User talk:Risker

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Navy binoculars.jpg Beware! This user's talk page is monitored by talk page watchers. Some of them even talk back.

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog
Stats for pending changes trial
Category:Wikipedia semi-protected pages
User:Writ_Keeper/Scripts/orangeBar.js in case I need it


[2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
{{subst:W-screen}} {{subst:User:Alison/c}} Wikipedia:SPI/CLERK and Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/SPI/Indicators

Note to self: Research Laura Muntz Lyall (or persuade one of the Riggrs to do so), consider writing an article about the Forster Family Dollhouse in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Some day.

Messages below please[edit]

Deleted page: The Clockwork Quartet[edit]

Hi, I see you have deleted the page The Clockwork Quartet based on Wikipedia:CSD#A7. As far as I am aware, there was no prior discussion as to whether the page should be deleted or not; would that not have been more appropriate, so any issues could be addressed? Disclaimer: I am a member of The Clockwork Quartet, although I (we) had nothing to do with the creation of the article. Thanks. - Lawsonstu (talk) 10:54, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi Lawsonstu. The speedy deletion tag on the article was A7 and G11; more accurately, three criteria for A7 ({{db-inc}},{{db-band}}, and {{db-web}}) listed separately, as well as the G11. Based on the content of the article, all of those criteria actually apply, although I selected only the first of them. Having reviewed the references, there is only one that is a review of a single released by the group that is mainly about the group. The Guardian article is focused on the genre and includes two and a half paragraphs out of 15 on Clockwork Quartet, and similarly-sized chunks about other "bands". Now, if you'd like, I would consider undeleting and moving to userspace, although there's that nagging COI issue. How about I ask any administrators who are watching my page to give a second opinion on the deleted article to see if there are some contrary opinions? If so, then I will undelete it and leave it for someone to put an AfD tag on it. Risker (talk) 04:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Comment from a talk page stalker. I've seen the cached version [7] (I'm not an admin). I would have thought that minimally this should have been prodded or gone to AfD rather than speedied, given two paragraphs in the The Guardian and the article in New Musical Express. There's also a dedicated article in the Evening Standard and a brief mention in Steampunk Magazine (there may be more in their print edition). If userfied, it will need copyediting to remove buzz words like "helmed", cherry-picked quotes, etc. and they will need to supply full bibliographic information for the NME article, which I suspect is from the print edition and therefore behind a paywall, e.g. author, date, page number(s) etc. If it's userfied to someone with a COI, they should submit the draft via Articles for creation, to ensure that neutral eyes assess it before it goes into article space. Voceditenore (talk) 09:53, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both for the explanation and discussion. From looking at the cached page, I can see that Voceditenore is write about it needing a lot of copyediting to make it more NPOV. It might be best for me to not get involved any further, but if it's deemed acceptable, I would be happy to host the draft on my userspace and submit a more neutral version for AfC. - Lawsonstu (talk) 18:42, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Lawsonstu, the page is now moved to User:Lawsonstu/The Clockwork Quartet. Risker (talk) 05:49, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Feedback needed on using special characters[edit]

Hello. Thank you for using VisualEditor! Having editors use it is the best way for the Wikimedia Foundation to develop it into the best tool it can be.

While we always welcome general feedback (please report any issues in Bugzilla in the "VisualEditor" product or drop your feedback on the central feedback page on, the developers are especially interested right now in feedback on the special character inserter. This new tool is used for inserting special characters (including symbols like , IPA pronunciation symbols, mathematics symbols, and characters with diacritics). It is intended to help people whose computers do not have good character inserters. For example, many Mac users prefer to use the extensive "Special Characters..." tool present at the bottom of the Edit menu in all applications or to learn the keyboard shortcuts for characters like ñ and ü.

The current version of the special characters tool in VisualEditor is very simple and very basic. It will be getting a lot of work in the coming weeks and months. It does not contain very many character sets at this time. (The specific character sets can be customized at each Wikipedia, so that each project could have a local version with the characters it wants.) But the developers want your ideas at this early stage about ways that the overall concept could be improved. I would appreciate your input on this question, so please try out the character inserter and tell me what changes to the design would (or would not!) best work for you.

Screenshot of the Insert menu in VisualEditor
The "insert" pulldown on the task bar of VisualEditor will lead you to the 'Special character' tool.
Screenshot of Special Characters tool
This is the Special character inserter as it appears on many wikis. (Some may have customized it.) Your feedback on this tool is particularly important.

Issues you might consider:

  • How often do you normally use Wikipedia's character inserters?
  • Which character sets are useful to you? Should it include all 18 of the character sets provided in the wikitext editor's newer toolbar at the English Wikipedia, the 10 present in the older editor toolbar, or some other combination of character sets?
  • How many special characters would you like to see at one time?
    • Should there be a "priority" or "favorites" section for the 10 or 12 characters that most editors need most often? Is it okay if you need an extra click to go beyond the limited priority set?
    • How should the sections be split up? Should they be nested? Ordered?
    • How should the sections be navigated? Should there be a drop-down? A nested menu?
  • The wikitext editor has never included many symbols and characters, like and . Do you find that you need these missing characters? If the character inserter in VisualEditor includes hundreds or thousands of special characters, will it be overwhelming? How will you find the character you want? What should be done for users without enough space to display more than a few dozen characters?
  • Should the character inserter be statically available until dismissed? Should it hover near the mouse? Should it go away on every selection or 10 seconds after a selection with no subsequent ones?
  • Some people believe that the toolbar already has too many options—how would you simplify it?

