User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 101

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Thank you VERY much for the barnstar, User:Deh343 has managed to attach my user name to someone else on his off Wiki attack page, the photographs there relate to RHaworth both of us have tried to explain the situation to him but without success, sorry!Theroadislong (talk) 17:20, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The threats from User:Deh343 are now so frightening, I no longer feel able to edit. He seems to think I am someone else which is doubly scary. Support has been sadly lacking.Theroadislong (talk) 21:24, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
User:Deh343 completely lacks civility. Try reporting to WA. --Τασουλα (talk) 21:49, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I have retired after further threats off Wiki and on.Theroadislong (talk) 08:36, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Sockpuppetry case

April Fools' Day 2012
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Puppeter template.svg

Your name has been mentioned in connection with a sockpuppetry case. Please refer to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Jimbo Wales for evidence. Please make sure you make yourself familiar with the guide to responding to cases before editing the evidence page. Jasper Deng (talk) 02:41, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

New WikiProject Wikiputians

Effective today, there is a new WikiProject titled "Wikiputians" which addresses concerns about height-challenged users, as an issue of WP:Accessibility. The membership is growing quickly because statistical studies of editors have indicated that probably half of all Wikipedians are now shorter than 3 ft tall (0.91 m). The scientific analysis, which confirmed the reduced height of so many users, was based on counting the reduced frequency in text of the letters "w", "e", "o", "p" which are on the top row of the keyboard. It seems those users cannot easily reach those letters with their tiny hands. However, the height analysis has confirmed the fears of "declining editorship" because the average height of editors does, indeed, show a definite decline, year after year. It is uncertain if the taller editors are leaving, or if the height-challenged users are merely editing more, as mobile phones become smaller to fit their hands.
Anyway, among the major goals of WikiProject Wikiputians, there will be monthly edit-drives to remove the word "short" from Wikipedia articles, as being an NPOV slant in terminology, to be replaced with "less tall". Already, those editors are compiling a backlog-list of the 1,200,051 articles which will need to be edited to remove the word "short". Many of those million articles will be debated for deletion. For example, "short circuit" is an obvious wp:POV_fork of "Electricity" and "short sale" is to be deleted as an wp:Attack page against people who handle sales transactions. Wait, what day is it? Oh, I think all this information is false. Never mind. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:01, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Don't want no short people round here ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:10, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
What about short tempers? <g> Collect (talk) 18:22, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
There's no shortage of short tempers round here. ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:26, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Does Jimbo use a short tamper for his pipe? Collect (talk) 18:53, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


April Fools' Day 2012
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Jasper Deng (talk) 02:55, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Speedy keep nomination of Template:Db-attack-notice


Please make statements attacking templates or pages. Wikipedia has a lax policy against content attacks. Pages and images are tolerated by Wikipedia and are not speedily deleted. Users who continue to create or repost such pages and images in violation of our biographies of living pages policy will not be blocked from editing Wikipedia. Thank you.

If you think that the page was not nominated in error, contest the nomination by clicking on the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion" in the speedy deletion tag. Doing so will take you to the talk page where you can explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. You can also visit the page's talk page directly to give your reasons, but be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag yourself, but do not hesitate to add information that is consistent with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Jasper Deng (talk) 03:37, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


Bästa nyskrivna.svg 100 Pages of Archived Talk
Congratulations on reaching 100 pages of archived talk. You have achieved a milestone that very few, if any, editors have been able to accomplish. The fact that very few editors would want to achieve this milestone should not dampen your enthusiasm. Even though the Wikipedia Community uses your page as the town dump, we thank you for your continuing efforts. Keep up the good work!

If you like you can add this userbox to your extensive collection.

Bästa nyskrivna.svg This user has been awarded with the 100 Pages of Archives Award.

```Buster Seven Talk 10:30, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

That milestone was reached a few months ago; see archives A–G that I retrospectively created to hold the earlier discussions. Graham87 15:22, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

UK law enforcement requests article removal

Apparently, UK law enforcement has recently requested (not ordered) removal of a crime article, or part of the article, so as to mitigate pre-trial publicity and ensure a fair trial for the defendant.

In the community discussion, so far the majority of commentators are saying "Tough if someone outside WP wants it removing", even though Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Crime_perpetrators recommends giving serious thought to excluding such content.

Thoughts? --JN466 14:57, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

You are conflating two distinct issues. WP:BLPCRIME advises omitting material on the suspect. That can be accomplished without deleting the entire article; it can also be accomplished without deleting most of the content of the article (and then fully protecting it, as an admin has now done). We can adhere to Wikipedia policies without deferring to a single country's law enforcement officials. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:31, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Two thoughts come to mind. First, whatever they want removed is obviously covered elsewhere on the net, so removing it from our article won't help much. Second, Streisand effect. If this case is big enough that UK police are asking for a change or removal, then it is big enough that the media could well turn the removal into a story, thus ensuring greater coverage. Resolute 15:36, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
This looks like a rerun of the Murder of Joanna Yeates‎. The sub judice rules in English law can prevent the media from reporting certain information while an investigation or trial is in progress. Provided that material has appeared in reliable sources, such as the BBC, there should be no problems.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:55, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
To Resolute, given that it is all collected in one place here, rather than spread out across a hundred sites, it clearly does make a difference. Secondly, if we simply comply, in the interest of doing our bit as socially-minded citizens to help ensure a fair trial, there need be no Streisand effect at all. Thirdly, to Nomo, it's a UK case, and as such hardly of any vital interest to readers in the US or New Zealand. Fourthly, to Ianmacm, I do recall that in the wake of the Yeates murder, we, along with the UK tabloid press, for several weeks defamed a wholly innocent man. It was not one of our finest hours. We proved that we are no encyclopedia, but just a tabloid aggregator. --JN466 16:10, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I fully agree that the conduct of the UK tabloid press following the murder of Joanna Yeates was disgraceful, this is why it led to successful libel action and contempt of court proceedings by the Attorney General. However, it would be worrying to prevent the mention of material that is already available in reliable sources. The same man (CH) has been charged with two murders, this cannot be easily hidden.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:18, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
There was a courteous request to OTRS to remove detailed reports of the investigation of the case in order that the defendant could have a fair trial. I was not sure what could be done although obviously the information may be not only inadmissible and prejudicial but wrong. I initiated a request for deletion, which is what the matter amounts to if all or nearly all references are removed, but realized Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Crime_perpetrators applied. In fact, I can think of nothing that applies more than publication of a criminal investigation prior to trial. There are no court orders regarding this matter that I am aware of. User:Fred Bauder Talk 16:31, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Fred and Jayen on this. The reason I wrote Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Crime perpetrators and included it in our BLP policy was exactly for these reasons, so we could strongly come out against including material that - even though adhering to NOR or V - could purport a living person to be guilty of a crime before an actual conviction is secured. My suggestion would be to strongly ensure the non-inclusion of any such material within the article, irrespective of the course the AfD takes. Wifione Message 17:09, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It is arguably reasonable to omit information about the suspect. But in fact the article has been stubbed by removing significant amounts of information that had nothing to do with the suspect. It would be possible to have an article here that does not refer to the suspect, and in my view it's improper to accede to the request of a law enforcement official that there be no article at all. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:11, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Without a court order, this request has no legal validity. The suppression of material freely available in reliable sources is not what Wikipedia is about. The man CH has not only been arrested, he is facing two murder charges, and this has been reported by the BBC and other mainstream media outlets. The UK police have exceeded their powers with this request. There are no problems with linking to news coverage.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:18, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
So yet again it comes down to 'WP:NOTCENCORED' blah, blah, blah, 'free speech' blah, blah, blah - and no consideration whatsoever to the fact that we shouldn't have had the article in the first place, per multiple policies... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:22, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Although I am not convinced about the WP:GNG angle at the moment, the UK police should have read Streisand effect before making such a poorly thought out request. It would be a sad day if ongoing court proceedings could not be mentioned at all.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:27, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Any Streisand effect is due to my efforts to initiate a policy discussion, and our anarchic response as a community. It is our encyclopedic content which is not censored, we do not, as a matter of policy, include news reports of criminal investigations, see Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Crime_perpetrators. We are a reference work not a news outlet. User:Fred Bauder Talk 17:29, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It would be a sadder day if the only reason that Wikipedia chose to include anything and everything was just because it would be 'censorship' to omit it. If people wan't to read about 'ongoing court proceedings', there are plenty of other sources to assist. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
If we can make progress on this matter at the cost of only one serial killer going free it is worth it. Not going to England anyway... User:Fred Bauder Talk 17:32, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Ahem... 'alleged'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:35, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


What you see on this front page of the Rhodesia Herald is not censorship. It is overt opposition to censorship. Real and effective censorship always works in secrecy. -- Petri Krohn (talk)

None of you seem to understand how censorship in Britain works and I cannot blame you, as none of this is explained in any of the articles on Censorship in Britain. There is no lack sources for this case, it has been extensively covered in all of British media, with the name of the suspect splashed all over the news. British censorship law prevents not only publishing new stories on the subject, but existing on-line sources are being taken off-line and disappearing from Internet as we speak. This should not be a problem for Wikipedia, as there is no need for sources to be on-line. Even printed sources are known to have been used in some articles. Removing the on-line articles does not remove the information from the internet, much of the material is available through Google cache. Of the 20 references in the original article the five that first went off-line seen to be the ones suggesting a link between the murder and another body found.

I have voiced a strong objection to the way this has now been handled. This was a British "request". Will we abide by similar requests from Russia or China? Most likely not. If the article stays censored, it should be made clear this was NOT a community decision. The hat-note should explicitly state that the article has been deleted / censored as a result of a gag-order from British authorities.

As for Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Crime_perpetrators, I believe the necessary action would at most be removing the suspects name from the article. We are not making accusations, we are not even sticking to "facts", we are only reporting what reliable sources have already stated. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:39, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The links to news reports introduce details of the investigation which may be both inadmissible and prejudicial, to say nothing of possibly being wrong. News reports are notorious for getting things wrong and placing inappropriate emphasis on details. We are better than that. User:Fred Bauder Talk 18:01, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no court order, just a courteous request. We are just following policy by not publishing defamatory information about a living person. User:Fred Bauder Talk 17:43, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It is not defamatory to report court proceedings in reliable media sources.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:55, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Why would they bother with a trial when it is obvious from the Wikipedia article that they are guilty? User:Fred Bauder Talk 17:57, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
This type of "gag-order" does not require a dedicated court order. British authorities can censor the media without going to court. Only if this was a civil case would a super-injunction be needed. (And if that was the case, we would never hear about it either.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Having read through the version of Death of Sian O'Callaghan that was suppressed, it did not have any major BLP issues. It pointed out that CH has been charged with two murders (Sian O'Callaghan and BGE), but did not imply guilt. The link of CH to the death of another woman, MH, is more speculative, and CH has not been charged with her murder. Since all of this information is on the BBC website, this would be covered by the now standard advice of a judge for jury members not to research the case on the Internet. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:18, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Reports of the investigation contain information which may be inadmissible or prejudicial, or even plain wrong. User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:27, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
In many commonwealth realm countries it's generally considered questionable if instructions to the jury to not research cases independently is sufficient, as evidence sometimes evidence emerges that juries have ignored such instructions. Plus you still run the risk of juries coming across the info inadvertedly. Nil Einne (talk) 01:56, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Petri, if we accede to a request to remove the article we retain the freedom to republish it at any time, and in particular to republish it after the trial is over (and update it). If you feel diminished by acceding to such a request, made in the service of a greater good, your reaction is simply not that of a responsible adult. Moreover, you are fetishising our freedom to regurgitate popular press statements and speculations – which, as the Yeates case proved, are often complete rubbish – to a degree that is completely disproportionate to their actual encyclopedic value. (That fetishisation of Wikipedia content was a worrying tendency equally apparent in the recent Hawkins AfD.) By the way, the SPI is a nice April Fool's joke! :) Sorry to break the festive mood. --JN466 19:05, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
How does service of a greater good differ from WP:ACTIVIM? What other greater goods and good causes should Wikipedia take up? Maybe bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to all the worlds oppressed peoples?
In reality I do not object to censorship of the article. What I object to is the way this is done. What I would like to see is that the hat note be changed to something like: "This article has been redacted to comply with the Sub judice requirements of British law." -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:41, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Why? It hasn't been. Nobody has suggested that it has. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:50, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
The article was modified to comply with Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Crime_perpetrators. The request from English law enforcement just brought the problem to our attention. User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:52, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
This is not the case and you know it. I am not going to take your word for it and neither has the community. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:00, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I see a pretty obvious difference between activism and enabling a fair trial. You don't? --JN466 20:39, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see any particular reason to think we won't abide by a similar Russian or Chinese request. Yes we'd get some objection just as we are getting some now. In fact, I'm pretty sure this issue has came up before and I said the same thing, we should abide by a similar Russian, Chinese or whatever request. Note 'similar' is a key word. If they are asking us to temporarily remove information to ensure a fair trial that's fine. If they are asking us to permanently remove stuff which they feel is prejudiced against them or untrue, that's not a similar example. Since China has a jury system similar to a number of other countries uses a jury system where a judge is involved and in Russia there is only very limited use of juries and I've seen no evidence they have a similar system of subjudice, it's unclear to me whether a similar request is likely. Nil Einne (talk) 02:07, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I remember now there was the case of Peter Tobin, see Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons/Archive 20#Current legal cases & Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive177#Admin deletes article per Scottish police (probably more discussion in other areas) Nil Einne (talk) 02:34, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Articles which make "allegations" make bad encyclopedia articles, especially when any sort of POV can be attached thereto. I suggest that articles subject to WP:BLP in any manner which make allegations be strongly constrained. Collect (talk) 18:21, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Is this an April Fools thing? FormerIP (talk) 20:02, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Not to my knowledge. --JN466 20:40, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

As this has been apparently referred to WMF legal, I won't do anything until such time as they respond. But I do have a view on this. As is well-known I take a strong view on the necessity to uphold the highest standards of dignity and responsibility on biographies of living persons. We ought not to repeat tabloid speculation in most cases. I think there are a number of newspapers, particularly in the UK, which we should (almost) never accept as sources due to their ongoing bias, inflammatory exaggerations, etc. But I think that the article it its current form is much too restricted. We have a valid report in the BBC, which among the popular media is at the very pinnacle of quality and reliability. The information that Mr. Halliwell has been accused of murder, the accusation coming at an open court hearing at which he appeared, is a fact that couldn't possibly prejudice his trial. (I mean, the fact that he's going to go on trial for murder will already be apparent to jurors when the case is heard, since he'll be on trial for murder!) I really like Collect's formulation, above: "I suggest that articles subject to WP:BLP in any manner which make allegations be strongly constrained."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:25, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure where this request came from; but it sounds highly suspicious and in my (unfortunately lengthy) experience of the UK justice system, is not something they would do (or try). The police have specific avenues to apply these measures to the press - which they have not used in this case (having checked). --Errant (chat!) 08:50, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • If this is a "courteous request", why is the article locked down pending evaluation by WMF legal? That doesn't sound like a very courteous request to me. And I think that there can be no question that different governments are treated very differently here. I imagine the Chinese government has complained a few times about the Tian'anmen Square protests of 1989 article, but we still include febrile imaginings about the number of killings by the living persons of the 27th Army ranging up to 10,000, even though these early rumors are anything but confirmed. Even Amnesty International has called the deaths 1000 or hundreds, yet the infobox there still says 2,500. And nobody cares - even when it gets Wikipedia blocked for a billion people. Because China is a Bad Country and Britain is a Good Country. I wish we could strike an average somewhere nearer the middle, neither featuring fringe points of view to embarrass bad countries, nor excluding free-ranging coverage of reliable sources from the media when a "good country" asks "courteously". Wnt (talk) 22:16, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Inclusion of Touré's surname in his article

Hi, Jimmy Since the matter of whether to include Touré's surname has come up again, can you cast your vote here? If anyone here would like to participate, we could sure use your input to get a bead on the community consensus. If you're unfamiliar with the arguments for and against doing including the surname, you can read them just above that section, or click here. The discussion is of considerable length, but not too long to get a gist of the primary arguments for and against. I really appreciate it. Thanks. Nightscream Nightscream (talk) 16:49, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I commented over there. I hope we can get more eyes on the situation, as it's an interesting one and, I think can and should be handled with respect and dignity... but only so long as people don't get wound up and into "WP:NOTCENSORED!!!111!!! is ALL!!!" mode.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:06, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

April Fool's pranking policy?

Editors should be able to have fun once a year. However, some pranks are disruptive. I seek to strike a balance between those two aspects. I propose the following:

  1. There should be one April Fool's prank in article space. This should be clever, well-designed and funny, like Google's pranks. It should not be immediately obvious as a joke, but neither should it be so plausible that it lasts until after April 1 is over.
  2. Other pranks are OK so long as they stay within the community namespaces (project, user, and talk namespaces) and do not affect article space. For example, joke AfDs would be fine, as long as the joke-nominated articles didn't have deletion templates on them.
  3. Ruining of (legitimate) jokes by exposing them can result in a block after a warning.
  4. The best April Fool's pranks should be commemorated in an April Fool's Hall of Fame, the worst in an April Fool's Hall of Infamy.
  5. Editors should try to come up with original pranks, rather than repeating the same ones year after year.
  6. Standard vandalism remedies will be applied to violators of this policy.

What do you think? ChromaNebula (talk) 22:23, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

WP:VPP is the best place, as this is a community concept. I was inches from blocking some folks this morning due to horrifically idiotic AFD's, BLP vios. It's already being discussed at AN wrongly (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:30, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Just for reference, this year's April Fool's DYKs included:

... that in 2007, the owners of a hairy Fabulous Willy were criticised for being homosexual?

... that Nintendo owns the rights to a pornographic film?

... that Santa Claus was a stud?

... that in 2009, the urinal known as "The Carousel of Love" (pictured), a well known place for gay cruising, was declared a Norwegian Cultural Heritage Site?

... that an Italian Protestant fathered The Virgin Mary in 1950?

... that T. vagina have eyes hidden behind their skin?

... that a Baker went into outer space with sea urchin sperm, later receiving a rubber duck and many bananas for her efforts?

... that if you want to talk to the anal it helps to speak their language?

... that Ralph Dewey (pictured) blows up animals for Jesus?

... that a Roman Catholic priest got five Super Bowl rings with the 49ers?

... that Nuns can fly at high altitudes?

... that red hot penises can be pickled, but it is recommended one not eat them? JN466 23:05, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The first one and the last two are obviously BLP violations...--Jasper Deng (talk) 23:07, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
BLP regards unsourced criticisms of particular persons, which does include misleading statements. The Ralph Dewey one is concerningly misleading, but I see no issue with any of the others. Miss Baker is a monkey, not a person. Nuns are a group, not a person. Santa Claus is a fictional character, not a person. And Nintendo really does own the rights to a pornographic film. Dcoetzee 02:56, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, maybe not exactly BLP for the last two, but still, these aren't going to be found funny by many people.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:37, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
For the last one, see what a penis pepper is. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 12:20, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with this proposal practically in its entirety. To begin with, the Wikipedia April Fool's tradition doesn't (or at least shouldn't) involve any deception; the jokes must be obvious because the way the hooks are worded is practically all people have to work with. The article information is quirky because it just is quirky. Having all the hooks be something nutty is part of the tradition, and a good one.
The obsession with sex affects censors and productive editors alike; this is an illustration of the Hodge-Podge principle from The Illuminatus Trilogy. Trying to ban sexual content (including humor) only makes it more on editors' minds when creative ideas are called for; likewise the desire to flourish it defiantly provokes the would-be censors. Wnt (talk) 05:00, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
There is a difference between censorship and exercising good taste. The former is imposed from without, the latter is a sign of intelligence and sensibility. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:18, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
That's 100% correct. The idea is not to censor things, but to actually be funny. To actually be funny takes more than cheap sex gags. We should always aim higher.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:31, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Like I said on AN (because someone moved WP:BEANS and could not move it back): "So then create WP:Don't stuff Lima beans up your friend's nose, use pinto beans instead; make it humourous. Then nominate it for MFD - you then draw people's attention to your humour. Mindless MFD's are not positive, and are truly a disruption in all cases" (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 09:28, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I rather liked Ron Ritzman's "leaving in a hissy fit", and of course I liked my addition to the top of RfA and my Temple of Artemis AfD. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 12:27, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Disagree with the proposal. Firstly there should be no April Fools pranks in mainspace (and if we did allow one who would get to decide which one?). As for the rest of the pedia some jokes are funnier than others, if you don't think a particular joke RFA is funny then don't participate in it. The mainpage is an institution, I doubt if we have consensus to move away from our strange but true tradition. If you don't think that this year was particularly good then please help make next year better. ϢereSpielChequers 12:49, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it just may be time to move on from the April Fools' "tradition" here, honestly. It may have been cool and hip 5-6 years ago here, but as the population has grown significantly since then its just no longer a case of "oh I know Person X, he wasn't being serious". There's too many names, too many admins for that familiarity to stay rooted. This year's run of jokes came across like a bunch of late 20-somethings who still hang around the college campus and get hammered every week. Sooner or later it is time to mature. Tarc (talk) 13:08, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
We shouldn't expect Wikipedia's userbase to get older just because the project gets older - if we do that, eventually we'll be moaning about "demographic catastrophe". We'll always have lots of twenty-somethings reading and should have no shame about entertaining them. Provided, of course, that we don't damage any core principles in the process. It may be that some of the jokes weren't funny enough; if so WP:SOFIXIT applies. But to be fair, some of the previous April Fools pages were masterworks, very hard to beat, especially with a decreasing editor base. Wnt (talk) 22:01, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

The Jim Hawkins saga

I support a thoughtful discussion at DRV; I will weigh in there myself. As to off-site commentary from stalkers and trolls, I recommend to not even look at it if it bothers you! We're here to have some fun and do some charitable work for the world. Don't get sucked into other people's sickness!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:40, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The Jim Hawkins (radio presenter) article is currently at deletion review. I've not come here to complain about that, as any editor has the right to ask for the review of a deletion discussion if they believe the closure was wrong.

