User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 106

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Conflict of interest concerns

These past weeks, I've been thinking if we should consider changing the conflict of interest guidelines. Users are encouraged to stay away from editing articles with which they would be a conflict of interest, COI contributions can be constructive several times however. The COI contributions could be correcting the information. There was a Daily Telegraph article here mentioning that companies wished they could change the errors at their company pages. It would take weeks for a user to submit the third-party edit for them.

Of course, there are going to be contributions that are obvious self-promotion but there are useful COI contributions. Not all COI contributions are going to be self-promotion or possibly inaccurate information. I believe we may be sending away constructive users that simply want to help build Wikipedia. Comments from talk page watchers are welcome. SwisterTwister talk 06:03, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Agree with SwisterTwister...some users might want to improve the image with constructive edits. StrikeEagle 13:42, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the conflict of interest guidelines need any changing at all. The error is in the interpretation. Editors are encouraged not to edit on behalf of a company or group; however, if they follow other Wikipedia policies and remain neutral it is certainly allowed. Many editors don't care about the quality (or potential quality) of the edits of a user with a conflict of interest. They feel that {{COI}} should be slapped on any article that was touched by someone with a conflict of interest. Many refuse to remove the tag even if the article is neutral. Generally, when I meet an editor who I discover has a conflict of interest, I link them to our policies/guidelines on conflict of interest, notability, verifiability, and neutral point of view because I believe those are the most necessary to be aware of when you have a conflict of interest. In addition, I encourage editors to use {{Request edit}} to make their edits and declare their conflict of interest on their user page. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:01, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I find that companies often omit rather than correct information and interpret Wikipedia's rules in their favor. While COIs that make factual corrections may not be blocked for doing so, the COI guideline is correct to also provide caution. User:King4057 (COI Disclosure on User Page) 19:59, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The COI guideline is wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:20, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Do you care to elaborate? The entire thing or just one part? Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:06, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I would take a gander Jimbo is referring to the bright line, which is a basic rule not to directly edit articles you have a financial/professional COI with. The COI guideline already says under Financial COI that it is "advised to... use the discussion pages to suggest changes... rather than editing articles directly..." It also recommends WP:BESTCOI, which seems to suggest the same in most/many situations. Jimmy wants to make it simpler by making it a plain and simple rule, rather than a complex set of advice that requires extensive reading and probing to figure out. The common opposition is the issue with non-controversial edits, like spelling corrections, and other minor edits, as well as those that want to welcome direct editing, so long as the COI editors avoid controversy, are non-disruptive, etc. In any case I should just link you to the work-in-progress User:Jimbo Wales/Paid Advocacy FAQ User:King4057 (COI Disclosure on User Page) 05:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Google and BLP

I'm not sure when this happened, but Google is now including the first 2-3 sentences from Wikipedia's articles on living people as part of its search results in a separate box on the right hand side of the screen. Apparently, you have to be logged into a Google account to see this. There are no specific problems that I am aware of, but I thought I should mention this so people are aware of this. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:15, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm not seeing this. I presume it's part of the widely hyped Google Knowledge Graph [1] [2] [3] [4] currently only rolled out to the US Nil Einne (talk) 12:24, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Probably. I'm in the US. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:01, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
It was widely announced 3-4 days ago and received a huge amount of coverage with Google releasing a video. This has been in the works for some time and everybody is pretty much aware of it. Viriditas (talk) 13:09, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Being aware that this was coming and understanding the impact it may have on Wikipedia are different things. In the example cited, I think it should be taken as a serious reminder of how careful we need to be when dealing with biographies of living people. I would suggest that increased exposure like this should lead to increased attention and vigilance. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:36, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
At least they are truncating at sentence boundaries, unlike the often misleading excerpts that appear in their search result snippets. In that sense, it's a step up. (talk) 16:53, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
moving very offtopic...
Delicious carbuncle, you suggested automatic semi-protection for BLPS in your edit summary. That sounds like a reasonable first step, but it doesn’t go far enough. Trolling IP editors are not the only problem. We have long-time users editing BLPs who seem unfamiliar with even the basics of fact checking adding unverified content to BLPs. Here’s a recent example. A registered user copied a link and a birth name from the French Wikipedia and inserted it into the first sentence of an artist’s biography on en-WP. The unsourced “birth name” of the artist was first added to her French BLP on January 21, 2012 by an IP with exactly one contribution to date. That version of the WP article was copied verbatim by this site, which was then introduced as a source in her French BLP. A google search for that name yields a total of 19 hits, most of them from Wiki mirror sites.
The contributor who introduced this information to en-WP has been active since 2005, and regularly refers to his status as an academic when interacting with others on BLP and BDP talk pages: If you care to know, I am an [ academic, but I've not once trotted out any qualifications when editing an article.], Did you also note I'm a historian by looking at my user page?, I [ have a Ph.D. in history for Pete's sake!], It's not like I'm a historian or anything ….
Just goes to show that an academic qualification is no guarantee that registered users will treat BLPs more responsibly than IP editors, many of whom make useful contributions. Now more than ever we need to make sure that users editing BLPs know a bad source when they see it and refrain from using BLPs and BLP talk pages to prove personal points such as adding nine previously dismissed, poor-quality sources in one go, combine making insinuations about other BLP editors with thinly veiled canvassing, or generally behave ways that suggests editing biographies, to them, is about scoring points against other contributors or making disrespectful comments about a notable “subject” to show them who’s boss on WP.
I think it was either you or User:Youreallycan (please correct me if I’m wrong) who suggested that editing BLPs should become a privilege that can be lost, and I fully support that. The current system is unfair to our subjects and can end up making us look like a bunch of vengeful and small-minded amateurs (see also here). DracoE 05:27, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd say that Touré got a fair shake, and I'm struggling to see how allowing someone to judge whether someone knows a policy well enough to edit a topic is going to help in the long run. I'm very reluctant to shunt information out of an article on BLP grounds unless there's a very strong case for doing so, and embarrassment or personal reasons (barring life-threatening issues) don't cut it for me. I think caution is a good thing, but I have a serious issue with the way BLP enforcement is being done is doing a lot more damage than perceived issues about individual articles. Right now, the way "BLP enforcement" seems to consist of some great users, but far too many who use gross incivility and argumentum ad verecundiam (it's a BLP issue because the policy says it's a BLP issue with no supporting evidence), and it's really angering many in the community; without the community, Wikipedia fails, and that to me overrides BLP concerns. We can deal with BLP issues if people don't feel alienated, which is exactly what we'll do if we swing the pendulum too far in the direction of caution. There's room for disagreement without the lowest common denominator screaming BLP and actively attempting to bar people from expressing differing views. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:18, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The Rfc and associated discussions on whether Touré’s birth name should be included in his article was tainted by an influx of SPAs and users with few quality contributions, all voting Retain. The lack of quality sources was as much an issue as the fact that we have BLPs that do not include a birth name (Orlan, Lonely Christopher, William Pope.L, Violet Blue), yet none of that was reflected in the closing statement. A total of 20 legitimate editors, one of which with a total of 77 edits, voted to retain Touré’s name in the now closed Rfc, 11 voted omit (12 if you include an account named Touré). That’s hardly consensus. You cast a me-too vote, drive-by style, and yet here you are suggesting we gave the subject a fair shake? Please tell me you were joking. DracoE 17:43, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I take it you don't have much faith in admins to weigh SPA votes on their merits; just because an account is an SPA doesn't mean the points being raised aren't valid. I know how that goes, I've got the pleasure of having to close a huge discussion with plenty of SPAs. Consensus isn't a hard, fast thing, it takes different forms, and I doubt we're going to agree on this particular matter. But if you're concerned I can't recognize a BLP violation when I see it, I'll disavow you of that notion (before you worry, the person in question is now dead, but was indeed alive at the time the comment was made). And in hindsight, I didn't point to my original comment in my vote, which is what I should have done; not that we'd see eye to eye on it, but it probably would have made it clearer it was of my own volition. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:24, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to say that User:DracoEssentialis, without ever telling me, is bad-mouthing me to the founder of Wikipedia. I don't "regularly refer" to my status as an academic. To say that abuses the very word "regularly." (Her intense research only produced 3 examples from all my edits. Hardly "regularly.") I only trotted it out on the Talk:Touré page when this user and others made viscous ad hominem attacks against me and acted is if I don't know about the history of African Americans. User:DracoEssentialis is grousing because the RfC on Talk:Touré did not go her way. I welcome you to read Talk:Touré, where this user questioned me because I'm Christian, another editor because he is gay. This user can divine what race and gender users are, yet attacks me as a bad researcher. Now on the Talk:Touré page, this editor, who claims I stalked her after she has stalked me, acts as if I am obsessed with her, and she now feels "uncomfortable." Melodramatic much? This user is accusing me of bad Wiki-etiquette after she told me on that very talk page to stop commenting because I disagreed with a "well respected" editor who is somehow better than me. She tried to have an editor she disagreed with banned. Mr. Wales, I welcome you to read Talk:Touré and comment on my behavior, and the behavior of this editor. TuckerResearch (talk) 00:58, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
First of all, I did inform User:Tuckerreseach, albeit indirectly, that I had linked to some of his ‘edits’ on here. He, OTOH, didn’t notify me when he went what he calls tattling when applied to himself to an admin about me removing Touré’s name from his BLP on the grounds of a weak source. I was on a wikibreak between April 30 and May 20. During that time, User:Tuckerresearch went through my edits and used them on Talk:Touré to cast doubt on my intentions and the veracity of my statements, repeating the same argument ad nauseam while arguing rather emotionally with other editors. User:Tuckerresearch inserting a bad source into the article on Orlan seems to have had a lot to do with me mentioning her biography as an example of a BLP where we do not insist on including a birth name.
This is not the kind of attitude we should accept in a BLP editor. We have a responsibility toward the people we write about, and our use of sources should never be motivated by petty animosity toward other editors. Mind you, User:Tuckerresearch also thinks that is a reliable source, so maybe he *really* doesn’t know better. Which doesn’t make him any more qualified to edit BLPs.
As for his accusation of me stalking him first – I had not ‘investigated’ his edits when I looked at his user page (where he states he is a Christian) and asked him how he reconciles his faith with trying to promote a decision that would inflict harm on a fellow human being. He uses his Wiki page for self-promotion, including a lengthy CV on a linked subpage, to which he has made 126 edits to date. Yet I’m not supposed to look at it? Hmmm. My exchange with Silver seren went like this, Given that you declare yourself both a gay man and a furry on your user page, I would have expected you of all people to empathize with a subject who also happens to belong to a minority. Silver seren replied graciously, while User:Tuckerresearch launched into another lengthy diatribe. He has made by far the most contributions to Talk:Touré, and seems to be on a personal crusade to show a notable living person who had made a polite request that Wikipedia is unwilling to take a more nuanced approach to BLPs, while treating the project like a debating club. That, combined with his self-promotion and willingness to use bad sources indiscriminately suggests to me that he is a fine example of a user who should stay well away from BLPs. DracoE 17:37, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
You are a laugh riot of hypocrisy and untruths. Who investigates people's diffs and cites them? You. What does User:Silver_seren's sexuality have to do with his editing? Nothing. Where did I say " is a reliable source"? Nowhere. So that statement is a lie. I posted alot on Talk:John Calvin, what does that mean? I'm on a crusade against Calvinism and am unwilling to take a more nuanced approach to BDPs? Every edit I've made to Mr. Touré's page was because I love Wikipedia. I'm sorry I responded to you on this page, and I'm sorry for cluttering up Jimbo's talkpage. I am herewith done with feeding the trolls. TuckerResearch (talk) 19:40, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to stop placeholder stubs being created without a sourced fact

This might interest a few people.♦ Dr. Blofeld 06:33, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

improve functionality for admin review with a new mail system

(Problem:) Nobody likes a review. The admins are no fan of it, and editors are too reticent to voice their insight with anything approaching candour.

(Solution:) Take advantage of anonymity by incorporating it into the review process. I suggest new functionality allowing any editor, IP or not, to post their concerns to the admin anonymously. The admin can respond to the individual concern privately, the system doing the delivery while keeping usernames secret. The system hides the ID of registered users, and gives password functioning so that IP's can check a mailbox without signup. The admin only has basic blurry information about the sender, just enough to help them determine if IP hopping is being used to troll them by an individual with many insightful questions, each more insightful then the previous 250 kind of thing, obviously people can sign their names inside the post as they desire.

This would simply supplement the regular system, and take some of the public spectacle and sport out of the laundry. Questions sent to the admin can be made public by the admin and answered publicly as part of their review. This is in addition to the current publicly posted questions, so that some issues can't be avoided. The blurry sender (edit count) information of revealed questions would be open for everyone to see, so that an admin can't run both sides of the conversation themselves.


Demagogues hurt both sides. Jimbo says he likes or dislikes something and it illustrates the effect best, as not all of the reasons for replicating his opinion are good ones (apologies for using the 3rd person). I don't always critique my own work because I have noticed arguments which nobody but I would think of are the first thing repeated back to me by people who dislike me. I keep my mouth shut and instantly they have less bullets. Many fear candour because they don't want to hurt the admin, they want to help the admin, but how can they ? If they are upset at the admin, then they are less likely to care or will even use honesty as a weapon. The recipient cannot tell the difference if I am upset at principle being trampled (always the case) or upset at them personally (never the case, I don't care, just change your direction to prove this), but how can they tell ?

Give additional functions where a selection of standard responses can be written by the admin, for example to address a particular decision, action, war, or admitted personal shortcoming. A decision will be explained differently depending upon the audience, so a different 'standard reply' can be sent to the recipient depending on the tone of their enquiry, or pre-loads for tailoring. Quoting what you received back from the admin in private would be frowned upon or subject to guidelines eventually, the admin can post your question, but you generally shouldn't reveal their response directly, as you can simply repost your question in public as you please, so they then may need to respond in public.

It would let an admin address sensitive issues individually as part of the review, removing some of the fear of retribution and the embarrassment of the current system. It allows the many issues that cannot be raised today because such a ballet or diplomacy is required to dance about the issue and speak on exotic levels to shield understanding from different audiences, rather than speak plainly to have your concerns addressed to the satisfaction of both parties. Penyulap 19:13, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Our Founder

I would love to thank our very own and beloved Jimmy Wales for giving us, such a marvelous new world our own, my own, your own, we all proudly own our beloved Wikipedia Thanks Jimmy Thanks A lot honestly for creating this world for us, brother that would be highly appreciated, if you would be kind enough to accpect my gift Wikipedia wallpaper I designed it by myself, and keep it on your page that would be biggest honor for me and kindly approve it and provide permission it or use it as property of Wikipedia, Its a Gift from me.

Yours Truly, --Faizanalivarya (talk) 14:59, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales Facebook Fans Club

Dear Brother,

Just to show my love towards you as being a creator of Wikipedia, I created your Fan Club Page on Facebook, that would be highly appreciated if you would be kind enough and visit it, I am trying to update it, The link of the FAN PAGE is Jimbo Wales Facebook Fans Club, would be waiting for your reply.--Faizanalivarya (talk) 15:27, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Team for Jimbo Wales Facebook Fans Club

Dear Visitors,

If you LOVE the founder of Wikipedia and you are his highly admire like me so LIKE page on Facebook and show your love towards him. I need a team as well to make this page more growing therefore like Jimbo Wales Facebook Fans Club to work on it. --Faizanalivarya (talk) 15:32, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

What about Larry Sanger? -Stevertigo (t | c) 19:15, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Hey, that's a pretty impressive gift Jimbo was given there - an entire Facebook club and the gift of LOVE. It sure beats the pair of socks and hangover I got on my birthday. ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 05:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Dear Respected FriendsSuriel1981 and Stevertigo,
I highly appreciated your kindness for supporting Idea for making a fan page of our founder Jimmy Wales on Facebook however we need a team of those Wikipedians who really love Wikipedia and founders as well therefore I would like to invite you to join me on FB so we can grow that page, I can certainly make you admin of that page if any one is interested in and dear Stevertigo I would like to tell you we will certainly go and create fan page of co-founder and most respected Mr.Larry Sanger as well however I would like to start from our beloved Jimmy Wales because I consider and they are my personal views that Jimmy worked and struggled and still struggling more than Larry, your thought can be different as I certainly accepted we will create a fan page for Larry Sanger and may be for Citizendium as well but first is Jimmy Wales. Agreed? if yes than join me on and Like our

Jimbo Wales Facebook Fans Club Page. Thanks --Faizanalivarya (talk) 18:40, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Harry Potter is a Boy

