Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-07-30/SPV

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Volume 3, Issue 31 30 July 2007 About the Signpost

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From the editor: Another experiment and Wikimania
Report on Citizendium Response: News from Citizendium
User resigns admin status amid allegations of sock puppetry WikiWorld comic: "Mr. Bean"
Wikipedia in the news Features and admins
Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News The Report on Lengthy Litigation

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From the editor: Another experiment and Wikimania

By Michael Snow, 30 July, 2007

Again, I'm the temporary editor this week as we continue to work around summer travel schedules. As with the last time I filled in for Ral315, we bring you some more articles with personal views and analysis. Last time we had a book review, and we hope to have some similar coverage in the future. This time the topic is Citizendium, the project sometimes touted as a Wikipedia alternative. Ragesoss has written a critique focusing on its "Approved Articles", and his original draft quickly drew some attention, as a result of which we now have a response from Mike Johnson of Citizendium. We're carrying the two articles together, letting our readers balance any difference of opinion for themselves.

As you may know, this week will also be the third Wikimania conference, being held this year in Taipei. I'm unable to attend in person this year, but hope to see news about it in next week's Signpost. I know the Wikipedia Weekly podcast is planning to do some segments there, and I encourage people with information to share to help the Signpost with its coverage as well. Leave items on our tip line, or better yet if you think something needs a Signpost article, go ahead and write it! As always, good reporters are welcome.

--Michael Snow


Report on Citizendium

By Ragesoss, July 30, 2007

Eight months after launch, Citizendium is still evolving but has not reached a critical mass of participation. The project is a wiki encyclopedia led by Larry Sanger, which distinguishes itself from Wikipedia with "gentle expert oversight" and the use of real names by its contributors. It received a flurry of media attention in October and November 2006, but generated only modest publicity for the site's public opening in March 2007.

The site is now averaging less than 200 article edits per day and has approximately 2400 live articles; by comparison, Conservapedia ("the conservative encyclopedia you can trust") generates about 1000 article edits per day and has produced about 15,000 articles since going live in November 2006. Because of its real names policy and verification process for new users, however, Citizendium has virtually no vandalism and little disruptive behavior. According to Citizendium's statistics page, new article creation has held steady at about twelve per day over the last two months.

Between July 12 and July 19, the project added about two new "Citizens" per day. The influx of new users has fallen considerably each month since March. Citizendium's registration process is much more demanding than that of many other wiki encyclopedias, and is currently done via email. On the Citizendium blog Sanger recently reported a backlog of dozens of account requests; nearly two dozen accounts were added between July 20 and July 22. Sanger has promised a 24-hour turnaround for future account requests. Delay between account request and account creation likely accounts for the significant disparity between the number of new accounts added each month and the number of users making their first edit (in recent months between one half and one third of the number of new accounts).

Though intended as an open content project, Citizendium has yet to decide on an appropriate license for its original content. In policy discussion on the Citizendium forums and on-wiki, some users favored the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (which would make original Citizendium content compatible with Wikipedia), while others preferred a Creative Commons license, possibly one that excludes commercial use. There has been little discussion about licensing since early June. Citizendium requires content derived from Wikipedia articles to be listed under the GFDL, with a link back to the Wikipedia source.

Citizendium began as a "progressive fork" of Wikipedia, from a Fall 2006 database dump, and many of its articles still bear the imprint of their Wikipedia origins. In January, Sanger ordered the deletion of all Wikipedia articles that had not been substantially modified by Citizens. However, after the unmodified Wikipedia articles were purged, many users added up-to-date Wikipedia content without acknowledging the source. This has created a challenge in identifying all Wikipedia-derived content, some of which has changed substantially from its original form.

Approved articles

Citizendium features a process of approval, by which articles are certified as factually correct and balanced by individual editors or groups of editors with relevant professional expertise. As of July 22, when most of the research for this article was completed, Citizendium had thirty-one Approved articles. Of these, seventeen are wholly original Citizendium content, five are identified as containing Wikipedia content, five are derived from Wikipedia articles but unattributed as such (or were unattributed until recently), and four contain similar content to their Wikipedia counterparts but were released separately to Citizendium by the main contributors.

