User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 122

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Civility and team spirit

Civility I asked some candidates for arbitrator the following question: how do you feel about applying the principles that we use for BLPs (Biographies of living persons) also to editors: "a high degree of sensitivity", "attributed to a reliable, published source", "written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy", "the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered"?

Team spirit I like to see in the Main page's (frequently discredited) DYK section 1950s American automobile culture, the result of admirable teamwork begun here (where some may not exactly expect civility) ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 00:04, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Great collaboration from great editors. Something we should all look at and see the true sprit of Wikipedia.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:27, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Now archived, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:09, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Courtesy ping, Venezuela topic POV

Jimbo, I mentioned you here. (I was busy all spring, summer and fall, but also ... I gave up :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:43, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Does Wikipedia exist for providing a free knowledge or it is looking forward to achieving a global domination?

According to Sue Gardner "Cell phones could be Wikipedia's path to global domination". The words "global domination" regarding encyclopedia just do not sound right, or I am missing something? (talk) 03:47, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

That might just be the author taking the liberty of saying she said that. I don't see that in quotation marks. --Malerooster (talk) 04:01, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
It is what the author suggested, not what Sue said. Apteva (talk) 06:10, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!"

Excerpt from Pinky and the Brain. Copyright of Time Warner. Used here as critical commentary.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:33, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
When we achieve global domination, can I have a nice little island someplace warm? Modern infrastructure and beaches preferable. GabrielF (talk) 04:37, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I'll take something up north; give me Greenland, and if that doesn't work I'll gladly settle for Svalbard. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:24, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
If we are divvying up the planet now....can I have Hawaii back please.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:44, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I cannot speak for anyone else here, but the only reason I joined Wikipedia is to become supreme autocrat of Moravia. I hope you won't disappoint me, Jimbo... Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 06:03, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
Support adding global domination as the 6th pillar. For a world that anyone can edit! Monty845 06:16, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
That's right, man. Global domination of the "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" market! F--- yeah! Our army of geek volunteers can't be stopped!  :) (talk) 14:51, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
Im not greedy. Ill take the Costa_Chica_of_Guerrero in Mexico. Wonderful lagoons with almost nothing more than fishing villages... at least for now!Thelmadatter (talk) 15:06, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I claim Florida! I also claim the right to forcefully relocate Floridians to Texas and annex the land as the 11th province of Canada. Because lets face it, half the population of the state are Canadian already. Spring break partiers still welcome. Resolute 15:09, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
His evilness's office
it is I who is looking forward to achieving a global domination not wikipedia!! The world is mine!! Mwwoaoaoahahaa!!!♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 15:19, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I see that someone has been sucessfully thrown off the trail. The Universe is ours, piker. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:52, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

We already have global domination, sort of. If redirects to disambiguation pages count. Formerip (talk) 00:20, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Support global domination. Jehochman Talk 01:06, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
    The world will be a cruel and hostile place, if Jehochman is allowed to dominate it. Wikipedians, please help save the world by keeping Jehochman inside Wikipedia. (talk) 06:20, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Wait, Jimbo promised me the evil overlord role. ME, Jimbo! Don't you remember??? Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:42, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

First they took my book of quotations and I said nothing cause I couldn't look up a witty response, then they took my dictionary and I said nothing cause the right word escaped me, when they came for my encyclopedia there was nothing left to say cause I didn't know who Niemöller was. Alertboatbanking (talk) 07:55, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

The first rule of global domination is you don't talk about global domination.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:03, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Any good, mad scientist would tell ya that much! Bwahahahahahaha!--Amadscientist (talk) 07:47, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

I thought we got rid of VNT


Summary: two people were railroaded by a dictatorship. The media listened to the dictatorship and spread lies about them. It is argued that Wikipedia has to present those lies because they come from reliable sources. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:14, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit: we --> were. Bad typo because it can affect the meaning of the sentence. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:55, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
  • We didn't get rid of VNT, we just don't feature it as prominently in the lede of WP:V anymore. Gigs (talk) 01:59, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Hi Ken, I don't know this particular case at all - never heard of the subjects before. I just looked at the link you sent, and it sounds like a very complex issue. We did get rid of VNT as a formulation because it was confusing people - stated out of context it was leading people to the conclusion that we should repeat falsehoods supported in reliable sources even when the consensus of thoughtful editors is that they are falsehoods, which is clearly not the case. But this doesn't answer the hard questions of what do we do, exactly? Yes, we don't mindlessly repeat nonsense, but we often need to report on it and contextualize it. Yes, we are not transcription monkeys but if someone is challenging what reliable sources say, we need a really good reason to agree. (The point is: those good reasons do sometimes exist.)
This case looks interesting, so I'm going to spend some time now reading up on it. It might be a few days before I feel up to speed enough to really help though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:39, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Update: I've just read through the article, and the discussion. What a disaster. I'll be talking things over with Wayne, who I think has been terribly discourteous to the subjects of the article, and is mistaken about several points of policy. I'm also going to take a radical approach to removing unsourced and poorly sourced claims from the article. I would appreciate as much help as I can get on this one.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
I admit I don't know much about this other than what I read just the other day. I was pointed to it by some comments in WP:BLPN. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:55, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

1000 DYKs

I've become the first person to reach 1000 DYKs, the 1000th article is Fatima-Zahra Mansouri, although L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (London) and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Hong Kong) appear at the same time, so either could be considered the 1000th. Perhaps somebody could highlight this at the signpost or wherever.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 11:26, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Meanwhile the proposal to put this achievement as a separate DYK is evenly divided, and unlikely to pass. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 16:40, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Isn't {{main page banner}} what we use for events like this? Though I don't think we mentioned Koavf using it... Legoktm (talk) 16:44, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Um.. Can we? TheOriginalSoni (talk) 05:07, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I've supported it solely because I think it will be a good way to promote DYK to other editors, and perhaps increase a little more interest in it. I can't think of a better reason to evoke WP:IAR than to praise the hard work on one person, while encouraging others to participate as well. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:27, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

The ubiquitous commons . . .

Interesting trivia tidbit for the day: The August 11, 2010, online publication of the Archaeological Institute of America credits a photo to Wikimedia Commons. Yopienso (talk) 17:41, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Bad news: Potential censorship

OK, so we've got some bad news. According to TIME magazine, (on the World page of the Dec. 17 issue) it revals that there is a UN proposal to censor the web. Just an FYI here. Thegreatgrabber (talk)contribs 07:08, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Have you read the most recent drivel from The Register, fine purveyor of random quotes? It says not only the opposite of what you say, but also claims, rather stridently, that there was no such proposal anyway.
Sound and fury signifying... --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:13, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Most fortunately. We don't need censorship at the time. Note: Someone needs to put that in the articleThegreatgrabber (talk)contribs 07:20, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
See International Telecommunication Union#World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12). More specifically, [1], [2], [3], [4]. Etc. Apparently there is much confusion as (a) the decision was supposed to be by consensus, not vote, then a vote was taken, and the support exceeded opposition, but was less than half of the membership; as the organization rightly does not actually apparently have power to censor in countries that oppose it (or alas, to repeal censorship) the meaning of the supposedly non-binding treaty is also a bit up in the air anyway. But I don't know much about this. Wnt (talk) 09:05, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

[5] from NYT: United States delegates said the pact could encourage censorship and undermine the existing, hands-off approach to Internet oversight and replace it with government control. Collect (talk) 13:45, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

See User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 100#United Nations and control of the Internet (March 2012).
Wavelength (talk) 15:41, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

False entry of Bahia de "Algeciras"

I am afraid that if you take at face value any information coming from Spanish contributors it is going to give Wikipedia a bad reputation for spreading disinformation.

The wikipage headed Bahia de Algeciras is totally false as no such bay exists (only in the minds of Spaniards). The proper name of this bay is THE BAY OF GIBRALTAR, or GIBRALTAR BAY. There is the port of Algeciras in the BAY OF GIBRALTAR. There is no talk page on the Spanish version of that wikipage and corrections (as expected) have been discarded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Correct2 (talkcontribs) 10:11, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Why is it so surprising to you that the Spanish have their own name for it? It's hardly unusual. After all, the French refer not to the English Channel but La Manche, while the Arabs prefer Arabian Gulf to Persian Gulf. Prioryman (talk) 10:59, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
The term "Bay of Gibraltar" is far more common in English than are "Bay of Algeciras" and "Bahia de Algeciras" combined. Wikipedia, last I checked, favours titles which a typical user of the English-language encyclopedia is likely to use. "La Manche" is a good example -- it was an "Article" which scrupulously avoided "English" going so far as to call it the "Strait of Dover" etc., and was created long after the English Channel article was created. It was then redirected to English Channel for quite sufficient reasons. The example of "Arabian Gulf" is inapt as both terms used are, in fact, and quite amazingly, English. "Gibraltar" is, amazingly enough, the Spanish version of its Arabic name - thus there is no national insensitivity in using "Gibraltar." See also "Baja de Gibraltar" in a Spanish language map produced in Amsterdam in 1710 at [6]. It is interesting to note that Algeciras is part of the Campo de Gibraltar and not part of a "Campo de Algeciras". Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:36, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's why the article on the English Wikipedia is under the title of "Bay of Gibraltar". The disgruntled user, AFAICT, wants us to change the one on the Spanish wiki (es:Bahía de Algeciras); which is neither our job nor our purview. If "Bahia de Algeciras" is the most common name for it in Spanish then that's what it should be called there. So, I think you're missing the point slightly, and yes, that request oozes with nationalist sentiment. Yazan (talk) 13:55, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
You appear to be correct that this user is complaining about something on the Spanish Wikipedia, not the English Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia does have a page Bay of Algeciras but that is a redirect to Bay of Gibraltar, as it should be. Since Jimbo has an "open door policy" on his talk page, there is no particular problem with the user coming here to discuss this issue about the Spanish Wikipedia, but I don't know that it is going to get him anywhere. Unless, of course, there are readers of this page who also edit the Spanish Wikipedia and want to get involved in the issue there. Neutron (talk) 16:16, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Nationalist agendas on Wikipedia and the island of Gibraltar?!? Perish the thought! Carrite (talk) 22:05, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, at least now we know the English Wikipedia isn't the only place it happens. Although in this case I guess it sort of leaked over here as well. Neutron (talk) 01:18, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Geography 101: Gibraltar isn't an island. Prioryman (talk) 08:25, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

You lot haven't been paying attention. The "disgruntled user" is changing things here on the English Wikipedia, such as in this edit for example where xe broke two interlanguage links, broke the link to the Battle of Algeciras Bay, and falsified the titles of two source citations, simply in order to remove all of the Spanish from the article. Uncle G (talk) 07:29, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

  • I wonder if this might be a sockpuppet of the long-banned User:Gibraltarian, who used to do things like this (e.g. [7]). Prioryman (talk) 08:25, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
    • There's a name that I haven't seen in years. Certainly this recent edit from an IP address assigned to Sevilla is similar. It's not the same ISP as in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Gibraltarian#Log of blocks and bans, though., the actual range for the IP address in the arbitration log, is assigned to Gibtelecom. Whereas (talk · contribs) is in, that is assigned to SANDETEL. That doesn't necessarily mean much, moreover, as it's apparently the back end of an ISP's caching proxy.

      There is, however, evidence on the Spanish Wikipedia that even if Correct2 isn't Gibraltarian, Gibraltarian, editing from another Gibtelecom IP address ( (talk · contribs)), has hopped onto Correct2's coat-tails very smartly, in under 24 hours, having been quiet since March.

      In addition, and probably to be expected, sadly: Contrary to the assertions made above, es:Discusión:Bahía de Algeciras not only exists but has existed since 2007.

      Uncle G (talk) 12:40, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation employee salaries

You are invited to comment here. Nirvana2013 (talk) 09:22, 17 December 2012 (UTC)


At Wesley Snipes, an editor is attempting to insert the editor's personal opinion that Snipes is retired ("inactive") because he is in jail. This, while yet another editor (s?) is attempting to insert unsourced information tying the actor to multiple projects, also without sourcing. Two other editors (one an admin who should REALLY know better) have, in my opinion unwisely, warned me for firmly resisting, and stating that I would continue to remove the unsourced information in the future. This is appalling, and in my opinion this failure to support protection of wp:BLP articles is by far the largest threat to the project.

Now I am indeed unsociable, grumpy, unpleasant, and won't be changing. If that means I pose more of a threat by pushing out editors, then I should certainly not be part of the community.User talk:Unfriend12 15:38, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Edited for typos.User talk:Unfriend12 15:38, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I suggest you want WP:BLPN or even WP:ANI for something like that, although maybe here is good enough. (talk) 15:46, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, but sadly, anon friend, I simply don't care that much. There is a thread at wp:BLPN, also at the edit war page. None of that will help with the larger issue: BLP information is (obv my opinion) the greatest threat to WP. Even more than money, because if the site goes dark for lack of cash, people will cough it up. But if the site is shot dead by the governmental units, then it is ... dead. And the editors (especially admins, it seems to me) appear to be more concerned with their widdle feewings than with the survival of the project. *shrug*User talk:Unfriend12 15:55, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

"Who writes Wikipedia"? Still mostly logged-out people?

Is still current on the proportion of logged out editors contributing the bulk of Wikipedia content? Where are the official statistics on this? (talk) 15:44, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

In a very real sense, most of us are anon... my user id is Unfriend12. I work hard to keep a firm firewall between unfriend12 and all my non-WP online identities, as I edit *very inflamatory* articles, and support inclusion of text and images I personally find unpleasant, even objectionable, so long as they meet the policies, guidelines and wp:pilars. Further, IP logins, usually called anonymous logins, are in fact not anonymous at all. Creating a user id is far closer to "real" anonymity.User talk:Unfriend12 16:56, 17 December 2012 (UTC) typofix User talk:Unfriend12 17:07, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
  • The essay cited deals not with anonymity or "logged out people" but with the notion that there is a core group of Wikipedians who "write the encyclopedia" — a notion challenged by the essayist. To this I say, first, the core group at Wikipedia is not "a few hundred" or "five hundred" people, in the English Wikipedia it is something more like 3200 to 3400. HERE ARE THE NUMBERS. That includes vandal fighters, copy editors, people dealing with technical matters and administration, content creators, and a few drone bees that love the dramahs... That needs to be clear.
Second, this: Wikipedia is both a serious Encyclopedia and a Compendium of Popular Culture. The latter is much, much bigger than the former, as anyone hitting the RANDOM ARTICLE button a couple hundred times and keeping a tally will be able to observe. I would guess that the Compendium of Popular Culture is maybe 4 times larger than the Serious Encyclopedia. And the Compendium is written by a cast of tens of thousands. As for the Serious Encyclopedia, that is more or less written by a small group of content creators. The guess of 500 is really not a bad one, but I'm not aware of any formal studies on the topic, so it is just a guess. It could be twice that number. It could be half as many... That sort of writing is work and people have to be internally driven to do it. That doesn't sound like very many people until you look at the list of contributors to an old Encyclopedia Britannica and start counting. It's a substantial number to be seriously contributing to a literary project.
I think Jimbo is pretty much on the mark with his observation and his estimate, but he definitely needs to explain a little better exactly to what he refers. There's a small Encyclopedia by 500 inside a big Compendium by 50,000.... My two cents, —Tim /// Carrite (talk) 17:12, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Ought a religion be described as "pseudoscience" in an article lead?

I rather think the paragraph in the lead of Christian Science might run afoul of WP:NPOV myself.

Christian science is pseudoscience that claims that sickness can be healed through the exclusive use of prayer rather than medicine. It rejects science as illusory, while attempting to disguise itself as science.[4][5]:317 Its precepts cause preventable death among its followers, and among the children of its followers upon whom those precepts are imposed; [6] it adversely affects public health: outbreaks of preventable disease and a number of deaths have occurred due to a lack of vaccination; [7]:50 and the Christian science church actively attempts to control its public image and position in law through media manipulation and political lobbying.[8]

The rest of the article seems to be written in a quite similar vein:

Christian Science is a pseudoscience.[16][17][18] Christian Science is framed as being in opposition to science, but uses the appearance of being a science to give itself extra legitimacy. [19] It, traditionally, regards science as not important and an illusion, although they have recently started to base arguments on appeals to physics.[5]:317:557[20]:
Young (2001) relates how children that die from preventable disease suffer more than victims of "traditional" child abuse, yet in the United States the parents responsible can escape criminalization through being religiously motivated. He describes how this circumstance has arisen: the Christian Science church has successfully lobbied for favorable language in the Code of Federal Regulations, and the church's many "committees on publication" (COPs) monitor and influence media coverage and opinion though such activities as the coordinated writing of letters to the editor, and political lobbying.'

