User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 11

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To Mr. Wales

I believe that it is time for you to elect a board of chairmen for the Wikimedia group and to step down as president. It seems that you have many conflicts of interest with your mission statement and your actual policies, in more than several cases knowledge has been removed by yourself and your Wikimedia group for moral/ethical beliefs. If Wikipedia is to become a haven of all human knowledge, how is it permissible to pick and choose which articles remain and which ones are censored?TruesSilver

Do you mean Board of Trustees? It's hard not to notice it, when right now there's an announcement about elections of a new member. BTW, Jimbo is today very inactive in actual administration of Wikipedia at article and user level. Almost all is done by community.
About picking and choosing articles to remain and be deleted, I must say I'm worried about this concern as well. Wikipedia today presents itself as "Sum of human knowledge", but deletionism of many verifiable and sourced articles on grounds of being "non-notable" runs directly contrary to this, attempting to make Wikipedia just a "summary of common knowledge" instead, which is a very different thing. Fortunately, common sense mostly prevails today, but I'm very interested in Jimbo's opinion on this matter, not as a ruler, but as the founder of Wikipedia. Do you think we should cover topics far outside scope of paper encyclopedias? Should verifiability, in your opinion, be a sufficient prerequisite for including a topic in Wikipedia, or do you support additional arbitrary barriers?
CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 20:20, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Advertising on User Pages?

I am observer and reader, non editor. Wikipedia is one site I follow to understand social interactions and sociology as shown on the web. Would you please comment on your philosophy for advertising on Wikipedia User Pages. This is different form exploiting articles as advertising, which is frowned upon as violating NPOV.

- I see that you advertise on your user pages. This could be construed as both informative and adverting: "Press Inquiries: Please leave a message with my assistant Danny in the U.S. at +1 (727) 231-0101, and I will get back to you." Since you are employed by Wikipedia's Foundation, I presume any speaking fees as a result of contacts to that phone or wiki email go to the Foundation; therefore, it is reasonable to allow this info/ad on a Wikipedia user page.

- Please comment and explain why the link ad on the top of this User page is allowed: "Something fun from Jimbo for the politically inclined" with permalink to a for-profit site. Is Campaigns Wikia paying a fee to Wikipedia for allowing it to have an advertisement and publicity on this site?

Here is another example of an solicitation on a Wikipedia User:Talk page: Wikipedia Research Survey Request Hello, I am a member of a research group at [name cut to not repeat the advertising] studying how conflicts occur and resolve on Wikipedia. Due to your experience in conflict identification and resolution on Wikipedia as an administrator we’re extremely interested in your insights on this topic. We have a survey at [permalink ad cut] which we are inviting a few selected Wikipedians to participate in, and we would be extremely appreciative if you would take the time to complete it. As a token of our gratitude, we would like to present you with a [acronym cut (AC)] research star upon completion. Thank you for your time.

[AC] wiki researcher 01:49, 18 August 2006 (UTC) [name cut]

So it would seem that solicitations, when represented as invitations formatted as an ad-link, are acceptable on User:Talk pages. Do you consider these types of links advertising?

P.S. Is the Wikipedia Foundation officially cooperating with the research group mentioned above? I'm very interested in similar work, but don't want to advertise it here without prior permission. Thanks for any info.

{I hope this posts correctly. As I said, I don't edit articles; only the occasional Talk page comment, and even then typically only when the Talk page gets in a conflict and solicits comment from us observers (i.e. Anybody out there have something to say/add on this conflict, to help us/editors resolve it).}

I'm not Jimbo, but I hope my comment can clear it a bit.
Advertising on talk pages isn't strictly banned; in some cases, it may be appropriate, when it's related to the user, and is not commercial in nature. That Jimbo's link isn't commercial, but just points to his words on another site. In case of PARC group... well, they post on talk pages, and it is generally OK, since their research is directed exactly at Wikipedia. However, it might be somewhat of a spamming, if they decide to target all the thousand of admins. Of course, my opinion, while based on guidelines, isn't absolute. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 18:31, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, that may have made it worse. The logic flow may cause my first presumption to be invalid. Let's see if I can explain the two parts, the second half first:

- User:Talk ad-links, from "In case of PARC..." on: So PARC has more than this one research survey going. That's interesting; thanks for confirming that there is a Wikipedia-PARC understanding. To repeat myself, "Solicitations, when represented as invitations formatted as an ad-link, are acceptable on User:Talk pages." I'm interested in conducting research on interaction conflict. It may bolster a research proposal if it is accompanied with a letter from Wikimedia Foundation confirming the acceptability of my research to post on Wikipedia talk pages. Would you advise researchers to seek such letters from Wikimedia? (It would be disasterous if a grant proposal were awarded, then the researcher couldn't perform the funded research due to a Wikipedia block.)

- User:Talk and User:home ad-links: "Advertising on talk pages isn't strictly banned." Here is a recoding of your explanation into a logic flow: "it may be appropriate, when it's related to the user, and is not commercial in nature"

"Advertising is allowed when it is (a) related to the user AND (b) non-commercial in nature [and (c) on User home or Talk pages, not Article home or Talk pages.]

This logic is in conflict with the PARC research. PARC's site mentions Xerox, so its research may be intended to produce for-profit commercial results. Similarly, the ad-link to Campaigns Wikia is definitely commercial in nature! It clearly violates (b); why has it been allowed to stay up? It appears Mr Wales did not put it there, but he has allowed it to stay there. My original question: Is Campaigns Wikia paying a fee to Wikipedia for allowing it to have an advertisement and publicity on this site, [or are for-profit ad-links on User Pages an allowed privilege]?

As an aside, in doing more looking around this weekend, I saw User page used to, basically, ask for support of her off-wiki writing career so she would have more time to provide volunteer Wikipedia content. (Sorry I can't find the page at the moment. [Found it; added below.]) This is kinda similar to Mr Wale's home page, offering to be a speaker; but at least all his speaking engagements go through the wikipedia email or Danny, so Wikimedia benefits from an speaking fees. Since the off-wiki writing career is allowed, can I also create a User page to tell others about my off-wiki research? It may help encourage them to participate in my research surveys, if that's the methodology I decide to use, like PARC. {I've been deliberately avoiding becoming a User, in order to maintain the Reader/Obersver perspective. This thought may change my mind, or have a User page by a co-researcher instead of me.}

Other: I don't see how the guideline you provided fits for either one.

Still hoping to get Mr Wales' insights. I'll be at a conference next week; meanwhile, perhaps someone could copy/move this to a discussion stub. A new discussion stub, or is there any policy that it would fit well into?

Here is the User page with advertising:

"Support a poor editor!

To make ends meet, I do some freelance writing, web design, Excel spreadsheet and macro design, and lots of other computer-literate brain-required things. Please see my Rent A Coder profile if you're interested in hiring me to help out with any project. If you like my poem, you can purchase a "This Is An Encyclopedia" poster or T-shirt from my CafePress shop. Or if you're just feeling generous towards a hard-working editor, PayPal donations can be sent to catherine dot munro at gmail dot com. Many humble thanks! " Could my research project do a "Support a poor researcher!" page, instead of going through the government funding mechanisms? It would save a lot of time: no need for a Wikimedia support letter in the proposal; no need for a competitive award selection.

This seems like a slippery slope; Wikipedia would just become

govern - support

Hello Jimbo.

I see you haven't answered the question but read your talk page and made some edits. So I assume you read this but don't have particular comment. Following wp rules and processes I will permit myself to modify the sentence within a few days unless stated. See you. Alithien 13:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


You stepped in to make an edit on IAR a few days back. Your edit comment said "IAR is policy, always has been". If you look at the edits since, it hasn't helped matters much. Could you take a minute to expand on your comment? I know it's the brass ring, but it would be nice to settle this page down a bit. -- Isogolem 14:50, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the page has been fairly stable, aside from Isogolem's numerous ill-advised edits and the reversions thereof. —David Levy 15:22, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the personal attack, David. That's just what I needed this afternoon. 1. If you'd stopped to tell me what I was suggesting had already been discussed, I wouldn't have resubmitted (and once you did I stopped). 2. I'm not the only one touching the page. 3. The main reason it is staying "stable", is becuase of people reverting to jimbo's edit. This doesn't indicate to me that there's acceptance or understanding, let alone consensus. Look I'm not an expert, I'm not an admin, and (despite evidence to the contrary on IAR) I'm not stupid. I'm just inexperienced, and I was looking for a way cut what is apparently a vicious cycle by somehow address the concerns stated by so many on the talk page. Barring that, I thought maybe a bit more that a one line statement from the person who made the edit everyone is reverting to, might also help. Ooops, my bad, Sorry for breathing. -- Isogolem 21:04, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, please calm down. Secondly, please read WP:NPA. My comments pertained to your edits, not to you as a person. I never suggested that you were "stupid." I only stated that your edits were ill-advised. (They were preceded by insufficient consideration.) That's a valid criticism, not a personal attack. Thirdly, I made such a comment only because you came here to report the turmoil that had arisen on the page (when most of the edits were yours or reversions of yours). Understand that I didn't accuse you of malice; the point is that there really isn't an ongoing problem. There's merely some well-intentioned but misplaced editing by a newcomer (you) and the repeated reversion of these edits (which you've mistaken for a heated conflict). The handful of other edits concerned only trivial details regarding the policy tag's wording. (No one has attempted to change the wording of IAR or to alter its scope or status.) There is no issue requiring intervention by Jimbo or anyone else.
FYI, I wasn't referring strictly to your repeated merger proposal (which was based upon an honest misunderstanding on your part). I also was referring to your multiple formatting changes and back-and-forth revisions in rapid succession. (In the future, you might want to take your time and use the "Show preview" button.)
The bottom line is that you're an inexperienced user who doesn't quite understand how things work. We all start out that way, and I'm not attacking you by noting this. —David Levy 21:50, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, all points taken. FYI, I haven't mistaken the edits or revertions for heated conflict. I have interpreted your comments to the best of my ability and found them brusk, condescending, and rude. That you felt the need to respond to a question I asked of another user, and that that response didn't change that interpretation didn't help matters. -- Isogolem 23:51, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you complaining because I replied to a message that you posted here (on Jimbo's talk page)? This is an open forum, so any expectation of privacy is unrealistic. (If you don't want other users to read and respond to your messages, please use e-mail.)
I'm sorry that my comments seemed brusque, condescending, and rude. I've attempted to be helpful, and you've interpreted this as an "attack." If you plan to stick around, you need to understand that accepting constructive criticism is a normal part of being an editor. I've drawn attention to your errors not to hurt your feelings, but to enable you to learn from them. Others did the same for me when I was new, and I hope that you're able to do this for someone in the not-too-distant future. —David Levy 05:48, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I didn't ask for an "intervention". I didn't say there was an "issue". What I said was, "it hasn't helped matters much". Is all action by Jimbo an intervention? Is asking for a little more guidance on something he already touched an intervention? Is it wrong to ask for clarification of Jimbo's actions? (These are not rhetorical questions for me.) I didn't think he was likely to answer, but why not ask? <shrug> -- Isogolem 23:51, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
What you fail to realize is that Jimbo's edit to IAR helped matters immensely. Jimbo, as president of the Wikimedia Foundation, possesses the authority to establish policy. By confirming that IAR is policy (the correct decision, in my humble opinion), he's effectively ended one of the longest disputes in Wikipedia history. No one has challenged his decision or attempted to alter/demote IAR. For the first time ever, we have an irrefutable grasp of the page's official status within the project. You're the only person to express the belief that Jimbo's actions require clarification, but you implied in your original post that this is the prevailing sentiment. You cited the "edits since" as evidence that Jimbo's intervention "hasn't helped matters much," but these have pertained strictly to minor issues (such as the policy tag's precise wording and trivial style concerns). In actuality, things are fine, and you've mistaken routine page-tweaking (and the reversion of your well-meaning but misplaced edits) for the continuation of a major conflict.
I'm sorry if this offends you, as that absolutely isn't my intention. I'm trying my hardest to be as tactful as possible, but it's important that your misunderstanding be brought to your attention. —David Levy 05:48, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry for the rucus. I think I understand my errors now:
  1. Thinking any further action was needed. I should have waited, watched, and seen where things went before doing anything. Too much hurry, not enought thought.
  2. Posting the question here. He may have been the person that made the edit, but this location is too high on the food chain. Just making that one edit was enough and efficiency of action is key for one with power.
  3. Invoking NPA when it wasn't appropriate. I apologise to you, David, for doing this. It was a childish response, and it made you spend most of you responses defending your actions, and thus much harder for you to help me. I was trying to figure out why you seemed to be talking down to me, now I see I why.
  4. Public forum, as is all of wiki, already got that. Jimbo's page even more so. I wasn't sufficiently aware of that.
  5. David made reasonable assumtions based on my question and the location, which I was not aware of. I didn't think it was the "continuation of a major conflict" or that my view was the "prevailing sentiment", but I understand how (in ignorance) I came across that way.
I now see my actions have caused most of this thread. I'm sorry.
David, As long as we're on the topic of constructive criticism, I would to give you a couple suggestions for the next time this happens (though I promise it won't be with me):
  1. Don't speak of someone in the third person if they are present. If you're responding to my question, that means I'm present. Speaking of me in the third person puts us immediately into an adversarial (as opposed to a cooperative) position.
  2. I didn't need help spotting my mistaken edits (look at the edit history on IAR, I'd already acknowledged them). Nor was there any question that there were serveral of them. Your reiteration of these two facts was heavy handed and felt insulting.
  3. Start with "I'm sorry." If someone feels attacked, accept their feelings, and validate them by apologising. I costs you nothing and doesn't mean that you agree with their perspective, but simply that you acknowledge it. "I'm sorry. I did not intend that as a personal attack. Please calm down and reread WP:NPA. My comments pertained to ..."
As I said, I understand that you were reacting as reasonably and helpfully as you could to my actions. None of these suggestion is meant to imply anything to the contrary. Thank you. -- Isogolem 18:04, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


Aloha Jimbo. Reading this quite old and archived story, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-04-18/Encarta elaborates, have you had any further word on it? And is there a date set? Thanks, IolakanaT 18:16, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


I am looking into licensing some Wiki IPR. Who should I talk to? Stephen B Streater 19:46, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I've been asked to be a bit more specific. My ideas often sound controversial at first, so I'd appreciate it if you could work with me on this one.
So, to be more specific, I run an award winning service which allows web-based editing and publishing of video, often uploaded over the air from camera phones such as the Nokia N93. These can be output in a variety of formats, and I would like to add a button which will publish video directly in the free format supported by Wikipedia, upload the videos directly from our servers to Wiki Commons, and sort out all the licensing forms ready for signing off by the user. Current publishing icons look like:
  • a world (for web publishing / hosting with a built in Java player)
  • a mobile phone (for mobile phone publishing / hosting)
  • timecode (for EDL/XML text output for further editing on other systems)
  • iPod (for publishing/hosting video podcasts)
  • MPEG (for MPEG 2 output)
  • Ogg (for Ogg open video/audio formats - this is a new addition, not reflected in the FORscene article yet as I've stopped editing the article now following a suggestion at my RfA)

In order to add them to Wikipedia articles, Ogg videos currently have to be downloaded over the web to a local computer, and then uploaded manually to Wikipedia. This is significantly more work than users have come to expect from the other formats, and not necessarily possible on locked down / firewalled computers such as at work or in a library or cybercafé. I would like to add a new publishing option which automatically uploads Ogg videos to Wikipedia. You can see a couple of manually downloaded and uploaded videos made in this way (shot on a mobile phone, and edited on the web) here and here. Given the impoverished nature of video on Wikipedia (I couldn't find any other videos uploaded this year), I feel this would help to the project by encouraging editors to contribute their original video content under the free licences here.

As this development would exclusively be used for publishing free content to Wikipedia, I think it would be nice to use the Wikipedia logo for this button. What do you think about this idea? Stephen B Streater 22:14, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

See the wikitech-l thread starting at [1]. There's a discussion there about allowing "upload" directly from another server. --cesarb 22:36, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - an interesting thread. Luckily technical issues can be solved :-) The largest video I've uploaded so far is 10MB, though I've got some harder/longer ones to add. I've just set a longer one off to test it. Coincidentally, people don't seem to watch long videos on the web, so encouraging people to edit their material more concisely may not be a bad thing. I'm new to Ogg, so haven't got a feel for file sizes yet, but when I've converted a dozen or so videos, I'll know how things compare with my usual web format. Stephen B Streater 23:20, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
The biggest video I've made so far is 47.9MB in Ogg. Is the upload limit 20MB or 100MB? Here is the current external Java streamed version so you can see it now (size and frame rate adapt to your connection speed). Stephen B Streater 08:31, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

That is specific enough to get the responses you need. I recommed you also post the above details to and as it seems to be a very interesting idea and worthy of consideration. WAS 4.250 01:52, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I've subscribed to the first list, and posted this thread up. Stephen B Streater 08:52, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, Jimbo...

This message—and this edit—marks the end of my editing prowess in the Bronx. I'll be moving to Connecticut tomorrow along with my family. It all depends on my Internet access, but I'll be seeing the Wikipedia community again in a week or two. Goodbye, farewell... and Amen. --Slgr@ndson (page - messages - contribs) 02:09, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Godspeed! Anomo 15:17, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Esperanza/User Page Award


Jimbo Wales, thanks for signing up for the Esperanza User Page Contest. The judges have received the fifteen entries, and are ready to start judging. The judges will take a week to complete the judging process, and they will contact all the participants when the judging is done.

Please drop by the contest page for contest updates and questions. Take care, and good luck! May the Force be with you! Shreshth91($ |-| ŗ 3 $ |-| ţ |-|) 15:13, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Question from wp:fr

Hello Jimbo. I permit myselft to ask you again this question somebody asked you just above...

Your presentation says that you are "the founder and the chairman of the Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that governs Wikipedia".

The way I understand the situation is that although the foundation owns the name "Wikipedia" and the servers that Wikipedia is using, it does not "govern" Wikipedia as it is neither the owner nor the editor of the content of Wikipedia.