Reading the comments on the DRV after I made my opinion known, I discovered this, in which I am named, along with Malleus Fatuorum and Pigsonthewing. Despite claims by JH and others, any editing I've done to the article was in order to improve it and ensure compliance with BLP. I was involved in the 2010 discussion re his d.o.b., but accept that it is not going to appear during the time that the article covers a BLP. I note that Wikipediocracy allows comments. Would it be in order for me to excercise that right of reply, or would it be better to allow them to carry on and ignore them? Mjroots (talk) 05:39, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Just seems like a less interesting, more whiny version of Wikipedia Review; if you say anything, just tell them to stuff it up their ass or the equivalent and then walk away. No one cares about them besides themselves anyway. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:56, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I am concerned that Wikipediaocracy (owned by Greg Kohs - a banned user) is currently legitimized by Arbcom members and other senior Wikipedia community members who appear to believe this is a good embodiment of free speech. Unfortunately it is being actively used as an off-wiki canvassing forum and a platform for banned users to manipulate consensus on-wiki. Anyone is free to write their opinions there but in doing so please be aware that you will be directly supporting and promoting Greg Kohs and a number of people who have a long track record of harassing Wikimedians, outing Wikimedians, defaming Wikimedians and campaigning against the Wikimedia movement. As with any troll, in the long run, it is far more effective to avoid feeding them. If would be nice if Jimbo said something about this, though he may have had legal advice otherwise. -- (talk) 06:07, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

RE: Alexa Bot

Hello, Jimmy. I left a replay to your suggestion regarding the Alexa bot here.--OsamaK (talk) 06:19, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Request for Jimbo's opinion on Main Page proposal

Dear Jimbo, about a week ago, I made a proposal to the Village Pump about essentially having a new feature of the main page where we have the "Top 100 articles of the week" for users to edit. The specifics are given in the proposal but essentially by having a discrete number of articles in a fun engaging way, we can make uninteresting topics engaging to the public in much the same way that, say, Horrible Histories inspires children to learn history, or Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego inspires children to learn geography. I can imagine a team behind it much like the OTD or INT to write "short snappy pitches" to catch user's attention and get them in the mood to edit. The fact that they know they edits will be contributed by many others during the week is a major incentive to get involved. I for one know that one of the greatest joys of Wikipedia is seeing your edits grow and be altered by other users, and then to edit theirs in return. It will channel new article creation into articles that we know for a fact are notable. It will get newbies or non-editors into the groove of editing. It will make editing cool. Instead of being overwhelmed by the monstrous project, they have a set about of articles to focus their attention on, which I truly feel will get users thinking about resolving major content holes in Wikipedia. It is much easier to create an article that expand an already made one, so I think this will really get people involved. Later on, we might have the "50 articles to be created" and the "50 articles to be made that little bit better", just to provide budding editors with that option to test themselves if they so choose. The proposal is still in it's initial stages, and discussion has been almost non-existent for a couple of days now, so I would greatly appreciate your critiques and comments :D. My aim is to prepare an official proposal page.... although I really have no experience in this area. FYI, to make the discussion easier to read, and to therefore encourage passersby to comment (I understand that seeing a great confusing lump of text can deter people from reading/commenting on a discussion), I have split the convo up into its different individual discussions, including the slightly non-relevant ones that for some reason ended up in there.--Coin945 (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Histogram graph of editor retention

Due to limited time, I have created a simple text histogram, in an effort to show how the editor-retention pattern stabilized at 34,000 active registered users during 2010-2011. After examining the data, I noticed how the "stair-step" drops have become shorter each year. During 2011, the seasonal drops during April, June, September and December were very small.
The following chart shows the level of active editors (with >5 edits) during 2008-2012:

Years: _ _ _ _ _ _2008 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2009 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2010 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2011 _ _ _ _ _ _2012
47,000  _ _ M
46,000  _ _ MM
45,000  MMMMM
44,000  MMMMM
43,000  MMMMM _m _ _ _ _ _ m _M
42,000  MMMMMMMM _M _ _ M _M
41,000  MMMMMMMM _M _ _ MMMM
38,000  MMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMmMMM MmMMM _ _ _ _ _ _ _ m _M
Years: _ _ _ _ _ _2008 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2009 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2010 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2011 _ _ _ _ _ _2012

By truncating the histogram below 30,000 editors, the stair-step pattern is exaggerated to show how the step height had decreased to varying by only 1,000 editors during April, June, and September 2011. In fact, the editor count for 2011 returned to the level of December 2010 (34,000 editors), unlike all the prior years. That level was continued into January & February this year (2012). I am working on an essay to better explain the seasonal drops, each year, during April, June, September and December.

The full histogram (shown below) reduces the exaggerated effect of the stair-step drops during each year, to show the extent of the solid support of the core average of 34,000 active editors during the past 16 months.

Years: _ _ _ _ _ _2008 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2009 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2010 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2011 _ _ _ _ _ _2012
47,000  _ _ M
46,000  _ _ MM
45,000  MMMMM
44,000  MMMMM
43,000  MMMMM _m _ _ _ _ _ m _M
42,000  MMMMMMMM _M _ _ M _M
41,000  MMMMMMMM _M _ _ MMMM
38,000  MMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMmMMM MmMMM _ _ _ _ _ _ _ m _M
Years: _ _ _ _ _ _2008 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2009 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2010 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _2011 _ _ _ _ _ _2012

November & December 2011 had 34,353 & 34,024 active editors, then January 2012 had 34,916, and February 2012 had 33,998 (despite being a short month where some editors perhaps had barely less than 99 edits during those 29 days).
The counts of 3,500 highly active editors ("busy" editors), although not shown here, has a similar pattern of stabilizing during 2011. So there is "no massive exodus" either of the busy daily editors, as if work were being left to people who only edit a few times per month. Instead, the core of 3,500 busy editors still tend to edit daily, as they have, on average, for years now. The essay I am writing will contain charts for those 3,500 editors as well as the occasional 34,000 active registered editors. Gotta run! -Wikid77 (talk) 14:44, revised 22:45, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

These are fairly difficult to read, and the proportional font isn't helping. Why not plot simple bar or line graphs and upload them as images? (talk) 21:10, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Due to limited time: I plan on creating graph images later. These are just "texting graphs" to explore ways to display the data, with histograms in limited time, by just cut-paste copying some parts of the whole picture to focus on certain parts. I reset the style="font-size:75%" to avoid the proportional spacing. I think I should expand the histogram to include at least 2007, as a broader comparison of the data. I try to allot more time to discuss issues here, and I do not want to seem like I intentionally ignore replies for 8 hours, it is just due to being so busy elsewhere. -Wikid77 22:45, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
That's an odd interpretation of the data. In early 2010 you could have argued, using the same rationale, that there had been "no massive exodus" because Wikipedia had the "solid support of the core average of" 39,000 editors. That was 5,000 (15%) more than now, mate. JN466 10:53, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
No solid support in 2009: But the data in 2009 does not show solid support of 39,000 editors, with those drops in September 2009, December, and February 2010. If the count in December 2009 had retained the level of December 2008, then the pattern would be similar, but it did not (it fell by 2 thousand). The difference now is that December 2011 & 2010 have the same level, plus September 2011 and Feb. 2012 did not fall thousands lower (they stayed at 34,000 editors). It is so obvious (just kidding!). Look for that subtle pattern among those 50 months: where no month in the year drops below December of the prior year. That happened in 2011, and the level stayed above 34,000. However, that stability might be temporary (caused by special efforts to retain editors in 2011), and there might be resumed drops in June/September 2012, losing thousands below the 34,000 threshold. I was just noting "no mass exodus" which stopped during 2011. Ideally, there would slow gains, rather than drops each year. -Wikid77 12:25, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
While I find all of this very interesting indeed, I'm not sure that roughly eyeballing histograms is a very accurate way of doing this. It'd take a good statistician to propose a completely valid hypothesis test, but in terms of getting our heads around some trends, I'd like to see the slope of the trend line over time. Since we know there is a strong annual seasonal component to the numbers, I'd propose looking at a 12 month trailing moving average as a super easy to calculate first glance at the data.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:31, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Creating a data table with moving averages: A look at the moving average, of each prior 12 months, sounds like a good idea. So, I will extract the active-editors data and create a data table for now. That will also present the numbers in a format to be graphed, if needed. Perhaps people did not realize I created the histogram by only "looking" at the data numbers, never actually extracted from the massive table of hundreds of editor-counts including data for all the other-language wikipedias. Update 1: Below is the table of counts for active editors (with >5 edits per month), reversed into date order




39,888   36,154
38,312   36,296
40,238   36,440
38,944   36,583
39,238   36,781
36,209   36,825
35,804   36,856
36,375   36,923
34,825   36,930
35,403   36,968
34,707   36,997
34,065   37,001

37,564   36,807
36,598   36,664
38,521   36,521
37,220   36,377
36,868   36,180
35,673   36,135
35,432   36,104
35,578   36,038
34,733   36,030
34,955   35,993
34,353   35,963
34,024   35,960

34,916   35739
33,998   35523

Graph of monthy editor counts (top line >5 edits, bottom line >100 edits per month).

Years 2010, 2011 and 2012 show the 12-month-trailing moving-average data (using my new template Moving_avg), next to each count of active editors, to give a centralized number to indicate the trending count. The moving-average numbers passed the sanity check: (12 * prior_avg - oldest +new)/12 = later_avg. Another editor has created the graph, at right, which plots the raw data, during 2004-2012, for both the many active editors, and the smaller core group of now 3,500 highly active editors (bottom line on graph). In that graph, the large drops of active editors during 2010 illustrate why there was grave concern about the quickly falling edit-levels. Back during 2010, it did seem as though the exodus was in a "free fall" of thousands of editors leaving every few months (faster than in 2009), but then the number rose and stabilized during 2011. -Wikid77 22:57, 3 April, revised 02:58/05:30, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Applications for free, full access, 1-year accounts from HighBeam Research officially open

Just a reminder that 1000 free accounts are available from the internet research database HighBeam Research. HighBeam has full versions of tens of millions of newspaper articles and journals and should be a big help in adding reliable sources--especially older and paywalled ones--into the encyclopedia. Sign-ups require a 1-year old account with 1000 edits. Here's the link to the project page: WP:HighBeam (account sign-ups are linked in the box on the right). Sign-up! And, please tell your Wikipedia-friends about the opportunity! Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 20:38, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

You've got mail (from Claritas)

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.

(Post requested by Claritas in this edit.)  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  23:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't know why you say good bye, I say hello. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:01, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Draft for Verifiability policy lead

Hi. As it falls into complete obscurity, I thought I would show you a proposed draft of the lead of WP:V from the Mediation Cabal work. Not sure if it would be considered any good by the community but it seemed to address issues of the old lead that you wanted changed.

Verifiability is the foremost requirement in Wikipedia. Information added to articles must be verifiable using only reliable sources that have been published.

An appropriate inline citation is evidence that information is verifiable. Inline citations are required for any information that has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, and for all quotations. Suitable inline citations should refer to published reliable sources that explicitly support the information being presented. For help on adding citations, see Citing sources.

Any material that requires an inline citation but does not have a suitable one may be removed. Unsourced contentious material about living people must be removed immediately.

Material that complies with this policy may still be removed if the material does not comply with other policies and guidelines, most notably No Original Research, Neutral Point of View, and Copyright.

--Bob K31416 (talk) 13:28, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Not bad. I'd still like it to say something such as, "The mere claimed or apparent truth of proposed content is not sufficient; editors must be able to support the information with a reliable published source. In situations where even reliable sources are demonstrably incorrect, editors must carefully attempt to address the situation by finding other published sources which support the correct information." Ocaasi t | c 14:03, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Except that what you describe is not how we actually work. It's not at all uncommon that we'll accept that in a specific case, a reliable source is just wrong. This idea that we are never allowed to use our own consensus judgement about truth is just not consistent with the history or contemporary workings of Wikipedia. And it is epistemologically/philosophically absurd!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Here is what Verifiability should say:

The principle of verifiability on Wikipedia means that content selected for inclusion - using common sense, content policies and good editorial reasoning - should be reflected in reliable, published sources. However, the fact that a piece of content can be verified is not a supportive argument for inclusion. Particular scrutiny should be paid to the reliability of sources reflecting content to ensure that it is accurate.

(this also avoids the rather {{facepalm}} issue of using the term "verifiable" in the definition of what "Verifiability" is ;)). I've never quite "got" the argument-ad-absurdum that has gone on around Truth/Not Truth - because it's such a bad expression of what we do. --Errant (chat!) 14:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Agree!!!!!Mugginsx (talk) 14:17, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually; I read into this whole fall out and the current text at WP:V.. I won't be too critical except to put another {{facepalm}}. ahem. Anyway, it strikes me the whole TRUTH nonsense is misleading because it has nothing to do with verifiability, I'm not sure why it is there. On the other hand I suppose we don't have a general content policy (where it should be). It always felt like a sentiment tacked into the wrong place. --Errant (chat!) 14:26, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Before I lose interest in the idea :) I jotted down some rough ideas for a general content policy here: User:ErrantX/Essays/Content. I'd love to see what other interested parties could contribute to the idea. --Errant (chat!) 14:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Not to undermind your serious words, but I always thought the facepalm looked more like an ear! Facepalm Face-grin.svg

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We're working on several alternative drafts at the moment, and there's been a great deal of genuinely collaborative and constructive work going on. When we've finalised which drafts to put to the community for comment, there will be much publicity – we clearly want as wide /deep feedback as possible. Several of the work-in-progress drafts cover the aspect of "verifiable" but wholly inaccurate information, and what do do with it. Pesky (talk) 08:13, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't want to bluster into that process; partly because I don't have the time, partly because it's not fair of me to criticise hard work too openly... but, it has always been my feeling that the whole mediation was built on the wrong premise - and therefore suffers for it (or; to put it a different way - we need to write WP:V from the perspective of what the community actually does, rather than simply reword what is there). --Errant (chat!) 10:49, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

My Wish for Wikipedia

If every editor found an article they liked and praised the editors on the talkpage, what a happier place this would be! I am not talking about friends praising friends. I am also not talking about WikiLove - just more positive attitudes. Just find an article you like and praise the editors. If you have a valid criticism, do it in a kindly manner along with praise for what is good in the article. If there is nothing good about the article, praise the editor for trying and encourage him to read guidelines and try again or suggest mentoring. Editors are much more likely to listen if it is done in this manner. Incivility is killing Wikipedia. A Positive outlook can solve all problems anywhere and anytime. A negative one solves nothing and, worse, is infectious. Those that say there are no more good articles or good editors are, in my opinion, the anti-Wikipedia and may just be talking about themselves. These words are dangerous because they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Some men see things as they are and say why - I dream things that never were and say why not." -- George Bernard Shaw. That was the principle upon which I believe the Founder created Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mugginsx (talkcontribs) 14:20, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

A Positive outlook can solve all problems anywhere and anytime.
No, that's a total crock. A positive attitude won't help someone dying of thirst in the desert. Nor will simply having a positive attitude cure disease. "Happy thoughts" by themselves don't do anything, they're just a platitude. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:02, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Poisonous words from an otherwise good editor. You have proved my point I think. Mugginsx (talk) 16:07, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Realistic words.--v/r - TP 19:28, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
"The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n."[1] Definitely not a crock, and about as real as it gets. Viriditas (talk) 10:26, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I would not describe love as "a total crock", myself, but others are bolder in their outlook. A person dying in a desert may want water more than anything, but we all of us ultimately come to that point where it is not just water but life itself that we crave. I say to this proposal exactly what I say to the opponents of marriage equality. We should work for more love in the world. Not less. --Pete (talk) 19:59, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Appreciation where it is due is a wonderful thing. It can make someone's day. A positive outlook on its own can't solve everything, but being told you've done well, when you have, is a lovely warm feeling. Pesky (talk) 08:10, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with the proposal. When an editor spends hours of his or her free time creating, expanding or just improving an article why not offer sincere praise for his/her efforts? And if it's required, constructive criticism, albeit done in a helpful, non-patronising manner? What does it cost to leave a message on the article's talk page complimenting the excellent work which has gone into the page? We need to face the fact that many good, content-creating editors have retired from the project. One of Wikipedia's finest editors with whom I had collaborated on two GA articles has left the project. And this is only one of many. This exodus leaves the project with less high-quality people creating expanding, and maintaining pages, not to mention more vandalism that goes unchecked. Incivility and edit-warring are the two main problems here which eventually lead to veteran users saying, "fu.k this sh.t for a game of marbles". And the train wreck rolls on.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 08:46, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the sentiment. It means a great deal to me when I read praise for something I've collaborated on. I've done it a few times, on article talk pages. Must do it more. Regarding incivility, I'm amazed at how rarely bystanders speak out against oafishness here. I think those that disapprove of dickishness need to do that. The oafs need to learn to modify their behaviour, and they won't do it without us holding a mirror up to them. It's important, because while they maintain the ethos of contempt, they're repelling countless people of normal sensibility; and what scholar would bother to contribute in this environment? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:12, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Definitely not a crock. Love (in this case in the form of Praise) is a basic human desire. Any action that improves the level of Love around here is a positive plus for the whole community. The shifting pattern of negative interaction needs to be counter-balanced by praise and Love and good tidings. And....WE need to stand up in support of fellow editors in the moment they are being attacked or sworn at or name called. Acts of aggresion can be handled better in the moment...especially when they are handled with Love. ```Buster Seven Talk 12:36, 6 April 2012 (UTC)


If I understand you are the creator of Wikipedia? Okay I do not know because I'm French (I'm in Wikipedia in French) and I translate my tongue with your tongue.Lilinie 17:52, 5 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lilinie (talkcontribs)

See fr:Jimmy Wales. Jimbo co-founded the organizations that allows Wikipedia to exists. You, I, Jimbo and everyone else who edits here created Wikipedia. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 18:32, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
You should be careful where you put your tongue. Especially if you are a nine year-old girl. Or is it seven? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:01, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
And what was the need for that comment? In the edit for 7 you gave, she used a template to generate her age. She obviously made a mistake as she fixed it to 9 later. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:01, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Changing the month and day of her birth too? I'm with Dc, I call troll. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 20:02, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Why are we discussing this again? Equazcion (talk) 20:05, 5 Apr 2012 (UTC)

None of you guys are aware that the one thing women and girls of all ages are masters lying about is their real age? They might even lie about their gender, but that's a completely different story. Cheers, ZeaForUs (talk) 22:09, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

  • I'm not entirely disinclined to believe her "identity"; I still think it's none of our damn business. ;) Salvidrim! 22:24, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
    • +1. She asked a question and got an answer. There's no reason to discuss her identity unless she did something significantly more disruptive. Til then assume good faith and focus your attention elsewhere. Equazcion (talk) 05:17, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)

With apologies to Jimbo for continuing this discussion on his talk page, there is a point to be made here. If you believe that this person is really a seven and/or nine year-old girl, do you want them on here contacting random users? I don't know how they do things on French language Wikipedia, but here such declarations of age would be removed (probably revdeleted or oversighted) and a note would left advising the user to be more cautious. Please read WP:CHILD. While some Wikipedia readers may be children, it is not an appropriate site for children to try to make online friends. Some of the editors her are not nice people. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:30, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Aside from being a rejected policy proposal, that page doesn't say anything about prohibiting children from advertising their ages; in fact in my experience they've been allowed to, so long as nothing too specific about location/school/etc is posted. And your comment above had little if anything to do with that -- it was a trolling accusation and an assumption of bad faith that you're now masking as concern for the user's wellbeing. Equazcion (talk) 13:59, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)
There are some pretty obvious clues that the user that started this discussion was nothing more or less than a troll and I am not trying to disguise my original assessment in any way. But you are right, I should always assume good faith. Now if you can point me at any userpage where a child user posts their age, we can test our theories about what happens. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:19, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not going to post that here. Equazcion (talk) 14:46, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)

Dispute resolution survey

Peace dove.svg

Dispute Resolution – Survey Invite

Hello Jimbo Wales. I am currently conducting a study on the dispute resolution processes on the English Wikipedia, in the hope that the results will help improve these processes in the future. Whether you have used dispute resolution a little or a lot, now we need to know about your experience. The survey takes around five minutes, and the information you provide will not be shared with third parties other than to assist in analyzing the results of the survey. No personally identifiable information will be released.

Please click HERE to participate.
Many thanks in advance for your comments and thoughts.

You are receiving this invitation because you have had some activity in dispute resolution over the past year. For more information, please see the associated research page. Steven Zhang DR goes to Wikimania! 22:53, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Plato the Greek or Rin Tin Tin - who's more famous to the billion millions?

Jim Hawkins is a radio broadcaster in a limited market. He does not wish to have an article in Wikipedia, but he does. Mimi Macpherson is a businessperson and environmentalist. She does not wish to have an article in Wikipedia, and she does not. When I do a Google search for each, I get about 100 000 hits for "Jim Hawkins". I get about 300 000 hits for "Mimi Macpherson". I'm not suggesting that this is the best way to gauge "notability", but it is suggestive of public awareness. Why does the better known one get to opt out, while the lesser known one does not? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:16, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Er, see WP:GNUM. And read Treasure Island. Numbers like this mean nothing much, and certainly can't be used as evidence for 'notability'. Nice to see that we actually followed policy (particularly WP:BLP1E) over Macpherson though... AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:26, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Hasn't this whole Hawkins debate grown stale yet? Aren't we all grownups? Aren't we actually able to go back to improving the encyclopedia yet? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:29, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Hawkins is just the example du jour. The underlying issue is BLPs that are unwanted by their subject. The names change, but the script is the same. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:35, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I think it's ridiculous we let the other one decide the article's fate. You can't go around tearing articles out of every printed copy of EB, can you? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
You might have noticed that this isn't EB we're talking about here. Do you really think either of those people would be in EB? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:36, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Flatly, if they unambiguously satisfy the notability criterion, they have no business telling us to delete their article, and even if they did the sources used for it would just be used in another one. If they're a borderline case, they go to AfD. If their article doesn't give a claim go notability, we have A7, simple as that. If there's any BLP-violating material, just excise it.
Suggesting that they should be allowed to have an article on Wikipedia deleted upon request is an insult not only to Wikipedia, but to themselves as well. Once information's on Wikipedia, it's going to be mirrored quite rapidly, and acting like you own the Foundation is a very good way to invoke Barbara Streisand, especially if you're requesting deletion because the article contains unflattering details about a situation you were involved in. Not to mention that the chances are good that, if the article is legitimately sourced, however shallowly, all you're doing is trying to censor out the information from Wikipedia.