And so on ... as "miracles" from prayer are a fundamental tenet in most Christian groups (heck - also in Islamic and other religious groups), I wonder if we are well advised to label religions as "pseudoscience" in Wikipedia's voice. Collect (talk) 01:56, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

That's clearly unencyclopedic writing. I recommend reverting back to the best version from the recent past.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:04, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, Collect removed some of the really POV material from the intro, someone else put most of it back in, and I reverted to Collect's version. I do have to say, though, some of the material Collect took out can probably go back in, when this situation stabilizes. I am talking about some of the statements in the third paragraph. Obedience to the precepts of Christian Science DOES cause preventable deaths among its followers. That statement was sourced, and it is true. The same goes for some of the statements after that. Perhaps we should put those statements in the voice of "public health authorities" or whoever specifically provided the source material for those statements, but they should go back in. As an "emergency" measure, however, I simply reverted. It seems like an edit war is in progress, though, and the current semi-protection is probably not going to be enough. Neutron (talk) 05:09, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Not just "perhaps" - absolutely. It is not the job of Wikipedia to draw such conclusions. If there are reliable sources, let them draw the conclusions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:17, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
But it is the secondary/tertiary sources that are drawing the conclusions; and more than just the medical authorities. They specifically reject medicine and science in favour of "spirtual science" where they believe they can heal through positive thinking. The sources are pretty unequivocal that it is pseudoscientific and no secondary source that I have seen attempts to refute or counter this in any form. If the sources unequivocally and uncontroversially describe something, instead of saying "Medical practitioners, scientists, sceptics and scholars say X is pseudoscientific" why should it not be just "X is pseudoscientific" (I disagree with including material about lobbying in the lead). IRWolfie- (talk) 10:37, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
This is really important: Omitting the explanation of who says so is bad writing, it is unencyclopedic, and it weakens the article. I think this is true EVEN IF you are coming at this from a POV-pushing perspective that says that readers should be waved off from the religion. It is much stronger to explain to the reader that this isn't just some random Wikipedian saying something, but actual authorities. Wikipedia is not the place to simply write your own opinions, but to explain the world to people in an uncontroversial way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I've reworded the section to "Christian science is pseudoscience that claims that sickness can be healed through the exclusive use of prayer rather than medicine. It rejects science as illusory, while attempting to disguise itself as science.[4][5]:317 A number of preventable deaths have occurred amongst its followers, and their children since outbreaks of preventable disease and a number of deaths have occurred due to a lack of vaccination and treatment.[6] [7]:50". IRWolfie- (talk) 11:43, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that wording is quite accurate as it implies the deaths were just due to disease outbreak, but reading the literature that is sourced in the Article that isn't always the case; other things cause death too (untreated bowel obstruction is mentioned, e.g.). Alexbrn (talk) 11:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I've clarified it, IRWolfie- (talk) 11:56, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Christian Science is not like other Christian groups in that it specifically rejects science and medicine. The sources do not unequivocally describe Christianity as a pseudoscience, so it's a nonsensical comparison. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:25, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Since the weight of discussion here and at NPOVN seems to find it unencyclopedic in the lede and POV, I shall remove it once again. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:22, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
The text you were complaining about is not the text you removed. Those who have commented like Neutron and Binksternet have highlighted that there were issues with neutrality with the previous text, not that it the points should not be addressed in the lead, hence there is no reason to remove the modified text. i.e Neutron: " I do have to say, though, some of the material Collect took out can probably go back in, when this situation stabilizes. ", Binksternet: "It looks to me as if WP:LEAD strongly recommends that the third paragraph remain. Per LEAD, we summarize the main article points, and this paragraph does so effectively. " I can't help but be puzzled at citing a perceived consensus (I fail to see it) at NPOVN where you didn't inform any of the editors on the article talk page. It seems unfair; you bypassed any discussion on the talk page by trying to get consensus elsewhere without telling anyone. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:44, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
The text you are edit warring to keep in is:
Christian science is pseudoscience because it claims that sickness can be healed through the exclusive use of prayer rather than medicine. It rejects science as illusory while attempting to present itself as science.[4][5]:317 A number of preventable deaths have occurred amongst its followers and their children during outbreaks of preventable diseases, and a number of deaths have occurred due to a lack of vaccination and other medical treatment.[6][7]:50
It still makes claims in the lead in Wikipedia's voice which are improper and a violation of NPOV. Noticeboards are basically intended to get new editors into the loop - I have seen far too many cases where the "usual gang of idiots<g>" keeps taking over all discussions on any given topic. As the notice did not refer to any specific editors, it clearly did not require notifying them to get everyone writing the same stuff on multiple pages. Meanwhile, you assert on the talk page that James Randi's opinions should be usable as "fact" in Wikipedia's voice in a lead because he makes his living writing about such things. I demur. Note that this has nothing to do with having discussions mentioned in the article, nor with stating opinions as being opinions - but with repeatedly edit warring to place a claim in Wikipedia's voice as being "fact." Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:06, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of a noticeboard is to provide fresh opinions, it is not intended as a place to bypass consensus. You are citing a discussion that you didn't allow anyone else to take part in as the consensus for your edit (there is no consensus there either). You appear unwilling to discuss specific issues I have raised on the article talk page. There is no current consensus to remove the paragraph out of the lead as you have done; you are expected to discuss the issue. You have highlighted no specific issues on the talk page. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Your argument is reaching the level of bovine excrement at this point. I didn't allow anyone else to take part in the consensus??? Really? Try WP:NPA and WP:AGF please -- and note that using Wikipedia to make opinions into "facts" in Wikipedia's voice does not work. We only state what sources say, ascribing opinions properly as opinions to sources. And violations of NPOV are not "negotiable" as your argument seems to imply -- NPOV is an absolute on Wikipedia, and if we elide it here, we are damn well eliding it over the entire project. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:14, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
You are speaking generically without looking at the actual text and the actual sources. As the sources show, Christian Science is pseudoscience in much the same way as astrology is pseudoscience (two of the sources even mention it alongside astrology). The article also clearly elaborates on what the issues are. If you object to calling it pseudoscience, why are you removing the rest of the material: "... it claims that sickness can be healed through the exclusive use of prayer rather than medicine. It rejects science as illusory while attempting to present itself as science.[4][5]:317 A number of preventable deaths have occurred among its followers and their children because of a lack of medical treatment and avoidance of vaccination.[6][7]:50"? If your objection was that it should be attributed (although I'm not sure to who?), then why did you remove the paragraph? As an aside, often astrologers consider astrology to be a religion; does that make it not pseudoscience? IRWolfie- (talk) 14:24, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Isn't the statement "CS is pseudoscience" simply an uncontested factual assertion — when considered in a Western rational/scientific context, in much the same way that (say) Crystal healing is? Is the heat in this discussion really down to a difference of views about the frame of reference used? Alexbrn (talk) 14:26, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

There are a mixture of sources that call it pseudoscience, not just skeptical/scientific sources (in fact the Evangelical Protestants, like Walter Martin, are very harsh). We would end up with a statement like "According to everyone who isn't a Christian Scientist, it's pseudoscience", which is effectively the same as "it's pseudoscience". There are also a mixture of sources that call it a pseudoreligion as well though we don't mention that in the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:30, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Collect is taking issue with the use of Wikipedia's voice, and in that light I think the frame of reference is significant. Normally Wikipedia's voice wouldn't be used to assert facts evaluative statements in areas other than rational/scientific ones, so some topics like (maybe especially) religion would have text that was remote from any kind of bald statements. I think what Collect is saying (he will I am sure correct me if I'm wrong) is that saying CS is pseudoscience is like saying Jesus' miracles are pseudoscience, and that would never do. However, because CS obtrudes into the hard worlds of medicine and science it is a very unusual case (remember CS thinks Jesus' miracles are not supernatural, but the operations of its science). Alexbrn (talk) 14:42, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
IOW, opinions should be ascribed as opinions. Simple. And I would note that my insertion of the word "religion" as a descriptor was undone for some odd reason -- I would think calling "Christian Science" a "religion" was rational per NYT and 99% of the reliable sources out there <g>. And in one cse, a source was used which did not remotely support the claim to which it was attacked. I know that every single religion is a heresy to someone, but Wikipedia's job is to present articles in a neutral manner, not to shout "heresy!" at every turn, even though we know everything is a heresy. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:02, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
What makes you say it is an opinion. Have you read all of the relevant sources? It seems from your responses you disagree with calling it pseudoscience, no matter what the sources say? Is that a correct summary? IRWolfie- (talk) 15:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
For now I want to leave aside the interesting question of whether CS is a "religion" or not, and focus on the pseudoscience issue. You say "opinions should be ascribed as opinions". Quite. But is the statement "CS is psuedoscience" an opinion or a fact? Wikipedia should not present facts as opinions of course. What is the qualitative different between this assertion about CS and the one that opens Crystal healing: "Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific[1] alternative medicine technique"? Or is that also NPOV in your view? Alexbrn (talk) 15:16, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Unambiguous POV.  --My76Strat (talk) 15:39, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Which? (or both?) Alexbrn (talk) 15:41, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
(ec) "Crystal healing" is not called a "religion". "Phrenology" is not called a "religion." "Water dowsing" is not called a "religion" by anyone. I would note that we do not even call Scientology a pseudoscience! The case for calling Christian Science a religion is far stronger than that for Scientology, IMHO. Collect (talk) 15:43, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Is your argument that it's a religion so it can't be pseudoscientific? Why are these mutually incompatible? IRWolfie- (talk) 15:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Note my suggestion at [8] where I put "religion" in. Note [9] rejecting such an outrageous change. And making the statement into an absolute statement of fact in Wikipedia's voice. Do you see that? Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:53, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Mentioning it's a religion should be in the first lead paragraph. it being a "religion or pseudoscience" isn't supported by the sources. According to the source it's a religion that makes pseudoscientific claims, it's not one or the other. (for example, you removed the sourced text that Christian Science acts as though it is science). IRWolfie- (talk) 15:57, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Okay (I'm not trying to bicker, but to understand positions) — Scientology certainly should be called a pseudoscience IMO; maybe one day when I'm feeling like a break from controversial editing I'll mosey over there and make that edit ;-))
So, to be clear, your position is this: the fact that CS is religious stops the pseudoscience label being usable in WP's own voice (while for non-religious beliefs & practices like dowsing, etc, it's fine). Alexbrn (talk) 15:53, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Discussion of opinions qua opinions in the body of an article is one thing. Making it a statement of fact in Wikipedia's voice in the lead is a teensy bit different - especially when an editor specifically undid a suggestion daring to use the word "religion" in it. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:56, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Leaving aside editors and edits, and addressing the central point: have I summarised your position correctly? Alexbrn (talk) 16:00, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
No, you are so far off the mark, it would make better reading if you would post in another language.  --My76Strat (talk) 16:17, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I wasn't asking you, My76Strat, but I note you're not answering my (civil & plainly stated) question and instead using disparaging comments to be evasive. I just want to understand the reasoning editors are using before making any further arguments myself. Alexbrn (talk) 16:23, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry that my words aggrieved you. Apparently I've missed my mark. I am practicing succinct candor. Your question was civil, straightforward, and easy enough to answer with few words. Your reply however, begs for more. Unfortunately I will have to decline. I do hope you find the understanding you seek.  --My76Strat (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I'd think that what it claims should matter. If it claims that medical conditions can be healed by miracles, but it otherwise accepts modern medicine and does not call the miracles scientific, then it's not a pseudoscience (or any sort of science). If the claims of miracles are accompanied by non-miraculous, inaccurate, scientific claims or if it claims that it is the true science and real science isn't, then it's a pseudoscience. My impression is that Christian Science falls in the latter category and is therefore a pseudoscience.

Whether it should be in the lead is a different question, but I would say that its claims to be scientific are so prominent that pointing out that it's a pseudoscience does belong in the lead. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:57, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Cute donation video

I think you'll enjoy the video at the bottom of this page: [10]. GabrielF (talk) 16:16, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

That's such a brilliant idea! :D So creative and so generous. The guy trying to get the letter back from the mailbox made me lol. If anything we should try to learn how they pulled the campaign off so we can make the money directly.... :P --Coin945 (talk) 16:37, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I saw this recently and tweeted about it. It's awesome. This may be of interest to those interested in the game.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:40, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Commons range blocks

What is your opinion of this matter on Commons? I believe Pieter Kuiper has been discussed on your page before after he was indeffed on Commons. As I understand it, the people pushing for his block were largely contributors whose images he had nominated for deletion, typically because those images had copyright issues (see related discussions here: [11]). Since then he has been using IPs to file deletion requests on Commons to continue pointing out copyright issues. Commons admin Cirt, who is also a former en admin who was severely sanctioned by ArbCom and desysopped, imposed the range blocks that appear to target tens of thousands of IP addresses throughout the country of Sweden. Unfortunately, Commons apparently has no dispute resolution body akin to ArbCom so all contentious matters are handled by the community that also appear to have difficulty addressing this problem given a vocal group of editors and admins who seem to feel they have been wronged by Kuiper.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:38, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

To set the record straight, Kuiper was blocked for being persistently incapable of civil interaction with others. Part of that was his habit (still ongoing) of hounding certain users with often spurious deletion requests. This was the proverbial straw, there was a long history of abusive behaviour. -mattbuck (Talk) 02:32, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Rangeblocks to keep an editor accused of incivility from socking?!?! That's pretty serious stupidity any way one looks at it... I don't think spurious deletion requests at commons are the problem — more like spurious keep rationales. Carrite (talk) 03:43, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The range blocks issue of the thread title was resolved through discussion. Kuiper was blocked for persistently using pursuit of actual and alleged (often there's a commons:COM:PRP-grey area where things get deleted even though it's not definitely a copyvio...) copyright violations to pursue personal grudges. The oft-offered alternative of raising copyright concerns in alternative non-confrontational ways was consistently rejected. Rd232 talk 02:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be helpful to add some context. This episode started with a complaint about dynamic IPs being tagged as sockpuppets of User:Pieter Kuiper. User:Fæ (who has a history with Kuiper) then asked about the collateral damage of a range block. After some intervening discussion (about Kuiper, not about collateral damage), Cirt blocked three ranges comprising 44,000 IPs for a full year. In response to my query about whether Cirt had asked a checkuser to establish the amount of activity on those ranges, Cirt replied that they had not. User:Tiptoety, a checkuser on Commons, then checked and reported that there "there are a number of legitimate users editing from it". Cirt then reduced the block to 3 months. After some further discussion, Cirt reduced the blocks to two weeks. After even more discussion, User:Rd232 removed the range blocks entirely. Cirt has now declared themselves to be on a short wikibreak, presumably until this blows over. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 12:58, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

A new proposal is being floated at Commons which seems to be directly related to this - IP users and accounts less than two days old would no longer be able to create pages. This would mean that IPs could no longer create deletion requests. It would also cut down on some other nonsense, but the timing is curious. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:10, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Being Canadian is notable, but not being Jewish

Howie Mandel is Jewish, yet the article mentions alot about him being Canadian and one line mentions that his family is of Jewish descent. But yet he attended Hebrew School in Canada, and therefore there is more than his "family is of Jewish descent", obviously his family (and him at least as a child) were actually observant. I understand if some people dont like to classify Jews as anything but religion, but why is Canadian more notable? Plenty of sources talk about Howie being Jewish, isnt that all that matters? Lots of articles fail to mention a Jewish connection even though plenty of sources mention the Jewish connection, if sources are found that talk about Jewishness of a person or theme then shouldnt that be mentioned instead of simply a consensus that Jewishness isnt encyclopedic, I thought sources trump !rules in Wikipedia. (talk) 04:04, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't an ethnoreligious database. Canadian citizenship is a matter of legal status. 'Jewishness' isn't. If there are good grounds for discussing Mandel's Jewish heritage, in relation to his notability, I suggest you raise it on the article talk page - but 'he is Jewish', even if sourced, isn't in itself necessarily particularly relevant to an article otherwise. It is also worth remembering that 'Jewishness' is a highly contested issue - and it isn't up to Wikipedia to decide who is or isn't a Jew. Does Mandel himself consider his Jewish roots relevant to his career? If he does (and we have the sources to verify this), it may well merit further discussion in the article. Otherwise, there seem to be no obvious grounds to do so. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:51, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
We go by reliable sources. Furthermore a biography is more than that which is strictly relevant to notability. The reader understandably wants to know peripheral information too. Bus stop (talk) 06:08, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
If you mean "anything that is in a source, we include", we definitely do *not* "go by reliable sources". Of course, we do use reliable sources, but the fact that something is in a reliable source doesn't automatically mean we can use it. Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:32, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
That is absolutely correct, Ken Arromdee. In support of that, we find in policy: "As explained in the policy introduction, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. To provide encyclopedic value, data should be put in context with explanations referenced to independent sources."[12] Bus stop (talk) 03:21, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Camelbinky has asked this same question three times on this page alone, including at /Archive 79#Should we say someone is gay, Jewish, African-American, Australian, or Antarctican? in 2011, and at /Archive 109#Is there a bias against calling people who were born Jewish as such? in 2012. Then there was Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism/Archive 26#2 sources to support that Nikki Yanofsky is Jewish? in 2011 where Camelbinky, AndyTheGrump, and Bus stop all had the same "notable for being Canadian" argument. Is this some sort of biannual ritual for all of you? Uncle G (talk) 12:36, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually, it seems to be a biannual ritual for this IP - much the same question was asked in July, and responded to by Jimbo. [13] Does the IP expect Jimbo to have changed his mind in the meantime? AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:46, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Oh boy oh boy, let's gear up for yet another exciting "who's a jew" debate. Or not..... I know I've said this before, but we've really got to put some effort into revamping policies towards race/ethnicity/religion issues. Frankly, I don't understand why we can't just agree that there's an inherent degree of subjectiveness to things like race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual persuasion, and sometimes even gender. We've got to call out that WP shouldn't be using these classifications unless they're truly unambiguous, relevant to notability, or self-identified with. There's a sad contingent of editors on WP who seem to love racially categorizing biography article subjects on WP, similar to how the Belgians categorized folks in Rwanda (and we all know how that turned out). Those editors ought stop. We ought write policy to make them stop. NickCT (talk) 13:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

This. — Coren (talk) 14:04, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
thirded. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:01, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we need an additional section in Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not:
Wikipedia is not a database of ethnic or religious affiliation.
Wikipedia articles on individuals, and Wikipedia articles which mention individuals, should only discuss the ethnic or religious affiliation of such individuals where this relates to the notabiliy of the individual concerned, as demonstrated in reliable sources independent of the affiliation in question. Furthermore, under no circumstances will any assertion be made in Wikipedia's editorial voice that a living individual is of a particular ethnicity or religious affiliation unless the individual concerned has self-identified as such.
AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:12, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like the "who's gay, bisexual or transgendered debate" Self identity seems to be thrown to the way side so we can call Joan Crawford "bisexual" because some people are claiming it in print. Or even the "This mass killer is a Republican/Democrat" issue.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:41, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Yup - which reminds me, I should probably have written 'publicly' self-identified, given the tendency of POV-pushers to engage in WP:OR to 'prove' self-identification from questionable interpretations of private conversations. A lot of this actually comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of an encyclopaedia, as I see it. We aren't here to state as a fact that an individual is X, Y, or Z, when 'being X, Y or Z' is either subjective, or frankly nobody's business but that of the individual concerned. If people want to find 'lists of Xians', or 'lists of Ys who like to Z' they can do it elsewhere. The internet has no shortage of such sites... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:40, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Brainstorming NickCT (talk) 15:25, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

A follow-up blog post for your attention

Jimbo, feel free to revert me if you want, but otherwise, WP:BLP applies on every page. The allegations made here are very serious and the policy on it correspondingly provides a method to put forth such allegations privately. If anyone believes there are grounds to make such an allegation, please follow that process only and do not begin public discussions on the matter. Please consider this a BLP courtesy blanking/hiding. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:14, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Jimbo, you didn't comment on my (redacted) about an (redacted) who self-identified as a pro-pedophilia advocate, but I hope you took the time to read my blog post nonetheless. I just wanted to let you know that I've done a (redacted). Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:19, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

