User talk:Beetstra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Skip to bottom

Welcome to my talk page.

Please leave me a note by starting a new subject here
and please don't forget to sign your post

You may want to have a look at the subjects
in the header of this talkpage before starting a new subject.
The question you may have may already have been answered there

Dirk Beetstra        
I am the main operator of User:COIBot. If you feel that your name is wrongly on the COI reports list because of an unfortunate overlap between your username and a certain link or text, please ask for whitelisting by starting a new subject on my talkpage. For a better answer please include some specific 'diffs' of your edits (you can copy the link from the report page). If you want a quicker response, make your case at WT:WPSPAM or WP:COIN.
COIBot - Talk to COIBot - listings - Link reports - User reports - Page reports

I will respond to talk messages where they started, trying to keep discussions in one place (you may want to watch this page for some time after adding a question). Otherwise I will clearly state where the discussion will be moved/copied to. Though, with the large number of pages I am watching, it may be wise to contact me here as well if you need a swift response. If I forget to answer, poke me.

I preserve the right not to answer to non-civil remarks, or subjects which are covered in this talk-header.


There are several discussions about my link removal here, and in my archives. If you want to contact me about my view of this policy, please read and understand WP:NOT, WP:EL, WP:SPAM and WP:A, and read the discussions on my talkpage or in my archives first.

My view in a nutshell:
External links are not meant to tunnel people away from the wikipedia.

Hence, I will remove external links on pages where I think they do not add to the page (per WP:NOT#REPOSITORY and WP:EL), or when they are added in a way that wikipedia defines as spam (understand that wikipedia defines spam as: '... wide-scale external link spamming ...', even if the link is appropriate; also read this). This may mean that I remove links, while similar links are already there or which are there already for a long time. Still, the question is not whether your link should be there, the question may be whether those other links should be there (again, see the wording of the policies and guidelines).

Please consider the alternatives before re-adding the link:

  • If the link contains information, use the information to add content to the article, and use the link as a reference (content is not 'see here for more information').
  • Add an appropriate linkfarm like {{dmoz}} (you can consider to remove other links covered in the dmoz).
  • Incorporate the information into one of the sister projects.
  • Add the link to other mediawiki projects aimed at advertiseing (see e.g. this)

If the linkspam of a certain link perseveres, I will not hesitate to report it to the wikiproject spam for blacklisting (even if the link would be appropriate for wikipedia). It may be wise to consider the alternatives before things get to that point.

The answer in a nutshell
Please consider if the link you want to add complies with the policies and guidelines.

If you have other questions, or still have questions on my view of the external link policy, disagree with me, or think I made a mistake in removing a link you added, please poke me by starting a new subject on my talk-page. If you absolutely want an answer, you can try to poke the people at WT:EL or WT:WPSPAM on your specific case. Also, regarding link, I can be contacted on IRC, channel [1].

Reliable sources

I convert inline URL's into references and convert referencing styles to a consistent format. My preferred style is the style provided by cite.php (<ref> and <references/>). When other mechanisms are mainly (but not consistently) used (e.g. {{ref}}/{{note}}/{{cite}}-templates) I will assess whether referencing would benefit from the cite.php-style. Feel free to revert these edits when I am wrong.

Converting inline URLs in references may result in data being retrieved from unreliable sources. In these cases, the link may have been removed, and replaced by a {{cn}}. If you feel that the page should be used as a reference (complying with wp:rs!!), please discuss that on the talkpage of the page, or poke me by starting a new subject on my talk-page

Note: I am working with some other developers on mediawiki to expand the possibilities of cite.php, our attempts can be followed here and here. If you like these features and want them enabled, please vote for these bugs.


I am in general against deletion, except when the page really gives misinformation, is clear spam or copyvio. Otherwise, these pages may need to be expanded or rewritten. For very short articles there are the different {{stub}} marks, which clearly state that the article is to be expanded. For articles that do not state why they are notable, I will add either {{importance}} or {{notability}}. In my view there is a distinct difference between these two templates, while articles carrying one of these templates may not be notable, the first template does say the article is probably notable enough, but the contents does not state that (yet). The latter provides a clear concern that the article is not notable, and should probably be {{prod}}ed or {{AfD}}ed. Removing importance-tags does not take away the backlog, it only hides from attention, deleting pages does not make the database smaller. If you contest the notability/importance of an article, please consider adding an {{expert-subject}} tag, or raise the subject on an appropriate wikiproject. Remember, there are many, many pages on the wikipedia, many need attention, so maybe we have to live with a backlog.

Having said this, I generally delete the {{expand}}-template on sight. The template is in most cases superfluous, expansion is intrinsic to the wikipedia (for stubs, expansion is already mentioned in that template).

