Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 91

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Guideline for "don't take edits personal"[edit]

Where is the guideline for "don't take edits to your contributions personal"? IIRC there was one. --Subfader (talk) 11:43, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

There is Wikipedia:Assume good faith, but I don't think that's what you mean. It may be that you're looking for an essay, not a guideline. Can you remember anything else about the page you're looking for? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 17:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Assume good faith is what I was lookign for. Thanks a lot! --Subfader (talk) 06:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

RFC Notice - proposed changes to WP:V[edit]

I draw your attention to the RFC at WT:Verifiability#RFC - Compromise proposal re first sentence re proposed changes to WP:Verifiability. As this relates to a core policy, it is hoped that we can receive comments from a wide spectrum of the community. Please swing by, read the proposal and accompanying rational, and leave a comment. Blueboar (talk) 12:40, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Policy on Organizing Wikipedia Workshops at professional associations?[edit]

What is the policy on organizing public workshops at conventions of professional associations? The aim would be to increase the numbers of active and informed new editors and to make sure that they are properly informed of policies and aims. I assume that the sessions should be well publicized both within the particular association and on Wikipedia, though I do not know how to do the second one. One obvious way is through relevant Projects, but this would not reach all the interested editors who might be active but not members of the Project. I searched the Help pages for "Outreach," "collaboration," and the like, but could not find a project that is now going on. I would be most thankful for any help or advice. ch (talk) 06:28, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I found Wikipedia:Meetup -- seems to cover it? ch (talk) 06:00, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi. That sounds like a fantastic idea. :) I have never really organized anything of this sort myself, but I asked some staff members where you might start, and they suggested that you'd probably be interested in having a look at the outreach Wiki. There are all kinds of resources there that might help you and give you ideas. If you have any questions or run into any issues, please drop me a line at my talk page. I'll be happy to try to help put you in touch with people and resources if I can. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:04, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
There is quite a lot of this going on, but obviously real-life events have to start with the geography. I presume you are talking about the US. These things are normally organized by local chapters, which are a bit different from other countries there. Johnbod (talk) 15:39, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
THanks for the feedback -- I'll be in touch if I can get my plans more specific. The Outreach page looks very helpful. ch (talk) 05:22, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia about to snuff out the World's entire Italian speaking population from its website?????[edit]

It has been brought to my attention that the Italian language version of the Wikipedia FREE encyclopedia is in danger of being deleted because of an Italian language law. I couldn't hold myself back from voicing how grievous a mistake this would be. Not only is it bowing down to one state's laws that go against free speech and take public liberty and constitutional rights a giant step back, but it also undermines and punishes the Italian speaking community outside of the Republic of Italy. It would hardly be fair to delete the Spanish language version of wikipedia because of censorship laws in Cuba, or the French language version because of some new directive in a single French speaking nation. The same is true for Italians. It is a gross assumption that the Italian language is dead outside of Italy. Italian is in fact an official language of Switzerland as well as in parts of Croatia and Slovania. More significantly it is the language of a community of descendants from one of the largest diaspora in the last few centuries. United States, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and France all contain populations of Italian speakers exceeding a million persons. Also significant populations reside in Canada, Australia, Germany, Egypt, Libya. This is a terrible discrediting of the voices and rights of these people who are not bound by any law of the Italian Republic. This is an open commons that does not represent the laws of any country but of the human condition. The moment that a website like this caves in to such an atrocious attack on the free speech, wikipedia ceases to be what it has set out to be and is not deserving of any respects or funding. If the Italian language version is upheld, I will go on a campaign to make sure it's funding is strongly upheld. If it is deleted, I will personally make sure that everyone I know will be advised not to fund of utilize the website and in turn try and start telling their associates to do likewise starting a movement. This would be the definition of democracy and in a democracy the people cannot comply with a system that stifles any kind of freedom or right nor ignores the needs of any community. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mattk0516 (talkcontribs) 17:45, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

  • For those (like me) who somehow missed reading about this until seeing Mattk0516's post, there's a summary of events at Italian Wikipedia#2011 mass blanking protest, but the links provided there to discussions on Italian Wikipedia now lead, of course, to blanked pages. There's a discussion in the comments section of the Wikimedia Foundation blog here: Regarding recent events on Italian Wikipedia. If anyone knows of other places, on Meta or elsewhere, where there are useful links to information or constructive discussions, the links would be most appreciated. --Arxiloxos (talk) 18:18, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  • This is a protest - causing issues for legitimate users is the point and how they get their message across. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:29, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
    • See also User talk:Jimbo Wales for a discussion of this.Griswaldo (talk) 18:47, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
      • In the (I hope) unlikely event that the Chamber of Deputies decides to pass this, would the effect not pertain to all posters in or from Italy, in any language? In a practical sense would that not preclude any WMF assets being located in Italy? If Italian citizens and residents would not be legally able to edit BLPs to which the subject chose to disagree, might they not simply use edit requests on the associated talkpage, to then be implemented by editors who are not subject to that law? Or is there an extraterritorial aspect to the law? LeadSongDog come howl! 20:49, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
        • Based on the summary at Italian Wikipedia#2011 mass blanking protest, it is targeted at websites, not simply whomever posts on them, because the remedy is to force the website to accept a counterpost or reply to the offensive statement. I think in practice this would be unenforceable against any website not based (i.e., hosted on servers physically located) in Italy; the U.S. government certainly would never respect it (nor could they constitutionally). It's also not stated what would happen if the website refused to allow a counterreply--what are the teeth of the law, so to speak? So while I think it's nice to have an expression of solidarity by the Italian wiki editors with those websites that would be affected (which is all I think this blanking is), I think it's rather absurd to believe this could affect any Wikimedia project. Unless we have a bunch of servers in Tuscany that I'm not aware of. postdlf (talk) 21:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
          • Websites can be fined 12000 euros per instance, but it is not clear whether they can do anything against individual contributors. Many editors based in Italy are pretty scared of the thing though. Dragons flight (talk) 21:43, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
            • You'd sure want to keep your mobile on a short leash! LeadSongDog come howl! 22:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

"The bill, due to begin its journey through parliament next week, includes a clause that puts blogs on the same footing as news websites. It stipulates that anyone who believes they have been defamed or misrepresented in a blog has a right of reply. The blogger would get 48 hours in which to accede to the demand. In the event of a refusal, he or she would become liable for the fine. This is not the first time Berlusconi's government has prompted howls of outrage from the blogosphere. A similar proposal was made last year, but failed to make headway in the legislature." Hooper, John (27 September 2011), Italy's bloggers to protest over 'fascist' right to reply bill, The Guardian  . postdlf (talk) 02:39, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it's me, but how many times do we need to have our noses rubbed in the "Italian Wikipedia Issue" (AN,ANI,VP*). Co-ordinate and put out 1 main discussion section and then do a minor blurb with the link to the central discussion. The way it's being covered you would think that they were killing kittens and drinking their blood on national TV for the amount of coverage it's getting on the noticeboards. Hasteur (talk) 02:50, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it's just me, but I find all of this noise about the "Italian Wikipedia Issue" a refreshing change from that other news topic from Italy. The way the tv media in my part of the world has been covering this, you'd think the entire Italian legal system were deciding innocence & guilt by killing kittens and drinking their blood. (Hey, it's all Berlusconi's fault in both cases, from what I've read.) -- llywrch (talk) 21:37, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:CRYSTAL and TV episodes airing at a future date[edit]

An ongoing discussion about a block at WP:AN has lead to a side discussion about how to deal with articles created about TV show episodes that have yet to air. In this discussion I have argued that WP:CRYSTAL supports, at most, having stubs of such articles, especially if content can only be derived from sources that are directly or indirectly promotional. After all we are meant to write articles based on "independent" coverage of topics. In the discussed case, I believe all sources originate from BBC generated PR. Others seem to disagree with this reading of WP:CRYSTAL. I wonder if, especially given the disagreement, WP:CRYSTAL gives enough guidance in these situations and if it needs to be alter or if other policy needs to be created or amended to deal with PR based content in these situations. One of my concerns is that if we start writing articles in advance of events and product releases, and we base them on information coming out of press releases, then we create a stable, consensus version of articles that is heavily biased towards the company's desired view of the product or event. When the event happens or the product is released truly independent sources now have to compete with this supposedly consensus version. Any thoughts on this?Griswaldo (talk) 14:04, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

  • I have not looked yet at the example case. However, I agree with the general principle as stated by Griswaldo. We should not be basing entire articles on PR materials, which are by definition not independent, reliable sources. Once a show has aired, if independent criticism is written about the program, we can use that to create a reasonable article LadyofShalott 14:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Could this be expanded to cover movies and video games as well? Just a thought. Kwsn (Ni!) 14:23, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
    • What we have to remember is that much of the pre-release press for a published worked, while PR, can also provide lots of details in regards to development, filming, creation, etc. Many AAA title video games have developer diaries published by the publisher, yes, purely for potential buyers to be excited about the game, but from an encyclopedic standpoint, these are excellent sources to assemble the challenges and changes over a development period. So just because something has not been published and the only sources are ones that are effectively PR doesn't mean we shouldn't have an article on it. We do want to distinguish between when it is just preliminary PR (the initial announcement and release date, and teasers and the like), and the pre-release PR that explains more of the behind the scenes. --MASEM (t) 15:17, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
      • Then it provides a great resource for additional information once other sources have already covered the topic. During the period of time that the promotional materials is actively trying to promote a product release and/or upcoming event it's aim is to promote not to provide us with neutral and objective information. It needs to be treated within the context it is produced.Griswaldo (talk) 15:21, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
        • In the approach done for video games, these development PR materials are published by the developer and then picked up by third-party sources (gaming news sites) that link and comment on them. Now, I agree that these are doing the job of PR as is, but the fact that other sources have picked up on them means it is a matter of note - that is, there's a strong change the game will meet notability guidelines once released. As such we should be using these materials but not to promote the unreleased game but to describe the development in an encyclopedic manner that when the reception comes along, a complete article is easy to achieve. It is not PR to discuss a work that is known to be released in the future in an encyclopedic manner that way. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't see the requirement that a source be independent as having anything to do with WP:CRYSTAL, and indeed there probably is no more reliable source for information about a TV episode not yet aired than the network that plans to air it. You are instead sliding into concerns relevant to notability or NPOV, which if we're talking about a TV series that we already agree is notable, the episodes of which always satisfy GNG at least after they've aired, it doesn't seem like a meaningful concern, or at least not one relevant to WP:CRYSTAL. Obviously promotional statements, such as if the BBC were to assert that "this Christmas episode will be better than anything else on TV", are easy to exclude; others that are more borderline, such as if the producer said "this special will show the Doctor as you've never seen him," can be contextualized if deemed informationally useful at all. So I don't see anything here but normal editing concerns. postdlf (talk) 14:25, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Except WP:CRYSTAL says, "take special care to avoid advertising and unverified claims" and "short articles that consist only of product announcement information are not appropriate." I think this is inline with general principles as well. I think having an article in the form of a stub, unless independent coverage is available, is not a problem. My problem is with basing articles on promotional materials, which is what is happening, because upcoming TV shows have no other information available usually.Griswaldo (talk) 14:31, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • At least in its current state, all of the information appears to be objective facts about its production and a neutral description of its content. So again, I'm not seeing any unverified claims or promotional language or concerns. If we were talking about a fly-by-night production company claiming, "yeah, we're gonna get Tom Cruise to guest star in our TV show", then I'd take that with a grain of salt. But this is the BBC we're talking about, and Doctor Who. General principles are satisfied here in my judgment. postdlf (talk) 14:37, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • How can you or anyone else who hasn't seen the episode or read an impartial review from a third party who has, possibly judge the description of if its contents as "neutral," or the facts about its production as "objective." Entities release tidbits of information about upcoming products or events specifically to promote them. I don't think neutrality or objectivity enters that equation one bit. This is the crux of the problem. Sure, the entry doesn't say "this is going to be the best episode ever," but why do you think they have released names of actors who will supposedly be in it, tid bits of the plot, or even the inspiration for the plot? To wet people's appetites, to promote the event. Just because it doesn't seem particularly promotional to you in its tone doesn't mean it isn't promotional. This is how PR works. We're playing into their PR game perfectly here. Also, as more PR material is released, entries like this will get sucked further into promoting the upcoming events if not limited in their scope.Griswaldo (talk) 15:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The way you're characterizing this just doesn't work. You're dismissing information purely based on whether someone may benefit from its distribution, without regard to whether that information is nevertheless NPOV, V, and material to a notable topic. Those actors either have or haven't been cast to be in the TV special, the cast of a TV show is encyclopedic information in an article about that show, and the BBC is a reliable source for that information. The fact that the BBC may hope that someone will watch the special because of who is in it doesn't make cast information "promotional" in any relevant sense. postdlf (talk) 16:27, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't agree. I'm dismissing information based on the nature of the sources ... which is what policies like WP:V suggest we should do. What I feel like you're saying is that we ought not to dismiss them, even if they are marketing materials, because they may be true. I'm not sure we're going to progress this particular conversation any further since we disagree on what is "promotional." From a PR/marketing/advertising perspective this is promotional, and that's exactly the perspective within a company like the BBC that dictates the release of this material. Anyway no point in continuing if you disagree. Cheers. Griswaldo 17:25, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • My personal preference, particularly dealing with video games, is that if it is only a PR with a date and some simple facts is to try to find some other article to talk about it and use a redirect until there are third-party sources about the work. But I disagree, in that as long as there is high confidence that the topic will be a wholly notable topic on its own, it is a waste of time to make the effort to delete stubs based only on PR that someone else happened to create. --MASEM (t) 14:28, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Pure PR stuff should always get removed, whether it is about a future event or something that already happened. But that doesn't mean that any article on a future event (TV episode, movie, ...) is a PR article, or that it should be deleted or even redirected. An article like The Smurfs (film) got more than a 100,000 pageviews a month before it waz released; we would do no one a favour by removing the sourced, neutral, factual information about it only because it hasn't been released yet. The actual TV episode that sparked this discussion already has 5K pageviews a day[1]. There is sourceable, neutral info from a variety of reliable sources, on a subject that is clearly notable, and that is being looked for by many, many people. What reason could we possibly have to delete these things? Fram (talk) 14:41, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • There are two problems with using a reliable but not independent source, it cannot be used to assess notability, and it may not provide a neutral coverage of the subject. For notability, as long as there is no dispute over whether the subject is going to be notable once the episode airs, or the game is released, this isn't an issue. As for neutrality, as long as the claims are quantitative, and there is no reason to doubt the credibility, I don't see an issue with using a non-independent source. If the BBC says an actor is going to be in an episode it is producing, or some event will happen in the episode, I think we can trust it will. WP:Crystal should be limited to situations where the notability of the future subject is seriously in doubt, or where the claims are speculative, and may not end up being true. Monty845 14:53, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
When there is information about a future TV episode it doesn't need its own article straight away. It could be covered under the season it forms part of, or the show in question. For a video game it could go under developer; for a film, the studio. Alternatively - perhaps it's just wikinews material. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:54, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • WP:Crystal is already crystal-clear. Is/will the event be notable? Is it scheduled? Is the information reliable(tm)? GNG talks about independant coverage to establish notability. So if we exclude the Radio Times as obviously partisan and the BBC as the source this still leaves us with a host of media outlets ranging from the tabloid (The Sun) to the more serious (Belfast Telegraph) who picked up the story as a headline. Each of these mentions says in effect "we think this episode is notable and you as the reader need/want to know about it". In fact I find it quite telling that a load of news items (RS or not) focus on a particular actor so editorial choice and not just restating a pressrelease. We just had an editor de-sysoped who thought we have to punish COI editors by putting bad stuff into their articles. This proposal goes in the same direction. You want to punish the source by denying an article despite the fact that information passes GNG due to independant sources taking note. We do not want to created a buerocracy/rulelist on what we can include and what not. So whatever our rules are they have to fit a large segment of situations. If we can't have a future episode/film we cannot have an article about the upcoming NASA spaceflight mission, the upcoming district reform in whereever or the London Olympics. P.S. We not need any article - we used to live quiet happy before wikipedia. Agathoclea (talk) 15:58, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it's pretty straightforward. If there are sources that meet WP:N even if those are based on "PR" we can have an article. If the BBC put out a press release and no one covered it, we shouldn't have an article. Further, in some cases people put up an article a bit early. It happens with soccer players all the time--they are reported to be starting their first professional match and so a few days beforehand an article goes up. In general the article stays because by the time an Afd finishes they qualify for inclusion. I don't think CRYSTAL stops us from using reliable sources just because the coverage is about a future event... Hobit (talk) 17:17, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Notability refers to whether a topic gets a stand-alone article in Wikipedia -- Nothing more and nothing less. All major American network current television series obtain enough secondary source coverage to pass WP:GNG, and most (or nearly all) episodes of major American network current television episodes obtain enough secondary coverage and Wikipedia editor interest to pass the WP:TVEP tests after airing. Stub articles can be started on these episodes as the titles and schedules are released anticipating that more content will be forthcoming supporting WP:TVEP. Waiting for the air date, or official reviews seems a rather bureaucratic and artificial restriction. I think this is straining at WP:CRYSTAL -- the episodes have been taped or filmed, the advertisers, the affiliates, etc. are committed, etc. -- so much is already in the past, nothing is speculative, and the only the airing is in the future. patsw (talk) 21:34, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I believe no change in current guidelines or practice is necessary. The proposed change would result in the deletion or non-creation of articles containing information that readers might well want to look up, thereby reducing the value of Wikipedia to those readers. Such a trade-off is necessary, or at least understandable, when deletion promotes other values of the encyclopedia such as reliability, but I don't see that as being the case here. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:04, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Griswaldo is seeking to address a problem that doesn't really exist. As long as notability and reliable sourcing requirements are met, there isn't a significant issue here. Prioryman (talk) 08:05, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Such articles should be deleted on sight, but there really isn't a need to have a new policy here. The problem is not that the article is being created before the TV show airs, it is that the article is being based on primary sources. WP:V permits the inclusion of primary sources, but says that articles need to be based on material from independent, third-party sources. The vast majority of articles about individual episodes of television episodes fail that test both before and after the air date, and should be deleted and redirected until such time as someone can construct an article that contains primarily information derived from independent sources (and no, people, a verbatim reprint of a plot summary and cast list provided by the production company is not an independent source of information).—Kww(talk) 18:50, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, if the widely anticipated Clue movie has already been filmed (with three alternative endings), but it is not due to be released in the US until next month, then it deserves mention in Wikipedia even if we do not know which of the three endings they will use in the US release of the film. That said, I am not sure how unreleased products that nobody has ever seen (and that are subject to future modification) DESERVE THEIR OWN ARTICLES. I agree with patsw above, that waiting until the airing / release date, even for a TV show seems bureaucratic (and even archaic) in the era of hulu and multimedia consumption of television shows, but if it is unreleased, then we do not necesarily need to give it its own artice. If we are talking about a WP:TVEP, why not have an article called "Unreleased episodes of X Show" and then have the 22 unreleased episodes listed there in separate sections. Then when it is released, WP can give it its own article. Peace, MPS (talk) 16:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with folks who think this is primarily an WP:NPOV issue. Also, if we draw inferences about a future release from a collection of pre-release reviews, we risk breaking WP:NOR. IMHO, existing policies cover this.--Northernhenge (talk) 15:28, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Should Wikipedia re-examine its policies and procedures regarding tagging of articles?[edit]

Not sure if this is the best place to put this, but I'm guessing that it's most appropriate. Anyway, I think a lot of "editors" should carefully think about the tags that they place in articles and why they are doing it. It seems like a lot of articles on Wikipedia have become overly littered with various tags -- cleanup, globalize, "citation needed" (probably the most over-used). And I think that a lot of these tags are placed there by "drive-by" taggers who merely see something wrong with the article but are too lazy to fix it, so they tag it and effectively tell someone else to fix it. And this is especially problematic when someone tags an article and fails to discuss their reasoning on the talk page. Furthermore, a lot of articles with lots of tags aren't regularly edited by anyone, so the tags stay up for months (or years). And many articles are further stagnating because regular editors are getting frustrated by policies and politics and leaving in droves.

I can understand the need for some tags -- for example, the 'current events' or 'recently deceased' tags are particularly useful. But those are also designed to be used for a particular time period and are removed after a few days, once the bulk of WP:RECENTISM edits dies down. And some of the NPOV-section and citation needed tags are useful during the WP:GAN and WP:FAC review processes, because they allow the reviewer to easily point out specific issues with the article that are intended to be addressed during the ongoing review process. But what is very frustrating is to be working on an article and have some random editor come by and tag it with something when you're not actively seeking a review. Furthermore, I think the vast majority of Wikipedia users are primarily people coming here for information about a particular topic, and maybe incrementally adding little tidbits of well-sourced information without being heavy editors. And this is good. It gradually increases our coverage about a particular topic in the way that a wiki was originally intended to. Many of these incremental editors may also very well be experts on the topic -- experts who want to utilize Wikipedia for its information and insure that information is fairly and accurately presented, but who also don't have time to dedicated to editing on a heavy basis (probably because they have real jobs?). And I believe that a lot of these editors are very likely put off by articles that look very sloppy because they're littered with a ton of random tags inserted by drive-by taggers.

I'm not sure what the best solution is here? While we can create a policy to address this, the only real change will come when these drive-by taggers change their behavior and realize that their originally well-intentioned actions are really not helping and their tags are just stagnating on articles, increasing backlogs, and discouraging other editors from getting involved. If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this, or other comments on this issue, feel free to add here. WTF? (talk) 13:54, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree that there are far too many tags around, but don't have any idea (short of war) as to how to moderate the taggers. Perhaps any time we consult a WP article and find a tag there that hindered us as readers more than it helped, we should quietly remove it (I sometimes do that). --Kotniski (talk) 14:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing inheriently wrong with drive-by tagging - just as there are volunteer editors, such people can be seen as a QA department, noting articles that don't fly without knowing the subject itself. And many tags are self-explanatory. It is the fringe cases where people place tags that don't seem obviously wrong, where we need these people to communicate to the talk page on the reasoning. But there's no way to enforce that.
And there's really no problem with stagnating tags. We've no deadline to meet, so there's no race to fix up articles to meet with these tags. --MASEM (t) 14:07, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
My view, FWIW, is that to the extent we use tags, they should be posted at the bottom of the article, not at the top. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Tags that are about technical aspects on-wiki might belong at the bottom or on the talk page. Anything to do with warning our readers about potential content issues (NPOV, unsourced, etc) should be prominently displayed at the top of the article. --OnoremDil 14:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
You should read the documentation at Template:POV, which directly prohibits its use for "warning our readers".
IMO if the reader can't figure out that an article is unsourced simply by reading it, then the reader has far more severe problems than Wikipedia will be able to address. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:11, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Drive-by tagging is an issue in my mind. And I think the best way to fix the situation and has been brought up in the past I believe is to restrict those sorts of flags to talk pages. Putting them at the bottom as suggested by Tagishsimon is better than how we currently do it as well as they definitely should not be at the top. -DJSasso (talk) 14:10, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
(ec - reply to Masem) Well, it's a problem because if people add tags fairly thoughtlessly, we end up unable to distinguish the articles that really do need attention from those that are just slightly imperfect in some way (and of course, every article is imperfect in some way). So the tags cease to be useful, and we get more and more articles cluttered up with tags that hinder or even mislead readers.--Kotniski (talk) 14:12, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Let's put it this way, and borrowing from Fram's example below: it is very hard, from a strictly process POV, to distinguish from bad faith drive-by tagging, and well-intentioned mass tagging; any policy we write to address that would likely harm the latter. Irregardless of where the tags are placed (top, bottom, talk, whatnot), tagging articles is a behavior, and thus improper tagging should be handled via user behavior measures and not be content policies or process metrics. If a user is tagging 100s of articles and clearly the tagging is out of line in more than a few of the cases, that's a case for talking to the user or starting an RFCU on them.
And the thing to remember is: we want those tags clear and visible on the article page, as that is one of the few means we can use to draw in new editors. But I do agree that we should be more careful on only adding the tags to articles that are grossly out of line. Common case I've seen is {{plot}} being added to episode articles that are just over 700 words (the TV MOS limit). Tagging that is completely out of line because it's not a significant problem, those raising the issue is important. If we were to have editors consider only using such tags when the article is woefully lacking in those areas, and then developing an equivalent set of "minor" cleanup tags that can be placed in a header box on the article's talk page , auto-categorizing these and the like, then that might be a better solution. --MASEM (t) 14:28, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
(ec)I don't think people will ever agree on these things. E.g. the tags you find useful for the GA and FA process: they are for our background processes, not for readers, so in my opinion they shouldn't be in the article but on the talk page (or hidden). Only things which are of interest for readers should be on the article, everything that is more aimed at editors should be on the talkpage. An article that is truly dreadfully written needs some "cleanup" tag on the article: an article that needs some extra links and markup ("wikify", "orphan", "deadend") should be tagged on the talk page or with hidden tags (which only add categories).
I don't agree though that tags should go at the bottom: we shouldn't hide the serious problems many articles have (like being unreferenced or slanted towards a US perspective or whatever), they are used to inform the readers, and you don't inform them by putting the tags at the bottom. Make a distinction between tags that are important for the reader, and other tags: but leave the important ones at the top.
As for drive-by tagging vs. sofixit: as an example, I created the BLPunsourced tag (way back) and tagged the first 10,000 articles or so of the eventual 50,000 that got the tag. Now, by the efforts of dozens of editors and months of work (and the BLPprod process), the backlog has been cleared and only 150 articles remain so tagged. If I hadn't drive-by tagged these articles, chances are that the scale of the problem wouldn't have become apparent, and the cleanup-drive for those 50,000 articles would never have happened at all. On my own, I wasn't able (or willing) to fix those articles instead of tagging them. Fram (talk) 14:18, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Ee, but that's only because of the drama that was successfully created around that issue, that made everyone think (or feel they ought to think) that unsourced BLPs were the Most Important Problem. Tags have the property of directing people's attention to certain places - that doesn't mean that those places are really the ones that most deserve that attention; and once you have too many tags around, they cease even to perform that role (or they encourage people to solve the "problem" in a relatively haphazard way just in order to reduce the "backlog").--Kotniski (talk) 14:26, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
(ec * 3)As one of the "Drive-by taggers" consider the following. You're reading a paper book and you come across a odd term or fact. You go to your favorite compendium of knowledge (Wikipedia) to find out more about it. You see that Wikipedia has an article about the subject but it's missing some criteria that we use to judge good articles. Because you came to the wiki as someone who doesn't know about the subject, you probably don't have the knowledge to improve the article yourself so you mark it with one or more of the appropriate maintenance templates because you think it could be improved. The flip side is you're browsing Wikipedia at random and stumble across a page with some maintenance templates. Because you're somewhat knowledgeable about the subject you resolve the issues at hand and remove the template. I strongly disagree with Tagishsimon and Djsasso that these templates should not be at the bottom. If you're a casual reader who knows some about the subject you aren't very likely to go all the way to the bottom and notice that the article has maintanance templates. Having them at the top of the article serves as a notice to casual readers that the content may not be 100% correct and attracts the more active editor's attention to see what the problem is in the page. Hasteur (talk) 14:28, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
So you think (or we should encourage readers to think) that articles that are not tagged are 100% correct? I agree that articles that have egregious problems should be marked for all to see, but often these tags are added to articles that, by WP standards, are actually pretty much par for the course. The worse ones are perhaps the "neutrality" tags, which make readers think that the article must be terribly biased, when in fact it often turns out that it only got tagged that way because it used e.g. a German placename instead of a Polish one somewhere down the line.--Kotniski (talk) 14:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
That is my view of things, tags are more often than not added when the pages don't really have that much of a problem and are generally decent articles. Often they are added without the reasoning on the talk page of why they have been added which is supposed to occur when you add the tag. In essence the tags actually make the article worse than they would be without the tags more often than not so that when a truly important tag is added it is ignored. -DJSasso (talk) 14:35, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
(ec * 2)No, what I'm saying is that if at least one user thinks enough that there's an issue with the page to apply the template, it allows the reader of an article to know that there may be a problem with the article and to use their critical thinking skills when reading to decide if they want to use WP as a source. It's the same with the warnings page that you get in the first few pages of an instruction manual warning you about things that could happen with the device. (Do not use the Toaster in the bath-tub) Hasteur (talk) 14:41, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I do understand what you are saying, but the problem is that those templates imply that the entire site thinks that article has the issue. Not just a single person. And when that one person doesn't actually explain their reasoning it becomes that much worse. That is where I think the problem lies. -DJSasso (talk) 14:43, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Tags are not like the toaster-in-the-bath warning, quite the reverse. Such a warning should appear on every Wikipedia page, or not at all. Tags are as if someone went round putting individual warning stickers on a few (but not all) electrical applicances in a building. If anything, it's going to make people think that the unstickered appliances are quite safe to take to the tub.--Kotniski (talk) 14:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Let me mention again a proposal I made years ago that was shot down: Self-expiring tags. The idea is that someone who thinks are article needs cleanup, for example, informs the editing community for 90 days with a tag. Either the problem is resolved, or no one cared, and the tag expires (i.e. a bot deletes the tag on its expiration date). patsw (talk) 14:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

