in full, of an academic paper was copyright violation. And I can't imagine any circumstance in which a publisher would have any reason to sue to try to reach a different conclusion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:14, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry but "copying" is copying. What you probably intended to say by that is that copying in quotes and with attribution is not plagiarism (ever). However, that does not necessarily make it free of copyright issues, which are a different ball game. Whether quoting is appropriate fair use is something that depends on context and governing IP laws. Having said that, I agree with you that it isn't a copyright violation in the context in which it was done here. Editors should recall that indexing and abstracting services routinely quote 100% of abstracts of all papers they index. I don't recall PubMed (or similar services) ever getting sued over that. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 08:19, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I think you might want to run this by an attorney before offering an opinion here that is apt to be repeated under the principle of JIMBOSAYSSO. I'd personally be enormously leery of directly quoting a 40% portion of a published work, be it an abstract or an article. I really can't think of an appropriate place to put a huge block quote of an abstract into play, for that matter. Carrite (talk) 09:24, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
As pointed out above, the "published work" is the paper, not the abstract, and the "huge block quote" consists of two sentences. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
then you should edit the WP article thereon which states: Abstracts are protected under copyright law just as any other form of written speech is protected., [3] The copyright to each abstract written specifically for AEH, and to the Abstract Library as a whole, is held by EH.Net, [4] Abstracts contain text and images that are copyrighted by EULAR, [5] Copyright © 2012 by Association for Psychological Science (um -- that is the copyright notice for the abstract we were just told is not copyright because only the "paper" is the "published work"!) So we have abstracts in general being regarded as copyright, and the specific abstract noted legally as being copyright. I suggest that where the abstract is coopyright that copying 40% is, indeed, a violation of copyright. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:31, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
You've TOTALLY DEMOLISHED the strawman argument that Abstracts have no copyright. Congratulations! Hipocrite (talk) 13:09, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
No no no no! Your doing it wrong. It only counts in bold face. Only bold face makes you right. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:25, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
A statement was made which appeared errant. Using stress as provided in Wikimarkup is useful to make sufficiently clear the facts about copyright notices being quite clearly present, and that abstracts are routinely considered to be copyrighted. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:25, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
That and User:MastCell's points 5 & 6 Face-tongue.svg. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:06, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • 40% of 168 words is 67.2 words. That's a medium length sentence. I think quoting even two, three or four sentences is fine. Collect, please drop it; you are wrong, so far wrong that continuing to argue would be a form of WP:POINT. Jehochman Talk 14:50, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Oh? Then explain why all the cites I find say that the abstracts are "copyright" and that the cite specifically used asserts "copyright" if "copyright" is a meaningless concept? Especially since such parts as "N =" are included, which has no actual value to Wikipedia readers? Sorry J - I think the POINT is from those who think that violating copyright is a means of asserting that Wikipedia has naught to fear from ACTA etc. Which I think might be a very risky POINT to make. ACTA is quite real. Cheers. `Collect (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC).
To be clear, I'm not disputing the copyright on the abstract; I say only that 70 words is well within Fair Use. The "N = 15,874" is perhaps the most meaningful part of the quote, because it's what makes the rest believable. I interpret Jimbo's statement to mean that this is not WP:Plagiarism, which is the only complaint plausibly laid against the copying of short stretches of text like this. The meaning of the copyright is that you can't follow a Fair Use abstract with a Fair Use introductory paragraph, etc. Wnt (talk) 15:59, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Source for that assertion which appears diametrically opposed to the cites I gave above? Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:30, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not diametrically opposed. Are you aware of the fact that "fair use" only makes sense with respect to works under copyright? There is no "fair use" of things which are in the public domain - it's simply "use". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:23, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Awareness

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```Buster Seven Talk 08:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

What's next

I've been contacted by people in the movie industry who would like to sit down and talk to me about what kind of bill I would support. While I believe that they have been arrogant and overbearing in the past, I also think this is a good opportunity for us to move forward with some proposals that will address some of the real issues they have, AND a good opportunity for us to move forward with some proposals that will address many of the real issues that we have. Let's discuss. What's your (realistic) dream copyright reform bill? As Mick sang, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes..."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, I have great respect for you and trust you to do the right thing. That being said, I think that it would be wise for you to continue trying to disabuse the Hollywood moguls of the notion that you are an all-powerful CEO, and that if they convince you, they have won over Wikipedia. As the most prominent spokesperson, you did a good job of that during the blackout. Take a group of editors to the meeting. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:56, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course, but I don't think anyone is going to try to convince me of anything anyway.  :-) What I want to do in this discussion (which is progressing nicely for the most part) is to be able to talk with a higher degree of confidence about what things people think are important. As I will say below, I don't really have any choice about saying something, so I think a big part of doing my job well is to have well-articulated and balanced basic positions in mind when I am asked.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Better yet, bring some WMF lawyers with you, since it's law that's being written. First Light (talk) 23:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't think we'd be drafting any law - I am personally certainly unqualified to do so, but I do think we have an opportunity to make it clear that some things that haven't been on the agenda, should be on the agenda.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I know, but I think having a WMF lawyer there might help clear up any confusion about how to protect Wikipedia and still protect the copyrights of the movie and music industry. The devil is going to be in the details, i.e., the written law. I didn't mean that a lawyer should be there to intimidate, but more to educate (though I did say it too flippantly above). First Light (talk) 19:35, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I would very much like a provision allowing orphaned works to be brought into the public domain. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Hear, hear. --FormerIP (talk) 22:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a good one.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
A reduction in the copyright term length. Life + 70 years is way, way too long. Something on the order of 15 years is optimal says an academic paper on the subject. Repeal of the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (and similar provisions in global laws) - DRM is bad for consumers - see Cory Doctorow's speech at 28c3 on the "Coming War on General Purpose Computing". Strict liability for those falsely submitting takedown requests. Above all else we need evidence-based policy. No more legislation based on unpublished studies. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 22:06, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
A reduction to 70 years would be a start. One of the reasons progress in regulating copyright on the Internet has been so slow is that the US has dragged its feet for so long in terms of harmonising with the Berne convention. And the blame for that lies squarely with the US entertainment industry.
Realistically, I don't think they'll be giving any quid-pro-quo, though.
I think it is more realistic to ask for enforcement led by an agency rather than going directly through the courts (this is a feature of the OPEN proposal), with the agency being also strongly geared towards the protection of websites showing reasonable diligence. This means preserving the concept of safe harbour, whilst recognising that clear abuse of it may be actionable in the future.
If you are not already, you should be talking to EFF, Creative Commons, Internet Archive and so on and ensuring that everybody is on the same page. Wikipedia should not speak unilaterally. --FormerIP (talk) 22:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"Realistically, I don't think they'll be giving any quid-pro-quo, though." - Then what is the point in having talks with them? Surely they cannot expect that the term lengths and enforcement measures relating to the copying monopoly can only go one way? If the talks are only about how to mitigate the cultural and technological damages of their self-interest then reformists and other interested parties should not legitimise their actions. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 22:49, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
SOPA/PIPA and copyright terms are separate matters. What this meeting is about is how do the entertainment guys get what they want without posing a threat to the Internet guys. If Jimmy goes in there saying "I'm OK with you threatening our existence a little bit if we can get ten years shaved off copyright terms in return" then he's just going to look a little foolish. --FormerIP (talk) 23:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Speaking purely of what I think may be achievable, I think a reduction in the term of copyright is very achievable, particularly if it only applies to new creations, i.e. let them have the ridiculous extensions to their existing works. Speaking in terms of Net present value it turns out that the dollar value today of years 70-95 (for example) is nearly zero under almost any sensible assumptions. It's easy for them to give it up, and it's a step in the right direction for us.
And of course, if you know me, you know I would never say anything like "I'm OK with you threatening our existence a little bit".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, and your point above that this may represent an opportunity to mention things that haven't been part of the public discussion so far is a fair one. BUT if we're only talking about works created in the future, terms are already 70 years in most cases. Going lower would mean the US leaving the Berne Convention, which I think is a lot to ask for. Of course, the Sonny Bono Act was a bad thing, but I think that after you've said that the entertainment guys are likely to say "OK, so now lets talk about piracy". --FormerIP (talk) 01:45, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't my point, of course we [i.e. not the MPAA & supporters] should object to all moves to curtail our rights. My point is that the entire system is already stacked against the "consumer" in a huge way (not to mention the fact that the line between consumer and creator is almost non-existent now). Any reform of the copying monopoly must come with changes favouring the public domain and consumer rights. To do otherwise will be to bend ourselves over the barrel with a bottle of lube in our hands while whispering "be gentle" to the likes of the MPAA. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 00:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
A regulatory system that gave artists a reasonable incentive to continue to produce new content, whilst not enabling big corporations to stifle innovation, creativity and indeed the conservation and propagation of our cultural heritage. That isn't going to be an easy match because the interests of performers, owners of intellectual property, and the wider public don't always align. There's also the practical issue that legislation designed to prevent people filesharing someone's movie or musical recording doesn't work well when extended to a couple of paragraphs of text. That said a dialogue is a good idea. I doubt that the Hollywood studios who want to protect their films from being pirated really wanted a law that would have enabled vandals to take down Wikipedia by copying a paragraph of text from an offline copyrighted source and then reporting the site as containing copy-violations. But don't get to chummy with them - our interests lie in openness and there are some whose interests are diametrically opposed to ours. ϢereSpielChequers 22:54, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with all of that.
This is a bit of a pet issue of mine, but at the very least my dream copyright reform bill would close the loophole on sound recordings (currently all sound recordings not released into the public domain, even those published before 1923, are still under copyright. The earliest that copyrighted sound recordings may enter the public domain is 2067!). Repealing the Sonny Bono act wouldn't hurt either. Reducing the copyright time period by a few more years (decades?) would be ideal, but that isn't at all likely. ThemFromSpace 23:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I think a reduction in term of copyright isn't impossible - as long as there is some grandfathering of works currently under excessively long terms.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course, if I would want to keep my precious copyrights forever, I'd agree to that, too. Shortened copyright terms are only agreed to as long as none of the industry's works are involved. As soon as they are (which, thanks to the "grandfathering", might take a couple of decades) we're all back at square one. And the fun part is that you can repeat doing this over and over again. Promise reasonable copyright terms for new works, grandfather in the old works, wait 30 years. Repeat. I'm sorry, Jimbo, but that would not be an improvement. --Conti| 13:20, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
The period of copyright should be a fixed quantity that does not depend in any way on the duration of the author's life, or anything else that is variable or that isn't printed in the book itself. James500 (talk) 00:56, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
That's a really interesting idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Consider e.g. commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Richard_Norris_Wolfenden.jpg, where people (though perhaps based on a grudge) are seriously arguing for the deletion of a photo from 1905 because they're not sure who shot it and when he died. Wnt (talk) 17:43, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Recognition of scale (by size or number of page views), 501(c) organizations / S&P 500 or similar status, number of challenged items should be considered for timeliness requirements and penalties of response. As should having a deliberate process for identifying individuals with ability to remove content, pending a deliberate review. Regular editors do this, too: removal, explanation, restoration, and justification. Note that identifying and resolving this issue were both internal and took just over 5 days. Short term removal was absolutely the best immediate response, and if I remember, my comparisons took a couple of hours. But 3.8 million articles and ~100 edits/minute? Dru of Id (talk) 02:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to say that, as someone who was opposed to the initial blackout, I'm opposed to Wikipedia digging into the political game any deeper than it already is. One instance of political bias is, while not ethically proper in my opinion, it's permissible as a simple brain belch, a loss of common intelligence to push a political ideal on behalf of certain people. I have a major issue with Wikipedia trying to lose more face by becoming more politically involved. Inviting, but improper. Within hours of a 'law' that had anything whatsoever to do with this encyclo going public, either some of our own people would begin to edit pages about certain people saying "____ Representative voted opposing the new bill proposed, that was partially written by Jimmy Wales, founder (co-founder?) of Wikipedia" or a member of the outside media would directly tie us to someone who voted for or against the bill.

Moreover, where does it end? I'm by no means impartial, as I don't think it's truly possible to be impartial unless you simply don't use your mind whilst writing. What bugs me is, after this second foray into politics, then what? Backing certain politicians? Partys? Agendas?

I'm opposed to the SOPA and PIPA crapolA that everyone else here opposes, but in the same vein, once you lose credibility, you will never win it all back, regardless of what you do. If White Star Line was still operating under the old name, you think any of their competition could ignore sticking a few "And WE have captains who OBEY ice warnings!" ads? I was opposed to the bass ackwards way the initial blackout was carried out, I was opposed to Wikipedia involving itself in politics in any form, and I am opposed to Wikipedia becoming more involved. (Sorry Jimbo, but to a lot of people, you ARE Wikipedia, and it does what you tell it to. Whether you can or can't isn't the question. As the face of the project, you really don't need to be dragging it through whatever mud you like the looks of. Wikipedia has, for the time being, a lot going for it. Once it, and more directly, you begin to dig into politics, it stands to lose a lot of credibility. An encyclopedia without credibility is just one site clogging up Google every time you search for something.)

I realize and recognize that my statement doesn't matter, because a 'committee' will vote on it regardless. And, those who follow you directly and bow in your shadow will mindlessly follow, as they did with the blackout. My own suspicion says, the whole group could be totally opposed to something, if you came along and said you liked it, there would be a LOT of "Well, on second thought, Jimbo has a point and I change my vote". For better or worse, where you go, a whole lot of this group would follow because of admiration. I can't say I'm one of them, but I don't follow blindly. Actually, I've never known me to follow at all unless I liked where the group I was with was going. Nothing personal against you, you just draw a lot of pull from many people. It happens.) As I see it, Wikipedia has no place in politics, and therefore shouldn't try to create a place. Copyrights are so screwy that it's sickening, but at the same time, speed limit laws are screwy too, and I don't think it's Wikipedias business to be messing with either.