Now, don't take this to mean that I don't care about the subjects - though caring about IPs and new users is a higher priority for me - but if there's already information about you elsewhere on the web and it winds up being used to source a Wikipedia article on you that you may not like, you're wasting your time asking for it to be deleted and risking the Streisand effect in the process. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 00:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The trouble here is that we use a very subjective guideline for "notability". I think many people who do a Google search or look at Mimi Macpherson's [2] biography on her website would conclude that she is "notable". And yet - we have no article. She is exactly the case that people are objecting to in the discussion above - a celebrity who wishes not to have a biography here due to negative news items about them. As usual, my issue here is that we have one set of rules for some people and another set of rules for others. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:03, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems like people pushing to delete material always expect special consideration. If I say, look, that's a great reason to have an article for the one we don't, people will say "WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS" and say precedents don't matter. But "WP:OTHERSTUFFDOESN'TEXIST"? Well, that's just not a valid objection, is it. If one thing, sometime, somehow, was deleted, it means that everything anybody here ever made should be thrown out right away. Have fun. Wnt (talk) 03:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we should offer this guy a deal where his article is deleted from wikipedia in exchange for him agreeing to never talk about wikipedia or any wikipedians on his show or in any public broadcast or publication (including twitter) ever again. If he breaks this to deal to ego stroke (for example) then the article goes back up for eternity. Some how I don't think this curmudgeon would agree to such a deal. SkyMachine (++) 06:25, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Jim's show is available online via the BBC website. He interviewed me at Easter 2006 and we performed the Tim Tam Slam live on air.* He could barely speak for laughing. He is the merriest, most playful, amiable curmudgeon I ever met. I somehow get the feeling that most of the editors expressing their opinions have no idea of the man. Yet here we are arguing policy on Jimbo's talkpage. Jim Hawkins has been direct and pointed in his criticism of Wikipedia, yet Jimbo, who of all people might be insulted at having his creation treated so, is the model of reason and grace. * Now that I think back on the occasion, the photograph used in the Tim Tam Slam article was taken later that same day when I went directly from Shrewsbury to Frankfurt via Welshpool, laden with packets of Tim Tams. --Pete (talk) 06:41, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I should make clear that the purpose of this thread was to point out that we do occasionally delete the biographies of people who ask us to do so, even if they likely meet our notability guidelines. It was not intended as an encouragement for an admin to unprotect and re-create Mimi Macpherson. Sadly, that has been the result. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:17, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I think what you are highlighting is not a contradiction, but a consistent application of some broad principles. Of course our deletion process is likely to give inconsistent results in borderline cases as the people !voting on various cases will be different people, and consistency is not baked into the process by default. But the example you're giving doesn't illustrate inconsistency.
Let me explain. In the case of Mimi MacPherson, she's clearly an example of BLP1E. Furthermore, according to the best available source, she was clearly the victim of a hoax. For those who don't know the story: early in the era of Internet-spread 'celebrity sex tapes' a video came out purporting to be her. Acting on the best available advice at the time (which was wrong) she said nothing publicly about it. The view was that the whole story would blow over and be forgotten. But this is the Internet era. Nothing is ever forgotten (especially if there is porn of it, which according to Rule 34 means everything). That the tape was apparently a fake (according to a discussion of the case in an academic journal) has escaped most media attention. So here we have a perfectly innocent person, having never sought the public eye in any way, who has this absurd thing happen to her (whether the tape was real or not), with a biography in Wikipedia simply because of the BLP1E that her sister is famous. After a vibrant deletion discussion, there was consensus to delete, a consensus which properly took into account her quite reasonable pain about this fact of her life.
In the case of Jim Hawkins, we have an award-winning radio personality who has been covered in ongoing media about his career. A career which he chose, which he has promoted in the usual ways, and at which he is quite good! We have an article that doesn't have anything that could even remotely reasonably be considered painful or sensitive. Indeed, there's not even anything negative in this quite routine biography. People here also took into account his wishes, but found that the case is different.
You can't simply look at a single metric like google hits or even fame in order to make a thoughtful decision about whether or not we should have an article about someone. I'm a BLP hardliner, I think there are a significant number of BLPs that should be deleted. And I also think that the wishes of marginally notable people, as well as the pain an article might cause them, is a completely valid thing to consider. But in the examples you've listed I think we've reached the right decision in both cases.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:28, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, I think you're taking some of the things said by deletion opponents as gospel, and because you are Jimbo, this leads to people giving them more credence than they deserve. The "award winning" refers to a silver award (i.e. being a runner up) which he shared with another person (who doesn't even have an article). The only media which is "ongoing" consists of primary sources such as the BBC discussing their own presenters.
As for being painful or sensitive, the article has a long history. The fact that it's okay now, when attention has been temporarily been called to it, is irrelevant. Quoting Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Seth_Finkelstein_(2nd): "You've achieved a few things over the years, and as a reward, here's your very own troll magnet to monitor and defend for the rest of your life".
And I'm skeptical of using awards combined with almost nothing else as an excuse to have a BLP. Wouldn't BLP1E apply to someone who's only notable for having one award? Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:13, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

It's been deleted again, but that said having reviewed the AfD and subsequent DR, I wonder if it would have been today, given current interpretation of policy. To me MacPherson is clearly notable in her own right (despite BLP1E delete votes that she was only notable for being Elle's sister or for the sex tape allegations.) and in more than a marginal way, winning awards for business, presenting a radio show, modelling, etc. In both the AfD and the DR the subject's request is given more weight than WP:BIODEL currently suggests should be given (though that policy didn't exist until later) and there is no consensus for deletion at the AfD and a consensus for overturning to keep at the DR. Out of interest does anyone know what the most prominent individual to request deletion was? and was it granted or denied? Lauren Conrad's request was a Snow Keep (on all 6 nominations) but that was apparently "requested on her behalf" each time. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 09:41, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

You may be right. In the MacPherson case, I advised her during the discussion that she might be better off with a high quality semi-protected Wikipedia entry which noted the doubts about the authenticity of the tape, because at the very least it would push at least one of the porn sites off the front page of her google results. I could be persuaded either way, and her wishes do matter a great deal because she is the victim of the whole sex tape situation. (I.E. It's either a hoax, or it was maliciously released by someone). I respect the decision to delete (and so did she, at the time, and as far as I know she still does), and I think it would be inappropriate for anyone to recreate it because of this discussion. (That's very POINTy.) But if we reconsidered in the future, at some appropriate time, either of these deletions, I'd be fine with that as long as the discussion proceeded in a respectful thoughtful way without all the rancor that some people (on both sides) seem to bring to this issue. These issues will always be hard, and will always require a thoughtful and kind consideration of the full context.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:49, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, your explanation of the events in that case was quite illuminating and responsible. I wish Wikipedia could address the situation in an article the same way. But I'll also say that I think that the article I saw yesterday had more than enough sources for independent notability without mentioning the hoax. Looking up her name in a current news search, I see she's still in the news now.[3] Now that article is not a usable source for her biography, but it illustrates that people in Australia who read a source like this already know who she is. To me, that spells enduring notability that we should allow editors to document. Wnt (talk) 14:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, imagine an encyclopedia where all BLP subjects had "a high quality semi-protected Wikipedia entry". (In Macpherson's case, I suspect you meant a fully-protected entry, but it's a moot point.) I am sympathetic to Macpherson's position, but I am also sympathetic to Hawkins'. Wikipedia does not need to have either one, if they do not wish to be included. At this point I'm just going to link to Damon Dash and leave the rest as an exercise for readers. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow. That Damon Dash article is a problem. But it's the kind of problem that illustrates why the community is better at handling these things than administrators. Anyone looking at this article should see that it has major BLP problems even I find fault with - it showcases allegations in the lead while practically ignoring the career that got him the fame, describes a 2004 lawsuit allegation without ever saying whether the accusation was sustained, dwells overmuch on DD172, (though that article, where those allegations and details belong, says too little about them). But when the Office took over, they blanked the article "temporarily" - as of last October - and so the last history version, with all that imbalance, is all people will ever see if they look. Bureaucracy is clunky. Just like individual editors, it can ride rough-shod over subjects. It would be better for Wikipedia to turn the article back over to the editors and see it cleaned up by normal editing processes, which we know people can and will do within a day. Wnt (talk) 16:21, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

One of the things I found mistaken was when it looked like the article might be deleted due to a simple please delete request, there has been issues with contributors and falsehoods in the article - there was a rush to go over it word by word so as to shout loudly we have studied this word by word and its all correct and we will watch it like hawks now and we will keep it at this standard forever, - this was imo completely missing the point - we have three million biographies many of them that no one is watching and the vast majority of them have never even had a close look - its just such a false representation of the whole project, focusing on a pin prick of low notable content, in some vain effort to keep it - what about all the other living people that just can't be bothered to complain and who quite rightly wouldn't want their life being afflicted by the Streisand effect and just choose not to look at their article. The whole vain effort to keep this article is an example of everything that is wrong with this project imo. Youreallycan 16:05, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd dispute that 3 million biographies statistic, on this project we have 3.9 million articles but a large proportion are not biographies. Perhaps half a million biographies of living people, and I'm not sure how many deceased, but not 2.5 million. ϢereSpielChequers 16:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it was a guess from my experience of the general figures. One million or a million and a half, here or there don't change basics. Youreallycan 16:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
By that argument, we'd have to delete all BLPs, because we can't guarantee that none of them will ever be vandalized. That's not very persuasive. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:32, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
You miss the point - I am not asking to delete all those, or looking to persuade anybody about anything, that is something that needs discussion and WP:Pending changes is looking like being replaced - I am talking about this single article and the naval gazing ego fueled desire to keep it at any cost, against the wishes of a person, over years, of limited notability on an article that almost nobody is reading and which is little more educational or complete in his life story than his BBC profile.Youreallycan 16:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out that Pending Changes is up and shuffling about the graveyard again. As the !vote going on, which I hadn't known about, apparently came pre-loaded with 60 supporters of permanently enacting it, I think this vote definitely needs broader attention! Wnt (talk) 17:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Its already publicized at every location it was allowed to be. Youreallycan 17:17, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there's any evidence for the implication you're making there, Wnt. I am vote number 19 and I can tell you I didn't have any prior notification or knowledge about the RfC. FormerIP (talk) 17:18, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I was going by a comment here - plausible given that the proposed draft had to come from a group of supporters somewhere. Wnt (talk) 17:44, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Going by? This is the comment from User:Ohms law - there is nothing in the comment to support the claim - Youreallycan
Red, supporters of Pending Change (Option 2); blue, full rejection (Option 1); Option 3 not shown. Note early preponderance of red. In defense of my statement below. Wnt (talk) 18:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
True, but I trust Ohm's law as a good editor. But not to hide behind his skirts, I did my own analysis just now of the edit pattern (figure above) counting the edits for each of the 13 days the vote has been open. Note that there was a huge sea of red those first two days, maybe 50 votes, count some on the third day ... then trailing to near equal numbers. I'd say Ohm's law looks pretty much correct here. Wnt (talk) 18:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
"early preponderance of red"- does not confer evil going on. - Good faith tells me that there was also previously a large number of editors that support the use of the tool in some way, so nothing has actually changed - they still do. Youreallycan 18:35, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The graph indicates to me that support for PC is stronger amongst editors who are either around more or, for better or worse, make their minds up more quickly. FormerIP (talk) 21:11, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
If the point was just this contested article and not all BLPs, why did you bring up "three million biographies" that "no one is watching", as well as "what about all the other living people that just can't be bothered to complain?" That makes your argument sound like it's about all BLPs. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:23, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes - its all about BLP articles, just my current focus is on this individual one. Its the falseness of the overall position that asserts keep this article is fantastically correct and every word its cited now compared to the mass of unwatched and uncited content about all the other low notable living people that proliferates the majority of en wikipedia BLP articles. Youreallycan 18:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Okay, you're not making much sense here. What, exactly, do you want to see done? All I'm getting from the above is that you don't like BLPs, because some of them may have vandalism due to lack of attention, but this particular one is getting too much attention? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:13, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I hear two different things from supporters of Pending Changes. One is that the system will not hinder people from editing because it will only be placed where semi- or full- protection would totally block people from editing now. The other is that by installing it on all BLPs or all articles it will stop libel and improve the quality of the encyclopedia. Not both of these things are true. Wnt (talk) 20:52, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Although a minority may want to use PC all over the place, the draft policy which is being voted on prevents this, because it allows PC only to prevent disruption (i.e. only on pages that would currently get protection) and states that it can't be applied pre-emptively. FormerIP (talk) 21:09, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia should get its biographies sorted – either
  • start registered editing for minor biographies,
  • move such biographies to a different project (analogous to how material is stored in Commons, but appears here in Wikipedia),
  • introduce flagged revisions, or
  • make biography editing a separate user right.
Things like that. Editors may consider the Hawkins biography "fixed", but we have not fixed, or even tried to fix, the process that has led to the problems with it, and which leads to constant and recurring problems in other biographies. --JN466 23:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem is, it's very hard to determine how closely a particular page is being watched. For instance, the Fred Phelps article contained an allegation of some sort (I don't remember exactly what it was) for 5 years until someone noticed it, despite being on plenty of people's watchlists. Conversely, Zoya Phan is not watched by enough people to make the list (that means under 30, I'd be startled if it was even 3), but you'd be hard pressed to find an article more carefully monitored than that one; I check it over every editing session. Though there haven't been any issues with vandalism there, I did remove a copyvio image very quickly and got it deleted on Commons. I think we could definitely do a better job of organizing articles in Category:Living persons, but ultimately I think there's a certain amount of it that's just inevitable. Let's not lose sight of the fact that we are only a website, and we're never going to be perfect with anything we do; we should certainly try for it, but incidents happen, and the occasional egg on our faces isn't going to kill us. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:23, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec)You know, I'd almost let you have it - just go ahead and delete every single biography from Einstein and Obama. It might be a tolerable blood sacrifice, if the deletionists would go away to your biographic utopia and let us add any source we can find to every other article. But I'm sure they'd only be back the next day, saying we can't write about medicine, we can't write about corporations, we can't write about drugs, we can't write about the ending to The Mousetrap, and only a special group of bosses can tell us when we can and can't say what the world's media are talking about. Their emptiness cannot be filled. Wnt (talk) 00:27, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Just noting that a Wikipedia administrator is now likening the Hawkins situation to Charles Manson being angry at editors for reporting on his multiple murders, while another Wikipedian opines, "If Idi Amin were alive I am sure he would start by editing his own page...he would then move onto lobbying Jimbo Wales...I'm sure he would eat some wikipedians...but I'm not convinced we would allow him to influence his wikipage by getting editors banned." AN. JN466 02:23, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
It's hyperbole; an example of what the position could turn into if applied. I don't want to see that happen; in absolutely no way am I comparing Hawkins to Charles Manson. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I would guess those comments have come about because, according to Tarc's proposal, we actually would delete Manson's bio if he asked us to.
Honestly, Tarc, isn't it time to sit down and have a think? FormerIP (talk) 13:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
If Charlie asks, then why not? We're not removing knowledge from humanity...there is still plenty out there to read and research Charles Manson, much of it a lot better than what can be found written by anonymous volunteers here. And in the place of Charles Manson is a link to the outside world. As soon as he kicks the bucket though, the article could come right back. Tarc (talk) 16:56, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
It would be a shame to lose Charles, but if that's the price we pay to protect the feelings and welfare of a lot of decent Joes, it's cheap. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 13:24, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I suppose that you'll also be enforcing that we don't talk about him anywhere else, i.e. Sharon Tate suffered a terrible tragedy by hands unknown (if we dare mention anything about the incident at all). Likewise we'll be giving up covering corporations if notable stockholders or CEOs object. Scientific theories identified with a particular proponent to be cut back drastically. Indeed, maybe a small extra step in citing a journal article will be e-mailing the author to get permission to use his name. Perhaps the link to the outside world could be a redirect to Google from the Main Page? Wnt (talk) 21:08, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, above you seem to be saying that the pain this article is causing its subject doesn't measure up to that caused to Mimi MacPherson by her article. You're in no situation to judge. No one is. Even if the subject chose to disclose to you his reasons for wanting the article gone (and why should he?) you'd still be in no position to judge. I have been tending articles in the Pain category for years. I wrote and am working Cancer pain toward GA. I know a lot of the science around suffering. I can tell you that different people suffer in different degrees from identical stimuli. One person could take what's happening to Ms McPherson in their stride, others would be crushed by it. Criteria such as notability, public person, 1E, or even "is he a pratt?" (a criterion in play at the DR) are roughly quantifiable. You will never know how much pain another is experiencing. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:12, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Thank you

Red Kitten 01.jpg

Hey Jimbo, I want to tell you that I really appreciate Wikipedia and will try to bring my share of knowledge to it. Thanks, here's a cute kitten!

Fercatres (talk) 19:32, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

You've got mail (from Claritas)

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.

(Post requested by Claritas in this edit.)  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:07, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Unblock IP

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[4] Jimbo, you take credit in the media for starting this project, so you should take responsibility for allowing it to be misused as it is to give living people a hard time. Take some responsiblity. Ayn Rand's philosophy didn't absolve you of taking responsibility, did it? Come the right thing. Cla68 (talk) 08:03, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Can you point to any problems in the current article? I have engaged directly with Mr. Hawkins about the article, and personally went through it line-by-line looking for any inaccuracies or errors. I additionally courtesy-blanked the deletion discussions, reprimanded an editor who was rude, and asked another editor who the subject finds annoying to steer clear of the article. So, what is the 'right thing' that you think I've failed to do?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:29, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Delete it. That's the decent thing to do, given the history. Kevin (talk) 11:36, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Given what history, exactly? I've looked into this case in pretty close detail, and I see nothing from the history of the situation that would warrant deletion of the article today. Can you be more precise about why you think that's the right thing to do here? Also, to be clear, I think Cla68 is asking me to overrule community consensus, which would be extremely controversial to say the least. So, obviously, I'd need to have a really really good reason. Even if I agreed that the article should be deleted, that's no different from many hundreds or thousands of votes every year on the site where I might find myself voting in the minority of some issue. If I acted with special powers every little time I disagreed with something, we'd have a huge mess on our hands.
So why is this case not just one in which you (or Cla68, at least) thinks that the community has come to the wrong decision, but that the decision is sufficiently and importantly wrong to such a degree that I ought to do something dramatic about it? I just don't see how that makes sense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:43, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
It's in part a question of precedent. This is not a household name. Practically all the sources are primary, and regional, sources. There is no national coverage of him. Someone with that level of notability should have an opt-out from Wikipedia, especially if they feel distressed by the way their biography and its associated talk page have been handled by Wikipedia's anonymous editors.
The number of biographies rises daily. The number of editors looking after them does not. If we allow that trend to continue, the problems caused by BLP violations will increase. --JN466 13:03, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Judging by comments on Wifione's talk page, I believe the Hawkins AfD is headed for deletion review. JN466 13:05, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I've been in lengthy discussions with Jim Hawkins via his FaceBook account, identifying myself as a WP admin and asking if I can help. Principally, I wanted to know what errors he had detected in the article about him so that I could correct or remove them. Jimbo has asked him the same questions. However he's unwilling to answer that question, instead asking that because of unspecified inaccuracies the article as a whole should be deleted. I've stopped my dialogue with him and left it that I'm willing to be contacted by him at any future date if he wants corrections making. I don't think we can say fairer than that. He has asked me "Why does there have to be a Wikipedia article about me" and I suppose the answer is, "there doesn't". By which I mean, it would not be compulsory for us to have one if none existed. However one does exist, obviously. So the question really becomes "Why should it be deleted?" to which the AfD has responded "it shouldn't". There we leave it, unless Jayen wants to propose that WP should not host any BLP's because of the difficulty of maintaining them. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 15:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
There simply isn't the secondary-source coverage demanding that we have an article. All the sources bar one, which is a bare mention of his name, are regional and primary sources. There is no national, let alone international, media coverage. The dozen sources cited in the article are pretty much all there is. Someone with that level of notability should simply be able to say "I don't want an article", and we should comply. Why should the man have to worry constantly whether the annual stalker of his tweets will have been busy on the talk page again overnight, or whether the article will again declare to the world which yahoo group he hangs out in, or whether he likes Marmite? Whose business is it?