Shouldn't your presentation text be modified into "the founder and the chairman of the Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that supports Wikipedia." or something similar? Or did I miss anything?

I think I would not be the sole person that would be interested by a clarification on the subject

I am intersted too by the answer to this question. The reasons are quite clear. I don't consider I work for anybody in particular but for a project and I consider this project owes nobody but everybody. Am I wrong ?

Thank you in advance Best regards, Alithien 14:32, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Have you read Wikipedia:Overview FAQ#Who owns Wikipedia? That may answer your questions. AnonEMouse (squeak) 20:53, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for the links but it unfortunately doesn't answer to the questions...Alithien
As a matter of fact, it makes the issue a bit more problematic. "Wikipedia is managed by a nonprofit parent organization, The Wikimedia Foundation" it? Again, in my understanding, the foundation owns the name Wikipedia, the domain, the servers, but it does not "manage" Wikipedia if "manage" means "organises, determines the content" and if Wikipedia means the encyclopedia.
So we have on Jimbo's user page "Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that governs Wikipedia" and on that page, "Wikipedia is managed by a nonprofit parent organization, The Wikimedia Foundation".
This is certainly not the way I and other understood the situation. Some clarity is desired. Bradipus 12:55, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects.--Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank your for your answer. I have to think about this because I don't consider acceptable, as wikipedia project member to be governed by whoever but only agrees complying with wikipedia community collegial decisions. This way of working looks too much like a kind of dictature éclairée. alithien 10:16, 27 August 2006 (UTC)


I noticed your ban of user:Primetime for copyright violations. Is this eN-WikipediA specific, or Wikimedia wide? If the latter, it would be helpful to know so his sockpuppets on other wikis/langauges can be blocked more easily. Thanx 01:34, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I have no reason to think he is sockpuppeting. Do you know any reason to think so?--Jimbo Wales 07:53, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

After his Spanish WikipediA account es:Usuario:Principal Tiempo was blocked for the same sort of copyright violations he used to perpetrate here, es:Usuario:El Periodico showed up and signed himself as "Principal Tiempo" and started to remove the "blocked" message from his main userpage. From what User:Connel MacKenzie (Adminr. from En Wiktionary) he's been sockpuppeting around there, and I've been attacked by at least three of his puppets on my talk page (User:555jyj, User:Loghfn5 and User:Ulm76), all of which admitted themselves to be socks by signing as "Primetime". There's a whole list at WP:'T and Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Primetime. 18:01, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Primetime has become a very prolific sock-puppeteer, on en.wiktionary, en.wikipedia and en.wikisource. I've also heard he was on es: and de: before. I'm not sure someone as determined as he seems to be can be blocked, without a hypothetical "All Wikimedia" type of block feature. Some other (very long) boring but pertinent links: User talk:Primetime, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive47#Wiktionary user, as well as the long term abuse link WP:'T (referenced above.) --Connel MacKenzie - wikt 19:21, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
(Minor clarification) I'm not suggesting a block, just a clarification on whether or not your ban of him on this wiki (En, WikipediA), is specific to this wiki alone or if he can be indefinately blocked from ANY WMF wiki where he starts sockpuppeting as soon as he's seen. Thanx again. 00:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Didn't receive a response to my issue.

I posted here and expected an answer on a serious problem I had on Wikipedia. The archiving bot for this page has moved it into the archives, but I would appreciate a response. --Kickstart70-T-C 21:04, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales -was the answer to a question (regarding Wikipedia) on Mastermind a week or so ago. Just thought you'd like to know. Actually now I think about it a bit more, I think Jimmy Wales was in the question and Wikipedia was the answer. Jooler 21:09, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

You're too late! I've already added this to Wikipedia:Wikipedia_on_TV_and_Radio! :-) Carcharoth 22:28, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

"Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects"...

...that is the answer you put on Alithien's talk page (further to the question I had initiated) and he copied that answer hereabove.

He is of course not happy with the answer, and neither I am in a way.

But I noted that on his talk page, your answer was under the header "I guess I do not understand your question", and I guess that is just what happened, and you can guess that by the reaction of Alithien: "I don't consider acceptable, as wikipedia project member to be governed by whoever but only agrees complying with wikipedia community collegial decisions."

In order to understand the issue Alithien, me and others can have, you should read the Wikipedia FAQs in the Wikipedia in french: the foundation is described as the entity that supports the project, not as governing entity.

Anyway, I asked the same question on the Village Pump a couple of days ago. The discussion is there, and I think I have reached something that looks like a conclusion, and I would like to share it with you and possibly get your feedback.

Here it goes, indented to be clearly visible.

If you take the usual meaning of "govern and manage", which is organising and taking decisions on a day-to-day basis, the foundation is not governing or managing Wikipedia, because the foundation decided so (I do not consider here as "management" the fact that a lot of people work on ensuring the material support necessary to Wikipedia and eventually take decisions to ensure that).
The Foundation, as owner of the domain names, the name of Wikipedia and the servers that Wikipedia is using, is technically the current "owner" of the general framework (website) that is currently representing Wikipedia, so the Foundation is the only person that has the legal capacity to organise and govern the current Wikipedia project (within the boundaries of its by-laws), but it has decided to let Wikipedia be self-managed in some kind of mild anarchy as long as it goes in the general direction that is given by the pillars.
That way of working is basically something like a social contract between the foundation and wikipedians: as long as they respects the basics and the pillars, they will have a very large autonomy within the project. And as long as the foundation respects that autonomy, the wikipedians will stay (as they have the legal capacity to decide to work for another similar project or build a new one).
It is of course well noted that the Foundation will show its muscles and intervene directly in the following cases:
  • legal issues that are of direct interest to the foundation (possible threats towards the Foundation that need to be adressed such as copyright issue),
  • the pillars of the encyclopedia are not respected (if, for instance, a majority of wikipedians would vote for a policy that is a negation of NPOV or would vote for accepting copyrighted material).
On the subject of these direct interventions, somebody mentionned that you occasionally make binding proclamations (such as anonymous users not being allowed to create articles, WP:CSD#I4, and category:living people), to show that you occasionally exercise executive privilege. These two examples show that you are indeed much closer to the english Wikipedia and do exercise some closer control, but they are also largely within the envisaged boundaries of exceptional intervention when dealing with legal issues that are of direct interest to the foundation. In these examples for instance, it all goes around stressing the importance of respecting the pillars when the foundation is at risk :who knows what would happen if somebody would sue the foundation for something defamatory in a biography? Who, here, wants to court-test the concept that only the author is accountable for what is in an article? Noone probably.
Anyway, to take a step further, I have tentatively further described the social contract between the Foundation and wikipedians as follows: the Foundation is at the same time the Constitutional Convention of the projects it supports, and the Constitutional court of the projects, but it lets the general legislative and executive power to the electronic citizens of the projects, knowing that the other side of this mild anarchy is that the foundation can at any time intervene as constituant power or as constitutional court to put the project back on tracks.

My final suggestion/question in the Village Pump is whether it would be a good idea to materialise this parallel with politics and write a constitution for the projects? And this is where the discussion stopped on the Village Pump.

I would be happy to hear your feedback on the above. Bradipus 21:09, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Who is Wayne Saewyc, and why does he live in Vancouver?

See WP:VPN#McClatchy News article on Wikipedia and Gil Gutknecht. Who is this guy? User:Zoe|(talk) 02:44, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I have responded there. Raul654 02:48, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

about entertainment

Hi Jimmy,I am Magic Designer.Beacuse in meta:CWMC2006 the Wikia meeting was canceled and I am sorry that there was no other time for me to demo my DIY little movies I promised to you .So I put the link for you here:MGdesigner's Movie Studio .Their scripts are made in BullFlower literature.Wish you have fun ^_^.My next movie is about SWAT ~_~

And I also will continue building and promoting BullFlower and Beauty,To explore wiki usage on entertainment and liturature.--MagicDesigner 04:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Image:StewartBrandArsElectronica.JPG listed for deletion

An image or media file that you uploaded or altered, Image:StewartBrandArsElectronica.JPG, has been listed at Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. Please look there to see why this is (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. —♦♦ SʘʘTHING(Я) 14:57, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Attention needed!

These articles: User:Nina, Whitney Sloan, and more to come are unnoticed, and this encyclopedia should be updated (right)? What do you suggest? I've was randomly hitting users and User:Nina is I think no longer active, and Whitney Sloan is being updated in the process. Expect more unnoticed articles! --Sylvia 01:11, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Re: Your comments at Wikipedia talk:Publicity photos#This page is dangerous


With regards to the following statement:

"In general, ordinary publicity photos of celebrities should not be used in Wikipedia unless they are released under a free license. We are powerful enough now that we can insist on this, and get it, from just about any celebrity, or we can get a free photo in a number of different ways. Using fair use in such cases discourages us from creatively looking for a way to enlarge the commons." (emph. added)

I read this as a suggestion that Wikipedia's popularity ought to be used as an instrument of coercion, to suggest that if it is in a celebrity's interest to have their chosen photo represent them in Wikipedia, then they must give up a broad license to their intellectual property rights.

It's reasonable that both parties theoretically would freely exercise their right in property; Wikipedia exercises its right to not-accept the non-free image, and the celebrity exercises their right to not-license the promo photo freely. However, the celebrity has quite reasonably offered the promo photo under terms which balance their desire to control their public image, which can bear heavily on their ability to earn a living in their respective field, and the desire of others to use that image for an illustrative and non-derogatory purpose - a balance which is acceptable to most others.

Your suggestion seems to be (and I admit that this may be hyperbolic) that Wikipedia may require that the celebrity's image be able to be "edited mercilessly [and] redistributed by others", at the threat of releasing a special force of 'GNU-paparazzi' - who will create an image which can be "edited mercilessly [and] redistributed by others" anyways - all in the furtherance of free culture.

I am wondering if you have considered the ethics of this, and am interested in any additional thoughts you had on the matter.

With Regards, KWH 05:01, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Thoughout history heroic men and women have suffered and died for the sake of freedom. Today we battle fanatics overseas who wish to destroy our freedom to believe as we choose. Today our governments find it easy to restrict our freedoms in order to preserve our freedoms. Freedom is under attack at home and abroad. It must be defended whereever possible. Celebrities should be glad to be a part of increasing the freedom of their fans. If they are not, then there is an unending supply of want-to-be-famous persons who will. Why shouldn't standing up for freedom be something we ask from those who want us to spend millions on them? WAS 4.250 05:31, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll note that there are free licenses which permit redistribution but not editing. Also, releasing an image under a free license does not allow it to be used in a defamatory or misleading context. (In other words, even if Tom Cruise were to provide a completely free image – no rights reserved, effectively public domain – it still wouldn't be kosher to use that picture to endorse products, or describe it as a picture of a pedophile, etc.)
As in most transactions, there may be benefits or costs to the involved parties. The celebrities gain a measure of control over how they are presented on Wikipedia, but may not be able to restrict the distribution of those images in the future. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:48, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Non-derivative licenses like {{cc-nd}} are considered non-free in Wikipedia's view. Also, I think what you're describing is their ability to sue under defamation law, which is notably weaker than copyright - The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, and one of the reasons celebrities do not sue tabloids for scurrilous rumours is that they rarely succeed and it only gives more voice to the rumours. It might be a minor point - on reflection, I can see that the situation is much the same as if the celebrity provided a hagiographic article on themselves for publication, but without allowing modification - we would refuse it, and we would create our own article. I am still not certain about the note of coercion inherent. If a celebrity eventually determines by themself that it's in their best interest to publish {{cc-by-sa-2.5}} promo photos, that's great. Maybe Jimmy was just a bit excited when he said that "we are powerful enough" to get this. Frankly, I think that we need to get more photographers into press conferences and photo-scrums like this. KWH 08:56, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I have come across a related issue. I, amongst other things, make videos as a hobby. The laws over rights to video content are complex. Even if I shoot and edit a video myself, I may not have all the rights to it. For example, making videos (and probably taking photographs) on the London Underground without permission is not allowed. Many people will not know this, and will upload videos under a free licence which they are not legally able to give. The problem is that, by insisting on free licences, Wikipedia makes it the responsibility of each non-legally-expert volunteer editor to make an assessment of the legal situation. This could discourage people from uploading perfectly OK content. This chilling effect is unecessary. I would like to see a new licence condition which says something like: free, but only while no legal reason for withdrawal has been registered at Wikipedia (or wherever information was uploaded to), or even free in a bit when we've seen that no one has objected would reduce possible problems a lot in practice. This would allow more uploading, with the option of fixing things up later in the event there was a problem. Stephen B Streater 10:30, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The chilling effect comes from (unreasonable, imho) laws. Wikipedia content must be reusable. Some of your proposals would have wikipedia passing on the chilling effect to our own users; some don't, and might be interesting.
Part of our mission (foundation issue #4) is to stop the chilling effects at our door. Our users must have complete confidence that downloading and using any wikipedia content is permitted and safe.
Kim Bruning 11:51, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
So does leaving the legal decisions to inexperienced uploaders achieve the goal of leaving the chilling effect at the door? Perhaps there could be a more expert group of RC patrollers who can check new video content, and post a list of relevant questions to the originator. Of course, the same applies to images, which are constantly being checked. I feel a grey area holding bay for new content would increase the confidence in more established material. Stephen B Streater 12:01, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
You have a point. Several people are starting to recognise this as a problem. Perhaps other methods are available as well? (Some folks were suggesting a licence wizard, IIRC ;-) <ducks and runs>) Kim Bruning 12:25, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Just as Wikipedia articles work best when they have a number of editors, the key here is exposure to public scrutiny. My favoured solution is a technical one: allow upload of the videos. For a period of time, allow streaming but not download. This allows content to be added to articles and criticised/checked by the community. Only after a period of time is the content released as free. Wikipedia lives in the Real World (tm), and practical solutions cannot be ignored for the sake of extremist ideology. This solution will end up with both more free content and less non-free content on Wikipedia. In this case, the means justify the ends. Stephen B Streater 13:02, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Streaming is a form of download. If I can see it, I can make a permanent copy. Streaming can be a copyright violation if the content has an unfree license. Streaming is not a solution. WAS 4.250 13:36, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
So you can make a copy? Be my guest. The point about the copyright violation is that it can usually be remedied if all copies can be destroyed. Ultimately, we're talking about reducing damages to the extent that litigation is never undertaken against Wikipedia(ns). Stephen B Streater 13:53, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let's not do that. Kim Bruning 14:18, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
But it may be impossible to check for copyright without being able to see the material. And if it turns out to breach copyright, it's already too late, on a strict interpretation of the rules. So given that seeing may be necessary for checking, and it can be hard to copy streamed content (although I acknowledge possible with the right equipment), I would like to see what other alternatives available before rejecting this one. Stephen B Streater 14:30, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
In the example you just linked to, the applet appears to be used as a tool to restrict access to content. Wikipedia is not really interested[1] in the restricted content niche at all, so we are not considering the use of any tools or alternatives in that particular niche.
Applets to assist playback on certain operating systems might be interesting, provided they are freely (as in speech) licenced, and allow free (as in speech) and easy access to any content they display, including downloads. Did you say somewhere that you might be willing to offer something like that? :-) Kim Bruning 14:57, 25 August 2006 (UTC) [1] As a core value: committed to eliminating, the hard way, one article at a time, uphill, both ways, in driving snow.
I've offered a free Java player several times, before and during my RfA, but just got calls for my banning. The applet I put up when WAS 4.250 said copying was easy is, as you suggest, designed to make copying inconvenient. This shows that allowing streaming does not make copying easy. It is important when determining strategy not to be constrained by current implemented technology though. We should distinguish between the player and the content - a free format could be encrypted during a trial phase to make copying harder. Stephen B Streater 15:12, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to re-iterate that copy-restriction is not very interesting, though I'd like to thank you very much for the offer. Playing files that are open for download might be quite interesting, however. :-) Kim Bruning 15:19, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
How about if people aren't sure files are OK to upload without trying them out first. Would you rather have
  • (a) no such files on WP
  • (b) right's restricted material signed off on WP as free when it isn't
  • (c) a trial period on WP followed by a free licence?
I would prefer (c), but you seem to be preferring a mixture of (a) and (b). Stephen B Streater 15:26, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Out of these options, (a) is optimal.
My actual preference would be (d) A slow growth of free material on wikipedia. Kim Bruning 15:35, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I wondered what you (d) would be ;-) I would say this is the clear consensus of "Important People" here. I am hoping to improve on (a)+(d), but there is no rush to find a solution. As Jimbo says at the start, Wikipedia's influence may be able to speed up (d) if it is not diluted by allowing non-free content. I can help people on the creation of free content. All we need is some system for helping on the rights side. I'm contibuting to (d), but its a bit of a lonely place where video is concerned at the moment. Stephen B Streater 15:57, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
 :-) Kim Bruning 16:09, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
On copyright and speaking also as a hobbyist videographer. I recently uploaded a video to WP and was completely confused by the array of copyright clauses presented to me. I basically guessed at which one I ought to choose. Should I have read and understand every single agreement? I would rather not upload any more video if that is what I have to do - as for one thing - I could read them all and probably still get it wrong!
Video managed like text. If video were able to be managed more like text articles we have a change history and a clear statement of what is the current version. An intermediary would need to make the changes for you to track them. From a copyright perspective, you could address 'contentious' footage which may remove a copyright objection. Naturally this works best if footage is ring fenced. But even if the footage were not ring fenced it would still be a great feature.
On retraction of videos. If video could be retracted (or should I say superceded) more easily then it would also be possible to correct errors or mistakes in the footage too - before people begin to copy it. I had an example of this on a recent video I uploaded where I spotted the mistake only after having uploaded it. But as soon as I uploaded it, the video could have been downloaded hundreds of times (that's modesty for you). Even if videos had been downloaded, a system that makes it easier for a person to evaluate which version they had downloaded would be helpful to them.
If there were ever a role of 'copyright checker' it might be good to also provide a channel for raising issues over copyright against particular bits of footage. That way, issues could be raised and progressed and terminate with a video being recalled (ok there are issues with this!), amended, or rejected. mk 21:49, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
We could have a default licence option when uploading from FORscene. This could fill in name and date and any pre-configured conditions. Given the complexity of the Wikimedia interface, I'm not surprised there are so few videos uploaded here at the moment! But all this can be fixed over time. Stephen B Streater 10:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
It appears there is a fundamental question about scope of the word "free". Kim is saying the chilling effect should stop at the door. Let me give you an illustration. At Eidos, we made a video promo which had Sony headphones in it, with their logo clearly visible. They threatened to sue for breach of trademark, because they said it was important that they were Sony headphones ie they were not just generic headphones. We changed "Sony" to read "Phony" and escaped litigation. The point is that a generic headphone which just happened to by Sony would have been OK. Now, suppose someone makes a "free" video with a generic headphone, which happens to be Sony. This is fine on the face of it. But then Eidos takes out the headphones part of the video and re-uses in a way where the Sonyness is important. This is now a breach of trademark. So I am currently sceptical about this "re-use anywhere" idea when applied to photographs and video. The strict interpretation of: "No future use of this video could ever infringe any rights in any circumstances" gives technically no videos in the UK because of the Official Secrets Act, and given that laws can change, it is not productive to use this rule anywhere. In practice, a good rule for Wikipedia could be re-use anywhere that doesn't infringe any new rights. Stephen B Streater 10:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Consider the issue of character rights. I could take a generic video of Wimbledon which happens to contain someone important in the background. This would be fine. But then, if someone takes their image and slaps it on an ad (ie commercial use allowed by the free licence), suddenly they could have an injunction brought against them to prevent publication. Or an even clearer case, a photo of a minor could be in the public domain. If this persons is charged with a crime, his identity cannot be published, so use of the photo/video in this context is forbidden. Stephen B Streater 10:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
In conclusion, stopping the chilling effect at the door is in fact impossible (as above). Trying to insist on this policy will boil down to having only (in practice) unfree content from people who are unaware of the issues. The unofficial Wikipedia motto presented by supporters of "freedom" in my RfA: The means justify the ends should be reviewed in the light of evidence from the real world. Let's start at the ends we want to achieve, which is for content to be accessible and as free as possible, and then work out the means to get there. Stephen B Streater 10:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I have also encountered sensitivies over filming certain buildings, foreign embassies, you either might not be aware of these restrictions (ignorance is no defence!), or you might not realise what you're filming is in fact an embassy. I also talked to a film crew once about filming and they said they did not have a license to film certain areas of a city. And a group of British tourists will attest to the consequences of even writing down numbers of certain military aircraft - let alone taking photos or videos - they spent several months in prison and never even published anything!
If I am ever going to publish a video of anything then the power to retract, having read the previous contribution, would be a paramount concern in order to protect myself.
Is the current approach on WP just naive then? I.e. there are scenarios that were simply not foreseen re exposing a person or organisation to some rather unpleasent consequences. Is the current approach just an impractical ideal? Or could it be WP only ever expects / is happy with videos or photos to consist of footage of blue sky, flowers, and shots at such a wide viewing angle that no discernable detail could ever be picked out. We can get plenty of those but it does not really get the best out of the medium!
What is the best way to mitigate against these issues. I.e. to protect the author / WP). Is it creating better policy/guidelines (e.g. statements like 'remove all trademarks' and exclude any 'military or diplomatic sites' etc.), or better systems - ones that allow video/photos to be retracted - just like text can be (sort of) retracted from articles, or a combination of both?
mk 18:46, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm proposing a "cooling off" period which should pick up most problems. This could apply to both images and videos. It is easier with videos, as images can be more simply captured off a screen. People tend not to copy videos off a screen so much, and the licence could exclude this anyway, which would protect everyone legally. Stephen B Streater 20:02, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
This story here talks about large scale infringement. Having a few videos is easy to keep tabs on but if content increases substantially in volume it is harder to police. It is the organisation hosting the material that is targetted for the breach, not the authors/uploaders. Clearly a victim of its own success. mk 20:57, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Images, Copyrights, Porn, and 18 USC 2257


