Wikipedia:Perennial proposals

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This is a list of things that are frequently proposed on Wikipedia, and have been rejected by the community several times in the past. It should be noted that merely listing something on this page does not mean it will never happen, but that it has been discussed before and never met consensus. Consensus can change, and some proposals which remained on this page for a long time have finally been proposed in a way which reached consensus, but you should address rebuttals raised in the past if you make a proposal along these lines. If you feel you would still like to do one of these proposals, then raise it at the Wikipedia:Village pump.

Contents

Content[edit]

Content warnings[edit]

  • Proposal: Certain Wikipedia pages should display content warnings or disclaimers, such as "This article contains sexually explicit images" or "This article is not suitable for children".
  • Reasons for previous rejection: All Wikipedia pages contain a link to the Wikipedia:General disclaimer page, where you can access the content, legal, medical and risk disclaimers. See the "Disclaimers" link at the bottom of this page. In addition, Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors. Our mission is to document human knowledge, no matter how unpleasant or offensive it may be to some people. It is impossible to draw a line between "offensive" and "non-offensive" content that satisfies all cultural, religious and political norms. Any page could conceivably be offensive to somebody. Furthermore, once a page has loaded the disclaimer is often too late.
  • See also: Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles. In addition, disclaimer templates are candidates for speedy deletion.

Censor offensive images[edit]

  • Proposal: Images of a sexual, obscene, emotionally disturbing, religiously offensive or disgusting nature should be hidden from all users or even deleted entirely.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Wikipedia is not censored. In an encyclopedia, it is expected that articles on sexual subjects should be illustrated as such. In addition, standards about what is and is not acceptable for pictures vary wildly between cultures.
  • See also: Help:Options to hide an image for instructions on how to suppress images. m:2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content proposes user-configurable options. In August 2011, a referendum on how to permit users to suppress types of images they personally deem unwanted was begun at m:Image filter referendum/en.

Legal issues[edit]

  • Proposal: Because of such-and-such law, Wikipedia must do so-and-so (e.g. implement censorship as above, or require identification of editors, or defer certain rulings to the U.S. Supreme Court).
  • Reasons for previous rejection: The Wikimedia Foundation employs legal counsel to advise on whether and when such measures are necessary, and editors may rely that appropriate Wikipedia policies will inform them of any such needed measures, such as removal of copyrighted material.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Office actions and CAT:LEGAL.

Advertising[edit]

  • Proposal: To cover server costs, or for some other public good such as charity, Wikipedia should add advertisements to its pages. The ads could be highly targeted, unobtrusive textual ads similar to those used by Google. Revenues would be very high based on Wikipedia's very high search engine ranking for many diverse keywords.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Wikipedia is supposed to be neutral, which advertising by definition is not. Even if well segregated from article content, advertising could create an impression that our content is commercially influenced and could be affected by advertisers threatening to withdraw their ads, whether or not this is actually the case. Advertising could discourage contributors, the lifeblood of Wikipedia, many of whom object strongly to advertising. Placing ads would also likely decrease the amount of money raised by community fundraising. Also, since we don't allow spam or advertising by users, doing it ourselves would be, at the very least, hypocritical. Finally, the financial situation of the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the website, is stable — there is no pressing need to make such a change.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Funding Wikipedia through advertisements; Spanish Wikipedia and Enciclopedia Libre.

Enforce American or British spelling[edit]

Only allow the truth in articles[edit]

  • Proposal: For a long time, the first sentence of Wikipedia:Verifiability stated, "The threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth". This meant that the absolute minimum standard for including material in Wikipedia is that it be possible to verify it; the minimum standard for including material is not merely being true in the opinion of an editor. The most common proposal is to require not only that all material be verifiable, but that all material also be true in the opinion of editors. The second most common proposal is to require that material be either verifiable or true according to any editor. It is usually motivated by a desire to reduce errors in Wikipedia or increase Wikipedia's scholarly reputation.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Wikipedia is supposed to be based on published reliable sources, not on the opinions or beliefs of editors. The community refuses to let editors delete well-sourced material if they believe the sources are wrong or to include material merely because they personally believe the unpublished, unsourceable material to be true. Adding unsourced material or deleting well-sourced material on the basis of editors' personal beliefs can result in biased, unbalanced articles and frequently does result in edit wars between editors with opposing personal beliefs.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth, Wikipedia:Editorial discretion, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

