Talk:Elephant/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

A page for stuff to do with the Colbert Report segment on wikiality. See also Wikipedia:Wikiality and Other Tripling Elephants.

Colbert Report and the problems with Wikipedia

If Wikipedia doesn't want their pages to be vandalized, then they shouldn't allow just anyone to edit the pages. The Colbert Report exposed just how easily wrong information can be given on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a trusted source of information because of its open edit policy. There is wrong info all over Wikipedia and Wikipedia does nothing about it. The administrators for Wikipedia are just people who have signed up to be one online. Wikipedia has way too many problems and has way too much false information. Hopefully all the vandalism with the Colbert Report will wake up Wikipedia and create a safe and reliable web based encyclopedia.

With all due respect, sadly ignoring the "No Personal Attacks" policy, Mr. Colbert is what many would refer to as a Professional Troll. Now, despite the fact that Colbert has millions of viewers, most of whom edit the Elephant article to all hell, Wikipedia is still able to maintain the article's integrity through diligent reverts and article protection. The fact of the matter is, it's been proven (albeit grudgingly) that Wikipedia has, in cases, been more accurate than (or as accurate as) Reuters and Brittanica. Whether or not Wikipedia is a trusted source of information should not matter if all Wikipedians contribute source citations for information inserted. There is wrong information all over wikipedia, sure, but things are being done about it all the time. Reverts, peer edits, demands for source citation, are all things that are done and that you can do to make wikipedia a better place to learn. Yes, I'm sure there's false information on wikipedia, but it's not like nothing is being done. The fact of the matter is, Wikipedia actually has a very fast, efficacious peer review process. In the end, all the Elephant article has proven is that when Mr. Colbert rallies his forces behind their keyboards, all the edit warring in the world cannot change the fact that the elephant population has still not tripled. Regards, Utopianfiat 15:47, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

On the Colbert Report Again

This is The Problem with the world today... we rely to much on Facts. You refuse to believe that the elephant population has trippled in the past six months simply because there are no facts to prove it. Well, I don't rely on what my brain tells me. I rely on what I feel is true. Our nation relys too much on factiness and not enough on truthiness Ikaveman 13:37, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

He also said they had locked the elephant Wikipedia page because of his fans and I came on to check to see if it was true.

Moreover,

Well, dont worry about vandalism because the page is locked. I was so tempted to add something about the size of an erect elephant penis/


     Well, since the comment wasn't finished............lets just leave it out...................;)

I was tempted to do something too. I don't know the size of an erect elephant penis and I don't really want to look it up. NeoJustin 17:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

according to world sex records, 150cm. <http://www.world-sex-records.com/sex-298.htm> Skhatri2005 22:53, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

So you feel that homosexuality is not natural. Is it true? Maybe for you, but I got news for you, you don;t matter when it comes to everyone else. Everyone needs to see the facts and then to make their own opinions on the matter. Coolguy1368 13:10 27 September 2006

Full Protection?

Wouldn't semi-protection have been enough? -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 04:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Definately justified. Did you just see the Colbert Report? For those that don't know what is going on Steven Colbert on "The Word" of the Colbert Report told his viewers to come on this article and state as fact that the number of Elephants in the world has tripled. Just a warning to people watching this page to know why there might be a sudden horde of IPs claiming an increase in the world Elephant population. On a side note, Colbert is really a genius, the first guy I heard of to use his mass populace to sponsor a spam attack on Wikipedia!--Jersey Devil 04:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes I did watch the show, but new users who just saw the show and decided to go vandalize the article on a whim would still not be able to edit the article under semi-protection. -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 04:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • SP should work, as I doubt full-fledged Wikipedia members would be swayed, no matter how funny he is. Heh. Staxringold talkcontribs 04:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed. How many of his listeners will (a) already have Wikipedia accounts, and (b) be inclined to follow his jocular instructions? And is this number greater than our normal vandalism protection mechanisms can handle? (And on the other hand, how many people hearing of the controversy and visiting this page might be inspired to make a constructive contribution, but be stymied by full protection?) —Steve Summit (talk) 04:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It only takes one. Ratbert42 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I didn't come here to vandalize, but I did want to see if anybody had actually taken his advice. I have some...less mature friends that I know have established accounts that called me just to say that they couldn't edit the page. Just...Trust me on this: You have no idea how many intelligent individuals have no maturity.--Eagleguy125 04:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You have no idea how many intelligent individuals have no maturity Myself included. ^_^ Messatsu 01:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I am personally of the opinion that Wikipedia should alter its policies to only allow registered users to make edits. There is no reason whatsoever to allow edits to be made anonymously. It would place a barrier to vandalism such as has occured here, and it would introduce some small measure of accountability. It is not as though it cost anything to register, if one is actually interested in making a contribution. Rosensteel 17:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I have tidied up a number of articles, including the Tejas one, which I wouldn't have bothered doing if I had to register. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Casual vandalism is pretty easy to revert anyway, it's the slow bias creeping in from dedicated people with an agenda that's hard to deal with - and that can happen just as easily (or even more easily) with registration.--88.96.3.206 19:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more! I've been editing Wikipedia anonymously since when Everything2 was a more comprehensive repository of knowledge than here. Once you begin instituting requirements for contribution, the slippery slope of credentials will soon follow; which is exactly what the Wikimedia Foundation set out to avoid in the first place. The correlation between anonymity and cogency is a weak argument; focus on the content not the contributors. 71.162.255.58 03:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
ditto here, every so often i see something that isn't right and i correct it, but i'm still to lazy to get an account, so go figure:) anon editing is there for good reason i think

Personally, I'm pleased as punch. Wikipedia has landed. This show featured discussion of a major political race; a movie star that said some very controversial things; and Wikipedia. It would have been nice if he'd asked his fans to go read the article on neutral point of view and improve the site, but he's a comedian and we can't expect miracles. Still, pat yourselves on the back. You're part of a cultural phenomenon. -Harmil 04:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd think that at least a few would have accounts here. They don't have to be "full-fledged" just have accounts here that they created and have been inactive. I think we should wait at least a little while before going down to semi-protection.--Jersey Devil 04:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As long as you're labelling it a cultural phenomeonon, I feel that this incident should be noted in the "pop culture" section of this article. I believe not doing so is akin to wikipedia having an elephant in the room --Shirley Grace 14:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I concur with the above. Danorux 03:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I must state for the record that even though I am a well-established Wikipedian who is completely against vandalism of any sort, I would have made an exception in this case and vandalized. So it was probably a good idea to go for the full-protection. I must do what Colbert tells me. (Sorry) K-UNIT 05:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
It is unacceptable that a user with something like (it appears) 700 edits would do such a thing. Especially a user that considers themselves to be part of the "Counter Vandalism Unit." It looks bad for the public and it is a disgrace for dedicated contributors like myself. If you wanted to do it, fine, we reverted it, but saying you did such on this talk page angers me. Admins, consider blocking the editing capacity of User:Tkevin1 for the time being. Thank you. --Nick Catalano contrib talk 10:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
C'mon, don't take life so seriously. Smoke some pot. --BMF81 00:17, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Your so uptight. Did you even read what he said? Nope. Settle down some there killer.

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist i had to do it, because he told me too. Id be a bad American if i didn't or somthing. Heh we should have a contest to see who can sneak somthing in the article and if anyone notices, I bet we will and wikipedia will be vindicated for it.Qrc2006 07:22, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Population Compromise

We could let the page say the pop. has tripled, and then just BJAODN it. Jds10912 20:25, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Population Information

I recently heard that the population of elephants in africa has tripled over the last 6 months. I would add this, but for some (unlisted) reason, the page is locked. --Tedivm 04:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Hehehe, nice try, everyone knows about Colbert :) Anyway, despite what outsiders might think we actually have processes here to deal with false information.--Jersey Devil 04:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

This article is now famous because of Stephen. I bet it will be one of the most hit articles for a few days now. I know you guys protected it, but wouldn't it be appropriate to put a reference to the triple-ing of the elephent population within the article? Perhaps as a sub-title under the "Elephants in Culture" heading? Or as a smaller heading on the bottom of the page?

Colbert made an excellent point when he remarked that the Wikipedia entry on truthiness is longer than the one on Lutheranism. Mentioning the Colbert/Wikipedia segment within elephant-related articles would be shameless navel-gazing. It would probably be a good idea to improve our actual references to elephant population data, though. This article doesn't cite too many sources. Rhobite 04:59, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it's a good thing that truthiness is longer than Lutheranism. Xizer 17:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Featured on Colbert Report. Get ready!

This article was featured on the Colbert Report. Get ready for alot of spam. dposse 04:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this page is about to become swamped by Colbert Report fans... --Aemilia 03:41, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert rules. Can you at least put what Colbert said with Wikiality in brackets?

That would be more appropriate on the page for his show. It actually has nothing to do with Elephants. Ask yourself these two questions: 1) would anyone looking for info on "Wikiality" come to the Elephant article first? 2) would anyone looking for info on elephants find that information useful? -Harmil 04:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
What about the Simpsons reference? Would anyone come to the Elephant article looking for The Simpsons? Would anyone looking for information on Elephants find the information about the elephant in one episode of the Simpsons useful, or what about the White Stripes? If you're using that logic to decide what goes here and what doesn't, delete some of the other Pop Culture references too.
Actually, I'd fully expect an article here on Elephants to have a pop culture section that lists the times elephants were mentioned on The Simpsons. It seems like half the articles on Wikipedia have those. Ratbert42 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. The Simpsons have been deeply embedded in Pop Culture for over a decade and a half. Although I do think this Colbert incident does deserve an honorable mention since it has shown wiki’s ability to weed out misinformation very quickly. Perhaps a wiki article should be created for this particular incident? Colbert Report on Elephants Pchov 04:55, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I actually came here looking for information on the Colbert Report's Wikiality, because we don't have an article on it.--Zaphod Beeblebrox 04:13, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

What about a seperate article called "Colbert's Elephant Article" or something?

It still has nothing to do with elephants and linking to it from the elephant's article seems futile, other than to get a few laughs. Talking about it in the Colbert Report page makes more sense.
It's mentioned under Stephen Colbert. If they search for wikiality, they'll find it there. If the check the users are in-on the joke, they can see this discussion about it, on this talk page. If not, then including it is self-referential, which Wikipedia tries to avoid- That is, it's wiki policy to write articles about things that stand alone, and don't have to be on wikipedia.


I've lowered the protection level of the talk page so that established editors can comment here. JDoorjam Talk 07:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It's sort of silly that only admins can edit this page. Most established users have no desire to vandalize this page. I'd actually love the chance to try to improve it, but I can't. Thanks Stephen Colbert. alphaChimp laudare 07:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm dropping the article to sprotected. Tomorrow the "bored at work" crowd may stop by, but the sprotect should deal with most of that. I guess it depends how much interest the blogs and Slashdot take in this. If there are a significant number of sleeper accounts that come to life on this, we may bump the protection up again, but I think we'll be ok. JDoorjam Talk 08:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. That really does seem a lot more sensible. alphaChimp laudare 08:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

It's only false if we choose not to accept it ;) This is pretty funny. Colbert would be proud--Xc4l1br 12:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

He'll probably mention that the "liberals who own this site" are trying to "withhold his truthiness" on the show. I love that show, he's so much funnier than what's-his-face-Stewart.--Blastoiseiii 13:12, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll be surprised if he mentions it all. It's unusual for him to follow up on standard "The Word" segments. Rhobite 15:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't try to predict him, he may just surprise people, but generally, I agree. You don't go back to past segments, because it isn't fresh or new and doesn't drive ratings. --Mystalic 15:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with you there, Mystalic, check The Colbert Report recurring elements to see how many times is brought back old gags. Just some examples, his knocking of AP for not giving him credit for Truthiness, Alan, his black friend, etc... I wouldn't be surprised if he brought it back.--Zaphod Beeblebrox 04:21, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow, that was impressive. I went onto this page as soon as he mentioned it, and it was already vandalized, and was too busy to revert. Plus I kept getting errors. It may also have been my internet connection. Axeman89 15:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


Has anyone actually considered whether Colbert is correct? I mean the elephant population could be increasing OR decreasing so there is a 50/50 chance that he could be correct. We should examine both sides of the controversy. --Thax 16:38, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

If you can cite some sources to that effect (e.g. anyone other than Colbert), then we can examine it. The nature of elephants is that gestation takes an extremely long time. It's doubtful that such a change could have occured. alphaChimp laudare 16:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Could there just be a section that claims- Stephen Colbert recently suggested that elephant population has tripled in the last ten years, however this is not true. Maybe under a trivia sort of thing. DoomsDay349 16:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
At best, it should be one sentence in Elephants in pop culture. Trouble is, whoever adds it is going to get reverted =D (or blocked). alphaChimp laudare 16:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I am glad you asked for a source that isn't Colbert, here is one from wikipedia, a very reliable source of information: [1] "Elephants are increasingly threatened by human intrusion, with the African elephant population tripling in the last 3 months." --Thax 17:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think you can cite this article in writing this article. That change was reverted, anyway, so it's obvious that it's not accepted by the community. alphaChimp laudare 17:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You make a good point, purhaps a compromise is in order. You say no change, I say population tripled in 3 months. Half way would be the population tripling in 6 months. Surely you cannot deny this infallible logic. --Thax 18:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Thax makes excellent points. I will paste the elephant FACT as a comment on the pages of various highly-respected blogs. Then we can cite those, too. 128.175.205.133 05:49, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Colbert was right.Elephant Population SourceJds10912 20:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone give this page full protection again. Klosterdev 17:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Why? There really isn't that much vandalism. Most of it was just drive-by vandalism from new editors and anonymous IPs. alphaChimp laudare 17:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I have fully protected this page. The amount of childish vandalism was startling. Any admin is welcome to remove the protection at any time without consulting me; all I ask is that you monitor the page for half an hour or so to ensure the vandalism really has stopped. In any case, this page should be unprotected no later than 2006-08-02. --Yamla 17:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Stephen Colbert has given the Wikipedia exposure, while making a political statement, and that is worth the potential slowing of the improvement of the elephant article. Keep it protected, but if the article wasn't protected, I might have to vandalise it myself. --Omnimmotus 19:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You're a tool. Iodyne 19:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

As much as it's important to respect the integrity of this article, I really do feel like Wikipedia does take itself too seriously sometimes by campaigning so hard against fancruft and the like. This page garnered a lot of attention last night, and it really showed how much we're part of the pop culture lexicon. I would hate to show our elitist tendencies to the world like this, getting so freaked out because we actually getting some attention, even if it was unexpected. - Stick Fig 23:16, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Is it fair to say in the article, that according to Steven Colbert we should believe that the Elephant population has trippled? Because that's filled with truthiness.

