Talk:300-page iPhone bill

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Good article 300-page iPhone bill has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

My take on this Article[edit]

The risk with articles like this is that we are allowing people who get 15 minutes of fame to be "encyclopedia worthy," theoretically for eternity. If Justine Ezarik is notable, we will have to add a new person every other day who gets 500,000 hits on youtube and some minor media coverage (which seems to amount to a few human interest stories, i.e. fluff.) Specifically, about this article, I think the fact that AT&T and Apple sent out large amounts of paper is notable enough to be included in wikipedia. The fact that some girl got a bill does not *represent* the notableness of the topic. It is an example of the story, but it is not the story. The guy who got a 6000 dollar bill made news too; should we branch this article into two - one called 300 page bill, and the other called 6000 dollar bill? While I STILL think the article should be merged, another option would be to rename the article to "iPhone bills" or something similar, and then cut down the amount of information specifically on Ezarik. We should merge the Video and Other Noted Phone Bills sections. Rm999 06:55, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Fuck me, how low is wikipedia going to sink? a man received a 52 page phonebill? this is notable? worth a mention in an encyclopedia article? --Fredrick day 11:50, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree in general. Wikipedia is not a news outlet that needs a corner for entertaining "public interest" stories, it is an encyclopedia. Vast articles about something as unimportant as this are a waste of effort that should, frankly, be deleted. Docta247 14:33, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I would support the (2nd) deletion of this article. I do not think invoices deserve their own article. It's obvious the article is more about the media circus around an invoice for a new electronic gadget, rather than the invoice itself. It appears the only information about the bill is "300 double-sided pages that had to be sent in a box with postage charges of US$7." That's notable? The media circus may be notable, but I don't think you can rely on the media to accurately report on a media circus they are directly involved in. If the page isn't deleted, maybe a better name for the page would be iPhone bill media circus, I don't know. But it's clear this article is not mainly about a bill. --Pixelface 05:05, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is more broadly a case study in technology and society, and has several related story threads all wound together. Many people get hung up on the superficial aspects of the story, and miss its greater relevance. It's not just about the bill, which is the catalyst, or the media circus, which is what makes it notable. The article documents the interplay of various technologies and people's use of them for different purposes, with sometimes surprising results. For example, the new technologies embodied in the iPhone were incompatible with the legacy technology of AT&T's billing system creating a problem, and a lone David took on the Golliath AT&T using another new technology, internet video, to address it. The WP:NOR policy requires that we rather dryly report only what has been published in reliable sources, but that does not prevent intellectually curious readers from giving it greater meaning. Some find it an interesting story for their own reasons, and some find it uninteresting, just like every other article on WP. Dhaluza 08:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, I say we delete this article. Plus the only reason she got such a big bill was because she texted like 300k times. LightSpeed3 (talk) 03:43, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

This 'event' doesn't really warrant an article about it. Maybe a mention in AT&T's article for their phone bills, but nothing more. I'd agree with the move to delete this article. --Antictzn113 (talk) 04:53, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree it's trivial, but it's a lot more notable than many other articles. Deletion has been discussed informally in the past (see the talk page here), but no formal request. I for one would be against deletion since this is an interesting footnote in a groundbreaking product introduction. Mattnad (talk) 13:41, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the article has been formally nominated for deletion thrice (see the article history above). Once it was deleted (later overturned), once there was on consensus to delete the article, and the third time it was speedily kept. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 15:29, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
So I guess "Three Times a Charm." Can we put this debate to rest now? Mattnad (talk) 15:47, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

GA pass[edit]

Good work improving the article as per my suggestions. As I'm sure you saw, I did a bit of minor copyediting myself, and I think that this article is now up to GA level, and as such, I have passed it. —Daniel Vandersluis(talk) 15:17, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Congrats to Dhaluza, who busted his hump working on this. A job well done! Cheers, CP 16:18, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


I have listed the site for a Good article reassessment. See WP:GAR. Rm999 06:02, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

It currently meets the criteria, but can be delisted or relisted at GAR if this changes in the future. Geometry guy 19:48, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

iPod advertisement?[edit]

Why is the first half of the background paragraph practically an iPod ad? What importance has its drag-and-drop interface and camera has to do with AT&T's excessive paper usage? A simple link under the first mention of "iPhone" should be enough presentation of the device. 23:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It's important to understand why the iPhone generated such wide public attention, which is likely related to why the video quickly went viral. Remember that WP articles are supposed to be timeless, and someone looking at the article 10 years from now may not remember or realize what seems to be common knowledge now. Also articles are supposed to be able to stand on their own, without relying on other articles for a foundation--links are only provided to give additional in-depth information. In this case, the iPhone article is rather long, and will only get longer. A reader should not have to wade through the entire thing to get the essence needed to understand this article. Dhaluza (talk) 17:32, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
complete bollocks of course - the functionality of the device matter not one whit to the core concern of this article - that a back office system at AT&T generates a massive bill. Having said that, hopefully the AFD means we can flush this sorry article down the toilet. --Fredrick day (talk) 17:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Tree calculation[edit]