I'll catch trouble for this, but this is partially why I've hated seeing you make any type of definitive statement; people will follow you even if the idea isn't all that great. Even if it undermine what I feel is what this place is about. I've only been an 'editor' for a few days, but I've been a faithful reader for a few years. Bring on the hate mail. ;) Skweeky (talk) 05:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Up above I promised to explain why I think I don't have a choice to stay out of it. I am going to be asked my views by the press at every available opportunity for the next several months. ACTA is going to come to a head in June when the European Parliament votes on it. (That's the current schedule, as I understand it.) So I think it's valuable for me to have some extensive talks with the community so that I can get a sense of some middle-of-the-road (for our community) proposals that are also potentially achievable. What I mean by middle-of-the-road is stuff that almost everyone would say "Yeah, that's OK" to, even if some of us would want a lot more than that, or some of us would want a lot less than that. In no circumstance other than a real mandate backed by a strong vote would I attempt to speak "for the community" - but I have a responsibility to the community to both emphasize that I am speaking for myself at all times, and to put forward ideas that the community broadly agrees with.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Skweeky, you have every right to hold those opinions and also to express them in appropriate venues. By the way, welcome to active Wikipedia editing after reading for a few years, and my welcome is sincere. However, it seems to me that you are not addressing Jimbo's question that started this thread. We are not talking about the blackout, but rather about what kind of copyright enforcement bill would be acceptable to the Wikipedia community going forward. Your thoughts on that specific matter would be appreciated. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:36, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought I made my stance clear, and apologize for my lack of clarity. I'm not in favor of any sort of bill being put forth by anyone on behalf of the 'interests' of this site. I agree wholeheartedly that the laws stink, but I disagree that it is the business of a so-called impartial and unbiased source to be trying to change them. The creation of bills is, in my opinion, the job of politicians, not encyclopedia operators. This, as well as the blackout, are both political, and therefore, I'd rather see wikipedia and WMF left out of it. Leave the politicians to the politics, as they do that best. Leave the chronicling of knowledge to Wikipedia, as we do that best. By the same token, I'm not a big fan of politicians coming here and editing pages relative to politics without reliable source. I'm a fence-building kind of person, and I like people to stay on their own side of the fence. Skweeky (talk) 18:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
All I can really say is that I disagree with you. I think our chosen task of writing a free encyclopedia in no way precludes us from entering the public debate to explain why certain legal conditions are necessary for our work and others are useful for our work, etc.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Disabling copyright protection is a grossly ill-considered position. Protection of intellectual property rights was a long struggle (see the Mark Twain quote I earlier posted on this page on [6]) (yes - it may go too far in some cases - but the baby-bathwater anaology still holds true), and for Wikipedia to be seen in any way as an opponent of them is against the core foundations of Wikipedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:33, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure what you are saying here. I haven't seen anyone here in favor of removing all copyright protection. And I don't think that Wikipedia being seen as advocating for a less draconian position on, for example, de minimis filesharing than the MPAA would like is in any way "against the core foundations of Wikipedia". --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I personally would support the killing of ACTA, which would restore peace on the internet once more and a retreat to the old copyright laws of the internet. – Anonymous Plarem (User talk) 18:03, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Twain's quote speaks of the publisher's profit - but people sharing their files on the internet aren't making a profit. His justification was suited to the time, when copyright was a small tax on books which in any case were expensive. But now we have vastly more ways to distribute information, and it's time to look for a tax that is more efficient for our time. Wnt (talk) 07:40, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I suggest you reread Twain if that is your personal impression. I find it to be strongly in favour of regarding the intellectual property of the author as belonging to the author. As so others, and as did Congress. Collect (talk) 10:32, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
The problem with perpetual or long-term copyrights is that they immediately run up against the categorical imperative (or the golden rule if you like smaller words). All intellectual creations rely on a large mountain of shared culture. Twain did not invent the English language, so why should he be allowed to use it for free? Disney used Cinderella without any compensation to the (unknown) heirs of the original creators of that story. Even extreme works like 4′33″ only make sense as a contrast to the cultural expectations. The more we lock up creative works, the more this fruitful cycle of creativity comes to a grinding halt. I like the part "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" at least as much as the "exclusive Right" part, and I think they must be balanced by a reasonable application of "for limited Times". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:48, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Collect, your interpretations of text are generally unreliable. The quote you cited is "What is the excuse? It is that the author who produced that book has had the profit of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes a profit which does not belong to it and generously gives it to the 88,000,000 of people. But it doesn't do anything of the kind. It merely takes the author's property, takes his children's bread, and gives the publisher double profit. He goes on publishing the book and as many of his confederates as choose to go into the conspiracy do so, and they rear families in affluence." There is no question that this situation is changed. There are anti-trust laws to prevent the conspiracy, there is much wider competition between printers, and more to the point, there is free instant downloading between friends and even perfect strangers around the world. When he was speaking, the copyright could be settled with a relatively small payment/profit charged on a tangible good that any policeman could check in one of a few bookstores in a city. Now the payment is the sole hindrance between the data and those 88 million people, and enforcing it requires a cop in every computer. Wnt (talk) 16:19, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Create a wiki for this law, the structure of which could perhaps be used as a prototype for working on various other laws. It's a new direction, but worth exploring. Start by providing the full wording for existing law(s), SOPA and PIPA, along with discussions of the pros and cons of each. Include Lawrence Lessig's proposals along with other major proposals and alternatives. Then facilitate discussion on the purpose of copyright law, what helps and what hurts innovation, how and when legal restrictions and regulations are useful, etc. This should NOT be limited to discussions of x number of years of y type of protection (the existing structure, simply arguing over the number), but should include other ideas such as strong protection for a short period of time, followed by lesser protection for another period of time. Whatever. The important thing is to focus on the intended goal, and bring forth and fully discuss some new ideas. Living in a globalized society, copyright laws need to be global as well. Wikipedians are global, so they should be able to represent various points of view on this. Good luck. 76.192.40.75 (talk) 18:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I think that's a great idea. I might do that. It'd be interesting to see if a very broad effort - reaching beyond just Wikipedians and into a lot of other communities - could generate a reasonable consensus on what should be done, one that lots of people could point to as something that the Internet community generally supports. I don't know if that's possible, but I think it probably is. One concern I have here is that the "next steps" are going to involve "Silicon Valley versus Hollywood" compromises, with all of us who aren't either being left out of the equation. In general, I think our interests are more closely aligned with, say, Google's than with the MPAA. But they aren't perfectly aligned, and stuff that we care a lot about (orphan works) aren't really much of a concern to Google. Google is mainly interested in not having to pre-moderate everything; we share that concern as a community, because that would seriously break how we do our work. But we care about a lot of other stuff too.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely true, we do care about a lot of other stuff too. Put everyone together, and we probably care about everything. Direct democracy isn't my choice of a solution to this issue, but open democracy, going beyond simple transparency, could be really helpful and important. A second prototype might be the U.S. income tax for individuals, as Congress seems to be incapable of reforming it. In that case, start with existing law and Simpson-Bowles. Wikicracy rules. After a fashion. ;-) 75.60.18.197 (talk) 21:33, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Issues that would interest them: Thank you for asking our opinions. As you know, there are many issues to consider. So, here are some reminders:

  • Wikipedia editors would like to show movie posters or other fair-use images, at low-resolution, but not detailed enough to enable people to create film-momento merchandise.
  • Perhaps create limited publicity photos unlikely to promote unauthorized merchandising, such as not showing film props or gadgets in posters which might be copied.
  • Any person can contact Wikipedia editors, anonymously without a login, to report potential copyvio infringement at wiki-noticeboards, and editors tend to respond quickly to those messages, to remove unauthorized content.
  • English Wikipedia already has a blacklist of websites which are known to contain false or unauthorized information, and editors cannot insert web hyperlinks to those blacklisted websites.
  • Wikipedia has been running bots, in the automated software, which warns editors when their text seems to contain wording which is identical, or paraphrased, from copyrighted webpages. Note that even half-reworded text is still reported as potential infringement.
  • Wikipedia has many procedures to uphold copyright laws, including the blanking of entire pages if any portion is suspected of containing excessive copyrighted text or lyrics.
  • Wikipedia respects copyrights of authors, and encourages use of attribution-required licenses if an author or photographer wishes to be indentified for their photographic work or paintings.
  • Wikipedia has articles in over 280 languages; hence, many of those other-language Wikipedias are maintained by people outside the typical regions of the multi-national corporations.
  • Wikipedia policies require neutral balance, so articles about films or TV shows do not dwell on negative reviews from critics, but rather present a balance noting the positive published reviews.
  • Emphasize that Wikipedia is about "free or fair-use information". Rather than just talking about what is copyrighted also ask them to consider what is free or fair-use, as within the big picture to address.
Those are some of the many issues to continue discussing. Some of the issues might seem naive, but who knows what other people imagine is being done inside Wikipedia. Do they even know that bots have warned editors, within minutes, that some text is reworded similar to copyrighted webpages? -Wikid77 (talk) 04:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I know you know this, I just want hammer it into your mind more forcefully: When going into these "discussions," it is imperative to leave "AGF", "DONTBITE", and whatever nice rules we have here at home. No matter what they're gonna tell you and no matter how much they'll smile at you, their mind is focused exclusively on money and how much of it they can make, regardless of consequences, morals, or costs to others. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:36, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

  • It would probably not be inappropriate to mention that the Justice Department already seems to have enough tools to take down websites like Megaupload and even cause a ripple effect in the practices of similar websites. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 08:48, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • How Russian people can help? I saw suggestion to contribute here. Thank you! - 2.94.173.97 (talk) 09:33, 30 January 2012 (UTC).
  • I think we need to read different legal acts, which were signed by the U.S. and the Russian Federation. In this case exists possibility, that copyright law of Russia will play important role in this issue (interactivity, for example, and not only). Our law more soft than law of U.S., you can be sure. Get invitation and use this, not bad thing, including. - 2.94.173.97 (talk) 14:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC).
  • I think that the crucial step forward is to initiate a different mechanism to reward authors besides copyright. But it has to be under the control of individual taxpayers, not politicians or elites. Some steps:
  • Figure out - impartially - how much (if at all) piracy is hurting various content creation industries.
  • Instead of enacting one harsh law after another, create a new tax proportional to the income tax to provide compensation to the authors. The amount can start off small, but what is crucial is that individual taxpayers have the right to choose what they want to support. In theory taxpayers could designate recipients directly (a very small maximum amount going to each); in practice they would more likely select independent funding organizations which choose worthy recipients. The funding must not simply be proportional to receipts, however, because the point is to give the taxpayer a way to choose who gets funding which is separate from the mechanical efficiency of copy protection, etc. In exchange for paying the tax, taxpayers (regardless of income level) would not face any new draconian measures and would have more and more right to do things which essentially mean that they're pirating content, without facing legal risk. In some short time frame, the new mechanism would take over for copyright entirely, and people would pay the entire amount to the content creators that they currently do, and would have the right to unmetered access to all content whatsoever.
  • Another way to phase out copyright, which might be done at the same time, is to buy out sectors for the national interest. For example, biomedical journals are extremely expensive for university libraries, and only the very best research institutions have access to most of them. But most of the funding going to them comes off public grants anyway! If we could just work out a fair price based on past income, we ought to be able to eminent-domain the whole sector, throwing in a bit of a bonus to smooth things over, then let every single library, even in your local community college, have access to every biomedical journal ever written.
  • I've glossed over the international complications of much of this; it is clear that many of these things would start off as a sort of "domestic license", but I think other countries would want the same thing. Wnt (talk) 02:48, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Shorter copyright terms, ideally an automatic 14-year copyright with the option to renew (possibly renewing repeatedly). Some years ago, somebody produced a graph of Commons' content by decade of upload. Between the 1400s and the 1910s, the amount of content rose on an exponential curve. Between the 1920s and 1990s, it fell: except for the 1940s (US military photos of WWII), each decade had less content on Commons than the preceding one. Since 1923 is the cutoff for US copyrights, it's pretty clear what happened: copyright law has left us with a century of culture missing from our collection. --Carnildo (talk) 03:12, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Still focusing on their concerns: The major concern is likely to be thwarting downloads of copyrighted films, music, or photos of merchandise which could be copied. Some related issues are:
  • For a website to be blocked, there needs to be a full investigation of alleged copyright infringement, rather than just a single complaint which claims the information has been pirated. The user should not be held accountable for the short-duration display of copyrighted materials, but Wikipedia has blocked users who repeatedly try to post copyrighted text, images or sound files.
  • Already, Wikipedia discourages all copying of other website images or videos unless those are marked as free or fair-use, such as crime-scene photos in Italy being fair-use. The restriction even includes U.S. Federal Government websites because many photos on federal websites are directly licensed and not the public-domain work of federal employees.
  • Already, Wikipedia discourages all copying of text, except for short, quoted passages, unless the page specifically allows free or fair-use copying.
  • Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, for years, have discouraged uploads of copyrighted images or videos.
  • Wikipedia is not a form of the "old Napster" (as far as I know), and people do not come here to freely share pirated films or music sound files.
  • Screenshots are limited to a few images per article. In the past, some recent films had perhaps 10 screenshots, clearly labeled as copyrighted with fair-use licenses, to support the Plot section, but that has been trimmed to perhaps 2 small, low-resolution screenshots for the Plot.
  • There have been people attempting to embed linkspam inside article pages, to link to music/video-pirate websites, but those links have been removed quickly, and many websites have been blocked.
  • Wikipedia has a policy against linking to websites which omit copyright notices. Even for music lyrics, if a webpage does not show a song's copyright terms, then no links to that webpage are permitted, even if a US-based website.
Perhaps the key issue to emphasize is that Wikipedia requires a few minutes or hours to pull copyrighted text or images, and it is not feasible to instantly block web hyperlinks to every website which might offer copyrighted materials without proper notices displayed. In some cases, copyrighted materials have been image-scanned or typed from printed books or magazines, and those cases take longer to detect and remove. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikid, in everything you post, you're making a crucial mistake, and you'd be terrible at meeting with them: what you write sounds like some apology and we-really-aren't-bad-people-rhetoric. That's dead wrong. It's on the proponents of a law to justify every single point they want to see in a potential bill, and they need to come up with apologies and explanations. And Jimbo needs to grill them on every damn detail until they have good answers. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:15, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Think executive summary: Well, I suggest they need a broad picture of what Wikipedia wants with the film or TV materials. This is not a time to "play cards close to the vest" because the film makers are already here, or at least their people are. How is it that detailed film information is getting placed inside new film articles, soon after plans to make a film are begun? It is unlikely that "average Wikipedians" instantly know the expected cast members, filming locations, and production details who just happen to have time to work on the same film article at the same time. The issue, now, is to ensure an "executive summary" of how WP handles the film/TV materials, so that top executives will also know that Wikipedia has over 73,000 film articles, and small film-poster images appear with almost every film. At the same time, it is important to quickly refute any superstitions that "Wikipedia is the new Napster" for pirated videos or movie posters (no, WP is not acting in that role). Otherwise, the result is fairly clear: movie studios would prefer that every video clip, or image uploaded, be thoroughly pre-vetted for potential copyright infringement and never displayed to the general public until approved. Instead, they need to understand that the risk of unauthorized use is very low and quickly stopped once detected, but there are ways in which they could help reduce copying, while still publicizing their films in Wikipedia and the mirror sites. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:22, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • My dream copyright bill (well, you SAID dream, right?)
    • Copyright terms are drastically reduced. The fast flow of information we have available to us means we need less of a protection period to "promote science and the useful arts", not more, than in the Founders' day. At the ten or fifteen year mark from publication, you've either made your money or you're not going to.
    • Removal of automatic copyright. Material may be copyrighted for the first five years either by a clear copyright notice published with the work, or with a copy of the work being deposited with the Library of Congress/Copyright Office. The deposit process should be made electronic and automated for all reasonably possible cases. For works such as sculptures where the deposit of an actual copy is impractical or impossible, a clear photographic representation may be deposited instead. The deposit must clearly indicate the owner of the copyright and how to contact them and must be kept up to date. If the copyright holder cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts at the contact information deposited, the copyright is forfeited. This would solve the orphan works problem overnight.
    • After the first five years, a renewal may be filed by deposit of copies (or photographic representations as above) to the Library of Congress/Copyright Office along with a nominal fee, up to the maximum term of ten to fifteen years. The small fee will enable independent authors still interested in retaining copyright to keep it, but will discourage renewal of works no longer considered to have any potential.
    • Following expiration of the maximum term, the material is irrevocably released into the public domain. Retroactive extensions of copyright terms are prohibited.
    • Noncommercial copyright violation is made into a "speeding ticket" type of violation-a fine of a couple hundred dollars, with more serious consequences following for repeat offenders. We can't prevent piracy totally, any more than we can prevent speeding totally, but the possibility of getting a ticket curbs it.
    • For-profit copyright violation (selling pirated goods for money) remains a serious criminal offense. It should, however, require that:
      • The seller clearly intended to directly make money from the sales.
      • A reasonable person would have clearly known that the items being sold were pirated and did not constitute fair use.
      • Under DMCA safe harbor, no person can be prosecuted for owning, running, or making money from a service on which others have uploaded pirated items, provided that such person responded reasonably quickly to takedown requests (below).
    • The definition of fair use continues in its current form. However, someone accused of a copyright violation who was making clear fair use may be awarded attorney's fees. Plaintiffs who sue against a clear fair use case in bad faith (i.e., to suppress criticism or mockery) may also have punitive damages assessed against them.
    • The current DMCA notice/counternotice and safe harbor provisions are widely criticized on both sides of the debate. That means they balance things pretty well. :) They continue as they are.
    • The law acknowledges that other countries are not a US state and are not subject to US jurisdiction, and that therefore they are free to make their own laws which may not have these same provisions. US citizens who get illegal materials from foreign sites, however, still would be potentially liable for doing so.
  • Well, now I'll wake up, and your movie moguls will never advocate anything like this. But they should, because it'd actually work. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

A concession that could be made to the content industry that I would think the community should support would be to advise the industry that if another bill sponsored by the content industry should appear next year, they would be invited to address the Wikipedia community directly on an equal footing with those opposed to the bill. In my view giving them a fair chance to stop a consensus from forming for active opposition would also mean advising them that if non-Wikipedia civil liberties activist sites are directing their people towards a Wikipedia page calling for community input (as occurred prior to the blackout), they would be free to direct their people similarly. The alternative to having the call for input being open without discrimination would be to have it closed without discrimination, such that all outside groups would be equally discouraged from interference. Also, Wikipedia ought to be happy to trade away more aggressive enforcement of copyright (since Wikipedia is already aggressive, at least in my opinion) if the same bill put copyrighted material into the public domain sooner and/or in larger quantities.--Brian Dell (talk) 04:31, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

  • While the meeting may be ostensibly to discuss future copyright legislation - would there be an opportunity to discuss accepting the Wikipedia model as a valid model for film production (as my own "The Transition of Juliet and Romeo") it is difficult for those of us running these projects to receive the support and resources from an industry that is fixed on the old studio model (even though that old model leads to endless repeats and a lack of originality rather than new material). Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:37, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Dealing with outing and harassment on external websites

Jimbo, I think I'm right in saying that you've been a strong advocate of protecting our community members against privacy violations and harassment. A case came to my attention recently of a Wikipedian who posted the real name, home address and phone number of another Wikipedian who had that same day received a real-world threat relating to his role on the Commons. The issue is currently being discussed at WP:AN/I#Delicious Carbuncle harassment and outing: block or ban proposal.

