Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 64

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Proposed Addition to Wikipedia:Username policy[edit]

WP:REALNAME states the following:

"You should not register under any name that would lead others to assume your account is associated with any person other than yourself."

However, now that online personalities (ie YouTube "stars" and moot) are increasingly becoming well-known in the media and Wikipedia itself, this policy seems to require some broadening. It is no longer only real names but also usernames that are in need of protection. Of course, such a policy would be required to adhere to notability guidelines (so sxephil would be protected, but, say, "darkchaosknight" wouldn't). Thus, I am proposing the addition of new policy concerning using not only notable real names, but also notable usernames. If this has already been propsed, 죄송.  Aar  ►  21:14, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

This already falls under the "misleading usernames" clause of the policy. At least that's how I would interpret this case. This proposed addition is 1) redundant and unneeded, and 2) belongs on WT:U, not here. —kurykh 23:25, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

How does the "All significant viewpoints" concept pertain to biographies?[edit]

There are various kinds of articles on Wikipedia, if an article is a biography about someone and part of this biography outlines their thoughts but isn't about the "Philosophy of" this individual - there are in fact other articles specifically about their philosophy, where is it stated in Wikipedia policy that "all significant viewpoints" means it's considered appropriate to cite criticisms of their work and thoughts in the biography. As opposed to meaning that facts about their lives and the fact that they authored certain works should be accurately presented - or if there's dispute about certain details that viewpoints regarding those factual disputes are represented?TheDarkOneLives (talk) 22:05, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

To which article are you referring? Dlabtot (talk) 22:07, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Should it make a difference?TheDarkOneLives (talk) 23:16, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
It probably shouldn't, but a lot of people find it easier to talk about things with a specific example in mind. John Carter (talk) 23:27, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it makes a difference. By looking at the actual article and article history we can form our own judgments about the facts, rather than relying on the characterizations of involved editors. Dlabtot (talk) 23:30, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to understand your question... are you asking whether the Ayn Rand article should have a Literary criticism section? Dlabtot (talk) 23:58, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm asking if the "all significant viewpoints" means it's considered standard practice that an article that's supposed to be a biography should include criticism regarding the person's works - and if so where specifically this is addressed in policy? The Ayn Rand article is one I'm looking at. I've noticed people will cite "policy" in ways that don't seem supported by what the policy actually says.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 02:19, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I would have to say that an author's WP article should include coverage of their works and significant viewpoints about those works, yes. For example, in the Leo Tolstoy article, you can see criticism of Tolstoy's works from Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Woolf, Joyce, Mann and others... of course the criticism of Tolstoy is a bit more positive than that bestowed on Ms. Rand... Dlabtot (talk) 02:38, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
But my question is where is this addressed specifically in policy that "all significant viewpoints should be represented" means critiques of an author belong in their biography?TheDarkOneLives (talk) 03:51, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I thought I just said that. Dlabtot (talk) 04:11, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Where it specifically says that is at WP:NPOV. Dlabtot (talk) 04:50, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
We are trying to inform our readers. Dlabtot (talk) 04:51, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
There are lots of examples. A person is a philosopher, and their biography is mostly about their philosophy. Examples: John Rawls, Alonso Church, Saul Kripke, Donald Davidson. Seems to be the standard. Sometimes, someone else's viewpoints are included, but often, not all significant viewpoints. What I wonder about is just how much trivia is to be tolerated in articles like this when there are no citations for it (like, if someone started talking about what Ayn Rand likes to eat or what music she liked, but there are no sources. It's easy to find sources for the philosophical content and for disagreements about the philosophical content, not so easy for personal details, but still the details often remain. There are many philosopher-bios that contain absolutely no viewpoints besides the one of the person who is the subject (and some of those are self-edited). Makes writing those bios really challenging, but interesting. People should be encouraged to put up the various significant viewpoints that disagree with the person's viewpoint, in question.CDart (talk) 23:01, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I'll try to clarify further. There are two aspects regarding someone's biography. The historical facts of their life - born on this date, went to this school, married to this person, etc. There can also be their thoughts, their works. Is it specified anywhere that the "all significant points of view" is supposed to apply to both historical and intellectual aspects?TheDarkOneLives (talk) 10:25, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Rand is notable for her books and her philosophy (which are of course closely related). Considering how incredibly controversial both were (and are) it absolutely makes sense for criticism to be included in the article about them. TallNapoleon (talk) 07:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't answer the question. Cite where it's specifically stated that "all significant viewpoints" is applicable to the thoughts of the subject of an article, rather than just historical facts.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 06:49, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
May I suggest you read Wikipedia:The rules are principles, an excellent essay that encourages people to focus on the intent of our policies and guidelines and not on the "specific" language. We should always express all significant points of view in all of our articles... biographies included.
That said, I would agree that Rand's work is complex enough that we should probably not get into details on her works and thoughts in the Bio article... and should have a seperate sub-article devoted to discussing that work (an article which would include in depth discussion of that work... including criticisms). The Bio article itself would focus primarily on the events of her life, and less on her works. While a short paragraph on her works should be included, it should be in summary style... and point the reader to the article that discusses her works in more detail. In short... note the criticism in passing in the bio article, and point the reader to a seperate article where more in depth discussion is found. Blueboar (talk) 01:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Automatic removal of admin bit from inactive users[edit]

I call to everyone's attention Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#4chan hacked admin account. I have also made a similar opinion at WT:RFA but before the above-linked ANI incident. I think we should consider, as already done with the CheckUser privilege (see WP:CHECKUSER, as mandated by WMF policy), that any user account with admin privileges that has been inactive for an arbitrary length—my recommendation is more than 1 year—should have the admin bit automatically removed; those desysopped in this fashion (i.e. not desysopped due to misuse, abuse, etc.) may simply ask someone, i.e. a Bureaucrat, to restore admin privileges if the user wishes to become active again. I think the likelihood of stuff like the above happening (that is, admin accounts becoming compromised) would be greatly reduced if something like this were to be in place. Any thoughts? MuZemike 16:35, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The probability of any given admin account's password being hacked via brute force is dependent on the strength of the password, and nothing else. Therefore the probability of someone hacking an admin account is dependent solely on the ratio of the number admin accounts with strong passwords to the number of admin accounts with weak passwords. (It only takes one admin account with a weak password for you to be successful, and your chances of finding such a password is only dependent on the ratio of strong to weak passwords.) Unless a convincing argument can be made that a disproportionate number of admin accounts with weak passwords are inactive, the probability of someone successfully hacking an admin account would not be changed by reducing the total number of admin accounts. In fact, by far the easiest way to hack an admin account would be to gain access to a computer with the account already signed in or to intercept the password of someone signing in with a hardware or software keystroke logger, both of which are only possible with an active account. Therefore a reduction in inactive admin accounts would in all likelihood have virtually no effect on security whatsoever.--Dycedarg ж 17:12, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
"Unless a convincing argument can be made that a disproportionate number of admin accounts with weak passwords are inactive..." If there are any inactive admin accounts with weak passwords, then deactivating inactive admin accounts has a security benefit. Rd232 talk 02:01, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
No it does not. I'll try to explain my logic more carefully: If one is going to brute force hack an admin account, all one needs is to find one admin account with a weak password. Lacking the password hashes that should only exist inaccessibly on the servers, the hackers have no better means of finding accounts with weak passwords than to pick passwords at random, try to hack them until they have determined that the passwords are strong, and then try again. The chances of their obtaining a weak password in their random searches are not determined by the total number of weak passwords in the available pool of passwords, but by the number of weak passwords when compared to the number of strong passwords. If deactivating the inactive admin accounts does not affect this ratio (and there is absolutely no reason I can see that it would), then it will have no effect on the effectiveness of such a search, and therefore have no effect on the security of the site. The chances of their getting an account with a strong password in any give search remain the same. If anything, decreasing the total pool of admin accounts reduces the number of searches that are likely to be necessary before an account with a weak password is found. Note further that the preceding method of password hacking is the least efficient method of gaining access to an admin account in existence, and if one wanted a password to an admin's accounts there are numerous easier methods of getting one, and all of said methods that I can think of would require the admin account to be active in order to have any chance of success.--Dycedarg ж 02:41, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I seem to recall someone said that the devs routinely run brute force attacks on administrator passwords to make sure they're adequately complex. –xeno talk 03:12, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Which of course raises the point that the devs have undoubtedly considered the possibility of brute force attacks on admin accounts, and have taken appropriate precautions. I simply find the whole concept of "inactive admin account=security risk" to be rather silly; there is quite simply no demonstrable, tangible, provable risk to having them. Any security gains would be ridiculously minuscule, and utterly not worth the effort of even holding another adminship removal discussion, let alone the effort of implementing such a policy in the unlikely event that someone finally rams it through.--Dycedarg ж 03:32, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Seems like this gets proposed and turned down every so often; past incidents involving compromised admin accounts have not swayed consensus on the matter, to my knowledge. Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Demote inactive admins might be helpful reading. – Luna Santin (talk) 21:30, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I seem to remember reading about a past incident of a compromised admin account where one of the stewards/developers/higher-ups/whatever ran some sort of password strength checker on all admin accounts, and those who were found to have weak passwords had to change them. If people are worried about admin passwords perhaps this could be done again--Jac16888Talk 20:55, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I mentioned this above... cf. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive155#Hello The developers have already run a password cracker on all admin accounts and changed those that were easily hacked... Thatcher 16:25, 16 July 2008 (UTC)xeno talk 21:07, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, sorry must have missed that bit, and that's the thread I meant. But yes, is this something they do often? and if not perhaps we should ask them to do it again--Jac16888Talk 22:18, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Yea, it should be done routinely if it's not already. As new admins get the bit they may keep their old password of "secret" "sex" or "god" =) –xeno talk 22:53, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Hey!!! How did you find out my password?--Jac16888Talk 23:02, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh good, it looks like my password of "secretsexgod" isn't as guessable as the individual components. EVula // talk // // 23:16, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I believe it was only done once. Mr.Z-man 23:09, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
If the only route by which an inactive admins account could be hacked was by cracking the password then I agree that deactivating the account wouldn't have a security advantage. But as there are also other ways then yes there would be a security gain to autodesysopping accounts that haven't edited in 12 months. I think we could have a fairly light touch system on this, auto desysop any admin account that hasn't edited in 12 months but with the proviso that any crat can restore tools after a months return to activity - that should be enough both for the returning admin to get up to speed with changes on the wiki and for a crat to be able to tell that the user is if not the same editor at least a competent one. ϢereSpielChequers 11:05, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, what "other ways" are you referring to? Any other method I can think of would only work on an active account.--Dycedarg ж 18:18, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
The only other thing I can think of would be to hack the Wikimedia servers and change the password in the database, which is probably a lot harder and a lot more illegal than a brute force attack on the password. Mr.Z-man 18:55, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd argue that for anything above "admin" level privileges, ("sysop", "oversight", etc.) 3 months without a login should deactivate those privileges. Admin actions are visible and can be easily undone. Above that level, the visible auditing isn't as good. So a higher level of protection is needed. --John Nagle (talk) 19:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) The comment by Dycedarg at the top of the thread was well-said. Selecting a secure password is what protects an account; edit counts, last login date etc., do not effect account security—at best they confuse discussion of the issue. –Whitehorse1 19:11, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

As I don't think it appropriate to discuss security loopholes in public, I will email one of the developers with what I believe to be a couple of loopholes that could compromise old accounts. ϢereSpielChequers 15:42, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Compromises of unused accounts are less likely to be detected. Their intended user isn't watching them. Again, use of the higher level privileges ("sysop", "oversight", etc.) can result in invisible changes, so accounts with those need to be more tightly controlled. --John Nagle (talk) 03:14, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
For the record, there's no such thing as an account that can perform "invisible" changes. There are logs for virtually everything, and absolutely everything of consequence. For checkuser and oversighters, the only userrights whose logs are not commonly avaiable, there is a specific audit subcommittee in place to ensure their power is not misused, as well as the ombudsman commission.--Dycedarg ж 04:26, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if there is a log of times when admins have looked at deleted contributions, or if there is a log who is monitoring, it but as far as I'm aware it is an invisible action though not an invisible change. However I have heard that the power to look at deleted contributions is one of the admin tools that justifies having such a stiff test at RFA.

There is one minor argument for expiry of passwords that is safe to discuss publicly because it is an opportunistic one rather than a loophole available to anyone reading this. Old harddrives especially personal ones are rarely destroyed or erased in a secure manner. I still have all the PCs I've bought in the last ten years, any credit card numbers on the old ones have long had their expiry dates changed, but yes there could be passwords remembered on them for sites and accounts that I haven't used in years.

Personally I regard 30 day and 45 day expiry of passwords as counterproductive because they encourage people to use post it notes and other aides memoire to keep track of them, but a 6 or 12 month expiry on passwords does sound sensible to me. ϢereSpielChequers 11:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

(re last part of your comment) This is something very different from what was originally raised early on. I believe your suggestion has definite merit. –Whitehorse1 12:24, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
You are correct about the lack of logging for viewing deleted contribs; that's why I said "almost everything". I do not feel that the ability to view deleted contribs is of particular consequence at this point. Back when personal information was merely deleted typically instead of oversighted, it might have been a bigger deal, but these days virtually anything that's been deleted can be requested by an interested third party anyway; the only exception I can think of off-hand would be copyright infringements. It certainly doesn't seem like the sort of thing you'd hack an account over; hackers seem more interested in the excitement of ruining something than trollng through thousands of deleted revisisons on the off chance that something interesting will come up.
You do have a point with that old hard drive thing, but that case presents a particularly minor danger in my view. The person who happens upon that password will be doing so via sheer luck. The probability of that person being someone who both wants to harm Wikipedia and knows how to do so in more than a superficial fashion is so utterly remote that it's not even really worth mentioning in my opinion. I'm worried about ways that a vandal can actively employ to get a password, not how some random vandal out there might by some miracle happen upon a computer previously owned by an admin who forgot to delete his password. Besides, in the absence of password rotation it is if anything more likely to happen to an active account than an inactive one.
That said, I agree that making admins rotate their password every six months to a year makes sense. It's not that onerous a requirement and it would improve security.--Dycedarg ж 04:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Making Wikipedia a more reliable source.[edit]

Currently I am undertaking a research project and I am using Wikipedia articles as reference. Public perception of Wikipedia as a cited source is very low because of the reliability of the information. People understand that there can be erroneous information posted by people that can compromise the integrity of the work that has cited it. I feel that Wikipedia needs to stand behind the articles that are complete and properly referenced with a Certified Seal. This means that the article and the information contained there-in is complete and up-to-date. Obviously leaving room for changes and updates to be made but pages that have been certified would be more heavily scrutinized when any edits are made. I feel this is one positive step in Wikipedia establishing itself as a trusted source. Obviously stubs and incomplete articles or improperly referenced articles would not be certified. I hope that you will consider my suggestion. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 123.238.78.50 (talk) 05:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Tertiary sources, such as encyclopedias, have never been good sources for, say, college-level writings. Wikipedia should be the stepping stone in any serious research effort, not the final destination.
However, your "certified seal" concept is already being discussed, in the form of flagged revisions. EVula // talk // // 05:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Remember that reliability and the appearance of reliability are two different things. And we could be shooting ourselves in the foot by promoting one over the other. -Freekee (talk) 02:38, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a FAQ a Policy?[edit]

There is a dispute on the status of a "Frequently Asked Questions" page for a Policy: should the FAQ of a Policy be a Policy itself, or a Guideline to the relevant Policy. I've set up an RFC to discuss the issue on the disputed FAQ. The Policy is WP:NPOV and its FAQ is Wikipedia:NPOV/FAQ. All input is definitely welcome! Dreadstar 23:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Orange Wikimedia partnership[edit]

See:

Learn more about the Orange Wikimedia partnership on video at

How does all this fit in with concerns about advertising? Various viewpoints and past discussions have been compiled and archived here:

I would like to hear various viewpoints on what people think about how this partnership fits in with all our policies, guidelines, and goals.

See also: Wikipedia:Advertisements/Orange Wikimedia partnership --Timeshifter (talk) 00:25, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


It fits perfectly because no ads will be placed here, all this means is that our content will be accessible by orange portals/channels (which of course they can slap as many ads on as they like). Orange could actually do this now without ponying up any money at all. --Cameron Scott (talk) 00:28, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I am trying to figure this all out, and my initial impression is that I like it. I am not sure about it all though. Here is some more info:
Searches:
Yeah, I'm with Cameron. I think this is exactly the kind of commercial use of Wikipedia content we want to actively encourage. The only thing they get by feeding us money is cooperation from us for live feeds of new content, as opposed to reading it from old stale database dumps. Fears of attracting vandals are ill-founded - we'll continue to get far more traffic from Google, and to assume the mobile phone users are more immature in general is simple prejudice. Dcoetzee 01:22, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
You're wrong, the WMF is reducing our donation and voulunteers base , Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions#France_Telecom.E2.80.99s_Orange_has_partnered_with_Wikimedia. This is going to cost us a lot of donations. Mion (talk) 01:30, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Donations will continue to make up the vast majority of WMF's revenue, this is simply an additional revenue stream. In fact, as part of our relationship with Orange, we hope we'll find opportunities to make people more aware of the fact that Wikimedia is a charity supported by donations (and that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia supported by volunteers). We've had much smaller business partnerships before, such as the live feed we've provided to answers.com, but now that we actually have some capacity to think strategically about these kinds of business relationships, we can develop them at a scale and in a way that makes sense.--Eloquence* 23:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I would be very interested to see some more specific information about the consideration in this partnership, partly out of curiosity and partly as a way to judge the philosophical position of the Foundation on the issue of being paid for content use. There is, and has long been, tension between the ideal of the maximum free use of our content and the utility of additional revenue for the Foundation. Some would say that we should, as part of our overall goal, give unfettered content access to organizations (including for-profit corporations) while accepting only reimbursement for costs incurred in facilitating that access. Others would argue that if we are to allow profit-making organizations to use Wikimedia marks and content, some of that profit should redound to the Foundation. I'm curious to know where the Foundation has officially come down on this issue.
If the idea is that the Foundation ought to receive revenue from content reuse but not content use (i.e. revenue from repackaging by other services, but not from our own direct service), I'd be curious to know what control the Foundation has in this case over how the revenue is generated. If we were hosting our own ads, as an example, we would have complete control over the nature of our advertisements. With ads placed by Orange, in this instance, what is to say that someone viewing the Fox News article through an Orange service won't see an embedded ad for Bill O'Reilly? (Lastly, should be noted that User:Eloquence is the Foundation's deputy executive director). Nathan T (formerly Avruch) 23:42, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
See: http://www.answers.com/Fox_News - we currently have no control over how commercial enterprises use Wikipedia, and I do not have a problem with that. The whole point of Wikipedia in my opinion is to put out free WP:NPOV info, audio, and imagery as widely as possible.
At Answers.com though it does not seem that they are using Wikipedia logos and icons. I don't understand the co-branding concept with Orange Telecom. Will they use Wikipedia's logos and icons? I guess this is OK with a non-political portal company. But if they do anything remotely questionable it could come back to Wikipedia? I think we should go ahead anyway, though. No FUD! :)
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:49, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I presume they would be allowed to use the Wikipedia logo, otherwise, they'd mostly be wasting their money, paying for free content. Mr.Z-man 17:46, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Content in all Wikimedia projects is free and always will be, for any use, including commercial uses. It's perfectly fine for for-profit entities to take Wikimedia content and use it with attribution. It's the non-attributive use of the Wikimedia trademarks that requires our permission (e.g. displaying the Wikipedia puzzle globe, labeling the project itself "Wikipedia", referencing the Wikipedia trademarks in marketing materials) - and any further technical consultation and support, unlimited API usage for real-time updates, and similar services.
In past commercial trademark licensing agreements we didn't have a lot of control over how our trademark would be used; a lot of time has been spent in the last year rationalizing these kinds of agreements and making sure that other people's actions don't reflect poorly on us. There are many specific trademark QA provisions in our relationship with Orange. In addition, we'll work with them to emphasize the charity status of Wikimedia, the fact that the projects require volunteer support, etc. That doesn't mean everything will necessarily work out perfectly, of course, but we'll do our best to support the process.
Ultimately the real value proposition from the point of view of the Wikimedia community is that, in addition to the fact that agreements like this help sustain WMF, a multinational multi-billion dollar company is throwing its weight behind making our content more widely known and used. Yes, those users could come straight to us, and indeed, the likeliest audience for the Orange properties are the people who aren't currently Wikimedia users, or the contexts where Wikimedia's penetration is still limited (e.g. mobile use). This is not an exclusive agreement, it won't affect the experience on Wikimedia itself, and it doesn't preclude us from improving the user experience for users going to Wikipedia.org itself from a mobile phone (e.g. improving our own mobile portal).--Eloquence* 22:07, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Maybe it is something like how some web pages on one site are piped into "frames" on another domain. With the logos, icons, and everything of both sites and domains.

Otherwise, Orange Telecom could just pay for a daily data dump to their own servers or something. But that would require some investments in servers and staff, I would think. And especially an investment in time setting it all up. Piping it directly from Wikipedia servers probably requires much less in the way of skilled staff and setup time. Wikipedia already has the highly skilled server staff, and everything is already set up.

Answers.com already had a lot of servers and staff, I believe. Do they get some kind of regular data dump from Wikipedia? Is that how they are doing it?

Is Orange Telecom basically wrapping Wikipedia-served pages into Orange Telecom pages on their own channels and devices? I guess since they are nonpolitical (I assume) this doesn't bother too many people. It doesn't bother me.

I don't see why we don't add some relatively safe, nonpolitical, noncontroversial, opt-out ads directly on Wikipedia pages served piping hot. :) ... and not just piped through places like Answers.com and Orange Telecom.

See: Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:51, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of criticisms[edit]

I come across writing like this all the time. Pro-skubs scanning through an anti-skub section/article can't resist answering the criticisms with "supporters would argue..." constructs at the end of every paragraph. Have there been tomes of debate about this? What's the line between NPOV and hosting the transcript of two editors arguing? .froth. (talk) 04:49, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

ouch, that's painful to read - lol. how many weasel words can one fit into a single section? does that page even satisfy basic inclusion guidelines? for one, it should be 'Critiques of capitalism' ('Critique of capitalisim' is an invitation to engage in OR, which seems to be what happened). for another, it feels entirely like a POV-fork (though I'd have to go through the Capitalism page to be sure). sorry, just venting... --Ludwigs2 05:18, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
The article itself is all invective of course but I was specifically referring to the "on the other hand"s in almost every paragraph. I'm not sure if you were just commenting on the article generally. .froth. (talk) 06:06, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
yes, and no, but I suppose I should keep it on the bigger picture. Face-smile.svg I do see this all the time myself. The problem, I think, is function of limitations in self-expression: expressing a thought clearly is something that takes a lot of practice. what I imagine happens (psychologically speaking) is that Editor A reads something that s/he finds unbalanced and decides to correct it by introducing a contrasting viewpoint. all well and good to that point, but it starts to suffer because:
  • most people don't know how to integrate opposing viewpoints in a sophisticated way. juxtapositional contrast is the easiest form, because it relies on the interpretive powers of others (put X next to Y and wave your hands suggestively, and in most cases other people will figure out what you mean), so that gets used a lot.
  • most people are aware of the classes of viewpoints in a given argument, but don't really have a good sense for the interrelation or weight of those classes. so, Editor A knows that what s/he has read represents a particular viewpoint, and knows that there is another viewpoint out there that contrasts, and can even identify that other viewpoint. but s/he doesn't have a good sense for who holds that viewpoint, or how the viewpoints developed with respect to each other, or where they locate in the universe of ideas. and so you get more hand-waving via weasel words ('some scholars say...', 'advocates hold...', 'it has been suggested that...', etc.) because the editor is trying to get the idea out there, and leaving it up to the rest of us to work out the details.
  • most people reason semi-emotionally, rather than intellectually, about topics that concern them. it is more important to them to get a word in edgewise that defuses something they don't like than to make sure that the bigger picture is balanced and neutral.
the best hope is that these issues will get played out on the talk page (where people with more practice at self-expression can help people with less practice figure out how to express things), but if you look at the page you cited, well... it's been around since 2006 but the talk page only has one archive, which either means that there hasn't been a lot of discussion about the article at all, or the discussion has all been in edit summaries on the main page. I'm not sure what can be done policy-wise, unless you want to make failure to read MOS a blockable offense. --Ludwigs2 14:25, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking something along the lines of an essay/policy specifically reminding editors to avoid "getting a word in edgewise" and turning an article into a back-and-forth debate. Even if people do read MOS and the NPOV pages, it's helpful to have a WP: link that can be referred to instead of editors having to repeatedly synthesize a point out of all that text. I'm just looking for assurance that my interpretation is widely held enough to be accepted as a stipulation and that an essay would be appropriate at all and that there's not already a good (talk?) page to link to for this purpose. .froth. (talk) 00:55, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

It's a problem that's been known for a long time. See Wikipedia:Pro and con lists, that's been around since 2004. Uncle G (talk) 23:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

History Quaility Indicator[edit]

In most instances, a scholarly organization will not allow students to cite Wikipedia articles, while they may or may not allow users to cite articles from other, less open, encyclopedias.

In my own personal experience, the most common complaint seems to be that "anyone can edit it".

As no one can edit history pages, as they are backup pages, perhaps we can look to the history logs to solve this issue.

We can start by making the history easier to use and more readable, but more importantly, a new banner which would declare whether or not the edit was made because the article had spam or misinformation, and perhaps a quote of the reason for editing the article. 8bit (talk) 01:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Also, so long as we're discussing ways to make Wikipedia seem more reliable, the plugin which displays the quality rating of the article, and changes the color of the title accordingly could make Wikipedia seem more reliable if turned on by defualt, for all users with or without an account. This would make it much easier to assess the reliability of the article. 8bit (talk) 01:58, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that even if you cite a specific revision of an article, you still don't know for sure whether all of the information in that revision is correct - you'd have to check it all against another source. As for determining the reason an edit was made, we have what's called an edit summary where you describe what you're editing in the article. Admittedly, edit summaries aren't always used and they can be quite brief. The plugin you're mentioning could be useful but it's not a good idea to rely on an article solely because it has a high assessment. Incorrect information could have been added after the article was assessed. Also, people might find that having the article title change colour is a bit distracting. Tra (Talk) 18:45, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Why was my external link removed?[edit]

It was to source of unbais information about the subject area of the page "Six Sigma" and I was linking to www.sixsigmazone.com articles.

I beleive they said it was removed ude to the editorial thinking it was bais or advertising, but to me it was valuable content reference source...

Please let me know why this happened!

Thanks


John —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnN66 (talkcontribs) 12:04, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Please see response on the article's talk page. Thanks Nelson50T 13:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

How to submit an article for semi-protection?[edit]

The article on Bianca Ryan has been repeatedly subject to vandalism. Some of it seems like it's kids horsing around, but I believe some of it is the work of a chronic troll who, using a number of screen names, besides occasionally raiding her website forum, constantly leaves derogatory comments on YouTube videos about her, as well as on the videos posted by fans of hers. For example the revision from 03:54, 28 March 2009 by IP user 68.224.255.188 has all the earmarks of this clown's posts. The same kind of language "...she is relegated to being a washed up child star..." complete with misspellings that they're known for.Docsavage20 (talk) 05:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

WP:Requests for page protection. I'll look into this one for you but in future please use that page. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 05:30, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Disabling PDF uploads[edit]

I can't see any genuine reason for PDF files to be uploaded here. Most are deletable under CSD:F10. I propose requesting their upload be disabled. Stifle (talk) 09:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I've met at least one user who had a complex table in a PDF that they wanted to temporarily upload as a PDF to seek assistance in converting it to wikitext, and to link from the article in the meantime. I don't know if this counts as a legitimate use, but it's something. Dcoetzee 11:43, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality enforcement: a proposal[edit]

I've started a proposal to enforce neutral editing on Israel-Palestine articles, which could be extended to other intractable disputes if it works. Input would be much appreciated. See Wikipedia:Neutrality enforcement. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 08:05, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Weird headings[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 124#Weird headingsTheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:46, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Disambiguation[edit]

If there is more than one Billy McKinney, it makes sense to have a disambiguation page for them. However, I determined there are two BILL McKinneys as well as a William "Bill" McKinney and a William McKinney. I should mention that at least one of the Bills does not have any mention of the name "William" in his article. It is possible to name a boy Bill or Billy but not William. So is it proper to put a hatnote saying "William" in the article? If not, what is proper?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:17, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Nutshell[edit]

I've made a page at Wikipedia:Nutshell where I'm trying to put together a comprehensive list of actual policies, without explanations, reasons-why, history, examples, redundancies, and so on. Though it's a nutshell, I want it to be complete and precise. The page would help me, and I hope others, to better understand Wikipedia policies. If editors could check it for completeness and correctness, I would appreciate it. –MT 04:29, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

revisiting a three-year-old "experiment"[edit]

As we know, the creation of new articles by anonymous users was restricted in December 2005. After the Seigenthaler incident, Jimbo announced that the Wikimedia Foundation had made this change as an "experiment." However, it has been almost three and a half years, and this "experiment" is still ongoing. I know some policies are considered "Foundation issues" and cannot be overridden by consensus. Is this restriction a "Foundation issue," or can it be overturned by consensus some day? --Ixfd64 (talk) 07:11, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

WP:DERM:REF[edit]

I have made a small page regarding referencing dermatology-related articles. The goal of the page was to provide a brief summary on how and what to reference in an article, and provide links to further information. I was motivated to create this page after getting some feedback from a couple dermatologist friends who stated they were interested in getting involved in wikipedia, but found all the policy and guideline pages to be vast and overwhelming for beginners. With that being stated, today I wanted to post a link to WP:DERM:REF, and make sure I summarized current policies and guidelines appropriately. ---kilbad (talk) 14:05, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Biblical reliability dispute[edit]

Hi. Not sure if this is the right place to list this, but any outside opinions would be welcome (please post on the relevant talkpage, rather than here, to keep discussion centralised). I'm fairly sure of my position, but would appreciate someone glancing over the history, and talkpage of, The Exodus. Cheers! ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 16:22, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Flagged protection: Reviewer group[edit]

A discussion has been started on how many edits and/or length of time should pass before applicants are normally granted reviewer status on the Flagged Protection Trial. Please add your views!

