Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo

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Nothing in the page should be construed to discourage you from discussing editing matters directly with me. I remain very active in Wikipedia on a daily basis and monitor dozens of discussions. I try not to directly intervene and to make clear when I am just editing as an ordinary editor. I don't like it when people take random comments I make when I'm trying to be helpful in a discussion, and treat them as hammers for beating on other people. But I also do love the editing process, I do have long experience, and I think I can often be helpful to you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:26, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

A number of contributors are unhappy with the way that various matters have been dealt with on Wikipedia. Some are unhappy about administrator decisions, others are upset that there are offensive images on articles, while yet others feel that links to their pet website should not be removed from the project. These are just some of the things that an editor can get upset about.

Editors appealing to Jimbo

Generally, discussion happens and either the contributor concedes or goes away grumpy. However, a selected few contributors feel that as Jimbo Wales is the founder/co-founder of Wikipedia that it would be best to appeal to him directly. The theory behind this is that their appeals will be heard and Jimbo will latch onto the argument in full agreement with the petitioner. Thereafter, Jimbo will logically smite the wicked editor who dared raise concerns about their behaviour/fundamentally change existing policy/delete the offending item from Wikipedia.

The unfortunate news here is that it almost never works. Jimmy's talk page is monitored (at the time of writing) by 3,045 people. This is made up of a large cabal who routinely either point out that the decisions made are correct, that Jimmy shouldn't be bothered with worthless tripe, or that Jimbo normally doesn't enter into these sort of discussions. Furthermore, when Jimbo does respond he rarely takes sides, unless it is a completely egregious and inescapably important issue that must be responded to (e.g. Wikipedia:SOPA initiative‎.) Which in almost all instances is not the case with appeals to his talk page. And if it is, he'll normally get the Wikimedia Foundation to do it for him.

This means that if the editor has to appeal to Jimbo's talk page, they will almost certainly not persuade anyone of the merits of their case. Indeed, argumentum ad Jimbonem may actually harm it in the eyes of other editors, as this often seems to be an attempt to make an end run around an existing consensus. As appealing to Jimbo tends to be the end of the discussion some have likened such a course of action to Godwin's Law.

So the best advice to editors who feel that appealing to Jimmy Wales can get around discussing issues with the wider community is to think again. It may not get them what they desire. They have been warned!

And now a word from our sponsor...[edit]

This is Jimbo's advice on how to involve him when consensus supports the wrong version:

I'd like to add some additional recommendations for people who'd like to appeal such cases directly to me.


First, it's very important that you write me a minimum of 6 pages of text explaining and defending the version that you prefer. The more tedious details, the better. I'm specifically keenly interested in the names of obscure rivers in Germany, er, I mean Poland, er, I mean Prussia. Also, be sure to write to me about the shape of bigfoot's head, I really am the person to make a decision about that.

Second, everyone knows that I make it a routine practice to force articles to read exactly the way that you like. I also ban longtime users and sysops whenever I feel like, just based on the say-so of people just like you. So be sure to ask for that.

Third, better yet, don't ask for it, demand it. Threaten to leave if I don't comply within 24 hours. That always works.

Fourth, if you happen to know that I'm personally politically sympathetic to your point of view, feel free to call your opponents names. For example, since I'm generally sympathetic to Israel, feel free to call anyone who has written anything critical of Israel a "Nazi". I'll get so excited that I'll probably ban them. Heck, I might even write new code in the software to only let you and people you approve edit the pages!

And finally, if for some insane reason I don't act on your wise proposals, tell everyone that you know that Wikipedia is all a scam to make money. It's a tool of capitalist oppression. It's a liberal playground with no standards. It's based on the principles of communism. It's collectivist. It's individualist. It's useless. It's the most important thing in the world, except for me screwing it up. That'll show old Jimbo who he's messing with!

Jimbo Wales 13:32, 6 February 2004 (UTC) [1]

See also[edit]