By the way, I do think we should abandon anonymous editing of little-watched biographies like that. And if not that, we certainly should have flagged revisions for them. The simple fact of the matter is that we are plainly unable to maintain minor biographies and their talk pages in a policy-compliant state, and it's the subjects of those, who are not in the news on a daily or weekly basis, that are most affected by any questionable material. JN466 19:26, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
@Jimbo - the history of vandalism, of petty revert warring over his DOB, and his clearly stated desire not to have an article. Then when he states that the stress of not knowing what will be said about him next is causing health issues, instead of acting with compassion and decency, we have editors fighting to include where he lives, and Silver Seren with his aggressive demands that the subject justify his feelings. Those are the things that make this different. Kevin (talk) 22:35, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

It's in part a question of precedent: yes, it certainly is. And the precedent some people seem to want to set, is that if you don't think the coverage of you in Wikipedia is sufficiently flattering, you can whinge in your blog, on your TV or radio show, and by e-mail, until it's deleted, without ever making any coherent case for why it should be removed instead of improved. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:31, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

That comment is simplistic and offensive. --JN466 19:34, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
And accurate. -DJSasso (talk) 19:43, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Accurate? No, not in the slightest. Those who called for deletion did so because they felt his notability was marginal at best and the subject made it known that the existence of a Wikipedia article is something he finds distasteful. Whether he was spiteful, angelic, mean, or a perfect gentleman about the matter should not be a concern to us; anonymous and pseudonymous editors have no moral or ethical standing to make value judgements about publicly identifiable people. Tarc (talk) 20:07, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
"Tarc" (whoever you are) I am known to most people by the same name I use here; and my legal name is right there on my userpage for anybody to see. I reject and spurn any accusation that I'm "hiding behind" the name most people know me by. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:20, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Certainly people can't make those judgments in the articles themselves. But people certainly are able to have their opinions on the actions of a public figure. And it clearly appears that he is just complaining where-ever/however he can to try and get an article he can't control removed. He has been approached by numerous people including Jimbo to clear up any so called inaccuracies and he refused to even reveal what they are. Thus it would be setting a precedent that complain enough if you have a public forum on which you can do so (such as a radio show) and your article will be removed. So yes it is accurate to say that it would set a precedent that complain enough on a radio show and you can get your article removed. -DJSasso (talk) 20:14, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
If Hawkins is a non-public figure, then his radio show must surely be a non-public forum. So where's the problem? FormerIP (talk) 20:56, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah? Have you done a study of the edit history and think that it stands up to encyclopedic standards? [5] [6] [7] [8] (And it should not be inferred that any of these editors was the subject.) --JN466 20:12, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
There is vandalism on tens of thousands of articles. It gets fixed usually fairly rapidly. Still doesn't change the fact he appears to just be complaining because he can't control it completely. -DJSasso (talk) 20:16, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Says an editor editing from behind the veil of anonymity, whose name is not affected by any of this, and who does not give a shit if someone identifiable is harmed. What a model of behaviour. --JN466 20:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Nothing in the article at this point is harmful, anything that is harming him at this point is of his own doing and own actions since he started getting upset at wikipedia. If you don't want to be a public figure you don't take a job as a public figure like he has and you don't tweet/post your personal information out into the web like he has. It really is that simple. -DJSasso (talk) 22:03, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
He is a local radio guy, in Shropshire. No national media coverage, most of the 12 sources are primary sources. That simply isn't a "public figure". There are hundreds or thousands of local radio guys like that who don't have an article in Wikipedia. And the argument that tweeting makes you a public figure suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia, or that tweeting is something that ought to be punished by anonymous editors creating an article on the person in Wikipedia ("anything you tweet can and will be held against you in Wikipedia"), is bizarre. The fact of the matter is that people only started looking at his tweets because there were no sources. JN466 22:25, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
A local radio guy who used to be a national radio guy. But even if he was still just a local radio guy being a host on the radio makes you a public figure. Whether or not it makes you notable is another matter, but it does make you a public figure. And I didn't say that tweeting made him a public figure. My point was that he tweeted or otherwise posted the information that is in the article on the net, so he can't really complain that it is now public since it was him who made it public. -DJSasso (talk) 22:46, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
One-dimensional thinking. A tweet is transient. A Wikipedia biography is permanent, and the no. 1 Google link for someone's name. People don't expect random tweets to end up there, nor should they. And when biography subjects tell Wikipedia to stay the fuck out of their tweets, that's what Wikipedia should do. --JN466 02:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Further, I would note that an IP purporting to be the subject has posted this at the Deletion Review]. Tarc (talk) 20:10, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • And there is now further meltdown on the article's talk page, with the subject being asked to explain to anonymous editors why he does not want Wikipedia to list his birth date (even though per BLP policy, he has the right not to have it listed), and Pigsonthewing making a return to editing the article and its talk page. This has nothing to do with writing an encyclopedia. JN466 20:38, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Can you stop repeating that the birth date doesn't have to be listed. You've said that a number of times already and i've also acknowledged it a number of times. I merely asked because, as far as I can tell, he has yet to explain why anywhere or to anyone. And I also specifically said that he doesn't have to answer it. But if he's going to keep repeating psychological stress without explaining why publically available information is doing as such, then it rather lessens any weight we give to him. SilverserenC 21:05, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Why the fuck do you think it is any of our business why Hawkins objects to information about him appearing on Wikipedia? This seems to be nothing more than hounding of the subject, for no good reason at all.I think we can take it as a foregone conclusion that Pigsonthewing is going to be topic-banned for this - and I'd suggest we consider doing the same for Silver seren. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:11, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
He does not have to explain, because you do not have a right to know. JN466 21:39, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I wasn't involved here but having read the discussion it is fairly obvious that someone's privacy has been violated (again) and in contravention of Wikipedia's rules. Cla68 asked for someone to be accountable, not for a specific action to be taken. Jimmy Wales responded, if I may paraphrase, "it's not my fault; the community did it". The question is, if not Jimmy Wales, who is accountable? Alex Harvey (talk) 02:05, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • This whole site is set up to ensure that, as far as possible, no one here can be held accountable. Not the Foundation, because they are hiding behind Section 230, and not the editors, because they are (mostly) hiding behind their pseudonyms. The only people who are all in here with their real names are article subjects. JN466 02:40, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Can you explain how exactly Hawkins' privacy has been violated? I don't think that has anything to do with this discussion, as we're discussing public information, all of which is available from his section of the BBC website. SilverserenC 02:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • There is a reason BLP isn't called WP:SLAVISHLYMAKEAFUTILEEFFORTTOSTUFFTHEGENIEOFFREELYREVEALEDINFORMATIONBACKINTOTHELAMPIFTHESUBJECTBITCHESLOUDLYENOUGH. There's absolutely nothing being discussed here tha isn't already quite well-known, and as usual I wholeheartedly agree with Orangemike. I find it amazing that we are so hard on COI editors when it comes to criticizing products and organizations they create, but god forbid we take such a hard stand against vague complaints with no substance in these sorts of situations; there's no difference save the article in question. And if you don't think people feel as strongly about their creations as they do about themselves/family members, do read what Frank Zappa, Dee Snider, and John Denver said when the PMRC went on their foray into trying to foist their personal views on what was "offensive" on the US. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:58, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
We have a far greater responsibility to understand BLP subjects than they have a responsibility to communicate. It's not their fault that we created an article about them, and it's unfair to expect all such subjects to be experts at presenting their case. If they make vague complaints, then it's up to us to figure out how to express those complaints in terms we can apply policies to. Ken Arromdee (talk) 19:40, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
On the other hand, we're not mind readers. If they refuse to say what their objections are, and the article appears to be BLP compliant, it's beholden on them to specify what they feel is wrong with the article. We can't just guess. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:26, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
It is amazing to me that Wikipedians demand that the subject say what is wrong with his biography article and pretend to be unaware that there is nothing to stop anonymous trolls from changing it. Are you also claiming that the article is going to be frozen in this state forever? Alex Harvey (talk) 02:04, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
That's a straw-man. The article is currently in good form, but the subject wants it deleted anyway with no reason given. Yes, articles can be vandalized. That's not a reason to delete an article that's currently in good standing. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:15, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
That is a ridiculous argument. The article has been vandalised in the past, and may well be vandalised again in the future. In any case, there is no requirement whatsoever to compel the article subject to justify a request that the article be deleted. He doesn't like it, it is about him. He is entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to take his opinion into consideration. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:25, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Vandalism is a moot point. Unless an article is fully protected, vandalism will happen to any article. Saying it "may well be vandalized again" is not a valid argument for deletion.
That said, I agree with you that we should take his opinion into consideration. Which has been done. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:15, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Why is vandalism a moot point? The goal here is to provide a factual resource for the readers, articles that are frequently vandalised fail to meet that goal. If we cannot provide reasonable protection from vandalism, then not having an article is the lesser evil. It's a matter of finding the right balance. Kevin (talk) 23:11, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
It's moot because it's like saying, "If you can't prevent graffiti from being sprayed on this bridge, better to destroy the bridge." The only way to prevent BLPs from being vandalized would be to Fully Protect them and only allow admins to edit the page after each proposed edit has been vetted. Even Barack Obama is only semi-protected, and gets (temporary) full protection when determined vandals hit it. A blanket "locked BLPs" policy has been shot down every time it's been proposed. Being able to edit articles is the foundation of Wikipedia. It's unrealistic to then say we should delete any BLP because we can't guarantee it won't be vandalized.
What you've proposed is "Perfection or Nothing." Which is an absurd stance to take, because humans are never perfect. With that policy, we'd have no BLPs about anyone in short order. Including one on the current President of the United States. We do provide reasonable protection from vandalism right now. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 02:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess it's easier to say that vandalism protection is pretty good if it isn't your biography being vandalised. I like your analogy, there's a similar one that happens where I live: if telephone boxes are vandalized often enough they get removed, i.e. a balance has been struck between their usefullness to the community, and the cost to keep them. My proposal, if you want to call it that, is also about balance. A balance between the interests of the readers, the editors, and the subject. Kevin (talk) 03:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Except that we're writing for the benefit of our readers, not ourselves or our subjects. The idea is to provide readers with information, not to cater to demands of people who want to have exclusive control over their article. If the two conflict, it falls to the side of providing encyclopedic information regardless of how much people don't like it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:57, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but not at the expense of the subject. Remember this side discussion is about vandalism, something entirely reasonable for a subject to not like. Kevin (talk) 04:03, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I'll never buy into the "if it's not perfect, tear it down" mentality. We may as well shut down the entire site if that policy were ever enacted. Besides, are you defining "subject" as only living persons? How about groups that object to their portrayal (Scientology)? Corporations? Governments? Just because someone doesn't like what's on Wikipedia it doesn't follow that they get their article taken down. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:58, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to echo that question: Why is vandalism a moot point? The article's been vandalised in the past, or has been overly intrusive. Generally speaking, on any day, this article may say that Mr Hawkins is a homophobe, antisemite, alcoholic, what have you. All it takes is someone like Johann Hari in a bad mood. Why should someone not feel that they don't want to be in that position? Your position seems morally untenable to me. It's like you're building a library. Your trucks pass through a village, and they regularly dump rubbish from the building site there. The villagers complain, but you say: "We are doing a noble thing, building that library. Rubbish getting dumped is a moot point. Rubbish dumping will always happen! So stop whinging that your village has rubbish dumped in it. Just look at how splendidly our library is coming along!" And all of that is because you just want to dump your rubbish somewhere, rather than taking responsibility for it. I don't know what you'd say to a builder like that, but I can think of a few things. Wikipedia has a problem with minor BLPs, and it needs sorting. I've made a number of suggestions: introduce registered editing, introduce flagged revisions, make BLP editing a separate user right, or move minor biographies to a separate project, analogous to Commons. And/or raise minimum notability standards. These are all workable suggestions that would result in more responsible biography writing. --JN466 00:56, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
In theory, yes, on any given day, Hawkins' bio might, for a period of a few minutes, call him a homophobe, antisemite or alcoholic. But it hasn't happened on any of the 2400 or so days since the article was created. On 25th March 2010, he persuaded one of his Twitter followers to vandalise the article with a claim that he was born a woman. That was there for ten minutes. This is a problem only in your head, Jayen. FormerIP (talk) 01:55, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Jesus, you are deluded. The Bald Truth Choonz edit, which I think predated any of the vandalism inspired by Hawkins' complaints, lasted several days, before Hawkins (I believe) took it out himself. Other material was unsourced and intrusive. Just in the last 24 hours I redacted material where someone posted a BLP subject's mortgage details on the talk page. Johann Hari's vandalisms – precisely painting people as homophobes, antisemites, and alcoholics – lasted weeks in the articles concerned (example; and I see you positively assisted Hari with some of this dirty work). Rita M. Gross noticed the BLP violations in her article herself, took them out twice, and saw them twice reverted into her biography by experienced Wikipedians who either didn't know BLP policy, or could not be bothered to check a reference. If she had not made a stink, they would still be in her article today. Same with Ian Dowbiggin. Etc. You have no idea. --JN466 13:48, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Why are you bringing up Hari? That's just a pathetic attempt at a slur. In fact, I can probably take some credit for convincing him to stop editing WP (along with his boss, I gather). But it is not relevant here.
The bottom line here is that the whole Hawkins saga has exposed no particular flaws in the way WP handles bios. If there are flaws, they have nothing to do with this case. Show me an article with a genuine problem and I'll either explain how that can be fixed without deleting it, or else I'll agree with you that it should be deleted. What has been exposed is a bit of a WP:SPIDERMAN problem, but I don't have any immediate suggestions as to the best way of dealing with that.FormerIP (talk) 14:38, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
FormerIP, the Hawkins BLP was completely unsourced for a long time, as are tens of thousands of BLPs today. Some of the information it contained at various times was not just unsourced, but unsourceable, which means it was either false or, if true, a breach of privacy, as Wikipedia biographies should not be written from personal knowledge: they should reflect coverage in independent, reliable secondary sources. By the way, the reason I brought up Hari was because I wanted to give you another example from his edit history of stuff that stayed in articles, and for which he later apologised. And then I noticed that he had thanked you for agreeing with him that some of his defamatory stuff belonged in Wikipedia, like this edit, where he manufactured a "criminal record" for "acts of violence committed in Peterborough in the 1970s" out of the fact that (according to Sam Blacketer) the guy had once, as a teenager, been fined £20 for involvement in a pub brawl. This type of BLP abuse, where some obscure, unflattering fact is inflated to vastly undue importance, and is given its own section and headline, is absolutely typical of Wikipedia. It was the same in the Gross article, for example. --JN466 16:04, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen, I find it illuminating that, whilst you are obsessively concerned about someone being accused, for the blink of an eye three years ago, of running a record label, you're quite happy to attempt to smear a fellow editor without any idea whether what you are alleging is true.
Do you think Richard Littlejohn's article should be deleted? Do you think Rita Gross's should be undeleted? If not, why are they at all relevant? FormerIP (talk) 16:56, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Because they exemplify the problem you said doesn't exist. So, how shall we solve it? How about registered editing? Would you be happy to let the Foundation have your real name if you wanted to edit minor biographies? How about making BLP editing a separate user right, predicated on consistent compliance with BLP policy, or moving minor BLPs off to a separate project? What's your view on flagged revisions? These are all possible solutions. --JN466 20:48, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that if someone were to start discussions at VP or wherever about those types of ideas instead of whining on like a broken hoover about a perfectly reasonable decision not to delete a particular unremarkable article, they would at least be doing something constructive. FormerIP (talk) 21:13, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo's talk page has traditionally been a more useful place to air ideas like this, especially when related to BLP issues (and is actually watched by more people than the Village Pump). JN466 09:50, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Ideas like what? All I see is a latrineful of editors bitching and moaning because they didn't get their way in an AfD, like is was Nelson Mandela's trial or something. Come up with a proposal or stop wasting your time and everyone else's. Get on with it, Wilberforce. FormerIP (talk) 14:15, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

For anyone interested in issues surrounding the "public figure" concept, related definitions, and sources. See, [9] [10] [11] Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:49, 6 April 2012 (UTC)


  • Here is another example: Klee Irwin. This is what the article looks like today, this is what it looked like six weeks ago. In one version the guy is a crook, in the other he is a saint. Both versions are rampant WP:COATRACKs. Neither article version, surely, is worthy of being called a biography in an encyclopedia, and Wikipedia is nowhere near reliable if an article can flip-flop like that. So if that is the quality level we are happy to settle with, where we either end up with hatchet jobs or infomercials, then I think it would indeed be better not to have "biographies" of people like that at all. JN466 10:18, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Another example. This turns a sexual harassment accusation into fact. Not even the tabloid sources the edit is based on presented the allegation as fact, and they presented statements calling the veracity of the accusation in doubt – none of which were reflected in Wikipedia. As far as I can tell, this court case has sunk without trace. But an accusation obviously suffices for a conviction in the court of Wikipedia. This edit stood like that for a whole year. The site is riddled with stuff like that, just sitting there. JN466 10:48, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

What's the best course of action?

I've become aware of a BLP that was deleted back in December 2009 as a creation by a banned user in violation of the ban. The subject, who had nothing to do with anything, feels a little bit sad (my interpretation) that this happened. As far as I can tell, the subject is a valid subject for a BLP entry. The deleted article seems fine, a bit stubby but otherwise fine.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:24, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd say: Undelete it if you can vouch for the content - especially given the length of time since deletion. The principle of deleting banned users contributions comes out of WP:DENY - but based on past discussions (note: just what I have picked up) if an editor in good standing vouches for the information and restores it no one blinks. --Errant (chat!) 15:33, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense to me. I very much support WP:DENY and as it has been more than 2 years, I think the denial has either been effective already or didn't help. It'll take a few days until I have time to review the content personally, so I wonder if there's a good place to ask others to help. Would this be appropriate for deletion review?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:42, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
The specific policy wording is here (I had to locate it because I've never read it before). The implication seems to be... if it was G5'd, the content was good, and you will take responsibility for it once restored... undelete :) I think deletion review would largely be bureaucracy. Again, just my 2 cents. --Errant (chat!) 16:01, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. "Wikipedians in turn are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned editor ... unless they are able to confirm that the changes are verifiable and they have independent reasons for making them." Which hits the nail on the head here. The policy says the banned editor's edits can be reverted - which was done when the article was deleted - but says nothing about people being free to undo your edits. Wnt (talk) 18:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
That clause of the banning policy was added by a banned user. (talk) 10:40, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
ROFL, sort of. What percentage of editors are banned by now? Wnt (talk) 13:41, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
The sooner everyone gets banned, the sooner everyone capable of refraining from saying silly things gets to experience the luxury of drama-free editing. (talk) 23:36, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
  • DRV doesn't seem appropriate because the deletion was proper. If you userfy the article to me after your review, I would be happy to review and improve, and let anyone comment if necessary. An AfD can be initiated if notability is in dispute based on what we can create.--Milowenthasspoken 16:03, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I've never agreed with that part of the banning policy. If the banned user was known for copyright violations, that's one thing, but to destroy completely functional articles just because we don't want to give "credit" to the user, per DENY, just seems overwhelmingly stupid. What if the banned user was using an account that remained undetected for a significant amount of time and created a large amount of articles in that time that, functionally, has no issues? Sure, sure, you can say that people can vouch for them individually, but people only do that very rarely in the scheme of things and all the rest of that positive content is then destroyed. This just seems to be in direct violation to our entire purpose to me. SilverserenC 16:26, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • WP:REFUND might handle such requests as well. I don't use it very often, and I expect that such restorations would largely depend on the admin handling the particular request at the time. I agree that G5'ed content can be "proxied" by any editor in good standing. ArbCom has repeatedly endorsed the proxying of articles written by vexatious banned editors to by editors in good standing on (As a side note, the volunteers who did this at first seemed to become fatigued by the effort involved) Jclemens (talk) 16:48, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
    If the article is OK, I'd say just undelete it. I don't think there's any need for DRV, as it isn't a contested deletion - the deletion at the time was appropriate. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Why not userify into your user space? Post a link to it and we can all look at it/work on it before moving to article space? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I can definitely agree with Userfying before moving to mainspace. Salvidrim! 22:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

If we are not allowed to remove contributions by banned users who willfully violate their ban because they can, then why have bans or blocks in the first place, knowing that people who are knowledgeable enough can waltz right back in and continue to contribute? --MuZemike 23:56, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

On the other hand, completely disabling all content created by blocked users, when such content would other benefit the encyclopedia, may be considered as enabling the vandals to continue hurting the encyclopedia. I believe userfying and allowing another editor in good standing to edit & create a valid article is both standard practice and desirable. Salvidrim! 23:58, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
No one said you weren't allowed. Assuming in this particular case it was a good contribution, it would seem unnecessarily petty to enforce a ban by removing good content (cut your nose to spite your face). Bans are the result of a user whose contributions are usually disruptive; if he comes back and happens to get something good through, there's no reason not to consider it on its merits, while still preventing him from continuing to edit in the future, since we know that he's proven to not usually be as helpful. Equazcion (talk) 05:14, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. If we allow site-banned users to continue to contribute, then we send the message that the site-ban doesn't mean much to them. If that is the case, then the community is obligated to reassess said site-ban. The community cannot be saying one thing and then do another. --MuZemike 19:50, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm not saying we should allow them to continue to contribute, rather the opposite. Reassessing the ban would be reserved for cases where there's new reason to believe the user will continue to contribute positively, but one good contribution doesn't qualify as such a reason. If something good is already there, and we block the new account, then go as far as to remove the good contribution merely because of who made it, the fact that it was a good contrib means it should probably be replaced by someone else? ...which seems superfluous just to defend the ideal of a ban, with no practical gain. If you're saying the good contrib should be removed permanently and not replaced by anyone, then something beneficial is lost. Content takes a backseat in favor of keeping the banned user from having the satisfaction of a standing contribution? If we're to regard bans as "preventative not punitive" then I think your reasoning is flawed. Equazcion (talk) 20:10, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Back on main point - I agree with those above that if you've (or anyone else, for that matter) find something that a banned user did and was removed, but was a good edit (or article), and can independently verify that the info is good and you're willing to take responsibility for that, go ahead and recreate. We cannot allow banned users to effectively have an article content or creation veto (ability to salt content or topics) by them getting involved in editing something, whether that's their intention or not. If it's good info, another responsible person can take responsibility for it.
We should still remove it the first time. But putting it back at least somewhat later - preferably paraphrased to continue some DENY - may be a good idea. Jimmy, you're a credibly responsible person, if you did the research and the person asked about it... Go ahead. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 23:37, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I never really did understand that concept. I know that's been the practice, but it seems to be bureaucracy just for the sake of bureaucracy. Personally I think if an edit adds something positive to the project, then it should be kept; regardless of who added it. But that's just IMHO. — Ched :  ?  23:57, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I also think that deleting otherwise useful content because a user got banned is a bad idea unless it was due to copyright. Take for example User:Kumioko who left recently. That user created hundreds of articles and had over 320, 000 edits all over the pedia. If we deleted all that, IMO, it would a serious detriment to the pedia. We aren't helping anyone by force removing otherwise good content. With that said and the above arguments aside, if the articles was deleted more than 2 years ago and hasn't been recreated then is it really notable. It seems like if it was it would have already been recreated. (talk) 14:13, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
The removal policy only applies to anything added after the ban. And Kumioko isn't banned anyway. Are you. Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:54, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Autism-spectrum editors - new user essay

Following input from both here and elsewhere, I have written a new user essay which I hope may be helpful in smoothing out interactions between autism-spectrum and neurotypical editors. Shortcuts are WP:AUTIE and WP:ASPIE. Please feel free to link editors to this essay whenever you think it may be useful. Pesky (talk) 08:06, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

A great idea!!!! We had a relative-through-marriage over Christmas holidays as a guest who was a high functioning austistic. He was absolutely fascinating to listen to and we had a very educational, interesting, enjoyable and happy day together with him.Mugginsx (talk) 13:06, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I fear these shortcuts (also the recent WP:HOMO) will often be used in unfortunate ways. Wnt (talk) 13:39, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
No matter what helpful tool mankind invents, someone will use it in an unfortunate way! But I'm not going to throw away my favourite carving knife just because some people are homicidal maniacs ... ;P

Mugginsx, I'm a high-functioning autistic myself; I have several relatives on the autism spectrum, I know several Wikipedia editors also on it, and in my professional life I've taught a lot of people on it, as well. The levels of genius one can encounter at times are quite awesome. Pesky (talk) 13:45, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

I fully agree. Just taking one aspect - What I would not give for a memory like that! All my life I have been plagued by a bad memory. Had to record my college classes and listen over and over again to them to get a good grade. My husband could read something once and remember it years later. It is truly a great gift! Your links are interesting. Mugginsx (talk) 15:55, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I searched for a relevant subcategory in Category:Wikipedians, and I found none.
Wavelength (talk) 16:23, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I remember a community discussion & decision against these categories taking place in the not-so-distant past. Salvidrim! 16:34, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Which may well be a reflection of (amongst other things) the impossibility of putting a spectrum into a category. Or at least, the inadvisability of trying. Wikipedia already spends to much time trying to fit other people into arbitrary metaphorical boxes - we don't need to start doing it to ourselves as well. Just a thought... AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:40, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh, but weren't you dying to know which editors sleep in their undies? Tarc (talk) 16:48, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Editor. (Single). I wonder what the rest of us are sleeping in? -- The Red Pen of Doom 16:57, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Erm...a bed? Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:23, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I did a Google search for interactions between autism-spectrum and neurotypical, and I found the following pages.
Wavelength (talk) 17:04, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Wavelength – fantastic links, I'll add those to the essay under a further reading heading. Those are really good. Tarc: what about Users who edit in their PJ's? ;P Pesky (talk) 17:42, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't everybody? Face-grin.svg Mugginsx (talk) 18:55, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Some of this makes me chuckle -- got to be good! I think the autism society article linked above ([12]) is very well written, though there's nothing specific there about communicating online. For example, in everyday life I can see when somebody is avoiding all eye contact, but online I can't. In fact, often it's hard to understand what sort of a person it is we're talking to. So it's good if essays like Pesky's can elucidate some of the issues. Recently, I've had a strange experience trying to communicate with a notoriously disruptive POV pusher; in the process, I was surprised to find (and I wasn't the only one) some endearingly sincere characteristics within a set of notoriously difficult personality traits. Nothing to do with autism in that case, I'd guess, but it illustrated to me how tempting it is to take the person behind the nick for granted. Sometimes I wonder whether it might be a good thing some Wikipedia contributors to take on a caring role around and about -- as Pesky and others perhaps already do -- to facilitate mutual understanding. But I've strayed OT, sorry... —MistyMorn (talk) 19:36, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has Wikipedia:Adopt-a-user and Wikipedia:Mentorship.
