User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 127

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Editing Wikipedia may adversely affect your health

See here why. Count Iblis (talk) 23:58, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

You can always just stand up and edit. It may not be comfy, but there's a possible loophole. ZappaOMati 00:16, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Stand and deliver?--Amadscientist (talk) 00:38, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Are there actually people who sit while they edit? I continually make spelling mistakes due to the incline changes on my treadmill, and occasionally huge drops of sweat hit my keyboard and add extra letters. (✉→BWilkins←✎) 00:46, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I do, though sometimes I have to sit, especially when I'm crapping, though wiping does provide a problem. ZappaOMati 00:51, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, those must be some pretty large sweat drops if they provide enough force to press letters on a keyboard. ZappaOMati 00:53, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I love my FitDesk X but I paid about $100 too much for it because I didn't shop around. Waibez (talk) 06:19, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
If you pedal too hard, wouldn't the thing tip over? ZappaOMati 17:57, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


I personally think that all artcles which are not dynamic or in need of frequent updates should be semi-protected. Whats the point of contantly reverting bored highschool kids? The recent changes i've seen recently look like fuck all . Pass a Method talk 13:53, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

  • March editors increase but debated trusted IP editors: Thanks for helping to revert the hack-edits, which tend to be 3-of-10 among IP-user edits. The month of March, each year, typically has more active registered editors than end-of-year, so there will be more editors to help with reverts, and allow other patrollers to rest a while. Fortunately, the hack-edits tend to get reverted, faster, where they would be likely to be seen, and so the pace of reverts keeps most articles fairly clean, while 70% of IP-user edits tend to improve the article contents, or update old data, which offsets the bother of the 30% hack-edits. Meanwhile, we discussed the concept of "trusted IP editors" who would be allowed to edit semi-protected pages, and allow more pages to be semi-protected without blocking edits by people in buildings with limited access to their IP range. It might also help to remind some that their IP address reveals "where you are" and might contact their Internet service to complain of their activity. In a sense, we need to allow some people to experience a period of "wiki-training in public" until they learn the ropes, realize we know where they are, and then ask them to "forswear thy evil ways" because we are watching. I think the best news is that there are numerous patrol editors who still seem willing to revert-and-educate many users, even after years of working on Wikipedia. Perhaps that is why some teachers can continue to calmly explain the same concepts, over and over, to the next class of students. And also, we have former vandals, who have become patrollers to help. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:02, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Lua 10-second limit killing rewrite plans

During this phase of using Lua script mainly as a "rewrite" tool for some slow templates (such as the wp:CS1-style cite templates), we are seeing some early Lua limitations, which might be optimized in later months. Specifically, the Scribunto interface, to #invoke a Lua module inside a template, is over 6x slower than activating a wp:parser function, such as "#ifeq" to compare values in markup. Here are some issues:

  • Lua "templates" are limited to ~180/second by the slow #invoke interface.
  • Markup "templates" often run 500/second, or 2,400/second for character insertions.
  • Obviously, I have advised "do not use Lua for small templates" if already running faster than 70/second.
  • Markup templates are stopped at 60-second timeout, to deter denial of service attacks.
  • Lua operations (invoked in templates) are stopped at 10-second timeout, for whatever fears.
  • Although major articles, for years, were allowed to drag the edit-preview as 20-59 seconds, Lua is not allowed that luxury.
  • Hence, some faster Lua/markup hybrids are stopping at only 19 seconds when the Lua portion hits the 10-second timeout (even if the hybrid 20 seconds would be 3x faster than 60-second templates).
  • The Lua future, to cleverly analyze text for common clerical errors, must be split into 10-second scans.
  • Lua can be amazingly fast inside a single Lua module, but the artificial 10-second limit has "screwed the pooch" as astronauts would say.
  • Without getting angry, the 10-second Lua reminds me of the artificial 41-level nesting of if-else logic, where testing parameters for one more option deeper will kill the markup template operation. Meanwhile, computer software often nests logic 200 levels deep (or unlimited stack for macro language).
  • Wikipedia is being stunted by artificial language limits: 10-second Lua limit when hoping to hasten 60-second markup, 41-level logic when users need 55 levels; or 2-megabyte page limit when backlog editors need 3mb status pages.
  • Here's the deal: somewhat like the "Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists", I think we need an "Emergency Committee of Wikipedia Scientists" to get these artificial template limits increased (10-second Lua kills a 20-second template reduced from 60-seconds, as hopeless improvement; and 41-level logic needing 55 levels was a reason to use Lua, which when used, kills the template at 10-second Lua timeout).

Perhaps you could explain the math to whomever keeps artificially limiting our technology, and we could organize a group of computer engineers (oh god not wp:CANVAS) to petition to fix these severe limits. There's no immediate crisis, because this is just typical "S.O.P." to "take 10 wiki-steps forward and 9 steps back". So, we get new technology with Lua, but the timeout limit is restricted as 6x harder, from 60-second markup to 10-second Lua timeouts. Crash and burn. Enough said. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:21, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Presumably you've brought this up at VPT. Looie496 (talk) 06:54, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Expansion-depth last year but 10-sec Lua now: There have been years of discussions about making templates run faster, or easier, plus increasing the wp:expansion depth limit, but I just now filed a "stop-work" order at VPT to not use Lua-based cite templates in major articles yet:
Years ago, there were prior proposals to install extra (rapid) wp:parser functions to get string length or extract substrings of a text string 6x faster than Lua, but those string-handling functions were rejected (finally we have Lua Module:String). Also, some group developed some parser functions of #set/#get, to store template variable parameters in global variables between templates, but those were rejected, despite the speed improvement to store intermediate calculations and reduce nesting by re-assigning parameter values, rather than nest into subtemplates to assign a lower-level parameter value. Anyway, at least I can see that Wikipedia's restrictive markup language features were purposely limited, but hopefully, someone can get the Lua 10-second limit raised to 30-second limit, or such. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:56, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
With all respect, your approach to this is not going to be productive. You are much too excited. You are making it stressful for people to interact with you. You need to calm down. I know that what I'm saying is offensive and condescending, but it's the reality. The people who put so much effort into supporting Lua really want it to be used effectively. Please allow them to help you without throwing punches at them. Looie496 (talk) 17:42, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
The severe limits in using markup have persisted for years, and Jimbo has discussed the issues and noted that if someone had introduced the slow templates, all at once, rather than by gradual slowdown, there would be calls for reprimand. Instead, Jimbo asked others to support experimentation for better methods, and that is why we have some wp:CS1-style cite templates, now, which run almost as fast as Lua, and we know small templates can outrun Lua by 2x-7x faster in some cases. Those issues are not "punches" but rather, an honest appraisal of the performance. BTW I did revise the speed of Lua-based templates as "limited to ~180/second" and I like Lua's potential, but after years of allowing slow templates to reformat major articles as 40-59 seconds, now they insist Lua be strictly a 10-second technology, else use those slow templates. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:39/13:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
yeah, I'm stressed by not understanding one goddamn word he typed. Actually, I can understand each word, it's when they're joined together I lose it.DeCausa (talk) 20:26, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
If you thought the above was confusing, try reading what I wrote at wp:PUMPTECH about the "Lua fox" in the Lua henhouse and what constitutes "dead chickens" there. -Wikid77 13:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Lua time clock counts templates in parameters: A major part of the problem, pinpointed by other editors, was the Lua time clock counting the extra time needed when parameters contain other (slow) templates, passed as values into a Lua function. An example showed the use of #ifexpr or #expr parser functions to set parameter values, which were counted as 85% of the Lua clock, while actual Lua processing was only 15% of the time once the parameter templates passed values into Lua. That problem was logged as Bugzilla bug 45684. Hence, the 10-second timeout problem is easily seen to be fixed (hopefully). -Wikid77 (talk) 14:14, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Privacy rights of property owners

Hi Jimbo... My uncle owns a house that has a Wikipedia article (the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is thus considered notable enough for an article). However, the house is his private residence, and he is concerned that having an article in Wikipedia will draw unwanted attention to his home, and make it more likely to be robbed or vandalized. He has asked me to inquire whether there is any way to remove the article from Wikipedia. Is there a procedure for making such requests? If so, what is it? Blueboar (talk) 15:58, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