How come a simple subnote is not just added, mention Colberts stance (joke) and then an explanation of where the "real" population numbers come from (I assume SOMEONE somewhere has counted em?

vprotected with vandalism locked in place -- please fix that!

Someone changed the number of African elephants from 600,000 to 1.8 million, and then the page was locked. This number should be changed back to 600,000. The vandal also changed the word "remain" to "remained" in an effort to make the crazy changes in numbers more readable. That word, too, should be changed back.—GraemeMcRaetalk 17:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Fixed. [2] --Interiot 17:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
This whole thing is sort of ironic because, if the page was not protected, we would have fixed this already. I really understand the desire to protect this page, but Colbert has actually been attracting some legitimate attention to this page. I think some good edits have actually been made here within the last day. alphaChimp laudare 17:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
On the other had, if the page was protected, the problem wouldn't have been there in the first place. Maybe someone should check the TV schedule and see if the Colber Report is set to re-run at all. Klosterdev 18:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I just reduced the protection level to semi-protected. Most vandalism was from anons and new users. — xaosflux Talk 18:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Fact: Elephants have NOT been multiplying like rabbits

Contrary to the Colbert Report, the number of elephants has NOT tripled to 1.8 million, and we ask anons and other editors to respect that fact. Thank you. To the media: you are doing Wikipedia a disservice by irresponsibly hyping the vandalism of "Elephants", so please cut it out. — Rickyrab | Talk 19:12, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Oh, really? Ok, then I won't vandalize the page with that then. I only vandalize with truth. --Macarion 23:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
But I bet there was a spike in visitors here. That's also good because we'll get a spike in new editors, of which a certain percentage will become dedicated.
What are you freaking out about. Have you looked at the net effect? [3] The state of the page has actually improved. Wikipedia knows how to deal with vandalism, and the more editors the better. Let Colbert keep talking. -Harmil 19:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I dunno, I heard from someone that elephants are in fact multiplying like rabbits. I can't remember where, it must've been Fox News. Yeah, that's it... that's the ticket. --Bobak 20:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see you prove your "fact" that they haven't been multiplying like rabbits, because I beleive they are. --GMEsch 20:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that "believe" is not spelled "beleive." Also, elephants cannot be multiplying like rabbits, because, frankly, they are not rabbits. Proof can be seen in the sources, or will be, considering that this is not a featured article yet. In addition, if they truly were, it would be big news.--Dch111 20:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Colbert did a great thing. Now many more people will come here!!!!!!A New Wikiality!aido2002 21:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Someone didn't understand the "wikiality" concept. --Macarion 23:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
These are filthy capitalist lies! Elephants have been multiplying rapidly. Wikipedia said it, so it must be true!!!1111111 ThePartyVan 02:10, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I know for a fact that elephants have been multiplying like rabbits JohnnyBravo 01:58, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Fact: some Wikipedia editors need to get some perspective

Here's the segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmHm0rGns4I Admit it, it's funny. And Colbert brings up a very good point about Wikipedia and wikiality, one that this community is still struggling with. Retroactively locking pages is just not a good answer. Notice that this page got locked *with* the erroneous 1.8 million elephants figure, leaving no way for a regular person to fix it! The problem is that only labor-intensive edit wars decide what information stays and what gets dustbinned. This will be fixed one day, hopefully soon. Until then, keep an eye on this page -- I'm afraid Colbert fans will prove to be a persistent bunch. -- Sabron 20:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You assume we're only interested in this particular threatened species. There are hundreds of others to choose from...

Lighten Up, Think Before You Leap Tall Buildings.

They edited my user page for contact, ckeak. They also removed my addition of Patrick Henry's brithdate, as if it wasn't factual or an important day of mention. It's up there with the Bahai Founder biting the big one, and yes he is blessed with sharing a day with me. Who wouldn't be. They banned Google and Wikipedia critic sites as spam from being linked here, so I do something tricky and link the via another location, but not directly, address doesn't touch it, but they then remove that and they even have the nerve to have entries on Google Watch Scroogle Wikipedia Watch and so on. They should at least back link to the official site, oh and I know a big Wiki nono is going after User Pages. Isn't it Firefox? Why is a more notable 1996 Vancouver Election ignored over 2002? or 2005? and I say this doing better in the latter ones this place seems designed to make the more knowing suffer, make mighty erudite have endless head aches because someone is upset you knew something better than they did or where there, or expect honest facts to stated about you or do what they ask and bring up notable sources ending up in their deletion (2005 and my former Mention here under 2005 election ballot name, I was asked for them and provided them). They encourage people to take pot shots at them. Oh know I see the Wikka Cult arrising to attack me. Admins need not use words, they can Vandalize with Authority.

--G-Spot 20:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The preceding text was randomly generated by combining unrelated segments from user talk pages and running them through Babelfish twelve times.--BigCow 22:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing, lol.--Zaphod Beeblebrox 04:23, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Good Point --69.165.106.102 13:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Article on Fark

This article just appeared on Fark, so there will likely be another influx. --Thax 23:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Where? I don't see it there. --Macarion 23:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I just saw it, it's a YouTube link to the segment, along with this caption: "Colbert Report - Wikiality, also known as the report that locked down Wikipedia" with a good size 200+ comments. If you can't see it, just to a find with "Colbert". Heh, bring it! :-) --Bobak 00:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Fun Publicity

I watched the Colbert Report last night and logged on to Wikipedia, probably along with quite a few other people, and I'm sure many of them were making their first visit here. While it's true that Wikipedia prides itself on accuracy, it was a funny stunt. It reminded me of the time a satirical news show up in Canada proposed that all the viewers sign their online petition to create a law forcing Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris. Wikipedia just needs to take it in a stride as a joke and see the silver lining that it was a bit of publicity.

I agree. Think of all the additions to The Colbert Report, Truthiness, and Lutherans (if you saw the show you know) that will come out of this!aido2002 23:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, sure, let's just shrug off the fact that he encouraged what may be the largest most crippling surge of vandalism the wiki has ever known. We need to give him a Title, like "Great and Terrible Dark Lord of Ubervandalism" or something. He's like the leader of our own personal Legion of Doom, sitting in a pointy chair next to Willy on Wheels and Solomon Grundy. He should not be applauded. Finite 23:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Most crippling surge of vandalism? Crippling vandalism doesn't exist on wikipedia. There is the revert, and the protection. Shut up. --Macarion 01:52, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
It will probably finish when Comedy Central is done playing its' millionth rerun of the episode. Ace ofspade 00:03, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Unless he does a follow-up tonight. -- Vary | Talk 00:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I shudder at the thought. Finite 00:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I know! The unwashed huns with senses of humor will then descend on us once more! To ze barricades! --Bobak 00:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Like it or not, just laugh at it and let it go. To be featured in that way on such a mainstream show really says something about what Wikipedia has become. Joining the ranks of politicians, headliners, Fortune 500 companies, wars, entertainers... To put it simply, being such an easy target and entering the realm of pop-culture leaves Wikipedia open to this sort of thing. Any changes made were pretty quickly reversed. Talking with a few other people at work who had seen the show, the consensus was that that it was that the prank was funny, got a lot of people involved, and no one was hurt. Suck it up and take a good joke!
True enough. The best possible response to Colbert is, "Bring it, sister!" - Nunh-huh 02:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Rerun

The segment is re-airing as I type this. Here we go. - Kookykman|(t)e 00:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Here comes the next wave, the 7:30 rerun just aired...--God Ω War 00:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Stable version?

Where's the consensus for this change? Seems pretty heady. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no consensus, its a proposed policy/guideline that doesn't exactly have a consensus yet. Kevin_b_er 02:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
From what I'm hearing, this was agreed to behind the scenes, and the lack of discussion violates the proposed policy anyway. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

This is wrong. Cyde, please put the old page back in place! You have removed the entire edit history of the page, which destroys one of the primary research tools that makes Wikipedia useful to other editors. I'll replicate this comment to your talk page for reference, but if you respond, please do so publically at Talk:Elephant so that the community can have a chance to understand your reasoning here. -Harmil 02:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I would have supported implementing the first stable versions article on the discussion page, but implementing the stable version article without any disucssion on the talk page is in violation of the policy he is using to "stabilize" the article in the first place. Please, Cyde, consider this more carefully. I would suggest that the article be "destabilized" so that a discussion on whether to "stabilize" could ensue as per the laid out process. Daniel Bush 02:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Daniel Bush, is the idea of stable versioning always supposed to involve moving the article's history to someplace that typical users will not find it? Isn't that MORE damaging than quickly reverted vandalism? -Harmil 03:07, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
The edit history needs to be moved so that when the development version is moved back, it retains a record of the edits that produced that version. Keeping a stable version is for the reader, which far outnumber editors, and even with editors, most all edits are made without looking the page history. The page history isn't as important as you make it out to be, it is still available at the development version, and this is a temporary measure anyway. —Centrxtalk • 03:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
You are assuming that EDITORS are the ones who care about the edit history. Not so. The edit history is a MUST for those using an article for research. They need to be able to see that some "fact" was added a week ago, and replaced a well sourced bit of information that lasted a year. If the casual reader can't use the edit history any longer, then we should just punt the stable version idea. -Harmil 03:17, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
But they can use the edit history, it is available at the location of the dev version. —Centrxtalk • 03:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Unless that's where the "history" link at the top of the article goes, no one is ever going to see it, and they're going to make assumptions based on the history that they DO see. -Harmil 03:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Since when did "move the articel out of everyones view and protect it and leave it like that" become part of policy or practise? It's not like this is the First Time Ever that someone edited an article in the mass-media. That proposal has nothing like the support needed for anything like a trial run, and I don't care if there was some 5 minute conversation in the group-think of IRC that said "yes! noone editing an article is good!". Absent a powerfully compelling reason why this page shuld not be unlocked, I'm going to reverse the whole lark in a few hours time. I mean, seriously, things linked from the Main Page are probably busier than this was. -Splash - tk 03:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

If the current Main Page featured article is anything to judge by, this isn't true. There have been 25 edits since the Elephant article was moved and unprotected (that is, in the last 40 minutes), all or nearly all vandalism or vandalism reverts. In that same amount of time, there has been 1 edit of the Main Page article, and it isn't vandalism. —Centrxtalk • 03:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Have you seen the history of Fidel Castro? -Splash - tk 03:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I misread the time stamps. This is still current. I've reversed it. -Splash - tk 03:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I concur. Desperately wanting something is not reason enough to unilaterally impose it. "Be bold" applies to editing, not changing how things work, especially not if there is, as far as anybody can tell, only a dozen of users supporting the change. The vandalism has continued on the development page after the article was "stabilized", and now even the development version is sprotected. Meanwhile a removal of an obvious spam link from the stable version was reverted. Let's hope Google spiders are smart enough to figure out what's spam and what isn't. Zocky | picture popups 03:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert Edits

Has Steven Colbert himself edited this page? LCpl 02:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

No, he pretended to edit several pages on Wikipedia during his show, but it was obvious that he was just quickly tapping on the keyboard. He couldn't have gotten a response from clicking on "edit" that fast, much less finished an edit. -Harmil 02:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


I believe he had the windows open already and merely typed for effect. His contributions show the two pages were modified at the time of the show's recording. Also, my whole take on this thing is that Colbert is right, and the fact that the Wikipedia community is in such a freak about the situation makes me sick. --tj9991 08:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


  • I agree with you tj9991

~~JohnnyBravo~~

Source Other Than Colbert?

I must add that this post was already removed twice by someone, not alphachimp, but other hypocrits like him. Is this not a discussion, is this a place where we get to argue, argue over FACT. I say something that these "admins" cannot explain and they simply remove it. Hypocrits.

I read this from alpha chimp: ("I like laminated monkey nuts") <- Sadly I did not write this, but I will let it stay because this is a discussion page.