The discussion will stay open until Sunday 24th May. AndrewRT(Talk) 23:57, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Admin id policy[edit]

Hi. I'm a user of wp:es. Recently somebody suggested that admins could have some kind of signal in their signatures in order to identify them as administrators (bibliotecarios, in wp:es). This topic is beeing discused here, but I'd like to know what is the position of wp:en policies about this (if any). Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong page. Thanks in advance. --Oszalał (talk) 16:14, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

The relevant guideline is here but it doesn't say anything about identifying admins in their signatures. Admins here generally don't have anything like that in their signatures. Tra (Talk) 17:32, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. Seemingly, spanish sysops are strongly opposed to implement a new policy about this. I was curious about the state of the discussion in our "older brother". --Oszalał (talk) 17:43, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
It is very rare for someone to say they are an admin in discussions, and I have never seen it in a signature. The reason is that it is not important in most discussions whether someone is an admin or not. And if it was important for some reason, the admin would choose to mention why. Using it in discussions on talk pages would imply an authority, which in theory at least, admins do not generally have. There is also a script here which can highlight who is an admin on talk pages, for those who are interested. -- zzuuzz (talk) 17:53, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
The purpose of this suggestion is more aimed to let the users know who they are talking with. Its character, of course, it's simply informative: Nobody is interested in the whole index of sysops, but perhaps it could be useful in certain context. --Oszalał (talk) 17:58, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I think we have a philosophy here that it doesn't generally matter who you're talking with - all users are expected to act like admins, and all admins like users. What matters more is what is being said. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:05, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course. --Oszalał (talk) 18:14, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
That's the philosophy. But there are other other views... Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:03, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
It's generally accepted here (I think) that admins shouldn't mention that they are admins unless its actually relevant and isn't obvious from context. Putting it in a signature would go against that. Of course, English WP admins qua admins are broadly considered "janitors", not "super editors", while the Spanish term bibliotecario ("librarian") suggests editing authority. Maybe it's just a word, but that seems a quite different conceptualisation and if Spanish WP is happy to go with that, then flagging this status in the signature may be appropriate. Otherwise, maybe the name should be changed! Rd232 talk 19:03, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually the term librarian was chosen to avoid misunderstanding as sysop (system operator) or administrator (managing) implied authority, whereas a librarian just helps you find information. And consensus on eswp about flagging sysops on signatures is that is a bad idea. -- m:drini 19:12, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Fine, but "librarian" sounds to me like it implies authority to do with knowledge, whereas "admin" doesn't imply authority (to me), or insofar as it does, it's in relation to technical matters. But if that's what Spanish WP has settled on without meaning any difference in status or function from English "admin", fine. Rd232 talk 19:38, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I expect that librarians will be knowledgeable about how and where to find information, not that they will know the information themselves. In the Information technology world, admins generally have rights and access greater than the average user. Just look at the default "admin" accounts on most OSs. If admins actually want to be seen as janitors instead of superusers, they should change the name to "janitor". I won't hold me breath. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:38, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps wp:en admins should put janitor in their .sigs. — Kralizec! (talk) 13:45, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Please reference that "consensus"... ;) --Oszalał (talk) 19:29, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Consensus: all the historical discussions on the pump (your proposal isn't the first time, the overwhleming oppose on the current thread). A person disagreeing doesn't break consensus (as consensus is not unanimity) -- m:drini 20:13, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I have some CSS that highlights links to admins' user and user talk pages in cyan (you'll have to look through my monobook.css to find it, though. Dendodge T\C 19:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
User:Ais523/adminrights.js--Jac16888Talk 22:00, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a gadget on the Simple English Wikipedia that does the same thing. Kinda handy. EVula // talk // // 05:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The only user I've ever seen put "admin" in their signature (that I can remember) is Pathoschild. Though I think he did more because of his work on a lot of different projects. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:43, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the "☯" in my signature is how I distinguish my signature on projects where I'm an admin and on projects where I'm not. EVula // talk // // 05:06, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer admins not to publicise their status in their signatures. Wikiwoohoo (talk) 00:14, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe we should put little icons next to admins and such in edit history and such, like a little gold star. ViperSnake151  Talk  02:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
ooooo my turn, how about a mop? Or just use Popups, that shows all Rollbacker and Sysop rights when hovering over a user name. – ukexpat (talk) 02:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Don't you just love it ? :D —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:17, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

As an admin, I refuse to identify myself as such in my signature. I would rather present myself as just a person. That being said, I am sure a javascript applet could be made to identify the signatures of admins, I am fine with this. Chillum 05:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

(I'm not an administrator.) Generally, administrators are meant to refrain from administrative actions on pages they've edited. So when on the talk page of a page they're editing, administrative status should be irrelevant, while indicating it might be seen as "pulling rank" on newcomers and might provoke a few older editors who are averse to bureaucracy. In technical and policy discussions, an administrator usually has no more say than any other editor even though the administrator might at some point in the future have to implement or enforce any consensus that's reached. Administrators have often mentioned their status when recalling relevant experience or the way they've reached decisions when they've felt it relevant to the discussion. —— Shakescene (talk) 09:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I would change "edited" to "interested party". An admin shouldn't have to refrain from taking administrative action on a page if he once reverted some vandalism there or corrected a typo. Same with discussions such as XFDs. He can still close it if his edits to the discussion are relistings or deletion sorting but he hasn't taken a position. (keep, delete, etc.) --Ron Ritzman (talk) 12:55, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Adminship, at least as advertised here at en.wikipedia, is supposed to not be a big deal. There is no reason to make it as such. Besides, admins are also editors just like anyone else, and they may not always be acting in admin capacity (the same applies to the other special types of users here, such as bureaucrats, CheckUsers, or even arbitrators). It goes against what some users (including myself) that adminship is not some special status or whatnot – it's just some extra tools. MuZemike 04:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree with MuZumike that being an Admin is not a big deal, but yet whenever I see a vote on a new admin there's always at least a few that oppose that seem to think that admins are a big deal. Plus has anyone ever tried to get an admin removed from being an admin for violating policy or bad behavior or misuse of the tools? If admin was just a bunch of tools that werent a big deal, then it shouldnt be so hard to remove them, but alas it is 100 times harder to lose your adminship than to gain it from what I have seen. I agree that it is nothing more than a bunch of tools, but I also agree that since their function is like a janitor here on en.wikipedia that their name should be changed TO janitor, administrator sounds like they are an administrator of rules, which wikipedia does not have "RULES", and gives newbies the wrong impression. Where in our lives do we first encounter the word administrator? In school and in college where that word is used for people IN CHARGE who make the rules and enforce them.Camelbinky (talk) 20:28, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Policy as a whole[edit]

I would like to propose that Wikipedia looks at the policies it has in place, as a whole, and begins a system of reform. In my opinion, there is too much in the way of regulation and unneccesary policy here, that could be cut back. The policy of retaining pages for historical purposes is one such policy I have called for discussion on, since not all subpages are really needed. I feel that regulations can be streamlined though whilst maintaining the quality that Wikipedia should be known for. Wikiwoohoo (talk) 00:19, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at WP:5P and WP:TRI. .froth. (talk) 03:57, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Consider WP:PROJPOL - a new wikiproject that might help you develop specific ideas. Rd232 talk 05:35, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
You should write an essay about this! ;) - — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:19, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I think we need a policy to deal with the problem of there being too many policies... Resolute 21:01, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
We do. EVula // talk // // 05:04, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
We even have an essayabout ignoring IAR! Isn't this grand? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I hadnt even known about the WP:PIMP essay after using wikipedia for more than 2 years. Now that I know about it, is there a way to propose essay's be deleted? I know as an essay it is given more latitude, since by being an essay it is opinion and no one has to take it serious. Even so it is dangerous to have out there giving support to those that think wikipedia is a bunch of strict rules that must be always applied to the letter and that wp:common sense does not apply, and that ignore all rules is wrong even though its policy. WP:IAR is POLICY, an essay coming out and saying a policy should be ignored should be more than ignored it should be deleted. Which brings the irony that I'm proposing to delete an essay that supports ignoring a policy about ignoring policies.Camelbinky (talk) 20:41, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
You could take it to WP:MFD. Tra (Talk) 22:22, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

User:M recently started Wikipedia:Nutshell, which may be of interest. Rd232 talk 03:49, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Quality Ranking vs. Useful Information vs. Ownership[edit]

I don't have an axe to grind or a dog in this hunt, but as a newcomer am just curious about something: Let's say there's a FA, FL, or GA article and someone attempts to add something which, though it adds relevant, useful, and appropriate content to the article, is of lesser quality and could cause the article to drop down to a lower quality status ranking. Can an article be "owned" to the extent needed to justify deleting that content so as to revert it to a particular quality level even if the reversion removes useful and appropriate information which would be acceptable in a lower-ranked article? Or does this question just raise a silly impossibility? (Full disclosure: I've asked basically this same question on Mendaliv's talk page, but while waiting for his answer [and with absolutely no offense intended to his expertise], I'd like to hear what others think, too.) TransporterMan (talk) 20:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

In the scenario you describe, wouldn't it be better to change such content so it doesn't lessen the quality of the article? SMP0328. (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, of course, but that misses the point of my question, though you may be saying (are you?) that my question is, in fact, a practical impossibility. TransporterMan (talk) 21:55, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
How could an edit which adds properly sourced material "cause the article to drop down to a lower quality status ranking"? The people who rank articles do have some discretion and I don't believe they would lower an article's ranking on account of such an addition. In the event such an event came up, I believe editing the new material, so as to increase its quality, would be the proper course of action. SMP0328. (talk) 22:30, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

It's easy to imagine (and I have seen it happen) a top-quality article having a big chunk of material added, which is relevant and verifiable, even though it is badly sourced, badly written, disorganized, and partly overlapping with other parts of the article.
I would suggest that rather than just deleting such an addition, you should move it to talk space, write a note (in the edit summary and a talk comment) explaining where it was moved and why, and try to cooperate with the originator in gradually working it back into the article.
Or maybe leave it in the article, and adorn that section with one of those templates like {{Cleanup-section}}  while it is being worked on. --83.253.250.70 (talk) 14:39, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Credit on images[edit]

Do images like this one need to be edited to remove the credit from the image (per Wikipedia:Image policy#User-created images) in order to be suitable for inclusion in an article, or are they OK as is? --Rrburke(talk) 20:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

They should be edited. However people don't always do so.Geni 10:19, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Heritage categories (revisited)[edit]

There is an existing policy, found at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories)#Heritage. Earlier in the history of Wikipedia, we spent over 6 months hammering out a clear and concise policy. It was ignored by random editors that don't bother to read and understand policy. Over 2 more years at WP:CfD, a better compromise form was adopted after much discussion (and I was not involved).

Fooian Barians has been replaced by "Fooian people of Barian descent" for clarity.

The older policy wasn't easily workable and readily apparent in practice. Folks had difficulty distinguishing adjectival usage. Many names simply are unworkable in either Fooian Barians or Fooian-Barians forms (such as, "Puerto Rican", "Dominican Republic", "Saint Vincent and the Grenadines").

The updated policy prevents arguments, and long, slow motion, edit wars using {{category redirect}} between hyphenated and unhyphenated forms. All to the good!

Over time and much discussion, all of the subcategories of Category:People by ethnic or national descent have been updated to this new form. All of the subcategories of most nationalities have been updated to this new form. For example,

  1. Category:People of British descent
  2. Category:British people by ethnic or national origin
  3. Category:People of Canadian descent
  4. Category:Canadian people by ethnic or national origin

Some American subcategories have been updated. For example, Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 June 29#Category:Polish-Americans. Now, there are some editors (having lost the previous debate) that want to change back at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 May 3#Category:Americans of Polish descent.

See also Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 May 2#Category:Turkish Americans, where an editor surreptitiously used category redirect to reverse repeated CfD decisions at:

  1. Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 July 25#Category:Turkish-Americans
  2. Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 August 3#Category:Turkish-Americans
  3. Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 February 8#American people by ethnic or national origin

Please join the discussion, and help end American exceptionalism.
--William Allen Simpson (talk) 03:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Joe Biden article[edit]

The Joe Biden article in the Hungarian Wiki I'm working for is outdated. I wanted to update it, using the en.wiki version, but the article is (semi) protected. Can it be unprotected for the duration of copying the article into my computer, for further work? I'll appreciate a reply. 97.112.159.94 (talk) 20:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

You can still view the source of the article without logging in.--Unionhawk Talk 20:48, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but I need to copy it to my computer, to translate it first. 97.112.159.94 (talk) 21:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

And you can still do that without logging in. What's the problem? Algebraist 21:35, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Here's the raw version. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 21:44, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Algebraist: Problem is, the Joes Biden article is protected. Can a protected article be copied without permission? Nihiltres: I opened the link but it's Chinese to me. Isn't there an easier solution? What if I just copy the article, protected or not? 97.112.159.94 (talk) 23:45, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Protected means protected from editing, not viewing. Do whatever you want with source, provided it's GFDL-compatible. OrangeDog (talkedits) 23:48, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I thought protected meant not to touch it in any way. Great, thank you all! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.112.159.94 (talk) 23:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Resolved: Ian Weller (talk) 04:04, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

NTEMP[edit]

I recently looked at WP:NTEMP and noticed it had changed, in fact so much so, that it now contradicts itself. The current policy reads:

It takes more than just a short burst of news reports about a single event or topic to constitute sufficient evidence of notability. For example, routine news coverage of such things as announcements, sports, and tabloid journalism are not sufficient basis for a topic to have its own standalone article. The Wikimedia project Wikinews covers topics of present news coverage. If a topic has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage from news sources. Although a topic that does not meet this guideline at one point in time may do so as time passes, articles should not be written based on speculation that the topic may receive substantial coverage in the future.

The wording is simply absurd. It starts out by saying that It takes more than just a short burst of news reports about a single event or topic to constitute sufficient evidence of notability. yet goes on to say there is no need to show continual coverage from news sources.

It used to read

If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic, though subjects that do not meet the guideline at one point in time may do so as time passes and more sources come into existence. However, articles should not be written based on speculation that the topic may receive additional coverage in the future.

Perhaps it should be reverted back?Smallman12q (talk) 23:32, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

It's not a contradiction at all. It could be worded better though. Short burst of coverage doesn't mean notability. There should be extended coverage. That coverage doesn't need to keep up the same level forever, but it had to happen at some point. DreamGuy (talk) 13:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Contradiction or not, it should be rewritten to be more clear. The current wording is atrocious.Smallman12q (talk) 17:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I had a go at it. [1] Rd232 talk 12:56, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Looks good, thank you.Smallman12q (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Dispute tags[edit]

Is it maybe time to discontinue the use of "disputed" tags on policy and guideline pages? My experience is that people who are making genuine, constructive efforts to reach consensus to change policies or guidelines almost never use these tags. The tags are generally used by those with a personal axe to grind, and serve mainly to discredit some text that those editors don't like. If the tags could be used as described in WP:POLICY#Proposing change to guideline or policy status, i.e. when there's a genuine concern that a page or section has just been made into a policy/guideline without consensus, and if such disputes were quickly settled, then that would be fine. But there seems little point allowing people to decorate policies with tags that appear to say "you don't necessarily want to take any notice of this", but in fact mean nothing more than "there's something here that at least one person wants to change".--Kotniski (talk) 10:00, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, actually, the same misue is often the case when they are used on articles - which is why they is so much edit-warring over the placement of {{disputed}} and {{POV}} tags. CIreland (talk) 00:04, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Right. Perhaps there should be a BRD-like principle that once such a tag is removed, it can only be restored by consensus, or by an admin or similarly neutral user on the basis of arguments showing that there really is a substantial dispute?--Kotniski (talk) 08:45, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

The existing policy linked above already uses clear, explicit language to cover this: "If you have grounds to claim that a section was recently added or substantially altered in breach of the proper procedures for establishing consensus, then you may use {{disputedtag|section=yes|talk=Discussion Title}} instead." Preventing the disputedtag from being re-added once anybody removes it, unless solid consensus can be demonstrated that parties agree a dispute exists, whereupon it may be re-added so the underlying dispute (not the dispute that there is a dispute) can continue, seems unlikely to work well in practice. –Whitehorse1 09:14, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Which is why I included the second option above (an admin/neutral user could restore the tag on solid grounds). The present situation (anarchy) certainly doesn't work well in practice.--Kotniski (talk) 09:25, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree with your assertion or the OP's that the tags are predominantly used to air a petty grievance or anarchistic situation. It does not reflect the usage of the tags I have seen. (I have not placed one myself.) –Whitehorse1 09:36, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Edit: Whoops, you are the OP; sorry, my bad. –Whitehorse1 09:39, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, our experiences will obviously have differed (and ironically I have placed one myself), but in almost all the cases I've seen, it's been one person trying to get attention to their personal grievance, leading to edit wars with others trying to enforce the policy which you quote.--Kotniski (talk) 10:41, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
The tags are fine, the people removing them need to use more care rather than just blindly assuming they have support from the community. It's always driven me nuts how a small handful of editors can declare no dispute exists when obviously at least one person thinks something is wrong and needs to be discussed. —Locke Coletc 10:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, on the other hand, why should that "one person" be allowed to unilaterally declare that there is a dispute of such magnitude that it is worthy of advertisement on the page? In many cases that person doesn't even state clearly what the dispute is about, and doesn't even set the template parameters that indicate where the discussion is taking place (often because there isn't one). There is, of course, the {{underdiscussion}} template and similar, which are generally far more suitable.--Kotniski (talk) 11:41, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It's often not unilateral, although it may appear that way. These templates are a companion to the BRD cycle; they can be used when a change has been made, but no consensus can be reached on whether to keep or reject the changes. As for the lack of a discussion section on talk (and link in the template), that should be easy to resolve by using #if to require a section be specified for the template to operate. But it's a sad state of affairs indeed when there's a dispute over whether there's a dispute... —Locke Coletc 12:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed; we would be far better off if we didn't use the word "dispute" at Wikipedia at all - it seems to lead to muddled thinking on a communal scale. --Kotniski (talk) 12:36, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Links to special namespace in disambiguation pages[edit]

On the page Goldfish (disambiguation), there is a link to search for pages with Goldfish in the title (and previously one to search for pages starting with the word Goldfish). I seem to remember reading somewhere that articles should not link to special pages. Does this apply to disambiguation pages too? I would have thought that if any pages with goldfish in the title were relevant, then they should be listed on the disambiguation page. God Emperor (talk) 19:17, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

This has become quite common in disambiguation pages (the possibility is mentioned explicity at WP:MOSDAB, I think). Those that are most germane are actually listed in the main section of the disambiguation page; items that are more loosely connected with the term are listed under "See also". If there are likely to be many article titles beginning with (or containing) the disambiguated term - too many for them all to be conveniently listed under "See also" - the search link is a helpful substitute.--Kotniski (talk) 19:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Merge 3RR into Edit War?[edit]

There is a discussion at WT:3RR#Merge 3RR into Edit War? about merging WP:3RR into WP:Edit war (without loss of content, name, shortcut, etc - but reducing two closely-related pages to one). There are now two proposed drafts of what this might look like: User:Rd232/EW and User:FT2/EW2. Please comment at WT:3RR#Merge 3RR into Edit War?. Rd232 talk 05:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Are these external links considered to be advertising?[edit]

I'm after the opinions of others on whether the edits by Lansd are appropriate or not. Currently every edit they have made involves adding an external link to the commercial website "okino.com". Each of these links appears to be on relevant pages so it is possible that this is not a violation of WP:NOTADVERTISING. Lansd's edits certainly benefit Okino Computer Graphics, but do they improve Wikipedia? Thanks, Stelio (talk) 12:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I think WP:EL#ADV and WP:SPAMMER would point to removing the links and bringing them up on the talk pages before adding them to the articles. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the advice; that's great. As it is, MrOllie has already been through and reverted the links before I could get to them. :-)
Resolved: Stelio (talk) 07:32, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Bookseller links in cite book[edit]

Unresolved

Does adding bookseller links in {{cite book}} (without adding a refid or affiliaton tag) constitute a policy violation? (It seems to be a loophole...and I can't seem to get a consensus as to what whether or not I should include a link).

The following is a relevant discussion from my userpage:

See WP:ELNO, point 15. Do try an ISBN link instead. We don't link directly to amazon because they sell a product, and we're not in the business of sending our readers to buy products; neither should we appear to favor them over other vendors. - Biruitorul Talk 04:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps. Anyway, I think the "url" section is typically for Google Books or, if the book is available free online, for that sort of site. - Biruitorul Talk 14:16, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I assumed that a link was better than no link. Is there a particular policy or guideline that has this listed out so that I would be able to point it out to others?Smallman12q (talk) 19:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, isn't WP:ELNO, point 15 pretty clear? There's more on this at various points in the Wikipedia talk:External links, but I think "instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site..." is rather emphatic. If you're not convinced, do ask for clarification on that talk page. - Biruitorul Talk 19:54, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It says WP:ELNO says Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools so I assumed we could link in the references tools. Perhaps something about this should be added to WP:Reference? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm only trying to understand where you're coming from as you're the first Wikipedian to point this out to me. Thank you again for your speedy responses.Smallman12q (talk) 20:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Just in case I'm misleading you, which I don't want to do, I've asked at Wikipedia talk:External links for outside input. Hopefully this can be clarified. - Biruitorul Talk 20:56, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that the main issue with linking directly to the book at a particular site is that it gives preference to that site for anyone who may be interested in purchasing the item being referenced. By using the ISBN number, it improves impartiality and neutrality in the commercial linking, as the user then receives a link to a list of multiple sites from which the book may be available. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:01, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I too support the belief that as a non-profit organization, Wikipedia should not be giving preference to certain sites over others. However, as with Wikipedia articles, I generally like to see reliable sources in the form of a policy, guideline, or a discussion where a consensus has been reached. If one cannot be found, perhaps the current policies/guidelines should be amended.Smallman12q (talk) 21:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Biruitorul that WP:ELNO #15 addresses this. I suppose it's a question of how you define and distinguish "tools". To me, a template is not a tool - so a referencing template would not be a tool; instead, I view tools as items such as the ones found in Wikipedia's "special pages" such as Special:BookSources, or external applications such as http://tools.wikimedia.pl/~holek/isbn.php . --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools. For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, which gives readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources. Wikipedia:Map sources can be linked by using geographical coordinates.

I interpret sourcing tools as sourcing templates such as {{cite book}} and other citation/reference templates. The other portion states :Links to sites already linked through. What is your interpretation of already linked through? (I'm just trying to gather a thorough consensus=D)Smallman12q (talk) 22:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Addition-It also say For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, but it doesn't say anything about doing both. I've always thought that as much info in a reference as possible is good. Please comment.Smallman12q (talk) 22:05, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
At this point, I suppose it would be more productive to move this conversation to WT:EL, so that the discussion has better visibility to help build a concensus. But on the specific wording, I would view the sourcing tool as Special:BookSources, and referencing templates as mearly convenience methods to link to the tool. I also interpret "already linked through" to mean any source which can be potentially linked via the sourcing tool in the special pages (ie: older books that pre-date the ISBN numbers would not be linkable through the sourcing tool). Note for clarification: by using an ISBN number, a link is automatically created that routes through the Special:BookSources tool. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 22:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I just realized that I had made some assumptions when I read the discussion prior to adding my comments ... but I haven't viewed the specific issue which triggered this discussion. Could you point me to the article and edits involved? The reason I ask ... WP:ELNO is specific to the external links section - but I'm not sure if the discussion above was trully related to ELs or if it was actually related to inline references. While I believe that the same rules should apply if the book were used as a reference, I am not aware of anything in WP:RS, WP:CITE, or even WP:V which would explicitly support this position. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 22:22, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not any particular article, just that I've generally included amazon and barnes &noble links in addition to ISBNS in various {{cite book}} ciations/references. I'm mainly seeking clarification as to whether adding a link to amazon, google, B &N, and other sites is appropriate and have come to notice that an explicit policy does not exsist.Smallman12q (talk) 22:26, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Another related discussion is at Template_talk:Cite_book#Purpose_of_.22url.22_field and Wikipedia_talk:External_links#Amazon links.

Recently, the cite book documentation was changed, but I would like to garner a public consensus to justify the change.Smallman12q (talk) 20:03, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

  • My opinion: In a reference, an external link should only be used when it allows the reader to actually view the reference. A link to Amazon doesn't do that, unless they have a thing like Google Books. Same goes for links to any other online bookseller, or to the author's or publisher's website for that matter: if you can't read the book online there, it's just linkspam. You even have to be careful with Google Books links, it seems too often I click the link only to have Google Books tell me "you have reached your viewing limit" (WTF? This is the first time I looked!).
    This is not to be confused with the External links section of the article about the book, where a link to the author's or publisher's website might be appropriate. Anomie 11:07, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Interesting timing, as just yesterday I added a link to Amazon. I was editing the Ed Viesturs article, because it had the notice asking fro more citations. One of the unsourced claims was that he had written a book. The Amazon link supports the claim that he did, indeed write the book. I thought about whether to use the ISBN cite (thought very briefly, I'll hasten to ask) and decided that if the claim referred to the content of the book, then a reference to the book would be warranted, but the claim was simply that he was an author of a book, so I felt the easier path was sufficient. My reasoning is, admittedly, weak, so if the consensus is that I should use the ISBN link, I'll make the change, but I am interested to hear whether my distinction makes any sense to anyone else.Sphilbrick (talk) 13:32, 14 May 2009 (UTC) After reading more of the discussion, I decided to change the link to an ISBN link. Sphilbrick (talk) 14:01, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
did you try WorldCat? DGG (talk) 23:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, Google has said that they plan to sell ebooks in the future and also that giving google more eyeballs would give them an unfair advertising bonus.Smallman12q (talk) 20:43, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

We absolutely do not link to individual booksellers in references. Putting a link to an Amazon page just favors that commerical entity over all other commercial entities who also sell it. The ISBN code allows people to find multiple ways to get at the book, including library links. That's what we should be using. Amazon links are essentially free ads, which we do not do. DreamGuy (talk) 22:01, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose Amazon-type links for anything with an ISBN or ISSN. In addition to inappropriately favoring one seller over another, this is a worldwide encyclopedia, not a country-specific one. Using the ISBN link allows the user (if they choose) to select the Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.de, or whatever bookseller (or other source) they like, instead of the particular site that was chosen by the editor. It also reduces the temptation for tiny booksellers to spam their URLs all over our refs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:44, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Oppose, unless we actually need them for a reference, which will sometimes but not often happen. There's almost always a better way of doing it. I think we need to keep the rule, and I would be very cautious about individual exceptions. For almost everything in Amazon, except some self-published material, there is an entry in worldCat--and the sort of self published material that doesn't, won't be justifying the notability of the book or the author. DGG (talk) 23:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposal for standardizing warning templates[edit]

I propose that warning templates only approved on one page (or through the wikiproject on warning templates), approved through consensus be used and that we discourage the use of warning templates constructed by individual users on their own and not discussed and "adopted" as "official". I believe it is potentially harmful for users to change the templates and potentially, I'm sure in good faith, change the language subtly that may perhaps be more offensive or taken the wrong way. Only through consensus here can we be sure templates are being stated with the appropriate harshness/sensitivity. I think creating new ones in sandboxes and user pages are good, but the actual use and implementation of those new ones without first bringing them to be discussed and agreed upon by the community is dangerous. I bring this up due to a comment on the talk page of the wikiproject on warning templates of the editor who created warning templates and has had good results using them, yes he may have had what he believed to be good results, but what about the many other users who make their own and end up alienating newbies and established users alike. Perhaps treating new warning templates like drug companies treat new drugs would be a good way to find new ones. Let people create and improvise but then bring them to a central place and let the community as a whole decide whether or not they should be used on a "trial basis" and then after an arbitrary time of use that editor (and others who want to use the trial warning template) comes back there with the results and the community decides whether or not to keep the new template. There have been other suggestions on how to regulate warning templates on the wikiproject talk page, where I first brought my proposal about a 6 days ago. Most editors there (which consists obviously of people who are interested in warning templates in the first place) seem to agree that something is needed to standardize and regulate warning templates, but seem to be afraid that the community at large may be against a new level of bureaucracy or the wikiproject taking too much responsibility. I argue that we already let the wikiproject on stub templates regulate, decide what stubs are acceptable, and what the standardization of them; warning templates are much much more likely to be both intentionally and unintentionally used wrongly and/or abused. Even changing but just one word on a warning template could potentially change its meaning from well intentioned warning to violating wp:BITE. After 5 days I'll revist and see what everyone has to say, any questions for me needing answer before then, contact me on my talk page. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Camelbinky (talkcontribs) 20:01, 10 May 2009

Wikipedia:Writing better proposals#Paragraph length --83.253.250.70 (talk) 12:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Not that I dont appreciate the info, but my talk page wouldve been better for that. Please sign up instead of using an IP. And that info isnt helpful to this discussion. Thanks though.Camelbinky (talk) 21:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, making it easier for others to read your proposals is in your interest. But no worries, it's not like it was impossible to read it. I'd just like to add the link to the main discussion on this proposal at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject user warnings#Proposal, so that people can chime in there. Keeping this to one place certainly seems best, but notifying here was of course a good idea. (Edit: I just realized this could look as though I'm the same person as the IP above; to avoid any confusion I'm just pointing out that I'm not.) —JAOTC 22:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
It may not be helpful, but it is relevant. Your proposal is far too wordy; it's like an incipient essay. This would be better:

User warning templates are generally rather official-looking communications that appear to have a certain stamp of authority, especially to new users. This means people should be careful using them (WP:BITE); it especially means people should be careful creating new ones. I therefore propose that new user warning templates (that is, templates which look as official as the current uw- templates; templating clearly personal messages is excluded) should be discussed with the community before being used. To avoid accusations of bureaucracy, such discussion may take place anywhere that is a reasonable place for relevant community discussion, including WT:UTM and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject user warnings.

