User talk:Jimbo Wales

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About Flickr[edit]

Maybe the bot just took it away before you could respond. I don't know:

I think this is pretty important. As you do have an open door policy, a simple "ack" would go a long way, even if you think Wikimedia can't or shouldn't have a role in this. I'd just like to know you got the message. - Alexis Jazz 08:10, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

The proposal is Free members with more than 1,000 photos or videos uploaded to Flickr have until Tuesday, January 8, 2019, to upgrade to Pro or download content over the limit. After January 8, 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr. After February 5, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted -- starting from oldest to newest date uploaded -- to meet the new limit. I'm not sure if this counts as a major tragedy, given the large number of dubious quality and dubiously licensed images that have been imported from Flickr to Commons over the years and the time that has had to be spent on sorting it out. In practice, it would affect only free Flickr users who had uploaded more than 1000 images. Overall, it is best for CC images to be uploaded to Commons directly rather than taking a detour via Flickr.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:09, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Bye Glad you decided to stay Jennifer!
Bye Glad you decided to stay Morgan!
Bye Glad you decided to stay Drake!
At least Flickr's The Commons (selected Flickr accounts with historical public domain images, not to be confused with Wikimedia Commons or Creative Commons) appears to be exempted. But we will still be losing a massive amount of images. And not just crappy ones. For example, these three are used in infoboxes. - Alexis Jazz 19:12, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Since ArchiverBot is extremely aggressive here, would it be acceptable to put {{DNAU}} on this? I'm perfectly happy with Jimbo deciding to archive this himself, all I'm really asking for is that he knows about the issue. Which doesn't happen if ArchiverBot throws it away unread. - Alexis Jazz 23:02, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
It is worth noting that the once hugely popular ImageShack and Photobucket no longer offer any free accounts. Flickr would have caused uproar if it had done this, but it has moved towards a freemium model similar to Google Drive and other cloud storage services. It isn't realistic for Flickr to offer unlimited free hosting, and nor is it realistic for Commons to be a mirror of Flickr.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:32, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I think that the key takeaway here is that we cannot expect any for-profit web hosting to stay up indefinitely. Megaupload. GeoCities. Quantum Link. All dead. If a commercial site has content that is [A] valuable to Wikipedia and [B] is licensed under a compatible license, we should copy it to commons, wikidata, wikibooks, etc. now, before it disappears. -- Guy Macon (talk) 19:29, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
@ianmacm, Overall, it is best for CC images to be uploaded to Commons directly rather than taking a detour via Flickr is great in theory. Unfortunately, since Commons doesn't permit batch-uploading from mobile devices, that's not practical. If I'm writing about a military cemetery, then between general look-and-feel shots to illustrate the article on the cemetery, photographs of the architecture of the cemetery chapel(s) and individual shots of potentially noteworthy graves I can easily take upwards of a hundred photos of that cemetery (example). In such a case my options are:
  1. Upload each file individually to Commons from the device used to take the photo, manually completing the upload form each time;
  2. Come home, plug the device into a computer, manually transfer the relevant files from the device to my hard drive, and use Commons:Upload Wizard to upload the files in batches of 50 which is all it can cope with;
  3. Upload the files direct from the mobile device to Flickr (perhaps 10 seconds work), and once on Flickr use Flickr2Commons to transfer the batch to Commons (perhaps 30 seconds work)
  4. Shove everything into Google Drive at low resolution, and manually upload files as and when I need them for a particular purpose.
In the past, option (3) means they're available for anyone else working on related topics to use. Unless Commons starts allowing batch uploads from their mobile app, from now on it will be (4), which means that they'll only be available to use on articles which I'm writing and not for the use of anyone else, and only available at the low resolution supported by Google. If Commons wants me to be uploading directly to Commons, Commons needs to make it possible for me to do so. ‑ Iridescent 08:24, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Good news: Flickr promises it won’t delete Creative Commons photos when it limits free storage.
Still, users who are over the limit will have to delete photos themselves or get Pro to upload new photos. But the massive train wreck that was about to happen has been averted.
Jimbo: a direct and somewhat related question. The most widely used tool to import photos from Flickr is c:Commons:Flickr2Commons. The duplicate detection in this tool has been broken for months now. This causes a lot of work and frustration for uploaders, users and admins on an ongoing basis. The maintainer doesn't respond to anything. Admins don't know what to do. Uploaders go crazy.
