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Encourage use of "watcher" in place of "stalker" on talk pages

This idea stems from a discussion at the harassment policy regarding the possibly offensive use of "stalk", "stalking", "stalker" when talking about people on Wikipedia. It was decided several years ago to mark the WP:STALK shortcut historical due to the potential for offending users, and since the change there has been a note there advising editors that it should not be used.

Many of you who have edited user talk pages in the past have seen the {{talk page stalker}} template used as a neutral indicator that a comment is not from the owner of the talk page but from someone else who watches the page. The template links to Wikipedia:Talk page stalker which explains the template's use, and there are several related templates and userboxes floating around the project for this purpose. Recently, User:NeilN created a new template {{talk page watcher}} to allow the use of a similar template without needing to use the terminology that some users find offensive (and others have stated they find confusing). That template has been nominated for deletiondiscussion and that seems to be resulting in a snowball keep, with several commenters saying they prefer the new template over the old. That indicates to me that there is consensus to adopt this change (stalker -> watcher) across the project, and I would like to test that here.

I propose that in the project-side context of an editor who participates in discussions on other users' talk pages ([formerly] a "talk page stalker"), "watcher" should replace or be preferred to "stalker" in any place it occurs on the project.

This proposal includes:

This proposal does not include changes to the existing {{talk page stalker}} template such as changing its wording or redirecting it to the new template - it is transcluded nearly 10,000 times and changes to it will break things. Some users will want to continue using those templates or won't know about this change - they should be discouraged but not forcibly prevented from using it.

Cheerfully submitted; Ivanvector (talk) 21:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

  • (watching) Support - NQ (talk) 22:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak support. Providing that both terms can be used at editors discretion, as appears to be the case. However see my comment downthread suggesting Talk Page Helper Irondome (talk) 22:50, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Seems perfectly sensible. Sam Walton (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is like trying to rename notability again. I don't see why we should get rid of this terminology, provided that a less potentially-offensive template is available for situations (newbies or otherwise) where it would be inappropriate - it was for this reason I !voted keep at the TfD. It's only a humour page, and changing this would detract from that. BethNaught (talk) 22:56, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • There's no "getting rid" of any terminology, just encouraging a less ambiguous usage. Sam Walton (talk) 23:15, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment It was my understanding of the above that the essay (which is great) will still stand? After it does say "sometimes termed "watcher".." in the essay. Im hoping that can be left untouched, maybe a few tweaks to the banner headline? My vote depends on this and the level of "encouragement" to switch. I hope this is not PC related stuff.. Irondome (talk) 23:03, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I dont have a problem with an alternate template if users want to use it, but it should point to Wikipedia:Talk page stalker rather than creating a parallel universe. The TPS page makes it clear about the use of the term and I see no reason to make any changes. MilborneOne (talk) 23:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    User:MilborneOne, the proposal would be to rename talk page stalker to talk page watcher. There would be no parallel universe, just the same one with a slightly different name. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Happy to for watcher template to link to stalker but I dont see any reason to rename anything. MilborneOne (talk) 20:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Ehhhhh... - Stalking is bad (m'kay?), but each way of fixing this I can see leaves something broken. The "other related changes that may be required" would have also been better left implied under WP:COMMONSENSE, since having it explicitly stated could be misconstrued as a borderline carte blanche. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    Allow me to explicitly state here that carte blanche was and is not my intent. I simply thought I would probably miss something if I tried to list every change that would be necessary. Of course common sense is implied. Sorry for the confusion. Ivanvector (talk) 02:11, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support {{talk page stalker}} can be misleading and confusing. Users could misinterpret that as offensive. (talk) 23:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia cant please everyone, "watcher" is too broad in meaning. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding the essay (replying to several comments above): to be clear, the intent is to keep but modify Wikipedia:Talk page stalker by seriously downplaying the use of "talk page stalker" on that page, but not removing it completely because people are obviously used to it, and hopefully not changing the meaning of the essay. The idea is not to cluebat users into enforcing the change; regarding the "level of encouragement", the idea is limited to creating a sort of "new normal" by making changes to the essay. To that end I've created a draft of what it could look like; please have a look at User:Ivanvector/Talk page watcher. I think I've done a decent job of downplaying "stalker" while maintaining the jaguar analogy, and I think this fits in better with the theme of our other "wikifauna" pages (like WP:WikiGryphon, WP:WikiOgre, WP:WikiGnome, etc).

    As for redirecting {{talk page watcher}}, if no changes are made to the essay then redirecting there defeats the purpose of eliminating the reference to "stalking" in the template. If there is no consensus to modify the essay, I would prefer if the watcher template redirected somewhere else, like Help:Watching pages, or a new essay for this purpose.

    And regarding political correctness, yes this is a form of that. There are users here (new and established) who have experienced criminal stalking online and in real life, and who find the idea of people "stalking" their user spaces hostile and intimidating. We should be sensitive to that, and it's not difficult for us to be sensitive to that by making this change. There are other users who simply find "talk page stalking" confusing, and this also helps that. Ivanvector (talk) 02:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

  • As I recall, the "TPW" template was actually created at either my request, or the request of Durova; while she and I disagreed on many things, we both agreed that the "stalker" terminology was inappropriate, intimidating, and a few other descriptors that I'll leave out. Stalking is a serious thing, and concerns about personal safety and internet stalking have often been cited as reasons that women or people with a personal history of being stalked do not participate on Wikipedia. The use of the term "talk page stalker" is just one more example of the systemic biases found on this project. Risker (talk) 02:38, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    But one can choose to be a stalker if one wishes, is that correct? Irondome (talk) 02:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Irondome, I don't know if you intended it that way, but that has to be one of the creepiest things anyone has ever said to me on Wikipedia. Why in heaven's name would I wish to be a stalker? I've just finished saying that stalking is a serious and potentially frightening thing. Risker (talk) 03:15, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    I meant the traditional usage of the term as is used on WP, obviously. Irondome (talk) 03:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Thank you for proving my point. It's incredibly creepy to suggest to someone who points out the offensiveness of the term "stalker" that they could be a stalker if they wanted. Risker (talk) 03:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    I have proved nothing. I merely wished clarification that if some users wish to use the old WP terminology, they would be allowed to. I am beginning to be irritated by your usage of the term "creepy". This dialogue appears to be saying more about your mindset than mine, which is merely in the spirit of inquiry. Let us get this straight at this point so we can have a constructive discourse. Regards Irondome (talk) 04:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    That isn't what you asked, Irondome; you personalized the question to me. There are neutral third-person pronouns that are standard usage for questions that are not intended for a specific individual. As to language, it evolves. This project long ago deprecated the term "wikistalking" because of the very negative connotations attached to the term "stalking". Terms to describe black people that were commonly used and accepted for generations today would practically brand the speaker/writer as a racist. I think we should all be getting past that. Sorry you don't like the word creepy; I'm using fairly mild descriptors here, but if you'd like we could try "threatening" or "menacing" or "sinister". Risker (talk) 04:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    No I did not. This may be a transatlantic language issue. "You" in UK English often means "one", as in "so you can use an Oystercard at weekends" (forgive the inane example). It was not aimed at you specifically. Please grasp that.Irondome (talk) 04:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Irondome, Risker: I am not proposing changing the {{talk page stalker}} template. It is used frequently and has been used many times in the past; removing it or changing its wording would be needlessly disruptive and could make many old conversations lose their meanings. I would support eventually marking it historical along the lines of WP:STALK in the spirit of this proposal (but never deleting it), but I think that is very unlikely to gain consensus at this time, and should be a future discussion. So yes, you would be allowed to use it. Ivanvector (talk) 14:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

That's how I interpreted your proposal, Ivanvector; while I believe the usage should be deprecated, I don't think it is necessary to go through and eradicate the historic uses any more than we eradicated the use of the term 'wikistalker' those many years ago. The continued use of such templates and terminology will become progressively less socially acceptable, as is the norm for archaic language. Risker (talk) 15:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
@Risker: The TPW template was actually created by me a couple days ago based on Template_talk:Talk_page_stalker. I don't think there's any community consensus to stop using TPS entirely but if there was, it should be fairly easy to get a bot to subst all the occurrences of tps (keeping the original wording) and then deactivating the template. --NeilN talk to me 18:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
@NeilN:, this "Talk Page Watcher" template has been on my talk page since 2008. Risker (talk) 18:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I thought you were referring to the {{tpw}} template. --NeilN talk to me 19:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Agree with Risker that "stalker" is likely to be needlessly inflammatory to a non-trivial subset of our readers / editors. In the real world, stalking is no joke, and we don't need to trivialize the real world problem by using the same terminology in a benign context. I fully support efforts to deemphasize the term "stalker" and emphasize other terminology such as "talk page watcher". If individuals want to continue to refer to "stalkers" / "stalking", then that is on them, but in terms of the community's documentation and recommended templates, we can strive to be more inclusive. Dragons flight (talk) 03:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Do we have direct evidence that there is a direct correlation between the use of the term "stalking" on WP and editor recruitment and/or retention? Irondome (talk) 03:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most users of reasonable intelligence should be able to see the joke in the old template. We should remove every bit of humour on this site just because some hypothetical person might misconstrue this VERY common use of the term (how often do people talk about FB stalking?). We can't and shouldn't try to please everyone and we can't help it if some people are so literal and thin-skinned they'll get offended. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 03:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Umm. When people talk about Facebook stalking, they usually mean it in a very creepy way as in "I was Facebook stalking my ex-girlfriend" or "My ex-boyfriend has been stalking me all over Facebook". It may have been a joking term at one point, but the world has long since moved on and recognized the problems with internet stalking behaviour. Risker (talk) 03:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    Never heard it like that amongst New York, DC, or London, 20-somethings or teens. They always use it in the joking sense (which alway sounds weird to me and I never say it, but I understand what they're referring to). They talk about actual stalkers in a much different manner and unfortunately, many people I know have actual stalkers. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 15:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    What you say is true, Risker, but in the context of Wikipedia we have different terms, wikihounding, harassment and others, for that meaning. A "talk page stalker" isn't generally a stalker, and Wikipedians are aware of that. But this is why I support using either template, because of differing situations eg with newbies. BethNaught (talk) 15:29, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    BethNaught, the deprecation of the term "wikistalking" took place in 2007-08, specifically because it was a serious misuse of the term 'stalking'. One of the responses was for people who just really enjoy thumbing their noses at others to create the "talk page stalker" meme. It had little traction at first, but then people who didn't realise the history of having worked hard to normalize the definition of stalking on Wikipedia started seeing those cute little templates and thinking they were cool. And now Wikipedia has once again decontextualized a term that, to anyone outside of our little project, is pretty scary stuff. Stalking is not a good thing, and the same people who seem to proudly go around saying they're talk page stalkers would never want to associate themselves with other negative statements...for example, rapists, murderers, spousal abusers, revenge porn publishers... Risker (talk) 18:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support only the original proposal. Oppose any PC-deletion of {{talk page stalker}}. Briefly checking "What links here" for the template, it seems to be used most often between experienced editors, where such a misunderstanding about its intended meaning is very unlikely and the humour aspect should be clear enough. GermanJoe (talk) 05:37, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in the name of clear communication, of saying what we mean using existing English. Users should not be required to learn alternate definitions of emotionally loaded words to function in this environment. Besides, the use of "stalker" to mean something innocuous makes light of a very serious issue. Some subjects are not suitable for wordplay. (I'm generally opposed to PC, but for me that doesn't mean a black-and-white rejection of all sensitivity to the effect of words. That's the proper domain of stand-up comics, not Wikipedia.) As for precisely what I'm supporting, my preference would be complete elimination, but I support any step in that direction. ―Mandruss  06:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The lede of our own article on Stalking says: "Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense." If someone were to tell you in any other fora, "I'm stalking you", or were to tell another person that they were stalking you, this would be considered threatening and would be grounds to go to court and get a restraining order. If someone were to post on your Wikipedia talk page (either to you or in response to another editor there) that they were stalking you, you could go straight to court with a printout of the page and say, "see, your Honor, they admit to stalking me right there". We should avoid pushing our editors to use terminology that could potentially put them in legal jeopardy. bd2412 T 18:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm sure there is some MeatballWiki explanation for this phenomena, but it seems that as Wikipedia grows it is losing its sense of humor in an attempt to please everyone (which is difficult given the realistic interpretation of that statement). Which makes sense, but is disappointing all the same. I'd oppose this change, but I fear that it will ultimately, whether in this instance or another, be changed. To be clear, if you are the victim of honest and genuine stalking, please contact the authorities. If you are the recipient of a TPS template on your talk page, please do not contact the authorities. Killiondude (talk) 18:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - To say that one is "stalking" another is an overtly hostile description of an activity, one that does not really convey the benign sense of what "your page happens to be on my watchlist, so I'm commenting here" is meant by the use of this template. Tarc (talk) 18:11, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This comes across as a Liberal guilt kind of change. Users self-brand themselves as talk page stalkers, and the connotation being imposed on the term here simply does not apply. Keep both templates and allow users to choose what they will. - Floydian τ ¢ 19:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
This proposal is actually for keeping both templates, so users will still be able to choose either one as they wish. Ivanvector (talk) 19:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Partly because the previous oppose makes no sense, but really because naming it 'talk page watcher' is perfectly fine, as that's what it is about and the rest of the opposition seems to be based on the poor reasoning, 'we have to do it this way because, we have done it this way' Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Supposed to neutral aren't? Well "watcher" is quite plainly more neutral than "stalker". Leaky Caldron 20:00, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak support My impression is that someone would describe him/herself as a "talk page stalker" to acknowledge the discomfort in a situation where a message would likely begin, "I hope you don't mind that I've been reading your talk page for some time now, but..." And when Wikipedia was a smaller place -- or at least hadn't suffered the chronic turnover it appears to experience in recent years -- & volunteers knew each other well enough to sense when someone might be joking, calling oneself a "talk page stalker" didn't have such a negative implication. (Sheesh, from a few threads I've read recently, there might be seriously creepy people amongst the established editors, & using the word "stalking" might be more accurate than some people may suspect.) Although I'm supporting the deprecation of the phrase "talk page stalker", I do so reluctantly because I'd prefer to not acknowledge that Wikipedia has changed in this way. -- llywrch (talk) 23:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    A good point. If we use "stalker" for this purpose, what word would we use for the real thing? And how confusing would that be? And it's true that madness exists in the world, even (especially?) here at good ole Wikipedia. ―Mandruss  00:10, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    What should we call the real thing? A wikicreep. But then some would complain that is being insulting & uncivil, even if it is the truth. -- llywrch (talk) 08:32, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
    I would complain that it would contain no information content beyond a very loaded social statement. See "clear communication, of saying what we mean using existing English", above. ―Mandruss  08:41, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose plain and simple WP:BIKESHEDing and a rose by any other name is still a rose. We're talking about people who stalk talk pages, not people who stalk users which should be directly reported via WP:911. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Please note that users are confused by the terminology regardless of the debate over the appropriateness of the word stalker: here and here for example. Sam Walton (talk) 00:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support People can say "talk page stalker" all they want—no human rights are being infringed by this proposal. It's great that so many people have not been touched by stalking in real life, and so have no idea how creepy the term has become in the last decade, but the fact is that stalking really is a problem. I would favor deleting the pointless {{tps}} and {{tpw}} templates because they do nothing except add confusion for new users (who are the only people who need to see what the templates display). A newbie posts on someone's talk, and the response starts with gobbledygook with a link that has nothing to do with what is on the newbie's mind—how is that helpful? However, if the templates are used, "watcher" is the preferred term because it has no RL baggage, and correlates nicely with the "watch" link at the top of every page. Johnuniq (talk) 01:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I would therefore propose the term Talk Page Helper. Watcher is "creepy" too. very Orwellian. It has connotations of mass-survelliance which are every bit as disturbing in the post-wikileaks era as stalker. I think helper is friendly, neutral, unambiguous and would cover all the above issues. We can create a suitable image for "helper" and it can add its place in the wikifauna. I would suggest a cartoon-like angelic figure. Something along those lines. Thoughts? Irondome (talk) 01:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Although {{tps}} fits my sense of humor, it's not a bad change, considering the millions of eyes viewing the project, it's not a stretch of the imagination that it could be frequently miss-interpreted. Mlpearc (open channel) 01:59, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - If it were "watcher" now and we had an RfC to change it to "stalker", there would be 200 opposes. So, my twisted logic says support. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as inconsequential. No need to make changes that have no functional effect. --Jayron32 02:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Aside from what Jayron says (with which I agree), you have the issue of watchlists: some people frequently participate at pages not on their watchlists (I often participate at WP:AN, but there isn't a single projectspace page on my watchlist, and I'm a frequent contributor at some users' talk pages, but aside from my own, I don't watch any userspace pages), and some people rarely or never participate at pages that are on their watchlists. If we want to be "encouraging a less ambiguous usage", we should use a term that isn't commonly used here already. If you want to rename the concept, use "lurker" or some form of it. Nyttend (talk) 12:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support deprecation of tps, but I like Nyttend's "lurker" suggestion better than "watcher". --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    I fear that "lurker" carries much of the same connotation as "stalker". What about Irondome's suggestion of "helper" as an alternative? Personally I prefer "watcher" because it ties in with existing wiki functionality (watchlists) as Johnuniq pointed out. Also, one can interject a one-off comment on a talk page they stumble across without it being on their watchlist. I often do. Ivanvector (talk) 16:08, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    Someone interjecting a one-off comment on a talk page they stumble across could hardly be described as a "stalker" or a "watcher"; more like an accidental tourist. bd2412 T 16:20, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
    Talk page tourist could be a possibility. Perhaps we could create a "WikiTourist" WikiFauna essay. Ivanvector (talk) 15:02, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • suggest T P Follower Leaky Caldron 16:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Follower is good. A la FB. Follower or helper both have more positive vibes. Irondome (talk) 16:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, though I prefer "follower" to "watcher". It would be good to avoid negativity and confusion that can result from using "stalker", even though most of the time it's fine in its context. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 01:10, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
    I've just noticed Nyttend's suggestion of "lurker", and I like that better than "follower", as it keeps the original humorous intent. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 01:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
This goes to the core of the issue however. It seems clear that "lurker" is hardly less acceptable in some quarters as "stalker". One person's perceived harmless terminology is another person's poison. This has been made amply clear upthread. I believe we should be now concentrating on finding other terms which are acceptable to all. I still have issues with watcher, even though it dovetails into watchlist, etc. It is an increasingly interesting dialogue. I still support the continued usage of the now (apparently) deprecated terms until they fall into obsolesence, where peer-pressure will create evolutionary change. The question is, should it be follower, helper, or some other new proposal yet to be made. Irondome (talk) 02:22, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Based on how this discussion is going, maybe there's a case to be made for changing our own terminology as well. Not for this discussion, but maybe it would be worth talking about whether we want to change "watchers" and "watching pages" into "followers" and "following pages". The meaning of "following" in this context is very thoroughly ingrained in popular culture these days; it would be very unlikely to be misinterpreted. Just something to think about.
For the purpose of this discussion, I still prefer "watcher" to the other suggestions, if only because "watching" has a well-established meaning within Wikipedia. I also like "follower" for the reason I stated above - it's easily recognizable, even though we haven't typically used it here. I feel that we would have work to do to establish this usage for "helper" and "lurker", and "stalker" has been specifically rejected elsewhere, which is what this proposal is about. Ivanvector (talk) 15:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Feel free to stalk my talk page all you want, just like the other 147 people who are doing it, but I'll warn you now if you watch or follow me, I'll have to get a protection order against you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:01, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Opposed -- What exactly are you trying to fix? What some people think is an offensive word? That's not reason enough to change things, if that's all you're proposing. Damotclese (talk) 15:47, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict × 2) Yes, and "don't offend users" is a fine rationale for such a change. This proposal is an extension of having already made this exact change in the harassment policy, and has been done before at WP:VANITY for the conflict of interest guideline. Even so, I am not proposing eliminating the word "stalker" everywhere on Wikipedia; there is more detail about this in my "regarding the essay" comment above. Ivanvector (talk) 16:24, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Your question has already been answered, and the answer is not "what some people think is an offensive word". ―Mandruss  16:04, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
      • But it is "what some people think is an offensive word" and it is just an attempt to WP:CENSOR Wikipedia. Lurker, Watcher, and Follower are all just as offensive and "bad" as Stalker. The only one that isn't is "helper" and it's not accurate for what is happening. You could also suggest Liker (in the spirit of FaceBook), but I don't think that is really any better either. It's not broken, let's leave it as is. You want to use one of those other words, fine, you use the other word. You don't like a word used on your talk page, then put a note in your editnotice asking people to not use it because it makes you uncomfortable. I don't see anyone here in good faith that would object to that. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:21, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
        • There are no laws against lurking, watching, or following (except when put into very specific contexts not implied by the words alone), and no lives have been seriously damaged by any of those things. The word doesn't make me uncomfortable, and this is not about me or any one person in any case. You have completely missed the point of my argument and that of others. I'll say it for the third time, "clear communication, of saying what we mean using existing English". Stalking is not what we are describing and therefore it should not be the word we use. Would you defend a tongue-in-cheek use of "rapist" at Wikipedia? I'm certain many here would, since any restraint whatsoever in language is seen by them to be "censorship". No doubt they see a slippery slope that does not exist, omg if we do this what will be next?? The best alternative is a different question, and I don't have a strong opinion about that; most of the alternatives put forth would be a major improvement. ―Mandruss  12:59, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: this is becoming ridiculous. I have pages I watch, lurk, observe, stumble across. Most I can comment on without being an intruder. So many words tossed about to keep from using what is a perfectly good term. (accidental tourist, intruder, lurker, peeper, observer, off-side comment). Please just let us use the talk page stalker template or not at will. I can decide just fine. Fylbecatulous talk 17:08, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: Stalker is needlessly scary. Change to follower would be better. This template is a perfect example of why there are so few female wikipedians. (And yes I realize that there is probably one woman out there who will now post and say "but I'm female and I think its funny!", this doesn't make it ok.) WP should be neutral and welcoming.pschemp | talk 12:29, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
    • You really think follower is better? /sarcasm but I hope you get the point. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - needless to say, (perhaps), {{tps}} pages should not be deleted, but merely redirected to the better title.--John Cline (talk) 06:53, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per BD2412. -sche (talk) 18:28, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - There's no harm in changing it. Saying it's BIKESHEDing or too minor is just dismissing the issue. If it's so minor, then changing it to accommodate others shouldn't bother anyone either. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 20:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Pointless, but whatever. This reminds me of a small(?) black rights group many years ago that demanded computer manufacturers change the terminology around "master" and "slave" drives because it offended them. Then, as now, the problem is not the terminology but the fact that people deliberately choose to assume the worst. The word is innocuous. People are dumb. Resolute 20:17, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's a bit of light wiki-humour, no need to take it so seriously. I find it quite funny and will continue to use it. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 20:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the deletion or renaming, as appropriate, of all templates and pages that refer to it as "stalker". Certainly saying that you're stalking someone has a pointlessly chilling effect. --B (talk) 04:00, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Well, what would you replace it with? follower, watcher, lurker all have the same effect. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 04:09, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have been stalked, and although I don't panic or get particularly stressed when I read the word it is occasionally a slightly unpleasant reminder. That said, it's a legitimate word in the English language, and has broader meanings. It might be politer to avoid its usage in the case of stalking humans (as opposed to stalking deer). RomanSpa (talk) 11:23, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose – The proposed change has no effect that is necessary for the continuance of the function provided by this terminology, and hence should be opposed as frivolous. Frivolity should be discouraged, and hence I must put my boot down on this misguided proposal. As it happens, it is natural that words have multiple meanings, and that in the course of human discourse new meanings are applied to old words. Let nature take its course. There is no room for prescriptivism. The terminology was envisioned as "stalker", and that should remain. RGloucester 22:08, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
"The terminology was envisioned as stalker" (envisioned terminology? and so what?). It's rather prescriptivist to follow your "envisionings" apparently. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:51, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Solution in search of a problem. All of the proposed replacements, watch, follower, etc. have the same connotations as the original. KonveyorBelt 16:54, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Your claim is directly and clearly contradicted by the content of stalker, watcher, follower, lurker, etc. ―Mandruss  17:06, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Wiktionary tells a different story. wikt:watch says "The act of guarding and observing someone". wikt:lurk says "To remain concealed in order to ambush". wikt:follow says " To go after; to pursue". Any of these terms could be easily construed in the wrong way. KonveyorBelt 17:13, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I would disagree with the notion that Wiktionary, or any dictionary, compares with an encyclopedia when it comes to defining connotations of words. And I'm not aware of any anti-watching or anti-lurking laws, are you? ―Mandruss  17:15, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, largely because Mandruss nailed it, especially Users should not be required to learn alternate definitions of emotionally loaded words to function in this environment. APerson (talk!) 13:17, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support What we mean when we use the terms in a neutral or positive sense is indeed what is commonly called "watching". I don't think "Lurking is as good a choice, at is has negative connotations also , e.g. "robbers lurking waiting for a victim" DGG ( talk ) 00:46, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Per Mandruss (above). I have no especial love for the PC crowd, so any term that isn't a felony would be fine with me. Primergrey (talk) 05:38, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per Mandruss. The word "watcher" strikes me as the clearest option that has been proposed, but "follower" and possibly "lurker" would also work. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:28, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Meh unnecessary policy creep - we really don't need a policy on this. — xaosflux Talk 04:45, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We're all adults here, and if we are so humor-impaired that we fail to see the humor involved in the "talk page stalker" template, and fail to see the difference between that and actual stalking/harassment, then perhaps we shouldn't be on Wikipedia. Softlavender (talk) 04:58, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I personally think that being "humor impaired", in this instance, indicates an inability to identify a situation where being hilarious might be creating a divisive environment. Primergrey (talk) 12:09, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose The word existed before the felony, and it continues to have many other uses apart from referring to a felony. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 05:05, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support That talk page stalker template is a little creepy and can be off-putting to new users. -- haminoon (talk) 07:09, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Mandruss said it better than I could've, and "watcher" is simply clearer and easier to understand. Also Wikipedia_talk:Harassment/Archive_1#Wikihounding. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 21:08, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I think lurker is better than stalker (because it is lurking not stalking) (to stalk prey one has to follow it not park on top of it). I think watcher and helper are less than helpful as they are not as descriptive or accurate as lurker. -- PBS (talk) 17:09, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment How about "Talk page aficionado"? It doesn't really mean anything, which is good, because descriptors which do have meaning must necessarily import the concept of surveillance. Risker makes a very good argument and Irondrome's criticism of it is misplaced because she actually hails from Toronto. (talk) 11:32, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
There is somewhat of a difference between surveillance and pursuit, and I think that the latter is implied by "stalker". I've stated my opinion about the other suggestions elsewhere in this thread (still slightly prefer "watcher" for purely technical reasons) but really as long as we're making an effort to reduce the use of "stalker" here then I'm happy. I'm also from Toronto, but I haven't had any reason to think that the encouragement of more neutral language is a particularly Toronto-centric idea. Ivanvector (talk) 15:32, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Author (BLP) uses pen name to not be harassed is now being outed with "real name"

Argument has been wikilawyered to death (see her Talk page), we need a policy change. Acharya S uses a pen name so that she won't be harassed (like Gamergate). She is also known as D.M. Murdock, not by her "real name". Her preference has been stated on her forum and she has submitted requests to Wikimedia (OTRS ticket 2010010110011483) to stop using her "real name," which she denies is her real name. The source editors use for her "real name" uses it only because he is (in Acharya S's words) a "libeler" and is "full of bile". There is absolutely no reason to use her "real name". It's really unplesent having to deal with this and I'm sure Acharya S is not happy either. Today I was called a "personal crucader" for reverting The Name at another article (dif). Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:06, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

There is a pretty good reason to use D. M. Murdock as well as Acharya S - namely that she uses both herself in her publications and website[1]. Reliable sources also connect the names. She clearly goes by both names by the internet and cannot expect wikipedia to use only one of them. Our policies cannot protect names that are already in the public knowledge and used in reliable sources.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:18, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
There's no objection to using D.M. Murdock it's (Redacted) that is not approved. Ian.thomson (below) is an involved editor. The "consensus" he talks about is essentially mob rule and wikilawyering. Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:42, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I've made no edits to the article or even the article's talk page. I have commented on two of the RSN and BLPN discussions as an uninvolved editor. You just didn't like what I concluded, and it looks like that was because it didn't fit your apparent mission. There's a difference between wikilawyering and editing within the site's policies and guidelines. You have provided no evidence that guidelines or polices were misinterpreted to push a particular goal. If anything, your reference to WP:OUTING could be construed as wikilawyering. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
You have been involved with The Name here. As for wikilawyering: if you don't like the laws (or WP policies) change them . . . that's what I'm attempting to do. Raquel Baranow (talk) 00:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The post you tried to link to still concerns the Christ Myth Theory article and how it handles academia's dismissal of Murdock's ideas. At no point did I comment on the name.
There's a difference between changing unjust laws and forum shopping to game the system at the behest of off-site collaborators. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:54, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I'll also note that you failed to notify anyone who actually was involved in the article of this discussion. I'll go and make my first post to the article's talk page to notify them. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:52, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The consensus on the talk page, at RSN, at BLPN (and not just that time) is that it's fine to include her name because it is included documented in RSs. This WP:FORUMSHOPPING and your overreliance on Murdock's blogs and forums do tend to support the idea that you're on a crusade to make the article fit Murdock's off-site demands for the article, instead of policy or consensus based concerns. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
As far as a whole policy goes, if we have the real name, we should include it. Wikipedia is supposed to be the sum of all human knowledge, full names included. However, there are exceptions to all rules (Ignore all rules?), and I think if the subject of an article wishes for something to be changed based off of harassment, rather than something criticising them but is well-sourced, then I think after a request to the Wikimedia foundation, that change, whatever it might be, should be changed. People have a right to privacy, it's a human right. She didn't sign that right away when she became a public figure by writing. No policy here needs to be made, it should be on a case by case basis. SamWilson989 (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
While there is a right to privacy, this isn't like publishing her home address or anything. The name is documented in reliable sources, and removing the name from our article and (if it were possible) all our mirrors would not really hide the information at all. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:03, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Although completely true, as now her name is on the internet, it will never leave, that isn't the issue here. She has explicitly asked her name not to be included on this website (doesn't matter about the rest of the internet) and so I believe quite firmly that she has the right to privacy and so we on this website should do what we can, adhering to the policies of BLP, and not include it on the article. It doesn't matter if the wikipedia mirrors show it, that's not what she's asked, she's asked it not be included here. SamWilson989 (talk) 23:08, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I do not see how someone who is actively promoting her books and ideas through podcasts and websites is attempting to stay private on the web. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:22, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that's the point here, she's asked for her name not to be included. She doesn't include that name in her books, podcasts or website, so yes she's not a private person but to her, her name is. I cannot say I understand it myself, I'm just trying to interpret what I see into how this could possibly become something that needs to have a policy made about it, as that is the purpose of this discussion. SamWilson989 (talk) 23:37, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Just because something is suggested here doesn't mean a policy has to result from it, however. It could be dismissed as a continued WP:GAME by a tendentious editor who has repeatedly ignored clear consensus because it goes against her personal crusade.
The earlier comparison to Gamergate is flawed: the Gamergaters were spreading libel and real personal information (like home addresses), while this is just a first name that's documented in a variety of sources. The namedrop of Gamergate borders on a Reductio ad hitleram. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:46, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree that just because something is suggested here it has to be implemneted, it's simply a discussion to see whether there should be a policy, or not. Sorry if I came across otherwise. SamWilson989 (talk) 23:55, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
A better example may be the Charlie Hebdo shooting, protecting Acharya S from religious fanatics. Raquel Baranow (talk) 20:17, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
So anyone who supports including the article is like a murderous terrorist? Ian.thomson (talk) 20:21, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Generally speaking, if it's published, then we have no prohibition on including it. In fact it's very important that we don't allow such a request, because this project is supposed to adhere to neutral point of view and allowing individuals control over their own information here specifically violates that. If there was a reason to believe that this information represents some sort of real, serious threat to this person then I suppose we'd have cause to deal with it. But we are not the publisher of this information, we are just repeating reliable sources.

That being said, it seems in this case that the source is obviously not reliable. The source is a person making it their mission to discredit this author, and is thus not independent and not reliable. Particularly because the author insists that the information is not true, and because we don't have a better source, we should not be including this. The lede of WP:BLP says "be very firm about the use of high-quality sources", and "contentious material about living persons ... that is unsourced or poorly sourced ... should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion" (emphasis in original). Without a better, properly reliable source, this should be removed. Ivanvector (talk) 23:29, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I'd agree that requests to exclude information should only be accepted if there is a threat of harassment or other issues surrounding that. SamWilson989 (talk) 23:37, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The source is on a mission to discredit the author according to the author. According to everyone else (including the RSN on it), the source is a reliable source that's on the broader topic of the Christ myth theory, which happens to address some of Murdock's ideas. Are we only allowed to cite sources that agree with Murdock now? Ian.thomson (talk) 23:46, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Ian makes an interesting point here. This could be seen, perhaps not unreasonably, at this point, to be an attempt at WP:GAME. Does BLP really apply selectively only to those works which the author him or herself has officially publicly discussed, or are they able to attempt to avoid negative discussion of their possibly less popular or supported works if they refuse to publicly acknowledge that they are the authors? Honestly, I cannot see that particular scenario having a "yes, they can do that" outcome, but it is possible, perhaps, that some other details are involved here. I haven't seen them though. John Carter (talk) 23:53, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
My point of view on this is that the dispute between the author (the subject) and the author of the source makes the source unreliable for this purpose, and the fact that there doesn't seem to be another source backing up the real name means that the sourcing is inadequate for the BLP policy. Of course the subject of a BLP does not get to cherrypick preferable sources, but if the information is reliable then there should be other sources available. If not, there's no harm to Wikipedia by not including it. Ivanvector (talk) 00:02, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Acharya S does not publish under the name "Dorothy". Raquel Baranow (talk) 00:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, she is quoted on the blog, "I have been advised by LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES not to disclose ANY personal information, because I was the victim of VIOLENT CRIME that included the felonious abduction of my small child. So, any and all attempts at publicizing what is believed to be my real name will be construed as a form of TERRORISM and BULLYING." Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
She's not disclosing her name, secondary sources are. It's terrible that her child was abducted, but:
  • she provided no evidence that the violent crime was connected to her name being public knowledge
  • the name has been public knowledge for some time
  • WP:SELFPUB does not allow us to use self-published statements for self-serving claims (as this fear-mongering is)
  • repeating this public knowledge is no more terrorism than mentioning that Charlie Hebdo published cartoons antagonizing Muslims (drastically less so)
  • it's a bit of a slippery slope to say that imply repeating her publicly known name would lead to more crimes
  • if it's not her name (as she indirectly claims), and she is being threatened, she should by all means encourage the mistake to misdirect people
Ian.thomson (talk) 23:18, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that that evidence for the connecoitn between the name and the crime could be reasonably expected, nor that it is relevant. What is relevant to her is obviously that her online persona cannot be easily connected to her private identity. I think it makes sense to respect that under a "do no harm" provision. There is no weighty reason that I can see for including the name, but there is weighty reasons to exclude it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:55, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
There are ten non-primary sources on this page that mention the name Dorothy. It is effectively public knowledge. Wikipedia repeating that public knowledge doesn't "expose" her further, her name is already not hidden. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:43, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

What policies could be easily changed

(edit conflict)* WP:BLPNAME: When the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed, such as in certain court cases or occupations, it is often preferable to omit it, especially when doing so does not result in a significant loss of context. It has been argued that she is not a "private individual" but everything else fits perfectly.

