Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 86

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deleting a page about me[edit]

I have a theoretical question on wikipedia policy, since I couldn't find an answer in existing discussions, disclosures. Let's say someone creates a biographical page about me. Apart from other information it contains some personal details, such as my name and place of birth, current residence, employer and past achievement. Information that links this article directly to my persona.

According to data privacy legislation in many countries, such information cannot be published without my consent. Furthermore, I may be strongly opposed to the existence of a page about myself altogether. My question is - what rights do I have to ask for the deletion of such a page, whether it infringes on my country's data privacy laws or even if I simply dont want to have a page about myself? And how do I prove that I am the person this page is about?

Thank you all for considering and perhaps forwarding this question to the powers that be at Wikipedia

Kromcuich —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kromcuich (talkcontribs) 12:13, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia only writes or has articles on information that has already been covered in reliable sources. Information seldom originates on wikipedia. That would be what we call original research. So if there is information that has already been published, that information can be used to build the encyclopedia, as long as it follows other guidelines as well.--JOJ Hutton 12:32, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
It should also be noted that a page written about a person, for whom the only reliable data is basic personal data, like dates of birth, employment record, etc, would be deleted on notability grounds; generally what is needed is that someone outside of Wikipedia has written extensively about their lives, in the form of reliable books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, etc. However, if you are the kind of person who routinely receives coverage in the mainstream press, if someone has written entire books about your life, etc. then Wikipedia articles will be written from those already existing sources, and likely will not be deleted. --Jayron32 12:56, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
To add to that, I believe there is a small grey area where people are only just about notable enough for an article. Such people can have articles but they don't make a big hole in the encyclopaedia if we don't have them. Those articles have occasionally been deleted by the subject's request. This would not happen if a major controversial public figure, say like Donald Rumsfeld or Henry Kissinger, were to request deletion of the articles about them. It would damage the encyclopaedia not to have coverage of such important people. The best they could hope for would be to have any unreferenced, biased or trivial coverage removed from the article and maybe to have it protected if it was particularly prone to vandalism. --DanielRigal (talk) 13:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
To answer the question about how you prove who you are, you would have to email Wikipedia from an address that proves who you are, such as a work email address. --DanielRigal (talk) 13:52, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, Wikipedia/Wikimedia is under US jurisdiction, which lacks an equivalent to the EU's Data Protection Directive. --Cybercobra (talk) 10:04, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts MfD[edit]

See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts (3rd nomination). Hopefully anyone who has any involvement anywhere in conflict resolution on WP can weigh in after thinking about it a little. Essentially I see the page as superfluous and negative and a guide to how not to do conflict resolution....Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:28, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Please reference the same discussion on WP:AN where the nominator displayed the same notice and was thoroughly chastised for a non-neutral notification intended to influence the decision. This is the second place I've seen this notice with the original notification in place.Hasteur (talk) 18:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
True, erm. I was chastised by one user who just previous to this I'd been having a disagreement with. I was busy and overlooked this one, hence struck now. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:40, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

PS: I've taken folks' advice, so MfD is closed (too polarising) discussion reactivated at Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/dispute_resolution#Streamlining_boards - hopefully a better and more collaborative venue. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Using old sources when an wikipedia page changes its name[edit]

If a company or organization changes its name, and the wikipedia page's name is changed to reflect that, it may happen that there are hardly any sources using the new name of the organization. My question is whether you can use sources that cite the old name as reference for the new article. E.G. Suppose a church called "church x" is renamed to "church y", and there is a source which states "church x is the largest church in America" - can you therefore say on the wikipedia page "church y is the largest church in america", using the old source as a citation?

Specifically, someone has deleted the entire contents of this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radha_Madhav_Dham The article used to be Barsana Dham, but was renamed to Radha Madhav Dham. The same person has tagged it for deletion because it is non-notable because it is a new organization. They are saying that it was founded in 2011, although using the old name, it was founded in 1990. However it is the largest Hindu temple in north America, and there are plenty of sources to say that, albeit referring to the old name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.45.240.67 (talk) 02:38, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Page ratings[edit]

What brought about the voting of how people thought whether certain pages are comprehensive etc? I stumbled across this looking at the bottom of London Waterloo station. Simply south...... trying to improve for 5 years 19:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I think somebody just put it into Category:Article Feedback Pilot. Biscuittin (talk) 20:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe (but may be wrong) that it started with with the student programs at WP:USPP. So long as someone is doing something with the data we're collecting, it seems good to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Use of jargon[edit]

I think there is far too much use of jargon on Wikipedia. For example: "Removing socks and SPAs from AfD discussions". I have no idea what this means and I've been editing Wikipedia for several years. No doubt I shall be told it's my own fault for not trying to find out but imagine what it must be like for newcomers. Biscuittin (talk) 20:55, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Maybe we can just include a pointer to Wikipedia:Glossary in all of the welcome messages. <shrug> VernoWhitney (talk) 21:02, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Possibly. I mean I hate to say it, but it seems people use more jargon the more accustomed they become to working around other people that use that jargon. It also just pops up naturally in the same way that in-jokes do. It's kind of unavoidable. Biscuittin, you said you are a scientist, so you know what I mean on this. Jargon in the various scientific fields is rampant (especially archaeology, but some archaeologists just do that to seem more clever). =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 21:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
£37'$ 3n4b£3 4 bµ770n 1n pr3ƒ3r3n(3$ 7h47 4µ70m471(4££¥ £1n|{$ 3v3r¥ 4bbr3v14710n 1n 7h3 9£0$$4r¥ 70 17$ 3n7r¥. 7h3 ƒ4(7 7h47 ¥0µ (0µ£Ðn'7 r34Ð 7h1$ 3n7r¥ 1$ $µb$74n71473$ wh¥ 7h1$ m19h7 b3 900Ð, $1n(3 7h1$ 1$ 0n£¥ $0m3wh47 £3$$ (0nƒµ$1n9 70 7rµ3 n0v1(3$ wh3n 7h3¥ $33 4bbr3v14710n$ 3v3r¥wh3r3..--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you just gave me brain cancer. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 22:06, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Somewhere in the existing guidelines (I don't know where offhand), recommendations are made for people to try to use plain English - nobody actually does it; I'm guilty of it myself (though I admit to often feeling stupid when corresponding with people on or off wiki and having people throw abbreviations at me that leave me befuddled). I also suspect that many new users who are puzzled are afraid to ask due to "outing" themselves as a newbie. I think, in the abstract, most of us would agree this is a problem, but I genuinely don't know what could be done about it. Maybe a "don't be afraid to ask" essay could be written and added to the standard welcome template. Kansan (talk) 21:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Not a guideline, but I know there's WP:OMGWTFBBQ. VernoWhitney (talk) 21:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
WP:SHORTCUTS was helpful to me as a glossary of acronyms. The acronyms begin as shortcut links informing the reader of another informative page, but after a while, continuing to blue-link them the acronym starts to feel patronising. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Censorship at Talk:Death of Osama bin Laden and Talk:2011 Libyan civil war[edit]

Some editors are misusing Wikipedia policy to control what is said on the page Talk:Death of Osama bin Laden and Talk:2011 Libyan civil war. If they agree with the discussion, they allow it. If they disagree with the discussion, they claim that the contributors are posting personal opinions. I think this should be stopped. Biscuittin (talk) 23:11, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

This was just your personal opinion. You are not citing or attributing that comment to any reliable source to discuss editing of the article; you are offering your personal judgment about the subject matter. That is not a proper use of an article talk page, and the more you do that and the more you flood the talk page with unfounded claims that you are being unfairly censored when these opinions are removed,[1],[2] the more likely you are to just be blocked for disruption (what we might call a self-fulfilling prophecy). So knock it off. If you can't discuss how to change the article in accordance with what reliable sources have said about it, then you have nothing to say on its talk page. postdlf (talk) 23:24, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Three points. 1. For me, using the word censored has echoes of Godwin's Law, which is to say that whoever reaches for that word has lost the debate. 2. Without diffs providing examples of the supposed censorship, there's not much that anyone will do. Right now, you're just bleating. 3. I did take the trouble to look at the most recent page of talk history, and came across at least one post which looked highly inappropriate to me [3]. IN short, you have to be fairly careful on wikipedia; if you are a pain in the arse and confuse talking about articles with a general forum for debate, you're likely to come away disappointed. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like a threat. Biscuittin (talk) 23:36, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not just my personal opinion, it's all stuff I've heard BBC News or Sky News or RT News. I just want to hear other people's opinions on it before I put it in the article. Would you rather I put it straight in the article without any prior discussion? Biscuittin (talk) 23:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
You can't put 'stuff you heard' in an article without a properly-cited source, end of story. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Right. If you can actually provide a stable source (such as an online news story, with url), then comment on how you think that source's information might be incorporated into the article. But it sounds like you're trying to use the talk page to live-blog your thoughts on a newscast you're watching on TV. postdlf (talk) 23:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
My question about American culture seems to have been seen as very inflammatory but it was not intended to be. American culture is very different from British culture (I am not claiming that one is better than the other) and I think this cultural difference may be one of the reasons why this debate has generated so much heat. Biscuittin (talk) 23:48, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia culture requires that you back up with some substantial evidence (reliable sources) before making unfounded claims. Please read policies before doing this. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 23:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I've looked through both talkpages and can't find a single instance where someone would abuse Wikipedia policy to push their own point of view. And even if they had made the claim, they are just doing that making claims, i.e. personal opinions. We should all be entitled to our own personal opinions wherever it may be, but simply bringing drama from one forum onto another, as if this deal of censorship had come straight from administrators, smells a bit like forum-shopping. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 23:51, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Forum shopping? I came here because I was told to by one of the editors who disagrees with me. Biscuittin (talk) 02:28, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I removed some of this user's comments from the bin Laden talk page. It wasn't a POV pushing thing, it was a WP:NOTFORUM thing. If he had written "America, fuck yeah!" I still would have removed it. BurtAlert (talk) 00:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I think Biscuittin is a she, but I only say that based on -in being a German feminine ending and having never seen that ending used outside of German. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 00:41, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
From Biscuit tin, surely? (and there's another article I didn't think we'd have, but do...) AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:48, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Oooooh, fancy. Though if he/she wanted the tin part to be known then the second T should have been capitalised or a space should have been putin<--- example of bad things that happen without spacing. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 01:26, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. Biscuittin (talk) 02:30, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
It remains a mystery. :X Anyway, Biscuittin, I have been editting the 2011 Libyan civil war article (mostly the talk of course) almost every day since the 23rd of February (the day it was featured). There has not been any censorship that I have seen. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 04:38, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Removing socks and SPAs from AfD discussions[edit]

I was brought to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nicole Seah by another VP posting, where I noticed several socks and SPA accounts all voting keep. Mind you, it's going to get kept anyways, but I wondered if a policy might be in order:

"In cases where any reasonable contributor can tell that comments at an AfD were left by single purpose or sock accounts and/or single purpose or sock IPs, users may move those comments to the talk page of the AfD or to the bottom of the discussion in a {{hat}} template. If comments are moved to a talk page, a note must be left at the main AfD page."

This will save us all a bit of time and sanity, as sorting through a long discussion where half the votes are tainted is somewhat maddening.

Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 07:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Can easily become an excuse to ignore new users and IP adresses completely, definitly a bad idea. If you really have problems with socks contact a checkuser and ask him to clean it up (I have seen that done before). Yoenit (talk) 07:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I could agree about socks, but only if they have been banned already since they made the vote (because how would you know they were socks otherwise?). Actually, I believe it's already common practice to put a strike through votes that have been made by identified socks. Even to nominators of AfDs, if they turn out to be socks. But I definitely don't agree about SPAs, because even if they focus only on a single area, that doesn't mean their vote and reasoning isn't valid. Doing such to SPAs seems like a method of silencing those that may know most about the subject in order to get the AfDs passed as Delete. SilverserenC 08:02, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
This gives the appearance of invalidating comments made by SPAs, even if they were made in good faith, and furthermore it gives “autoconfirmed” users more “power” over confirmed users and IP editors. The simple SPA tag at the end of the comments is enough to indicate to the closing administrator to discount a few votes or note that it has less weight in a deletion discussion. And some SPAs even make valid points about articles too! C.f. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gemma Mewse. Moving the comments to the talkpage would just complicate things and basically hide them from administrator review, if the sysops aren’t careful enough. In all, this is a Bad Idea™. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 08:08, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I can see this working for socks, open proxies, and/or banned users (see WT:MOSFLAG for an example of the latter), whether sitebanned or topic banned from commenting in that area. Beyond that, it becomes a bit of a slippery slope. But in those three instances, it makes perfect sense to collapse their comments. Just my thoughts, though. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)If the SPAs are making ill formed !votes, challenge them to point at the specific Wikipedia policy that justifies their viewpoint. 90% of these SPAs will be unable to do this and it also has the benefit of demonstrating to the closing editor (whether Keep or Delete) that the viewpoint the SPA is trying to advocate is not supported by policy and therefore should be minimized in the final evaluation of consensus. If the same user shows up on multiple AfDs in the same context consider putting a SPA template tag on their comment to draw the attention of the closer to the fact that the viewpoint is made by someone who has a controversial viewpoint Hasteur (talk) 15:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, this is my bad. When I said SPA, I meant that the single purpose of the account was to vote in that one AfD; i.e. that someone posted about the AfD elsewhere and a bunch of people created accounts just to vote keep (meatpuppetry). I did not mean SPA as in a person that works only in politics areas but has a history of working on Wikipedia, I only meant the one shot accounts. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Interaction between Wikipedians and non-Wikipedians (SPAs in AFDs) is already one of the more controversial areas, the recent Old Man Murray debacle comes to mind (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-03-07/Deletion controversy). If SPAs are well-meaning and willing to provide sources/expertise to Wikipedia, we should take their opinions into account. Courtesy should be extended to SPAs in IPs first, and some Wikipedia terms - Meatpuppet especially - can sound insulting. Complete ignoring or removing SPA votes might well harm Wikipedia in the long term. MKFI (talk) 12:10, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
You can tag such !votes with {{spa}}. There is absolutely no need to hide the brand-new account's comments from other editors or from the closing admin. "Assuming good faith" also means assuming that your fellow editors are capable of noticing classic votestacking patterns in deletion discussions, just like we all assume you aren't blind to this behavior. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:48, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

when can we use pending changes again?[edit]

Semi-protection has been used for an article on Singapore's elections in light of the fact that polls are in two days but I think this is too drastic. Using pending changes is really really attractive. Is there a reason administrators shouldn't be using this feature in place of a semi-protect? Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this RfC is pending (no pun intended) administrative close, and until then consensus seems to be in favor of suspending the use of pending changes entirely, until consensus for how it's used can be formed. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 06:53, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Verifiability, not truth[edit]

I disagree with Wikipedia's policy on verifiability, not truth and I think it should be modified. For example, if Wikipedia had been around in the time of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Copernican theory would have been dismissed as "not verified" although it was true. I think Wikipedia should aim to be more truthful than other media and not just follow the herd. Biscuittin (talk) 08:30, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

~Facepalm3.svg Facepalm. Pray tell, how would we distinguish this "truth" from "lies"? I know it is true Jimbo is actually an alien who eats old people and can only be defeated by shaving his beard, but keep getting in conflict with heretics who tell me it is false. How would I resolve this dispute? Yoenit (talk) 08:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you have a better metric of measuring truth than majority opinion? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 08:43, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, why not join the very very long discussion and host of alternative proposals at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Verifiability.2C_NOT_truth.3F.3F.3F.3F....Casliber (talk · contribs) 08:47, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
This came out of Talk:2011 Libyan civil war. Honestly Biscuittin, the only way you could actually ensure that you have the truth would be to be omnipotent, have a perfect memory and be able to maintain a constant NPOV with regard to any and all stimuli. That is just my opinion. Also, cool, we can do facepalms? =D Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 08:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Even worse is when people agree by consensus on a talk page that something is okay but it is just wrong. Dunno what to do about that because a lot of things in reliable sources really are just wrong. By the way I didn't know that about Jimbo that one could defeat him by cutting his beard, that really should be in his article, it is necessary information and the world should know it. Dmcq (talk) 09:39, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we really should seek to find the WP:TRUTHiest of all the WP:TRUTHs out there. Encyclopaedias need not have verifiable information reported on in a multitude of reliable sources. Let's just report on our own subjective opinions! Because that would make us the reliablest of the reliable. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 11:02, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Truth, facts, are important to the reader. The reader is looking for facts. Verifiability is important to Wikimedia for legal concerns. The objective should be the searching out and presentation of facts with verifiable resources utilized to cover the legal aspects concerning provision of the information. ...my thoughts. Doc2234 (talk) 12:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
No. Verifiability is important for far more than legal concerns. Indeed for most articles verifiability is irrellevant for legal concerns. The exceptions are articles on persons or corporations where verifiability provides protection against accusations of libel. The main reason for the demand for verifiability is that we have no way to determine truth. Taemyr (talk) 12:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I have explained this at the essay Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth, and the opening postulation is correct: if wikipedia existed at the time of Copernicus, by the time he proposed his model Wikipedia would be telling the ptolematic model, which was by then the accepted theory. Afterwards, it would have described the scientific dispute about it, and finally the acceptance of the heliocentric model; but always one step behind the discussions held in the scientific world. That's because Wikipedia would not have then the resources to verify by itself if copernicus was a revolutionary or a mere crook; and neither today: a new and unpublished idea may be factually true, but we require that it is verifiable to make sure that it has been checked. Cambalachero (talk) 13:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I think the problem is that some Wikipedians are obsessed with "verifiability not truth" and push it to ridiculous extremes, or use it to support their own prejudices. On science and technology, I often find media reports which I, as a scientist, know to be wrong and it would be unethical for me to report them without questioning them. Biscuittin (talk) 13:26, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
There have been extensive discussions about this. The most common concerns about those particular three words are:
  • Why the heck does a core statement about verifiability have to get into "NOT" examples?
  • "not truth" is taking an backhanded swipe at the ideal of striving for accuracy. First by using the ambiguous red herring word "truth" which has multiple meanings, some of which are the opposite of accuracy. Second by dissing the concept of accuracy in a lead phrase.
North8000 (talk) 13:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The current discussions are, on the face of it, about possible ambiguity of the word "threshold" before it. IMHO the undercurrent to that discussion is possible "ownership" issues exerted through a variety of mechanisms, e.g. double standards such as requiring a much higher standard for one side's ideas to go in than others. North8000 (talk) 13:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I looked at [4] and the first comment I saw was from User:Sbharris who seems to be saying something similar to what I am saying. I think you will find a lot of the opposition to the current policy comes from scientists who don't like to see rubbish reported as fact just because it appears in a newspaper. Biscuittin (talk) 13:39, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Why do some people have difficulty with the word "truth"? To me, the word "truth" is completely unambiguous. Biscuittin (talk) 13:47, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
"Truth" is often used to describe opinions and dogma rather than factual material. North8000 (talk) 13:54, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
That is a misuse of the word "truth". When used correctly, the word "truth" is completely unambiguous. Biscuittin (talk) 14:02, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Biscuittin, you might like to read WP:MEDRS, which includes information about the difficulties that the mainstream media has with scientific work. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:44, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
As I also pointed in the essay, some topics have no "truths", like social sciences, and in others it's the truth itself which is still unknown. Cambalachero (talk) 14:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The practical value of verifiability is that it sometimes resolves disputes. You'll never get WP editors to agree on the truth. You can sometimes get them to agree what's verifiable. But by no means always. WP:RS and WP:DUE are vague enough to be manipulated by cabals of editors in articles where the community isn't sufficiently intereste4d to study the issues carefully. Peter jackson (talk) 14:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Responding to Biscuittin, IMHO the common meanings of the term are meanings, and common meanings of "truth" often include opinion and dogma. Tell me, if you see a writing titled "The Truth About Evolution" or "The truth about Barack Obama's citizenship" or "the truth about abortion", would you expect factual material to follow? North8000 (talk) 14:30, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

(jumps up and down, waves arms and wolfwhistles) if anyone has read down past the wall of text, there are a bunch of alternative proposals for rewording the page at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Verifiability.2C_NOT_truth.3F.3F.3F.3F. It would be good to actually get some numbers of folks voting there. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:36, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The alternative proposals are too complex. All that is necessary is to delete the words "not truth" because they give the impression that Wikipedia does not care about the truth. Biscuittin (talk) 14:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes indeed. The thing could more usefully say "Wikipedia is a summary of referenceable truths, NOT unreferenceable truths" and be more clear. Alas, the previous policy writers are in love with the word "verifiable" which needs internal definition, and they like the shock value of "not truth" and also the word "threshold" and changing this policy to be more clear by fixing these words, has been about as pleasant as proposing to relocate a graveyard. Still I advise all who are interested to go to Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Verifiability.2C_NOT_truth.3F.3F.3F.3F, read, and vote. If you find it too complex, then the discussion is not for you. Still, we have only about 20 people right now participating, and we need more eyes and brains.SBHarris 17:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I am afraid your pleas will fall on deaf ears. =( Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 18:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The discussion is fouled due to the use of the word truth, when the proper word is fact or factual. The 2 categories of information are Fact and/or Opinion.WFPM (talk) 15:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

"What is truth?" - Denimadept (talk) 15:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It is what most of the people believe at the time. Biscuittin, I am a scientist too (or will be when I get my archaeology degree next year), and believe me, we deal with a lot of garbage presented as fact and truth to the masses by people with dubious credentials, and we are only saved by most of the reliable sources saying that their claims are rubbish. (six links btw) Though millions still accept it as the truth because they have been thoroughly convinced it is the truth and think know better than the actual archaeologists. Why is this relevant? Because we as editors are the same in certain cases and are in no place to think that our interpretation is better than that of the RSs (I am thinking mostly of 2011 Libyan civil war here) as we quite frankly don't know anything more than what they are telling us. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 18:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Truth is not "what most of the people believe at the time". That is "majority opinion". The problem is that some people are using the word "truth" in areas where it is not appropriate. Biscuittin (talk) 18:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I've just looked at the links in Sir William's piece above and I think he has an axe to grind. Biscuittin (talk) 18:52, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I was using that as an example. =p Every archaeologist dislikes them as they misrepresent archaeology, but you see the point. How do you properly distinguish truth from majority opinion without 20/20 hindsight in some cases and omnipotence in many others? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 18:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
One cannot establish truth if there are no living witnesses. Truth is personal to individuals. Biscuittin (talk) 19:01, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
So, the very nature of truth is that the idea of "what is true" is unique to every person? So everyone has their own version of it then? That is how I understood what you said. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 19:05, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes. If we want to talk about things outside the realm of the individual, we should use a different word, such as "fact". Biscuittin (talk) 19:11, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
So you say, "I disagree with Wikipedia's policy on verifiability, not truth and I think it should be modified. For example, if Wikipedia had been around in the time of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Copernican theory would have been dismissed as "not verified" although it was true. I think Wikipedia should aim to be more truthful than other media and not just follow the herd. Biscuittin (talk) 08:30, 4 May 2011 (UTC)" You want us to go based on the truth as the individual editor sees it? Their own "truth"? O_O Seems an awful lot like an opinion to me. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 19:33, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I distinguish between the words "truth" and "true". Truth is what one is supposed to tell in court. True can mean the same as "majority opinion". If I say 2+2=4, true or false? Most people will answer "true", although a few people might disagree. My problem is with the misuse of the word "truth" which, for me, can only be used in a personal sense. I suggest replacing "verifiability, not truth" with "verifiability, not certainty". Biscuittin (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem is when people believe that 2+2=5, not everything is as clear cut as 2+2=4. Someone can have a completely different thought process built-in either by upbringing, propaganda, personal opinion, etc. So where you think 2+2=4, others will say it is 5, still others will say it is 22. =p You talk about truth being that which one tells in court. Now while I'm the son of two lawyers (neither of whom are trial lawyers mind you), I don't think any legal knowledge is required to know that what you hear in court is someone's own version of the truth coloured by all manner of things. There is no such thing as truth (except in mathematics at times, as you tried to point), only someone's version of the truth. As another example think of a car crash and the old saying about how when a car crashes, there are three different versions of how it happened. How do we know which is the truth? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 19:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. One can have two witnesses in court who give different versions of the event. Each is telling the truth as he/she sees it but they have different recollections. This is why I say truth is personal and has no meaning outside the personal. The jury has to arrive at a verdict but the verdict is a verdict and not a statement of truth. Biscuittin (talk) 20:08, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
And we do that as per WP:DUE. We give the sides of each thing (except the conspiracy theories), whose wait we decide upon based on prevalence (like a jury). In the context of the the Libyan conflict, we have been trying to put the versions of events put forward by the RSs. The only people who can really give a story of what is happening are the reporters. Your objections were that these had a Western bias, and we said go find some from Xinhua and such that do not. We can't really rely on the testimony of the Libyan on the street for the truth, partly because his/her version of the truth has been coloured by propaganda from either side and he/she probably knows nothing of the bigger picture, and our interpretations of what is going on are worthless as we only know what we read in the news, hear on the tele and read on Wikipedia. So our only reliable witnesses are the reporters. The jury that is the editors decided this sort of thing a long while back. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 20:26, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
This has become a two-horse race. I think it's time we had input from other people. Biscuittin (talk) 20:39, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Since "truth" is a word often used to describe opinions and dogma, why don't we simplify this discussion by substituting the word "accuracy".

The cases where objective accuracy exists (whether or not the answer is known) can be identified by when nearly 100% of the people agree on the framework of the question and the answer. The score of yesterday's White Sox game is the score per the rules and decision making process of the governing body for the sport. The age of a burial/grave in years (even if unknown) is the number of times the earth went around the sun since the burial. When the "question" is agreed on, but the answer is unknown, it still exists, but the information is not available. North8000 (talk) 22:19, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

My biggest gripe with this is its abuse: certain editors will heavy-handedly remove unattributed statements due to the lack of appropriate citable sources, even if they are clearly correct. This borders onto secondary vs primary sources. It is important to read the whole story on the policy pages, which is often much more reasonable (e.g. sources being required for *disputable* facts).

On example where I felt WP fell down was during the Mavi Marmara incident. The Turkish organizers and others quickly asserted that there had been no violent resistance to the boarding Israelis, this was echoed by media, and subsequently presented in WP as "verifiable" facts. Regardless of the fact that a) somebody at his desk in Ankara is very unlikely to know anything about the actual events, and b) video footage and images was available - first from IDF, later from people aboard the vessel - clearly showing the reception committee attacking and beating the boarding party. Thus, WP's criteria for trusted sources includes stuff that is obviously wrong, and excludes stuff that is obviously right - because it is primary sources. In particular, the smuggled out video would be great for establishing the sequence of events, but as far as I can tell, nobody bothered to do it in the press, and on WP it would be "original research" and a "primary source". So we're stuck with a hodge-podge of journalistic speculation and political manipulation. (The article is a bit cleaner now, but still contains things I think must be incorrect, like paintball ammo with glass shards in them).

Another place WP falls down is on some vaguely defined terms, see for instance the article on Type Systems. It conflates a bunch of concepts arbitrarily, and I can't for the life of me see anybody reading that and coming out any wiser. But trying to clean it up is impossible, because there are no usable sources that talks about all the different things that are called type systems, and my edits to try to clear things out were quickly deleted by somebody obsessed with WP:this and WP:that. Currently, we're locked by policy to an article that only serves to confuse, and which WP would be more valuable without.

