User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 123

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Archive 120 Archive 121 Archive 122 Archive 123 Archive 124 Archive 125 Archive 130


Free speech only goes so far

Jimbo, could you please respond to this article? Thank you. --BookCook (talk) 01:45, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

I have, in detail, elsewhere on this page. Let me summarize, though. I have taken a very strong stand in favor of freedom of speech and transparency in government. My work has taken me all over the world to meet with Wikipedians, NGOs working to build civil society, and government leaders. I am always consistent in my message. In China, as one example, I have had multiple meetings with the relevant minister, always urging more openness and emphasizing that the right to self-expression is a fundamental human right.
I am planning a trip to Kazakhstan in 2013 (specifics not fixed yet) which I think will be similar to my trips to China to meet with government officials there. I will meet with local Wikipedians, I will meet with civil society groups, I will meet with the press, and I will meet with ministers. Everywhere I go my message will be the same.
I have concerns about the ability of Wikibilim to be an independent and effective chapter in their legal environment. I have the same concerns in many other places around the world. But I'm a person who believes in evidence, and in taking risks to help bring about freedom of speech in various places around the world. I think Wikibilim is trustworthy, and so far, we have no one producing evidence that they are doing anything that is materially different from any other chapter. If we start to hear bad things, then we should react. I continue to say: we should not be complacent. But neither should we be paranoid lunatics.
The article you reference attempts to turn this work entirely upside down through a completely laughable "conspiracy theory" type argument. Tony Blair has been criticized for taking a role advising the Kazakh government. Tony Blair is my wife's former boss and came to my wedding. Therefore... Jimmy Wales is a corrupt bastard who doesn't care about freedom of speech. It's a totally stupid argument. If anyone has a beef with Tony Blair about anything, they should write to him about it, not me.-Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:36, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
My reading of Andreas's article is that he's suggesting you might be naïve, not corrupt or involved in a conspiracy. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:53, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, how could you care about freedom of speech and human rights in Kazakhstan, China or elsewhere, if you do nothing to support freedom of speech and human rights here on Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a tyranny on its own, I mean the way people are treated here, don't you see it Jimbo? (talk) 17:22, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Admins were to stop tyranny but consensus was misunderstood: There are over 1,460 admins who should have helped reduce tyranny (per wp:BITE), but yet were very busy against activist editors and vandals, and meanwhile WP policies had been too nebulous. For instance, it took nearly 11 years for policy wp:CONSENSUS to have section "wp:Consensus#No consensus" and for years, many editors would demean opposing editors by saying, "You don't have consensus" as if consensus did not also require their consent, but now, the opponents can repond, "You don't have consensus either; there is no consensus" and consequently, hotly debated rules can be removed because "no consensus" means the rule has lost its footing, similar to a vote of "no confidence" to remove a leader. However, it was not until last year (3 November 2011) that "no consensus" was formally defined in policy wp:CON. Now, finally, admins have a clear policy statement to remove "tyrannical" rules from pages, as well as block people who are extremely hostile to others. It has taken years for Wikipedia to reach this level of maturity, to directly state (in policy) that "no consensus" means there is insufficient support (and a rule must be removed). Also, for no-consensus article titles, the title must be renamed to the first non-stub title used by the first major contributor to the article. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:24, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Even under your reading Anthony, the claim that he is naively corrupted, or naively conspiratorial (a "dupe," as they use to say) (in part because of something "his friend" Tony Blair did) is an intentionally insulting personal attack. People can do that elsewhere, but that is not what this forum is for. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:58, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I think it's important to learn from this episode. Tony Blair is my wife's former boss. He has nothing to do with Wikipedia. He has nothing to do with Wikipedia and Kazakhstan. I've never talked to him about it. It has never even occurred to me to talk to him about it. Why was he brought into it? I would say two reasons: first, to create an insinuation that since Tony Blair has apparently been paid a lot of money to advise Kazakhstan, and since I know Tony Blair, maybe... corruption? Second, and this is the clever part, the knowledge that the newspapers in the UK are frequently irresponsible and inflammatory, and anything having to do with a potential scandal involving Tony Blair - even with zero evidence of any kind - is going to get in the papers. So, very clever and manipulative to have brought in that line of attack.
Anthonyhcole, if I understand what you're saying, I fear that you've fallen victim to the ploy. Perhaps the mention of Tony Blair was not meant to suggest that I was corrupt or involved in a conspiracy, but rather "naïve" - well, I may well be naïve, but the fact remains, Tony Blair has nothing to do with any of this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:28, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I believe you. That article draws some very long bows. But. Amongst all that, Andreas has pointed out that the foundation is paying donors' money to WikiBilim and apparently allowing them to use the logo, while they're being paid by the Kazakh government. Any government funding of a chapter is problematical. It's impossible to always get these things right, so we need that bunch of obsessives prying and snooping and speculating and always suspecting the worst, to keep us from inadvertent error. Being distrusted and having your integrity impugned is unpleasant, and I empathise (I'm having it done to me by an anonymous editor on this very page as we speak). And I do wish Kohs and Damian and some of the others would elevate their rhetoric, wind back on the conspiracy theorising and be a little kinder to their fellow humans. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
A personal attack? What nonsense. Stop stirring Alan. Let the grown-ups talk please. --John (talk) 13:29, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes. A personal attack. All grown-ups can see that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:12, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
It's robust discourse. If I think you're being manipulated, I'm sure you'd want me to tell you. That said, Jimbo has been very patient. In his shoes I would have kicked Andreas off this page on 26th October. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:47, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
That discussion by its nature would be an intensely personal one, based on clear knowledge by the OP of whether the one manipulated knows their own mind, and the nature of their own relationships -- not one open to assumption, speculation or gossip, including other living persons, at least in this forum. (The 26th, I take your word for.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:22, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
What a mass of lunacy. I nominate Chrsitopher Williams [sic] for the Order of the Dunce Cap, Secured With Three Rusty Nails, for reprinting this Wikipediocracy hogwash without a vestige of critical thought, or spellchecking for that matter. Yeah. Jimbo Wales is some kind of crook because he had the prime minister of bloody England (whatever) as a guest at his wedding. Now, the underlying issue - whether "constructive engagement" with repressive regimes is a good idea or a bad one - has been debated since the days of Reagan and China, and one can have multiple minds about it, but speaking of Wikipedia, surely our role should be to get stuff public licensed first and figure out what it is missing afterward, according to a time honored rule of gift horse dentition. So far as I see, the critics' premise is that Kazakshstan government resources are unusable, collaborating with their Academy of Science is unacceptable, having any editor from that country who is identifiable and hence prosecutable is unacceptable (and doubtless the others are sockpuppets of somebody up to no good). Wikipedia is no better than its sources, so we have a choice between accepting a large proportion of biased/censored Kazakh material or not having any worth speaking of. I think it's easier to add the truth to an article when you have an article. Wikipedia is lucky to have a Founder, someone we can trust, to try to corrupt a repressive government's proprieties more than they corrupt ours.
Jimbo, I appreciate that you do and should have control over your talk page, though perhaps blocking this stuff can be more trouble than it's worth, because these people are more of a nuisance when they're out coordinating the yellow press than when they're here arguing. But now that you've tasted the cyberbullying they do firsthand, I would suggest what I've suggested before - that they can be resisted if people band together to stand up for one another. When you uninvited Fae from your talk page several months ago, it concerned his angry reaction to the same editor you just banned, who has had quite a presence here in the meanwhile. Without addressing the larger ArbCom issues that developed afterward, I think that it would be a very positive gesture if you would rescind Fae's "uninvitation" in the light of how things have progressed. Wnt (talk) 21:47, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
None of what has transpired here makes what Fae said at that time any less unhinged. I'd also note that as Fae is indefinitely banned from the project, a re-invitation would be kinda, um, pointless. Tarc (talk) 22:19, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Fae will be let back in by the new ArbCom. A new case will be started which will not be an appeal by Fae (otherwise they could reject it on procedural grounds), rather it will be about abuse of authority by the previous ArbCom. Count Iblis (talk) 00:13, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a great idea! *snickers* You go ahead and do that!--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:40, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
As I said, I didn't want to raise that issue here. I don't know what the new ArbCom will do and don't see the reason for optimism; but indefinite blocks can end. However, the provision that Fae publicly reveal accounts he may have used for legitimate and perhaps significant privacy reasons seems problematic. It does not escape me that Jimbo retains the authority for a final appeal over ArbCom, but it is not my place to raise that. I would think though that just as Jimbo's initial un-invitation cast a strong shadow on the initial case, a reconsideration might pave the way for some meeting of the minds. Wnt (talk) 01:36, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, you're certainly right about the lunacy involved, but I have to say that I'm feeling a certain amount of deja vu. This is exactly the same playbook that was followed by exactly the same people to attack the GibraltarpediA project a few months ago, using exactly the same methods and even the same media outlets. It's obvious that they again have been giving hostile stories to journalists who they think will be friendly to the anti-Wikipedia lines that they're spinning. Christopher Williams of the UK Daily Telegraph was similarly used to place a hostile article about Gibraltarpedia back in October. Now it's Jimbo's ox that's being gored. Jimbo clearly doesn't like it very much, which is understandable, but I hope it cures him once and for all of the idea that Jayen466 or any of the rest of the Wikipediocracy mob are interested in being an "ally" (as Jimbo once rather naively put it).
The fact is that the core group behind Wikipediocracy start from a default assumption that Wikipedia is a sump of corruption and that individual Wikipedians, especially Jimbo, are using it as a get-rich-quick scheme. They want to undermine and discredit Wikipedia, or to force radical changes. They seek to do this not through persuasion – they are too few and too nutty for that to work – but through pushing conspiracy theories to gin up bogus "scandals", first GibraltarpediA, now targeting Jimbo himself, in order to provoke panics and knee-jerk responses. This has been going on for a long time. I think many people in the community recognise the cynical game that's being played here – hopefully Jimbo himself recognises it too now that he's a target. For everyone else, I suggest not jumping to conclusions and being appropriately sceptical of the motives of the Wikipediocracy activists. Prioryman (talk) 23:48, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Prioryman, I think you need to be careful with terminology. Some "activists" are people who risk their lives to help others or even to help along abstract concepts like freedom of information. Other activists are people who (misguidedly or otherwise) selflessly devote their lives to trying to make the world a better place. I'm not seeing many similarities with the sort of behaviour we've seen from people from Wikipediocracy there. Come to think of it, I think even using their own name for their hate site helps them to mislead others - we know very well that what they have in mind for Wikipedia once they have control of it will not resemble "democracy" in the slightest. The little slip that they made when the comment about "slit some throats" was let slip by the Wikipediocracy administration (yes, a "nutty" moment, as you put it, but it happened) gives a much better term for their mentality and their organisation - to me they will always be "the boxcutter crew". --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:48, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
While listening to Demiurge's histrionics, if I didn't have a calendar in front of me to proclaim the year 2012 I would think I was listening to Nixon rant against the fourth estate. Tarc (talk) 02:27, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Tarc. At least you can spell, which is a nice start.
You're mixing up your concerns, though. It was the mention of Reagan supposedly having the first rapprochement with China, above, that started you thinking of Nixon. Don't think badly of yourself; it confused the hell out of me too :) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:41, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Then again, do I worry too much? On the part of the boxcutter site that our future lizard overlords so kindly still allow us mere mortals to view, a passing boxcutter dude suggests making a Wikipedia article about their website, since it's so well-known now (they think). "Please don't do that", pipes up another boxcutter right away. A second is there instantly to repeat the plea - no, no, any form of daylight on their noisome activities would be a very bad thing. (I wonder why that is.) What will they do instead? Oh, a third boxcutter admin pipes up - they'll discuss this privately offline so that it's handled just right. Yes. Given their hilariously ironic suppression of any dissenting voice even from their own "free speech" forum, this is rapidly moving from pathetic into some sort of self-parody. "Are you making a mockery of me? No sir, but I may be assisting." --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:42, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that group, on average, deserves to be seen as "activists", "fourth estate", and certainly not as "free speech" (remember their Commons decency crusade). Ultimately their root is in MyWikiBiz, and I see their purpose as commercial. They have gone after a number of high-ranking people in Wikimedia chapters, and are starting to substitute their own: for example, if you want to join the Meta:Wiki Med thematic organization, membership matters are handled by Anthonyhcole, one of the first people to support Gregory Kohs for a free merchandise giveaway after the idea was suggested on Wikipediocracy, and one of Fae's opponents, who has made a point that all members must disclose confirmed identity (to him, now). (To be clear, I did not say above, and do not imply, that he would hand over the information to any Wikipediocracy participant. The above text states only in relation to Wiki Med that he has attained a position of trust in that developing organization. Anthonyhcole also said on my talk page that he was not canvassed for that but had already been commenting, which is plausible.) JN466 was also active in those discussions. For some people "there is no such thing as bad press", and getting his name mentioned in articles about Wikipedia, even bad articles, is an asset. Likewise as WO is mentioned more and more it becomes more and more valuable. I see these people ultimately set up in a position to have a huge influence over whether, say, a particular herbal product is presented by Wikipedia as a quack remedy or a serious medicine; I would think it more likely or not that they'll be pulling down six figure salaries someday for their efforts. Meanwhile those who disagree with them like me don't want to so much as register for a free Highbeam account lest Wikipediocracy's legions target employers and loved ones for unjustifiable and scurrilous abuse as in Fae's case. Remember, some of the people on Wikipediocracy keep making little mentions about their tell-all book which someday will out and/or humiliate hundreds of high-ranking editors, presumably by taking all sorts of little things about them out of context they way they did with Fae. Each of you needs to decide on your own whether to oppose them or call them Sir. Such are the proceeds of such scheming; what we should remember is that the only thing they can't do is build up a huge free encyclopedia that changes the world by making huge amounts of knowledge readily available to everyone. People have been getting jobs doing "pragmatic" things for eons, but how many have done that?
I have not changed my opinion, from the time of the Fae case, that that was the turning point when Wikipedia's sinking became unstoppable - that indeed WO and various other PR-directed entities and others with agendas of some sort or another will gradually tear apart and destroy the organization, leaving something unspeakable in its place. All the mild mannered editors who shy away from a fight are gone already, and it gets harder and harder with what is left to keep an even keel. I stroll around admiring the beauty of the grand ballroom even as the water gradually dances onto the floor, occasionally taking notes and convincing no one, not even myself, that they will really help to build a less sinkable ship one day. But I should comment that there are things I think that are important. A successor needs to separate the generation of content from its presentation, more readily allowing accumulations of multiple versions/viewpoints to avoid creating a power center with control over what version of history is presented. Wikipedia erred greatly in deviating from being an encyclopedia anyone can edit - we need one where banning editors is not even possible, let alone attempted. Creating a pool of banned editors meant creating a group of people whose agendas, in terms of self-respect and any possible future role, had to involve attempts to disgrace Wikipedia as a whole to destroy the legitimacy of its edicts against them. Rather, editors should be able to put in demonstrable work to self-certify to higher levels, including admin-like roles, and treatment of malefactors amounts essentially to revoking this certification so the editor starts over. There are other lessons to be learned, especially pertaining to paid editing. We'll have to hasten though, because the final collapse when it happens will be faster than we expect. Wnt (talk) 14:54, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Does anyone find it amusing that Kohs and MyWikiBiz are being liberally criticized here in a thread about "free speech", all on a site where Kohs (and MyWikiBiz) are forbidden to respond? -- (talk) 19:43, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I should note that above I suggested that site-banning editors was a key mistake in Wikipedia's development; and that the uninvitation of JN466 posting here was more trouble than it was worth; (and for that matter i made the same comment about Kuiper? on Commons) and called for Fae's uninvitation to be rescinded; and below I suggested that editors should have leeway to say what they wish; so I hope this is not addressed at me. Nonetheless I should also point out that the editors are saying what they wish on that other site, and indeed, in the press, and having an effect on Wikipedia (not a good one), so they can hardly claim to be victims of a police state, only the ineffective use of overly intrusive site administration. Wnt (talk) 05:51, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is how Wikipedia works. Wikipedians, including even such critics as Andreas, seem to be very concerned about human rights in Kazakhstan, but nobody cares about human rights, here on Wikipedia. Only on Wikipedia the anonymous community is allowed to govern to lynch human beings who are not even allowed to defend themselves. (talk) 20:10, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Someone's mother is looking for the Brandy Butter. John lilburne (talk) 19:56, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Quoting your recent comments on Rfa

Hi Jimmy. I have taken the liberty of mentioning and quoting you at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship regarding your comments on this page during your ArbCom appointments. The community there has been debating the topic of difficult Rfa's with reasonable civility for years, and it seemed important to give you notice of that discussion. Thanks, and best wishes always! Jusdafax 22:49, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

I believe his last comment on that post was "There will be plenty of time for panic in January. :-)--Jimbo Wales"
Is it January already?!--Amadscientist (talk) 22:56, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not much for sarcasm, but to take your comment at face value, that board is a bit more measured, on balance, than this one, and the topic has been ongoing for quite a while. By the way, since you seem to have extra time on your hands, I should take this opportunity to note that I am still waiting for your reply regarding deletion of 'Controversy Sections' over at the Dianne Feinstein section on the BLP noticeboard. Thanks. Jusdafax 04:41, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't hold your breath. Seriously. Why would I even begin to think that was directed to me? You asked: "Could someone..." If you were waiting for may be waiting a very long time based on your comment. I'll respond here just so you don't turn blue. Per Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, specifically WP:STRUCTURE:

The internal structure of an article may require additional attention, to protect neutrality, and to avoid problems like POV forking and undue weight. Although specific article structures are not, as a rule, prohibited, care must be taken to ensure that the overall presentation is broadly neutral.

Segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself, may result in an unencyclopedic structure, such as a back-and-forth dialogue between proponents and opponents.[1] It may also create an apparent hierarchy of fact where details in the main passage appear "true" and "undisputed", whereas other, segregated material is deemed "controversial", and therefore more likely to be false. Try to achieve a more neutral text by folding debates into the narrative, rather than isolating them into sections that ignore or fight against each other.

I didn't say it was forbidden just "suggested that it be broken up and the information added to appropriate sections per guidelines" I also never said it was a BLP policy, just that having a controversy section in a BLP article does seem POV...and it does.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:16, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Although, it is a policy of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons under Due weight:

Criticism and praise should be included if they can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, so long as the material is presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a disinterested tone. Do not give disproportionate space to particular viewpoints; the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all. Care must be taken with article structure to ensure the overall presentation and section headings are broadly neutral. Beware of claims that rely on guilt by association, and biased or malicious content.

As noted in Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View footnote: "Article sections devoted solely to criticism, and pro-and-con sections within articles, are two commonly cited examples. There are varying views on whether and to what extent such structures are appropriate; see guidance on thread mode, criticism, pro-and-con lists, and the criticism template."
The idea expressed in WP:Eventualism – that every Wikipedia article is a work in progress, and that it is therefore okay for an article to be temporarily unbalanced, because it will eventually be brought into shape – does not apply to biographies. Given their potential impact on biography subjects' lives, biographies must be fair to their subjects at all times.

--Amadscientist (talk) 05:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

You might want to get used to sarcasm. If Admin can get away with comments on WP:RSN like "If you remove the cites I am afraid I will have to kill you.", then my asking if its already January is just a simple question with an obvious answer.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:33, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Kazakh journalist is missing

Jimmy, we who are very relieved that the Wikimedia Foundation is making cooperation with the Kazakh Wikipedia hope that you will use your great persuasion powers and extensive contacts with PR agencies and governmental leaders to help call for the finding and safe return of Tokbergen Abiyev, who has been missing now for over a week. He disappeared just after announcing a press conference to report on corruption in Kazakhstan. We know that the good people you are working with in Kazakhstan can help, if they will only apply loving and thoughtful pressure on their government to tolerate and respond to criticism, rather than censoring criticism and making people disappear. You achieved victory against SOPA. You achieved victory for Richard O'Dwyer. Please achieve victory for Mr. Abiyev! -- (talk) 05:35, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. I will look into this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:43, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Here is another link for those interested in this story: Reporters without Borders.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:46, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Looks like there's some work to do. Note redlinks from that story: Oralgaisha Omarshanova, Zakon i Pravosudiye, Tokbergen Abiyev, Adil Soz, Nina Ognianova. Also Stan TV, Vzglyad, Golos Respubliki, Guljan from [1] And Igor Vinyavsky from [2]. Maksim Kartashov, Novosti Kazakhstana, Hokkey Kazakhstana, Express-K, Ularbek Baitailaq, DAT, Tortinshi Bilik, Altyn Tamyr from [3]. That gets us back to August. (True, not all these links are actually notable, and some are only very loosely relevant as background information) If the critics here really want to bring Kazakhstan's free speech issues to public attention, you've got some virgin territory to explore here. Wnt (talk) 15:02, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Most of them are notable, especially the first 5, some of the news sites lesser so. We're an encyclopedia not a political organization, but such topics should definitely be covered and Kazakhstan has a very poor coverage of most things given it is the 8th? largest country in the world. Hopefully somebody will expand the stubs and adhere to NPOV...♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 18:20, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Hey, great job! No sooner do I look back than... :) Wnt (talk) 19:16, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Pseudoscience and bad science on TEDx

This might interest you. It is advice from TED to the TEDx organisers on how to weed out inappropriate speakers.

