User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Block of Wikipedia in Turkey[edit]

According to WP-article, block is over. Is the article correct? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 21:41, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Gråbergs Gråa Sång, Just a bit ago I heard an anecdotal discord report from a Turkish user that it was unblocked. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 22:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Apparently so. Graham87 05:57, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Yup: Turkey Restores Wikipedia After More Than 2-Year Ban Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:07, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
https://boingboing.net/2020/01/15/wikipedia-ban-lifted-by-turkey.html
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-wikipedia/turkey-ban-on-wikipedia-lifted-after-court-ruling-idUSKBN1ZE0BX?il=0
--Guy Macon (talk) 16:39, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

status of Jimmy Wales statement of Wikipedia principles[edit]

Hey jimbo, I made the template below. I hope you like it. Please think of it as my own small token of esteem and my own online thank-you card to you, and everyone else who works so hard to build this project.

Hope others here like this! please feel free to use this, if you want. thanks! cheers! Face-smile.svg

this is my first little attempt at templates by the way. just trying to learn a little and dabble in new things. I hope this is of some enjoyment to others here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 07:55, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Very nice, Sm8900. I am assuming for the sake of discussion that these are accurate quotations from Jimbo, but you should provide a link to the original source. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:35, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
@Cullen:, thanks!!! truly appreciate your reply. re a link, no problem, here you go. glad if my little post here has raised the visibility for this eloquent set of principles and idea. thanks!! Here's that link. User:Jimbo_Wales/Statement_of_principles thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 04:54, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Apologies if this is something you already know, but @Sm8900 if you post that anywhere it needs to be crystal clear that it's almost 20 years out of date, to ensure no good-faith new editor thinks it's any kind of statement of current principles and gets themselves in trouble trying to enforce them. They represent the values of one particular editor (albeit the one who at the time was the most important one) back when Wikipedia was an obscure bolt-on to an obscure online encyclopedia which in turn was an obscure bolt-on to an obscure "guy-orientated website"; at the time they were written we had 202 registered accounts (only 130 of whom were active), consisted of 12000 pages (2800 of which were less than 200 characters long), and the entire database size was 20 MB. Most of them no longer apply, if they ever did; I'd say only 1, 8 and arguably 5 & 7 could be said to relate to Wikipedia as it is now. ‑ Iridescent 20:57, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
I disagree. I think all of the listed principles apply. Wikipedia remains a freely-license wiki encyclopedia run by an open community. --Yair rand (talk) 21:04, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Yair Rand. From that page: “This is a statement of principles from Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, as updated by the community since then. The original version of this page was published on 27 October 2001.[1]”
so all of these are values that are still relevant, but implementing them depends on the specific situation, in my opinion. Sm8900 (talk) 22:55, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Yair rand, nope. Page protection, for example, is vastly more common now that getting your opinion reflected on Wikipedia is a high stakes game. Guy (help!) 00:06, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

It's nice to see this. I think Jimbo got it pretty much got it right back then, but it should be clear that things have changed a bit, e.g. the GNU License doesn't have much relevance now as far as I see, historical relevance - sure.

We should be careful about the current version of the page. Jimbo only edited the page once, the oldest version. As things gradually changed on Wikipedia hundreds of other edits have been made, but (without a character-by-character analysis) it looks like the current version is pretty faithful to the original User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles. We could do much worse for a "statement of principals" than this. I am particularly impressed by the 1st principle - which I'm tempted to rename "Do the right thing.

"This community will continue to live and breathe and grow only so long as those of us who participate in it continue to Do The Right Thing. Doing The Right Thing takes many forms, but perhaps most central is the preservation of our shared vision for the neutral point of view policy and for a culture of thoughtful, diplomatic honesty."

Not many Wikipedians talk much anymore about "do the right thing", but this is a subject that actually should come up fairly often, mostly regarding those cases where we fail to do the right thing. Concerning that topic, Jimbo, could you see the YGM notice below. Thanks. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:05, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

thanks Smallbones! as you may guess, part of my purpose was to spark some healthy discussion on the points above, along with highlighting the points themselves. if we spark some healthy discussion, then that's what Wikipedia is all about too. I'm glad to see some views being exchanged here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 01:32, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Mail[edit]

Mail-message-new.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. 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.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:18, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Two weeks to go before we reach the "14 years of discriminating against the blind" milestone[edit]

On 03 February 2006, it was reported to the WMF that our CAPTCHA system discriminates against blind people. See phabricator T6845 and phabricator T241921.