The developers are open to any thoughts on how the special character inserter can best be developed, even if this requires significant changes. Please leave your views on the central feedback page, or, if you'd prefer, you can contact me directly on my talk page. It would be really helpful if you can tell me how frequently you need to use special characters in your typical editing and what languages or other special characters are important to you.

Thank you again for your work with VisualEditor and for any feedback you can provide. I really do appreciate it.

P.S. You might be interested in the current ideas about improving citations, too. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

here's the part[edit]

<link redacted because it is a copyright violation per WP:ELNEVER> (talk) 06:16, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I heard the same interview. "Having bombed the crap out of the Serbs, we signed a peace accord, and we were pushed up to Pristina, the capital. And I was remarkably put as the very first true leader, the first officer, to lead 30,000 people up there. And when we got to the airport in Pristina, General Wesley Clark told us to overrun and overpower the 200 Russians who had beaten us to the airport." Do you really think James Blunt, a mere lieutenant, signed the peace accord? Is there much dispute that there was a lot of aerial bombing happening? (To be fair, it was poor choice of wording.) Nonetheless, the response of a musician to this statement isn't relevant; if it was the Serbian President, it would be. And no, it really doesn't matter how popular the musician is.

On a side note, the youtube link you provided is definitely a copyright violation, so I've redacted it here. The quotation above is from a copy of the full episode available on a Spanish site, which I *think* (but am not certain) is legitimate. Because of my uncertainty I will not link to it here, but you could probably find it if you poke around at Risker (talk) 06:54, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

elnever is for articles, not talk pages... populr singer responding to popular singer makes sense... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:28, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Erm, no. ELNEVER is for everywhere on the project; they're links to copyright violations, and aren't permitted. And no, popular singer's response to decorated war veteran isn't parallel. I've spent some time poking around and the papers involved rank somewhere around the "Daily Mail" level, which we don't usually use around here. Please respond further on the article talk page. Risker (talk) 07:37, 20 February 2014 (UTC)


Hi Risker. You may find this and this exciting. In case you're wondering, Dan Garry is User:DGarry (WMF). — This, that and the other (talk) 09:19, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Special Barnstar Hires.png The Special Barnstar
Thank you for your sincere and insightful comments on the proposed changes to WMF's terms of use. WP is a utopian concept and project based on the innate wisdom of crowds. Unfortunately, over the years, WP's leadership and innovation has not grown in proportion to the size and real world influence of the project. As a consequence, changes are often reactionary rather than innovative and many decisions seem based more on fear and control rather than trust and freedom. Thank you for being an exception to that trend and for taking the time to communicate your vision to others, even those who refuse to see the wisdom in them. Best wishes, KeithbobTalk 21:03, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Mr. Cosmo Philippines 2014[edit]

Too soon to salt? --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 03:25, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

You've got mail![edit]

Hello, Risker. Please check your email – you've got mail!
Message added 22:57, 11 April 2014 (UTC). It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.

Cyphoidbomb (talk) 22:57, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi Cyphoidbomb, I've received your email but am not in a position to respond until late tonight or early tomorrow. Risker (talk) 23:02, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Cyphoidbomb, I've now responded. Apologies for the delay, I had to do some research and send off some inquiries first. Risker (talk) 17:32, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I've responded as well, though I dunno if my notes are helpful. :) Cyphoidbomb (talk) 21:31, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


You've got mail. Rivertorch (talk) 05:08, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Addressed, thanks for the heads up. Risker (talk) 05:42, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
And from me. --kelapstick(bainuu) 15:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Kelapstick, I'm going to think about this a little bit before getting back to you. Risker (talk) 15:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Frederik Bilovský[edit]

Hi Risker. Can you undelete please article about Slovak footballer Frederik Bílovský. He made his professional debut for Spartak Myjava against FC Nitra on 29th March 2014. [8]. IQual, IQual talk (talk)]] 09:01, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Done. Risker (talk) 07:09, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Another Altimgamr sock[edit]

While you're blocking Altimgamr sockpuppets, could you also block User:Papayamuse as another one? Thanks, Bahooka (talk) 05:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Yep. Risker (talk) 05:40, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Your input is invited on this round of FDC proposals![edit]

Hello! I'm reaching out to you on behalf of the Funds Dissemination Committee to request your input on the four proposals that have been submitted to the FDC in this round. The FDC reviews these proposals on behalf of the Wikimedia movement, as it is movement money that they spend, and in order to review them effectively we need to understand your perspective on them, and to ensure that any questions you have about them have been appropriately answered. The proposals are linked to from meta:Grants:APG/Proposals/Community/Review#Proposals_for_review. Please provide your feedback through the talk pages for each proposal.

