User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 102

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Licensing for speeches and lectures


A lecture of yours given at Stanford on 2nd September 2005 has been recently listed at Potential copyright violations at English Wikisource, as it does not appear to have a license. I think probably the easiest and least ambiguous way for us to find out the exact licensing of this material is to ask you directly, so here I am! Could you please clarify, here, at the discussion at Wikisource, via OTRS or otherwise, if this work is freely licensed, and if so under what terms? Alternatively, if you do not wish to freely license the material, we can speedy it as soon as we know this is the case. Additionally, if there are any blanket licensing terms for any of your speeches and lectures that Wikisource ought to be aware of, we'd be grateful to know. Thank you very much, Inductiveload (talk) 21:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

There's no source for it. How do you even know the transcript is accurate? (I haven't read it in detail, so I have no idea.) There is no suggestion anywhere I can see that I ever gave permission for it. (I might have, because I often do, but I see no indication of it.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:44, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's why it's up for deletion. Would you like to license it? If no license is given or you would not like to release under a compatible license, we will remove it as a matter of course. However, you are the only person able to release if it is not already released, or you might be able to say if it already is. The video itself is CC-NC, so not compatible with Wikisource. There was a link to the original video at Wikisource, but it was broken. The video is now at the Internet Archive if you want to check for transcription fidelity. Inductiveload (talk) 20:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Brian Mingus transcribed your talk from Stanford's video which Howard published, and uploaded the transcript to Commons. ("Please note that this video, transcript, and blog entry are licensed under the Creative Commons license with the stipends: [sic] Require Attribution = Yes, Allow Commercial Use = Yes, Allow Modifications = Yes.") Since the transcript is a derivative work of your talk, your permission is necessary to keep the text. (talk) 20:03, 13 April 2012 (UTC)


Oi Jimmy - buen viaje a México. -!/jimmy_wales/status/190506353280823296 - don't forget to send me the air miles - x - Youreallycan 20:12, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

ANI for User Ronz

Concerning a pattern of behavior not suitable for Wikipedia, by a user you've had dealings with, please list examples and join the discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Ronz_behaviour You previously told him his behavior had to stop last month, he then removing your message with the edit summary "harassment". [1] Dream Focus 22:38, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
For um... co-founding the most amazing thing on internet; Wikipedia...

A thanks for your constructive contribution and starting this site ;) Yasht101 08:36, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Mimi Macpherson

Hi , for your information, as you were involved and as I understand it, had some discussion with the subject - while the person/article was being discussed on your talkpage , User:Nikkimaria unprotected it and recreated it - it was speedily deleted and is currently at deletion review Wikipedia:Deletion review#Mimi Macpherson where the deletion currently looks like being overturned. - Youreallycan 13:35, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Kindly withdraw your bad-faith accusation and review the actual purpose of DRV. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:10, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Good faith is not a blind person - if you want to use your admin powers for controversial actions in an WP:INVOLVED manner then expect criticism for it - in fact - many users despise such WP:INVOLVED use of advanced privileges so I suggest you watch out moving forward for good faith editors requesting removal of your advanced privileges - we have more than enuf disruptive vandal accounts without disruptive admin accounts as well. Youreallycan 18:15, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but I've heard enough of your opinion now. If you want to request removal of my admin bit, you know how to do it. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:59, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I am simply at the top of the list, if others follow for continued violations then expect me to be there. - Youreallycan 19:01, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The page should never have been protected in the deleted version i.e. "salted" by Nuclear Warfare, as it was not subject to abusive re-creation. IMHO Nikkimaria was right to undo that, and within administrative discretion to undelete it; but what she should have done was to move it to her userspace before editing it, and moved it back only after making the changes. Nonetheless, the changes she made were substantial, and so this is only the most technical of faults. Any admin has the right to share a draft of a deleted article with a user for him to create an enhanced version to return to article space. The deletion under G4 was also out of process. So to be clear, of three admins, all erred, but she erred the least. Wnt (talk) 20:09, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
This User:Wnt opposes and rejects WP:BLP policy and sees the day BLP was created as the day wikipedia died - as such, his rejection of policy rejects consideration of his comments about living people and his policy comments completely - why should we consider his comments about living people and policy when he vocally rejects current policy. Youreallycan 20:14, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
My view is no more extreme than yours; in any case this is mere ad hominem. Wnt (talk) 20:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
You vocally reject policy and yet continue to involve yourself in discussions and voting in regards to such policy protected related articles - I simply support and enforce policy, which is far from extreme - Youreallycan 20:24, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, as you repeatedly say this about my comments on this type of page, I assume I can count on you to use WP:Pending Changes to reject any edits I make to BLP articles on the same basis? Not having to read them should save you some time. Wnt (talk) 20:25, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
As you know and as I have personally requested to you , User:Wnt - as you reject and opposeWP: BLP policy please stop editing and commenting in any way in regards to living subjects on en wikipedia - sadly, you have refused - Youreallycan 20:29, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Well if people who disagree with you would just stop editing it would make it easier to win an argument, I suppose. Wnt (talk) 20:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
" win an argument," is reflective of your WP:BATTLEFIELD mentality - I am looking for the NPOV solution - Youreallycan 20:34, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I think I could follow NPOV without reference to BLP, say, by following WP:NPOV? Besides, I didn't actually advocate the complete annihilation of WP:BLP, just a rollback to before the User:Badlydrawnjeff decision, when Wikipedia was having its Golden Age. As a guideline favoring sensitivity to subjects, of lower importance than the verifiability and neutral point of view policies, interpreted by people who admit the existence of WP:WELLKNOWN, it need not be so bad. Wnt (talk) 20:40, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, I thought you were going to respond again but I see you ducked out to inadvertently violate 3RR in an unrelated "NPOV solution". (sorry, no, he was blocked for something else) I should say that I don't feel like I was following a "battleground mentality" by commenting on the original thread, and the above conversation speaks for itself. To be clear though - I take from your answer above that you do think it's appropriate to reject an edit in Pending Changes because the editor thinks the BLP policy should be rolled back or abolished? Because I don't think people realize that's the kind of thing they've been voting for. Wnt (talk) 21:27, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
As a WP:Reviewer I would not look at the identity of the user only at the policy compliance of the desired addition. - As for the bigger picture, personally I would support indefing users such as yourself that vocally reject the policy and guidelines of the project for reasons that they are detrimental to the goals and ambitions of the foundation. Youreallycan 16:20, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
WP:GLASSHOUSES+STONES. Carrite (talk) 03:37, 15 April 2012 (UTC)


Ringelsocken, as Google will tell you it is German for striped socks. But put it into any wikipedia multimedia search, or search on Commons and what you get is home made porn from what looks to be a 13-14 yo. Ya need to sort your admins out over there skip. John lilburne (talk) 19:04, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Dang it, what is it, two years since Larry Sanger started with those allegations? I'm getting sick and tired of implausible claims of child porn on Commons. This allegation will need to be taken seriously, we need to figure out whether it is or isn't, but if someone is crying wolf, they need to stop. Wnt (talk) 19:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Dang it back, two years on and there is still body bits being posted by kids, and Commons admins are still in denial. The hands are either extremely well manicured or they are those of a child, there is no musculature on the legs, which you might expect for an adult to be able to bend his leg back like that, there are few if any hairs on the upper legs, the hairs on the lower legs are downy, there are no pubes. So he might well be a 30yo contortionist, with well manicured hands, with shares in a depilatory company, but on the balance of probability I doubt it. You know you shouldn't be holding material like that, and certainly not undeleting it. Also another image uploaded by the same account titled the image as "Penis 14cm" most adult stop measuring their dick. John lilburne (talk) 20:11, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
To be honest, you've got me too nervous to download the thing; besides, I have no special insight into these little details. (For example, I have no idea how ethnicities vary, person-to-person variation etc.) I just want somebody neutral and qualified to figure this out, and then, whoever is right is right. I don't want illegal child porn on Commons - on that much, even we can agree. The 14cm thing? I don't know. Actually I just mentioned without knowing that that I wish for educational purposes people would provide a scale measurement. Wnt (talk) 20:19, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about that. But basically if it looks like a kid it probably is a kid, and even if it isn't why run the risk? Now I know that isn't going to please the NOTCENSORED crowd, but really what is the problem? Besides I'm pretty sure that if you have someone that looks underage even if they aren't then the end user is going to have problems explain it. John lilburne (talk) 20:27, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I do think that there should be some consensus in regards to things like this. Get over there, have a look, if it looks inappropriate by consensus, get rid of it. Mrlittleirish 20:42, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Good enough for me. I've gone ahead and deleted it and closed the DR. There are all sorts of issues with that image least of all COM:SCOPE - Alison 20:49, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately that's not really enough. Someone still needs to take a close look at that image and figure out if the assertion was true. If so, something needs to be done about the uploader; if not, the suggestion should be removed or at least refuted to protect his reputation. Wnt (talk) 20:54, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
You are asking others to do what you are unwilling to do for fear of prosecution? (talk) 21:52, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Somebody's got to look at it. Despite all sorts of discussions I still have no good idea who, if the likelihood is serious enough. But we can't keep an administrator-only secret stash of kiddie porn on the servers, that's not even on the table; if it's illegal it's got to be scoured off completely. (Without illegally destroying evidence, that is...) And we have to know. Wnt (talk) 22:09, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Whilst the law sees both as illegal and a sexual offence, and some prosecutors in the US have behaved just as stupidly as the kid that has done it, there is actually a difference between child porn and some kid uploading a photo of his dick onto a website, and fortunately the Judiciary are quite capable of discriminating the two as well. What Commons should do is STOP with the NOTCENSORED as its primary, knee jerk, raison d'etre and first make an assessment of the approximate age of the subject. If there is any reasonable doubt that the subject isn't 18+ then get rid. Now they won't do it, but they should, otherwise next week or month some one else will be complaining about the accumulation of underage stuff on Commons. John lilburne (talk) 22:40, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm really glad you brought this up here, Wnt, as it definitely needs further discussion. In fact, I'd really like to hear what Jimmy's position is on all this, too, as IMO, dealing with stuff like this is unpleasant in the extreme and possibly beyond the remit of a Commons admin. Nobody likes having to analyze images that may be potentially illegal in their jurisdiction.
To the image in question, the uploader has already been blocked and I have now extended this to indefinite. Almost all the images uploaded by this kid, now deleted BTW, are penis pics. What's even more interesting, however, is the deletion log for the file in question here. It's been repeatedly deleted by Commons admin, User:Denniss and repeatedly restored by User:Saibo, also an admin. I ended up closing off the DR myself and deleting the controversial image - for the third time. Given this conversation on my talk page, it's clear that Saibo considers deletions such as these to be "laughable" and he has been unilaterally restoring them, this image here being one example. Now, given that this image may have legal ramifications at worst, and is out of scope at best, I'd really like to know where this is going to go next - Alison 23:08, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
What commons needs to do is to only allow establish editors to upload porn. I remain baffled that brand new accounts can upload questionable pictures with simple "PD-self" declarations and no source-checking whatsoever. When hosting nude pictures of people, we should be really, really, really sure that there is nothing wrong with these pictures. --Conti| 23:12, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Saibo's behaviour has been some what questionable, he is a Sysop and isn't acting like one. Bidgee (talk) 23:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, his behaviour is quite typical of Commons admins. Have a look at the discussions listed here, as well as the recent articles by Jack Stuef on Buzzfeed:
An interesting question was raised above: What is done with actual child porn images, like those mentioned by Stuef that showed the erect penises of minors etc.? Are they still accessible to admins, like ordinary deleted files, or are they truly deleted from the servers? JN466 23:49, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I can answer that. All the images deleted are still available to the admin team, unless they have been explicitly oversighted by one of the four oversighters there - Alison 00:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Note - if there are truly child porn issues, and the Foundation is notified, we actually remove them from the servers and report as required by law. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 23:51, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. What about this file, for example: Its description read:
English: 15-16 years old teenager's butt
Date 27 August 2011
Source Own work
Author Anonymous User
Has that been removed from the server, or does it not cross the legal threshold to child pornography? What about described as “A boys penis. erected”. Is that still on the server? --JN466 02:24, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Please see my statement above: if they are porn issues and if the Foundation is notified, we remove them as required by law. Which means that in some cases, they are not removed until law enforcement has cleared it. In others they are removed immediately. I can tell you that the second one was oversighted (I know, because I did it). I'm not familiar with the first one, but I'll look into it. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 15:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. That file you removed was on Commons for about half a year. Stuef said it took a while to remove even after he reported it. Is there a way we can make it easier to report images like that directly to the Foundation? You say "that in some cases, they are not removed until law enforcement has cleared it". Does that mean each such file is reported to law enforcement, and they decide whether it is child pornography or not, and you then proceed accordingly? Or have I misunderstood what you meant? --JN466 18:33, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Are there data available on how often files deleted as child pornography are viewed by admins and bureaucrats? JN466 00:12, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Not that I'm aware of, no. There's no direct mechanism for knowing who's-looking-at-what, but I guess raw log access would be able to tell you. It's possible that a WMF developer would be able to crunch the server logs and tell you - Alison 00:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Another question is subject consent. Many photographs are clearly taken by someone other than the subject. Some seem to be the product of sex tourism. Yet on what basis does Commons believe that the subject has consented to the upload? An anonymous uploader's word? It seems just a perpetuation of their exploitation. --JN466 23:56, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I have pointed out some photos on commons that ere taking of subjects who clearly did not appreciate their photo being taken - the admins answer was that it was not illegal. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:19, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There's an ethical difference if those subjects didn't have their bits on display, though. Formerip (talk) 00:36, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I think the ethics is the same the stakes are just higher.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:38, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, tomato tomato. Higher stakes = difference. Formerip (talk) 00:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
My point wasn't to fight about words but to suggest that the underlying ethical problem of subject consent is pervasive - it just comes to the fore especially when dealing with photos that are obviously compromising situations. My point is that there should be a difference between legal requirements and ethical guidelines - legality is a minimum standard - ethically sound policies should be the ideal. We currently only enforce legal matters but have no ethical guidelines for photographic content.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:48, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Maunus makes a very good point indeed. There's no place for ethics on Commons - just whatever's (deemed to be possibly) legal. This is a major failing of Commons; sometimes deleting an image is just the right and the kind thing to do. But in practice, this rarely happens - Alison 00:52, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There is a somewhat parallel conversation going on on Commons-l:

With all the legal talk I think this discussion is moving in the wrong direction. To paraphrase Sarah, is it really worth it to "be unpleasant just because we can"? I realize that we need to draw lines to protect our users and ensure reliably the freedom of the work we host. But can't we move the line on the other side of content that is not particularly valuable for the project and could cause serious personal problems for uploaders and depicted persons. The keep on the Obi DR seems rather spiteful and detrimental to the overall cause. But I have the feeling that the involved people still think they are the "guardians" of free content...

This long thread is mainly about a semi-professional photographer who had three mildly erotic photos scraped from Flickr. They were taken in a private setting, never meant to be public, and when the models discovered they were on Commons, they badly wanted them removed. And they should have been, according to Commons guidelines, which require subject consent for images taken in a private setting (not to mention the Wikimedia Foundation board resolution on images of identifiable people). There were at least six separate deletion requests, and each one was refused by Commons admins. Everyone on the Commons mailing list, incl. Tim Starling, Ryan Kaldari, Cary Bass, Thomas Morton, Sarah, is agreed that these images should have been deleted, and/or that there is a serious problem at Commons. Yet none of the admins on the list wants to be the one deleting the images, fearing they will be reverted. --JN466 01:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Someone has, finally, done the right thing. --JN466 11:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
And was reverted 6 hours later[2]. --Túrelio (talk) 18:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
It was a careful photoshoot, there is no nudity, nothing indicates an expectation of privacy. The photographer had published those photos on four different websites. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:26, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Saibo, quite a character, to put it conservatively. He has long been in Beta M's corner regarding M's banishment, and apparently does not like dissent. First threatening to block me himself, then angling for the Commons community to do it for him. Apparently being a critic of a Wiki-project without contributing to it makes me guilty of violating the "signal-to-noise ration" rule. It is all quite pathetic, honestly. These people need to be reigned in. Tarc (talk) 00:07, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There's no point saying that new users can't upload porn, or that in general Commons shouldn't take porn, in order to avoid illegal child porn, because no matter what it's called that will (or should be) be objected to once it's looked at, and until it's looked at it could be named "ringensocken" and nobody would know. I don't want to see this issue milked for somebody's personal anti-porn agenda - it's too important for that, because we can't have Wikipedia vulnerable to this kind of thing. We should be all together on one page of trying to keep our project safe from serious legal attack and media humiliation, not to mention keeping our contributors safe. When people try to link this into the whole general anti-porn, anti-anything-nasty debate, they're confounding what we have to do to survive with some private agenda, and that's dangerous. This is something both sides should be more careful about. Wnt (talk) 01:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't care how many pricks, twats, or tits are hosted on Commons, nor what is being done with them. Just as I don't care about the same on flickr, or picassa. What I think is offish is when they get delivered up when I put "ringensocken" into a search. This one was of a kid, but the objection would still be there if it was some 30yo dick too. Now there are also times when I might find "ringensocken" throwing up a dick amusing, or I might even be looking for a sock and a cock, so I don't think that they should be banned either. But I should have to do something in order to get sock and cock, same as when I'm searching on flickr and I only want images that are CC-BY. The issue with avoid collecting images of the genitalia of children is different. As said above there needs to be a change of mindset over a Commons regarding this stuff where the default position is not to host it if the person looks young or age is indeterminate. There should be exceptions, some special criteria or process before acceptance, but you can't do it by crowd sourcing whether some thing is underage or not. Particularly when in practice it turns out to be just 3-4 people, with an aggressive attitude favouring acceptance. John lilburne (talk) 07:08, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
This one was not of a kid. There's not the slightest evidence the person in the image is underage. You cannot tell from the image whether the hands are "well manicured" or not; you see exactly one fingernail, and it's out of focus. The leg hair is not consistent with that of most 13-14 year olds. It is of course possible this person is underage - at about age 17 - but it's far more likely he's in his 20s. Any Commons admin can look at the deleted histories of commons:File:Mein Penis von hinten.jpeg, commons:File:Gay boy von hinten.JPG, commons:File:My penis 14 cm 2.JPG, commons:File:Penis von der seite 14cm.JPG, and commons:File:Penis von hinten.JPG, all from the same user and all of the same young man with the colored-socks fetish, and see the quantity of leg hair. This is clearly no child. There are good reasons to delete excessive penis pics at Commons, but squawking "child porn" every time you see a naked pic of someone who appears to be under 60 is not productive. Angr (talk) 08:20, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Why does the pornography industry have to go to great lengths to make sure that its subjects are adults, but the Commons gets to wash its hands of any such responsibility? Perhaps every naked upload should be confirmed as belonging to an adult before it is viewable to those browsing the Commons archives. Tarc (talk) 12:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, missed this -- the reason is that Commons is not part of the porn industry. Commons is like a library that receives donations of materials from all over the world, but doesn't make the materials. See Mapplethorpe#UCE_controversy. It is the responsibility of a library to defend the right of its readers to consult materials, not to be timid, and certainly not to go through and evaluate every item received in light of potential legal problems. I'm sure that the typical library, like Commons, would remove illegal child pornography if found in its collection, but would not accept a responsibility to go through and search for every possible case throughout its entire collection. Wnt (talk) 13:35, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
That images looks young, and excessively so. If there are other images that show otherwise, then I'll defer to that. However, minus the other images that particular photo looks to be of a child, and few here would want to explain it on their hard drive. Commons has no method of determining the age of the subject of a lower body penis shot, yet for several hours it was one of two images for "ringelsocken". John lilburne (talk) 13:30, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Or maybe we could just stop naked photographs being uploaded unless it is for the direct purpose (e.g. a picture of a penis for a penis related article or the likes). At the end of the day, we are getting into an age where children are able to access the internet on a daily basis, and alot of children will be unsupervised. This means they may or may not stumble across a graphic image. If we stop the uploading of such images, then it could make the internet just that little bit more innocent. Mrlittleirish 12:37, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Let's remember that the odds of someone knowingly posting child porn to a public server like this remain very remote. It is one step removed from the producer sending the photos directly to the police. This, like all the preceding allegations, is apparently baseless. People should not be rewarded for a constant campaign of slandering Commons as a bastion of illegal child pornography by having their way on the censorship of routine naked photographs of adults. Wnt (talk) 13:34, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, if we disregard the whole "OMG CHILD PORN" thing, the issue seems to be that you searched for stripy socks and got a penis. Well... what exactly are we meant to do about that? Uploads are watched as best they can, but frankly copyvios still sneak in and they are a bigger problem than you seeing a penis. Sexuality photos are within our project scope, and they forever shall be. That you saw one is regrettable, but it's the uploader's fault, not the admins'. Admins cannot control what people name files when they upload, we can rename them when we notice something bad, but perhaps there is something about your conduct that is also problematic. You found a badly named file, but instead of adding {{rename}} or asking an admin to move it, you come here and complain to Jimbo. That's not solving the problem, it's simply adding drama.
As for the whole "children could see it" argument, I'm afraid that doesn't hold water. The onus is on parents to appropriately monitor their children's internet use, either directly or via filtering software. Commons does not exist just to serve chilren, it is for any educational use, and sometimes that includes people who want to use pictures of penises. You want to limit nudity uploads to ones which are being directly used on wikimedia projects - again, no. Commons is not just a repository for Wikipedia, it's a repository for the whole world, and just because something isn't used on wikipedia (let's face it, they can't use all our 10 million pictures) does not mean it is not useful generally.
So, please, if you have a problem on Commons, come talk about it on Commons, don't just stand on a soapbox on Jimbo's talk page on a different project and complain. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:19, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There is little point in discussing it "in Commons", as people like you are the ones nominally in charge over there, i.e. a part of the systemic problem. The refusal to delete an images as requested by the uploader and subject, the refusal to delete random breast image #50 when #1-49 are more than enough, the refusal to rid the project of an unsavoury character like Beta M, the refusal to reign in Saibo who is incessantly hounding WMF staff, filing bogus user complaints against myself, and reverting other admins' attempts to clean up some of the above. No, mattbuck, you have proven that you are utterly incapable of rectifying a single problem at Commons, which makes you the problem. If change comes to the Commons, it will have to come externally. Tarc (talk) 16:20, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Commons is a largely insane place when it comes to adult media, not least thanks to you and your colleagues. You have turned it into a free host for exhibitionists, with decisions like this and this and this that saddle Commons with stuff like this and this and this. Note all the categories you added to the latter file: [3][4] They ensure that this streaker streaks through pages like – what on earth do you think you are doing over there in Commons? --JN466 16:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
What needs fixing is the search system so that the returning cocks in the result isn't totally dependent on the filename, the words in the description, or the categories. Then when some one search for "ringelsocken" they get stripped socks without the cocks. Meanwhile if the cock returned looks like that of child then one can hardly complain if the project gets labelled for being soft on distributing kiddy porn 'K. And the last person with some sense (Fæ) who attempted to get a dumb name, that an administrator gave to a file (mattbuck), so that porn wasn't returned got reverted by our friend (Saibo) here. The atmosphere on Commons is so toxic such that hardly anyone is willing to confront the handful of regulars that seem hell bent on getting porn into the results of every search. John lilburne (talk) 16:26, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
That was a well-meaning attempt by Fæ, but in fact, file renames don't work. See
Wikipedia and Commons need an image filter like every other reputable website. This sort of response is not going to work in the long run. --JN466 16:36, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
That is because tolling bells is in the description too. There are a multitude of ways to get porn in every search and it appears that regulars on Commons know it. You can use the description, the filename, and the categories, and once done it is almost impossible to remove any of it. John lilburne (talk) 16:46, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
We went through discussions on this before. I still maintain the best way to improve search results is by allowing positive tagging of articles so that the most relevant results can be promoted to the top. This can sort of be done by repeating the terms under a "style:display=none" attribute, but there's a significant problem, namely, it still comes up bolded in the search result itself, which makes the output look really amateurish. A wiggling wingwang might offend someone's sensibilities, but at least it doesn't look amateurish. Wnt (talk) 16:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Who are we to judge? At least, I don't think I'd be able to sort the amateurs from the professionals in a wingwang lineup. Formerip (talk) 16:59, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
m:Controversial_content/Brainstorming#Clustering_for_search_results_on_Commons, aka Bugzilla: 35701. If the search engine clustered image results properly, it would be a lot more useful, and avoid surprising results, and not need specific maintenance on millions of files and potential searches. It would just work. Rd232 talk 18:59, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Hey, I missed that! Looks like a good idea, worth pursuing at least to test its feasibility. Wnt (talk) 20:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't be bothered to respond in full to your rant, but I would like to address two specific issues:
  1. The train image - the categories added are a standard categorisation of all UK trains which I implemented.
  2. The toothbrush - what is wrong with "File:Masturbating with toothbrush.jpg"? It is someone masturbating using a toothbrush, it's in fact a very sensible name. I'm sorry that naming an image for its content offends you in some manner, but you'll find it's really quite a common way for images to be named.
-mattbuck (Talk) 22:19, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh? Collect (talk) 22:22, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Matt, I'm on your side in a lot of this, but that's ridiculous. Obviously, it's stupid from an information management point-of-view and it just plain looks bad if you enter the search term "toothbrush" and one of your top results is a woman masturbating. I have no idea whose fault it is, but how on earth can you defend something so moronic? Maybe its just an unfortunate quirk and drawing attention to it is a distortion of what commons actually does. Quite probably. But I've known about it for ages. Why in the name of Jesus' two sweet balls is it still like that? Formerip (talk) 22:30, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why it's #3, I don't defend that, but I do defend its being named and categorised correctly. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:26, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You know better than most that adding all those cats to the streaker image puts the image into places where it does not belong. That image had been deleted in May 2009, you restored it on the 30th of November, and immediately added all those train categories. Did you really think that what "9th December", and "South West Trains" is lacking is a guys dick? 23:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by John lilburne (talkcontribs)