Different IP as I am in transit. It's "the 86" here. Thank you for trying to understand this, sorry you failed. In summary I got a WP:BITE from a WP:GANG which includes administrators, who have no WP:COMPETANCE, but rather have WP:BIAS who ignore WP:BOLD and WP:DONTBITE to WP:BATTLEGROUND and WP:BAIT and WP:SOAPBOX. As they are a WP:TAGETEAM including administrators, they twist WP:RULES to WP:LIE and WP:BLOCK anyone who questions their WP:BIAS. I came here in good faith, used WP:BOLD and like many others I now WP:SHUN Wikipedia as a political ego driven home of WP:CENSORSHIP. Since the problem is the administrators as well as the editors I went to the top. I now see that this company reflects its leader. Good luck in life. Maximus. (talk) 07:29, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind wishes for luck in my life. I've had abundant luck so far, and of course hope it continues. If you have a specific example of a problem that you faced, I wouldn't mind hearing about it, but suggest that you stop with all the buzzwords. If your point is "There are too many buzzwords and it is annoying to newbies" or something like that, just say so, and I'm likely to agree.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:56, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, I did say clearly in the previous post that I hate buzzwords. I used this behavior when you didn't seem to understand my simple English. Actually it is not that these are annoying. They were used against me as rules to have me blocked during a dispute resolution process on a talk page. They were used to attack every comment I made. They were used against the actual definitions they represent. When I presented clear arguments they were thrown out as one liners to negate what I said, with no explanation as to their relevance. I posted a very specific comment on a talk page and it was deleted with WP:SOAPBOX as the explanation. I looked it up and nothing applied to what I said. Yet it was used to delete everything I said. But this person is part of the WP:GANG so if I repost my comments or ask for an explanation I am accused of WP:BATTLEFIELD. Then some admin he knows blocks me for 3 days. One admin actually had me blocked while I was engaged in a dispute resolution process with them. The above reference to Harry Potter being a Girl was not something I said. I just asked the question if enough Secondary Sources said he was a girl would Wikipedia therefore ignore the Primary Resources? I was told yes. Thankfully another admin pointed to WP:PRIMARY to show this was not the case. Essentially as a newbie I don't know enough WP:XXXX to effectively defend against the well organized WP:TAGTEAM. And since the admins jumped to block me and attack me I gave up on Wikipedia. I later saw that the same admins were essentially Wiki friends of these people and therefore part of the WP:GANG. When the admin is breaking the rules, abusing me and then blocking me for insulting language, I came to you. WP:DONTBITE and WP:BOLD don't seem to apply in reality. If my company had a new employee and 3 days later they quite because of abuse by management I'd be concerned. The method of the abuse is the misuse of WP:XXXX but that is not really my issue. It is the attitude that is my issue. I was accused here of not being a newbie simply because I learned a few WP:XXXX. No one actually considered I might be real. I even made some up WP:XXXX and no one noticed. What is really upsetting is that many people have made the same claims on the talk page of the article and yet I am painted as this lone terrorist. So I just gave up being a part of Wikipedia. Thank you for your time, I know how valuable time is for everyone, whomever you are in life. I will also wish you success, beyond luck, and most of all happiness. Maximus ("The 86"). (talk) 12:31, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, please stop using all these buzzwords. I don't care for it. It makes your texts hard to read.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:40, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Well now you know how I feel. I got bombarded with it for 3 days, and I didn't even know what it meant. Then blocked on the basis of it and attacked by others using it. Maximus (talk) 15:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok sorry. When I didn't use them I was attacked for that. So here is it in English. People are misusing the rules of Wikipedia to attack someone new to Wikipedia for changing an article they control. And your own admin are using this jargon and their position of power to block a newcomer. This is done to support the attack against a newcomer with knowledge and the desire to accurately represent the facts on Wikipedia. The editors and their admin mates have worked together to make me look like a lone vandal, not a knowledgable person. They have done this repeatedly to others who also gave up. As the boss, since those beneath you in admin are part of the problem, I see that only you can fix this. I hope that is clear. Maximus. (talk) 14:08, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, here is some direct non jargon statements by others, not me, on the article talk page. I post this as I see an issue ingrained in the process of Wikipedia, that many are facing and not solving, not just an issue with one article: “I have read many websites and other materials supporting this diet pH concept and there never seems to be any claim of modifying the blood's pH levels.” “Criticisms only all based on personal opinions and twisting of the theory.” “Attempts to balance this article have continually been thwarted by what appears to be biased policing of editors attempting to make the article more realistic.” “It seems all attempts by many to neutralize this article's bias have been attacked and the users threatened with severe warnings of punishment or embarrassment” “Each time a reference or statement has been added with links to any positive information it has been deleted.” “Most attempts to correct this bias, to more factual statements, have been thwarted by selective editing by certain moderators. Some edits, reverted by conscientious moderators, have even been reverted only to be reedited to the original edit. This demonstrates severe bias as noted in another section.” “Comments not inline with the moderators in charge have been removed. It was so bad at one point an editor replaced a dead link I removed twice, with threatening notices about vandalism, only to discover it was a dead link.” “A previous editor included links to research by MDs and it was reverted as ‘Primary Research’ conflicting with their secondary research in the article.” “The present day version of this article shows no support for the diet, only criticism... Presently, there are no supporting arguments, or even a thorough explanation of the principles behind the alkaline diet.” “Some references were provided (check history) however they were reverted by editors concerned with the content, repeatedly without consensus.” “I think it is fair to say that the alkaline diet article totally misrepresents the perspective shown in the scientific literature.” Maximus (talk) 14:59, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, I'll look into it. Will be next week sometime.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:38, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate your listening. I think if this many people failed to edit this article, and I had to come to you to get anywhere at all, then this represents a larger issue in the system. One admin did his best to engage the gang, and since they couldn't block him some consensus appeared to be reached. But nothing actually happened on the article and the gang continued. So even an admin was not able to achieve any actual outcome. Whatever comes of this I hope it is for the good of all people. I'll check into Wikipedia in about a week and see what is up. You can use my talk page if you want to ask me something. And just for the record, Harry Potter is a Boy. Enjoy your week. Maximus. (talk) 18:46, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Your talk page has reached 113 sub pages. For your continuous efforts in dealing with walls of text and constant disputes, I award you the Barnstar of Diligence. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 13:53, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Shooting the messenger?

Jimbo, I feel the need to draw your attention to the real-wp outcome of this incident (this third-party comment encapsulates my own concerns on the matter). Andy's four-lettered prose apart, I think it's important to bear in mind that conscientious editors such as he is are also human beings. Disclaimer: As a largely uninvolved spectator, I just wanted to draw this issue to Jimbo's attention - not canvassing!MistyMorn (talk) 10:15, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Andy, like many editors can't find leadership, he had a clear case which went stale. If there is a dispute, there is no 'judge' to go to, every admin who saw the request could cross to the other side of the road to ignore what was going on. Admins are just barely, if at all, one step removed from the chaos of editors. Leave a note at ANI and it's like a note on a talkpage, maybe someone will take an interest, maybe nobody will care. Arbcomm long ago left planet Earth, sure some people have a space agency and have access, but what long time editor who has a good eye for trouble can access Arbcomm for every dispute, and what newbie has any chance at all ? Andy couldn't take every problem editor he finds destroying the project off to Arbcomm, nobody can. There is no 'fair' person to whom anyone can take a dispute and get a proper binding response. Either it's a laughable voluntary system, or it's a game of chance, "Is there some random passing admin who wants to take a risk and take sides in this case?, oh nobody wants to get involved, there is always the stalking, the grudges, the revenge, better ignore it when someone is getting mugged, we didn't see a thing when Andy needed help"
Where is the leadership ? Where are the judges ? Is it any wonder the good people are departing ? Chaos has triumphed. Penyulap 22:09, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Admins are in a very tough place; on the one hand, a lot of people want more forceful leadership from us, but then scream "ABUUUUUUUSE" when it happens. With the exception of Arbitration Enforcement (and sometimes there are exceptions there), it's very hard for one or two admins to really take control of a situation. If I had any ideas on how to fix it, I'd suggest something, but for now all I can do is keep carrying on trying to force as much as much change as I can. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:20, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Dramahclipse aside, I feel MartinEvans is right when he says the other party must have been over the moon with this "result". Something went awry here, imo. Something relevant to Wikipedia perhaps? —MistyMorn (talk) 22:31, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

My close of the ANI may not have been the most "satisfying" result for some, but was clearly in the best interest. There are right ways and wrong ways to impose blocks/bans and the right way and wrong ways to treat other editors as a whole. That entire dramafest included at least 2 blocks, a whackload of incivility and personal attacks, and more rhetoric than deserved. There was clearly no way to make a Wikipedia-wide "decision" with so much side-crap going on. It's a shame Andy "retired" (for now), but he also should have been blocked for his asinine NPA's - and he wasn't. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 23:34, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
'Focusing on Andy' was the Epitome of the problem. Penyulap 00:45, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Good thing my close didn't focus on anyone at all :-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 00:48, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • incidentally the issue ties in directly with the recent discussion about racial bias in articles about crimes and the reasons why such a bias might exist. Andy's departure will not lessen the risk of such a bias to be sure.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:52, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The close should have had A focus. I expect Andy would have preferred to have gone out as a martyr for the cause he always defended rather than find that the cause is long gone. Penyulap 08:42, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't mean to single out the "close"; a kind of result had already happened, imo. —MistyMorn (talk) 07:08, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes I don't think the close itself is at issue. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:56, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

The underlying issue, imo, was: Shouldn't a living community receive some of the same sort of encyclopedic respect as living people?
(Or, more specifically perhaps, is it encyclopedic to speculate on inflammatory issues regarding an entire ethnic group based on news stories regarding small criminal ring/s?)
But in this case the substance seems to have got largely lost in a secondary sideshow debate starring who's calling who what and how, etc. —MistyMorn (talk) 10:18, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Exactly. The intent of the thread degenerated into something unhealthy, and there was no way back on track (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:24, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Adding: it appears that Andy is mad that a decision was not made related to the topic - hence, his departure. It was a) not possible to make such a decision in ANI, and b) having degenerated into name-calling, there was no "decision" to come anyway. The need to close does not provide any answer, nor can it. It certainly cannot be considered as "well, if that's the way Wikipedia is going to deal with..." because Wikipedia was wholly unable to "deal with it" there. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:30, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no such thing as 'no action' or 'no decision' in leadership. No action, no decision, snowball, AND admins who cross to the other side of the road to avoid the whole thing, they are all making decisions and taking actions. While I don't agree with the decision not to place blocks and or bans, you get at least one point from me for not exactly crossing the road.
Better to have a means to petition a leader where an action must be forthcoming, like a 'little arbcom' that doesn't require an existing knowledge of latin to make an application. ANI is both a compulsory public bloodsport and a voluntary decision making mechanism. Separate the two and make one compulsory, or both, whatever. Less suck right there. Penyulap 12:04, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
It is a fair statement to say that every admin made the decision to turn their back on Andy's valid petition, and that wide consensus disgusted him. Penyulap 12:06, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
But RFC is the place for that petition; not ANI. Just like I have no right to get frustrated when I submit a 30,000-signature petition to lower the speed limit in my neighbourhood to the Federal Government - it's not their bailiwick, so it was misplaced (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:09, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
So the driver took a wrong turning while swearing at the wheel. With rather unfortunate consequences. Different wheels kept turning, while real issues left the road. —MistyMorn (talk) 12:44, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Bingo. All that martyrdom for nothing, so the message will get lost instead of built upon. Problem is: he knew the right location. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:54, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Presumed martyrdom aside, we human thingees are all fallible. An-y one included. —MistyMorn (talk) 13:08, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, I run out of willpower, and common sense, and look to see what has been happening on Wikipedia since I quit. What do I see? The issue is being discussed on Jimbo's talk page - looks hopeful at least. But no, we still have idiotic comments like this being posted: "But RFC is the place for that petition; not ANI. Just like I have no right to get frustrated when I submit a 30,000-signature petition to lower the speed limit in my neighbourhood to the Federal Government - it's not their bailiwick, so it was misplaced". This is precisely the problem with Wikipedia admins - any excuse to avoid addressing the real issues, and engage in amateur bureaucratics instead. I didn't start the thread at AN/I in the first place. Fae did - and right from the start everyone was piling in with 'NPA', 'AGF' and every other TLA that was to hand. Yes, I let emotion get the better of me, and said in plain language what others would have probably disguised with pretentious pseudo-civility, and yes, I deserved to be told off for it. But how many of those contributing in the AN/I thread were actually interested in looking at the underlying issues that led me to blow my top, rather than spouting the usual platitudes about policy, adding their own vacuous opinions about who-knows-what, or looking for any excuse to hide what was going on? Precious few, by the evidence available. Sadly, Wikipedia provides further conformation of Max Weber's thesis regarding the inherent tendency of bureaucratic power-structures to dissolve 'common purpose' and replace it by a 'specialisation of labour' that makes it almost impossible for anyone to step back and ask whether the 'rules' are there to actually do anything more than maintain the rule-enforcers. Of course, I demonstrated an astonishing lack of clue, and far more 'good faith' than someone of my years and experience should have done in expressing a scintilla of hope that this might be an exception. But no, predictably, I was wrong. Wikipedia has two fundamental problems. The first problem, POV-pushing 'contributors' looking for a chance to skew every article they can their own way, is basically inevitable (and we all have a POV anyway, and the world would be a strange place if we didn't). The second problem though is one that Wikipedia creates all for itself through the bizarre way it simultaneously advocates an anarchic and utopian 'ignore all rules' ethos on the basis that this is the best way to actually write an encyclopaedia, while at the same time producing endless reams of 'policy' and 'guidelines' which can only be ignored at the risk of being blocked or banned from contributing. The end result is that article content is determined not by encyclopaedic value, or even by a vague consensus of what is 'right', but instead by bloody-minded Wikilawyering, grind-the-enemy-down sock-and-meatpuppetry, and a careful attention to the details of the rules, with an eye on finding the best way to subvert their intent. So what is the end result? A Wikipedia article on an ethnic minority that has already got more than its fair share of problems (the misnamed British Pakistanis, most of which are actually third-generation or so British), which sets out to portray the entire ethnicity as paedophiles based on an isolated series of events in one part of the country - with this 'portrayal' seemingly motivated by a political agenda with roots in another part of the world entirely, and with utter disregard for any concerns for either 'neutrality' or basic human decency - all actively enabled by a bureaucratic system for the administration of encyclopaedic content that cares more about the system than the encyclopaedia. Given that both a degree in anthropology, and a modicum of common sense, suggest to me that there is no simple 'fix' for the sort of deep-seated structural problems that are evident in the way Wikipedia content is regulated, I am probably best advised to look back on this as an exercise in participant observation, and put it behind me as a lesson in the blindingly-obvious - that a 'neutral' encyclopaedia in a 'non-neutral' world is an impossibility, and that precious few 'contributors' are actually trying to achieve that anyway, and that to pretend otherwise isn't going to fool anyone but the faithful. I've given up trying to fool myself over this, and have evidently made the best choice by deciding to take my foolishness elsewhere. Meanwhile, one last thought for BWilkins - if I'd taken AnkhMorpork to RFC/U, or whichever part of the bureaucratic labyrinth that I supposedly should have done, do you think there is the slightest chance things would have turned out differently? Or would the TLAs all have been spouted, and the problem ignored as usual? And if you conclude that it would have turned out differently, are your conclusions based on evidence, or faith? Or merely on the smug reassurance that admins administrate, and all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:19, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

BWilkins has answered, farther below. However, I want to emphasize that "rules" are essential for WP, but WP:IAR is to "ignore all excessive rules" which might be any and ALL in some rare instances, rather than simply "ignore all rules all the time" which is what some people have imagined. Plus, having multiple venues, with WP:ANI or WP:WQT or WP:RFC/U, even as a specialisation of labour (or "division of labor"), is part of the reality of dealing with 145,000 active editors (+IPs) each month. See more below: #When ANI fails consensus, discuss at RFC/U. -Wikid77 03:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
a thread the size of the one at ANI which receives no suggestions it should be moved in the whole time it is there is patently in the correct place and has had a wide consensus amongst admins.
This reminds me of the people who say pretty much anywhere "If you don't like it, you can leave" which is a fair statement in itself, to which my response is 'F that, you can all leave instead". Andy, why should you be the one to leave ? Penyulap 06:46, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, my comments have been "idiotic" and I'm nothing but a bureaucratic something-or-another. To be honest Andy, yes, I do believe your outcome would have been different. There were enough snippets of understanding throughout that ANI thread that I believe that if you and others had kept their cool, you could have had successful change - and as a minimum, one hell of a positive discussion. However, if any of the participants were to lose their cool, it too would have derailed unless it was "clerked". (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 09:40, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
In my dealings with ANI, I see it as a quick-fix forum, but not an area to investigate WP:GAMING, and so WP:RFC/U must be separate, as a different level of investigation about user actions. See subthread below: #When ANI fails consensus, discuss at RFC/U. -Wikid77 03:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Irrespective of who labeled whose posts "idiotic"/"asinine" (or whatever), surely the underlying issues this incident raises are substantial and still deserve genuine consideration? Including, imo, the delicate question of bureaucratic groupthink (or similar unintentional group tunnel vision) within the gf community. —MistyMorn (talk) 10:40, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
You might be interested in the top level article Group decision making about improving making group decisions. Mentioning groupthink is probably a bad idea as people get a bit insulted and it quickly alerts the mindguards ;-) Dmcq (talk)
For that reason I appended an explanatory parenthesis prolixly tagged 'unintentional group tunnel vision' [ugh! – ed]. Regardless of any particular theory, I do think there is a real issue here. (And I suppose I have to go back to arguing context too.)MistyMorn (talk) 13:32, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
The only one I can feel myself supporting in all this is the admin closing the AN/I. On the issue itself I disagree with AndyTheGrump more than I do with AnkhMorpork. There is a real issue and it was put into the current issues section of the article, it might have been put in with a POV okay, but it could then be edited to say what was actually involved. I do not agree with cleansing Wikipedia of all wrong thought. It should contain what has been seen as notable in reliable sources. There are problems coping with POV pushers but trying to remove all mention of fringe ideas or bigotry is I feel far more damaging to the encyclopaedia. As for solving problems I would push again the solution of having RF/C discussions which would be binding for at least three months. Dmcq (talk) 12:14, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the key content-related question here is who (ATG vs. AM) you or I or anyone else sides with, or even how to approach methodologically suspect ('fringe') POVs. Rather, was/is there a substantial issue here for Wikipedia, in some ways analogous to WP:BLP? —MistyMorn (talk) 13:58, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
You mean should we bowdlerize Wikipedia to protect delicate minds? That conflicts with WP:CENSOR. The second pillar in WP:5P currently says 'We avoid advocacy and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. In some areas there may be just one well-recognized point of view; in other areas we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context, and not presenting any point of view as "the truth" or "the best view".' The issue was not just well cited it was clearly notable, what we should have been doing is ensuring it was presented neutrally and with due weight. Dmcq (talk) 16:52, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
You mean should we bowdlerize Wikipedia to protect delicate minds? No that is not what I mean. And it's not what I said. —MistyMorn (talk) 18:56, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
The issue was from the onset vehemently opposed with adamant content objections - "Shit like this doesn't belong in Wikipedia", which later transmuted into presentational issues at ANI involving "source misrepresentation", despite no talk page discussion on neutrality and due weight improvements. I was probably culpable of an editorial enactment of Newton's third law and a balanced position probably lies somewhere between the two opposing views. The issue required considered responses and not an emotive tilting at windmills. Contrary to previous suggestions, I am not "over the moon" at ATG's retirement and I did not seek any admin intervention regarding our interaction; I think he is an accomplished editor and I have actually worked well with him in the past. Ankh.Morpork 13:21, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I find my recent request draws an irresistible study for the groupthink fans. I now see more clearly why so many intelligent people have given up the drive to improve wikipedia's systemic problems, and note with some amusement that leaving wikipedia to take up an easier challenge, such as addressing the problems of 9/11 would seem refreshingly simple by comparison. Penyulap 14:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

When ANI fails consensus, discuss at RFC/U

Whenever an incident at WP:ANI fails to reach consensus to ban/block, then consider a long-term analysis of issues at WP:RFC/U (which cannot block/ban but can investigate detailed evidence). The short-term posting at WP:ANI, of 2-to-5 days, often does not allow time to cross-check the history of questionable edits by some users. Unless the violations are obviously extreme, then many people seem to oppose the suggested sanctions within the 5-day debates at ANI. Hence, the next option is to investigate people (or WP:TAGTEAMs) who might be slowly "WP:Gaming the system" and that type of long-term activity could be discussed, for weeks, at WP:RFC/U, even though no sanctions would result there. However, at least other editors could see evidence of long-term policy violations or bad-faith edits, to later support sanctions at ANI. Some forms of WP:GAMING can take weeks to discuss.

The complexity of WP:GAMING must be analyzed, in a long-term view, in all fairness to real mistakes (rather than clever misdirections), with time to allow other users to better understand all the tactics being used to manipulate the contents of articles. Such a long-term view should be attempted at WP:RFC/U, rather than during a short 5-day ANI debate. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:21, 21 May, expanded 03:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Ethical approaches to living communities?

The content-related message which got smothered here regards, I suppose, WP:BLPGROUP. The policy statement recognizes (rightly I think) the complexity of the issue and the necessity of considering context: The extent to which the BLP policy applies to edits about groups is complex and must be judged on a case-by-case basis. However, I'm not so sure that this next statement invariably holds true: A harmful statement about a small group or organization comes closer to being a BLP problem than a similar statement about a larger group. Imo, it's scarcely necessary to resort to Holocaust scenarios to question this notion. To my knowledge, study of ethnic communities almost invariably raises complex ethical issues (a quite different example is briefly summarized here).
In the case in hand, content on controversies regarding scientifically unstudied generalizations were being appended to a wp page dedicated to a large ethnic community, based solely on recent news items. Irrespective of the incidents involving both gf (eg ATP & AM) and bf editors, I do not believe that such material should be considered encyclopedic (ie "notable" in the context of this general article).