This is a risky game to play. Allegations of this kind should not be made without very strong evidence. It is not Jimbo's job to comment on every blog post on Wikipediocracy.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:46, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Er, if one self-identifies as a "girllover" (that is currently a redirect to pedophilia; here is the article prior to redirection), that is kinda evidence enough for an immediate ban. Tarc (talk) 14:16, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
There can be no stronger evidence in these cases than that provided by the person themselves here on Wikipedia. I suspect Jimbo is much better positioned to comment on what his job entails and can speak for himself. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:22, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Am I right in assuming that some Wikipedia editors edit from prison? For all I know, they may have committed heinous crimes. So long as their edits are in line with policy, does it matter? Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:24, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
This is, in fact, covered by policy: WP:Pedophilia. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:28, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Both of you must be aware that accusations of this kind should not be made in project space. Using Jimbo's talk page as a billboard to advertise the latest dramas of other websites is unhelpful.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:30, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Ian, is this line from WP:CHILDPROTECT what you're referring to? "Reports of editors engaging in such conduct should be made to the Arbitration Committee for further action, and should not be the subject of community discussion, comment or consensus." It seems pretty black and white to me. Also, I should think that this bit from WP:Pedophilia would be relevant here: "Questions or accusations directed against a particular editor in project space may result in a block for the editor who posted them". This is very thin ice. I suggest hatting this discussion and directing people to follow the mechanism set out in WP:CHILDPROTECT; Jimbo's talk page patently is not a suitable forum for such a discussion. Prioryman (talk) 14:35, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is unwise to get drawn into any discussion about the editor in question, because of the risk of drama, libel or both. Delicious carbuncle and Tarc are both aware of this policy, so it is disappointing that there have been two attempts to ask Jimbo for a comment on the matter.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:43, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
What is disappointing here is that editors cover themselves win wiki-legalese to avoid simple facts before their eyes. No one has accused anyone of anything here, so I'd thank you kindly to stop lying. If a user says "I am X", where X runs afoul of WP:Pedophilia, then the only possible response is a block. Simple math, guys, you can't escape it. Tarc (talk) 14:58, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I do think there's a legitimate issue of concern, but I don't see any indication from either of these two interventions on Jimbo's user talk page that the proper channels have been followed. That's concerning in itself. I've notified the relevant people about this discussion so hopefully action will taken soon, one way or another. In the meantime I suggest that editors shouldn't continue this thread any further. Prioryman (talk) 15:02, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Seraphimblade, now that you've hidden the discussion, will you will be blocking the user I discuss in my blog post? If not, why not? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:25, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Have you, or do you plan on following the instructions provided by policy? If not, why not? Resolute 15:27, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Which instructions are you referring to Resolute? An email to ArbCom? Seriously, I think the ball's in the admins' court now. Step up. VolunteerMarek 15:33, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
My experience with reporting these types of cases to ARBCOM has been less than satisfactory. I made that clear in my first blog post and in my earlier message to Jimbo. I hope that one of the many people who has seen or participated in this discussion or earlier discussions has notified ARBCOM. If not, ARBCOM should certainly question why they didn't. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:35, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

(ec) Oh and someone remind me because I forget these things. Isn't Prioryman banned from interacting with Delicious Carbuncle? If so the above not-so-subtle suggestion that DC get blocked for this (!) is a pretty damn clear violation of such a ban. If he isn't interaction banned, it's still a pretty messed up comment. And way weaselly too.VolunteerMarek 15:39, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Barring any discussion about that other editor, I find it very strange that we have a policy WP:Child protection which is supported by a who's who of Wikipedian administrators, yet nobody wants to enforce any aspect of it, for or against the accused, at all. Putting a hat on that material above is the first step I've seen toward enforcement - and wasn't done the last time this discussion crossed this page - but the policy calls for revdeling it. And Carbuncle ... I don't think it's fair that I've nearly agreed with you, called for the community to be able to look into these issues as you want them to be able to, only to be called here (via link to your blog) "one of Wikipedia's most unhinged editors". It is hard for you to be effective when you act that way. Wnt (talk) 16:07, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I've blocked the user. Any objections or further discussion should be off-wiki. Arbcom notified and anyone interested can correspond with them. Subject closed.--Scott Mac 16:29, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Just to note that I notified Arbcom about this particular issue last month. Claritas § 20:58, 19 December 2012 (UTC)


Please be aware of Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2012#Results. Thank you. MBisanz talk 21:05, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Not sure everyone is going to be happy with the results but then many will it kinda balances out! =)--Amadscientist (talk) 04:38, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of the result, I find it remarkable that a) less than 900 people cast a vote, and b) that I notice that the result is out via Jimbo's talk page... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:55, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I should be able to make my ceremonial/formal appointments on Friday. There will be no surprises.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:59, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. Does this mean that your role is basically that of a one-man electoral college? :-) Prioryman (talk) 17:02, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
More like the Queen. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:05, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
..or maybe "a queen"? I think proper drag attire would very much lend colour to otherwise dull official occasions, like visits of state, taking of an oath of office, or appointing Wikipedia arbiters. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:18, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Wearing the proper attire for visits isn't to be sniffed at.--Santa (talk) 17:47, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Awwwww, you tricked me, I thought you were gonna post some smoking hot picture of a Vegas porno convention archived for the betterment of the encyclopedia at WMF Commons... Carrite (talk) 01:00, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Bwahahahaha! Oh're killing me! LOL! Queen Jimbo Wales! Not gonna stop smiling for a week! LOL!--Amadscientist (talk) 02:49, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Proper attire is very important. Resolute 14:37, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
No time like an apocalypse for momentous events... my school scheduled its graduation ceremonies during the last apocalypse; the final Senior graduated 16 seconds before the Rapture occurred. So this time, it will be a final test of the arbs' dedication - will they spend their final moments crouched over their computers, dutifully running CheckUsers, Oversighting revisions, and moderating hectic case requests, as rivers of fire flow through the streets? Or, perhaps, has one super-dedicated arb been building a spaceship for the last few years, from which they can adjudicate content disputes among the ragged band of surviving Wikipedians, who will have gathered on a puzzle-ball shaped space station to continue the project. (Of course, those Wikipedians will die shortly after the space station is launched, thanks to that hole in the top.) — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 08:22, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

"The No. 1 college basketball recruit has his own personal Wikipedian, and it sure does show. Let's compare his Wikipedia page, which is nearly as big as Michael Jordan's, to that of the No. 1 football recruit, Robert Nkemdiche. (talk) 22:47, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

There is nothing in the story to indicate the editing was "paid" in any sense. If there is an article someone had to write it, & the main editor of it writes a lot, mostly on subjects no one would be at all likely to pay for. Johnbod (talk) 23:40, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
@ Not sure what your exact point is, care to clarify? --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 08:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I could describe myself as Ted Alletson's Wikipedia biographer, but he's unlikely to pay me, given he's been dead for about 50 years. Sadly, none of the living people I've written FAs about have paid me either. Perhaps I'm still driving a slightly battered car because I include things in biographies that they might have preferred me to glide over or omit altogether. --Dweller (talk) 10:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I can offer a better deal than Dweller and the quality won't suffer, much.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Square Enix is back

Today our fine featured ad for the Christmas shopping season is Final Fantasy. It is one of many featured articles from the prolific and dedicated editors of WP:WikiProject Square Enix, devoted to the fine products of Square Enix and its European division. Though less than half of Square Enix's fine products that have reached FA status have actually been displayed on the Main Page so far, they still have appeared about once every 212 days since 2006:

The Square Enix WikiProject doesn't include works of the wholly owned subsidiaries Taito and Eidos in its lists, so I didn't count Taito's Space Invaders (April 24, 2010) and I'm not sure how many more of those there are, but their articles don't seem like they've seen anywhere near as much attention - there are even lots of redlinks.

It looks like some folks at Square Enix have a lot to be proud of on their resumes, and I'm sure they have a bright future ahead of them in Wikipedia advertising. Wnt (talk) 19:20, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Forgive the following statements of the obvious, but not all readers of the talk page will be aware of the process, so I'll address that. If you (plural, i.e. anyone here) see any inappropriate language/content/sourcing/advertising etc within the articles, then you can edit them accordingly, and discuss any issues on the respective talk pages. If you don't think they should be featured articles, then please see the instructions at WP:FAR (which includes a requirement of raising issues on the talk page first). If you would like different articles to be TFAs, then please browse the list of FAs yet to appear on the main page and then make suggestions or comment on nominations by others at WP:TFAR. If you would like to broaden the choice available, then work on something else and nominate it at WP:FAC. As a TFA delegate, I selected Final Fantasy to run today (without a TFAR discussion - most TFAs are just selected rather than discussed) because it was noted on the advance warning list that today was the game's 25th anniversary, which seemed to me to be as good a day as any (if not better than most) to run it. You will notice from WP:FANMP that there are 71 video game FAs yet to appear on the main page (out of 143 current video game FAs), pr just over 5% of the unused FAs, which might suggest on a purely percentage basis that a video game ought to be TFA every 19 days or so (i.e. about 18 or 19 a year). In fact, TFA schedulers try to avoid having similar articles within 1 month, which means that the chances of a video game appearing as TFA are less than average (and certainly not as many as 18 a year); as it happens there was no video game TFA in October. I don't know, and I don't particularly care, which company owns which video game series, and that certainly wasn't a factor in my decision. I wasn't responsible for earlier scheduling decisions. For what it is worth, I have never played, or even seen, any of the video games mentioned above or yet to appear on the main page (with the exception of "Age of Empires" which I played many years and several computers ago). Hope this explanation helps. BencherliteTalk 20:07, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Ice hockey related articles have appeared once every 166 days, on average, over the same time. I guess we at WP:HOCKEY are just better spammers. Resolute 20:21, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I believe Wnt is engaging in a bit of point-making here, as he is still a bit upset over the whole DYK Gibraltar affair. Tarc (talk) 20:25, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Ice hockey is a sport. Square Enix is an owner. The count for all video game related articles is much higher. Now, one can say that Gibraltar is a small place and doesn't deserve a seat in the United Nations, but ... does Square Enix? Then why does it hold a permanent claim to 1/200th of the world of Wikipedia? I didn't think that the Gibraltar people deserved to be treated as harshly as they did, no, but the "point" I'm making here has more to do with the fact that we're allowing a single company to use us far more harshly than that place ever tried to. Wnt (talk) 21:28, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you even know what your point is, actually. We're not allowing a company to use us at all. Rather, several editors with interest in the Final Fantasy series have put a great deal of work into their favoured project. We actually have several pop culture 'units' with similar levels of dedication and quality. Resolute 21:44, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The point is that if you could sell any company 0.5% of Wikipedia's main page TFA slot, that would be worth a lot of money. Or, as a WMUK slideshow presentation to PR people put it a while back, on a slide named "[Wikipedia] Contributions as soft advertising" (slide 22): Imagine having your client's name on the Front Page of the world's fifth website? Andreas JN466 02:02, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
The problem with these arguments is that even the ice hockey featured articles were almost entirely professional hockey teams and their star players, who have their own franchising, licensing, promotions, and agents. As long as Wikipedia articles cover a broad swath of society, there will be a mix of articles by fanboys of a video game, fans of an ice hockey team, fans of a mega-money making rock band, etc. Some of those articles will reach FA and appear on the main page. If we banned all commercial money-making entities from being featured, that would cover most of popular culture and nearly all living people. First Light (talk) 02:28, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
  • What would you want, Andreas? That as an article bubbles up through the TFA process we bill whatever entity will possibly benefit from the exposure and refuse to run it unless they pay up? — Coren (talk) 14:55, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
If you have evidence that the company is behind the creation and / or editing of these articles to featured standard, no doubt you'll show it. I would have thought that using FAs, and TFAs in particular, as an advertising strategy is a pretty poor approach since it requires a lot of time and effort to write articles with excellent prose/sources and without promotional language; then you have to steer them through FAC where uninvolved editors review and can sink a nomination; then you have to rely on the whims of TFA scheduling. Short of corrupting all the FAC reviewers and the TFA schedulers, how can you guarantee main-page exposure for an article?! BencherliteTalk 21:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Even if Square Enix were responsible, and no evidence has been presented, should it matter why an article is improved to feature quality? Any COI issues should have been hammered out by that point if they ever existed. Monty845 04:53, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I would like to thank Wnt for spreading the word about this article. I have played several games from this series and had never read this article before tonight. - UnbelievableError (talk) 07:32, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure there is much we can do about the fact that what are on a practical level significant cultural artifacts have their copyright owned by private companies.©Geni 20:33, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Never mind what can be done about it, I don't even see a case being made about there being an it to do something about in the first place. — Coren (talk) 15:55, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Message to the founder of Wikimedia


  1. Since you are the founder of Wikipedia, why not nominate yourself or ask a Arhg Kbiroaqrat, then after the nomination period Steward?!
  2. What do you think of Egyptian and Arabic Wikipedia which claims that the Egyptian dialect languages? They lie and culture lie the English Wikipedia every Wikipedias every encyclopedias — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:32, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

We really have a very simple test once a Wikipedia has had a chance to establish itself. Does it have a reasonable level of activity and a reasonable amount of content? At the moment activity on arz: is low compared with ar: (and even that is pretty low), but I think it is enough for the Wiki to continue, if you have concerns the people who would have the answers are the Language Committee, who can probably be contacted on Meta. And I would agree that arz: is somewhat of an anomaly, there could very well be, in theory, a dozen Arabic Wikipedias, nonetheless it is the one for which there was sufficient support. In time, of course, with a lack of outside funding it may well be that this wiki closes or is mothballed. It will be, I hope, a decision taken pragmatically on the usefulness of the project, not on possibly political arguments about what constitutes a language, and what a dialect.
All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 21:17, 20 December 2012 (UTC).
I certainly think we need more Arhg Kbiroaqrats. Johnbod (talk) 11:02, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if it means "Bureaucrat". In which case, I am already an Arhg Kbiroaqrat. And I much prefer that title. --Dweller (talk) 11:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I think Arb [or] Bureaucrat was intended, but I think the new names have a nice ring. Johnbod (talk) 11:11, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Clearly, an Arhg Kbiroaqrat is a pirate bureaucrat. Like a rouge admin but ten times rouger. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 14:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Season's tidings!

Christmas lights - 1.jpg

To you and yours, Have a Merry ______ (fill in the blank) and Happy New Year! FWiW Bzuk (talk) 01:25, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

San Francisco and Stanford University

It has been six months since the last flurry of activity here, so it's perhaps worth reminding everyone of the background to pot-stirring from IP addresses that geolocate either to Stanford University or to places surrounding it, and in particular the tactics of talking about onesself in the third person and using wireless Internet hotspots in San Francisco and elsewhere (usually in the morning and evening, Pacific Time). Uncle G (talk) 10:43, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

ArbCom Appointments 2012

Having determined that they met all the criteria for appointment, including having already identified to the Foundation, and in accordance with our longstanding traditions and their performance in the election campaign, I hereby appoint Newyorkbrad, NuclearWarfare, Worm That Turned, Carcharoth, Timotheus Canens, Coren, Salvio giuliano, and David Fuchs to two-year terms beginning January 1st, 2013.

This is the moment when I normally post a bit of a "state of the union" address to the new ArbCom and to the community, but as of two days ago I came down with an awful cold and I'm not really in a position to write up my full thoughts right now. (It's really important and I want to get it just right.)

In short, I'm planning in January to submit to the community for a full project-wide vote a new charter further transitioning my powers. Because the changes I hope to make are substantial, I will seek endorsement from the wider community. (There are powers which I theoretically hold, but can't practically use without causing a lot of drama, but it is increasingly clear to me that we need those powers to be usable, which means transitioning them into a community-based model of constitutional change. One good example of this is the ongoing admin-appointment situation... a problem which I think most people agree needs to be solved, but for which our usual processes have proven ineffective for change. Some have asked me to simply use my reserve powers to appoint a bunch of admins - but I've declined on the view that this would cause a useless fight. Much better will be for us to put my traditional powers on a community-based footing so that we, as a community, can get out of "corner solutions" that aren't working for us. More to come in January.

Would prefer not to have a random speculative fear-mongering discussion about this today. Leave the end-of-the-world doomsaying to the Mayans. (Or rather, to the nutters who willfully misinterpreted the Mayans!) There will be plenty of time for panic in January. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:59, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Very well said Jimbo! I hope 2013 turns out to be another great year for Wikipedia with a fresh new ArbCom. On another note, what is this new new community-based model constitutional change ? (Just wanted to know an overview about it). Anyways, I do believe and know this new proposal will be good and beneficial to the project as a whole. Respect and Regards. TheGeneralUser (talk) 18:59, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I can't wait to read your new ideas. I know I have been one of those mentioning using the aforementioned reserve powers and I think its a good idea to get them to a usable state. For what its worth Jimbo I never worried about the end of the world the Mayans predicted! Lets face it, if the Mayans were any good at predicting the future, there would still be Mayans. :-) Kumioko (talk) 19:49, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
According to the article "Maya peoples" (version of 06:00, 21 December 2012), "[t]here are an estimated 7 million Maya living in [southern Mexico and northern Central America] at the start of the 21st century."
Wavelength (talk) 02:09, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Jimmy, I think the idea of you appointing admins rather than the nasty way that it's currently done would be a massive improvement. I just hope you will support the people you appoint when the doo-doo hits the fan. Your lack of follow-up-support has been what makes people like me very skeptical of your dedication to the community, if not your motives.