  • WP:BLPPRIVACY: With identity theft a serious ongoing concern, people increasingly regard their full names and dates of birth as private. Wikipedia includes full names and dates of birth that have been widely published by reliable sources, or by sources linked to the subject such that it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object. The Name has NOT been widely published and the one source is contemptuous.
  • WP:Self Identification is kind of a stretch but the spirit and intent is good: Wikipedia's policy on biographies of living people says "the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment", and on 9 April 2009 the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees passed a resolution urging that special attention be paid to neutrality, verifiability and human dignity. (The rest has to do with gender identity.)AzureCitizen argues this policy on Acharya S's talk page here. Raquel Baranow (talk) 00:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
That last one is just an essay. It's not a policy that can be changed as it's not a policy to begin with. The only policy that is being discussed here and can be discussed is WP:BLP in general. Therefore only the first two links you gave should be discussed here. SamWilson989 (talk) 00:46, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, the Manual of Style states at MOS:IDENTITY that "Disputes over how to refer to a person or group are addressed by Wikipedia content policies, such as those on verifiability, and neutral point of view (and article titles when the term appears in the title of an article). When there is a discrepancy between the term most commonly used by reliable sources for a person or group and the term that person or group uses for themselves, Wikipedia should use the term that is most commonly used by reliable sources; if it isn't clear which is most used, use the term that the person or group uses." Therefore, we should be using reliable sources to decide which name to use in every case. It seems that there is clear policy here, and this isn't up for debate. On that case in question, there weren't reliable sources, so we used the term the person uses, as the policy states. There should be no policy change. SamWilson989 (talk) 00:48, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Why change Wikipedia policy when we can simply state that Acharya S' name is Dorothy M. Murdock as references by Maurice Casey ([2]) and numerous others; [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], and [11]. Thanks. Ism schism (talk) 01:54, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Agreed... Wikipedia should not "out" a person's real name... but if multiple reliable sources already report the person's name, then we are not "outing" the person by noting it ourselves. It's already "out". No need to change any policies. Blueboar (talk) 16:31, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Disagree: the basic human Right to privacy trumps all this. Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:45, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it does in all cases, but in this case it does since there is no overwhelming necessity to include the full name - which is not the name she is known under and it is not widely published, and which could conceivably bring her in danger.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:57, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Not here to Right Great Wrongs. The only salient question is whether "Dorothy" is widely published. If so, use it; if not, don't. Rhoark (talk) 00:13, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Righting great wrongs and trying not to commit any are two different things.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 21:44, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
That's not many citations for someone's name! How many of those references were even cited? Maybe they got The Name from Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Avoid_gossip_and_feedback_loops. Raquel Baranow (talk) 21:41, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Ten sources aren't a lot? There are stable articles with fewer distinct sources than that! Also, your suggestion that any of them got the name from us is just grasping at straws unless you can provide evidence that the name was in the article before all of those sources were written. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:33, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Under WP:BLPNAME, "private individual" refers to someone who is not a "public official." (We could define what is meant.) Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
It is defined. It says "notable public figure," not "official" (which carries inaccurate implications incorrectly more specific than "figure"). If we try to read it as "official," that means that we'll have to rename some of our articles on actors to "that person who played (character name) in (movie name)." "Notable" is already defined elsewhere. WP:BLPNAME also says that if an individual's name is already covered in multiple secondary sources (especially outside of news sources), then it's fine to include. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:05, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
So, are we changing policy to fit the desire of Acharya S? Or, is there a need to change a policy that doesn't work? Ism schism (talk) 01:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
If it wasn't Acharya S, we wouldn't have this problem, it wouldn't be an issue. I question why some people insist on putting The Name in the article knowing that Acharya S doesn't like it. Why do you use a fake name? Wikipedia has a policy about WP:Self Identification and Wikipedia respects that. What's so hard about respecting a person's name?! The current policy isn't working because for the past five years some people insist on including The Name to the article. Raquel Baranow (talk) 02:17, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
By some people you mean the many editors who have weighed in at RfC and multiple noticeboards and gained consensus which you disapprove of. WP:FORUMSHOP Capitalismojo (talk) 02:30, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I was trying to be polite and assume good faith and not accuse someone of bad faith or bullying or harassment or hypocrisy etc. This is someone's name, they don't like it yet some people insist on calling Acharya S by a name she dislikes. It's childlike (name-calling), trolling, malicious behavior. Maurice Casey, one of the sources for The Name is (in the words of Acharya S) "full of bile" and "libelous". Some people dislike Acharya S because she's antichrist or anti-christian.
I know several people who disliked their name and had it changed. If you called them by their former name out of ignorance and they told you their new name and that they didn't like their former name yet you insisted on calling them their former name it's disrespectful. I once tried to nickname my sister "A.J." for her first and middle name, which she hated (she hated her middle name) it was horrible teasing on my part and now that I'm older (more mature) I realize my name-calling behavior was wrong. It's similar to calling someone who dislikes their former gender the opposite pronoun of their gender identity, which Wikipedia respects. Wikipedia should respect the name that someone prefers to use, whether they legally changed it (or underwent sex-change surgery) or not. Raquel Baranow (talk) 11:00, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but there is a difference between referring to someone by an undesired name, and simply mentioning that name in passing. I am all for respecting the desire of the subject by having the the title of the article be at Acharya S... and in that article, we should routinely refer to her by that pen name (we do this for many authors)... however, that does not mean we should not mention what her real name is. Wikipedia is not Censored. Her real name verifiable information, supported by multiple reliable sources. It's worth at least a parenthetical remark. Blueboar (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Amanda Simpson was born a man, she's from Tucson (my current hometown) she changed her name and I'm sure I could find some reliable sources for her Real Name (it's not on her WP page) or I could go to the courthouse and find her name change or I could look through academic records. Now lets imagine she's a popular Christ myth theorist like Acharya S, someone puts her previous name up on Wikipedia and then spread it all around Christian apologist forums where it is picked up by scholars and published in their books. [This is exactly what happened to Acharya S in 2005 (yes, TEN years ago) and is in violation of several of the policies I mentioned below (especially, Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Avoid_gossip_and_feedback_loops). So Amanda Simpson is (rightly) protected on Wikipedia and Acharya S is not? Censor this?! Raquel Baranow (talk) 15:37, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
The reason Amanda Simpson's pre-transition name is not mentioned is because it doesn't appear in non-primary sources. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:47, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe that, I'll bet if I looked through the references in the WP article on Ms Simpson I could find mention of her birth name. Maybe even mention on a talk show or something. Raquel Baranow (talk) 15:54, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Leelah Alcorn, Marja-Sisko Aalto, Barbra Amesbury, Nikki Araguz, Victoria Arellano, Nina Arsenault, April Ashley. That's just the "A's" in Category:Transgender and transsexual women. Their birth names are covered in secondary sources, and so are included in the articles (often in the first line). Ian.thomson (talk) 15:56, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I was right, one of the refs on Ms Simpson's WP page did have her former name. I can also see in the article history that her birth name was added by an IP and was removed. A Google search of "Amanda Simpson" and her birth name turned up >500 sources -- one of the top sources was a right-wing muck-raking website. Maybe we should have a policy about adding transsexual (or is the proper word, transgendered) individual's birth names. I would suggest that if they are not noted by their former name (such as is the case for Acharya S's alleged birth name), it should be left out of the articles. Raquel Baranow (talk) 16:22, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Nope... We shouldn't expose ("out") a transexual's birth name, but we can (and should) mention what the person's birth name was, when reliable secondary sources have already mentioned it. The same is true for authors who go by a pen name. We shouldn't try to dig up their real name (for one thing, doing so would be a violation of WP:No original research)... but if reliable secondary sources have already revealed the author's real name, then we can and should mention what it is. Blueboar (talk) 21:20, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Why "should"? And what when that "should" is in conflict with another "should" namely that we should seek to cause no harm. Which "should" is weightier? And why? It seems to me that the only ethically viable argument is that the potential benefit of including the name is greater than the potential risk of doing so. I just don't actually see the potential benefit of including it. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 21:27, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
To answer my own point, WP:Gender identity, Common name can apply here too: When a subject changes names for any reason (even one unrelated to gender), Wikipedia rarely hesitates to make the change promptly if it is clear the new name will be the common name of the person going forward in time . . . . However, the old name should be kept as a re-direct if it is still a well-known name likely to be searched for by people unaware of the name change. In this case, the "old name" (i.e., the birth name) was never used professionally and is not likely to be searched. Raquel Baranow (talk) 20:25, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
User:Raquel Baranow do you understand the different between an article WP:TITLE and an article WP:LEAD?
If you understand the difference then to which does WP:FULLNAME apply? In ictu oculi (talk) 16:29, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • WP:BLPNAME: Read it over again, The Name is NOT widely published we can define widely published. There are thousands of Google results for "Acharya S" and "D M Murdock" and very few for the contested Name. Raquel Baranow (talk) 15:07, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that WP:RS had been rewritten to say that Google search results trump published books, because Ism schism has cited plenty of those.
Some people don't care what Murdock's views are, they're just opposed to the off-site collaboration to promote those views.
As for self-identification, we mention the birth name in those cases. Our article on Chelsea Manning says that she was born Bradley, and even has a pre-transition picture as the infobox picture. By that standard, it's totally fine to name the article Acharya S, refer to her as that or D.M. Murdoch throughout, but still list the name Dorothy Murdoch in the beginning. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:20, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
But wherein exactly lies the necessity to provide this piece of rather insignificant information the widespread publication of which may contribute to put the subject of the biography at risk of physical harm?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:25, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
By that argument, we should retitle the Selena Gomez article "the actress who played Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place". If they are already at risk, they are already at risk, and Wikipedia is not demonstrably contributing further risk. The information is already public knowledge (ten sources is public knowledge). Ian.thomson (talk) 15:39, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Has Selena Gomez requested that her name not be used or stopped using it herself in response to her stalker case? I find your argumentation to be quite ethically shaky, and not really in line with our BLP policy in general. We do have a responsibility that our articles do not harm the people we write about, and taking into consideration subjects' statements and wishes is part of meeting that responsibility.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:15, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
User:Maunus sorry, where do you get the impression that there is a stalker involved? I gained the impression last year that the issue was the critical reliable sources giving bio data on Acharya/Murdock's claims to have some scholarly background, wheras it appears a summer school in Greece is the only connection with the classical world?
Also all the books of Stellar Publishing are retailed as by D. M. Murdock so WP:FULLNAME is only supplying D[orothy], which is not revealing the name only repeating published academic sources for the full forname. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:46, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • WP:NICKNAME also covers pen names and mainly has to do with naming the article: The name used most often to refer to a person in reliable sources is generally the one that should be used as the article title, even if it is not their "real" name.... If people published under one or more pen names and/or their own name, the best known of these names is chosen. Could maybe be changed to omit real name under certain circumstances or after "article title" add: "and throughout the article". Could also add: "Pen names are often used for privacy reasons so if the "real" name is not widely used, be careful not to 'out' someone." Raquel Baranow (talk) 19:31, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I repeat... we are not "outing" anyone... Acharya S's real name has already been "outed". There are multiple highly reliable sources that mention her real name. Also: We are not talking about re-naming an article... the article title should remain at Acharya S. No all this angst is over including (at most) one small sentence mentioning her real name in passing (and perhaps not even that... it could be done as a parenthetical).
  • no change to policy needed. no indication there is any actual issue. no indication that changing policies to please one individual would not create more problems than it "fixes". -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 01:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • A clarification for "courtesy" BLP issues might be in order. For example, we don't usually (NB usuallyalways) include the birth names of transgendered people who have changed their names socially, even if those names are easily available on the internet. This courtesy does not depend upon the legal status of the trans person's name. We also don't usually include the full names of Indian people, because it's normal in that culture to write "A.B. Kumar" rather than "Ajay Kumar", although the subject of a biography might have the full name given. It might be appropriate to explain which classes of people are protected under our idea of courtesy (legal names of trans people) and which ones aren't (crime victims, if this discussion is actually representative of the actual community POV). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:07, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Conclusion: Jimmy Wales and Wikimedia on privacy in the New York Times

A few days ago, Jimbo and Lila Tretikov from the Wikimedia Foundation wrote an Op-Ed on privacy in the New York Times (over 400 comments) regarding a lawsuit they joined against the National Security Agency. In the essay they emphasise the importance of privacy to facilitate the free exchange of ideas, they call it "an essential right" protected by the Fourth Amendment: "It empowers us to read, write and communicate in confidence, without fear of persecution." They conclude, "knowledge flourishes where privacy is protected."

This is a no-brainer and essentially my conclusion (in regards to Acharya S) too. Raquel Baranow (talk) 19:52, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

It is however taken out of context and really has no relation to this issue at all.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:26, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree with Maunus. If you want to invoke a "Jimbo says" defense, try asking Jimbo for his views about this specific issue... but please don't take something he said about a completely unrelated issue and quote it out of context. Blueboar (talk) 21:26, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Follow policy, follow sources - enough of this per "Of course the subject of a BLP does not get to cherrypick preferable sources, but if the information is reliable then there should be other sources available. If not, there's no harm to Wikipedia by not including it." per User:Ivanvector is correct, so since there are multiple sources then they should be included. It is possible that these multiple reliable sources will have a detrimental effect on the bio subject's credibility and income stream but otherwise can have no serious negative effect. ·maunus and Blueboar there are 2 RFCs open on the Talk:Acharya S page. In ictu oculi (talk) 19:53, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I think there is sufficient doubt about the number of reliable sources and the potential harm that in this case we ought to err on the side of caution, and not on the side of slavishly following some literalist interpretation of policy.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:49, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
You inserted your comment above mine but I tend to agree. There's an apparent (or claimed by the subject) risk of harm, and having this information in the article doesn't really add anything that is vitally important to the topic. We should err on the side of privacy. But again, this doesn't require any changes to our policies. Ivanvector (talk) 17:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
What I said is absolutely correct: we do not cherrypick sources, and subjects of articles are not entitled to dictate what reliably-sourced information may or may not be included. However I have to say that this particular issue feels very icky, like a focused and sustained campaign of harassment directed against this author for her particular fringey views has found its way into Wikipedia, and I don't feel good about that at all. Although I don't think that any changes to our policies are advisable to accommodate this particular case, I'd be interested to hear what Jimbo has to say about it. And I'd be interested in hearing what Arbcom has to say about it, should it end up there. Ivanvector (talk) 20:20, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
User:Ivanvector It's clear that the author wishes to present both (a) WP:FULLNAME and (b) WP:RS like a focused and sustained campaign of "harassment" (the author's charge) directed against the author for her particular fringey views. But we have had other authors who've not wanted reliable sources used in their articles and have lobbied against it. What makes this author exempt from (a) WP:FULLNAME and (b) WP:RS ? Or put the other way round: Why do (a) WP:FULLNAME and (b) WP:RS not apply to this article? In ictu oculi (talk) 16:25, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

My 2 cents is that we should not publish the name of an author if it is not covered in reliable sources. However in this case it appears it is covered in reliable sources. We are not revealing a secret, this is information that is already out there. We should not dismiss the content of reliable sources because the subject wishes to be presented in a certain way. Chillum 17:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

@Raquel Baranow: I redacted your earlier comment. To be clear for later readers, the argument appears to be that "D. M. Murdock" is also a pen name. (talk) 15:23, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

These refs associate the titles with the name forms: [12], [13], [14]. If she has an outing issue, it would seem to be with the publisher of her Croatian edition or the library who catalogued it. LeadSongDog come howl! 13:01, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to be more than a little amused here. Is anyone supposing that the people who want to harm her cannot get her identity from non-Wikipedia source like the tens already posted above, all of them, I think found with simple google searches? May be we can also propose that we should exclude her real name because her enemies are indefinitely blocked from accessing those other sources, and virtual agents are following them in tandem with real life agents. The whole thing is a crooked United Nations conspiracy led by the Bishop of Outer Mongolia, because of the ancient cult of Gutentberg has an agenda to uphold the exclusivity of Encyclopedists. Dan Brown anyone? Aditya(talkcontribs) 17:58, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's really a question of hiding information. I think it's a question about whether our values include Wikipedia:Don't be evil or not. If we have information of marginal interest or relevance, and we know that our inclusion of that information upsets an innocent BLP, then do we want to insist that it be included, or do we want to show some human compassion?
Put yourself in her shoes: Imagine that you had a young child, and that child was being harassed or even kidnapped because of your writing. The police told you to be careful about what was posted online. Some Wikipedian kept adding information that the police told you not to post online because "we (almost) always add this". Would you say, "Oh, those silly boys over at Wikipedia! I guess it's really harmless for one of the biggest websites in the world to post the information that the police said not to post online. It's only used as a reference for names, locations, and other basic facts by nearly every journalist who will write about my books—what harm could possibly result?" Or do you think that this situation might make you sad and afraid? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:47, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


Being discussed elsewhere, so please don't fragment the discussion by commenting here. Please go to WT:POLITICIAN to offer your opinions. Nyttend (talk) 05:02, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Per this discussion on ANI, there is some recent interest in the WP:POLITICIAN policy, particularly regarding the argument that "members of state legislatures" are "likely to be notable". Granted, this is a guideline and not a strict policy, but there seems to be some dissent, on the grounds of the sheer number of such politicians. (Personally, I'm also unsure of the cultural neutrality of the phrasing national, state or provincial legislature.)

Thoughts? (talk) 15:30, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

I feel that unless there is enough coverage in secondary sources then the politician isn't notable. Merely being elected doesn't guarantee notability and there have been and are many unknown politicians that just run day to day routine activities for the state. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:34, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
NOTE: There is a parallel discussion on this subject going on at: Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)#WP:POLITICIAN Issue. As I said over there, I definitely do not feel that being elected to a state (or provincial) legislature should automatically infer "notability" on such politicians (i.e. WP:POLITICIAN #1) – they seem to me to be more akin to the "local" politicians mentioned in WP:POLITICIAN #3, and so should not necessarily be assumed to be "notable"... --IJBall (talk) 16:15, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Please centralize the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)#WP:POLITICIAN Issue. Makes it easier to keep track of the discussion.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Closing. Yes, I know that discussions often don't need to be closed, but closing this should prevent people from commenting here when they should go to WT:POLITICIAN instead. Nyttend (talk) 05:02, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

English Wikipedia Main page editing content

RFC for status of Wikipedia's "No Medical Advice" policy

An RFC which may affect the status of Wikipedia's "No Medical Advice" policy is located here please comment if this interests you. --Jayron32 16:32, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


Table cell contents spilling over.

. When viewing the following table in the mobile version of the site, some text from the first column spills over into the adjacent cell of the second column.

Team Constructor Chassis Power unit Tyre No. Drivers
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF15-T[1] Ferrari P 5
Germany Sebastian Vettel
Finland Kimi Räikkönen
India Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes VJM08[2] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 11
Mexico Sergio Pérez
Germany Nico Hülkenberg
United Kingdom Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Mercedes E23 Hybrid[3] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 8
France Romain Grosjean
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Manor Marussia F1 Team[4] Marussia-Ferrari TBA Ferrari 059/3[5][6] P TBA
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Flag of None.svg TBA
United Kingdom McLaren Honda McLaren-Honda MP4-30[7] Honda RA615H Hybrid P 14
Spain Fernando Alonso
United Kingdom Jenson Button
GermanyMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid[8] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 6
Germany Nico Rosberg
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Austria Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault RB11[9] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 3
Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Russia Daniil Kvyat
Switzerland   Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari C34[10] Ferrari P 9
Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Renault STR10[11] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 33
Netherlands Max Verstappen
Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
United Kingdom Williams Martini Racing Williams-Mercedes FW37[12] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 19
Brazil Felipe Massa
Finland Valtteri Bottas

Anyone got an idea what's causing this and/or how to solve this. Tvx1 22:24, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't have a mobile device and it looks right for me in both desktop and The table has a coding error in {{nowrap|{{nowrap|Mercedes PU106B Hybrid}} which should only have one {{nowrap}}. Does it help to remove that:
Team Constructor Chassis Power unit Tyre No. Drivers
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF15-T[17] Ferrari P 5
Germany Sebastian Vettel
Finland Kimi Räikkönen
India Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes VJM08[18] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 11
Mexico Sergio Pérez
Germany Nico Hülkenberg
United Kingdom Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Mercedes E23 Hybrid[19] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 8
France Romain Grosjean
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Manor Marussia F1 Team[4] Marussia-Ferrari TBA Ferrari 059/3[5][6] P TBA
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Flag of None.svg TBA
United Kingdom McLaren Honda McLaren-Honda MP4-30[20] Honda RA615H Hybrid P 14
Spain Fernando Alonso
United Kingdom Jenson Button
Germany Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid[21] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 6
Germany Nico Rosberg
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Austria Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault RB11[22] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 3
Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Russia Daniil Kvyat
Switzerland   Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari C34[23] Ferrari P 9
Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Renault STR10[24] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 33
Netherlands Max Verstappen
Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
United Kingdom Williams Martini Racing Williams-Mercedes FW37[25] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 19
Brazil Felipe Massa
Finland Valtteri Bottas
Does it help to remove all nowrap (may be controversial in an article), or for simplicity replace them by {{identity}} as here:
Team Constructor Chassis Power unit Tyre No. Drivers
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF15-T[27] Ferrari P 5
Germany Sebastian Vettel
Finland Kimi Räikkönen
India Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes VJM08[28] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 11
Mexico Sergio Pérez
Germany Nico Hülkenberg
United Kingdom Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Mercedes E23 Hybrid[29] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 8
France Romain Grosjean
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Manor Marussia F1 Team[4] Marussia-Ferrari TBA Ferrari 059/3[5][6] P TBA
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Flag of None.svg TBA
United Kingdom McLaren Honda McLaren-Honda MP4-30[30] Honda RA615H Hybrid P 14
Spain Fernando Alonso
United Kingdom Jenson Button
Germany Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid[31] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 6
Germany Nico Rosberg
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Austria Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault RB11[32] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 3
Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Russia Daniil Kvyat
Switzerland   Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari C34[33] Ferrari P 9
Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Renault STR10[34] Renault Energy F1-2015 P 33
Netherlands Max Verstappen
Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
United Kingdom Williams Martini Racing Williams-Mercedes FW37[35] Mercedes PU106B Hybrid P 19
Brazil Felipe Massa
Finland Valtteri Bottas
PrimeHunter (talk) 04:56, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning that coding error. That didn't cause the problem however. Actually it did not do any harm at all. If you click on the link to the mobile view and then reduce the width of your browser screen to the minimum you will see the text from the first column spilling over. Using the identity template doesn't solve it. Tvx1 05:38, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I already tried the minimum width on mobile and it works for me. I get a horizontal scroll bar and no overlap. I will stop guessing. It's too hard when I don't have the problem. PrimeHunter (talk) 05:51, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Since I'm not able to explain the issue with text, I have made a screenshot:


As you can see, content from the first column is spilling over into the second. Tvx1 21:20, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't spill over for me. Based on the amount of spillover in your screenshot, maybe your browser doesn't reserve space for the flag icon when the column width is calculated. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:05, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Multiple user have reported this to me though, regardless of which browser they use. Tvx1 06:54, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I think you're spot on there. Either the flag icon isn't taken into account, either it's just counted as a 1px character. Is there a way to solve this? Tvx1 19:07, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Rollback confirmation

I'd like to propose a user preference to turn on a confirmation when using the rollback tool. I'm not the only one, as evidenced from the numerous previous discussions on this (linked below), that - especially from a mobile phone - has accidentally pressed the rollback button and rolled back a random edit without meaning to. To avoid this, I'd like to suggest that a yes/no confirmation, which could be exactly the same as the Thank yes/no confirmation, be added to the Rollback button. There were many users who expressed the fair opinion that rollback is meant to be quick and not require an extra click, so I think it makes sense for this to be an opt-in preference. Thoughts?

There have been a few previous discussions on the implementation of a confirmation when rolling back, which might be worth a quick read before responding here: Rollback option, iPhone and rollback, Rollback on Watchlist really needs to go..., Rollback popup?, Adding a confirmation dialog to the watchlist rollback link. Sam Walton (talk) 20:31, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Support I like the idea as an opt-in preference. For disabling rollback only on mobile devices, you can use a tiny script for that such as User:MusikAnimal/rollbackTouch.js. I could write another script equally as tiny to achieve the rollback confirmation you are after, but it would use the browser's confirm popup, with OK and Cancel buttons, rather than the little interface you see for thanking users. We could then add it as an opt-in gadget. MusikAnimal talk 20:52, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
    If you're interested, here's a script that does what I was talking about: User:MusikAnimal/confirmationRollback. I could modify it or create a new version that only prompts for confirmation if on a mobile device, or only on watchlists, etc... all very easy to do. Cheers MusikAnimal talk 00:04, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
    Here's one that only prompts on mobile: User:MusikAnimal/confirmationRollback-mobile. If this ever does become a gadget, we might consider enabling it by default. Note also the browser confirmation as opposed to the tiny interface seen when thanking someone, is probably more mobile-friendly anyway. MusikAnimal talk 00:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
    +1 Hallelujah! I just tested this, and it works great! This is something I've wanted for a while. Imzadi 1979  02:58, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Personally I'll probably never use it but for those on mobiles this is probably a dream come true :), I like the idea and I like the fact it's opt-in as opposed to it simply being forced down our throats!, Meh I don't see any harm in the opt-in message. –Davey2010Talk 21:49, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as long as it's opt-in. The whole point of rollback is that it doesn't require confirmation (because this slows things down a lot), so we shouldn't change the default, but of course it would be good if we gave the option to users who want it. Nyttend (talk) 13:15, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as opt-in - I can see that it may be useful for some users, but most rollback-capable users wouldn't want it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as opt-in on main site support as opt-out on mobile. All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:33, 19 March 2015 (UTC).
  • To hide the rollback button altogether on your watchlist use this:
.mw-special-Watchlist .mw-rollback-link {
   display: none;

KonveyorBelt 17:03, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I believe this was one of the intended use cases of jquery.confirmable, currently used to confirm "thanks". It might be worth investigating making a gadget using this feature. wctaiwan (talk) 20:45, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as opt-in only. Although we already have that with MusikAnimal's extension. Stickee (talk) 23:34, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as opt-in, good idea. Matiia (talk) 23:46, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • There is an old proposed patch for MediaWiki that implements this (, which is probably what wctaiwan had in mind, indeed using the same mechanism as Thanks confirmation. Shouldn't be difficult to dust it off. Matma Rex talk 23:41, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I was actually thinking of a gadget rather than a core change. That way it'd be opt-in without requiring further code changes. wctaiwan (talk) 23:52, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Rich's suggestion of opt-out for mobile (and opt-in elsewhere?) is an excellent idea. I have only ever made a mistaken rollback once or twice on desktop, but can imagine it happening a lot more frequently on mobile. Andrew Gray (talk) 15:29, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Updating list of 500 most viewed mathematics articles

I'd be interested in updating the list found at, which was last edited in 2009. Does anyone know what methods I can use to find the most-viewed mathematics articles as of this year? Is there currently a bot that could update this list for 2015?Brirush (talk) 14:26, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

For starters, see here [15], and this page [16] will let you query single articles. Getting a top 500 in category math from there would require a little scripting, but someone may already have tools to do that. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:36, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, something seems a little fishy about techniques used to make that list. Why is Albert_Einstein number 1? I wouldn't think he should count as a "math" article, and currently, his page has no categories that even contain the string "math", though maybe in the past his page had the category "mathematician" or something... SemanticMantis (talk) 16:48, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
In this context, "Math articles" are articles that are part of Wikiproject Mathematics.Brirush (talk) 16:57, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
A page like WP:WA/PP, updated monthly by bot, can be set up for Wikiproject Mathematics (or any wikiproject) - see to set it up - Evad37 [talk] 15:14, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

John Coates (Businessman) Not Showing Up in Wiki Search

When I type in John Coates into the wiki search bar John Coates (businessman) doesn't show up. Around 9 other John Coates are listed. The one I'm looking for is the CEO of bet365.

However, when I type in John Coates businessman, he does show up.

Is there any way of resolving this issue?



--AlexMoscow74 (talk) 15:44, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

If you mean the drop-down suggestions when you type in the search box then at most 10 pages are selected and John Coates (businessman) doesn't currenly make the cut for "John Coates", but appears on "John Coates (". Nothing should be done about that. Don't try to game the system to get your preferred page to replace another. If you mean the disambiguation page John Coates then it's not a search feature but a manually edited page. An editor added the business man after your post.[17] The article author should have done it at the page creation but it's an inexperienced editor. If you mean the search results page for John Coates then the business man is currently the 11th result on the first page. Don't try to game the systemn to make him appear higher on the page. So regardless of what you meant, there is nothing more to do now. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:25, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you PrimeHunter, I appreciate you help with resolving this issue. --AlexMoscow74 (talk) 10:05, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


Please edit the default flagicon size in Template:Flagbig/core because the current code {{#if:{{{size|}}}|{{{size}}}|30x27px}} causes incorrect flagbig of Switzerland – see 2015 Davis Cup#World Group. In other words, remove that exception for fixed sizes (if:size|size) and set a new default height, I propose 21 or 22 px. Maiō T. (talk) 21:11, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

24 hours without response. User:SiBr4, are you here?
Please, see the template-protected edit request at Template talk:Flagbig/core. Thanks, Maiō T. (talk) 22:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Wrong(?) diff

diff bug

Hello, I noticed that in this diff, part of the page which I did not touch is being shown as changed. I believe this to be a bug. Can someone report this on Phabricator ? (I don't have an account nor do I know how to check if this bug has already been reported.)

See image. Thank you. --Siddhant (talk) 00:00, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

This will happen in a number of diff views by different programs. Notice that the </ref> at the end of the line didn't show as being changed. This is because the diff view engine thinks you inserted the content in the middle of the ref, rather than copied and pasted after it. --Izno (talk) 02:39, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah. I see your point. Actually, what happned is that because of this ambiguity in deciding whether I inserted the text or appended it, the Citation bot ended up doing a botched up job via its followup edit. I'll report this to the Bot ownner. Furthermore, I was wondering if the diff software can/should be made to choose the appended text interpretaion over the inserted text interpretation? Can/should this be special cased? --Siddhant (talk) 03:36, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I see no errors in Citation bot's edit. What you are seeing appears to me as purely an inadequacy in the diff program. It simply can't tell whether you inserted a new reference or extended the old one. I have seen this in diff output forever (for more than 20 years); diff is pretty smart, but it often reports that a whole word has been changed when I changed only one character, for example. A bug report on Phabricator might generate a useful programming challenge for some young and ambitious programmer who doesn't know what is impossible yet. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:32, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
You are correct! There is no error in the bot's edit (except the blank fields which is did not remove, but that's a minor problem. Thanks for your cleanup edit regarding that.) --Siddhant (talk) 07:55, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It should be possible to enhance the diff so that it shows character differences instead of word differences. If you go to a file description page on Commons, and request rename of the file by using {{Rename}}, it presents a box showing two diffs. This is demonstrated on the template page itself, where under "Difference in words:" it shows all of the page name as changed, whereas under "Difference in characters:", the letters "e", "m" and "p" are shown as unchanged. Further examples make this clearer. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:42, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what part of the software builds these character-based diffs, but I suspect it is some template or module; the transclusion mechanism at Commons is pretty horrid. As for why regular diffs seem to count the first occurence as changed; it is because a diff is usually build from end to beginning. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 12:31, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Probably c:Module:Diff then. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:01, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

File:Italy vs Wales 2015-03-21.svg

For some reason, a black box appears on this image when it is called in articles. The black box doesn't appear in the original image (here), so I can't explain why the Wikipedia software would render it. – PeeJay 18:08, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

@PeeJay2K3: I've come across this before, at File:Metropolitian Railway (1870).svg. In this case it was the presence of the following:
        y="921.39148" /></flowRegion><flowPara
      id="flowPara3402" /></flowRoot>
That <rect /> drew the black rectangle, so Yes check.svg Done I removed it; I also removed the <flowRoot>...</flowRoot> <flowRegion>...</flowRegion> and <flowPara /> elements, since these are not documented in the SVG spec, and so their behaviour is unknown. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:47, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thank you very much. That was bugging the crap out of me. I wonder why it happened! – PeeJay 20:09, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
That SVG has all the hallmarks of having been edited in Inkscape, which adds all sorts of strange stuff, ranging from undocumented elements through undocumented attributes on documented elements to undocumented values on documented properties. Ordinarily I would strip out all of the obvious Inkscape deadweight, and it would still render as intended. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:34, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
flowRoot is not supported by the SVG rendered in use by MediaWiki. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:16, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, part of the issue is with Inkscape, which seems to be creating a file header that is inconsistent with its content. I've looked at the <svg> tag in that file, and it has the attribute version="1.0" The current W3C Recommendation (i.e. widely-accepted standard) for SVG is version 1.1, 16 August 2011, which lacks <flowRoot>...</flowRoot> and those others. These are proposed for SVG version 1.2, which is still a W3C Working Draft - last revision 13 April 2005, nearly ten years ago. It doesn't have a clickable Table of Contents, but googling around I found this older version. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:05, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Andy Mackay infobox

On the page for Andy Mackay, something isn't showing in the infobox. There's a line for "Instruments", shown here: | Instruments = Alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, keyboards, oboe, violin But as displayed, the line doesn't show. I've tried various fixes - changing the capital I to a lowercase, changing the location of the line - but they've had no effect in the page previews. What's causing this problem?Bjones (talk) 21:07, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

@Bjones: The infobox in question is {{Infobox musical artist}}, the documentation of which shows the parameter name is |instrument= (singular and lowercase). The parameter works if it is changed to that. SiBr4 (talk) 21:17, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Got it, and that did work. Thanks for your advice.Bjones (talk) 02:00, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

ARIA blocked?

Hi all, I'm trying to address Template talk:Physics particle#Non-screenreader friendly by using dummy <sup> and <sub> tags while hiding the problematic tags in text-based browsers using aria-hidden. However, I found out that the WAI-ARIA attribute (or at least the one I'm using) seem to be blocked. An example can be seen in my sandbox, where the aria-hidden attribute seems to be stripped from the HTML output (by examining the source). Is is behavior documented? If so, is there any workarounds? Thanks. Timothy G. from CA (talk) 21:27, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

The attribute is not whitelisted. See Help:HTML in wikitext#Attributes. --  Gadget850 talk 21:33, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Special:Watchlist legend

Don't know if anyone else has seen this, but the legend on my Watchlist page says "m This is a" instead of "m This is a minor edit". I've checked it back to what I believe is the MediaWiki page it originates from, but that page has the correct wording, and I couldn't edit it if it didn't. I thought some of you folks here might be able to fix it. BMK (talk) 01:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Looks OK to me. Do you see this text: "minor edit" --  Gadget850 talk 01:10, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No, you would not. User:Beyond_My_Ken/monobook.css contains:
#minoredit_helplink { display: none;
Which causes it to be hidden. --  Gadget850 talk 01:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
You must have added that code to hide the link in MediaWiki:Minoredit which is displayed next to the minor edit checkbox when editing, so you should also see "This is a" there. Some users hide the link to avoid accidentally hitting it during an edit. MediaWiki:Recentchanges-legend-minor uses the same id for the link so it also becomes hidden there. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:40, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Added in this edit - almost five years ago. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:48, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Upload constantly failing

This logo, tried gif and jpg with an error message: This file did not pass verification. --Tito Dutta (talk) 01:50, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

The software checks to ensure the file matches the extension. Looks like it is a PNG image with a GIF extension. Rename it to a PNG extension. --  Gadget850 talk 01:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Where can I buy a wikipedia mediawiki clone with decent Captcha etc?

Does anyone sell a wikipedia mediawiki clone? By this I mean wikipedia software with all of the incredible bells and whistles without the article content?

Out of the box, mediawiki is just terrible as far as spam and malicious bots. It is amazing the trouble I have had with the 10+ mediawiki sites I have. If I don't immediately disable editing, I am assaulted with bots within weeks. The captchas are clunky and difficult for me to effectively install. Why doesnt a robust wikipedia like captcha come standard with mediawiki? To me, this is the biggest weakness of mediawiki.

My account just was suspended with Namecheap:

It has come to our attention that there is a huge amount of similar emails queued on the server by your hosting account ideakwty. Please note that transmitting any unsolicited commercial or bulk email, or being engaged in any activity known or considered to be spamming or Mail Bombing is expressly prohibited on our hosting servers according to our Acceptable Use Policy, paragraph 8. ‘Prohibited Activities’
As we can see, the emails are sent per each account registration on your web site [removed].com. In order to protect your web site from spam bot account registration please consider using anti spam software (e.g. Captcha).

Please, please technical people - don't shoot the messenger. I am very technically savvy. This is a constant difficultly I have had for years with mediawiki.

Again, Does anyone sell a wikipedia mediawiki clone with awesome captcha, etc?

Thank you Namecheapblues (talk) 13:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Have you checked mw:Manual:Combating spam? --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 16:03, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
How have you configured Mediawiki? Are you requiring registration to edit? Have you turned on edit rate limiting? Do you enable uploading? Have you looked at the Installation guide? —EncMstr (talk) 19:38, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
thank you for suggestions. thank you for your help. yes I am doing all this.
The problem is that mediawiki has a HUGE flaw.
I wish I could spend my own money and buy wikipedia mediawiki. Namecheapblues (talk) 13:11, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
It really depends on what you need exactly. A website that anyone can edit is doomed to have spam. Besides setting up a decent captcha (which is definitely possible by Mediawiki, through extensions), you might want preventing new account registration, forcing new edits to be approved by a seasoned user, forcing users to verify their account, ... Otherwise, there are a lot of alternatives: List of wiki software. -- Luk talk 13:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixed size

I've added parameter fixed size = 23x16px into Template:Country data Switzerland/sandbox, and also added a switch into Template:Flagicon/core/sandbox. I think it will work.

  • Switzerland ← flagicon|Switzerland
  • Switzerland ← flagicon/sandbox|Switzerland/sandbox
  • Switzerland ← flagicon|Switzerland|size=30x30px
  • Switzerland ← flagicon/sandbox|Switzerland/sandbox|size=30x30px

Now we need to edit all articles from Category:Country data templates with distinct default size and also the templates (Except flagbig/core)
Maiō T. (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

That is horrible. What are you trying to acomplish? Why pollute the code this way to single out one flag? It doesn't even seem to do anything different. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 14:03, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Since standard-sized flags wouldn't include this "fixed size" parameter, what about just doing this? SiBr4 (talk) 14:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
SiBr4, thanks! That's much much better. User:Edokter, what do you say? Maiō T. (talk) 14:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
{{{fixed size}}} is redundant here. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 15:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No, it isn't redundant. It's necessary, because Template:flagbig currently uses parameter {{{size}}} of Switzerland (and others, e.g. Vatican City, North Dakota ...) which is 16px. See:



Vatican City
{{flagbig|North Dakota}}

North Dakota

Therefore I'm trying to fix it with "fixed size". Maiō T. (talk) 17:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
{{Flagicon/core}} can handle only one size parameter, so it is redundant. This must be fixed in {{flagbig}} to pass the right size. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 17:50, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No way. {{flagbig}} needs empty {{{size}}} parameter, therefore it's necessary to edit country-data templates – remove {{{size}}} & add {{{fixed size}}}, but this action could corrupt the flag.../core results. So, I need to add just one word into "flag.../core" templates.
Maiō T. (talk) 18:55, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
You completely lost me here. Anything passed with {{{fixed size}}} can be passed with {{{size}}} to {{Flagicon/core}}. Why does it need to be a separate parameter? -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 20:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
@Edokter: I just need an empty {{{size}}} parameter in Country-Data articles for correct use in template:flagbig. Currently are 8 flagicons displayed incorrectly with template:flagbig. Maiō T. (talk) 22:49, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Ideally, flags that are larger by default in 23x15px flag templates should be larger by default in other-size flag templates as well. Instead of setting the default for those flags at a certain number of pixels (whether in all templates, as is the case now, or in 23x15px templates only, using the proposed "fixed size"), I added a parameter for relative size increase to the sandboxes:

Flag Flag/sandbox Flagbig Flagbig/sandbox
United Kingdom

United Kingdom
 France  France

  Switzerland  Switzerland/sandbox


Instead of being fixed at 23x16px, the height of the Swiss flag using the sandbox is set at 110% of that of other flags, rounded to an integer number of pixels. That means the height for Switzerland using {{flagbig/sandbox}} is increased from 21px to 23px. SiBr4 (talk) 12:48, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

SiBr4, the {{flagbig/core}} template doesn't require a percentage increase of size; I've edited its sandbox to default 32x23px and the result is the same – see above. Problem with size is only in flag-, flagicon-, flaglink-, and flagu- cores.
Your idea with 110 % is pretty good, but the code seems too long (and for User:Edokter – "horribly" long) (joke)
Your idea with size increase parameter:
– change from  23x15px  to  23x{{#if:{{{size increase|}}}|{{#expr:{{{size increase}}}*15 round 0}}|15}}px
My idea with fixed size parameter:
– change from  23x15px  to  {{{fixed size|23x15px}}}
And the result would be the same.
I propose to edit the flag-, flagicon-, flaglink-, and flagu- cores with "fixed size" parameter or something even shorter.
The second problem is how to achieve a consensus; this is almost a forgotten discussion. Maiō T. (talk) 23:15, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Duplicate files

Hello, User:Ebraminio wrote a php tool that can list duplicate files in certain Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons. This is result for English Wikipedia (the file is too big to copy paste it in a Wiki page). English Wikipedia should have a bot to delete these files. :)Ladsgroupoverleg 17:44, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

These can't be deleted by bot because they first need to be carefully checked for errors. For example, fair use files are sometimes posted to Commons with bogus copyright tags and should instead be nominated for deletion on Commons, and some people upload files to Commons without providing correct source information. quarry:query/947 can also be used for finding untagged files on Commons. A bot could maybe add {{subst:ncd}} to the files, but this assumes that the deleting admin carefully cleans up the files and nominates files on Commons as necessary. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I used to have a bot doing just that, but it needed careful human examination: lots of duplicates are moves from Wikipedia to Commons, with incorrect licensing information. And of course non-free files that would get moved to Commons by someone who doesn't know better, and get deleted there after a few months. -- Luk talk 13:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Library Related Changes

I'm tracking changes related to WP:The Wikipedia Library at Special:RecentChangesLinked/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library. Oddly, several biographies are included in the list including: Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare.

What those pages happy to have in common is the Template:Library_resources_box. But despite looking in that template, in the page's source code, and the page's html. I can't find a link to The Wikipedia Library in any of them. So... why are they showing up in the related changes feed? Thanks! Ocaasi t | c 17:51, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:The Wikipedia Library mentions those authors in the quote section at the bottom. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Ohhhhh. Thanks! @John of Reading:. Cheers, Jake Ocaasi t | c 23:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Reduction of big flagicons

Tech News: 2015-13

15:10, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Patrolling notification

I just saw a discussion in which an interesting suggestion is raised, but I'm not sure how to help (let alone if help is needed), so I'm just bringing it here.

Hi, could you explain to me what "user was patrolled by.. " in this case you, means? I did not find any objective information on that. Greetings!Lucentcalendar (talk) 11:31, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

@Lucentcalendar: It basically just means I decided the page is ok and not vandalism, spam or anything. Not sure if you've seen m:Help:Patrolled edit, but there's more information there. The notification thingy should probably link to some help page or other so that people won't be confused. ekips39 (talk) 20:00, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Your site is OK too, I would go a bit easier on the colors, but that is certainly a matter of taste. There is no information shown about patrols and googling it only found information about patrolling new content pages and harassment of administrators against users.Lucentcalendar (talk) 07:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

I assume that this is new page patrol, but I'm not sure. Could a link be added, as suggested by ekips? Nyttend (talk) 01:16, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Error when displaying Wikipedia:Featured_topics/count

I simply loaded the page (I didn't edit it), and after 'All articles tagged as being part of a good topic:' and 'Total:', I get an 'Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".'

I don't know where to even begin searching to fix this; the most (I think) I know for sure is that there's a problematic comma within those templates (or scripts?) that became transcluded onto the Featured topics count page.

Anything I could rely upon for future reference would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Googol30 (talk) 07:38, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

The four-digit counts were causing problems. I've fixed it, with some help from Help:Magic words. -- John of Reading (talk) 07:53, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Islamic calendar

Hi. The diff shows an edit by CambridgeBayWeather at 06:57 but the history ends with an edit at 16:44 yesterday. There is an "edit this page" tab but clicking on it produces an "editing is restricted to registered users" notice. How can this be? (talk) 13:22, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Your browser may have cached Islamic calendar and the page history before the protection by CambridgeBayWeather at 06:57. Try to bypass your cache. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:36, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
It cleared. Thanks. (talk) 15:33, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Can someone log a bug for me?

Could someone with an account please log this as a bug? I am unfamiliar with the system for reporting bugs and I do not have an account. While this bug is quite easily circumventable, it really is a bit silly that something so glaringly obvious has not been fixed long ago. Thanks to any person who can do this on my behalf. (talk) 18:18, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

already logged (patch pending review). thanks. קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 20:27, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! (talk) 21:48, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
@ mw:How to report a bug explains the system and you can reuse any Wikimedia account in that system. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 10:35, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Is Move-to-commons assistant malfunctioning?

I have previously easily used this tool to move an image from Wikipedia to Commons. The last few times over a series of recent weeks, I tried on various files with Tools using OAuth Uploader, the OAuth Uploaders tells me I've authorized it. But when I do a "refresh" on the page where I'm doing the move, it goes through the motions and then kicks up the message:

Querying CommonSense ...done.
Querying image data ...done.
Retrieving image description ...done.
ERROR: null

If while still logged in on Uploader, I go back to the original file to try again, in this case File:New York Dramatic Mirror June1910.jpg, it will go through the motions and still kick up the above error message. The image never gets uploaded at Commons. Since it worked before, why is it not now? — Maile (talk) 19:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I see a July 2014 message identical to mine on Commons: Discussion. No answer was posted there. — Maile (talk) 19:52, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Have you informed Magnus on this wiki? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:56, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I just posted to his talk page. — Maile (talk) 20:05, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Extension:Gather launching on beta


It is my first time to announce here. I am Moushira, a new community liaison for mobile products and I have some updates to share :). So, Extension:Gather has been in development for a while and is now ready for beta launch on wp:en mobile web by next week, where mobile logged in users activating their beta features option, will have the possibility to create and share public lists of their articles. For more information, kindly check the FAQ and feel free to add comments and further questions. I would have ideally loved to share more updates earlier, however, there are details that were only clarified/solved very recently, without which earlier announcement would have been vague. Lets look forward to awesome lessons to learn on beta. Thank you :). --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Labs is going to be slow

Heads up: NFS on Labs will be slow for a few days, and then will be offline on March 26, 2015 at 22:00 UTC (less than five minutes). I understand that the point is making backups and setting up disaster recovery mechanisms. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

This is taking longer than expected. Consequently, you didn't have a five-minute outage 25 minutes ago. Maybe in the morning (North America time). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure exactly what is going on, but tool labs for xtools seems to be completely gone (I tried logging in and it sent me to bastion instead of tools (yes, I know)). The tool is still there, but completely refuses to run due to whatever is going on. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:31, 26 March 2015 (UTC)


Citoid, the automagic citation filling tool, is on its way at last. It's been up at the French and Italian Wikipedias for a while, with positive feedback overall. The time isn't firmly settled, but Wednesday evening UTC is most likely.