Query: Does the wording of WP:BLPGROUP need revisiting? —MistyMorn (talk) 15:27, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Do you acknowledge the stuff was very notable and well cited and put into the correct place in the article? BLP talks mainly about being careful about checking the facts and their weight, not about suppressing them. Or are you saying we should have Wikipedia experts judge the sources and come to a conclusion about them and if they don't like them then ignore notable sources like the BBC and not stick them in?Are we really going to say some self appointed experts here should censor the rabid outpourings of the BBC because it is not a reliable source? Dmcq (talk) 17:14, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
My view is that this sort of recent news material was more suitable for Wikinews rather than an encyclopedic article on an entire living community. —MistyMorn (talk) 17:30, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
It has been reported on in the news for years, it is hardly just recent news. Isn't this covered by WP:WEIGHT anyway? In general about BLP are you saying that single high weight events should not be included in articles about notable people? Dmcq (talk) 17:43, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The equivalent on an individual BLP level? Imo, media gossip that a notable person (sportsman, politician or whatever) has pedophile tendencies. —MistyMorn (talk) 17:55, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that BLP means adhere to Wiki policies very carefully but is not a separate grounds of exclusion. Consequently, when a source/sources report on a community issue, under which existing principle do you think that content should be omitted?Ankh.Morpork 18:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
On the grounds that article content should be determined according to lasting encyclopaedic merit, rather than by the repulsive agendas of POV-pushing bigots like you. Any more questions? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:18, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Welcome back.Ankh.Morpork 18:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I'll try to answer your question even though I'm no expert on WP policies (I don't see that one needs to be to raise a concern of this sort) and I'm not sure it's strictly relevant. Anyway, I think I agree with Dmcq above when he suggests that that this issue might come under WP:WEIGHT: absence of methodologically sound evidence to support generalization of these events at a community level makes this broadly analogous to giving "undue weight to the Flat earth belief." —MistyMorn (talk) 18:24, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
What is your definition of 'fringe' if you are applying this concept to the reportage of the BBC, Telegraph, The Times etc?Ankh.Morpork 18:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Still telling lies about the sources you were pushing, I see... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:09, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Still haven't sorted out those IRL issues, I see... I am not stating whether the sources say x,y, or z about an ethnic community. What I am saying is that they are saying something in relation to a community and that should be reported.Ankh.Morpork 19:14, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
...should be reported? As in Wikipedia is a news aggregator I suppose... —MistyMorn (talk) 21:34, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
And why should we give a toss about what you think? You and your meatpuppets clearly go around looking for the most lurid sources to smear minorities, and use any excuse you can to coat-rack it into any article you can. Any 'encyclopaedia' that tolerates such behaviour doesn't deserve the name. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:20, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Windmills Andy, windmills. I'll go back to reading my red top snot-rags and BBC-Der Stürmer luridity and leave you to your McCarthyism and smiting of illusory straw men, hopefully slaying some personal demons in the process. Maybe have a go at some real BLP issues like this user's contributions. Ankh.Morpork 20:19, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
McCarthyism? You're the one pushing an obnoxious right-wing agenda using smears, insinuations, and guilt by association - and using the rabid rantings of a right-wing supporter of the neo-Fascist English Defence League to do it. For a 'supporter of Israel', you seem to keep strange company... Still, seems to be all the fashion these days: "Never again (unless it is someone else..)". AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:09, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Look, I want to make one thing clear. I was making a specific query here on Jimbo's talk page in the spirit of trying to get to the bottom of a question which seems to me to be genuinely relevant for Wikipedia. I simply asked whether living communities should be given the same sort of ethical dignity in the encyclopedia as living persons (and therefore whether the wording of a particular part of wikipedia policy needs review). If that question had been raised by a member of the general public not connected in any way with Wikipedia it would still be equally valid. And nobody would be able to retort with wp quibbles, such as hmm, What is your definition of 'fringe'? So I refuse to get into blinkered wp in-bickering when there's a bigger picture out there that, imo, needs to be considered. Clear? —MistyMorn (talk) 21:23, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps you should have set up a separate section then rather than setting up a subsection of a specific topic if the resolution of the wider topic does not affect the particular topic. Dmcq (talk) 00:12, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you should do the same. MistyMorn is discussing the actual issue here, rather than spouting nonsense about 'censorship'. AnkhMorpork is a fairly typical representative of a far-too-common type of Wikipedia 'contributor', in that he/she takes advantage of all the fine-sounding policies and objectives of the project to spin articles in ways totally at odds with the intent of such policies etc. If people are here to push an obnoxious agenda, they should be shown the door, end of story. 'Free speech' doesn't extend to providing the bigots with a megaphone... AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:13, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I believe that dealing with issues according to due weight is the way to deal with issues rather than censoring them. I believe in talking with people, in discussing things openly and providing the facts. I have no desire to join you in suppressing falsehoods, I wish to produce a trustworthy encyclopaedia. On your terms what use is Wikipedia if it is biased on personal concerns and suppresses stuff because it isn't liked by editors? It is just preaching to the choir. Dmcq (talk) 03:42, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Is any of that supposed to make sense? It doesn't... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:12, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Is preaching to the converted rather than the heathen more obvious? Censoring Wikipedia makes it a source that is not trusted and therefore one that is not listened to. It is like building a wall round a community like Conservapedia does.The very first sentence of WP:POLICY says "Wikipedia policies and guidelines are developed by the community to describe best practice, clarify principles, resolve conflicts, and otherwise further our goal of creating a free, reliable encyclopedia" Dmcq (talk) 09:16, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
@dmcq, the issue here is tag-teaming, the use of lurid and unreliable sources, misrepresentation of sources, and the maligning of a whole ethnic group. the media in my country is claiming that a certain number of pages on wikipedia are hijacked by right-wing extremists. the latest events on the british-pakistani page confirms this. if ankmorpork is not banned then i'll consider to retire as well.-- altetendekrabbe  06:37, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The BBC, Times, Guardian and various writers and politicians are not lurid and unreliable. Trying to characterize mainstream media as lurid and unreliable is just to engage in OR like AndyTheGrump going on about anthropology as if we are supposed to take his opinion over that of the mainstream media. We are not experts in Wikipedia, we should summarize notable things in reliable secondary sources and theres loads of those. If you wish to allege the BBC is not a very reliable source and a source of great notability you are free to contest it or those newspapers at WP:RSN. Dmcq (talk) 09:10, 24 May 2012 (U
For the most part, the mainstream media is lurid and unreliable, so I agree with the user. I would not, however, say that all media outlets are lurid and unreliable, but most are. Viriditas (talk) 09:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That BBC report said for instance "Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of of the Ramadhan Foundation, accused Pakistani community elders of "burying their heads in the sand" on the issue of on-street grooming." I want Wikipedia to summarize things calmly and dispassionately and let them speak for themselves without us sticking in our point of view or trying to censor 'shit like this'. How will removing stuff like that help? Do you really want people to get their facts from fascist sites or suchlike and trust them more than Wikipedia? We can state things with a neutral point of view aand be trusted, not be yet another evangelical site on the web preaching its own biased version of things and untrusted by anyone except their loyal band of fans or converts. The encyclopaedia that can be edited by anyone. Dmcq (talk) 10:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm a fan of the BBC, but it does sound like you are misusing a source to push a certain POV. Viriditas (talk) 07:43, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
The underlying question I raised doesn't concern the notability of the event itself [5] (or prominent criticisms regarding the vigilance of community leaders), but the need to avoid messaging unsubstantiated and unencyclopedic generalizations that could daub an entire community. It's worth comparing and contrasting perhaps this subsection of a page regarding a very large institution.MistyMorn (talk) 11:06, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq, your attitude is precisely what I'm complaining about when I point out that Wikipedia actively encourages POV-pushing bigots. Yes, there has been a little mainstream media commentary on the issue of 'grooming' by Britons of Pakistani heritage - but there same sources have also pointed out that the events in the North of England were localised, and there is little evidence of a more general trend. Such sources have also pointed out that individuals from other ethnic minorities have also been involved in such cases, and that the overwhelming majority of child sex offenders in this country are white. It isn't 'censorship' to oppose the partisan cherry-picking of sources to misrepresent the problem as confined to a single ethnic minority. This is the issue we are discussing here, and getting on your soapbox to argue against something that isn't going on is not only disrupting the discussion, but actively encouraging further offensive POV-pushing. If you are actually arguing that WP:WEIGHT doesn't matter if 'reliable sources' sufficient to synthesise such intentional skewing of content are available, then do it openly, in the appropriate place. No, what I am pointing out should occur isn't 'censorship', it is applying editorial discretion to exclude inappropriate material - something that has always been a fundamental part of the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. If you wish to label this as 'censorship', then fine, We can reword the policy so that it makes clear that under your definition, Wikipedia is 'censored', and so it should be. This is an online encyclopaedia, not a graffiti-covered wall. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:03, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
You have a mission to counter bigotry but you are your own worst enemy in how to deal with it and counter it. Practically any time I see you on some article you seem to be trying to remove well cited facts rather than write the situation up properly. Wikipedia is supposed to try and be a reliable source, but what happens when somebody looks up a contentious subject and you've gone any deleted any mention of it or reduced it to something which is obviously silly like only mentioning criticisms without ever mentioning what is being talked about? We have given up an opportunity to present the facts in a straightforward neutral fashion and they have gone off to someplace that does tell them more about it. Do you believe that other place will be better than Wikipedia or is it more likely to present skewed information? Just try and think what you are doing through rather than acting on your gut hate for the topics and go and fix the stuff in an NPOV manner rather than deleting it. Making us skewed turns us into one of these sites that is rubbish for anything like that, and we will be quite rightly ignored or derided for our 'neutral poiint of view' 'encyclopaedia'. We need to deal with stuff rather than stick our heads in the sand. Dmcq (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • There are two issues here - the events in Britain and what happens here on wikipedia. I am sure we all remember what happened when a particular editor had the unfortunate habit of writing very bad articles with poorly selected (cherry picked) sources and wordings about sensitive topics (such as Jews and money) that he was obviously unable to cover neutrally. I think this is the same case - it doesn't seem to me that the editors orking on the topic of British Pakistanis are able to do this in a dignified encyclopedic manner,but that they are in fact ushing a very particular agenda -to the detriment of wikipedia which will end up looking like metapedia. It may be that wikipdia should cover the British-Pakistani childabuse scandal, but I don't think AnkhMorpork is he one who should be doing that coverage.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:11, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Once again, Dmcq is simply failing to get the point - yes, Wikipedia should cover topics like 'child grooming', and yes, where appropriate, and with due weight, the involvement of individuals from particular ethnicities in particular regions may well merit mention - but material like this simply doesn't belong in a general article about an ethnic minority. There can be no question whatsoever that AnkhMorpork and co. added the material to the article in order to portray an entire ethnicity in a negative light, given their editing history. This is a gross misuse of Wikipedia. As for Dmcq's comments about me "trying to remove well cited facts" in other articles, this would be irrelevant to this discussion, even if it were true (not that it is). Can I ask that Dmcq either sticks to the topic at hand - Ankh and co's abuse of Wikipedia - or starts another thread. We are trying to deal with an important issue, and side-tracking discussion with tired old arguments about how Wikipedia deals with 'fringe' topics, or whether the fact that something can be cited is sufficient reason to include it in an encyclopaedia is less than helpful. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:08, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Well that pretty much mirrors my feeling that despite my best efforts you simply are unable to get the point of why what you do is wrong. Dmcq (talk) 17:49, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps because what he is doing isn't wrong? (except for the verbal abuse of course). Removing well cited facts that try to paint an entire ethnic group as responsible for crimes committed by ten of them is a good thing however you turn it. Just like we don't include crimes committed by groups of Jews or Mormons in the articles on Jewish and Mormon minorities we obviously also don't do that for British Pakistanis. Doing so would not be writing an encyclopedia but perpetuating racism and making ourselves complicit in the bloodlibel of the far right against the Muslim minority in Europe. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:10, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Very reliable sources have made the connection in a very notable way and as a continuing problem. It is not up to us to go bowdlerizing. I've encountered AndyTheGrump on this page only a short while ago at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_101#This article does not explain the topic it debunks, and AndyTheGrump certainly seemed to me to fit as one of the activist editors trying to debunk and ridicule fringe theories in violation of NPOV - and that wasn't a sensitive issue like this one. Thankfully the Aquatic ape hypothesis article has a pretty reasonable structure now and I felt your contribution to the talk page there was a positive one. Is it because this is a more sensitive issue you seem to want to sweep it under the carpet and not acknowledge it? By the way I only just noticed a note saying the criticism for WP:FTN which fosters AndyTheGrump style pap for the massses started at least four years ago [6]. Penises okay, The Times or BBC news reporting not. Dmcq (talk) 10:50, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
What in my comment makes it seem that I ant to sweep anything under the carpet? I am sensitive to the fact that rate wing hatemongers use wikipedia as a political platform, working to make wikipedia reflect a particular worldview. Just like at Aquatic Ape it was not possible to let those with clear COI's dominate the article, we also shouldn't let clearly politically motivated editors set the agenda. Especially not when the agenda is to vilify and smear entire ethnic or religious groups. That is not what an encyclopedia is for. Just like we don't make a section on the page "British Jews" where we list all the crimes that British Antisemites have accused them of, we obviously don't do that for pakistanis either. Regardless of how much nes coverage this incident has gotten that does not mean that it is apt for inclusion in the general article on British Pakistanis anymore than we should write a section on Anders Behring Breivik in the article on Noregians. To paraphrase yourself, Why is it that you are so intent on including this single criminal case in a way that is clearly damaging to an entire ethnic group? ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:47, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Well in that case my last remark 'So both of you are happy with silencing a dispassionate voice and letting the bigots take the limelight is how I read the situation.' applies to you as well. And I haven't see anything talking about Norwegians having a group that act like Anders Behring so with all the 'straw man' accusations that have been thrown at me here can I say I believe that is a genuine straw man argument. Dmcq (talk) 14:02, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
In other words, your entire 'contribution' to this discussion has been motivated not by the subject in hand, but your own ridiculous attempts to open the encyclopaedia to any old nonsense, regardless of whether it has any credibility or not, or whether it has any relevance to the article topic or not. Frankly, with editors like you dragging discussions off-topic at every opportunity, it isn't surprising that Wikipedia is so open to abuse. I don't give a shit about your opinion of WP:FTN - this isn't a FTN topic, and your opinion is not that of the community. You are wrong. We do not spin articles to denigrate entire ethnic minorities just because a convenient few 'reliable sources' provide a bogus 'justification' this month. This is a encyclopaedia, not a tabloid newspaper. If you can't tell the difference, I suggest you find another arena for your soapbox. As for me 'sweeping anything under the carpet', that is an outright lie. That you resort to personal attacks on others in an attempt to justify bigoted spin in articles makes me wonder what exactly your motivations are in regard to this issue though? Perhaps you could make clear why you are so keen to have material relating to the criminal behaviour of a few individuals included in a general article on a large ethnic minority? Are you advocating this as a general policy? And if not, what is so special about this case? Maybe you should read Italian Americans#Stereotyping and ask yourself whether you are engaging in exactly the same behaviour as is discussed there - perpetuating a wildly-misleading stereotype of an ethnic minority by using a small criminal element to 'represent' the entire group. Or is that your objective anyway? AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:30, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Note the words 'notable' and 'reliable sources' in what I said. Personally I'm in favour of having a fringe noticeboard but it has gone bad and that link shows the rot set in a long time ago. I believe if it was more open that would help to fix the main problems. Currently though I view it as something which although it does quite a bit of good also does a great deal of harm. Yes I am happy that Aquatic ape hypothesis talks about the subject matter rather han just being a list of people saying it is rubbish without detailing anything about its claims like you wanted it to be.
I have already explained that the subject matter of this discussion was described in very notable and reliable sources with a wide influence. I guess the Times is in tabloid form now like the The Sun (United Kingdom) rather than broadsheet, and I suppose the BBC is just another broadcaster like Fox News Channel, I guess that would be the basis for your assessment of them. If you believe they are tabloid and nobody takes any notice of what they or any of the other sources have said then of course the stuff shouldn't be covered in Wikipedia according to you. If however you are ready to concede they are more reliable sources than you then as I said above lots of people will want to read up more on the web about the matter. So they come to Wikipedia and find it obviously censors stuff like that. You really believe this helps anything? It just marks Wikipedia as another source of liberal claptrap as far as many readers are concerned and as like or not they'll read bigoted websites with slanted views that actually do cover the business.
If you could just get over your raging hatred for all bigotry and desire to crush kil destroy it you would see that Wikipedia by presenting a straighforward neutral point of view can do far more help than by being some bowdlerized childrens' encyclopaedia. Dmcq (talk) 19:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
You opinions on this matter are entirely contrary to existing policy and practice. Please find another forum for your soapboxing - or better still, propose a change to policy. I consider your endless repetition of the same irrelevant waffle nothing short of trolling at this point, and will comment no further - I suggest that others do the same.
Now, back on topic, is Wikipedia going to do anything about AnkhMorpork and his type, who systematically abuse the encyclopaedia to smear ethnicities and spread hatred, or isn't it? If it doesn't, its credibility can only suffer - and as I've already pointed out elsewhere, there are legal issues in regard to laws on incitement to ethnic and racial hatred that may well be applicable here. For Wikipedia to ignore the problem might be seen as negligent - I've no idea what the precise situation is, but this should at least be taken into consideration. This isn't a minor blog or forum, but one of the leading sources for web-based information, and surely has a moral responsibility, if not a legal one, to prevent individuals taking advantage of the relative anonymity of editing to engage in obnoxious practices that they might otherwise be reluctant to be seen as involved in. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:05, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Please point to the policy you are referring to when you say my opinions are contrary to existing policy. If you believe the BBC is inciting ethnic and racial hatred perhaps you should also write to an MP or some reputable newspaper about it, though off hand I can't think of any that haven't covered this. Dmcq (talk) 20:22, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Andy, I agree it's infuriating to be tormented nagged (I'm tempted to use another word beginning with "t"), whether deliberately or not, with OT red herrings. And I think you are indeed on topic here because your strongly worded challenge certainly concerns "ethical approaches to living communities" (and also arises from that P-bashing incident). But maybe this would merit a new section?

Also, I was looking forward to asking you for your informed views about WP:BLPGROUP. In relative terms, I suppose ethnic minorities are almost by definition "small" groups (even when their absolute numbers are large), but the current wording of WP:BLPGROUP doesn't directly raise the question of the dignity of minority groups. Anyhow, I certainly agree with you about the importance of WP getting this right. And I wonder if the policy had been worded differently on this whether perhaps you might not have been so cursorily invited to take your "grumps" elsewhere.

Just a thought or two, —MistyMorn (talk) 20:38, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Note: this last post was specifically addressed to Andy, not Dmcq. —MistyMorn (talk) 23:40, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't sound like you think there is a policy. What I'd be quite interested in is what you hope to achieve and why you think the approach of even shortening Pakistani to P- when the business was blatted so widely in reliable sources is a good one? Do you think having Wikipedia not mention anything about it will counter bigotry in some way? Dmcq (talk) 22:04, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
No comment. —MistyMorn (talk) 22:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
So both of you are happy with silencing a dispassionate voice and letting the bigots take the limelight is how I read the situation. Dmcq (talk) 22:26, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Yet another straw man... I'm assuming that you, as a trained mathematician, have a good enough grasp of logical reasoning to avoid continually pulling the discussion off topic in this way and creating straw men (eg your particularly insinuating "Responsibility versus ... NPOV" below). Note that if I hadn't censored myself in my last post I'd have broken a WP policy. A bit like, perhaps, some of the stuff that Andy did under stress while using his WP:COMMONSENSE, based on his academic training (somewhat different from yours) to defend passionately both Wikipedia and a minority group. Good night. —MistyMorn (talk) 23:34, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

A cheeseburger for you!

Cheeseburger.png hello!! greetings from italy, i haven't something important to say to you i only want say to you you had a great idea! :D sorry for the misspellings i don't speak english very well AccendiLaLuce (talk) 09:29, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

A cupcake for you!