Define reliable sources[edit]

  • Proposal: Wikipedia should define the reliability of particular types of sources so that no exceptions are possible, and only sources defined as reliable may be used for the verification of Wikipedia's content. Examples include changing Wikipedia:Reliable sources from a guideline to an official policy, or merging it with Wikipedia:Verifiability and/or Wikipedia:No original research.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Assessing the reliability of sources requires sound editorial judgment, not strict adherence to a list of rules. Whether a source is reliable depends on how the source relates to the material: a very weak source may be reliable for a very small claim, such as "this source was published", while a very strong source will be deemed unreliable if the claim is unrelated to the source's contents (e.g., a source about electricity being cited for information about a celebrity). Although it may be possible to define a minimum threshold below which sources are never acceptable as reference for Wikipedia content, it appears presumptuous to define all sources above that threshold as "reliable". For this reason, a universally applicable (or: policy-level) definition of reliable sources is impractical. Furthermore, strict rules about what type of source is permitted amount to instruction creep.
  • See also: Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources (and/or many archives of that page); Wikipedia:Attribution/Poll, which dealt with an attempted merger of the verifiability, no original research and reliable sources pages into a single official policy. Also Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, which assesses the reliability of individual sources.

Require or prefer free, online sources[edit]

  • Proposal: Editors should use sources that anyone can read immediately, without cost.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Editors should use the best sources available to them, regardless of cost or format. The content policies require that it be possible for someone to verify a given statement—not that it be quick, easy, and free for you to verify it. A "replacement" source that is available online and/or without cost is not identical to the first source, and therefore is never truly equal in all particulars. Many academic journals eventually release papers, and more books are being digitized, so "unavailable" sources may become freely available later. What appears to be free in your country or computer network may not be free everywhere.[1] Wikipedia already has a systemic bias in favor of freely available online sources (called the FUTON bias) that are written in English; this bias may distort its contents, and institutionalizing such a recommendation would only further exacerbate this bias.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Verifiability#Access to sources and Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Cost

Require inline citations for everything[edit]

  • Proposal: Every sentence (or paragraph) should be followed by an inline citation that supports it. Any material added without a reliable source should be promptly removed. All articles without references should be deleted, regardless of whether Wikipedia should have an article on that subject. All use of general references should be banned.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: The policy is that material must be verifiable, that is, that it must be possible for someone to name a reliable source that supports it. Sourcing policies require inline citations only for four types of material, and there is no deadline for supplying these citations. Inline citations are not required for material everyone agrees is obvious. The editing policy requires editors to preserve appropriate, encyclopedic information, which often means adding citations to reliable sources for editors who did not name sources at the time the material was added. Increasing the requirements discourages new editors. Increasing the requirements mindlessly would destroy most of Wikipedia's content.
  • See also: #Delete unreferenced articles, below

Protect featured articles[edit]

  • Proposal: To maintain their high quality, featured articles should be permanently protected or semi-protected. Alternatively, featured articles could be split into two pages: a protected page showing the article as it appeared when originally promoted, and a separate "Draft" version for any future editing the articles may need.
  • Reasons for previous rejection:
    • Featured articles often improve over time, rather than deteriorate. Although a featured article "exemplifies our very best work and features professional standards of writing and presentation",[2] there is always room for further improvement.
    • Featured articles are not "finished" articles. Not only do they need further editing in response to changes in the topic itself, our standards for featured articles change over time. For example, in Wikipedia's early days most featured articles did not use inline citations. Today, a proposal to promote such an article to "featured" status would have no chance of surviving a featured article discussion.
    • While some featured articles deteriorate in quality, this is not a widespread problem. Since the featured article program began in 2004, 21% of promoted articles have been de-featured,[3] and this is mainly due to increased requirements.
    • In regard to vandalism, our featured articles are not specifically targeted by vandals, and are among the most-watched pages on Wikipedia. Short-term semi-protection and blocks are more than adequate to deal with featured article vandalism.
    • A link to the "originally featured version" is already available on the talk page.

