User talk:JamesBWatson

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This talk page is currently protected due to persistent trolling, by either a child or a remarkably childish adult. If you do not have a Wikipedia account, or have a newly created account, you will not be able to edit this page, but you may post on the page User talk:JamesBWatson/Open instead.

The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk)

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What to do now re Couiros22

Hi James, I note that you have blocked User:Couiros22 for being a block evading sockpuppet. I had been going through the editor's contributions list, reverting their biota edits where they had moved the first mentioned name in the article away from the article title (when it is a scientific name) to the vernacular names or one of the multiple names using their idiosincratic choice. I have not reverted any of their categorisation changes, as that is not my area of expertise, but I note that other editors have questioned their categorisation scheme and I specifically asked the editor what scheme they were using without success. Since the editor has made literally thousands of edits to biota related articles along these lines in the last few months, my question is what is the best way to deal with the issue. Should I just keep on patiently going through their contributiono, fixing the naming issue and leave the categorisation issues to others, or should there be some sort of automated reversion of all their edits that are still the current version and then clean up the remainder manually? Thanks in advance for your advice. - Nick Thorne talk 04:39, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

I'll be looking at C22's categorization edits, but it may take a while. DexDor (talk) 16:26, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
@Nick Thorne:, @DexDor:: up to about two weeks ago when they were blocked, fellow sock Caftaric was also highly active with a similar editing behaviour, categorization nonsense and lack of communication—and ridiculously prolific, too, hitting over 96,000 edits before getting blocked. Between those two accounts we're looking at somewhere in the vicinity of 115,000 edits that need to be looked at, many of which are related to categorization. I suspect it might be a good idea to coordinate our work. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 18:49, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately at present I am extremely short of time, and can't give a detailed answer to the comments mentioned here. However, here is a very short answer, which I may come back and extend when I have time. This is an editor who has been doing the same kind of thing since at least as far back as 2011, using at least six accounts, maybe more. There has always been consensus against the editor, but he or she clearly doesn't care, evidently believing that he or she is RIGHT and anyone who disagrees can just be ignored. There is an enormous mess as a result, the editor having often edited so rapidly that I am convinced an unapproved bot must have been used. The subject is one I know very little about, so that I won't be able to give much help or advice relating to the specific issues, as opposed to general Wikipedia policy issues. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 11:17, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
It is indeed a huge clean-up problem. Perhaps this thread should be moved to a more central point for planning and the way ahead? Loopy30 (talk) 12:16, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks James, general Wikipedia policy advice is what I'm after, no rush. Loopy30, I agree, I'm just not sure where exactly we should go to organise this. I'm assuming that we have a massive task ahead of us and we may need some expert assistance in cleaning up the mess. I had thought that possibly the WikiProject Fishes might be a good place for the fish aspects, but then there is birds and possibly plants and I don't know what else, so I wonder if there is some overarching place where we can determins an overall strategy and then take it to the various projects. - Nick Thorne talk 14:05, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
@Nick Thorne:, @Loopy30: WP:WikiProject Tree of Life would probably be the best fit (with notification cross-posts to the various relevant subprojects like Fishes, Insects, Lepidoptera, Birds, etc.) though it's not exactly the most active place on
I've already started a discussion (in so far as one response in a week can be considered a discussion) regarding the Lepidoptera side of matters (at least as far as Caftaric goes; there's still traces of old NotWith nonsense there too and I haven't yet had time to look into whether C22 edited Lepidoptera-related subjects as well) on the Lepidoptera WikiProject talkpage with a crossposted notification to Tree of Life, and presuming my proposal gets no opposition, I intend to implement everything that can be done by a non-sysop in a few days (28th or thereabout. That'd give everyone ten days to respond to my original posting and a full week to respond to my clarified proposal of action, after which I'm, in absence of opposition, going to presume I have an implied consensus) and after that list those categories emptied and not of use on CfD. (Sadly, G5 shouldn't be used on categories per the criteria)
A similar mess exists in regards to Caftaric's creation of stub-categories and templates. I'm working on a full post to bring to WikiProject Stub Sorting with all relevant information put in a table (name of template; number of articles in category; whether stand-alone or upmerged template; whether listed on the stub types page), but it's a fair bit of work and I might need another day or two to have my information post-ready. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 18:14, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree that WP:TOL would be a good coord point for clean-up of categories for flora and fauna articles, it's one that I had in mind too. Is there anywhere to post the sanctions and actions taken against Caftaric? Perhaps Category talk:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Nono64? Also, the cross-wiki nature of his/her abuse extends globally. Couiros22 has edits in over 60 wiki projects, is there a venue at to post Caftaric/Couiros22's block history to? Loopy30 (talk) 00:29, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Hm, good questions, Loopy30. (By the way, do you want me to keep pinging you when I respond or are you watching this page anyway?)
It would be a somewhat unorthodox solution, but the only thing I could think of in regards of is opening an LTA case. It might not be the kind of situation that immediately jumps to mind to most people when thinking "LTA", but in my opinion, the sheer scale of disruption combined with the repeated socking and block evasion would justify it—but it probably would be a good idea to ask a few more opinions before creating such a report. As far as global behaviour and meta venues, I wouldn't know, sorry. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 01:14, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Nick Thorne, AddWittyNameHere, and Loopy30: First of all, for the sake of clarity, I will expand on what I meant when I wrote "I won't be able to give much help or advice relating to the specific issues, as opposed to general Wikipedia policy issues". I have neither sufficient experience of the biological issues involved nor sufficient experience of the way the categorisation system is operated to be any help with the actual clean up process. My invovlement has been purely in my capacity as an administrator, dealing with an editor who has persistently flouted various Wikipedia policies and guidelines. (E.g. sockpuppetry, using an unapproved bot, editing against consensus, edit-warring, etc.) On the whole I think AddWittyNameHere's suggestion of opening a long term abuse case is probably a good idea. Taking it to Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life in the hope of getting help may also be worthwhile, but I know nothing about that WikiProject, so I can't say. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 08:31, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
That was what I at least figured you meant, yes. Thankfully we've got some folks around knowing about the taxonomy of at least particular subject areas (Lepidoptera for me especially, other insects and arachnids to a lesser degree, and as a result I'm familiar enough with general taxonomy that I can read, understand and apply references regarding other zoological areas even if outside my general field of knowledge so long as the sources don't presume significant familiarity with the taxonomical state of more complex cases. I suspect the same goes for most people in other parts of the tree of life: they might be most familiar with a particular field, but should be able to handle most non-complex cases in different taxonomical fields as well so long as sources are accessible). What we don't have many of are people with administrative capacities, so it's good to know you're around and familiar with the case even if not the subject matter.
My hope in regards to an LTA case is two-fold: on the one hand, it should reduce the amount of confusion and/or resistance clean-up ventures run into. On the other hand, it hopefully might allow their newest sock (because sooner or later they will pop up again) to be discovered faster, at utter least before they rack up a six-figure amount of edits again. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 08:45, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I think we are all singing from the same song sheet here. My particular area of knowledge is more with fish, especially Australian freshwater fish, but I am reasonably comfortable with how the taxonomic system works and I also would be able to help out in other areas that are not too complex. I don't think it would be wise for me to take a lead in this issue, but I am a willing helper/worker. Just ping me once we get something started and I'll pitch in with whatever help I am able. - Nick Thorne talk 10:29, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Are there any reasons to keep Cetoscarus ocellatus deleted? —innotata 00:07, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

