User:Thine Antique Pen/Adoption/AFisch99

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Hi there AFisch99! Welcome to my adoption program. Your lessons are below.

Five Pillars
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.
User:Jimbo Wales

The Five Pillars[edit]

One of the most important essays in Wikipedia is WP:FIVEPILLARS which is designed to eloquently sum up what we're here for.

  • Pillar one defines Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. It suggests some things that we are not. Thoughts about what we are not are covered in the deletion lesson.
  • Pillar two talks about neutrality, a concept that this lesson will be concentrating on.
  • Pillar three talks about free content. The Copyright lesson will go into this in more detail.
  • Pillar four talks about civility. Wikipedia is a collaborative working environment and nothing would ever get done if it wasn't. I'll go into civility more during the dispute resolution module.
  • Pillar five explains that Wikipedia does not have firm rules. This is a difficult concept and will be covered in the Policy and consensus lesson.

Once you get your head around these five pillars, you will be a Wikipedian and a good one at that. All 5 are covered in my adoption school, though at different lengths. Be aware that I don't know everything and I would doubt anyone who said they did.

How articles should be written[edit]

The articles in Wikipedia are designed to represent the sum of human knowledge. Each article should be written from a neutral point of view – personal opinions such as right and wrong should never appear, nor should an editors experience. Neutrality also means giving due weight to the different points of view. If the broad scientific community has one set of opinions – then the minority opinion should not be shown. An example is in medicine – if there was an article on say treatment of a broken leg, a neutral article would not include anything on homeopathy.

To ensure that the information in an article is correct, Wikipedia has adopted a policy of verifiability. Anything written in Wikipedia should be available to confirm by looking at the associated reliable source. Wikipedia should not include anything not verifiable by seeing it is published elsewhere; in other words, it should not contain anything original.

Reliable sources[edit]

So what is a source? Wikipedia uses the word source for three interchangeable ideas – a piece of work, the work's creator or the work's publisher. In general, you would expect a reliable source to be published materials with a reliable publication process, authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject, or both. This doesn't mean that a source that is reliable on one topic is reliable on every topic, it must be regarded as authoritative in that topic – so whilst "Airfix monthly" may be a good source on the first model aeroplane, I would not expect it to be authoritative on their full size equivalent.

A source that is self-published is in general considered unreliable, unless it is published by a recognized expert in the field. This is a very rare exception – so self publishing is generally considered a no-no. This means that anything in a forum or a blog and even most websites are considered unreliable by default. One interesting sidepoint is on self-published sources talking about themselves. Obviously, a source talking about itself is going to be authoritative, but be careful that the source is not too self-serving – the article really should not be totally based on a direct source like that.

Mainstream news sources are generally considered reliable... but any single article should be assessed on a case by case basis. Some news organizations have been known to check their information on Wikipedia – so be careful not to get into a cyclic sourcing issue!

There's a lot more about what makes a source reliable here.


Any questions or would you like to try the test?

Nope, I'm ready! I got this far with my old adopter. AFisch99 (talk) 18:02, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Five Pillars[edit]

This test is going to be based on questions. One word "Yes" or "No" answers are unacceptable. I want to see some evidence of a thought process. There's no time limit - answer in your own words and we'll talk about your answers.

1) Q - You have just discovered from a friend that the new Ford Escort is only going to be available in blue. Can you add this to the Ford Escort article and why?

A - Nope. Not allowed, because the information was gained from a friend. That's not a reliable source.
OK, good. Your friend's opinion is not a reliable source. Just as a note on the reliability of sources, companies are not normally good references for information about themselves. However, in this case, they are the people making the car. If they said that the car is only going to be made in blue, then it's fine.
Okay, I understand!

2) Q - A mainstream newspaper has published a cartoon which you see is clearly racist as part of an article. Can you include this as an example of racism on the newspaper's article? What about on the racism article?

A - Wow. As for this one, I'd say "no" for putting it on the newspaper's article, because it could be damaging to the newspaper's reputation and I guess so for the racism article (though I'm not sure about that.).
Well, this is slightly different than that. If independent, reliable sources state that the cartoon is a good example of the newspaper being racist, it should/could be used (or considered to be used) in the article about the newspaper, or even on racism. Take a look at the three images at Racism#Ideology; a poster, a sign and a cartoon from a newspaper; all of which are racist. Here at Wikipedia, they are being included as an example of racism, not / for the community or the one who added the image / to specifically be racist. However, do not be WP:RECKLESS in these type of things. If independent reliable sources speak of this image, and the media meets the non-free content criteria, then Wikipedia is not censored.
Makes sense. I wasn't sure about this one.