I agree that using majority opinion as "fact" is preposterous (unless you want to claim that \pi=3.14), but I think a consensus by informed individuals would be a lot better in some cases than the current situation). Ketil (talk) 10:58, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Here is a diatribe on WP:SCUM mostly: Unfortunately what I was writing was lost, so I'll summarise the first bit. I agree with you on the basis of common sense that a video is a lot more informative and a much better source of info than someone at a desk, and that. Accuracy should be more important than verifiability when you have things like those videos. Even if it is considered to be WP:OR to talk about what is in the video, people could, and should, be able to reach a consensus through repeated watching of a certain video and agree on what is happening in it. That is the whole reason people make videos in the first place, to convey information anyone can understand (except if it is not in a language you speak ofc =p). You could also have a few sources analysing it from a separate perspective. In fact in terms of weight, I think that undoctored footage and proper analysis of said footage should be given much more WP:WEIGHT than someone who might not know what they are actually talking about, but is treated as an expert.
I think we need to revise WP:SCUM, where we actually look at someone's credentials seriously and then determine if they are really someone to be talking about this or they know about as much as we do. Don't just blindly accept what they are saying. I was once hit with a WP:SUCM just because I wanted to see the credentials of a professor in relation to 2011 Libyan civil war (idr who said it to me =p) so it could be determined if his opinion of it being a civil war was actually from a credible expert. After the person gave the credentials I was ok with it, but still it should not have been an unusual or inappropriate question.
A prime example of someone who doesn't know what they are talking about being treated as an expert is Cindy Sheehan on the death of Osama bin Laden. I respect her work and all, but quite frankly she has about as much knowledge as we do on this. Probably less given that she hasn't been combing over the article over and over. Yet her reaction is pretty much being put in with other experts.
Now there are some cases like on stuff that has been well-documented for ages, like the history of Ancient Egypt, the mating habits of various animals, Nuclear power plants etc. where common sense says call in the expert as they know will know much better than an editor and convey info better than a video of a steamy reactor. There are other cases, like Mavi Marmara, like Operation Geronimo where you cannot really have the opinion of an expert over that of a primary source because the person branded as an expert can't possibly know what happened better than a participant in said op, unless he/she read all of the after-action reports. It's especially problematic if you keep the testimony in of someone who was not there and whose story contradicts video that you know could not have been doctored and was released by both sides.
Bare in mind that I am very elitist (as stated before, because of working in archaeology and dealing with charletons (though not firsthand yet)) when it comes to picking the expert with a doctorate in the relevant field, but there are certain cases where you really need to ask yourself "is this person really an expert?" "Do they know what they're on about or do they have as much a clue as I do?" "Should I really put what they're saying in if these videos or other evidence completely contradict what they are saying?"
Now one on jargony articles: As for Type Systems, if I get what you're getting at, I am kind of irked by certain articles on scientific concepts that are so full of jargon and so hard to understand that it's almost like reading an in-universe summary of idk, how the engines of that Enterprise ship work. I cannot see anyone, other than someone with a thorough education and bit of experience in the relevant field, reading through many of these articles and actually learning anything. I think those articles should be written in a way that makes more sense to at least 70% of the population and then put the jargony one on some Wikiscience wiki, but it would make it a lot easier to tell if something is wrong other than when someone puts in "hurrrr Amanda Summerss is so hawt!".
Sorry if these are kind of disjointed thoughts, definitely didn't get enough sleep and went back to dif parts. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 15:41, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
How we define truth on an individual basis doesn't matter, since "truth" is what we're not trying to publish here. We put into articles what is verified by reliable sources. We might hope that giving due weight to information based on what we can find in reliable sources comes close to "truth" but it really doesn't matter. --OnoremDil 17:37, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia aim is to be "the sum of all human knowledge". When humanity get things wrong, we follow suit. --Damiens.rf 21:03, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Nobody could ask more of us than that. However, we aren't doing even that well, and bad source-reliability evaluation is the problem. We can at least avoid the problem that popularizations and books written by non-experts are more likely to get things wrong, or "nearly right but not quite right" than books written by acknowledged experts. I have written (for example) about my battles to keep college freshmen physics texts from being used to define "weight" (which they are very sloppy about, far more than NIST or ISO/IEC 80000). But physics texts are in turn better than dictionaries. Nor should we let freshman texts speak on the use of the concept of "relativistic mass," a concept that physicists who specialize in relativity nearly all abhor (it seems to be physics teachers who like it more than people who actualy do relativity research). Sometimes it's quite possible to draw a sort of arc which shows "the more a person knows about A, the more likely they are to believe B," and in that case, it's probably belief B that Wikipedia should write most about, as being presently our best idea of what approximates "truth" (we don't have to say everybody is sure, since of course they never are). But it should be theory B that gets the most attention in Wikipedia, even if it is not as popular among laypeople or even secondary school teachers. Basically, I'm saying that quality of sources must trump quantity. SBHarris 00:04, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

How about Newton's "Rules of reasoning in Philosophy" Rule No 1, "We are to admit no more causes 0f natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances." And he wasn't talking about majority opinion. Sounds like a good criteria for collecting facts.WFPM (talk) 23:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I suspect that many would stick at the problem of what exactly constitutes an "explanation." Newton, for example, thought that a force of gravity was an "explanation." It turns out only to be an explanation in flat space-time, and space-time isn't flat. When it isn't, no gravity force is needed, and what's more, a Newtonian gravity force gives the wrong predictions. Bent space time gives correct predictions with experiment, but now we need an explanation of why mass bends space-time. We still don't have it. At some level, "explanations" always must stop. SBHarris 00:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Science is concerned with the creation of a reasonable set of concepts about a hierarchical set of real physical entities. Before I got into Wikipedia I thought it possible to understand at least a small part of it. ala Newton. Now, the subject matter seems to be extrapolating into a series of infinite discussions, and without much continuity.WFPM (talk) 15:15, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Peter jackson (talk) 10:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Suggest that changes (clarification of instructions) be made at WP:MOS as follows:[edit]

Recently, I made use of the Block Quote following the instructions here. According to the Manual of Style, certain colors are not allowed to be used, yet the instructions use those same colors that are not allowed?

This is/was the exact insertion that was reverted:

On questions about his refusal to release photos[5] of bin Laden at the time of his death..


"..the fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this Earth again"
U.S. President, Barack Obama

In every respect, the above edit follows the formatting and colors as in Block quotation instruction.

My Suggestion is, IF.. ..the color "GREEN" is NOT allowed to be used by editors, that it should also be removed from the content in the Manual of Style as well.


NOTE: I'm aware that I may have mistakenly used a block-quote given the size of the quote, however this is more about the manual following its own guidelines as relates to text color! ..much respect, Dijcks | InOut 16:46, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

The manual of style applies only to encyclopedia articles. There is more leeway in the plumbing of the encyclopedia, such as pages describing policy and guidelines. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:01, 5 May 2011 (UTC)



Forgive me, but...
...the Manual of Style, plumbing or not, should meet the guidelines it lays down to users. Only when it is explaining/illustrating unacceptable actions or content should it break its own rules.
The Manual states that green is difficult to read by visually impaired readers. There is a lot of green text in the manual. It could be changed to a color at this point that offers better readability.
Note, this is simply an observation of conflicting information in the manual that could be easily corrected with another, better color of text. Thanks for the input. Dijcks | InOut 21:02, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Our non-encyclopedic advice pages are specifically exempted from any need to follow the standards we set for actual encyclopedia articles by policy, as documented at Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines#Not_part_of_the_encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:11, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Originally, this came about as a result of my misinterpreting the instructions on how to make Block Quotes. Later, by virtue of another user's reversion, I learned that Green is not acceptable as a color when writing content BECAUSE: Visually Impaired readers have difficulty in reading green text. The MOS has a lot of green text in it instruction areas. I was suggesting that it be changed to a color that is more readable by ALL audiences.
Rather than green, the manual suggests using MAROON or TEAL. My idea was to have the MOS follow its own guidelines when using colors so more readers can comfortably read it.
I would take the task on, but the article is locked. Dijcks | InOut 15:55, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if the MOS page is locked, because that's not where the color is set. If you want to change the color, you need to propose a change at Template talk:Xt. (Personally, I find the green easier to read than the teal, but I've no particular objection to finding a darker and less-pure shade of green.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
None of this is critical, AND, I've just noticed that others have made similar comments about this. For me, after noticing the contradiction of stated use, I simply thought it could be easily corrected with a dark-green/gark-teal color, but it's not the end of the world either way! Dijcks | InOut 20:35, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Must a template be used on more than one page?[edit]

The PlayStation Network outage article has a timeline at the very top of the article, which results in a user seeing a wall of table code before they actually get to the article head. Yesterday to make it easier for editors I moved the timeline text and turned it into a template (Template:PSN outage timeline). It made the edit window clear and easier to understand, and even received a thank you from one editor on the talk page. Last night the template was Speedy Deleted with the proposer stating that because it is only used on one page the Template must be deleted on sight. Is that correct? I can find nothing in the Speedy deletion criteria that says that. I'm also unhappy with the deletion process, deleted with a G8(dependent on a non-existent or deleted pag) after an incorrect page move. Can Speedy deletions be challenged at deletion review like a normal deletion? - X201 (talk) 07:22, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

No to your first question, yes to your second one. It expected that you tried to resolve it directly with the deleting admin before you start a DRV though. Yoenit (talk) 07:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
That looks like a really awful call by the admins involved. If they don't respond within 24 hours, I'd go to DRV and ask for an expedited process. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:52, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Dunno if it falls under any CSD, but this is in line with guidelines: "Templates should not masquerade as article content in the main article namespace; instead, place the text directly into the article." I've only seen 1 case of this being disregarded. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:58, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
At the very least this should have been moved to a subpage of the article and transculded like that. The "get rid of it entirely" solution isn't constructive in this situation. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
In past cases single-use templates have not fared well at Templates for discussion, but the result is usually substituting the content back into the page that uses it, not just deleting it. And it's definitely not a speedy criterion. --RL0919 (talk) 18:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
That is just downright destructive to delete a page with citations just because it resides in the Template namespace. It is pretty obvious that the deleting admin was more concerned with following the rules that building an encyclopedia. Quite unfortunate. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 02:01, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I believe I saw someone propose something similar for the (very large) infobox at the top of Earth once. Transcluding from a subpage seems like a sensible intermediate approach, particularly if there were a way to add an 'edit this box' button to it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Single-use templates are very acceptable in several cases, but there's no real universal rule. For example {{Infobox hydrogen}} is used on hydrogen, because this cleans up the edit window significantly (likewise for all the other element infoboxes), and just makes everything easier to deal with (infobox maintenance, vandalism monitoring, etc....). But there's no {{Infobox up quark}} for the up quark article, and I think that one would be kinda useless considering it's not a very big infobox. Template:Infobox Earth would make a lot of sense to me (likewise for the other main bodies of the solar system), but not so much for some random exoplanet or star.
For the PSN outage, I don't see why this needs to be templatified, or even presented like it currently is, that looks really awful to me. A section list seems much better to me. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 16:58, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Errr I think you guys are forgetting something really important about the article namespace: subpages are not permitted in the article namespace so the subpage-of-article idea won't work. I, for one, support the idea of having the chunk of code turned into a template. Having a large chunk of code at the very top of the edit window would deter many potential new editors. — Preceding signed comment added by Cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 03:52, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

It looks like the folks discussing this at Template talk:Drugbox have gotten around that by making the subpage belong to the template, rather than the article. Also, they seem to have a convenient v•d•e editing button installed in the box, making editing it easier. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I think this falls under the scope of WP:IAR. IAR states that "[i]f a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, [you should] ignore it." The large chunk of code that makes up the timeline is a potential deterrent for new or inexperienced editors, meaning it could prevent them from working on improving or maintaining the article. I like the idea that WhatamIdoing brought up, having a "v•d•e" (view/discuss/edit) set of links added to the template that makes up the timeline. — Preceding signed comment added by Cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 19:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

3RR and Tag-teaming[edit]

This may well have come up before (although I couldn't find it). Why isn't tag-team edit warring specifically not included in WP:Edit warring as a breach of that policy? The only thing I could find is WP:Tag team which is an essay not a policy and seems to spend most of its time saying don't accuse people of tag teaming. Should it be made clear that tag team reverts (if determined to be so by an admin) should be treated as reverts by a single editor for the purposes of 3RR etc? I think at the moment it's much vaguer and seems to only be considered some sort of generalized disruptive editing (if dealt with at all, which seems rare.) DeCausa (talk) 09:35, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm very surprised that tag-teaming is not included in the policy. It definitely should be. I'm sure ArbCom has written multiple motions telling editors not to conduct tag-team edit warring; can't we just insert this into the policy right now? Nanobear (talk) 10:43, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
First you need to identify/define that it is tag-teaming and not a number of like-minded editors dealing with am awkward editor. GraemeLeggett (talk) 10:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Pretty much, the idea is that if more people oppose you then are with you, then you lose. "Tag team" reverts most of the time are helpful because it is dealing with only 1 disruptive editor with a few others reverting them. Making them have to be punished for doing that is silly. Blake (Talk·Edits) 13:37, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not tag-teaming as it's usually meant. I'm referring to the situation where one does three reverts and the other does the fourth, or they do two each. And they regularly do it to support a particular POV. It's a form of gaming 3RR - but rarely ends up at AN3 as it's not as straightforward to establish "acting in concert". DeCausa (talk) 14:03, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Situations where multiple editors do the same edit/revert can range from things that are a very good (such as implementing or enforcing a very strong consensus) to very bad things (to edit war while circumventing edit war rules/conditions such as 3RR or 1RR). Even the worst case of them I think is not as serious/ blatant / clear cut cause for action as one editor violating 3RR. But it might be good to try to address this more than we do right now. North8000 (talk) 13:49, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem with this, is it would be difficult to distinguish between "gaming" and actual preservation of factual data in a particular article. IMO, a user who "competes" against more than one other user to retain content may need to consider other methods of preserving his/her content, ie., dispute processes such as WP:RfC. In my limited experience though, these users seem many times, to have an agenda or biased POV. Dijcks | InOut 18:21, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
When that essay written, I was one of several people involved in a long-term dispute with a guy who wanted a Wikipedia article to present his own novel theory about how the body works. He was (finally) indef'd, but, in the meantime, he was trotting out WP:Tag team as proof that he, alone among Wikipedia's editors, should be permitted to choose the content of the page, regardless of the number of editors opposed to it or opposed to him citing his self-published book, and that if it weren't for this vile conspiracy, etc., etc. As as result, I think that the tag-team idea is highly susceptible to abuse, and, in fact, abuse may significantly exceed the legitimate application of the concept. Offhand, I can't think of a single instance in which someone has invoked that essay, and I've agreed that the multiple opponents were the problem, rather than the outnumbered accuser. (Certainly that is true on occasion, but people who are actually lone defenders of the wiki, rather than POV pushers, don't seem to cite the essay.)
Additionally, the point of 3RR is to stop edit warring, with the attendant wasted server resources and database bloat, not to resolve the dispute. You—the lone editor, faced by hordes of tag-teamers—can stop the edit warring cold, any time you choose, simply by stopping your own end of it. They can't revert you, if you don't revert them first. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
As someone (Piotrus?) pointed out, if a team of editors are edit warring against a substantially smaller team (e.g. 1 person), either they win most of the time or the smaller group breaks 3RR well before them. Simple arithmetic, and independent of who's right. Peter jackson (talk) 14:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Which doesn't appear to be a problem. If you're alone and right, you just need to first stop being alone (e.g., persuasively presenting the right solution on the Talk page) before the article will also become right. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:54, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Some examples of tag teaming behaviour were documented in the EEML case. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:54, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Hunter, if you're alone against a gang of POV pushers when the community isn't interested enough to study things, reach a sensible conclusion and enforce it, what then? Peter jackson (talk) 15:11, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Why can't the hypothetical topic get community interest? Too esoteric and in need of subject-matter experts, or too borderline on encyclopedic-ness, or ...? -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:17, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with JHunterJ's statement. Using tag teaming to successfully edit war is a common situation. In fact legitimizing the "if they outnumber you, you must be wrong" (not that they said that) thinking adds to this problem. North8000 (talk) 17:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
JHunterJ: In my experience, the community does not show up just because its presence is needed. We're all too busy to help settle the problem, or we think an experienced editor can't "really" need our help, or that since nobody's using profanity yet, it's not "really" a dispute, or whatever. Deep disputes without egregiously bad behavior are hard to resolve. They require a lot more time than typical vandal—blocking someone for replacing pages with "I LOVE CHEESEBURGERS!" is the work of a moment, whereas reading and commenting on a dozen sources might take multiple hours—and even when the problem editor is clearly wrong, the community generally does not support banning people who endlessly insist on including absolute garbage, but who are superficially polite about it.
To give an analogy: If someone appeared on your doorstep every morning with an hour-long spiel about how he was going to save the world, you'd be closing the door and calling the police no later than the third day. When the same guy shows up with the same spiel on Wikipedia, it very frequently takes an entire year of repeated and extremely time-consuming dispute resolution procedures to get the community to close the door... and that's assuming that the community agrees to do it at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
What then? Wikipedia:Dispute resolution--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 17:36, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
North8000, it's not "if they outnumber you", but rather "if you're the only one on your side". WhatamIdoing, I don't see how a tag-team rider on 3RR would address the problem you're describing (which I agree is a problem). -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't address the problem in any way, which is why I personally oppose any such rider. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:48, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

First, I guess that "tag teaming to avoid 3RR (on a particular item)" is a special, rare case of tag teaming. Mathematically that means at least 5 reversions on one piece of content in 24 hours. = a pretty obvious edit war in progress that may be more easily addressable. I've seldom seen that. But tag teaming to edit war, and to avoid 1RR is more common but harder to pin down. A firmer rule that says more firmly defines multiple reverts on the same content as an edit war, and that nobody gets to get their way via edit warring, take it to talk. Tag teaming exists because IT WORKS in Wikipedia. The flip side is that the resolution process has to be workable and create good results. That's a tough one, it will take fixing the framework. North8000 (talk) 18:35, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Adding specifics around "tag teaming" to the edit-warring rules would be difficult to do without snaring innocent editors. In theory an editor could do one revert followed by opening a talk page discussion, then be declared part of a "tag team" after other editors engage in additional reverts of the same material, even though the first editor behaved impeccably according to all our standards. I'm sure that cases of coordinated reverts happen, but distinguishing that from two editors who simply happen to agree that an edit was bad isn't easy unless there is some other evidence of collaboration. --RL0919 (talk) 21:39, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
You are right. I just meant wording that says multiple reverts on the same content = go to talk. No bright line like 3RR. North8000 (talk) 22:05, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
That might be the case for a single article. If the same "group" of editors are however engaging in "tag teaming" behaviour across multiple articles, and especially if the articles are only tangentially related, then the "tag teaming" behaviour tends to be very obvious. "Tag teaming" in this case often also goes hand in hand with Wikihounding and can involve more than one editor being "targeted". --Tothwolf (talk) 12:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Don't know what to call an article?[edit]

I'd like to write an article on an unusual electoral system I've discovered. I've found press coverage and academic comment from the 1920s, when it was being adopted, but the system doesn't particularly seem to have a name. The website I just listed calls it a variant of Bucklin voting, but it's just as much a variant of the Borda count – any advice on what I should title it? Should I just invent a name like Oklahoma electoral system given that the 'default' name is a bit cumbersome (Oklahoma primary electoral system, 1925)? Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 10:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

If the website is your main source for it (?) wouldn't you have to call it what they call it (which appears to be Bucklin voting (Oklahoma version)) to per WP:COMMONNAME and to avoid OR/synthesis? DeCausa (talk) 11:07, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not my main source, as I said, I also have press coverage and academic comment from the 1920s, when the system was being adopted, but they're not freely available online so it was easier to link just to that site so people here can get the gist. (That page seems to be self-published and thus ineligible anyway, but it's convenient for this purpose!) ╟─TreasuryTagAfrica, Asia and the UN─╢ 11:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Just write it. Call it what you think is reasonable and let the wiki way work it's magic. It will get sorted if the article has sources to show it is notable. --Bduke (Discussion) 12:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
How about: "The Bucklin voting system"...given that's what it is. You can elaborate in the article as to when and where it was used. Dijcks | InOut 15:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Because that name is already in use, for a somewhat different style.
I'm with Bduke: Pick a name that you believe will help the reader figure out what's on that page, and write the article. If we someday discover the "perfect" name for it, then we can easily WP:MOVE it at that time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed the article later when looking more carefully. It seems that the variant could be listed in that article, unless it can stand on its own as an article I'd think. Dijcks | InOut 20:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
As I've repeatedly said (and I'm going to put it in bold this time, because perhaps then people will read it), I have press coverage and academic comment from the 1920s, when the system was being adopted and this confers notability onto the subject. As I also said – though admittedly only once, so you're excused for failing to notice it – the website I listed calls it a variant of Bucklin voting, but it's just as much a variant of the Borda count. So thanks for your helpful advice [Jesus...] ╟─TreasuryTagsundries─╢ 22:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
yw. Killiondude (talk) 02:24, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
echo Killiondude's comment:) Dijcks | InOut 22:43, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Record charts has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Record charts (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

This is a result of a well-supported decision to split content/non-style advice off of a page that was supposed to be in the Manual of Style. Whether it should be tagged as a {{guideline}} or {{WikiProject content advice}} is unclear to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:01, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

ridiculous restrictive use of WP:POLITICIAN[edit]

Nicole Seah is a very prominent Opposition candidate in Singapore that has received widespread press in both pro-government (print media) and pro-Opposition (alternative media) sources, and Tin Pei Ling is a ruling party candidate that has been widely ridiculed in real life and on the street, but is likely to be elected -- er -- appointed into the parliament, despite massive backlash.

Yet, despite such massive evidence (millions of google hits!) that show these two candidates are notable -- and their contests symbolises an entire nations' elections -- such notability fails to convince some editors say that these two fail WP:POLITICIAN because they are candidates that have not been elected yet, and therefore automatically their articles must suffer through rounds of afd against common sense. I find this puzzling. Did Wikipedia change that much in my two years of absence? I don't recall such inflexible use of policy before.

What I primarily do wish to comment is that WP:POLITICIAN's guidelines really are only fit for candidates in liberal democracies. There must be an alternative set of criteria established for candidates who run under less-than-free political systems. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 19:37, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Wouldn't this be covered by point 2: "Major local political figures who have received significant press coverage."? It's important to remember that any subject can be notable if the appropriate coverage exists. Ntsimp (talk) 19:53, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
The only guideline that really matters is WP:GNG. Establish that an article meets that, and nothing else should matter. --Jayron32 20:10, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
There appears to be a group of several editors (who have little expertise on the subject) that opposed my suggestion to speedy close (which I withdrew but initially thought reasonable) and seem to have some sort of crusade against these two articles. I like to think myself as rational, so could there be comment on their reasoning? They assert that these two candidates have no notability at all, fail general notability guidelines and should be speedy deleted, when the local print press coverage has been hot, the online coverage massive and even the international media is commentating. I am simply exasperated. I am a veteran editor, or so I thought. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 20:02, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


Also, I wonder with how much zealousness these WP:POLITICIAN criteria has been applied. I would think that even American small town candidates who make significant local press (i.e. for notable, nonroutine issues, e.g. unique environmental issues that would attract scientific attention) should be included, and rightly these guidelines say they should be so, but whether these types of candidates too, face overzealous deletion. This "not notable until elected" rhetoric really puzzles me. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 20:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
The best solution is for you to provide as many WP:Inline citations to WP:Reliable sources as possible in the articles. It's very hard to get an article deleted if someone has gone to the trouble of naming 20 or 30 separate newspaper articles about the subject.
Remember that reliable sources do not need to be free, online, or in English. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:46, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The "non-notable until elected" issue is primarily to keep independent candidates of essentially no significance from writing articles about themselves to give themselves undue weight right before an election. It's not meant for someone like Doug Forrester, who although he lost his Senate bid generated a great deal of attention. However, this "non-notable until elected" meme, like other things as basic as WP:V and WP:N, gets taken literally by some people, so it's sometimes a fight to apply basic common sense. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:06, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I think the key here should be whether the candidate got a lot of press in a very short period of time centered around the election rather than a continuing amount of notability. For example, Ralph Nader (disregarding his notability for pre-Green party stuff), is notable despite being non-elected because of the issues he stirred up, his public persona, etc. He has a long and continual record of coverage by notable sources. I think the spirit of the rule is that we want people who are notable rather than people who are associated with possibly notable elections. Jztinfinity (talk) 04:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Precisely, WP:ONEEVENT also applies here. The OP argues that there should be different notability criteria for Singapore, which is completely unjustifiable. Jezhotwells (talk) 07:43, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Suggested new user right: Ability to edit fully-protected pages in Template space[edit]

For articles, full protection means that something should not be edited.

In the template space, however, full protection just means it's used a lot. I have done a lot of work creating templates, and face the problem that many of the Templates I created I now cannot edit, and will never be able to again, because they are so widely used.

While not a problem for simple templates, for complicated templates, this means that I - the person who knows the template best - am unable to do any maintenance work anymore. There is no way I'm going through the hell of RfA, so I ask that, per the recent decoupling of the move right, that we should decouple this right as well.