That is an interesting idea. I like that. -DJSasso (talk) 14:40, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't. Just because no one has gotten around to fixing it after, say, 90 days, doesn't mean a poorly written article has spontaneously cleaned up its own prose. LadyofShalott 14:43, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Well it would have to be a longer term than 90 days. But far to often single users add a tag that isn't really relevant and no one wants to remove it because the tags are treated like they are omnipotent where if it says it then it must be true. So they sit there for years "unfixed" when there actually is no problem to be fixed. I think a one year expiry would work wonders. -DJSasso (talk) 14:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
While this would help reduce the number of tags, I don't think it really addresses the issue. If a tag was placed appropriately (article really does have big problems that readers should be alerted to), then we want it to stay there for as long as it's needed. The problem is that people place tags on articles that don't really have big problems.--Kotniski (talk) 14:59, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
You missed the most common instance of mis-use. Sourcing tags used as weapons in POV wars and pissing wars where the tagger does not seriously question the material. The simplest answer to that is to establish a routine where the tagger includes the reason they question the material. North8000 (talk) 14:49, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The NPOV tag is a good example that works well with Patsw's suggestion of expiry. I like that idea. But not all tags are good candidates for it. Maybe that idea can be developed for certain problematic tags while leaving others as is. If editors aren't working to clear up NPOV issues on the talk page, the tag should come off as we don't want them to be a badge of shame.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 15:23, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
When a bot deletes an expired tag, it could note the fact on the talk page and it could add the article to a category "articles with expired tags".--Northernhenge (talk) 15:47, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment, there was a proposal on this a while back where it was suggested to use the format of the small tags used for individual sections (for example template:copy edit-section) as standard for all cleanup templates, so they take up less space and are not as annoying. I don't remember the links, but it seemed like a good idea to me. Yoenit (talk) 14:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Following from my above comments and a direction I see going: I would propose the idea that article-space cleanup tags should only be limited to those where the article has a gross violation of WP's core principles: no or significant lack of references, clear bias/non-neutral, clearly original thought, blank/incomplete sections, and specifically calling out what's needed for BLPs per the Foundation, etc. These are issues we want to bring new editors in to fix, those that have an idea of what the topic is and can drop in information even if it is not perfectly formatted or cited correctly. Issues such as inconsistent reference formatting, excessive plot summary, under-referenced articles, or anything that is on the edge but not a gross violation shouldn't be advertised on the article page as such, but instead put to the talk page, ideally in a header box, with auto-categorization and the like. These are the ones that require one to be a more avid participant in WP to understand the process behind these.
  • This still doesn't prevent drive-by tagging, and may cause more tagging on the minor nits that should go into the proposed talk page header (not a bad thing, consider these preliminary GA/FA reviews), but this does two things: we're making the tags more relevant to the potential editor that is reading the article, instead of a mess of tag soup at the top, and that now it becomes easier to check those uses that are drive-by tagging the article space in bad faith. We'll still have some tags at the top, but they should be tamed, and I would even call to the point that if there are multiple issues with an article, there should only be one header tag of the most troubling aspect that needs attention (eg: an article is unsourced and biased: the biased, to me, is more the problem and those would only have the header tag to address that). --MASEM (t) 15:15, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Those who tag articles may be competent to identify problems eg poor grammar, lack of specific citations but less able in the area of copyediting (unsure of their own skills) or finding sources (access to books listed in references). Tagging articles with problems is not creating a backlog of work for others, it is identifying work that needs to be addressed. The backlog exists (and probably always will) but its scope is then known. Some projects (eg WP:MILHIST, WP:AVIATION) have their specific checklists within the project template on the talk page by which they can generate lists of the work to be addressed - within the projects this form of tagging is seen as useful. Use of tags such as NPOV etc in disputes wars is a relatively obvious issue but one that can be addressed through existing mechanisms (ANI etc) just like other aspects of an edit war. Last point - Assume Good Faith, in the majority of cases the tagger is probably trying to help. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:30, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Short answer: No. Long answer. No. Tagging is immensely useful to identify which articles need cleanup, and criticial in article improvement. We need problems to be made prominent so everyone can go and fix it, rather than just a select few. The more we hide problems (whether handled via hidden categories, talk page messages, etc...), the less people will notice it. Essentially killing one of the main drives towards article improvement. If a particular tag is inappropriate, then do a little WP:SOFIXIT of your own, and remove it. If a particular editor constantly add inappropriate cleanup tag, trout them. But don't take it out on the vast majority of completely appropriate cleanup taggers, or nullify the value of their work by relegating it on talk pages, or whatever. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 19:08, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
"Work" is perhaps an exaggeration. This seems to represent the problem; the people who add these tags want to feel that they are doing something useful, so they want everyone to see how clever they are, by putting a nice big tag right at the top of the article where the whole world can see it. If the tag is just goes on a talk page, the taggers feel undervalued - so they oppose such suggestions. Frankly, if there's a major problem with an article, then any editor who may chance on that article will be able to spot it - they don't need a tag to tell them about it. If the taggers really want to do something useful, they can try to actually fix the problems they are so deft at spotting. And if they're really so unskilled as not to be able to solve any of the problems that Wikipedia articles have, then they probably don't even have the judgement to decide which problems are serious enough to be brought to everyone's special attention.--Kotniski (talk) 10:06, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
That you don't like these tags is no reason to collectively insult every tagger. Please focus on why these tags are supposed to be a problem, and leave speculation about the motives of the taggers, their skills and judgment, out of this discussion. Fram (talk) 11:17, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't insulting every tagger, only the indiscriminate ones. And since we're discussing the problem, it's entirely appropriate to discuss why the problem exists - and that certainly includes at least the motivation of the people who produce it.--Kotniski (talk) 13:34, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Nothing in your post indicates a difference between "indiscriminate" and "discriminate" taggers, and baseless negative speculation on their motives ("they want everyone to see how clever they are") is not appropriate at all. Do you really think that anyone will read such a post and go from a pro-tagging position (or a neutral one) to an anti-tagging position? "Oh, so that's why they put those tags, blimey, in that case I have to oppose it." If you can't assume good faith on why people may do something you don't like, then please keep such thoughts for yourself. Fram (talk) 13:46, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I can assure you that it isn't the goodness of anybody's faith that I'm questioning. --Kotniski (talk) 13:50, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, you can't, if you want to play semantics. Fram (talk) 13:55, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
If by that you mean that I can't "assure" you because you don't believe me, then it seems you're now questioning my good faith. (But maybe you don't mean that, so I won't assume you do, because that would be questioning your... oh never mind, EOT).--Kotniski (talk) 13:59, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
You are questioning people's good faith based on thin air, I am questioning your good faith based on your own statements on this page. I have evidence of the lack of good faith you display, and so I don't have to assume good faith any longer. You don't have any evidence for the lack of good faith you display against taggers, so you are acting against the WP:AGF guideline. Proclaiming innocence is not very convincing when your actions contradict your proclamation. Fram (talk) 14:11, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, what????? Evidence of my lack of good faith? Where? When? Anyway, please take it to my talk page if you have such evidence - I'm not going to annoy people here by responding any longer. EOT for real this time.--Kotniski (talk) 14:20, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Let me add one more "me toos" to the "this is not a problem" camp. Tags are useful for people who have the ability to detect a problem in an article, but do not have the skill-set or resources necessary to fix it. It is absolutely NOT because people are lazy; but it is a useful way to identify problems with articles prominently, alerting readers to problems and also alerting editors to what needs to be fixed. Absolutely, totally, not a problem that needs any fixing at all. If an individual editor is individually by themselves misusing tags, then that individual user needs to be approached by you, and you need to start a discussion with that user to educate them on the proper use of tags. But there is no need to tear down the whole system because occasionally someone makes a mistake. --Jayron32 22:12, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • No it shouldn't, because it isn't a problem. Wikipedia is a work in progress, and there's still lots of sub-standard content. The matter of the many objections that are made, on purely aesthetic grounds, is something that should be addressed, not tagging. How it looks is not the issue. They are usually there for good reason, and should remain until the highlighted issues are adequately addressed. --Semitransgenic (talk) 22:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any possible way to put citation needed tags on the Talk page or at the bottom of the page. How would anyone possibly know what you're questioning? The Mark of the Beast (talk) 01:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I think that tags are immensely useful for the article, the editors, and the reader. But they are also often abused as methods of warfare, POV pushing, and a way for people to act out their anti-social tendencies and personality defects which they have to keep stifled out in the real world. I think that recognizing this, getting the related policies and guidelines written better and more realistically, and other related evolutions will tend to reduce the latter. I don't think that this can be dealt with as a tag generality. North8000 (talk) 14:42, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Glad this tagging topic has come up again. I like patsw's idea of having some tag which expire (because the same idea had occurred to me). I'm fed up with drive-by tagging because the tagger seldom if ever explains their thinking. Having found them inexplicable added to sections of articles on matters that I have some in-depth knowledge on and finding that some taggers only appear to mainly edit articles on popular cultural topics (e.g., pokemon, pop stars etc.) and not technical subjects, I too agree in part with Kotniski. On a psychological point that hasn't been mentioned yet: Speaking with WP editors tête-à-tête I have come to the conclusion that a very large percentage don't get involved in the sort of discussions we are having here. They just read through articles and make improvements were they see opportunities. However, they seem to leave tagged sections alone because they think it is already being dealt with and the don't want to interfere and perhaps get involved in talk page discussions. Even after I point out the the tag is an invitation to them to improve it, they still don't want to touch a tagged section. I have found their various reasons understandable to an extent. Is it not better to improve WP to better suit the many rather than the few? This maybe why so many tags are ignored even on frequently read articles. Personally, I like to see an invisible start/end tags, only seen in the edit window which can be used to alert editors reading the talk page to the place in the text. If the Wiki software could be rigged so that the tags only got accepted when its corresponding tag was added to the talk page, that would be great. That would encourage taggers to realise the rest of us are not psychic enough to know what their perceived issue is without some explanation. This would - I think - go along way to reducing drive-by tagging and smarten up the articles.--Aspro (talk) 17:20, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Because your assumption is that they don't need cleanup. Go look at Category:Articles needing cleanup and see the articles tagged from December of 2006. They are still in need of work. (If I didn't think they were in need of work I'd have removed the cleanup tag.) Your solution to cleaning up an ugly article is to remove the cleanup tag and conclude it is now a better page. (Those ones from 2006 are the hard ones where I can't even figure out how to improve them to be reasonable articles, though we're slowly making progress.) And since I spend my time working on article for cleanup let me thank you for telling me I've been wasting my time. RJFJR (talk) 20:15, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Are you replying to me? I don't get the assumption bit, etc. --Aspro (talk) 21:30, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I'll throw out the following suggestion: let's encourage people to fix at least one tag for each one they leave. On one hand, this would help others to assume good faith when they encounter tags they feel are, well, ill-considered. On the other, it would address the problem tags are meant to help with -- fixing problems in articles. And no, I'm not going to tell anyone here to do this; but if someone won't try to do this -- fix one tag for every one they leave -- but take the time to argue that they don't need to, then it will be hard no to conclude this person isn't that interested in improving Wikipedia content, & regard their comments here accordingly. -- llywrch (talk) 00:09, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

This whole discussion is a bit pointless. Tags are applied to articles, not to editors, nor to the subject of said articles. So it makes no sense to take tagging as a personal thing. I'm working in an article with an "unreferenced" tag, but I'm not concerned by that, as yes, the article was indeed unreferenced, and I will remove the tag... after I get to a point in the work when I have checked and referenced everything written.

And, as pointed, a well applied tag is a manifestation of a problem, not the problem itself. To remove tags that have not been fixed (which includes setting a bureaucracy to difficult or discourage tagging) is simply setting for lower quality standards. Cambalachero (talk) 22:21, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

I have to admit to being a drive-by tagger. But this is just because I'm also a new page patroller, and trying to clear the backlog! Sometimes I'm the only person working on the back end of the NPP queue, for hours at a time, and sometimes I can patrol as many as 70 pages in a session. I regularly come across pages which I can honestly only pass as 'fit' if they're appropriately tagged to bring other people's attention to the fact that they desperately need more work. "References needed" is the most common problem out there in new pages - people write articles which are either totally unreferenced, or vastly under-referenced, and we really do need our articles to comply with our verifiability policy. It's vital. Like WP:V says, "People have to be able to check that you didn't just make things up." What kind of encyclopedia would we be if people could just make up 90% of an article, and then it was passed as OK, and "fit for an encyclopedia"? The purpose of tagging is so that attention can be brought to the fact that the article needs more work done on it. Ideally, of course, people writing those articles would have done it properly in the first place, and cited their sources for what they've written - but for as long as people don't write articles that are "fit to run", we will need people going around tagging those articles for further attention. The answer is simple - do it right the first time around! Then the article won't attract tags. Just adding - in my own defence - when I come across something that I can fix fairly quickly, then I do it as I go along. My conributions show a lot of edits labelled as "tweak" or "fix refs" or "c/e" (copy-edit) - but when faced with 5,000+ bytes of unreferenced, very poor English, I just don't have the time to re-write and source the entire article. Not until the backlog on new page patrol gets down to a week or less. Getting rid of copyright violations and so on, before they cause us major problems, has to take priority over copy-editing and referencing, for me, anyway. Pesky (talkstalk!) 21:17, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Laziness is not the issue I suppose I could be accused of being a "drive-by tagger" in that if I'm reading an article and come upon an uncited statement that seems questionable, I'm going to slap a {{cn}} or {{dubious}} tag on it. I feel no obligation to fix it on the spot; I don't generally have the time, and anyway I don't feel that my brief forays into editing on the basis of my reading obligates me to become a researcher and writer on the spot. After all, if I'm reading, it's usually because I need a quick summary of the subject; that tends to preclude being able to do decent research on the spot. From time to time I have gone through the lists of articles with tags to try and fix some of them, but again I don't feel I am obligated to work on articles in areas that I don't know enough about to do good research or subjects that I cannot bring myself to care about. People who are interested in soccer players or TV shows will have to take care of those; I will not apologize for not having sufficient interest in those topics to do so. In most cases I find that fixing missing citations and fact-checking are nearly as much work as writing the article in the first place, and with (at least for me) not a lot of reward. And I'm ruthless now about simply reverting additions of uncited "in pop culture" material rather than searching out a source. It's that sort of "drive-by" that is the biggest source of a lot of this grief. Mangoe (talk) 22:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Those "drive-by" taggers that add "citation needed" are nothing but vandals and should be banned from editing. In particular, I am irritated by users who add numerous "citation needed" edits without any edit summaries. (example) In those cases, a bot should simply remove the tags. Q Science (talk) 05:10, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I looked at the case in question, and it seemed entirely reasonable to me that a claim to primacy ought to be cited—which I have done. Mangoe (talk) 12:35, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Repeating the thread name: Should Wikipedia re-examine its policies and procedures regarding tagging of articles?, the entire policy, purpose, and performance of New Page Patrolling under which this discussion broadly falls, has already been under serious review and discussion, and solutions to improve page patrolling and new article creation flow are currently being developed. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:16, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

What would make everything work better would be people doing it right first time. Today, so far (14:03), I've patrolled 243 new pages. And a scant handful could actually be passed as 'fit to go'. Honestly. Taggers aren't vandals; taggers are trying to ensure that there's some kind of Quality Assurance in place, and sometimes it feels just like banging our heads against a brick wall! Pesky (talkstalk!) 13:05, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
The Wikimedia foundation and the developers have dealt the time of Wikipedia volunteers a blow by not allowing testing of the idea that newbies need more than ten edits before they have enough experience to create a new article.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • There are times that I have added a {{cn}} tag, not because I felt that the material required a citation, but because I wanted anyone reading to properly discount the material.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I think any tag that is not discussed on the talk page is fair game for being removed on that reason alone.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd like to someday see a requirement that each tag have a discussion.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a nice idea - but as things are at the minute with NPP, particularly on that backlog, pages would just be dropping off unnoticed and unpatrolled if I had to start a discussion for every tag :o(. Perhaps when the back of the queue is only three or four days old, or so? As I said above, sometimes I do get in there and do some c/e, or tweak a few things, and now I've discovered Reflinks (thanks to Sp33dyphil) I send that in instead of hitting the linkrot tag, but it's really a case of more people doing NPP, giving people time to add a bit to the talk page, or whatever. I shudder when I think of the number of copyvios that would waltz on through into the mists unpatrolled and un-dealt-with if I had to take three or four times as long over every page .... Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:35, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
When someone drops notability and unreferenced tags on an article with 0 references that barely manages to avoid WP:CSD A7, there is really nothing more that needs to be said. Same when someone drops a {{cn}} on a claim that a living person did something notorious, its a clear BLP violation not to have it cited. (And they could, maybe even should, have removed the text completely) Some tags are self explanatory to anyone with a good grasp for article guidelines, others deserve an explanation. Requiring the arbitrary copying of template language to the talk page when the template adequately explains the problem would be a pointless waste of time. Monty845 15:59, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Exactly - "any tag that is not discussed on the talk page is fair game for being removed on that reason alone" is definitely too harsh. On the other hand, if one sees a tag, the meaning of which is not clear (for example, a "POV" tag with nothing on talk page or edit summary even helping to guess which POV is overrepresented and which one is underrepresented), of course one can remove it (and say so in the edit summary - "Tag removed - not sure what it meant). But I don't think that there is anything in the current policy (or "customs", or "precedents") that prevents anyone from doing that... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 16:19, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Never been a fan of the "LARGE" tags. However I do believe they are useful in motivate editors to fix problems in articles that are close to their hearts. As see on my user page I do believe we have a problem of this being spammed. I agree not all have the skills to fix all the problems they see... but I see that most taggers are just that "taggers". I believe that only experienced editors (WP:AUTOCONFIRM ones) should have the capability of placing this tags. Most tags should be smaller and many only implementable after a talk has been forth coming. Lets make it a bit harder to spam them. Lets make it so that fixing a problem would take just as long as placing a tag. lets encourage editors the fix over the tagging because they both require the same type of action. Moxy (talk) 16:35, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • The inline tags are sensible because they are right next to the problem which needs fixing. It's the banner tags at the head of the articles which need changing. They are ineffective because of banner blindness and result in template clutter at the start of the article which is a deterrent to editing. The place to put generic complaints is on the talk page or in the feedback box at the foot of the article, where readers are asked to rate the article for quality. The feedback system is generally better because it weights the criticism and so avoids the problem of giving undue and indiscriminate weight to the carping criticism of a tag-bomber. Warden (talk) 16:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Noticeboards has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Noticeboards (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, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Changed orphan criteria[edit]

Just thought I should announce this: I made a bold change to Wikipedia:Orphan.. a semi-guideline page I suppose.. anyway, an orphan is now officially an article with ZERO incoming links as opposed to one with less than three incoming links. Relevant discussion is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Orphanage#Orphan criteria. -- œ 06:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC) and RS Review Options[edit] is a reliable news source with millions of readers. Unfortunately, its name suggests that it is a blog. It certainly is not, but many Wikipedia editors jump on any citations referencing it as a violation of WP:RS. Is there a venue on Wikipedia where could be analyzed by editors who could come to a consensus as to whether it was an RS? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks, Ebikeguy (talk) 02:27, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Aha! I have been pointed to this discussion on the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. It seems to support the position that can be considered an RS, but do we need another discussion with more participants to reinforce this one? Ebikeguy (talk) 02:34, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Categories on political repression[edit]

en:wiki included several categories such as "victims of communist repression" or "victims of political repression". They were subject to a discussion in which some wikipedians suggested that they should be kept and others that they should be deleted. No consensus was reached, however the categories have been deleted. There is no indication about who took the decision to delete them and why, if no consensus has been reached. Afil (talk) 01:27, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

A recent discussion was at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 December 22#Victims of political repressions clean-up. Is that the discussion to which you were referring? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:36, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes. That is the discussion. However there was no consensus on deleting the category. Many of the participants in the discussions were of the opinion to keep the category.
In many cases, in the communist regime, people were imprisoned or sent to various camps without being judged or sentenced. Even if they were, in the Soviet Union and in most communist countries political prisoners were a category which was distinct from the common criminals. Eliminating the category of political prisoners, created the following situation. Various persons are included in the category "Inmates of .... prison" (or similar) - both if they have not been sentenced for a crime or if they have been sentenced for political reasons. In both cases this puts them into the same category as any other criminals (murderers, thiefs, etc) who have been imprisoned sometimes in the same camps or prisons. This is totally incorrect and extremely offensive.
The scope of the discussion was to improve the categories not to eliminate them so as to cast a denigratory image on some people. It definitely implies that Wikipedia is taking the part of the oppressors, which can hardly be considered a neutral or fair point of view.
Therefore the conclusion not only does not reflect the lack of a consensus but is incorrect.
I have my doubts that User: Kbdank71 has any knowledge about political repression in communist or any totalitarian regime. Anyway, for those who have had contacts with the problem the lack of understanding is extremely offensive. NPOV does not mean denying facts. On the contrary, denying facts means taking parts.Afil (talk) 01:34, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
If you think that the discussion was improperly closed, the place to look for a review of the close is at WP:DRV. - TexasAndroid (talk) 21:08, 12 October 2011 (UTC)


I expected that en:wiki would not tolerate any kind of discrimination, i.e. a decision taken for a certain group, nationality, country, etc. would be equally applied to all other similar entities.

However I have found out that such cases are not even looked at and obviously no corrective measures are taken. Something should be done about it and somebody should have the responsibility of investigating such cases. And an easily accessible way should be found so that the persons who are upset about such cases should know where and how to flag them. Maybe it exists, but I have looked and not been able to find it.Afil (talk) 01:27, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Until you explain just what it is you think is going wrong, nobody here can do anything about it. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 20:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
What I am trying to find out is where such cases should be reported and if there is anybody in charge of looking into them. This creates the impression that nobody is interested in the issue. It they are simply treated as normal disputes, in which a majority can rule, the result can be wrong. Afil (talk) 20:16, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
The first step is that you decide to become the "somebody" who WP:BOLDly fixes any problems you encounter.
If, however, you've attempted to resolve the problem and need help with a specific dispute, then WP:NPOVN is a typical place to address questions of bias. Depending on the subject matter, you might also find help at WP:Countering systemic bias, a group of people interested in improving coverage on non-white-people and non-English subjects.
NB that the English Wikipedia defines "neutral" as meaning whatever correctly reflects the major, high-quality sources on the subject, not whatever treats all viewpoints as being equally valid. This occasionally results in claims of "discrimination" by tiny minority groups. To give one particularly extreme example, some pro-pedophilia activists have said that Wikipedia "discriminates against" their "minority group" by not re-writing our articles to make pedophilia sound like a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle. We do not apologize for that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:33, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
If the situation ~does not involve content~ (for instance, harrassment based on belonging to a protected class) you can report it by email to me: If it involves content, the editing community and the links above are the best options. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 09:18, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Honorifics in Infobox scientist[edit]

How should display honorifics? Your comments are invited. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 11:44, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style/Appendix 1: Article creation, naming and layout has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style/Appendix 1: Article creation, naming and layout (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, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style/Appendix 1: Article creation and naming guidelines no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style/Appendix 1: Article creation and naming guidelines (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Nax box section in MOS[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout#Against putting nav boxes in their own section. Mangoe (talk) 14:14, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Noticeboards no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Noticeboards (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Are and reliable sources of information?[edit]

Are and reliable sources of information?

Post this at WP:RSN with specific questions to your dispute. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
No, they are not. They are replies made from any random internet user, not by any reputable author, and there is no control over the accuracy of the answers. The sites are not more reliable than our own Reference Desks Cambalachero (talk) 17:10, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Also see WP:CIRCULAR. Those two sites frequently link directly back to Wikipedia. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) (talk) 17:12, 16 October 2011 (UTC) is a search engine, not a forum. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 21:36, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Blocking as punishment[edit]

There is a discussion about updating our blocking policy in relation to blocking users as a punishment. Everybody in the community is welcome to comment here. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 19:48, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Images no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Images (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I moved the page into the Manual of Style. I forgot to add it to the category (the MOS header does not, unlike hte "guideline" one) so the notice that WP:Manual of Style/Images has been marked as a guideline will probably come through soon. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 08:47, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Nationality in biographies[edit]

I posted a query at BLP regarding nationalities. If you have any comments please post there.Eldumpo (talk) 08:24, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Structure of politics projects/merger proposal[edit]

There is currently a proposal to merge WikiProject Political culture into WikiProject Politics, see here.

Political culture was created on 8 September without any prior proposal and has only 2 members, however it incorporates some old politics projects (Fascism, Liberalism, and Corporatism) as taskforces.

Can we have some more eyes on this? A merger implies a re-structuring of WikiProject Politics, and possibly other related projects such as the controversial Conservatism project, so it would be good to have some more people involved. --Kleinzach 02:20, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy/Draft has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy/Draft (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, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

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

Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy (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, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

"Verifiability, not truth" RfC[edit]

There is an RfC here about whether to remove from the lead of Wikipedia:Verifiability that "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."

[insert begins here]
Note: the link above should read that the RfC can be found at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#RFC - Compromise proposal re first sentence  Unscintillating (talk) 19:08, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
[insert ends here]

The RfC is likely to close in a few days so if you want to comment, please do so soonish. Many thanks, SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

This does not accurately present the situation or the change. Please see wp:ver and the wp:ver talk page. North8000 (talk) 00:47, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the proposed change is a lot more complex than SV makes out... but you can read the proposal and the rational for it at the RFC. The RFC was announced on this page back on October 6th... but its good to have a reminder for any one who missed it. Blueboar (talk) 02:46, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
More specifically, of the portion which Slim claims that the proposal is removing from the lead, the actual proposal RETAINS all but two words of it in the lead, and moves the two words ("not truth") into a following section. North8000 (talk) 13:25, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
It's even more complex than that... the proposal does change the wording of the sentence SV is concerned about, but it seeks to retain the concept behind that sentence, and tries to explain that concept more clearly by expanding on it to an entirely new section of the policy. Please just go to the RfC, read the proposal and the rational that accompanies it, and make your own decision. Blueboar (talk) 14:52, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
That's an improvement, but there still needs to be made a change to Verifiability + Veracity. Carrite (talk) 00:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

It has been suggested... (drawn-out merge proposals/tags)[edit]

If you look at XpressMusic, there is a notice advising readers that numerous specific articles have been marked for merging.....for over 18 months. What policies exist to monitor merge suggestions, and what policy exists which deal with long time editors like myself who feel it's better to just remove the notice and get on with our lives? Summary - are "Is has been suggested that..." templates ignored and what can be done about it? doktorb wordsdeeds 13:25, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

The WP:Editing policy is that someone (you) eventually looks at the relevant talk pages, determines whether there is any agreement to do the merge, and either boldly merges the pages him- or herself, or boldly declares the merge proposal to have failed. You should feel free to do this for any page whose merge proposal is more than a few weeks old. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:27, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
You may also (hopefully) bring it to the attention of a larger audience at Wikipedia:Requested moves - Nabla (talk) 23:46, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I've seen some merge tags in place for over a year myself. Perhaps some sort of centralized place where to list these would be good. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 22:09, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Since you asked..[edit]

Part of a series on... or portals have been use to promote special interest groups? Do you happen to have an example of that. Yoenit (talk) 23:24, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Id be interested in seeing an example too. Thank you!Thelmadatter (talk) 00:58, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I'll put it in it's own section, easier to remove..
Take for example the "Part of a series on Feminism" in the Template:Feminism sidebar; and all the articles related to feminism
Amazon feminism ; Cultural feminism ; Postcolonial feminism ; Chicana feminism ; French structuralist feminism
Analytical Feminism ; Psychoanalytic feminism ; Difference feminism ; Equality feminism ; Standpoint feminism ; Feminist existentialism ; Material feminism ; Lesbian feminism ; Equity and gender feminism ; New feminism ; Feminist theory ; Waves of feminism ; First-wave feminism ; Second-wave feminism ; Third-wave feminism ; Postfeminism ; Postmodern feminism ; Post-structural feminism
Pro-life feminism ; Atheist feminism ; Christian feminism ; Feminist theology ; Jewish feminism ; Orthodox Jewish feminism
Lipstick feminism ; Ecofeminism ; Fat feminism
Feminism and modern architecture ; Feminist literary criticism ; Feminist science fiction ; Feminism in culture
Feminism and the Oedipus complex ; Men and feminism ; Feminist effects on society
Liberal feminism ; Marxist feminism ; Socialist feminism ; Anarcha-feminism ; State feminism ; Transnational feminism ; Feminism in international relations ; Global feminism ; Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World
Patriarchy ; Political lesbianism ; Radical feminism ; Separatist feminism
Sex-positive feminism ; Transfeminism
Feminism in 1950s Britain
Just a small sample, wouldn't want to take up the whole page.
Considering the amount of books about every subject and it's relation to feminism, like Feminist archaeology, Gender archaeology, Feminist anthropology, I can understand that WP:VERIFY would not pose a problem (independent sources on the other hand...). Whether the result is worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia, or is even understandable, is a different question. Take for example Cyborg theory
Haraway’s cyborg called for a non-essentialized, material-semiotic metaphor capable of uniting diffuse political coalitions along the lines of affinity rather than identity. Following Lacanian feminists such as Luce Irigaray, Haraway’s work addresses the chasm between feminist discourses and the dominant language of Western patriarchy. As Haraway explains, “grammar is politics by other means,” and effective politics require speaking in the language of domination. [4] To counteract the essentializing, and anachronistic, rhetoric of spiritual ecofeminists who were fighting patriarchy with modernist constructions of female-as-nature and earth goddesses, Haraway employs the cyborg to refigure feminism in cybernetic code. As she details in a chart of the paradigmatic shifts from modern to postmodern epistemology within the Manifesto, the unified human subject of has shifted to the hybridized posthuman of technoscience, from “representation” to “simulation,” “bourgeois novel” to “science fiction,” “reproduction” to “replication,” and “white capitalist patriarchy” to “informatics of domination.” [5] While Haraway’s “ironic dream of a common language” is inspired by Irigaray’s argument for a discourse other than patriarchy, she rejects Irigaray’s essentializing construction of woman-as-not-male to argue for a linguistic community of situated, partial knowledges in which no one is innocent.
The side-effect of this bias is that women who don't owe their fame to feminism are marginalised. Look at the publications in archaeology written by women: 1991 in archaeology "Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory"; 1993 in archaeology "The Archaeology of Korea", but when you go to the authors page: "She has also conducted extensive research in the archaeology of gender" 1996 in archaeology "Gender and Archaeology (University of Pennsylvania Press)." 1997 in archaeology two books from the same author, one called "Gender in Archaeology: Analyzing Power and Prestige"
Anthropology and psychology are even worse, especially when you read some of the studies published by "university professors"; the methodology is about what you'd expect from a second year student around here. They have created "gender" studies so they can talk about themselves, and good women scientists get even less attention than before.
Don't know what is worse, these special interest groups or the new skeptics movement where every fact is weighed against the possible misuse by fringe groups before it can be included in an article. There seems to be no escape from POV-pushers on wikipedia, apart from maybe mathematics. </rant> DS Belgium (talk) 02:37, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Not all women's articles are confined to feminist topics, I don't know why you make that claim. For example, there's a "Women in Society" sidebar/bottom menu template, which is more general. Most articles that happens to be about a woman, or women, are of interest to more than one WikiProject and get another sidebar attached to it (like WikiProject Islam or WikiProject Buddhism, lots of projects have topical templates).
WikiProject Military has 14 Infobox templates, plus a Navigation box for military campaigns. WikiProject Chemistry has several templates. If the Marie Curie article doesn't have any, maybe one could be added. WikiProject Medicine has several templates too. Women in medicine could have those added to them.
Your logic that a WikiProject Feminism sidebar results in articles about women scientists getting "less attention than before" doesn't follow, neither does your statement "women who don't owe their fame to feminism are marginalized". I realize you could possibly be trolling for an argument over whether feminism or gender studies are even a valid academic subject, that seems to be your point; unfortunately for you, a lot of universities seem to think that it is. So I don't think you'll find this is a useful place to have that debate. I don't think Wikipedia ought to debate whether or not an academic discipline is philosophically justifiable or not if it's widespread, historic, commonly known, verifiable academic discipline. Feminism and gender studies are areas of academic study. (And are also political influences, and cultural influences, and economic influences, etc.)
It may be true that to certain people who have a visceral aversion to feminism or gender studies, that seeing such a template on an article would perhaps drive them away from the article. I guess if they understood liberal arts theories, like post-structuralism and the interplay between signifier and signified... that might help. OttawaAC (talk) 07:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

That rant is TLDR. I still read most of it, and understood more than half, I think. But I don't understand what it proves. If you reply with something long and hard to understand, I'll probably stop trying. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 02:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
With a portal you get to put your template on every page you feel is related to that portal; But it looks like I posted part of another post I was preparing as well, about how special interest groups can crate articles that rely on self-published sources without being challenged. DS Belgium (talk) 04:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I understand better now. I don't get what portals have to do with it. Not exactly, at least. For instance, Atheism has one of those boxes. It has a link to a portal, but it doesn't seem obtrusive. (the thing about self published sources is a widespread/longterm problem that isn't interesting to me right now, since it's so hard to fix). - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 05:20, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I dont think these examples relate to my question as all of these portals and marking are related to topic and or ideology. Im looking for a way to give credit to an educational institution which encourages its faculty and staff to contribute by creating or significantly improving articles, not matter what the topic. I think some kind of tag on the talk page is better.Thelmadatter (talk) 01:46, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes; see above.  Chzz  ►  10:49, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

RfC for proposal to promote Notability (astronomical objects) to notability guideline[edit]

An RfC has been put out on the proposal to promote Notability (astronomical objects) to a notability guideline. Please join the discussion. This is the result of a long discussion at WikiProject Astronomy. Cheers, AstroCog (talk) 01:19, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Categorization and other markings related to educational institutions[edit]

Greetings! I have been a Wikipedian since 2007 and am an English teacher at ITESM- Campus Ciudad de México. I have worked for some time to get my school to take contributing to Wikipedia seriously and have made headway. Not the least of the reasons for this is that they see the public relations possibilities.... very important in Mexico and to a private institutions dependent on tuition money!