There's been a spirited debate on WP:AN/I over what to do about a number of images, ranging from innocuous to hardcore, uploaded by User:publicgirluk. I'd like to specifically direct your attention to Image:Woman_Pearl_Necklace.jpg and Image:Facial.png. My reading of USC 2257 suggests that even if there are no copyright issues with these images, they put the Foundation at risk because we are absolutely unable to comply wth 2257(f)(4), since there is no statement associated with these images that describe where the records pertaining to them are kept. I think this is worth running by the Foundation's lawyers. I don't want to delete material willy-nilly, but if I'm correct I think we should take fast action.

Regards, Nandesuka 00:06, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

It is unfortunate that there was any debate at all here. This was pretty clearly a case of trolling. I would recommend a checkuser on various parties involved to see who else we ought to block in this nonsense. People are really missing the point if they think we should allow this kind of nonsense to go on. This is an encyclopedia, not a free speech zone for trolls.--Jimbo Wales 16:05, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. I was sort of disturbed by how many editors' critical facilities seem to have been turned off in this case. I can guess why, but there's no need to say it out loud. Nandesuka

Greater involvement by scientists and Ignore all Rules

Can Wikipedia stress the "Ignore all Rules" part of the Trifecta a little more?

Dr. Bertrand Meyer (the creator of the Eiffel programming language) came to Wikipedia and cleaned up the Eiffel programming language article (No editor disagreed with any of his content) but a number of Wikipedia editors would not allow him to use a blue color for the articles code snippets. (The Eiffel standard states that color should be used to reinforce semantics, in a consistent way and blue is used for this).

They were inflexible and occasionally not as polite as they could have been.

In the past, he has had a very positive view of wikipedia: Defense and illustration of Wikipedia where he stated: "A more pragmatic look at Wikipedia as it exists today indicates that the project, while perhaps not living up to the hype of its most fervent promoters, has become a superbly useful tool for Web-based fact-finding."

Finally he gave up, and the Wikipedia editors sent him on his way wishing him: "Goodbye and good riddance." and "rv; enjoy your block"

A little more flexiblity (as in "Ignore all Rules" and let in some blue code snippets (I don't even think that wikipedia has an official policy on the color for code snippets)) would have helped here, but the Ignore All Rules part of the trifecta is stressed quite a bit less than the NPOV and the "Don't Be a Dick" parts.

Maybe some kind of "Ignore All Rules" week would help. 07:05, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Why don't you ignore all rules and vandalize this page, that would sure show everyone. 02:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Please take a look at WP:IAR, vandalizing a page does not improve or maintain Wikipedia's quality. --Credema 07:20, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see WP:IAR as the key to the issue that you mention. NPOV and DBAD are just as applicable. Whoever wrote the comments you mentioned ("...good riddance", etc.) was wrong. At the same time, looking at the changes, it looks like Mr. Meyer could have been more civil as well.
Wiki is a different medium than other writing. While the idea of wiki sounded fine, dealing with reality is a lot messier. I have a nice little mess of my own creating higher up this page. The user in question (who might or might not by the real life Bertrand Meyer) didn't seem particularly interested in collaborating, and several users were understandably irate over this. You can be brilliant in your field, but that doesn't buy instant privs or esteem.
You must be willing and able to deal with other people if you want to be part of wikipedia. No amount of "ignoring all rules" will change that. -- Isogolem 23:36, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the Eiffel discussion degenerated, but the initial conflict (non-content based conflict) occurred the editors were more interested in the rules "no code snippets may be blue" and "all code snippets for all programming languages must be in an identical format" than in producing good Wikipedia content.
When admins post: "I don't know how better to put it. Dr. Meyer doesn't make the rules here. Experienced Wikipedia editors know the rules here, and if Dr. Meyer refuses to learn from them then this isn't going to work." [2] when discussing the font color for a section of an article, it demonstrates that to them "the rules" may be more important than content or civility. What rule could be less disruptive if broken than that one? If an admin/editor won't IAR in that case, when will they?
Bend the rules - let the font be a different color than on other programming languages, let the language creator improve the article, make Wikipedia editting a positive experience, everyone wins.
Stick to the rules - make the font be the same color as on other programming languages, let the language creator leave in frustration, say "goodbye and good riddence", no one wins. 01:04, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I have already agreed with you on the "good riddence" comment. There is no excuse for it.
That being said, no matter how many times you mention it, it is still only one commment out of many, and I feel you are misrepresenting the progression of events. There seems to constructive disussion for a while here and here, including the suggestion that while in might not be the same as other articles, color is an option still under discussion. Then it appears B-Meyer is the one who begins to get upset, here, claiming harasment where I personally can see none. There was good faith effort to to caution B-Meyer, here. There is even a plea for mutual respect by one editor to B-Meyer, here. And once again it is Meyer who escalates matters, here - "... mob rule, proud of its arrogant incompetence. I will move the text to a place where it is free from interference from the vandals." Now here finally we see someone committing personal attack, but it is Meyer not one of the other editors.
The other comments you mention occured after that edit, as here. This doesn't excuse them, but it does cast them in a slightly different light, I think. The editors didn't gang up on Meyer to force him out, he left in a huff.
This is not about the "rules" as you are trying to frame it. The editors your are claiming should have done more IAR were trying to make sure that they maintained the quality of wikipedia by maintaining the consistency of the wikipedia article style. They were willing to break with that style if it were needed but were unwilling to do so without due consideration and discussion. The discussion might not have been progressing at the speed on in the direction Meyer wanted, and so he became upset, confusing many.
What you seem to be suggesting is something other than IAR. This isn't about the rules, it is about medium awareness. Everyone can edit is part of the wiki medium, and it appears Meyer was unable to handle that aspect of it. -- Isogolem 07:32, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course, I would argue, it might not be helpful for us to blame him for lack of 'medium awareness'. I would have preferred to see people treat him with a lot more patience and kindness EVEN AFTER he got a bit huffy. And why shouldn't we be nice? Costs nothing, and has a better result in the end.--Jimbo Wales 09:07, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
This is a very minor little corner of Wikipedia, but I can tell you (Jimbo and others), that Meyer was treated with an amazing amount of patience and kindness, continuing well past the point where he got huffy, and even well past the point where he started repeated page blanking. I happen to have done a great deal of that in email with Meyer, along with on Talk:Eiffel programming language. Unfortunately, Meyer's attitude just proved to be "My way or the highway" (on the most trivial of issues, no less)... I think he might have rathered the rest of WP "hit the highway" instead, but ultimately he decided to (despite repeated polite, even obsequious, requests he not do so). LotLE×talk 17:57, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
The point of my original "Greater involvement by scientists and Ignore All Rules" post was that I believe that |Ignore All Rules| policy should be stressed more - especially "on the most trivial of issues, no less"
There may be better examples of "stick-to-the-rulesitis" but I was thinking about IAR and the Eiffel|Bertrand Meyer happening was the example I saw. 18:28, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
New users always benefit from guidance. Kindness is the greatest wisdom. Stephen B Streater 10:09, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


Hi, Jimbo. I couldn't think of anywhere else to say this, so here I am. I don't think enough Admins follow WP:IAR enough, or IAR isn't specific enough. Say somone is vandalizing an article on purpose, and only one non-admin is around to revert it. The vandal keeps going and eventually both he and the contributor break 3RR. Sometimes, the contributor will be blocked along with the vandal, even though he did it out of good faith and was only thinking about Wikipedia. Is there any way to get IAR to be a little more important? People getting blocked for good faith edits isn't fair. Too many admins take the rules too literally, and I think something should be done about it.--KojiDude 00:05, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

  1. "I don't think enough Admins follow WP:IAR enough" We get more complaints that they do the opposite.
  2. "Say somone is vandalizing an article on purpose, and only one non-admin is around to revert it. The vandal keeps going and eventually both he and the contributor break 3RR. Sometimes, the contributor will be blocked along with the vandal, even though he did it out of good faith and was only thinking about Wikipedia." No good deed goes unpunished. Goodness is its own reward.
  3. "Is there any way to get IAR to be a little more important?" No
  4. "People getting blocked for good faith edits isn't fair. Too many admins take the rules too literally, and I think something should be done about it." Yes, we have a rule against "admins tak[ing] the rules too literally". Its called IAR.
  • Bottom line : Sources presented in an unbiased way trump all the bullshit. WAS 4.250 03:44, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty insulted on how you called my comment "bull shit". And if IAR did take care of this kind of problem, then I wouldn't be complaining, now would I?--KojiDude 03:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
What I think WAS 4.250 would be trying to say, were he feeling a bit more WP:CIVIL, is that there is little the must be fixed immediately. There is really nothing to worry about, your changes are still there and can be brought back. In the case of vandals, WP:AIV is the right way to go. If this is a content dispute, do the right thing.

While I disagree with WAS 4.250 in the implication that only admins are allowed to IAR, I'm finding that I'd rather have the rules applied overly consistently, than capriciously. -- Isogolem 06:18, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Either way, if this is a complaint about an administrator blocking someone for 3rr when he or she shouldn't have, this is probably more of a place for ANI to get other's opinions, or perhaps an RFC. Anyway, the first step is to speak with the blocking administrator. Cowman109Talk 06:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo, along the same lines of this, I see that some people have taken your decree as that IAR should actually be considered legitimate policy, which really has some nasty implications to it. We're past the point of this, I'm sure, and people taking this to heart are causing a growing amount of strife. Perhaps you could clarify, since it's fairly simple as it is, what you mean by this and why it's at all a good idea considering its divisiveness? --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:56, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

WP:IAR is a good idea because it recognizes that, on Wikipedia, the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law. It suggests that we have the intelligence and sophistication to handle this, rather than assuming we're all dimwitted children who must be made to rigidly follow each rule as we're not capable of doing the right thing otherwise. Attempts to invoke IAR in destructive or just plain stupid ways should, of course, be ignored. --Xyzzyplugh 20:37, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
The problem is when IAR is invoked in ways that can't be ignored or reversed easily. I'm not sure how aware of the problem people are. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:11, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Just wanted to make this clear: This wasn't supossed to be a complaint or a report about an administraitor doing this, it's just that I've seen it happen before, and I wanted to try and get something done about it. That's all.--KojiDude 19:46, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Jim Hawkins

I considered reverting, at least in part, your courtesy blanking, but I rather figured that wasn't a good idea. I readily recognize that you're inclined, in situations such as this, to undertake to accomodate a living subject, even in such cases as the talk page discussion wasn't in contravention of policy, but I think two concerns to remain: (a) the {{Notable Wikipedian}} should remain (FWIW, I long ago commented out the IPs, even as such commenting out isn't necessary; as I explained here, our practice seems to be to use the template even anon editors) and (b) even as archiving the talk page is in practice unnecessary, such archiving should be undertaken, if only because much of the excised discussion was as to the substance of the page.

As you may recall, we are on opposite ends of the BLP issue, but I think we agree that there is a qualitative distinction between an individual who is irked by inaccuracies in a biography and a notable individual who objects to the existence of a biography, and I think we ought not to compromise encyclopedic principles to accomodate the latter.

I wonder, then, whether you would object to my returning the Notable Wikipedian template and adding a formal archive box (neither action serves some profound practical purpose, but each would be consistent with policy and go toward the proposition that accomodation of a plainly notable individual who objects to our aggregating verifiable content need not to be more than cursory). Joe 06:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Straw poll on See Alsos being developed

I am developing a straw poll on see alsos and I am hoping anyone reading this page would help contribute. Wikipedia:See alsos Anomo 06:15, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


Mr.Willison here I'm a reaaly big fan your like a rockstar to me thanks. now to buissness I got some question umm... how do you get user boxes and why won't you guys make a comecial I can see it WIKIPEDIA BE BOLD AND EDIT. Thanks it would be cool to have you write something on my page thanks.User:Mr.Willison 6:55, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi there, Jimbo. I would like to know what your opinion regarding the use of the Wikimedia Foundation logo on Image:CVU2.PNG, Image:CVU2.svg, and Image:Counter Vandalism Unit.png. I understand that there has been debate a while back about concerns that it may look like this is a Foundation-endorsed project, but what I'd like to point out is its violation of the Wikimedia visual identity guidelines. The Foundation-part of the full CVU logo uses alternating black/white background, which is against the part of the guidelines which restrict use of the logo to white or light gray backgrounds. Again, I am not necessarily suggesting you spontaneously delete these images; I would just like to know what your opinion is of the matter. (If you wish to respond, please copy the response to my talk page so I'll get the notification.) —this is messedrocker (talk) 07:41, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Quote in WP:NPOV

Hi. Just a note to say that you're currently being misquoted (or more acuratly 'selectivly quoted') in the lead to the NPOV policy. This quote appears to being pushed to promote the 'NPOV Over All Other Policy' position.