In particular, please take a close look at the Wikimedia Foundation's draft annual plan. As they have a projected budget of over $60 million (including the grants that they will provide to other movement entities), their plans need extra scrutiny by the community to make sure that they are spending the movement's money effectively.

We will also send you a message to ask you for your input in future rounds of the FDC. If you don't want to receive such messages, then please say so below.

Thanks! Mike Peel (talk) 19:27, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the invitation, Mike. I will review over the next several days and comment on Meta. I confess my first concern is having WMDE, an organization that is significantly dependent on the WMF for its operating budget, to do the equivalent of a "staff assessment" of the WMF's budget. I'm not seeing them as any more impartial than WMF staff themselves. That is not to speak ill of WMDE, but to point out that their COI is not much different from that of WMF staff, and they will be using different benchmarks that may not be consistent with the manner in which other presentations are being assessed. Risker (talk) 19:59, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Richard Shweder‎[edit]

Hi. I'd be more than happy to provide full details of the sources of what I wrote for the Richard Shweder‎ article. But the text that I provided has been completely erased. I don't have a copy of the original text as I don't keep personal copies. I've never known any non-vandalism to disappear on a wiki. Is there any way I can access the text I wrote so that I can then provide the right references and full names and IBSN for each point in the text? --Shabidoo | Talk 01:01, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Shabidoo, it relates to the article "What About 'Female Genital Mutilation'?: And Why Understanding Cultural Matters in the First Place." If and when you add it, be extremely cautious about characterizing his opinion; what you wrote before was a very incorrect interpretation of Shweder's position in the paper (I can't repeat it because it was a major BLP violation). Risker (talk) 02:04, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Politely discussing about Oda mari's malicious editting.[edit]

Hi, I read the article about Joseon. And I agree with junohk and others. That quote is already mentioned in the main text for several times and it does not have to be written in the first page which demonstrates the status of country. I heard that more than 50 countries were colony of Great Britain, but should we have to write every countries which were colonies of Great Britain that they were 'Colony of Great Britain( * ~ *)' in firt page? Should we have to demonstrate that Australia was 'Colony of Great Britain' and United states as 'Colony of Great Britain' in the first page? I also agree that Joseon had a kind of tribute system with Imperial China in that time, but discussing that on first page is purely redundant and useless repetition. Not only Joseon but many other countries in Southeast asia and even Oda mari's motherland Japan had a tribute system with China. Oda Mari was once warned by users for vandalizing facts especially related with Korea.

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Heeyoong (talkcontribs) 11:18, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

ClueBot III[edit]

I don't understand your edit to User:ClueBot III/Run — if the bot's editing while logged out, why would you tell it to stop editing while logged in? Please note that the bot has been blocked because it ignored your edit: it continued editing while logged in. Nyttend (talk) 03:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Took me a while to figure out what you were talking about; that edit was almost a month ago. The explanation on the page suggested that making the edit would block the script running the bot from its source, which was the intention. Blocking the IP it was using as a logged-out bot, which is what was originally done before my edit to the /run page, was causing collateral damage. Logged-out bots are not permitted on this or (as best I can tell) any other project and are routinely blocked; in almost all cases, they're acting maliciously (this is an exception). All bots are supposed to know that they're logged out and stop themselves (or be able to log themselves back in); the absence of that section of code is a serious matter, because bot editing is restricted to named bot accounts, and is essentially a malfunction. Just think if someone had blocked the range (which someone was considering doing!), not realizing that it was the WMF Labs - none of the Labs-based tools regularly used on this project would have functioned, and cross-wiki bot activity would also have been adversely affected. Better than 90% of bots include code that tells the bot how to check if it is logged in, and what to do if it is not, and many that don't require hands-on control. There's no reason for these ones not to include that code. Heck, they can probably swipe it from one of the other open-source coded bots currently in operation.
I'm also confused by your statement, Nyttend: was the bot blocked or not? and was it editing logged-in or logged-out? If it was editing logged out, then there's an even more serious problem because it should always need a manual restart after a block - and it was blocked when it was editing logged out because the IP it was using got blocked before my edit to that page. If it was editing logged-in, then the "kill switch" isn't working. So, no matter how you look at it, something's not working right. Risker (talk) 04:56, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
First off, I clearly was confused on the date — I completely failed to observe that this edit was a month ago! I'm sorry. Right now, there's a thread at WP:AN ("") about ClueBot III misbehaving, and as someone says "the bot is still editing after the emergency shutoff has been activated", I misunderstood and thought that you'd deactivated the bot in response to the WP:AN thread. This is why I asked you, since I thought you were preventing logged-in editing in order to prevent the logged-out editing that's happening right now. The bot has just now been blocked because it's ignored your deactivation command. Again, apologies for the confusion. Nyttend (talk) 05:02, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
No worries, Nyttend - and thanks for getting back to me. If it makes you feel any better, I answered an email today saying "I thought I'd answered this question on April 25th". Well, I did....I'd answered a similar question on April 25, 2013 - before my correspondent was even in her current job. Risker (talk) 21:10, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor citation tool going live[edit]


Just dropping you a note that I've (finally!) enabled the new citation tool in VisualEditor. This adds a prominent menu in the toolbar listing the most common citation templates to insert as new citations, and lets editors alter most existing references that use these templates, bypassing the need to edit a template inside a reference. I know you were especially keen for this to be available to help users write useful, well-formed references using citation templates, so thought you'd like an extra heads-up. :-)Feedback is of course always welcome. Next up is automatically filling in values based on ISBN/DOI/URL/etc. which will be even more useful, I hope!

Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 18:19, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

James, thanks very much for letting me know! I am hoping to get some content editing done in the next week and will make a point of trying this out and providing feedback. I've been trying to use VE when I'm doing content editing, at least most of the time, and it's come a very long way from 10 months ago. Risker (talk) 18:37, 9 May 2014 (UTC)


Frog cakes.jpg

Don't think I've forgotten you drooled on my 27 småbakelser you bad person. Have some frogs. Bishonen | talk 23:51, 10 May 2014 (UTC).

Ooooh Frogs! Thank you, Bishonen! Risker (talk) 00:02, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Renaissance architecture[edit]

The construction of the buildings is generally brick. I wrote the article. The recent edits alerted me to the error. Many of the buildings have stone facades or are entirely faced with stone, but the construction, in Italy, is most definitely brick. Amandajm (talk) 00:51, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Got it[edit]

The Google Translate plug-in wasn't working so I couldn't inspect the content of the pages. Thanks anyways. Best, ///EuroCarGT 17:11, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Heh. I just clicked on one of the links - the URL is almost the same as the username - so it became obvious. Risker (talk) 17:17, 18 May 2014 (UTC)


Hi Risker. Re the MyWikiBiz SPI case that you just closed, I was wondering how to handle such socks in the future. What noticeboard? Also, what about the ones I listed? They're not blocked (to my knowledge), except for a couple blocked for edit warring. What concerns me is not so much the Jimbo talk page socking as the sock evasion on the AfD. Coretheapple (talk) 23:17, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

The IPs *shouldn't* be blocked, except at best for very short periods (hours, possibly a day), because they're dynamic. For the AfD, note it in small letters below the vote, but you need to be very sure. Risker (talk) 23:34, 19 May 2014 (UTC)


How much we must to wait? Please see: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Rtuftrbsee. This person has many sockpuppets only to controversial changes and edit-wars, nothing more. Still create new sockpuppets (for example User:Slimmilky51) and create new conflicts, see Talk:List_of_tallest_buildings_in_Europe#Socks. Some sockpuppers by this person has been blocked by administrator Darkwind, administrator CambridgeBayWeather semi-protect article but Slimmilky51 today (how?) again restored own controversial changes [9]. How much we must to wait? How many must be edit-wars and nerve of users before the case is resolved? Please, react. Subtropical-man talk
17:05, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Yesterday, there was a call-out to all available checkusers to make a solid effort at working down the backlog; I did six SPIs myself yesterday. We are aware of the backlog and are working on it, but I can't give you a definitive time. In the interim, I see that several of the misbehaving accounts have already been blocked, which is appropriate; poor behaviour is itself a reason for blocking and does not need to wait for an SPI report. I may be able to look at this later today, although I cannot make a guarantee; it has the potential to be a very extensive investigation. Risker (talk) 17:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

An SPI[edit]

You are mentioned and may have an interest in Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/ChildofMidnight. Thank you, Drmies (talk) 20:28, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

CU of the wrong account[edit]

This discussion pointed out that you may have ran a CU on the wrong account here (Crossswords with two s's rather than three.) Was this just a typo in your comments, or did you actually CU 2-s Crossswords? If you did, is it possible that you could CU the suspected account, or should I file a new SPI case? Thanks! TDL (talk) 18:54, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Hello there, a proposal regarding pre-adminship review has been raised at Village pump by Anna Frodesiak. Your comments here is very much appreciated. Many thanks. Jim Carter through MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:46, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Revision deletion[edit]

thanks for applying to my talk page, could you also apply to [10]. thanks. LibStar (talk) 04:15, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, LibStar. Risker (talk) 04:19, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
thanks, I notice now on this diff the threat is still visible, can you also revision delete. thanks LibStar (talk) 04:38, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Hello, Risker. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.

ColonelHenry and use of CheckUser in general.[edit]

I got really worried when I saw that User:Green Cardamom, User:DavidinNJ, and User:ColonelHenry, accounts which whom I've interacted and found to be, IIRC, good users, listed as Suspected sockpuppets of each other in an [SPI archive].

I saw which prompts me to contact you and ask:

1)Can CUs use the tools based on their own or evidence that remains private? Your comment says that you ran a CU based on "an experienced user" username undisclosed. I found this at WP:SPI "When you open the investigation, you must immediately provide evidence that the suspected sock puppets are connected." 2)Does that not apply to checkuser admins? 3)Is the stalker result adequate evidence of a connection? 4a)If not, did you provide enough? 4b)If so, why; [11] certainly isn't adequate evidence of such a connection between me and Stefan2 despite >14 participations in the same deletion discussions.