As on Wikipedia, the production of Citizendium original articles ranges from single-authorship (often with minor copyediting by others) to coordinated collaboration among a number of writers. One of the project's strengths is in the life sciences; twelve of the thirty-one Approved articles fall under the Biology Workgroup, with two more classified as Health Sciences. The first Approved article, Biology, is a concise and well-written historical introduction to the field of biology, but is perhaps better compared to Wikipedia's History of biology than the field/discipline-oriented Biology. Life is a collaborative project like "Biology"; this article is one of several that are longer and more heavily referenced than the corresponding Wikipedia articles (see Life).

Other Citizendium originals that contain more prose and/or citations than Wikipedia's include: Ancient Celtic music (see Celtic music); Contraception (medical methods) (see Birth control); Frederick Twort (see Frederick Twort); Horizontal gene transfer (see Horizontal gene transfer); Infant colic (see Baby colic); and Tux (see Tux). One Approved article, Telephone newspaper, has no Wikipedia counterpart.

Citizendium articles, and Approved articles in particular, represent a different editing philosophy than that of high-quality Wikipedia articles. In general, Citizendium editors strive to be more concise, and to present each article as a whole work rather than a jumping off point for related articles. Citizendium also encourages less use of inline citations ("a more sensible approach to citing sources"), explicitly relying instead on the knowledge and authority of its named editors for anything that is "common knowledge among experts". As Citizendium aims for gentle introductions rather than exhaustive discussions, the prose is more informal than Wikipedia's.

For example, Complex number is shorter than Wikipedia's Complex number, with a much simpler structure. It includes a numerical example of complex arithmetic, but leaves out many of the specific applications and properties discussed in the Wikipedia article. Overall, it is geared toward someone who is completely unfamiliar with the concept, whereas Wikipedia's article is organized so that more advanced readers can easily jump to the specific details they need.

Forks of Chiropractic and Vertebral subluxation—spearheaded on Citizendium by practicing chiropractor D. Matt Innis, who had also worked on them as Dematt on Wikipedia—evolved considerably from the Wikipedia versions of Chiropractic and Vertebral subluxation. Most of the exact Wikipedia prose has been replaced in these two articles, except for short phrases, though much of the original structure remains. However, they are listed as Citizendium originals because of the central role Innis played in the Wikipedia versions. Many of the citations were trimmed out over the course of the articles' Citizendium life, and a number of editors worked on them in addition to Innis. The Approved version in each case represent a compromise between a chiropractor and several physicians.

The five Approved articles that are acknowledged as Wikipedia-based (Barbara McClintock, Chemistry, DNA, Dog, and Wheat) have all changed since forking from the Wikipedia versions (mostly ca. September 2006), but Wikipedia has outpaced Citizendium in terms of added citations in each case since the fork.

History of Pittsburgh, primarily written by Wikipedian Tom Cool and uploaded to Citizendium by Cool, was split into two articles (Pittsburgh before and since 1800) and received some copyediting, but the content is largely unchanged from the Wikipedia version.

The remaining five Approved articles were originally based on Wikipedia articles, but were unmarked as such. They retain varying degrees of the original prose and structure. For one of the articles (Félix d'Hérelle), the lack of attribution was a clerical oversight (since corrected), as the versions before Approval were correctly marked. The main author of John Franklin claims that all remaining Wikipedia prose was originally contributed by him (former Wikipedian Profrap); however, some prose by others (for example, from this contribution by Blainster) remains in the article. Unattributed content from Wikipedia's bacteriophage also appears in the Citizendium version.

Finally, unattributed forks of Metabolism and RNA interference (see Metabolism and RNA interference) had similar outcomes to the five attributed Wikipedia articles: they have expanded and changed, but less so than the Wikipedia versions (both of which are now Featured Articles). Particularly substantial work went into both versions of "metabolism", the last common ancestor of which was hardly more than a stub.


News from Citizendium

By johnsonmx, July 30, 2007

Hello Wikipedia—this is Mike Johnson, casual Wikipedian,[1] and member of Citizendium's Executive Committee. Before I start talking about what's been going on at Citizendium (unofficially and with a healthy dose of personal opinion), I'd like to thank Sage Ross and Michael Snow for the invitation to write this piece for the Signpost. Once we start our own community newsletter I'll be happy to extend the same courtesy.