Wavelength (talk) 20:00, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, WL. I was thinking also in more informal ways -- what one might call a caring approach perhaps -- but that's not altogether risk free either... —MistyMorn (talk) 20:08, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
You may be interested in Category:User essays on civility. (My username is "Wavelength".)
Wavelength (talk) 20:52, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Wavelength -- I'll certainly look at those. —MistyMorn (talk) 20:55, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi Pesky. I support the idea of having an essay such as this, and I like some aspects of what you have written. I particularly like the the parts where you focus on the practicalities of interaction between ASD and neurotypical people.

However (could you tell there was going to be a "however"?), I think we should take care about how we inform readers about science, almost as much in an essay as in an article. So, for example, you attempt to explain ASD in terms of "brain-wiring", but what is different about your brain and mine is not something that is well-understood at the moment, and there are various competing theories. And I can understand why you would want to suggest that autism isn't a disorder - but, according to Wikipedia and the American Psychiatric Association, it is.

I don't mean to slap you with a wet fish, but I think it's important to be pernickity about this type of thing. FormerIP (talk) 20:42, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

I'll choose to interpret it as constructive criticism rather than a wet-fish-slap! I've cited some of the studies of fMRI investigations for the brain-wiring bit (the same ones as are cited in whichever article it was I pinched them from). There does seem to be a reasonably sound scientific basis for the brain wiring thing, which I've tried to reduce to terms easily understood by the layman / younger editor / ESL editor. I know that technically it's a "disorder" – but that's really just a label. Some of the other disorders have to include "being upset by it" (or similar wording) before they'll classify something as a disorder. So if you have no guilt pangs or hassles about really major obsessive-compulsiveness, for example, you don't have a disorder, but the guy down the road who's only barely obsessive-compulsive but it's causing him real anxieties, hassles, difficulty with his life, does have a "disorder". Definitions change every few years; I think (personally) that it's more constructive for people (autism-spectrum or those working with them) to perceive it as a difference, as once we start getting into the language of disorders and disabilities, some people start feeling they are superior or inferior beings because of the bloody label ... labels can do so much unnecessary collateral damage! Pesky (talk) 21:15, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd personally prefer to say that "disorder" is a label that may be important to a psychiatrist, but needn't be important to a Wikipedian. Maybe the best approach in your essay would be just not to use the word "disorder" at all.
AFAIK (which is a bit but far from everything) you are right that there is scientific support for various different theories - not just one - which suggest a link between ASD and connectivity in different parts of the brain. But there are also other theories and indications that other things may be going on in an autistic brain which not about "sparse wiring". There are also theories about excessive wiring, the sizes of various cells and structures, the way particular bits operate (e.g. Mirror neurons) and probably other things I don't know about. On top of that, there's often a cause-and-effect puzzle - if an autistic brain is showing low connectivity between two parts of the brain in a given task, does that mean there's a block or does it mean that neurons are not even trying to behave typically? The overall picture is complicated. The reality may be that there are multiple things going on. But I think it would be a bad thing for your essay to make it seem as if science has one particular answer. FormerIP (talk) 21:54, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll re-read the articles in that encyclopedia-wossname (you know the one?) and maybe bung another couple of things in. But I'll have to word them / metaphorise them so that the concepts are easy for people of all types to understand, parallelled with familiar things, and so on. If you've got any particular suggestions for strongly science-based theories, drop them on the essay's talk page, with appropriate citations. Re the excessive "wiring" (in some areas), I think I covered that bit OK. The main thing I really want to get across in the essay is for people to understand that their way of thinking isn't the only way of thinking, and everything else must be lazy / crazy / stubborn / stupid or inferior. Everyone thinks that what they are is "normal"! Pesky (talk) 22:02, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

By suppressing the temporal lobe, normal people can improve in some tasks that high functioning autists are good at, see here and here. Count Iblis (talk) 01:28, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

As long as that doesn't mean more people people will become really good at mass-creating tons of Wikipedia accounts with really garbled names, like this little creep (he's a good reminder that autism is a spectrum; like every other group in life, some are just plain annoying), that's pretty cool. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:55, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
@Count Iblis: thank you very much for those extra links; as a result I've slightly tweaked the wording in my essay and added those as citations. Hugz! I'm finding all this quite exciting (am I a sad individual? lol!)

@ Blade: wow! I recognise this thing (no, not the editor, what he does). He has a naming fascination; maybe his mother could give him a real-world task like thinking up names for abandoned or stray animals at the local rescue centre? He would probably really like it, especially if he could see the name he's created attached to a real living creature. Pesky (talk) 07:09, 7 April 2012 (UTC)


The user MikeWazowski is treating all of us users like dirt, and he doesn't even care. Wikipedia is supposed to be a peaceful place. It's him that turned the wiki into a hell-home. He has made dumb rules to the wiki. PERMANENTLY BLOCK HIM NOW. The Web of TV3. (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps try posting your concerns at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents? —MistyMorn (talk) 21:10, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
No thanks. The Web of TV3. (talk) 21:11, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
WebTV3 is just upset because I corrected and warned him about a series of pagemoves he did that were against naming conventions, as well as correcting some other misinformation or unnecessary edits he's recently added. Along with some uncalled for personal attacks on me posted to his talk page, he's blown this incredibly out of proportion. MikeWazowski (talk) 21:16, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Support Mike This will definetely not go very far at ANI which is probably why s/he is refusing to do so. I'm anxious to see this and will get some popcorn as well. This certainly peaked my interest.—cyberpower ChatOnline 21:32, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
WARNING If he wins, he'll destroy Wikipedia. WebTV3
Grow up... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:49, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Seriously.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

You win, Mike. My last message, from me, WebTV3. Don't talk to me.

Don't Bight The Ips

What are you going to do about users being mean to Ips,treating them like their not welcome,cause it is almost like racism? May I suggest a WP:DON'TBITETHEIPS (Wikipedia:Don't Bight The Ips) 00:44, 5 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Definitely, but why use an IP? Mugginsx (talk) 14:41, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Muggins, that's just the kind of blatant prejudice my people have come to expect from you logged-ins. ;) FormerIP (talk) 14:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
It was a simple question and I was honestly curious. OK, I get it now, it was a setup and I fell right into it. A gotcha banner for you. Mugginsx (talk) 15:04, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think people should be mean to anyone. I do think people should get accounts if they'd like to make friends and be remembered by others. The thing about editing as an ip number is that people don't really remember them well from one interaction to the next. Additionally, I'm happy to say, in an encyclopedia editing community, spelling counts! So, people will tend to be more friendly if you write carefully. We shouldn't be mean to people for poor spelling abilities, of course. But naturally, it's annoying to us when someone hasn't taken the time to look over their writing for spelling problems.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:17, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Oh I'm remembered by others alright,But sir it is not just that,users tell Ips "go away" or call them "Drive by users",it is internet racism,and they know it is wrong.~76naMsliaT~-- (talk) 15:32, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I think it is pretty silly to call it 'racism'. One of the reasons people unfortunately harden into bad attitudes towards ip numbers is that they say silly things a lot.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Best. Reply. Ever. Awesome FaceThe Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:04, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Some admins want to just ban Ips for the word of a user,It is an unfair court case. Also I'm sure you could have a Wikipedia:Don't Bight The Ips, if they have something like Wikipedia:Don't-give-a-fuckism. (talk) 16:23, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have courts. Perhaps Arbcom might be considered one. But there is no "law" here and no crimes. Bans and blocks are the right of any website.--v/r - TP 19:26, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

For a bit of perspective, please see User:Salvidrim/Tailsman67. Favonian (talk) 16:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Well,well, I guest "The Theory of Usertivie "work,I served my time,oh and stop WP:STALKing me.I changed. (talk) 16:50, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that we shouldn't bite IPs. I don't agree with any complaints that try to compare the issue to racism or sexism or pick whichever the fuckism you want to. I love IP edits in general. Your particular history I do question, but that's not because you aren't logged's because of your specific actions. --OnoremDil 17:31, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you,so you going to create a page for it? (talk) 17:32, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no need for a page to be created. It's all covered by current policy.--OnoremDil 17:38, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • As mentioned above, I am convinced that other editors would react the same way if you were using an account instead of successive IPs, Tailsman. You're presently de facto community banned, but that's due to your actions & behaviour, not because of your refusal to create a stable account. Coming back after days saying "I've changed" isn't going to convinc anyone (whether true or not) as you're still under a range-block sanction (in addition to the abovementioned community ban); your very presence indicates that you're evading the latest block, thus robs your words of any credibility they may have otherwise carried. However your persistence shows that you can be dedicated, therefore I am hoping to see you again in maybe a year so we can start working constructively on Wikipedia. :) Salvidrim! 22:19, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • "I think it is pretty silly to call it 'racism'. One of the reasons people unfortunately harden into bad attitudes towards ip numbers is that they say silly things a lot. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:46, 5 April 2012 (UTC)"
I think that's a pretty unfair generalization, and a good example of that 'racism' at least metaphorically. Their use of "racism" here was clearly just the most accessible term to them, and it's not fair to nitpick its accuracy to invalidate the overall point. We all know what they meant. Though it may sound "silly" to equate this with "racism" because racism is an astronomically more serious real-world problem, the principle is the same: people generalize about a group based on its worst examples. It happens here. Also consider that people who haven't registered here are more likely to say "silly"-sounding things out of inexperience with Wikipedia and/or the language. Equazcion (talk) 09:08, 6 Apr 2012 (UTC)
  • Last time I looked, bite was thus spelt, not "bight". --JN466 14:35, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, but he's saying he doesn't want you to keep IPs at bay101.118.33.111 (talk) 22:58, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I stand corrected. --JN466 17:54, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Ah, but don't we also use "lite" (i.e. Miller Lite) instead of "light" (i.e. the abomination called Heineken Light)? --MuZemike 19:54, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Of course it could be a pun based on "a loop of rope" placed around an IP, of course. Collect (talk) 23:33, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I suppose it's all just part of an IP number's rights of passage. --JN466 17:28, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Speaking of new essays ...

Having found that a lot of editors seem to judge essays at MfD on the basis of whther the essay "only represents minority consensus" (I have no idea what that means <g>) or whether the essay is "right", I used the famed "Voltaire quotation" as a basis for WP:DEFEND which I would hope meets with your approbation. Merci. Collect (talk) 12:15, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, Collect is making light of WP:HOMO (under deletion discussion here). I would be interested in your opinion on this one, as I am unclear if you would be personally happy to see that all LGBT editors (or those thought to be) on Wikipedia could freely be called "queer" by others. Further, regardless at how malicious homophobic comments were from editors about other editors, it would be treated as an offence to call any of them "homophobic". Consequently, the recent fracas about Russavia being told to fuck off with his queer agenda would be easily resolved, and indeed all contributors would be empowered to say exactly the same thing or much worse to any editor and administrators would not be expected to interfere in our brave new world of free speech, including hate speech. Not the interpretation of Five pillars with regard to respect that I thought to see in 2012.
What most would think as unacceptable abusive behaviour in society seems to go unchallenged, or met by silence and inaction by those that have a duty of care on Wikipedia; as we have seen with recent cases seen by many as motivated by homophobia and previously flagged for your information here. Thanks -- (talk) 13:32, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Fae. When making errant claims about what other editors say, it does not seem quite proper to assert 180 degrees from the actual facts. And note the inane aside about somehow implying that I have called or would call, or would defens anyone calling any editor "Q...." is an abuse, in my opinion, of this user talk page. As well as the implication that I made any "malicious homophobic remarks" - I expect you to emend your post accordingly. Or else prove where I made "homophobic remarks." BTW, note my position at m:DICK wherein my position on civil language is made, I trust, clear. My position here is that removing essays because they are "wrong" is not a great idea on Wikipedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:34, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you may be confusing imply and infer. No doubt it is true that you are inferring that responses to Wikid77's inflammatory and defamatory essay are all about you. However that is not what I have written above. As for me being "inane", to my ears I normally sound more urbane. -- (talk) 08:23, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
What you clearly wrote was I am unclear if you would be personally happy to see that all LGBT editors (or those thought to be) on Wikipedia could freely be called "queer" by others which I find offensive, and which you apparently feel is the right way to talk about other editors. I do not feel that is a proper way to talk about other editors. Cheers - and I iterate my request that you remove the material wherein you make inapt and wrongful comments about me. Collect (talk) 11:08, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be confusing "unclear", as now re-quoted by you, with "clear". You seem to be misdirecting for sake of making it look like I am the one defaming others and causing disruption to our editing community. Please keep in mind that I did not create WP:HOMO or rush to create a daft defence of all future homophobes who will misuse Wikipedia to attack minority groups in the future. If you want to keep on wikilawyering, perhaps you could take your thoughts to a personal blog somewhere. I can't see any point in replying to fake "how dare you attack me" claims. Thanks -- (talk) 11:24, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Collect, at the time when you started this thread the essay in question did say that Queer was an acceptable term. Glad to see that you aren't defending that part of the essay, but don't be surprised if people assume a blanket defence of the original version of the essay means that you are comfortable with the contents of it. ϢereSpielChequers 09:09, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I do not agree with what essays may say, but I defend the right of the essay to exist. Once we remove all "wrng essays" then we have, indeed, reached an Orwellian state. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:08, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
90% of the accusations of homophobia that I see here are basic incivilty - but an actual essay about that... that seems problematic. Certain elements of the LGBT community do misuse that word as much as possible to label and attack detractors (i.e. ad hominem), but there are some genuine cases that need addressing. fwiw I object to you're characterisation of "Russavia being told to fuck off with his queer agenda"; which is an extremely liberal interpretation of the phrasing --Errant (chat!) 17:52, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Based on timing and who wrote it, the example characterisation I gave is exactly what the essay has been written to defend. Thanks -- (talk) 17:54, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Yep; and I don't disagree. However your description of what Russavia was told is utterly innacurate - which is part of the point I was making --Errant (chat!) 17:59, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought it was close enough. The offensive and homophobic statement was "Was it your queer agenda? - or just your fucking agenda, can't you just pack all your fucking agendas in your fucking suitcase and Fuck off?". Wikid77's essay is a defence of that type of behaviour and the lengthy discussion on WP:ANI shows that Wikipedia does not take any firm stance against it. If we need an expert view, I would be happy to write a letter to get an opinion off Stonewall and publish the reply to see if this is quite homophobic enough to carry the label of homophobia. If I were to compare to racist comments about black people; if enough black people complained we would certainly judge offensive language as racist without endlessly wikilawyering, the same should apply when LGBT people complain about this sort of abusive language. I do not expect to have to start an off-wiki campaign of lobbying for policy improvement in this area. Thanks -- (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
And the critical missing piece of information is that the word "fuck" was introduced by Russavia (in relation to his article on a place called Fucking). I'm happy to disagree on the homophobia charge (which I still think is incorrect), but you're characterisation is misleading on the content of the message. I find that intellectually fraudulent. --Errant (chat!) 18:13, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes there was a link to the article on the Austrian town of that name, but I'm really not convinced that the F word was being used in the geographic context, especially by the fourth usage in that sentence. I think the Stonewall suggestion is a good one. It would show a determination to take the situation seriously and to sort out this problem at an early stage. ϢereSpielChequers 20:54, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Of course it was meant in the other way; but I question the initial use of it too, having the same connotations (i.e. confrontational and divisive). For better or worse (I say better) the LGBT community has recaptured the word queer, and its use can hardly be demonstrative of homophobia (because that is hypocritical). I'm a well known critic of large swathes of the LGBT community (which, ironically, means they assume I am not part of that commmunity); they are objectionable, annoying and do as much to put back progressive views of homosexuality as the real homophobes. To criticise the LGBT community just gets you branded a homophobe; and that is downright annoying. --Errant (chat!) 10:36, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry you find the LGBT community objectionable and annoying. From your statement, it appears that you would like the LGBT community to leave Wikipedia alone so you and your friends can own it in peace and quiet, being free to refer to them collectively as annoying hypocritical queers. In a similar way to gay people and the word "queer", many black people have reclaimed the n-word and on London streets I hear it in common use by young black people when talking to each other. Do you think that black people complaining when others refer to them using the n-word is also hypocritical? Perhaps you could start an essay taking that position, creating a simple shortcut using the same n-word, just so you can demonstrate how well rounded you are and this is not just about nasty queers. Thanks for taking it upon yourself to take such a courageous lead for our interpretation of the use of Wikipedia to defend the rights of free speech, regardless of how any hypocritical minority groups might be defamed in the process. -- (talk) 11:10, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Did you read the first paragraph of this section? Now you seem far more interested in casting aspersions on everyone else than of recognizing the problems inherent in censoring opinions on Wikipedia. Cherrs. Collect (talk) 11:42, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo; my apologies for helping derail this thread; I object strongly to Fæ's attempts to brand people homophobic on the slightest charge. Individuals with that attitude have always upset me; about as much as those who (in real life) attack me in homophobic ways. Sorry that this dispute exploded on your page. --Errant (chat!) 12:53, 8 April 2012 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(ec) As Salvio giuliano is stopping me from speaking freely about what I see as general defamation of a minority group on Wikipedia, I have instead been forced to raise ErrantX's comment at WP:AN[13] rather than using informal discussion here to resolve issues. I find Salvio's threat to start an Arbcom case for me raising my concern here a serious one, and feel that this is to the detriment of our ability to have a free discussion of the issues and clash of opinions of how to respond to WP:HOMO rather than attempting to throw sanctions and bans at each other. It does seem that those concerned about Wikipedia being a hostile place for open LGBT contributors have difficulty in finding any way of frankly expressing and discussing these issues on-wiki. If anyone has ideas of how to handle these problems openly rather than falling on dispute resolution processes, I welcome their suggestions on my user talk page. In the mean time I will strike my comments relating to the LGBT community from this thread as they are unwelcome on Jimbo's user talk page. I no longer expect a reply from Jimbo. Thanks -- (talk) 13:01, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Has it occurred to you that striking out because of what you term a "threat" is not the same as an apology for your personal attacks (viz. I can't see any point in replying to fake "how dare you attack me" claims. etc.)? Cheers. Now kindly apologize. Collect (talk) 13:47, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
My comments were never about you, as any reader can judge for themselves. Feel free to create a separate thread with you as the topic. Thanks -- (talk) 13:55, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the best "apology" you are able to muster after making explicit comments about me. Unless, of course, you think If you want to keep on wikilawyering, perhaps you could take your thoughts to a personal blog somewhere is in no way a personal comment about me. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:38, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter, Jimbo Wales! Hope your day is great! :) Like my singing? Ha-la-la-la-la-la-LA-LAAA!!! (talk) 11:02, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Froehliche Ostern!

Ich wuensche ihnen eine Froehliche Ostern.—cyberpower Happy EasterOnline 13:52, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

What the heck is going on with the speedy deletions of these two articles within five minutes?

Didn't even give me fifteen minutes to see and to explain why these two articles: William Mullins (Mayflower Pilgrim) (Pilgrim added later) and Edward Tilley (Mayflower Pilgrim) should not be deleted.

Who deletes an article on a Mayflower Pilgrim and Mayflower Compact signer.

They are also mentioned in three other Wikipedia articles:

The same is true for the second article. Then HE CHANGES HIS MIND AND summarily changed the name WITHOUT DISCUSSION taking off the (Mayflower Pilgrim) in the title which clearly identifies them with the many other Mayflower Pilgrim articles. Why bother to put the contested page up if they are not even going to give an editor or editors a chance to reply. What a farce! Does he know nothing of American History. Did he never hear of the Mayflower or the Mayflower Compact, both of which make both men NOTABLE. and under what rationale does he change the title which clearly identifies who the men are and what make them notable in American History not to mention that it joins all Mayflower Pilgrims articles together.

Please check the timestamps. Mugginsx (talk) 22:13, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

He didn't delete either article, he moved them both to a location consistent with our article naming policy, since no disambiguation is required here there in no need for (Mayflower Pilgrim) in the title Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 22:24, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Communication is a wonderful thing that helps people understand why. I'm not sure how old these articles are/were, but if they are brand new, RHaworth ought to have explained his actions briefly to the author. -- Avanu (talk) 22:29, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
One is new and the other has been edited and expanded from a stub today. He does not have the right to change these articles without consensus and arbitrarily. There was no request, there was no discussion, there was no consensus.He just didn't like it. It is important in American History and to Americans. Perhaps not to him, I do not know. It is often researched by students, etc. Mugginsx (talk) 22:32, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
'How about if we take the Royalty articles or Aristocrats Earls etc., and take off their titles on all their articles? Some of which I edited on. I bet that would cause some concern to him and every European. IT WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED Mugginsx (talk) 22:34, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
He does not have the right to change these articles without consensus and arbitrarily. Er... Right under every edit box is the disclaimer: "If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 22:41, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Both of the articles appear to be right where they belong. As said above, there is no need for disambiguation in either title. If any aristocrats or earls are being unnecessarily disambiguated, I'd expect that it would be tolerated...encouraged even to fix them. --OnoremDil 22:43, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Don't give me that. I have been here too long to swallow that. How about THE EARLS OF CHESTER - Why don't we just leave their name on the title of the article and TAKE OFF THEIR TITLES AND LET EVERYONE FIGURE OUT WHO THEY ARE. How long would that rationale last aye?Mugginsx (talk) 22:51, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
'Mayflower Passenger' isn't a title. It is a description. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:55, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Mugginsx you need to relax. Standard article naming rules have been applied here, it has nothing to do with any kind of prejudice or anything of the sort. The articles have been moved to the name of the subject, the earl of Chester is called the earl of Chester, nobody called these pilgrims "William Mayflower Passenger". We only include an explanation of who the subject is when there is someone different with the same name, not for every single article. Stop being so over-dramatic--Jac16888 Talk 22:56, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I will try to calm down but tell me: who is Hugh d'Avranches. OK, so many editors here know but what about the average reader? HE DOES NOT KNOW he is an Earl of Chester. These Pilgrims are less known individually and as a group to research I and others believe that the title would help that cause just as the title of important Europeans are better known for their titles. I think it a fair analogy. Mugginsx (talk) 23:01, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
It's a completely wrong analogy, as Andy says Earl, lord etc are that persons title, "mayfair passenger" is nobodys title. Do you not realise that if someone is trying to find out about one of these passengers on wikipedia, when they search for them they will type "William Mullins", not "William Mullins (Mayflower Passenger)". And in most cases people will find the article through the mayfair article anyway--Jac16888 Talk 23:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Avanu, First he put them up for speedy deletion and before I could finish explaining why they should NOT be deleted, he changed the title and moved them with just the persons name WITHOUT the title i.e., identifying them as Mayflower Pilgrims (I said passengers before, I apologize). These people are little know except as a group and I and others thought that to identify them all in this manner would be better for researchers just the way TITLES are used in say the Earl of Chester who no American (unless a Wiki editor maybe) would know his name as Hugh d'Avranches. That is I think a fair analogy to an American. I respect you and will go with your opinion but I think I am correct in my strategy for students and researchers. Mugginsx (talk) 23:11, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Now he is saying he never put them up for speedy deletion? I saw the template and answered the questions. It was on both. Then he redirected them Mugginsx (talk) 23:21, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not in the history. If you're going to make accusations up... —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 23:23, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I have been here since 2008 and I know what I saw. It is no longer there. I cannot explain, can you? Anyway, I can't compete with an administrator. I don't have the tools nor the power. The only power I have here is my integrity. Also, it was Mayflower Pilgrim not Mayflower Passenger, I mispoke earlier here. And yes, they were known as Pilgrims, that is their title. I have nothing more to say. Mugginsx (talk) 23:35, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can explain some of it. Someone tagged Talk:William Mullins for deletion as a testpage [14]. Mugginsx created the page with only a full stop on it (by accident I suppose). RHaworth removed the speedy. Incidentally, Mugginsx, you moved Tilley from Edward Tilley, so RHaworth was only reverting your BOLD but unnecessary move. Elen of the Roads (talk) 01:04, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Thank you so much Elen. I am not quite sure what you mean about Edward - both names had the titles. It shows that way still on my "favorites bar" but anyway doesn't matter now but thanks for your astute observation.Mugginsx (talk) 01:08, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
[15] <-- This is you Mugginsx moved page Edward Tilley to Edward Tilley (Mayflower Pilgrim): aligned with many other Mayflower Pilgrim articles. Also, many other Tilly articles will be much easier to find with title. RHaworth reverted the move in this case. He didn't make the move. That's all I was saying. Elen of the Roads (talk) 01:41, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I changed the page title to Edward Tilley adding the title (Mayflower Pilgrim). I also changed John Tilley at [[16]]. Thanks for finding the "testpage deletion" I never heard of either a test page deletion or a full stop page creation. I will try to find out what both mean and really, thanks again. Mugginsx (talk) 01:56, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Testpage thingy was weird. Just wanted you to know you weren't imagining seeing a speedy template somewhere in the mix. Elen of the Roads (talk) 02:57, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for going the extra step and believing in an editor. That makes me feel very humble. Mugginsx (talk) 11:39, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

How Can I Put The Banner Idea Forward?