I have been involved in discussions with this user and just relied on something he wrote by mentioning it on User_talk:Moonriddengirl today. (AKA the WMF's Maggie Dennis). Given the block and CU I just noticed, I'm now thinking I better check to see if the quotes ColonelHenry gave of the law are fabricated. I worried the same thing about the others, all of whom have been involved in Copyright discussions with me. But then I saw that User:Green Cardamom and User:DavidinNJ have been CLEARED - strongly declared innocent based on CU and behavior checks, the latter based on 2 of them. 5)Would it be good if you or I used [strike(per results below)] on the entries for them in the SPI archive?

You wrote,

  • ColonelHenry, on creating the account, confirms that he had a prior account. This account has been identified, and was associated in its earliest editing with another hoax article in 2004

but when I looked at the history of that article, I only find IPs have made significant/suspect edits. 6)What am I missing? If only IPs have made significant/suspect edits then this unnamed prior account couldn't have.

Thanks for your admin work and TIA for your time on this. Just to be clear: clarification sought. No accusations or disrespect intended.

PS: Just noticed the David also voted here.

PPS: If there's a better place for this discussion, feel free to relocate it before replying.

--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 19:48, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay in responding, Elvey; I've not been very active due to RL the last week or so.

Checkusers can open investigations based on off-wiki evidence, and do so routinely on this project. For example, cross-project socking as identified on the Checkuser mailing list can lead to an investigation. It is not at all uncommon for suspicions of sockpuppetry involving longterm, experienced users to be made privately, and these will be investigated using checkuser tools provided that evidence similar to that required for an SPI is met. This has the advantage of being far less reputationally harmful to the target editor than a public accusation would be if it turns out to be negative. There are also certain recognized patterns of behaviour of which checkusers are aware that can trigger an investigation.

Processes in 2004 were quite different than they are today, and you may have to do some rooting around to spot the other account (such as looking at the relevant deletion discussion); however, as there is a connection with a RL identity, my post at the time deliberately didn't draw a straight line to it. The IP address isn't particularly significant; I doubt anyone still has the same IP address they did 10 years ago, and that is definitely true in this case.

I think that any suggestion that either Green Cardamom or DavidinNJ are sockpuppets of ColonelHenry should indeed be stricken; it is unfair for anyone to be tagged as even a "suspected" or "possible" sock when such allegations have been disproven. Risker (talk) 01:52, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I struck them and ResearchRU's - same situation, same page.
I feel like I have to do a lot of reading between the lines to find answers to my questions in your reply. I guess the answers are
1)Too unclear to speculate as to your answer. Yes, I know they can use CU based on evidence that starts off private. But that doesn't answer my question, which is about evidence that remains private. When you say "Checkusers can open investigations based on off-wiki evidence", I could speculate as to whether you're referring to evidence that in this case remained - e.g. between you and the reporter, or was shared with the Checkuser mailing list as well, or was shared publicly, but it would be pure speculation. Please clarify the extent to which you provided evidence.
I do not provide information covered by the privacy policy to anyone other than someone else authorized under the policy to have that information. What information was shared publicly in the applicable thread was all that was provided publicly. I'm not going to go into what evidence was provided to me; however, one of the accounts made an edit that was an absolute red flag that in itself would have been sufficient to carry out a checkuser independent of almost anything else.
2)Need an answer to above first.
Information can be shared between checkusers if it is relevant. In the case of checkusering a longterm editor, it is fairly common to ask another checkuser to review/confirm results. Other checkusers may individually also do their own checks to verify information; this is healthy and normal, and serves to ensure that the checkuser results provided to the community are accurate. Call it Checkuser QA if you want.
3,4)Not addressed.
I would never run a checkuser based only on the results of the stalker tool. Prolific editors and editors who work in the same heavily edited areas often have heavy overlap in their editing. You could look at editors who work extensively in the Israel/Palestine topic area and find a large amount of overlap, but on reviewing the edits themselves it is often clear that these heavily overlapping editors are editing with very different POV.
6)I am still missing something. I'd say that being "associated in its earliest editing" does not include being involved in a deletion discussion.
Again, to be clear: clarification sought. No accusations or disrespect intended.
I've given all the answer I'm prepared to give to this question at this time. Don't worry that you might be "missing something"; the response is intended to be oblique.
--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 04:54, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Answered inline. Risker (talk) 05:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