Choco-Nut Bake with Meringue Top cropped.jpg You are Awesome!
Rileychilds (talk) 16:24, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Call for boycott

If this is actually based on disputes pertaining to Palin, Guevara, and Putin, I would like to see the contested diffs to judge, please. Also, per the notice at the top of the page, "Jimbo welcomes your comments and updates. Please don't consider alerting him to any topic to be canvassing." (talk) 07:49, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Happy that the rant was put into a 'hat' box. The color scheme alone was painful. And the rant itself wasn't helpful. Along with our anonymous friend, I'd like to see the contested diffs to judge.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Benjamin's latest edits give a pretty good indication of what he's about. In the case of Palin and Rice specifically, he appears to be treating someone's sensationalistic book as The Truth™ and is upset that people are correctly applying WP:BLP against his wishes. Resolute 02:49, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Just another POV pusher getting annoyed when other editors point out the rules. In general I find that wikipedia works quite well...occasionally there is some frustration when a POV pusher tries to take over an article, but generally sanity and NPOV prevails. I just wish all POV pushers would boycott wikipedia - it would make life so much easier :) --sciencewatcher (talk) 04:18, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Of course I looked at the user's contributions. He has no substantial edits to any of the three articles in question, except to add dispute tags, and his talk page discussion of them doesn't refer to sources or any conceivable kind of censorship or deletion. What book on Palin and Rice are you talking about? I can't even find a reference to anyone named Rice. (talk) 06:39, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
New York Times piece on the book, the author, and likely, the intentions behind it. Glen Rice is a former NBA player that she was alleged to have had... interactions... with when she was a sports reporter in Alaska. Resolute 14:17, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
A single unconfirmed primary source without any scholarly credentials certainly shouldn't be included. Anyone know what the Guevara and Putin controversies are? (talk) 18:24, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
It does not even rise to that level -- the NYT review specifies although here too “The Rogue” is too busy being nasty to be lucid.. When a book is not even "lucid" one would properly hesitate to use it as a source in any BLP with a straight face, (although some editors did try to use it, of course, but "Silly Season" has no limits for some of them). Collect (talk) 12:13, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd support a boycott of the over-usage of diacritics on English language Wikipedia. GoodDay (talk) 03:56, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd boycott that böÿçőțť. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:32, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Humour for you. a response to the harrassment.

I left this on my talk page in response to another POS bully wannabee. I am sure you will get a luagh out of it but in the end it actually make a mark.

First let me apologize for your lack of time in only reading the latest text and listening to a polished WP:Bully cry like a baby when he can't bully another person, and not the whole story. You seem hell bent on supporting his WP:BATTLEGOUND and WP"BAITING, behaviour. It does functionm quite well in WP and some are very polished with it. . It doesn't semm to be any more I can do in this regard of selective reading, with the current system of promoting WP:Bullying here. I guess I will just have to "Grin and Barrett". Have a nice life. Maybe you can make some more things disappear? Some of doesn't look good when the public reads it. You seem to have the opinion that not participating here makes much difference to the editors trying to help out after acting like hyenas to them. It become very obvious about the type of people behind the keyboards after observing this behaviour for a few years. Now get your fat ass moving and find my other fifteen IP socks and my two registered names used for the last few years. Try searching for 2009, mostly. I want to see how good you really are. One more item. I would like to thank you for all your help when I asked for it. The assistance was so worth the effort and helped me so much. Not that a little prick could be expected to actually do anything except threaten people. Makes you feel like a real person, don't it? To close I wouldlike to say: Try to lose some of that weight, especially between your ears and on your backside. Try the bar scene and see if your wallet can attract a person of the opposite sex or even the same sex if you like it that way. I suspect you do, not that it makes any difference. (talk) 18:34, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Where is the humor? Will Mette (talk) 18:41, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I think the humour is in the irony: someone who suggests that someone else lose weight and use their buying power to pickup chicks - yet has the tact of a zebra in heat - probably needs to do the exact same thing in order to get the ladies. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:25, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I've blocked the IP for 2 weeks for flooding various talkpages with malformed screeds; this one (also posted at the IP's talkpage) was the final straw. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:38, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Statewide opinion polling for the United States presidential elections, 2012

How is that an encyclopedic article? Wouldnt that be more Wikinews, than Wikipedia? It is an article that seems... poor in being encyclopedic. (talk) 16:18, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Statewide opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2008 has existed for a long time, so there is a precedent.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:05, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Brett Kimberlin

There's no question you're going to hear about this sooner or later. Apparently Brett Kimberlin is fairly litigious against critics on the web, and very successful at it since his parole from imprisonment as the "Speedway Bomber." After spending about 20 minutes on this, I'm inclined to favor the Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Brett Kimberlin version, modulo a little cleanup and replacement of the Google News sources, which will expire, but it seems the kind of ultra high-profile thing involving an arbitrator and Wikimedia UK official which would benefit from more opinions first. (talk) 03:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Harry Potter is a Girl

You're probably better off not even trying... Blozier2006 (talk) 12:43, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The title "...Potter is a Girl" refers to debates claiming secondary sources stating "girl" would override primary source stating "boy" as an issue discussed under Talk:Alkaline_diet (see discussions there). -Wikid77 10:29, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
One very depressing thing I see there is perhaps the worst case of the "verifiability, not truth" myth being repeated there that I have ever seen. "What you seem to misunderstand about WP is that the WP:TRUTH is not our goal, WP:VERIFIABILITY is. Indeed, if 5 secondary sources say that Harry Potter is a girl and we have no better or equal sources to correct that then we will report that Harry Potter is a girl." That's utter and complete nonsense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:58, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I responded on my talk as well, but would like to say here that I disagree with your characterization of VNT as a myth. Whether you or I agree with it, or not, it is a written policy. Perhaps it should and will be changed, but until such time that it is, it is fairly clearly enshrined in bold letters in WP:V. It's what I read as a newbie, it's what I've seen repeated a million times, so by what standard would I or anyone else say "no, that's not how it is?" SÆdontalk 10:42, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
You are misreading it, as many people have, which is why we had a vote with around 60% support for changing the way it is written. Additionally, it does not describe how we actually work. In truth, there are few examples as extreme as the Harry Potter one, but if it were true that of a simple novel like that (with no complex gender mysteries) and reliable sources got a basic fact like that wrong, we would not follow the reliable sources, we would open up the novel and read the simple truth. We can and must and thank goodness do exercise thoughtful editorial judgment. We are not transcription monkeys.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:51, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
This gets back to a point I've made before: Wikipedia is set up so that of someone does bad things, you can point to a rule and bash them over the head with it. But strictly making and enforcing rules isn't something you can turn on and off. The easier you make it to bash troublemakers and clueless people with rules, the easier you make it for anyone to bash anyone with rules, even if the person wielding the rule is the troublemaker or clueless person. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:29, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
The amusing part of that example is that any such source claiming Harry Potter is a girl removes itself from consideration as being a reliable source for rather obvious reasons. A million unreliable sources can claim Jimbo Wales has blue skin and was born on Neptune, but not a one would pass the axiom of "verifiability, not truth". Resolute 22:56, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that is a very bad argument. It is an IDONTLIKE it and therefore it is wrong not me. One should assess the reliability of the source straightforwardly and then wonder why it conflicts with what one thinks. I think Bayes rule is relevant here, arguing that things are unreliable afterwards and then changing the prior assessment is the sort of thing that led to the inspections of Saddam's arsenal and when inspectors couldn't find weapons of mass destruction people came to the conclusion he must be even more evil and cunning at hiding them than they originally supposed. Dmcq (talk) 13:11, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd think that if you want to exclude X on the grounds that the source isn't reliable, the source should be considered unreliable for some reason other than just that it says X. That would be perilously close to circular reasoning--you're assuming that X is bad in order to conclude that a mention of it isn't reliable. Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:32, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

"We can and must and thank goodness do exercise thoughtful editorial judgment. We are not transcription monkeys."

Worth bolding, imo! —MistyMorn (talk) 11:04, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

I actually had a case where a quite respected author of a maths textbook had made a mistake and this editor kept insisting on trying to stick it in. Basically verifiability not truth is the correct approach I believe except occasionally we have to use common sense, and in this case I had to get people from the maths project to come along and show a consensus that really what the person had written was wrong and we should ignore it. In other cases we have to give both sides of a case if they are both reliable even if we feel one side or the other is silly. The cases I feel worried about are where a source says something stupid and we can't find anything saying the opposite, it isn't as clearcut as maths in most cases. Dmcq (talk) 11:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I certainly agree with that. But sound methodological considerations do exist for making, say, generalizations or causal inferences in human populations. Imo, we have a real editorial responsibility to avoid ignoring such issues in the name of mechanically implementing policies and guidelines, however enshrined. —MistyMorn (talk) 11:24, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Responsibility versus not censored or NPOV... I think that muddies the water a bit here, I think that would be better at #Shooting the messenger? or another section altogether. Dmcq (talk) 11:37, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Jimbo is referring here to the far broader verifiability/truth issue (certainly not confined to an esoteric dispute about fictional gender identities). —MistyMorn (talk) 11:51, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Right. The issue is a complex and subtle one. Yes, in most cases, we go with what reliable sources say because we can and should do no more. But there are cases where the consensus of thoughtful editors is that the reliable sources are in fact wrong - this is not uncommon - and in such cases what we generally do is go with the truth - certainly that's what we should do. There is fear in some quarters that doing anything other than "be transcription monkeys" opens the door to crackpots and cranks who have their own personal Truth(tm) above reliable sources, but I don't think that's the case. After all, even our determinations of what is and is not a reliable source is based on our own editorial judgment.
I believe that the most effective change we can make to policy in this area is for WP:V to be changed to move the words further apart, so that "verifiability, and not truth" tends to go away as a mantra. It is false. It doesn't describe how we work, nor does it describe how we should work. I note once again that a vote was taken and there was roughly 60% support for a new version, and this was blocked on the specious grounds that consensus (defined as something like 80% support) is necessary. I don't want anyone to edit war about this, but I do want to note that this is precisely the sort of case which moves me to want to formalize my traditional powers into new community systems that actually work to prevent this kind of paralysis.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
For the occasion I am posting our content that WAS created by monkeys. I realize this is a heated discussion and wanted to cheer everyone up a little. --> -- A Certain White Cat chi? 20:43, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks - I for one am fascinated by and deeply respect our close cousins and I guess Jimbo does too. But his point that they wouldn't make a great job as editors (sorry about the commercial link) is intuitive, imo. —MistyMorn (talk) 20:52, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I have had at least two situations where the published sources are known to be wrong from persona knowledge communicated to us - both about minor biographical details. In both cases we went with the truth, in one the relative was able to have some of the sources changed. It's just a matter of common sense. Rich Farmbrough, 14:00, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
Actually, I think determination of sex, especially in reference to transsexuality, is a perfect case of where "verifiability not truth", in the literal sense, must guide us. Certainly a person could make a very reasonable, scientific argument that cosmetic operations meant to change the physical appearance of a person do not amount to a change of sex in any meaningful biological sense. If we follow truth rather than verifiability, we could therefore insist on referring to all transsexuals according to their birth sex throughout each article. Alternatively, we could decide that gender is a social construct, and anyone adopting a transvestite appearance should be referred to according to the sex mimicked. Or we could make our own standards, decide for example whether the "top surgery" is enough or whether "bottom surgery" is required also, all by ourselves. Why settle for some probably inconsistent patchwork of medical, journalistic, or governmental standards when we can decide all these philosophical questions for ourselves? Because we are indeed transcription monkeys, merely curating the available literature - we are not deciding the deep philosophical questions of the world here for our readers. In that way we can avoid endless debate and political drama and focus on getting a useful encyclopedia compiled. Wnt (talk) 01:51, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

HP is a girl... (revisited)

(after many edit conflicts)Of course, this has nothing to do with WP:V and VnT: the fact that HP is a boy is easily verifiable in a reliable, published source, albeit in such a case not an independent secondary one, but the primary source. VnT is about not introducing WP:OR or things that can't be verified by other people, like personal memories or information you got from a conversation with the subject of an article. Trying (again) to get rid of VnT by using examples which don't fall under VnT is not really convincing. Fram (talk) 11:34, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not misreading it, I just wasn't clear enough above. As I wrote on my talk, when secondary sources are obviously wrong we use common sense, as would be the case if Harry Potter was called a girl. I just meant above to comment on the idea that VNT was a myth in and of itself. SÆdontalk 11:29, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
(after many edit conflicts)Of course, this has nothing to do with WP:V and VnT: the fact that HP is a boy is easily verifiable in a reliable, published source, albeit in such a case not an independent secondary one, but the primary source. VnT is about not introducing WP:OR or things that can't be verified by other people, like personal memories or information you got from a conversation with the subject of an article. Trying (again) to get rid of VnT by using examples which don't fall under VnT is not really convincing. Fram (talk) 11:34, 25 May 2012 (UTC)y
This is a case in which a good faith editor with considerable experience came to precisely the wrong conclusion because he took VnT to mean exactly what it says. We need to get rid of this formulation, for the simple reason that it is false and tends to confuse people badly. When you read something like his description, you can fully understand why some critics would have a field day and claim that we are idiotic automatons following rules mindlessly. The formulation does a great deal of harm, and very little good.
No one wants to throw out verifiability. The point is that the way we try to explain it is false according to how we actually do our work, and leads to wild and misleading claims that people would be right to make fun of. It's time to modify it to reflect a more sophisticated understanding.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:39, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty certain J K Rowling was indulging in fantasy when writing the Harry Potter series and Harry Potter really is a girl even if a tomboy wish fullment on the part of the author ;-) Dmcq (talk) 12:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing out the flawed understanding I had regarding VNT (you too, Fram), I will certainly incorporate your advice in my future dealings. What also strikes me as interesting is that I've probably explained VNT in that light (with different examples than HP) dozens of times and this is the first time that anyone has pointed out to me that I have been misunderstanding the policy. So to a certain extent there must be a quite substantial number of editors who understand the policy the same way, which I now understand is what you meant when you referred to VNT as a myth. SÆdontalk 22:48, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to the reordering and hatting of comments, and the move and duplication of my comment, I have no idea what I am supposed to have misunderstood or what the situation is JW is referring to here; I thought this was a hypothetical where he concluded "I tried but have no idea what this is about.", but suddenly this now refers to an actual example? Fram (talk) 13:28, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
It refers to a way I explained VNT to another editor. He was attempting to use primary sources on a fringe article to contradict a secondary source and drew an analogy between that situation and a hypothetical situation where Harry Potter were only described as a girl in secondary sources. I mistakenly explained that if all the reliable secondary sources called Harry Potter a girl then that's what we would report as well. This was my misunderstanding. For the record regarding how this applies to the article in question, I don't believe it does as both primary and secondary sources made a claim that the IP was trying to refute (namely: at least one primary source and secondary source claim that the diet affects blood pH while the IP denied that this is what the diet was about. Apparently it was based on a misunderstanding where the IP editor did not know what the word "affect" meant). SÆdontalk 23:05, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

if 5 secondary sources say that Harry Potter is a girl and we have no better or equal sources to correct that then we will report that Harry Potter is a girl; we do have a better source. The book - in which it is brain numbingly obvious that Potter is a boy. I think the point being made is that if sources are clearly and unambiguously wrong we don't help matters by following them. No comment on its applicability to the dispute on that page. --Errant (chat!) 11:19, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

The book isn't a secondary source, it's a primary source, and we prefer secondary sources to primary sources. I'm reminded of the [[7]] article, where the subject claimed that her birth name is "Demi" while "reliable sources" claimed it was Demetria. (Apparently People Magazine is now considered a reliable source.) End result: "Sources are divided as to whether her birth name is Demetria or Demi. Moore says the latter." Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:54, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I did actually look at 5 websites that were presented to me as primary sources against my point and each agreed with what I said. Those presenting them had no competence to judge their relevance, and I explained this. An admin described my explanations as ranting and WP:BATTLEFIELD and later on blocked me. I also presented three independently published books from 6 years ago or more that agree with my point. I was accused of WP:BATTLEFIELD and blocked. I didn't even want to remove the secondary source, just make a comment that I found it inconsistent with the primary sources I knew of. I was blocked for that. Even when an admin supported me and referred to WP:PRIMARY he was attacked. When I returned from a 3 day block I made a clear case and that was deleted completely on the basis of WP:SOAPBOX. So I gave up. As an advertisement of Wikipedia for a newbie it was pretty bad. I even contacted the author of the secondary source to ask for her primary source and she didn't reply. When I raised the issue of WP:BOLD and WP:BITE I was accused of being a Sock Puppet and a liar about being a newbie. So yeah, Jimbo, this is my issue. The tiny fringe article remains unchanged, people with no WP:COMPETENCE rule the page as a gang, and a guy who read three independent primary sources has been booted off there. If I was the only one I'd understand. Yet there are many comments by others of this behavior on that page and not a single admin has stopped the gang, rather supporting them. Anyway, I've got work to do and a plane to catch. Good luck Jimbo - I like that you don't take yourself too serious and use that name. Maximus. (talk) 13:32, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, this issue reflects a fairly widespread misunderstanding of WP:PRIMARY. As I understand it, this rules out interpretation of primary sources by the editor. However, it seems to me that primary sources are fine for direct quotes (in fact, authoritative for that) and for the screamingly obvious (like HP being a boy). Some people seem to have a "no primary sources at any time" policy, but I take it that Jimbo agrees that this is incorrect? -- (talk) 07:18, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

On gender identity, the Manual of Style instructs that we should use pronouns that match a person's gender identity, even if that gender identity comes from a (reliable) primary source. For example, quite a few reliable sources referred to Tom Gabel as he in their coverage of her coming out as transgender. There was a recent push by several editors to impose a source fetishist view on gender identity recently, but it fell. Sceptre (talk) 18:06, 27 May 2012 (UTC)


Jimmy wales, I would like to bring to your attention a serious issue concerning an administrator/user named "Elockid". About a month ago, I was blocked by "Elockid" for "Block Evasion". Kindly educate me regarding this term as I have no idea what it means. All my edits, including the ones that were legitimate and accepted by the general Wikipedia community were undone. I would like you to go through my edits and tell me what was wrong with them. This user clearly seems to have some sort of a bias/prejudice against India/Indians. I hope you deal with him/her in the strictest manner. I strongly urge you to personally go through my edits. I hope my edits will be restored on to the Wikipedia page.

I am appalled at the scale of the misinformation in any article related to India on Wikipedia. Has no one else approached you regarding this issue? I am deeply disappointed at the level of misinformation about a civilization that has given so much to humanity without expecting anything in return. Let me give you an example. In the article "poverty in India", there is absolutely no mention of The British Empire in the "causes" section of the article! I tried to put up this information on the article and my edit was undone by this "Elockid" character. Also, many of India's achievements have been mentioned under other countries and civilizations.

On a side note, I have noticed that there is a VERY heavy bias towards China on Wikipedia in general. I would strongly urge you to go through the introduction in the following book and you will realize that it is a civilization not worthy of much attention:

If Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, as it claims to be, is it not a social responsibility to provide accurate information to the general public. And also, how is it an "Encyclopedia that anyone can edit" if there are museum pieces like "Elockid" who seem to be hell bent on providing their own version of events with respect to world history??