Rd232 talk 22:19, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Don't bite those who haven't got (or signed into) an account either. It's their choice and their contributions should be judged no differently.OrangeDog (talkedits) 23:46, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Wasnt biting, sorry if you feel I was. I said I appreciated it, but I'm still right that my talk page wouldve been a better place. Asking an IP address to sign up is a common occurance that many users do. Yes, I was abrupt, I didnt want to spend too much time on something like this. And the fact that three users have now posted three postings concerning the length of my statement instead of the actual topic shows I was right that this took away from the topic and lead us astray. This discussion is about the topic proposed (happens to be by me) concerning policy. Not a discussion about length of the proposal. Please keep the comments confined to the proper discussion. Further discussion about anything else should be on talk pages. Sorry again if I'm abrupt or rude, but there is no need to have this discussion in this place.Camelbinky (talk) 08:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I am absolutely against a new layer of administration, especially one that attempts to systematically force recent changes patrollers to adhere to arbitrary bureaucratic standards. RCPers can write whatever they want to a user's talk page as a warning. They can do this by hand every time if they wanted to. If they use their own templates to make this faster, so much the better. Now, if you object to the content of these warnings, you should object to what the user said, not the fact that they communicated it with a template. Would you intend to also ban writing warnings by hand in every case, thus forcing every warning into a restricted list of generic boilerplate messages? If someone's userfied templates are too "BITE-ey" or otherwise problematic, bring it up with the individual users on a case by case basis and use common sense. It is not necessary, nor is it acceptable, to think that we should make RCP any more difficult or complex than it already is. --Ryan Delaney talk 10:54, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Extend CSD category A7 to include blatant cases of non notability[edit]

I searched the archive for similar proposals, but the only one i found dated from early 2007

The Criteria for Speedy Deletion policy’s A7 category is currently used for deleting clearly non notable real persons, organizations and Web content. Technically taken pages can only be tagged if they fall under the previous three categories – If they don’t, they should be prodded or taken to WP:AFD.

The problem with this definition is that other blatant non notable articles do not technically fall under this guideline. Articles about pets, furniture or products must therefore be tagged with CSD or PROD templates to be removed.

The problem of CSD and PROD templates[edit]

It seems to go against common sense that we can remove people, organisations and web content as not notable without discussion, while subjects such as pets, Which are almost never notable, have to go trough a lengthy process.

PROD and AFD themselves have problems in their own right. Starting an AFD means that users will have to spend time commenting on them to determine if an article should be removed. In case of a pet this is a dull and time wasting task as there is truly no chance of a favourable outcome. In other words, it is a waste of editor time.

PROD templates have the difficulty that they may be removed – by any user – after which they may not be replaced. Since a PROD template has a standard duration of 7 days an article tagged with them must be checked back after that time elapsed, and tagged for AFD should the template be removed (in case of disagreement with the removal). As of such it is possible for articles that should clearly be removed to stick around.

Current Situation[edit]

Currently these articles are handled in two ways: Either they are simply tagged for CSD and an admin removes them trough applying the snowball clause, or they have to go trough the long route if the admin follows the guidelines exactly. There is no certainty that two admins will handle an identical tagged with A7 the same way. As of such I witnessed some editors make it a habit to tag these articles under a not so relevant category just to evade the A7 issue.

Summary and proposition[edit]

Extend the A7 category to include blatant cases of non notable articles. This would be articles that have no chance to survive an WP:AFD regardless of the people who voted. Currently protected categories such as Software, Books and schools could never fall under this extension unless the article itself claims otherwise (EG: “Hi World2 is an application I wrote during school yesterday!!”) . This would not truly change the currect process – but it would rather formalize a procedure used in practice. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 19:30, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose Yes, it is indeed strange that we can speedy obviously non-notabe persons or bands but not pets. The reason that is the case is that the CSD policy page is taken to be a bureaucratic rulebook, to which we must slavishly adhere to every dot and iota. Since people think that they need policy to authorize every obviously good thing they do, or that if they are challenged they will need to cite policy to justify their actions (rather than a common sense ground that what they did was good for the project of building the encyclopedia), they feel like they have to list every possible item that might need to be speedied (persons, bands, pets, plants, cars, screwdrivers...) and pack it into the policy. There is no other policy on Wikipedia that does more to create the false impression that it is a bureaucratic firm rule, and I would be in favor of any revision to the policy that reversed this trend, rather than made it worse. --Ryan Delaney talk 20:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
    Very well said - perhaps i should start writing an essay about this behavior over CSD bureaucra(c/z)y. However, the proposal was to remove (and NOT add) limitations on the article categories the CSD template can be user for. So instead of "a real person, an organization, bands, pets, plants, cars, screwdrivers ect etc" and i don't know what else it would be valid for every type of article, as long as there is a blatant lack of notability. Those blatant cases are often being swiped under other categories or deleted trough PROD's and AFD's anyway. If we trust an admin can make valid decisions over the currently allowed categories, we must trust their decisions on other categories as well. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 20:45, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
    I'm not really sure what the best way to handle it is. If I had my druthers I would rewrite the policy from scratch, but I know that would be way too radical for most people to handle. I recognize that your change gives administrators more leeway; I think the reason I am/was opposing it is that I object to the tacit assumption that administrators can't do the right thing unless the policy authorizes it. Judging by most of what goes on at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion, it seems most people editing this policy (and handling CSD nominations) have forgotten that entirely. I'm glad that you and I agree that this is a fallacy, so maybe it would be best for me to pursue this crusade of mine somewhere else. On other policy pages I have simply used the Wikipedia:Bold, revert, discuss system to great effect, but I worry that CSD is so intensely bureaucratic in nature that it may be intractable without starting over. We'll see where it goes; in the mean time, I'll withdraw my objection to your proposal. --Ryan Delaney talk 00:14, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I disagree. There are unfortunately people over at CSD who are trigger happy nominating things for deletion without even giving people a chance to finish writing articles. Therefore CSD is deliberately written to cover only the obvious cases where articles should be deleted without discussion. Having said that, I'd support extending A7 as proposed to cover all subjects which make no assertion of notability. I'd question whether the debate should be here or over at the CSD page. AndrewRT(Talk) 22:08, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
    • The ones selected were selected on the basis that any two people could safely tell that there was no possible notability, and usually that does work fairly well. For other type of things its really much harder, and there is no way to write this to keep it from getting extended. People often write really bad articles on notable books for example, & it won't be spotted unless someone recognizes it, which will happen in Prod, but not CSD. We need to cut down the opportunities for making mistakes. In an ideal world, no admin would delete without a full search for notability in all likely sources, but that doesn't happen here. The ones listed are those which are safe to go by appearances, because by and large, that is what happens. "blatantly" means nobody will disagree in good faith, but there is no way to tell that without seeing if they do. (anyone writing about their cat usually has the article deleted as a test page or vandalism--or as no context because there's no way to tell just what cat it is; if an article about a computer program says no more that what was above, it's likely to get deleted as no context as well.).DGG (talk) 23:31, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Strong Oppose, this idea is lame. Speedy Deletion is overused anyway. Why give these summary deletionists any more leeway. The CSD policies are written to prohibit the summary deletion of many types of articles. If the writers of the policy intended for speedy deletion be applied to pets, they would have expressed so in the policy. Furthermore, I see not the "waste of time" the misguided original poster spoke of, as all discussion is voluntary, not forced like jury duty. Who are you to foreclose community discussion? Yardleyman (talk) 02:14, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Policy does not prohibit anything. It is not proscriptive, and we do not adhere to the intent of the "writers" as if they were founders. Policy represents current understanding of best practices, and this can be changed at any time, or ignored at any time, given a compelling ground that it would be in the wider interest of the project to do so. --Ryan Delaney talk 06:25, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Forgive me that i don't take your comment here to seriously. Based on your edit history you never worked in CSD, and This proposal does not offer much faith either. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 09:23, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Yardleyman has been blocked as a disruptive sockpuppet. Mr.Z-man 15:49, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Comment The problem with the A7 policy is that we seem to have forgotten what the core reasoning for creating such a policy was. The core reason is that we should be able to remove articles that would clearly never meet any keep consensus when taken to Afd. Instead we hammered the policy into some form of ugly compromise between deletionist and inclusionist stances; We allow removal tags the majority of the articles for removal without discussion, not based on quality of the article, but rather on the type of article. In a sense A7 is currently used to remove might be notable pages on people and companies, while disallowing tagging clearly non notable subjects due to the wording of the policy. Thus: the policy itself has become the reason for the policy, rather then common sense.

My personal opinion is that the policy should be altered to reflect the reason behind the policy. Perhaps the change i suggested is not the correct way to achieve this, but as its said: there is more then one road to Rome. The problem lies in the way the policy is executed, which we subsequently tried to prevent by limiting the scope of the policy. Thus, we tried telling ourself that allowing people to remove a smaller subset of possibly notable articles would remove the problem, as long as we counterbalance it with disallowing it on other subject area. As for removing clear notability issues in those non allowed categories we also found a solution - either go trough a long process of discussion better saved for possibly notable articles in the categories we allow, or we just throw it as glass in a container meant for paper. Should it really work that way? No. But it is probably better to solve this structurally then trough applying damage control. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 09:00, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I have to admit that what you've said makes a great deal of sense to me, and I find myself in absolute agreement with everything you wrote. It sounds like you may be tending to agree with my suspicion that what is needed at CSD is a more radical overhaul of the policy than merely tinkering with the wording. Since the current policy is evidently a frankenstein of compromises over literal and bureacratic interpretation of syntax that has grown more bloated over time with every tiny debate leading to a new clause, a new category, and a new compromise... we need to cut the head off this dragon. I thought I was the only one who felt this way, but now I am starting to suspect that others have been frustrated with the ludicrous complexity of the CSD policy, but nobody ever did anything about it because it was too much of a hassle and seemed to represent "consensus." I may begin to make bold changes to the policy in order to stimulate discussion since I have found this to be a successful means for re-drafting policies that had become overly complex. If this sounds like a good idea to you, I suggest we move this to the CSD page itself, and I would be grateful for any input or assistance you could offer on this. --Ryan Delaney talk 10:41, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I would strongly recommend not making bold changes to fundamental policy. To quote from the BOLD guideline: "Although it is acceptable to be bold in updating articles, it is easier to cause problems in other namespaces by editing without due care. The admonition "but do not be reckless" is especially important in other namespaces." and "Often it is easier to see that something is not right rather than to know exactly what would be right." As for the current rules, i see them as a series of adjustments to meet problems and achieve balance. They are not perfect, but the real problem isn't the rules, but the failure of admins to follow them, and the various barriers to dealing with that--some unavoidable, such as the need for us admins to be polite to each other. DGG (talk) 04:35, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
As for the bold edits I intend to make, I can assure you that I don't intend to be reckless; the objective is to stimulate discussion by making a bold edit and then seeing who reverts and on what grounds. See WP:BRD for an explanation of the logic behind this. I appreciate that you don't want radical overhauls of policy to occur too quickly, and so I would suggest that if you disagree with any of my policy edits, you should revert them, and then we can discuss the details on the talk page. As for the problem with rules, the problem with the rules is not that people aren't following them, but that there are too many of them. If people aren't following the rules then that should indicate to you that the rules are too complicated and are getting in the way of building the encyclopedia. It is incomprehensible that admins "failing" to "follow the rules" could be a problem. Any admin who "fails" to obey rules is probably doing the project a service by concentrating on what matters -- building the encyclopedia -- instead of focusing on stifling bureaucratic policy wonkery. --Ryan Delaney talk 05:20, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I think part of the problem is that there isn't much overlap between the people discussing and controlling the development of the policy and the people actually implementing it. The people writing the policy assume that the people applying it will automatically shift their behavior at every single change but the people using the policy aren't following the continuous discussions and wording changes, they're going by memory and whatever short notes the tools they use give. This all goes back to the idea that policy isn't proscriptive. The new page patrollers are using the CSD policy like any other policy; they follow the general spirit and do what works for themselves and everyone else and they don't use the exact wording of the policy to guide their every action. The difference with this policy though, is that the people writing it expect them to follow the exact wording rather than the spirit. Mr.Z-man 05:42, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Two New Ideas[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
Resolved: Smallman12q (talk) 21:55, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

1) In order to save wikipedia server space and user resources, we should streamline the article deletion process. We should require that a user that seeks an AFD must have at least tried to get the article deleted through the "PROD" procedure as a necessary condition precedent. That will lessen the workload at AFD since many of the articles that would have gone through a full 7 day AFD under the old system will be deleted. If any user attempt an AFD without fufilling the condition precedent of listing the article as a PROD, then his AFD will be stricken, without prejudice, for failure to perform a necessary condition precedent.

2) Wikipedia needs money. The commission can sell advertising OR raise money through auctions, donations, and charity contests like it does now. However, since the "rollback" function became more of use to the non admin classes an idea arises how to make money and democratise wikipedia in one fell swoop? One proposal is to auction or sell admin, steward, and sysop rights to the highest bidder. Another intelligent proposal is to not sell the access level as a package, but sell different individual privileges (summary deletion, rollback, checkuser, etc) a la carte at set prices. I am sure people would be willing to pay well over a thousand dollars for admin rights on english wikipedia. The checkuser privilege may fetch a pretty penney as well. In this way we can keep wikipedia free of advertising and other evils. Yardleyman (talk) 02:29, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The first idea could be reasonable as an administrator can determine if an article deserves an speedy deletion, for the second one I just can say: lol. Locos ~ epraix Beaste~praix 03:51, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense. Server load would not be reduced by forcing a PROD over an AFD. Prod templates can be legally removed by anyone and don't come in to effect until 7 days after it is placed. As of such the person placing it would need to check his tagged articles to see if the PROD template has been removed - not only is this an annoyance to track, but it also requires server load to check such a page. If the prod IS removed we still need to go trough the entire AFD proces. Besides, what if we striked an AFD? Should it simply go trough the proces i previously mentioned just to end back at an AFD? Besides, PROD templates are meant for pages that don't fall under CSD guidelines, but won't need discussion for removal (Such as the guidelines is WP:NOT). AFD's are for creating community consensus over a page; Therefore, not every page can or should be prodded first.
As for the second proposal: LOL!. Lets just sell new editors and vandals admin rights and set them of deleting pages, blocking people and so on. Im sure it will help wikipedia a lot and it sure it really democratic to sell rights to people who can and want to pay for it ^^ Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 09:09, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Yardleyman has been blocked as a disruptive sockpuppet. Mr.Z-man 15:50, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • What a completely ludicrous and absurd proposal. It goes against everything wikipedia stands for.Smallman12q (talk) 21:55, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Seeking Consensus in Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder[edit]

There's an ongoing dispute on Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, mainly encircling the talk page. Some editors think that all bold edits there should first be discussed on the talk page. I disagree; I think that edit summaries are sufficient, but, I want some more comments on the issue. This is getting to the point of sheer madness... (If this belongs somewhere else, move it, but keep it in the more casual village pump, instead of RFC)--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 03:20, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I support Unionhawks concern. This unfortunately is only one of many issues and if settled another disruptive discussion will just take its place. The above section applies here as it seems one editor is using the talk page to "blog about their personal opinions" without providing any references.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:59, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I might suggest WP:3O, or possibly dropping a note on the respective WikiProject's pages, whichever those may be. --Izno (talk) 01:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

wolfram alpha[edit]

15:17, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Standardization of Myanmar/Burma?[edit]

It has come to my attention that in some pages, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma is referred to as Myanmar (The article on SI units) and as Burma (The article on Imperial units). Is there a policy regarding this? If there isn't, could we institute one?

68.221.105.22 (talk) 23:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Myanmar would be correct in my opinion. But of course keeping the coverage regarding Burma / Myanmar usage by media and political bodies in the article. Myanmar is what the country calls itself legally, it is recognized by the UN and South East Asian bodies under that name. Unomi (talk) 00:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Given the ability to use redirects, this would seem to be one of the less urgent things to standardise across articles. However Wikipedia:Naming conventions (and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) and Wikipedia:Naming conflict) might be the place to look/start. Rd232 talk 14:19, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposed new global policy: m:Biographies of living people[edit]

There is a proposal for a new global policy regarding biographies of living people. Comments, suggestions, and other input are welcome at m:Talk:Biographies of living people. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:58, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is nothing without references?[edit]

Being a long-term contributor of Wikipedia, I just have come to realization that Wikipedia is simply an aggregator. It does not create new information. In a sense, it is akin to Yahoo or MSN or other even pre-Internet aggregators that enlist resources on different subjects. These aggregators are no more relevant because you can Google anything, does Wikipedia still relevant? And if it does, can it sustain without the resources it relies upon? What if the website with a resource is taken down? Several sites? Many of them? The information becomes unverifiable. I think Wikipedia should reconsider its stance on original research and allow more of it, and less of dependency on external sites. As of now, Wikipedia does not increase the amount of knowledge, it only provides a convenient access to it. Mikus (talk) 21:01, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

If the problem is that online sources for verifying articles disappear over time, the solution is not to lessen requirements that articles are verified by external sources. Ideally, articles should cite to more than just links to external websites, such as books or print periodicals. Cites to external websites should at least give the date and title of such links so we can know what the URL once referred to (which will hopefully have a print version, in the case of cites to newspaper websites). Otherwise, your observations about Wikipedia being a secondary source, and not a generator of knowledge, are largely accurate—Wikipedia compiles, centralizes, and organizes information that has already been published elsewhere. Postdlf (talk) 21:13, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikt:Encyclopedia. Encyclopedias, by nature, gather information from elsewhere and present it in a concise manner to their readers. The entire purpose of Wikipedia is to provide access to knowledge, not to let people blog about their personal opinions. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Use printed sources, they won't be taken down. And they are better. I have yet to see an "aggregator" that can reliably put together a proper set of printed (not FUTON) sources.NVO (talk) 18:58, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
There is also WebCite and similar services. DGG (talk) 23:34, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
There's a reason the "cite url" template does not include just a URL, but also a title, author, date accessed, and other information. This allows the information to be tracked down even after it has been removed. Inaccessibility of references is a problem much older than Wikipedia and is outside of our scope - at best we can hope that someone will take an interest in archiving and republishing these works, like archive.org or libraries. Dcoetzee 23:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I would like to point out that at the start of the height of his career Albert Einstein was asked to contribute to an encyclopedia an article on his newest breakthroughs on quanta, relativity and such, BEFORE they were proven correct. If Wikipedia had existed a little less than 100 years ago (this sometime before between 1900 and 1920) and Einstien had attempted to contribute to an article on these discoveries, Wikipedians would have shouted him out with "original research" and "conflict of interest". Encyclopedia articles, especially in the more respected ones, are written by experts who often use their own original research. I think we all need to understand that. If original research is CORRECT and published research is wrong, then the published research should be removed as FALSE info, even if we shouldnt put the original research in because of our policies. TRUTH above references.Camelbinky (talk) 01:08, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Your example fails to recognize the difference in the trust models employed by traditional encyclopedia's and Wikipedia. There is no practical means available on Wikipedia to verify the identity and expertise of our many contributors. As a result we do not rely upon individual expertise to form a basis for determining the "TRUTH". In a traditional encyclopedia the publisher controls who is allowed to contribute and to which entries each individual is associated. This allows a traditional encyclopedia to verify individual areas of expertise and utilize the personal knowledge of experts in a variety of fields. Contributions to Wikipedia however lack this control. Instead a wide variety of individuals with no verifiable expertise and potential conflicts of interest are allowed to anonymously contribute to any article they desire. Because of this difference, Wikipedia relies upon previously published sources to perform the data screening and fact checking functions. --Allen3 talk 01:38, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
If you want to get your original research in Wikipedia, get it published first so that an organization that has the means to do so can verify that you're not just making stuff up and so that the actual methods behind your research can be published somewhere (all Wikipedia cares about are the conclusions). If your methods are sound, your results repeatable, and you really can prove an established theory wrong, I'm sure you'll have no trouble getting published. Wikipedia though does not have the resources to do all the necessary verification, which is why we rely on publishers who do. Mr.Z-man 01:59, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
You downgrade Wikipedia to a mere aggregator of information, basically to a consumer of someone else's efforts to verify/publish/confirm the statements. I for one don't want just to dig through someone else's stuff all over the Net just to aggregate it. I have some information of my own that I can contribute. This information is not a relativity theory or a nuclear research, this is small stuff that is absolutely of no interest to any magazine or paper, these are just bits and pieces of information that I happen to know, and I happen to be able to verify. Here is case in point: Panasonic has released a new digital camcorder, the TM300, which can record in 24 frame/s progressive mode. Question arises: is this native progressive mode or done through 2-3 pulldown process? Different -- and very few so far -- sources on the Net give different info on this account. Whom to believe? I went to a store myself yesterday and checked the camcorder. I found out myself -- yes, this is original research -- that it uses 2-3 pulldown. I can prove it, I can provide raw files and screenshots from my editing program. Now what? You want me to write a blog entry on the subject and then link Wiki article to it? Lame. So why cannot I simply edit the relevant arcticle in Wikipedia and put this info in: this camcorder records in this particular mode, period. If someone else will be able to disprove it, fine, change the entry. But this will be unlikely as more and more people will verify my statement themselves.
Again, the point is, that original research should be allowed if a regular Wikipedia contributor can easily verify it. In the case above, one does not even have to buy the camcorder, one can go to a store and play with it for two minutes, then bring the memory card home and analyze the files. Easily verifiable original research should be allowed. Also, Wikipedia has policy on commonly accepted knowledge. Here, something that started as original research, can quickly become common knowledge as more and more people verify it.Mikus (talk) 17:49, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
You're ignoring a major flaw in your logic: how do we know your truth is correct, while others are wrong? That's why Wikipedia does not accept "truth" as a criterion. We only use verifiable facts. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:29, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make is that if info has been published somewhere but if it is blatantly FALSE then it should be removed regardless of if no source refutes it. I'm sure we can find sources that call Washington, DC a town, but we dont then go around saying it is a town and a city; it is a city period and ignore (using common sense) the fact that there is a colloquial use of the word "town" versus a political technical definition (in many states) of town or township (or civil township). North River Steamboat is a case in point, even though a VAST majority of RELIABLE sources say the boat's name was the Clermont, but the truth of the matter is that the boat had no name at first and was originally referred to in its advertisements as the North River Steamboat (because it was THE only steamboat and it was on the North River/Hudson River). All the reliable sources can be traced back to one source which was considered THE authoritative work on the subject and it got it wrong and that wrong info was carried through time. At least that is what the article says, I take it with a grain of salt and havent had the time to check out the references further. If the article is correct then the "Original Research" of actually looking at ads for the steamboat from that period show that the name of the boat was NOT the Clermont originally then it doesnt matter if you have 3,000,000 sources saying that the Clermont was the original name because primary sources show it wasnt.Camelbinky (talk) 19:42, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, looking at the ads of the time is not original research. You are still proving a fact using a published, verifiable source. And that, of course, is the opposite of Mikus' example above, where the issue also does not revolve around original research, but rather, verifiability. In his case, the information likely exists in a technical reference for the product, but unless that can be produced, we can only go on an individual's say so. I think your example here proves out why we MUST insist on referencing to reliable sources. There are a lot of people who reuse our content, and if we allow a falsehood to stand because an editor "verified it in person", then we run the risk of propogating that falsehood into the real world, where invariably it gets picked up somewhere by someone who didn't do their own fact checking. Suddenly, this false statement made on Wikipedia has a source in an otherwise reliable publication, and Wikipedia has suddenly reinvented the truth. Resolute 03:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Should disambiguation pages be brought to AFD, MFD, or RFD? (or a new venue)[edit]

I think there's sufficiently few instances that a new venue need not be created, but I do think we should provide some guidance on where to list disambiguation pages for discussion/deletion. Please provide your thoughts here: Wikipedia talk:Deletion discussions#Disambiguation pages for discussion/deletion. –xeno talk 16:30, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Image Source[edit]

File:Michael Martin MP cropped.jpg is it that the spurious source of this image recquires rectifying only, or is this a bigger problem (it links to a clown). Is an accurate source recquired? Elocute (talk) 17:01, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

It was vandalism which has since been fixed — Matt Eason (TalkContribs) 03:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Semiprotect all User: pages automatically[edit]

I suggest all User pages be automatically permanently semi-protected as a matter of course.
Maybe only some individual user pages have been frequently anonymously vandalized, but very many of them have been occasionally vandalized by unsigned "editors".
If someone wants to add an uncivil comment to an established user's self-description, they should have to sign it.
--Eldin raigmore (talk) 14:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Technically, they are signed, only in the history. This would not work. Do you want to protect all other pages as well? They are vandalized just as much as User and User talk pages.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 14:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Not every IP is a vandal. 84.70.183.237 (talk) 22:37, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Against. User: pages (exc. User talk: pages) are not supposed to be signed, and in most cases are generally only edited legitimately by the username tied to that page, but a lot of IP vandalism to TP's centers only on a few different editors, not everyone. If anything, userpage prots should be, as always, on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the vandalism or edits taken objection to. (in my case, my userpage is full-protected so that users use my talk page to notify me of things, not my user page, and so that vandals don't slap bad ASCII Mudkip on my page every waking day.) -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 22:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
You can have it protected by request here. Automatically will not work at all. Admins (like Jeremy) are special, and can edit/protect their pages on demand.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 18:19, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This is a wiki. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

RfC on reforming the Criteria for Speedy Deletion policy[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion about reforming the CSD policy page here: Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion/Simplify policy RfC. All editors are invited to participate in the discussion. Cheers, --Ryan Delaney talk 15:54, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright of signatures[edit]

On the page File:Shakespeare-WillSignature3.png, it says that the picture is in the public domain because the copyright has expired. I was under the impression that series of letters such as signatures are not copyrightable under US law. God Emperor (talk) 12:26, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The image is on commons, not here, so you would have to discuss it over there. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:29, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Not much to discuss. The image comes from before copyright laws and is therefore public domain no matter what. Whether it is considered expired/not copyrightable in the first place/no copyright even existed at the time or etc., it all equals public domain. The specifics of modern U.S. law (assuming the impression is even correct in the first place) is irrelevant for something made in England long before either country had those laws. DreamGuy (talk) 18:38, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether that's correct. For literary copyright, the relevant date is publication. If a text written centuries ago wasn't published until recently, it can be copyright. I don't know whether that applies to images too. Peter jackson (talk) 10:08, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
No, an unpublished work centuries old would be in the public domain; publishing it after its copyright lapses doesn't change that. I think only if you published it before its copyright lapsed you could effectively extend its term, because its term would date from that publication. Anyway, the OP is asking an academic question because it's public domain either way. Signatures, consisting of no more content than a name and a stylized font, are not copyrightable under U.S. law; UK law may be different so the date saves it in that case. Postdlf (talk) 14:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

User drawn/painted pictures[edit]

An interesting discussion has come up at the Susan Boyle article over the inclusion a user painted picture of Ms. Boyle. It has branched out to sub-discussions at WP:BLPN#Susan Boyle, WP:NORN#Susan Boyle image, WP:COPY and probably several other policies and guidelines. The general consensus (which I agree with) seems to be that this particular image is fine and does not violate any policies. However, I do understand why the question was raised. I am wondering if it is time to pay closer attention to user-created images... and to create a new guideline outlining what the various policies and guidelines say about them, and giving guidance on what is and is not acceptable. Blueboar (talk) 17:50, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

There are really two separate issues here: 1) user-drawn images that purport to accurately illustrate real people; and 2) user-drawn images that were based on copyrighted material. The second issue is easier; such images are likely derivative works, which means that we need either a license or fair use rationale to use both the new image and the copyrighted work from which it derives. In practice, then, such derivative images are no more free to use under Wikipedia policy than the original copyrighted screenshot would be. Postdlf (talk) 20:04, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I think some legal systems ban publishing pictures of living individuals without their permission. I don't know what is the case for WP. Peter jackson (talk) 10:05, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
This issue has come up before at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Visual_arts#Own_stuff and elsewhere. There has been a broad consensus to remove such images as a) very badly done and b) probably derivitive works in copyright terms. This was so even in one case where the editor was a professional portraitist. Johnbod (talk) 12:46, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts[edit]

From the Bedbug article Control and elimination section:

"This section contains instructions, advice, or how-to content. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to train. Please help improve this article either by rewriting the how-to content or by moving it to Wikiversity or Wikibooks."