Quote: "While you’re not expected to become an overnight expert on all fields of science and health, here is how to start researching a topic you’re not an expert on: Start with some basic web research. You should be able to understand at least the big issues in every field you present onstage. Wikipedia is your first stop to gain a basic background. Following primary-source links from Wikipedia, work out from there to university websites, science and health blogs, and databases of papers published in respected journals."

--Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:55, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo

Just wondered if anyone here had wished you a happy Christmas (or whatever holiday tradition you wish to follow).... Having edited reasonably solidly since May 2005, I just wanted to pop by and say "cheers" and all the best. This is still a project we should try hard to work on and be proud of. We have a way to go, there are innumerable issues we have to deal with, but without the original concept, none of us would be here. I spent a happy Christmas Day with my grandad talking about how many times he avoided death in the Second World War (or World War II as some of you would have it) and it just reinforced the fact that it's not about what or who you know, it's just about taking each step, one at a time, lucky or not, and hoping for a good result. So far, Wikipedia is a work in progress, lucky as hell, but it's a bloody good story so far. I hope we can use the experience of our elders and take every chance as it comes, and continue to improve this project. In any case, happy new year Jimbo, and to all other Wikipedians who have made the project a success. A long way to go, but hey, Tao Te Ching says it all. The Rambling Man (talk) 00:29, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

There were several well wishes for the holidays to Jimbo. But the bot cleared them all out. They lasted a few days, but such posts don't have threading and discussion and are archived per the amount of days with no activity etc. as set on this page.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:54, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Very admirably worded. Albacore (talk) 02:37, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Quick BrightLine question

If a company nominates their own article for GA or peer review, would you feel they should still avoid direct editing as they implement the feedback of the GA reviewer? Even if the edits are counter to their COI? CorporateM (Talk) 15:24, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, companies should never ever under any circumstances (other than emergency situations such as BLP issues) edit their own article, whether "counter to their COI" or not. If they need help, there are plenty of people to help, including me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:30, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that company articles can have issues which are analogous to BLPs but which don't fall under the definition of BLP. I think that if an individual is allowed to edit an article claiming that the individual did something that he didn't, to correct their birthdate, or whatever, a company should be allowed to edit an article claiming that the company did something that it didn't, giving a wrong founding date for the company, etc. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:04, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
But why should we put companies onto a similar footing to BLPs? There are strong ethical reasons why we take extra care without information on living people, including being just as cautious about information about living people who happen to be in business as we are about sportspeople, rockstars and scientists. If we were contemplating extending that I could make an ethical case for extending it to Biographical information about the recently dead, and also to articles on medicines and diseases; Alternatively there is my preferred option of moving to a generally more effective way of screening out vandalism by implementing flagged revisions for all articles. But why should we give preferential treatment to commercial organisations? ϢereSpielChequers 20:36, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Because a corporation may sue and be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons, and because corporations are organizations of people who should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. At least, that's what Wikipedia says. Still, we should all listen to Jimmy. Corporations should never, ever do this. But maybe they can do a little of this, and maybe a bit of that. Clearly, if a corporation in the PR field grows weary of trying to get their message out via traditional channels, Jimmy is absolutely at the ready to help them out a bit. - 2001:558:1400:10:FD2D:6EEB:F61D:6691 (talk) 20:48, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
(ec) WP:BLP's provisions do extend to include the recently deceased, as our coverage of the recently departed has the potential to affect individuals still living (be they friends or relatives, workplace colleagues, or even suspected killers). WP:BLP also explicitly acknowledges that when dealing with some companies or organizations (particularly smaller ones with few employees, or sometimes – I would suggest – ones under the direct, personal control of noteworthy individuals) it can be difficult to draw a sharp line between commentary about the company itself and commentary related to its owners or officers. (Incidentally, we have also gotten a lot more aggressive about enforcing WP:MEDRS in our articles related to medicine and disease; it isn't just biographies that we have held to a higher standard in recent years.)
This may be a bit WP:BEANSy, but it's also possible to play games with the gray area between BLP and other content. Is "TenOfAllTrades founded TenCo in 1992" governed by WP:BLP, whereas "TenCo was founded in 1992" not? Suppose TenCo were actually founded in 1991—as its founder, would I be allowed to fix the former statement, but not the latter? (And if I brought it up on the article talk page, would I have to be satisfied if someone else merely changed the former statement to the latter? How many sins can be hidden through the abuse of passive voice?)
While I agree with Jimbo as far as it being a bad idea in most circumstances for a company – more accurately, employees of a company acting as Wikipedia editors – to edit articles about themselves, I cannot endorse his absolute "never ever" position. I note that allowing a company's employees to edit that company's article with great care and restraint to repair problems isn't "preferential treatment"; it's no different from the advice we offer to individuals who edit articles about themselves:
"Alternatively, you may wish to make suggestions on the article's talk page or, if the problem is clear-cut and uncontroversial, you may wish to edit the page yourself. If your edit may be misinterpreted, you should explain it on the talk page. Be prepared that if the fact has different interpretations, others will edit it. Your edits are more likely to be accepted if they are neutral and well-sourced to third parties."
It's not the only option, and it isn't always the best option, but we put it on the table. As with biographical articles (or articles about towns, or governments, or universities...), this freedom for individuals related to the topic to edit their articles is a powerful tool. Like most powerful tools, it can be a quick way to get things done, but you also have to be careful not to lose any fingers. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:45, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
It is not unreasonable for us to have higher expectations from professional communicators than from individuals. Also, you "might as well" follow WP:BRIGHTLINE if it is reasonable and easy to do so. It's no sweat on my back to work with a GA reviewer in draft space and request edit a merge when it's ready. The real problem is that the GA reviewer will most likely not want to participate in this way. CorporateM (Talk) 02:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
In my experience the highest quality expectations come from academics and other experts. Business related queries are more likely to be spammy or POV ϢereSpielChequers 08:20, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
PR people in general are often poor writers and even less so for the style Wikipedia prefers. In my experience in PR I was recognized as having above-average writing skills, but Wikipedia has teenagers that perform better than I in Wikipedia's style of writing. Jimbo's prior comments that PR people don't naturally make good Wikipedians as academics and experts do is not far afield.
I do think Wikipedia can get higher-quality work and valuable contributions from companies, but the community will need to do more to create an environment that encourages it. In our collaboration with journalists, PRs are required to provide something of value to the journalist if they expect collaboration and ROI; the Bright Line facilitates the same type of relationship on Wikipedia and sets a requirement for higher quality contributions. However it is not a system that works very well today.
CorporateM (Talk) 17:36, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

New Price

Wikipedia-logo BW-hires.svg To the Wikipedia Creator
Hi Jim for help to create Wikipedia, I give you this prize. TheJoker Was Here! 02:06, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
See es:wikt:price and es:wikt:prize.—Wavelength (talk) 06:46, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Prudery and erotophobia

While this discussion is interesting (at times), it seems more about cultural questions in general rather than Wikipedia (although Wikipedia issues are touched upon).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I think the way some entries are phrased reinforces the shame our societies attaches to genitals. Medical terms for genitals are never termed as "vulgar" or "offensive", but non-technical, slang or informal terms are. For example, why is cunt considered vulgar but not vulva? Is there any logic/rationality behind this? Pass a Method talk 12:32, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Are you asking if we would ever block someone for calling them a "copulating vulva"? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 12:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I've never seen anyone write "Don't be a penis". But I am sure it happens.--Amadscientist (talk) 13:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Bwilins, why can u get blocked for calling one a "fucking cunt" but not for "copulating vulva"? Pass a Method talk 13:11, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I would block - the intent was a personal attack. In fact, I recently blocked someone for creating their own acronym, defining it, and then continually using it against 2 editors (✉→BWilkins←✎) 14:22, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I think the same principle applies in the language community in general as on Wikipedia: consensus (in this case, as documented by lexicographers). --Boson (talk) 13:19, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes but sensitivities vary widely. Some languages don't have any swear words which are genital-related. There are more people with English as their second language than as their first languge. Pass a Method talk 13:23, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
This was in the UK media in July 2012: [4]--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:35, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Very true. I've seen a Frenchman tell his daughter "t'es con" (lit. "you're a cunt"), because there it simply means "you're stupid". But I'm much more interested in the second question I asked... philosophical discussion of linguistics aside, what exactly are we talking about here? — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 13:41, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Facepalm Never noticed my first edit got ec'ed. Oops:
The answer to this question seems rather self-evident: cunt is vulgar; vulva is not. It is what it is. If feminists ever take to re-claiming the word, then in many many years I could see us having a different discussion, but we still haven't gotten to a point where it's acceptable for non-gays to say faggot or non-Jews to say kyke, and both of those words are, in the grand scheme of things, significantly less offensive. Furthermore, is there some context to this thread that I'm missing, or are you just stirring up feces?Face-wink.svg Seriously, though, huh? — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 13:56, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
That may be true; the meaning is decided by the relevant language community. The meaning of a word includes its denotations and its connotations, and usage of a word includes consideration of register. In the example you give, the word has two different denotations [here according to The Chambers Dictionary]
  • the female genitalia
  • an unpleasant, contemptible person of either sex
In both meanings, there are connotations of social taboo and the register is usually inappropriate for polite discourse. When used to refer to a person, the second meaning (contemptible person) applies, which would normally be considered a personal attack.--Boson (talk) 13:44, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Since the English language is changing, i think we should accomodate more people and more views. English is my second language and in my first language genital-related swear words are rare. Hence i find it odd when i see people get all worked up when being called a cunt or something similar. I think its probably a by-product of a past puritan sexually repressed culture which saw dignity in celibacy and abstinence. Pass a Method talk 13:52, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
We could start by changing some of the entries to give a more broad outlook which includes those who lack such inhibitions. Pass a Method talk 14:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
What purpose is served by calling another editor a cunt? Basically, simile or metaphor for the other person should be avoided when addressing them. It is either uncommunicative rhetoric, or it is intentionally escalating rhetoric. It also focuses on the editor, instead of the edit. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:14, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Another thing i thought of is why is cunt more offesive than dick? That might be something for feminists to take up. Pass a Method talk 19:48, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I look on this conversation with some bemusement, as thankfully, because Wikipedia is not censored, we have quite a detailed article "Cunt" to explain some of this. Additionally, there is the Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities where you will get better assistance. For the moment I'll say that my impression is that the impropriety of vulgarity originates from the contempt for poverty - peasants raise cows, nobles eat beef; the point of avoiding common terms is to be thought of more refined breeding. But if you're really interested, please do go to the experts. Wnt (talk) 22:15, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Please comment

Hello Mr. Wales. Please comment on this redirect for discussion.[5] If you prefer not to comment at the discussion itself, please comment here so I may know if I am aligned with the institutional practices that you envisioned when devising this project; or that I am completely out of touch. Thank you! --My76Strat (talk) 08:19, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Here is a permanent link to the discussion, for what it's worth. Graham87 09:03, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Commons is broken - the meaning of respect

The WMF's resolution on images of identifiable people states "Treat any person who has a complaint about images of themselves hosted on our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and encourage others to do the same". This deletion request was opened after an OTRS request was received. Note that the copyright claim made by the uploader is bogus -- the disclaimer on the now defunct site stated "All material © under the creative commons license unless materials are under existing copyright and said materials are the property of of their respective copyright holders" -- so lacking the source of the image there is no indication that it was released under a free license and the image should be deleted on that basis alone. In the deletion discussion, Commons admin Russavia has included links to sites that he believes belong to the subject of the image. This seems completely unnecessary, since he is advocating deletion of the image as a "courtesy deletion" and seemed likely to further associate the person with the very image that they are asking be deleted. I have been blocked for attempting to redact those links.

Jimbo, was this what you and the rest of the board had in mind when you asked that complainants be treated "with patience, kindness, and respect"? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:51, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I think more careful thought might be appropriate here. I can see that there could be something about the photo and/or in particular its background, which might not be the image she wants to portray, but I don't think it's "disrespectful" to link to her web site to argue for a keep, though it may be irrelevant. And there isn't really any relation between that and the copyright issue we have with an ambiguously worded license. (I think a reasonable person would assume that the license was CC unless another source was credited, but I can see why it would be worrisome and might be appropriate to double check anyway). The real issue here, I think, is simply that if you go to Google and type in 'Larissa Christopherson', the top link is the 'images for Larissa Christopherson' with this not-chosen-by-her photo representing her. So we might question whether Commons files should be prominently featuring the name of a non-notable person so as to top these rankings or if that's too rude, which gets down to filenames and SEO and stuff. Now, I wouldn't immediately make a knee-jerk response in this case because she might not be entirely non-notable, and in that case she could give Commons a picture or six she actually likes and help us cover her without that being an inappropriate out of scope "snapshot of you and your friends". For a truly notable person Commons wants to have a picture even if it's a bad one, and if they don't like our lousy shot, provided it was obtained fairly, it's up to them to give us something better. Ultimately, however, it would be nice to delineate the SEO sort of worry clearly away from copyright and COM:IDENT concerns about whether we can keep a picture taken at a trade show, because Commons photographers, like any press, should be able to go into an event like that and blast away without a whole lot of thought except to get a good set of pictures. Wnt (talk) 22:31, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
WTF? A private individual (or at least someone not notable enough to be mentioned on Wikipedia) e-mails OTRS (which to the uneducated looks like a Wikimedia official contact) asking that a picture of her be removed. She asserts it was a privacy violation (and we've no reason to doubt that) and that it was unlicensed (and it appears the licence is at best dubious), and it is felt appropriate to debate the issue publicly rather than just removing it with "oops very sorry". How arrogant, self-justifying, and morally inept can commons be? Why wasn't this nuked on sight? Something is clearly wrong with this whole stinking process. (Oh, and now we'll discuss it here and it will possibly get picked up elsewhere). Time for the Board to act?--Scott Mac 22:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Since it was a public event it was not a privacy violation, and she is not entirely non-notable. See [6]. Wikipedia still has articles on only a small fraction of the worthy topics, so we can't draw conclusions from the lack of an article. From what I see on Google I don't think she'd make the cut, but I'm certainly no expert on entertainment. It may be that Commons should have some kind of Commons:Commons:file naming that simply prohibits the use of personal names in files unless the subject is presented as notable, but there would be significant problems with that (namely, without actually writing an article, how can you tell?) It is also possible, perhaps likely, that aspects of this prominently named photo implicitly violate the "potentially derogatory or demeaning" part of Commons:Commons:IDENT; actually, I think that's what I'm going to go with on this one. Or maybe there's some other idea about how to deal with SEO problems. Wnt (talk) 23:22, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, you seem to have not only missed the point but exacerbated the situation by your remarks here and your addition of another link to the deletion discussion on Commons. Well done! Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:38, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I must be missing the point. You look at the name of the file, you type it in Google, it's not a secret. Short of deleting even the deletion discussion (and deleting the discussion about deleting that) how are you going to keep it a secret? Why should you keep it a secret? Wnt (talk) 23:54, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Simple. When someone e-mails and says you don't have permission to use this picture of me, and it turns out the licencing is heavily suspect, then someone deletes it. If I validly objected to the use of my image on any other website in the world then that's what I'd expect. I'd not expect to have the website openly discuss it and then archive the discussion in a publicly accessible manner. The Foundation needs a better way to deal with complaints about copyright and privacy violating material.--Scott Mac 00:12, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The licensing is not "heavily suspect", nor did the subject of the photo complain about the licensing. The subject asked that we remove the image. The image was not taken in a private setting - trade shows or anywhere that you get press photographers is not private - and under US law (the photo was taken in Las Vegas) that means we are legally entitled to keep the image. It was taken, rightly, to a deletion request, as is the norm for people requesting deletion of an image (the hint is in the title). Speedy deletion is for obvious copyright violations, unused duplicates and the like. Anything remotely controversial (for instance an image such as this, where we are not legally obliged to delete, and where the image is within our project scope) should be taken to a deletion request, for a community vote. This is the standard practice. This is how the system works. Now, the subject is apparently not really notable, and we have many other photos from this trade fair, so the image will probably end up deleted in a few days. However, notability is somewhat in the eye of the beholder - what may seem important to one person is not important to another - and so it is best that these things be discussed. The image has been on Commons for 11 months, another week won't hurt for a full discussion on the topic.
DC, you always seem to have the same issues - you think that your opinion is correct and that Commons must always do whatever you think it must. Sorry to disappoint you, but that's not how Commons, or indeed Wikipedia works. We discuss things before doing them, leaving the discussions open to participation and available to future users for guidance. Commons, and Wikimedia as a whole, is not best-served by people going in cavalierly and deciding what must be done without oversight. The image will probably be deleted in a few days. Please calm down. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Perfectly calm, thank you. Someone asked for an image, of them, which you don't particularly need, to be removed. That ought to be quite enough - it is utterly replaceable from any sane educational stance. There are (additionally) reasons to believe the copyright isn't 100% solid. Even without the copyright, the right thing to do is damn obvious to anyone which an iota of humanity, and certainly to anyone responsible enough to be the custodian of images of living people, uploaded without their prior express consent. You are (as ever) hiding irresponsibility behind "no one can sue us" legalities and entitlements. That you can see no harm here is evidence enough of what is wrong with Commons, and why the Foundation ought to reform it as a matter of urgency.--Scott Mac 01:09, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I actually have commented that this image's presentation was likely against policy. Opinion is running toward deleting it. Understand that the reason why you're saying Commons is "broken" above is not because of what it is deciding about this image, but the fact that ordinary contributors are allowed to make the decision, to talk about it there and here. Wnt (talk) 02:27, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like it may be kept. The name removed, the attitude seems to be a righteous "well if you don't want your photo taken, don't take this employment". Because evidently her sensibilities are outweighed by Commons' higher purpose - as if this image was educationally vital.--Scott Mac 02:57, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the OTRS ticket asked that the image either be renamed or deleted. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
And what speaks against deleting it? --Conti| 14:11, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
That it is within scope and freely licensed. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:20, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
As I keep pointing out, Matt, we do not know that it is freely licensed. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Matt, I am quite calm. It seems that if I disagree with anything on Commons I am labelled as "trolling", "disruptive", or agitated. None of these are the case. You know that I think this image should have been deleted at the request of the subject, but I am not objecting to a deletion discussion. I am objecting to how the subject is being treated now that they have asked for deletion. I calmly and deliberately removed the links that Russavia put in that discussion - they simply should not be there, and would not be tolerated in a similar discussion here. The current deletion discussion is now about the subject of the image. It seems to have been lost on people that the uploader's copyright claim was bogus - User:Gohe007 stated "All material © under the creative commons license", which leaves out the rather important "unless materials are under existing copyright and said materials are the property of of their respective copyright holders". Isn't Commons supposed to err on the side of caution (the "precautinary principle")? Unless the source of this image is known, it must be presumed to be a copyright violation. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, can I suggest you might like to remove this thread once you've seen it. It will only have the effect of drawing attention to the person as well as the problem.--Scott Mac 22:59, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Well let's face it, multiple people have been telling Jimbo that Commons is utterly, irretrievably broken, with a collection of admins who are happy to enable images that negatively affect living people, for a long time now yet nothing has been done - there's no reason to assume that yet another thread will help. Black Kite (talk) 00:54, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
  • If it's any consolation, we tend to believe en.wp is irretrievably broken. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:47, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
    Why? Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
    • One lives in hope.--Scott Mac 01:09, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Delicious carbuncle, why do you keep bringing these problems with Commons here? Has Jimbo ever helped you to resolve any issue with Commons? Besides, didn't you notice that Jimbo is busy now with helping a missing ‎Kazakh journalist? (talk) 01:44, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
    • I believe that Jimbo is concerned with the disconnect between what Commons is and what it should be (as represented by the WMF board resolution I quoted earlier). He may have other priorities at the moment, but I am hopeful that he is keeping up with these types of reports. And I know that the admins of Commons are paying attention. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:02, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
    • I think the reason Delicious carbuncle brought this issue here, to a different wiki, is that an administrator thought they were edit-warring in the original commons discussion, and they are still under the 24 hour block that administrator imposed. Geo Swan (talk) 17:43, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually, it looks like it may be kept. - the amazing thing about that deletion discussion is how determined, dedicated and motivated some of the Commons administrators (mattbuck among them) are at finding a reason for doing the obviously wrong thing. And what's even more amazing is how well established of a pattern this is - from one deletion discussion to another deletion discussion, to issues of privacy, to issue of governance and abuse of power, to banning of editors like Beta M; it's the same group every time, repeatedly always finding some crappy excuse to support the position exactly opposite to what common sense and decency would suggest. This obviously takes quite a bit of an effort on the part of Commons, to be so consistently so broken.Volunteer Marek 06:32, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Every day that Commons saves yet another white penis image from deletion is a good day. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:11, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
this was a reason to keep that image?!?educational value, unique due to display of vein and associated venous anatomy and structure...yous got to be shatting me!!wow, thats all I can!--Malerooster (talk) 00:39, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Just remember that not only is every sperm sacred but so is every one of its delivery systems Commons admins are just bowing before their god.. John lilburne (talk) 14:36, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
John, this comment is really not helpful. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:43, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