Citizendium at a glance

A quick primer: Citizendium is a wiki encyclopedia everyone can edit, but

  • Users must log in under their real names to edit;
  • Experts (e.g., professors, experienced professionals, or equivalent) are empowered to arbitrate disputes over matters of content within (and only within) their field of expertise;
  • Experts vet and approve excellent-quality, 'stable' versions of articles, though progress can continue on 'draft' pages;
  • The governance structure is more explicit than that on Wikipedia, with arguably firmer[2] and clearer laws and an editorial framework designed to better focus effort.

If I had to summarize Citizendium into a sentence, it'd be this: Wikipedia was concerned with making a working online encyclopedia; Citizendium is concerned with making a community that, if it works, will make a really good online encyclopedia.

So, is it working? I think there are many hopeful signs. We've got 2400 articles, 31 approved articles, and over 2000 users (265 of whom are editors). What do these numbers mean? Well, nobody really knows. But I think the health of our project can also be judged by what 'meta' projects we've done or are in the process of doing (more on that later).

Our main project bottleneck has been registration, as Sage Ross briefly alludes to in his sister article. Geni from Foundation-l has a pretty good take on this: "Trying to fight off our smarter vandals without having our antivandal people tends to result in people having to make registration hard which kills the project."

Such has been a uniquely challenging ecosystem to jump into, and our participation numbers, though good, haven't been as good as they could have been due to our relatively hard registration system. As I'm writing this, though, our tech guys are implementing a semi-automated registration system based on a MediaWiki plugin, which allows users to more easily apply, and allows us to approve applications with a single click should they meet our basic identification requirements. While it still requires users to jump through a hoop before they edit (something I personally still have qualms about), I expect that an easier application system combined with quicker responses will greatly benefit our numbers, and it'll also allow us to start doing serious academic recruiting.

How good is Citizendium's content?

Sage Ross takes a look at this question, and though we appear to come out fairly well in his analysis, I'm not sure how fair it is to have either Wikipedians or Citizendians attempt to publicly critique each others' content. Andrew Keen notwithstanding, clearly both models can create good content. I'm certainly optimistic that the Citizendium model will tend to produce markedly better content than the Wikipedia model (else I wouldn't be volunteering there), and I do think our approved articles are simply great (examples: Biology, Wheat, Northwest Passage).[3][4]

Still on the issue of content, both projects have borrowed a bit of content from the other without attribution, and sorting out how to handle things (and how irritated to get) when this happens will be an ongoing process.[5][6] Generally speaking, our projects' relationship will be many things to many people, but the one which has always made the most sense to me is that we're fundamentally sister projects working toward basically the same goal, albeit with some occasional good-natured sibling rivalry (see also: David Gerard's and my positions on project rivalry and cross-criticism).

Other exciting things happening at Citizendium

Governance

I think most Wikipedians would agree that project governance really does matter. We're committed and laying the groundwork to be a new sort of 'online republic', with

  • A binding community charter: in addition to setting out rights, duties, and expectations very clearly, a charter allows a community to have some explicit control over how it evolves. Without a constitution or charter, governance just happens. That can be a strength, but governance also just happens down the path of least resistance, and there's no central, credible process by which to make fundamental changes.
  • Four branches of government: Executive, Legislative, Enforcement (our "constabulary"), and Judicial.[7]
  • Separation of power between the branches, via various checks and balances, term limits, and the rule that no one may be a member of more than one governing body.

It'll be interesting to see how such formal governance structures will work out. Clearly there is a nuanced hierarchy on Wikipedia (in mirrorshard's words, a "very flat official hierarchy, and [a] very steep, complex, multidimensional unofficial one". I think more formal governance has the potential to be a lot "saner", but also higher friction. We're doing what we can to prevent that, but sometimes friction can only be gauged by trial-and-error and we'll have to adjust things as we go.

Citizendium 2.0

We're taking advantage of Citizendium's editorial infrastructure to push through some interesting side-projects under the "Citizendium 2.0" title, namely,

  • Collecting a rich set of related reference content on clearly-organized subpages (example: the right-hand panel on our Biology draft).
  • Eduzendium, where "The Citizendium invites graduate seminar instructors to include the crafting of a Citizendium article as an assignment" (we'll be running at least one Eduzendium pilot project this fall);
  • Various other initiatives (check the blog for more): personally, I'm most excited about the concept of a Citizendium-refereed free content brokerage.