If this privacy violation had happened on Wikipedia I'm sure it would have resulted in an immediate block. However, it happened on an external website (one dedicated to discussing Wikipedia - you can guess which it is). I have seen the suggestion from time to time that we can't do anything about off-wiki conduct by Wikipedians (despite what WP:OUTING#Off-wiki harassment says). That might be true if their conduct has nothing to do with Wikipedia but in this particular case there was a clear attempt to influence things happening here and on Commons, by using tactics forbidden on Wikipedia. As a general rule, would you say that it shouldn't be acceptable for Wikipedians to sidestep prohibitions on certain activities on-wiki by moving off-wiki to do them there? From my perspective, I take the view that if Wikipedians have issues with each other about their on-wiki activities they should try to resolve them on-wiki, rather than seeking to use off-wiki forums to evade Wikipedia's bans on harassment, outing, canvassing etc. I'd be interested to know what you think. Prioryman (talk) 12:09, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Try objecting at external websites: If something seems improper at another website, such as publishing personal phone numbers, then contact personnel there, quickly, to help resolve the matter. It is very difficult to prove that some anonymous pseudonym on another website is the same person as a username on Wikipedia, even if they claim they are posting on that other website. When a personal phone number is compromised, by anyone, it is the responsibility of the owner to take evasive action, if that means leaving the phone off-the-hook during prank calls, telling friends to call an alternative phone, enabling caller ID, or tape-recording phone calls to gain evidence of harrassment. Collecting the proper evidence is the best means to let authorities handle the situation. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman, I was just about to leave a message on your talk page reminding you that I'm waiting for you to strike your misleading, false, and inflammatory statements on ANI, and provide that apology that you promised me. I'll leave it here instead. Please try to get to it soon. Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:13, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman does not owe you an apology. You used an email which you received from Fae to garnish personal information (including home address and phone number) which you then duly dumped onto Wikipedia Review, and which then led to onwiki homophobic harassment of Fae. If anything, Prioryman deserves some respect for following this up, and as stated at ANI you deserve to be booted out of the community, because you don't get it; that harassment of editors is NOT ok. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 07:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I think I do understand that harassment of editors is not ok. The question is really about what constitutes harassment. I am accused of harassment surprisingly often, thanks to the narrative created in part by Fæ when they were User:Ash and vociferously supporting the now banned User:Benjiboi. RFC/Us are part of Wikipedia's dispute resolution process. I am accusing of harassing User:Fæ because I have re-opened one that they skipped out of while pretending to leave Wikipedia. I have attempted to show that the same problems persist with the new account. A surprisingly large number of editors seem to agree that Fæ's RfA was misleading. I don't think Jimbo is interested in having us debate the issues here, but so far as Prioryman goes, they have made inflammatory, false, and misleading statements by embroidering on your fantasy of homophobic persecution at Wikipedia Review. They have done so not innocently, but in an effort to have me banned from the project. I think asking for false statements to be struck is reasonable under the circumstances, don't you? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:29, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimmy, I'd like you to weigh in here as well. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 07:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

It looks like a total mess to me. I see several people on both sides who should be given barn stars for patience, and several people on both sides who should find a new hobby and leave us alone. I leave it to others to figure out which are which. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:41, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
"Leave us alone" sounds as if you're referring to outsiders. Aren't we all, including Wikipedians who contribute to the Wikipedia Review, a part of the "us"? Due to how you berated Cla68 and the WR in December, I believe that you're asking WR users to "find a new hobby and leave us alone." You see WR users as outsiders who don't fit in or belong. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Addendum: If you honestly believe that members of "both sides" deserve barn stars, then I suggest that you start handing those barn stars out personally, so we can all judge your actions and decide for ourselves about whether you're truly referring to members of "both sides". It would be nice if your statement were backed up by something more tangible than words alone (i.e. those barn stars). --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:35, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Don't hold your breath.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:13, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Then you have failed to prove anything to me and to others. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:09, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
It was never his responsibility to "prove" his opinions. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:44, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I was hoping that the opinions of Wikipedia's figurehead would at least be a slight bit believable. Of course, it's also Jimbo's opinion that he's Wikipedia's "sole founder", so perhaps I was expecting too much. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:59, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Unlike Michael, I do see a wide range of behaviour by people on each side of the debate and feel that some are constructive and helping their cause and some are making fools of themselves. I also think that the issue would largely disappear if Fae resigned from WMUK. The fact that someone with the editing history of User:Ash is a trustee director of a charity that promotes Wikipedia for use in schools is going to rebound on WMUK and WMF sooner or later. Indeed, Dan Murphy, Middle East Correspondent of Christian Science Monitor, has made no secret that he is writing an article that will cover Fae/Ash.
I for one do not want to associate myself with WMUK while it has a trustee who regards a list of gay bath house regulars as "encyclopedic" and a picture of alleged prostitues as "educational". Fae defended the latter picture on Commons when he was a trustee of WMUK and even after other Commonists pointed out that its use contravened German legislation on privacy and image-rights and Commons policy which incorporated that legislation.
Two months after he defended the picture, which was included in the Wikipedia article on the Reeperbahn, Fae was testifying to the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, saying that as an adminn on Wikipedia he defended individuals' privacy and doing his best to give the committee the impression that there are no privacy issues on Wikipedia.
The fact that trustees of WMUK are piling in to support Fae rather than looking at what is best for the reputation of Wikimedia, reflects badly on that organisation. Are you prepared to let this continue? --Peter cohen (talk) 16:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I am going to explain one thing to you. The latter image that you are talking about, is the reason I opposed Fae for RfA on Commons. Looking at the discussion for that photo, it does look quite bad. I took the time to explain to Fae why it is I opposed, and he did not know until I actually discussed it with him, that Reeperbahn is an area which is not only known for its nightlife, but is also known for its prostitution. The photo as it was named was "Prostitutes in the street of Reeperbahn"; during the DR on Commons, Fae renamed the file to "People in the street of Reeperbahn" and removed all references to prostitution from the image page. Not knowing that the area is known for prostitution, and renaming the file as he did, Fae was acting in good faith in the discussion, and if I didn't know the real-life prostitution angle, I could have possibly come to the same conclusion as he. However, after discussing this with him, Fae realised that there was an issue with COM:IDENT, and that even though these people were in an open place, there is still some privacy and respect that we should extend to other people, especially when they are identifiable, and he expressed if he had of known this at the time of the DR, he would have supported its deletion.
Also Peter, I am disheartened that you are using Fae's role in WMUK as a focus point of attacks. Fae's opinions on that Commons deletion had nothing to do with his role in WMUK, but was merely his editorial opinion based upon the facts as he knew them at the time. I see no-one in the discussion bothered to explain to all editors (not only Fae) what the issue was with this street. But attempting to link this to Fae's role in WMUK is just wrong, wrong, wrong. I would perhaps suggest to stop listening to the likes of you-know-who and stop taking everything they say as being gospel. Becuase they are plain wrong, and so are you in your assessment above. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 22:41, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to say this is really quite unbelievable. We have a situation where a Wikipedian seeking to advance an on-wiki political dispute has posted the home address and phone number of another Wikipedian, who was and is still facing real-world harassment. This is undisputed. This action put the victim in real personal danger, and it was strictly prohibited by Wikipedia's harassment policy. That is also undisputed. And yet we have people on AN/I blaming the victim (!) and actually defending the perpetrator's actions as somehow justified, even though we've never accepted any justification for egregious privacy violations. Have we really reached a point where (some of) the Wikipedia community is so obsessed with scoring political points that they are willing to condone any intrusion into a person's off-wiki life? If so, why do we even have a harassment policy in the first place, if nobody is willing to enforce it? I note that any admin would have had a cast-iron case for indefinitely blocking the perpetrator, which would be well supported by policy and precedent, yet no action whatsoever has been taken against him. Can it be that the perpetrator and his thuggish supporters on Wikipedia Review have intimidated the entire admin community? Prioryman (talk) 19:38, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

We have no control over what our editors do at other websites. Wikipedia Review is what it is...MONGO 20:09, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
But it can and should have on-wiki consequences, see Wikipedia:HARASS#Off-wiki harassment. – ukexpat (talk) 20:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Correct. Key points from that policy page:
  • "Posting another editor's personal information is harassment, unless that person voluntarily had posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia."
  • "Posting such information about another editor is an unjustifiable and uninvited invasion of privacy."
  • "Unless unintentional and non-malicious (for example, where Wikipedians know each other off-site and may inadvertently post personal information, such as using the other person's real name in discussions), attempted outing is grounds for an immediate block.
  • "Off-wiki privacy violations shall be dealt with particularly severely."
This is categorical. The policy allows for no plea of justification. This particular privacy invasion was premeditated and deliberate, requiring the perpetrator to search for the personal information, which had never been disclosed to him or published in any context involving Wikipedia or Wikimedia. The only thing to discuss in such cases is what sanction should be applied. Yet in this case we have had a string of people either trying to justify the privacy invasion or blaming the victim for inadvertently allowing his personal information to be included in an off-wiki database. If views like those win the day, then the harassment policy is dead in the water because there is nothing that can be done to sanction blatant and egregious privacy invasions. Prioryman (talk) 20:29, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman and Ukexpat, the off-wiki harassment issues are ones I dealt with in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/MONGO...much of what above you mention was policy I helped develop (though long ago now, that was an epic situation in its day)...however, we do not have control over what editors post offsite....we can penalize editors if they link to external harassment and if off-wiki harassment is located it can be (via email) provided as evidence in arbcom cases, but we still have no control over what people post offsite.--MONGO 05:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman, if it is such a "black and white" case, why do you feel the need to invent evidence against me? Even here you are deliberately conflating public and private information and on-wiki and off-wiki activities. I have asked you to strike your false and misleading comments, but thus far you have not. I have noted the specific falsehoods here, if you would like to refresh your memory. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
You have already admitted the key facts: you posted another Wikipedian's personal information, which he did not volunteer to you, you did so with premeditation by specifically trying to find it, and you knew that your victim was being harassed off-wiki at the time. You have not attempted to explain why the plain letter of the policy, which states that actions like yours are harassment, unjustifiable and grounds for an immediate block, should not apply to you. I'm sure the many editors who have called for you to be banned would appreciate knowing why you think you're exempt from the rules. Prioryman (talk) 20:44, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman, your version of the events has been twisted to fit the narrative of harassment which dates back to User:Ash and User:Benjiboi's attempt to deflect attention away from their violations of BLP. You seem to be unable to believe that posting the phone number and address in the publicly available WHOIS record was an oversight on my part. I should have redacted it before posting. It wasn't needed to show that the domain in question was registered to Fæ. It was not accidental, but neither was it my intention to deliberately expose that information. Your desire to have me blocked is self-serving in the extreme and you seem to have no compunction against making false statements in order to accomplish that goal. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:05, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it wasn't needed, and you should have thought twice before you posted it. You cannot possibly have missed the fact that the record contained Fae's personal information since you were looking for his real name. It's pure sophistry to claim that it wasn't your intention to "deliberately expose that information" since it very clearly was your intention to "deliberately expose" a record containing that information. Again, I repeat, the harassment policy is very clear on this subject and it does not allow any justification for what you did. And it's not just me who wants you banned but numerous very experienced administrators and editors who are appalled by what you've done. The question is not whether you're culpable, it's what is to be done with you in the light of your culpability. Prioryman (talk) 21:19, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm honestly not sure I understand what you are trying to say. I was not looking for Fæ's real name - they self-identified as User:Ash several times here, so I had no need to search out that information. WHOIS records are public information. The information that I posted is easily found with a simple Google search, even now that the domain in question has since been registered through a proxy registration service. Perhaps that is why I was lax in not redacting the phone and address information. Nonetheless, I admit that I should have redacted that information from the WHOIS record. I doubt there is much point in continuing this discussion any further here, although I will ask you again to strike your false statements at ANI. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:33, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, by posting here Prioryman is obviously trying to draw more editors into this issue. Appropos, the current RfC in question is here. Cla68 (talk) 22:58, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Follow-up on copyright petitions

Why have the questions posed by Cla68 been removed? Gravitoweak (talk) 21:55, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
If you have a question, please ask it!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:32, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Here are the questions that were posed earlier by Cla68 and Youreallycan: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&action=edit&oldid=472737585
The Wikipedia project as bounded by the oversight of the Wikimedia foundation has imo from my experience and investigations, masses of copyright violating uploads and cut and copy paste content currently hosted on its servers.
 - Good faith is  a consideration here in regards to SOPA - The foundation and its tentacles are in no way promoting or encouraging the uploading and sharing of copyrighted content, although an objective position imo would suggest a raised request for evidence of file ownership prior to upload would be a protective position, and although there are copyright investigations opened - they are not well actioned and can take months and even over a year to action.
Raising the profiles of these issues would further protect the project from litigation resulting from any more restrictive legislation, as also would the restriction of unconfirmed accounts from the ability to publish via wikimedia servers, more than limited content additions without any review. [[WP:PEND|Pending protection]] although rejected at a en wikipedia poll would have been beneficial in this regard. -- Youreallycan

[[User:Philippe (WMF)|Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation]] clarified that the foundation was allowing equal weight to any vote, IP addresses - sockpuppets (I added this as the wide open aspect of the vote meant that there was no control in regard to multiple voting at all) drive by anti sopa activists, unconfirmed accounts, people that had never previously edited en wikipedia, and last but not least regular en wikipedia editors - all were given the same weight in the vote by the foundation.
I expected the process to be as usual and as per your comment in the interview quoted below, who voted for this? wikipedia editors, the wikipedia community. I was reported to the ANI for tagging the new users and IP addresses as [[WP:SPA]] in the voting section as we usually do in such discussion and AFD discussions, well, all such discussion really, the discussion is here [[Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive736#SPA Tagging at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action]] -- Youreallycan

That declared position from Philippe (WMF) seems incompatible with what [http://articles.cnn.com/2012-01-17/tech/tech_web_wikipedia-sopa-blackout-qa_1_jimmy-wales-wikipedia-community-anti-piracy?_s=PM:TECH Jimmy told CNN in an interview on the 17th Jan] -''' CNN: Who voted exactly? - Wales: The Wikipedia community. These are people who are editors of the website.''' 
-  Jimmy, your comment to CNN about the  the wikipedia community being the voters seems at odds with that declared by the foundation (and followed) -  did you know the foundations position as to who was allowed to , encouraged to join in the vote? As it turned out, such users that are not counted in a discussion to delete a single article were counted in a vote to close the whole project for 24 hours. -- Youreallycan

The question is: Jimmy, your comment to CNN about the the wikipedia community being the voters seems at odds with that declared by the foundation (and followed) - did you know the foundation's position as to who was allowed to , encouraged to join in the vote?

Cla68 wanted to ask you to answer, but the whole thing got erased. Gravitoweak (talk) 19:24, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

The link to the vote is at Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative#Summary_and_conclusion. Are you seriously claiming that vote could have gone any other way if you'd excluded a few IP addresses and single-purpose accounts? Wnt (talk) 19:51, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Wnt's answer is correct. I invite anyone to go through and do a recount excluding the votes of anyone with fewer than 5 edits.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:08, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo and stalkers, please can you help?

with this issue? Input from a wider community is much needed here. Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:47, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Copeeright infrinjmant in India topiccs

Wikid77 here again, this time on spelling variants. The issue of alternate spellings for words is related to the earlier talk-page thread "#What's next" but perhaps others would consider it an off-topic tangent. Text is difficult to trace to sources when names are often spelled differently. In articles written about India or Pakistan or Tamil language (etc.), there are often several spellings (or dual words) used to name the same item. Some common examples are the city names: "Calcutta" as "Kolkata" or "Bombay" as the long-term Gujurati name "Mumbai". Then, some people might spell "Kolkata" as "Kolkattah". For lesser-known towns, there are often 3 or 5 spellings. When searching for source documents, to check for excessive copying of text, the changes in spelling or wording are a real barrier for Wikipedians to handle. Of course, it would be great to pre-vet all text added to articles, given unlimited time in an "ideal" world of 24-hour volunteers. However, when an entire subcontinent does not spell words the same, or "correctly" where that concept has any meaning, then Wikipedia benefits by having many hundreds of readers proofreading various articles, and perhaps an anonymous reader will post an IP-address note that some text seems to have come from a rare printed book about the subject under an alternate name.
Another way the "web of knowledge" is kept clean is by the wikilinks which cross-reference to other articles where the names are spelled differently. However, if those other articles were also to be locked under private pre-vetting, then the public would have even less chance of detecting the common alternate names. I understand that some people think I am "apologetically" trying to justify some rare cases of infringement, but what I am trying to emphasize is how having information widely available can, actually, reduce overall infringement, by having many thousands of people reviewing the materials, looking for copies while also checking for inaccuracies or out-dated text. This concept of "public review" is in comparison to imagining a core group of "private reviewers" who could not cope with the complexity of changes in spelling (or dual words) for the same term in thousands of cases for the main towns of a billion people. I guess the central focus is to understand how difficult pre-vetting of text would be in a more-restrictive system. Of course, this is not as much of a similar risk for videos, but any additional copyright restrictions for video would likely impose similar restrictions on books and webpage text as well. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

