Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 85

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New Features[edit]

I'm closing both of these, the first per the bugzilla link, the second per SNOW. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:52, 30 January 2012 (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.

Hi

I have 2 new proposals:

1. Online status (see when user is online)

2. Visited Page (user can see visited pages of another user) --Tegra3 (talk) 04:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Re the first proposal: See Bugzilla:32128. --Yair rand (talk) 05:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
And the second doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to be implemented for privacy reasons. Max Semenik (talk) 08:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes I would be alarmed if you could see all the pages I have looked at, some of them are quite disgusting including a picture of an owl that is inappropriate Trellis Reserve (talk) 13:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

OP: You should observe wikipedia for a while before you keep making hopeless proposals; this is your 3rd, and all of them obviously want to treat wikipedia as a social network a la facebook. That's not what it is. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose both: The first one has been rejected by the community before; the 2nd is too much of an WP:OUTING. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Jasper, actually the first one was approved by community, it's waiting for code review. Petrb (talk) 13:43, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

If you want an online status template for yourself, there are a number manual status templates available; I use {{StatusTemplate}}. Follow the instructions there to install it onto your own userpage. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:09, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

An inappropriate owl?, now I'm intrigued and want to see the visited pages ;-) Nah Oppose both, we might as well have a little privacy about what we look at. Dmcq (talk) 01:41, 29 January 2012 (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.


Publicize featured content feeds?[edit]

Hi guys and gals. As you may know, we've launched an extension that creates featured content feeds. Currently, feeds of FAs, selected anniversaries and POTD are available here on en:. The question is how to make them visible to users, as now they're only added to page <head> and are invisible in most browsers. We could add the links to page structure, e.g. to the line Archive – By email – More featured articles..., or sysadmins can enable links on the sidebar (Main Page only) like on our staging wiki. What do you think is appropriate? Max Semenik (talk) 09:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Eh, I really don't see the point of the feeds at all, all three things in the feed change once daily, at a designated time, and allow people to view previous editions easily. I'd oppose building a link to the feeds into the sidebar, as you can reach the same content by clicking "Main page", and it would clutter up the sidebar. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Indefinite semi-protection of Talk:Main Page[edit]

The talk page of the Main Page is receiving wayyy too many test edits, and few comments. If we really are that concerned about errors on the main page, we can create a subpage for that. So, let's semi-protect the talk page indefinitely. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:43, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Oppose There are also lots of good edits from IPs that have appropriate questions and comments. Baby and bathwater issue. This page is watched by enough people who can quickly revert problems. --Jayron32 06:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the same went for the main page itself, but I wasn't on when that happened. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Alternate proposal: Edit filter for confirmation edits[edit]

Alternatively, we could make an edit filter for this, that would ask for confirmation of what may be test edits. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support, as simple, and getting all the AGF tests out. Proposed code:
!"autoconfirmed" in user_groups
& article_prefixedtext Talk:Main Page

~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 01:25, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support The talk page is being used differently. However, the filter should also mention and link to the Sandbox, where actual tests should be done. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 07:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Please close the filter proposal since it doesn't have any chances to be implemented at Wikipedia:Edit filter/Requested. Plus, the page already has a huge edit notice; would you want Edit Filter just to show the same warning message one more time? — AlexSm 19:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    • How do you know? This edit filter proposal already has a couple of support !votes, so I wouldn't say that this proposal has no chance of succeeding. And besides, the exisitng edit notice does not blatantly say "this page is not for general discussion about just anything" or similar to ward off people from posting off-topic stuff or test edits.
      —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC).
  • Support: Something should be done to make it clear to people that Talk:Main Page is only for discussion pertaining to the Main Page and not for general discussion about just anything. An edit filter that shows a message dialog might just be a way of doing so. —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2012 January 30#Template:Persondata[edit]

Your comments are welcome at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2012 January 30#Template:Persondata. Fram (talk) 10:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

TeamSpeak for every wikipedia language[edit]

Hi I have a new proposal for wikipedia

We can use TeamSpeak for improve the communication between volunteers.

Example:

en.wikipedia.org Teamspeak english channel

it.wikipedia.org Teamspeak italian channel ...

it's a good idea ?

--Tegra3 (talk) 06:50, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

What are the advantages of teamspeak (or any other type of Voice over IP) compared to communication via existing channels (IRC, email and talkpages) with regards to improving the encyclopedia? I can see none, but I can think of several disadvantages. Yoenit (talk) 13:29, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Not a good idea; we already have quite a few people you can barely understand when they type. I don't even wanna guess what they sound like or whether they are able to speak English at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Bad idea. Too slow a medium for listeners. Waste of time and effort. Discriminates against deaf people. We do want to discriminate against people who can't type coherent sentences and we don't want to listen to incoherent babbling and ranting. Dmcq (talk) 17:14, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Support, but with modifications. Having one channel per project could easily become too large to be useful - the ideal Teamspeak capacity is about 4-8 people. I think it would be great to have a set of Teamspeak servers for each major project, perhaps organised by task or subject area (much like the existing IRC channels). I'm aware already of contributors who participate in multiparty Skype calls. The benefit of providing Teamspeak (or similar service) compared to IRC is that it provides a different mode of interaction, more asynchronous, more personal, easily done concurrently with editing activities using the keyboard and mouse, etc. etc. As for "discriminates against deaf people," I could argue it would offer new participation opportunities for blind people. Dcoetzee 18:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no particular problems that I know of for blind people with the current arrangements. I am also very suspicious of discussions outside of WIkipedia about articles. Some short discussions might be okay but long term discussion outside makes me think of groups ganging up and doing stupid things. That already happens in Wikipedia with some projects to some extent byut at least you can track what's happening easily. Dmcq (talk) 23:32, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - First of all, I think the WMF is wary of relying on outside servers, but that doesn't have to be official. This would require a lot of maintenance and management; the current system works fine, why bother? Besides, WP:SHOUT is only made easier with something like this.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't really think this bothers anyone, if he is willing to set up a channels on some external servers and manage them, then let him do that if there is a benefit from that. If you don't want, you don't need to use it. I myself thought about possibility of video conferences, which could be very useful for people who wanted to attend some wikimedia conference, but do not have a time or finances to do that. Petrb (talk) 13:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The good thing about discussion on the Internet is that everyone speaks in the same voice. In addition, a public service like this could be WP:OUTING, since I believe people can be identified by their voices. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Again, support. See my comments on the section below. Yes, it discriminates against deaf people. IRC discriminates against people too stupid to be able to set up IRC. Wikipedia discriminates against people who don't edit WikiText very well. It'd certainly be better if we could find something that's open source and cross-platform, but I think having something like TeamSpeak is actually a really positive development even if it makes Wikipedia a smidgen more like—quelle horreur!-a social network. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:59, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
    OTOH, there is no need for the WMF or the enwiki community to endorse this proprietary "TeamSpeak" thing. If some group of editors wants to use it on their own, they can. Anomie 04:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    No official endorsement is necessary for a particular editor to do that, after all. Wikipedia is about open-source. We don't go with proprietary software. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support people who are interested setting up their own, but oppose official effort towards that end until such time as a dedicated community exists. After all, what's the point in having a server unless people use it? - Fennec 04:09, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Update. I've now set up a Mumble server on my own EC2 server. See Wikipedia:Mumble for details. It will be announced more widely after some further testing. Dcoetzee 03:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia more collaborative[edit]

Hi

I think we need to find a new method for improve the community.

IRC is obsolete and deprecated. Talk is not in realtime.

My proposal is to create a new page with Audio/Video support.

What do you think ?

I think great !

--Tegra3 (talk) 07:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, becoming the new Chatroulette would really be an improvement over the current system. Yoenit (talk) 10:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't talking about Chatroulette, but like Tinychat with many people can interact each other.--Tegra3 (talk) 10:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Tinychat is the new Chatroulette. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is not a social networking site. SpitfireTally-ho! 12:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it is a bad idea just the same as the last time you raised something similar. How about actually reading the replies? If you want a chatroom and friends and shared interests and all that go and talk in a chatroom or even out with actual real friends. What you are talking about would I believe harm Wikipedia. They are a nuisance and a drain on productivity in companies and stop people getting in the groove and doing some work if not very carefully controlled so why should they be any use here? Dmcq (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Vociferously oppose. While some articles/talks have walls of text and photos that can strain the eyes, I certainly don't wanna hear a Spoken Wiki/Talkpage. — WylieCoyote (talk) 19:59, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Huch? "IRC is obsolete and deprecated. Talk is not in realtime."
  • we have no deadline - so realtime might not be important!
  • IRC is not deprecated! Show me where the IETF replaced IRC with a new RFC.
  • IRC is not obsolete - in what kind? yes, it doesn't have audio/video support - but nobody wanted that. There are (inofficial) extensions for avatars, gender displaying, etc... So what is obsolete? What are you missing for a chat protocol?
Regards, mabdul 10:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This is actually a good idea, and I'm not at all surprised that it is getting the usual "Wikipedia is not a social network" responses. Please, apply the principle of charity. It is great fun to collaborate on articles: actual, proper collaboration where you bounce ideas off one another and make things better rather than shout and scream about whether the Israelis or Palestinians invented hummous. If you hang out on IRC, you don't see much of that. Having something a bit like the old Wikipedia:Spotlight project but with some real-life interaction would be a great way for budding Wikipedians to learn how to collaborate and build cool stuff. Otherwise, if you just plug away at the stuff you are interested in, it can get extremely lonely very quickly. Having audio chat or something like that, so you can speak to an actual human being and they can say "well, I'm working on this thing, how can you help?" and you spend half an hour digging out sources or copyediting or sorting through pictures on Flickr and uploading the best free ones to Commons or copying source material over to Wikisource or whatever... that'd actually be productive, useful and cool. But, of course, it's apparently a "social network". And that's bad, certainly for the Asperger's crowd. So we must say "no, absolutely not, doubleplusbad". —Tom Morris (talk) 16:55, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think that this proposal is way too vague. "A page" should be created. How should the page work? Discuss. -Fennec 04:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is not a bad idea, it's true that IRC is not so easy for newbies, so maybe installing and extensions which create a special page for irc chat, with predefined set of all wikimedia channels, where user would just pick a nickname and connect, would be usefull. Petrb (talk) 13:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Those extensions already exist, but the original idea - Gmail/Facebook-style chat and video chat, isn't going to fly.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:45, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Thank god for that Jasper. BTW I strongly oppose this. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Allow the creation of subpages in article space[edit]

NO ACTION:

Closing per snow. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 23:05, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

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

I think in some situations it would be beneficial to allow the creation of subpages in main namespace, i.e. article subpages. These pages could for example be used to hold specialized data that might be interesting for a specific audience, but where consensus is in favor of not allowing a separate article in main namespace and where presenting the complete information in the article would be in violation of WP:IINFO#3. A candidate for such a page would be for example the list deleted per the outcome of the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of near Wieferich primes. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 22:18, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose in principle. This will just create another shadow Wikipedia like that mindbogglingly useless 'outlines' bullshit. If the information is within scope, put it in an article. If it is not within scope, it doesn't belong here. → ROUX  22:40, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Material should be either in or out; allowing exceptions to WP:NOT along these lines is potentially endless. Let's not create unmonitored dumping grounds or workarounds of deletion. If that AfD result was wrong, see WP:DRV. Fences&Windows 01:34, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Additionally, it would making the existing article structure more confusing for readers - especially for casual readers. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:30, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above, especially Philosopher. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:34, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Are you aware that we already do something like this for chemicals? See for example Methane (data page). Yoenit (talk) 10:34, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The useful information should all be present in the article, else readers will find it difficult to navigate the site. There aren't any real benefits and this would just make creating POV-forks much easier. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 22:54, 1 February 2012 (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.


Conciliation[edit]

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

skip to conclusion


I have made a proposal on making conciliation another step in Wikipedia's dispute resolution process. Wikipedia has already enacted other alternative dispute resolution in place such as, mediation and arbitration.

The proposal is explained in detail on the proposal page. In short, conciliation relies on the disputing parties to resolve the dispute with minimal interference from a third party, a conciliator. This allows the parties to feel responsible about managing their own conflicts, enables the parties to become better negotiators, therefore, the parties tend to deal more effectively with conflict in future disputes. At first this may seem very similar to mediation, however, that is not the case. Conciliation involves a pre-caucus (or "pre-meeting") where the parties meet one-on-one with a conciliator to release any pent up concerns or emotional attachment to the dispute, thus, allowing the parties to focus on improving the content of the page at the joint session rather than being alienated with emotions and concerns.

I am pleased to answer any of your questions relating to this proposal. I welcome comments on this proposal below and hope the community supports my idea. Whenaxis about | talk 00:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)


  • I can see the merit, but might this not be better as an option when seeking mediation rather than another separate process, to avoid it being an unused backwater? Fences&Windows 01:18, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Hmm, an interesting idea. I do have a few questions, because at present I feel attention is needed at the top level of dispute resolution, and that processes like DRN have been effective at getting uninvolved editors looking at disputes in an open (noticeboard) format. Where do you see conciliation fitting in with regards to the DR hierarchy? I've just read the article on Conciliation and it does seem to be an interesting concept, but I do think that elements of conciliation already exist within a well-structured mediation. Any good mediator will get the parties to put together a list of issues, get them to prioritise the issues from least to most important, and work from the least contentious issues first, thereby when progress is made on small issues, parties may be more willing to negotiate on larger ones.
There are a few other issues I see here. I feel that perhaps separating the parties and mainly having them discuss issues through a conciliator could cause problems down the road, with parties perhaps relying on the assistance of a third party to resolve disputes, where mediation focuses on a facilitator discussing issues with parties, and assisting them in collaborating on the issues. I also feel that the role of a conciliator would require more legwork than a mediator, and at present there are very few active users in dispute resolution (I hopefully will be able to address that at some point, keep your eyes peeled out for a large survey) and that such a role may be one that few are willing to take. The last issue I see is complexity of dispute resolution. At present, content dispute resolution is relatively simple. Discuss on talk page, get a third opinion or DRN, and if that doesn't work, either an RFC and/or mediation. Adding another step might just confuse people, and I'm honestly not sure where it'd fit into the hierarchy of DR. Sorry to throw so many comments at you all at once. I do see some merit in this proposal, but I do think it could be incorporated into an existing venue (such as mediation) by explaining a few techniques mediators can use to resolve disputes (like in a crash course for new users to dispute resolution) rather than a separate process altogether. I look forward to your reply. Regards, Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 01:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC) (and why haven't you joined the DR army?) :(
  • Oppose - Another layer of bureaucracy and confusion in the offing. Far better to give current dispute resolution measures some teeth in the form of binding decisions and topic bans. Additional touchy-feely for the benefit of obstructionist minorities isn't going to help anything. Carrite (talk) 01:39, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree that the pinnacle of dispute resolution needs more catchbasins, if you will, because the lower tiers of dispute resolution there are a lot of options to pursue like the ones you previously stated. Maybe, inline with the dispute resolution diagram you created it could be: Talk page discussion/3O → DRN/RFC → MedCab/Conciliation → MedCom. Further, at first conciliation did seem contentiously similar to mediation to me, however, I began to grasp the concept of conciliation as I did more research online.
Conciliation works with the parties separately at first, discussing individual priorities so when it comes to the joint session they can see at the same eye level. I think that working one-on-one is beneficial, even essential, to the parties because they've probably discussed in length with the other disputing parties and want to release the stress and concerns that naturally comes with having a dispute (we've all been there before). It fits with Wikipedia policies, to be civil and welcoming and so on, and I strongly believe that if there's that supportive personal connection, dispute resolution would be a lot easier for content disputes and easier for the disputant to feel welcome rather than having them feel that their good faith edits are completely unwelcome. So, I think that this could certainly be integrated into mediation if there is no other way to fit conciliation into the hierachy chart. As Carrite suggests above, some people don't want to use conciliation so, this certainly could be an alternative to mediation (assuming that there are people who don't like mediation also). Whenaxis about | talk 02:02, 1 February 2012 (UTC) [I joined the DR army ;)]
Hmm...have thought about a reply for a while. As one who has observed many disputes over the years, I can't really think of a dispute which this sort of alternative DR method would address. Disputes reach a process like mediation because it has been unguided (read: no third party involved) or unstructured (read: TL;DR threads on talk pages) and often, tempers are flared. But dispute resolution should be about getting the parties to work together. While this option may allow users to vent their frustrations and clarify what they want addressed in the dispute, this is a double edged sword. It may also allow people to moan and complain about the other parties, and could have the opposite of the desired effect, driving the parties further apart as opposed to bringing them together.
The amount of "talent" we have within dispute resolution on Wikipedia, that is, the day to day disputes that appear in various places, is limited to a small bunch of users. I feel that such a role (one of a concilliator) may not be an attractive one (heck, none of them really are) and has the potential to create a backlog, similar to the ones that appear at DRN from time to time.
I have one last point here. Skilled users at dispute resolution put togeher a mediators handbag over the years, with various tricks and techniques they can pull out of it, depending on the situation. A good mediator is one that can deal with tricky disputes, a great mediator is one that can adapt to changes in circumstances in tricky disputes. One can act as a guide, gently directing discussions within mediation, at other times, they can lock discussion right down when things get out of hand. I think that what we need is more users active in dispute resolution, create a crash course for newer users at dispute resolution, with a handful of test cases and ways to deal with them. Essentially, showing them "the ropes". The more the merrier. There's a reason I have "Join the DR army" in my signature. Promoting the cause! Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 03:10, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
One other thing to note, at Wikipedia:Conciliation/Example one of your comments was that "Conciliation is not mediation, thus, conciliation is more open for parties to discuss" but I disagree here, a good mediator allows discussion to be freer. With conciliation, parties are segregated for a time, so I feel it may actually be the opposite. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 04:50, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't need to formalize this process, which takes place already on Wikipedia often (and why shouldn't it, it's a common procedure in the American legal profession). Formalized processes, by virtue of being formalized, can scare people off. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with Sven - I don't see a particular reason to formalize this procedure, but I see every reason that it could be incorporated into the mediation system we already have. There's nothing to stop someone going to WP:MEDCAB and implementing this on a new dispute there right now. I do agree with the general thrust of the proposal though - education of new users should be a primary aim of any dispute resolution process, and working out ways to make disputants more self-reliant (and hence enable mediators to tend to more disputes) can only be a good thing. I think this proposal could be incorporated into the as-yet-unwritten guide to dispute resolution that Steven Zhang mentioned, and that it would be very useful for editors new to DR. — Mr. Stradivarius 11:12, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Definitely don't want separate mediation and conciliation. SHould just their act togethwer with the mediation lot. If mediation doesn't work then it should be possible somehow to get a binding decision easily for some set time like three or six months rather than eternal edit wars. Dmcq (talk) 12:12, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for use elsewhere. I agree with both Sven and Mr. Stradivarius. This is a great idea, but I'm just not sure that formalizing it is the best approach. Using it as a semi-informal part of the mediation process would be an excellent idea. DCItalk 19:57, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
@Steven Zhang, I have to agree that conciliation could be misused. However, all such circumstances have a double-edge to it, for example, the Internet can be used as an excellent research tool and for easier communications, however, the Internet can also be misused for pornography, internet crimes and viruses. Sometimes, it's really hard to convince a group of people until they see first-hand on the potential of it. For instance, even though I !voted against your idea for binding content discussions, I agree that a trial should be in store (like your proposal at ArbCom for abortion) to test the idea out. Similarly, this idea could too be put through a trial and tested. On a side note, I completely agree with your notion about what a good mediator is, however, are you suggesting to provide some sort of training process for new users to dispute resolution? Maybe, a good mediator is really a conciliator. Whenaxis about | talk 22:10, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

@Steven Zhang, I have to agree that conciliation could be misused. However, all such circumstances have a double-edge to it, for example, the Internet can be used as an excellent research tool and for easier communications, however, the Internet can also be misused for pornography, internet crimes and viruses. Sometimes, it's really hard to convince a group of people until they see first-hand on the potential of it. For instance, even though I !voted against your idea for binding content discussions, I agree that a trial should be in store (like your proposal at ArbCom for abortion) to test the idea out. Similarly, this idea could too be put through a trial and tested. On a side note, I completely agree with your notion about what a good mediator is, however, are you suggesting to provide some sort of training process for new users to dispute resolution? Maybe, a good mediator is really a conciliator. Whenaxis about | talk 9:10 am, Today (UTC+11)

Hmm, the thing I see with the binding content discussions issues is that there is, in my opinion, a need for an option like this. In my mind, it's a missing piece in the dispute resolution puzzle that I've been trying to put together since May 2011. Indeed, I don't see it as something utilized often, but still think an option between mediation and arbitration would be useful. I'm back to the drawing board with this one.
I don't see where concilliation as a separate process would work, because in my mind it's not a missing piece to the puzzle. One of the missing pieces was DRN, which has worked to both resolve disputes in an open style, at the same time it gets people involved in resolving disputes and builds their skills (read: adds more troops to the DR army). Part of my evil plan, muahaha. But in all seriousness, I do think that we (read: those that are active in dispute resolution) should band together and come up with techniques and ideas for those newer to dispute resolution, to show them the ropes. A good mediator can get parties to work together, indeed, but from my experiences if a dispute has gone through talk page discussion and one other DR process (like DRN) and is still unresolved, it will require some assistance in the form of a mediator to resolve the dispute. Most mediators have a sound knowledge of policies, where parties that would self-mediate may not. This is one of the reasons why I think this could be incorporated into mediation, but probably isn't viable as a separate process.
One last thing to note. I'm currently working on a few ideas to get disputes resolved before they blow out of proportion. One is a Cluebot-style robot that picks up potential disputes and might list them on a page for review (or add the talk page to a category) with another being this page, a reference desk style page that lists the different areas that dispute resolution can be requested, what they can/can't help with, etc. It'd also list some of the most and least active issues under discussion, but this would need some bot work, and would be tricky to implement (would require the main RSN page to be transcluded onto the RD style page, with a bot moving tags around the threads. But that's for later I guess. I think the ClueBot style robot to pick up disputes is a viable idea, and would appreciate ideas on that. The crash course for new mediators is something we can all work on as well. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 22:54, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose While this proposal has merit (and thanks for the careful preparation), conciliation would only work between editors who would be persuaded by reasonable discussion. As the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, most disputes concern POV pushing of some form or another, and the only way to make Wikipedia manageable with more editors will be to do what Carrite said above: give existing processes some teeth. Conciliation would just be another step whereby the passionately involved POV pusher would have another forum in which to drown their opponents (often a small number of established editors with limited time and other interests). Johnuniq (talk) 01:08, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Closing: Closing this RfC—can be amalgamated into mediation. Whenaxis about | talk 02:16, 2 February 2012 (UTC)


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

"Deletion" of reviewer userright[edit]


Including the (top) in places like the recent changes[edit]

It would make some things a lot easier, like screening for missed vandalism and stuff. :| Glacialfox (talk) 19:19, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Care to clarify? Regards, RJH (talk) 21:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I think I get it. A "user contributions" list says "(top)" where relevant, but a "recent changes" list does not. Consider this listing of the 250 most recent changes in the Portal namespace. If a particular edit looks dubious, a "(top)" next to it would confirm that it still needs fixing.
But I don't find this a problem. With Navigation popups enabled, it is easy to see the "diff" of the edit and just as easy to hover over the "history" link to see whether anyone has reverted it. -- John of Reading (talk) 07:55, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay I see. Well unless a page is getting multiple edits in rapid succession, wouldn't every entry on the 'Recent changes' list be a '(top)'? Regards, RJH (talk) 18:41, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Trimming books.google.com links.[edit]

What I have been guilty of myself in the past is including what my search term was when linking in a google books link for a reference, for example (not mine) http://books.google.com/?id=6PrmTAKiy0QC&pg=PA153&dq=nubian+pyramids+kings++tomb . This goes to the correct book (the id= and the specific page, but also highlights nubian, pyramids, king and tomb in the text which I don't think is needed. I'd like to see all of the links to books.google.com reduced down to only the id and pg fields. First of all, where would it be discussed as to whether this trim down is appropriate, and secondly, if it is, would this be a reasonable thing for a bot to do?Naraht (talk) 11:34, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

There is {{Google books quote}} which may help in some cases. Helder 15:01, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I discussed this at Help:Citation Style 1#Web links, but that page has a specific focus. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:15, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you to you both, I didn't know about the various google related templates. I still think things can be simplified, I can't for example see any reason that the search term can't be simplified out of things, is there a better place to discuss this?Naraht (talk) 14:28, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
It would be a simple task for a bot to do. You could ask someone at WP:Bot requests to code one up. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:21, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I found '<link rel="canonical" href="http://books.google.com/books/about/Nubian_Pharaohs_and_Meroitic_Kings.html?id=6PrmTAKiy0QC"/>' in the source code of the page linked above. The canonical URL should at least be commented out in the citation. – Allen4names 07:07, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

What about ACTA?[edit]

What about ACTA?