Why should Wikipedians care about Citizendium?

I'd offer three reasons.

  1. The first is the most obvious. We're an alternative to Wikipedia, and we have a lot of good and interesting things going on. You might consider editing here. We welcome Wikipedians, and a lot of you may appreciate how we do things and what problems we don't suffer from (e.g., vandalism).
  2. The second follows the saying, 'let a thousand flowers bloom': it becomes easier to understand and improve your wiki once your sample size rises above 1.
  3. The third may not be intuitive, but I think it's very real: I suggest that Wikipedians should be deeply invested in Citizendium's success since having a viable competitor is invaluable for the long-term health of any organization. I won't make the full argument here, but it could be that if 10% of Wikipedians left and joined Citizendium, it'd be better for Wikipedia in the long run. It's just a thought—but do think about the value of having a strong competitor.

I don't want to play up the competitor angle too much, however, since I think we're ultimately on the same side: that of making more and better free content available to the world.

Notes and digressions

  1. ^ I have a lot of respect for what Wikipedia is, what it's accomplished, and what it might become (I have no idea what Wikipedia will look like in five years, but—speaking as someone who uses Wikipedia almost every day—I'll be interested to see it). And I don't want to damn Wikipedia with faint praise: Wikipedia has many bright and shining spots, and taken as a whole it's simply amazing. However, as time goes on, the core practices of the Wikipedia model may prove themselves very inefficient, quality-limiting tools for the task of making an encyclopedia that is consistently great and correct. So I see Wikipedia and Citizendium ultimately filling different niches: our philosophy to explicitly empower experts may more elegantly lend itself to producing many types of encyclopedic content, whereas Wikipedia's radically egalitarian philosophy may be particularly suited to topics outside of the traditional academy, being a uniquely powerful search engine-slash-web directory, and being a massively collaborative newsroom. Just thinking out loud here.
  2. ^ Perhaps the primary difference in 'legal' outlook between the two projects is that Citizendium is committed to weeding out cranks and trolls. Kyle Gann explains, "The problem is that Wikipedia forces its contributors to come to a consensus, and building consensus with a crank is a fool's errand. ... And a crank can single-handedly destroy an article's usefulness." Obviously excluding people from a knowledge project must be done very, very carefully (it'll only be done in clear instances of bad faith or repeatedly assertive cluelessness), but it should help with expert retention as well as user retention in general.
  3. ^ My personal theory is there'll be a quality differential between Wikipedia and Citizendium depending on the type of content: articles on inherently ambiguous topics, such as history and society, articles on controversial topics, and articles which are introductions to a topic may benefit the most from Citizendium's collaborative model of explicitly empowering expertise (e.g., those are the sorts of articles I think of as benefiting the most from a "guiding hand" and "lucid expert narration", or on the flip-side, being hurt the most by edit wars, over-compromising, and cranks).
  4. ^ I think Citizendium's workgroup structure also lends itself better to the important task of fleshing out often-disjoint content into a lucid encyclopedia. As Matt Britt notes, "I finally came to realize that Wikipedia’s attitude is not set on creating an encyclopedia by means of a freely editable wiki, but on creating a freely editable wiki and calling it an encyclopedia."
  5. ^ E.g., see this blog entry and Sage Ross's article for examples.
  6. ^ As noted in Sage Ross's article, we haven't settled on a free content license yet- essentially, we're still waiting for more community buy-in on the discussion. People know it's important in the abstract sense, but it takes a little while to realize that content licenses actually matter. The leading candidates are CC-by-sa, CC-by-nc, the GFDL, the upcoming GNU Wiki license, and various dual-licensing options.
  7. ^ I'm 26 with "just" a BA, and though I've never felt marginalized because of this while working at CZ, I do plan on pushing for explicit author representation within the CZ governance structure, perhaps within the Editorial Council or via an ombudsman system.



User resigns admin status amid allegations of sock puppetry

By Shalom, 30 July 2007

Oldwindybear resigned his status as a Wikipedia administrator amid allegations that he had been editing abusively from multiple sock puppet accounts. He is the third user in the last three months who has lost his adminship because of alleged sock puppetry.