Hey, Jimbo,How do I put this banner I showed you a while ago forward for the 2012/13 fundraiser? User Talk:Willdude123 19:56, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Someone did a banner a while ago - can't be bothered to find it - which just said "[donation needed]" in big blue letters. I liked that one. Formerip (talk) 20:50, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd talk to Zack at the Foundation. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:52, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
How should I go about doing that because, obviously I can't edit the foundation's wiki, and he seems inactive on wikipedia.Cheers User Talk:Willdude123 07:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


— Preceding unsigned comment added by Commander v99 (talkcontribs) 23:05, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Keith Raniere

Hi. Some members, myself included have a message for you on the Keith Raniere talk page. Some members have left pointers regarding your feedback as a admin here. Please view it asap. Willowfang (talk) 05:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I won't have time to view any of your talk page stalkers comments here, because I'm too busy doing your job on the talk page there, tisk tisk. Willowfang (talk) 05:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I smell a sock...--Jasper Deng (talk) 05:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Deprotección de una película del 2007

("Deprotection of a film from 2007")

Could you lift the protection in this article Juno (film)? I think it's been protected for too long. (talk) 13:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Jimbo

This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.

You are awesome

A cheeseburger for you

Cheeseburger.png You are very helpful!! Berwick writer (talk) 15:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if the kittens enjoy the food while they ponder the graphs. (talk) 00:34, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales' Email Address

Well, anyway, thank you, Paul for the edit to the talk page. You were right that it was silly to tell people to email me, but to have the email address much further down the page.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I edited Jimbo Wales' user page because I thought that his email address was too far from where it first mentions his email, especially when viewed on a mobile phone. It was reverted by Bwilkins on the grounds that email addresses should only show up once per page. I accept this point of view but would it not be better for the address to appear where it is first mentioned. i.e. If your press inquiry is strictly regarding Wikipedia or another Wikimedia project, you can contact me directly by e-mail at jimbo at or you can call the Foundation office and speak to our communications person, Jay, at +1 (415) 839-6885.

If it is regarded by the community that an email address should only appear once per page can someone explain to me why it is OK that Topher's email address is mentioned twice in the same paragraph and Jimbo's only once on the whole page.

Thanks, Paul Bates 1973 (talk) 19:45, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

I am a new editor and I have been reading the Wikipedia Policies. I used BRD. I was bold, I edited Jimbo Wales' User Page, It was reverted. Now I am discussing it. I understand that Bwilkins has a different point of view than me. He seems to be a highly experienced and respected editor, but according to what I have read, his view holds no more weight than mine. I haven't been convinced by his argument that the email address is in the right place because it should only appear once. If anyone has any comments that would help please make them, I intend to re-edit the page if nobody objects. As I said I am new so if I am going about this the wrong way then please feel free to give me advice. Paul Bates 1973 (talk) 11:00, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
BRD refers to articles, not other users' userpages. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 13:08, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
You ARE going about it the wrong way. WE are here to collaborate on enhancing an Encyclopedia...not create arguments over the most minor of details or whose words carry more weight. Do some work around the place before you start re-arranging the pictures. ```Buster Seven Talk 13:16, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not re-arranging pictures. I don't know where you got that idea from. I am just saying that the email address on this page could be better placed, and so far only Bwilkings has expressed a difference of opinion. I would not normally edit a user’s page but the text on this page actively encourages it. I am beginning to suspect that actually it is not possible to make a change for the better because any edit will be just reverted no matter what. If you do not think this subject is worthy of discussion then just don’t get involved. If anyone has an intelligent reason for why the email address is better left where it is then let’s discuss it, otherwise, if no one really cares where the email address is placed other than me, I’ll edit it. Paul Bates 1973 (talk) 15:37, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not re-arranging pictures.
It's an idiom. A more familiar phrase might be "Rearranging the deck chairs while the Titanic sinks." In other words, don't fuss over the minor details when there are big things that need fixing. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm mystified why we're giving this new editor a hard time for doing what Jimbo's user page, and our welcome templates, and everything else tell him he should do. I mean, this is evidently a new editor who is actually following WP:BRD, we should be pleasantly surprised and thankful, not snotty. Paul, I suggest you not add the email address back until it's clear people agree, as that could cause an even bigger kerfluffle. But for what it's worth, I actually think it was a good edit. And it's depressing to see people who think it is worth their time to belittle you for doing something they don't think is worth your time. --Floquenbeam (talk) 19:39, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Floquenbeam, I will follow your advice and not change the edit until a consensus is reached. The problem is no one wants to discuss the actual issue I raise. I love using Wikipedia as a reader and thought I could help as an editor. I guess I am not the only new editor who would turn to the founder’s page first. I read with amazement as he actually encouraged me to edit his own user page. I thought the page would be perfect and no actual problem would exist. I then encountered what I conceived as a problem, I read the sentence “Please contact me by email” but no email was presented. It was not until I got to the bottom of the page that I found an email address. I then looked at the page on my computer rather than on my phone and saw that the problem wasn’t quite as obvious when viewed on a full size computer screen, so perhaps no one else had noticed. I thought to myself, “I better not change Jimmy Wales’ user page until I understand a bit more about how this community works”. I spent a whole day reading policies and essays and came to the conclusion that I should make a bold edit and see what happens. I did this and as expected it was reverted. I then expected someone with a lot more knowledge to explain why my edit was not correct. Instead I am treated like some sort of idiot. Firstly “Strange Passerby” tells me BRD doesn’t apply to user pages even though the user page I edited actively encourages I be bold and edit it. Then “Buster Seven” tells me not to re-arrange pictures and then “The hand that feeds you” has a go at me because I am not aware that the phrase “re-arranging the pictures” actually has nothing to do with pictures. I am told I should not fuss over small details when there are big things that need fixing. Who decides what is a big thing and what a small thing is, obviously not me. Perhaps we aren’t all equal here after all. I must say that I was not expecting this. I was expecting a discussion about the issue I raised. I am sorry to have bothered you all, It is obvious that despite what the ideals of the founder of this amazing website are, some of the active editors of it don’t share those same ideals. Please forgive me for my intrusion into your world. Paul Bates 1973 (talk) 23:45, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Some reflection would show that while it would be great to discuss the issue raised here, in practice there are 3 million pages and there is no way a reasonable discussion can be held on every minor difference of opinion. Johnuniq (talk) 07:33, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
One of my primary beliefs is that is that a userpage for the most part belongs to the user. Although Jimbo does say "go ahead and edit" his, it's still setup for the most part how he wants it.
In articles, we remove duplicate wikilinks, etc, I saw the addition of a second e-mail address as similar. The new addition was a mere couple of lines away from the existing one, when viewed on the screen.
It is really outside the scope of any area of Wikipedia to discuss what does or does not belong on someone's personal userpage - unless of course it meets specific deletion/removal criteria. Barring a problem, there's no need to discuss changes to a userpage - it's their business. You can't start a discussion that would force an extra e-mail address or anything.
I do not believe that I bit the new editor whatsoever. I do believe that they are not quite aware of WP:UP, or where WP:BRD is used. Indeed, I welcome the editor to the fold ... we have millions of articles that need help - userpage will generally help themselves. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 11:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Hey Paul, I'm pretty much in agreement with Floq here. WikiLife can be hard for newbies! (And for oldies, too.) Sometimes rules seem to be about individual interpretation, and sometimes each of us interprets things slightly differently, and we can't all be right! We often have disagreements amongst ourselves, though the idea is to try and disagree agreeably. But (and this is a big "but") we're all also human beings (most of the time, lol!), and we have our good days, and our bad days, and our snitty moments, and sometimes too much on our plates both here in WikiLand and also in real life. Not one of us is perfect. Most of us try to be nice most of the time. Most of us hate it if we hurt someone unintentionally (though, as with any community, there's a small proportion who intentionally dish out hurt ... but it is a small proportion). Take heart, and remember always that humans are imperfect creatures. We're all fallible. Pesky (talk) 13:38, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I really didn't want to comment further here, but realize I was unclear and should clarify: I don't think BWilkins did anything wrong here; he disagreed with the edit, reverted, explained why politely in the edit summary, and welcomed the new editor. I'm more disappointed with the response the new editor got here on this page. But any further comments I have I'll make at his talk page. --Floquenbeam (talk) 14:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Paul's edit is consistent with the format of the paragraph, i.e. name at..., name at.... I redid the edit. I see no problem with the repeated email later. -Lyncs (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:47, 10 April 2012 (UTC).
  • I have absolutely no problems with Bwilkins, like I said previously; he seems like an experienced and respected editor. What I didn’t like were some of the comments made in discussion after the edit was reverted. I may be wrong but I would think the place to talk about changes to a user’s page would be the user’s talk page. I would be quite happy to go along with the consensus view even if it differed from my own. From my perspective it seemed that some editors just wanted to knock me down rather than make any positive comments. I am aware that there are a lot of things that need doing but I thought I would start with something simple. Anyway someone else has re-made the edit now, so unless someone objects to the change and wants to discuss the matter further let’s call the matter closed. Paul Bates 1973 (talk) 19:45, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Within 12 minutes of my mis-understood "arranging the pictures" comment above, I visited User Bates talk page and re-confirmed User:Bwilkins warm welcome. [[17]] When the new editor stated "feel free to offer advice" I thought I gave him good advice...."Don't sweat the small stuff". I'm surprised he failed to mention my "outreach" to him and only my initial (perhaps a bit too harsh) suggestion. I have welcomed hundreds of new editors and don't like being portrayed as unfriendly here. ```Buster Seven Talk 07:48, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

La censura de algunos bibliotecarios

Estimado Sr.

He sufrido la censura de varios bibliotearios por mi artículo D. Manuel Serrano Cebrian. Un ilustre locutor español galardonado con 3 remios Ondas (Máximo reconocimiento en el panorama de la radiodifudión española). Su proceder es el de un disco rayado: Fuentes no fiables, promocional y partidista. Después de 7 meses de trabajo de campo en tan sólo unos minutos han realizado un borrado rápido y por ello quisiera exponerle lo siguiente: Primero: Es triste que todo un trabajo sea el mío o el de otra persona, tenga que pasar por el criterio antojadizo de algunos bobliotecarios que creen suya esta enciclopedia libre. Segundo: Algunos de ellos actúan como jueces censurando a su libre criterio, sin preocuparles que detrás de ese artículo hay un trabajo realizado con honestidad. Tercero: La libertad de información y la de aportar conocimientos se vé gravemente peligrada por la figura de los bibliotecarios. Bloqueando y borrando artículos de usuarios altamente especializados sobre un tema. Si se da cuenta Sr. fundador la creación de artículos es un derecho que se reservan para ellos, impidiendo que otros usuarios puedan publicar artículos según su criterio. Puede usted meterse en la página de discusión de alguno de ellos y observará la forma en que tratan a los usuarios, por lo menos en el idioma español y encima si nos quejamos somos bloqueados o hemos sido ofensivos. También puede consultar el la red las quejas de muchos usuarios que ponen en entredicho la figura privilegiada del bibliotecario. Recurro a usted en nombre de muchos usuarios para que salvaguarde la libertad de esta enciclopedia, a la que yo aporto desinterasadamente dinero y mis humildes conocimientos, y la proteja de un grupo de usuarios con privilegios que se está apoderando de ella.

Atentemente Sedenkare — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Google translation, which feel free to clean up. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:49, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I have suffered censorship of several administrators of my article D. Serrano Manuel Cebrian. An illustrious Spanish speaker awarded 3 Premios Ondas (Maximum recognition in the panorama of Spanish ?broadcasting). His demeanor is that of a broken record: unreliable sources, promotional and partisan. After 7 months of field work in just a few minutes did a quick erase and so for this I would expound the following: First: It is sad that all work be mine or someone else, have to go through the whimsical approach some who believe they should censor this free encyclopedia. Second: Some of them act as judges censoring its discretion, without worrying that behind this article is a work honestly. Third: The freedom to provide information and knowledge is severely endangered by the figure of Administrators. Blocking and deleting users highly specialized articles on a topic. If you find Mr. founding the creation of articles is a right reserved for them, preventing other users to publish articles at their discretion. Can you get into the discussion page for any of them and watch how they treat users, at least in Spanish and over if we complain we are blocked or have been offensive. You can also check the network with complaints of many users who call into question the privileged figure of the librarian [censor/administrator?]. I appeal to you on behalf of many users to safeguard the freedom of this encyclopedia, to which I contribute my humble desinterasadamente money and knowledge, and protect a group of privileged users that it is taking over.

The back-story seems to be the deletion of an article about a 1970s radio broadcaster. Some sources may have been provided, but were not considered reliable. Google returns nothing but social networking sites. The es admin involved in this speaks some English, according to their Babel boxes: . Formerip (talk) 13:23, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

To be fair, the said es admin should be notified about this appeal if Jimbo is interested in this matter. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:33, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I was going to let them know about this discussion, but the userpage is semied and I am not autoconfirmed. Formerip (talk) 13:34, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I suppose (WP:village pump/news) would be a proper place to announce. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:40, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Too much oxygen, maybe? My impression is that there isn't really much to discuss. es.wp seems to have determined that a particular article fails the equivalent of GNG. Jimbo or en.wp can't really do much about that or about the whether the matter was handled fairly, IMO. Formerip (talk) 14:05, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I've left a note on the talkpage of another involved user and asked them to also let Bernard know. Formerip (talk)
I've offered to this user replace the deleted text in a subpage so he could check there and make the necessary improvements with assistance. The complainant seems to assume that "Free Encyclopedia" means that anyone can publish content at will and without complying with policies of verifiability and neutrality. He mentioned references in his claims, but does not put them in the article (or don´t know how, but neither has the necessary attitude for someone helps he): He starts accusing we of censorship and arbitrary, but the truth is that the text doesn´t meet minimal necessary conditions.--Antur (talk) 16:46, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I've put a message in (probably quite bad) Spanish on the user's en and es talkpages advising them that Jimbo rarely intervenes in disputes outside en.wp and that they should instead consider the equivalents of DRV or apopt-a-user/help that are available within Spanish Wikipedia. Formerip (talk) 17:33, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

You're invited! New England Wikimedia General Meeting

Wikimedia New England logo.svg
New England Wikimedia General Meeting

The New England Wikimedia General Meeting will be a large-scale meetup of all Wikimedians (and friends) from the New England area in order to discuss regional coordination and possible formalization of our community (i.e., a chapter). Come hang out with other Wikimedians, learn more about ongoing activities, and help plan for the future!
Potential topics:
Sunday, April 22
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Conference Room C06, Johnson Building,
Boston Public Library—Central Library
700 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116
Please sign up here: Wikipedia:Meetup/New England!

Message delivered by Dominic at 09:12, 11 April 2012 (UTC). Note: You can remove your name from this meetup invite list here.


Suppression of content about fringe ideas

I have become concerned recently about the way a number of people in Wikipedia including some administrators are taking WP:FRINGE to mean they should delete or completely obliterate the contents of fringe theory articles or just include refutations. This has affected quite a number of articles, the latest I noticed this being done to is Aquatic ape hypothesis with the comment 'removing most of the specific claims and rebuttals leaving only general theoretical issues,' and this is defended at WP:FTN#Aquatic ape hypothesis Try if you will to find in that article a single thing the hypothesis was supposed to explain. Then have a look at Conservapedia Aquatic Ape, theyu actually say in three short paragraphs more that's actually relevant about it then we do in a great big article which just says lods of people disagree with it. RationalWiki has a far better article than us at Aquatic ape hypothesis. There is something going very badly wrong I think that we should go around censoring and deleting anything at all fringe to such an extent that both Conservapedia and RationalWiki do a better job than us? Or am I wrong and Wikipedia really is about presenting only correct thought? Dmcq (talk) 15:44, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

The talk page section for the removal is here Talk:Aquatic_ape_hypothesis#Hypothesis_material. In its current form there were significant issues with synthesis in the material and the extremely poor style. Synthesis issues caused the article to be bumped down recently Talk:Aquatic_ape_hypothesis/Archive_4#Assessment_details. A back and forth between fringe suggestions and mainstream response is a terrible style. It seems the material would need to be fundamentally re-written to be encylopedic. You were asked for suggestions at WP:FTN but you declined [18]. A description of the hypothesis is provided here Aquatic_ape_hypothesis#The_hypothesis. So what exactly is the issue? IRWolfie- (talk) 16:31, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
People can follow those links and judge for themselves. Here's a diff too to the state before 'bumping' and the current state. And bad style is not a reason to gut all the content except general criticisms from an article. You said at FTN it still described the hypothesis. Compared it to the Conservapedia three tiny paragraph article, that one outlines what the hypothesis was trying to explain. Wikipedia's article never goes anywhere near saying what it was in aid of. Dmcq (talk) 17:40, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Do people agree that "Fringe theories should be suppressed"?[19] Dmcq (talk) 19:14, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

And to ask the opposite - should fringe theories be explored and explained with focus on every tiny detail and new argument thought up by a proponent? How much detail should an idea never embraced by the mainstream get? Or should we focus mainly on why the mainstream has never accepted the theory? Should the moon landing hoax page list every reason why proponents think the moon landing was faked? Should creationism list all the alleged flaws of the theory of evolution? When most experts in the relevant discipline don't think a theory is worth discussing, should we do it for them, or is that soapboxing? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:24, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying those articles should be gutted too? Dmcq (talk) 19:38, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem with the material removed from the Aquatic ape hypothesis article was that a lot of it wasn't from the 'hypothesis' as originally proposed at all - it was a collection of 'supporting arguments' subsequently raised by proponents - and there is no real evidence that these arguments are particularly significant in themselves - or indeed, that they have ever been gathered together anywhere but Wikipedia: it was synthesis. Add to that the ongoing problem with proponents of a different theory trying to plug a book on their version, and the whole thing gets messy. A ragbag collection of vaguely-on-topic arguments and rebuttals is hardly encyclopaedic material... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:40, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I think this hits the nail on the head, and it sounds very similar to the case of Astrology. Clearly, fringe science has to be described in articles about fringe science. But some editors seem to go further and take a view that, if the article is about the thing, then even the most obscure proponents of the thing should be given generous airtime and their arguments given as much weight as those of the mainstream, or more. A confused interpretation of NPOV. Formerip (talk) 22:12, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
And that "Clearly, fringe science has to be described in articles about fringe science" is what I want. Not to go describing obscure details or anything like that but ensure a person who reads it has a good idea of what the article is about. Here we just have a whole load of of cites to people saying they don't think much of it or it isn't mainstream without explaining what 'it' is. What's done is not a reasonable interpretation of WP:NPOV or WP:FRINGE. Dmcq (talk) 22:58, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, but, without reproducing the whole talkpage history, how does the Acquatic Ape article fall down, in your view? Formerip (talk) 23:24, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
The AAH is mainly based on three distinctive human characteristics, namely
  • an exclusively upright gait
  • the quality of human skin, with subcutaneous fat and very thin hair
  • the descended larynx, conscious control of the breath and speech.
As currently protected, the article makes absolutely no mention of any of these factors. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 11:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
So, it might be fair to say that this article currently has a WRONGVERSION problem which makes it hard to use as a basis of generalisation (?). Formerip (talk) 17:17, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes indeed. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 07:25, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The generalization is that a number of people agree that what has been done to it is correct and it is okay and apply the same logic elsewhere. Dmcq (talk) 09:40, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Except for the fact that people are talking on the talk page to see how they can cover those topics while sticking with Wikipedia's guidelines. I'm sure that won't impact your opinion though. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Some awkward questions people wish would just go away by themselves, rather than try to answer...

Could anyone kindly give me an explanation as to the origin of the usage of the term "FRINGE"?
Would I be incorrect in assuming that it is derived from the 70s phrase "LUNATIC FRINGE"?
Would I be incorrect in assuming that the term was originally a disparaging one?
Would I be incorrect in assuming that choice of such a term incorporates an inherent Point-of-View? I.E. it is highly subjective?
Would I be incorrect to state that, in any major controversy where people are roughly divided 50-50 into two opposing camps, one can usually find people on BOTH sides each loudly accusing the other side of being the "FRINGE", or "LUNATIC FRINGE"?