Vandalproof.pngWarning to Vandals: This user is armed with VandalProof.
Warning to Spammers: This user is armed with Spamda
Choco chip cookie.jpg This user knows where IRC hides the cookies, and knows how to feed them to AntiSpamBot.
Wikipedia-logo-v2-en.svgThis user is one of the 400 most active English Wikipedians of all time.

Email from Kolega2357[edit]

Hello, Beetstra. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.

Hello Sir,

Whitelisting of CEE[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Beetstra. You have new messages at Lawrencekhoo's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.


Perhaps you should shut down COIBot too. 2001:4898:80E8:9:8982:6499:5069:211A (talk) 23:04, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

I hope not... —PaleoNeonate – 00:46, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
@PaleoNeonate: but I am considering that, WMF is not creating a better environment here. That first has to be solved. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:27, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Please do not do that. The bot performs a helpful operation, and actively attempting to hurt the English Wikipedia is not a good thing, regardless of your feelings towards the WMF. Primefac (talk) 22:34, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
And not just enwiki, all across the wikimedia network. — regards, Revi 23:27, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

@Primefac and -revi: remember, it is the spammers who actively hurt Wikipedia, I am actively not stopping others from hurting Wikipedia. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:59, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

If you want to do that, we can't stop you from doing it. Take care. — regards, Revi 02:32, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
@-revi: COIBot is still running. I expect that editors will send any spammers they find to WMF. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:32, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I would argue that by turning off an anti-spam device, even one you created yourself ("it's not my fault" or something like that) that's a rather POINTY move. True, we cannot stop you, but you are actively hurting Wikipedia by denying users the tools they use to combat people who are actively seeking to hurt Wikipedia. And if you really feel like you don't want to run and/or maintain the bots you've started, at least let someone else take over the reins before you shut off your bots. Primefac (talk) 02:42, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
@Primefac: Yes, I AM making a point. A point that the WMF has completely lost. And that is in response to a point that WMF failed to make. I (and others) have endured a lot of harassment by spammers, we haveasked actively to give us better tools to fight it. WMF has told me that they are not willing to make time to improve that tool. And now we get this shit? Yes, sometimes it needs someone to climb the Reichstag in a spiderman suit. But that point is not different than what all those admins made when they handed in their bit and those volunteers that stopped editing.
Handing over the bot is rather useless, isn't it? 'I'm shutting downmy bot to show that I am not maintaining mainspace, but will give it to someone else so there is no difference'.
The tools are however fully accessible to you, you canremove all of that by hand (the feeds are still on freenode), or report all of them to the good people at WMF by email. Or maybe you wait until the next statement from WMF, maybe they got the point. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:29, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I noticed the desysop request and am sorry about that. But it is your call, that I respect. I would like to thank you for all you've done, including sometimes temporarily resurecting COIBot since the strike statement. —PaleoNeonate – 07:22, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@PaleoNeonate: I am not planning on taking down COIBot/LiWa3, the spam will be made visible to WMF, they can decide what to do with it. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:39, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Recommended reading on 3 July[edit]

Franz Kafka Das Schloss.jpg
Franz Kafka: Das Schloss
... about about alienation,
  • unresponsive bureaucracy,
  • the frustration of
  • trying to conduct business
  • with non-transparent,
  • seemingly arbitrary
  • controlling systems ...

Thank you for your clear words! Franz Kafka today. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:11, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