Oldwindybear joined Wikipedia in August 2005. His request for adminship succeeded with a nearly unanimous tally of 66/0/1, so he was promoted by Deskana on 14 July 2007.

Three days later, on 17 July, Deskana asked other administrators to investigate a suspicion that Oldwindybear was using User:Stillstudying as a sock puppet account. This suspicion first came to light in May 2006 at Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Oldwindybear, but User:Dijxtra closed the case as inconclusive. The year-old sock puppet case was not cited on Oldwindybear's request for adminship, but once it was discovered, the administrators decided to investigate further.

A checkuser case revealed that Oldwindybear, Stillstudying, and User:Finishedwithschool edited from the same metropolitan area, but it did not establish a clear link between Oldwindybear and the other two accounts. In light of this evidence, Proabivouac and Barneca compiled a comprehensive record of evidence to prove that Oldwindybear was using Stillstudying, Finishedwithschool, and other accounts as sock puppets. They reported their results on the administrators' noticeboard.

Not wishing to submit the case to the Arbitration Committee, Oldwindybear decided to resign his adminship voluntarily, while still claiming that he is innocent. He remains an editor in good standing, but his alleged sock puppets have been blocked indefinitely.

The case draws comparisons to other incidents in recent months. In May, two other users were desysopped and banned because of alleged sock puppetry. Runcorn was desysopped and banned by the Arbitration Committee after Checkuser confirmed that he was using five sock puppet accounts to skew debates (see related story). Henrygb was desysopped and banned after failing to respond to an arbitration case against him. Earlier, in April, Robdurbar was immediately desysopped and banned after a rampage of inappropriate deletions and blocks (see related story). He was later discovered to be a sock puppet of Wonderfool.

Of about thirty cases of involuntary desysopping or resignation under controversy, as with Oldwindybear, only five have involved allegations of sock puppetry. Most of the others were motivated by abuse of administrator privileges, such as out-of-process deletions or wheel wars.

On July 25th, he made this statement: "Personal attacks are never fun. When they reach the point of abuse, which they have here, I am going to go find something else to do. I never used a sockpuppet, and I am not anyone but myself. I am being accused of being practically everyone in the metroplex. I resign to avoid further abuse. Thanks to all who supported me, and I enjoyed being here, except for this recent abuse". After that, he resigned as administrator and apparently left Wikipedia.


WikiWorld comic: "Mr. Bean"

By Greg Williams, 30 July 2007

This week's WikiWorld comic uses text from "Rowan Atkinson" and "Mr. Bean". The comic is released under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license for use on Wikipedia and elsewhere.


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In the news

By Enochlau, 30 July, 2007

Harvard professors reflect on Wikipedia experience

Two Harvard Business School professors discuss their interactions with Wikipedia in the context of an AfD debate. Associate professor Andy McAfee became personally involved with the discussion about the article Enterprise 2.0, which was a term that he had coined (he did not commence the writing of the article though), and thus was able to observe the governance of Wikipedia in action on a topic that he "cared a lot about". Several observations about why Wikipedia works include: the ethic of self-governance that includes the use of policies and guidelines to back up decisions, the transparency of the editing history and the ability of the community to tweak the rules as required. However, the existence of editors who refuse to engage in any real discussion, and appear determined to have everything on the fringe deleted, are noted as threats to the project's core values of being open to all ideas. Course notes have been prepared by Professors McAfee and Lakhani.

Wikipedia stands up to China

The San Francisco Chronicle carried an opinion piece about the approach that Wikipedia has taken in dealing with Internet censorship in China, and how it differs from the behaviour exhibited by large corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Wikipedia, run by a non-profit organisation, is not as subject to the whims of shareholders, and there is simply no advantage to the unethical censorship of its content. Wales' stance on the issue and the contributions of Chinese Wikipedians who continued to contribute even while the site was blocked were praised by the author.

Wales: wikis useful in corporate setting

Newsweek interviewed Jimmy Wales on his thoughts about the wiki making an entrance into the corporate arena. Wales notes that the wiki has become more mainstream recently, spurred on by the popularity of Wikipedia. He believes that wikis are useful where there is a "clear and shared vision", and the editable nature of a wiki encourages consensus. To take advantage of efficiency that wikis afford, Wales believes that companies will need to become more free in the way they do business.