It currently reads 'According to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable."', when the original quote is "A few things are absolute and non-negotiable, though. NPOV for example.". This does seem only a little difference. But it's being used to promote the idea that you said this about NPOV alone, and that this indicates a policy position. --Barberio 20:22, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Misquotation (Quotation#Misquotations) implies misinterpretation. The selective quote does not suggest that other policies of wikipedia are not also "absolute and non-negotiable." The inclusion of this wording as part of policy is also a fact. Selective quoting in this case clarifies and simplifies the argument and quote without detraction, and is used in proper context. Further, I would likely argue that NPOV trumps any other policy as the WP:NPOV, WP:NOR and Wikipedia:Verifiability form a "constitution" that all the other wikipedia policies are built off of. Electrawn 21:13, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
However, the quote as it stood was being taken by many to imply that WP:NPOV trumped WP:NOR and Wikipedia:Verifiability as well. --Barberio 10:04, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


FYI, I've sent you an email concerning User:PublicgirlUK's block. JoshuaZ 23:49, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


I am a new enthusiastic user and i would just like to say hello and thank you for this marvellous encyclopedia. Jig-Saw 02:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Funny Pictures

Dear Jimbo,

How should I upload a funny picture of you? (Wikimedia Commons or Straight to wikipedia?)BashmentBoy 17:13, 1 September 2006 (UTC)BashmentBoy


Hello Mr. Wales. I am here to plea for you to overturn the Arbitrators decision in my case. I am listed for arbitration, and it is in motion to close. However, I was wrong, and I admit it. Since I got off my 1 month ban, I have done nothing to cause controversy, and have not made personal attacks or engaged in revert wars. It has been over 1 month since the ban, and I assure you that I deserve one more chance. I do not want to be banned from Wikipedia for a year, for I learned my lesson, and am making a serious effort to become a more constructive member to the Wikipedia community. I worked on creating several new articles, and have been active in discussions about city and community naming conventions in the USA. I just ask of you to consider just giving me another chance, because I really am working hard to change the ways before I went on my ban. I know I can be a tough pill to swallow a lot of times, but I am getting the knack of things, and starting to fit in, and edit in a constructive and peaceful manner. I even went through all the rules on Wikipedia regarding disputes, etc. just so I knew my limits, and would not violate them any further. Please, just let me continue to be active to Wikipedia, and although my contribution will be minor in the scheme of things, I really do want to contribute. If you could please respond on my talk page, I would greatly appreciate it. Ericsaindon2 05:15, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of the talk pages of user's with a significant edit history

Hi, Jimbo. I was wondering if you would like to comment on this because you have performed a few deletions of user talk pages, you could give us insight on what the policy is or what it should be changed to, and you are the most qualified person to answer the question about whether Meta's policies and guidelines trump those of Wikipedia. Thanks, Kjkolb 12:38, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Trademarks committee

Hi, there is an ongoing debate about the status of CVU (en:Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit) logos and their legal status on wikipedia. The discussion is ongoing on a number of locations including the mailing list and en:Wikipedia talk:Counter-Vandalism Unit. After Angelas comment on the mailing list, I felt the trademark committee is the proper median for this issue to be addressed and hence why I am here. (Please respond on my talk page so I know you have responded) --Cat out 18:22, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Date for "Statement of Principles"

I raised this a few months ago, so forgive me for mentioning it again, but I still find that the "Statement of Principles" lacks any context indicating when it was written. I know this can be found in the page history (well, I hope it can), but it would be useful for something like this to have a comment like this somewhere: "This document was first written on 21 August 2006, and last updated on 26 August 2006". At the moment, the "As we move forward..." bit seems to refer either to now, or some indeterminate point in the past (2001? 2002? 2003? 2004? 2005? 2006?). Probably both, but it is a bit confusing. Carcharoth 23:39, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

According to the copy of the page at the nostalgia wiki it was created at: 01:34, 27 October 2001. The page now states this. Just a bit of Wikignomaticim for your benefit. JesseW, the juggling janitor 00:54, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I still think it would be useful to have the original date on the page here on Wikipedia, not just on the nostalgia version, as I think it would be useful to people currently reading the page (otherwise it looks like it could have been written yesterday, which is misleading), but I'm not hopeful that anyone else is reading this. Oh, and does Wikipedia:Wikignome exist yet? Carcharoth 11:41, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah. I've looked into it a bit further. Seeing as there is a template placing the text on the front page, I then went and looked at the subpage where the text resides and I saw that you (Jesse) had put the date there, but in "noinclude" tags. I then went and looked at the talk page, and saw that at least one other person had independently asked about the date for the Statement of Principles (on 6 August 2006). So I am going to put a note there linking to all the discussion on this, and then rewrite the "date" note and move it outside the "noinclude" tags, and use an edit summary telling people to look at the talk page. Plus a courtesy note to Jimbo at the bottom of this talk page so he can revert all this himself if he wants to. Carcharoth 09:41, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

What's the deal?

What's the deal with this? "Under the new approach, page edits will no longer be immediately applied to pages but will instead have to be approved by an administrator before they become visible. Vandalism or changes which are not approved will not appear." I am amazed I never heard anything about this before, since it would mean a complete (and probably terrible) redefinition of Wikipedia. They say it is going into effect on de: soon and then may be applied elsewhere. What is your position on this, Jimbo? Everyking 09:58, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

My position is that the author of it had no idea what he was talking about when he wrote it. He still seems to not "get it" even with the correction.--Jimbo Wales 16:06, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Is this updated version accurate? Trevor Saline 23:49, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo, is the updated version above accurate? Trevor Saline 20:47, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
No. See above: "He still seems to not 'get it' even with the correction." — Dan | talk 21:14, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying that. Everyking 05:05, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

The greatest contribution...

Whilst writing a reply to somone on my userpage User talk:LinaMishima/Experts Problem, the talk page for a discussion into the claims about experts leaving (aiming to look for real and helpful solutions), I realised that I had came to believe quite strongly in the following. I thought yourself, and the croud who look in on here, may find this opinion of mine to be thought provoking:

"That, in many respects, is the greatest contribution anyone can make to wikipedia. Not the creation of new articles, not adding references or images, not removing cruft articles and not dealing with vandalism. Quite simply, the greatest contribution to wikipedia is teaching others how to get along, how to use reason and logic, and how to respect their use by others." LinaMishima 22:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Post that on AN/I. Everyking 03:59, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Applause! :) WP already has many good editors; what we need are good mentors. Kasreyn 04:05, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

The thread basically says if you're an expert, get your work published, then wikipedia has to carry it. I've often considered that if you were a notable columnist for a notable newspaper, whatever you want to write about, you could get into wikipedia. Don't like the POV of an article, write a lot of articles offline to fix it then on wikipedia, source them in the article. Anomo 05:56, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I would prefer to keep discussion of the article to the article. This here is intended to be a statement of my thoughts of the greatest contribution one can make, helping others to think logically. With respect to your comment, it misses the point that WP:NOR is not being argued, the the article raises points that are more to do with crank editing, abuse of WP:NPOV and vandalism. LinaMishima 11:51, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Anyone can edit

"You can edit this page right now is a core guiding check on everything that we do. We must respect this principle as sacred."

re your comment above, I agree that the key to this thing working is right there, in the "anyone can edit" part, so much so that I wrote an essay that explains some of our other core policies in terms of "anyone can edit":User:Pedant/Pillars if you are interested in reading it. I've used it to explain the core policies to new users, when needed. I thought I'd point it out to you, feel free to edit it if you want. While I'm here, I thought I'd share a quote from the discussion on Inherently funny words "Millard Fillmore ate a rutabaga and badger muffaletta". Thanks for getting this fun project started! User:Pedant 09:38, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Date for "Statement of Principles" (checking date)

A date for the publication of the Statement of Principles has been added. If this is wrong, or you or any other editor do not wish the date to appear with the statement, please revert my changes at the subpage. A more detailed explanation is here (you may need to scroll to the bottom of the page). Thank you. Carcharoth 10:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Here's not the place for reporting such things. Try WP:PAIN instead. MER-C 10:15, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's most random entry

Hi Jimbo,

I noticed that a while ago you cited Crushing by elephant as the most random entry you'd ever found on Wikipedia [3]. You might be interested to know that I've recently rewritten and expanded the article with lots more gory detail (impeccably cited, of course) - enjoy! -- ChrisO 13:27, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Herr Wales, weshalb haben Sie mich blockiert?

Ich hatte mich bemüht, Wikipedia-Artikel zu verbessern, die mit Physik zusammenhängen, kannte mich mit den Regeln aber noch zu wenig aus und bin dann offenbar aufgrund eines Mißverständnisses dauerhaft blockiert worden. An der Entscheidung waren Sie offenbar beteiligt. Könnten Sie bitte Ihre Entscheidung näher begründen, damit ich dazu Stellung nehmen kann? Mit freundlichen Grüßen, KraMuc, 15:30, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Translation: I had striven, To improve Wikipedia article, those with physics are connected, could do me with the rules however still too little out and then obviously due to a misunderstanding durably one blocked. At the decision you were obviously involved. You could justify please your decision more near, so that I can take in addition position? Yours sincerely, KraMuc, 15:30, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
--KojiDude 19:58, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

We need your help!

Hello Jimbo :) first, I'd like to say it is an honour to talk to you. Second, I'd like to invite you to participated in an on-going discussion, at Wikipedia talk:Village pump (proposals)/Sidebar redesign#Logo changes, which is likely to result in a revision of the logo of this site. We could use someone with access to edit higher levels in the site, in order to accomplish our aims. Your help would be much appreciated, thankyou in advance :) - Jack (talk) 11:38, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I beg your pardon

Mr. Wales,

I beg of you to take some type of action regarding the David Duke article and the outlandish edits of various editors whom feel as though alering this article to polish David Duke's image will gain some sort of notoriety. I do not believe this it is my sole POV that Dr. Duke is a racist, a bigot, an anti-semite, or utterly xenophobic based upon his remarks over a 30 year political career. However, I feel as though certain individual have demonized me for simply stating the facts pertaining to Dr. Duke's biography. I believe in free speech, yet I also believe in the truth and in this case there should be no debate as to whether the former Grand Wizard of the KKK is a racist or not.
Thank you, 05:47, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I guess you don't care. Okay, that's fine. Rest assure that the integrity of Wikipedia has been stained forever by silently condoning this behavior.

Thank you for your interest, or lack there of. 04:51, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Siegenthaler, Biographies of Living Persons, CNN and Kyra Phillips

Mr. Wales,

Back on December 5th, 2005 you participated in a round table discussion on CNN about the John Siegenthaler debacle. Moderator was CNN host Kyra Phillips and the counter point was none other than John Seigenthaler himself.

From the transcript ( , Kyra Phillips herself reviews her own wikipedia article. "I was shocked to see what was under my name. I was pretty disappointed," Phillips said. "I saw that my bio was on there, which of course comes from CNN. But then there was stuff about how liberals -- I'm accused by liberals of showing right-wing bias, and then it links onto other blogs with a bias, and I look like a right-wing commie, if you were to look at my name on this Wikipedia site."

Since then, Wikipedia policies have evolved/changed, especially about Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons and Wikipedia:Reliable_sources.

Fast forward to August 2006, Phillips is part of an on air gaffe at CNN. The Kyra Phillips article still read like a liberal blog. . Six months after Siegenthaler and the on air comments, the article still made Phillips look like in her words "a right-wing commie."

From my journalism experience, I already knew the article was severely unbalanced. I still had to fight an edit war amongst many wikipedians from anonymous to regular user to administrators. From my experience, I am highly concerned that your average wikipedian is unfamiliar with policy. Fortunatly, policy was clear and explicit enough that I could aggressively edit the article. In it's current form (, I feel it is somewhat balanced, although includes irrelevant information. (augh..France reference popped back in!)

I wonder how many articles like this exist, I suspect hundreds. Many articles I see cite blogs and other irrelevant primary sources. The problem is rampant and erodes Wikipedia itself.

I am sure there is tons of debate on the matter, however, someone needs to act. At the very least, an internal media campaign to bring most of the users up to speed on all the important policies. Even to the point of creating easily surmountable barriers to entry. Wikiality is a derogatory term.

Signed, Electrawn 22:03, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. I second this. I have had similar experiences, and my impression is that there is a vast sea of misinformation that threatens to erode the Wikipedia sandcastle. The challenge is to get the balance right between encouraging the inflow of volenteer-added and edited information, and educating those same volunteer editors to reach acceptable standards, and to be sceptical enough to seek out verifiable and reputable information sources. Carcharoth 14:53, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Update: I have formed a working group to deal directly with Libel issues, hopefully similar to one that works with vandals. Consensus is being formed on how to proceed. See WP:LPU. Electrawn 04:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Negative comments on a living person

Hi Jimbo, With all the concern about defamatory comments and being sensitive to living people who are mentioned in Wikipedia, I was wondering how far the removal of unsourced or poorly sourced criticism of the subjects in Wikipedia biographies of living people went. There have been several unsourced attacks by editors on a discussion page about the mother of the subject in the article:

“Clearly, Demkina's mother has publicly spoken falsely about her daughter's abilities. And her motive for doing so is not just a mother's pride. She and her daughter have already enjoyed great income from Demkina's readings (earning up to 40 times the average government worker's income in Saransk, with her part-time, after-school "job." And she and Demkina stand to reap even great wealth by convincing people that her daughter's diagnoses are 100 percent correct. Such exceptional, self-serving and profiteering claims do not constitute exceptional evidence. They are far more consistant with the hawking of a quack. Wikipedia is not a medium to be used by quacks to promote themselves.“

I bolded the unsourced parts of that post...

And another example of an attack on the same person is:

“There is absolutely no reason to believe whatever Natasha's mother say. She lies without winking her eye. I have a part of the Discovery Channel taped; I know Russian language and it is a fact that this mommy lied without any doubt. Quite a few statements in the deleted text are word of mouth coming from the person who is interested in lying.”

Are these attacks on the motives and character of a living person acceptable on a Wikipedia discussion page or should they be removed? I've received conflicting opinions from Wikipedia administrators, and since I know this is one of your major concerns, I thought I'd ask you directly. Hope that's ok...

Thanks! Dreadlocke 01:58, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

I think such negative commentary on a talk page is unnecessary and undignified. I would recommend that the author of it be asked kindly to soften it, and to stick to editorial questions about the article, rather than opinions about the subject. I am not sure if I would delete it from the talk page or not... I would tend to say yes, delete it, but this will depend on the full circumstances and probably should not be done lightly depending on the personality and so forth of the counter-party.--Jimbo Wales 09:14, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

This is one of those cases where a desire to keep Wikipedia free from negative comments and libel can come in conflict with legitimate efforts to combat crime and quackery. There is a difference between attacking a potential criminal, and attacking someone who helps to bust them, such as an editor here, Dr. Stephen Barrett (User:Sbinfo), who is attacked all the time here at Wikipedia. There are certain editors who don't do much more than to use Wikipedia to attack him and his work outside of Wikipedia, and delete any links to his informative sites placed by other editors, even when the articles being referenced are written by other MDs, scientists, and experts.

No matter who is being attacked, we should stick to verifiable third-party sources, IOW follow the usual rules for quality sources. If the matter has gotten that far, then it likely isn't libel any more, but proven fact. There are probably other angles to this, and I'd like to read what Jimbo has to say. -- Fyslee 18:46, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Erased comment

Mr. Wales, WAS 4.250 again erased my question on your talk page, calling it "distorted lies from Wikipedia Review." This seems to be a very serious matter that warrants censorship so I have asked him to clarify his views and I will get back to you shortly.

This user was banned for a year by the ArbComm. I feel that he should have the right to appeal to you on your user talk page, but he also used the same IP that he used for this edit to edit the Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, California article eleven minutes after it was unprotected. That article was the main cause for his banning. BlankVerse 14:35, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia data loss

Hi Jimbo, what preventive measures do you take to ensure that data loss does not occur? As you know, Wikipedia has become a vehicle for conveying a plethera of detailed information to people, and there may be people in the world who do not favor this. Just a thought, no tin foil hats.. :]--Dan Asad 05:15, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I read how they have a bunch of backup servers and stuff. At most they might lose a day I guess. Anomo 05:52, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
If the master database server were to go down, it would not be possible to edit Wikipedia until one of the other database servers was converted into a master server. If any other server went down, Wikipedia would get a little bit slower. I'm not sure what the recovery plan is if a meteor strikes the hosting facility, but I'm sure there is one. --Carnildo 07:16, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
user:Gmaxwell would be a better person to direct this question to. He and I got to talking about this at Wikimania. If I had to sum up the Foundation's backup strategy in a word - "terrifying" would be the best choice.
On the other hand, they've been getting much better about this recently (as a result of the audit, I think). Raul654 07:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I was under the impression that anyone can download a data dump themselves. Is it possible to reconstruct from copies that people might have, or are those data dumps not the full set of data? Of course, the Foundation having a well-planned disaster recovery strategy would be best. Carcharoth 09:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I think if a meteor strikes the facility or a terrorist attack happens, there are lots of wikipedia mirrors all over and people can recover from those with a lot of hard work. A better idea would be to every so often backup the database at another location. There's also Special:Export, for anyone to make a copy of the database, but that would be slow. Anomo 11:09, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
The mirrors don't have user account information, and many of them don't have edit history or pages outside the article, category, and template namespaces. Image mirroring is also spotty. --Carnildo 18:52, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
How much space does the Wikipedia database take up in total?--Dan Asad 02:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I think terrabytes. Userboxes alone I'm sure take up a couple of gigs at least--since deleted userboxes still remain on the hard drives. My userboxes alone linked from my userpage take up 334K. Anomo 03:12, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
My local copy of the current versions of all English articles takes up 31 GB. I've heard estimates that a full copy of the English Wikipedia including all edits and all images will take around 800 GB. --Carnildo 03:13, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh it's not so bad. About 310GB for images currently.. Uncompressed all (non-deleted) revisions of enwiki are under 700GB. Compressed the full text of all revisions of enwiki is under 8GB. --Gmaxwell 04:28, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
There is supposed to be a satelite that is going to go into space next year and come back in 75,000 years as a time capsule. I think wikipedia should take a backup that will last that long and put it on the spaceship. I don't know what media form would last 75,000 years. I know paper wouldn't. I doubt things like dolls they're sending would. Does anyone know if stone tablets would? Anomo 05:39, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Stone tablets will easily keep that long, as will engraved gold. If it's stored in a helium atmosphere, writing on paper will also work; outgassing might be a problem for paper stored in a vacuum. Since it's going to be far from the sun for most of the orbit, and thus at temperatures close to absolute zero, microscopic storage techniques such as microfilm are also possibilities, but encoded storage forms such as hard drives or CD-ROMs are not: there's no such thing as a universal encoding. --Carnildo 06:00, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, slightly off topic, but how much gold do you think it would take to etch the entire Wikipedia database (including pictures), and a decoding system? =D --Dan Asad 10:42, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Why not dynamically engineer the universe to encode the information in Wikipedia? The solar system, once decoded, would turn out to be a series of vandal edits and reverts in a meta-universe Wikipedia. Hmm. I've been reading too much 1930s science fiction. Specifically Before the Golden Age. Carcharoth 17:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I've heard the idea of putting data in crystals and diamonds. I don't know how long the data would last, though. How long would etched stone tablets last? And how long for things etched in gold? Anomo 04:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Mike Garcia

I just blocked Mike Garcia (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) indefinitely for this edit admitting to being "Johnny the Vandal". Since you were behind unblocking him originally I thought I should let you know. Also posted on ANI the wub "?!" 08:41, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I read through it and it's likely that his account may have been compromised. Would he really say what he said? I don't think so. -- 04:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Steve Irwin

If you would like to pay tribute to Steve Irwin, who tragically died on September 4th 2006, just feel free to sign your name on Mil Falcon's userpage under tributes. 49Untouchable 18:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Criteria for Deletion

I haven't had a sufficient answer on this Jimbo, so all I need really is a yes or no answer; would the fact a group has only released one album be a viable reason for deleting their Wikipedia page? This was a reason an admin gave me for deleting a Wikipedia page of one band, and since I'm not an admin I don't wish to get involved in a dispute with that person considering I could get blocked from editing Wikipedia. LuciferMorgan 21:05, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Update - Since been resolved, so sorry for wasting your time. Take care. LuciferMorgan 22:47, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Promotion Without Consensus

Jimbo, your thoughts, feelings, judgements, rulings or ideas on this would be greatly appreciated, Thanks. Your fellow Wikipedian, --R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 05:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Leaving Wikipedia

Dear Mr Wales.