Anyway, in the Commons, there are ways to categorize and otherwise mark contributions as coming from an institution to encourage institutional donations. I dont see much in the way of this here on and Ill assume that is the case as well in I have managed to create this category Category:Projects related to Instituto Tecnólogico y Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, with a subcategory for some of the instruction and student pages related to when I had students write for WP at the Toluca campus back in 2007.

My question is this. Would it be possible to create and place categories such as "Articles created or significantly expanded by faculty at ITESM-CCM" on say articles themselves? I could put such on the 300+ articles I have created or expanded about Mexico. Related question, could a "tag" (for lack of better term) be put on the talk page of these articles announcing same?

Im sure both are technically possible, but the real issue is whether or not the community would accept something like this. Thanks! Thelmadatter (talk) 12:51, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I am sure there will be no objection to a template on the talkpage like {{WikiProject Articles for creation}}, which will automatically categorize the article talkpage. Categorization in the actual article? Absolutely not. Yoenit (talk) 13:11, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

You could create a portal or project and add a template "Part of a series on ..." to those articles. It's been done to promote special interest groups which could hardly be called NPOV, so yours would be one of the more neutral ones. And you get to put a "This article is within the scope of ****, a collaborative effort to improve ****** on Wikipedia." notice on every talk page. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide/WikiProject for more DS Belgium (talk) 14:28, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Part of a series on... or portals have been use to promote special interest groups? Do you happen to have an example of that. Yoenit (talk) 23:24, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Id be interested in seeing an example too. Thank you!Thelmadatter (talk) 00:58, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

You could perhaps use a talk-page template similar to {{WAP assignment}} (shown here)  Chzz  ►  10:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I suggest that Thelmadatter or ITESM contact the Foundation (here) about participating in the Global Education Program (also known as the Ambassador Program) before using that particular template. Please contact me for information about the program and/or assistance in joining it. -- Donald Albury 11:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't actually suggesting that; just saying the user might create a similar template, perhaps copying the code of that one. (But of course, if they're interested in the program, that's fine too!) Chzz  ►  21:20, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Solving the massive backlogs at RPP and AIV[edit]

RPP and AIV often get absolutely enormous backlogs, even though we have more admins than any other Wikimedia wiki (by far). Any ideas on how to solve the backlogs?Jasper Deng (talk) 03:29, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Fix RFA? How many admins are regulars at those notice boards? Not that many. Also, how does en. compare in terms of active admins/IP edits per day? Just because the total is higher, doesn't mean the workload per admin is lower. Monty845 03:36, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

A first step might be identifying exactly what RPP and AIV are. I have no clue, speaking for myself. How about using full names of obscure acronyms at first mention? Carrite (talk) 05:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

In general, Wikipedia-related capitalized acronyms are found by searching for WP:(thing), for example WP:AIV. It's also good practice for posters to either wikilink or spell out full names once in discussions. ---Lexein (talk) 16:06, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Requests for Page Protection and Administrator Intervention against Vandalism, I see after doing research... Here's a suggestion: requiring people to register and sign in to edit. Probably 2/3 of vandalism would be blown away instantly, thus eliminating the demand on scarce janitorial services. Carrite (talk) 05:17, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Baby, bathwater. See WP:PEREN#Prohibit anonymous users from editing. Anomie 15:37, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Jasper - how big of a backlog are you noticing? Last I checked, AIV was impressively promptly handled. Did someone leave to take a restroom break? wink If something is urgent and clear-cut, ask at irc:// , either !helper or !admin . --Lexein (talk) 16:06, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
The wait was once fully two hours. I'm a little more concerned about RPP.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Two hours is not a long wait. I would define anything which got done at Wikipedia in two hours as "prompt". --Jayron32 01:54, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Not when it's urgent, which is pretty often (Backlogs are OK at AfD and other admin-requiring processes that aren't as urgent).Jasper Deng (talk) 01:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I've always gone to IRC for anything urgent (rapidfire, defamation, policy blankers), especially if I've noticed 3 or 4 AIV events ahead of me. Perhaps IRC should be more prominently recommended for urgent matters? --Lexein (talk) 02:05, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Not everyone knows how to or bothers to use IRC (including admins).Jasper Deng (talk) 02:10, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
So, in other words, you can't be bothered to do the thing that will fix the problem you are having, so you expect the rest of the world to conform to what you want. I just want to get this straight before we decide how to address the problems you are having... --Jayron32 02:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
(Now now, I took his point as valid, while seeking a longer term solution to the foundation issue ...) --Lexein (talk) 02:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
You'd be surprised how many admins hang out on IRC. But I hear ya; though I'm happy with the IRC turnaround time I've gotten, that's beside the point. How would one improve AIV and RPP response times? --Lexein (talk) 02:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC) (edited) --Lexein (talk) 03:19, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
One idea I was contemplating is "Report reviewers." They would review all RPP and AIV requests as "endorsed" or "declined", saving admins a bit of time.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:27, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
It is an interesting idea, but if someone is trusted enough that an admin would block someone based on their endorsement of the report without further review, they really should be made an admin and cut out a step. If they are not that trusted, it doesn't really help does it? Monty845 03:34, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
The admin does not necessarily have to agree.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Would these "support"/"oppose" comments be inline, or would this necessitate another pipeline as used in DYK? If they're non-binding, then I'm afraid I don't see the utility. If they're binding, admins will (correctly, IMHO) balk. I think the best approach is more admins. Recruit, nominate, and approve admin candidates even if they express a desire to focus in particular areas. I can think of one editor (not me), talented and fair-minded, nominated for adminship once, who would rock at clearing the very backlogs mentioned. --Lexein (talk) 05:58, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Part of the problem is the amount of workload. There are backlogs all over. If you try to adjudicate many of the discussions, you are often taken to task for being wrong. All of this wears on you over time. Would more admins help? Sure. Something like RPP is not a simple drive by and cleanup. It means looking at what is happening and then deciding what is the correct action. However, if everyone would pitch in and clear up stuff that does not need an admin, then some admins could spend more time on admin work. Anyone want to clean out the misclassified stubs in the list of suspect articles? Vegaswikian (talk) 06:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
(WP:Wikignome demurs with a terse mumble, nimbly diving back into the mushroom forest, goes back to Category:Articles needing link rot cleanup, etc.) --Lexein (talk) 07:12, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it is so much about "support"/"oppose". It's more that if the community saw it as useful, non-admins could step in and provide useful information to allow administrators to better handle the action being proposed. I've done this before at WP:RFPERM - basically if someone is requesting something like autopatrolled, the admin is going to go and have a look and see if the user meets the requirements to be given the permissions: a non-admin can help here by doing some of the legwork. It isn't so much about whether there is consensus (which is why you'd have "support"/"oppose" statements or !votes) but about simply gathering the information together to allow admins to make a better decision. This is technically what is supposed to happen at AfD, but whether or not we grant someone rollback or semi-pp an article for a week or so is a bit less contentious than whether to delete something so shouldn't ideally end up in there being discussion.
(That said, the flipside to this argument is the simple one: the people doing this kind of work should go to RfA and become admins. Obviously, that makes sense. But not everyone wants to spend a week having rotten fish thrown at them.) —Tom Morris (talk) 17:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As someone who watches RFPP there aren't that many challenges. Ultimately if you want to reduce the number of times you as an admin get challenged the only way you are going to achieve that goal is to make the relevant policy clearer and more deterministic. If you want to reduce the drama caused by being challenged you need to be prepared to agree to disagree earlier and/or have a more productive escalation process - possibly including some way of getting another admin(s) to give a second opinion. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:10, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Policies for access to the OAI-Repository[edit]

Disclaimer: If this is the wrong place to ask, please delegate me to where it would be more appropriate :)

Where can I find the policies (if they exist) about how to get access to the Special:OAIRepository (OAI = OAI-PMH = Open Archive Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting)? The background story is, that there is the DBpedia project, which, in a nutshell, is about extracting structured data from Wikipedia articles and freely publishing that data as downloads and via publicly accessible databases (called triple stores/SPARQL endpoints). As the structured data enables one to ask complex queries on Wikipedia, DBpedia already received quite a lot of attention. At the University of Leipzig we have developed a live-synchronization module which keeps the data in such triple store up to date. However, so far we have done the extraction only for the English Wikipedia, as we do not have resources for maintaining multiple instances. But other research groups have already announced their interest in setting up the DBpedia live extraction for other languages. So we would like to know how they could apply for access or who they should contact. Aklakan (talk) 10:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC)Aklakan

Take a look at meta:Wikimedia update feed service. Looks like you have to ask Kul Wadhwa. On Wikipedia he is User talk:Kul Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much, that really helped :) Aklakan (talk) 13:04, 3 November 2011 (UTC)Aklakan


Dear administrators of English Wikipedia

Can you please block this user? User:Erik Evrest. He has sent spams everywhere in Indonesian language, and last time he threatened someone coercively and sordidly in this user talk page (you can google translate it to understand the impending message) User_talk:Dhio270599. Please take an action since he has been blocked in Indonesian Wikipedia for the same reason.

Regards — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:48, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I blocked him one month for now - he seems to spend all his time spamming people's talk pages instead of making useful contributions. (It doesn't really seem like he speaks English, in any event.) Anyone can lengthen the block if they see fit. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:21, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I also mentioned it to stewards, and apparently there was some history, so the global account has been locked. [2]  Chzz  ►  21:38, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Discussion of WP:NOTCENSORED[edit]

I've started a discussion on exactly what 'Wikipedia is not censored' means. Comments are welcome at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#What WP:NOTCENSORED is not. Robofish (talk) 18:00, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Time for rollback edits to be unambiguously identified as such[edit]

All rollbacker rollbacks should be clearly labeled in the edit summary with [[WP:Rollback|RB]] along with the action (undo edit by xxx, tttt dddd), if no edit reason will ever be offered.

  1. The generic rollback edit summary is necessary, but not sufficient. It indicates action(undo), but not reason(vand, blanking) or source(rollback).
  2. Unidentified as a "rollback" edit, it is indistinguishable from an "undo" with no reason given (specifically discouraged in WP:Edit summaries).
  3. It allows masquerading: An editor can say "oh, that wasn't rollbacking, it was just an undo with no reason", or vice versa.
  4. Accountability (labeling in edit summaries) is required of all other semi-automated actions by bots and scripts (Twinkle, others). Rollbacker rollbacks should be no exception.
  5. It is anti-convenient for every other editor faced with a reasonless edit summary, forced to diff. WP:Wikipedia is a volunteer service - action by one editor (in this case a rollbacker) should not force more work on other editors: one click, but 5 - 20 seconds of boring unproductive waiting.
  6. Breeds discontent (see 5); it gets worse when an editor (unknown to be a rollbacker) is encouraged to included a reason in edit summaries. The replies are priceless. Point: tools should not lead to more work, or surprise, due to their unrevealed operation.
  7. Per WP:Edit summaries (linked from WP:Editing policy#Be helpful: explain, Help: Editing, and WP:Etiquette) every editor is encouraged to summarize the action and its reason, such as "rv v" as an aid to other editors and in content disputes. I see no reason for any editor to be excused from that by a coding implementation, especially when the tool can be coded to mark it automatically.
  8. Argument against: "The reason for the edit it already clear" - false. It's only clear when looking at diffs or at old pages, and in the rollbacker's User Contributions, but not in watchlists, where many, many editors live. (How many? Does anyone know?)
  9. Argument against: "We shouldn't change anything - I don't like it." Well, that's not a reason. Mute, reasonless edit summaries go against the open nature of the editing process. They fail to inform following editors. They are yet an inequity, a privilege which lacks direct accountability.

I'm starting here at (policy), because it all starts with policy: all edits should have action and reason, and/or tool used, unambiguously stated. --Lexein (talk) 05:54, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Um...I thought the whole point of rollback was that editors with its 'power' are trusted to only use it appropriately. It's almost always obvious why someone used it -- when it's not, they probably shouldn't have in the first place. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 06:14, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not obvious without looking at the diff. Or viewing the two page versions. Or looking at the rollbacker's Contributions. Not very obvious from the edit summary, which only states that there was an undo. Please note that I'm asking for two letters to be added to the edit summary to identify it as a rollback. All other bot and script tool edits are required to be identified. That's it. --Lexein (talk) 06:48, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

OK, so, currently if you use actual Rollback, and don't have any fancy scripts, then the edit summary is e.g. Reverted edits by Example (talk · contribs) to last version by Chzz (talk · contribs).

So - you're suggesting we add a link to 'rollback' on the letters 'RB'? Can you clarify, because at the top you wrote ...along with the action (undo edit by xxx - and when using actual 'standard' Rollback, it wouldn't have any additional info - unless the user has something like User:Gracenotes/rollback.js (which allows use of Rollback with custom edit summaries).

If it's just adding RB and a link to the standard Rollback edit summary, then yes, OK, fair enough, I support that.

However, if you are suggesting that Rollback edits need any other edit summary - not just a default one - then I oppose, because the whole idea behind Rollback is that it's a quick way of removing something that so obviously needs removing that no additional details are required - and if that is abused, the userrights can be revoked - Wikipedia:ROLLBACK is the applicable guideline, whereas Help:Edit summary is just an info page.  Chzz  ►  07:51, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

You understood me well: the default, adding RB (and/or a wikilink) is exactly what I meant. Based on your info, any of these would be helpful to editors, because the tool used is disclosed, even if the edit reason is still not:
  1. (Reverted edits by (talk) to last version by -- links "last version"
  2. (Reverted edits by (talk) to last version by using RB)
  3. (Rolled-back edits by (talk) to last version by )
--Lexein (talk) 08:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Well if THAT is all you want, why didn't you just say so? What was the whole point of all that text about undo and suggested edit summaries and having to check diffs and so on? But really, rolling back has its own unique format that looks nothing like undo or anything else, so I'm still missing why you're even making a big deal. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:56, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. It's a process; the prior discussions were pretty gnarly, and I wanted to address that and existing policy, while proposing this change. Chzz's point helped focus my thinking about the options available. I never saw rollback summaries as looking unique, really; my bad, I guess. But still, looking unique isn't the same as being explicitly identified (named). Yes, it's a small change, so hopefully, easily adopted. --Lexein (talk) 03:37, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I support providing a link to that guideline in the automated edit-summary. It's less confusing to the newbies with a link, and I don't see any downsides to providing it. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Support what Chzz has suggested, and oppose what Chzz has opposed. Adding an "RB" link is handy. The presence of the links at the end of edit summaries for AWB, Huggle and Twinkle have enabled me to create non-automated contribs, which is basically a way for you to look through a user's edits with the automated edits excluded (and thus hopefully providing a practical response to the "Too many automated edits" crap we get at WP:RFA far, far too often). Being able to choose to filter out rollbacks this way means they can be excluded when searching for substantive edits, or checked for specifically to see whether or not a user is using rollback properly. —Tom Morris (talk) 17:09, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I've narrowed the options to #2, similar to Huggle's summaries. --Lexein (talk) 14:02, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Non-English celebs on English WP[edit]

Having now worked on English WP for a number of years, I have still not yet ceased to be surprised at the huge amount of articles here about matters that one could assume are of miniscule notability and of little or no general interest, reasonably, to the readers of English WP. Why, for eaxmple is a large number of Swedish celebrities, who have never done anything noteworthy of any kind in any English-speaking country, or been covered in English anywhere else for their notability at home, covered so extensively here? Is the goal that we are to be able to read all about everyone in the world who has done anything notable in any country, whether or not they, reasonably, can be considered totally irrelevant to readers of English? I'm not complaining, but I don't understand, and I'd like to. Any specific English WP policy on this that I can read up on? SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:42, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Articles here are required to be written in English. That's all. Notability is not defined by what language a person speaks. Genghis Khan, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Saddam Hussein are not English speakers, yet their notability cannot be doubted. Notable is notable, regardless of why and where. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanx, but you completely miusunderstood. Maybe I can't explain the question, as I see it, clearly enough. It has nothing to do with what language they speak. The people you named are are internationally famous, but I'm talking about people that are totally unknown outside of their non-English speaking home countries and (thus?) not really notable anywhere else. For example (just one of hundreds) a fellow who has been in 3 Swedish television programs, broadcast only in Sweden in Swedish, and done nothing anywhere else, had no publicity anywhere else and is likely to be of no interest to anyone anywhere else. SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:05, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
I guess the answer is, we do not make any presumption as to whether anyone will or will not be interested in the articles we put together. We merely check that the notability criteria can be met. And if that means your Swedish chap is sufficiently notable in Sweden, then he gets to have an en.wikipedia article, whether or not he will ever be of interest to an English speaker. To do other than this would be to require us to second-guess whether or not the article will be of interest to an English speaker. Taking your example again, a) there may be English speaking Swedes who use en.wikipedia and have an interest in the gentleman or b) a native English speaker may find herself in Sweden and come across the individual in some context and wish to know more. And besides all of this, having the article is relatively cost free, and so why not? --Tagishsimon (talk) 18:10, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, notability is defined by passing GNG, which relies on reliable sources. The thing is, reliable sources don't have to be English. Subsequently, the topic/subject doesn't have to be directly related to English speaking countries/events. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 18:12, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you both! Particularly, Tagishsimon's situational aspects altered my thinking, especially b. SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:16, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

RFC on the bot-addition of identifier links to citations[edit]


I don't see enough support for a bot doing this, further more, the community outlines below that the process that things would occur is broken. Lets try fixing the process to consensus and then moving forward on looking into a bot. -- DQ (t) (e) 08:53, 23 October 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.

There's been some kerfuffle about bots adding of identifier links to citations recently. Specifically, whether links to a topical database (aka things like arXiv preprints, Bibcode links to the Astrophysics Data System, Mathematical Reviews, PMC or PMID links to PubMed, SSRN, Zentralblatt MATH, etc...) should be added regardless of the topic of the Wikipedia article, or if bots should only add "topic-neutral databases" links (aka doi, JSTOR, ISBN, etc.), unless the bot can guarantee that the identifier links added are "topical".

Example with all identifiers
Field Citation
Astronomy J. Cami et al. (2010). "Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula". Science 329 (5996): 1180. Bibcode:2010Sci...329.1180C. doi:10.1126/science.1192035. PMID 20651118. 
Chemistry N. Sano et al. (2001). "Synthesis of carbon 'onions' in water". Nature 414 (6863): 506. Bibcode:2001Natur.414..506S. doi:10.1038/35107141. PMID 11734841. 
Mathematics G.L. Cohen (1990). "On an integers' infinitary divisors". Mathematics of Computation 54 (189): 395–411. Bibcode:1990MaCom..54..395C. doi:10.1090/S0025-5718-1990-0993927-5. MR 0993927. 
Medicine F. Barré-Sinoussi et al. (1983). "Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)". Science 220 (4599): 868–871. Bibcode:1983Sci...220..868B. doi:10.1126/science.6189183. PMID 6189183. 
Physics F. Abe et al. (CDF Collaboration) (1995). "Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters 74 (14): 2626–2631. arXiv:hep-ex/9503002. Bibcode:1995PhRvL..74.2626A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2626. PMID 10057978. 

Each database cover different things differently, some contain "citation coverage" (aka "who cites this journal article"), and complement each other (citation counts will differ, and listings will not mention the same citing journal articles, as e.g. the bibcode link will cover "citations in physics & astronomy" journals, while e.g. the PMID will cover "citations in the medical field"), some might contain links to preprints, links to free digitized versions, etc... One could certainly argue that these identifier links do a great deal to established the reliability and verifiability of a citation and the Wikipedia article it is supporting in general.

There's also a great deal to be said about letting people choose which database they prefer. If someone familiar with mathematics databases runs across a Wikipedia article on astronomy, and one of the references is indexed in both the astronomy and mathematics databases, why should they be forced to use the astronomy database if they would rather use the mathematics database (despite the astronomy database link being almost certainly better). If someone familiar with medicine journals stumble across a mathematics citation which is indexed in both mathematics and medical database, why should they be forced to use the mathematics database if they would rather see what PubMed has to say about it? If someone from a physics background runs across a medicine citation, why should they be forced to use the medical database if they would prefer using something they are familiar with?

On the other hand, other people feel these identifier links do little more than clutter the citations and confuse the reader, and should be omitted (or at the least should not be added by bots) unless the identifier link can be guaranteed to be on a database that matches the topic of the the Wikipedia article, or that it requires human judgment to decide whether or not an arxiv/bibcode/PMC/PMID/MR/SSRN/Zbl link should be added to the citation. This would mean that in the relevant Wikipedia articles, you would see something like

Example with only "topical" identifiers
Field Citation
Astronomy J. Cami et al. (2010). "Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula". Science 329 (5996): 1180. Bibcode:2010Sci...329.1180C. doi:10.1126/science.1192035. 
Chemistry N. Sano et al. (2001). "Synthesis of carbon 'onions' in water". Nature 414 (6863): 506. doi:10.1038/35107141. 
Mathematics G.L. Cohen (1990). "On an integers' infinitary divisors". Mathematics of Computation 54 (189): 395–411. doi:10.1090/S0025-5718-1990-0993927-5. MR 0993927. 
Medicine F. Barré-Sinoussi et al. (1983). "Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)". Science 220 (4599): 868–871. doi:10.1126/science.6189183. PMID 6189183. 
Physics F. Abe et al. (CDF Collaboration) (1995). "Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters 74 (14): 2626–2631. arXiv:hep-ex/9503002. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2626. 

This would have consequences for bots such as Citation Bot (which could not add links to arXiv preprints, bibcodes, PMC links, or PMIDs automatically, like it's been doing for the past few years), Bibcode Bot (which would be restricted to astronomy & physics articles), and any future bot such as the hypothetical "SSRN-Bot" or "Mathematical Review-Bot" (which would be restricted to their topics), or users who run scripts to add identifiers to articles such as Rjwilmsi.

Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 15:45, 15 August 2011 (UTC)


  • Isn't a DOI enough? The links all point to the same journal article; the only difference seems to be some extra details about the citation counts and whatnot. We're not concerned about that as an encyclopedia, we're just citing the article. I mean, it's not even a big deal, so it's sort of depressing that people have been arguing about this, but to me it seems simplest if we use one standard link (e.g., DOI) as anyone who really cares about the other databases will know how to look for the same article on them. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 16:03, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • There are two main things a reader wants from a reference: (1) access to the abstract, (2) access to the full text. I am opposed to bots adding any links to references unless the bot has the intelligence to determine that (a) one of those two things is missing, and (b) the added link provides the thing that is missing. I do not believe that adding clutter to reflists is harmless: it makes them harder for ordinary readers to use. I have no objection to human editors adding whatever information they feel is helpful; my issue is only to having this done on a massive scale by bots. Looie496 (talk) 16:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I strongly support adding Bibcodes and Arxiv ids to any and all references which are included in those databases. ADS is an excellent free resource which massively improves the chances of a reader finding a copy of the full text that they can access. Arxiv papers are not the 'final' version, but are always available for free to everyone. This is totally different to the DOI, which in almost all cases redirects to a journal website with an extremely expensive paywall. I'm less familiar with the other identifiers mentioned above, but see little harm in including them. There obviously has to be a line drawn somewhere (no point in have 27 different ids on every reference), but even the most extreme example given above is fine. Modest Genius talk 16:16, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh and I should point out that both ADS and Arxiv cover a huge range of subjects, not just their 'traditional' strengths (in astronomy and particle physics respectively). Modest Genius talk 16:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • This RfC should've been presented without the pro-bibcode etc. rhetoric. Anyway, PMID/PMC and doi are all I would want/need to see in any bibliography. There's no need to give excessive alternatives; even without any identifier an average user could find any paper in seconds, but a doi and/or PMID provides handy one-click access without bloating the bibliography Jebus989 16:18, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Even on mathematics articles? And physics articles? Or social science articles? That's awfully self-centered of you. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 16:20, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there is any 'pro-bibcode rhetoric' in the above. It does slant in favour of more IDs, but barely mentions Bibcodes more than any of the other IDs discussed. Modest Genius talk 16:25, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
You misquoted me, "pro-bibcode etc." was what I said. I mean the RfC is written primarily as an argument in support of adding a wide variety of accessions, and I hope it doesn't take me picking out sentences for you to realise that. As a non-mathematician, I know of no pubmed equivalent, but if I were to read such an article, and found only the doi, I would definitely try work up the gumption to click it, rather than perusing through 5 alternative links to the same article and choosing my favourite. I'll ignore the personal attack, but I remind you this is a request for comment, not an "agree with me or I will argue with you until you do" Jebus989 19:14, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • For reference, I'm for the addition of any and all links on any and all articles. I've edited physics & astronomy articles for as long as I could remember and the various PMIDs and MRs links have never bothered me. In fact I found them to be extremely useful in fixing citations or verifying that the references did support the text (or that they were reliable). It would be utterly catastrophic for Wikipedia to disallow bots to add these links by default. Medicine people would lose Citation bot's ability to add the PMID/PMC automatically. Astronomy (and related topics) people would lose Citation bot's ability to add bibcodes. Physics (and related topics) would lose Citation bot's ability to add arxiv preprints. Everyone lose, no one wins.