So it sounds like you would say that this is accurate:
"Before a CU uses the CU tools based on their own initiative, or privately provided evidence, they do NOT need to immediately provide (behavioral) evidence that the suspected sock puppets are connected to anyone. Only non-CUs must immediately provide (behavioral) evidence that the suspected sock puppets are connected, and may provide it in the SPI, or privately to a CU."
Yes? Or would you say that this is accurate:
"Before a CU uses the CU tools based on their own initiative, or privately provided evidence, they DO need to provide (behavioral) evidence that the suspected sock puppets are connected, to the Checkuser mailing list (or log it somewhere that CUs can see it). Regular users opening an SPI must immediately provide (behavioral) evidence that the suspected sock puppets are connected."
In other words, I'm wondering if CUs can use the tools without disclosing to anyone any behavioral evidence to justify the use of the tools. It sounds like they can and sometimes do. Without both policy and logging in place to make compliance auditing possible, there's not much keeping that from happening. --{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 06:49, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm saying none of that, Elvey. I wasn't the only checkuser who was provided with the evidence, I just happened to be the first one to respond. I think this is as far as I am willing to go in this discussion. Risker (talk) 07:00, 10 June 2014 (UTC)


Thanks for the brilliant observations on WP:Flow at wikitech-l. Johnuniq (talk) 02:40, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Johnuniq. I've been trying to come up with an allegory for Flow, but I think it might go like this: Current talk pages are a moped. The community asked for an upgrade to a cross-country motorcycle. The WMF has presented them with an RV complete with a platform on the back where one can attach a motorcycle. In other words, kind of missing the point. Risker (talk) 02:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Flow will be "interesting", that's for sure. I get the impression the Flow people believe that creating a better forum is the objective (more people talking = success), whereas of course the whole point of a discussion is to improve the encyclopedia. We'll have to see how the wondrous features work, but I have been thinking along the lines of your wikitech-l post for a while—what is needed vs. what is planned. I wish I could find that old cartoon showing the development of a child's swing—what engineering designed, what marketing promised, what health-and-safety required, ..., what was installed, all versus what the kid wanted. Johnuniq (talk) 03:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
This one I think, though there are many variations! And yes, I agree. Risker (talk) 03:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again! I couldn't find that when I last searched (a few years ago). Johnuniq (talk) 06:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Y'know, I'm not a dev, so I'm far from an expert on this, but I'm not really sure that Flow is all that unasked for. I mean, as an example, I've looked at the code for sections--it's come up with regard to the Teahouse's...controversial top posting and the bugs it causes--and in my very inexpert opinion, calling watchlisted sections even "possible but very difficult" is an understatement. It's essentially impossible with the current system; many many things would need to be reworked and rewritten for it to happen. Of course, technically it's possible, but only in the sense that, with unlimited resources and a deadline of the heat death of the universe, anything is possible. It's my (again inexpert) impression that, in order for watchlisted sections to be possible, we would need something that behaves (at least in the code) radically different from the way Mediawiki works now--which of course is what Flow is. To offer a counter-analogy: if you had a horse, and you asked an oracle for a different, better horse, and the oracle gave you an elephant, you might be irate. But if, while asking for your new horse, you've been asking for it to be a bit grayer and less hairy, and probably quite a bit bigger, and maybe get rid of those hooves and replace them with some kind of pad for feet, and bigger droopier ears too, and let's give it a long, prehensile nose to top it off, well, while you might have started out asking for a horse, and you might say you're still asking for a horse, what you've described is no longer a horse, but an elephant, and the oracle is giving you what you actually asked for. Again, not a dev, and no wiser than the next person, so take this with all the grains of salt you want, but just a thought. Writ Keeper  06:50, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, WritKeeper; I've heard the "possible but difficult" comment from the people who, for lack of a better way of putting it, like writing Mediawiki code; it sounded to me more like they thought it was a grand challenge rather than a dirge. But the number of people who like to write Mediawiki code is stunningly small even at the WMF. Even at that, if it was this one asked-for feature that created so much difficulty, it really doesn't have a lot to do with this "vision" of what Flow should be that really doesn't match at all with the nature and process of discussion on the projects. (Given some of the comments from WMF staffers involved in Flow development, I get the impression that they think it is desirable to alter the the nature and process of discussions, not just change the interface. Apparently we're too mean. As if the interface will change that: one only has to look at the comments on pages where Flow is currently enabled to see that it's done nothing to change that!) I can't figure out why anyone who works on multiple projects would really *want* all their talk pages to show up in a single flow. I can't figure out why anyone would want discussions from dozens of different pages to show up in the equivalent of their talk page (which was the original proposal and still seems to be part of the master plan). It would just serve to increase the volume and pitch of the noise and take away from the primary purpose of (and separation between) all of the projects. And I say that knowing that I do a lot more discussing than content work: I should be the target audience for Flow because of that. But that turns Flow into a push medium of communication - constant pinging, always being drawn away from the core work of the project. Heck, just about everyone has come to the conclusion that Notifications works pretty well; if it's useful to have cross-wiki discussion notification, a ping through that medium onto one's "home wiki" talk page would be far better. Of course, that would require SUL finalisation whether done by Notifications or by Flow, and SUL finalisation is a project that has been passed around the WMF for several years as if it's a hot potato, because it means having to (excuse the language, but it's appropriate here) piss off a lot of people.