It seems fairly obvious to me that this is not the sort of file we need to keep over the subject's expressed objection. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:49, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

We don't need to but because we can we do. Feelings - of subjects, readers and editors here - are not our concern. Wikimedia is, in this regard, more highly evolved than other communities. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:17, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I am new to Wikipedia, but feel like I am doing good and really enjoy it here. I made my first edits ever over at commons regarding this "issue" and was, I believe, questioned about being "new". I admitt I lost my cool and told my accuser to shuve it, but is this how actually new editors are treated there? I doubt I will spend much time there going forward. Thanks for letting me vent :) --Malerooster (talk) 00:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
No, but the Commons community is somewhat embattled with the persistent anti-penis brigade who inhabit this page, and users whose first edit is to wade in to deletion requests and policy arguments... that seems suspicious, especially when their name is fairly easily interpreted as meaning "cock". I apologise on behalf of my colleagues for the suspicion, the debate raises hackles and we all need to calm down a bit. But that is understandably hard when you feel under attack. -mattbuck (Talk) 01:09, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Mattbuck, is there only anti-penis brigade on Commons, or there is a separate anti-vagina brigade as well? If all of you only knew how ridiculous this discussion looks to an outside observer. (talk) 20:45, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
They seem to be more focussed on penises than anything else, but I use the term generally to refer to those who oppose having sexuality images on Commons. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:17, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Matt, I am not opposed to having images of sexuality on Commons. I am not aware of anyone who has voiced that opinion in any serious discussion. This is a myth of your own construction, created to tar your critics with a very broad brush marked "censorship". What you seem reluctant to acknowledge is the connection between images of sexuality and other issues on Commons. I have nominated many images of public nudity or urination for deletion because they were copyright violations. Almost every time I have done so, I have been accused of censorship or prudery. I am not attempting to rid Commons of images of public nudity - I am attempting to draw attention to the fact that this is a problem area. If the handful of admins who have effectively taken control of Commons weren't so hamstrung by their ideology, they would help me, rather than attempting to drive me from the project. It is time for new management. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:35, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Matt, I can only speak for myself, but I am not "anti-penis". Commons has hundreds and hundreds of images of penises. If I recall correctly, when the WMF commisioned a report on controversial images some time ago, it was reported that there were over 1,000 images of whites penises and one image of a black penis. I'm sure the number of white penises has increased since then. There is a point where even people who are not "anti-penis" see that this is just ridiculous. Commons has the COM:PENIS guideline for just this reason. That guideline was written by Commons regulars, not by me. Am I "attacking" Commons by expecting that this Commons guideline should be followed? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:12, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
So we should keep photos of black penises to even the balance? Why then are you arguing that we should delete several of them? -mattbuck (Talk) 14:19, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't what I said, Matt, although I think you would agree that it is strange that there are so many white penises on Commons and so few black penises. I'm not sure I would place those images in the black penis category, but I will leave that decision for someone else. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:17, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Wholly freaking crap!!! I am into BIRDS, iam NOT into "cocks'!!!!!!!!I went to commons from this page. Please look at my contributions here!! You are 1,010% off on assuming I am some other anti penis editor or the like. I am a minimialist, thats for sure, most of my edits are to remove unsourced material or remove stuff per MOS. OK?!? --Malerooster (talk) 03:38, 30 December 2012 (UTC)ps, I am sorry you feel under attack, and I apologize for my language. I will assume good faith. Cheers. --Malerooster (talk) 03:40, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
So a user named Malerooster, with a stated interest in birds, is not into cocks. Hard to keep track sometimes. PhnomPencil (talk) 04:02, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Following the link to the category and to other links I saw this bizarre one. [[7]]

"I believe this is the only homoerotic photograph on the entire project with a confident and amused looking slim guy in his yellow tight pants wearing a fun mask."

The idea that Commons shouldn't have more bad pictures of things they already have pictures of is obviously being twisted. Any picture is "something we don't already have a picture of" if you define the picture's category so narrowly that there aren't any others. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:53, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

This discussion has really moved off-topic and faltered since I posted to it yesterday (not cause-and-effect I hope). The issue here is how to address photographs of clearly identifiable persons who have requested deletion of the photograph, where the photograph is clearly not essential or really relevant for encyclopedic use. This is a completely different issue from any perennial disagreements concerning images of anonymous body parts. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:57, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Newyorkbrad, body parts cannot be anonymous.They all have a name. (talk) 20:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I think the only thing "broken" here is the opinion that we should bow to the whims of subjects that happen to be photographed when there are no legal nor rational grounds to follow their complaints. We are talking of a model at a public event, not of a sneaked private picture. --Cyclopiatalk 20:03, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
There are two separate but related issues here involving requests to delete images of identifiable persons. What we do with the images in such cases is one issue, but how we treat the complainant is another issue. The WMF has provided guidance on both, but it is much clearer about the second: "Treat any person who has a complaint about images of themselves hosted on our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and encourage others to do the same". If anyone thinks that is what was done in this case, I would like to hear from them. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:18, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
What's broken is the principle that, because we don't have to, we don't; the view that the "whim" of the subject doesn't matter. It's an autistic or psychopathic view. It's seriously sick, seriously dysfunctional and trumpeted here and on commons as something to be proud of. I'm not suggesting anyone who touts this "principle" is autistic or psychopathic, I'm saying the behaviour is. History is full of examples of nominally healthy people supporting sick "principles". --Anthonyhcole (talk) 20:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure it is so different a topic. Ever since Beta M was banned by the WMF, the Commons regulars have developed a sort of siege mentality, displaying extreme paranoia and unreasonableness towards any attempts by perceived enemies-of-Commons to address questionable content there. They are obstructionists, plain n simple. Tarc (talk) 20:09, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
This is a canard. The history of that case should amply remind people that the "obstructionism" was based in a lack of confidence that the accusations involved were not being trumped up out of something, as I myself had just seen a good editor falsely accused by the same people, made to look like his user page had shown something for two years that it never contained at all. Commons never had a chance to make a decision in the case you mention, because the WMF took over only because it acted more quickly based on the same data. The "obstructionism" in fact dates back to an anti-porn crusade that Commons rightly opposed. I should also note that bringing up that case here is possibly against policy (though one I disagree with). Wnt (talk) 20:20, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I will bring up the case wherever I please Wnt, and there's nothing you will really do about it. It is to the continuing shame to some of your Commons comrades-in-arms that they still have a beef about it, e.g. Saibo's anti-WMF rant. As for this and similar cases, a Wikimedia project should never have been allowed to be used for free porn hosting in the first place. Those jokers don't even have the common fucking decency to delete an image that the subject wants taken down. Tarc (talk) 20:26, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
To the contrary, rebutting you as I did is the most effective thing I could do about it, even if I had every flag known to the developers. And if you're looking to denigrate me merely for participating in Commons, that is an honor I barely even deserve (I should do more) but not one I would apologize for. Saibo is one person and has a right to an opinion, and I won't apologize for that either. Wnt (talk) 20:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, there were no false claims made. You should direct any questions that you have to ArbCom. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:46, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Excellent New Editor's barnstar

Hey Jimbo and stalkers! ;)

As inspired by/requested from User:Gtwfan52, I have created a new barnstar award as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Retention in hopes that experianced editors will use this to help encourage new users who are working in the right way!

Sure, the artwork is a bit cheesy, but so am I! LOL! (I'll wok on it a bit....the artwork that is)

New editor barnstar.png The Excellent New Editor's Barnstar
Put your message here. Amadscientist (talk) 10:29, 31 December 2012 (UTC)


Use: {{subst:The Excellent New Editor's Barnstar|1=Put your message here. ~~~~}}.


Happy New Year 2013.jpg Have an enjoyable New Year!
Hello Jimbo Wales: Thanks for all of your contributions to Wikipedia, and have a happy and enjoyable New Year! Cheers, Northamerica1000(talk) 17:25, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year 2013}} to people's talk pages with a friendly message.

Admin block wars

Holy crap! My Watch list today looked like a Roman civil war! The number of admins blocking and unblocking each other made my head explode. What the heck is going on?--Amadscientist (talk) 01:02, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I could see it coming from a mile away. Admins should be encouraged to discuss things out instead of being told to cut a dialogue short. Pass a Method talk 01:18, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
If certain busybodies stopped watching Malleus' every move, banstick in hand the moment he inches a toenail into the Land of Brusque Speech, none of this would be happening. Tarc (talk) 01:56, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Tarc, I couldn't disagree with your logical fallacy any more than I currently do! I am perplexed that you appear to believe your statement is true. --My76Strat (talk) 08:19, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
There is no logical fallacy, don't make assertions based on your own lack of understanding of the situation. Malleus is what he is, and the community had given its tacit consent regarding his actions, as evidenced by the numerous (and swift) unblocks in his block log. There is, however, a coterie of Malleus-Watchers(tm), who have nothing better to do with their time than to pounce upon every coarse word or brusque exchange. These people, of which you seem to be a member of, need to find something else to occupy their idle hands with. Tarc (talk) 17:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Your original statement is wrong (or ast least incomplete), and so is the new one here. Malleus' disruptions now are spread wide enough that they are noticed by admins who otherwise have little or no contact with him, and who certainly do not "watch Malleus' every move". And the root of the problem is that at one time we decided that undoing a block without consensus is not wheel warring, but redoing it is. Only this asymmetry leads to Malleus' status as effectively untouchable. I do see the need for an ArbCom case coming up soon. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:19, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Neither one is wrong, I'm afraid. The assertion that after this many years there is an admin with "little or no contact", is quite frankly bullshit. You may as well cast about the United States for someone who has no opinion on OJ or Jerry Sandusky. Tarc (talk) 22:44, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Who? --Guy Macon (talk) 10:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
<redacted> --My76Strat (talk) 02:17, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
My76Strat, I am rather puzzled by your apparent strategy of dealing with people who insult others, by insulting those who support them. Perhaps you could consider re-writing that a little? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:27, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
You are correct and I apologize! My lament relates to the anguish I served to decent people, like you, who do not deserve exposure to such childish likes. I know I handled this poorly, and I'm not trying to defend my actions. Just for the sake of accuracy however, I am not disgruntled with Tarc because he supports MF but rather because he has levied subtle insults against me; exceeding my strained levels of tolerance. And so I foolishly succumbed to the enticement. Sorry. --My76Strat (talk) 02:58, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Tarc, there are nearly 700 active administrators, are you saying that most have had more than little or no contact? From what I can surmise, the vast majority of wikipedians and admins just haven't been involved in the drama, even peripherally, and don't even know about it. There's probably somewhere in the region of 20-40 editors who are aware of most of the details, and they tend to dominate any conversation of the issue. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:57, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure you could find some strange gnomes out in the wiki-wilderlands, endlessly pruning articles on lists of Pokemon traits and attacks, or minutiae of the Peloponnesian War. But on the whole, yes, that is what I'm saying. Tarc (talk) 16:57, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Happy New Years!

To all of Wikipedia!--Amadscientist (talk) 08:04, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

How many "New Years" are there?!--ukexpat (talk) 18:55, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Until the world ends...who knows. (But I get the point.)--Amadscientist (talk) 01:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
About 26 or 27 I think. The answer will be on Wikipedia. Rich Farmbrough, 03:56, 3 January 2013 (UTC). (It's 40)
Quite a lot more than that, if you include the various time zones of the Chinese New Year, Tibetan New year, Islamic New Year, Aztec New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Ugadi, the many Indian New Year's days, and many more New Years. First Light (talk) 04:32, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

wondering if you had an opinion on having special statuses for various users

Hello, I was , outside of the Wikipedia's current schemes of admins/bureaucrats/etc and various teams. The special status conferred by this essay was brought up for discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Malleus Fatuorum. But the existence of this essay points to having special statuses for individual users, and not as groups of users. -- (talk) 10:31, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Essays are opinion pieces, not manifestations of official guidelines or policy. This essay will undoubtedly be deleted in the debate, but it should be noted that there is some real wisdom in the views expressed therein... Carrite (talk) 20:36, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
It seems to suggest that is/should be used as a reason to close WP:ARBCOM discussions early (to the favor of editor Malleus) -- (talk) 02:14, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course I don't support anything like that for any user. I think people who evaluate situations like this often fail to account properly for the total negative energy that problematic users (who also do good work) bring to the project. In most cases, and there are several reasonably famous cases that we could all discuss endlessly, the amount of quality work done by the editor in no way makes up for the astounding amount of quality work that they prevent by driving away good users and wasting the time of everyone. As we as a community consider issues relating to the total participation levels in the project, we should not make the error of thinking "we are trying to increase the number of quality editors so we should never ban a quality editor for bad behavior".
A far better approach might be to work a lot harder to counsel such users, to help them overcome their nasty habits. Humans do have free will, and every such outburst is a choice that can be avoided, and apologized for afterwards.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:22, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Personal exceptions will not work, I agree. Apportionment of blame, however, is something that often goes amiss: it usually takes two to tango. There is little doubt that the vast majority of articles that en-Wikipedia hosts are simply not worth reading due to issues of POV, phrasing, reliability etc. If only a small number of articles benefit to an inordinate degree due to the contributions of an even smaller number of people then, sorry, but the concept of consensus and rule of the masses is doomed to fail because it is a utopian ideal that conflicts with blatantly obvious necessity. Are we trying to build an encyclopedia or a bottomless pit of trivia, gibberish etc? There simply are not enough quality contributors and there is an unnerving "outsider" acceptance of us being somehow authoritative when we are clearly not so. If I want to find out about something, this place is more often than not the last resort for my information unless - being an insider - I am able to discern that the contributors to the topic are worthy.

There are no easy answers to this civility conundrum, obviously. I've had death threats, legal threats, off-wiki campaigns and all that sort of stuff, and so have others who have contributed much here, so it is not surprising if sometimes we blow up. Add into that mix the toxicity of differing cultural values (especially regarding civility) and, well, what a mess it is to handle. Here in Manchester, UK, calling something "bollocks", for example, really is nothing much at all and can even be used in a completely civil sense - nowadays, such words are not even reserved for post-watershed on BBC TV etc. I'm still here, of course, but if I am still around in a year's time then I would be surprised. It is becoming very disheartening to see the quality contributors pushed out by what are, in real life, fairly trivial matters of culture and verbiage. - Sitush (talk) 01:47, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Even if you're operating from a premise that Wikipedia is a failure, allowing people to abuse each other is an unlikely solution. With bullying, it does not take two to tango. Nevertheless, I've been around about five years now editing on some controversial topics and the worst I got was a botched arbcom case, a vindictive block, and swarmed by sockpuppets, nary a death threat, real-life harassment, or any legal threat beyond the silly and ludicrous. I feel left out! Maybe it's the fact that more and more, I enjoy quietly editing one thing or another where I can help out, and avoid drama instead of seeking it. Back to the original statement, I can't agree that Wikipedia is broken to the point of needing to dump its crowd-sourcing model in favor of privileged contributors. That's the very foundation of the project and by most accounts it's worked so far. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:05, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
What accounts are those? And have you ever tried fixing the complete mess that is Indic-related stuff, especially since WMF launched their ill-thought awareness campaign over there last year (well, 2 years ago now we've just flipped over)? You won't see true nastiness unless you edit things such as Jewishness, India and the various other high-profile ArbCom-sanctioned areas. Yes, those inevitably involves drama: are you suggesting that we should leave them alone to fester in a state of (often) sub-mediocrity when, in many cases, they are probably among our highest-viewed articles? I don't seek drama; I seek improvement of content that, if I printed it, would barely be worthy of using to wipe my backside. - Sitush (talk) 02:14, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah takes two to Tango...but who is leading? Are they using the proper steps or are they making it up as they go along? It is a dance. But just who is still trying to "Tango" while the other is doing the "Twist"?--Amadscientist (talk) 08:15, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Sitush, you seem to be propagating a misleading meme here. Has anyone, from Manchester or otherwise, really been blocked on Wikipedia for calling something bollocks? As opposed to, say, calling someone a "fucking dishonest idiot"? Do you understand that there is a very important difference between the two? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:36, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
  • @Jimbo: Dangit, that means the just-written WP:Fearlessly block (in response to the above essay) isn't the total answer either; ah well, MfD. --Lexein (talk) 09:24, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    • That's a really good essay, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:47, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
      • I don't like the 3rd part of "blocks are good". If being involuntarily blocked was actually good for the person being blocked, we wouldn't require that anyone have to violate rules before being blocked. We'd just toss out involuntary blocks right and left every time we thought the target would benefit from it. But if we started randomly blocking people on the grounds that they would benefit, everyone would be saying "you can't really know that they'd benefit" and "blocking someone at a time not of their choosing violates their personal autonomy in making choices" (even though the servers are owned by Wikipedia and they have no right at all to someone else's servers). The same reasoning that would lead us to conclude that random blocks are harmful to the person being blocked, would lead us to conclude that blocks for bad behavior are also harmful to the person being blocked, but balanced out by the good to Wikipedia. Claiming that blocks do not actually harm anyone is a claim that there is no balance and is fundamentally disingenuous.

        Furthermore, the claim that someone who is blocked could still edit later ignores the possibility of time-sensitive changes--for instance, participating in a RFC or a policy discussion. Ken Arromdee (talk) 08:48, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

    • Of course it isn't the total answer. Reaching the answer involves stopping this symphonic chorus of one-note people who unimaginatively look to the block tool and nothing else. Here is one administrator dealing with Dr. Blofeld's "as thick as the shit on his elbow" comment using the edit tool. Here is another administrator, likewise using the edit tool, attempting to explain how things went wrong.

      How many people does it take to find your collective way to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct, by the way? So far you've all managed to miss it numerous times and hit the administrators' noticeboard, User talk:Ironholds, here, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration, and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion instead, even though the latter has never been for deciding upon what is policy — something that I made clear right from the start. And several of the people missing RFC by megametres have been administrators, who go around telling other people how to request the wider community's opinion on something. Why does Andrew Shepherd's "with both hands and a flashlight" keep coming to mind?