To me this is like saying: The purpose of Wikipedia is to present all facts except training facts or how-to facts.

I think this is wrong.

--204.251.180.106 (talk) 18:14, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

General Wikipedia IS only about containing facts and is NOT a training or how-to guide. The section on Control and elimination of the Bedbug article probably could stay (in name) but the content would need to be changed so it is talking about how they were once controlled and pretty much eliminated in the US, then after the chemicals used were banned they have now made a come back, and what IN GENERAL pest control companies now use/do to get rid of them, how effective it is. Actually TEACHING readers how to, in a step-by-step process, get rid of bedbugs probably isnt encyclopedic.Camelbinky (talk) 18:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
That type of content is what we have Wikibooks for. Mr.Z-man 23:19, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, it says right in the template used that how-to content should be moved to wikibooks. That's what it's there for.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 14:58, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed the entire section the IP is talking about, if anyone wants to move it to wikibooks its in the history--Jac16888Talk 19:48, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

And what about opinions? Consider the content of this section. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_PowerShell#Reception - Bevo (talk) 17:24, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

The opinions of reliable sources are relevant. Mr.Z-man 18:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I can see a role for reliable opinion as a citation to a statement in an article, but that section simply includes the opinions verbatim, and uses the original sources as the citations. Is that within Wikipedia guidelines? I had not seen it done that way in any other article. It reminds me of the promotional back cover page of a paperback. - Bevo (talk) 13:48, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Licensing vote results are in[edit]

Unanimous, in the greatest sense of the word. Let's rock. ViperSnake151  Talk  11:46, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

75% support is far from unanimous. Anomie 12:07, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Nice, finally we can share with others in a way more in the spirit of the conception of the the encyclopedia. :D ... Now I will await the 10% of nay-sayers to correct my statement and present all the arguments on why this is wrong and I'm an idiot. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:19, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I still support the even more extreme position that all Wikipedia content should be public domain and require no attribution, but that's just me. ;-) Dcoetzee 21:39, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, who the heck takes the time to participate in a survey, simply to offer no opinion? Resolute 21:43, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Those who want to be part of the process, but don't understand the finer nuances of the issue at hand.

Layout policy for Talk pages[edit]

There is a proposal for a policy similar to WP:LAYOUT concerning talk pages. Take a look at User:Magioladitis/Talk Layout and help improving. Thanks, Magioladitis (talk) 15:33, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

We also have a talk page now. see User talk:Magioladitis/Talk Layout. -- Magioladitis (talk) 13:56, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

"Proleptic calendars?"[edit]

I feel that a "conceptual" mistake concerns the Islamic years in en.wiki: before 622 the Template:Year in other calendars shows a digit followed by BH (I suppose "Before Hijra"). But as far as I know, in the Islamic world there does not exist anything like the Christian "BC". Even in historical texts written by muslims I only find dates according to the Common Era, but never "Before Hijra". For Muslims, the time before Hijra is jahiliyyah ("ignorance [of the revelation]"), and it has no sense to speak of such times in a historical way. So, I feel that for every year preceding 622 this template should not calculate negative dates, but simply show one and the same word jahiliyyah.
Moreover, I see that this template calculates years in the "Islamic" way (i.e. shorter than solar years) even before Hijra, while, before the revelation, the years were (probably) regulated on the sun and not on the moon (in the same way of the Jewish calendar). I feel that even Muslim scholars would be puzzled about the "right" way to calculate such dates. This pitfall shows how improper is trying to extend the Islamic calendar back before its creation. The only solution is writing "jahiliyya" or simply erasing the "islamic calendar" from older dates.
Similar problem with the Iranian calendar (and maybe other calendars which have a historical beginning but disregard the very concept of use "backwards"). What should we do with such calendars, which have a sense "after" their beginning but none "before"? I think that forcing them to express "negative" years is inappropriate and probabily mistaken. --Vermondo (talk) 12:14, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Relist AfD[edit]

How do you relist an AfD? Such as when there have been few comments and it appears to have gone stale. I see others do this but I am not sure how to go about doing it myself. Shadowjams (talk) 16:04, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Which AfD?--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 16:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
You usually let an admin decide that. WP:RELIST outlines the correct way for them. Regards SoWhy 18:58, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I think I've seen non admins relist. This user did so recently as a good example. I don't believe there's anything improper about that, and there's nothing in the Relist policy that favors admins either. Thank you for the link. But what is the procedure for enacting it? Or if you think non-admins should not be involved, please let me know where that policy is. Shadowjams (talk) 01:42, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Short-term topic bans (similar to 3RR)[edit]

Okay, I have an idea floating around in the back of my head and you people are tasked to tell me why it's a stupid one. Here goes: We have a system in place, namely WP:3RR, that is designed to avoid edit warring, no matter who the person violating 3RR is. Sometimes, looking at ANI or similar noticeboards, I wonder whether we need a similar policy to handle people who keep on repeating the same statements in discussions and their continued participation is more disruptive than helpful, although their behavior does not allow a block. With my idea, a group of editors trusted to be neutral and uninvolved (I'd suggest crats and/or ArbCom members), could issue, where needed, a short term topic ban to any editor who has continued to repeat their statements without adding anything new (like continuing to call for some user to be punished whenever someone disagrees with that proposal). Such behavior is usually quite tiresome and not helpful. If someone were to add the same content to an article over and over again despite disagreement, they'd be blocked for violating 3RR. I think when the same happens with statements on a discussion, then it should be equally possible to "block" an editor from participating in that discussion for a short time. Regards SoWhy 18:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I think this is a horrible idea.
  • I think this is a horrible idea.
  • I think this is a horrible idea.
    • Sorry, couldn't pass that up. I do think the idea is valid, but it's going to get really subjective really fast. Much more than most admin actions frankly. And sometimes it's important to actually repreat things. The FT RfA discussion I think had a user that might have been blocked from the discussion by that definition and i think it would have been a shame. The only cases I've seen where I think it would have been useful are those who are arguing with things on the other "side" from me. That really makes me worry about the overly subjective nature of doing this. Just too scary and I've almost always seen these things work themselves out over time. The real problem is when there are two of them (one on each "side") that things get ugly. Hobit (talk) 00:37, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
WP:3RR is a complete failure, primarily a tool to remove the opposition. We don't need another, methinks. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 00:45, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • That I'll disagree with strongly. I've found it helpful in reducing edit wars and forcing discussion to take place. Hobit (talk) 00:48, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
If the goal is to initiate discussion, don't remove the discussants. Instead, protect the article. In the correct version, of course. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 01:03, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Guido den Broeder please tell me you were being sarcastic when you said "in the correct version, of course", because no matter what a version is protected it'll be the "wrong version" and the person blocking it will be accused of "favoritism" (and called really bad names), I'm sure we've all seen that happen. As for the proposal it is sometimes important to repeat yourself, too many editors who come into a discussion in the middle or towards the "end" only skim the points made and/or really read the last comment or two and make stupid comments supporting or disagreeing without really knowing the full "story" and therefore one side or both feels compelled to "inform" the newbie to win them over. And other times the other side is just plain stupid and doesnt get the point and needs to be curmudgeoned with it. There are policies in place to deal with disruptive editors who threaten or harrass, as long as an editor in a discussion is keeping TO THE TOPIC at hand then why ban them? Not a rhetorical question, anyone can answer if they think it will help me understand, I'm open to learning and changing my opinion. Of course there is always an editor's personal ability that we all share, and that ability is simply to ignore the stupid. Blocking for repeatly putting info back into an article is appropriate because that disrupts encyclopedic content that non-editors will see, blocking someone for repeating themselves in a talk page (which non-editors are rarely going to go to) is overblown because it doesnt "hurt" content of the encyclopedia.Camelbinky (talk) 02:51, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
The idea that there is no correct version is a myth created by poor/lazy admins. In most cases it's easy. One side is explaining their version on the talk page and providing reliable sources, while the other side is reverting and refusing to talk. The correct version to protect is that of the first user (rather than the version of the admin's buddy). If both sides are just warring it doesn't matter, and in the rare cases that both sides are constructive there is no need to take any kind of action in the first place, even when there are various reverts. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 10:05, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
See also: m:The Wrong Version. --Ryan Delaney talk 18:38, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Heck, I'm currently involved in an ArbCom case involving an editor who does exactly that... I'm open to easier solutions.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 04:07, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Bad idea because it makes it more complicated and process-oriented than it needs to be. If you think you need to do something not explicitly authorized by policy and you're not sure that it's a good idea (such as topic banning a user), asking on WP:AN/I for peer-review is appropriate. If several other admins think it's a good idea, it probably is. --Ryan Delaney talk 09:51, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
    Topic bans should not be discussed by admins (or arbcom members, for that matter), but by knowledgeable, neutral editors on that topic. Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 10:12, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
    Do it that way, then. Just don't think you need to appoint an independent commission complete with its own bureaucratic charter. --Ryan Delaney talk 10:27, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
    What guarantee is there that there are any "knowledgeable, neutral editors on that topic"? Peter jackson (talk) 11:11, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
No guarantee is required at all; no one is neutral and no one's knowledge is perfect. BTW I seriously doubt that "knowledgeable, neutral editors on that topic" will be willing to impose this kind of censorship on opposition. The other sort of editors perhaps will; is this what was intended? NVO (talk) 12:18, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
No guarantee. Wikipedia would need significant changes to set this up properly and attract sufficient expertise. But while I have some ideas on how things could run better, I don't think Wikipedia will move in that direction, or even has the ability to do so. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 12:57, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Punishment for sticking to the truth? Apparently now the editors must change their views every other day to stay out of range of irc crowd. The first target may be you, why not? Pick up any topic where you haven't changed your mind between edits and bingo, go looking for other venues. NVO (talk) 12:13, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • We already have this. Really: it's right there at WP:BLOCK#Disruption. Any uninvolved admin who strongly believes that an editor's involvement in a discussion is sufficiently disruptive can single-handedly impose a topic ban. This is done by leaving a note for the editor that says, "Your editing is disruptive, and if you post today at [relevant page], then I'll block you." The reason we don't see much of this is because it's almost never warranted, much less helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
If I understand editor "sowhy"'s proposal it isnt quite the same as wp:block#disrupt. Blocking for disrupting a talk page discussion is used for someone who isnt contributing anything useful at all, harrassing people. Sowhy's proposal, as I understand it, is saying that if someone is simply repeating the same info supporting their view each time they post they should be blocked. I may be misinterpretting, please let me know if I am.Camelbinky (talk) 18:35, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Favicon[edit]

Will somebody please explain why the favicon has been replaced with the Apple logo? 24.144.116.147 (talk) 01:30, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

It has?--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 01:35, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
You have a problem with your cache. Purge your cache, kill your browser completely, restart it. Should fix the issue. //roux   02:27, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Free content encylopedia?[edit]

It seems increasingly obvious that the English language Wikipedia has moved away from it's mission,

  • Every film contains a copy of it's non-free poster
  • Every song has a non-free copy of the music CD box
  • Every company contains a copy of the non-free logo
  • Every TV programme contains a non-free screenshot
  • Every sports team contains a non-free logo
  • Every newspaper has a non-free copy of the front page
  • Every modern book has a non-free picture of the cover sleeve
  • Every piece of software has a non-free screenshot, an icon and usually a box

This practice rarely even gets commented on now, and they are not included to significantly increase understanding or any other reason listed in nfcc, they are meerly there as this is the English language wikipedia, and that is what is done here. I think it is either time to create a blanket exemption which would reflect practice across the encylopedia, or have a mass removal of content not meeting NFCC. Fasach Nua (talk) 20:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. Most sports playoffs and championships (World Series, Super Bowl, etc.) also have logos on them every year now as well. At the very least it should be limited to one per article, many CDs have a regular and special edition cover. Also, educating people about this better couldn't hurt, it seems that most people don't really understand the need for fair use claims, and many of them aren't even legit claims. blackngold29 20:43, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
*sigh* I fail to see what the exact problem is. Non-free content that is gratuitous is cut; non-free content that helps illustrate the subject of the article (or in any other way convey important information) is helpful and gets kept. You forgot to mention that fictional characters have non-free images on them, but at the same time, an article like Palpatine would be less helpful if we killed all the images. To be so obsessed with "free" to the extent that the quality of the encyclopedic content suffers... not good. EVula // talk // // 21:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This is where I disagree. It recently came up (but is certainly not limited to) the FAC of 2004 World Series. The logo of that series in no way enhances my ability to learn about the topic, and yet there it is in all of its fair use glory. That image does not pass WP:NFCC policy 8 and yet there it is (not to mention the logo for every World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowl, etc.) Whoever is cutting these "gratutious" images are not going far enough. I'm not worried about legal issues, I'm just wondering why we continue to pretend this is a free encyclopedia. blackngold29 21:48, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with EVula. The goal is to be free, but the goal is also to be complete, and frankly, the latter cannot occur if we adhere to Fasash's extremist views on the former. I also disagree somewhat with BlacknGold's view. Such logos are a visual representation of the event as it occurs. Strictly necessary? Perhaps not, but helpful, even if only a little. Where it would cross the line would be if team logos were added to the World Series article, or the World Series logo was atted to the team articles, as that would be blatantly gratuitous. It all comes down to balance, imo. Resolute 22:12, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
And they're only used where a free replacement is not likely to be found. So non-free images are not supplanting free content; they are only supplementing it. Postdlf (talk) 22:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Right, but my point is that the criteria states "used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." Removing the logo of the World Series doesn't decrease my knowledge about it one bit. When I nominated PNC Park as an FA this was brought to my attention for the first time, and after removing the park's logo I came to realize that the article actually looks better without it. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to the reader to see a picture of the Series' MVP? Or (when avalible) a picture from a game itself? I think people get lazy, they just say "We'll throw the logo in the infobox." When there are a number of possibilities that are free and actually improve the article. All that being said, when it comes to team logos or albums I tend to be more lenient. blackngold29 01:24, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
(As an aside, many logos are treated as nonfree when they should actually be tagged with Template:PD-textlogo...) Whether an image is significant or insignificant to an article topic is really a matter for discussing on that article's talk page. But generally speaking, and as Dcoetzee expresses below, it's certainly reasonable that the logo by which a commercial enterprise has been presented to the public is a significant part of how it's identified, and that how that enterprise was branded is relevant information. Companies use logos exactly because they perform that function. Postdlf (talk) 02:01, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

All of the image examples given above are noncontroversial and well-established uses of non-free content, and all very sound legally. Obsessing over these is completely nonproductive, particularly given that non-free content isn't limited to images. Non-free content also includes quotations from copyrighted text and even summaries of copyrighted fiction. The images you note above are legally far less problematic, and it's far easier for downstream users of Wikipedia content to simply omit non-free images than it is for them to omit non-free text from articles. Postdlf (talk) 21:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah. These images are fair use. Low resolution versions of copyrighted images used for things like putting cover art on a Wikipedia article is considered "Fair use." Wikipedia is the last haven for free-use content. Very little things these days are free use. In that sense, without fair use, Wikipedia would have no images at all.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 22:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Huh? The Commons has over four million free images. That's not a bad start. blackngold29 22:09, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It is, however, a matter of principle. I agree with the Fasach Nua that we are far too liberal in our non-free content policy. My view has always been that we should only have non-free images that are essential to an understanding of the topic in hand. You can't have the article Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima without a non-free photograph; most pages will survive quite happily without non-free images that are essentially decoration. The fact that the use of such media is legal is quite beside the point: the free encyclopaedia should be as free as it possibly can be. [[Sam Korn]] (smoddy) 22:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This is largely a philosophical discussion, but I think the status quo is just fine - "free" is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: a way of enabling wider reuse under a variety of circumstances. Fair use images are okay because: 1. there are many contexts in which they can be safely reused; 2. because they can be systematically removed. One should not underestimate the value of images that appear to be "decorative" such as logos - a logo is, in effect, another name used to recognize the subject. I believe it's a critical part of a subject's representation. Dcoetzee 23:35, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Postdlf states "All of the image examples given above are noncontroversial and well-established uses of non-free content...", which is entirely true, however the use is not consistant with nfcc. The problem I see is the inconsistancy between policy and well-established practice and one of the two needs to be modified, either a more liberal FU policy, or the application of the existing one Fasach Nua (talk) 05:56, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Well perhaps the problem then is with NFCC itself. NFCC #8 - which is liberally over-applied as a bludgeon against all sorts of images by some editors - is utterly subjective. While there is certainly a need for an image to be relevant and contribute to the article in some way, the clause is clumsily written and just begs a fight. Two different editors can quite honestly and legitimately come to the table with one saying an image does not enhance my understanding, while the other says that it does indeed help my understanding. NFCC #8 needs to be re-worked and should not be - as it currently stands - in and of itself sufficient cause to arbitrarily remove an image with discussion. I understand there is a process for such things ... Wiggy! (talk) 14:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
The problem as I see it is that in many subjects the goals of "free" and "encyclopedia" are in tension: coverage that is limited to free content cannot be comprehensive, and comprehensive coverage must in some circumstances include nonfree content. The reason that in practice Wikipedia uses more nonfree content than a strict reading of its mission might suggest is that most Wikipedia contributors don't really care about the philosophical underpinnings of the free culture movement. They're interested in the product, an encyclopedia anyone can edit. As a result, they often want to include nonfree content simply because for copyrighted material it contributes to comprehensive coverage of the subject. It just makes sense that an article on a book would include a picture of the book's cover.
The policy question Fasach raises is really a question of whether policy should prescribe behavior, or describe practices as they exist. As Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines notes, the latter is generally more effective. Honestly, I think that the Wikipedia community is too big now to enforce more prescription — we can barely enforce the rules we've got. The free content goal of Wikipedia is still part of our intention, but if we want it to be part of the encyclopedia's practices imposing more restrictions from above isn't the way to do it. That will just cause more resentment and conflict. Instead, I think that we need more education and community outreach, to explain the importance of free content and encourage its use in all possible circumstances. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:30, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
most Wikipedia contributors don't really care about the philosophical underpinnings of the free culture movement. -- indeed. I obviously I have no proof, but I would imagine that if WP suddenly removed all it's non-free content, or even just limited to the the sort where the article is actaully about the content in question (cases like the Iwo Jima example) -- which is what some people want, I'll grant -- a LOT of editors would leave, and WP would very likely get a good deal more bad press than it already does. Again, I have no proof, but it's what I imagine would happen. Also, a lot of the time free content makes the article WORSE, not better (in terms of the article itself, not the mission and such). Yes yes, obviously living people need free pics, but often they are so horrid it WOULD be better without them. True in many other cases as well. It's actually funny that a somewhat similar argument, in a sense, is going on at an RP game I'm at. Some people think that text alone should be sufficient, and anyone using pictures is lazy, where others are much more visually oriented and like having them -- it's the same here, many people simply 'click' better when there's an extra illustrative element to things. A logo or boxart to represent what's being described helps to make a...how to put this...association in the mind. 'Further understanding'? Without a doubt. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Teaching people to recognize a topic visually by its logo/cover/graphic/etc. does significantly increase the understanding of the reader. There is no conflict with NFCC. Dragons flight (talk) 06:31, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. That is the very reason why logos exist in the first place. Resolute 14:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I would point out that our Free encyclopedia also contains many copyrighted quotes that are only allowed under fair use. Like Josiah says: "The problem as I see it is that in many subjects the goals of "free" and "encyclopedia" are in tension: coverage that is limited to free content cannot be comprehensive, and comprehensive coverage must in some circumstances include nonfree content." I'm of the firm believe that Fair use is a good thing in Wikipedia. Definitely in text, and in images as long as it is properly tagged. And I'm a Free junkie, just so you know. That doesn't mean there are no limits, but Logo's and promotional posters and stuff hardly infringe on the monetary value the copyrighted work has if we would not use it. As a matter of fact, it's free promotion for them, with also a lot of benefit to our readers. Although I agree that the older "screenshot" issue with TV series and movies was problematic at times, I do think we are on a better path here. So I agree with Dragons flight on this.—TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:30, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

"we can barely enforce the rules we've got", Josiah? Let's be frank about it. We can't, or rather we don't. Anyone with experience of RfCs can tell you they tend to get little response. The community simply can't be bothered to enforce policy. I'm talking about content policy here of course. The authorities are authorized to enforce behavioural & legal policies. Perhaps that's what you were referring to. Peter jackson (talk) 15:06, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's just say that the content policy as practiced is significantly looser than the content policy as written. And Melodia is right — if we did attempt a strict interpretation of the free content portion of our mission, to something like the German model, there would be a huge negative reaction from the contributor base and from the culture-at-large (media et al.). The only way to enforce a significantly tighter non-free content policy would be to abandon the idea that Wikipedia governs itself by consensus. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 15:24, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's ask ourselves what we're trying to accomplish here. Philosophical imperatives are just meaningless soundbites if we don't understand what those mean in concrete practice, by real people doing real things. If we're convinced non-free usage on WP is on solid legal ground, then whether the content is "free" or not is purely a concern regarding downstream users' ability to use WP content freely, correct? As noted above, the "irreplaceability" requirement for non-free content means that no free content is ever getting supplanted. So the inclusion of non-free content does not mean anyone is missing out on free content. The only issue is then the ability of downstream users to filter out non-free content when they re-use Wikipedia articles and images.

In practice, this should not be difficult, as all non-free images are tagged as such, and raw article text obviously contains only pointers to those images and not the images themselves. Then the only problem for downstream use is removing the image tags from the raw article text. We could probably make that process easier by adding something to image tags for non-free images that makes them identifiable as such within the raw article text itself. Postdlf (talk) 21:19, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I might suggest wrapping all fair-use images in a template, like we do for self-references ({{sr}}). This may fail to mollify those people who feel very strongly about free content, but it would make it trivial to remove them all in a mirror or fork. Dcoetzee 21:38, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I can think of one argument for limiting non free content, even if its considered fair use. someone reading a WP article with a logo on it MIGHT get the impression that the article is endorsed by the logos bearer. its shaky, but i think its a good reason on top of others to not have multiple logos on pages like "world series". I think the issue of whether the structure of a WP article (links, images, format) misleads the reader as to the importance of the article should be addressed at times. i know that multiple blue links to things like month and date, or common words, at first made me think "wow, this guy is in the list of dates, or is referenced in the article on "god", so he must be important". And i absolutely think that a lot of nonfree images help significantly, such as the covers of books which are illustrated by notable illustrators. A chance to show copyrighted art under fair use, ethically, thank god. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 16:05, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Given that all of Wikipedia's content is framed by its graphic background and its own logo (and URL), and given public awareness of the nature of what Wikipedia is, I think we'd really have to go out of our way to suggest third-party endorsement, like a statement at the top of the page saying "this page is sponsored by Microsoft." But anyway, implied endorsement is not a non-free content issue because it's not relevant to copyright, nor is it specific to pictorial logos that could be copyrighted. It's instead a concern applicable to all use of trademarks, most of which are not copyrighted or copyrightable. Postdlf (talk) 16:43, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. its not really an issue, as long as the fair use guidelines are followed. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 16:52, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

"Outlines"[edit]

continued from: WP:AN#Shadow Wikipedia

Just when we thought we had the "Introductions" in check, enter the Outlines". Blatant WP:CFORK on a mind-boggling scale. Apparently, the idea is to reate an "outline" counter-article to every Wikipedia artile ("an all-encompassing outline of the knowledge of humankind (still under development), which also serves as an outline of Wikipedia's contents.") Wth? --dab (𒁳) 09:45, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty unconvinced that this is a good idea. Certainly it will need to be very well done to avoid being either a content fork, pointless duplication of categories and navboxes, or just plain mess. Rd232 talk 14:53, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
The outlines follow Wikipedia guidelines. First of all, they don't violate the fork guideline - see my reply concerning Dab's post below. Duplication is not a problem either, and is covered in WP:CLN.
Some of the best ones are Outline of robotics, Outline of classical studies, Outline of Japan, Outline of Vatican City, Outline of library science, and Outline of cell biology The Transhumanist 23:58, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It's worrying that you highlight Outline of robotics as a good one. How is this not a duplication of robotics categories and navboxes? What exactly is the value added by this? Rd232 talk 11:42, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Dab's statement above is misleading. This set of articles has been around a long time, and Dab himself has already participated in a discussion that involved these back in 2007. He has also been posting messages elsewhere lobbying against them, but to no avail. See WP:AN#Shadow Wikipedia. There he came off like Chicken Little yelling "the sky is falling!" while waving a conspiracy theory flag. Concerning dab's forking argument, Skomorokh stated at WP:AN "That guideline is primarily concerned with the phenomena of POV forking and unintentional duplication, which are not issues here. Outlines, as their etymological past as "List of x topics" indicates, are not articles (i.e. prose), but are structured and annotated lists."
Outlines are simply a type of list, and they follow the guidelines for lists and stand-alone lists, including WP:CLN. The Transhumanist 23:10, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
They don't repeat the content, they simply list articles. We haven't done so well with other methods that we should discourage this one. It has the great advantage of highlighting where articles are possibly needed=much better than categories. I think it's cleaner and more flexible than navboxes, which mess up the appearance of major and minor articles in mainspace and are much more obtrusive. Maybe we should be discussing removing navboxes,once this is developed. Of course, the automated production of the outlines needs some subsequent human attention, and it might be well not to proceed faster than that attention can be provided. But that's not an argument against the project, just an argument for doing it better. DGG (talk) 23:58, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Is the portal format a failure? I don't really use it, so I don't keep track of it. I guess that would be evidence of failure. Anyway, maybe this one would fail too, but I don't see that as a reason to discourage it, since it's not hurting anything. --Ryan Delaney talk 12:45, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

They've been around since 2001. Not new, just renamed a few times. -- Quiddity (talk) 00:12, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

There is a severe danger of introducing original research via original synthesis, but that could be handled on a case by case basis and it's a theoretically surmountable obstacle. Whether we should have these at all is a question of editorial judgement that probably belongs on another noticeboard. --Ryan Delaney talk 00:31, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
The danger of OR is less with these pages than it is with other articles on Wikipedia. Actually it is much less, because we have a fantastic WikiProject/development team working on these. The approach is also very neutral - these are "reverse outlines", built for the most part of links found on Wikipedia about each subject - they are being built from what's already here! (Most of the redlinks are standard names based on typical subject expansion patterns). And we're in the process of making all relevant subject-related WikiProjects aware of the piece of this system that corresponds to their respective subjects, so they can help build them and keep an eye on things. Actually, that's what caught Dab's attention and why we're in this discussion today! So the approach is definitely working. The Transhumanist 01:09, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
As I said, there's no reason not to expect that the danger could be avoided with due diligence. --Ryan Delaney talk 01:20, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Equality[edit]

The idea has been swirling in my head for a very long time on this, and from a variety of bits of feedback over time, and the massive amounts of commentary on-Wiki the past couple of days that somehow we admins are "above the rules", or somehow held to a differing standard than everyone else, I present an utterly simple proposal:

Feedback on Wikipedia talk:Equality, and thanks. rootology/equality 03:45, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

While the idea sounds sympathetic, it is IMHO counter-productive for several reasons. First of all, users are not equal, and should not be treated as though they are. Some users are knowledgeable about the topics they contribute to, while others are clearly not. Currently Wikipedia favours the second group, because there are more of those and because it is far easier to add random text than to improve an article. Your principle would solidify this situation. Second, Wikipedia does not have the structure to enforce anything like this. It is extremely easy for someone with buttons, or with support from someone with buttons, to ignore it and get away with that, just like they can ignore policies and guidelines now. Third, policies are not rules, and therefore never binding, nor are they set in stone. Sometimes they even conflict with each other. Each case has to be judged on its merits, in fact it happens that a case where a policy is not applied gives rise to a change of the policy. With your rule in place, this natural process would be eliminated. Kind regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 09:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
This is absolutely right. Edits are to be judged based on merit, not who made them. That said, I'm not sure we need another policy page for it, as it could be worked into another one. How about "Wikipedia is not an aristocracy"? --Ryan Delaney talk 11:28, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Meh... That one is just an essay... At best, maybe another example in WP:NOT, but, not a good policy, for me... (If I remembered that one essay/guideline/policy that said something like we already have too many policies, I would cite it, but I don't. Regardless, that applies here...)--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 12:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Aha! It's WP:CREEP--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 14:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I disagree somewhat on that point. The principle already exists in multiple spots, but would be given more visibility through this proposal. See Wikipedia talk:Equality#Where_is_the_added_value_.3F. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 15:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

The main problem with it is that it's simply not true - IPs are banned without a second glance while embedded admins can pretty much do what they like. That's the reality, so there is no point having another toothless policy that pretty much amounts to a lie. --Cameron Scott (talk) 15:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

This is not a policy, it's an objective. We might as well propose Wikipedia:Everyone Be Nice To Each Other. Laudable as an objective, useless as policy. By all means, come up with ideas to ensure that editors (a) don't get slapped for being newbies and (b) don't get excessively lenient treatment for being "in" with the right crowd; but for lord's sake, drop this particular thing as a waste of time, and quickly. (Try joining WP:PROJPOL to hash out new ideas.) Rd232 talk 16:43, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, we do have a lot of user conduct policies and guidelines, soooo... there would be a lot of precedent for this. --Ryan Delaney talk 12:46, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
"we do have a lot of user conduct policies and guidelines, soooo..." so we should be simplifing, merging, and abolishing the useless? Rd232 talk 15:11, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Probably, yes. Note above where I said I don't think we need a separate policy page for this since I'm generally opposed to fragmentation of policy. --Ryan Delaney talk 15:20, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Progress of resolution of naming issue for placenames in Israel and Palestine[edit]

In relation to remedy 13.1 of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/West Bank - Judea and Samaria,
I have requested an update on progress at:

Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Israel_Palestine_Collaboration/Placename_guidelines#Current_status

for the proposed guidelines currently located at:

Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration/Placename guidelines. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:53, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

update[edit]

Voting or commenting on each segment of the Proposed guidelines in relation to remedy 13.1 of the recently closed West Bank - Judea and Samaria arbitration case. Please comment here on preferred usage in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria area, to determine consensus by July 13th 2009.