My very direct question: could you please ask a WMF programmer to fix the duplicate detection issue? We're out of options. - Alexis Jazz 07:34, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Google Drive, but the article says you can upload at "original resolution" if you go into the 15GB free limit. That may be tiny by the former Flickr standard but it is still a useful batch of photos. The question is, can someone at Wikipedia write a tool whereby a user provides the program access to both their Google Drive account and their Commons account and it batch uploads all the photos for them (and, presumably, can be set to delete them after confirmation of upload to regenerate the storage)?
The more general question concerns why photo storage space seems to suddenly have gotten very expensive. Are these companies being pressured to go through collections and censor out "politically incorrect" images, and that's why they can't afford to do free storage any more? Is Wikipedia being pressured either to delete images or to pay higher fees to host its Commons data? How feasible is it to have a massive expansion of the Commons storehouse of Creative Commons images to suck up all that information from Flickr before the photographers feel compelled to delete it so they can show off their newest work? (I doubt that really delays the deadline much anyway, just makes it harder to see) Wnt (talk) 13:45, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
What seems to have happened is that social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can offer more or less unlimited photo storage for free, but they are not aimed at the serious photography buffs who want to share their images at full resolution. This takes up a lot of server space and bandwidth, and the revenue from advertising probably does not cover the costs. It's now a long time since the average person uploaded to ImageShack or Photobucket and shared the image via a HTML link or BBCode. This is still possible, but it has largely fallen off the map.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:05, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
In the specific case of Flickr, what I'd think is more likely is that Yahoo ran it as a loss-leader to try to encourage other users into their ecosystem, and hopefully discover other services they'd be willing to pay for (or find themselves at HuffPo where Yahoo could show them paid ads). Now it's been sold to SmugMug, who make their money from paid image hosting so have no incentive to give away for free what they previously charged for.
Google Drive is adequate for personal image hosting, but isn't really a viable replacement for Flickr. Because its albums aren't visible to third parties, and aren't CC-licensed, it's not much use to Wikip(m)edia. The strength of Flickr was that it was a win-win situation for both professional photographers and ourselves; we had a pool of free images, often on topics which we struggle to illustrate, and the photographers got free advertising in the form of links in the image credits.
Sucking up all the information from Flickr isn't really viable. 99% of the content there is holiday snaps, selfies, and amateur porn, and Commons aren't going to thank us for dumping a few million unencyclopedic images on them and expecting them to sort the wheat from the chaff. ‑ Iridescent 21:02, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
@Ianmacm: looking at our articles for ImageShack and Photobucket, it seems like neither one is usable for free-hosting images that others can see. Yet provided the photos are not accessible to the web, it looks (to my first glance at those articles) like they didn't care about the cost of storage. That would seem consistent with either a bandwidth or a censorship cost explanation, but why did bandwidth get expensive for everyone? I did some very trivial research and found the new Flickr topping a list of free photo servers, though they also discussed a that looks at first glance to be an alternate site for minor storage. They also mention unlimited storage and sharing in connection with an Amazon Prime membership; given the company's emerging importance as the American tax-subsidized monopoly commerce store with strong financial verification, I might speculate that to be an exemption for having an "internet ID" for those willing to take on responsibility for self-censorship, since I imagine the disruption of being TOSsed off Amazon is probably significant. But I should be the last person to be talking about this stuff; photography is not my life. Can any pro photographers put more companies and news onto this table? Wnt (talk) 17:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
The free user accounts offered by ImageShack and Photobucket were never all that good, which is why the photography buffs preferred Flickr. They were similar to TinyPic (which still exists) and is aimed mainly at people who want to give a link to an image or embed it on another website. TinyPic is chock-a-block full of adverts and doesn't promise to keep the images forever, but at least it is free.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:00, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Reminder 2019 Wishlist Survey[edit]