Another possible right that could be decoupled is the ability to change protection settings on templates, which is often helpful, but not a necessary part of this proposal. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:52, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

This suggestion is just a band aid. In a reasonable world, any user who needs adminship would be given it. Especially template experts. Of course, some templates should not be edited even by admins unless truly necessary (no idea how much work it would be for the servers to work through changes on the heavily transcluded metatemplates). —Кузьма討論 20:18, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no chance I'm going to become an admin given Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Matthew_Hoffman, which, although withdrawn, have left me completely unwilling to engage with the Wikipedia activities which would get me through adminship, because that single arbcom case put me under so much stress I had to drop out of University. I am never again going to do anything but poke around the borders of Wikipedia, in things that suit me.
Something like the ninth-highest search for my real name is an alt-medicine site, WikiSynergy, creating a lying attack page using that case as truth, even though Arbcom withdrew it. Arbcom havce denied any responsibility for the fact that I will now find it that much more difficult to get employment in perpetuity.
No, I decline to help Wikipedia in the extensive way you want me to,a nd if anyone wants to blame me because User:Charles Matthews' power tip has had devastating Real-life consequenses on me, I trust they know what to do to themselves. And if you're going to try to claim I should have withdrawn from the case, note that it was my only chance to avoid having a real-life impact on my employment possibilities for the rest of my life, given my unique surname. It failed, and Arbcom are 100% at fault. Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Is there a case for a lower level of adminship for more editors but with fewer rights? --Bermicourt (talk) 20:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
It's come up, regularly, and gotten shot down, loudly. Non-admins blame admins for being 'protective of their little club', however a good number of non-admins, myself included, are against it. I have my reasons, which I won't bore you with, but as a general statement, the issue of trust, or a distinct lack thereof, combined with a lack of a consistently effective method of removing advanced rights, will kill this before it ever gets off the ground every time it comes up. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Have you considered a subpage to start the formulation of the template, present it for community review, and then let an admin move the changes over (with your consultation)? It's nice to take credit for our own changes, but if it improves the community why does credit matter? Hasteur (talk) 21:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Hasteur has the correct idea here: There are ways to fix a template without directly editing the currently visible version; copy the template code, paste it as a user subpage, fix it, use {{editrequest}}, and ask for the new version to be pasted in place. Problem solved. --Jayron32 21:24, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Proposed solution does not work. Many templates interact with 37 other templates. Have you looked at the backend for, say, Commons' MOTD (which I coded), WP:OPERA's Composer of the month system, also coded by me, or, to give an example which is similar to what I'm working on at the moment, the system behind POTD These things cannot be tested in isolation, and {{editrequest}} is a good way to not be able to fix bugs if anything goes wrong in very complicated code. {{editprotected}} isn't at all appropriate at a level where the next step after making a change is meticulously checking that the dozens of other templates haven't run into any trouble; there's no point making a change if you can't undo it quickly.
If you didn't know,. I am currently (rather slowly, but that's due to the free period I had devted for it getting frittered away by Wikidrama, putting me in a very busy period, with little free time, and, once again, beginning to wonder why the hell I bother with this site) working on the Main page backend for Featured Sounds and lists. I am also Featured sound director, so need to be able to edit protected description pages for files on the main page if maintenence is needed. {{Editprotected}} doesn't even begin to be practical.
If anyone hasn't gathered, I have a very much love-hate relationship with Wikipedia. Love the idea of it, but have no tolerance for all the bullshit that happens anymore. Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:57, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
If it's all that complicated, have you considered copying it over to Test Wikipedia, where you could tweak and test the changes until you were certain that they were perfect, and then use editrequest to get the proven versions pasted in? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:19, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - I've been suggesting this for a while. Some users are not willing to become admins. Some users the community is unwilling to make admins. I feel I fall in both, but I am very talented with template syntax. Editprotected edits work fine and dandy when there are no subtemplates. When you get into multi-level templates, complicated infoboxes, etc, it becomes next to impossible to test out changes. Often the admins that come in to the editprotected call (unless its one of the two or three templating admins) are ignorant of the changes being made, requesting links to discussions for consensus, etc, for minor changes. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 00:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Full protecting templates is to keep them from becoming vandalized or to keep someone who has no idea what they are doing from messing things up. If a person can be shown to be competent with templates I see no reason for them to be left behind. Can I please ask that if this approved that it is not handed out like candy by admins. Unlike the filemover, this could have disastrous consequence in the wrong hands. --Guerillero | My Talk 02:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest Oppose - I'm sorry, but no. If the templates are so commonly used that they have the potential to break vast swaths of the wiki if malformed, an example MUST be created that demonstrates the change. I'm expected to trust Admins because they've been reviewed by the community and know that edits to fully protected pages are done only for very good reasons. The fact that you are wanting to improve the templates without any sort of community consensus, procedure for testing, or roadmap to completion really worries me. "Make a change and see if stuff broke" is not the right way to make improvements to critical portions of the Wiki. Hasteur (talk) 15:03, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
You obviously don't know how Template protection is applied. A template used on only a handful of pages is very often protected if it's considered too complicated for average users. Also, some changes are very safe: For instance, if one wants to add an alternative name for a parameter, one can safely change {{{color|}}} to {{{color|{{{colour|}}}}}} and not worry too much about surprises, if one is diligent. Adam Cuerden (talk) 00:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - The {{editprotected}} system really doesn't work well for anything other than small, minor edits, or edits to simple templates. Even a little bit of complication can make using the editprotected system inefficient and difficult. It becomes difficult to explain how to conduct the change and often what the change does. Even admins who do work with templates don't work with every template; they may not know the intricacies and inner workings of templates that they're asked to edit. I agree with Guerillero though that approval for this needs to be a lot more stringent than approval for rights like rollback. This also isn't technically possible with the current software, so implementing this would require more work than rights like rollback. @Hasteur: I think you're overestimating the skill of admins when it comes to templates. While there are some that are skilled in editing templates, most aren't and template editing isn't something typically reviewed at RFA. I would be surprised if any actually followed something like that process outline. A roadmap for what might be a single edit? "Community" consensus for things that may not even be noticeable? Mr.Z-man.sock (talk) 18:24, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Go back and read the request. The OP is talking about several templates/edits. I don't expect the Admin to understand fully the template change, I expect them to read the consensus and to understand why the change should be made. Think about it like software development. You don't randomly put changes into a production system. You test it thoroughly and take into account every potential dependancy before putting it into production. If the template can't be demonstrated prior to main space deployment and the change can't be explained to an administrator (via the editprotected template) the person wanting the change hasn't done their job correctly. Hasteur (talk) 19:59, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Why should they have to be able to fully explain the change to a non-expert? That's just unnecessary work that's a byproduct of the current inefficient system. Yes, in software development, you do test the changes before implementing them, but you also don't prevent the people who know how to do the changes from actually doing them. If testing should be a requirement, then we can have a policy that says so. But there's no reason such a policy needs to be enforced by technical limitations. The OP is not the only person who would potentially get this right. Just because his plans may not be ideal doesn't mean the proposal is a bad idea. But, on re-reading it, I don't see what the problem is there either. He's not asking to do major changes, he's asking to do maintenance work. This is a wiki, every edit is easily reversible. The world will not end if a template is broken for a few minutes. Mr.Z-man.sock (talk) 20:53, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Most admins are clueless about template syntax. I hardly see what qualifies them to perform these edits. If anything, admins should also be limited to editing high-use templates, and only users that have shown competence in the language should be allowed to modify them. None of the other skills pertinant to adminship are relevant to template editing. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 00:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
One would assume that most admins have the sense not to mess around with things they don't understand. Dragons flight (talk) 02:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. It's a matter of trust, not expertise. —David Levy 02:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Such a proposal is based upon the very attitude causing the problem that it's intended to address.
    Adminship, in theory, is "no big deal." It's supposed to be given to any trustworthy user who can demonstrate a legitimate need.
    Some of the sysop permissions carry relatively little potential for harm (and therefore require relatively little trust), so it's sensible to split them out. In my view, the ability to edit protected pages (irrespective of namespace) is not one of them.
    So if someone needs to edit protected pages, it's simply a matter of whether he/she is trustworthy. In this context, that means that we can trust him/her to not use the sysop permissions in a manner harmful to the wiki. Any user who can be trusted to edit protected templates can be trusted to handle the other sysop permissions responsibly (even if that means not editing protected pages in the other namespaces, deleting pages, blocking users, et cetera).
    As noted above, most editors (including administrators) are largely unfamiliar with complex template syntax. Nonetheless, the only thing stopping administrators from fiddling with protected templates that they don't understand is their knowledge that this would be imprudent. We trust them to edit appropriately (and not edit inappropriately), which is why we've made them administrators. Likewise, I cannot envision a scenario in which someone is simultaneously trustworthy enough to edit protected templates and not trustworthy enough to possess the other sysop permissions.
    The real problem (and the issue that needs to be addressed) is the recent trend toward applying arbitrary criteria to prospective administrators (e.g. "wrote x featured articles" and "performed y edits within z process"). The misguided notion that an administrator must demonstrate expertise in every area is making adminship "a big deal" and preventing trustworthy editors from possessing tools that they wouldn't misuse. It's understandable that this would fuel the sentiment that the individual permissions should be separated, but doing so only reinforces the aforementioned belief that an administrator is intended to possess expertise on (and a demonstrable need for) all of them.
    Let's fix the real problem instead of working around it (and exacerbating it in the process). —David Levy 02:19, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think applying a workaround exacerbates the problem. It provides a stopgap until such time as the community is willing to accept that. I've had issues with my temper, and I'm willing to accept WP:NBD. Generally, that excludes me from being provided the admin tools, regardless of whether or not I can guarantee that I'd never use those tools to leverage my position in any sort of way. This is the same reason provided every time this user right is suggested; nothing has progressed on that front, so this solution is unfortunately needed, at least in the interim. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 02:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Applying a workaround exacerbates the problem by seemingly legitimizing the logic behind the aforementioned adminship opposition. Every standalone permission (apart from those truly requiring a lesser degree of trust) will serve to justify this stance. ("You can just become a 'protected template editor' and a 'deleter', so you don't need adminship.") It reinforces the misguided notion that an administrator is something more than a trustworthy editor who sometimes needs to reach into a toolbox. —David Levy 02:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Fixing RFA is hardly a viable alternative proposal. That's like saying armies would be unnecessary if we had world peace. It's true and would be great, but short of a concrete proposal it is entirely unrealistic to expect it to happen anytime soon. Mr.Z-man 02:36, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It isn't really an alternative proposal. It's a plea to not make the problem worse.
A solution might not be immediately forthcoming, but I believe that it's realistically attainable unless we head down the proposed path. —David Levy 02:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Editing highly complex templates is not a problem of trust. We do not have template compilers (as far as I know) so I would say that any change should be performed somewhere else and tested before adding it to the template itself. Even if the user knows the code and has admin rights, he should test the changes first anyway. Cambalachero (talk) 02:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    This is true. I'm an administrator with knowledge in this area, but I never perform major edits to complex templates without first testing the changes (no matter how many sandboxes are required to simulate the transclusions involved). —David Levy 03:05, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Obviously if we are unsure, we do that. However, many edits are very trivial (in the sense that someone who has learned to read the syntax like english can write it in their head on the drive home) but take place over several templates. Many other major changes are initially sandbox testing, but then require a test through the hundreds of variable transclusions. Problems are then fixed as they are realized. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 03:44, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    I wasn't referring to trivial edits (which I why I used the term "major edits").
    It's true that unforeseen issues can arise (despite advance testing), and the ability to edit protected templates certainly is useful in such a circumstance, but anyone who can be trusted with this permission can be trusted with all of the sysop permissions. —David Levy 04:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - The painful truth is the Sysop selection process is all but broken. Kudos to those that have been selected but all too often its as much luck as skill that's gets one through and the process and the Gauntlet frequently frustrates and confounds even the most devoted editor. Even if one does get through the process and after they finish licking their wounds from the ordeal nearly all of them focus on one or 2 things (very few use the whole suite of tools provided to them) so unbundling the various rights that admins perform not only allows editors to focus on the tasks they are interested in and are able to do but it also give users a stepping stone approach rather than unleashing the whole toolbox at once. I do agree however that perhaps some templates (Such as WikiProjectBannerShell) should possibly have a restriction level that limits to only a select few and I also agree that all testing should be done in a sandbox prior to implementation but I think we can assume that just as the previous permissions that have been granted the ones who request it will use it wisely (mostly) and those that don't will have it revoked. --Kumioko (talk) 03:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    The fact that "very few use the whole suite of tools provided to them" is not a problem, nor should we treat it as one or reinforce such a perception. When it comes to permissions requiring this level of trust, no "stepping stone approach" is warranted. A user either can or cannot be trusted to use the tools appropriately (which includes not using tools in a manner with which he/she lacks sufficient knowledge). —David Levy 04:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Two reasons. First, I think there is a tremendous danger here. Core templates are protected for a reason, they keep a whole lot of stuff afloat. If anything, I'd restrict template edit access to an even smaller group, MediaWiki devs and other people who demonstrate a high level of aptitude with the weird-ass system Wikipedia runs on. Most admins stay away from high level templates, but it's not perfect. Second, I can gaurentee that people that are not qualified or deserving of the right will get it. There is a small but seemingly dedicated group of administrators that give userrights to people that clearly have no use for those rights, or even worse, have a demonstrated history of screwing up in areas where those userrights were related. Simply put, I don't trust anything short of a 'crat chat in a public forum to determine who would get something this powerful. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    This proposal is just to decouple the right, there isn't anything explicit yet about how it should be handed out. Mr.Z-man 03:59, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    I also agree that it should be handed out sparingly and I also agree that there are some templates that should be tightly restricted. --Kumioko (talk) 04:01, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I won't name names, but when filemover became a right, one admin went and gave it to several people that had 0 edits to the file namespace, while another gave it to a user who applied, got rejected, hastily changed usernames, then posted a request on the admin's talk page. Had this admin done any homework, he would have seen that the user a) had been rejected for having almost no experiance, and b) had a history of getting things totally wrong, especially in the file namespace. I forget why, but the user who got the right was later indef blocked. However that does not make any better the fact that one admin gave the right out to friends who didn't qualify for and had no use for the right, while another gave it out blindly to a clearly bad candidate. That's why I don't trust this becoming a right. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:19, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
      • It sounds like those admins have truly earned the trust of the community..... - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 10:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The {{editprotected}} system works fine for any types of templates, especially heavily used ones or those that have a hundred or so transclusions. Both administrators and editors alike should anyway be using the /testcase and /sandbox template subpages to make sure that they have the template correctly coded before applying any patches to it, which would then be confirmed by a relative administrator. Instead of making changes to the template outright, these features should be used more often, and changes committed to the protected template one at a time. Besides, anyone who is trusted enough to edit the ugly code of a protected template without breaking a million articles that use it should be trusted enough to have the administrator tools. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 07:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Several very talented template compilers (can you edit that ugly code?) are telling you that is just not the case, and that it does not work for complicated or multi-level templates. Editprotected places a burden on the system. Even code tested a million times is almost certain to find some issues somewhere, and not being able to tinker and fix those essentially means either taking an extreme length of time to iron out any creases, or finding an admin who will stand by for an hour or two. That my friend, is a broken system. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 10:33, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Any "very talented template compiler" sufficiently trustworthy to edit the templates in question should be an administrator.
    When someone is hired to clean a restaurant, a lock isn't placed on the oven to ensure that he/she won't be tempted to do some experimental baking. If someone can't be trusted to mop the kitchen floor without starting a fire, I don't want him/her anywhere near my food. —David Levy 11:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support As someone who has been highly active in the template namespace in the past, [6] I discovered first hand that the {{editprotected}} system does not work very well. Because of how much trouble it is to even get even minor edits made to protected pages, I often don't even bother anymore.

    Templates were originally protected for two reasons. One, before the job queue existed, edits to heavily transcluded templates could cause slowdown problems for the site. Two, to stop vandalism from being transcluded across large numbers of pages. When the protection of templates gets in the way of improving Wikipedia by those of us who have a very firm understanding of templates, then the system is broken.

    Being an admin was also not supposed to be a big deal, however with the current political climate, more often than not the exact opposite seems to be true.

    Just so others can understand my background, I've previously contributed to quite a number of heavily used/high profile templates such as {{Citation/core}}, {{Infobox software}}, etc. I also created the original {{Wikipedia-Books}} template and wrote {{Cite IETF}} after discovering we had no unified way to cite these complex documents. Here is some of the work I did on {{Citation/core}}: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

    Would those making opposes to the proposal here be opposed to me editing these templates? --Tothwolf (talk) 13:43, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

    Even if you were granted 'editprotected' userright, you would still be unable to edit {{Citation/core}} because it is cascade-protected. Ruslik_Zero 15:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Let's go over the list. Is Tothwolf a Admin? No. Does Tothwolf have a history of well founded Template space edits? Yes. Should edit requests from Tothwolf recieve the Spanish Inquisition treatment for changes to templates? No. Should Tothwolf be given the same privilages to edit through full protection as Administrators/Bureaucrats? No. The verdict: While you don't have the authority, an admin who is familiar with the template space should be able to rubber stamp your proposed changes into final work. The delay on implementation is small enough to not be a deadline worthy concern. Hasteur (talk) 16:11, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Rubber stamping doesn't help when there are 1000s of templates which have been protected like this [12] when they need a minor tweak to fix something. Both {{Autopatrolled topicon}} and {{File Mover topicon}} have something amiss with the image size compared with {{Rollback topicon}} and {{Reviewer topicon}} but I see no point in bothering to even figure out what it is when I can't easily edit the templates to fix them. {{editprotected}} is too much trouble for minor things such as this so these days I just tend to ignore them. I'm sure I'm not the only one, either.

    I also should point out that more often than not, {{editprotected}} requests sit there for hours or days before someone is willing to make the edit. The more complex the template, the more this happens. For example, see this edit request for {{Citation/core}} which I also linked above. That code had already been heavily tested in the sandbox/testcases and was ready for use. --Tothwolf (talk) 16:59, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

    Among templates you mentioned above {{File Mover topicon}}, {{Reviewer topicon}} and {{Cite IETF}} are not protected, {{Wikipedia-Books}} is semi-protected and, as I said above, you would not be able to edit {{Citation/core}}, even if you had 'editprotected' userright. Ruslik_Zero 18:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    The protection status of those specific templates isn't the issue being raised here though. The issue is the {{editprotected}} system we have in place isn't working very well and hasn't been for quite some time. (Did it ever?) The current system was never intended to prevent the improvement of Wikipedia, but that is exactly what has begun to happen when those of us who are able to work with template code end up giving up because it tends to be too much trouble to get something done. --Tothwolf (talk) 19:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    Would those making opposes to the proposal here be opposed to me editing these templates?
    That depends. Can you be trusted to possess such a tool without misusing it? —David Levy 17:23, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    That depends how the community defines trust. Wikipedia is currently not defining trustworthy (if that is the lone requirement to be given access to these tools) as "the ability to do what you say you are going to". Right now Wikipedia defines trustworthy as not swearing, NEVER getting into confrontations, and remaining completely civil when douchebags run you ragged. In my eyes, thats being a receiver for a reaming rod. I've never once shown any kind of deceit, just a lack of willingness to cooperate with people who are uncooperative. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:23, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    The community's definition of "trust," whatever that may be, is as applicable to the tool in question as it is to the other sysop permissions. Technical expertise simply doesn't suffice.
    Templates, like pages in other namespaces, are subject to good-faith disputes. If someone has a tendency to not get along well with fellow editors, there's reason for concern that he/she might abuse the tool to gain an advantage over users lacking it (by disregarding their concerns and editing templates in accordance with his/her personal preferences).
    I don't know you well, and I don't mean to imply that this describes you. That would be for the community to decide. And if the community were to determine that you were sufficiently trustworthy, this would apply to all of the sysop permissions.
    You've noted that some RfA respondents apply unreasonable criteria, and I agree. However, I must say that I would be reluctant to support the administrative candidacy of someone who refers to fellow editors as "douchebags." The language doesn't offend me, and I know how frustrating it can be to deal with "people who are uncooperative." Nonetheless, an administrator must exhibit thick skin and considerable patience in order to cope with and avoid escalating the over-the-top conflicts that inevitably arise. It isn't easy, fun or even fair, but it's absolutely essential.
    The same is true of a hypothetical "protected template editor" (for whom "You don't know what you're talking about. Go away." would not be an appropriate response to a good-faith objection, irrespective of its validity or lack thereof), so an identical level of trust would be needed. And if it exists, that individual should simply be an administrator. —David Levy 22:15, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    I don't think minor formatting and cosmetic changes to a few protected templates are all that great an issue. Proposed changes that have gained significant consensus or some deep template coding should be made in batches and tested in /sandbox and /testcases, which are then implemented by a template coder with administrator status (and I'm sure we have a few of those around). Editprotected requests only have to wait a few days (WP:NOTFINISHED); it doesn't have to be done immediately. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 05:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Perhaps ideally, this needn't be decoupled, but RFA involves much too much politics now, shutting out template maintainers with technical expertise. Contrary to what has been suggested, I don't imagine many situations where you can abuse template editing rights all that much. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 01:03, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    Expertise simply isn't the relevant criterion. As noted above, most editors with permission to edit protected templates lack sufficient knowledge to modify complex syntax. Nonetheless, we trust them to act within their capabilities and not harm the wiki. Someone lacking said trust shouldn't be editing protected pages, irrespective of his/her expertise.
    Are you suggesting that good-faith disputes regarding template contents don't arise? —David Levy 02:09, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    While you are correct in that many editors aren't familiar with complex markup and functions, I can't agree with the second part of your statement. In effect what you are saying is we can't trust anyone who does not have the full admin toolkit not to get involved in a content dispute. I don't think any of us can state that everyone with the admin bit has never gotten involved in a content dispute. Your statement also has has the effect of putting those with the admin bit up on a pedestal which is contrary to WP:NOBIGDEAL.

    The "content dispute" argument really isn't the point here anyway, there will always be content disputes everywhere on Wikipedia, irrespective of who holds what permission bits. What's important is how the individuals with whatever permission bits handle potential content disputes. If we are going to unbundle the editing of protected templates or pages from the rest of the admin toolkit, we would still need to figure out how we are going to assign the permission bit to those who can be trusted to use it. With a permission bit such as rollback, if someone makes a habit of misusing it, it tends to be removed. I don't see why this would be any different.

    The point again is the way templates are currently protected prevents people who should otherwise be able to freely edit them from being able to quickly and efficiently make improvements and by extension improve Wikipedia. To take this a step further, by limiting the editing of many templates to administrators only, we are taking something which would otherwise be low-hanging fruit and placing it out of reach by those who should be able to reach it. See Low-hanging fruit and sustainability from the April 2011 Signpost.

    The original reason for full protecting heavily used templates prior to the implementation of the job queue made sense back then, but in many cases it largely doesn't apply today. It still applies to a degree when you have a template transcluded across say 100,000 pages, (See: Wikipedia:Database reports/Templates transcluded on the most pages) because the MediaWiki software still has to rebuild all those pages if the template is edited (invalidating the cached copy), but this is still less of an issue than it once was (WP:DWAP). In a given day we probably have far more cached pages invalidated site-wide by people making minor updates to navigational templates than would be invalidated by updating a commonly transcluded infobox template.

    The second reason, to help prevent disruption across a large number of pages due to template vandalism, does still apply, but it still comes at a collateral cost of preventing editors familiar with template markup from being able to quickly and efficiently update templates to help improve Wikipedia.

    We also currently have the situation where the editing and maintenance of editnotices has been assigned to the accountcreators group because we don't currently have a way to protect these templates while still allowing non-administrators to edit them. This too could be addressed by re-assessing either how we protect templates (perhaps a different level of page protection?) or by unbundling the ability to edit protected templates from the admin toolkit.

    One final note in reply to another comment above, changes I made to templates such as {{Citation/core}} are not exactly "minor formatting and cosmetic changes". When you edit a template such as {{Citation/core}}, you generally try to bundle as many bug fixes and changes into a single update as possible because of how widely the template is transcluded (i.e. make all your incremental changes in a sandbox and test the finished product before updating the real template). You may have a cosmetic fix or two included in the final update, but when I made changes to {{Citation/core}}, I was mainly dealing with bugs which were manifesting while using the various Cite x templates which themselves use {{Citation/core}}. While I agree that such changes must be tested with sandbox/testcases (I even do regression testing for highly complex cases; Template:Cite IETF/regression tests) it really is not appropriate to brush off changes such as those I made to {{Citation/core}} with a statement such as "I don't think minor formatting and cosmetic changes to a few protected templates are all that great an issue." --Tothwolf (talk) 12:00, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

    In effect what you are saying is we can't trust anyone who does not have the full admin toolkit not to get involved in a content dispute.
    No, that isn't even close to what I'm saying.
    I don't think any of us can state that everyone with the admin bit has never gotten involved in a content dispute.
    Content disputes are a normal, everyday occurrence. I'm sure that most (if not all) Wikipedia administrators have taken part. I certainly have.
    The "content dispute" argument really isn't the point here anyway, there will always be content disputes everywhere on Wikipedia, irrespective of who holds what permission bits.
    Of course there will. That's why we strive to ensure that certain participants aren't placed at an unfair disadvantage by opponents who abuse their permissions.
    What's important is how the individuals with whatever permission bits handle potential content disputes.
    Exactly. That's what I was saying above. That's why a particular level of trust is needed; we must be reasonably confident that the tools won't be misused (either intentionally, e.g. in a content dispute, or otherwise). I don't know why you thought that I was claiming that administrators never dispute content with other users.
    Your statement also has has the effect of putting those with the admin bit up on a pedestal which is contrary to WP:NOBIGDEAL.
    No, that's what this proposal does. It relies upon the assumption that adminship is a "big deal." Every rung added to the proverbial ladder serves to further elevate the aforementioned "pedestal."
    Indeed, adminship is supposed to be "no big deal." It isn't an elite club to which only special people can belong. There's no need to separate the tools (apart from those truly requiring less trust, such as rollback) and distribute them to "semi-administrators" (a new class of users whose specialness falls somewhere between that of administrators and mere mortals). Such notions are rubbish.
    Certain functions require a particular level of trust from the community. An administrator is simply a normal editor possessing said trust and a need for one or more sysop tools. Coding expertise, while potentially useful, is not a requirement, nor is it sensible to base any form of "semi-adminship" upon such a criterion. Anyone given permission to edit a protected page must be trusted to do so responsibly (and not do so if his/her understanding is insufficient).
    If we are going to unbundle the editing of protected templates or pages from the rest of the admin toolkit, we would still need to figure out how we are going to assign the permission bit to those who can be trusted to use it.
    Indeed. And my point is that anyone who can be trusted to not misuse the ability to edit protected templates can be trusted with the other sysop permissions (and therefore should be an administrator, assuming that he/she needs and desires one or more of these tools).
    With a permission bit such as rollback, if someone makes a habit of misusing it, it tends to be removed. I don't see why this would be any different.
    The rollback function is significantly less potent/abusable; it merely provides a convenient means (duplicable via scripts) of reverting edits. It can be used inappropriately, but it can't be used to accomplish anything that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
    The point again is the way templates are currently protected prevents people who should otherwise be able to freely edit them from being able to quickly and efficiently make improvements and by extension improve Wikipedia.
    All page protection has this unfortunate side effect. That's why it's of the utmost importance that users able to edit protected pages can be trusted to not use this permission to gain an unfair advantage over users unable to edit them. (This, of course, is not the only aspect of the trust placed in administrators.)
    You go on to explain that some of the original reasons for protecting high-use templates no longer apply, and you suggest that we rethink the manner in which we go about protecting them. In particular, you mention the possibility of creating a new type of template protection. All of this seems reasonable to me. If the current method is outmoded, let's change it. But we should do so by modifying the protection itself, not by devising new ways around it.
    A page's full protection inherently implies that it should not be directly editable (at least for the time being) by users lacking a particular level of trust. If said level of trust isn't needed, the page shouldn't be fully protected. If it is needed, the fact that someone possesses a high level of expertise simply doesn't suffice. (This is equally true of a markup expert seeking to improve a template and an astronomy expert seeking to improve an astronomy-related article protected due to a dispute.) If someone possess said level of trust (and needs and desires one or more sysop tools), he/she should be an administrator. —David Levy 18:48, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Full locking pages that are the frequent target of deliberate vandalism makes sense. Fully locking templates because someone might make a genuine mistake doesn't. If they get it wrong they, or anyone else, can revert it easily and quickly enough. I have found it very irritating that I cannot make simple and sensible changes to a template in my area of expertise because it's locked. I then have to find an admin, who may not understand the subject or template formatting, to make the changes for me. I can see exceptions for some basic and widely used templates that rarely change being locked, but in general full protection should be used sparingly. And, as an aside, whilst "being an admin" is supposed to be "no big deal", "becoming an admin" looks to me like a pretty difficult and bureaucratic process! --Bermicourt (talk) 19:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    You appear to have presented an argument against the application of full protection to the templates in question. I don't see how this relates to the proposal at hand. —David Levy 20:44, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    I can understand how it's related. See this AN/I discussion from September 2010. --Tothwolf (talk) 11:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Unsure. How often is this a problem? For the simple templates, I'm able to make the change. But these days we are getting templates that are incomprehensible and as such, unless you are an expert, making changes without introducing errors can be difficult. While testing in a sand box may find some errors, it may not find all of the errors introduced by a change. The effect is that for some templates you could wind up flushing the cache for 10s of thousands of articles 3 times if you make an error. So having experts in template programming make these changes is justified. Now the question is, does the current system really make getting changes made problematic? I don't know. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:00, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    There's no question that it's helpful to have experts in template programming make these changes, but they must also be sufficiently trustworthy to edit protected pages. Such users should be administrators. —David Levy 21:24, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
    Code becoming incomprehensible is a symptom of two issues, one, limited or no background in how to structure code so that it is readable and maintainable, two, a simple case of too many cooks spoil the broth. Both of these can be mitigated by sticking to a well structured code style, but the majority of Wikipedia's editors aren't going to be familiar with how to structure code.

    It doesn't help that MediaWiki's template markup itself is also pretty much unlike anything else one will find out there. It lacks a lot of the functionality one will find in even some of the smallest programming languages, so it can sometimes require extremely complex code just to accomplish a very simple task. Even indenting and formatting can be difficult because breaking and inserting whitespace in the wrong places will completely break the code.