The more comments/votes/consensus, the better. We really need to firm up consensus by community input into some of these areas to reduce the drain on resources in policing naming disputes. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:22, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Contesting CSD on images[edit]

Where do you you contest a speedy-delete tagging of an image. The talk page editnotice states it doesn't go there, so where? OrangeDog (talkedits) 20:18, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Gadgets should be stable versions only[edit]

Since reading VP Technical ((Ctrl-click)"> ?) and becoming aware of situation ans espically what the effects of it can become, I propose that we only have stable versions of gadgets available to users (eg: the code stored in the mediawiki/wikipedia ns) and then the developers and/or risk takers can use a copy from the developers userspace and test for bugs, this is espically more imporant for gadgets that effect the editing process. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 08:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

In general, this is what we do. Mistakes are made however. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:48, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is established practice that only stable gadgets and tested versions should be put online (see Wikipedia:Gadget). Unfortunately, as with any software, it is not possible to detect very rare malfunctions before the release if they only happen under certain rare and highly specific circumstances (different operating systems, exotic browsers or browser versions, gadget interactions... For example, it was not possible to replicate the above problems by using exactly the same browser versions and gadgets!).
Multi-stage release cycles are not practical for gadgets and would be detrimental to quick bug fixes and improvements. In case something really bad happens and the developer is not reachable (which was not the case) it is always possible to deactivate a gadget on its MediaWiki:Gadget-scriptname.js page. Cacycle (talk) 23:02, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Using big words for no reason[edit]

I am wondering what the policy is for changing items such as: Passion of the Christ, which has in the first paragraph of the plot 'in media res,' or Cube Zero, which has necrotizing fasciitis, instead of words that people can easily understand.

I would like to change it to in the midst of things or flesh-eating disease.

Would this be stepping on someone's toes? Jabberwockgee (talk) 05:18, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

The reason "big words" are used, is that they are more precise and correct. Any uncommon terms should be wikilinked anyway, so you can learn what they mean. in media res is a specific literary technique and necrotizing fasciitis is a specific disease. If you're after a dumbed-down encyclopaedia that uses more common and simple words, try Simple English Wikipedia. Sorry if this seems a little harsh, but I feel learning is one of the primary purposes of Wikipedia. In some situations using overly-complicated language is unnecessary, but don't go changing things just because they use "big words". OrangeDog (talkedits) 05:38, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
If a word is wikilinked, I understand that it goes to either a term that is shown or to a more complicated/informative version of the word that is there. If it is a word that is shown, I usually find it appropriate if it's someone's name or the name of an event, etc... If it's a term that people feel like using because they happen to know it, I find it obnoxious. I feel like I could go look up some words in the dictionary and then go around and replace every instance of words that are related to it with that word... Informative, maybe. Annoying, yes. However, if it's wikilinked with the more complicated word, then I can put my mouse over it and learn a new word for it. I find that simpler than being forced to go to another page to learn what it means, especially when reading the summary of a movie. Sorry, I'm not implying that I'm dumb and need simpler words. Jabberwockgee (talk) 05:57, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
In the majority of cases, either using a simplified version would be wrong (like in media res above), or it is just part of the writing style, which shouldn't be changed just for the sake of changing style.
Wikilinks should work the other way around - uncommon terms should be linked, not simple words linked to more specific or complicated concepts. Your way works more like a wiki thesaurus, for which we have Wiktionary. OrangeDog (talkedits) 06:09, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

An oft-seen suggestion is disallowing or restricting edits by anons. A possibly acceptable alternative just occurred to me (this may have been suggested previously, but I haven't seen it). How about enforcing a restriction on saving anon edits lacking an edit summary? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:43, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

It has all the drawbacks of disallowing anon edits, ie. it prevents edits from people not familiar with the project. And it fails to address dedicated disruption. Taemyr (talk) 10:22, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
That would just lead to nonsense edit summaries, I'd bet. Interesting idea though. - Rjd0060 (talk) 14:00, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I love how anon's are not supposed to be treated differently, they are to be treated with respect, their contributions in articles and their opinions on talk pages are to be treated with good-faith and with the same weight as those editors who have signed-in, BUT alot of editors on wikipedia spend so much time thinking of ways in which we can discourage anons like they are ALL vandals and need to be controlled. Some people just DONT want to sign up but still want to contribute. What is so wrong with that? It's not like the only vandals out there are IP addresses, forcing people to sign up by making it more difficult to edit with an IP address, will not bring the number of vandals and acts of vandalism down it will simply shift it to being made by those with usernames and probably make the number of sockpuppets go up as we then start blocking more usernames.Camelbinky (talk) 18:02, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Ignoring all the other drawbacks, it would make patrolling vandalism harder. At the moment if an anon blanks a page or replaces it with "poop" without leaving an edit summary, the automatic edit summary says "blanked the page" or "replaced contents with 'poop'". If we forced them to put in a manual edit summary, we'd lose that nifty feature.--Dycedarg ж 18:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Than makes sense. The suggestion came after experience vandal-patrolling with WP:Huggle, and reverting lots of vandalism by anons. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:10, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
As a hardened vandal fighter, I would like to warn you not to allow RCPatrol to influence your thinking about this sort of thing too much. A great many of our productive contributors are anonymous and the open nature of Wikipedia makes it easier to contribute. There are already enough hassles for anonymous editors trying to add stuff to Wikipedia and we should keep things open and easy for them, despite the bad behavior of some vandals. --Ryan Delaney talk 02:14, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Draft RfC[edit]

Following discussion at WT:CAT#Eponymous cats, I've begun drafting an RfC to determine what to do about articles with eponymous categories (e.g. should France be only in Category:France or in its natural categories as well). Input on the draft is very welcome at Wikipedia:Categorization/Eponymous RFC.--Kotniski (talk) 06:13, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Verifiability and sourcing[edit]

I have a few questions in regards to WP:V and WP:RS.

  1. Do fansites (such as television series type) count as reliable sources? If so, which ones, and why? If not, why?
  2. Can the official website of a television show be used as a reliable source? If so, why? If not, why?
  3. Can a television episode be used as a reliable source? If so, why? If not, why?

These are questions I need to know. —Mythdon (talkcontribs) 23:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Depends what you are using them as sources for. A fansite typically just collects material from other sources, so should not be referenced directly. An official website and a television episode can usually be used as primary sources (for plot details, air dates, acting credits and the like. If you're lucky then you get official statements from writers and such), but be weary of falling into WP:OR or WP:UNDUE problems. Notability cannot be established using only primary sources. Do you have any specific examples in mind? OrangeDog (talkedits) 00:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you please explain what "examples" you mean? —Mythdon (talkcontribs) 01:08, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Is there a particular article and a particular source you want to use for it? OrangeDog (talkedits) 20:15, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I normally edit a lot of video game related articles, so I might be at help here and may understand what you're asking:
  1. Normally, fansites are not considered reliable as few, if any, have any editorial oversight, fact-checking, etc. For example, I would not count [2], a fansite, as a reliable source for The Guardian Legend.
  2. The best place to go for guidance on when to use a show's official website or even the show itself is at WP:PRIMARY (part of no original research). If you're making an interpretation from what is broadcasted or shown on the show's website, then you need a secondary source. Otherwise, you can only use it to describe the show (for instance, when the show was first made, who are the main actors, who produced it, etc. - trivial descriptive stuff). Also, exercise caution when using primary sources to describe fictional/plot elements of the show that it falls under the Manual of Style, more particularly writing about fiction; there it is very easy to stray from strictly describing the plot/storyline and making inferences about it, which would be original research (unless, of course, you are able to back that inference up with a verifiable secondary source).
  3. See 2.
I hope that helps out. MuZemike 22:06, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Black listed site[edit]

I would like to ask why www.lulu.com has been black listed? I can't seem to find any reason to why it is on the list as it's just an online publishing site? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Julianfbond (talkcontribs) 12:14, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

See MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist/archives/March_2008#lulu.com and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive133#Associated Content, gettin' paid to spam. Nanonic (talk) 13:17, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Mention Oxford English Dictionary in Wikipedia:Reliable sources?[edit]

We have some examples in that policy:

  • "Material from mainstream news organizations is welcomed, particularly the high-quality end of the market, for example the Washington Post in the United States and the Times in Britain, as well as widely used conglomerates such as the Associated Press."

1) Should we also mention OED in the policy? AND/OR 2) Should we say something about dictionaries? (Currently, dictionaries arent mentioned).

I'm proposing this cause I've run into a problem here Talk:Fascism#OED and it seems to be a very redundant problem so if we make the policy clearer, noone in the future would have to run into a similar problem. Phoenix of9 (talk) 16:35, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Please note that this is already being discussed at both WP:RSN and at WT:RS. Blueboar (talk) 16:44, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
There needs to be a caveat - dictionaries can be very wrong in one of my fields of interest. Please se my comments at the two venues above, this is one of the rare times I've disagreed with Blueboar on this type of subject! Dougweller (talk) 18:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this really a disambiguation page?[edit]

I leave it entirely to others to decide, and I will not intervene further. But to me it seems nonsense to set up a "disambiguation" page for a word like "Sanctorum", when none of the items referred to on the page is called by that name. The page does not disambiguate the word. The page Sanctorum is merely a substitute for typing the word "sanctorum" in the Search box and clicking "Search" (not "Go"). A number of similar pages have recently been created. Are they worth keeping? If they are, is it appropriate to call them "disambiguation" pages? Or "search" pages? Or "index" pages? Soidi (talk) 16:19, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I would say they are worth keeping. Keep in mind that most times such a word would normally be used as a redirect to one of the individual articles if multiple options did not excist. But when redirecting towards multiple pages, how can man determine which article is more important? And how can people know what the name of a page would be? For example when i type Agile i will go to a similar page. In my case i am looking for Agile software development. If i did not know the name how would i find the article? Maybe it would be called Agile (Software) or Agile (Software Development). As for calling them disambiguation pages: The policy itsself states that they are used in case a word can refer to multiple things - and that can also include non exact name matches Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 20:49, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I suppose Excirial must be right, but I do think there is an essential difference between looking for "Agile software development" (which could go under various names) under Agile and looking for anything (what?) under Sanctorum which is not a word that can refer to multiple things, since it always has the meaning "of holy persons or things", and which isn't the first word in even one of the phrases linked to. (Yes, I have intervened again. But only to clarify my meaning.) Soidi (talk) 19:35, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
It looks like a perfectly reasonable page to me. "Sanctorum" may not be the first word in any of those phrases, but it is certainly a major one, and one which someone unsure of the complete phrase might search for. It seems to me the real reason for any disambiguation page to exist is to make it easier for someone to find the actual article being sought, and this page does that. LadyofShalott 19:00, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The word (and any apparently very specific word) doesnt necessarily mean the same thing all the time. maybe for now it does, but i could create a notable software program called "Sanctorum" which, say, organizes a churches projects. I think this is a good disambig. i was surprised at first how many disambigs link to somewhat marginal articles, but this doesnt really get in the way of its functionality, as long as they are in a reasonable order of usefulness. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Soidi. Apart perhaps for the first item listed in that page, in all the others the word "sanctorum" is just one of the words in a longer phrase. So should we have dab pages for all words in all article titles including more than one word? When more than one thing explicitly called "Sanctorum" (or something very similar) will show up, the disambiguation page will make sense. Goochelaar (talk) 22:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Does this mean you'd like to keep DAB pages linking only to articles with exactly the same name? Do you desire not to have pages that link to a bunch of similar terms at all, or do you desire that such pages not be called "Disambiguation pages"? -Freekee (talk) 01:53, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
By definition, a disambiguation page is only supposed to link to articles that could use exactly the same name. There's generally no ambiguity between articles about completely different things with completely different titles that happen to share a single word in common. (For extensive discussion on this subject, look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Inner and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Outer, both of which eventually concluded--completely correctly, in my opinion--with the deletion of those disambig pages.) Propaniac (talk) 03:32, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Barnstar copied from another editor[edit]

An editor has awarded himself a Barnstar here by copying the Barnstar from another editor. My concern is that is was obviously unearned and may reflect poorly on the editor that awarded the original Barnstar. Other than what appears to be a breach in Wikiquette, is there a policy against this? Thanks, Alanraywiki (talk) 15:07, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

My concern is less with the self-awarded Barnstar than with the fact that he falsely attributed its posting on his talk page to another contributor. It's arguably a violation of WP:CIVIL, and shouldn't be permitted regardless of whether that's spelled out on some policy page. I'll drop him a note asking him to remove that user's signature from the Barnstar and we'll see if that deals with the issue. Postdlf (talk) 15:52, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Someone else beat me to it; they interpreted it as an issue of impersonating another editor, which is probably an apt characterization, and definitely forbidden. Postdlf (talk) 15:53, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
And he removed the comment too...with a nice all caps replacement... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:04, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Someone should take a look at that user's uploads. The copyright claims don't look right, to me. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 21:36, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

No—he seems to have used random PD tags. Dendodge T\C 22:01, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

An open letter to the Wikipedia Board[edit]

A policy now in place at Wikipedia deeply troubles a growing number of us in the community. We've observed that Wikipedia articles are increasingly being held hostage to political correctness at the expense of free expression and historical accuracy. I could cite a number of instances, but two examples are prime examples:

1. Kent Hovind. Mr. Hovind is a controversial figure primarily because of his college campus debate successes in support of intelligent design (ID), specifically, young earth creationism. The Wikipedia entry is clearly biased against Mr. Hovind because it reads like a tabloid dossier of innuendo, half-truth and accusation. Somehow, the primary individuals responsible for writing this wiki entry have successfully blocked editorial access to those who have first hand knowledge of Mr. Hovind, preventing contributors from balancing the entry with factual information.

2. President Barack Obama. Despite the noteworthy accomplishments and stature of America's first African American president, the current Wiki entry portrays a largely propagandistic and blemish-free version of Obama. This verbally-photoshopped caricature omits controversies regarding Mr. Obama's past associations and questions surrounding the documentation of his citizenship, even when substantiated by published mainstream sources, verified documents and first hand knowledge. This entry's gatekeepers have systematically censored such additions. Barack Obama is an historic figure, but the best Wikipedia now can offer is a locked entry that is biased, factually-gutted and largely irrelevant, reading more like an Obama campaign press release than a reputable and credible reference source.

I am sure your board recognize the danger when an information technology is co-opted by propagandists--regardless of their point of view--both in terms of relevance and the muzzling of free speech and free access to information. I hope you and your editorial board will address these abuses and make Wikipedia available to all points of view, so it can achieve its goal of being the world's first truly universal database of knowledge freely available to all.

HTS —Preceding unsigned comment added by Voicewr (talkcontribs) 19:30, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about Kent Hovind (looks to be well referenced), but there's currently an ArbCom case regarding Obama articles. OrangeDog (talkedits) 20:44, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree, the Hovind article seems well referenced. Also note that "first hand knowledge of Mr. Hovind" you ask for is not necessarily a good thing, as that would include both supporters and opponents. Both would be problematic for achieving a balanced and neutral point of view. Arnoutf (talk) 20:57, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I do not see how this points out anything beyond "there are npov disputes". Which is hardly something new on Wikipedia. The vocabulary chosen by Voicewr to state this unremarkable fact (propagandists, censored, muzzling of free speech) isn't only completely inadequate, it also shows the classic confusion of (valid) npov concerns with (invalid) demands to use Wikipedia as a platform for "free speecch". Wikipedia never was open to "free epression", it always had the very narrow goal of reporting encyclopedic sources weighed by their respective notability. --dab (𒁳) 20:58, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Neither the board nor the staff makes content decisions, except when legally necessary to protect the foundation. And there is no "editorial board." Mr.Z-man 21:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I have first hand knowledge of Hovind. Looks accurate to me.  ; ) The issue of the Obama "citizenship controversy" has been discussed ad nauseum on that article's talk page, somewhere in the FAQs and 60 pages of talk archives. Beyond that, I refer the OP to Matthew 7:5. Postdlf (talk) 21:20, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This isn't a policy issue: the policies are fine. The editorial process, and if necessary dispute resolution, will have to take care of implementation of the policies. Finell (Talk) 21:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

There is always conservapedia for those that just want a different perspective and even their version of Kent Hovind is not flattering. David D. (Talk) 21:57, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I would note that:

  1. Voicewr has previously been blocked for edit-warring to insert this disclaimer into Kent Hovind (which was a violation of WP:DISCLAIM).
  2. That there is currently no WP:RS evidence that "Kent Hovind ... is a controversial figure primarily because of his college campus debate successes in support of intelligent design (ID)" -- in fact (AFAIK) there is no evidence that Hovind is part of the intelligent design movement at all.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:18, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I make no comment on the specific articles mentioned. However, WP's procedures mean in practice that the content of an article is decided by those who feel like working on it. If most of them happen to have the same bias then the article is likely to share that bias. Peter jackson (talk) 09:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

That seems a huge oversimplification. Without commenting on the articles in question, I understand Voicewr's concern. There is a tendency of articles in certain categories to move towards a non-neutral state and then get locked. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 11:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course it's an oversimplification. How can you talk about a couple of million articles without oversimplifying? Peter jackson (talk) 08:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Irrelevant "Cultural References"[edit]

I think wikipedia is a great source of knowledge but one thing I find perturbing is article about historical events etc. that include "cultural references" at the end talking about how it was mentioned / portrayed in some science fiction or other not particularly famous book, clearly inserted by some rabid fan type. Can you delete these things? I have seen it many times, what inspired me to finally ask was the Wootz_steel article I just read. At the end it includes a "cultural references" section talking about how an "elaborate fictionalized manufacture" of it is included in random books, and the last line is a real gem, "Don Krieg of One Piece wears armor made of Wootz steel." Is this really the type of information that should be included in a decently respectable source of information. Even worse, many articles include 'references' that state something to the effect that some obscure band that probably 1000 people have heard of mentions the event / person in one of their songs. Can this stuff be deleted? I think allowing these fan types to muck up serious articles really hurts wikipedia's credibility, and it is fairly common. --P7njsl (talk) 09:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that stuff can be deleted, per WP:NOT. I really think, though, that it'd be useful for some other site -- like a wikia project or maybe something new that the Wikifoundation wants to do -- be specifically set up to handle those kinds of refs. Lots of people insist on adding that nonsense and want it someplace, and it'd be nice to be able to tell them a better place to go. Ditto for those overly long plot summaries on most of the articles about fictional topics. But in the meantime, yes, please delete any of that you run across that doesn't meet the kind of level of importance that people will still be talking about it as an important part of understanding that topic 20 years down the road or more. DreamGuy (talk) 14:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
See WP:TRIVIA and WP:HTRIVIA. Anomie 17:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Much can be sourced, so in cases of doubt, a {{fact}} tag can be used in the first instance. I am rather unkeen on the idea of (especially modern) cultural references being distilled to Disney and ilk alone. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
My questions is related to this, so instead of a new thread I figure I will pose it here as an extension of the original question. Mine concerns municipality articles, many of which have a similar "cultural references" section about tv shows, movies, books, that take place or happen to mention the city. In this one case Albany, New York there is even a subsection devoted just to The Simpson's episodes that reference Albany. I think there should be a place for mentioning that there have been quite alot of references to Albany in the Simpson's and other tv shows that have an large number of episodes that mention the city (such as Law & Order), other things to keep would be Pulitzer Prize winning books that take place in the city, books about the city that became movies, and maybe a sentence or two that mentions what movies have been filmed in the city. But that listing in a list format every episode of every tv show/movie that mentions the name Albany is over-kill, and much of what is mentioned in that section is "x character of tv show y is said to have grown up in Albany" and that is ridiculous. I use Albany as an example, I'm sure you could substitute many other cities in there and have that still be the case. Is there a solution for a section title to house such trivia without it being in a trivia format?Camelbinky (talk) 20:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
You could look at from the point of view of notability - if a decent source has mentioned the cultural reference, it's in - otherwise it's trivia. For an example of valid cultural references, spiders, snakes, lions and other animals are important in many mythologies, which also gets them notable representation in art and literature. As Camelbinky, there also in-between cases like the use of Albany - they may be notable but singly not important. --Philcha (talk) 20:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
In general, it is good to write in prose, and hopefully there will be some references of overall usage. eg. If Paris had one it might mention prominent depiction of a city of love and romance, and maybe mention a few notable appearances. Avoiding lists is good, and trying to tie themes which we tried to do in lion and Common Raven. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Disentangling race & ethnicity[edit]

We've a couple of related nominations, intended to help disentangle the many cross-categorization and category intersections that have arisen recently:

Should the first be successful, we must amend the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories) and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons policies and related guidelines to clarify that "race" is not appropriate for categorization.

The second is somewhat dependent on the first. However, the inclusion of ethnic "origin" and "descent" is already against policy without notability, and these should never have been intermixed with the less contentious (more easily verifiable) nationality categories.

--William Allen Simpson (talk) 16:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Automated edits to heading hierarchies[edit]

I've opened an RfC with regards to whether the community stand by this guideline, but mainly whether it should be enforced using automated edits. Cheers, - Jarry1250 (t, c) 14:47, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Special Events at DYK-What message do they send?[edit]

There is a discussion going over at WT:DYK relating to what kind of message that conducting special events over at DYK such as Christmas, Halloween and Darwin Day themes send out to the readers? The conversation is an offshoot for a proposal to make July 4th a Special Event by focusing on countering systematic bias and encouraging content creation relating to Independence Days across the globe. Some editors have fears that may be offensive to non-Americans and seem like a celebration of the US Independence Day over other nation's days. This has grown into a broader conversation about what kind of endorsement or celebration these other special events communicate. Any outside viewpoint is welcomed. AgneCheese/Wine 16:41, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Notability for Authors[edit]

Quick question: suppose someone has written several books in one subject area, but none of those books is sufficiently notable for an article in its own right. At what point does the author warrant an article, within which the books might be listed? I have read WP:N and the related page on notability for people, but am not certain about the answer. Thanks. EdChem (talk) 10:01, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Topic bans[edit]

On Wikipedia talk:Editing restrictions I am proposing to clarify and expand the current one-liner on topic bans, as we seem to have a lot of those lately and this was all there is. Your input is welcome; see also Jimbo Wales' comment at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Quick_question_on_topic_bans. Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 09:56, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright violation policy revision[edit]

Hi. I'm trying to come by a workable solution for dealing with massive, cross-article infringement by single contributors. I've opened two sections on the subject at Wikipedia talk:Copyright violations: one on how to clean them up and another on how to work with the contributors who place them. This is a big issue on Wikipedia that I deal with routinely. The processes we have in place simply are not intended for this kind of situation, and I would be extremely grateful for assistance in working out processes that are. Please contribute there. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Naming conventions with foreign character sets for geographic locations[edit]

What is the naming convention for geographic when article titles include foreign character sets? Is it to use the 26 letter English characters, or to use additional characters (accents, etc) and have an English character set redirect, or vis versa?

I realize this seems like an obvious answer (use the native character set and redirect from obvious english ones) but I've seen quite a few examples of the opposite, and may be guilty of this myself in the past. Shadowjams (talk) 22:54, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Generally it makes sense to use the foreign accents, unless there's a well-established English name (like Aragon) that does differently. --Kotniski (talk) 08:13, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Essay: IPs are human too[edit]

Hi, I recently registered after contributing for many years as an IP. I've written a (policy based) essay based on my experience (IPs are human too) and would like to invite on the essay. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 13:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with what you're saying - that IPs are often unfairly treated. But you've got to be careful about going too far the other way. Many editors recognise the importance of IPs and their contributions, and don't victimise them or treat them any differently to other editors, and you've got to ensure you don't start generalising. Personally, I treat editors harsher than IP addresses with vandalism and such. People who register an account and then abuse it are specifically targeting the 'pedia and deserve to be reprimanded more harshly than those who, in passing, fancy having a bit of fun. Myeh. I think you've got a good point, but need to be wary of how far you take it. Greg Tyler (tc) 15:59, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It is slightly ironic that your own graph demonstrates that a far greater proportion of IP editors engage in vandalism than those with registered usernames, however. Exploding Boy (talk) 16:03, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
But the point is that more IP contributions are constructive than vandalism, as the graph shows (sort of). Greg Tyler (tc) 16:08, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The graph is somewhat misleading. By including all the edits in one graph, IP vandalism is just a little sliver. But based on those numbers 18% of all IP edits are vandalism, compared to only 2% by registered users. Mr.Z-man 16:49, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

article length[edit]

You only seem to want long winded articles. When I have a question that wiki doesn't answer, and I find the answer, I would like to add that knowledge to wiki. You do not allow me to do so because you require long articles that I don't always have time to write, and do not enjoy writing, even when I have time. I will therefore not attempt to contribute in the future. joshuaelijahfriend —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joshuaelijahfriend (talkcontribs) 15:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Articles don't have to be particularly long, we just want to cover the subject in as much detail as possible. And when you create articles, they're expected to be short - they just build up over time. Don't be worried that you're contributing to something that isn't as long as other articles, because decent ones will evolve into longer ones if they deserve it. Size really doesn't matter as long as the content meets inclusion guidelines. Greg Tyler (tc) 15:49, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, me again. Just came up with an example. Look at Belarusian Republican Youth Union. As far as Wikipedia goes, it's not a very long article; yet it's actually a featured article, and hence one of the best we have. So size really doesn't matte if the content's good. Greg Tyler (tc) 16:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Looking at this user's contribs, the article's been redirected, somewhat harshly I think, presumably under no unique content (had a non-inline source). I think that's the point of this thread. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Categories RFC[edit]

An RfC on eponymous categories (should e.g. France be only in Category:France or in other categories too) is now live. Please read Wikipedia:Categorization/Eponymous RFC and comment at that talk page. Thanks. Kotniski (talk) 13:10, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Protection policy: Admins are allowed revert to prior edit-warring free version?[edit]

An editor has challenged a part of the protection policy regarding protection during edit-warring. Please see this section on the policy's talk page and add your input about this issue. Regards SoWhy 11:46, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

This is a weird way of introducing the debate. Asking if admins "are allowed" is a loaded question. --causa sui talk 13:23, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Huh? Seems a perfectly reasonable question to me. Anyway, discussion is going on over there.--Kotniski (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I think phrasing it "Are admins allowed" would have been a better way of phrasing it Nil Einne (talk) 03:43, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Notability and fiction[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Notability and fiction regarding notability and how it applies to fiction has been created in order to gauge community opinion on whether a guideline or an essay is most appropriate.

All editors are invited to present comments as to the current treatment of fiction on Wikipedia, especially with regards:

  • Whether a true consensus exists or whether the community is split
  • Whether a guideline other than the general notability guideline can be created
  • Whether an essay describing the differing views is better

Editors wishing to present specific proposals for a guideline, essay or another way forwards are free to do so. Thanks, Hiding T 12:41, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia notability guidelines[edit]

NoMultiLicense template[edit]

First of all, yay for Wikipedia finally adding Creative Commons licensing!

The template {{NoMultiLicense}}, which has always been a bit silly, is going to cause its users to violate Wikipedia's copyright terms every time they edit Wikipedia after June 15. I don't think these users really meant to create a legal confrontation with Wikipedia. Would it be appropriate to just delete the template?

rspεεr (talk) 18:20, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Deleting the template, IMO, is a side issue to the larger question of whether the users accept the new licensing. I count 128 user pages and 2 user talk pages currently using that template; one of the message delivery bots should inform them of the vote and Board resolution in case they missed it, and tell them what (if anything) they need to do and what (if any) the consequences will be for not doing it. What the appropriate action and consequences should be if they don't do anything by June 15, I don't know; it could range from "block until they remove/replace the template" to "assume they accept the license change unless they state otherwise (in which case they get blocked) and rewrite the template on June 15". Anomie 19:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
It would be truly stupid if this resulted in blocking people. They were, I assume, simply trying to show solidarity with what was Wikipedia's only license at the time, and possibly to show opposition to voluntary multi-licensing (which is basically moot now). I would suggest changing the template on June 15 to say "I license my text contributions only under the Wikimedia Foundation's copyright terms", and sending a message to the template's users informing them that it is going to change. rspεεr (talk) 20:20, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree it would be stupid, but if someone really opposes the change to the point that they refuse to license their contributions under both licenses after June 15, I don't see that we have any other option (just as we customarily ban people trying to revoke the GFDL on their contributions). I expect most of the people with that template would be fine with the change, so hopefully it won't even be a real issue. Anomie 20:53, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
It has been tagged for deletion, see here. Locos ~ epraix Beaste~praix 23:37, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Unless anyone objects, I will soon request that one of the existing message delivery bots deliver the following message to all users transcluding the template.[3] Feel free to edit, if necessary. Anomie 03:12, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

In case you are not aware, the Wikimedia Foundation has proposed that the copyright licensing terms on the wikis operated by the WMF – including Wikipedia – be changed to include the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license in addition to the current GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) as allowed by version 1.3 of the GFDL. The community has approved this change with 75.8% in favor, and on June 15, 2009, the change will take effect.
You currently have {{NoMultiLicense}} on your user or user talk page, which states that your edits are licensed under the GFDL only. On or before June 15, this template will be changed to reflect Wikipedia's new licensing terms. If you accept the licensing change, you do not need to do anything (and feel free to remove this message); if you do not accept it, we regret that you will no longer be able to contribute to the encyclopedia. Please join the discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#NoMultiLicense template if you have any comments.