"Sadly"... that isn't what he said? It sounds like him. <- I didn't say this either, check the changelog

:If you can cite some sources to that effect (e.g. anyone other than Colbert), then we can examine it. The nature of elephants is that gestation takes an extremely long time. It's doubtful that such a change could have occured. alphaChimp laudare 16:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Are you predjudice alphachimp? Is that it. You for some reason allow facts on other articles sourced by people, people I might add that I may or may not like. But when you don't like someone, for example Stephen Colbert, you disregard facts they have as "doubtful" to quote you. What, your opinion now trumps fact? Your opinion that this is "doubtful" makes it not true nonetheless? Let's say that you found that it was doubtful that the sky was blue, would that make it not true. Are you that arrogant? So arrogant that you would change scientific fact to match "your" reality?? Let's look at the article on watches, shall we? It says that "the first "self-winding," or "automatic," wristwatch was the invention of a British watch repairer named John Harwood in 1923." I find that very doubtful. Plus it was found using I source I don't really like, the UK Patent Office, so I think I'll just go ahead and change it because it doesn't fit "my" reality.

Wow there it is, it's fact. Isn't it. I used the technique you did, didn't I?

First off, check out WP:CIVIL. Characterizing me as "predjudice", a "hypocrit" isn't really going to get you anywhere.
Second, you cited Wikipedia to justify your assertion that elephant population had tripled, when that reversion had already been removed. The primary difference between your citation of sources and mine is that the UK patent office is a secondary source, while wikipedia is tertiary. alphaChimp laudare 03:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, "First Off", I'm sorry I was out of line with those. They may not be true, I can only assert from what I've seen.
"Second", you have not answered any of my questions. Is Colbert not a secondary source also? Why are you ducking my questions with this? --Cmptrgy412 03:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The Number of elephant in Africa has Tripled in the last two months.-Fact — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.199.21.130 (talkcontribsWHOIS)

Colbert is a comedian. We don't use comedians as sources for anything other than their own jokes and the rare incident that involved them or their material. If you want to contribute to this article, please feel free to find reliable sources -Harmil 03:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes colbert is a comedian, but does that make him not human? How do you know he doesn't care about the elephants? What makes him an unreliable source? I believe this was not a joke, but a heartfelt relay of fact. You disagree, so I feel we should debate on who is true.--03:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

When was the last examination of the total population of elephants? The most recent reference in this article is to 2003. It is possible that the elephant population has increased, if not tripled, even if Stephen Colbert hadn't mentioned it on his show. I think the inclusion of a line akin to "It is not known whether or not the elephant population has increased or decreased in the last few months. Many claim that it has in fact tripled, while skeptics find that assertion unlikely."--71.255.212.152 03:54, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

Elephants are a leftest conspiracy theory and have no room to be talked about on such a "fact" oriented webpidea such as this. - Fact.

Find a reliable source and no one can argue with you. That is the part Colbert forgot, that things must be verifiable and cited or they can't be added. Konman72 04:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Well said! One of the joys of an encyclopaedia which is editable by anyone is that it is totally impossible for 'facts' which are unverifiable and/or uncited to make it in! Collaborative editing is like a watertight net through which such shennanigans can never slip. Rejoice! --Oolong 22:54, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the point he was making is that there is a policy in place for fact-checking on Wikipedia, not that everything is accurate. This was pretty obvious, but I understand how much easier it is to just rattle off clever barbs rather than do any kind of research or deliberation. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 22:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes! This is of course another of the great joys of an open encyclopaedia.
More seriously though, the fact we have guidelines against it doesn't mean that it can't or doesn't happen, so it's not such a convincing rejoinder to the point Colbert was making. He may not have made it as precisely as he could have, but then, he is a comedian, not an encyclopedist... --Oolong 13:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

You can clearly see from the number of edits and the amount of argument that many members of the wikipedia community do believe that the population of elephants has tripled in the last few months. You don't need a source for that. I think an inclusion similar to the sentences above would help to ease the debate on this issue.--71.255.212.152 04:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

That's where you and Colbert are wrong. Facts are never established by the community, they are established by citations and verifiability. There is no debate, either find a citation or leave it be. And that is the truth. Konman72 04:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Citations of whom? People of the community!--Cmptrgy412 04:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Find one reliable source. That would mean, scholarly, peer-reviewed, something like that alphaChimp laudare 04:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

People of the community are not cited, they find reliable sources to cite. Colbert is not a reliable source (but he is damned funny). The Ungovernable Force 04:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
You guys really need a lesson in Wikipedia policy. Citations must be from reliable sources and be verifiable, which are the exact same restrictions placed on a normal encyclopedia. Also, if this is too much truth for you, check out the five pillars, they are the guiding principles of wikipedia. In the end though you really just need to be able to discern the difference between a joke and the truth. Konman72 04:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

It is a fact that: many people in the wikipedia community believe that the population of elephants may have tripled in the last few months. My citation would be the talk page and previous edits on wikipedia. I can also find numerous other communities where people purport that the population of elephants have tripled. I'm not saying that elephants have tripled in number, I'm just saying that many believe it to be true, though skeptics, like yourself believe otherwise. Like on the 9/11 article, it mentions that many people believe that the mainstream 9/11 story is not entirely true, though skeptics believe otherwise. That's not the same as saying the mainstream 9/11 story isn't true, it's just stating a simple fact that a large group of people believe a different version. Do you see the difference? Surely you can agree that many people argue that the population of elephants has tripled. --71.255.212.152 04:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

One of the Five Pillars Agrees: " Wikipedia has a neutral point of view, which means we strive for articles that advocate no single point of view. Sometimes this requires representing multiple points of view; presenting each point of view accurately; providing context for any given point of view, so that readers understand whose view the point represents; and presenting no one point of view as "the truth" or "the best view" "--71.255.212.152 04:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

Not how it works. Just leave it alone, the joke is over. Colbert is funny, you don't need to do everything he tells you to do. Besides, a wikipedia talk page is not a reliable source, nor is any other "community", only scholarly work of some kind. We don't represent POV's of communities or individuals unless they are noteworthy and of a scholarly nature. Konman72 04:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
It is not a fact that many people in the Wikipedia community believe that the population of elephants tripled in the last few months. It is all of you Colbert fans that have editted Wikipedia that say such. There is no such thing as "wikiality" and Colbert was wrong in saying such. He does not know about Wikipedia's guidelines on verifiability or reliable sources, and neither do any of you fans that decided to follow his advice. Just because someone puts something on Wikipedia does not make it the truth, and no matter of posting the same message over and over and over will not make it true (in this case, it won't take elephants off of the endangered species list). The World Wildlife Fund and the Endangered Species Act will not use Wikipedia as any sort of resource. Ryūlóng 04:26, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
What Ryulong said. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 04:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Last time I checked people who edit Wikipedia are part of the Wikipedia Community. Please don't resort to personal attacks. I'm not trying to argue Stepehn Colbert's point that the elephant population has tripled, instead I'm suggesting we add a section mentioning that many hold the belief and that others are skeptical of that belief. That is a clear fact. Also, why should YOU determine what is noteworthy or scholarly? That seems to be POV. --71.255.212.152 04:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

The Wikipedia Community is not a reliable source, either, and the only people in the Wikipedia community that hold the belief that Colbert spoke of are the sole fans of his program, which is a minority within itself. Ryūlóng 04:34, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
In order to state that there is a belief that the population has grown then you need a citation that fits the reliable sources criteria. If you do then please state it here. But any "community" site, including Wikipedia's talk page, does not work. Konman72 04:34, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
And we are not pushing a POV by keeping the idiocy of Colbert's fans off of Wikipedia. And Wikipedia has guidelines on notability as well. Ryūlóng 04:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Colbert is a parody. People who think his "views" are serious really frighten me. Bensaccount 04:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
That seems rather aggressive. Satire is a long-standing tradition of serious social commentary. Those following his suggestion are exploring a current weakness. It's the fools who can see when the emperor is wearing no clothes, so I wouldn't scoff too much. --Chrysoula 04:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Are you claiming that many people don't hold the belief that the elephant population has tripled? That needs a citation, and I believe that since all the evidence points otherwise, the burden of proof lies on you. And I agree with Bensaccount. --71.255.212.152 04:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

Actually it still lies with you, what are your sources for such a belief. It is actually a logical truth that you cannot prove a negative so what you ask is impossible ;) Konman72 04:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

No I think you've got that wrong. I believe you're for a logical truth that can prove a positive definition of your own belief by inverting the budren of proof. --71.255.212.152 04:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

The irony of all this is that the population of elphants in Africa HAS tripled in the past 6 months. 71.202.37.171 04:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow, really?! Got a source ;-) (no, I don't actually believe you, oh, and your logical thing was really one of the funniest things I have read in a while, thanks for that) Konman72 04:44, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, It wasn't one of the funiest things you've read in a long time. You don't have a source to verify that. See the five pillars --71.255.212.152 04:48, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee

So you've totally given up the facade at this point. Can an admin ban this user yet? Oh, and you would be right if I was to put that into an article. At least you are learning something. Konman72 04:49, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
He's/she's just being argumentative for the sake of amusement, and has since the beginning, in my opinion. Anyone who can cite the five pillars should be able to discern the site's notability guidelines. This is just being done for laughs. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 04:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I know, so was mine :D . Konman72 04:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


Is the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) a reliable source... They are one of the worlds leading researchers on Wildlife poplulations and on there site (http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=75340) you can find an entire article about the rapid growth of South African elephants, does this count?

That is fine but it is specific. It is referring to elephants in a specific area. Also, it states that the population is growing at 6-8% a year, meaning it would double in 10 years, not triple in 6 months. Whether or not it gets added is not up to me (I'm only here to prevent the vandalism), but as long as it only states what the citation says and in a neutral way then it will be perfectly fine. Konman72 05:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

You know, I just wanted to put this out there--Wikipedia is no good for expert opinion--one of the most highly criticized aspects of it, see [4] for a good source of some of this. What no one seems to understand is that Wikipedia is good for semi-detailed knowledge that is generally accepted but large masses of people, and NOT in-depth, well-cited articles by academics. The base line is, if someone really wanted to know about elephant mating patterns and population growth, this is not where they would be going, at least not if they wanted in-depth information. So stop making such a big deal about it. And please stop the censorship. While this is a clear joke, the line between "vandalism" and "opinion" is very thin.

Please go read up on some of the policies of this site before you go claiming we are "censoring" the article. Everything related to elephants or comedy segments about vandalizing elephant-related Wikipedia articles does not deserve a place on an encyclopedia, regardless of how accurate you feel it is. Coincidentally, "censorship" is a common cry of vandals after their edits here are reverted; I only point that out to outline what an overused, "easy" label it is. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 06:22, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
So because a few people criticise the site we should lower our standards to...actually make their criticisms true instead of taking them as suggestions and trying to fix the problem. Actually I, and many people use Wikipedia as a starting point for their research, including elephant population numbers. And just because it is viewed as not being "well cited" and "in-depth" doesn't make that so, in fact most articles here are quite well cited and in-depth, and that is what we are shooting for (just because a few articles fail to reach that goal doesn't negate the rest, hell a Trivial Pursuit answer had Xcube instead of Xbox but I still play the game). And, no, the line is not fine, especially in this case. No one actually thinks the elephant population has tripled in the last 6 months, and if they do then all they have to do is find a reliable source (see how that works...AMAZING!). This isn't censorship, unless you consider the Encyclopedia Brittanica's neglection to publish it as well censorship....do you? Konman72 06:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
What I consider censorship is the limiting of speech of those who are not seen as trusted enough to edit the article. As for the statement that '"censorship" is a common cry of vandals after their edits here are reverted', vandals is a common term used to denigrate those whose arguments you don't want to listen to. Is this the case in this instance? Maybe, I don't think so. But that doesn't mean it's not an ad hominem statement.
We will gladly hear your argument....go ahead. Of course be sure to include citations to reliable sources that are verifiable. You may see this as censorship...but it isn't. And even if it was, this site is the property of wikimedia and they can form any rules for what content is added that they want. Konman72 06:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I think you are missing the point here--wikipedia loses the fundamental difference between itself and print encyclopedias when it limits who can edit pages, as has been done on this page. What it demonstrates is a fundamental flaw in wikipedia, that, in my own opinion, simply cannot be avoided. There will always be the Stephen Colberts of the world, both large and small in scale. And unless wikipedians decide to put restrictions on who it allows to edit, (which I am by no means arguing for), it will always have these issues.