Other mentions in the news

Other mentions of Wikipedia in the online press include:


Features and admins

By Sr13, 30 July, 2007

Administrators

Eight users were granted admin status via the Requests for Adminship process this week: MoRsE (nom), Tra (nom), EliminatorJR (nom), Xnuala (nom), the undertow (nom) MJCdetroit (nom), Awiseman (nom), and Raymond arritt (nom). Also, the Wikimedia Foundation granted admin status to its new counsel, Mike Godwin.

Bots

Eight bots or bot tasks were approved to begin operating this week: BoxCrawler (task request), KiloBot (task request), Cherybot (task request), OverlordQBot (task request), Chem-awb (task request), O bot (task request), MessedRobot II (task request) and MadmanBot (task request).

Featured content

Eighteen articles were promoted to featured status last week: Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision (nom), Ailanthus altissima (nom), Introduction to general relativity (nom), Australian Defence Force (nom), Aston Villa F.C. (nom), Technology of the Song Dynasty (nom), Plug-in hybrid (nom), Sargon of Akkad (nom), Mackinac Island (nom), Grand Forks, North Dakota (nom), Dookie (nom), Cardinal-nephew (nom), Karnataka (nom), Battle of Arras (1917) (nom), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (nom), Constitution of Belarus (nom), William Bruce (architect) (nom), and Sheerness (nom).

Five articles were de-featured last week: Color Graphics Adapter (nom), Bhutan (nom), Irish theatre (nom), Johannesburg (nom) and Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu (nom)

Ten lists were promoted to featured status last week: List of state symbols of Maryland (nom), List of Governors of Kentucky (nom), Timeline of tuberous sclerosis (nom), List of sister cities in Florida (nom), Current members of the Maryland House of Delegates (nom), All-Star Final Vote (nom), List of Desperate Housewives episodes (nom), List of Teen Titans episodes (nom), List of counties in Arizona (nom) and List of counties in Connecticut (nom).

No lists were de-featured last week.

No portals were promoted to featured status last week.

No topics or sounds were promoted to featured status last week.

The following featured articles were displayed last week on the Main Page as Today's featured article: Ben Gurion International Airport, Third Servile War, Oceanic whitetip shark, Homer's Phobia, Hurricane Kenna, Zhou Tong (archer), and Kate Bush.

The following featured pictures were displayed last week on the Main Page as picture of the day: World's largest compass rose, Las Vegas Strip, Mammatus cloud, Golda Meir, A man exemplifying anti-Iranian sentiment, Salt mounds, and Prairie dog.

Eight pictures were promoted to featured status last week and are shown below.



Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News

By ais523, 30 July, 2007

This is a summary of recent technology and site configuration changes that affect the English Wikipedia. Note that not all changes described here are live as of press time; the English Wikipedia is currently running version 1.24wmf17 (f559777), and changes with a version number higher than that will not yet be active.

Fixed bugs

  • An API query for the imageinfo of more than one image now returns each image's information once, rather than re-returning the information for earlier images in the information for later images. (r24372, bug 10662)
  • A bug preventing the checkbox used by administrators to move-protect pages without protecting them from edits working properly in all browsers was fixed. (r24419, bug 10732)
  • The 'delete' link for old versions of an image now only appears for administrators (before, the link appeared for all users but didn't work except for administrators). (r24432, bug 10741)

New features

  • It's now possible to provide an edit summary when reverting an image to a previous version. (r24439, bug 10739)
  • Several enhancements were made to the API: (r24453, [1])
    • The query list=search now allows for full text searches (like the 'Search' option of the search box).
    • The query list=allusers now allows returning and filtering by user groups (such as administrator and bureaucrat). (bug 10684)
    • There was also a breaking change to the output of prop=revisions, that removed a duplicate pageid in the output.

Ongoing news

  • Internationalisation has been continuing as normal; help is always appreciated! See m:Localization statistics for how complete the translations of languages you know are, and post any updates to bugzilla.


The Report on Lengthy Litigation

By David Mestel and Newyorkbrad, 30 July, 2007

The Arbitration Committee accepted three new cases this week, and closed one of these cases as well as three older cases.