      Uncle G (talk) 13:18, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Don't blame me. [8] Wnt (talk) 16:33, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Highly-focused editors

Jimmy, happy New Year! I assume you are very busy, but I was hoping that you nonetheless might have a few minutes to take a look at the editing of User:DanielaAsdaa (contributions) and User:Daniela Asdaa BM (contributions). How would you characterize their contributions to Wikipedia? They have not strayed from the single topic of M.H. Alshaya Co.. I'm assuming that having such a singular focus on Wikipedia is well within the policies and guidelines of the site, or are there any community norms being broken here? - Checking the checkers (talk) 16:27, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

See WP:SPA. --Cyclopiatalk 18:38, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I second that. My view is that such accounts should be blocked. This is almost certainly a paid advocate. Someone should ask first, I suppose, although it's pretty clear.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:16, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Question about Wikipedia

Jimbo, I know that there are talk pages for discussing improvements for articles, but are there talk pages for discussing improvements for Wikipedia itself? McBenjamin (talk) 01:01, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikipedia:Village pump.Moxy (talk) 01:04, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Free Speech

There used to be a thing called Freedom of Speech on one's own talk pages, because how could one get away with saying "Happy Xmas", even though that had NOTHING to do with "building an Encyclopedia"? The (syn)tax inspectors have taken over the building, and they are not going to allow anyone to disagree with them. This place used to be about communication, but it's not anymore. It's about CONTROL. Sad, but true. Amen...--andreasegde (talk) 20:27, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Free speech has never existed on the talk page since that only applies to the government. Please see WP:SPEECH. That being said it may be better to know what the actual issue is because we have no way of knowing if you may have been treated properly or not.-- (talk) 20:48, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear: "Free speech has never existed... that only applies to the government". I am shocked. I was making the point that editors used to be able to say anything on their own talk pages, but this freedom has now been cancelled, because one can only refer to subjects that are concerned with "building an Encyclopedia". Freedom of Speech has been cancelled. I would say, "Happy new Year", but that is not allowed.--andreasegde (talk) 21:22, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Can you provide a diff to show what you are talking about? GB fan 21:40, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmm? Why would saying, 'good day,' 'merry hello,' or 'happy Kwanzaa,' etc., to another editor automatically be seen as not building an encyclopedia? Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:42, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Yup. Without a diff to provide some context, this is just a pretty useless thread ... I'd love to be able to resolve the issue, if I knew what the heck the issue was. (✉→BWilkins←✎) 21:54, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
A's usertalk history doesn't help. I looked the first page it to see if someone had deleted a nice Christmas greeting... it's just him/her deleting block notifications, etc. PhnomPencil () 21:58, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Seeing two Merry Christmas messages on this very page, I'm questioning the successes of our campaign to eradicate merriment. In all seriousness, editors are given considerable leeway to use their talk page to discuss things that are tangential to improving the encyclopedia, as long as most of their activity is related to building the encyclopedia and the content doesn't violate any important rules. Editors do also have considerable freedom to express unpopular views, as long as they are about editing Wikipedia and they do it the right way, avoiding things line personal attacks. There are very few ideas that get you sanctioned or blocked just for expressing them. Monty845 22:17, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
I think we should indeed give editors the freedom over their user pages and not try to prohibit "blogs" or "canvassing" - otherwise groups like Wikipediocracy simply take over those roles, which are less accessible and not democratic and don't have to follow any rule at all we might want to retain. Allowing those functions would also tend to draw more people in because they would appreciate the resource, but in the process they would become familiar with the markup and might be recruited into article writing. Wnt (talk) 15:03, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
OP's comments are rather ambiguous, but they aren't complaining about anyone being blocked for posting a Christmas message, but rather using the idea of blocking one for such as "not building an encyclopedia" as an analogy, and given where this complaint seems to come from, a terrible one at that. This seems to stem from User:Penyulap's block. And while I don't know anything about that situation, the very nature of OP's generic ranting makes it hardly worth consideration. If there is a complaint to be made, just make it. Resolute 15:48, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I apologise for the misunderstanding, but I wasn't talking about posting a Xmas message, I was talking about if one is allowed to say (with no insults or aggressive behaviour), about something that one is accused of, something that one disagrees with, or just expressing one's own opinions about anything at all. If all we are allowed to talk about is "building an encyclopedia", then our conversation/communication would be severely limited. Where is the line, where is it drawn, and who defines it? Since 2006, I have been guilty of posting tons of comments on my own talk page that had absolutely nothing to do "building an encyclopedia" --andreasegde (talk) 22:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

You should learn some "mutual respect". In this case, everyone should respect the host of this "private" talk page. By that means Jimbo has the privilege to remove what he considers offensive and unwelcoming. Leaving a message in other user's talk page is also a privilege granted by the WMF, you are obligated to obey Wikipedia policies on user talk page, not the US laws. If this is a "public" area under the US law, you can do whatever you want without Jimbo's approval. So stating "conversation/communication would be severely limited" for managing one's own talk page is an insult to every Wikipedian who is given a private user talk page the minute they submit an edit to Wikipedia. Jimbo's position on those baseless yet cleverly spun reports (which in your view is just "expressing one's own opinion") is sufficiently to be removed from this talk page. You may discuss those topics elsewhere, but definitely not here, and there is no ground to call Jimbo a tyrant for limiting freedom of speech in his own talk page. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:14, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I beg your pardon? Calling "Jimbo a tyrant"? I most certainly never did. How dare you accuse me of that?--andreasegde (talk) 18:15, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
  • A couple comments. (1) Freedom of speech is a human right. It can not be arbitrarily erased at Wikipedia because somebody decided once upon a time to make WP:NOFREESPEECHHERE part of company policy. It can only be a human right that is violated. (2) It follows that people have a right to say whatever they want on their talk pages, so long as they are here to build an encyclopedia and not for ulterior or nefarious motives. Carrite (talk) 03:32, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Sure, you can say anything you want, using your own lungs and breath. But once you decide to use someone else's website to "say" (that would be, electronically publish) something, you have to follow their rules. Jclemens (talk) 04:22, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
"Someone else's website..." — Exactly, J. Clemens. The violators of free speech, being ArbCom or the Administrative caste, "claim" the website as "theirs" and restrict free speech rights of participants. It's a power play and it is a violation of fundamental rights of human expression. Wikipedia is ours not yours... The church is the sum of its members, not a super-select priesthood... Carrite (talk) 17:19, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Yup: wrong, for the simple reason that talk pages don't belong to the user: they are a facility provided to Wikipedia contributors for the purposes intended. There is no 'human rights' law that says that individuals have to be provided with free webspace, or with any other medium of communication. I have a 'right' (subject to the limitations of libel law etc) to write a book on The Role of Arthur Askey in the Apollo Moon Landings Project. I don't have the right to demand it be published. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:28, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
    • (1) This is clearly not the place to debate what is human rights. But my view is, a right without protection by the law is meaningless, powerless. You can't shout at another person on Mars to not kill you because you have the innate right to live and the offender will be punished legally. Human right is only violated when the written law says so. But you will never agree with me on this so no need to argue anymore. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:38, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
      • Just reading through this thread I can see a good deal of freedom from the OP to NOT be concise or just plain clear. I wish I understood what this was about. Even reading through the Free speech thread on User:Penyulap's (the original comment is a copy paste from a Dec 26 post on that user's talpage) page I can't seem to figure it out. Certainly this isn't just a commentary on freedoms per policy or guidelines but seems to be some kind of community appeal against Penyulaps block. Almost looks like campaigning.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:44, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
        • We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot here, Amadscientist, so to give some background this Ani thread from a few months back may be of assistance, as it resulted in a one year topic ban and subsequent one week block to the OP for a vio of the parallel interaction ban. There is also a heaping helping of the truly bizarre (in my view) writings of the gone and mostly unlamented Penyulap. As I see it the admittedly lengthy process, of which I was a part, illustrates an example of Wikipedia sanctions working well: the community, at long last, had had enough. Now the OP is reduced to cryptic complaints on Jimmy's page. Oy. Jusdafax 08:06, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
          • Sorry if we got off on the wrong footing. Yes, I am familiar with User:Penyulap's "truly bizarre writings" (a view I share as well). I just can't seem to fathom what this post is supposed to be, if not just way to force this back into the spotlight to make Penyulap feel like they are being "Represented". If the usual Wikipedia:Standard offer is not adequate, then I can't help but feel this is an exraordinary reason to object to a return by Penyulap in the future.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:18, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I am not surprised that an editor above (Jusdafax), has made another negative statement about myself. If he enjoys it so much, that's fine with me.--andreasegde (talk) 18:15, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
So then why comment on it in a passive-aggressive manner so as to increase the level of dramah? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 18:20, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
You'll have to explain "passive-aggressive" to me first.--andreasegde (talk) 18:32, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, let me put it this way: if it really didn't bother you, you would not have mentioned it, period. But you mentioned it, therefore it does bother you and you really do want him to stop ... (✉→BWilkins←✎) 18:36, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Let me put it this way; he will not stop, so what can I do about it? Nothing. I can only turn the situation into something positive, which is to accept that it makes him happy. When one reaches that conclusion, the situation is neutralised.--andreasegde (talk) 18:46, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm...I see nothing in Jusda's sole post here that in any way resembles a negative statement about you. Your original post is referred to as cryptic (which it is, and you still have failed to clarify), but there's nothing disparaging about you. Could you actually tell what this is really all about so that someone, somewhere can make a logical and well-researched response? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 18:50, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
OK. If one is only allowed to talk about "building and Encyclopedia" on one's own talk page, it would obviously limit conversation. As one editor said elsewhere, "A certain degree of collegiality and banter is tolerated", but my question is who tolerates it, and where is the line drawn? As the encyclopedia that says, "Anyone can edit", is it not confusing when the rules are so unclear, and open to personal interpretations by Admins? Clarity is paramount.--andreasegde (talk) 19:29, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
No ... jurisprudence and the will of the community typically slides into place. Wikipedia is not based on rules it's based on community-built conventions. One of the key pillars of Wikipedia is that there are no strict rules - one of the reasons that many discussions in AN or ANI relate to the "undoing" of someone else's actions that in many cases did meet the "rule". If you're just being hypothetical, you're really not succeeding. If you have a specific issue that someone should look at, you're failing at it too. (✉→BWilkins←✎) 20:53, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
"One of the key pillars of Wikipedia is that there are no strict rules"? Incredible. As for the rest of your comment, I can only surmise that you are trying to be difficult. I wish you the best.--andreasegde (talk) 05:26, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
We're all sometimes difficult in our own ways, but that doesn't mean we're trying to be. As for "incredible", See the fifth item at Wikipedia:Five pillars. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:30, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Andreasegde, I wish you'd tell us what the hell you are on about, or find something more useful to do. Of course there aren't 'strict rules' about what you can do on Wikipedia talk pages - Wikipedia isn't here to provide free web-page talk space, it is here to provide an online encyclopaedia, and we have better things to do with our time than lay down exact specifications for what is and isn't permitted under every possible circumstance. This is both unnecessary in principle and impossible in practice. If you find this concept difficult to grasp, find another website that has simpler rules: though most such websites tend to go by the rule "you can't post here"... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:40, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

'Nuff said.--andreasegde (talk) 06:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Sure.....when we point blank ask why you are posting this copy pasted comment from another editor's talk page, you ask about a non existing user talkpage policy about only discussing "building and Encyclopedia" and say "..confusing when the rules are so unclear". The guideline about only discussing improvements to the article is for the article talkpages only. We don't have hard, fast rules or instructions, we have guidelines and many times these can and will be ignored if it improves the encyclopaedia. I am just curious, if this was copypasted from a blocked user's talkpage [9], whose access to said talkpage has been revoked and returned mulitple times [10] for so many different this nothing but you campaigning on their behalf?--Amadscientist (talk) 06:43, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I was the author of all the posts.--andreasegde (talk) 14:28, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Let us be perfectly clear, there are many actions taken to restrict people's ability to edit which are based not on mature, thoughtful and humane consideration, but upon, possibly well meant, immature, rushed or hard hearted assumptions. These may often be summed up as "I don't like it" or even "I don't like you". Reasons are rarely given, when they are they usually miss the point. In the case cited (and I have seen maybe half a dozen similar cases) it took a very great deal of work merely to get talk page access restored.
I have been reluctant to criticize those involved, but it seems to me that the underlying problem is that many people, when they are in a position where they have routinely to issue blocks, forget that a block is, in fact, a big deal, especially when you are on the receiving end.
Rich Farmbrough, 19:07, 30 December 2012 (UTC).
There may or may not be a significant number of poor blocks, but I don't think the statement that "reasons are rarely given" for blocking or imposing restrictions is accurate. In some cases people may disagree with the reasons, and in a few cases there may even be an overwhelming consensus that a reason was rotten, but that's not the same as saying no reason was given. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:30, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Take for example two accounts blocked as sockpuppets of each other (we normally only block one) when they had been warned by an Admin and only made good faith edits afterwards (details here) - even now they have no notification on their talk page. But what I meant was that when challenged reasons are rarely forth-coming. Talk page sections are blanked, mantras are repeated. It seems to me that if we are to block people we should be able to fully defend that decision. And I think that is a broadly held view. Rich Farmbrough, 20:26, 31 December 2012 (UTC).
You can't "fully defend" anything when there's no hard and fast rule. Especially when someone is bound to reject the defense anyway. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Well that is the exact wording used for Checkuser. It seems to me that blocks should not be handed out lightly. And thought should be given to the difference between blocking a casual editor and someone who has a tight schedule of work that is going to be disrupted. Ideally of course, blocks would not be necessary. I would argue that we can very close to that ideal with established editors, without too much effort. Rich Farmbrough, 03:35, 3 January 2013 (UTC).

Going out on a limb here... Merry ChrisFSMas, happy Pastover, and have a good Ramendan. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:32, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

As much as I applaud your good wishes, the point is if it has anything to with "Building and Encyclopedia." If not, you are in the firing line.--andreasegde (talk) 20:39, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the news

The Daily Dot just published an article regarding one of our articles that was apparently a complete hoax and lasted for 5 1/2 years. I'm guessing that the damage from stuff like this is minimal because one likely wouldn't be searching for an event/person/etc that doesn't exist, but it makes you wonder how pervasive this very hard to identify brand of trolling is and what, if anything, we can do about it. Sædontalk 00:19, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I'm kinda disappointed. That article didn't even mention my favorite! The Michigan Canada Wars. Kumioko (talk) 00:36, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Well there's a small collection on my talk page, though mostly of hoax facts rather than whole articles. We do need a little humility over this type of thing, the fact that one cannot point to an error on Wikipedia, because the act of pointing makes it go away, does not mean that errors do not exist and persist for some time. There are some things we can do, but BEANZ applies. Rich Farmbrough, 21:05, 3 January 2013 (UTC).
      • This is actually not much of a surprise. Someone rightly pointed out last year that most of the low-hanging fruit on Wikipedia - the "easy" articles - has already been picked. What's left is increasingly specialised, which means that it's increasingly difficult to scrutinise because of the difficulty in finding sources and expertise. I would be very surprised if this was the only such hoax out there. It's quite likely that there are more waiting to be discovered. Prioryman (talk) 21:17, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
        • Whoever pointed that out did so wrongly. The simple fact of the matter is that we have reams of "easy" articles left. Just look at the list in the box at User talk:Drmies#Thanks.... These are "easy" articles, inasmuch as not only do sources exist, but there are in several cases whole biographies of these people already accessible on the WWW. They were just created this week. Prior to that, we didn't even know that we lacked them. Discovering whole sets of articles that not only did we not have but we didn't even have listed on any of the lists of redlinks such as Skysmith's has become something of a pastime, and it happens regularly. I keep a list of some at User:Uncle G/Missing encyclopaedic articles. We didn't know that we didn't have Sagaan Ubgen, a major religious figure for quite a large portion of the world, until four months ago, and we only came across it by accident at User talk:Drmies/Archive 36#'sup.

          And then there are the articles that have sat as stubs or just drivel for years. North Asia (AfD discussion), an entire region of the planet, was a two-sentence stub for five years. Nun's Well, Cannock Wood was ghost-hunting drivel for six years. Diogenes and Alexander (AfD discussion), a subject that has two millennia of literature discussing it, took almost a decade for us to cover. Wikipedia:Concept limit is unmitigated claptrap of the first order. Don't for a second believe that the "easy" stuff, be that subjects that have in depth sources available on the WWW or subjects that are obviously major, is all gone.

          The hoaxes are not symptomatic of subjects being obscure. They are symptomatic of bad writing by bad writers going unnoticed for a long time. That's nothing to do with obscurity or difficult natures of the subjects. Indeed, due to the significant bias toward British topics in "Pommiepedia", it's hard to argue that Nun's Well, Cannock Wood is "obscure" to the editorship and "too difficult" for it. St Marys Church, Clophill isn't "obscure" and "too difficult" to the British editors, either. Yet the editorship at large only noticed that because the edit war among three single-purpose accounts over another lot of ghost-hunting drivel reached the administrator's noticeboard at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive777#St Marys Church, Clophill.

          Yes, William Henry Duignan is yet another article that we didn't even know that we didn't have. Black Kite is working on it at User:Black Kite/WHD.

          Uncle G (talk) 22:50, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

          • That's three different arguments, and I was making one of them to the Latter Day Saints on my doorstep last night - I think I converted them to Wikipedia, though one was from Belgium - and there are certainly many many topics that can be covered with a little research.

            It is true that one can no longer pick, say, a popular author, a common scientific concept, a major contemporary politician, a piece of mainstream classic literature to write a fresh article about.

            The question of identifying inaccuracies currently is not primarily linked to either of these, but more to the spectrum of readers of the articles involved. And certainly more obscure articles have less readers. Rich Farmbrough, 23:45, 3 January 2013 (UTC).

            • Rubbish. Sonnet 150, Sonnet 149, and Sonnet 148 are all still one-sentence stubs. Or are the works of Shakespeare somehow disqualified from being "mainstream classic literature"? Uncle G (talk) 00:04, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
              • Those three were not written by Shakespeare but by me, socking through a time machine. Rich Farmbrough, 01:04, 4 January 2013 (UTC).
  • That's nothing, Gaius Flavius Antoninus was around for over 8 years! See Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia. In the case of Chen Fang, present for over 7 years, the author was a Harvard student attempting to expose the limitations of Wikipedia. There are many hoaxes on Wikipedia, both found and unfound, and we do our best to deal with them as we find them, but it is very difficult to combat a determined and smart hoax author, who is not above fabricating hard-to-access source materials. On the plus side, hoaxes generally do little harm, other than mislead people into thinking something exists when in fact it does not. The best way to fight hoaxes I think is just plain old fact-checking - experts read articles in their area and can smell when something is off. See for example this discussion about Bunaka, in which the claims of implausible water temperatures quickly drew suspicion from experts. Dcoetzee 00:05, 4 January 2013 (UTC)


Jimbo, FYI- you've been nominated by User:Anthonyhcole for some free merchandise over at Wikipedia:Merchandise giveaways. Thought I'd let you know. Go Phightins! 03:50, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I'm sure it's something you always wanted. AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 03:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

John Stossel

Jimbo, I enjoyed seeing you on Stossel tonight. He said during the interview that his article had only one mistake. Did he tell you (off camera) what that one mistake is? --B (talk) 02:44, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

No, unfortunately because I joined by satellite, we had no real chance to chat before or after the piece.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:53, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

The admin problems

Hello Jimbo,

I am pretty sure you are aware of the gigantic snowball of fighting that has been going around our Wikipedia and Admin Noticeboards the whole day today. If you arent, a quick look at the Admin's noticeboards might help.

I would request you to comment here. IMO this looks like one of the plausible quick-solutions which can stop the avalanche. The downside - Its not as "optimal" or "fair" a solution as one would want it to be.

Please tell us what you think of it. We really need to stop this NOW.

Thanks and cheers, TheOriginalSoni (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Frankly, while a bit of a surprising dust-up, more of a tempest in a teapot. Jimbo has better things to do.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:14, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Community split

Boodlepounce suggests that when the community is split over how to handle this issue; the admin corps is divided; and the Arbitration Committee has failed to resolve the issue -- then a ruling from the God-King is needed. Boodlepounce invites Jimbo to decide between the principles: Does significant contribution to the encylopedia imply that an editor may be held to a lower level of civility than others; or is the civility policy to be applied equally irrespective of contribution history? It seems to Boodlepounce that a ruling in principle is required here. Boodlepounce (talk) 22:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

There is no such community split here - and imo no such thing as an "admin corps" - also Jimmy doesn't make god king rulings - happy new year - Youreallycan 03:45, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Boodlepounce, a mathematics focused user with 100 edit in the last year - who is that ? Youreallycan 03:49, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Your phrasing of the question belies your bias. An alternative phrasing would be: Should an editor's positive contributions to the encyclopedia be weighed against their act of incivility when considering a block, or should they be disregarded? Monty845 15:07, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
This all falls on Arbcom's lap, since they are the body designed to solve the problems the community can not. And as so often happens with Malleus, they chose to simply bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away. The truth is, these problems will continue to exist as long as Malleus is an active exitor, simply because he is completely unable to change his own behaviour. A problem compounded and magnified by his enablers. Resolute 15:45, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Maybe. It seems there are a couple-few issues in play here:

  1. The idea of vested editors in general, being treated differently regarding sanctions.
  2. The idea of Malleus in particular, being treated differently regarding sanctions, due to the particular unique nature of his situation and case.
  3. The future and fate of what I'll call Malleism, a (currently somewhat inchoate) ideology which may have a growing number of adherents. I can't exactly describe Malleism, but my feeling is its something along the lines of changing the Wikipedia to much more favor expert editors over the general run of humanity than is currently the case, with some particular points being the deprecating of WP:AGF, WP:CIVIL, the existence of ArbCom, the nature and powers of the admin corps, and some other things.[11] Sort of making the Wikipedia more like Citizendium, except valorizing experienced and talented editors rather than subject matter experts, if I understand aright.

Im not going to address #1 here, and as to #3, maybe the time has come for that, but that's a different conversation. As to #2, if that is the crux of the matter, then here is a proposed solution for the community to accept or reject as they wish. Herostratus (talk) 16:12, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia has many expert editors who don't share these negative behavioural traits. Consequently, I find the premise of your third point to be a false dichotomy. Oh, and a pre-emptive and WP:POINTy MFD of your own essay will certainly help reduce the drama surrounding this editor. {rolleyes} Resolute 16:22, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of the number of edits they have or the speaking in the third person, I think Boodlepounce has it right the community is split. On one hand you have those folks whom Malleus interacts well with, who understand and accept his demeanor and antics and who think his contributions outweigh his tendency to drop the F bomb and verbally attack other editors he perceives as less worthy. On the other, you have some editors who know how he is and continue to provoke him, follow him around hounding him and just generally don't want to drop it. In both camps you have admins and experienced editors who should know better. I also agree that Arbcom failed to act. I also admit that I have in the past been at least moderately supportive of Malleus thinking that his contributions outweigh his demeanor. Much the same way some feel about me I suspect. But as I stated on his talk page, it really needs to stop. This is the sort of thing that drives away editors and gives us a bad reputation. Especially when it involves so many admins and experienced editors in the same day. This was quite frankly a disgraceful display of how the social interactions of Wikipedia have been eroded over time. I admit that I don't think Jimbo can or would intervene but it certainly warrants his attention I believe. Even if he chooses not to respond this is the sort of thing he should be aware of. Kumioko (talk) 16:33, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't think an editor should be blocked or banned, unless they've comitted vandalism, engaged in mass edit-warring and/or used sock-puppetry. Having said that, the only way to insure the application of WP:CIVIL, is to make an Administrator's block unchallengable - i.e avoid wheelwarring. Thus the blocked editor would seek an unblock through the required request, which is the normal procedure. GoodDay (talk) 18:21, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I disagree that "Jimbo has better things to do". Jimbo was instrumental in the formation of the five pillars, and I think should at least be asked if they should go to four. Here they are:

  • "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia." Content submitted that is not encyclopedic, even if it's really nice and really well-written, is rejected. Contributors who persist in submitting unencyclopedic content are similarly rejected via a block.
  • "Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view." Again, advocacy pieces, even if they're really well done, are rejected. Similarly, POV pushers who will not stop are ultimately kicked off.
  • "Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute." Copyright violations are shot on sight, and those who persist in placing them are blocked.
  • "Wikipedia does not have firm rules." That's the only one in question here. Should we make an exception under this pillar, to someone who deliberately takes a hacksaw to the final one? Malleus does, to be sure, create some damn fine articles.
  • "Editors should interact with each other in a respectful and civil manner." I don't think anyone will argue that Malleus often falls short of this requirement, and even that's putting it charitably. If Malleus posted copyright violations, or hoax articles, or POV pushes, a tenth as often as often as (s)he posts attacks on other editors, Malleus would've been blocked indefinitely long ago, to little or no controversy. So do we IAR civility (with the attendant damage that will cause among other editors put off), or send Malleus off, given that it is clear Malleus either cannot or will not obey the civility pillar?