The coding for SUL finalisation is a walk in the park compared to the community engagement part. But SUL finalisation is holding up a lot of other things besides cross-project notifications, or even the development of Flow. This is exactly the kind of thing that I refer to in my email to wikitech-L as a management failure on the part of the WMF. They know this is needed, they know it will be challenging, and yet they've refused to take the hard step of assigning it to someone and making it that person's #1 priority. Even right now, with SUL finalisation scheduled to ramp up in Q1 of the next fiscal year (i.e., July—September), the coding is done "between other assignments", the code review is scheduled to be done by someone who already has a monumental workload, and it's not even the priority product for the product manager. SUL should have been finalised at least two years ago; it will take a good year to complete if they work to minimize disruption - it's not just the people forced to change usernames that will be upset, it will also be all the projects that have established usurpation policies that will have to be drawn into the discussion of the "rules" that will be applied. You'd think that WMF engineering, which is headed by someone who refuses to use anything but his original username (not even a variation with "WMF" at the end of it), would realise what a sensitive area this is. Yanking a username away from a longstanding editor because someone else from some other project has some kind of priority access to the username (regardless of the prioritization, be it by user right, date of account creation, volume of work or something else) will be a wrenching and possibly career-ending experience. There are tens of thousands of such accounts. It's not going to be a fun discussion - but a lot of other products and projects would be in better shape today if it had happened a couple of years ago when it was supposed to have taken place. Risker (talk) 07:29, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, I want all of my discussions to show up in a single place. I want to see relevant deletion discussions at Commons right here, without having to make what often feels like a special trip over to Commons to see what's going on. I want WPMED and WPMEDF discussions in the same place. I want Simple English in my daily workflow, instead of off in a corner that I visit once a month. I especially want to have small projects, where I've only got two or three pages on my watchlist anyway, to be able to get my attention through some method other than luck or e-mail.
I also want that Flow feed to be highly sortable and filterable, so I can choose to look at, say, only article talk pages, but excluding anything from en.wp. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:51, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
And I want a pony. Well, actually I don't want a pony, I want a Clydesdale, a working horse. What you're talking about is a unified watchlist - which I agree would be useful and I'd be all for it, provided that people choose to opt in for each project they want to add instead of having to opt out, as so many WMF-designed "features" are now. (Incidentally, LiquidThreads promised this too, and nowadays there's big interest in figuring out how to disable it - one of the WMF staff wrote the script.) I cannot imagine anything more terrifying for a newcomer than to discover that all the discussions she participates in show up in some weird combination of RSS feed and webforum. It's more likely to have exactly the opposite effect for most people; they'll not want all those pages constantly bouncing into their "Flow" so they'll stop watching them entirely. How many pages does the average Wikimedian watch? I have about 1000 across all projects, and I'm rigorous in keeping the list trimmed down; I know at least 200 people have over 10,000 pages just on this project on their watchlist. It doesn't matter whether or not it's sortable, it matters that it is mentally overwhelming. And there's this dichotomy where you either watch the page (in which case you get all the discussions) or you watch individual discussions (and don't find out that there's a new relevant section on the page). Of course, there won't actually be pages... Flow still looks like the kind of webpage that I consciously avoided back in 2007 (yes, it really looks that dated) because it was always full of Usenet castaways ranting about heaven only knew what. Wikimedia talk pages are so much more organized, and I make the conscious decision on each occasion to read them; they aren't in your face, the way Flow will be. Try it for two days, WhatamIdoing...get a script to put all the discussions on all the talk pages/discussion locations you're currently watching onto a single page. See how big it is. See how overwhelming it is. Think about why anyone would want that to be their primary means of communication within the WMF family of projects. I'll guarantee you that the people who are dreaming about all the wonderful things that they want Flow to do haven't taken the time to actually work out what it would mean. I pasted just two hours worth of discussions onto a page and it gave me pause to wonder if one of the unwritten intentions of Flow was to get people to stop talking. Risker (talk) 02:16, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
A gigantic problem with Flow is that none of us (including the devs) have a clue what it would be like in practice. I suspect the concept is deeply flawed, but we'll have to wait and see because testing on isolated and seldom-used pages does not show the big picture. We need a page somewhere to list potential issues so they are not overlooked when real tests are performed. Johnuniq (talk) 03:31, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to try it out, but I don't want "a page" that has all of the discussions from two thousand pages in one place, and that's not what Flow is supposed to do. I want what's been described: a dynamic feed that keeps track of what I've already read, shows me what I still need to read, and whenever I'm done with this one, pushes the next one to the top. That can't be done with a script that pastes static copies into a page. The part that I want most is the part in which after I've read it, it goes away. I already have experience with this kind of a system for moderately high-volume traffic: this is how my Gmail inbox works. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, then. This is a new iteration of what Flow's supposed to do and act; perhaps it is because you're on WMF staff that you know about it, WhatamIdoing, but I can't find it documented on this project, on MediaWiki, on Meta, or anywhere else that seems to be broadly community-accessible, nor is there a link to the current plan for Flow anywhere on this project, not even at Wikipedia:Flow. I'm still not persuaded this is all that useful - really, there's a reason that watchlists work so well, so that people have the option to look at discussions and to do so at their convenience, rather than having them in the middle of a pile of other discussions where they don't stand out, or people dismiss them because their stream is too busy. Can you please point me to where this new theory of action is discussed? Risker (talk) 04:28, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I've got nothing to do with Flow officially, but I've been watching the discussions as a volunteer for well over a year. I don't know if there is a single place that completely explains the ideas for how Flow feeds are envisioned (by the designers) to work. Two highly relevant, if unfortunate, facts are that what's ultimately done may not match what was originally envisioned, and that I have the impression that this is one of the last things that's going to be built. Christmas may be a long time from now, but I'm still hoping that the devs will be giving me a pony. Or six, since I think that's the number of times I've asked Nick to put another pony on my wishlist for Flow. Face-wink.svg WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:15, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the great post. I am not subscribed to wikitech-l and have not seen it before. My impression unfortunately is that people who are responsible for the FLOW development do not want to hear this. Ultimately, they are wasting their time and going to VE2.0 disaster. That makes me really unhappy, but, on the other hand, they are wasting their time, not mine (so far).--Ymblanter (talk) 08:52, 9 June 2014 (UTC)