An anon editor has been repeatedly removing the tree calculation and the supporting references saying "it's a blog" or some variation of this in the edit summary. This content is not sourced to the blog as a primary source, it is sourced to other secondary sources that commented on the blog post in connection with the article subject. The anon is also claiming that the calculation is invalid, but that is OR. It does not matter if the assumptions are correct or not, they became part of the public discussion in this form, and that is what is relevant. The assumptions the calculation is based on is presented in the article, and it is up to the reader to decide if they are valid or not. The reader can easily re-calculate based on their own assumptions if they wish. If an anon wishes to claim that the calculation is invalid, they need to get their opinion published in an outside reliable source, and then it can be added to the article as a rebuttal. Until then, the calculation was discussed without rebuttal in RS, and it is discussed in that context in the article. Dhaluza (talk) 23:31, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I added this article to "requested moves", because I think the title is misleading and is not relevant in any means. If Wikipedians thinks the video is important enough to be here, OK, but the name is really misleading... the requested name is just an example, if anyone came up with something better --Have a nice day. Running 01:57, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The current title seems fine to me, how is it misleading? Someone who doesn't know what it is about may first think of it as some joke or fad, which is okay compared to similar articles. iPhone bill video is ambiguous as there are presumably plenty of other videos about iPhone bills. The article is not only about the video, though it is the central claim to notability . –Pomte 10:10, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I am removing the listing of this move request from the backlog at Requested moves, as there doesn't seem to be a current consensus to move the page. If that situation changes later, then please feel free to move the page, and if you need pages deleted in order to move it, you can find us at WP:RM. Cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:09, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

This article is too long for such an arbitrary event[edit]

It wasnt a big media spectacle, noone really knew, it only really happened online. It has been a gone, am I the only one who thinks that this article really needs to be cut down now? Because to be frank, noone really cares anymore. Its just a very slightly interesting portion of the iphone's history. Crampy20 (talk) 15:04, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Why does it "need" to be cut down? If you check the refs, you will see that they went into greater detail on the various points, and the article is already cut down from the available reference material. If it went beyond the refs, then it would need to be cut down. All of the material in the article is cited to one or more of the refs, and is related to the overall subject, which is not just about the iPhone. In fact, the iPhone is only part of the backstory, and played no role in the main story. Your assertion that this was strictly an online phenomenon is completly refuted by the references. So, the subjective judgement that this should be cut down is not supported by objective evidence. But no, you are probably not the only one who draws the same conclusion from their personal feelings about the subject, rather than the content. Dhaluza (talk) 12:01, 18 May 2008 (UTC)


The "300 page bill" is just a hoax. Deletion recommended. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bidness (talkcontribs) 02:00, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Not Notable[edit]

I don't believe this article meets the "non-trivial" guidline in the web notability guidelines. (talk) 07:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Your opinion aside, the non-trivial specificities in the Wikipedia:Notability (web) guideline refers to the sources used to cite and evidence notability, not the topic itself. This article is cited to 52 disparate sources, including The Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many more. QED. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 14:12, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

NFC necessity[edit]

Is the non-free image (Image:IPhone Home.png) necessary for the understanding of this article? This is about an excessive bill and the story therein; seeing the detailed iPhone isn't necessary to understand any aspect of that. I would recommend either using one of the libre images at Commons (commons:category:iPhone), or none at all. Thoughts? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 14:17, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

As the editor who added the image, I'm all for a free alternative. Pick one that doesn't look idiotic (with blurred interface). Warning though, some of the images I've seen on the commons might violate the very stringent rules set by a hard core Copyright enforcers because they show the interface as well as the phone. Mattnad (talk) 16:47, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
What aspect of the article is this image requisite for understanding and irreplaceale with either (a) text or (b) a libre image with a blurred UI? The article discusses an oversized bill and the reaction thereof, and the "Background" section doensn't discuss or reference anything relating to the image, and certainly nothing that needs the copyrighted image for understanding or clarification of the associative section. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:27, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
It helps to clarify what an iPhone is (the device at the core of this event and discussed in the background), but I don't really care if you want it out. I will say I'm curious as to why you'd prefer to have a degraded "free" image when a clear "fair use" image is available and allowable on the page. How does a degraded free image improve the article? Mattnad (talk) 17:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, the clear fair-use image isn't allowable on the page--is the point. The coppyrighted image doesn't meet the muster of the WP:NFCC#non-free content criteria for inclusion on this page (see WP:NFCC#1 & #3a), unless you can make an argument (either here, or on the IDP) that the purpose of that image here is irreplaceable.