I actually think a comment from Jimbo would be welcome here, though it probably will not be forthcoming. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:49, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I would generally agree with that. Unfortunately it seems a lot of the Admins doing the blocking these days have a much lower requirement for blocking. I do also think that when a member of the community shows a repeated disrespect for their fellow editors some intervention of some kind may be needed. Kumioko (talk) 18:51, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't know the editor or case, but a 1-week block for [12] doesn't seem rightis a bit long, and an indefinite block for [13] seems excessive. I have not changed my opinion that "good editing deserves consideration" in which a threshold around 1 per 1000 was proposed. Wnt (talk) 19:11, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

The first block is not for the edit but for the edit summary. Indefinite does not mean permanent or even necessarily long. Rich Farmbrough, 17:34, 1 January 2013 (UTC).
I stand corrected on the first. On the second, though, "indefinite" blocks become permanent too often; I don't see a reason not to set an upper limit if you're not trying to get rid of an editor entirely. Wnt (talk) 20:16, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  • @Claimed community split - Over 95 percent of all contributors to the project do not get involved and show no interest in these problems in any way and simply add and edit content in apparent attempts to improve it - Youreallycan 20:23, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course we can only count for positive or negative those who take and interest in and comment on the case. If that be 1%, 5% or 100%, the result shows a split. Kumioko (talk) 20:32, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes exactly - and this can in no way be described as a community split - the vast majority don't care at all about it and just want to add and edit article contest - the one percent vocal contributors are not and should not be here to control and disrupt it , but to aid and assist the other 99 percent to edit - - Youreallycan 20:39, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Monty sums up the issue pretty well above. I would note that in the real world, an employer will tolerate a great deal more from a star salesman than from the lowest performer. People tolerate a great deal of personal stupidity from Bill Clinton because they agreed with his policies and found his actual job performance to be very good. Is it fair? Maybe, maybe not. If you think of enwp is like a social network, then the contributions of someone like Malleus is no different than someone who edits as an IP a few times a week, so it isn't fair. If you think in terms of Wikipedia being a non-profit trying to build an encyclopedia and allowing each person the amount of rope they earn according to their deeds, then your answer may be different. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  • ArbCom (at least the 2012 edition) indicated that "the community" hasn't really addressed MFs behavior as indicated by Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Malleus Fatuorum being a redlink. If an editor thinks there's a long term pattern of editing that needs to be addressed, that's the way to go, not Rambo block & unblocks and AN & ANI postings which inevitably spiral out of control. Let's get off the merry go round, shall we? NE Ent 21:27, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    • A good idea - we should have an RfC/U. My own feeling is that I'm not at all convinced that his good edits outweigh the civility problem. The issue to me is his effect on other editors - does he drive other editors away from Wikipedia? Does he make other editors unwilling to edit in certain areas? Are we sure there are no costs to Wikipedia, that the sum total of his good edits outweighs any negative impact his behavior has on the possible good editing of others? Dougweller (talk) 21:50, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
      • @User:Dougweller - Not a good idea at all - any RFC user about Malleus in a relation to civilly is an escalation in disruption - you will not get consensus for anything apart from this RFC user has raised conflict and disruption - I suggest you, and any other user for that matter, back off - be nice - attempt to get over any prior divisive issues and try to develop a more amicable environment here in 2013 - Youreallycan 21:59, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
      • The potential trouble with that, Doug, is that the issue is so very, incredibly heated that any RfC/U is almost certain to be derailed by those on one side going for the throats of those on the other (and vice versa). The community is basically incapable of handling the issue without becoming so bogged down in its own rage that all discussion ceases to be constructive. At which point the discussion dies, some people ragequit, and everything goes into hibernation...until the next time. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:15, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
        • Perhaps this is exactly what needs to happen and, in fact, might just be where we are headed. No one wants to see a bareknuckle fight on Wikipedia with editors taking sides and fighting each other, but we cannot simply say "Forget it, its too messy". No, sometimes we need to forget what might happen and just allow "Whatever" to happen. We're just kicking the can down the road. I think an RFC/U is the right move. Of course...the reason an RFC/U never gets started is because there is no one really willing to do so. I have no reason to start one. Does anyone? If it. It isn't that arbcom is saying no one should create one, they are simply pointing out that no one has.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:07, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
          • He currently isn't active. I recommend against it. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 19:00, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
            • This is one of those rare moments when I disagree with you Dennis. He claims to be inactive and that may or may not be be true, but that makes no real difference. We both know that he announced retirement and remained active on a number of talkpages. I don't know if there was any content creation but there was enough discussion to be somewhat contentious or controversial. Admins blocking and unblocking each other over the single editor has some weight with what may or may not be sufficient reason to create the RFC/U. Frankly this is really just my opinion of the creation of the RFC, not of the editor. My last interaction with them was pleasant. I have no current gripes with them, just that they hold no special position within the community to be immune from blocking, sanction or a Request for Comment/User Conduct.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:02, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
              • The issue with an RFC is that it might very well just create more drama and reach no conclusion of any value. Rich Farmbrough, 03:44, 3 January 2013 (UTC).
                • There have been a few instances where an RFC/U was opened on an inactive user, and I think proposed sanctions will usually be suspended until the user has a chance to return. (In particular, that's what happened with a recent Arb request against an admin.) In any case, Malleus may very well be pursuing a clean start--which means the community might still benefit from his considerable editing skill. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:27, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

I have to say that the most significant point out of this thread is one I have been mulling for some time, that YRC makes. The community, by and large, does not make decisions, express opinions, become split. It is only those of us that, through choice, force, duty or habit, frequent the dramah boards, the policy pages, RfCs and so forth that do this. It would be edifying, perhaps, if some of the !votes were compulsory, and more so if a "don't care get on with editing" option were supplied. Rich Farmbrough, 03:44, 3 January 2013 (UTC).

  • And what is the Wikipedia community anyway? Wikipedia has thousands of users, but most of the time only a few screaming, anonymous trolls make decisions in the name of the community. (talk) 21:19, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
  • There is really no such thing as "the community". There is a small subset of editors - probably only a couple of hundred at the most - who participate regularly in the noticeboards, policy pages, RFCs and so on. For the vast majority of editors, things like this Malleus silliness are just "sound and fury, signifying nothing". Personally I just ignore it and get on with writing articles. Prioryman (talk) 21:25, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
    I do not even believe there are a couple of hundred. Besides most of them are not editors, they are users. Editors add content to Wikipedia, and rarely participate in the discussions. Most users who regularly participate in the discussions do not add content to Wikipedia. (talk) 21:38, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
In truth, if you are editing and not discussing you are breaching a core Wikipedia value. Saying that "editors" who add content rarely discuss is simply not accurate. It could be that you are simply talking about editors that work on obscure articles with little editing traffic. I love those articles. Nice and quite...until something hits the news or there is a general rise in interest due to film and television. Frankly there is little distinction as I don't believe there are Users" that add no content at all unless they are brand new and just observing to see how things are done. Not a bad idea actually.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:54, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me that a lot of the drama would be cut if we limited certain actions to those who have put in a minimum of "sweat equity" or work into the content of the encyclopedia pages (and not the talk and other pages). We are already starting to go there with protected pages but I think we need to extend it. Most of the drama comes from a subset of users who spend almost all of their time here (if not all their time) in drama and conflict with other editors which makes a lot of work for admins. Lots of pages should have stronger protection than they do and only those editors who put in time on other, less controversial, topics should be allowed to edit. They would have much more to lose by causing problems than someone who created an account to POV push/edit war and what not. Id even go so far as to make editing requirements for certain other actions such as participating on RfDs and a lot of the other stuff as well as ditching IP editing for more than a few characters. The objection of course is that it ranks Wikipedians and violates "anyone can edit". However, if you think about it, not anyone can edit. Banned editors cant, people are not permitted to edit their own WP articles, company and PR guys are already heavily restricted under our rather draconian COI policy. IP's are not allowed to create articles. "Anyone can edit" should not have to mean any page at any time. WP is a HUGE undertaking and those who are really serious about contributing would not mind working on less controversial articles instead of the same small percentage. Its just a hoop to jump to allow trouble makers to weed themselves out and make banning after the fact less necessary.Thelmadatter (talk) 22:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
This idea is not without merit, and indeed, combining somethign like this with some of the suggestions at WP:WER has been on my mind. The trouble is that while it has a certain appeal, and might work in practice, it wouldn't work in theory. One example is Wikilings who think they have been treated unfairly go to AN/I - if things work as they should, they have the system, and the reasons for it explained gently and go away happy (other times they get boomeranged <sad face /> ). If they weren't allowed to AN/I it could create an underclass. (Or as some would put it, another underclass.) Rich Farmbrough, 03:58, 5 January 2013 (UTC).
There would be an "underclass" but one of merit. As of right now, someone who puts in a lot of work and time on the encyclopedia itself has nothing really to show for it. You get more attention here either by complaining or by working on other projects/admin work than you do for actually writing the encyclopedia. In a sense, we already have an underclass... those who work on the encyclopedia rather then involve themselves in drama and special projects.Thelmadatter (talk) 15:35, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Defining a paper as a "tabloid journalism" source

It used to be so easy to define what is and isn't a "Tabloid Journalism" source. Not so much any more. Due to the recent events that included our project (Wikipedia) in the news, about the article on the British publication "The Independent" in regards to the Leveson Inquiry and a hoax, I want the publication to be treated as fairly as possible. Yes...I discovered this after I had already removed use of the paper in a single BLP article that involved a dispute of the figure's date of birth, referring to it as a "tabloid jounalism" source. I took time to look at the article we have as well as research more about the paper. I conluded that it is a "Tabloid Journalism" source, but feel this requires further community input. For that reason I have started a thread on WP:RS/N here.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

By coincidence, I just quoted (or perhaps misquoted) you in that thread, Jimbo, on an occasion when you were questioning how reliable we should consider the Daily Mail (which I consider an interesting point of comparison to the Independent). --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:40, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
A little context here - from Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Is the UK paper, "The Independent" a "tabloid journalism" source for BLP references? "This is in regards to the article Paloma Faith and the source used for dating the subject's date of birth, which appears to be in dispute". Frankly, I think that this is an appalling act of overkill over an issue of trivial significance. All newspapers make mistakes. That is no reason to rule them out as sources entirely. And policy states that we don't... AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:56, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I notice Amadscientist is making some rather strange claims about The Guardian being under 'community restrictions'. [14] I'd like to see some evidence for that too... AndyTheGrump (talk) 10:02, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Andy is correct. That was a misunderstanding from another discussion on the Guardian Data blog. I dug it all back up to check. Thankfuly my mistake has little effect on the section that this was in regards to. The infomation was also found in another source that was already there. I will double check to be sure no content was lost that was sourced using it. I do know there was some content that was not sourced to either references that was removed. But thank you Andy. You were accurate and I was not. My apologies.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:07, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't consider The Independent to be a tabloid newspaper. All big name newspapers have printed mistakes before. Really the most egregious one would be the New York Times, but we still consider that to be reliable. It all depends on the specific article and what it's used for. I am hesitant to disqualify the use of any newspaper. Even the Daily Mail has useful articles. SilverserenC 10:10, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

It's good to see that the Paloma Faith Problem has at last progressed beyond people waving uncertified purported copies of birth certificates around. But why The Independent comes into it as the primary bone of contention is puzzling. At Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard/Archive165#Paloma Faith I cited a source from the school that the subject attended, as well as a newspaper very local to the subject.

I'm not sure why Jimbo needs to be used for this, as clearly the subject has come up on the BLP Noticeboard. Perhaps people want Jimbo to use his celebrity contacts again and sidle up to Paloma Faith at some party to ask her: "Exactly how old are you?" It probably won't make the papers if you don't report the answer, Jimbo. ☺

"Sun Exclusive! Wikipedia Wales chats up Paloma Faith for Wikipedia 'People with Pseudonyms made me do it!' exclaims Encyclopaedia Entrepreneur. Independent slammed as "unreliable" by Wiki Workers. Guardian gagged. Only your Super Saucy Soaraway Sun left as reliable source by Wiki Officials slashing "tabloids". See pages 3,4,7,8,9,10,14,20. Amadscientist ATE MY HAMSTER!"

Uncle G (talk) 11:43, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I swear...I did not eat your hamster. But I digress. This really isn't meant for Jimbo himself to comment on. Not everything that comes here even deserves his particular attention, although I certainly would consider his opinion to be rather strong in this respect. No, this is a simple notification here because I know his talkpage stalkers are likely to weigh in and give good responses. This page is considered a sort of AN2.0. Hey....not all of us are in the UK to know the ins and outs of every publication there. That is why I am asking.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:57, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
And I have been mentioned in the press innaccurately from my Wikipedia edits, so I am keenly aware of the potential for ridiculous reporting. Trust me.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll first comment about The Independent, and then about the broader issue. The Independent is not normally regarded as a "tabloid" newspaper in the relevant sense. It's a smaller paper with an interesting history, founded by journalists, and more recently purchased by Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny. Not long after the purchase I met with Alexander and Evgeny (as well as editor Simon Kelner) and they talked about their plans for the paper and motives for buying it. (To sum up what they said but in my own words, they care deeply about journalism and democracy due in no small part to the difficult situation in Russia. I got the impression that they hoped to find a way to break even with the paper, but the goal of ownership was more about being good custodians of an independent source of journalism than about trying to make money.) Since then, Simon Kelner has departed as editor, and of course I have no way of knowing what their internal strategy is. I only report all this to say that we should be thoughtful about too quickly re-categorizing the paper as a tabloid, although if that is what it is, then of course we should respond accordingly.
The entire tradition of characterizing papers as "tabloid" or "non-tabloid" is fraught with peril, as others have noted. There are newspapers which have a strong and recent history of sensationalist headlines and lost libel suits which, through our own personal experience and experience as editors sifting through conflict sources we know are very sloppy with the facts. I would say that in a great many cases we should not use these as sources by default, with exceptions being made on a careful case-by-case basis.
Moving away from the UK context, I noted a headline on one of the US supermarket tabloids (Globe, I believe it was) last week declaring that "It's official!" that the Queen is abdicating and passing the crown directly to William, bypassing Charles. The story is so blatantly absurd (the Queen has no power to simply decree a change to the order of succession) that it is clear that they made it up out of thin air, or found some crackpot unnamed source and blindly wrote what they were told, or similar. I would say that if we have a single reference to this newspaper in all of Wikipedia, it should be subjected to extremely careful scrutiny. (Perhaps at some point they really did break a major news story in a truthful way?) But as a routine matter, it should be banned as a source completely. Most cases are not this clear, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:44, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for taking a minute to address this. You understood my concern was to treat the publication fairly and that I, myself, lacked the resources at hand to make the determination. There were some really good replies and I would also like to thank everyone else that commented...even Uncle G. I admit I don't always understand him, but the hamster thing made me laugh.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:26, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • On that subject, you should go and read Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#A little reading is also a dangerous thing., where it's OK that someone else read all of the same WWW rumours about a sex change operation (that only a few people know the truth about and they aren't saying) and canonized them in a book, even though it's patently not OK for us to read all of the same WWW rumours and canonize them. The book is "reliable", even when it outright tells us that its source was the same things that we looked at and picked through for years and didn't allow directly. This is actually more up your street than chatting up Paloma Faith for Amadscientist.

    In the meantime, here are the headlines again:

    "Register Exclusive! Bonkers Boffin wants to know age of Paloma Faith. Pokes Jimbo Wales into Popping the Question to Pop Princess. Yank thinks Brit journalists no good for the task. Slams Charlotte Philby as unreliable "tabloid" journalist . "Paloma and the Penetrators" erased from history by Wikifact cops as if they had never been. Guardian "has no fact checking or editorial oversight". Hey! Maddo! El Reg doesn't belong at the bottom of the budgie cage. Cite us!"

    Uncle G (talk) 13:37, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't think your characterization is at all accurate, Uncle G. What the Paloma Faith and Lynette Nusbacher cases have in common is sourcing that leaves little room for reasonable doubt as to what the facts of the matter are. At the end of the day, WP:RS is a means of ensuring accuracy, and once we know that the material is accurate it has done its job.

      There's also a separate issue, in both cases, about whether we should omit information from WP in order to prevent potential embarrassment to living people (PF's age and LN's sex at birth). Those are things that would need careful discussion before implementing, but editors favouring exclusion appear to have made a tactical decision that they are better off arguing sourcing, which is why things degenerate into surreal arguments about the Independent as a tabloid newspaper and Macmillan as a publisher of junk reference works.

      The nub of the thing is that concerns about content relating to living people should be dealt with by referring to W:BLP. WP:RS isn't for that. Formerip (talk) 14:54, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

      • It only "leaves little room for reasonable doubt" when one hasn't actually put any thought at all into the matter. What you are demonstrating over and over, FormerIP, is a lack of an ability to conceive the case that the "belief" of un-named sources, who weren't the person concerned or anyone else who knows, is a falsehood. The simple truth is that the facts are unknown. You are inventing knowledge with nothing to support it, and doing exactly what M. Nusbacher didn't want back in 2007: obsessing over publication of private medical information that you have no knowledge of and no source for, because the one thing that you do know is that the facts have not been made public by the only people who are privy to them.

        In stark contrast, with Paloma Faith we actually have people who have interviewed Paloma Faith, who has freely stated the existence of "Paloma and the Penetrators". It isn't a private medical matter. She has also given interviews to newspapers talking of her growing up in Hackney.

        That you cannot see the stark and large difference between the two scenarios — a private matter where we know that the facts have not been divulged to the public and a whole load of bad writers are reliability-laundering unfounded WWW gossip, rumour, and speculation by way of a book that clearly states that it is sourced to the WWW, versus a matter where we know that the subject has given interviews, freely spoken of her early years, and indeed has been reported upon by the very school that she attended — is not something to be proud of.

        M. Nusbacher, whose only public aspect is as an erstwhile history consultant on a television programme and as an occasional guest lecturer on the topic and who is otherwise not a public figure, is a lot more needful of Jimbo's aid than Paloma Faith. I hope that Jimbo forgoes chatting up Paloma Faith in favour of assisting M. Nusbacher.

        Uncle G (talk) 18:05, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

        • Everyone who has a biography on Wikipedia deserves fair treatment. I don't know much about either individual but we shouldn't say that one deserves more assistance than the other.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:09, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
          • Deserves: I have no comment upon. But needs: in this case, yes one definitely can and should say that one person's need is greater than another. Paloma Faith doesn't need Jimbo at all, because the situation with the sources has long since been in hand by the editorship at large, and the only problems are sifting through which sources are the superior information and which the echo chamber of errors when it comes to the birth year, and "Maddo" who expunged "Paloma and the Penetrators" from history.

            M. Nusbacher, on the other hand, is suffering from an invasion of privacy at the hands of Wikipedia volunteers who are laundering rumour into fact and using the "If it's written in a book, it must be true!" fallacy, even though they know that the people who wrote the book had no more way of knowing the facts that we do directly, because the facts are simply not publicly known.

            Uncle G (talk) 00:12, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Caste yet again - time for WP:BLP policy to be clarified or amended?