I can't understand what you wrote, but the impression I get is that you are saying that copyright infringement is sometimes justified. Is that right? Looie496 (talk) 03:41, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Infringement can be difficult to detect: I am not saying some copyright infringement could be justified, but rather, the key point is that a small amount of copyright infringement can be very difficult to detect because of multiple names for the same topic. Plus, in those cases, the "public review" by hundreds of readers can be more effective than "private review for pre-vetting" to detect and remove the copied text. However, I share your view that these issues can be very difficult to understand, at first glance. Perhaps we should use the term "Copyright calculus" to indicate just how complex the issues are for avoiding copyright infringement, while still allowing for partial fair-use excerpts of protected works. That might be a reason that other people are advising Jimbo to be accompanied by copyright attorneys whenever discussing copyright issues on camera. I would feel more confident if I had thoroughly read some modern textbooks about copyright law, as taught by a major law school. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:46, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't see the real-world relevance here. How many people straight-copy large chunks of text, but change all the city names? How many automatic plagiarism detectors wouldn't spot the straight-copied bits of text between the names? More likely, editors looking up an obscure variant (even "misspelling") of a name would blunder straight into the source in a Google hit and thereby the copying would be exposed.
More to the point, why should spotting the copying be our responsibility? We get text from individual contributors who promise it is not taken from anywhere else. If it was copied, we likely don't have access to the resource it was copied from. We have articles that are extensively reworked and couldn't use much of the text as-is anyway. By comparison, the owner of a document has one single simple bit of text to search on the Web. They have guaranteed access to everything on our site, every article, every talk page, and it comes up even if they just search Google. In one moment they can spot any copying of their text or know there isn't any, which we couldn't do in a month. The law makes it their responsibility to look for violations of their private property. Wnt (talk) 18:04, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Regarding questions of relevance and responsibility: As I indicated above, I think text chunks being copied from books is relatively rare now. Notices of suspected copyvios certainly are rare at: WT:Copyright_problems. Perhaps the copies are not found sooner because "automatic plagiarism detectors" require the sources to be scanned onto the Internet as text data, rather than full-page photo images. However, Wikipedians continually spot and remove copied text, per WP:Copyrights#Copyright violations (in WP:COPY), which tells editors to remove it:
"If a page contains material which infringes copyright, that material – and the whole page, if there is no other material present – should be removed. See Wikipedia:Copyright violations for more information, and Wikipedia:Copyright problems for detailed instructions." -WP:COPY
The detailed policy WP:COPYVIO even recommends reverting to a clean, older revision, with a long explanation about first checking to see if the copying was authorized somehow to be allowed in the article. Perhaps the main WP:Copyrights policy would be something that movie moguls should know, how Wikipedia directs all editors to beware and remove unlicensed copyrighted materials, rather than fostering a culture of "copy and see if anyone complains"—no, instead there is an edit-protected policy page that directs people to remove unauthorized content, and that policy page cannot even be vandalized to trick users to think sharing of copyrighted films is allowed in Wikipedia when it is not. -Wikid77 11:39, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course Wikipedia policy is strongly against copyright violation when it is known to exist, as there is legally a duty against knowing copyright infringement. And of course Wikipedia goes far out of its way to track down and pull out copyright violations when the authors haven't even complained - light-years further than any of the normal social networking and file storage kinds of sites. But this proactive removal is not done out of responsibility to the owners; rather it is done as a service to the users who should be able to copy content from Wikipedia and have fairly good confidence that it is genuinely reusable (even though it is impossible to actually guarantee that, given the editing model). Wnt (talk) 18:42, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

An Idea For a Banner

Hi Jimbo, Why don't wmf run a advertising campaign along the lines of ' Wikipedia is edited by people like you' because most people I know think you wrote it (they're pretty stupid because that would take around 60 years)? I think if we want more editors we should raise awareness. Thanks--William George Dover [Willdude123] 19:34, 3 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Willdude123 (talkcontribs)

  • It would take more like 10,139 years (creating 1 article per hour) and fluency in 282 languages. That would be writing the 21 million articles, at 1 per hour, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year: 21,089,000 / 40 / 52 ~= 10,139 years. That also assumes the photos, animations, videos and sound files magically appear. However, one person might create articles faster after the first 1,000 years! -Wikid77 (talk) 19:59, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    • You underestimate my typing speed, haha.  :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:10, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah quite a few people don't realize that it's even in any other languages.It's a bit like the joke where one fish says to the other 'What's this talk about water?'.They use it all the time buot have no idea how it got there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Willdude123 (talkcontribs) 20:08, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Wikid77's error is assuming that Jimbo can only write one article per hour, and also that he only works a paltry 40 hours per week. Also underestimated is Jimbo's "self-cloning" capability. You see, the success of Wikipedia is due to "two, three, many Jimbos". Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia wrote itself. We all just happened to come by and find it. Jimbo was first, or at least that's what he tells us. ;)--MarshalN20 | Talk 00:40, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
In Soviet Russia, Wikipedia edits you!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Threw this mockup together, not brilliant but hey,I did it in paint. --Willdude123 17:14, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    • The idea isn't completely bad, but I'd suggest that people who think Jimbo wrote wikipedia all by himself won't be an asset here due to their lack of brain power. In addition, those who, after 11 years, still don't get what wikipedia is, are equally useless. Most people I know know quite well that they could contribute but simply choose not to. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:27, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Re:Jimbo. Have you seen a bit of memes off Memebase? – We are legion. We never forget. (Plarem) (User talk) 14:11, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Lamar Smith's data retention bill out of House committee

I just received an e-mail from Demand Progress about an Internet spying bill by the author of SOPA requiring ISPs to retain data about users and their reading for 18 months.[7] Would the bill have any effect on Wikipedia (e.g. changing the retention of checkuser data and therefore, most likely, making sockpuppet policies harsher)? Do people feel Wikipedia should get involved in this one? Wnt (talk) 18:49, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I have not read the bill closely enough to have formed a strong opinion. But a cursory reading suggests that it wouldn't really apply to websites. It's about ISPs.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:06, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
[Addendum] - Also in some Internet chatter that I've seen about it, it is alleged that the bill requires ISPs to keep records of everyone's browsing history. But it seems to only require that ISPs keep records of what dynamic ip numbers they assigned to people. Presumably this is to facilitate tracing things back to a particular customer. I'd love to read a more detailed and NPOV analysis of it. So I will read this now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:19, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
While the bill appears to have that meaning, I mistrust its application. "A commercial provider of an electronic communication service shall retain for a period of at least one year a log of the temporarily assigned network addresses the provider assigns to a subscriber to or customer of such service that enables the identification of the corresponding customer or subscriber information" You'd think that means ISPs, but so far as I can tell, neither the bill nor chapter 121 define "electronic communication service", and people on Wikipedia do communicate. You'd think Wikipedia isn't commercial, but all its software runs on commercial servers. You'd think at least Wikipedia doesn't allocate IP addresses, but under IPv6, is that really true regarding all the weird extra bits of those addresses? As a sibling of SOPA, the bill surely must be aimed at file sharing, even though it is sold as "fighting child pornography" because that's the master key to break through every right of free communications, anonymity and privacy known to man. Terms like "knowing that such transaction will facilitate access to, or the possession of, child pornography" sound like they're aimed more at people who sell encryption software and anonymizers than people selling kiddie porn. Censors are, by nature and essence, haters of truth, friends of deception. Wnt (talk) 03:48, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh god. *facepalms* They pulled out the Think of the children card. Now anyone who opposes this will be labeled a child pornography enabler. SilverserenC 04:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • That seems to be the current weapon-of-choice for people who just want to manipulate the good ol' public using the hype-by-mass-hysteria route. Back in the old days, it would have been "Burn the witches!" Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


ISPs currently keep such records, folks. And libraries maintain log-in sheets for their computers as well. And since the bill does not apply to websites, as it stands, this may simply be a further attempt to politicize Wikipedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:12, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

There's clearly nothing here for Wikipedia to get involved in, it doesn't affect the site, but it does affect us normal internet users, so we can individually speak out all we want. Wikipedia shouldn't be doing anything though, of course, that's pretty obvious. SilverserenC 17:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec) At least currently, Americans can enjoy the illusion that somewhere, some other library might be letting people talk online without tracking them for Big Brother. And more to the point, there's always the chance the library is careless with the records, runs out of disk space and tosses them out. Now if someone were really trading child porn from the terminal, that wouldn't stop the federal agents from showing up, but if it's only the lawyer for the writer of the Harry Potter series trying to track down someone who posted about how it ends, he might decide the chance of not finding anything makes it not worth filing the subpoena and getting the bad press. The illusion is not as good as freedom, but it's still worth hanging onto. Wnt (talk) 17:31, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Image filter update

Jimbo, any news [8] on how things will (or will not) move forward from here? --JN466 00:57, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

No, I have no news. We ended up not discussing it at the board meeting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:50, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. --JN466 12:15, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

GA Review on an Article In Which You Have Expressed Interest

Hi Jimbo,

You recently expressed interest in the work of WWB Too, a paid editor working for Cracker Barrel and other companies wishing to improve their image by modifying their Wikipedia articles to minimize negative publicity. I wanted to let you know that WWB Too has done a major rewrite of the Cracker Barrel article in his user space, and that another editor replaced the existing Cracker Barrel article with WWB Too's rewrite. The new article has now been nominated for good article status. I thought you might want to participate in the GA review process, or at least monitor its progress. Cheers, Ebikeguy (talk) 22:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Which version was the last one before the replacement?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:36, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Here is the diff showing the changes made when the rewrite was posted. Seems like there was a fair amount of activity on the article while the draft copy in WWB Too's userspace was undergoing peer review (of course the peer review was for the main article, but it instructed editors to look at the draft copy in WWB's user space). Ebikeguy (talk) 23:14, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Things have been coming along well and i've made sure to have multiple people check for neutrality at every step of the way. After the GA nomination, we're going to put it up for another peer review, geared specifically toward fulfilling the requirements of FAC, and then a FAC nomination. Because the GA nom got picked up so quickly by someone, it shouldn't be too long (a month, maybe two) before WWB and I can get it up to FA status, depending on how long FAC takes, especially with all the current fracas over there. SilverserenC 02:32, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh, and not much actually changed. Most of the red marked changes you see are because we swapped the positions of the history and restaurant sections, with history being put first instead. The only other big change was the removal of the campaign donations section, as most of the sources there didn't even mention Cracker Barrel and it seemed like undue weight, info that should instead be in the article on Tom Delay's campaign. But other than those three sentences and the re-ordering, there were mainly just fixing of how sentences sounded, word flow and all of that. I did a ton of fixes on the references and then we added the lede. SilverserenC 02:37, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Silver's right about the process so far; we've worked with some previously uninvolved editors at Peer review and GA review to obtain further input, and it's been a success. It may be worth noting, there is actually a more thorough discussion of controversies now, compared to what was there prior to my involvement.
And for what it's worth, I have made no direct edits to the live article since objections were raised, and before that I'd made only copy edits. From the very beginning, my goal has been to seek community consensus. Although there have been some ups and downs, I think this is a good example of how the volunteer community and company representatives can work together, making articles better from the perspective of Wikipedia and outside interests both. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 22:39, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
And for following the rules scrupulously, you are to be commended, indeed. Collect (talk) 12:37, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
This is great. Can't wait to see the Wikiproject's first FA/GA. Suggest replacing the word "praised" though. King4057 (talk) 23:09, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

You were mentioned! (And linking to your request for editors)

Jimbo, you were mentioned here in connection with the Shakespeare authorship question, a series of articles you have taken some interest in. It would be great if you weighed in with some deep thoughts... or some shallow ones if you think they might go over better! Smatprt (talk) 02:01, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

  • The fact that you, Jimbo, were personally attacked and then belittled after you left the Oxfordian Theory page [[9]] is the perfect example of what is wrong here. If you (of all people) get bullied off a series of pages, how on earth can we expect new editors to stick around?Smatprt (talk) 02:01, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • And speaking of editors... are there any of Jimbo's watchers that might be willing to take up Jimbo's challenge? He has called for "a large influx of uninvolved editors". Cavaet: As Jimbo has warned, "It's going to be an unpleasant experience... even if it is the right thing for Wikipedia" So... is there anyone daring enough to take on these bullies?Smatprt (talk) 02:01, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Ah - just received a year-long topic ban by an involved administrator. Didn't break 3RR, participated in the talk page, was reverted multiple times for a minor edit, references removed, and the other editor... no block, no ban, not even a warning, just free rein to bully, harass, and belittle any editor (even Jimbo) who dares to edit the pages that are (apparently) owned by the current editors. And what does one do when an involved administrator who has obviously chosen sides acts in such a one-sided manner? (The admin didn't even respond to my comments here). What a system. Smatprt (talk) 17:27, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo,

I was wondering if you would support a discussion around paid editing issues at Wikimania - or maybe even participate. http://wikimania2012.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Paid_Editors

I've learned a lot just following the discussions around WBToo, being a part of both Wikiprojects and seeing the discussions on Facebook. I'm also taking your recommendations very seriously and using "edit request".

I mentioned your name as a suggested panelist, but then felt I should ask you first. While 85% of the issues with paid editing are on the PR side of the pond, it would be great to foster some meaningful in-person discussions with representatives from the Paid Advocacy Watch, Wikiproject Cooperation, PR and yourself.

I'm not asking you to change your mind on anything and have even defended your "bright line" repeatedly in the CREWE group. It would be great for you to share that message at the conference along with other viewpoints. King4057 (talk) 03:52, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

"Paid editing" is a misleading topic name. It lumps together too many diverse things, muddying the issue. "Paid advocacy" is the problem that we have to deal with.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:28, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
What about unpaid advocacy? 86.173.251.202 (talk) 11:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Also an interesting topic, but a different topic. The idea that since there is unpaid advocacy, we should ignore the solvable problem of paid advocacy is a total non sequitur.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
My point was, what about advocacy? Why is paid advocacy different from unpaid advocacy? My experience is that unpaid advocates tend to be fanatical and prescriptive and persistent. Paid advocates, by contrast, are usually doing a job, and often have a reputation to protect. That was my point. 86.173.251.202 (talk) 15:20, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree. That's why it is important and valuable to clarify policy around paid advocacy - it's achievable and it will work. Unpaid advocacy is a different problem, also worthy of attention, but usually when people make your point they are asking the community to either lump the two together or to give up in despair. I see zero relevance. They are different problems, and they need different solutions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:25, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I fail to understand. The point and principle of Wikipedia is that what people say is relevant. If what they say is non-neutral or biased, an army of editors will pick this up and correct it instantaneously. That is the theory of Wikipedia and behold, it works. To go behind what is actually written in the article is to undermine the whole principle which made Wikipedia work. 86.173.251.202 (talk) 15:58, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how to explain it to you any more clearly. You said it well yourself, up above. "Paid advocates, by contrast, are usually doing a job, and often have a reputation to protect." Therefore, they can be persuaded to do the right thing. You are making up some kind of new principle if you think some principle of Wikipedia requires that we ignore a problem that can be solved.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:15, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
This really means conceding that the basic principle of Wikipedia (that the editor should not be visible, but only their contributions) has failed. What you are now saying is that this failure is more easily corrected in the case of paid advocates - because they have a reputation to protect - than in the case of unpaid advocates. What do you in the case of unpaid advocates such as Scientologists? What about politicians who edit, or who are members of the Wikipedia administration? You have spectacularly failed to appreciate the point I am making here (although I concede I was making it obliquely). 86.173.251.202 (talk) 17:30, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Jimmy's point, but would make a further distinction. PR professionals are just that: professional. Lay out the ground rules, perhaps have a contract, and you have a basis to go forward. Unfortunately, "paid" can also mean outsourced, untrained "hit squads" who remove all but pleasant fluff from one group of articles, and add nothing but nasty tittle-tattle to another group of articles. They're not a whole lot different from the volunteer fanatics. I would also add another point about the PR professionals. They do a good job in correcting facts and putting the "bad stuff" in context. However, expecting them to provide material and references for "the other side" is fanciful. I think Newt Gingrich's campaign man is doing an excellent job. At his job. I did not expect him to suggest including the official House report (1996) on Gingrich's ethics issues, not did he. Unfortunately, neither did anyone else working on that article. All those edits over the years, and no one noticed? My point is that while a professional PR person will tell the truth and nothing but the truth, don't expect them to tell the whole truth. The encyclopedia still needs disinterested volunteers to fill in the gaps. We're clearly short on those, but eliminating the contributions of PR professionals isn't going to help. 76.192.41.110 (talk) 17:32, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Why should 'professional' matter? The principle of Wikipedia is that absolutely anyone should be able to edit (except for banned users, of course, because they are morally evil), but that everyone else can - it is the quality of the contribution that counts, not the person behind the contribution. 86.173.251.202 (talk) 17:35, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with above. See also "An Open Letter to Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia". Putting the heat on editors who use their real names and disclose their affiliations will just encourage people to edit anonymously which makes it that much harder to be alert to what's going on.--Brian Dell (talk) 03:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, there's been discussions about scope and definition on both Wikiprojects. Paid editing is too broad, because it includes GLAM, etc. However Paid Advocacy is too narrow, because updating revenue numbers for example isn't a form of "advocacy". I'm also coming to realize many PR people are baffled by the suggestion they are "paid" to edit Wikipedia.
Maybe we could collaborate on a new name for the session proposal together? I like the progress RKLawton has made on Wikiproject Cooperation. What about an acronym like CAB (Corporations, Advocacy Groups and Biographies). King4057 (talk) 19:30, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

We need to have a discussion Jimbo

I adore you.... but I need to ask you something. Talk back please :). Cigaro Pizarro (talk) 15:26, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

There's an old saying... "Don't ask if you can ask, just ask." :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:13, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
And here I had thought I had heard all the old sayings. That must be a new old saying. Makes sense, though. Neutron (talk) 01:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Request for protection