We already have some kind of policy at Commons to keep only quality images with educational value, those low quality self-made penis/tit/pussy pics are most often speedy deleted, other via regular DR. The Ringelsocken image was only temporary restored/kept because a rebel/trolling admin reverted my deletion (was a re-upload of a formerly deleted image BTW). The Commons community won't accept restrictions regarding sexuality images imposed by other wikis although we're always open for comments/improvements. --Denniss (talk) 17:05, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

A "rebel/trolling admin" - why is he still an admin? - sorry Denniss the problem is clearly bigger than you either willing to accept or allude to. - Youreallycan 19:46, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
those low quality self-made penis/tit/pussy pics are most often speedy deleted. I beg to differ. Look at what has recently been proposed for deletion and kept: --JN466 02:11, 13 April 2012 (UTC)


Is there a need for a community-run Commons? It is obvious that if you set up a megaproject where anyone can upload anything, you will end up with the place being run by free-speech advocates because moderates have no interest debating whether a search for "toothbrush" should lead to masturbation pics. My modest proposal is that Commons be shut down and replaced with a system run by two WMF staffers who appoint volunteers to assist—the only hurdle is the question of whether such a move would expose the WMF to undue legal liability. I'm sure the people currently running Commons could find another website to express their views, while the new Commons could get back to its role of supporting encyclopedic content. Johnuniq (talk) 00:11, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Gee, why don't you shut down Wikipedia and restart it as a system run by two staffers who appoint volunteers we assist? They can have some catchy new slogan, like "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia Anyone We Like Can Edit". The nameless, unspeakable horror that a site started with NOTCENSORED as a policy did, indeed, come to be run by people who believe in freedom of speech some of the time. Who could ever have guessed? I got a better idea: why don't you go find another website to express your views? If that's what you think is the solution. Wnt (talk) 13:14, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem isn't with free speech as such. The problem is that someone is stencilling dicks on the side of the trains. If dicks were kept in the appropriate box marked dicks, most of the issues would go away. I would be the first to say "Well don't look in that box". The division is entirely false and most of the people that you have labelled as anti-porn or whatever are no such thing. I for example helped the adult ero posters on flickr to upload as much porn as they want without getting their account shit canned or otherwise restricted by Yahoo. I don't expect that you'd be able to imagine the 'filth' that some of my flickr contacts post. The primary concern for many here is that searching for "Human male" shouldn't do this. The major concern is that the free-speechers on Commons are flashing dicks wherever you look. Or to put it another way, given the state of the search engine, they are no longer serving their primary purpose. John lilburne (talk) 13:57, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, the one thing you can say about those results, there's no denying they're human males! As described above, there are ideas for improving the search interface. Wnt (talk) 15:31, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I would second what John says here. I have zero problem with Flickr having whatever amateur porn they are having. If I go onto Flickr, I don't have to see it. And if I want to see it, I can. That's perfect. To me it is completely bizarre that this is even a matter for argument here. I would still maintain that media like this (NSFW) and this (NSFW) are out of scope, because to me they are pure exibitionism bereft of educational purpose, but you know what? If they were in their box, as they are in Flickr, for those to find who want to find them, I wouldn't mind half as much as I do now that a corner of Commons has become a playground for exhibitionists. --JN466 18:43, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Like every Wikimedia project, Commons is run by its contributors. Why should Commons be any different? If you don't like how it's run, join in. It's a community project. Powers T 00:34, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Or more realistically, WMF could find some money to improve search (eg get a paid developer working on search full time). m:Controversial_content/Brainstorming#Clustering_for_search_results_on_Commons, aka Bugzilla: 35701 seems a good approach (if the search engine clustered image results properly, a lot of the NSFW search problems would go away - and the search would be more useful besides). But also if resources were put into fixing issues with file redirects (commons:Help:File redirects), we could rename files more freely, which would help since the search engine foolishly puts so much weight on terms appearing in the filename. Rd232 talk 00:41, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: Meta is apparently going to be refocused in the future - why not place all the "Wiki interaction projects" under Meta, and merge Commons into Meta? Then WMF could establish stronger precepts for the images shared on multiple Wikis. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:32, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

I suggested merging Meta into an "InstantMeta" namespace based at Commons (m:Wikimedia_Forum/Archives/2012-02#What_is_Meta_For.3F); this became m:Proposals for closing projects/Closure of meta-wiki, which went down really well. Merging the other way will be just as popular with the Commons community, with the additional drawback that Commons has much more template etc infrastructure to merge, so the merge would be harder if Commons went into Meta rather than Meta into Commons. Rd232 talk 12:40, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Merging Meta and Commons together would give the Commons community, which is mostly made up of ideologues, far too much power and influence over Steward elections, Wikimedia polls, and such. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:38, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
No please , commons at this time should not be merged anywhere - WP:Office actions should be taken to remove the violators and rogue administrators. - as someone asserted, "every Wikimedia project is run by its contributors" , but there is foundation oversight, isn't there? Youreallycan 16:44, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the same oversight the Foundation already exerts over Commons. Powers T 17:51, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Then I urge the WP:Office asap, to more liberally use their oversight to remove the advanced privileges and indefinitely block the handful of users that are editing against the foundations stated goals and ambitions. - Youreallycan 17:55, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
YRC: he who is without sin, etc etc. Formerip (talk) 01:07, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
If the WMF were going to start throwing around its weight to remove people with the wrong opinions, it would better start by removing just a few people here who abuse "ethical" arguments to say that Wikipedia shouldn't carry anything from biographies to sexual content, but who really want nothing but for the project to be falsely maligned as a haven for child-molesters, split by factionalism, crippled by putting all its technical resources into censoring information rather than gathering it, and ultimately broken apart and shut down. Wnt (talk) 22:25, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me the basic problem here is a dichotomy between those who say "Commons is going to have some graphic material, and there's currently no way to hide it from people who don't want to see it without hiding it from everyone" and those who say "Until there's a way to hide it from people who don't want to see it, we should hide it from everyone." Powers T 17:51, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

The solution, then, is to implement a straightforward image filter as used by all major websites, managed by staff if necessary, which allows one-click turning on/off hiding of a swath of categories of images according to the needs and desires of the end user. I have seen no plausible objection to such a system.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Considering the backlash to the image filter proposal, your comment isn't only bold; it's audacious. Don't you realize that the dewiki community is only inches away from seceding from Wikimedia and starting a fork? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:32, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Let them do that if they choose. - sooner the better imo, cut the strings. - The foundation should have done the right thing and implemented the WP:Image filter as an office action and those that didn't accept it should have forked themselves off.Youreallycan 18:34, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
They could even have uploaded photos of themselves doing that. Formerip (talk) 20:12, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Actually, the one thing Wikipedia needs is a good competitor. Monopolies like those of Microsoft, Google etc. are not healthy, and it's no less true when it's us who are holding the monopoly. If the Germans malcontents can get an alternative project together, good luck to them. --JN466 19:05, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The threat is often worse than reality. As Trade Union negotiator, I raised the wages of section I represented to the highest within the company for that particular type of work, across all the UK sites. I never had more than 25% of the section members that I could rely on to take action, but those 25% were vocal, and the other 75% had the good sense to keep quiet. John lilburne (talk) 20:26, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Good ridance ... let the troublemakers try their own project. Agathoclea (talk) 19:16, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
When you yank out the weeds, you risk accidentally yanking out the good, valuable wheat as well. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Is "weed yanking" some kind of simile/anagram of the problem? Youreallycan 20:43, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Implementation of an image filter was supposed to begin in January. Nothing has happened. Two board members have said in public that they have changed their minds on the image filter, and Sue appears to have indicated that this shift in opinion, while not unaminous, extends beyond these two board members. At any rate, the project has been shelved for now. So if Wikipedia wants to have an image filter like everyone else, some work will clearly need to be done to get this back on track. JN466 04:22, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Didn't the Spanish Wikipedia fork a while back? Can anyone briefly say what happened to the fork, and what happened to Spanish Wikipedia? (And remind us why it happened...). Rd232 talk 00:30, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español --Carnildo (talk) 00:49, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Anyhow, the personal image filter proposal isn't going to be implemented any time soon. But it seems to me that there are genuine problems with the way images on Commons are organised that don't need to wait for that. Even with an image filter, a woman masturbating as the third return for "toothbrush" must mean there is something wrong either with the mechanics of the search or with the data associated with that image. Either way, it must be fixable. Formerip (talk) 01:05, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Isn't that censorship of the search results? You wouldn't want to be suggesting that too often or you'll find enwp spam blocked by guardians of true knowledge over there on Commons. John lilburne (talk) 15:03, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow - just WOW - are those five users running and controlling commons - oh dear - Youreallycan 15:16, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Let us, then, just wave our magic wands and fix a search function that people have been complaining about for years. The problem (in this case) appears to be the word "toothbrush" in the filename -- but just changing the filename doesn't help. No matter what you change it to, there's going to be a word in the filename that someone might plausibly search for. Surely, though, people who don't want to see pictures of toothbrushes used in that manner can just skip by that file and click on a different picture instead? Powers T 16:16, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, yes, let us do that. I don't claim to be sufficiently boffinised to prescribe the answer, but I can see that the problem isn't the file name. It's that the search either doesn't effectively order by relevance or is set with parameters for relevance that are not appropriate (or that the file data has been maliciously edited, although I see no evidence for that). Yes, people can skip by the image, but that misses the point. Formerip (talk) 16:27, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
So how do you fix "Human Male"? You can't say will simply skip over it, because there it is page, after page, after page. John lilburne (talk) 16:31, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
AFAICT, it's the same problem, just writ large. If I type "human male", an anus is not the first thing on my mind, or I would have typed "anus". But the system must not have a hierarchy that allows it to think like that, or maybe it is ordering results by something irrelevant like page hits. Formerip (talk) 16:43, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
If I type "human male", an anus is not the first thing on my mind Thanks, we are in agreement for once. The problem is that the place is overrun by exhibitionists. --JN466 18:02, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
That may or may not be a problem, but moaning about it isn't a solution. If you set up a media hosting project with the tagline "anyone can contribute", you need to plan for a high cock-to-photojournalism ratio. The way the search is set up looks like it has systematic failings which could be fixed if there was the will to do it. Formerip (talk) 18:46, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Ignoring it isn't a solution either. Niabot came up with the cluster search idea; we discussed it on the mailing list, and I asked the Foundation for feedback – to no avail. Rd232 posted a Bugzilla request – again, zero response to date.
The other thing is that Commons is not supposed to be Flickr. Commons requires that media be of educational value; Flickr does not. Flickr hosts everything. That's fine. They are an image hosting service. What I don't understand is why Commons is hosting dozens of videos of Wikimedia contributors masturbating. --JN466 21:23, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, it looks like Niabot has made a very worthwhile contribution there. I can see how it makes perfect sense that this thread has gravitated towards discussion about what the best method of execution is for this user.
Since it is linked to on his talkpage, maybe Jimbo will take note of the idea. If he can find it amongst all the pointless, self-defeating crap. Formerip (talk) 22:30, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, I'm a bit concerned about the virulent anti-Commons sentiment being expressed here. Commons is a project vital to the health of every Wikimedia wiki and to the free content movement in general. The vast majority of Commons users and admins are hard-working, intelligent, and sensitive to the needs of the projects and the public. We have a large contingent well-versed in copyright issues, which are complex and not always tractable. And yes, we have a contingent of users who bristle at the very whiff of anything resembling censorship or editorial discretion. Like everything else on a wiki, we are working through those issues as they arise. There is no deadline, remember? But to paint all of Commons as an irredeemable cesspool of masturbatory exhibitionists and enthusiastic purveyors of pornography is (or ought to be) completely unacceptable. I'd like to see you step up to the defense of those of us working hard at Commons to create a repository of the best free media. Powers T 16:16, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