    I've come to the conclusion that The Practice of Programming really should be prerequisite reading for anyone who is getting serious about programming and code design. The majority of the book is language agnostic with the core of it focusing more on how to write maintainable, well structured code. While the book is easiest applied by someone with at least a limited background in C, the material in the book can be applied to most any programming language, including the template markup used by MediaWiki. --Tothwolf (talk) 12:30, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose at presented, as this is one fine grained right being carved out. I would support a bid to create a new group ('technical boffin'?) which allows the group members to perform the tasks which are primarily technical, such as edit filter manager, edit protected templates, edit interface pages, etc. Scope that out and propose that. There are many people who are technically competent/brilliant but not socially astute and/or don't care to bother with the vague requirements of an RFA. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
    Edit filters can't be oversighted normally like revisions and logs can. "Technical boffin" might have to be held to an even higher standard than adminship. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 08:56, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
    'Junior developer'? ;P "even higher standard than adminship" Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing if this is something which is not bundled as part of the admin toolkit (that is, as long as it didn't turn become yet another bureaucratic political mess). The edit filter permission flag isn't included in the admin group of permissions, but any admin can still add/remove it as needed. --Tothwolf (talk) 13:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
    As Tothwolf has pointed out, we already give 'edit filter' to people who arn't admins. Its a different level of trust, and since any admin can remove the 'edit filter' permission, it is much less permanent that sysop. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:01, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment — This could be useful, as some large proportion of admins do not understand much about templates, and I would hope that most of them mostly stay away from them except mebbe to fulfill editprotected requests. This leaves very few who are both admins and able to edit the high-use templates, and this results in a lot of needful work going undone. This proposed 'bit' certainly should not be one handed out by any mere admin. While we could have a huge bureaucracy about it, a small group (→Plastikspork, Thumperward, && a few others) will know who is right for the task. I've not read all of the above, but get the drift of David Levy's posts; this should be something that any qualified editor can get via RfA, but as is well-known, RfA is a zoo of anybodies and adminship is a Very-Big-Deal. John's boffin-bit would be moar useful to the clueful, of course ;) Barong 07:23, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Creating new user rights is something we should only do if there is a large scale problem that would be rectified by the new right. This looks like a fairly minor problem and one can always use the talk page and/or {{editprotected}} to request an edit be made or request unprotection at WP:RFPP. Beeblebrox (talk) 08:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support (I'll try to make this as tl;dr-frendly as possible and I'll bullet-point it)  —
    • Like Barong said, large amounts of admins don't know a lot about templates. I've seen the same handful of admins fulfilling my editprotected requests for things like putting a TfD notice on a template or a small tweak of a template's code when they could be actually doing something more useful for the template namespace.
    • A lot of people who would benefit from being allowed to edit fully protected templates wouldn't pass RfA simply because they do not have enough work in content creation, myself included (although I wouldn't request this right right away as I still have a bit more to learn about the intricacies of template coding before the community should trust me with the right).
    • I can see the request for the permission going two ways: either a simple thing like requests for rollback or a slightly more complicated process. The latter could still be located at WP:PERM but would involve more than one admin (or an admin + an editor with the editprotectedtemplate right) supporting/opposing the user getting the rights.
    • Since abuse of the ability to be able to edit protected templates can create mass problems and greatly impact server load, the user's contributions as a whole must be taken into account before granting them the permission. Both experience with templates and the likelihood of the user vandalising must be taken into account.
  • Sorry for the long comment :) — Preceding signed comment added by Cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 18:27, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Question[edit]

Are users allowed to curse at other users? Shakinglord (talk) 17:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Not really. Cursing at other users violates WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL, and WP:Etiquette. Blake (Talk·Edits) 17:37, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Warning, LightHearted Answer: Technically, you can curse another user but you cannot do, is put your feelings to Wikipedia "paper", per WP:CIVIL :). If you feel the need to curse, try to remember your reasons for participating, hence WP:FUN Cheers:) Dijcks | InOut 23:24, 7 May 2011 (UTC).
What about cursing a user? (unrelated to post directly above) Like getting a witch to put a curse on them? =p As for cursing at other users, Blake is correct, it's very much frowned upon at gets you a rather stern warning if you do it.. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 23:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
This came up a year or two ago. A user proposed that only "office talk" be used. (they had obviously never worked in an office but that's another story) The page rapidly filled up with more profanity than an N.W.A album, reflecting a fairly clear consensus that users are allowed to "curse." What you should not do is direct insults or threats, using "bad words" or not, at another user. Example: "I'm really fucking sick of this goddamned article." is something you are perfectly free to say. "I fucking hate you and you are a goddamned waste of time" is not, even if the curse words were removed. Adults sometimes use foul language in their everyday speech and there is absolutely not a blanket prohibition on it. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:34, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Ok, its just that two users cursed at me and I wanted to know if they violate wp policy. Shakinglord (talk) 19:43, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

HaHa, good one Sir William! I never thought of that! That just may be a new arrow in my quiver!
But, seriously, if someone does insult you, Shakinglord, you can offer up a friendly warning to keep arguments or debates focused on the content of articles, and not personal attacks. If it keeps happening, you can seek assistance from others using certain dispute processes found at WP:CIVIL, WP:NPA, and then WP:ANI. Try to move the debate back to the subject-matter first, and then go from there if it doesn't work. Remember, you are also held to WP:CIVIL as well, and cannot/should-not provoke insult either! Dijcks | InOut 23:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

How do you merge two lists into an entirely new list?[edit]

The proposal was made, not using a template, that because XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have relaigned their channel numbers so that both services' channels match in the majority of cases, that one list replace the two lists of those services' channels. The lists are List of XM Satellite Radio Channels and List of Sirius Satellite Radio channels. on Talk:List of XM Satellite Radio channels, the proposal was made that the XM list be revised and the separate Sirius information (which, other than historical background, wouldn't be much) be combined with the XM list. I formalized that plan as a proposed move. Someone else came along and removed my move template from the talk page and replaced it with a merge template. But the wording of the merge template is totally illogical, making it look more like a split, suggesting that someone messed up in creating it or messed up in using it. I didn't bother to look at the template but put it in a separate section.

I think I am correct in calling the proposal a move, since the resulting list will be called List of Sirius XM Radio channels. That's a name someone else proposed before my formal proposal. However, it does involve a merge in content, since any separate information from the Sirius list would go in the new one. And yet the person who removed my move template is trying to say this isn't a move at all, but a merge.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:35, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Generally, move the older of the two pages to the new target name: List of XM Satellite Radio channels -> List of Sirius XM Radio channels Then follow Wikipedia:Merging and merge in the content from List of Sirius Satellite Radio stations into List of Sirius XM Radio channels using the correct edit summaries for both pages. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Tothwolf's instructions. The move keeps two page histories, without creating an extra one for the merged page. {{merge}} is an article template, so its wording is confusing when placed on a talk page. I have watchlisted both pages and will be available to assist with merging. Flatscan (talk) 04:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
This situation is a little different in that nearly all the content in both lists is the same. I was hoping no one would update the Sirius list, but someone has, which complicates things. It means someone has done a lot of work for nothing.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:22, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you can history merge two active articles about different subjects. Then the history of the page would jump from on to the other randomly, and it wouldn't seem right. Just decide which one you want to have the main history, and redirect the other to preserve it. Some things just can't co-exist. Blake (Talk·Edits) 19:52, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
These are lists, and they're not different. XM and Sirius have realigned their channel numbers so that in most cases, the channel numbers are the same. That's why there only needs to be one merged list.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, they were different. I just mean you can't merge their history together because the revisions from article A and B would interlock and look like "ABBABABBAABBABABAABB", whereas if you merge similar subjects from an old and new article,(history merge of an old redirect or something) it would be "AAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBB".
I am not sure if that is the problem here though, and whether you were actually planning on history merging it. If not, just move the bigger, more prominent subject, and then redirect the smaller, less important one. Blake (Talk·Edits) 20:33, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
As Blake explained above, the histories of the two pages cannot be merged. One page will be turned into a redirect and the history of that page will be preserved behind the redirect. I generally then use {{Merged-from}} and {{Merged-to}} templates on the two talk pages and {{R from merge}} on the redirect page. See: Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves#Parallel versions. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I confused things with my mention of "page history", but I think we're all describing a normal (non-history) merge. I'll take care of {{Copied}} tags. Flatscan (talk) 04:05, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The proposal wasn't a formal one but it was on the Talk:List of XM Satellite Radio channels page, and I just formalized it. I didn't say anything about page history here (I misread what Blake said) but someone was trying to change this into a merger of two pages into a totally different one. I think this person wanted both pages to redirect with {{R from merge}} as content and {{Copied}} tags on the destination page. I just wanted to make sure one page had all the content at the end. Tothwolf and Flatscan have interpreted my desire correctly.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:12, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Just in case others are experiencing it[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNNMoney.com, from 208.80.152.75 via sq63.wikimedia.org (squid/2.7.STABLE7) to () Error: ERR_CANNOT_FORWARD, errno [No Error] at Tue, 10 May 2011 17:55:56 GMT Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:57, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Is it possible to deal with biography problems in articles that are not biographies?[edit]

The Taringa! article states that Hernán and Matías Botbol were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement. Enza a manif (talk) 22:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Biographies of living people policy applies everywhere. It doesn't have to be in what is considered a biographical article. I have removed the whole legal issues section because the one source did not mention the Botbol's at all as far as I could tell. GB fan (talk) 22:55, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I relooked and the source does confirm the information in the article, I reverted myself and put the paragraph back in. GB fan (talk) 23:01, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is losing its freedom and policy of "Anyone can Edit" mantra[edit]

Over the past few years, the freedom awarded to Wikipedia contributors has been slowly eroded. We now see multiple threats and warnings displayed on discussion pages, and there are the self-righteous veterans who have made it their duty to enhance their own causes by deleting others' work.

Articles are now often locked up; often, people find very few articles where they can even make their writing heard because of the intense fireball of criticism and non-openness projected by veteran Wikipedians. The sheer mass of threats and anger projected at new users has been discouraging new ones from joining; they are bombarded with messages, angry responses from other users, etc....pushing them to leave.


I believe we should eliminate the hosh-posh that has contaminated this encyclopedia and return it to the past policy of openness maintained before people began trying to lock articles and better their own online reputations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nbarile18 (talkcontribs) 19:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Can you provide an example regarding the loss of openness? SMP0328. (talk) 19:48, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Articles are locked only when experienced users believe that many new users do nothing but degrade the article. Usually, locking only happens on huge articles which most of the time are GA or FA already, and do not need much editing. Chances are, if a new user wants to edit a Good Article, it's for the wrong reasons. They are "bombarded with messages" only when they don't listen to reason, and continue to edit articles incorrectly. If the edits are in good faith, then editors should not be giving them angry responses. Blake (Talk·Edits) 19:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the most obvious examples are 2011 Libyan civil war and Death of Osama bin Laden. Admittedly, these are controversial articles but what annoys me is that there have even been attempts to discourage discussion on the talk pages. Biscuittin (talk) 19:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, because wikipedia is not a forum. Apparently you have been told this several times [13] already, so I am not sure why it needs to be repeated yet again. Nbarile18 also doesn't seem to understand we are not a forum to vent his opinions. Yoenit (talk) 22:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The purpose of a talk page is to discuss information, and get other people's views on it, before it is put into the article. This information will often include personal opinions but these will be filtered out before the information goes into the article. If you rigidly exclude personal opinions from the talk page then there is no point in having a talk page - you might as well put the information straight in the article without any prior discussion. Biscuittin (talk) 23:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
People have been making this charge for years now, but the OP was still somehow able to start an account just three weeks ago, and has contributed to nine unique pages so far, so it can't be completely locked down.
Looking at the contributions, I'd guess that the semi-protection on Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories is another sore point. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
So basically, back when anyone was free to post that John Siegenthaler conspired to kill Kennedy? –MuZemike 16:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Always wondered why that was suddenly put in place. That is a great story though and my night is now complete, lol. It's nice to have some anarchy, but not too much. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 00:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

I've also noticed that today it is has become harder to successfully contribute to Wikipedia today than it was in 7 years ago, when I started. Today, quite often my contributions are reverted, blocked, or warning messages are attached to them by other overzealous (?) editors, enforcing more and more beaurocracy in the editing process. Some examples include:

  1. Images which I've uploaded as "fair use", or even with permission of owner, have often been deleted because I wasn't vigilant enough to "defend" them when somebody brought a complaint that they may not be free use.
  2. An article I wrote about a company was labeled "advertising", despite not being that at all.
  3. In text I wrote, other people added "warnings" like "citation needed" and "by who?", even when this doesn't make sense (e.g., "citation needed" where I say something a book, in the article about the book itself).
  4. The whole concept of citation, which is relatively new to Wikipedia (didn't exist when I started editing), makes creating a new article much more difficult, and goes against the original concept of Wikipedia (which was that user A does his best to collect all the facts he finds into an article, and user B can correct some facts if he finds them to be incorrect).

Perhaps it makes sense that as Wikipedia ages, it becomes harder and harder to add new content - after all, today, much of the content that is worthy appearing is already in Wikipedia - this is completely different from the situation 7 years ago. Perhaps today Wikipedia should indeed make it harder to edit, and not anyone should be allowed to edit. But maybe this decision should be made de-jure, not just a de-facto. Nyh (talk) 11:40, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The whole issue can be summarized easily that WP has moved from an open Eternal September newcomer model, where at the time it was tolerated when users popped in and contributed despite their contributions not being to the same up-to-snuff speed as experienced editors, to a model where we encourage new editors to lurk and understand the machinations of WP before making significant contributions. Nearly every complaint in this thread is the type of issue that could have been avoided by reading policy and guidelines to understand today's expected interaction from new users. It doesn't prevent anyone from editing the work, just that they either need to spend the 15 minutes to understand this, or expect that their contributions will be challenged if its not to the current community standards. --MASEM (t) 12:58, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
WP has become a mean place, particularly for newer editors, and more than necessary to protect the integrity of the content and articles. The Wikimedia board has recognized that, and set the direction that we make progress in that area. It can be done. North8000 (talk) 13:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not just hard for new users. I gave as an example myself, who is by no means a new user - I've made around 2,000 edits since October 2003. Even I find it hard to keep up with all the policies and procedures that have appeared in Wikipedia over time. Also, even when I do adhere to all the rules and policies (or so I think), every once in a while somebody "declares" things I have done as advertising, worthy of deletion, and worse - which is a seriously putting me off from contributing to Wikipedia. Today it seems that editors are just as busy trying to delete things - images which they suspect of maybe not being free (even when I say I took the picture myself), articles which they suspect "non-notable" (even when we're talking about a known singer, with many mentions on the web and books, and CDs being sold), or of being "advertising" (just because an article is about a company, doesn't mean it looks like advertising). Nyh (talk) 06:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Images are a unique case, because the Foundation has required us to maintain strong requirements for images and remove those that fail those; like BLP, it is the closest thing we have to a "law" on WP. But this still comes down to the fact that we expect editors to keep up to speed on current policies and guidelines, erring on the side of removing contributions if they don't met the bare minimum requirements. Again, it is not saying you can't edit WP even if you are an infrequent contributor, but if you find one of your additions removed, you should try to read up and ask questions to understand why it was removed before adding it again or similar additions elsewhere. --MASEM (t) 13:07, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Responding to Nyh, I've run across people who delete a lot who are truly protecting/improving Wikipedia, and other deletionists who are sociopaths who have found heaven here, where everybody is given a badge and a gun, and policies which are written so sloppily that they must be often violated, so sociopath can victimize anyone that they care to with immunity. Like my suppressed other half User:TheParasite Plus, of course, cases that are in between. It IS a mean place. North8000 (talk) 13:24, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

RfC on archiving citations[edit]

Dead links
Articles with dead external links

There has been a recent growth in dead external links, which led to a citation archiving proposal. It proposes implementing link archiving using the tools that the French Wikipedia currently uses. This would start with a single article and category as a test, after which broader input would be requested on whether and how to proceed with a wiki-wide implementation. Comments and suggestions are welcome. – SJ + 23:07, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Useful for the project, but I don't know much about the finances behind it. Personally, I'd say it would help reduce the number of AfDs and other problems related to link rot. The main problems behind it would be:
  • The cost for hosts and servers.
  • Possible copyright concerns.
  • The ability to actually back everything up. That would bots / editors galore, I think.
These would have to be dealt with before such a policy could be implemented. Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
All of these issues have already been dealt with. Wikiwix already provides this service to the French Wikipedia and is volunteering to provide it to us. The hosting is not done by the WMF, so the community does not have to deal with copyright complaints. Websites that opt out of archiving from other services (Internet archive) won't be archived. The people behind Wikiwix have said that it would take a few weeks to archive all the existing links, then it would add links by following recentchanges. The infrastructure already exists from the French Wikipedia. Mr.Z-man 16:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If these have been dealt with to the community's satisfaction, then I say "Two stars to the right and straight on 'til morning." (Let's go for it.) Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:22, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe that the graph provided is quite misleading. It is not representative of an increase in dead links, but an increase in the labeling of dead links using {{dead link}}. It is certainly true that current archiving tools (WebCitation.org and Archive.org) are not fully adequate, but I do not think that WikiMedia creating a cache mirror of the slice of the internet that we reference is the proper solution. Rather, we should work with existing tools to improve and/or revise their coverage and functionality. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:08, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikiwix is not operated by Wikimedia. It is an existing tool, just not one that we currently use. Mr.Z-man 16:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the correction. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Didn't we have a bot tagging dead links, right about the time that the number of tagged links in the graph spiked? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:53, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Notability of local level elections[edit]

Could there possibly be a clearer policy on the notability of local elections? As of now, there are niḓne local election results by year up for deletion at the AfD (Disclosure:That I listed). This kind of thing brings up a question: just what is notable for elections? Should we have clearer standards for notability, perhaps a policy? To quote User:PWilkinson, who explained it much more clearly:

". . . there doesn't appear to be a notability criterion for elections at the moment but, if and when one is drawn up, most English local authority elections might well be deemed too local for general notability, at least at this level of detail. However, Wikipedia has hundreds, possibly thousands, of these articles and, for elections even three or four years back, they are often the only publicly-available source of the information that I know of - the trouble is that detailed results are usually easy to source reliably at the time from the website of the relevant local authority or from local newspapers, but both suffer from link-rot and/or lack of reliable searchable long-term archives. And I seem to be far from the only person who finds the information occasionally useful, for as far back (and further than) Wikipedia has it and for local authorities all over Britain (and sometimes the world). So the points that need to be sorted are, firstly, what the notability guidelines should be and, secondly, what can be done, preferably in an orderly and reasonably uniform manner, towards preserving any information determined to be too local for them and free access to it, presumably off Wikipedia, and preferably with semi-standardised links from here (something like happens with IMDB?). But this is the kind of thing that is not going to be sortable in the single week of an AfD discussion. PWilkinson"

(Please note that I am quoting PWilkinson because of how well he explained it. I do not intend to claim to represent him or his views).
I believe this merits further discussion, as any results of a policy change would have far-reaching repercussions. Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:25, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps. The problem is that such elections have a couple problems (in my opinion). First, WP:EVENT (specifically WP:DIVERSE, WP:EFFECT, and WP:GEOSCOPE) seems to indicate that the only elections that pass notability are those with national coverage and significant, lasting, wide-area effects. Secondly, per my interpretation of WP:DIRECTORY articles that are just a list of who ran, who won, which seats, and so on are a violation of WP:NOT. Finally, [{WP:GNG]] states that ""Presumed" means that significant coverage in reliable sources establishes a presumption, not a guarantee, that a subject is suitable for inclusion. Editors may reach a consensus that although a topic meets this criterion, it is not appropriate for a stand-alone article;" it is possible that such elections may pass WP:LISTN but not be notable enough for a stand-alone article. Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree so - Firstly there are no local election articles in England which do not at least have some coverage of the results on a national level. Secondly these elections almost always elect people to 4 year terms giving a lasting impact on the area. Thirdly the elections are discussed with the impact that local election results have nationally (so and so party did well here so could pick up the parliamentary seat, will win/lose the next national election, etc). When WP:EVENT was being written supporters of the guideline assured an opponent that Pittsburgh mayoral election, 2009 would be ok if the guideline was accepted Wikipedia talk:Notability (events)/Archive 2#Request for Comments. Fourthly I fail to see how any of the items at WP#NOTDIR apply to elections and wikipedia specifically includes "elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers" with elections being a topic for almanac. Fifthly if your interpretation of WP:DIRECTORY is accepted then we cannot have any election results such as Results by riding of the Canadian federal election, 2011, I do not accept such articles are directories. Finally yes WP:N says articles with significant coverage are presumed to be notable, previous AFDs have accepted this such as Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kettering Council election, 2007, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Birmingham Council election, 2008 and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Stevenage Council election, 2003 showing there is definitely no consensus that the presumption that they are notable should be ignored. As seen by comments at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Politics of the United Kingdom editors in relevant wikiprojects discuss these articles without any argument they should be deleted (indeed there was a proposal back a while at a wikiproject that parish elections were ok to cover which I think goes too far). Apologies for the length of comment but I do not see why these articles should be deleted. (Others seem to agree, just in the last day another 2 articles have been started on English local elections - not by me). Davewild (talk) 07:35, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
No problem about the length, this is too important to tl;dr (Side note: Strange verb, that one is :-) ). After seeing the strong opinions both here and at the deletion nominations (Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow) I think that listing elections as usual Keeps at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes may be enough. However, I still question the need for individual articles on local elections when they could be grouped by decade and stay within the length suggestions. Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:59, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
As a general rule, I'd put information about local elections in the article about the local area. That is, Smallville#Elections or even Elections in Smallville, covering the entire history of elections in that local area, are better options than individual articles on each and every election date (Smallville elections in Spring 2009, Smallville elections in Fall 2009, Smallville elections in Spring 2010, Smallville special election (June 2010), Smallville elections in Fall 2010, Smallville elections in Spring 2011). (And, yes, people in my town have been at the polls an average of three times a year for the last decade.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:05, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
That's only because the council members keep quitting instead of dealing with cleaning up after all those supervillain attacks. oknazevad (talk) 03:59, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Are conspiracy theory articles "encyclopedic"?[edit]

Recently when editing articles at Osama bin Laden and perusing "Death of Osama bin Ladin", I came across [Death of Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theories]. Are these types of articles considered factual encyclopedic content? Or are they editorial embellishment? IMO, these articles represent theories (not scientific), that usually represent a very small cross section of individuals who seek notoriety, or seek to create sensationalism. It seems to me that actual conspiracy theories have a place, such as "The conspiracy to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln" for example, but weakly sourced limited exposure-type of conspiracy theories may not have a valid place. Dijcks | InOut 22:59, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

The existance of things which are themselves not true doesn't mean that Wikipedia doesn't have articles on them. Wikipedia has articles about UFOs(though they don't exist), the Moon landing conspiracy theories(though man really walked on the moon), Homeopathy(though it doesn't work), etc. The key is not whether, say, any of these falsehoods is the truth, but whether the falsehood, as a phenomenon, is notable. Wikipedia should not report noted falsehoods as though they were true, but it can (and should) report on their existence, insofar as there is enough source material. --Jayron32 04:06, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Just to split hairs a bit, one cannot say the UFOs don't exist. That people have seen things in the sky that they can't identify is a basic fact. That they can be explained as extraterrestrial phenomenon is the part that's got no proof. oknazevad (talk) 19:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Let me try to splice the hair before some folk spiral this out ... Wikipedia does not take a stand as an encyclopedia on the truth or falsehood of something like Bigfoot, God or Reality. As an encyclopedia, it presents our present understanding and our present suppositions as reported in reliable sources; this is the very core of the notion of 'neutral point of view' and distinguishes verifiability from 'truthiness'. Individual editors need never abandon their beliefs, but must collaborate with other editors who sometimes hold diametrically opposed beliefs or beliefs which make the 'truth' of opposing beliefs to be impossible as a tenet of their existence. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:09, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
And don't forget, you need to also deal with all the various hypothesis according to WP:WEIGHT according to how prominent they are, etc. Say Shalom! 04:05, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks all, for the input. There's some good advice here, particularly in regard to Wikipedia's policies of what can exist (which I'm learning as I go along), such as notability, neutral POV, and importantly, proper weight of certain content. Of concern in my OP, weight regarding the theory in the main-article "Osama bin Laden, but does have its place. The theory article seems to be holding its own however, at AfD. Dijcks | InOut 15:04, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

What is the diff for a newly created article?[edit]

If the {{copied}} template asks for a diff, there obviously isn't one if the split content is the only content in the article.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Is this what you are talking about? Blake (Talk·Edits) 18:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
When you go into the history, hit the date for the first (and only) entry. Like this one:[14] 86.146.22.108 (talk) 18:57, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I think the number at the end is what the template requires.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:05, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
That permanent link is correct. &diff=prev can be added, e.g. [15], which adds a hint that it is the first revision. Flatscan (talk) 04:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Fixing non-broken redirects[edit]

Hi, I'm looking some advice on the precise application of WP:NOTBROKEN. I interpret it as meaning, "Don't go out specially to fix links to working redirects, because they really don't do any harm, especially non-piped links such as Franklin Roosevelt." However, I've recently come across an editor who reverts on sight any fixes of working redirects, and I feel sure that this isn't right – while the fix may not have been necessary, at worst it does no harm whatsoever, and I can't imagine that reverting that sort of thing is appropriate, offering no advantage or benefit whatsoever. In the particular case I have in mind, the reverting was done twice [16] [17] which strikes me as being doubly wrong.
So basically, what do people think: should WP:NOTBROKEN 'violations' be reverted? Or isn't it that sort of guideline? ╟─TreasuryTagestoppel─╢ 14:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I think you may have missed the point of NOTBROKEN. It's trying to talk you out of doing what you did. Redirects are particularly useful in the case of variant spellings. Assuming that Henry Avery was the spelling given by the sources for the article you were editing, it should be linked as Henry Avery rather than Henry Avery. That kind of change is never positive, and sometimes (as in this case) slightly negative. I would have reverted too. Ntsimp (talk) 15:11, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I only did it the second time. The first time it was someone who probably hadn't read the guideline, and since their edit did no harm in this case, I think that reverting was BITEy and pointless. I won't say disruptive, but it certainly had no conceivable benefit to Wikipedia. ╟─TreasuryTagRegional Counting Officer─╢ 15:18, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Since the first reversion also did no harm and linked to the guideline, why would you undo it in the first (second) place with no conceivable benefit to Wikipedia, and with an edit summary that you were "fixing" it when it's not broken? That seems more pointlessly warry. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Then report me to WP:AN3. I'm asking a simple policy-based question here, and if you aren't going to provide a simple policy-based answer, then you probably shouldn't be commenting here. If an edit which technically violates WP:NOTBROKEN does literally no harm, does policy say that it should be reverted? ╟─TreasuryTagballotbox─╢ 15:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Curious. Why are you here instead of at WP:AN3 then, if you think Xeworlebi is warry? You asked here, I responded here. That I didn't agree with you is not a good reason to broaden your targets. Ntsimp and I did give you a policy-based answer: you shouldn't have reverted the Xeworlebi's edit. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:49, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

In some cases, such as subjects merged to a list, I have seen many times where instead of [[Subject]], the redirect was bypassed and sent directly to [[List of Subject#Subject|Subject]]. Then, when the subject gets split back off the list, all redirect "fixes" have to be changed back to "[[Subject]]". This causes more work then necessary. Also, there are problems where a list changes format, or a section title gets renamed. Then instead of just fixing "[[Subject]]"'s redirect, which fixes all links to it, you have to change ALL INSTANCES of "[[List of Subject#Subject|Subject]]" to "[[List of Subject#Other Subject|Subject]]"... Blake (Talk·Edits) 15:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

You say you know this should not be done, you even bolded that part in your comment on my talk page, so what possible reason did your revert have? Just to spite me? WP:NOTBROKEN says links should not be piped just to avoid redirects, and lists several reasons why. The only way to do that is by reverting when someone does. I see this guideline for its end-result, links not being piped to avoid redirects, not that users should avoid doing it but that it shouldn't be. Xeworlebi (talk) 15:41, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