Cheers, from across the border — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Even if you didn't happen to be a returning blocked user, your edits were extremely disruptive and blatantly pushing your pro-Indian point of view. I'd have blocked you for that anyways, and I suspect most admins would have as well. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Appointing a random administrator to review a block

Can you appoint a random administrator to review the block of the user mentioned below? (If the current system allows any volunteering administrator to review the block, then that would possibly be a system weakness; one administrator could contact a sympathetic--or allied--administrator and say "I am gonna block this guy, and you stand ready to take the appeal case when it shows up".)

Please consider to have someone look into, if this [8] removal of 13 000 byte from an article's talk page, is kosher.

Please consider to have someone look into, why there is no time limit on the block of User:No parking here. -- (talk) 13:36, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

This IP is now under a checkuserblock for one week for block evasion. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 13:44, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Call me "not surprised" (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:49, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo doesn't appoint anyone to do anything, actually. You'll also need to understand the difference between "indefinite" (which means "until the community is convinced the problems won't recur") and "infinte" (which means forever). If the editor reads WP:GAB and convinces the random wandering admin who drops by, it could be removed. Admins with COI/WP:INVOLVED would be expected to not action it. Now, if the account is, indeed, a WP:SOCK or being used to evade a block, then indefinite is likely infinite (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:40, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

The {{unblock}}/Category:Requests for unblock and WP:UTRS systems are supposed to result in uninvolved administrator review of appealed blocks, and usually does. (talk) 18:07, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, I think I finally found it for you

Awhile back I spoke of a template which seemed to me to be worded extremely well, informative and non-intimidating to a new editor and when Mr. Wales asked me to produce it I could not find it. The discussion was on this page here: [9] Well, here it is Sir. It can be found here:

AfD nomination of __________

An editor has nominated one or more articles which you have created or worked on, for deletion. The nominated article is Family2.0. We appreciate your contributions, but the nominator doesn't believe that the article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion and has explained why in his/her nomination (see also Wikipedia:Notability and "What Wikipedia is not"). Your opinions on whether the article meets inclusion criteria and what should be done with the article are welcome; please participate in the discussion(s) by adding your comments to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/name of article. Please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes .

You may also edit the article during the discussion to improve it but should not remove the articles for deletion template from the top of the article; such removal will not end the deletion debate.

To me, this is very nicely done and doesn't tend to crush the spirit of the new or newish editor. Mugginsx (talk) 21:50, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree. It condenses all the needed information without being too verbose or intimidating.--BruceGrubb (talk) 01:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

We should be more careful

Wouldn't it have been right to have taken into consideration all of Rich Farmborough's contributions and value to the project before the decision was made to shut him down? It seems unjust to have taken such a severe action without having weighed the good as well as the bad. These few things he supposedly did wrong were all they talked about. They did not weigh everything he was doing right against the things they didn't like. The many reasons NOT to have taken this action were not taken into account! How could it have been right not to have weighed the cons as well as the pros of shutting him down? Should guidelines be changed to ensure that such severe actions in the future not be taken without first checking to see how much harm they would be causing? Chrisrus (talk) 04:26, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

So, if a user has made a lot of good contributions, that means they are immune to any block or any action the community or ArbCom dare take? If so, I know quite a few editors who could be unbanned and unblocked from Wikipedia for that reason alone. --MuZemike 07:02, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
It is rather sad, but if one can't reason with people and they go ahead with things despite being under restrictions to not do so what else can one do? It certainly is worth inspecting the circumstances that allowed/drove him as some other prolific contributors seem to have gone off the rails the same way. Is it a god complex? Is arbcom just too hidebound that they feel they have to ignore it? Do they feel that they must do what they do within IAR because the alternative is worse for Wikipedia? Is the percentage of reasonable responses they get so low they think they all are silly? Has dealing with vandals just turned them into the Hulk like berserkers or Cú Chulainn in a warp spasm? I haven't the foggiest why but if there is a basic reason it certainly would be worth trying to fix. Dmcq (talk) 11:05, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Although I didn't start the Arbcom case (and truth be told probably wouldn't have started it under my own steam at that point - I was hoping that the month block if it stuck would have brought him round), I feel I tried everything else with Rich from coaxing to dropping a (metaphorical) anvil on his head. I think the project itself has changed - there's now a huge mass of established content, and automated editing is much more seen as a risk to that establishment. There is a new generation of users who did not come in when the project was exciting and new, and IAR was the only rule, and they can't see why someone should be allowed to keep running a bot with as many bugs as HPB had. Other bot users have adapted (or given up and left, or been banned.....). You can see it as well in editors of very long standing who say the project is no longer 'fun', there are too many little rules, too much obsessing over X or Y or whatever.
I'm not sure why it was necessary to launch what reads like an attack on Arbcom though. The community wants Arbcom to remain a final level of dispute resolution, not act as Nanny McPhee. It's hard to see what action Arbcom could have taken prior to the case. The community tried lesser sanctions that were simply ignored. Suggestions as to what the community could do at an earlier stage would be helpful though. Elen of the Roads (talk) 11:33, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Didn't mean to attack them, in fact I don't really differentiate between the thrones powers and principalities of Wikipedia. Just that people can be annoyed by the problems of dealing with anything but civility issues, you can see this with the way AndyTheGrump went on above and the way people tried to frame that as a civility issue so it is a possible reason for people getting the hump. I wouldn't in fact do anything about that, as I said there I'd just make RF/C's be binding for a limited time - civility can be invoked for edit warring against that and it would leave people time to cool down even if the results were less than perfect. It would leave people freer to combat hard working POV pushers. Dmcq (talk) 18:24, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Elen, the point is that Arbcom screwed up royally on this. Of course I would say that wouldn't I. And if I was saying it alone I'd be saying it quietly, to myself, or to the walls of a padded cell. But the fact is that there are a significant number of people who have actually got involved on my behalf, and many more who have left messages of support on my talk page, at the case pages, or by email. Without rehashing the case, the matter that the case was about was disposed of before the case started (and I served a 1 month block for it - effectively for your failure to understand the technicalities) the rest was brought up by vexatious users. Wentaxis withdrew his evidence commenting "I hadn't realised this was a cat fight between users". For such indeed it was. Arbcom rather than using their heads took a lazy approach and endorsed the rubbish already generated by passive-aggressive users, and so instead of righting a wrong and emerging protectors of the wiki, they compounded it. Rich Farmbrough, 13:45, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
Elen said: "huge mass of established content, and automated editing is much more seen as a risk to that establishment." Whilst I would agree that automation can be a risk, the community model of Wikipedia means that automation is now more necessary than ever. Rich has always acted responsibly in not damaging content; he has always gone back and tidied up messes of his own making; he has always been civil but occasionally curt. Many of those who were against his actions held to that strict notion that it is unacceptable for a bot to make a single mistake, or to save any inconsequential change. I have witnessed the hounding and drubbing Rich experienced at the hands of such users, some of whom were admins themselves. He has been much more receptive and tolerant of such treatment than I would ever have been. So in short I believe Rich has been done a huge disservice. With the ruling, it has also shot itself in the foot. The community has been deprived of the services of second if not the supremely prolific cleaner-upper in Wikipedia, and all that over a few thousand inconsequential edits and couple of hundred categories (that nobody but Rich understood the function of) being created. This decision tends to cement the notion that Arbcom tends to mete out "least worse" remedies than one that is best for the project. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 14:48, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I remember the last time a botop got booted. His supporters made several similar arguments. "But he's so valuable!", "we can't live without these bots!", etc. Truth is, Wikipedia didn't miss a beat when that editor was finally community banned. In Rich's case, far too much time was being wasted dealing with his buggy bots and refusal to conform both to his editing restrictions and to expected behaviour of botops. That is unfortunate, but frankly, it was getting to the point where the good Rich brings was being outdone by the bad. Bots are not only extremely useful, but at this point in Wikipedia's development, are practically necessary. But that fact does not mean operators should be given carte blanche. There are expectations, and any editor not willing to follow them should not be operating bots. It's just that simple. Resolute 14:53, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Note: Resolute has been happy to calumnise me above, but ignored an enquiry on his talk page. This is a common trope, where editors pick up bad-mouthing form other editors (Elen made the same claim with nothing to back it up) and gaily spread it at multiple locations. I have even seen evil myths about me spread on IRC, reddit and other websites. I would urge editors not to badmouth other editors unless 1. they actually know what they are saying is true, and 2. saying it serves some significant purpose. Even then there may well be better ways to reach the same end. Rich Farmbrough, 02:31, 30 May 2012 (UTC).

@ MuZemike: No, if a user has made a lot of good contributions, it would therefore not mean that they would be immune to any block or action the community of ArbCom dare take. Their good contributions should be among factors taken into account when making such decisions.

@ Dmcq and Elen: You seem to have summarized the situation that led to the decision, as RF having repeatedly refused to cooperate with decisions made by the group, leaving us with no choice but to shut him down forever. This is the type of summary we need for the general community, who don’t all understand the accusations against him. If you would, please expand on this summary a bit, as it’s not easy to understand why the decision was made, and what the dispute was about. We need a bit more detail than you have given, but no more detail than would be helpful for the average reader with no particular technical expertise to understand. By simply looking at the link at the top of this talk page section, it’s not exactly clear what it was all about.

@ Dmcq: You then go on to speak as if you would not have decided this case as they did, leaving me a bit confused as to your position.

@ Elen, Dmcq and Resolute: Let’s accept that Arbcom had no choice but to shut him down. Even so, would you not agree that, if the positive aspects had been taken into account, they might have decided to do something else in addition to shutting him down? For example, the committee could have decided to shut him down, but also to send him a barnstar of thanks or a plate of cookies. Or maybe they could have asked that certain exceptions be made for certain things that might have been important that he might be needed to do if that could be established. My general point is that even if the committee had no choice but to shut RF down, they might have shut him down in a slightly different way had they been fully informed about everything he was doing so that, perhaps for example, the shutdown might be done smoothly and in a less disruptive way for the project. The point is even if they didn't have a choice but to shut him down, they might have decided to also do other things in addition to shutting him down, or to shut him down differently, or to make exceptions if one were warrented because they would have known about project he was in the middle of, such as the one I was working on with him. Or decided to also balance the action with some token of appreciation if it could be determined that such was in order.

@Resolute I'm interested in learning more about the last time this happened and your recollection of it, as I wasn't there. As I read this your post, you may be saying that "supporters" were then allowed to present the person's contributions and value to the project. Although, as you recall, it turned out that those supporters greatly exaggerated the person's value to the project in that case. As you recall, was the supporters' case taken into account as a part of the decision-making process at that time? I understand that it turned out that the supporters were wrong in that case, and the person's contributions weren't particularly necessary or valuable, but it I think you may agree that just because that was true in that case doesn’t necessarily mean that it is necessarily true in this case as well, or in all such cases forever.

You say that, in your judgement, the bad RF did had begun to outweigh the good. How do you know, how did the committee know, that you are right about that if the good was not a factor in the decision-making process? While you seem to be fully aware of all the good he was doing, there is no sign in the link at the top of this section that it was taken into account. By saying that, in your opinon, the bad RF did had begun to outweigh the good, I hear some acknowledgement that such weighing of these two sides would is proper to do, and therein I think there may be an inroad I could take persuade you to agree to support such "good" being presented to the committee making such decisions in the future. Chrisrus (talk) 01:07, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll just answer the question addressed to me. I agree with the decision and I think it was correct. I am very sorry however that things came down to that and I'd like us to find and fix any problems that are liable to contribute to something like that happening. Dmcq (talk) 14:33, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
As a general rule, I prefer not to speak ill of the dead, so to speak, but I am referring to Betacommand's first ban (he's currently serving another). This can be considered a generalization as I have seen it numerous times with other editors who do not operate bots: Well known figures on Wikipedia tend to attract a cadre of supporters. If, however, their actions become disruptive or uncivil, they start to attract detractors as well. The end result is an unending drama tug of war that returns over and over again, wasting the community's time, with each battle won by ensuring your supporters continue to outnumber your detractors. A bot operator has the ability to make the lives of a great many editors much easier, or much more difficult. The problem here is that, regardless of how good his intentions may have been, Rich's bots have a very long history of errors and he has a history of using his bots to make sloppy and/or unnecessary changes that require cleanup by other users. The result is that the community has been forced, repeatedly, to try and intervene. Notwithstanding the fact that ANI has an abysmal record when it comes to containing drama rather than fostering it, that Rich has his own ANI subpage with multiple archives is telling. The community has faced the same complaints for at least three full years, and likely longer than that, with no resolution. Thus ArbCom was called to resolve it. As to recognizing the good Rich brings, I think the judgment itself does, albeit not as obviously as you hoped. Betacommand has been community banned, and after his return, further issues resulted in a new ban by ArbCom. Rich was banned from using automated tools, but otherwise remains an editor in good standing. That is telling, imo. Personally, I hope that Rich ultimately regains the ability to use bots - we did give Beta another such opportunity after all - but I won't lie. If the same problems continue to follow, the community and ArbCom will probably be less forgiving the second time around. Resolute 14:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
that Rich has his own ANI subpage with "multiple archives" See this is interesting. I mildly objected to this being created and was told "It won't be used against you" it's for convenience. Of course there is no summary, that this was one or two editors raising problems. That in many cases I was exonerated. And so forth. In a similar vein someone (I wish I'd noted who and where) remarked "Just search the AN/I archive for his name and see how many hits you get" of course that returns hundreds of hits, I was an active administrator for 6 years! Rich Farmbrough, 13:49, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

As one of the people who has commented actively about that case its more than just a matter of wether Rich did what. Its a matter of how the case was brought up, developed and implemented. Several points are so vague even the Arbs can't explain exactly what they mean or how they will be implemented. There are so many flaws and problems with the whole situation that I dare not even bother listing them here. The bottom line is that Rich made some mistakes but the majority of the case was based on reporting of minor edits, many of which would be required to be done if the article was promoted to or beyond GA. Rich was hounded incesently by 2 or three editors who would keep Rich in almost constant debate for months at a time over the most minute aspect of any edit that he did. Arbcom has made a lot of bad or questionable decisions over the last few months on a variety of cases and this is only the most recent. Arguably Arbcom made the decision to ban Rich from automation to protect the pedia but its the pedia that will be punished from a lack of the edits he was doing. Kumioko (talk) 17:50, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Such committees should consider not only the reasons to shut a person down, but also the reasons not to do so. This case, Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Rich Farmbrough closed, was closed without considering the reasons not to shut Rich down. The other side of the story was not presented. In the future, reasons not to shut someone down should be weighed as well. This is just being careful about such an important decision. We should be more careful next time.

Supporters of the decision may be correct. Maybe the harm Rich was causing outweighed his value to the project. Maybe the committee would have agreed if they had weighed both. We don't know. They didn’t have that chance. So please agree, in the future, such committees should be asked to consider any important reasons not to shut someone down. Chrisrus (talk) 06:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Mormon pedophiles

Some editors are repeatedly editing Frank L. VanderSloot [10] inserting a claim appearing to link him to supporting "Mormon pedophiles working with children as part of the Boy Scouts of America" which I suggested was a "contentious claim" to say the least. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:57, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Clarified below: "Mormon pedophiles in Elvis UFO". -Wikid77 07:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
In the fact-based world, it is multiple editors who have performed this edit once each; only Collect is repeating any edits here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:02, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
In the fact-based world, charges about individuals supporting "Mormon pedophiles" would not be permitted without strong sourcing - your position that calling people supporters of "Mormon pedophiles" is rational is noted -- but I suggest that such idiotic silly season name-calling does not belong on this encyclopedia or on any fact-based encyclopedia in this universe. Your mileage appears to vary. Collect (talk) 13:10, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Won't someone please think of the pedophiles?! Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:20, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Seriously, you're calling Harvard's Nieman Reports unreliable? And taking out news reporting of a statement by the candidate himself? [11] That's unacceptable. The sources you deleted, especially, his own statements, are what are needed to provide appropriate context for this important issue. I am tired of WP:PRESERVE and WP:NOTCENSORED being treated like they exist only on paper, with the sole purpose of being ignored. Wnt (talk) 16:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think this is about WP:PRESERVE or WP:NOTCENSORED at all. It's about this being a biography and a question, not about the reliability of that particular source, but about whether this is undue weight. I haven't researched the question, so I have no opinion. But jamming in every piece of information we can find is not good editorial judgment, particular if it gives the reader the wrong impression of the overall weight of reliable sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:07, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Not a matter of "fact" but of deliberately associating a living person with supporting "Mormon pedophiles (working for the ) Boy Scouts of America" -- something I find quite beyond the pale, even when the person is associated with the Romney campaign. Collect (talk) 23:21, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate Jimbo's point that we don't want to emphasize fringe points of view per WP:UNDUE. I think that in situations like this, a media article specifically about the subject's response is triply useful - as a source for the allegations themselves, for a good presentation of the subject's point of view, and most important for this case, for subjects who have not been interviewed thousands of times, an interview on a topic is an indication that it is one of a fairly restricted number of issues of sufficient importance that the subject wishes to speak to the press about it. Now, believers of the truth-not-verifiability school, and perhaps serious academic biographers also, may have their own ways to decide what is important about the subject. Perhaps what is really most important to the subject is a collection of antique German figurines and that's what we should tell about his life, if only someone would visit him and find out about it. But I believe that Wikipedia, as a mere encyclopedia, should be best off to blindly follow the published data whichever way it leads.
In this case, multiple sources have been presented, which should be sufficient to guarantee the information a place in a theoretical final article. We can't say, don't put in this detail until every detail is in, because some detail has to go first. While having some details and not others will inevitably mean a somewhat unbalanced emphasis on certain incidents, on average the editors should be trusted to add the more important details first, and when that is insufficient, the way to fix things is to add more information, not to take things out.
It is true that the section could be a little more understanding. In order to do that, it should be bigger than it is. We should explain his argument that he targeted journalists not for exposing a pedophile, but for implying that church members were deliberately collaborating with him rather than being innocent dupes. We certainly have nothing to lose from an abundance of fairness. Wnt (talk) 01:51, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Horsefeathers. There is no source making the connection as worded in his BLP. Period. This was entered as a result of his being in the Romney campaign - and for no other reason. [12] shows that none of this was in the BLP until 16 May. The BLP already contained, and contains, sourced criticism of him by LGBT groups. Thus this "stuff" was added solely to make an implication that he supports "Mormon pedophiles." The "source" is a Salon [13] editorial blog by Glenn Greenwald aimed specifically at saying "Frank VanderSloot, Romney finance co-chair, suppresses scrutiny by threatening reporters and bloggers".
But it is VanderSloot’s chronic bullying threats to bring patently frivolous lawsuits against his political critics — magazines, journalists, and bloggers — that makes him particularly pernicious and worthy of more attention
Does not appear to me to represent "journalism" at all. On fact, Greenwald (of Democracy Now! fame) is actively supporting "progressive" candidates and issues (soi disant). Cheers - but the claim that the source is an RS for the claim made is risable. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Collect, your arguments tend to focus on things that should have no part in our decision making at all. We should not exclude text simply because it talks about a "pedophile"; there is and should be no list of topics that are specially off-bounds, rather we should be focusing on sourcing and accuracy. We should not exclude edits simply because they are recent. We should not exclude information because it is politically embarrassing or politically motivated - it doesn't matter why it came out, and of course more information comes out when people become more newsworthy. And we should not even exclude news sources because they are biased - after all, we do cite Fox News many times in many articles - though I believe editorials should always be plainly labelled as such in the text, with some indication of their perspective or objective. In any case, Greenwald has no bearing on [14], which is the source which establishes the relevance most conclusively. Wnt (talk) 14:48, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, you are using nosisms in your response, and your characterization of Collect's argument isn't quite accurate, in fact, it might be considered to be a straw man, which is a logical fallacy. There are three problems with that text in that article: (1) the article is short, so the paragraph may violate UNDUE, (2) it is sourced to a single source (BLPs have a higher standard for inclusion of pejorative information) and (3) the phrasing of the text appears to be worded in a way to link the article's subject to a inflammatory phrase (Mormon pedophiles). Information put in BLPs should err on the side of caution. Cla68 (talk) 22:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
In the diff I linked I count five sources removed, not one. And how does a short article get long unless people add to it? More importantly, WP:UNDUE involves assigning appropriate weight to different opinions about a single topic, not "weighting" topics in some kind of crude ratio. We just had a pretty clear community rejection of explicit numbers of images in the Muhammad article, for example - we put in whatever we find that is appropriate to put in, we don't ration out a slice of this truth unless there's two slices of that and the other one. But as for phrasing, yes, as I said, it could be a little better - nonetheless I see no respectable way to avoid any appearance of the word "pedophile"; the challenge is to describe it in a dispassionate way, reflecting the range of opinions on the matter. Wnt (talk) 14:37, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Opinions of F.L. VanderSloot on scouting