No one has said that the problem is with all of Commons, where the main problems are there are just a handful of, perhaps half a dozen at most, of the same people. The streaker image didn't need all those train categories adding to it. It is just a streaking image, that it happened on the 2032 between Little Snogging-in-the-Marsh and Upper Pissing-on-Hill is besides the point (BTW the 9th December cat is wrong too). John lilburne (talk) 16:37, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
That categorisation is ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous. All it does is ensure that that streaker streaks through a dozen different catgory pages where he does not belong ... including and and – and this was done by an admin, not just any admin, but the same admin who has closed something like 95% of all recent deletion discussions concerning adult media.
In any sane project, this type of behaviour would result in a topic ban, if not a desysop. --JN466 18:09, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you should stop such irrational witch hunts (here and as well on and This is insane and dangerous and you are involved as well. How low is your level? --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 18:18, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
This User:Niabot, is one of the five I support immediate WP:office action to remove any advanced permissions he might have and to block the underlying IP address they are using as well. - Youreallycan 18:23, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Seriously? You're keeping an enemies list now? Come on, this is no proper way to make policy, which is why WMF isn't going to touch your list with a ten foot pole. Or tomorrow they'll be sorting through thousands of them. Wnt (talk) 19:48, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't need or desire an enemies list (from my position I have no enemies) - I am sure that WMF office already have this issue on their to do list. - Youreallycan 21:31, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Checkuser says that one could toss a coin as to whether Niabot and Saibo are the same account. That would normally be enough to call it under WP:DUCK. Under the circumstances you can hardly complain about misidentification. John lilburne (talk) 18:25, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Get him and his sock 50/50 possible sockpuppet blocked indefinitely - and that other disruptor User:Saibo, he is blocked for a week but needs indefinite and his advanced privileges removed immediately. - User:Niabot's latest edit at commons, in the deletion discussion regarding this pic, File:Anal_3.jpg, (adults content) Keep Good enough to illustrate the subject. User:Niabot,"You don't like it? Don't look at it, don't use it, but let others do if they want to" - picture is simply, a totally unused low quality uneducational pornographic image - Both admins (that is incredible) both of them where very vocal supporters of User:Beta M, the user that had issues and was finally indefinitely blocked with an WP:Office action (I will not specifically mention the issue here but you wouldn't like it if I told you) - The deletion discussion is worrisome, users like User:Cirt, votes to keep the picture as educational, - and User:Fae votes, "the image has potential educational value", - potential , how is that unused low quality pornographic picture educational or within the scope of the foundations charity educational remit ? Youreallycan 18:42, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
These kinds of comments and accusations are not very helpful, I suggest you cool down and keep on facts for contructive work to improve the project. Those obvious false accusations/rumors/whatever often lead to be blocked yourself. --Denniss (talk) 19:06, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
What false accusation? , I will strike any such comment. - Youreallycan 19:16, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Then you should start right now. Copy template: <s></s> --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 19:20, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
What is the false accusation/s -is it the sock comment - well, the checkuser asserts a 50/50 chance - so, ok - YOUR A 50?50 sock of Saibot. - Youreallycan 19:42, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
The typical ***** comment i expected from you. I'm not even a 50:50 sock of someone and i think that your allegations are disruptive and of course false. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 19:53, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Claims of, false or disruptive seem undue when there is a diff of the checkuser comment 50/50 diff - Youreallycan 19:59, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
That means that he doesn't know. But you write it as if you would know. Such people piss me off. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 20:09, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
That means his is unsure but information (private) he holds from his investigation has concerns about a link between the two accounts. As for your "people like you" piss off comment - same to with bells on... Youreallycan 20:14, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Could we stop this hate speech mixed with allegations? --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 19:08, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Note that the "50/50 chance" was not based on IP address, in other words, it's some user's "gut feeling". My get feeling is that the 'sockpuppetry' stuff can be used to put inconvenient editors out of the way. If nobody agrees with you, you're being disruptive - if someone does, then you're his sock. Wnt (talk) 19:45, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't "some user" it was a WP:Checkuser, which is not done on gut feeling , its more about operating systems, browser settings and so such, his returns appear to have given him serous concerns but he was unwilling to block - that might have been because in the current climate at Commons he may well have been reverted immediately. We should get another foundation checkuser to look at the accounts again. Youreallycan 19:53, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
(Random uninvolved editor)Having said that, he did say that there was no IP adress overlap, but there were "concerns".--Gilderien Talk|Contribs 20:01, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
As this forum is the [prosecutor's] appeal of last resort, I think it's worth looking and commenting. Looking back for simultaneous edits, I found this and this posted by Saibo to Commons at 16:09 and 16:10. Meanwhile Niabot was following up a string of German Wikipedia edits [5] about some kind of anime, ending 16:01, with an upload of somebody's logo at 16:12, complete with the EXIF information that it had been created 4 minutes previously with GIMP, assuming the GIMP time zone is off by two hours. Now am I supposed to believe that one user has two different IP addresses going at the same time, and is editing simultaneously in English and German, on different subjects, solely to be able to "sock" on two different projects about two different things? I think not. Wnt (talk) 20:40, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
You sure you don't have your time zone preferences messed up? Those edits show up as two hours apart for me, and I have both projects set to the same time zone. --JN466 20:59, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Crap. En.wikipedia is on GMT, but apparently de.wikipedia (which I haven't edited, except by some strange kind of history transference from here) is on GMT+2, maybe Berlin time? Sorry, I thought every project defaulted to GMT. Problem is, finding two simultaneous bursts of editing by two different users takes some luck... Wnt (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Try these: [6], [7]. They are as good as any you might find. On the other hand, it's not unheard of for our more talented sockmasters to do this sort of thing. There are just limits to what you can know with certainty. --JN466 21:29, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I have already apologized to Niabot on Commons, but let me do so here as well. It was not my intention to suggest that they were sockpuppets, only to ask about the relationship between the accounts, since it was my impression that these two accounts were controlled by the same person and that this was common knowledge on Commons. Obviously, I was mistaken and I am sorry if I upset Niabot or Saibo. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:56, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Mattbuck - I was about to award you the special Wikitoothbrush barnstar but thought better of it - seems that Commons is really forked up. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:32, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Do note that I have a list i've been compiling about Wikipedia Review (and Wikipediocracy now, I guess) on their outing of Wikipedia editors, as one example of their disruption to the project. Considering that a significant amount of this discussion and some of the users involved is because of those same users riling each other up over there, I think it's relevant to bring this up. Really, since they want to consider themselves to be closely tied to Wikipedia as its watchdog, then we should do as such and consider any statements made over there by people who edit here as on-wiki. This is meant for the purposes of statements users make over there that are incredibly nasty, negative, directly violating several policies and guidelines, and which ultimately end up creating a very negative environment overall here as well. SilverserenC 21:52, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Seren what has any of your above screed got to do with cocks and socks? Or with streaking through all the days of December? Or with restoring images of at best borderline underage genitalia? John lilburne (talk) 22:03, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
In that most of this controversy, if not all of it, has been instigated by Wikipediocracy, yourself included. And that it's not to the benefit of Wikipedia at all. SilverserenC 22:32, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
The exposing of individuals that violate and degrade the goals and ambitions of the project from whatever location is a benefit. - Youreallycan 22:37, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
It is your opinion that they are degrading the goals and ambitions of the project and you're fine with having that opinion, but associating with people that have threatened and enacted legal actions against Wikipedia in a number of areas and are always trying to find ways to make Wikipedia worse or to get it shut down isn't benefiting any of us. Nor are the actions taken by the members against individual users in a chilling effect, such as the times they've contacted people's work supervisors to try and get them fired. SilverserenC 22:58, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Seren, Wikipedia takes delight in cataloguing each and any minor infraction that a 'notable' person has done, or not done, or rumoured to have done. Those doing so are doing it on a top 10 website, such that the nonsense appears in the first page of Google links for that page. Others such as yourself then gang up to make it impossible to remove without days and days of wearisome debate. All of which may have an effect on that persons health, or professional life, or personal relationships. You weren't so concerned recently about any of that when it affected some one of minuscule notability, and if I recall correctly you were tantamount asking for a doctors certificate for him to be excused playground taunting. As for posting on WR weren't you over there last year looking for support when you got dragged to ArbCom? John lilburne (talk) 08:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Are you talking about the Jim Hawkins thing? Because the only question I ever remember asking there was why is this public information an issue. I, and so many others, kept asking that question and, as far as I know, no one has ever gotten a response. Or are you referring to something else in regards to this doctors certificate?
You mean me sending a PM to Tarc requesting advice? It was either PM there or email here and I don't remember if he had email activated. PM was easier anyways. Did I make other comments in regards to that? I don't remember them.
Of course, all of this is an attempt to direct away from the point I was making, that Wikipedia Review/Wikipediocracy members have been involved in a campaign to discredit Wikipedia by methods of trying to get charity status revoked for chapters, as one example, and have also been active in outing Wikipedia editors that make edits they disagree with and also, in some circumstances, using this outed information or other public information to try and get the editors in trouble in their real lives. SilverserenC 08:42, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Seren, I have no knowledge of any PM communications between you or any one else, so you must have made other comments about it, whiny if I recall. Yes I was referring to the JH issue and your impertinent badgering. Why should he give you or anyone else an explanation for any thing? As for the charity status, just because it is associated with wikipedia does not make it immune from public scrutiny. It appears that a special dispensation was made for WMF-UK based on assurances such as the removal of defamation and quality control, which WMF-UK cannot keep, as it is not within their ability to fix the problems, because at every turn there is some small group prepared to thwart, or overturn doing the decent and correct thing. Witness this thread here as an example of what a small number of irresponsible people can do. John lilburne (talk) 10:45, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Seren, editors at the WR provided evidence to connect a current Commons editor to a convicted felon who served time on child porn charges. This evidence and possibly more that we do not know of led to this person to be banned from the WMF as a whole. Surely you would agree that that was a good thing? Tarc (talk) 12:53, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem with that was the unnecessary drama and outing which, whilst it may have served its purpose of giving some users a week-long a hardon, was far worse than any amount of porn found on Commons. Formerip (talk) 12:59, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Odd view. I would suspect the "any amount of porn found on Commons" would be of immense legal concern at WMF - as the proposed blocking of Wikipedia in the past by Germany etc. indicates. and as Jimbo's attempt to rid Commons of some of the worst porn indicates. Apparently your mileage varies. Have a Wikitoothbrush. Collect (talk) 13:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Quick English grammar lesson, Collect. "Any amount of porn found on commons" features an indicative verb, meaning that it refers to a real quantity. Also, "unnecessary" is the key word to consider. I would say that doing anything so stupid and reckless can't be condoned if it is unnecessary. Formerip (talk) 13:23, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Are you implying there isn't any porn on Commons? For Christ's sake, we have a video of dog-on-nun sex. Unfiltered, and available in schools that allow access to Wikipedia. --JN466 16:59, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, I'm not saying there is no porn on Commons. What's so confusing? Formerip (talk) 17:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Your implication that Collect should have used the subjunctive mood when referring to porn on Commons. But never mind, it's not important. --JN466 17:29, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It was me using the indicative, not Collect. Formerip (talk) 17:39, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Except that the drama was primarily caused by a Commons Admin overturning the precautionary block imposed by another Admin, prior to an ArbCom decision. Followed by the banning and threats against those that voiced opposition to the unblocking. Again a small number Commons admins out of control. John lilburne (talk) 14:19, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
No, the drama was caused entirely by the decision to light the touchpaper in public. The decision to have a drama, in other words. Formerip (talk) 16:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
If there is a contributor with a child pornography conviction prominently involved in curating adult media in Wikimedia Commons, who invites dozens of contributors of unknown ages, using Wikimedia talk pages, to send him sexual images for use in his private porn wiki, then that is a matter of public interest, and members of the public certainly have a right to discuss such a matter in public forums in any way they wish. As for drama, there was no drama here in this project, because the user was banned by the arbitration committee, and the ban stuck. In Commons, on the other hand, the drama began with this post by Commons and en:WP admin Geni, whose ban of the same contributor in Commons was overturned by another Commons admin. The entire soap opera that followed was of Commons' own making, to the point where Sue Gardner and Geoff Brigham had to go over their heads to globally lock the contributor. --JN466 16:51, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen, to spin the whole merry-go-round once again, what's remarkable about your position is the inconsistency. To publish a completely benign article about a radio DJ against his wishes is a gross violation of privacy and representative of everything that is wrong with WP. But, if an anonymous Wikipedian is suspected of having served time for child porn, then there's an overriding public interest that means their name, address, image, known life history and so on needs to be published on the internet. In fact, everything short of instructions about how to apply for a WMFUK small grant for a length of rope and an A to Z. It's obvious to me that the latter is on a whole different scale of wrong to the former.
I'll grant you that Commons was completely inept and made it a lot more fun for you over there. But it ought to have been obvious to anyone with an ounce of integrity that the whole thing was not suitable for public discussion. Formerip (talk) 17:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Allow me to explain then. First, the article about Hawkins, a marginally notable person, was not benign, but subject to malicious editing. At various times, it contained both intrusive and false information. Moreover, this information was not identified as an individual's opinion, but framed as fact, in a setting that presented the information as authoritative. That is what the word encyclopedia implies. At the same time, any journalist and forum poster is and should of course be free to discuss Mr Hawkins, including making statements about him that are factually inaccurate (i.e. jokes, satire), or merely expressions of opinion, within the limits of free speech. Hell, he was discussed here, and in very unflattering terms at times; he was called a "prat" and much else besides. Surely a contributor at an off-site forum has the same right to refer to a Wikipedia contributor as a "prat"? As for public discussions of Wikipedia, Wikipedia is the world's number 5 website (I think). Such a website and its governance are a fitting subject for public scrutiny and discussion. I mean, have you looked at the vituperative stuff that gets said about Microsoft and Bill Gates in discussion forums? In the case of this specific contributor, whom Sue Gardner and Geoff Brigham decided to block globally as a result of the whole affair, all his critics in public discussion forums did was link to the copious amount of personal information and advocacy that he himself had put online, or which was already in the public domain, by virtue of being a matter of public record in the press. That includes his own references to his name, websites, and past conviction. What is wrong with that? There are people here who are contributors at Nazi forums, and God knows what ... they are all welcome to be here, but woe betide anyone who dares discuss Wikipedia and Wikipedians in less than flattering terms, or expresses concerns about the way Wikimedia projects are operated? When it comes down to it, there is a fundamental difference between what should be in an encyclopedia article, and what is a fit topic for discussion on a public forum. If you started a biography on Beta M today based on the smattering of press coverage he's had, I would vote delete. Regards, --JN466 18:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I hold an intermediate position here. We shouldn't be calling Hawkins names; that is unproductive. Then again, we didn't - one person we don't control did, I assume. I think you have more than enough BLP policies to deal with that should it be repeated enough to matter. As for allegations against Wikipedians like the ones mentioned above, they needed to be discussed, and I continue to believe that open community discussion is the best way. Measures were taken to ensure that the results would not show up on search engines; a policy was proposed to centralize such discussions in one locality on Commons, and though not enacted, this is what was done, more or less, with various exceptions like this. There is actually a policy against discussing them here on Wikipedia, calling for revdels, incidentally, promulgated by Jimbo Wales himself, a policy which I disagree with, but it seems to have little effect in this forum anyway. I think that community discussion, using cited sources and sticking close to what they say, done with a certain amount of cautiousness and discretion, is the best way to go forward with such things. But one part of that is that when people start making wild charges - like claiming that an ordinary penis picture is really child porn, when it isn't - then we need to have clear and certain resolution to say no, that's not what it is. Wnt (talk) 19:46, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Well paint me amazed. There appears to be no way on this site, where any one can approach a responsible member of staff, that is willing to actually do a damn thing. Well not until the mess is about explode across the media. From what I recall the WMF were informed and ask to act on day 2. Nothing appears to have happened until after Jimbo put his reputation into it, on day 10. Thus it was simply left to users to battle it out. John lilburne (talk) 18:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Silver seren, the attempts you describe to get editors fired from work or to revoke tax exemptions for Wikipedia chapters sound very serious - clearly things that Wikipedia does not need to tolerate under existing harassment policy - and I don't know much about them. Can you point me to a resource which thoroughly details all of these attempts, or if not, could you start one? Thanks. Wnt (talk) 14:29, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I do not have such a resource, yet, but I will work on one. I do currently have a partially completed outing list however, which does contain an example of a threat to contact a Wikipedian's employers to get them fired, specifically in regards to Rd232. SilverserenC 19:06, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

@FormerIP: Beta_M, not the WR, was the first to start the on-wiki discussions: [8]. Geni, not the WR, created the COM:AN/U thread: [9]. Jayen466 and the Wikipedia Review didn't bring the Beta_M issues off of the forums. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:15, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Michael is was you (collective) that made the identity of the editor, his likeness, address and so on available on the Internet and it was you (personal) that first made it available from Commons by linking to the thread on WR, directly to a post containing the name. Formerip (talk) 19:01, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The information is such that it definitely should have been given over to a higher authority and not just published openly and linked to on Commons, considering it is information where serious legal repercussions can occur if one is wrong. SilverserenC 19:06, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
@FormerIP: Can you please provide a diff? I can't find the comment that you're referring to. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:25, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
There's an obvious reason why I haven't provided a diff. The size of the post is 406, if that helps you to find it. To clarify, though, another WRer had already let the cat out of the bag with the name, so you were just first with the link to the full goodies. Formerip (talk) 19:46, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I still can't find it. Are you sure Mattbuck wasn't the first? [10]. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:59, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Unmitigated piffle. The good chap posted his "likeness", including with various objects inserted into his posterior, videos material of himself discussing these matters, and a lot of other stuff himself all over the Internetz. The first Commonist to link to the Wikipedia Review thread was User:Mattbuck, at 11:54, 7 March 2012, and he is certainly no Wikipedia Review or Wikipediocracy member. In fact, despite having introduced the link to Commons, he now wants to blacklist web forums discussing Wikimedia by putting them on the Commons' MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist, and ban every user who posts there. Which includes several en:WP arbitrators, checkusers and admins, as well as current and former Foundation employees. --JN466 20:03, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
He would have my full support doing so. I can't put the nonsense that i read at this pages in words that would be suitable for this page. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 20:08, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
You mean the addition of Wikipedia Review and Wikipediocracy to the blacklist? The sites of which, as I stated above, have been used to out Wikipedia editors, use threats and actual notifications to employers to get Wikipedians fired, and have been actively trying to get the UK Chapter's charity status revoked? I completely support the blacklisting.
I don't support automatic banning, that seems silly, but I do support considering statements made there to be on-wiki evidence. So that means outing is outing, and cussing out an editor is a violation of Civility, and all of the above. Considering that making this a real rule would likely end up with a number of those "arbitrators, checkusers, and admins" being banned, I understand you wanting to avoid the accountability here. SilverserenC 20:14, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It would have surprised me if you had supported automatic banning for all posters, given that you have made nearly 500 posts on Wikipedia Review over the past year or so, and have posted there within the last four weeks. JN466 20:21, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and I have never tried to hide that. And if you, or anyone else, cares to go and look at ,my posts, they would see that they are either me stating my creation of articles or the fixing of articles that the users on there are complaining about. Other than that, my posts on there have been continually arguing with the users about the usefulness of Wikipedia. I suppose I could be called a Wikipedia apologist.
And the accountabiliy rule I am proposing, of considering comments and actions made there to be the same evidence-wise as on-wiki actions would leave me perfectly fine, i'm sure, since I don't use the site to insult other editors. Do you have an account on there? I can't seem to remember if you do. SilverserenC 20:31, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Silver Seren, I haven't posted on Wikipedia Review for some weeks now (for reasons unrelated to Wikipedia), but I believe I have previously referred to you there as "an odious weasel" (although I may be misquoting myself). Obviously, I wouldn't refer to you in that way here on Wikipedia, but WR isn't WP. Are you really so thin-skinned that you think a heartfelt but offhand comment made on another site is worth the use of limited volunteer time here? I think there are more than enough real issues to deal with here without importing trivial ones. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:42, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The civility issues are the least of my concerns and I would be completely comfortable with striking that from such a proposal. The other concerns I have raised are of far more importance, because they affect Wikipedia directly and also affect the lives of its main contributors. SilverserenC 20:57, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that banning everyone with a WR login is a strawman. The real problem is that WP:CANVASS doesn't seem to be applied to editors coming from WR, no matter how much they organize these conversations. There are some other policies that seem of little effect against them. Despite the strident tone we hear from such editors, it seems to be the people who cross them who keep drawing the blocks and bans. Wnt (talk) 21:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
That's likely because, as stated by Jayen above, WR and Wikipediocracy has a number of admins that use it as well and this same canvassing effect works toward getting users banned. It happens a lot toward users they disagree with. It's a very obvious phenomenon. SilverserenC 21:30, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Michael: OK, you weren't the first to the punch with the WR link, so I retract that. But it's a detail. WR maintains a thread about a private individual, accusing them of paedophilia and furnishing information about their real name, life history, what evidence there is against them, what they look like and their address. And yet it considers itself fit to comment on the moral standards of Wikipedia. Not even a parody of a joke. Formerip (talk) 20:48, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Identifying and banning a convicted child pornographer is one scenario where the ends truly justify the means. I have no regrets about participating in that WR discussion and will have none if a similar situation arises. Tarc (talk) 13:53, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Where do we go from here? The cluster search looks to have died, it was first brought up several weeks ago on the foundation list, has been around for a lot longer than that, and on the bugzilla thing for 10 days without even an acknowledgement. So rather than a cluster search I think we can call it a cluster fuck. The other suggestion is that the Search Filter ala every other major website gets implemented, but there appears to be fat change of that too. As the WMF appear to be running scared of dozen users on Commons. Meanwhile we have streaker on the "0912" out of "Barnet" "running" between "red seats", with an "overstock engine", sporting "white socks", in a carriage made by "John Smith" of "Nottingham". "Human male" is full of arseholes, and someone needs to stuff a "toothbrush" up her tush to clean them. Meanwhile you gotta tell your teacher that it wasn't the dog that ate your homework but the lesbian nuns. John lilburne (talk) 18:46, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I saw the bug report and i voted for it. But at the moment i write this, I'm still the only one that voted for the bug. Does it mean that no one else than me is interested in the implementation? At least i would have expected that you would vote first and then push the blame to others... --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 19:20, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
If you look around you'll find that I rarely vote on anything. In the real world I'm of the opinion that the old Anarchist slogan has a lot of truth to it, and haven't voted since the mid 1970s. It is just as true here, I might have once or twice here as an experiment, but it didn't work. So no I don't vote, but those that still think that voting might change something are welcome to try. John lilburne (talk) 19:44, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't even know how to vote on Bugzilla. I support the proposal, but I'd suggest that's not the right place. Formerip (talk) 19:48, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
This really this shouldn't be about voting, this is a site management issue and there should be directive by management to "fix the bloody search already" in my company the instructions would be "Just Fucking Do It OK". John lilburne (talk) 19:51, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
If you're an anarchist, how come you want everything done by management? Wnt (talk) 19:53, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Because I expect there to be a modicum of responsibility for what happens on the site, and because I'm wise enough to know that even if you got 100,000 votes it would still be a decision ultimately made by management, and resourced by management. John lilburne (talk) 20:11, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The whole idea of Wikipedia is that every day we do things that used to have to be decided and resourced by management. Wikipedia may not have been intended for the purpose, but it nonetheless is pioneering the practical end of anarchy. A world without bosses, without restricted secret knowledge, a world where everyone is competent to know about the world and act on it as a sovereign individual. Yes, there are vast deviations from that perfection, but there has been real progress made toward it also. Wnt (talk) 20:18, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Not all of the site is edits wrt "my little pony" once you get away from that your experience may be quite different. And where there are problems there is no one to hold accountable. Anarchism is all about taking personal responsibility, and where is the responsibility in a drive by defamation, or the anonymous uploading of your dick. John lilburne (talk) 20:24, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
If we completely did away with all the censorship laws, including those against libel, it would be much easier to protect people from defamation. Think about how hard it is to buy anything on the Internet. You get dozens and dozens of sites telling you they have their product in stock ... be the first to tell us where you bought it! Without libel lawsuits, the Internet would be overflowing with such drivel. Put in a name and any accusation and it would come up. Which would mean that privacy would be restored, for anyone whose charges didn't actually rise to the most notable junk-free news sources. Wnt (talk) 21:05, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec x 2)I haven't followed Bugzilla or opened an account on it; the problem I have with going on to vote on something like this is that I don't really know what it means, for example, what priorities I'm voting down to favor something, or how much technical expertise a person should have in evaluating the work involved with implementing the proposal. I'm not sure if I'd be like a "canvassed voter", either. How many people do have accounts on there? Wnt (talk) 19:51, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not really the same voting as to say: Hey this should have main priority. It's more like "Hello can you look at it and give a short statement if you think that it could be done?", which was the original intent for this bug report. There is no rule that "bugs" with high vote count are considered as important or as "to be done first".
How many have accounts? I don't know, but i guess that it aren't many. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 20:05, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Note: voting on bugzilla bugs doesn't do anything, except (I think) ping everyone who's voted for the bug or added themselves to the CC list. In fact it's been suggested recently (not sure if/when it will happen) that "vote" be changed to something that clarifies this, like "subscribe". Rd232 talk 23:46, 15 April 2012 (UTC)


Hello,Please Unblock this IP or expire it soon within 1 or 2 Weeks (Owner of IP is my Cousin) and i am not related to this IP and not related to User:Khan810 who last week requested..

He has distrupted Wikipedia but he has promised that he'll not disturb wiki and he will make good contributions So PLzzzzzzzzzz Unblock this User.this is a promise this promise won't be broken

Please unblock this user...Good contributions will be really made — Preceding unsigned comment added by CIDss (talkcontribs) 17:36, 15 April 2012

Then please explain User:CIDsss, User:Amul12, User:Seek1231, and User:Seek1234 (all of which I just blocked). --MuZemike 23:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

ISSN numbers for Wikimedia Foundation publications

Dear Mr. Wales, I wonder if the Wikimedia Foundation publications wouldn’t benefit from having ISSN numbers of their own.

Publications lacking ISSN (or ISBN) numbers are generally perceived by users as being, how to put it, less serious or authoritative.

I believe that it is possible for continuously updated online publications to have such ISSN numbers, as testified by the case of the CIA World Factbook (ISSN 1553-8133). Best, Apcbg (talk) 05:45, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

A radical idea; BLP opt-out for all

Every time some borderline notable person complains about their article, we have to have these nasty, drawn-out fights in order to actually get it done...or not done, as that is the regrettable direction that the Jim Hawkins bio is heading. Huge wars over if the person is really notable or what degree of sorta kinda non-notability the person has in order to qualify for WP:BIODELETE, then we have to deal with the spite, both from editors here who see the deletion as a grave travesty and those off-wiki who may be friends of the person or just interested parties.

So rather the same fight over and over about how much of a sliver to open BIODELETE and all requests through, here's what we do.

Throw it open. All the way.

Any living person, subject to identity verification via OTRS, may request the deletion of their article. No discussion, no AfD, just *poof*. In its place is a simple template explaining why there is no longer an article there, and a pointer to where the reader can find information on the subject, a link similar to Template:Find sources at the top of every AfD.