US laws state that images of the house are allowed if taken from a public place. You may wish to read Streisand effect. Although this isn't an example of the effect it does explain how the laws work in this case.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:04, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Freedom of panorama might be relevant to this situation.
Wavelength (talk) 16:14, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
His question isn't about images (there is currently no image in the article)... the question is about having a Wikipedia article about his house in the first place. As the property owner, can he demand/request that Wikipedia delete the article entirely? ... and if so, what are the procedures for doing so. Blueboar (talk) 16:21, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I have never heard of article deletion for a case such as this. I seriously doubt it can be done according to policy. If the building is notable then many editors will feel that we should have an article on it. Just like biography articles that the subjects want removed it would need consensus that it is not notable enough for an article here. This is probably common with other people that have rare objects like cars etc. They are fine if kept locked up and hidden but as soon as they are taken out in public then there is the risk of vandalism, theft, etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:32, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if there were such a procedure. It would also be rife with potential for abuse. Just imagine the US Army requesting that Camp X-Ray is deleted, or the Queen that Buckingham Palace is deleted, or BP on Deepwater Horizon. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:40, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, wait. This is not Camp X-Ray or Buckingham palace in question here. There's a lot of stuff on the National Register of Historic Places. I'm sure some of them are at best marginally notable by our standards. And there are a lot of houses on the Register that don't have articles. (We may have a rule to the effect "On the National Register of Historic Places? Rates an article!", but all our rules are superseded by our overarching brief to do the right thing.) Tell the fellow how to contact OTRS (I would, but am not exactly sure) and make his case there. If its marginal, and since its the home of a private living person, he might have a chance -- or not. Herostratus (talk) 16:56, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
How does one contact OTRS? Blueboar (talk) 17:01, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Contact us. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:05, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Herostratus. Without knowing the article in question then it is hard to judge. Blueboar may not wish to mention it at this point. If it is quietly put up for AfD then it may dissappear without too much fuss.Wikipedia:Volunteer Response Team is the page on OTRS.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:06, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Unlikely -- without knowing the reasons it's nominated for deletion, there will be piles of "NRHP is notable" votes, with a snow close in about 24 hours. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:32, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I can see your point. The notability policy/guidelines don't have a 'buildings' section that I could find. Closing admin would have to weigh the policy votes and not just count totals. Projects do tend to defend their articles by sheer numbers in AfDs.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:38, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I left a message at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places.
Wavelength (talk) 18:06, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I sympathize with your uncle, but I would argue that any building on NHRP is notable enough for an article. By being on the register, a reliable secondary source (the Federal government) has concluded that there is something about this property that is significant enough to warrant historic preservation. I would also argue that by nominating the property to be listed, or by buying the property knowing that it was listed, your uncle should have known that there would be some consequences, one of which is increased public awareness.GabrielF (talk) 18:50, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
As someone said above: "Just like biography articles that the subjects want removed it would need consensus that it is not notable enough for an article here."
Which is totally false. Per WP:BIODEL, biographies of people who are marginally notable (which isn't the same as "not notable") may be deleted without consensus upon request from the subject.
The rule does not, of course, literally apply to marginally notable property owned by living people, but at it's core, the concern is exactly the same, to the point where we really ought to WP:IAR it and delete the article. Ken Arromdee (talk) 19:12, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Advise that no one is safe, so be forewarned and prepared: Contemplating the dangers of theft, or vandalism, can improve general preparedness for floods, fires or wind storms. My brother's house was burglarized on a workday, when thieves found everything hidden in the attic, then years later, someone punched a screwdriver into the back of his skull to rob him, but he lived. Quality guru statistician W. Edwards Deming was mugged in Washington, D.C. at age 72. Life in the big city. Have firesafes in hidden compartments, or inside canned "vegetables" in a pantry, in case of floods while on vacation travel. Photograph your items, and know the area pawnshops, where dealers can return items taken from you. The same computer backup memory sticks stored (hidden) in fire-resistant areas, to guard against theft of computer files and photos, can also be a lifeboat if a computer is destroyed in some freak accident, such as dropping the computer on just the right, worst corner. I think the homeowner is fortunate to be planning for preparedness. After he finishes his preparations, ask him to update or expand articles about disaster planning. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:35, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Do you have any idea how inappropriate your comment is? Sheesh. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 22:11, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  • There was a similar situation to this last year--someone lived in a house listed on the NHRP and was concerned with his privacy. I think there was some agreement we reached with him through ORTS or something to keep the address and maybe the picture off our page. (I can't recall all the details though, trying to find the discussion without much luck.) But something like that might be possible here. Mark Arsten (talk) 23:00, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, info about the house (including images) is freely available to anyone who wants it thru the National Park Service Einbierbitte (talk) 23:13, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think that was a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was rented out as "Spend a night in a Wright house". It was privacy part of the time, as he lived there, but I think there was an element of "you want to see it, you pay for it" as well.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 23:17, 3 March 2013 (UTC) (ETA: John D. Haynes House. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 03:24, 4 March 2013 (UTC))
  • Yes, that was it. I see your memory is better than mine :) Mark Arsten (talk) 00:23, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
My recollection of that particular issue was that the building in question was listed as "address restricted." (For readers unfamiliar with the term, some of the NRHP sites are explicitly listed without a location - "address restricted" - when there are concerns about publishing the address. I've seen this primarily for archaeological sites, but it does occur for other places.) When a particular site is listed as "address restricted," it's not unreasonable for Wikipedia to follow suit, particularly when asked. Eliminating an entire article is overkill, though. Andrew Jameson (talk) 01:00, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I am afraid the genie is already out of the bottle. Even if the article were removed here, the NRHP has its searchable database and will mail copies of almost any nomination form and photos if asked. Many of the states make the same information available online (as one example, here is a link to Pennsylvania's seachable database), and local historical museums and societies will often have web pages about "their" NRHP sites (as one example, Washington County, Pennsylvania's listing is here. There is even a private searchable website which claims to list every NRHP property. I suppose the uncle could ask to NRHP to make it "Address Restricted" though that is usually done for much different reasons. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 00:42, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
We just had a user blocked for outing someone--a block discussed on this very page. The argument was made that it shouldn't be possible to out someone who already publicly connected their off-Wiki identity with their Wikipedia identity. The answer? It may be possible to find someone's real name anyway, but directly pointing to it on Wikipedia is going to drastically reduce the effort it takes, and someone like an employer may very well find the Wikipedia link when the existing connection, although public, is too obscure to be on their radar.
That applies here too. Someone with a restricted address may in fact be searchable with enough effort, but putting it on Wikipedia increases its visibility and makes the chance of problems much greater than it would be otherwise. Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:34, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  • From the Pedia's standpoint, I am trying to figure out how it would work. As Ruhrfish notes its publically listed and that's what the Pedia does too (see eg. National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago). A picture and article is created by anyone with interest using public documents and the fact is often likely going to be mentioned in more than one article, because it's historically important. So, the Pedia could not really pretend the property does not exist, could it? Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:59, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think minor criminals and vandals would bother looking for 'marks' on those sites. Wikipedia is popular enough that silly drunken teenagers may come across the article and notice that it is close enough to their party to go throw some rocks, splash some paint, and then wake up and realize how stupid they acted. I can see a reason for leaving out the GPS and address as well as even deleting the article. The WP:NHRP project may have many members but that should not sway an AfD any more than the fact that the building is notable just because it is on a list or 12. Notabilty is notabilty, not just being on many lists.--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:01, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
That is exactly the sort of scenario my uncle is concerned about. Someone getting the idea to rob or vandalize his property from reading the Wikipedia article. In any case, I think my question has been answered... I will advise my uncle to contact OTRS with his request. They may or may not be able to remove the article, but that is where he should ask. Thanks. Blueboar (talk) 01:34, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Short of deleting the article, I would think if the address and coordinates (lat/long) were removed, and no photo was shown, then it would likely be very difficult for most people to identify the house. Most houses are listed under a name which does not usually clearly identify the property (often hosues are listed under the name of a former owner or the original builder). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:12, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I would say that the best bet would be to see what the process might be for having the address restricted with the NHRP people, and then arguing that Wikipedia should follow suit. I would argue strenuously in favor of that - personal privacy issues really do matter. I'm not familiar enough with how extensive the NHRP list is to know whether I agree or disagree with the view that everything on the list is automatically notable - I suspect that I disagree with that view, but would agree with a view that being on the list is a valid argument in favor of notability which would require some counterargument to rebut. Finally, I'll note that this is part of a much larger issue relating to personal privacy and online databases. In many jurisdictions, you can look up the names of homeowners in an online database and find out all about where they live and how much they paid for their house. I think this is very bad public policy, but there you have it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:50, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

It looks like the National Registry people are pretty liberal with their plaques. Newton, Massachusetts is a good-size and reasonably old town (for America), but nothing really important has ever happened there. Still, Category:National Register of Historic Places in Newton, Massachusetts has 190 articles (and I don't know if the category is exhaustive). A lot of these are like House at 1008 Beacon Street, which are one sentence stubs which really say nothing more than "This house is 100 years old, and so it's on the National Register of Historic Places" and don't really have to potential to say anything more unless someone else happens there. These are just private houses that you'd walk by without noticing. I suppose lists of these might be OK, but articles for each? If that's a de facto standard we're using, I'd also question that. Herostratus (talk) 11:20, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
The situation described in this thread is similar to the Blue plaque scheme in the UK. Some of these are private residences and are not open to the public. There does need to be some caution when writing articles about residences that are not open to the public, but some properties are notable for historical reasons.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:35, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
The National Register of Historic Places listings in Newton, Massachusetts is fairly atypical, in that it looks like nearly 90% of the properties listed are part of what's called a "Multiple Resource Area" (MRA) r "ultiple Property Submission". As background, there are three ways a property can be listed on the Register: (1) individually, (2) as part of a "historic district," or (3) as part of an MRA. In the first case (individually), the property is nominated by itself, and, when placed on the Register, receives its own reference number. In the second case (the historic district), the entire district of multiple propeties is nominated together, and, when placed on the Register, the entire district receives one reference number. In the third case, (the MRA), multiple properties are nominated together, but each individual property receives its own reference number.
Each nomination requires a "nomination form" that contains an extensive description of the property (or district, or properties) as well as the historical context, and cites a number of references. The citations contained in the nomination form are well in excess of what Wikipedia requires for a property to be considered notable. Given that, the (unanimous, as far as I can tell) consensus at the NRHP Project has been that any individually listed property or district on the NRHP is automatically notable - not because "it's on the Register," but because the historic importance required to place a property on the Register ensures that only notable properties will be included on the Register. Likewise, any district is automatically notable (but notability is not automatically conferred on a building within a district). Getting back to your Newton example, though: there has been some disagreement about whether properties listed as part of an MRA are automatically notble or not. I think it's clear that these properties are notable in the aggregate, much the same as a listed historic district will be notable, but it's not so clear if the properties making up an MRA are individually notable, and thus deserving of an individual article. They do have an individual reference number on the Register, unlike properties that are part of district, but they lack the background research. My personal opinion is that it's different from case to case: an MRA-listed property is likely to be notable, but is not automatically notable.
In any case, although the large number of (seemingly) uninteresting NRHP properties in Newton isn't exactly rare, it is (in my experience) fairly unusual. Most locations (again, in my experience) contain far fewer or no MRA properties, and pretty much all properties are clearly notable. Finally, note that these issues are tangentially a part of an ongoing ArbCom case. Andrew Jameson (talk) 12:18, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

History of Baltic states

Howdy Jimbo. I gotta tell ya, discussions like these are mind-numbingly frustrating. GoodDay (talk) 02:07, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, such debates are frustrating (for everyone involved). On the other hand, it could be a lot worse... take the endless wiki-debates over who gets to call which bit of land by the name "Macedonia". Now that was frustrating. Blueboar (talk) 13:15, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Talk:Star Trek Into Darkness is a really cute one that has links at the top of the talk page to websites joking about the debate. Should 'Into' be capitalized in the article title. I walk away from discussions such as these. Far too many editors waste far too much time on them but at least they are tied up in those debates and not making a mess of other articles.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:43, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Google translation

Still haven't heard anything back from you on this. I originally sent you the proposal to google about a month ago. What happened? I resent it with URGENT on as you requested.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 14:18, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Verifiability vs. Truth

You once said "I'm glad that we're finally rid of the "verifiability, not truth" nonsense - but it's going to take a while before people really fully grasp what that means." (Jimbo Wales, 11:36, 25 September 2012). Were you referring to a policy change that had been made? When/where/how did we get rid of it, or did that effort fail? We need a clear statement of policy. Chrisrus (talk) 03:41, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