Citoid depends upon good TemplateData. Wikipedia:TemplateData/Tutorial explains how to write the basics by hand, but the TemplateData GUI tool is usually faster and easier. It also depends upon external services like Zotero. If your favorite website isn't working, it probably needs a new Zotero entry. The design is less than ideal. There is a book-with-bookmark button for Citoid, next to a now-unlabeled "Cite" menu for filling in citations the old way.

If you have suggestions on how to improve the design, then please leave your comments where the designers are most likely to see them, at mw:Talk:VisualEditor/Design/Reference Dialog. If you have any other suggestions or run into problems, then please leave feedback at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback. If you would like to see Citoid at another wiki, then you may make that request in Phabricator: by creating a new task under the "Citoid" project. Most requests will probably not be granted for the next couple of weeks, but evidence that TemplateData is current on your main citation templates will likely improve your chances.

Here at the English Wikipedia, you will need to opt-in to VisualEditor via Beta Features to see Citoid. Pre-deployment testing can be done here on Beta Labs. (Before you ask: yes, after getting all the bumps smoothed out, the plan is to make it available in the wikitext editor as well. However, that will likely not be for some months yet.)

Happy editing, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:14, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Update: This is being delayed for a few days. Monday (late) is the most likely time now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:49, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, is anyone here involved in Zotero? Their BBC and Google Books descriptors are out of date. I think that the BBC News website may have been rearranged last week. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:26, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Generate a list of articles I have created

How can I generate a list of articles I have created? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:36, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

With this tool: [24].·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Yours is over here. Impressive number by the way. You can access this link from the bottom of your user contributions. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 18:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks! I have several hundred more in my user space. I create them based on photos released by the Library of Congress each week at Flickr Commons or from reading the New York Times archive. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:51, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, it is possible on-wiki as well, though without an option to exclude redirects and page moves. SiBr4 (talk) 19:11, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, I make a lot of edits but don't create many pages, so my corresponding query stressed the servers:
A database query error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software.

    Function: IndexPager::buildQueryInfo (contributions page unfiltered)
    Error: 2013 Lost connection to MySQL server during query (
-- John of Reading (talk) 19:53, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
The link to your created pages works fine for me – it shows 44 pages, the most recent of which is Louis Legendre (disambiguation). SiBr4 (talk) 20:32, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm surprised it's that many. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:36, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus: This tool: [25] you recommended seems to be down. GoingBatty (talk) 00:59, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Works fine for me.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:43, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Working now - thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 03:22, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
This is a long-term problem: the tool (like several others hosted at is often down for periods ranging from minutes to days. What I do is to try later, at increasing intervals (e.g. 2 mins, 10 mins, 1 hour, 6 hours etc.) until it cooperates. If you try too often, you may overload the server, which may be one of the original causes of the downtime. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow, more than I thought! Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 19:02, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Problems in my Firefox browser history when javascript is on while viewing Wikipedia articles

A strange issue began a few weeks ago [maybe since Jan 1, 2015] when viewing wikipedia articles: When clicking on a "Contents" link, my Firefox generates SEVERAL EXTRA, identical pages. Also, a more irritating problem is: While reviewing a history list of previously viewed articles, LATER web pages in the 'History' disappear[!!] while reviewing a Wikipedia page (making the currently appearing Wiki the MOST RECENT, and LOSING my LATER viewed web pages). The ONLY way I've found to prevent this, is to TURN OFF JAVASCRIPT while viewing Wikipedia. What happened to Wikipedia? This did NOT happen to me last year using the SAME PC and browser.

NOW I'M GETTING REALLY ANGRY AT THIS !!!!! Every time I try to edit THIS, the "Edit Summary" link WIPES OUT MY QUESTION/COMMENT!!! So much for any DONATIONS!!! I've been trying to alert SOMEONE to the FACT that JAVASCRIPT on Wikepedia keeps WIPING OUT the FIREFOX FORWARD HISTORY after the Wikipedia page being displayed. IT'S A SERIOUS BUG which does NOT occur when JavaScript is OFF!!!!! [And it is NOT MALWARE]

Thanks for reading, Steve [Remembering to sign now] (talk) 05:39, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

You may need to bypass your cache (due to some bad change on the Wikipedia side). I might also suggest you run a malware and virus detection program. --Izno (talk) 23:26, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Please do not remove others' comments added in good faith, per the talk page guidelines. Thanks. --Izno (talk) 17:16, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Do these bad things happen if you try "Help > Restart with add-ons disabled" in the Firefox menu? That might help to narrow down the problem. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

User scripts using the old Sajax framework

Krinkle posted a message on the wikitech-l mailing list regarding the old "Sajax" AJAX framework, which has been deprecated for a very long time now, and is likely to be removed from MediaWiki altogether before the end of the year. Quite a number of (mainly very old) user scripts still use this old JavaScript library.

There are only two MediaWiki namespace scripts still using Sajax that I can see (MediaWiki:Gadget-dropdown-menus-nonvector.js and MediaWiki:RefToolbarLegacy.js, both of which are nasty-looking old scripts which could use some cleanup). However, the search engine turns up 479 matches in userspace for sajax. So a lot of people need to either update their old user scripts, or get rid of scripts they don't care about anymore.

I guess my point is, just be aware that Sajax will eventually go away one day, so migrate your user scripts to jQuery before it's too late. See mw:ResourceLoader/Legacy_JavaScript#ajax.js for info. Thanks, — This, that and the other (talk) 09:29, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I brought up this basic issue that most of the wiki's JavaScripts will fail to load by the end of the year when I started adding things to Category:JavaScripts using deprecated elements across multiple wikis by tagging JavaScript talk pages with {{JS migration|done=no}} and got the impression that everyone appears to think it is a "it's not broken don't fix it" situation and no-one wants anyone to go around and fix these scripts (I offered and was declined most everyplace I offered). If there is suddenly interest for someone with the ability to fix these things to go around and start fixing them, I would happily fire AWB back up and start tagging talk pages again for the various things that will cause massive script failures this year. I just got so discouraged with the general consensus that no-one cares, that I have given up (and have been saddened to a point where I have little interest in contributing much at the moment). — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 11:00, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
    • I would say, don't do it on your own. Make a separate taskforce board, have people direct their indifference/anger/enthusiasm/ask for assistance there, instead of your talk page.. Another idea is to try and see if you can change the AWB run in such a way that you can skip user scripts that are very likely not even in use by people. Then you might bother fewer people with stuff that they are not interested in. But if you need a break, take time and return later :) —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:50, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Red dot of love wont go

The notifications red dot doesn't go after I click on it. Anyone else have this issue? Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 19:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

What OS/browser are you using? --Izno (talk) 19:41, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Firefox. But now I've clicked on Preferences (didn't change anything, just clicked on it), the problem has gone. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 20:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Weird deletion display error

For some reason I can't view Forever (U.S. TV series) as it keeps coming up with this error

The revision #0 of the page named "Forever (U.S. TV series)" does not exist.

This is usually caused by following an outdated history link to a page that has been deleted. Details can be found in the deletion log.

And there is nothing in the deletion log. I have tried purging the page with no result. Simply south ...... sitting on fans for just 8 years 23:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

It works for me. Is it the url which produces MediaWiki:Missing-revision? PrimeHunter (talk) 00:05, 27 March 2015 (UTC)


Proposed user right: Vandal fighter

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There has frequently been discussion about making some of the administrator tools available to a lot more editors, and User:Jackmcbarn presented a great idea at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 15#New "vandal stopper" user group. The proposed vandal fighter user right would have the following rights:

  • Blocks:
    • Can block unconfirmed accounts for a maximum of 48 hours
    • Can soft-block IP addresses for a maximum of 48 hours
    • Can unblock users blocked by other vandal fighters
    • Can NOT unblock users blocked by administrators
  • Page protection:
    • Can semi-protect a page for a maximum of 48 hours
    • Can Pending Changes 1 protect a page for a maximum of 48 hours
    • Can unprotect pages that were protected by other vandal fighters
    • Can NOT unprotect pages that were protected by administrators
  • Notes:
    • All vandal fighters would also be granted Pending Change reviewer status
    • All vandal fighter actions will be viewable on one or more special pages
    • An administrator can turn a vandal-fighter action into an administrator action, which would prevent other vandal-fighters from removing it.
  • Requirements:
    • Vandal fighter rights would be granted by administrators after requests at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions
    • Rights would only be granted to user who meet the requirements of both roll back and pending changes reviewer
    • Vandal fighter rights must only be used for obvious spam and vandalism. Anything else will be considered abuse of the tool and the right will be revoked.

I look forward to your comments. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 23:57, 21 January 2015 (UTC) Pinging editors at previous discussion: @Biblioworm:@LT910001:@TheGeneralUser:@TenOfAllTrades:@Technical 13:@Cenarium:@Scalhotrod:Oiyarbepsy (talk) 23:57, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

The very early votes are indicating that this might pass, but people have several questions and objections. In light of that, I have a request for the voters: if it's still looking like this might pass after a week or two, then please check back at the end of this RfC in case the closers need help in determining consensus on the various suggestions and objections. - Dank (push to talk) 23:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
We're at the one-week point; I'll leave some notes in a few minutes at WT:Village_pump_(proposals)#Vandal fighter RfC. - Dank (push to talk) 22:57, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • To those who believe that anyone who may be trusted with this could go through an RFA, I would like you to know this is not the case. There are many RC patrollers that deal with clear-cut vandals who may not have as much content creation experience (achievements like GAs and DYKs) to be a full admin, due to the complex role that admins play (in settling disputes, closing AfDs, managing user rights, editing site-wide javascript, and blocking long-term abusers whose edits may not be easily categorized as vandalism). Many RC patrollers and members of the CVU would love to help with stopping vandalism by blocking obvious, uncontroversial vandals after giving them four warnings, but unfortunately, they can only continue to revert until an admin acts on the AIV report, which in some cases can take a long time.[1] Sometimes, the vandals are only blocked hours later, when they are no longer active.[2] By creating a new user right that provides these RC patrollers with the ability to block non-autoconfirmed users, but only in clear-cut and uncontroversial cases of vandalism, we can significantly curb vandalism and allow admins to devote their time on more disputed cases and other administrative areas, without leaving room for abuse as the right is removed immediately if it is used on anyone who is not an obvious vandal. Tony Tan98 · talk 01:25, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Current votes: (49/61).-Yoshi24517Chat Online 16:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Support (vandal fighter)

Support - Best idea I've seen in awhile. Give me the right and I'll contribute a lot more to fighting vandalism, taking some of the load off admins. If I abuse it, take it away. Unless admins spend more time granting and revoking the right than they currently spend responding to vandalism, which seems very unlikely, it's a clear net gain. I would ask for some kind of vandal fighter summary page covering the necessary tools and procedures, with links to more detailed information (unless something like that already exists). ―Mandruss  00:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

  1. Support. As long as the right can be easily removed by an admin, I see no reason why we shouldn't have this right. --Biblioworm 00:18, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    Support - I agree. this one just might go somewhere. Mlpearc (open channel) 00:53, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    The opposes have swayed me. Mlpearc (open channel) 04:21, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. Not incredibly into vandalism patrolling but can definitely see where this right would be useful, so I support it. --ceradon (talkcontribs) 01:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    Support, provided that the restrictions of the tool are limited to the original specifications in this proposal. If anything else gets added to the function of this user right after this comment, assume that I'm neutral. Steel1943 (talk) 01:20, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    Moving to "oppose" after giving this some thought. Steel1943 (talk) 16:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  3. Support This is a great opportunity to both empower the editors confronting vandalism while relieving the need to push more editors through RfA, where XfD and content creation become required. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support I'd much rather see accounts be indeffable, as I mention in the discussion section below, but we can always do that later. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:50, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support, but with one reservation: I'm opposed to calling it vandal fighter as that would seem to promote a battlefield mentality. How about vandal control, vandal abatement, or even vandal extermination. The proposal is good one though, and would streamline the normal process of reporting to AIV or RPP and sometimes waiting hours for action to be taken.- MrX 04:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    Well, fighting vandals (especially the sockfarm-creating ones who come back to harass you) does sometimes feel like a battle, but I see your point. --Biblioworm 04:43, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Also support changing maximum 48 hour block to maximum indef block to address some of the objections from opposers.- MrX 01:00, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support - I know that (assuming I had these rights) I could all but stop reporting IPs at WP:AIV, would usually have better and easier damage control over the user accounts I'd still report there. I'd also probably not have to post at WP:RFPP again. Freeing up those pages would probably help take care of the backlog at WP:SPI (now if only we had some similar demi-adminship to help with that), and resolve issues at WP:ANI quicker. I suspect this would also help with the admin shortage while reducing the risk of abusive admins, as would-be admins would have a vandal-control record to show that they can at least be trusted with that (something that honestly probably better demonstrates admin ability than article creation). Ian.thomson (talk) 04:16, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support but with some notes. I trust that Jackmcbarn wouldn't propose this sort of thing if he hadn't already determined that it were technically feasible, so I am not concerned about that. What I am concerned about is the automatic granting of other user rights which we already have processes for. I would prefer that granting of those rights were prerequisites for this one, since they are all related and those are better established, rather than potentially granting those more mature rights through what could turn out to be a back door. But I'm not terribly concerned about it - these are fairly weak user rights. I think the benefits outweigh the risks; I'm in to try it. Ivanvector (talk) 04:32, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  8. Support. I think having this right would be a great idea, as blocking vandals could be faster- there will be no need to wait for the administrator- the vandal fighter can block the vandal immediately, without a report to AIV. This is one of the best ideas I have seen. pcfan500talk|my contribs 10:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  9. Support - if given out carefully and sensibly, and if it can be easily removed by a full admin or community consensus. Quite frankly, the number of times I've had to report an obvious vandal to AIV, only for the request to sit there for hours - with the vandal still working their way through many articles - due to the lack of any administrators being active at that point is quite depressing. Sometimes this can also come from a topic area being poorly covered by admins, and thus they lack the understanding of what might be a fairly obvious piece of vandalism to someone with some experience in that topic (I can think of some examples of this as well.) Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 21:00, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  10. Conditional support As I've said in opposing other admin bit split outs, I could see supporting blocking and think this could be useful. I do have a few restorations. The first is the 48 hour limitation. I'm opposed to any such split out that would just make more work for the admins and agree with a bunch of the concerns on it that have already been. While technically I suppose that makes my !vote an oppose at this time, I see enough disagreement that I'm hopefully that it will change. I also worry about the name but not enough to oppose on that. At the risk of bikeshed'ing how about something like "Wikipedia Watch" or "Sentries"? I'd also like to see some pretty strong removal guidelines in the event of abuse or even careless misuse, for example once someone that has gotten this user right loses through abuse or marked carelessness the only way for them to get similar rights in the future would be a full RfA. Since the right should be somewhat easier to get it needs to be balanced by being easier to strongly revoke. PaleAqua (talk) 23:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  11. Support – There is so much rubbish lying around, and so few administrative hands to deal with it. We need some housekeepers to keep an eye on things, so that simple messes can be mopped up. Save administrative time for severe and complex problems. Such a distribution of power will greatly improve the encylopaedia. A right that is easy to give and take away for this purpose is exactly what we need. If a housekeeper fails to carry out his or her duties appropriately, sack him or her on the spot. RGloucester 01:09, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  12. Support. Great idea, if an admin is going to be able to remove it. APerson (talk!) 06:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  13. Support Nothing is more infuriating than giving a vandal the standard four warnings then making a report to AIV which goes unread for hours, all the while the vandal continues to vandalize articles. I think that this user right would be very useful as a stop gate measure since it would give trusted non-admins the ability to prevent further vandalism by a user until an actual admin can step in. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 07:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    Support in principle. Some of the issues brought up below (standards for giving out the right, possibility of indeffing unregistered users, whether 48 hours of PC is useful, etc) can be ironed out later. I dislike seeing good proposals opposed on technicalities that really aren't important to the broad idea, and I think that broadly speaking this is a good idea. Sam Walton (talk) 11:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC) Withdrawing my support, I've been swayed by the oppose voters, but not quite enough to oppose. Sam Walton (talk) 23:06, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  14. Support a perfectly reasonable suggestion that will undoubtedly be torpedoed by this community's utter inability to ever agree on a major change. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 17:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  15. Conditional support - Initially I was going to oppose, but all of my concerns could be put to bed with a trial; so, I support a trial rollout of this user right. However, it needs a different name, 'vandal fighter' is too combative — to the point it is likely to exacerbate vandal behaviour. I suggest "Moderator", as the proposed abilities roughly reflect what a moderator does in other places on the Internet, or "Sentry", per PaleAqua. Bellerophon talk to me 20:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  16. Support This could help reduce some backlogs. Though indefinite block may be better than a 48 hour limit. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:56, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  17. Let's give it a test run and see how it goes. Kurtis (talk) 00:50, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  18. Support Know what, lets try it out. At the very least it would maybe speed up actions at WP:AIV and some other areas. LorTalk 07:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  19. Support With maybe a few more restrictions (voting?) to make sure that these rights don't go to unknowledged/abusive editors. Avono (talk) 14:58, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  20. Support as a measure that would give broader access to useful tools to editors for whom some form of review exists to determine that it would be useful for them to have the tools. Per Kurtis, above, we can always test this out for a limited time, and then evaluate the results to see if it is worth keeping. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:43, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  21. Support. This would be useful for experienced recent changes patrollers without much in the way of content creation. I would also like to see the limit on block lengths and protection lengths removed, and the requirements tightened up. Perhaps users who have X many successful requests to AIV and RFPP, and no unsuccessful requests in the last Y months. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 13:31, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  22. Partial support. To me, the most important part of this proposal is "Can semi-protect a page for a maximum of 48 hours". We have a problem with the length of the process to combat libellous additions to WP:BLP pages. Giving vetted users the right to protect pages that are early in a BLP war would give the full administrators time to examine the problem and decide what to do. Serpyllum (talk)
    Support. Should, however, need more than simply rollback+reviewer, as those are given extremely liberally. --L235 (talk) Ping when replying 19:16, 25 January 2015 (UTC)Striking support upon further consideration. I'm still not going to oppose though. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 22:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  23. Support. My knee-jerk reaction is to oppose this out of fears of hat chasing and misuse. But after some reflect I decided that I trust our users to do this right thing. I think that every new user should be given a chance but once they have demonstrated that they won't play well with others they should be blocked. The blocking and the page protecting with stop large attacks on articles that happen from time to time and free up the administrators to do better things. --Adam in MO Talk 04:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  24. Strong support under some conditions. (editor) It would be obvious for an editor to support. Though, since there is a template for other editors to join the discussion, here am I. As an editor, I experience every-day vandalism. It's tiring having to refer to a board to have actions enforced, some of them take awhile meanwhile the vandalism continues. This way, as a Vandal Fighter, the process would be a lot easier and less painful to watch. It will save admins' time, though monitoring would take a great deal of time as well. I agree on the Vandal Fighter board. If extra actions are to be enforced, admins will be there. Though, the process to grant the user rights have to be a lot more than that. As a user mentioned below, it is considered as junior administrators. Granting these user rights, considering the impact it could have, it should be more thorough and strict. Thorough and strict as in go through the user's history. Review if their requests (RPP, AIV, 3RR/EW, etc.) were done properly with valid arguments of their report. If they are randomly making requests, then someone grants the user rights, hell will break lose. I don't suggest a rough process such as admins to grant the rights, just a more thorough examination. I, for one, would be the first to apply. I struggle a lot with vandalism in my watchlist from those whom choose to ignore warnings. I, myself, am well aware of adminship. As an adminstrator for two wikia websites, it would be great to have admin minions, if you will, to help out and run this Wikipedia in order. Not every admin is available to respond to requests, or sever backlog will take time to clean out. I do agree with a statement a user has made. The user rights will be revoked once the user is no longer available. Say, two weeks? Also, I would suggest the admin reviewer who granted the user rights to monitor the user for 48-72 hours (then once after some time) to make sure no non-sense is occuring. Some could go in a spring of protections and blocks. Callmemirela (talk) 05:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  25. Strong support (and possible snow close? Come on!) This would really help out, when we vandlal fighter find a vandal and have to wait, some times, up to an hour for a block while the user keeps vandalizing and we have to keep reverting. (tJosve05a (c) 17:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  26. Support We need this, many users can't stop vandals easily with their own rights and we need to be able to block, this would put the vandal count down by a lot. ~HackedBotato Chat with meContribs 18:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  27. Support badly needed, since there are only ~575 active admins, and fewer still in the vandal business, with 1000s of vandals a day. KonveyorBelt
  28. Support - I would never subject myself to the RfA process even if asked, but this would give much needed tools to editors like me who already have rollbacker and pending reviewer. Perhaps one requirement could be having rollbacker without any complaints for at least a year or two. VMS Mosaic (talk) 09:23, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  29. Support - This is very useful for trusted RC patrollers and allows them to respond to vandalism quickly, without giving too much power to non-admins. It is especially useful in cases like this, where a user vandalized egg 174 times for half an hour, even though an AIV report was quickly filed. Tony Tan98 · talk 05:23, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  30. Support - Sounds great! George Edward CTalkContributions 20:30, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  31. Support In practice, while it may be subject to changes, the general concept appears to be sound. Dustin (talk) 01:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  32. Strong support with some suggestions. I think that this is an incredibly good idea. AIV is a very tedious and sometimes frustrating process when sysops do not respond quickly. I strongly agree with the portion of the proposal which says that only rollbackers and pending changes reviewers should be granted use of the tool. It should only be given to highly trusted users, almost reaching admin level of trust. In light of that, I have a few suggestions. Like many have mentioned, I don't think that "vandal fighter" is a good name. It seems too warlike and doesn't give an specific description of its purpose. Possibly a simpler name like "blocking rights" or something like that? Second, I think there should be a minimum number of edits and time since joining Wikipedia to even be considered for this right. If not a strict policy, perhaps a general guideline that admins would usually follow when granting this. Third and finally, I think that more than one admin should check the applicant's contribs and qualifications before granting the use of this tool. It is a very delicate tool and I think that a second sysop should check the first's assessment in allowing access to this. However, I would still support this right even if my suggestions aren't incorporated into the tool. I hope it passes! BenLinus1214talk 03:35, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  33. Support per Chris troutman YatharthROCK (talk) 02:46, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
  34. Support Although it should be hard to acquire, possibly like a (very) mini RFA process? RetΔrtist (разговор) 01:07, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
  35. Support - seems like a great balance of user rights to me. It would outline good potential admins early on. I would find the (even limited) page protection rights to be extremely helpful sometimes. Whether I would be comfortable with blocking right off the bat is another thing, however, but I would still undertake it eventually. Considering that I have created 0 articles (and don't see myself bothering to attempt to go through that mess any time in the near future), I have a higher chance of walking outside and getting struck both by lighting and a meteor within two minutes than I do passing an RfA. Command and Conquer Expert! speak to me... 09:33, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  36. Support As someone who does mostly maintenance tasks on Wikipedia, this would be a very useful tool for fighting vandalism. Just yesterday I was trying to stop 3 different IP addresses vandalising a page for over an hour while waiting for someone to respond to an AIV report. Since AIV has proved ineffective, we clearly need more people dealing with this. As Cncmaster points out, many of us vandalism fighters wouldn't pass an RfA as we don't do much content creation. I would however suggest a higher threshold for giving the rights, such as experience with AIV reports, demonstrating they know when a block is appropriate instead of just reverting and warning. Jamietw (talk) 06:47, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
    @Jamietw: - Yes. Myself, I have never observed a direct correlation between the amount of content creation one does and the competency one demonstrates as an administrator. If there is some magical point that I have been missing for four years, I would really like to know what it is. Command and Conquer Expert! speak to me... 04:52, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  37. Support I support this so long as this proposal fails. In addition, the name "vandal fighter" sounds pretty cool; good name choice, proposer. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:03, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  38. Support Where do I sign up? As a Special:PendingChanges list patroller for the last year or so, I've advocated for this almost from the start of that effort. There is no single perfect solution to dealing with vandals and the majority of the opposition to this proposals seems to be based on this idea being "imperfect". Please, lets start with SOMETHING! --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  39. Support I support a very limited block power (short duration, IP only), subject to regular review by administrators, and easy removal of the userright by administrators. Ideally a parallel page to WP:AIV would be set up where vandal fighters would be required to submit a user report before implementing a vandal fighter block, making it easy for administrators to monitor/approve/extend/overturn the blocks as necessary. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 17:19, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  40. Partial support in order to separate and distribute powers. I prefer PaleAqua's name suggestion "Sentries" however. --Mr. Guye (talk) 01:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  41. Support Definitely support this measure, would love to be able to block persistent vandals who are obvious, blatant and unwilling to stop after multiple warnings. I think this would definitely help address some of the admin backlog too, since users with this right would be able to quickly quell persistent problem users. Melody Concertotalk 00:39, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  42. Support If you can qualify for this you should be able to pass RfA, on that I agree. However RfA has become somewhat ridiculous lately. Gigs (talk) 17:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
  43. Strong Support If you qualify this is definitely a great idea! Iv'e been helping out at AIV and this is really needed. TheMagikCow (talk) 18:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  44. Support but I would agree with shorter periods than the mentioned 48 hours. 12 hours block or semi-protection will spoil the fun of most vandals already. They ones that need more can be dealt with by admins. The Banner talk 12:23, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  45. Conditional support This is a really conditional support. This is establishing yet another level of hierarchy, below the admins. Till now, it's mostly based on page protect and approving permission requests, but now, it's even more complicated. As someone working with CSD, I feel that there should be a delete usergroup too. But there isn't, well, not on enwiki, atleast. I feel this unbundling is good but it could also be for the worse. I think the nays will have it. But, although the reasons are swaying, I see no harm. --QEDKTC 18:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  46. Support I don't like the name though. We should have a less descriptive name like Manager (short for vandalsim manager). Vandal fighters could be inducted through a type of mini-RfA process with questions to test their response to various situations. This could be done at "WP:Requests for permissions/Vandal fighter/USERNAME" Comments from administrators and bureaucrats may be given slightly greater weight. SD0001 (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  47. Strong Support I have always thought this is a great idea with one amendment that the RfP must run for a week. I can't tell you how many times I have been stuck uselessly reverting someones edits while waiting half an hour for someone to check and respond to AIV. Basic admins rights groups need to be formed so admins can spend time reducing other backlogs and to allow a introduction into admin-ing to get some experience before getting the mop. I also think maybe a Delete usergroup for experienced AfD'ers and a Speedy Delete group for experienced taggers. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 16:00, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  48. Support This idea seems to be beneficial to Wikipedia. Eric - Contact me please. I prefer conversations started on my talk page if the subject is changed 21:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Oppose (vandal fighter)

  1. Oppose. I understand the motivation here, but I don't think this solves a necessary problem. Even assuming that we need more people capable of blocking obviously disrupting IPs and throwaway accounts (and I'd like some hard data regarding backlog rates at, say, RPP or AIV on that issue), the sort of accounts and IPs that this is intended to target frequently necessitate longer than 48 hour blocks, which means this doesn't actually save administrators an action except in fairly narrow cases. Also, the ability to apply even temporary semi-protection is fairly significant, since it restricts access from good-faith IP editors as well; the implications of this might best be reserved for those who have demonstrated more community trust than needed for the current "vandal fighting" tools like rollback. But, perhaps most importantly, I don't think this is likely to be technically feasible. My understanding of the mechanics of the project holds that in order to create a (semi-)protection level that this right can interact with, without granting the ability to interact with that protection level in general, would require creation of a new protection level (mini-semi-protection, or something). Likewise, something similar would be needed to create blocks that can be issued and undone by this user right without permitting interaction with "real" blocks (if that is even deemed possible to implement, as there are not, so far I am aware, "block levels"). A marginal net gain for substantial software development cost is not something to get hopes up about being implemented. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 02:28, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    For what it's worth, Jack McBarn and others seem pretty sure that this is technically possible and feasible. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:20, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    It saves editors having to chase around vandals while an AIV reports sits there at 4 a.m. EST when most of the North American admins are asleep. It might not save an admin action but it stops disruption quicker. --NeilN talk to me 03:35, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. At the time this was proposed at the idea lab, I noted several problems. As well, there was a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Duration of blocks that is illuminating.
    • Having a group that can block only IPs and non-autoconfirmed accounts creates (or exaggerates) a power disparity in any conflict involving new (or unregistered) editors and more established accounts.
    • Most blocks of IPs and non-autoconfirmed accounts are for periods of time much longer than 48 hours (as are most semiprotections). This leaves a trail of incomplete tasks that regular admins may or may not eventually clean up.
    • Blocking vandalism-only accounts for just a little while doesn't actually work very well. A significant fraction of them come back (days or weeks later) to make more of a mess. Some of them will be autoconfirmed at that point. Virtually none return to make positive contributions (it's far easier, and more sensible, for them to create a new, clean account).
    • We actually don't do a good job of blocking vandalism-only accounts. Issuing short-duration blocks means that even the vandals that we catch once will still get one or more chances to do damage after their blocks expire.
      In other words, this toolset is likely to encourage newbie-biting while failing to effectively deal with vandals. (It just creates double the effort for each administrative action—once from the baby admin/"vandal fighter", and then again from the real admin who has to review the situation and issue a block/protection of adequate duration.) Also, what's with the "vandal fighter" name? It reminds me of the early WP:Counter-Vandalism Unit and its paramilitary ranks, badges, and officious obnoxiousness. We're not fighting a war, we're writing an encyclopedia. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:50, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  3. Oppose - At least until the requirements for granting are tightened up substantially. I didn't even have to dig through the history - looking at AIV and RFPP right now, I see bad reports (no vandalism since final warning, not enough vandalism to justify protection) by users with rollback and reviewer rights. Like the AFD stats tool used on RFA, I'd like to see something similar for AIV/RFPP to make sure that the people requesting the right actually know when it should be used. Simply knowing what vandalism is (basically the requirement for rollback/reviewer) does not indicate sufficient understanding of the block/protection policies. Mr.Z-man 05:00, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  4. Oppose I must admit this is better than a lot of unbundling proposals I've seen, but I have a few issues with it:
    • Granting the ability to block anyone, ever should be a community decision, not a single admin decision (ironic, an unbundling proposal that would actually give admins more power)
    • My standard objection to most unbundling proposals: The admin tools form a kit. Giving only some of them to some users will mean they can only deal some of the problem. Deletion, blocking, and protection are all tools used by admins specifically to combat vandalism. If you don't have any one of them you will inevitably have to go find an actual admin to finish the job. Why have two users doing something that one admin could easily do in a matter of just a minute or two?
    • Applying PC protection to an article for 48 hours or less seems silly. In my opinion and I believe in practice, PC is generally more for long-term problems, semi is for short-term ones.
    • Most actual vandals get indef blocked. Having them automatically unblocked after two days gives them an easy way back, and then a real admin will have to deal with that, so what's the point?
    • Rollback and even PC reviewer are low-level content tools. Judging whether a using them responsibly is only one of many prequisites for more powerful tools, and all these tools, even with these time limits, can easily be abused if granted to users who aren't really ready for them.
    • And finally, I don't see any concrete evidence that this is something we actually need. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:49, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
      • "Granting the ability to block anyone, ever should be a community decision" - What? Users get blocked constantly without any community input at all. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
      Yes they do. By people who were granted the right to block through a community based process. Beeblebrox (talk) 06:31, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  5. Oppose WP:RFA is thataway. If you feel like the community can trust you to block people, then go and ask them to let you do so. --Jayron32 01:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    What do you suppose are the chances of me getting full admin rights so that I might better help fight vandalism? Absolute zero. Something like this, far from a shoo-in but a lot better chance than that. How much do I want full admin responsibilities? Not in the slightest. ―Mandruss  02:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    Mandruss: based on what I saw while reviewing your request for rollback rights today, you have a much higher chance of passing RfA than absolute zero. You may not want to be an administrator, but I don't see why an RfA would be that contentious in your case. —Tom Morris (talk) 04:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    It would be contentious because I've created exactly zero articles (despite the fact that the required skill sets are very different). It should be contentious because I'm eminently unprepared for that job. But I'm more than capable of handling this new right, and there are a lot more like me around. Anyone who opposes because of the potential for damage by abusers of the right, who says that downside is likely be greater than the upside, is making a very negative statement about the Wikipedia community over all. I'm not prepared to make that statement. I know Jimbo wouldn't. Adequate vetting is the answer to any such objections, and it could include elements that have not been used before, such as interviews and references. In other words, the evaluation for this right could be, and should be, somewhere between rollback and RfA. ―Mandruss  17:38, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    So you admit you are "eminently unprepared" for the right to block people, and for that reason you are arguing for the right to block people to be given to you because you ask for it. That makes total sense. --Jayron32 02:51, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant (and thought I said) that I am unprepared for adminship in its entirety. We're talking about a small subset of that for this role, and what I don't already know I could easily pick up in a few hours (this goes to the "summary page" that I suggested in my !vote). And I would have enough sense to tread lightly at first. ―Mandruss  03:23, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    There is no userright MORE contentious than the right to block people; arguably it is that right alone which requires RFA; arguing to lessen the restrictions on that one right probably is the lest likely to pass (not that any of them would pass). Protection and deletion can be undone without the social harm caused to editors because of their misapplication. A bad block can ruin a good editor for life. So, if you're looking for a tool to be unbundled from the admin package, you've probably picked the absolute worst one to argue for. --Jayron32 03:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    • It would be contentious because I've created exactly zero articles (despite the fact that the required skill sets are very different). is exactly why I haven't run as well. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:39, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I've written some articles (I have a GA and two upcoming DYKs), and I would like to do more work with content, if I can find other topics that have good coverage in other sources (which is becoming increasingly difficult). While the role of content workers/creators is indisputably very important, I still don't understand those who think it is necessary to become an admin. After all, if all the anti-vandals left, the content creators would be on their knees begging them to come back, as they wouldn't have time to create any content if they were forced to constantly protect their articles. --Biblioworm 18:50, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    I suspect admins, over all, have a very cynical view of the community because they see the worst of us on a daily basis, like cops. Dear admins, your view of reality is skewed. ―Mandruss  21:37, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  6. Oppose, blocking is too contentious. Guy (Help!) 01:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    @JzG: @Jayron32: The right to block people in general is contentious, but the block right in this proposal is limited to clear-cut, indisputable cases of "obvious spam and vandalism" after sufficient warning is given. It cannot be a block on a suspected sock or on an editor with potential malice, but must be one a user that any impartial editor would agree is a vandal. The "vandal fighter" right would be immediately removed if it is ever used beyond that scope. Thus, the right being discussed here is not equivalent to or as contentious as the block right that admins have. (Pinging others who this reply is also intended for: @Hobit:@RightCowLeftCoast:@-revi:@WilyD:@Philg88:) Tony Tan98 · talk 01:49, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
    The software does not recognize who is being blocked; it only allows someone to block or not block. While we tell people they cannot use the power for X, Y, or Z, they still have the technical ability to do so, which is the problem here, and why one must go through RFA. The software does not recognize the difference between contentious and uncontentious blocks, and a badly placed block by someone with an axe to grind does FAR more damage to Wikipedia than does a vandal who waits 5 extra minutes for an admin to respond to an AIV report. --Jayron32 01:54, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
    It is true that the software does not recognize this, but users (admins & non-admins) do. The vandal fighter right could be immediately removed by any admin if there is any usage beyond blocking obvious vandals (which could be reported by anyone), leaving no room for the abuser to "explain" or "justify" their actions. (The user they blocked is either an indisputably obvious vandal or not.) Any vandal fighter may undo the blocking actions of another vandal fighter as well, to minimize potential harm. Plus, vandal fighters would only be able to block users that are not autoconfirmed. Tony Tan98 · talk 02:15, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
    You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube here. The badly-placed block has done its damage that no unblock can later undo. The social injury from blocking someone who didn't deserve it is far more damaging, and cannot be undone, regardless of how soon they are unblocked, and whether or not the blocker get's their rights revoked. That's why we require RFA: the community needs to trust the person who gets the right to block enough to not screw it up. Because bad blocks are bad forever. --Jayron32 03:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  7. Weak Oppose, I agree with JzG. Weak only because I don't deal with vandalism on a regular basis and I'm unsure how badly it's needed. Hobit (talk) 03:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  8. Weak Oppose, per reason given by Jayron. The power to block is a huge power, one that I am even concerned that some Admins have power to use. If some editor were to be given that power, they should have to go through a RfA like process, stronger than the request for permissions preocess. Therefore, unless such a vetting process is created, I cannot support this proposal at this time.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  9. Oppose What's the differences with sysop? It is too powerful (especially blocking). — Revi 07:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  10. Oppose: Largely as per Beeblebrox's arguments above, but the last paragraph of TenOfAllTrades's contribution expresses something important about the potential negative consequences. AllyD (talk) 07:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  11. Oppose - anybody trusted with this would pass RFA, so this is just more of the "RFA is difficult, so let's have two!" silliness. And, of course, labelling someone a "fighter" is just an open invitation to ignoring WP:NOT#BATTLEGROUND. WilyD 10:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Not strictly true, if they have little content creating experience but are an experienced anti-vandal patroller, they stand no chance of passing an RfA. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 13:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  12. Oppose gamification of blocking and risk of even more drama and contention among established users (who are left to argue over and vet these blocks and their use/abuse) is too high. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  13. Oppose - As per Beeblebrox and TenOfAllTrades. Since the vandal-fighting powers of vandal-fighters would be limited, actual vandals would find ways to game the system and get a second chance. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:58, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  14. Oppose - as it stands now. Reiterating what's said previously, the requirements are very weak. Both the userrights rollbacker and reviewer are the easy come, easy go userrights. IMO, much stricter requirements are needed. Elockid (Talk) 02:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  15. Oppose - ansolutely 100% per Beeblebrox who has once again beaten me to a discussion , saving me from having to do the typing. And thanks also for the analogy by TenOfAllTrades and reminding us how I finally cleaned up the camp-fire and badges brigade activities at the after-school activities hut. More to come in the 'Comments' section below. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  16. Oppose - we rightfully require a good deal of community scrutiny before providing an editor the responsibility of using the blocking et. al. tools. Anyone who's earned the trust of the community to be blocking other editors needs to be given the trust to do so effectively; we're short admin-time enough without adding the burden of having to vet "mini-admin" actions. NE Ent 13:48, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  17. Oppose' Ability to block and unblock is a crucial part of admin tools. If anyone meets the required criteria for vandal fighter, I presume he'd most likely pass an RfA as well. In simple words: there ain't any need to create further complexities. EthicallyYours! 14:41, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  18. Oppose The ability to block can be very damaging and should require that the editor is scrutinised by the community before being given the right - i.e. by RFA or equivalent. As noted by others, being able to block ips/new users only will be divisive, and will potentilly drive off editors who could be redeemed or have been caught in the backlash of a bad block.Nigel Ish (talk) 14:50, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  19. Oppose, after giving this more thought. I can see this discouraging non-autoconfirmed good faith editors or "vandals-that-eventually-become-constructive" editors if they get a block on their record during the time they are not autoconfirmed. That clean block log is like a perfect score on a report card, and ruining that report, no matter what the circumstance, is something that should only be trusted in the hands of an administrator. Steel1943 (talk) 16:38, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    Since vandal-fighter blocks would have to be different on some level in the software (to allow other vandal-fighters to undo them, but not sysop blocks, if nothing else), it could be possible to purge such blocks from the log if an admin does not endorse them, either after some period of time or upon request after the user has mended their ways. If an admin does endorse them, they would become sysop blocks and would remain in the log. Vandal-fighters would not need the power to permanently ruin the clean record you mention. Pathore (talk) 02:32, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  20. Oppose per Beeblebrox - Being blocked can ruin your chances of becoming admin so it should be done carefully, Personally I think it's best we stick to RFA as that way there wouldn't be any wars nor blocks. –Davey2010Talk 21:04, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  21. Oppose - Completely wrong headed. Officially - for any of the good, sensible reasons set out elsewhere in this section. Leaky Caldron 21:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  22. Oppose: The main tools available to nonadmins are tools that (when used correctly) have no potential to be contentious. PC reviewing and rollback are for more effective frontline stoppage of obvious vandalism, not discretionary action. Blocking and protecting, tools that have the most potential to be incendiary, should only be performed by those who the community has determined have the tact and cluefulness to be able to do so, not those determined by Joe Admin who happened to be clearing the RFPERM backlog that day. The short-term nature of the actions doesn't mitigate the discretionary nature of the tools. Deadbeef 07:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  23. Weak Oppose - I support such a right on paper. I feel that it's a decent idea. But WP:PERENNIAL sums up what I think. The people qualified for such tools should might as well just go for full adminship. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  24. Oppose Our biggest issue is retaining new editors relaxing the requirements and increasing the number of people who can do this through the creation of yet another subset of editor rights is fraught with danger of increasing the biting of new editors so with out some documented imminent disaster to avert I dont see a need Gnangarra 11:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  25. not a good use of our time per above --Guerillero | My Talk 22:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  26. Oppose Per Guy. If we're unbundling some admin rights, blocking should be the last one to be considered, not the first. BMK (talk) 22:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  27. Oppose blocking, but would support unbundling a limited form of semi-protection. That's a lot less confrontational than blocking, and can solve an issue while leaving blocking to an admin. Courcelles 23:49, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  28. Oppose, though i fully understand the purpose and motivation and, indeed, was immediately attracted towards supporting the proposal. There are, however, too many reasons that this is not good for the community/encyclopaedia for it to actually become reality (in no particular order):
    • Blocking is something that should only be done by people vetted by the community (RfA);
    • The suggested criteria for obtaining the right are laughably low;
    • A new user-right like this increases the opportunities for hat collecting;
    • New accounts already get bitten (not always, but sometimes) by vandal-fighters, and we don't need to do anything which makes that more likely and more permanent;
    • I'm not sure that this solves a problem currently requiring a solution ~ we already do a good job of vandalism control;
    • RfA already exists for those users who wish to help out in ways they cannot currently. Cheers, LindsayHello 04:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  29. Oppose Blocking is highly contentious and I don't feel it should be in the hands of users who were screened and approved by a single administrator. It should be as said above, a community decision. Those who routinely look at WP:AIV, will tell you that a great portion of block requests are not appropriate and often come from editors with thousands of edits. Blocking is not a place where these types of mistakes can occur at such a high degree. Mkdwtalk 00:21, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  30. Oppose In theory it seems okay... but anyone who can block and protect pages can cause substantial damage, regardless of the said limitations. I wouldn't want to issue that right to anyone without community input. If anything it'd have to work like obtaining the abusefilter right, where the request must stand for a full week to allow for anyone to object before granting the right. Then consider all the drama that's going to come with this. You're going to have unconfirmed users running to admins complaining of some vandal fighters misconduct. Meanwhile newcomers might get confused who they're supposed to talk to about blocking and page protection, or confuse vandal fighters for admins altogether... then you'll see vandal fighters responding to reports at AIV and RFPP... just seems like the added bureaucracy is going to do more harm than good. Getting admin attention shouldn't be that hard, and if it is, let's focus on trying to fix that rather than adding a whole new layer of complexity to this user unfriendly environment we work in. If something is very urgent and you're unable to get on-wiki admin attention, consider hopping on #wikipedia-en-help connect, type !admin and hit enter. Finally, from a technical standpoint, you're going to need a whole new MediaWiki extension for vandal fighter to work. Good luck with that. — MusikAnimal talk 22:36, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
    And +1 to all of TenOfAllTrades's points... especially the argument about incomplete tasks and temporarily blocking vandalism-only accounts. You'll end up with another admin backlog of cleaning up what the vandal fighters weren't able to do. — MusikAnimal talk 22:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  31. Oppose as written The proposed "vandal fighter" is effectively a "junior admin" and assignment of such a "training mop" should not be at the mere whim of any sysop. We have RfA and we should use it for any kind of user right that gives power over other editors. I could support some kind of "rapid-response anti-vandalism" role if an actual need were shown, but I think that assigning such a right should still go through RfA. Pathore (talk) 02:18, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    No complaint here, provided article creation is not a criterion. Article creation is not where my strength lies, and I'd have a serious problem with anyone claiming I don't contribute enough to the encylopedia to be worthy of this role. Hell, my application for the right demonstrates my desire to contribute even more. As for looking at AIV and RFPP contributions, fine, if that will help this pass. And I'll set about hunting down problems to appropriately report, so as to build up my numbers quicker. ―Mandruss  02:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    That would be more-or-less the idea for a "junior admin (anti-vandal)" role. The problem is that I'm uncertain of where exactly the lines should be drawn, or if creating articles really is an important criteria that I'm just not seeing right now. In any case, specialized junior admins would probably end up expected to branch out, with "junior admin" status becoming a stepping-stone to "admin". I'm not sure if there is any good way to avoid that, or if it even should be avoided. Pathore (talk) 02:42, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    If I'd be required to state that I'm aiming for eventual adminship, count me out. On other hand, when I fail to apply for admin after years of competent service as JA, you could fire me from JA. Move up or move out. ―Mandruss  05:39, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
    I didn't propose that. I said that it might end up drifting in that direction, and that I'm unsure how to prevent such a drift. Pathore (talk) 06:17, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  32. Nobody should have power to block without passing an RFA. Townlake (talk) 03:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  33. Unbundling the tools may be a good idea; unbundling the block button is not. wctaiwan (talk) 06:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  34. Oppose. Allowing the block right without sufficient scrutiny (i.e. an RfA) is a bad idea.  Philg88 talk 07:32, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  35. Oppose, anybody who can do these things should be an admin. Becoming an admin should be easier, and unbundling more rights does not make it easier to obtain the full rights (it might make it harder, as it might introduce an extra step that will soon be seen as necessary). To make becoming an admin easier, just go to WP:RFA and vote "support" a couple of times whenever RFA is nonempty. —Kusma (t·c) 17:03, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  36. Oppose While I would trust some non-admin users to have these abilities, I don't believe that the proposal addresses the problem that it would duplicate work by necessitating reviews of vandal fighter blocks, requiring admins to check if longer protection is needed, and so on. We need more admins, not baby-admins which real admins have to constantly look after. BethNaught (talk) 17:40, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  37. Oppose I don't see what this would accomplish. It looks like the main difference between this proposal and full adminship is 1. page deletion and 2. longer blocks. If you're granting this for vandal fighting, it would make sense to add page deletion too to help with speedy deletion of obvious vandalism; leaving only longer blocks for admins. At that point, adminship would become nothing more than a status symbol, which it shouldn't be at all. If you want those rights, what's wrong with RFA?~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 21:26, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  38. Oppose - There really isn't (or shouldn't be) a drastic dropoff in the level of competency required of someone with any sort of access to the block button, no matter if you're trusted to block new users for two days or old users forever. Anybody who could be trusted with this new right would stand a respectable chance of successfully running for regular adminship. I'm slightly less opposed to the protection side of this proposal, but I wouldn't consider that part of it workable either. --Bongwarrior (talk) 05:19, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
  39. Oppose if you want to block people, go to RFA and get the community's support. Tavix |  Talk  04:21, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
  40. Oppose, per Beeblebrox. Ironholds (talk) 04:50, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
  41. Oppose. The ability to block anyone for any amount of time (with "any" in the existential rather than universal sense) is too much without having gone through RFA. The mistreatment of anons and new users is what drives many potential editors away. -- King of ♠ 05:18, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
  42. Oppose - Great idea with a few tweaks, but it appears we can't tweak it. Therefore we should kill this ASAP so we can move on to the next try. (What is the minimum rest period between tries?) ―Mandruss  03:50, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  43. Oppose - After further thought and some of the above comments, if you can be trusted with this flag you should be able to pass a RfA. Mlpearc (open channel) 04:28, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  44. Weak Oppose. It's an excellent idea, and I'd very much like to see this pass, however instead of Vandal fighter rights would be granted by administrators after requests at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions and something less serious than RFA, but I do think there should instead be some sort of community discussion, per user, in a dedicated discussion subpage, instead of decided by another single individual for promotion. — Cirt (talk) 20:01, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  45. Oppose - Yes, me, a vandal fighter, opposing this very idea. This simply is an example of Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Hierarchical_structures, and it doesn't exactly resolve all issues with anti-vandalism. For instance, as mentioned many times, even the most experienced of non-admins make bad WP:AIV reports. Giving such editors the power to block editors would result in a lot of unfair blocks over editing disputes (which AIV is not for yet people still go there to complain. I've seen it myself.). Secondly, if a vandal fighter blocked a vandalism-only account for 48 hours, they would need to go back and file a second report to ask an admin with full powers to extend the block to indefinite, as this is the general practice for vandalism-only accounts -- an indefinite block. This would be a lot more tedious and increase the workload of editors and administrators as they now have to hunt down vandal fighter blocks and extend them appropriately. It would be better to just report at AIV and monitor the user until an admin can drop the hammer and end the whole argument completely. Thirdly, if there is a page under attack, my advice is to get Huggle 2, which automatically updates, so just point it at the page that's under attack and revert malicious edits instantly until an administrator sees your RFPP request (which you should have filed, like any good editor should, ahem). Alternatively, if you are patrolling recent changes and you see an administrator editing (but not monitoring RFPP or AIV so they don't see your request) you can poke them on their talk page. I did that once during a spambot-attack on a page, which was dragging on a bit too long (but thanks to Huggle 2 it was very manageable). Poking an active administrator did the trick fairly well, and was faster than RFPP. It might not be the most practical idea, but it works to an extent. And fourthly, if you can be trusted to block an editor, protect a page, delete a page, and set pending changes protection, consider running for RFA. One of these days. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 14:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  46. Oppose Fundamentally because I believe anyone who I would trust to receive this ability I would also trust to be an admin. Alos the specific objections by TenOfAllTrades and Beeblebrox are persuasive. Davewild (talk) 17:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  47. Oppose tl;dr, another level of bureaucracy, this wiki needs more workers, not more coppers...--Stemoc 01:42, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  48. Oppose Partly because there is the problem of what IS vandalism? I'm more of a janitor than a cop, but I see quite a lot of "that's not vandalism, that's content dispute" at AIV. Content dispute can also become vandalism, but not always. Partly because I disagree strongly with the right to block for any length of time (meaning 'whatever length of time' is decided) being given out by any single admin. Per K6ka above, if you can be trusted with those rights, you can be trusted with a mop - and I don't think that a whole stack of articles created is a necessity for that. Working with the existing content of articles is just as good to my mind. That's somewhat irrelevant here, anyway. Otherwise, per Beeblebrox et al. Peridon (talk) 19:54, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  49. Strong Oppose We actually don't need such user right as we have ClueBot NG, Huggle, STiki, and other tools that can fight vandalism. Users could manually revert vandalism by simply clicking Edit on an article or you could just use Twinkle to revert vandalism and unambiguous promotion or advertising.
    Admins could block users indef for vandalism or promotion as well. Also, what if you want to participate in AFD's or make constructive edits as I did on Crips? That would be abusing the vandal fighter right and bureaucrats could revoke it, so why revoke a simple right just for making constructive edits if they flag it as abusing it? That would be downright obnoxious, wouldn't it?Snowager (talk) 03:06, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
    I think you're misunderstanding the proposal a little. It doesn't mean that people with the right would be prohibited from doing anything but anti-vandal work, just they could only use blocking and protection for that. They wouldn't be allowed to block users for things like edit warring. Mr.Z-man 15:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  50. Oppose The ends do not justify the means. It would only be helpful for a handful of cases, and has potential to be abused in content disputes. Acebulf (talk) 18:49, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
  51. Oppose Nominate for adminship anyone who signs up for this right. We need more of those and the level of trust would be virtually the same. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 18:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  52. Oppose It makes no sense to issue only a short temp block to a blatant vandalism-only account, especially in cases where the account name is clearly abusive. Furthermore, access to the blocking tool is a contentious matter, and inappropriate blocks clearly have the potential to cause emotional damage to good faith contributors. Therefore, the decision to hand out the blocking tool to a particular user is one that must be made by the entire community. --SoCalSuperEagle (talk) 19:26, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  53. Strong oppose - anything with "vandal or "fighter" in the name. (see: WP:BATTLEGROUND). And 48 hours is way too long. For this, maybe 12 hours at most, and really leaning towards 1 hour at most. As for unbundling, while I agree that those who moderate discussions and the like may have a different toolset than those who may choose to "police" the wiki. (see WP:MOD.) I think that if you're going to have the ability to block someone, you should have all the tools available to make informed decisions. And I will oppose giving the ability to unconditionally block to anyone who cannot also view deleted for that same reason. This is why I proposed the split of the toolpackage in the other direction. - jc37 12:09, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
  54. Strongest oppose: The ability to block or protect should only be given to highly trusted users. If a editor is trusted enough to be granted vandal fighter rights, then that editor should be trusted enough to become an admin. Erroneous blocks or blocks intended to give the blocking editor an advantage (say, in an edit war) can lead to a would-be precious editor leaving the project. Erroneous protections prevent IP editors and unconfirmed editors from legitimately making edits for little reason. Also, this adds complication to the user access level structure. If this user (privilege) is implemented, it should have stricter requirements (my suggestions are below):
    1. 1 year on Wikipedia.
    2. 2,500 mainspace edits.
    3. No recent cases of biting, incivility, or personal attacking.
    4. But overall, no. Esquivalience t 02:46, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
  55. Oppose Unpacking the admin tools is a WP:PEREN that the community repeatedly opposes. What we need is more candidates for admin, not admin-lite. Anyone with some experience who wants to run for admin, drop me a line and I'll try to help you through the process. But not this way. --Dweller (talk) 10:58, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  56. God forbid no! Just another attempt by people who haven't a hope in hell of passing RFA to get some special tools and status to lord it over lesser users. Wikipedia should not be a MMPORG and any attempts to make that worse should be burned with fire.... Spartaz Humbug! 14:38, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  57. Oppose, users wishing to obtain these rights should go through the regular RFA process. Nakon 21:03, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  58. Oppose, I must admit, I laugh a bit... I've been fighting Vandalism and Spam on more than 500 Wikis globally as Global sysops, out of thousand and thousand of reverts and hundreds of deletion afaik I only block 2-8 users. Seems useless when you can report them to Stewards (global case) or local admin(local case), and English Wikipedia admin are always here to help (we have too many Admin IMO) just found out out of 1300+ admins only 500+ are active, just report them to Administrator and it will be solved accordingly. PS : If this proposal uses User:Esquivalience Idea of criteria, I might think about supporting this.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 05:09, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
  59. Oppose as per Esquivalience. smileguy91Need to talk? 18:01, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  60. Oppose. I understand that one would need to fight vandals, but these rights are administrator rights that only a few very trusted users would be able to use, and would require nominations and !voting similar to an RfA or to License reviewer on Commons. If there are only a few "vandal fighters", there is no need to go through all this effort. Admins' noticeboards, AIV, RPP, etc. would notify admins of vandalism just finely for non-admin users. Epic Genius (talk) 16:15, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  61. Oppose as per User:Esquivalience. Green547 (talk) 14:48, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Discussion (vandal fighter)