Yes, this is radical and yes "for all" really does mean for all, so as unlikely the chance is, if Barack Obama requested deletion of his article, yes, it will be gone. This is encyclopedia that people come to to find information about a subject. That doesn't mean that that information has to be here all of the time, and I think the actual number of people who would take advantage of this would be so vanishingly small as to be inconsequential. Let the Jim Hawkins' and Don Murphys of the world be at peace, for once. I realize that to many, the Wikipedia is a paradise, but we have to face the truth of that matter is that sometimes some people just want to find the exit. Tarc (talk) 20:07, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

An interesting idea. Somehow, I can't see that getting approved as policy though... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I am minded to support this idea. This is a serious problem for Wiki - we cannot be seen, as a project, to be putting our fingers in our ears to serious requests by people because of a high-minded idea of 'value' or 'worth'. doktorb wordsdeeds 20:15, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose with a side order of WTF? This is a proposal to abdicate any responsibility, because one or two individuals a year get antsy about the content of their articles. I reject any such move, although I certainly will accept that it's meant in good faith, however incomprehensible it may be to me as a historian and journalist; and it's certainly, ummm... bold! --Orange Mike | Talk 20:21, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I have long supported giving people of marginal notability the option of "opting out" of Wikipedia. For me, the question was always where to draw the line, and I know that I would draw that line in a different place than others, but I never suspected that anyone would suggest that Wikipedia could not do without the biography of Jim Hawkins (radio presenter). I support Tarc's ambitious and futile proposal. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:27, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • hell no and this isn't the forum for the discussion. We need to be fair and careful with how we deal with BLPs...but all out deletions for anyone who requests it shouldn't even be considered as an option. --OnoremDil 20:30, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
"it shouldn't even be considered as an option". why not? Do we have a policy on things we aren't allowed to think about? How we decide that something is unthinkable without thinking about it? AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:35, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Clearly I'm offering an opinion. Think about whatever the hell you want to. Offer up whatever ideas you want to. I think this entire argument is a non-starter. If a person is notable, we shouldn't feel obligated to delete their bio just because they ask us to. When it comes to borderline cases, the input might make a difference. This proposal is simplistic and unrealistic. --OnoremDil 20:47, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
There isn't actually anything unrealistic about the proposed change. If this were enacted, it could be very easily done (verifying identity would be the most difficult part, but we apparently do that already for other OTRS processes). The fact that some people might not want to allow people to opt out does not mean that it could not be done, and done with very little difficulty. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Unrealistic is a poor choice of wording I guess. Clearly it could be done. I think (there's that opinion thing again) that it would be remarkably stupid to allow any bio subject to request (and be granted without question) deletion of their article. It's still far too simplistic of a suggestion to useful.) --OnoremDil 21:41, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I am being dense, but why? Why is it too simplistic to be useful? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:46, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
This still isn't the forum for the discussion. Why is it too simplistic? Do you actually believe that any person who wants for any reason to have their article deleted should have that request granted? People are sometimes notable...whether they like it or not. I don't see how it's reasonable to say that any person can have their article deleted for any reason. Is that a simple enough explanation for my thoughts? --OnoremDil 22:00, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Let me put it this way, DC: if Barack Obama came here and asked us to remove his article, should we? Should we really not have an article on a President of the United States? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 11:33, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd go along with default to delete for the marginally notable. But this would just be a recipe for newbie biting. Who would like the task of explaining to people that various arrested murderers and war criminals couldn't have wikipedia articles written on them because they had requested it? And then what do we do if a bunch of senior US politicians decide they'd rather have their bios on their own sites and Conservapedia but not here? ϢereSpielChequers 20:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - would make life much easier for some editors (and even more exasperated admins), but also for any celebrity or politician wishing to quickly hide any kind of unflattering indiscretion or major scandal? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:42, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Silly nonsense from a Wikipedia Review activist. Prioryman (talk) 20:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • No, I think they call themselves something like Wikipedocrats now they have signed up to the all new agenda. Though I'm probably being unfair, we should probably check with the Arbcom members and Oversight members that are active supporters of the Wikipedocracy and hence are themselves promoting Greg Kohs. -- (talk) 20:50, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
      • Can we do away with this ridiculous "WR bad" canard, please? You lost the WP:BADSITES argument a long time ago, not to mention i noted earlier...WR is dead and the splinter faction is not something I even really support. Tarc (talk) 21:56, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

In practice, when I get a complaint from someone who wants their article deleted, I'll look at the page. If the page is not verifiable, then this is easy - I'll delete the page on those grounds. If the page is verifiable, but either not notable or only marginally notable, I will likely choose to delete the page for them. Obviously this involves a judgement call about what constitutes 'marginally notable'. Most of the time no one complains about the deletion, and all is well. If someone does object to the deletion then I'd first let them know why the page was deleted, and then we can go to DRV or AfD as needed. This approach handles most BLP deletion requests fairly nicely. However, there are some articles where the inclusion of the page is important to the project. For these highly visible, people I would not agree with deleting these pages simply because the subject doesn't want a factual, neutral piece (as determined by our consensus process) written about them. Unlike for articles about minor figures, attention to their article should be sufficient to prevent the addition of disparaging material. I'd argue that the desires of the readers looking for this article outweigh the desires of the subject. It would be impossible to make this site work if we cared only about the subjects of pages, or only about the readers, or even only about the editors. A balance has to be struck, and this proposal does not do that. Prodego talk 20:46, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Unilaterally deleting articles of "marginally notable" persons is not permitted by WP:CSD and the fact that no one happens to notice such an abuse doesn't justify it. Just because the original author has retired and no one else has it watchlisted doesn't mean it has no utility to our readership. Such articles should always go through AfD. Dcoetzee 21:17, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia, no matter how much we love it, is just a website along with Facebook. If somebody wants their details gone, then who are we to say no? Think of it as wanting to unsubscribe from a web community where you don't want to get the newsletter any more. If they dig their heels in and keep on sending their stuff, it's annoying and counterproductive. --Pete (talk)
    • Being a website does not make an information source frivolous or unimportant. Deleting articles directly damages readers who take advantage of that information to learn and complete real-world tasks, and content reusers who take advantage of the article to help others make informed decisions. The needs of the individual are worthy of consideration, but the needs of the many may exceed them. The availability of information elsewhere does not negate this, because such information may either be more difficult to access, misrepresent the subject, or get taken down eventually. Dcoetzee 21:44, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
      • You learned nothing from this, did you? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:48, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
      • The needs of the individual are worthy of consideration, but the needs of the many may exceed them. You know, that sounds like Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism rephrased, and it still sounds like a copout for doing harm to others. Can we find a solution that doesn't do any harm at all? --Pete (talk) 22:48, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
        • No, we can't. Every time you post anything online you are hurting or risking hurting somebody, even if only by displacing commercial opportunities to provide that same content. The goal of Wikipedia is to produce an overall benefit to society. @Delicious, I would not compare the utility of an orphaned image of little conceivable use to an article on a notable person read by hundreds to thousands of people, much less to the article on Barack Obama as the OP suggested. Dcoetzee 23:53, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Quite a humbling comparison there, Pete, although my relatively miniscule contribtion here means I'm not as offended as some editors might be. Still, perhaps Mark Zuckerberg will buy us one day, and then we can just officially un-friend each other? ".. just a website along with Facebook?" .. like Queen Elizabeth II is just royalty along with Burger King perhaps. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:44, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

i think it sets up for gaming the system. someone doesnt want an article that accurate portrays some less than perfect aspects of their life. and then "oh i changed my mind" start fresh. if you cannot change your mind, then there are situations i am aware of such as a young quiz show participant who really unfairly became a target of public ridicule in the media and on the Wikipedia page about xir could very rightly say "get me off". and then they grow up and become a famous politician and nobel prize winner or cures cancer or becomes the next elvis and we would have no article. I dont think this "cure" has any chance of solving any more problems than it creates. -- The Red Pen of Doom 21:56, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Um, votes? Seriously? This is Jimbo's talk page, not a platform for policy-making. The intent was just to see what the general sense of the idea was. Chillax yo shizzles, as a hipster Snoop Dogg would put it. Tarc (talk) 21:56, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I honestly think the embers of this particular drama are too dim to be worth stoking now. Move on already. FormerIP (talk) 21:58, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree. I think most department stores will regret seeing their handbag sales drop once all the Wikipedians stop throwing them at each other. If someone sees a Louis Vuitton on the pile, it's mine. -- (talk) 22:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • This would essentially mean that any tyrant in the world could send a line to the Foundation and get their article deleted, since it discusses the fully verifiable and, often, internationally recognized negative information about them. This is entirely unacceptable and a worthless proposal. SilverserenC 22:12, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • See, that's the kind of vitriol that I find a bit puzzling at times. Somewhere along the line, "the encyclopedia anyone can edit" seems to have warped into a right to write an article about anyone of your choosing. What exactly gives you the right to write about a marginal person? We're not talking about the Tiger Woods or Angelina Jolie of the world here ultimately, but of the woman who barely scrapes by WP:PROF or the guy who placed 8th in the 1988 Olympics. Do they have any say at all in how or where a website writes about them? Any? Tarc (talk) 22:24, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
      • so you are advocating a "some can drop out , but not others" - how and where would you be able to draw that line? and we would be right back to where we are "yes this person is in the drop out zone." "no they are not". -- The Red Pen of Doom 22:27, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
        • Sigh. Did you note post #1 where I gave the Obama example? There is no line drawn in this idea, none at all. I don't think the ultra-famous really care about the Wikipedia as the coverage of them in the world is so over-saturated, we're just one stop among thousands. This is aimed at the marginally notable and those who are aggrieved enough about it to want to be wiped from the project, but the option would be available to all. Tarc (talk) 22:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
            • I did read post #1. And then I read your post where you said "We're not talking about the Tiger Woods or Angelina Jolie". So either we are talking about Tiger and Angela and say Robert Mugabe, or we are not. -- The Red Pen of Doom 23:48, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
              • Really not sure how to explain it again in better terms. What this proposal seeks to do is to take WP:BIODELETE and remove the "relatively unknown, non-public figures" clause. I want to eliminate the endless haggle over just who qualifies for that clause by just throwing it all wide open so the people like Jim Hawkins can get off the pages in this project just by asking. The later comment about Tiger and whatnot was just an aside about how I think famous people were unlikely to ever take advantage of this. That is all. And if they did actually want to? That fine too. Tarc (talk) 00:50, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Different proposal:

But which would require WMF to actually make a decision.

Any person desiring his or her biography to be deleted from Wikipedia shall furnish sufficient reason for such deletion. A committee shall dispassionately evalute the reasoning, and such decisions as are made by the committee shall not be reviewable except by the Arbitration Committee. Reasons which may be accepted include, but are not limited to, insufficient notability, notoriety for a single event, vandalism of information in the biography, and legal requirements of the venue in which the person resides.

This differs substantially from the proposal above, but, I hope, addresses some legitimate concerns. Collect (talk) 22:41, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Hell no As I said below, this is an encyclopedia. You can't very well tear out "Mussolini" from every copy of EB ever printed, can you? No - the subject existed, their notability was not temporary, the article exists. Deleting one "at the wish of the subject" was the stupidest thing done; period. Let's stop arguing about deletions, and let's simply make sure they meet BLP requirements as a whole, and protect them from defacement - period (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:47, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • LOL -- that would hardly occur -- if a committee made the decision that a person is not notable, then the current semi-circus of !votes would finally end. My suggestion does not say "at the wish of the subject" -- perhaps you meant to place it up the page a hair? Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:05, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think the resources exist to staff such a committee, unless it were volunteer-based, in which case we'd have... pretty much the same thing we have now? Dcoetzee 23:55, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Note the WMF comment at the start. Yep -- those folks would have to be the ones to set up the committee at that point, as the current !vote system is clearly broken. (anyone question this?) I suspect they would only need 5 part time workers on the task max - with input from WMF Legal as needed. Say under $50K a year would get a pretty fair job done. Maybe much less once the first hundred or so cases get done. Collect (talk) 00:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I absolutely question the claim that "the current !vote system is clearly broken". While I've seen some cases where I would have voted differently, I don't know of any where I see that the process is "clearly broken". In the Jim Hawkins case, I originally mentioned that I thought the article should be deleted. Then I went through it line-by-line and did my homework and changed my mind. I wouldn't be acutely bothered and consider the system broken no matter which way that particular example went - that's the thing about borderline cases; they are cases where reasonable people can disagree. I can think of no reason whatsoever to think that Foundation staff could do a better job, and lots of reasons to think that they would do a much much worse job (their incentives would be structurally wrong).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
In this case I disagree -- not on the point that the WMF is not staffed with the right people for the task, but with your position that the !vote system is not "broken." On and off-wiki CANVASSing has been done in the past on AfDs (well-documented) and !votes absolutely not founded in Wikipedia policy are common. Votes like "per nom" are rife still in those discussions, and in a few cases it appears that groups may descend or have descended on AfDs (not counting the ARS former issues, and similar groups of AfD regulars in "opposition.") Where a BLP is the issue, especially of any person about whom contentious edits have been made, the process problems are exacerbated. Hence my choice of "broken." Hence my specific suggestion for listed reasons for deletion of a BLP where the subject requests deletion - making subjective judgements is not a good place for !voting - and generally produces more heat than light. I take it you would have preferred "the current system sometimes generates more heat than light with the system of !votes 'unrelated' to specific policy-based reasons for deletion"? Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:34, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Collect, I see your point, where in other AfDs there might be a suspicious influx of !votes in a short segment of time, and they do not provide evidence of rational reasons, but instead, they just dogpile on a particular Support/Oppose position. I also think that an AfD should be issue-structured, to decide each issue on logical merits, regardless of how many people feel a certain leaning. Rather than state "Oppose" or "Support", each issue could be considered as applicable "yes/no". By separating issues into analytical form, there would be less superstitious voting and more focus on objective, logical decisions. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:37, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The last thing this project needs is more Foundation interference in the content of this encyclopedia. Something like that might well end my participation on Wikipedia. Strongly object to both proposals. Both compromise the neutrality of our content and negatively impact our ability to fulfill our mandate. You might as well just close up shop at that point. Resolute 00:04, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose all this stuff. Note that if "repeated vandalism" is an excuse to delete, anyone looking to delete articles just needs a few spare IP addresses. Wnt (talk) 03:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Guaranteed deletion of a BLP on request of the subject is not a new idea, and it is totally undesirable. It would allow famous individuals to ensure that only their personal websites or PR handouts could be used as reference sources. As for the Jim Hawkins saga, enough said.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

It's worth noting that the Jim Hawkins case is a really interesting one in that it is unusual. The article about Mr. Hawkins is a perfectly good article. The thing that he's traditionally been upset about is his date of birth being listed in the article, even though he has openly talked about it on twitter and the radio. As we don't have a reliable source for that, it's out of the article now. For hundreds of other biographies this would be considered just a normal editorial discussion ending in the right decision. In this case, Mr. Hawkins has expressed mental anguish over it. To be clear: I think a couple of people should be topic-banned from the article, if they won't voluntarily agree to leave it alone, because their presence around the article is causing Mr. Hawkins to be upset. But what makes this case interesting is that his being upset is actually quite unreasonable. He insisted this past weekend that the article contained errors, but refused to tell me what they were. So I went through it personally in extreme detail, verifying in reliable sources every single sentence of the article. I haven't got a clue what errors he thinks the article has. He's upset at the very existence of the article, even though he is clearly a notable public figure, even though the article contains nothing negative about him, etc. I think that the wishes of the subject are something that we should take into account with compassion, even when those wishes are completely unreasonable, but only as one factor among many.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:11, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for spending so much time on this case. I would like to point out for all readers, that the only time that Jim Hawkins has emailed a request for help from Wikimedia was in September 2009, and there was a lengthy and positive dialogue back then (despite claims to the contrary, the first response from an OTRS volunteer to his original complaint was given in less than 12 hours of sending the email; not bad for a system manned by unpaid volunteers). The email from 2009 is referenced at the top of the article talk page and is the basis for successfully enforcing the personal information policy with respect to birth dates. If Jim Hawkins, or anyone with problems with articles containing biographical information about their personal lives, has further problems or complaints then emailing is an effective way to get helpful and confidential support. -- (talk) 09:35, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Since there are three issues at hand here (the general borderline-notable BLP issue, the issue of the BLP of Hawkins, and the issue of the complaints brought by an IP that claims to be Hawkins) things start to get complicated pretty soon. Pertaining to the very last, might it be a good idea to try to contact Hawkins, preferably through pro-active OTRS action if that is possible, to protect the privacy of Hawkins, to get a definitive yay or nay on whether the IP is in fact Hawkins, to get at least one element of complication untangled from the rest of the discussion, and get a statement from who we know is Hawkins on the issue? I wouldn't be opposed to Jimbo contacting him either, since one of the expressed possible anguishes from Hawkins is the concept of anonymous people aggregating information on him. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that an accurate assessment here involves looking at the article's long and cumulative history, rather than just its present state. Because from the subject's point of view, this history can repeat itself any day. I would like to invite people to read the comments from Skyring (Pete) and ErrantX at WP:AN. These comments give some indication of the history of this BLP. It's been an intermittent, but recurrent venue for harassment and a constant source of discomfort for years. I do not see Wikipedia as having the moral right to inflict this on someone like Hawkins – in the interest of free knowledge? As Dcoetzee says, there are trade-offs. Wikipedia is playing roulette with someone's no. 1 Google link, and telling that person that if they don't like it they are a "pratt". --JN466 10:24, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I think I already said this a few days ago, but this argument, that "the biography is fine now", reminds me of a garbage collection company that has, for years, failed to collect a city's garbage reliably, leaving the city's residents to drown in rubbish time and again. If, faced with losing their contract because residents have finally had enough, they make one almighty effort and finally clean up the streets, they don't get to say, "What problem? The streets are clean!" Especially if rubbish is already beginning to build up again just as they are saying that. JN466 10:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Oppose - if a notable person can't stand the heat they need to just get the hell out of the kitchen. They wanted their 15 minutes worth of fame so now they've got it. Don't want an article about themselves on Wikipedia, well tough titty.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 12:19, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
    • It's funny how in views like this one there is always someone else to blame. If the Wikipedia biography of some media person falsely states they are a homophobe, an alcoholic, or an antisemite, then that is their fault, because they chose to become famous. Beg pardon? Somehow, it's never the fault of Wikipedia ... I'm not sure what the OP proposed is the ideal solution, but to say that there just isn't a problem, and our biography subjects deserve what's coming their way because they were foolish enough to become notable enough for people to write about them, is deeply offensive. That kind of disregard for the rights of others is what defines a sociopath, and it is endemic here. JN466 12:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
      • Come now, Jayen, don't insult everyone's intelligence with such garbage. Nobody said they should have to deal with false claims, nor that it would be their fault if they did. However, notable people do have people writing about them, whether it is Wikipedia or someone's blog or news stories or whatever. That is the price of being a public individual. At least on Wikipedia, our goal (even if we aren't perfect) is to be accurate. That is more than can be said for some outlets. Also, please spare everyone the Ludwigsesque nonsense of accuing anyone who doesn't support your view of being a 'sociopath', or the like. Nonsense like that reflects far more poorly on you than it does those you respond to. Resolute 13:43, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
        • You might want to withdraw that. He (Ludwigs2) did not accuse everyone who opposed him of being a sociopath. The argument you're alluding to, concerning the autistic/sociopathic ethos here and its origins, is much more subtle, and worthy of more respect than you pay it with that straw man characterisation of it as an indiscriminately deployed epithet. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Yes, it's an indiscriminately deployed epithet with some moronic pop psychology behind it. FormerIP (talk) 15:44, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
              • It's this kind of response to the feelings and welfare of others, this lack of concern for the real life effects of our choices here that concerns me, JN466 and others. (You need to read the post that comment is responding to, for context). I'm afraid it is a response typical of unsocialised autistics, who don't grasp social consequences well, and psychopaths, who don't care about harm to others. That's not to say people who respond like that are autistic or psychopathic, it is to say that somehow this kind of response is a respectable part of the ethos here. It's de facto policy. The idea that we should respond compassionately (at no real cost to the project) in situations like this one, where genuine distress is likely being caused, is sneered at. I hate this about Wikipedia. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 16:24, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
            • I am the editor Jayen claimed is the definition of a sociopath. May I also add that the epithet was accompanied with the typical balls-out stance that so many editors adopt behind the safety of a PC screen. I really don't think he would flash such a big pair were he to actually encounter living, breathing Early Grace-Lenny Murphy types of sociopath.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 16:13, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

        • I am sorry, Resolute, but false claims appear about individuals in Wikipedia on a daily basis. If biography subjects complain about that, or want to opt out, and people here say they shouldn't have gotten famous if they "can't stand the heat", that's not a reasonable attitude. Wikipedia should get its biographies sorted – start registered editing for minor biographies, move them to a different project, introduce flagged revisions, make biography editing a separate user right, things like that. As long as editors here say that it is "normal" for Wikipedia to contain false, unfair or defamatory information about people on a daily basis, and notable people should not expect anything else from a project that keeps telling the world what a "noble purpose" it has, I will call that a sociopathic culture. JN466 16:23, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
            • For fu.ks sake, read my bloody comments. Where the hell do I say that it's OK for Wikipedia articles to contain false or defamatory information? If you would bother your arse to actually READ what I wrote instead of spouting verbal rubbish, you would see that I was talking about notables who winge over having an article here. I said NOTHING about false information. Just yesterday I had to deal with BLP issues on a Troubles-related page which has a 1RR, and you were certainly nowhere about with your Crusader sword in hand. Please DO NOT PUT WORDS INTO MY MOUTH!!!!!!--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 16:33, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
              • If you agree that Wikipedia has a BLP problem, why do you think it is so unreasonable for subjects to want to opt out of having a biography here? --JN466 16:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Dealing with false claims is one thing. Compromising the neutrality of and censoring our encyclopedia to suit biographical subjects who don't like the fact that they do not have complete control over their public profile is another. Separate concepts, and only the former should be any kind of priority here. Resolute 17:32, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't think Tarc expected his proposal to be adopted of course. Its a Radical Idea to make people think. In my opinion, every two-bit politician with any whiff of controversy, or charlatan like Keith Raniere, with any common sense, would indeed request his article be deleted. If I advised Rick Santorum, I'd advise him to request it tomorrow, as part of a campaign to denounce Wikipedia generally. If we want to deal with the issue of marginal BLPs, remember that they comprise a small sliver of our entire project content, that most of them are not contentious, and that only a small sliver of this small sliver goes to AfD for the type of drama Tarc refers to. My personal opinion in this small number of BLP cases is that if the subject is of truly marginal notability, subject has specifically requested deletion, and any important content can be distributed elsewhere (such that the outcome of the AfD is otherwise going to be subject to the randomness of who shows up), we should delete. See, e.g., Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Max Bernstein (musician).--Milowenthasspoken 13:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

As I pointed out in the deletion review, it seems as though the closing admin misread BIODEL. He believes that BIODELETE does *not* allow the deletion of articles about marginally notable people, and in fact asks other editors to gain consensus to change it so that it does. See here: [[[11]]

What is the way forward for this BLP subject? One way forward could be editors like SlimVirgin, Dweller, DGG, Youreallycan etc working towards creating an addition to BIODEL or to BLPDEL that confirms that marginally notable people, irrespective of whether their BLP is an attack page or not, may request successfully the removal of their BLP from our project.

Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:58, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Any such changes would have to go through a widely advertised RfC. Also, "marginally notable" is just another way to say "person who complains a lot about their bio". Either you are notable, or you aren't. Personally, I would rather dicuss raising the notability bar for certain professions rather than discuss ways to compromise Wikipedia's neutrality by allowing subjects to dictate our content. Resolute 16:01, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, look at the sources in Hawkins' biography. More than half of them primary sources (local BBC), plus a few regional. Nothing national, except a bare mention in the Guardian. The man arguably fails GNG altogether. --JN466 16:34, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The outcome of the AFD disagreed. Resolute 17:26, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The BBC isn't a primary source unless you're claiming that the person from the BBC personally knows everything about Mr Hawkins and is writing from their own experience. Some of them are written by Hawkins himself and are primary but most will be secondary or tertiary. The question of whether they are secondary independent or secondary non-independent is another issue. In an organisation as big as the BBC there's every likelihood that the web editors will write and edit independently from presenters so even the claim that the sources are non-independent secondary is probably an unlikely one to be true. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 18:34, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Stuart, if hosts a resumé or CV of one of their managers, that is a primary source. Likewise if hosts a page on a project that manager leads. People get confused because they see BBC and think it is a secondary source. It isn't in such a case. Notability is demonstrated by coverage in independent reliable secondary sources. A BBC page about a BBC employee is reliable, but it is not independent, and it is not secondary. JN466 19:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen, yes if hosts a resumé or CV written by one of their managers, that is a primary source. However if a biography of one of their managers is written by an IBM PR person analyzing primary sources (HR records, external sources) and not based on their own experiences of the manager then it is definitely a secondary source. The fact it is hosted on is not what makes it primary or secondary it is who has written it and where has the information come from. In this case the BBC person is not writing based on their experiences of Hawkins, but by analysing sources about Hawkins - this clearly makes it Secondary (or possibly tertiary) whether or not that person and Hawkins share a connection in the BBC. WP:PSTS outlines the differences between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary and for each of these there is the added consideration of whether the source is independent, or non-independent but this is a separate issue. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
A BBC blurb or advertisement for one of Hawkins' programmes is neither secondary nor independent, even if it includes a short bio sketch. (A review of his programme in the Guardian, say, would be a secondary source.) Not to mention that a good few of the dozen sources were written by Hawkins himself: [12][13][14][15]. More generally, if you were to try to establish notability for any employee of a company based on a couple of brief bio sketches on the company's websites, you would fail. --JN466 23:08, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
You can't make that assertion without knowing who wrote it, where their information came from, and what their connection with the show is - the basis that both are employed by the BBC is not enough and I already said "Some of them are written by Hawkins himself and are primary" - The problem with your last point is that nearly every Journalist or Presenter (Radio or TV) on Wikipedia are primarily noted in works they have created rather than works created about them. And often when works are created about them, they are created primarily in media associated with them. That's all the way down from Pulitzer Prize winners. Yes it doesn't apply to employees of companies in other fields, but we generally presume that media organisations will maintain their standards of neutrality, and fact checking when writing about their own employees - if you think this should be changed, then again that's a discussion for a policy page. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 09:17, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - While I agree with the suggestion up to a point, a policy that would permit the US President to have his article deleted would not be appropriate. Rather, there could be guidelines defining for BLPs with moderate or less notability. That would be a subset of existing notability guidelines and would take some work to set up. But (just taking US politicians), presidents, congressmen, cabinet members, governors would definitely not qualify. There are others such as (as much as it would be desirable to keep the guidelines as objective as possible) mayors of major cities. Of course, other categories of BLP would need to have their own guidelines (e.g., for US sports I would suggest that MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL players would not qualify). But for the remainder, I would have no problem with a policy permitting them to opt put of having a Wikipedia article despite meeting our notability guidelines. Rlendog (talk) 14:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I dont know that your suggestion is any more workable. What about the seemingly endless crop of celebutaunts - people whose whole "livelyhood" is based on their public presence, and generally the notoriety around it. When would they become "not deletable"? When they have their own reality series? When the reality series hits a certain Neilson rating? X number of twitter followers?-- The Red Pen of Doom 18:41, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
      • I don't see why it would be unworkable. We are already capable of setting guidelines for notability. This would just set up more stringent guidelines for, shall we say, "super-notability." LPs who meet notability but not super-notability would be able to opt out of having a Wikipedia article. Hence, Hawkins might (depending on where the super-notability guidelines fall) be able to request his article deleted, and automatically have that request honored (possibly with discussion at the time as to whether he meets super-notability, which would presumably be more likely than a mere notability discussion to end in deletion). But Barak Obama would not. Rlendog (talk) 16:58, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support This is a very good suggestion. An alternative suggestion could be that BIODELETE is replaced with BIOKEEP, and we start erring on the side of the subject's request for deletion. Alex Harvey (talk) 15:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Can't see why wikistress for wikipedians matters as much as the rationale for this proposals suggests, also find the premise doubtful that this will reduce wikistress, by having subjects exercise rational and irrational content veto. In short, not a recipe for peace. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:24, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Um. Obviously the original proposal isn't workable, but what we could do is to say that biographies of marginally notable people should be deleted upon request. I think that's workable enough. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:44, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Tarc's request (with a condition). I confess my immediate reaction was somewhere between "no" and "hell,no" so I am sympathetic to anyone who reached that conclusion. Any other proposal requires some judgment, which is not an automatic bar to approval, but judgement, is, well judgement, and will virtually guarantee that we retain articles when some subjects and editors feel otherwise. This is inevitable when it comes to non-living subjects, but it is appropriate to treat living subjects specially. The proposal ha the virtue of not requiring judgement; if the subject requests removal, it is removed, no issues about marginal notability, or requirements for satisfactory reasons.
My one condition is intended to help alleviate the concerns of some of those who are opposed, as it may help keep the examples to a minimum—if any living person makes such a request, the article body is removed, but the title remains, and boilerplate text (e.g article removed upon request of the subject) added. This will make it clear that the lack of an article isn't just happenstance, and peer pressure will keep truly notable people from requesting removal. It almost certainly will mean the removal of some small number of marginal bio's, but that is a small price to pay for the ability to have a clear policy that would blunt the ability of subjects to complain publicly.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 20:42, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
In every other article linking to the biography or mentioning the name, do we also have a template bot removing the subjects name and inserting Template:Name removed by request or whole sentences Template:Sentence/paragraph removed by request? Sounds like a whole new blue link style. Except not as informative. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:15, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong no - I already said this on the mailing list, but for the record here...
I disagree even with the more aggressive uses of BIODELETE now. BLP is a good idea, to take human effects of articles on living people into account. But we are an encyclopedia, and we contain articles on people and things. A biographical article's content may upset the subject; if that content is not NPOV and well sourced and so forth we need to correct that tout suite. An articles existence, once it's NPOV and well sourced, may still upset the subject, but at that point our role and project goal to be an encyclopedia becomes the dominant factor.
This is not to say that we should never delete those bios, nor that the subjects wishes have NO bearing. They're relevant to discussions and an issue. But the longstanding deletion criteria and process work just fine. Not every time, but the failures are those of particular implementation not the underlying policy or core project values.
We should not compromise core project values to make biography subjects feel happier.
Adjusting BLP a bit to try and discourage the grey area / corner cases is one thing. This proposal is an abdication of the project objective of being an encyclopedia (first), and is not OK. No. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 23:30, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, something needs to be done, because in many cases we are simply not living up to that project objective, as the #Examples above show. We have had over a decade, our biographies are more notable than ever before and as crap as ever, and editors are spread thinner than ever before relative to the total number of biographies Wikipedia contains. This will not get better by itself, George. JN466 17:21, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
  • All of you who are opposing Tarc's idea are unmitigated jackasses and really don't deserve to be part of something like Wikipedia. I don't know if your mothers didn't give you enough love, and/or you are so fat or boring that you need to take out your insecurities on people who are more popular, rich, and powerful than you are. These are real people who are having their identities threatened by noobs like yourselves with half-baked, idiotic life philosophies and authoritarian power-trips. Grow up and try to think with some maturity. And Fae, you might should reflect on the criticism coming your way. If the Wikimedia UK never gains much credibility, it will be in a large part because of your continuously childish actions and comments in Wikipedia. Take some accountability and grow up, please. Cla68 (talk) 04:39, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
  • If this is meant to be satirical, it's hilarious. If it isn't...those opposing are unmitigated kettles. And some might only be teacups. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:27, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
  • As one of the "unmitigated jackasses", I would like to ask how deleting a perfectly good biography on IDONTLIKEIT grounds would help Wikipedia. The only people who would benefit would be self-obsessed celebrities, politicians and the like, who want people to read only their personal websites and other PR guff.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:51, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
    • As one of the "unmitigated jennyasses" (I'm female), I agree with ianmacm's comments. I have no interest in Hawkins whatsoever, but what gets me is the power trips these minor celebs get off on. We are an encyclopedia, a vehicle to impart knowledge not a blog set up to cater to the whims and caprices of public figures. If we start by deleting articles upon the subject's request, what will be next, remove unflattering photos, censor details of the critical reception his of her last film received, and so on.....Public figures need to accept the responsibilities along with the perks of being a "star", and this means letting photographers snap your photo, signing autographs for fans, and not moaning about having an article in Wikipedia.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 05:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Rather doubt that name calling and talking about people's mothers, shows any strength in the argument or reflects well on it. It certainly, doesn't make it reasonable. Perhaps, if exclamation points were added or caps. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:43, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Wrong venue. - Start an RfC. Don't forget to pack your warm undies, because it's gonna snow really hard... Carrite (talk) 01:04, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


  • There's a simple bottom line here: in a free country, individuals do not have the right to demand not to be written about. Can you imagine, say, someone writing to the New York Times and asking for all their coverage of that person to be scrubbed simply because they don't want the NYT to write about them any more? Now, even though we have a right to write about anyone, as Wikipedians we voluntarily set limits on our ability to do so in practice: we have a responsibility to not intrude on non-public figures, and not to intrude unduly on public figures, but that's as far as our responsibility goes. If we've satisfied those responsibilities then we've done what we need to do. If a BLP is neutral, fair, reliably sourced and the subject is notable, then there are no good grounds to demand its deletion. Don't forget we've been here before with people who are clearly notable. Prioryman (talk) 18:24, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
    Bit of a difference between amateur busybody volunteers (i.e. you) and a credentialed actually-identifiable news columnist (i.e. Roger Cohen), in that the latter stakes his reputation and career on getting the job done right. If Mr. Cohen screws up, he is suspended, fined, and or/fired. You? You pick a new name and come back. "Accountability" is the word of the day here, and at the end of the day, this project has little of it regarding BLP editing. Tarc (talk) 18:36, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
    Nonsense. If anything I'm more accountable than Roger Cohen and I'm held to much higher standards by my peers. Newspaper columnists and regular journalists can and do write any nonsense they like without any sourcing whatsoever. They can and do assassinate people's reputations in the most extreme terms without any consequences. Their victims don't even get a right of reply. In most cases egregious mistakes are never corrected and the only recourse victims have is to sue for libel, which they rarely pursue because of the cost and risks involved. The fact is that your "credentialed actually-identifiable news columnists" screw up all the time, often deliberately if they are pursuing an ideological agenda, and they are almost never "suspended, fined, and/or fired". When was the last time Fox News fired anyone for making false claims about the Obama administration? That's the reality of the situation: your scenario is almost entirely fantasy, and frankly it makes it seem that you know very little about how the media actually works. Prioryman (talk) 19:14, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
    Bizarre. Even a tabloid writer would know not to write this. Absolute basics of journalism. JN466 19:42, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
    Except that it appears to be sourced to what amounts to a tabloid website: [16] via [17]. So it seems that a "tabloid" writer actually did write it. That rather destroys the point you were making, doesn't it? Prioryman (talk) 21:37, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, neither of the sources seem to take a position on what actually happened or didn't happen, whereas WP uses its own voice to say what happened. We missed out the word "allegedly" basically. But no proposal short of only allowing qualified, experienced journalists to write for WP is going to prevent that sort of thing. Formerip (talk) 22:33, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Formerip has it right. With respect, Prioryman, the fact that you can't see something as obvious as that rather undermines your claim to understand journalism better than Tarc. Beyond the missing "allegedly", one might raise questions of due weight (what weight do untested allegations of this sort have in a biography of a living person?) , and add that one source devoted a lot of space to George Clooney's statement that he was with Gerber the entire time and "this event never happened", while the other linked to the full story on TMZ, which quoted Gerber's reps as saying, "These allegations were previously investigated and shown to be baseless ... This lawsuit has no merit." None of that was reflected in the article. And as far as I can tell, nothing was ever heard of that lawsuit again, which if anything makes it less likely that the allegations were true to begin with. Even at the time this was entered, two years had passed, and the conscientious thing would have been to look for any further coverage. Absence of such coverage should have set off an alarm bell. As it is, Wikipedia said for more than a year, as a statement of fact in an encyclopedia, that Gerber sexually harassed waitresses. I am not a lawyer, but under the circumstances, I'd say that's defamation. --JN466 14:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I have to highlight the "when was the last time Fox News fired anyone for making false claims about the Obama administration?" bit for being so amusing, though I'm sure the amusement was not intentional. Political spin is not a "lie", otherwise we can turn around and ask why wasn't anyone at CNN or HuffPo fired for lying about George Bush for 8 years. The point remains is that we have on this project a culture of "I can write about anyone I want" with impunity, and I think that has to change. Maybe by the time you're on your 5th or 6th account name, we'll see some progress. Tarc (talk) 13:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not "about" accountability, in any event. It's about accuracy and fairness. Accountability is one of various possible means to that end but, in the context of Wikipedia, it isn't the most effective means and could even be counter-productive. If we were to go to the extreme where "accountable" is simplistically translated as "identifiable", then it comes at an unbearable cost. Formerip (talk) 19:23, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Just so. Rush Limbaugh is a "credentialed actually-identifiable" individual, as Tarc puts it. That has no bearing on whether his output is accurate or fair. Besides which, I find it rather ironic that a non-credentialed, non-actually identifiable individual is complaining about others being non-credentialed, non-actually identifiable... Prioryman (talk) 19:36, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
The diffeirence between you and I is that I am not the one argjuing to preserve slander masquerading as a Wikipedia Bio. Tarc (talk) 13:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Who is the one? Formerip (talk) 13:54, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
It is unlikely that any nonsense added to a high profile BLP article will last for very long, and it is often reverted within a few minutes. The real risk is in minor league BLPs, where the material could go for much longer before being spotted and removed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Minor league BLPs are only part of the story. Don't forget that BLP applies everywhere on Wikipedia - article talk pages, user pages, templates, etc. Any one of those could potentially be used to add poor-quality or defamatory content about a living individual. That's one of the reasons why I tend to get impatient about BLP zealotry; the fact is that any website with user-generated content, whether it's Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, or whatever, has the same issue. It's an inherent problem with user-generated websites. I think we are probably better than most at spotting and dealing with abuse, thanks to watchlists, recent changes monitoring, strong policy enforcement etc, but ultimately it's an issue that can only be managed - it can never be eliminated. Prioryman (talk) 07:47, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The comparison to Flickr or Facebook misses the mark. Facebook, Flickr and so forth do not pretend to be an encyclopedia, and that makes a difference in law. There is a difference between individuals expressing opinions on an Internet forum, and making statements of fact in what intends to be the world's encyclopedia. And this is particularly so in the articles themselves.
Minor league BLPs are a big part of the story. Again, take another example: Deborah Orr. Her biography is currently a huge WP:Coatrack. Looking at the history, it seem like it has rarely been anything else: [18], [19]. This is WP:ADAM at its best: 25% of her biography about the fact that she said "Fuck" on television? Gross incompetence on display: [20], echoing the librarian porn star. How about this unsourced bit of rubbish? Or about this? The one bit of vandalism Wikipedia promptly removed was this. JN466 13:22, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
There's definitely a coatrack problem with that article. Why haven't you done anything about that? Formerip (talk) 13:58, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this is the classic "we have our blinders on" response whenever someone points out a problem on this project; the WP:SOFIXIT Defense. Do you not see that the corollary of WP:SOBREAKIT is equally in play here, and the fact that it is is itself what is damaging to BLPs? Tarc (talk) 14:02, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't my point at all. My point was that all this drama and concern looks like a bit fraudulent if you see a huge dollop of obviously unfair and undue content in someone's bio and you can't be bothered to take 5 seconds to put it right (but you can be bothered to go through the history to see what else you can find). Formerip (talk) 14:06, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
This is an utterly bizarre response. The problem is being pointed out as an example of a systematic problem. Taking 5 seconds to fix this particular instance would not fix the systematic problem. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
No, but it would fix the problem with the article. It seems to be a bit inconsistent to gnash and moan all over WP about a problem then, when you see an example of it, take the trouble to rifle through the history and post a bit more gnashing and moaning about it, but leave the article as it was. Formerip (talk) 18:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
There are several problems with that. One, if I do it, then that creates the impression, "Oh, the Wikipedia system works. Things are taking care of themselves." It most definitely does not, and people "fixing" articles when they come up for scrutiny, while useful in itself, does not fix the systemic problem. Second, I would like to get some other editors actively involved in the BLP problem. If I say, "Oy, there was a problem with that there article, but I've fixed it", nobody but me has to lift a finger, and everyone but me can continue their internal dialogue of how great Wikipedia is. Thirdly, this way, by the time whoever it is who has got something against Orr checks his watchlist, they won't be starting a fight with me over why someone "deleted sourced material". Lastly, I've been in touch with the subject, and unlike Hawkins she couldn't care less about her Wikipedia biography. So there was only Wikipedia's reputation to defend here, and I am no longer prepared to go out of my way to do that unless Wikipedia pulls its finger out a bit and shows evidence of an intent to have a reputation worth defending. JN466 23:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The solution to the problem I would like to see does not involve me running after arseholes not nice or vindictive people to clean up the turds messes> they have dropped into made in biographies. People have been doing such clean-up work for years, at an enormous cost of time and energy, and the only effect it has had has been to give this rotten system of writing biographies a veneer of respectability. If you like the present system of writing biographies so much, you clean it up. I can send you a regularly updated list of biographies someone has dumped on. --JN466 14:25, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, Jayen, the world remains anxious to hear about the solution to the problem you would like to see. Once again, quit jumping up and down like a concussed baboon and get on with it. Formerip (talk) 14:28, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen466, calling Wikipedians arseholes rather undermines any point you might have been trying to make here. I doubt anyone will bother wading through your polemic when you choose to be this crude. -- (talk) 14:32, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I read it as a metaphor which he then expanded on, rather than as an attack on any Wikipedians ingeneral. And, yes, some folks do place entirely improper edits into BLPs, occasionally quite deliberately. See User:Collect/BLP for some of the reasons given by a single former Wikipedia editor: It's a real exposé, in the classic sense. If the report were bogus, X would have sued TMZ loooong ago. Excluding it is simply censorship, plain and simple, Wikipedia is not censored, and the data I am adding is allowable., The only person who has done any research here on X is ME! The rest of you are either X's gophers, or X fanboyz, or net-nannies brought here by Collect's tattle-taling on the noticeboards (and whose chief contribution to the debate has been to finger wag and head shake)., If it were lies, the litigious X would have sued them sooner than you could say "Abracadabra!", y has a campaign afoot to purge this page of any taint of critical content, that's why. G*ddamned conservatives trying to sanitize the wikipedia, ruining it in the process and so on. Showing the singleminded purpose of such editors. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:46, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say anxious is the right word, as I've proposed the same possible solutions three or four times now: 1. Introduce flagged revisions for all minor BLPs, and make the reviewer right one that has to be earned, and can be lost. 2. Alternatively, make BLP editing a separate user right. 3. Alternatively, move minor BLPs to a separate project like Commons, possibly with registered editing. 4. Give minor biograpical subjects an opt-out whenever our process has broken down. 5. Fund an independent watchdog who can adjudicate and fine. Fæ, I am saying what I am saying on a talk page. "Wikipedians", on the other hand (and let's just remember that anyone in the world with a defamatory intent can become a "Wikipedian" in one minute), do such things as defaming living people as sexual harassers, and spending 25% of their biographies on the fact that they once said "Fuck" on television, on the number one Google link for their names. If this sets up some sort of equality in your mind, whereby the latter problem pops out of existence due to the language I have used to describe it, that is up to you. I'll redact though, just in case it helps you contemplate the problem, and possible ways forward. --JN466 14:57, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Anxious is the right word when you type it with heavy sarcasm.
You know very well, though, that throwing a few half-baked ideas to the wind in the middle of a thread on this page is not going to get the baby bathed. Neither is another pointless message about a bio that once had the word "willy" in it.
FWIW, one of the ideas you list (the first one) is not completely daft and it will inevitably happen before too long in some form (although it will be PC not FR). I think it would be useful if you had a think about how you might avoid impeding that process by being more coherent and less frantic. Formerip (talk) 15:25, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Some of your proposals have merit. But the key is the focus of many of them to "minor" BLPs. Tarc's proposal would apply to all BLPs, including major BLPs, which goes way too far. Rlendog (talk) 20:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
To illustrate FormerIP's point: I once spent a long week in court in a drugs related trial, the highlight of which was one of the witnesses giving testimony that included the word "fuck", once. In the judge's summary, he managed to say "fuck" twice as a result. Watching the elderly judge enjoy himself so much at finding an excuse to swear in court, not only creeped me out, but made most of the jury lose track of whatever point he was trying to make. I think you might be making the same tactical error. -- (talk) 16:57, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Either Wikipedia has BLP articles or it does not; deleting articles on request would be a dream come true for celebrities and politicians who did not want certain things written about them. WP:ADAM is a big problem in the minor league BLPs, and there should be more aggressive tagging for cleanup and deletion where this is happening.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Er, no. 'Cleanup and deletion' shouldn't be necessary. We need to be much more strict about BLP notability criteria in the first place. If we limited such articles to people who are actually worthy of an encyclopaedic entry, it would be a darned sight easier to keep the crap out of them. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:47, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
In that case, there would need to be much higher standards set for BLP notability. There is little point in requiring consensus in deletion debates, because this is well nigh impossible in some cases.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes. We need a much higher standard in BLP notability. I've just said that. Much higher... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:01, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That's one I forgot to mention above. As I said on WikiEN-l, if we have biographies where we either end up with hatchet jobs or infomercials, because nobody neutral can be BOTHERED to write about these obscure people, then I think it would indeed be better not to have "biographies" like that at all. We need to restrict ourselves to biographies that are encyclopedically relevant, so that articles get tended and watched by more people than just the subjects themselves, and the people who hate them. Especially so given that core editor numbers relative to the number of biograpies we have have been in steady decline. JN466 15:11, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
At the moment, Toolserver will only say if an article has more than 30 watchers. For BLP articles, I would like to see a more precise figure, and if it is fewer than 15 watchers, alarm bells should ring.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. If it is technically possible to produce a list of BLPs watched by less than a given number of people – say, less than 15 – having such a list would be worthwhile. --JN466 23:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Tarc's proposal. Over the years, Wikipedia has shown how amazingly successful it has been in its mission. Kudos to us. But there are some areas where we continue to struggle. Regarding BLPs, we've tried various mild solutions, but we *still* have trouble with articles being hijacked by Proponents of The Truth on a mission (not limited to BLPs but particularly insidious in impact there). We put concerned LPs through the wringer when they try to intervene (smothering them in policies and acronyms, or taking them through sometimes nasty discussions by a largely pseudonymous crowd that opines about their "marginal notability"). Tarc's proposal would provide a useful safety valve for where we can't seem to get it right. Reactions to 2 of the arguments against mentioned above: a) "Would we therefore delete Barack Obama if he asked?" --> Yes, we could survive without a biographical article on Mr. Obama if needed; the really important parts relate to his position and specific actions, and would continue to be covered under President of the United States. b) "What about people whitewashing their internet presence?" --> not our problem, if people want to play such games on either side they can continue to do it elsewhere. As a top 5 (or 10 or whatever) website on an internet of millions of sites, we have a special responsibility to be ethical but no responsibility to have the Right Answer to Every Problem. And better we have no article at all than being caught in the crossfire on BLPs. (Unless we can reliably find a better, less invasive solution soon, I would actually support a no-BLP policy altogether. Not "no mention of living people where relevant", but no *biographies* of LP. And yes, that would include proactively deleting Barack Obama.) Martinp (talk) 12:08, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Except BLP policy applies to all articles. So if the President of the United States had problematic content, we haven't solved any BLP issue by deleting the Barack Obama article. I suppose we could move the Barack Obama article to Barack Obama presidency, which would technically not be a biographical article about Obama himself, but that would still permit the same problematic BLP material to appear. And then we would need separate articles for his senate career, his presidential candidacy, etc., which would be confusing to readers without an overarching Obama article. Or, for a less prominent but still major league BLP, we could move an article about a US Congressman to an article about that person's congressional career, which again would not be technically a biography but of course still subject to BLP. So I am not sure what that accomplishes. After all, are we really solving anything when Rick Santorum can delete his article upon request, but not the neologism article. I don't have a problem deleting minor league BLPs on request, but major league BLPs are appropriate topics for an encyclopedia regardless of the subject's wishes, although of course all BLP policies need apply (regradless). Rlendog (talk) 20:01, 12 April 2012 (UTC)


It is undoubtedly true that WP BLP's have misinformation, just as it is true that most anything one reads contains misinformation. Is WP worse, better or the same? A study should be done. Inviting all academics, in conjunction perhaps with those "truth busting" media watchdogs to have a go. If no one steps forward the Foundation could, although not as ideal. I am less than thrilled, however, with a less systematic analysis by individual pedians. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:42, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

With over 3 million articles, this might be difficult. Possible signs of trouble for BLPs that can be flagged automatically by a bot are:
  1. Low view count.
  2. Low number of page watchers.
  3. Low number of edits.
  4. A high percentage of edits by the same editor or IP edits.