External links/Further reading

Just for the record, User:Plasticspork and User:Russavia have now completed their second step in deleting all news collection references in Wikipedia. As you are aware, the first was Tample:CNNtopic, and this one is Template:Economist topic. The latter was, of course, used for many important economists and other important people. Not that those two would know that, as these people rarely appear on E! I suspect they couldn't find enough salacious tittle-tattle, and salacious photographs, in The Economist to justify a link. Other Admins have made it clear, over many articles over many years, that there is no reason any article should have External links or Further reading sections, as readers who want to learn more about important people (as opposed to plastic surgery victims, see above) only need search engines (e.g., Google) which provide all the latest scandals right at the top of the SERPs. They believe the purpose of a Wikipedia article is to provide only a carefully shaped view, built from specially curated sources, focusing on the most sensational personal life topics. Which they have accomplished a surprisingly large number of times. (Did you really think John Prescott's article was unusual?) My interest does not extend to spending 24x7 trying to argue with such. You have stood by while they achieved the tipping point, and you're still in denial. "Creative destruction" is a current meme, and apparently applies to Wikipedia. Perhaps you'll have better luck in your next venture. btw - do thank Sue Gardner for at least being honest about her decision to not waste any time or effort trying to attract contributors of "her father's age" as they can't seem to pick up Wikipedia syntax. You have no idea how much I appreciated her honesty, posting it as she did on a public page. I will now leave the two of you to...what that leaves for "contributors". 75.59.204.69 (talk) 02:12, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

  • As I noted earlier, User:Plasticspork and User:Russavia are more likely to be deleting excessive news-variation templates, rather than just the news links. If there were a single news-topic template, such as Template:News_topic, which passed a parameter with value "CNN" or "Economist" that would be better, rather than have "7,000" various news-topic templates, one for each of 7,000 major news magazines, radio stations, or TV broadcasters. I hope that explains why people would delete so many different news-link templates from so many pages. Try to focus on having a single news template which passes the name of the news organization, rather than creating 7,000 similar templates. In general, Jimbo has not "stood by" but rather encouraged people to use fewer templates, or <div>-tags, to avoid pages from becoming overly complex. Perhaps try linking to the major news sources, such as CNN, without using any extra templates at all. -Wikid77 16:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Amazing. That you know of over 7,000 major international English-language news sources at the level of The Economist. Absolutely incredible. Unbelievable, in fact. Jimmy must be so proud of you. And what silly suggestions - different from your silly suggestions earlier, btw - to manually change hundreds and hundreds of articles, after which your little group could then delete en masse with a single pass of the "Sporkbot". It would save you lots of time to be able erase them all with one bot, wouldn't it? To say nothing of the time it's taking for you to nominate them separately for deletion. Yes, Further reading is always "overly complex" as you put it Might make people think, expose them to other views and news. You're right - much better to limit readers to whatever you believe is the One True POV. So congratulations on making so much progress towards your goal, but you're not a good enough con artist to get me to do your donkey work for you. No, I'll just watch the "creative destruction" continue and keep Jimmy apprised on its "progress". So to speak. All of you seem to be much more concerned with Cartman (see below) and other pop culture breaking news. Enjoy your bread and circuses. 75.59.228.35 (talk) 05:23, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

A declining legacy

Mr. Wales, I have recently concluded my participation in an ArbCom case. I lament seeing the array of shortcomings I hardly imagined could exist at that level. The legacy of your vision is in peril. In truth, your fundamental role as founder is actively being usurped and some believe you are no longer a relevant factor. That alone, as a mere notion, is disquieting. More perplexing, is the tolerance you exude, while active mining removes the entire aggregate beneath the foundation of your institution. ArbCom is functionally obsolete if it was to serve as a mediation of last resort. Please fix it. My76Strat (talk) 10:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you have a specific appeal?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Specifically I intend to appeal Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Betacommand 3. Indirectly I intend to compare the aforementioned with the overlapping Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Civility enforcement to highlight the glaring inconsistencies prevalent throughout. I will outline specific examples where policy is circumvented to support a convenient outcome, and show the effect of several specific queries where the committee answered direct questions by ignoring the question, contravening WP:CIVIL where policy charges a civil editor "to be responsive to good-faith questions".
Additionally I find that you are listed as the authority to review a case, and overturn the binding effect of a decision, yet no party is advised of this right of appeal. The very provision is so buried that it is only by accident that I observed its existence. And the entire Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Appeal of decisions: "Remedies may be appealed (how remains unknown) to, and amended by, Jimbo Wales, unless the case involves Jimbo Wales' own actions." (parenthesis mine), is grossly inadequate to effectively guide an editor interested in exercising this good-faith clause.
This has privately been explained to me as aesthetic eye-wash which I openly challenge. The remaining bulk of my appeal is forthcoming, if and when you confirm it as a valid means, while prescribing the appropriate manner. Sincerely - My76Strat (talk) 16:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that while I will review everything in detail, I'm not likely to second guess findings of fact. An appeal is not a chance to have your case heard anew. It is best to focus on some specific gross error or misapplication or misstatement of policy. Email is a good way to reach me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes sir, thank you. Should I conclude from your comment above that there is no possibility that you would ever send a case back to ArbCom to be heard anew? My76Strat (talk) 05:07, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose that's possible. I view my role here as quite minimal - not to second guess the ArbCom but to provide one last check-and-balance. I wouldn't overturn them without consulting with them, and I'd have to be really convinced that some fundamental principle had been violated. What I mean is: "I would have voted a different way, were I member of ArbCom" is not sufficient - if I don't respect their decisions in most cases, then we have a huge issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
[Addendum] Having just reviewed the case in question, I'm a little bit puzzled as to your role in it. You aren't a named party and I don't see you named in any of the remedies. We haven't had enough of these sorts of cases to have a really clear doctrine for Standing, but I do consider it a valid concept. If the case isn't about you, and you aren't named in it at all, then I'm not sure you're the right person to bring a formal appeal. Having said that, perhaps 'appeal' isn't the right route to get to where you want to be. Perhaps an RfC clarifying policy? Or perhaps we can just have a useful discussion about what problems you see, with a view towards improving the project more generally?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Because that case was started by ArbCom itself as a result of a quest for clarification from me, the list of officially involved parties is quite unrepresentative. Without second-guessing My76Strat's appeal, the following two threads are probably a good background reading for his position and interest in this case: WT:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Betacommand 3/Proposed decision#An offer and a request and WT:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Betacommand 3/Proposed decision#Article 35. Hope this helps. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 01:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Mr. Wales; you are generous! I believe it's unreasonable that you alone should review all appeals. An interim step is required IMO. A cursory look by you is exceeding. And I suspect, enough to perceive cause. "Standing" is relevant and I hold that I deserve standing. I motioned to be added as a party; seeing no answer!

I levy no claim of nefarious conduct. Rather, I believe accepted practices, have become unacceptable. While editing is not a right, it is an oft cherished privilege and reasonable protections, outlined in policy, should be afforded; equally! The letter of law and deed of implementation can no longer be bridged.

Your expressed views are thoughtful and aligned with policy. This is not characteristic in the field. People who should be under oath to support policy, contravene it instead. Policy is nullified by excuses that twist prose inconceivably; and then prevail!

We have reached the event horizon of a terminable end; my hope is that you will not stand idle. Solutions require your determination. I'll respect the decision you render. Sincere regards - My76Strat (talk) 03:38, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

You killed your own thread with a tldr comment. Jehochman Talk 13:20, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Attention spans vary. Nevertheless I have abbreviated the summary. My76Strat (talk) 14:28, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Re:Could you do something kind for me?

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Hello, Jimbo Wales. You have new messages at Hoverfish's talk page.
Message added 21:59, 8 February 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

A barnstar for you!

Special Barnstar Hires.png The Special Barnstar
Thanks a lot for creating Wikipedia! A site only made for free knowledge! Extraordinary! REDGREENBLUE (talk) 01:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Complaint

A question about our policies on living people

Jimbo, as the only WMF representative here who actually responds to questions, I am curious if using a picture of a Siberian tiger (on a user page, not in the article itself) to represent a living person known primarily for their extensive facial plastic surgery (Jocelyn Wildenstein) is in keeping with Wikipedia's policies on biographies of living people or with the WMF statements in regard to how living persons should be treated on all WMF projects? To me this is a no-brainer, but I am not known for my good judgment, especially of late. Details are discussed in this ANI discussion, although I would hate for anyone to think that I am blatantly canvassing for your opinion in this matter. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:52, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I think Stv's response here is more than enough to show that there isn't a BLP violation. You really need to stop this crusade, DC, the AfD did not go through and going after the creator of the article now is just over the top. SilverserenC 20:50, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I am asking about something that I view as a clear and unambiguous violation of our policy and the WMF's statement on how we treat living people. Aside from the fact that User:Stvfetterly is the one making the violation, it actually has less to do with them than it does to do with treating Wildenstein with respect. If the image goes, I will leave Stvfetterly to continue their pattern of using obviously poor sources like Google's cache of an online store (so long as they don't do it with any biographies that happen to draw my attention). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it's very much ambiguous, if it is even a violation at all. You have no information, such as a statement from Wildenstein on the name, or anywhere else that using such an image is treating her with disrespect. SilverserenC 22:57, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I know what your opinion is, I was asking for Jimbo's... Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:04, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
It's poor behavior, rude and insensitive, and I'm disappointed to see it - and more disappointed to see it defended by others.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:54, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you need to read this diff, Jimbo. Stv perfectly explains, with sourced quotes, that Wildenstein purposefully had herself changed to look like a cat and is "ecstatic" at the outcome, having gotten "exactly what she wanted". In light of this, how is affiliating someone with something they like a BLP violation? SilverserenC 15:38, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
And how, then, is a Siberian tiger remotely relevant? Recall the imperative to be conservative in wrintg BLPs. Collect (talk) 12:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Remember, this isn't about content in a BLP, but an image used as an example on someone's userpage, since we don't have an image on the subject in question. The point i'm making is that denoting her as such on one's user page, when it is something that she likes being affiliated with, is completely not a BLP violation. SilverserenC 17:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Last I checked, WP:BLP applies to userpages and not just to biographies. Where an image is being improperly used to deprecate a living person, then WP:BLP applies. "Content in a BLP" is not the criterion applicable - the issue is whether the image affects a living person, which it does. Collect (talk) 17:55, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Again, how is it being used to deprecate a person? Stv has specifically said that he did not add it as a negative comment on Wildenstein and he has also given a number of refs showing that Wildenstein likes comparisons to being a tiger and purposefully changed her face to look like one. SilverserenC 22:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, the Tiger image is back on the user page and the user is editing Jocelyn Wildenstein again. This time, it is an unattributed quote from a weekly gossip magazine. I'll start a DRV when the Fæ RFC/U talk page gets quieter. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:37, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Echoing Stv's removed comment, how is it an unattributed quote? It is attributed specifically to Wildenstein and explains that the results of the surgeries were exactly what she wanted to look like. And good luck on the DRV, it'll fail, since you're motivated by WP:IDONTLIKEIT and nothing else. Your BLP statements have been thoroughly refuted. SilverserenC 16:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I said "unattributed" not "unreferenced". The point is moot since the source is a weekly gossip magazine and therefore not a source that should ever be used in a BLP. Perhaps instead of trying to win arguments here, you could take it out? Based on that removed comment of Stvfetterly's, I have a feeling that I would just be starting an edit war if I did it myself. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you would. As has been explained repeatedly, it may be rude & insensitive, but that doesn't make it a BLP violation. Also, at this point, you're forum shopping. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Forum shopping is the last thing it is - the ANI thread is archived, the image is gone from the user page, and I haven't opened a DRV request yet. But since you took the time to reiterate your opinion, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm more concerned with systemic issues than with individual articles, so sometimes I comment on really obvious and/or easily fixed problems just to see what happens. I usually do that in places that I know are widely read. In this thread I have pointed out that an editor used a Google cache of a site as a source and that a weekly gossip magazine was used as a source in a contentious BLP. I'll leave it to you to guess what happened. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:55, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Continuing the thoughts about paid advocates, PR, etc. You make no mention of Political paid operatives openly or otherwise editing articles directly related to their client or boss. Isn't the orchestration of the product that wikipedia produces a problem? Ive been accussed repeatedly of poisoning the well by bringing this subject up, but I think it is important especially with the General Election to start soon. Since you gave so much thought and comment to the above IP's conversation I wonder if you might do the same for me. Your response to my email on this subject was disappointing. 6 or 7 words. Or point me in a direction where this important and timely issue is being discussed and considered. Maybe you have seen http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/06/gingrich-spokesman-defends-wikipedia-edits/ . Maybe not. ```Buster Seven Talk 02:42, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo's busy, and we can't expect a treatise when a koan works better. I've jumped into the CREWE discussion on Facebook and got quoted in that CNN piece about the Gingrich campaign trying to shape some articles of interest to them. At least Joe DeSantis discloses his COI openly and honestly, and sticks to the talk pages lately. Credit where credit is due. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
First, I'm sorry that my email was disappointing. I think "political paid operatives" are the same as "paid advocates" generally, so yes, I think it is a very serious issue that can and should be handled well. The information I have to date (but I haven't read the CNN blog post you reference above yet) is that the account you are concerned about has followed what I consider to be best practices by openly identifying, and not editing article space directly. If that's true, then that's a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's a good thing. User:Joe has been commended, repeatedly, for being reputable. I gave him a newly created barstar for it. But you must admit that his intent and motivation to edit is different than mine and most other editors. His livelihood depends an his ability to flavor every mention of his boss with palitable easy-to-consume words, to remove all negativity and any taint of even a glimpse of scandal. He is paid to adjust the language of the many Gingrich articles to erase all "touchy" details. Not to edit with the reader in mind but to edit with how it will affect the candidate/campaign/voting populace, in mind.
Somewhere I read that WP staff estimates that WP gets about 7 billion views per month. One edit yields what millions of people will read on any particular topic. Billions come here, before anywhere else, to be informed. How many hundreds of thousands of readers/visitors will know that what they are reading, what information they are depending on, is directly orchestrated and sanctioned by a Political Campaign Headquarters? I speculate that your graciousness depends on the continuing ability of your non-paid volunteers to be vigilant and protect the accuracy and balance of political articles. But we unpaid volunteers don't have the same level of need. We don't pay our mortgages based on our ability to "slant the language". We don't have a staff to watchlist and focus on the effect of every single edit, every single word, across a spectrum of related articles. Paid political operatives are not just advocates. They are not Public Relations folks working for Campbells Soup. In this case, User:joedeSantis, an upright guy, is editing and formulating changes that may effect the election for the President of the U.S. There are many more serious, real-world-effecting consequences to that role than just increasing sales for beef noodle. ```Buster Seven Talk 12:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Please Note...From here this important discussion stops and is hyjacked. Rather than remain on topic, it swerves into patter about canvassing. Even I swayed off topic to present Jimbo's thought about canvassing, etc. Kidnapping a thread before it has a chance to develope is a breach of public order. Jimbo (or any editor) had a 1/2 hour window to respond before the opening (the opportunity to engage Jimbo in an important and timely multi-leveled discussion) closed. This editing tactic is used all over the talk pages to the detriment of editorial collaboration and unity of purpose. Some editors have become masters at it. ```Buster Seven Talk 13:14, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Here's Joedesantis's revisions to the mainspace:

I disagree with several revisions Joedesantis made, especially the 2010 revisions to the Callista_Gingrich article, but Joedesantis is currently restricting himself to the Talkspace. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Canvassing

Note: [10], [11], and [12]. Note also (for fun) WP:CANVASS. Collect (talk) 13:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Buster7&diff=475518941&oldid=475514856 – Will Beback told Buster7 that it wasn't canvassing. If you disagree, then you should present your opinion to Buster7. Please keep in mind that there isn't a !vote or tally taking place here. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Um -- I take it you did not read WP:CANVASS? It refers to all discussions, not just to !votes. And it most certainly has been applied to soliciting of editors to do anything at all -- including posting at article talk pages, user talk pages, dispute resolution pages, XfD discussions etc. It states simply:
Campaigning is an attempt to sway the person reading the message, conveyed through the use of tone, wording, or intent. While this may be appropriate as part of a specific individual discussion, it is inappropriate to canvass with such messages.
Note that it does not say "Feel free to CANVASS to get editors to join your position on any user talk page." Really. Collect (talk) 13:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Alright. I've forwarded your concerns to Buster7. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
1) Jimbo has made it clear that it is not considered canvasing if an editor informs other editors of an on-going conversation HERE at Jimbo's talk page. 2) I am pretty sure that I waited until Jimbo responded before I left 1/2 a dozen messages. I could have left 50/75 more but I got busy elsewhere. 3) Administrator Beback confirmed by his note at my Talk page..." Since no policy other decisions are determined at user talk pages (except for unblock issues), I don't see how the prohibition on canvassing would apply". 4) I have zero interest in what Collect believes. 5) Collect is wrong. His objection has no legs (or feet for that matter). 6) Even if there was a prohibition on canvassing, some issues and conversations are more important than rules except to users like Collect. and lastly 6) A quote by Jimbo regarding canvassing in general...
"...almost every time WP:CANVASS is cited, the person citing it is in the wrong. [It is] used to shut down discussion. [It] s used to suggest that you shouldn't talk to people who you agree with." - J. Wales
I do commend User:Suarez for his good faith effort to be an intemediary. He should know, however, that interaction between myself and Collect is non-existent.```Buster Seven Talk 22:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I make no effort whatsoever to deliberately "interact" with you, but, like any editor, when a post is made on a noticeboard I am able to make an absolutely non-personal reply. I maintain no "enemies list" of any sort, and think that folks who do so are a great problem on Wikipedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Collect's block log shows that they sometimes use Wikipedia as a political battlefield. Your best bet is to ignore them when they engage in that sort of activity. Jehochman Talk 14:04, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Easier said than done. Their talk edits are constant efforts to send any discussion down a lonely country road where it eventually runs into a cornfield and stops. Finding the Interstate after that can be a mayor drawback and time-waster plus many editors are enjoying themselves in the middle of the cornfield. Getting them back on the road is near impossible. ```Buster Seven Talk 14:27, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo knows all about me - and the fact that my problems arose from not thinking (inter alia) that calling Joe the Plumber a "Plumber's Ass" was proper in a BLP. You should also note that none of my edits have been "political" although 14 CANVASSED editors, including some socks now blocked, sought to have me banned in an RFC/U. Cheers - now try to avoid the inane trap of attacking the messenger. Collect (talk) 00:37, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeppers - when in doubt attack - right? I fear you should hope that editors do not look at your edit history attacking me on many other pages, and then saying you want to avoid contact with me <g>. Your credibility is zero on this IMHO. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:37, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
"1) Jimbo has made it clear that it is not considered canvasing if an editor informs other editors of an on-going conversation HERE at Jimbo's talk page." Not really, no. He has made it lcear that he doesn't consider it canvassing. That doesn't mean that it isn't canvassing. This is similar to when he proclailms that "I'm sure it will attract new editors. Not the kind we want, though." (higher up, about the South Park episode at the main page). He doesn't want that kind of editors (whatever kind that is supposed to be, teenagers? geeks? Animation lovers? Open-minded people?), other editors have a different opinion. Please take his word as his opinion, not as policy (the same applies to mine of course...) Fram (talk) 14:34, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Now that all the editors have collected in the cornfield any chance of discussing paid operatives is impossible. I guess the only thing left to do is make popcorn. ```Buster Seven Talk 04:42, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Extending the principle of BLPPROD

As we approach the second anniversary of Wikipedia:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people coming into force, I wonder whether the time is right to extend that principle to all newly created articles (perhaps those created after 18 March 2012)?