Create a fringe-topic article named with an overview-title, such as "Opinions of F.L. VanderSloot on scouting" if the sources actually connect the opinions to scouting, rather than just to groups of young people in general. When a topic is likely to seem to be fringe-related, such as an unusual criminal charge, then the tactic is to create a subarticle (based on the topic being noteworthy in multiple sources). Of course, if only a few sources state an unusual claim, then perhaps leave it off Wikipedia, such as a claim, "Queen Elizabeth I ate live frogs at age 4 years" (really? need strong sources for that, if only one source then omit). If multiple sources, then create article with title "Food preferences of Queen Elizabeth I" (or similar), but no frogs in main article. Similarly, if sources reported that the late Mother Teresa had 6 private lovers, unknown to the Church, leave it out of the main article, and create article "Personal relationships of Mother Teresa" (or such). The general tactic is to create a sub-article, based on many reliable sources, but leave ALL mention of a fringe topic out of the main article. That is why we omit any mention of a "mummy's curse" in the main article about RMS Titanic, but allow multiple-sourced text into a fringe-topic sub-article. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:05, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

In general, this suggestion contradicts WP:Summary style, which should be followed. Specifically, of course, this is not a "fringe topic". Type "Frank Vandersloot" into Google and you'll get [15] as the third hit, which talks about this case, quotes a Wall Street Journal article about it and so on. And the next hit is [16]. And the one after that is [17] So the notion that this is some "fringe topic" is utterly unjustifiable. Wnt (talk) 00:45, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Fringe is also a short-lived widespread rumor: In this case, the webpage at, while refuting rumors of pedophiles with scouting, does not mention "Mormon" at all. The combination is a short-lived fringe concept. -Wikid77 07:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Mormon pedophiles in Elvis UFO meet Joan of Arc

An extreme, outlandish concept will generally fail as WP:UNDUE weight to include within an article, as Jimbo noted above; however, some concepts, even if a hoax backed by reliable (duped) sources, are just too preposterous to include in mainstream articles, and should be limited to sub-articles, in the case they will be exposed as hoaxes, with no grandstanding fostered by Wikipedia to repeat outlandish claims in main articles. Meanwhile, there are also misleading combinations of words, such as "Queen to talk about planned abortion after Jubilee". Hence, while WP:UNDUE limits coverage to adequate sources, even then, simply refrain from putting peculiar text in main articles, as an issue of WP:NOTTABLOID. At some point, common sense will reject the notion: "Mormon pedophiles with scouts in Elvis UFO meet Joan of Arc". In fact, scanning the webpage at will reveal that the word "Mormon" is not used, at all on that page, while rejecting false claims of pedophiles with the Boy Scouts. Even if sources seem to support notability beyond wp:UNDUE, always beware WP:NOTTABLOID to reject tabloid stories. -Wikid77 07:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Hockey Article Problems

We done here.


I have a problem with a Wikipedia administrator that goes by the name DJSasso. He blocked me for sockpuppeting which I never intended on doing. I have made good edits to Wikipedia hockey articles to make those articles non-confusing, but are then reverted back to its original version before I edited them. I can’t even expand on hockey articles to make those articles not confusing. I don’t have this problem with editing baseball articles, but with hockey articles I do. Hockey editors such as Djsasso wants to have hockey articles be kept short. With hockey articles kept short, the information on these articles gets confusing.

AHL/original IHL merge and CHL/IHL 2.0 merge

I don’t even know if the International Hockey League (IHL 2.0) which now this league’s article is now called United Hockey League merged with the Central Hockey League. The CHL teams that played in the IHL before joining the CHL which are the Dayton Gems, Quad City Mallards, Bloomington PrairieThunder, Evansville IceMen, and Fort Wayne Komets, their articles now say that the IHL merged with the CHL. There is another problem with the original International Hockey League which ceased operations in 2001. The information in the original International Hockey League article is confusing because it is written like that the original International Hockey League did merge with the American Hockey League which is not the case.

Richmond RiverDogs

I also have a problem with Richmond RiverDogs article with this paragraph:

In UHL attendance, Richmond was generally in the top 3. However, the transfer of coach–general manager Robbie Nichols to the UHL expansion Chicago Hounds in February 2006 started speculation that the RiverDogs franchise would be transferred to become the Hounds for the 2006–07 season, which indeed proved to be the case. Nichols left the Chicago franchise in April 2006 to become general manager of the UHL Elmira Jackals and the First Arena in Elmira, New York. Late in the 2006–07 season, the Hounds were sold to Craig Drecktrah, owner of the Rockford IceHogs. Drecktrah folded the Hounds after one season due to problems securing a lease with the Sears Centre in suburban Chicago.

This is my version of the paragraph below here:

In UHL attendance, Richmond was generally in the top 3. However, the transfer of coach–general manager Robbie Nichols to a new UHL expansion franchise located in the Chicago area in February 2006 started speculation that the RiverDogs would disband after the season. However, the RiverDogs ended up relocating for the 2006-07 season. The expansion UHL Chicago franchise was already named "Chicago Hounds", but this new expansion franchise was then dissolved allowing the RiverDogs to relocated to the Chicago area. The Chicago Hounds name was then transferred to the relocating RiverDogs franchise. Nichols ended up staying with the team while based in the Chicago area, but then left the franchise in April 2006 to become general manager of the UHL Elmira Jackals and the First Arena in Elmira, New York. Late in the 2006–07 season, the franchise was sold to Craig Drecktrah, owner of the Rockford IceHogs. Drecktrah suspened the team after one season due to problems securing a lease at the Sears Centre. The franchise attempted to resume play as the Hounds in the IHL for the 2008-09 season, however Drecktrah was unable to secure a venue in the Chicago area. The franchise ceased operations when a new franchise called the Chicago Express was formed in 2011. This new franchise also ceased operations after playing in the ECHL for the 2011-12 season only.

I expanded the paragraph based on this sentence from the original version:

However, the transfer of coach–general manager Robbie Nichols to the UHL expansion Chicago Hounds in February 2006 started speculation that the RiverDogs franchise would be transferred to become the Hounds for the 2006–07 season, which indeed proved to be the case.

I also added information about the Chicago Express team in the paragraph. There was also some information removed from the Chicago Hounds article as well.


I don’t have this problem with baseball articles, only hockey articles.

Hockey Article Problems created by user Phila Flyers Fan using new user name Phila Flyers Fan 2. Phila Flyers Fan 2 (talk) 17:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I have no issue with you expanding hockey articles or any other article. What I do have a problem with is that you have continued to sock over and over again when people have asked you to stop. You have also been asked to discuss some of these changes because people didn't agree with you on them which is why they were reverted. -DJSasso (talk) 17:45, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you!

A small cup of coffee.JPG I give Jimbo a cup of coffee. It must be tiring being the "leader of the pack" of wikipedians. And more generic mush... ;) Bradlake10 (talk) 04:40, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Rich weighs in

The thing that is galling is not that I "lost" - doubtless that's purely my own incompetence at presenting my case, but that the good work put in by NewYorkBrad, who had to go inactive, was wasted. We (me and NewYorkBrad) were working for a solution - the other parties weren't very interested, until they saw the somewhat draconian proposed decision, then, to give them credit, they did talk about possible solutions. But the whole thing was done in a sloppy manner, recused arbs voting, decision implemented before close, no option to simply turn the bots off, they had to be blocked in mid edit (which is downright rude). And it's fairly clear that - and arbs have confirmed it - preconceived ideas and ignoring my submissions sunk me before I started. When I was refused an adjournment to present a rebuttal, I knew things were seriously broken, and the more I look (I have time to do that now) the more I'm finding is broken. Hints of other problems are bubbling under. Hopefully we can look at these broken procedures and policies and rebuild something workable and accountable, ideally an imaginative, healing and constructive body, rather than one which dispenses the judgement of Solomon. Rich Farmbrough, 09:12, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

I'd very much welcome seeing some of your energy used on trying to fix the internal problems Wikipedia has. I would concentrate not on the final part but on the early parts that led up to it as that is the part encountered by most people. Like problems dealing with WP:CRUSH and meat-puppetry. In general ethics are determined by the top so addressing the top level problems first could be right, but I thik in the case of Wikipedia I think if the general environment was made better the problems for admins would be much easier and they would not feel inclined to do things like provoke civility issues just so something can be handled as a civility dispute. Dmcq (talk) 11:06, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh absolutely, that happened.[i.e. CRUSH was one of the tools used to troll me.] I spend what time I can at Teahouse and I'm hoping we can fix some of the problems with ArbCom. But the basic problem is incivility and incompetence. I feel uncivil bringing up the second point, but it is important. If people are obsessively reverting other users, they are incompetent. If they have trouble managing their temper in a simple conversation they are incompetent. If they can only interact by making snide remarks they are incompetent. If they use technical terms they don't understand they are incompetent. If they cite evidence and forget it's from a private email they are incompetent. If they forget their personal undertakings and break them they are incompetent. Working with people like this is fine if they accept their limitations, apologise for them and are improving or avoiding situations where they will occur. But most of them deny and shift the blame. Rich Farmbrough, 18:55, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

Adopt the Swedish System?

  • Have mandatory admin term limits as Swedish WP: We have discussed this problem before, where every admin should lose power, either after 1 year, as on Swedish Wikipedia, or perhaps every 3 years, if annual re-elections seem too tedious. On svwiki, the typical desysoping ordeals were found to leave after-the-fact resentment scars. So terms were limited to 1 year (beginning in 2006), and when an admin fell outside accepted norms, the re-election would fail to re-gain the minimum support percentage as required of new admins. In emergencies, svwiki can still desysop rogue admins at any moment, but by having annual re-elections (held each quarter, roughly 1 year after an admin was approved), then there is a easy safety valve to rethink adminship without the head-to-head "dramah" and long-term resentments. Also, considering, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" then perhaps knowing the admin power is limited, not absolute beyond one year, might further steer an admin into a more centrist attitude with other users. The tactic is to make desysoping "no big deal" and valuable editors can continue to contribute without the psychological scar (or resentment) of having been "ostracized" like Socrates, who decided to stay and drink the Hemlock (as a martyr) at age 80, rather than flee as a ban from Athens to visit other civilized cities. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:05, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
    • This discussion is about ArbCom, not admins. That said, re-elections would just be a drama magnet for anyone the admin has offended. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:50, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Re-electing 1500 admins every year sounds like a major bureaucratic ordeal. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:47, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Less than that. People like myself wouldn't even bother. But then, I'm a content admin, so the biggest loss if I wasn't an admin is my own editing time, and therefore Wikipedia's content, as I would have to file reports on vandals for another admin to block (thus clogging those processes) rather that just pushing the button myself. Resolute 19:19, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Plus if admins know we will re-elected every year, we won't get involved in anything except basic clean ups, blocks and protections. It will not allow us to make the hard decisions since people will just that decision (even if it serves the best for WP) will cause someone to lose their tools because of one kicking/screaming user. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 18:57, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
They don't re-elect my entire local police force every year. However, they do performance reviews :-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 19:12, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Performance reviews would be lovely. Re-elections would not. RfA is bad enough once/twice/thrice, there's no way I - or any other sane person - would want to run that whole gauntlet again. Keilana|Parlez ici 19:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I kind of see the reasoning but agree that every year would be undoable. Given the awards of the now banned administrator Will Beback got I have to wonder if there is a burnout factor. To be honest even though I never have been an administrator I have experienced dealing with some bad-questionalbe editors and after a while that gets to you and your WP:civility starts suffering.
Now imagine that is effective part of your day to day "job"; the police analogy is a fitting one as their burnout tends to end tragically (Ritter, John (Feb 8, 2007) "Suicide rates jolt police culture" USAToday) and while admins aren't going to implode like that they can, as likely was the case with Will Beback, start doing things that eventually get them banned from the community.
I don't think there is any one solution but giving the community some tools to prevent good administrators from imploding and committing the community equivalent of suicide (ie getting perma-banned) would be something.--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:57, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, we want admins to avoid enacting the "Final Solution" against other editors, which might get more difficult to resist if their frustrations escalate. -Wikid77 05:48, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
... you're equating a block on Wikipedia with the Holocaust? Seriously? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:00, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear, Wikid77, Godwin's law so soon already?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:06, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
For goodness's sake, Wikid77, please explain how any dispute over the content of a Wikipedia article has a moral equivalence with killing six million Jews.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:24, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Whose law states to claim 6 million Jews? That figure oversimplifies the actual events. Not everyone was Jewish, not everyone was killed, some people were blocked from their work, their homes, their neighborhoods, and others had their writings removed, censored, burned. They were not allowed to talk to other user people, about some subjects, as they were topic-banned. Do any of those realistic events sound related to WP, when considered at that level of detail? -Wikid77 22:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Your original reference was to the Final Solution specifically, and was utterly inappropriate. Please do not repeat it. Instead, drop this tangent and do something more productive. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that the Swedish system takes away the power of EACH admin SEPARATELY dependent on WHEN the user became an admin. If this is correct then I dont see where the bureaucratic nightmare of mass re-election comes into play. By default though, should we decide to adopt the system on this wiki, EXISTING admins who would have to be re-elected en masse. At that point, a possible solution to avoid such a scenario would be to set up different expiry times for existing admins based on how long they have had admin privileges. Thats the only solution I can think of. Arkatakor (talk) 22:13, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Senior Review Board

So, let's have a "Senior Review Board" with a whack of clerks. The clerks role is to make a list of the admin-related activities each admin has performed in their last year of service (based on appointment date so that it's around-the-calendar). They also do a report of article work over the year. They do a spot check of interactions. They provide a report to the SRB. (we have toolserv apps/bots that do most of this already)

The SRB is composed of a pool of senior admins (who of course are also required to undertake the same SRB process). 3 SRB panel members are appoint to review each admin at random. They review the admin report in private. The pool would be "trained" on the performance review process.

Meanwhile, the admin being annual-reviewed makes their own "best of" and "worst of" list - are provided with the base admin-activity report (minus the spot checks). They are expected to show areas where perhaps they f'd up, and how they have/will improve. They have an exchange with the SRB members who cross-check problems/solutions proposed.

At the end of the process is a report card, with suggested improvements/issues highlighted. The report card is available to the admin, and kept "on file" until the next year SRB.

You could, in theory, then use the report card to desysop (only after X# of poor reviews/no improvement) just like any job. It does give the admin a S.M.A.R.T. set of solutions/advice. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:30, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Adminship is not a defined job: Because the use of the mop is considered optional, then having a "performance review" would be difficult. However, I like the idea of periodically reviewing the active admin actions, to assess the interactions with other users. Perhaps admins who stop using the tools should be asked to drop admin status, and further reduce the current {{NUMBEROFADMINS}} = 1,273, to reflect the number who actually use the tools. At least with Swedish WP, when they talk of their "94 admins" then that gives a better idea of active involvement. Another advantage of re-elections would be to drop the "sysop" status of editors who do not care to use the tools any longer. -Wikid77 10:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm not convinced that having a panel of only 3 of the most experienced admins, chosen by some unknown method, acting in private, would be a method that could gain universal "trust". I'm of the believe that new blood makes old blood boil, and that is a good thing, lest we become stagnant. The only way I could think of "private" being accepted and useful is if you had a non-binding "vote of confidence", similar to an RFA but no summary, no votes are visible, no count is visible, and you simply end up with a total at the end of the week, such as 120 approve, 20 disapprove. If "JohnnyAdmin" was picked randomly (or after $x years) and gets over 70% approval, say, then further review is likely not needed. Limiting to autoconfirmed users, like RFA, would be reasonable. No questions, no comments from anyone, perhaps a review template on their page (but either we require that all reviewees use it, or none do). Obviously, canvassing, sockpuppeting and other issues would have to be monitored during the event by volunteers who are uninvolved and approved by the community, and perhaps the individual votes could be made public after it closes (still, with no summaries) in the interest of full disclosure. This temporary privacy would reduce "group think" and persuasion and steer editors into making independent judgements. I would be very, very hesitant to consider a review system that did not consider the least among us, in terms of politics. Experience does count, but limiting the "judgement" to only those who are most entrenched into the system isn't likely to produce results that the community as a whole will support or find unbiased. We are not a democracy, but this wouldn't be a binding vote, and sometimes a simple Yay or Nay is useful to determine if there is a problem that warrants further investigation. Dennis Brown - © 13:22, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Have to say I like the idea of a sort of performance review for admins, I think it could really work. Contrary what appears to be popular belief we (or at least I) are not in fact power-mad fiends, if we're going off the rails it's usually not on purpose. I think a regular review to just have a look at our actions and say "yeah this was good, you did well here, but perhaps here you could have been more cautious, and you were out of line here...we'd like you to do x or focus on y instead of Z" etc could be of benefit to everyone. --Jac16888 Talk 18:00, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I am a little amazed to see an argument that we need another layer of bureaucracy. True, there's no point in having admins who don't use the tools, but its good to have people in reserve with the potential to use them, and we're gradually removing those who are no longer active at all. Sampling a random number of admin for Quality Control as if we were interchangeable widgets does not address the problems of removing the bad one. We have a good way of looking at everyone already: every active admin has there actually carefully watched by everyone who is affected by them. There are people watching everything I do just waiting for a chance to call me on it, and it is right that they do so. Discussing the problem ones deals with most of the problems, and we have arb com to remove them if unavoidable. this whole discussion was started because arb com indeed did its job . Having someone else do it won't make things better. Why will 3 trusted people do better than 12? Why will secret discussions help? Every time arb com feels it necessary to do something in private they get roundly criticized for it. DGG ( talk ) 05:10, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
You're on the right track, but make it a jury
A review board indeed would be a new layer of bureaucracy and politics. Nonetheless, this idea is on the right track, because the decision being made is not supposed to be a political one, and it's not required to be a general vote. The idea that electing one person as admin means another cannot be, allowing for the possibility that by WikiGaming to eliminate enough admins a certain faction could take over de facto rulership of the site - that is not a strength but a significant vulnerability.
I would propose that we begin by creating a general system for empanelling "juries" on Wikipedia, by which I mean, smallish groups of hopefully impartial voters chosen by a verifiably random process. The process I have in mind is to use a pre-decided formula on the published results of several state lotteries to generate a random revision number from a recent day, and the editors making that revision and several others at defined numeric intervals afterward are selected. Because we have no way to compel attendance, I would suggest a 36-member jury under the presumption most will decline to participate. Anyone would have the right to present information about a topic (in this case reconfirmation of an admin) and argue, but in the end the jury members would decide what decision to make. In this way we would take the vote out of the hands of self-selected RfA watchers and put it into the hands of general editors. Wnt (talk) 11:18, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
+1 random jury of uninvolved editors. Select them to vote on the findings and penalties, and toss out penalties which don't match the findings. (talk) 04:29, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Burnout and Meltdown of admins