    For anyone these links truly bother, that could easily be "fixed" with a skin tweak (monobook.js/vector.js). Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 16:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Putting every single identifier known to man (as well is wikilinking what they are) does seem to produce a vast, confusing sea of messy links which will be meaningless (and possibly distracting) to the average non-academic reader. Idealy there would be a way of hiding these away like we do with ISBN numbers and special:booksources -where clicking on one link would bring up all appropriate identifiers.Nigel Ish (talk) 17:01, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I appreciate seeing the two versions of the references side-by-side, which is quite helpful. I think that the default state should be the shorter, topic-specific format. The other way does, indeed, look overly cluttered. I can imagine a reader from the general reading public, not someone who is an aficionado of databases, but just someone wanting to read up on a subject, looking at the lengthier version and having a case of "too much information". I recommend making the topic-specific format the default, with the proviso that any editor may always add more manually, and any WikiProject, by consensus, may request that a bot add more to pages within their project. I also like Nigel Ish's idea of having more but hiding them. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:09, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Interesting issue. I agree with Looie496 on what users want and that in the short run humans should make these decisions rather than have a proliferation of alternatives added by bots which 99% of readers wouldn't use. Yet the added content is definitely useful. Perhaps in the short run the links at the end of the biblio entry could be compacted, showing just (ArXiv)(PMID)(doi)(JSTOR), each linked to the appropriate source for that biblio entry. This avoids showing the full details of the code to every reader, and sticks to showing human-useful/readable content. Those details could be in HTML comments. In the long run I think this problem should not be solved right in the article, where it takes up vertical space and mind space, perhaps increasingly over time as the number of such outside sites grows. Instead it would be good if all those links the bot would have offered can be offered on the doi page or some wikimedia-specific intermediate page made available when the user clicks on the biblio entry. Might be created on the fly, or static. If static, the bots could add lavishly to that intermediate page and the bibliography user-interface would be uncluttered and easy to use. Not trivial to implement unfortunately. Wikisource might be friendly to it but their agenda is not directing-to-sources but rather offering the sources. (I see that Nigel Ish suggested this too during an edit-conflict. Hot topic!) -- Econterms (talk) 17:12, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Let me be the third person to endorse Nigel Ish's observation that ideally the links should be there (because they really are useful to someone who knows what they mean) but hidden (because they are confusing clutter to people who don't know what they mean). --Joel B. Lewis (talk) 17:32, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • i support adding as many identifiers as exist. different people will have access to different databases. there might be some reasonable limits similar to books that make sense here also that might be simple enough to get broad support, but i'd rather have more identifier links that are possibly redundant than restrictive rules. generally for books with isbn, oclc and asin are not also listed. pmc and arxiv are really good and should always be listed if available. doi usually doesn't go to a full free-access copy, but many people have institutional access. jstor only shows the first page. pmid and bibcode show bibliographic info with an abstract. this is the first time i've seen the mr database and it doesn't look all that useful from this example. it looks like a link to a doi that goes to jstor.  —Chris Capoccia TC 17:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose bots automatically adding any information to Wikipedia articles. Bots can never replace a living person. Bots are very useful tools that editors can use to research information (including citation information). However, a thinking person needs to review the bot results before the information is actually placed into an article. Even something as simple as a spell or grammar checker bot can cause all sorts of unexpected errors and problems. Blueboar (talk) 17:46, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I think that Errant's comment on ANI and Nigel Ish's comment here have got to the bottom of this: we should focus on working out how we can configure a default display of the citation that is not crowded, while also allowing the option of displaying the full identifier information. That ought to give the simplified display desired by casual readers and (maybe at one click) the full information and options desired by more knowledgeable readers or researchers. I think this RFC should be to discuss how to display the information, not on whether it should be there in the first place. Rjwilmsi 17:53, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support adding a variety of identifiers/sources, but I want a way to reduce the "clutter". Since that seems to be a dominant issue here, something like this would be sufficient for me (trade-off seeing actual identifier values for space and broader choice):
F. Abe et al. (CDF Collaboration) (1995). "Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters 74 (14): 2626–2631. arXiv:hep-ex/9503002. Bibcode 1995PhRvL..74.2626A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2626. PMID 10057978.
F. Abe et al. (CDF Collaboration) (1995). "Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters 74 (14): 2626–2631. arXiv. Bibcode. doi. PMID.
I also understand a certain identifier may be more useful than others based on the topic/journal, so something like |primaryidentifier=doi could be employed:
F. Abe et al. (CDF Collaboration) (1995). "Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters 74 (14): 2626–2631. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2626. arXiv. Bibcode. PMID.
I realize it's impossible to please everyone, but I also don't want "clutter" to come in the way of presenting our readers with a wide selection of database links. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 18:06, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • As a note to the "let's tweak the information", that's fine and all, but you have to remember that Wikipedia should be for all people. "Compact links" such as [ [arXiv] [bibcode] [doi] [ISBN] [JSTOR] [pmid] ] will be horrible for people with screenreaders, and will be horrible when the page is printed. The only way to "tweak" it without affecting accessibility and print versions is to do it via skin tweaks (monobook.js/vector.js/etc...).Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 18:07, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • We should consider not only what readers see, but also what editors see. When the citation becomes of excessive size, the article becomes difficult to edit. The idea solution would be a link to a sort of automated source ombudsman, where a reader could specify which libraries are nearby and/or which databases the reader has paid access to, and the automated ombudsman would display which sources provide the full text at no incremental cost to that reader. Jc3s5h (talk) 18:12, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
    • That's impossible to do, as there is no "one true identifier" for everything. DOI is the most popular, but not all databases are queryable via DOI. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 18:15, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Given that different users have different databases they can access, it seems obvious that "anyone can edit" implies that whichever such resources the user has available should be linked. For the fortunate few with institutional access to such databases that does not always extend to all databases or even all of a particular database. My access to JSTOR, for example, is only fulltext for a portion of the serials it contains. Providing diversity of linkages gives editors and readers the best possible chance of finding the source in a repository which is freely accessible (for them). When we choose to omit these links we effectively inhibit people who could otherwise read the source from doing so. That cannot be a constructive practice. A little blue on the screen is a small price to pay. I have no objection to hiding it in hovertext or some such technical approach so long as the linkage is easily available to users that want it. The issue of trusting humans more than bots to make the call misses the fact that many of our human editors are very weak at citations: we're still fighting naked urls! While it should be simple for a human editor to remove links that don't work, and bots should respect such decisions, humans should not delete them simply because a link didn't work for them. Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request‎ shows us everyday the utility of pooling access. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:14, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment on fancy display technology: this is a red herring and can't help us. Wikipedia pages need to work also as PDFs (onscreen with simple hyperlinks or printed out on paper); on a variety of mobile devices which may not support the concept of "hover"; on browsers where JavaScript is disabled, with screen reader technology, and where the Wikipedia page is being mirrored by another website. Any option that requires an account (such as a user-specific skin tweak) is also a non-starter as nearly all of our readers are not logged in. It is an important attribute that one can select the display text and copy/paste it: something that popup bits would make impossible. Colin°Talk 18:54, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
    • If JavaScript is unavailable we could display the minimum, i.e. the doi. If it is available, the citation can be expanded on mouse-over to include other potentially useful links. Such a strategy could work well on PDFs and mobile devices where users probably don't want clutter taking up space. eug (talk) 13:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment—Perhaps we could wrap the identifiers with an inline expandable display? See here for example. This way the text would normally be hidden unless somebody wants to look up the reference. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
    • Don't know if that could be done, but the default should be the expanded start, otherwise this would create a drastic clash between "manual" citations and template citations. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 19:41, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
      • Leaving it default expanded would make it pointless to implement; no viewer is ever going to go through the list and contract the views. But "manual" citations could probably implement this using a separate template for inline identifiers. RJH (talk) 20:37, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
        • Couldn't be done with manual citations, as each identifier template would "condensed" individually, rather than globally. You could place them in a wrapper, but that is an extremely convoluted option. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:40, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
          • I see such a wrapper template for use in a manual citations as a variant of the citation template, sans the non-identifier information. Shrug, no matter. RJH (talk)
  • I oppose bots adding these links to articles until the clutter is reduced by appropriate template magic/user preferences/CSS. Once such a solution is implemented, I will change by !vote to support. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Something similar to what RJHall and Nigel Ish said would be the best course to take here: give all citation databases and let the reader pick which one to use. Edge cases such as the ones Colin identified can still see the current format. That said, getting to the crux of the issue, I don't see a point in removing existing bibcodes/PMIDs because of a few editors' perceptions of the utility of the citation databases. Give the readers more credit. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 19:33, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • If we do go down the 'keep them but reduce the clutter' route, could it not be hidden behind a 'show/hide' bit of Javascript, like collapsed navigation boxes? That way it still shows up when printed / on screen readers, but reduces the clutter for everyone else. Modest Genius talk 19:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
    Show/hide boxes work exactly the same on modern screen readers as they do for other people. I would favour keeping the links expanded as they are now, if only because we shouldn't add more bloated JavaScript to pages if we can help it; the citation links don't cause any problems for screen readers. I don't have any strong opinions about which databases should be used. Graham87 00:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Information is good. —SW— express 20:25, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Certain of these identifier can be assumed to be topical: (1) arXiv: if an article is on the arXiv, then the author put it there, (2) MR (aka Mathematical Reviews) & Zentralblatt: only lists math articles, so for any article that has an MR, the MR should be topical. I don't know enough about the other identifiers to say, but I don't think that non-topical identifiers should be automatically listed, except for ISBN and DOI (ISSN, too maybe?); by which I mean, I think it would be better to keep the displayed identifiers restricted to topical ones, ISBN, and DOI, but I'm all for adding other ones to the source code, but have them commented out, or somesuch. Additionally, at least the two identifiers I have listed provide useful information that I believe should be linked to from the citation on wikipedia, (and if a bot can do it instead of me, I'm all for that). For the arXiv, this includes a free copy of the paper (though they are sometimes not the same version as the print copy), and for MR & Zbl, this (almost always) includes a summary of the paper, as well as a link to the papers that cite the paper in question. RobHar (talk) 20:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The only requirement we have for citations is that they identify the source of the text used to write the article text. A plain text standard printed citation or a raw URL both satisfy this requirement, though each can be improved upon. We are careful not to add external links to articles just because someone thinks they are useful and similarly we should be careful not to turn our References section into an external link farm. We are an encyclopaedia, not a compendium of journal database links. Perhaps folk should put pressure on the various journal database websites to do some cross referencing themselves. It shouldn't be too hard for PubMed to link to ADS, say. After all, indexing journals is their job, not ours. As Looie496 says, the aim of our convenience links should be to give the reader access to the full text and the abstract. Access to the full text is complicated by the fact that nearly all our readers will lack the necessary subscriptions for subscription-only texts, or the text may not be online at the publisher's website. So services like PMC and arXiv provide a backup for the full text. The databases themselves provide useful functionality but this is very much secondary to our purpose. There is a strong consensus for linking to PubMed for bio-medical papers and I dare say the same goes for astronomy/physics papers and the ADS. If the paper is only indexed in one of the databases, then there is probably merit in linking without considering the topic of the paper.
    The bot should only perform actions where there is a clear consensus and where the edit is useful. So unless we come to a consensus that linking to PubMed and linking to ADS is desirable always, then the bot needs to work out what kind of paper the citation is for. A bot could use the journal to decide the topic in most cases. For journals like Science and Nature, that cross the fields, then the WP article may give a clue as to whether the paper is a life or physical science topic. I think using only the WP article as a guide is rather crude and only reliable for a subset. So, in summary, PMC/arXiv are probably always useful unless the bot can tell that a link to a free online full text is already present. DOI is always useful. Where both a PMID and bibcode are possible, the bot should consider the journal and possibly additionally the article topic and pick the most appropriate -- and if unsure then don't add. -- Colin°Talk 20:37, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see PMID links and ISBNs whenever possible, even for non-medical articles (which might, after all, contain some medicine-related information). I don't care about the others, but I suspect that if I always want to see links to foo, then someone else will always want to see bar, so I'm in favor of listing everything as the default. There should, however, be some sort of opt-out system, like an invisible template that editors can place in an article to say "Bibcodes (or whatever) not wanted in this article, thanks". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support If you can get a source for free then its a no brainer to add the (legal) links --Guerillero | My Talk 21:32, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. More pointers is better than none or a few useless ones, which can still be deleted manually if they are a splinter in an editor's mind, right? Peter S Strempel | Talk 22:55, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Bots should not be doing controversial edits. The important stuff here is the citation; once that is given, all other links are convenience. Adding a lot of them makes the citation itself, which can be used in whatever tool the reader has available, harder to find; if, as some arguments here would suggest, we add links to every conceivable citation system, our articles will be buried in kilobytes of linkcruft. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:53, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I generally support some modest quantity of redundant IDs, because they sometimes can be helpful in tracking down an article (for example when a DOI stops resolving, which is a moderately frequent occurrence). I guess I'm a weak oppose on the subject of having bots add them, however. Having a bot add a PMC has rarely seemed like an intrusion (even if there is already a free link of some kind), but kerfuffles of this sort seem to be par for the course when bots are involved and I'm not sure how a bot would know how many IDs is enough. Perhaps there is a middle ground, like an approved list of IDs which are bot-addable. But if we can't resolve it that way, falling back to human editors doesn't strike me as a horrifying thought. Kingdon (talk) 02:24, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I support adding additional info to citations. As others have pointed out, these are useful for readers who have access to different databases. And many are topical, such as the Math Reviews number or the PubMed number, and will only be available for articles in a certain discipline. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Anything that helps our readers get to the original sources used for our articles is a benefit to all. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 03:05, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: The proposed solution does not scale in the long term. I would suggest a solution similar to that for either Books or Map Coordinates; in each case a link leads to a master list where the identifier is auto-integrated with resource links. However, the central-linking solution would need to be refined somewhat for the present solution, as the consistency of ISBN or lat-lon is not present for scholarly articles yet (DOI approaches, but has not reached 100% penetrance ... anyone have stats on that?). What might need to be done is a two step process - create links via bot on a central resource page, then review links via bot for ability to resolve to a target, followed by either link culling or link annotation (verified, unverified, unavailable type flags). I've not read through the comments, so I don't know whether this is a new idea or just a rehash of an old one oft added above. Thanks for considering this, nonetheless. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 03:22, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Fully, strongly support. Note, I am not a Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine person, nor a Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy person (actually, I am a Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemistry person).
1) PMIDs are useful, they are available for a lot of articles, they do provide extra information over a DOI (DOIs directly link to the article, generally the search capabilities of the site where that is hosted is limited to the site of the journal - the page on PubMed is generally cross-site). And that is not only true for articles in the medical corner, it is not only true for statements with a medical implication on articles outside the medical corner. When a PMID is available, it should be added, it does lead you to more info.
1 (too)) BibCodes are equally useful, they are available for another set of articles, they do provide extra information over a DOI (vide supra, comment on usefulness of PMIDs). That is not only true for the astronomy corner, it is not only true for statements with an astronomy implication on articles outside the medical corner. When a BibCode is available, it should be added, it does lead you to more info.
2) the number of journals that is overlapping is quite minimal, they are mainly the general science journals (Nature, Science and such), those articles benefit of identifiers all over Wikipedia. I would be disappointed if CitationBot would not add a PMID to an article in chemistry (as it does already), I would be equally disappointed if Bibcode bot would not add a BibCode to an article in chemistry. Or about whichever subject.
3) it is not up to us to decide whether an identifier is useful for others. I can bring up many examples where a PMID is useless clutter for me, I can bring up just as many examples where a BibCode is useless clutter for me. I can even find examples where both are useless clutter for me. The problem in both statements is 'for me'. Sure, I can guess that in most of these cases will also be true for most other readers of the text, but then we get to 'most' - it may be useful for someone, and that should be enough. (Yes, in most cases, I am interested in the article, not in what links to the article, which articles are cited by the article and how often those articles are cited, or articles that cite the article, who wrote it, where it is published, a direct link to the article will do, DOI is enough, per Fetchcomms, thank you).
4) I am active in subject A, and for references we have a database linked to subject B and a database linked to subject C. Now, subject B nor subject C are topical for subject A. But both the database of subject B and the database of subject A do give more info than the DOI only would, they both provide extra info, extra search capabilities. Unbiased addition of both is then leading to more info, as obviously no choice can be made whether B or C will be better.
5) Regarding 'clutter' - these identifiers are in references, not in prose. Reading references is like reading a telephone book: no-onehardly anybody does it for fun. When reading a reference you already have to go through a whole set of 'clutter', journal codecs, year of publishing, volume, issue, pagenumbers, &c. &c. (and all presented in different ways .. per convention in the local subject). One extra code does not 'clutter up the reference'. When you are used to code XXXX:1234, then when code YYYY is not there, you scan for the 'XXXX:' and click on the code next to it, when code YYYY:4321, ZZZZ:5678, CCCC:9876 and PPPP:4578 are there, you scan for the 'XXXX:' and click on the code next to it. It does not add clutter, at all.
6) Now, say, we have a medical article with a medical statement with a medical reference with, obviously a PMID. But that medical article turns out to be also in a astronomy database, and the astronomy database gets added as identifier. When that is not a general journal (Nature, Science) but something specific, then I might wonder 'why is this article in an astronomy database, the article does not have any astronomical content at all?' .. it may turn out, that some info from the article is missing, since there actually turns out to be an astronomical side to the content. A great incentive to look further into that aspect.
7) (unlikely scenario) - say database XXXX goes down (temporarily, or is locally blocked behind a firewall, something I could imagine in places/countries where information is restricted), then you have at least access via database YYYY. If XXXX and YYYY provide equal enhanced information over ZZZZ, then even if the article is in the subject of XXXX, then YYYY may be useful when XXXX for some reason goes down (or whatever).
All in all, I see no reason to not add all identifiers everywhere. They may be useful to some, and that should be enough. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:04, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
P.S. If you really think that the references contain too much clutter, then I am sure that it is possible to put something in your user stylesheet or javascript that reduces references to just the info you want. E.g. which filters out BibCodes from the parsed text, or another identifier, or even reduces a full-text reference to just 'XXXX' when identifier XXXX is available in that reference. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:11, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
P.P.S. I know that cross-namespace links are being frowned upon. But what if citationbot does something smart with the transcluded templates (the {{cite DOI/123456}}-type references)? --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:02, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
P.P.S.-Note: See #'Fancy display tech'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose
    • cluttering references with anything beyond a doi; once there is a doi, users can trivially retrieve whatever bibliographic information in whatever database;
    • automatizing controversial edits;
    • doing so while there is an ongoing discussion. -- Marie Poise (talk) 14:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Trivial? Really? I for one have no idea how to find an arXiv preprint just from the DOI. Similarly for ADS. And I use both of those databases every day. And remember that getting any information whatsoever out of a DOI depends upon the journal website providing it (without being hidden behind a paywall). Journals generally do NOT link to citation databases for the simple reason that it reduces the chances of anyone actually paying for the article. Modest Genius talk 17:50, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose bot-induced clutter of footnotes. The advocates of this mechanized mess have their opinions, but it is clear from the comments above that there is dissent and they should NOT be assuming consensus here. Carrite (talk) 15:29, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment not all links have similar value to all readers - so I would oppose limiting links to only one standard (unless links to the others are directly available through that one standard). For example, PMIDs are the most valuable to me, because my library affiliation provides full-text access for a huge range of pubs when linking via PubMed - any other link is far less useful. I would imagine similar considerations apply for other users (and database links other than PubMed - so I'm not simply arguing for PMIDs). If it's possible to make this a reader-level customization for display then that would be great (but might be a resource hog); absent such customization, I would favor inclusive linking. -- Scray (talk) 18:06, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly support adding links - Not all educational institutes buy access to every single database. Thus I think we should add links to every database the journal's article appears in to help ensure that people reading the Wikipedia article will be able to find the full text without having to go look up the article in the database they have access to. Reaper Eternal (talk) 18:27, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment How about DOI plus a single link to a page that can have as many links as you want, like Special:BookSources? --Kkmurray (talk) 19:37, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Although I support adding more information to citations, I am troubled by some automated edits. An article gets an automatic edit, it tickles many watch lists, and then many people check the edit. The bots also seem to add a lot of text to the reference that many users will ignore. Bots may pull a citation away from the intended citation to a different one; each fixing something that it perceives is wrong, and the next bot "improving" the citation further. A different approach might be better. The cite/citation templates could have a check for sources link; that link would include some unique information, but it would go to a wikipedia page that would run a (possibly precomputed) query for other sources. The bots could work on fixing the info in the second database without disturbing the article page. They could flag or correct basic info in the article (e.g., adding dates, authors, etc.), but they would not be edit the article merely to include another opaque identifier for some data source. If an article starts getting a lot of click throughs for a source, then the article could be edited to include a direct link for that source. Updates could be limited to so many per month per article. Glrx (talk) 00:46, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Too many identifiers. Bots should only add topical ids, like pmid for medical articles, arxiv for physics, etc. A bot shouldn't be cluttering refs with multiple redundants ids. I would support a less ambitious bot that added only a minimal number of ids. I also support bots that add ids to references where there is no id, that tag non-existing ids, that tag possibly wrong ids, etc. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:58, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment That different editors have different preferred citation display styles is perfectly reasonable. The current citation setup holds the raw data to support it, but doesn't offer much flexibility in rendering. There's been a lot of debate trying to get display preferences out by changing the raw data going in, but that solution can't work. The way forward must be to implement editor display preferences to differentiate between the source fields available and the fields shown to the editor in the rendered page. Of course is must be compatible with screen readers, mobile browsers, print versions, usability etc. and not break existing data, but we have some very knowledgeable technical editors and template writers, I'm sure a neat and effective solution can be found. I really think we must focus our effort on collaborating on neat and sensible editor display preferences. Rjwilmsi 22:16, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with that. No real reason why citations couldn't be displayed according to certain preferences. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 23:35, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • See my comment above about fancy display tech. Not going to work. Does anyone know the ratio of readers to editors? It is high enough that our individual preferences are pretty irrelevant, certainly so for something unconnected with editing. I bet the "let's fix this with editor preferences" solution is probably one of those perenial suggestions that keep getting shot down. Remember date formatting as an editor preference. That turned out well. Not. Colin°Talk 07:20, 18 August 2011 (UTC) Plus this suggestion does smell a bit of "Once I can make this problem go away for me then I'll be happy." The real issue is that we've gone away from thinking about what the core requirements of references in an encyclopaedia are, and have started adding "useful" bells and whistles. Our sources don't add these extras to their references sections. And just like our WP:EL policy, we need to draw a line and consider what is essential to our purpose. Colin°Talk 07:38, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
    The 'fancy display tech' does not necessarily mean that it should only be restricted to logged in users (there is also global CSS and JS ..). And, using CSS and JS is only one way (but indeed, suboptimal), but it may also be possible in other ways (/me puts on thinking cap again). The two main opposing concerns I think there are is that it is useful for certain people (seen that PMIDs are everywhere, and not only added by Citationbot, also by human editors), but that it does clutter our references (which is for another group of editors clearly a big problem). Removing the extra identifiers leaves out info which is used but removes the clutter, having them there clutters, but gives us extra information. Say for yourself, you use the PMID link in the articles where you have them - I do as well, but my 'WP:MED-activity' is just on a thin overlapping border. I would miss them, badly. Removing them all would also mean to remove them from WP:MED, or allowing them in WP:MED means that other projects would also have the possibility to allow them .. and that would just continue the controversy, inevitably WP:MED and WP:Astronomy will overlap, and then the fight comes in how much, and ... do I need to continue? --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:59, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
    See #'Fancy display tech'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
This isn't an RFC on removing or adding these links -- that would be an issue for the MOS -- it is about bot edits. Most people are happy with these links when added by human beings after consideration as to the utility of them. After all, the citations aren't inserted by a bot, so there was a human involved when they first got added. The issue that started this is that a bot is adding these simply because it can and not necessarily because it should. That's a fundamental issue wrt all bot edits. The question of whether it should quite clearly has little consensus one way or the other and the bot owners need to grasp this and start applying Wikipedia:Bot policy rather than endlessly arguing with the rest of to accept their personal opinion. The compromise position of only adding them when the chances of utility are very high (based on the topical relevance of the journal being cited and the article containing the citation) seems likely to upset the least number of people. Bots should tackle the low-hanging fruit. Colin°Talk 08:33, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, that is where the issue is .. I think that these links should be added, irregardless of the topic, irregardless of which identifier, irregardless of who adds it, even irregardless if it is by a bot or not. That the bot does it does not make any difference. The underlying issue is not a bot issue, it is a MOS-issue. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:49, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Well if you think that, then create another RFC and raise it at MOS+world. This RFC is on bot additions. Look at the title. It is a separate issue because what you are demanding is that not only are these links added by bots, but that they should be always added by humans too and never removed. That's imposing a citation requirement above what is necessary to actually cite the source. Considering that citations are an issue where WP typically refuses to impose rules, you don't stand much chance. Remember that even using templates isn't mandatory and is never likely to be. Colin°Talk 09:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I do stick to that .. as I do think that the bots should be adding these, as I do think they are useful, everywhere. In that way, I don't need to bother finding them myself. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:31, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly support adding identifiers that (1) point directly to the publisher's official version of a paper (doi, or jstor); (2) provide unofficial but free versions of papers (arxiv, or sometimes but not always bibcode), or (3) provide third-party reviews of citations rather than just a copy of the abstract (sometimes but not always mr). I don't have a strong opinion about identifiers that don't meet these criteria. And I also prefer not to see both doi and jstor when they end up both going to the same place. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:10, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support keeping all links; I don't see how removing them would improve Wikipedia. I would also support condensing them by making the external link shorter in read mode, but would oppose condensing them by using subpages. It Is Me Here t / c 10:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support adding ONE free full text link. A bot with a mandate of making free full text available is highly valuable. A bot with a mandate of adding a second, third, fourth way to get the same article is much harder to justify. I am willing to accept an occasional redundant link added by bot if it is the only workable way to get a free full text link on a significant fraction of the articles. Just don't make a fetish out of putting every possible link for every possible paper just for the heck of it. Oh, and it should be easy for a user to invoke the bot to provide all possible information for a reference he selects, both to allow him to edit the article to add it and to follow it for his own use. Wnt (talk) 21:55, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. No longer having a stable affiliation with an institution, I only have prepaid access to the journals I actually subscribe to through JSTOR, not MR, even though my subscriptions are to math journals. Wnt's comment would make sense if there was a free, stable, current link. This is rarely the case. (And I don't know why this RfC still appears to be open.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:39, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support but do try to minimise clutter. In medicine links to doi (original publisher), PMID (free abstract + related articles & citations), PMC (free full text) are all potentially useful. I think it's a good idea to try reduce clutter via client-side javascript, e.g. showing the links only when the mouse if over them. eug (talk) 13:03, 4 October 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.

Standard of review for non admin closes[edit]

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

{{rfc}} The policy for non admin closes of deletion discussions is currently located at WP:NACD and states that: "Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator." The guideline provides no further guidance on when it is appropriate to reverse a NAC. The guideline should be clarified so it is clear in what circumstances an admin should unilaterally overturn such a non admin close. Monty845 02:49, 24 October 2011 (UTC)


  • Proposed change "Decisions are subject to review at WP:DRV and in the case of a clearly erroneous close may be reopened by any administrator." Some administrators have interpreted the authority at WP:NACD to allow the reopening of any non admin close that is at all a close call. This is inconsistent with the fundamental view outlined at WP:NOBIGDEAL that administrators are not super editors, but are instead just regular editors trusted with extra tools. Non admin closes of deletion dicussions should be treated with a similar level of deference as a regular admin close, just as any other non admin close would be outside the deletion context. If challenged, the challenge should normally be made at WP:DRV. Only in cases where the close is so seriously erroneous (for instance a clearly involved editor) that a DRV listing would be a waste of time should an admin unilaterally reverse it. Specifically, that a close was controversial should not be grounds for overturning a NAC that would have been accepted if made by an admin. Monty845 02:52, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Reject change - Non-admins shouldn't be within spitting distance of of 99.9% of XfD closures, IMO. They should be allowed to close blatant hoaxes, i.e. Barack Obama for deletion, or blindingly obvious WP:SNOW cases. If there's been anything resembling a debate with a variety of keep and deletion opinions then they have no standing to make a call in such cases. We appoint admins for a reason; this is one of them. Tarc (talk) 04:39, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Reject change pretty much exactly per Tarc. WP:NOBIGDEAL is a big lie, anyway. There are certain things that should only done by those who've been trusted to do so, that is, administrators, and closing controversial deletion discussions is one of those. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 05:44, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the proposed change. As Tarc says, administrators are particularly elected and authorized by the community, among other things, to close AfDs; and are tested in their RfA on their knowledge of the deletion policy and process. This does not apply to other editors. Consequently other editors should not close any but the most obvious "keep" discussions. It is therefore not helpful to require a DRV consensus to overturn an inappropriate non-admin closure in the same way as it would be required to overturn an admin closure. On the contary, as the current instructions indicate, if a non-admin closure is overturned, then this is by itself an indication that the outcome was not obvious and the non-admin should not have closed the discussion.  Sandstein  05:45, 24 October 2011 (UTC).
  • I have to disagree with the proposed change, admins are appointed for a reason, and I say this as an editor that does non admin closes now and then. While I disagree with the notion held by some that an XFD must have 927,482 keeps and no deletes to qualify as a NAC, this is a step too far in the wrong direction. The rules are there to stop editors who don't know what they're doing from closing AFDs. In practice, if a non admin were to close an AFD split 10/2 in favor of keep, with keep arguments being strong and delete arguments not, not many admins would overturn that. It's when people do the wrong thing that their NAC gets overturned, and this new requirement would do worse than good. Things are fine as they are, and while I admittedly would like admins to demonstrate their reasonings a bit more in their AFD closes as opposed to one word closes, thats just how things are. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 06:10, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I too disagree; not that admins necessarily close disputed AfDs very well , but they at least have some screening before doing so. I would in fact strengthen the policy to permit NACs only for undisputed, procedural, or absolutely obvious closes; in my opinion, the only reason to permit them at all is to have some basis for seeing that admin candidates recognize at least the obvious. As for dealing with admins who do not explain themselves, as a first step, I would treat them as NACs: any disputed close that does not explain the rationale should be reverted and relisted if any other admin thinks appropriate. DGG ( talk ) 06:23, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Just a comment. WP:NOBIGDEAL actually says administratorship is a big deal today: "However, Wikipedia's worldwide cultural impact and visibility grew in the intervening years, and as the community grew with it, the role of administrators evolved. Standards for adminship have risen considerably and the community generally holds administrators to a higher standard of editorial and interpersonal conduct." Have mörser, will travel (talk) 11:06, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I also disagree. I make non-admin closures every now and then and I'm of the opinion that if anyone (with the possible exception of SPAs) makes a good faith comment/request that they believe your closure was incorrect, then you should revert it and let an admin close the XfD, even if you still think the consensus was obvious. If the consensus truly is as obvious as you think, then the next admin to come along will close the XfD the exact same way. That said, I think some of the above comments are taking things a little too far – consensus can be obvious without being unanimous. Jenks24 (talk) 12:51, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Also disagree. People have definitely failed RfA specifically because of concerns about how they would close XfDs. This implies that the community (well, at least the "RfA regulars") only wants certain people to have the ability to close them. Wikipedia adminship stopped being "no big deal" quite a while ago because Wikipedia itself stopped being no big deal. What articles stay can have an actual impact on the real world (if they didn't we wouldn't have press agencies trying to get their clients non-notable companies an article), because of the very high prominence of Wikipedia in most search engine results. Qwyrxian (talk) 13:54, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • The proposed change does nothing to resolve a perceived issue. The phrase "clearly erroneous" is subjective and no better than "decisions are subject to review". If you have a problem with a particular admin making improper unilateral reverts of closures, then bring it up at AN/I or an RfC/U. Don't pick a worse wording. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 14:21, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Disagree with proposed change. First, any deletion discussion is subject to review by an uninvolved admin, and any deletion is also subject to WP:DRV proceedings. Second, WP:NACD is interpreted as allowing non-admins to close XfD discussions only when use of admin tools is not required, e.g. blatant hoax nominations, WP:SPEEDY or WP:SNOW keeps, and the like. For once, let's keep the bureaucracy from expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) (talk) 14:39, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Disagree with proposed change. NAC's should exist to simply relieve the burden on sysops by taking on the uncontroversial closes. If it is controversial, or if anyone objects to it for any reason (which ipso facto makes it controversial), it should then get sysop review. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:01, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Disagree Questionable non-admin closes should be reviewable by an admin. Yes, I know that admins are just folks with extra tools, but there is no other group with extra vetting. (maybe we need that) Otherwise a questionable close by just anyone would be considered (as) final (as a close gets). North8000 (talk) 15:18, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Non-AfD NACs[edit]

Is there any interest in discussing NACs of non-AfD discussions, such as WP:Requests for comment, WP:Requested moves, and WP:Proposed mergers? {{Request close}} and Category:Requests for Close were proposed at WP:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 78#Template to request a discussion be closed, where there was a little discussion of admin versus non-admin closers. Flatscan (talk) 04:24, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Questions to consider:
  1. Should non-admins close divided or controversial non-AfD discussions?
  2. Can non-admin closes be summarily reverted by any uninvolved admin? (Non-admin AfD closes can be summarily reverted per Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions.)
  3. Should a guideline regarding non-admin closes of non-AfDs by created? Cunard (talk) 06:01, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Could we not let non-admins mark permission requests as already done? For instance when a user requests confirmation but is already auto confirmed? Jamietw (talk) 07:38, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be opposed to any one, and I preform some NAC closures at MfD. No new guideline please. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
10:27, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Number 2 skips past an even more basic question. Right now anybody can undo a NAC. North8000 (talk) 10:49, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment If a non-admin is going to close a discussion, first and foremost, they should be uninvolved in that discussion, as well as any editing episode that engendered that discussion. That's the same standard which admins are expected to abide by, and whether or not we believe adminship is WP:NOBIGDEAL (which is a concept which appears deprecated), I see no reason not to apply the WP:INVOLVED standard equally between admins and non-admins. As to Jamietw's comment regarding marking permission requests as already done, I see that as more a matter of clerking, as it simply notifies other editors of a previously-taken action, rather than being a unilateral or arbitrary closure of a discussion. Finally, as to creation of a new guideline, I don't see a need, since in my experience, those guidelines already least, they do in the two areas where I, myself, am most likely to consider closing a discussion: WP:AFD and WP:RFA. In both cases, non-admins are already able to close discussions in certain clearly-defined circumstances, and since one of those cases has already been discussed here, I won't re-open the can. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) (talk) 13:12, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Regarding my opinions on the answers to the three numbered questions:

1) Yes. Admins have tools, and if the action does not require the use of tools, anyone should be able to do it. Any sufficiently experienced user who is uninvolved in a discussion should be allowed to close any discussion and have their good faith summary thereof respected.
2) No. If a discussion is improperly closed, the first thing is to make a private request of the closer on their user talk page to re-open the discussion, and then if that is unsatisfactory to start a new discussion. This is the same procedure if an admin closes a discussion improperly. Admins do not carry special weight with regards to the "power" of their actions.
3) I'm iffy on this. I would rather general guidelines for closures and summations of discussions (such as RFCs, ANI discussions, etc, even AFDs) be created, and the guidelines make explicit that admins are not required to close them. If a discussion requires the use of tools, it may be best practice (but not necessarily required) for admins to close and use their tools if the conclusion is they are needed. For example, if a discussion decides that a user needs to be blocked/banned. It would be best practice (but not required) that an admin close and summarize the discussion and block the user. However, if a non-admin closed the discussion, they could also just ask an admin to follow up and block the user per the conclusions of the discussion; that should also be allowed. Admins role is purely the ability to use their tools, there is nothing about being an admin that should give them more powers that non-admins don't have excepting the use of the three tools. Take another example: For a ban discussion, where the user in question already has all of their accounts indef blocked (this does happen frequently). The ban discussion can be closed without blocking anyone, the enacting of the ban is a purely academic exercise, a non-admin should be allowed to do this, notify the account of the ban, place the ban on the ban list page, NONE of that requires any blocking, deleting, or protecting. I don't see why an admin would be needed for any of that.
So, in conclusion, for me it is pretty cut and dry: Admins only abilities are the actual use of their tools. The only thing non-admins are not able to do is use those tools, and that is not a social restriction, it is a technical one. There should be absolutely and totally no social restrictions on the actions of non-admins with regards to closing and summarize and enacting the results of discussions. In all such aspects of Wikipedia, admins and non-admins are equal. When an administrator closes a discussion, they do so merely as an experienced editor, and any other similarly experienced editor should have the same rights (and be afforded the same level of respect) with regard to closing discussions. The only thing admins are actually needed for is "flipping the switch" on blocks, protections, deletions, adding permissions, etc. But the ability to flip the switch does not give any extra social "powers" over any other user. --Jayron32 13:47, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • comment / questions A solution has bee presented, but what problem(s) is this trying to address? Are there too many non-admin closures? Too few? Too many have been overruled by admins without reasons for that? Too few? There are too few admins closing discussions? Too many? What? For myself I can think of some problems in decision making in WP, but it would help a lot if we first settled on what is the problem, and then, if needed, figured out a solution. - Nabla (talk) 14:12, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

For better or for worse (and probably for worse) "admin" means several different intended and unintended things in Wikipedia, two of them being:

  1. Someone given the admin tools, and entrusted with using them properly
  2. The only large group of editors vetted and tagged as being experienced and with no major wiki-problems.

