User talk:Jimbo Wales

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A question for Jimbo about the constant never ending argument about subject specific guidelines[edit]

In AFDs and elsewhere there are always some who stubbornly insist that the subject specific guidelines don't matter, only the general notability guidelines do. I think WP:NOTABILITY is quite clear. "A topic is presumed to merit an article if: It meets either the general notability guideline below, or the criteria outlined in a subject-specific guideline". It can be one or the other. Otherwise the subject specific guidelines wouldn't exist. But some do stubbornly keep arguing otherwise regardless. How do you feel on this? Could it be written even clearer than it is now somewhere to avoid constant pointless arguments and bad nominations for deletion? Dream Focus 19:03, 2 February 2020 (UTC)

You need to go and amend WP:NOT to remove the line "Wikipedia is not a directory". GNG defines what can be sourced by reference to reliable independent secondary sources. SNGs as I understand them describe the sort of subject likely to meet GNG. SNGs as you define them aim to completely cover all subjects of a specific class, regardless of the existence of sources (because if they met GNG there would not be a problem). So: asserting that X is notable if it meets A, B and C criteria regardless of the existence of reliable independent secondary sources is a direct conflict with WP:NOTDIR and also, in the case you're involved in right now, invites the creation of biographies of living people sourced from a single results list and nothing else. Guy (help!) 19:09, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
You misunderstand what the rules say. I hate having this same argument with you and others constantly so I want clarifications. As I recently explained to you, when the notability guidelines were being discussed and created years ago, it was determined what would qualify things of being notable enough for a Wikipedia article. Just getting covered in a couple of random news sources was one way. Scientists are notable for their accomplishments, musicians for how well their songs sold, actors for how notable their films were they were a significant part of, etc. Whether or not you did a lot of interviews or were interesting enough for people to write about, is irrelevant, Wikipedia isn't just popular culture. Dream Focus 19:16, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Nothing is static and expectations move on..Spartaz Humbug! 21:40, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Dream Focus, what role do you think the word "presumed" plays in the guideline? --JBL (talk) 21:44, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
"Whether or not you did a lot of interviews or were interesting enough for people to write about, is irrelevant" You should stop and think about what "notable" means. It means that people took note of something or someone. Like, literally. If something wasn't "interesting enough for people to write about", it isn't notable (and obviously there would be a lack of sources for a decent article here). Bitter Oil (talk) 00:03, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
Dream Focus, The "rules" say that Wikpedia is not a directory and doesn't cover subjects unless they have been the focus of non-trivial coverage in reliable independent sources.
Here's a challenge for you: my childhood swimming coach Bill Thornton medalled in two different events in at least two games. See if you can find any sources beyond namechecks and listings. Guy (help!) 09:04, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
Good example. And one of the problems with the term 'notability' (which might plague any term) is that it can feel demeaning or insulting to say that someone isn't "notable". Bill sounds great and interesting to me but we can't possibly write a biography about someone about whom there is too little public information. In some cases, if someone bothers to do the work, local news reports could very well be enough. But not always.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:28, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
They are currently debating whether being in the Olympics is enough to quality for a Wikipedia article or not at Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(sports)#Change_to_WP:NOLY. Then you got AFDS like Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kyle Kulinski (4th nomination) where even though most people said to keep the article, that the person passed the subject specific guideline for entertainers at WP:ENTERTAINER "Has a large fan base or a significant "cult" following." by having over 645 million YouTube views, and media mentioning him as a "internet idol." and other coverage, it still got deleted. Sometimes passing a subject specific guideline results in an article being kept, and sometimes its deleted anyway even if there is a proper article already written, not just a stub. And of course if anything doesn't get deleted the same nominator can just send it to AFD again less than a month later and try again as happened here and many other places in the past. The results are always the random opinion of whoever shows up to argue in the deletion discussion and the person opinions of the random administrator who shows up to close it. How about some clear rules that get enforced always instead of the nonstop relentless arguing over the same thing all over the place where people can just argue that any notability guidelines they don't like don't count, and only the one they do counts instead? Dream Focus 12:43, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
Dream Focus, the problem is that SNGs are often written in a way that implies membership of certain categories is automatically grounds for inclusion, when Wikipedia core policy says it's not. You can't fix this by writing repudiation of core policy into the SNG, as Jimmy says. Guy (help!) 13:12, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
Somewhere or other (ANI?) I saw someone suggest the use of list-type articles for this purpose (Turkmenistan in the 2004 Summer Olympics or what-have-you). This seems like a really good compromise: an article on an unquestionably notable subject that can include whatever information is available about less obviously notable individual competitors. --JBL (talk) 00:36, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Joel B. Lewis, this has obvious merit, I would say. Guy (help!) 22:45, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
ETA: it was User:Reyk: [1]. --JBL (talk) 00:52, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. I do think people are misunderstanding "presumption of notability". It's just an acknowledgement that, for some classes of articles, sources probably exist and they might be hard to get at, so we can afford to lay off insta-deleting them right away. It's not an automatic entitlement to a shrine, and it's not a permanent exemption from WP:V or WP:N. We do eventually expect to see sources. For obscure sportspeople, where the only sources are that they competed at such-and-such event, list articles are a better way to present information like this than a cloud of substubs. I've suggested similar things before, and got my head chewed off for it, which just means I must be on the right track. When you have a bunch of purely statistical information, present it as a list or sortable table. The benefits are that the reader doesn't need to scuttle from page to page looking for tiny scraps of info, being able to compare similar entries at a glance adds utility that individual articles don't have, and you don't fall into the trap of claiming more than the sources do in the attempt to bloat stats into prose. Reyk YO! 01:22, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Reyk, I broadly agree. The problem at the moment is caused by the rapid creation of vast numbers of articles whose only sources are results lists. This would also be better handled by a list article, and splitting out as more sources become available. Either way, list articles should be a great starting point, and full articles without sources should then be unnecessary. Guy (help!) 22:44, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Jimbo Wales, Bill Thornton was a top bloke and very inspiring both to me and to my late sister, who became a lifesaver and competitive swimmer. It's a source of great regret to me that I cannot find the necessary sources to write an article. Guy (help!) 13:10, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