The point is, the initial 'fix' did no harm whatsoever so reverting it was pointless. So why was it reverted? ╟─TreasuryTagbelonger─╢ 15:49, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
So that more editors can learn WP:R#NOTBROKEN. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
IMO the edit did do (slight) harm. As I said, the link should be to the spelling the sources give, even if that's not the title of our article. Ntsimp (talk) 16:15, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that [[Franklin Roosevelt]] is preferable to [[Franklin D. Roosevelt|Franklin Roosevelt]]. It keeps the article text shorter and easier to scan and edit. I might go so far to simplify a piped link (i.e. to revert a change such as the one you made) if there are several links in a paragraph that were long and confusing when piped. Having said that, I think I disagree with Ntsimp; since there could be an article on someone called Henry Avery as a different person to Henry Every, then I would explicitly pipe the link even if no such article existed. Henry Avery might well be replaced with a disambig page, whereupon the redirect would break. — PhilHibbs | talk 15:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Future ambiguity will break things every time, whether WP:R#NOTBROKEN is observed or not. Henry Every might one day be a disambiguation page, in which case the links would break but links to the redirect would only need to have the redirect updated, not all of the links to the redirect. We can't avoid all fixes to future Wikipedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:57, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Nonetheless, there is a reason to make the change in this instance, which there is not for Franklin Roosevelt. I would say that in this case it is a justifiable change. Ah, I see now that this is not just a for-example, it is in fact the very case that sparked this discussion. Tricky! I thought I was arguing against the OP, now I appear to be on his side. That was unexpected. — PhilHibbs | talk 16:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I should clarify that whilst I disagree in this instance, I accept the consensus in WP:R#NOTBROKEN. Sorry, User:TreasuryTag, I recommend that you just accept it as well. — PhilHibbs | talk 16:34, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I accept the consensus in WP:R#NOTBROKEN – so do I, but my point is, that guideline merely says that these fixes shouldn't really ideally be done in the first place, not that they should be reverted on sight even if harmless. ╟─TreasuryTagActing Returning Officer─╢ 16:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You can't start future proofing Wikipedia like that. Maybe someone else will come along named Franklin Roosevelt, and maybe this person will become so well known and so notable that Franklin Roosevelt becomes the disambiguating page instead of a redirect, in which case all links would need to be changed. Same for Henry Every, it might be moved, in which case we only need to change the redirect. Trying to future proof Wikipedia like that is a hopeless task, we can't predict the future, any piping "fixing" you do might end up being more work in the future, there is no point in doing it. We edit links, move pages, disambiguate articles when it is required to, not because it might be necessary in the future. But anyway, WP:NOTBROKEN says it shouldn't be done. Xeworlebi (talk) 16:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
This isn't relevant to the particular dispute in hand, but I occasionally see "helpful" people bypassing redirects from shortcuts in advice pages, which I think is generally a bad idea.
Specifically, shortcuts to sub-sections of advice pages should be left alone, because section headings change fairly often, but the shortcuts are always and promptly updated to point to the new section heading. I don't object to someone turning WP:V into "Wikipedia:Verifiability", but something like WP:MINREF should not be expanded to "Wikipedia:Inline citation#When you must use inline citations". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. This is what I stated above. Directly linking to articles may be ok, but directly linking to sections is not ok, because if a section changes, then it breaks. Blake (Talk·Edits) 17:43, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Blake is correct that redirects are greatly helpful for linking to sections since you only have to update the redirect if the section if moved or spun out to another article. Additionally, redirect pages contain information about the redirect, so other editors can (now) see that Henry Avery is a misspelling. —Ost (talk) 20:52, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, in this particular case it's not a question of misspelling as much as an example of spelling not being standardized in the 17th century. But that's splitting hairs.
As for TreasuryTag's original question: I think that there are several related points which could be unpacked here.
  1. I think everyone is in agreement on the main point of WP:NOTBROKEN, which is that if an article has a link to a redirect, there's no need to "fix" it by changing the link to a piped link.
  2. The next question is what the proper response is when an editor who is ignorant of WP:NOTBROKEN (or who disagrees with it) makes such an edit. I'd suggest that the best course of action is to drop a note on that editor's user talk page pointing them to WP:NOTBROKEN, but letting the edit stand. The underlying question here is whether the rationale behind WP:NOTBROKEN is that redirects are preferred in some cases, or that there is little or no difference in value between a redirect and a piped link. I suggest that it's the latter; although WP:NOTBROKEN does give some examples of why a redirect might be better than a piped link in some circumstances, I think the added utility is vanishingly small. Basically, it's not worth an editor's time to make the change in either direction.
  3. Taking this to the next level, I think we all can agree that edit warring over whether a link should be a redirect or a piped link is particularly pointless and counter-productive.
If we all agree on these three points (and please correct me if we don't), the next question is whether the wording at WP:REDIRECT needs to be changed or clarified in order to avoid mini-conflicts like this in the future. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:45, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with these three points, and think that something to that effect should be added into WP:NOTBROKEN because I for one do not think it is clear as it stands. ╟─TreasuryTagAfrica, Asia and the UN─╢ 16:49, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
One more point (which I was going to add as an afterthought, but had an edit conflict with TreasuryTag):
  • We can ask whether a piped link or link to redirect is preferred in the first place. Personally, I think the question is value-neutral, like whether it's better to format dates as "13 May 2011" or "May 13, 2011" — either is fine, as long as the article is consistent, and you shouldn't "fix" one to the other. In short, if you see a piped link or a redirect, as long as what's displayed to the reader is correct and the link goes where it's supposed to, then leave it alone.
Please consider that as point 4 in my list above. Thanks! —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:55, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
An article needn't be consistent. Some redirects are better linked than their targets ("(disambiguation)" redirects, redirects with possibilities, redirects that target sections, etc.). Some targets as better linked than some of their redirects (R from misspelling, for instance, when the misspelling is not in a quotation). Neither should be changed to the other out of a desire for consistency. Adding: and so I disagree that the guidelines should make any prohibition against reverting edits counter to WP:NOTBROKEN. Edit warring should be avoided, yes, and there's WP:BRD for that; (1) "fix" not-broken redirect (2) another editor reverts (3) discuss if there is continued claim for benefit of "fixing" it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:15, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Good point — I didn't mean to suggest that an article needed to be consistent in its use of piped links vs. redirects, just trying to be accurate in my representation of the date format question. The point I was trying to make was that just as you shouldn't change one date format to the other, you shouldn't change a piped link to a redirect or vice-versa; either way, it's pointless and a waste of time. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:24, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
And I still differ slightly. "Fixing" a redirect with a piped link to the target article without any change to how the text is displayed is pointless and a waste of time. Replacing a piped link with the redirect is sometimes useful, even if it doesn't change the displayed text (e.g., for "(disambiguation)" redirects, redirects with possibilities, redirects that target sections, etc.) and so is not pointless or a waste of time. And pointing other editors to WP:NOTBROKEN in the edit summary is useful in hleping editors learn about the guideline (or should be, as long as they don't then turn around and immediately revert the reversion on sight). -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:52, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

My opinion is simple: we have the "not broken" thing, but we can also infer a "not(not(not broken))". If the redirect works, there's no need to fix it, but... if someone actually fix it, and the result works equally well, it would even less advisable to revert or even edit war about it. By the way, remember to check first: links to redirects don't need to be fixed, but links to disambiguations do. [[Franklin Roosevelt]] may be an acceptable link when mentioning the US president, but [[Roosevelt]] is not. And a redirect may had been turned into a disambiguation (for example, if there was an article only about FDR, and someone else creates the others listed at "Roosevelt"), and then the links that used to be acceptable are no longer OK and have to be fixed Cambalachero (talk) 17:50, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

And remember why is there such a "not broken" rule in the first place. The idea is that an edit that "fixes" redirects, without further edits, is an edit that doesn't really change anything and consumes resources pointlessly. But the same can be said about a reversion of such an edit. An edit that doesn't change anything, and its reversion, is not zero edits, it's two edits. Changing Franklin Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt is pointless, but changing Franklin D. Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt is equally pointless Cambalachero (talk) 18:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Unless the "fix" had an actual reduction of utility (e.g., for "(disambiguation)" redirects, redirects with possibilities, redirects that target sections, etc.). Changing [[Demographics of Baker Island]] to [[Baker Island|Demographics of Baker Island]] should be undone, so that when or if Demographics of Baker Island becomes an article instead of the redirect, it will be properly linked. And every edit that replaces [[X (disambiguation)]] with [[X|X (disambiguation)]] should be undone, because the editors repairing links to disambiguation pages can immediately tell that the former is an intentional link to a disambiguation page. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:19, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


I completely disagree that that's the reason (or at least the best reason). In fact, redirects are better than pipes in almost all circumstances. Replacing a pipe by a redirect is an improvement. The reasons are various but basically boil down to the principle of least surprise. --Trovatore (talk) 20:22, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Citation templates— anchors[edit]

I have been working on User:Gadget850/Citation templates— anchors. Should this be moved into Wikipedia space somewhere so it can be used and updated? ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:52, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

{{Cite IETF}} also supports anchors. It supports both CITEREF for harv type shortened footnotes as well as |ref=ietf for a system specifically for these documents. There are many live examples on the template's documentation page. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:52, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I have only included the general templates. {{Cite IETF}} is one of hundreds of specific-source templates, many of which have no commonality in style or use. {{Cite IETF}} is also documented as "for testing purposes only". ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 01:26, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I marked it as "for testing purposes only" back when I wrote it. I still need to fix a couple of minor things before I'd really consider it ready for wide-scale use, although there is nothing wrong with using it as-is for now either. --Tothwolf (talk) 01:59, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I mistakenly posted this to Policy— moved to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Citation templates— anchors. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 01:32, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Should passing WP:RFA be a prerequisite for being granted CU or OS rights ?[edit]

Addendum (March 2013) : As per this declaration, the WMF requires a RFA or RFA-identical process for being granted rights with access to deleted revisions, including explicitly OS and implicitly CU (which has viewdeleted rights since that RFC). As such, this RFC is not applicable as is.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Result: Passing RFA is not considered a pre-requisite to being granted CU or OS rights. --Errant (chat!) 19:05, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
  • To my reading this RFC ran with an overwhelming "no". There were a couple of strong "yes" arguments - not least the point that RFA implies the candidate is trustworthy and has the support of the community. I felt that this was well responded to by the "no" counter-points. The other strong argument was that RFA is a process that exposes an editor to intense scrutiny, more intense than, say, Arbcom. I gave a lot of weight to these !votes because I didn't think the "no's" were able to completely respond to that concern. However the overriding feeling of the community seems to be that more closely associating the positions of CU/OS with that of Sysop is not the right move forward and that Arbcom are well placed to make a sensible decision on which editors to grant the rights to. --Errant (chat!) 19:05, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Related discussion: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Make userrights self-sufficient

The question has been raised occasionally, and as of now it's not a requirement, but recent events brought this back on the table, and subsequent discussion indicate that a clarification on the issue would be desirable. The question of this RFC is: Should adminship, obtained via WP:RFA, be a requirement for being granted checkuser or oversight rights by the arbitration committee ? This excludes CU/OS rights acquired through arbcom elections (this would have to be considered in another RFC). Cenarium (talk) 23:36, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Actually, let's make this much simpler:

1. Is adminship a pre-requisite for appointment to advanced permissions?

2. If adminship is not a pre-requisite for appointment to advanced permissions, how shall non-admin functionaries be given the ability to view deleted revisions?

  • a) adding the necessary permissions to checkuser and oversight bundles
  • b) creating a new userright that includes the viewdeleted permissions

Risker (talk) 00:00, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I would prefer that we leave question 2. for later as it would be a valid question in either case since 1. should exclude arbs. Cenarium (talk) 00:14, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I've initiated a separate discussion on the technical aspects at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Make userrights self-sufficient. –xenotalk 15:18, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, election to adminship or the Arbitration Committee should be a requirement for access to CU/OS access and the functionaries list—rather than allowing the ArbCom to appoint anyone it chooses—for two reasons: (1) the fewer eyes are on a candidate, the greater the chance of an error being made; and (2) the tools should be handed out only if needed, and an editor who isn't an active admin working in areas where they're useful, or isn't member of the ArbCom, has no need for them. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:08, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Adminship is not an election, or so we keep being told. More particularly, there is nothing in the RFA process that vets users as potential checkusers or oversighters. Do I take it from your comments that you have no objections to having the toolkit realigned so that there is no barrier to non-admin arbitrators? Risker (talk) 00:12, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Please leave the toolkit for anther RFC, it's not urgent in any case and risks conflating the issues. Cenarium (talk) 00:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Risker, I think we should cross that bridge when we come to it. We've never had a non-admin elected to ArbCom. If we do, the community would be saying it had no objections to that person being given CU/OS access too (Foundation rules permitting). SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:22, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, according to Cenarium on the Arbitration Committee noticeboard, since the community hadn't explicitly been asked if it was okay to change the toolkits, we'd have to go through this then. Better to discuss this once and get it over with. Risker (talk) 00:36, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
See cmt above, it's better to clarify the policy issue first. The technical issue remains in either case. Cenarium (talk) 01:02, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Just a note about the RfC bot: I believe it posts everything before the first signature, so anything after that won't be part of the RfC. I've therefore moved Risker's comment into the next section. Hope that's okay. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
No it's not okay, and I have reverted you. I agree there is value in having an RFC about this, but it is very disrespectful to the community to force them to have to revisit issues over and over. Risker (talk) 00:33, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
As I said, it's a bot issue. The RfC will be posted elsewhere as the post before the first signature. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:52, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I've moved Risker's cmt because I don't see how it makes things simpler to have three questions instead of one, not mention what 'advanced permission' means, or 'functionaries', 'view-deleted', etc. Cenarium (talk) 01:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps because it would be best to discuss it once, rather than two or three times? Could we move this to a separate page? The village pump's purpose should typically be to point to (or transclude) the relevant discussion, not to house it entirely. –xenotalk 02:37, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
This is standard practice at VPR, and also very common at VPT. I don't think there's a need for a separate page. I suggest to later make the proposal for the change in permissions at VPR. Cenarium (talk) 12:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't see a need to draw this out over a period of months. I am drafting a separate page for the technical implementation. –xenotalk 13:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Not months, just wait that this discussion concludes so that we're fixed on this issue. But seriously, this is a minor technical change, there's no need for a RFC on a separate page, VPR is largely enough. Cenarium (talk) 13:33, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see the two questions as inextricable. As you know, there is now a parallel discussion on the technical change here. –xenotalk 18:29, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No, there are level headed, thoughtful, experienced users that I'd be more than willing to trust with advanced permissions that simply won't run through RfA. He might kill me for using him as an example, but I think of Chzz in these situations. Chzz is a highly dedicated and competent user, AfC would probably disintegrate into mush without him, he runs several smaller operations which most people will never see but which do a lot of good for the project, and he'll just about help anyone with anything if you ask him too. In short, he's an ideal wikipedian. He, however, is too afraid of the monster that RfA has become to go through it. Wikipedia shouldn't prevent good, talented people from acquiring advanced permissions just because they don't feel a desire to run through hell week. Being a checkuser is more about technical knowledge than it is about being able to protect pages. Serving on a committee to investigate abuse is more about trusting the committee members than it is about blocking. Admin and AUSC or CU are totally different things. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:31, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Chzz tried and failed at RfA, due to potential socking issues. Your example is a perfect example of issues that might be exposed at RfA that might not have been exposed otherwise. I am not commenting on the validity of the accusations against Chzz. Gigs (talk) 19:52, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No While RfA is certainly one vetting option, ArbCom is entirely capable and willing to vet non-administrator candidates for the advanced tools, provide the vetted candidates for a period of community feedback as long as an RfA, and select only candidates who have a level of community support consistent with the gravity of the permissions being delegated. Likewise, there are plenty of Admin functions which are unnecessary for an AUSC community member, and might even bias their objectivity, leading to the perception that the insiders are policing their own. There is no particular reason why Checkuser, for example, which has nothing to do with edits, should be handed exclusively to the same people who have been chosen for their willingness to hand out blocks, protect pages, and delete articles. Jclemens (talk) 00:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • And how would arbcom alone be able to vet candidates equally well as all the community plus arbcom ? The more eyes, the better. Moreover, the community participation in the AUSC and CU/OS appointments process is marginal, there's been only a few comments by candidates, see below for statistics. Also, AUSC doesn't 'police' admins, it 'polices' CU/OS, AUSC members themselves have CU/OS, and furthermore every arb has CU/OS rights, so the insiders are in any case choosing their own policers, and policing their own. Cenarium (talk) 01:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The community is no less able to vet candidates for advanced priveleges simply because we hold the discussion at a page without the prefix Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/. For the most recent appointment process, we accepted comments from the community of any form, transmitted by any method - editors could have even lined up along Support/Oppose lines if they wanted to. If you have suggestions on how to increase community participation with a view to providing additional meaningful feedback about the candidates, do not hesitate to let us know. –xenotalk 01:40, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • That's a progress that you make the suggestion. I recognize that there is a social argument for not requiring admin rights. The problem with the appointment is that arbs would still make the final decision. Users aren't inclined to participate because their participation has no clear weight on the final decision. A possibility would be to have a confirmation vote, i.e. users need a majority of support to be confirmed as candidate, but the comparative results between confirmed candidates doesn't bind in any way the final appointments by arbcom. This incitement would provide for more participation, and therefore scrutiny, comments. Regarding AUSC, I think they should be elected during the arbcom elections. Cenarium (talk) 01:56, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Well that's just it - arbitrators will always be making the final decision on CU/OS, per Foundation-wide policy. I would not be happy to learn that a significant number of people are withholding relevant comments on the candidates because they think their comments will be ignored or not have a meaningful impact on the result: this is simply not the case. –xenotalk 02:23, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The WMF policy allows for community selection if desired, but I don't think it's best. I think the community should participate more, the current practice marginalizes the community participation. What do you think of a confirmation vote ? Arbcom would still make the final appointments, but it would entice for more community participation. Cenarium (talk) 02:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • "Votes" traditionally have not provided meaningful feedback to either the candidate or the committee, but I'd like to explore these ideas separately ahead of the next appointment process - especially if significant numbers of editors feel the current process marginalizes community participation (of this, I am not convinced) –xenotalk 03:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Votes in themselves no, but it can be an incitement for users to participate, and in turn leave comments. Cenarium (talk) 12:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, because also passing RFA provides greater scrutiny and feedback. RFAs have revealed evidence of sockpuppetry, copyright violation, and other difficultly identifiable inappropriate behavior. Checkusers and oversighers have had their rights stripped by arbcom because of sockpuppetry and other inappropriate behavior, all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that the granting of CU/OS is made with the highest possible standards. CU/OS work is also similar to admin work, just more sensitive, how a user uses admin tools can help in determining if the user would use CU/OS well. You become trusted when you're scrutinized enough and nothing is found that can make you untrustworthy. CU/OS is so highly sensitive that it requires a high level of trust, so we should ensure that candidates are scrutinized enough. RFA is an imperfect process, but it helps in providing scrutiny, the AUSC or CU/OS appointment process alone is not sufficient, as currently practiced it doesn't invite much community participation, RFA has been consulted 4 times more than the AUSC appointments page during the community consultation period [18][19]. Of course plenty of non-admins are trustworthy, but we shouldn't think that the AUSC or CU/OS appointment process are in any way less daunting than RFA, arbs ask you private questions, you need to identify to the WMF which is a significant step, people can ask questions and comment on you in public. There are also practical reasons, in order to perform their work efficiently, oversighters need to be able to delete pages. Cenarium (talk) 00:58, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Erm, everyone who has had checkuser or oversight permissions removed was an administrator. Risker (talk) 01:17, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Of course, what this shows is that even with all the scrutiny that RFA provides then that Arbcom and other users provide, we still have issues. So we need to use the highest reasonable standards, which includes requiring RFA. Cenarium (talk) 01:23, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd suggest it reflects more on the fact that being an administrator and being a good checkuser/oversighter are not related issues. Risker (talk) 01:41, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
If someone finds evidence that the user has sockpuppets, then it doesn't matter that he's a CU/OS or admin, he should have all rights removed. Cenarium (talk) 01:45, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Cenarium, I believe you are doing a disservice to the few users who have had the checkuser/oversight permissions removed on this project. I've been involved in all of these removals, I think, and I don't recall any that involved sockpuppetry. I believe you are thinking about another project. Risker (talk) 02:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
That was an example of difficultly identifiable behavioral issue, not implying anything. To clarify, of course the rights are different, but all require common standards. Greater scrutiny can provide for more likelihood to detect difficultly identifiable behavior (such as sockpuppetry, copyvios, etc), and even if the appointment process were improved considerably, the appointment process + RFA would be better. Cenarium (talk) 02:46, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
There's so much wrong with this that I'm not sure where to start. The economic concepts of diminishing returns and opportunity cost are relevant here. More and more hoops to jump through will not necessarily produce better appointments, and could even make them worse by limiting the pool of potential candidates. I would also say that CU and OS, which require users to reveal their real-world identities and provide for easy removal of privileges, already provide a superior process to RFA. Good + bad != better. And I'll stop there because otherwise I'll go all TLDR. --RL0919 (talk) 04:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree, considering the social argument against requiring RFA, that it is better to enhance the community participation and scrutiny in the AUSC appointment process directly than to use RFA in order to counter-balance. Cenarium (talk) 12:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Requiring admin status to get other rights is the exact opposite of the direction we should be going. We already have too many responsibilities bundled into a single status that supposedly is "no big deal". Many voters in ArbCom elections already exercise an implicit requirement of adminship for ArbCom membership (sometimes explicit, as shown in some voter guides), and now we're talking about effectively imposing this as a requirement for Audit Subcommittee appointment. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. A stable long-term governance structure requires separation of the various responsibilities and authorities involved, so that there are some checks and balances. We should be demanding that ArbCom and AUSC members give up their admin bits (if they possess them when appointed) to eliminate the blatant opportunities for bias and conflict of interest that exist in wearing multiple hats. Now I'm not expecting that anytime soon, but at the very least we can avoid throwing even more weight into the admin role and not make it a mandatory gateway to other rights. If greater community scrutiny is desired for CU and OS permissions, then we should address that directly by altering the processes for those appointments, although frankly I'm not seeing the pressing need for that. --RL0919 (talk) 01:31, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    Indeed, administrator has never been a requirement for advanced privileges and I don't see why we should start making it one now. I actually tried to give up my administrative rights at one point, but they are currently required for my duties as a bureaucrat due to objections raised to a simple technical change. I think what some administrators are forgetting is that not everyone wants to be an administrator; and further, that not everyone wants to be an administrator forever. This does not make them untrustworthy people. The fact that it is currently a technical requirement for the proper functioning of other privileges should be remedied. –xenotalk 01:48, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. Sensitive tools require very trustworthy people. Such 'powers' incentivize faking identities; people have subtle personality issues. We need many eyes to help spot early warnings. I do like the separation of powers idea. I'm primarily concerned with there being a stringent vetting process; if there were a separate process with participation and standards higher than RFA, that might be OK. However, requiring existing adminship is a great way to increase scrutiny, so everyone can see how they act with admin tools. IMO "So-and-so can't pass RFA but should get more-sensitive-than-adminship powers" argument is weak: if the community doesn't trust someone with adminship than why give them greater powers? While ArbCom might have better judgment than the broader community sometimes, going against the community's wishes itself is a bad idea. ArbCom would have to put in an incredible amount of work to equal the number of eyes something like WP:RFA provides. Quarl (talk) 02:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No This is most definitely a social issue, as has been pointed out by Arbitration Committee members, and just illustrates the division of opinion between administrators and non-administrators. As Risker pointed out in the other discussion, all of the users who have said yes so far are administrators themselves. I remember past discussions of this nature, such as the perennially shot down VandelFighter user right of being able to block users and not having to be an administrator. In those discussions, the majority of the opposition came from admins, because the passing of such would strip down the abilities that admins had to themselves and, thus, would bring them closer to the rest of the editors on Wikipedia. I am in full support of any divestiture of user rights so that they have to be individually applied for and are not a part of the admin package. It makes it so that there aren't so much different levels of users as there are users that work in specific fields and are trusted with the user right(s) that apply to those fields. Such a system would make much more sense and would be more appropriate, since it would make it so users didn't have rights that they never use, they would only have ones that they specifically applied for because they wished to use it in their everyday activities. It would help in the trust category because it's easier to show that a user is trustworthy for this certain right than for a user having to prove they are trustworthy for the smorgasbord of, mostly unused, user rights that admins currently have. SilverserenC 02:45, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No - (edit conflict) a consensus view is that RfA is for use of admin tools. Hence is not just about "is this user trustworthy?" Wikipedia should be a level playing field whereever possible. Restricting roles to admins is not conducive to this pathway. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    I would amplify this by saying that RFA does not prove trustworthiness. Never has and never could under anything like the current process. What RFA shows is that a significant portion of the community is already willing to trust the successful candidate, which is entirely different from showing them to be trustworthy. Trustworthiness is best proven by giving someone a role, and then closely watching what they do with it, with the option to take the role away if it doesn't work out. In this regard the process for CU and OS is far superior to RFA. --RL0919 (talk) 04:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    Personally, I think the current RfA system has nothing to do with trust and instead has to do with how many users like the applying editor verses how many dislike them. This is why users that are active in contentious areas (and act perfectly well there) are rarely accepted as administrators, because the opposition in those contentious areas oppose their application. SilverserenC 04:15, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No Adminship comprises a different set of rights than CU/OS and should be judged independently. As it's quite rare for non-admins to be granted CU/OS rights, this is not a major problem. I think ArbCom is competent enough to decide who should be given CU/OS permissions and who should not. And if we trust someone with CU/OS but not sysop, then there is a serious trust problem going on in the community. I think Risker's question, "If adminship is not a pre-requisite for appointment to advanced permissions, how shall non-admin functionaries be given the ability to view deleted revisions?", is more relevant. We could, of course, simply use the researcher flag for non-admins who will need to see deleted revisions, or just add viewdeleted to OS. Either makes sense to me and should not be a big deal. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    Co-opting "researcher" is not really a viable option as it does not contain 'deletedtext'. Adding the viewdeleted bits to oversight was the most sensible solution, and as such this is what was requested. –xenotalk 03:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Per longstanding policy, adminship is not a big deal.  Roger Davies talk 04:07, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    • If only said longstanding policy were more commonly adopted... Sven Manguard Wha? 06:56, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. ArbCom is trustworthy enough to hand out and remove tools from people as necessary. No need to turn these permissions into the clusterfuck that RFA has become (for the record I am an administrator). --Jayron32 04:57, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment The unasked question is this: Does the Arbcom have the authority to make changes in the way that permissions are granted without any prior discussion with the community. I believe it does not or should not. This RfC should have occurred prior to the request for this change, and the Arbcom should practice transparency whenever confidentiality is not required.   Will Beback  talk  07:05, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    • What changes were made in the way that permissions are granted? –xenotalk 12:38, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Very strenuously no for reasons laid out at the "subsequent discussion" link. This has little to do w/ Arbcom's trustworthiness and everything to do with preventing further spread of "adminship" as a social super-user rather than a technical position. It does not suit WP:RFA to be turned into a catch all filter for every advanced permission on the wiki. Protonk (talk) 07:33, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Could not have said it better than Protonk. --Pgallert (talk) 08:36, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No, precisely per Protonk. I'll repeat Protonk's last sentence for emphasis: It does not suit RFA to be turned into a catch-all filter for every advanced permission on the wiki.S Marshall T/C 09:43, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No, but...' Adminship should not be a prerequisite, though a non-admin functionary seems only marginally more useful than a chocolate teapot to me. What should be a prerequisite is some form of community scrutiny—be it RfA, an ArbCom election or some other vote or !vote. Inevitably, in an appointments process like the one used for AUSC (while light on drama, which was pleasant), the only people who comment are those who have strong opinions and I think the holders of permissions considered "higher" than adminship should be subject to the kind of scrutiny admins get at RfA. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 09:48, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No as far as prescriptive policy is concerned.
    I agree that all user groups should generally be self-sufficient. For that reason alone I support changing the user group setup to make this a reality.
    We can still discuss which usergroups are considered as social prerequisites before (s)elections. In my opinion, Bureaucrats and AUSC members do not need to be admin, while Arbcom members, CheckUsers, and Oversighters should be admins. However, I see no reason to actually codify a prescriptive policy: Consensus can change anyhow till the next (s)election, and since we will always get an implicit consensus if a non-admin is (s)elected for any advanced permission we do not need to decide this now. Any editor can still maintain their personal set of requirements and test in the (s)election whether consensus is on their side. In the selection that prompted this RfC, I explicitly considered and approved the non-admin candidate, presuming that the community would welcome the diversity in that auditory role (Boy was I wrong). If consensus in the feedback was with me, well, then there you have it.
    To give us the freedom and flexibility to actually focus on actual suitability of a candidate, without worrying about technical framework issues or predetermined requirements (this ad-hoc culture used to be a strength of Wikipedia), we need to change our user group setup accordingly. Amalthea 09:56, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No, another per Protonk. Jenks24 (talk) 13:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I think we should be able to split the CU/OS bits from admin bits. Speaking as an admin, CU, and OS, one does not have to be an admin, IMO, to receive the other bits. If the purpose of receiving the bits is for oversight of other CU/OSs, or even to run a CU check or judge if something is oversight-worthy, one does not have to be an admin. However, in my opinion, to follow through on said decision, such as blocking a sockpuppteer, I think the bit is necessary. I think it is reasonable to move the viewing deleted page ability into the OS usergroup. What I remain uncertain about is the ability to actually suppress or unsupress a a revision, as this is a "deletion"-type privilege which is in the admin domain. Whilst it is irrelevant for oversight of standard privilege users (as would be the case of an AUSC member), in order to follow through on a decision if something is suppression worthy, I think that the admin bit may still be necessary (although I, as always, reserve the right to change my mind if convinced by sound reasoning and arguments). -- Avi (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No Not only are the talents used to become an admin not relevant to those needed to be a valued checkuser etc., I think, in fact, that it makes more sense to require that CUs not retain or use admin tools otherwise. The primary requirement for becoming an admin seems to be to "avoid angering any substantial group of editors", which primarily means maintaining a low profile. This has absolutely nothing to do with the technical role of a checkuser or oversighter whatsoever. In fact, having the community "vet" a checkuser or oversighter is likely one of the poorer methods for choosing such technical positions. I note, in fact, that those with such rights are fully vetted as to actual identity and character, which is the logical primary real requirement, rather than jumping through the flawed (IMO) RfA process. Collect (talk) 15:30, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't know But there'd better be some kind of effective scrutiny before handing over Checkuser rights. Something more than just a vote at Arbcom. CU is among the most sensitive positions here, there needs to be some sort of process above and beyond Arbcom giving thumbs up on an editor. RxS (talk) 15:40, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    The Arbitration Committee, in vetting and appointing the candidates, most certainly did far more to scrutinize the candidates than a simple show of thumbs. The community was also invited to scrutinize all the candidates, and still no one has explained to me how the fact that the consensus discussion was held at a page that did not begin with Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/ made it any more difficult for the community at large to provide effective scrutiny of the candidates. –xenotalk 17:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    The name of the page isn't the question. The question is enticing community participation and scrutiny. In the current practice, most users don't see the point of commenting and scrutinizing since they don't consider that their input will be of noticeable weight to the appointments. The election process used before provided for enticement, but I agree it's not that good because arbs should retain discretion in the final appointments. This is why I suggest a method of confirmation, which I think is a good balance and allow to enfranchises the community, so enticing participation. The community would vote on confirming or not a candidacy among the candidates preselected by arbcom, provide comments (private or public), and then arbcom would finally choose the appointees among the confirmed candidates (those who received a majority of support for confirmation, with no regard to comparative results). Cenarium (talk) 18:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    You keep saying that ('most users don't see the point of commenting'), but I sure would like some way of determining if your statement is accurate. In any case, improving the community participation in the process is quite peripheral the question being asked here. –xenotalk 18:24, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    There has been much more questions to candidates in the 2009 elections, more than 300 users voted. In the 2011 elections, there's been only a handful of questions and public comments. You will note that the most supported views in the CU/OS selection RFC were for more community participation in the process. We'll likely have a definite answer on that point when the proposal is submitted (not any time soon). The question isn't quite peripheral as if we increase participation in the process, it weakens the argument for requiring RFA. Cenarium (talk) 20:25, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    Xeno, as I understand it, Bahamut (the person you're talking about) received a "limited purpose CU-ship" for the purpose of auditing other CU's activity. Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't receive the authority to conduct CU investigations on his own, which is what we usually think of when giving the CU bit. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 02:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
    Whether AUSC members use the tools for matters unrelated to AUSC business is something that is presently left up to the subcommittee member; also, subcommittee members may have to re-run checks or to run additional checks in the course of an investigation. I'm not exactly sure what the thrust of your message is; candidates for AUSC should be scrutinized just as much, if not more, than candidates standing for straight CU or OS. –xenotalk 13:10, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No - RFA is a disaster, a Lord of the Flies-esque Cool Kids Club. Put the tools in the hands they need to be in, whether or not the editor has run the gauntlet. I, for one, never will and I assume that I'm not alone in my antipathy for the whole bizarroworld RFA culture... Carrite (talk) 20:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No per Protonk. - Dank (push to talk) 22:55, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • ummm .. naa Protonk puts forth a compelling narrative here. I think that if you can trust someone to do a CU, or OS, then they should be trustworthy enough to have the few extra admin. buttons, but on the other hand ... RfA has sunk some folks that would have actually been a "net positive" with the tools. Usually because of some minor "he said a bad word" or they got 1 or 2 CSD things wrong over a year ago. Don't see a reason they need to be an admin to use the tools. What WP giveith, WP can takeith away. — Ched :  ?  03:04, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I agree with Protonk that we need to consciously break the assumption that sysop is a necessary step, and with Carrite that RfA is a disaster — RfA should not be the only way to be deemed 'trustworthy' by the community. Candidates for different roles need to evaluated on their suitability for the role they are seeking. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:13, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No - while I find it hard ot believe that anyone who never became an admin should be a CU or OS, but aomeone who gave it up while in good standing should be able to have these rights without getting back adminship. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:21, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No - even if someone went through RfA and failed before - for whatever reason - either they may have grown out of that 'reason' but still not want to run the gauntlet again (please be honest with (y)ourselves here - we're all human, we all occasionally do something totally bloody stupid, and it's a bloody inhumane society that doesn't give people another chance to be trusted) - it doesn't mean that they couldn't now be trusted with CU and / or OS; likewise, there are almost certainly those who would use those tools very effectively and in a totally trustworthy manner who just don't want to 'do the RfA thing'. For whatever reason. Pesky (talk) 08:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I fully agree with Pesky's reasoning above; there are "those who would use those tools very effectively and in a totally trustworthy manner who just don't want to 'do the RfA thing'." Guoguo12--Talk--  19:49, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
If they won't do the RFA thing, why would they do the "CU election" thing? 69.111.194.167 (talk) 02:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Much, much less blood loss. RfA is a cesspool of hatred and bad faith where old grudges are rehashed and small mistakes are overblown. It's where good editors go to be told that they're shit. It's like a dominatrix without the intercourse.... you get the idea. Nowhere else on Wikipedia is nearly that bad. People don't want to go through RfA because they don't want to suffer the process more than any other reason I've seen. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:58, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
+1 - Carrite (talk) 02:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes Only people who have passed RFA should be authorized to do CU investigations, just like (supposedly) only duly appointed judges are authorized to order wiretaps. This discussion has confused receiving the CU bit with the authority to do investigations. We normally think of investigative authority as part of the CU appointment and that authority is what I'm saying should be limited to admins. This discussion arose because of someone getting the bit without the authority, in order to serve on AUSC. That's like a phone company security officer having the technical capability to wiretap a line by accessing the phone switch, but not the authority independent of a judge's. It's fine if the appointment process for such a person is different than that for a judge. As mentioned on the "technical RFC", I'd prefer to handle this with an "auditor" role, that includes the CU bit if necessary, but the policy difference should still be there regardless of the implementation. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 02:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Added: to be clear, I think CU is a social and not just technical role. CU's have to be able to discuss behavioral sock evidence in private with editors, and that means they have to have some knowledge of the personalities and dramas in various parts of the project, without getting sucked into the dramas themselves. This takes good human judgment and not just technical skills. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 02:32, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I don't see any reason why we should tie these together. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:01, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes (needed) for CheckUser. Checkusers routinely get involved in dispute resolution, and routinely make public posts in cases of user dispute. They routinely issue (or endorse) blocks and other actions as part of their role. They act on users and IPs, not just content, and have a far more "general" role than Oversight. This is a different skill, and as we have seen with admins, can be done gracefully or poorly. For that reason I would want to see evidence of how a CU candidate conducts themselves with admin tools before letting them loose on CU.