    Bear in mind though that if you put your fingerprint on admin appointments and it turns out to be a bad choice, you'll have to actually admit making a mistake in public, which I know you're not fond of doing. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 21:52, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually I'm very fond of admitting to making mistakes. It's one of my favorite things to do. My slightly more favorite thing to do is to avoid making the mistakes in the first place, so no, I'll not be appointing admins directly myself... such a process would be a joke. What I can do is use my reserve powers to help put into place a community process for constitutional change in cases where we have tried and failed in getting somewhere in our traditional ways.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:55, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
One good example of this is the ongoing admin-appointment situation... a problem which I think most people agree needs to be solved[citation needed] Rd232 talk 22:02, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I've been measuring the RFA drought for years and participating at WT RFA for longer. It took a long time for some members of the community to accept there was a drought, but we are past that now. It has taken a long time for people to accept there is a problem, a year ago you might not have had majority acceptance of that. But now the divide is over the urgency of the problem - we have less than two thirds as many active admins than we had at our peak and the debate now is over how few admins we need before we hit problems. But it has been a while since anyone has looked at the stats and made a case that we are still producing enough admins to keep this site functioning long term without RFA reform. ϢereSpielChequers 01:02, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
"active admins" isn't per se that helpful (it's a very blunt metric - "active" covers a huge range). For one thing there's been progressive unbundling of the tools, and development of various tools that directly and indirectly reduce admin workload. The real question is (a) backlogs and (b) failure points (over-reliance on a small number of people, at least in certain areas, such that losing a couple can be a real problem in terms of loss of activity and experience). Rd232 talk 02:59, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I will await with interest. I trust the venues for discussion and, if there is consensus, adoption, will be the normal community processes?--Wehwalt (talk) 03:16, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The normal community processes are precisely what the reserve powers are meant to allow us to modify in new ways.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:55, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
@Rd232. Agreed that "Active Admins" is a flawed metric and about as well named as the Holy Roman Empire, containing as it does both Active editors who never use their admin bits and some editors who average less than one edit a day. But it is a continuously measured metric and shows the pool from amongst whom we need 24/7 coverage of AIV. Now I'd agree that we don't know how many months, years or even decades that it will take us to get to the point where we can't adequately man AIV, but with RFA in the state it is in now we do know that at some point we will have to reform it. ϢereSpielChequers 22:45, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Jimmy, if you are looking to "put into place a community process for constitutional change in cases where we have tried and failed in getting somewhere in our traditional ways" you might like to look at a kite I flew a while ago User:Scott MacDonald/Community Advisory Council.--Scott Mac 20:30, 22 December 2012 (UTC)


Jimmy, I've emailed you on a Signpost matter. Thanks. Tony (talk) 13:38, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't see that email. Can you tell me the subject line so I can do another search in my inbox?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:56, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Collaborative Editing - More Automation, Less People

When will Wikipedia make major changes that will automate the process to reconcile disputed edits? Wikipedia is noted for the software that allows editors to create and edit it's content. However, didactic discourse among editors is required to create a body of organized, accurate, and sourced content on Wikipedia. Instead, dysfunctional discourse or no discourse appears to often govern this process.

Consequently, dependable software rather than unreliable trust is needed to guide the interaction of editors to reduce the likelihood of friction and increase the spirit of collaboration like LiquidFeedback used by the Pirate Party in Germany. Any thoughts on this? Mitchumch (talk) 09:39, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Mitchmuch, you need to specify what you are talking about more clearly. It's not very obvious.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:44, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The articles and public responses that I have read from newspapers and news magazines and the discussions I have read on and off the Wikipedia site suggest there is a sizable collaboration issue (also here). The collaboration issue is often attributed to user behavior. A prominent solution I often read is to offer an exhortation to its users to change their behavior and to create a hospitality program for new users (See Wikimedia Foundation 2011-12 Annual Plan, particularly pages 7-11, 18-28). I am asserting that the exhortation for users to change their behavior and become more hospitable is possible, but not probable. Instead, I am suggesting that Wikipedia produce a software change to address the issue of user collaboration.
Wikipedia launched on January 2001. The site was built on the software application UseModWiki. That software suffered from limited functionality and performance problems. Magnus Manske created MediaWiki to address those issues and replaced UseModWiki. It launched on the English Wikipedia in January 2002. Afterwards, the site gradually experienced growing usage problems due to user growth. Lee Daniel Crocker began rewriting the MediaWiki software to address the scalability issue. The rewritten software was launched in July 2002. Each problem encountered by Wikipedia was approached with innovative software changes. Yet, this approach has not been applied to address the collaboration issue.
Instead, Wikipedia has relied on a list of policies and guidelines written in articles, resolving conflicts using an arbitration committee, and relying on the good faith behavior of it's users. I am asserting that those approaches to facilitate and resolve disputes is to collaboration what HTML mark-up language is to creating content on webpages. Where would Wikipedia be today if it used HTML language to create articles on its website and exhorted users to learn the language?
Users want ease of use in the collaboration experience. IBM's DOS used Command-line interface that was eclipsed by the Graphical user interface of Microsoft Windows; Myspace used HTML and Cascading Style Sheets to create personal pages that was eclipsed by the plain text of Facebook; and Encyclopædia Britannica used paper based content, had limited topics, an exclusive set of contributors, at an expensive price that was eclipsed by Wikipedias cost free, unlimited content space, an unlimited scope for content coverage, open to anyone with an internet connection, and allowed ease of use to write articles. In each instance, growth was driven by innovation and innovation driven by a unique major change in software. That major software change always produced ease of use.
A prominent software that has a core focus on user collaboration is Liquid Feedback. The software was developed in October 2009 by Public Software Group. It was created to address an issue by the Pirate Party, a political party in Germany that originated in Sweden. The issue was the method of forming a collective opinion. That software is licensed under the MIT License, a permissive free software license, and uses the programming languages Lua and PL/pgSQL. That software has contributed to making the Pirate Party a concrete force in Germany's many local and national polities. Another alternative includes Adhocracy that is supported by Liquid Democracy e. V.. The Social Democratic Party of Germany is experimenting with the software as a viable political tool.
My assertion is software will have a higher probability of producing a collaborative process. Attempting to change human behavior with exhortations will have a lower probability of producing a collaborative process. Creating content on Wikipedia is an enormous pillar based on MediaWiki. Collaborative editing to create that content on Wikipedia is another enormous pillar. That pillar requires software that either needs to be written or sought from software like Liquid Feedback or Adhocracy. Currently, people are being used as that pillar. How long will Wikipedia stand while the second pillar, made entirely of people, demonstrates instability? (also here)
Mitchumch (talk) 01:20, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Why your talk page is stamped wis noindex?

Jimbo, why your talk page is stamped with "noindex"? Was that "noindex" added by an accident, or as most corrupt organizations Wikipedia is afraid of transparency? Thanks. (talk) 19:18, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

You should be able to view every edit to this page through the history tab above. Biosthmors (talk) 20:02, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
"noindex" is used to prevent Google and other search engines from finding a page. It has nothing to do with the history tab. (talk) 20:25, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Individual editor's talkpages should not be searchable by Google and other spiders - nor should any talkpage. The article about him is indexable (✉→BWilkins←✎) 20:28, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure about individual editor's talkpages, but the talk page of the co-founder of one of the most popular websites should be searchable by Google and other spiders. (talk) 20:53, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I await one good reason. Here, he's just an editor. (✉→BWilkins←✎) 20:56, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
No, this talk page is Jimbo's talk page, and many important matters that are discussed here should be searchable. Wikipedia lives on donations by the public. Let the public know what's going on inside Wikipedia. (talk) 21:27, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Am I missing something here, or is IP arguing with IP AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:58, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Arguing? Where. I am not a Wikipedian, I've never argued with myself. (talk) 21:10, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
There's good weed in the Bay area, so I hear (✉→BWilkins←✎) 21:05, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
???? but do I really want to know?-- (talk) 21:27, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
This page and its archives are fully indexed and searchable using the search box at the top of the page, as are the archives of the other pages which contain discussions related to Wikipedia's administration (including WP:AN and all its subpages). These pages are noindexed because the discussions on these pages sometimes include material of a sensitive nature – email addresses (generally belonging to people complaining about the project who don't know not to post such things here), speculation about the identity of sockpuppets, unsubstantiated gossip, defamation of individuals or groups, advertising or promotional material, and so forth – that it would be discourteous or reckless for us to disseminate widely under Wikipedia's name on external search engines. Noindexing these pages means that they can be used for open, transparent interaction between Wikipedia's editors – including its founder – without making them too attractive a target for individuals who might otherwise abuse them for spamming or for grinding their own axes. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:19, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Good news and a good article challenge

In a recent 10 day span, 461 GAs and 248 FAs were counted in less than 5000 of our most viewed articles (see the bottom of User:West.andrew.g/Popular pages). I think that's great news considering how rare a random article here is a GA or FA. I challenge you, Jimbo, and whoever else that wants to commit to this, to bring one of the consistently top 5000 articles up to GA status in 2013. As for me, I'll be planning on getting at least two up to GA status, and I'll list them below. And everyone should do a good article review for as many nominations as they put up. I'll put "Yes" after my name to commit to that as well. Biosthmors (talk) 20:01, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

Merry Crimbo, Jimbo and thanks for an awesome year of Wikipedia-ing and for going with the community consensus on SOPA! --W.D. (talk) 12:35, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Hear, hear, merry Christmas :) – SJ + 12:30, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

MMA on wikipedia.

There needs to be new policies and guidelines regrading MMA. The ones that we have now clearly arent working, and MMA related pages which are notable keep getting deleted by this kid named Mtking. JonnyBonesJones (talk) 20:37, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

No, he doesn't mean the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Johnbod (talk) 20:43, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
The specific MMA that is being refered to is Mixed Martial Arts Hasteur (talk) 21:39, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Ani#JonnyBonesJones. I'd agree that there needs to be something done regarding MMA-related articles - possibly invoke WP:IAR, delete the lot, and salt. Far too much drama over far too little of even remotely encyclopaedic interest... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:51, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I humbly request that IAR not be invoked at this time as there are good proposals coming from the MMA Wikiproject talk page to help clarify what is and is not appropriate for Wikipedia. "Baby with the Bathwater" and all that hooey for why carpet bombing from high altitude is not appropriate (i.e. UFC 94 as a exception to the "it's all bad" argument) Hasteur (talk) 21:41, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
While I have absolutely no interest in MMA, never watched one, never plan to, that's my choice. However, it is clear that many people care about the events, and therefore, we ought to have coverage. There are legitimate debates about formats, but suggesting that they should all be removed is not reasonable. As noted below, there's an RfC to work out the details, that's the right approach.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:22, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Some people simply don't get the concept of notable. Being condescending towards someone who actually does by calling them "this kid" pretty much negates your argument. we have just had to implement restrictions on MMA as a whole due to this very same type of editor as the OP (who by the way, has now been placed under those restrictions and is currently facing a community-imposed block from the project) (✉→BWilkins←✎) 20:52, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
  • It should be noted that the community recently passed a set of General Sanctions authorizing administrators to have a lower threshold on disruptive behavior with respect to MMA articles. I suggest that the community solution be given time to work prior to invoking the Appeal to Jimbo Hasteur (talk) 21:45, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
  • JBJ is complaining that "MMA related pages which are notable keep getting deleted," yet he started Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sako Chivitchian, proposing deletion of an MMA article. Disclosure: I have !voted "keep" and have edited the article in question, but as no one supports deletion at present, I hope this comment on the irony of JBJ's post won't be seen as canvassing. EdChem (talk) 22:24, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
    • The MMA community appears to be working on an RfC as well, so it looks like the combination of sanctions and willingness to put this in front of the entire community has the situation better than it has been in a while, which is still not great, but at least there is a little momentum in the right direction. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 00:39, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

SP email

Jimmy, the subject line is "Invitation to comment in the Signpost's 2012 retrospective", sent 13:34 UTC on 22 December. Please let me know if you can't locate it. I sent a back-up to Topher at around the same time. Tony (talk) 11:48, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

On Wikipedia's own donations page we learn of a moving story of a student in Agnam-Goly, a Sahelian village in north-eastern Senegal with a population of 3,143 inhabitants, who expresses how he'd love to give money to the foundation."I wish I had money to donate to Wikipedia," writes Adama Diop.Does he know wealthy Westerners are using the donations to buy cameras and travel to pop concerts? Or that the foundation has more cash than it knows what to do with? (talk) 18:46, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm disappointed in The Register. The tone is incredibly negative, but at the same time he admits that much of what the foundation is doing is "eminently sensible". The things that he is criticizing seem to come at the chapter level and are relatively small expenses. He doesn't even both to try to understand why we might be interested in getting photos of politicians or concerts. And then there are some things that are just silly: "Few politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia" Hah! GabrielF (talk) 19:03, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Wikimedians do not need money to get photos of politicians. They could simply email to the politicians or to their offices, and get as many pictures as they want together with the permissions for using them.
I think that the point "Few politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia" has some merits. The foundation has became a very powerful organization, and the Wikipedia community has a deadly weapon to use against notable persons who dare to criticise Wikipedia - their Wikipedia entries. I know, I know, there are polices like BLP and no original research, and everything should be sourced, and so on, but truth be told there's no policy that could prevent an experienced Wikipedian from changing an article the way he wants it to change especially with the Foundation on his side. (talk) 19:23, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually WP:BLP is much better policed than you appear to think it is. Unless you care to give us some examples? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:32, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Remember that even, if BLP is fixed the fix could come after other sites picked up a wrong version. There are plenty examples of users using Wikipedia entries to defame their opponents:Here's one, or you may want to read this and this: "Vandalism of conservatives’ Wikipedia pages is nothing new. " (talk) 19:50, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm well aware of Johann Hari; I was hoping for examples about "an experienced Wikipedian ... changing an article the way he wants it to change especially with the Foundation on his side". --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:10, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not at all disappointed in The Register; Orlowski has been writing this sort of thing on a regular basis for quite some time now, so it's not at all surprising to see more of it. He can't even get his basic facts right (what sort of journalist takes a screenshot of the subject of his article then blatantly mis-labels what the screenshot is showing?), so I imagine there are now very few people out there who still take him seriously. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:13, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Well there are 100+ comments on the article that are not positive towards WP, and most are double digit liked. It seems that in the UK at least, OW's article is chiming with what a number of people think. I also note that he's picked up on the Google connection and the WP blackout too. John lilburne (talk) 21:51, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
There is n connection between Google and the blackout. None. Please stop repeating that nonsense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:56, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it was just a spontaneous burst of emotion by the community and the hundreds of IPs not seen before or since had no effect on the outcome.</sarcasm>--Wehwalt (talk) 08:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
You keep repeating this meme but never with even the slightest shred of proof. And anyway, what would this have to do with Google? You might plausibly (but wrongly, I think) argue that Reddit users came and voted in our poll, overwhelming the community, but again, that would have nothing to do with Google. (And, it's false anyway. If you think you have evidence for it, please produce it. Notice that I've been asking for this for a long time, and you've produced nothing. It's easy to do - go tally the votes again keeping track of user edit counts, admin status, etc., and bring back the results.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:38, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
See SPA Tagging at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action. Editors were told not to tag single-purpose accounts – i.e. accounts that had made little or no contributions to Wikipedia apart from voting for a blackout – as is standard for all sorts of ordinary community !votes such as article deletion, requests for comment, and so on. I think this is the only community poll where admins were told that votes by IPs that had never before contributed to Wikipedia should count the same as those of established contributors. Given that there were pointers to the discussion in places like Reddit, it is hardly surprising that there was a large influx of IPs that influenced the course of the discussion as well as the final result. Which is all the more noteworthy given that this was one of the most important community votes ever, which forever altered the perception of Wikipedia as a neutral reference source and turned it into a political player. In addition, we have to remember that Wikipedians were told that SOPA was a threat to the existence of Wikipedia. Tim Starling, one of the Foundation's most longstanding employees, later said in public that this was quite simply untrue. "Maybe SOPA was a "serious threat to freedom of expression on the Internet", and worth fighting against, but it wasn't a threat to Wikipedia's existence." I believe him. Andreas JN466 13:10, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
And you think Starling's opinion as a non-U.S. programmer is more important than the many lawyers including Godwin and current Foundation Counsel who looked at it and said there was a clear liability to sites including Wikipedia linking to infringing content, why, exactly? (talk) 14:45, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Tim commented on the technical measures that compliance would actually have involved, and on whether they would have brought Wikipedia to its knees or not. His answer to that was an emphatic No. He is more qualified than most to assess that, because that is the sort of work he has been doing for Wikimedia, for longer than almost anyone else. Andreas JN466 15:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Sure, so when rights-holder at domain name D gets a ex parte declaration that all links to courtesy content at D are an infringement of their copyright, and we are then obligated to remove all links to D, we can make a bot to do that? That's not a threat to the existence of the project, unless you believe that an essential part of the project is the quality inherent in the editorial judgement of volunteers without arbitrary deletions by bots. (talk) 02:03, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The current General Council wrote that if we stretched the meaning of a "search engine" to breaking point, such that wikipedia was classed as one, then conceivably wikipedia could be obliged to remove links. The removal of links would come as a result of a court order which could only be made in relation to non US sites, whose primary purpose was the distribution of counterfeit and pirate goods. So just how many links on wikipedia are to pirate goods? The targets of SOPA were ad agencies like double-click (Google) who place adverts on pirate websites alongside downloads for films and music. Wikipedia would not have been affected at all. Those that thought it would, were manipulated into defending the ill-gotten profits of mega-corporations, tax avoiding and criminal ones too (in the case of Google). What is coming to light is the extent of the crony capitalism and sweetners that Google were spreading about, they spent $9million in lobbying congress and the senate during that period alone. John lilburne (talk) 08:20, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm perfectly willing to accept that you were the dupe in this rather than the dude. The idea sprung from a small group "Fight for the Future" that suddenly arose with a $300,000 donation from Media Democracy Fund which is basically a middle man for other donors. A week later "Fight for the Future is at a meeting at Mozilla with Reddit and Google planning strategy, the day later $500,000 was donated to wikipedia, and posts by members of Fight for the Future are appearing on Reddit.

And we got on Reddit that Friday. And it was tricky to get on Reddit even—Reddit is just this beehive of anti-SOPA sentiment but at that point really wasn’t woken up to it. I remember sitting down at the keyboard and thinking, ‘Okay what will get people’s attention?’ The post I wrote was something like, ‘The MPAA will soon have the power to block American’s access to any website unless we fight back’—comma—‘hard!’ And that was the post—that post got to the top.