So here's the deal with SNGs, in my view. Some are just guidelines that are superseded byt the general notabilty guidelines (WP:GNG), , while others de facto supersede the GNG and denote notability by themselves. It's a political issue, and that's fine. Humans are political. Politics can be toxic, but here's it's benign and functional.

For baseball, we have an SNG which says that anyone who has appeared in even one major league game gets an article. This we have articles on people where we don't even know their vital dates and all we have is bare statline from the baseball encyclopedia -- Ed Brown (baseball) for instance. (Railroad stations, chemical compounds, and various other subjects get the same treatment.) It's fine. Those articles aren't hurting anyone. They're not breaking out thru people's monitors and ordering pizza on their credit cards. It's OK; relax.

The reason for this is that baseball is very popular. There a lot of people who are really interested in baseball, both editors and readers. And they're completists, a lot of the ones who are particularly interested. These people form a strong political faction. Again, that's fine. That's life. Popular subject, strong faction -- why not?

So if you try to delete an article such as Ed Brown on the grounds that he doesn't meet theGNG and that should supersede WP:NBASEBALL, you will get pushback. You will be outnumbered. You will be given the argument that treating WP:NBASEBALL as as top-level notability guideline that supersedes the GNG rather than being subsidiary to it gives an objective measure that prevents a lot of useless squabbling about whether of not this player meets the GNG and that player doesn't, which is a reasonable argument. You will probably fail in your attempt to delete Ed Brown (baseball). That's politics.

On the other hand, if you try to delete an article about a very obscure person who meets WP:NCYCLING but not the GNG, you probably will succeed. Cycling not a big deal in the English-speaking world. There's much less political strength around it. Thus WP:NCYCLING is treated differently then WP:NBASEBALL.