This appears to be a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and leaves Wikipedia open to the possibility of a discrimination lawsuit.

In particular, National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp. was a case where a major retailer, Target Corp., was sued because their web designers failed to design its website to enable persons with low or no vision to use it.

So why, after 13 years of inaction, do we not have a set of software requirements (including a testable definition of "done") and a schedule for solving this?

And no, I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks the name of an WMF employee who has been given the assignment of fixing this, a budget that says how much the WMF expects to spend on solving this, a deadline that says how long the WMF expects it to take to solve this, and a way for an independent third party to look at the results and verify whether the requirements were met.

I am left with these known facts:

  • For 13 years the WMF has failed to assign a single employee or contractor the task of fixing this problem.
  • For 13 years the WMF has failed to budget a single dollar towards fixing this.
  • For 13 years the WMF has failed to provide any estimate of how long it is expected to take to fix this.
  • For 13 years the WMF has failed to create any requirements for fixing this. (Note: "Requirements" is geek talk for "please define what 'done' is and tell us exactly how how we will recognize that whoever is working on this is done").
  • For 13 years the WMF has failed to make a plan for an independent third party (which in this case means "someone with a visual impairment accessing Wikipedia with a screen reader") to look at the results and verify whether the requirements were met.

Again, for me to consider this to be something that the WMF takes seriously, the solution needs to include:

  • The name of an WMF employee who has been given the assignment of fixing this.
  • A budget that says how much the WMF expects to spend on solving this.
  • A deadline that says how long the WMF expects it to take to solve this.
  • A plan for an independent third party to look at the results and verify whether this has actually been solved.

--Guy Macon (talk) 02:16, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

@Guy Macon: When you brought this up in July, Doc James was trying to help you and gave you the name of a WMF developer that was interested in taking this on. Did you ever contact EvanProdromou? Bitter Oil (talk) 03:40, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
No, because having a volunteer say (on phabricator) "I'll try to get more educated on the topic, and hopefully give more information in the coming weeks" (which, btw, never happened) is the wrong answer. Nothing against Evan -- volunteering is a good thing and doing anything is better than doing nothing -- but as I have made clear:
  • I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks the name of an WMF employee who has been given the assignment of fixing this. Evan does not work for the WMF and it isn't even clear whether, should he come up with a perfect solution, it would ever be added to the mediawiki software.
  • I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks a budget that says how much the WMF expects to spend on solving this. Evan isn't being paid. Maybe the WMF should pay him, but so far they have not done so.
  • I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks a deadline that says how long the WMF expects it to take to solve this. Evan isn't working on a deadline. Everything he does is appreciated, but like any volunteer he doesn't have to do anything and certainly will never face any consequences for failing to meet a deadline.
  • I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks a way for an independent third party to look at the results, look at how we defined "done" at the start, and verify whether we are or are not done.
These are not arbitrary demands. These are the words of an expert at bringing in software projects on time and under budget. Contacting Evan will not result in the WMF no longer discriminating against the handicapped. Only a decision by WMF management to fix this problem -- a decision that includes staffing, budget, a timeline, and a way to verify the results -- will do that.
If you wish to engage in activities that have zero chance of solving the problem, go ahead. I don't do things that I know will not work. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:58, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I have asked them in a non official capacity for an update. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
(@Guy Macon: Evan Prodromou does, in fact, work for the WMF. Part of the Core Platform team, IIUC. Whether he has actually been assigned this task is unclear.) --Yair rand (talk) 07:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Ah. I was not aware of that. It might be that the WMF actually does have a budget, schedule, etc. and just haven't revealed this fact. One can only hope. My goal is not to criticize the WMF but rather to allow the visually impaired to access Wikipedia. If Evan can make that happen, great. Everybody wins. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Well, I called him "a WMF developer" so I don't know how you missed it. And you were obviously aware of it in July. You have known he was a WMF contractor for 5 months and yet not contacted him. Bitter Oil (talk) 00:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
As I told you already, I refuse to bother someone who I believe is trying to do the right thing about things he can not change. Evan cannot assign staff or budget towards solving this. Please leave me alone. I do not wish to have any further interactions with you. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:49, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