Is it as dangerous as SOPA and PIPA?

How did Wikipedia's SOPA initiative miss it?

Shouldn't it have been the ACTA/PIPA/SOPA initiative? Should we be worried?

What are the ramifications of ACTA's being signed? (yesterday)

The European Parliament's appointed rapporteur resigned over this. Has anyone (WMF, Signpost) contacted that person for a statement?

How transparent were ACTA's negotiations?

How will ACTA affect Wikipedia?

How will it affect the Wayback Machine? That's the best place I know of to see historically accurate past versions of Wikipedia pages. (Templates screw up historical views of pages on Wikipedia).

How and when would ACTA go into effect?

What is happening in the Wikipedia community and in the Wikimedia Foundation about ACTA?

What articles about ACTA is The Signpost working on?

What, if anything, should Wikipedia do about ACTA?

I look forward to your replies. The Transhumanist 02:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Why would we care if the negotiations were transparent or not? Flaws in some countries' democratic processes aren't relevant to Wikipedia. Unless ACTA actually harms our mission, we can't get involved. --Yair rand (talk) 02:46, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
English Wikipedia is a world-wide mission. English is the second language pretty much everywhere that it's not the first language. Or close enough. The Transhumanist 03:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I think ACTA could threaten our mission someday, but there is not a clear and present danger. It's just in the negotiation phase right now. At this stage, the best thing to do is not to protest but to get our representatives in on the drafting process. If the US drafts a bill for ACTA compliance that affect us negatively, that will be the time to protest. Dcoetzee 02:55, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
But it has already been signed. How does that work? I thought treaties had to be ratified by the Senate. But this, which obligates its parties to certain actions, is being called a “sole executive agreement”. So my next question is, did it become binding on the US government when (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk signed it last October? The Transhumanist 05:05, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • While I don't feel ACTA is quite the clear and present danger that SOPA was, at least at this moment, I also think we should suggest to the Wikimedia Foundation that they produce a contingency plan for moving the servers to Sweden, in order to ensure a fallback position is available. Also, a backup of Wikipedia's data should probably be held there.—S Marshall T/C 12:12, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Sweden is a signatory of ACTA. Try a different country. --Yair rand (talk) 12:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
      • True, but it's much less likely to sign up to something like egregious like SOPA than the US is, hence the contingency plan.—S Marshall T/C 21:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
    • You would have better luck with Iceland. These folks strike me as the most committed advocates of freedom. ZZArch talk to me 04:55, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

SSL and wikipedia[edit]

I think we need to implement SSL per default for security reasons.

Almost all important website have SSL now. --Tegra3 (talk) 07:33, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I mean for the login page. --Tegra3 (talk) 08:29, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

While having the login in via HTTPS will protect your password from casual network snooping, if you then use ordinary HTTP for subsequent accesses an attacker can still sniff your cookie and hijack your session. See also [1] and Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 84#User preference to automaticlly use https. Anomie 16:17, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Vital articles[edit]

I note that Wikipedia currently isn't currently contributing its resources very well. Many really important topics have relatively poor articles, while a lot of effort is going into writing articles about single pop songs. It's great that Wikipedia has expanded past traditional encyclopaedia topics, but I think we should give more attention to our most popular and significant articles. I notice that the 4 award is a good way to motivate editors to get their creations to featured article status. What about creating a similar process for vital articles ? You could get two awards for each article: one for getting a vital article (on any of the four lists) to GA status, and another one when it achieves featured article status. There could be a third awards for collaborations. --He to Hecuba (talk) 12:38, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

People edit what they want to. Anyone can award WP:Barnstars for good work if they wish, but it shouldn't be automatic. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:25, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Surely it would be a good idea to encourage people to edit articles which are viewed more rather than those which are viewed less ? --He to Hecuba (talk) 13:55, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
How would we encourage that? As The Hand That Feeds You says, everyone edits what they want. We already have Wikipedia:Version 1.0 with importance scales and things like bounty board. You can propose new barnstars, but it's also not as big of a motivator. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 14:34, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I think there are rather a lot of editors who edit to collect recognition. Increasing the recognition given to those who work on vital content would only improve the participation in the improvement of the vital articles. Make a pretty userpage icon and a formal page like the 4-award one, and you might see a noticeable change. --He to Hecuba (talk) 14:53, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I think people will always edit what they are interested in and competent enough to edit. I've heard people say before (often in response to proposals to disallow all the articles on trivial television characters) that people will only edit what they can. A 13 year old who edits a lot of Pokemon articles really well probably has little interest in philosophy or history and is unlikely to try to improve them. I don't think we can make incentives to get people to edit important articles, because those who are interested and capable do, and those who are not will not (or should not) regardless of what awards we offer them. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:26, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry He to Hecuba, but I agree with everyone above except you on this one. You are, of course, free to award barnstars based on your own judgements. In the recent past, another user made a rather major fuss about the representation of core/vital articles at FA, and all of his proposals were resoundly shot down for much the same logic you're running up against here. Additionally, the more written about and important a subject is, the harder it is to improve. This limits the number of people willing to wade in and try to help, and limits their effectiveness. Sven Manguard Wha? 16:33, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, obviously we can not force ot even motivate a single individual to work on a particular article or even on an article from a set of articles. But we as community may decide that this particular set of articles is important for us. Then we can think of motivating random people who are capable to work on these articles but are not aware of their (inferior) quality. This motivation can be done for instance through advertising the list via the main page or the village pump or the menue on the left, through asking Wikiprojects to highlight the articles which pertain to theor scope, or in some other way.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:36, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Editors contribute to Wikipedia for a variety of reasons. However, Wikipedia doesn't have an "achievements" system like an Xbox. I'm sure there are some people who edit for the recognition, but mostly folks edit because they want to improve the encyclopedia. Internet glory is short-lived, and Wikipedia glory is even more fleeting. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:05, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Why do so many editors focus on "easy" obscure topics rather than "hard" vital articles. Surely you're helping the project more by working on the vital article ? In any case a system like my proposal above is only going to encourage the improvement of Vital articles. --He to Hecuba (talk) 19:10, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
As someone who's edited both sorts of articles, it's because most editors get their "kick" out of a) seeing a finished article b) getting articles to which they've contributed to GA, AC, FA etc. c) the thanks of other editors mostly comes in if you're helping someone else. By all means make an award, sure. Mostly barnstars and stuff are made by people who like to give out that one themselves. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:16, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok. I'll make a request over at Commons for someone to make a pretty symbol for the award, and then I'll thrash out the details. I'm going to try making a pretty icon myself, as the graphics lab seems to have a slow response rate. --He to Hecuba (talk) 19:19, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I can't create any templates (bad at wikiformatting) so I'm going to need help if we're going to do this. --He to Hecuba (talk) 19:53, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I doubt "we" are giong to do this. There's really not a need for it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:05, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
It's simple, He to Hecuba. As others said, most people edit topics they enjoy. People want to see good topics on THIER interest, so if they have the inclanation, they improve it. Often an editor will have a favorite minor but still notable x, so they work on that. Or a somewhat specific general category of y within field z. A fan of 19th century composers just might not care about Indian philosophy or Weak interaction to pick a couple of disperse topics on the list. They much more likely would want to see articles on Joachim Raff or Stephen Heller brought up to par. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:07, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi He to Hecuba. I suspect I'd share your assumption that articles on individual popsongs aren't our most important articles, but if you go down the road of trying to organise volunteers to spend their time editing that which is important to others rather than subjects that are important to them then you will have some serious discussions as to which articles are more important than others, and how one measures importance. One way of measuring importance is to look at the number of hits that an article gets. Sadly on this measure we probably have hundreds of articles on popsongs and indeed popstars that get more hits and would therefore be considered more important than Warham Camp. But number of hits is a feasible way to rank all our 3.9 million articles by "importance", so if you win the argument that we should somehow identify and prioritise the "important" articles, don't be surprised if the pop songs that you consider unimportant get ranked as more important than your own personal favourites. ϢereSpielChequers 01:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Writing articles on obscure topics like pop songs is easier because there are fewer sources, fewer egos to conflict with, and the articles tend to be shorter and more straightforward. You just summarize each source, pick a few sentences and staple it together. Writing broad articles like European history or Existentialism is much more difficult. You need to consult dozens of full-length books just to achieve a GA level of broadness or completeness, let alone FA. You need to synthesize far more information. And someone will come along and tell you whole interpretations are missing or misinterpreted or non-neutral: you don't get this with pop songs. The broader articles may be more rewarding to improve, but the investment is orders of magnitude beyond what most editors are interested in doing for "fun". —Designate (talk) 02:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with several of the above comments saying that we should not rank topics by importance, since it is not the job of an encyclopedia to decide whether Jazz is less important than Vegetables. But I'd also like to point out that we already have a project-based grading system, where projects note that this is an important article for the subject. This is currently only shown in the talk page, if we want to make sure that important articles, of all subjects, are paid attention to, maybe we put this somewhere on the sides/top/bottom of the article page (although article page space is a precious resource and an article may be part of several projects) Jztinfinity (talk) 07:06, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd rather that stayed on the talkpage but that people who were interested in such topics could opt in to having the ratings from topics they cared about be displayed. ϢereSpielChequers 07:57, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
*can. :^) --Izno (talk) 17:31, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I think that would display all ratings not just the projects you cared about. But even so it is probably good enough for those who want such a thing. ϢereSpielChequers 19:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Comment. One thing I've often thought is that it would be nice to be able to distinguish between articles I consider important and articles I don't in the RCP. Of course as mentioned above, there's no good way to do this. I may not care if somebody vandalizes an article about a rap group, but I would care if somebody vandalizes an article about an obscure school I've never heard of in New Zealand. (Real examples. When I saw these in the RCP, I didn't take ten seconds to fix the one, but watchlisted the other.) Other people are likely to feel that both are uninmportant, or even that the rappers are more important than the school. In terms of actually improving articles, well, as mentioned above, I improve what I damn well feel like. I've got a long list of articles I want to work on. Many of these would, as Designate mentioned, require me to go to a library and look stuff up, so it's unlikely I'll get to those now if ever. On the other hand, I don't get many barnstars, and don't really care if I do. I fix Wikipedia if something annoys me, (I'm easily annoyed) not for recognition. But maybe that's just me. —Quintucket (talk) 09:12, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Suggestion: He to Hecuba, after reading this thread again, I have a suggestion for you. I agree with you that some topics (pop songs, television programs and popular culture) are disproportionately represented, and things like philosophy, history and science have less coverage. For that reason, I focus much of my content editing attention on my areas of interest - philosophy and theology (take a look at the articles I have said that I am working on at my userpage. In some cases, I have asked others to work with me, and in others, people have asked me to help them. Therefore, I suggest you carry on with the great work you are doing - a quick look at your contributions suggests that you are editing topics which not many other people want to improve - and find other editors who may be interested in working with you (try looking at contributors to Good and Featured Articles in the topic area you are interested in, or look for some WikiProjects that grab your fancy). Incentivising people to do something they are not interested in will not work (they'll either not do it or do it badly); however, encouraging people to work with you on things that they may have an interest in always does. I wish you the best of luck in editing subjects that few other people are editing. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:37, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I'll take the tip (it seems this has been a point of contention before) and carry on with my articles on saints. Thanks for the reply. --He to Hecuba (talk) 16:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
The issue is really fundamental to human nature. I like to think I edit Wikipedia for noble reasons, and some of my reasons I think really are noble, but I would not edit it if I did not get a measure of enjoyment out of it. I want to be motivated to edit core topics and take on the complexity involved in doing so but I'm just not, and so, I will now go back to my obscure topics that am working toward GAs and FAs. Should I feel guilty? Maybe. But it's not going to change where I'm off to.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:48, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to pontificate on the cnetral thesis of He to Hecuba's proposal: how can the Wikipedia community make it easier to improve more important articles (say, those listed at WP:Vital articles)? Those who spend our time writing articles, will probably agree that the challenges to writing useful content include the following:

  • Researching & writing the actual article. Don't laugh; writing an article which usefully covers a given topic is far harder than it appears at first glance. First one must do the research -- actually identifying & collecting the materials to write the article -- which requires one to go beyond performing Google searches. Then the writer must evaluate the sources: not just deciding which sources are better than others, but which sources are best for a given article or point. Then comes organizing the content that not only makes it useful for the reader, but natural & fluent.
  • (There is also the issue whether an article should attempt to be exhaustive on its subject -- effectively replace all prior writings -- or serve simply as an introduction. It's an old issue in writing reference works, but one that no one on Wikipedia has seriously considered. If Wikipedia articles are intended to be exhaustive, then it is an impossible task, for research & interpretation always continues; if articles are intended to be introductions, then the task is difficult but possible -- although that would then lead to the question of what makes for a satisfactory introduction to a given topic.)
  • Difficulty of the subject. Why do people write articles on pop songs, tv programs, & professional athletes, & not on neglected Vital Articles like Sea, Fiction, Diety, Furniture or Sexuality? Because those are simpler. For example, to write a decent article on the Philosophy of Plato, one would need to begin by reading all of his writings, then the secondary literature on Plato, then try to figure out what is worth including & how much attention to devote to each point; in other words, the kind of labor that leads to a Master's or Ph.D. in the humanities. Heck, even the professional experts have trouble writing good, useful articles on many of the subjects included at Vital Articles. It may comfort some folks, albeit cold comfort, that even the professional encyclopedia writers do a less than adequate job on some of these topics.
  • Need for rewriting. Many of the existing important articles are either cut-n-paste jobs from antiquated public domain sources, or have been chewed to pieces by rival factions. Not only need our would-be contributor need to succeed at the challenges I set forth above, but deal with the pushback from other editors over the content. Some of these would likely be cranks, trolls, & other troublemakers, but some are acting in good faith because they ar concerned that our would-be contributor might be a crank, troll, or other kind of troublemaker.
  • The rating process. Think it takes a thick skin to edit on Wikipedia? It takes twice as thick of one to get an article through GA or FA -- & that's if you can find someone who will look at an article beyond grammar & punctuation. One reason Wikipedia has a chronic systemic bias is that people are reluctant to provide input or feedback on topics they aren't familiar with: not just subjects that relate to non-Western countries or popular culture, but any topic the average person is not quite comfortable with. Any subject involving the humanities -- except for history & biography -- tends to scare people off. Those five articles I listed above from Wikipedia:Vital articles are good examples: how many people reading this rant would feel comfortable providing feedback about any of them, were they to appear at WP:Peer Review?

In short, it's far easier to write useful articles on specific, tangible yet less important topics like saints lives, pop stars, computer software, & towns or villages in Asia than it is to write an article on an important yet broad, & comprehensive subject -- such as the sacred, music, or urban development in Asia. Which is why we have lots of the specific, tangible articles, many of which are surprisingly good, & few useful articles on important yet more generalized topics. And while I don't have the solution for this problem. fixing it will require more than a new kind of Barnstar or other attaboy. And it disappoints me that no one -- on Wikipedia, the WMF, or its many critics -- appears to understand the nature of these issues, & has proposed any solution which attacks the actual problems & not the symptoms. -- llywrch (talk) 19:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Plenty of us understand the nature of these issues (see my post above), but that doesn't lend itself to a solution. We could certainly have financial incentives (a bounty board for vital articles, or just hiring people directly) but that creates distortions. The subjects are always going to take huge amounts of research, no matter how much we improve the interface or make the community more welcoming. It comes down to the handful of eccentric people who want to do all this work for free. I don't anticipate any "solution" will make that happen. —Designate (talk) 19:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see your comment above. It was too succinct & to the point for me to catch. ;-) Although insisting that anyone posting at WP:AN or WP:AN/I had to provide constructive criticism at WP:REVIEW first might be a small step in the right direction. llywrch (talk) 20:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Changing to a moderated/clerked system at WP:ANI[edit]

Following recent events and discussions at ANI (including a withdrawn deletion proposal for the page) I have made some suggestions for clerking or moderating of that board. The discussions are here if fellow editors would like to join in. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 20:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Regarding a TV Game show proposal[edit]

SNOW close. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:27, 8 February 2012 (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.

Hello,

I depend lot on wikipedia for any kind of knowledge, and I am really grateful for this fact.

I have a TV game show in my mind. For this game we need a computer and internet connection. To understand this game I will take an example. We can give user a wiki page of "Barack Obama" and user can be given a target to reach wiki page of "George W Bush". This will be very easy to achieve. Now to make this more complex we can give player a target of "Barack Obama" to "Bradd Pitt" (I am sure it is possible in some ways).

Please let me know if you like this idea and how can we take it forward.

Kindly respond even if you dont like the idea.

Thanks in Advance!

Best Regards, Abhishek

What are you talking about?? "given a target"? WTF? Beyond the lack of explanation, this is an encyclopedia, not television. - Denimadept (talk) 06:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like the Six degrees of separation game played online. That is, they would give you the starting point and whoever got to the goal article following the fewest links would win. What's unclear, though, is what he would need from us, since he could play this game right now. StuRat (talk) 06:35, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Hell no then. This would only be another magnet for vandalism and it's too easy to cheat. Worthless waste of time.Jasper Deng (talk) 06:36, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
What Jasper Deng said. If he wants Facebook, he should go to Facebook. This isn't a social site. - Denimadept (talk) 06:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; we're not here to play around. Suggest speedy closure per WP:SNOWBALL.Jasper Deng (talk) 06:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Admittedly, I do not comprehend the proposed "game" (what is meant by "given a target?"), but even if I understood it, I agree w/ Denimadept & Jasper Deng that Wikipedia is not a place for games. Support speedy closure.--JayJasper (talk) 06:25, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Nownow, people, there is no need to be so un-nice (and start talking in acronyms) when someone puts up a proposal. Abhishek: the game is indeed already known on the internet - and doesn't strike me as extremely entertaining to watch. Although it may be an interesting thing to do, I wouldn't know why recording it would be interesting enough to be televised. For others: the idea is that someone is asked to find the shortest route from one article, to another, using internal links. In any case this proposal is probably directed at the wrong place - I think the broadcasting company is much more likely to be a bottle neck than Wikipedia itself (if worked out properly). effeietsanders 08:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

The game already exists. See Wikipedia:Wiki Game and Wikipedia:Wikirace.-gadfium 08:20, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
We could play acronym tennis with proposals. We'd need a set of unbiased referees as well as players and each side would take turns sending back an acronym. The referees would give points plus or minus compared to the previous acronym. A side gets a point if the other side does not manage a positive return. Anyway I'm going to lob over WP:NOTGAMEHOST ;-) Dmcq (talk) 12:53, 8 February 2012 (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.


Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Fictional couples[edit]

I have created this Project proposal that must cover fictional couples of any fixed medium, print or electronic, such as soap opera couples, Relationship of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and Sam and Diane. I wonder if you can join in the linked title rather than here. --George Ho (talk) 06:11, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Articles created listing tool[edit]

I see that the Toolserver facility for listing articles created by a particular user is no longer available. (See here.) I should think that creating a replacement for this tool would be fairly easy for anyone with a little relevant experience. Anyone like to do it? Perhaps a script hosted on Wikipedia might have advantages over a toolserver tool, as toolserver tools have an annoying habit of suddenly disappearing (as in this case) if the user doesn't log in to toolserver for six months, and none of us will be here for ever. JamesBWatson (talk) 09:45, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

New File Upload Wizard, now ready for testing[edit]

I've been working on a script to guide new file uploaders through the sourcing/copyright/fair-use jungle in a more easy-to-understand way. It is now in a working state, ready for testing. If all goes well, it might be made into the default uploading mechanism for new users, in the long run.

Please help reviewing and testing: Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard. Feedback, bug reports and suggestions welcome. Fut.Perf. 15:17, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion to make {{Multiple issues}} the new article cleanup template[edit]

Partially based on the comments I have seen on cleanup related template's for deletion lately I have started a discussion about making the Multiple issues template the new cleanup template here. Anyone wishing to comment on this idea are invited to. --Kumioko (talk) 20:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Renaming of the Local Embassies[edit]

I am not sure how difficult a task this would be, but I am suggesting that the "local embassy" feature on Wikipedia be renamed to a less confusing title. Currently, despite the numerous disclaimers, there are still visitors who post comments that might be expected at a foreign nation's embassy or consulate. Wikpedia is not a governmental institution of any kind, and does not need to have a program called the "local embassy," in my opinion. Below are two ideas for a new title:

  • Inter-language assistance
  • Multilingual Help Desk

These are not ideal titles, but could do as temporary ones until a better name could be selected, or a reversion to the "local embassy" title could be put in place. I'm venturing into fairly unfamiliar territory here, but, from my experiences, a renamed program would be more efficient and understandable. Thanks, DCItalk 04:05, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Support 2nd As we could have a noticeboard. Simple, and "Inter-language" is not as good as Multilingual. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 00:34, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 2nd However, considering this will affect all Wikimedia Foundation projects, shouldn't this be taken up at meta? Establishing a consensus here will be meaningless, as it will only receive input from English Wikipedia users. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 01:28, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 2nd Sven Manguard Wha? 14:39, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Either - The slightly strange banner at the top "This is not a real embassy" could therefore be removed, and it would also cut the messages of people looking for embassy-like advice. LukeSurl t c 23:16, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Could the English-language embassy be renamed 'unilaterally', or does meta need to be consulted to have a cross-wikipedias discussion? If the latter, anyone familiar enough with the workings of meta to post a message in the right place? LukeSurl t c 00:20, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
      • I placed this thread at the Meta main forum yesterday. dci | TALK 19:44, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 2nd: Simple name, less confusing to newbies and per all above. --lTopGunl (talk) 00:03, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Redo the code for Wikipedia's fundraiser pages so their contents are readable on Facebook posts[edit]

https://donate.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:FundraiserLandingPage?uselang=en&appeal=Appeal-Sengai

When I post that link on my Facebook page, it should display this preview:

I was born a poor farmer in rural India in 1936. Today I rely on and edit Wikipedia.
I want Wikipedia to be here for all future generations. This is our annual fundraising drive to pay for the servers, small staff and other infrastructure that keeps Wikipedia on the web for free...