Thank you in advance for your explanations, they will help me to understand what's supposed to be going on here. Blockinblox (talk) 20:16, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
@Blockinblox - let's skip to the interesting one -which one are you referring to as "roughly divided 50-50"? Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:46, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Read it again, more carefully. I said "in any major controversy", without giving any specific examples. Blockinblox (talk) 20:57, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

A "fringe" is strings or threads attached to a rug or carpet, not actually doing much more than being at the edge and fouling vacuum cleaners. Thus anything "at the edge" (of anything) is "at the fringe." In political terms, it is pretty much a useless concept as each side in any dispute tends to think of the other side as "fringe" or "extreme" or "radical." In science, the term usually denotes positions held by a small minority of scientists - but not denoting "rightness" or "wrongness" per se. Galileo was "fringe" to the others of his time, but now is not. I hope this helps. Collect (talk) 20:49, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Not really. People nowadays are getting used to seeing the world as a globe, and the only margins are on a flat view of the earth. Same with the world of thought, and those who would use a "neutral" project to marginalize everyone else's rather than learn about them.Blockinblox (talk) 20:57, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Disagree. Flat earth margins/fringes can be very damaging: for example, AIDS denialism, MMR vaccination scare... (Though that doesn't necessarily mean that a Nobel Prize winner can't be pretty edgy too.) —MistyMorn (talk) 23:20, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
On the flip side, people try to use Wikipedia to advertise for their hypothesis (or one that they agree with). That's not what the encyclopedia is for. We marginalize all the time. We're not here to advertise anyone's garage band, nor are we here to advertise anyone's hypothesis that they can produce cold fusion in their garage. Once the band gets noticed by major record labels or magazines, they get mentions or articles. Once the guy in his garage gets papers peer-reviewed or covered repeatedly in major media, he gets a mention or article. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:52, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
What is going on here is I believe an encyclopaedia should present the notable facts about topics, even ones which are mad or bad. Others as far as I can make out think we need to be protected by suppressing anything which isn't mainstream. Which end of the spectrum matches yours idea of an encyclopaedia most closely? Dmcq (talk) 20:57, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
If you're asking me, I think my view is much closer to yours, as you described it, though I would point out that your question seems to turn a 'spectrum' into a 'dichotomy'..Blockinblox (talk) 21:04, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
This question has wider implications. “Fringe” obviously mean different things to different people. When I worked in R&D some of the scientist around me were looking into things that had not been looked into before. They were working on the fringes of what was already known. Ergo, the bulk of other researchers had not yet the chance to even consider it. It takes decades sometimes for things to filter through to the collages. Yet some people think that fringe automatic equates to them having “ flawed factual content” (as pointed out in the above link to by editor Dmcq). That's the pseudo-skeptic stance and a scientists answer to that is Sutor, ne ultra crepidam. New ideas should show up as they do in other encyclopedias as 'new theories'. My old Arthur Mees Encyclopaedia had a bit about the sun not burning hydrogen but under going some other type of 'atomic' reaction to explain its long lasting heat output to bring it into line that life on earth possible existed for thousands of years longer than had previously been imagined. Even back then, other posits, ideas, theorise -call them what you will - where allowed in. Science doesn’t work like school history books lead you to believe – all clean cut and perfect. John Snow didn't prove cholera was water born by that taking that pump handle off – he was dead before this theory was finally accepted by the whole medical community. You can read on Google books ( as I have) what the contemporary thought was at this time. Yet by fortune, he was a well regarded doctor that happened to be at the location of a very serious outbreak and when -with the benefit of hindsight- writers look back, the severity of the London outbreak stood out. Thus, he got the credit whilst all the names of the other supports are now forgotten. Wikipedia, if it is to really stand out, needs to make the clear distinction between fringe and pseudo-science. To have 'two' categories which invites cobblers to leave their lasts (Sutor, ne ultra crepidam style) and both bat and play catch at the same time creates a niche and safe haven for the pseudo-sceptics to dwell in and a focus point for WP critics to (and rightfully) laugh at. Thirty years ago it felt a privilege to say say to a puzzled graduate “Ah but – We’re working on the fringes...” --Aspro (talk) 21:22, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Alternative viewpoints can have due weight to appear in the articles. That is why mentions of string theory etc appear in the article Big Bang, as well as mention of religious interpretations but we aren't going to start sticking in young earth creationists viewpoints as that would be undue. The difference between alternative formulations which have a significant following (but not the majority) and pseudoscience etc is already laid out at the top of WT:FT WT:FRINGE, i.e Wikipedia already has a way to distinguish the content. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:23, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
The bigger articles like Young Earth creationism have enough people defending them and get looked after properly so they aren't stripped of anything describing what they are about. They are informative articles describing the topic in a fairly reasonable way. But smaller articles like aquatic ape hypothesis don't have enough people defending them and are picked on and gutted or deleted. Try and find anything corresponding to what's in the creationism article's 'Characteristics and beliefs' section. You won't. All it says is 'Various traits that have been proposed to indicate past adaptation to aquatic conditions and the return to land' without ever mentioning any. Dmcq (talk) 22:42, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
There is always the alternative to consider, that there aren't 'enough' people defending the the article on AAT for a reason. That every pet theory needs to receive a detailed analysis on Wikipedia should not be taken for granted, such that those who disagree are to be accused of suppressing information or mandating correct thought. And of course any editor who has a problem with an article is always free to weigh in and try to fix it, coincidentally also a way to address the 'problem' of insufficient defense. Agricolae (talk) 23:21, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Articles abandoned from one-bad-apple: I once imagined that articles with "few people defending them" were limited in support due to a corresponding limit in readership. However, I eventually learned, without a doubt, that articles become abandoned by the "one-bad-apple" concept of hostile editors driving others away, or the "too-many-kooks-spoil-the-broth" where there is chaos of incoherent people who "no speaka da common sense". Unfortunately, college-educated people and experts rarely deal with so many uninformed people at this close level, or when they do, there are clear lines of leadership from the organized or knowledgeable leaders, to keep the group focused. If you find a bridge with surprisingly little traffic, look for the "wp:troll under the bridge". The conflicts with hostile or incoherent editors drive numerous people away, even from articles read by thousands of readers. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That touches on what is probably the biggest problem with Wikipedia, the problem of exhaustion by POV pushers as one can only normally get banned for incivility or sockpuppeting or something like that. Even in cases like this it might be better to have rubbish content protected for six months at a time rather than have the dreadful personal attacks and wikilawyering you get from some experienced editors trying to get the ones they don't like banned for responding with something they can be sent to AN/I for. With less overall hassle perhaps experienced editors wouldn't engage in such behaviour and the whole business could be dealt with a bit more rationally. This street brawling turns good editors away. Dmcq (talk) 10:02, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Track per-article edit-limits: Dmcq, I see what you're saying, and I think the best solution is to count edit-limits on a per-article basis. The "wp:Wikiphysics" of POV-pushing requires many edits to an article or talk-page (far beyond typical editing), so if suspicious editors could be nominated (by anyone) for counting their total edits against a per-article limit, then each entrenched editor would get auto-blocked at the monthly/quarterly limit of ranting on an article. The reason this tactic could work so easily is due to the power of wp:AGF, where in any large group of editors, it is safe to assume they edit, in good faith, and move on, but the troublesome editors dwell and obsess (with numerous edits), and once spotted, they could be nominated for retro-counting their edits against a per-article limit. There are so few (among the 3,500 highly active editors), that only edit-limiting the specifically nominated editors should be easy to track, and once the concept had spread, of shutting down the rants, then fewer editors would continue trying that tactic on other articles. There might need to be a special provision for per-category edit-limits, if people tried wp:Gaming the system (by switching to related articles near the edit-limit). Also, I would recommend tracking per-wp:TAGTEAM edit-limits, where some people edit in tandem, and all edits by a team could be counted together, as nominated by someone who senses a team effort. Initially, even the excessive totals could be reported by users who counted other edits. This does not require waiting 20 years for the MediaWiki software to count per-article edits. Anyway, it is amazing what computer-assisted management can accomplish, once unhealthy patterns are spotted in the computerized transactions in the history log. -Wikid77 04:37, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
@ IRWolfie. Didn't follow any of that. How did 'young earth creationists' creep into this and where does your (IRWolfie) link WT:FT address pseudo-science. Who's post are you replying to? The problem is that many editors keep demonstrating that they can't distinguish the difference between pseudo-science and fringe. This appears to be the point of the OP's post and the reason that some academics throw up their hands in despair when they try to up-date WP. Just read some of the “why I have left WP” posts...--Aspro (talk) 22:50, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
sorry gave wrong wrong link, here: WT:FRINGE. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:19, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
@Blockinblox: Here is my take on what fringe science is. Cardamon (talk) 08:24, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

This article does not explain the topic it debunks

I'm not that familiar with the Aquatic ape hypothesis article, but looking over the article lede, I see 2 sentences describing the hypothesis, 2 sentences describing its history and 6 sentences debunking it. That means out of 10 sentences, only 2 describe the theory. Again, I'm not that familiar with the Aquatic ape hypothesis article, but I work a lot in articles about fringe theories, and I have encountered two problems:

  • Activist editors trying to promote fringe theories in violation of NPOV.
  • Activist editors trying to debunk and ridicule fringe theories in violation of NPOV.

To be honest, I prefer the second problem to the first, but second is still a problem. I sometimes think that we should create a template that says, "This article doesn't explain the topic it debunks.". A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:01, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Numerous neutral editors have tried to improve this article but the opponents of AAH (those who see it as pseudoscience, or continually compare it to creationism or form changing lizards) use the term fringe so that they can put more weight on criticisms of the AAH than actually explaining what it is. Last year an ebook was published with contributions from numerous experts around the world including Elaine Morgan (an acknowledged expert), coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the publication of the article by Hardy which first introduced the hypothesis to the scientific world. This was deemed an unreliable source by opponents of the AAH. Meanwhile web-blogs and polemic web-sites critical of the AAH were deemed appropriate sources. The page has been protected three times in the last few months, each time on a version likely to please the opponents of the idea. New editors are accused of being sock puppets, and bullied until they leave. I’m encouraged that there are obviously some at Wikipedia who agree with me that this doesn’t reflect well on Wikipedia. In reality it really shouldn’t be too difficult to deal with this issue. The article should simply explain what the AAH is, including a summary of the hypothesis, the major proponents and significant publications, and then it should say that this hypothesis has not yet been accepted within the mainstream of palaeoanthropology. Then, we should provide a link to the Wikipedia article that does outline the mainstream view of human evolution. The problem is, of course, that there is no such article. Now why is that? Yloopx (talk) 00:38, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
"No such article"? Then what do you think the topic of our Human evolution article is? And no, it is not true to say that the AAH "has not yet been accepted within the mainstream of palaeoanthropology". It has been flatly rejected. It never will be 'accepted' in the form presented by Morgan for example, as it isn't a formal scientific hypothesis in the first place. It is a vague collection of observations, clustered around a just-so story. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:33, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
For the sake of argument... Lets say that the AAH is a work of complete and utter fiction. How do we usually structure our articles about works of fiction? From my experience, we usually spend at least a paragraph or two outlining the basic plot of the work, and then move on to a section that discusses the work's reception by the critics... So why would an article on a notable fringe theory be structured any differently? Shouldn't we spend at least a short paragraph outlining the "plot of the story" (ie outline what proponents of the "hypothesis" say)... and then move on the a section on how that story was received by the critics? Blueboar (talk) 02:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that anyone would object to that - but that wasn't what the deleted material was doing. It wasn't describing the AAH as proposed, but instead offering 'evidence' from more recent research, along with counter-arguments from palaeoanthropology etc. It was synthesis. Given the vagueness of the initial theory - which never gave much indication of when in hominid evolution the 'aquatic' phase happened, or explained why such traits as supposedly evolved in this period should be retained in a non-aquatic environment, without resorting to assumptions that they had some other advantage (which begs the question as to why they couldn't have evolved without the 'aquatic' stage in the first place..), such synthesis is more or less inevitable - because that is how the 'hypothesis' was constructed in the first place. It is difficult to give a concise description of a vague proposal... AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, AndyTheGrump, but the Human Evolution article does not explain why humans evolved the way they did. It summarises the various fossil species, and looks at tools and evidence that humans did evolve. It addresses the multi-regional versus out of Africa debate, but as to why humans evolved the way they did, why they are different to other primates, why they are bipedal, furless and fat, for example, it offers nothing. The AAH, whether it is write or wrong, offers an explanation as to why humans are different to other primates. There is no mainstream alternative. Think about why that might be. Yloopx (talk) 04:21, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That is wrong and nonsensical. Hundreds of paleoanthropologists have studied the evolutionary history of humans and made as many hypothesis about what evolutionary trajectories lead to their current states. AAH is among the last supported of dozens of such hypotheses. You don't seem to know what you talk about.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry AndyTheGrump too but why does the article not have at least the plot like Blueboar says? And why in this case are developments of the theory to be ignored? That's like saying that quantum theory should be cut down to what Planck or Einstein originally said and Heisenberg is irrelevant. Why exactly is the idea that humans spent enough time wading on the seashore to greatly influenced our evolution for instance not considered part of the aquatic ape hypothesis? Because they say wading or littoral or shore dwelling instead of aquatic ape? Dmcq (talk) 04:49, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Because who says it? A scientific hypothesis is supposed to be something one can define, and something which is capable (in theory at least) of falsification. If new 'variations' of the 'hypothesis' are about a 'not-actually-aquatic' ape, why are they relevant to an article about aquatic apes? They aren't - but it makes a convenient coat-rack... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
If, as you say Maunus, there are dozens of potential explanations for how humans evolved, this just demonstrates that the field has no real answer. In other words, AAH is not fringe (because there is no centre), it’s merely one of a number of competing hypotheses. The difference is, AAH explains numerous independent traits together (nakedness, large brain, tool use, voluntary breath control, subcutaneous fat, external nose, infant tolerance to immersion) whereas all these traits each have their own suite of explanations independent of each other, if they have any explanation at all, given ‘mainstream’ scenarios. Yloopx (talk) 05:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Mainstream palaeoanthropology doesn't attempt to explain human evolution by a single unfalsifiabile 'hypothesis' - because evolution doesn't work like that. It is ridiculous to think that everything that distinguishes the human line from the other great apes can be explained by a single event. Pseudoscience. Go away, and learn some science... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Who ever said “everything that distinguishes the human line from the other great apes can be explained by a single event”? Certainly not me. All I’ve been doing is reacting to other editors who continually say there are better explanations than the AAH to explain human evolution. Alright, but what are these explanations? Whenever I ask I get nothing. And of course the AAH is falsifiable. You're getting confused because it's never been falsified (unlike the savanna theory, which has, and which proves that broad evolutionary theories can be). Yloopx (talk) 06:03, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't the place to argue that a theory is true or not. All I want is topics being described without one side trying to say it is a theory of everything and the other deleting all the content and turning Wikipedia into a worse encyclopaedia than Conservapedia. As Blueboar said so well above 'Shouldn't we spend at least a short paragraph outlining the "plot of the story" (ie outline what proponents of the "hypothesis" say)... and then move on the a section on how that story was received by the critics?'. A template like A Quest For Knowledge says "This article doesn't explain the topic it debunks."' would go some way to countering this business but the amount of wikilawyering that goes on sometimes to remove content is just incredible. Do we really need a new policy in Wikipedia just to say that articles should say something about the topic besides that it is not mainstream? If something isn't mainstream then fine say it isn't and give the reasons why, even have a push that way to promote rationality. But if Wikipedia can have articles about things like autofellatio surely we don't need to be protected from far far stranger ideas than the aquatic ape hypothesis? Dmcq (talk) 07:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
So do something about it - suggest a specific textual modification on the article's Talk page and build a consensus for it. Agricolae (talk) 12:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm trying to establish whether Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia that supresses all non mainline stuff or not. Without that an editor who contributes to things like that might as well play some multiplayer game where griefers kill you every time you resurrect. Dmcq (talk) 16:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I like to let them at least mount up and try to run, it makes it more interesting. Tarc (talk) 16:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq, you've made it very clear you already believe this. You're just fishing for someone to take your side. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq, given that you are expressing your supposed question in the form of an indefensible straw-man, it makes the answer simple. No. Wikipedia is not "the encyclopaedia that supresses all non mainline stuff". (It may be the encyclopaedia that doesn't describe non-mainline stuff to the degree or in the manner that its partisans might like, but that is a different question than what you asked.) If that is all you need answered, then we are done here, right? Agricolae (talk) 21:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The article actually does describe the theory it debunks - that water was a significant driver of human evolution (it's really that simple). What it is currently not doing is listing every fact or opinion which proponents believed supported the theory; in other words, it does not lay out every specific line of evidence that allegedly supports the theory. I was the editor who removed the text originally [20], and I hope it is obvious why. This was 24,000 characters of "AAH says X, scientists say this, this, this, this, this and this" and towards the end a few new points proposed that were not rebutted mainstream scientists bothered. As the rest of the page makes abundantly clear - the theory has no real traction anywhere among real experts. I have proposed a compromise on the talk page - retain the theory (i.e. human evolution was at some point driven by water) but return a pared-back list of the most prominent claims (bipedalism, hairlessness and breath control, suggested above, seem reasonable). I will point out that the ratio of claims to criticisms noted above actually seems appropriate to me - that's about the amount of attention the AAH has received in scholarly, secondary sources. The AAH is not a scientific debate, it is, like all fringe theories, a point of popular interest. Giving due weight to the scientific skepticism seems appropriate. Giving a massive amount of text to every single claim ever made (and the corresponding debunking of said claims) seems undue weight. A short list of the most prominent claims seems a fruitful way forward. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 14:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
You think it is a 'compromise' to stick in some actual details about a notable topic? At the moment it does not list any reason, not a single one, why anyone would have thought of such a theory. Dmcq (talk) 16:22, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The compromise is between 24,000 characters worth of back and forth for a theory with no real acceptance, versus nothing. I've spent a lot of time tracking down the sources for those 24,000 characters, all with not a whit of change from the scientific community on the topic. That's what I want to avoid, having to find yet another source that points out some minor detail of the elephant's kidney does not mean hominins were once aquatic. Do you think it's an adequate compromise? If not, would you suggest replacing the list wholesale? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
You think the article already describes the theory and including any details would be compromising. I believe that what was been done to the article was wrong and that putting in some detail would be to correct the error. What is needed is a clear vision of what Wikipedia is. If what you did is correct then I should just go and leave Wikipedia because it is not something I would want to waste time on and you would be free of one nuisance impeding the path to a fringe free Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 18:23, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
We have a clear vision of what Wikipedia is: its a place where disagreements are discussed civilly between adults without anyone running off with appeals to big daddy every time the discussion doesn't go their way. We do not need a centralized policy of how much attention to give to fringe topics - talkpages are meant for discussing that on a case by case basis which is of course the only sound way to deal with such complicated issues.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:28, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq, Wikipedia has a clear vision. And WLU's actions were in line with it: we report the mainstream scientific consensus, with some space given towards notable fringe ideas. It does not mean we throw in the kitchen sink of everyone's pet theory. Frankly, I'm surprised you stuck around this long. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If we're going to argue this where it doesn't belong, I'll "stray from the topic" to point out that the idea is not far-fetched. Humanity has been traced to an origin in the general area of Angola, but I'm thinking Namibia, specifically the Okavango Delta. The fauna of the environment, which goes through dramatic extremes of wet and dry every year, show adaptations for swamp life, such as the bipedal Chacma Baboons and the long, narrow feet of the Lechwe antelope. Mostly hairless, clever humans could enter the mud pits where animals become hopelessly mired without the fear of becoming trapped, and could feast on the defenseless creatures. With their intelligence they could plan moves between savannah, swamp, river banks and islands for strategic advantage. Saying that humans were not aquatic, by which it is supposed, that they never ventured into swampland through millions of years of evolution, and show no visible evidence of adaptation on this basis, despite their enthusiastic use of riverside and oceanside locations throughout known history - that may really be the fringe idea.