Just FYI reminder, as 3 days left for new proposals:

Once again, the massive 2018 U.S. mid-term elections have likely overshadowed the WMF 2019 Wishlist proposals, while many U.S. 50-50% recounts are still being planned. This WMF schedule of overlapping the Wishlist survey with the U.S. elections+recounts is very poor timing for those Wikipedians who work with setup of precinct voting machines, or storage, or recount issues. Hence, remind users of 3-day cutoff for new proposals this weekend. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:16, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

  • New proposals end on 11 Nov 2018: And then voting begins about the list. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:45, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Proposals ended & voting begins 16 Nov 2018: I was mistaken in thinking the new proposals would be accepted until midnight, 23:59, 11 Nov 2018, but we can now discuss complex U.S. election recounts below. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:58, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Sorry, waited so long on proposals: I did not even re-submit a proposal to "Auto-merge wp:edit-conflicts" but someone did submit a related proposal to "Allow partial reverts [skip conflict-sections] for edits" to offer the user a semi-edit attempt, where the edit-conflict section(s) would auto-skip to save only the non-conflicted parts of an edit-preview (see: "meta:Community_Wishlist Survey_2019/Editing#Allow partial reverts for edits"). -Wikid77 (talk) 17:32, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Photo request petition - please sign[edit]

I have written up a petition to TASS and RIAN Novosti asking them to release specific photos under a Wikimedia-friendly license. Please do sign it, and spread the word. Most of the photos are portraits of cosmonauts, famous pilots, deceased persons, and major historic events (like the first spacewalk). It's on Russian Wikipedia since the photos are from Russia, the link is here. Having these images under creative commons licences would really help the development of Soviet-related content, since some of the most major topics lack photographs. Since you are the founder of Wikipedia, please don't be afraid to reword the petition or add some photo item requests to the list. Thank you, --PlanespotterA320 (talk) 21:25, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Have you spoken to people at Wikimedia Russia?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:04, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Yup. I've had been floating the idea for a while, and writing the draft on and off, but then I started collecting signatures. Now it has over 40 signatures, mostly Russian Wikipedians. And the launch of the petition is featured in Russian Wikinews here. But Commons is a centralized project, so I hope to get signatures from people from various different wikis. I've contacted lots of Russian and English Wikipedians, plus editors from Spanish, Portugese, French, and Polish, wikis about the petition, with positive responses.--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 03:24, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

A mystery...[edit]

Why is someone from the House of Commons vandalizing pages related to a California congressional election?[1][2] --Guy Macon (talk) 16:53, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Is it vandalism though? Our article at the time said the election had not yet been called, and that she still hasn't been elected. -- zzuuzz (talk) 17:03, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
In California, mail votes only have to be post-marked, so it leaves several races hanging, including Kim - lots of mail to count (along with provisional ballots).[3]. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:51, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Those look like perfectly valid edits to me. The race has still not been called for Kim as Alan points out. Not everything someone from a parliament computer does is harmful per se. Regards SoWhy 20:24, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought that I saw a report that Kim had won, but looking it it the vote counting elves say it might take the full 30 days they are allowed before certifying the election. My mistake. Sorry about that. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:29, 11 November 2018 (UTC)


Hello, respected Jimbo Wales! I ask you, please allow us, we want to open Wikipedia companies in Tajikistan. A branch of this company we really need to supplement information about Tajikistan, Tajiks and others. Respect, Jaloliddin Madaminov (talk) 09:48, 12 November 2018 (UTC).