But instead, the preview displays the following:

$( document ).ready( function () { // Disable submitting form with return key $( 'form' ).bind( 'keypress', function(e) { var code = ( e.keyCode ? e.keyCode : e.which ); if ( code == 13 ) return false; } ); } ); /* This CSS is responsible for the overall layout of the LP*/ #LP-table {…

What can be done to repair this behavior? --Boozerker (talk) 22:12, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Anyone test it out on Facebook yet? --Boozerker (talk) 22:19, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Hey there Boozerker - I hope you don't think I'm giving you the bureaucratic run-around, but Village pump (technical) might be a better place for your question. If it makes any difference, I have absolutely no idea. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 22:26, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia interface feeling a bit tired...[edit]

Hi, I am long-term minor contributor here. Just lately I've been feeling that Wikipedia is losing momentum and in need of some kind of re-invigoration. I wonder if this is at least partly because the whole user interface is starting to feel a bit tired and dated. I wonder if some of the money raised, if there is any left beyond what is needed simply to keep the project afloat, could be used to give a major overhaul to the user experience. A sexy new look and feel might be the impetus needed to give the project new life. I don't just mean tinkering around the edges, making tabs a different shape, or using a different font or something. I'm envisaging something much more radical and innovative. Don't slate me for not making specific suggestions ... I'm not a designer, and that would be what the project would be paying someone else to do. 86.177.105.189 (talk) 23:36, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

An idea for converting readers to editors on the mainpage[edit]

See this as an idea of who/how to convert readers inta writers? A teeny tiny tangerine or apricot box on the mainpage (can we discuss over there to keep all in one place?) Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:00, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

What has happened to wiki?[edit]

Now, I love Wikipedia but, lately, it kind of sucks. Yes, it is awesome to have scientific journals regurgitated and all the facts EXACTLY right. But that isn't the main purpose of wiki or even how 99.99999% of users use the content.

I come to wiki for an equation, the general idea, etc. I don't come for the extensive partial derivatives in which the equation for the volume of a sphere is so buried that I look for it on another site. I have textbooks that can answer that, which are significantly better written.

I suggest that each page have a SIMPLIFIED section. This section can be no longer than a paragraph and written for a 5th grade level. The idea is that an individual looking for the gist of the topic does not have to drag themselves through ridiculous and unneeded jargon. Entropy, quantum, etc can all be explained easily in this manner without detriment to the subject.

It's fine to have more information. However, when I look up "black bodies" and it is so cryptically written that my BS in chemistry is giving me a headache, something is wrong. This idea, like most ideas on in our world, can be explained much more simply to the bulk of users.

Don't do away with the more precise information, just make a simplified version which doesn't depend on things that only matter to .00001% of users — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.179.53.180 (talk) 19:34, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

See Simple English Wikipedia. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:43, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for graphical development of page headers[edit]

I have a proposal which I have outlined here concerning the graphical development of page headers. Somebody kindly pointed me to the Village Pump but I won't repeat myself here. Check out the link if you have the time. Thank you. nagualdesign (talk) 19:46, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

"Check Availability" feature for usernames[edit]

It's pretty clear that this feature is wanted by the community. Bugzilla report filed. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:53, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

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

I think Wikipedia should implement a "Check Availability" feature for usernames (as offered by YouTube) for editors who are newly registering at Wikipedia. As of now, if a username is already taken, the user have to retype the password and the annoying CAPTCHA after choosing a new username. Implementation of this proposed feature will save a lot of time. --SupernovaExplosion (talk) 06:04, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Support I think that there's a list of usernames somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment. The fact that I can't find it suggests that finding available and used usernames could be made easier. Pinetalk 22:49, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
You'ee probably thinking of Special:ListUsers. It's decidedly difficult to find if you don't know how to get to it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Support - can't think of any logical reason not to have this, and good reasons to have it. Can;t think why it's not already there! Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:52, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support Why hasn't this been implemented it? It's a great idea because it saves time for the person registering, he wouldn't need to get a message saying that the username has already been taken. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support, although I don't know how Youtube has implemented it - that might save us work at the WP:ACC team. mabdul 11:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Ajax. →Στc. 07:01, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
This is very easy to implement, anyway Special:ListUsers list only local users so it's absolutely unusable for this. If there is a support for this, we can implement it quickly, however the deployment to cluster may take a while. Petrb (talk) 12:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support this sounds like a very good idea. (i for one remember typing the captcha over again several times) :P benzband (talk) 21:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Support Useful, time-saving, easily implementable (per Petrb), and long overdue!--JayJasper (talk) 21:24, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Support This seems to be a good way to improve the account creation process. Helder 15:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Oppose. I hate people. They should stay off the Internet and we should make their lives miserable. Okay, seriously, who in their right mind would not support this as nice-to-have? -Fennec 04:19, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Nyup! Per Fennec. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: Should have always been there. Per common sense and all above. --lTopGunl (talk) 23:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Makes a lot of sense to add this. Liam987(talk)contributions 18:43, 13 February 2012 (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.


Reinstate the use of Pending Changes for the userspace only[edit]

Since we wouldn't be talking about content disputes, the main disadvantage of PC is avoided if we use it only for the userpage namespace (User:Example, etc.). It's one great way we can prevent userpage vandalism.Jasper Deng (talk) 19:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Much as I'd like to see PC comeback I'm not convinced that userspace is the best place for it. What I would like to see is something that stopped almost anyone but the user from editing their userpage (admins, rollbackers and reviewers perhaps). But as for your proposal I'm not convinced that we could get the necessary volunteers to check huge numbers of userspace edits. Especially when most of the time you are checking user:myspacer adding an innocuous userbox to their own page - worst case it would provoke more userbox wars as people MFD them rather than patrol them being added.. ϢereSpielChequers 19:56, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
We don't have to apply it to all userpages, just those of admins and reviewers.Jasper Deng (talk) 19:58, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
My userpage was probably vandalised more frequently before I became an admin than it has been since. I'm not seeing a need for some sort of additional protection for admins and reviewers, - rollbackers, especially those who do loads of vandalfighting might benefit, but we can always semi their userpages if needed. The userpages that I worry about are those of the infrequent or retired users who might not notice for years that their userpage has been vandalised. The way to prevent that is to restrict editing of the userpage to the user and admins. Subpages for guestbooks, sandboxes etc would still be editable by anyone. But who needs to edit a userpage other than the user and very occasionally someone taking out copyvio etc. ϢereSpielChequers 23:33, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
PC gets closest to that. My thing here is that other pages in the userspace like drafts can be targeted too. See my latest comment below.Jasper Deng (talk) 23:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
No PC is not appropriate for userpages. PC is designed for a collaboratively edited encyclopaedia where we want everyone to be able to edit any page, but have a problem that some newbies are vandals. Userpages are not collaboratively written, they are written by the user, we don't need to allow collaborative editing on them. Just allow the user to edit their own userpage and some trusted users such as admins and maybe rollbackers and reviewers to remove seriously deprecated content such as copyyvio. As for subpages, I'd leave them out of this or allow the user to choose whether to switch on collaboration. ϢereSpielChequers 09:33, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Clarification: This is a proposal for PC to be an option for protecting userspace pages. It should, in general, be used only for the userspaces of admins and reviewers only.Jasper Deng (talk) 20:04, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that admins and reviewers would be able to choose to have their userpages reviewed? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:32, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
It's for things like User:Example/subpage. See WP:PC for details. Admins can choose full protection, but reviewers cannot.Jasper Deng (talk) 20:36, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Sounds utterly and completely pointless, protection stops userpage vandalism just fine--Jac16888 Talk 20:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Not for the most determined (those who use autoconfirmed socks). It should just be another option on the table. Why not?Jasper Deng (talk) 20:45, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't happen very often, and when it does it's better they're using those socks to vandalise userspace pages than articles.--Jac16888 Talk 20:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I mean, my userpage was indefinitely protected fully because of harassment from them. I was considering PC but unfortunately it wasn't on the table.Jasper Deng (talk) 20:57, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
In addition, I welcome users to contribute to things like User:Jasper Deng/IPv6 and other essays in my userspace, but I need to make sure that they still reflect the way I want them to be.Jasper Deng (talk) 21:00, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think userpages and other pages in userspace should be edible by anyone. This proposal would discourage slight improvements, such as I did for example here. Also this would make NFCC 9 Enforcement more difficult than it has to be. For example it would make it impossible for DASHBot to make edits such as this one. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 09:02, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
DashBot only leaves messages on User talkpages so would not be affected by a change to userpages. ϢereSpielChequers 09:36, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Please take a look at the second diff. DashBot makes edits enforcing NFCC#9 and this proposal would prevent the bot from doing this. These edits are useful, so I don't see the need to implement changes that make enforcement of an established policy more difficult than it has to be. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 10:00, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
DASHBot can be made a Reviewer. That's all it'll need.Jasper Deng (talk) 01:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Bringing back a contentious feature in what I consider an elitist (and therefore contentious) way cause far more heat than necessary. I've had my page vandalized as recently as yesterday, don't let it bother you, just revert and move on. This might help. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:34, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see no real reason for this. If someone's userpage is vandalised, there are effective steps that can be taken to prevent this. There are issues with potential contention, and it will add to what is already a minor problem in perceived ownership of userpages. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:06, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
    • My concern here is mainly for other userspace pages like drafts.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:47, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Why does a draft need PC? →Στc. 02:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, maybe not drafts, but essays for sure.Jasper Deng (talk) 02:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Why does an essay need PC?--Jac16888 Talk 15:31, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • If it's my essay, I want to be able to make sure that it remains within my opinion, and free of vandalism.Jasper Deng (talk) 18:26, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • So check it frequently, and request semi-protection if it gets messed with too often. Oppose per Sven Manguard. Rivertorch (talk) 18:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Thats what your watchlist is for. This entire suggestion just comes across as an attempt at collecting more hats, perhaps you should stop worrying about your userpages so much and go write some articles--Jac16888 Talk 19:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the entire point of PC is to prevent articles from being in a sorry shape for the public. Userpages aren't the front side of the Wiki, and this just seems an extra layer of obscurity to people wanting to edit their own pages. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We really want editors to explain why they've made a change, to use the edit summary field properly. This would make it more difficult to get editors to do that as Hand That Feeds You has said. Dougweller (talk) 16:24, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Solution looking for problem. Propose bringing PC back for contentious BLPs instead. I'll support that. Begoontalk 08:22, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Idea Lab discussion: Admin Portal[edit]

I recently posted a new discussion at wp:VPI#Admin Portal, but due to low traffic, it was suggested that I post a notification on the policy and proposal VPs. I am a newish user, so if this post is a violation of any VP rules, please remove it--I understand. Vert3x (talk) 14:12, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

To be blunt, this falls under the category of "New person comes in, dosen't bother to try to find out how everything is currently set up, or if those setups are effective, and launches broad proposal to make big changes in order to fix problems that don't exist." Respectfully, I suggest that you withdraw this and make an effort to understand how Wikipedia actually works before you submit another proposal for your class. Further, I suggest you tell your professor that, based on the course description and your description of your task, I would have to say that your course is fundamentally flawed; it's based on unrealistic assumptions of how Wikipedia operates, how our community operates, and most critically, how administration is perceived and how RfA works in practice as opposed to on paper. By all means, direct him here so that he can read the direct quote. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:40, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
The reason why I did not want to post the project as a proposal is because of my understanding that the whole things is unnecessary for the most part. I know that many Wikipedians are opposed to classes like mine because of what past classes have done and how students are generally ignorant of how Wikipedia works, but I plead that everybody might take a calmer approach toward what I presented. The project I presented was NOT a proposal in any sense. If nothing else, it is simply an exercise for students to learn project management. My post to the idea lab simply asks for ideas. I have a project to finish, and I want to take it a step further by making it something that might be useful to Wikipedia. Quoting from what I said before, "If the project turns out to be a failure or if it is not something the community is looking for, we assume that the prototype will be scrapped." To summarize, I am just looking for ideas and I am not looking to barge in and change Wikipedia; sorry if my previous posts were unclear about that, and sorry if posting to sections other than the idea lab cause any confusion about the matter.
User:Sven Manguard, with respect, the project will continue as planned. Frankly, I'm surprised to see you shooting down ideas (being developed in sandboxes I might add) before they've even been expressed to you. Why not see what the students put together before shooting them down? Why not offer suggestions for how the resources available to admins should be improved? Furthermore, why not direct our students to resources that can help them to understand as opposed to just saying that we don't understand, which does little else than WP:BITE. Our students are indeed learning about Wikipedia's culture, and the place of the admin in that culture. You will be impressed by the quality of our work, just give us a chance. --Jaobar (talk) 06:55, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
When those ideas are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how Wikipedia actually works, you might want to reconsider the entire proposal. If your foundation is flawed, your construction won't stand up.
As for directing the students to help, Help:Contents is on our sidebar to the left, and the Wikipedia Help Desk has plenty of people willing to answer questions about Wikipedia policy, procedures and editing. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Again, criticism without any explanation. This isn't helpful at all. If in your opinion we aren't understanding something, please, enlighten us. I should point out that our analysis of what you do is going far deeper than what you are suggesting. We are working with a number of very experienced admins behind the scenes, who are perfectly fine with what we're doing, as far as I can tell. --Jaobar (talk) 17:38, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Neither the description of your course, nor the proposal that I took issue with, gave any indication that either you or the proposer made any effort to try and understand Wikipedia and how Wikipedia operates. Understand that we get people who don't bother to figure out how Wikipedia functions but want to change it or repurpose it coming through this page or the main page on a weekly basis, our collective patience for such things has... thinned. If you're working with members of the community or the WMF, you need to say that explicitly and up front, not because it should change anything (which is debatable), but because it very much does. You also need to be very careful in your wording, because the community responds very differently to "we want to study X" and "we want to change X". The former is generally tolerated, with the caveat that a vocal minority of Wikipedians will be on your case about privacy and the handling of user data. The latter is only ever tolerated if it is clear that the person making the proposal is well versed in Wikipedia, and isn't trying to make the change for their own benefit. You're running into trouble because the 'well versed in Wikipedia' isn't showing through, and the proposal makes it seem like this is being done for the benefit of a college class, not for the benefit of Wikipedia. A final note: many users, myself included, will take objection with the course description's implication that Wikipedia is a social network. It might be, depending on the definition, but when people see 'social network' they think 'Facebook/Twitter', and quite the crowd here really doesn't Facebook/Twitter, or people associating Wikipedia with Facebook/Twitter. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:31, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I think creating some kind of "portal" that documents all the current administrative (and maintenance?) processes would be useful. Both for Wikipedians and as a learning experience for the students. Reorganizing existing processes is probably not a realistic goal for a class projects, but if you want to make a proposal at the end of the project no one will stop you. —Ruud 18:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I could see something lovely coming of that. Or a meta-portal. Or a portal that introduces readers to clusters of backlogs. Or a portal for people trying to digest the significant policies. Or a portal for tracking wik-drama. Also, seeing a biting comment from The Hand That Feeds You made me smile; I hope no readers were harmed in the process. – SJ + 08:12, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Funneling certain upload categories straight to Commons[edit]

Free images (barring a few special cases) are supposed to be uploaded to Commons, not here. Despite this, we have several hundred thousand locally hosted freely licensed files, and between 50 and 100 freely licensed files are uploaded locally each day. Many of the uploaders are new users, or new to uploading, but a few have been asked multiple times to use Commons, but don't (and don't use Keeplocal or give a reason to not use commons either).

My proposal is simple: In the local upload wizard there are several options. I propose we redirect a few of them:

Tame proposal: the following two

Radical proposal: the above two plus

  • For the option "It is entirely my own work and I am willing to release it irrevocably under a free license.", which currently links to a local upload page, instead have it redirect to the Commons upload page for own work.

I think that this is very much needed. Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 23:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd support us giving better direction to users. But would prefer the wizard to give them some choice in the matter, which possibly means another step along the lines of "we think this image should be loaded here, and will take you there in 10 seconds or you can click to continue; if you really don't want to load it onto the commons then click here". --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:31, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
If it's doable, sure. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I already did this a week ago. I was reverted. Dcoetzee 14:05, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I know. I'm following BRD. You did the bold, someone else did the revert, I'm doing the discussing. Face-wink.svg Sven Manguard Wha? 14:47, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Just noting here that I believe the Wikipedia:Upload page is actually not very well suited to its task in general, and I may soon propose exchanging it with an entirely new Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard I have been working on. I'm still working on various ideas about how to integrate that with Commons. My favourite idea is to actually have two submit buttons, one of them saying "Yes, I want this file to be available in all Wikimedia projects in all languages" and the other "No, I want this file to be available on the English language Wikipedia only" (with the first button sending the upload request straight to Commons without a need for the user actually going there, provided they have a unified account.) – However, I do have a certain concern: there is currently a conveniently large overlap between those users who will ignore our Commons recommendation and upload locally, and those users who upload copyvios. As many as 70% of all files uploaded locally by new users get deleted for copyvio-related reasons (F3, F4, F9, PUF). It is far easier to monitor uploads by new users and filter out the bad ones if they are first done locally. Fut.Perf. 17:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

No I disagree with that. Once they have released it that is that. The only control is what licence it has, such an action s putting extra licence conditions. Perhaps what you could say is whether is for use in articles or whether it is some temporary for use on a reference desk or talk page where one could by default delete after some months unless it is used in an article or otherwise marked as of longer term educational use. I'm not even sure that is worthwhile. Dmcq (talk) 22:54, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, it never crossed my mind the wording I was thinking of could be understood as an additional legal restriction on the licensing, rather than just a practical matter of where to store the file. Okay, the wording can be tweaked. What do you think of the general idea though, technically? Fut.Perf. 07:28, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for WP:Identifiability[edit]

Proposal for WP:Identifiability

An AfD closing admin recently stated, "An WP:OR title alone is not a valid reason for deletion". IMO, there is no part of an article more important for the avoidance of WP:OR than the title.  I propose that WP:Identifiability is a missing policy.  This is a basic concept, "the existence of topic titles must be WP:V verifiable". Below are some related AfD and DRV discussions.

Article kept with zero references for the title (as a matter of WP:OR, the title is believed to be slang usage in Sacramento).  Closing admin statement, "I am not particularly concerned about the rationale given by Unscintillating, since there is no significant contradiction between being called "City Seminary" one place and "City Seminary of Sacramento" another place."
one title-reference was claimed to have been found during the AfD, but IMO the main reason that the article was kept was that it was well-written WP:OR
article deleted
article originally deleted, no references provided for title, relisted
consensus that the title of the article is unsalvageable WP:OR, article kept, 2nd DRV on the horizon

Unscintillating (talk) 01:04, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Would a similar standard be held for redirects? Disambiguation? Josh Parris 01:17, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I am not addressing Josh's question — I think that this proposal has merit for titles which purport to be proper names. There would be exceptions to this which would follow the "it is not necessary to source the fact that the sky is blue" argument, such as surnames for which there are notable persons (e.g. Taylor (surname)). I do not think that the proposal should be applied to descriptive names, such as 2008 cyberattack on United States or List of iOS devices or Economy of Norway, as examples. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:31, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rumors and urban legends regarding Sesame Street comes to mind as a generic title that was unsourceable.  In this case the article was deleted.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • (Closing admin of 15 Khordad Intersection) I hope to point out the danger of this proposal with regards to deletion policy. Consider two hypothetical articles, each with a likely OR title, but otherwise each about a subject that's otherwise notable:
    1. The first article is about a subject of local interest in the English world. An editor in the debate proposes an alternative title (say, based on the official name of the subject rather than local slang reference), the article is thus renamed and kept.
    2. The second article is about a foreign subject of local interest, and does not have an established English name. Without an acceptable English article title that doesn't amount to any original translation, "Identifiability" is invoked, and the article is deleted.
    The problem of this proposed policy, is that it is biased against subjects that do not have an established English (or Latin alphabet) name. In other words, from the enactment of this new policy onwards, Wikipedia's inclusion guidelines will present a systematic bias against topics from the non-Latin alphabet world. This is utterly against WP:NPOV, and is directly contradictory to Wikimedia-wide projects such as meta:Research:Oral Citations which serve to conteract the current Anglo-sphere dominance when it comes to articles about things of local interest. Deryck C. 10:18, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I am not very impressed by Deryck's argument, nor in general by the argument that it's a bad thing for an English-language encyclopedia to have more coverage of topics of interest to Anglophones than of topics that are less likely to be of interest to Anglophones. That's not what NPOV is about at all; NPOV is about treating topics neutrally when they're treated at all, not about making sure that all topics are treated whether or not they're of interest to the (English-speaking, almost by definition) readership. However, no, I wouldn't want to actually ban having an article just because there's no Latin-alphabet name, but this should not really be a problem — the policy (or guideline) could easily be written in such a way as to allow transliterations of verifiable names from other alphabets. --Trovatore (talk) 10:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    • I concede that I was deliberately skeptical, because I felt that 15 Khordad Intersection is a prime example of a type of article which this proposal seeks to remove from Wikipedia. Deryck C. 21:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
There is a difference between deleting an article with a topic for which no established name exists, and removing the topic.  In this case, the encyclopedic material (assuming other criteria are met) could-have-been/can-be entered in the article for Shiraz, Iran.  In an article, but not in a title, questionable material can be presented without using Wikipedia's voice. For example, the article could say,

Iranian sources have at least two names for this intersection, those two being "چهار راه پارامونت" "چهارراه پانزده خرداد", which translate.google.com translates to English as "Four Way Paramount," "Crossroads khordad".

Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I am a bit unclear. Is this proposal saying that an article can be deleted solely because there is a dispute over what to call it? Certainly, there are concepts which are deserving of an article, but which don't have Official Sanctioned Titles (tm). An English-language descriptor of the concept should suffice, n'est ce pas? --Jayron32 22:12, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the proposal says nothing about a dispute, it says the title has no special status that frees it from the requirements of WP:V verifiability.  As per WP:BURDEN, "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds...material. [Another editor] may remove any material lacking a reliable source that directly supports it".  Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but we do that anyways. Its called a "move request". People with reliable sources indicating that a better title for an existing article is needed will simply either move the article themselves, or champion a discussion under a move request. No need to delete anything. --Jayron32 06:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree, assuming that an identifiable title has been found to move the article to, after a move the unidentifiable title still exists as a redirect.  So after a move the need for deletion has changed little.  Unscintillating (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't like this one bit. Certainly we could highlight in Wikipedia:Article titles that we should avoid making up our own names for topics if possible, but demanding that the title be verifiable or the article gets deleted seems odd if otherwise editors agree that the topic is worthy of an article. We don't need yet another rule to use to delete articles on technicalities. Fences&Windows 23:10, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is a silly proposal. Articles are about topics, we just need the topic to be clearly identified and notable. Not all topics have a clear title. Wikipedia is not a dictionary. the WP:Article titles policy is fine for the purpose. Article titles are a way of finding a topic, they do not define a topic, they are just search keys. Dmcq (talk) 00:30, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Unfortunately a fair number of articles are about topics invented to some extent by the person who wrote the article. One reasonably reliable proxy for figuring out whether this has happened is whether the topic has a standard name. One really terrible example that sticks with me is nuclear crime, an article that never should have been written. I was able to get it moved to a less neologistic name, list of crimes involving radioactive substances, but I am still deeply uncomfortable with the article and think it should be deleted; it's a libel trap waiting to happen. --Trovatore (talk) 00:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • And if the topictitle is not clearly identified, we keep it anyway?  Why should titles get a special treatment and become an open door for original thought, when in the body of the article we try to follow the sources?  Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
      • A is often associated with B does no mean that if you see B then A is true. It might be a red flag but that's about all. Would people also not try and prove things by showing instances that agree with them but by trying and failing to prove the opposite thanks? There used to be another editor thankfully now banned who used to have endless arguments with everyone about finding the exact wording of titles and trying to delete articles on that basis and I believe the interminable discussions on WT:Article titles where they spent a lot of time have quite clearly demonstrated there is no wish to have anything like this. Dmcq (talk) 14:05, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • This proposal is truly bizarre. WP:OR is for articles, this prevents article content that cannot be verified. But suggesting that an article be deleted simply because there is no source stating that the title is the proper is nonsensical. It's even more so if applied to redirects, since redirects are intended to be guides for people who may not know what the proper title is. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:20, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
So you are saying that we need to keep "15 Khordad (Paramont) Intersection" as a redirect because people will type that name when they don't know what the "proper" title is?  Really?  Unscintillating (talk) 00:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Bad idea. If the title is bad, then WP:MOVE the bloody page. Deletion is not a form of clean up, not even for bad titles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"bloody", is that not a British form of crude language?  You have a history at WT:5 of joining in personal attacks of editors you consider to be newbies, so I hope this stops here and now.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
^^'Bloody' is used in British English frequently and socially accepted widely, it's not derogatory or really considered offensive, or 'crude'. Just thought I'd put into perspective for you. Acather96 (talk) 11:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Unscintillating, I do not consider you to be a newbie. I consider you to be an editor with enough experience that he ought to know better already. My belief that you are not a newbie is exactly why I think, for example, that your edit warring last summer [2][3][4] to prevent WikiProject Essays from tagging that page was so inappropriate. If I thought you were a newbie, I wouldn't treat you like a peer when you screw up. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:33, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Here is a quote from that AfD, "I recommend you find a bunch of reliable sources referring to 'Taiwan Island Group', because right now the lack of such sources is what may have the article deleted. Nwlaw63 (talk) 20:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)Unscintillating (talk) 01:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The AfD discussion concentrating on the name just looks all wrong to me. The real question is whether there are secondary sources dealing with the topic in some depth, do we have geography books that have a chapter about the islands and groups them together for instance? The citations in the lead are the things to look at when deciding on the notability of the topic - not the title. Thoise citations should be compared to what the lead says the article is about and if those citations do cover that in some detail and are good secondary sources the notability hurdle is passed. My current feeling looking at it is that it probably should be merged into the article about the island of Taiwan as the current references aren't enough for a good separate article but this has absolutely nothing to do with the title of the article not being common. Purely descriptive titles are fine if there are no good standard names for the topic. Dmcq (talk) 01:12, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I strongly agree with the closer that WP:OR in a title is never a reason for deletion, because it only encourages the named topic bias, in which topics with widely accepted names receive articles while those without one don't get one, although they may be more significant and have far more impact in the world. Current events are a common example; for example the 2011 Japanese earthquake is at 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which is an WP:OR title, but I'd dare you to delete this article I don't believe this article would be deleted in a deletion discussion. Dcoetzee 22:12, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't find the dare to be contributing to this discussion, likewise the word "strongly" suggests to me insecurity in the argument.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Figure of speech, but revised nevertheless. Dcoetzee 12:50, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
    • You clearly articulate an argument that Wikipedia should be in the driver's seat when it comes to naming things, even at the expense of the popular policies WP:V and WP:OR.  I'm seeing that User:Dcoetzee/Named topic bias in effect makes a claim that following the sources is biased against things that are not sourced.  I'm wondering if that is any different than the "but it is true" WP:V argument in a new form.  Is there a need or purpose for Wikipedia to be openly pushing the envelope of original research, or is this an inevitable effect of organizing material in general?  Unscintillating (talk) 03:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Is 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami a new proper name, or a descriptive name, that if it becomes a proper name, was not created to be a proper name?  It is nothing like the "City Seminary" AfD where it took several days to find a reliable source for the name of the seminary.  I don't think anyone even considered The seminary on Sixteenth Avenue in Sacramento.  As in a lede that reads, "The seminary on Sixteenth Avenue in Sacramento (TSOSAIS), is a conservative, evangelical theological college, in Sacramento, California."  Unscintillating (talk) 03:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • I agree that coining proper names (as opposed to descriptive names) for topics should be disallowed. The concern I have is that some notable, encyclopedic topics don't have widely accepted names, or sometimes don't have any name, and as a result we tend not to write about them. The earthquake is just one example. My concern is that a rule which is not clear and explicit about permitting contributors to invent descriptive titles would exacerbate this effect. Dcoetzee 12:50, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Oppose Article names should be the "most" descriptive, with redirects helping out for more complex article titles. That the article title may well be original research is fine and dandy because as long as the article itself is referenced well, the "missing" reference for the title doesn't matter -- it'll be repeated in the article itself. Banaticus (talk) 20:18, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
It is certainly interesting to see the open acceptance of allowing redirects without regard for the content standards.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:59, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
That's because WP:Redirects are cheap. Deryck C. 23:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Create a namespace called "Wp;"[edit]

Per the strong arguments presented at Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2012_February_3#Wp.3Bdrv, I propose we create a "Wp;" namespace. —Ruud 10:13, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose. There are plenty of typos we can worry about; and while I could see an argument for autoredirecting semicolons to colons after namespace-like terms, it doesn't seem like it's a serious problem (22 hits in the past month Wp;afd). Let the coding team worry about more important things. --Quintucket (talk) 10:34, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Strong arguments are for the specific redirects, not the whole namespace. No need to cover every possible typo except very common ones, like wp;afd. One clearly defined syntax character is sufficient and we really don't need to complicate MediaWiki even more because someone occasionally mistypes. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 12:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - That wouldn't work, would it? If there were a namespace with a semicolon, you'd still need to type in the colon to make it work ("Wp;:drv"). Maybe you mean to have the mediawiki software treat the semicolon the same as colon? This proposal as it is doesn't fix the issue being addressed. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 12:41, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Does MediaWiki even permit a namespace name with punctuation in it? Oppose per JohnnyMrNinja, as it wouldn't solve the problem anyway. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't see a reason why not. It only forbids the reserved characters, like colon or pipe. Of course, that doesn't solve anything. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 09:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Clearly the semicolon is supposed to replace the colon here. Can anyone explain to me why redirects like wp;drv are pretty much unanimously supported, while solving this problem using a technical measure is unanimously opposed? I don't quite follow the logic here. —Ruud 15:40, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
      • The colon isn't part of the namespace. The namespace is just "WP". --Yair rand (talk) 16:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
        • Read the proposal as "Make namespaces case-insensitive and allow ';' as a namespace separator" if you want to be pedantic. —Ruud 16:44, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
          • I don't think "pedantic" is fair. Nobody is opposing what you seem to want to achieve, because you didn't propose it. Maybe you don't realize that the only namespace this would apply to is "WP" because it is the only one with a capital letter after the first, and that lower-case "wp" already works as a namespace redirect (wp:Twinkle for example). This proposal is still called 'Create a namespace called "Wp;"', so that's what people are opposing. I think the idea of allowing semicolons in place of colons is a great idea, as there are many physiological reasons a person could have for mis-typing (other than being "lazy" as mentioned below), and that wouldn't effect the reader-facing article space at all. I'd recommend starting a new proposal for that idea, as this one is focused on what was actually typed. And please don't talk down to people for responding to what you actually wrote, instead of what you later said you meant. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 20:27, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
For the simple reason that redirects are cheap, but having the developers (paid and unpaid) devote time to it is very expensive indeed (they have plenty to do already). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 16:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
For the sake of argument, assume I would be willing to write the necessary patches myself. —Ruud 17:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
So do so, and then come back to the community to see if it's desirable...? If for the sake of argument you're willing to spend time to produce the code necessary to enable the feature, why not do so? On Wikipedia if nowhere else, it's more useful to spur the community (whether negatively or positively) with the technical side ready-to-go or even already-implemented than it is to drum up support from the community before the code is written. --Izno (talk) 17:22, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Alright, I've written the patch, it involved replacing a strcmp by strcasecmp and if (sep == ':') by if (sep == ':' || sep == ';'). —Ruud 17:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose ~ In my opinion, there shouldn't even be these redirects (I'd say people are just lazy...). Aside from that, the technical portion is not complete. It is simply infeasible as the technology currently stands. Also, as commented above by Hellknowz, there's only a need for these in a few places. --Izno (talk) 17:22, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    Judging by the RfD at Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2012_February_3#Wp.3Bdrv, I would say that there is a rather clear consensus to implement some method of semicolon namespace identifiers, and this proposal is in my opinion the best way to deal with it. (Personally, I'd prefer to have the namespace identifiers as clear as possible as well, but I see a consensus otherwise, and I won't argue against that.) ZZArch talk to me 08:47, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support if the RfD for Wp;aiv etc. closes as keep, which it probably will. If there is a community consensus that the semicolon typo is common enough to create redirects, then this is perhaps the best way to treat this issue. If you take a look at [5], you'll realize that there are a bunch of WP:CNRs that mean absolutely nothing to the readers, and that is a serious issue that we need to address. ZZArch talk to me 08:42, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Moot - colon is required for namespace pages to work properly.Jasper Deng (talk) 23:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • A more general fix might be to tweak the search interface so that typing "something;something" would take you to "something:something" if the latter page exists. Similar to the way typing "wgn" in the search box takes you to WGN without the need for a redirect at wgn. Seems like that would solve the problem without requiring a lot of work, or introducing any unwanted side effects. 28bytes (talk) 21:28, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Allow semicolons in place of colons for wikilinks[edit]

There is a proposal above by User:Ruud Koot that is being derailed because of the wording of the proposal, originally asking for a new namespace (and that proposal is inspired by the RfD of Wp;drv). Rather than try to unsink that ship, I thought it best to start a new proposal. To be clear, I don't care one way or the other about "shortcut" wikilinks such as "wp:DRV", those are about the convenience of typing less. This proposal is simply to allow wikilinks in the text of a page to include semicolons (;) in place of colons (:). This is not a matter of shortening, it is a matter of allowing a small amount of grace for a common typo. This wouldn't effect any article titles, as we've always had colons in article titles (like Mega Man: The Wily Wars), and that has never caused a problem. All page titles will still have colons, all guidelines will say to use colons, so this will only show up when a mistake is made. Semicolons do not have a special purpose in wiki markup, so there should be no conflict there. This wouldn't effect articles, as articles rarely have cross-namespace links. This would primarily effect talk pages, and what people type into the search bar. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 04:21, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

There are also a number of redirects to Emoticon that would not really be affected, such as ;-) that also exists as :-), and a number of redirects that are not particularly worrying as they exist only because of the semicolon-for-colon typo. Anomie 15:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Oppose. This is markup syntax and unless there is a very good reason, I don't see why this is needed. This would only hide mistakes until corrected, instead of making them obvious. While this may make Wiki a little more typo-proof, I don't want to imagine how many times colon variable is hard-coded in the actual MediaWiki code. And since ";" isn't used, it may have been used internally with no backward-compatibility. Not to mention all the scripts, bots, and tools that are parsing markup and are not from WMF. Effort is really best spent elsewhere instead of catering to the very small minority that don't want to fix typos. We already have most common typo redirects. And not to mention what the intuitive meanings of colon and semicolon are in punctuation. Also semicolon is a reserved URI character ([6]). —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 16:06, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Anomie and H3llkn0wz. —Ruud 13:26, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - we can create specific redirects for common mistakes. This is a very complex solution to a problem which is not very significant. --He to Hecuba (talk) 13:32, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I would have supported this but H3llkn0wz has raised a reasonable point. --lTopGunl (talk) 13:49, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Anomie, H3llkn0wz and various other problems. There are good reasons markup and programming languages very rarely accept alternative punctuation characters (and if they do then it's usually only to get compatibility with something existing). I guess it would cause so many problems that the developers would simply refuse to implement it. In addition to confusing and breaking lots of scripts, bots, tools and pagenames across lots of wikis, it would also confuse many users. A semicolon is automatically interpreted as a colon if but nearly only if there is a namespace before it? WhatLinksHere and other features on a title with colon will present pages where no colon can be found because somebody used semicolon? If you see a wikilink with a semicolon then you manually have to change it to a colon, or look for a colon, when you use certain features but not other features? Wikipedia is already confusing enough. Don't replace one minor problem with many other problems. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:51, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Hellknowz. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:20, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - My initial support was because it would cause no real problems. As numerous editors, far more technically able than myself, have quite solidly refuted this notion, I oppose. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 22:31, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Such a typo is easily detected and fixed by anyone, since it shows up as a redlink and the intention is obvious. In fact I've never seen anyone make this typo in the last 8 years, presumably because they're fixed rapidly enough that I never notice. As Anomie notes, trying to accommodate this would break existing stuff. Dcoetzee 14:09, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

How about this?[edit]

(I made this comment at the "wp;" thread above before I saw this one.) A more general fix might be to tweak the search interface so that typing "something;something" would take you to "something:something" if the latter page exists. Similar to the way typing "wgn" in the search box takes you to WGN without the need for a redirect at wgn. Seems like that would solve the problem without requiring a lot of work, or introducing any unwanted side effects. 28bytes (talk) 21:28, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm all for search engine's semantics improvements. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 23:01, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
An even more general fix would be the search engine taking you to the article with the closest Hamming distance or some other appropriate string metric. —Ruud 00:21, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Possibly, although that might have some unwanted side effects: e.g. if you decided to start an article on "Favorite show (season 4)" and it kept sending you to "Favorite show (season 3)". 28bytes (talk) 00:31, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
But that would apply to your proposal as well. It should be coupled to some system as used for our redirects or Google's 'Did you mean ..?"/"Showing results for..., search for ... instead". —Ruud 00:39, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
No, I was thinking of simply adding a check to see if a colon was intended instead of a semicolon. Specifically, once the end of the current search logic is reached and it's about to send you to the "search" page, do one more check to see if a page exists at the location typed if A:B were swapped for A;B. A more comprehensive "auto redirect" would be overkill, I think. The problem with the current functionality is that A;B will not automatically return matches on the search page for namespace A: but will return article space matches, which is almost certainly not intended if the text entered starts with "wp;" (or "talk;" or "user;" etc.) 28bytes (talk) 00:46, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Relevant bug: "Did you mean . . ." search feature to automatically spellcheck all search terms. Something like this should really be part of that feature. Dcoetzee 13:57, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Restoring long-lost edits using the newly released historical database dumps[edit]

As recently announced on the Wikimedia techblog, some historical database dumps of Wikipedia from 2001 onwards are now available for download. The history of most Wikipedia pages from 2002 onwards is fully available, but there are several pages where this is not the case, mainly due to deletion-related accidents; examples include the pages on the Sicilian Mafia, New York City, Glasgow, and Ali. I have compiled a list of these cases in my userspace at User:Graham87/Page history observations. I would like it to be possible for admins to import old edits from these historical dumps to the English Wikipedia, similarly to the way this is done for the Nostalgia Wikipedia (see User:Graham87/Import). Ideally, these import operations would be done through read-only wikis like the Nostalgia Wikipedia, which would have the added benefit of making it easy to find out what Wikipedia looked like in 2003, for example. These read-only wikis would not be indexable by search engines for privacy reasons. I can think of perhaps only a few hundred English Wikipedia pages that would benefit from this treatment, but others may find more similar pages in the future, which is why I'd like the ability to import these old edits to be available to the greatest possible number of people. If there are no strong objections to this proposal, I plan to file a request on Bugzilla to ask the sysadmins to look into this matter. Graham87 11:34, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Would the ability to import the old page history be available to administrators only, or be a separate right given out to any trusted user ? --He to Hecuba (talk) 11:50, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
It'd probably be available to administrators only, as part of the "transwiki importer" user right. Graham87 14:52, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I know this would be an underused function, but it sounds like a good idea. MBisanz talk 15:14, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd support implementation (by adding to admin toolset), would be useful and no potential for abuse. --He to Hecuba (talk) 18:50, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Is there no way of creating some bot that would just be able to import all the old/missing edits? It seems to me that there are hardly likely to be many, must be simpler than creating a new ability/adapting an old one or whatever--Jac16888 Talk 02:00, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I suppose it could be done using a bot , but the bot would have to be granted special permissions to import the old edits, which would once again require sysadmin intervention. Also, it would need to be rigorously tested because any mistakes made by the bot (e.g. importing unneeded redirect edits) would be very difficult to undo. Graham87 05:12, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Importing is disabled for ENWP. I think ENWP is viewed as the place that all wikipages originate, like the wiki garden of eden; once a page leaves it can't come back. I tried to get a histmerge done with a page that moved to Meta and back again (WP:MMO), but it can't currently be done. Of course, it could probably be enabled for a one-time task such as this. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 06:50, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Importing has been enabled on the English Wikipedia since December 2009, as I eluded to above. I notice that a user tried to import the page that you're referring to in January 2009, which was before the functionality was enabled here. I've just imported the Meta edits to Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an MMORPG. Imports can be requested at Wikipedia:Requests for page importation, but this thread is as good a place as any, I guess. :-) Graham87 09:44, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. mabdul 16:18, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I've just filed this as bug 34465. Graham87 08:45, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Global watchlist[edit]

It would be nice to be able (as an opt-in only) to have a single watch list for all accounts in different Wikimedia projects (Wikipedias of different languages, Commons, etc). — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 13:49, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree. However, I think this type of proposal should be coupled with a post to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) to check with the developers for technical feasibility and server expense.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 17:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You could try enabling either User:Yair rand/interwikiwatchlist2.js or User:Yair rand/interwikiwatchlist.js. They're a bit buggy, though. --Yair rand (talk) 18:15, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
This has been a long-term feature request for about as long as I can remember; see, eg, bugzilla:3525 from 2005. This essay talks about the various proposals; I am not sure what the main sticking point is, but it looks like it'll be a large project to implement! Shimgray | talk | 18:21, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You could ask someone who has a contrib-watching bot to share their bot's code. I know of a few users that hang out in private IRC channels and have bots on IRC that ping them each time something on their watchlist is edited. I fail to see why a bot couldn't watch multiple feeds (i.e. multiple different projects' recent changes). Sven Manguard Wha? 21:37, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Category:Freedom of speech - Crosswiki Sister Link project coordination[edit]

  • I'd be most appreciated to anyone interested in this topic who'd like to help out!

Thanks for your time, — Cirt (talk) 06:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

New bot tasks[edit]

Hello everyone! Last year I requested approval for a bot, 28bot, that would detect and revert edit tests (e.g. someone inserting "'''Bold Text'''" in the middle of a word). Approval was granted and the bot has been humming along reverting a handful of edits each day, with a 0% error rate. Yes, that's not a typo. :) Its articlespace contributions can be found here.

I would like to request the community's permission to add the following two tasks to the bot's chore list:

  1. Revert any edit that adds "[[Special:Contributions" to the article text. These occur when IP users attempt to "sign" using ~~~~ inside an article. While it is theoretically possible that a user would make a useful edit that just happened to contain ~~~~ by accident, all of the "signed" edits I have seen so far have been either edit tests or vandalism.
  2. Revert any edit that contains 2 or more additions of edit test text. Right now the bot only reverts if edit tests are the only text added. If, for example, a user adds '''Bold text''''''Bold text'''hi everyone''Italic text'' the edit is not reverted (only logged) since additional text ("hi everyone") is present. In the edits I have examined, a single accidental edit test sometimes accompanies a valid edit, but cases where 2 or more edit tests accompany useful changes are vanishingly rare.

If this request gains consensus here I will request a BFRA for the added tasks. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. Thanks for your consideration, 28bytes (talk) 22:56, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

  • At first glance, the first is a no-brainer. In the second, I'm not so sure, because it's hard to distinguish good faith edits.Jasper Deng (talk) 23:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Could you prepare a list of the past two dozen or so instances of what you're desribing in task 2 so that we could look at what's being added along with the extra tags? What I'm worried about happening is people treating '''Bold text''' like a <b>, so you'd get something like '''Bold text''' Meaningful addition that should be bolded '''Bold text'''. If that's happening, I'd be hesitant to approve the task. If that's not happening, then I don't see why we'd object to the task. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:09, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Sure. Here are a dozen logged by the bot that I reverted manually: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] These would be reverted automatically as part of task 2. There are others that have been manually reverted by other editors; this page shows the edit tests logged by the bot. Using the following line as an example:

...the "JB" means that two edit tests were found: a "[[File:Example.jpg]]" (the "J") and a '''Bold text''' (the "B"). The edit that introduced those also wiped a chunk of text for no apparent reason. Under task 2 the bot would have reverted that automatically. Regarding '''Bold text''' Meaningful addition that should be bolded '''Bold text''', I have personally never seen that (or its "italic text") counterpart, although I can't rule out the possibility that it's been done.

While I'm diff-hunting, here are some recent examples of "task 1" edits that the bot would have automatically reverted: [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] 28bytes (talk) 23:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Support Most of the task 2 stuff you listed seems more like deliberate vandalism than anything else. Still looks like it'd be positive contributions, so hey. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Those additional tasks look useful, and the bot seems to have been appropriately marking such edits thus far - allowing it to revert them shouldn't be an issue. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:13, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Let starting a new section create a separate subpage[edit]

I propose to change the software (if that's technically possible at all) such that when a new section for example here at the village pump is being created, this also creates a subpage with the name of that discussion. As an example, say I start a discussion named Allow the creation of blah blah, then a subpage should be created at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Allow the creation of blah blah. When I click the 'Edit section' link, then I should go into edit mode for the corresponding subpage. The entire discussion at the section Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Allow the creation of blah blah should be a transclusion of Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Allow the creation of blah blah. That would be useful because it would allow to watch only specific discussions at a long board such as the village pumps. Perhaps make it an option that can be enabled or disabled at any page in say eg WP namespace by a group of users having a special userright. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 09:42, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:LiquidThreads is already in development and is supposed to remedy this problem and many others. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I have never been a great fan of LQT, since I don't think our current discussion system is broken in a way that warrants it's entire substitution by an entirely new system. This proposal would solve a problem while keeping the current system. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 10:05, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I hate LQT. It's even harder to follow than our current discussion system. Has anyone really tried to find out if people want this? Dougweller (talk) 17:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
(Oh no, not again...) Any form of LQT that could be feasibly used on the English Wikipedia doesn't exist at the moment. The current "LiquidThreads" project as you've seen it is not going to be used here according to the developers. The eventual threaded discussion system which the WMF is going to build is going to arrive here in a long time, bearing little resemblance to any system you've seen, and quite likely not using the name "LiquidThreads". The current version of LiquidThreads has been requested, buggy and unfinished as it is, by a good chunk of the larger Wikimedia projects, but not English Wikipedia. There is absolutely no point discussing LQT2 here, because even if the community does get consensus to use it, the request will be refused by the developers just like they did in response to the requests of the Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, French, Swedish, Chinese, and Hindi Wikipedias. The WMF is going to work on a threaded discussion system because they see the current discussion system as a barrier to participation, and that view isn't likely to change in response to the community discussion about an entirely irrelevant topic. --Yair rand (talk) 17:23, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Changing the "d" to "t" in templates[edit]

Consensus is pretty clear that it should be changed to "t". Can anyone suggest a simple way to go about implementing this? Ironholds (talk) 11:12, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Update {{navbar}} and templates using the {{navbox}} series will be updated. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:10, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
And it looks like it has been taken care of. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:52, 24 February 2012 (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.