We can see evidence of admins losing interest, as logging very few edits, similar to burnout in general users. Another advantage of admin term limits would be the simple avoidance of burnout and meltdown, regardless if they felt the need to abuse their powers as a means to work faster. Beyond the ill feelings of protracted desysop debates, the Swedish WP (at sv:WP:ADMIN) also noted the problem of burnout, or inactivity (Swedish: inaktiv administratörer), as another reason to have term limits. In that scenario, then any admin who fails to acknowledge a re-nomination as admin would be removed from the re-election schedule of the remaining 94 Swedish admins (in 2012). In some cases, the abuse of tools beyond proper usage could be viewed as 2 options: (1) ignoring limits so work can go faster, or (2) actual meltdown beyond WP:IAR expediency, to use admin powers in an irratic or illogical manner. I have recommended mandatory wikibreaks, plus timeout periods for users editing some articles, where per-article edit-limits would reject further edits to an article (or talk-page) for perhaps a forced timeout of 2-3 months. In some cases, I have returned to editing an article, after 3 months, only to find the same group of editors fighting and obsessing over the article, as if not a day had passed in the 3 months. These issues should be decided with the advice of professional psychiatrists or psychologists, to help establish policies, although not making formal diagnosis of specific user behavior, while merely suggesting policies to improve general mental health. -Wikid77 05:48, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I would support this proposal if it wasn't such a nightmare to go through the RFA process. Not everyone wants to endure that sort of gauntlet and even fewer want to do it repeatedly every couple years. Additionally, many of the tasks that admins do tend to cause some drama amongst some users (such as COI issues, blocking vandals, etc. so in some cases they couldn't get reelected if they ran again. IMO the answer isn't creating more beauracracy to being an admin but removing it so that more capable candidates will get the tools they need. We have plenty of admins but what we don't have are people with the tools needed to do certain tasks. We need to unbundle somem of the admin capabilities so that we have more people using the tools that they need. Kumioko (talk) 17:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikid77, what speaks against a community-elected "Adminship Committee" of sorts (or more generally, User Rights Committee) that acts on suggestions from the community, assigning and revoking admin privileges on the community's behalf? That way, we would avoid the time and drama that goes into RfAs, nevermind recall/confirmation RfAs; plus, the committee would be regularly elected by the community, and thus accountable. I see this as the only way to make even a lenient term limit of e.g. three years manageable. But if we combine these two proposals, that could indeed help reduce drama and general waste of precious time and energy better spent on other things. -- (talk) 02:24, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
A Reconfirmation Committee as checks and balances: Well, if the impact of a committee was limited, to perhaps 40% of an admin's reelection votes, then that could offset, as a system of checks and balances, the power where many admins might come to vote "Support" for each other during the admin re-elections. In Swedish WP, the admin approval minimum is 75% of the total votes, which would be very high for English Wikipedia, but perhaps, as admins become better known, from repeated re-elections, then a wider support for each admin might develop. Maybe each admin's first re-election should require only 70%, then increase to 75% for each admin's 2nd re-election. If we re-elect admins each 3 years, then the 1500 admins would be 500 admins per re-election year, divided into quarterly elections of 125 admins, as 4 times per year. -Wikid77 12:27, 25 May, revised 14:19, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Just force all admins to be open to recall under a specified criteria

My consulting fee will be one thousand pounds please. To whom should I send the bill? Egg Centric 14:46, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Send it to me. There will be an advance handling fee of £150, which will be returned with your payment. Rich Farmbrough, 19:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
Just fill in a direct debit form, no prepayment required. You will only debited when the work is done. and the charge is only £419 Dmcq (talk) 21:41, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Forcing admins to be under recall adds politics to the equation. There are times that an admin must do things that are not popular but are still proper, and forcing them to be under the terms of a recall would chill the environment and reduce the chances of an admin being willing to make tough calls. If you forced a recall provision, you would find a great deal less participation by admins in heated areas like dispute resolution and AN/I. Dennis Brown - © 12:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


My impression was that the process of making people admins in the first place is entirely broken. Having any sort of performance review, vote of no confidence, or similar poll, regardless of whether it's binding, would simply extend the problem with the existing process. (talk) 17:21, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Different theories on that. A view that some (myself included) have is that that people would be more willing to give the benefit of the doubt at RFA if there were better safeguards to allow the RFA decision to be undone if it turned out that the new admin wasn't living up to the communities expectations.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:33, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Unadminship as no big deal as adminship: Because the Swedish WP has treated un-electing of admins (unadminship) as "no big deal" since 2006, there is less resentment of the process, and approval also becomes a similar "no big deal" because a wayward, rogueing admin can be un-elected within 1 year, without the ordeal of an insult-the-scoundrel desysoping debate. A vote of "no confidence" (below 75%) would be much easier than proving a rough consensus to remove a wayward admin. Plus an editor might agree to accept adminship duties, knowing to opt-out from renomination, next year. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    • That's because they knew what they were getting into going in, that it would end in a year. Here, we have several hundred people who have not been given such a limit, and most of whom have done good work. I'm not totally opposed to the idea of a deadminship process, or term limits, but it has to be handled with sensitivity.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:28, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

When Verifiability becomes Truth (ie Verifiability Fact vs Truth)

Part of the reason VnT gets a bad rap is the fact "truth" can mean "fact" as well as "belief". A prime example of this was Talk:Conspiracy_theory/Archive_15#The_first_recorded_use_of_the_phrase_.22conspiracy_theory.22_dates_from_1909.3F_WRONG.21 which was reiterated in Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability/First_sentence/Archive_1#Verifiability_Fact_vs_Truth and again in Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability/First_sentence#The_REAL_problem_with_.22not_truth.22_.28Verifiability_vs_belief.29

"The first recorded use of the phrase "conspiracy theory" dates back to a history article from 1909." (Knight, Peter. "Plots, paranoia and blame". BBC News 7 December 2006) met Verifiability by any reasonable standard--a direct quote by a Senior lecturer in American Studies from the University of Manchester in a well respected paper.

"Such a view of the case, if it were generally entertained, would have an important bearing on the conspiracy theory." (Ellis Thompson, Wharton Barker The American: a national journal: Volumes 19-20 May 10, 1890 Page 67)

Clearly by the 1890 American: a national journal, Knight is talking nonsense but instead of a NPOV talk on how to deal with the clear factual error many of the editors went into the Twilight Zone with nonsensical statements like

1. "This is another one of those instances in which "verifiability, not truth" is what matters for Wikipedia. It can be verified that the author claims that the first recorded use was from 1909, whether or not his claim is accurate." (which basically reads it doesn't matter that it can be verified in any source that the phase was used before 1909 because the earlier sources are textbook examples of "verifiability, not truth" and we don't care these earlier sources PROVE later source is demonstrably inaccurate.)

2. "Looking for sources using the phrase "conspiracy theory" is indisputably original research," (How do you find sources meeting Verifiability if simply looking for them is OR?)

3. "Literally speaking, citing early uses of the phrase is OR." (Citing a source is OR.... Huh?)

WP:OR clearly states "The term "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published source exists." Clearly the source exists as well as more reliable sources like a 1891 Oxford University Branch book and yet this type of Alice through the Looking Glass view of what Verifiability and OR mean comes about based on the whole "verifiability, not truth" concept. --BruceGrubb (talk) 06:11, 28 May 2012 (UTC) a looking glass world where the 'OR' on the BBC becomes endorsed (cf. WP:BLPGOSSIP) by Wikipedia? That way dogma lies... Seems loopy to me...—MistyMorn (talk) 10:08, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
One would need to be careful that things like that meant the same as nowadays, but yes I can't see why the primary source can't be used directly here, I don't see that it needs much interpretation from a secondary source and the secondary source shows the question has some weight. As an example like this Common era is traced back to at least 1708 and in Latin to before then, though it didn't then have quite the modern connotation of being explicitly secular. Dmcq (talk) 13:04, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
The Talk:Conspiracy_theory#The_broader_definition_of_Conspiracy_Theory shows just what a migraine controversial topics are when VnT gets involved. We have Wiley, Columbia University, ABC-CLIO, SUNY, and Oxford University Press all documenting a broader and slightly more neutral definition of "Conspiracy Theory" but trying to get that definition into the article is like pulling teeth and as a result the article is a NPOV train wreck.--BruceGrubb (talk) 16:10, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Put me on the oppose side there too. Wikipedia articles should be about definite topics rather than the broad base definitions in dictionaries. Dmcq (talk) 16:46, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Uh, IMHO only the Oxford University Press reference could be classified as a dictionary. Besides WP:TERTIARY expressly states "Reliably published tertiary sources can be helpful in providing broad summaries of topics that involve many primary and secondary sources, especially when those sources contradict each other." which is a clear problem with the conspiracy theory article (besides the editors that revert without putting anything on the talk page so you have to idea on what was wrong with the change you made). This is all ignoring Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard/Archive_28#Conspiracy_theory_definition where the majority felt the referenced version was considered superior to the unreferenced one.
I should mention that the Conspiracy theory article is also IMHO a prime example of a serious misunderstanding of what WP:Consensus means. Even through it expressly states "Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which, although an ideal result, is not always achievable); nor is it the result of a vote. This means that decision-making involves an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's norms" and "In determining consensus, consider the quality of the arguments, the history of how they came about, the objections of those who disagree, and existing documentation in the project namespace. The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view" too often that is the way Consensus is viewed--majority rules (ie vote) or unanimity.
Quality IMHO get dumped and all you need to stop any meaningful progress on an article with few editors is an editor to throw out "no consensus" and revert. Also this constant crying to the Administrators' noticeboard by editors that don't get their way (Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Edit_warring#User:BruceGrubb_reported_by_User:Tom_harrison_.28Result:_.29) needs to be stopped.--BruceGrubb (talk) 00:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry I hadn't checked what you said at where you pointed. I'd remove the dictionary entry. I've had problems with people trying to change what two words together mean by using a dictionary definition of one, or trying to make an article cover two quite different things because a dictionary had both meanings, or trying to change the topic rather than the name or put in disambiguation because the topic was more specific. I see though that the place referenced you say there are two definitions of conspiracy theory which is a bit of a warning light when considering what the topic of the article is. Articles should have a definite topic. It does look to me though the meanings are close enough that the scholarly definition can be covered in a section. I worry though when I see scholarly these days as I had someone trying to use scholarly definitions and articles and scholarly cites are preferred to remove stuff which was clearly in the popular domain. Dmcq (talk) 07:18, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you agree with the idea there are two definitions you might want to chime in over at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Requesting_another_topic_ban_for_User:BruceGrubb which IMHO seems to be the latest example of Wikipedia:Harassment via WP:Wikilawyering ala WP:hound and WP:GAME.--BruceGrubb (talk) 06:04, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

1RR proposal on circumcision - vote please

I need some opnions from uninvolved editors. Please vote support or oppose here Pass a Method talk 21:43, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

it seems inappropriate/unnecessary to attract people here by RfC rather than to the actual vote. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose voting here.The RfC should be removed ;-) Dmcq (talk) 23:18, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I've removed the RfC tag, as it seems inappropriate on a page completely unrelated to the actual discussion. If you want to open a Request for Comment on a section, put the tag there, not on some random talk page. (Not to mention the place you're attempting to steer discussion to is the Administrators' Noticeboard, a sitewide forum.) elektrikSHOOS (talk) 23:23, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit Count

9999. Nice! --Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 11:35, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

looking at that, I couldn't help but think, "There is no way he would pass an RfA today... I mean over 40% of his edits are on his own talk page." ;-)---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 19:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


I'm taking a few days off for the Jubilee weekend. On vacation with friends and the only internet available is very slow satellite internet. Therefore, I'm spending most of my limited personal and digital bandwidth on some important board discussions. Will be back reading this page and responding to whatever I can after the holiday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:06, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Edit Count

9999. Nice! --Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 11:35, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

looking at that, I couldn't help but think, "There is no way he would pass an RfA today... I mean over 40% of his edits are on his own talk page." ;-)---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 19:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Humble indie bundle V - remove all links in articles

[This looks like an ad to me, and it's the first edit by User:99_mercosul_mythghoster. I vote to turn off the money spigot and remove it. Anyone oppose? Wnt (talk) 22:31, 2 June 2012 (UTC)]

Luka Magnotta

Does sensational speculation and lurid tabloid journalism - however widely covered - really trump WP:BLPCRIME? At best this should be an article about a murder, noting that Magnotta is the prime suspect. GwenChan 19:35, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to state your opinion at Talk:Luka_Magnotta#Renaming_the_article:_Murder_of_Lin_Jun. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. There are plenty of examples where a fugitive's own notoriety completely trumps the crime(s) they are accused of committing. In this case, we are talking about an individual who may be one of the most wanted men in the world. It is appropriate to then use common sense rather than mindlessly misapplying aspects of a policy. Which, in this case, may be unfortunate as it seems to me that publicity is exactly what all of this is about. Resolute 01:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
  • A separate bio-page is an NPOV view of a person: It is difficult to pretend that person is described in a wp:NPOV manner when the article is titled "Murder of Lin Jun". We have had this situation before, and there should be a separate article for the suspect; otherwise, the remainder of a person's NPOV details about their life typically become wp:UNDUE details in a murder article. It would be like a college professor of 30 years who was charged with a crime, but details about the professor's career often would be viewed as an off-topic tangent (with wp:UNDUE weight) in describing the crime, whereas "30 years" is a major part of having an NPOV view about a person's life. Fortunately, Wikipedia is large enough to allow 2 articles in this case: 1 for the crime, and 1 for the professor. If a person is notable enough to name in a major crime, then they are notable enough for NPOV treatment in an article named for them, as a person, rather than as a crime which happens to name them. A person's entire life should not be viewed as the few hours related to a crime, as that is not an NPOV-neutral view of a person's life. Even the court cases are titled with people's names ("A versus B") rather than names of crimes, as if the court case were "Prosecution of suspect in Murder of Jane Doe". Suspects should have separate articles filed by person's name, if they are to be named in a crime. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:56, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Karla Homolka was semi-protected in July 2008 after an IP kept inserting Magnotta's name. Like many of the claims being made about Magnotta at the moment, it is far from clear whether actually was Magnotta.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:16, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – Actually, there was at least one earlier incident. In August 2007, there were repeated attempts to insert a rumor about Luka Magnotta and Karla Homolka being a couple into the article without citations: [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]. In addition, the first revision (29 July 2007) of the "Luka R Magnotta" article included the rumor. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – Someone also tried to insert a Magnotta-related rumor into the "Brad Renfro" article. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:03, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – And the "Paul Bernardo" article. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:08, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
All of this is true, but it was simply a rehash of material that was appearing in the media at the time. The claim that Magnotta personally edited Wikipedia remains questionable speculation.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Imastarok (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) ("I'm a star, ok?") --JN466 21:00, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The edits by Imastarok are more interesting, and it is not outside the realms of possibility that these were added by Magnotta. The media is speculating on this, as are all of us. Magnotta claimed that some people were adding things online while pretending to be him, while others say that he did this sort of thing for self-promotion. Very strange.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 02:47, 3 June 2012 (UTC)


I'm taking a few days off for the Jubilee weekend. On vacation with friends and the only internet available is very slow satellite internet. Therefore, I'm spending most of my limited personal and digital bandwidth on some important board discussions. Will be back reading this page and responding to whatever I can after the holiday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:06, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Edit Count

9999. Nice! --Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 11:35, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

looking at that, I couldn't help but think, "There is no way he would pass an RfA today... I mean over 40% of his edits are on his own talk page." ;-)---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 19:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Luka Magnotta

Does sensational speculation and lurid tabloid journalism - however widely covered - really trump WP:BLPCRIME? At best this should be an article about a murder, noting that Magnotta is the prime suspect. GwenChan 19:35, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to state your opinion at Talk:Luka_Magnotta#Renaming_the_article:_Murder_of_Lin_Jun. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. There are plenty of examples where a fugitive's own notoriety completely trumps the crime(s) they are accused of committing. In this case, we are talking about an individual who may be one of the most wanted men in the world. It is appropriate to then use common sense rather than mindlessly misapplying aspects of a policy. Which, in this case, may be unfortunate as it seems to me that publicity is exactly what all of this is about. Resolute 01:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
  • A separate bio-page is an NPOV view of a person: It is difficult to pretend that person is described in a wp:NPOV manner when the article is titled "Murder of Lin Jun". We have had this situation before, and there should be a separate article for the suspect; otherwise, the remainder of a person's NPOV details about their life typically become wp:UNDUE details in a murder article. It would be like a college professor of 30 years who was charged with a crime, but details about the professor's career often would be viewed as an off-topic tangent (with wp:UNDUE weight) in describing the crime, whereas "30 years" is a major part of having an NPOV view about a person's life. Fortunately, Wikipedia is large enough to allow 2 articles in this case: 1 for the crime, and 1 for the professor. If a person is notable enough to name in a major crime, then they are notable enough for NPOV treatment in an article named for them, as a person, rather than as a crime which happens to name them. A person's entire life should not be viewed as the few hours related to a crime, as that is not an NPOV-neutral view of a person's life. Even the court cases are titled with people's names ("A versus B") rather than names of crimes, as if the court case were "Prosecution of suspect in Murder of Jane Doe". Suspects should have separate articles filed by person's name, if they are to be named in a crime. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:56, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Karla Homolka was semi-protected in July 2008 after an IP kept inserting Magnotta's name. Like many of the claims being made about Magnotta at the moment, it is far from clear whether actually was Magnotta.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:16, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – Actually, there was at least one earlier incident. In August 2007, there were repeated attempts to insert a rumor about Luka Magnotta and Karla Homolka being a couple into the article without citations: [23], [24], [25], [26], [27]. In addition, the first revision (29 July 2007) of the "Luka R Magnotta" article included the rumor. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – Someone also tried to insert a Magnotta-related rumor into the "Brad Renfro" article. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:03, 2 June 2012 (UTC) – And the "Paul Bernardo" article. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:08, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
All of this is true, but it was simply a rehash of material that was appearing in the media at the time. The claim that Magnotta personally edited Wikipedia remains questionable speculation.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Imastarok (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) ("I'm a star, ok?") --JN466 21:00, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The edits by Imastarok are more interesting, and it is not outside the realms of possibility that these were added by Magnotta. The media is speculating on this, as are all of us. Magnotta claimed that some people were adding things online while pretending to be him, while others say that he did this sort of thing for self-promotion. Very strange.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 02:47, 3 June 2012 (UTC)


I'm taking a few days off for the Jubilee weekend. On vacation with friends and the only internet available is very slow satellite internet. Therefore, I'm spending most of my limited personal and digital bandwidth on some important board discussions. Will be back reading this page and responding to whatever I can after the holiday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:06, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Error Corection ability

I tried to fix the listing for that showed 25GB per layer. A single layer disk 25GB, 2 layer 50GB, 3 layer 100GB (BD-XL), 4 layer 128GB(DB-XL). For those of you that can divide 100GB / 3 layers you would know 100/3=33.3G, NOT 25GB ! For a 4 layer disc 128GB / 4 = 32GB per layer, NOT 25GB per layer.