You probably mean "a chapter" rather than "companies" since the WMF is a non-profit. I'll suggest contacting @Wolliff (WMF): - if she doesn't handle new chapters, then she will know who does. It might be quite challenging to open a chapter in Tajikistan. You should think about what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish your goals. Are you (informally) affiliated with any universities or other cultural institutions? If so you might do some GLAM projects. Perhaps Wiki Loves Monuments - the annual photo competition - would be of interest. Do you have connections with other chapters in Central Asia? Maybe the Russian chapter would be interested in helping you get started, or is there an Iranian chapter?
I doubt Jimbo would get directly involved in helping organize a chapter, but I'm certain he'd love to see a well-organized chapter get started. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:10, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Do we have a wikipedia in the Tajik language? In another variety of Persian understandable by people in Tajikistan?
Related question: When I looked at (note the www.* instead of en.*) I saw languages such as ქართული. မြန်မာဘာသာ, and 日本語 listed. Is there a list of wikipedias that an English-speaker can understand somewhere? --Guy Macon (talk) 22:54, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
seeТоҷикистон . Tajik uses Cyrillic script, Persian looks something like Arabic script (to me). So it's a question of whether the spoken language is mutually understandable - I'd guess not. Smallbones(smalltalk) 23:45, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Guy Macon, I often need a list of wikipedias - while I guess I could bookmark the page, I typically click on the globe to get to the main page, then scroll to bottom and click on Complete list of Wikipedias, which bring me here. Does that help? S Philbrick(Talk) 00:06, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Just what I was looking for! From that page, I also found this Table of Wikimedia projects, which gives the same information for Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikiversity, and Wikivoyage.
Yes, we do have a Tajik language Wikipedia: [4] Jaloliddin Madaminov should work on expanding it and recruiting other locals to expand it. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:02, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

A general request for advice[edit]

I have a friend who is clearly notable and should be covered in Wikipedia. Because I have a COI (this is a friend) I want to take great pains to do everything the right way. Because of my position, I don't even think I should write a draft, although I do have sufficient links to share. Of course I have some additional concerns that at least some negative people may wish to excessively object just to pick a fight with me - I'm not interested in fighting anyone. Or that my participation may bring negative people to want to come in and troll by trying to dig up dirt or writing the article in a negative way.

All of that argues for simply doing something quiet - asking trustworthy people in an off-wiki way to take a look and see if they want to write an article. But I actually think it would be much nicer if I had community guidance on how to do this transparently.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:48, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Life imitates art
If you weren't the founder or the "Queen of England" or whatever people use to describe your position now, then there wouldn't be a problem here. Just write a draft or submit something to AfC.
But you are the founder and I don't think you can avoid the trolls (in a transparent way). Hopefully though some folks (plural) here can keep an eye on the article.
I'll suggest you just write an intro paragraph and dump it, together with the links, onto a user page. I'll do a basic Google search, read your links, ignore your intro (after finding out why the person is notable) and write a very boring short basic article and post it if I think it is notable. At that point others can come along and add anything that might be controversial in any way, or that might make the BLP interesting. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:17, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales: Due to the hastle posed by trolls, an off-wiki email to a user would be a fine way to go. If you're going to be transparent, then there's not much point in not writing a draft, since it won't make any difference, I don't think, to prospective trolls. The page has some significance to you, that's going to be enough to make it a target. Go big or go home. Bellezzasolo Discuss 18:35, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
As we all know, it's not "Queen Jimbo", it's Duchess of Cornwallshire. He's better off writing anonymously. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Write it in Draft space and see what happens, I reckon. It'#s what we advise everyone else. Guy (Help!) 22:43, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedians face tedious U.S. election recounts[edit]