So, will I hear that the WMF has assigned someone the task of fixing this before the 14th anniversary? Or must we wait until some news outlet notices that we are purposely discriminating against handicapped people, publishes an editorial on this, and The Shit Hits The Fan Once Again? --Guy Macon (talk) 17:27, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Did you ever reach out to Evan Prodromou? --JBL (talk) 17:33, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
What part of "I refuse to bother someone who I believe is trying to do the right thing about things he can not change. Evan cannot assign staff or budget towards solving this." are you having trouble understanding? If you want to talk to Even, go ahead. I refuse, for good reasons. Also, be aware that Doc James has reached out to Evan Prodromou. Not only does Doc James have a better understanding than I do about what can and can not be revealed publicly about what a particular WMF contractor is or is not working on, he has a better temperament for this sort of thing than I do. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:53, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Six Million Articles[edit]

Wikipedia-logo-v2-en 6m articles.png

As an FYI to you and the talk page stalkers, the EN Wikipedia had its six millionth article created a few minutes ago. -- Dolotta (talk) 19:28, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Congrats everybody! We recenty reached 1 in 150 articles of GA or FA quality too, was 1 in 200 not that long ago. So we're getting bigger and getting better at the same time. Amazing potential as a resource but a long way to go, we're really only getting started of course. :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:32, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, I did not know that — very impressive. S Philbrick(Talk) 20:35, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Nice accomplishment.S Philbrick(Talk) 20:34, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

If anyone wants to place an auto-updating list on their talk page, the following...

 <div>As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}}, {{CURRENTDAY2}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTYEAR}}, {{CURRENTTIME}} (UTC), The English Wikipedia has {{NUMBEROF|USERS|en|N}} registered users, {{NUMBEROF|ACTIVEUSERS|en|N}} active editors, and {{NUMBEROF|ADMINS|en|N}} administrators. Together we have made {{NUMBEROF|EDITS|en|N}} edits, created {{NUMBEROF|PAGES|en|N}} pages of all kinds and created {{NUMBEROF|ARTICLES|en|N}} articles.</div>

...displays as...

As of Sunday, 26 January 2020, 08:28 (UTC), The English Wikipedia has 38,166,343 registered users, 131,975 active editors, and 1,146 administrators. Together we have made 932,932,830 edits, created 49,470,536 pages of all kinds and created 6,004,083 articles.

...and updates for each new visitor or page refresh. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Remind me how we define "active editors"? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:12, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Found it: WP:ACTIVE. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Wouldn't is be nice if we had a count with WP:MAGICWORDS for each of those categories? Then I could write something like

 As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}}, {{CURRENTDAY2}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTYEAR}}, The English Wikipedia has {{NUMBEROF|BLOCKEDUSERS|en|N}} blocked users.

As of Sunday, 26 January 2020, The English Wikipedia has 0 blocked users.

without the number being zero? --Guy Macon (talk) 17:34, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

A question for Jimbo regarding the use of social media as a sole source of assertions regarding sexuality in biographies of living persons.[edit]

As other contributors may be aware, there has recently been some debate about the use of postings in the social media by individuals featured in Wikipedia biographies as the sole source of statements regarding their sexuality. It has been claimed that the relevant policy, WP:SOCIALMEDIA permits this, and that no other source is needed to include such biographical detail. I'm not going to name the specific articles here, since I see no benefit in drawing further attention to the individuals concerned, but would instead be interested to learn what, if anything, Jimbo has to say on the matter as a general principle.


To elaborate my concerns, I would start by noting what WP:BLP has to say with regard for the need for biographies of living persons to be "written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy". The WMF, in a statement on biographical content, echoes such concerns, asking that "human dignity and respect for personal privacy into account" in such articles.[1] It is my contention that the use of Twitter postings etc as the sole source for assertions about an individual's sexuality is contrary the spirit of such statements, if not the letter. There will no doubt be those that will argue that postings on social media are made public by the individuals themselves, and as such are both entirely valid as sources, and sufficient grounds to include such matters in a biography. I would contend however that doing so is questionable on multiple grounds. For a start, the social media may be 'public' in a general sense, but the way it is used is frequently much more of a conversation between individuals. I very much doubt that most people using Twitter or similar media would expect that their passing conversations will later (maybe much later) be relied on as a source for biographical details of a personal nature on one of the world's most-visited websites. Furthermore, the use of such sources carries inherent risks, as citation of passing comments is liable to miss the broader context, and seems to encourage Google-mining of the worst kind. People don't always use the social media in the most responsible manner, and something intended as a joke, or posted while under the influence of one substance or another, may be taken too literally. Even a comment intended at the time to be taken seriously may later be retracted, or clarified. People (often the most insecure and vulnerable people, but not always) may sometimes express things about themselves that they later come to realise aren't an accurate representation of how they really are (I've been there, done it myself). For all these reasons then (and no doubt more...), I have to suggest that passing comments on Twitter etc are a poor source of biographical information, and instead appear to me to be precisely the sort of material that concerns for privacy would imply Wikipedia should not be using.