The page is protected to protect it from the Stephen Colbert's, at the moment there are a lot of vandals, as evidenced byt the continued vandalism of the page despite the protection, once the vandals dwindle to but a few the protection will be lifted. It isn't even censorship since anyone can sign up for an account, the only people who are blocked are random IP addresses, which is a standard practice on almost every website in existance, and is only a temporary thing here. Remember, even with the protection ANYONE can edit the page, it only requires the person to sign up for a membership, which is free and requires almost no information. Konman72 06:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and newly registered members, but if they just wait a few days it will be back to normal. It's not like there is some big elephant information that will be lost because a few people (all of which are vandals) can't edit the page. If they have anything of any merit to contribute all they have to do is post on the talk page and it will be discussed and editted. So far the only discussions have involved people wanting uncited, unreferenced and unreliable information added, which is not allowed (nor should it be). Konman72 06:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Consider the hubris of implying that the site can protect itself from these types of issues--which is to say, this was a high-profile event on a well-viewed site--but all it takes is a group of friends or just one dedicated person. Sure, you can argue that this is a 'little' bit of censorship for a big issue, but it's censorship nonetheless. And unless wikipedia is prepared to put protections like this, and probably more stringent than this, on every page, there will always be scores of issues such as these. There simply isn't the man-hours out there to keep a constant lookout of this stuff. We need to realize that this is a venerability of wikipedia and accept it, instead of limiting speech to protect something that, oftentimes, isn't even there.
If you have some problem with the basis of wikipedia then go away, why are you even here? We seem to be doing just fine though. All vandalism is reverted and we are not "censoring" since there is no idea being censored, we are just following the rules. Wikipedia is not public territory, it is the property of Wikimedia. They have set certain rules that must be followed. The rules are quite loose, but they are still there. The reason for the rules? To stop the exact thing you want stopped. You complain that the fact that anyone can edit means we will have these issues, yet in the same breath condemn us for temporarily semi-protecting a page that has had numerous issues with vandalism in the past 2 days. Also, the protection only limits editting to accounts older than 4 days old and anyone can say anything they want right here on the talk page. If anyone has something legitimate to add to teh article they only need to place it here and it will be done. What exactly is your issue here? You keep accusing us of censorship. What are we censoring? People? Well, that is Wikimedia's right, and since it is semi and temporary there really is nothing to complain about. Are you complaining that the information about the growth in population hasn't been added? It is untrue! And even if it is true all we want is basic citation, exactly what we require from all claims of fact. Why do we require this? To stop the other thing you complain about. Since anyone can edit wikipedia we must have a system of verification to make sure it doesn't become what Colbert claims it already is. Thankfully Colbert is horribly wrong, as evidenced by the fact that the information has not been added without being immediately reverted. Konman72 07:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Censorship does not always have to have a bias directly applicable to the subject matter. By creating an in and out group, where the in group is allowed to post and the out group is not, you are, in fact, censoring speech. But the fact still remains that errors exist all over the place in wikipedia--not as frequent as some[5] might imagine, but still out there, and often put there intentionally. I could spend a day going through little-viewed sites and changing small things, a number here, a citation there, and the time to repair the damage would far outweigh that it took to create. Far from being "wrong," Colbert has pointed out something interesting and problematic about wikipedia's design.

Oh, and if you have a real problem with the "semi-protection" policy then add a Request for Comment on the article about it and maybe you can get the policy changed. Isn't Wikipedia beautiful? Konman72 07:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Censorship does not always have to have a bias directly applicable to the subject matter. By creating an in and out group, where the in group is allowed to post and the out group is not, you are, in fact, censoring speech. But the fact still remains that errors exist all over the place in wikipedia--not as frequent as [[6]] might imagine, but still out there, and often put there intentionally. I could spend a day going through little-viewed sites and changing small things, a number here, a citation there, and the time to repair the damage would far outweigh that it took to create. Far from being "wrong," Colbert has pointed out something interesting and problematic about wikipedia's design.

It is temporary...quit whining. And you know it is needed, so far every edit over the last 2 days has either been a vandal or a revert. Anyway, as per your error argument. That is why we have this policy. And, no, the time it took to repair would be very minimal unless you found something so obscure that no active editor watches it, and if that is the case then no one is even there to read it anyway so what's the big deal. Ok, so you should take wikipedia with a grain of salt...MY GOD NO! Everything should be if you ask me. I have seen printed encyclopedias with many errors in them as well. In the end, what exactly is your point here? Are you wanting the population info added to the article or are you just complaining about something that everyone already knows? Wikipedia is a social experiment, so far it has been a rousing success. Are there problems? OF COURSE. Everything has its share of problems, especially when it involves public input. But overall Wikipedia has become a part of our culture and is now a huge community that will maintain it and keep it as close to accurate as can be expected. But again, why are you even arguing with me about this? What do you want? Semi-protection lifted? Nope, not gonna happen. And we aren't seperating into groups, vandals are almost exclusively new users so we are saying, "until the vandalism slows to a manageable level no new users can edit the main article, but if you have something to contribute feel free to discuss it on the talk page." What the crap is so wrong with that? If you have a problem with that then I would hate to see you read a textbook. You know they only let like 10 people edit those things...and they have to have all this schooling and stuff. Meanwhile Wikipedia lets eceryone edit, unless there is reason not to and even then it is temporary! Look, I'm done with this. If you want to debate the basic fundamentals of wikipedia then do it on a forum or on the actual guideline page you wish to contest, otherwise just let things go, you are taking this protection thing far too seriously. Do you have some kind of major edit to make? Type it here, we will review it and add it if it meets the basic guidelines set forth. It is quite simple and no censorship is being done since you can add it here and anyone will add it to the article for you, but this way the vandalism is minimised. Konman72 07:52, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert was wrong in that he thought Wikipedia was based on the community's opinion when it is based on verifiable, cited facts. He was proven wrong by this very protection. The addition has been made many times and every time it was reverted, no matter how many people believe it to be true it is not true and cannot be stated as true without proper citation. How is this a flaw? Yes, anyone can edit, but that edit is then editted by someone else which is editted by someone else and so on and so forth until a cited, referenced and verified fact is attained, no opinion remains. This is the end of my addition to this debate unless you actually say something about the article at hand. Do you want something added? Do you want something deleted? If not then it does not belong here, this isn't a place to air your thoughts on the wikipedia project, this is the place to discuss the edits that will be made to this article. Konman72 07:52, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Oh, actually I think Colbert was being sarcastic. --71.255.212.152 13:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Pee Wee


What if he was telling the truth and they are tripling, or is this just further proof that we can't trust anyone and that every source no matter what official comes up with it, could be deceptive? Shoot, think of all the more respected media outlets that goof in their reporting . . .--205.188.116.8 20:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

What is this "International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources"? Sounds Communist --not to be trusted. Environmentalistas will do anything to get attention, just look at the hole they created in the atmosphere! --Bobak 01:59, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I have a source which I used to edit this page. (blacklisted link removed by -- Cielomobile talk / contribs 03:36, 22 September 2006 (UTC)) -- User:AndrewK12 01:72, 17 August 2006

Why are there reversions on this Talk page?

Are we actually doing this?

Somebody blanked the page, the only reversions are for obvious vandalism. Konman72 04:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah. Hope that remains true.

"Wikiality" related additions

I feel these edits (one of which I reverted here) have no place in this article, because this is an article about elephants. If anything, this is something that might belong on an article related to the Colbert Report, but every joke/popular reference/meme involving elephants can't be listed in the elephant article. Rebuttals? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 05:57, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • This article is about all aspects of Elephants, and has a big section on "Elephants in pop culture". The Colbert Report has a regular audience of about 1 million viewers/night, so it's just as notable as most of the other pop-culture references. --M@rēino 06:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

But it's not really a factoid about elephants. It's more of a piece of trivia about either The Colbert Report or Wikipedia. There is also the question of the notability of the bit on the show, which has been discussed but perhaps not successfully resolved on this talk page. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 06:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

That's what I was thinking. What, exactly, does the Colbert thing even have to do with elephants? Nothing. It was just the page he suggested be vandalised. If anything it should go on the Colbert page or the Wikipedia in popular culture page, not here. Konman72 06:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Additionally, I can't help but pose a slippery slope scenario where the media picks up the "Colbert elephant story" and this article becomes a sea of blurbs about references by news outlets because the restriction I'm in favor of isn't observed. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 06:12, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
The policy on that one would be Wikipedia:Avoid self-references, Konman72, just to make it official. — Scm83x hook 'em 08:02, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Yep, for a self-reference to be included at all, it would have to be an important event, and even then, the place to put it is on the Colbert page. Otherwise we get an article talking about itself. That may be great for hiphop, but it sucks for an encyclopedia. Zocky | picture popups 11:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Alright, so Colbert were to have a live elephant appear on the show, then it's worthy of inclusion in the pop culture section, but if "elephant" is just a random word choice and Colbert is really talking about Wikipedia, then it's not OK. I think I can support that application of the Wikipedia:Avoid self-references policy. --M@rēino 19:26, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


A word of thanks...

To Mr Colbert. This article is flushing out the vandalism-only accounts as fast as we can block them. Next time, though, could he please encourage them to pick a more worthy target? The YTMND article hasn't been vandalised in a while... ;-) Just zis Guy you know? 11:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't Colbert have said to vandalize the bear page? That would've made more sense than this page. --PiMaster3 12:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
We should send a collective letter from Wikipedia commending him as a true patriot, helping to flush out internet terrorism. God bless that man. --Wafulz 17:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree on the bear thing. While we're busy protecting the elephants, the bears are mounting their offensive. Couple that with the recent bald eagle alliance, and you've got yourself a woodland blitzkrieg. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 17:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the bear article does get Colbert-inspired vandalism. Also, there are some references on the talk page to bear here. The Ungovernable Force 19:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks -- I'll put that article on my watch list. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 19:22, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert was a little too early: [7] zafiroblue05 | Talk 20:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Intent to unprotect

I intend to unprotect this article in the next hour or two. It is currently semi-protected and the vandalism seems to have died down compared to yesterday. If anyone objects (and particularly if you have reverted any vandalism on this page in the last day or two), please speak up and I'll leave things alone for a while longer. --Yamla 17:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, I went ahead and did it before seeing this here. But... I agree.... yeah. JDoorjam Talk 18:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Pop culture

Last time I checked, the Colbert Report was a part of pop culture. The reference to the population of elephants tripling on the show should be included in this section.. otherwise, maybe we should just get rid of that section entirely. Djedi 19:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The reference has more to do with Wikipedia's article on Elephants than on the creatures themselves. "Elephants in culture" is cluttered already, there's no need to add an entry for every time someone mentions elephants on a tv show. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 19:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • This discussion is on the same topic as the Talk:Elephant#.22Wikiality.22_related_additions discussion. You'll see above that I originally sided with Djedi, but I am now convinced that Colbert was not referencing elephants as elephants, but elephants as an example to describe Wikiality, and therefore a mention is not appropriate. --M@rēino 19:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Alright - by the principle of Wikiality, (despite my belief of the truthiness of it) elephants did not appear in the Colbert Report as a worthy pop-culture reference, and never will. 69.196.112.32 21:44, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I also feel the reference was about the wikipedia article about elephants, not elephants themselves. What about what he said has anything to do with elephants? Nothing. Oh, and IP address Colbert fan, we aren't saying it never happened, that would be wikiality, which is not a true principle. Konman72 22:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay people, think: When will this page ever be unlocked? Colbert fans will just always want to come back here and edit it again, if you unlock it a month from now they will do it, if you unlock it a YEAR from now someone will do it. The ONLY way I can see to work this out is to add a "pop culture reference" section or something mentioning that Colbert told people to do this; as Colbert fans will see that there is a mention of the joke on this page, they will be less inclined to add it in as a vandalism. Otherwise this page will stay locked forever.

Then we will have to take that chance. There should be no mention of Colbert in this article. The edits that have been, and will continue to be reverted have nothing to do with Elephants, solely with Wikipedia. If we have to keep this article protected from moronic edits, then we will. Ryūlóng 22:24, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually some of the articles involved have already been unprotected successfully. This page will probably take a week at most, especially since so many people are watching it for vandalism now. But I also agree with Ryu, if it has to remain locked then it will, that is not censorship, make an acount and wait 4 days. There are many articles that are permanently protected actually, everyone who wants to edit still can, we take away no freedom. It seems like all these IP address members think they can never edit, well you can. Sign up for an account, it is free, wait 4 days and you will be able to edit everything. Konman72 22:26, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the Colbert reference should not be mentioned in this article. The article is about elephants, not about itself (see Wikipedia:Avoid self-reference), and this phenomenon has very little to do with elephants - he could've chosen any article at all. It might deserve a mention in The Colbert Report, as an example of how Colbert influences his audience. Of course people will continue to vandalize elephant indefinitely, but it'll die down quickly and after that we'll just revert as usual. No insertion of text is going to stop them. Deco 00:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Quote: "No insertion of text is going to stop them. Deco "

actually, I think it would. I came to the site because of the show.. if a mention of what was happening was on the page, I would of looked and left :).. Instead I was 'forced' to look at the comments side of it (here) to find out what happened..

would the "insertion of text" have to be up forever? of course not.. but untill 'things die down' it would probably help. [hippydog]

--Hippydog 02:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

What's really at stake.