3) Q - You find an article that shows that people in the state of Ohio eat more butternut squashes than anywhere in the world and ranks each of the United States by squashes per head. Interestingly you find another article that ranks baldness in the United States and they are almost identical! Can you include this information anywhere on Wikipedia? Perhaps the baldness article or the butternut squash article?

A- Wow. This example made me laugh :) I don't think you could include this anywhere. I mean, you're observing it yourself, and you're not an authoritative source!
Well, if you're observing it yourself, that would be WP:ORIGINALRESEARCH. Original research would be personally analysing some data of the two and adding it to the article; using our own analysis of these two, separate sets of facts. However, if a respectable scientific journal published a document/article stating that they'd researched and found a connection between butternut squashes and baldness, then it could be mentioned.
Right. Original research is not allowed, I remember!

4) Q - Would you consider BBC news a reliable source on The Troubles? Would you consider BBC news to be a reliable source on its rival, ITV?

A - I'm going to have to say "no" and "no". No to the first, because it sounds like an issue they might have an opinion on, and no to the second because it sounds like something they would definitely have an opinion on!
Personally, I would class BBC News as a reliable source. However, it is great to look for a second source. About their rival, ITV, the same applies. But, if ITV actually published roughly the same data as what was on BBC News, you should use both references. Remember not to use too many citations.
Okay, I understand this!

5) Q - Would you consider Ben and Jerry's official Facebook page a reliable source?

A - No, I don't think so. Facebook pages are pretty promotional.
Well, if it's the official page, it's probably not going to be too promotional. It's a reliable source for what they claim about themselves. Therefore, it is not an independent source, which Wikipedia should use.
Independent sources. Okay, I'll take a look at that so I understand it all better.

6) Q - A "forum official" from the Daily Telegraph community forums comments on Daily Telegraph's stance on world hunger. Would this be a reliable source?

A - If it's a forum, it's not allowed, so no.
OK, good.

7) Q - Would you have any problem with or an "iTunes" link being used in a music related article?

A - I don't think so, but I'm not sure. I couldn't find anything that would specify "no", but it seems like something that's a bit promotional.
It would be an advertisement. It is obviously trying to sell you something.
Oh, okay! Makes sense!

8) Q - Would you have any issue with using the About Us page on Xerox as a source for the history section of the Xerox article.

A - Hmmm...maybe. I would think it might not be okay, because generally companies try to promote themselves. I would check out the link and see. However, because this is the history of the company, it probably would be fine.
I would say not. Wikipedia requires independent sources to back up it's content. You could use it, but an extra source would be better.
I definitely need to read about those independent sources...

9) Q - Everybody knows that the sky is blue right? An editor doesn't agree - he says it is bronze, do you need a source?

A - The "how articles are written" section says Wikipedia article should reflect the opinions of the majority, so no.
Well, not really. See Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue. It is quite obvious that the sky is blue, and the editor is most likely trolling.
Yeah, that's what I was saying. No need for a source.
  • Please reply to my comments, and tell me here when you would like the next lesson.
I'm ready to go! I'll just read about those independent sources and then I'll be ready. Thanks!


WP:Wikiquette - or the etiquette of Wikipedia is something that you may already be familiar with, depending how much reading around the different wikipedia pages you've made.

I'm just going to highlight some of the important Wikiquette items that you should try and remember. It may help you out.

  • Assume good faith - This is fundamental and I'll be going over it again in dispute resolution. Editors here are trying to improve the encyclopedia. Every single member of the community. EVERY ONE. If you read a comment or look at an edit and it seems wrong in some way, don't just jump straight in. Try and see it from the other editors point of view, remembering that they are trying to improve the encyclopedia.
  • Sign your talk posts with four tildes ~~~~. The software will stick your signature and timestamp in, allowing the correct attribution to your comment. I have a script that reminds you to do this if you think you'll forget.
  • Try and keep to threading, replying to comments by adding an additional indentation, represented by a colon, :. I cover more about this in my basics of markup language lesson - let me know if you'd like to take it. Talk pages should something like this - Have a read of WP:THREAD to see how this works.
How's the soup? --[[User:John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane]]
::I made it myself! --[[User:John]]
Let's move the discussion to [[Talk:Soup]]. --[[User:Jane]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[User:George]]

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
I made it myself! --John

Let's move the discussion to Talk:Soup. --Jane

I tend to disagree. --George
  • Don't forget to assume good faith
  • There are a lot of policies and guidelines, which Wikipedians helpfully point you to with wikilinks. Their comments may seem brusque at first, but the linked document will explain their point much better than they may be able to.
  • Be polite, and treat others as you would want to be treated. For example, if someone nominated one of the articles you created for deletion, I'm sure you'd want to know about it, so if you are doing the nominating make sure you leave the article creator a notification.
  • Watch out for common mistakes.
  • Did I mention that you should assume good faith?
  • Comment on the edits. Not the editor. I'll cover this more in dispute resolution.