You can call that politics, or you can call that popular subjects properly getting more coverage. What's wrong with that? If there's some rule somewhere that says that says WP:NBASEBALL shouldn't be treated as it is, so what? We are not rulebound here. Twelve people got together in 2009 and made a rule, so what? The river of people that is the Wikipedia can't be constrained that tightly, and shouldn't be.

We're not running out of paper. We're not losing readers because articles like Ed Brown (baseball) or Cape Boothby or Vendomyces exist even if they don't meet the GNG. we're not offending people, or getting flak from governments, or getting negative publicity, because these articles exist. Relax. It's OK for politics to play a role in what we cover. It's alright for some SNGs to be treated differently than others. Herostratus (talk) 16:21, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Herostratus, a SNG cannot override policy. GNG supports policy, including WP:NOTDIR. We should not have "biographies" with one watcher that are drawn from a single results list in a single event. Guy (help!) 16:20, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
It can if we want it to, Guy. It can if we want it to.
Based on analyzing 100 articles, assuming that that more or less scales, I found that most of our articles do not meet the WP:GNG (or can be easily made to), by a good margin. I also deduced that if were to rigorously enforce the GNG (deleting millions of articles), our material would skew away from academic subjects and toward popular culture -- after all, there's a lot more in-depth coverage of a 1974 concert tour by Grand Funk Railroad then there is of a 18th century Russian geographer.
Some of the things on which SNGs act as if trumping the GNG:
  • Baseball players (as mentioned) -- SNG
  • Cricket players -- SNG
  • Members of American state legislations -- SNG
  • Species -- fungi, moths, plants, etc. -- no SNG that I can find; de facto SNG
  • Railroad stations -- no SNG that I can find; de facto SNG
  • Geographical entities (hills etc.) -- SNG
  • Places on the American National Register of Historic Places (quite liberal -- 80,00 individual entities, not including historic districts) -- SNG
  • Astronomical objects -- SNG
  • Probably others I assume
All of these categories contain scads of articles with just one ref, that ref being one line in some technical publication. Species are the worst for this: "Mitrulinia is a genus of fungi in the family Sclerotiniaceae. This is a monotypic genus, containing the single species Mitrulinia ushuaiae." There's one ref, and there's probably nothing more to say. There's millions of these. So?
Apparently people have voted with their feet on these things. And rules are supposed to codify common practice. And besides, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia -- "Wikipedia is freely available, and incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers." There are specialized biographical dictionaries for very many types of people and professions, and for those that there aren't, we can be one. If we want to. And a lot of us do.
So, rather than trying to fit the community to some rule, change the rule. Of course, we can't change the rule -- everyone knows that it's very difficult to get the required supermajority. So the functional thing to do is ignore it. I generally ignore three Wikipedia rules before breakfast, it keeps me young. Herostratus (talk) 20:13, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Herostratus, agreement of small groups of like-minded editors cannot override canonical policy that has existed for over 15 years. If we allow that, we're fucked. Porn fans, for example, can override GNG and declare their preferred sites as "reliable", and introduce semi-fictional biographies. We know: they did.
Any subject that fails GNG should be deleted. You're unlikely to find a state legislator who does. Guy (help!) 23:06, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree that the rules should change to fit the community. I am an inclusionist. and I applaud user:Herostratus's comment above; some guidelines can indeed be disregarded, if doing so helps the encyclopedia to grow as a real and genuine resource. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:50, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I think the solution is not so much deletion as it is to find another article to merge these perma-stubs with. In the case of cricket players, I was involved in a discussion a year or two back in merging some of these into a general list of players, which I was pleased to find had some support. (I don't know what the status of this is at the moment.) Another area where this could become a problem -- but which I'm trying to prevent from becoming a problem, as my time permits -- are the thousands of Roman consuls. Arguably each of these men are notable: holding the office of consul means the person was either the chief executive/leader of a country (which is the case during the Roman Republic), or someone powerful politically or socially (which ought to otherwise meet WP:GNG standards). Yet for as many as half of these men we only know their names; for another large share, we might have only a few scraps of information. My goal is to write articles for those about whom we can say something more than "X was a Senator of ancient Rome. He was consul in the year NNN with Y as his colleague." The rest either become a redirect to the article about the gens they belong to, or get a footnote stating nothing more is known about this person. (In our information-rich age, it is far too easy to think complete profiles about all important people exist somewhere; you just need to find the right book. Sometimes learning that we know nothing about a given person is actually useful information.) -- llywrch (talk) 17:35, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely. It's retaining the information that matters. Whether is a lot of really short articles or in list articles, that's a matter of opinion and either way is fine. Herostratus (talk) 07:27, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
JzG, 'GNG is not canonical policy. It isn't even policy. It's one part of the notability guideline, and repeated discussions over the years have refused to elevate WP:N to policy. That's because there already is actual policy in the area: NOT INDISCRIMINATE. As policy ought to be,, that's a very broad non-specific statement which we can interpret however the community wishes to do so. The practical guidelines that interpret the policy are what we actually do., and the place where we decide how to interpret WP:N and related guideline is WP:AFD. We mae the rules: we make our own policy, and follow our own guidelien interpreted in our own way by our version of consensus. I doubt any person is totally satisfied with the result--every one of us, if we were in charge, would do it in some different way, but no two of us would agree how.
AfD is, as anyone who works there regularly knows, erratic. Whatever view any of us might take about notability, there are many decisions at AfD tat do not conform to it. A very few things might seem to be never deleted, but even in the most conspicuous group, geographic features, there are continuing disagreements about just what is a sufficient geographic feature. Even for elected officials, it isn't clear just how far we go to consider someone an elected official. For professional athletes, opinion has changed back and forth, and I would not assume the present situation is stable.
Even as a guideline, WP:N's sub-guideline of GNG is dependent upon what we consider a Reliable source. A considerable restriction was made in notability for organizations when there was consensus to adopt WP:NCORP, which doesn't actually affect notability as such, but just what counts as a sufficient source to show it. We could choose to do similarly in any field, and the wording of GNG would be just the same as before, though the effect might be very different. Anyone who has been here long enough can add other examples.
Even as a guideline to be interpreted literally, GNG is more complex more than most people assume. Meeting GNG does not guarantee a separate article if there isn't enough to say. It would be perfect compatible with GNG for us to make combination articles for most professional athletes, or most small geographic features, or almost any field. We could even do it with state legislators. Or any other field--we did it with astronomical objects. Anyone here long enough can add other examples.
There's a basic problem with all of this. The important thing about an encyclopedia is not how it is organized into separate articles. It is what gets said about the material it covers. There are two real policies here that are much more important than anything else being discussed here--WP:V, and WP:NPOV. We could combine everything on all US presidents into one article, and we'd be just as much as an encyclopedia (if we could figure out how to make it readable on cell phones). We could be as strict as we like about GNG, and accept sourcing from gossip, and we would no longer be an encyclopedia. That's what matters. Arguing about notability detracts from the serious problems at WP. DGG ( talk ) 07:33, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
DGG, sure, GNG is not itself policy, it is a distillation of three core policies: V, NPOV and NOTDIR. If we don't have reliable independent secondary sources we can't verify that the content is neutral. NOTDIR says we don't include topics just for completeness, it places the focus on sourcing. I completely agree with your analysis above. Guy (help!) 10:12, 11 February 2020 (UTC)