We really need to create another group which is just #2. Until then, certain situations (not involving the tools) may need to call for an admin. North8000 (talk) 14:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Just as a minor point, we have a group for #2: It is called "editors not currently blocked or banned". --Jayron32 20:33, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I think realistically group (2) is just a subset of that. And the subset varies depending on the task at hand. See WP:BAG, the FA[C/R] directors and their aids, etc. You don't want some nationalist POV pusher to stay uninvolved in a particular discussion where he has on obvious bone and then swoop in to close it. It can be very hard to actually ban people here if they're not WP:GIANTDICKs. (talk) 05:18, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Interesting discussion. Speaking from experience, more leeway is given to NACs at RM than AfD because of the perpetual backlog we have there. I'd be interested in what others think of my NAC at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ireland Collaboration#Requested move: Republic of Ireland → Ireland (republic), a clearly contentious topic, but one where I thought the consensus was clear enough for a non-admin to close. Jenks24 (talk) 15:42, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • {{request close}} has an adminonly parameter, which should be used when appropriate; by default, it mentions nothing either way about admins. This seems appropriate enough. As far as I can recall from the discussion leading to the template's creation, there was no overall intention to prompt a review of admin/non-admin closures. A new tool for submitting requests needn't change the core policies or practices surrounding those requests. – Luna Santin (talk) 20:35, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • (1) Should non-admins close divided or controversial non-AfD discussions?
No, generally no. Admins are well vetted with ability to read and decide rough consensus. Participants in these processes expect some level of formality in the close. Exceptions may include: an editor with particular expertise in the area; a very experienced wikipedian with a history of good closes with very few contested. Any non-admin editor with a history of challenges to NACs should not close divided or controversial discussions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • (2) Can non-admin closes be summarily reverted by any uninvolved admin? (Non-admin AfD closes can be summarily reverted per Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions.)
Within reason. The reason for reversion should include a substantial rebuttal to the close. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • (3) Should a guideline regarding non-admin closes of non-AfDs by created?
Wikipedia:Non-admin closure is a quite decent guideline, despite the tag. Note that we’ve had a shift in the meaning of “guideline” and “policy”, with wikipedia-guideline now meaning real-word policy, and wikipedia-policy equivalent to real-world law. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • If a discussion is divided or controversial then it seems that, by definition, there is no consensus. Problems will then arise if a consensus is claimed and this seems likely no matter who closes it. Closing such a discussion as no consensus seems a reasonable action for any editor to take per WP:BOLD. Whether such a close sticks or not is a matter of practical politics, not a hard or fast rule. Note that it is our policy that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Warden (talk) 12:17, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Yes, as long as the non-admin is not involved in the discussion. Any experienced editor in good standing should be allowed to use good judgment, and make closures.
  2. No, absolutely not. Per Jayron32. Administrators are presumed to be trusted by the community. However, their job is to perform maintenance tasks. They do not have any special authority in closing discussions, or in any of their actions. Questionable closures should be discussed with the user on their talk page. Clearly disruptive closures can be reverted by any uninvolved editor. It has worked in the past, no reason to change it now.
  3. No, there shouldn't be a separate guideline for non-admins. As stated above, admins do not have any special "power" in closure actions. Creating a separate guideline would be instruction creep. The current closure instructions we have will be fine. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 02:42, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

# No. Non admins should close only uncontested or obvious deletions. The key role of an admin is being trusted to delete or block, I wouldn't say all admins do better than all non-admins, but at least they've been screened somewhat. Too many of the non-arbs repeated closing discussions have been doing them wrong. Frankly, when I was a non-admin it would never even have occurred to me to do such a close & I found it amazing from the startthat it was considered acceptable.

  1. Yes, if it were contentious enough for an admin to revert, they shouldn't have been closing them. It;s the only protections short of Del Rev, which has enough to do dealing with the bad closures by admins.
  2. Yes, the guideline is simple: unanimous, obvious, uncontroversial. It's not instruction creep, its the same policy as at AfD, and it should be basic generally. DGG ( talk ) 21:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Um, this was about non-AfD non-admin closures, wasn't it? SamBC(talk) 23:01, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
stupidly, I thought it was about xfds other than AfDs. I'll answer the real question later; I have a very different answer. DGG ( talk ) 04:03, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Yes, being an admin should grant extra maintenance tools, not a license to determine deletion outcomes. Limiting AFD-NACs to outcomes that do not require the admin toolset is fine for practical reasons, and we don't need to encourage non admin closes in disputable situations, but they should be allowed, and if made reasonably, they should be respected to the same extent an admin close would be. Though it seems very clear that consensus does not agree with me on this point.
  2. Yes, but only if the close is clearly wrong, not just disputable, but so out of line that if an admin had made the same close, people would question their competence. Less obviously wrong closes should be discussed and not unilaterally overturned.
  3. Sort of, we should have one guideline on closes that applies to everyone, and it should be clear that non-admin closes are to be given nearly the same level of respect as an admin close. Monty845 22:47, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Yes, if not otherwise disqualified (i.e. if uninvolved and in good standing).
  2. Not exactly. Anyone should be able to summarily revert a close if it's egregious; this could hypothetically include a non-admin reverting an administrator's close if it's bad enough to justify that. Of course, if it's not egregious, then a summary reversion is not appropriate and we're into the realms of talk page discussion, AN/I threads and other dramah.
  3. No, I see no need for yet another rule.
  • I want to add that the wisdom of Solomon is not one of the tools administrators receive on passing RFA, and nowhere does it say that administrators have a monopoly on judging consensus. They do not: anyone can judge a consensus. The reason some AfD closes are restricted to admins is because they require use of the "delete" button, not because administrators have any kind of authority to do this. Our admin corps is generally well-meaning, but has widely varying levels of competence. There are known children and known drug users among our admins, and a small percentage of them are complete fools. A rather larger percentage wouldn't have a snowball's chance of passing a modern RFA, and there are some whose tools I expect to see confiscated soon after we finally get a functioning community deadminship mechanism. There are admins who shouldn't be allowed within a hundred miles of closing a controversial RFC, and there are also non-admins who could do it perfectly competently.—S Marshall T/C 01:40, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  • All of the same policies, guidelines and other norms apply equally to admins and non-admins. Therefore 1 Yes (in accord w/ usual 'rules' and one would hope common sense), 2 Absolutely not summarily reverted, no; any such reversion should be appropriately explained, 3 No.
I agree totally w/ S Marshall above. If anything, we need to move away from the notion that admins have special Godlike abilities - other than some techie buttons, they do not.  Chzz  ►  08:09, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree that careful reading, understanding, and evaluating of arguments is not limited to admins. RfA doesn't always test these, but the common AfD-related questions tend to demonstrate the candidate's thought processes. For a closer, I would prefer an admin of 1–2 years (recent RfA, but some experience) to a random non-admin. I have been involved in a few deletion RfCs where I requested an admin close at WP:Administrators' noticeboard, and I would have opposed a non-admin close (starting with a polite note, but escalating to AN/I if necessary), had one been attempted. On the other hand, the two NACs linked by Cunard look fine, and I'm pleasantly surprised that I didn't see any tendentious objections based on the closers being non-admins. Flatscan (talk) 05:26, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Question: Is there some crisis involving non-admin closures that I'm unaware of? I have seen isolated incidents in the past involving non-admin closures, but not in a greater frequency than I've seen controversial admin closures. An administrator doesn't have any specific authority other than the delete button. Yes, non-admins should be able to close deletion discussion and no, admins should not have any authority to overturn a closure... that's what DRV is for. Trusilver 20:08, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Whenever the topic of discussion closers came up, I would see side comments that admin and experienced non-admin closers should be considered as equals. Implementing XfD delete closures requires admin tools, which was distracting, so I started this subsection. AfD NACs were discussed in the section above. Flatscan (talk) 05:43, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • NACs are a Good Thing. If we wanted admin-only closes we would have asked for the software to be modified. But since a close is simply an edit it is subject to BRD same as almost every edit. Rich Farmbrough, 14:15, 6 November 2011 (UTC).
  • Any uninvolved user able to properly judge consensus is welcome to close discussions. If the closure is problematic, it can of course be questioned and discussed just like an admin closure can, but a summary revert is definitely not appropriate. Having passed an RfA is not an indication that a user can judge consensus, and not having passed one is certainly not an indication of the opposite. I'm not really fond of using the term "non-admin closure" outside the areas like XfD where the closers are (for the most part) expected to be admins. Jafeluv (talk) 14:12, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • @Rich Farmbrough. - Hi. imo BRD isn't applicable in a non admin closure any more than in a discussion closed by an administrator. If I disputed the close of a discussion by a user that was not an administrator, I would approach the user in the same way as I would if he was an administrator with an initial discussion on his userpage. Clearly there are the very occasional completely out of process closures where I would consider BRD whoever it was. Off2riorob (talk) 15:17, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Nominations for the 2011 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee elections are now open[edit]

Nominations for the 2011 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee elections are now officially open and will run until Monday 21 November at 23:59 UTC.

  • If you are interested in running for the Arbitration Committee for 2012 and meet the requirements for candidacy, please go here.
  • If any other editors are interested in coordination, please go here.

MuZemike 00:01, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Translations from other-language Wikipedias and WP:V[edit]

This seems like muddy terrain to me. Wikipedias (including the English one) are generally not considered reliable sources for writing articles (except perhaps in very narrow circumstance in writing articles about Wikipedia itself, but I don't want to get into that.) Literally WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT says that if one translates an article from another language Wikipedia, and if the translator does not personally check the references to see if they support the text he/she is translating, then the translated text should actually be cited to another Wikipedia. Of course, in practice it's difficult to prove what the translator did this one way or the other. Thoughts on this? (Yes, I know, WP:AGF, anything else?) ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:45, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I would say, definitely state where it was translated from, but then the article is subject to the usual rules; citations to reliable sources (not the other language Wikipedia), no original research, etc. If it can't be supported by reliable sources, it may have to be stubbed. -- Donald Albury 22:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Translations should always be acknowledged on the talk page using {{translated page}}. Translators should also always check the sources in the original article. But often it may be quicker and easier to write the article from scratch in English than to attempt a translation, given that frequently citation standards on other language Wikipedias are more lax than on en:wp and that, where possible, English-language sources are to be preferred. --NSH001 (talk) 00:15, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
See also WP:Copying within Wikipedia#Translating from other language Wikimedia Projects. The attribution required by licensing means that the translated content can be traced back to its origin. Flatscan (talk) 05:44, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
But see Terms of use at the bottom of every page:
If you import text under a compatible license which requires attribution, you must, in a reasonable fashion, credit the author(s). Where such credit is commonly given through page histories (such as Wikimedia-internal copying), it is sufficient to give attribution in the edit summary, which is recorded in the page history, when importing the text. Regardless of the license, the text you import may be rejected if the required attribution is deemed too intrusive.
-- PBS (talk) 07:48, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

When I translate articles, I do check out the cited sources as far as I can -- usually they are online anyway; the main reason to do this is to see for myself that nothing is misrepresented in the article, and that it's worth translating in the first place. Plus, sometimes, it's helpful to see the cited source for translation purposes if the article isn't clear enough for me to understand -- looking at the cited source itself will help me write the English version with more accuracy. And I always leave a message on the Discussion page of the article indicating that it's a translation, from which language Wikipedia it came from, and if I've added more material to it myself. I try to add English sources, even if only to a Bibliography.
That being said, there are some other issues worth pointing out for translating articles into English from other Wikipedias, which present policy challenges: Some articles on topics that are well-known to another language/culture, but essentially unknown in English, will not have many (or any) English sources. And if the original article cites only books published in the original language, and I don't have access to those books, I can't verify the cited sources myself. If articles on such topics cannot be posted to the English Wikipedia due to the fact that the article translator can't verify the sources, I think that'd be a pity, and a lot of global information will not make it into the English Wikipedia. There can be cultural topics that only have physical documentation in a native language, and the cited sources are limited to a small geographic area, and if English Wikipedians can't get their hands on the source material... What to do? Let the articles disappear down the foreign language memory hole rather than translate them?
There are some ways to try to evaluate the trustworthiness of cited sources that I can't see for myself -- does the ISBN of a book check out, are there a large number of other cited sources given by the article's original editor that do check out, does the article have credibility for other reasons (context of links in the article check out, prior track record of the original editor, etc.). That's more personal discretion and judgment though, rather than complying with a bullet-proof policy.
How much weight should we give to reviewers and editors of the other language Wikipedias? And the people reading English Wikipedia who could well have knowledge of the original language for the article, click on the link to it, look up sources to confirm or challenge the info, etc. OttawaAC (talk) 01:03, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't see how taking the word of an editor word that the source supports the text is any different than taking the word of whatever editors add sources here. Essentially, there will always be one leap of faith where we trust that the person with the book is not just making shit up. Why would it matter which wikipedia they're on? Calliopejen1 (talk) 02:42, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Translation is an acceptable starting point to write a missing article, in a brief summary of the topic. Yes, it may unreferenced, but an unreferenced perfect stub is a good place to start. Some users may find it easier to expand an existing article (even if just some lines long) than to create a new one from scratch. However, as for the foreign sources, they should be included only if the user making the translation has actually checked them (or if it is the same user at both projects, using the same source here and there), if he has not, then the info should stay unreferenced. And if such info is a red flag, then it should be left out of the article for the moment. Translation gives a good starting point for obscure topics within the English-speaking world, but it should be just that, a starting point, from that point the article should grow under the same standards as every other article. Cambalachero (talk) 03:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Why is taking a Spanish-speaking Wikipedian's word for what a source says any different than taking an English-speaking Wikipedian's word? After all, anytime you edit an article you haven't written entirely by yourself without verifying every source, you're taking it on faith that it reflects the sources accurately. Calliopejen1 (talk) 05:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Different Wikipedias (quite rightly) apply their own standards regarding verifiability. But the real problem is one of distance: you, the writer of an article, are asking the reader to trust not just your judgement, but that of another contributor who in turn might be trusting another... This is a sure-fire route to circular sourcing, regardless of any other problems. A Wikipedia article isn't a reliable source, regardless of the language it is written in. We should never suggest otherwise. (And on a purely practical level, a 'Wikipedia article' isn't a source at all, unless it is explicitly cited for what it contains at a particular time - a citation in a foreign-language Wikipedia might seem a valid source one day, but be useless the next. Our articles change, reject sources, find new ones, and otherwise transform themselves all the time. We can't expect other articles to behave differently). AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not using different standards here. Articles in the same project usually overlap some info (for example, an article about an event, the articles of the people involved in the event, and the article about the historical period that includes said event). The same source may be useful at all of them for a certain claim; but I wouldn't "copy and paste" a reference around if I had not checked it first, I would either do that, seek another reference, or drop that specific info from the article for the moment. Just the same as I would do across projects.
In a matter of fact, I do that with books themselves. If they say something and mention another book as a footnote, I try to check that other book as well, if possible. Cambalachero (talk) 14:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying you should rely on another wiki as a reliable source, but I'm saying you can take on faith an editor's representation of what a source says. To draw another analogy: if you were moving a section of an article here out to make a subarticle, would you strip the references from it? No, you would trust that the person who wrote the article correctly represented the sources. In my mind, that is the equivalent of translations between wikis. There is always one person who transfers content from a book to wikipedia, and cites that source. You have to trust them, or our model doesn't work. In a perfect world, of course, that book would be cross-checked against the article repeatedly. But that is true regardless of whether a source is in Spanish or English, and is true regardless of whether the initial editor with the book edited or Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:07, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I think you have your rule quite right, you're just misinterpreting the conclusion. Just as you can't write an article on EN based on what another article on EN says about its sources, you can't write an article on EN based on what another article on ES says. So, for example, if you see an article about Joseph P. Schmidlap that says he was born in West Podunk, and cites it to an issue of the Times of London that you personally haven't seen, you should not write an article about West Podunk that states it is the birthplace of Joseph P. Schmidlap without any other source. --GRuban (talk) 21:54, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
But we do that all the time. Otherwise, you could never WP:SPLIT or WP:MERGE an article unless you read every single source in the material you were splitting or merging. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:46, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

How about translating in the other direction, from WP-En to another language WP? The English WP has loads of articles on topics that have zero citable sources in most languages of the world. Do not translate? OttawaAC (talk) 22:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

That's up to the other project to discuss Cambalachero (talk) 03:26, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
There is no requirement that a source be in the same language as the relevant Wikipedia (or at least, there isn't for this one). It is preferable, but not obligatory. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:58, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
We need to be careful not to rule out a lot of perfectly good material from other language wikis because of undue caution. Unless the translator has cause to suspect the veracity of articles or their sources, s/he should crack on and add to the sum of human knowledge. If the job is done properly there will be a translated tag on the talk page that alerts anyone to the fact it comes from another wiki. As for checking every single imported source - we need to be realistic, that isn't going to happen except perhaps for internet links. However, anyone who's really bothered can check for themselves as with normal references. --Bermicourt (talk) 21:01, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
But doesn't that contravene the WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT guideline, which explicitly says "Don't cite a source unless you've seen it for yourself." ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 16:32, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Guidelines aren't policy and don't always anticipate all instances. Arguably, a translator is doing a very different job than an editor; translators are not creating content, but taking content created by someone else into another language. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:36, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Moonriddengirl. Translators are "saying where they got it" by citing the source wiki. They're surely not supposed to double-check individual references already cited by others, any more than you would check existing references when expanding an article. Of course any new references added should be checked. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:57, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
No other wiki is a reliable source. If translators do not double check individual sources, I would suggest that the entire article is failed verification, and could be deleted on the basis that it is failed verification and therefore unsourced. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:04, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
"Unsourced" is not a valid reason for deletion. See WP:NRVE: "The absence of citations in an article (as distinct from the non-existence of sources) does not indicate that the subject is not notable....Editors evaluating notability should consider not only any sources currently named in an article, but also the possibility of notability-indicating sources that are not currently named in the article. Notability requires only the existence of suitable independent, reliable sources, not their immediate citation."
Furthermore, it would not be "failed verification"; it would be "nobody else has yet attempted to see whether these many named sources support the text". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:49, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
No, it is immediately FV, and it is slab OR work. Editors writing without reference to reliable sources are producing whole cloth, whether they're collaborating with de. or not. Similarly, an editor who claims to cite, but has not read, a text has no assumption of good faith relating to their citation. Your position is a monstrosity against V. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:21, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Overall, I agree with the many editors who say that we can trust a Wikipedian at or exactly as much as we trust one at (which, depending on your experience, may be "not very much"). The citations standards should IMO be handled like you were splitting, merging, or copyediting an existing article here.
At the risk of muddying the waters, I'd add that this applies solely and strictly to WMF projects (and possibly just to the Wikipedias, and not Wikibooks or Wikiversity). IMO it does not apply to any other type of page that we might import. For example, if someone writes an encyclopedic-style blog post and lists a few sources, and also releases it under CC-SA, then you can legally import it into Wikipedia. But IMO in that instance—it being a non-WMF origin—you need to cite Joe's blog as your sole source for the information, not the sources that Joe read. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:54, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
If I copy a paragraph from one en.wikipedia page say Main page to another, and that paragraph contains citations. Other than acknowledging the copy in the history of the article is it being suggested that I should embed into the inline citations something like [[Main]] citing the anarchists cook book page 4 to meet the requirements of WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT if so that is very different from current common editing practice. If not the what is the difference between this copy from en.wikipedia Main page]] and from fr.wikipedia or for that matter from any compatibly licensed source eg Citizendium? WhatamIdoing I see where you are coming from, but where do we draw the line or do we say this is a matter for common sense? -- PBS (talk) 08:17, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I draw the line at whether the source article is a WMF-sponsored Wikipedia.
If Main Page lists anarchists cook book page 4 as a source for something, and I copy that paragraph to Example, then I'm going to put anarchists cook book page 4 into the article Example. I'm not going to cite Main Page as my source, partly because it's silly and partly because the sourcing policies actually prohibit citing Wikipedia. That some Wikipedia editor said where s/he got it is good enough. It is not necessary for every single editor to say where s/he got it whenever we merge a page or move text from an inappropriate article to a clearly relevant one. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:11, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely right! And by (in the case in point) recording that the article is translated - and where from, there is a clear attribution to person who inserted the source. And even more to the point, the citations are available for anyone to check - that is there function - and can be challenged if there is a problem. Sure most of us see "little blue number - must be true" but there should be enough checking over time to maintain bad cites at a pretty low percentage. Rich Farmbrough, 22:15, 12 November 2011 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox (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, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Tag removed. The talk page was empty, and I did not find any discussion about promoting this page to guideline. And, in any case, the sandbox is periodically reseted by a bot, so it is a bit pointless to regulate it. Cambalachero (talk) 02:37, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Resetting the sandbox doesn't protect us from copyvios in the history, but the sandbox does already say not to introduce copyvios, and it's rare to do so (people have no reason to paste in there). Dcoetzee 05:11, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed most of the abuses are already ruled or warned against, the page is a potential very bad case of WP:BEANS. Rich Farmbrough, 22:02, 12 November 2011 (UTC).

Hyphen-to-endash replacement after "anti"[edit]

I've felt a fuzziness again in the massive replacement of hyphen in the categories starting with "anti", performed by Cydebot. When I raised the issue some time ago, I was explained that the reason behind is MOS:ENDASH's "compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with versus". However I think that the guideline has been misconstrued: MOS:ENDASH refers only to independent parts of speech, while prefixes ("anti" in particular) are not among them, thus being subjects of MOS:HYPHEN (as being nondetachable from parent words). Cydebot itself lacked an actual rationale for moves and only mentioned "authors". The majority of categories with "anti" seem to be correct at first glance, but some of them have been moved, as well as subcats: Category:Anti–Iraq War activists, Category:Anti–nuclear weapons activists, etc. As such I propose to restore the status quo and move such categories back to hyphenated version. Brandmeister t 01:17, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely. The dash is simply wrong here. An "Anti–Iraq War activist" would be an activist regarding the war between Iraq and Anti, wherever the hitherto unknown country of Anti might be. --Trovatore (talk) 02:37, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Concur with Trovatore. Herostratus (talk) 06:03, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Though now that I think about it, I think we went over this before, and the other side of the coin is that an "Anti-Iraq War activist" could (neglecting capitalization) be a war activist who's against Iraq. Didn't we decide that it would be better to rephrase completely, into "activist against the Iraq War" or some such? --Trovatore (talk) 10:36, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
The reason for the dash was explained here. Apparently there's something in the MOS against using a hyphen between terms which contain a space. Jafeluv (talk) 12:24, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
This is nothing to do with the dash standing in for "versus". It's an application of #3 under WP:DASH: "[Use an endash] instead of a hyphen, when applying a prefix (but not a suffix) to a compound that includes a space". e.g. "ex–prime minister Thatcher; pre–World War II aircraft; but not credit card–sized". Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:22, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely correct, that is the motivation. I am sure that I have seen this type of terms hyphenated differently though - "credit-card sized" would seem better and "pre-World-War-II aircraft" - referring to aircraft made before WWII. In the latter case once "pre–World-War-II" is bound, common sense (and human intelligence) dictates the reading - no need for "pre–World-War-II" which would be distracting. Similarly "Anti-Iraq-War activist" is clearly distinct from "Anti-Iraq war-activist". Use just as many hyphens as needed to create the desired reading would seem best. Rich Farmbrough, 13:34, 12 November 2011 (UTC).
Er, yes, but all that is a matter to discuss at WT:MOS, not in a case-by-case basis. As it stands now, the categories correctly reflect what is advised by WP:MOS. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:41, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Climate change arbitration[edit]

Hi. Please see my posts in the section under WT:ITN#Pine Island Bay. The point I was trying to make was that the Arbitration ruling on the climate topic is confusing to understand because the process has taken almost two years to implement and discuss and the text is too great to read and understand the history of this in one day alone. Can somebody who was there when this happened explain the technical history of this policy and its associated general sanctions and major disagreements? Thanks. ~AH1 (discuss!) 18:47, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Article naming conventions for companies/corporations[edit]

I've proposed quite a substantial change at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (companies)#Regarding Common Names and would welcome any feedback. In short, the proposal is to throw out the "common name" suggestion and instead favor the "legal name" (minus "Corporation", "Ltd.", "Inc.", etc.) in almost all cases. The goal is to eliminate the ambiguity of what "common name" to use, if any and to keep the article naming across corporations much more consistent. jheiv talk contribs 08:03, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Citing the Encyclopædia Britannica as a reliable source[edit]

First, am I just completely out of touch here, or can I assume there is a consensus that citing EB as a source for any statement in a Wikipedia article is a bad idea?

If that is not the case -- I'm in the minority in this matter -- may I explain why that is a bad idea? That's "Bad idea" as in offering a on-duty police offer illicit drugs in front of witnesses, or sending money & personal information in response to a 419 scam. For one thing, using the EB as a source is discouraged in policy. For another, there is the issue that verifying what the EB says on a given subject is difficult: the text is subject to changes, most of the content is behind a paywall, & historically the EB does not provide up-to-date sources for its facts & opinions. If I'm going to verify a source, I would rather spend the time & resources examining a primary or secondary source than what the EB may have said. And one could point out that using any general encyclopedia in this manner -- as a source -- is a sign of laziness; it's what high school students do when they start writing their essays the night before it's due. And lastly, doing this implies that the Encyclopædia Britannica is more reliable than Wikipedia -- something I hope all of us agree is not the case.