@Oiyarbepsy: In my original idea, vandal stoppers could indefinitely block users who are registered but not autoconfirmed, so that admins wouldn't have to reblock all vandalism-only accounts. Was this change on your part intentional? Jackmcbarn (talk) 00:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
@Jackmcbarn:It was not. I misunderstood. I'll can revise if you like, but I like the 48 hour idea better. That way, admins are only necessary for those who come back after their 48, which I suspect is a small minority. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:58, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: I would like that to be revised. While it's true that admins would only be necessary for those that returned with the limit, they wouldn't be necessary at all without the limit. Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
If this passes, and after being in place for a month or two, we can change it. Best to start out kind of conservative. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:19, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: I note that a lot of oppose reasons mention that vandalism-only accounts would get unblocked after 48 hours, which would be bad. Would you consider changing it now to alleviate some of them? Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@Jackmcbarn:I'm gonna be honest, I don't think changing that would alleviate anything. The opposers who mentioned that had it as one small item in a laundry list, and I frankly think that change would change anyone's mind. Also, I'm not entirely comfortable to let non-admins block users essentially forever, and it's certainly better for vandals to come back with their original account rather than sock puppets. Finally, enough votes have been made that changing it now would generate a lot of confusion of what exactly people are supporting or opposing. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Comment/question: Could someone explain to me how this proposal's function would be technically possible? I mean, from what I understand, there is a drop-down menu that administrators can use to select how long an editor is blocked for, and as far as I know about this, that cannot be adjusted for a special new user right. (However, I bet improbably wrong, and there's probably some way to edit a page in the "MediaWiki" namespace to allow only certain timeframes to this user right.) So ... can this be done? Steel1943 (talk) 01:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    @Steel1943: This will require software changes to implement, which I plan to start work on once this proposal is closed (assuming it passes). Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @Jackmcbarn: That's what I suspected. It's possible. I was, more or less, wondering since if the only option to make the software allow non-admins the option to block other users would give the non-admin access to the "indefinite block" option, then this would seem more like a tool-unbundling request (and I think that enough of the admin toolset is unbundled already.) Steel1943 (talk) 01:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Jackmcbarn, please add me as a gerrit reviewer and CC me on the Phab ticket when you're working on this. Thanks. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 01:25, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Just to be clear, I don't interpret this as meaning the right-holder would be expected to spend most of their time fighting vandalism. I would simply use it to save myself and admins some time, while cutting off the offender sooner, when I run across a vandal while in the usual course of editing business. If that's not the intention, I would still support but wouldn't apply for the right. ―Mandruss  01:34, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

That's the intention. Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:39, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Given that the bars for rollback and PC reviewer aren't that high, I'd like to consider more stringent qualifications, like a demonstrated track record at AIV & RFPP to the granting admin's satisfaction. It would require a little bit more due diligence but given the level of access I think that's OK. I also think the name is a little too bombastic; my first thought was "patroller" but that's already used elsewhere. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 01:58, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

That would probably count me out. I've hit AIV once (appropriately) and RFPP once (appropriately). Not much of a track record. But I would still be a very good vandal fighter and I certainly know the difference between a clear vandal and a disruptive editor. ―Mandruss  02:08, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Right now there are two AIV boards - one for humans and one for bots. Can a third be added that would contain entries that would automatically be added when a vandal stopper blocks someone? Admins could review this board and lengthen blocks if necessary or remove these rights if an incorrect block was made. --NeilN talk to me 03:41, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

There will be something like that. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Why not give them full blocking ability, only to be used on vandal accounts. Just like roll back can onlt be used in certain situations. Any abuse or use out of scope can be dealt with by removal of the right. It would be much easier to implement and understand. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 03:55, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

FWIW, I intend to be one of the closers. Similar discussions happen roughly once a year, and I can't detect a pattern; every discussion has had different voters and closers. The most common question for closers is whether we're going to settle it by vote-count or by weight of the arguments ... I can't speak for anyone else, but the best I can tell, most closers approach it the same way. We don't want to take away people's right to speak up and be counted, so if there are a bunch of votes in either direction, that side is going to get the nod ... unless there's a credible argument that people are voting multiple times or being canvassed, but so far, that's never been even a factor. If it's not clear from the numbers which way to go, then we look hard at the arguments ... not with the intention of nullifying votes, but with the intention of listening to what the voters are really asking for. We can't assume that any "no" vote to a new user-right implies that voter wants to see Wikipedia go over a cliff, nor can we assume that a "yes" vote means the voter wants the new user-right to stay in play even if it's not working out. Here's some free advice to both sides: make your case. Present some data. Present some good arguments. Some Wikipedians are kind of dug-in on these issues, but many aren't, and most will listen to you if you listen to them and make your case. One last thing: please check back at the 30-day point or whenever the RfC has run ... if it's not clear which way the RfC is going to go, it would really help if we (the closers) could ask the voters to clarify what you meant or what kind of compromise you'd be willing to settle for. - Dank (push to talk) 04:39, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Suggest that we have clear rules for removing this access such as with other advanced permissions, including for inactivity or for any actions that lead to a block. — xaosflux Talk 04:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Strongly agree here. We should remove for inactivity for the same reason as for admins with the option of giving it back when they return. I think most under-a-cloud type removals ( wheel warring, abuse, careless use that causes too much work, etc. ) should remove the ability to get this right back except for getting the equivalent powers by passing an RfA and becoming an admin. PaleAqua (talk) 01:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Without commenting on the substance of this package, can we please lose FIGHTER from the name. Fighting terminology is not very helpful or welcoming. Patrollers, Blockers, Fixers, Minions, .. open to any other suggestions.. but nothing aggressive please. -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:33, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Antivandal ―Mandruss  12:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. It sounds more professional than most of the other ones. --Biblioworm 13:09, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
How about sergeant-at-arms? Personally I don't like the word "vandal" in the name any more than I like the word "fighter" - it just sounds deliberately confrontational. Ivanvector (talk) 16:55, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Another closer note: even if the vote is 100 to 5 to to approve "vandal fighters", that doesn't mean it's not possible to call them anything else ... it's reasonably clear that people are supporting the creation of a role, and not necessarily every detail of the proposal. That's another reason it would be helpful for people to stick around at the end of the RfC, to work these things out, if needed. - Dank (push to talk) 20:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

I have no opinion about the current specific proposal as advanced for the purpose stated, but just want to comment that this is just the most recent attempt to create a user group holding a subset of the rights currently held by administrators. The proposal has, in the past, most frequently been advanced a form of trial period or apprenticeship as one of the various methods advanced to fix or replace the RFA process. Something like it was also advanced as a means of controlling incivility at disputatious article talk pages. The community has, up until now, never supported these ideas. While I express no opinion about the current proposal for its stated purposes, I support it as a form of creating "junior administrators" for the purpose of working around the current RFA system. Because my support is not for the stated purpose of this proposal, however, I do not feel that it should be considered in evaluating consensus on this proposal unless the "junior administrator" purpose is substantially advanced as a reason for this user right change in addition to its current stated purpose. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

In the user-rights RfCs, closers have been asked to comb through all the comments to see if there are people who actually supported or opposed but didn't record a vote in the proper section. I'd appreciate it if you could talk a little more about what you'd like to see happen with this proposal; I can't quite tell if you're supporting, even though you say "support". - Dank (push to talk) 16:07, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • "Anti-vandal patroller" could be a decent alternative if people have issues with the name (zzuuzz alluded to it in their comment above). I don't think there are many sensible names for this type of userright that don't include "vandal" somewhere; as cool as sergeant-at-arms may sound, or something like Keeper of the Peace, they aren't the most self-explanatory things (although that being said, nor is autoconfirmed!) Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 21:06, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I have to agree on the name. While it is an accurate description of what the package would be for, it seems overly confrontational. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of referring to the proposed user right as a "Housekeeper" right. That's exactly what they'll do. They'll keep the house, and clean-up simple messes on a day-to-day basis. RGloucester 01:06, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Something vague like sentry could work. But as has been mentioned, the choice of name is really a separate issue and shouldn't bear on one's !vote, and it could easily be a separate discussion. As we all know, getting hung up on details is what kills far too many proposals. For purposes of this discussion we could say rightX or something and get on to more important questions. Any takers? ―Mandruss  01:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Changing the proposal to a "right X" for the time being seems appropriate, allowing it to be resolved later. I really am fond of the cleaning analogy. It is meaningful without being antagonistic. RGloucester 01:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I didn't mean to have implied that I would not support based on the name. I support the proposal, full stop. You can change the name to "bloodthirsty vandal-murdering gravyweasel" and I'll still support it on principle. (but please don't) Ivanvector (talk) 20:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Question Would the user have to have rollbacker and pc reviewer already, or simply meet those requirements? KonveyorBelt 01:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Since no one is rushing to answer this, I'll offer my take. It says, Rights would only be granted to user who meet the requirements of both roll back and pending changes reviewer. I'm taking that literally. If rollbacker and pc reviewer were prerequisite rights, I assume they would have said that instead. The writer seems articulate enough. FWIW,―Mandruss  08:02, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Questions. This would obviously need software changes, so do any developers here know how likely it would be to get the resources to do it, and would such software development require the WMF's approval? Squinge (talk) 09:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    • User:Jackmcbarn has already offered to do it. I think we can implement new user rights named rblock and rprotect (as in "restricted" block and protect) that allow users with this right to block and protect only within a specific timeframe defined in a wg variable. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 09:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
      • OK, thanks! Squinge (talk) 09:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Comment – I hate to say it, but it isn't fair that the majority of you are sysops who may look at it differently because you had to go through RfA. This isn't really fair. You all act in good faith, but it really is bad to see the lack of user distribution between admin and non-admin users on the oppose vs support. Some of you bring up legitimate concerns, yes, but some of you don't. Dustin (talk) 03:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

How is it not fair for us to oppose something? You can say some of us are wrong, or don't make good points but that doesn't make it "unfair".
I would suggest that you consider the fact that admins who got their tools post-2007 managed to make it through a very difficult process that, despite it's flaws, is designed to weed out those who do not have suitable levels of policy knowledge or the wrong attitude to be going around blocking other users. And even then, we still sometimes fail and the wrong person gets the tools. To shortcut that process so severely so that all anyone has to do is find one sympathetic/gullible admin and -bam- they have half the tools themselves and can cause all kinds of trouble with them is frankly a frightening prospect.
Vandal fighting is important and I think most admins really appreciate the work that is done by non-admin users in detecting and reporting vandals, but without a real test of their judgement and ability to keep their cool, such as RFA, we should not be granting powerful tools like blocking and page protection, which prevent users from editing. We get enough complaints about these things when they are done by qualified admins. Letting anyone with a few good AIV reports just start hammering away would be a serious mistake, and would not ease the workload of current admins. In fact it might make it significantly worse with unblock and unprotection requests getting jammed due to a few trigger happy pseudo admins. Beeblebrox (talk) 06:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
can cause all kinds of trouble with them - Yes - for all of about an hour, until their right is revoked. Either permanently, or for a very long time. Sorry, but I'm calling hyperbole and alarmism. I can easily produce five or six experienced, respected editors to attest to my integrity and ability to keep my cool. Just say the word. This process should be about fairly and objectively weighing potential benefits against potential costs, not zeroing in on potential costs and blowing them way out of proportion. ―Mandruss  07:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Blatant abuse isn't really the main problem (IMO). The biggest problem I can foresee with the proposal as-is is misuse due to inexperience/overzealousness. I'm sure any admin who regularly handles AIV or RFPP can attest to the number of non-actionable reports. At AIV: the worst case is users making low-quality, but good faith edits reported as a vandal. At RFPP it's usually just people requesting semi-protection on a page that's only been vandalized twice in the last month, or only vandalized by 1 user. Improper blocks can easily drive away potential new contributors and overuse of semiprotection goes against one of our core principles - that anyone can edit. I think there's a lot of value to the current system in which most vandalism blocks and page protections are independently reviewed before they're done. Reverting a couple extra vandalism edits because a report sat on AIV for an hour is easy. Convincing a good-faith user to give WP another chance after he's mistakenly blocked as a vandal isn't. Mr.Z-man 14:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
But anyone can post at AIV or RFPP. Do you even have to be registered? Obviously the admin is going to spend 15 minutes or so looking the candidate over before granting the right, checking out their history, maybe even engaging them in a brief interview or asking for references. I can't imagine enough bad ones getting through that to offset the benefit of the good ones. If they did, we simply raise the bar a little. No reason to oppose here. Nothing like this will be perfect out of the gate. ―Mandruss  15:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
As I said in my comment further up in this section, without even having to look through the history, I found rejected reports at both pages by (different) users who had both rollback and reviewer. You're assuming that admins will do a thorough job, but that's not what the current proposal says they have to do. It says it will be given to people who meet the requirements for rollback and reviewer, which have fairly low standards. Mr.Z-man 15:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough. @Oiyarbepsy: Any problem with adding something about vetting? ―Mandruss  15:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I wrote some fairly detailed suggested text for the above (see page history if curious), then decided it would start us down a path of neverending quibbling over details. Could we simply say something like, Reviewing administrator will vet the applicant and may reject, details to be established separately? ―Mandruss  17:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand, it was running into semi-protection that finally convinced me to make an account. Pathore (talk) 05:50, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I realize it is kind of late for this, but considering the requirements to be added to this group seems to be the biggest stumbling block, I would support removing the criteria all together and see if there is consensus to create such a group with details about acquiring the right to be determined upon completion of this RfC as successful in determining that such a group that can do these things is needed first. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Seems this could also work well with obvious UPOL violations. Mlpearc (open channel) 05:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment (I've placed my oppose vote in the voting section above). Some of the supporters make some good arguments but the two main objections I have are 1)The hat collecting, and 2) the fact that rather than reduce admin workload, it will increase it. Any admin who has worked the WP:PERM pages, expecially Beeblebrox and I who have held the fort there for years, will be aware of the extent of hat collecting, and grabbing these rights as trophies, and like many admins in fact, once they've got thier bit they tinker with it for a while then leave their new toy aside. If such a right gets created and if it's up to admins to accord it at PERM, there will literally be a stampede for it. If such a right must be subjected to an RfA style debate, then the cadidates should be sufficiently competent to stand a good chance for the mop. Such a right would simply keep the admins on their toes checking on its use, much in the same way that I patrol the patrolers at NPP who ironically for such an important task, need no qualifications whatsover - and it shows. I don't go to AIV much but when I do I linger there to clear up the backlog and I'm frankly staggered by the number of totally incompetent listings - are those from the 'vandal fighters' the supporters want turned into mini admins? --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Many in the oppose section complain that this would increase admin workload. (There seems to be blue highlights scattered everywhere in that section; it could just be coincidence, but it might be something else. [Just kidding; we need some humor around here.]) If that is really the case, why is it that the introduction of the template editor right didn't have the same effect? TE and the proposed antivandal right are similar; both unbundle very potent admin tools. For example, a template editor could ruin the appearance of many pages with a single edit, but when that does happen, an admin can simply remove the right immediately. Not to mention that TE has a strict granting standard. So, TE pretty much disproves the argument that people will "stampede" for the right, create a monumental amount of admin work, and create chaos. --Biblioworm 17:19, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    • The differences between this and template editor, to me at least, are:
      1. TE requires a demonstration of competence through experience with template editing and work on sandbox versions of protected templates. The proposal here requires only that they meet the requirements for rollback and reviewer, which are often given to people with only a few hundred edits and a couple months of editing experience. That these are insufficient requirements should be plainly obvious. Looking at the last few days of rejected requests for SP/PC in Wikipedia:Requests for page protection/Rolling archive, 13 out of 23 requestors had rollback and/or reviewer.
      2. We don't encourage template editors to make bold, unilateral edits to protected templates. The only edits we tell people to make without discussion are fixes to broken markup and edits that don't actually affect the output. So in practice, most edits to protected templates are still discussed in advance. That's kind of the opposite of the intention here, which is to bypass the pre-action independent review at AIV and RFPP.
      3. No one is going to give up on Wikipedia because they saw a broken template in an article, they might if they're mistakenly blocked as a vandal.
    • Mr.Z-man 20:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Why, then, don't we get rid of the rollback right and restrict CSD/PROD/AfD tagging to users who have gone through an approval process? If you're new, having your good-faith edit reverted and your article put up for deletion can be very hurtful, but we have generally low standards for rollback and none at all for NPP. If we tried to institute more strict requirements for any of the things I just mentioned, it would be swiftly rejected by the community. The point here is that there are many things that a regular user can do that can drive away new editors. --Biblioworm 20:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
        • Yes, there obviously are things that anyone can do to drive away new users, but that doesn't mean we should ignore that as a concern and give them more ways to do it. You don't need special rights to out someone, should we give everyone checkuser too? If you assume every vandal gets 4 warnings before they're blocked, there are 5 times as many vandalism edits to revert than there are vandals to block (probably more when you consider that many stop before they're blocked and many get more than 4 warnings), so we need a lot more people with the ability to revert than we need with the ability to block. And of the 3 main admin tools, page protection is the least used – RFPP usually gets less than 50 requests in a day. Editing protected templates isn't done very frequently, but TE still solved an actual problem in that the vast majority of admins don't actually have the technical knowledge to review edit requests to templates and modules. Don't get me wrong, I'm not fundamentally opposed to unbundling these tools, but absent a demonstrated problem to solve or a proposed process that won't result in users with 1 month of editing experience being granted the ability to block users, there's no way I can support this. "Backlogs" aren't really a serious problem because backlogs are relative. CAT:CSD is considered backlogged when it has more than 50 requests, WP:AIV is considered backlogged when it has more than 5. Mr.Z-man 21:20, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

@Mr.Z-man: The proposal here requires only that they meet the requirements for rollback and reviewer It doesn't seem particularly fair to keep making that argument when I have proposed a solution to it (see "vetting", above) and the proposal is still pending a response. I'll ping Oiyarbepsy again. ―Mandruss  22:13, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

MandrussI read it again, and I don't understand what your proposed solution even is, aside from the word vetting. Vetting by who and when and what exactly is being vetted? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 02:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: Sorry if I wasn't clear. Several opposers have cited as one reason the fact that the bar is no higher than that for rollback and reviewer. That seemed like a reasonable concern to me, and I proposed that the reviewing admin perform vetting of the applicant, to a greater extent than they do for rollback and reviewer. I initially proposed some specifics, here, and then decided that specifics would only bog down this discussion and a consensus on them could be reached later. So I proposed a more general statement to be added to this RfC, which is above. If you think something more specific is needed, that's fine, but I feel that some response to the concern is needed. ―Mandruss  03:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC) Note that I have now added something about specifics below, per Mr.Z-man's suggestion.―Mandruss  08:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
How is it "unfair"? Lots of people have suggested tweaks to the proposal - letting blocks be indef, changing the name, doing a trial period - but until they're incorporated into this proposal or a new one, I can't just pretend that the issue has been solved when the proposal hasn't incorporated the solution. I even tried to clarify my comment by saying "the proposal here" to specify that it only applies to this proposal. But I would disagree with having a proposal with no specifics. How would that even work? Say we agree to create the new group, but can never come to a consensus on standards - then what? Would people who are opposed to the group in general be forbidden from participating in the discussion for standards? Mr.Z-man 04:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Points taken. Ok then, I think the main specific points should be:
  • Interview - The admin could discern a lot about the applicant's suitability for the right by asking them some questions. Some of this goes on at Requests for permissions, but it's ad hoc and not a formal part of the process. It could be done on the applicant's user talk page.
  • References - Require at least three references. This could be done in either of two ways. The applicant could provide at least three usernames, and the admin could contact each reference on their talk page. Or, the applicant could ask each reference to post a statement with the request for permission. The main thing here is that the admin should weigh not only what the references say, but also who they are. An applicant who provides three quality references from experienced and respected users should stand a far higher chance of passing vetting than one who provides six references from yearlings, some of whom have some behavior issues of their own.
  • History - The admin who reviewed me for rollback apparently took a fairly thorough look at my history, judging by some of the things he noticed. I don't know how common that is for rollback, but it should be done for every request for rightX (my code word for the right proposed in this RfC). A block within the previous year could be an automatic disqualification. There are tons of ways this could be tuned and refined.
It's inconceivable to me that enough bad apples could get through this to make this right a net negative. If a person is going to use the right to make trouble, that should show up in the history review alone, never mind the interview and references. I hope this helps. ―Mandruss  06:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Enough bad apples used to get through RfA in pre-2007 times, Mandruss, and some still do in spite of our screwing the bar as high as we dare. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:26, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless it's done "live" via IRC or Skype, an interview is useless. It's basically an open-book test. People can take hours looking up the "right answer" to questions. All that does is filter out the people who are so clueless they don't even know where to look up the answers. References aren't really any better. No one ever writes a bad reference for someone. At worst they might refuse, but no one will see the refusals, just the positive references from the people who agreed to do it. Looking at history is really the only practical way and is basically what I suggested in my oppose comment. RFA uses an "AFD stats" tool to determine how many AFD !votes a candidate has made and what % were actually in line with the outcome of the debate. If the latter number is too low, it suggests their interpretation of WP:N and WP:NOT aren't in line with what the community expects. If we decided to implement this proposal, I'd like to see similar tools for AIV and RFPP - how many reports have they made and what % are acted upon. If we wanted to get really quantitative, we could establish minimum numbers for both, combined with "general experience" criteria like for Template Editor (1 year+1000 edits, no recent blocks). Looking at a random sample of their rollbacks and PC reviews would also be useful. Leaving too much up to individual discretion is a recipe for inconsistency and standards creep (either getting stricter or more relaxed). Mr.Z-man 16:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: Comparing Template Editor with Rollback & Reviewer makes a very poor analogy. TE is not a 'power right' - it does not give an editor power over another editor, it just confirms a level of technical competency like getting a driver's licence or a PPL. Rights that give power over users' edits and/or behaviour are magnets to the hat collectors, brownie point seekers, and the power hungry for whom the Wikipedia backroom is just another MMORPG. At the fear of repeating myself, those of us (sorry only admins) who have worked the WP:PERM pages are only too aware of all this.
CSD/PROD/AfD tagging most certainly should be restricted to users who have gone through an approval process, and the fact that NPP doesn't need a right is evidenced by the poor understanding of deletion, the biting of newbs, and the picking of low hanging fruit at the New Page Feed leaving us with a 31,000 backlog. Ironically, WP:AFC - a far less important process - has a bar of 500e/90d that has proven time and time again to be far too low although I proposed it myself in GF knowing that the community would reject a higher one.
To those who are evoking Wikipedia:TINC, all I can say is that such groups exist only among non-admins, namely either those who are sysop wannabes, or those who are so resentful that they will never be given the mop, do all they can to disrupt our processes and bring the very encyclopedia they 'so love' to contribute to into disrepute both on-Wiki and in other places. We certainly don't want to create easier-to-obtain minor rights that will give them a tool to vent their spleen. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll say two things again, in the diminishing hope that someone is actually considering what is being said here. How much spleen can be vented before the right gets revoked? And why are you looking only at the downside? ―Mandruss  04:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I looked at the 'upsides', Mandruss, and if I thought the idea were a net positive I would be up there in the 'support' section. I'm not. But I haven't suggested that this proposal was made in bad faith, nor criticised anyone's rights to express themselves. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok. Well I've contributed about all I can to this, if I've contributed anything, so I'll just lurk from here on out. May the best side win. ―Mandruss  11:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Although I certainly respect your opinions, Kudpung, we will obviously disagree on some points. First of all, it's really difficult to overlook the pessimistic tone of your comments concerning non-admins and "newbs". They always seem to assume that the newbies are clueless, cause trouble, and need to be restricted and monitored, while non-admins are portrayed as power-hungry hat collectors who are dedicated to making war and troubling the noble admins. (I'm certainly not suggesting that admins are not noble, but I think people know what I'm trying to say.) Also, the reference to TINC was intended to be a joke, and I clearly marked it as such. (Aside from dragging me to ANI and passing some sanction which says, "Biblioworm is hereby forbidden to use humor and must forever be a serious stone-face", I suppose that people will have to learn how to live with my general light-heated attitude. ;)) In any case, I generally like to think that I'm a fairly well-respected editor who isn't on anyone's "dislike" list, so I'm not going to blow it by getting into some argument over something so minor in the larger scheme of things. --Biblioworm 05:42, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Of course my comments sound pessimistic, Biblioworm. After six years of campaigning to improve NPP, improve RfA, improve the image of adminship, and four years of seeing life from the perspective of a busy admin, it's clear that I have accumulated a different outlook from that of the non admins. Rather than 'pessimistic' however, I would have preferred my line of thinking to be labeled as 'pragmatic'. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I've been thinking a bit about this proposal a put together my thoughts on an alternate version in my sandbox that attempts to at least address some of the opposes and concerns raised. ( FWIW I have zero interest in getting this right myself, similar to how I offered input for the proposal for TE but did not seek/want that right. ) Thoughts? PaleAqua (talk) 08:03, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    Updated the above link to a version with tweaks made by @Technical 13:. PaleAqua (talk) 23:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Comment: Hello, just thought I should let you guys know that since October 2012, the blocking feature is part of the rollback "package" of user rights at the Portuguese Wikipedia, where I'm also a regular editor. It allows non-admins to block anonymous or non-confirmed accounts for up to 24 hours following cases of "light or destructive vandalism" - equivalent to the examples listed at Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Disruption. Of course I realize that this proposal is aiming much higher, and that both versions of Wikipedia behave quite differently, but because apparently this feature has not caused any significant problem over there, it might be a hint that the proposed changes would work around here. Don't take my comment as a support, though. Victão Lopes Fala! 05:32, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Is this another solution looking for a problem? Stifle (talk) 10:39, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Comment: I think that the proposed requirements for being considered for the user right should be more strict than just needing to "meet the requirements of both roll back and pending changes reviewer". I'll state the obvious: I see this proposed user right (as most probably do) as one that should be granted to highly trusted editors who have a very established editing and vandal fighting history. Having both the 'rollback' and the 'pending changes reviewer' user rights should be required before your account is even given a second look by a granting admin. Users who apply should have a long and established record demonstrating their proper use of the 'rollback' and the 'pending changes reviewer' user rights; simply being eligible to be granted those rights is not enough. The user should also have a long and established history of warning users, reporting proper cases to WP:AIV, requesting page protection, and maintaining civility towards others. The account should also have a clean block log. ~Oshwah~ (talk) (contribs) 02:43, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm with you up until the last requirement. A block at any time in the past should not be a permanent scarlet letter that stays with you for life. I think better wording would be "The user should also have a long and established history (since their last block, if applicable) of warning users, reporting proper cases to WP:AIV, requesting page protection, and maintaining civility towards others." If someone made a mistake, especially as a new user, that shouldn't be held against them if they've been a positive contributor since then. --Ahecht (TALK
) 03:08, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree. What I should have said was: "The account's most recent block (if any) should be longer than one year ago, and it should be clear that the user has positively learned from their block(s) (through their contributions)". I redacted the statement; it's worded too explicitly. ~Oshwah~ (talk) (contribs) 03:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
You guys do realize you've now gotten to tthe point where the requirements are nearly the same as those expected at RFA, don't you? This is why this proposal is failing to gain consensus in the first place, I thought that was obvious a week ago... Beeblebrox (talk) 19:19, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Section break 1 - Discussion (vandal fighter)