At the moment, most of the evidence in this area is anecdotal. There are bound to be some BLP articles in a poor state of repair at any given time, and this is why raising the bar for BLP notability would help.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:25, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

What we do know is that at any time, an unknown percentage of Wikipedia biographies of living persons contains serious problems. This is, after all, why the Wikimedia Foundation so jealously guards its Section 230 safe harbor protection, and refuses to intervene in management of site content. The Foundation thinks that if it were to assume legal responsibility for this site's content, it would be sued out of existence. I think this in itself indicates that the problems are on a somewhat different scale than those there might be with professional media companies, who after all do take responsibility for their content, and survive.
At the same time, of course, the Wikimedia Foundation asserts that this content, which is so riddled with problems that it does not want to assume legal responsibility for it, serves a public benefit. There is something profoundly incongruous about this.
Yes, a study would be useful, though it will require a considerable investment in time and effort. Generally speaking, as a site intended to be an enyclopedia (i.e. to present fact rather than contributor opinion), to serve the public benefit, and the number one Google link for anyone's name, Wikipedia cannot rightfully compare its content to discussion contributions in obscure online forums. To be of demonstrable benefit to the public, Wikipedia biographies of members of that public should measure up to a certain standard, and have safeguards against abuse. JN466 16:44, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That's a lot of assuming, including: 1)there is actionable privacy infringement or defamation occurring; 2)its not being removed, or 3) the foundation/system does not respond to complaints. Anecdote does not supply the basis for those assumptions and it's at least questionable they are true. For example, if it is true that the pedia article is "high profile" about the person, it is almost certain it has gotten attention from an interested observer, who is interested in it being fair or at least innocuous. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:11, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
(1) If there isn't, why is the Wikimedia Foundation so scared to adopt a publisher's responsibility? By the way, an example was given above. For an ongoing court case, see [21]. Incidentally, people sourcing content directly to court documents (which occurred in the case this suit is about) is a regular occurrence in Wikipedia. While it's not a legally actionable privacy violation, it has long been forbidden by BLP policy. But there is clearly no requirement on anyone to read the BLP policy before they start editing. I think that ought to change. Again, pending changes or a separate user right for BLP editing would achieve that. Otherwise, how serious are we about BLP policy if we say we have one, and it is very important, but no one is required to read it before they start editing BLPs? 2) Hari's vile stuff stayed in articles for weeks. Example: [22]. The Gerber example linked above was in the article for more than a year. 3) The Foundation's response to complaints is patchy. It can take weeks before a complainant receives a response. It's not just me who's saying that; one of our arbitrators said the same thing a few weeks ago: "I've seen this happen on OTRS time and time again: real tickets about unbalanced articles do go unanswered for weeks." --JN466 23:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
1) I would gather that the Foundation has a fiduciary duty to limit its liability, in every way allowed by law. 1), 2) and 3) Just so, anecdotes have power but they are not systematic evidence. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:02, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what the Foundation would say, but I have the impression that in order to take a commercial publisher's responsibility they should implement a commercial publisher's methods of excluding falsehoods. For example, they should not allow non-employees to wander in and contribute content. They should pay employees to edit the articles at something approaching a prevailing wage to ensure they are not getting cut-rate unqualified help but those properly certified by relevant institutions. They should fire employee-editors who in any way put them at risk. And, of course, they should copyright their product and sell it at a substantial fee, not only to allow them to pay all those employee editors, but also to limit their liability should anything slip through anyway because it turned out one of their employees is just as capable of academic dishonesty as any schoolkid or New York Times reporter. Now, I know it disappoints you that WMF isn't willing to do all those things in order that you can make your point to us scum of the Earth that our role in life is merely to watch the pretty celebrities, on bent knees, praying that all our cash and taxes can go to their perfect maintenance, nothing held back for us let alone the verminous poor, without us ever daring to try to make a comparison or index of all the stuff the media has brandished in front of our faces about our Gods. But apparently they aren't. We the ordinary editors will continue talking among ourselves and continue rebelling by allowing our little whispers to taint their perfect ears every now and then, by accident, before the miscreant at fault is roundly punished. At least, that is, not until a week or two from now when you people get your Pending Changes and certify yourselves as the overseers of this operation, with all us ordinary editors demoted to the level of the occasional schizophrenic bum who walks into a newspaper with breathless words of wonder. Then I guess it's Google Knol or Yahoo Contributor Network or something; if we're going to have bosses to tell us what to do, might as well be some who pretend to pay us. Wnt (talk) 01:54, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Of course the Foundation has a fiduciary duty to limits its liability. But it surely also has a moral duty to limit the risks it exposes its biography subjects to. I would like to see Wikimedia guarding the fortunes of its biography subjects, as well as those of companies and other organisations written about here, as jealously as it guards its own. JN466 10:58, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Why do alarm bells start ringing everytime I read or hear the word "moral"? A sinner's morals are a saint's deadly sins.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 11:25, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
No. The Foundation should never put istelf in the position of a fiduciary to its subjects, nor should it morally do so, such would be completely contrary to its mission, and a massive COI. Also, its Wikipedia project does "take care" by requiring NPOV, V and NOR. You may wish to begin proposals for change by acknowledging that and whatever happens, it cannot become a fiduciary for the people or things it writes about. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:22, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
All I am saying is that just as the Foundation has a responsibility to its donors, it also has a responsibility to the public, including those members of the public who are written about here. I consider these absolutely equal. JN466 11:34, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think we would necessarily need academics or WMF to do the type of study suggested. It would not really be a particularly complicated study to undertake. If a group of editors was willing to dedicate even a fairly small amount of time and work to a shared protocol, a decent dataset could be pulled together quite quickly. Just a suggestion, but I'd be willing to take part if others are. Formerip (talk) 00:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Did you drop a "not" because you are not advertising it very well :) Good luck though! Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:50, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Er, yeah. Thanks. Formerip (talk) 00:54, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Difficult to measure imbalance, omitted truth: When BLP text is slanted by "sins of omission" then that can be almost impossible to measure. Most people, attempting to study BLP quality, would naturally focus on incorrect statements in a page, rather than measuring the level of omitted, corrective information. As a recent example, a French official was accused of assaulting a maid in a New York hotel, and several sources postulated that it could have been a conspiracy, where the maid was working with other people to make the overall event seem incriminating. A few people tried to add that sourced text to the article, but other editors kept rapidly removing that aspect of balanced viewpoints to main a "pro-guilt" slant in the text. Eventually, the maid was linked to some conspiracy group and her credibility (as a witness) was ruined, so the assault charges were dropped. Too bad Wikipedia could not allow a suspect to be considered "not guilty" (or "innocente" in Italy) and instead dwell only on incriminating text; but that example explains the severe difficulty of measuring BLP quality, when unwritten viewpoints cannot be seen in the article, unless comparing dozens of prior revisions, where truthful editors were able to slip balanced text into a article, if only for a brief fleeting moment of truth. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:13, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
{{citation needed}} (talk) 06:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
"All I know is what I read in the papers". -Wikid77 07:31, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this sort of assessment is quite tricky, and requires a person who knows quite a bit about the biography subject before beginning the assessment. Otherwise, you will have the assessor deriving all their knowledge about the person from the article they are supposed to assess. You get this situation in AfDs sometimes. A biography subject will complain about being painted as a crank (or religious nut, crook, etc.); and then people in the AfD – who had never heard of the subject before, have not verified the cited sources or researched the wider pool of sources, but have read the article nominated for deletion – will say, or think, "But he is a crank! He just doesn't like us telling the world!" The irony should be obvious here.
Recall the Klee Irwin articles for example: [23][24] Each one is reasonably convincing in its way, or at least leaves a strong impression. Each one makes you feel you now "know" something about Klee Irwin. It's quite possible (I haven't checked) that each article version is "well sourced" in the sense that the cited sources say what the article is saying. But unless the assessor has an overview of what sources are out there, he or she can't really make a useful assessment. This is the case with any controversial figure, and more so with relatively unknown ones. Depending on what sources a Wikipedian selects, they can make the person sound heroic or demonic, and the ability to put forward a point of view, and have your writing widely read, is of course a key factor in attracting people to contribute in Wikipedia in the first place. (In my personal opinion, these two – i.e. being able to affect the POV presented at the number 1 Google link for anything and anyone, and/or the sense of personal achievement derived from writing something that will be widely read, are far more important motivators for Wikipedia content creators than the altruistic motives usually put forward.)
If a BLP study is made, I would very much recommend that non-Wikipedians, who have not internalised the particular Wikipedia mindset that produces these biographies and can look at them with the eyes of an outsider, should be involved. I would propose that the study should focus on
  • BLPs watched by less than 30 people, and BLPs watched by less than 15 people
  • detection of libellous content
  • compliance with Wikpedia's own WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:BLP policies, as well as WP:COATRACK issues.
I also think the study would need quite a substantial sample size. Content that is clearly and unquestionably libelous is, I believe, relatively rare outside of very short-lived vandalism. But we have around 600,000 biographies of living people. If, for argument's sake, only one in 500 were so libelous that the subject would have grounds to sue, that would mean that Wikipedia has 1,200 such biographies. JN466 10:41, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you have to live with the fact that an assessor is typically not going to be knowledgeable about the subject of an article she is assessing, because if you did anything else your sampling would not be random and your results would be next to worthless.
If editors were to undertake the research - not that it looks like there will be a flood of volunteers - any concerns over in-house bias could be dealt with by making the data from the assessments publicly available and inviting review. Formerip (talk) 13:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Equally radical counter-proposal (only a little tongue-in-cheek)

I propose that BLP articles may only be edited by established editors that have a significant number of mainspace edits, say 1000. There will still be disputes but they will, hopefully, be substantive disputes. Let the n00bs edit other articles, there is plenty of other editing to be done. --Lyncs (talk) 16:19, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I wonder if this might actually make the problem worse. It would get rid of obvious vandalism, but are editors with 1,000 edits always competent in terms of following policy? What we would lose is the gnoming and casual editing which is really our first line of defence at the moment (more of it improves articles than degrades them). If we implemented this tomorrow, I think it would just slow the process of improving biographical articles. Formerip (talk) 17:26, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately there are editors with tens of thousands of edits who know BLP policy backwards and break it, knowingly and intentionally. And there are newbies who write wonderful biographies. --JN466 23:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Say it ain't so, Joe --Lyncs (talk) 00:01, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I also have an equally radical proposal and my tongue is nowhere near my cheek. Based on my past experience with the havoc that can be unleashed by newbie and (even worse IMO) hit-and-run editors on Troubles-related articles, I propose that Wikipedians who wish to edit a Troubles-related page must have at least 100 edits. It's known that all Troubles artilces are under the IRR, but this doesn't prevent the articles being ransacked just short of vandalism. Nor does it prevent the edit wars which can often outdo in bloodletting and futility those battles fought during the Wars of the Roses Comments?--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 11:35, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I would advocate pending changes on all of these articles, which has much the same effect as the one you're looking for. Let's not forget that many Wikipedias, including the German one (>1 million articles), have had pending changes for years, on all articles, across the board. And it really does cut out a lot of the drive-by vandalism. (The way PC in German Wikipedia works is that logged-in editors see unapproved changes, while the public only sees the last approved version.) --JN466 12:43, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
No, no, no, pending changes on Troubles-related articles is NOT the answer as you'd have to create an elite cadre of editors allowed to see the changes before the unwashed masses do. And who would this special unit consist of? I was thinking more along the lines of protection for these pages, so that only established editors are allowed to make edits. But no way Jose would I advocate pending changes. My proposal wouldn't scare away newbies, it would just compel them to build up a decent editing history that does not include edit warring, etc..--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 16:50, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
(sigh) PC was never "an elite cadre of editors." Anyone logged in is able to see the edits. And IIRC, anyone autoconfirmed was to have the ability to "promote" the edits to be viewable to all. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:59, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
But who has the authority to decide whether or not these changes are to be retained in the article? Any logged-in user? By placing the Troubles-related articles under protection we would have less vandalism and it would go a long way in preventing the mess I had to clean up last month made by a hit-and-run editor who hadn't made one single edit in 22 months. Lucky me, he made his comeback by removing an entire section of sourced information from a Troubles article which is currently a hot topic! I had to restore it manually.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 17:07, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
My experience from the death anomalies project is that newbies will often accurately update Bios of the newly deceased. I wouldn't want to stop that. We do need better ways to identify vandalism but they need to be ones that work with our ethos not against it. ϢereSpielChequers 12:03, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

really radical counter proposal "invisibly flagged revisions"

A lot of people want us to raise our game and be more effective at dealing with vandalism, either to protect BLPs or to protect the three million other articles where nasty stuff can sneak through. But flagged revisions and pending changes are controversial because they are seen as offputting to newbies. So why not implement flagged revisions in a way that newbies don't even need to know its there? If only editors with admin or reviewer flags get to see which edits have been marked as flagged or not then we could transform recent changes, patrollers would be able to choose to check edits that no-one else had checked and we'd stop having bunches of edits get through unobserved when recent changes is quiet. One of the words I patrol is Pubic, so I know that some petty vandalism gets through recent changes every week, if we implemented "invisibly flagged revisions" on the whole of mainspace then we could painlessly and easily plug the current gaps at recent changes. No-one knows how many gaps we currently have at recent changes, and even if we knew that not enough people were patrolling recent changes from 3.20 to 3.45 this morning there is no way of going back and checking just the ones that no-one looked at. But with "invisibly flagged revisions", as with any flagged revisions implementation, it is easy to see which revisions are still unflagged. ϢereSpielChequers 12:03, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Just to check that I understand the proposal correctly: Do you mean that changes would still go live immediately, but be flagged as unsighted in a way that is only visible to logged-in editors, until they have been reviewed?
Note that there is an ongoing RfC on reintroducing pending changes:Wikipedia:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_2012 --JN466 12:28, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes the edits would go live as now, I'm neutral as to whether the flagging would be visible to all autoconfirmed editors or just to reviewers and admins. As for the "RFC" I'm aware of it, but it isn't a real RFC, more a referendum on certain predefined positions. The people running that vote have explicitly ruled out any attempt to build consensus and come up with a solution we can all live with. ϢereSpielChequers 13:55, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

And another example: Otis Ferry

How about the current version of the Otis Ferry biography? This is a 650-word biography, and over three-quarters of it is devoted to a meticulous chronicling of minor "arrests, charges and court appearances". More than half of these cases resulted in no charge or an acquittal.

Now, Mr Ferry is an avid supporter of fox hunting (a horrid pastime in my view), and it is quite possible that the editor(s) who made it their business to add these 500 words on his arrests, charges and court appearances do not agree with his stance. JN466 12:07, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Is there any indication that Ferry wants his article completely removed or that he would rather have it completely removed than some other option like permanently locked? yes this is a case illustrating that we have BLP problem, but not one that yourTarc's proposal would necessarily actually fix or one that other proposals might fix in a much better way. -- The Red Pen of Doom 12:40, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what Mr Ferry's wishes would be if he were made aware of the state of the article, or if he is aware of it. But I maintain that pending changes, and restriction of the right to approve BLP edits to editors with a known track record of impartiality and commitment to upholding BLP policy, might be able to prevent articles like that building up over time. --JN466 12:47, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is the real solution. Approval rights should be easy to get and easy to lose if abused. Like rollback rights (not sure that is the best example but you know what I mean). --Lyncs (talk) 12:52, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
or changing the protection policy for BLP articles that after issues the presumption is in favor of continued protection and more open editing would be required to make its case.-- The Red Pen of Doom 13:11, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I haven't looked at this article, but I think it is fair to say that Otis Ferry is most notable for his criminal record. Formerip (talk) 13:13, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
That's one way to put it. Now imagine (difficult, depending on your views) that he's an activist of a different viewpoint, one with which you agree. Imagine, for example, he's an activist with the same sort of track record of arrests whose protest is in favor of a ban on fox hunting. Would you then say that he "is most notable for his criminal record" or would you say that he "is most notable for his activism and civil disobedience"? Now, using that same lens, take a look at the article. It's a pretty absurd article in that it indiscriminately mixes his peaceful arrests during peaceful protests and actual (but minor) criminal behavior such as driving under the influence of alcohol.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:39, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, perhaps you should look at the article. And compare what is considered Trivia to what is considered really really important. --Lyncs (talk) 13:46, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Trivia is bringing individual examples of possible BLP violations to the discussion in the first place. Nobody denies that they exist. Formerip (talk) 14:14, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
To the contrary, I think examples of poor articles are very useful for all of us, because it's worthwhile to study them and see what exactly went wrong so that we can think sensibly about measures to fix them (or get rid of them).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:39, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think examples are useful in the context of a discussion about BLP violations. Everybody knows that they occur and what they look like, and individual examples don't tell us anything new about what we might do on a systematic level. Still, it's your talkpage, so if you want to carry on looking at examples it's up to you. Formerip (talk) 16:58, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
An example was proffered. Rather than look at the subject article and address the issue(s) with it or say, as you say now, that looking at individual examples is pointless, you chose to comment on Mr. Ferry's notoriety without regard for the article. Which is a discussion that is pointless here. As may be inferred from Jimbo's comment, notoriety is in the eye of the beholder. Just sayin' --Lyncs (talk) 19:33, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I didn't want to be repetitive, because I've made similar comments above and in related discussions. BLP violations are a good thing to have constructive discussion about, but a bad thing to engage in drama over, which is what the drip, drip of "look, I've found another one" might be mistaken for being about. Message received, already. Formerip (talk) 19:55, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Simultaneously draconian and insufficient

The draconian aspects of this proposal should be obvious. NPOV will be compromised because BLP subjects can use the threat of deleting their articles entirely to force the removal of any unflattering material whatsoever. Imagine what articles such as Rick Santorum would look like when purged of any sourced criticism. Yet the proposal is insufficient to accomplish its stated objective of preventing BLP violations against subjects who opt out. Even with no BLPs at at all, Wikipedia would still contain information about living people in other articles unless NPOV were massively compromised. Could Santorum request not only the deletion of his biography, but the removal of his name from articles about the Republican presidential primary? The nature of a website as openly accessible as Wikipedia ensures that regardless of what policies we have in place, BLP violations can and will appear. Flagged revisions would stop the most obvious offenses but may not prevent bias and undue weight. Therefore, I suggest that we stop presenting material about living people as more credible than it is. When someone reads an article linked from search engine results, they don't see the "anyone can edit" language that appears on the main page. The preface simply states that the article is "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" while leaving our disclaimer about potentially inaccurate content buried at the bottom of the page. Since most large websites have some sort of disclaimer composed of boilerplate legal language, most people won't read ours, assuming that they make it to the end of the article at all. It would be prudent to introduce articles with "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", to alert the reader to potential inaccuracies or bias in biographies. Alessandra Napolitano (talk) 21:04, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree with "Insufficient" and to a certain extent "draconian" (though in spite of that I support as measures short of draconian have not been enough). However, I disagree with your strawman on Rick Santorum. First of all, as one of the most polarizing individuals in U.S. politics, Santorum's article insofar it exists is going to attract a lot of watchers and editors. That will promote better adherence to NPOV and other policies. Our biggest problem is BLPs of much less prominent individuals, who may (in some cases arguably) meet our notability bar but where the attention span and interest of active editors of the article will be grossly imbalanced in favour of either whitewashers or axe-grinder. Second, while -- all considering -- our article on Santorum is not bad at all (congrats!), it would in my opinion be better if purged of (sourced) criticism as well as drastically shortened to avoid the unavoidably partisan in inherently non-NPOV exercise of framing his political beliefs. In particular, the editorial selection of what is covered in the "Criticism" section reeks of coatracking: The real primary controversy about him is the beliefs he espouses; the inclusion at the same level of what school district asked him to repay what tuition fees, regardless of how well sourced, can only be explained as a desire of one "side" to increase the prominence in the public eye of potentially damaging information harnessing the eyeballs that Wikipedia provides. If I were Mr. Santorum, I would actually trust the wikipedia editorial process to over time get this right in his case; but should Mr. Santorum prefer to not have a biography with us all, I maintain we should accede to his wishes. We would continue to cover the truly relevant bits at Rick_Santorum_presidential_campaign,_2012 -- where, you are right, BLP violations could be introduced, but the bar is higher for proving their relevance. Mr. Santorum's dispute over $72k in school fees would last only in so far as it played a pivotal role in his campaign. And while it would be sad to lose the factual and NPOV information on him as an individual, those desiring it could doubtless find it out elsewhere on the internet. There is no shame to confessing that our model is not the optimal one for maintaining and delivering even nonobjectionable material. Disclaimer: I'm not actually a US resident and I don't think much of Mr. Santorum's policies. Martinp (talk) 23:53, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Intrusive private life sections

  • See [25]: Do we need this much detail on what his ex-wife thinks about him and his staff?