What percentage of Mozilla income comes from Google it used to be 90%? And what is the likelihood that a small organisation suddenly gets a $300,000 donation and within two weeks is talking to gathering of the valleys biggest players? John lilburne (talk) 09:49, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
It is absolutely false that "the idea sprung from a small group 'Fight for the Future'. The idea sprung, as far as I know, from me. Me personally. I do not know anything about "Fight for the Future", nothing about "Media Democracy Fund", nothing about Mozilla, Reddit, and Google having any sort of planning meeting, etc. Sergei's personal donation came with absolutely no discussion of any kind about SOPA - he does that from time to time, and this was routine - he's a longstanding fan and supporter. To repeat, nothing about our blackout had anything to do with Google donations. It was never discussed, never implied, never hinted at, nothing. Sergei's donation was normal for him and totally unrelated to SOPA. If Google donated money to "Fight for the Future" in the hopes of getting Wikipedia to shut down for a day, that'd be a pretty stupid way of going about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:38, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Mike Linksvayer is on record for saying it was discussed on the 9th of December at the Creative Commons Board meeting chaired by Brin's mother-in-law. Following that he starting sounding out the CC community on the 14th of December. You started sounding out the wikipedia community on the 10th of December. IIRC with references to the reddit community, the reddit community having been prompted into a blackout suggestion by those at the Google, Mozilla ($300 million deal from Google mid December 2011), Reddit execs, and Fight for the Future meeting on the 16th of November. As I said the 16th of November meeting appears to have been a get together to discuss how to get the various online communities to protest SOPA with site blackouts. Meanwhile Google also spunked $2.5 million in direct lobbying of congress in the month before SOPA. One shouldn't be seen getting into bed with criminals, and tax avoiders. John lilburne (talk) 10:58, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Why do you think listing a bunch of random facts that have nothing to do with anythinghelps your case that Sergei's donation had anything to do with the blackout? I particularly like (ha) the way you write as if these are in some way contradicting anything that I've said. Let me go through this step by step for you. "Mike Linksvayer is on record for saying it(what? SOPA? blackout?) was discussed on 9th of December at the Creative Commons Board meeting chaired by Brin's mother-in-law." I was not at that meeting, and I was unaware (and still am) of the contents of whatever that conversation may have been. But it is hardly surprising that the CC board would be discussing a major threat to Internet openness.
"sounding out the CC community on the 14th of December" - unrelated to Wikipedia and again, so what?
Reddit community - I don't read reddit, I was not involved in those meetings, that has nothing to do with me or Wikipedia.
Your theory is just not at all consistent with the facts. Sorry. You're trying to make the case that the Wikipedia blackout was prompted by Sergei's donation, or perhaps the other way around. That's absolutely false.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:11, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
It is an acknowledged fact that a blackout of internet sites was discussed at the Mountain View meeting on the 9th of November with Google, and a strategy devised to employ the various online communities, those at the meeting have also taken credit for manipulating the reddit community by planting posts on the site. The Creative Commons community was drawn in to it at the Board meeting on the 9th of December, on the 10th of December you were broaching the idea of a wikipedia blackout. Various commentators here say that the community vote in favour was suspect, with a large number of IP votes. Note that the reddit community was manipulated with posts by those with an undisclosed interest in the subject. Additionally the Google shill organisations were also involved in the enterprise spreading FUD across the internet. The main beneficiaries of a SOPA defeat were Google, and it is not far fetched at all to conclude that the communities were played by Google, using those that were favourable to them, and plying a little money in various places to keep every one sweet, or at least non neutral. I'm sure that no one came up to you and said here is 500K now blackout wikipedia, nothing so crass was done. But consider this, given what we know about Google manipulating governments, that Google wouldn't play you too, given the $billions that are involved in shady Google ad networks on pirate sites? John lilburne (talk) 13:16, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
"Sergei's donation was normal for him" – erm, no. It's the only time the Brin Wojcicki Foundation made such a donation (though it's true that Google donated $2M to the Wikimedia Foundation in 2010), and the timing, just after the spontanous and successful Italian Wikipedia blackout, has quite naturally caused speculation that people thought hey, what worked in Italy might work for SOPA too, and that Brin wanted to encourage, or express his gratitude, for the political support. Andreas JN466 12:47, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
It is not the only time that Brin has donated - there was another donation this year, in fact. And yes, it's perfectly ok for people to ask the question, but when it has been answered firmly and clearly, and zero evidence is offered, it's time to drop it. The Brin donation was neither an encouragement nor a thank you for the blackout. Sergei has been a friend and supporter of Wikipedia for years.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:53, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I did a search for any mention online of any other donation by Brin before I posted above, and could find none. Would you have a link?
There is circumstantial evidence. The sequence of events was as follows:
Again, when major policy changes occur in an organisation that benefit a third party, and that third party has just donated a large amount to that same organisation, people ask, cui bono. (Amazon's investment in Wikia, and their now being a payment processor for WMF is another such case.) That's just a normal part of scrutinising public organisations in a democratic society, and people always construct different narratives that appear plausible to them. Often, there is a kernel of truth in several of them. Andreas JN466 13:30, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
This sequence is incorrect. So, okay, I'll add some more data to the fire here, and this is ACTUAL data.... as many of you know, I ran the fundraiser in 2010-2011. The first mention that I have in my email inbox of a potential donation from Brin was... wait for it... January, 2011. These things don't happen instantly, as anyone who has dealt with major gifts knows. They require a long lead time. Rebecca HHandler, our former Head of Major Gifts, was working with Brin as far back as JANUARY to put things in motion for the donation you state. That's not unusual in the world of major gifts, at all. It's not unusual to court a major donor for YEARS. So, unless you're going to suggest that Brin was planning this in JANUARY.... I'm afraid your argument falls apart a bit there. Oh, and the decision to accept Amazon as a payment method? That grows from our hiring of someone to manage alternative payment methods around the world for us. She manages accounts with literally dozens of payment providers throughout the world, to optimize based on local usage. That decision was made in a vacuum, and I don't believe Jimmy was ever even consulted on that. He (quite properly) leaves the day to day management of the Foundation to the Executive Director and her delegates. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:12, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Sweet that it 'just happened' to be announced in time for the SOPA protests. Any way now that you are here how about telling us about the back room talks that were going on between the 9th and the 15th of November on arranging a coordinated protest against SOPA. Don't bother saying that none were as there is apparently a village pump thread that says there was. John lilburne (talk) 20:23, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
If there were such talks (which I doubt), I have no knowledge of them, and was not a part of them. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:18, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
From the village pump 15th November 2011:

We've got a number of large sites participating - Boing Boing, HypeMachine, and Reddit have all agreed to black out their logos. We are hoping Wikipedia would be willing to do the same. We actually spoke to Erik Moeller about participating, and although he said he would be happy to support in other ways, that we would have to ask the Wikipedians themselves if we could black out the Wikipedia logo tomorrow (or perhaps sometime in the near future - more on that later).

20 minutes later some from the WMF says that they are making a blog post, and two hours later reports that the blog post has been made in support. So it seems that prior talks were going on before 15th of November with senior people within the WMF, and there is also talk of planning further action to come. John lilburne (talk) 09:48, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
"Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation, I am more interested in why you were running around, giving more than 100 silly barnstars like this one? I mean you are getting paid from the money donated to Wikipedia to keep it running. Don't you have anything better to do during your working hours? (talk) 19:11, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
<shrug> Some people liked the barnstars - turns out, people like being thanked for being involved - and some people hated them. In retrospect, would I suggest again that we do that method for thanking people? Probably not. Live and learn. Oh, and if you do the conversion, you'll see that that was given at 11:22 AM... on SATURDAY, January 21. Work hours? Well, yeah, I was working, but it was a Saturday. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:18, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Post hoc ergo propter hoc. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:43, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
That is all very well, and antecedence may just give rise to suspicion. However, in this case we have the participants bragging about it, and a 500K donation 'just coming through' leaves every one with a warm feeling towards the benefactor such that benefactor->beneficiary easily converts to beneficiary->benefactor. This is why food aid parcels come stamped with the name of donor country, and why some recipient countries politicians and militias divert such aid to their own supporters. John lilburne (talk) 09:50, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
More than a hundred?!? Gosh! --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:05, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
If you get big, someone's going to take a potshot at you at some point. It's inevitable. Doesn't mean we should ignore criticism, and in the past some of it's been quite fairly leveled, but a lot of it is half-true (if that) silliness. As to the allegation above that WMF would support deliberate defamation of critics, that could not only lose it 501(c)(3) status, but also get it sued into oblivion (and safe harbor protections don't apply if WMF initiated or approved the action). I don't always agree with WMF, but even aside from the fact that such an act would be a blatant breach of ethics for an officer of a charitable foundation, I think they're more than smart enough to know that would be a very, very bad idea. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:12, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I am sure that nothing was "officially" done and that there'd be nothing to turn over in discovery were suit brought. I consider WMF misguided, but they aren't dumb. However, that's not relevant to what may have actually been done.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:01, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
You are being obnoxious and you are factually wrong about all of this. Look at what you are saying: you are directly accusing me (and the Foundation) of not just lying, but lying and keeping things deliberately out of email in order to avoid discovery in case a suit were bought. That's just bonkers. A suit by whom, relating to what? Why on earth would we do that? You have absolutely no evidence, and the behavior you are suggesting has absolutely no precedence for Sue Gardner, for me, or for anyone else in any position of authority or influence here. You're just making up nonsense out of thin air.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:43, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
A statement "there'd be nothing to turn over" is the "then" to the "if". Please see the post I responded to for the statement on which mine relied, which I will quote from in part "As to the allegation above ... " My response was IF the allegation was true, then in my opinion there would be nothing to turn over anyway, based upon my knowledge of how corporations routinely act regarding correspondence. There is almost never certainty. Obviously my comment was not friendly, but to call it a "direct accusation" tempts me to want to cut and paste your last comments, though in the interests of peace I will not.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:57, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Why are you hinting that something is the case if you assert that the evidence that vindicates that position could not exist. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:43, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
On the other hand, this year's fundraiser just today matched last year's take, after only nine days of actually trying. Kind of hilariously, this was after the Fundraising Department explained in great detail how exceeding last year's take was unlikely. However, the Annual Plan was subsequently revised to project smaller fundraising growth this year than last, even though page views increased over the past year more sharply than in the previous three years (a flat slope on a semilog scale is exponential growth.) The Register is right to say that Wikimedia fundraising leaves much to be desired, but not in the way they describe. (talk) 01:36, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes more than a hundred, but many are not anti WP, and certainly most are not "double digit liked" - I'm sure that many posts and likes are from "the usual suspects", but ultimately that sort of mud slinging only generates scorn for the slingers, or a defensive reaction. Constructive criticism, however, can actually change things. Rich Farmbrough, 05:27, 21 December 2012 (UTC).
And, with all that money, content contributors don't get any resources. I'm probably going to have to pay out of pocket for Washington Post and LA Times articles for improvement. Yet there's plenty of cash to blow on business cards. Where are our priorities?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:58, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
What are you asking for? That you get a free subscription to use as you want? That the WMF, not get copy paper, or pencils, until you get a free subscription? How would you getting a free subscription with WMF funds, but the WMF office not getting office supplies work in reality? -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, yes. Yes, I think so. It's a good investment. Keep in mind that it's the ARCHIVES I want, not the funny pages "to do as [I] want". Do you doubt I would use it well? No doubt there will be money both for that, and for copies/pencils/business cards.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:00, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you should read the article (linked at the top of this thread: "But some of the spending has raised eyebrows. In the UK, the local chapter of WMF, Wikimedia Foundation UK, admitted to racking up a bill of £1,335 on business cards, calling it "a failure to make the most effective procurement choices". The UK foundation also found itself under close scrutiny after approving projects that personally benefited board members - which imperilled the foundation's hard-won charity status.". The WMF funds, particularly the ones that get "disseminated" to the local chapters, aren't being used wisely, and certainly aren't helping the content creators in any concrete way. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 13:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
"which imperilled the foundation's hard-won charity status" is just bollocks, as we call it in the UK. What Orlowski or the Register know about UK charity status could be written on the back of a small postage stamp. Unfortunately they are not the only ones to make ill-informed comments on this subject. (WMUK Trustee) Johnbod (talk) 14:17, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not getting a direct benefit from those business cards as I chose not to apply for a set. But if having business cards makes it easier for some of my fellow volunteers to build relationships with the GLAM community then we all stand to benefit. Building relationships with museums and other cultural institutions is an important part of the chapter's job, the UK chapter has a good record of that sort of outreach. If you aren't aware of the link between outreach to museums and content building then I suggest you read Hoxne Hoard or look at some of the large image releases that people from the European chapters have negotiated. If we are going to have wikimedians conducting outreach to cultural institutions then supplying them with business cards sound like a sensible investment. That said those sound like an unusually expensive set of business cards, I know there was a mistake that resulted in a batch being reprinted, but it is a lot of money and hopefully future years won't be as expensive. ϢereSpielChequers 14:07, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Was there design work involved? How many sets were made? How many cards in total? One type of bad argument is when somebody throws around numbers without units of measure. Jehochman Talk 14:13, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if there was design work, but this was a new initiative and will have involved cards for all who needed them and requested them. So I would anticipate much lower costs in future years as one would expect that some of the recipients will be using the same set of cards for some years. ϢereSpielChequers 14:32, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Won't last long if they are leaving them in phone boxes around Paddington Station John lilburne (talk) 14:36, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
John, I know this is a small part of the article and a tiny part of WMUK's annual budget, but it is the type of thing that people tend to repeat. And the whole business cards affair seems quite puzzling. As a trustee, can you clear this up here and now? Who got these seemingly expensive cards? Was it only staff? Staff and trustees? Any volunteers, and if so, who and why? What was the issue with the titles that caused the cards to be recalled? Business cards are readily available in a range of qualities and prices - why are these cards so expensive - who was the supplier? If you cannot answer these questions, perhaps Jon Davies can - would you ask? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:21, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Staff, Trustees and some volunteers (not me). There was then some concern over vanity titles on some of the cards so they were destroyed. Not sure if they were replaced, I believe so. Via the grapevine I know that several suppliers were considered and a selection made to obtain good quality but not overly pricey. I am sure Jon can explain more of the reasoning behind that particular decision. It was a minor mistake I guess. They could have got some shitty cards from Vistaprint for, what, half the cost, but they really are dire quality :) --Errant (chat!) 20:07, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I have some as a volunteer. I was asked by a staff member at WMUK (can't remember who) whether they'd be useful to help as a Wikinews contributor. I agreed and picked them up when I was next in London. Sadly, my involvement with Wikinews is less than I would have liked (family and work etc.) but I keep a few in my wallet. I do think that for people who are out-and-about taking photographs for Commons (or covering local news for Wikinews or whatnot) is that if, say, the police or security people challenge a person's taking photographs (which happens, has led to protests and which the government has recognised is an issue), being able to say "look, I take photographs to illustrate Wikipedia, if you don't believe me, here's a card, you can call the number and verify" is a very useful and close-to-zero-cost thing that chapters can do for volunteers. There's obviously some contention about the cost of the cards, but I do think that it is worth having. —Tom Morris (talk) 00:41, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The cards would be useful to me, as well as other editors who routinely visit archives, and are faced with suspicious people wanting to see something in writing and who think I'm from WikiLeaks. (that happened to me at a New Jersey county historical society library). And in a nod to AlanScottWalker's comments, I'll pay for the blipping cards if someone is willing to make the arrangements (I no longer have email activated, but leave a note on my talk).--Wehwalt (talk) 09:06, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I see a lot of poor behavior on this page, and would urge those who are slandering, making legal threats and otherwise badgering Jimmy to drop it. (Note Wehwalt's not very subtle suggestion of a subpoena.) It may be fun to pursue conspiracy theories and play gotcha, but these games don't create value, and the people playing them merely damage their own reputations. Ask yourselves this question: on the whole, for all the money WMF takes in, do they deliver good value? I think you will be hard pressed to find a charity of similar size that does so much good for such an amount of money. Jehochman Talk 14:13, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
SB Johnny: Apart for the non-sequitor in your comment, spending other peoples money usually does raise eyebrows. "Wisely", is of course in the eye of the beholder, but that does not explain how handing out free subscriptions to individuals to use as they want adresses anything. If the people in Britain don't want to support all that, they won't. Every organization has critics, but the WMF's critics seem particularly inept. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:22, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
It was subtle enough to escape me ... subpoenas aren't discovery btw.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:19, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmm? Both the subpoena duces tecum and the subpoena ad testificandum are used as discovery devices in many common law jurisdictions. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:16, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Depends how you view them. I tend to view discovery as much more between the parties. But in any event, I'm trying to convey that I certainly had no such intent. Jeez.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:26, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

People still argue about JFK and lots of other things, and there is no chance that those with an agenda will change their views. Throwing mud because of a personal political outlook or a personal history can be fun, but too much of it is an abuse of the open nature of Wikipedia. Many good editors agreed with the blackout, so please rewrite history on another website. Johnuniq (talk) 23:19, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Those that refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. John lilburne (talk) 23:39, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Having taken no position on the SOPA blackout, and still having no position on the SOPA blackout. Being doomed to repeat the SOPA blackout is, well . . . so? Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:23, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Blackout This user supported the SOPA/PIPA Blackout!

I took a position.--Amadscientist (talk) 07:50, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Amazon Associates experiment. Part II

Back in 2004, on the behalf of Wikipedia you signed up for an Amazon Associates account, as part of short-lived fund raising experiment. The associate code was added to this project page on January 20, 2004, and then was removed from this project page on June 20, 2004. In the first three days of the experiment you earned 34 cents. And you conclude the end of the experiment.

On my personal experiment with Amazon Associates, this month I made already $16 from 14 sales (2.5k clicks. Conversion: 0.65%). With the size of Wikipedia, and the amount of links to Amazon it has (because it is used as a realiable sources for Music, DVDs, etc) I think it could make $50.000 monthly easily (number out of thin air). I suggest you give it another try, but this time with a real experiment.

Adding a link in an obscure part of Wikipedia will not give us any useful information on how much can the Wikimedia Foundation raise. I propose replacing all existing Amazon links with the affiliate link. This work could be done by a Bot.

It would be great if Wikipedia becomes self-reliant without ads, or at least without having to be so aggressive in asking for donations. Last inquiry on this subject (three years ago) got archived without a reply. Just give us an "ok" and we will work on this. (Also please make sure you still have access to the AA account.)