This page has changed. This page is policy. In my view, this is not a change of policy so much as a change of wording to eliminate a completely false interpretation of policy that was often misleading people. Wikipedia should never publish things that are not true. If we have good reason to think that otherwise reliable sources are or were mistaken, we need to thoughtfully take that into account. I suspect it will be a few years (and a few bans of ideologues) before this really sinks in.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:34, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Taking that into consideration, my father is verifiably Bryan Joyce; however, this is untrue. This stems from an uncorrected newspaper article. Now, I don't have a Wikipedia article, but I can imagine this same situation can and does occur to people who do. Could you help these people out by helping institute a system to correct these errors? Right now, it seems that OTRS members will remove incorrect information, but won't replace it. I don't have the perfect system in mind, but the one I've floated in my mind is a system similar to OTRS where subjects of articles can send a Creative commons licensed email that is viewable by anyone and can source basic facts. I would presume the information that can be fixed by this would be more restrictive than WP:SELFPUB, but would follow the essential idea. We'd need some system to authenticate the person sending the email, and that would probably still be private. In any case, it would be great to see this, some derivative of this, or something totally different with a similar goal instituted. Ryan Vesey 05:46, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
If you are feeling particularly robust, go and check out the situation at Wales (talk) 11:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Why do you draw extra attention to your own policy violations? The "situation" at is that one editor claims that all sources, even interviews with the subject about the very subject, are wrong, and that what he claims to have been said directly by the subject is the truth and should be included no matter what. Most crusaders for the truth get eventually blocked here. Your special status may protect you from that, but that doesn't justify your attitude or actions in that discussion. Please take a step back from that discussion, consider your COI, consider the input given by others (and the evidence provided to support other people's opinions and input). It really isn't the best case to defend your anti-VnT crusade (or if it is the best case, perhaps we shoud just reinstate VnT after all to protect Wikipedia from such mistakes as you are advocating there). Fram (talk) 08:27, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah.......I don't think that is what he meant. And.....the information Jimbo provided was indeed "Verifiable". Just because he was honest and stated that the figure was sitting next to him and stated this as fact is not really any kind of proof that there was a violation of any policy. Can you demonstrate that the information Jimbo edited was not actually verifiable. Jimbo is like the rest of us in that he actually does deserve AGF.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
His edits in that article violate WP:BLP and its sourcing requirements on many levels; his edits in the discussion violate WP:AGF and are classic WP:IDHT. His position is basically "I am right and I don't need sources for that; you are wrong no matter how many sources you may provide, even if they are interviews with the subject about this very topic". No progress is possible with that attitude. Fram (talk) 09:34, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I was aware of the edit and as I remember it...the position you are taking was not the consensus at the time and I am not even sure it was the actual complaint. How did they violate the policies and guidelines you mention? You haven't demonstated anything accept that you are not assuming good faith.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I am not going to have the same discussion I had there again over here. Basically, he inserted unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about a BLP in an article, which is not allowed per WP:BLP. And he violated AGF and WP:CIVIL by rudely dismissing the opinions of other people that disagree with him. A comment like "No one agrees with your extreme and nonsensical position, in conflict with both reliable sources and the subject, as far as I can tell." is not really helpful, even it were true: but to get this as reply because I reverted to the version of someone else is even worse, and to get this from someone who hasn't provided a single source in that discussion except himself to dismiss someone who has made a lot of effort to find reliable, pertinent sources, is clear WP:IDHT. And no, after such blatantly false replies, I no longer AGF of him in that discussion. Someone who isn't willing or able to discuss these things as an adult, based on our own policies and guidelines, with respect for the work other people have put into it, and with respect for the consensus version that emerged after the previous discussion he started about it, does not deserve AGF anymore. If it was anyone else than Jimbo Wales, he would simply be ignored. As it stands, he has some undeserved content authority left based on his role in creating Wikipedia; which makes it necessary to counter his rather biased opinions. Fram (talk) 08:07, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you understand what is meant by contentious. And as far as the rest, the general community disagreed with you. All the above is simply false. There was an ANI. Yes, Jimbo Wales was taken to the Administrative Noticeboard/Incidents and the community did not agree that it was at all what you stated. i fact, i believe i was of the opinion that the most that could be said was possible COI but that he was posting accurate and veribiable information. Just because you only want to go by what you see in print in this regard does not mean that there are no verifiable records. This is like a DOB. Some verification cannot be made public for privacy reasons.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Link for the ANI? I don't remember it, and a search of the archives did not give any result (AN or ANI). "All the above is simply false", you state. So Jimbo Wales did provide sources apart from himself? And he did not make the quote I gave? And I did not revert to a version written by another user and which had stood for months without any problems? Or am I misunderstanding "all the above" as well? Your last lines are completely irrelevant, unless you are even disputing that the name under discussion is actually the one on his birth certificate. The facts are quite clear: he has that middle name on his birth certificate, he claims to not have known this until his 25th birthday, but he also has publicly stated that he is not ashamed of that name. You stated above "You haven't demonstated anything accept that you are not assuming good faith.", after which I made the effort of demonstrating a few things. Please do the same now in return, and provide some evidence for your statements in that last post of yours. Fram (talk) 08:56, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no link. Admin removed it completely, but I do have screen caps. What do you feel seeing them would accomplish? Now, if you are saying that a birth record has been found but the subject states it to be innaccurate you should not be accusing the subject of the BLP of not being honest. That is not going fly. So please do not do it. You had not demonstrated anything until mentioning that there is a birth record containing the name. This is a matter of making a mistake and as I said that would be a COI issue but even then if it was made in good faith, a simple mistake is not enough to increase a battleground mentality over. But from what I understand the figure has stated it is not his name and that there was a mistake in the birth record. And that last line becomes even more important if you are saying there is a birth record and it contains any private information. You can't link that. But if it is really there that makes it look verifiable but is still innacurate doesn't it. You need to at least see that much. If the subject claims the birth record was mistaken in the name (and that is much more common than one would think...Hell I don't even have a real birth certificate. It was destroyed in a fire three years after I was born when the hospital burned down) What you seem to want is a punishment for what you believe to be some sort of false or misleading information that the subject himself seems to point blank state as false and incorrect. I think this is that time when we would go by the figure themself and all you are attemtping to do is make it out that someone is telling a lie and that is not what we do here. This isn't a newspaper and we are not reporters trying to find a scope. You do realise that we don't punish even IP users? Why would we "punish" Jimbo.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:17, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Can you, from the screencaps, provide a username plus timestamp from that discussion? That way, I should be able to find it again, if it is indeed deleted (ANI discussions are rarely deleted though). "What do you feel seeing them would accomplish"? Well, you claim that "Jimbo Wales was taken to the Administrative Noticeboard/Incidents and the community did not agree that it was at all what you stated. i fact, i believe i was of the opinion that the most that could be said was possible COI but that he was posting accurate and veribiable information." I would like some evidence. Further: I have not accused the subject of the BLP of not being honest. Please don't accuse me of things I didn't do. Finally, skipping over some things where I have no idea what you are actually trying to say: I don't have any desire to get him punished. I just don't want his incorrect opinions, and the very poor examples he uses to justify them, to be used as evidence for the validity of his preferred policy version. He was and is wrong at the discussion; but where the initial error was completely understandable, his continued attitude there of being the only person that has The Truth despite all evidence to the contrary is not understandable any longer and doesn't warrant AGF any more. If there is a battleground mentality at that discussion, it is mainly caused by Jimbo Wales' accusations; e.g. that I inserted false information, when I haven't done such a thing. You seem to read all kinds of things in my replies though which aren't there, and make this worse by launching accusations without so far any evidence or follow-up. Please take a step back, provide actual evidence, and point out where I or others am wrong in a more detailed fashion. So far your replies here have produced more heat than light. Fram (talk) 10:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
If the discussion you refer to is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive770#Problems with original research:User:Jimbo Wales, then "There was an ANI. Yes, Jimbo Wales was taken to the Administrative Noticeboard/Incidents and the community did not agree that it was at all what you stated." does hardly apply. Where does the community did anything of the sort? What of the things I stated didn't it agree on? You made it seem as if my actions or opinions were somehow discussed by the community at ANI, and had been dismissed. Nothing of the sort happened. I do note that you were there defending him (just like here, and at, without actually contributing a lot fundamentally to the discussion. I'll probably not reply to you any longer if you don't have anything more substantial to contribute. I have done the leg work, provided the sources, and discussed this civilly with others who tried to do the same and who showed some respect for our policies and guidelines. I have wasted enough time with Jimbo Wales' antics to not get even further sidetracked in hardly comprehensible discussions by some apparent fanboy/fangirl who continues making unfounded claims that are totally refuted by the sources (printed interviews with the subject). Fram (talk) 11:01, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You seem to have some problems with trust and that is an accustion of dishonesty to others. Get over it. I was involved with your last big soupbox over this issue and that ANI was not made by (and I never said it did) but a direct result of your complaints. It went to ANI and there was no reason for it to be there and the communty did not see it as OR or anything to intervene in. You just have a battele ground mentality and a severe case of "drop the stickitess". "I just don't want his incorrect opinions, and the very poor examples he uses to justify them, to be used as evidence for the validity of his preferred policy version. He was and is wrong at the discussion; but where the initial error was completely understandable, his continued attitude there of being the only person that has The Truth despite all evidence to the contrary is not understandable any longer and doesn't warrant AGF any more. If there is a battleground mentality at that discussion, it is mainly caused by Jimbo Wales' accusations; e.g. that I inserted false information, when I haven't done such a thing." Who are you to judge. And why cant you stick to discussing the contribution and stop discussing the contributer. What puts you in a position to take such a high hourse route over any editor. You are just continue to posts what I see a nothing more than a screed and for some reason can't let go and be productive, you think YOU are right and know the TRUTH and I hate to break this to you.....but you clearly don't have a lock on truth and cannot even begin to state that the figure was not "accurate" when saying that there was a kistake on the birth record. As I said, it is impossible to verify that I was born...yet here (pun itended)--Amadscientist (talk) 01:38, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