Rand Paul has named on the Senate floor the person who, he acknowledges, is speculated by right-wing media to be the whistleblower - something the Chief Justice twice refused to do during the Senate trial.

Some sources cover this, though almost always without mentioning the name, you have to go through the source and watch Paul's Senate speech to get it. Some Wikipedians are asserting that this is now coverage in RS so we should allow inclusion of the name on Wikipedia and remove Special:AbuseFilter/1008 which prevents addition.

Good idea or bad idea, in your view? Guy (help!) 17:19, 7 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure that Rand Paul can be sued for what he says on the Senate floor, but I'd guess we could be (maybe "reckless endangerment"? IANAL). We might as well wait until at least one of the following publish it: The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:10, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Snap! Yes, reckless endangerment sprang to my mind, as well. Esowteric+Talk 20:30, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Esowteric, it's interesting that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others appear to be expunging the content itself. It looks like we're not the only ones who think this is inappropriate. Guy (help!) 10:49, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Honestly, either it is unreliable information (i.e., how does Paul know this?) or it is true & puts the person's life in danger. (There have been death threats against critics of the current administration, although I suspect a large share of them are employees of the Internet Research Agency). In either case, let's not print it. -- llywrch (talk) 23:02, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
For me, there is no hurry. I think history will know the name. But we are not a newspaper. Let's wait to see how RS handle it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:04, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Jimbo Wales, my thoughts exactly. When it's in the Washington Post, we can include it. Guy (help!) 11:52, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
So give Jeff Bezos veto power over our coverage? Crawl of the wild (talk) 03:22, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
The Times would probably be ok too. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:06, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Crawl of the wild, Bezos has no editorial control over content. Guy (help!) 22:42, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Good news![edit]

A U.S. appeals court said that it will not reconsider an October ruling that largely upheld the repeal of landmark net neutrality rules[2]

The net net neutrality rules were in place for roughly two years, created under Obama and repealed under Trump. The Internet is not broken and does not need to be "fixed" by giving the federal government more control over the Internet. Pretty much none of the bad things that were predicted as a result of the repeal actually happened.

There was one major casualty though; Wikipedia Zero.[3][4]