I also would like to know what other editors think of the idea.--Neo139 (talk) 02:57, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

I would like to know what other editors think of the idea. This would be a Foundation decision, not my decision, but the Foundation is extremely unlikely to do it without the broad support of the community. Just the other day, there was a rather heated argument here on my talk page about Amazon, but I said then and will say again now, that was really not so much about Amazon but about a particular editor engaging in his usual sort of campaign against me. I'll just stay out of the debate, but I encourage the community (always) to talk about this and similar things in a spirit of thoughtfulness.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:39, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
The annual begging bowl is simple and transparent, and very reassuring to me and I'm sure many others. Personally, I'd prefer to stick with this funding model until it stops working. (Even then, if/when charity dries up, I'd first question the reason behind that before looking for ways to fund this project that don't depend on the goodwill of our readership.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 13:10, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
The issue has been in the past that the work to reward ratio is horrid where we need to add the "Amazon code" for the referral payment to hundreds of thousands of links. I suggest that WMF ask the techies how difficult it would be to insert the referral code automatically when people click on a valid ISBN in a list of references, offering them the chance to buy the reference given - this would not entail adding the sekrit Amazon referral code to each book listed on all of Wikipedia <g>, but simply adding it automatically into the HTML code sent to their computers (potentially sending them to the "correct" Amazon site for their location, with correct currency etc.) This would also make clear that it is not an advert for Amazon, which I would oppose. Collect (talk) 13:50, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My initial reaction is to counsel against it, but my conclusions are in no way a negative comment about Amazon - I'm a very regular customer, and I patronize a blogger who is an Amazon Affiliate. My main concerns can be summarized as:

  1. Why Amazon?
  2. How would it be implemented?

For the first, I trust that Amazon is not the only company with such a program. What if loyal customers of several of thousands of other companies want to add an affiliate link? We aren't going to do them all, so how do we choose? An individual blogger can make this decision easily, but a community would find this decision unwieldy, except for one possible answer (don't do it).

If by some miracle, the first hurdle is overcome, where do we place the links? Instapundit is an affilate, and intersperses his blog entries with links to Amazon sales, and occasionally specifically implores uses of the option. I can't image that this sort of direct appeal would be appropriate for Wikipedia (but I know it is effective). If links such as these are place in article space - a firestorm. If placed in high traffic Wikipedia space, probably the same. If placed discretely out of site, then what's the point?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:12, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

The links would be invisible unless and until a reader clicks on an ISBN (my concept) and "no" links to Amazon would be visible as such except through the ISBN. The (astounding) idea is that folks who click on an ISBN might actually be interested in the book! And I would suggest that the WMF is well placed to negotiate a favourable commission superior to that received by a typical blogger. This might be a win-win-win situation for the WMF, Wikipedia readers, and Amazon. As an experiment, WMF might also see if other sellers of books providde a different commission, click-through rate etc. and such a test would be invisible to almost all Wikipedia users. Collect (talk) 14:21, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  1. Limiting it to ISBNs would cut the potential by a significant portion.
  2. The community has already rejected that ISBNs should link to Amazon - many editors do so, and they get removed. Obviously, this isn't immutable policy, and the community might be persuaded to change their minds, but it is a significant hurdle to overcome.
  3. I would suggest that it isn't obvious that the WMF could negotiate a commission higher than that paid to Reynolds. Amazon isn't simply interested in volume, they are interested in marginal volume. It is plausible that a niche blogger drives traffic that might not otherwise consider Amazon, and it is possible that paying the WMF might be viewed as payment for sales they would get otherwise. I don't know this for sure, but my point is that it is not as simple as comparing volume.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 15:38, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Two things:
  1. Adding links on the ISBN is one thing which could be debated after we agree on using Amazon affiliate ID on links that are already being used on articles as a reliable source. While promoting Linkin Park discography to featured list, I had to use Amazon links sometimes because I couldn't find any other reliable source. This kind of links are already on the site, hundreds of thousands of them, and raising some cash out of them won't hurt anybody. The ISBN thing, is a step further, which of course I support, but requires a new debate.
  2. Living in a place where you go out, walk a few meters and start seeing poverty, I get other sense of when charity is really needed. If someone is old, homeless, ill and can't work, then he needs help. But if some PhD in Physics is laid down in the street asking for money, then he doesn't needed it, he just need to get his ass out to work. Because he could be self-reliant if he wanted.
Well, the same applies to Wikipedia. Wikipedia could make money by itself, but because we will not use ads, we ask for donations. But when someone points out a method to raise money without using ads, it gets some resistance from some editors (talking in general, not you guys :) ). So it looks to me that some people want WMF not to be non-profit, but anti-profit. Because they reject money unless it comes certain way. Don't be mistaken, WMF can be non-profit and still get some cash from Amazon Associates. This will make the annual donation campaign much shorter and less agressive (which is a good thing).--Neo139 (talk) 16:16, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I have long said that ISBN numbers are nothing but product-selling barcode numbers for publishers and that they should not be used on Wikipedia in any form. Serious scholars or interested readers can easily find anything they need in a library based on author, title, and publisher, there is not a single valid reason to clutter footnotes with ISBN gunk. Moreover, the idea that somehow $50,000 a month is impressive to the Wikimedia foundation is comical, they waste approximately twice that much on the problem child WMUK operation alone. Carrite (talk) 16:45, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • This proposal, let's not kid ourselves, is a total abandonment of our "no advertising" rule. Just because we have a myriad spamlinks buried in articles, does not mean that it is a good thing: WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS and all that. Obviously, as a part-time bookseller, this one particularly offends me; but I'd say the same thing if you proposed doing the same thing for Netflix in movie articles, the Catholic Church in religion articles, etc. We're an encyclopedia, or we're a catalog service: the transition is up to the community. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:04, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
So now a reliable source like is not only no longer reliable, but a spamlink?. If so, consider adding it to the blacklist. Also I didn't know a featured list could fall under WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS. That news to me. This type of arguments are good to illustrate the anti-profit mindset I'm talking about. Its ok to say $50.000/monthly is comical, but then do not ask me to donate $5 with a HUGE banner.
Also I want to point out that not adding the affiliate link produces the exact same outcome as adding it, earning $50.000 monthly, and then donating that $50k to Amazon. How clever is that?--Neo139 (talk) 18:46, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
In what strange alternate universe is a reliable source? In this one, it's notorious as a venue where the spammers compete with the slammers and the vandals and the ideologues. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:47, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • There is a slippery slope here, and arguably we already slip a little down it already with commercial sponsors of Wikimania and similar events. My preference would be that we stick to charity donations as our funding source. We know it works, the potential donor base is growing year on year as our readership continues to grow, and at some point our costs should stabilise or even start falling as the cost of IT hardware is falling faster than our databases are growing. If we start getting short of cash then there are easy ways to generate extra - decentralising our fundraising for example so that we take advantage of things like Wikimedia UK's ability to claim back UK tax paid by donors on their donations. ϢereSpielChequers 19:48, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree with WereSpielChequers. Let's draw as bright a line as is reasonably possible. The Amazon idea and big Google donations make me nervous, given human nature, and I'd rather see the WMF funded by many small donors than a few big ones. It may be worth looking at a cap on donations so that there is no undue influence. And by the way, Merry Christmas Jimmy, and everyone here. Jusdafax 20:55, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Here we go

Jimbo, remember I warned you about the Streisand effect yesterday? I wish you'd listen. (talk) 14:50, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, please keep banning people from your talk page who ask you awkward questions. It's the deceptively easy thing to do, right? Cla68 (talk) 15:05, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Also in the Telegraphy: [16] The immediate reason for Kolbe's ban was his statement "note reports earlier this year that Kazakh PR agents are suspected of having manipulated Wikipedia entries on Kazakhstan: [4] The Kazakhstan article does not even mention the word "dictator[ship]" You said he was making "outrageous and idiotic insinuations". (talk) 15:08, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
It's well known that a user has the right to remove items from their talk page and most of us would do the same; one gets fed up after a while. Andreas's personal attacks did nothing but hurt the legitimacy of our reasonable concerns regarding the issue. You may think you're being a hero, but using an IP address makes you look like a coward to everyone watching. You should know that. PhnomPencil () 15:18, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Who is PhnomPencil? (talk) 15:26, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm someone who knows that in collapsing that conversation he included the words: 'But I'm going to insist that this discussion, if re-opened, be premised on "Assume Good Faith"', then continued to discuss the matter with those who were legitimately concerned, just not the ones using it as an excuse to give ridiculous accusations about some threadbare Tony Blair connection, hoping some shit would stick to the surface. I've also seen yellow journalism in action personally and think that it has a negative effect on our political discourse. Everyone who followed that thread knows what the real issue was behind the collapsing, and that his reasons were legitimate. The Kazakh government funds are an important issue, but let's keep to the facts. PhnomPencil () 15:47, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, and I agree completely. The sad thing in all this nonsense is that the real issue, which is interesting and important, gets obscured by the bullshit.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Please don't call good faith contributors 'cowards'. And JN made no accusations against Jimbo, contrary to what you said. I am not him, by the way. (talk) 16:12, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Nice try on making off-wiki canvassing by telling the media about a one-sided story. (A Streisand effect artificially manipulated LOL) Someone deserves to be honored and decorated on the main page. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 15:32, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Some awfully insulting things are said at Wikipediocracy about many people, and I'm very unimpressed by all of it. They should learn some manners and start treating their fellow humans with respect.

But we need their fearless scrutiny. We do have a problem with BLPs. Obviously. It is just wrong that we host the top search engine result for a living person's name and allow anyone to say anything they like about the subject until someone, after thousands of views, takes the trouble to correct it. Wikimedia Foundation preemptively recognising a government sponsored chapter candidate looks very wrong. The unfiltered pornography on Commons and here is ridiculous. We tolerate people of poor character for too long. The conflict of interest, financial management and effectiveness at Wikimedia chapters needs scrutiny.

Wikipediocracy is drawing these issues to our attention and then, when our response is inadequate, it draws them to the attention of our readership. You, the foundation and the chapters and projects need to start responding appropriately to these valid criticisms. We need leadership from you or the board on these issues. They all damage our relationship with our readers. Andreas is highlighting serious concerns. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 18:25, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Anthony, you are quite right, we should stamp out people of poor character as soon as possible! It's just tough deciding exactly which people that is. Merry Christmas! --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:52, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Some cases are pretty straightforward. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:37, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Is it? According to this you are a very good candidate to be stamped out because of your poor character. (talk) 02:35, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Excellent! So that's at least one person on the list. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:13, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

To Jimbo Wales and family!

A happy holiday and a joyous new year! Be safe, be well and be happy!--Amadscientist (talk) 23:59, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

To Jimmy Wales! Wishing you a very Happy Merry Christmas :) You're an Inspiration and Legend! TheGeneralUser (talk) 12:29, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Merry Christmas from Oz

500px-Xmas tree animated.gif Mchrist.jpg Wikisanta.jpg

Merry Christmas


A Happy New Year to All

Please Click!

I am 220 of Borg. I partake in this human seasonal celebratory event in order to more successfully infiltrate the Wikipedia collective, facilitating the addition of it's technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile!. Oh,and Merry Christmas!.

220 of Borg 23:53, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

As one of my wikifriends, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope you had a great one.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 02:07, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Kazakhstan government support for Kazakh Wikipedia

I'm closing this discussion because it has reached the point of the absurd. I have responded to the last comments which were made, so participants and other interested parties can look at that. But I'm going to insist that this discussion, if re-opened, be premised on "Assume Good Faith". To avoid an edit conflict I'm going to stop here but I'll write more in a minute.

My position on freedom of speech is very well known and quite clear. It applies worldwide, as I regard the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. I have always fought for freedom of speech and will continue to do so. My position on working with companies and organization in difficult jurisdictions is, I think, thoughtful and nuanced. To my knowledge, the Foundation's position is more or less the same. It is entirely possible that we would end up disagreeing on some specific issue, but in all the cases that have come up so far, we have not had that problem. And I rather expect any disagreements to lie in borderline cases. In Kazakhstan, there is a great group of volunteer editors - just like you - who are working in a nonpolitical way with their own government to transition an older encyclopedia into Wikipedia, as well as to recruit quality volunteers. Like many people, I have concerns about potential problems, but so far I have been pleased with what I have seen. When I go to Kazakhstan, I will do the same thing that I do everywhere I go: I will speak with the highest officials who will meet with me and try to convince them to respect the fundamental human right of freedom of expression. I will speak to the media, both in that country, but also outside that country (particularly dissident press if it exists elsewhere) about the issue. I will meet with ordinary Wikipedians and ask them with the situation is (with the help of a professional translator or fluently bilingual trusted Wikipedian if my advance research suggests it is necessary, which I think is true in Kazakhstan). I think my approach is the right approach, but I also think there are legitimate questions that could be asked. I often ask them of myself. When I went to Saudi Arabia, I spoke openly about freedom of speech and human rights - particularly the rights of women - and told an all-male audience that it was offensive that women were excluded from the meeting. (They were in the next room listening in!) In this case, I deeply regret having been in that situation in the first place (I did not realize the audience would be totally segregated in that way), and if I am invited again to Saudi Arabia I will insist on different arrangements being made or I won't do a public lecture. The part of this discussion that veered into the absurd was this, for those who didn't read it. One commenter raised the question of Tony Blair's consulting in Kazakhstan and him attending my wedding. That's just totally weird and irrelevant. I have nothing to do with his consulting in Kazakhstan, and I have many political (and religious) disagreements with him, which I'm quite open about. I have lots of friends, many from difficult countries, many who are politicians, and I don't necessarily agree with everything they say (nor do they agree with me). But frankly, my personal life has absolutely nothing to do with Kazakhstan!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Jimbo, could you tell us something about the relationship between Kazakhstan's government and the Kazakh Wikipedia? The reason I am asking is these articles:

Former Prime Minister Karim Massimov, currently chief of staff of the President's Office, who is mentioned in the Economist article as the country's foremost blogger, is mentioned in the second article about your "expected" visit as a prominent supporter of the Kazakh Wikipedia. Andreas JN466 02:21, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I guess you should ask Rauan Kenzhekhanuly directly instead of Jimbo, if you haven't already. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 02:42, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I second this. Rauan will know more than I do. As far as I have been told so far, there are no particularly difficult issues with neutrality in the Kazakh Wikipedia, but I'm open to evidence. (Notice that I didn't say that there are "no issues" - in every language there are issues. As far as I know, the Wikibilim organization is not politicized. In my visit to Kazakhstan I will of course stress the importance of freedom of the press and encourage more openness.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:26, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
From the English Wikipedia article: "Eventually, the state-supported Samruk Kazyna Foundation sponsored the expansion, with 30 million tenge spent in 2011 for paid editing, digitalization, and author rights transfer."
30 million tenge = ~$200 000 (US). Kazakhstan's nominal GDP per capita is $11,167, less than a quarter that of the States. So big bucks, relatively. Maybe it was started by bureaucrats who want nothing more than to aid the spread of the Kazakh language online. However, Kazakhstan ranks 154th out of 179 countries in the Press Freedom Index, on par with Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, and Rwanda. They are also ranked "Not Free" in the Freedom in the World report.
Who knows. But has the Wikimedia Foundation ever had experience of a government of this nature wresting control of its national language's encyclopaedia? Is there anywhere non-Kazakh speaking concerned editors can go to keep an eye on what's going on?
Cheers, PhnomPencil () 03:32, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Your implication of Kazakh Wikipedia's contents is affected by the sponsorship from Kazakh state-supported entity is rude. You need concrete evidence before asking the question. If you can prove that many prominent Kazakn Wikipedia articles have broken the neutrality pillar, by all mean, complain to WMF, not beating around the bush. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:12, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I disagree of course with your assertion that the matter should not be discussed. I think this would generate more debate if it weren't from a region famous for being considered obscure, and sponsorship by the PRC gov't, I believe, would be put under the microscope as a matter of course. Probably no harm would come from sponsorship of editorship from Beijing, but a discussion on the matter, in my subjective opinion, would be healthy. It appears we are at odds over this. And I'm not making a formal complaint, I'm just informally asking if anyone knows more about this. Because I'm interested. It's a discussion. We're all adults here.
I'm commenting here again, though, just to clarify that I'm aware the volunteer editors of the Kazakh Wikipedia spend their time there for the same reason we do -- they want to expand the breadth of knowledge for the greater good -- and I want to emphasize that in no way am I criticizing them. I'm only interested in the paid editorship of articles sponsored by the Kazakh government. If it looked like I was tarring them, I sincerely apologize. PhnomPencil () 05:27, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not against discussion. Paidediting is only a fact, but it is not the deciding factor that Kazakh Wikipedia would go the wrong way. I prefer starting a discussion after someone has provided concrete evidence that Kazakh Wikipedia is in neutrality crisis. By that I mean quotes from disputed Kazakh Wikipedia articles along with faithful English translation, not assumption over a fact that paidediting is plaguing Kazakh Wikipedia. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 06:35, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
The amounts have gone up, PhnomPencil. According to this article,

In 2011 Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund allocated a total of $204 million to develop the Kazakh-language Wikipedia. This year, another $136 million will be earmarked, reports, citing the Fund’s Press Service.

According to Majilis (lower chamber) deputy Murat Abenov, “the project needs fresh authors (…) The Project is being run by the non-profit WikiBilim organization. None of the staff was paid a salary: they did it voluntarily”. Thanks to the Samruk Kazyna’s financial support, the number of entries in the Kazakh-language Wikipedia had reached 125 000 by the end of 2011, with the number of registered users mounting to 14 550. The editorial staff was increased from 4 to 250 people. The Kazakh-language Wikipedia raised from the 127th to the 35th place in the rankings of countries”, the Fund’s Press Service announced.

According to the report by WikiBilim, from June 16, 2011 to December 31, 2011, a total of 71 contracts were signed with a raft of writers, editors and translators.

Besides, in 2011 and 2012 a total of 22 000 volunteers have been attracted.