See also: #Protecting Today's Featured Article on the main page, below

Move maintenance tags to talk pages[edit]

  • Proposal: Move maintenance tags such as {{cleanup}} and {{POV-check}} from the head of article pages to the article talk pages. Some proposals recommend all tags be moved, and others only propose moving some tags. Moving templates would reduce self-references to Wikipedia, reduce clutter, and reserve article space for information about the subject.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Every reader is a potential editor and the maintenance tags give potential editors ideas of how to improve an article. Some tags also serve as warnings to readers about potentially problematic and low-quality content. The {{ambox}} "meta-template" used by the templates means that they are not nearly as cluttered-looking as they were before 2007. The implementation costs would be large: About a million articles have maintenance tags, and moving them all to talk pages would be a massive undertaking, even using a bot or spreading the work out over many months. The documentation on all the templates, several editing help pages, and any bot or script that edits or reads maintenance tags would have to be updated manually.
  • Previous discussions: Sept 2010, Nov 2009, Jan 2009, December 2008, Oct 2008, March 2008, October 2007

Changes to standard appendices[edit]

  • Proposal: The standard appendices at the end of an article (e.g., See also, Notes, References, Further reading, and External links) should be changed to the system preferred by the editor/a particular professional field/the editor's school. These proposals may involve changing the names of the sections (e.g., changing References to Sources or Bibliography), changing the order of the sections (e.g., putting External links first, or References last), or changing the formatting (e.g., long lists of references should be hidden in a scrolling box).
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Policies and guidelines document "actual good practices".[4] Most proposals fail to demonstrate that their proposed practice is an emerging, sustainable alternative to the current de facto method. These guidelines only seek to document the status quo and not to change it. The See also precedes the References, Further reading, and External links; the reason for the existing order follows a logical progression from on-wiki to off-wiki information. About the names of the section headings, different academic fields use different terms, and Wikipedia editors do not want to impose the convention preferred by one academic discipline on articles in another discipline.[5]
  • See also: Many discussions in the archives of WT:Layout.

Allow non-commercial licensed content[edit]

Protecting Today's Featured Article on the main page[edit]

  • Proposal: Today's Featured Article that is linked from the main page should be either fully protected or semi protected to prevent vandalism and ensure that all visitors get a good impression of Wikipedia.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Wikipedia claims to be an "Encyclopedia that Anyone can Edit" so having the most viewed article every day protected would be contrary to that purpose. Also Today's Featured Article is always watched by many editors so any vandalism is quickly reverted.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection and Wikipedia:For and Against TFA protection for lengthy discussions

Establish a house citation style[edit]

  • Proposal: Wikipedia should establish a house citation style applicable to all articles. This would improve consistency between articles and/or make citing sources easier for new users. Past suggestions include an outside style guide/prescribed format (such as MLA or Harvard referencing), a system preferred by the user's school or teacher(s), and/or a unique style that would meet the specific needs of Wikipedia.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: If academics can't find a single system suitable for all fields, why would one system work for Wikipedia? An extreme amount of time and effort would be necessary to (1) develop, or even agree on, a comprehensive house style that covers most or all situations, and (2) implement it on all 4,554,250 of our articles, even with the help of one or more bots. Any benefits of a single encyclopedia-wide house style pale in comparison to the massive scope of such an undertaking.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Citation discussion, Wikipedia:Citing sources#Variation in citation methods (shortcut: WP:CITEVAR)

Add in-article credit for images[edit]

  • Proposal: Wikipedia should include bylines or some other sort of in-article credit for images used in articles. It is sometimes also claimed this is required by CC-BY licenses.
  • Reasons for previous rejection:
    • These is no need to clutter articles with this information. Credit is already provided for the majority of images by linking them to the file description page, which includes authorship, licensing, and more. (The exceptions to this are CC0 and public domain images used as icons, where the file description page still exists but is sometimes not linked.)
    • Maintaining these in-article credits would be a significant maintenance burden on our editors, so there should be a similarly significant advantage to doing it. Such advantage has not been evident.
    • The existing model of attribution has so far proven to be widely successful, despite resistance by a small number of copyright holders to allowing use of their images without in-article credit. Including in-article credits would increase the incentive for people to "spam" their images into articles in an attempt to use Wikipedia for free advertising.
    • Mistaken credit of images taken from Wikipedia (e.g. crediting them to "Wikipedia" rather than the actual authors) is an issue, but it is not evident that this would be significantly affected by this proposal.
    • Prominently crediting some images without crediting all, including the various icons used in maintenance templates, could itself prove problematic by seemingly valuing some people's contributions over others'. The same applies to prominently crediting image contributions without doing so for text contributions.
    • And, specific to the CC-BY licenses:
      • While the CC license deed (a lay summary, not legally binding) says attribution is to be provided "in the manner specified by the author or licensor", this does not mean that the author/licensor can require specific fonts, colors, wording, or placement of the credit. Looking at the actual license (the "legal code"), this seems to be referring to the author/licensor's ability to choose the name to be attributed, the title of the work, and the canonical URL for the work. The actual location and formatting of the attribution is merely required to be "reasonable to the medium" and "at least as prominent as the credits for the other contributing authors".
      • The assertion that linking to a file description page is not "reasonable to the medium" of a hypertext encyclopedia has not received any significant level of support.
      • Providing in-article credit for some but not all images might possibly fall afoul of the CC-BY license's "at least as prominent as the credits for the other contributing authors" clause. And providing in-article credit for images and not text contributions may have the same problem; the fact that it is (usually) feasible to do this for images and not text does not factor into the CC-BY license's requirement.
  • See also: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Captions#RfC: Requiring photo credits in footnotes for copyrighted images, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 76#Attribution of images, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 25#Photograph attribution in image captions, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 17#Requiring photo credits, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AK#Image attribution under CC-Attrib license