FWIW, the reason for this rant is that I encountered several examples of this in Greek Mythology: assertions which are backed up with citations like "'Troy'. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002" or "'Eyhemerus'. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002". (And that last citation misspells Euhemerus; I don't know if the error is on Wikipedia's side, or EB's. Pathetic.) Oh, that article happens to be a Featured Article, too. (Doubly pathetic.) -- llywrch (talk) 19:46, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

The general guideline for such encyclopedias is stated on Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources#Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources: "Tertiary sources such as compendia, encyclopedias, textbooks, obituaries, and other summarizing sources may be used to give overviews or summaries, but should not be used in place of secondary sources for detailed discussion." Zzyzx11 (talk) 20:11, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
In one sense, Encyclopaedia Britannica is more reliable that Wikipedia: there is virtually no chance of a particular article having been vandalized a the moment you look at it. Also, the fact that payment or a trip to the library may be required to use it does not disqualify it. There is often a tension between using a so-so source and omitting useful information altogether; it's a matter of editorial discretion. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:20, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
If you can find a better source that has the same information, then replace it. But if you can't find such a source, then you shouldn't remove the EB source. It is a fine source, it's just not as good as secondary sources (and, thus, should be replaced with them whenever possible). SilverserenC 00:44, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I think Silverseren sums it up well: Encyclopedia Brittanica is better than nothing, but that doesn't mean that it is good enough. Think of it as a stepping stone; use it if you literally cannot find anything else, but replace it with better sources if at all possible. --Jayron32 01:37, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Jayron32 wrote: "…replace it with better sources if at all possible." It's easy to see where we're coming from, but there's an ethical question here: if someone's work was used in the creation of the article, he/she/they should be cited. "Replacing" citations with someone else saying something close to the same thing is dishonest. (talk) 07:00, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
While I have some sympathy for this logic, it's not actually relevant. Unlike academic papers, we're not trying to give intellectual credit to a source. We're only trying to make it possible for someone else to figure out whether the material in the article is supported by a reliable source. Given our quite limited goal, it doesn't matter which source gets cited, so long as it (1) contains the material and (2) meets the minimum standard for reliable. Any old anatomy text ought to be able to support a claim about the number of bones in the human body, after all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:13, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

So you're all cool with intellectual laziness in finding reliable sources for articles? I'm not. Shrugging off the embarrassing use of sources like this -- or the first hit from a Google search -- means you condone lowering the quality bar of Wikipedia articles. And I don't know what more I can say. -- llywrch (talk) 05:33, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I think we all disagree with you in terms of EB. We don't consider it to be a bad source at all. Secondary sources are better, but that has more to do with how they better analyze a primary source and nothing to do with the reliability of EB. EB is perfectly reliable and good to use, just like any other reputable encyclopedia. SilverserenC 07:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
"We all" is a misnomer. I never recommend EB as a source. It, like Wikipedia, is a tertiary source, and therefore a research starting point, not a destination. Encyclopedias in general do not cite other general encyclopedias. Where an EB article cites sources, use them, rather than EB itself. Forced to use EB, I would put it in External links, not in References. Instead, I suggest Google Scholar, Books, and News. If an article is struggling for sources, consider placing a {{Find sources notice}} on its Talk page. --Lexein (talk) 12:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if Wikipedia even counts as a tertiary source, since it is obviously unreliable. EB, on the other hand, is a known reliable tertiary source. And there's nothing wrong with tertiary sources like encyclopedias, it's just that secondary sources are better, mostly for their more in-depth, specific information. The issue is that primary sources are too close to the subject, while tertiary sources are too far removed as a conglomeration, which is why we prefer secondary sources. But that doesn't mean tertiary sources aren't perfectly reliable and good to use. SilverserenC 15:29, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is tertiary and unreliable as per its won definitions. EB is tertiary but reliable. Sure, secondary is better, but unless you are saying EB has wrong information, it's reliable. If being behind a paywall or often changing is a sign of unreliability, then that also disqualifies much of non-English sources and media as well. Someone being a lazy editor has nothing to do with source's reliability. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 15:50, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
And EB is so much better quality than some of the sources we see. I'll take the EB over any number of personal blogs, fanzines, advertisements, etc. We do not need to fall into the trap of making the best be the enemy of the good enough. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:12, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
But there is almost nothing covered by EB that is not covered better by books available online. The obscure stuff that needs actual web sources they just don't cover. I know some people use rubbish sources on well-covered material, but we should be encouraging them to move to books and academic papers not EB. Johnbod (talk) 05:28, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
But that has nothing to do with this. If you have a better source, then switch it out with the EB source. That's fine. But there's nothing inherently wrong with EB as a source. That's what we're saying. If there are better replacements, then of course replace it, but you shouldn't remove it as a source just because it's EB. That's what we're saying. SilverserenC 06:08, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Britannica spells Euhemerus correctly, so I don't know what that section of the rant was about. Do you believe the facts cited from Britannica are incorrect? Or do you think that because someone hit Y instead of the adjacent letter U in typing out a citation, we should ban all references to Britannica? --Colapeninsula 11:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Look at the sources in the article. Footnote 73 in this revision. Which is a featured article. FWIW, when I attended high school, my teachers told us never to cite the encyclopedia as proof of an assertion; when I attended college, doing so wasn't even contemplated. It'd be nice if Wikipedia editors tried to exceed minimum standards for US public high schools -- but I guess I'm in the minority here. -- llywrch (talk) 00:39, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── God almighty. There is a huuuuuuge difference between "prefer secondary sources to tertiary ones" and "tertiary sources are unreliable". Using tertiary sources is absolutely not "discouraged in policy": we should use them as often as possible, because the day that we find ourselves in genuine trouble for having assumed that the Encyclopedia Britannica is a reliable source will be the day the wee man shows up to work in a scarf. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 16:07, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

It's worth noting that we make wide use of many other tertiary sources, such as textbooks. They're not ideal but they are a lot better than nothing, and even when they're not needed for citation they're often excellent for further reading. So I wouldn't discount the value of tertiary sources. Dcoetzee 05:15, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
  • There is a basic confusion of the purposes of sources, the types of sources and the value of sources across the project. There is I suppose a Platonic model of knowledge where information is abstracted from reality by folk in pointy hats or white aprons (viz Nicholoas Flamel and Marie Curie) and written up in learned journals, that in turn is abstracted into text books and thence to popular journals and works on the subject, and thence into general works including compendia such as the EB and daily newspapers. To some extent this is true, it was a certainly a noticeable phenomena in the 1970s and 1980s that Nature would be picked up by New Scientist and New Scientist in turn by The Daily Telegraph. However in Real Life™ matters are far more complex. For example EB has employed (and probably still does employ) notable academics to write some of its articles. The distinction therefore between Professor X writing on Early Mayan Inscriptions for EB and for Advances in Paeleolithography is only one of focus. To tar one with the brush "tertiary" and the other with "primary", and make them both or either less useful is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The encyclopaedic article will provide a valid overview, the learned journal will provide detail. One both or neither may suffer from Professor X's peculiar notion that Mayans used artificial diamonds (specifically diamondelle)to carve rock, and if this is cited it should be represented as the minority view that it is, and preferably balanced with citations from Professor Y's countervailing theory of Mayans breeding hydroflouric acid excreting adders. The sources therefore serve multiple purposes, to show that content is not just something we made up - that it has serious proponents, or is widely accepted in the field, to provide links to more information, and, yes, in some cases to provide attribution. It is a mistake to confuse these three purposes, or to believe that one is inherently more important than another. The key for content is verifiability, not verification. Rich Farmbrough, 13:19, 12 November 2011 (UTC).
Huh. I never knew that Nicolas Flamel was a real person; I figured he was an imaginary alchemist created by J.K. Rowling. Nyttend (talk) 01:34, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (manuscripts) has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (manuscripts) (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, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (manuscript names) no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (manuscript names) (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Adding {{Trademark}} in works, such as video game covers, that contain trademarks[edit]

I must have added {{Trademark}} in video game covers of Star Ocean and Final Fantasy games and advertisement from RCA. Is there a guideline about doing such practice? --George Ho (talk) 01:46, 18 November 2011 (UTC) Also, I have discussed this in Template talk:Trademark. --George Ho (talk) 01:47, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

RFC block protocol[edit]

Respectfully submitted Wikipedia:Block protocol. Please discuss on Wikipedia_talk:Block_protocol. Gerardw (talk) 21:20, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

WP:G5 Discussion[edit]

CSD criteria G5 states "Pages created by banned or blocked users in violation of their ban or block, and which have no substantial edits by others. G5 should not be applied to transcluded templates.". However, a discussion broke out on IRC whether or not this is actually helpful to the project. Posting it here to get a bigger discussion going. Alexandria (talk) 16:54, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

I will state my views quickly before going to bed. G5 is the most utterly ridiculous criterion we have, and really needs adapting to include the word "harmful". The only reason this criterion exists is to avoid stroking the egos of banned users, it seems; it prevents otherwise fine, sourced, notable material from remaining on our servers purely because of its author. Why on Earth is it okay to nuke hundreds of perfectly valid articles purely because the guy who wrote them is banned? Sure, he wouldn't have written them if he had stuck to his ban, but they are fine articles and if, say, I had written them they would all still be on the encyclopedia, right as rain. It is only when harmful articles are written by otherwise banned users that this really becomes damaging to the project. Then, and only then, is when we should act with deletion. — Joseph Fox 16:59, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
But that means that bans are completely useless to those editors who willfully evade them; in that regard, we should unban and unblock them. –MuZemike 17:05, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Evade them to do constructive edits? I don't understand how that is a bad thing. — Joseph Fox 17:18, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Because it creates an exception where there should be none. One has to cause substantial problems in order to earn a community ban. If someone has caused that much trouble, there should be absolutely no wiggle room, even for what (on the surface) looks like good editing. Raul654 (talk) 21:27, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh, no; one does not have to cause substantial problems at all. One merely needs to piss off a group of people who are willing to gang up together and have someone "community"-banned. I'm not saying that's what always happens in community ban proceedings, but it's been known to happen.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); November 8, 2011; 17:32 (UTC)
When someone goes around removing perfectly good content, re-addng vandalism and libel, simple because the person that added the content, or removed the libel is banned, then that person looks like a blithering idiot. John lilburne (talk) 12:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
The banning policy already covers the situation of banned editors making good edits such as vandalism reverts: "A number of banned editors have used "good editing" (such as anti-vandalism edits) tactically, to try and game the banning system, "prove" they cannot be banned, or force editors into the paradox of either allowing banned editing or removing good content. Even if the editor only makes good edits they will be rebanned for evasion." Indeed, if a banned editor reverts vandalism, I almost wonder if the best course of action is to (1) Revert the banned editor and then (2) revert the vandalism. This will make it clear that the vandalism revert has been endorsed by a user in good standing so that nobody inadvertantly hits a "rollback" button on the banned sockpuppet's contribution list. Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:25, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
That presupposes that the reverter/deleter actually knows what the hell they are doing and isn't just acting as an automatum. John lilburne (talk) 17:22, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I suppose you are talking about the Greyfriars article? Well my review of the situation is that, Sandstein was correct to delete the original as G5, Nev1 then took upon himself the responsibility of restoring the article (which is OK as long as Nev1 accepts that responsibility), Sandstein should probably not have redeleted at that point. Once Nev1 accepted responsibility for the article, the content was backed up by a user in good standing. Up until that point, it wasn't. Sjakkalle (Check!) 17:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
And if Nev1 hadn't have stepped in to revert the foolishness? You do understand the relevance of Greyfriars, and how silly it would be not to have an article on it? John lilburne (talk) 19:32, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I absolutely agree that we should have an article on that friary, but when the article was created by a banned user, we cannot presume that the article is correct and not full of misinformation unless someone goes and makes a full review and audit of the content. I think it is great that Nev1 did what he did, but until he did it, there was good reason to assume the content might be tainted. Sjakkalle (Check!) 20:23, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • This is not a content issue. it is a behavioral issue. Sometimes in the real grown-up world people who are causing problems need to be thrown out. I've seen this again and again in real life. Somebody starts a brawl in a bar for the third or fourth time, and gets 86ed. Weeks later, they come back all sober and playing the victim. Smart bar managers never fall for this. Even if they were previously a good customer who spent lots of money and left good tips, the destruction, loss of reputation, and loss of income caused by the fighting is too much. Letting them come back just once for a friend's birthday or the Super Bowl or whatever will only encourage them to try to sneak in again, with the convenient excuse that they were let in once and didn't cause a problem. Banned users are the same. By banning them, we have told them that the value of their contributions is outweighed by the problems they have caused and no edits of theirs are welcome. {{bannedmeansbanned}} explains it rather neatly, and whenever I encounter a banned user sock I make sure they see it. It's not that we hate them, or wish them any ill will, it's that they simply are not welcome and need to move on and stop trying to circumvent their ban. Any edit they make, regardless of it's merit, is a manifest act of bad faith.Beeblebrox (talk) 17:23, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
There are two reasons why I think G5 is a reasonable criterion. The immediate and pragmatic reason is that we no longer can assume good faith with banned editors. In most cases, they have violated the community's trust so many times or so egregiously that their edits (made in violation of their ban) can no longer be trusted. Reviewing an edit or new article to determine whether it is good or bad is not as easy as it may first seem. The article may contain subtle misinformation or POV pushing (e.g. deceptively cited to an obscure or advanced source). Given that the editor was banned for misconduct, this is actually rather likely. Requiring other editors to review such articles before deleting is a waste of time. Also, a ban is a ban, and they are meant for cases of serious misconduct. A banned editor should not be able to wedge himself back in by first making a good article, then making a slightly controversial article, then a clearly unbalanced article, and so on. Sjakkalle (Check!) 17:33, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned - that someone is no longer permitted to edit because their presence here is more disruptive than it is worth. There's no exception there for people who claim they've turned over a new leaf, nor should there be. The automatic deletion criterion is perfectly acceptable within that context. Raul654 (talk) 20:40, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
This seems to avoid what should be the main focus...a banned user who is editing should be stopped from editing. Not just undoing one particular type of edit. North8000 (talk) 21:07, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but if we do not revert the edits they made while banned, then there's absolutely no incentive for them to stay away once re-banned. If someone wants to come along and take responsibility for those edits, fine, but by default they should be reverted and the sockpuppet should be thwacked. Raul654 (talk) 07:20, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
However any other editor can check the article and remove the G5 tagging. Also an administrator can decline to delete. The situation often is serial copyright violators make a lot of problematic articles. They are probably copyright violations but not blatant, so if in doubt delete with G5, it saves a lot of effort. The same can come up with hoax creators or POV pushers. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:33, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Per Joseph Fox above, I think the keyword is harmful. How that is determined is another matter altogether, and I can see a dispute breaking out over that one. Personally, I've seen G5 to be useful in the case of a banned editor (especially certain extremely banned editors) who are using Wikipedia to explicitly create articles that target people in RL, and that there is a fair chance that there is an RL element to it. I don't want to list them off here, for obvious reasons - they're in my deletion logs, tho' - Alison 02:36, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I support a broad wording of G5, because the problem I've run into is with one banned user (who's the reason the transcluded templates exception was added, if you feel like doing a little digging to figure out who) who will mass-create these one-line sub-stubs that basically say "Tuma River is a river in Nicaragua" with nothing else, not even coordinates or a reference. On their face, I suppose they aren't harmful, but it makes it nearly impossible to properly patrol everything when 70 such articles come in within 15 minutes, so they cause harm in a less direct way. Proving they're harmful is very difficult when dealing with users who aren't familiar with the way things roll at Special:NewPages, so it would make the process needlessly complicated if we added any more exceptions to G5. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:09, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The point of Wikipedia is to be a free source of knowledge, not to exclude people from contributing knowledge. Yes, people are inevitably banned, but if they want to make useful contributions, then why do we want to elevate policy over principle? No where in the mission statement does it say we are trying to stop people from sharing knowledge. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 19:03, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Because that contradicts the purpose of bans. I mean, if we want to reassess the banning policy, OK. But we shouldn't be selectively enforcing what the community has decided. –MuZemike 20:30, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
If a person wishes to share knowledge, they can become unbanned. The best thing would have been for them to have never become banned in the first place. For users who do wish to turn over a new leaf and start becoming positive contributors, there is WP:STANDARDOFFER; in theory there is nothing automatic in the Standard Offer; the community may decide to maintain a ban even after 6 months of good behavior. However, in all my years at Wikipedia, every person who has ever faithfully followed the Standard Offer has been unbanned. If someone wants to edit, just behave. --Jayron32 20:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Another reason why contributions from banned users should not be allowed is that, in some cases, the editors were banned for pushing a POV. To someone unfamiliar with the editor and their POV, a new article may seem innocuous while in fact it further promotes their advocacy. If they want to contribute then they should do so honestly by getting their ban lifted.   Will Beback  talk  06:21, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned. A ban is a deliberative process, generally only undertaken after an editor has made a concerted effort to exhaust the community's patience. A block is not a ban, and editors sockpuppeting to get around a block don't trigger G5. Only if they've been banned by the community after public noticeboard discussion or the arbitration committee by motion or case does G5 apply. It's not a step to be taken lightly, and yes, for the small subset of the most disruptive editors who have been banned, I entirely support erasing everything they try to contribute. Jclemens (talk) 07:48, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep current wording (and, to Jclemens: that includes both "blocked" and "banned"). Of course application needs to be done with common sense, and it's "can be deleted", not "must be deleted". But we certainly should keep this safety door. Very often, block/ban-evading users produce problematic articles which, if written by a legitimate editor, would fall short of any CSD, make for borderline cases at AFD, but are still a pain on grounds of POV etc. This criterion serves to prevent forcing legitimate users wasting their time cleaning up such articles or fighting over them at AFD, which would basically mean that the banned user has succeeded in forcing their agenda on the rest of the project. Fut.Perf. 08:06, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned - common-sense can be applied, but as a general principle, banned users have already exhausted our assumption of good faith, and pandering to them by trying to figure out something they've added whilst circumventing the ban is unnecessary, and can easily become disruptive and detrimental to the project; see also WP:DENY.  Chzz  ►  15:09, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means contributions don't deserve to be read. It takes time to figure out if an article created by a questionable user are actually good, or full of clever deceptions. Contributions from banned users don't deserve the time it would take to tell the difference. The only effort legitimate users should have to put into it is to confirm it was made in violation of a ban. Then delete it. It is unfair to legitimate editors to ask them to work any harder than that. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:26, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Revert then give only legitimate users credit for readding - There is the line "Wikipedians in turn are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned editor (sometimes called proxy editing or proxying) unless they are able to confirm that the changes are verifiable and they have independent reasons for making them." So, we could delete the article and then have a legitimate user recreate it should it be worthwhile. We don't have to worry about copyright thanks to the GFDL. That way we keep any useful information, but discourage banned editors from contributing (because we'll "steal" their work and not give them credit). Ian.thomson (talk) 15:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    • User:Ian.thomson wrote, "We don't have to worry about copyright thanks to the GFDL. That way we keep any useful information, but discourage banned editors from contributing (because we'll "steal" their work and not give them credit)."
See GFDL#Conditions: "All previous authors of the work must be attributed." (talk) 16:51, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but the banned one won't be a "previous editor" :) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:14, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
If you're using any of the same content as the previous version that the banned editor wrote, then yes, they are a previous editor and not attributing to them violates the GFDL. SilverserenC 17:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Deleted content cannot be reused without attribution, per WP:Copying within Wikipedia#Reusing deleted material. Flatscan (talk) 05:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Unsure I can fully understand just deleting articles that are made by known POV pushers or copyright violators, but what if a user was banned for behavioral reasons or something else that has nothing to do with article creation? We would have no reason to believe in that case that there are any issues with those articles made by the banned user, since POV and copyvios are not a part of their MO. In my opinion, we should have some sort of process where we have established users vet these processes. For example, when all of User:Abd's subpages were put up for deletion at MfD, I took a few of them, because I checked them out and they were legitimate articles. SilverserenC 17:43, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned, blocked does not mean banned  Reading through this discussion shows that it is not possible to coherently discuss this question when the difference between blocked and banned editors is so great.  I find that the arguments supportive of the contributions of blocked editors are nonsensical in the context of banned editors.  I suggest dividing the G5 into G5ban for banned editors, and G5block for blocked editors.  G5ban and G5block would have the same text as the current G5 for now, but the different numbers/names would allow them to be discussed separately, and allow them to diverge over time.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:22, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned as Raul654, Sjakkalle, Beeblebrox, Jayron32, & others have stated. If a banned user wants to contribute in good faith, there are above-board & permitted ways to do this: one way is to create the article off-Wiki, & have an established editor in good standing copy the material over. We accept all contributions offered in good faith -- which is a very low threshold for acceptance -- & by definition, banned users have proven we no longer can extend them good faith. And a person has to be a pretty big dick to get banned from Wikipedia nowadays. -- llywrch (talk) 19:15, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Soften the wording to make it clear that this is optional and should depend on the nature of the edit, and that there are alternatives I agree we need it in special cases, though perhaps those special cases should be treated as vandalism. Doing this to innocuous or helpful articles is a perversion of the principle that we're here to build an encyclopedia. I'm aware of the argument that nothing else will discourage them; unfortunately, that argument implies that this does discourage them, which is manifestly not the case. I freely admit I do not know how to handle the problem of dealing with such editors, but that doesn't mean I support things that equally do not succeed in handling the problem. In fact, so far from coping with it, it gives them something additional to game. Rescinding this will again give them something to game, but at least it will get us some articles. DGG ( talk ) 19:58, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • When your wonkery hurts the encyclopedia, it's stupid. Here's my example, Garbage scow. Perfectly fine article, but the creator wasn't liked for some reason. I have to go hunt down the deleting admin to get it in user space, and then someone else moves it, unmodified, into article space. We could have saved my time, and User:Burpelson AFB's time, if User:JamesBWatson had taken two seconds to actually look at the article before deleting it. If I hadn't noticed the deletion, Burpelson AFB would have put even more time into creating a new article from scratch - entirely redundant work. Why should my precious time, that I give freely because I want to build a quality encyclopedia, be wasted chasing boogymen who help improve the encyclopedia? Buddy431 (talk) 20:05, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Constructive work should always be welcomed. We're here to write an encyclopedia; everything else must be secondary to that purpose. What could be more "harmful" to our goals than to delete a perfectly good article just because the wrong person wrote it? Everyking (talk) 03:10, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned There are really troublesome people and they are usually bright (dumb troublesome people are easily handled). Some of those love seeing long, pointless discussions like this, and they will post reasonable content simply for trolling, knowing that editors will tie themselves in knots and attack each other, while trying to deal with the result. If the content is so good that we must have it, unban the editor. If the pain of that would be too much, delete per WP:DENY. Given that we cannot lock people up or take away their computer, WP:DENY is all we have. Johnuniq (talk) 04:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned Arbitrator Jclemens and Johnuniq capture my feelings perfectly above. Banned editors are banned because experienced trusted and respected Wikipedians have already taken the time to view the situation and have identified their contributions as incurably disruptive. Even if their contributions appear reasonable on the surface, disruption is their ultimate purpose. We should toughen up G5 so that all edits by banned users must be reverted and/or rev deleted, including all edits made prior to their bans. Whatever “good” content they may seem to have contributed will eventually be contributed by someone who isn’t disruptive. The only evidence that they existed at all which should be allowed to remain is the {{Banned user}} template on their userpages. (talk) 06:42, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Not often that I take a more inclusionist stance than Jclemens, but I've always seen this as cutting off our noses to spite our faces (not an idiom that works well in plural, granted). Furthermore, it's an edict which has been routinely ignored over the years when banned editors emerge with an unblock request and say "I'm a good boy now, I've been editing for the last seven months as user:NewInnocentUser and haven't gotten into any trouble at all" and subsequently get their main account's ban lifted. If the Truly Banned work quietly on content and try to avoid drama then turning a blind eye (or at least not burning the house down while chasing them out again) is of benefit to the project. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 16:14, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    • In order for that scenario to work that means we'll have to legitimise block evasion, in which case what's the point of blocking anybody? Should a user with 54 known socks and WP:COMPETENCE issues be allowed to create articles just because "he's creating content" on notable subjects? (Yes, this editor is not hypothetical.) - The Bushranger One ping only 16:45, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
      • It's not a case of being "allowed". Banned editors are not allowed to edit, and if caught doing so will be blocked without a second thought. The question is whether we then make an additional effort to go around undoing any productive work they've done just to make sure they know they're not welcome. I don't know where the WP:COMPETENCE question comes in: editors who fail WP:COMPETENCE are by definition not able to go about their work quietly without messing up or causing drama. (that said, the witchhunt over Sven70 was largely WP:COMPETENCE based, and his articlespace contributions were absolutely fine.) Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 10:12, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
        • As usual Chris hits a nail on the head. I have seen people claiming that they mass revert a banned/blocked user, then re-apply their (good) edits. In a way it may be taken as a good thing to keep someone that bureaucratic tied up for a while, but it is basically a ludicrous waste of effort, and very dubious from a copyright perspective. Rich Farmbrough, 12:51, 12 November 2011 (UTC).
  • Banned means banned. You don't generally get banned for screwing up once, you get banned for disrupting the encyclopedia multiple times. Unless you rebuild trust first, how can we assume that any of your work is valid? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:20, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means bannned. A disruptive editor gets banned, in a nutshell, for not being here to build an encyclopedia. Allowing "contributions by blocked or banned editors" to stand would completely disrupt the entire purpose of blocking and banning. "You are disruptive, and got yourself indef'd and community banned - but if you create a sockpuppet and make articles, we'll keep them even though you're not only banned, you're socking too". If content is good, then an editor who's actually here to build an encyclopedia will add it. It might take longer, but there is no deadline. - The Bushranger One ping only 16:45, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • comment - I don't think anything needs changing here - this as I have seen it is applied with a little bit of ignore all rules - sometimes it's actioned and sometimes some of the contributions are deleted and sometimes none of them are. Its the ability to do it if we choose that is important, not that we have to do it. Off2riorob (talk) 17:25, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep as is-This is simply necessary, or bans have no teeth. Furthermore, I'd like to point out that G5 (like all the CSDs) says you can delete such pages, not that you must do so. On the odd occasion that there is indeed a exceptionally valuable contribution that would qualify for G5, policy doesn't compel anyone to delete it. Just because we can do a thing, it does not follow that we must do that thing.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 22:55, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep as is. There have been an enormous number of discussions about this, precisely because it feels so inequitable. But if banned users could waste our precious administrative resources in perpetuity and we're powerless to stop them from doing so, they will ultimately end up dragging the project down as a whole. Dcoetzee 05:17, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Think some more As Off2RioRob says some "Ignore all rules" does go on already, but there are many Wikipedians who don't really grok IAR, and I think in this case emphasising a may would be a good idea - that caveat does not apply to, for example, copyvios or "asdfg" style patent nonsense. Good freely licensed content is like currency, it does not matter where it comes from. Rich Farmbrough, 12:51, 12 November 2011 (UTC).
  • Remember the meaning of "harmful". We should keep all good edits by blocked/banned individuals, but remember that edits that seem good can be harmful in the long run if they degrade the blocking/banning system. Ignore All Rules doesn't just include the short term; it also has the long-run view of the general condition of the encyclopedia. I will not hesitate to decline a G5 if I believe the content overall beneficial, but I'll first consider the effect that keeping the content will have on the overall system. Nyttend (talk) 01:39, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Bans apply to all editing, good or bad. If a banned editor wishes to contribute, he is free to appeal the ban. Doing this insures that the nature of the offense that got him banned will be looked at, and it puts the burden on him to convince the community that he has reformed. This is far safer and more orderly than looking the other way while he evades the ban. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:22, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Banned means banned I have nothing to add to Raul654's commentary. causa sui (talk) 23:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep current wording, as well as the openning sentence of WP:CSD, which makes it clear that admins may delete such pages "at their discretion". If I see text created by a banned user and not substantial ly edited by anyone else, I may delete it without trying to verify it; or I may decide (at my own discretion, as an admin) that in this case the banned user is undoubedly right, and decide to keep the page. If I make the second choice, it becomes my responsibility to show that the edit itself is legitimate. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:19, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Should preemptive protection be allowed on request?[edit]

Let's face it, there comes a time when you have an article on a subject that will obviously be a target for vandalism within it's lifetime. People are always going to vandalize the article Adolf Hitler because the death of six million Jewish people is such a godsend (hint: it isn't), or that Justin Bieber is a terrible singer (true, but it doesn't justify replacing the entire page with "bieber is teh gheys lolz"). If this hasn't given you the point, then allow me to explain it simply.

Should high-target articles on subjects, regardless of if the subject is a person, place, or event, be preemptively protected on sight by request? By form of protection, I mean indefinite or semi-indefinite protection that allows only auto-confirmed users to make edits to said article. Rainbow Dash !xmcuvg2MH 23:15, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

This feels like a WP:PEREN, but I don't see any specific one listed there to meet it. That said, I'm sure the community is 100% against indefinite protection barring pages with high edit-war rates as a result of ArbCom or community sanctions, and to avoid preemptive temporary protection unless there's reasonable likelihood that the pot will get spoiled quickly by newer editors trying to contribute on a controversial topic. (say, the results of a closely watched election, or a murder trial). --MASEM (t) 23:29, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Well imagine for say that Gene Simmons has just died. It's very likely that his death will warrant an independent article. Imagine how fast it would take for unregistered users to edit or even replace the article with jokes about his death, or think that the article is a memorial page. Eventually, someone's going to protect the article because of obvious and logical reasons. Allowing experienced editors to request preemptive protection would be very useful in situlations such as the death of a celeb. Rainbow Dash !xmcuvg2MH 23:40, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
That's the type of exceptional case that I implied by the second point. I think we had to do it with the Death of Michael Jackson article, IIRC, but that's without checking. But, again, this often depends on having a crystal ball as to what are going to be vandal/joke edit targets. Furthermore, these breaking events are often watched over by numerous good intentioned editors and thus any vandalism will likely be quickly removed. --MASEM (t) 00:03, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not really a matter of looking into the crystal ball to predict what is going to happen, but rather what can safely be assumed will eventually happen. No doubt in hell that we had to do it with Michael Jackson, just because of the influence he had alone. Rainbow Dash !xmcuvg2MH 00:45, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend indefinite semi-protection on any new article, but somewhere between a few days and a month might be easily justifiable for these extreme situations. After that, the needs can be re-evaluated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:20, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
The problem with pre-emptive protection is it effectively assumes bad faith (of the world at large). Even in high traffic current events articles, the amount of vandalism is relatively low, and of course quickly fixed. It would be good if people remembered the community's very grudging acceptance of any protection, and that it was originally intended to apply to maybe a handful of pages. Rich Farmbrough, 22:00, 12 November 2011 (UTC).
Isn't George W. Bush under indefinite semiprotection? And I do mean by Wikipedia administrators, not the Secret Service :-) Nyttend (talk) 01:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm against any preemtive protection (even semi protection) of an article except for the duration of short-term newsworthy processes and events (such as election campaigns); however, if an article has as long a protection log as Adolf Hitler or Justin Bieber, such protection is no longer preemptive. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:08, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

links to documents that require external applications or plugins[edit]

In WP:EL, it has a section of links normally to be avoided. In there the #7-8 tend to give me problems because it say that we should avoid having links to non-html material, and some technology likes to use a URL type of scheme. A typical example would be a link to a projects git repository (git:// or websites insides darknets (.onion/.i2p). This tend to cause conflicts, with some arguing that we cant use them, other that we can/should. So I wonder if it is not time to add a clarification, and maybe ease the requirements a bit? Belorn (talk) 14:45, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

#7 is fine the way it is. We really don't want that sort of link in most articles.
I agree that #8 is too strict in excluding some formats. New browsers are developed on a regular basis (and not just on PCs), and what requires a plugin on one may be handled seamlessly on another. Also, the guideline as written appears to preclude PDF and possibly XML formats. On the other hand. I think #8 is not strict enough in allowing JavaScript, which I think should be discouraged but not disallowed. As #8 is written now, sites with JavaScript-only content are freely allowed (no plugin required) despite the fact that a large number of browsers have JavaScript disabled. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:45, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Javasript is a potential problem, as compatability issues do exist, so some otherwise legitimate pages with Javascript which works in your browser doesn't work in others - #7 should apply here. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:04, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Notability of Encyclopedia Editors[edit]

I would like to make artickels about major editors of Encyclopædia Iranica , Encyclopaedia Islamica andEncyclopaedia of the World of Islam Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam.Some of the editors has many articles in 2 or 3 Encyclopedias. Are they notable?Persisch (talk) 09:12, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Read WP:BLP for guides on notability. Just looking at one of the articles, I see some have articles and some do not. CarolMooreDC 04:13, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Inconsistent application of notability[edit]

Some areas of Wikipedia seem to totally ignore Wikipedia's notability guidelines, resulting in Wikipedia taking the approach of an all-inclusive encyclopedic compendium. I'm not suggesting the latter approach is wrong, only that it is inconsistent. For example, the following subject areas seem to be all-inclusive, regardless of notability:

  • Plant and animal species, eg. Bulbophyllum a genus of orchid. We subsequently include separate entries for as many different kinds of species that we can. Some may well be notable in some way, others appear to be included merely for "completeness". The same applies to hundreds if not thousands of other species.
  • List of minor planets. At least the first 7000 of these, all have their own individual page. No doubt that some (maybe even many) are notable. There is no doubt that others are not notable
  • Chemicals. (eg. Category:Sodium compounds ) Tens of thousands are included in many diverse areas. Many have no notability whatsoever, besides their mere existence.