If you mean "is there any reason why another editor should not independently create a new article under the same title" then I don't know of any. I deleted it because it was created by a block-evading sockpuppet, which would clearly not be so in that situation. If, however, you mean "is there any reason why the deleted article should not be restored", then my answer is that over the years I have found that the single most effective deterrent to long-term users of numerous sockpuppet accounts is for them to see that anything they do is likely to disappear and not come back, so I think it far better not to restore the same article. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 20:12, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Even if there's nothing objectionable about the content; even if other users have contributed? I can't see the article, so I don't know whether it's fleshed out, and even if it's a stub, you're making editors in the subect do busywork that was already done before. Since when did admins have this destructive power to remove parts of the encyclopedia with no inherent issues, messing up other articles as with Cetoscarus and the taxonomic categories here, just to send a message? That doesn't seem appropriate to me. —innotata 21:43, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
The total contributions of other editors consisted of adding an "unreferenced" tag and reversing the order of the scientific name and a vernacular English name at the start of the first sentence. The article consisted of two short sentences and an infobox. I am not sure what you mean by "just" to send a message, but if you mean that it is not worth while doing what little can be done to dissuade disruptive editors from persistently coming back with strings of sockpuppets to continue their disruptive editing, then I don't agree. Often a balance has to be struck between conflicting desirable aims. The policy that pages created by banned editors are subject to speedy deletion dates from 2005, and it was extended to cover blocked editors as a result of consensus at a community discussion in 2010. It has been discussed again at various times since then, always with the outcome that there is consensus in support of the policy. The limitation of the policy to pages with no substantial edits by others dates from 2008. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 19:59, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks for letting me know that there aren't any other substantial edits and that it was unreferenced. I cannot agree that reverting so broadly is productive; you left connected articles in confusing states that would be hard for an unexperienced editor to fix. —innotata 00:45, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Philippine date-and-year-vandal