Since blocking seems to be the most contentious thing here, what are oppose voter's thoughts on making a userright which can only protect pages per the above conditions? Sam Walton (talk) 18:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I think with blocking, it's workable with some changes to the criteria for granting. With only protection, I would oppose it regardless. There is very little need for protection compared to blocking. WP:RFPP only sees (on average) around 2 requests per hour and a significant fraction of those are declined. And with only the one ability, I'd worry about people misusing protection in situations where blocking would be better. Mr.Z-man 22:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @Samwalton9: Get rid of the blocking bit of this request, and my "oppose" would become a "support". Steel1943 (talk) 23:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I would recommend a three month trial period for it to be determined if it's privileges will be used positively and in compliance with policy or not.--Nadirali نادرالی (talk) 22:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I wold also still oppose it if it was just protection. The admin tools are a package. You aren't going to be effective at doing anti-vandal admin work unless you have the whole thing. Let's take attack pages as an example. When an admin sees one they have options. they can delete it, protect it from being recreated, and block the user who created it. They can do any combination of those things as appropriate. This userright would only allow protection, so they could do... what... to stop the vandal? Go find an admin looks like about it. I would also be concerned that protection would be overused since the option to block wouldn't be there. Protection is not actually something we want to do if we can help it, but if it's the only tool you have it's the only one you'll use. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:58, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I would switch to oppose if it was just protection. What about this userright would empower a user to stop vandals if all they can do is chase a vandal around and lock down pages they hit? That's no better than chasing them around with the revert button. Ivanvector (talk) 23:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I would likely switch to oppose as well. I see the risk of misuse for protection to actually be higher than blocking. PaleAqua (talk) 23:50, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Again, like AIV, RFPP is a place I rarely go to but when I do I linger to clear out what is there. And like AIV, I'm dismayed at the number of frivolous requests. No, and as per Beeblebrox, if pp were the only tool available to counter-vandalism agents it would almost certainly be over used. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:45, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • WP:AIV clearly demonstrates that a substantial portion of experienced editors request blocks that are unwarranted. It's a clear track record this system would not work and be overused and improperly implemented. I would like to add that I am not against the theoretical application of this feature (if used properly). I simply don't see any indication it would work as theorized as directly indicated in how editors, experienced and inexperienced, already misuse the request for block noticeboards. Mkdwtalk 19:53, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

What displeases you users from this idea? The lack of examination/consideration (Rfa)? If so, how about we propose a mini Rfa for this user right? Callmemirela (talk)

Callmemirela If you were to read the entire topic I think you would find that that aspect has been covered in depth and you will find your answer there. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:07, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Bots (vandal fighter)

Another interesting component that hasn't been touched on in this discussion here that just occurred to me, what about bot accounts. Certainly no-one can deny that one of our best anti-vandal contributors is Cluebot, so I'm wondering if such a new user-right is created, should there be bots that are allowed to have it and make use of it which would certainly be beneficial to the encyclopedia by stopping potential vandals quickly and allowing admins to check through the list at their leisure to confirm or increase the problematic ones. Just food for thought, and I think it is worth discussing. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I'm not at all comfortable with allowing bots to decide when to block users or protect pages, so I would oppose this idea. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I'm expecting there are many who feel the same, which is why I felt it needed to be discussed. If the OP decided to not remove the above requirements (as I suggested would be a good idea) for another RfC to iron that out exactly, then those above requirements would allow for bots if there was no subsection discussion on the matter. I could try to make a case for allowing bots to do this, but will hold off at this time. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Bots? Are you crazy? Did I actually need to specify that bots can't block, since it seems really obvious that they shouldn't. Has block-bot ever been approved? I seriously doubt it. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:02, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, we have bot-blocking, but under very strict guidelines (c.f. User:ProcseeBot) - there would need to be a strong community consensus established to allow anything like that, the operator would need to qualify for the permissions first, then the community would need to decide it is a task that should be done, finally WP:BAG would need to review the operations -- a steep hill to climb. — xaosflux Talk 03:09, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
And ProcseeBot blocks based on purely technical reasons. Vandal and spam blocks require human judgement. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
There was AntiAbuseBot (talk · contribs). Elockid (Talk) 03:19, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Looks like that's been off for about four years. If it was actually possible to make a bot so good at assessing vandalism that it could block users, ClueBot would already be doing it. Blocking users based on article editing requires human judgement. Period. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I would support Cluebot getting a blocking ability that could only be used if a user has three, .9 or higher scoring edits within an hour that Cluebot has reverted. But looking above I am alone in this opinion. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 12:53, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Why this is needed

  • I would just like to note that this tends to happen a lot. A prolific vandal targets a page, and then non-admins are forced to play the revert game as they wait for a ban or page protection to occur. I think that the tool set would be useful in situations like this. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 06:16, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Except in that case, the wait was due to a delay in requesting protection. The first vandalism edit was at 3:58, but it wasn't reported to RFPP until 6:11, then it only took 7 minutes for an admin to respond. Mr.Z-man 20:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Bam. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but "Bam" is not always what happens. As much as I wish it were different, the response time is usually not that quick. I've sat down in the morning to review the Special:PendingChanges list to see articles (often BLP and especially on the weekends) that have gone 16-24 hours without review. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:09, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
What does blocking and protection have to do with pending changes review? --Bongwarrior (talk) 17:59, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Bongwarrior, that's how much of the IP vandalism is identified, at least from my perspective. It's not unusual to spot one or more IPs vandalizing across several articles. Here are a couple examples from just the last hour [26][27]. Same 2 articles are vandalized. Patrol the Pending Changes list and this stuff sticks out like a sore thumb. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:11, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
And yet during this time the IP editor was able to vandalize 4 more times. Between me reporting the user at 6:07 and the user being blocked at 6:16, the user was able to vandalize 8 more times. If I had had the vandal fighter tool, the vandal would not have been able to vandalize at all after 6:07. I fail to understand why giving a user carte blanche range to vandalize for 10 minutes is a desirable outcome, and the vandal fighter tool still seems like a net positive user right. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 21:09, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Because the power to block users is rightly reserved for persons who have been specifically appointed to that task by the broader community. Nobody gives carte blanche to vandals, but we also don't want to be handing out the most dangerous and controversial admin tool willy-nilly so that anyone who sees one edit they don't like can shoot first and find a real admin later. You don't like not being able to deal with it, run for adminship. We do need more admins. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:18, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that users interested solely in vandalism fighting are unlikely to ever pass an RfA because they don't have enough content editing, article creation, WP:GA/WP:FA, AfD, etc. experience. They are also likely to fail due to the "Diversity" clause of WP:RFAADVICE. --Ahecht (TALK
) 17:21, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Cases like this represent a small fraction of semiprotection uses. In most cases, there are only a few vandalism edits in a day, often hours apart. The real problem is that a significant fraction of RFPP requests are declined (15-20%, looking at the last few days in the archive) and a lot of these declined requests are made by people with rollback and reviewer. People also frequently request long-term or indefinite protection when only a week or so is necessary. So for every case where we stop a vandal from making a few more edits, we'd also be protecting a page that doesn't need it. Protection is one of the most sparingly used admin tools, and for good reason. "Anyone can edit" is one of our core principles, so restricting that is kind of a big deal. Mr.Z-man 21:53, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Mr.Z-man, please spend a week or even just a few days reviewing the Special:PendingChanges list and see if your viewpoint doesn't change. BLP vandalism is CONSTANT and especially bad when the person is part of the current news cycle. Chris Christie, Bill Belichick, Kris Jenner, and various soccer/futbol players and wrestlers are perpetual targets of attack by overzealous fans or vitriol spewing haters. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:15, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what your point is. If they have Pending Changes, then vandalism is much less significant of a problem since almost no one will ever see it. What problem are you describing that this proposal is supposed to solve? We already give out reviewer rights liberally. I don't deny that vandalism and BLP vandalism exists. What I don't see is a justification to give out blocking and protection rights as easy as we give out rollback. Mr.Z-man 18:00, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Mr.Z-man, then we seem to be discussing different points. I'm simply advocating for the right to be created/granted. As for how its done, I commented below that maybe we need an "RfA Light" that isn't so daunting or vitriolic as the regular RfA process. I am in no way in favor of assigning this right in "wholesale fashion" like Rollback or others are. But support should be given to those that want to contribute their time and efforts to prevent vandalism. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:18, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
The problem with this reasoning is that a spree vandal (and that vandal has been persistent since at least the New Year) would only have to plan slightly ahead and make sock puppets a few days in advance. Each sock would then become autoconfirmed (and thus immune to vandal fighter efforts) on its 10th edit. Maybe we do need some kind of "junior admin" with less power and a lower bar to pass RfA, but that should still be assigned by some kind of RfA, not handed out by any sysop. Pathore (talk) 01:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Thinking through this some more, I'm starting to see the many problems that will occur if we give this right away like we do with rollback and pending change review. However, I still think that there are many non-admins who could be trusted to use this right well. I would support requiring that this right be granted through an abridged RFA process. This would greatly would largely prevent the abuse of this right and would still address the concerns I've listed above. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 02:41, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
As far as that particular vandal goes, either long-term semi-protection or an abuse filter will likely be needed. That vandal has already waited patiently for semi-protection to expire the first time and this is the second incident. The WP:DUCK vandalism all seems to come from the same ISP, varying between mobile and a wired service in a particular (large) city. It was amusingly sophomoric once. Edit warring to keep it there is not amusing at all. Pathore (talk) 02:02, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • How about this case, where the vandal vandalized egg 174 times for half an hour? The vandal was blocked more than half an hour after the AIV report. I am not saying that this case alone is sufficient justification, but it does show that the AIV notice board in its present form may not be efficient enough. Tony Tan98 · talk 01:12, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  • What about this user whom created edit warring since December? The user was able to transform into two other different IPs (one, two) whilst the vandalism continued. And they still do. How about this user whom caused edit warring over a stupid edit. They vandalized two pages and a talk page. The user never got the block they deserved. The user converted into different IPs (one, two, three). They continue to vandalize the pages. Callmemirela (talk) 01:43, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I'm not trying to pick on you specifically, but this is one of the biggest problems I've been seeing in AIV reports lately. "Vandalism" is not just a catch-all term for disruptive editing. Edit warring and NPOV violations, except in the most extreme cases, are not vandalism, should not be reported to AIV, and would not be in the scope of this proposed user right. As an admin uninvolved with the topic, edits like this look like a content dispute. So if I see it at AIV I'm either going to spend a ton of time researching it (because the 1 sentence of context in the report likely just called it vandalism) while cases like Tony Tan's sit waiting for action or I'm just going to ignore it or refer the reporter elsewhere. (In this case it looks like you made the correct choice and reported it to WP:ANEW, but if you had this right, protecting the page or blocking the users yourself would be inappropriate for multiple reasons). Mr.Z-man 05:54, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
      • Mr. I understand you're coming from, and I am well aware of AIV, but as admin you have the right to block the user. No administrator did so. They have caused edit warring (both IPs I mentioned) for a long time, and I only got page protections as results. Once the protection is lifted, the edit warring resumes again. And again, I was stuck with page protections. It was not exactly content dispute. The DWTS vandalism was unsourced and faked by a fan. They vandalized the talk page with the same thing over and over again. As an admin, they should had seen the pattern. A protection was not enough. As for the The Fosters vandalism, it was maybe content dispute. But the user continued. It contained no factual evidence that it was not a hate group or it was not following guidelines. This is why this is why this user right is needed. A block of 24 hours maybe would had sufficed for the users to understand. Both users failed and ignored to understand the warnings on their talk pages including their reverts. As an admin, I expected a block to halt the their continued pattern. They continued before, and they will resume once the protection is lifted. They were disrupting Wikipedia, without even consulting others. One did, but it was trolling with the same thing. This is why this user right is needed. It's been two months it has been going on. What are you waiting for exactly? Though, it should only be given to trusted users and a mini-Rfa. (I don't plan on continuing arguing about the edit warring caused by the IP users). Callmemirela (talk) 02:42, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
So, because you disagreed with an administrative decision you should be granted the right to just block as you see fit? This is an excellent argument against this idea. Beeblebrox (talk) 03:03, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Vandal fighter rights must only be used for obvious spam and vandalism.
  • As for the The Fosters vandalism, it was maybe content dispute. [...] This is why this is why this user right is needed.
I must agree, you're not helping the case for the right. Anything that smells remotely like content dispute is not "obvious spam or vandalism". ―Mandruss  03:35, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Mandruss I am presuming when you mean "I must agree, you're not helping the case for the right.", it is pointed toward that I am not helping my support. I would like to explain myself. I never said that I wanted the user right because I didn't agree with an admin. I included the edit warring as an example which turned into a repetitive pattern of continued vandalism. I was merely explaining of what I experience(d) for every-day edits on my watchlist. I know my intentions may be off the grid because of my previous comment to Mr. Z. I want to be granted the user rights, because I want to stop vandalism. If you read through my history for Jack & Jack and Shawn Mendes, I encounter every-day vandalism from fans, stating themselves as dating the celebrities or adding falsified content and so on. For that, I would use the Vandal Fighter user rights. As for the others, I would continue to do what I do, but I expect an admin to stop the edit warring, because it's been going on for long and no matter what warnings or messages are placed, nobody seems to listen. I apologize if my intentions, if I had the user rights, were unbalanced and pointed to the wrong direction. I was merely explaining what I think should had been done, but then again I am not admin, and as a user, seeing this almost everyday, is extremely frustrating. I'm pretty sure you've been there before. Why I believe the user rights should be granted to users through mini-RFAs remains the same. Not all admins are available, and the continued vandalism goes on. Not every RPP, AIV, 3RR/EW, etc. are answered right away. I admit that this user right is another big job to take on, which is why I suggested the granted admin to review the user for some period time until they deem them correct and the history will show their actions. Callmemirela (talk) 04:31, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
It's true that WP:Vandalism defines the word broadly, listing 21 different types of vandalism. But I don't see any that appear to cover "adding falsified content". To me, that falls under content dispute, and, if the user fails to adhere to the correct process for resolving the disagreement (article talk consensus), disruptive editing. Neither of which fall under the scope of this right. Also the right is not to be used to "stop edit-warring". Edit-warring is disruptive and time-wasting, but this right is not for stopping everything that is disruptive and time-wasting. Per Wikipedia:Vandalism#Disruptive editing or stubbornness, Edit warring is not vandalism and should not be dealt with as such.Mandruss  04:45, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss, falsified content as in what I stated before that: fans stating stuff and whatnot which falls under Hoaxing vandalism. As for the IP addresses, I stand corrected. Yes, it is disruptive editing. Though, to me, the vandalism page's first sentence, and in my cases, explains that it compromises the integrity of Wikipedia. Disruptive editing should be considered as such, but it is not. I stand corrected. I will now refer myself to the DRN for them. But I stand on the other pages I mentioned previously for falsified content which does link to this user right. Callmemirela (talk) 05:11, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Well it's clear that an editor with thousands of edits can be confused about the scope of this right. You have stood corrected twice. If you already had the right, you would have inappropriately blocked multiple users. We could develop a competence test, but that could be too easily gamed. I'm beginning to think we should narrow the scope, at least at first, to include only two basic kinds of vandalism: (1) repeatedly inserting pure garbage characters (and failing to respond to "edit test" warnings), and (2) adding clear racial slurs and hate speech. That would address a large part of the problem while simplifying things enough to make misunderstanding of the scope very unlikely. If that worked out well, we could then consider adding other types of vandalism, one at a time. The vandal fighter "summary page" that I suggested in my !vote would show the current scope, and all vandal fighters would be expected to watch that page for updates. ―Mandruss  05:37, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss Yes, I can agree. After almost two years on Wikipedia, the rules are still in your mind, but not refreshed. I suppose I could blame myself for that. As for your suggestion, I concur. It is best we give this user right a try before going full on with it. We could try with something rather simple then go more complex if the first try is successful. I mean, in all honesty, opposing is useless if we've never given these rights a chance. We can't judge before trying, no? Callmemirela (talk) 03:15, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Correct. Wikipedia needs to be willing to take some risk if there is to be any real progress. The most successful companies understand this. ―Mandruss  03:19, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I think that "racial slurs and hate speech" is too vague and subject to wikilawyering. "Insertion of inappropriate profanity from this list: <words>" would be much clearer, while still including the common types of blatant "shock word" vandalism. What words should count as "shock words" is a topic for another discussion. Pathore (talk) 01:16, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
One of the worst examples of hate speech I've come across made reference to burning Jews. No profanity or shock words there, but the hate was off the scale and the person needed to be stopped in a hurry. ―Mandruss  06:32, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
If the idea is to dip our collective toes in the water by starting vandal fighters off with a restricted scope, the more clear we can make that scope, the better off we will be. Shock words aren't something a bot could police, because Wikipedia is not censored, and I'd imagine that all of the English shock words do have legitimate use somewhere on Wikipedia. Even a burning synagogue has a place on the English Wikipedia. That said, I'm sure that vandal found a very inappropriate place for his remarks, but we have ANI and AIV for that type of blatant incivility. Knowing how controversial a vandal fighter role will be, even as this sort of "trial balloon", is it not best that we propose the trial balloon with the clearest lines possible? Pathore (talk) 03:32, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I couldn't really disagree more with this approach. I think if we don't trust someone to tell the difference between blatant vandalism and an edit war, they should't even have rollback, let alone the ability to block or protect pages. This shouldn't be given out to just everyone who asks for it, it should be like template editor or file mover - only given to people with substantial anti-vandal experience and a demonstrated need. I don't think that widely giving out the ability to block will ever be acceptable to a sufficient chunk of the community, regardless of how restricted it is. And since it's impractical to have software restrictions on the reason for a block, now we're back to every block having to be manually reviewed by an admin, which is going to mean even less support. Mr.Z-man 05:22, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

  • This latest permutation of the proposal may be the worst one yet. People who are posting hate speech and extreme profanity need to be dealt with by a real admin who can issue indefinite blocks, delete pages and revisions containing hate speech, and revoke talk page access. These are some of the worst vandals and they need a firm hand, not the slap on the wrist that would be all these psudo-admin could deliver. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:25, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
    Agree with Beeblebrox. Aren't the hate speech vandals usually long-term abusive sockmasters anyway? Pathore (talk) 01:24, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I can understand why several of you feel so strongly about this. So if this is the case, then what about some sort of "RfA Light" process to be granted this proposed right? RfA is so daunting and has made so many people fearful or just flat out responsibility adverse, that something needs to change. But I don't realistically see a fundamental change at RfA any time soon. We're losing good editors AND Admins[28] faster than we can gain them.
  • Maybe the answer is that a limited number of Senior Admins have the power to grant this right and can review each case in more detail. Effectively accomplishing the purpose of an "RfA Light" process. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:25, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that the "Senior Admins" you suggest sound a lot like our current bureaucrats.
Earlier I suggested sending vandal fighter applications through RfA and trusting that the community would recognize a lower bar for granting it. There really is no consensus here, neither for nor against, and the community is about evenly split. I'm still somewhat on the fence about this, but the "handed out by any sysop" part is why my vote is an oppose for this iteration of the proposal. Pathore (talk) 22:06, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
An "RFA light" with closings by Bureaucrats based on consensus actually sounds like a great idea. Tony Tan98 · talk 03:47, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, the WP:RFA page lists the applications for Admins and Bureaucrats (RfX), I don't know what the technical considerations are for this, but if the desire for this right to go through RfA is so adamant, then perhaps a 3rd section could be added. A "RfVR" (Vandal Reverter) section could address the processing of these requests. That way we can have a formal process, tracking, and an archive. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:07, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

A Different Approach

Honestly all these arguments seem to be structured around one person having this power. A better approach may be to have multiple people in a certain group vote on that power. Therefore it seems to be more balanced as it is a voting system. Example:

  • User A nominates Suspicious Person A to be blocked.
  • Other users in that group contribute to the discussion with Support and Oppose etc.
  • Users vote on whether Suspicious Person A should be punished or not
  • Users then decide on the severity of their punishment

Not sure how this would be implemented, just putting this thought out there.

asdfawesomegreen (talk) 02:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I think you just described how WP:ANI is supposed to work. Pathore (talk) 03:22, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, let me be more specific.
  • User A must be in that special group alone or the "Judge Group".
  • Other users meaning "Judge Group" who decide whether they are guilty and vote/abstain.
  • The users in the group are sharing the power as in after they select some choices within a certain time limit, it goes into effect.
  • Judge Group User A votes a ban
  • Judge Group User B votes no ban etc.
The person would then be banned by a somehow implemented poll or by a neutral user/administrator overseeing the group
I hope this clears up any confusion asdfawesomegreen (talk) 03:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
If the admins are the "Judge Group" you suggest, then you are more-or-less describing WP:ANI as I understand it. The major difference being that ANI is open to anyone. Blocks, bans, etc. are handed out based on consensus at ANI.
The "shared power" concept you advance would be completely useless in this proposal, since the whole point of this proposal is to stop vandals faster than we currently can. Since blatant vandalism-only accounts get indef blocked as soon as an admin finds them, the only way we can make that first block hit the vandal faster is to have more people looking and able to block a new vandal. The proposed steps are (1) vandal vandalizes, (2) vandal fighter blocks vandal for up to 48 hours, (3) admin reviews block within 48 hours and indef blocks vandal, thus, no more vandalism from that vandal. Our current process is more like (1) vandal vandalizes, (2) someone doing anti-vandalism patrol notices and makes a report at WP:AIV, (3) admin at AIV sees report and indef blocks vandal. The reason for the proposal is that a new vandal can sometimes do quite a bit of vandalism between steps (2) and (3) of our current process. Pathore (talk) 05:53, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should Wikipedia use HTTPS by default for all readers?

Should Wikipedia redirect all readers (logged in or not) to the secure version of the site by default to help protect readers' privacy? Wikipedia currently supports it, but by default visitors are directed to the HTTP version of the site. Making HTTPS the default setting would prevent governments, internet service providers, and hackers from snooping on visitors' traffic and seeing what a reader is reading. Many major websites, including Google, have already implemented this a long time ago. This would have little effect on the viewing/editting experience, and according to Jimbo, it wouldn't be a difficult change to implement.[1] Tony Tan98 · talk 20:33, 16 February 2015 (UTC)


Clarification: This proposal is not asking the community to make a "final decision" about the implementation of this change itself. Instead, it is asking whether the community thinks that the WMF should consider a change from the current HTTP-default mode. Tony Tan98 · talk 19:47, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

No. Privacy is very important for me, but money (paying 20€ for 5GB bandwidth monthly) beats it. Besides all those wannabe-secure protocols turned out to be insecure snake oil in hindsight. Users should be free to skip this overhead if they don't want it, same idea as "web fonts" and other cruft best handled by Noscript, Adblockers, or /etc/hosts. –Be..anyone (talk) 02:39, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Not if it can be avoided. An encrypted page is more difficult to cache, so ISP's can't just serve up a local copy and must go back to the WP servers each time. K7L (talk) 02:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  • It's so necessary that I use the browser extension HTTPS Everywhere from the EFF which forces an encrypted end-to-end connection if the servers have the capability, which Wikipedia has. Every connection I make here is encrypted and I had forgotten that the default is plain HTTP. - Becksguy (talk) 05:55, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
If this is simple to implement, as apparently Jimbo said, then I strongly support this, for the reasons given by the OP. In response to Be..anyone, people would have a way to turn it off (create account, set prefs to HTTP) but I believe this change would bring more benefit to privacy-concerned readers who don't know how to or can't install add-ons to enforce HTTPS, than disadvantage to ones who don't want HTTPS for some reason. BethNaught (talk) 08:12, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
That becomes impossible. If https is blocked (as is likely in some countries), there is no way to create an account and change it to http. They have to get to the site. While Western nations think of this as an increase in privacy, people in totalitarian nations will find it's a reduction of access. --DHeyward (talk) 02:44, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, but I think it would be an increase of access. If a nation is totalitarian enough to block HTTPS, then it would be at least also filtering HTTP traffic by keywords. If the country is filtering instead of blocking the entire site, it means that while the nation does not want certain articles to be read, it doesn't want to block WP entirely because of the academic articles. By moving to HTTPS by default, it is actually more likely that the government would want to unblock HTTPS than to block off WP entirely because every country has researchers and students that need access to good information, which WP has. China currently has one of the most restrictive firewalls, (besides the countries that completely block off the internet), yet it allows https connections to Wikipedia. It is not just a privacy issue; HTTPS prevents selective filtering and tampering of the site. Tony Tan98 · talk 03:09, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't think it does. If they control the DNS table, network routes, firewalls, etc, they can do MITM intercepts and https gives a false sense of security. Does wikipedia have enough 3rd party trust certification (and does China allow it?). Nokia did this with their browser and proxies and stored the HTTPS requests as clear text on their proxies and played MITM for requests because they could. Once you start to layer on the necessary privacy features, it will limit what works for individual users. http will always work if https is compromised or blocked and should be the default. https is fictional security without 3rd part, trusted certificates. --DHeyward (talk) 04:33, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, they control DNS, network routes, and firewalls, but not certificates. This means that any interception will trigger a browser warning. Even if they do control certificate authorities, they would not use it for the purpose of censorship as it would leave undeniable evidence and lead to the revocation of CAs (Certificate Authoritys) under their control. In the case of China, even though they own the CNNIC CA, which is trusted in most browsers, they don't use it because if they illegally issued a false certificate, they will leave evidence (in the form of a saved .crt file) and their CA will be revoked. Thus, in HTTPS they cannot selectively filter content on a website that they do not control because they will not be able to decrypt the traffic or manipulate it without triggering warnings in browsers.
About the "3rd party trust certification," HTTPS uses the public key infrastructure, which is based on certificates issued by trusted authorities. These authorities issue certificates for websites after they verify that the requester is the actual operator of the website. Because Wikipedia currently supports HTTPS, it already has a valid certificate issued by GlobalSign. These certificate authorities are currently used in China for online banking, so they are definitely allowed. By the way, you may find this informational video to be useful. Thanks, Tony Tan98 · talk 04:52, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't consider censorship to be the main issue. It's snooping. Say a suspected dissident accesses Wikipedia through https; they think it's end to end encryption but with control of the network, firewall, DNS and CA - the dissident is really talking to a government computer that issues a certificate and that government computer (or more likely a hop or two away across a DMZ firewall) is establishing the TLS with WP. WP has no way to verify the request inside the firewall isn't valid (the same way they only see my ISP's IP address, not my local network IP). Dissidents computer has altered DNS table for wikipedia so it thinks it's actually talking to WP and gets a valid TLS certificate from China's CA - if NSA can do it without network control (which they do), China will have no problem. Now all his requests are visible to the government, yet he thinks it's secure. Which is the larger concern? I'd rather they think all requests are visible then a false sense of security that https is "secure". Censorship is not the problem, it's targetting of individuals that they are suspicious of. Wholesale certificate spoofs won't happen but it will most definitely happen to high value targets. --DHeyward (talk) 04:38, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Where does China get a valid certificate for from? CNNIC? When word of that gets out, all browsers will promptly restrict CNNIC certificates to .cn domains if they don't remove CNNIC entirely. This is an attack that only works until it is discovered, then CNNIC's credibility goes to nothing and they will lose the ability to ever do it again. Remember DigiNotar? That's what happens when CAs get caught issuing bogus certificates. Pathore (talk) 05:03, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

I left a note on Jimmy Wales' talk page about this, since we're quoting his ideas in the first place. BethNaught (talk) 08:19, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, there were issues where some censor organisations block the wikimedia sites over https, but not over http. What's the status on that? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 11:38, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
@Martijn Hoekstra:Yes, China used to block HTTPS connections to WP, but it doesn't do that any more. See here. Tony Tan98 · talk 13:45, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, that's something. How about the others, i.e. Iran, Burma, Emirates, others? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 13:53, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking about that too. There isn't a lot of information. Censorship of Wikipedia mentions HTTPS only when discussing China, and a Google search for "wikipedia https censor" doesn't return much. If anything, defaulting to HTTPS should only discourage censors. Tony Tan98 · talk 14:27, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Keep both available. Defer to WMF on default. I think it's clear that we should preserve the ability of users to access pages in either HTTP or HTTPS according to personal preference, for a number of reasons above. As for which page is the default, this is one of those rare cases where I'd actually prefer to kick this up to the experts rather than attempting a community decision. There are so many quantitative decisions - how much bandwidth, how much potential censorship, how much surveillance, how likely it is that Heartbleed was replaced long before it was made public, how much load on the servers... we need someone who genuinely knows what he or she is doing to make that sort of judgment call. Wnt (talk) 16:45, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I have a very strong preference for HTTPS as the default worldwide. But I also agree with Wnt that there are many many complex variables and careful study is needed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:30, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Question: How would this even work? If I put in the location bar, most browsers will assume HTTP. If we wanted to change the "default" to HTTPS, we'd need to redirect. But if we redirected, HTTP would no longer be available, which according to Wnt and Jimbo is a Bad Thing. Can someone clarify the technical implementation for me? --NYKevin 00:00, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

For readers, there are any number of options. For example, one might make redirect to https, but not change other entry points. Or one might redirect to https whenever someone first enters Wikipedia with an outsider referer specified (e.g. all links from Google trigger https). Or when someone enters the http site, we might provide them with a dismissable popup box asking if they want to move to https and then remember that choice with a cookie. Lots of things are possible, some more reasonable than others. I agree with the above users that a decision like this is really more of an issue for the WMF to try and judge whether https is an appropriate option for most readers, and how to implement that if so. Dragons flight (talk) 00:30, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that Jimbo said it would be a bad thing if HTTP was no longer available, but I agree that we should allow choice. I also agree that the WMF should be making the final decision, but do you (the community) agree that the WMF should consider a change from the current (HTTP-default) mode? Tony Tan98 · talk 02:07, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Oppose Initial access should be the widest and most available protocol. That's http. I'd rather have a user start with http and debug https rather than having trying to figure out why their http request failed during a redirect to https. We have no way of knowing what access is available from an ISP or a particular platform. If a government decided to shutdown https traffic to Wikipedia, I don't think it's WP's place to lock that country out or make them debug why it doesn't work. Keep it simple and http the default. --DHeyward (talk) 02:38, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

While that used to be the case in China, the situation has changed there. There is currently no evidence of any government in the world blocking HTTPS access to Wikipedia while allowing HTTP access, but there is evidence that some governments are filtering keywords in HTTP requests. Thanks, Tony Tan98 · talk 03:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
They don't have to if they control DNS, firewalls and certificates. https and http are the same in that case. --DHeyward (talk) 04:33, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
They are not the same. Please see my reply in our other conversation closer to the top in this section. Thanks. Tony Tan98 · talk 04:52, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Oppose Misconfigured or old proxies tend to interfere with HTTP websocket traffic they don’t understand, but those same proxies will just forward on the encrypted HTTPS traffic. And, what about all the extra load on the servers? The CPU load has been known to increase when we switch to SSL and now only a few people use SSL, imagine if everyone was to use it all of a sudden. --QEDKTC 08:26, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

HTTPS used to cause a lot of extra load on the server many years ago, but now technology (both software and hardware) has improved and the difference is negligible. According to Adam Langley, a Google Security Engineer, "SSL/TLS accounts for less than 1% of the CPU load, less than 10KB of memory per connection and less than 2% of network overhead" when Gmail switched to HTTPS default. This website offers more information about TLS performance. If properly implemented with SPDY and HTTP/2, it may even be faster than plain old HTTP. Moreover, the WMF would be the final judge on whether something can be implemented anyways, right? Tony Tan98 · talk 14:11, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you're right, thanks for pointing it out. Most CPUs now can handle 1500 handshakes/second/core or more. But, then, as it happened with StackExchange sites, switching to active/active load balancers (costs money) because sometimes SSL fails to utilise multiple physical cores. Encryption makes caching an load balancing much harder. This might result in a huge performance penalty. But connection setup is really a show stopper for most applications. On low bandwidth, high packet loss, high latency connections (mobile device in the countryside) the additional round trips required by TLS might render something slow into something unusable. And, as recently, uncovered some computers could have been hijacked already, as the recent Superfish incident has shown. Just another generic man-in-the middle attack, where the self-signed certificate allows the software to decrypt secure requests. I'm not citing this as a reason for oppose, just noting something that happened. And also, if people want to enable https when available, they have the HTTPS Everywhere extension. But in the end, it's WMF's call. --QEDKTC 15:49, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose this has made access for me difficult in the past in some countries and if we want to expand our users this is probably not the way to do it. --Tom (LT) (talk) 00:18, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree after HTTP/2 is implemented and proven stable on English Wikipedia server for users in USA. • SbmeirowTalk • 04:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support Let me list some reasons here:
    1. When security is concerned, allowing both HTTP and HTTPS is not ideal. Since we use HTTP by default for anonymous visitors, if you use Google to search something, you will find that all Wikipedia links are HTTP. The problem is that even if you are a registered user, when you click a Wikipedia link on Google, your browser sends its first request in clear text, so your ISP, government, and any man-in-the-middle still know which articles you have viewed. Even worse, an active man-in-the-middle can modify the server's response so that you never receive the 301 redirect to HTTPS, and most people don't realize the difference. This is especially true for mobile browsers, some of which omit the protocol and lack a lock icon. This is why redirecting HTTP to HTTPS is not so secure. By enabling HTTPS by default for everyone ensures that search engines index HTTPS links.
    2. What we also should do is to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). When browsers receive this header, all future requests to Wikipedia are automatically sent over HTTPS, and users cannot ignore certificate errors. Ideally, we should include Wikipedia in Chrome's HSTS preload list (which is also used by IE, Firefox, and Safari), so that the user's first time visit is secured. But note that whenever Wikipedia is preloaded on the HSTS list, there will be no options for anyone to disable HTTPS on Wikipedia.
    3. Google promotes HTTPS. Websites that use HTTPS get a higher ranking. (HTTPS as a ranking signal)
    4. After we adopt HTTP/2, using HTTPS will be faster than HTTP and this will be especially true for users with high latency. Please have a look at My test showed that "SPDY is 56% faster than HTTP". (HTTP/2 is based on SPDY.) Although HTTP/2 standard supports plaintext, at least Firefox will never support plaintext HTTP/2.
    5. China no longer blocks https://*, but does block https://* and I would really appreciate it if Wikimedia Foundation can change the DNS record of to an IP address which is not blocked in China.
    6. Among Alexa Top 10, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, and Twitter require HTTPS on their homepages. If they can require HTTPS, why couldn't we?
    7. W3C and Internet Architecture Board officially encourage websites to use HTTPS by default:

    The IAB urges protocol designers to design for confidential operation by default. We strongly encourage developers to include encryption in their implementations, and to make them encrypted by default. We similarly encourage network and service operators to deploy encryption where it is not yet deployed, and we urge firewall policy administrators to permit encrypted traffic. (IAB Statement on Internet Confidentiality)

    The Web platform should be designed to actively prefer secure communication — typically, by encouraging use of "https://" URLs instead of "http://" ones (although exceptions like "localhost" do exist). [emphasis in the original] (Securing the Web)