For six years (2012-2018), Wikipedia Zero provided over 800 million people -- mostly in developing countries -- with access to Wikipedia and its sister projects free of mobile data charges. Alas, giving Wikipedia away for free violated the Obama-era net neutrality regulations.   :(   --Guy Macon (talk) 11:42, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Guy Macon, "It’s been a year since we’ve given them that power, so what has that year looked like? Have we actually seen any drastic changes to our internet service? The short answer is no, we haven’t. But it’s not that simple, and it doesn’t end here. Just because corporations haven’t abused their power in the last 12 months doesn’t mean they never will, especially when that option is within their legal rights. "
Yes, let's trust the good nature of for-profit corporations. That has never worked out badly at any time in history, has it? Guy (help!) 22:55, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Giving the US government vastly increased control over the internet is not the answer. The Internet was just fine for all of the years before Obama imposed his regulations, the Internet has been just fine in the year since Trump repealed those regulations, and the Internet will be just fine now that a U.S. appeals court has upheld the repeal. The repeal simply returned the internet back to pre-2015 rules where there were absolutely no systematic issues related to throttling and blocking of sites. The Clinton administration basically got it right when it came to the federal government regulating the Internet.
I notice that you have nothing to say about Wikipedia Zero. Giving Wikipedia away for free to users third world countries was a great idea. It was well on the way to really helping us with our ongoing problem with too few editors in developing nations and too many from rich western nations. And it was illegal under the net neutrality regulations. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:23, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
While net neutrality was nominally in effect, some firefighting agencies in California were throttled.[5] This is "no systematic issue"? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Before, during, and after net neutrality, it was possible to buy the cheapest data plan and get throttled when you exceeded the data cap. Net neutrality didn't change that. Before, during, and after net neutrality, verizon had a policy of turning off data caps during emergencies, and they acknowledge that they made a mistake by not doing so in this case and instead asking for an extra two dollars per month, (which, BTW, the fire department was not willing to pay at first, which makes me wonder how badly they needed that extra data). And the court rejected that particular argument. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon, in the UK, we have previously had ISPs who prefer certain content. It was... differently wonderful. Guy (help!) 09:07, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
You say "previously". Did the UK have some sort of government regulation of the internet the kicked in around the time they stopped? I doubt that they stopped because of the FCC... --Guy Macon (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Since when exactly has the US government been in charge of regulating how ISPs in third world developing countries conduct their business? Regards SoWhy 12:20, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Since Wikipedia has been on US soil. It wasn't illegal for the foreign ISPs to offer Wikipedia Zero for free. It was illegal for the WMF to pay them to do so. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon, "There was one major casualty though [..] Wikipedia Zero" Pretty sure that that wasn't the reason why that project got canned. Killing off Zero was advocated for heavily by both the community in general and many employees internally on idealogical reasons yes, but also because zero had seen a significant drop off in popularity since 2016, and because it was creating a lot of problems on Commons with illegal filesharing. I'm not aware that any legal argument regarding FTC net neutrality ever came into consideration (did those rules even extend beyond america?). You could argue that the foundation's credibility supporting American net neutrality rules was negatively influenced by Wikipedia Zero, creating an indirect casualty. But I'm pretty sure it was on the path to being axed regardless. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:00, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Given the fact that the WMF is so opaque, I have no way of knowing whether the fact that "Killing off Zero was advocated for heavily by both the community in general and many employees internally on idealogical reasons" was what killed Wikipedia Zero. Public discussion at the time was mostly about the fact that it was illegal under net neutrality (yes, it was indeed illegal for the WMF to pay the foreign ISPs to offer Wikipedia for free), but that doesn't mean that internally the WMF made the decision because of illegal filesharing. All we can do is speculate on the "true" reasons. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Related: Wikipedia Zero#Reception and impact. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:01, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
That link is broken. Are you suggesting that WZ, a program exclusively outside of the US, was dropped because of US net neutrality regulations? Zero-rated services are still ongoing in many countries. EllenCT (talk) 17:34, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Fixed the link. Sorry about that.
The WMF is bound by the laws of the United States. It is not free to break those laws just because they are only being broken overseas.
  • "In a blog post, the foundation’s Deputy Director Erik Moeller promoted a relatively new offering, Wikipedia Zero, a partnership with telecom companies to provide access to Wikipedia free of charge. The idea is to overcome the prohibitively expensive data charges that contribute to keeping many people around the world offline. In making the case for Zero, Moeller argued that the Wikimedia Foundation is committed to net neutrality — the notion that all online data should be treated equally — and that Zero doesn’t violate this fundamental concept of the open internet. We respectfully disagree. We believe that Zero clearly violates net neutrality and is an attack on the future of the open internet." -- Access Now
  • "In 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikipedia Zero, a zero-rating program aimed at spreading free knowledge in the developing world. However, accused of violating net-neutrality rules and dubbed as 'digital colonialism', the Wikimedia Foundation dropped the program in 2018." -- Forbes
  • "The Internet's biggest encyclopedia is a lot like other major sites on the Web: It's been a little hesitant to weigh in on net neutrality, the idea that all Web traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable. That's because the folks behind Wikipedia actually see a non-neutral Internet as one way to spread information cheaply to users in developing countries. With Wikipedia Zero, users in places like Pakistan and Malaysia can browse the site without it counting it counting against the data caps on their cellphones or tablets. This preferential treatment for Wikipedia's site helps those who can't afford to pay for pricey data — but it sets the precedent for deals that cut against the net neutrality principle." -- The Washington Post