Editing[edit]

Prohibit anonymous users from editing[edit]

Automatically prompt for missing edit summary[edit]

  • Proposal: When any editor is about to post an edit without an edit summary, he or she should automatically be reminded that no summary has been provided and given another opportunity to include one. (Registered users can set their accounts' Preferences to do this, but many users are not aware of this.)
  • Reasons for previous rejection: It's already an option in the user preferences, and forcing users to enter edit summaries may annoy them enough they will not save their (possibly constructive) edits. Forcing users to type something in the edit summary box does not mean that they will provide accurate, honest, or useful edit summaries. Manually added edit summaries also suppress the automatic edit summaries. Blank edit summaries are a good way to spot probable vandalism.
  • See also: Help:Preferences#Editing

All words and phrases should be linked[edit]

[edit]

  • Proposal: Paid editing is:
  • harmful and should be banned.
  • beneficial and should be encouraged.
  • somewhere in between.

Usernames should contain only Latin Characters[edit]

  • Proposal: Proposals have included banning usernames that include symbols, Unicode characters, non-English alphabets, and/or any characters that are not easy to type on "standard" computer keyboards.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: The notion of acceptable characters broadened to accommodate single user login rules. Very few active users choose names that are difficult to type, so the problem is quite small. Being able to type a name is not necessary, as names can be copied or ignored. Furthermore, banning non-Latin usernames would cause difficulty on Wikipedias in languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, as speakers of those languages would not be able to enter Latin characters with their keyboards and would have a difficult time in choosing a username.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Signatures#Non-Latin_usernames on providing transliterations. WP:UUN for the list of active accounts using Unicode characters.

Talk pages and discussions[edit]

Prohibit removal of warnings[edit]

  • Proposal: Editors should be prohibited from removing warning templates from their talk page.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Talk pages are not intended as a permanent record of a user's misbehavior. Warnings are frequently placed incorrectly or spuriously. Removal of warnings other than to archive them is strongly discouraged, but does constitute definitive proof that the warning was seen, and can still lead to escalated warnings. Revert warring to keep a warning on a user's talk page is disruptive and constitutes "biting" newcomers.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Removing warnings

Use a bot to welcome new users[edit]

  • Proposal: Some people get missed for weeks at a time, or never welcomed at all. Would it not be better to have a bot drop one of the welcome templates on newcomers' pages instead of depending upon volunteers of the welcoming committee?
  • Reasons for previous rejection: In general, this proposal comes up every few months at Wikipedia talk:Welcoming committee, the village pump, or the bot requests page. There are multiple reasons behind rejection:
  1. If a bot is used, it is cold and impersonal, and the bot is incapable of mentoring and assisting newcomers.
  2. Many vandals are exposed when an edit made by them receives extra scrutiny because their user or talk page shows as a redlink.
  3. The bot would make thousands of pointless edits welcoming vandals and accounts that never make an edit.

Disallow personalized signatures[edit]

  • Proposal: Editors should use only plain signatures. Personalized signatures (colored text, CSS, HTML, special characters, etc.) are inherently disruptive, draw too much attention to the user, are often poorly designed, and/or take up too much space in the edit window.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Most custom signatures cause little or no trouble. In addition, they are popular throughout Wikipedia, and forcing users to give them up would create more trouble than it would be worth. It is better to deal with unacceptable signatures on a case-by-case basis than to issue a blanket prohibition that would anger many users, with few or no benefits. Furthermore, a user whose username uses non-Latin characters could use a custom signature to display an alternate name that English speakers could understand.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing your signature, User:Kephir/gadgets/unclutter. Wikipedia:Flow is expected to disable fancy signatures, at least in its early versions.