Jimbo, I have started a new discussion of the interminable caste issue over at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Is labelling individuals by caste a violation of privacy, per WP:BLP, and if so should we make this explicit?, and I'd very much appreciate your input there. It seems to me that this issue goes to the very core of WP:BLP policy, and the duty that Wikipedia has to protect the privacy of individuals, as well as raising serious concerns over WP:NPOV, and over exactly what the purpose of Wikipedia is, and that it may be time to act incisively over an issue that had dragged on for far too long. AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:08, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Some unwarranted accusations on Wikipedia ruin the reputation of a person


Thanks. (talk) 20:42, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

From reading the apology in the Telegraph it looks like he pretty much ruined his own reputation. The Wikipedia article deals with the issue in a neutral manner with sources.--ukexpat (talk) 21:01, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Do you have a link to that Telegraph story? I'm reading the Mail Online story. If it contains inaccuracies about Mr. Ellory and Wikipedia that we could constructively help to correct, I would be happy to assist in doing so. That is, if the Mail accuses him of things that are false or that are not supported by the evidentiary log at Wikipedia, then it would be a kindness for us to point that out to them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:22, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
@Ukexpat, I was talking about the blocking from Wikipedia not about the case with Amazon, or you believe that a person who ruined his reputation once has no right to be treated fairly? (talk) 21:27, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course he has the right to be treated fairly, but I have no knowledge of the circumstances of the block so I cannot comment on that.--ukexpat (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Jim, this and this but I can't find the letter itself.--ukexpat (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Ukexpat, I am not even talking about the block now. I am only saying that there are no evidences he tried to hide his identity while editing Wikipedia. (talk) 21:34, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
If you have some way to reach him, you can recommend that he get in touch with me if he wants to talk about the circumstances of his block. I won't unblock him myself, obviously, but I'm happy to see if there is something useful and drama-reducing that I can do to allow everyone to move forward with dignity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:32, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
👍 Like--Amadscientist (talk) 23:39, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
This was already discussed on Drmies page, now archived [15]. It looks like a rather mundane block, done in September. He has never asked to be unblocked, and instead said he was going to "stay out of it". I added a note to his talk page with a link to emailing me and pointing to WP:GAB. Walking him through the reasons for the block and helping him understand shouldn't be that big of a deal. If you talk with him and want to point him to me for an unblock, if you like. This is no different than we do for other blocked editors that don't understand WP:BRD, and a typical editor retention function. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 07:28, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it was discussed on Drmies page. Drmies has never bothered to respond to me directly, but he did respond to other person's comment: " Don't know if I should be happy or not that those articles don't mention my name, but I guess it's for the better" like the most important thing was, if anonymous administrator Drmies was mentioned in the article. Besides according to you,Dennis Brown, Jimbo should not have taken a part in helping Richard O'Dwyer because this case was also discussed elsewhere.
Jimbo, I contacted the person yesterday. It was easy. He has a website with his contact information. Today I got the response. He writes that my email was the only light he saw in the last few days, and he accepted your offer with gratitude. He's traveling now, but he will contact you, when he's back home. Also, Jimbo, I believe that helping people who were treated unfairly on Wikipedia requires more personal courage than helping Richard O'Dwyer and a missing Kazakh journalist. (talk) 16:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say Jimmy shouldn't do anything, I just pointed him to a discussion that had also taken place, which he probably missed. I haven't determined that he was treated fairly or unfairly. My offer was about moving forward, not judging the past. I would treat him the same as I treat every other editor, expecting him to follow policy and helping him understand community norms, offering some short term mentoring if needed. I work with these problems regularly, (thus the pointer to WP:WER above) so this isn't a "special offer" for just him; myself and others work frequently with blocked editors that need assistance in coming back. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 18:21, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Dennis, you write: "I haven't determined that he was treated fairly or unfairly." What prevented you from making the determination? There are many editors who are treated unfairly on Wikipedia, and sometimes nobody cares about fixing that unfairness. Would you like an example? Please see this block. The user did not vandalize the article. He made an encyclopedic edit that improved the article. This user has never vandalized any article at all, yet he was blocked as vandalism-only account, blocked by an abusive, protected admin, and nobody, nobody, Denis, has given a damn about the user who edited Wikipedia for 3 years, and as a reward got blocked as vandalism only account. This user has never bothered to write an unblock request, but how right it would have been, if somebody simply unblocked him back then. It is a splendid idea moving forward without judging the past, but remember "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it", so sometimes judging the past could result in preventing that past from repeating. (talk) 20:14, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Making such a determination is very time consuming, and not always productive. Pragmatically it makes more sense for most editors to attempt to move forward. It is certainly also the case that things go wrong on Wikipeida, at all levels of governance, but once again a certain amount of pragmatism is useful in trying to right these wrongs. I have notified Gwen Gale of this discussion. Rich Farmbrough, 04:58, 5 January 2013 (UTC).
  • As Rich points out, determining "guilt" is time consuming and I haven't been asked to fully review yet. My first objective would be to find a way to bring someone back. If I find mistakes in the blocking, it would be dealt with separately. There is WP:NOJUSTICE at Wikipedia. I'm an admin not a judge, so I seek solutions rather than justice. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 13:25, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
But we are a community, and we can insist upon decent behaviour from each other, and some degree of competency from those swanning around here blocking content writers. I just looked at enough of the history of the blocked editor (that the IP referred to just above) to determine it was not a vandalism only account, as claimed by the blocking admin. This mantra of "move forward, don't look back" is, as the IP points out, mistaken - particularly in relation to admin performance - and only serves to protect, and keep in place, poor performers. The ethos here is toxic. Admin under-performance has a big role in that. Reflection (looking back) is essential. Sometimes it hurts to do so, sorry. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:10, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Rich, remember the statement you made in this thread? I mean this one: "This idea that Wikipedia is not "Real Life" is fallacious. I have had at lest two editors contacting me saying that they were suffering ill health because of abuse on Wikipedia, and two who have felt close to taking their own lives. In every case but one administrators (individuals, not as a cadre) were responsible. You have to remember our editor demographic corresponds very closely to the suicide demographic. It is only a matter of time before "Wikipedia editor takes own life" is a headline, and I just hope that when that evil day happens none of us have anything to reproach ourselves with. " So, isn't this better to find a time to make it right for somebody, I mean before something really bad happens?
I certainly do remember that statement. I doesn't mean that either I, or Dennis, or even both of us together are able to change the culture on WP. But we are trying. I am currently encouraging 3 unblocks (not of necessarily bad blocks, but unblocks nonetheless), and promoting discussion of an amnesty. As to dealing with admins who make bad blocks the real solution is monitoring and mentoring, not loads of de-sysops all over the place. Rich Farmbrough, 22:45, 5 January 2013 (UTC).
Dennis, mistakes happen, and it's OK although we should distinguish between mistakes and bullying. Sometimes a user could be brought back, and sometimes a single mistake is enough to make somebody to leave for good, but, Dennis, sometimes it could be worse, much worse than simply leaving Wikipedia. Of course you are an administrator not a judge, but if you think kindness and compassion instead of thinking Wikipedia, if you speak English instead of speaking Wikipedia polices you'd make a good and fair administrator. I am going to travel with no Internet access for the next few weeks, but I'd like to thank everybody who participated in this important discussion. (talk) 15:11, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Let me add one tiny bit If I think an admin makes a mistake, often I will take it offwiki rather than onwiki. I'm free to be a bit more blunt in email, for starters. I don't overlook admin mistakes, but I don't try to embarrass anyone either. Solutions, not justice. But again, I have no opinion at this time regarding this case, just a willingness to help. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 17:00, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Verifiability and sourcing

An interesting debate has come up at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Multiple_Civility_Issues_relating_to_RFC_on_Article_Talk_page-_Unsure_How_to_Approach about how verifiable something is if it is not sourced. An editor removed unsourced content from Synchronous motor on the basis that it was unsourced, but a bunch of editors with engineering backgrounds have restored it on the basis that it is easily "verifiable" despite not being sourced. I suspect what they really mean is that it is standard basic knowledge for engineers, but what you know to be correct from standard basic knowledge within your field is not necessarily what is easily verifiable right? Betty Logan (talk) 14:20, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I haven't read the ANI thread in question, but based on your description here, this sounds like a tempest in a teapot. If the editors with engineering backgrounds consider this to be "standard basic knowledge", then at least one of them should have no trouble citing the fact to an engineering textbook or something similar. Add the source, and no problem. Resolute 14:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
    • I wish they would! Betty Logan (talk) 14:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
      • An edit like this should not be made solely because sources are not cited. Unsourced material can and should be removed if it is challenged, but that challenge should involve some degree of genuine doubt as to its accuracy, rather than someone just deciding it would be better to clean up everything in an article that doesn't have an obvious citation. Now to be clear, the editor's impulse to get verifiability here is admirable, because it is easy to accept the truth of something like this without thinking it through carefully enough. But the right way to proceed is to try to look up sources for all the unsourced stuff, then quote on the talk page which parts you couldn't source and put a citation needed tag on each one, then delete them if nothing else happens after a bit. Wnt (talk) 15:36, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
        • I don't agree that material should be retained on the basis of being accurate, because the requirement is that it should be verifiable. Generally facts are more easily verifiable, but ultimately you don't demonstrate verifiability by demonstrating your knowledge, you demonstrate it by providing a source. To follow up on that edit specifically, the editor didn't just delete the content he moved it to the talk page, and after another a discussion with this editor I asked the Engineering Wikiproject if someone would be willing to track down some sources. I think those were reasonable steps, and I think a reasonable response would have been for one of the five engineers to point out a chapter in a textbook where this stuff can be found, rather than simply restoring it because they believe it to be accurate. Betty Logan (talk) 15:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
          • I don't agree that material should be retained on the basis of being accurate — Foolhardy is the person who comes to Jimbo's user talk page and tries to argue that accuracy isn't a goal, after ten years of his pointing out that it is. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 17:32, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
            • The goal of Wikipedia is the corroboration of information. It's an encylopedia not a tutorial. Betty Logan (talk) 18:09, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
              • Those two statements have no apparent relationship to anything that precedes them. Uncle G (talk) 23:57, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, I'm not suggesting material be retained because a majority of editors think it is accurate without checking - I do support the "verifiability, not truth" idea. But I don't think it should be taken out unless someone actually doubts that it is accurate, preferably after at least a pro forma search. In other words, we should not procedurally set up some bot that deletes every "citation needed" sentence in the encyclopedia. However, I do also agree that those restoring the material, given that it had been challenged, even if wrongly, should have made some effort to source it. It should be clear from this discussion that sourcing shouldn't be a burden that two "sides" try to shove off on one another, but a goal that either side should be eager to land first. Wnt (talk) 05:30, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Blanking without any attempt at WP:PRESERVE generally

This has become a personal bugbear of mine lately.. And sorry to hook onto your particular case here, Betty. WP:V states that "if ... you think the material is verifiable, it is better to try to provide an inline citation yourself before considering whether to remove or tag it." and WP:PRESERVE also states that one should look for a source first. While this case might be a bit more nuanced (and certainly experts saying that it's common knowledge then not citing is a bit strange), a lot of people going around doing "d uncited per tag" don't seem able to put the 3 seconds into googling for an actual source. Murdoch University, for example, recently lost a section on the university's main campus, despite a source for that information being the very first google result. Discussion on this point in the past seemed to indicate that WP:PRESERVE and the relevant section of WP:V can be viewed as completely optional and that it was, in fact, my responsibility to find a source on pages that have had such treatment. So I'm meant to wikistalk other editors to do the WP:PRESERVE work they were too lazy to do themselves? This does not advance the cause of the project. ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 16:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't mind, it's turning into something of a philosophical debate of sorts on Wikipedia. It helps to inform the debate to see the other side of the coin. Betty Logan (talk) 16:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Ideally it should make very little difference - after the material is posted to the talk page and the issue is noted, people will go over it and decide what is verifiable and what isn't, and either cut or restore to the same version. The problem comes when no one looks at the talk page or thinks twice about the article. The number of "citation needed" tags that hang around for months, even years, reminds us of how often that can happen - and that is bad, but the alternative would be not to send the reader on to any of those other useful articles nor to give them search terms to follow up on. Wikipedia's strategy from the beginning has been to trust the editor, even though, yes, sometimes there is a humiliating hoax. Wnt (talk) 17:07, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I personally prefer adding CN tags. SilverserenC 20:11, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The paramount thing is accuracy. Information should be verifiable and accurate. We're evolving from a 2003-style WP in which random passersby added tidbits that they believed to be true, which were "group-sourced" in or out based on consensus, to a more formal encyclopedia based on footnotes, footnotes, footnotes. This is all for the good. The fact that what we expect of users in 2013 is not the same level of footnoting that flew in 2005 or 2008 or whatever does not mean that there is a green light for the mass removal of everything not footnoted. Again, it's accuracy that matters. If it is wrong, blow it away. If it might be wrong, blow it away or flag it and take the matter to the talk page. If it is right, let it stand and flag it for sources if necessary. Carrite (talk) 22:07, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Should it be noted that, in the case above that started all this, the user in question who removed the material also went and added it to the talk page, so references could be researched for it. It's not like they just removed the information wholesale, they did the right thing and took it directly to the talk page to be worked on. I really like that method of doing things too. SilverserenC 01:42, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
  • A removal of unsourced content is a challenge. So is tagging. Putting it back (or removing the tag) must be met with the burden of evidence....source it. While just being on Wikipedia without an inline citation is not against our policies or guidelines, verifiability is not an option. If it cannot be verified it goes. If it can be verified and is not "unquestionable' then the challenge should be met with sourcing even if it is not actually placed on the article itself. That is why we discuss these issues. It may not be as apparent to others that it is "unquestionable". If the consensus is that the information is easily verified and unquestionable, it need not always have an inline citation. Its a collaboration. Like Silver seren says....they were discussing the issue by placing the content on the talkpage for further investigation..--Amadscientist (talk) 05:50, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Not really. There are three distinct cases where information should not be removed that we are discussing
  • A disruptive challenge, including a challenge for the sake of challenge is not a challenge in the sense we mean in policy.
  • Information that is removed under the (wrong) impression that everything needs to be sourced
  • Information that is tagged, because a source would be a good thing, but is not necessarily doubted
Rich Farmbrough, 14:45, 5 January 2013 (UTC).
Well, Rich if it was that easy it wouldn't be a problem. Could you provide a link to these policies or guidelines please?--Amadscientist (talk) 23:10, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I like the way you put it, Rich, but that's not what's happening around the place. To be honest, neither is those parts of WP:V and WP:PRESERVE which suggest finding citations oneself, but whatever. ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 10:57, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It is time we come together as a communtiy to decide these issues. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road. We lose editors far too often over these very problems. We do not need individual idealism, (no offence to Danjel or Rich. Two fine editors I respect) but what Wikipedia needs is editor ATTENTION as well as retention. Join the discussion and make your voice heard. We are not a social networking site, but we are a social site. All communities of actual people are such. We are not able to just do what we want without consequences and we need to respect each others contributions even if we do not agree. I hope that all editors will take time to look at what our policies and guidelines actually say and what we can do without as well as what we need to retain. Don't be afraid to help each other as much as we may try to fight each other. Those that we disagree with the most may well be the very ones to help us learn and grow.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:17, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

You are all missing the most common case of using wp:burden to remove material. It is used to remove sourced material accompanied by a "not a wp:rs" type claim. And the most common case of this is to POV the article by removing "opposing" material. And the second most common reason for doing this is to pursue a pissing war. North8000 (talk) 11:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I have to disagree with both Rich and Danjel. If I find unsourced information, and I have any cause to doubt it, I will remove it or tag it. Period. Part of editing Wikipedia is, well, editing. And editing a research/reference work includes removing that which we are not certain of. The rules are (or should be) very simple: you add, you source it. And while people like to bring up the "not everything needs to be sourced", the rules say "anything that might be challenged needs to be sourced". Well, I don't know about you all, but if something is not "common sense" (i.e., is known by the majority of English speakers of the world with a primary or maybe secondary level education), I necessarily "challenge" it. If someone says actor X was born in city Y, then I want a source. If someone says that product X sold well, I want a source. If someone says that chemical X + chemical Y yields chemical Z, I want a source. If someone says that ice is cold, well, then it can be unsourced. Those who've been here a long time may not see that we have to make a choice: be a serious reference work, or build incrementally without worry about the current quality of our facts. I believe that we are now ready to be a serious reference work, given that we are the main means of looking up knowledge for English speakers in their teens and twenties (at least in the US). If that means we have to say less until someone can find a source, then that's great. This is, of course, no different than the standards that a researcher, good journalist, or book publisher should follow. Qwyrxian (talk) 13:13, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I will often remove material sourced to a clearly unreliable source if I can't easily find a reliable source. My experience is that such material is often pov. I do look before I remove it of course. Dougweller (talk) 15:48, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Qwyrxian: you made my point for me. Here, let me take what you've said and emphasise the key point: "If I find unsourced information, and I have any cause to doubt it, I will remove it or tag it." The point here is doubt. Looking at the Murdoch University article, for example, do you doubt that they have a campus? Even if you were a little dubious that a university might exist without campuses, a reasonable person, per WP:PRESERVE, would do a 3 second google search before removing the whole section. ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 16:05, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Indeed Qwxy, you agree with me in your opening sentence. As part of the Wiki process it is fine for one person to write, another to copyedit, and a third to provide references.
And Mad, I was being descriptive, not prescriptive, using WP:COMMONSENSE which trumps policy. Rich Farmbrough, 21:11, 7 January 2013 (UTC).
Well, if WP:COMMONSENSE trumps actual policy....why is it just an essay? No, we have policies and guidelines that trump individual "common sense" as sense is not really common. But back to what I was actually saying above: A deletion is a challenge to the content. Any content being challenged then requires a reliable source. If it already has a reliable source and it is deleted, that isn't a challenge its edit warring. There is a difference. The burden of evidence was already met when the source was added to the information.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:52, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The original post that Betty Logan made was about content that was deleted that lacked RS but was returned by editors as being verifiable. OK, the problem is, the information was challenged and now those editors need to meet their burden. The only information that need not be sourced is unquestionable content...such as "The ice is cold". This isn't that type of information.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:59, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Real Life Barnstar.jpg The Real Life Barnstar
THANK YOU for founding Wikipedia! TheMillionRabbit (talk) 18:09, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Elizabeth Warren article

The blog Legal Insurrection written by William A. Jacobson is claiming that Elizabeth Warren's article has been, in his words, "ethnically cleansed".[16] Since its ranked as a good article, maybe it should be looked at.Thelmadatter (talk) 21:46, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

If you haven't already, you may want to post at WP:BLPN as well. I won't have time to get involved in this one, I'm afraid.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:02, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
If you check the talk page, you'll see that I referenced Jacobson's article earlier today, and have started a process to consider what steps should be taken.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:57, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
wasnt looking for your personal input Jimmy, just that the Legal Insurrection blog is widely read and this is the fastest way to make people aware of the problem. Especially since we are talking about a controversial political figure. I would go in and return the deleted information (something should be there per NPOV) but that would just start an edit war. I think this is more of a NPOV issue than a BLPN issue.Thelmadatter (talk) 23:32, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks like a fairly standard-issue wingnut blog. Why should anyone take it seriously? Prioryman (talk) 23:41, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Because it makes a good point and it is widely read. WP has been accused of liberal bias before.Thelmadatter (talk) 00:07, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Being accused is not the same as being guilty, and when I see that same blog peddling the whacked-out Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, it's obvious that they don't have a firm grip on reality. If a bunch of nutters are complaining, my reaction is "so what?" Prioryman (talk) 00:18, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
@ Thelmadatter I've never given someone a trout but I'm close. You just posted at the Warren talk page, adding a link to Jacobson's article completely missing that the Jacobson article was already linked in a discussion on the page, added hours before you came to Jimbo's page. The material in question has already been reverted, and there's a healthy discussion in progress. Please open your eyes.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 00:42, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
And yet there is a valid point. Shoot the messenger if you feel it appropriate (just kidding) but the truth is, there's a story here which must be reliably covered.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


I'm curious about RfCs: how does one get input from the wider community? The reason I ask is that at this one regarding whether to include text about a BLP subject's sex change (when she has clearly indicated she wants the issue to be omitted out of privacy concerns) the RfC is completely overrun by people who have already commented at BLPN. What is the path for getting outside input here? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 23:47, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Village Pump would be a good place to start and can post the RfC on WP:CENT.—cyberpower OfflineHappy 2013 00:05, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
One may, of course, post here. Also on any projects which have marked the page as of interest. And the bot which will randomly solicit input from those who are amenable to being asked ("WP:Feedback request service"). Collect (talk) 00:07, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

One person there is arguing that even if a source admits getting its information by reading tea leaves, we should use it as long as it fits the criteria for reliable sources. Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:01, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