Closed cases

  • Miskin: This case involved the block of Miskin for one month (later reduced to one week) under the three revert rule by Swatjester. The committee advised Miskin to seek consensus on an article's talkpage if his initial edits are reverted, and advised Swatjester to take into account the length of time since previous blocks when deciding on the length of a later block and to treat all editors violating the 3RR fairly.
  • Paranormal: This case involved allegedly biased editing by various users on "articles on paranormal and pseudoscientific topics" such as parapsychology and electronic voice phenomenon. In its final decision, the Arbitration Committee made a series of observations concerning the nature of and history of contentious editing on these articles. Remedies were adopted cautioning users Dradin and Kazuba. A proposal to limit all editors who regularly edit in this area to one revert per article per week per article was narrowly defeated.

New cases

  • Jeffrey O. Gustafson: A case brought by User:John254 alleging incivility and other misconduct by administrator Jeffrey O. Gustafson. The case has moved quickly to the voting stage, with arbitrator UninvitedCompany proposing that Mr. Gustafson's administrator privileges be suspended for 30 days, while arbitrator Kirill Lokshin has proposed desysopping him.

Evidence phase

  • Catalonia: A case brought by Physchim62 involving alleged edit warring, possible sockpuppetry and other misconduct, including alleged misuse of blocking tools, by various editors on Catalonia, Valencian Community, and related articles.

Voting phase

  • Zacheus-jkb: A case involving the actions of -jkb- and Zacheus. -jkb- alleges that Zacheus has published personal data on him, and has made legal threats. Zacheus denies the allegations, and Thatcher131 alleges on the talkpage that -jkb- has himself revealed personal information about Zacheus. In the proposed decision, the Arbitration Committee would admonish both editors for their previous misconduct against each other but note that the problematic conduct seems to have stopped, and warn the parties not to resume practices such as posting identifying information about other editors or making personal attacks.
  • Armenia-Azerbaijan 2: A case alleging misconduct by various editors, some of whom were previously placed on revert parole in an earlier case, on articles relating to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and related matters. Fred Bauder has proposed remedies, supported by SimonP, extending to revert parole applied to various editors to probation, and imposing these remedies also on anyone who edits the articles aggressively.
  • COFS, a case initiated by Durova based on a discussion at the community sanctions noticeboard. The case involves allegations of tendentious editing by various editors, sockpuppetry, conflicts of interest, and other user conduct issues on Scientology related articles. The proposed decision submitted by UninvitedCompany would ban User:COFS for 30 days for POV editing and require him to change his username and disclose any duties he may have to the Church of Scientology before resuming editing.
  • Pigsonthewing 2, initiated by Moreschi, concerns the conduct of Pigsonthewing, including a series of conflicts between this user and other editors involving the use of microformats on Wikipedia and other matters. A proposed decision submitted by UninvitedCompany would find that "Pigsonthewing disregards the Wikipedia way of doing things and is unable or unwilling to improve his pattern of participation" and would ban Pigsonthewing from editing Wikipedia for one year.
  • Attachment Therapy, initiated by Shotwell, alleges that other editors have engaged in POV pushing and tendentious editing on attachment therapy and related articles. During the case, checkuser indicated that DPeterson had created at least four sockpuppets that were used to edit-war on these articles and create the appearance of consensus. A proposed decision by arbitrator Kirill Lokshin would ban DPeterson for one year for this misconduct and remind the other parties to exercise care while editing articles as to which they may have a conflict of interest.

Motion to close

  • Abu badali: A case alleging that Abu badali has disruptively tagged non-free images for deletion, even when a valid fair-use justification exists, and has harassed editors who have complained about this behavior. In the proposed decision, the committee would adopt a remedy proposed by arbitrator FloNight under which Abu Badali "is counselled to be more patient and diplomatic with users who question his tagging of images and to work with them in a collaborative way."
  • Piotrus: A case involving Piotrus and other editors on Central and Eastern Europe-related articles. In the case, multiple parties have accused one another of edit-warring, incivility, unethical behavior, and biased editing. Under the currently proposed decision, an amnesty would be granted for prior editing problems on these articles, and the parties would be reminded of the need to edit courteously and co-operatively in the future. Two arbitrators have opposed closing the case pending consideration of additional remedies.