So the question arises, why do we accept non-notable entries in some areas of Wikipedia, and actively enforce notability in others? --Iantresman (talk) 12:18, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

The planets have been addressed recently at ANI (they were recently mass created by one user it appeared), but the other aspects, along with geographic locations, are generally kept on the basis that in the very long term there will be sources about these fundamental academic topics.
Personally I strongly disagree with that, and rather see these topics presented in lists and tables with redirects since they are practical search terms; once someone can show notability, the article can be expanded without admin help at that point, and the tables/lists remain as indexing systems; that further normalizes how notability is used. However, there's editors that persist the stubby, no apparent notability approach is the right way. We've not had any major RFC on the concept of this recently, so its hard to tell which way the wind blows on such articles.
The last thing to remember is notability is but a guideline and only will be a guideline; these are cases where IAR is coming into play with respect to that. --MASEM (t) 13:52, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
For reference ANI minor planets discussion: "Mass of notablity violations in progress". Many entries go back over 5 years (ref). --Iantresman (talk) 16:07, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
The advantages I can see to them having individual pages, is that categories enable us to generate several lists from several data sets (since individual articles may belong to more than one category), they take up little space, may be expanded, and (should) have at least one source, Some of them will never be notable, but encyclopedias are also compendiums. My main criticism is inconsistency.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to be able to "include" a category list inside a specified article? --Iantresman (talk) 14:09, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Redirects can still be categorized (we would likely include a special redirect template so we can easily track articles of that type that exist as redirects), and of course still allow for searching. But I will say I do agree that having stubby, possibly unsourced (though factually true) articles just for completeness is wrong. This is, again, why lists and tables are better for meeting the completeness aspects, and creating articles only when some assuredness of notability is there. --MASEM (t) 14:20, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that what gets deflationists worked up is the question "Where will this lead?" All 700 planetesimals are in now so there is not likely to be any more. I believe the astronomers already have a rule about the minimum size to be included on this list. --filceolaire (talk) 19:51, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Due to the number of chemical journals out there you'd be hard pushed to find a chemical article on wikipedia that couldn't be extensively sources. You have to get into some quite complex structures before they ceased to be notable and wikipedia is nowhere close.©Geni 20:08, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Notability is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It serves as a pretty good proxy for ensuring that there are sufficient NPOV sources to write an article about a encyclopedic topic, but in some cases it's overinclusive (for which WP:NOTNEWS is one corrective) and in other cases it's underinclusive (basically every topic mentioned above). We're more keen on enforcing it in areas that are prone to abuse by external parties, such as articles on people, companies, etc., where there is a genuine risk of abusing Wikipedia for promotion of non-notable careers or products. There's obviously less concern that an article on an insect species or a minor planet is the product of vanity or self-promotion (unless it's only based on one guy pushing his fringe theory), and in many cases we can verify a lot of information about a topic even though it doesn't technically satisfy WP:N, or at least we can't demonstrate that it does at present. We can pretend that, for example, a small municipality in Wisconsin will eventually have multiple reliable secondary sources written about it, or we can pretend that the census data itself satisfies WP:N. But as the bottom line is we want certain topics to be covered, I don't think it's necessary to go into such contortions, and WP:IAR tells us not to waste our time on such secondary concerns when it wouldn't make the encyclopedia better.

Re: merging these things into tables, whether it satisfies notability or not doesn't necessary correlate to how much verifiable information there is about it. If all we can verify is "Foo is a village in Fooland", then sure, list away, but in the case of census-derived articles about populated places in the U.S., for example, I think I counted something like 18 separate data points in those articles the last time this issue was raised. That's really too much for a table to handle well, and we also have to consider when it's appropriate to force a reader to load an entire table when they just want info on one topic rather than a group. postdlf (talk) 14:43, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Two cents from me:
Cent one - There's been a conversations going on at WP:N for almost three weeks regarding the same topic. It includes some other topic categories (not necessarily WP categories) that I think have the same issue. Those categorizes are geographic locations, any species, and stars (similar to geographic locations).
Cent two - I agree that there's a gap between what we're doing and what's written at WP:N. As an outsider to the conversation regarding notability of the specific subjects, it seems to me that people feel that the subjects are notable or will be notable but sources don't aren't easy to find because of issues inherent to the subject. For instance, a village listed only in a Kenyan gov't list of villages may not be easy to verify now but the villages life will greatly eclipse the life of any editor or writer at a reliable source (I hope I got that right).
In short, whether or not they're notable is something people seem split on so going from the standpoint that the subjects aren't notable will cause problems, in my opinion. We're either not doing what WP:N says by not applying WP:GNG to these subjects or we are but WP:N is apparently not clear enough on the specific list of subject categories and needs to be clarified to avoid future problems.
I think it's hard to argue that there's not a problem as this is a topic that's brought up often by experienced editors but I don't think that the problem has been well defined which isn't a good starting point for solving any problem. OlYeller21Talktome 14:59, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
In many cases, these "non notable" articles are based on one source (sometimes none). This would suggest that they fail the criteria of there being "sufficient NPOV sources". It appears that notability never comes into it. Nevertheless, I can still see no harm in minor planet (7034) 1994 YT2 being listed (it has no sources!).
So if the people who had discovered this minor planet had instead (a) written a book (b) had published a "fringe" theory, why is notability applied? Exactly the same arguments can be applied to minor planets, as they can to books to theories. I think the only difference is whether editors personally like or agree with the subject of an article. It is difficult to dislike or disagree with a minor planet or a chemical. --Iantresman (talk) 16:01, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Limiting article creation to topics that pass a test for their significance to general knowledge is means to an end, creating a useful encyclopedia. The elaboration of this is in Wikipedia: What the Wikipedia is not. Notability is the term of art that describes those tests and processes. As Wikipedia editors use the term, if a topic has an article in Wikipedia, it has either passed, or at least not yet been challenged to pass the WP:N criteria. So it is by definition notable. What appears to be inconsistent is that some categories have fairly low thresholds for passing notability criteria. Many of these are specified in subject-specific notability guidelines. Minimal thresholds exist for articles where the existence and description of a topic are provided by an authoritative source. This applies to place name articles and some categories of science topics named above, and many of these articles were created as stubs by approved bots data mining official sources. patsw (talk) 19:51, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Regarding minor planets, there is an ongoing attempt at Wikipedia:Notability (astronomical objects) to produce a guideline for what is and isn't considered sufficiently notable. It would probably redirect most minor planets to list articles, establishing a threshold to require minimum meaningful coverage in the scientific literature beyond simply catalogue entries. Comments on the proposal are welcome; there's been feedback from thirty or so editors so far, broadly in favour of it. Shimgray | talk | 21:06, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Minimal thresholds may well exist for articles provided by an authoritative source, but for example, many of the minor planets have no source at all, and the source is merely an acknowledge of existence. There is absolutely zero notability. It is still inconsistent that other subject have different notability thresholds, and I still don't see why a lump of space rock gets apparent precedence over, for example, an author with a non-best-seller (for which there are reliable sources of existence) --Iantresman (talk) 23:04, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
One unspoken thing is that the standards are written or applied tougher in areas where COI's are common. For example people that are in some business (e.g. authors, performers, professors, athletes) bands, companies, products, and items which are the object of fandom. Also, items which appear to be a fundamental, real world topic tend to get treated more easily than where such is not the case. For example, a real world species of worm vs. a worm species that exists only in a video game. Sometimes this is codified via SNG's, sometimes not. I think that a limited amount of this discrimination is OK. North8000 (talk) 23:15, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a subject matter expert on minor planets. There should be a discussion at Wikipedia:Notability (astronomical objects) where your views can influence that guideline. I wouldn't say it's a question of precedence: There's no rule that if one article goes in, another cannot, or that if one article goes in, another must. To discuss meta-guidelines for a moment, the challenge for subject-specific guidelines is they not only have the object of including the good and excluding the bad, but have to be expressed with some objective measures so that its application has some predictability and consistency. So for written works, sales, reviews, prizes, and the like are weighted more than Wikipedia editors' subjective opinions of the quality of the work. patsw (talk) 23:20, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I think there would be a fair chance that you might find them in a golf encyclopedia. I already see that nearly all new mobile phone models have their own article. I believe that all subjects on Wikipedia should be subject to the same notability criteria. Different people find different articles notable. There is no doubt that many articles are not notable, are not even well sourced, let alone have multiple independent sources. But personally I find some of them interesting and factual, so I can see no reason for their exclusion. Someone could make the same argument for another subject (eg golf!), and while I might not find them notable, nor interesting, I don't see why my lack of interest should be imposed on someone else. --Iantresman (talk) 23:38, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
    • That's a very different problem. To start: the above discussion is about the notability of topics that have significance much larger than the lifetime of most humans, possibly generations of humans, such that there may be eventually information to include. Commercial productions have much much shorter lifetimes.
    • But as for products being in an encyclopedia, remember, we are not paper, and we are more than just an encyclopedia. Should we have a page for every product that a company has produced? In the average case, no. But there are products that alone are notable (the iPhone for example) and companies who have consistently produced notable products (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) that we can cover these in an encyclopedic manner and thus appropriate to include. Notability guidelines are appropriate for the inclusion of these. --MASEM (t) 23:39, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Observations of the Wikipedia of the form Why an article on X but not an article on Y? don't always have an answer in the policies and guidelines (i.e. gatekeepers). Content of the Wikipedia is driven by editor and reader interest. So numerically, the topics and articles around technology, politics, and popular culture can disturb snobs who desire more scholarly content. To them, I say just do it. patsw (talk) 03:03, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Just a comment to say that with reagards to species almost any species that actually has a name will actually meet the general notability guideline - i.e. it will have multiple significant mentions in reliable sources. One of these will be the original description of the species, others may be further descriptions of the species (there are often multiple historical descriptions before it is realised that what they are describing is the same species), ecological studies, evolutionary genetic studies etc. I am pretty certain, although it is further from my field of expertise, that the same is true of chemicals. Firstly the physical properties will be described in detail in one or more data books, secondly if the compound has any use at all it will have a material safety data sheet associated with it and often it will be used or produced as at least a side product in one or more organic or inorganic synthesis reactions. I think the difference with these topics is that rather than being of moderate interest to a large number of people, they are of extreme interest to a very small number (scientists studying them) - that doesn't mean they are not notable, or in my view that they shouldn't be included in Wikipedia (<tongue in cheek> the world would probably be a much more interesting place if people were more interested in Bulbophyllum species and sodium compounds and less interested in, say, the private lives of assorted celebrities</tongue in cheek>) Equisetum (talk | contributions) 12:00, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think there is an issue with reliable sources. An author of book will be listed in several catalogues and online database (making its existence incontrovertible), just like a particular species. But does that make it notable? I don't think that many of the 5000+ minor planets, or hundreds of thousands of chemicals are of individually notable or even have great interst. They are listed, like many species and chemical, only by virtue of their existence, not notability. So, why is this application of notability applied different to different subjects? Why is an undistinguished lump of space rock more notable than anything else? How can notability differ among subjects? --Iantresman (talk) 21:00, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Notability is a term of art. In the context of the Wikipedia, it is identical to the guidelines and processes for a topic to have a stand-alone Wikipedia article. Years ago, the consensus of the Wikipedia editors was to pick the dictionary word notable to describe the topics that met some threshold of significance, relevance, importance, etc. to create a useful online encyclopedia. Among the many dictionary definitions we have for notable is "written down" (from the Latin "notare"), and with that definition, anything written down is notable in that sense. The inclusion or exclusion of an article in Wikipedia cannot be argued from a dictionary or a personal definition of notable. As I mentioned above we have subject specific notability guidelines WP:SNG to cover authors and astronomical objects. There are SNG's because a consensus of subject-matter experts have reached a consensus on what topics in that subject have the significance, relevance, importance, etc. to create a useful online encyclopedia. We can agree to disagree on whether this, taken as a whole, is consistent. patsw (talk) 16:27, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that's probably a good overall summary. --Iantresman (talk) 17:30, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Request for Urgent comment, RFC on WP:ACE2011 seats to be filled[edit]

Due to unanticipated vacancies, there is a pressing question of how many Arbcom seats WP:ACE2011 should fill. Voting is scheduled to start in about 30 hours. Please comment at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2011#Supplemental_RFC_on_number_of_seats_to_fill:_ACE2011. Monty845 16:16, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Mobile editing block[edit]

Is there are policy to block all anonymous editing from mobile phones? I only ask because I went to add something to an article on my phone recently and was met with the following message: Editing from has been disabled by Brandon for the following reason: Opera mini proxy.

See [3] for more details.

If "Opera mini proxy" is a rationale for blocking, that means no mobile editing is allowed?

AndrewRT(Talk) 22:26, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

I presume the reason is actually that it's effectively an open proxy, and thus an easy way to evade blocks. I'm sure other mobile browsers (that don't have this proxying effect) will work perfectly well. SamBC(talk) 22:34, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

De Facto bans, possible amendment to the BAN policy[edit]

There's a discussion going on here [4] regarding the banning policy and particularly WP:BLOCKBANDIFF. Please drop by and join in the discussion. Night Ranger (talk) 15:37, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

number of images of magazine covers[edit]

I think British Chess Magazine has too many images of recent covers. It currently has three from 2011, and two others have been deleted. I made a comment about it on the talk page in October, yet more have been added. How many magazine covers is too many, and is there a policy? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:24, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Policy is Wikipedia:Fair_use#Images, and it's hard to see the justification for more than one. Gerardw (talk) 01:10, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I thought it was OK to have the 1923, the 2007, and one of the 2011 covers, since it differs from the 2007 layout. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:41, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that'd be true if the article discussed the layout. Gerardw (talk) 02:20, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Could someone tell the editor adding them that? My message on the talk page in October went unheeded. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

G10 and redirects[edit]

There is a discussion here about how WP:CSD#G10 interacts with redirects. Your input would be welcome. Hobit (talk) 18:50, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Possible long term codification of the ArbCom elections[edit]

As proposed at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2011/Feedback#Codification, I have written a first draft for a new long-term policy for ArbCom elections. The first draft is at User:Od Mishehu/Arbitration Committee Elections, and users are welcome to comment about it at User talk:Od Mishehu/Arbitration Committee Elections. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 05:55, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Use of language and Specialist terms[edit]

I have noticed more and more lately that articles are becoming quite specialist with the language they are using and seem to be a little over-reliant on the reader clicking on the link of a word in the article to find more information. At present on some articles some three or four words would have to be searched and read before the reader begins to understand the introduction of the article they were wanting to read in the first place. For example if we look at random access, the opening line is "In computer science, random access (sometimes called direct access) is the ability to access an element at an arbitrary position in a sequence in equal time, independent of sequence size." Some of the words/ phrases that would have to be search here would be "computer science", "access an element", "sequence", "equal time", "sequence size". Maybe some users would have to search "arbitrary" and "independent" to try understand the context they are used in. So in this one article there would have to be four to six extra searches for someone new to the subject to properly understand. If we then read the Computer science article another three or four searches would have to be done to fully understand that and before we know it the poor user who is new to the subject of DVD+RW is stuck in a never-ending cycle and finds themselves four or five articles away from what they wanted to read about. Some other example of these never-ending cycles are Particle Physics, Polar coordinate system and Hypsogastropoda.

All these articles would force people to stop using Wikipedia and revert back to the old "define:[insert word here]]" on Google for a laymen's term of whatever it is they need to know. I understand that we need to satisfy both those that have knowledge of the subject and those new to it so maybe we could make sure that perhaps after the definition has been explained a simplified term is then explained in the second paragraph perhaps with no or few links to further articles so the reader can carry on reading that article first and is stimulated to read other articles instead of feeling a little buried in technical talk and feels like they have to look elsewhere. There so much information here and I think with a little tweak we could make Wikipedia even more accessible. It would be a shame if some people were missing out. yettie0711 (talk) 13:42, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Actually I think this phenomenon is often just a result of the fact that it can be quite difficult for a knowledgable person not to use his or her trade jargon. It even happens to generalists who just happen to have spent a week trying to digest the sources they need for a Wikipedia article. So if you see jargon that CAN be avoided by simpler English without changing the meaning, then I think most Wikipedians will agree that this is laudable. (The debatable cases will usually be about whether you have changed the meaning.) Also consider whether adding interwiki links to wiktionary can help for specific words that might be hard to avoid.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:32, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I have also found that articles are becoming quite specialist, and my opinion this excludes many beginners from understanding the article. I believe that we must make introduction accessible to the novice, and introduce more technical material later on. I would like to see some kind of rating which shows that an article includes an introduction aimed at "beginners". That could mean that all introductions are written in simple English (I know there is a separate Wiki). Here in the UK, there is the "Plain English Campaign". I am NOT saying that we simplify all articles, only that we include a simplified introduction. --Iantresman (talk) 12:06, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
And one can always just define the term after using it: "abstruse term, a few words to briefly define, continue text". Also it helps to give a person's profession or most notable accomplishment in many articles and frustrating when you have to click to find out why they are in the least relevant/credible. CarolMooreDC 04:18, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
This is basically a WP:SOFIXIT problem. Also, you might like to keep an eye on advice pages like WP:Make technical articles accessible. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:55, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
To some extent I can see the point - but I have to admit that one of my great joys is blue-link-surfing from page to page on the more esoteric subjects :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 20:55, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Foul Language In Discussions[edit]

To the extent that discussions remain WP:CIVIL consensus is clearly against language restrictions. Foul language that is uncivil or used in personal attacks is already prohibited by WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA Monty845 04:09, 30 November 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.

There have been many times when I have been reading dicussions in userspaces etc and people have been getting angry and resorted to foul language. Now while I accept the fact that Wikipedia is not censsored WP:NOTCENSORED and that swear words are often essntial in the form of articles, they are not needed in discussions. They do not help produce consensus as many will ignore there point all together or purposly adopt the other side of the discussion. However, my main point is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit and there could be young editors who should not be exposed to this. While parents can monitor articles their child acesses, such as those about genitals etc, they have no way of knowing before hand if a discussion will be clean for thei child to read. I therefore propose a 'no foul language except when nessiary' policy. Oddbodz (talk) 22:55, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

And how do you define 'foul language'? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:09, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
"young editors who should not be exposed to this." I don't know what this means. That "young editors" shouldn't know words like "fuck" or "shit" exist, notwithstanding the fact that we have articles about them, or that we shouldn't be a "bad example" to "young editors" by actually using those words? postdlf (talk) 23:27, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
If someone ends up using (as opposed to mentioning) obscenities in a Wikipedia discussion, something has gone wrong—possibly WP:CIVIL, possibly something else. I don't think "Think of the children!" should enter into it. Ntsimp (talk) 23:35, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Another thing I should point out is that different parents means different standards. While I seriously doubt any parent would let their kid listen to one of Mr. Conductor's standup specials, I wouldn't be two-faced if two different parents have differing opinions on Kent's speech on bastard-hood in King Lear specifically over the use of the term "bastard". This is what pisses me off about all these for-the-children cranks - they think that all parents think alike when it comes to raising their child, but the fact is different parents means different standards for each parent. Take a child raised by homosexuals and a child raised by devout Catholics, or even two children raised by different devout Catholic families, and you will see the end result of the different rearing styles in how they process and react to information. Wikipedia is generally not censored, yes, but speaking like Yahtzee Croshaw falls afoul of WP:Civility, and is sanctionable (though it's hard to notice in practice, civility blocks do happen). We have no power otherwise, nor do we have the desire, to be the babysitters for these careless mothers who think the Internet is for keeping little Timmy occupied while she goes on a date. This is less a Wikipedia problem than it is a societal problem. To paraphrase Mr. Conductor, they have a child fetish and it's unhealthy for the kid. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 23:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Edmund, not Kent. Sorry, can't help myself when it comes to anything King Lear-related.--Shirt58 (talk) 11:35, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) WP:CIVILITY is over here. Generally, we have consensus that using profanity against other editors is uncivil. We had a long talk on Wikipedia Talk:Civility about crude and tasteless jokes that seemed to close with the judgment that they're to be removed from discussion. Past that, there is no consensus that profanity itself is a cause of concern. causa sui (talk) 23:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
There is a huge difference between profanity and incivility, though the first may be used as a form of the second. In the real world, children are exposed to various levels of profanity from the primary-school playground onwards (though not, I appreciate, in some particularly select schools). Regardless of the use-or-non-use of profanity, incivility is a violation of a core policy (and also completely unnecessary, and avoidable by anyone with the desire to comply with that core policy), and should be treated as such. Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:41, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I am also skeptical about writing this notion into a policy. It would basically come down to a list of words that would be covered by it, which is difficult to establish (e.g. is "penis" one of them, and do we all have to resort to "down there"?). More importantly (I think) this idea that there are certain "trigger words" often leads people to the notion that as long as you avoid those, you are doing ok. I have come across too many people of this mindset who used a long string of polite words to basically call someone an asshole, but as soon as the f-word came up, those very same individuals went on rampage. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • If you could please outline exactly what is and what isn't 'foul language' that everyone will agree on that would be great. You're trying to force your cultural mores onto the rest of us--and I fucking well don't like it. → ROUX  11:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Comment:Before people contionue to say I am a moany old person who wraps kids up in bubble wrap, can I just enform you that I am 15 and definatly not a parent. I just don't think that Wikipedia descussions are the place for people to tell others to [Go fuck yourself]. As far as determining foul language, I would say that commonly accepted swears and phrases such as

  • Fuck
  • Cunt
  • Piss Off
  • Calling people a shit
  • Wanker

and other words along thoses lines. I would propse that we give users who use these words un-nesicaraly 4 warnings, then a short term block. As I said before, I only propose we don't use these word when they can be avoided. Of course words like Penis will be needed in articles and in discussions like this, swears will be neeed. However, a discussion about a page about flowers being deleated, for example, will not require swears and agression and they should not be there. Oddbodz (talk) 11:46, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

"And other words along thoses lines". Which ones? Who is to decide whether a word constitutes 'foul language'? We already have WP:CIVIL, and we don't need yet another vague policy to have pointless arguments about. Your proposal has no support, so it isn't going to get you anywhere in any case. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:08, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Look, Oddbodz, I get what you're saying. But the solution in life is not to make up some rule so you can enforce it. When words like these offend you in every context, either try to ignore them, or just don't deal with the people who use them. I'm assuming that's what you do in real life as well — no? One day, you can make strict rules for your own home that whenever somebody talks like that, you kick'em out and tell them never to come back. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I find none of those words particularly offensive. → ROUX  12:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose any enforcement of such restrictions. Ditto AndyTheGrump. First of all, WP:DONTFEED the swearers, just ignore them. Secondly, where is the line between what is a swear word and what isn't? And why is this just English, is it O.K. if I use "puta" or something? WP:CIVIL already covers everything civility related and there is no point in more bureaucracy about specific words because it won't prevent anything. Slapping an aggravated editor with something like WP:SWEARWORD on top of the usual WP:CIVIL is only going to make matters worse. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 12:29, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • "I don't swear just for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. I think we should all the words we've got. Besides, there are damn few words that anybody understands." - from my favorite movie and one of my favorite actors. I concur. Avoiding certain words is neither necessary nor sufficient for civility. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • What seems to happen in practise is that admins make blocks according to their own personal standards and mores. For example, one admin recently blocked another admin for a week for calling someone a "liar". That particular word is commonly prohibited by the rules of unparliamentary language and so circumlocutions such as terminological inexactitude must be used instead. Note that there's a'list of prohibited words which is causing much amusement in Pakistan currently. I'm liking lavender and mango myself. These may be used in the way that Captain Haddock got round this problem... Warden (talk) 13:11, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support If we actually care about retaining editors, we should be better about acknowledging uncivil behavior on Wikipedia. Taking a stronger stand against superfluous profanity is low-hanging fruit. Civility is allegedly a pillar, yet I constantly see experienced editors using abusive language. Just the other day I saw Stephan Schulz self-righteously tell someone to "shut the f* up". Really, Stephan? The obscene language was necessary to make your point? Abusive language is a form of cyberbullying; we shouldn't tolerate it. And we don't need a list; we just the policy to allow a I know it when I see it approach. --JaGatalk 14:54, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
You saw wrong, and I find the repetition of this inexact claim to be much more incivil than an occasional strong word. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:19, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't see wrong, Stephan. --JaGatalk 16:43, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you did see wrong too. I don't know if there is a difference between "You can shut up" and "shut up!" for you, but there certainly is one for me. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:16, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:05, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Broad-brush approach to what is, frankly, a very minor WP:CIVILITY problem, and only then in limited instances. There is also a rather silly POV issue here. After all, is "I think this idea is shit" really any worse than "I think this idea is stupid"? Resolute 17:27, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose we have WP:CIVILITY and that coves this. Beyond that "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war." And for those who don't know why that quote is so important, you can find the answer in Seven dirty words. It's not the words, it's how you use them. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:30, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it's more than time we had the guts to make a firmer stand on name-calling and directly belittling, derogatory or demeaning remarks, but I don't think swearing should come under the same umbrella as standard. Swearing used within a personal attack, of course, comes under the (too-little-enforced) civility policy. Pesky (talkstalk!) 17:32, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Perhaps it is time for that, but on the other hand, this is a very frustrating environment at times, as are many other places on the web that really do matter. Some incivility is expected and to a certain degree inalienable in a completely open communities. It's perhaps the repeat offenders that you need to take care of, but then the obvious problem is 'what is the line?'. It's hard to define and defining it has always been the problem that no lawbook has ever solved. Instead we have police, courtcases, prosecutors and defense lawyers in the real world. But that would take wikilawyering to a whole new level for sure. :D —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the key point is that any problem caused by profanity is when it is used in an uncivil manner, not by the words in and of themselves, and a sentence that doesn't even use profanity can be less civil than one that does. "User:Foo is a lying low-life" is uncivil; "Wikipedia is fucking awesome" is not. postdlf (talk) 17:34, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, foul language shouldn't be censured from article discussion pages. It's how they're used, that's an issue. "That's f--king hilarious" is alright, but "F--k off" isn't. GoodDay (talk) 18:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia is under no compulsion to bow to imbecilic parents who substitute TV and internet for actual parenting. Like I said, every parent wants to show their kids Mr. Conductor, but not Mr. Conductor in front of a mic; the only way to ensure that is to be a responsible parent. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 23:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Those aren't swear words, that's information....privileged information, so consider yourself privileged and just call the game. John Goodman - The Babe (1992).--JOJ Hutton 23:30, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The following quotation summarizes my feelings about this;  Chzz  ►  14:53, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Swearing is a really important part of one's life. It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing... There used to be mad, silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of a poor vocabulary -such utter nonsense. The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves... The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest or -is just a fucking lunatic... I haven't met anybody who's truly shocked at swearing, really, they're only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, you know, that's preposterous... or they say 'it's not necessary'. As if that should stop one doing it! It's not necessary to have coloured socks, it's not necessary for this cushion to be here, but is anyone going to write in and say 'I was shocked to see that cushion there, it really wasn't necessary'? No, things not being necessary is what makes life interesting -the little extras in life.