    After eight years of marriage, the two separated, finalizing their divorce in the summer of 2009. Reports have noted that the divorce was an amicable one and the two remain close friends.[45]
    However, in 2010, Chicago Magazine interviewed Vertolli, who said that despite their friendship, she would not support her ex-husband for Senate. She said that a female staffer named Dodie McCracken asserts a "Svengali-like" influence over Kirk, and that she refused to have McCracken at their 2001 wedding, because "Mark could either stay married to me, or she could find another place. But there wasn’t enough room for the two of us to stay in Mark’s life." She then said that despite the 2001 snub, McCracken never distanced herself from Kirk and worked on his 2010 Senate campaign in addition to her earlier work as a staffer. Asked by the interviewer, "Is there any kind of insinuation that there’s any kind of romance going on between them?" Vertolli responded, "I will not characterize their relationship." Asked, "was it political differences that contributed to you and Mark divorcing?" she responded, "I think that if Dodie McCracken had not continued to be in our lives, we probably would still be married."[46] In the same interview, Vertolli denied persistent rumors that Kirk is gay.[46]

--JN466 14:12, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Is the consensus that this level of detail is appropriate? How does it sit against the BLP resolution: "Taking human dignity and respect for personal privacy into account when adding or removing information, especially in articles of ephemeral or marginal interest"? Should we be converting the content of a blog on a lifestyle magazine's website into permanent encyclopedic content in this manner? JN466 11:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't think all these Tabloid-like statements regarding his ex-wife's opinions need to be in the article. IMO, nothing more should be added after "and the two remain close friends".--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 11:39, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
      • I agree with you. --JN466 11:48, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
        • Well sourced information should be retained, but a single interview with a someone like this who knows the subject looks a lot like a primary source to be treated with caution. Special caution should be exerted when picking several statements out of an interview like this, to avoid original synthesis, and the possibility that the reporter may have done likewise to spice up the story should also be considered. Also note that citing a woman denying "rumors" that someone is gay is an example in which something is sourced in a story but not "presented as true", as WP:BLP puts it. Who is saying that this guy is gay? A reporter, citing "rumors", but he's only asking the question. Wnt (talk) 21:03, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Quite. I am particularly glad that you, as a devoted inclusionist, see that there is something wrong with that section as is stands and is sourced now. --JN466 02:55, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I see Wikipedia editing as being something like migrant laborers picking oranges. No great skill should be involved; you should be able to just grab each source you encounter and toss it into the article. But I don't want people picking rotten or unripe oranges! The analysis of one fundamental edit unit - one fact from one source - should be largely (in theory, entirely) sufficient to determine whether it can be picked up or should be left alone. Wnt (talk) 04:13, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

False report of fatal illness

In this case on the BLP noticeboard, we reported at least twice, for a total of 8 months, that the BLP subject had been diagnosed with a fatal illness. The edit was completely unsourced. No one but the subject, who was getting concerned enquiries from relatives and acquaintances, noticed.

Please let's apply pending changes to all minor BLPs. JN466 19:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Errors are not good, but they are hard to eliminate. A person determined on adding misinformation, as in this case, can get an account autoconfirmed pretty quickly, and if it takes 8 months for someone to notice an error, blocking isn't really going to fix that when he can always just start another one. Which means that Level 1 pending changes won't do anything. And level 2 pending changes will be so destructive that minor articles will be even worse off, because nobody will want to edit something that is never reviewed, and no one will want to review articles that are never edited. Wnt (talk) 20:48, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
You are aware that the German Wikipedia has had level 2 pending changes for what ... 5 years? And you have noticed that the project is flourishing, and struggles a lot less with the sort of problems we have here? --JN466 02:22, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The German Wikipedia apparently gives reviewer rights to anyone with over 300 edits. This is a much more democratic standard than the Pending Changes proposal, which makes them a plum to be granted and taken away by admins based on such things as a person's opinions about policy. The combination of the political standard with the far more "battleground"y nature of the English Wikipedia is what will make the difference. Wnt (talk) 04:08, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Legal issues sections: Keith Richards vs. D'Angelo

Interesting article: Bewailing Wikipedia's white male bias --JN466 04:52, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I've had just about enough of those who spew forth hateful vitriol blaming every social problem in sight on white men. Savage's characterization of the Shooting of Trayvon Martin suggests that she is outright lying. Although the gunman was of mixed ethnicity, and had already been arrested at the time her piece was written, why let the facts stand in the way of a malicious political narrative? Wikipedia is the most non-discriminatory major media organization in the world: it takes all comers. If one finds a biased article then surely the best response is to correct it, not to disparage the good faith volunteer efforts of the other editors trying to write it with a nakedly racist attack. Alessandra Napolitano (talk) 11:34, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
The author of the piece did find a biased article and did correct it. Her removal of that "legal issues" section lasted for nearly a month, when it was undone (by an admin, incidentally). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 12:25, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
The relevant difference between D'Angelo, Keith Richards and Lou Reed isn't race, it's the era that their "legal troubles" date from (incidentally, I'm not an expert on Lou Reed, but has he ever had any legal troubles for us to report?). It's about whether the contemporaneous news and gossip reports are online. Look at the article on any white musician who has a criminal record from the past ten years and it will be in their article, probably in its own section (Pete Doherty, Eminem, Amy Winehouse). Formerip (talk) 13:33, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Having said in 2010 that "I feel like Wikipedia too often uses kid gloves when dealing with complainants who are wealthy, white, or Western" and last June that "biographical articles - at least, those about wealthy or Western subjects - are reduced to Pollyanna versions that ignore things broadly published in the news", I can scarcely disagree with this author about the bias. But the way to fix the incongruity is by including all the relevant well-sourced information about the white (or wealthy, or Western) celebrities, rather than taking out things from the articles which so far have gone untouched. Wnt (talk) 20:56, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
An examination of real articles doesn't bear that out, Wnt. Jenna Hager née Bush is wealthy, white, and Western with an extraordinarily high level of political influence. Yet even she couldn't have coverage of her alcohol-related legal problems removed from her biography. This is about two isolated minor incidents which we cover because, and only because, the media made a fuss about them. Alessandra Napolitano (talk) 23:05, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I will just say that, as in Otis Ferry's article, these "Legal issues" sections often look intemperate and vindictive.
With respect to the charge of white bias, I tried to have a look at the frequency with which these legal issues sections occur; in this search, I found – on the first page of 100 search results – 45 biographies of Black people that had a "Legal issues" section, vs. 28 biographies of Caucasians that had such a section, and 3 of Hispanics – i.e. nearly 60% of these sections were in biographies of Black people. That did seem suspiciously high. I didn't do an exact count of the biographies on the second page of search results, but there seemed to be rather more Caucasians on that page than there were on the first, with proportions roughly reversed, and Caucasians outnumbering Blacks 2 to 1. --JN466 02:41, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Conditionally Support - this should only go through for people who have borderline notability, otherwise it could be used for censorship for people who dislike the NPOV treatment given in the article on their Dear Leader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wer900 (talkcontribs) 02:52, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Commons is damaging Wikipedia

We all know that Commons is a joke, but we tolerate its idiosyncracies because it's a good source of freely-licenced images. But increasingly, the world is discovering Commons and its problems with porn, and Wikipedia's reputation is being damaged by association ([26],[27]). I'm a little late to this one, but I just found out that recently, a Commons user was exposed as having a history of promoting paedophilia and a conviction for downloading child pornography, and Commons took no action over it [28]. Enough is enough. Commons has had ample opportunities to resolve its problems with inappropriate content, and repeatedly refused to do so.

It's time we severed all links with Commons, and banned the use of their images in the English Wikipedia. If they want to be a site for cataloguing and distributing pornography, including child porn, they can do so, but we should have no part in it. Robofish (talk) 19:42, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

To say that Commons took no action is inaccurate - the Commons discussion was being watched by WMF, and possibly on account of that discussion, WMF took quick action to lock the user out of all projects. The evidence initially presented in that discussion was very poor, not sufficient to conclude the point, and the user in question was promising to prove he was someone other than the person convicted. Once sufficiently disturbing facts came out, Commons never had the chance to react. I think they would have done the same thing as WMF eventually; it just would have taken longer. Wnt (talk) 20:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, your analysis is quite at odds with reality. The user was blocked here and on Commons. They were re-blocked here under the authority of ArbCom. On Commons, they were unblocked. A discussion there did not reach a consensus to re-block the user and did not appear to be heading that way when the WMF locked the account globally. In fact, several of the most outspoken and active Commons users and admins were against blocking the user and stated their support for the user following the locking of the account. One only has to look at this discussion on META to see that some of those same users are openly advocating that self-identified pedophiles be able to edit on WMF projects. I note that you were also a participant in that discussion. I see no evidence that Commons would have blocked this user given any length of time, but I do see evidence that influential Commons admins are even now suggesting that the WMF's action was illegitimate and that the user should be allowed back on Commons. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Well I really enjoyed "responsible, ethical pedophiles" cos that so reminded me of the Ankh-Morpork League of Temperance, props to Dcoetzee. John lilburne (talk) 20:39, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It is easy to make light of that, but the fact is, you're talking about human beings with human souls, capable of refraining from terrible crimes. Nor is this implausible - we can choose not to rape Orlando Bloom or Rose McGowen, so why should they not be able to resist their urges? I think the vast majority of pedophiles are not in prison, even in America, which means that the most important line of defense between your child and sexual abuse is the moral character of the average pedophile. If they remain innocent, they deserve respect, lest we weaken that barrier. Wnt (talk) 20:51, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
This is a complex and sometimes nuanced issue, but it is helpful to remember that we are discussing it in the context of allowing self-declared pedophiles to edit Wikipedia, not discussing what society in general should do about pedophiles. It should be pointed out that there is no prohibition against pedophiles editing Wikipedia so long as they do not identitfy themselves as such. It is advocacy of pedophilia that is prohibited. In my opinion, identifying oneself as a pedophile on one of the world's most popular websites is a form of advocacy in itself. Your comparison of pedophilia with rape is apt in one way -- since children cannot meaningfully consent to a sexual relationship with an adult -- but also misguided in other ways. Your question suggests that rape is a natural part of most people's sexuality and it is only by force of will that the desire to rape someone is overcome. Most people are not rapists and do not desire to rape someone. Most people can find ways to express their sexual desires with consenting adults. Pedophiles have no such ability. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:20, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
For further examples, look at and Plus there was Saibo's choice comment here, referring to Sue Gardner: You can quote Sue if you want - but Sue is Sue and not us. Sue also tried to install a image filter and was bashed by us. --JN466 20:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
ArbCom, a body limited in representation to en.wikipedia has a policy WP:Child protection which (a) requires decision making based on secret evidence and (b) mandates actions based on things like "promotion of inappropriate relationships", which the anarchist editor in question was shown to do in a weak way in the initial discussion. Commons participants had no way to know at the outset whether ArbCom was pursuing that policy with inappropriate vigor, or whether there were serious reasons for concern. Combined with the problem of people repeatedly "crying wolf" about these sorts of things (as we've just seen!) this leads to a slow and skeptical response by reasonable people. A few individuals more broadly do not want Wikipedia to block people because of past crimes when the sentence is done, which is a fair point of view to hold; I hold however that we can be suspicious of apparently legitimate activity in the light of such a background under certain circumstances. I think that most of the people who would have participated in a final closing vote would have been at or "to the right" of my position. Wnt (talk) 20:40, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no crying wolf in the above. The image in question is of a young person. The reporter that has seen all the images says may be between 17-20. There are still two images (perfectly safe so you can look yourself this time) from the same uploader. I defy you to say categorically that the person is 18+. It was madness to undelete that image, and probably only done as POINT. Alison took a second look at the image and deleted it because it looked underage to her too. The keeping of random genitalia images, source unknown, is troublesome. I came across a series today which some guy had uploaded of his girlfriend. 3 close up pics taken between her legs, nothing else by this uploader, just a drive-by upload. Who knows whether his girlfriend knows that her photos are on Commons, they were taken some months before being uploaded, and could well be a break up present to her. Again who knows it could simply be exhibitionist. And again the age of the girl is indeterminate. John lilburne (talk) 21:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
And where is the problem? (in the sense of, what did "Commons" do wrong?) --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 21:07, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
No doubt you'll be looking bewildered and still saying that, when the rest of us are chugging ale in a Commons free world. John lilburne (talk) 21:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Commons isn't damaging Wikipedia. Drama is damaging Wikipedia. Formerip (talk) 21:14, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Ah, 'drama', that old bugbear. "Oh no, we mustn't make a fuss, it would create drama!" Sorry, sometimes an issue is important enough that it's worth making a fuss about it. The view that 'Drama is always worse than the thing the drama is about' is a classic Geek Social Fallacy[29]. Robofish (talk) 21:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the compliments. Perhaps I should immediately request my de-sysop and let the technical jobs do the WMF (aka Krinkle) itself. I am annoyed by the allegations from all sides and especially in this general way. If people decide to work against Commons, instead of with Commons, do not recognize the huge problem that Commons — on the one hand — needs a community (somehow each project needs this; otherwise you will get anarchy) but on the other hand, the community should behave like slaves (we have an enormous workload: Me, Lupo, Krinkle are working hard in the MediaWiki scope; there is a lot to do but not enough volunteers; there are ~1200 deletions per day, copyvio uploader who do not understand what own work (in an ideal world we could take the time to explain it to each user individually), the copyright-complexability, and on top of this, people from all different project complaining because we don't delete or — if we delete — that we deleted and who tell us how we should act.) has, it is lost, yes.

If you want to improve Commons, work with Commons; not against. I have to admit that permanent pressure made the Commons community very defense or even hostile. Be kind and not arrogant and you will achieve something.

Let me tell you a story:

Recently an administrator from the en.wp came to Commons, went directly the the Administrator's noticeboard and complained about my bot, that's last edit was a half year ago while I was active, instead of asking me directly. The bot resolved broken redirects to other projects on user and user talk pages. On Wikipedia you have enough manpower to do it by hand, but we do not have on Commons. The complaint was about that my bot cited a policy in the edit-summary that didn't exist on Commons, while the task the bot was doing, is done globally, on all wikis.

You have to know, a few days before this incident, the same user requested the autopatrol right (with <100 edits on Commons) for himself and asked me on IRC to review an image he/she uploaded from Flickr. The license was a non-commercial one which is not accepted on Commons and I had to fail the license-review. (This just to illustrate it is even difficult for experienced users to correctly deal with licenses and to understand what they can upload or not to Commons).

The complaint behind my back made me upset, yes; and for a little moment I thought: Perhaps Editors from the English Wikipedia are damaging Commons. But 5s later it was clear to me, that only particular editors fail to behave collegial and can't avoid unnecessary trouble.

This is perhaps the most emotional and longest text I ever produced on talk pages. Sorry to bother you.

Thank you. -- Rillke (talk) 21:51, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Let me tell you another story; I happened on this loverly image, which I nominated for deletion and it was kept as within scope. Now, probably I am too old to understand how such an image can be deemed educational, but I was rather surprised when the deletion debate was closed as keep – by an editor who, by the way, could also be reasonably considered involved –. And this is not the first time images for which the term "educational" can only be used in a very loose manner are kept. Commons is out of control and something should be done by the Foundation, since the community apparently will not act. Salvio Let's talk about it! 22:37, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
"Too Old: Do Not Want!" --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 22:41, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Note - User:Niabot was blocked for a week for baiting/trolling for this comment. - reduced to 48 hours after an unblock request, as it is his first block on en wikipedia. Youreallycan 15:52, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow. So even professional artwork contributed by a commercial studio is unwelcome if it satirizes your favored political candidate? That's where I expected this to go but I hadn't expected it to arrive already.
Also, I should say that the main deficit in educational media on Commons is not the topic but the lack of annotation. File notes are treated like legal "fine print", almost never read by anyone, and often inadequate. It would have been great to hear from this artist how the piece was composed in detail - ideas, symbolism, sketches, paints, etc. Even the image of "Naked Train Guy" could be quite clearly educational if we had the right context - namely, what train it is, if there's some political context to the streaking, whether criminal charges were filed, etc. In this case, however, the artwork speaks for itself clearly - it is a quality image worth keeping for the public domain no matter what we know or do not. Wnt (talk) 22:56, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh? If only The Times read this page -- ... Collect (talk) 23:03, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Hardly my favourite political candidate, considering I live in another country and start caring about who wins the elections in the US only when they send their troops to merrily bombard other countries. And, by the way, that's not satire: it's just the umpteenth attempt to spread a personal attack on a living person. Salvio Let's talk about it! 23:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
However, it is ephemera. It is hardly Picasso or Heartfield, or Scarfe. John lilburne (talk) 23:52, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm not an artist, but to me this image looks as good as the last, better than the middle, though Guernica is much more appealing to me, in part for political/historical reasons. Wnt (talk) 00:02, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Niabot, I just Googled "too old: do not want". I was not surprised by the results. This was the first page result and this was the first image result. I am sure you meant it as a joke, but considering your defence of pedophiles on Commons and Meta, it was probably not very wise. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Let's say i wanted exactly this reaction to happen, or lets say it was just coincidence. You should be well aware what i mean and intended to do. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 23:06, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Let's say that doing what you have done here - posting something to cause a reaction - is extremely unwelcome on my talk page. Don't do it again.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:34, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Niabot has asked me to respond to you, since he was blocked because of his rather neutral satire above. His comment above yours does not mean that he wanted to cause disruption, he meant that he wasn't surprised that DC would respond to him and accused him of defending pedophiles, because he's been doing that on Commons. As for his original statement, see here for his explanation of it. I must say, personally, that all of these responses are being blown extremely out of proportion and seem to be making drama where there was no intent for drama in the first place. SilverserenC 16:02, 16 April 2012 (UTC);_DO_NOT_WANT! – It's pretty obvious what Niabot was referencing. You don't see "too old" and "do not want" combined together by chance. Wikipedia:AGF_is_not_a_suicide_pact. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:08, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Considering the issues being discussed, his response with that Internet meme seems in pretty poor taste. He made the connection to pedophilia by posting the meme, it is not that surprising that another editor noticed. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:23, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
The point is that a poor taste joke is unimportant and we should move on, rather than turning this completely irrelevant joke into a dramafest. SilverserenC 16:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Silver Seren, I suggest you strike your comments above and ask Niabot to post a statement to be copied here. Otherwise, those are your words and I am going to make you own them. Anyone who says that I have accused another editor of being a pedophile had better come up with some diffs. And quickly. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:24, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Clarified. SilverserenC 16:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
That is a bit better, but I don't recall making any such "accusations" on Commons, so I suggest you strike the entire reference. I think I have stated here that Niabot is defending pedophiles, but that isn't an accusation, it is an acknowledged fact. You should know by now that I don't make assertions that I can't back up. Niabot made a very unwise joke. Your defence seems to be that he was deliberately trolling to see if anyone, especially me, would respond. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:57, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Salvio giuliano, you are making a claim that Russavia, the administrator that closed this deletion request was "involved". Could you please spell out how, rather than leaving it to innuendo and gossip? Thanks -- (talk) 16:33, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Note - User:Russavia is an editor recently blocked for six months here by an Arbitration enforcement but is still allowed to use commons and is currently an administrator there. - Youreallycan 16:44, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
That discussion seems to be a rather obvious keep result regardless of if the administrator is considered involved. SilverserenC 16:57, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

To break ties or to annex?

It's time we severed all links with Commons, and banned the use of their images in the English Wikipedia. I don't disagree with any of the criticisms I've read of Commons and agree something has to be done, but we have to consider a couple things.

Commons is beneficial to xx.WP in many ways, and is an awesome project in theory. Getting rid of it would be a mistake, especially considering that the problem isn't the project itself, but the way it's being run at the moment. The idea that we should ban all usage of images on en.wp is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water; the absolute majority of Commons images are fine, and we use a lot of them on en.wp. So closing down Commons isn't just unnecessary, but it would cause ample problems for other wikis that currently liberally use Commons on hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of articles.

With that said, I believe the solution here is not to shut down Commons but to annex it. En.wp is in the unique position of being the most active and well known incarnation of the WMF. We have millions of editors, a good deal of trusted admins and our WP:CONSENSUS model has worked well at creating and enforcing a generally rational set of policies (with very, very few problems with pedophilia). So why not use this to our advantage? I haven't worked out the details in my head, but my preliminary thought is that en.wp should take over the task of setting and enforcing Commons policy. We can hold a number of site wide RFCs to deal with specific issues, and we can grant en.wp admins with global accounts access to the tools on Commons as well. Any "boy's club" that exists there now would quickly be outnumbered, and any sort of pedophilia activism or sympathy would quickly be wiped out.

There would obviously be a bit of chaos while everything settled in, and I'm absolutely positive that Commons users who are comfortable in their environment would flip out about it, but ultimately this - or a similar idea - would seem to be a solution that preserved the positive aspects of commons while eliminating or mitigating the obvious negative aspects. It wouldn't be easy, but it might just be worth it.