While not the intuitive follow-up to BLPPROD, I still routinely see unreferenced articles created that have something to do with living people, 1982–83 Watford F.C. season being one example from the football world. There's nothing harmful about that particular article given its lack of development, but the fact is that unsourced articles focussing on the successes and failures of living people continue to be created. Other examples include lists of people, and sub-articles of individual living people.

By requiring all articles to contain some sort of sourcing, we would be accelerating Wikipedia's cultural shift towards a greater emphasis on verifiability. It would also be a beneficial precursor to further action on BLPs, as the higher a baseline we start with on all articles, the less onerous it seems to go a little bit further for living people.

Thanks for reading, —WFC— 17:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I support this idea, though we might need to organize things more and take our time with this. We don't want to move too quickly and end up tipping the boat. SilverserenC 22:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I would suggest that, given the huge numbers involved, that we start at the "most read" and "longest" and not worry about deleting tens of thousands of unread stubs at the start. And not just for "new" articles - we have a good number of horrendous ones still around. A long article which has "too few" references may well be far worse for Wikipedia than a stub with none. As a mechanical exercise (triage), I would suggest that we start with articles with more than 200 readers per month, where there are fewer than 1 reference per 5000 characters -- this should get the worst ones into focus, I trust. Articles read under 100 times per month may be bad - but we should prioritize the ones which are most harmful first. Collect (talk) 12:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I do agree that the most harmful ones are established articles that a lot of people are reading. But if you first ensure that the number of unsourced articles is not growing, it becomes easier to chip away at the historical legacy. —WFC— 13:20, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
A large number of "new articles" are caught rapidly now - and a tiny number of them are ever likely to be widely-read -- I think seeing how many of the older ones need repair is a sound first step. which would not mean such a requirement for new articles might not be adopted as well in due course. `Collect (talk) 13:59, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with your suggestion (although I do question the assertion that the flow is subsiding). But when you've got a leak the first step is almost always to stop it at source, regardless of how bad the flood already is. Besides, in the short term it's likely that the community would agree to prevent new unsourced articles, quite doubtful whether it would agree to delete existing ones. —WFC— 14:24, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
As an example, I don't agree to delete existing ones. Organize another editing drive, like the Unreferenced BLP one, that went well enough. Maybe focus on certain individual sections at a time though, because otherwise people will get discouraged when it seems they aren't making a dent.
But I don't think we need to deal with the old ones right now. Stopping any new ones coming in is a better first step and it will force people to actually write better articles before submitting them. SilverserenC 16:53, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that such under-referenced (positing that one reference per eight hundred words qualifies as "under-referenced") articles are good for Wikipedia? The solution is simple - add references and delete excess baggage in the article. No need to "delete the article" is given - unless people do not wish to trim the article or to reference its claims. Meanwhile, let's see if we can get a rough count of how many articles are affected. Collect (talk) 17:09, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Based on what I see & delete, most new unreferenced articles are deleted via speedy or prod on other grounds. Some that could be so deleted get missed, but that's due the the known inefficiency of New Page patrol, which is a larger and more general problem. Some of course, just need to be referenced. I think they are, usually. I don't think we would gain anything by automatically deleting them except discourage the people who didn't know to add the references quickly enough. As for the old unreferenced articles, they need to be dealt with; I'm not convinced they necessarily pose more problems that the old referenced articles, many of which are inadequate by current standards, or have outdated information. We need a systematic way of reviewing everything once in a while, but I do not see how our basic dependence of volunteers will permit this unless we successfully encourage a large number of new people to become active. Attracting editors is the basic solution to most --or perhaps all--of our problems. DGG ( talk ) 22:37, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

There were several big flaws in the BLPprod system and even more so in the out of process deletion spree that preceded it. Most seriously it was driven by people issuing ultimata and being prepared to ignore consensus, and as a result we wound up biting lots of newbies and other editors and prioritising some relatively low risk areas of the pedia. If we were to make another concerted drive to improve quality in a particular area I would suggest that we start by identifying an area where quality is demonstrably low and/or risk demonstrably high. The Death anomalies project managed that - we identified over 600 articles where people were alive on EN and dead on other wikis. This was a high risk identified group and without the need for any policy changes we got it fixed. I would suggest to those who want a similar quality improvement drive that they start by identifying a group of problematic articles and then publicise that. We have lots of unreferenced and poorly referenced articles, the vast majority of which turn out to be accurate if checked. Identify a subset of our most problematic articles and people will come help fix them. ϢereSpielChequers 13:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Unsourced data, even unsourced articles, are not necessarily bad - they're the forerunner of greater knowledge. Wikipedia readers really should know that you need to know the source to evaluate the claim made. And if they don't know, then tell them with a template about an unsourced article - don't just delete it because you think there's a "risk" of misinformation. Wnt (talk) 14:46, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Gosh -- "Unsourcedopedia" has an interesting air. Alas - that does not seem to be found in any policies I have found. Collect (talk) 15:05, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Well current policy is verifiable not verified. That said I think I'm seeing an increasing tendency for editors to revert unsourced additions rather than {{fact}} tag them. My preference would be for us to raise standards in the opposite manner and change the user interface so that editors are prompted for the source of any fact that they add to the pedia. Better in my view to train newbies to edit to a higher standard than the minimum we expect, rather than the current IMHO very unprofessional newbie biting mess whereby we don't require every addition to be sourced, but in practice a large proportion of unsourced additions will be summarily reverted. ϢereSpielChequers 15:22, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
In a great many cases, the "facts" are blatant "opinions" for which a cn tag or fact tag is nigh useless. And I have often spoken against "biting newbies" on XfD discussions. What I do dispute is that "unsourced articles ... (are) the forerunner of greater knowledge" which I regard as quite unsupportable. Collect (talk) 15:34, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh really? Try WP:WikiProject Unreferenced articles. They are working on a Category:Articles lacking sources from October 2006. And pulling up articles from there ... they don't look bad! First is 2007 in Canadian television which is essentially sourced to its Wikilinks - something which we ought to be able to make more official to avoid even calling such articles unsourced. Then there's 231 C Nord, a very detailed account of some train that is all over Google."231+C+Nord+" I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Now I pick some randomly from the middle - there's Crusader (Sara Douglass novel), which has perhaps even I'll acknowledge too long a quote from the book jacket, but that is a source, and a plot summary - definitely it needs more, not less, from some of the sources you can easily find about it.[13] Chronic cellular dehydration is a snippet that could be merged, and it may be wrong - compare PMID 11382793, which describes a situation with more extracellular water and less intracellular water. Borbarua is a list of names of some political officials who are probably of some significance - no idea whether it's right, but those names should be Google gold for finding out. Unfortunately three I tried at random all fall back onto Wikipedia mirrors ... even so, it's an obscure 13th century Mughal kingdom and I wouldn't be surprised if the information becomes more easily available soon enough. So looking at these samples, what would I say? I'd say more than half the unsourced articles are worth something, and improving many of them to a higher standard could be difficult. That to me is a good argument to leave them unharmed. Wnt (talk) 21:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually it is a great reason to source them, and a horrid reason to leave them as is. Collect (talk) 21:16, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
We can all agree that unsourced articles need sourcing. But before we launch another wave of sticky prods we really ought to identify a group of problematic articles that are likely to contain a high proportion of our most problematic articles. My experience is that unsourced and poorly sourced negative BLP info is far more likely to contain problems that old unsourced articles. So my preference is that if we prioritise any cleanup we do it on articles containing high risk statements, and that sort of cleanup doesn't need policy changes, it just needs good ways to target problematic articles and people willing to help in the cleanup. ϢereSpielChequers 00:36, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I suggested we get a count of the articles which may be affected. No comments about "sticky PORDs" at all -- just that unless we know what the size of the problem is, any decisions are made in the dark. And I still suggest that the greates problems are in widely-read and under-referenced articles. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

More Toolserver trouble

Toolserver is a vital but unreliable resource. In the annals of its mixed blessings, today User:Soxred93's Toolserve account expired. His webpage says he's retired. The loss over his tools is already being felt: User_talk:X!#Soxred93_Toolserver_tools. Among the excellent gizmos that are now unreachable: Edit Count (with the pretty pie graph and month-by-month, top articles breakdown), Edit Summaries (which tells you when you've been naughty), WikiBlame (which tells you who wrote what), and Pages Created (which tells you all the articles you started) . I don't mean to be apoplectic, but this is a travesty! And an indication of why the foundation needs to move fast towards integrating the toolserver into our ecosystem. Wikipedians do not live by NPOV and whiskey alone: we need our tools! What can be done?? --Ocaasi t | c 05:04, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Tools gone as feared: It was just a matter of time before tools based on a single user account would no longer work. Prior problems with access were a big hint, but at least many people suspected this day would come, and the edit-counter would be gone. Currently, it gives a "403" error:
That link to the toolserver edit-counter has been showing "403: User account expired" so another edit-count tool will be needed. Fortunately, many other editors also feared the loss of these tools, so for several months, people have been thinking what could be done instead. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:24, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Other edit-counters to use: It did not take other editors long to identify several other edit-counter tools.
  • Edit-counts for all-language WPs: The SUL tool "sulinfo" still works, and shows the edit-counts for all WP languages, including for enwiki:
Try: http://toolserver.org/~quentinv57/sulinfo/Axx
That shows the totals, of each language WP, for username "Axx".
  • Edit-count for enwiki but no charts: For the English Wikipedia counts:
Try: http://toolserver.org/~River/cgi-bin/count_edits?user=Axx&dbname=enwiki_p
For username "Axx" gives total and article/talk counts.
  • Edit-counter pie chart for self use: The WikiChecker works for a user's own username:
Try: http://en.wikichecker.com/user/?t=Axx
For username "Axx" it gives a time graph and pie chart for recent 500 enwiki edits.
There has been talk of other edit-counter tools as well, see discussion: WP:Village_pump_(technical)#"Edit count" and "Articles created" links. -Wikid77 15:23, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikid77 - relax, folks are on it. It's been noticed and it can be resolved without petitioning Jimbo to save the day. Every heard of 'start at the lowest level'?--v/r - TP 19:19, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Courtesy blanking templates

Hi Jimmy, re: this edit summary: you should use the {{Xfd-privacy}} template when courtesy blanking deletion discussions, and the {{Courtesy blanked}} template in all other cases. Both of those templates should be substed to make it harder for users to find a list of courtesy blanked pages by using the "what links here" feature. While researching the answer to this question, I noticed that the documentation for the Xfd-privacy template was missing because the template had recently been moved to its current title and its documentation subpage had been left behind; I've just restored and updated the docs for the template. Graham87 05:51, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, Graham! I think it is a shame that such things are so complicated. Why should someone who wants to courtesy blank an insulting page need to know all that? I think it should be foremost on our minds how to reduce such complexity. It's very hard for new editors to learn what they need to know. (I'm not exactly a new editor, I think I may have invented the term 'courtesy blanking' years ago, and I didn't know what to do!) What value does the template bring? Is there any other way to achieve that goal, and is that goal really worth achieving at the price of complexity? (In case it isn't clear, I'm not blaming you or anyone in particular. I just think we've gone off the rails on procedures in the past few years.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
{{Courtesy blanked}} provides a handy link to the courtesy blanking policy, and {{Xfd-privacy}} effectively blanks a deletion discussion while still leaving it in a standard format (perhaps so it is still machine-readable?) I think that it's important to provide a link to the courtesy blanking policy, but TBH I'm not sure how important the standard format of the Xfd-privacy template actually is. On the other hand, there's no reason why an editor can't just adapt the text of these templates (or just write their own straight text) for the same purposes. But I agree with you about the overcomplexity of the whole thing ... how is a new user supposed to know that we even use the term "courtesy blanking" for this process? There aren't any readily available examples for new users to follow (and that would be absurd, by the very nature of the issues at play here). If they try to outright blank a page, they'll probably be quickly reverted and warned for vandalism. Graham87 02:30, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. In my fantasies for the future, I imagine that the MediaWiki software could notice when someone blanks a page and stop them and say "Oh, hey, wow, you're trying to blank all or most of this page! That is sometimes an ok thing to do, but let me help you decide if it's a good idea."
And then a simple set of options is given, one of which is: "This page says something about me that hurts my feelings", and if you click that one, you go to a further part of the wizard that lets you make other choices so you can get the right help, or not, depending on the specifics.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:43, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo (w/rgd possible trolling at Romney family article)

Since every Wikipedian learns the basic edit page when they first start editing here (especially its subsection on avoiding to remove likely true and especially sourced content!), it's apparent that a very active Wikipedian exists who has never heard of George Romney nor even his son Mitt Romney. Well, either that--or, the only other logical option avialable: the editor in question is currently engaging in some kind of pointyness? Viz., Collect--who, I see, is one of your talkpage regulars!--over at the Romney family (US) page (diff), in an open-and-shut case of the removal of sourced content, two identical citiations to a Jennifer Dobner and Glen Johnson Associated Press story at the same time that deleted the list article's entries for George Romney and Mitt Romney. (Note that even without this citation, the article had a dozen references making refernce to one or the other, from up in the article's lede section.) I don't know if the editor thought that the article wasn't of value because the version that he removed had been published at Fox News or what. But, the point is, even if there weren't already a boatload of refernces to George and/or Mitt in the sourcing, everybody knows that the most notable members of the Romney family nowadays are George and Mitt.