Because of the change of "discussion" to "talk" on Wikipedia articles, we similarly should change this on templates. The "v" is for view (obviously), while "d" is for discussion and "e" is for edit. It makes so much more sense to change the "d" to a "t" (for Talk, as opposed to Discussion) because of the change regarding the tab name (from discussion to talk). Till I Go Home (talk) 07:56, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

There's a practical reason why it is not "t"; it is too narrow, leaving only three pixels to click on, while the "d" is wider. Compare: d vs. t. Edokter (talk) — 12:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact that it is inconsistent with the new style of "Article | Talk" meaning it would make much more sense as a "t". Till I Go Home (talk) 13:19, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
What you say makes sense, but I personally find usability the larger concern. I find that t a pretty difficult target! --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Or maybe tk (just a thought, as "t" could also stand for "template" in this context). --NSH001 (talk) 16:13, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
"t/d" (talk/discuss) perhaps? I dislike that "talk" was chosen over "discussion", but now that it's been decided, we should at least make everything consistent. --Cybercobra (talk) 17:12, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not simply switch to uppercase letters? A T link is sufficiently wide. —David Levy 20:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Alternatively, do we really need to link to the talk page of a template from every instance of that template? Leonxlin (talk) 04:21, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We need the e button for really unexperienced users to change also transcluded templates. mabdul 11:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We also need E for lazy people. Like me. Petrb (talk) 13:34, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support to change to t and all to uppercase letters. mabdul 11:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Why not change them all to capitals V T E. If you reach a consensus how to do that, poke me or someone on bots, and I could help to implement this widely on site. Petrb (talk) 13:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E Again, better to have everything consistent, and the uppercase solves any logisical issues. Angryapathy (talk) 17:23, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E, per above. Help new and lazy users find the four letter words. --Quintucket (talk) 00:13, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, obviously. They are called talk pages, let's not beat around the bush. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:46, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support And I don't understand the pixel comments above. If it needs to be "t", it needs to be "t". The number of pixels really doesn't matter doktorb wordsdeeds 16:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Somewhat oppose - won't some people find it confusing actually, clicking on t, thinking it will also take them to the template page? Simply south...... having large explosions for 5 years 18:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
    A slightly ambiguous initial is preferable to one with no obvious meaning (given the fact that it stands for a term no longer in use in the relevant context). —David Levy 19:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support change to "V T E", as discussed above. —David Levy 19:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E per common sense exhibited above. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: V T E or even Ⓥ Ⓣ Ⓔ.   → Michael J   03:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E. I have no issue whatsoever with "v t e", either. DCItalk 20:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a good idea. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support v · t · e The all caps looks, well, overly imposing. Also, I strongly oppose Ⓥ Ⓣ Ⓔ, as not every computer properly renders unicode. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support View Talk Edit see examples Petrb (talk) 13:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for several reasons: 1. Capitals are too big and cause misalignment. This could be countered using smallcaps, but those render inconsistently between several browsers; see Template:Navbar/testcases for examples using smallcaps. 2. When hovering over the 'd', a tooltip appears with the text "Discuss this template"; so where is the perceived confusion? 3. Just because the tabs now use "Talk" doesn't mean the rest have to follow suit; by that logic, we would have to change the "v"/"view" to "t"/"template"... oops, "t" would be taken by Talk. To sumarize: I see no reason to change something that has been working for ten years now. Edokter (talk) — 14:20, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support any of the proposed options (V T E, v t e, view talk edit, View Talk Edit). Dcoetzee 22:17, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - View - Talk - Edit. Carrite (talk) 05:51, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Stick with v t e The width of the "t" is irrelevant because you can just include padding on the inside of the link to expand the clickable area:
v · t · e
v · t · e
v · d · e
v · t · e
v · t · e
v · d · e
In fact, since the space is there, why not maximize the clickable area for all three?
v·t·e
v·t·e
I prefer all lowercase because it's less attention-grabbing. —Designate (talk) 19:48, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
This padding idea seems good - I concur that capitals are too attention-grabbing LukeSurl t c 10:13, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
The structure on which the links are built (hlist) does not allow for including the spaces in the link. It look too wide anyway; note we have only 6em width to play with. Edokter (talk) — 10:56, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Can't we just do it manually? We would be able to fiddle with the width, of course; I was just making a rough estimate. —Designate (talk) 00:03, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
For something that looks simple enough, the {{navbar}} is in fact quite intricate; it is structured as a horizontal list and there is very little leeway with regards to spacing. Edokter (talk) — 00:52, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Why not just put "view * discuss * edit"? Why have little tiny letters up at the top left corner of a navbar? Navbars go all the way across the screen -- this isn't Wikia where half the usable space is taken up by adds so we have to make everything smaller than a width of 300px or whatever. Banaticus (talk) 20:13, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support v t e - The width of the t does not make it overly inconvenient. Liam987(talk)contributions 18:40, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Support View Talk Edit - What v d e or v t e mean are not clear at all to new people, and so I support the option of replacing it with the full words: View Talk Edit. Liam987 16:29, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposed types[edit]

Let's compare this:

  • Complete text
  • Shortcut

I guess we should decide if it wouldn't be better to use first one, since it's most clear to newbies Petrb (talk) 14:07, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

And "View", "Talk" and "Edit" are all short, four-letter words to it will be fine. Till I Go Home (talk) 05:00, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Note also that VTE and V T E are both possible for small templates. Mark Hurd (talk) 07:10, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Restored from the archives. Would an admin assess and implement the consensus in this discussion? Thanks, Cunard (talk) 01:13, 24 February 2012 (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.


New Page Patrol survey report released[edit]

Hey guys! Just a note to tell you that (finally) the report on the NPP survey we ran late last year has been released. All comments and suggestions are welcome on the talkpage :). I'm really, really sorry for the delay; I finished this in early December. I'm not too happy about the long turnaround time either ;p. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

That looks like it was a lot of work, Okeyes. Thank you. A minor comment: there are about three charts in there where the text is nearly impossible to read until you click on the graphic. Regards, RJH (talk) 23:19, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry about that :(. I've got to regenerate a couple of them anyway when I have some free time, so if you want to point out particularly problematic ones I'll add them to my to-do list :).
Okay. The two that were the most difficult to make out on the article page were:
But these two are also somewhat of a challenge:
Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk)
Thanks for the list; I'm going to stick them on tomorrow's to-do list (got a bit wrapped up in usability studies today, I'm afraid) and should have them available Monday at the latest. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:15, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Ech. Okay, looks like it's a problem of spacing; I'm afraid I can't actually work out how to fix them :S. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 02:35, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I used to do new page patrol. I gave it up because I quickly wearied of being bitched at by admins disagreeing with CSD tags. To be clear, I didn't care that the CSDs were declined, it was the lack of good faith and accusations I was wasting admins time. Nobody Ent 14:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Like me. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 00:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Wider consenus before enabling gadgets as default (enabled for all users)[edit]

I would like to propose before any gadgets is enabled by default (for users) that it needs to go though a decent discussion for this, parahasing MZMcBride's comments here, That gadgets have generally been opt-in in the past compared to opt-out, which isn't quiet the case now. These can also cause load issues (For example a gadget on en.wiki managed to ddos bugzilla: the other day and resulted in it being disabled by Tim) and the user sandbox gadget had very little discussion before activation.

tl;dr: Defaultly activated gadgets should be treated the same as changing site wide js/css. Peachey88 (T · C) 02:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

  • I disagree with the classification of 15 supports, 3 opposes and several comments as "very little discussion". The bugzilla crash is bit of a mess though, perhaps we need to ensure that people test stuff with default off before they turn it on. Yoenit (talk) 11:17, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure testing with the default off would really have caught the bugzilla one. According to the request, it had already been in use on one of the beta wikis for a while. Anomie 16:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with Yoenit, and I think you overestimate the amount of discussion that goes into changes to the site-wide js/css, too. Anomie 16:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I'll go tell Okeyes (WMF) about this. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
    Okay; someone summarise precisely what the issue or suggestion is, please? Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
    The issue: The Bug tracking helper gadget was created and set as "enabled by default" after a request from MarkAHershberger (talk · contribs) with little or no on-wiki discussion, and overloaded bugzilla. The "my sandbox" link gadget was created and set as "enabled by default" after discussion on this page that Peachey88 somehow missed.
    The suggestion: To require discussion of some sort (what sort, exactly, has not been specified) before any gadgets are set as enabled by default in the future.
    I'll leave it to Sven to explain why he thought you would be particularly interested in this. Anomie 19:27, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
    Probably because I'm the community liason for the Engineering department ;p. Okay, I can't promise this is how it will be done, but I will have a talk with mark and a few high-uppy people to discuss it with them. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 00:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    If the High-uppy people are on the case, I think there's very little to worry about. Thanks for the quick response, Okeyes. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 14:28, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    Well, you say that, but it's a US holiday today and then there's 3 days of on-site training, so I can't promise an immediate response. I've spoken to Mark, though, and he apologises for any disruption caused. Gut feeling, speaking as an editor: he's a damn good bugmeister. He's looking for better ways to report bugs and better ways to engage the community over deployments; genuinely one of the best staffers in Engineering (along with User:Sumanah) for engagement. This deployment is not reflective of SOP. I agree there needs to be more involvement when we enable-by-default, and I'm liasing with the relevant people to work on it. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 04:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Categorising archived talk pages[edit]

I see that the talk page on the article on Diabetes mellitus has been archived, and - unusually for archived talk pages - we can actually see the dates of the archived contributions. Can I suggest that this becomes the norm for archived talk pages? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 15:58, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that it currently takes a lot of human work to find out when sections start and end. Also, there is the complication of people starting sections at the top of the page that are never moved into chronological order, or people replying to years-old threads. Oddly enough, the way that the archives were presented at the Diabetes mellitus talk page should have made it even more clear to people that old messages were effectively being archived to a black hole for the last two years. And that's the other problem with automated archiving and manual archive boxes ... when archive 15 is created, will somebody remember to update the archive box? Or will messages be archived into a void once again? Graham87 06:59, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


Thank you for this. I am not sure how the people who edited the talk page of Diabetes mellitus managed to do what they did - whether they did it manually, or used some clever technology that helped them to achieve this result. If they did use some technology (which I suspect they did), it is a pity that they have not made it more widely known to Wikipedians! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 00:29, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

It looks like not only the index to the archives but also the archives themselves were created manually by User:Coro, and sometimes with big delays.[25] PrimeHunter (talk) 01:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It's done manually. In this instance, I think someone may have subst'd the {{archivebox}}. There are more elegant ways to go about it (documented at the template's doc page). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Content rating (again)[edit]

There is a clear consensus against this proposal. Armbrust, B.Ed. Let's talkabout my edits? 09:24, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

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

I'd like to propose adding content rating to articles and images. Unlike previous proposals (e.g., Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 24#Content ratings), the ratings assigned to an article (or image) would be:

  • initially optionally assigned by the first author of the article (or the original image uploader)
  • modified from that point onward by community consent
  • based on a very simplified age-rating scale
  • optional for any given article (or image)

I think these modifications improve upon previous proposals, in particular by allowing the Wikipedia community at large to decide en masse what an appropriate rating should be for any given article (which includes all geographic/political regions and tastes). This takes advantage of the Wikipedia philosophy of allowing many contributors to decide, by consensus, what is best for a given article (or image).

The "simplified scale" I have in mind could be a simple setting to describe the minimum age of the audience that the article is suitable viewing for:

  • all audiences – suitable for any viewer of any age
  • mature – not suitable for young children
  • explicit – contains material of an explicit, adult, or inflammatory nature

The ratings used employ a simplified scale, which is an improvement over previous proposals. Each level is purposelessly left somewhat vague, rather than assigning specific ages or legalistic definitions. Any more specific detail than three or four rating levels is probably too much work, and pointless from a practical point of view. While it's possible to add more dimensions to the rating, such as whether the content contains potentially objectionable material dealing with politics, sex, religion, etc., it seems more useful and more practical to simply assign a single, simple value to the entire content of a given article (or image).

Eventually, of course, the rating system could be used as the basis for a filtering system, whereby each user could decide for himself what content level he'd like to be able to view or restrict from view. Articles without a rating could be treated, according to each user's preference, as any of the given levels or allowed/blocked by default. This would be useful in particular for young students to be able to limit their exposure to potentially objectionable content. However, any rating system should not be usable by political or government entities to censor content for users without their consent. — Loadmaster (talk) 16:45, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - per Wikipedia is not censored. While there are some topics which are inherently unsuitable for children (anal sex etc.), this rating system would cause significant problems, because explicit content of educational value in an article would be removed not for educational reasons but to achieve the desired content rating. The only solution would be to have multiple versions of many articles for different content ratings, which would create a lot of unneeded work. Wikipedia's target audience is adults anyway, and any such system would make it easier for government entities to censor the site. --He to Hecuba (talk) 16:53, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Firstly, I don't think that WP:NOTCENSORED is an adequate objection, as this concerns self-censorship, which is not the same as Wikipedia imposing censorship. Nevertheless, a content rating system determined by community consensus would be almost impossible to use. The problem is that Wikipedia is global: something that is explicit in one culture/country/religion/social group/whatever is completely acceptable in the next. It will be nearly impossible to achieve any level of consensus on 90% of issues because opinion is so divided. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:25, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose . The proposal is of good faith and intentions, but it's impractical. Firstly, per NOTCENSORED as basic Wikipedia principle. And secondly per inability to cater to all the groups anyway. There are many different scales in different countries, for different age groups, with different criteria, often hugely different per culture, race, background, religion, etc., etc. We'll just end up adding everything to "mature" or "explicit" unless we decide to discriminate against some groups (hyperbole). WMF is already making image filtering and I think that's as much as we need right now. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 17:30, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Even in just the United States one could not find a consensus about what is inappropriate for some people and not others. It's also a slippery slope. If you impose a rating scheme for explicit sexual content (which is apparently what this proposal is all about), where does it stop? Are we going to then make a rating scheme to warn whether content might be inappropriate for the children of the devoutly religious, or the children of die-hard vegetarians? Why isn't WP:DISCLAIMER sufficient to address this proposal? 66.159.220.134 (talk) 19:07, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Mentioning WP:NOTCENSORED is entirely missing the point of my proposal. There is no censorship, simply the capability of assigning a tag to the content of each article (or photo). It's all voluntary, and any filtering capability that uses the tags would be completely under the control of the user, which is certainly not censorship. And thanks for the discussion link, Gadget850. — Loadmaster (talk) 19:08, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't need a troupe of ESRB-wannabees or Tipper Gore-esque mothers going around making subjective judgements about page contents. It can only lead to drama. As an aside, there is just about nothing on Wikipedia that is more explicit than the average kid is exposed to in middle school. Parents just live in denial. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As a backdoor technique for imposing the effect of censorship without technically censoring, it's a great idea, but that's not an effect worthy of encouragement. Our job, as encyclopedia builders, is to cover every topic as thoroughly, accurately, and neutrally as possible. It is not our job to deem any of those topics unsuitable for certain readers. We're not here to act in loco parentis, and even if we were, facilitating the suppression of reliable information wouldn't be the best approach. I very much wish Wikipedia had existed when I was a child; it would have been invaluable in counteracting the well-meaning misinformation—not to mention the deliberate disinformation—with which my peers and I were bombarded. Rivertorch (talk) 22:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are already plenty of third-party web filtering tools which will work on all websites. Why would you need a filtering system for just Wikipedia, especially when it will be incomplete? —Designate (talk) 03:50, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I support a Wikipedia-specific content labelling system, for various reasons (it could exploit the category structure effectively, for one; it would allow more precise filtering than that done by existing crappy generic software). But I think it should be conducted by a third party, off-Wikipedia, strictly using their own resources. Nothing else will ever gain consensus. I also think it should be customised to the needs of the individual user, rather than based on broad cultural standards. Dcoetzee 14:00, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Censorship is bad. Also, there is enough editorial overhead on wikipedia already: reverting vandalism, maintaining categories & templates, citation bloat & misuse... I see no value in adding yet another (highly subjective) thing to do. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 14:32, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. So, at least under a scheme of classification preferred by many editors, rating is censorship. No problem; there's plenty of content rating already going on, provided by for example Wikipedia:WikiProject Greece/Assessment and it does little harm and much good. Talk:Bosphorus Bridge has been rated several Wikiprojects and this censorship has been similarly beneficial. Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment even goes so far as to decide which articles deserive to be distributed. So far as there may be a proposal that a new project's content rating system should be treated differently from the older ones, that's the detail with which I disagree, but otherwise, if you want to start a new Wikiproject mainly about an innovative kind of rating, the big question is whether you can interest enough raters to pay attention to the new project. Not me; content rating is a boring business. Jim.henderson (talk) 15:43, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict)Content rating against target audience and content rating against article quality are different though. WP 1.0 assessments are more or less objective. On contrary, system as proposed here is by definition subjective as different views, laws, cultures, religions, etc. treat the same topics differently. It's not that we cannot categorize, it's that if we were to make this judgment by editor consensus, we would be imposing Westerner world-view content rating system, as that's where most Wikipedians are from. I support personal content filtering, but not in this vague way. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 16:17, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
      Um, don't we have a special offline release of Wikipedia designed for school children? How is that not rating according to target audience? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:56, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I think this would need a lot of work to smooth out the corners but we do need to provide support for self censorship. I think self censorship support based on the category system is the easiest first step but some fine tuning on some individual articles and media use could also help a lot. Dmcq (talk) 16:14, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment At any rate the proposer is going the wrong way making it a "Proposal" question. That makes it a WP:SNOWBALL for consensus. The thing to do is to WP:SOFIXIT. That is, start a WP:WIKIPROJECT or make over a moribund one and begin rating or assessing or whatever the word is for the usual subjective judgments of such projects. There are of course plenty of ways to rate for various kinds of audience, such as Russian Orthodox children or Hindu women or farmers from Australia. So, start assessing for any criteria that seem useful to the purpose. The Project Page as usual will provide a summary of any conclusions that may be reached as to standards and methods, and a Talk Page for reaching them. Rather than make a whole new Project, an old dusty one such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Pedophilia Article Watch could be refurbished, renamed, and repurposed. Yes, it's a whole bunch of work for someone who cares. Not me, as I only care enough to give a bit of advice. Jim.henderson (talk) 00:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Since it's clear though that there isn't a consensus for this, the people working on it would be expending a great deal of effort trying to build a system that will never be displayed in the mainspace and will never be built into anything users can interact with. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:07, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
My experience is that users are only any good at judging small changes. For anything large you should just ignore what people think as they've no idea what they want before they get it. Of course many ideas are rubbish but only doing things because people want them in advance is a recipe for slow death. Dmcq (talk) 02:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Reeeeeeeeeeeealy? To me, you just said "Since no one here agrees with my position, everyone else is wrong". Wikipedians are pretty good at deciding what they want and don't want. Some things get bogged down in process, and some things we live with even though we don't want, but don't try and say we don't know what's good for us. We're not hapless children, and that kind of attitude isn't going to make you any friends.Sven Manguard Wha? 06:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I did not say 'since no one agrees with my position'. I said that people were unable to judge big changes it was best to try out ideas instead of shooting them down based on initial reaction. Your statement that Wikipedians are pretty good at deciding what they want is so wrong on so many levels. Wikipedians are extremely bad at deciding what they want and arguments go on for ages. The decision processes in Wikipedia are abominable and creaky and do not use good techniques for optimising the benefit of decisions. You have assumed that what people decide they want is what they would be happiest with if they had actual experience of it, you have no evidence from Wikipedia that the decisions have any optimality in this way or are even halfway to middlingly good. Unfortunately the fate of most innovation is to be met by scorn and yet our world is based on the perseverance of people who have 'known better'. As I said even so most of their ideas are rubbish but I would encourage in this case that support of self censorship be developed and tried out and I see it as fully in in line with the aim of Wikipedia to educate as widely as possible. Dmcq (talk) 11:28, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
To reiterate my argument above, I absolutely think someone should do this - but they don't need our help, the content label specifications/database can be created and maintained entirely off-site by a third party. So proposing it here is unnecessary - just do it. Dcoetzee 06:21, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Most school districts have content filters on their computers. Some parents buy filters for their computers at home. It is a great deal easier to delegate responsibility for a child's well-being to a piece of software than it is to sit down with a child and explain how the world works, and how it's filled with things that might be disagreeable or unpleasant or strange. Mind you the second option is much better for the child than the first one is, because only the second one actually works, but it's really not my place to tell someone how they should parent their children. People are free to create their own filters, so long as they are off site, or use opt in only user scripts, however the only way anyone would ever truly be able to ensure that their children aren't exposed to "mature" content would be to create a mirror and strip out anything disagreeable. If it's done on Wikipedia, especially if it's done in a public way, it's a) going to trigger a lot of discontent from the Wikipedia user base, and b) it's going to get targeted mercilessly by shock vandals. High use templates are an appealing target, but templates especially designed to weed out shock value present a target too good for those people to resist. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose ...until we have excellent reliable sources demonstrating without doubt that an uncensored Wikipedia has harmed somebody, and we have a way of restoring the morals of those editors forced to do the censoring once they see the evil content that needs to be censored. HiLo48 (talk) 06:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia is not supposed to force anyone's view regarding what is and is not acceptable to view on its readers per WP:NPOV. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 07:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment Aren't these oppositions misplaced? They oppose what hasn't been proposed. Please bear in mind the different and distinct things that are called "censor". What is proposed is "censoring" in the sense of assessment. There's already a fair amount of "censorship" in that sense by dozens of Wikiprojects and ought to be more. As for "force" and "evil content" perhaps those ought to be proposed and perhaps they ought also to be called "censorship" but thus far they lack relevance here. Jim.henderson (talk) 09:50, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Well, my opposition comment had nothing whatsoever to do with censorship, and everything to do with imposing an unsubstantiated opinion on readers as to what is or isn't suitable content for children to view. That's what this proposal is all about, to warn readers about specific content that may not, in fact, be objectionable at all, and doesn't cover the whole range of topics that are unsuitable to the children of every population group. We have WP:DISCLAIMER, and that should be sufficient. 66.159.220.134 (talk) 21:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose If something like this has any chance of real success, it needs clear and objective criteria for its categories. If it's at all subjective, we'll likely wind up with endless arguments and edit wars over whether some image "really belongs" in one of the categories or not. And that's just not worth it to make some third parties' censorship easier. Anomie 01:41, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: this is just setting things up for endless wars over whether this image is "all audiences" or "explicit". --Carnildo (talk) 23:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Insurmountable lack of sufficiently objective guidelines to apply, regarding both which age or content descriptors to categorize on and whether given content falls under a given category. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:37, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Anomie says it best. Begoontalk 02:51, 24 February 2012 (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.