  • "Wikipedia Zero, a Net Neutrality violating programme that allowed access to the online encyclopaedia without any data consumption being counted, is being discontinued... Wikipedia Zero and Free Basics are both instances of ISPs and Telecom Operators giving preferential treatment to these specific services over the ones that they compete with; whether there is a commercial relationship between them and the access service providers or not is immaterial: they lead to the greater usage of these specific services over the rest of the Internet, and give access service providers disproportionate power to pick winners. For example, why Wikipedia Zero, and why not Khan Academy? Or why Wikipedia Zero and not Encyclopedia Britannica?" -- MediaNama
  • "The push for zero-rating in developing countries has made Wikipedia's public support of net neutrality tricky in the past. The concept of net neutrality dictates all internet traffic should be treated equally and that carriers shouldn't offer cheaper or faster access to particular sites online." -- CNET
  • "In May 2014, the government of Chile deemed Wikipedia Zero, and similar services by Facebook and Google, illegal... paying mobile carriers more money to provide a particular internet service at a different rate than all other services seems to tread on violating Net Neutrality." -- Sociology Lens
  • "Wikipedia Zero: Is Wikimedia violating net neutrality in 59 countries? Because one of the underlying principles of net neutrality prohibits any kind of preferential traffic management, Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Zero appears to be violating net neutrality. Under Wikipedia Zero, users can access Wikipedia on Wikimedia's partner networks without having to pay for data usage. Wikipedia Zero has been launched in 59 countries with 67 operators and Wikimedia estimates that '400 million people can now access Wikipedia free of data charges.'" -- News18
  • " By giving preferential access to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Zero program arguably promoted the antithesis of net neutrality: mobile carriers would provide unrestricted access to the site without charging customers the related data fees." -- The Outline
--Guy Macon (talk) 18:54, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon:I was unaware you had been hired as the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation. If I am mistaken about that assumption; then it should be noted that it really isn't anyone who ISN'T the legal counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation to deal with these issues. Presumably, they're aware of these things, and if they needed you specifically to remind them that they existed, we're so fucked in this regard your reminder is unlikely to be helpful anyways. Either way, it's someone else's problem, and this discussion here stands little chance of improving anything. --Jayron32 19:08, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Was WZ officially ruled illegal in any country other than Chile? I note that stopped their zero-rated operations there but remain zero-rated in dozens of other countries. EllenCT (talk) 20:09, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't believe that any other country actually declared WZ to be illegal. In the US at the time the Obama administration was mostly using consent decrees for enforcement (stop doing X and we won't fine you) and never targeted Wikipedia. It does seem likely that there were a number of factors in the WMFs decision to cancel WZ, including the huge number of Wikipedia users screaming that they were violating NN, several anti-NN websites citing WZ as something that NN would outlaw, not as many people taking advantage of it as expected (although it is unclear how the WMF would know that), and piracy issues as documented at Commons:Village pump/Proposals/Archive/2017/06#Restrict Video Uploading. Clearly if NN was the only reason, WZ would have come back when NN was repealed. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:00, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm confused here. I don't want to bother to get into the politics of net neutrality. But is there actually any evidence that the WMF had legal concerns in 2018 from US net neutrality regulations which were either in the process of, or already had been repealed and this was one of the reasons they dropped Wikipedia Zero? If not, HTF is Wikipedia Zero a casualty of US net neutrality regulations? Unless you mean an indirect causality since it got people interested in the issue, and maybe also got other countries interested in the issue. (Although in reality, many countries were talking about it and some doing something about it, before the US was.) As a secondary point, is there some reason to think that the WMF couldn't do whatever Facebook the billion dollar company everyone hates, to avoid problems from US net neutrality regulations when it comes to paying ISPs in other countries? Accepting that Facebook's legal budget probably exceeds the WMF's entire budget. Facebook still is the sort of company who it seems the government would want to target rather than the WMF (optics and all that). Frankly, IANAL etc, but I see no reason to think the regulations which seem to be explicitly targeted at ISPs [6] [7], would ever have caused legal problems for the WMF. Heck even if they were paying US ISPs..... I mean I guess it could be considered some attempt to defraud or enticing someone to commit a crime or something, but frankly I'm utterly unconvinced that concerns over the legal risks in the US from offering Wikipedia Zero had anything to do with why it was dropped. Or as they say [citation needed] P.S. To be clear, I'm only referring to US regulations. The fact that Wikipedia Zero may or may not have violated net neutrality regulations in other countries, and therefore have posed a legal risk to the WMF in other countries, is besides my point. Likewise, I am only referring to actual legal concerns i.e. the claim "It was illegal for the WMF to pay them to do so" etc. Again, the fact some people may have felt the WMF shouldn't be doing something which violate net neutrality for political, ethical, social, policy and other such reasons is also basically besides my point. Nil Einne (talk) 15:11, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
I cannot document why the WMF made the decision other than what they said in the official announcement. If you wish, I could document some of the many places on Wikipedia where editors called on the WMF to kill WZ because they believed it to violate NN, but I have never seen any receive a reply from the WMF. There are a lot of unreliable sources on the net that make the same claim. RS, not so much. That's likely because any RS ran into the same "I cannot document all the factors the WMF considered" problem I ran into. Here are some sources, some kind of OK, some rather dodgy:[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] --Guy Macon (talk) 23:16, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Praise page?[edit]