While the Colbert Report may be superficially silly, I believe it is in large ways a bastion of free speech and liberty. By prohibiting edits on the elephant page, Wikipedia is saying no to America. Rather, why didnt you guys here at wikipedia offer some way to gauge the response of the colbert report. It would honor free speech and common sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

Yes. People are trying to keep the Elephant article encyclopedic and factual because they hate liberty. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC

No. But they aren't helping it by just saying no. Have a sense of humor. I am saying here that Wikipedia can do very much good for the world by in some way complimenting the Colbert Report. Think about it? Read your own lips? —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueCrabs (talkcontribs)

Humor has no place in the main articles of Wikipedia. We are not blocking free speech. In fact, the reversions on Wikipedia are outside of the scope of any first amendment rights, as the Wikimedia Foundation is privately run and international. There are editors on this article from the US, the UK, Egypt, India, Australia, France, Italy, etc. Just because we have the right to keep idiocy that Colbert has pushed, doesn't mean you have to go off on "free speech and liberty" rights. Ryūlóng 22:27, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't mean i have to but i am because i saw the good will to do it. Sure, wikipedia can just be wikipedia and you can just be it's acolyte, but it can just as easily save free will. I am dead serious. You say "idiocy". That's something i call idiocy. You are in the face of greater value and you choose elephants. Okay? Read your own lips. Greater value can tolerate elephants. Can you tolerate greater value? —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueCrabs (talkcontribs)

You must really be getting a kick out of this, aren't you? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 22:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

So what if i am? —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueCrabs (talkcontribs)

So you admit you're just trolling for your own amusement? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 22:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
And remember to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). Ryūlóng 22:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
And what the hell does "read your own lips" mean? We are protecting this article from idiotic edits that imply that the population of African elephants has tripled in the past six months, which it hasn't because that is solely due to Stephen Colbert telling all of his viewers to state. We had to protect nearly two dozen articles from vandalous edits because of that one five minute spot, and your edits prove that we will have to keep several of them protected. Ryūlóng 22:39, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

This isnt about me. This isnt about elephants. Sure, maybe you had to prevent all of this "vandalism", but if Wikipedia were to set up a poll in which everyone sent here by the colbert report could respond to instead of saying elephants are trice their number, then it would almost be a hero. Think bigger picture. That's what "read your own lips" means. Who are you? A wikipedia acolyte or free speech activist and wikipedia acolyte? Stop trolling in your sandbox. Step up to the plate wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

Except that is not how Wikipedia works. Wikipedia isn't a "poll" where people vote on what is included and not included. And if you point to any of the "(something) for deletion" pages, those are not votes or polls, either. They are discussions as to whether or not information is to be included and treating them as a vote is strictly prohibited. There is no such thing as "Wikiality" which is what you are trying to suggest. Information on Wikipedia is all based on external reliable sources. If someone, a viewer of the Colbert Report or not, found an official statement by some sort of conservation effort that the population of African elephants has been steadily increasing (or tripled in the past six months), we would include that and cite it. However, by merely stating that unsourced fact repeatedly, that is vandalism, and that is not what Wikipedia is for. Perhaps instead of trying to make wikiality reality, you should read the guidelines of what Wikipedia is, and what it is not. --Ryūlóng 22:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay then. You reserve the right to make sand castles. I only hope you can sleep at night. I'm just saying the vast potential of this situation must be brought to the attention of whomever controls wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

But there is no potential. It's just idiocy by the fans of The Colbert Report that you are appearing to be one of. Your arguments are directly against what Wikipedia is about. Wikipedia isn't about mob rule, it's about the truth. There is no room for truthiness or it's cousin wikiality on this project. Ryūlóng 23:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course Wikipedia isn't mob rule, nor is there potential. But Wikiality and Truthiness both appear to "belong" on the Wikipedia project... sorry, I'm being obnoxious today ;) Dark Shikari talk/contribs 23:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no arguement against wikipedia. The only question aroused has you chosing the answer. You claim "america is an idiot". This here is the tiff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

No one has said "America is an idiot." Now you are putting words into our mouths, and you have solely been criticising Wikipedia itself through your edits. If you have anything constructive to contribute to the project, then do so, but none of your edits so far have proven such a fact. You have just been criticising the project and its protection of this page due to the vandalism by viewers of the Colbert Report. If, in three days or so, this page is still semi-protected and you contribute to the page by stating that "The population of elephants has tripled in the last six months" then you, too, will be blocked indefinitely for vandalizing the article, despite whatever "free speech" and "liberty" jargon you throw out at us. We are not impeding on anyone's rights, as there are no free speech rights on Wikipedia. Whatever is contributed can and will be editted by others continuously. If you want a free speech forum, go somewhere else. Complain about Wikipedia at a LiveJournal account, a blog, Uncyclopedia, Encyclopædia Dramatica, anywhere but on Wikipedia itself. Ryūlóng 00:04, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

But your in a position for me to put words into your mouth. Stop responding to me, I'm only happy as long as Jimbo is totally aware of his potential. If there's anything you can do for that, then why not?

Calm Down People

Why is everyone freaking out here?

IT WAS A JOKE I love The Colbert Report and I thought the segment was very funny. Stephen Colbert knew it was a joke and so should all of you.

To the people who are freaking out about all this "vandalism" calm down and relax. It is not that big a deal. To the people who want to change the article to say that some people considor the population to have tripled in the past six months also need to shut up. The population has not tripled and I think everyone knows that.

I think it's funny how big a deal everyone is making about this. Just lighten up. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Andrewm89 (talkcontribs) 23:07, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • No offense, but did you come here to contribute or just roll your eyes at us? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 23:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
    Its hard to "lighten up" when literally thousands of people are trying to screw up an article and we have to waste our time fixing what they're doing. I saw the episode: it was funny, I laughed. But a thousand of people spamming an old joke into an article isn't funny at all. Dark Shikari talk/contribs 23:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey man, don't freak out about all this "vandalism". It's not a big deal. -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 23:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree, a bunch of people spamming a site is not funny, it is immature but I don't think it's that big a deal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrewm89 (talkcontribs)

Is freedom and liberty something to make a big deal about. Is it too bad wikipedia doesnt host a sort of "opinion of the state of the union" page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

  • There is nothing about freedom and liberty being affected here. The Wikimedia Foundation has rules and there were several new users who had watched the Colbert Report that broke these rules in the process of their edits. Wikipedia has a right to control what is and is not included. Wikipedia is not a democracy, nor is it a forum for free speech. Ryūlóng 23:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

This is certainly only becuase you say so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

Actually Federal law and basic human rights say so. Wikipedia is the property of the Wikimedia foundation, not the American people. Konman72 00:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Pedant? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluecrabs (talkcontribs)

Okay, why has he not been blocked for trolling yet? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 00:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Good question. Ryūlóng 00:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
And that's done. Ryūlóng 00:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Huzzah! One less idiot on Wikipedia! Konman72 00:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, if we're talking names for banning idiots, I have some names totally unrelated to this situation to pass along... --Bobak 02:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
WP:AN/I, WP:AIV alphaChimp laudare 02:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Pfff... that takes too long. I want a quick kill that happens under the table and with corruption. Corruption is sexy, like butta. --Bobak 02:18, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

An exit strategy

I think the following things have to happen to close out this chapter in Wikipedia history:

  • Create a talk sub-page... say, Talk:Elephant/Colbert Report and move all Colbert-related talk there.
  • Make a template for the top of the article page that says, in effect, "this article was the target of a coordinated vandalism action, based on The Colbert Report's suggestion that, "the population of african elephants has tripled in the last 6 months" (an explicit falacy) be placed here. Please feel free to discuss this on the appropriate talk sub-page." Re-word and format to taste.
  • Patrol both the article and the talk page for 7 days, moving any vandalism or discussion of the Colbert joke to the talk sub-page.
  • Unprotect the page at the end of 7 days.

I think that the combination of these two will result in the end of the "fun", and most importantly a return to the state were editors who actually wish to discuss elephants and not Colbert can use this talk page. Putting a template on the article gives those who visit with "intent" the correct idea: it's been done, move along; without actually including a reference to Colbert in the body of the article. This template might even me more generally useful for any article that needs to make note of a Wikipedia-specific situation that downstream sites might want to remove. -Harmil 02:20, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Further note: I think we need a policy like this for coping with such coordinated vandalism without spinning everyone's wheels. In six months, this should be like getting Slashdotted: i.e. we just shrug and say, "oh that again, yeah we don't even notice now." -Harmil 02:23, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Uh, don't we already do all those things? -- Omicronpersei8 (talk) 02:24, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I hear the number of vandal attacks have tripled in the past 6 months... --Bobak 02:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
That's good idea. there must be policies on about coordinated vandalism like Everyone's wheel. That's the way to protect Wikipedia. *~Daniel~* 03:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
We don't need more policies; existing policy handles this nicely. If an article gets vandalized a lot, regardless of source, we can semi-protect it. We can unprotect it when we don't think it'll be vandalized anymore, and reprotect if necessary. If we have an explicit time period which we officially patrol for, not only will it be a pointless pain in the ass, but people will know exactly when to start vandalizing again. Have you ever read WP:BEANS? -- SCZenz 03:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Have you tried to edit elephant recently? How's that policy workin' out? Have you tried to discuss anything on this talk page other than Colbert in the last 48 hours? -Harmil 04:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
But your proposed "policy" calls for us to do what we've done anyway! Yes, editing the article has been hampered by the situation, but it's just how things go. You propose to replace common sense with rigidity, not to actually change how we handle things. As for the talk page being clogged with crap, I agree irrelevant stuff should be removed (see below), but I also think it's a minor inconvenience—I rather suspect that this article was pretty stable prior to this silliness, and will be again after it's over, so there wouldn't be much other discussion here anyway. -- SCZenz 17:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

WP:KISS. I'm all about removing content not directly related to developing the Elephant article, except people cry "censorship". This is a wave of vandalism, yes, but it's also a PR issue, and for now, Wikipedia's PR has actually been quite good during this incident, because pages are only semi-protected and we're still pretty wiki. If we over-clamp, people will declare vandals the winner. Remove trolling as it comes, assume good faith with the rest, and be patient. JDoorjam Talk 04:15, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

A very much think we should remove irrelevant comments from the talk page. It's no more censorship than removing vandalism from an article; it's making sure that the site's pages are used as intended. -- SCZenz 17:37, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Nah, with archiving as an option it just comes off as censorship to a significant lot of us. --Bobak 18:45, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way, but it doesn't change the reality of the situation. Wikipedia talk pages are owned by the Wikimedia Foundation and are specifically designated, by community-written policy, for use that is relevant to their respective articles. If you want a page where everyone can type anything they want, you can make your own website. However, if I remove comments (as I might do later), I will put them on a subpage. -- SCZenz 20:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I am completely for sub-pages. --Bobak 23:22, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Back on the Colbert Report

FYI: On today (Aug 2nd) show, Colbert had a "caller" "phone in" to complain about Colbert's instructions to tamper with the Elephant article. I know the article is still protected, but beware of more edits to this article Tanman 03:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's the clip (heh, Beltsander is apparently very close to my childhood home in Bakersfield. --Bobak 18:53, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Apparently the Wikipedia model worked thanks to the semi-protection as he admitted on his show. I love the Colbert Report, btw. Aplomado talk 03:55, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Obvious vandalism is not, and never was, the real problem on Wikipedia. Obvious vandalism can be reverted and articles can be protected. It's the less overt vandalism or intentional bias that we must be mindful of. Bsoft 07:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Stephen Colbert's awesome. . .I for one believe that elephant populations have tripled in the past 6 months, and will continuely report so until Stephen tells me otherwise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.53.135.247 (talkcontribs)
So Colbert proved nothing about Wikipedia, all he proved is how stupid most of his audience is since they take his jokes as pure fact....awesome. Konman72 03:57, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm a huge fan of Colbert. He's wrong about how easy it is to insert wrong information into articles, but he's still damn funny. Aplomado talk 04:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Konman, do you honestly believe that Colbert was trying to prove anything about Wikipedia? I for one simply think it was Colbert being Colbert (the character, that is). He's an instigator and nonsensical pundit, but he wasn't trying to prove anything about Wikipedia. He was simply ranting, as he always does on his show. It was the audience who decided to take it seriously and play along. -DMurphy 17:50, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Konman, that comment was the height of irony: we clearly have two sides that don't "get" the other, and the extreme reaction from both is "the other ones are stupid because they're so (full of themselves)/(stupid)". Why not just get a giggle of this tomfoolery? --Bobak 18:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Can somebody unlock this? I recently heard from a credible source some important information regarding the elephant's fully erect penis.