Biographical articles about living persons[edit]

Biographical articles about living persons should include at least the year of birth of the subject, if not the full date of birth. The place of birth should also be included. This is the minimum information that one would reasonably expect from an article in any encyclopaedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.82.92.42 (talk) 07:29, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Just to be clear - do you mean that in cases where the year or place of birth cannot be reliably established, we should not have an article? I agree that we should include the best information we have on these things from reliable sources. Begoontalk 07:29, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
If they aren't mentioned in secondary sources I do not see why one should go ferreting around for them. Primary sources should only be used for things secondary sources show are of note. Dmcq (talk) 10:11, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I can see the merit in that point of view, too. Begoontalk 10:32, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Please read wp:BLPPRIVACY for our policy on this. Yoenit (talk) 13:37, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Ahem to thread starter, who uses IP. I object to adding birth dates and places without sources; let's compare that to our past relationships. Asking a person about an age and birth place can be considered disrespectful, especially if a young mate asks his very old mate about his age. People have their own rights to publish their own dates and birth to right sources, not to the wrong hands. That's why I recently removed unsourced birth dates and places and replaced them with categories of "missing" or "unknown" data. --George Ho (talk) 14:08, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
When reliable sources can be found to attest to a person's DOB, that will be there anyway. When there are no reliable sources, it would be inappropriate to insert a DOB which we cannot support with evidence. I don't think any policy changes are needed. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Any such proposal would seriously undermine our coverage of spies, fraudsters and con-people of various sorts. These people commonly lie about and deliberately obscure their identity and past life, including making fraudulent documents. General only events immediately prior to their discovery can be accurately documented. Stuartyeates (talk) 09:02, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Several redirects to Kepler (spacecraft)[edit]

User:Article editor redirected lots of pages which are extrasolar planets discovered by the spacecraft (For details, see Special:Contributions/Article editor, these edits are in the first and second page currently). I don't think they are constructive, since French, German and many other wikipedias have already had these articles. The redirects may leave these articles uncreated for a long time. --MakecatTalk 10:52, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to creat them then. Yoenit (talk) 13:38, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
The existence of a redirect does not prevent the creation of an article at a later date. They tend to serve as a placeholder until a full article about a subject can be created. If you think that articles could be created, go ahead and create them. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:03, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Redirects are useful substitutes for articles in this case, and per Itszippy in no way prevent the later creation of articles on these topics. --He to Hecuba (talk) 17:05, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree with the above, and this isn't WP:RFD. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 17:15, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia official help desk at Twitter[edit]

There is a clear consensus against creating an official help desk at Twitter. Armbrust, B.Ed. Let's talkabout my edits? 18:30, 24 February 2012 (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.

Hello. Twitter is one of the most important social networking sites and more than 100 million people have their account registered in Twitter. There should be a Wikipedia help desk at Twitter, as many users who find it difficult to edit or have any problem, may ask their queries there. Many users (mostly newbies) find it easier to operate Twitter than the MediaWiki software. They can have their queries solved there easily, and replied quickly.

If this proposal is approved after a community discussion of 1 week, a account will be created, and a panel of experienced users will be chosen. The community can vote whether the user should be a part of the team, or not. A user who is a part of the team can easily access and reply to the queries which are waiting to be replied. If you feel that it should be created, then please put a hash symbol, write either Support, or Oppose. The voting period will end after one week. Dipankan In the woods? 08:55, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - first, there is no way to answer most questions in 140 characters. Second, this is going to end up as the IRC help channel where the ones responsible are outside of the control of the community. Who will create the account? Who will chose the "panel of experienced users"? How will that panel be accountable to the community? I'm all for finding new ways to help users, but I'm not supportive of doing so outside of Wikipedia. What next, help from Facebook? From a forum? etc... CharlieEchoTango (contact) 09:04, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    Probably I will create the account. I said, only trusted users may have access to it, and I'm fully confident that they will never mess it up. If this is approved, another discussion will be put up to vote for the users who want to be a part of the team. The idea behind is that New users often find it difficult to navigate to pages, project pages, etc. If they ask in there, they will be given a quick link for help pages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dipankan001 (talkcontribs) 09:13, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Question Please describe how this will work, from the new user arriving at Wikipedia, having a problem, deciding to ask for help on Twitter, getting help. Particularly I am interested in what prompts him to choose Twitter help. Is this some new help option you want to show on every page, offering help from off wiki? Otherwise how will the user know of the option? Basically, at this point, I can't see what it really achieves, but maybe you've thought it through more than you've explained? Begoontalk 12:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Now, if you put a hash(#) and write about Wikipedia in a post, it relates to Wikipedia, and nowadays, especially about the SOPA, many users put hash and write #wikipedia. They may even post #wikipedia if they get a reference, like this "I got from #Wikipedia" If the account is named "Wikipedia help desk", they will most definitely reach there and find it. As I said, more than 100 million people have signed up for twitter. It's a great place for attracting newbies to contribute to Wikipedia. We can put up a notice on the Help Desk, stating that help is available in the official Wikipedia help desk at twitter, just giving them a link. If you have any better ideas about this, please tell here. Dipankan In the woods? 09:12, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Just use your own personal account and answer people's questions if you so choose. There's been OTRS discussion about this and I believe that was the preferred method of going about it. Also, I don't believe the Foundation wants to be held accountable for volunteers using an "official" account to answer questions, which is part of the reason why OTRS emails have a disclaimer in the footer that explains a volunteer is answering them. Killiondude (talk) 09:27, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Why do you need approval here to set up an account on Twitter? Just set up your account and start using it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:29, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't have any personal account on Twitter- but I'm quite knowledgeable about it. Ok, you might not call it official, then just plain, a voluntary group, who replies to the Q's. It is better for a consensual review before anything comes to pass by. Dipankan In the woods? 10:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per CharlieEchoTango. If you want to answer questions on your personal account, do so. However we shouldn't have any 'official' forum (anything that uses Wikipedia it its name or claims to be Wikipedia or its representative) channel off of Wikipedia. (In addition, I am in favor of explicitly stating that the IRC channels as unofficial, which will solve so many issues). Sven Manguard Wha? 18:13, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Charlie and Sven. I doubt much meaningful communication can take place in Twitter's soundbite-sized space. Our questions tend to require more length of discourse. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:28, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - People are suspicious enough of IRC as it is. There is great work going on in regards to helping new users on Wikipedia with the Teahouse and Feedback Dashboard. An off-wiki feature is unnecessary and will mean we lose control of running our own support mechanisms. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 22:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I am not sure why this would be helpful, as Twitter is a different site to Wikipedia. If we did implement this policy, I fear it would lead to people begging for help desks on lots of other social networking websites, such as Facebook, My Space or Bebo. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 22:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - no need for an "official" off-wiki help desk at Twitter. Let's concentrate on our own help features, then you can just point them at the right place yourself if they ask on Twitter, if that's what you want to do. Begoontalk 02:56, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per CharlieEchoTango. I can't see how Twitter with their relatively limited tools is any better than the existing venues. I mean even Facebook would have been better suited. Also the whole "voting" approach used here is not the way Wikipedia deals with proposals, where arguments actually matter. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 09:36, 24 February 2012 (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.


Add hovertext to preview citations in articles[edit]

Could we add hovertext to wikipedia citations? So if you hovered your cursor over a citation - like [1] or whatever - a textbox - like this http://code.google.com/gme/images/hover70.jpg - would pop up with the citation info, preventing the need to scroll or browse to the citations section?

I don't have the chops to do it myself, but wanted to put the idea out there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.106.148.24 (talk)

Do you mean automatically? Citations are created with Cite.php so it could be done there or maybe with JavaScript. If you just want a simple tooltip, you can add a titled span around the ref in the wikitext. — Bility (talk) 18:43, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Gadget/proposals#Reference Tooltips. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:18, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:POPUPS also provides this already. Mark Hurd (talk) 01:27, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Republic of China -> Taiwan move request[edit]

It has been suggested that this requested move should be advertized more widely. The proposal is more complicated than a simple move, but the essence of the proposal is to change the title of the Republic of China article to "Taiwan". Cheers, Mlm42 (talk) 03:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Search Box at Bottom of Page[edit]

I was just wondering if there was anyway Wikipedia could add a search box to the very bottom of the page just like the one at the top of the page. A lot of times, I will be looking at long articles and be in the bottom of the pages looking at references and it would be nice that if something struck my mind to look at I wouldn't have to scroll all of the way to the top. "The Duke" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.93.243.145 (talk)

Try the Home key to get quickly to the top. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Wow. I've been on the Internet for over ten years and I never knew about that one... :/ Robofish (talk) 17:52, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Tagging articles with KML missing to add them to a hidden category[edit]

A new (to en.wikipedia) method of providing links to Google and Bing maps has been devised, for articles on linear features (roads, railways, rivers, etc) and bounded areas (counties, states, electoral districts, etc) - discussion is here: method for creating map links for linear features & outlines.

Now there's a proposal to tag articles suited to such map links, to add a hidden KML missing category where a KML map link is missing. Discussion here. Please join in and/or acquaint yourself with the KML method; it's really rather good. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal - complete unified login for all eligible accounts[edit]

I have created a proposal at Meta, to complete unified login for all eligible accounts. Unified login is a relatively new feature to the WMF wikis, allowing each user to have a single combined account in every project. Users that only have an account on one wiki would extend that to all wikis, and users that already have accounts on multiple wikis would have them combined. It was initially an opt-in for existing users, but it is now done by default for all new users. This leaves us with three groups of users: those with UL, those that cannot complete UL because of a naming conflict on another wiki, and those with no conflict that have simply not completed the process. I am proposing that account unification be completed for all eligible accounts without requiring the user to take any additional steps. This would make UL the rule rather than the exception that it currently is, and bring us closer to the goals of universal watchlists, recent changes, interwiki page moves, etc. This would be especially helpful on Commons, which has so many images that were originally uploaded at another WMF wiki, enabling better attribution without interwiki links. I propose that it be carried out as a one-time process rather than a continuous automatic software process, allowing users to still adjust ULs as they see fit.

If you have any opinion one way or the other, please reply at the proposal at Meta. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 01:01, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Changing our approach to polling; discussion started[edit]

Hi, all. I've started a discussion here as to that subject. dci | TALK 14:51, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Resurrection of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/India-related articles[edit]

A recent decision on the use of indic scripts in the leads of India-related articles was made (see main discussion here and clarification here). This decision has not been properly communicated and User:DeltaQuad and I agree that it should be placed in the Manual of Style somewhere. The most appropriate place would be in the India-related articles subpage, but it is currently inactive. Surely there are now enough India-related article to warrant the resurrection of these guidelines, so I propose that this happens. What are your thoughts? Please join the discussion here. Bazonka (talk) 09:04, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

New file upload interface[edit]

Cross-posting: see proposal at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#New Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard: ready for production. Fut.Perf. 09:31, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

Hi all, please Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Let's_move. Petrb (talk) 12:43, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

A noticeboard about rude, abusive, or policy-abusing admins[edit]

Original poster requesting closure after lengthy and spirited discussion of proposal. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 15:49, 2 March 2012 (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.

Note. I moved this here from the idea-lab village pump since it is a proposal. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:22, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I would like to see a new noticeboard started. One for reporting and sanctioning rude and abusive admins. Rude, abusive, or policy-abusing admins are one reason the total number of active editors is steadily declining. See User:Timeshifter/More articles and less editors for initial info, and then come back here for discussion.

I helped start this idea-lab village pump, and so I know it is possible to start more village pumps and noticeboards. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:34, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

It already exists at WP:ANI. Reaper Eternal (talk) 21:35, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
That is not specific enough. We need a specific noticeboard solely for reporting and discussing rude and abusive admins. People should be encouraged to go there, and the title of the noticeboard must be clear. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:46, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Strong support. I haven't personally had interaction with abusive admins, but this seems to be a major problem this encyclopedia is facing. Abuses of administrator priviliges are wholly unacceptable and cannot be tolerated on this website. We must demand very high accountability from people in whom we vest the community's trust, and we must be able to know that our administrators need to remain mature and responsible, using their priviliges only to make this encyclopedia a more efficient and welcoming place. A noticeboard dedicated just for this purpose is entirely necessary. dci | TALK 22:09, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • About 95% of the "administrator abuse" complaints are on closer inspection actually cases of administrators being abused by rude editors. wp:ANI has its problems, but those are not specific to administrator abuse cases and would not be solved by splitting that out to a separate board. You can also mail arbcom about it if you prefer. Yoenit (talk) 00:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Arbcom. You are kidding, right? They are way too busy to handle the many cases of day-to-day abuse by admins. Many admins like to claim they are being abused whenever their abuse is pointed out to them. That is why we need an independent noticeboard whose sole purpose is to sort out what is really going on. Over time the admins and other participants of this dedicated noticeboard will be able to figure things out better. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:09, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I see, you are on a divine mission to defend the encyclopedia from windmills abusive administrators. Have fun. Yoenit (talk) 01:34, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Edit summaries of yours like "not in touch with reality" just shows what an idiot you are. Have fun. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:46, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
And it's comments like those that administrators face every day from abusive editors. Not you persay, but imagine how many times administrators get called names on a daily and constant basis because folks just don't like something or other? "Abuse" is so loosely thrown around when folks are angry without real appreciation or respect for the word.--v/r - TP 14:36, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
re Yourit: 95% of the "administrator abuse" complaints are [...] administrators being abused by editors. Sure. And most airplane crashes are not caused by pilots, but by gravity force. -DePiep (talk) 22:43, 10 February 2012 (UTC) (me no admin)

Comment. Here are some links to previous discussions and articles concerning the declining number of active editors, and various reasons for it, including abusive admins:

The English edition of Wikipedia has grown to 4,585,249 articles. See: Template:Numberofarticles and history of Wikipedia.
Active editors over time.
The “holy-shit” graph. Active editors (blue) and the one-year retention rate (red) on the English Wikipedia.

Editors are leaving for various reasons. Many editors have been driven away. See also: User:Timeshifter/Unresolved content disputes and User:Timeshifter/Userboxes. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

One of Yoenit's ideas was to use WP:ANI. If you look here, and skim/skip to the discussion at the end, you will see that the people experienced with WP:ANI want more noticeboards, not less. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:39, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
In fact that is a minority view with little support. I think most people prefer to keep AN/I as a single board. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 08:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Y'see, Timeshifter — this thing is an excellent idea, but hopeless. Said noticeboard will either need enforcement or will simply be a private rant-'n-vent group. Enforcement can only be done by admins, and they won't act against their own group. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:48, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Well, they will act against their own, when the case is obvious enough. The problem is that they are far more lax with other Admins than with the average Editor. (Of course, they have good reason, as other Admins can turn around and block them, too.) What we really need is a recall process whereby common editors can remove abusive Admins on their own. There should also be an "equal punishment" standard for Admins. For example, if an Admin puts an inappropriate block on an Editor, they should then be blocked for just as long as the Editor was. This would quickly cut down on inappropriate blocks. StuRat (talk) 18:35, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I can assure you that Wikipedia has countless records of admins taking action against abuses by other admins. 05:03, 10 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by BD2412 (talkcontribs)
  • Support - While ANI is great for general incidents, there needs to be a place, with a closely followed archive, devoted specifically to reporting issues with administrators. Among the constant barrage of lugens, the occasional real administrator-caused issue is lost and forgotten in the current system. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 02:49, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The community needs a better way to deal with admins who exhibit problematic behavior. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:55, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I think many good editors flee this project upon encountering administrators who fairly consistently but with subtlety and skill support what amount to violations of WP:NPOV. I think admins should be put under special scrutiny. I don't expect it to happen, but the suggestion above for a special noticeboard for reporting suspicions of improper activity on the part of administrators in my opinion is a very good idea. Bus stop (talk) 03:01, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment What abusive administrative behavior are we trying to correct? Improper blocks?[26] Or page protections?   Will Beback  talk  03:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
All kinds. Many people could give many examples. Some are rudeness, some are abuse, some are misunderstandings, some are abuses of admin power to get something done faster, some are poorly-implemented guidelines, some guidelines themselves are abusive because the guideline itself is vague. On and on. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:18, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
But those are problems with all editors.   Will Beback  talk  04:09, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
True, but when someone with a loaded gun calls you an asshole, it feels a little different. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:29, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Although I agree that the overall number of editors has declined the reasons for that are many, including but not limited too: As we create more sister wikis, the folks that live there will be less apt to edit the english one and edit the one for their native land; As the number of articles increases the number of obvious articles needing creation reduces, biting newby's makes them stay away, its too difficult to be an admin, too much fussing about little things, too hard to make changes, too many rules and guidelines, etc. These are all comments I have personally seen from people who leave and don't come back. This is not just limited to a couple of rude admins. --Kumioko (talk) 04:37, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Noticeboard about policy-abusing admins. Section break[edit]