Now before someone lectures me on "original research", I'll add, I'm not saying I can deny the literature. But the literature must be considered carefully on this point. Does it say that all variants of the hypothesis are fringe, or does it say only that an extreme version where humans took to the sea like a walrus is absurd? Even if the idea is considered wrong, does the literature refer to it anyway, like a strawman? For example, Born rigidity is wrong, but it is invaluable for illustrating apparent paradoxes in special relativity, and we don't suppress it as a "fringe idea", but simply say what is said about it. Wnt (talk) 21:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The literature for the most part does not mention AAH at all. It is not on the table as a serious contender. I have four college level textbooks that make no reference to it whatsoever.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:49, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think any biologist denies that environment has an influence on evolution, including that of humans. However, the "aquatic ape" really is the "humans took to the sea like a walrus" bit. The rest is people using accepted theories of environmental influence on evolution to extrapolate into "humans took to the sea." — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The hypothesis is that our ancestors spend a part of their evolution at the waters edge. Not that they were like walruses or even hippos in how they swam or even that they swam a lot. The main thing they were supposed to have done is quite lot of wading in water or at least to have depended on wading enough for it to have determined a number of features that distinguish humans from apes. See [21] for the 1960 article by Hardy in New Scientist. I guess some religious people have this problem of having to say they abhor some things without knowing even the basics of what they're supposed to be abhorring. Dmcq (talk) 22:52, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Umm, did you read it? Like, maybe, the part where he compares man's harelessness to that of hippos, or where he says he imagines that they "spent at least half his time on the land", which also means he envisions them spending as much as half their time in the water. He compares man to otters, whales, dugongs and manatees, hippopotamus, seals, beavers, penguins - swimming animals, not wading ones, cannot come away from that thinking he just envisioned them as only wading. Specifically, "Man gradually went farther and farther into deeper water; swimming for a time, but having at intervals to rest - resting with his feet on the bottom and his head out of the surface . . . He would have to raise his head out of the water to feed." That ain't just wading. I mean, he suggests that no fossils survive because "Man struggled and died in the sea". An adaption of breathing was posited (and though not expressed here, a shift in copulatory position) - if when you wade, you find your head under water enough that you have to evolve a new way of regulating breathing, you probably aren't doing it right (and if you find yourself using the missionary position while wading, you might want to reevaluate that as well, but to each his own). Man was "cradled in the sea" - in, not by. As to people shooting their mouth off "without knowing the basics", well, perhaps the less said the better, then, eh? Agricolae (talk) 00:42, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The comparisons were with such animals because they show the adaptations best. He certainly did outline the possibility of people doing more, but if you will read the paragraph starting with 'My thesis is' that gives his main thesis. The bits you are talking about are after 'it seems indeed possible' which is his wider speculation. Lots of articles are structured like that to have a more speculative bit near the end. The thesis includes diving for shell fish but people who do that nowadays are hardly 'more like a walrus'. The furthest extent of the thesis bit is 'and then, with increasing skill, capturing fish with his hands'. Now I have seen people actually doing that sort of thing, we even have an article on a variant trout tickling but eels were the ones I saw being caught, and I have no problem swimming twice the length of a swimming pool underwater so exactly what is so unbelievable about it all? I am happy to accept that it is fringe and have it debunked but what I would like to see in Wikipedia is some description rather than total suppression. With actual details there it would have been possible to easily correct misapprehensions like that it said people swam like walruses when it specifically says otherwise in 'It may be objected that children have to be taught to swim; but the same is true of young otters, and I should regard them as more aquatic than Man has been'. Dmcq (talk) 08:15, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Of course the comparisons were made because they show the adaptions - that is the entire point of the argument: these are aquatic animals and they show these adaptions. Humans show these adaption, therefor,. . . . That being said, the place for a discussion of this specific theory is on the relevant Talk page. If I'm not mistaken, this was to be a meta discussion about 'suppression' of opposing viewpoints. This diversion does, however, demonstrate the challenge of explaining a 'hypothesis' that never saw mainstream attention except as a passing curiosity, and never received a formal peer-reviewed formulation. What exactly the hypothesis entailed or entails (not necessarily the same thing) beyond the general description already given, that the article should be explaining if only it weren't for the supposed conspiracy of silence, is very much in the eyes of the beholder. Yes, some of the proponents (at least in the early 1980s) did in fact portray humans as being largely aquatic, such that they even mated en aqua. Particularly in recent times, with the supposed gap in the terrestrial fossil record all but vanished, others have them wading for seafood and only occasionally sticking their head underwater (which makes it hard to explain the degree of adaption that originally underpinned the hypothesis, but that, again, is not a discussion for here) with any example of humans living anywhere near water as further 'evidence'. Its lack of formal formulation lets it be described as anything, and nothing, and everything in between. The meta issue here is how to reflect such amorphous pseudo-scholarly 'theories' that exist so much on the fringe that they receive no detailed formulation or rebuttal. Curiously, there is a noticeboard that is tasked with assisting on just such a question. Agricolae (talk) 17:01, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
"I guess some religious people have this problem of having to say they abhor some things without knowing even the basics of what they're supposed to be abhorring. Dmcq"
That's such a bizarre tangent that I have no idea what on Earth you're talking about. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Seems to be trying to suggest that one who 'has to object' to the AAH without really even understanding it is thus expressing a pseudo-religious belief. Analogous to the 'evolution is just another religion' mantra that the creationists use to create a false equivalency, only here apparently intended to dismiss such 'pseudo-religious' skepticism as the inferior to open-minded unbiased credulity. But I could be wrong. Agricolae (talk) 17:01, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
That was how I took it as well. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:28, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
You said the hypothesis was closer to people being like walruses. I thought you were talking from ignorance of what was written rather than that you had read and misunderstood something about it. I'll try and be more straightforward in future and avoid such suppositions. Dmcq (talk) 18:41, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Well some of the more recent AAH type proposals are not that simplistic and propose mixed brachiating/wading scenarios. [22]. The main problem is still that they seek to derive a suite of adaptations from a single environmental feature. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:49, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I thought the main problem was it posited two changes, one to more dependence on the water and then back again to less dependence. Plus does one actually need it to explain the features? One cause for a number of features is good, not bad, evolution adapts fastest for the main stressor.Dmcq (talk) 08:40, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
No one cause for a number of features is bad because it is always wrong and evolution doesn't work like that generally. Serious paleoanthropologists sytopped proposing single cause hypotheses some decades ago - that is also what made the "Savanna hypothesis" obsolete. Phillip Tobias has an interesting article about that actually. Human evolution is a complex mosaic process not a single cause and effect - no single cause hypothesis can account for the observed fossil record.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:37, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
You've got that the wrong way round. One should try for a smaller number of causes first as being more likely as per Occam's razor. That one is unable to explain all the features from one cause the reason to see what more is necessary. Things will very often be more complex than the simplest idea, and one should check out other things even then, but that is not a reason to say that single causes are bad explanations. Dmcq (talk) 23:36, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, yes I know that's how it works in math. Single causes are not bad explanations if they explain all the evidence - none do so far which is why paleoanthropologists now work to explain one trait at a time. AAH fares particularly poorly in that regard by not being supported by any of the fossil evidence.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:56, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The issue I have with the article is that it doesn't properly explain the hypothesis at all. Every line that begins to go toward an explanation is then followed by a line that makes sure to debunk the previous line, completely ruining the flow of what the article is about. I've read the entire article and still have little to no idea on what the hypothesis actually is. All i'm struck by is, "wow, this article seems to only exist to criticize the subject. How is this meeting NPOV at all?" SilverserenC 22:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
If people were really interested in finding out what the AAH is all about (and I guess we should assume that Wikipedia readers are), a good place to start would be this ebook [23] published last year, including contributions from Elaine Morgan, Marc Verhaegen, Phillip Tobias, Michael Crawford and many other acknowledged experts on the subject from well-respected institutions all over the world. The fact that this ebook, which is specifically about the AAH, is not considered a reliable source for this article, while polemic websites are, is the first place I’d look for trying to improve the quality and tone of the article. Yloopx (talk) 00:01, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
You actually found a line that began to go towards an explanation? Dmcq (talk) 08:27, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Your snark is not helpful. The article does explain the hypothesis. You've made it clear that you just don't like the explanation sticking to the scientific mainstream. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:30, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Saying 'The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) is a hypothesis about human evolution, which posits that the ancestors of modern humans spent a period of time adapting to life in a wet environment' is not an explanation of the theory any more than 'The endurance running hypothesis is the theory that the evolution of certain human characteristics can be explained as adaptations to long-distance running.' is an explanation of Endurance running hypothesis. As explanation says "An explanation is a set of statements constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequences of those facts", and definition is "A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term (a word, phrase or other set of symbols), or a type of thing." The article has no explanation of the hypothesis just that bald definition. We have the fact that the aquatic ape hypothesis was proposed as a reasonable hypothesis. The article give no indication whatsoever of why. Dmcq (talk) 17:54, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Sometimes we need to explain a topic without validating it. That's a tricky balance, particularly since such topics tend to draw editors with fairly polarized views. We don't have a lot of roadmaps to follow, because these topics are generally so obscure, wrong-headed, obsolete, or discredited that they aren't covered at all by other serious reference works (whether we should cover them is a debate for another time). MastCell Talk 00:09, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
That's a sound enough thought, but the case of the AAH is covered by at least one "serious reference work", namely the conference proceedings edited by Machteld Roede et al (given in the article references). I don't think it's available on-line, however, so some of the editors here may not have easy access to it unless they're willing to buy it. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 17:44, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
So the topic was the subject of an obscure conference in 1991, the proceedings of which seem to have had zero impact on independent scientific discourse? I think that proves my point about the obscurity of this topic, and the consequent difficulty of covering it encyclopedically. MastCell Talk 18:05, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Try a Google scholar search of "Aquatic ape" since 2000 [24]. You can also search books by latest date first [25]. But that's not the main point. As the section title says "This article does not explain the topic it debunks". Even if it was total bunkum if it is notable then there should still be some details about the main points. Dmcq (talk) 18:31, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Silver seren, I agree the back and forth is ugly, but how else to deal with it? The theory is simple (but not parsimonious, see John Hawks' blog post) but the details of the lines of evidence are both myriad and pretty thoroughly discredited. Nearly every claim made has had some criticism ventured, often extensive criticism. But where do we put it? Ghettoize it in a "Criticisms" section like this version? Stuff them together like this version? Leave them out completely like the current version? No matter what, there will always be a long mass of rebuttals to these points, because when scholars have examined specific lines of evidence, they've come up wanting. It's like a Gish gallop - it's easy to point to some fact as if it supported your theory, it's a lot harder, more time consuming and takes a lot more space to do the research and find out what scholars actually think about the topic (and on wikipedia you run into WP:OR that prevents you from pointing out when a statement of fact is just wrong). I think there's a legitimate debate to be had on what level of detail to include, I think there's multiple possible right answers, but there's really only two choices - eliminate the lines of evidence completely (my preference) or spend a quarter of the page bringing them up and three quarters shooting them down because the actual experts think the idea is hooey (or don't think about it at all). WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:19, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Various editors have different abilities, some are good at getting the facts, some are better at organizing, some are better at making the prose good. How about calling for someone with the ability to organize if you're not able to do that bit? Dmcq (talk) 00:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The first page of google scholar doesn't appear to have any scientific papers from evolutionary biologists published in relevant journals, besides the one from User:AlgisKuliukas. The google books results also appears to refer mostly to passing mentions in books. the first book, of about 800 pages called "Primate Sexuality, Comparative studies of the prosimians, Monkeys, Apes, and Humans" [26] for example mentions the hypothesis without elaboration, and then mentions a specific detail which is not conistent with the hypothesis "nor are they consistent with the hypothesis that ventro-ventral copulation evolved as part of a suite of adaptions enabling human ancestors to live in aquatic enviroments", that is all. The next two books appear to be a novel and a duplicate. The fourth makes no mention of aquatic apes beyond a reference to a criticism of a (rather embarassing) data handling error. [27]. This seems consistent with it being obscure. IRWolfie- (talk) 19:18, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
If you stick "Special relativity" in you don't get much better, you have to check a few pages if you want something good with scholar search. I was just showing the person how to do a search rather than assume because they were shown something from 1991 there was nothing later.. I don't have easy access to the actual papers there but even on the first page I don't see what was wrong with [28] and [29] or why [30] from Algis Kuliukas should be dismissed. As to the books I'm perfectly well aware that the hypothesis has mainly been rejected, so what's new in that the first book doesn't agree with it? The problem as the section title says is 'This article does not explain the topic it debunks'. And the idea that this is a reasonable way to treat things that are not mainstream and putting in any explanation past a brief definition of the topic is a concession. Dmcq (talk) 00:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware it wasn't rejected but note that it's an original research paper that is 3 years old but it has zero citations. This suggests the paper hasn't made it into the scientific discourse (nor within a minority AAH following), so I'm not sure of its value for the article. The book that was rejected was the vanity press publication he had been promoting on the talk page. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:54, 12 April 2012 (UTC)


I haven't looked at what sources are used in the article or what discussions have been done on the talk page, but i'm just going to do a simple list of the stuff I find. Now, clearly, papers from the Medical Hypotheses journal don't count for much, because of the lack of peer review. But there seems to be other papers than just those, such as:

Okay, that's enough for now. There's tons more I could give, but i'm tired. I think the point is made though that there are tons of articles that can be used. SilverserenC 01:34, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

There's already enough sources to get past even the most stringent filter, if there weren't the article would have been deleted. The problem is that sticking anything at all like that into such articles is considered a concession by a number of people as seen above. More sources means more debate with mainstream rebuttal in the article which is bad style and considered a reason for deleting everything. Your sources would provide extra details about the theory and that is considered gish gallop and itself a reason for deleting everything. Any variations are considered as evidence that there's no clearly formulated idea or that such sources aren't relevant - which often means ruling out later studies. There basic question that needs to be answered is whether an article about a notable topic should always contain details about the topic irrespective of whether it is considered mainstream or not. Dmcq (talk) 08:16, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There's no question the article should remain, it's certainly well past notability. The issue is that it's overall simply not credible within the scholarly community. Individual sources can be pointed to where the authors support it, but sources which cover the field as a whole simply don't give it much, if any space. The issue of nutrition (which in my opinion is of dubious relevance to the hypothesis overall) is one of the issues I proposed we include, but note it too has counter-explanations and is only superficially convincing (human needs for so-called "aquatic" fats are quite low, easily met by consuming marrow, brains and certain plant fats, and humans without access to aquatic foods develop normal intelligence; alternative explanations for the human brain's energy needs includes the use of fire to increase the nutritional value of food, scavenging, tool use permitting greater access to marrow). In my mind there is a line between describing the theory (which the page does) and enumerating every single line of evidence ever thought to substantiate the theory - the line between describing the theory and advocating for it. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I have to say, your immediate dismissal of the sources is concerning. A strong opinion on a subject should be carefully managed if one is going to be editing that subject, because a strong opinion can very easily fall into advocacy, either for or against. What we should be doing is writing an article on the subject that takes into account the views on it in reliable sources. And a scientific article in a mainstream journal is one of the strongest types of sources we have. So, no matter your opinion on "aquatic fats", it and all the other theories in relation to this hypothesis that are presented in high quality reliable sources should be included in the article. That doesn't mean we report it as true, no, but that does mean we record all of the science behind it at the time it was being considered, even if that science has now been disproved. SilverserenC 16:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

But I've also spent a lot of time reading and editing the article, thus I've seen the many sources that are explicitly critical, as well as looked into many secondary and tertiary sources on human evolution that simply don't mention it. If the major textbooks and general reference books on paleontology don't mention the AAH, should we spend a lot of time going into the evidence? If my error was in not providing sources that make these points, then I can do so - these aren't my opinions, these are the opinions of scholars who have published on the topic. Rantala, which you cite above, is actually quite dismissive of the theory: is therefore difficult to reconcile the hairless condition of humans with an aquatic existence. A naked mammal of the shape and size of the early hominids – or modern humans – would have found maintaining a high body temperature in the sea energetically very expensive. Even those species of comparable body mass that inhabit warm tropical freshwater bodies have retained a thick coat. There is, furthermore, no fossil evidence to support the aquatic ape hypothesis. It is not very realistic to claim that humans have ever lived such a totally aquatic life as those marine mammals that have shed their fur. It is more likely that our ancestors lived on the shore and caught their food offshore by wading and diving. Humans would naturally have returned to the beach to sleep, and would have spent most of their time ashore. At night, insulating fur would have been an advantage.

Langdon, 1997 states:

Morgan ties brain expansion to an ideal balance of fatty acids (a 50:50 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids) needed by the brain that is most easily obtained from the marine food chain (1990: p. 169). However, a worldwide preponderance of landlocked peoples attests to the fact that a marine diet is not nutritionally essential. Carlson & Kingston, 2007] says:

In our report investigating links between omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids and hominin encephalization, we concluded that the regular consumption of aquatic resources rich in preformed DHA may not have been essential given a varied diet of wild terrestrial foods (Carlson and Kingston [2007]). This assessment was based primarily on evidence of potential physiological adaptations in modern humans to ensure sufficient availability of DHA during critical periods of brain growth. While modern human physiology provides critical information regarding DHA as a constraint in evolving a large brain, it is also important to consistently contextualize interpretations within a framework of eclectic foraging diets rather than nutritionally limited modern agricultural populations or even modern foragers. We contend that current interpretations of Pleistocene hominin nutritional ecology do not uniquely support a shore-based foraging niche as claimed by Cunnane et al. ([2007]: Am J Hum Biol, 19:578-581). Specific issues raised in response to our article by Cunnane et al. and Joordens et al. ([2007]: Am J Hum Biol, 19:582-584) are addressed here.

Milton, 2000, responding to and citing work by Cunnane, says:

The brains, flesh, liver, tongue, marrow, and other parts of wild terrestrial mammals would have served as a concentrated source of many essential nutrients required by early humans, including LCPUFAs

and also has many other specific criticisms (it's freely available if you're interested in reading the whole letter). I'm not immediately dismissing the sources out of personal preference or ideology. I've read, and added, many of the sources on the AAH page. I've spent a lot of time trying to find sources that address the theory overall, within the general context of paleontology. The best I can tell is that it's simply seen as an interesting but not particularly promising theory. That's the issue I have with the page - it's quite easy to point to individual sources that discuss and promote it. It's impossible to point to broad overviews of the field of human evolution that discuss it at length or as anything but a trivial side-reference tangential to their overall topic. I didn't recently come upon the page, I'm the most frequent editor on the page by a considerable margin [31]. I've done a lot of reading on this, and come up with many sources that talk about how it gets much popular but little professional attention [32], [33], [34], and paleoanthropologists who work in the field simply don't see it as useful [35], [36], [37]. I'm genuinely torn on the topic, because I feel discussing all the alleged evidence gives the page the feel that the hypothesis is unjustly discarded, including all as well as the criticisms produces a very long page that is either back-and-forth or ghettoized (and therefore a problem according to WP:STRUCTURE) while giving none is objected to by many experienced editors and not in line with WP:FRINGE. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Also, consider this new paper in PNAS which discusses early hominin diet, including aquatic animals. No mention of the "aquatic ape hypothesis", no citation of Morgan, a couple references to authors cited on the AAH [38]. The AAH itself has noted that there are people interested in a modified, diluted (so-to-speak) version of the AAH generally focusing on diet, but these don't tend to reference Morgan (the main popular proponent) or use the terms "aquatic ape". Are they still talking about the AAH? Can they be cited? Is the fact that fish is good for us something to be noted on the page? The AAH is a weird topic, the hypothesis itself has multiple shades of meaning and proponents, as well as serious scientists studying human evolution as impacted by water who don't mention the AAH or its popular proponents. More experienced contributors would be welcome, if nothing else than to help navigate these quite thorny problems. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 22:10, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There is very little point quoting some stuff to us here on Jimbo's talkpage. It should be in the article if anywhere. I am glad that you are now talking about things you propose should be included rather than talking about concessions. I don't see that the Rantala quote, just to take the first one, really is against the aquatic ape hypothesis except in the extreme form of the end of Hardy's article where he had further suppositions beyond the thesis, he certainly did not envisage people spending most of their time in the water. Most otters spend less than a quarter of their time in the water and Hardy specifically said he did not envisage people being as aquatic as otters and he definitely knew about otters. It does look like Rantala has taken the very extreme version of the hypothesis and I would be interested in when what Hardy wrote got changed into as aquatic as a walrus or suchlike creature. Overall though this is not to the point here. The discussion is about the general business of writing stuff up for people to read. That you have read up about the topic is no good to anybody who reads the article if all you do is delete and debunk. Dmcq (talk) 23:01, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No reliable sources, no verifiability, no article controversy on ptwiki

Well, now the discussion is about you opinion, so I figured why not just ask?

In the Wikipedia:No reliable sources, no verifiability, no article there is a section that mentions your opinion about the need for sources "in general" as in contrast to your opinion about the need for sources in BLP cases. What some editors in ptwiki are arguing is that the original quote is from a case where "Sergey and Larry Page threw pies at each other" [39] and they see it as another BLP case.

Their more general argument is that article with no sources should not be deleted (they concede on the BLP cases) but marked with no-sources templates or otherwise improved.

So what is your opinion in this matter? Chico Venancio (talk) 18:58, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I think that articles with no sources should be marked with a no-sources template that is dated, and then deleted if no sources emerge in a reasonable (and short) period of time. I think there is also no reason to have a simple rule: some articles with no sources are such that anyone can quickly determine that no sources are likely to ever emerge, and then deletion should take place more quickly. Other articles with no sources are obviously potentially valid articles and so an attempt should be made to improve them first. But in all cases, if an article has no sources for some period of time, it should be deleted in due course.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:58, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this 100%; it would be even better if it were automated so that pages without sources for a certain amount of time would get tagged by a bot. It would be nice if this were the policy on en.wp but I'm not holding my breath. SÆdontalk 07:04, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
That would be a big step in shifting from Verifiable to Verified. But would it be a logical step? Currently we only require a source for new articles if the subject is a BLP, so changing the page creation process to tell people that all articles must cite a source and then broadening BLPprod to all new unsourced articles would be a more logical step. Continuing to accept new unsourced articles whilst making it easier for deletionists to delete them sounds to me like a recipe for newbie biting. ϢereSpielChequers 08:24, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Yep, quite so, I agree wiuth Truby King: "It is better to put a fence at the top of a cliff than to station an ambulance at the bottom". We don't have a hospital waiting at the bottom. We have a cemetery of unmarked graves. Dmcq (talk) 08:51, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Good analogy. It should be possible to change the page creation process so that it asks people for their sources. Once we've got that process working well enough that no one creating unsourced articles still thinks their contributions are welcome, then we could move to the second step of extending sticky prod to all new unsourced. The third step of dealing with the backlog is something to ponder once we've got the first two steps working smoothly. One of the mistakes of the 2010 deletion spree was to start at step three and our mistake in responding with BLPprod was only to move to step 2. If we want this place to be less of a space invaders game and more of an encyclopaedia then we need the content standards that we are successfully communicating to our goodfaith editors to be high enough to stop their work being target practice for deletionists. ϢereSpielChequers 12:04, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You've no chance chums (hollow laugh). If the developers refused to implement a slight delay in allowing new editors to create an article, they will never support this even if Jimbo himself backs it. Elen of the Roads (talk) 12:11, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes the devs vetoed WP:ACTRIAL, but ACTRIAL was a deeply flawed and contentious proposal. I don't dispute that it had a clear majority support here on EN wiki, but even its supporters would concede that simply stopping all new editors from creating articles would have had a false positive rate of well over 20%. We remove Rollback and block bots at far lower error rates than that, if an admin had an error rate that high then surely Arbcom would desysop them. Of course getting the first step on this would be difficult both to spec and to write. But it isn't a million miles from stuff they are currently working on. ϢereSpielChequers 12:49, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Cynicism aside, I think it would certainly help to force page creation in article space through a template that asks the user to add the main source(s) of the information. But I bet we never see it. Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Just as a fyi to all following, in ptwiki there is now a (big) debate about if we should remove information not referenced or not. (actually it is painted as if anyone removing unsourced information is seriously damaging wikipedia). Chico Venancio (talk) 01:54, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Avoid naming specific examples

It is risky for people to name specific examples here, as evidenced by the re-creation of a deleted article which the subject did not want. Now, on the contrary, name a specific article which is actually needed, and most of the time, it will be ignored for months or years. However, mention a specific example which might focus unwanted negative attention, and it is often like "Murphy's Law" ("The bread always lands with the buttered side down"). I cannot count how many times I have refrained from naming specific examples, due to this problem. We have wp:BEANS (to warn against mentioning unwanted actions) and the "Streisand Effect" but more needs to be done to avoid the doom-magnet effect. Naming specific examples can act like opening Pandora's Box around them. -Wikid77 03:48, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

If that is what happens, then it just exposes the present system's shortcomings more. I am okay with that, because carrying on as if everything is just fine is not a solution. For every biography you spot, fix quietly and don't mention anywhere, for fear of having your changes undone, another hundred are being abused without your knowledge. The day you are afraid of being seen to do the right thing, you've basically given up on this place. --JN466 10:37, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
It was neither my intention nor my expectation that Mimi Macpherson's BLP would be recreated as a result of my comparison of her treatment here with that of Jim Hawkins. In retrospect, I should have known that there was a very good chance of that happening. I agree with Jayen466 that avoiding specific examples for fear of what might happen to them only avoids the problem, although I am sure your comments were well-intentioned. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 12:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

RfC - Wikipedia_talk:Special:UnwatchedPages

Hi, I don't know if this is something you may be interested, but there are some views about unwatched pages that I don't think should go unattended to. Would you be able to pop by and voice your opinion on the matter? Mrlittleirish 10:34, 13 April 2012 (UTC)