I assume the use of the $ symbol in that news article is an error, and that the amounts are in Tenge (₸).
The fundraiser banners recently proudly proclaimed, "we take no government funds". Andreas JN466 15:33, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
For those of us not well versed in bizarro conspiracy theories, can you please explain what the hell that is supposed to mean?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Sure. Here is a Telegraph article for example, which describes oil-rich Kazakhstan as a "post-Soviet human rights desert" and wonders, just like the Guardian article above, just what on earth Tony Blair is doing lending credibility to a regime like that. It also points out that there is an entire circle of figures around Tony Blair who have joined him in this endeavour: It's not just Blair but some of his closest confidants who are working in Kazakhstan: Alastair Campbell has been spotted by the FT flying back from the capital Astana, Jonathan Powell (appropriately the author of a book on Machiavelli) is also apparently involved. Former BAE systems Chair Sir Richard Evans is now Chairman of the state enterprise Samruk, worth a staggering £50 billion that in turn has hired Lord Mandelson for speeches. It so happens that it was widely reported in the media (including the article linked above) that some of these selfsame people were prominent guests at your recent wedding.
Now, given Kazakhstan's human rights record, it seems incomprehensible to me why the Kazakhstan government should be welcome to finance the development of the Kazakh Wikipedia (which to a significant extent consists in paid editors transferring the content of the state-published Kazakh Encyclopedia to the Kazakh Wikipedia) – especially given the fact that recent fundraising messages stated that "We take no money from governments".
It is incomprehensible to me why the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a state widely described as a dictatorship, with a President that has been in power for 22 years, and keeps getting re-elected with 95% of the popular vote, should provide a "content and quality review process" for the Kazakh Wikipedia. Is there any other Wikipedia where a national government entity fulfils this sort of function?
What is even more bizarre is that you declare the person leading that effort Wikipedian of the Year, as that would imply that Kazakhstan is a model to be followed for the Wikimedia movement. Now, it is clear that the Kazakhstan government uses its involvement in Wikipedia and the "Wikipedian of the Year" title in its PR work. Tony Blair and his former spin doctor Alastair Campbell – both of whom reported in the media to be part of your social circle (see e.g. [17], [[18]) – are accused by papers across the political spectrum of lending credibility to a post-Soviet dictatorship. When faced with otherwise incomprehensible actions – why would Wikipedia want to lend credibility to a dictatorship with such a poor record on press freedom and human rights? why would Wikipedia want to accord such a state a role in the "content and quality review process" for one of its projects? why would Wikipedia hold up such an arrangement as a model? – it is a quite natural tendency to somehow try and make sense of them. Andreas JN466 14:26, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Funny. I never recall that the mission of Wikimedia Projects is to promote human right or democracy. Even a suspected paid-advocacy in English Wikipedia is inspected from the said article first, not the background of the involved entities. Have you ever read a Kazakh WP article carefully to inspect their neutrality? I dare say no. So why all these unfair treatments to the Kazakh Wikipedians that assuming they're incapable to run a good neutral WP? Just because they don't enjoy better freedom of speech than yours? -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 15:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
"Even a suspected paid-advocacy in English Wikipedia is inspected from the said article first, not the background of the involved entities." That is decidedly not the case, on a frequent basis. Please don't make me provide 6 or 7 recent examples. -- 2001:558:1400:10:A833:D4C1:F23A:26FD (talk) 15:10, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

According to Freedom House, Even as officials adopted social media for their own use, promoting state programs and confronting local authorities with incompetence, the state has increasingly contested internet freedom and online alternatives to state-owned news outlets. The internet was accessed by 34 percent of the population in 2010. A 2009 law classified websites as mass media outlets, giving the authorities greater latitude to shut them down under vaguely worded extremism statutes or in the interests of state security. Doesn't sound like an ideal environment for a "free" enyclopedia to me, but maybe Well, I guess they will make an exception for Jimbo, hm? Attaboy. --Janneman (talk) 16:34, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

it is a difficult environment there, to be sure. I do not think they will make any exceptions for me, but I also expect them not to arrest me for criticising their track record on freedom of speech issues. I have spoken publicly against censorship in China, Saudi Arabia, and so on, I usually make sure the American embassy knows when I am visiting a difficult jurisdiction.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:41, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
While I hope that you will find the courage to speak out against censorship in Kazakhstan as well, I find it hard to square the Foundation's Values with its apparent, active collaboration with its government. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it very much looks like, thanks to WMF's arrangements with Samruk-Kazyna and Wikibilim, the Kazakh Wikipedia is now teeming with paid editors, busy spreading state-sponsored content; 30 million tenge spent in 2011 alone. And bearing in mind Kazakhstans record on human rights in general and the freedom of information in particular, I have a feeling that this content will not "empower and engage people" in Kazkhstan and provide an alternative to their government's propaganda. What with "we take no government funds" indeed? And in 2009 you proclaimed: Just imagine the disaster for our reputation. Are we free and independent scribes doing our best to record all human knowledge? Or are we paid shills. I know what I choose. Yes, imagine. You are helping the Kazakh regime whitewash its image. It's a disgrace. --Janneman (talk) 15:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation has zero collaboration with the government of Kazakhstan. Wikibilim is a totally independent organization. And it is absolutely wrong to say that I am "helping the Kazakh regime whitewash its image". I am a firm and strong critic. At the same time, I'm excited by the work of volunteers, and I believe - very strongly - that an open and independent Wikipedia will be the death knell for tyranny in places like Kazakhstan. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it is absolutely silly to suggest that I'm in any way actively supporting tyrants.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Great to hear, Jimbo. I know the belief may be, "Well, this is better than watching the Kazakh Wikipedia languish like many other language projects", and overall I think what's happening there is great. And it's important to point out there has yet to be a single instance reported in this discussion of censorship. A pragmatic balance has to be struck, and I'm glad you're going to stand up for free speech during your visit. We're not all pouncing on this just for the chance to criticize, for many of us it's about the free flow of information, even if it seems a bit nosey. I obviously assume you know better than any in this discussion so far about the inner workings of that project, and your actions in the past have given me trust in you doing the right thing if any potential issues arise. PhnomPencil () 15:44, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I've actually been eyeing up Kazakhstan for some time to better cover some of its small towns which are missing enmasse. Although the main towns have population data from old Soviet censuses, I've been looking forward to some up to do population data on every village/ Would be good if the Kazakh government could do a census and publish data for all villages and then work with individuals to get articles put on Kazakh wiki with data and then on English wikipedia.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 18:44, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I dare re-open this discussion because I think this is a serious issue (and I am not the one who raised questions about your personal life, nor do I intend to). I am willing to assume Good Faith, but I also beleive that in this instance it has led to Poor Judgment and may set a dangerous precedent. I am not exaggerating. I find it hard to believe that the sudden surge in the Kazakh wikipedia is due to "volunteers". Where did the 30 mio. Tenge that Samruk-Kazyna pumped into the project go if not into paid editing? Some of the new content is lifted straight from the "official", regime-approved Kazakh national encyclopedia. What we have here is basically a hostile takeover. Imho the appropriate response to that kind of content, and the way it is funnelled into Wikipedia, would be "thanks, but no, thanks". That is, the WMF's response. Instead it is being touted as a token of the success of the Wiki principle. I find it hard to swallow that. --Janneman (talk) 16:27, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I question your assumptions here, and think you need to talk to Kazakh Wikipedians. This is not the first time that an older encyclopedic work has been liberated by donating it into Wikipedia. As I say, I remain open to evidence rather than scaremongering. Go and ask the Kazakh Wikipedians what their experience has been. As I have said, the kind of thing you fear is absolutely a concern in situation like this, but in fact, we don't have evidence of there being a problem. (I'm sure there are many problems with the existing imported text from the old encyclopedia, but for the first time, people can come and update and fix that stuff.
It's perfectly valid to raise the question, but not ok to slander good volunteers who are on the ground fighting the good fight for progress. Talk to them and see how they think it is going.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:18, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Jimmy, you can't ask them without potentially putting them in an untenable position. If they are being rewarded with free laptops for writing what a government-backed organization rates as "satisfactory" articles, that government-backed organization will obviously know exactly who they are. I know you mean well here, and I'm all for engagement (and against embargoes), but this approach might not be ideal. Even Tony Blair, your friend and a man with far more diplomatic experience than you have, unwittingly became something of a pawn in the regime's suppression of dissent. If one of these local wikipedians ends up "disappeared", what will you do then? --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 16:08, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Given the status of Kazakh national encyclopedia, it should be considered "reliable" in certain topic. I see no problem to cite regime-approved Kazakh national encyclopedia which can be proven invaluable for many Kazakh articles. If the neutrality is questionable, it can always be fixed by providing opposing claims with another reliable source. All we need is to teach the Kazakh Wikipedians, not denying or rejecting it entirely just because it receives support from a country lacking freedom of speech. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 17:29, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree, although caution against complacency. But the main thing we need is information from the Kazakh Wikipedians. Barring that, this is all speculation. Based on what I know, the situation is well in hand, but I welcome new evidence.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
as far as I can see, the brave volunteers on the ground include the Kazakh National Encyclopedia “Kazakhstan” (provided all own content under CC licenses), the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan (provides content and quality review process), the Ministry of Education and Science (provides us organizational support to involve Kazakhstan universities and colleges to Wikimedia projects), the Ministry of Communication and Information provides organizational support to involve IT companies and universities as well as traditional media support), and the International IT University (provided technical support, internet access, summer student internship etc.). Since you seem to agree with me that Kazakhstan is a tyranny with serious human rights and especially freedom of speech issues, don't you think that this company is most unsavory? No scaremongering here, the problem is intrinsic and self-evident: What you will get is a state-sponsored, state-controlled Wikipedia. And this should be strongly discouraged and opposed, rather than encouraged by WMF or yourself. --Janneman (talk) 17:40, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

This does raise some red flags. Questions:

  1. What was the money actually spent on?
  2. Who founded the Wikibilim NGO, and is it really independent of government?
  3. Who is being encouraged to edit the Kazakh Wikipedia, how are they being encouraged, and what risks (given the country's human rights record) are they potentially exposing themselves to if they end up contradicting the official line?

Rd232 talk 17:54, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, here's some more info from WikiBilim itself:

During the press-conference on 16th of June 2011 Head of Samuryk-Kazyna National Foundation Mr. Timur Kulibayev announced their intention to support Kazakh Wikipedia and WikiBilim Public Foundation. In order to increase quality of articles and the number of active editors Samuryk-Kazyna and Nokia Kazakhstan launched two wiki-contests. SMK granted 100 laptops to Wiki contest winners for 100 people who are to write 100 articles each within a given time frame and a satisfactory level. Nokia Kazakhstan granted 50 mobile phones to authors of featured articles. Furthermore, WikiBilim Foundation applied to Local Wikimedia Chapter status. Application is in progress. wikibilim website

So we have Timur Kulibayev (son-in-law of the President) and CEO of Samruk-Kazyna (major Kazakh sovereign wealth fund) sponsoring a Wikipedia-editing contest run by an NGO that wants to become the Kazakh Wikimedia Chapter. I assume you were aware of this, Jimmy; does it sound right to you? Rd232 talk 19:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

In addition, the comment from Jayen466 you deleted pointed to this article which suggests Kazakh government interest in using Wikipedia for PR: using forensic investigative techniques, also has uncovered evidence that suggests PR firms may have massaged Wikipedia entries in ways that cast the Kazakhstani government in a better light. Rd232 talk 19:38, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

For what its worth here I don't think that accepting grants or funds from the Government is in itself bad. I think there are a whole lot of things that Wikipedia could do with the money and a whole lot of things we could give for the money. For a example Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikispecies have a lot of good information on the planets Flora and Fauna. There is a lot of information that could be added or expanded using funds such as automatic creation of some of the missing articles using bots based on Government databases. These include those at the National Institute of Health, National Archives, Smithsonian, Libarary of Congress and a whole lot of others. Additionally, we could also house and make available a lot of open source imagery through Commons, rather than scatter them out on Government websites. There are plenty of other examples too. So I don't think that taking government money or be given a passing governemtn endorsement are at all bad not do I think it in any way encrouches on anyones freedom of speech or our ability to meet our projects mission and mandate. Kumioko (talk) 19:56, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
You really don't know what's going on here, do you - comparing scraping from US databases with a Kazakh government Wikipedia-editing drive? Such naivete would be sweet, if it didn't potentially endanger Kazakh Wikipedia editors. Allow me to spell it out: the only way the contest winners will be able to get laptops is by giving out their real names. And that's assuming that however people are being attracted to editing doesn't involve that to begin with! Given the nature of the Kazakh government and its clear willingness to use Wikipedia as a PR tool, this is all quite dodgy, frankly. I really wonder what a human rights NGO like Amnesty International would have to say about all this; is it too much to hope that Jimmy has approached them, or might do so now? Rd232 talk 20:29, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, it is not "too much to hope" at all! This is exactly my approach. I haven't worked with Amnesty International in particular, although I will at your suggestion look into how strong their presence is in Kazakhstan. This is who I have spoken to, and they will be helping to facilitate meetings with various people when I am there.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:57, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, good. I'm sure Open Society is a useful contact, but for the concerns I have, I think organisations like Amnesty or Human Rights Watch would be better. Rd232 talk 01:25, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
3 weeks ago, I spoke at a fundraiser for Human Rights Watch, and introduced Kenneth Roth and George Soros. I've never talked to people from Human Rights Watch about Kazakhstan, but will email Kenneth now to see who I should talk to there. Thanks for the suggestion, a rather obvious one that I should have done myself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:17, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, good. Rd232 talk 07:44, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Well I think that in some cases like the one you pointed out its not good. I was only indicating that just getting money from a government (like in the form of a grant) is not in itself negative. I do think in the scenario you mention that editors should consider it something like spam in handing out their personal information. Just don't do it. Kumioko (talk) 23:02, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I was hoping for some more clarification here. Rd232 talk 21:26, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I'll try to answer your specific questions as best I can, but for some of them, I don't know the answers. Before I go into specifics, though, I'd like to repeat that I think we should not be complacent and I think it's very valuable to engage in this kind of discussion. I also repeat my statement that a bunch of English speakers who haven't talked with the Kazakh Wikipedia community are likely to jump to all kinds of mistaken conclusions. To get deeper answers, we'll have to ask them.
1. "What was the money actually spent on?" - I do not have a lot of insight into that. It's an organization not under our/my control. I'm unaware of any complaints about their spending. I assume like any small nonprofit organization, they have had their fair share of ups and downs, but I know nothing about the specifics.
2. "Who founded the Wikibilim NGO, and is it really independent of government?" - I think that Rauan is the best person to ask for the full founding story, but it was founded by Rauan and Marat Isbayev Hairullauly. Rauan is a regular at Wikimania, so many people have met him. He's a really smart and really nice guy. How independent are they from the government? I think they are as independent as is possible in their legal environment. I'm sure that Rauan could tell us more about what regulations they are required to follow, and how government restrictions may or may not hamper their work.
3. "Who is being encouraged to edit the Kazakh Wikipedia, how are they being encouraged, and what risks (given the country's human rights record) are they potentially exposing themselves to if they end up contradicting the official line?" - Again for specifics, we will need to ask Rauan for details, but their outreach efforts are, as far as I know, exactly the same kinds of things that have been done all over the world in free and non-free media environments: going to conferences, doing events at Universities, trying to get press coverage, organizing sponsors (such as Nokia in this case) for contests, etc. I expect that the risks they face are not dissimilar to the risks faced by people in many difficult countries (China being a prominent example). These are my heroes.

A question that wasn't asked, but which I think should be asked: "How should the Foundation, and the movement generally, approach dealings with potential chapters in countries where approval from an authoritarian government must be granted before the chapter can exist at all?" A good example is China - it is not possible to have a chapter in China without an official government representative (this is true of all civil society organizations there). Within the Chinese community this has been the subject of much discussion and debate, and I was asked (and agreed) by them to hand a letter to the relevant minister about whether he would give approval (he did not).