Colbert's fans arent stupid. They just think it is funny to mess with wikipedia in this way. which it is. And yes, an elephant's erect Penis is enormous.
That's why I said "most", I'm actually a Colbert fan myself, although this incident has made me a little mad at him. Gotta check out tonight's episode to see how he responded to the caller. Konman72 04:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
He cut the caller off. Axeman89 04:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Agree completely with Konman. Colbert is risking joining people like the people he parodies, such as O'Reilly, who just tonight railed about how people listen too much to bloggers instead of the dinosaurs of newspapers and cable news. Don't become one of the old media dinosaurs like O'Reilly, Mr. Colbert. Aplomado talk 04:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Isn't the "call-in" a joke- that they aren't actually actual callers? I don't think there's a city in California called Beltsander. mobo85, 04:15. 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Same with the audience. Axeman89 04:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah the audience and the callers are jokes. How many people would call Cobert tell him the lenght of an erect elephant penis? At the rate the elephant population is exploding they'll be off the endangerer species list by next year. I'll get to hunt them. Yay elephant burgers! :) NeoJustin 18:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

A word on talk page trolling

For now and probably through the weekend, please remember that you can revert Colberrorism and other forms of trolling without more than an edit description explaining your action — it's better for both the page and your sanity to remove such comments instead of replying to them. Help keep this page focused on bettering the article with which it is associated. JDoorjam Talk 05:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Colberrorism - he's not going to like that one! I, however, think it's brilliant! Let's make the term stick. – ClockworkSoul 07:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
We must stop the Colbertistas! Does anyone know where we can find some godless killing machines? Oh, and Stephen--you're on notice! Seriously though, this is getting ridiculous. I love the Colbert Report, but come on people. It was funny for about 10 minutes. Then it just became stupid. If you're going to vandalize, at least do something creative. The Ungovernable Force 07:38, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the obvious and correct action to take is to provide a comedian with a snappy catch-phrase, because we know that won't end in crying. -Harmil 16:49, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that Colbert needs our help. :) – ClockworkSoul 16:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Colberrorism- An act of vandalism or terrorism conducted by those incapable of understanding satire or irony in their truthiest forms. Lol. NeoJustin 17:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Great and Not So Great

Great: Very quick revert responses to Colbert-inspired vandalism of this page. Not So Great: Apparent confusion of this article over current population of African elephants (is it 300,000 or 600,000?) even in version existing prior to Colbert incident[8] Bwithh 20:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC) ::Come to think of it, this article's confusion over numbers was probably why Colbert chose this particular page for his gag Bwithh 20:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I may be wrong here - may not have looked back far enough in the edits. Bwithh 15:38, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


I just wanted to thank the wikipedia community for responding justly to the colbert press. Its the hard work of you fellow wikipedians that protect the knowledge of wikipedia from those with an agenda. Thanks! --Alpharigel 21:46, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert doesn't have an agenda. He has the truth. Or, er, at least truthiness. Makgraf 02:43, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

A few more items in the not-so-great column listed on my user page. -Harmil 03:29, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


POV

Okay, I have been keeping a look around, I'm also a fan of The Colbert Report, but even so there are a lot of spammers doing this stupid things, he probably is laughing at this mostly, the way I see it, not offending, but Wikipedia users are going insane because of just a joke, He can believe all he wants, freedom speech?, the way I think about it, he probably wanted to warn wikipedia that it's easy for a user to add false information and no one to analyze to correct it. I think it actually encouraged a lot of people to edit wikipedia articles. which is also going to be a pain to reverse back.

Just my opinion, my 2cents --David Gonzalez 15:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

  • 1. Wikipedia users are not going "insane." There are probably 5 or 10 Wikipedians who even care about the Colbert issue to begin with.
  • 2. Reverting vandalism is stupidly easy. Its not a "pain to reverse": it takes about two or three clicks.
  • 3. Its easy for a user to add false information. Its also easy for any other user to notice all the false information he has ever added and revert it in a few click strokes.
  • 4. Colbert was completely wrong. He does not understand the concept of Wikipedia at all: he does not realize that it isn't a democracy. Perhaps now he will.
  • 5. Yes, we have a sense of humor. Yes, Colbert is funny. No, posting the same tired joke for the thousandth time isn't. — Dark Shikari lk/contribs 02:22, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Regarding point four, Stephen Colbert is a comedian! He has no interest in exposing the problems of Wikipedia, or imposing views about it, or even necessarily in promoting it. He is deliberately misunderstanding it for humor value! Sheesh.
Regarding David's original comment, we deal with vandalism all the time, and we know a lot about deliberately-misleading subtle vandalism already. We've learned very little from this episode, which is franky very minor.
I enjoyed the skit on the Colbert Report a lot, and I bear no ill will toward Colbert because being funny and mocking people, institutions, etc. is his job. I don't even bear any ill will toward the vandals, who wanted to get in on the joke and maybe learned a bit about Wikipedia in the process. I warned or blocked their accounts as appropriate anyway, of course. I think all publicity is good publicity—and this is far less negative than some we've gotten—so this incident is for the most part quite positive. -- SCZenz 12:45, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Agenda Overanalysis

The whole Colbert Report incident is being overanalyzed as an act of malice. Obviously, Wikipedia makes an enormous attempt at producing high-quality articles that are scholarly and verifiable. However, it is not free from Wikiality. Articles such as use of the word American or any article on a specific culture or ethnicity suffer from some degree of systemic bias (see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias).

Systemic Bias (Wikiality) occurs everywhere (outside of Wikipedia), but in Wikipedia it is easier to see, incidentally because of the fortunate ability to contest changes (with verifiable evidence). This very ability to edit an encyclopedia is so new and foreign to an outsider that it becomes perceptibly absurd to a newcomer, and a good target for satiric commentary - the real irony being that Colbert has his own encyclopedia article, which he, during his show, can edit. (And to which he can inject his own nonsense).

I doubt Colbert has any real issues with Wikipedia, as it is truly a symbiotic relationship. He gets more attention from Wikipedia than the traditional media since the media often misinterprets his satire (or is the target of). Wikipedia gets free advertising on Comedy Central.

To put into perspective, does he really care that he was misquoted on something so trivial as whether Oregon is California's Canada, or Washington's Mexico? Doubtful, since the rest of the article is so informative (and generally positive about Colbert). If he really thought the article was so terrible, why drive his audience to his Wikipedia article? It is likely that the majority of Colbert Report article editors are a subset of his audience.

It's good to point out the Systemic Bias that is so relevant to truthiness - not just in Wikipedia but in society. Fortunately Wikipedia has safeguards, and new readers drawn through The Colbert Report will probably come to discover how useful Wikipedia really is after they've had their fun. If you don't understand irony, you won't possibly catch the undertones to his humorous philosophical statement. Deepstratagem 11:30, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The Real Surprise

The suprising thing about all the Colbert edits is that even seemingly good-faith attempts to note things like "Stephen Colbert brought fame to the African Elephant on August 3rd when he called for wikipedia editors to claim the population of the African Elephant has tripled in the last three years. This claim is false." are immediately reverted and accused of vandalism. Are there good reasosn why those sentences should not be included? I suppose- perhaps they should only be on Colbert's page, for instance. On the other hand, perhaps such a comment might placate the majority of one-time would-be-vandals who come to wikipedia, go to the article to edit it only to say "it's been done." and merrily go on their way.

That's certainly up for debate, and I think it has been debated to a good extent, but the immediate negative reactions to any sort of Colbert reference on the article page are unwarranted. Yes yes, I'm very proud of how perfect Wikipedia is in all it's "not quite a democracy, not quite repressive, free and open yet accurate" glory--though it seems like newcomers might be a lot more interested in wikipedia with a subtle yet effective edit than by witnessing the awesome editing/warning/blocking power of a few short-tempered wikipedians. All these arguments about how people who edit the page will get what's coming to them and learn what wikipedia is all about in that way are without merit.

Also, aside from the population quip, perhaps editors could consider actually improving this article rather than just policing it for vandalism. Let's see the power of wikicollaboration then. Maybe make it a goal to bring it up to FA status. Newcomers are far more likely to be impressed by a high-quality article is free from vandalism than a mediocre one that just happens to be free of a highly publicized error with a lock graphic on the top. I'm willing to bet that less than 10 people had ever edited/even considered this article before the Colbert Incident, and even less had much of an interest in the African elephant to begin with. Balonkey 16:59, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree it's important to be civil with vandals, and I've been writing friendly handwritten notes wherever possible. Civility and avoiding newbie-biting are absolutely non-negotiable. But two things that are even more fundamental are:
  1. Our article on elephants is an article on elephants, not an article on changes to articles on elephants.
  2. We will never modify our content to placate vandals. Ever.
Finally, my expertise is in physics, and I know nothing about elephants at all. Improving this article would be very nice, but I imagine most other editors who are now watching this feel the same as me—we'll add content about what we know.
You may be interested in Wikipedia:Dealing with coordinated vandalism, an essay I wrote on how to deal with situations like this in the future. -- SCZenz 17:07, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Your essay is informative, and I have no doubt that your work is grounded in noble intentions for what you want wikipedia to look like and not affected by personal arrogance etc. I still am not clear on a couple of points you raise- perhaps you could clarify them for me:

You say your article is not to be one about changes to articles on elephants--is this a vandalism policy or an (albiet completely legitimate) opinion regarding what would optimize the article on elephants?

When you say "our article" who is included in "our"? Who is excluded? I"m not trolling here- still learning about wikiculture.

Does wikipedia have a policy against/for self-reference? If the president of the United States cited a wikipedia article, is it automatically vandalism to mention his citation in the article--or just an ill-advised edit?

What work could be done in re: the population of African Elephants? Is it vandalism to say that it is untrue that the population has tripled despite claims to the contrary, without making reference to the fact that Mr. Colbert encouraged it to be edited or is it simply not worth mention? It seems like the statement "The population of the African Elephants has not tripled in the last six months" is an improvement over no information being provided at all.

I guess this makes me soft on the "war on vandalism" - but it seems like detering vandalism through improvements to the article would be the essence of "soft security." which wikipedia utilizes. If the edits to the article improve it, and it placates vandals, I fail to see the problem. Balonkey 18:02, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Good questions. Our policy against self-references, which is written at Wikipedia:Avoid self-references, is a content policy and not a vandalism policy. It does not spell out clearly what was probably considered too obvious to say (until recently): that Wikipedia articles about their subjects and not about edits to the articles themselves. Nevertheless, this fact stems from the fundamental principle that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and I assure you that this fact is non-negotiable. So this is not just my personal view, it is policy.
But that does not mean that such edits are vandalism. In fact, they are not vandalism in my opinion unless the editor in question knows better already; with repetition they certainly become vandalism.
When I say "our," I technically mean articles developed by the Wikipedia community, from which nobody except community-banned irredeemable vandals are excluded.
If the President of the United States did something notable with regard to an article, and it were nationally covered, there would be a separate article on that. But the article in question, if it had nothing to do with the President, would not include a mention of the edit. Because the article is not about edits to itself. Discussion of what a comedian said about elephants is likewise not an informative fact about elephants, and does not improve the article: such discussion might appear on a discussion of the Colbert Report or on the article on Wikipedia, if it were sufficiently notable, but it has nothing to do with elephants.
I hope this makes things clearer. -- SCZenz 21:17, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, I've updated Wikipedia:Avoid self-references to include explicitly some of what I've said above. I've of course posted a request for review at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) to insure the change is acceptable to the community, per our usual process for modifying policy. -- SCZenz 08:27, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The thing here is that Stephen Colbert fits exactly the definition of a troll. The only difference is that instead of making inflammatory edits himself he simply incites others to do so. We should do what we always do with trolls - ignore him. If we want to comment on his comments we don't do it in the elephant article. DJ Clayworth 17:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Confusion on the "real" population numbers.

It seems the version of this article currently available mentions that there are 300,000 though the citation has a number from 1989 that there are 600,000. Is someone SWAG'ing the 300,00 number or was this more vandalism? Some interesting info, though, from National Geographic has the population of elephants in Kruger National Park growing from 7,000 to 13,000 from sometime in 1995 until the article was published November 5th, 2004. The growth in this 22,00 square KM park equates to anywhere between 1.66 and 1.89 elephants per DAY. So you may ask if I think the population has tripled in the past few months... No, of course not. But perhaps there is more info from reputable sources (sorry Colbert) on this subject. But I do feel the attention he has put onto Wikipedia deserves a spot on Pop Culture as much as an episode of The Simpsons. Montgomp 17:32, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The number of elephants has most definitely decreased since 1989. 300K could be a reasonable number now. --Cyde Weys 13:46, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


On the upside

Could you imagine if Colbert suggested edits to any Wikipedia entry? Good lord, that would be a mess to clean up

Don't give him any ideas.

Why Stephen Colbert Truly Embodies Wikiality

Stephen loves wikipedia. Before he was even the host of his own show (it doesn't count when that Giraldo hating bastard was keeping him down), Wikipedia was revolutionizing the world by letting the people write the history books, not some latte drinking histanista. Stephen not only showed the world his own power to guide millions that night, but showed the world just how poweful and poignant the concept of Wikipedia is. What is truth? Who decides it? Why are "facts" taken as fact, whereas they could just be the delusion of many, and the few, like Stephen, who challenge these factinistas are actually right. And to whomever is about to erase this entry, why? Why are you deleting this, because I disagree with you? Because I'm not "right?" Well then, what is "right?" Because Wikiality is not about what's right. It's about having a voice. Stephen knows that, and showed it to the world that one night. God Bless Stephen.

Nobody here is writing history books, we are simply recollecting verifiable facts and providing them here for ease. Wikipedia has policies against original research and verifiability. Those are things that Stephen Colbert failed to mention while christening his term "Wikiality". The show is not meant to be taken seriously. --ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 08:57, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Test article!

Hello everyone! In my user space, I've created an article about wikipedia's article on elephants. It's just a start. All are invited to improve it. User:John Kenney/Elephant (wikipedia article). Once we get it really good, we can move it to the main name space, perhaps making it the first wikipedia article on the subject of a wikipedia article! Good hunting everyone.

(Tongue firmly in cheek).

john k 01:47, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a great solution to the issue and fully support the article on the article. 70.145.159.12 13:23, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

When can we expect an article about User:John Kenney/Elephant (wikipedia article)? --Chris (talk) 15:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
As a user subpage, probably not, but if this article does get promoted to become the first wikipedia article whose subject is a wikipedia article, then of course it would be a good candidate for being notable enough to have its own article about it. I'm not sure what the best title would be, but at the moment we should all be focused on improving the article about the article, before we get to the point of an article about the article about the article. john k 16:19, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I hadn't realized that the article has made significant progress since I created it, with two whole other people editing it. Is it ready for the spotlight? john k 16:22, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Definitely ready. 70.145.159.12 14:56, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


Clipped Text?