Any questions?

Nope. I read everything here and also the linked pages. AFisch99 (talk) 14:31, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


Have a look at the conversation below:

What's the best car in the world? -- Rod
Probably something German or Japanese. -- Freddie
Like what -- Rod's Mate
I dunno, something like Volkswagon? -- Freddie
Volkswagon Passat --Passat Lover <-Postion:A
What do you want it for? -- Jane
Volkswagon Passat --Passat Lover <-Position:B

Well, the Passat lover clearly loves his Passat, but who is he replying to? In

1) Position A?

A- Rod's Mate here!

2) Position B?

A- Rod, I believe.

3) An editor who has a low edit count seems awfully competent with templates. Should he be reported as a possible WP:SOCK?

A- Um...I don't think right away. Because we should assume good faith, I think you'd want to talk to the person first.
Well, kind of. Lets say that it has the same behavioural habits of another account: then it would be good to report it as a possible sock. If there isn't evidence of the same behavioural habits or anything else, it would be best to assume good faith that they are just competent with wikimarkup and templates. Who knows, they could have came from Wikia or something.
Yes, please! AFisch99 (talk) 15:57, 13 December 2012 (UTC)


Welcome to the lesson discussing Copyright. It's one of the most important lessons I teach, because not adhering to it can lead to a ban from Wikipedia. I'm hoping to take you back to basics and will be focusing on images. However, a lot of the same concepts apply to other media files and even text too! I'll mention a bit more about that at the end of the lesson.


There are a lot of terms associated with copyright. If you are having trouble with any, here's a quick reference.

Term Explaination
Attribution The identification of work by an author
Copyright symbol © - used to show work is under copyright
Creative Commons Creative Commons is an organisation that provides licensing information aimed at achieving a mutual sharing and flexible approach to copyright.
Compilation A new work created as a combination of other works, which may be derivative works.
Derivative work A work which is derived from another work. (Eg a photograph of a painting)
Disclaimer A statement which limits rights or obligations
FACT Federation Against Copyright Theft
Fair use Circumstances where copyright can be waived. These are strict and specific to the country.
Copyright infringement Use of work under copyright without permission
Intellectual property Creations of the mind, under which you do have rights.
License The terms under which the copyright owner allows his/her work to be used.
Non-commercial Copying for personal use - not for the purpose of buying or selling.
Public domain Works that either cannot be copyrighted or the copyright has expired

Image Copyright on Wikipedia[edit]

What you can upload to commons

Ok, now if I use a term that's not in the glossary and I don't explain, feel free to slap me. Are you ready for this? Ok. Take a deep breath. You can do it.

Copyright is a serious problem on a free encyclopedia. To remain free, any work that is submitted must be released under the WP:CC-BY-SA License and the WP:GFDL. You can read the actual text under those links, but the gist is that you agree that everything you write on the encyclopedia can be shared, adapted or even sold and all you get in return is attribution.

So, there are basically two types of images on wikipedia.

  1. Free images
  2. Non-free images

Free images are those which can be freely used anywhere on Wikipedia. A free image may be either public domain, or released under a free license, such as CC-BY-SA. Free images can be used in any article where their presence would add value. As long as there is a consensus among the editors working on an article that the image is appropriate for the article, it's safe to say that it can remain in an article. Free images can even be modified and used elsewhere.

Non-free images, however, are subject to restrictions. Album covers and TV screenshots are two types of images that are typically non-free. They may belong to a person or organization who has not agreed to release them freely to the public, and there may be restrictions on how they are used. You have to meet ALL of Wikipedia's strict conditions in order to use them. (Non free content criteria)

In practise, if it comes out of your head - is entirely your own work, you have the right to make that release. If you got it from somewhere else, you don't. That doesn't mean it can't be used though. You can in these situations

  • If the work has already been released under a compatible or less restrictive license.
  • If the work is in the "public domain" - Very old items, 150 years is a good benchmark
  • If the work is not free in certain circumstances (Non free content criteria summary below, but actually a lot more detailed)
  1. There must be no free equivalent
  2. We must ensure that the owner will not lose out by us using the work
  3. Use as little as possible (the smallest number of uses and the smallest part possible used)
  4. Must have been published elsewhere first
  5. Meets our general standards for content
  6. Meets our specific standards for that area
  7. Must be used. (we can't upload something under fair use and not use it)
  8. Must be useful in context. This is a sticking point, if it's not actually adding to the article, it shouldn't be used.
  9. Can only be used in article space
  10. The image page must attribute the source, explain the fair use for each article it is used and display the correct tag

It's a lot, isn't it! Well, let's have a look at the non free stuff. I'm going to suggest two different images. One, a tabloid picture of celebrity actress Nicole Kidman, and the other, the cover of the album Jollification by the Lightning Seeds. The tabloid picture of Nicole Kidman will instantly fail #1, because there can be a free equivalent - anyone can take a picture of Nicole. The album cover on the other hand is unique - there's no free equivalent. It's discussed in the article too, so showing it will be useful in context (#8). The copy we show should be shrunk, so that it can't be used to create pirate copies (#2). I couldn't put it on my userpage though (or even here) (#9)

Get it? Well here are a few more examples.