  • Comment I must say I worry about the potential problems such a noticeboard could create. Call me a pessimist, but I think that if not strongly moderated, it could easily turn into something like WQA where disgruntled users go simply because an admin took action against them ie: "Admin X deleted my article/blocked me because of X, they are abusive". I do see the need for better dealing with admins that go off the rails, but am not quite sure if this is the way to do it. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 04:56, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
It won't work unless other admins make it work. My personal experience when reporting violations of Wikipedia guidelines by admins is that a large percentage of the admins ignore the problem, go into defensive mode, and eventually insult me in one subtle way or another. Usually, but not always, a few admins step up and analyze the problem clinically and methodically according to the specifics of the Wikipedia guidelines and policies. Those are the admins holding Wikipedia together. They point out gently to the admin where they have not followed the guidelines, and they point out problems on my end if any. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:35, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What are we gonna name it? WP:WHINING? WP:MUDSLINGING? WP:DISGRUNTLED? WP:WEWANNABYPASSTHEARBCOMBECAUSEWEARESOIMPORTANT? ZZArch talk to me 05:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, anybody who points out when an admin goes against a Wikipedia guideline or policy is a whiner. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:55, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
If it's a valid concern, bring it in front of other admins. If other admins don't respond, bring it in front of ArbCom. If ArbCom doesn't respond, leave and find a better place to contribute to. Just, for the love of $DEITY, don't open a board so that every other common vandal can whine and clutter up the place. ZZArch talk to me 06:06, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Good idea: if admins don't solve admin's bad behaviour, others should go the long route. -DePiep (talk) 22:01, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Why not? Unless we are tossing the burden of proof out of the window too? Are you requesting admins to formally defend every single decision they make that some random editors walk by and say, "hey, I don't like that!" ZZArch talk to me 23:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are indeed cases where some admins' behavior is inappropriate, but we don't need an entire noticeboard for it. WP:ANI will suffice, and indeed is a better location since it will get more eyes onto the situation. If an administrator is genuinely out of line, it's really not difficult to rouse the community about it. --Elonka 06:09, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:ANI is way too busy, and some there are trying to split it up. We have dozens of noticeboards. See Template:Noticeboard links. Not one is just for dealing with admins violating Wikipedia guidelines and policies. What is more important than accountability of admins to Wikipedia guidelines and policies? --Timeshifter (talk) 17:46, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no evidence that there are a sufficient number of cases involving policy-abusing admins to warrant a new noticeboard. The linked subpages of User:Timeshifter do not show a problem with policy-abusing admins. Those who follow WP:ANI and WP:WQA know that nearly all cases of someone claiming they received abuse from an admin are without merit. In a small number of cases (really small) an admin has "abused" an editor in the sense that after being goaded beyond human endurance, the admin used some crude language to tell a tendentious and unhelpful user that they should go away—we are dealing with humans, and just as editors should not be told to duck off, so admins should not have to tolerate IDIDNTHEARTHAT nonsense indefinitely. My alternative proposal (which also is not going to happen) would be for the establishment of a fast track process to remove unhelpful POV pushers because it is the latter who are causing quality editors to leave the project, not admins. Start with warnings that quickly escalate to topic bans, then blocks. Johnuniq (talk) 06:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Isn't that true. I personally gave up contributing to another Wikimedia project because of a POV editor on a page I maintained. ZZArch talk to me 08:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Johnuniq says "we are dealing with humans". Sure, admins are human. But poor admins should be subject to scrutiny for shoddy behavior. Elonka says "WP:ANI will suffice, and indeed is a better location since it will get more eyes onto the situation." I think a noticeboard for potentially wayward administrators would have no shortage of eyes on it. Bus stop (talk) 09:54, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose I agree that rudeness and abuse is a big problem but admins are not the problem. We have WP:WQA for dealing with rudeness a bit amicably and WP:ANI when that doesn't work. Personally I don't know or care in most circumstances if people are admins or not and they normally use admin powers only for straightforward admin duties. WP:ANI deals with admin problems fine and there's no need to treat admins different from anybody else. If anything my main complaint about Wikipedia is that it doesn't have strong enough mechanisms to deal with content disputes effectively, if there were better mechanisms to cool them down and stop them being so disruptive then I believe a lot of the aggro would go. Attacking admins when there's no great problem there and not doing anything about content disputes which are a major problem and cause general aggro is just a recipe for total anarchy. Dmcq (talk) 10:13, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that that content disputes are a serious problem. See User:Timeshifter/Unresolved content disputes. But admins not following Wikipedia guidelines and policies is also a serious problem. In fact, from my observation the two problems are intimately connected in many cases. When I first started as an editor here in 2005 I went for a very long time without problems. Then I started editing more controversial topics, and then observed the anarchy that passes as content dispute resolution. Little or nothing has changed since 2005. In fact, in some ways it has gotten worse. The Wikimedia Foundation is busy with other things. Arbitrators are overwhelmed, and their purview is not content disputes anyway, though in fact nearly all conduct disputes they handle are rooted in content disputes. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - drama is a bad thing. More noticeboards => more drama => less time spent writing articles. --He to Hecuba (talk) 10:35, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Noticeboards also solve many problems. This allows the editors to go back to editing. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:43, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:WQA is only for civility issues (WP:Civility). Admins not following Wikipedia guidelines and policies goes beyond just social and civility issues. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
"Abusive admin" would be the more correct term, Killiondude. Abusive by violating Wikipedia guidelines and policies. From the same WP:WikiSpeak page:
administrator n.
The be all, and end all of Wikipedia. Alpha and omega, the ultimate wikipedian. Administrators are the role models all wikipedians should strive to emulate. They display superior intellect, outstanding article building abilities, captivating physical attractiveness and, above all, a stupendous and awe-inspiring modesty.
(If anyone removes this, I'll block them.)
Paul Blart role-playing as Dirty Harry.
--Timeshifter (talk) 20:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, but useless proposal. Admins don't turn in Admins ever. Editors loose a debate for this reason. First they have the WP:WHEEL argument to stay away from each other (=do not overturn another admins decision -- any more questions?), that is: they are not allowed to even criticize another admin. On top of this, as a group, they have no responsability. They are the soldier-guards for WikiPower. Think WiKapo. An editor cannot defend themselves agains an Arrogant Admin. No way. -DePiep (talk) 22:21, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yes, there is a problem with declining editor numbers. I fail to see how abusive admins are a significant part of that. There's a whole stack of candidate reasons for it: lack of visual editor, the shooting gallery at Special:NewPages, lack of friendly welcomes for users <100 edits (an explanation that research done by the WMF has endorsed), too many rules (I mean, really, a notability standard for civil aviation disasters?), the fact that unlike back in the day you can't just come and create the page 'Africa' and type "Africa is a continent" and hit save, BITEyness towards newbs (hence the experiments to improve Huggle notices etc.)—but abusive admins don't seem pretty high on that list. So the justification for this seems to me to be a load of codswallop. As for the issue of admin abuse? Yeah, there currently isn't a good way of handling it... not because there isn't a noticeboard for discussing administration issues (WP:AN, WP:ANI), but because when there actually is abuse of admin tools, it is a whole load of work to get them desysopped. But this proposal doesn't fix that problem, the actual problem. If there was a process for community desysopping or community reconfirmation, the venue wouldn't matter. If those were in place, then a discussion could take place on AN or ANI like we do for community bans. Unless a procedure is in place for acting on admin abuse, there's no point spinning a board off. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:23, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I fail to see how abusive admins are a significant part of that - neither do I. But that does not prove that Admin Abuse does not exist, nor that it does not steer away editors. WP doesn't interview gone editors. Editors on the brink of leaving - how do you treat them? -DePiep (talk) 22:34, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Your perception that "unlike back in the day you can't just come and create the page 'Africa' and type 'Africa is a continent' and hit save" is totally correct. You know why? Because pages like Africa have already been created a long time ago. New editors these days generally create things like "X is a singer" or "X is a writer" or "X is a guy". If we are saving all these pages like we saved Africa (because anyone with half a head knows that Africa is notable), this page would have become Messypedia. ZZArch talk to me 23:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
...which is what I was saying. I wasn't making a moral judgment that the old days were better. The point is that the premise of this proposal seems to be that there are a declining number of editors. I don't buy that OMG rogue admins are actually a big cause of that. Yes, admins being abusive may cause some users to leave Wikipedia. But editor retention is a much bigger problem. And given that ther eare a whole string of reasons which are both more intuitively plausible (that maintaining a mature encyclopedia is less fun for most people than starting a fresh one, hence there are less people willing to do it, hence "editor decline!") and more evidentially warranted—the WMF research into new editor retention has found that the big dropoff is between 1 and 100 edits. We have the same number of editors turning up and making their first edit, but we somehow manage to drive them off sometime between 1 and 100 edits. The issue is finding ways of ensuring more editors make that first edit (hence work like the WP:AFT5) and those new editors are sufficiently motivated to continue editing past the initial unfamiliarity (hence some of the fluffy stuff like WikiLove and MoodBar/Special:FeedbackDashboard).
Given that both of these issues have almost no relation to the behaviour of admins, I fail to see why all the arguments about editor retention have any relevance to problematic behaviour by admins. Problematic behaviour by admins is far more likely to affect long-term editors, those who are likely to actually bump into the admin corps in a non-trivial way. Problematic behaviour by admins is a problem (obviously) and editor retention is a problem. But the whole thrust of this debate has been to blame one for the other. I'm wondering how long it will take until admins get the blame for bestiality and reality television too. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:06, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Tom Morris. I think you are in denial. Many new editors experience problems with admins ignoring abuse of those new editors. Many new editors experience problems with deleted articles, external links, lists, edit reversions, and much more. They get warnings galore. They ask questions on the article talk pages, and on the noticeboards. They are routinely belittled, ridiculed, cutely insulted, etc., oftentimes in threads with admins participating. Now the admins may not be the ones actually doing the belittling, ridiculing, condescending, etc.. But their participation in the thread without stopping those activities by others is part of the problem. And I have seen many admins doing the belittling, ridiculing, condescending, etc.. And also using WP:Edit warring and other cudgels to block only one side of editing disputes. Oftentimes without following WP:3RR standards. There is soooo much obvious unfairness that is ignored by admins, or actively encouraged by admins by their own actions. You can continue to talk about the problems of new editors, but you should stop ignoring this part of the problem. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Tom Morris. I am not trying to get admins desysopped. A noticeboard for discussing policy violations by admins would rarely need to recommend that. Nearly all admins will listen to a consensus from other admins. At least temporarily. The fact that a noticeboard for this exists would also be an incentive because the admin in question would know that if he/she repeats the policy violation it will come back up again there. People who watch this noticeboard will be more likely to notice such repetition because it will not be buried in the noise of the many topics covered by a board such as WP:ANI. And the admin noticeboard will have a searchable archive as do other noticeboards. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:40, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: This week there has been a lot of fruitful discussion at Wikipedia talk:Administrators' noticeboard and I hope those who have visited WP:ANI in the last 2-3 days may have noticed a difference. Whether or not a separate board for admin abuse comes about, if anyone is having problems right now with what they perceive as abuse by an administrator, please don't hesitate to bring it there. You will get help and it is simply not the case that admins do not criticise other admins. (Anyone who has been watching there will know this is so...!) Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 23:11, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
You are playing it down to editors having experienced problems, like incidents. The issue at hand is: it is sytematic, and there is no remedy provided.
Oh, and by the way, nice to get so much attention from higher levels. Kim Dent-Brown, are you sent somehow to direct this off road? ~Deviation intended? Already 2-3 days at ANI and it is solved? Must be done by admins then. -DePiep (talk) 23:23, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
DePiep, I'm afraid I don't really understand most of your comment just now. I was simply offering AN/I as a venue until a decision is made about a separate board. But I don't think a systemic problem is going to be solved by a new board anyway. No, I'm not from a higher level and haven't been sent by anyone; this was a genuine offer of help. I'll undertake to assist anyone who wants to report a case of abuse of admin powers at AN or AN/I. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 23:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
A separate noticeboard for policy violations by admins would be a lot more useful in solving this problem. WP:ANI has to deal with much more than this problem. Why would you be against a separate noticeboard for this? I have been on Wikipedia since 2005 and I see many abusive admins on the noticeboards. A noticeboard to point out policy violations by admins would by its very nature see much less abuse by admins than most noticeboards. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:27, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Noticeboard to waste time. Let's do that. Make a page where people can vent and rant and nothing ever happens. Great idea. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support ANI is ineffective, lets deal with this properly and with a sensible scope. That should mean we can keep discussions "on topic". -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 11:10, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I do agree that some administrator abuse their position and powers; however i) they are not in the majority, and ii) a noticeboard about it is not the way to solve the problem. Firstly, although there will be cases of admin abuse, these cases are outweighed by the cases of falsely accused admin abuse. I have seen quite a few accusations of admin abuse; I have never seen an actual case of admin abuse. There may be a problem; if there is, it is much smaller that some editors will have us know. It seems to be a big problem, simply because people shout about it. It seems that those who are most enraged by an admin who deleted their article about their band are the ones likely to shout about it. We never hear the other side of the story because most admins are mature enough not to get into an argument, and instead ignore or calmly deal with such false accusations.
Secondly, we do have a process for dealing with problematic users. As we would with any other user, an RFC/U can be lodged against an administrator when there really are problems with power abuse. This is why I have always opposed term limits or recall procedures - they are unenforceable, compared to RFC/U. I agree that ANI is not a great place to raise a problem with an administrator: we all know that threads can turn very basty very quickly there. I don't see why a similar noticeboard which is just for complaining about administrators will be any better: if anything, it will attract the most disgruntled editors and become worse than ANI. We have a useful alternative in RFC/U, and we can do without creating another noticeboard for users to complain about admins who do a difficult but necessary job. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 14:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
ItsZippy. You wrote: "I have never seen an actual case of admin abuse." I noticed this on your user page: "I've been actively edited Wikipedia since August 2011." As I said earlier, I have been editing here since 2005. I went a long time without noticing admin problems. Then I started editing more controversial topics. Then I noticed many examples of admins violating Wikipedia guidelines and policies. My experience is fairly common. The number of active editors has been actively declining for years. As far as I know there has been no poll of editors who have left as to the various reasons why they left. That would be very useful. Or we could continue to give lip service to the problem. I am trying to deal with one of the reasons some editors leave. I know for a fact that some editors are leaving due to this problem. I don't know the numbers though. But does it matter? We have dozens of noticeboards: Template:Noticeboard links. We can add another one for this important problem. And anyway, what is more important than maintaining Wikipedia guidelines and policies? Admins should set the highest example. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:36, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
You are right - there are many editors here with more experience of Wikipedia than I have and, though I have never seen any administrator abuses, I do not doubt that there have been cases where administrators have abused their position and power. My perception of things is that there is less admin abuse than it seems there is. Of course, I do not have the numbers to hand, but without solid evidence that this is a real problem (you do not seem to have provided any diffs or links to examples of admin abuse), I cannot commit to or support anything. If we do not know the scale of abuse, beyond what we've experienced or heard through the grapevine, we cannot hope to produce a workable solution. I would suggest you spend some time gathering as much evidence as you can - doing that will allow us to make a decision based on the full facts of the matter, rather than what we just perceive to be happening. Until then, I maintain that the current procedure, using RFC/Us and ArmCom, is as sufficient for admins as it is for regular users. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:18, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
More facts are always good. But the facts are obvious to many editors. Note the support votes. Also, did you read all the discussions, articles, and pages I linked to. I doubt it. If you were more intellectually honest, in my opinion, you would change your vote to "I don't know." Or "Abstain." Because, as you say, you do not know the facts. The way you change your vote is to strike out "Oppose." Oppose.. Then type in something else. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:19, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Question: If ANI doesn't work, why would this new noticeboard work? What's going to be different exactly? —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 19:05, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose yes we have some problematic admins and some problematic behaviour by imperfect admins. Some of that behaviour, especially out of process deletions, contributes to our problems of editor retention and this place becoming a generally less welcoming place to be and makes it a less efficient place to write an encyclopaedia. We also have some effective ways to deal with that such as those admins talkpages, RFCs, ANI and Arbcom. The biggest weakness of those methods is that many editors hesitate to use them, and especially to use them at early stages. The second biggest weakness is that the process is complex, and a complainant has to get things raised in the right sequence, the classic mistake being to escalate too early and then see an RFC fail because you didn't first try to talk to the person you have a complaint against. Another noticeboard would not help the primary problem that people are hesitant to go through the vital first steps of discussing the problem with the admin concerned, and it would exacerbate the secondary problem by further complicating a complex process. So yes there is a problem, but this is not the way to solve it. ϢereSpielChequers 12:25, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
The processes you describe for dealing with admins is not working adequately. And those processes are, as you say, complex. Their complexity causes the hesitation to use them. Their lack of effectiveness in many cases exacerbates the hesitation to use them. A separate admin noticeboard is direct and simple. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)--Timeshifter (talk) 18:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
The current processes are complex and imperfect, adding another noticeboard would neither simplify things nor improve them. Any such noticeboard would be only an indirect way to resolve things, the problems resolved successfully would continue to be those where editors go direct to the admin's talkpage or where that fails, the cases where Arbcom desysops or otherwise circumscribes an admin. To persuade people to support such a noticeboard you need to make the case for the added complexity of an additional step that would sit somewhere between talking to the admin and taking them to Arbcom. How exactly that fits in beside ANI and RFCs would be hard to define and would inevitably create complexity. ϢereSpielChequers 00:45, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Going to an admin's talk page is oftentimes a waste of time. What then? There is nothing simpler at that point than going to a noticeboard specifically for dealing with the problem of violations of guidelines by admins. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:31, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
The current situation is complex, but still simpler than if such a noticeboard was introduced. If you introduced a dedicated noticeboard then the risk is that people going to AN/I or filing RFCs would be told they'd gone to the wrong place and they needed to go to this new noticeboard. You then have to decide how much discussion is required at such a noticeboard before you can escalate matters to an RFC/U. Remember when you have a complex system even a relatively simple looking addition can have multiple complexities. ϢereSpielChequers 13:11, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
You seem to like the word "complex". There is nothing complex about a noticeboard for problem admins. Most problems can be dealt with there. Admins can be blocked there. Admins can be warned there. Problem solved. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:59, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment. Thanks for all the discussion. I see that some people get it, and some don't. Many of those that oppose a separate noticeboard seem to think that the current methods for dealing with admin problems are adequate, regardless of the scale of the admin problem. If those methods were adequate, then why the many support votes? Others that oppose the noticeboard do not see much of a problem with admins. I ask them, did you read all the discussions, articles, and pages I linked to? If you don't see the problem, but others do, then should you not seek more info first before voting either way? Those that have been around here awhile, see the problem, but oppose a separate noticeboard; I do not see that you have proposed any other realistic solutions. You are dreaming if you think WP:ANI, WP:Arbcom, etc. can handle the problem. They haven't so far. We may not know the scale of this admin problem and how much it helps cause the continuing loss of active editors. But as the saying goes "a fish rots from the head down." If we can't fully hold admins accountable, maybe Wikipedia is paralleling the problems in banking regulation and social inequality in general. In any case I have made some efforts to "Occupy" the Village Pump for awhile since I am no longer really actively editing Wikipedia articles. I am part of the 99% who aren't admins. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 18:41, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Question Is there anything above that links to an example of a problem? Do you have any evidence that there is a problem? Johnuniq (talk) 09:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
See my previous replies to various people. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:52, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: per ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ and Bus stop. Though I've not seen such abuse, but the above comments show that this would help. --lTopGunl (talk) 11:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
And now that I've seen such violations personally, I'll reiterate the need for one to deal with the issues where there's no bias in favour of admins. --lTopGunl (talk) 01:18, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose While admins do sometimes become abusive, those incidents are few and far between. ANI and ArbCom are the best place to go to; a new noticeboard won't solve anything, it just shuffles the problem to a new page. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:00, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Also, TS, you're really not helping your proposal by comparing yourself to the Occupy movement. There is no "social inequality" here, just people who disagree on editing a web site. You are not oppressed, and implying that admins are akin to corrupt bankers is appalling. Finally, saying that those who believe this is being adequately handled by the current system "are dreaming if you think WP:ANI, WP:Arbcom, etc. can handle the problem" is condescending. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:06, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It is not condescending, because it is accurate. I did a lot of editing of the Occupy articles a few months ago. And your understanding of the Occupy movement is appalling. Bankers are just doing their jobs for the most part, which is to make as much money as they can within the law. Few have been indicted for crimes, because few have committed crimes. The laws are the problem. They are lousy laws, or vague, or inadequate. Just like some of the inadequate and arbitrary laws here at Wikipedia. Such as WP:Edit war. Many admins are stretching the guidelines and wikilawyering to the limit of the guidelines and beyond. They get away with it many times because there is no simple and direct way to bring up violations of guidelines by admins to one single place. The 99% of us who are not admins can not compete with the crony adminism (kind of like "crony capitalism") and the Alice in Wonderland nature of the Byzantine bureaucracy of Wikipedia. Wikipedia's problem is less of a problem with the quidelines themselves than with the enforcement of those guidelines. All bureaucracies and governments are susceptible to this problem of entrenched authority, stagnation, transparency, accountability, and inequality. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:10, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
You still haven't explained what your new noticeboard would do. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:00, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
See my previous replies to various people. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:33, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I've read those. It still doesn't explain what it would do... but alright. Let's play that game. Suppose I was an admin — "Timeshifter, you're a fuckin' asshole." — now what? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:37, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You have a right to your opinion. :) See again my previous replies to various people. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:50, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
So I call you an asshole, and you say I have a right to my opinion. Why do you need a noticeboard then? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:18, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Please try to refrain from using words which will trigger vandalism alerts if you can. It would make our job much easier. Thanks!Jobberone (talk) 04:25, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Lol. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:51, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The users who are empowered to deal with admin abuse are other admins and Arbcom. We currently have methods for alerting both groups to an admin abuse issue; these are ANI and the arbcom-l mailing list. What would this new noticeboard do to improve that communication? Yunshui  14:34, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
It would focus more attention concerning problems with admins in one centralized location. More would be learned about the scale of problems. Other admins would learn by watching what happens here. Admins and average editors would know that there is accountability in one place. Direct and simple. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:34, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support  IMO, we have a problem at Wikipedia of Somalia-style warlords.  I don't know that this proposal is the best, or even a good solution, but it is better than ignoring the problem.  Perhaps it should have a six-month trial period.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:15, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support: This is an excellent idea. This is what I call improving Wikipedia. It is high time a specific mechanism of accountability be in place for admins. ANI simply isn't enough, is too general and sometimes becomes a Punch-and-Judy show. I think an admin complaint board would be just the opposite precisely because it isn't ANI. Why not put forth this idea elsewhere? It is an excellent policy idea, and I think this village pump is something of a joke sometimes.--Djathinkimacowboy 14:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Although I support the idea and in addition to my comments earlier in the discussion this endeavor is unlikely to succeed. In order for anything to happen in result of a discussion about an admin, an admin or beauracrat would have to take action to do anything and they are unlikely do to so. Its like the current situation in the US Congress to hold congressman accountable for insider trading. It would work against them so there not going to support it. --Kumioko (talk) 14:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This idea is the first step to chaos. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 14:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and soon followed by Armageddon, and the end of the world as we know it. See Chaos theory. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:39, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, IMO, putting another layer over ANI (which... let's face it... would be resorted to in a j'accuse manner, WOULD be no different from having a special court to try police officers in for doing their jobs, instead of the common courts. Oh, and the one doing the accusing would of course have their ANI put on hold until the thread on the admin is concluded. Holy Byzantinism Batman! Best, Markvs88 (talk) 15:53, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Comment: Oh come now, Markvs88. This proposal doesn't "put another layer over ANI". And I don't see any j'accuse taint present in a complaint that has supporting diffs- which everything ought to have. To compare the proposition to a special police court in which to try police officers is misleading. The proposal is, in fact, something the police already have, and it works fairly well: Internal Affairs. This proposal is an Internal Affairs for Wikipedia Administrators. That strikes you as wrong? Let me point out that it is the citizen who generally initiates what will become an IA investigation- it occurs when citizens complain about what the police are doing wrong, not just when one cop gets another cop in trouble.--Djathinkimacowboy 16:33, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Markvs88. And what is wrong with J'accuse? That is a proud moment in history. Emile Zola's remains were laid to rest in the Panthéon in Paris. He is a hero. Whose side are you on? Alfred Dreyfus was railroaded by "admins" in the military. Are you on the side of secret courts? I am opposed to closed noticeboards. I am simply for another open noticeboard strictly for dealing with admins problems. And no special rules different from any other noticeboard. Open noticeboards and open media. Alfred Dreyfus was liberated eventually because of the court of public opinion and public discussion. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Djathinkimacowboy: It doesn't? Here's the deal: if you want to consider the IA route, will this board be open to all editors or to just Admins and those invovled in the incident? If the former, it is another layer of ANI. If the latter, then it still forks the resolution process, slowing down whatever issue is at hand. I really don't see how this would do anything that ANI already does not.
Timeshifter: Yes, Zola is a hero, etc. My point is that while he took on the establishment, he did it in public view and in existing courts. The founding of this seperate board would IMO engender even the most trivial things to be taken to the "Supreme Court". Best, Markvs88 (talk) 12:45, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
It is just another noticeboard. See: Template:Noticeboard links. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:56, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Concur with Timeshifter above. And may I add, a much-needed noticeboard that is specific- one we specifically don't have now.--Djathinkimacowboy 16:31, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Your earlier query, Markvs88, was not answered, sorry. I suppose you can read, and see that Timeshifter wants something where anyone can go and make their case against an admin for very specific reasons. So, yes, any editor can go, bearing in mind an admin is nothing but an editor with a few extra and mostly undeserved buttons. This whole new board forces others- mainly admins probably, but also respected editors, anyone- to review and respond to the cases raised there. Of course I have to ask, what does it matter anyway if people ignore it like they ignore everything else here?--Djathinkimacowboy 01:24, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Noticeboard about problem admins. Section break[edit]