At first it took my edit then I noticed I wrote DB-XL instead of BD-XL so I backed up a page, edited it and saved it again. Then I got a message saying that Wiki doesn't accept original research. I could refer you to the division section on Wiki Showing that division isn't new but I think you would take that wrong. I don't know if I needed a reference to show 100/3=33.3 or what it actually wanted. Telling WHAT it wanted to accept it and why it gave the error would be a big help. Saying "original research" is a little vague. I can assure you that 100/3 is 33.3 not 25. I don't have a reference for it !

You need a way to show / report obvious errors like 100/3=25. If you don't believe me then take 3 quarters to a cashier for a dollar and see what happens !

I am very knowledgeable this subject with 25 years Electronics Engineering experience but I think anyone could see a simple math error !

Beginning paragraph needs fixed where it says 3 layer BDXL disk is the same at 25GB per LAYER. 100GB /3 layers = 33.3G NOT 25G 128GB /4 layers = 32GB NOT 25G

I don't know if the message I was sent was automatic somehow but there should be a way to reply / fix it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

The citations indicate to me the article is right and you are wrong. Wikipedia is based far more on citations than peoples calculations. The layers hold different amounts. The article's talk page is where to really discuss this. Dmcq (talk) 09:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
If the sources really both say that a 3 layer disk is 100, and that it's 25 per layer, and give numbers for 1 and 2 layer disks that imply that the 25 per layer is without overhead, that falls under one of the misuses of "verifiability, not truth" that Jimbo complains about. We shouldn't just blatantly use contradictory sources. Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:07, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
No the sources say 25Gb for layers 1 and 2, 50Gb for layer 3 and 28Gb for layer 4. You could have looked at the citations yourself and checked them just as easily as I did when the original poster started this. Dmcq (talk) 20:19, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
If the sources say that, then it's not 25 per layer, so the page is still wrong. Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:18, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
See Talk:Blu-ray Disc#Capacity versus Layers.
The problem was that you were discussing what the content of the article should be, not adding or changing information based on reliable sources. This is what the article's talk page is for. To edit the talk page, click on the tab labelled "Talk" at the top of the article page. It might be helpful if you created an account. This would mean that you would have your own talk page where people could talk to you personally (though not privately). People could then tell you more about Wikipedia policies and methods in a more personal setting. This is also possible with an IP address (i.e. no account) but many IP addresses are dynamic, meaning that you may have a different address the next time you log on. If you create your own account, you can also set your preferences to allow others to contact you by E-mail without you having to publicly reveal your E-Mail address.--Boson (talk) 23:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

So, in short, everyone has both the ability and responsibility to correct errors - however, they must appropriately referenced. Always make sure the reference does support your statements. As such, all's well in Wikipedialand (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 00:23, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

I glanced at the page, and while of course the anon is apparently wrong on the facts, the article is weak in that it doesn't explain the discrepancy. It will seem odd to the newbie to the topic that "A single layer disk 25GB, 2 layer 50GB, 3 layer 100GB (BD-XL), 4 layer 128GB(DB-XL).". That should be explained more clearly, as it is baffling on a naive reading.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The Royal Medal for you!

Medalian thinker.png The Wiki Gold Medal
For thinking for such an insane idea and sharing the freedom of wisdom and knowledge to all seekers. --GoShow (...............) 04:39, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Request Jimbo weigh in on controversial BLP issue

Jimbo, I know this has already been brought up, but when you get back from your holiday, could you please weigh in on the question of whether Luka Magnotta needs to be renamed per WP:CRIME and WP:BLP1E? The discussion is primarily centered at Talk:Luka_Magnotta#Renaming_the_article:_Murder_of_Lin_Jun. Thanks. - Jorgath (talk) (contribs) 07:03, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

It's pretty standard practice in such cases to rename to the event, not the person. The event is notable, not the person. I don't know anything about this particular case yet (other than seeing some lurid headlines on television) but unless Luka Magnotta would have qualified for an article before this event, then I can see no rationale for naming one after him now. A lot of the arguments that I just glanced at are typical in BLP1E cases, but longstanding tradition is that BLP1E trumps "common name" (and "common name" is not as strict a policy as some people like to believe!)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:45, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Hosting hate speech on Wikiquote


Since nobody who actually edits Wikiquote participated in the foregoing discussion of Wikiquote, I thought I might offer my 2¢ as a Wikiquotian.

First cent: To the original poster, who opened with "I couldn't find a better place to ask this question...", one might begin at Wikiquote. It is a small community, and its Village Pump is open to all.

Second cent: Speaking only for myself, WP:UNDUE rarely becomes a problem when people pay attention to Wikiquote:Quotability. When people add quotations in order to document a point, such as whether someone is a demon or a saint, we end up with garbage articles that lack quotability. This is not to say that invective or hagiography are never quotable, there are some brilliantly said examples to be found in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, but "recording and reporting" mass quantities of garden variety expressions of such sentiments to document a point has no place in a dictionary of quotations.

Third cent: There are some at Wikiquote who do not share my perspective on the importance of how Quotability relates to the very purpose of the project. If I may be forgiven an ad hominem observation, some seem to be displaced POV pushers from Wikipedia.

(That was 3¢. Keep the change.) ~ Ningauble (talk) 01:15, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Almost any viewpoint can be made to look valid if one looks for enough quotes to support it. It is in the equally enthusiastic search for the opposing viewpoint that the truth becomes self-evident. Perhaps only those who lived through a particular time period, have an additional advantage in the knowing the truth. No charge for the truth. Mugginsx (talk) 10:58, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
It is possible to publish quotations of hateful statements, without giving them undue weight.
(Genesis 3:4, 5; Job 1:9, 10, 11; 2:4, 5; Matthew 4:3, 6, 9)
Wavelength (talk) 15:23, 6 June 2012 (UTC) and 19:51, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything hateful in those verses. --Dweller (talk) 20:52, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • - Are we able to affect Wikiquote from here or is it like commons - independent and separate from this section of the foundation project ? - as I understand it, there seems to be no interdependent responsible relationship - basically - Commons is nothing to do with En Wikipedpia and WP:Wikiquote is nothing to do with commons or en wikipedia - all the individual creations of the foundation are only responsible for themselves - and the foundation claims to have no responsibility for any of them ? Which is why imo we have a totally irresponsible project, no one is taking any responsibility for anything - The Wikipedia ethos/ethic is based in faceless irresponsibility and we have a duty of care to explain and publicize that to readers.Youreallycan 21:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)


I’m being asked if the draft available for edit here: Talk:NXIVM#Forbes_coverage describes #3 at Talk:Keith_Raniere#Press well enough for it to appear in the mainspace of the article NXIVM . However, I live just a few miles from him and it and have read so much of this material that I don’t feel comfortable editing the article. Also, you have asked me not to edit the mainspace. Nevertheless, I am as you know alarmed by the coverage and feel the matter to be of great importance. Thank you for all you have done with regard to this serious and difficult matter. What should I do next? PLEASE help me find someone who would work with them on this. I will be available as a reference librarian or some such but I can’t edit stuff for the mainspace. Chrisrus (talk) 17:45, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

I will confess to having reviewed the information linked by you. My stomach is week for articles like these, though I understand their story is notably told. I annotated some redundant text on the talk page and commend the reasonable efforts at neutrality, though I did not verify the sourcing. My76Strat (talk) 18:36, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but I confess I don't really understand this, your post. "their story is notably told", for example.
My bad, What I mean is the topic is not my favorite, but it meets WP:GNG making it proper for inclusion. My76Strat (talk) 06:59, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Understood. Yes, there is no WP:GNG issue. There is, however, some question about what he and it are most notable for in the WP:RSes on the topic, which is namely for being some kind of cult-like thing, and how that should most expressed given BLP issues and such.Chrisrus (talk) 15:39, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
JW, if you would please respond. Chrisrus (talk) 06:41, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I recommend that you raise the issue at WP:BLPN. I will also take a look at it myself over the next couple of hours.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:02, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you JW I'll do that and report back. Chrisrus (talk) 13:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
NXIVM as an article was a mass of POV, duplicated material and pure opinion. Trimmed. Collect (talk) 12:46, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your contribution to the article. Just one little thing: modifying "media reports" that call it "a cult" or "cult-like organization" with "some" or "many" seems somewhat POV-dependant itself. If you would look at the collection of WP:RSes on this topic collected at Talk:Keith Raniere, it seems pretty much all of them do so as it's not really notable for anything else. It might be less NPOV to say "many" or "most". (Please don't take it from me, research it yourself; I've left links at Talk:Keith Raniere could help you), but it might be best to modify the phrase at all. Chrisrus (talk) 13:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

The Consensus of Thoughtful Editors

I am having trouble with

"But there are cases where the consensus of thoughtful editors is that the reliable sources are in fact wrong - this is not uncommon - and in such cases what we generally do is go with the truth - certainly that's what we should do."[33]

This assumes that the judgement of a group of random editors is superior to the judgement of a group of reliable sources. At one time it was widely believed that a primary cause of peptic ulcers was psychological stress (not to be confused with chronic stress). Yet there never was and never will be a clinical study that links the two, because we now know that most peptic ulcers are caused by Helicobacter Pylori infection.[34] (Barry Marshal won a Nobel Prize in 2005 for discovering this.[35])

It would not be difficult to gather a consensus of thoughtful editors that believe that peptic ulcers are primarily caused by psychological stress, and indeed the Wikipedia page on peptic ulcers (which tends to attract editors who have peptic ulcers) disagrees with the Helicobacter Pylori and Barry Marshall pages (which tend to attract editors who are scientists or doctors). --Guy Macon (talk) 19:09, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Correcting sources is typically for minor factoids: The example above, with the cause of peptic ulcers, is a rare case. Most of the time, the clever editors have been correcting "factoids" in reliable sources, such as when the National Hurricane Center updates a windspeed in a hurricane report with mph, but copies the prior speed as an unchanged km/h (and then news agencies post the same incorrect speed), where it seems obvious that the windspeed changed drastically (when reading related text), and the repeated windspeed in km/h was copied in error, and should be *omitted* or estimated from the mph number, more likely to be accurate. Another example is like, "Columbus sailed in 1792" where the "7" (in a bogus Optical Character Recognition) should be "4" to become "1492" or consider, "Queen Elizabeth first ascended the throne at age 62" incorrect flipping age "26" to be 62, perhaps repeated in many sources, thinking age 26 seemed too young to be Queen of the whole thing, anyway. There are also problems with birth years, etc. Again, most of the errors in reliable sources tend to be incorrect "factoids" which are often easily corrected by comparing related text about the same events, and logically adjusting to coherent facts. However, the danger of inventing medical facts is a good warning. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:25, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, a source might say that Columbus sailed in 1493, and an editor corrects it to 1492 ... problem is, it's talking about the Christopher Columbus#Second voyage and now the article is fouled up. Wnt (talk) 00:54, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
To expand on your analogy, imagine that all the sources for an article say 1493, and they specify the 1st voyage. You, I, and several other "Thoughtful Editors" all agree that 1493 is complete bollocks. And we are right. Should we abandon Verifiability in favor of Truth? I say no. The fact that we cannot find sources for something we know to be true through original research should set off alarm bells in our minds, and we should seek the advice of other editors through an RfC or the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. Our imaginary Columbus example seems silly, but when editing engineering-related articles this sort of thing happens all the time. There are a huge number of technical details that we all learned in school, but cannot find in any reliable source. Sometimes all we can find are a couple of sources that are outdated or wrong. The problem is that it sometimes happens that our professors were all wrong in the same way. Unlike science, engineering is full of rules-of-thumb that give you good results when you design things, yet are wrong on a theoretical basis. Doctors have the same problem. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:40, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
In general, if several editors know the truth about something off hand, it should be easy to find a source that says what they think. Wnt (talk) 04:52, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
That was my thought as well. Rather than do what is described in the quote at the start of this section, I ask myself why I can't find a citation? There is an old saying; it isn't what you don't know that hurts you -- its what you know for sure that isn't true. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:56, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Guy, I don't really understand your point then. You made a jump to "a group of random editors" away from what I said: "consensus of thoughtful editors". Thoughtful editors will of course ask the question "why can't I find a citation?" The point is that the answer to that question is sometimes "because I'm probably wrong" and sometimes something else entirely. Your example is a good one to support my point, actually, so let's take a look at that one again.
Let's suppose that thoughtful editors who know a about Helicobacter Pylori see that popular media sources are not yet aware of the shift in scientific thinking. For a time, the New York Times and the BBC and similar normally high quality sources will continue to report from time to time on stress as the primary cause of peptic ulcers, even though better sources (scientific journals) may be shouting from the mountaintops that things have changed. We then face an editorial judgment. A right way to answer it is to get to consensus that scientific studies published in medical journals are a better source than pop news reports, even from high quality newspapers. A wrong way to answer it is to treat the two as equal, or to count up the total number of sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:19, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
That's an excellent point. The quality and reliability of the sources matters. A lot. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:22, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Is it an excellent point? Surely that's an entirely different point that is outside the truth/verifiability issue. That's simply about some sources being more reliable than others in specific instances. I've been scratcing my head about this whole discussion and the likelihood of the issue arising legitimately. What's the real problem here: it would seem - to me at least - that there's a fairly constant supply of editors (thoughtful or random, I'm not sure which) who want to put their own OR/beliefs/analysis in articles in preference to what a WP:RS says. That's just daily life in WP. On the other hand, in my experience, a clearly "incorrect" statement in what is otherwise a WP:RS which cannot be demonstrated as such by reference to other and/or more reliable WP:RS happens, but not very often. Any downplaying of verifiability in favour of "truth" by editors however thoughtful runs the risk of (possibly) correcting an infrequent problem at the cost of making the larger problem worse. DeCausa (talk) 12:43, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Some legitimate examples of truth beyond sources: I think the above example, of the causes of peptic ulcers, is a legitimate example of new sources contradicting old or non-expert sources. Another example, today, concerns facts in article "Walter Lofthouse Dean":
  • Dean's birth is noted as "June 4, 1854" but another source says "June 14". Which is it?
  • Dean's famous ship painting Peace was painting in 1891(?), some say "1893".
  • The painting Peace was displayed at the Columbia Exposition in "1892" which was opened in 1893.
  • Dean signed his paintings "Walter L. Dean" (show signature on painting).
I did not "search" to find an article with incoherent or questionable facts, so I think that indicates how frequently editors are confronted with trying to find "truth" when sources contradict each other, or the related events. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:13, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to me to be an example. I took a quick look at the article, so I may well be missing something: the DoB isn't supported by a reliable source (at least I wouldn't classify it as reliable); the 1891 painting date isn't sourced at all; the date of the display at the Columbia Expo is in a lengthy quote, which seems to me different than WP saying that it was displayed on that date. If the quote was used to support that date I would question it as a reliable source because it's really a primary source and I'd want to find a secondary source that discusses it. Don't see any reference to the signature in the article. So, generally I would see the issues there as being about poor or non-existent sourcing rather than verifiability v. truth.
Meanwhile, I've just been looking at the other side of the coin (which I contend is the bigger or at least the more common issue): someone wants to change the title of Swedish Empire because Sweden didn't have an Emperor, so there can't possibly be an Empire. That's his truth, never mind that 15,000 results from Google Books use the term Swedish Empire. This is just standard fare at WP. It seems to me that any encouragement of truth over verifiability - perhaps all very well if kept within this mythical elite of "thoughtful" editors - runs the risk of exacerbating the bigger problem of day-to-day WP. DeCausa (talk) 13:42, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Alas, it is the least thoughtful editors are the most likely to believe themselves to be thoughtful editors and thus allowed to push their version of truth and to declare that all of the sources are wrong. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Post an image which shows the point: Quite often, when no source exists for a common idea, then try to post a photo or image which shows the concept. For example, "Cars today are designed so only 12-year-old girls can reach between parts", and post a photo of a child reaching into a crevice to replace a turn-signal bulb. Similarly, many concepts can be shown by drawing an image which illustrates the point, as obvious to an observer aware of the issue. So, for Columbus, show a timeline where Columbus prepares for the voyage in 1492, returns to Europe, and sails again in 1493, as a corroboration of the dates. -Wikid77 09:42/09:51, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

A Wikipedia Badge for you!

Wikipedia-logo.png Wikipedia Badge
Thanks for founding Wikipedia. As a reward, have this official Wikipedia award, only for the best of Wikipedians. ThePeriodicTable123 (talk) 21:57, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Would not failure to credit a self-published sources which has been "mined" for its essential colllection of scholarly citations be plagiarism?

If one is a conscientious academic and one comes across a self-published monograph or volume on, say, the cattle-driving practices of the Fancher-Baker party (entirely a fictitious example, btw) by an expert in Arkansavia (Arkansasiana?) who nonetheless is not credentialed nor otherwise published, would that conscientious academic "mine" the result of the countless hours spent by the Arkansas studies fanboy/girl and use hi/r scholarly citations w/o crediting hi/r?

Yet this is what, in practice, Wikipedia does, according to its guidelines. wp:SELFPUB says that if someone is not published elsewhere, that person's work cannot be cited. Furthermore, some WPdians are so anti- self-publication, they would object to credit being given to (to crib from my hyphothetical above) the most exhaustive article ever written on the ill-fated emigrant train originating in Arkansas and traveling westward on the Old Spanish Trail: with hypothetical WPdian user:Call Waiting's objection being that its self-published author, Elly May Clampett (a Ph.D. in Classics who has published a well-received work on Livy at Cambridge University Press and also a work of Arkansas history at a university press in that state, who has also penned scores of articles published in peer-reviewed journals in Arkansas history) wrote an award-winning book on the greater topic of 19th-C. Old West migration from Arkansas had this work published by the premiere publisher of scholarly works about Arkansas topics, yet, alas, the award is minor, as historical awards go, being presented by the Assoc. of Arkansavian Letters, and the publisher is not affiliated with an institution of higher learning so hence is, quote, not an academic press.

According to the guidelines, as soon as one demeaning Wikipartisan objects to a self-published source, it is deemed "controversial," by definition (despite that no assertions by that source, nor any of its sourcing has been specified as being objectionable); and cannot be used on Wikipedia--resulting in WPdia's essential plagiarism of this academic's sourcing in any competent expansion subsequently given the Fancher-Baker party WP article. (Remember, all this is hypothetical. However, it mirrors real life. See here: the Noticeboard#Todd_Compton.27s_self-published_paper_on_the_Romney_family.)

 --Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 16:39, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

There is no database copyright in the U.S., and so at least some Wikipedians are indeed free to seize and use a list of references. I believe once or twice in that situation I credited the original source (regardless of usability as a proper WP source) in the edit summary. It is true that if the database copyright plague becomes sufficiently widespread and aggressive, that someone might try to attack the reusability of a Wikipedia article based on this issue, but by that point one wonders what possibly could be free-licensed, since we have a lot of facts and figures and citations and they all come from somewhere. Wnt (talk) 17:27, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Just one comment: I encourage Hogdon to write in a simpler style. This is too difficult to understand. Fancy writing only annoys the reader. Looie496 (talk) 17:41, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
...and you could reword your comment as "tl;dr". ;) Wnt (talk) 17:52, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Fixed link: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Todd_Compton.27s_self-published_paper_on_the_Romney_family.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 18:59, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Your main problem is that making a hypothet which is not analogous to the example you wish to use is not going to get much of a response from anyone. Write simply. Stick to simple facts. And avoid using language which could in any way be viewed as promoting a particular point of view. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Politico has an article called "Solyndra controversy debate rages on Wikipedia"

Politico has an article called Solyndra controversy debate rages on Wikipedia. Brian 5527 (talk) 00:57, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

That's...actually a pretty decent piece. - Jorgath (talk) (contribs) 01:54, 8 June 2012 (UTC)