  • I could upload a publicity picture of Eddie Izzard. Now, the photographer holds the copyright to that particular picture of the hilarious man. I can claim fair use, but the claim would be invalid because you could just as easily go to a performance Izzard is giving and take a picture of him yourself. (That's what happened here) The publicity picture is considered replaceable fair use and so cannot be used on Wikipedia.
  • Person X could upload a picture of the Empire State Building from a marketing kit they distributed. This image would likely be copyrighted, and so they claim fair use. But I happen to have been to New York and have a picture of the ESB. I upload that instead and release it into the public domain. The first, copyrighted picture, is also replaceable, and therefore can't be used on Wikipedia.
  • For the article on the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I want to upload an image of their logo (visible in no great detail here). I go to their website, take a copy of their logo, and upload it to Wikipedia. This fair use is allowable, because no matter where or how they display their logo, it'll be under the same copyright. Since the simple art of scanning or taking a picture of a piece of work is not enough to justify my ownership of the rights to the image, there is no way to obtain a free version of the logo. So, if it meets all the other criteria as well, it can be used on Wikipedia.


When people refer to Commons on Wikipedia, they're generally referring to Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free material. Images on Commons can be linked directly to Wikipedia, like that picture just to the right and above. Now, since commons is a free repository, fair use is not permitted. It makes sense to upload free images to commons, so that they can be used by all language encyclopedias.

Copyright and text[edit]

So you think you've got your head around copyright and how it applies to images? Well done. Let's see how it applies to text. All the principles are the same - you can only include text which has been released under CC-BY-SA. In fact, if you notice, every time you click edit, it says right there

Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable.

By clicking the "Save Page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.

So you are in effect contributing every time you edit. Now, let's think about that non-free content criteria - "No free equivalent" means that you will never be able to license text under it (except for quoting) - as you can re-write it in your own words to create an equivalent. You always, always, always have to write things in your own words or make it VERY clear that you are not. Got it? Good.


This is a very complex topic, is there anything you don't understand? Now's a great time to ask about those weird situations.

Yeah, I think I've got it. It was very well explained! AFisch99 (talk) 16:18, 22 December 2012 (UTC)


Q1) Do you think Wikipedia *is* free?

A-Well, yes. As long as there is no fee to use it, and there's no copyrighted material that could get us in trouble with the's free.

Q2) When can you upload a picture to Commons?

  • If you took it yourself, AND
  • It is of nature/stuff no one owns.
  • It is of paintings or sculptures more than 150 years old.
  • It is of a public figure in a public location.

Q3) You find music displaying this licence [1] (non-commercial). Wikimedia is non-commerical, can we upload it to Commons?

A-I actually don't think so, since it said in the lesson "you agree that everything you write on the encyclopedia can be shared, adapted or even sold." This may or may not apply to the Commons, too; I'm not sure.

Q4) A user uploads a poster which is a composite of all the Beatles album covers. Can he do this? It is his own unique composition.

A-I think so. Since it is of album covers, there are no free equivalents.

Q5) Can you upload a press image of the Pope?

A-Nope. Anyone can take one of those.

Q6) Can you upload a press image of a prisoner on death row?

A-Yes. Because the general public can't get there, you can.

Q7) You find an article that matches a company website About Us page exactly. You check the talk page, and there's no evidence that the text has been released under WP:CC-BY-SA. What do you do?

A-Report it for copyright infringement.

Q8) Can you see any issues with doing a cut-and-paste move?

A-Yes. Violates copyright.

Q9) A final practical test... Go. Have a snoop around some wikipedia articles, see if you can find an image which is currently being used under "fair use". Come back and link to it (using [[:File:IMAGENAME]]. You must get the : before the File name, as we cannot display the image here!)

  • Answers are generally correct, but do you wish to expand on some of them? Thine Antique Pen (talk) 13:52, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Hi, sorry I didn't notice this sooner. I haven't been around Wikipedia as much lately. I'll try to be back more and take a look at these answers again soon--I'm not exactly familiar with the content anymore since I finished the test on January 4, I believe. (Oh, and...whoops, I'm so out of practice that I forgot to sign my name the first time! Oh dear, sorry. AFisch99 (talk) 11:58, 31 May 2013 (UTC))