Allow discussion about the topic of the article[edit]

  • Proposal: People should be allowed to discuss the topic of the article on talk pages, instead of limiting discussion to improvement of the article. Or forums of some sort should be created to allow this, either on Wikipedia or elsewhere and linked from all articles.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: This conflicts with our mission at a fundamental level: our purpose is to create an encyclopedia, not to provide a place for people to hold random discussions on various topics. Similarly, we are not here to endorse any particular external sites for such discussion; people interested in finding such places should use Google or another search engine. Additionally, hosting such discussions would require volunteers or staff to monitor and/or moderate these discussions, delete WP:BLP violations, block or ban disruptive users, and so on, which would reduce the time these people (likely Admins) have to spend on activities that do improve the encyclopedia. Occasionally it is claimed that these forums could provide a place for original research to be "peer reviewed"; this would none the less conflict with our policy WP:No original research, even if the "peer review" turned out to be much more rigorous than can be reasonably expected.
  • See also: Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#FORUM

Deletion[edit]

Further information: Wikipedia:Deletion reform

Numerical rules for deletion[edit]

All authors must be notified of deletion[edit]

  • Proposal: The first creator, or everybody who has contributed to an article, must be warned on their talk page of a deletion debate of that article.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Excessive bureaucracy; people are expected to keep pages important to them on their watchlist. The "first creator" is meaningless for many articles, as this person may have long since left or made few contributions; "everybody" can number several hundred people, including those who have made trivial edits to the article and aren't concerned whether or not it's deleted. Regardless, editors are encouraged to notify the original author or the main contributors of an article when their article is nominated for deletion, as it is considered courteous; this is strictly optional. This puts less requirements for a deletion proposal than for a Featured Article review, for which all main contributors must be notified.

Deleted pages should be visible[edit]

Delete no-consensus AfDs for biographies of living persons[edit]

Rename AFD[edit]

  • Proposal: Change the name of WP:AFD from "Articles for deletion" to "Articles for discussion" in order to seem less confrontational and/or to match some other forums such as Redirects for discussion. This usually assumes that Wikipedia:Proposed mergers and Wikipedia:Requested moves would be merged into AFD, as the equivalent processes are at the XFD "for discussion" pages.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: The purpose of AfD is in fact to decide whether or not to delete an article. Lesser issues such as mergers or renaming should be discussed on the talk page or at the separate merge and article title forums. Users should be made aware of the very real possibility that the article will in fact be deleted at the end of the discussion (the result for perhaps three-quarters of nominated articles). AFD is already very large and would become even larger.
  • Note: This proposal was favorably received in 2009, but technical difficulties and inertia prevented the change; see Wikipedia talk:Articles for discussion/Proposal 1.

Deletion of user accounts[edit]

Delete unreferenced articles[edit]

  • Proposal: Wikipedia should automatically delete articles that do not cite at least one source, via speedy or proposed deletion. This may apply to all articles, newly created articles, or certain types of articles (BLPs, for example).
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Such a practice would "bite" new users and discourage them from becoming members of the community, as even good-faith contributions are immediately deleted or proposed for deletion. Keep in mind that not all users fully understand our policies and guidelines the minute they start editing. When a brand-new article is started without references, the creator, or another user, is often gathering sources to add later. Many users—both new and experienced—create stubs as a starting point, with the intention of developing them into full-fledged, well-sourced articles. Of course you are free to tag such pages, and to help clear the backlog of unsourced and poorly sourced articles, and articles with unsourced statements. However, a deletion process for unreferenced BLPs has been approved, see WP:BLPPROD.

Grace period for deletion[edit]

  • Proposal: Pages should be immune to deletion for a certain amount of time after their creation and/or XFD/PROD/speedy nomination. This would give editors time to improve the page or convince editors of its subject's importance, and would help make Wikipedia more friendly and inviting for new users. There may be exceptions for copyright violations, attack pages, etc.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: PROD and XFD already have "grace periods" built in, so editors should have ample time to find sources or otherwise improve problematic articles, if possible. As for speedy deletion, our criteria are carefully written so that articles can be speedily deleted only if no Wikipedia-compliant article is possible at this time or the content is so dangerous to the encyclopedia it must be removed immediately. A mandatory grace period would also be excessively bureaucratic, and would make it more difficult to delete copyright violations and attack pages, even if there are exceptions for such cases. You can already request undeletion in your userspace in certain limited cases. If you believe a page was deleted mistakenly or out of process, you are free to request a deletion review.