More incorrect information? The discussion that started this wasn't started by me; I never even mentioned OR in my posts about it; I only discussed one of the two cases involved anyway; but when a a user I don't know starts a section at ANI complaining about Jimbo Wales doing OR in two articles, it still is "a direct result of [my] complaints."? Yeah, sure... Amadscientist, you make it more and more obvious that you are discussing this from a "defend Jimbo Wales" point of view, without any interest at all in the facts of the case. Hint; it never was about any "figures" that are or are not "accurate". Your "advice" is completely contradicted by your own actions. Bye! Fram (talk) 08:01, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
That really isn't the meaning of verifiability, sorry. The article was mistaken, therefore the information is not verifiable. If verified it would have been discovered to be false. Just being in a source does not mean the information IS verified, just that it has been written. I believe we have a good system in place right now...our contributers and editors. As Mr. Wales says "Wikipedia should never publish things that are not true. If we have good reason to think that otherwise reliable sources are or were mistaken, we need to thoughtfully take that into account." I repeat this, as this is very important. We have to listen to each other and go deeper then just what a single source states. That means actual research and a real discussion where involved editors let go of the information they may hold strongly just because it was in print, and take time to understand exactly what is being said and how it is verified. We know what to do when to sources contradict each other: "When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view"--Amadscientist (talk) 08:16, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. F.Y.I. Chrisrus (talk) 06:12, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
@Amadscientist, speaking as someone with battle scars from the center of that fracas, I agree with you in spirit but we need to recognize that we're not fully there. A patently erroneous statement is not verifiable in the real world, but it can be wp:verifiable. When we got rid of VNT what we did was get rid of a chant which was being used to exclude accuracy from conversations on whether or not to leave something out. Just recently we went a baby step farther which was to point out (which again was not a change) to say that just because something is wp:verifiable does not mean that it must be included. I think that we will be fully there (and make a huge difference) when we say that "WP:Verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, not a force for inclusion". The other next steps for further evolution will probably be:
  • Recognize that sources have varying degrees of strength, and add two metrics ("expertise and objectivity with respect to the item which cited it") to the existing wp:rs criteria (which is to have traditional media structure). These other two metrics are already used (from common sense, not policy) at the RS Noticeboard, but are not in policies / guidelines, and so things are generally still missing that. This change would make it so that the strength of a reference can be discussed, vs. somebody being able to cite policy to exclude questions of "expertise and objectivity with respect to the item which cited it" from conversations.
  • Recognize that there is a difference between an area where the answer is a matter of objective accuracy, and areas where the answer is a matter of opinion, or "lens" that it is viewed through. This will legitimize discussions on the former.
North8000 (talk) 11:26, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I believe Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources already does this quite well by seperating a source into 4 parts to determine the reliability, however the problem is...a source is not determined to be unreliable just because there is no author. This makes determining "expertise and objectivity " very difficult in those situations. Now, I am not even sure myself if this is something that should be changed. I tend to be on the side of requiring only sources that have a clear authorship as without knowing who wrote it (even if the credit or attribution is simply "Staff writer") could very well effect its verifiability.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:53, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I have had this issue with two birth years for BLP articles. One is not the truth. One article had two sources each for each year. Of the six emails I sent only the two sources that had the correct year emailed back to verify they were correct. The other article was brought up at help desk by the subject of the article. We removed the single wrong year and replaced it with two different years that were sourced. I think that discussion is still going on. I walked away from both articles.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:09, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Hey North. Yes, I was involved in that change towards the early stages and stepped away when it was clear the change was going to be made and the only real issue was the exact wording. I gave some examples and feel that what is there now is pretty close to what, myself and many others wanted. I also agree that we need to work and discussfurther the other related policies and guidelines that are effected and we have (you and I as well as many others) spent a good deal of time on rewording "Burden" to meet some of that need, but yes-more needs to be done. I can give some recent examples, but as they are BLP's I don't wish to bring them up by name but Jimbo and others will surely remember them as they were just last month. One involved the birth date of a figure that, when verified turned out to be incorrect. The discussion centered around what was printed and that if it was in print we had to use it. Then the discussion turned nasty and accusations were flung at even the subject themselves and that was just not right. The media gets stuff wrong all the time. Never once that I can remember where I was mentioned in the press has it ever been accurate and I am nobody of note. There are other ways to verify the information that the media puts out and we have to be more accepting as editors of this. So, yes..some additional wording changes to core policy and guidelines is important.
Another issue came up on almost all the noticeboards involving a single source being used to reference a fact on another BLP and this alone should have made it easy for editors to determine the need to exclude the information on that fact alone. But the single source itself had caused a number of questions on exactly how the information was sourced to begin with and the overall strength of using tertiary sourcing by itself to make such contentious claims on a BLP seemed to be overlooked.
Another recent request appeared at the BLP noticeboard recently where a figure posted a request on how to alter some inaccurate information on their page. While that seemed to get swiftly taken care of other times editors are very resistant. As Jimbo said, this may take some time for this to sink into everyone as the actual policy hasn't changed, just the wording is now much clearer, as is the wording in burden...and I have the scars for that. LOL!--Amadscientist (talk) 22:46, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I wasn't advocating requiring that expertise and objectivity (with respect to the item which cited it) be added to the requirements for the source to be used. I was more thinking that they just be acknowledged as an indicator of "strength of sourcing" for an item, probably in conjunction with a statement to the effect of "controversial or challenged claims require stronger strength of sourcing, and vice versa". For example, this would help solve the two most common instances of misusing policies to POV an article:
  1. Using technicalities regarding wp:rs criteria to knock out an unchallenged sourced sky-is-blue statement.
  2. Using the fact of technically meeting the wp:rs criteria to game in a POV statement (by a biased source) as fact.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Can we use Talk:List_of_fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States#Clear_Case_of_misIdentification, as a test case? What would you have me do/say there? Should I stand down and revert myself? If not, what policy should I state? These policies as written aren't as helpful to the case I'm making as they seem to be to him. By looking at this as a test case, it might occur to you all what policy wordings or whatever might need changing to clarify what to do WP:WHENTHERSsAREWRONG about something outside of their expertise, (in this case obscure dog breed identification). Chrisrus (talk) 07:45, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

When sources disagree, you can note the disagreement: early sources said it was X, later sources said it was Y. (this usually means that there is some misidentification going on, if you are lucky you can find one source that states clearly the real thing) --Enric Naval (talk) 11:06, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
(ec) That thread has some typical features of such a discussion:
  • It's about a minor detail of the kind which 'reliable' sources tends to get wrong, and if they do get it wrong, tends not to be publicly corrected by anyone.
  • There is a conflict between several Wikipedia factions that can be distinguished by how they rank the following criteria: accuracy, formal verifiability, NOR, completeness.
  • To some editors, the (presumably) correct information is obvious, so they want to include it. Others insist to keep it out on the basis that it is original research.
  • The discussion is not centered around the reliability of the identification by editors based on a photo, but on a purely formal reading of NOR.
Though Wikipedia editors can rule out a clear misidentification of a dog breed based on a photo, it's quite likely that collectively they cannot reliably identify the breed on the same basis. However, when the discussion is exclusively wikilawyering about the NOR policy and nobody actually says that they have doubts about the identification, then something is very, very wrong. I believe this kind of situation is a huge factor in editor attrition. It is extremely stressful to get the message: "Yes, your conclusion is obviously correct, we all agree with it, but that doesn't matter and we will remove it for some formal reason." If nobody doubts the conclusion, then it's the wrong way forward, and if somebody does doubt the conclusion, they have a duty to say it to prevent the appearance of pure wikilawyering for its own sake. Hans Adler 11:09, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I sure hope a personal blog is not being used in the actual article as a reference. It isn't RS. In looking at the dog breed situation I have to agree. Claiming it is a breed does require sourcing. This seems to be a simple answer...don't mention the breed unless a source does. If the source appears to be innaccurate then it will take someone time to research this out and find other ways to verify the accurate infromation. If not, just don't mention the breed. It isn't going to end the world as we know it. We can only summarize what the sources say, we cannot make determinations in the article based on an image because images may contain OR, but the article cannot. So never base any prose off an image alone unless it is clear, undeniable, unquestionable material. A breed in an image is not that. It could be mixed or it could be a breed that is so similar that it is just confusing.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:30, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I admit I have been up late so, if that was an oversimplification I apologise.--Amadscientist (talk) 11:45, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

There's another thread about this case now: Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Dog_breed_identification. So far Jimmy and Astro seem to me to read the policies quite differently, we'll see if the OR noticeboard people also seem to contradict you about what policy means.

JW, please watch and see if you notice where polices and such seem to need further updating. What do you say to some more explicit instructions as to what to do when someone points such an error out to us?

Please look at the dog you will see if you Google Images "Aiden McGrew", and then also Google pictures of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever images you trust, such as

Please view videos like this one of the dog in question,, vs. this Best of Breed competition

And also Google up "Golden/Labrador Retriever mix" images and have a look at a bunch of them for comparison, and some videos such as this:

If you do this, and combine it with the knowledge that, while the ability to recognize breeds is not all that hard to come by, the ability to recognize a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is quite rare, then you will like me agree with the author of the edit, User:Mantion, who called it "A clear case of misidentification" and like me want to get it right.

I am trying to find a way to use images to cite it to satisfy likely challenges, but don't know how to cite an image. I am thinking about offering Astro and the WP:OR patrol a compromise that might say "Breed: Reportedly a Golden/Labrador Retriever Mix, but apparently a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (cite images of the dog, cite images of NSDTR). I'm open to other ideas. Chrisrus (talk) 07:38, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

The most obvious solution is to leave the breed out. Apart from conflicting with readers' inclination to fill in apparent gaps and with many editors' stamp collecting mindset, this is actually a very satisfactory solution. Not having closure on something utterly unimportant is not a problem.
I wouldn't be happy with your proposed text, but I think the following text could work as sufficiently vague on the part that is our original research: "Breed: Reportedly a Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever Mix, though similar in appearance to a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever". That way, we are not actually making the claim but inviting the reader to do their own research. There is a rule even against such formulations, see WP:SYN. But I think it's appropriate to ignore it unless an editor makes a reasonable case that Duck Tolling Retriever is also a misidentification. Hans Adler 07:59, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I like your latter solution! I say, let's do it. Although under the circumstances it might be best if someone else did it. Care to do the honors? Consider "Breed: Reportedly a Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever Mix; apparently a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever" if only on WP:USEFEWWORDS grounds.

Please don't believe that this is unimportant. Implicit in the article List of fatal dog attacks is the assumption that it's important that people should be able to learn what kinds of dogs have killed people, and it has very high among the concerns of editors of the list, judging by this being only the latest example in a long line of such debates. It's a big part of what the list is all about, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Astro for his dedication to getting the breeds and other information right about all the fatal attacks - he has been very dedicated, and rightly so, as readers potentially use this information to make very important personal decisions indeed, such as the safety of their children. Chrisrus (talk) 08:28, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I think you misunderstood me. I will respond at WP:NOR/N, where the details belong. Hans Adler 08:58, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Side Issue

This is a side issue... but I am concerned about the statement Chrisrus just made: "'s important that people should be able to learn what kinds of dogs have killed people"... that sounds like there are editors who are using that list is to push a POV about certain dog breeds. I do hope that is not the case. Blueboar (talk) 15:32, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
When I worked for the SPCA the manager said 'Breeds don't bite people. Abuse and bad training can make any breed dangerous."--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:45, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand, wolves are clearly much more dangerous than dogs, and some breeds have been made wilder by crossing in wolves. No doubt there are individual dogs and probably even some breeds that are inherently dangerous even with optimal treatment. I belive the domesticated silver fox research has shown that this is primarily related to adrenaline levels, which are much higher in wild animals.
But I must say I am increasingly sharing Blueboar's concerns about the background of the dispute. Hans Adler 21:15, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
You may have picked the wrong animal as an example. According to Wolf attacks on humans they seem less dangerous than dogs. When I lived in Jasper most of us knew the the elk were far more dangerous than the grizzlies just because of their nature.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:47, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Although it might not be important to track of what kinds of dogs have killed people, and to "get it right" as JW says, it is implicit within the article List of fatal dog attacks in the US that it is. For each such attack, we try our best to describe the type of dog involved, and spend quite a bit of energy trying to be fair and accurate, so it seems we believe that it's important to do so. If you think we shouldn't keep track of the breeds there, you should start a talk section there. Chrisrus (talk) 08:56, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