Jimbo, do you have a subpage for praise? Just wanna know so I can praise you. ._. Littlecat456 (talk) 13:42, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

RFC's on Reliable Sources[edit]

The RFCs on if something is a reliable source or not are getting out of control. It use to be that we all agreed on a set of objective criteria upon which to base the decision. Did it have an editoral team? Did it correct errors? etc. These were questions of fact that we were discussing that could be reliably backed up. Nowadays it is treated more of a question of "do you like the opinions issued by this source?" If not then it is said to be unreliable. Over time this is degrading the diversity of opinions that are represented by WP. It use to be that on disputed issues we would show the opinions of both sides to present a NPOV. But the "not reliable" label is being used to eliminate undesirable opinions so that only one side of issues are shown. There are a few people standing up against this, but so far they do not have a majority and the admins are allowing it to continue. Over time this will make wikipedia worse. I encourage you to speak out about this, even as I know you probably wont. But sometimes it is worth shouting to the shouting into the wind, even if what you are doing will not change what is wrong. (talk) 15:52, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

They seem pretty measured to me. For the most part the results align with things like the media bias chart. Sources are more likely to be rejected if they are unreliable, and that is exactly what's supposed to happen. They are much more likely to be rejected if they are both unreliable and highly biased.
Of course we have occasional complaints that most of the officially deprecated sources are right-wing, but that's a bit like the complaints that Twitter bans on racism and homophobia disproportionately affect "conservative voices". Yochai Benkler's Network Propaganda (recommended to me by Mike Godwin) analyses in detail the reasons why the right wing media bubble has become self-reinforcing and vulnerable to conspiracy theories and falsehoods, in a way the mainstream media is not, leading to asymmetric polarisation.
There are inaccurate partisan left-wing sources, but for the most part liberal editors don't seem to add them. There are left-leaning mainstream sources with a good reputation for fact-checking. Right-leaning mainstream sources are an endangered species. The WSJ and a couple of others. Most of the right-leaning media has lost its connection to mainstream fact-based reporting. Guy (help!) 17:32, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Jewish Labour Movement[edit]

There appears to be a dispute regarding an edit you (and others) made last year to this page. Two far-left editors want it removed because it portrays Corbyn and company in a bad light, but others have supported its retention. Your contribution to the Talk page would be appreciated. Thanks. Rodericksilly (talk) 11:25, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

walesism = erdoğanism ?[edit]

lets talk turkey here mr wales . /uv kept sort of a loose hand on wikipedia's reigns which prolly has served u & the project in pretty good stead over the years i suppose . . . . /but, apparently now it's the case even the epoch times universally cannot be cited on wikipedia !! /really ? freekin ridiculous . ' 1st they came for infowars and nobody said nuthin 'cos we warnt conspiracy mongers . ' [diff] ( maybe unseemly to present my bondefides but here goes : fwiw am at least 3rd-gen dem : grampa was a dem state-legislator ; cousin , fed judge appoint'd by bill clinton & ive never voted GOP in prez elections late 90s--present )--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 18:45, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 279#The Epoch Times, once again. EllenCT (talk) 18:50, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
well ima callin on wales to turn in his objectivist credentials.
how is eg VoA not by very definition point blank a propaganda outlet for heaven's sake ! /respect readers' intellect Re obvious biases 'stead of nannying em or go the other way & sign on to this, then lay off, otherwise ?: "'More guidance and regulation': Zuckerberg requests government rules on 'what discourse should be allowed'"--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 20:21, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Hey, look at this:[edit]

  • Matheson, Rob (February 12, 2020). "Automated system can rewrite outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles". MIT News. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 17 February 2020. -- 2606:A000:1126:28D:B5B6:B7C1:7A7:18D0 (talk) 00:14, 17 February 2020 (UTC)