    Chmarkine (talk) 10:29, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Make it opt-in instead, and redirect only when a cookie is found (set by clicking a banner promoting secure access). This is more conservative in my opinion. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 11:13, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
    @Zhaofeng Li: But the problem is that MITM can remove the cookie if it is not secure. This does prevent passive MITM, but it doesn't work if an active MITM is present. Chmarkine (talk) 11:32, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
    If unfortunately the final consensus is to make HTTPS opt-in, I hope we implement it with HSTS (i.e. introducing Extension:HSTS, authored by User:Seb35). Chmarkine (talk) 11:42, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
    Browser usually provide some visual hints when the page is transmitted over a secure connection (a green padlock besides the address bar, for example), and users can easily notice if a crypto downgrade attack is being used against them. The HSTS idea looks good to me, but do note that users won't be able to turn it off easily in case they want the insecure version back. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 11:52, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
    Yes. The indicator is actually obvious, but I worry many users just don't look at it. A research in 2006 concluded "participants who received no training in browser security features did not notice the extended validation indicator and did not outperform the control group." I hope users nowadays are more educated in web security, but I still believe websites should provide best security by default to most users. Chmarkine (talk) 12:11, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unfortunately, I'm not seeing how this proposal actually benefits Wikipedia's mission. Instead, the rational used to justify it is to get around ISPs'/countries' filters that block content they find objectionable. However, I don't believe that it is Wikipedia's place to find bypasses around these filters in the first place. —Farix (t | c) 15:12, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
That is not the only rationale of this proposal. Governments in most countries (including the USA) are now known to be monitoring internet traffic and putting them in large databases. This means that the articles that each reader reads are likely to be logged. Not only does HTTPS make large-scale snooping very difficult, it also prevents ISPs from monitoring what any given user has read or searched for on Wikipedia, protecting readers' privacy. This is one of the primary reasons that Google switched to HTTPS default for all searches. Tony Tan98 · talk 16:14, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe switching to https will do anything to protect people from spying much less prevent them from being logged. Besides, this falls into the realm of WikiMedia Foundation's Privacy Policy and something that rest solely on the Foundation to decided. This is not something that should be up for discussion among Wikipedia editors. —Farix (t | c) 18:31, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
@TheFarix: As I stated above, the reasons for using HTTPS include: 1) preventing man-in-the-middle attacks, 2) improving performance (when HTTP/2 is used), 3) getting higher rankings on Google, 4) IAB and W3C encouraging using HTTPS. Using HTTPS on Wikipedia is just like using HTTPS on online banking websites, because "it has become apparent that nearly all activity on the Web can be considered sensitive, since it now plays such a central role in everyday life" (Securing the Web). Chmarkine (talk) 18:36, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
@TheFarix: It is a well established fact that HTTPS encryption protects people from spying and traffic logging. It is not a matter of opinion or belief. When a user visits a HTTPS secured website, the ISP can only see the domain name of the server, not the actual contents that the user is sending and receiving. In the case of Wikipedia, this means that the ISP will only know that the user is using Wikipedia, but it cannot tell what articles are being read and what terms are being searched for. The protection that HTTPS offers is described in detail in the articles HTTPS and Transport Layer Security, and elsewhere on the internet as well. I also recommend that you read the earlier questions, answers, and comments in this section about HTTPS.
I do agree that the WMF should make the final decision about whether to implement something like this. What this proposal is asking is whether the community thinks that the WMF should consider a change from the current HTTP-default mode. Thanks, Tony Tan98 · talk 19:34, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Our purpose is to grant all of humanity access to the sum of human knowledge. If people are being prevented from viewing Wikipedia because of mass surveillance and censorship (regardless of source), then we have a problem that is interfering with our purpose. I honestly do not see the point of writing Wikipedia articles if the people who need the articles' information the most are being prevented from reading them, and feel that any proposal that gives more people access to Wikipedia's content is a good proposal. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 04:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I've been supporting and advocating this move far a very long time now. There's no reason why internet traffic in general should not be encrypted (welcome to 2015, performance is not an issue anymore). And readers' privacy is only one part of the reason. The other is integrity of the data (website) delivered to the client (reader). Only an encrypted connection ensures that the data is not tampered with on it's way to the reader (as, for instance, here). --bender235 (talk) 21:59, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Oppose, I'm sorry, I thought wikipedia was for the world and not just the first world countries? not everyone has fast internet speed, we may be in 2015 but internet wise, most countries are still in the 90's ..I ONLY edited on dial-up with my previous account (and not by choice) and because then Wikimedia didn't force people onto https, i was able to edit faster, https as mentioned above is pathetic in caching information, especially scripts which will make the wiki much slower for anyone with low internet speed, I'm on HSDPA and i can barely get a speed on 20kbps on the wiki. There is an OPTION to enable https on Preferences, I urge people who want "safety" to enable that and those that care for performance over security, like me would prefer to stay on, this is an ORGANIZATION, not some underground hacking/torrenting site that needs to be secured from the governments..This is WIKIPEDIA, not WIKILEAKS...All governments spy on people, that doesn't mean we live in fear all our lives..its not like we exchange private information or illegal stuff on Wikipedia that we need to "secure" ourselves from the government.......are we?--Stemoc 23:23, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Browsers do cache content over HTTPS. The "2015" mention in bender235's comment was mostly referring to servers and their configurations, not the Internet connection. (You will see that if you click on his link.) Moreover, even though first-world governments are not as concerning, as you mentioned, Wikipedia is for the world, and there are governments in this world that restrict access to the web and filter content on Wikipedia. Not every government in the world is benevolent, and while it is not the primary objective, enabling HTTPS by default can certainly help protect readers and give them better access to information. Of course, like mentioned above, making it default does not mean there will be no way to opt-out. For your specific editing needs, you will still have the option of using HTTP by changing your account settings. Tony Tan98 · talk 00:05, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@Stemoc: Totally understandable. But the good news is that only after a few months, you do not have to make the choice between security and performance. With HTTP/2 over TLS, you can enjoy both high speed and security. HTTP/2 over TLS is even faster than HTTP in most cases, in terms of load time and bandwidth. ([29][30] [31]) Since some browsers refuse to implement plaintext HTTP/2, we have to enable TLS in order to use HTTP/2. Chmarkine (talk) 01:54, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
High speed and security? I tried https a while back, net speed rarely went past 10kbps (thats as worse as dial-up) ..i don't care for security, our government does not care what people post on wikipedia and it definitely does not cache scripts well, reloading the same scripts over and over again everytime you try to make a simple edit or refresh the page is tiring, especially if they take a while to load...btw, anyone that wants to look up information on wikipedia even on countries where its restricted will always find a way to do so (proxies etc), we do not make it hard for everyone else because just a handful are missing out and as mentioned above, I prefer an opt-in option to an opt-out one..I'm just tired of WMF making stupid decision and then enforcing them and regarding the opt-out option, thats absurd Tony, HTTPS should be an OPT-IN option, not an OPT-OUT option and definitely NOT the ONLY OPTION.--Stemoc 02:27, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Please check out this image, you can definitely forget the idea that everybody living in some kind of "first" world area can afford Internet connections that do not suck. Just in case adding an oppose, because I forgot that near the begin of this thread. € 0,02 by Be..anyone (talk) 02:38, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@Stemoc: I never say https is fast today. I mean https will be faster than http after we adopt http/2, which will be available later this year. I know you don't care about security, but http/2 is faster than http. Why do you still hate it? Chmarkine (talk) 03:03, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@Stemoc: Are you able to use Google search through your slow internet connection? Tony Tan98 · talk 03:14, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Ofcourse i can use Google search, the shitty speed is only limited to wikimedia wikis which gets even worse on https, my net is slow but bearable but then i'm on Wikimedia more than I google so i do not see the reasoning (even then it takes forever to do google "image" search) per Be---anyone, it seems that slow connection is a problem in first world countries too so I really don't see a reason to "force" https on everyone..I think people who are supporting this idea are definitely NOT on slow connection or else they would understand how hard it is to browse, let alone edit wikipedia--Stemoc 04:40, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Google uses HTTPS by default. You said that you are able to use Google search (over HTTPS) normally on your slow internet connection. Thus, HTTPS is not the issue that is slowing down your access to Wikipedia. Moreover, editors with accounts will have the option to disable HTTPS if they wish to do so. Also, I spend half of my time in China, and I know what it feels like to use a slow internet connection. Tony Tan98 · talk 05:06, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
when did i say it did?, I said it makes it worse as and also i generally use Google DNS so google will run faster either i like it or not and also there is a stupid bug on wikimedia created by csteipp which no one wants to fix which automatically FORCES users into https if they edit any page by mistake on https, the only way to get out of it is to clear all your cookies from *wikimedia/*wikibooks/*wiktionary and the 4 other domains and clear all centralauth cookies and log in and they go to all wikis and try logging in... I'm a file mover on commons which means if i fix a file name, my account automatically goes to all the wikis the image is on to replace the file but if i get logged out of a wiki because of this bug, it ignore that wiki which means the file remains unchanged..first they added the "forceHTTPS" cookie without asking for user opinions and now this....I'm part of the SWMT which means on some days i edit over 20 wikis and sometimes more, this flaw is not helping...https may be ok for those who edit only ONE wiki like most of those here, but its a PITA for users like can't revert vandalism on a smaller wikis if you have to wait 30-45 seconds for all the effing scripts (js/css) to load...--Stemoc 06:58, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - I totally agree. In the pre Snowden era, this probably would have been opposed as unnecessary and/or burdensome, although it's now absolutely necessary (per Google, Snowden, and many others) and it's barely burdensome, if at all. Yes there is censorship. But the chilling effect of surveillance has a negative impact on our mission. There are many places in the world in which asking questions about religion, sexuality, women’s rights, abuse, among others, or editing forbidden Wiki articles, can result in actions taken against them by their families, community, employers, or the state (judicial and extra-judicial). Wikipedia is an invaluable resource for information, but not for those that are afraid to access it because big brother or others are looking over their shoulder. - Becksguy (talk) 04:01, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose for viewing, Support for logging in and editing. Restricting HTTP access to Wikipedia's public content doesn't provide any real security gain, and it makes caching harder. It's also likely to break some older devices, such as the Kindle with free Wikipedia access. However, editing actions and logging in should be secured. John Nagle (talk) 07:55, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Shall we move the discussion to meta, since this is a Wikimedia-wide issue affecting all communities? Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 01:11, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't really matter as one of the devs mentioned on IRC a few days ago that we will be moving to https (either we like it or not) ..--Stemoc 01:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Everyone should be able to read Wikipedia articles without having to fear government surveillance or censorship. If people who need Wikipedia's information are prevented from getting it because of mass surveillance or censorship, then our purpose of granting people access to the sum of human knowledge is under attack and needs to be protected. Even if this RFC does not pass, I think that we should do a better job of informing readers about HTTPS, and make it easier to switch in. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 01:44, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly support per Becksguy, at all times. In addition, with attacks that rely on starting with an unencrypted channel, there's more and more reason to start off encrypted to begin with. I question concerns of users who are talking about bandwidth use, as well; I'd like to see some actual numbers showing TLS overhead versus average article sizes before I'd give those comments any credence. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 03:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    Chmarkine explains it even better, above. Even HSTS can be defeated by a man in the middle if you start with unencrypted communication. Default to HTTPS, the sooner the better. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 03:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Perspective Please don't pretend this is for site security. If we cared about site security, we'd have a password policy. I'm also kind of baffled by this hypothetical use case of someone who has to fear people eavesdropping their Wikipedia reading habits, but is ignorant of the use of HTTPS. Where does this end? Remove public editing histories? A one-way hash for editor names? The whole concept of a Wiki is open and public. Not secure and secret. Gigs (talk) 16:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
No straw men please - you know very well that those things aren't going to happen. For one thing it would violate the license terms, and editors can be pseudonymous anyway if they choose. You're right that this wiki is public, but that only covers overt participation, not reading, where people would have a legitimate expectation of privacy.
Also, I don't think (generally) people are saying this move is for site security, it's for the readers' security. BethNaught (talk) 17:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Please actually read the above proposal, Gigs. It is (mainly) not intended for site security, but for the security & privacy of readers. No one is proposing to make this wiki secretive; it is and always will be open and public. I genuinely hope that you were actually confused and not trying to make a straw man argument. Tony Tan98 · talk 17:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
This is also another reason to either block editing via Tor or at least include a big "you are not as anonymous as you think" message on the edit pages served to Tor exits: an attacker able to observe your network traffic can trivially correlate bursts of activity with Wikipedia's public edit histories. Edits look different from reading: reading a page is a large response to a small request, while editing is a large response to a large request. If we really want to take the paranoid approach, we should modify the software to include random bits of other articles (as comments) in every page sent over HTTPS. Currently, an attacker might be able to guess what articles are being read by looking at the sizes of the responses from the servers. Pathore (talk) 22:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
@Pathore: While what you are saying (traffic analysis) is certainly theoretically possible, it is currently not an easy task for even a government to use for mass snooping. It is not "trivial." Moreover, Wikipedia does not allow edits from Tor unless the user logs in and has IP block exemption.
The main purpose of this proposal is to prevent mass snooping (and censorship) of readers by upgrading to the HTTPS protocol by default, which is what many other websites such as Google have started to do years ago. As a side benefit, HTTPS also ensures the integrity of data being transferred, so that a user can be certain that the page from Wikipedia has not been tampered with (censored or inserted with ads) while in transit.
We are not trying to take the "paranoid approach" and there is currently no need to "include random bits of other articles." Given the sheer number of articles we have and the current state of technology, it should be very difficult (currently) for someone to use traffic analysis to correlate encrypted traffic to specific articles that are being read. However, because it is trivially easy to sniff unencrypted traffic using tools such as Wireshark, I strong believe that we should enable HTTPS encryption by default for all readers. Since you have not yet stated it, may I ask for your opinion on this proposal? Tony Tan98 · talk 01:49, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Correlating public edit histories to network activity is trivial, especially over a longer period of time, and identifies the network location behind an account, fingering an editor.
Identifying pages based on their size is neither trivial nor particularly accurate, but should be a concern if we are really worried about our readers' privacy, given the poor standards of "evidence" associated with mass snooping fishing expeditions. Exactly how accurate such an attack would be depends on the distribution of page sizes given links. (A snoop can guess that users tend to follow links from the page that they are reading; this means that if pages A and B are the same size, but A links to C and B links to D, which are different sizes, a snoop could guess that a user was more likely on A or B, based on a subsequent request that appears to be either C or D. This game of Guess Who? scales, although I don't know exactly how well.)
If I understand correctly, HTTP/2 allows the server to send the client extra resources that have not (yet) been requested. We could use this to return a number of random extra articles (that the client will cache) with each request, further enhancing reader privacy. Even looking at someone's cache wouldn't tell you what articles they were reading, since the server stuffed extras in there at every opportunity. Exactly how to choose those extra items is a good question.
I'm currently unsure of my position on this proposal. On one hand, Jimbo has promised to push Wikipedia towards HTTPS in response to privacy-violating politicians and I don't want to take whatever leverage Jimbo may have for human rights away by pushing that change regardless. On the other hand, the article you cite is from almost three years ago; perhaps the situation has changed and it is now necessary for the community to stand behind making good on its founder's promise. Has this come to pass? Do we need to stand behind Jimbo making good on his promise? Pathore (talk) 03:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Opposed It'll break links and infrastructure. It breaks caching important for overseas users and increased latency (unless WMF's planning 20+ more data centers). And unless we're padding the payload its still vulnerable to the Google Suggest side channel attack. — Dispenser 18:03, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
1. I don't understand what you mean by breaking links and infrastructure. Could you please explain?
2. Browsers do cache content over HTTPS.
3. TLS isn't slow anymore. I spend half my time in China, the other half in the U.S., and I use HTTPS; I have not experienced any noticeable latency or slowness. Tony Tan98 · talk 08:20, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Just a quick update on where we are with this. Consistent with Jimmy's comments here, we do believe encryption should ultimately be the default for all web traffic, on our sites and elsewhere. That said, we have significant work lined up on improving the performance of Wikimedia's HTTPS infrastructure (phab:T86666, phab:T35890) which we aim to complete in coming weeks. We're also collecting global performance metrics as we tune our setup. We need to fully understand performance impact and other potentially negative consequences before any switchover to HTTPS for all traffic (or a less dramatic solution, such as pointing search engines to the HTTPS version).--Erik Moeller (WMF) (talk) 06:08, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

The web is inexorably marching toward secure encrypted traffic. See today's NY Times op-ed piece Stop Spying on Wikipedia Users, written by Jimmy Whales and Lila Tretikov, in which they discuss a lawsuit against the NSA. I think that nails it for us here. Offering Transport Layer Security (or TLS/HTTPS) for Wikimedia projects with opt-out as the default is the only way to go. Otherwise, due to human nature, too many readers/editors will not opt-in which results in those using encryption as standing out, and therefore being targeted for increased surveillance. Everyone needs to use encryption all the time and everywhere, such that it becomes the norm. - Becksguy (talk) 15:29, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. Chmarkine's and bender235's rationales above convince me. Using https will make all Wikipedia pages secure, as opposed to fast and insecure; performance isn't really an issue at this point. More and more webpages on the internet are using https. However, https should be opt-in for unregistered users. Epic Genius (talk) 01:37, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Some internet browsers, particularly embedded browsers which receive few updates after their release, may have difficulties with this. I'm sorry, but I just don't see any importance in this. Exactly what on wikipedia needs to be secure? People are arguing for more privacy without considering whether there's anything worth securing. ― Padenton|   01:28, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
    Who the hell is browsing Wikipedia on a phone so old that its browser doesn't support HTTPS? I highly doubt that we'll have people trying to read the site on some circa 2000 feature phone. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 02:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose If individuals are concerned about governments, internet service providers, and hackers from snooping on their traffic, they may elect to use https as I do. Forcing it on individuals is not appropriate. I would argue that also extends to editors changing links to other sites used as references to secure connections also. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:10, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Splitting up the MfD

It has often occurred to me that discussing the deletion of project pages requires to be a more intensive process than discussing user pages. The large number of pages being listed at the MfD are user pages, as a result of which project pages get lost in the mix and don't get adequate attention. Also, while proposing the deletion of abandoned user pages and stale drafts can be a simple process which are closed without too much of discussion, the same is not true for pages in the Wikipedia:, Help: and certain other namespaces. Deleting, or acting upon these pages in other ways, should ideally require community-wide consensus. As of now, there is no centralised place discussing the scope of project pages; any such discussion is carried out on their talk pages which obviously are not watched by many users. In this light, I propose splitting up the MfD into multiple components.

  • Project pages for discussion: This should include pages in the Wikipedia:, Help:, MediaWiki:, and Module: namespaces. Pages in these namespaces require more discussion before deletion, and this page can also be a forum for centralised discussions regarding help and policy documentation, and attempts to discuss the scope and imrove the quality of help pages. This is especially feasible because the quantity of project pages nominated for deletion is fairly low. This can also provide a boost to currently inactive WikiProject Manual of Style. As with the AfD and MfD currently, each entry should have a separate page.
  • User pages and drafts for deletion: As with the CfD and RfD, entries should not have a separate page. If deemed necessary, two different sections may be provided for listing pages in the two namespaces. Alternatively, we may have a Drafts for deletion for listing both pages in the Draft: namespace as well as userspace drafts. (In this case, user pages that are not drafts can be listed at MfD. If it is unclear as to whether a user page is a draft or not, it can still be posted here as reviewers at DfD would be competent enough to handle them.)
  • Miscellany for deletion: This page should be retained for discusing deletion of pages in other namespaces, such as Portal:, Book:, TimedText: and Topic:. (As per this requested move, calling this page Miscellany for Discussion is not necessary.)

Please be free to suggest variations to this proposal. SD0001 (talk) 06:46, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

I see this as a lot of confusion for not much benefit. And when project pages do get nominated for deletion, they get plenty of attention, thanks to the big fat "we might delete this" message on top. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 08:41, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I do not think this would make things any more confusing. These new pages are just like the existing AfD, RfD, CfD and TfD. Where is the confusion? Well, those banners are good enough. The problem arises when the pages are not popular enough. SD0001 (talk) 18:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I suppose I could support splitting off the user space ones (due to the newish guidelines on drafts, etc. increasing the workload there), and leaving the rest at MFD. But make it ...for discussion. - jc37 08:50, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
But I don't think we would ever need to discuss user pages and drafts. Minimalistic discussion (such as whether a draft should be deleted or submitted to WikiProject Abandoned Drafts) can be carried or on the deletion page itself. SD0001 (talk) 18:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Seeing as neither modules nor MediaWiki: pages are really project pages, I'm not sure about the "PfD" grouping. I think it would make a lot more sense if Lua modules were covered by the existing WP:TFD. I agree that only splitting out "UfD" would already help solve the described problem. SiBr4 (talk) 21:39, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Covering modules at the existing TfD is a good idea. But I don't see any fault in including the MediaWiki: pages along with the project pages. SD0001 (talk) 18:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think project pages need to be separated out from MfD; as Oiyarbepsy said they get lots of attention anyway. I can see the benefit of splitting out user pages and drafts to a different process though, possibly managed by WikiProject Articles for Creation. But they have some serious backlog problems right now; best to wait for their input. Ivanvector (talk) 21:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I think these should be grouped by subject matter rather than namespace. I may support creation of a draft for deletion page, for drafts and more generally pages whose predominant content is intended as forming (part of) an article, whether in Draft, User or Talk namespaces. TimedText, which are basically subtitles, should go to WP:FFD since this is multimedia-related. Module and mediawiki pages should go to WP:TFD since these are transcluded content, interfaces or technical-related. Topic is kind of like talk and can remain at MfD. The rest can be divided in two subject matters : project and help pages on one hand (concerning the project itself and its inner workings), and portals and books on the other hand (mainly about showcasing content). That being said, the volume for both of those twos if insufficient to justify a split, so they should stay together at MfD. Judging from the January 2015 archive, it's even debatable if we need a separate draft for deletion page since they form most of nominations and if these get removed, MfD would only get a few nominations per week. So at this time, I'd suggest only making the move of TimedText to FFD and Module/MediaWiki to TFD. Cenarium (talk) 00:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I agree with the proposal to cover modules and MediaWiki pages at TfD and TimedText at FFD. But at the same time, I feel that WP:Project pages for discussion provides some unique benefits. It provides a much-needed forum to discuss improvements to multiple project pages at once, mergers etc. SD0001 (talk) 14:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't like this idea. It looks like something that would almost certainly increase administrative backlogs with little to no tangible benefit. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Could you specify as to which parts of the proposal you oppose? SD0001 (talk) 18:57, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, here is a list of which parts of it I would be opposed to:
  • The entire idea at its core.
  • End of list.
I hope that has clarified my position sufficiently. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • There are often suggestions for splitting this or that up. Of course, there are often also suggestions for merging this , that, or the other. However, most of these suggestions are solutions looking for a problem, and this is one of them. This idea would just create more bureaucracy and more picking of low hanging fruit leading longer backlogs in some areas. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:25, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
    • @Kudpung, Beeblebrox: This appears to be a very common problem indeed, so I have written a new WP:Solutions looking for a problem essay. You might want to improve or expand it as you must have listened to many more of these solutions-looking-for-a-problem, and your experience far outstrips mine. BTW what do you think about the other proposal below? SD0001 (talk) 17:06, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I've proposed moving "Drafts" of any sort to another forum (including Draft: and drafts in user: space) - thinking that these are content not misc. pages--and a different audience may be interested in the discussions. — xaosflux Talk 04:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I have created a failed proposal documentation page for WP:Project pages for discussion. It does not look too strong to me, though. SD0001 (talk) 18:40, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

  • If anything, we should have less deletion forums, not more. The more we break them up, the less people will participate in them. There's like literally 5-10 regulars at most of the smaller deletion forums that keep the things running. You really want to split that even more? It seems to me that when an MfD is contentious, it does just fine attracting additional attention, either through the page notice, or through appropriate canvassing. Gigs (talk) 19:38, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


I would absolutely put Modules with Templates, since they are templates, just templates programmed with a different language. I would also put MediaWiki: interface pages with templates, since they are also "back-of-the-house" code and just make more logical sense to be with other code than with userpages, etc. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:53, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree, per my above comment.  Cenarium (talk) 00:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, as per my comment made above. SD0001 (talk) 14:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • It makes sense to keep computer code separate from content meant for humans. I don't think very many modules or MediaWiki pages are being discussed at MfD, so I'm not sure it matters, much. Note that changing the venue for modules has been discussed at TfD, before. I left a note at WT:TFD about this discussion. —PC-XT+ 14:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Modules have been MfD'd just 7 times. Out of these, while four were deleted as per CSD criteria, two (this and this) did not see any comments at all. Doesn't this show that MfD is unfit for modules? SD0001 (talk) 19:48, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
      • No, it shows that optimizing how modules are deleted would be a waste of time. Please describe the actual problem before proposing a solution. More pages means more confusion. Johnuniq (talk) 00:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
        • The problem is this: As demonstrated, in particular by this listing, deletion discussions of modules at the MfD fails to attract the relevant audience which might be available at the TfD. I agree that is not a major problem because modules are rarely nominated, but I see strong reasoning in Philosopher's comment that modules are templates and thereby support the proposal. SD0001 (talk) 17:27, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
          • That's a fair comment but people scan MfD and would be quick to raise the issue somewhere if a deletion proposal looked like it needed specialist attention, and modules that are needed can always be undeleted. The problem with TfD is that it has too much noise and drama (plus there are too many purists who would edit war to ensure it is renamed "WP:Templates and modules for discussion" or worse). While the example you linked looks bad, those familiar with the situation know that the nominator is one of a very small number of experts whose judgment can be relied on, and there is no reason to comment about an unused and pointless module. Johnuniq (talk) 01:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
            • The "noise and drama" at TfD is hardly relevant to the question of whether templates should be split between fora based on the coding language. I would further note many "modules" and "templates" are built together as one unit, so discussing them in different venues is quite odd. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
            • There is certainly no question of an edit war occurring over the page name since the page is move-protected, and will always be. If anybody wants to rename the page, they can begin an RfC RM. The question of the page name is not relevant to this discussion. Besides, I cannot agree with your observation that there was "no reason to comment about an unused and pointlless template" simply because the nominator was trustworthy. Wikipedia's deletion policy requires consensus for pages to be deleted. If any person with the expertise to tell if the page was pointless had seen the nomination, they could have added a simple "Delete, per nom" there. SD0001 (talk) 18:48, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The audience for TfD is very small. Merging TfD to MfD for the wider audience seems preferable to me than moving modules from MfD to TfD, but what we do with deletion proposals for models is probably not worth the bytes of the conversation. Strong whatever. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 14:27, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

It won't be bad idea to have some more formal !voting to obtain input from more editors. The question is: Should modules be nominated at WP:TfD instead of at WP:MfD? Vote as 'Support', 'Oppose', or 'Neutral'.

@Cenarium, Philosopher, PC-XT, Johnuniq: Just pinging users who participated in the discussion above but have not cast their bolded votes yet. SD0001 (talk) 12:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

  1. Support per above. SD0001 (talk) 11:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support – modules do the same thing as templates (being invoked on other pages and returning some output), and moving them to TfD makes it easier to nominate modules together with the templates that wrap them. SiBr4 (talk) 11:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  3. Support Modules are templates, just written in Lua rather than wikitext. Pathore (talk) 01:12, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  4. Weak support, because it makes sense to discuss them together, but we don't really have enough MfD module discussions to determine if there is a problem, or how bad it is, if so. —PC-XT+ 21:12, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Mediawiki: moving to TFD, no real preference on Module (they are rarely XFD'd). — xaosflux Talk 04:20, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Draft PROD?

One of the main problems with MFD is the large number of WP:STALEDRAFT deletion discussions, that nobody comments on clogging up the system. Searching for the words "STALEDRAFT" brings up 34 matches on the MFD page, and in almost all of these cases there is no actual discussion being had (and no discussion to be had) about the drafts up for deletion. I think a PROD system for drafts would be beneficial for clearing up MFD, speeding up overly slow processes and solving backlog issues.Bosstopher (talk) 21:39, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

These are some of the least commented on types of nominations, in closing it is hard to determine if there is "no consensus" or just "no one cares". — xaosflux Talk 00:52, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Whether the scope of G13 (which is essentially a PROD with the timespans usually involved) could be expanded to cover this is another queston - if people want to keep drafts, one minor edit every 6 months is hardly onerous.... Mdann52 (talk) 12:11, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
That's never gained consensus before. Too many active editors like myself have some drafts hanging around in our "get to it someday" pile. Gigs (talk) 19:35, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
This is why I believe a PROD would be better than a speedy. Would allow active users to keep their drafts hanging, while drafts by people who haven't edited in 5 years can be gotten rid of if necessary. If I want to propose this do I have to draft up a page for it and everything?Bosstopher (talk) 19:30, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Probably a good idea to write up a proposal for discussion, if only to bring attention to the issue. I doubt there'd be anyone really against it, but at least if it comes as a surprise to somebody who doesn't pay attention to goings-on, you'd have something to point to if a dispute came from it. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 21:19, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok I have created a proposed page at Wikipedia:Proposed deletion (drafts). I would welcome any feedback/opinions/edits to make it less messy. Bosstopher (talk) 20:41, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Other than a technical fix for the template links, I think it looks good. I'm certainly in support for that. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 02:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Looks good and seems like a sensible proposal. I think the second bullet point in "before nomination" should include semi-automated cleanup runs and things like deleted templates/categories being removed, but I can't think of a succinct way to word that so I'll leave it to someone better with words than myself. Sam Walton (talk) 10:46, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


A better alternative to a Draft PROD would be a small policy tweak to the MfD. A Prod would only encourage the deletion of more and more drafts, which we do not want. Rather, we can have a new rule that administrators be allowed to delete stale drafts that have gone uncommented at MfD In 7 days. Of course, editors can still vote keep to stop the deletion. This combines the advantages of a prod system and an XfD system and solves the problem described by Xaosflux. I believe there are many who keep a watch at the MfD to pick up drafts for improvement. A draft prod would just result in many behind-the-curtains deletions. SD0001 (talk) 10:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

I dont think it would necessarily create a behind-doors situation. If something similar to WP:PRODSUM is created for DraftPROD, there would still be a page for people to watch to save old drafts. Also while it would encourage the deletion of old drafts, the prospect of imminent deletion is exactly the sort of thing that would galvanize editors to work on these drafts and make them into actual articles.Bosstopher (talk) 18:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm opposed to allowing the deletion of drafts, aside from one that match the existing speedy criteria or that go through MFD. The whole point of drafts is that they can sit there, immune from un-discussed deletion unless they have major problems or unless they're demonstrably abandoned. However, I like SD0001's idea; we can simply treat the un-discussed draft MFD as a delete. Nyttend (talk) 18:26, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

2015 CheckUser and Oversight appointments: Invitation to comment on candidates

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint additional users to the CheckUser and Oversight teams, and is now seeking comments from the community regarding the candidates who have volunteered for this role.

Interested parties are invited to review the appointments page containing the nomination statements supplied by the candidates and their answers to a few standard questions. Community members may also pose additional questions and submit comments about the candidates on the individual nomination pages or privately via email to

Following the consultation phase, the committee will take into account the answers provided by the candidates to the questions and the comments offered by the community (both publicly and privately) along with all other relevant factors before making a final decision regarding appointments.

The consultation phase is scheduled to end 23:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC), and the appointments are scheduled to be announced by 31 March 2015.

For the Arbitration Committee, Courcelles (talk) 06:25, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Discuss this

Proposed permissions change: Edit Notices

Currently we restrict the ability to create or edit notices project-wide (except User/User_talk: space) via the MediaWiki:Titleblacklist to administrators and template editors. I propose loosening or removing this restriction. A technical discussion (Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_135#Editnotice_permissions_by_namespace) reveals this can be accomplished without software changes.

A range of options is available including:

a) Removing the restriction entirely
b) Allowing edits but not creations
c) Removing the restriction by namespace (e.g. allowing for all namespaces except Article)

In all situations, standard protection could be deployed to protect any specific edit notice.

Proposed: — xaosflux Talk 21:53, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Discussion (Edit notices)

Prior to any sort of !voting, would like to have an open discussion period, please contribute below. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 21:53, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

I think the current situation is (b) that people can edit it once created. They do create another opportunity for vandals to be disruptive. Also they are not that useful, so I think the current situation is OK. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:01, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Note: Currently only template editors and admins can edit, due to the noedit argument included in the blacklist. — xaosflux Talk 23:39, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove the restriction – No reason to place a restriction on edit notices. If a restriction isn't absolutely needed, it should not remain. In events where disruption occurs, protection can be applied, as with all other Wikipedia pages. RGloucester 22:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep current system Our purpose is to build the encyclopedia, not exercise free speech through creative use of edit notices. What problem is this proposal addressing? Is there an example of a problem to the encyclopedia from an inability to tweak edit notices except by discussion followed by an edit request? Johnuniq (talk) 01:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
What should be in question shouldn't be what is gained from removing protection but what is gained in invoking it. Ours is a free encyclopedia and our default state is "yes", not no, so please justify your !vote in those terms. ResMar 01:53, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I would suggest that the right is reduced to auto-confirmed on request, one page at a time rather than in mass. If there is a very highly-visible page, it should remain template-protected, but most should eventually be opened up to auto-confirmed editors. However, no rush. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:32, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I would generally be OK with loosening the restrictions to autoconfirmed and higher. Any kind of vandalism on these notices would not affect our readers, just the editors. Edit notices don't seem to be a highly-visible target and we can always protect edit notices of high traffic pages or policy pages if needed. What's the volume of edit requests to these notices that would be reduced if the restrictions were lessened? Nakon 03:58, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
  • We should treat edit notices the same way we treat talk page notices or article notices (both of which are way more visible): editing should be allowed by all users by default. If there's a specific reason to restrict editing of a particular page, that can be handled via the normal means (page protection, user blocks, AbuseFilter, etc.). --MZMcBride (talk) 05:25, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
  • This would probably result in the unnecessary creation of too many unnecessary editnotices. But allowing autoconfirmed users would not be a bad idea, considering that my edit request for the editnotice of this page is still pending! SD0001 (talk) 07:18, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
    • It wasn't pending because there was no-one to look at it or carry it out, it was pending because it is an incomplete request. Was there a discussion and consensus? It seems like it is questionable to add the requested text, and there will need to be. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 13:19, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
      • This delves in to the realm of "Should we require discussion and consensus before ANY edit notice is created/edited" - in which case admins and template editors shouldn't be editing them either without the same process. — xaosflux Talk 14:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
        • I'm not sure ANY is the word I would use, I see no reason that user editnotices should require a discussion and consensus for example (not that they are protected or require it now, although I would like to see them protected in a similar way that user .css/.js is only it should be TE/full or the user's own (I think user .css/.jss should be TE/full as well, but that is a different discussion)). I think obvious and clear changes for typos or whatnot are also fine "please replace accept with except in the sentence 'Do not add new items to the list accept for cases where there is a clear consensus'". Requests like "Please keep the discussion constructive. Off-topic comments should generally be avoided. If it is really necessary to add off-topic comments, please use collapsible boxes." are all generic things that apply to all pages (except for the collapse sentence that would require consensus since it might cause an accessibility consern). This specific request was also for WP:Village pump (proposals), which is a high traffic page and any change should be discussed before being implemented. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 15:33, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
        • @Xaosflux : It should be, and in practice is, like usual mediawiki messages. Noncontroversial is good to go (otherwise nothing would get done), if unsure ask on talk page to see if there's any objection, and if likely controversial then seek consensus.  Cenarium (talk) 21:31, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
  • If everybody and her dog including me can edit this spam we'll get more spam. Doesn't sound like a good idea for me, why do you think it's fine? –Be..anyone (talk) 10:00, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Be..anyone: I don't understand your comment here. Can you please elaborate? How does what you're saying here not apply to the rest of Wikimedia? Any page is a potential (a)venue for spam. Nearly anyone can add a visible notice to a talk page or to an article. The edit screen is comparatively less visible, so I don't see why we would erect extra restrictions for it. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:23, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
      Most edit notices I saw were distractions, added by the owners of a page as some kind of private policy not related to real policies. E.g. edit notices on commons telling me that all system messages are documented on mediawikiwiki, which turned out to be untrue when I read it for a local system message. E.g. edit notices telling me to use some TemplateBox on commons instead of the template data manager, because that was in fact state of the art some months ago. So far the feature never failed to be a nuisance for me, limiting the write access to Brion might be a better plan. –Be..anyone (talk) 20:46, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Six years ago, I invented the use of the Mediawiki:Titleblacklist for protecting edit notices. At the time, I was in favor of semiprotecting them rather than applying full protection, basically in the spirit of allowing more editor freedom. However, most of the other people that participated back then believed that edit notices were too much a part of the interface to allow generic editors to touch them, so we ended up with full protection. Personally, I'm still in favor of relaxing restrictions on per-page edit notices. For those, at most only one page at a time could be vandalized, so it doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Dragons flight (talk) 19:07, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I would oppose any relaxation of restrictions in mainspace, since as I mentioned at VPT, some editnotices can be incredibly biting to newcomers and a major dissuasion to editing, totally uncalled for or violate assume good faith. This is by far the biggest danger, not vandalism. Vandals are spotted quickly, but this can go unnoticed since editnotices aren't as visible as page content, and cause much more harm in the long term. For this reason, I consider these editnotices high risk templates. As such, only users trusted to edit such templates, i.e. template editors and admins, should be able to edit these. As for editnotices in other namespaces, the same holds for many pages, probably dozens in Wikipedia namespace, those aimed for new editors mostly. I wouldn't object to a decrease in restriction to autoconfirmed for editing but only if these pages are identified and their editnotices placed on template protection. I would still oppose creation since we can't know in advance which page is going to be sensitive and template-protect their editnotices. However it should be noted that this may be a hassle to implement.  Cenarium (talk) 21:31, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep current system - effectively, edit notices are a part of the interface. While we did decide to relax it for the userspace (giving users the right to decide what their own edit notices look like), I see no advantage to relaxing it elsewhere - there are OWN issues (completely irrelevant for a user in his/her own space), issuess of potential for vandalism in these sensitive locations, etc. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 10:20, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Allowing a large group of people to change the edit notices, even for some articles, would create a lot of problems with vandalism and edit warring. Experienced users are much better at deciding where edit notices should be and what they should say. PhantomTech (talk) 05:44, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I would prefer keeping the current system, though I do have a proposal to create (yet) another user group that has the technical ability to override the title blacklist for the purposes of creating and maintaining editnotices on my list of things eventually to do. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 19:50, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd just allow it as a legitimate reason for getting TE status, bar security risk. There is such a thing as too much un-bundling and the cases where this would be necessary are even narrower. ResMar 04:50, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: I'd personally argue that the level of trust for template editors is (far) higher than the level of trust for simply creating and editing editnotices, because template-protected pages are usually quite high-risk with much disruption possible from a rouge template editor, so under the principle of least privilege people that just need to edit editnotices should not have the (unrelated) ability to edit highly technical templates. And this is coming from a template editor who was granted the right just for creating Arbitration-related editnotices- see my user rights log. Then again, maybe it's just me. I'll get around to proposing it at WP:VPR... eventually. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 22:38, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Pong ball in flight.svg Lixxx235: I was the editor in question who inspired this particular proposal, hehe, because I needed to be able to create and maintain editnotices in the Signpost domain. The reason I say that it'd be too much is that there would be too few cases where it'd be necessary to justify the additional paperwork, IMO. We only have 99 template editors and it's been two years; we'd have maybe 6 editnotice editors. It's just not practical. ResMar 22:41, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: Ah right, my bad. :P Ignore my last comment then :) --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 22:44, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I would support a proposal to remove the restriction all together. Page protection can be used as needed, and good faith editors would be freer to improve Wikipedia; subject to her consensus. I suspect angst will carry the day, however; as it too often does.--John Cline (talk) 11:27, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Per my test on testwiki:MediaWiki:Titleblacklist, I support adding "autoconfirmed" to the TBL listing so that anyone who is autoconfirmed can edit these while protecting them still from anon/new account vandals. I can't see any reason someone who is a new account or an anon would ever have for changing these outside of what an occasional request for an edit on their behalf (just like any other semi-protected page) wouldn't be able to handle. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 12:11, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

My fellow editors, I have looked in the Perennial Proposals section and it seems to be historic now so I hope you will forgive me for raising it again. Also I have a variation in mind and a two part proposal. 1. I believe that there should be new category of Wikipedia editor, somewhere between a regular editor and an administrator, a Trusted Editor, and that these editors should receive some kind of meaningful financial recompense for their work, if they apply for it. As should Administrators. Some editors are financially comfortable and some are not. I am long-term unemployed, have mental health issues and will probably never have a regular job again. If I could make some money out my work here it would make a big difference to my life. I think I can fairly claim to have made a contribution to this shared project of ours as my user-page shows. Surely I cannot be the only poor Wiki editor and this would help others like me. Poverty kills thought, as has been pointed out. I don't think I am being unreasonable. There should be some kind of probationary period for this Trusted Editor status and it could be revoked if the Editor does wrong. 2. Linked to the above I believe that we should charge Facebook for using our content. Not much and I don't have a specific figure in mind but just a tiny amount for each time one of our articles is 'liked' on Facebook would generate a lot of revenue. I know that Wiki is 'not for profit' and I respect that, but Facebook has a revenue of $12billion while here on Wikipedia there are perpetual requests for donations. Surely that can't be right? That's not natural justice. If the funds generated by such a charge are redistributed to poor editors here that would not hurt our 'not for profit' status, would it? Jimmy Wales is worth $1million so life can't be so hard for him. I have had to go to a food-bank once in the past and may have to again. So what do other editors think? SmokeyTheCat 10:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

As to the second, all content on Wikipedia is released under a license which allows reuse by absolutely anyone, under specific conditions that don't include payment, so it would be illegal. As to the first, Wikipedia has enough trouble getting enough money as is, so I doubt that it would be doable. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
So why can't we change that license? Do you not share my sense of injustice that Facebook, which so vastly wealthy, uses our content for free, while we rely on donations? SmokeyTheCat 10:08, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
We are not here to earn money, for that editors can go to Britannica or the like. We are here to make information available and freely accessible for everyone. Second the license can't be revoked, something that has been released under the current license stays under that. So we shouldn't and can't change the license. For the first idea, what yardstick should editors' contributions be compared with? Some create content; GAs, FA's, DYKs, FPs, etc. Others work behind the scenes and maintain SPIs, enforce arb sanctions, etc. Others do simple copy editing. Others like me patrol new pages and tag some for deletion. Secondly, there would be a mad rush for this "trusted" usergroup. So definitely no. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 10:43, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh well, I guess it's back to the Food Bank I go ... :-( SmokeyTheCat 16:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Od Mishehu got it slightly wrong, it's not violating any license to charge for WP content. However, the license effectively lets them get it for free, so it's not likely Facebook would bother paying for it. Gigs (talk) 20:07, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Days of Year and individuals to list on the pages

the Wikipedia:Days of the year has been "cleaning up" the days of year articles removing individuals who are not "internationally recognized". The problem with that is they have no clear criteria for determining what that means. It's not listed on their project page at any rate. It's also not clear to them. Here is an example:

They clearly have no idea and are being capricious in he application of their supposed criteria, or worse-yet, making it up as they go along. I'm not saying the pages shouldn't be cleaned-up, but the criteria must be clear before starting, and the results of applying it should be similarly clear to any editor. WP:N is sufficiently clear for most other stand-alone lists, so I'm not sure why it would create recentism in this project. I'm also not sure how "three or five articles", a current proposal from project members, doesn't suffer from creating another problem. A category would be sufficient for most subjects (born on August 2 or died on August 2) or even allowing a bot to deal with the care and maintenance of such a list. I don't even mind their proposal to move all births and deaths from the date pages and onto stand-alone pages. However, their discussion as a project has been ongoing in their smaller circle, and I believe it has implications to many other projects and the English project as a whole, so I'm bringing it up here. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:01, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

This does not seem to me to be an appropriate place for these comments. However, those who are interested can find the details of the actual discussion and constructive proposals for criteria here - Wikipedia_talk:Days_of_the_year#June_11_and_removal_of_entries_by_Deb.Deb (talk) 16:13, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Of course. You're the one who has been opposing me at every turn. The actual discussion can take place here just fine. There have not been any constructive proposals there, only alternate ones. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:07, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Walter, I think you might want to look into Wikidata. Their entries should record the complete birth date for every person, and it is supposed to be fairly easy to search for "anyone born on August 2". Then you could put a link to that query in the August 2 article, and readers will have immediate, constantly updated access across all wikis, without needing to create enormous categories here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
How many readers of Wikipedia are going to go directly to Wikidata? Similarly, a category page would do the same. We're not discussing category pages but articles. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:23, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Hybrid editor

The visual editor has received mixed reception, for familiarity and functionality reasons. However, I think many of the issues could be solved if you could run the visual editor side by side with the traditional source code editor. Adding a word in the source would show up immediately on visual editor, and changes with the visual editor would modify the source mid-edit. This has several benefits:

  • Helps explain the functions of the code visually for those who are unfamiliar with it.
  • Makes checking the "show preview" button unnecessary for everyone; the changes are apparent immediately.
  • Provides an easy learning curve for new editors: they can gradually do more work in the source code as they get more familiar with it.
  • Helps smooth out new feature adoption for experienced editors: putting visual editor in wider use makes it easier for veterans to see/learn new features.

This wouldn't require any totally new features. The aim would be to simply integrate the two editing modes that are already in place. As far as I know, this has not been proposed: "hybrid editor" brings up only one comment on bringing source editor features into visual, rather than running them in parallel. Forbes72 (talk) 04:15, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I know that Wikia has an editor like this - as VE has been developed with them, maybe it is possible, I guess server load may be an issue. Even if just hosted on Toollabs, this would be good. I often use VE, and if I am doing anything major, I do switch to source code and check out what it's done. Mdann52 (talk) 12:18, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Support I believe this is a great proposal, especially for new editors. They get to learn better in the hybrid editor, in my opinion. What would complement this is if the changes are highlighted, as in the differences shown when you cick on "diff" in the history section of each article. (talk) 12:57, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Support An interesting idea. I like it. Do that. --Jayron32 13:01, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Support as opt out gadget. Also, an integrated live diff engine would be good too. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 12:40, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Support I've never seen this done in a browser as opposed to a program so I'm not sure how it would deal with long pages, but something can be figured out I would be a great tool. If implemented, it shouldn't be the default editor for all users since, according to a discussion on forcing https, there are a lot of Wikipedia users who use older technology to browse and edit Wikipedia. If https will cause them problems then having to work with an editor constantly generating previews will be a nightmare, however everyone should have easy access to it by default so that new editors don't have problems finding it. PhantomTech (talk) 15:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Support; this would allow us to get the best of both editors. Wikitext editor is currently best for most stuff, while VisualEditor is good for adding columns to tables (which is extremely tedious in wikitext). This would allow users to add columns with VisualEditor, while actually populating the cells with the wikitext editor, without having to make a bunch of edits. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:50, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor in 2011
I can ask the product manager about this. However, as a point of fact, this was done in the original version, and it was basically declared to be a disaster. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposal:Move protect ITN articles

Recently, the Villa Castelli helicopter crash article appeared on ITN. During its time there, it was moved twice. I have no issue with the moves, or the editors moving them, as both moves were made in good faith and were not problematic as such, although the did mean that the link from {{ITN}} was a redirect, not a direct link.

It is rare that an article will need to be moved with any great urgency whilst it appears on ITN. Therefore I propose that all main (i.e. bolded) articles listed on ITN be move-protected at Admin level for the duration that they appear on ITN. In practice, a one week protection should cover most appearances. If there is a pressing need to move an article, WP:RM will be available. This proposal could be extended to cover all articles linked from ITN, but I'm not sure that there is a real need, as most of the other links will be to relatively stable, established articles.