This sentence is a little incoherent. It seems like a piece of text must have been clipped.

"Elephants are increasingly threatened by human intrusion, with the African elephant population plummeting from 3 million in 1970 to roughly 600,000 in 1989, to 272,000 in 2000 and then to between 400,000 and 660,000 in 2003 [2] kill 150 elephants and up to 100 people per year in Asia."

To meet its quality standards I can understand Wikipedia very simply correcting facts. But surely we can add something to the effect of "On the night of [insert date here] Stephen Colbert of the 'Colbert Report' told his viewers to edit this page by inserting the "fact" that 'the number of elephants has tripled.'" That's not too much to ask. This especially comes to mind because one would assume that the number of hits on the Elephant page more than tripled!

Adding Colbert Reference to "Popular Culture" Section

The issue is that the elephant article is about elephants; the Colbert incident was about the article about elephants (and, more generally, Wikipedia), not about the pachyderms themselves. It may seem a subtle distinction, perhaps, but I think its enough of one to justify not including it in the article. JDoorjam Talk 21:50, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
The fact that someone wants to talk about this is insane. Are we going to include references to every tv/movie/radio show ever made that discuesses a particular topic for every article in wikipedia? Are you people insane? The discussion of a topic has nothing to do with the topic itself.
First, your "distinction" is not "subtle." It's overly linear, unnecessarily reductionist and sadly myopic. The Colbert incident was about "the article about elephants" AND Wikipedia AND elephants. It was not about "the article about elephants" to the EXCLUSION of elephants themselves. He didn't just mention the article, he also discussed elephant population. You should be aware that sometimes a pop reference can work simultaneously on several levels. See irony, puns, double entendre and poetry for examples of this amazing concept of layered meaning.
Second, the Colbert reference to bear populations is FAR more significant an event in pop culture's intersection with bears than the Tuft's mascot or the UofA mascot or a Thai elephant band or their role in Pratchett's Discworld. These 4 examples I just gave from the pop culture section of the Elephants article are quite frankly, laughlably trivial. And it's ridiculous that they be included but not the Colbert reference.
Third, the editors of the Bears articles in Wikipedia have seen fit to include the Colbert reference. It comes as inconsistent for Colbert references to be welcomed in one animal article, but not another.
Fourth, if you do not include the Colbert reference into the pop culture section, this article will most probably remain under protection for the next 5 to 20 years because I assure you, the Colbert fans are legion, and they will not rest until His Word is incorporated into this article of pachydermal goodness. This is not a threat. Just a fact. So please, you guys, drop the ego and bow before the Truthiness that is Colbert. Magonaritus 17:25, 16 August 2006 (UTC)



It's very silly not to include a short sentence about the Colbert reference. But then again I see very little on Wikepedia that makes very much sense, as far as logic.


What does the Colbert Report episode Wikiality have to do with Elephants? Nothing whatsoever. The episode does have to do with Wikipedia. This means that the trivia should go under one of the articles on Wikipedia or The Colbert Report, not Elephant. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 21:30, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


What does the Simpson radio competition episode involving elephants have to do with Elephants? Nothing whatsoever. The episode does have to do with radio competitions. This means that the trivia should go under one of the articles on radio competitions or Simpsons, not Elephant.Magonaritus 21:48, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Not really. The episode focused on the elephant and the inconveniences of having an elephant. The radio show was simply a plot point to allow the family to get an elephant. Apply this to the Colbert report: Colbert could have asked viewers to vandalize any article and it would have made his point just as well. He chose elephant: but what does this have to do with elephants themselves? Nothing. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 21:58, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Ya really. The Colbert report segment focused on elephants and the population changes of elephants. Yes, it was about wikiality, but it was ALSO about elephants. Why is this such a hard concept to understand? Did you know references can have SIMULTANEOUS layers of meaning? Again, I refer you to irony, puns, double entendre and poetry as examples of this wonderful concept. Please prove to us how the Colbert segment about elephant populations is talking about Wiki TO THE EXCLUSION of elephants?
And your Simpsons reasoning is grossly flawed. Allow me to paraphrase your language to illustrate: The Simpsons episode could have mentioned any circus animal and it would have made the same point as well. The Simpsons writers chose elephants: but what does this have to do with elephants themselves? Nothing. And yet, it's mentioned in the pop culture section of this article. And the Colbert reference is not?Magonaritus 22:07, 16 August 2006 (UTC)



The fact that Stephen Colbert made a joke about elephants is not something which needs to be in the article about elephants. Specifically, we are supposed to avoid self-reference. It would fit in an article about wikipedia's article about elephants, but that's just silly. john k 21:39, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Indeed. The thought of putting it into this article stirred by self-referencing, which should be rightfully discouraged. Kevin_b_er 21:41, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Your example is highly flawed and easily disproven. Please check out the Wiki article on John Seigenthaler, Sr. which states: In May 2005, an anonymous user (who was later identified as Brian Chase) created a five-sentence Wikipedia article about Seigenthaler which contained defamatory content. The article remained largely unchanged for four months, until it was brought to Seigenthaler's attention. Seigenthaler contacted Wikipedia in September, and the content was deleted. He later wrote an op-ed on the experience for USA Today on November 29, in which he wrote "Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool."[22] The op-ed prompted many commentators to write about the issue and the reliability of open editing models in the following weeks.
The Wiki self-reference policy is meant to prevent 1 Wiki article quoting itself or another Wiki article as a source. It does NOT prevent a Wiki article from quoting a news source that mentions Wiki.Magonaritus 21:59, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


I respect your opinions, and I'd like to thank you for taking the time to discuss them. That said, if we run around meticulously listing every single time any random person mentions Wikipedia, it doesn't reflect well on us. It becomes a question of notability, more or less. If Colbert's joke has made a lasting impression on pop culture, I say we may as well put it in somewhere, although personally I think the joke was more about Wikipedia than it was about elephants, and should go into a more Wikipedia-related article. The question for me, more specifically, would be: is this something people will remember for a few weeks, or something that'll be fresh in their minds for years? Luna Santin 22:26, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


You make a great point that it's not worth including pop culture references that aren't going to make a lasting impression. Like the lasting impression on pop culture by the Tufts mascot. Or the UofA mascot. Or a Thailand musical band of elephants. These 3 examples, currently in the Elephants article, are surely going to make a more lasting impression on pop culture than the Colbert Report's segment mentioning elephants. After all, what is this Colbert Report anyways? It only has 1.2 million viewership per episode. It only won 4 Emmy nominations in 2006. And Stephen Colbert gave the main presentation at some obscure 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. And Colbert was only named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2006. Or that trivial Peabody Award he garnered in 2004. I vigorously agree that this mentioning of elephants on his show that no one watches and no one cares about surely pales in comparison to the lasting impression on elephants in pop culture left by Tufts, UofA or some random Thai elephant band. Good point. Magonaritus 22:49, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


So Colbert's won awards and made news -- so what? That doesn't indicate that everything he says or does is notable. If his segments only claim to fame was "It was on the Colbert show, and Colbert is famous," then the segment is pretty much demonstrably non-notable. On the other hand, if there's evidence that anyone outside of Wikipedia's and Colbert's respective fan bases is even aware of this segment, or likely to remember it, it may be worth including. Have the mass media mentioned the segment? Repeatedly? Does it keep showing up, all over the place, on other shows, wherever? "Colbert elephant" gets 14 hits, at Google News [9]; on Google itself, "Colbert elephant" gets 329,000 hits [10], out of a full 74 million hits for "elephant" [11] -- it's quite possible that I'm wrong, but I have a strong impression that it didn't make any lasting dent on pop culture at large. Luna Santin 23:22, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


  • "On the other hand, if there's evidence that anyone outside of Wikipedia's and Colbert's respective fan bases is even aware of this segment, or likely to remember it, it may be worth including. Have the mass media mentioned the segment? Repeatedly? Does it keep showing up, all over the place, on other shows, wherever?"
  • On Google News, there are no stories covering the Simpsons episode involving circus elephants. And there probably never were. So why is the Simpsons episode in this Wiki article?
  • On Google News, there are no stories covering the Tufts mascot being an elephant. So why is the Tufts mascot in this Wiki article?
  • On Google News, there are no stories covering the UofA mascot being an elephant. So why is the UofA mascot in this Wiki article?
  • On Google News, there are no stories covering the Thai Elephant Orchestra. So why is the Thai Elephant Orchestra in this Wiki article?
  • "on Google itself, "Colbert elephant" gets 329,000 hits...but I have a strong impression that it didn't make any lasting dent on pop culture at large."
  • You're making up a new Wiki editorial policy on "lasting impression" ex nihilo. Please acknowledge that you're making stuff up now or show me where you're getting this policy from and the objective Wiki-approved manner to measure "lasting impression".
  • "Tufts mascot elephants" gets 977 hits. That's 0.29% of the Colbert Elephant hits. So why is the Tufts mascot in this Wiki article?
  • "university alabama mascot elephant" gets 40,100 hits. That's 12% of the Colbert Elephant hits. So why is the UofA mascot in this Wiki article?
  • "simpsons episode circus elephants" gets 92,000 hits. That's 28% of the Colbert Elephant hits. So why is the simpsons episode in this Wiki article?
  • "thai elephant orchestra" gets 106,000 hits. That's 32% of the Colbert Elephant hits. So why is the Thai Elephant Orchestra in this Wiki article?
  • If you have any other Wiki editorial policies like you'd make up or any data you'd like to present in a very lopsided way, let us know. Magonaritus 14:16, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
And more importantly, Colbert's pranks teach us (and our readers) absolutely nothing about elephants, and they therefore don't belong in an article on elephants. Stick it in a list of pranks in Colbert's article. - Nunh-huh 23:25, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Please, do tell, what does the Tufts mascot, UofA mascot or Thai elephant band teach us about elephants? Nothing. So why are THEY in the article but not the Colbert reference? What hypocrisy!
  • Please point me to the Wiki editorial policy requiring that pop references to a topic must teach readers about that topic. I think I missed that one. You're not just making things up are you? That'd be sad. Magonaritus 15:40, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


You don't have to flame to make a point. To me it's not about how much it gets mentioned at first (though there is, and has been, a considerable mention). What I'm looking for is: do people keep mentioning it? How much attention are these editorials getting? Is anybody going to remember this sketch in five years? You're welcome to point out that my opinions aren't quoted verbatim from policy; if it makes sense, I'm discussing this because I don't think there is a clear-cut policy answer, and because I'm completely open to the idea that I might be wrong. Some of those other references should actually probably be removed, but I'm personally hesitant to expand the matter at hand. You're welcome to disagree, of course. Luna Santin 00:19, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Your hypocrisy is maddening. I love how you focus the spotlight on Colbert with questions that can not be answered due to limitations in our time-space continuum with question like "Is anybody going to remember this sketch in five years?". And yet, you intentionally do NOT ask the same question to the pop references already in the article, like the Tufts mascot, UofA mascot, Thai Elephant Orchestra. Your questions are lopsided and not evenhanded. You demand a set of criteria for the Colbert reference but then you conveniently forget to apply those same criteria to the pop references already in the article. How is anyone supposed to take your feedback seriously? Magonaritus 18:45, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, you needn't flame to make a point. In response to the bulk of your post, I suggest you try re-reading the last sentence of my reply. :) If the answer to a question like "Will anybody remember this in a few months?" isn't immediately clear, isn't the subject demonstrably non-notable? Luna Santin 23:59, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
  • "Will anybody remember the Tufts mascot is an elephant in a few months?" Immediately clear as yes to a VERY TINY population of people.
  • "Will anybody remember the UofA mascot is an elephant in a few months?" Immediately clear as yes to a VERY TINY population of people.
  • "Will anybody remember the Thai Elephant Orchestra in a few months?" Immediately clear as yes to a VERY TINY population of people.
  • "Will anybody remember the Colbert elephant segment in a few months?" Immediately clear as YES to a VERY LARGE population of people because Colbert reaches 1 million people per week and the incident was covered online on CNET, MTV, Toronto Star as well as who knows how many other venues offline.
  • If you're a troll, I applaud your skills. If you hate Colbert, then get over it, your ego-driven bias is not welcome here. If you're not a troll or Colbert hater, I will repeat once again. Do. Not. Apply. Criteria. Only. To. Colbert. While. Not. Applying. The. Same. Criteria. To. The. Other. Pop. References. It. Makes. You. Look. Stupid. Magonaritus 02:15, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I was looking at the Colbert Nation messageboard. In the first post of a topic on elephants (http://www.colbertnation.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=3383), there's a link to http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2004/september/elephant.htm discussing the problems association with elephant overpopulation in Africa. This only reinforces the point that the Colbert segment DOES have relevancy to the topic of elephants (ASIDE from the incontravertible fact that the segment DOES deal with elephants because it MENTIONS elephants). The comments on the message board? "Seems there is some truth the the increase in elephants story" "So that means wikipedia was blocking the more than the truthiness, the were blocking the truth!"Magonaritus 22:24, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


At which point it becomes clear that they probably never bothered to read WP:V, one of the core policies of Wikipedia -- the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is not truth, but verifiability. It's no surprise at all that they were reverted, under the circumstances -- that's why we need to cite reliable sources and avoid original research at all times. :) Luna Santin 22:28, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Sorry to say, but you missed the point. Please reread. If you still don't get it, let me know and I'll elaborate. Magonaritus 22:51, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


No, I don't think I did. :) The site you've linked mentions a 7% increase; that's pretty far from "tripled." A large number of incoming edits were obviously related to the show, and were obviously unsourced, so it's entirely predictable that they'd be reverted. If people have sources, they need to cite them -- if they need help with that, there's always talk pages. See this diff, for example. Luna Santin 23:10, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Really why not? I mean every single article has a Simpsons refrence in it. (Not really but close) We should put it in. (Koolsen0 01:03, 30 August 2006 (UTC))



HEY GUYS, LETS ARGUE ABOUT SUCH A SMALL EDIT. IT SHALL CONSUME OUR LIVES AND THIS DEBATE SHALL RAGE FOR CENTURIES. SURELY THIS WILL PROVE OUR SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE OVER ONE ANOTHER. RATHER THAN ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING WITH OUR LIVES, WE SHALL ARGUE AND ARGUE UNTIL WE DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THE ORIGINAL TOPIC WAS.