Barring that, our options are either one of the libre Commons images, or no images at all, depending on whichever is optimal for the article. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 18:24, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I think we differ on whether a mutated blurred image is a free equivalent. And your argument for minimal usage is subjective, a slippery slope, and can easily disqualify the screen shot of the ABC interview on the article. At this point, I'm not that interested in pushing for quality. I'll remove the image. Better to have nothing than what's "libre" (as you put it). Mattnad (talk) 18:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
There is no need for a fair-use image of the iPhone, a free one is fine for this. I've restored the previous image from the commons. Dhaluza (talk) 01:25, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Hua. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 01:58, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Misleading article[edit]

The article appears to be misleading; I was expecting the article to be about a phone bill that was outrageous in the amount charged but what I am getting is this:

  • people are using the new features of their new toy phones a lot
  • people have requested (albeit by default) detailed bills to be mailed outlining how their new features are being used
  • people are actually receiving the detailed bills as requested

Should it not be made more clear in the article that the bills they are receiving are perfectly normal - i.e. they are a normal function of the phone company and are the result of people using the services for which they are paying? The article never really makes that clear. (talk) 20:25, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

It depends what you mean by normal. I think the article makes clear that the billing system performed as designed, but that many people did not think it was normal for an individual to receive a 300-page bill for one month's cell phone usage. I think the point is that this was an unanticipated consequence of new and old technologies that did not work together, a problem which the company was eventually forced to fix. Dhaluza (talk) 10:36, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
This article is worthless. It has nothing to do with old and new technologies working together and more to do with a blonde sending thousands of texts per day and then having her bill documenting each text she sent and received. this article has been nominated for deletion multiple times because it diminishes all articles on wikipedia. Yes it has references because it was a slow news day, but if we had an article for every news article there is, then that just means we need to fix the wikipedia guidelines for references and notability. LightSpeed (talk) 02:21, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm a bit late in commenting, but when wikipedia changes the guidelines, we can revisit. Many editors found this article not only relevant and notable, but also "good" quality. I think it's also an interesting historical footnote in a device that is transforming the cell-phone industry. Your perspective is different, but you are in the minority on this one.Mattnad (talk) 21:05, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Online bill[edit]

An online bill would'nt kill trees. (talk) 15:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 06:25, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Useless Article[edit]

This is not "encyclopedia" worthy, this is an article which is useless knowledge, sure it was good news but does not need it's own Wikipedia page, if Wikipedia keeps a model like this going, everyone who has some "odd event" will think it's newsworthy and demand their own page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree, if more than half the article is just references made in an attempt to verify its notability, it obviously shouldn't exist as anything more than a subsection of another article. Nearly all of the sources are links to tiny five-year-old blurbs from online news and tech magazines. This article and the related one on Justine Ezarik are flagrant violations of If Wikipedia's rules were actually enforced somehow, it might be taken more seriously as a reliable source of information.

Powerful users like TonyTheTiger and Dhaluza seem to get their way on every issue related to these articles. This isn't the only instance of this kind of corruption. The Hugo Chavez article (which Jimmy Wales himself can't even seem to fix!) is in a similar situation (relating to a different kind of bias): small handfuls of users can completely dominate a given article, catering content based on their personal motives. It's unfair and completely hypocritical for a "free" encyclopedia. (talk) 03:58, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I found this article useful and interesting. It is a great record of a significant incident and is well-sourced and covered. While not the most important of subjects to a "general knowledge" person, the subject was something I was looking up and I am glad this article exists. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 01:57, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Simpsons reference?[edit]

Shouldn't this page have a mention of the Simpsons episode Mypods and Boomsticks, in which Lisa receives her first "MyTunes" bill in a box and assumes it is a gift from "Mapple"? – PeeJay 12:22, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe. I will add it under a new area called Other uses

Draft -

==Other Uses==

The 300 page iPhone bill was used in Mypods and Boomsticks, an episode of The Simpsons. In the episode, Lisa recieves a boxed bill from Mapple, and she thinks it's a gift, when it's here MyTunes bill. — Preceding unsigned comment added by World Flying (talkcontribs) 19:03, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Given that the episode synopsis says "Lisa becomes obsessed with her new MyPod until she gets a US$1200 "MyBill"", it's not entirely clear that this is a deliberate reference to a the 300-page bill (which is notable for the number of pages, not for the amount demanded). --McGeddon (talk) 08:30, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

But then, it was still in a box and also is around the same times — Preceding unsigned comment added by World Flying (talkcontribs) 18:23, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Duh improvements[edit]

I added the name "Justine Ezarik" to the article. For some reason, even though this article was reviewed a few years ago for WP:GA, no one ever noticed that her first and last name were never mentioned in the article, not once. Only "Ezarik" was repeatedly mentioned. "iJustine" was mentioned only once, but without saying that this is the same person. These are kind of glaring omissions. I made some other minor improvements too, like making it clear up front that the point of the video was to highlight that the bill wastes paper, not that it is too expensive. Prhartcom (talk) 19:14, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. Looks like the article was using her full name in the lede when it became a GA in 2010 and it must have fallen out since. --McGeddon (talk) 19:28, 6 September 2014 (UTC)