Discuss. Mjroots (talk) 20:49, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

What problem would this solve? ―Mandruss  21:00, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
@Mandruss: having a link to a redirect from the main page. Mjroots (talk) 21:13, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Why is that a problem? Beeblebrox (talk) 23:22, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
AFAIK, it is an accepted convention that links to redirects are avoided from the MP. Mjroots (talk) 18:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Is it? Can you point to where this convention is written down somewhere? TFAs are specifically move-protected, but that may be for different reasons. I was unaware that every link on the main page (especially those articles still being developed or in states of flux) were immune from being moved to a more proper name. Can you point me to where your read this? --Jayron32 05:23, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
No, you got it wrong. It is perfectly acceptable to link to redirects from articles. See WP:NOTBROKEN, as well as the various usages of {{This is a redirect}}. SD0001 (talk) 17:37, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
TFAs are already move-protected for the period from their selection through the date they appear on the Main Page as the TFA. I wouldn't see a problem with extending this convention elsewhere regarding Main Page content. Imzadi 1979  04:09, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Oppose. Linking to a redirect is OK. A direct link looks slightly better and the main page is high profile so we generally make direct links when the content is written but if a page is moved later then it's no big deal to have a redirect until the link is updated. ITN items often don't have an established name yet, and new developments may necessitate a move. Let's not add bureaucracy to that. I'm not aware of a widespread problem with bad moves of ITN items. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:43, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Fix problem with references on talk pages

I would like to propose that someone should fix the long-standing design flaw whereby references are automatically expanded at the bottom of talk pages. Initially these references would appear to an editor be correctly positioned, but as the talk page subsequently develops, they inevitably end up appearing to be attached to a totally unrelated later thread, far away from the place where they are relevant. References on talk pages should be expanded only as a result of a deliberate editor directive placed at the appropriate point on the page. In this way they will remain in the correct place. (talk) 22:07, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

This template {{reflist-talk}} remedies that problem. When placed within the thread containing the references, the references are positioned only at the bottom of that particular thread rather than the bottom of the talk page.--JayJasper (talk) 22:57, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
T70324 --  Gadget850 talk 23:10, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't remedy the problem. The references should be expanded ONLY if {{reflist-talk}} is present. Adding this should be the responsibility of editors who want the references to appear. The burden of discovering {{reflist-talk}} and inserting it in the appropriate place should not fall on uninvolved editors who later contribute to a talk page, only to find spurious references appearing next to their comments.; 00:47, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree this is an annoying phenomenon. However, it wouldn't be if people would just use links on talk pages and not format them as refs. Why anyone adds the extra code to make something into a ref when they know they are on a talk page is something I will never understand. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:30, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
The devil's advocate in me says "why should someone have change formatting solely to make talkpage look nice for material copied from (or destined to be copied to) articles while discussing the article content, which is the only reason we have article talkpages at all?" DMacks (talk) 18:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
If the poster is presenting information that they would like somebody else to insert into a locked article, then including references is preferred behavior. If the reference is conveniently formatted in the correct manner, then that is even better. Hence, I don't think we should be deterring people from posting citations just because it is a talk page. Praemonitus (talk) 18:43, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
The goal of the interface feature is that refs should be findable, which is critical on article pages. But I agree confusing on talkpages if you're using the current last section on the page that gets refs from previous sections. But it *still* means those footnote marks (in the previous sections) work correctly, which is pretty important IMO. Maybe the interface should put the automatic reflist at the end of the major section (h2 level) rather than at the end of the page for talk namespaces. That also prevents possible archive-bot confusion that could result from a template being placed after the last actual item in a talkpage section (it would have no datestamp at the end). DMacks (talk) 18:51, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Re:my earlier comment: I meant that the template {{reflist-talk}} "remedies" the problem from a technical standpoint, when it is utilized. I agree with the OP that adding it should be the responsibility of the editors who actually insert the references to begin with. I like DMacks' suggestion that the interface should place the automatic reflist at the end of the section, rather than the bottom of the talk page. If such a thing is doable, I would heartily support it.--JayJasper (talk) 22:02, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
From what I have seen, a lot of this occurs when an editor copies a chunk of text from the article onto the talk page for discussion and it includes refs. Before the introduction of the AGRL, we had namespace detection and did not show an error on talk pages. --  Gadget850 talk 22:27, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

FYI, Wikimedia is working on a potential replacement for our current talk page system, WP:FLOW. In Flow, references appear and the bottom of the particular post. Here is what it looks like. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 14:52, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

revision numbers

When someone uses the undo link, the automatic summary confusingly uses an unexplained, mysterious revision number instead of the time stamp of the reverted edit. This often makes it very hard or impossible to find the reverted edit in the history. I suggest the following changes:

  • the revision numbers should be displayed next to each edit
  • the automatic undo summaries should at least also display the time stamp or only that
  • the automatic summary should include a link showing the difference between the versions

--Espoo (talk) 08:35, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't knoiw if this is possible - just FYI, we're talking about MediaWiki:Undo-summary, where $1 is the revision number and $2 is the name of the user. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
A "difference between the versions" is just a diff of current vs previous-to-current, and that's already there. I don't support revealing the revision number in the normal history display (too technical and rarely useful). But it would be easy to write a gadget or bit of userland .js to do so, since it's just parsing/adjusting the display of data that is already present. DMacks (talk) 14:16, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Espoo also posted to Help talk:Page history#missing info on revision numbers. I moved that discussion to MediaWiki talk:Undo-summary#Missing info on revision numbers before seeing it was also posted here. I suggested a link to the old diff in the automatic summary. Please only post the same in one place, or link other posts to a chosen page for the whole discussion. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:21, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps we might change "$1" to "[[Special:Diff/$1|$1]]", and thereby include a link to the relevant version? It's a minimal difference, but it might be helpful… {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 16:56, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I was about to propose exactly that change until I read your comment. If character count is a concern, could we make single-character redirects to the relevant pages? Or will that not work without software changes? If software changes are required, I propose making S:D and S:C aliases for Special:Diff and Special:Contributions, respectively. Pathore (talk) 20:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
If you're familiar with diff IDs, the revision number isn't mysterious at all, and it's quite useful because you can go directly to the revision by changing the URL or using Special:Diff. If we follow Nihiltres' suggestion and add a link to Special:Diff, confused people should be able to understand a lot better. Nyttend (talk) 18:10, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Bring back recognition to mobile WP version!

Before in the mobile edition of Wikipedia, it showed at the top the hours or days since last revision and the user name. Now the username is not there. Bring it back and even consider it for the full desktop version. That is how we encourage people to update this site and not think some editorial board does it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newbie 93 (talkcontribs) 02:15, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

must have been a glitch because it now is the way it used to be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newbie 93 (talkcontribs) 03:31, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I still really dislike the inclusion of the last editor to revise the article. It doesn't in any way encourage people to edit the site -- in fact it looks more like the opposite, implying that a particular editor WP:OWNs the article. It may even encourage pointless editing just to get someone's name splashed across the top of an article (by the same sorts of people that clog up so many comments sections on other websites with "first post!" and the like). --Ahecht (TALK
) 14:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm confused by your comment. You're saying that "it doesn't in any way encourage people to edit the site", but it may "encourage pointless editing". Which is it? Kaldari (talk) 20:50, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
It would be great to see any data about this, or at least some example edits. I haven't seen any edit (in dewiki), which was made just to push the name to the article, but maybe i just don't see them :) --Florianschmidtwelzow (talk) 19:15, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
@Newbie 93: In beta and experimental mode of the website, this line is now undergoing a test in which it is placed at the bottom of the page instead of the top of the page. Perhaps that is why you think it is gone ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:17, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Permanent Semi Protect/pending changes protect

Wikipedia's problem is that if a page is semi protected , its mostly for a short period of time .Unfortunately even requests are made in protected page requests to remove the semi-protection . People like administrators don't think about the problems faced by us constantly dealing with IP vandal or some kids looking for fun. The user TheRedPenOfDoom is working so hard to keep WP safe , including Cyphoidbomb . Please relieve the work load from them , even if they don't complain.

Pages with high levels of vandalism should be permanently semi-protected and no requests should be made to remove the semi-protection but request can be made for permanently pending changes request .

Permanent Semi protection or permanent pending changes protection is very necessary right now for all those pages which faces constant vandalism .

All those pages related to biographies of living persons(popular politicians , Prime Ministers , Presidents , Popstars, actors) , latest political conflict , latest popular movies are constantly vandalized.

We must also make rules about IP edit policy . Opening a Wiki account is very easy . If any editor wants to contribute , I don't think opening an account will discouarge him to contribute positively. Right now 60 to 70% of IP edits are vandal edits. An account helps in identifying sock puppets , but IP socks are difficult to catch. Yes I agree that anybody can edit WP. But Everybody should have an account at least. I have seen sock puppet investigations case pages ,Check users block sock accounts but 90% of times they refuse to block IP socks for obvious reasons.

So either WP must ban IP edits or a semi protected page should never be unprotected. If any one of the rules is followed it would benefit WP--Cosmic Emperor (talk) 04:47, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

And also permanent pending changes review cam also be considered and talk pages be unprotected , so anyone can edit be followed along with page protection . But we must stop thiese IP edits . --Cosmic Emperor (talk) 05:53, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I am not going to discuss anymore . Al Last I will say create more bots which fights IP Vandals, The bots must have more AI . And there must be bots with high knowledge of Grammar and punctuation. Bots which easily identifies negative edits like this 19 September 2014 and this--Cosmic Emperor (talk) 09:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. This would fundamentally change that. See WP:FIVEPILLARS #3. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:00, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • 5 vandal edits per what? Hour? Day? Month? Ever? There are plenty of admins who still do anti-vandalism work and plenty of them who did it before they became admins. As someone who's been here for close to a decade now, I can say without hesitation that between rollback, Huggle, edit filters, and ClueBot NG, dealing with vandalism is easier than it has ever been. We're all volunteers. No one is forcing people to do things they don't want to do. Changing one of our core principles to reduce the workload on people not complaining about their workload doesn't really make any sense. Mr.Z-man 14:18, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are plenty of people that come on Wikipedia reading, notice a problem and, as an IP, fix it. Remember, most people want to help the project, making it harder (even if making an account is really easy) is just going to discourage the good faith editors. If you require accounts to edit Wikipedia I doubt that someone who wants to vandalize Wikipedia is going to hesitate to make an account and if that account is blocked I doubt they'll hesitate to make a sock. With an average of around 100 edits per minute on Wikipedia, putting even a small percentage of those changes into pending changes would result in a backlog. PhantomTech (talk) 16:28, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. From WP:PROTECT, "Wikipedia is built around the principle that anyone can edit it, and it therefore aims to have as many of its pages as possible open for public editing so that anyone can add material and correct errors." I am against overuse of protection, and simply protecting a page after five instances of vandalism (regardless of the time period between them, I gather?) is almost unquestionably overuse. This is coming from a person who has done a good amount of anti-vandalism, and it is hard, even when you have convenient tools like Huggle. Our slogan, "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", is displayed prominently on the main page. And then, on our introduction page, we expressly say that "anyone can edit almost every page", and it further encourages the reader to do so. If a person who has just discovered Wikipedia reads this, and then finds out that he is unable to edit the better part of our pages, he'll probably imagine that our slogan is just a big lie. In fact, when I was looking at articles (before I registered my account), I was quite surprised to discover the amount of pages that could not be edited. We don't want to make that problem even worse by instituting some arbitrary threshold, thus making us even more government-like. --Biblioworm 14:38, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Considering your statement "And then, on our introduction page, we expressly say that "anyone can edit almost every page", and it further encourages the reader to do so. If a person who has just discovered Wikipedia reads this, and then finds out that he is unable to edit the better part of our pages, he'll probably imagine that our slogan is just a big lie."I can agree with the part that let everyone edit but please let them have an account , And I will put pressure on – NO IP EDIT– . If WP don't have such rules, then it has to change for good.Cosmic Emperor (talk) 16:10, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Maybe in USA there are large number of editors, but in other countries there are a few , so you don't know. I have seen lots of pages where articles are written without proper source still no correction for a long time . For example in this biography of a living person Kartik Tiwari its stated that Kartik Tiwari aka Kartik Kumar is an Indian actor who appears in Bollywood films. . Nowhere you will find any reliable reference that he is known as Kartik Kumar . I think the above example is best to prove my point. The edit was done 19 September 2014 . Now what were all those volunteers doing . So will you support the strange case "its better to have wrong info on Wikipage than have a registered user not just an IP editor"Cosmic Emperor (talk) 16:10, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

"If anyone can edit it" at least make sure that it's a registered account , not some IP address . Now allowing IP to edit is also WP fundamental principle? . Why can't you people make E-Mail verification compulsory . The current policy is an open invitation to IP socks and sock account. Opening an account is child's play. Its as if let people create socks and disruptive editing , we are here to revert and rollback .You said "I can say without hesitation that between rollback, Huggle, edit filters, and ClueBot NG, dealing with vandalism is easier than it has ever been." It sounds like a manager of a bank who says"We will allow thieves steal money by keeping the bank locker open , we have voluntary policemen who will catch the thief later on." Cosmic Emperor (talk) 15:59, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
@PhantomTech: Till now i have seen more Ip vandals than IP contributers,Walter Görlitz (talk),@Mr.Z-man:I am not asking for every article , only those which have high rates of vandalism, maybe only 5 acts of vandalism as stated by me before is not enough for permanent semi protection . So I came up with this idea of four rules four permanent semi-protection

1)-50 acts of vandalism in one last 16 monthsor 5 vandal edit in a week

2)-The article is not a stub , and also the article is

3)-Properly sourced ,

4)-The article is minimum 5 years old(from the date of creation) and has gone through minimum 200 edits.(that means even if the article is 6 years old with 199 edits and 4 years old with 500 edits but still can't be permanently semi-protected)

@Biblioworm: If all the four above mentioned qualities are found in any article , then it should be permanently semi-protected or permanently pending changes review . Let the new users and Ips use talk page to discuss , I hope this time you will agree with me as I have changed my views Cosmic Emperor (talk) 16:10, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

The concern raised by Cosmic Emperor is quite genuine. Even I have many a times felt that there are more editors here who just revert vandalism than editors who contribute content. But disallowing IP editing is not something for which consensus can be achieved by any simple discussion like this. I have to disagree with PhantomTech when he says that "most people want to help the project", as I feel that more IPs are here to vandalise than to make constructive edits. Remember, WP:AGF was written a decade ago, when Wikipedia was much less popular and hence the fun of vandalising it was much less.
P. S : User:Carrite is an old-time opposer of IP editing. SD0001 (talk) 17:19, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
@SD0001, CosmicEmperor: Even if there are more IP editors that do harm than good, it is quite easy to find most bad faith editors using IPs and I don't think there's much of a problem when it comes to finding and reverting that vandalism. Think about who would be stopped from editing if you were required to make an account, people who don't feel it's worth the time to pick a username and password. While this could stop many vandals that put little effort into their work, ClueBot deals with those without a problem. I highly doubt that a significant amount of people who come to Wikipedia to vandalize it would be stopped by having to make up a username and use "password" or something similar as their one time password. On the other hand, this would discourage readers who notice a small problem from trying to fix it. SD0001 is probably right about there being more editors that revert vandalism than those who contribute to articles but is there really a problem with that? I think most of the vandal fighters here do so by choice, not because even though they'd rather be contributing to articles they feel some obligation to fight vandalism. If all the vandals just disappeared one day I think a majority of the users who only fight vandalism would just become less active or leave, not start contributing to articles more than they would have before. PhantomTech (talk) 19:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

@PhantomTech, Biblioworm: Phantom Tech believes that an IP vandal who wants disruptive editing will eventually open an account and will open sock account if the first account is blocked , so according to him blocking IP edit will discourage good faith editors who IP edits. Likewise , I believe that a good faith editor will open an account if he really wants to contribute. A new user with good knowledge will never let a page with wrong info. I don't think making account edit compulsory will discourage good faith editors. Its an assumption by Phantomtech that good faith editors are too lazy to open an account.

And I don't know how many times I will state that I am not asking this rule for every wiki page.Most people opposing are thinking that I am asking every wiki page to be permanently semi-protected. Please read the four rules mentioned above once againCosmic Emperor (talk) 04:35, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

@CosmicEmperor: To your 5 points, if every article that met those requirements in say the last year was permanently semi-protected a significant percentage of Wikipedia articles would be permanently semi-protected. I'm excluding the age requirement (but not the edit count requirement) there because I've never checked how old an article is so I don't know exactly how that would affect the number and because an article can be a good article and a target for vandals without being around for a few years, it doesn't make sense to me to involve age in protection. The reason I don't think as many good faith IPs will be willing to make accounts as bad faith IPs is because vandals come here with a purpose, to vandalize, and they seem to be quite persistent about achieving that goal, making up a password for one time use isn't a big deal. On the other hand, a good faith IP editor usually comes here to read, if they notice a problem they might try to fix it but if they get asked to make an account they might decide that it's not worth their time, especially if they're told they also have to wait a few days and make 10 other edits first because the page is semi-protected. To effectively remove IP vandals you would have to make getting an account harder and you can't do that without pushing away good faith editors in the process. PhantomTech (talk) 04:56, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

PhantomTech (talk) We can give them instructions to write on talk page , And I want talk pages should never be semi protected, only the artcle be permanently semi-protected.They will read the edit notice . And there is proof to your statement that IP vandals are more aggressive than good faith guest editors . One or two person don't speak for everybodyCosmic Emperor (talk) 05:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

@CosmicEmperor: Yes, there is proof that vandals are more aggressive than good faith editors. WP:LTA is great evidence of how persistent vandals are, and remember that the ones listed there are just the most extreme, there are plenty of vandals that act over a few days or weeks that don't make it to LTA. There are LTA cases where users have over 100 sockpuppets, think of how many well known good faith IP contributors there are and how many of them would be willing to go through the effort to make even a fraction of those accounts. (of course as good faith editors, they wouldn't actually make the accounts, this is just to try to put into perspective what each group is willing to do to edit) Vandals come back all the time but that isn't how good faith contributors work, they might only ever edit Wikipedia once or twice and the only reason it makes a difference if they're gone is because of how many people do that. If you want some data to support that look at IP edits in the recent changes feed, when you see a clear vandal look at their list of contributions, when you see a good faith edit look at those contributions, compare the number of different days each has contributed and you'll find that vandals come back more often than good faith contributors. You could say that this is inaccurate because IPs move from person to person but with a big enough sample size the only explanation would be that for some reason vandals are assigned IPs that were previously used for vandalism, but they're not, IPs are assigned without relation to Wikipedia activity. PhantomTech (talk) 06:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose on principle, but interested in seeing some expansion here. I would perhaps be willing to a well thought out ProtectBot that can minimize damage to articles without locking out valid modifications usually. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 17:53, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. If we block IP editing, we'll move one step closer to being like Citizendium. With all due respect to Sanger's efforts, visit Citizendium's website and see how spotty their articles are. There are some very well-known topics that don't have articles there. That's what happens when you make it hard to edit a wiki. Do you want that to happen to us? --Biblioworm 17:55, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The most easiest option here is to ban IP editing altogether, I appreciate this is a "anyone can edit" website but at the end of the day the vandalism here is getting worse and worse and worse and IMHO... Something needs to be done about it, Sure some IPs edit constructively .... but most don't. –Davey2010Talk 03:31, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Yikes. Oppose. In my opinion, permanent semi-protection is already very much overused, and most articles that have been semiprotected for over a few years already should be unprotected in case the vandalism doesn't come back. Allowing everyone to edit is important, protection should be an absolute last resort. --Yair rand (talk) 07:22, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

This is funny , if a page is semi-protected how can it be vandalised by IP vandals. A semi protected page must be unprotected if not vandalised. They had the intention but couldn't do it due tos emi-protection. It can be done only for those pages which is under watchlist of minimum 10 editors with rollback rights

Unfortunately we can't see how many respectable editors have kept the page under watchlist. But those pages which are not under watchlist of 10 editors with rollback rights/administrators/auto patrollers should be protected. But still IP edits must be banned . Its a nuisance Cosmic Emperor (talk) 07:59, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I think we're overusing semi-protection. Semi-protection isn't the main method for dealing with vandalism; RBI is (where, in the case of IPs, the "B" is as short as possible). In order for RBI to keep working, we need to keep up with recruiting more users - and semi-protection of the articles which they are most likely to want to use for their first edit is a good way to scare them away. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Deceased Wikipedian

{{Deceased Wikipedian}}, by default, displays a generic chunk of text: "Their userpage...their memory". However, if you link the username, the template will detect the user's gender (if it's been specified) and reword accordingly; see it in use in a test on my userpage. Using "His" and "Her" seems to be a bit more respectful, and a bit more personal, than a generic message, if it's possible. What if we redid the template so that it automatically detected gender unless told otherwise? For example, if we did this and then placed {{deceased Wikipedian}} on my userpage, it would look just like what my userpage does now with {{deceased Wikipedian|Nyttend}}. By "told otherwise", I mean that we could set it so that it only does this when neither the |note nor the |message parameters are used, since obviously we wouldn't want to override a customised message. We could have it ignore the |page parameter, since that simply changes "user page" to something else.

I've made this proposal here, rather than at the template's talk page, because I expect to get broader input here than there. Note that I've advertised it at the talk page, however. Nyttend (talk) 18:18, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Nyttend, you might want to fix your link on that talk page to come to this page instead of a non-existent section on WP:VPP. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:25, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Egads,why are you trying on your userpage? It does not look good. Anyway. yes, I totally agree with you. Using parameter might be an option. Was not there a way/template to know a user's gender (from their preference)? --Tito Dutta (talk) 03:07, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • We can use templates like {{his or her}}, or hard-code it using {{GENDER:{{{1|{{PAGENAME}}}}}|male text|female text|unspecified text}} to do it. And yes, we should definitely make the template so that. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:36, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

A tool to synchronize lists & categories

I think a tool to synchronize lists & categories is badly needed if it doesn't yet exists.

For example I'd like to syn this category: Category:Science_fiction_horror_films with this list: List of science fiction horror films

(It should check all links on the list and compare it to all links on the category [and in this case its sublists])

--Fixuture (talk) 21:38, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

A tool to import a category or list into another language

I think a tool to import a list or category into another language is needed just as much as a tool to sync lists & categories (see the upper section).

It could be used when creating a new category or list (e.g. in German) that already exists in another language (e.g. English) or for extending an existing one.

The tool would scan through the category/list equivalent of another language (eventually also multiple languages) and check if an article in the own language-space exists.

If so it wouldn't add those articles automatically but present the results to the user so one can decide which entries are actually appropriate.

--Fixuture (talk) 21:44, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Idea lab

Not only but also

When looking for how to use Not only...but also (grammar) the answer is impossible to find unless you know they are conjunctions. (talk) 00:49, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Biblio

General opinion on physically restricting access to the New Pages Feed

(Note: This discussion was moved from Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#General_opinion_on_physically_restricting_access_to_the_New_Pages_Feed per a suggestion at the beginning of the discussion. --Biblioworm 20:33, 18 February 2015 (UTC))

As of late, there have been plans by Jim Carter to start an RfC concerning physically restricting access to the the New Pages Feed. He has even started a JavaScript file that could perform that function. I have personally made it clear that I would oppose such a proposal, but that's not the point of this thread. I'm curious to see what the general community's opinion about this is before the formal RfC, should it go live sometime in the near future. I think it would be good to have a more public discussion about this. Thanks, --Biblioworm 01:57, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Biblioworm, first thing I'll note is that this should have been at WP:VPI instead of here. Second, while I strongly oppose using user generated JavaScript to restrict access to an extension written and maintained by the Foundation, I would support a proposal to encourage newer users to obtain more experience before reviewing pages at NPP using whatever tools the Foundation finds appropriate. I'm even willing to contribute my time to work directly on the extension PHP/JS code to make appropriate changes so that wikis can customize their experience as to what requirements are set if any at all. Since the changes I'm willing to make to the extension are not enwp specific, the only question here will be whether or not enwp wants to participate and take advantage of the additional control. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:36, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I thought that the idea lab was for developing ideas; not for general discussion about things. --Biblioworm 02:48, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
      • This is a general discussion about an idea before it becomes a proposal. Not a big deal I suppose. The extension that hosts the code that I intend to work on is MW:Extension:PageTriage if anyone else is interested. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:52, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't like the idea of making the new pages feed invisible to all but some people. One of the advantages of Wikipedia over traditional encyclopedias is its transparency - that the history of drafts and revisions of articles is available to all readers, as is the discussion over how to present information. I think it's potentially useful to persons who might be non-editors to be able to see recent changes and new pages. Also, as someone whose first edits to Wikipedia involved pointing out a page that clearly needed to go (although at the time I didn't know how to go about doing it), I think having these pages available for viewing tells potential editors that their help is needed. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:24, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I see no reason to block anyone from seeing the new pages feed. I don't even see a reason to restrict access to the curation toolbar. The potential damage from misuse is pretty much nil. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 23:38, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I strongly oppose to restrict users from accessing the New Pages Feed. --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:55, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Per the above comments, this seems like a solution seeking a problem. Even if there was a problem, though, this is the wrong solution as basic features of Wikipedia need to be available to all editors. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:02, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I can see there are problems with incompetent new page patrol and that it needs to be addressed, but actually preventing the non-elite from even seeing the list of new pages is anathema to the egalitarian founding principles of Wikipedia - there are perfectly valid reasons for readers to want to see what is being newly created, and they should not be prevented from doing so. Squinge (talk) 19:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's regrettable that we have to restrict anything to some editors. In many cases, of course, we have to, but it should only be done when absolutely necessary. As far as I can tell, and I am a frequent New Page Patroller, there has not been an issue with new users misusing the New Pages Feed. Most new users probably don't even realise it exists. This may well be a huge problem I simply have not heard of, but I find that hard to believe.  Liam987(talk) 01:56, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: While I applaud the creative thinking, I'm not sure that there's been enough of a demonstrated problem to justify resourcing to build a solution. As a general rule, I tend to favor openness over a closed system; transparency over opaqueness. It's one of our original values, and one that I believe was correct then, and remains correct now. In short, unless I were to see some demonstration of a wide-spread problem, if asked, I would likely advise that the WMF would not support such a switch. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 15:05, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Link to specific content in article (with highlighting)

There is currently a proposal on Phabricator to add a new feature to MediaWiki where one could link to a specific part of an article's content. When someone visits this special link, they would be scrolled down to the relevant part of the content and possibly, the specific portion would be highlighted.

Before we get started with work on this, we wanted to know if this would be useful at all or whether it would help in any way. Comments? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vghaisas (talkcontribs) 19:04, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't think this would be significantly useful, as we already can create links to any kind of section header, footnote anchor, etc. If a section is too long for such a link to be useful, it's a sign that the section should be split, not that a new kind of link is needed. It would actually be unhelpful, I'm sorry to say, because it creates yet another feature for new users to have to learn, making Wikipedia editing appear even more complicated than it already is. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:59, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The proposed feature isn't really meant for editors. It's a feature that will let readers link to arbitrary portions of the content. So it won't add any complexity to the work of editors.

However, I do agree with the other objection you raised. Sections shouldn't be so long that parts of them need to be linked to. However, how many pages match that objective? If there are still enough pages whose sections are long, would it not help readers to be able to link to specific portions of the content? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vghaisas (talkcontribs) 19:04, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

"will let readers link to" - and creating a link is an article is editing. The use of these links in articles will be inevitable (unless prohibited by a filter) and would complicate the code, confusing new editors.
As for the section length, Wikipedia is not finished. That we don't yet meet an ideal doesn't mean that we should create a tool, but that we should strive to meet the ideal. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:37, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure we're on the same page here. The feature I'm talking about will provide an interface to let a random reader of Wikipedia select an arbitrary portion of the content of an article and generate a link to that selected content. To give a crude example, I could choose to link to the words "Predominantly nocturnal" in the second paragraph of European Wildcat , which could result in a link like (completely random example) When someone visits that link, they will be scrolled down to that section and the two words will be highlighted. This will not involve making any changes to wiki markup.
Were you, though, referring to the fact that then links like would be used in articles for inter-article linking? — Vghaisas (talk) 12:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
You mean something like the way Google does it with books, like this? Squinge (talk) 13:22, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Thank you for that example. Something similar to that. Vghaisas (talk) 13:28, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
@Vghaisas: Yes, hat was exactly my concern. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Philosopher: So, your opinion is that the availability of such links will lead to an extra complication in editing of articles and hence, is not a good idea? — Vghaisas (talk) 02:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is my primary concern. If there was some compelling reason that we needed such links, it could overcome it, but as I noted above, section headers are more than sufficient for linking to specific areas of the content - our sections are significantly shorter than most Google Books! and should never be so long that it's hard to find specific content within them - so there is no such need. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Vghaisas, what would happen to your link when someone removes those words from the article? Text changes more often than section headings. Or what happens when someone adds multiple copies of those words, and I meant to highlight the third instance? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing: The example I gave of ?specific=p2w2 was very random. The challenge is developing a method that can account for changes in text, possibly by using identifiers that do not depend on how many times the words appear in the article. In addition, if the given text gets deleted, there is the option of looking at the history of pages. The basic question is, is it a good enough idea to try and attempt this at all or is there something which makes it too bad an idea to even give it a try. — Vghaisas (talk) 02:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Interesting idea. Definitely more of a reader-focused feature. Not an easy problem. Throwing anchors everywhere in the wikitext is not really an option.
I think direct-linking-to-Wikipedia-sentence is interesting for Wikipedia readers: "Fact checking to resolve disagreements" is one of our biggest use cases. :-) Giving a direct link to the Wikipedia sentence and say "See i told you so" and "Wikipedia agrees with ME, see" or "You were right, according to the Wikipedia article" etc. The Wikipedia mobile app for android wants to experiment with a feature "Tweet a fact" (Example tweet), which turns the highlighted sentence in a picture (afaics). A bit, ehm, indirect for linking... I'd be interested how this sentence-level-linking could be done differently! :-) --Atlasowa (talk) 13:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Major Wikipedia use case: Fact checking to resolve disagreements!
Mark Wikipedia text in android app and "Tweet a fact" (Example tweet)

More tweets! Looks really good, except for the CC-BY-SA image attributions... Ping User:DarTar? --Atlasowa (talk) 22:11, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

@Atlasowa: Thanks for the interest! I've been working very closely with the Legal Team to make sure that the attribution in these images is appropriate. We have signoff from Legal for the present state that this feature is in, so we're good for now. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:25, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Dan Garry, i'm curious: There is no attribution to the photographer (CC BY 3.0 Biso, File:Fender_bw.jpg), not even a link to the image file, how did you get "signoff from Legal" for that? And on the other hand "Wikipedia®" gets a Registered trademark symbol? Really strange. Can you provide a link to this signoff/decision?
BTW, what happened to the GDFL licence in the app, how can that disappear (only CC-BY-SA, compare with licences in desktop/mobile Wikipedia edit window)? --Atlasowa (talk) 15:45, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I am not a lawyer so am not qualified to answer your questions. These would be good questions to direct to Stephen LaPorte, the Legal Team's liaison to Product and Engineering. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi Atlasowa, the icons in the interface reflect the license for the text of Wikipedia articles, which may also contain media with other compatible free licenses (or public domain content). The limited amount of space in the card is our biggest design constraint. The icons provide a reasonable amount of information about the license for the card, and they communicate that it can be shared and remixed. If users wish to get the full licensing details for content, they can follow the URL that the app generates with the card. Thanks, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Linking to text in a specific revision wouldn't have any of those complications and shouldn't be to hard to do, and still useful. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:26, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Oiyarbepsy, how would you do it? --Atlasowa (talk) 15:46, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Atlasowa Well, once Mediawiki does it, it would be like en.wikipedia/wiki/ArticleName&oldid=1234567&starthighlight=78&endhighlight=85, where oldid is the specific revision, starthighlight is the character to start highlighting on and endhighlight is the character to end it on. The challenge is creating some kind of interface that makes it easy to create such a url, since without it, this would be exceedingly difficult to do. Perhaps a feature where you could select text, right-click it, choose "create link with this text highlighted" and the Mediawiki software would create the URL, with oldid and everything. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Oiyarbepsy, fair point. With the revision id also included in the URL, most of the issues raised earlier aren't relevant any more. We, would, however, need to ensure that the page clearly states that "the updated version of this page exists elsewhere and may have been edited in the meantime" or something like that. In any case, you think it would be a useful feature to have? — Vghaisas (talk) 16:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Code

I remember when I had just joined Wikipedia a little over a year ago. I remember feeling really confused and wondering where I should look for information on policy, guidelines, and rules. I have spent the last year learning about these policies, guidelines, and rules, yet I am still learning new policies every day. Part of this is because there is no central collection of policies guidelines, and rules.

My proposal is to start the equivalent of the US Code and United States Reports for the English Wikipedia and if successful for the Wikimedia community at large. The Wikipedia Code (as I am calling it) shall follow the following guidelines:

  1. Policies, guidelines, and rules contained in the code shall have reached consensus or for other reasons be enforceable.
  2. Notable discussions shall be included to give context and usage to policies, guidelines, and rules. However, when consensus has not been reached in a discussion that shall be made clear.
  3. Notable decisions by committees on cases shall be included to give context.

What do you think? StudiesWorld (talk) 19:59, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The problem is that we don't have a "code" as is understood in government. All of our pages have exceptions, and all can be ignored if it clearly improves the encyclopedia. That said, provide more history and background to our policies and guidelines is a good idea. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:04, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
A list of everything would be, quite frankly, impossible, though Category:Wikipedia policies and guidelines tries. A full list would also be impossible to ever read - for that matter, it may just be impossible to read the entire Manual of Style! There are useful summaries at Wikipedia:List of policies and guidelines and the Wikipedia:Simplified ruleset. The useful templates {{Wikipedia principles}}, {{Wikipedia policies and guidelines}}, and {{Policy list}} are on both of those pages as well, and serve as a useful index. Do any of these serve the purpose you want, or is there something particular that is still missing? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: By "code" I mean solely in the sense of an organized structure. It would also include explanatory text to take in to account the exceptions and notices explaining how rules can be ignored.
@Philosopher: I understand what you are saying but this would aim to be an all inclusive guide. Also, it would not be intended to be read in full but as a resource and reference.
Would you like me to make a draft in my userspace and move this discussion there? StudiesWorld (talk) 22:52, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
If you like. @StudiesWorld: - just be sure to ping me again when it's done! Face-smile.svg – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:34, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In case you hadn't seen it, Cinderella157 brought up something similar (but not, I think, the same) at WP:VPR#Suggested improvement for accessibility by editors. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:38, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

@Philosopher: I skimmed through Cinderella157's proposal and I noticed the community portal. I think that if this idea ever comes about it should be integrated with the community portal. Also, I will try and throw together a draft over the next few days. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:07, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
UPDATE: I started the Wikipedia Code at User:StudiesWorld/Wikipedia Code. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:57, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I am sympathetic to this problem—I remember spending a lot of time immediately after I joined simply reading help and Wikipedia pages and getting attenuated to the sheer mass of all of the policies. However I suggest you formalize some sort of list for discussion before putting it for comment, and then look for refinements from there. ResMar 04:18, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: I am working on a example to use in further discussion. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:43, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The Five pillars are a starting point. The other two Very Important Documents would be AGF and the MoS. Whatever you do, though, definitely emphasize AGF and CIVIL. Eman235/talk 01:41, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh man, just found this! Template:Wikipedia principles Eman235/talk 01:42, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Start it up in user space. Grognard Chess (talk) Ping when replying 00:46, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Possible Framework

The Original Poster has suggested that a code, in the legal sense, be developed. I would be very interested in seeing a framework or draft in user space for the code, which could consist of pointers to existing policies, or could actually work the policies together. The main criticism that I have seen is actually an argument in favor, which is that every policy has exceptions. In a legal code, the exceptions are also codified as exceptions. It is also stated that there is too much to codify. That is also an argument in favor of codification. Has anyone actually seen the entire United States Code, which took my grandfather at least ten years to codify and which occupies a whole shelf in bound form (which is seldom used anymore because it is now on-line)? The large number of disjointed policies and guidelines are an argument in favor of codification in some form, probably an index with pointers to the multiple policies and guidelines. The one problem that I see is the concept of Ignore All Rules, which does not really mean what it appears to mean anyway, but means to use common sense when the rules are too restrictive. Its problem is that it is sometimes cited by editors who don't have common sense. (Fortunately, most administrators do have common sense, and the RFA process usually gets editors who have common sense.) Some sort of a code framework seems to me to be an excellent idea, at least as a draft. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:09, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Please be careful with categories

Don't copy any categories that are reserved for Wikipedia space into user space (such as the Wikipedia content policies category). - Dank (push to talk) 20:05, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Contesting a CSD

Of all the CSDs I've seen contested the number of times I've seen it done right is a fairly low percentage, even for reasonably experienced editors. I think we need clearer, simpler and less error-prone text offered to the editors contesting CSDs. Bazj (talk) 22:07, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

@Bazj: It's simply a matter of removing the speedy delete tag, saying why in the edit summary, and optionally posting on the nominator's user talk page, right? What so you see being done wrong? Or are you talking about page authors contesting tags? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:17, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Basically, there is one way for the author of the article to contest deletion - click the button on the template and give a reason on the talk page. Yes, some do copy the warning notice they received onto the article talk page, and some for some totally mysterious reason copy it onto the article page. You can never eradicate oddities like these. As to anyone else, if inexperienced in editing, they can do the same - click the button. If more experienced, they can detag and say why. Things that puzzle me are, first, why do some apparently new authors use the 'hangon' template which I don't think is anywhere to be seen in the template? And second, why do some, whose article is very clearly up for deletion on grounds of significance, make a great play of showing that it isn't a copyvio (and similar strange confusions)? Peridon (talk) 19:25, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

What about modifying the templates? Some templates work where it takes you to an edit screen with all the required information pre-filled. So, when clicking on the contest button for the a7 tag, the edit screen could be pre-filled with something like this:

<!-- Please explain why this topic is significant. The best way to do this is to show us a reliable source that isn't connected with the subject of the article.
Don't tell us that the article is correct - we're not saying that it's wrong, but that it doesn't meet our inclusion criteria.
Please explain why the article shouldn't be deleted below this line. -->

<!-- Please only type above this line. --> ~~~~

This should help new editors know what to do, and also ensures that the message is signed. Each criteria would need a different pre-filled message. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:16, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

@Oiyarbepsy: That is easy to do, seems like a good idea and I think you should be bold. Just in case you would not know where to find them, all of the relevant templates are at the name form Template:Hangon preload XX, with XX replaced by the letter/number combination of the criterion, i.e., A7's is at {{Hangon preload A7}} and so on. Regarding signing, it's already included in them. However, just note we had a problem back at the beginning when we implemented the contest button with commented out text – users were placing their protests inside those tags hiding their CSD contest basis resulting in this edit, but I don't think the same commented out tags issue will arise with any instructions set off above with a few lines skipped. Please note a secondary reason for providing the diff in the last sentence. It shows you the coding gyrations you must go through to place the commented out notes, so they pass through to the pages from the template (i.e.., you can't just use <!-- TEXT -->) --Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:15, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The author of a page isn't allowed to remove speedy deletion tags. Stifle (talk) 15:29, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Hello everyone!

I'd like to share something I've been hacking on in the past few days. It's a simple tool for exploring articles with unsourced statements, currently hosted at The full code can be found at I mostly built this to explore a few technologies I wasn't too familiar with, but I hope it could be useful to the community: it seems to me that adding citations where they're needed could be a good entry point for new editors, so I tried to make that a little easier. There's lots of room for improvement, of course, but I would love to hear any feedback you might have, and I'm definitely willing to work on making this better suited for real-world usage if the idea is any good.