Ok, making the request now. Anomie 01:57, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Lovely. Comrade Anomie, we Welcome You to Stalinism. Da! Project2501a (talk) 13:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Was that comment supposed to make any sort of sense? Anomie 15:12, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
If I may hijack this thread to ask a quick question, is multi-licensing applied retroactively, or are we going to get arguments over whether bits of content were submitted before or after 15 June? - Jarry1250 (t, c) 14:54, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Retroactively; the only reason this is able to happen at all (without an impossible mess) is that the GFDL version 1.3 specifically allows this retroactive relicensing. Note that there may be some contention over whether something was "originally published on a non-'Massively Multiauthor Collaboration Site' and added after November 1, 2008", and I believe there already contention where people uploaded images as "GFDL 1.2 or later" and want to complain about those being relicensed. Anomie 15:30, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I am one of the editors who formerly displayed {{NoMultiLicense}} on my user page and was not aware of the licensing discussion until I received the mildly-threatening notice above. I would like to continue to license all of my contributions under the GFDL. Am I correct that I may do this as long as I do not attempt to avoid licensing under CC as well? Michael Slone (talk) 03:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
You are correct, and you won't even need to change the template as it will be updated in the near future to reflect the new situation. I'm sorry you took it as threatening, that wasn't the intention; it's just a statement of the fact that anyone who contributes must accept Wikipedia's licensing terms (see Wikipedia:Revocation of our licensing is not permitted for more detail). Anomie 15:18, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. Michael Slone (talk) 01:10, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
If I may ask, why am I getting the NML message on my talk page? I have been multi-licensing my contributions for YEARS under GFDL and CC BY-SA; I haven't really been an exact fan of the GFDL which is why I do such a thing and also why I voted in favor of the new multi-licensing deal. Check the user page if you don't believe me. -- M (speak/spoken) 21:11, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Because you have the template on User:Mattderojas/Sandbox/Archive 1; feel free to ignore the message, obviously. Sorry for the trouble. Anomie 21:22, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Is there any other discussion about changes to licensing templates? Who's responsible for changing this template? What about other templates that might be affected, like {{MultiLicensePD}}? Brian Jason Drake 06:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

That template doesn't exclude the possibility of licensing under CC-BY-SA. (In fact, by including the public domain, it doesn't exclude anything.) The problem with NoMultiLicense was the word "only". rspεεr (talk) 08:08, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
That's actually a good point. Most of the templates don't say "only" and thus don't have the same issue. {{WikimediaNoLicensing}} is technically not a problem as the relicensing is under the terms of the GFDL, but I have notified the affected users who aren't already dual-licensing under CC-BY-SA-3.0 and haven't been notified for {{NoMultiLicense}} anyway.
As for who is responsible for changing the templates, unless someone beats me to it I intend to make the changes (or {{editprotected}} requests) on the 10th. Anomie 16:56, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I use the template, and I don't have any problem with the change to CC-BY-SA. Apart from that, the statement in that template does not (in the literal meaning of its words) actually object to what is happening. What the template says is that the Foundation is not granted the right to relicense contributions. The change happening on the 15th is that the GFDL will allow multilicensing under CC-BY-SA. So the switch to dual licensing is not done as a unilateral act of the Foundation, but as a normal use of the rights granted by the GFDL.

The claim that it 'is going to cause its users to violate Wikipedia's copyright terms every time they edit Wikipedia after June 15' seems a little weird to me. Wikipedia's copyright terms, even after June 15th, will not allow the Foundation to unilaterally change the licence to one incompatible with the GFDL (e.g. to the Free Art licence). If someone edits after June 15th, then they themselves are dual-licensing their content and thus again there is no 'relicensing' on the Foundation's part. Hence there is no conflict between that template and the upcoming changes to the copyright policy. My reason for using the template has nothing to do with an objection to CC - I've been using it for years. What it refers to (or at least what it represents to me) is any hypothetical attempt by the Foundation to sell the content under a proprietary licence to a commercial partner.

I would also like to echo Michael Stone's comment above that the notice on my usertalk was mildly threatening, and in my opinion inappropriately confrontational. Cynical (talk) 20:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

The template could be interpreted as the user trying to deny Section 11 of the GFDL 1.3, although that was certainly not the original intention as the template existed long before the GFDL 1.3. None the less, I felt it appropriate to make sure those users know about the situation. As I replied above, I'm sorry you misinterpreted the wording. Anomie 20:51, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
If someone edits after June 15th, then they themselves are dual-licensing their content...
That's sort of the point. Wikimedia policy will require users to dual-license the content themselves. Therefore, if users claim that they are not dual-licensing their content (which they would be doing if they continued using this template in its present form), they would be violating Wikimedia policy. Brian Jason Drake 06:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I still don't see what the problem was with the user talk page notices. If you don't agree to our policies, you can't edit here. What's wrong with that? They even said it in a nice way ("we regret that..."). Brian Jason Drake 06:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
(e/c)I find it rather difficult to believe that the original intent of the template was to try to stop the foundation from doing something that would be illegal anyway. The wording of the template clearly states "under the GNU Free Documentation License, and nothing else" - CC licenses would be something else. Mr.Z-man 06:39, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The intent, as far as I can determine, was to show opposition to Wikipedia:Multi-licensing. But it is certainly possible someone would take it the way you mention (as, after all, that is what it says), which led to this discussion. Anomie 11:19, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

It sounds like I might not have been very clear before. I wasn't trying to suggest that any other templates have to be changed, only that it seems sensible to at least discuss them, especially when they specifically mention the GFDL. Brian Jason Drake 06:35, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree that they need attention, now that you brought it up. As far as I can tell, all the ones at Wikipedia:Userboxes/Large/Licencing that say "GFDL" just need to be changed to say something like "Wikipedia's copyright licensing terms". Anomie 11:19, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Nonfree image depicting a living person[edit]

This FFD nomination is for a nonfree image being used to illustrate a living person, (hopefully) long-imprisoned mafioso Vito Roberto Palazzolo. In the rationale, the uploader argued that it was not replaceable because "Palazzolo tends to shed publicity due to reason that are obvious reading the article about him. That makes it very hard, not to say outright impossible, to have a free image." Is this acceptable? I know that there's one person (I think some American author, but I'm not sure) who is reclusive enough that identification with a nonfree image has been permitted, and I'm pretty sure that this is a rationale for keeping the image. Please note that in the deletion discussion, I have supported the uploader's position — I'm not fishing for votes for my position. I'm just asking for two things: (1) the name of the guy for whom this has been permitted in the past, and (2) comments on the FFD from many people, whether or not they agree with me. Nyttend (talk) 20:10, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

J. D. Salinger is the one. —Mattisse (Talk) 20:17, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Nyttend (talk) 21:35, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I think he'd probably pass given that he's currently serving a nine-year sentence in Italian jail, and prior to that he was (for obvious reasons) completely underground. I can't see the mafioso releasing a pic to us under Creative Commons, nor ever being too receptive to a cameraman. Ironholds (talk) 22:35, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
He is not serving anything. He is living freely (albeit inconspicuously) in South Africa while his attorneys fight extradition to Italy where he was convicted in abstentia. Dragons flight (talk) 19:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Spamfighters repeatedly trying to delete longstanding popular chart of wiki farms[edit]

See Comparison of wiki farms and

A pair of fulltime, single-purpose-account, spamfighters keep trying to delete this popular article. Is there some kind of policy against this type of tagteam disruption?

How many attempts are allowed at deletion? Both regular deletion attempts and backdoor attempts? There have been 4 AfDs already.

I happen to have this article on my watchlist, and these guys are relentless. I didn't create this chart, and I don't have infinite patience, so if people want more than a token list of wiki farms, then others will have to step in. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:08, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

  1. - Please point to someplace in the edit history of the article where there have been attempts to delete the article since January?
  2. - Ronz (talk · contribs) can, in no sense of the word, be considered a single-purpose account.
  3. - DO NOT use Undo in an edit dispute.
  4. - This is not the Dispute resolution page.
Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC) - who has never even looked at that article until you brought this here
I see from your last 500 user contributions that you have very few additive edits to articles.
OK, point by point:
  • Read the talk page to see many requests since January 2009 to delete many entries in the chart. Also, other parts of the article such as columns in the chart.
  • I grant that I should have been more accurate. Ronz is a single-purpose-account in the sense, like you, that in his user contributions there are very few additive edits.
  • When someone deletes a whole column in a chart without immediate prior discussion, nor consensus, then using Undo is acceptable. Ronz removed the column of Alexa traffic rankings in the chart.
  • This is not about the dispute. It is about the relentless repetition in deletion attempts (of all the article, or piece by piece), led by one editor, Ronz, working with other single-purpose-account editors who have never added anything to the article. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:41, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I see that you are more interested in scoring points than in actually contributing meaningful information. I see no point in continuing this discussion, since it's obvious you are only interested in attacking other people and not in actually trying to reach consensus. And please read WP:UNDO. Your claim is false. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:52, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Accusing others of personal attacks can be considered a personal attack at times. See WP:NPA. Strong assertion without logical basis in a Wikipedia guideline seems to be a common characteristic of many single-purpose-account, "removalist" non-additive editors. I have read WP:UNDO and besides the mechanical description of its function it says this: "Vandals may click 'undo' next to reversions of vandalism to easily load the vandalism back onto the page. These actions are reverted and treated as vandalism." Since I am a regular editor of the article, then calling me a vandal would be inaccurate. So I don't see how WP:UNDO applies unless you are calling me a vandal. Are you calling me a vandal? --Timeshifter (talk) 03:13, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
You may also want to read WP:3RR. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:53, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Please see WP:BAIT. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:13, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I also see from your User page that you seem to feel that edit counting is a good thing. Others may disagree. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:55, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Your point? --Timeshifter (talk) 03:13, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

See WP:BAIT. --Ronz (talk) 23:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Congratulations, good job on the baiting! Unomi (talk) 23:37, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Striken by request Unomi (talk) 02:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Disruptive editing and WP:WIKIHOUNDING. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:03, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
You three or four should probably think about WP:Mediation. --Izno (talk) 03:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Sort of echoing Izno's suggestion, Are you all trying to win an argument, or solve a problem? Rather than asking each other to "see WP:SOME WIKI POLICY", and accusing each other of bad faith, maybe you could all dial it down a notch? There are several red herrings and distractions that are preventing you from having a grown up conversation:

  • The "never use undo in an edit dispute" is a side issue, and isn't quite true. It seems both "sides" are leaving edit summaries when they do it, and there's nothing about "Undo edit by John Doe because X" that makes it worse than "rv Bob Smith because Y". A more accurate statement is: "don't edit war, whether you're using undo or not".
  • "Single purpose account" has a specific meaning here, and nobody here is an SPA. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how calling them SPA's is going to advance your position, but I can't. All I can figure is maybe you're too angry to edit constructively right now, and might want to call it a night.
  • Baiting goes both ways. I see both "sides" doing it, which makes the fact that both sides are complaining the other is doing it even more disappointing.
  • If you call someone a name, and they say it's a "personal attack", and you reply that calling it a personal attack is a personal attack... well, that looks like people who are more interested in arguing than in solving a problem.
  • Why in the world is this on WP:VPP??

There are lots of options available to you in WP:DR. I suggest you let this thread die, and use one of them. Izno's suggestion of mediation seems a good idea. --Floquenbeam (talk) 03:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

We have gotten as far as an RFC (request for comment). I disagree with your definition of SPA. But your main point is taken about going on to the next step in mediation.
My point in this talk section was to show this abusive pattern of repetitious deletionism by SPAs. If you have a better word than SPA to describe users who focus on one type of edit, then I am open to it. SPA is a very common word used by spamfighters, and I don't believe they have a lock on the meaning of "single-purpose" or "single-purpose account".
I thought "deletionist" was too strong a word since these SPA editors don't focus on whole-article deletion for the most part. Maybe "removalist" will work as a new neologism. It would work as a new variation of the word. See:
http://www.google.com/search?q=define:removalist
Non-additive SPA removalist. Calling someone by that name is an observation, not an attack. I am a removalist at times. I am a spamfighter at times. I am not an SPA. I am single-minded in my dedication to fighting rude editors, though. Because they drive away hundreds, if not thousands, of good-faith editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:05, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I was merely responding to this which I took to be a self-characterization of actions here. Unomi (talk) 05:41, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Advice sought concerning Alexa traffic rankings in article[edit]

I would like to see advice there from people who edit computer-related articles in an additive way, and not just advice from people with a removalist/deletionist focus.

I have also left a request for advice here:

--Timeshifter (talk) 19:33, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:CANVASS. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 18:38, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
You really may have a poor understanding of some Wikipedia guidelines. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:52, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Understanding policy is arguably more important. It's all in how you phrase your disagreement, which you have made personal here. Postdlf (talk) 18:57, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
OK. I struck out the more emphatic tone of my last remark. The italicized words are additions. And there is previous interaction in the main part of this talk section just above this subsection. I am referring to Who then was a gentleman? and his interpretation of WP:UNDO. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

NEWSBANK[edit]

NEWSBANK is South Korean newspaper's image database.

http://image.newsbank.co.kr/

All images use CC-BY-NC-ND copyright license.

South Korean largest newspaper company, conservative CHOSUN ILBO paticipate in there.

Total photo is 1,650,000.

But Wikipedia can't use it because of incomprehensible policy.

I sometimes think. "STOP FOOLISH WIKIPEDIA LICENSE POLICY!"

I don't understand.

I don't understand.

WIKIPEDIA is FREE? It is not free.

Why I can't use Newsbank 1,650,000 FREE images?

IT IS FREE? WHAT FREE?

WHY RESTRICT THE FREE?

It is restrintion for free? Sorry, All restrintion-lover say it. "THIS RESTICTION IS FOR YOU, FOR YOUR FREEDOM"

I don't understand.

I think, all fair use images(incluse videos, etc) MUST BE FREE IN ALL WIKIMEDIA PROJECT, ALL LANGUAGES.

I think, all CCL images(incluse videos, etc) MUST BE FREE IN ALL WIKIMEDIA PROJECT, ALL LANGUAGES.

I am a VETERAN EDITOR III IN KOREAN WIKIPEDIA. -- WonRyong (talk) 00:15, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

'Free' here doesn't (just) mean 'no money', it means 'freedom' to modify and reuse the content. Just as anyone can edit any of the text on Wikipedia, so too they should be able to edit and reuse the images. That isn't permitted by licenses with NC or ND, which is why they aren't acceptable.Cynical (talk) 00:51, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
From Creative Commons licenses is the following info about NC and ND:
  • Noncommercial or NonCommercial (nc): Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works or NoDerivs (nd): Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.
Wikipedia requires that all images be free to use for commercial purposes, and not just non-commercial purposes. Wikipedia articles (with the images) are copied to many commercial websites. Such as Answers.com and Orange Telecom. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:25, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the matter that websites such as Answers.com and Orange Telecom copy wikipedia article's is not a reason for non accepting commercial restricted images - it is the responsibility of those websites to check if they don't copy copyrighted material.
The reason why Wikipedia can't allow Non Commercial Usage marked images is the restriction that no money can be asked when distribution those. Wikipedia itself publishes cheap CD issues and printed copies from Wikipedia article's. Even though these are distributed without the intent to make profit, a small fee is necessarily to cover the cost of CS's and printed articles. In turn this would mean that money is charged for images - which is against the CC-BY-NC-ND policy. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 10:03, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Answers.com, and other sites that copy and frequently update large numbers of Wikipedia pages on their sites, don't have time to check the copyright status of each image. All the images on Wikipedia are either free or fair-use, and so there is no need for them to check the copyright status of each image.
If our goal is to put out WP:NPOV illustrated info to the largest number of people, then our current image policy is good. Most web sites have Google ads or other ads on their sites. If noncommercial image restrictions were allowed for Wikipedia images, then that would greatly lower the amount of illustrated Wikipedia info being copied to many web sites. Many web masters are not interested in sorting out the intricacies of image restrictions. They know though that they can copy any Wikipedia material (except the Wikipedia logos) to their sites, and there will not be any problems or hassles. This is a good thing.
There are fees necessary to be charged to print, put out, and distribute CDs and printed materials. The same is true for web hosts who have to pay for their servers, bandwidth, and staff. Ads are the common way to raise that money. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:20, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Notabilty (Fiction) - Progress update[edit]

Comments are invited from editors with an interest in Wikipedia's coverage of fiction. Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) is a specialized version of Wikipedia:Notability, which refers to whether or not a topic should be the subject of a standalone article. A rewrite of the proposed guideline has reached an advanced stage, and contructive criticism would be welcomed with a view to improving it further - see the discussion at WT:FICT#Ticking all the boxes.

In its current version, WP:FICT ticks all the boxes in terms of inclusion criteria that apply to fiction that fall within the exising framework of Wikipedia content and style polcies. It covers all the main points you would expect in a guideline, namely the requirements for:

  • Real world coverage
  • Coverage that address the topic directly and in detail
  • Independent sources

It also address two issues that plague fictional articles, namely:

  • Splitting of topics into articles more minutiae of detail without providing evidence of notability
  • Plot summary articles that do not provide balanced coverage in the form of both plot summary and real-world context

It has been agrued that these requirements are more restrictive than the General notability guideline, but actually they are applying these principals of article inclusion to fictional topics whilst recognising that they are inherently not real, and hence the requirement for real world evidence of notability.

In order to write about fiction, WP:FICT provides guidance on article inclusion that brings all of these principals together. It now ticks all the boxes whilst it does not pretend to provide exmemptions from the existing framework of Wikipedia policies and guidelines that enable us to contribute to articles without having to ask permission from an editorial board or a cabal of administrators. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 10:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid Editing[edit]

This is overdue, probably: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid Editing. Given that this (and related WP:COI issues) seem to be coming up more and more, I've launched this basic RFC. We've never had an actual community discussion or mandate about this. Please review the statements, leave yours, endorse as you see fit. Should make for an interesting and enlightening discussion. rootology (C)(T) 19:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Posting for wider input[edit]

I'm posting this RFC for wider input. It concerns a disagreement on a memorial proprosal. I claim WP:NOT and state that the wording they're using cannot be used as it's violats WP:NOT. See the rfc for further details, please. I will not post this anywhere else. Thanks Naluboutes, Nalubotes Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris 12:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Placement of templates Technical and Technical (expert)[edit]

I've revived this discussion on Wikipedia_talk:Make_technical_articles_accessible#Templates_for_articles_or_talkpages.3F, adding a new proposal. Debresser (talk) 20:04, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Opinion question about autobiographical articles[edit]

Is it considered appropriate to userify apparent (based on user name) autobiographical articles that are clearly intended to be Encyclopedia articles? For example moving Bob Nobody to User:Bob Nobody

I would think not, because:

  • If the person is notable, the fact that they created the entry doesn't change that
  • If they are not notable and/or the article is highly promotional in nature, userifing does not solve the problem as promotion is not allowed even in user space.

However, I see no specific policy guidance on this point so I would I like to see what others think. --ThaddeusB (talk) 20:35, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Why so many semi-protected pages in science?[edit]

I find that it rather defeats the purpose and spirit of Wikipedia, but I've noticed this. For example, every single one of the eight planets' pages are semi-protected (as is Planet itself), and most of the chemical elements in the top two rows of the periodic table (as is atom itself). I could go on and on. It didn't used to be like this ('used to' meaning even last year). What is going on? Has there really been such extreme and widespread vandalism all of a sudden? (data regarding pages being blocked as of approximately 21:00 UTC 5/30/09) 69.140.12.180 (talk) 21:30, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Nightvid

Thanks for bringing this up. You might consider posting a list at WP:RFPP and I'd be happy to review them and unprotect the ones I think are excessive. --causa sui talk 22:08, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I have noticed the same thing, also that it may go hand in hand with suspicions of sockpuppetry. Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 22:14, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I've unprotected Planet since it has been semi-protected for more than a year. Atom was semi-protected very recently and the semi-protection will expire mid June, which seems reasonable. If you have any other articles you want to have looked at, especially if they've been semi-protected for months, please do post them here or better yet at WP:RFPP. Thanks. --causa sui talk 22:21, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Simply put, many of the pages are core articles, and some of the most read ones on the sites. Unfortunately, that means that they also attract a lot of vandalism - so much so that in some cases it becomes a real distraction for the regular editors. (Some people apparently have nothing better to do than to add pleas for Pluto's planethood and the endless "Uranus" comments.) As such, the articles tend to get semi-protected; whenever they come off protection, the vandalism quickly resumes, and protection ends up being restored.
Is this ideal? Certainly not; perhaps the tests of flagged revisions may lead to a more balanced approach. However, the fact that these are some of the more widely read articles does tend to make it necessary to be a bit more cautious. --Ckatzchatspy 22:54, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
  • My experience is that a lot of vandalism comes to, especially, high school science subjects. i.e. Osmosis, amoeba, etc. I unprotected a bunch of them but found the edit to revert ratio was too high to keep it in an unprotected state. Unfortunate, really. –xenotalk 23:13, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
If a science article is about some topic or person that is included in high-school curricula, IP vandalism is frequent. Gregor Mendel needs to be under almost constant semiprotection, but acetylcholinesterase has never been protected, and does not need to be. EdJohnston (talk) 13:58, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
When it comes to appeal to vandals' sense of humour, I'll see Uranus and raise a Robert Koch. May and December seems to be particularly problematic months as so many students get eager for vacation. Perhaps there's an argument for seasonal protection during school hours (I'm pretty sure that an IP range or IP geocode check would be tractable for submissions even though it's no use for reads due to caching issues. I'd much rather see more use of rangeblocks to get the attention of school network admins. There are clearly certain schools and school boards that are chronic problems.LeadSongDog come howl 15:01, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

In the past I have semi protected DNA, photosynthesis and cloning. Any time these are not protected the volume of vandalism to productive edits is about 50 to 1 (guess on my behalf). When you have a lot of these pages on your watch list your whole time is spent reverting petty vandalism rather than writing or commenting on talk pages. So semi-protection serves two purposes here. One to protect the reader and the other to avoid burnout in science writers. Other strategies to avoid this juvenile vandalism are welcome. David D. (Talk) 15:56, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I just unprotected cloning. It's been semi-protected for a long time now. Let's see how it fares. David D. (Talk) 16:04, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

So far cloning has had 39 new edits, 13 of them reverting vandalism from 9 different IP's. Last two edits were a positive contribution from a user editing with an anon IP. David D. (Talk) 03:42, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

More directly, every IP edit in that time was reverted up until the final IP, but then that one IP was the only substantive contributor, however minor.LeadSongDog come howl 06:08, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Yep. From my perspective the exercise in unprotecting was to see how many IP's were adding productively to that article. Obviously some do, the question becomes at what point does the time reverting outweigh the gain? Actually, one trend I have noticed with respect to productive IP editors, on the science pages, is that they will often go to the talk page and mention a specific problem rather than do it themselves (even if the article is not semi-protected). So in those cases the semi-protection does not actually stop them contributing. David D. (Talk) 21:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec, might make a bit less sense now) I've noticed that, but it'll also stop all the small tiny one-off corrections that IPs contribute. The above seems like a good "argument in favour of flagged revs". It would allow the positive IP contributions while disallowing the vandalism making it to print. I also gather it would discourage a great deal of the vandalism: if it never shows up "to the world" then the motivation for making the edit hopefully goes down. I unprotected a good number of articles, but eventually had to put some of them back up because the (sometimes complex) vandalism would remain for too long. –xenotalk 21:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Discussion about possibly amending CSD policy[edit]

I have started a very preliminary discussion, without much thought to the details at Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Pre-proposal:__move_to_a_standard_of_userfication_in_some_CSD_cases that may begin to address some common concerns about CSD. Nothing set in stone, and not a definitive proposal - come along to have a look, make comments, and suggestions of your own, and maybe we'll get to a firm proposal. Fritzpoll (talk) 09:27, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

request for help in making this policy sound good[edit]

We are trying to make a certain naming convention a little easier to understand in English. If you'd like to help by suggestion some smooth formulation, please have a look at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(categories)#General_naming_conventions. Debresser (talk) 13:14, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to promote a wine guide essay to a guideline[edit]

Per the instructions on WP:GUIDE, I propose that the essay Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a wine guide be promoted from essay to guideline, with WP:CORP as its parent.

Please see the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not a wine guide#Proposal to promote from essay to guideline. I have also posted this proposal on the talk pages of WP:CORP and WP:WINE. Thanks. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:47, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Can we still import GFDL text?[edit]

Greetings. Judgepedia is a Wiki whose content is licensed under the GFDL, per Judgepedia:Copyrights. It is not released under a cc license, and I don't think they have any plans to do so. I opened a bot request to import some of Judgepedia's content into Wikipedia, but it is unclear if this is allowed. Discussion at the bot approval request referred to Section 11 of the GFDL, but without a clear outcome. So which is correct?

  1. We could have imported Judgepedia's content before November 1, 2008, but we can no longer do so.
  2. We can import Judgepedia's content until June 15, 2009.
  3. We can continue to import Judgepedia's content indefinitely.

It's kind of important to know quickly, in case option #2 is correct. – Quadell (talk) 17:14, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

For a definitive answer, I would suggest emailing Mike Godwin and/or Erik Möller. You could also try emailing the FSF directly, though I've heard that they can sometimes be reluctant to give definitive answers. Mr.Z-man 19:18, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
#3 is certainly not the case, as Section 11 (which is what allows changing GFDL 1.3 to CC-BY-SA 3.0) is only good until August 1, 2009. Anomie 20:16, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
If Judgepedia has no plans to relicense, then #1 is correct. No GFDL-only text can be imported into Wikipedia after Nov. 1st, 2008. (After June 15th, any such text should be treated as a copyvio unless the originating site intends to relicense.) An outreach effort at Meta: m:Licensing update/Outreach hopes to make as many external GFDL sites aware of the transition as possible, and encourage them to join with us in relicensing. There is a lot of work to do and relatively limited pool of volunteers. If you can help out by talking to Judgepedia about this, it will be appreciated.  :-) Dragons flight (talk) 21:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Dual licensing and WP:FORKS[edit]

Is it me, or is that page going to be in need of an expert rather soon? - Jarry1250 (t, c) 21:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Links to copyright-violating sites[edit]

Is it appropriate to give external links to copyright-violating sites, like Pirate Bay? I believe it is clear violation of the Foundation policy, however seems it was never enforced. On the other hand, it would be grotesquely - having an article about Pirate Bay with no link to the site... Levg (talk) 12:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:ELNEVER says, "Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered contributory infringement. If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright." Elsewhere WP:EL says, "Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any." The Infobox contains the URL and there are 12 addition inline references that link to the site. It is the first item in result of a Google search for the title. So the external link serves only to affix Wikipidea's imprimatur to the site. A discussion at Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_22#Hulu.com may be illuminating. Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
"the external link serves only to affix Wikipidea's imprimatur to the site" - a bold assertion, but one without a kernel of truth. Imprimatur is not a term that can be meaningfully applied in this context. Dlabtot (talk) 20:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • To make it as clear as possible: we do not link to copyvio sites, as it is a clear violation of foundation policy, and that trumps any other info/bad examples you might see elsewhere. We also prohibit spam but it doesn't take too long surfing around to find examples of spam. The existence of spam or copyvio links does not mean they are accepted by policy, just that someone who understands policy hasn't spotted them yet to remove them. DreamGuy (talk) 15:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    It's clear (hopefully to everyone here) that copyvio material should not be linked, period. But how do you define a "copyvio site"? We're talking about a link to the page http://thepiratebay.org/, and while that page—just like http://www.youtube.com/ (to which there's a link in YouTube) or http://www.google.com/ (to which there's a link in Google)—can help users find copyvio material, it certainly is not copyvio material. —JAOTC 16:51, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    Indeed, and that is an important distinction. Linking to the PirateBay main page can be appropriate, just like linking to Google or YouTube. Linking to a particular page that violates copyright is not acceptable, in particularly not in order to provide access to the infringing material. BTW, how do we handle Google Books? As far as I understand, Google is currently violating away and waiting for the lawsuit to settle. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:20, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    Thirded. If we are going to have an article about The Pirate Bay, it's encyclopedic to have an external link to the article subject. This is about as unambiguous as you can get; this is an exception to the rule. ausa کui × 18:20, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    It is no expection to the rule, the rule does not applyin that case. Linking to (e.g.) Pirate Bay main page is not linking to a page actually violating copyright. Deeplinking to a copy of (e.g. Pirates of the Caribbean (movie)) is something else, that deeplink is an internet page violating copyright. Arnoutf (talk) 18:43, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    In reply to User:Stephan Schulz above, Google Books is not "currently violating away and waiting for the lawsuit to settle", as anything under copyright (and many things not under copyright, which is VERY annoying) and for which they do not have permission only has small snippets of text up and they are working under the principle that doing so is fair use and in no way a violation. Google Books is in no way a copyio site. DreamGuy (talk) 17:30, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
It's important to understand here, and no one seems to have pointed out, that Pirate Bay has not actually violated copyright, as far as I'm aware (and the article seems to back that up). Brian Jason Drake 09:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
errm, whatcha mean no one pointed it out? JAO and Arnoutf made precisely that point in the preceding comments. Tt 225 (talk) 17:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The main page of the Pirate Bay site does not violate copyright, as pointed out above (which may be irrelevant considering the amount of copyright violations on the site itself), but it sounds like Brian is trying to claim that Pirate Bay itself does not violate copyright at all, which is certainly not true. The EL rules that say we should link to a official site in no way overrules the foundation rule agaisnt linking to copyvios, as foundation rules trump guideline pages. DreamGuy (talk) 17:30, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
No, Brian's point is a good one. A few men behind TPB were convicted recently (effect still pending), but not for violating copyrights, only for wilfully facilitating other people's violation of copyrights. I've never heard of copyrighted material being hosted on TPB, although it's not inconceivable (in descriptions of media, for instance). —JAOTC 17:52, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
DreamGuy, what is the basis for your claim that the Pirate Bay website has copyright violations on it? Is it based on some sort of information that other editors can evaluate? Or is it something you just "know" intuitively? Dlabtot (talk) 18:11, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The article on the web site can link to the web site's main page. Also remember when discussing whether there are any copyright violations on a site, the same argument applies to Wikipedia itself. At any moment there probably are several copyright violations within Wikipedia which have not yet been removed; finding them is left as an exercise for the reader. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:46, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Dual licensing[edit]

From what I can see, this urgently needs to be given far more attention. Is anyone at the English Wikipedia actually in charge of this? What's the deal with updating the notice on the edit page? Wikipedia:Copyrights? Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content? Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks? Everything seems to be about the GFDL only at the moment.