I think this is a complex question because there are so many variables in place. We can certainly stake out some easy positions, but there will be a lot of difficult "middle ground" positions. If, in order to have a chapter in Kazakhstan, the Foundation would have to agree to censor Kazakh Wikipedia, then we should refuse. That one is easy. If, in order to have a chapter in Kazakhstan, we would have to deal with an organization that is clearly under the control of the government, then we should refuse. Again, easy. If, in order to have a chapter in Kazakhstan, we have to accept that the chapter, although independent, will have to deal with a very restrictive environment overall, and will not be able to approach political matters at all, but the chapter will be able to assist in getting scientists and academics and smart members of the general public to help contribute, then... well, that depends on a lot of complex variables. Which situation are we in here? I don't know yet, but these are the kinds of questions that have to be asked and answered before we can approve of the chapter.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:46, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. In navigating these tricky waters I would strongly urge the Foundation to seek assistance from human rights experts like Amnesty and others who can draw on in-country knowledge. There is a real potential to end up doing harm here and the Foundation is unlikely to have the expertise to properly evaluate the risks associated with individual country projects. Having a guy who's "really nice" is no guarantee of anything now, is it? Relying on impressions like that alone would really place all the cards in the hands of a foreign government potentially trying to abuse Wikimedia/Wikipedia for its own goals. More generally, more transparency on how Wikimedia handles problem countries like Kazakhstan and China would be a good thing. Rd232 talk 18:34, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how helpful would be by inviting human rights group into this matter except for quoting their existing statistics which have been posted in this talk page many many times. To address the problem, you need Kazakh editors to report the actual issues of Kazakh WP they already have, assuming you cannot read Kazakh language at all. Relying on foreign human rights group is not going to get us to anywhere except for speculating their situation via data which barely related to Wikipedia editing affair, this is NOT evidence. The whole point is to educate Kazakh Wikipedians the importance of neutrality and avoiding paid-advocacy. If the problem exists, you need concrete evidence to point it out to the Kazakh Wikipedians. Quoting the bad human rights records of their country and tell them "you are likely to break the pillars of Wikipedia" is down right assuming bad faith and uglily rude. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:33, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Sameboat, I think the more important issue is to make sure that a WMF-supported (or at least "WMF-approved"... kinda weird semantics here) organization isn't being used to control or oppress young people in Kazakhstan that want to contribute to Wikipedia. It's something that requires careful thinking, reflection, and planning, which is what we're not seeing much evidence of here. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 00:04, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I think you are willfully ignoring the evidence.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:14, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Did Jimbo really ban someone from this talk page for asking questions about this issue? If so, is this eerily similar to how the government of Kazakhstan treats internet dissidents? Cla68 (talk) 01:26, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
No, I didn't anyone from this talk page for asking questions about this issue. I banned someone from this discussion for making outrageous and idiotic insinuations that were bringing down the quality of the discussion for everyone. And there will be no apologies for that. Asking questions is fine, but having them answered and continuing to mislead people is not fine. A discussion that assumes good faith is one thing; blatant trolling is another.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:14, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:Free speech. You don't enjoy the freedom of expression in Wikimedia projects granted by First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Every user absolutely enjoys the right to handle their own talk page however they like (e.g. hiding or removing unwelcoming messages) as well as the right to expression. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 02:04, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Johnny, you should know that "supporting or approving" the relationship between WikiBilim and Kazakhstan Government associate doesn't make WMF (or Jimbo himself) automatically approving paid-advocacy. All I demand is evidence of the ultimate result of paid-advocacy, namely the article content itself, which you have not yet delivered a single example from Kazakh WP. If you're not capable to do so personally, you are in no position to analyze or judge it loudly based solely on the journals and reports from secondary/tertiary sources which are never meant to be absolutely neutral. You may demand investigation, but this is the end of your part. Quoting the human rights record of Kazakhstan repeatedly without actually knowing their cultures and/or language only upsets the Kazakh Wikipedians. They know too well how their country goes. They're not blind or deaf. They don't need you to tell them their country's issues twice and more. P.S. I personally have little faith in such kind of partnership as well, but this is not the reason WikiBilim or Kazakh Wikipedians deserve an unfair assumption over concrete evidence. Never make moral judgment. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:52, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Sameboat, I don't speak Kazakh. (Assuming you do) would you be able to ask the people at WikiBilim if they could provide an English translation of Kazakh Wikipedia's BLPs of Nursultan Nazarbaev and Karim Massimov? I'm fairly sure no one's impugning the motives of the volunteers, by the way. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:51, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Neither do I. Rauan Kenzhekhanuly should be the appropriate person you can ask for. You pretty much got the rough idea the minute you look at kk:Нұрсұлтан Әбішұлы Назарбаев and kk:Кәрім Қажымқанұлы Мәсімов. One thing I must stress, however, by knowing the nature behind Wikibilim, it is impossible for them to adopt and execute every single word of the neutrality policy from English Wikipedia immediately. (And sadly I still don't see the KK interwiki link in WP:NPOV.) You have already learned that they might face the consequence for being absolutely neutral within their country, which I believe could be life-threatening in some extreme case. But this shouldn't be the barrier to stop them from learning the system of Wikimedia projects. Learning the Wiki syntax takes time as well as learning Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Since there is no deadline and things can always be fixed in a Wiki project, there is always a light for Kazakh Wikipedians to adhere to our standard, when the restriction on freedom to expression loosened up a bit, and this is what Jimbo is trying to help. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 17:05, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll have a look. This is a very difficult situation. It's good that the encyclopedia Kazakhstan has been made available, and it will make a good base on which to build Kazakh Wikipedia, and it's great that the government is encouraging your academic institutions to contribute. My problem with this situation is only that the Foundation is funding and seemingly recognising as a de facto chapter an organisation that is being paid by the government. I'd like to see the chapter-recognition process proceed, but the Foundation should be prepared to withhold recognition and further funding until Wikibilim ceases accepting government funding. At that point, if the Foundation is satisfied with Wikibilim's fitness as a chapter, they could supplant the forgone government funding. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:44, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Is there an equivalent of 2011_Mangystau_riots in the KZ Wikipedia? If not, what would happen to an editor who tried to write it? Blocking and banning is one thing, but other things can happen. I can understand those wanting to help by supping with the devil, but the devil always has different ideas. (talk) 17:21, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to reply to a troll's question, but the answer is yes, it exists. If looking for an interwiki link begins with "kk" is that difficult to your brain, I express my deepest regret to such incapability. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 17:35, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
What does Wales think about the fact (according to his LinkedIn profile) that in the same month Rauan Kenzhekhanuly created the WikiBilim Public Foundation, he also made himself CEO of the Bilim Media Group, which claims to run "the first commercial e-learning platform in Kazakhstan"? This sounds like Roger Bamkin and the Gibraltarpedia fiasco, all over again. -- (talk) 16:50, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I think you seriously need to get an outside expert fluent in Kazakh to look over some of the principal articles. Looking at the article on Nazarbayev, using a very rough online translator, the largest section of the page appears to be titled "reforms" and seems to be a glowing description of all the things he has done for Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. My reading of the online translations suggests that it talks about him building international ties through Eurasec, the SCO, and other such groups; improving education; instituting the government; building up the economy, with some mention of possibly saving it from crisis; and there is one translation that appears to be saying he instituted democracy. I am obviously just going off a garbled online translation, but some of the other content leaves little hope for this being anything other than a vanity page for a dictator. One of the other sections is a list of quotations, most of it nationalist talk about the Kazakh language and Kazakh people. There is plenty of cause for concern here.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:41, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

I note that on Meta, m:Wikimedia Kazakhstan is a page about WikiBilim as a potential Wikimedia chapter. It gives some info, but no discussion or substantial update in the last year. That page might be a better place for substantive discussion of the wider issues; although much less prominent, it's specialised and wouldn't get buried in a massive talkpage archive a couple of days after the last comment. Rd232 talk 07:44, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

That's a good idea for the more generalized discussion, but has it been made clear anywhere whether Jimmy's visit is officially under the aegis of the WMF? Is he visiting as a representative of this organization, another organization (which I think was the point the "Tony Blair" tangent was not exactly making), or is he simply going as an interested individual? --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 12:23, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Statement from WikiBilim

Dear friends, On behalf of WikiBilim Foundation and community gathered around the organization I’d like to add perspective to the discussion. My name is Rauan Kenzhekhanuly. I am co-founder of WikiBilim foundation – non-profit organization based in Kazakhstan, which aimed to the development of Kazakh language content in the Internet. Unfortunately, this debate and publications followed are making doubts and concerns around our activities. I sincerely hope that the information below will shed some light on them and answer all the questions. First of all, WikiBilim’s mission goes far beyond Wikipedia itself. Our goal is to contribute to the well being of Kazakh language, it’s development had been restricted during the Soviet Union. Our attention to Wikipedia and other multi-language open knowledge platforms based on the strong believe in the power of technology and particularly in the power of the free knowledge and the Internet as a great tool to support native culture, mother tongue and modernization of the country we live in.

In order to be brief I’d like to list our partners and projects we run:
Donors of WikiBilim in 2011-2012:
  1. Open Society Foundation (
  2. Wikimedia Foundation
  3. Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna (
  4. Altyn Kyran Private Charity (Kazakhstan)
  5. Ministry of Culture (Kazakhstan)
Projects we run:
  1. Kazakh Wikipedia (goal: building strong Kazakh Wikipedia-community)
  2. Open Library of Kazakhstan (, goal: making available all the books in Kazakh language free and easily accessible)
  3. Google Translate + Kazakh (goal: adding Kazakh language to Google Translate)
  4. Creative Commons Kazakhstan (goal: promoting the CC licenses in Kazakhstan)
  5. Bringing TED Conference in Kazakhstan (goal: translating TED talks into Kazakh and broadcasting them on national TV)

(WikiBilim has formal cooperation agreements and mutually trusted fruitful relations with all of above mentioned organizations)

I got passionate about Wikipedia during my study at Harvard University. There is an article in The Harvard Crimson, which may provide answers to most of the questions raised in this discussion about Kazakh Wikipedia project particularly.

I’d like to clarify few very important points:

  1. Despite the fact that WikiBilim is supported by the government, among others, the government representatives never intervene in our projects with any conditions such as censoring or editing articles.
  2. Winners of the contest (by Wikibilim) mentioned above are the ones who write 100 articles on topics they like. Authors of the best article contest are chosen by the community of Kazakh WP. WikiBilim never pays for writing specific articles on certain topics.
  3. The money received for the projects has been spend only on community building activities, such as seminars, trainings and conferences at the university campuses all over Kazakhstan (over 100 events in two years). For instance, the biggest event we held was the first Turkic Wikimedia Conference in April 2012, Almaty (Kazakhstan), which gathered people of most Turkic nations (Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. Turkmenistan, Bashkortostan, Saha-Yakutiya, Tatarstan).
  4. WikiBilim was proud to accept articles from Kazakh National Encyclopedia donated by the government, which is around 50 000 articles. We never regret accepting this kind of help from government, because thanks to that Kazakh WP received larger attention of the potential audience and the chapter got natural growth of the articles. Currently we have over 200 000 articles (2 year ago the number of articles were around 7 000). Today Kazakh Wikipedia receives over 8 million page views per month.
  5. Wikibilim never use Wikipedia pages to advertise anyone. The only return that the government bodies asked for was mentioning its participation in the development of Kazakh WP, which we do with gratefulness.
  6. WikiBilim deeply regrets that this situation caused inconvenience to our supporter and great friend Mr. Jimmy Wales. From the very beginning he has been supporting us in bringing Wikipedia culture and it’s values in Kazakh society. Thanks to his help today Kazakh WP has over 20 000 registered users who share the value of spreading free knowledge and understand what it is to be a Wikipedian.

Finally, we are really surprises to find ourselves accused for being a tool of the government. Frankly speaking we thought we are using the government to develop Kazakh Wikipedia ☺.

Here in Kazakhstan we have been criticized for being too pro-Western, if not pro-American. Some of local journalist already called WikiBilim members the CIA agents ☺. Allegedly, WikiBilim administrated by the US government in order to promote Western style democracy in Central Asia. Can you believe it? ☺

Now, some of you guys accusing WikiBilim for making Wikipedia a tool for authoritarian regime. My point is that your perspective (WikiBilim serves authoritarian regime) sounds as nonsense as the views of the local journalists (WikiBilim serves US government). We do have our own mission – we work to develop our mother tongue and to promote our native culture, and we will be using any appropriate tool to do it as effective as it is possible.

Hope that this response made the situation clearer. Thanks for your understanding and we would be happy to provide you with more information in depth about our activities.

Rauank (talk) 02:22, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Could you explain why the article on Nazarbayev appears to contain no criticism of your country's president and just glowing endorsements of his contributions to Kazakhstan? Is the Kazakh Wikipedia's bio of Nazarbayev one of the articles copied from the Kazakh National Encyclopedia?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 02:36, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
WikiBilim is responsible for spreading knowledge about Wikipedia. We meet people and explain what is WP, what are the rules and principles of article writing, as you know those rules are common for everybody. We do encourage people to be active editors, but we don't ask people to write articles on certain topics or to write them in certain way. We don't have list of articles that should be revised for lacking flattering remarks or criticism. If you insist we can consider creating that kind off list to make sure that there are appropriate portion of criticism in each article, but I am afraid that also would be against principles of WP. Believe or not, but we live in a country where people can go online and express their opinion. Please, bear in mind that people here just getting aquatinted with the WP and other technologies, and I do believe that at some point all the articles in Kazakh WP will meet standards you know. Wikibilim is working to make it true asap. Kazakhstan is not perfection yet, there is no perfect country. Every country and society has its own face, one can not expect that the county with totally different culture will meet all the standards he or she consider right. As far as the article you mentioning, it is based on few sources, including National encyclopedia, Forbes magazine and some other resources. As you can see, It is open to be edited by anyone. Probably thanks to your note someone will decide to make a critical review of that article, if not I will definitely mention your concern during my next training session and will encourage editors to develop the article. Hope you are satisfied. Rauank (talk) 05:22, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Could you please explain what does it mean: "WikiBilim is supported by the government"? How exactly the government "supports" WikiBilim? Thanks. (talk) 02:52, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
As you probably aware, Kazakhstan is still under transition from Soviet Union to democracy and free market. 90% of schools and universities still belong to the government, most penetrated media recourses as well belong toe the state, unfortunately there is no self sufficient publishing market in the country yet, so big encyclopedias published by the government. in order to promote WP and make it widespread we needed support of the government. For absence of misconception, it was WikiBilim who approached the government and asked for help.
How exactly the government "supports" WikiBilim?
  1. The government decided to publish all 10 volumes of national encyclopedia under CC license and donated it to the WP. Please note, that next edition of the paper based national encyclopedia will be based on the articles edited by the community.
  2. In order to explain what is CC and promote free content the government invested in translation and publication in Kazakh of Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig and seriously considering putting CC in the formal copy-write law.
  3. the government ordered to the ministry of education to open access for Wikibilim for seminars and training in university campuses, moreover under our request the ministry working on using WP as a innovative educational tool based on the american experience
  4. the government opened access for Wikibilim to all kind of media to spread the information
  5. without that support Samruk-Kazyna wouldn't donate to development of WP, by the way currently we are preparing full financial report on fund usage by WikiBilim.
  6. the government opened national TV channel for TED talks broadcasting

Rauank (talk) 05:53, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Fraternal greetings from the UK. Many of the other language wikipedias give as the official website of one of your towns. However, this website no longer exists. Is there any reason for that, as municipal websites hardly ever disappear from the web? Perhaps it never did and all those copying the link never checked - what say you? John lilburne (talk) 09:37, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Hi Rauank. I noticed that the WikiBilim logo is currently displayed on the Kazakh wikipedia both on the sitenotice and in a section on the main page. I can't read the text there, except for the word "Nokia" on the main page section, so presumably this has something to do with the ongoing contests.

My question about these contests is whether the names of the people who apply for the prizes are kept confidential (as, for example, the identities of Wikimedia functionaries such as checkusers), or are they shared with the government agencies which are supporting your organization? Also, are the names of these people (and chapter members in general, if there is such a thing) shared with the WMF?

I think one of the chief concerns of the critics here is that participation on wikipedia in general, and Wikibilim in particular, will be noted by the state, and the state does (I hope you'll admit) have a shaky track record regarding freedom of the press (and freedom of expression in the broader sense as well). The WMF simply doesn't have the capabilities required to protect project contributors, which can potentially make them far more vulnerable than professional journalists who at least have an organization to back them. Have you considered including NGOs that do have some experience with these sorts of issues such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders?

I don't think anyone is doubting that there will be plenty of volunteers in Kazakhstan who will be enthusiastic about participating in the creation of a resource for the nation, but I hope you'll understand that we have some concerns about the safety of our fellow wikipedians given the unusual nature of this collaboration. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 12:13, 26 December 2012 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo,
first I wish you some good days with your family around christmas days without too much trouble about all that stuff I read some lines above. I also wish you to have a good start to year 2013 that for me is my 10th year as a wikipedia author.

Second: Since you do not react on mails nor on facebook messages - as I ead you will be in Mönchengladbach in Germany on 6th of march for a lecture ([19]). I questioned if you would like to have a meet-up with some more or less local wikipedians (people from Aachen, Cologne, the Netherlands and Belgium may be possible at that place). So if this is interesting I would start a meet-up page in the German Wikipedia and organise a bit with the locals. Best wishes from Germany, -- Achim Raschka (talk) 08:21, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Continued: civility and team spirit

Civility I asked some candidates for arbitrator the following question: how do you feel about applying the principles that we use for BLPs (Biographies of living persons) also to editors: "a high degree of sensitivity", "attributed to a reliable, published source", "written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy", "the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered"?

Team spirit I like to see in the Main page's (frequently discredited) DYK section 1950s American automobile culture, the result of admirable teamwork begun here (where some may not exactly expect civility) ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 00:04, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Great collaboration from great editors. Something we should all look at and see the true sprit of Wikipedia.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:27, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Now archived, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:09, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
I enjoy the collaboration on my proposal of a new infobox template for a rather complex topic, to be considered, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:19, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I joined a project now that applies the principles summarised above, Editor Retention. I feel that we are losing the best. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:27, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I would like to encourage Jimbo and all editors who read this to join the Editor retention project! Well worth the effort and we can use the help well as new volunteers at Wikipedia:Dispute Resolution Noticeboard!--Amadscientist (talk) 04:45, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
My personal efforts started when BarkingMoon (talk · contribs) left. I didn't get far, some people still don't believe that he even exists. I was more successful with Khazar2, Tim riley and Dr. Blofeld, some pillars of Wikipedia ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:05, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Discontinued: I thank Malleus Fatuorum (talk · contribs) for living (not speaking) civility, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:46, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Since Wikipedia itself isn't a reliable source, applying BLP principles to editors would mean that we could no longer draw conclusions based on an editor's Wikipedia editing. Moreover, even if Wikipedia was considered a reliable source, it would still be WP:SYNTH to combine several edits by an editor and decide that the editor is being disruptive. We'd have to find a source stating that the editor is disruptive before we could state that ourselves.

Currently this is permissible because BLP states that "Although this policy applies to posts about Wikipedians in project space, some leeway is permitted to allow the handling of administrative issues by the community". Your proposal would end that. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:36, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't think I can follow. I don't talk about the so-called disruption. I talk about saying something about an editor without sources for it, without saying it's POV not facts, without regard to how it harms him, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 00:43, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Using your suggestion we can't say anything about an editor. It's not just that we can't talk about his private life--we can't even talk about his on-Wikipedia activities, since Wikipedia isn't a reliable source (and even if it was, we wouldn't be permitted to draw conclusions about it). Ken Arromdee (talk) 07:41, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I would be fine with not saying anything ABOUT an editor, but talk TO them. Look at Malleus Fatuorum: much has been said about him, I went and proposed an idea to him, he implemented a sample, asking the main author politely if it was acceptable, and then did the major change work, assisted by RexxS. I would like to see more in that spirit, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:10, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I would be fine with not saying anything ABOUT an editor
That would kill our ability to discuss a user's behavior. We couldn't even template a known sock-puppet by that rule. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
So? - Let's do content. - (why "kill"?) - less radical: we can discuss users, but should be careful and keep in mind that they are living persons who could be harmed, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
For example: BarkingMoon (mentioned above. I invite you to look at his contributions first, neatly arranged on his user page, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:36, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Should there be some extra care regarding those of us who choose to use our real names? Clearly anything said about me has different real-world consequences than something said about a user posting under a pseudonym. Then again, I chose to reveal my name, so it could be argued that any consequences of that decision are my own doing. It works the other way as well; my actions here are more likely to result in real-world consequences than the actions of a pseudonym. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:12, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I think the normal fair treatment out of respect for human beings is enough for you and me: no twisted words, no discrediting, no unsupported bias spread, - you name it, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:15, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Peace music I liked to see in the Main page's (frequently discredited) DYK section Leningrad première of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, announced on my talk as Peace music, on the human spirit, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:18, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Peace --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:08, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Still Christmas in Germany: Did you know ... that Bach's cantata for the second day of Christmas, Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes ("For this the Son of God appeared"), BWV 40, is his first Christmas cantata composed for Leipzig? - Please join the discussion the new infobox for Bach compositions or cantatas mentioned above, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:55, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Now there are two discussions about infoboxes on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical music, one about Bach compositions, the other about the project's recommendation not to have infoboxes for people (composers, singers ...), both should be of general interest, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:20, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


Sorry to bother you, but, when you have time, could you have a look at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Opera#Infobox_comment_removal_discussion which has generated a lot of heat. Season's greetings from York. --GuillaumeTell 00:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)