If it is that important, why are you just guessing at it. Provide a reliable source and not just original research. The consensus of editors is to not call this a NSDTR.--Amadscientist (talk) 09:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Because as JW says, we are not transcription monkeys, and it's important to try and get things right. Sometimes someone comes to us and points out the our sources are apparently wrong. The reliable sources I provide are the images of the dog in question, of Lab/Golden mixes, and of NSDTRs. This, combined with the knowledge that the skill to identify NSDTRs, while not hard to come by nowadays by people such as yourself with an internet connection and the inclination to do so, is not rational to assume of the Animal Control officer or the others because the breed is so rare and obscure and they can't be relied upon to have been able to recognize a NSDTR. Therefore, it is difficult to say that by asserting that the dog was a Golden/Lab mix, we are not passing along a mistake in our sources and that we are, as JW says, "getting it right." Chrisrus (talk) 09:54, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I am very much aware of someone coming to us and stating the source is innaccurate...and they also had real proof in the form of verifiable records that could not be shared publicly but were available to all. When Jimbo says we are not transcription monkeys...I don't think he meant for us to make it up as we go along and use our personal opinion to revert reliable sources.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:42, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

The reliable source they brought us were the photos. The photos come from RSes about Lucky, the photos of NSDTRs are not challenged. This is not based on someone just making something up. It's a case of someone noticing something obviously wrong in the WP:RSes and pointing it out to us. It;s not a case of us making things up or using our personal opinions. The sources can be relied upon for many things, but not to NSDTR identification. However, NSDTR recognition skills are no hard to come by than Basset Hound recognition skills. All that is needed is some exposure. Chrisrus (talk) 18:28, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
Jimbo, please tell the moderators and vip people of wikipedia to stop reversing my editions indiscriminately. Specially reversing the blanking of my page. I dont want to figure on wikipedia. Agustín Figueroa (talk) 19:38, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
What edits? This is the only edit you made so far; also, Wikipedia doesn't have "VIP people". The closest we have are administrators and bureaucrats, and what exactly is "your page?" Is it supposed to be your userpage, or a now deleted article? ZappaOMati 22:49, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I would bet its from a different language of Wikipedia ... Jimbo's talkpage usually refers them here, IIRC (✉→BWilkins←✎) 13:16, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is really a matter for administrators on es:wiki; if anyone is interested however, this refers. pablo 15:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, he is now blocked on that Wikipedia anyway. ZappaOMati 00:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Phone hacking scandal

Im a newbie and McBride is the only one testing Feedback and is hacking newbs. Hacked my email and Ip address and changed tne entire history and abuse filters. Idk much bout this whole process but i sure can tel when someone is trying to hack my phone and put external links to every thing I do via my IP address. Oh and yeah I took screenshots just in case. So theres zero missing/deleted info for anyone to "claim" Im an idiot. But Im looking forward to the attempt. Most assuredly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Fascinating. Now provide more proof that McBride is responsible. ZappaOMati 02:40, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
If you cannot demonstrate such claims, you may be blocked from editing. Put up or shut up.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:31, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Qorvis response

The problem with Wikipedia by Matt Lauer. Cla68 (talk) 23:43, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I linked to this here a few days ago. What I'm hoping to see is an NPOV writeup of what they did, as I'm having trouble piecing things together from previous discussions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:18, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Here's the problem, Jimbo. A NPOV writeup of "what they did" would involve some level of investigative analysis of certain editors, which could likely result in the real-world identity of an editor being revealed. How else would we know if a particular editor is working for Qorvis? This would fall under the WP:OUTING rule, which has very recently been used to indefinitely block a long-time contributor of excellent content (he happens to be part of this thread), and to de-sysop a long-time admin who reversed the editor's block. The rule is very clear, and the punishment is very severe. For example, it would be against the rules to post the legal name or the work organisation of this editor, if either of those facts could be determined. According to policy, posting such "personal information is harassment", because that editor never "posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia". As Wikipedians, we are simply and clearly told not to do this, otherwise "attempted outing is grounds for an immediate block". So, your request above to "hope to see" an NPOV writeup of what Qorvis did is essentially asking other Wikipedians to connect editors' work organisation with their User account, even if they did not post that information on Wikipedia. You are asking Wikipedians to risk "an immediate block" to help you with your trouble piecing things together. I'm sure there are several Wikipedians with an investigative bent who would be willing to help, but they probably would prefer that you provide a special immunity from WP:OUTING for at least this particular investigation, or, perhaps you could modify the outing policy so that it does not apply to public relations firms or suspected paid editors. (Whatever you do, don't publish on Wikipedia the results of a Google search for "obvious paid editors are obvious", because that would likely be "grounds for an immediate block".) -- 2001:558:1400:10:5C3D:2DFC:4102:FCD8 (talk) 14:37, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't there already a POV writeup of what happened, and that doesn't out anyone? Shouldn't it then be possible to write a NPOV one that also doesn't out anyone? Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:57, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Additionally, anyone who can explain to me what happened could email me, and I can make the decision what to do about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't know why it has to be e-mailed privately to you, Jimbo. Wikipedians generally prefer that such situations are transparent for all. To regroup, Jimbo is asking for an NPOV writeup, not a POV writeup. As for the recent POV writeup, there was no evidence provided to prove that Qorvis was responsible for any of the User accounts identified. Only that some of the accounts were related, and that they happened to be working on articles whose subjects were clients of Qorvis. That still didn't stop one editor from making a blatant WP:BLP violation, saying: "Qorvis is one of those PR firms that has no sense of morality". Editors and comments like that are apparently tolerated on Wikipedia, as long as the target of the abuse is a PR firm. If one wishes to have proven evidence of Qorvis editing Wikipedia, then there is this, a Cogent Communications IP address that traces to "". But, my saying that is probably a violation of WP:OUTING, because that editor never "posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia". Technically, what I have just done is "grounds for an immediate block". Jimbo, would you agree that I should be blocked for this infraction right now? The IP address was also associated (even via CheckUser) with several named User accounts on Wikipedia. So, in effect, these accounts were therefore publicly associated with the editors' work organisation, despite their not having disclosed that themselves -- a violation of WP:OUTING, is that not? Yet, User:OlYeller21 has not suffered "grounds for an immediate block", and even Jimbo has said of that particular investigation: "I'd love to be kept posted on the progress of this investigation, as I consider this to be an important issue for Wikipedia." It would seem that I am learning something in piecing all of this together for Jimbo and the other readers of his Talk page. Wikipedia has very clear policies on WP:OUTING and WP:BLP; however, in the case of a PR firm like Qorvis, neither of those policies is enforced. Indeed, even as the Outing policy is being skirted by a CheckUser who associates other editors with their probable workplace, Jimbo says that he would "love to be kept posted" about the activity that skirts it. I believe it is either time to admit that WP:OUTING is a non-workable policy, or to modify that policy so that it is clear that it does not apply to PR firms, editors with a conflict of interest, or paid editors. -- (talk) 16:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm very sympathetic to the concerns expressed by Matt Lauer, although I don't think that article was the best exposition of the problem. Wikipedia has, if you will excuse the experession, created a monster. Because as Lauer notes, Wikipedia has become "the go-to encyclopedia. Wikipedia articles are at the top of internet search results" that means subjects want to have some input into what is said. Perfectly understandable, but very frustrating. Our policy can be roughly translated as "this is a Wikipedia article about you that anyone can edit - except you." I understand how we got there, but I hope the editing community can understand how deeply unsatisfying this answer is. Many editors see this, but as an active OTRS voluteer, I see it many times every day. We need to consider how to address this challenge. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:53, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

  • All these problems ultimately trace back to Wikipedia's ill-considered Cult of Anonymity. How can COI editors be identified without identifying them? How can any user be blocked when every user is free to start a new anonymous account to replace the blocked anonymous account? Exactly what constitutes "outing" and how much energy are we going to use and how much drama are we going to create attempting to define the limits of appropriate and inappropriate discourse about sacred "real life identities" and their relationship to sacred "protected pseudonyms"? The answer is real name registration and mandatory Sign-In-To-Edit. Then we can actually have a serious discussion about what constitutes COI and what to do about it. Otherwise, everything will be cloaked forever and we might as well talk about changing the weather — it would be equally ineffectual. (—Tim Davenport, Corvallis, OR) Carrite (talk) 17:27, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

The policy to handle these types of accounts exist without outing them. If they edit a single article, it is an WP:SPA account. If they only edit articles for clients of a PR firm, it is still an SPA account. If there are several accounts making similar edits they are sockpuppets or meatpuppets. See WP:QUACK. If an account is an SPA account or a sockpuppet or meatpuppet of an SPA account makes disruptive edits, instant block. Disruptive edits include removing sourced information. I am not seeing the problem that requires outing people as a solution. Wikipedia has delt with POV accounts since creation, these are no different. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Use of primary sources in Very Serious People

Hi Jimbo,

It was my understanding that our biography of living people policy was created in part to avoid Wikipedia being used to promulgate opinions about living people which have not been reported on by reliable secondary sources.

So, Steve Benen calls Paul Ryan a "Very Serious Person" on "The Maddow Blog", a term defined by the article as derogatory. This is the "event" in question. Now, WP:PRIMARY says "Primary sources are original materials that are close to an event, and are often accounts written by people who are directly involved." - this is the primary source, right? The event was Steve Benen calling Paul Ryan a VSP. And Benen is "close to the event" as his column is actually the event the Wikipedia editor wishes to discuss. According to WP:BLPPRIMARY, "it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment [a] secondary source, subject to the restrictions of this policy, no original research, and the other sourcing policies" but the same policy makes clear that we cannot solely use a primary source, but only use it to augment a secondary source. We do need a secondary source reporting on this event before it

  • (a) has any notability whatsoever as an event,
  • (b) satisfies our normal sourcing requirements to avoid doing original research based on primary sources,
  • (c) fulfills the intent of our biographies of living persons policy to avoid promulgating political name-calling unless is has become significant due to its subsequent coverage in secondary sources.