I have never had the pleasure of meeting you. I have been contributing to the philosophy section in Wikipedia since 2003, when it was quite a different place. I have now decided to leave. You can see the reasons on my talk page, and on my User:Dbuckner/Expert rebellion page, which contains a list of subject-matter experts who have left for similar reasons.

There is no doubt that Wikipedia is a success in certain areas. But in 'academic' subjects it is woeful. I have given up all hope of any kind of improvement. Dbuckner 07:37, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Spelling Mistakes

Due to the popularity of Wikipedia it might be correct to ask if there could be a template created to show articles where editors have left bad spelling. This is quite frequent and sometimes un-noticed and too large for one person like myself to sort. It would be a good idea if someone spots a spelling mistake, they place a Spelling Mistake template on that article so other users will know that there were spelling mistakes on that article. Meanwhile if a user believes the spelling mistakes have all been corrected they could then remove this template. Problem is, who would develope such a template?

Amlder20 13:38, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Or you could verify that the issue is not just one of engliahs language variants, copy the article into a word processor or another spell checking tool, quickly fix the mistakes. Most articles are on the whole containing of more grammatical errors and a lack of sources than spelling mistakes. It should be noted that many editors take a dislike to tagging articles for cleanup when the task itself is a trivial one. Oh, and Template:cleanup is normally used for what you want, and there are normally other errors to be corrected, too. LinaMishima 13:44, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
This is more something that should be placed on the village pump, but nonetheless there is already such a template. You should see Wikipedia:How to copy-edit and {{copyedit}} as well. Cowman109Talk 13:46, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

User:Karl Wick

I am looking for a way to get in touch with Karl Wick. There are several unlicensed images on the wikibooks server that he apparently uploaded, and we want to know what the status of these images are. Of course, if the images are found not to be under a satisfactory license, they will have to be deleted.

I only ask you, because Karl has been inactive or rarely-active for some time now, and he has not specified a valid email address either here or at wikibooks. If you know of a way that I can get into contact with him about these images, the whole wikibooks community would appreciate it. --User:Wknight8111 (WB:Whiteknight) 14:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

What do you think of WP:CVU?

Hey Jimbo, I don't know if you read your talk page anymore, but what do you think of this MfD discussion on WP:CVU? This is such a polarising issue, with respected Wikipedians on both sides of the debate. I am personally on the merge (or delete) side, but I am more concerned that whatever the result is, there will be several people who would protest the closure of this MfD. You can choose to ignore this request, of course, but I was wondering what you think of the Counter Vandalism Unit and whether it should have its own page on Wikipedia. Thanks, Deathphoenix ʕ 18:35, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Cracking Down On Signatures

Hey Jimbo, I notice some people when they add comments to the talk page, they either forget or dont even sign their signature when they are done making that comment, so can we enforce a rule if people forget or dont sign their signature, their comment will be deleted, thanks.--Jsalims 22:56, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

That's not a very friendly idea. Remind them nicely to sign, and how to do it (most newcomers don't know), or use the {{unsigned}} template. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:04, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Or {{unsigned2}}, which uses the same ordering as the history entry ;) LinaMishima 23:24, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Well this isnt a very friendly place anymore Grapes. Now stop looking at me or I'll tear out yer eyeballs and eat them in front of their dead sockets;>

Wikipedia's Future

Jimbo, I'd like a chance to talk to you on IRC about Wikipedia's future. Another user has enlightened me to the current trend of admins, and though other may not see it, I forsee problems, some of which you can see in realtime. I'm CableModem on #wikipedia, and I'm normally on from about 3:30PM-12:00PM GMT -10. --CableModem 04:21, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Esperanza/User Page Award


Greetings, Jimbo Wales. The judges would like to announce that the winner for the Esperanza User Page Contest has been chosen. Congratulations to Misza13 for winning the contest. The winning entry can be found here.

If you'd like to participate in the contest again, check by the contest page in a few days and sign up. See you around. May the Force be with you! Shreshth91($ |-| ŗ 3 $ |-| ţ |-|) 09:36, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

A Simple Thanks

As a recent contributor to Wikipedia on many levels I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of the work you have done to keep this wonderful project free of the stain that seems to taint so many similar efforts in this day and age. - KaoBear(talk) 15:39, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

"Hello directly from Jimbo" : the return of the guy who had an issue

Hello again Jim.

Thanks to Anthere, I could read the messages on the [Foundation-l] mailing list (I did'nt even know it existed but I am now registered), and then I received your message on my page and answered you there. As I do not know the best way to let you know, I will just copy it here:

Jim, you should not worry, nobody is angry here, not me in any case. And I never made a legal threat or any other kind of threat and never was rude to anyone.

Thank you for stopping by on my page. The issue may well be one of cultural misunderstanding, as you note.

On the other hand, I did put on your talk page 2 messages, the second one after having a discussion at the Village Pump on the subject, and your answers were a bit, say, cryptic to me.

This second message was an attempt to formalise the Wikimedia/Wikipedia relationship as I sensed it. I have discovered, on the Foundation mailing list (foundation-l) that Elisabeth Bauer, Anthere and Delirium are fundamentaly saying the same thing as I do.

You and I seem to have met a specific issue: apparently, you take for granted things I just do not get.

I would have found more helpful if you could have said, after reading my text or Elisabeth's, Anthere's or Delirium's something like "Oh, yeah, that is what I meant" or, as the case may be, "Well, it's like what you said except that...".

At the end of the day, you did not exactly say that, but I think this is the way I am going to interpret your message on my page ^_^ Bradipus 19:48, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

And FYI: fr:Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat with Jimbo. Bradipus 19:53, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

KraMuc, a user indefinitely blocked in the name of Jimbo Wales?

Mr. Wales, I have been blocked indefinitely by some irresponsible, immature and emotionally instable fanatics involved in discussions on the theory of relativity and its history, who claim that the permanent ban has your personal approval. This I find hard to believe since I am a fairly new and highly unimportant user. My story you may find at the end of the talk page "User:Hillman/Dig/KraMuc" under the title "KraMuc and anti-Semitism". User Hillman is a person of a questionable character who tries to replace scientific arguments by accusations of a quite general nature, such as "anti-Semitism". For him, arguments against Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity are a priori "anti-Semitic". For the case that among your friends there should be professors of physics, I would like to point out that I strongly believe in a recent disproval of Einstein's concept of "time dilatation", which has been presented by W. Krause, "Temptative Galilean Synthesis of the Optical Doppler Effect"; Existentia XV, 127-139 (2005). Existentia is an international journal of natural philosophy. As a matter of fact, I am deeply convinced that Krause's findings will in the very near future cause a major revolution among students of physics and of natural philosophy. I am aware of the fact that you are very busy. I would nevertheless be very glad if you would check this permanent measure taken aginst me. KraMuc84.154.112.248 11:28, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Einstein's concept of "time dilatation" has been experimentally proven. It is not just agreed on theory. It is proven in numerous actual test cases both macro and micro. WAS 4.250 23:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
WAS 4.250, you don't seem to be a physicist, so it would be extremely hard to talk to you. It might be of interest to you, however, that a British experimental physicist who spent most of his professional life in measuring time did not believe in the nonsensible concept of "time dilatation" either, compare the Wikipedia article "Louis Essen", please. If you should be identical with Jimbo Wales, my congratulation to the idea of the free enyclopaedia Wikipedia. Don't nominate Chris Hillman to your chief inquisitor, please! Best wishes, Alarich di Busento 17:31, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
KraMuc (talk · contribs · block log) has recently been violating his permaban (25 June 2006) by editing as the anon (dial-up access from Munich area), as documented at User:Hillman/Dig/KraMuc. I have moved his comment from my personal notes on the KraMuc case to User talk:KraMuc, since this seems to be the best place to discuss KraMuc's request for rehabilation.---CH 03:05, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Hillman, if you misuse your pages in order to publish there arbitrary nonsense on other persons, then you have to expect that they do not react on this nonsense in the Sunday Times or in some other newspaper but rather at that place where you published it, namely on your page. In principle, they would also have a legal right for a counter-representation if all your nonsense presented there in public by linking numerous pages would be correct. In other words, a reaction like this is not "vandalism" but legitimate. Alarich di Busento 17:24, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Stalker page?

Hello Mr. Wales. Someone mentioned the article on the Star Wars kid and I checked it out. Mostly it is a fun article but I thought there was a little too much personal information given about the person. I tried to remove the name of the neighborhood of Quebec in which he lives. It was put back twice by different editors. I don't see what the purpose is of giving a person's address when he is just an Internet phenomenon, not someone important in ordinary life. Thanks. Steve Dufour 13:19, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Insist on direct citations from sources of reasonable note for anything that could be perceived as personal info (ideally for the article in general, but for sensitive parts particularly). Right now the article doesn't have that, although there are some references lumped at the bottom of the page.Everyking 11:48, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I would still object even if direct citations were given, as they probably could be since the boy's story was widely reported in the news media. I have no objection to telling the fun and interesting story of the "Star Wars kid"; what I object to is invading the privacy of the young man who is trying to put it behind him and get on with his life. Steve Dufour 13:09, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you yet again!

Looks like the Instant Administrator button has been pushed. It's nice to be back. Thank you for expediting this. I know your schedule is incredibly busy and for you to take the time you did means a lot to me. Take care and please call if you need me. - Lucky 6.9 03:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)



For doing what you do - I award you the the Strive banner. Dfrg.msc 1 . 2 . 3 08:32, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


Some further response regarding my situation as expressed to you in e-mail would be welcome. At the very least I hope to hear an informed opinion from you so I can decide where to go from there. Everyking 11:35, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Courtesy Blanking

In regards to your posting on my Talk page:

The subject wrote to me upset, not so much about the deletion, but about the defamatory language that you and others used to describe him. Remember, we are wikipedians, we should treat everyone with dignity and respect no matter the circumstances. I strongly advise against using such language as "elaborate scam" and "scam artist" to describe people. We should do better than that. Is the subject verifiable? That's a good yes or no question that does not mock or insult anyone. If we have our own private opinions, well, fine. :) But there is no need to belittle people in public.--Jimbo Wales 13:47, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

With real respect, Mr. Wales, I need to take strong exception to this. I went out of my way to avoid any personal disparagements. I used language like "I cannot find verification" and "the record does not appear to support these claims". I also said, quite specifically, that I was "assuming good faith here," inviting new documentation to be presented. When I concluded the claims were not verifiable I went out of my way to state, explicitly, that the subject of the article did NOT necessarily have anything to do with its authorship.

I would point specifically to what I wrote, but, of course, every word has been "courtesy blanked", so I no longer have access to them. I most certainly do not recall using the words "elaborate scam" or "scam artist". While others might have used those terms in the AfD discussion, I don't deserve to be painted with that broad brush. Whoever prompted you to take me to task was perhaps hoping you'd be too busy for more than a cursory review of the AfDs. I'm probably singled out because I authored the last AfD.

Aside from all that, why exactly is the SUBJECT of the biographical article crying "defamatory language"? After all, he never admitted to being the author. All criticism was directed toward the (unsourced) articles themselves, so at most the competence and/or motives of the author could be impugned. Had there been an ad hominem attack leveled at the subject of this article, your chastising would be warranted. But that's not the case here.

Someone went to great lengths to plant plausible but unsupportable articles in Wikipedia. Someone launched what was generally percieved as a bevy of sock puppets to defend them. When the AfDs went against those articles, someone prevailed upon you to delete all traces of the critiques. All standard operating procedure; I certainly wasn't taking any of it personally. But when someone who has not the remotest claim against me can pressure you into delivering a public spanking, I've got to say I'm a little disappointed. I respect you, Mr. Wales, and have always thought of you as being the prime advocate for contributors such as myself.

Could you please do me the courtesy of removing your reprimand? --Pagana 19:00, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Wow. I hardly know where to begin here. First, the words 'elaborate scam' and 'scam artist' are direct quotes from you. Here is the diff. Second, I have no idea why you are claiming that the courtesy blanking is keeping you from seeing anything. All I did was blank the page. To see the history of any page, of course, you can simply click on 'history' and it is all there.
I did not delete anything, and generally do so under only the most extreme circumstances. And you did, in fact, use the language I cited, and it was, in fact, inappropriate to do so. It is hardly a grand crime, but really. We can do better. --Jimbo Wales 20:51, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah. My reference of "courtesy blanking" was to the original AfDs. You're referring to my Talk page entry which is entitled "courtesy blanking". I defended my language in those AfDs, because it was very carefully measured. My apologies--it never ocurred to me I would have to defend my choice of words in that particular Talk entry, because it is intentionally non-specific, if not cryptic. No one is mentioned by name; there are no references to WP entries, AfDs or anything else that ties it to a particular issue. Also, while I indeed did use the words "elaborate scam", it was in the context of concluding that it didn't seem applicable--that "probably" he's someone "just wants to feel like a big shot." As to the term "scam artist", it was in the context of defending the subject, by saying "I can't imagine a scam artist of any competence overplaying his hand like that."
But whatever. Now that I've been able to drill down on the language in question, I have to conclude that this person's ability to take umbrage exceeds my ability to care. I'll concentrate on not giving people like this any ammunition, and will take comments like this private in the future. --Pagana 22:11, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • nod* Still, even with the AfD's (which is what I meant, too), there is nothing hidden from you. Go look at it. Check the history. I didn't do any fancy special Jimbo or adminy thing, I just blanked the page. :) The point is, he saw what you wrote, it hurt his feelings still further than the whole AfD already did. Do we care? Well, hmm. I think we can care. I think we can say, gee, not everything belongs in Wikipedia, not everyone who comes to Wikipedia understands that or understands why, and lots of interesting things happen on the net, but we can still care not to hurt people's feelings. Go in peace my friend, all is well now. :)--Jimbo Wales 00:52, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Help with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

I have a conundrum. Every time anyone suggests a change to the PETA page that is not advantageous to the supporters of the organization, they bring you up saying "Well, Jimbo doesn't think Controversy and Criticism sections are good for Wikipedia!". Well, I for one think the page in question is sorely lacking structure because these fanatics will not allow for such a section to exist and tend to censor information that would reflect poorly on the organization (even if completely true). Please, can you shed some light on the subject. What is the policy on a "Controversies and Criticism" section in general as well as specitic to this article. I do see it often in other articles so I suppose it is a fine method for organizing information. I really want the answer from the horses' mouth as it were, so I can put this debate to rest. Thanks. Bytebear 20:33, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to suggest that you be bold and take careful action rather than try for permission. Get some references that are of a very high standard (major press organisations, scholarly papers, etc). Then write a section that is fully and completely referenced, including counter-arguments. Then just insert it into the article. it's hard to argue with something written acording to WP:NPOV that's fully referenced. LinaMishima 21:09, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Policy on External Links which link to unauthorised copyright content

Is there an official policy on external links in articles leading to unauthorised copyright content which violates copyright laws? If not, could I have your official word on it, and official Wikipedia policy on the issue? Many song articles link to lyric sites and music video content sites such as Youtube which fail to gain copyright permission - I remove the links whenever I see them but they frequently reappear. The Song Wikiproject says that if the copyright holder hasn't requested the particular content removed then it's ok, but I disagree. It's like saying it's ok to flaunt the law, so long as the law doesn't catch up with you. What's your view? LuciferMorgan 21:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

WP:LINK states "Linking to copyrighted works is usually not a problem, as long as you have made a reasonable effort to determine that the page is not violating copyright per contributors' rights and obligations. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States." LinaMishima 22:28, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
I emailed the user, but IMHO, it should be a good idea, given how so many videos on YouTube are copyright violations and add little to no significance to the articles (unless, of course, a youtube video is the main reason why a person might have an article or was caught doing bad things, like some of the US politicians). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:21, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Refusal to censor Chinese version


I just read an article ([4]) where it details the refusal of Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia to censor the chinese version of Wikipedia, resulting in its being blocked by the Chinese Government.

I just wanted to congratulate you and Wikipedia for making this stand - I only wish that there were more like you. The way in which other organisations such as Google, Yahoo, News Corp etc have buckled to the Chinese demands in order to make a quick buck has been disgraceful, and a shame to all countries which give lip-service to the virtues and necessities of "freedom" and "liberty".

Kudos to you Wikipedia.

--Gregrosman 05:09, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I too hold Jimmy Wales in very high esteem because of his taking a tough stance across from China! Congratulation to Mr. Wales! f.waldenberger, Austria

I agree... but he really had no other choice. Even if he had wanted to cooperate with the Chinese censorship regime, how would he have done so? Our wide-open structure doesn't afford any opportunity to impose the sort of heavyhanded censorship the Chinese government demands, which would probably extend to the English-language version as well as the Chinese. *Dan T.* 17:08, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Don't ask that sort of question, or you may get an answer! It's good to know that with so many mirror sites, people in China will come across uncensored Wikipedia articles all over the place. Stephen B Streater 17:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Sources that are verifiable, but very hard to verify.

An interesting issue has been raised on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability. An editor has a family copy of a manuscript that contains the biographies of several historical figures. Coppies of this manuscript, some edited by recent scholars, are also held by a historical college.