Also, at least one section above (#Can we still import GFDL text?) refers to confusion about the 2008-11-01 (2008 November 1) cutoff. If we can get any material first published elsewhere and incorporated here on or after 2008-11-01 licensed under CC, great! Otherwise, what do we do? Brian Jason Drake 08:54, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

If we can't get that material licensed under CC, we've got a problem, apparently (#NoGFDLOnlyAfter2008Nov1). Brian Jason Drake 08:58, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

This week (hypothetically the 15th, but we'll see), the Foundation will push updates to the interface messages (e.g. the edit page, site footer, etc.) At the same time a new Wikipedia:Terms of use page will be published that supplants the top portion of Wikipedia:Copyrights. Once those things are done, users can start importing CC text. An updating project for images will also be started about this time. Those items cover the primary things that the licensing update committee is working on.

Updating all the various pages that enwiki has written is basically enwiki's problem.  ;-) As far as I know, there is no locally organized project to work on this. Though if people want to start one, I'd consider that a good thing. Dragons flight (talk) 09:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

You can't be serious? From the public's point of view, the Wikimedia Foundation basically is the English Wikipedia. Such a major wiki doesn't even have a project to update its licensing pages? And the pages that are being updated globally - absolutely no warning that there's about to be massive changes to them (unless you're lucky enough to be an established user who happened to click on that innocent-looking banner, or to have found out some other way)? Brian Jason Drake 09:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Re to DragonsFlight - ::Hopefully it won't be too much work - not like changing licences altogether. Regards WP:FORKS, would I be right in saying that all GFDL forks and mirrors will be able to stay the same, we'll just need a new class for those preferring to licence under CC?
Re to Brian - it's not the the earth's going to implode if these pages aren't updated immediately. The Foundation's updating everything which is time-sensitive; the en-wp pages are more to advise than dictate. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The problem as I see it is not one of details. The problem is that many people won't even know there's an issue. At least not until they have a brand new edit screen sprung on them. Brian Jason Drake 09:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think they're planning anything major - probably just changing that bit where it says "You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the GFDL*. Do not copy text from other websites without a GFDL-compatible license. It will be deleted." to include CC. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
GFDL-only mirrors will be ok to start, but eventually they'll have to start being careful about CC-BY-SA-3.0-only content. CC-BY-SA-3.0-only mirrors will also be able to be created now (no worry about GFDL-only there, too), as well as dual-licensed mirrors. Anomie 12:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to coordinate something like this. Nor do I have much experience with this area. Brian Jason Drake 09:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh, once the fundamentals are in place, you should also expect a global site notice (for editors and readers) announcing the change over. Dragons flight (talk) 09:58, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

  • The closest we have to a "project" is Wikipedia:Transition to Creative Commons licensing. I'm perfectly happy to help out with changes to various policy pages, but some of this is going to be complicated. For instance, splitting & merging procedures, devised to accommodate GFDL. Will the same link to original serve under co-licensing? I certainly hope so. :) We will not be able to accept GFDL-only text, but we will be able to accept CC-BY-SA only text. There are already steps underway to update things at the OTRS end, but there's a bevy of policy & templates related to licensing & copyright that will need updating. (Note: some of them have already been altered.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I created {{license migration warning}} and started adding it to Wikipedia: pages that will need updating. This places them in Category:Wikipedia pages affected by the licensing transition. I'd appreciate it if other people would help track down and flag this content. Dragons flight (talk) 20:44, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

You've been popping up all over my watchlist. :) There are a good many user notices in Category:Copyright maintenance templates that may be impacted. I'll go see which are. And I didn't notice if you got to the copyright FAQ. I'll pick it up if not. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:46, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I went on ahead and just updated Template:Nothanks-sd. I note it here in case my update needs repair. Language on such may be tricky. But there's no reason to wait to update the language for the several hours before we transition, because anybody who gets that note will need to know the proper licensing to provide. Coming back tomorrow and saying, "Oh, that was then" is only likely to cause confusion and hard feelings. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:18, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Likewise, Template:Nothanks-web. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I'm not sure it will really begin the 15th because the terms of use aren't yet final. I would anticipate it being this week though. Dragons flight (talk) 21:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah. Well, I tend to think that changing the no-thanks is a good jump on the process, since many people don't respond to those for several days. It may be a good WP:IAR. Is the language proper, do you think? By the way, who changes the bottom text that says "Content that violates any copyright will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable. You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the GFDL*" and "Do not copy text from other websites without a GFDL-compatible license. It will be deleted."? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:30, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The edit page text will be pushed by the Foundation. Dragons flight (talk) 21:36, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

IAR/SNOW => Admin involvement?[edit]

This is a problem I was pondering about application and policies and I'd like some opinions. I raised it at ANI on a specific case (see here) but as people like to take the case into account, I'd like to ask here for a general opinion.

Imagine the following situation: An admin closes an AFD as SNOW delete. Usually admins wait 7 days and then judge consensus, which is a neutral action, not requiring an admin's personal views. But is this the same with SNOW? SNOW is defined as ignoring the 7 days waiting period because the admin judges that it's extremely unlikely that the current consensus can possibly change at all. So SNOW requires two admin actions: 1.) Judging the current consensus and 2.) judging that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that this will change in the next 7 days. The question I pondered was this: If an admin decides to IAR/SNOW, they are making a statement not only about consensus but about the future development, don't they? But doesn't that mean that the admin becomes involved and now has a stance on the article's fate. Further, assuming this is the case, are they be allowed to close a second AFD about the same (recreated and expanded) article or do we have to assume that they are too involved to be able to judge consensus on the second AFD? Again, ignoring the specifics about the David Boothroyd article that made me ponder this question, I'd like to hear some opinions about whether any admin in such a situation as described should be considered involved because of their decision to SNOW. Regards SoWhy 18:29, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

It depends. Some articles are an obvious SNOW and should be closed repeatedly. Imagine a vandal constantly recreating a page about themselves which isn't obviously unnotable but some investigation proves that the sources don't amount to anything. Everyone's in agreement that it should be deleted per SNOW, and that happens. On recreation, AfD gets landed with it again and, of course, it goes to SNOW delete (and probably SALT, in this situation). In this case, the closing admin is perfectly at rights to close it twice, as nothing's changed.
Any other situation, however, I completely agree with you. By SNOW closing something which isn't obvious vandalism and is borderline CSD, the admin is indeed involved. I would say that, as a general rule, admins shouldn't ever snowball close the same article's deletion discussion; just to make sure. We have enough active admins for this to be feasible.
I'm aware that's not a great explanation but, nutshell'd, I agree that an admin shouldn't SNOW close the same topic twice, though it's probably acceptable in extreme cases. I hope that makes sense. Greg Tyler (tc) 19:24, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Closing a deletion discussion, even a WP:SNOW closure, does not make an admin involved. Being involved generally means having a stake in the situation, for example the admin was a significant contributor to the article, OR the admin contributed to the deletion discussion and gave an opinion. The use of admin tools does not instantly make an admin involved in a situation; under that logic no admin could ever block a disruptive user more than once or protect an article more than once. --Jayron32.talk.contribs 03:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
The question I pondered was whether the prediction that the consensus will not change anymore (which SNOW means) implies that the SNOWing admin actually does take a stance, not regarding the content but regarding the possibility of discussion. They make a decision not only about the current consensus but about future development which they decide to cut off with the close (i.e. that it can and will only develop in this way). But if they have decided that consensus can and will only develop towards the SNOW-created result, are they not naturally biased in a new discussion where consensus might or might not be the same? Blocking users is not a relevant comparision as my question is regarding applying IAR, not following policy. Regards SoWhy 10:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
SNOW by its nature is an opinion, and no matter what it is improper for the same person to close a discussion on the same topic twice. See also: trial de novo. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 12:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I would agree with Jayron. I would also add that if the second article is a totally new version, then any judgment about the development that may have been made about the old article would be mostly irrelevant to the second discussion, as it would no longer apply. (And if the article isn't substantially different then it would be a G4 case.) Mr.Z-man 04:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
a totally new version ? perhaps only if it is also a completely new subject, i.e. yesterday's college footballer elected to Senate or some other radical change in real life. NVO (talk) 11:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Can someone name a useful purpose that SNOW serves other than to cut conversation short? Keep or delete, SNOW should not be used to close XfDs. We have WP:CSD and WP:SK. To quote WP:SK, "the criteria for speedy deletion cover the circumstances under which pages may be deleted immediately." and "WP:SNOW is not a valid speedy keep criterion. SNOW may be cited for an early close, but its use is discouraged." Just because 7 people say "delete" or "keep" in the first hour, does not mean a true consensus won't form. There is no way for an admin to know if email canvassing has happened, or it was some fluke that a bunch of fan-boys with no understanding of policy showed up before everyone else. Can anyone show any actual instance where SNOW actually helped WP? I'm not saying that SNOW isn't used often in good faith, I'm just saying that it does absolutely nothing towards helping to form consensus. I'd nominate it for MfD, but I'm sure a flippantly clever admin would close it as SNOW (again), and that would just be hilarious. "Take it to DRV", they'd say (as they do), and we'd all have a good chuckle at the nominator's expense. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 12:12, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
WP:SNOW is an essay, but is a shorthand way of expressing that no other outcome is possible whether or not WP:CSD or WP:SK apply. WP:SK is not cited as often as it should for WP:SNOW closes that end in keep, and SK keeps evolving so it may or may not apply even if there is no withdrawal and everyone was acting in good faith: Someone nominates an article for a athlete who has yet to play professionally - during the course of the AFD, the athlete plays professionally and garners lots of coverage, yadda yadda. Perhaps the nominator never goes back to the AFD s/he started but everyone now recognizes that the reason for nomination no longer applies. These get WP:SNOWed but they are really some application of WP:SK, whether or not by the book depends on what version you read or who you ask. On deletions, it gets more interesting, as SK implies that an AFD has begun, whereas CSD has no such pre-condition. For example, WP:CSD does not apply to pet dogs, so if a newbie user writes an article on his pet dog, someone nominates it for deletion, and a bunch of people !vote delete that it's not notable and the debate becomes acrimonous but no one but the author expresses a reason to keep it (that he likes Fido and Fido is really special, ahhhh), it seems wise to close the debate early before things get too out of hand and the newbie gets more bitten than needed. Whether the admin cites WP:SNOW or WP:IAR or whatever, it's just a shorthand for "enough already, move on". Carlossuarez46 (talk) 01:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Pronunciation policy[edit]

I intend no offense in saying this, but I would really like to see some type of Wikipedia policy saying that, wherever feasible, pronunciation guides should be placed in the article's main infobox rather than being inserted the lead. The pronunciation entries are usually placed in the first sentence, where, to me at least, they significantly disrupt the flow of the text and appear to dominate the description. In addition, long pronunciation entries can impact the layout of the lead section when they collide with the infobox. Finally, as I hardly know how to interpret the pronunciation information, to me they appears as a violation of WP:Jargon. In addition, they are also frequently unreferenced and (in spirit) may conflict with WP:NOTDIC. Thus I believe that pronunciation guides belong in the infobox (where a reader can investigate further if they have an interest) and not in the critical first sentence of the article. Thank you.—RJH (talk) 16:13, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Comments:

  1. infoboxes frequently violate NPOV by giving undue weight to 1 POV
  2. articles sometimes, perhaps often, give only American pronunciation

Peter jackson (talk) 16:27, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree that IPA gobbledygook has no place in an encyclopedia for the general public, but there is a large contingent of linguist editors that will defend it to the death. Gigs (talk) 18:47, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
The IPA versus anglicized pronunciations is a simple specificity versus accessibility argument that I won't rehash. As for location of the pronunciation, that's currently more just based on tradition and consistency than anything. It certainly disrupts the flow. I created a task force to try and expand audio pronunciations, which I believe are more important than textual pronunciations of either sort, but this has a long way to go with so few audio contributors. Dcoetzee 22:58, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
As for IPA vs. other descriptions of pronunciation, as a non-English mother tongue non-linguist, I find IPA transcriptions both more specific and more accessible (than an approximate transcription to be decoded as it would be read by an anglophone). If I don't know some IPA symbol, its explanation is one click away. Goochelaar (talk) 14:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

It might be helpful if there were a general pronunciation template suitable for slotting into an Infobox. That way those projects that decide to relocate pronunciation to the infobox can have a standard template that is maintained in one location (which can also support various translations, &c). Mostly it's a concern about ease of maintenance and possible conflicts with variables used in templates. The {{pron-en}} template inserts a "pronounced" in the line, which can be handled by the infobox parameter column instead.—RJH (talk) 21:02, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Links from main namespace to user namespace[edit]

As an offshoot of my more general business of fixing red links, I've been looking at links from the main namespace to the user and user talk namespaces. While most are obviously wrong and easily fixable, a small number could be argued to be correct. I could find no policy on these, but my gut feeling is that in each case the should either be de-linked, or an article created in the main namespace for the user if they meet the usual notability criteria.

Some examples to hopefully make clear my query:

Any ideas please? - TB (talk) 21:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, the first is a link to a userfied page. This is probably not a good idea, since it removes the whole point of deleting.
The second is simply bad sourcing. A certificate in the possession of a private person fails the availiability criteria of WP:RS
The third is a result of Kingkewell typying ~~~~ instead of ~~~~~ producing his signature rather than the date. I have fixed this.
The only reason for linking to the user namespace I can think of would be if we provide a source that identifies a person or event to a wikipedia editor.
Taemyr (talk) 23:00, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Jimmy Wales and similar have links to their user pages. Dragons flight (talk) 23:31, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Such links should be fixed, per Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. They don't work, as either internal links or interwiki links, on Wikipedia mirrors. They either link to the wrong place or don't link to anywhere at all. So they should always be external links. I've fixed Nicholson Baker as an example.

      That fact is why we don't have internal links from the article namespace to the user or project namespaces. They don't work on mirrors or in off-line copies, because such mirrors and copies don't include the contents of our project and user namespaces.

      Of course, if the link is not actually an explicit encyclopaedic reference to someone's page on the English Wikipedia, then there should not be a link at all. Such was the case with the "Dylan Borg" internal link to our user namespace in List of programmers, for example. Uncle G (talk) 12:14, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Okay ta, that's pretty much what I expected - thanks all for the advice and Uncle G in particular for identiftying Wikipedia:Avoid self-references as the relevant policy. - TB (talk) 11:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Database reports/Articles containing links to the user space and Wikipedia:Database reports/Cross-namespace redirects. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:13, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Outlines of countries[edit]

I have a doubt about Outlines of countries, the term countries involve a lot of things and I would like to do an outline of Catalonia and I don't know if Outline of countries is about states or all type of countries. --Vilar 21:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it is best to ask for advice on this at the Wikipedia:WikiProject Outline of knowledge project. The people there know more about the outlines than most here. Good luck. Arnoutf (talk) 21:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It wouldn't be considered an outline of a country (country in this context means sovereign state, possibly with some exceptions but the autonomous communities aren't among them), but you shouldn't let that keep you from creating it. There are outlines about all of the U.S. states, for instance, as well as for a lot of other geographical and non-geographical concepts. See Wikipedia:Outlines for more context and pointers—especially the How to create an outline page section. —JAOTC 21:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok thanks. --Vilar 21:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Right to vanish[edit]

crosslinked from here

Hi, there's a debate going on in id: concerning a person (id:Gusdi Sastra, an Indonesian linguist) who wished that his article should be deleted. It was deleted once, but a sysop, id:User:Borgx decided to rewrite the article anew, and thus the linguist is crying foul. Is there exists such right as to not having an article about oneself published in Wikipedia? Bennylin (talk) 11:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

No. However, the article must observe relevant laws on what it may say about living people. See WP:BLP. Peter jackson (talk) 14:47, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The "right to vanish" refers to wikipedia editors who wish to have their editing account disappear. It is not related in any way to non-editors who do not wish wikipedia to have an article about them. The latter issue has been debated for a long time, and all that can be said is there is no general system by which a person can get his or her biography deleted from wikipedia. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:54, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The question of whether there should / could be an article on person X is really determined by that person's notability. If X is clearly notable then there is no reason not to have a policy-compliant article about him or her - and the more prominent and notable the person, the stronger becomes the argument that there should be such an article. For example, the President of the United States and the former Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand are both clearly notable for English Wikipedia and each of them should have an article, but not having an article on the former would be a much bigger omission that not having one on the latter. (Sorry New Zealand, but it is true.) If X is clearly not notable then any article on X should be deleted, and a nomination at AfD should produce a clear consensus for a delete close. The circumstance in which the X's view might carry some weight is when notability is borderline - basically, when a reasonable argument can be made for deleting the article and a similarly reasonable argument can be made for retaining it. In such circumstances, some editors are swayed by the preferences of the article's subject in deciding their !vote on retention or deletion of a BLP article. So, if X is actually wiki-notable she or he really has no choice but to accept the existence of the article - but has every right to use the talk page to discuss content and to ensure the article is compliant with all relevant policies. OTRS can help deal with material that is libelous / slanderous, etc., so X has recourse against untrue / unverifiable negative article content. If X is borderline- or non-notable then the approach available is to nominate the article for deletion, and make a policy-based case for a lack of notability. Adding to that case the person's preference for no article is fine, but "I don't want it" is not recommended as an argument for deletion, as it carries little weight. The decision on whether to keep or delete will be made at the close of the discussion based on the consensus of the participants and the policy-suppported issues raised. The article's subject needs to understand that the broad consensus of the community is binding on questions of content, within the limits of policy. EdChem (talk) 04:16, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

So becoming "notable" and thus "Wikipedia-worthy" is like the direct result of writing so many books and papers. From my observation, there is a hint that the subject misunderstood what Wikipedia is and is not. The motive for the request still need to be clarified further. Thanks for all the comments (further comments are still welcomed). Bennylin (talk) 08:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, the number of books and papers you've written does not determine notability, at least on the English wikipedia. This is accordance to our own Wikipedia:Notability (people) and Wikipedia:Notability (academics) and other policies. The only thing that establishes notability is significant coverage in reliable secondary sources. It is generally presumed that if one has significant literary output then coverage is a given and for this reason evidence of a significant literary output will usually be taken as sufficient evidence for notability but if there is really no significant coverage in reliable secondary sources then the person is not notable no matter how much they've written. Nil Einne (talk) 03:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Because there is no such precedent in id.wiki (this would be the first time someone asked an article about himself to be removed), I would like to ask if there is any precedent here in en.wiki regarding someone who wishes the article about him/herself removed from English Wikipedia? Bennylin (talk) 09:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I would refer you to WP:AB. If the person in notable enough, the article should remain where it is. Imagine if former US president George W. Bush asked his article to be removed. There is no question that the article would remain in place because he is way too notable. As per WP:BLP the article shouldn't contain any contentious material that is poorly sourced but other than that this person has no right to ask for his article to be removed. --– sampi (talkcontribemail) 06:38, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks again for all the comments. A small note: I found this (If the community agrees you are in fact very minimally "notable", or of transitory (brief, non-lasting) notability, you may be able to request your article's deletion.) Bennylin (talk) 10:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I always assumed the standard around here was the same as in most print media: there is no requirement for newspapers and book authors to seek permission, and there is no violation if permission is actively denied, whether it's asked for or not. There is no "right not to be talked about"... although it's always good to remember libel laws and common courtesy. Hairhorn (talk) 20:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

CSD for WP:MADEUP[edit]

It seems that often obviously WP:MADEUP articles are going all the way to AfD. I've thought about it myself, and seen it mentioned a few times; maybe we should make obviously made up stuff specifically speedy deletable. Some of them are falling into A7, but A7 has very specific class restrictions that often prevent it from being applied. Also simply saying "This is the best thing ever" could be an assertion of notability. A1 can be used on really short articles, but still often misses. What do you all think? Does a CSD for WP:MADEUP sound plausible? Gigs (talk) 15:24, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

It should go to AfD, there is no way to tell if some crap topic like beer pong is notable without researching it a little. That sort of thing is better to put through AfD, which gives people time to find sources or relevance, but also gives a record of why it shouldn't be recreated. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 21:38, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
If it's madeup and clearly disruptive, it's covered under G3 as a blatant hoax. If it's not, JohnnyMrNinja is correct, sometimes things that sound made up are actually not made up at all and PROD and AFD can cover those few articles as well. WT:CSD has a set of requirements for new criteria - one is that the proposed criterion should arise often. I'm one of the more active CSD admins and I see maybe one of those in every 200-300 pages. Not nearly enough to warrant a new criterion. Regards SoWhy 21:49, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the different perspective. From the AfD side it looked like a lot, but I guess it isn't that much in the big scheme of things. Gigs (talk) 00:07, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I rarely nominate articles for deletion. (I prefer to close them) but when I do, it's usually articles in the hoax/madeup class such as this one (afd). Such articles are completely unverifiable but not necessarily hoaxes so they don't qualify for CSD G3. These need to go to AFD just to make sure that nobody else can verify them either. However, I see no problem with snow closing such AFDs once enough people chime in and say they found zilch. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:33, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, because all swans are white. OrangeDog (talkedits) 08:32, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Occasionally I'll speedy an article as WP:NFT if it doesn't fit any of the criteria but it's patent crap, eg "Snookerdiddle is a nickname for my friend Sarah, after she said this in her sleep at a slumber party last night" etc. Some articles like this don't fit the CSD criteria but nobody would contest deleting them. The problem with adding WP:NFT (or anything like it) to the CSD policy is that the CSD policy is interpreted bureaucratically, so you have to have strict scrutiny about anything you add to it. As such I'm inclined to say no, leave it out, and let admins like me take risks for ourselves by invoking IAR to speedy delete this kind of stuff. ausa کui × 17:30, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I think simply making WP:MADEUP a speedy delete category is far too broad a proposal. I do think (and this seems to be the intention) that there should be a CSD for things that are unambiguously non-notable neologisms. Many entries of this type affirm their own lack of notability in the entry ("me and my mates made this up at the bar last week"). G3 rarely applies in these cases, G3 is for "blatant and obvious misinformation" and "blatant hoaxes": if it really is an invented phrase used by 2 or 3 people, then it's neither a hoax nor misinformation. And WP:NFT isn't a speedy delete category. These types of entries either sit around for a week, or get shoehorned into non-applicable speedy delete categories, both less than ideal solutions. Hairhorn (talk) 17:57, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

As I suggested above, sometimes the best thing to do in these cases is speedy the article out of process. I try to make clear in the summary that it's an out of process/IAR deletion, and it's better than claiming the article fits some other CSD criteria that it obviously doesn't. ausa کui × 20:16, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Dead Linkage[edit]

How about a policy of when linkage is dead, linking to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php when a page is available to link to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.102.30.217 (talk) 14:15, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

No policy, but WP:LINKROT. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:31, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
There's also User:WebCiteBOT which should hopefully limit the linkrot. Anomie 15:15, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
We link to archives for dead links on references (though per our rules on copyvios probably shouldn't), but dead links in External links sections that cannot find an authorized live replacement are simply removed. DreamGuy (talk) 17:39, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
If archive.org and WebCite were really copyvios, wouldn't they have been sued out of existence by now? Anomie 17:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The courts have decided archiving services aren't copyright violations (with certain restrictions) and such services have existed long before the internet was even invented. --ThaddeusB (talk) 18:34, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Proper archiving services, yes. Sites that make copies of other sites without permission and keep the content online forever? No. And just because they haven't been sued out of existence yet doesn't mean we should allow blatant copyvios. But the external links to archives issue has been brought up at WP:EL talk page and this was decided by consensus, so if you have a problem with it, take it up there, don't just pretend you don't have to follow it. DreamGuy (talk) 18:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
My comment was in response to you saying that you didn't think we should link to archives in references, implying you think they are copyright violations. They are, in fact, not violations as long as the service respects the original website's wishes as both archive.org and webcitation.org do. I was, of course, only referring to actual "authorized" archives not just random copies people had made. I agree that external links can often be just deleted, but one should also consider that often something marked "external link" is really a misnamed reference. --ThaddeusB (talk) 19:31, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
To my knowledge there have been no court decisions dealing with this sort of archiving service. It is at least arguably a copyright violation - opt-out isn't sure to cure the copying. (What if I decided, I'm going to make copies of every CD my friends own, unless I hear from the record company in advance specifically I can't copy that one? Probably not going to cut it with the RIAA.) Nothing really makes these services "authorized" - yes, they respect robots.txt but that may not be the end of it. Since it's at least arguably a fair use, though, and it's quite useful, I think we should continue to use them. If the courts weigh in later we can stop. Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:19, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Authorized was in quotes for a reason. :) There has been at least one court case specifically about internet archiving, although I don't recall the details off hand. The ruling was basically if a site doesn't use any method to say they don't want their content archived they are implicitly allowing it. They key for archive.org/webcitation.org is that they are acting as a "library" of sorts - this grants them leeway that wouldn't be granted to a for-profit company. This isn't really a new issue as regular libraries have been archiving resources for decades without explicit permission, and have occasionally had to defend the practice in court. --ThaddeusB (talk) 20:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Field vs Google, US District Court, District of Nevada, CV-S-04-0413-RCJ-LRL may be the case you're thinking of (see [4]). Anomie 21:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

"African American" → "black"?[edit]

I am looking at the edits of an IP user who was changing "African American" → "black" in some articles. I couldn't find a policy for preferred usage ... is there one? Thanks. Enki H. (talk) 22:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I would say that if the particular line is discussing their ethnicity or lineage, it should say "African American", if it's discussing the color of their skin, it should say "black". eg. [5] [6]xenotalk 22:19, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
[ec] Depends on the usage; what's the IP? EVula // talk // // 22:19, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Neither term is preferred. It should just remain consistent within an article. --Moni3 (talk) 22:22, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Here is an example [7]. There's a pattern of borderline POV/disruptive edits but I can't find good policy or guidelines to apply. -- Enki H. (talk) 22:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
In that instance, I would have to agree with the edit. No point couching it in political correctness, he is notable for being the first black baseball player in the MLB since the baseball color line started. –xenotalk 23:37, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is any evidence that this is a case of 'political correctness', as there clearly is no consensus, on WP or off, as to which is the more politically correct term. It is worth noting the the Barack Obama article describes him as "the first African American to hold the office" of POTUS. Dlabtot (talk) 23:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok the question of PC aside, I think it is clearer to state it plainly. –xenotalk 23:45, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Again, I'm not sure that 'black states it more plainly than 'African American'. Certainly 'black' seems less formal, and I suppose you could call it plain in that sense, but it also seems more subjective and open to interpretation than 'African Amercan'. Dlabtot (talk) 23:51, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps it might best to state that he was the first player to cross the baseball color line? Since that is what the "black/African American" thing is driving at. My point is, if the reason for saying something it is to describe their citizenship and lineage then African American is fine, but if it is to point out that they are notable for being a "black-something" (first black baseball player, first black president), I don't think we should water the statement down by expanding it to a lineage-citizenship statement. –xenotalk 23:53, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
In what way is it 'watered down'? I don't get it. This seems just a different way to say politically correct. Dlabtot (talk)
See my below comments on it being used unnecessarily as a euphimism. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that someone is black, nor that they are notable for being the first black-something. There is no need to shy away from the fact that racism exists. –xenotalk 00:10, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, your comments below don't explain in what way the term 'waters down' anything. Your bizarre comment about shy(ing) away from the fact that racism exists seems particularly off-topic - would you care to actually try to elucidate why you feel the way you do? Dlabtot (talk) 00:38, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I guess because I'm Canadian and we rarely use lineage-citizenship constructions to describe each other's skin colour. –xenotalk 00:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Is the Barack Obama article shy(ing) away from the fact that racism exists by stating that he is "the first African American to hold the office" ? Dlabtot (talk) 00:44, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I just find the construction peculiar and unnecessary in most instances. Your Obama example isn't a good comparison, though it does touch more directly upon the black president issue later on in the article. It seems we don't see eye-to-eye on this, but if you'd like to continue the discussion we should remove ourselves from the village pump, I think this issue is resolved (in that there's no clear answer). –xenotalk 00:48, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Continually repeating that you hold a certain viewpoint is not the same as explaining your rationale for holding that viewpoint. Since you have declined to pursue the latter course, I don't know whether we 'see eye-to-eye' or not. I respectfully decline your invitation to continue this unproductive dialogue elsewhere. Dlabtot (talk) 01:04, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
My rationale is that it is entirely unnecessary, in most instances, to expand "black" [American] to "African American" if the statement being made is referring to the color of their skin and not their lineage-citizenship. –xenotalk 01:14, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Beware of nationality issues as well. I had problems with The Hazel Scott Show during the DYK process, when someone wanted to change "black" to "African American", apparently unaware that she was actually from Trinidad (and not "American" in the "from USA" sense). Firsfron of Ronchester 00:02, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. This was an issue in the examples I linked above. Some people, for whatever reason, use "African American" as a euphemism for "black" when there are many other types of black people than African Americans. –xenotalk 00:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Right. It's one thing to be politically correct, quite another to be so "PC" that you're making articles incorrect by stating an American nationality for non-Americans (or, in the examples you gave, blindly referring to African black people as African Americans, or as Africans. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:29, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