Right? Otherwise, anytime somebody is called any name in print, e.g. idiot, they can just be added to the idiot article as an example of someone who has been called an idiot. Surely we didn't go through all the trouble to detail a policy about what we can say about living people to allow this sort of loophole to exist, as is claimed by MelanieN, Nomoskedasticity and Calton at Talk:Very Serious People#BLP Violations? Yworo (talk) 12:40, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Responses from people other than Jimbo

Yworo has been trying to peddle this idea for several weeks now, and he's been told by a growing number of people that it's incorrect. He argued at an AfD that an academic journal reporting on an author's plagiarism was a primary source because some of the plagiarism was published in that journal (even though the journal was also discussing plagiarism published elsewhere). David Eppstein's response: "your standards of independence are absurd". Yworo has a preferred interpretation here, but it is not widely shared, and if it is to become policy it should do so as a matter of discussion and consensus, not via Yworo trying to impose it even when he is told he is wrong. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:44, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Being told I am wrong by people who are dead wrong has no significance. You are not only ignoring the intent of BLP, you are ignoring standard sourcing requirements which apply to any article which is to avoid doing original research. Yworo (talk) 12:45, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Say what you like, then, and don't worry about what other people think. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:47, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
That's alway been my standard policy. It also seems to be yours. So? Yworo (talk) 12:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
No, it's not mine. I'm more interested in forming consensus, and then editing in accordance with it. You should try it sometime. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:50, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Consensus has never been allowed to override WP:BLP. Don't see any reason to start now. That's a slippery slope which ultimately allows us to say anything about anyone. Yworo (talk) 12:53, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Here's another piece of feedback this attitude provoked (not from me): 'we determine "proper handling of BLP issues" through consensus. If we didn't do that, there'd be a bunch of obnoxious little people trying to feel self-important by running around playing BLP police. Thank goodness that's not the case.' Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:54, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
You seem awfully concerned with convincing Jimbo you are right and I am wrong without even giving him a chance to reply. In my experience, this is the act of someone who is not at all sure they are right. Trotting out somebody's personal attack against me is surely a sign of complete desperation. I'm done helping you make a mess of a simple question on Jimbo's talk page. But I'm guessing you'll probably need to have the last word. Yworo (talk) 12:57, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
It may be helpful to back away from a policy based arguments, and examine this issue from a non-policy perspective. The article is about a term (Very Serious Person, or VSP), and in that context, it would be helpful for the article to give some examples of the term being used, so that readers will better understand what the term means (and see how the term has been used). So far, so good. The quote about Ryan being a VSP is an example of the term being used.
However, that is not the end of the examination. The next question is whether that specific example is a useful, helpful one? To me, a good example will be one that clarifies the term without the need for extensive explanation. It will be one that is understood by readers from different backgrounds. It will also be one that withstands the test of time.
So... does this specific example (Steve Benen calling Paul Ryan a "VSP") fit these criteria? Will a European or Australian, reading this article in five or ten years time, understand the Paul Ryan example?... will it really help that reader to understand what the term means and how it has been used? I am not so sure about that. Blueboar (talk) 14:23, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
That's an interesting point. Another point to consider is that not every possible example needs to be used. I believe that there are both deceased persons that could be used as examples, as well as instances in which the event has been covered by secondary sources. So if examples are really necessary, ones that there is no doubt about satisfying both sourcing requirements and BLP requirements could easily be found. The insistence on having specific living people included gives the appearance of being politically motivated. I'm in no way a fan of Ryan's, but it simply doesn't seem appropriate to use him as an example when no secondary source has done so. Yworo (talk) 14:29, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I could find no examples of a deceased person this term has been applied to. The term has been in widespread use only since 2006, and in that interval, none of the individuals so described has died. You keep saying we should use deceased persons as examples; I invite you to suggest such a person. --MelanieN (talk) 16:22, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I would say "widespread" is a bit of a strech. Some blogger used it in 2006 (OR in the article still unresolved) and since has been used almost entirely by Paul Krugman to attack others. How many people here can seriously (no pun intended) say that they had even heard of the term before a couple of weeks ago? If not for the addition to the Paul Krugman article itself, I would never had heard about it. Arzel (talk) 16:35, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

"He argued at an AfD that an academic journal reporting on an author's plagiarism was a primary source because some of the plagiarism was published in that journal (even though the journal was also discussing plagiarism published elsewhere)."
He won that AfD. And he was correct. Nobody who was not involved cares about this guy's plagiarism. The journal only cares because it was involved. Just because it then goes on to report other examples of plagiarism by him doesn't establish notability for him in relation to those other examples, since the journal is only interested in those examples because they are related to incidents that involved it directly. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:08, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I won that AfD? I was so exasperated by people apparently not getting it that I stopped watching both the article and the AfD. I had no idea that the result was delete. You made my day! Yworo (talk) 23:00, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I hate to break it to you... Okay, so I won't. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 05:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, that's bizarre. So is anyone going to relist it for deletion again?
And I wonder if Jimbo has looked at it. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:35, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Funny how I wasn't notified of the deletion review. Yworo (talk) 16:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Let's get some context. Yworo is talking about the article Very Serious People, being discussed at Talk:Very Serious People. He is objecting to the giving of examples of people who have been called by this mocking nickname, even though the giving of such examples is commonplace at articles in the category Category:Political metaphors referring to people. He is objecting to phrases like "Steve Benen has called Congressman Paul Ryan 'the quintessential Very Serious Person.' " Yworo has advanced two different arguments. One is that it should be regarded as a BLP violation to report criticism of a politician, even when the criticism is policy-based and not personal - or at least that any such criticism must be noted by a third-party source. That approach would invalidate most of our articles about political figures, which do report responsible criticism in order to maintain neutrality and avoid being a puff-piece. The other argument, the one he is making here, is that we cannot use a person's own words to report what they said; that we cannot use Steve Benen as a source for what Steve Benen said. Yworo seems to believe that the person's own words are a primary source FOR WHAT THAT PERSON SAID and thus must be substantiated by a third party source. I find this argument frankly ridiculous. Does this mean that we can't quote from (say) the president's State of the Union Address - we can't report "the president said so-and-so" - except for those portions of the speech that have been reported by third parties? (It should be noted that the citation he objects to does not say that Paul Ryan IS a VSP, which would be opinion and unprovable; it say that Steve Benen gave Paul Ryan as an example, for which information Yworo regards Steve Benen as an unacceptable source.) This is given as an example of use of the phrase under discussion, as is common for articles in this category, such as Feminazi, Gucci socialist, Massachusetts liberal, etc. --MelanieN (talk) 16:15, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Someone's words are a primary source for what that person said, by definition. The requirement for a secondary source is not to "substantiate" them, but to show that they are significant enough to mention.
If the president trips over a rock tomorrow and says "Ow, I stubbed my toe!" and nobody else bothers to mention it in any context, Wikipedia should omit it. If newspapers begin to print his stubbed toe statement (perhaps in the context of his health care policy), we might then have a reason to do so as well, but we certainly shouldn't report something that was said by the president and doesn't appear in any third party sources. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:54, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I would love to see an example of something the president said that was included anywhere that was not from a secondary source, or not able to be found in a secondary source. That is a red-hering if I ever saw one. As for your examples, Feminazi should have secondary sourcing, Massachusetts liberal does have secondary sourcing. Gucci socialist is a stupid non-notable prhase without almost any sourcing and should be AfD'd post haste. Arzel (talk) 16:45, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • How is a bunch of liberals calling a bunch of conservatives names significant on the articles of the conservatives? It's name calling. Go to the liberal articles and write about it there. "Paul acted like a 4 yr old and called the other Paul a nasty name." There, done. We can even use a primary source for that. Let's move on past the political name calling bullcrap. It's political mudslinging, it's politics, it has no relevance at all to the person it is being thrown at. It's meant to give the other person an edge and we're helping those people out by circulating it here on Wikipedia. Why?--v/r - TP 18:16, 5 March 2013 (UTC
You are under a mistaken impression. This is reference is not on Paul Ryan's article, or any of the "articles of the conservatives". I agree that would be inappropriate unless the person was absolutely identified with the phrase in the public mind. We are talking about the article about the phrase Very Serious People. That is an article about a political phrase or buzzword, similar to dozens or hundreds of other such articles here. --MelanieN (talk) 23:26, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Your right, I did misunderstand the original complaint. But the central point still stands: we shouldn't be a blow horn for political mudslinging.--v/r - TP 01:41, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
It comes from a weakness in our policies. People keep successfully mis-stating policy to essentially say that verifiability is a force for inclusion rather than a requirement for inclusion. So they use that to hammer in material (such as name calling) that furthers their POV quest. Related to that is there is no metric for relevancy. North8000 (talk) 20:08, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
The metric for relevancy should at a minimum be coverage in secondary sources. Plural. Hard to say something is even close to relevant if at least two reliable secondary sources haven't reported on it. Yworo (talk) 03:29, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the article is giving undue weight to the politcs so I have to agree with TParis. This is just the worst kind of garbage and I just can't believe we are allowing the sources to be used as they are and in some cases....used at all. The article is so slanted it is disgusting and vile and is the very thing that makes Wikipedia look bad.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:48, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
And it looks to me that the sourcing doesn't come anywhere close to meeting WP:NEOLOGISM, it's being sourced from usages of the term rather than sources which define and discuss it in linguistic and historical terms. Thus I've nominated the whole mess for deletion. Yworo (talk) 04:28, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I was told on my talk page that this was supposed to illustrate an new consensus for removing the sources, all I see is the old consensus moved to a new page. CartoonDiablo (talk) 23:26, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for admitting you now see the clear consensus against. I mean, where'd all those delete votes come from, your "consensus"? Yworo (talk) 02:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Natural selection in Wikipedia

Jimbo, Ever consider whether there is a tendency for Wikipedia to be evolving towards a population of mostly combative editors. The combative editors will stick around because of an addiction to stress, whereas the non-combative editors will be repelled by it and leave. --Bob K31416 (talk) 00:38, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Actually the vast majority of us simply avoid the drama areas and do our thing - except when we get dragged into a drama area because of an article we've been working on. After which we quickly leave, yes - we leave the drama area and get back to work. --MelanieN (talk) 00:48, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Bob, in my experience the drama starters tend to leave when they don't get their way because a couple of decent editors stand up for the guy they are picking on. Your experience must be different then mine, care to elaborate on your experience?--v/r - TP 01:39, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Yep. And at the moment I think this page is a good example of that.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:34, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
There are more ways of being a bad editor than there are of being a good editor, so natural selection is working against the community. Many misguided editors try all possible ways to be misguided. The strategies that don't work are discarded (editor leaves or is blocked). Often the person returns with a new account to try again. Wikipedia is left with the misguided editors who have stumbled on a procedure that falls just under behavior that would attract sanctions. We have a growing crowd of people who want to use Wikipedia to express their views, or free-speech enthusiasts who want all views—it's going to get harder to retain the editors who follow WP:5P to benefit the encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 05:38, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, natural selection favors those who are the most adaptable, so those who do not adapt to the 5P eventually leave either voluntarily or involuntarily, while all we are left with are very adaptable editors. That's a Good Thing™, no? Rgrds. -- (talk) 08:01, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