Hello, Risker. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.
Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:23, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Hello Cyphoidbomb, I've received and read your email. I'm pretty tied up IRL right at the moment and won't have a chance to look at that, myself; so if you would like that matter reviewed it would probably be reasonable to go the SPI route. Sorry for the delay in responding. Risker (talk) 03:14, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Risker Bad timing on my part. Thanks for the note. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 03:59, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

A very belated thanks[edit]

For writing this message. I only just noticed it while trawling through my old edits. I remember wondering at the time why the next edit by Smallbones used bolding ... now I know why. I guess we all learnt something during that exchange! Graham87 04:52, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Peace Barnstar Hires.png The Barnstar of Diplomacy
This comment is so good that a normal "thank" just wouldn't have done it justice. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:43, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Arb Case[edit]

I didn't want to carry on discussion there. I wasn't disagreeing with you. What troubles me isn't the RfC close, the statistics, the implementation of the close. I really don't care about those. What troubles me is a WMF employee basically telling our community it can go take a collective hike, and to top it off threatens one of our community members in the process. Either we have standing or we do not. That needs to be decided, openly. If we do have standing, then the WMF needs to be taught to stop meddling in community affairs. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:04, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, sometimes the "community" behaves in a ridiculous way, and someone has to say it and stop the damage the "community" is doing. I'm having a hard time getting my head around the notion that 64 people get to tell 14,681 people that their opinions are worthless. I'm having a hard time understanding why certain members of the community deliberately injected code into the project that changed the project in a way that was *not even discussed* in an RFC. Frankly, we don't deserve standing if we're going to allow the tyranny of the (almost microscopic) minority to run this project - 0.004% of the number of people supported deactivating this software as default compared to the number of people who had already made it their default. This is one situation where we have hard data showing that a whopping number of people had already made this software their default - 14,681 editors went and consciously selected this - and one non-administrator who doesn't even have the community's agreement that they can accurately assess consensus completely misreads the RFC and makes a close supporting something that wasn't even discussed in the RFC. We're the problem here, in that we've allowed that close to stand. It shouldn't stand, it's blatantly wrong as it is right now. We all know that. If we want the WMF to respect our RFCs, we have to make sure they're respectable, and that they do not disenfranchise a huge number of our colleagues who had already expressed their opinion by their actions. Risker (talk) 19:33, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Our RfC process is inherently flawed in that we can not assess the wants of our users. It just happens that in this case we can because we have statistics to back it up. RfC is just the worst form of determining consensus except for all the others that could be tried. We can do no more than take into account those who show up to discuss. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:57, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, in this case it didn't even determine consensus, it is a perverse result. It should be reversed and an independent group of administrators should reassess - and need to take into account more than just the 111 people who showed up; that's never, ever been sufficient number to make a change of this kind of magnitude. I wouldn't have considered it sufficient participation to determine a consensus; this isn't an AfD, after all, and a NAC for an RFC involving WMF actions is completely inappropriate. In this case we *can* assess other factors besides just the people who show up on the page, and so can the WMF, and that's exactly why the actions taken were inappropriate; there is no such thing as an RFC that firmly binds the WMF. It's the entire "I want a pony" syndrome. I could easily run an RFC that would get tons of support to change one or two things (e.g., unified multi-project watchlists that are easily sorted) but you'd laugh at me if I pretended the WMF was going to be obliged to respect that and immediately take action.

Pete may not have realised what that line of code was going to do, but then again why would he add the line of code if he didn't have the knowledge to understand what it was going to do? I am a technical incompetent, and even I can figure out that it was going to disable the whole extension, not just change the default extension. If he had reinserted it, particularly after being told it did not do what he thought it did, I would have fully supported a desysop, and it would not have been the first time a very senior WMF employee pulled permissions from a user because of behaviour that was damaging the project. (In fact, before we had stewards, folks in positions like Tim Starling and Erik would have been the only ones able to do so.)

You know what the one thing is that I wouldn't have a hard time resolving? That all WMF employees must use a separate WMF account for actions related to their employment. Risker (talk) 20:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)