You lot should cast your eyes up ⇑ to this very user talk page where Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#A little reading is also a dangerous thing. has already been pointed to. Uncle G (talk) 01:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo, have you looked at this one? It's about inclusionism in BLPs and whether a reliable source is always reliable for all facts. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:52, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Fascinating. I am reminded of how Biography Magazine once published that I have, as a hobby, playing chess with friends. While that sounds lovely and I like the idea of it, it's actually not true. I was baffled as to where they came up with such nonsense until I found that it had been in my Wikipedia entry as vandalism for a relatively short period of time (not 7 minutes, but not years either - I forget now how long but days anyway). Uncle G seems to have come up with a pretty sensible (though not 100% foolproof) explanation of how the biographical dictionary may not be a reliable source for this, despite appearances. Biography Magazine (which has now apparently stopped publication) would normally be considered a reliable source (and why not?) but in this case, they were lazy and simply cribbed from Wikipedia.
At the same time, I think this is an interesting twist on my usual campaign against too simplistic formulations of "reliability, not truth" (which is thankfully finally dead now). In this case, considering the totality of the evidence, it's quite clear what the truth is.
It's not up to me personally, but I do consider it relevant that the subject of the biography was a public figure before the sex change operation, and is a public figure afterwards. I do think we should respect the human dignity of the subject and not engage or indulge a tabloidy writeup of the whole story. Nor should we hammer away at it in the biography. But it is pretty difficult to not mention it at all. I suspect that the right answer lies in a thoughtful compromise on wording that will satisfy those who rightly point out that she was well-known before, and well-known now, while at the same time satisfying those who want to respect the subject's privacy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:24, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it's obvious she was born male and now identifies as a female, but that doesn't really imply having a sex change operation (which is what most people would take "has a sex change" to mean). She could still be pre-op (or not planning an operation at all). Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:59, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I fully agree with that. We must not imply an operation without knowing one way or the other.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:09, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't get it. Very reasonable questions/concerns have been raised about the only possible source that could support the text currently in the article; the lack of other sources means it is not something that has received widespread coverage. In addition, the subject has made it clear she wishes the issue to remain private. BLP says (slightly paraphrasing): write conservatively and with respect for people's privacy. What on earth is this material doing in that article?? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure how you keep it entirely out, since she used to go by a commonly-male name, and now goes by a commonly-female name. It seems odd for us to not explain it. I could be convinced, but I'm not clear on it yet.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:03, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how these concerns override "write conservatively and with respect for people's privacy". Nor how they override the paucity of sources, still less unimpeachable ones. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 22:25, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
(ec)Is there an actual encyclopedic reason why name changes must be "explained"? Is it not reasonale to present the names, and not do more unless and until we have reliable sources for a "reason"? Collect (talk) 22:26, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to this viewpoint, but concerned about the puzzlement a reader might have. Here is a similar case, presented in a respectful, factual, and non-tabloidy way without difficulty. The only real difference I see here is the subject's wishes which I do think are relevant as one of several factors.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:08, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I have been reading and looking into as much of this as as possible and editors do not agree on interpreting either policy/guidelines or the source. I have a problem with the current, single source to the claim of "gender change" Its a little lacking in quality for this particular information even, perhaps any information on the subject.
My concern is the small amount of material in the reference and the unknown "online sources" being cited. I found Uncle G's post and if the sources being cited by this publication are "The", I am unable to locate the dated articles. A search on their site does not match dates cited: April 7, 2006 - June 30, 2006, November 10,2006 - October 19,2007 - March 28, 2008 - Febuary 13, 2009. A search of The web site shows a number of articles with the subject but none of those exact dates. In fact, there is a listing in the search that comes close to all but one date that does shows up, but... off by one or two days (the March date does not show up at all). This really makes me more than uncomfortable.[17] (you have to put the name of the subject of the article into the search and hit enter) As I understand it, The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History would be considered a tertiary source. As such I don't think we should be using it for details on a subject of a BLP. Especially not for such a contentious claim. It is niether specific nor truly informative and the sourcing is...not understandable or verifiable in itself.
As stated, we can't call it a sex change from that small bit taken from the dictionary. Is what they are claiming unambiguous enough to mention in our article? Does it even matter if it is unambiguous? The problem seems to be a lack of truly reliable secondary sources. Even the "former name" is referenced from the Palgrave reference as are all mentions of "gender/gender change" as well as: "living as a male until... (which is only being extrapolated from the Palgrave source and not directly stated)".
Is it truly unquestionable fact? What "facts" do we know? The only compromise I can come up with (and to many, this will not sound like a compromise) is to simply seperate the two article completely and perhaps just delete the Lynette Nusbacher articles as a non-notable figure at this time. It sounds a bit odd, but as far as relaible sources go....they are two sepearte people so far. We only have a short tertiary source and to me that seems to be stretching its use for what is acceptable for a BLP article. (My apologies for the length of this reply/comment)--Amadscientist (talk) 07:58, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The article is now at AfD. It's a shame when some editors insist on abusing articles along these lines, so that we end up upsetting BLP subjects and they then prefer to have the whole thing deleted. But sometimes that's the best we can do. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:39, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Jimbo has obviously seen some of them, but the talk page watchers here may not know that NetNus (talk · contribs) has made further talk page comments on this matter. Whilst this one is of course my favourite, it's probably not anywhere near as interesting to anyone else as this one, this one, this one, this one, and of course this one.

    Amadscientist, the Jewish Chronicle has both print and on-line editions. A skew in datelines of 1 day is not unheard-of for such publications. My conclusion was that Jolles and the Rubensteins had used the print edition. And the reason that you couldn't find the 2008-03-28 article is someone's transcription or typographical error. The article is datelined 2003-03-28, and can be found here. (This is the article that NetNus is alluding to when xe talks about "reading the Torah in Guildford (all the things relevant to the Jewish Chronicle)".) It doesn't say anything at all about medical operations, of course. Well done for double-checking the dates and articles yourself.

    Uncle G (talk) 23:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

    • No, your right. One or two mistakes is not uncommon....every single one is.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:20, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

An invitation for you!

Featured article collaboration.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. You're invited to join WikiProject Today's article for improvement. If you're interested in participating, please add your name to the list of members. Happy editing! Northamerica1000(talk) 00:06, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Elizabeth Warren continued

Good news, at least. User:Thelmadatter wrote a blog response on Legal Insurrection that explained Wikipedia, it's rules, its editors, and how changes are made to articles. It's a really good response and it covers all the important points. Praise for Thelmadatter! :3

The only thing I would disagree with is the whole conservative/liberal thing, though I do understand that you kinda have to consider the audience of the site there. I mean, it's been pointed out a lot in discussions here that a Centrist viewpoint for the world as a whole is significantly more to the left than what Centrist is in the United States. And we're trying to represent the world here, not just the US, so Wikipedia seems slightly liberal, which is appropriate.

And...yeesh, I don't even want to comment about the comments section there. Scary. SilverserenC 06:55, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Comment sections tend to make me wonder how humanity survived this long.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:06, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I like your wording - "Comment sections" in general. This one is really bad, but no more so than lots of them. Here at Wikipedia we have our discussions and debates, some of them unfortunately more heated than they should be, and some of them dumber than they should be. But it is still a significant cut above even high quality newspapers and blogs.
I think there are a few reasons for this, but one of them is that wiki software is designed in such a fashion to encourage more genuine participatory community rather than either atomistic interactions (i.e. people who don't know each other randomly bumping into each other in a a vacuum) or competitive interactions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:50, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I respect your disagreement with me on that point, Jimmy... but I think some of you are assuming what is in the comments rather than reading them. There are a few angry ones as many if not more thoughtful ones, especially the ones that came later. I dont usually get involved in political stuff in part because its not most important to me Wikipedia-wise and because I do share many people's frustration over how poorly controversial articles can be handled on Wikipedia. However, a lot of that is because how poorly these topics are handled "in the real world" and Wikipedia is simply reflecting that... perhaps in a more overt manner. This is my first foray into something so visible. I have to note the respect I have been given by both Jimmy and Prof. Jacobson with this. Thelmadatter (talk) 14:58, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Thelmadatter, I didn't realize I was disagreeing with you on anything. :-) My point is just that all comment sections in all sources tend to be very disappointing overall. I don't mean your article, which is quite nice, but the random angry people down below. You're right a few more thoughtful ones there. I wish someone could invent a better commenting system.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:52, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Turkish Wikipedia Problems

Please Take care of this page, And This site is in Turkish Wikipedia protest blog.--Aguzer|communicationE-M 16:54, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

+? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:08, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Academic peer review committees

At Jimmy Wales#Nupedia and the origins of Wikipedia (version of 22:13, 5 January 2013), there is this quotation.

The idea was to have thousands of volunteers writing articles for an online encyclopedia in all languages. Initially we found ourselves organizing the work in a very top-down, structured, academic, old-fashioned way. It was no fun for the volunteer writers because we had a lot of academic peer review committees who would criticize articles and give feedback. It was like handing in an essay at grad school, and basically intimidating to participate in.

I am interested in seeing archived copies of discussions where "academic peer review committees ... would criticize articles and give feedback".
Wavelength (talk) 01:37, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

As a side note, that quote does not appear to be fully accurate. It isn't something I wrote, it's something that a reporter wrote down based on what I said... or... alternately I would say it's a misstatement by me in some details. Anyway to answer your question, perhaps someone can point us to the old Nupedia mailing list archives - I don't personally know where they are now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:40, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
They can be downloaded from Joseph Reagle's blog or read on the Wayback Machine. Graham87 12:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you both for your replies. I have spent some time in exploring the mailing list archives on the Wayback Machine, but I have not yet found the desired information.
Wavelength (talk) 17:45, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Accessibility and equality as core policies

I propose that we add a commitment to accessibility and equality to the Five pillars. Please join discussion at Wikipedia talk:Five pillars#Accessibility and equality. It would be good to have support from the board and Foundation. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:10, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

RfA (not again!)

Congratulations, you did a fine job on last night's Colbert Report, Jimmy. I understand from User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_122#ArbCom_Appointments_2012 that you want to start a discussion this month to address a number of problems, including "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". From this and past statements, I get the sense that you're not looking for more of the same at RfA with a 10% higher promotion rate, you're looking for something more ... substantial. What I'd like to do is to have a quick RfC at RfA to set up ground rules for a new discussion that takes your constraints into account, that is: if an RfC can produce, say, 5 options for you to choose from, would you be willing to do that? How much time do we have? And, can you give us any sense of what "magnitude" of change you'd be willing to consider acceptable? - Dank (push to talk) 14:56, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I've just gotten home to London (not actually home yet, on a train) and will go to sleep ASAP. Planning to start writing something substantial tomorrow.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:57, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Did you get any advice from Colbert on possible changes or does he still believe that Thomas Edison was an alpaca farmer? AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 03:28, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Having seen the remarkable efficiency with which the general community operates on RfCs, I would sugest instead that the WMF establish an ad hoc discussion forum with invited participants to make such recommendations as they see fit. If we expect the general community to make three or four specific recommendations, we will end up with 20,000 words for each of 100 different choices <g>. Collect (talk) 00:09, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry I missed that episode of the Colbert Report. That had to be something to see! I'll have to look for it in re-broadcast.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I for one want to say thank you Jimbo for taking an interest in this. Unfortunately I, as well as others agree that you are pretty much the last hope of trying to fix the process. RFA has been broken for a long time, everyone knows it, a lot of us have tried to fix it and the community has thus far been incapable of affecting any change. Even now as Dank left the message starting this discussion there has been an explosion of well meaning and well intentioned comments and discussion at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship. Unfortunately I am pessimistic as to what it will lead too. Its been discussed many times but we never come to anything other than an agreement that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. I am hopeful that the solution you come up with will improve the ever dwindling numbers at RFA. Kumioko (talk) 18:11, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Good point, K, I'll reply to this over at WT:RFA#RfC. - Dank (push to talk) 18:50, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Jimmy, I think if anyone can fix this problem at Rfa, it will have be you. Since your famous statement that adminship was "No big deal" it has become just that. I truly hope your proposal is substantial yet easy to implement, and makes sense to a supermajority of the editing community. To me the big three issues are the power to block, the lifetime appointment, and the current relative difficulty of de-admining problem admins, especially ones that "play the edge" by skirting the rules in some cases for years. Most importantly, it must be something that does not get talked into the ground. I hope that you will take back a chunk of your former powers and implement these reforms by fiat. However the well-known statement that "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" should be ever in your considerations. My best wishes in cutting the Gordian Knot! Jusdafax 22:02, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
    • I think there are a lot of things Jimmy could do here, and I'm sure he'll choose wisely. I'm more concerned about what the history of RfA says about us than I'm concerned about what Jimmy will do. No free society should ever say "we can't solve our problems, please save us from ourselves". We need to keep working on this before, during and after any intervention by Jimmy. - Dank (push to talk) 22:16, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Considering the spectrum of ailments across Wikipedia, I can't imagine a more stringently therapeutic measure than to solve this by exercising leadership of the founder flag! --My76Strat (talk) 22:27, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
    If memory serves me, Jimmy said he was going to make a proposal, not a "change". Like any other proposal, it would be looked at and discussed by the community. I'm hopeful, since he has been here longer than the rest of us and is far enough removed (but not too far) to have some unique insights, but I don't think he will actually be flexing any Founder bits here. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions at this stage. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 18:57, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
    Nor would I jump. --My76Strat (talk) 02:39, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Match fixing investigations of Norwegian Second Division

I don't know anything about Norwegian Football, nor do I have any interest. Perhaps someone who does can assist.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:14, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Text suggestion.

The Match fixing investigations of Norwegian Second Division association football league are two ongoing investigations that started in 2012 in Norway and in Sweden. The investigations have resulted in police charges pending against nine individuals. Three players from Follo FK and two players from Asker Fotball are among those charged.

Norwegian police arrested a player from Follo FK on July 11, 2012. He was charged with receiving stolen goods (siktet for heleri) and for receiving benefits/money from match fixing.

Timeline: Norwegian police arrested a player from Follo FK on July 11, 2012. He was charged with receiving stolen goods (siktet for heleri) and for receiving benefits/money from match fixing.[1]

Follo FK's trainer, Hans Erik Eriksen on July 14, 2012 admits to having been involved in "illegal acts, linked to the same environment that is being investigated in the [alleged] match fixing case".[18]

One player from Asker Fotball was arrested on October 19, 2012. He was charged with assisting in acts of grov corruption and assisting in grov fraud against a Norwegian bookmaker (Norsk Tipping).[19]

The police dismissed the case against the trainer of Follo FK, on October 4, 2012.

A Swedish prosecutor (Thomas Forsberg) said on December 3, 2012 that Sweden has an investigation that is seperate of Norway's investigation.[20] In advance of this, Swedish police had arrested two inhabitants of Vaxjo, Sweden.

--Captain jack straitand narrow (talk) 08:31, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

noreferrer for Wikipedia

Do you think Wikipedia should have HTTP referers? For the non-tech talk page stalkers, when you are on the insecure wiki (http not https), and you click on an external link on the wiki, the external site you visit gets a copy of the wiki url you came from. For example, if you click on an external link in the reference section of any page, such as Banana, the site you go to will know you came from the url .

For those interested, I've started a discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#noreferrer_for_Wikipedia.Smallman12q (talk) 00:08, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm generally sympathetic to your point, although I think the privacy implications are relatively small, and there is a benefit to the web for website operators to have an understanding about traffic flows. If a quality news sites notices that it is getting traffic from Wikipedia entries, it may want to study where Wikipedia links to them and why, and produce more quality work that we would want to link to. That'd be a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:21, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Brand new users and BLPs (Biographies of Living People )

I have Caroline Hoxby on my watchlist because of previous BLP issues. This edit which replaced a category with the word "Bum" caught my attention, not because such vandalism is at all unusual, but because of what it said next to the edit: "(Tag: new editor getting started)". I was unaware of this new effort to encourage editing. reading Wikipedia:GettingStarted, it appears that brand new users -- immediately after creating an account -- are presented with a list of articles that they can edit. It is not entirely clear how the list is created, but it obviously includes BLPs. Looking through the edits related to this new feature, most of them are unhelpful, as expected. From the last 50 edits, here are some examples of BLP edits: [21], [22], [23]. Obviously, unleashing new editors on our most sensitive articles with no guidance is not achieving good results.

Jimbo, would you have a word with whoever is driving this effort and ask that BLPs are excluded from the lists present to users who are almost certainly unfamiliar with our policies relating to living people? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:54, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree. This seems to be a Foundation initiative and I've posted to the creator of the page - see User talk:Steven (WMF)#Getting started. Dougweller (talk) 14:08, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Edits can be seen here - we also need to ask new users to use edit summaries since only a tiny number seem to be doing so. It is attracting some good edits besides the usual vandalism. Dougweller (talk) 16:52, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
It should probably also avoid generally obscure articles (those not edited within the past month, perhaps?) for the same reason. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:50, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, although I'd say "not edited within the last three months" would be better. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:02, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Shouldn't these sorts of things be given significant prominence in Signpost? I thought the foundation had learned its lesson about not involving the community. Rich Farmbrough, 21:49, 12 January 2013 (UTC).
Yes, we should have been asked for input. For instance, surely it would have been helpful to ask new users to explain their edits in edit summaries. In a way, that's as important as telling them about the 5 Pillars. A small handful are using edit summaries but most aren't. Explaining your edit is helpful both to the editor and to other editors. I agree that obscure articles should be avoided - only articles edited within the last month or only articles with over 30 watchers. Dougweller (talk) 21:56, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Hey folks. This kind of feedback is precisely why I'm glad we added the tag for the edits made via the interface! I'm happy to talk about how we can rejigger the list at Special:GettingStarted, and preventing BLPs might be a sensible idea to just go ahead and do without much debate. For other ideas, like filtering for obscurity/popularity, I have some data about the tool since launch that can help inform the discussion. But anyway: I'd prefer we talk about it somewhere like the talk page of Wikipedia:GettingStarted or the Village Pump, so that we're not using Jimmy's talk page to try and develop a consensus around the feature. re: Rich's comment: there are Village Pump technical posts every time we deploy a new feature or a major update, and that includes GettingStarted. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 02:18, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
@Dougweiller, Re the edit summaries point, yes they are useful but if you want to make them mandatory, or even just increase the proportion of users who use them, then there are easy ways to do that. For example you could change the software to require or at least prompt for an edit summary. Personally I take the view that a blank edit summary is a very useful indication of an edit worth looking at, and I'd hate to see a feature that discouraged vandals from self identifying in this way. But maybe we could change auto-confirmed or better the 100 edit threshold to also start prompting people for edit summaries - if they've got that far then they probably aren't vandals and they might actually appreciate a bit of guidance. ϢereSpielChequers 02:32, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
The fact that newbies don't often leave edit summaries is one of the reasons why I wanted to add a tag like this. In the absence of a consistent edit summaries, it can serve as a stand-in explanation for why a new person was editing the page. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 02:34, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
@WereSpielChequers - brilliant idea. I agree that lack of edit summary almost always makes me check an edit, and we should propose something for editors without edit summaries once they meet the 100 edit threshold - where is the best place to suggest this? Dougweller (talk) 10:45, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Sanmıyorum/I do not think

Englsih: (Google Translate) -Keep in mind this topic. But I do not believe that to solve the problem now.
Türkçe: (Orginal) -Bu konu unutulmamalıdır. Ama ben bu sorunu çözeceğinize inanmıyorum artık. --This unsigned article written by: User:Aguzer 08:58, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Due weight

Jimb, do you think it is due or WP:UNDUE weight to give medium-sized religions such as Unitarian Universalism and Wicca their own subsections on articles such as afterlife? This has been a recurring issue and the latest occured here and here, but i am seeking a more general feedback. I already touched upon this previously in WP:ADHERENCESTATS where i pointed out that i think wikipedia articles are too focused on judeo-christian faiths. Current WP policies do not sufficiently cover issues like this so your reply might set a precedent. FYI, Wicca and Unitarian Universalism are the 6th and 7th largest religions in the US. Pass a Method talk 03:57, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Just a comment from a random talk-page watcher: I don't think the main issue here is due/undue weight, as the issue is not whether the text should be in the article, but what the section headings should be. (Although I notice that in the Afterlife article there also is an issue of duplication of material.) On the section headings, I think the main issue is not the "size" or "importance" of the respective religions, but the amount of material in the sections. Especially in Religion and divorce, it is odd-looking to have a top-level section header for a single, very short paragraph. Your suggestion on one of the talk pages, to compromise and have these smaller subsections under a second-level heading (with the top heading of "Other Religions", I assume) seems like a good way to go. In the Afterlife article, the first mentions of each of the two religions could be moved down and merged with the separate subsections, again under a second-level heading. You may also want to have a discussion on the talk pages of the articles themselves, so "watchers" of those articles can get involved; you seem to have started a discussion one of the talk pages, but not the other. Neutron (talk) 15:32, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
When i made the WP:cHRISTIANPOV essay, the majority of respondents agreed there was a christian bias on wikipedia. I was merely trying to balance this bias by introducing non-Abahamic faiths, but as you see above, i get reverted by God knows who. Pass a Method talk 20:18, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe what Neutron is saying is that article development comes before section headers (section headers reflect what's already there, not what "should" be there) and that because we do things collaboratively, letting people know/starting discussion on the article talk page can help facilitate article development. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:50, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
To anyone interested in the follow-up, see this thread Pass a Method talk 02:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

The name of Aaron Swartz's partner and WP:BLPNAME

I rarely appeal to you for this sort of help, but would you please weigh in here. Thanks. David in DC (talk) 21:35, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


User_talk:MinorColossal Chrisrus (talk) 05:55, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for founding Wikipedia!