There is passive and aggressive isn't there. You need to look where people go, follow their edits etc - enough to get a general picture. Regardless of anything, the current 'Wikipedia of Everything' is always going to be dramatic isn't it? I would agree that what I call 'alpha people' tend to get their way here, and the most committed always have the advantage (even with 3RR) - it's a headache that's to some degree is just a fact of life. Certainly the majority of people who try Wikipedia quickly leave (often running to the nearest other room I imagine), but I don't think that those who stay are addicted to stress as such: they probably are able to stand above that for various reasons (though people with commitments here can find themselves in difficult situations). There is do gooding, pov pushing, power tripping, award fishing, job hunting, thrill seeking etc etc. Some people may even still get some satisfaction out of creating ethical, meaningful and useful articles. Many people genuinely enjoy box ticking, tinkering, list making etc. Stress, actually, is a killer, and many the much-needed editor will have left because of it. As an aside I'd say thet a key to relieving personal stress on WP is in grouping or ganging up: individuals are bound to feel it more. Matt Lewis (talk) 13:38, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

My key for relieving stress is to work on a variety of topics and do a variety of things, so when one isn't going the way I like, I can turn to another. DGG ( talk ) 19:50, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The Wikipedia Community is a very special community, even between Internet communities. Only 9% of women are editing Wikipedia. The males who are editing Wikipedia mostly young, and besides there are many... but let me please quote a prominent user who left Wikipedia: "There are quite a few mentally ill people who edit Wikipedia. " Wikipedia is a great place for creepy loners. A regular person has difficulties in being productive in such environment. (talk) 16:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
    • You forgot to sign in, again. There are mentally ill people everywhere, in every workplace, and that satirical piece was just that. Drmies (talk) 17:06, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
      • No, I did not forget to sign. I signed, and I am no more anonymous than thousands of other Wikipedia's users. Yes, you are right of course. There are mentally ill people everywhere, and I have absolutely nothing against them, but Wikipedia is a different environment in three aspects: Users do not see each other in person, and users are anonymous, and the most important one: the Wikipedia community has a power to ruin a person's life, and it uses this power quite a lot. By the way, when I say "mentally ill" I do not mean persons diagnosed with psychiatric conditions. Theses persons are generally kind and nice. I mean users who behave as sadists, who are enjoying hurting others, hurting absolutely needlessly both Wikipedians and subjects of BLPs alike. I talked to a person who wants their BLP to be deleted. This person told me they are having mental problems now, and the reason is Wikipedia. (talk) 18:40, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
        • I know you didn't forget, and you know you're a lot more anonymous than I am. All of which makes me not care about what you're actually trying to say. On the internet no one knows you're a dog,, which could lead one to think that all messages are equal, but if someone thinks you're a dog since you wag like one you shouldn't be surprised to find that people mistake your well-formed arguments for mere barking. Woof. Drmies (talk) 23:10, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Although I do not completely share the contempt of my fellow IP editor I do agree that Wikipedia's population of combative editors is outpacing its community of productive ones. There are too many bad editors allowed to continue. Too many bad editors who become admins for no other reason that to increase their influence and there are too many bad admins that need to have their toolbelt stripped. Even Jimbo has, on this very page, indicated his desire to separate from the community although the details have yet to become clear. It seems even the founder himself is tiring of the constant arguments and pettyness and the decreasing usefullness and collaboration of the site. (talk) 17:33, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Kumioko you should really identify yourself - as who you are vs just an IP does have a bearing on how people will interpret your opinion. Any news on you trying a clean start?Moxy (talk) 17:39, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Obviously it doesn't matter if I do or not and my old account is locked. No need to create a new one just to make an occasional comment. Don't worry I'm not going to make a habit out of it but I'm sure someone will block me for something anyway. (talk) 19:12, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Likely by a co-founder and sysadmin of the site to which it's now a blockable offense to link. The awesomeness just keeps coming. (talk) 21:52, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Cheers, Jimbo, for Wikipedia!

A small cup of coffee.JPG Hey Jimmy,

I'm studying Software Engineering at uni at the moment, and I would love to make great, incredibly useful, worldwide software like Wikipedia is. You've inspired me Jimmy, you really have.

Cheers, John, UniSA Student, South Australia Sup3rSloth (talk) 02:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Google translation

Still haven't heard anything back from you on this. I originally sent you the proposal to google about a month ago. What happened? I resent it with URGENT on as you requested. Why was this deleted yesterday?♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 22:35, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Last time, your thread was archived by MiszaBot. [1] Are you so inexperienced that you have to ask such a question rather than check the most obvious explanation for yourself? Hans Adler 15:16, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't get a reply. I have no idea if he got it and sent it to google or not. Jimmy showed an interest in the idea. No need to be so obnoxious.. I still see posts on here from the same day. ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 20:56, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Your last thread was archived after 32 hours with no new time stamp. Given that MiszaBot is set to 1 day for this page, I can see nothing unusual about this. Without our present dialogue, this thread would be eligible for archiving now as well.
I don't know why Jimbo didn't respond, and I will leave my speculations to myself. Hans Adler 22:28, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps that is too soon, 1 day to archive posts is rather extreme, perhaps this is the case to avoid lengthy discussions I don't know, but it appears to be rather short, especially considering Jimbo is a busy guy and might not even be able to respond within a day. Jimbo appears to be busy in RL, I can't see too much activity from him here. Either way I need to know if he got it because I consider it important, so will persist if this gets archived again.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 22:35, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia shop?

[2] I was looking to the left bar for the Village Pump link and just noticed that. I don't know how to react. I suppose I am somewhat neutral on it. I know it is not the same as ads and for that I am thankful really seems a bit...out of place... I guess. I also just noticed what looks like a permanent "Donate to Wikipedia" link. I guess that is a good idea, but still, it makes me take pause for some reason seeing then together. Thoughts?--Amadscientist (talk) 14:18, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Looking at the GBP prices, it appears to me as if this operation is heavily subsidised by the WMF. There are plenty of people that appreciate wikiswag (although Philippe tells me I could be calling it "merchandise"!), so it seems like a fun little thing. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 14:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
As a British person who very much understands the value of GBP, 10 pounds for a teeshirt (made in India or otherwise) is not going to be subsidised: it's isn't cheap at all, though perhaps not overly-expensive for this kind of thing. For good or bad this is clearly more money-raising. I do wonder what they need with all the funds they must be generating - I'd much rather they focused on making the encyclopedia make general sense (and sort out the creaking admin procedure etc), but I suspect the cash will be for other kinds of enterprises, such as Chapters and grants. But wouldn't it be better if the encyclopedia made sense first? Matt Lewis (talk) 15:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC) Matt Lewis (talk) 15:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
You could sell article space to all those promotional editors. LOL! I kid...sorta.--Amadscientist (talk) 14:28, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I can see the teeshirt logo: "Wikimedia, Global leaders in distribution, marketing and web estate". But aren't those kind of things given free at conventions? Matt Lewis (talk) 15:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I just don't remember seeing any discussion or consensus on this anywhere but it got up with no problem, while new features to the mainpage that the actual community has agreed on are stonewalled. Of sourse, the mainpage really isn't a part of the community as it isn't a page anyone can edit and consenus is haulted with waiting for a bot operator to get around to doing something that probably doesn't effect the feature itself.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:41, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
That's a good point actually, what people generally mean by 'the community' only covers a part of the whole WMF, though it's kind of a flexible term I've noticed. On fundraising adverts I've noticed it seems to mean everyone involved, including every IP who's made some contribution to Wikipedia. I have wondered in the past how many of those contributors actually see themselves as part of a community (esp Google-using error-correcting IP's, or indeed anyone just correcting plagiarism/libel/mistakes etc), but it's the language that's always been used. "Project" is another term I find occasionally problematic, but mainly because I can't see enough structure in it all, and am unsure where it's all going. Matt Lewis (talk) 01:36, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
No idea about conventions, but one found its way to me via some "do them all centrally 'cos it's cheaper" arrangement that manufactured the T-shirts in south asia and decorated them in California and mailed them from the latter. What's the big deal? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I always thought that Wikipedia had teeshirts. I suppose that if they've just started marketing this stuff one wonders how it took them so long. Matt Lewis (talk) 01:36, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It's been stated that the WMF isn't making much at all on what is sold at the shop, and what is sold is used to give away shirts at Wikipedia:Merchandise giveawaysRyan Vesey 01:41, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be protected?

There has been so much vandalism on this page lately by IPs. We need at least a lock to make only registered users and up be able to edit it. And after all, this is the Wikipedia founder's user page, so it's prone to vandalism. Kelton2 (talk) 16:47, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

It's Jimbo's talk page. That would be up to him. Yworo (talk) 16:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes I see vandalism on this page by IPs. I revert it. I assume that when Jimbo thinks the vandalism is useful, he will mention it to me. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:19, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't matter. The worst vandalism on this page in recent weeks was a registered user. Doesn't take much to register and vandalize.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:01, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Please enjoy this joke, which is obviously not anti-Polish at all

So much of what goes on at commons exhausts me. This is no different.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:53, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
An atypical Polish joke in Polandball style.png

Uploaded by Commons admin and bureaucrat User:Russavia. I think I heard someone mention him here recently but I am at a loss to recall exactly where. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:17, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