Stephen Fry on the joys of swearing. "Guilty", BBC4, September 8th 2007 (Video on Youtube Wikiquote)

  • At the risk of sounding snarky (but I mean this sincerely), I am more offended by the numerous typos in the OP's comments than I am by any use of profanity. Please take the time to proofread your posts before you click that "save page" button. I'm far more concerned about "young editors" not knowing or caring about proper spelling and grammar than I am about them being aware of naughty words, and I think careless editing (particularly when you keep misspelling one of the key words in your proposed standard—"necessary") can be more disrespectful to readers than profanity. postdlf (talk) 15:57, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose There's no problem as long as they aren't personal attacks. Just stay calm and carry on. If you have a problem with it, just tell them to stop. HurricaneFan25 16:06, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose – Per common sense. —danhash (talk) 16:16, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I believe Wikipedia would have a far better editing environment overall if admins acted much more strongly. I see no problem with blocking people for a day for swearing or using foul language or other incivility. It might eliminate some people with Tourette's syndrome who would otherwise be good contributors but overall the encyclopaedia is what matters and the bad drives out the good. Dmcq (talk) 16:47, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
You're either making a very bad-taste joke, or you have no idea what Tourette syndrome actually is. I'll AGF for that. However, do you seriously believe that a user should be blocked for saying e.g. That was fucking brilliant, thanks! ? Of course they shouldn't. But, they should be warned/blocked if they say things like, "You're stupid" all the time. As for 'driving people off' - what about all those, like me, that will be driven off if we are not free to express ourselves using any and all appropriate language? Also, it'd make it extremely difficult to discuss an article such as Fuck. Chzz  ►  18:31, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I've never heard of Dmcq before, but s/he is on my radar now (and not in a good way). Maybe s/he wants to clarify what the fuck s/he means? See coprolalia, and no wonder I've not wanted TS to run on the mainpage, with idiotic statements like that even from the inside. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:36, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
All that's "necessary" is for people to be able to make the (relatively simple) distinction between using swear words as a form of abuse and not doing so. And to recognise - consistently - that calling another editor childish or any other non-cussword derogatory term, or snapping off an edit summary along the lines of "removing fatuous nonsense" or "We don't want you here - can't you get it?" is a violation of WP:CIVIL, whereas saying something's "fucking ace" or saying "fucking well done!" is not. See also this. Even the Ivory-towered Judges have reached the relatively sane conclusion that swear words in and of themselves are not that bad. Pesky (talkstalk!) 19:04, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Don't blur the lines between saying the words "fuck" and "shit" and calling someone a "fucking piece of shit". The former is not a problem, the latter is. We already have rules against the latter, that just need to be enforced equitably. --Jayron32 19:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - swearing adds nothing to a debate or comment, is unnecessary and often causes offence, whether used as a form of abuse or not. It detracts rather than enhances Wikipedia's reputation as a serious encyclopedia. --Bermicourt (talk) 21:28, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • A lot of words, whether intentional or not, cause offense, chummer. Again, I'll refer to the King Lear example above, which uses the word bastard, and I'll also note all the sociopolitical conflicts presently under ArbCom sanction, where members of one or more side(s) view any mention that the other side(s) exist as profanity. Where does it end, other than just sitting in a fucking corner that parents are arguing is not "cornery" enough for the kid? —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 21:58, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
"chummer" \o/ - should I run to mommy?  Chzz  ►  22:41, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Only if I'm sayin' it while cleanin' a Roomsweeper.Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 05:03, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. There is no excuse for foul language aimed at people and which constitutes incivility. WP:Civil should handle it, but all too often, it is ignored. As for the words themselves, we stopped censoring words with the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial. --Iantresman (talk) 12:16, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. Just because it's difficult to draw the line in some cases, doesn't mean we should draw no line at all. That's just an excuse for licence. Gratuitous swearing in discussions is generally pretty blatant, entirely unnecessary and just shows Wikipedia in a poor light. It adds nothing, but risks damaging relationships and cooperation. Why risk upsetting people when we don't need to? There will always be grey areas - let's deal with those which are clear cut. That will at least be progress. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:36, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Bloody Strong oppose this will shit up the encyclopaedic process due to the imposition of fucking stupid cultural norms derived from versions English produced by puritan wankers onto users of other version of English that, for example, regularly use cunt as the generic noun. This kind of perennial and dictatorial Moralism, really pisses me off. ISNOT: A city on a Hill. The current CIVILITY provisions which emphasise the key element of incivility being the attack on the other is sufficient. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
    • OK, this gives us a nice real-world exercise. What to make of Fifelfoo's comment? IMO, it's clearly uncivil and gratuitously nasty, and intended to attack and deride those who hold an opposing view. It fairly drips with hatred and contempt. Seems to me, Wikipedia is better off without people like Fifelfoo, and we should be invoking our principles in civility to either get this person to behave, or leave. Is that correct, or do I not have a good grasp of how online communities should work? (Seriously, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or score points, I really want to know. Because what I read in policies != what I see in discussions.) --JaGatalk 05:11, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
      • "Wikipedia is better off without people like Fifelfoo" <-- That is the most uncivil thing I've read in this discussion. Jenks24 (talk) 05:19, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
        • See, that's what I don't get. He can call the beliefs of myself and others "f*ing stupid cultural norms", and that's OK, and I say Wikipedia doesn't benefit from that, and I'm a bad guy? What is your position on Fifelfoo's comment? Good thing? --JaGatalk 05:36, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
          • Looks to me like Fifelfoo is being sarcastic more than uncivil. Using as many of the previously mentioned bad words as possible to make a point. I don't believe they were meant as any sort of attack. Also, disagreeing with people is not uncivil. If we were old friends and talking (not typing) I could follow with "so f**k you and ya momma!" and you could tell by my tone that I am taking the piss and no harm done. But we don't know each other and there is no tone so it is hard to tell if a statement like that is meant in humour or not. That is more often than not the reason for discussions getting heated (so it seems to me). It's very easy to forget that our sarcasm or dry wit is not clearly obvious to all readers. fredgandt 05:54, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Analysing ... seems to me that the only direct violation of WP:CIVIL would be referring to other people as "puritan wankers". That's the only comment directly describing other people, not their views :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:00, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Replying variously: Fred Gandt's supposition that I'm being sarcastic is correct, through it would vary between ironic and sardonic invective depending on your particular version of English (I would be shocked to think of Indian English attempting to make sense of my broad Australian English there). Sarcasm online has a long history of falling flat.
    • To JaGa, perhaps the problem with my Strong Oppose is that it was crafted to be offensive towards people who believe the opposite of me without directly attacking them. I have heard, repeatedly, that the standard way to "win" a wikipedia argument is to bait people into an escalating NPA and then get them blocked via AN/I. CIVIL POV pushing is as offensive as baited personal attacks. In particular, I can use cross-cultural differences to exacerbate this situation. There is an Australian joke from WWII when Yanks came to Australia and fucked all our women (and the women on the whole enjoyed the experience). An Australian says to an American serviceman, "Fuck you you fucking Yank bastard." and the American reacts with immediate physical violence, "What did you say about my mother?" Similarly, I am deeply offended by users of American English suggesting that I can't use fuck as an emphatic adjective not connected to another user. It is like my tongue is being torn with pliers, or my fingernails being pulled out while I'm trying to type—and yet puritanical policy proposals are considered acceptable. On the rest of your content, our CIVILity policies simply do not work at the moment. Users acting outside of pillar and policy can IDHT discussion into the ground. I'm undecided about if things get better: I've watched Talk:Mass killings under Communist regimes change from a shitfest into a respectfully hateful discussion developed based on scholarly sourcing, where courtesy is enforced by a kind of code duello of potential CIVILity blocks. In comparison Talk:Libertarianism has improved through a kind of rough wikilove where everyone has learnt to agree that WEIGHT and high quality Reliable Sourcing is superior to OR, and IDHT abuse.
    • To Jenks24, being eliminated from Wikipedia for using Australian English would be an amusing example of cultural imperialism. In addition, I think the user you were quoting was trying to genuinely explore the issues I was raising.
    • To ThatPeskyCommoner and JaGa, both "fucking stupid cultural norms" and "puritan wankers" may be incivil, it depends on how they're used. However, to express that your opinion is wrong is not uncivil. Using the generic emphatic adjective "fucking" in relation to it is similarly not uncivil. If I used an atypical emphatic adjective, then we might be entering the realms of incivility; but, and I'll note Australian English again that some varieties of English have a wide variety of stereotyped emphatics. Describing a morality crusade as puritanism, and describing an attempt to inflict one's own morality on other's as self-pleasuring is hardly more controversial.
    • Finally, and most problematically for people who'd consider my contribution uncivil because of the variety of English used, rather than its content; it would be trivial to re-express my sardonic invective directed towards imperialistic cultural fundamentalist conservatives who want to restrict my native tongue because of their personal shocks and shames at four letter words—into WASP friendly Received Pronunciation approved language and still drip with a vicious hatred of the censor's black pencil. Fifelfoo (talk) 08:51, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm relieved this has turned civil. But I must say, going pointy is bad practice, especially in a discussion with strangers. I see now what makes me different from some of the others posting here. When someone crafts a response "to be offensive towards people who believe the opposite of me without directly attacking them", I think of that as uncivil, and certainly bad faith editing. That's the kind of stuff I think should be stopped. But judging other responses here, it seems as long as you don't directly attack someone, it's OK. For instance, "you are stupid" is uncivil, but "that suggestion is stupid" is acceptable. But why, when a person can disagree without such obvious maliciousness? Seems to me, if civility is a pillar, we should do something about hateful and contemptuous messages, even if they don't directly attack the opponent. That, or admit civility isn't really a pillar, because right now, it isn't. --JaGatalk 16:06, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Suggesting that my expressive language be censored because some varieties of English are insanely puritanical is pointy and offensive. It indicates an unwillingness to accept this is an international English encyclopaedia, and is a direct attempt to morally regulate me by someone else's code. The restriction does not connect to the encyclopaedic process. Given that this is a perennial suggestion. Editors, in fact, make pointed contributions all the time—some ideas are so overwhelmingly and offensively bad that strongly expressive responses are required. Having your arguments and evidence thoroughly demolished often offends, but it is not offensive. Fifelfoo (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
It isn't about expressive language, kiddo. It's about how you use that expressive language. If you want to say "I drove my f*ing car to the f*ing store today", I could care less, although I would assume you're about as mature as a teenage boy. If you want to say my culture has "f*ing stupid cultural norms", well, that's wrong, don't you think? It's pretty simple; don't attack me, my culture, my heritage, my race, my faith, or anything that has to do with my self-identity. If you do need to raise concerns about such things, do it in a respectful manner. --JaGatalk 03:19, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
How is "f*ing" pronounced? Fstaring? Does removing the "uck", while still using the word, really change anything? It's like people who go rabid about switching from AD to CE but keep the same numbers. --Golbez (talk) 06:29, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Your culture appears to have encouraged you to go morally crusading and is directly authorising you to attack my culture. I can't help but hope that the people who morally crusade against my culture end up like the participants in the Children's Crusade. Fifelfoo (talk) 06:16, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Try not to be too offended; it isn't my fault your culture makes you sensitive to my expressive language. (kidding!) BTW, let's clear something up here; to call a foul mouth your "native tongue" is ridiculous. Do they teach you the proper swears in school? Have them in a spelling bee? Talk to your momma that way? No? Didn't think so. If you like to talk that way, it's fine, but to pretend it's a dialect is just silly. Argue honestly. --JaGatalk 17:26, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I do speak to my mother in this way, and she speaks to me in this way. To borrow one of her emphatic phrases: Your proposal is a kick in the cunt to editors from en_GB, en_NZ and en_AU. Fifelfoo (talk) 21:33, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
JaGa, your use of the word "kiddo" while referring to Fifelfoo is offensive to me. I propose we remove all instances of the word "kiddo" from discussion and ban everyone who uses it here on Wikipedia. —danhash (talk) 17:57, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Fiflefoo has obviously set up his comment as an example for discussion. Yes it is my opinion that Wikipedia would be better off without people who make comments like that. Wikipedia is not an inclusive social forum to look after all and everybody, it is a mechanism for producing an encyclopaedia. If a population of foul mouthed editors drive off the editors who are more formal and want a easier atmosphere for discussion and improvement then that is bad for Wikipedia. And I believe that actually happens when foul mouthed louts start on a talk page, they can't control much else besides that I can see. Dmcq (talk) 09:17, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
    • I'd like to ask if your analysis considers the broad mouthed editors, or vernacular minded editors, who are driven off by prissy school marms? My limits of continued participation are pretty much the ability to refer to non-users with the occasional emphatic adjective, or to at least feel justified in doing so in my mind; and, not feeling like my labour power is being commodified or my labour bossed. The second is political, the first is due to coming from an industrial working class Australian city. Driving off editors from diverse cultural backgrounds who swear is just as bad as driving off editors who come from backgrounds who don't. Fifelfoo (talk) 09:29, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes I have and in my considered opinion on balance Wikipedia would be far better off without them but having more of the people who can discuss things without using obscenities. Anybody from any background can talk civilly unless they have a brain injury. Dmcq (talk) 12:47, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think the words we use are the problem. I think it's how they are used. Nearly all cases of apparent incivility would need to be examined on an individual basis since any blanket ruling to disallow certain words would render most participants here blocked. Although noble (to try to clean up discussions and protect the innocent), censorship is definitely not the answer. fredgandt 05:54, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Fuck all y'all. -- œ 09:32, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
    • You have to buy me dinner first. fredgandt 09:37, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - civility is subjective - My hackles are raised much less by someone swearing at me than some slimy superficially friendly comment with some aspersions cast on my character or honesty (which has happened on WP), or by someone commenting twenty or thirty times in a debate at AfD or RfC, or someone chiming in on an overtly unrelated debate (but cognizant of the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mem), or someone hitting me with a half-page wall of text or (even funnier) quoting policies in blue links etc. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:00, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Wholly Oppose - I don't use "foul language" because I feel it generally shows a lack of ability to communicate the point. However, I stand up for the right for other editors to use whatever language they chose. Offense is subjective, what I perceive as a mildly amusing sounding word (for example, bugger) will be wholly offensive to some. I'm sure that there are words which are much more offensive that the seven dirty words, depending on the context. The last thing we need is for every editor to be walking on eggshells trying to police their own language for fear of a sanction when they are making a valid point. WormTT · (talk) 10:06, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • It's just fucking language, innit? And it has nothing much to do with children. Children will learn from their parents whether they consider it acceptable to use such words. They don't need to be protected from other people who use them. Here is a real anecdote that may clarify this. I once knew a boy with Down syndrome who really liked to swear. His repertoire included "Du Mixer" (it was in Germany), which translates as "you food processor". Obviously this made more sense for him than the actual swear word, Wichser (pronounced the same way except for the first letter, and meaning wanker). Hans Adler 11:26, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Relunctantly Oppose While I don't really buy the argument that it is necessary to say "that's fucking stupid" instead of "that's stupid," -- the fucking doesn't really add anything and takes longer to type and read - my experience is that any such guideline would be used more as a hammer to attack other editor's than taken as a guideline for one own's. So my suggestion to Oddbodz is to continue to speak intelligently and rationality and learn to skip over the pointless profanity. Gerardw (talk) 12:26, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think swearing in discussions should be tolerated, as long it remains withing the bounds of WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA. My personal opinion is that it should be most strongly discouraged and never condoned. An WP:ESSAY to that effect would be something good to have. But, I'm someone who almost never swears, so don't ask me to write the fucker.--Shirt58 (talk) 13:48, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I wold never write words sch as "fck" or "cnt" myself. I shdder when I see other people write sch words; especially when it is nnecessary to make a point. I can however see no real possibility of reliably policing any sch swearing ban. How wold you do it? Remove one letter from the alphabet? Remove entire words? Consider Scnthorpe or Shorpe. I too have little tolerance for poor spelling—especially given modern browser spell checking capabilities. An observation. How come everyone spells swear words correctly? --Senra (Talk) 15:10, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree that a blanket ban on swears isn't the best course of action, but I also think the poster is on the right track; we do too little about unnecessarily nasty posts. Use of language categorically offensive to some cultures should be a red flag at the very least. If an editor is unwilling to even try to communicate with respect to other editors, they should get a talking to. If they persist, they should be blocked even if they make valuable contributions to the wiki. Wikipedia's success is dependent on outreach, and every time we tolerate some horrid behavior from an established editor we chip away at out future. --JaGatalk 19:22, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, sort of. JaGa's on the right track: we need to change our support for profanity, and we need to change our double standards on this point. On the first point, we need to take complaints more seriously, and stop the knee-jerk defense of people issuing insults and using offensive language. This isn't hard: rather than saying "He has every right to use 'four-letter words' and you have no business being offended by it", you say something like, "You're right, Wikipedia would be a more pleasant place if people didn't use that kind of language". On the second, we need to apply exactly the same standards to a first-edit newbie that we apply to a person with a string of FAs behind him (or her). But we solve this problem through discussion and education, not be handing out blocks left and right for behavior that we have tolerated and even encouraged among senior editors.
    One of the reasons this problem matters is that profanity disproportionately drives away underrepresented populations: An insult that a college-age male might interpret as harmless banter is likely to be offensive to women, senior citizens, and people from the global south. Encouraging a "frat house" atmosphere hurts Wikipedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose—Per Todd Snider:
I can tell you right now without batting an eye
That the next time some latchkey kid goes wrong
It aint gonna be cause Eminem gets to say the word Faggot in a song

alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 22:58, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Comment I think that this sort of censorship would either require a whole new category of editors, to oversee the language used by the rest of us, or a crude blanket ban that would rend many of the articles of important text, specifically quotes. Denting5 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Denting5 (talkcontribs) 00:47, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I suggest snow closure of this debate; there will always be a minority who object to 'crude language' (whatever they may decide that is), but as to forming some specific policy, you really are pissing into the wind.  Chzz  ►  01:33, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • "You are utterly the stupidest, most self-centered appallingest excuse for an anthropomorphic personification on this or any other plane! An infantile, adolescent, pathetic specimen!" - Death (and he didn't swear once!). Abusive language isn't necessarily foul. Foul language isn't necessarily abusive. fredgandt 03:44, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Swear words are, on occasion, invaluable both for maintaining an informal, approachable atmosphere and for expressing the intensity of one's feelings on an issue. Indeed, I saw Arbcom candidates profitably use them in their Question responses, which were, keep in mind, carefully written to portray them in a positive light:

    Coren, question 20: [Responding to a question about problems with Wikipedia.] Fossilization. It's damn near impossible to make any significant change in how we do things, now – let alone any fundamental ones.

    Coren, question 47: I have the unfortunate reflex of stepping back with a "fine, have it your way but don't expect me to help you fuck this up" attitude.

    Courcelles, question 6d: Security is easy to think about when you suddenly find you need it, and damned hard to give a damn about when you have no pressing concern to do so.

    Courcelles, question 8a: People who care, people who are willing to get their hands in the muck and give a damn make the encyclopaedia better!

    Hersfold, Russavia questions: The point is, logging all of these, and all the obvious "hell no, maybe come back in a year if you bake us cookies" responses, would be needlessly time-wasting and excessive.

    To strip us of these words would turn us into creatures without passion, and those are not good for accomplishing anything, much less writing an encyclopedia. Dcoetzee 11:08, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose Not only no, but fuck no.-Cube lurker (talk) 13:59, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose we should be able to separate occasional bad language from personal attacks. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment – I would rather be without the kind of editors who find it necessary to bitch about individual words, even if they are otherwise useful contributors, than be a part of a community which hypocritically embraces the censorship of such words. —danhash (talk) 17:48, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - oh well, it looks like we Wikipedians will just have to get used to having swearing rammed down our throats... --Bermicourt (talk) 18:13, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me? I believe most of the arguments above, if I'm reading correctly, are not about 'ramming' expletives down your throat. Rather, in summary:
  • The proposal is overly broad, since expletives can be used in a wide variety of contexts (apparently including questions for potential arbs).
  • The proposal is culture-specific, since different cultures are offended by different words (I personally would take being called a " fucking bastard" as a compliment, since that's how it's used in my group of friends and my area in general, for example.)
  • The proposal is impractical to police, and places higher weight on language than on the actual legitimacy (or even civility, mind you!) of one's argument.
That last one is the most important. I feel that in the end it comes down to this, that's what people are objecting to: that while some users may already have a direct emotional response to the choice of words another user may employ, we would be far better off not codifying something which would place such high importance on mere words over whatever the actual problem or subject being discussed is. sonia♫ 20:46, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I've only just realised I hadn't !cast a !vote here! No, swearing in and of itself isn't a major problem. Pretty much most of us have heard it before, I'd think, and most people aren't quite as offended by it as many other people think they might be .. (yeah, yeah [citation needed], I know ...) heh! I'd far rather have someone say that an image I'd just added to an article was "fucking lousy" than have someone start pulling out the retard, kindergarten, moron, hall-monitor, pompous, sanctimonious, two-faced and all the rest of those things at me. (Adding: unless, of course, the image is one I drew myself, in which case it's a fucking masterpiece and don't bloody forget it!) Pesky (talkstalk!) 21:12, 29 November 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.


Why do we have a uw-preview template, since it doesn't seem to be actually policy that editors are expected to use it? Gerardw (talk) 23:48, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't need to be a policy - and if a user's making too many mistakes which would have definitely been caught on a preview, we should definitely make sure this user knows about the feature. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 12:17, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
If you're on an unreliable connection, there could be good reasons for not using the preview button - you could run the risk of losing your hard work if you have to press preview and then save. AndrewRT(Talk) 22:30, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
Having lived with that for a while, I can testify that the way to deal with an unreliable connection is to select all; copy before hitting preview. If the connection drops, I still have a local copy of my hard work. LeadSongDog come howl! 07:35, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Agree with LeadSongDog, on a slow and unreliable connection (and particularly when editing a big page) my biggest problems are when I hit submit and get a Squid Proxy error and/or loss of session data. Hitting preview first tends to save a copy of the edited page in the browsers cache and is less likely to suffer from either of the above problems. I also always try to remember (but mostly forget) to copy the text to the clipboard before submitting just in case the worst happens. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 07:52, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one that happens to! Pesky (talkstalk!) 21:56, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

The Recent Funding Drive[edit]

Well, it seems I arrived at the Village Pump at the correct moment - all this talk about Notability and offensive swear words, etc. My point, following on from two emails I sent in reply to the recent fundraising for WikiUK, is that celebrating new connections with e.g. The British Museum will only make matters worse (in my opinion) in terms of how Wikipedia develops. The 'old style' ways of collecting and presenting information/knowledge are best left to the old-style institutions. Wikipedia is awesome, in it's scope and audacity. Please leave it as it is; rather than tie in with ancient sh*t (i.e. the overly-academic, elitist, long-in-the-tooth, reactionary, oh-so-clever-and-refined blah blah). Ta very much! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Halcyonhalogen (talkcontribs) 04:30, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Halcyonhalogen (talk) 04:35, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But I assure you, the BM is not "overly-academic, elitist, long-in-the-tooth, reactionary, oh-so-clever-and-refined". It's actually pretty groovy.  Chzz  ►  17:13, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"Est omnino difficile iudicare inclusionis meritum cuiusdam rei in encyclopædia cum ratio sciendi quid populi referat incerta sit, sed nihilominus aliquid encyclopædiam dedecet" yes indeed, my fine old fellow. You are worthy to be praised. For ever and a day. Alleluia! *he* has returned, etc.

Agh, the old museums: no thnx. I had to get trawled round them when I was a wee-one. Stuffy, over-bearing, kind of condescending: I learnt a lot!

Haha. Oh well, not to worry. I'm sure you're right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Halcyonhalogen (talkcontribs) 19:37, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

RfC for proposal to promote Notability (astronomical objects) to guideline[edit]

We're still looking for editors to add comments here. The discussion has gone on nearly a month, and may end soon. However, I'd like to see more comments from general community. Cheers, AstroCog (talk) 13:05, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Scope of WP:NFCC#3b Enforcement - Requesting Community Input![edit]

Hi all, there is a ongoing discussion regarding the use of bots in WP:NFCC#3b enforcement at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Requests_for_approval#Fbot_9. In a nutshell, a bot is being used to flag oversized non-free media files for size reduction. There is however, some disagreement on the maximum size of non-free images (without violating WP:NFCC#3b, and thereby requiring a size reduction) and the method of determining what files should be exempt from WP:NFCC#3b. -FASTILY (TALK) 19:59, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

modify CheckUser policy to allow the community to out those with a particularly aggressive COI (e.g. corporate propagandists)[edit]

This proposal is invalid. It is the privacy policy, not the checkuser policy, that governs the release of personally identifying information such as this. Such wide-scale disclosure of this information would violate the privacy policy. Only the Wikimedia Foundation has the authority to alter the privacy policy. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 11:55, 1 December 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.

This corporate whitewasher hasn't just (probably hired by Range Resources) removed well-sourced info about Range's environmental record once, but several times for almost a year. It's one thing to write glowing articles about your employer, but it's another thing entirely to blatantly edit war by removing well-sourced critical content without explanation.

As Wikipedia becomes more of an established resource, this will only increasingly become a major problem. This summer I had to deal with mysterious anonymous editors hopping across an innumerable amount of IPs to enforce their COI in Singaporean politics. I remember we used CheckUser to trace various COI edits back to Congress (see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/United States Congress). While I think a conservative CheckUser policy is fine for individuals, CheckUsers should be permitted to disclose potential organisational links (i.e. corporate IP addresses -- where salient, if editing articles on that corporation), and perhaps the community should even have means to publicise particularly bad conflicts of interest to the press if necessary. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 03:31, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose Corporations should be treated fairly under policy, we should not create exceptions to policy designed to punish specific types of entities we don't like. Why should a corporation promoting itself be outed, but not a zealot promoting scientology? Nothing good comes from going down that road. Monty845 03:42, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Individuals need to be protected; that's all. The same reason why BLPs protect living people but not corporations. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:24, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Somewhat OT but perhaps corporations/businesses should have some of the same protections as living people. Take for example an article on a marginally notable "mom and pop" restaurant. If someone were to post an unsourced/poorly sourced but credible sounding claim that the restaurant had numerous health code violation, that could hurt the business in the "real world". However, that's another discussion/RFC. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 14:44, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Frankly the whole WP:OUTING policy/guideline/whatever-it-is needs to be revisited in general, not just for corporations. The requirement to provide reliable sources is not enough by itself to prevent tendentious selection of those sources, and editors arguing that that is going on should not be barred from saying "I think you have a motive to evaluate these sources differently than a disinterested expert would". The change needs to be done carefully, so as not to break promises already made, but a change is needed. --Trovatore (talk) 03:48, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose We can address behavior without outing. I see nothing to be gained by modifying the existing policy. --Jayron32 04:35, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
There should occasionally be real-life repercussions for entities that choose to knowingly abuse Wikipedia; if Range Resources' censorship of its critics is intentional, there should be an avenue for public backlash. This will also pre-emptively discourage clearly very malicious editing, without affecting those who edit with ignorance -- i.e. editors who merely make promotional edits won't be affected. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:58, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
We pursued the same sort of outing with the United States Congress RFC. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:59, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The congressional IP addresses are publicly known, anyone can WHOIS them. It doesn't take checkuser. Likewise, anyone can WHOIS any IP address and see if it is assigned to a corporation who is editing their own article. We don't, however, need to allow checkusers to out registerred users for any reason. --Jayron32 05:02, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
If the name is protecting a greater interest (rather than say an individual) then perhaps under community discretion it could be a wise option. Furthermore, note that the IPs in the Singaporean politics case were mostly all anonymous. However the conservatism of CheckUser meant that a true investigation into the nature of IP address use was not possible. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 05:24, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
If an account or IP is obviously whitewashing an article, its behavior makes that clear. It shouldn't need a checkuser to tell you that. Checkuser doesn't add anything to it. --Jayron32 05:33, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but CheckUser also has the capability to do a lot of detective work to determine an IP user's real life identity or organisation that would not be able to be done based on WHOIS alone. Allowing for real-life repercussions to malicious editing by an organisation should be permitted if the malicious editing will not cease. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 05:38, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
What real life reprocussions? What do we have the power to do? Go to the corporate offices with angry signs? Srsly... --Jayron32 05:49, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No, outing is already a media event. Johann Hari anyone? elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 08:11, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
This reminds me of WikiScanner which I have always thought was a great tool. The answer may not come from the checkusers themselves, however, although I'm all for expanding their capabilities. I think elle has a good idea; it may just require a different approach. It would be nice to see WikiScanner or Wikiwatcher revived.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 06:30, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Point of interest: this proposed change (i.e. using private data to expose users as members of particular organisations with the intent of causing damage to that organisation) to the English Wikipedia checkuser policy would go directly against the Wikimedia Foundation privacy policy, in particular the section pertaining to the access to and release of personally identifiable information. (under these circumstances: IP addresses, location information and corporate/workplace details based on WHOIS records ARE all considered personally identifiable information) As such, this is not a change that can be implemented by the English Wikipedia community. Not only would the Foundation prevent such a change, no checkuser would violate the privacy policy in such a fashion, not least since they are personally liable. The change would need to be approved at a Foundation level first, which I sincerely doubt it will be. I recommend that this discussion is closed. SpitfireTally-ho! 15:37, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
    • That's only true if you consider a corporation to be a person. If the particular individual within a corporation can't be known, how can they be identified? A CU saying "editing from an aaddress registered to Exxon/Mobil" is not identifying any one person, or even what corporate building they are sitting in. For instance in a recent discussion of which I'm aware, it was decided not to oversight an edit summary containing a phone number, as the number was the main switchboard of a large company. Franamax (talk) 16:03, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Agree with Franamax and note that the WMF policy has exemptions for the release of the identifying data, one of which is "When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints".
      ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 16:22, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
      • Franamax: saying e.g. "The user Example works for Imaginary Limited" counts as releasing personally identifiable information: how could saying what someone's job is and where they work possibly not be personally identifiable information? Berean Hunter: I fail to see how it could ever be necessary for the investigation of an abuse complaint for us to not only publicly state where users work but also actively publicise it with the intention of embarrassing the corporation by which they are employed. This proposed policy change would be in blantent violation of the privacy policy. SpitfireTally-ho! 16:29, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
      • "When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints". My reading of this would mean for example releasing checkuser info to an ISP representative investigating abuse, not publicizing it to punish COI editing.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:36, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
        That's my impression, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:28, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see no sense in making a simple NPOV/COI issue more complicated by bring Checkuser into it. The policy is neutrality and verification, and we should just enforce those rules as they are, rather than trying to out specific corporations for violating them.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 17:29, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I honestly don't think it will be workable. The OP assumes that corporate whitewashers work from fixed IP addresses that resolve unambiguously to specific corporations—and never to their contractors' offices, their employees' private homes, or public internet access points. Furthermore, this assumes that even if you're sure there is a connection, that the editing isn't being done without any corporate knowledge by someone's teenaged kid, who happened to look up Daddy's employer and found the article relied on newspaper reports that Daddy says misquoted him. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:28, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and here a more enlightened checkuser policy can connect those who log in from public access points or other offices to those who edit from organisational IPs. Sure, a very careful user will avoid editing from the organisational IP completely, but CheckUsers are often capable of catching that sort of thing but decline to explicitly confirm the connection. Given discretions (perhaps the discretion of an arbitrator, or Jimbo) the link could be confirmed; we should also seek real life action (requests to IPs, comments to press or authorities) in particularly egregious cases. There's no reason why established organisations should get away scot free if they are sponsoring people to whitewash entries from the project. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 23:29, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No, it turns out that Checkuser is not magic pixie dust. If the CU declines to explicitly confirm a match, it's because they cannot actually confirm the match, not because they want to leave admins guessing about whether there's a match. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:18, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose on slippery slope grounds. Although I find corporate whitewashing abhorrent (and far more objectionable than an individual attempting to sanitize his or her own article or that of a friend or relative), the whole idea of outing is anathema to WP tradition. Making an exception for certain entities might tend to open to the door to other exceptions, and then where will we be? Rivertorch (talk) 21:00, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
We could say the same thing for semi-protection and BLP policy; in particular the latter was used to curb real-life repurcussions to the right people, yet we don't complain about their slippery slope-ness. COI is becoming more and more of an endemic problem; at Range Resources, the problem went un-corrected for months if not years. A policy of outing malicious editing activity from organisations when required (based on checkuser detective work) would chill malicious COI editing, but would not affect any other type of editing. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 23:24, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Corporations consists of people and we respect people's privacy. How would you distinguish between an employee working on their lunch break from the corporate offices from corporate directed activity? How would you decide a PR flack working from home was being directed by the corporation? Gerardw (talk) 00:06, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
WP:BLP protects individuals, but not corporations. The same rule should apply to WP:OUTING. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 00:37, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose What a terrible idea! Breaching the privacy wall to the thoroughly databased wiki identities would be a horrendous breach of privacy. And the targeted persons/orgs could in a wink of the eye move deeper into cover to circumvent this. The biggest fix to this problem would be to urge folks with a potential conflict of interest to say so and then make that a positive experience. Including immediately moving into a working environment where their access to information is considered a plus, and their potential coi subjects them to a friendly greater review and closer scrutiny. Much better than the current system where every everybody who is good enough to advise that they have an interest that is a potential COI gets tarred and feathered with the insulting "COI" scarlet letter (which basically says that they are incapable of putting the interest of a good article above their other interest) and then gets treated like pond scum. A terrible plan and clear incentive to not declare. We need to encourage people to declare these relevant interests and then move on to the described method of working. North8000 (talk) 00:53, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - We did not need something like this to deal with Scientology's organized campaign, the LaRouche organized campaign, or the other organizational issues that have repeatedly come up over the years. This is an annoying incident, but the wider long term pattern is that there's no justification for this. Yes, it takes effort to work to curb persistent abusers, but the privacy policy exists for a reason, and should not be voided or bent just to avoid administrator or editor effort in normal, run of the mill abuse cases. If we have avoided having to break the policy for the worst persistent abusers, we certainly don't need to for what is, all things considered, a minor (if persistent) one. Requesting editor is operating in good faith, but lacks wider perspective, and is requested to remain patient. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 00:59, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not ethical, not needed, and doubtful that it would pass the foundation test.--Cube lurker (talk) 01:16, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. If meats and socks are caught doing what meats and socks do, dealing with them as such is more than adequate to keep group-based POV pushing under control. Also, it's a long-standing principle that we don't take disciplinary actions with "punishment" in mind. Such an approach seems to me like it's designed to punish the offenders by shame, which is wrong no matter how we feel about the offenders, what they stand for, etc. I'd hate to see what road our encyclopedia will go down once we start punishing wrongdoers, and those perceived as such, like this. szyslak (t) 01:57, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
  • I am currently dealing with block evasion at Range Resources, and blocking of four of the socks haven't helped in this area. It's not merely a punitive measure, but a preventive one. Real-life repercussions can prevent egregrious socks from returning. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:20, 1 December 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.