Dear Jimmy, Thanks a lot for founding (along with Larry Sanger) one of the greatest online project's ever in the History of Mankind, our beloved Wikipedia. In a span of just 12 years, Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects have become one of the largest and best websites in the world for accessing free human knowledge made by the people and for the people! Again thank you! :) ~TheGeneralUser (talk) 13:53, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Commons is broken - File:Genitals of a teenage boy.jpg

File:Genitals of a teenage boy.jpg was uploaded to Commons in March 2011. It went through a deletion discussion in December 2011. The result of that discussion was "keep". I had it on my watchlist. It was deleted a couple of days ago by Commons admin Russavia withe the comment "contact me for further information if required". I did, but my questions were ignored. I have asked on COM:AN about this deletion but thus far the only answers I have received are bafflegab. Without knowing why the image was deleted, it is ::difficult to learn anything from this episode and prevent future similar issues. Jimbo, perhaps you could take a look at this one and possibly ask for some guidance from the WMF's legal department (if that is necessary, which is difficult to know amid the vortex of misinformation)? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:37, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

As I'm sure you're aware, I have zero sympathy for your views here. If you said that it is a damnable shame that it tooks commons this long to do something about an image like this, then I'd agree. If you're moaning that something like this was deleted, well, go moan to someone else. I don't care.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:56, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's the former, it's just that he doesn't understand what prompted the later deletion (though it was a good thing it was deleted) and Russavia won't explain what led to the deletion decision. If the reasons are known, then they might be better applied in the future to obtain the proper deletion of other files separate from the obviously broken Commons XfD process. SilverserenC 21:14, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
So you complain when we delete stuff, and complain when we don't. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:37, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure DC is just looking for attention. Resolute 22:48, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
There it is right there - We - a handful of users, four or five only. all supporters of free pornography, homosexual seems to be a focus for them, especially controlling and dominating the commons project, to name and shame them, they are , User:Russavia, User:Cirt, User:Mattbuck - any foundation member could and imo should just globally ban all three of them.Youreallycan 22:52, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm usually down with DC highlighting the shortcomings and flaws of Commons and its deplorable despots admins...the 3 named above are particularly reprehensible...but this is a bit reaching. If something that should have been deleted was actually deleted, then call it a win and move on. Browbeating the admins further is pointless. Tarc (talk) 23:23, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I will say that I do regret that {{vk}}, although I should also that I do believe nudity is not equivalent to sexuality. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:56, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
A dichotomy which would surely interest defense attorneys in the US when faced with clients found with "teenage boy genitalia" photos on their computers. Collect (talk) 00:11, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I am a bit taken aback by your comment. My views on these things (if "these things" are explicit images of an underage person) should be very clear to you by now and I would be very much surprised if we disagreed. Is that the case here? I don't know and no one will tell me. If it is the case, we should look into what we can learn from this to prevent recurrences. An IP editor put this image up for deletion -- something IP editors can no longer do on Commons -- and it was kept. Given the filename and the fact that it was uploaded by a brand-new user, should we have erred on the side of caution? Again, I do not know that the person pictured was underage and it would be a mistake to assume that this was the case. It may be that is just another exhibitionist uploading naughty pictures and placing them into WP articles (see the contributions of User:Hank1357 and User: and he has changed his mind about having those images on Commons. I strongly believe that people should be allowed to remove their images from Commons, but everyone should be afforded this courtesy and there is no need for a veil of secrecy in such cases. It is difficult to learn anything from this case other than which questions not to ask. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:05, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I apologize. But really, I think you're being counterproductive here. A bad image is gone, for any number of reasons that we can imagine, and you are making it hard on the deleter. I have no sympathy for that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:41, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Apology accepted. The problem here is that we don't know if this image was a "bad image". And we don't know why it was deleted. Russavia has previously made out-of-process deletions as a favour for an associate. Is this another case of the same? Is this "child porn"? I don;t know and neither will anyone else who has taken this freely licensed image from Commons and re-used it. That doesn't sit well with me. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:17, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
All I have to look at is the title of the image and the fact that it is the only upload of the uploading account to know that the world is not materially worse off that it is gone.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
JImbo, that user uploaded half a dozen images which were deleted at the same time. File:Penis licked by a dog.jpg was deleted after only three days on Commons, with no warning or other message being given to the user. I think the clues were there, but Commons does not seem to be very reactive to such things. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:01, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The photo must have been out of focus, that's about the only valid rationale for a Commons deletion these days as long as the licensing is plausibly deniable... Wikipedia is not censored after all, etc.... Carrite (talk) 03:47, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Why is there always someone on Jimbo's page complaining about porn, but never on Eric Schmidt's page? Google has several orders of magnitude more porn and more explicit porn than Commons or Wikipedia. And Eric can actually do something about it fairly easily, unlike Jimbo who, well, you know what happened last time he tried to delete cartoons or whatever. Theories? (talk) 04:24, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Um, a search engine doesn't host anything, genius. Not comparable in the slightest. Tarc (talk) 05:35, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
You don't know what a thumbnail is? Imagine if Jimbo went to North Korea. The Wikipediocrans would be all "OMG SUPPORTING STALINISM!" (talk) 07:46, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Is Commons missing some type of porn? I'm sure if you can point it out here, someone will rectify that just as soon as they can Flickrwash a few images. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
So, you're saying the problem usually originates from Flickr? Ever tweeted Marissa Mayer complaining about it? Why bother Jimbo instead of the source? (talk) 19:08, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I see from the discussion at Commons AN that the file has been saved on our Florida server and is viewable at will by staff, oversighters and stewards. How many people does that represent? Does the complainant know the image has been saved on our server and is still being viewed? Is there any reason to save this image on our server? On its face, this seems very wrong. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:08, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

That question was asked, I didnt see any response beyond the 'omg its deleted stop questioning us already'. If its been deleted due to a legal issue, it needs to be gone completely. Not viewable by anyone. If its been deleted out of process because someone thinks there is an issue, well there are questions that should be answered. More importantly though - it was on there for 2 years and survived a deletion discussion! Great that it has now been deleted, there are lots of people who would like to know exactly how and why so the method can be applied to other suspect material on there. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
There is a knee-jerk reaction by a cadre on Commons that any thing with a hint of nudity, or sexuality MUST BE KEPT no matter what. They are supplying a bungy rope to ensure that Western Civilisation is protected from sliding down that slippery slope back into the days of the Inquisition. John lilburne (talk) 09:51, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. And they're entrenched at Commons and have the buttons... Carrite (talk) 17:07, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Umm. Are some these people who obsessively save porn on Commons able to view that "deleted" image? I'd still like to see a list of people who have free access to the image. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:15, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Without speaking to this specific case, in general, images that are problematic are oversighted and not deleted from the servers. There's a very good reason for that: law enforcement advised us to do so, so that the image remains in place for their investigation, should they need it. After a certain amount of time, we have it quietly removed. Let's not go casting about breathless lines about people obsessively saving porn unless we know the whole story, okay? Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 09:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Regarding your edit summary, "Don't be ridiculous", I was expressing sincere concern. If this happens to be a ridiculous concern, I apologise. Like everyone, I suppose, I do try not to be ridiculous, but often fail. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:08, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The problem is, people asked for the 'full story' and what they got back was evasion and refusals to answer. Given the nature of the commons admin corps (see below conversations and I am not sure if you have been following Jimbo's recent attempts on commons to ADD legitimate content! Imagine how difficult it is for everyone to get content deleted normally.) its no wonder people distrust them, their competance & their commitment to protect minors. Had someone said at the first request 'Its been oversighted and will be removed once investigation is finished' DC would have had his answer. It would still have probably prompted conversation because it stood for 2 years with a deletion discussion being closed as 'keep'. So there are still questions to answer. Think how much other media has been 'kept' in this manner. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:17, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Let's be clear that I'm not giving a particular conclusion as to why this file was oversighted or what it contains: I'm just saying it was oversighted. I am specifically NOT confirming whether (or not) it was because of the age of the subject, or any of a dozen other valid reasons to oversight something. I'm just saying that the file is oversighted. It is entirely possible that the close two years ago was correct and there was new evidence discovered, for instance. I have extremely limited information about this image, and I don't want to speculate. I will say, however, that I agree with both the deletion and the oversight. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:39, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I can't tell you who can see it, but I can tell you that I (an admin) cannot, so I would assume it was oversighted or something. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:38, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Whilst I'd like nothing better than to see (at the least) the removal of +sysop from some of the Commons porn-enabling admin clique, the fact that someone has actually made a correct decision seems a slightly bizarre way of pointing an issue out. Though frankly anyone who voted "Keep" on that original deletion discussion (which includes, surprise surprise, Mattbuck) shouldn't be allowed near Commons, let alone the buttons. Black Kite (talk) 18:31, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Then why don't you do something about this? I mean could you at least start a desysop request on Commons? Mattbuck has been a disgrace on Commons long enough. It is about time to kick him out. (talk) 18:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I would support more good users getting involved on commons, to facilitate reform. Just FYI, I'm unable to see the image on commons. As far as I am aware, my 'founder' flag gives me universal 'read-only' access to everything. So there are three possibilities. One, I'm just confused about what access I have. Two, the file has been deleted in such a fashion that no one can see it anymore. Three, I'm just not seeing how to look at it (I have little experience at trying to look at deleted images).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:41, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Wasn't you founder flag removed? (talk) 18:58, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
No, it wasn't, though I believe its definition was changed. Looking at commons:Special:GlobalGroupPermissions/founder, Jimbo should be able to see everything, so either the image was nuked at some really high level - whatever's above oversight or something. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:24, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Whilst I've 42K edits here, I've got about 3 at Commons - the only time I ever edit there is to post copyvio notices on obviously infringing images. I hardly think they'd listen to me - it either has to be the Commons community (yeah, I know) or something from higher up (i.e. Jimbo). I don't know, given his obvious POV on this, why he's so reluctant to take action. Black Kite (talk) 18:45, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Hatting useless drama--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:42, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Just an FYI, Jimbo's opinions hold very little sway on Commons, for the same reason that his rights on Commons were revoked. Put simply, we didn't think he had the best interests of the project at heart. We're not averse to deletion of content, we just want to see a good reason for it. As those of you who follow me closely know (but possibly do not admit), I do sometimes vote to delete sexual content, but not when there is no good reason for it to be deleted. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I do not think it is the time and place for this. We really do not need more drama than already is present on this thread. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 19:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Well Matt, the last resort is always the ol' WMF Office Action, something that gets called in when the Commons admins are unable/unwilling to clean up their messes. This time, thankfully, it wasn't needed. But I fear this small dose of common sense by your crowd will be the exception rather than the rule. Tarc (talk) 19:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Delicious carbuncle, I think it's dangerous of you to re-open a discussion that was closed due to behavior from another editor similar to a thread you started here that you nearly got blocked for, but, if you really want to keep this going, you at least can't let this portion stand. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 21:17, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
"Put simply, we didn't think he had the best interests of the project at heart". Whereas the promoters of underage pornography (including Mattbuck, who has just described the image in question as 'sexual content') do? It strikes me that comments like that are quite sufficient evidence to suggest that commons should be put under the direct control of the WMF, until such time as these individuals can be removed... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:04, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I have been asked not to further this drama, so I have removed a comment I made here. However, I do not promote underage pornography, and your accusation that I do is a gross personal attack which I would ask you to apologise for. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:23, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
No - your postings speak for themselves. You described an image on Commons portraying 'genitals of a teenage boy' as 'sexual content', and voted for it to remain on Commons. That seems clear enough to me... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:33, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
There is sound reason for Commons to oppose a knee-jerk reaction to suppress every underage genital image. For example, if a PLOS article includes a series of photographs depicting development of infants with hypospadias caused by various genes, it is educational and a public service for Commons to make this information readily available to the public. (PLOS does this itself, of course - but the Commons version might have far more readable annotations than an article written for geneticists) Or, to take the most long-standing case, which predated even Sanger's call for an FBI investigation and which they apparently didn't want to touch, Commons hosts a series of explicit photos by Guglielmo Plüschow and Wilhelm von Gloeden of young boys they were actually sleeping with, because they have an established historical importance in early photography.
These, mind you, are exceptions of the highest importance, because the U.S. Supreme Court has managed to avoid the issue of whether the Miller Test applies to child nudity, or indeed in Gloeden's case, out-and-out child pornography; but taken to court, one hopes that they would make the right decision and realize that the freedom of the press overrides the arbitrary dividing line which they have used in previous decisions. It would be worth considering whether Wikipedia should actually go on the offensive (working together with the ACLU, one should hope), demand a clarification of the law by court action, rather than wait passively for prosecutors to pick out the worst possible test case. Ultimately, as we see from [24], our country has been approaching this issue in a way which is out and out insane, which gets a lot of people paid huge salaries to expert-witness about pictures, give lifetime treatment to people they say aren't treatable, and prosecute kids for sending each other their own pictures while the streets are flooded with child prostitutes nobody wants to help at all (except maybe by throwing them in jail). Wikipedia should be a place where our society's flaws become known, and people begin to look for solutions. Wnt (talk) 23:05, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
At least you have the honesty to admit you are using Commons to push your agenda, WNT. Meanwhile, a question. Is it appropriate for a Commons contributor to include photographs of infant male genitalia in a gallery named 'sexuality' - the said gallery also including erect penises, and what appears to be autofellatio, amongst other sexually-explicit imagery? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:03, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not using Commons this way, and indeed, did not even participate in that AfD or contribute any of this content. I merely admire their intellectual integrity in standing up against a knee-jerk censorship. I should, however, say that in any such case - whether uploading the photo or merely displaying it on another page - I think it is extremely important that contributors make a maximum effort to ensure that their use is educational, indeed, ensure that even an unsympathetic viewer will understand that the use has "literary, artistic, political, or scientific value". Deletion of such material when it is arguably out of scope may indeed be prudent. As I said, I don't want Wikipedia to suffer from a bad test case. However, such caution is the business end of a "chilling effect", and Wikipedia has the right to seek redress in the courts clarifying or overturning unconstitutional law so as to be free from such chilling effects. Wnt (talk) 00:20, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
To clarify, the question I asked wasn't directed at Wnt directly, and I have no reason to suspect that Wnt has any such images in such a gallery. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:25, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I would support this as well. It might also help to draw clearer lines for our projects, so that we don't waste even more time watching "parties" of any kind bending any rule as they see fit. That goes both ways, even so i have to admit that i see the same knee-jerk censorship affiliates way to often. Sad days for anyone that has to deal with them. :-( --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 00:30, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump, if you talking about this or similar pages, you should keep in mind that Mattbuck relies on a bot to collect the images based on categories that editors have applied to the images. I do not know why he does this, but he is not personally selecting these images. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:24, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
In which case, someone, somewhere, is including such images in a category, or list of categories, that has ended up described as 'sexuality' in Mattbuck's user space - and if he isn't responsible for the categorisation (I'll take your word for it that he isn't), something seriously needs attention in the way Commons contributors are categorising images. Bots don't apply categories... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:02, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, some bots do add categories when uploading Flickr images by attempting to parse the tags applied to the image, but let's look at the other situation with an example from here. File:Webbed penis 01.jpg was added (probably wrongly) to the category "Micropenis" by the uploader. "Micropenis" is in the category "Human penis" which is in the category "Male human genitalia" which is in the category "Human genitalia" which is in the category "Human sexuality" which is in the category "Sexuality". Wasn't that fun? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:15, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
So an image from a medical journal is stripped of all its context, and dumped into a category of images labelled 'sexuality'? So much for ethics. Oh, but Commons doesn't do ethics, evidently... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:29, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
It's dumped into a gallery, not a category, and that gallery is then useful for people (such as myself, or Delicious carbuncle, or "the cabal") who take an interest in nudity/sexuality related images. Today's batch led to me filing a deletion request due to possible copyvios. Yes, it does pick up many false positives, and it doesn't pick up everything (nor can anyone without watching the upload feed in real time), but it's a good start. -mattbuck (Talk) 05:02, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I have no foot in this and I don't care. Russiva probably had a good reason to delete whatever he deleted. Most folks don't wield some awesome sword with arrogance knowing it can be taken away. That said, let's all remember that "teenage" is not limited to 13-17. 18 and 19 are also "teenage" and are legal age (I think in most places). The word "teenage" by itself is not altogether damning or a sign of underage. Maybe "boy" coupled with teenage is firing off the alarms, but the name by itself isn't definitive. That said, commons isn't any worse off with 1 less penis image.--v/r - TP 01:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
    I agree with you TP, except that calling him a boy has a pedo allure if nothing else. Otherwise I suppose they would belong to a young man. --My76Strat (talk) 02:05, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the age of the individual in the 'Genitals of a teenage boy' image, Mattbuck wrote in the (failed) deletion request "No details on the image, ie age, nationality, reason for the rather weirdly shaped glans etc". No details of age? Labelled 'teenage'? Not a single comment on the appropriateness of including an image of an unknown teenager for whom there is no indicated age, but instead comments on the shape of his glans? Something seriously wrong there... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:18, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
No, that is a lie. I did not write that. As you can clearly see, those comments were by User:Fred the Oyster. I know you think I'm somehow pulling all the strings on Commons, but not everything said on Commons was said by me. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:31, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for the miss-attribution - but you were part of the discussion, and posted in the thread after the 'age' comment. So why did nobody in the discussion raise the question of the age of the subject.? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:54, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't get you. Whats wrong with the comments, if they are correct. Just because the unusual "shape of his glans" and the other statements you want to tell me that something is wrong? I can't identify all types of birds, but i can still upload pictures of them and ask an biologist what it actually is. The same would go for an unusual/unknown "shape of his glans". That you use ABF (asume bad faith) in every sentence could make me sick. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 08:55, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Arguing about the shape of his glans is the equivalent of "but other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" where Mrs. Lincoln actually doesn't notice that Abraham Lincoln was shot and instead comments on the play. It's ignoring the most important thing about the picture--that it's wildly inappropriate and possibly illegal, in favor of a minor detail that is not what most people concerned about the picture care about.
It's also a blatant attempt at rules-lawyering. Each picture is supposed to provide something unique that we don't already have in other pictures. The result is that every time someone wants to keep a porn picture on Commons, they justify it by picking some arbitrary feature of the picture and saying "see, the shape of the glans (or whatever) is pretty distinctive here, that makes this picture different from all the others, so we have to keep it." Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:06, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

The Commons admin staff is slovenly and incompetent. They should be replaced for the good of the project. --CarburedeTungstène (talk) 12:56, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm, might you be any relation to Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of TungstenCarbide? Though it is a bad idea from the beginning to attempt to ban editors and track "sockpuppets", ignoring a "copyvio" tag one of them posts without a source without doing a detailed investigation is an understandable omission - even if it turns out in the end to be justified. Wnt (talk) 14:26, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Banning editors is not just a bad idea. So called community ban discussions provide a great opportunity for the worst members of the community, the sadists and psychopaths to satisfy their sick desire to hurt and humiliate a person. Blocking, even indefinite blocking is OK, and probably cannot be avoided, but banning should stop. (talk) 14:48, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Ukrainian page.

Hi, Jimmi! I like you and I ask you to create Ukrainian page. I know you, like me, love some fun. I think it's fun. And it will be fun for me and other peoples (Ukrainians), who knows nothing about Wikipedia and will see it native language. I know you are was in Kyiv. Welcome to Kyiv again! I want to meet you and talking. Visit my page. THANKS for Wikipedia. I like it. Good luck!

Ps. If you want, I can translate Your page in Ukrainian. With pleaser! Feel free to create it! ^-^ :-) --Nickispeaki (talk) 14:07, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Looks like it has been created already. (talk) 14:51, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
^=^ Yes/ but not by Jimbo! ;-( --Nickispeaki (talk) 15:13, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Then what page you have in mind? (talk) 17:07, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Possibly he means my user page, which appears to not exist in the Ukranian Wikipedia. Nickispeak, feel free to create it for me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:53, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Editor of the Week

Editor of Red barnstar.png the Week
Animal cell cycle-en.svg
Cscr-featured.svg SVG Diagram of the animal cell cycle
uploaded on Dec 2, 2012 by Kelvinsong

Editor Retention Editor of the Week

This editor registered on April 6, 2012. At the time of this award Kevinsong had 515 edits. An active contributer of complex svg renderings and illustrations with high quality, encyclopedic use! His contributions can be seen on Endoplasmic reticulum, Centrosome cycle and Nucleotide.
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Known for Feature status SVG Illustration
Notable work Cscr-featured.svgFile:Chloroplast (standalone version)-en.svg

WikiProject Editor Retention has started off a new little subproject designed to recognize the "Editor of the Week". We would be interested to get your input on this initiative. You can find more information at Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Retention/Editor of the Week. Regards, AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 20:47, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Its a very small project at the moment and could use more editor involvement, nominations, etc, but it seems to have picked an excellent candidate the first week. I really like this idea, although I know that in the past such proposals went down in flams. What is different, in my opinion here, is the use emphasis on retaining editors by showing examples of good editors! I think the first candidate was an excellent choice. New, with just over 500 edits, a commons member and contributer to a number of science articles. This users illustrations are complex and extremely high quality and have already garnered a number of Feature status'.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
This is part of a number of individual concept ideas from WP:WER. The WikiProject just recieved a bit of an overhaul to the main page and this was added towards the top.
The Project has progressed a good deal in a short time and I invite all Wikipedians to join the discussion. User:Dennis Brown's idea was pretty good and has been moving in a number of directions. If you are not familiar with Wikipedia:Snuggle, it is our projects current collaboration. Sign up and test out a browser-based newcomer observation and support system currently being developed by EpochFail!--Amadscientist (talk) 01:08, 17 January 2013 (UTC)