    No (not needed) for oversight/suppression. Oversight/suppression is a very much narrower and more straightforward tool and usually non-contentious. Use of the suppression tools follows the format "does text X fall into categories ABC?", and access to suppressed text is trust not interaction based. If Arbcom and the community agree that a non-admin shows required maturity of judgment and trust, then they will probably do oversighting well. As a far more rule-based and off-wiki tool mainly working on edits rather than editors, the manner of tenure of admin tools wouldn't add much evidence.

    FT2 (Talk | email) 10:49, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

  • No, This will allow us to have non-admin members on the AUSC. The following is copy pased from WP:ARBN
    I had considered putting my name in for consideration of candidacy for AUSC to represent a community (non-admin) position. I observe that adminship, while claimed to be "no-big-deal", is a "big-deal". The recent RfAs have either been gigantic landslides, schadenfreude laced inquisitons, or snowball "not a chance in hell" closes. The landslide approvals see many administrators giving weak reasoning. To me it appears like a "old boys club". Having someone on the "review" board that is not part of the club gives the community at large an opportunity to select someone they trust to review the CU/OS decisions should a objection be raised. I liken the community non-admin representative to the role of the muslim familes controlling the lock and key for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Hasteur (talk) 18:21, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, because, in my opinion, the sorts of tasks that checkusers and oversighters perform are similar enough to administrators' tasks in order for them to require community consensus if the admin bit does. The ability to suppress material, and to view previously suppressed material is, after all, something like an enhanced version of the deletion right – hence, in order for a user to be able to petition for permission to view suppressed material, surely they must first have been given community trust to view deleted material? Checkusers have the ability to access non-public information which is of an even more sensitive nature than that which admins can look at (e.g. a user's deleted contributions). Again, if they are to be trusted not to mess around with the former, then presumably they initially need to be trusted not to mess around with the latter? Thus, re. Protonk and others, I feel that in this instance adminship would not be a bauble/hoop to jump through/etc., but rather a relevant indicator of proficiency in relevant fields. It Is Me Here t / c 11:01, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No per RL0919. Many admins of olde would not pass RfA today. Tijfo098 (talk) 11:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No though per HJ Mitchell, I think that a review process for CU/OS access should be setup so that the community can have a greater say. —James (TalkContribs)9:35pm 11:35, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No, but my bias is clear: I was the first and only non-admin functionary on the English Wikipedia. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 16:18, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Many excellent points are made here, and I'd like to add that in a Chzz-like situation. a non-admin candidate entrusted with such tools will be under an enormous amount of scrutiny, and I'm confident that any problems would be exposed in very short order. Lankiveil (speak to me) 21:36, 19 April 2011 (UTC).
  • No, adminship should not be a prerequisite. Full disclosure is in order, however, as I did not pass my RfA. Cla68 (talk) 04:25, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I don't find the reasons advanced for requiring otherwise compelling. Restricting the pool of candidates artificially doesn't seem like the sensible position. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. I considered answering the call for CU candidates a couple years ago (but withdrew due to time constraints), before I became an admin. My qualifications then and now are no different; therefore, the fact that I happened to pass RFA should have no bearing on any decision to grant CU rights to me. The same should be true for any other trusted, high-volume editor, sysop or not. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:14, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes or they should pass a CU election with the same or tougher standards as an RFA. I do think the technological limitation should be removed so that each Wiki can make their own decision and so the decision we make isn't constrained by the software. Those who need CU tools by virtue of WP:OFFICE duties should of course be exempt provided they limit the use of their tools to OFFICE-related uses and give up the tools as soon as they are no longer working for or on behalf of the foundation. Also anyone currently holding checkuser who hasn't passed an RfA or higher should vacate that role within a year or stand for a confirmation election. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 16:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. Same level of trust as being an admin, if not higher. There could be an exception for WMF duties or a steward giving themselves checkuser temporarily for cross-wiki issues. --Rschen7754 09:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Not at all. This will make the admins more fraternity-ish. I fear that this will lead to the CU service being more enclosed and more requests being directed outside the public space. PaoloNapolitano (talk) 18:50, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No Adminship is certain, defined tools, and very narrowly defined social privilege (closing certain discussions, imposing discretionary sanctions). It should not be a gate through one must pass to stand for other roles- that makes RFA and the admin flag even more significant that they already are- which is too significant already. Courcelles 19:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • admin required for oversight and checkuser but forbidden from 'crats Checkusers and oversight need to be trusted as shown by a successful RFA. I believe 'crats should be required to not be an admin or a bot operator, to remain neutral. Zginder 2011-04-28T02:21Z (UTC)
  • Yes to oversight. Only admins are allowed to view deleted revisions; no one should be allowed to delete material but not to undelete it; oversight is a method of deletion. Hence all oversight should be done by admins. In my opinion, RevDel is already being done much too quickly and much too often, so no expansion of the candidacy is desirable anyway. Wnt (talk) 08:25, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
    • That happens precisely because the revdel tool/bit was bestowed en masse to all existing admins even though their qualifying exam did not include anything about the use of the (then non-existent) tool. So having passed the frat hazing test did not actually make them anymore competent of the use of yet-to-be-created tool(s). Tijfo098 (talk) 00:13, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe so, but the last thing we need is more people getting access to this thing. Finding crossed-out revisions in the article history has reached what NOTW would call No Longer Weird. I just saw a bunch at Talk:PlayStation 3, for example, because of someone's moralizing about a now thoroughly compromised encryption key. Wnt (talk) 02:09, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No. Adminship should not be a requirement. In my capacity as an administrator and volunteer, not as an employee action. - Philippe 16:55, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  • No adminship is an old boys club. Restricting these user rights would be propping up that fact. --Guerillero | My Talk 02:47, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. I still believe adminship should be "no big deal", although I realize hardly anybody really believes that anymore in practice (though many may be willing to claim it's the case). Nonetheless, I'm not willing to support any proposal that unintentionally sets a further divide between two sets of users (I say unintentionally as I know this effect is not the intention of the user proposing this). Kansan (talk) 21:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, adminship should be required for access to advanced permissions, as it represents a certain measure of confidence by the community in the respective editor.  Sandstein  13:03, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
  • No in theory the user should not need to pass an RFA, however in practice an RFB would be a tougher test than RFA, and a successful candidate for RFB would almost certainly pass RFA. In practice the requirements should be different, admins require some sort of communications ability, as well as being not too controversial, which the others would not have as a job prerequisite. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, essentially per Sandstein, above. -- Cirt (talk) 16:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - Would it make sense to create a "sub-oversight" user right, with less demanding requirements? It could allow people to see deleted contributions, without being able to delete any contributions themselves. I would find this useful when trying to identify vandals. Yaris678 (talk) 13:33, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes Editors should demonstrate they are ready for more extreme tools than admins are granted by wielding the mop first. Edison (talk) 04:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes basically per Sandstein, and as my own personal preference I would want CU or OS candidates to be vetted by the community and gone through the extra scrutiny via RfA first, that I may feel more comfortable before granting such higher-level permissions. -- œ 16:23, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

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


New proposed policy under development: Wikipedia:Government[edit]

I just started this yesterday. The idea is that in some cases, stalemates on Wikipedia may be resolved by electing a committee of editors (a "Government") who has the exclusive right to edit certain topics for a limited time. Count Iblis (talk) 17:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

This is the awesomest thing I've ever heard. This will bring an new interesting curve to Wikipedia. P.S: I was thinking about a one like it: a court policy where a panel of users reviews & discusses a user/IP's block to see if it's fair. Anyway, good idea. Darkjedi10 (talk) 22:42, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Some relevant essential reading: Wikipedia:Governance. ;) -- œ 16:24, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Discussion at Template Talk:Rescue[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Template Talk:Rescue. Rescue Tag guidelines are often not followed. Do the instructions for the Rescue Tag need to change, or does the wording for the tag need to change? Avanu (talk) 13:19, 14 May 2011 (UTC) (Using {{pls}})

Promote WP:DYOH to policy?[edit]

Notice of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Do your own homework, propose promoting essay to policy status. -- œ 16:43, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Request for Discussion concerning the future of AfD[edit]

I would appreciate your thoughts. - jc37 23:18, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Vandalism in the wiki Taliban[edit]

Please, the page Taliban must be correct because there was changes for vandalism, please with urgency repair it. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Comikisimo (talkcontribs) 00:18, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

This really belongs at Talk:Taliban, but I don't see any evidence of vandalism. The last change was someone removing an item and I don't know what their reason was. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 00:30, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Is a famous non-english but famous Farsi newspaper encyclopedic?[edit]

1. There is this controversial newsletter named "Ya Letharat" written in Farsi. You can find many articles in independent newspapers talking about it IN FARSI. Can I call it notable in English Wikipedia and write an article about it?

The Wikipedia page on Identifying Reliable Sources makes no mention at all of what languages are required, so I would assume notability would be the same no matter what language it is in. HOWEVER, there is still the issue of Verifiability. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." If no one else can read it, it would be harder to have other editors agree with you that it is in fact a reliable source. Just offering helpful tips. -- Avanu (talk) 08:27, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

2. There is no news coverage in Farsi sources on the famous Rotchild Boulevard. I wonder if I could use the English coverage of this Boulevard as a basis of notability in Farsi Wikipedia?Kazemita1 (talk) 08:25, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

If the same threshold applies in that encyclopedia, sure. -- Avanu (talk) 08:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Just remember that different language Wikipedias are independent of each other and can create their own policies about notability and such. Therefore, the Farsi Wikipedia may be far stricter in terms of notability than the English Wikipedia is, thus disallowing the article you are proposing. SilverserenC 09:53, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
See WP:NONENG. The English Wikipedia never requires the existence of English-language reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Request for comment on rating policy[edit]

Some people are aware of, and many are asking questions about, the new "Rate this page" tool. As the technical discussion on Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#.22Rate_this_page.22.3F shows, some ideas here are still unclear to people, and also the developers, I think. And various editors have started making pretty good suggestions, e.g. regarding "stale ratings" in a dynamic editing environment.

It seems clear to me that the sooner comments from the community at large are provided to the development team, the better. And there needs to be "some type of policy" about the use of these ratings. I think this tool was a good idea, but deserves more comment and discussion.

I would like to suggest a general Rfc for this, to provide feedback about this tool, and eventually arrive at a policy for its use. How do we go about starting the Rfc? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 07:30, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

If people want to tell the devs what they think about this feature, then they can go here and comment on a page that the devs are known to be watching.
RFCs are part of WP:Dispute resolution, so they are opened when there is a problem to be solved. In the absence of an real, definable problem, then you don't actually want an RFC. "The devs surprised me by adding a new feature without my knowledge or permission" is not a real problem. "We don't have a policy governing a new and apparently harmless feature" is also not a real problem. If you can identify a concrete problem—something that actually hurts the words in the articles—then I'd be happy to hear about it, but so far I don't see any possible problem here. In fact, I see far less potential for harm to the project with this personal rating system than for tagging articles with clean-up templates—and Wikipedia has never had a policy about WP:Tag bombing articles. (That's just an essay.)
On the other hand, if you just want to chat about some (any) feature and see what folks think, then WP:VPM is usually a good place to do that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I do not see this tool as a problem, but as a nice new addition. However, an addition that still needs work. And there have been very few comments about it. It really needs more discussion before it solidifies. I have made my suggestions on the Media Wiki page, but I wanted to get more suggestions from other people. Anyway, we will leave it there. History2007 (talk) 14:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

New messages box trolling[edit]

User:Lugnuts has a fake new messages box leading to Prank, obivously meant as a gag. I wanted to know, is that okay? A user has protested on Lugnuts talk page. Shakinglord (talk) 20:29, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Clarification: it leads to practical joke. I read this post and thought "Prank" was some kind of external site, not a Wikipedia article. postdlf (talk) 20:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This sort of thing has been going on for years. It's not going to be dealt with today. I'm not saying it should happen, and I am not saying that it shouldn't either. I do note to you that, as a bit of history, people who spend a lot of time worrying about people who spend a lot of time making prank message boxes rarely get much in the way of satisfaction. Your best option is to ignore it, and not care what Lugnuts does. --Jayron32 20:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

It is not me who is worried, I in fact supported the box. It is the other user who opposes it. Shakinglord (talk) 20:39, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Users are usually given leeway to be a bit silly in userspace. I don't know what is going on around Wikipedia the last few weeks but it seems like the most trivial, pointless things are becoming huge debates where people act like something really important is on the line. I'll grant that it is stupid and unfunny, but so is a lot of other junk on people's userpages. Don't like it, don't look at those user's pages. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:18, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

"Available" free images[edit]

I've been uploading a few images of Burmese (and other) political prisoners recently, and was dismayed to see some of them today under Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria #1. When the NFCC ask if a free-use replacement image is "available", do they mean currently available, or potentially available at some point in the future? In Su Su Nway's case, for example, she's not scheduled to be released from prison until 2017; even when she is, obtaining a replacement image would mean a Wikipedian managing to meet with an opposition figure in one of the world's most repressive countries and taking a photograph of her for Internet distribution, which in Burma carries a potential fifteen-year jail term for "illegally using electronic media". (Sadly, not a joke--see, for instance, Mie Mie). I'd contend that "wait six years, then commit a felony in Burma" is a rather extreme definition of "available", but the deleting editor disagrees and argues that this criterion simply isn't used outside of life sentences and JD Salinger. Can anybody point us to further guidelines on this subject? I'm hoping to upload more political prisoner pics in the near future, and obviously want to make sure I get it right. I'd also welcome any suggestions for how I might track down free-use images of these sorts of individuals. Cheers, everybody! Khazar (talk) 23:37, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I contend that when we talk of "free replacement" , we are talking about one that already exists or can be reasonably obtained at this moment or immediate near future. (Otherwise, we could simply wait out 75+yrs for copyright terms to expire to get a free image...) A person incarcerated for a long period of time is likely not going to have a free image made at the present, so barring past free images, yes, there is no likely chance of a free image being available now. That said, unless there is critical commentary about that person and the specific image of that person, retaining that image may be challenged per WP:NFCC (in general, illustrating articles on living persons is not a high priority use of NFC). --MASEM (t) 00:08, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Something that I didn't bring up earlier is the country's current political situation — if I understand Politics of Burma correctly, the country is transitioning to a civilian government, so who knows but that perhaps these people will be released soon. Regardless of the current political situation, we've historically not permitted nonfree images for prisoners; I don't see why we should do anything differently for any of these people except for the most extreme cases. Nyttend (talk) 04:14, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I do very much hope that's the case, but sadly the human rights newsletters I've read are skeptical; theoretically, Burma has been on its "Roadmap to Democracy" since 1988 without much actual progress, and anybody who complains still appears to get a classic SPDC beatdown. In any case, though, thanks all for the comments, and I'll be glad to hear any other advice anyone has to give, too. Cheers Khazar (talk) 04:27, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy/Draft no longer marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy/Draft (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Reverting edit on account of incivl edit-summary[edit]

Question: is it permissible/advisable/wise to revert another person's edit on the basis that they used an incivil edit-summary? ╟─TreasuryTagprorogation─╢ 20:46, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

If the content is good, why? Just remind the editor of WP:CIVIL and using appropriate edit summaries. --NeilN talk to me 20:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
That's what I thought. I wasn't considering doing it, but came across someone else who decided to and wondered if it was appropriate. ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 20:49, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Definitely agree with Neil. While nasty edit summaries are certainly not something we want they do not retroactively make the edit itself undesirable. I don't even see what the point is, the content is gone but the edit summary is still exactly where it was. The only way to get rid of it is WP:REVDEL, which is only used if it's really offensive. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:21, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

TreasuryTag neglected to mention that it was his edit summary I was reverting. He claimed that "(indicating, as with the green-lit TARDIS, that he is possessed by House)" was "stupid speculation", when the BBC website says that "The Ood known as Nephew was manipulated by the malevolent House.... When under the influence of others, Oodkind often undergo a change of eye colour, so watch out for Ood with...green eyes!"--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:59, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Our points still stand as, from what I can tell, your revert was not because of an "incivil edit summary". --NeilN talk to me 15:05, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

RfC on claiming fair use for images of historical importance[edit]

Someone added to the fair-use guideline that images of historical importance had to be the "subjects of commentary" before they could be used in Wikipedia. That is, the Wikipedia article has to discuss the image itself, not simply use the image to illustrate part of the content. I've posted an RfC to ask whether this should be in the guideline. Input would be appreciated, particularly from editors not normally involved in maintaining the non-free guideline. See Wikipedia talk:Non-free content#Must images of historical importance be "subjects_of_commentary" before we can claim fair use?. Cheers, SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 12:33, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

"...particularly from editors not normally involved in maintaining the non-free guideline" - I wonder why... --Damiens.rf 15:33, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Inline defined references versus list defined references[edit]

List defined references has been available since September 2009, but isn't much used sadly. At the moment they are merely described as an advanced features under the MOS, and I think this should be changed. In my opinion all references should always be defined inside the <references/> and not inline. I've done an example conversion at Death of Osama bin Laden (had to use a script (https://gist.github.com/ec7220609b5449cc4023) due to the 20sec edit conflict window), and while it increases the page size a but, it makes the running text readable, and not the usual tagsoup that can exists when there are many references.

The steps I want to be introduced is:

  1. remove recommendation for inline reference definitions form mos and make list defined references the norm
  2. convert all current inline definitions to list definitions
  3. be happy when people actually can edit the pages again :)

I hope yee all agree on the issue. AzaToth 18:07, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Personally I find it an annoyance to work with List defined references, and I only use the |group= feature for separating notes (as in asides) from the actual refs. Now it may be I work on relatively unfinished or developing articles where I am adding referencing bit by bit but it's my opinion that it should not be forced on any editor. GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:35, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem I see is that when a page has become like http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Barack_Obama&action=edit&section=2, it's impossible for normal folks to edit. AzaToth 18:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
that's more a case of using too many refs - and putting them in as one footnote - to support a short paragraph. I can show you a worse case (IMHO) than that: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=British_Eagle&action=edit&section=13 That and other articles done in the same style are a terrible pain to edit - you try and take out one ref as un-needed and have to hunt through the rest of the text for its definition. An article in that condition probably could use your script to make it more editable but in most articles there's not so much of a problem. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:54, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I strongly prefer list defined references and have converted a number of articles to them. If you introduce the use of {{R}} at the same time, you can usually reduce page size instead of increasing it. My one hesitancy is that I don't much like scrunchedalltogetheronasingleline refs, like at Runescape, on readability grounds, but people use that form in inline cites as much as list-form. I support establishing a MoS preference for using list defined references and converting inline definitions at will. —chaos5023 (talk) 19:17, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The biggest problem with inline refs in relation to the above is that the default editing tools that put those in place will leave no spaces between terms, thus resulting in a huge mess. These templates all allow for spaces between the argument separators "|" and "=" and other parts of the template turns. Done this way, it is usually second nature to find where the references start and stop and thus make editing easy. But it is a matter of familarity too... --MASEM (t) 21:04, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I personally like list-defined references, but I don't think that we should have an official preference, any more than I think we should have a preference for the highly newbie-friendly parenthetical references over ref tags, or the legible plain text over citation templates. There are advantages and disadvantages to every approach. With consensus (=ask on the talk page first), editors are free to change citation systems on articles. Without consensus, you should stick with what's there, just like most similar "personal preference" issues in the English Wikipedia.
And if you'll let me climb up on my soapbox for a minute to talk about a tangent I think far more important: One of the wonderful things about LDR is that it is 100% compatible with the old style of placing ref-tagged citations in the middle of paragraphs. IMO—and I'm sure that most of you agree with me—folks who notice someone using the "wrong" style in an LDR-using article help the encyclopedia best by silently fixing it, not by fussing at the other user for not noticing the style or not knowing how to add the new citation to it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Oppose Not a fan at all of LDR's - Firstly they are not newbie friendly in the least bit. Secondly they force editors to have to edit the "whole" page, rather then just a section (or have to edit 2 sections -thus creating an error in the mean time between edits). I dont believe this format should be used at all in new high traffic articles were many non experienced editors will edit. Thirdly new addition later in time will most certainly not use this complicated ref system - but rather will simply add them normally then we are stuck with 2 different formats being used. Death of Osama bin Laden is a great example of were it should not be used in a newly created article - were it has already raised concerns. lots of editors (new ones at that) will/and are simply adding refs by way of <ref>ww.whatever.com</ref>. I have no problem if someone wishes to run after ever edit and convert them by hand - but will they be there in the future to covert refs over time? Moxy (talk) 20:58, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Oppose any preference for the use of LDRs. They are difficult to work with, especially in longer articles where editing by section is the norm. References should be in the edit window right where the inline indicator is. This makes it far easier to locate and repair dead links, reuse a named ref within the same section, or simply identify a reference within the edit window. I shouldn't have to edit a section that needs a correction as well as the References section to fix anything. This creates more edits, more chances for edit conflicts, and a less clear change when reading a page diff to determine what another editor has done. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 21:16, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. We can get around the whole 'cluttered up with tags' business with a better editor, but moving to LDRs eliminates the ability to make a full edit within a single second edit - you either have to edit the whole page, or you have to edit the second then edit the references section. And that kind of jumping back and forth is asking for problems. However, {{R}} is pretty swanky and I could find several uses for it, but please, unless we're going to have a semantic citation system, don't suggest deprecating in any way inline-defined references. (And maybe I'm a little bitter that LDRs came about long before alpha groups did :P) --Golbez (talk) 21:55, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia needs a proper citation-as-metadata (i.e. extra-article transcluded content) management system; this isn't it. Much as I like how LDRs make the markup easier to read, they have a deficiency when it comes to editing, as explained by Moxy's 2nd point. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Agreed. There have been some discussions in the past about centralization of citations, kind of like a 'commons for cites', but it was never put into actual practice. Useful topic to resurrect, I think, but this wouldn't be the thread to pursue it in. Related to this topic, though, I'd say that an LDR approach would be one way of section-delimiting citation content for meta-data capture, but I think the primary benefit is in usability. As long as citation content is templated, there is a potential for using database queries against the template objects to extract a set of citation meta-data. (I am NOT familiar with direct database query interrogation of Wikipedia ... I just know it is possible.) --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I find it much easier to work on the text of an article that uses List Defined References, so I always use them. BTW, I wrote List-defined reference how-to guide to help make it easier for people to use list defined references. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 11:08, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I found that U.S. Route 113 uses a type of LDR and see this as a quite user friendly approach, particularly for articles with MANY references. I've converted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to this format in preparation for article expansion (at least expansion of citations). --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:41, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposal itself explains why this is a bad idea—it doesn't scale well to articles with a high volume of edits because you have to edit the whole page, and the Wikimedia merging algorithm is what it is. Plus you get flashy red errors if you add an uncited LDR reference; or at least it did last time someone tried it. Tijfo098 (talk) 00:40, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I support the use of LDRs it declutters the paragraph text and I find it easier to edit when using them. Although we should encourage the use of LDRs in the MoS for use in new articles I dont think we need to change articles already in existance whatever the format. MilborneOne (talk) 12:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think an increased use of LDRs would encourage new editors. I remember when I first tried to edit (to fix a few spelling erros) I was bamboozled by the mass of gibberish that appeared when I hit "edit". Anything that reduces the amount of clutter a new edit sees is good in my book. However, while the drawbacks associated with it mean that I would not support changing existing articles to it, I think encouraging more people to make use of it would be a good idea. doomgaze (talk) 12:33, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment on a comment: I think that LDRs may make editing less daunting for newbies who want to make a non-ref change to a heavily-ref'd section. However, it would make life more difficult for newbies who want to add new sources where they weren't before (which is something we must surely encourage) - because multiple sections need to be edited &c. Therefore I would oppose a preference for LDRs. Is it possible to find other ways of making the textbox less daunting when somebody clicks on "edit" for the first time? bobrayner (talk) 14:18, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Totally oppose. LDRs have no redeeming features that I can see, and make larger articles virtually uneditable by forcing editors either to open the entire article in the edit window, or to edit multiple sections to make a single change. They should never have been introduced (with not even a pretence at "consensus" to do so), and if they're not going to be disabled (my personal preference), they should be as strongly discouraged as possible. – iridescent 19:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per arguments that it requires editing the whole page instead of one section. As if we didn't get enough edit conflicts already... --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:53, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Cybercobra nailed it. Until there's a way to simultaneously (or at least rapidly) edit the inline ref and the metadata of that ref the problem will persist. This is not just an LDR issue, as it is also present in other uses of named refs. To fix this we would need to be able to work on two sections of the article at once, something the present editor does not support. LeadSongDog come howl! 20:01, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, in fact I would support the discouragement and eventual removal of LDR's, they make editing a pain in the ass. You have to go look trough different section when you want to edit or fix an existent reference, trying to find which one it was, or edit the entire article at once, which is just as annoying, especially with longer articles. It doubles the amount of edits when you use section editing, as you have to add the text, save, and then add the reference in a different section. Which just ends up with more reverts for adding unsourced info or fake/non-existant reference, edit conflicts, and all around annoyances. I never liked LDR's, and why I come across an article with LDR's I usually just ignore it and just add the reference inline as it works just as well, without the multiple editing required. Xeworlebi (talk) 20:16, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • comment: LDRs make the editing of articles easier but perhaps the editing of refs more complicated. The article source code is extremely complicated to understand for newbies and what we need is not a new reference system but a good wysiwyg editor. It is about time for that. Adornix (talk) 20:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose to forcibly changing ref styles from anything to anything. If you are not contributing anything else to the article, you will either achieve nothing or at best annoy those that are editing. If the article editors wanted a different ref style, they would have changed it themselves. SpinningSpark 18:07, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

bots that revert blindly[edit]