The other example was this [8] ... I'm basically wary about terms that get changed for no good reason (literally). But I see how proper use lies so much in the nuances of context that it would be hard to cast this into a guideline. Here's my bottom line: a term that has been in an article for some time has implicitly been vetted by the article's editors and readers. If it get's changed without reason in the edit summary, it's probably better to revert the change. Enki H. (talk) 00:24, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with virtually everything said above. There is no one always better term and there is no reason to be "politically correct." I also agree that you'd be perfectly justified in reverted any change of long standing text done with no explanation whatsoever. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
As Moni said these issues aren't set in stone. My personal belief is that "black" is a better term in that example as well, per my comments above. But if you want to revert, you are free to. –xenotalk 00:33, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, other than maybe Wesley Snipes, how many people out there actually have BLACK skin color. Why are some thinking this term is somehow just as accurate as African-American. I'm disregarding the whole "well, some articles are using African-American for those that are not Americans in the first place" because that has nothing to do with this topic- whether or not to use Black or African-American for those American citizens of African descent. I'm also going to ignore the whole matter of what is used in Barack Obama's article because first- not a descendant of slaves like most African-Americans/Blacks in the US, second- his father really was AFRICAN and was not an African-American therefore you cant call Pres. Obama "half African-American" but you can call him "half African" or "half Black", third- Barack Obama is half-white which seems to get forgotten with all this talk of "first Black POTUS", he's also a Scots-Irish president and there's been more than 20 of those but is that notable? Which brings the question: O.K. those who prefer "Black" over African-American- what do you propose to use for "White" people, should we throw out Irish-American, Italian-American, and other terms and just use White from now on? Let's go and call Latinos "Brown" and Chinese as "Yellow" while we are at it, see how now the comment by the user that using Black is not being shy about racism now looks racist. How about we use terms used by the individual themselves. If Barack Obama were to call himself a "Purple-American" then we should use that term for him, and I believe Tiger Woods uses Blasian or something like that. Let's not label people or call them "black" "white" or whatever AT ALL unless heritage is notable in which case mention directly that "grandpa is from x country" or whatever. A Black person's article doesnt HAVE to mention at all that they are Black and in my opinion SHOULDNT because in 90% of the articles on African-Americans it is not notable that they are Black. Mike Tyson being African-American is not notable so why should it be mentioned in his article? Does Dick Cheney's article mention that he's White?Camelbinky (talk) 01:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you partly. One thing I've been wondering is: how many generations back does a black person need to have American before they become "black American" (or, better "American") rather than "African American". It just seems peculiar to me. Canada is so multicultural we rarely see on strict lineage bases like this. We're just all Canadian. Different viewpoints north of the 49th. –xenotalk 01:19, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I personally would use simply "American" unless the being black (or African if you prefer) [or white, or Asian, or Irish, or Russian, or whatever] was somehow important to that person's accomplishments. --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:41, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
First off, Xeno, I dont understand your comment about "how far back before they are American", if someone is born in the United States or if one or both parents was an American citizen then they are an American citizen, if they are black then they would be an African-American, if that is the term they prefer. Second- really you need to quit the ultra-nationalistic Canada crap. Your country doesnt have a great record on race relations like you are making it seem, read some history on how your country treated Asian immigrants. It is alot easier to have good "race relations" in a country that historically didnt let many into it in the first place. Your nation is 80% of European descent and has only 2.5% of African descent (Black) with no minority group over 4% of the population, compared to the United States of with 13% Black, 4.4% Asian as the two largest RACIAL groups and Hispanics of any race at 15.1% the largest ETHNIC group. So exactly how is Canada "so multicultural" as you put it, when you have only one culture? It's like saying the Japanese are multicultural and have no racism because everyone in Japan is Japanese. Americans are all Americans regardless of race or ethnic status and you seem to be saying we dont see people as Americans because we do recognize race or ethnicity. Recognizing race is not the same as racism and it has no bearing on nationality.Camelbinky (talk) 01:46, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, not disputing anything you said per say, but when was the last time you heard someone called a "European-American"? --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:57, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
My point is that if a person's notability is partly derived from the fact that they are not-white, we shouldn't then use a lineage-citizenship construction (can't there be white African Americans?) to tiptoe around the fact that they are, in fact, black. Why not just come out and say it? Why beat around the bush? Racism and racial lines exist, let's not pretend that they don't and remember that this is the English Wikipedia. We should present a world-centric view. P.S. I haven't fact checked your percentages but they seem off to me. Though, I am in a major urban centre, I'm sure the melting pot tapers off as you go further from the cities. –xenotalk 02:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The percentages are from Canada, and while using Wikipedia as a reference is not acceptable for articles I see no reason not use our own article as a reference for a discusion page. Trust me, your country is not much a melting pot compared to the US, even on a city to city comparision check Toronto versus New York City or not even on such a primary city to primary city comparision check Toronto 8% Black versus tiny Albany, New York with over 30% Black, so saying Canada is race-equal and the US isnt is ridiculous its comparing apples and oranges, there isnt a part of Canada with as high of a concentration of minorities mixed with whites (we arent counting natives to North America, even then Canada has a bad history dealing with those), and to make the US seem a racist country and Canada not is equally ignorant. The US has its problems, you throw so many different groups that are equally proud of their heritage together in tight quarters and that will happen. If the people of California could be spread out over the size of Canada then sure crime and incidences of racism would go down to the level of Canada's and vice versa if the people of Canada were to be crammed into the area of California then racism and violence would go up to the level of California's. And for the record California has slightly more people as of 2009 than all of Canada.Camelbinky (talk) 02:38, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to make it seem like racism doesn't exist in Canada. It does. Racisms is everywhere. And as a result, certain events like the electing of a black president become particularly noteworthy. I just don't think that, as an encyclopedia, we should tiptoe around that fact by using a lineage-citizenship construction. I don't think I can be more clear than this, so I'm going to leave it at that. –xenotalk 02:51, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I guess I STILL dont understand how using "African-American" instead of "Black" is in your words "tip-toe(ing) around that fact" of the US electing a Black president. Does using the word African-American in your opinion tiptoe around his skin color? And again for clarification- he is half black and half white so NO the US still hasnt elected a Black president or even elected a president decended from a slave so he's not the first "Black President", and even if he were 100% African-American descended from the very first two slaves on American soil, so what? He was elected due to his merits, ideas, ideals, beliefs, proposals, hard-work, dedicated service to the American people, his compassion, and his ability to connect with the voters. Are you saying that being Black is somehow relevant to how he got elected, relevant to how he performs his duties as POTUS, or relevant in any way other than he has darker skin? He is the President of the United States, I dont see how mentioning his skin color is relevant to the article. Being half-black shouldnt matter. Those who find it necessary to point out race in things like "the first black X" are those that are holding back racial equality more than those who just say "um, ok, so?" and couldnt care less about mentioning race or ethnicity. I guess the questions I have for you are the following- "what in your opinion is the difference between saying Black or African-American?, what do those words mean to you? and most importantly- isnt what those words mean to Barack Obama (or whomever the article is about) matter MOST and the term that person uses about themselves matter more than your attempt at political correctness?"Camelbinky (talk) 08:31, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I am of the "um, ok, so?" camp you speak of - but that doesn't change the fact that a great number of people stood up and said "hey - look, the Americans finally elected a black president!" (and the operative word was "black", not "African-American" - even though that is one way to say black). Anyways, Moon made a good point below. There's no good answer and we should rely on the sources to inform our word choice. If you'd like to discuss further how and why I see things this way, my talk page would be a better venue. I think we've overstayed our welcome at the VP =] –xenotalk 13:01, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

←Respectfully, I don't think village pump can solve this one. :) See, for why, [9], "The results of available survey research indicate no strong consensus among the American black community for how their racial group should be described." (2007) Further interesting reading [10], where Ethiopian-born American Abdulaziz Kamus learned he was not African-American because he is not the descendant of slaves, while here black American John McWhorter indicates he is not African-American because he is the descendant of slaves. There's a good way to go before connotations of the term "African American" are settled and some clear language emerges. I think we should default to whatever term is being used in the majority of reliable sources and go with the "don't change what's there without good reason" approach proposed above. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:13, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Speaking as a US citizen who has little experience with racism, this has been an enlightening discussion. I especially appreciated Mooriddengirl's concise summary. To this I can only add the comment that racism appears to be an issue with a wide disparity of interests. One is either immensely interested in it, or easily bored with it. I'm usually bored with it, but Mooriddengirl's contribution was enlightening. If there were ever a wikipolicy drafted, it would certainly be distracting and require much attention from administrators, draining their valuable time. The less said, the better, I think. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 16:00, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
We do have some policy in this area. Also we have essays such as Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality and one in an equally contentious area. Perhaps in some far distant future WP:MOS could settle such things as clearly as it already does for fictional races. ϢereSpielChequers 16:39, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The person who did it had this to say:

I really do not see the harm in changing "African American" to "black." It is more concise and certainly fairer, unless we change all instances of the term "white" to "Caucasian American."

—IP user
Hmm, so we should be politically correct? ViperSnake151  Talk  00:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
The quote above illustrates the issue rather well, because it is exactly POV editing. It reveals that the edit was not made to make the article better, but to express an opinion on an issue that is not directly related ("white" vs. "African American" in this case). Political correctness has no relevance for encyclopaedic editing. There's a principle that can be derived: if the edit wasn't made to directly improve the article, it should be undone. Quite obvious actually. Enki H. (talk) 01:19, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, WP does seem to follow PC sometimes. Eg, last I looked, holocaust denial used the PC (some might say McCarthyite) definition as including people who agree there was a holocaust, but dispute some details in dishonest ways. Peter jackson (talk) 09:38, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Hyphenated Americans[edit]

Sometimes being overly PC can get you into trouble. When my brother joined the US Navy back in the early 80s, they had a question on the application form that was obviously designed to ask about race and ethnic background... but the Navy could not be so blunt, so they used the term "Ancestry". After thinking about this a bit, my brother put down "American". He got a call from the Navy a few weeks later, to the effect that: "Yes, yes, we are all Americans... we want to know where do you come from?"
"New York", said my brother.
"OK, where did your Parents come from?"
"New York"
"OK what about your Grand Parents?"
"New York... Sigh, look I don't mean to be difficult, but I have ancestors on both sides of my family that have been in America since the 1600s...on my Mother's side they go back to when New York was named New Amsterdam, and my Father's family moved here from England shortly after Plymoth Rock. How many generations do you have to live in this country before you can drop the hyphenation?"
"OK we'll put down 'English'"
My brother didn't bother arguing... although he could have pointed out that he had just as much, if not more Dutch, French, Irish and Scottish ancestry as English. It was obvious that what they really wanted to ask was: "Are you a minority? (thus qualifying for special programs)" but they felt that this would be too insensitive. Blueboar (talk) 18:53, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Why WP's obsession with race/ethnicity/religion?[edit]

I wonder, wonder, wonder. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 06:51, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it is WP's obsession... Most editors are fairly reasonable about these things... it only becomes a problem when you get POV pushing from various "groups with a grudge"... which can come from any and all sides of racial/ethnic/religious debates. Misguided zealots come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Blueboar (talk) 18:44, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Licensing update live on en.wp[edit]

I've gone ahead and updated MediaWiki:Copyright, MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning and MediaWiki:Edittools with the new licensing information as per the recently approved Wikimedia Foundation licensing update. The English Wikipedia is acting as a reference implementation right now; other sites will be switched over in coming days. Please see m:Licensing update/Implementation and linked to pages for further background.

Please note that Wikipedia:Copyrights should be considered deprecated now; the Terms of Use page replaces it, though it's fine for community pages to elaborate upon it. I've linked to the copy on the Wikimedia Foundation website. m:Licensing update/Implementation specifies how community-created project-local pages can be created. They aren't allowed to be completely free-form -- there are some required sections, and some optional ones. When a community-created page exists to replace the Wikimedia Foundation site copy, the links in the relevant system messages can be updated accordingly.

Note that the site-embedded metadata still needs to be updated to properly reflect the change. --Eloquence* 01:02, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

For the user-interface aspect, there is a thread here. For the links to the two official license sites, can we change them to project pages when created, as we did with the text of the GFDL, or are they to remain in this form ? Cenarium (talk) 01:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's absolutely fine to point to project-local copies. Let's apply the same admin-level protection as for the GFDL copy.---Eloquence* 01:57, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

For background, we also have Wikipedia:Licensing update and I would note that the image migration system (e.g. {{license migration}}) is now live, with every GFDL image having an announcement saying it may be available under CC-BY-SA-3.0 if it meets the eligibility criteria. Dragons flight (talk) 03:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Incorporating text from Citizendium[edit]

Eager to take advantage of the change, at least one editor has used text from Citizendium now that our licenses are compatible. I'm not sure what the attribution requirements are for CC-BY-SA. I created Template:Citizendium parallel to other attribution templates. Is there anything else that must be done to satisfy the CC license? — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:22, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd expect we use the same for crediting others as we'd expect to be credited ourselves.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 23:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Updating WP:C for licensing transition[edit]

I think I have brought it up to date. I have incorporated quite a bit of text directly from Wikimedia:Terms of Use (all noted in edit summary, for attribution). Please review and help fix any problems at that talk page. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:00, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I've listed what seems to remain for updating at WikiProject Copyright Cleanup. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:58, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

CAT:TEMP bot deletion[edit]

I have a BRFA open for the mass deletion of old user pages in CAT:TEMP. Apparently there are some concerns about removing articles in this category, although I personally can't see any issues with cleaning out useless pages. It was requested at the BRFA to bring it here for discussion. There are currently over 25 thousand pages that will require deletion at some point in the near future. If there is a valid reason to not delete these pages, then either the pages should not have been placed in the category or the whole category should be removed as it is useless. Nakon 15:42, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Considering that I was seriously opposed over the deletion of user page subpages of a banned user (Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Guido den Broeder subpages), I can hardly imagine that automatic deletion of such pages will be supported. I have no problem with it, they can always be undeleted when needed, but I don't think everyone agrees. Fram (talk) 12:09, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization of article titles etc. should be changed[edit]

The Wikipedia style manual favors capitalizing the first word of article titles, along with section heads and other occurences when it is the first word. I think the style should be changed so that, as in a standard dictionary (eg, Merriam-Webster Collegiate), the article title is only capitalized if the word is generally capitalized.

This is guidance for the user, and the prevalence of capitalization in Wiki articles can be misleading.

A good example is the article on brucellosis. The word occurs nine times in the title, first paragraph, table of contents, and illustration box, and because it is the first word in those heads or sentences, it is capitalized all nine times--a strong visual hint to the user that the word is properly capitalized. But brucellosis should not be capitalized, and there is some lowercasing even of the genus name, Brucella.

It used to be that computers sort alphabetically by ASCII so that lower case words were listed before capitalized ones. But I'm sure Wikipedia's software now can handle a mixture of titles in lc or uc.

Cheers! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alma Gary (talkcontribs) 22:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

  • MediaWiki can, and on other Wikimedia Foundation projects such as Wiktionary it does. Wiktionary is the dictionary, not us, and it has "brucellosis" at the correct capitalization. Please look to Wiktionary if you are looking for a dictionary. Uncle G (talk) 04:09, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
    • If a word is incorrectly capitalised in the prose of an article, then it should be changed, obviously. I couldn't really say about moving hundreds of thousands of article around. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 12:20, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't personally support this change in policy but just to play devil's advocate here, I'd like to point out that other encyclopedias such as Britannica online don't capitalize the names of their articles (so its not just dictionaries). --– sampi (talkcontribemail) 08:11, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Rfc:Self electing groups[edit]

Why is it...[edit]

That if someone writes bad English, you can correct it, but if somebody posts a photograph of poor technical quality which fails to illustrate anything, users won't let it be removed? Often the author of the photograph, who really needs some photography lessons takes offence. Is there a policy on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.138.245.167 (talk) 19:28, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I think the answer is in the question. If someone writes bad English, you correct it; you don't just delete it straight off. If someone posts a photo which is of bad technical quality, no-one stops you improving it. Though, admitted, photographs should illustrate something; that's probably at WP:PHOTO somewhere. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 19:33, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

BLP and privacy[edit]

Steve Jobs of Apple recently had a liver transplant. He doesn't want people to know about it. Several sources report it. http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090620/ap_on_hi_te/us_apple_ceo_transplant is one.

The question then becomes what is privacy and what is encyclopedic. What if someone doesn't want certain material placed. Some things are clearer, some things not. What are some guidelines or is it just consensus? User F203 (talk) 19:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

This is a philosophical discussion, not a specific question about this article. User F203 (talk) 19:31, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

If it's sourced in RSes then it's not private any more, is it? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:12, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
There is no official policy about this sort of thing as far as I know, and per WP:Not censored there is no reason it couldn't be included. However, the kind of things people want private usually aren't notable to their careers/lives, even if reported in RS, and thus should be excluded on those grounds. For example, the fact that Jobs had a liver transplant is not relevant to his article. --ThaddeusB (talk) 20:26, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. His health has a great deal of bearing on the value of his company. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 21:55, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't a news site. If added information to famous people's articles every time they had a health problem, their articles would become overwhelmed with such information. Unless RS end up saying the transplant was a significant event in his life (doubtful), then there is no reason to have it in the article. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Jobs article currently stands as an excellent example of why this info shouldn't be allowed in such detail. Currently half of the "personal life" section is devoted to his health problems of the last ~5 years. This is very much undue weight. The relevant information (that his health has caused concern about the campany's future) can be covered without the excessive detail of listing each hospital visit/new concern separately. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I suggest this discussion be moved to WP:BLPN. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, there is currently too much emphasis on the details of his health that aren't required. The emphasis should be on the significance of these health problems (primarily their effect on the company) with just a brief summary of the problems themselves. --Tango (talk) 03:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

IP's comments/votes being disregarded[edit]

I was surprised to hear at this (end of the section) discussion that IP comments/votes are being disregarded in discussions. It apparently is the practice at Wikipedia:Featured pictures. Is that common nowadays on Wikipedia? I always thought requests for adminship was the sole exception. Except in cases of sock puppetry of course. Garion96 (talk) 08:21, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

  • IP comments should never be blanket disregarded. Even if the IP address has very few contributions logged for it, there is no way of knowing the contributions for the person currently using the IP address. It could be dynamically allocated, or they might be using an internet café. Sockpuppetry is a different matter. OrangeDog (talkedits) 08:50, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree of course. Is that written down somewhere? Because it seems more and more editors think otherwise. I even got a "welcome to the real world" response when I questioned it. Garion96 (talk) 09:51, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
      • It's written down, and I was the one who wrote it down. Read Wikipedia:Guide to deletion#Discussion. The point that anyone can contribute to the discussion, and that arguments are taken on their merits, not on whether the person making them has an account or not, has been there since the very first version in 2005. What User:Wadester16 said in that discussion is wrong. You might want to point xem in the right direction before xe closes any deletion discussions. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 14:40, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
        • Thanks, I knew I saw it somewhere. I still don't agree with IP's being disregarded at Wikipedia:Featured pictures but at least for deletion discussions I can point to this. Garion96 (talk) 18:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
          • FPC has plenty of self nominations and the like. So there is higher motivation for socking and so on. Noodle snacks (talk) 08:24, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
            • So what? XFD discussions have the same issues, so has almost any discussion on Wikipedia. Garion96 (talk) 13:00, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
              • But the position of an IP vandal or someone at XFD is immediately clear. It is considerably more difficult to detect sockpuppets from simple !votes. Noodle snacks (talk)
                • When counting votes, I think disregarding IPs makes a lot of sense. But that's not how we're usually to gauge consensus. Perhaps, if the FPC process feels a need to disregard comments from IPs, it simply relies too heavily on vote counting? —JAOTC 13:34, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit]

Tagging images with no copyright information[edit]

File:Jack Thomas Smith.jpg has no copyright information. What template should be used to tag this image properly? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 18:39, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

{{subst:nld}} Calliopejen1 (talk) 01:20, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 04:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Actor/actress[edit]

Not sure if this subject has been covered before: apologies if it has, but I can't find it anywhere. Is there a WP policy on referring to female theatre and film performers as actresses, rather than actors? The WP page on actors is fairly vague on it, but I'm aware of several professionals, such as Miriam Margolyes, who are fairly vociferous about calling themselves actors, and it seems a bit contrary for WP editors to describe them as actresses. I shan't write out the whole debate which underpins it as I'm pretty sure we're all familiar with it, but I do think it would be useful to have some guidance on these pages Dom Kaos (talk) 21:35, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there's no guideline about it, but it's merely one of those balances which are so commonplace around here (like US/Brit Eng): no change without consensus or a compelling reason. Margolyes may well fall into that latter category. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 11:49, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. I've put a proposal on Margolyes' talk page - we'll see what happens... ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 17:14, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
From memory it has been discussed (I can't remember where) and the conclusion was that if there is a source for the subject having a preference (and I know people who are insistent on being called 'actress') then we respect the subject's preference. For someone active prior to 1960 I would probably default to actress, as that was the dominant usage of the period. Other than that, don't mess with what the first significant author wrote so long as the article is consistent (much the same as similar policies on language variants). dramatic (talk) 09:20, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Should we respect that though, just because they prefer it? I mean, if other sources do, then yes, but consider a similar case like Claude Debussy who is pretty much universally considered an impressionist composer, but he hated the term. It seems to me that, especially since it's a very /normal/ term, then what the subject calls themselves is kind of irrelevant. An actress is what she is, so why not call her that? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
And David Irving is described as a holocaust denier, even though he agrees that the Nazis murdered millions of Jews. What is policy about this sort of thing? Peter jackson (talk) 09:31, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Freedom?[edit]

I just finished watching a PBS documentary on Wikipedia, where it was emphasized how Wikipedia is different from classic encyclopedias/encyclopediae in that ordinary persons from around the world can share, rather than just contributors from "authorized" sources approved by The Establishment.

Imagine my surprise (and sorrow) as I sought to add a paragraph to a current article, listing my source as my posting in a forum on another legitimate website (I gave the external link), and being told in an error message that forums were not acceptable as sources for submissions, only published materials from established entities were.

I remember in the past reading statements in articles that listed as a "footnote" something to the effect of "citation needed," and many of the submissions were opinions of individuals rather than official published statements of approved groups.

Has something changed? If so, what a loss to the world! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdavidroberts (talkcontribs) 00:55, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

We only accept reliable sources. There isn't really any point referencing a source if it's just some random person on the internet saying it - you could just add it to the article without a source and you would be some random person on the internet saying it, so where is the improvement? If you see a "citation needed" tag that means someone thinks the statement is dubious and is asking for a reliable source to support it. --Tango (talk) 01:00, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Nothing has changed - Wikipedia has always required (at least in theory) reliable sources. I think in many ways Wikipedia is less radical than many people make it out to be - because it insists on sources that are reputable, it is really just replicating the knowledge accepted by the establishment. (Not that this is a bad thing, by any means!) Calliopejen1 (talk) 01:19, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Either you misunderstood what the PBS documentary said, misrepresenting what the PBS documentary said, or the PBS documentary is simply wrong. Wikipedia has always required that information be verifiable though reliable sources. This is to prevent editors from inserting dubious information, slanting the article to represent their personal views, or publishing their own research. --Farix (Talk) 13:54, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The requirement of reliable sources has not always been there... Only NOR, NPOV, and V have been around since yonder days. --Izno (talk) 17:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Yet another possibility - the PBS documentary was accurate, and accurately reported here. Wikipedia does allow ordinary persons to contribute, however, the contributions must be sourced. --SPhilbrickT 19:25, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Plot and List of ... episodes articles[edit]

A common norm in wikipedia these days are not to reference the plot section in articles and according to these essays and guidelines it's okay: Wikipedia:Plot summaries#How to cite and this. But the main wikipedia policy states everything needs to be referenced, but again most of the majority of the wikipedia don't reference plot section, see Lost (TV series) (FA), Doctor Who (FA) and Star Wars (GA), they share one thing in commong, they don't reference the plot section. Why don't they do this? because the show is a reference to itself!

When it comes to List of .... episodes articles such as List of Doctor Who episodes (FL), List of Stargate SG-1 episodes (FL) and List of The X-Files episodes (FL) they never reference the episode or season section for the same reason, the episode references itself. I'm proposing a guideline on a norm seen in most featured content, that we create a reference policy that clearly states and talks about these issues. --TIAYN (talk) 09:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

All of those should have references just like everything else. The reason that hasn't happened, frankly, is that a sizable group of editors have no interest in following the core values of this project and congregate on pages concerning those topics to campaign for anything that let's them get away with treating the site like a fan site instead of a source of reliable, cited information. DreamGuy (talk) 15:55, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
You should note, DreamGuy, that those are all pages which have passed through the featured processes. If you don't think they should be featured, ask for them to be reviewed. Anything else is assuming bad faith of the editors of those articles. --Izno (talk) 17:44, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I go back and forth. For books I've seen things cited to the page number and for movies to the time into the show. Somehow those feel like too much, but I agree with Dream Guy that we should reference, in broad strokes, most everything we can. For fiction, I'm not sure what the best way is to reference plot. For major works we could also reference secondary sources (say Cliff Notes or reviews) for plot, but that also feels wrong. I think an RfC on the topic would be a good idea frankly. But without that, I'd say stick with what is standard for FAs. Hobit (talk) 19:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Language policy[edit]

Wikipedia is an American venture--then why the British spelling, from the Main page up to the last bit of "official" text? 97.112.143.176 (talk) 17:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:ENGVAR. Algebraist 17:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I looked it up, thanks. In individual articles the use of different spelling and such is acceptable (considering the many shades of English), but the directives there still don't explain why the general preference for Britsh spelling in the bulk of the Wiki text (news, etc.) 97.112.143.176 (talk) 17:59, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

That would, because of the wiki nature of most things here, be the result of > 50% of editors preferring British spelling, I would think. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 18:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The individual Wikipedia projects are not country specific, they are language specific. So this is not the American Wikipedia, it is the English Wikipedia, and its users are based all over the world, including a large number in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Thus, we are extremely flexible when it comes to the various dialects. — Satori Son 18:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate your patience with me. But again: why the dominant British spelling? If the preference is 50/50, the balance should fall in favor of American English. After all, the invention of the encyclopedia is American. Something is not right here, sorry. How about putting the thing to vote? 97.112.143.176 (talk) 18:48, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure about this preference? Without checking a good size sample of our 2,923,040 articles I can't even be sure it is real. Could it be just a coincidence based on what articles you happen to look at? RJFJR (talk) 18:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Read WP:ENGVAR again - unless you think it isn't being followed (eg cabals of British editors with nothing better to do than Britishify articles), choice of spelling simply reflects weight of contributions. Ergo, no problem exists and no action is required. As to ENGVAR not being followed, in my experience the balance of that is vastly in favour of inappropriate Americanisation - just look at the history of Amnesty International for example. Disembrangler (talk) 19:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

There was an edit conflict, and I can't find my copied part. I'll try again. RJFJR: I'm not talking about articles (see above), but the directives, news, and general text, where the dominance of Bristish English is undeniable. And no offense, Disembrangler, but your British origin (see Americanisation) probably hides a little bias in the matter. 97.112.143.176 (talk) 20:09, 22 June 2009 (UTC) Found my copied part and deleted it. 97.112.143.176 (talk) 20:15, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

In non-article space, there is no preference or guideline whatsoever. Editors can communicate is whatever dialect they choose. If you are seeing something (and I haven't noticed it myself), it may simply be an issue of more British editors being active this week, and we are not going to force them to write like "Americans". — Satori Son 20:20, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Quixotic discussion. Thank you all. 97.112.143.176 (talk) 20:45, 22 June 2009 (UTC)