I don't know if the fact that an election is going on is a contributing factor to this or not. Newt writes alternative histories. Here's one. Say that Hatch's proposed US Constintutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to run for president had already passed and Arnold Schwarzenegger were running for prez. Would user:Collect be deleting Arnold Schwarzenegger's name from the list article about the Kennedy-Shrivers clan? If not--here's another newtonian, alternative history. Say, hypothetically, that (A.) Sirhan Sirhan missed. (B.) Marilyn was Bobby's mistress. (C.) And Bobby found her to be his political muse so he divorced and remarried his muse (D.)--joining Marilyn's church, Christian Science. (E.) If Wikipedia existed then, would user:Collect be editing articles about families whose religion is Christian Science in order to delete references to Bobby?--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 11:23, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately "source" on Wikipedia means "using a reliable source" and the source must actually back up the claim for which it is used. Commercial genealogy sites, self-published genealogies etc. do not meet those criteria, and claims which are not found in the source are still "unsourced." The discussion at WP:RS/N was clear. And no one for whom you had provided a "reliable source" for the genealogical claims was removed from the genealogy. I fear you think that genealogies was a good feature on Wikipedia, but the rules are pretty strong on them. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:56, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Broad statements not hewing to the facts at hand may convince the ill-informed but Wikipedians as a whole will be more convinced by interpretations of logic and events supportable by actual fact.
  1. Wrt the erroneous claim that Collect did not remove sourced material: Note the fact that, e/g: (A.) There is a Pratt family article because George Romney's mother belongs to a family that is notable in its own right; yet, despite the score of sources that establish this connection, Collect insist that the two families have no connection. (B.) There is a score of sources that George and Mitt are in the Romney article, some providing individual vitae--yet Collect removed both entries in that article's list, along with the additional AP source, providing an accouting of the Romney clan's genealogy, which source had been appended to both.
  2. Wrt the erroneous claim (wishful thinking?) that Wikipedia does not provide notable genealogical information: Note the fact that, e/g, the following categories are among those included below the article on Wikipedia about the Dunham-Obama-Robinsons (a combined article under the rubric of "Family of Barack Obama" because neither the Dunhams nor the Robinson families are notable independently from their relationship to the current US president):

    -Obama family
    -African American genealogy
    -African-American families
    -Families
    -American families
    -Genealogies of individuals
    -Family trees
    -First Families of the United States

    --Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 02:13, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

OTHERSTUFFEXISTS != much reason. The RS/N noticeboard made clear that genealogies on Wikipedia have to be validly sourced. And Wikipedia is still not Ancestry.com. Cheers. Collect (talk) 04:02, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Note that the discussion board thread the above pointy prankstereditor cites as a slam dunk for his cause is--HERE.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 00:19, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Read WP:NPA please. There are now a slew of threads - on not one of which is your desire to have an unsourced "genealogy" on Wikipedia backed up by other editors. Wikipedia has a horrible rule - cliams should be backed by reliable sources. And when you seem to elide that rule and accuse anyone who follows it of being a "pointy prankster" it is, in fact, you who is ignoring the precepts of the encyclopedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:34, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
(1) Your deletion of sourced material, whatever your rationale and motivations, speaks for itself. (2) In which edit of mine have I ellided the rule? (And, btw, in point of fact, I've hardly added a statement to the Romney family article, which has been on WP for 6 1/2 years.)--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 00:57, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
As interesting as may be your iterated persistence in your position, the problem is that WP:RS and WP:BLP do not say "except for 6 year old articles." Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:11, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Money and expenses

I've been reading around the web and i found some articles which say that the charity which holds this site has been spending only a fraction of the money they received for server equipment and technology... and the rest went to someone's pockets. What is this? Can you clarify it? Gravitoweak (talk) 14:02, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Might be an idea to back up those allegations with links to the articles in question. – ukexpat (talk) 14:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If you're counting "someone's pockets" as including the developers, lawyers, fundraisers and other people employed by the foundation then yes the Foundation has a wage bill as well as the hardware and electricity needed to run the servers. That still means that we are an incredibly low budget site for our size, but yes the Foundation employs staff. If you think that the article you wrote is a serious critique from a serious source then link it here and tell us where it is, but if it is some anonymous rant on the Internet then I'd suggest you ignore it. ϢereSpielChequers 14:43, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Someone in the comments said that only 41 cents for each dollar are used for program services:

http://ostatic.com/blog/wikipedia-fundraiser-successful-but-should-they-do-it-again

Furthermore, some other people believe there should be no more donations for the site, because that's an inefficient way of doing things, and that free labor creates products of inferior quality:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wikipedia-experts-call-for-no-donations-to-wikipedia-111911964.html Gravitoweak (talk) 14:56, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The first story got a few things wrong about our latest annual fundraiser, it wasn't our first fundraiser and it won't be our last. The plan was to raise enough money for us to flourish for another year, and to continue to have annual fundraisers. As for the "WikiExperts" thinking that we could do a better job of writing an encyclopaedia if we took advertising and paid editors, if they believe that, they are free to try that model themselves. As long as they don't call it Wikipedia, they are welcome to launch an encyclopaedia funded by advertising, or by subscription or indeed by companies paying for articles to be written about themselves and their products. Some of us believe that a free labour, volunteer based crowd sourced encyclopaedia can be better and more neutral than one where advertisers have influence. If someone thinks they can do a better job than us then good luck to them, competition is healthy. ϢereSpielChequers 15:22, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Gravitoweak's user page is identical to User:Negativecharge's, who posted a bunch of jimbo-is-stealing-all-the-money conspiracy theories on my talk page some time ago and who has apparently been blocked for being someone's sock (the block message doesn't specify whose.) Quackquackquack. Kevin (talk) 16:06, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Gravitoweak has been blocked in the past as a sockmaster; I'd say that Negativecharge may have been 'weak's latest sock, rather than the other way around. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:19, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone else who answered these questions. To answer some questions myself. First, since I'm the most known person involved with our fundraiser and people might think of me if they think of "someone's pockets", I don't take a salary and I don't take expenses, indeed I don't even take normal board expenses for my service at board meetings. That is, I pay for my own flights and accommodations. I sometimes do eat at a board dinner, and sometimes the Foundation has gotten me a car back to the airport when I leave a board meeting, although I generally ask them not to do so.

Our finances are audited and very open. Traditionally Sue has performed very well against her budgets, and we have tended to have the fundraiser perform quite well. What this means is that each year we have raised slightly more money than budgeted for (in less time), and we have also spent slightly less money than budgeted for (due to a frugal culture and things going well), so that our surplus is, happily, in a reasonably good place. Some critiques are inevitable whatever choices we make - if we overspend, we'll be rightly criticized. If we have a smaller surplus, we'll be accused of being irresponsible. And if we have a larger surplus we'll be accused of hoarding cash. While it is certainly possible to have respectable and differing views on precise details of strategy, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about critiques that stray from "gee, I think we should consider doing this differently" into the territory of character assassination.

The 41 cents per dollar on program services is a figure that really bugs me, because it both out of date and anyway misleading. To the naive reader it suggests that the rest is going for nonsense. But here's the funny thing: I was told that most of our IT budget, for arcane reasons having to do with how that number was calculated, couldn't be included under program services! For various reasons related to understanding that their metrics weren't doing a good job of identifying what they wanted to identify, Charity Navigator has a different methodology now, and under their improved metrics, we do quite well: Charity Navigator report.

One final point about financial efficiency. We know that 470 million people per month use Wikipedia. (Comscore) Our planned budget is $28.3 million, or $2,358,333 per month. So that's just about 1/2 cent per person served. A half a penny per month per person served. If someone came to you in 1960 and said for that amount they could put a free encyclopedia into the hands of a half a billion people at a cost of a half a penny per person per month, you'd have been astonished. I'm still astonished, I love the Internet. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Supreme Court of Canada

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada came out with the ruling that ISPs are not subject to the Canadian Broadcasting Act because they have no control what is transmitted. See this CBC article if you are interested. Bielle (talk) 16:55, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good, as far as it goes. My view is that what is really important (though often misunderstood, even by otherwise experienced Wikipedians) about Section 230 is that it means that the Wikimedia Foundation can exercise some editorial judgment over the content of Wikipedia without thereby becoming responsible for everything that everyone does. If the rule is simply that "if you don't touch anything at all, ever, then you are just a conduit and not responsible, but if you touch anything you become a publisher responsible for everything" then you end up with a serious mess. It needs to be possible for open ended public dialogue that is healthy and positive that (as an example) message board providers can have "no rude comment" rules, enforced by the owners, without thereby becoming liable for every comment that anyone may post. Out of curiosity, do you know the overall situation in Canada in this regard?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:10, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Why are edit notices locked up?

You may be able to shed some light here on why only admins and account creators can do anything with edit notices. -Rrius (talk) 00:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

That's interesting. I know too little about it to be able to comment fruitfully.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:39, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

A Mockup Of My Idea For Banner

Hi Jimbo, I made a mockup of the banner I suggested a while ago

JimboBanner.jpg — Preceding unsigned comment added by Willdude123 (talkcontribs) 18:36, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I like it. For a campaign to get new editors, I bet it would perform quite well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:24, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, someone else said about people not knowing who writes Wikipedia would lack brain power to edit it.Most people I know at school are either like " You Edit Wikipedia" or " I didn't know you could ", I think most people can contribute, that was why I think it would get more editors. Willdude123 20:47, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Turn the Edit This Page button to Green or something Face-smile.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 01:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia green edit button.png
useit.com/alertbox/fancy-formatting.html - "busy" pages mean a lot of people end up ignoring most of the buttons basically
More stuffs: [14][15][16][17] (eye tracking) Face-smile.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 05:20, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I suppose I could email WMF about it, possibly for fundraising 2012/13. I won't be attending Wikimania so can't ask there. Any suggestions Jimbo, should I just ask around a couple other editors? Willdude123 13:08, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Meta RfC

What do you think of m:Requests for comment/Gwen Gale? It looks like not even a co-certifier is needed to start a meta RfC, so any user banned from en.wp can put up an "admin abuse" page over there, as it happened in this case. Is a meta RfC the next step after the en.wp ArbCom declines [18] further involvement? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 19:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Sigh. I don't really know what meta policies are in this regard. One thing I do know, though, is that whatever happens there will have not much impact, if any, on what happens here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:03, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Knowing all about Mbz1's antics I tried weighing in to note that it didn't seem to be a proper usage of their loose rfc standards, but a combo of fellow banned friends + indifferent meta admins didn't gain much traction. Mbz1's formerly voluntary ban was converted into a bona fide one though...not specifically for the RfC filing but for related harassment when she went on a complaint spree to virtually every admin and enwiki Arb's page over there about one of Gwen's recent admin actions. Tarc (talk) 20:47, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

That page is a disgraceful misuse of WMF resources: an attack page by an indef blocked user. As Tarc said, posting a comment is useless due to the large number of malcontents. The page is setting a precedent that anyone blocked at en.wikipedia can go to another project and paste walls of text in a fake RfC hoping that some of the mud will stick. Johnuniq (talk) 23:03, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:BEANS. Stuff like that is usually closed without result, no matter where it comes from. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 23:05, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Someone on the talk page there remarked that they have "open" RFCs back to 2008. I asked a question about this process at m:Talk:Requests for comment#Why are there RFC/Us here? Wnt (talk) 01:19, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I have blanked the page as it serves no purpose other than defamation. Hopefully the administrators there will have the good sense to delete it. If not, Jimmy, I'd recommend some wholesale changes to the management of that site. Jehochman Talk 01:55, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I think we have an official response from a m:global sysop [19]. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 02:39, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I hope the Foundation will do something about that. Their websites are not to be used for defamation and harassment. The opinion of one mistaken sysop does not determine anything. Jehochman Talk 02:55, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently, I wrong about the role of global sysops when I wrote that. A global sysop is not necessarily a meta sysop. I have notified meta sysops Courcelles and Philippe about the ongoing discussion on our ANI. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 03:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Addressing the systemic concern

Top ants leaving the anthill

Tangent from: #Exodus of top editors from Wikipedia.

This thread is a tangent, because I did not want to clutter the earlier discussion of counting what kinds of editors might be leaving, or later returning. For several months, I analyzed the enwiki active-editor data and confirmed that the exodus of "active and busy editors" has ended, where the counts of editors making >5 edits or >100 edits per month during 2011 has been within 98% of the same monthly counts from 2010. In fact, for the first time in years, the count of busy editors in December grew beyond the November counts (rather than wait to only rise in January each year). So now, the concern has been the top editors might be leaving the busy neophytes, yet I am thinking, "Hey, the top chefs are leaving Paris, so how will the world be able to cook supper?" They will do fine. After carefully editing 11,000 articles, I just do not see the feared impact. Perhaps people do not realize that 350 separate "top editors" (the top 10% of 3,500) have relatively little impact on improving 4,678,622 articles, when thousands of people come from other languages and add partial information to enwiki. Perhaps Wikipedia is in the realm of "too big to comprehend" without using wiki-calculus, analogous to trying to handle time slowing in a strong gravitational field, without tensor calculus.

If 350 top people were expected to make a massive impact, then they would have needed to coordinate their efforts, and not all tweak parts of the same articles. I am thinking, if the articles had been divided into 350 distinct groups, then that would be 4,678,622/350 = 13,367 articles for each person to fix. And I mean "fix" not just change 2 words per page per edit, but rather make 175 crucial changes per page, with extra sources and proofread. By having 350 top editors to "speed-edit" 1 article+sources per hour, 40 hours, 52 weeks per year, that would require 6.4 years for each person to really impact English Wikipedia (and no weeks of vacations). Meanwhile, the growth for new articles during those 5 years, including 290,000 more articles during year 2012, would have to wait. Hence, the numbers just do not add up. A set of 350 separate, non-coordinated top editors cannot hope to avoid rehashing the same articles, for minor changes, and overlook a million articles which they rarely see to fix. For that reason, I agree with the "Jimbo plan" to recruit editors into the major 2,000 WP:WikiProjects. The solution is to coordinate more people within each WikiProject. We know the top editors cannot edit 52 weeks per year, without breaks, or without helpers. The ants would need to follow a coordinated plan to create a gilded super-anthill of the finest architectural quality, otherwise, it is just a functioning dirt mound. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:10, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Joe Desantis

Not sure whether this crosses the line, but Joe Desantis has been lobbying other editors to do his work for him outside of article talk pages. See where he posts on user talk pages [20]. And there are signs of meat puppetry at his behest [21] Mattnad (talk) 21:01, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Joedesantis's talk page comments are simply suggestions. He isn't applying pressure, making threats, or offering money. I don't believe that Kenatipo should be characterized as a "meatpuppet". --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 21:25, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't either. --Kenatipo speak! 03:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
perhaps, but he has made repeated requests on user pages. and user Kenatipo seems to be leading in his follow through and cites the wishes of mr. Desantis as a justification. Mattnad (talk) 22:35, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Mattnad, in light of your fascination with Joe DeSantis, and due to my remorse at deleting the paragraph about Joe D that you inserted in the Callista Gingrich article (I'm an inclusionist), I've started an article titled "Joe DeSantis (communications director)" where I've put your content that I deleted. With your permission, I'll copy the stub to your talk page. --Kenatipo speak! 03:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

FORUMSHOPPING? This has been iterated on this user talk page, on article talk pages, noticeboards etc. With the exact same result every time - JDeSantis has operated within Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and trying to toss mud at him does not work. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikistalk much?Mattnad (talk) 11:12, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
WTH? I think you likely need to read up on what "stalking" is - and you should note that I have written on this page at least twice before over the years <g> and have it on my watchlist of way over two thousand pages. Cheers - and try not to make such absurd attacks on others. Collect (talk) 13:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

While I think it is good to keep a close eye on Joe DeSantis - the media will be watching his every edit, I am sure - at least to date I have not heard anything particularly alarming. He did make direct article edits in the distant past, until he was cautioned against it. Lately he's been following what I consider to be best practice (and what I think should be firmer in policy): he's openly identified his affiliation and he's interacting with the community directly and respectfully, but he's completely avoiding article space edits.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:37, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Of course, although I wholly appreciate the way he's editing (talkpages only, gaining consensus, etc), and that he has declared his WP:COI, I'm not entirely comfortable with the fact that someone actually recommended that he promote his candidate in his signature on all of those talkpage comments! There has to be a better way than leaving campaign signs everywhere he goes ... (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 14:16, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't "Communications Director, Gingrich 2012" allow users to know who he is? Doesn't it allow for greater transparency? It doesn't say "Vote for Gingrich." --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:20, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
You beat me to it, Suarez! --Kenatipo speak! 15:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I understand your point, quite clearly. However, I disagree that it's the best method for transparency because it does, indeed, advertise the candidate. Don't get me wrong - I'm Canadian and have no dog in the fight. Can an editor spam the name of their company across Wikipedia using their signature for the sake of "transparency"? Hell no! (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
It was the people complaining about DeSantis that wanted him to declare his affiliation in his signature, so that it would be automatically disclosed with every Talk page comment he made. "Vote for Gingrich" would be advertising but his signature does not say anything like that.--Brian Dell (talk) 17:35, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Joe isn't spamming the Gingrich name across Wikipedia; he's only editing on Gingrich-related talk pages. --Kenatipo speak! 16:39, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
In other words, although Joe's signature may appear promotional, it is not being used in a promotional ("spamming") way, but only to increase transparency and avoid COI. And, even if it is a technical violation, Joe should be given an exemption in light of his editing practices (as commended by Jimbo). --Kenatipo speak! 16:51, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
@BWilkins: I recommend going to User_talk:Joedesantis and posting your concerns there. Complaining here isn't going to change Joedesantis' signature. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Exodus of top editors from Wikipedia