Under the current policy, as I read it; this means that the manuscript is a verifiable source, since you could travel to the Randolph-Macon College, ask to see one of their coppies, and verify the contents.

I'm unsure over if this reading is both correct, and if it's a good or bad thing. There are good reasons to accept moderatly hard to verify sources, such as old newspaper articles and out of print books, but this is an extreem example of how hard it can be to verify something with it still beign verifiable.

Do you think it's something that will need to be discussed. I don't think it's something that editors can make a consensus to act on, since adding any requirment on the ease of verification would be altering the policy rather than clarifying it. --Barberio 13:59, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Well sure, such a source is acceptable. While we obviously tend to prefer online and widely circulated print sources because they're easiest to verify, such sources don't exist for all information. If someone – an appropriately credentialled researcher, if necessary – can readily gain access to a physical copy of the document in the library to confirm that it says what is claimed, then it is verifiable.
Note that an unpublished manuscript (of confirmed provenance) is a verifiable source, but not necessarily a reliable source for all purposes. That is, it can be taken to represent the opinions of the author (In an 1884 manuscript, John Smith reported that he hated cats because he believed they would eat his brainlink to citation.) but not as a reliable source of factual statements (Cats like to eat brainslink to citation.). TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:30, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I think, as long as the source isn't classified (or sometimes even if it is restricted, but available) and can be accessed in a national library, or even some colleges, it may be used, as long as the claims are plausible. It's the way paper encyclopedias work, actually. For questionable claims such a hard to verify source probably would not fit, though. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 18:23, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Please keep comments discussing this on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability, in interests of keeping discussion all in one place. Comment here was to draw Jimbo's attention to an issue that may need his or the foundation's intervention if it's felt that the policy should be changed. The current comments have been coppied over. --Barberio 20:52, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Line of Succesion of the Wikimedia Foundation

Just wondering, if you were to resign, become incapacated, or be deceased who would become the head of the Wikimedia Foundation? Hello32020 22:28, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

NPOV again

Jimbo, perhaps you might be interested in my comments in Talk: Steve Biko uder the heading POV Considerations Too Old 03:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

An article you might want to read

This was forwarded to me. I'm sort of surprized that this guy's article would be deleted since he's extremely well known in contemporary music circles...but I think that perhaps his experience has something to say.

The main point is this (quote/unquote)

In the "Article for Deletion" (AfD) discussion, I discovered a recurrent theme: the Wikipedia vigilantes wander around the virtual space randomly looking for articles to delete without making an effort to verify the content. As a regular though skeptical Wikipedia user, I was surprised at the extremity of this behavior.

I thought that you should at least know that it was circulating. Musikfabrik 23:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Suicide methods

Do you think there should be an article on Suicide methods (as opposed to Suicide) on Wikipedia? See also Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Suicide methods (3rd nomination). Chelseaboy 10:30, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo

Hello Jimbo I want to know something why was Wikibreak and all of it's templates are deleted I MUST KNOW!! imagine a world without wikibreak I AM SOBBING AS WE SPEAK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Which templates are you referring to? The Template:Long_Wikibreak and Template:Wikibreak are still there. Antonrojo 19:34, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


Jimbo, A chara, your attention is required.

Can you please review the article ban placed on User:Dbiv. I feel I am to blame for this user getting the article ban, and have asked for it to be removed (for Dbiv, not me). User:Dbiv is David Boothroyd and pretty much created the article, he became involved in a content dispute with me, which became a revert war. I revert warred far too much on many articles and am now, correctly, on "revert patrol", and when this instance was used as an example of that, both of us came to an agreement which solved the dispute. Our agreement was ignored and David was given an article ban. Now, any edit by David to the article, or believed to be by David, despite clear recognition that the article is being improved by the edits, is being reverted. An appeal on this case was lodged but quickly rejected by the arb-com. This ruling, firstly, relates in actual fact to firstly a content dispute, which should be outside the realms of the Arb-coms remit, and secondly, effectively punishes the article because of a previously resolved dispute. As you can read on the AN/I your opinion on the matter is sought. --Irishpunktom\talk 14:20, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Have only just noticed this on Sunday morning (17 September), and thank Irishpunktom for making this plea. I'm currently appealing the ban through the Arbitration Committee so you may want to wait for that - though any word in the Arbs' ears would be most welcome. I would just like to say this, though, that if Arbitration means mediating between the parties, it is very strange that I am making pleas on behalf of Irishpunktom and he is making pleas on behalf of me, while the Arbitration Committee is putting in restrictions to stop us edit-warring. Would they prefer if we were fighting? David | Talk 10:47, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Ads against aids or for charities

Hi, Jimmy! I was wondering whether you would give your opinion and possibly support to my idea of puting ads on wikipedia and gaving the money to charities or starting our own charity that sponsors kids in poorer nations. The money could be used to fight AIDS, research against cancer, MS, heart disease. I am sure people won't mind ads on the side or even poping up if the money is going towards these places. If you fear donors will stop donating, we can make it clear the money is going towards charities. You can read more about this on the village pump here. Pseudoanonymous 22:29, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, contrary to your assumption, I would mind very much! I hope that Wikipedia never display advertisements. I rarely visit sites which do. But what about creating a "charity portal" or something like that? This would be equally effective, I think, in guiding Wikipedians in a giving mood toward articles giving information about specific charities they may be interested in donating to.---CH 02:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


As an occasional user and occasional editor, I'd just like to add my name to whatever list there might be of people that are getting tired and tireder and tirederer of semi-protection of articles. I understand that it has its very valid uses, but everywhere I look, I am prevented from casually and anonymously editing articles that draw a lot of popular attention. It seems like administrators are enacting this failsafe device vociferously and unnecessarily, as though it was infallible. You are one of the most vehement proponents of the 'you can edit this' policy, so surely you can agree that this seems a bit disillusionary for users? -- 21:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Since you mention it, I'd like to add my name to those strongly deprecating allowing any anon edits under any circumstances. I'd also very much like to see autosignatures of comments in all article talk pages, user talk pages, Wikipedia talk pages. Since Jimbo prefers gradual to sudden change (I can see that he has a certain point there), two possible first steps after the only already taken, banning article creation by anons, would be:
  1. increasing the ease of getting frequently vandalized articles semiprotected,
  2. implementing autosignatures for AfD votes (which would probably also be easier to implement).
---CH 02:39, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

How to interpret NPOV of requirement for FPs

Hello Mr. Wales. Some of us over at the Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates page would like your perspective on a question about NPOV in images. The debate has been over the nomination of an image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and has been pretty involved, but civil at least. From my perspective, the question boils down to 1) Does the NPOV requirement of FPs refer to the image portraying the article subject in an NPOV way - or does the article itself have to not convey a biased POV, and 2) if an image is represents the article without POV, is there a point when the article to which the image would draw attention is too inflammatory for the image itself to be elevated to FP status. It seems to be a question with broad potential impact, such as on FP candidates showing atomic bomb clouds, or air force one flying over mount rushmore, to name a couple. Thanks for any thoughts! Debivort 19:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

NPOV for images only really applies to blatant problems, such as added text saying that something is amazing and other aspects that do not serve to document an occasion. by definition many good photographs of key historical events are by their nature not NPOV. What matters more is the context within which they are presented within the article. LinaMishima 20:11, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
One request -- please understand that the entirety of the debate cannot be summarized here -- the discussion on the page Debivort linked to is long, but shouldn't take more than 3-5 minutes to read. Thanks... -- Moondigger 22:18, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, the above as it was presented seemed to be about the general issues. Secondly, I have just read the example in question, and quiete frankly, wikipedia is not censored. I also saw people using the recient mushroom cloud FPC as an example of nenial because of non-NPOV, when infact it was down to poor quality and lack of historical context. LinaMishima 00:21, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The above commentary was sparked directly by the discussion Debivort linked to. The discussion has absolutely nothing to do with censorship. Nobody suggested deleting the image or pulling it from articles. The entire discussion centers around whether that image violates featured picture criterion #9, which states that images must be neutral to be featured. I'm not sure why you brought up the mushroom cloud image, but I opposed it for reasons having nothing to do with criterion #9. -- Moondigger 05:01, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, blessings for us

We are on the planning stage for a Wikifoundation in the Philippines. Mind if we have soem of your help? Justox dizaola 04:01, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Dave Carter

Did you really suggest, as Phil Sandifer claims here, that WikiNews is acceptable for verifiability purposes? To me it looks like a wiki, which is explictly disallowed by WP:RS, and I have never heard of it having "a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" to quote WP:V. I fail to see what has changed when the WikiNews article was created except that someone posted something on a wiki based on what someone else posted on another wiki. There seems to be a flagrant violation of the principle of "verifiability, not truth". Every time I say this I am told that this doesn't matter because the fact in question is true, which seems to me to miss the whole point of those three bolded words. --Sam Blanning(talk) 11:40, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I concur. I've reverted the change for now because it seems like a clear violation of WP:RS to me: we're an encyclopedia, not a place to publish first-party investigative reporting. If it really is OK by you, please let me know and I'll back off. Nandesuka 11:55, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I generally agree. I suggest posting the unverified information on a talk page so people can keep an eye out for a report in a reliable source. Then it can be moved over. I have a friend at the BBC and she says it is really annoying that they need two independent sources before they can report something on BBC World Service, which means they are often not first with the "News". But then, the most newsworthy "events" often turn out to be fictitious. Having said that, Phil does seem to be saying the Wikinews is supposed to be used. Perhaps the sources for this information on Wikinews could be used instead. Stephen B Streater 12:01, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
My impression is that the source on Wikinews is actually "Phil Sandifer's first-hand conversation." So this is still first-hand reporting. I'm constantly dealing with people inserting original research and reporting into articles, so it's fairly important to me to have a consistent story on this: that consistency helps convert people from thinking we are persecuting them into understanding and valuable contributors. I really don't want to have to explain something like "All material must be verifiable and from a reliable source, unless you have 6300 edits, at which point you are allowed to introduce 5 unverifiable facts per 7 week period." Nandesuka 12:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it shows poor judgement to add that a person was in "pursuit of a gender change in the last months of life" and add him to the Transgender and transsexual musicians category on the basis of comments on a wikipedia talk page or a wikinews article based on that wikipedia talk page. I think it shows even worse judgement to claim that wikipedia's policy on "Biographies of Living People" applies to a biography of a person who has been dead for years. And then for Phil to claim BLP justifies breaking the verifiability policy when it explicitly says it doesn't makes me question his judgement on determining who wrote what in that talk page. To top it all off, he now says on the mail something about ignoring the actual policies as written because he doesn't have the time or some such thing. WAS 4.250 12:15, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It might be worth reporting more accurately what he said on the mailing list for the benefit of those who did not see. This was along the lines that he was going back to fundamentals as there is so much small print now that keeping track of it all is hindering his work building an encyclopaedia. Stephen B Streater 12:40, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a lot of small print. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) springs to mind. Verifiability is not small print - as I have to point out on AfD and DRV time and time again, usually to new accounts, it is a non-negotiable pillar of the encyclopaedia. --Sam Blanning(talk) 14:17, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Someone already suggested that WP:V must be added to his original list of core policies. Stephen B Streater 17:49, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Your picture

Hello Jimbo! I enlarged your picture on your userpage, but somebody reverted it. But I think, you like the larger one, or not? Greets, --Radikaler Zerstörer 14:03, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

per WP:BOLD make the change and see if it sticks. Jimbo is unlikely to give you detailed layout suggestions and will probably revert the change if he doesn't like it. Antonrojo 18:31, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia has a lot of users. While many of them know a great deal about the subjects they write about, how many of them know a great deal about Wikipedia. I think Wikipedia should have an informal education system, where new users could come to learn more about Wikipedia and how to get more out of their edits. J Hill 16:36, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

WP:NUH, the IRC channel #wikipedia-bootcamp and the Wikipedia:Tutorial are all attempts to do this. You might want to help out with one of these efforts. Antonrojo 18:35, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Idealogies and philosophies

Hi Jimbo. I am an avid 14-year old Wikipedian. I am interested in creating a section of Wikimedia that regards to Idealogies and philosophies. Please contact me. bluebeans at


It's not clear exactly what you're trying to create and Jimbo is unlikely to give you specific advice. You might try #wikipedia-en on or contacting editors/admins who are active in editing a lot of philosophy articles. Antonrojo 18:15, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Pornography on Wikipedia

Dearest Mr. Wales,

I am a contributor here on Wikipedia though I do not have an account. I would just like to point out that some pages at Wikipedia are endorsing pornographic images such as the Penis page and the pages for Porn actors like Anjali Kara. I really wish you could look into this as I feel these images are really too unappropriate for Wikipedia. Thanks! 18:52, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
User's first edit. Tyrenius 23:56, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I can't see the problem. Firstly, there are no images at Anjali Kara. Secondly, what is the problem with the images at Penis, specifically? Your comment was a bit vague to really plan any course of action. You might also want to know that, WP:NOT censored for the protection of minors. Thanks for your time. --Lord Deskana (talk) 19:12, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
There was a photo in the article on Anjali Kara, but it was deleted months ago since it has no source (see undelete image and diff showing the pic being added). As for the Penis, while we try not to be overtly pronographic, we have to display a picture of a penis to show what a penis looks like. Most normal encyclopedias show a penis, albiet in less graphic detail we might be showing it. However, I do suggest that if you do not wish to see porn, then avoid the articles that might deal with sexual organs or practices or entertainers. We are not censored for minors, as others are going to point out, but we are not Wikiporn. However, if you do see a penis photo in an article that is no way related to penises, such as Tony Blair, then tell us so it can be dealt with. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:35, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


Per concerns of WP:BLP, someone added her birhtday on July 2 [5]. She subject of the article has not revealed her DOB and it does not appear in a reliable source. I requested revision deleting on WP:AN [6] but an admin realized that deleting the birthday would require all revisions from 2 July to 6 September would have to be removed, so only a few revisions were removed. A ticket sent via email (ticket number 2006090910001839) also declined to remove the revisions, saying that the principle of BLP alone wasn't a "more compelling reason" to do the revisions.

So I'm making one last appeal to you. How far does BLP go? Is deleting half of the revision history under WP:BLP override the need to preserve all copies of the history? My only wish is that Emmalina herself had caught the revision and deleted it so the collatoral damage wasn't as huge as it is now. As for the subject herself, she's not very happy [7]. Hbdragon88 00:06, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

The solution as stated in the talk page by myself is to create a new clean revision, include the names of all editors of revisions to be removed, and remove them. This way the GFDL is still followed whilst respecting privacy. LinaMishima 00:39, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Unusual solution, but I like it. Done. Now could someone destroy the revisions? Hbdragon88 01:03, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Piotr Blass

I was meaning to hit the link to your user talk page, but I accidentally pressed the rollback button instead. This was completely unintentional. Sorry! Extraordinary Machine 01:18, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer

Hi, Jimbo. User:Phil Sandifer is claiming that you told him that he can use undocumented "news" from Wikinews as verifiable sources for his edits on the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer article. Did you indeed say such a thing, and if so, what's to stop anybody from posting to Wikinews without documentation and then claiming that Wikinews supports their accusations? User:Zoe|(talk) 03:08, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikinews counts as a wiki, and as such should generally not be used. If the statement on wikinews is properly referenced, then clearly it is the proper reference that is the reference for the change, not wikinews. LinaMishima 03:40, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Except that doesn't have any proof for the claims. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
It's also self-referencial to wikipedia on the claim that they want to add to wikipedia. So no, this is an entirely unacceptable source for such a statement. LinaMishima 04:32, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I already asked this a few sections up :-). I think we've hashed out the issue of whether this can be included for the moment - I'm still very interested to see Jimbo say publicly what he actually meant in his communication with Phil. --Sam Blanning(talk) 13:41, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure he said something like, "I've learned not to try to micromanage the details of who gets banned and what sources are acceptable for what as I lack the time to properly inform myself of all the relevant details; but have you tried wikinews?" :) WAS 4.250 16:24, 17 September 2006 (UTC)


I'm gave these messages to everyone I know, and I decided, "Hey, why not give it to the founder of Wikipedia?" Bear in mind, it's not the wrong kind of WikiLove (lol)... Hope you're having a good day, cheers! •The RSJ• - (spicken, a børk børk børk!) 19:36, 17 September 2006 (UTC)


I personally would have blocked the user for longer than one month, but with past copyvio uploaders; I did indef blocks before but they were downgraded to a month or less. This would be a good idea to where if we can just block someone from uploading images, but allow them to edit WP. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:15, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

First: the only reason I personally did a 1 month block here is that I did not want this guy being listed as "indef banned by Jimbo" which is a sort of special status. I think he should be indef banned. Second: In general, I judge the person as a whole -- someone who is stupid/bad enough to repeatedly upload copyvio images can't be trusted to edit, either. He is probably plagiarizing as well, and/or at the very minimum we would have to watch him carefully, which is a lot of work. If someone has such a thick skull that they can't catch a clue after repeated warnings, why bother? We have no shortage of people to help.--Jimbo Wales 13:22, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh with that kinda attitude you won't for long. Not meaning to rain on your pep rally, but there has been an exodus of knowledgable, talented contributors this year. Click me, I'm the tip O the Iceberg!. Not all editors are expendable, replaceable cogs in this here machine of yours. Our community is increasingly at war with itself[8] in case you hadnt noticed. Especially troubling is the unilateral actions by some of the B-ro-crats over on Rfa which goes against everything the project is supposed to stand for. Maybe you could have a look [

] Maybe you can help...hmm I wonder. Your humble Wikipeon,--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 10:33, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Expendable cogs