This seems to be a problem. Suppose I am a newbie or anonymous user. I spend hours of time writing an article and making changes, and I decide -- hey! Why don't I link to an excellent article on blogspot or point out the namesake's facebook page at the same time? BAM, along comes a bot that reverts ALL of my additions and every single revision that I added, instead of simply removing my mistaken addition -- or even just removing my last revision.

Why do bots do this? Does it make sense to make them revert to the last non-problematic revision only? Or do we instantly villify the user who added that external link? This mainly applies to XlinkBot, but I am now forced to wonder (after returning from an absence of several years) how many indiscriminate reversions not yet detected there are. For example, I recovered a lot, a lot of deleted content buried in the page history that though unformatted was useful -- but no one could work on it all because a bot blindly reverted good contributions. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 12:10, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Bots can not be perfect given early 21st century technology - please see Turing test. However, Wikipedia has little hope of succeeding without bots. The best way would be provide feedback so specific bots can be given shorter leashes. That is the only way. Bots can not be suddenly terminated without causing havoc in Wikipedia. Some bots need improvement and many more are needed. In 3 years the situation will be much better. History2007 (talk) 12:24, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I have seen this also where a new editor does good work and then adds a link that is reverted by xlinkbot. The editor then leaves and that work is hidden under that revert. Versageek is the owner of XlinkBot. They would be the best person to answer whether the bot could be modified to take out the last edit rather than all edits by a specific editor. GB fan (talk) 12:35, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I see no reason why the bot could not be modified to do that - but I am not sure of the effort required, not having seen how it is written. History2007 (talk) 18:33, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I think it does more good then bad. If a bot only reverts the last edit which triggers the bot, then the other edits they did might go unnoticed, and they could be bad. It would be best to revert the whole of them and let involved editors use their own discretion on what, if any, content to bring back. Blake (Talk·Edits) 23:37, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Bots should be limited to obvious mundane tasks. Wikipedia is letting them go too far....they should be cut back. North8000 (talk) 23:57, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I think it is hard to make general statements about all bots. Different bots do different things and some (e.g. Cluebot) are getting rather clever now - but many have a long way to go. My prediction: in 5 years there will be "very clever" bots and without them Wikipedia will struggle. If and when I get to it I will write a general "clever bot" system that can be adjusted by others - probably next year. History2007 (talk) 00:32, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not expert on bots or programming, but I think that for a bot to function as well as an editor, you'd need to give it an advanced AI that can think for itself. We don't have the ability to make such a thing though afaik. Though if we did, I suspect it would become evil, take over everyone's comps, take control of Russia's nukes and then finally delete Wikipedia... all for the lulz of course. (note, everything after afaik was something of a joke). But yeah, basically the way these bots detect certain things and patterns is programmed. I don't think they can learn. Like I said though, I am no expert and for the most part do not know what I'm talking about. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 02:00, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Cluebot uses a neural net and adjusts based on examples. It is not pre-programmed. History2007 (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Lies, lies and deciet. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20:02, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me? History2007 (talk) 20:41, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Please read joke, (notice the =p) you need to get some more exposure to net culture, my friend. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13:04, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
The net has culture? Who would have thought... History2007 (talk) 20:19, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
With a good supercomputer I'm pretty sure we could make bots that were a great deal better than many editors at extracting sense out of source documents and following the policies and guidelines reasonably well never mind at spotting vandalism or other bad edits! Be that as it may it does look like in this case the robot needs upgrading to check the rest of an edit as well for good or bad content and flag edits with a reasonable amount of content and a low vandalism index as needing human intervention. If the bots could communicate their ratings to each other it would help. Dmcq (talk) 08:42, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
We are getting off topic now, but a supercomputer would not be the way to go and would not help in this type of problem which does not require a "peak processing" numerical computation system. This is mostly a software issue regarding symbolic computation. But we are a long way from even using a 10 person programming team. Most of these bots are written by a single person, with part time effort - and some do nicely given the resources. Think of it this way, a Word processor like MS-Word had an army of full time developers, so compared to that these bots have done well with so few people working part time. History2007 (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
(re: History) Indeed, and ClueBot only messes up a few times compared to programs like Word which can have a lot of strange issues. Luckily you guys are improving him based on reports by users when he messes up. You can check the error report, get to the route of the problem, correct it so it might not happen in the future and you have one less instance where it becomes an issue. Or am I wrong? =p The way I see it is that these free bots are a work of pride that gets better with time. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20:02, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
As a clarification, I am not the Cluebot developer. I am just observing a few these bots for now as a matter of interest. History2007 (talk) 20:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Points still stand. =) Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13:04, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
(responding to Blake) I don't think it is consistent with AGF to have a bot revert all the contiguous edits by a user just because they added a non-offensive link that is flagged as un-encyclopedic. Some bots are already programed to only make the necessary reverts, such as the CSD patrol bot (the name of which eludes me) that restores CSD tags without undoing any other edits made at the same time the tag was removed. That is what should be done here as well, remove the link, leave the rest for human editors to review. Monty845 19:58, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Probably so, but that is a single issue with a specific bot that may need to be given a shorter leash. That is all. History2007 (talk) 20:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

A new idea[edit]

The discussion above made me think: "why not get 7 full time developers to do a more powerful content protection bot?" It will, of course, need funding. But suppose we do this:

  • We help Wikimedia foundation write a specific proposal for a $500k or $700k donation just for this anti-vandal bot project.
  • They shop it around to specific "big ticket" donors. They have little to lose, given that it will not come out of the general budget.
  • The donations may not even have to be be in cash, but in terms of programmer time, e.g. programmers on loan for 6 months from a few of the valley computer/software companies.

It would also help if we suggest having copyvio check features etc. but those are really easy to implement.

In my experience, if there is a will, funding/resources can usually be obtained if the underling idea is solid and it is for a good cause. Then after a year or so there will be serious protection from a bot that was not done through the heroic efforts of a single, part time programmer. I am prepared to help write the proposal, but having other people contribute to it will help. And of course we need to find out how to sell the idea to the foundation.

Ideas? History2007 (talk) 14:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Just to put the figures you're throwing about in perspective, the total internet hosting cost for all Wikimedia projects is $1,047,000 per annum. There's no possibly way we could justify as a legitimate use of charitable funds paying 50–70% of that figure to someone for writing a piece of software which would virtually duplicate the software which currently does the same job for nothing. – iridescent 20:52, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Is that all? A million a year? How about the staff costs? What is the budget for the staff? That must be more. But if that is the type of budget that Wikipedia operates on, then I agree with you that $500k is just out of the ball park. I guess I am thinking in the framework of corporate type IS budgets where $500k gets spent on mid-sized projects - and 50% of them fail anyway. So I agree with you on that issue.
But I can not in any way agree with the "virtually duplicates the software which currently does the same job". The current software is just a starting point and can and will see significant improvements in the future. I can think of 20 different ways it can be improved, but each one needs 9-12 months. The current bots remind me of the "early days of MS DOS" - it worked but was just a start. It is a question of how that can happen. Have companies donated "staff time" before if that type of cash donation is out of the ball park? If they just donate people then it will not look that bad. History2007 (talk) 22:22, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
A million a year is the hosting costs (i.e., the servers and the web hosting bill). The total expenditure per annum (for the whole WMF, not just en-wikipedia) is $10,267,000 including depreciation and amortization; roughly 40% of that is staff costs and travel. (The full summary of the accounts are here if you want them.)
You could obviously try to persuade Jimmy Wales and Sue Gardner of the merits of this—a decision of this magnitude would have to be taken by them—but I think it's very unlikely it would be accepted. Even the vague and amorphous relationship with Google causes questions to be asked; a formal working relationship with a major corporation would seriously compromise Wikipedia's neutrality and possibly spark an editor exodus. As has been alluded to elsewhere, you haven't specified what any putative "content protection bot" would actually do; with the exception of the glaringly obvious "poop!" and page blanking stuff which is already picked up by ClueBot, I can't imagine how a piece of software able to recognize vandalism while allowing legitimate edits would work. Wikipedia's problem isn't the "eric is a fag lol" IP nonsense, it's the deliberate insertion of false information, and there's no realistic way a bot could spot that. – iridescent 23:11, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That link had interesting info, thanks. Live and learn I guess. The telling item was: "Donations $10,000 and above" only had 32 elements in it. I wonder if there were any in the $100k and above. That tells me that the current funding model for Wikipedia is geared towards a large number of small donations. And changing the basic model under which an organization works is a major issue and in any case, it is not something I would try, although I can not but think that there are most probably many larger ticket donations out there that can be sought.

Regarding your question of what an "industrial strength bot" can do that Cluebot and others do not currently do, I have been keeping some lists of those, e.g.:

  • Very basic elements: Even "very simple", repeating character vandalisms e.g. this or even this type of "HIiiidsjfijdddisjdfkkdfjdsk " edits are not currently detected, and have to be hand reverted. These are very easy to detect using a variety of other approaches, but as of now they have to be hand reverted. I have told the Cluebot people about these issues - by the way. For this, someone can just write a "repeat bot" and do that, but it shows that the current system has huge gaps in it. And there are many other gaps like this.
  • Format: Again even basic format items are missed. This one can be easily detected by a bot that parses format. I should not have had to revert this by hand. But again there is absolutely no way the current Cluebot (or any other bot) in use on Wikipedia now could have helped me.
  • Images: It missed the change of an image, this could have been done if it checked that the image suggested was a valid entry in Commons. This is easy to detect but the current Cluebot architecture will probably never be able to do it. At the moment, Cleubot has no hope of even approaching this type of "content protection" but a different bot can do that if it has access to Commons. In general, bots should be able to access the existing structure of Wikipedia as part of their heuristics - none does that now.

And these are just simple example. I can go on, and on and on, e.g. using WordNet within a bot, or using the existing Category and ontology structure within bots, etc., etc. etc. I think as a starting point for a first system Cluebot has done "great" for a system written by a single person as a donation to Wikipedia. But we have a really long way to go yet. History2007 (talk) 07:04, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that you get into sort of a diminishing returns issue. If I'm a donor with $700k to spend, am I really going to use that to save a handful of Wikipedia editors a few minutes of work per day? Even if I've already decided to donate it to the WMF, there are probably more effective uses of the money. As Iridescent noted, the type of vandalism this would catch is not the vandalism that can cause real problems. Mr.Z-man 19:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
No, the $700k donation idea is dead, given the analysis above. But the fact that there are big gaps in the current bots remains valid. As for "is not the vandalism that can cause real problems" I do not agree. It wastes my time as I check and revert it - to me that is a very real problem. Really.
I am now thinking that if he problem is broken into smaller pieces, maybe we can talk some professors to give them as class assignments. The "repeat bot", "format bot", etc. are examples of items that are too simple s a Master's thesis, and can just be class assignments. More complicated ones can become a Master's thesis project if it is suggested. Then in 5 years there can be a set of nice bots out there.
Under the least desirable scenario, yours truly will write a few in the next year or two.... But let us see if that can be avoided.... History2007 (talk) 19:53, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, a "format bot" is more difficult than it sounds. If wikitext was just HTML or a one-to-one conversion to HTML, it wouldn't be very hard. But the MediaWiki parser is designed so that there is no such thing as invalid markup. Some have even argued that it's technically not a real parser because wikitext doesn't have a defined grammar. On top of that, HTML Tidy (almost) ensures that everything will be valid HTML. Everything will render as something. The bot would have to try to determine whether that something is actually desirable. Mr.Z-man 20:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
No, because it does not have to catch everything, just some items as the example above showed. And it would not need to define a grammar for wikitext, it would use its own matching routines for specific items that stand out, e.g. == vs ==== in a section header, missing blockquote closer, etc. and use weights etc. And if it is not sure, it will not revert. Now, by the time we finish talking about it, it may end up getting written... History2007 (talk) 20:33, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
But if anything else happened in the edit, you don't actually want those changes reverted. A minor typo that affects the formatting should not result in hours of good content work being reverted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:05, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
No, there are multiple situations here, it can act if that is the only change as in this example from above, and it does not know the user's edit history etc. Else can just correct that change and leave the rest in place, etc. etc. etc... These are simple design issues, and we have not even opened the Pandora's box of the serious algorithms yet. So let me go off and do a design, then I will see what needs to be done. It seems that fate is declaring that "worst case scenario above" is likely to happen: yours truly will do it. But I am hereby absolutely demanding a 15% salary increase... or else, I am going straight to the employment department and complain. History2007 (talk) 01:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
A final comment, as this edit shows errors are not just introduced by vandals, but through mistakes. In this case, as I copied a template when I wrote the article in April, I must have forgotten to change the artist name, and the glaring error was sitting there util mid May, calling a Rubens painting a del Castagno. Once the category Rubens paintings was added by another user, a bot should have left me, or the other user a message on the talk page to look at that. And it takes no invention to implement this type of bot, just takes time and effort. Without them errors just float around Wikipedia and reduce reliability of the content. History2007 (talk) 18:27, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Mediation (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

This discussion has been open for months, and attracted the attention of three editors (including the proposer), all of whom fully supported labeling it as a policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:04, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
One of those editors is an Arbitrator (and former Mediator) and the other two are official Mediators, so I'm OK with that. NW (Talk) 22:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Abuse of powers?[edit]

I was looking at the recent changes a few days ago and I caught sight of the blocking of User:Vintageceilingfans. Kuru apparently blocked the user after witnessing sevral vandalism issues, one being very disruptive, on celing fan, the others being minor annoyances and trolling. I saw that they immediatly blocked Vintageceilingfans by accusing him of being a sockpuppet. VCF then tried to unblock, saying: "I just joined wikipedia and I now understand It is possible to be blocked so I'll never do that again." to which User:Boing! said Zebedee replied: "Blatant disruptive sock". With this, I see no evidence of sockpuppetry, and Zebedee also did not give VCF. VCF then tried to request an unblock again, saying: "What do you mean I'm a sock? I'm a person." User:jpgordon replied: "Checkuser verified abuser of multiple accounts", which I do not believe. Another admin blocked VCF's talking rights, saying: inappropriate use of user talk page while blocked: enough. I believe this is a possible misuse of powers and should be review by an administrator. Shakinglord (talk) 20:40, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

The proper venue for this sort of thing is located at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:53, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Though if you do take it to another venue, some actual evidence other than "I don't believe it" will help your case. Mr.Z-man 20:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The users involved are
  • This is not the appropriate discussion venue for a review on administrative actions. You need to visit Administrator's Noticeboard Hasteur (talk) 21:06, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Oh, you bunch of policy wonks, pointing him in two directions without bothering to help the guy out. We may claim we are not a fucking bureacracy, but I only see evidence to the contrary. Shakinglord, I suggest that you read this sockpuppet investigation page first though, as Boing said Zebedee explains there why this was a sock and you can see evidence of the wp:Checkuser confirmation by user:Muzemike. Yoenit (talk) 22:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
      Um... yea, OK. You may be alright with spreading user conduct (and admin conduct) issues all over the site, but myself and most other users are not. The Village pump (policy) page is certainly not the venue for this sort of discussion. You may see that as bureaucratic, you're entitled to your opinion, but I fail to see how making derisive statements about myself and others who have replied here is at all helpful. Pointing out the sockpuppet investigation page was helpful, at least.
      — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:23, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I would feel little sympathy for the OP if they had to jump through some hoops for an answer after their '"Checkuser verified abuser of multiple accounts", which I do not believe.' Might I point to WP:AGF and the appropriate question if they have doubts would have been how they could see the evidence of the sockpuppetry please. Plus I don't think sticking 'fucking' in helps anyone. Dmcq (talk) 00:19, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps he did not know what a wp:Checkuser is? That is how I read it. While I agree that any serious discussion on conduct belongs on ANI, a few helpfull links might clear this up for the user and avoid the need for said ANI post altogether. I agree some parts of my comment were inappropriate and have stricken them. Yoenit (talk) 08:36, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Based on the fact that this was a inquiry and raising a question instead of a "Immediate action is needed to prevent harm to wikipedia" I reccomended the regular Administrator's Notice board instead of the Incidents board. To my understanding, ANI is immediate action needed, whereas AN is for less urgent (and more considered) discourse. I think putting the user links in allows us to understand what the context of the issue is rather than the redlinks to the users the OP put in. Hasteur (talk) 12:39, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Voting without comment[edit]

Hello, I am involved in an Afd, and a user voted, writing "*Keep. ~~~~", without explanation. I was pretty sure that this was against policy guidelines, but have been unable to find anything regarding the matter. Any help would be appreciated. Gage (talk) 00:40, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Not against policy but the closing admin will take the "vote" for what it's worth. --NeilN talk to me 00:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Not policy per se, but is WP:PERNOM was you were thinking of?. doomgaze (talk) 01:31, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
It is sort of against WP:NOTVOTE, which is a behavioral guideline. Whenever I see that I always drop that user a note explaining that it is not a vote and that simply saying keep or delete without a word of explanation will be ignored by the closer and will not influence the outcome. There is also {{uw-notvote}}, which is under the "single issue notices" menu in Twinkle. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with NeilN here, with the caveat that "what it's worth" isn't necessarily zero. I don't summarily dismiss such votes, because I don't see much difference between an unreasoned vote, and a vote which endorses and supports someone else's reasonable argument. I interpret a "Keep. ~~~~" given in good faith as a general agreement with the other keep opinions. Thus, it enters into the "vote count", which indicates the strength of the consensus behind each position, but it contributes nothing to the "balance of arguments". However, AFDs are not determined by numerical voting with a fixed threshold for deletion, and in AFDs where the result may be in doubt the "balance of arguments" is often the most critical factor for determining the outcome. In AFDs where the result isn't in doubt, an unreasoned vote either way would not make any difference to the result anyway. Also, other administrators may not deal with unreasoned votes in the manner which I prefer, and they may indeed give such votes no weight at all. I would therefore strongly encourage AFD participants to make their reasoning explicit. Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:53, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Restoring to Account Creators the Ability to Edit Editnotices[edit]

The edit filter 411 has been disabled and bug 29006 was just closed as WONTFIX. So, there is nothing to discuss. Ruslik_Zero 19:16, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

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

I was informed earlier on the Wikipedia Account Creation Assistance channel ( #wikipedia-en-accounts connect ), that the ability for account creators to edit the editnotices was removed. To my knowledge, this was due to admins giving it out simply to allow some users to edit the editnotices. Therefore, this was removed with the Abuse Filters. This wasn't the right thing to do in my opinion and along with the other ACC users, we agree, the admins are addressing a "problem" that doesn't exist directly to the Account Creators. It was helpful for me and Ancient Appreciation to edit the editnotices at WP:ABUSE for assisting users, I know this was done elsewhere too. There is a much easier solution, don't give the right to people without ACC access. Removing this right from the account creators is just another action in my opinion of admins fixing what isn't really broke. The real account creators haven't abused it, so why remove it? We have only helped to contribute to Wikipedia. Here I am to propose that this ability is restored to the real account creators and that it is removed from those without ACC tool access.  JoeGazz  ▲  01:19, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Could you explain what this right allows an editor to do? It sounds like you are letting people change the Edit Summaries that an editor places when they make a new edit? Is this correct? -- Avanu (talk) 08:08, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Editnotice
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 08:18, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Id like to propose an alternative. Two, actually. One obvious alternative is WP:RFA. More to the point of this though, why don't we add an editnotice permission? ("editnotice editor"? yuck, but it's descriptive.)
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:32, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I like the second one, but we still should see an action taken on this temp fix, this wasn't discussed with community. Some of us don't want RfA, it is just a big putdown for some users.  JoeGazz  ▲  01:35, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not particularly keen on becoming an admin myself (kinda sorta for the reasons that Ajraddatz mentions below, but also just because... well, because), so believe me when I tell you that I'm sympathetic. But, you know that this will be the main response to this proposal, if for no other reason then the question that Mr.Z-man is asking below.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 04:03, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Your first option might work if the said process wasn't very broken, and filled with people who regularly confuse adminship with a big deal. Another group would work, too, but I support this proposal since there has never been any harm in letting account creators edit the editnotices. Ajraddatz (Talk) 01:36, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Was giving account creators the ability to edit editnotices ever discussed with the community in the first place? Mr.Z-man 03:45, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't. However technically they still have this ability, I'm just blocking it with the AbuseFilter pending bugzilla:29006. So it isn't actually removed at this point. One could argue that such a filter is pointless and will only stop good edits. That would be true. But I don't want to get in the habit of making account creators for reasons that have nothing to do with creating accounts. Prodego talk 04:09, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Then don't. It wouldn't be that hard to make another group (Editfilter managers?) designed entirely to do this. I think that this would also solve the entire issue - the account creators will still be able to, by getting the new flag, and anyone else is also able to. Seems like a win-win to me. Ajraddatz (Talk) 04:20, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Is there any real harm in letting account creators edit editnotices? Probably not. Is editing editnotices related in any way to what the account creator group was created for? Not in the slightest. Is there a real need for this? I'm not seeing it. Template:Editnotices/Group/Wikipedia:Abuse response has had 7 edits ever, that's not something that's going to overwhelm the {{editprotected}} system. Mr.Z-man 03:45, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support remove the AbuseFilter conditional check until we have a better long term solution (where was this even discussed?).

    As for a long term solution, perhaps we need a user bit specifically for editing templates which have historically been full protected ("Template editors" perhaps?) We had a different proposal recently for editing protected templates and editnotices already live in the Template namespace. It seems to me a long term solution would be a separate user group that allows the editing of templates in a different protection class, basically something in-between semi and full protection. --Tothwolf (talk) 05:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose, per Mr.Z-man. The purpose behind the accountcreator usergroup has nothing to do with edit notices. If you want to edit editnotices, either pass RFA or gain consensus for a new editnotice editor usergroup. NW (Talk)
  • Support disabling this edit filter. It only squanders limited resources of the abuse filter extension on something that essentially a replication of the Titleblacklist. Account creators can do many other things that they were not supposed to do when the group was created. For instance, they can create/move articles to the prohibited titles or exceed any rate limits. Changing edit notices is a very minor issue as compared to those that I mentioned above. So, unless Prodego is going to completely duplicate the titleblacklist with the edit filter (infeasible), the filter should be disabled. Ruslik_Zero 07:59, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
    I completely agree with this statement. Like he says, account creators also the noratelimits right - good luck making a filter that blocks that one outside of account creations. I think that the whole point here is that this "fix" is fixing something which was never broken. Account creators have never abused this, and as such, there is really no reason to remove it. Ajraddatz (Talk) 15:07, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
    The noratelimits right is actually needed for account creators to bypass the limit on account creations. Editing editnotices is 100% unrelated. Mr.Z-man 01:49, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    Actually, the group was initially created to bypass the rate limit[20] [stwalkerster|talk] 14:16, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support It may be that the Account Creator group was never intended for editing edit notices but it is equally true that the AbuseFilter was never intended for stopping them doing it either. Unless there is some evidence of abuse of edit notices by account creators (or even abuse of the account creation privilege by edit notice editors) then blocking this is very inappropriate. Finding a new beneficial use for an existing tool is to be congratulated, rather than hit with an accusation of abuse. SpinningSpark 18:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
    Except from this is exactly why it is called the edit filter now, rather than the abuse filter. - Kingpin13 (talk) 03:58, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: editing editnotices is an administrative task. that would make it a perfect fit for the administrator user group. there's no need to separate this out. -Atmoz (talk) 19:04, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Then please tell me why all of the sudden this is a big issue? This has been done in small scale by accontcreators not abusing the right. It only helps admins focus on things that REQUIRE admins. I personally think this takes away from the idea that wikipedia is open and that the WHOLE community should help.  JoeGazz  ▲  22:46, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support disabling this filter, and oppose in the strongest possible terms the attempt to use an abuse filter to change, without discussion, what had de facto been allowed for at least a year. The abuse filter is meant to, well, prevent abuse, not impose one's own view without talking about it first. Courcelles 23:11, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Can't agree more with Courcelles' support. If NW would like to nominate me so that i can pass RFA, rescind this action, and then resign admin rights i shall gladly accept the nomination. This is a case of someone doing what they want against the accepted and everyone looking for support to undo it. How about it just be undone and the person who put this through in the first place seek support to re-enact it? That would be the sane way to go about it. Or we could go more vigilante and seek a community ban for whomever did this and by default undo this as part of reverting their disruption. By contrast there is more abuse by admins of the right to block people than there is of account creators messing around with editnotices. Shall "block" be removed from admins?
    @ Atmoz, everything is an administrative task.
    Can we get an admin to unilaterally strip the rights of the founder group and see how long it takes to have that rescinded? I doubt there would be a community discussion about restoring those rights.
    If NW wants a new user group i concurrently request that admins NOT have access to the edit filer but that such be distributed from higher up rather than laterally and that all possessing it currently be stripped of it. After all that is what happened here and he supports it happening to others. delirious & lost~hugs~ 23:50, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
    Since you brought it up, I'm down with breaking out the block user-right into a separate group from the "System administrator" user group.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:31, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    I can't find any reason to object to that. Splitting that off would take away the "specialness" of the admin bit and perhaps result in an RFA process closer to the way the admin bit used to be handed out.