Thanks, and apologies if this is the wrong place to share this. -- Surlycyborg (talk) 22:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

This is pretty cool. One thing that would be useful to implement is stopping the tool flagging lead sections when there are other sections in the article. Lead sections don't need to be referenced if the information is sourced elsewhere in the article but the site showed me a number of sentences from article's leads. Sam Walton (talk) 23:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion! If I understand it correctly, it looks like citation needed templates should generally be removed from lead sections, right? If that's the case, then perhaps we do want to flag them, except the site could suggest removing the templates instead of adding a reference? I've filed an issue on the project so I don't forget about this. – surlycyborg (talk) 13:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It's more complicated than that, unfortunately. I think you might want to look at WP:MINREF for a list of What Must Be Cited in a quick cheatsheet format. Then, if you haven't found WP:CITELEAD yet, that would be your next stop. Things like direct quotations and contentious matter about BLPs need to be cited in the lead, but for most other things, it's optional (assuming that a citation exists later on the page). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I see, thanks for the links! I'm still inclined to keep lead sections on the site, but with a concise note somewhere summarizing the rules – in fact, your last sentence does a great job at that! –, and links to WP:MINREF and WP:CITELEAD for further reading. Does that make sense, or do you think omitting them would be more productive (that is, if, even with these hints, newcomers are still likely to get it wrong, then perhaps they should be omitted)? surlycyborg (talk) 18:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I added a short message linking to WP:CITELEAD, which seems to contain the most relevant information here. For example, here's a page in which it appears: -- surlycyborg (talk) 11:28, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi Surlycyborg, that is awesome! Love it. Excellent minimalism in design. Simple and beautiful.
Your tool makes me almost wish for the [citation needed] template in German WP (we deleted this pest years ago ;-) Well, we have instead the big de:Vorlage:Belege_fehlen, 26.228 inclusions...)
I added your tool to my collection de:Benutzer:Atlasowa/ref citation tools, but it is very different, new and unique. Excellent work, Surlycyborg! --Atlasowa (talk) 21:44, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much, your comment made my day! Please feel free to file issues on the project page if you have any thoughts on how it could be better. surlycyborg (talk) 23:13, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi Surlycyborg, could you upload a screenshot to commons? I'd like to show your tool for example to people at wikidata, who are trying to build a Primary sources tool (d:Wikidata talk:Primary sources tool), and elsewhere. I like the playfulness and concision of the tool. There have been some discussions about that kind of features (sometimes called "microcontributions" or "gamification", not the best words: it's more than micro and more than a game). We need that kind of stuff for Wikipedia. Not just for Wikidata as in Magnus wikidata-game and meta:Research:WikiGrok. And this Wiki Quiz (Wikipedia Powered) for example only works the other way around (not producing refs).
I'm starting to dream of integrating your tool with other tools. :-) For example with finding good sources from a kind of "white lists" (i'm simplifying, it's a more ambitious idea: meta:Grants:IEG/find sources 2.0). And with a tool to make ref-generation easier: Citoid. And with tools to detect copyright violations (de:user:Atlasowa/copyvio tools). etc. :-)
Anyway, a free-licence screenshot would be great! Oh, and the filtering by category is really smart and useful. --Atlasowa (talk) 11:06, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Sure, here you go: Let me know if you need any more. Thanks for your interest in this, Atlasowa! -- surlycyborg (talk) 12:36, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
@Surlycyborg: It seems that this is a focusing application which (in principle if not practice) encapsulates and enhances the existing Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Citation_needed. My thinking is that people looking for citation needed tags to apply effort against could be directed to either this focus app or to the whatlinkshere pages, and it would be useful in the documentation text for the application to indicate the alternative, non-wrapped approach. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 12:51, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Good thinking, Ceyockey. Another approach would be to take CitationHunts filtering by category and turn it around: Every category could have a link to CitationHunt only in this category. For example Category:Comics characters would have a template:
I think that would be nice to present CitationHunt with a topical interest link. But integrating/transcluding an external link into category pages like that is probably a problem (privacy, IP etc). If the tool would run on it would be no problem. Surlycyborg et all, other opinions or ideas? --Atlasowa (talk) 15:19, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Before anything else, apologies for not replying this idea before, I've been a bit too busy these past few days. I think that the list of all articles needing citations is definitely something that would interest CH users, but I think we can provide a richer experience than just linking to it. For example, it would be nice (and not hard to implement) if it were possible to search and filter by article names from CH itself, as we currently do with categories. But yes, linking is the very least we can do, and could be a good start.
As for Atlasowa's idea, I think that sounds really great, and I'd love to see that happen. Zhaofeng Li and I have already discussed a bit the possiblity of moving CH to Tool Labs and I see no reason not to. I'll find some time later this week(end) to see what it would take to move CH there, even if keeping the static database for now instead of using queries against the live database. -- surlycyborg (talk) 16:29, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I've just licensed CH under the MIT license and hosted it in Tools Labs, still using a static database. It is now accessible at This opens a bunch of new possibilites for using the live WP database (or, at least, auto-update CH as new dumps are released), and should address the privacy concerns Atlasowa mentioned. Let me know if you run into any issues! -- surlycyborg (talk) 22:44, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Grouping article redirects

Sometimes, multiple redirects should always point to the same article because they refer to the same thing. However, the way Wikipedia currently works, some redirects end up pointing in inconsistent ways. Let me explain with an example. Here are the redirects to the article Spirited Away:

  • Chihiro (Spirited Away)
  • Chihiro Ogino
  • El viaje de Chihiro
  • Haku (Spirited Away)
  • Miyazaki's Spirited Away
  • No-Face
  • Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi
  • Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away
  • Sen to Chihiro
  • Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
  • Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
  • Sen to chihiro no kamikakushi
  • Spirited Away (film)
  • Spirited away
  • Sprited Away
  • The Art of Miyzaki's 'Spirited Away'
  • The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro
  • Yubaba
  • 千と千尋の神隠し

These redirects can be grouped by the following:

  • Redirects that refer to the title of the movie
    • El viaje de Chihiro
    • Miyazaki's Spirited Away
    • Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi
    • Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away
    • Sen to Chihiro
    • Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
    • Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
    • Sen to chihiro no kamikakushi
    • Spirited Away (film)
    • Spirited away
    • Sprited Away
    • The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro
    • 千と千尋の神隠し
  • Redirects that refer to Chihiro, the character
    • Chihiro (Spirited Away)
    • Chihiro Ogino
  • Other redirects
    • Haku (Spirited Away)
    • No-Face
    • The Art of Miyzaki's 'Spirited Away'
    • Yubaba

It is conceivable that an article about the character Chihiro Ogino could be newly written, or essentially for any subtopic. Some redirects end up pointing to the new subtopic, while some stale redirects end up pointing to the old parent topic. Because of this, and many other ways, redirects can become stale even if editors can have a forethought of how similar redirects should point to the same target.

Solution-wise, there are several options.

  • Non-text solution - define redirect groupings by GUI drag-n-drop, click-n-click
  • Allow double redirects to support this use case, but only one additional hop
  • Introduce a new directive: #REDIRECT_TO_RELATED. When used in page A to point to page B, it indicates that the title of A is intended to be a canonical title for topic A, but it is at one time for whatever reason deemed not worthy of an article of its own, so it points to B instead. The traditional #REDIRECT would change to more explicitly mean redirect source and target refer to the same topic. REDIRECT_TO_RELATED must point to an actual article, while REDIRECT must point to a canonical title, which may have a #REDIRECT_TO_RELATED page, or an actual article.
  • Keep current syntax and UI mostly the same, but when a user tries to persist a change for one redirect, a warning and a bulk edit view appears to allow the user to edit a bunch of redirects.

--Makkachin (talk) 14:27, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

A consensus to allow double redirects if the intermediate redirect is one with possibilities was achieved at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 112#Allow some double redirects. I don't know if anyone is working on implementing it.
I had an idea for a new redirect template to mark redirects that should be updated if another redirect is changed into an article. Using your example, Chihiro (Spirited Away) could include this template with "Chihiro Ogino" as parameter. The template message would depend on whether or not Chihiro Ogino is a redirect, and the template would add a maintenance category if it no longer is. That would ease correcting such redirects until the software is changed to allow double redirects. SiBr4 (talk) 17:00, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
To illustrate what such a template would look like, I drafted one at Module:Sandbox/SiBr4. See testcase 1 (parameter is another redirect to the same title) and testcase 2 (parameter is not a redirect). SiBr4 (talk) 21:17, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
@Makkachin, Oiyarbepsy: Any comments on this idea? A bot could figure out for itself which redirects to update, as proposed below, though it would be easier if the template dynamically changed its message and/or set a maintenance category for bots (or just humans) to patrol. SiBr4 (talk) 15:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm confused by your post. What the heck is that flag stuff on your testcases? And I don't know modules enough to have any comment on it, although your module seems very long and complex for a simple instruction to update a redirect. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 16:57, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
An unrelated test of a different template. The test of the redirect template is in the "Lua test 5" section. The module currently includes a number of error messages for when the template is used incorrectly; the main two messages, at the end of the "rrpos" function (note that the "fgg" function is also an unrelated test), are displayed on the testcase pages. SiBr4 (talk) 17:15, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
As far as double redirects, there is a complex and difficult to fix software issue holding it up. That said, double redirects would solve a lot of the problems noted above. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 19:56, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Without double redirects, could some kind of template system work? You could have a template on a page {{same target as|other redirect}}, which bots could read and then use to automatically update the redirect if the other changes. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 19:56, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I like this idea; and we can do this for multiple levels (a seires of movies, followed by an individual movie from the seies, followed by a character who is primarily from that movie - as soon as one of these becomes an article, the bot can update all the redirects which go through it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Editor retention message

What do people think of this idea... Posting a message to user talk pages of users who have not edited in X amount of time but made constructive edits before to try coaxing them back into editing. An obvious factor that would exclude a user is they are on a break, either involuntarily (user is currently blocked for any reason) or voluntarily (a template in Category:Wikibreak templates is on their user page). Included in the message would be mentions of things that either didn't exist when they stopped editing, or a user may not know exist. Here's my impetus for this suggestion: I was speaking in person to a user who said that although they received a welcome template when they started in 2009, they didn't know that there are so many help resources available, specifically the Teahouse, the Help Desk or the IRC channels because they weren't mentioned in the welcome. The Teahouse was created in 2012, so it wouldn't have been. If there is opposition to bot-placed messages of this kind, is there a way of compiling a list of users who haven't edited in say, 6 months, and are not blocked or on break so it could be done manually? --Geniac (talk) 16:31, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

It's a great idea. GoodDay (talk) 18:38, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
  • This would assume they are logging in regularly, but just not editing, a premise that I'm not prepared to accept without evidence. If they quit logging in, they won't see it. You could email, if they have an email, but that borders on spam. Good intention, but not sure how effective that would actually be. Dennis Brown - 19:20, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Dennis, I get an email anytime someone posts on my talk page. I expect this is the case for most editors. This email generally only gives the heading for the posts, so the heading would have to be chosen carefully. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 19:46, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
It isn't that I can tell, that is an opt in. Many users don't have email enabled or listed here to begin with. Until we had stats on how many opt in, it is hard to say with any authority. Dennis Brown - 19:53, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Yup, getting emails about edits to our own usertalkpage, are opt-in (see Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo, and I just reset my preferences (on a test account) to confirm.
I support the general idea proposed. Quiddity (talk) 22:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I, too, think the idea has merit. I'd like to see a structured and controlled A/B test to measure impact - which shouldn't be too hard - but I love the idea. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 14:54, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
See also this 2012 experiment. Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
That's an interesting project with promising results. I don't know how to go about conducting a research project like that, but perhaps we could conduct one with similar metrics as that, and adding talk page posting as a separate group, to test results between the two methods of contact. --Geniac (talk) 20:56, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I think if most (or even some) users can receive the message properly, it is a great idea. Good luck! Tony Tan98 · talk 19:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

A insane idea about reliable sources

About the topic of sources and reliability. The commentfield in the sources should be able to help out since there's some (Not all of course) intelligent discussions back and forth between several/many people on how they have read the situations (And for most comment field in most sources that has them enable). Wouldn't that be a point of interest for an observation depending on how well recieved a source is? The less comments complaining (If generally has been viewed/read of course) point out how well that source is? Perhaps something to think about, although maybe not relevant in the current situation but just a thought for the future since if they have a consensus it should be as objective as possible. Although it would hamper controversial articles but the more people that gather at a source the more fact splitting would come up to point of wether that part of the article can be trusted. Hmm. This is just a thought I just had when I was reading several articles and noticed the comment field below. As Such this is, as stated, a crazy hypothesis idea. Anything to gain from it? TheRealVordox (talk) 20:56, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I guess you could use that as a basis, to detect when usually reliable sources fuck up. However, unreliable sources tend to have readers that believe the BS the source is spouting. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:22, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Well it's true that the readers that the person writing the article has gathered with a followerbase will not often critize the article itself. If only there was a way for fact or source checking in the comments to be appreciated and more widespread. But perhaps it's too early for this kind of thought. It's a fun little thought though if used in the future when people are little bit more skeptic.TheRealVordox (talk) 10:58, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

WikiLink: Make it easier to look stuff up.


I'm not sure if this idea has been posed before, but most websites now come with the Facebook, linkedin, twitter icons that allow you to share articles etc.

An idea that came to me recently was a similar WikiLink icon. Once clicked, the website or news article would allow you to click on certain words right within the text itself and would bring up the relevant wiki page (perhaps a pop up window or embedded in the website itself). This would remove the need to open a new window, log into wiki and look up an item. You could click right on the text of the news article (for example). If you don't want the hyperlinks, just click back on the WikiLink icon to switch it off.

I think this development would widen wiki's reach (even more!) and help people look up info faster and easier.

This may have been posed before, so apologies if it has! I for one would find it useful and kinda fun.

Thoughts / comments / critique welcome!


Tom--Tompope999 (talk) 15:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

You mean for other websites? That would have to be an browser extension. Still, its something that the WMF should look into. KonveyorBelt 17:33, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I for one find those bloody popups with icons on them to be dire and they often interfere with the reading of a page - especially those ones that cling to the edge and obscure part of the text. You don't have to log into Wikipedia to read pages (unless you hate the Vector skin as I do - using WP on someone else's machine is torture). This idea has good points, but it would be up to the owners of the sites to implement, not us. There are some already that have underlined words that link here (via a new window or (spit) tab. It has to be built into the text of the page as it will be one hell of a lot of links overall. The four normally on the popups are just four things and they are not tied to specific text. (They're just there to annoy people like me.) Peridon (talk) 17:56, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Free audio book recordings

I have begun listening to audio books (.mp3 files) and find there are thousands of them available for free on the web, many of these are in the public domain because the copyright on the underlying text expired long ago. I think it wold be a nice feature to have links to these recordings on the "book pages" in wikipedia; Not as a requirement, but an encouraged option. What do you folks think of this? There are various locations on the web where these files can be found and perhaps we could come up with a standardized, boiler-plate, template for referencing them. (each site with a different template) TimoleonWash (talk) 01:36, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

@TimoleonWash: Just because the book is free (as in freedom) doesn't mean that the recording is. Book and recording are two different works with two different copyrights. However, if you can demonstrate that both the book and the recording are free (as in freedom), you can upload them to commons and link the audio file to the article on the book. If the book itself is free, you can upload it to wikisource and link that to the article. This wouldn't require any special permission, it would just need someone to start doing it. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 03:13, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Oiyarbepsy (talk) for the good info on copyright. I have checked both the text and the recordings and they are in the public domain. Regarding uploading files to wiki... Could I just provide a link much as I see being done with book pages linking to TimoleonWash (talk) 09:29, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
@TimoleonWash: We actually have a template for Project Gutenberg links at Template:Gutenberg. However, we do generally prefer that you upload things on Commons so that we aren't dependent on external websites. After uploading, you'd add it to the article with Template:Listen. Uploading would start at commons:upload. Also, none of these recordings would be in public domain because copyright expired, so you'll need to have some kind of documentation that the speaker has released it. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 14:46, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Good news to have Oiyarbepsy (talk), thanks. I think loading things in to the common area would make a great project for someone sometime. I am interested in these templates though. Can you refer me to information about them; where they are stored, how they are used, how are they created, how is the community informed of them, etc.? TimoleonWash (talk) 15:28, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Templates are elements used in a large number of pages that will appear the same in all of them. They include things like infoboxes, navboxes, standard ways of linking to particular sources, things like that. The mentions of those particular templates I discuss above are links. You would put them in an article kind of like this {{example}} if editing in wikitext, and visualeditor can put in templates as well. Click the links provided above and it provides instruction on how to use these templates in articles. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 17:38, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I have investigated the links you provided and learned a lot, thx again Oiyarbepsy (talk). Then I discovered a template for an outfit called LibriVox which is the website where I have downloaded most of my .mp3s from. It looks like the template doesn't work anymore. How would I go about creating a new template for LibriVox and how would I go about locating all the existing wikipedia pages that use the existing, broken link to fix them? TimoleonWash (talk) 01:23, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Hmm, Template:Librivox seems to work just fine at Anna Christie, The Time Machine and others, so I'm not sure why you're having trouble. Look at how those articles do it and try to emulate it on articles that don't have these links. The documentation that goes with the template shows how it should work, something like {{Librivox|The Time Machine}}. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Once again you've rescued me Oiyarbepsy (talk). I thought the template didn't work because of what it said in the template so I'll update that. I saw how it is done in Anna Christie, etc and will follow this format. I think I'm set and I'm looking forward to this project because I love wikipedia and free audio books! TimoleonWash (talk) 23:10, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Gun lobbying

Wikipedia shouldn't be a vehicle for gun lobbying, however the Americans have done exactly that. There is a gun_control article which is hopeless, mostly telling readers how "complex" the issue is . The several country articles all harmonised to say Gun politics in XXX, even though it's only a political issue in the US, and these articles are about the uncontested and implemented policy. Let the Americans enjoy their school-hall massacres, if that's what they want. I'm sure it makes gripping television*. If you're a proud citizen of a developed country, don't let Americans twist your laws, as politics. Call it what it is: gun control or gun policy, and make sure your children have easy access to stable, unbiased information. (*this is sarcasm. The US situation is unbelievably appalling.) (talk) 06:28, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

We do have Gun_law_in_the_United_States Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_by_state and pages like Gun laws in Alaska, in addition to gun politics in the United States.
I'm not sure, but I think the reason we have Gun politics in Australia is because that allows for a wider scope of information than Gun laws in Australia would. Anyway, it seems that whether it is "Gun laws in X" or "Gun politics in X" varies a bit currently. We should always strive for WP:NPOV here. I personally dislike guns and don't like the laws in the USA either, but that is my POV, not encyclopedic. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:09, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
If "Gun politics in XXX" is not a notable topic, then there is a process in place for removal of such articles. But if suitable references can be found to demonstrate notability, then that presumably indicates the topic is valid for that nation-state. Wikipedia's neutrality policy should allow for suitable balance in representation of the main political views; ergo it's not "a vehicle for gun lobbying". Praemonitus (talk) 19:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Requested articles

If any of you have ever looked at WP:Requested articles you know it's an absolute mess. The issue is there's a huge amount of pages on Wikipedia that link here, the article wizard, the navigation bar on the proposal village pump, AfC, the list goes on and on. This leads to a huge amount of article ideas listed here,

every page has an absurd amount, the thing is, there are some that are legitimately good ideas. Granted some of them aren't notable or don't have any potential content, but a lot of them are. The issue is requested articles is a never ending black hole, tons of additions are made every day but none of them are ever created, presumably because of the level of difficulty to dig into them.

The way I see it one of two things have to happen, either the entire thing has to be shut down, and all links to it across the project need to be removed, or a process that allows for a systematic review of every selection (without having to edit the entire thing by hand), and getting the lists to editors who'd be interested in doing it. I believe that latter is the better option, as this could lead to hundreds of good articles, though I'd like to hear some ideas on what the best way of going about this is, or if they entire thing should be scrapped.

Thanks! Kharkiv07Talk 02:00, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, some form of peer review process may be needed to elevate the more notable entries to a 'preferred' status. The remainder could then be archived. The current length of the list seems prohibitive though; it could take several years to process. Praemonitus (talk) 19:39, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
We could take them to projects and advertise them. Or find prolific article writers and see if they want to address them. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:24, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Nobody is going to want to deal with them in their current state though, I can try to take them to projects, or even advertise them, I'm just worried with thousands of article nobody is going to want to have to deal with them, what we need is a good way to classify them... I'm just not sure how. Kharkiv07Talk 03:16, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps some custom inline templates could be useful? For example, they could let others know what type of research has already been attempted for a particular topic and why no article was created. Possibly it could use small, two-letter codes with mouse-overs: [IS] → insufficient sources available; [TC] → technically complex, requiring an expert; [FL] → foreign language version available, &c. Praemonitus (talk) 17:55, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm... that may work, I'll look into it. Kharkiv07Talk 23:50, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Link between a user's edit history list and articles' archives

Sometimes I need to find a section which I have edited and go back to my edit history. I then click on that link (e.g. " BOT?") but the section is no more there because it has been ARCHIVED. It would be nice to have an script that retrieves that section automatically if it has been archived. (talk) 18:03, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

New to Wikipedia

I think that three articles

  • Dear Boys (manga)
  • Kuroko's Baksetball
  • Cross over

need editing

any suggestions thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by NatsukiKazuhiko (talkcontribs) 23:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

@NatsukiKazuhiko: yes; be bold and make the edits. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:01, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Idea for a bot

This came up on review for an article at FAC: "In some places where there are two citations covering one fact, they are not arranged in numerical order." It took a gnome to fix it, but seems like something a bot could handle, at cheaper wages. Does anyone know if that is a possible task for a bot? If so, how does one go about getting it made or learning to make it? Sorry if this is not correct forum. --Gaff (talk) 07:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I dislike putting cites inside a sentence. If a sentence has two facts supported by two cites, I would arrange the cites in the same sequence as the facts they support:
Smith obtained an MD in 1883 and a PhD in 1886.[14][11]
A bot would not be able to see that the two cites cover two facts rather than one. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:07, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Where dies this rule come from? -- Gadget850 talk 14:35, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think there is a rule that says the cites should have the same sequence as the facts they support, or a rule saying they should be in numerical sequence. Probably it is a question of personal preference. The example above could dodge the issue by using cites within the sentence:
Smith obtained an MD in 1883[14] and a PhD in 1886.[11]
That seems cluttered to me. The issue can also be avoided by bundling citations. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
The numbering (and relative ordering) is subject to change when the WP:NAMEDREFS are moved around in the article as a whole. I agree it might not be that often, but the proposed task is not a one-time cleanup, and would probably need to do lots of parsing of the whole recent-changes feed to keep track. But more significantly, there might be some encyclopediac reasons to put them in some particular order, such as date. DMacks (talk) 14:45, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Discouraging biting the newbies

We are short of new editors, particularly women. If a new editor is "bitten" as soon as they start a new article, they may give up on Wikipedia in disgust. This is to ask for feedback on the idea of adding a process to Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers similar to that for Wikipedia:Vandalism, a series of escalating warnings to compulsive biters that eventually lead to blocks. The details are tentative, so any suggestions would be welcome to improve the concept before putting it to the vote. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


I would define a new editor as an editor with less than 100 edits, and a new article as one that is less than 24 hours old.

Type A bite: This kind of "bite" adds cleanup templates to a new article by a new editor, e.g.

There is nothing wrong with adding cleanup templates in general (although fixing the problem is better), but a lot wrong with greeting a new editor with a banner like this. An experienced editor would shrug it off, but a new editor may well see it as hostile, saying Wikipedia is not a friendly, collaborative site. Much better to leave a {{welcome}} note on the new editor's talk page, explain the problem and offer to help. Again, this would apply only to a new article by a new user. They make their first rough outline, save it, get a coffee, and come back to see an aggressive criticism of their work. Wikipedia does not want them.

Type B bite: This kind of "bite", more serious, is an inappropriate request to delete a new article by a new editor (Speedy, PROD, AfD). The request is "inappropriate" if it is rejected: the nominator did not do their homework. Some well-meant requests will of course be rejected, which is fine. But if an editor is repeatedly requesting deletion of new articles by new editors on inadequate grounds, they are doing damage. An inappropriate Speedy request on Natalie Smith Henry managed to get attention from the New York Times and BBC News, and a year later from Huffington Port. We do not need this sort of publicity, which may discourage potential new editors from even starting. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed new process

We could add teeth to Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers by defining an escalating series of user warning templates to be placed on the biter's talk page:

Type A bites (Cleanup banners)

Welcome, and thank you for adding a cleanup template to Sample article. This is a new article by a new editor, so adding a note explaining your concern to their talk page would be more appropriate. See Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers for a discussion of this concept.
Information orange.svg
Please refrain from adding cleanup templates to new articles by new editors such as Sample article. See Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers.
Ambox warning pn.svg
Please stop adding cleanup templates to new articles by new editors, as you did with Sample article.
Stop hand nuvola.svg
You may be blocked from editing without further warning if you continue to add cleanup templates to new articles by new editors, as you did with Sample article.

Type B bites (Deletion requests)

Welcome, and thank you for suggesting deletion of Sample article. Your suggestion has been declined. This is a new article by a new editor, so you should be very careful about proposing deletion without careful research and discussing your concerns with the creator. See Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers for a discussion of this concept.
Information orange.svg
Before requesting deletion please take more care to check whether a new article by a new editor such as Sample article does in fact meet the criteria for deletion. See Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers.
Ambox warning pn.svg
Please stop requesting deletion of new articles by new editors on inappropriate grounds, as you did with Sample article.
Stop hand nuvola.svg
You may be blocked from editing without further warning if you continue to add propose deletion of new articles by new editors on inappropriate grounds,, as you did with Sample article.

I do not see a proposal like this in Wikipedia:Perennial proposals. Perhaps it is crazy? Aymatth2 (talk) 12:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


This is unnecessary WP:CREEP. Type B, persistent bad deletion tagging, is already sanctionable as disruptive editing. Your process for type A amounts to a ban on maintenance templates; while a WP:SOFIXIT attitude is desirable, your proposal would prevent unfixed articles from being tagged for cleanup and so they would fall behind the metaphorical sofa and never see the light again. BethNaught (talk) 15:25, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:Disruptive editing states Disruptive editing is a pattern of editing that may extend over a long time or many articles, and disrupts progress towards improving an article or building the encyclopaedia. I would contend that repeated bad deletion tagging would fall under that definition. BethNaught (talk) 23:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I suppose it does, although some might quibble. I was hoping for something more explicit. I will keep looking. Aymatth2 (talk) 00:48, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Remember it only applies to new articles, defined as less than 24 hours old. New editors may well create a minimal version, save it, then start adding the details. The idea is to not slam them with criticism after their first save. The person spotting the problem should leave a note on the creator's talk page, and tag the article if nothing is done in 24 hours. Or fix it. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:03, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

We already have quite a few templates... Template:Uw-bite, Template:Uw-csd, Template:Uw-hasty, as well as four levels of assuming good faith Template:agf1 and harassment Template:harass1. Besides, in general, the people who are going to be tagging this are people who you should probably talk it out on their talk page instead of templating them. Right? Kharkiv07Talk 03:09, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

  • The editors who frequently make poorly researched deletion requests on new articles, or swiftly tag new articles with clean-up templates, may not be particularly receptive to polite warnings about the damage they are doing in driving away new editors. They certainly are not concerned with Wikipedia:New pages patrol#Be nice to the newbies. But they will respond to an escalating series of user warnings that may lead to a block. Templating them when closing a declined deletion request would be a simple, optional step in the closure process, which could be done by any user. Similarly, it will be simple for any user to do a "biter" patrol to check for rapid addition of clean-up templates to new articles by new users, and to template the biter. The advantage of the proposed approach is that it does not require any one user to gather evidence and launch a case for sanctions based on disruptive editing. The escalation just happens naturally as different editors template the user for biting, like templating them for vandalism. Aymatth2 (talk) 11:32, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I'll reserve my opinions on the specific process proposed above, but this is certainly an issue that needs addressing. We also need to deal with the problem of AFC submissions being declined because they are not (nearly) perfect, rather than because they would fail an AfD. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:58, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I did not even think of that. I took a quick look at AFC and immediately found a serial decliner. I checked one article at User:Lograssolaw/sandbox, did a quick Google check, and am fairly confident that "World Head of Family Sokeship Council" is in fact notable, with plenty of sources, despite being three time declined. Maybe the way to approach this, though, is to start with a narrow focus and very clear damage such as rapid Speedy Deletes for newly created articles by newbies, then expand the scope afterwards. Not sure. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:43, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • People forget if they don't feel comfortable accepting one a better course of action is just to comment on it... Kharkiv07Talk 16:30, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • AFC is a whole new world to me. I have always started articles in mainspace. I suppose some editors first need validation that their article is o.k. Presumably they are also very sensitive to negative feedback. I checked three more AFCs at random, found the same decliners, found one recently declined editor with a black "Retired" notice. This is obviously a form of biting. I am still unsure how to introduce this proposal. If it is too complicated there will never be consensus. Aymatth2 (talk) 00:48, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • In my opinion the problem is with the AfC helper script, it provides upward of 20 reasons for rejection making it tempting to use one if it remotely falls into that category. But my problem with your proposal is the people who are making these declines are experienced editors and templating them all the time isn't probably the best way to go about it. Putting a personalized message on their talk page is probably the way to, and if needed take it to a noticeboard. So, with that rationale, my suggestion would be to make a policy that stops all the things we've mentioned. Kharkiv07Talk 00:59, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The biters are mostly experienced editors who keep on biting. The policies and guidelines explain why and how to avoid biting, but the biters ignore them. Their victims do not know how to get together and appeal on a noticeboard – they are newbies. Talk page messages from the bitten newbies clearly do not work. The biters keep biting. We badly need new editors, so have to be rougher with the biters. A template-based escalation process leading up to a block, like the vandalism template process, seems the only effective way to help the biters break their bad habits. Aymatth2 (talk) 01:37, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
But currently its not written anywhere about, say AfC for example, as a matter of fact WP:Bite is extremely vague. Granted biting is a very broad topic that has so many different ways it can happen, I think if we get some of this in writing and then see how it sits we can better institute a warning system later, these people who are doing the things you're saying are borderline on the current policy, and while I completely agree with you that it's wrong, there's nothing that tells them not to at the moment. Full disclosure: I could be wrong about any of what does or doesn't exist in policy Kharkiv07Talk 01:58, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I am moving towards proposing a clarification to Wikipedia:Disruptive editing, along the lines of "Actions that tend to discourage newcomers, such as hastily nominating new articles for deletion or tagging new articles with clean-up templates, may be considered disruptive if constantly repeated without exploring alternatives on the article creators' talk pages." Something like that. If that were accepted, there should be no objection to escalation via multi-level templates. Aymatth2 (talk) 14:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I see a real problem with Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Reviewing instructions#Notability and verifiability. With deletion, the nominator is expected to first do some research to confirm that the subject is not notable. With creation, it seems that the onus is on the creator to provide evidence of notability. Endless resubmissions like Draft:Next Level Purchasing Association would be avoided if the reviewer called the shot on notability based on a web search. If the subject is notable, accept the submission. It can be improved. This is a separate issue from biting, but one that should be fixed. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:37, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'd propose changes on WP:Bite as well. Kharkiv07Talk 15:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Maybe the same addition both places? "Actions that tend to discourage newcomers, such as hastily nominating new articles for deletion or tagging new articles with clean-up templates, may be considered disruptive editing if constantly repeated without exploring alternatives on the article creators' talk pages." I am looking for a proposal that really looks simple and obvious. Of course there are bound to be some editors who think biting is fun and others who think that if newbies can't shrug off biting they do not belong, so it may be hard to get consensus. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
    • I believe that an article should never be tagged for speedy deletion within the first couple weeks, unless it's a blatant case of one of the general deletion criteria (excluding G4 for a deletion discussion from over a year ago); nor for PROD/AfD unless it's a borderline case of one of these criteria. Same goes for a user page within the author's on userspace, except for U1 cases. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:49, 26 March 2015 (UTC)


Slate magazine on the arbitration committee's ruling WRT gamergate...

Amanda Marcotte, reporting in Slate magazine described on-going controversy in wikipedia's coverage of the Gamergate controversy. In her account anti-feminist vandals, in violation of various policies, unfairly used the wikipedia to attack feminist critics of computer games -- and, in its ruling, the arbitration committee applied sanctions to both the vandals and certain vandal fighters.

After agreeing that, eventually, the work of the POV-pushing vandals was undone, she concluded:

Still, Wikipedia lost the very people who were trying to guard the gates in the first place. What happens to the next victim of a Wikipedia harassment campaign if the defenders are getting squeezed out through this pox-on-both-your-houses system?

I think Marcotte's criticism deserves attention. I have personally been harassed by very persistent uncivil POV-pushing edit-warriors, who were eventually blocked for policy violations. When the most persistent of these POV vandals was eventually indefinitely blocked, so was a good contributor, who had merely been trying to undo the vandal's policy violations. Geo Swan (talk) 19:08, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Are you suggesting that in defending the "right thing" it is OK for "good contributors" run amok? BTW "policy violations" sounds softly. We are talking about gross abuse by the "good guys" here. Yes, sometimes one may become frustrated fending off abusers, but the only solution in wikipedia is to rally more troops, not to go vigilante. Wikipedia is a community effort; whereas so many a "good guy" take onto themselves fighting "bad guys" as a kind of personal quest. IMO what deserves attention instead, is to take a lesson from a fact why moniker "five horsemen" appeared in the first place. IMO it is a manifestation of a sad trend that established editors and admins think they have all power to fight the rest of the world in defense of Wikipedia. They have not. If anything, this is one of the symptoms of wikipediholism, and they better take a DGAF pill and share the burden. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:41, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Amanda Marcotte (2013-03-06). "On Wikipedia, Gamergate Refuses to Die". Slate magazine. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
I suppose there is no escaping politics and its associated social engineering efforts. Praemonitus (talk) 19:36, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

High islandic

Hi all, I am busy reviving a previously deleted article on NL Wikipedia on High Icelandic. Here its a redirect, but it exists as real articles on a lot of other Wikipedia's, even Icelandic. It has a history of spamming. I have the impression that due to the fact this article exists on Wikipedia, the constructed language from the 1990s still remains a bit alive. Almost all websites about it have disappeared. Is there a scientific evidence, that Wikipedia itself creates a new sort of "truth". And could this language be a sign of this? Could you provide any sources of this happening in more cases? Pieter1 (talk) 12:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I believe there have been a few news stories about journalists using Wikipedia for their research and not checking independent sources for verification. Some hoax stories (and fake entries) on Wikipedia have also made the news. Check on a search engine for more. Given the size and scope of Wikipedia, these types of events are probably inevitable. Praemonitus (talk) 16:43, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Book promotion

Please read the Ordered to Die-article. It reads: "Edward Erickson has produced the first fully researched account of the Ottoman army in the First World War. There simply has not been a similar complete account, apart from an earlier work in French... uniquely different from previous publications...very systematic, and unlike previous publications..."

In short, my WP:PEACOCK-alert went off.Can somebody have a look at it?Jeff5102 (talk) 07:55, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

I've edited the article to tone down the promotional language and keep the synopsis section more focused. Feel free to edit it further, though, or to undo some of my changes if they don't seem helpful. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:20, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Missing "sandbox" link

I have Add a "Sandbox" link to the personal toolbar area enabled in my preferences, yet I no longer see a Sandbox link in my personal toolbar. Does anybody know what might have happened? Praemonitus (talk) 04:16, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Turned out it was my NoScript settings. Praemonitus (talk) 16:18, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

War edits (political and personal opinion)


(cur | prev) 06:18, 22 March 2015‎ Volunteer Marek (talk | contribs)‎ . . (80,989 bytes) (-508)‎ . . (no they didn't. Get your news from a real source not one which makes up crap. Yawwwwwnnnnnn.) (undo)

the administrator does not accept the fact. it uses the media information (03,03,15) but removes media refutation (20,03,15). this a forgery + lie.

I ask you to indicate the correct path for I do not know the correct+formal procedure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:07, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Please see my comment on Talk:Buk missile system Ellywa (talk) 15:35, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

When is a good time to promote a user essay to one in the general project space?

A couple months ago, I wrote Verifiability, and truth in my user space. I'm considering moving it into the WP namespace, but I'm not sure about whether or not it's ready for that in terms of content and quality. I'd like if a few other editors might take a look and offer their opinions on whether or not it's ready for the move, and what might need to be done before moving it over. Thanks! // coldacid (talk|contrib) 18:59, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't need to look to tell you that you can move it whenever you want. Userspace essays are reserved for two situations: you don't want other people to mess with it (very much, anyway), and everyone else disagrees with you. If you don't mind other people editing it, and it's not absolutely, completely, diametrically opposed to the community's viewpoint, then you can move it whenever you want. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Guess it's time to just be bold, then! // coldacid (talk|contrib) 19:46, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Just one thing to remember... if you move an essay out of your user space, others will be able to edit it... including any editors who might disagree with the point you are trying to make in the essay. It is quite possible that will end up saying something very different from what it says now (indeed it could end up saying the opposite of what you originally intended). Blueboar (talk) 12:15, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
That's why I'm keeping it on my watchlist. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 13:37, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Mimicing natural erosion in internet

Is any website tried to simulate erosion against itself in purpose for more natural experience? (talk) 14:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Are you referring to websites named like a coincidental ? Otherwise, any website not competing for maintaining its rankings and its accessibility through the internet search engines will see its popularity erode if they have competitors. So the answer could be "very probably yes". However if you'd need a second registered URL in order to compete against your first, the answer might as well be also "no" (you'd need a team of websites). --Askedonty (talk) 15:52, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Automatic citation formatting is on its way

Citoid, the automagic citation filling tool, is on its way at last. It's been up at the French and Italian Wikipedias for a while, with positive feedback overall. The time isn't firmly settled, but Wednesday evening UTC is most likely. This has been one of the most-requested features from experienced editors.

Citoid depends upon good TemplateData. Wikipedia:TemplateData/Tutorial explains how to write the basics by hand, but the TemplateData GUI tool is usually faster and easier. It also depends upon external services like Zotero. If your favorite website isn't working, it probably needs a new Zotero entry. The design is less than ideal. There is a book-with-bookmark button for Citoid, next to a now-unlabeled "Cite" menu for filling in citations the old way.

If you have suggestions on how to improve the design, then please leave your comments where the designers are most likely to see them, at mw:Talk:VisualEditor/Design/Reference Dialog. If you have any other suggestions or run into problems, then please leave feedback at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback. If you would like to see Citoid at another wiki, then you may make that request in Phabricator: by creating a new task under the "Citoid" project. Most requests will probably not be granted for the next couple of weeks, but evidence that TemplateData is current on your main citation templates will likely improve your chances.

Here at the English Wikipedia, you will need to opt-in to VisualEditor via Beta Features to see Citoid. Pre-deployment testing can be done here on Beta Labs. (Before you ask: yes, after getting all the bumps smoothed out, the plan is to make it available in the wikitext editor as well. However, that will likely not be for some months yet.)

Happy editing, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Update: This is being delayed for a few days. Monday (late) is the most likely time now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Vatnik (slang)

I'm trying to figure out whether there's any reason why the new article Vatnik (slang) is out of place here. It's a transcription into English of a word that isn't used in English, only in Russian and Ukrainian. Even if someone wrote an article about a comparable English word that went beyond being a dictionary definition and warranted inclusion, it seems odd to me that foreign words unknown to the English-speaking world would have a presence even if they go beyond a definition. I could be entirely wrong but I thought I'd get some feedback on this. —Largo Plazo (talk) 13:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I do not think it belongs here.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:26, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I have to agree with Ymblanter. It's one thing if it's a slang term that is used often in English, but this is a word I've never come across before ever. If it's not common English slang, it doesn't really have a purpose on the English Wikipedia. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 19:53, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Well if the word passes WP:GNG then we could have an article about it. Of course that relies on others haven written about the word in whaterver language. The test should not be if it is in English or not. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:57, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
@Largoplazo: It appears that WP:NOTNEO may also apply. GoingBatty (talk) 00:48, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
How will we escape the Matrix if there's WP:NOTNEO? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 01:33, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: By providing what reliable secondary sources, such as books and papers, say about the term or concept, not books and papers that use the term. GoingBatty (talk) 02:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Clearly missed the joke. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 14:18, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Research Study on Privacy

Hi all, I'm representing a team of researchers from Drexel University who are researching privacy practices among Wikipedia editors. If you have ever thought about your privacy when editing Wikipedia or taken steps to protect your privacy when you edit, we’d like to learn from you about it.

The study is titled “Privacy, Anonymity, and Peer Production.” Details can be found on meta where the project was discussed before beginning recruitment here: (

If you would like to help us out, you need to read and complete the online consent form linked here and we will get in contact with you:

We are planning to conduct interviews that will last anywhere from 30-90 minutes (depending on how much you have to say) by phone or Skype and we can offer you $20 for your time, but you do not need to accept payment to participate.

I have been researching Wikipedia since 2004 and have conducted many studies, most of which have resulted in papers that you can find here:

Thanks for considering it, please contact me if you have questions!

--Andicat (talk) 16:29, 25 March 2015 (UTC) (Andrea Forte,

Statistics about my deletions

I wonder if it is possible to get statistics for how many article I prodded, or nominated for AfD, and how many of those were successful? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:24, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Your AFD stats ostensibly show you making 294 nominations and 119 resulting in deletions. However, the table has counted you as !voting keep in some, for example Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Helga_Guitton, where you do not seem to have actually changed your !vote although you acknowledged the work done to save the article. Thincat (talk) 08:16, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Looking for legal input about article titling

How would I reach out to someone from the Wikimedia Foundation about if neglecting to put a specific word in an article title's disambiguator has the potential to result in a lawsuit against the foundation? I mean, my concern might not be an issue at all in the foundation's eyes, but I'm not sure. Steel1943 (talk) 22:18, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

@Steel1943: Is that something that can be discussed here? That would probably be best, but if you feel it shouldn't you can contact them at <> (obv. replace _at_ with @). Or maybe go first through OTRS. Be aware that they might take a long time to get back to you since they have a long queue. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 22:26, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
@FreeRangeFrog: Sure, I'll discuss it here, given that my worries/concerns may be reasonably invalidated. I recently stumbled upon a group of move request discussions to suggest moving some articles from the disambiguator "(pornographic actor/actress)" to "(actor/actress)". Now, I am aware that we have several guidelines created to address this and to enforce these move requests, such as WP:PRECISE and WP:CONCISE to get rid of the word "pornography", MOS:DAB tells us suggestions for adding disambiguators to ambiguous titles, WP:NCPDAB for person subject disambiguators, WP:NOTCENSORED says that the article can remain, etc. However, an actual legal issue I could see with doing this (with the exception of subjects who have achieved notability outside of pornography who worked in pornography separate of the other subject which they are notable) is that all pages (except for those in the "Draft:" namespace) are indexed for search engines by default. Since search engines will usually only pick up the article name and the first few lines of the article when displayed on the search engine (such as Google or Bing), I am in belief that an entry appearing this way on a search engine has the possibility to open up the foundation for a lawsuit, provided someone decides to take the "lawsuit" route due to possibly their child looking up the ambiguous term and then the search engine not being able to properly filter out the entry due to the lack of the word "pornography" anywhere at the start. (Like I said, my concerns could be righteously invalidated, but I am not sure, and I personally would rather not have Wikimedia's donations be wasted on a situation that could have been avoided.) Steel1943 (talk) 00:45, 27 March 2015 (UTC)