Hmm, I think I should clarify. We *will* have no shortage of *good* contributors if we are not afraid to get rid of the ones who are wasting our time. This is exactly right: not all editors are expendable, indeed none of the *good* editors are expendable at all. But a guy who uploads copyvios repeatedly for months and months? He's wasting the time of good people.--Jimbo Wales 12:02, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the clarification, now I owe you some of the same. I was not referring to the case of User:Thegingerone specifically, but to try and draw your attention to a dangerous trend in our community which seems to be only growing more acute. *Good* longtime editors are not only exiting the project in droves, but it seems are being actively discouraged and in some cases even driven away. The recent treatment of two of my colleagues in particular, User:Giano and User:Ghirlandajo, I find disheartening and ominous. Especially considering the timing of these acts came in the midst of a highly contentious and controversial Rfa in which both took a prominent, dissenting stand.
Meanwhile actions such as this one[9] go largely ignored and unquestioned. Clearly some animals are more equal than others. If we must have a hierarchy, then let us have a meritocracy based on ability and deeds instead of a Nomenklatura based on politics or personality. I know our goal here, above all, is to create a great encyclopedia, but I don't think you want to accomplish it by allowing this project to decay into a Wikigulag, where contributors are worked to the point of exhaustion then simply replaced by freshmeat. The end result will be a mediocre work at best with a notorious reputation for unreliability and plain poor writing. We have all invested far too much in this effort to allow such to happen without a fight.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 00:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
That edit was questioned and Danny explained it was accidental. Stephen B Streater 13:43, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok, thanks a bunch. I'll try and keep my eyes open as much as possible, as you mentioned in the email to the EN Wikipedia mailing list; we only know about major copyvio uploaders if someone mentions anything on one of the admin's noticeboards, so there are probably still a bunch around but we do not know about. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 18:28, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

You may not be aware that one of our least expendable cogs left on Friday last, User:Giano, who wrote almost entirely single-handedly such Featured articles as Buckingham Palace, Palazzo Pitti, Holkham Hall, Robert Lawson (architect), Francis Petre, Benjamin Mountfort, and much of John Vanbrugh. Indeed, he had two articles, Belton House and Simon Byrne, featured on the Main Page just last week. I will not repeat the sordid details (although much of it comes from his understandably indignant response when someone who blocked him for alleged "hate speech" in the pedophile userbox altercation, and was desysopped as a result, was resysoped a couple of weeks ago with just over 6 in 10 of people participating on WP:RFA in favour). A flavour of the reasons for his departure may be gleaned from this, which likens him to a "boil" filled with "malodorous filth". And this from a clerk to ArbCom.
Of the "serious contributors" listed high up Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations, User:Lord Emsworth, User:Worldtraveller, and User:Filiocht are all away with no sign that they will return, and both I and User:Geogre have had serious thoughts about further participation, although we are both carrying on for now. For all the attention to improving the quality of Wikipedia, the project is in deep trouble if it cannot hold on to its serious contributors. -- ALoan (Talk) 23:09, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I want to add my voice to this. Our best editors are leaving, contributing less, or talking about leaving in numbers that I think should be of concern. If we're serious about wanting to improve quality, these are the people we need to hang on to, but we're driving them away. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:09, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
One person on my RfA asked me to withdraw because he found it so stressful! I think people need to relax a bit and be a bit more flexible, particularly where experts and reputable editors are concerned. After all, they may not be interested in the latest twist and turn on some obscure policy page. It's too easy to win the battle and lose the war. Stephen B Streater 13:47, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I, too, want to add my voice. Others have put it more eloquently than I can, so I will not add anything. Related discussion can be found here, here, and here. — mark 14:01, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Bear in mind that several of the departures have been due to super-powerful admins with messiah complexes. Giano left becuase of Tony Sidaway, Kim van der Linde (and many others) left because of SlimVirgin and Jayjg, and dozens have left because of Kelly Martin. You've created the worst of both worlds: an anti-elitist institution with a sub-par "elite". There is no room on Wikipedia for people with subject competence -- only for those with a lust for power in the tiny crucible which passes for "community" here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You're confusing experts with good editors. The former aren't always the latter. It's good editors we need to hang onto, whether they're subject specialists or not. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:27, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Whether s/he is confusing things, I do not know, but the opposite is also true, non-experts are not necessarily good editors either, even when they are admins. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:45, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I left primarily because of the anti-expert atmosphere at Wikipedia and its incapability to maintain the quality of articles over time. The way people like SlimVirgin treated me contributed to me leaving, but was not the prime reason. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Kim's analysis here. The decisions Kim took based on this analysis are of course Kim's own.
Adding my own toughts:
  • If we confine ourselves to a black-and-white picture of "expendable" vs. "good" editors, then I'd say both Kim and Slim are beyond doubt "non-expendable" or "good" editors;
  • If we allow shades of grey between the black-and-white extremes, my personal feeling is that SV is slightly more "expendable" than Kim, because of the high academic standards maintained by Kim. I say this fully knowing that there have been occasions where Jimbo as well as on other occasions the ArbCom have supported Slim as a non-expendable sysop, and I don't criticise that attitude. I try to draw attention that the picture should have more nuance than the black-and-white good-vs-expendable wikipedian. "Expendable" in its blunt appreciation is of course applicable to the "serial copyvio uploader" as in the example Jimbo named above (the example that set off this thread). --Francis Schonken 08:55, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Administrators should be re-certified every two years. Here's an administator's reaction that I find quite typical: new User:Dmill96 entered a series of External links at architectural articles such as Il Redentore to a site with excellent detail photos and useful text by Professor Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton University and was stalked and mass reverted as if a vandal: follow the familiar dreary self-justification here. My own encounters with administrators here have been consistently dispiriting. Now I suppose I'll be blocked or "edited".--Wetman 17:43, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

The root cause of this problem is that the text in Wikipedia policy is defective by lacking clear definitions that protect quality from being deleted. The tendency to delete quality from the opponents' contribution is an inherited human trait. Therefore, it is important that the text of Wikipedia policy have clear definitions on which a culture here can evolve that protects quality and NPOV. And I would hope that the Alpha Male, may his honor be praised, would be silent on this point, because it is the duty of us, the community, to do this work of developing our standards to protect quality and NPOV. For this work to protect quality and NPOV cannot be done from the top down. As an example, there should be clear definitions that would protect the quality external links that User:Wetman brings to our attention above, but in fact there are no clear definitions to protect quality and NPOV. Roving packs of editors rip quality and the NPOV of world-class experts from Wikipedia pages to suit their own biased fancies. And the Wikipedia community repeatedly refuses to do this work of making the definitions that are necessary to protect quality. This discussion should not even be occurring on this page--but rather in the many Wikipedia policy pages that lack clear and useful definitions for such things as quality, bias, POV, and NPOV. But as yet, the Wikipedia community has been unwilling to do this necessary work to protect quality and NPOV. So what is our next step to improve this lack of clear definitions in the Wikipedia policy pages? Any ideas? --Rednblu 22:44, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Repeated Administrator abuses

Dear James / Jimbo Wales: This has happened to me not once or twice but dozens of times...

I am blocked from editing by administrators citing that my user name (i dont use any user name but have your computers cite my pc ID no.) has engaged in vandalism and then cite some other user name that is NOT ME as follows (I am not and have never been Miscreat IV):

<< Your user name or IP address has been blocked from editing.

You were blocked by Shanel for the following reason (see our blocking policy):

Autoblocked because your IP address has been recently used by "Miscreant IV". The reason given for Miscreant IV's block is: "vandalism only account". Your IP address is >>

So that what is happening repeatedly is my being blocked from editing ON PURPOSE with bogus reason being I vandalize when I NEVER have vandalized...

ALL This is BLOCKING of my editing (and I am expert in dozens upon dozens of subjects ...) so that when I add such expertise, the article author almost 100 % of whom are NOT expert in any sense of the word ... use that vandal claim/ ruse to block my expertise adding to the article...

This overall means your administrators , editors are truly BAD, esp incompetent to PREVENT editing by universal expert as me...

DO something about it ...

Wette Willy with a na na

Sorry, but anon ip numbers do not have the same civil rights as logged in members of the community. If you want to be a good editor, get an account, make good edits.

I really don't care about your complaint as currently stated.--Jimbo Wales 13:23, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

This happens because you are using a shared AOL IP where others who share the IP have vandalized. Even if you get a username, you still may be blocked for others edits because you will still share the same underlying IP although admins can and often do choose to block only anon editors. In my experience, admins will usually unblock you if the block was due to another editor sharing you're IP and you explain that to them. There was a proposal to block only non-registered users who share IPs that I can't find easily at the moment. This may also be relevant [10]. Antonrojo 13:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I know how it feels! I'm an IP myself; actually, I'm one user of a school district's shared IP. I can never edit anonymously because some egghead at the high school or somewhere likes to vandalise articles constantly!
You really don't care about my complaint as currently stated

is a pitiful statement of neglect to your own creation's being vandalized by administrators !!!!

Wette Willy with a na na na for Jimbo207.69.137.12

I had a similar problem when I first started - the solution for me was:- 1. Log on to AOL, 2. Open up Microsoft Windows explorer - or some browser other than AOL's own 3. create an account. One I'd done all that I could edit away to my hearts content without any problems. --Mcginnly | Natter 10:06, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

What does that mean "anon ip numbers do not have the same civil rights as logged in members of the community"? I remember reading a lot about how Wikipedia was supposed to value everyone equally and anyone can edit. Anomo 22:08, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

In a perfect world, that is the vision. I believe it was the original plan, and Wikipedia tries to sustain it as much as we can. Unfortunately, the popularity of the site brings increased vandalism and point-of-view pushing, and Jimbo and others have learned that some compromises have to be made. Newyorkbrad 22:10, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Commercial editing of Wikipedia

I'm certain that commercial editing of Wikipedia is going to happen, and it's going to increase. MyWikiBiz is just the first in what is certain to be a long line. What we need is transparency, something which MyWikiBiz's current translation of the "Jimbo Concordat" seems to obscure. The problem with the current system, where non-paid editors post MyWikiBiz articles into the mainspace is documented in part here, where I suggested using the Articles for Creation process or to post the article in their Userspace pending review. I want articles authored by commercial sources to be easily traced to their original author, in case of POV issues etc. And the current system does not allow this, as the paid-for articles are posted by editors who are not responsible for the information. - Hahnchen 00:10, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Argh! I'm afraid you've came very late to this ballgame, and hence missed out all the interesting discussion at WP:COI and on the mailing list. WP:COI is the place to go for discussing this, not here. Sadly one post on the mailing list made a point that I was forced to agree with - that we actually only put ourselves in danger if we encourage this to be entirely in the open, allowing for real lawyer wikilawyering and the like. It is worth noting however that a lot of the community there appeared to agree with userspace articles, however the google rank problem would then come into play - which is the main reason against this. LinaMishima 00:40, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I've commented on MyWikiBiz about the situation with Google. How is an open process going to put ourselves in danger? Rather, it would be much safer if the repsonibilities for the articles could be laid down at the user's door instead of having others transcribe your work for you. Yeah, I know this is a bit late, but WP:COI seems kind of dead and mentions the talkpage idea which has been overruled. - Hahnchen 01:20, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The email to read is this one. I still regret e-mailing the list before reading this, as after some consideration, I had to find it to be correct. LinaMishima 01:30, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
NB: The last active work relating to this, which should probably be returned to, was a document for PR firms on editing wikipedia without shouting out about it. The idea was to follow the concept in said e-mail, but make sure anyone who wanted to do it could infact do it right and in a constructive and helpful manner (which would benifit everyone, really). LinaMishima 01:33, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I would really welcome clarification on this. On User talk:MyWikiBiz, I mentioned my thoughts on the Jimbo Concordat. A recent article which MyWikiBiz has penned for cash is at Arch Coal, copied over by another user. It is nigh on impossible to assess which articles MyWikiBiz has authored, are we to accept that any article copied over is to definitely be NPOV, and properly sourced? How many people have actually looked at the Arch Coal article, does anyone know? There is no mention on the talk page that the article was written for profit, and the edit summary is pretty crytic. How is the Wikipedia community going to watch over these articles, if they're all uploaded by disparate editors who may have little or no connection to the original author? Surely, it'd be better for the author to upload the article to his User space, and then after review, for it to be moved to the mainspace, in this case by User:J.smith. I ask you to please clarify the guidelines on commercial editing, or at least allow the Wikipedia community to come up with a better solution. - Hahnchen 00:46, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

xxx I posted last month here on your Talk page, but did not get an answer from you. The editor who did offer an answer actually added concerns, even though s/he was attempting to say my concerns were a non-issue. Since this topic seems related, I'll re-ask the concerns here. Unfortunately, I can't find it in your archive pages.

My question/concern is a sub-topic of the Commercial Content on Wikipedia macro-topic. My sub-topic is regarding User pages and Talk pages (article or user), rather than the myWikibiz situation of the Articles themselves. - I would like to do research about internet interactions, such as on Wikipedia. Can I solicit editors on User:Talk pages to participate in surveys and such? Previously, I provided a link to a researcher already doing so; therefore that example showed "solicitation ad-links on User:Talk pages to off-wiki research surveys" is okay. The example appeared to be research to support a for-profit company, btw. My question, then, do I need a-priori approval by the Wikimedia Foundation for such ad-links? - Related question is to confirm that, if I create a User page, I can explain my research and solicit sponsors, or do I need to do that only via ad-links? Here on this User:Talk page (see "Something fun from Jimbo for the politically inclined"), you ad-link to a for-profit site in which you financially benefit, so it would seem that ad-links to my own for-profit research are acceptable. On your User:main page, you provide contact info for speaking engagements, which I presume end up financially benefiting Wikipedia but I'm no longer sure that's a valid presumption since I couldn't confirm it from the Wikipedia budget. In a follow-up, I provide a link to a User:main page (who I later realized is also an Admin) whose page describes that she is a writer and contact info 'to support her off-wiki writing career so that she can volunteer more for Wikipedia'. That could be viewed as basically laundering money to be paid for her Wikipedia efforts by over-paying for her off-wiki work; yet myWikibiz seems to have been prohibited from doing the same.

My observation is that Wikipedia has VERY unclear policies about editors creating content, links or ad-links, that produce commercial profit. Moreover, what policies folks think do exist are arbitrarily enforced. Will you be weighing in on any of this soon? Your non-actions could be viewed as willful negligence, Enron style intentional ignorance yet you and the Wikimedia Foundation have ultimately accountability based on incorporated status. I'd hate to work on and win a research proposal, then be embarrased and take a career hit if (a) you disallowed my solicitation and surveys of Wikipedia editors via the Wikipedia site and/or worse (b) Wikipedia got an injunction and went off-line because of the direct contractions in policies, lack of needed policies, and arbitrary enforcements of policies and alleged policies.

What is the Wikimedia Foundation plan and schedule to resolve the confusion on Wikipedia to for-profit content?

The possible use of unfree images at no.wikipedia

Dear Jimbo,

We are (again) discussing the use of unfree images at the Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia. Some users argue that the projects themselves may decide if NC- and ND-licenses are allowed. Are they right?

Sincerely, --Kjetil_r 22:24, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

PS: If this is not the proper place to ask this question, feel free to move it.

NC- and ND- licenses are not acceptable for any Wikimedia Foundation project. This has always been policy, and always will be policy. Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia. :)--Jimbo Wales 16:05, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Like Kjetil, I am one of the contributors and admins at the Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia.
English Wikipedia (amongst others) seem to differ a lot as regards to the license policy pertaining to multimedia, compared to our Norwegian Wikipedia, where the current policy is to only allow media that adheres to the licenses at Commons. In my view, it is good that we strive for more free media-files, but is utopic to believe that all material will be completely free.
For instance the coat of arms of Norway, and coat of arms of all Norwegian municipalities are probably not free material (in the Wikimedia sense) - and never will be, and there are numerous examples of Norwegian multimedia repositories that allow for liberal uses, in many instances under the condition that the material should not be manipulated/distorted, or with a requirement that the source should be quoted. A instance of this, that is currently being discussed at no:, is the use of a big picture database from the Norwegian military, which is released for free use ("free" meaning in no payment required) use to all Norwegian media - with the only requirements that the source should be quoted and that the material should not be manipulated upon.
Current policy at Norwegian WP however, and to my and many other's dismay, does not allow for such material. There have been numerous discourses at the Norwegian Wikipedia since this policy was introduced about this issue, in which the ones who argue for this policy use your name as reference that "everything should be free" - no matter what the consequences are. I believe that in cases where no available "free" material (i.e. GFDL etc.) is not available (e.g. coat of arms etc.), one should use "unfree" material, of course as we still adhere to U.S. and Norwegian copyright laws.
  1. What is your opinion on this matter?
  2. Could you elaborate why the Norwegian Wikipedia should ban "unfree" multimedia (such as e.g. coat of arms, material released to the public, but not GFDL etc.), when the English Wikipedia does allow for this?
--Lipothymia 13:40, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Fairuse clarification badly needed


Some editors are making statements in your name to imply that you've forbidden the use of {{promophoto}} fair-use images in biographies of living people, because hypothetically, it's possible that eventually a free image may be obtained. I started a row with Ed g2s at AN/I over 15 images of U.S. State Attorneys General, such as, e.g., Image:AG Danberg.jpg for use in Carl Danberg. Ed has orphaned all the images, and continues to refuse to allow the matter to go to an WP:IFD discussion, which would determine whether WP:FU and WP:FUC require the deletion of those images (a question to which I answer with a resounding, No!). Or, you can tell us that all fair-use portraits should be deleted. But either way, clarification is badly needed. Awaiting your opinion on the subject,

- CrazyRussian talk/email 07:03, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I would also like to direct interested parties to the proposals at Wikipedia:English promotional images solution, given that we probably should be replacing these images, but an organised system done over time will minimise any damage to articles. LinaMishima 14:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that the above is a very good description of recent fair use cleanup activities. As I noted at WP:AN, if you find an image that Ed g2s has orphaned that is irreplacable and has verifiable copyright holder information, please let me know. These two points are necessary (but not sufficient) under our existing policies. There's nothing to debate at IfD if we are not meeting the barest of our requirements for image use. All of that said, I think that a remdinder to admins not involved in image cleanup that these requirements exist and that there is an enormous amount of cleanup that needs doing, may well be helpful. Jkelly 16:19, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
As the person who added those clarifications to the Fair Use page I can confirm that there were many editors present discussing the issue and that each paragraph I prepared (of the three now heading the page) was run past Jimbo before it was added. A number of related amendments were made further down the page and some minor drafting / clarification amendments have been made since which did not change the thrust of the three agreed paragraphs. --AlisonW 09:18, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