Thoughts? SÆdontalk 23:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Presumably the first thing that will happen is that the German Wikipedia and others will start uploading/transferring all the deleted images to their own servers. Maybe they'll transfer all images, period, to avoid disruption. (By deleted images I do not mean illegal child porn, which Commons doesn't have, nor even just the regular fully or partly naked images, but stuff like the good quality artwork mentioned in the previous thread, which simply favors a non-Republican political opinion) At which point, due to the great and pointless waste of disk space, you'll have to send your enforcers out to all the foreign language projects and tell them that like Commons, from now on their policies will be determined on en.wp in English, so if they feel like contributing, they should make sure to learn the language. Being careful, of course, not to express any untoward opinions opposing censorship that might get them banned. Wnt (talk) 23:14, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Commons very likely has child pornography. Boys uploading movies of themselves masturbating, for example. IANAL, but it might very well be illegal to host that in several jurisdictions. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:29, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Larry Sanger called the FBI. The allegations were on Fox News. And so far as I've ever heard, no one was ever prosecuted for child porn uploads. Either the FBI is growing tolerant in its old age, or there wasn't any. Wnt (talk) 23:47, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
See Philippe's comment above about the image he oversighted. This image was on Commons for half a year, until the reporter found it (along with several others that are now gone). --JN466 00:05, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I'm (maybe incorrectly) less concerned about what de.wp and other wikis do in comparison to commons, which sits a lot closer to home. I'm not talking about removing controversial images and I don't think that an annex would lead to censorship, I'm talking only about the problems insofar as they relate to pedophilia (both in image hosting and wrt to admins who take a soft approach). If de.wp wanted to move the entirety of Commons to their servers, more power to them. What de.wp doesn't affect en.wp in the realm of public perception, while what Commons does can. I also agree with Pieter's comment above, and want to note that I've read comments from Commons admins that indicated a lack of understanding about the problems with child porn/pedophilia. SÆdontalk 23:33, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I would have thought that the last thing that de.wp would want to do would be to move the images to Germany, as they would then most likely become liable under German law, and require age-verification for accessing de.wp. John lilburne (talk) 23:38, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I thought all the servers were in Florida, no matter what the flavor. Wnt (talk) 23:44, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Offering the German community to host a European version of Commons in Germany would be the quickest way to clean it up. German legislation is far stricter than US laws. [30] JN466 00:01, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Alternatively, we should require that Commons images be "taggable" as "not usable on Wikipedia" and allow them to have as much porn and ... stuff as they want as long as no one on Wikipedia will be able to use it in mainspace, projectspace or userspace. Thus they can continue to have "toothbrush" images and "train" images - and we will be blissfully ignorant of them. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:32, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I absolutely do not favor this, and I'm probably breaking WP:BEANS, but to offer you folks a new recreational abuse, so far as I know you can upload some image on Wikipedia and its display will override that of the image from Commons. Wnt (talk) 23:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Without commenting on the matter at hand, only admins can do that via our "Override files on the shared media repository locally (reupload-shared)" right. MBisanz talk 23:57, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
And don't forget to paint "Censored" over this locally uploaded image. Another option would probably be a file redirect to an example image like File:Name.jpg. --Denniss (talk) 23:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I should explain that the file I suggested is based on River crab (Internet slang). Wnt (talk) 13:37, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Commons is a multilingual project, it is an image repository for all Wikimedia projects. It would not be appropriate for editors from one language to try and "annex" it. However the wisdom of crowds does not work well with ever smaller crowds, which is why the multiplicity of wikis is a root cause of many of the community's problems. A partial solution would be to encourage the community to work more across wikis - single user login has helped a little here but we need more software developments - global watchlists and the option to have global userpages would help. A more radical, but probably more likely to be successful solution would be to move to "one wiki per language" plus a multilingual wiki. So Meta, Commons, Bugzilla, Strategy, Outreach and Ten would all become one wiki with Outreach and events as namespaces in the wiki. While each language would be supported by one wiki with Wiktionary, Wikipedia, Wikinews and so forth each a separate namespace. Template, File and userspace would be shared across all wikimedia projects in that language (the English Wikipedia being so much larger than any other community it might make sense to keep it separate to avoid other English projects feeling swamped). As for whether our policies on any wiki are legal or not, we have a legal team. Surely it is their job to advise if any of our policies are insufficient to keep the site legal. ϢereSpielChequers 00:05, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Note that the Foundation's attorneys only represent the Foundation and cannot advise the community. --JN466 00:11, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
You may enjoy reading this Foundation proposal: MBisanz talk 00:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I thunk I mentioned it earlier <g>. No one seems to care. Collect (talk) 01:27, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Noted. The proposal does not include Commons at the moment, though. JN466 01:53, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
The Foundations Attorney's may work for the Foundation rather than the community, but that didn't stop them getting involved in the Terms of Use. It may not be a good idea to get them involved in discussions re individual images, but if the rules of Commons aren't sufficiently stringent to keep it legal in Florida then the Foundation would need to pay attention. ϢereSpielChequers 09:01, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
There have been various proposals to merge wikis. Its an obvious next step if we want to improve editor retention and reduce the overcomplexity of this place. I think in my proposal last year I left Commons out, partly because it had a viable community and was so much larger than the other multilingual wikis. But having one multilingual wiki with separate namespaces for outreach, images, meta, ideas and bug reporting would be a very timely reform. ϢereSpielChequers 09:01, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Perspective. If we ignore the made-up problem that Commons is awash with child porn, the actual extent of the problem appears to be that it has more pictures of genitalia than some (me included, as it happens) think are optimum and an oil painting of Rick Santorum's head.

I'm not saying that these things don't call for any solution, but is no-one really able to think of anything less radical? Formerip (talk) 00:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

People looking for hysteria come to Jimbo's talk page. People looking for rational solutions start RFCs. The easy first step to me is to simply refuse to accept any new uploads of people's penises, breasts and vaginas. Then figure out how many of each we need to keep of what is already there to serve the purpose of the project. But proposals like that would have to be started by someone on Commons or mandated by Wikimedia Legal. (Who, despite Jayen's claim do have a need to weigh in, as American laws regarding pornography are relevant.) Resolute 00:27, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Personally they can have a million images of genitalia over there providing they can be reasonably sure that the genitalia is 18+, or that its inclusion is purely for educational purposes, that the person imaged has agreed to the upload, and that they aren't waggling about all over the place in searches. As for Rick's head, the inclusion of that and the other similar stuff is pretty much a waste of space, but again so long as it isn't being wang dangled into multiple unrelated, or tenuous search results who cares. John lilburne (talk) 00:43, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm under the impression that child porn is a somewhat large problem on Commons which is why I proposed something radical. If it's simply a case of me falling for media hype then obviously my solution goes too far. SÆdontalk 00:35, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, for one thing, you might take into account that the first link you posted, although it does also talk about Commons, is primarily about a Wikipedia article. Formerip (talk) 00:42, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Was that directed at me? I didn't post any links. SÆdontalk 00:49, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah. Sorry, I was confused. Formerip (talk) 00:53, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not just that, FIP. There are thousands of images of people that lack subject consent. Why do you think the Board wrote this?

The Wikimedia Foundation Board affirms the value of freely licensed content, and we pay special attention to the provenance of this content. We also value the right to privacy, for our editors and readers as well as on our projects. Policies of notability have been crafted on the projects to limit unbalanced coverage of subjects, and we have affirmed the need to take into account human dignity and respect for personal privacy when publishing biographies of living persons.
However, these concerns are not always taken into account with regards to media, including photographs and videos, which may be released under a free license although they portray identifiable living persons in a private place or situation without permission. We feel that it is important and ethical to obtain subject consent for the use of such media, in line with our special mission as an educational and free project. We feel that seeking consent from an image's subject is especially important in light of the proliferation of uploaded photographs from other sources, such as Flickr, where provenance is difficult to trace and subject consent difficult to verify. In alignment with these principles, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees urges the global Wikimedia community to:
Strengthen and enforce the current Commons guideline on photographs of identifiable people with the goal of requiring evidence of consent from the subject of media, including photographs and videos, when so required under the guideline. The evidence of consent would usually consist of an affirmation from the uploader of the media, and such consent would usually be required from identifiable subjects in a photograph or video taken in a private place. This guideline has been longstanding, though it has not been applied consistently.
Ensure that all projects that host media have policies in place regarding the treatment of images of identifiable living people in private situations.
Treat any person who has a complaint about images of themselves hosted on our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and encourage others to do the same.

The Commons community's response to this is: "You can't make us." People who want images removed are treated like shit. See the recent thread on Personality rights on the Commons list as an example. Pictures are being scraped from Flickr without any regard for privacy concerns and consent issues whatsoever. The place is out of control. --JN466 00:39, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
@Resolute, what I said above about the role of the Foundation's attorneys is the advice I received in a recent e-mail from one of the Foundation's attorneys, copied almost verbatim. --JN466 00:39, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen, your point here would be stronger if the faces in those images had not been blurred-out by a commons admin.Formerip (talk) 00:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
If they have, then that is a very recent change that's occurred in the last couple of days, a year after the first deletion request, and which postdates the mailing list thread. (And by the way, it is still not good enough in my book. An image taken in a private setting should simply be taken down if there is no subject consent.) I should also add that the Foundation attorneys do respond in a helpful manner; they will give informal advice (and have promised to come back to me on the question I asked them), but they are clear that advising the community is not their job. So legal questions like the watermark issue are decided by laypeople, rather than on the basis of an official and guiding legal opinion by the Foundation attorneys. --JN466 01:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, is it agreed that basically, "Creative Commons", "copyleft", "public domain" and all that is a lie where any photo of a person is involved? That Flickr images under CC are unfree to use here, and our Commons images are unfree to use anywhere else, and the solution to this is to obtain a release permitting the use of these photos solely as an asset of WMF, Inc. (until such time as it is hijacked by those hostile to the project in any form)? Wnt (talk) 02:26, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
This concerns pictures taken in a private place, for example in someone's bedroom or bathroom. Uploading these requires subject consent, per the resolution posted above. No one checks for this in Commons. Instead, images are scraped from Flickr and elsewhere, often from Flickr accounts that disappear shortly after, or uploaded by anonymous accounts. The people depicted in these images often have no idea that their image is on Commons, with a license that claims the images is free for commercial re-use all over the world. If a question is raised, the word of a throw-away e-mail account is taken as evidence that someone has consented to the upload, or owns the rights. Example. JN466 02:40, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
An even bigger problem will be modern smartphones etc. that include geolocation data in their metadata. What we will find increasingly is that people uploading bedroom snapshots of their (former) girlfriend of boyfriend will knowingly or unwittingly include geolocation data pinpointing the location of their bedroom with a precision of 10 metres, ready for look-up in Google Maps and street view. In the case of the youthful sock fetishist mentioned above, I contacted Commons oversight, who removed these data this morning. The other day a former contributor (and former admin) asked for an image of his tattoo to be removed from Commons. It is a very idiosyncratic tattoo, visible when he is clothed, and thus can be used to identify him. This image was also used, wrongly apparently, to illustrate gang tattoos, which the contributor said put his life at risk in his present work. According to the spirit of the Foundation resolution, this should have been an open-and-shut case: identifiable person, privacy concern, no consent, remove. Instead Commons refused, and the matter became a huge drama. In another recent case, a teenager asked for removal of photos of parts of his body – a nipple, a leg – that he had uploaded a while ago, and which were now apparently an embarrassment to him. Instead of complying, Commons played the "irrevocable license" card. And so forth. What I am trying to say is, there are a few people in Commons, like Rd232, who are trying to do the right thing, but they are facing an enormous amount of resistance, and the Commons track record on many of these issues is simply appalling. --JN466 02:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
It really is past time for the Foundation to act on this. How many complaints to there have to be about the way Commons is run for someone to take action? I see no way that it can be reformed from within. How many donors I wonder would be happy if they were aware of the lack of control here? Breaking ties is not the solution, reforming it is. Dougweller (talk) 05:00, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
How many donors would be happy with any of the past half dozen screwball proposals to censor, split, or disband Wikipedia and Commons? Commons is no secret, and the donations keep coming. And it's no secret club either - I'm only a marginal participant there, but I feel like I have a voice, and so does anyone else who participates, same as any other Wikimedia project. Wnt (talk) 05:25, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Blurring can be undone, in some case the blurring is only apparent in the full size image not in the thumbnails. So the picture of the kid who got tagged as obese is still recognisable in the thumbnail. Whilst I've not looked at these examples, the metadata will probably also contain the unblurred original thumbnail in the jpeg anyway. John lilburne (talk) 08:36, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Speaking for myself, I'm not going to going to contribute one molecule of effort for the dysfunctional cesspit that is Commons. EVERY graphics file I upload is going to have the { { keep local } } template tag added, every bot-targeted move candidate is going to be undone, and every move that I catch protested. Commons needs to be shut down by WMF, plain and simple. It won't be until there is a major crisis that impacts millions of dollars of funding and ends up with WMF officials hauled before Congress to answer questions. Why? WMF is not proactive, they are reactive, and it's much easier to look the other way while the semi-pro porn curators at Commons do their thing. Commons' mission has little to do with the encyclopedia mission. I don't know where that divergence happened, or why, but I'm an encyclopedia volunteer and those people over there can fuck right off. Pardon my french. Carrite (talk) 05:50, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I suspect that like most things it happened bit by bit, little by little, until some weird sense of what is right crept over the place. Now NOTCENSORED is used as a stick to ward off any attempt to remove crap, and IRREVOCABLE a stick to thwart the removal of any image that a photog regrets posting. NOTE: They are not guardians of the worlds amateur porn collection and they are NOT guardians of every CC-BY licensed photo ever uploaded. If reusers are concerned about keeping a record of such licenses, which will be media companies, then they should (and most likely do) keep a record themselves. John lilburne (talk) 06:52, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Carrite, it sounds to me like you're saying you're going to violate WP:OWN routinely, not to mention WP:POINT. The file uploads you make under CC licenses are not your personal files, but belong to the community. That is a value expressed by those who seek to delete files for whatever reason, and by those arguing irrevocable consent, and all shades in between. Wnt (talk) 13:22, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

From looking at some of the linked discussions on commons it looks like there is a really major problem. This link [31] appears to show commons failing to block a convicted pedophile who was advocating for pedophilia on commons. It seems an office action was required instead. Or am I missing something? IRWolfie- (talk) 10:06, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

From what i know you are wrong. I read that he did not advocate pedophilia on Commons but elsewhere. Further down i read that there was no real evidence as the request was made. In addition i read that he was blocked globally before the discussion ended and that not all evidence that the WMF had was published. How should they know? In my opinion they did the right thing, depending on what was presented to them at the time. --OnlyKnowsWhatHeKnows (talk) 10:31, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Why the does it matter where he did it? Advocates of child abuse and their supporters should be banned. This information appears to have been known before the office action. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:43, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I also find it bizarre that this is your first contribution as a new account. Do you have a previous account which you would like to mention? IRWolfie- (talk) 10:51, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Do you guys have any idea how disruptive it would be -- not just to Commons, but to all of the projects -- if we had to delete a file every time the uploader changed his mind? Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable for a reason. How'd you like it if it someone who edited thousands of Wikipedia articles came in and demanded his contributions be removed? Powers T 15:08, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

I suspect it would be a minor inconvenience at worst. This is likely to be a rare event. And I think you may be confusing removing the image from Commons with revoking the license. Those are different things. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:16, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not confusing it. Lots of users try to have their images removed by trying to revoke the licenses. But they're irrevocable because a revocable free license isn't free at all. A license that could be revoked at any time would be unconscionably disruptive to re-users. Likewise, if we were to have in place a policy that allowed an uploader to request deletion of his images at any time, it would be ridiculously disruptive to the projects trying to use those images. No one could ever be assured that an image they chose -- say for a Featured Article -- would still be around in days, months, or even years. Powers T 15:20, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if you've noticed this, but when you are asleep, people come here and edit the text that those images might accompany. Sometimes entire articles are deleted, or suddenly disappear and pop up under another name. Someone might even replace the image that you've chosen. I don't think this is the threat you make it out to be. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:30, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
What about derivative works? Let's say someone revokes a map of the United States that was used as the base image for creating hundreds of other maps. You don't see how that would be disruptive? Powers T 16:16, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do see how that could be inconvenient, but is it really a reasonable concern? And if that happened, we would simply create new maps and move on. If the map turned out to be a copyrighted map uploaded with the wrong license, we would have to delete it. At the point, Commons does absolutely nothing to prevent people from uploading and immediately using copyrighted images. I find it very odd that the real, serious problem is ignored, while the theoretical issues of deleting images at the request of the uploader raises everyone's hackles. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem is because you are a) scraping flickr and elsewhere for pictures from amateurs that have no understanding of licenses and probably didn't mean to apply the CC license in the first place, and b) accepting uploads from teenagers and people posting for a laugh that some time later come to regret their actions. At the very least you should be asking or contacting them to say thanks for the image, that way you will be more likely to get a kick back earlier rather than later. And YES I know that in the ideal world you aren't required to do that but as you've found you aint in an ideal world. John lilburne (talk) 15:34, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
In cases where someone genuinely didn't understand the license, and the image is not currently in use, the Commons community has generally been fairly understanding. Images involving nudity or other controversial subjects sometimes are treated with more ... possessiveness, shall we say... due to a) the rarity and low reproducibility of high-quality free images depicting those subjects, and b) a perception that accommodating such deletions will encourage the subset of the community that really is looking to censor anything depicting those subjects. Powers T 16:16, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
That's it. Out of all this the only sanctionable edit is User:Niabot making a harmless joke? And even Jimbo heimself goes along with it? I can't understand why he's collaborating with the trolls who want vast stretches of WMF's work torn down, and not the person who suggested the most sensible Commons search solution I've yet seen, and I'm done trying to understand it. I am on strike, except perhaps for documenting Wikipedia alternatives as I try them out. Wnt (talk) 18:55, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
IMO, that's almost as much of an overreaction to a minor problem as the calls to terminate or overhaul the Commons project. I don't think Jimbo is "collaborating" with anyone here; he took Niabot's comment exactly as I took it: as "I got the reaction I intended to get". I still don't know what Niabot actually meant, if not just to get a rise out of DC. Powers T 20:30, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • mattbuck smacks wikipedia with a hammer. Yeah, I'm damaging it! Take that computer monitor! Oh shit, now I can't see what I'm typing... -mattbuck (Talk) 21:58, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
    • The above response pretty much sums up the level of maturity on Commons. John lilburne (talk) 22:47, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I would agree with that, John, given the experience I had with mattbuck on com:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Human Sexual Intercourse.gif, where the file was of incredibly poor quality. I nominated it for deletion on those grounds and merely received a personal attack accusing me of "not liking that humans have sex." Several people agreed with me that the image quality was so poor that there was no educational value, and another user raised copyright concerns. Nevertheless, mattbuck, despite commenting in mild support of the image, closed the result as keep. A week ago, the image was deleted as a copyvio. Reaper Eternal (talk) 02:17, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Some administrators have stated that they can ignore notability guidelines

Is it alright for people to ignore any notability guidelines they want, and delete pages they personally don't like even if they meet the requirements? Porn bio has been nominated for deletion on multiple occasions, and always ended in keep, including recently. Even though there is no doubt that a recent article met the requirements of that subject specific guidelines, there is argument that they have the right to ignore that, and not take that guideline apparently seriously because of their personal bias. [32] Since WP:NOTABILITY clearly states A topic is also presumed notable if it meets the criteria outlined in a subject-specific guideline listed in the box on the right. and that box has WP:Entertainer in it, which includes a section for pornography, shouldn't it be followed? If there was a banner atop Wikipedia for everyone to see, telling them to vote in a poll to see whether porn articles, sex articles, or nude pictures, should be kept on Wikipedia or the commons or whatever, then we could gauge what the community wanted. I personally don't see any reason to have such things, but I don't believe people should be able to just ignore the rules do to personal bias. Dream Focus 01:27, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Oh, one administrator brought your name up. the close reflects the growing distaste of Jimbo and Wikipedia for the topic as a whole. If that is true and you have distaste for it, and/or believe the community does, just toss up a banner at the top and ask people to vote for it. Since a lot of school children use the Wikipedia, many will probably agree to get rid of it. Dream Focus 01:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Technically, we can ignore any guidelines (not even invoking IAR here). The guidelines are supposed to assist the community in coming to a consensus by establishing a consensus for what should be included. But it is still up to the editors to interpret and use the guidelines to make a case. An editor can argue a specific guideline should be ignored if they have good reason.--v/r - TP 18:11, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems like its just "I don't like that" so I'm going to ignore it. Someone has a bias against a certain thing, then they want it deleted. If it was any other guideline but that one, I don't think they'd be getting away with it. Dream Focus 18:38, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, the guidelines state that occasional exceptions apply, so as long as this isn't a constant occurrence, it seems to be ok. I think Bridgette B is a bit more of an exception than anything else, it's not like rogue admins have deleted Jenna Jameson or anything. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:45, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Consensus can change, though it is unclear from a single instance whether it has indeed changed. In this case the decision for deletion had very broad support, and I think it an indication that perhaps it has indeed changed. As it happens, my personal opinion agrees with the change: I think that the earlier consensus of very broad notability in this field was out of line with the way most other subjects were treated, and it is now approaching a more normal position. But nobody but the community as a whole makes the rules or decides their interpretation. DGG ( talk ) 00:01, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The WP:PORNBIO guideline has changed several times in the last few years, each time towards more restrictive inclusion criteria. Incidentally, these changes were driven by people whose main interests lie in the pornography topic area, so any suggestion that this is some kind of subtle censorship would be incorrect. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:58, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

blue background

I was hoping you or another editor could help me with this because it is very hindering for my work or just reading on here. I somehow or someway got all sort of light blue in all sort of places on Wikipedia looking like the majority of my background is highlighted (at first that's what I thought it was.) It first started on Wikimedia Commons and it wouldn't go away that I thought it was a new look on commons. I had no intention on copying and pasting anything yet that's how a lot of people on Yahoo answers say they got it and I am having a hard time understanding the answers on how to get it off. It only happened on my google chrome so that's how I know it ain't normal. Jhenderson 777 14:53, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I use Chrome and started getting the blue background last month. The only way I've been able to repair it is by "zooming in". doktorb wordsdeeds 15:16, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
This is a known bug that appears when you zoom in Chrome. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do on our end to fix it. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:47, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Zooming in seemed to help it go away. Hopefully it can stay that way. Jhenderson 777 18:15, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
It's trivial to fix with some slight CSS tweaks; if you want the code for you personal CSS just ask. --Errant (chat!) 20:55, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

"Anonymous allegations"

In the opinions of those here, how accurate is:

Anonymous allegations sourced in reliable publications are not prohibited, especially if they are against non-identifiable movements.

I am curious as to the weight of opinion here as well as Jimbo's considered opinion. Thanks. Collect (talk) 15:20, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Stopping anonymous allegations sourced in reliable publications being inserted would essentially exclude anonymous whistleblowers being mentioned. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Context is everything, but obviously anonymous allegations are not prohibited in principle from appearing in Wikipedia. Formerip (talk) 15:39, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
The case at hand accused individuals of criminal acts. Not a "whistleblower" analogue at all. Collect (talk) 16:36, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I guess given that you have found canvassing at WP:BLPN has failed you, you've picked a new venue? The specific statement to which Collect objects: "... followers were reported in the 1970s and 1980s to have been charged with possession of weapons and explosives along with a number of violent crimes, including kidnapping and assault.(reliable reference to the Heritage Foundation) However there were few, if any, convictions on these charges.(reliable reference to New York Times) Hipocrite (talk) 18:48, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

It seems obvious that anonymous allegations can be included, if they are relevant to the topic and published by reliable sources. Otherwise, we would have been unable to cover Watergate, right? At least until Richard Nixon died. This is already covered under existing policy, as regards public figures: If an allegation or incident is notable, relevant, and well-documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. MastCell Talk 18:53, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
The main allegations on Watergate were actually sourced - viz. Dean's testimony etc. This article is not about Watergate, but a melange of accusations and allegations running the gamut from reasonable to cloud-cuckooland allegations. The talk page has a consensus, in fact, for removal of the stuff which does not benefit Wikipedia readers. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:55, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

For more context: WP:BLPN thread on this content dispute is here; LaRouche movement talk page thread that touches on it is here. Writegeist (talk) 19:18, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

thanks for appearing. Collect (talk) 19:52, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome. Any time. Writegeist (talk) 19:59, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Competition between languages

Could it be possible to have something similar to a competition between the different languages that Wikipedia supports on certain articles? I think this might make the articles in question better, in addition to the possibility that it "infects" other users of Wikipedia. Mgs2804 (talk) 17:34, 17 April 2012 (UTC)


Today Koavf (talk · contribs) became the first wikipedian with 1 Million edits.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 06:42, 18 April 2012 (UTC)