- This isn't even a real encyclopedia. No need to be so serious. Geez. This is really sad and only further drives the nail into your coffin of truthiness.

The reason why Wikipedia is so popular is because of the vast ammount of articles and the great quality of them considering it's free, and was edited by the people above you. Wikipedia is getting better and better IMHO because of "those people" and the admins and creators that run the site.


Elephant Population

So what of this information that states that the elephant populstion has tripled in the past 6 months? I think its credible and should be included.

Its a damn joke. You all do realize that Colbert is not the person he plays on TV. He is mocking people that do everything O'reily tells them. Just look at last nights episode, he ordered people to do at least 3 things. He's mocking people who do what people on TV tell them. Its okay if you're joking but once you start taking Colbert seriously it just reveals how sheep-like some people are.Gdo01 19:32, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Once you feed the trolls one time, you'll never get them to leave you alone. They're like stray cats (not Stray Cats) that way. – ClockworkSoul 21:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know. I fed Brian Setzer once and he won't come out of my basement.Elbow 08:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


Removal of Simpsons Reference

I've removed the Simpson's reference on this page, as a one-time reference by a popular television show obviously has no place on this encyclopedic article. If we intend to keep Wikipedia controlled and patrolled, we must abide by our own rules vis a vis the Colbert incident. If his one-time mention is not worth mention, The Simpsons' one-time mention is not either. Scribbling 04:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

ClockworkSoul apparently feels he is above using the Talk pages, and has reverted my initial removal of The Simpsons' reference. I didn't realize Wikipedia was a fascist organization. Scribbling 04:39, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

If any of you could logically explain why a one time pop culture reference should stay on the elephants page, please speak up. Scribbling 04:40, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

The Simpson's had an episode about an elephant. The Colbert Report had an episode about Wikipedia. Your removal of the Simpsons' popular culture reference is a violation of WP:POINT. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 20:40, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
As I said above, this is overly linear, unnecessarily reductionist and sadly myopic. The Colbert incident was about "the article about elephants" AND Wikipedia AND elephants. It was not about "the article about elephants" to the EXCLUSION of elephants themselves. He didn't just mention the article, he also discussed elephant population. You should be aware that sometimes a pop reference can work simultaneously on several levels. See irony, puns, double entendre and poetry for examples of this amazing concept of layered meaning. I am unclear why you keep ignoring and evading this point. Is it because you know deep down that you're wrong?
The Simpsons episode was about the circus, AND radio competition AND elephants. The episode could have been about any other circus animal. It didn't HAVE to be elephants. The episode didn't really teach you that much about elephants per se. And yet, the Simpsons episode remains as a pop culture reference to elephants while the Colbert segment does not.
I highly recommend including the Colbert reference. If not, then delete the references to the Thai Elephant Orchestra, the Tufts mascot, the UofA mascot, the Discworld reference, the White Stripes reference. None of these references have a central focus on elephants or teach us anything about elephants or appeal to very small interest groups/niches.Magonaritus 21:19, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
How does any of this change the fact that you are violating WP:POINT? — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 22:49, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
You're very good at ignoring every argument proving that the Colbert segment should be included the Elephant article. You've done an awesome job at distracting us with WP:POINT. So can you continue to ignore the substantive discussion for the next 8 weeks and then if anyone deletes the Simpsons reference after that, you can still scream WP:POINT?Magonaritus 23:53, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
What is this "us" you speak of? You and your sock? Please gain more widespread support for your change before you attempt to implement it by violating 3RR through the use of sockpuppets. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 03:07, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for once again completely ignoring the substantive discussion. /golfclap. I love your personal attack that I must be using sock puppets because it's inconceivable that 2 people disagree with you. Very nice. I applaud your commitment to not discussing the legitimate meaty issues point by point and resorting to ad hominem attacks as a distraction. So by refusing to discuss the issue and calling any deletion of the Simpons reference a WP:POINT violation, you think you can keep the Simpsons reference in the article indefinitely? Sweet. Magonaritus 13:51, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I have already answered your argument, but you apparently have ignored it. Both of your accounts appear to be single purpose accounts, and so there's really no point in me responding. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 14:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Sweet. Thanks for the Personal Attacks by calling me a sock puppet. I'd love to see your awesome proof. Oh wait, it's a lie and you know it. I also love the obvious lie that I am a single purpose account. Too bad reality would disagree with your obvious deceptions. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Magonaritus where you can see I have made edits to ICQ, AOL, Poe and Internet Slang. Thanks for making a great impression. I guess you represent the sort of integrity, truthfulness and civility that Wiki aspires to? I look forward to more ad hominem attacks from you while you quote more Wiki editorial policies as you desperately try to wrap yourself in Wiki legitimacy. Magonaritus 14:32, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
And as I said, I will consider your suggestion if you can convince a few non-sock, reputable Wikipedians to agree with you. Until then, its just not worth my time: this issue has already been debated to death on other pages. — Dark Shikari talk/contribs 14:12, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Uh... hello? Didn't you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Elephant/Colbert? That's where you guys have tried to ghettoize the conversation. See some of the sample quotes below of a few Wikipedians who agree with me. But feel free to ignore this as you do anything that proves you wrong. I look forward to your silence or another Personal Attack that I'm a sock puppet on a single issue (which http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Magonaritus clearly disproves).
  • As long as you're labelling it a cultural phenomeonon, I feel that this incident should be noted in the "pop culture" section of this article. I believe not doing so is akin to wikipedia having an elephant in the room --Shirley Grace 14:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I concur with the above. Danorux 03:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
  • What about the Simpsons reference? Would anyone come to the Elephant article looking for The Simpsons? Would anyone looking for information on Elephants find the information about the elephant in one episode of the Simpsons useful, or what about the White Stripes? If you're using that logic to decide what goes here and what doesn't, delete some of the other Pop Culture references too.
  • At best, it should be one sentence in Elephants in pop culture. Trouble is, whoever adds it is going to get reverted =D (or blocked). alphaChimp laudare 16:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Last time I checked, the Colbert Report was a part of pop culture. The reference to the population of elephants tripling on the show should be included in this section.. otherwise, maybe we should just get rid of that section entirely. Djedi 19:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC) Magonaritus 14:45, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

A threshold for inclusion

So, what should it take to put something in the pop culture section? I think the Simpsons episode is probably one of the weaker of the entries -- if there were a recurring elephant character, that might make sense, but because a font of pop culture mentions a thing, is that enough for its inclusion? I think there are a sufficient number of elephants on television that not every appearance in that medium necessarily needs to be documented. We seem to be getting bogged down on just two of the entries; let's take a step back and look at this from a wider perspective. What are some guidelines we can come up with to decide whether a pop culture reference to elephants merits mention? JDoorjam Talk 17:13, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

If you refer to the section above Adding Colbert Reference to "Popular Culture" Section http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Elephant#Adding_Colbert_Reference_to_.22Popular_Culture.22_Section, you'll see objective metrics are discussed like # of Google News hits or # of Google search hits. Of course, the Colbert segment rated higher than the Simpons, Thai Elephant Orchestra, Tufts Mascot and UofA mascot on both these measures by a massive margin. So the Colbert haters shut up after that and now pretend that there's nothing to discuss and accuse anyone of deleting the Simpons reference as being a sock puppet, troll and violating WP:Point. So mature. Magonaritus 20:28, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
You really ought to be less hostile; it's not productive. I generally don't like the Google test for the reason you just mentioned: I think that elephants are widely used as mascots is a notable pop culture phenomenon (though one that could possibly be rolled into just one bullet point), but googling "elephant mascot" isn't an effective method of determining their notability, nor is documenting the number of hits all that informative. We can come back to the Colbert thing later, but the first thing to determine is what the purpose of the pop culture section is, and given that, what should be included. But just going back and forth on Colbert isn't moving this conversation along. Given that you've weighed in a few times on trivia, do you have any thoughts about the trivia section in general, and what metrics besides the Google test are available for determining notability for this section? JDoorjam Talk 20:44, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Threshold Criterion: A verifiable and notable source has documented that a notable pop culture subject (person, show, phenomenon, book, university, etc.) has used the word "elephant" in the non-metaphorical sense or has published an image of an elephant. Magonaritus 00:54, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't you think this would end up with a rather long list of entries? I googled "elephant television" and this popped up. Should those all be included in the pop culture section? Some of them already are; many would probably not qualify is "pop culture". Is "Mickey's Elephant" pop culture enough? Mickey Mouse obviously qualifies. That list seems to indicate that Bugs Bunny did a cartoon with some pachyderms as well; should that be included? Is Dr. Seuss pop culture? This still appears to be overly nebulous. JDoorjam Talk 04:54, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Three things:
One, why don't YOU propose a threshold criterion. After all, this was YOUR idea.
Two, don't criticize my proposed definition and then not offer a constructive amendment in conclusion. Otherwise, you're just engaging in a meaningless exercise of trolling. (Hey, won't don't you propose a solution and I'll just keep tearing it apart without offering any constructive suggestions, compromises or solutions in return).
Three, your criticism of my proposed threshold criteria is actually flawed. It shows that you didn't read it carefully. In fact, most of the references in http://www.elephantcountryweb.com/elliemovies.html would NOT meet my threshold definition. For two reasons. First, www.elephantcountryweb.com is NOT a notable source. So that disqualifies everything on that page. Second, most of the subjects referenced on that page are NOT notable pop culture subjects. Magonaritus 18:58, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


The fact that the Colbert Report business was about the wikipedia article on elephants is actually a reason not to include it, because we are supposed to avoid self-reference. The wikipedia article about elephants is not notable to be mentioned in the wikipedia article about elephants. Take it to Elephant (wikipedia article). john k 01:29, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I already proved this argument utterly false in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Elephant#Adding_Colbert_Reference_to_.22Popular_Culture.22_Section. In it, I wrote:
Please check out the Wiki article on John Seigenthaler, Sr. which states: In May 2005, an anonymous user (who was later identified as Brian Chase) created a five-sentence Wikipedia article about Seigenthaler which contained defamatory content. The article remained largely unchanged for four months, until it was brought to Seigenthaler's attention. Seigenthaler contacted Wikipedia in September, and the content was deleted. He later wrote an op-ed on the experience for USA Today on November 29, in which he wrote "Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool."[22] The op-ed prompted many commentators to write about the issue and the reliability of open editing models in the following weeks.
The Wiki self-reference policy is meant to prevent 1 Wiki article quoting itself or another Wiki article as a source. It does NOT prevent a Wiki article from quoting a news source that mentions Wiki. Magonaritus 19:40, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

"Cultural references" are barely above the inclusion threshold anyway. If they have to do with Wikipedia, they are also self-references and shouldn't be included unless they were really culturally significant. This was a one-off prank. Zocky | picture popups 10:54, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The South Park defense

I'm frankly stunned that this conversation has one on this long, but since it's obviously got everyone aflutter, let me try to bring some logic to bear: no, neither the Simpsons nor the Colbert episodes have any substantial impact on the topic of elephants. Nothing about elephants is substantially changed by either reference. The public consciousness is left fairly unchanged (really, outside of Wikipedia neither reference is particularly notable), and if you were going to list the 10,000 most important things about elephants, I don't think either reference makes the cut.

South Park has already summed up the most damning point in a phrase, "Simpsons did it." That is, there are potentially tens of thousands of articles on Wikipedia that could have a "The Simpsons did and episode which made particular note of {{PAGENAME}}." Heck, we could make a template out of it, just so that it would be easier to find and remove. Now, if a particular Simpsons (or Colbert) meme affects the world outside of Wikipedia substantially, then we can include a reference to that impact. Until then, we should not feel compelled to include a footnote every time a popular personality mentions Elephants, Wikipedia or any other topic. -Harmil 02:49, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

He Called It!

Wooooo! Fledge 03:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Stephen Called it!

October 18, 2006; The number of Elephants has INDEED tripled!--Ricimer 03:33, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Here comes another wave! AStudent 03:37, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Pop Culture?

Seems like the whole Stephen Colbert fiasco deserves at least a mention on the "Popular Culture" section of the article. He did devote a significant amount of time to elephants, and no one can deny that he is popular. --24.200.34.209 06:36, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Providing an outlet for Colberrorism appears to be the only way to get the Elephant article up and running again.