I should at this point make clear that I'm not for one moment suggesting that an individual should not be used as a source for their own sexual orientation etc. They absolutely must be. Nobody else has any right to do that for them. The issue here however is that Wikipedia seems to be taking on for itself the 'right' to transform a passing comment (sometimes ambiguous) or similar ephemera into a definitive statement, using the individual as a 'source' for something they may consider a private matter, and may quite reasonably have assumed was unlikely to become a matter of broader public discourse. If this isn't technically 'outing' it seems to me to risk being something darned close to it, and clearly close enough to demand caution. Where an individual has discussed their sexuality in detail in a context where the public nature of the discussion is clear, and (perhaps as important from a biographical context) where such a discussion is actually of significance to the biography as a whole (i.e. to the subjects Wiki-notability), better sourcing will be available anyway. Some biographies absolutely must discuss the subject's sexuality, and at would be a grave disservice to our readers not to do so - but for such biographies, Google-mining the social media will be entirely unnecessary. Wikinpedia articles (and biographies in particular) should not be exercises in detective-work, and nor should they be reduced to answer-sheets for multiple-choice questions, where sexuality, along with ethnicity and other arbitrary categorisation is slapped in as bald assertions lacking any context to explain to the reader why it matters. Both out of concern then for the rights of the subject, and for the benefit of readers who would (I'd hope) prefer articles not to be a collection of dubiously-sourced factoids slung in at random by whoever hits the Google-jackpot regarding their personal concerns, I thus contend that contributors should not be using social media in this manner. If someone's sexuality matters biographically, and if and when they make such personal matters clear in genuine public discourse, we owe it to both the subject and to our readers to write actual biographies, based on reputable published sources that were aware they were engaged in 'publishing' at the time they did it.


I would ask Jimbo then, the following questions:

(a) Does he consider it appropriate for Wikipedia biographies to be using the social media in the manner described?

And if the answer is no (as I would hope):

(b) Does Jimbo think that Wikipeda policies concerning this issue need amendement or clarification?

(d) Does he think it may be necessary for the WMF to comment on this, given their earlier statements on the need for Wikipedia to show respect for personal privacy?

No doubt others will wish to comment on this, and add their perspective. When doing so, can I ask people not to go into details regarding specific ongoing disputes here. This is a very public page, and the very concerns regarding the need for privacy aren't going to be best resolved by hashing over specifics: the disputes are spread over multiple pages as it is, and this discussion should be of more use if it is focused on the more general principles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:15, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

This: "I very much doubt that most people using Twitter or similar media would expect that their passing conversations will later (maybe much later) be relied on as a source for biographical details of a personal nature on one of the world's most-visited websites." is probably where you're out of step with everyone else. Twitter is probably the biggest, most public platform on this internet. It's the digital equivalent of scrawling something something on a sandwich board, and then strolling down Main Street blasting an airhorn. If I turn it around and said "If I were to advise a famous person on how to get their sexuality into their article, how would I do it?" - the answer is of course to use their official twitter. It's the biggest, most public platform they could do that on. For instance, Jimmy Wales gets about a thousand views a day; @jimmy_wales has 153k followers, and that's probably the most biased towards Wikipedia one could be; Donald Trump is 50k to 70M; my rather famous sixth cousin is 5k to 5M - and comparing views to followers is probably way overstating the relative visibility of Wikipedia. Of course, you're right that there could be context/jokes/whatever, and like anything, the details matter, but by cutting the details, you're probably losing the bulk of the point you're trying to make. WilyD 08:28, 26 January 2020 (UTC)