You may remember this conversation. Some weeks after, User:Bishonen took over when you were away for a while. Since then I have unfortunately not been able to follow it up, but recently I came across them again. Still active, I'm afraid. Some of the latest IPs are,,, and Today no less then three new IPs:, and Many of their edits are fortunately swiftly reverted, but there are so many... I will take a round to check the latest. Regards! --T*U (talk) 13:36, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

@TU-nor: I have checked the range again, for a longer period of time. Looking at the editing history, I see not only that a very large proportion of the editing is from this one vandal, but also much of the unrelated editing is vandalism or otherwise unconstructive. There are some constructive edits, so unfortunately there is bound to be some collateral damage, but it will be much less than the benefit. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 14:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanx! Tidying a bit more... --T*U (talk) 15:33, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
They have not given up, now from slightly outside the range: and, the last one still active today with a non-existent 2 peso coin they have presented several times. --T*U (talk) 20:29, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
@TU-nor: Do you have any reason to think it's the same person? I don't see any of the usual trademarks, such as obsession with changing dates. For some reason the Philippines are the source of far more serial IP vandals than anywhere else in the world. Wikipedia seems to be a national pastime there; goodness knows why. Merely being vandalism from a fairly nearby IP range and the same ISP doesn't prove a connection. Anyway, whether it's the same person or not, I have semi-protected the articles concerned for a few weeks, and blocked the IP range for 3 months. I found that the vast majority of editing from that range is vandalism, and most of the rest is not constructive, with very few edits that could be considered useful, so blocking for much longer might be reasonable, but I don't plan to do it at present. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 10:54, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Some of the typical edits I have seen beside changing dates and years, are changing membership countries in international organisations, changing TV program listings, changing TV systems listings. All these have come in different combinations from the same IP, so they are definitely connected. The newer 2 peso fraud has also been combined with different TV-related edits, but taking a closer look, they are not necessarily the same type of edits as our old friend, so we may have two different IP-hopping vandals in the same range. Our old friend has also made a fair number of edits to coins and banknotes, but they have mostly been the typical change of years and dates. Both our old friend and the new one do sometimes take the trouble of making synchronous changes to several articles. Perhaps that is part of the Indonesian Wiki-game. Regards! --T*U (talk) 11:48, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – July 2018

News and updates for administrators from the past month (June 2018).


Administrator changes

added PbsouthwoodTheSandDoctor
readded Gogo Dodo
removed AndrevanDougEVulaKaisaLTony FoxWilyD

Bureaucrat changes

removed AndrevanEVula

Guideline and policy news

  • An RfC about the deletion of drafts closed with a consensus to change the wording of WP:NMFD. Specifically, a draft that has been repeatedly resubmitted and declined at AfC without any substantial improvement may be deleted at MfD if consensus determines that it is unlikely to ever meet the requirements for mainspace and it otherwise meets one of the reasons for deletion outlined in the deletion policy.
  • A request for comment closed with a consensus that the {{promising draft}} template cannot be used to indefinitely prevent a WP:G13 speedy deletion nomination.

Technical news

  • Starting on July 9, the WMF Security team, Trust & Safety, and the broader technical community will be seeking input on an upcoming change that will restrict editing of site-wide JavaScript and CSS to a new technical administrators user group. Bureaucrats and stewards will be able to grant this right per a community-defined process. The intention is to reduce the number of accounts who can edit frontend code to those who actually need to, which in turn lessens the risk of malicious code being added that compromises the security and privacy of everyone who accesses Wikipedia. For more information, please review the FAQ.
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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 19:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

What is Wikipedia for?