ArbCom confidence

Hello. I note in your description of ArbCom that you intend to intervene about as often as the Queen into Parliamentary business. Well, it looks like it might be time to dissolve parliament. [11] Their resolute backing and support of their clerk User:Tony Sidaway (See above re. Giano and other issues eg. [12] [13] [14]) is incomprehensible and the extensive ill feeling it is generating brings Arbcom into disrepute and can only be bad for the encyclopedia. Perhaps you might have a word. --Mcginnly | Natter 12:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia currently lacks an effective way to mitigate damage done by contemptuous language and behavior by admins towards content experts resulting in the unneccessary loss of experts. WAS 4.250 14:09, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
What about a way to mitigate damage by contemptuous language used by and on behalf of "content experts" towards other editors with whom they have a disagreement? Why would we want an "expert" who thinks that anybody who disagrees with them is inherently incorrect? Why are people measuring worth by "number of featured articles"? (which is a staggering breach of the Wikipedia:Ownership of articles principle, by the way—does nobody else get to work on those articles?) What is the threshold of edits above which one acquires a "Get out of Wiki-jail free" card? When can one start being abusive to one-and-all with impunity? HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 14:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Bleh, why do people keep waving around WP:OWN here? The policy specifically addresses editors trying to take control of articles; there's absolutely nothing preventing editors from (informally) claiming to have written an article, nor, more importantly, preventing the community from recognizing (again, informally) those editors as the primary authors of the articles in question. (Indeed, proper attribution is one of the main points of the GFDL!) Kirill Lokshin 16:06, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia currently lacks an effective way to mitigate damage done by contemptuous language and behavior by admins resulting in the unneccessary loss of valuable contributors. However such language and behavior by nonadmins seems to be mitigated to a large degree by the mechanism of bans and blocks by admins without going through stifling processes. Perhaps admins themselves need to be subject to an effective similar mechanism as what we have now is not effective in mitigation to a similar degree. WAS 4.250 15:01, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Having said that, even if such a mechanism were required, Mcginnly's claim that I referred to anyone as a "boil" is incorrect. My choice of words to describe an ugly situation that I defused by some economical and well targeted actions was unfortunate if it led some people to believe that I did. We all need to calm down a bit, which is why I'm on a brief wikibreak at present. --Tony Sidaway 14:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I don't think I have claimed that. Others have provided some diffs of edit summaries where you use a metaphor that uses that sort of language, I'm sure the semantics of it prove you correct, but the substance of it does not promote a 'calm and collegiate' atmosphere.--Mcginnly | Natter 14:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
You're right. I responded to the wrong edit. I certainly did refer to lancing a boil. I think it's an excellent metaphor but if people thought I was referring to a person that was grotesque and unfortunate. I don't know what a "collegiate" Tony would look like but I'm certainly calm. --Tony Sidaway 14:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Tony, your exact words were "When a nurse lances a boil, sometimes she gets covered in malodorous filth and she may be blamed for the smell. The patient's health prospects are immediately improved, however."[15] In context, the meaning of your metaphor was widely understood: patient = Wikipedia, nurse = Tony Sidaway, boil = Giano. Exactly what did you think the word "boil" referred to? "My choice of words ... was unfortunate if ..." suggests that you're still on the fence as to whether it was appropriate to write the boil remark. Subsequent events would suggest that your metaphor was something short of "excellent" Vadder 15:01, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Tony was dealing with a situation involving multiple editors, not a single editor, so I don't think you can say he meant to say "boil=Giano". Though, I would request that he no longer tell us that he is "covered in malodorous filth", we don't need to know that ;). NoSeptember 22:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The boil in question was a rather messy brawl over the result of Carnildo's RFA. I observed that the brawl abruptly ended after I took decisive action and blocked one of those making wild accusations about the arbitration committee, Angela, the bureaucrats and so on. Now I've been criticised for that action and I won't defend it here, but at the time I made that observation the boil I referred to was that particular pustulent growth. It was an unfortunate choice of words. --Tony Sidaway 17:18, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Widely understand Vadder? Only a few edits after Tony's I posted an alternative interpretation[16]. Why no mention of that?
Moving on from Tony's ill-judged comment (I think we can all agree on that), I'm finding this whole affair very troubling. In particular one or two editors seem to be on a war footing and have become incredibly rude and arrogant. Apparently, this is excusable because of a high number of mainspace edits and contributions to FAs. Not my idea of a pleasant working environment I have to say and I think, Jimbo, this is a matter you need to look into. The atmosphere has gone very sour round here lately; this particular episode being just the latest piece in a long series of venomous outings which have already driven away a lot of valuable contributors, article writers and admins alike. --kingboyk 23:12, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

As for WP:OWN, I see small groups owning articles all the time. They have an interest and all share the same POV and so force articles the same way. I've seen many articles where for years the content disagreed with all notable sources because they could not find media sources that agreed with the group's POVs. They would remove any notable sources that disagreed. I've seen other articles where 1-3 people owned a whole category of articles and would skew their content to be POV, they also refused to allow pictures in any of the articles because the subject of them was taboo, the owners of the articles were that subject, and so they were sensitive about it. And most always administrators are ones of the ones keeping the articles controlled. So then people who try to improve the articles are pushed off and the articles remain instead of NPOV, as more like their personal webpage and a promotional piece. Anomo 22:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

In case you weren't already aware, a request for Arbitration has been made. Also, I'm sure your view on the practice of 'Arbitrators Emeritus' having access to the private arbcom mailing list would be appreciated. the wub "?!" 22:36, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I wonder whether this is to be welcomed or not - on the one hand something needed to happen to resolve the situation - but an arbcom case where 3 of the involved parties are either clerks or members - surely there's some conflicts of interest and impartiallity issues here? --Mcginnly | Natter 00:07, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Tendentious editors

A proposal is in the works that would streamline enforcement of content policies and guidelines. The nutshell version is:

An editor whose contributions fall outside the realm of normal scholarship may be subject to administrative action after a consensus of uninvolved Wikipedians agrees that these edits constitute persistent violation of content policies and guidelines such as WP:V, WP:RS and WP:NOR. Arbitration committee action shall not be necessary for administrators to block editors who ignore impartial consensus. Banning is an option if repeated blocks fail to curb problem behavior.

This grows out of a discussion at Wikipedia:Expert Retention where a variety of editors agreed that content policies need more consistent enforcement. Administrators rarely impose blocks for content disputes without an ArbCom ruling. Editors who passionately espouse fringe beliefs can succeed at exhausting the patience of rules-abiding editors because current enforcement skews toward other policies such as WP:3RR or WP:NPA. This proposal would establish an impartial consensus standard as an alternative to ArbCom.

Active editors are inviting input to build a broader consensus and your ideas would be particularly valued. Please visit the page and share your thoughts. Respectfully Durova 22:50, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


The Wikipedia:Tendentious editors page may be good, and it may be necessary. But it will not solve the problems it is intended to solve. Essentially, the Wikipedia:Tendentious editors policy is a means to eliminate whatever POV the "tendentious editor" forces against the will of the consensus of editors. But what creates the "tendentious editor" in the first place is the lack of Wikipedia policy to define what Due weight each properly cited and attributed POV should have in a good Wikipedia page. Let me give you a Gedanken experiment to illustrate the specifications of a real solution to the ravages across Wikipedia pages.

  • Let us suppose that we had a Wikipedia page publishing the quantitative measure of Due weight for each possible POV in any area. Let us say that the POV "evolution--religious controversies" is given 2% Due weight and that the POV "evolution--most recent peer reviewed research" is given 98% Due weight. Then the would-be tendentious creationist editor could be given some safe harbor in which to select the POVs to present the significant published views of "evolution--religious controversies." And of course, a neutral tone should be used in presentation.
  • An actual quantitative measure of Due weight for each Wikipedia subject could be established in an annual vote among all registered Wikipedia editors, like unto any annual Wikipedia election. Registered Wikipedia editors would be presented with a list of topics, such as "evolution--religious controversies," "evolution--most recent peer reviewed research," "creationism--supernatural intervention," "creationism--scientific critique," . . . among which each editor could allocate their votes. Then, as a result of this annual poll, the Due weights among the various POVs would be set uniformly throughout Wikipedia and throughout time for one year and published on one Wikipedia policy page.
  • The Gedanken experiment here assumes that most would-be tendentious editors would accept the community's published Due weight guidelines--because the guidelines would be in "writing" and not in a tempting amorphous flux to be determined by the consensus and power dynamics of whatever group can be organized to control a page.

These are not my ideas but the combined ideas of eleven good editors that wish us all good luck. Thanks for your time, and what should be our next step to define a clear quantitative and uniform measure of what Due weight is and thereby reduce the turf battles on each page over what weight is Due the various significant POVs of published reputable sources? --Rednblu 01:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Rednblu, due weight on Wikipedia is a matter of thoughtful editorial judgement and is not reducable to quantitative evaluation. It is exersized by consensus where possible and majority where necessary. Formerly enforced mostly by lenghy legalistic processes and now more and more often by admin blocks/bans. Wikipedia:Tendentious editors simply puts into writing existing practice. WAS 4.250 13:00, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Plus, some higgerant git nicked my shortcut! WP:TE used to go to Wikipedia:Tendentious editing... :o) Guy 13:03, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, my colleagues. Yes, I have noted the progressive stages of the "tendentious editor" policy from its beginnings. And I have noted how it has been used and not used from the beginnings. In that regard, several of us have been rereading Federalist #10, and we have been thinking about how important it may be for the good of the cause to have sufficient constitutional blocks on what the majority consensus can do. And, in thinking of all the available models of human behavior and what organization it actually takes to bring to fruition such a new and promising distributed decision-making project as Wikipedia, we have noticed in the human historical record how important it may have been that George Washington performed his necessary presidential role by remaining silent in the development of the content of the constitutional blocks on majority consensus. The various editors of the Constitution negotiated among themselves the constitutional blocks on what majority consensus could do to minority POVs. Accordingly, several of us thought of lifting the argument of Due weight to the level of the whole Republic of Wikipedia as a quantitative, NPOV, and constitutional "cure for the mischiefs of faction"--where a "faction" would be any consensus of editors united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the significant, published, and properly attributed POV that the "tendentious editor" keeps inserting contrary to consensus. Thanks for your comments, and let's think about it. --Rednblu 16:39, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
To give an idea of what this proposal addresses, at Joan of Arc one editor spent a full year attempting to edit the article into compliance with his unpublished family tree. It took mediation, page protection, three peer reviews, and an RFC before he bowed to a chorus of editors who insisted this wasn't an encyclopedic source. Several productive editors quit Wikipedia in frustration. I've similar situations when I answer RFCs. The current policy enforcement just isn't good at solving this problem: ArbCom is swamped and few admins dare to act on a content dispute without ArbCom's approval. We could use a middle ground between persuasion and ArbCom. Durova 23:28, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Good example. But it seems to me that that kind of block should be written explicitly into WP:NOR and WP:V--for clarity. Something simple like a "block after three-violations following admin warning" rule should be sufficient, would it not? We don't want to scare newcomers, and the escalation should be gentle. But writing this encyclopedia is serious, and even newcomers should act responsibly. Just an idea; what do you think? --Rednblu 23:51, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Tendentious policy making is not good either. Codifying every act of judgement is not a good objective. WAS 4.250 08:26, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. The problem is not the lack of verifiability or neutrality, everyone makes the occasional mistake, the problem is the endless argufying once the problem of verifiability or neutrality has been identified. Disruption covers all of this, and is already part of the blocking policy. We can have essays on how to identify tendentious editing, how to avoid it, what the term means, but there is no need for new policy to cover its prevention. Guy 09:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree this is already covered in principle, but in practice too many cases slip through the cracks. The disruptive editors who get attention are people like Jason Gastrich who damage a large number of articles. We've set out with a narrow goal: establish a fair point for admins to take action. Is there a consensus here that a better way to do that is modification to existing policies? I'm interested in results, not process. Durova 14:23, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
That is also my sense-- that though the principles are mostly there, they are dispersed over multiple policies so as to in practice force the knowledgeable and expert to prevail through a trail by ordeal. Our intent is to collect it into a single spot so as to make acting on it clearer for all. And also, in my opinion, to scare the newcomers a little-- a least those who look upon Wikipedia as an excellent place to advance their pet theories.
P.S. Can we take this dicussion over to Wikipedia talk:Tendentious editors? Mangoe 15:19, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

International development & related wikis

Hi Jimbo,

I noticed on your blog, you said I’m doing this for the child in Africa who is going to use free textbooks and reference works produced by our community and find a solution to the crushing poverty that surrounds him, which is very close to my own motivation. So I thought I'd run this issue past you.

There are a number of wikis for non-encyclopedic information (projects, research, networking) on international development issues, appropriate technology, and particularly sustainability, which seems to me to be a pity, as there's such a lot of overlap. I'd like to see a lot more synergy happening, and to this end I've started The Wiki Synergy Project on WikiIndex.

It's just a start for now. I want to get people from the various wikis talking about this and hopefully create a larger, more active wiki community and a better resource.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this. --Singkong2005 talk 05:15, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I looked at one of the wikis using a foreign language that third world countries (like where the child in Africa lives) and those foreign language wikis have very little articles. Sure the languages of the rich nations have countless articles... no wait they can be counted... 1,396,758 articles, but not every language has a lot of articles. Anomo 12:32, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Death threats and policy

Hi there Jimbo. Congratulations on starting wikipedia. It is really great.

By now you are aware of the death threat issues that came up over the weekend regarding Homosexuality in ancient Greece. I was advocating a temporary period of putting the page in a condition that did not rile the person making the death threats. Many people (it seems it was a "concensus") felt that I was wrong in that view. Maybe I am. However, it also seems to me that these sorts of decisions should not be left in the hands of users and admins and made on the fly. It is really easy to be brave and tough when you do not believe a threat is real. But there are known incidents on the web where people did not take such threats seriously... and with really sad consequences. I can give you examples if you are interested, but I trust you have experience in life enough to suspect that such things do happen!

I suggest that a policy regarding such matters be considered. It's a heavy thing for a person (like an admin) to take a position that might -- even if the possibility is remote -- cause the death of an innocent person. I do not think it is fair to the admins or users. If wikipedia had a firm policy that death threats are ALWAYS ignored, such threats might lose their strength. Alternatively, the risks might be pretty high compared with the cost of a few days of waiting to sort things out. If wikipedia had a policy that a death threat is cause for pause, maybe it would prevent a tragedy. In either case, this is probably something that should be decided in advance and not at the moment. I know that if I were in your shoes I would ask myself "How will this look when (that's when...not if) it gets to the Newspapers?" Because just one bad event will be lots of media news and criticism.

Those are my thoughts... but... what do I know? I leave it up to you and those who have the responsibility to run this thing right! --Blue Tie 20:27, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

If there was a serious problem regarding an article, I'd suggest contacting someone from the WP:OFFICE and have them fully protect the page. No editor (administrators included) are allowed to edit an office-protected article. Naconkantari 20:29, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I belive the situtation has largely been resolved although the page will remain protected for the next few days.Geni 21:01, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I've emailed Jimbo and left a voice mail message for Danny about the situation. As Geni says, it seems that the situation is resolved for the moment (although I'm still waiting to hear back from the police). The individual in question now claims that his earlier threat was a "joke".
As for Blue Tie's concern; I know that it's important to take death threats seriously. That's why I contacted the police. However, "taking the threat seriously" doesn't need to mean "giving the blackmailer everything he wants". I think that it would be a very bad precedent for Wikipedia if we started altering articles based on emailed death threats; it would be an invitation for POV-pushers of all stripes to begin making death threats, with the knowledge that if they said the magic words Wikipedia would give them whatever they want. I feel quite comfortable with my actions in this case; I contacted the appropriate authorities, and it seems probable that they dealt with the situation. The threat was almost certainly an empty one this time; however, even if it had been legitimate, I would feel that I had done the right thing. If somebody is deranged enough to think that a Wikipedia article is worth killing over, that individual and that individual only is responsible for their actions. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:19, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
In other words, "No negotiation with terrorists." *Dan T.* 21:26, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, I do not think that we are the same as a government dealing in international relations. They claim to not negotiate with terrorists but they do anyway. Whatever is politically expedient.
Josiah, who did a wonderful job in this problem says "If someone is deranged enough to think that a wikipedia article is worth killing over, that individual and only that individual is responsible for their actions". I wonder... do we at wikipedia think that pausing for one article (we do it all the time anyway with blocks) is worth a human life? That is a very odd set of values. I do not believe we are as easily subject to death threats as that because, after all, the internet is not really secret. Your identity can be divined.
But that is beside the point that I was raising. I think that this is a decision that should not be put on the shoulders of editors and admins on the fly. I think that some guidance is appropriate. Although criminal law may not attach to inaction or "bad" action on the part of wikipedians, civil law may be brought to bear upon both the wiki entity for failure to establish guidelines and to the individuals making the decisions. [Here is a tort law primer for non-profit enterprises] that may suggest the areas of concern. And some may argue that the civil tort action will not prevail but who would want to go through the stress of finding that out? It's not a small deal. (Could wikipedia survive financially even if there was no success?) And legalities aside... it seems to me that it is just not right to lay this responsibility on admins and editors on the fly. But again, what do I know? --Blue Tie 21:43, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

In case of a crime (such as a death threat); the proper procedure is to tell the authorities (the police) and follow their instructions. Dealing with crime is their job. Our job is to tell them. We did that. If it becomes important for us to add or subtract from Wikipedia contents, we can trust the police to so inform us. If someone says "take down the whole wikipedia or i will commit suicide"; do we make a judgement or just tell the police and let them handle it? We just tell the police and go from there. They have experience in these matters. We don't. WAS 4.250 22:07, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


I hope you have seen the progress my project has gone through over the past few days. We have now started Wikipedias first Project Paper, which I see becoming a familiar item here. I have nine members so far and I am encouraging more to come by placing the talk page template on as many of our articles as possible. It includes our to do list. I hope you come and take a look. Unisouth 19:30, 26 September 2006 (UTC)