@Gerda Arendt: For me or for the Foundation? (Thanks, I will see if I can get a copy here). --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:19, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
More for the foundation, of course, - I will perhaps get there eventually. - Today is Kafka's birthday, and having contributed to his article is one of the things I am most proud of here. He had a gift for saying things both well and short, - sadly not given to the foundation nor the board, nor most of the commentators - but you! - The last time I commented on our founder's talk was in 2014, when a Wikimania speech was about "toxic personalities", in the name of kindness. Now it's "toxic behaviour" which is not much kinder. See my talk for advice from a much-missed user whose last words to me were: "We are all grown ups here" .... - It will take some change to grow up to respectful and kind behaviour. - I am a woman, I had encounters with Fram, was not always happy but he was right more often than I was, and he worked miracles in identifying both copyright violations and wrong claims in DYK statements. The project is much poorer without that, without him that is. Unbanning, as reverting an obvious mistake, and then seeing if anybody has arbitration requests, seems such a (too?) simple solution. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:51, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@Gerda Arendt: It is a simply solution, indeed. Unfortunately, it will leave the targets of harassment (I am still not sure if target is the right word, victim is also not right, it is something in between - I don't know if Fram was targeting the targets, or that the targets felt that they were the target/victim) feeling that WMF again has not done anything to make a statement. Which is, probably, unfair.
I have, throughout this episode on Wikipedia, argued that harassment is often a two-way street. Us keeping on following sockpuppets, spam-companies, POV editors, repeat copyright violators is from the eye of the target 'harassment' ('how do you dare to call my link spam!'). And on the other hand, the rightful addition of '{{fact}} to a sentence you wrote, can feel as a victim of harassment. Heck, me liking an edit you made can make you feel as a victim of harassment. Harassment (and civility) is, so much less than posting a legal threat, a copyvio article or uploading a pornographic picture involving kids, a very grey area.
There is harassment, there is perception of harassment, the abuse of an implication of harassment, and cases where some editors need all they do scrutinized. And of the latter group, if you don't take care, you're not allowed to scrutinize someone because they can argue that they belong to a certain discriminated group. We have the unblockables, and we have the unscritinizables?
With Fram, we have little to go with. When we would have a full ArbCom case with 1000+ diffs of 'edits which may be, or could be perceived as, harassment', you could do a statistical analysis on the targets - how many of the 'target editors' have identified as woman, man, LGBT, coloured skin, people with Frysian ancestry, etc. and is there a statistical discrepancy between those numbers when compared with the group that has not specified anything.
I am afraid that with Fram, WMF has screwed up so much that there is nowhere to go anymore. I feel sorry for the targets, but Fram cannot be independently scrutinized anymore, and we cannot collect uncontaminated evidence (anything between the true harassment at the time of the edit and anything that looks like harassment can be used). On the other hand, Fram is now tainted, and even if they were to return, they would not be treated the same, and anything they say can be used against them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:54, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, and you are right. I sometimes get criticised for whom I thank per click, and feel observed in an unpleasant way. Other viewpoint: I am also German, and wish any Wiki-related unit would avoid to be compared to the Gestapo, but the secret police action with no appeal certainly invited to do just that. The secrecy causes casting aspersions not only of what the accused may have done, but also who accused him. When I saw the ban I immediately thought of this, but don't want to add to speculations. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:21, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Precious anniversary[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
Five years!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:29, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

For all your work over the years. The proof of the board's statement will be in 1) the WMF giving arbcom the full ability to review and fairly determine the outcome of the Fram case and 2) not repeating any similar bans with the next steps being community consensus on how we move forwards. From what I understand arbcom is willing to take on the case. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:47, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Doc James, thank you for personal note and kind words. Things have significantly changed since the statement from the board and from Katherine.
Lets now see the proof that things go forward. I hope this is also a turning point for ALL of WMF. I am looking forward to take up editing again, and to turn on the bot. —Dirk Beetstra T C 16:26, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
I'll second this. Dealing with spammers, paid editors and people who actively try to get harmful links into Wikipedia is a nightmare, and you do more than just about anyone. Thank you for your patience in working with folks and willingness to draw lines that need to be drawn. Ravensfire (talk) 21:45, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
I'll third this. Not downplaying other editors' contributions, but you would leave a huge gap if you'd permanently step down. Let's hope this whole debacle can initiate some positive changes and you'll be able to reconsider in due time. Thank you for your countless constructive contributions and helpful advice. GermanJoe (talk) 22:32, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Dirk for the enormous benefits you have provided the English Wikipedia and other projects for many years. The WMF runs a beauty competition that won't support infrastructure tools because they aren't sexy enough. The WMF spends large amounts on poorly planned trust and safety but ignores essentials such as the spam blacklist + linksearch + anti-spam. Johnuniq (talk) 01:39, 4 July 2019 (UTC)

@Johnuniq, GermanJoe, and Ravensfire: Thank you all for the kind words. I am still here, and as my statement on WP:BN suggested, I am not completely retired (if/when this situation resolves I will ask for the bit back). I just feel that I have seen enough of empty shell remarks that I do not feel comfortable to contribute/maintain mainspace. And seen the last case request to ArbCom, I am not convinced there either that even User:Jimbo Wales' promise that ArbCom has full authority is not an empty shell either - if WMF cannot or will not transfer the private information, then I doubt that ArbCom can even have a case. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:02, 4 July 2019 (UTC)

Well, that was unexpected[edit]

I wondered "what the heck?" when you reverted my edit to the spam list page. Thanks for reinstating my self-undo; your reasoning makes a lot of sense to me. Risker (talk) 05:05, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

@Risker: (yeah, I know, I was thinking the same when I was undoing the edit of an Arb) we do get a lot of 'why the heck did you blacklist this/my site'-type of delisting requests, it is better to have as much information as possible. And any endorsement helps.
I am actually wondering in this case whether this should not be on meta directly. Phishing and malware is something that we have to protect the readers of the project against. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:16, 5 August 2019 (UTC)