Adminship[edit]

Requests for Adminship is broken[edit]

Too many questions at RfA[edit]

  • Proposal: Limit the number of questions asked at RfA, limit the number of questions a person can ask, limit the types of questions asked, not allow additional questions to be asked, or ban canned questions.
  • Reason for previous rejection: RfA is a discussion and people may need to be able to ask questions they find pertinent towards making a decision. People should be able to ask the questions they want/need to ask to make an assessment based upon their individual criteria.
  • Note: While there has been no consensus to ban canned questions, they have routinely been criticized as not being effective or adding much value to the process.

Reconfirm administrators[edit]

  • Proposal: Administrators should have their status reconfirmed through RFA or an RFA-like process, either periodically or on demand.
  • Reasons for previous rejection:
  1. There are 1,407 administrators. Periodically reconfirming them would be an onerous and time-consuming process. For example, with annual reconfirmation, there would be 25+ reviews per week. Endorsements of uncontroversial admins would consume much of the schedule, while the "wait time" to review admins who are controversial could be on the order of months.
  2. Reconfirmation "on demand" has faced objections about potential abuse. Although no proposal for mandatory reconfirmation has achieved consensus, some administrators have voluntarily joined Category:Wikipedia administrators open to recall, agreeing to stand for reconfirmation if requested to do so by a sufficient number of editors in good standing.
  3. The Arbitration process can address problems that arise from accusations of administrator misconduct.

Hierarchical structures[edit]

  • Proposal: There should be some kind of "partial admin" that gets certain admin powers, but not all of them, such as only being allowed to block IP users or only being able to delete pages. Or, new admins should undergo a probationary period, which may include limited abilities or desysopping on demand.
  • Can't be done: The proposal doesn't solve any of the problems.
    • If we can't trust people to use their tools sensibly, they don't become admins. Period.
    • A "partial admin" process would at least double the already considerable frictional effort expended at WP:RFA, as users debate who gets full sysop powers versus who gets only partial abilities.
    • Many common problems require access to multiple tools (e.g., RevDel, blocking, and page protection for BLP vandalism). Having only a small subset also results in non-optimal responses due to the Law of the instrument. This means that a protection-only semi-admin, for example, would sometimes deploy page protection when a user block would be far more appropriate, because page protection is the only tool available to them.
    • It would also increase wasteful overhead, because even admins with the "wrong" powers would have to find, explain the situation to, and request help from someone with the correct power, instead of stopping the problem instantly themselves.
    • It's confusing. People won't know who can deal with a problem, especially inexperienced users.
  • Partly done: A few permissions are available to trustworthy non-admins upon request, such as rollback or template editor status. See Wikipedia:Requests for permissions.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Limited administrators, Wikipedia:Moderators/Proposal, Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Archive 219#Unbundling the tools, and many many more.

Prerequisites for adminship[edit]

  • Proposal: To reduce the number of failed RFAs, all candidates should meet certain requirements, such as a minimum edit count, contributions to featured content, or participation in internal Wikipedia processes like articles for deletion.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: While candidates with few edits and/or a lack of project-space contributions often fail per WP:SNOW or WP:NOTNOW, there are always exceptions. The encyclopedia should not lose out on a good candidate just because he or she has not achieved an arbitrary number of edits or does not frequent a particular area of the encyclopedia. Having a set minimum edit count may not lower the number of failed RfAs substantially, because an otherwise poor candidate could edit just for the sake of meeting the requirements. In addition, edit counts are not a reliable indicator of an editor's experience or competence. It is better to evaluate candidates on the quality of their contributions, not the quantity of their edits. Finally, no one agrees on what the prerequisites should be.
  • This is one of the issues currently being discussed in depth at WP:RFA2011.