    Deliriousandlost, NW didn't implement the edit filter which caused this, User:Prodego did, on 14 May 2011. (See: Special:AbuseFilter/411) According to the log, [21] it was triggered 25 times. As of 00:06, 21 May 2011 the change history shows it as disabled. --Tothwolf (talk) 03:14, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

    I found out later who did it thanks to IRC. Never said that NW did it but since he thinks it right to have done... As for Prodego being the one to unilaterally abuse his admin rights and the abuse filter to take away the rights he doesn't like another group having i ask that he resign his admin rights in disgrace. Prodego's actions are nothing better than "i don't like it and fuck everyone who doesn't agree with me." Using the abuse filter itself to do the abusing should at minimum be cause to remove his access to the abuse filter (and with still being an admin he could give it back to himself 3 minutes later which is the related problem). I don't really do much with AN & ANI and stuff but if someone would care to tell me where this should be brought to regarding Prodego's actions or point me to an already open topic on his actions that would be nice. delirious & lost~hugs~ 18:29, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    Let's not get all hyperbolic about anything, here. If you (or anyone) wants to post a proposal, I'd recommend Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct. No one can really force Prodego (or anyone else, for that matter) to do anything here... well, arbcom can. They're that way, but I don't see them doing anything here without at least an RFC/U. Honestly, I don't foresee anything going anywhere here, which is probably a good thing. Here's a thought, why not go to Prodego's talk page and calmly and rationally explain why you think that he should change his mind?
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 18:47, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, however I did disable this filter 18 hours ago. I am not opposed to giving out the ability to edit edit notices. In fact, I don't see any reason why all editors shouldn't be able edit edit notices - that would be my preferred solution. However, it has nothing to do with account creation, was never intended to be included in that user group. So long as we are restricting edit notices to admins, we should not be using an unintended consequence of how edit notices were set up, and how tboverride was set up to try to get around that. Prodego talk 19:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    I've wondered why the ability to edit editnotice pages was restricted to admins from the get go. There's discussion about that in the history, somewhere. Maybe we could gather support now for loosening the restriction itself?
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 19:28, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    It was because they are implemented via a page in the Mediawiki namespace, which is admin only. The Template:Editnotice subpages are just transcluded in to the Mediawiki space. Prodego talk 19:34, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    Right... a major part of the conversation is here: Wikipedia talk:Editnotice/Archive_3#Allow more non-admins to edit? I have to say, I thought then, and I still believe now, that restricting editing to admins is overkill. Especially in User space. Oh well.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 19:51, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - Per all Supports. Mlpearc powwow 00:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose in the strongest of terms; there is absolutely fuck-all reason that "account creators" – editors trusted solely with the capability to register accounts for other editors – should in any way have more right to alter editnotices more than any other non-administrator editors. This is a ridiculous proposal, and a barnstar for Prodego for putting a stop to this nonsense. Skomorokh 00:13, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per Courcelles, this edit filter was made without discussion and there has been no problem in the 2-3 years the account creator permission has been around with account creators sticking their nose into places where it does not belong. A handful of users in the group are in it because editing editnotices is what they were granted the right for. —James (TalkContribs)10:18am 00:18, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Weak Support If we are going to remove de facto rights, it needs be done though a discussion. In any case, I'll likely move to a full support if Ancient Apparition's claim about people being granted the right primarily so they could edit editnotices. Hobit (talk) 02:12, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
    • If anything here is a misuse of sysop tools, granting accountcreator to someone for reasons entirely different for why the community created the group is it. The community created the account creator group to allow people to create accounts for users unable to do so on their own, nothing more. It isn't a de facto right, it's an accident of convenience that people exploited. It could have been proposed to the community to officially allow account creators to do it, but no, people just unilaterally chose to use their rights for something the community was never consulted on. Admins have the technical ability to edit any protected page, that doesn't mean that it's appropriate for them to do so whenever they please. I don't see why the same principle shouldn't apply to others. Mr.Z-man 04:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
      • yeah, I get that. If this had only been on-going for a few weeks, I'd even agree. But in general, per BRD, we tend to do things and see if anyone objects. If not, it pretty much becomes the status quo. After a year, I think we've hit the "this is now the status quo" level. I can totally see the other side and the claim that this was snuck in and so shouldn't be allowed. But did people really not realize this was bundled until just now? (*I* didn't, so perhaps it was largely unknown, but this is outside of anything I generally pay attention to). Hobit (talk) 19:51, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
        • It wasn't explicitly bundled. Basically, we use the Titleblacklist to restrict editing of editnotices, but we also use it to restrict usernames for vandal/attack names. Originally, only admins could override the blacklist, but the ability was given to account creators so that they could create accounts for people whose names were blocked from creation. My issue is less that account creators can do it, more that it's gotten to the point where users are being given the right primarily for editing editnotices, essentially bypassing the community's wishes regarding the purpose of the accountcreator right. I'm all for BRD when it comes to regular editing and policies, but things on the technical side often have few people watching and can have broad consequences. Mr.Z-man 03:01, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Why is this necessary? For what it's worth, I'm one of the rouge accountcreators who's used the right to create an editnotice- in this case to override the namespace one for AfC. Accountcreator wasn't meant to let users edit editnotices. Most of us won't miss the ability to do so. That should be made clear to the sysops granting it, and to the users granted it. However, unilaterally implementing a filter preventing edits that at the end of the day are nowhere near abuse is not only out-of-process but a rather silly solution to something that wasn't a problem. sonia 03:06, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support If this is not reverted, we are essentially setting a precedent, that if an administrator doesn't like a group of users being able to do something, he/she can create an edit filter to stop it, without discussion. If the administrator who created the filter feels that users with the Account Creator permission shouldn't be allowed to create/modify edit notices, then he/she should have started a discussion, not taken the rules in to his/her own hands. The question here is not about whether Account Creators should have the right to create edit notices. Instead, the question here, is should Administrators have full authority to modify tools associated with groups without proper discussion? The answer here is a definite no. AndrewN talk 03:31, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, account creation and edit notices have nothing to do with each other. We could just as well add the ability to edit the edit notices to the ipblockexempt permission. Or not. —Кузьма討論 05:43, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't really care, but they have nothing to do with each other. The real solution to this is to fix edit notice protection from the kludge of a hack that it is at the moment, possibly implementing a new group to edit them. I'd like to point out that as edit notices are all blacklisted on the title blacklist as a way of protecting them, it's not possible to stop accountcreators from editing them in the current form without the use of the AbuseFilter extension, nor is it possible to only allow people to edit edit notices without giving them the ability to create anything that's listed on the title blacklist. A proper technical solution to this is required for this to be properly fixed. The thing that I really do disagree with is granting accountcreator to people who only want to edit edit notices. [stwalkerster|talk] 14:26, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: If you want {{TFA title}} to continue to function, some sort of replacement group with the tboverride right (or some other solution than the title blacklist to prevent editing all these pages, or replacing User:AnomieBOT II with an adminbot) will be required before bug 29006http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=29006 is fixed. Anomie 15:55, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What Mr.Z-man said. But yes, Prodego was a bit silly. Killiondude (talk) 06:43, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

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


Alternative solution[edit]

OK, this sounds at the basis almost the opposite of the initial solution, however, I feel it would have a similar effect to the above and also solve the whole thing of account creators being account creators not edit notice managers.

  • Revoke tboverride from the account creator group
    Will stop account creators from overriding the title blacklist anywhere (and hence edit notices)
  • Grant tboverride-account to the account creator group
    Will allow account creators to override the title blacklist on account creation only
  • Create a new group "something" (name doesn't matter at this stage)
  • Grant tboverride to "something" group
    A group allowed to generically override the title blacklist
  • Add the set of users in the account creator group to "something" group
    ...so current account creators don't get annoyed at losing abilities.

Initially, this will have zero effect to the current way things run (before the filter was implemented).

This should solve:

  • Account creators editing edit notices when they "aren't supposed to"
  • People being given account creator specifically to edit edit notices
  • Account creators getting annoyed at losing abilities

Opinions? [stwalkerster|talk] 19:30, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment - I like this idea, it would solve the issue, I will give it thought.  JoeGazz  ▲  21:22, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - As an Account Creator who has "Dabbled" with editnotices this would work just fine. Mlpearc powwow 22:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Better than the original proposal at least. Skomorokh 23:06, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I think this is overkill (is tboverride-account a real right?). The protection policy is plenty sufficient to keep admins from misusing their ability to edit protected pages, a policy restriction should suffice in this case. Mr.Z-man 00:28, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • It is, see bug 22141http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=22141 and rev:76344. Anomie 02:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
      • In that case, support the first 2, oppose the last 3 - Account creators don't need the ability to override the title blacklist except for account creations. However, we don't create new user groups unless there's actually a need for it. Users getting annoyed at losing abilities they weren't meant to have is not a need. Mr.Z-man 15:51, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
        • But some will argue there is a need for non-admins to be able to edit editnotices. That's why I included it initially. It's just a matter of perspective as to whether there's a need or not. [stwalkerster|talk] 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
          • If people can actually explain what that need is, sure. But I've yet to see such an explanation. Mr.Z-man 03:16, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Sensible. —James (TalkContribs)11:15am 01:15, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support but possibly only giving the right to those that request it. The right will also give the possibility of renaming files or pages to blacklisted names. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:14, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support but yes, as per Graeme, we should not give this right out to all account creators, requests should be made individually, through RFP or admins. The Helpful One 16:18, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Open for discussion - it's just intended to stop complaints by existing account creators. [stwalkerster|talk] 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment What problem is this proposal supposed to solve? The current arrangement is satisfactory, IMHO. Ruslik_Zero 17:11, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Given this thread exists, it seems there's some disagreement as to whether or not the current arrangement is satisfactory. I'm only trying to come up with a compromise. [stwalkerster|talk] 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with Rusklik0, the current arrangement is perfectly fine. The ability to edit editnotices has not been abused by account creators. It is really quite odd to create a edit filter just to block the editing of edit notices by account creators considering it hasn't been abused and the filter only blocks the ability to edit edit notices. Other blacklisted pages can still be edited by account creators. Creating yet another user group will serve no purpose except to create further bureaucracy. Should we also remove the administrator ability to edit the MediaWiki namespace? After all, administrators really don't need the ability to do their jobs, it is just useful. However such a proposal would never pass, because there are many administrators who work in that area and would not relish the idea of going through a process just to get a tool they currently already have. So what purpose does it serve to remove the account creator ability to edit edit notices? Alpha Quadrant talk 20:21, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • ...the idea was not to remove it and force account creators to go through the process to regain something they already had. This is why I proposed adding all existing account creators to the new group. As it "hasn't been abused" as many have said (I've not checked personally), this should be uncontroversial. [stwalkerster|talk] 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Thanks for the explanation stwalkerster. That does make perfect sense. Alpha Quadrant talk 18:29, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes sense. Ajraddatz (Talk) 20:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as second choice. I can't imagine the right is highly needed, and I worry a bit about people "gathering rights". So first choice is status quo, just allow account creators to have this right as a bundled right to prevent all these niggly rights. Hobit (talk) 02:21, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

The ability to make edit notices still exists[edit]

Go to my talk page and click edit. Testingeditnotics (talk) 16:47, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Users have always been (and will be) able to edit editnotices in their own userspace. Ruslik_Zero 17:09, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Not that it's really important here, but that's not true at all. Loosening the grip of control over editnotices so that users could edit the ones in their own user space required a bit of discussion. See the archives at Wikipedia talk:Editnotice.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:50, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

The other kind of RFCs[edit]

Are automatically linked RFCs, e.g., RFC 1149 an exception to the rule of avoiding external links in article bodies? If not, should they always be escaped with <nowiki> when so used? Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 21:37, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

  • My vote is to open a bug and convince someone to change the software so that the auto-linking doesn't happen. This sort of thing is a holdover... linking to internet working group RFC's used to be a "cool thing to do". On the other hand, I don't support <nowiki>'ing those instances where it is used at all. Kludges are never an efficient use of time or resources, and there's no dire emergency here to correct.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:57, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It looks like it's on the list of magic. I think it's fine. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:24, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't see the autolinking as a problem. If you want to prevent autolinking, any of these will work (I tend to prefer the first example, as it is the most explicit and easy to understand):
    RFC<nowiki /> 1149
    RFC&#32;1149
    RFC&nbsp;1149
    For citing IETF RFCs, I'd suggest {{Cite IETF}}. --Tothwolf (talk) 02:54, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/All current discussions has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/All current discussions (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

why on earth would we do this? It is not a policy--its a page where we discuss applications of policy. (same comment applies to the others below. I may have missed the discussion, but this makes no sense to me, so if not explained, I shall revert. DGG ( talk ) 08:41, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
It looks like a mistake based on transclusion of a policy onto other pages. This is one of the things that VeblenBot helps us detect so that we can fix it right away. It looks like the problem has been fixed now. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:38, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
It happened when two categories were added to Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Speedy/Criteria [22] which is widely transcluded. [23] I fixed it with a <noinclude> [24] when I saw the notification here. --Tothwolf (talk) 12:46, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Talk page contributions keep getting deleted by zealous biased 'custodians' of The Church of the SubGenius[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Church_of_the_SubGenius Note the deletion of the post 06:19, 23 May 2011 (diff | hist) Talk:Church of the SubGenius ‎ (sinebot deleted entry from talk page.) (top) which is visible when my user page is viewed. Much as Scientology zealously edits its pages to harmonize with internally perceived notions of how the faith should be perceived, the Church of the SubGenius affiliated editors like to keep any disharmony from their page. Until the last few days, the 'Bob Black Bombing' section of the article proper got itself edited out of 'legal matters'. The reason I have not edited the Kevin Underwood information directly into the article, is that as he was merely associated with a number of church members as opposed to being an actual Reverend (misreported on the Kevin Underwood article) and as such while I think there should be a mention in the article, it isn't precisely something that belongs under legal matters of the church. Nor do I think anyone without a few barnstars is going to have any luck against mob article enforcement. You can expect a series of hostile edits and halfassed hackery in working with this article, the 'frop' paranoia leads to many overzealous 'custodians' working to keep their world-view from being unrepresented in their Wikipedia article. 71.102.18.173 (talk) 16:01, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi, this page is for discussing Wikipedia's policies. It is not part of the dispute resolution system. There are many options there for you to pursue, you could also post at the incident noticeboard. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:05, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't find any sign of SineBot deleting anything from the talk page. The "Bob Black Bombing" section was archived automatically by MiszaBot since it was over a year. This isn't evidence of any sort of pro-SubGenius whitewashing of the talk page. Gamaliel (talk) 17:48, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

RfC on dashes[edit]

Dear editors, an RfC entitled simple resolution to disagreements over dashes is live at the Manual of Style talk page. Your participation, opinions, views would be appreciated. Tony (talk) 16:22, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Let us know when this crucial issue, which is obviously vitally important and not a nitpicky waste of time on a subject few users care about, is decided. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:19, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
That type of attitude is part of the reason Wikipedia has trouble retaining editors. Just because an issue isn't important to you doesn't mean it's not important to anybody. While I am not well versed in the issue of hyphens vs en dashes vs em dashes, I respect people who try to develop a consistent and reasonable policy on the issue. Buddy431 (talk) 02:51, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
One might say the fact we have an RfC over dashes is part of the reason Wikipedia has trouble retaining editors. Killiondude (talk) 05:18, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Point to Killiondude. Carrite (talk) 01:40, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Can we open an RfC on whether we give a monkey's? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:50, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
At long last! I have awaited the day that this controversial issue be put to rest. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 04:39, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Lol@Killion's thing, and it makes sense for people to just use -. A, no one really cares about the differences between that and the long one; B, no one can actually type out the long one; C, no one knows the proper usage afaik except a few people. So why is it an issue? xD Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 04:44, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
No, a mere RFC isn't enough...such a crucial issue needs 3 AN/I threads and an ARBCOM decision...oh wait.... DeCausa (talk) 21:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
You mean like Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking? --Tothwolf (talk) 23:09, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Typing the long one is easy. Alt 0151. As is the short one. Alt 0150. My mnemonic for remembering which is which is that the larger one takes the larger value. I use both almost every day.--SPhilbrickT 19:29, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
There is quite literally not one good reason why readers--you know, the people who use this site and outnumber editors by several million to one--should be forced to use arcane keyboard combinations in order to come up with something that looks like what we use every day. The MOS wankers are, as usual, not only failing to see the forest for the trees, they are in fact arguing over whether trees even exist in the first place and what colour they should be. I cannot wait for the Wikipedia equivalent of Ark B to take off. → ROUX  20:25, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Ark B is thataway. – iridescent 20:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) No, they're planning a feasibility study to explore product placement strategies for "wood." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Not long after I first started editing Wikipedia several years ago I came across an argument over dashes on some article talk page. I could scarcely believe that anyone thought it important enough to argue about. I haven't bothered to keep count of how many times I have seen similar arguments since then, but unfortunately I have long since reached the point where it doesn't surprise me in the least that this stupid discussion is being conducted. A very large proportion of the disputes that take up time at ANI, RFC, and so on stem from the fact that editors get really worked up about matters that they could easily walk away from and forget, but this must really be one of the silliest of all. If and when this pointless discussion comes to a conclusion, what will have been achieved? The vast majority of editors will not know about the decision, and so will carry on as before. Some of us who do know about it will think it's pointless and will ignore it. And, most important of all, the overwhelming majority of people who use Wikipedia as a source of information will never notice the difference, and of those few who do most will have better things to do with their brains and will have the sense not to care. JamesBWatson (talk) 07:52, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Order please[edit]

Okay folks, one way to kill disputes is to get a consensus - the final voting is taking place at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/dash drafting, but we are just finalising the questions (to see if any were left out). For all those who think this is not worth voting over, if you do vote for whichever you feel slightly in favour of for whatever reason, we strengthen the case for consensus so we don't keep having these arguments. This is one of those "strike while the iron is hot" moments where we can nail this and move on to more productive pursuits. So please, everyone keep calm and focussed - really focus on looking forwards and not backwards. Under the arbitration motion, admins can be proactive in monitoring reversions and civility. So this is general advice for everyone to keep their cool. Please. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Wow, you really don't get it do you? Beeblebrox (talk) 08:33, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't get "it", whatever "it" refers to here. Care to explain?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 08:40, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
The above section is chock of full of comments about how utterly unimportant this is to 99.999% of the world, and yet here we have a user trying to get everyone riled up to come and "vote for whichever you feel slightly in favour of for whatever reason" which rather misses the point that most people don't know or care what the difference is and will not abide by or even want to know what the result of this process is. I hope that clarifies matters for you. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:35, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you might be trying to say this is like Parkinson's Law of Triviality about a committee's deciding the colour of a bicycle shed compared to the siting of a nuclear plant. I would reject that utterly. This is a very important point, consistency in doing this will stop people always wondering which of the three different symbols to use and stop an enormous amount of time wasting and indirection in Wikipedia. You only have to look at the amount of trouble and dissention this point has caused to see it is not a trtivial matter. Dmcq (talk) 16:49, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
TBH I think the wider view of the community is that it doesn't matter one jot what symbol individual editors use, and that the fact this is still an issue amongst a small faction of editors is becoming tedious. You know, perhaps the easiest way to solve this is propose the same ideas as with references; do not disturb the existing practice on an article. That would probaly pass nice and easy. Let's propose it here, get consensus and put an end to the bickering. --Errant (chat!) 16:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's the thing: this isn't a user conduct issue. People involved in the debate here (rightly) aren't particularly concerned about "what symbol individual editors use". The issue is what symbols our articles should use generally, under various circumstances. It also includes a component of deciding exactly how much or how little role Wikipedia guidelines and policy plays. yourself and others may be either anarchists, or would prefer to stick your heads in the sand, but there are others who are not (obviously), including the Arbitration Committee at the moment.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:10, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
That's the same sort of overblown hyperbole about the importance of this non-issue that caused all this pointless ruckus in the first place. Not caring one way or the other about something so incredibly trivial is not an indication of being an anarchist or an isolationist. ArbCom hasn't said much beyond telling everyone involved to come down off their collective ledge and make a decision, they don't seem to care what that decision is any more than the rest of us. Reminder: we aren't here to show off how well we can craft a consistent policy on the use of small horizontal lines, we are here to build the best encyclopedia this earth has ever seen. Our readers, the people we are doing this for, are never going to know or care what the result of this flaming ruin of a debate is. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
👍 Like Killiondude (talk) 19:00, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Right, because caring about how we write (collectively) is so obviously a waste of time.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 19:06, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
How did you do that Killiondude? Oh yeah, 👍 Like. SpinningSpark 19:19, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Multiple accounts?[edit]

Is it possible for wikipedia editors to have multiple accounts? Not neccesarily a sockpuppet but another account for a contributial editor? Shakinglord (talk) 16:27, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

It is certainly possible, and there are legitimate reasons for one person to have multiple accounts; see Wikipedia:Multiple Accounts. If the account is for another person, then it isn't "multiple accounts" anyway, although if the two people edit from the same place (same computer, or two computers in the same home sharing an external IP address), then it might be a good idea to note the relationship on your user pages to avoid confusion in the event of a sockpuppet investigation. --RL0919 (talk) 16:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thank you, I was thinking about experimenting using a new account. I wanted to try using anti-vandalism software on a new account similar to my account name. Shakinglord (talk) 17:00, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be similar to your main account name, although most editors do that. I have one completely different from my main account name just for fun; Hall of Jade. Especially if you create an account close to your name, just make sure you clearly mark it as yours so someone doesn't think it's an impersonator. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:24, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
You may want to use {{User Alternate Acc}} & {{User Alternate Acct Name}}. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 15:32, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd recommend it, even though I don't do it myself. Hall of Jade (お話しになります) 04:02, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

a newbee with questions about advertising?[edit]

industrial and commercial products / manufacturers are often named directly, referenced or added to picture labels in generic articles. the references often have external links to the commercial web site. I have been corrected that links to external technical references (ASME gas turbine papers) listed and free to obtain at a commercial web site is wrong. this does not look fair. i respect wiki enough not to care what the official policy is, so long as I understand. can someone point me at the relevant wiki material to learn more about this? has anyone found a simple test that works most of the time? p.s. i come from an academic area where if it is not relevant it is edited out.Mkoronowski (talk) 03:41, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

See our rules on external links and more generally our rules against commercial misuse of Wikipedia as a whole. --Orange Mike | Talk 21:02, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
The first given by Orangemike is for the external links section only. I would say that it is ok if other sources are not available. It is always best to link to non-commercial sources and to a stable URL (to avoid any future dead links). -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 22:13, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any examples of how you are using these links? -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 22:13, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics/Straw poll regarding lists of mathematics articles[edit]

User:JHunterJ has suggested that the broad issues raised at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics/Straw poll regarding lists of mathematics articles should be discussed at the Village Pump, and not confined to the relatively obscure straw poll where these matters are now being discussed.

To provide a brief summary, there is an alphabetical set of 27 pages in a List of mathematics articles series. These pages are assembled by a maintenance bot, which regularly adds new content to them by adding whatever links fall within any mathematics-related categories. The lists have therefore come to include hundreds of links to disambiguation pages. The Manual of Style for disambiguation pages (WP:MOSDAB) has a policy addressing such links (WP:INTDABLINK) which states that intentional links to disambiguation pages must be piped through a redirect containing "(disambiguation)" in order to make it clear that such links are not errors requiring repair. Efforts to make such repairs to the lists of mathematics articles are overwritten by a maintenance bot, which adds back the direct disambiguation links as part of its routine. This has been brough to the attention of the mathematics project, some members of which have asserted that it is necessary for direct links to disambiguation pages to be present in these lists because the lists themselves are used by various bots to alert editors of changes occurring in project-related pages. Based on this perceived need, those project members have declared the lists to be an exception to MOSDAB. No prior discussion has occurred where these pages were in fact determined to constitute such an exception.

A number of solutions have been proposed to accommodate the needs of all parties, including the exclusion of disambig links from the lists, moving or copying the lists, or certain elements of them, to project space, or moving the disambiguation pages themselves to titles including "(disambiguation)", although the last option would also violate MOSDAB, albeit in a way that does not hinder the work of disambiguators. These proposals have been rejected by at least some members of the effected project as requiring too much work, or being unnecessary in light of the pages having been deemed an exception by those members.

What is really at issue in this discussion are the questions:

  1. Can a project make an internal determination that articles constitute an exception to Manual of Style provisions such as those in MOSDAB, which were instituted to enable errors to be repaired (as opposed to those instituted merely to conform to aesthetic norms);
  2. Is it permissible to keep lists in article space when the primary function of those lists is to facilitate project maintenance; and
  3. Can a bot permissibly be used to revert edits that bring links in line with the Manual of Style, and add links to pages that do not comply with policies or guidelines?

I have tried to present the situation neutrally here, although I am fairly deeply involved in the discussion occuring on the project space, on behalf of disambiguation efforts. On a more personal aesthetic note, I find lists like these (occurring in many projects) generally to be ugly walls of links, of little value to a visitor actually trying to find something. In this particular case, it is impossible to make any substantial reform to the content or layout of any of these pages, as the bot will merely come by and undo any repairs or improvements in its next pass. The bot owner is awaiting the consensus generated by the straw poll to act on this matter. This being the situation, I agree with JHunterJ that wider community input into the situation would be helpful. Cheers! bd2412 T 19:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

My opinion is that projects should be able to vary MOS requirements if there is a valid reason. After all it is a guideline only. Lists in article space should only be there if they also have use as an article or navigation tool for readers. If there is no such use, primary or secondary it should go in the WP: space. Instead of proposal 3, isn't there a nobots directive that you can add to a page to keep bots from tampering with it? If not then there should be, and used. We do not need a battle of the bots reversing each others actions. However an alternative proposal could be a nobots template that obfuscates the link enough that bots cannot edit it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:19, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Graeme, as always, I appreciate your views. The bot being used in this case ignores (in fact, deletes) {{nobots}} tags on these lists; the bot's owner has indicated that he will make whatever changes are necessary to accord with whatever consensus is reached, but we must first develop a consensus in the straw poll for that to happen. As for the namespace issue, it has been proposed that the pages are useful in mainspace for browsing, but I don't see readers getting much use from overstuffed walls of links. Actually, one of the proposals in the straw poll is to maintain two sets of lists, one in article space that conforms to all MOS guidelines and is ordered in a neater and more user-friendly fashion, and one in project space that contains all the links needed for maintenance tasks. bd2412 T 13:16, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I would prefer the debate be phrased in terms of what is best for producing an encyclopaedia rather than whether some guideline is being followed in a particular case. Dmcq (talk) 21:16, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I've been unable to find a good solution for a related DAB problem: the disambiguation-with-possibilities page. A clean example is acute leukemia.
It's a legitimate search term, and there's no good guess what the readers are looking for. They might be looking for one of the major types of acute leukemia (acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia). They might also be looking for information about one of the rarer types. They might be looking for information about acute leukemias as a class; you could write a reasonable overview article on that page.
It's not really a disambiguation page, because they're all closely related. But I'm not sure that it's exactly what we mean by a set index, either. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
We have a policy for that called WP:DABCONCEPT. If it is possible to write a substantive article collectively addressing the links, then they are not really ambiguous, but are merely expressions of a broader concept. In the case of acute leukemia, the term is used to describe a family of serious medical conditions relating to an original diagnosis of leukemia, which is itself a legitimate target article for a nonspecific reference to someone suffering from the condition. By the way, while you are here, your input would be most welcome in the straw poll referenced above. Cheers! bd2412 T 19:27, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/List of mathematics articles (A-C) and the related article are stuck in Category:Indexes of articles. They should not be there. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 05:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Are Bus Routes Encyclopaedic?[edit]