Hello Jimbo, I think the number of high-quality editors who are leaving the project is alarming to say the least and the problem should be addressed ASAP. I am talking about content-contributors, those who create interesting, informative articles on a variety of subjects, expand the stubs and starts, and promote pages to GA and FAC class - these are the people who are getting fed up and throwing in the towel. When the engine starts to smoke is the time to look under the bonnet/hood, not when the car breaks down. Something needs to be done.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 14:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I won't repeat that which everyone knows I'm still gunning for, but I'll say for starters that shunting IEP editors off to other wikis, where they could be much more useful, would go a long way; many of us are still feeling the aftershock of it, and it certainly helped demoralize many of our best editors. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:39, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
What is "IEP"?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:42, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
See WP:IEP. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:48, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Also relevant reading is Wikipedia:India Education Program/Analysis/Independent Report from Tory Read and the associated talkpage. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:51, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
As yes, of course, WP:IEP. Can you tell me how that debacle (which of course it was!) was 'demoralizing' to "many" of our best editors? Who in particular feels demoralized by it? It was a well-meaning pilot project that clearly didn't work out, so that's not good. But I would imagine that our best editors would welcome such projects and be excited about the opportunity to try (and fail, sometimes) to bring in new editors. That the Foundation acknowledges, quite plainly, that it didn't work, strikes me as the opposite of demoralizing. I'm asking my questions in a serious quest for more information, by the way, as opposed to doubting your claims and wanting proof!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:19, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Don't know if you've ever interacted with Kudpung, but I've been talking with him a lot off-wiki, and he's extremely frustrated at how this has all worked out. He's dramatically scaled back his participation largely because of it. There are also a lot of comments a WT:IEP that would indicate a dramatically rising level of discontent as it gets closer to the present. Andy Dingley and Danger are two names you'll see a lot there besides Kudpung and I. And though I'm only one person, I'll speak for myself in saying that it's caused me to move into different places and almost stop NPP altogether; that's more or less what happened I the wider community. During it, we got the backlog of pages down to 10 days because we had to try to keep the copyvios out; now that it's over, people don't want to do it anymore, so the backlog is around 30 days. Those are demonstrative, though not exhaustive; do e-mail Kudpung, who's far more knowledgeable than I, and he can confirm what I'm saying. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:52, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll ask Kudpung to join us here. Can you tell me more about the impact on NPP (I assume that means New Pages Patrol, I apologize but there are too many acronyms around here!) of the India Education Project? Was it really significant in numeric terms?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I know little about the NPP backlog, but while I was tackling copyright issues, I began looking through various users taking part in said program, and found a number of copyright issues far higher than should be on the site, let alone coming out of a program to bring in editors. It took me some time to return to tackling copyright violations, and it made me wonder if there is in fact a cost to bringing in new editors. If bringing them in is scaring away top-notch editors that are difficult to replace (I've seen multiple leave just in the past few days), then that's a major problem. Content editors are actually fairly stable; it's the people handling the behind-the-scenes tasks that are not being replaced at a proper rate. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 05:12, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Also remember that at the time, CorenSearchBot was down, which made our job that much more difficult to handle over 1000 students posting copyvios. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:43, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
The Foundation is closely monitoring editor counts and so forth. I have to tell you, people throughout the history of the project have come to my talk page in alarm over precisely this issue - going back for so many years I can't remember. Usually it's because one or two people they actually know are drifting away, while other contributors are coming on board. People come and go, that isn't a problem.
The best analysis we have to date suggests the following 3 main facts:
1. The number of people as a percentage of readership clicking edit for the first time is stable. We also know that we can increase this number at any time, basically by metaphorically or literally "making the edit button bigger". We could run a banner campaign to get more contributors, and it would bring in a huge influx of newbie editors.
2. The attrition rate of highly experienced editors is stable. It's natural that some people will be committed Wikipedians for life, but that others will have it as a hobby for a few years and then move on to other things. Or to come and go throughout life as personal circumstances dictate.
3. The rate of people who make it from their 2nd edit to their 99th edit is lower than it was in the past. This is the problem that needs to be addressed.
Now, what you are suggesting is more precise than any of these things. You are suggesting that within (2), the editors who do more admin tasks may be sticking around, but the editors who get pages to GA/FAC standing are leaving. That's of great interest, but I know of no actual statistics showing that it is true. Can you help me think of a way how we might measure that?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:41, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
The simplest way would be to compare the number of articles that are both nominated and passed at each process over time. I'm sure there are such reports out there already, just not sure where, atm. Resolute 17:28, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, here we go: Wikipedia:Good article statistics. Note that the large bump in GA promotions in January and April 2011 were the result of backlog elimination drives. Overall, the growth rate of GAs is stable, but FAs has dropped slightly. I can think of any number of reasons for that. Resolute 17:33, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
We desperately need a reliable way to profile editors: sort the vandal-fighters from the page formatters from the dablink fixers from the FA builders from the POV-pushing wackjobs. Until we can identify our users, we can't truly understand our problems, let alone fix them. Since we have all editing history - including deleted edits, very important - a reasonable profiling program can be written, but it would be a huge task. Still, if you want to do something about Wikipedia's future beyond incessant hand-wringing, the first step is to know thyself. --JaGatalk 18:38, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that Jimmy is talking about "experienced editors" (based on number of edits) and others are talking about "top editors" and "high-quality editors". Most of us can spot the flaw in the inference that they're the same. There are none so blind as those who will not see. 75.59.206.144 (talk) 19:48, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I specifically acknowledged and discussed the difference between the two, so please take your insults elsewhere.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
No, you did not. Neither did I insult you. Why do you always try to pick a fight whenever any Wikipedian points out a serious concern? 75.59.206.144 (talk) 22:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
A general reminder of the distinction is helpful nonetheless.
Concerning Resolute's comment, I would draw attention to the graphs at WP:GAS, in particular the averaged monthly growth rates. Contrary to the notion of a decline or static growth, growth at GA has generally been increasing. (The graph is slightly difficult to interpret because of GA Sweeps, which accounts for the distortion from c. 2008 to mid 2010.)
On a third note, I believe a contributing factor to issue 3 is the maturing of the encyclopedia: first, there is not so much in the way of easy editing to be done; secondly, wider readership means more first time edits and more small corrections by those who don't intend to make a substantial contribution. Geometry guy 20:45, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Bingo. Wikipedia already has articles on the vast majority of topics that the vast majority of people care about. Often those articles are pretty good. So what's left is the dusting and polishing, maybe filling in the odd empty space here and there. Those sorts of things can be done by any passerby who feels the urge. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:06, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I sort of agree with you (as you agree with me), but I would not say our articles on topics that people care about are "often pretty good": rather, they are tolerable, and improving them from tolerable to pretty good is no easy task. Some are pretty good, and a few are excellent, but broadly speaking, content has been improved to the extent that has been relatively easy to achieve, no more, no less. That means that further substantial improvement (beyond minor fixes to poor articles, or polishing good ones) requires much more commitment. Geometry guy 03:27, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, often dusting and polishing requires a doubling of article size and reffing around 3/4s of an article. I do see this as a focus though. I tend to see large/broad articles staying pretty static unless the subject of a GA/FA focus/improvement. I'm happy about GA's pace, but have become a little concerned in the past few weeks about a certain quietness and drop-offs in areas I'd not seen before - FA reviews, TFA requests, DYK reviews and loading, voting in arb elections, RfAs etc. Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:34, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • What we need is a drama-reduction device.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:35, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It is misleading to just look at the raw count of editors who don't make it from their first edit to the 99th. You need to filter out vandals and spammers both of whom have become more common over the years. We are very effective at dealing with both, especially the vandals before they achieve 99 edits. I suspect that the proportion of goodfaith editors who survive 99 edits is lower than it once was, but am not sure how much decline is because those readers who will fix a typo or revert vandalism when they spot it are just not finding as many problems, or whether it is our increasing standards driving away those who can't or won't cite their sources. As for whether our heavy content contributors are more likely to leave than admins, I think it would be worth looking at. I've looked at retention in two other groups of editors: We rarely lose our very high edit count editors. Looking at Wikipedia:EDITS, of the 200 highest edit counts, 20 are currently inactive - plus some but by no means all of the ten who have opted out of those stats. 170 at least are still active. By contrast I did some calculations on admin retention just over a year ago:
User:WereSpielChequers/WikiGenerations
Admins by wikigeneration
Aug 2010/Jan 2011 study 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Totals
Year admins created their accounts or started editing
32
109
223
404
481[1]
326
115
43
13
0
0[2]
1746
Year active admins started editing[3]
9
30
60
145
221
183
69
35
12
0
0
764
Admins still active (Aug 2010/Jan 2011) %
28.1%
27.5%
26.9%
35.9%
46%
55.1%
60%
81.4%
92.3%
43.8%
Admins by wikigeneration
Dec 2013 study 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Totals
Year admins created their accounts or started editing[4]
17
73
111
240
335
305
108
56
25
8
3
1209
Year active admins started editing[5]
9
30
60
145
221
183
69
35
12
0
0
764
Admins still active (Aug 2010/Jan 2011) %
28.1%
27.5%
26.9%
35.9%
46%
55.1%
60%
81.4%
92.3%
43.8%
Admins by wikigeneration
Nov 2014 study 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Totals
Year admins created their accounts or started editing[6]
17
73
111
240
335
305
108
56
25
8
2
1
0
1209
Year active admins started editing[7]
9
30
60
145
221
183
69
35
12
0
0
764
Admins still active (Aug 2010/Jan 2011) %
28.1%
27.5%
26.9%
35.9%
46%
55.1%
60%
81.4%
92.3%
43.8%

Admins are much less likely to stick around than prolific editors, but as a group they are still fairly stable by Internet standards - most of the admins who started editing in 2006 were still active at the start of 2011. I may update those figures, we've had another 54 new admins since then. But that won't change the broad message; Admins generally stick around for several years. A large majority of our current admins made their first edit more than five years ago. It would be interesting to do something similar for FA/GA writers. Whether the problems at RFA are contributing to our overall editor retention problem is also an area worth looking at, certainly there have been some editors leave when they realise they can't become admins. ϢereSpielChequers 00:23, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

  • "Can you help me think of a way how we might measure that?" - If one wants to track content creators, one needs to start tracking content creators. Instead of measuring a raw edit count, which counts gnome copyediting and writing equally, start tabulating number of characters added to mainspace by editor. Every single edit generates a delta number for the change in article size already, we can see this on recent changes or in the history. And we know that mainspace edits can be extracted from the whole via the pie graphs of "edit count." The sum of characters added in mainspace edits will identify the content creators. (A person writing a full 10,000 character piece and pasting it into mainspace in one chunk would thus score the same as someone using 50 small edits to get to 10,000 characters — some writers prefer to work one way and some the other). Carrite (talk) 07:43, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Further: I speculate the demographics of content writers are significantly different than those working in quality control functions or in copy editing... I'm betting they are few in number, significantly older than the average age, and have a stable attrition rate. Carrite (talk) 07:47, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Characters added is also misleading, some of the templates added by Twinkle are pretty large, and as for vandalfighters who rollback editors who replace whole articles with a 4 letter word..... Better in my view to measure the proportion of FA and GA writers who are still around. Should be fairly easy to do as well if anyone has a spare day. ϢereSpielChequers 17:30, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course, analysis of success navigating the GA/FA bureaucracy doesn't measure content writing, it measure participation in the GA/FA bureaucracy. Vandal fighters are not content creators and content creators do not generally roll back vandals. As for large Twinkle templates, that has nothing to do with content creation either. Perhaps there is a mechanism to toss those — although I doubt very much that those are placed in mainspace, rather than in User-Talk, etc. Again: if you really care about analysing the dynamics of the content creator population, start tracking them — and the metric is characters added to mainspace. Carrite (talk) 04:53, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, now I see on the rolling back vandals thing. Yes, undoing page blanking would mess up the metric. Hmmm. Carrite (talk) 04:58, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo you might want to see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#An_overall_concern_about_AN_and_ANI if someone hasn't forwarded that on to you already, Newyorkbrad really has a point there Face-smile.svg

One of your most long-serving administrators has also been having some good discussions too Face-smile.svg — As I said the problem of abusive administrators seems to be evening out as more people get recruited it acts a balance against any one group being able to take control like they used to be able to, these days the problem seems to be less the old problem of administrators acting on whims - who have mostly passed a kind of maturity check - since there are now more that decisions are more likely to have to be made as a group, but the overall culture reflects human nature/internet culture as a whole (also [22][23] but I am sure you are probably familiar with that idea already) rather than what you want it to be, there is a general feeling that people can get away with being nasty to people as long as it's not made directly but in snipes and repeated insults small enough to get away with but enough to try push people and make them scared of not fightng back, WP:BATTLEGROUND is policy but as many people have said recently the problem is it is not enforced and for many people it has become a hypercompetitive macho environment of who can put down competitors and get away with it, a WP:GAME

There has been a big discussion started on the talk page of WP:AN: Wikipedia_talk:Administrators'_noticeboard#AN.2FANI_reform:_Alternate_proposal_.232 Face-smile.svg I think this could be a major step towards making the culture less hypercompetitive and hostile if WP:CIVILITY was enforced, hostility breeds hostility and it's an endless circle, I remember when I was new I got into arguments and the continual one-upping because that is what the culture is like, as people commented on Newyorkbrad's post there is no one person to blame, but something needs to be done - especially if you want to start getting serious about changing the gender divide Face-smile.svg About 9 people in the entire of last year joined WikiProject Gender studies[24], now compare that to... this :/


--Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 02:18, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

The exodus of good editors is also connected with the other threads on this page about content. People often join Wikipedia and create good content. Then they discover that WP:NOTCENSORED is used to defend the seediness, that a trustee of one of its charitable arms uploaded bondage pictures of himself, complains about being victimised when they are pointed out but doesn't give a fuck about the privacy concerns of women sex workers. Jimbo, you have to decide whether you want to keep those who defend the seediness or those who are driven away by it.--Peter cohen (talk) 16:24, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I seriously doubt that editors leave because they object to a few articles illustrating bondage techniques. I think they leave because they repeatedly find out that somebody reverted everything they wrote based on a bogus interpretation of policy.
Note that the "privacy concerns of women sex workers" you're talking about is simply someone taking a photo of a public street to illustrate the article. I remember back in the 1980s when people made fun of the Soviet Union because they tried to keep tourists from taking photos of areas of their cities that they found embarrassing. Of course, nowadays, it seems like most countries believe the Soviet Union was right about just about everything, apart from the economic equality stuff. Wnt (talk) 23:58, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Domain change?

I think you should read this: No, Wikipedia has not forgiven GoDaddy for backing SOPA

The Reddit comment does seem to be rather striking and a good point, "I gave them $20 so they can move. I'll be asking a refund I guess."

A lot of people on the net at large did donate to Wikipedia because of the statement that we would be moving away from GoDaddy. Is this still happening? Is there some sort of time frame, or at least a guess, for when it will be completed? I can fully understand that it's something that would take some time. SilverserenC 04:26, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Of course it's still happening. These things take time. A lot of the people complaining haven't really thought through the complexities of the whole thing. I am told that a final resolution of this is not far off. Just as an FYI, I don't really appreciate such speculation as "the Wikimedia Foundation essentially lied to a lot of people" - that's totally uncalled for.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
That was only if it wasn't happening. If it's still on, then everything's fine. You might want to put out a tentative schedule though so people aren't left to assumption. SilverserenC 04:54, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
My point is that even raising such a hypothetical was a failure to assume good faith. It's the kind of negativity I expect from random people on twitter, but from people who know our track record, it's disappointing to even raise as a hypothetical. Think how demoralizing it must be for people at the Foundation to read things like that. I don't have a schedule, I'm not directly involved with it. Nor do I think it wise to always ask people at the Foundation to spend time coming up with a precise schedule for work like this - the value is very low, other than appeasing people who, "left to assumption" prefer to assume the worst.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:24, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
It's a simple matter of fact, dependent on what was going on. If the move wasn't happening, then the statement that it would is false. That seems petty straightforward to me. But, since the move is still happening, then the prior statement by the Foundation is true and we can move on.
Also, I said a tentative schedule, not a "precise" one. Like, perhaps, a guess on how many months it will be? I'm sure there's someone you can ask about it. SilverserenC 05:39, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I believe there will be a blog post soon. I'm really sorry you aren't hearing what I am saying about speculating about dishonesty. It's a disappointment that you can't simply apologize for it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:23, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry? I wasn't speculating anything, I was asking you a question. And, thanks, just wanted to know about it. SilverserenC 06:41, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Like I said, I'm really sorry you aren't hearing what I'm saying. Here is what asking a question looks like: "Hey, you said your wife would be at church this morning, but she isn't here yet. Is everything ok?" And here's obnoxious speculation: "Hey, you said your wife would be at church this morning, if she doesn't show up, you essentially lied." Given that there is no reason at all for you or anyone else to think that the Foundation lied about this, it was frankly absurd and obnoxious for you to even bring it up in this totally out of context way. I hope this is helpful to you in understanding what I am objecting to.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:05, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
That did, actually. I've removed that part. Sorry for wording it that way. SilverserenC 16:55, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Hey, you know what? I really appreciate that. I really do.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:44, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't realize I was making negative speculation, I thought I was just doing an if-and scenario, but I fully understand how it could and was taken negatively. Sorry again. And i'm glad that plans are still going forward for the GoDaddy move. Hopefully some of the people from Reddit see this conversation and tone down their impatience a bit. SilverserenC 20:03, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

GoDaddy update

I saw an article saying Wikipedia is still with GoDaddy. Could you give us an update? --JaGatalk 16:02, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

See above. Edokter (talk) — 16:58, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Whoops! Thanks. --JaGatalk 18:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Kudos

Kudos to you...if only some of our administrators would be willing to acknowledge they may have erred or acted too harshly as you did at Silver seren's page, the website would be a far better place...thank you for this example for others to follow!--MONGO 19:36, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that when you read it again you'll find there is no such acknowledgment. He acknowledges only a "disagreement" and that they had been "talking past each other". "You took the time to understand in the end what I was saying" places sole blame for the "disagreement" on Silver seren. Writegeist (talk) 20:42, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
To the contrary, I don't think there is an "blame" to be had for anyone. This is an important cultural point embodied in the principle of "Assume Good Faith" - we will sometimes have disagreements that aren't anyone's fault, particularly when they result from failures to mutually achieve a mental connection. The constant seeking for blame and winners and losers in debate is a poison.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:16, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Glad you have seen fit to clarify that you were not in fact ascribing blame to Silver seren, which was the clear (and apparently unintended) inference I took from the very specific wording of your comments. Writegeist (talk) 23:26, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your assistance.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:28, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
And you for yours. Writegeist (talk) 23:45, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

The constant seeking for blame and winners and losers in debate is a poison.

Jimbo Wales, 22:16, 11 February 2012

I completely agree with Jimbo on this matter. Editors are frequently prone to regard an argument as a competition, in which winning the argument is the goal, rather than improving the encyclopedia. Geometry guy 01:38, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I saved it too. ```Buster Seven Talk 01:47, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Seriously?