Comment. Groupthink can be a big problem. That is one reason I want a separate noticeboard for admin problems. Groupthink, when it happens, will be more obvious to many people watching such a dedicated noticeboard. Therefore, there will be less and less of the kneejerk "admins-rarely-do-wrong" groupthink on a dedicated noticeboard over time. Also, over time as problems are resolved, it will become obvious that admin problems are not being overlooked. Since it is all out in the open, the wider audience reading the noticeboard will have an overall moderating effect. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:03, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: It must also be indicated that if Timeshifter succeeds in this, it may actually help supplement an ANI (should the need arise). In this way the average editor all the way up to disagreeing admins would have the bare bones of their difficulties out in the open. This might distill a conversation or discussion in a good way. A new layer over ANI?- perhaps, but it is a necessary one. May I also say, I am unhappy with the way past discussions are archived and I hope Timeshifter will consider a humble addition that there be some clearer way of archiving closed/resolved discussions on his new board.--Djathinkimacowboy 01:30, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Support I haven't personally dealt with abusive admins on Wikipedia, but I have on forums elsewhere on the internet, and it's an unpleasant experience. Luckily, Wikipedia is a very big organization that has the capacity to double-check possibly abusive admins, while on another website, the admin usually gets to do whatever he/she wants. While WP:ANI is used for this purpose currently, I am always in support of organizing large pages into reasonable categories. I see two downsides, however. The first is the number of users that will report administrators for "abuse", due to administrative action being taken that is actually fully appropriate. The second is that administrators will, naturally, be biased towards the accused admin's point-of-view, making the user's job harder or even impossible. The second issue could be solved by giving equal weight to non-admin voters, and also including bureaucrats. The first issue, however, will require much sifting through bad complaints by voters.--Yutsi Talk/ Contributions 16:07, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Yutsi, your points are good. I especially like the point you made about admins favouring admins automatically. That is why we need this new board and need full participation- about which you also made good points. In reply to your concerns, I think the magic term is diffs.--Djathinkimacowboy 16:44, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, I wanted to make a suggestion: could we have another sec. break here? This is getting impossible to edit easily- and I know I've done my share to make that a pain in the neck. Can we initiate a new sec. break?--Djathinkimacowboy 16:44, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Ask and ye shall receive. Danger High voltage! 07:41, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Yutsi. No matter how the individual complaints are resolved on the admin noticeboard, one good thing about the noticeboard is that it will make it much easier for observers to notice patterns concerning problem admins. Right now that is difficult because those patterns are buried at WP:ANI in the many other non-admin-related problems. The archives at the admin noticeboard will be an invaluable tool for sorting out priority problems, and dealing with them more effectively. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:21, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment/Oppose I've seen a lot of commentary above about "there are many problematic admins" and equivalent arguments. If I were reading over this like an AfD, I'd dismiss those as vague waves. If I were to see some hard evidence of what you're talking about (a whole string of RfCs/ArbCom cases, lots of valid ANI threads about abusive admins, or some case studies presented here), then I'd think differently, but I really can't say I do. And Timeshifter, I didn't fully appreciate this before becoming an admin myself, but almost anytime you have to make a judgment call about something someone will scream at you. I've had the pleasure of wading through the morass of Indian caste articles using my admin tools, and there are innumerable people there who think I'm an evil, colonialist-minded Westerner trying to reimpose British hegemony on India (I'm from New England, not the UK, so the irony isn't lost on me); were they to find out about such a noticeboard, I'd have to spend half my time warding off those people. I'm willing to deal with people making baseless accusations about me on individual article and user talkpages, but I'm not willing to provide people with a forum which will help them launch their attacks and bias people against me (the "if there's smoke, there's fire" mentality). I have enough going against me in those problem areas without that already. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, that's the problem in a nutshell, right? Admins are always right. Let's all go home. Move along. Nothing to see here.... --Timeshifter (talk) 23:34, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Nice straw man argument, but none of us are perfect; after all, besides a few adminbots we're all humans. My problem is that far too often, complaints of admin abuse fall firmly under the remit of point 37, and do nothing but waste our time. Think about it from our perspective for a moment; why would we want every disgruntled user who's angry about something we did running to a centralized forum and screaming "ABUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", hoping that if they sling enough mud something will stick? I've never once blocked, or threatened to block, someone who simply asked me what I was doing, and I've always been willing to revisit my actions; I suspect that's the case for the vast majority of admins. We're expected to be communicative, and ArbCom will desysop admins who aren't. To use my Indian caste example, I have to be very heavy-handed to keep things under control, and people have asked me what I was doing; when I get a chance to respond and give them the full picture, they understand. But if people immediately run in and scream "AN ADMIN BLOCKED ME FOR ADDING CORRECT INFORMATION!!" people jump to conclusions (in that topic, a lot of things that appear to meet WP:RS don't, it takes a long time to learn to distinguish between those and actual reliable sources) and start dragging my name through the mud before I can even explain the situation. We don't need to make it easier for people to launch those kinds of attacks on us; infinite patience is not one of the tools granted upon adminship, and we have our limits too. And once again, you haven't provided any solid, hard evidence for your position; if you can show it to me, I'll gladly reconsider. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
There is always therapy. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 00:45, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
So now you are just trolling well reasoned oppose comments. If you have truly sunk as low as your latest comments suggest, would you mind moving to wikipedia review? There you are free to whine about abusive admins all day without having to present things like evidence. Yoenit (talk) 12:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I believe one of your edit summaries in this thread was "not in touch with reality". See you at Wikipedia Review along with all editors that point out admins violating Wikipedia guidelines. "The Blade of the Northern Lights" sounded depressed. I injected some humor. I even took your previous trolling with humor. Try it sometimes. I am admin too (not at Wikipedia), and I recommend it. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:32, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, I could tell you were being facetious. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:44, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose: There is no point trying to patch up the messes that inevitably result from the way Wikipedia gives unsuitable people the power to jerk round and block the people who actually write the encyclopedia. It is the very concept of an "administrator" on Wikipedia that is fundamentally flawed. Any pretenses at "reform", such as the farcical Wikipedia:RfA reform 2011, involve protective circles of incumbent administrators who systematically suffocate any attempts to address the real issues. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:48, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

And once again, you were going to show me some hard evidence of that? If you do, I may reconsider, but all I've seen are dogmatic waves with vague buzzwords. Please, by all means back up your position with something. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:32, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Who are you talking to, Blade? I have no idea what you mean by "once again, you were going to show me some hard evidence of that". I've never talked to you before. --Epipelagic (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Epipelagic. So you actually support the goal, but think a separate noticeboard will not help? Would it not be better than the current situation? --Timeshifter (talk) 17:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Many individual admins behave with honour and decency, but the collective behaviour of our admins as a body is another matter. I do not believe natural justice can prevail now on Wikipedia until systemic flaws in the way adminship is structured are addressed. Setting up a board to slap band-aids on unnecessary gaping wounds is just bypassing the real issues. --Epipelagic (talk) 17:49, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
You did not answer my specific question. And what is that saying that talks about perfection getting in the way of the pragmatic. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:42, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I think we both have the same goals, Timeshifter, and I agree it's silly to expect perfection. But is trying to prop the current ghastly system up really the best way to going about it? I think your board would be doing just that, and it would be better to rebuild the admin system in a more rational and workable way. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:09, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I find your opposition, Epipelagic, more discouraging than most of the other opposition here. Much of the opposition here is typical fanboy groupthink one sees all over the web. Kneejerk opposition to anything that questions the status quo. But you see the problem, and yet oppose incremental improvements. Wikipedia is becoming mediocre in many ways lately. And even worse, now I see things falling into ideological nonthink. Which is even worse than groupthink. I find the Commons much more interesting lately. Also, other stuff on the web has more potential. The brains are leaving Wikipedia. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:53, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree Wikipedia is trying to lurch along weighed down by a lot of unnecessary muck, and many users have kneejerk fears which prevent them from seeing that muck for what it is. But Nick-D below makes an important point. If your board was set up in the current mess, then sound and fury from malcontents using the board inappropriately would just make things worse. It would just add to the silly dramah and become an incremental deterioration. --Epipelagic (talk) 18:31, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
People are already posting such stuff in WP:ANI. The difference is that with my proposal the admin-related stuff will go to a different noticeboard. So how is that a deterioration? It may even improve the level of discourse since it is more focused. But drama is not a reason to get rid of noticeboards. Following that logic we should get rid of all noticeboards. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:04, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
So instead of pushing for half-hearted measures like this, which may just make the current system even more byzantine and unworkable, why not push for proper reform, a rethinking from the ground up of how this site should be administered. The workable solutions seem quite clear to me, though they will be bitterly opposed by many of the entrenched incumbents. --Epipelagic (talk) 20:32, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Any reform concerning administration of the site will still leave people who need to be held accountable. A separate noticeboard is direct, not Byzantine, accountability. There is no interference between our goals. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:44, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:ANI is an unpleasant place, destructive to Wikipedia, where people mostly try to bury hatchets in each other. The same would happen on your board. We agree on the goals. I just think the problem should be tackled from the opposite end. With a more carefully thought out admin structure, many of these dramas wouldn't arise. The worst outcome of your solution might be that it partially succeeds. Then the real issues might never be addressed. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:51, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason the problem can not be approached from both ends. Following your logic I should not support your end of the issue because it may only partially succeed and the real issue of truly adequate oversight might never be fully addressed. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:23, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose as per Epipelagic, although I wouldn't quite express it in the way that he has. The fundamental problem is the historically lazy loading up of administrators with every new right invented or ever to be invented, without any effective way to remove them – those rights or those administrators. Malleus Fatuorum 02:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Malleus. So you actually support the goal, but think a separate noticeboard will not help? Would it not be better than the current situation? --Timeshifter (talk) 17:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose ANI is sufficient. Nobody Ent 02:30, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

ANI is neither sufficient nor relevant. It exists only as a forum to have your foes blocked, nothing more. Malleus Fatuorum 02:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Support: The ANI is a perfect example of conflict of interest, and the fox guarding the henhouse. Administrators have a collective interest in circling the wagons and showing solidarity against sanctions as a general rule. No matter how well-meaning Admins may be, they are in a situation which structurally induces them to make a biased judgment in matters like these. I think anyone would agree with one of the tenets of those who oppose this, that most administrators are good, and most do a good job. However, in the same way, while I think most policemen are good, there are bad apples, and I wouldn't trust the management of internal affairs to the people in the same department who clock in with those bad apples day to day, eat lunch with them, have put their life on the line together with them, etc. etc. It's impossible to keep a clear head in an environment with a high level of group cohesiveness (which exists for many of the most frequent contributors to Wikipedia, of which admins are an even more cohesive subset group). You can't have the fox guarding the hen house. You need people who don't have collective interest at stake. To put this all in plain language: Users don't have any incentives in tearing down all the admins. However, Administrators have a strong incentive in keeping up all the admins, lest one of the many administrators they know and like be the next one to be shamed. But it's more than that - their group cohesiveness also makes it hard for them to see it when another administrator is at fault. It's a matter of structural bias which even the most wise, impartiality-loving individual can't guarantee their immunity from. --Monk of the highest order(t) 04:40, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

So what's to prevent the "foxes" from taking over the new noticeboard, shutting down any discussions they feel would put their buddies in a bad light? 28bytes (talk) 04:48, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Sunshine. Kind of like how sunshine laws help keep governments and government officials in line. This is a noticeboard dedicated to problem admins. It would be harder to cover up admin problems. Plus the archives would be invaluable. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:02, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose This could serve as a clubhouse of sorts for disruptive trolls who enjoy playing 'whack an admin', but would not actually be helpful for solving problems and duplicates several existing forums. Admins tend to be pretty self-critical of each other, and ArbCom seems to be on the warpath against admins who make mistakes at the moment, so this is totally unnecessary. Nick-D (talk) 09:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

When admins come together to make life hard for another admin, it is usually because that admin has offended against the sanctity of adminship itself. This has nothing to do with correcting injustices committed against powerless content editors. And talk about "disruptive trolls who enjoy playing 'whack an admin'" is the usual red herring produced by admins who want to draw attention away from the actual issue here. --Epipelagic (talk) 11:25, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Nick-D. Arbcom is a small group of people that can not possibly deal with all admin problems. A separate noticeboard would have far more participants over time. I believe a reasonable percentage of admins will take this noticeboard very seriously and do their best to moderate this noticeboard, and to be fair. Many admins are not "self-critical of each other". That is why a dedicated noticeboard will help. It will be much more obvious when attempts are made to bury problems. Therefore the sunshine will make it far easier to solve problems. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:12, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
You talk about "the real issue", but you can't seem to come up with any concrete evidence of it. How about detailing exactly what your problem with admins is, using things like diffs and threads to back it up. Think of it like writing an article with reliable sources; if you want to convince me that your position is correct, you need to give examples to prove your assertions. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:28, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The Blade of the Northern Lights. Who are you talking to? I can't find "the real issue" in my comments. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:39, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Mea culpa; fixed the indenting. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Again, who are you trying to patronise Blade? You don't make yourself clear. If you are patronising me, the issues underlying the dysfunction admin system are crystal clear and have been discussed exhaustively in many places over many years. The arguments have always been systematically shunted aside by admins protecting admin privileges. You will find current accounts fully detailed in the recent histories of Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship and Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. I'm surprised you are expressing opinions here when you apparently haven't studied and thought about this material. A current restatement of the issues was made by an admin just a few hours ago. --Epipelagic (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not patronizing you, I'm trying to be clear; apparently I wasn't. And funny you complain about being patronized given your subsequent comment regarding what you think I know. I'll try again, more concisely. I'd view complaints of admin abuse as more valid if people were pointing to specific instances where admins are being abusive; so far, all I've seen are general vague comments about "admin culture" without any specific instances of said problems being pointed to. If it's really that big a problem, I'd expect people to be able to give demonstrative examples of the problem in action; I hope this is clearer. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:53, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear, now you are shifting your position. You asked about the "real issues", and I gave you the links to them. Now you want something quite different. If you haven't come across suitable examples of admin abuse, I suggest you look at some of the admin notice boards and referrals for comment. You must know very well that listing specific examples here would just open a Pandora's box and set admins scrambling for defensive positions. Why would you advocate such an utterly inappropriate approach unless your aim is just to torpedo any useful discussion here. Makes me wonder if perhaps you are an admin yourself, though you don't appear to be from your user page. --Epipelagic (talk) 23:08, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
First and foremost, I sincerely apologize if it feels like I'm setting a moving target; that's on me for lacking clarity. See here. I work in some of the most toxic places here (Indian caste articles, AE, and the like), so I'm especially prone to making people unhappy with me. I certainly know of some isolated instances of admins doing something crazy, but far too often I find point 37 applies; this is my main issue. I had written a longer version of this, but I realized it basically duplicated my comment above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:32, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Admins certainly need empowering to deal with genuinely toxic situations, but that has nothing to do with unaware admins, who don't know what they are doing, running amuck and leaving a trail of wreckage amongst the small group who build Wikipedia. If you want, I'll email you some particularly nasty examples, but they are historic and there is nothing to be gained by revisiting them on community notice boards. I apologize for getting shirty, but in this context, when you invoke point 37, as you just did above, the one-eyed shibboleth about admin abuse being abuse of admins, you are again refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of these very real issues. --Epipelagic (talk) 02:55, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I could have done a better job acknowledging the legitimacy of your comments; after all, ArbCom has recently desysopped 2 admins who were abusing their tools, so it's not without merit that you bring up admin abuse. I suppose it might help me a bit to step back from some of these areas for a while, maybe it will help get a better perspective. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:28, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose, as there is a problem, it will be dealt with through the current mechanisms. If they're broken, then this will be too. Nothing about this proposal specifically seems to be uniquely different from the current strategy. Aslbsl (talk) 20:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Admin problems are not being adequately dealt with by the current mechanism. A separate noticeboard focuses the mind. The fact of its existence will make it unique. Also, its existence will show that Wikipedia cares a lot about these problems regardless of the scale of the problems. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:45, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose on the same rationale as Nick-D. MBisanz talk 03:01, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose I suppose it might end up as a "honeypot" of sorts, and whilst that would, indeed, make it easier to identify users who habitually accuse admins of abuse, I don't think the other drawbacks identified by opposers here are overcome by that minor usefulness. To try to be a little more serious: maybe there is a problem that needs addressing, but just starting a new drama board is not a cure. Those already opposing have explained more adequately than I can without repeating them - Nick-D in particular. Begoontalk 03:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Nick-D wrote 2 sentences total so far. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:43, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment. Well, I tried. There are more articles, less editors, and many low-quality articles. Many editors have left. The number one reason in my opinion is unresolved content disputes. The number 2 reason, and it often occurs in conjunction with the number one reason, is unchecked abuse by admins (what this Village Pump discusssion is about). And now I see that it is unlikely to be addressed as long as the Wikipedia Village Pumps are overrun by fanboys (and groupthink) that refuse to acknowledge other people's points (remember WP:NPOV?). The previous sections had many more supports, so maybe there is hope in the long run, but in the meantime many more active editors will leave. Some of the last few opposes cite the oppose from Nick-D, but ignore the long thread concerning Nick-D's comment. Nick-D only wrote 2 sentences total so far. Nick-D posted once and ran. Groupthink has now devolved into nonthink. Editors are leaving for various reasons. Many editors have been driven away. See User:Timeshifter/Userboxes. All the problems below are admin-related. Either abuse by admins, or admins not doing their jobs.

Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg The lack of enough moderators and arbitrators drives away editors and donations. More info.
Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg Rude or speedy deletions of articles and categories drive away editors and donations. See also.
Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg Non-admin closures of articles and categories drive away editors and donations. See also.
--Timeshifter (talk) 12:43, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
While fanboys and groupthink are two reasons why this proposal has not received consensus support, a third reason might be that the majority of users disagree with you that the problem exists, Timeshifter. A fourth reason might be that people agree there is a problem, but disagree that a new noticeboard is the solution. Either way I think you've done your best but it looks like the time is not ripe for this proposal at the moment. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 13:58, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, let's wait a day or two to see if all the info I posted just above brings in any fresh ideas. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:37, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Well here's a fresh idea: just do it. That is, simply create Wikipedia:Administrator abuse noticeboard and see if you can or cannot ride out the inevitable and immediate WP:MfD that follows. (You might want to file the MfD yourself immediately upon creation; if so, if should be neutrally worded e.g. "Should this entity be deleted, or not? Discuss.").
That is one way to get things done on Wikipedia, operating on the basis of the well-known principle "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission". This actually exploits (or, if you prefer, leverages) a characteristic of Wikipedia governance: consensus is required, which in practice usually means a supermajority. It's hard to get supermajorities in life, so it's hard to get consensus to do something, but it's also hard to get consensus to stop one from doing something. This is after all a wiki, and you can create whatever pages you want to.
(N.B.: I'm not saying I support the creation of this entity; I don't have a strong opinion yet, but might vote against it at the MfD after further consideration. But I don't know if it'd be good or bad (and neither does anyone else commenting here; we can just guess). I'm simply offering tactical advice.) Herostratus (talk) 18:04, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll support you. I got your back. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 19:19, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Well I'm not gonna do it. It's your idea. Herostratus (talk) 03:23, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
It seems rather rude to say that I 'posted once and ran'. Is this really a good-faith, serious proposal to make things work better? If it is, attacking people who you disagree with is rather self-defeating. I stated my views, and didn't see the need to respond yesterday to the above people who posted comments in regards to them as others had already done so and the thread had moved onto other topics, and I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with me. Nick-D (talk) 07:59, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I wish I'd known about this proposal earlier. Admins do indeed band together to defend each other, especially at AN/I - they have considerable motivation to do so, since ability to get along, particularly with other admins and popular users, is an important part of success at RfA and since they can be punished for "wheel warring". An awful lot of them don't just scrutinize the record of someone who posts a complaint there, they give the impression of delighting in changing the focus to that person. The OP is right, harsh admins do a lot of damage to the project by driving away good editors. We need to retain both good long-term editors and potentially good new editors. In the past 24 hours I've seen another new person treated harshly by an admin and go from positive about Wikipedia to furious and swearing never to edit here again. Yes, admins are needed to defend the project against bad articles and bad edits and to point out policies to those, including me, who don't know them inside out. No, this does not equate to bullying, taunting, or destroying things that could have been saved. And we see in the Wikipedia admin corps a nasty demonstration both of power corrupting and of the attraction of "cop" positions for people who like bossing others around. If they are merely editors entrusted with mops and buckets, they need to be held accountable. Instead there is very much a power dynamic. A separate noticeboard is a good suggestion and might encourage admins who do care to respond to complaints there; I understand many currently avoid AN/I. Yngvadottir (talk) 18:49, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
As the original poster (OP) I believe that once a complaint reaches WP:ANI things have oftentimes gotten so bad that the damage and discouragement is already too far along. Some editors leave regardless of the outcome. At least with a separate admin noticeboard more problems might be dealt with at earlier stages. Admins will see and learn from other admins' problems what is better for Wikipedia. Groupthink might actually help in this situation. Admins might learn how to defuse situations earlier all over Wikipedia. If people get rewarded for proactive conflict resolution they do more of it. Admins can gently teach other admins at such a noticeboard. The goal is not to desysop admins but to educate each other about how to best, and most fairly, implement the Wikipedia guidelines. Both admins and people complaining about admins. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:22, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

New noticeboard proposal for proposing proposals of new noticeboards proposals. I think this Village Pump (proposals) isn't adequately handling all the new noticeboards that need to be proposed. We should make another notice board, because that won't be just shuffling the problem about, it'll solve it. This new noticeboard somehow won't make the Byzantine bureaucracy of Wikipedia worse, because new users will still be able to post proposals for new noticeboards here and then be told that they're really supposed to post it in the noticeboard for proposing proposals of noticeboard proposals. I mean, if we had all the proposals in a central location (like vandalism at WP:AIV, incivility at WP:WQA, or issues requiring admin attention at WP:ANI), people have to pay attention to a few different pages, instead of having to search multiple pages, which makes things so much easier. As we all know and can plainly see, every post in this thread is a new noticeboard proposal, so it's obviously a huge problem. It's not like anyone can propose anything else thanks to how this board is structured. That's how we'll keep this site free from those damn monarchists and their Catholic church!

:P Ian.thomson (talk) 19:19, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you have a citation for that?
Webcomic xkcd - Wikipedian protester.png
--Timeshifter (talk) 19:31, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Signpost. Latest Wikipedia Signpost mentions this discussion. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-02-27/Discussion report. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:49, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Epipelagic said,

Many individual admins behave with honour and decency, but the collective behaviour of our admins as a body is another matter. I do not believe natural justice can prevail now on Wikipedia until systemic flaws in the way adminship is structured are addressed. Setting up a board to slap band-aids on unnecessary gaping wounds is just bypassing the real issues.

It seems you're on to something with that, E., but you also just stated the exact reason why Timeshifter has an excellent idea and it should be implemented. Timeshifter's idea is no "band-aid". As to the other lame objection that such a board would be a haven for trolls, show me the place there are no trolls! Finally, as for the idiotic calls for evidence, I don't think anyone needs evidence that admins are misbehaving. You are just trying to bog this down even further.—Djathinkimacowboy 22:31, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose even if there was a need for some other mechanism to rein in abusive administrators this proposal wouldn't have much of a positive effect. ANI, for all its imperfections, does at least attract a wide audience. A noticeboard dedicated to (alleged) admin abuse would likely meet the same fate as the community sanction noticeboard: few users would participate and those who did would be a small group of regulars, probably those with some kind of grievance against administrators. The environment resulting from these conditions is not remotely productive, as the fate of the CSN demonstrates. Hut 8.5 23:23, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why you think there would be a lack of participation. Around 30 to 40% of the people in this discussion see the need to do something. A few of those don't think a noticeboard is the way to go. As I have said several times the purpose of an admin misconduct noticeboard is not to desysop admins. So it would be nothing like the community sanction noticeboard which many called "votes for banning". --Timeshifter (talk) 01:11, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
My point about the CSN wasn't that it was used for banning users but that it wasn't able to attract much of an audience. Most specialist forums do not get a very wide readership and what readership they do get tends to be from people with an interest in the topic. Sometimes that can be a good thing: if you post to the reliable sources noticeboard, for instance, it will be good if you get replies from people who have experience in reviewing sources. On the other hand, who is going to comment regularly at a noticeboard devoted to investigating complaints of admin abuse? People who dislike administrators in general or who think there is far too much admin abuse. "Review" of admin actions by such people isn't going to be very fair, useful or reflective of the community at large. If you still doubt that this would happen observe that the CSN (which had a much more important job) failed to attract much of an audience beyond a small group of regulars, which is one reason why it was closed. And I don't think that this noticeboard would be harmless: I wouldn't be at all surprised if discussions on it were used as evidence in RfCs, arbitration cases or even in reviews of specific admin actions. Hut 8.5 14:50, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Community sanctions noticeboard is not remotely as important as maintaining the quality of admin work. Organizations without accountability deteriorate in the quality of their work. Of course, an admin misconduct noticeboard will be watchlisted by people who have seen how admin misconduct can mess up the work of Wikipedia, and cause good editors to leave. You don't have to feel the brunt of admin misconduct to have seen how it effects others. All you have to do is to open your eyes and come out of groupthink.
Many admins will watchlist this noticeboard too. Are you calling them whiners, too. That is basically the line of thought you are coming from. That people who care about this issue are whiners who should be ignored. Even other admins. Ignoring the issue is basically what is happening now. Admin problems are buried in WP:ANI. Problem admins like it this way. It takes the spotlight off them. But a separate noticeboard and its archive would be a tool to observe past history too. If some admin misconduct is so egregious that it gets passed on from the noticeboard to WP:ArbCom how is that a problem? That fact that you seem to think that this is a problem indicates the current attitude of some of the groupthink concerning admins. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:40, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Comment. I think this discussion can be closed for now. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:43, 2 March 2012 (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.