It should be easier to remove adminship[edit]

Grant non-admins admin functions within their user space[edit]

  • Proposal: Allow non-administrators to administer their user space, with the tools technically limited to that space only. This has been proposed in a number of different ways, ranging from individual abilities (such as deletion), to full admin abilities.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Lack of need; admin workload is not high enough to justify this. There are possible security concerns; if users could delete pages in their namespace, they would be able to move pages to their user space and delete them. Gives the impression of user space ownership and has been rejected by the developers and the Wikipedia community.

Administrators should be of the age of majority[edit]

  • Proposal: Administrators should either indicate or prove at their request for adminship that they have reached the age of majority in the country in which they reside. This would provide legal protection for the editor and possibly also for the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: No consensus to implement this; editors are free to use age as a personal rationale for opposing adminship on RfA.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Ageism, Wikipedia:Age and adminship

Technical[edit]

Watchlist changes[edit]

Note that extensive styling of nearly every aspect of one's watchlist is possible through CSS; see Wikipedia:Customizing watchlists.

Multiple watchlists
Interwiki watchlists
Public watchlists
Allow watchlisting individual sections of a page
  • Proposal: Allow specific sections of pages to be watchlisted, so editors can monitor small portions of large pages, such as WP:ANI, instead of the whole page.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: While many users support the use of such a feature, the technical implementation of this feature is difficult, if not impossible with the current version of MediaWiki. At the moment, watchlisting is done on a page-by-page basis, as each page is assigned a unique ID number in the database. Page sections, being fluid, are assigned numbers on the page they are situated on, but adding or removing sections above it will change the number. The name of the section can also be changed easily and new sections can be created with the same name. This does not apply to pages which are transcluded within other pages, but this setup is not commonly used.
  • See also: bug 738 (comment #Ability to watch section levels of pages)http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=738 and Wikipedia:Flow, a planned, future upgrade to talk pages that would permit watchlisting of specific conversations on a talk page (but not individual sections of articles).

Use reCAPTCHA[edit]

Create shortcut namespace aliases for various namespaces[edit]

  • Proposal: Along the lines of the existing WP: → Wikipedia: namespace alias, create shortcuts such as T: → Template:, TT: → Template talk:, U: → User:, UT: → User talk:, P: → Portal:, CAT: → Category:, and so on.
  • Reasons for previous rejection: Adding shortcuts comes with an increase in complexity that the community in general does not feel is justified by the added convenience. Contributing factors include:
    • Some namespaces, such as User:, Help:, and Talk:, are already so short that further abbreviation is not really necessary.
    • Some proposed shortcuts, such as TT: → Template talk:, conflict with existing interlanguage, interWikimedia, or interwiki prefixes, or codes from ISO 639 that may be used for future interlanguage prefixes.
    • Some proposed shortcuts, such as T: → Template: and T: → Talk:, conflict.
    • Some proposed shortcuts, such as T: → Template:, conflict with existing articles. While those articles could be moved as was done for articles such as Ki:Theory that conflict with existing namespaces or prefixes, one must ask whether the advantages of a shortcut outweigh the disadvantages of present and future conflicts.
    • Few pages in most of these namespaces are linked or navigated to directly (using browser search boxes or direct URL manipulation) often enough that the savings of a few characters for a few users is worth the hassle for the rest of the community. Those few pages that are can be handled with WP-namespace or pseudo-namespace shortcuts, or shortcuts with the full namespace prefix.
      • Templates are normally linked using {{tl}}, which cannot readily be improved upon as an abbreviation, and specification of the Template namespace prefix is not necessary for transclusion. Few templates are directly navigated to.
      • Shortcuts for Help pages are often created in the WP namespace.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 68#Proposal for an alias to templatespace

Share pages on Facebook, Twitter etc.[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For example, the Oxford English Dictionary is free to (most) readers in the UK, but not elsewhere.
  2. ^ From Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, as of April 2, 2008. (permalink)
  3. ^ As of March 2008, there are 1,979 featured articles and 511 former featured articles (541 that have lost featured status minus 30 that have regained it). If you divide the 511 former featured articles by the 2490 articles that have ever been featured, 21% of FAs have been de-featured.
  4. ^ See Policies and guidelines: "Sources of Wikipedia policy"
  5. ^ A majority of articles follow either the APA style (psychology) and Council of Science Editors style guide (all physical sciences) in naming the primary list of citations "References"; this proposal usually comes from someone who is familiar with the conventions used in history or the humanities.
  6. ^ Wikipedia Statistics - Tables - English, accessed April 2, 2008; Who Writes Wikipedia?. Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought; accessed July 13, 2010.