Thank you for your comment to me earlier. I think it would help me if you could explain a bit more the idea of Wikipedia. I wonder if your view of Wikepedia is less ambitious than the use actually made of it? You say that "Generally speaking, a Wikipedia article should be written to read. It should not be used as a catalogue, directory, or database of information for readers to follow up". Yet all those functions are part of being informative. That is exactly how I use it myself in my work as a rare bookseller when cataloguing items and needing information on authors and ideas. To me Wikipedia has overtaken many traditional means of research. I need to use my own reference library less and less. Being an entertaining read does not seem to recognise its actual and most significant contribution today. For me it is slowly taking over as a source of information because it provides the hard details of factual and conceptual knowledge. A bibliography is a central element in mapping the development of a writer's ideas. It would be my intention to amend the existing Wikipedia article to relate its text to the author's books to illustrate that. Not being able to have at least a substantial list of them would make that much vaguer. It is also participatory as it enables the reader of the article to make their own investigations of those ideas by obtaining the books for themselves. Details of publication help with that. It seems to me that to require Wikipedia's bibliographies to be partial and undetailed obstructs knowledge and relegates Wikipedia to the sub professional level and limits peer participation. Good Pharisee (talk) 19:28, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

@Good Pharisee: I fully understand what you are saying, but it is not in line with Wikipedia practice. Rightly or wrongly, such extensive listing in an article is considered unsuitable. Wikipedia does not set out to include every kind of information there is, but sets itself more restricted aims. You may like to check the link WP:NOTBIBLIOGRAPHY, which will take you to a section of the policy What Wikipedia is not titled "Wikipedia is not a directory". The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 10:32, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for the courteous reply. One further brief try and two question: BREIF TRY The following appears on the Vandalism page: "On Wikipedia, vandalism has a very specific meaning: editing (or other behavior) deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project's purpose, which is to create a free encyclopedia, in a variety of languages, presenting the sum of all human knowledge." This is what excites one about Wikipedia. But how can the sum of human knowledge be built by partial treatments and specifically by partial bibliographies which are particularly essential as the routes to further knowledge ? QUESTIONS Accepting a full bibliography is not allowed: The link you gave does not actually say anything about bibliography (I believe - as the links in pages are not yet easy for me). The existing bibliograhy on the site I edited is inconsistent and does not give a balanced sample. What counts as an allowablly sized sample? Secondly, can one put an external link to a page on which a full bibliography is placed? Good Pharisee (talk) 15:04, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

@Good Pharisee: Your account is now autoconfiremd, which means that you can edit my main talk page instead of User talk:JamesBWatson/Open, so I have moved this conversation over here.
I believe that "the sum of all human knowledge" is a quotation from Jimmy Wales in the very early days of Wikipedia. It sounds impressive, but it is not at all realistic if taken absolutely literally. I know what I ate for breakfast this morning, so that is part of human knowledge, but it would not be suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. That is not a flippant example: I am using it to illustrate that to be realistic we have to have some sort of cutoff between what is considered suitable for inclusion and what isn't, and the issue is where that cutoff comes.
You are right, despite its name the link WP:NOTBIBLIOGRAPHY actually leads to a policy section which does not explicitly mention bibliographies, and for that reason I hesitated before giving you the link, but I decided that even so what it says there does give some indication of the idea that excessive lists are not considered suitable. I am not sure why the link is labelled NOTBIBLIOGRAPHY, but maybe at one time in the past the policy did explicitly mention bibliographies, or maybe someone just thought that while the policy section gives some examples of the kinds of listings that it refers to rather than an exhaustive list, and that bibliographies were an example of the kinds of things intended. It might well be possible to find the answer by searching through the history of the policy.
You ask "What counts as an allowablly sized sample?" Unfortunately that is the kind of thing for which it is impossible to give an answer. I feel that the extensive bibliography that you gave went well beyond the sort of thing which is usually considered suitable, but there is no definition or clear consensus-supported cutoff. I am sincerely sorry that I can't be more helpful than that.
You ask "Secondly, can one put an external link to a page on which a full bibliography is placed?" Perhaps I can be a bit more helpful on that. Personally I don't see any reason at all why you shouldn't, and indeed I would go so far as to say that I think it is a very good idea. I have just checked the guideline Wikipedia:External links, and I can't see anything there that should prevent you from adding the kind of link you have in mind. (Sorry to throw all these policies and guidelines at you. My personal opinion is that by far the worst change that has happened to Wikipedia over the years is the vast growth of policies and guidelines. There are far too many of them, and they are far too long and detailed. It was far better in the early days of Wikipedia, when there was just a handful of brief sentences, all on one short page, giving general principles to be followed.) The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 21:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Deleting Category:Sphaeroceroidea genera

It seems that you deleted Category:Sphaeroceroidea genera on 17 June 2018, however without removing the category from the articles that were in the category. Consequently the category designation is still present in all the articles, but as a redlink. Probably the best thing you can do is to recreate the category and to nominate it for deletion at WP:CFD according to the normal procedures. Marcocapelle (talk) 19:51, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

The same applies to Category:Diopsoidea genera. Marcocapelle (talk) 19:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)