Wikipedians are finding complex issues among the 20+ recounts in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections, although some contests have been resolved by counting mail-in ballots, other recounts are tedious, such as Florida for Senator, Governor and Florida Agriculture Commissioner (1 of 3 cabinet positions). The wp:RS reliable sources, for detailed recounts, have been difficult to find, but local TV transcripts in each region of Florida seem to provide the best details; for example with "Sen. Nelson Wants Gov. Scott To Recuse Himself From Recount Process" (12 Nov 2018), after Florida court rejected Governor Scott's lawsuit to impound ballots and tabulating machines before the recount was finished. For the Senate contest, the other recount antics appear to be 2000 Florida recount all over again, just with different lawsuits and protests. For example, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections was met with jeers of "Lock her up" because some vote counts were late in her county. Bags of mail-in votes (Opa-locka) were rejected in Miami-Dade County because those ballots were delayed when the recent pipe-bomber caused a shutdown of some Florida post offices, where packages of explosive devices had been shipped to Democrats, as also causing delays for (majority-Democrat) mail-in ballots, and a perfect excuse to reject allowing those post-marked Democrat votes as "too late" to be counted. All Florida precincts now are required to use pen-marked ballots (no more "hanging chad" of the prior push-pin ballots), but a curious vote tally occurred in Broward County, where nearly 25,000 ballots had no vote for Senator while showing few votes omitted for lower offices, as the reverse of the typical trend where the highest office has the most total votes, compared to lesser offices skipped by busy voters. Perhaps Wikipedians will have more time to write about such events after the recounts are finished. As typical, many areas of enwiki are updated by mere skeleton crews of editors who have limited time to write about recount-delay antics. More sources later. -Wikid77 (talk) 18:30/18:50, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Latest WMF email[edit]

Hey Jimbo. Don't know if you'll be interested in my two cents, but here they are:

I've been a registered editor since 2010, and an anon since 2006. I am nothing but excited about the project. I tell all my friends about what a great experience being part of the Wikipedia community has been for me, and how much I've strengthened my editing and communication skills in the year I've been here.

That said, the WMF donation request emails are getting out of hand. They're getting increasingly needy (and honestly a little manipulative with the subject lines). I get that Wikipedia needs donations to survive, I really do. I donate a few hours every day to this project. And it's starting to bother me that the groveling is the public face of the project I am a part of. [NAME] - I'll be honest: I can't afford it is a subject straight out of phishing spam. Or how about: [NAME] - Deleting Wikipedia? Manipulative.

I'm not saying stop asking for donations. That's a totally normal part of a non-profit. But can we act like the adults we are? More and more, when I tell people I'm an editor, I hear about how much they hate the tone of our donation ads. Is this the face we want to be projecting? cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 22:04, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Noswaith dda @Cymru.lass:. (See your based in US but as a welshman I couldn't help acknowledge your username.)
For some time we have been trying to find an alternative subject line to -/This is a little awkward/-. That line works and works very well but we have found it very difficult to effectively translate and adapt into other languages, and despite our best efforts have struggled to find an alternative.
We first tested -/Deleting Wikipedia?/- as a subject line a couple of weeks ago and it was the only winning variant in hundreds of tests. We retested in case it was a statistical fluke and continued to see it perform well. The effectiveness of this subject line for the most part does not come from its apparent clickbaiting. The change in the number of people opening the emails was relatively small and unsubscribes remained extremely low. The big driver in terms of its success was from a significant increase in those people who opened AND read our email appeal. We posed a question and donors were motivated to donate when presented with the idea of imagining a world without Wikipedia.
Our motivation behind this sort of subject line is the fact that in three countries today it is already as if Wikipedia does not exist. The risk that this could happen in more countries is greater now that it ever has been. Censorship, impediments to free speech and over regulation of copyright are threats that Wikipedia, Wikimedia and its communities face every single day and it is with that context that we want to lead.
Any email that included this subject line came with at least some context to flesh out the idea, i.e., “If Wikipedia were deleted, it would be a great loss to the world,”, but going forward it is our full intention to make even clearer that we intend for the donor to imagine a world without Wikipedia and the threats it faces every day, not threaten that it is going away.
Our plan is to continue to testing on this theme, exploring censorship and copyright restrictions as well as our increasing role as the backbone of knowledge on the internet, and help donors see that knowledge can and is threatened all the time. We are definitely and eagerly open to any feedback, suggestions and ideas you might have.
Seddon (WMF) (talk) 01:18, 14 November 2018 (UTC)