As an inhabitant of Poznań, I am absolutely outraged that Russavia chose pierogi instead of pyry, and I think that he should be severely punished for that. A year-long community service at the Polish Anti-Defamation League seems like a reasonable sanction. odder (talk) 21:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Nice shot at trolling Russavia there, DC :) Next time, it might help if the first responder isn't Polish, clearly understands the joke and finds it bloody funny! FishBarking? 22:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how hosting these jokes on commons falls within commons' scope. Is this educational? Ryan Vesey 22:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be a Reddit thing [3]. I can't see how it's in scope for Commons; I don't know if there's a Commons equivalent of WP:NOTWEBHOST, but if there is, Russavia might need a reminder. It's hardly a big deal though. Prioryman (talk) 22:19, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree that it's hardly a big deal. All of the other projects manage to regulate their projects according to their rules. If commons were to choose to expand its scope to all free images, then there'd be no problem, but if they're willing to remove family photos or fuzzy photos, they should apply Commons:COM:SCOPE elsewhere. Ryan Vesey 22:26, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
That would be nice, wouldn't it? But Commons' scope is interpreted in an entirely arbitrary fashion, and in deletion discussions the usual argument is "You cannot prove that this image might not be used in an educational context somehow somewhere and some point in time". People will make up educational uses if they have to ("This can be used to illustrate badly drawn, mildly racist comics!"). And then the images will be kept. --Conti| 22:31, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
"This can be used to illustrate badly drawn, mildly racist comics" is actually prohibited by commons policy. See [[4]] which says that they shouldn't keep a blurred photograph because it could be used to illustrate "common mistakes in photography". Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:56, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I know that Commons policy says that. But that doesn't seem to matter. Literally anything is argued to be of educational use by certain users. See commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:What about the children.jpg for a fun example. --Conti| 11:21, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
(ec)Having a sense of humour is essential when criticising humour. This is why people had such problems with that Polandballs thing about unicorns. The ability to understand humorous imagery, satire, and similar "controversial" content as being potentially as much a valid form of commentary as any other, is not something equally shared by all. I think there's a BBC piece somewhere about the role of cartoons in preventing censorship in the UK. (Summary, it was mostly seen as "not on" to censor cartoons, even in the days when a more pedestrian or literal form of criticism might end up losing you your head.)
I have no comment on the specific cartoon that Delicious carbuncle decided to display here today, having not viewed it in a form large enough to read the text. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:20, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I have no comment on cartoons in general, but perhaps you should look at this particular one. You might find it funny. It is a joke, after all. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:28, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Not the highest form of wit, I don't think? Oh, I found that BBC piece. You should look at it too - you might find it educational, rather than funny.
The 1740 cartoon should probably be uploaded to Commons (if it hasn't been already?), so that we can add that to the pictorial discussion here, as an illustration to what some people thought was apt or "funny". --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:31, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
This isn't a discussion about political cartoons. The image I posted is not a political cartoon, it is an illustration of "a classic joke" done in Polandball style. I don't think it is intended to comment on or lampoon the powerful. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:40, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Some of these "polandball" cartoons do indeed appear to be trying to make political, philosophical or other points. The last pane in this one drew political analyses from Wikipedia editors that didn't occur to me. There's no Polish people in it either, as far as I can see. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:43, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I'm not very familiar with Polandball style, but allegedly the topic is considered notable on dozens of WMF wikipedia projects, so maybe that's why the people over at Commons think it might be in scope.
Regarding the BBC piece, I think discussion of how cartoons helped some constitutional monarchs (and others) defuse problematic elements is definitely of relevance to Jimbo. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:45, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it's the other way around. As far as I can see, all or most of the Wikipedia articles on Polandball exist because of the commons users/admins who keep uploading those pictures to commons. Russavia created an article about the subject here, too. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Polandball might be of interest. --Conti| 00:40, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Russavia's racist cartoons fit hand-in-glove with the general mentality of categorizing shirtless boy scouts into the sexualized "toplessness" category, Fae's flickr-washing, the Beta M disaster, and so on. The danger here is that Commons is becoming so degenerate is that people just become desensitized after awhile. "Oh, that's just Commons being Commons." Tarc (talk) 02:55, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

I note that after I placed this joke on Jimbo's page, Russavia renamed it from "File:A Classic Joke -Polandball Style-.png" (which was the name on the Reddit thread) to "File:An atypical Polish joke in Polandball style.png" with the edit summary "more descriptive, uploader request" (that uploader was, of course, Russavia himself). The joke is, in fact, a typical Polish joke in that the joke relies on the reader finding humour in the Polish person (or, in this case, Polandball, which represents the country of Poland) "being of inferior intelligence". Here's a variation on the same joke. The image file is used in two places: here, and on the Polish-language Wikipedia where it was added to Polish jokes by an Australian IP editor. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:27, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

The image was placed on Polish Wikipedia by Russavia himself, that's always the easiest way to ensure that an image is considered part of commons' scope. Just glancing through the category shows that there is a huge problem related to Polandballs. Images like [[:File:Camouflage World Games - Group A.png] may or may not be amusing, depending on who you are. That, however, is not a factor in commons' scope. I've left a note at Commons:Commons:Village Pump#Commons:Scope and Category:Polandball (and related subcats) for anyone interested. Ryan Vesey 04:49, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

This is actually just another instance of Wikipedia being trolled by Reddit or ED or GNOAA or whatever (it happens all the time) but Wikipedia being too stupid/lacking a process for dealing with it, because, you know, assume "good faith". Russavia got banned for posting these kinds of ethnic cartoon jokes. Instead of realizing that maybe his actions were sort of offensive and not actually helpful to the project and admitting to the fact and revising his actions, he went on a spree where he tried to get the same damn thing published on every other Wiki project, where he wasn't banned. To their credit, English wikipedia, German wikipedia and a few others refused and this stuff was deleted. A lot of the smaller Wikipedias (WMF projects) have... like five active people on it, so he got these things up there. And of course on Commons where he managed to become an admin (!!!!) - but that's Commons, not the cousin project of Wikipedia but rather the "porn obsessed pervy uncle of Wikipedia" (I didn't make that one up, I wish I did).

And oh yeah, this whole latest kertufle with Wikipediocracy, Kevin, and Cla68 also has origins in Russavia's trolling. He trolled Wikipediocracy (by making a host of sock puppet accounts on there, attacking people, posting a photo of naked children - until he and his sockpuppets got banned) until he pissed them off enough that they posted that infamous blog post on him. Which was stupid and wrong of them but still. It's not like he was an innocent bystander in this. And then you get all the present Wiki drama.

He's indef banned from here until May (I think). It's probably worth considering extending that to an indef. You will save yourself and the project A LOT OF TROUBLE.Volunteer Marek 05:01, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Apparently on commons, Bureaucrats are the policy. I give up, at least until someone else who understands commons policy is willing to take part. Their scope is probably the most poorly enforced policy they have. They don't understand that nudity is allowed on commons does not equal "commons must have all the nudity". In one deletion discussion I took part in one editor went so far as to assert that the image should be kept because commons didn't have a large enough compilation of nude women with septum piercings. Soon enough it will be that commons doesn't have enough images of nude women with three earings in their left ear, two on their right, one tattoo directly above their navel, etc. In any case, I'd love to see a WP:JIMBOBAN (that needs an article, or at least a redirect) of Russavia. Let him be unknowledgeable of policy and run around promoting polandballs on any project but this one. Ryan Vesey 06:00, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Told you. The sad thing is that it's just a handful of users/admins that basically do whatever they want and back each other up on all relevant deletion/policy discussions. A handful of regulars is all it takes to decide the outcome of a discussion in a smaller wiki. Commons would be perfectly fine otherwise (and it is perfectly fine in areas not related to polandball and anything to do with sexuality). --Conti| 11:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Unblocked today. No doubt making an appearance here shortly. Not sure what Arbcom are thinking this week. As during his block he has spent his time on other projects spreading this racist rubbish, perhaps its time for a community ban discussion at AN instead. I cant believe this is the sort of editor you envisioned contributing to wikipedia & commons Jimbo. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:09, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Oh do grow some, please. It's got its own article translated into Polish, on the Polish Wikipedia. I'm sure we can hardly call Polandball "racist" when those on the Polish Wikipedia clearly don't give a flying fish about it. Russavia's been doing bloody good work elsewhere, and I think that the lifting by arbcom of this ban has been the absolute correct thing to do. It has already been to community ban once - arbcom extended it - and arbcom have lifted it. That's their decision following a very strong appeal (which I happen to know about because I talk to Russavia outside of WP), of what I and others considered to be a punitive block. Get over it and let's just get the hell back to work. FishBarking? 13:46, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
      • "It's got its own article on the Polish Wikipedia", well yes, but it was created there by Russavia (just like most of the many other language versions, including already deleted ones like the Dutch version). "Those on the Polish Wikipedia clearly don't give a flying fish about it"? Then why is there currently an AfD runnning for that very article? pl:Wikipedia:Poczekalnia/artykuły/2013:01:17:Polandball. Fram (talk) 14:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
        • I missed that then, Fram - and probably with good reason. Unlike our AFDs where information gets put on the article's page to state it's up for deletion, pl:Polandball doesn't show anything of the sort - and since I'm not fluent or even basic with my understanding of Polish, it'd be pretty easy to miss an AFD when you have no freaking idea where to look for it, or that it's even happening. FishBarking? 20:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
          • There isn't "currently an AfD runnning for that very article". It was closed as "no consensus" on 20 January. Next time, Fram, please read to the bottom before posting. -- Prioryman (talk) 22:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
            • Thanks for that, Prioryman - however, I had actually already notified Fram of that same thing on their talk page :) And just in case any of the rest of you are interested, the Polish Wikipedia's "Polandball" article was, no less, patrolled by a member of their Arbitration committee :) Now I'm pretty sure if shit'd been wrong, they'd have said something about it :D FishBarking? 22:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Well that came out of left field. Hopefully, he read the portion which states "We remind Russavia that, if he makes any further edits mentioning Polandball and similar cartoons (broadly construed), he will again be in violation of his topic ban and may be summarily re-blocked by any administrator in line with the usual methods of enforcing a discretionary sanction". Do you see his edit summary "hey bitches I'm back"? And he has an agenda. If you raise a community ban discussion, please inform me. Ryan Vesey 15:22, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I still have no idea why this Polandball stuff is of any interest to anybody, for or against. At least this one is recognizable as a Polish joke. There is not, and should not be, any prohibition on uploading Polish jokes to Commons, or out and out authentic Nazi-era propaganda about them for that matter. (It might, however, be valid evidence if someday there was a huge "case" between Russavia and some Polish guy who said he was being mistreated out of racial prejudice, but Commons doesn't even end up there) Wnt (talk) 20:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Dear Jimmy

Thank you for creating Wikipedia Jimmy. I use your site every day to learn new things and like many others have learned so many things I never could have without your site, the best source of knowledge in all human history. Thank you for your great website — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shoobey (talkcontribs) 07:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

What is the rate for advertising on Wikipedia?

Hi, I was researching "enzymes" on Google when I came across this useful adverting page on Wikipedia - one of countless thousands I am certain. I just wondered what you charged businesses for a web presence like the one I so-easily found? Biz (detergent) [5] Regards, Matt Lewis (talk) 17:14, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

The only cost is the shame of one blocked account. The content, however, mostly stays in place. -- 2001:558:1400:10:5C3D:2DFC:4102:FCD8 (talk) 17:33, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing like being 'told' that the content stays by a 3-edit string of letters. I cannot see what the blocked account did that is so "shameful", whereas the rest of the slightly-edited content somehow is not. That account basically used the name of the company, CRBRands (and was duly auto-blocked)- the content it added last September mostly stayed [6]. Perhaps you think anonymity is the key to using this place, 2001:558:1400:10:5C3D:2DFC:4102:FCD8|2001:558:1400:10:5C3D:2DFC:4102:FCD8?
The issue here is that the whole article is a clear advert for a product, written like an advert, edit/passed by admin (DGG), and boosted above its real-world competition to the top of Google, via the placement-boost Google clearly gives to Wikipedia content. Wikipedia content is always at or near the top when I make a Google search. I don't think it's fair on competition. But despite this clear unfairness, we simply have to trust Wikimedia's word when they say they don't accept money for pages like this. Then why allow them? How do they help anyone apart from in finding a suitable product? Matt Lewis (talk) 19:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I took a look. In its current state IMHO I'd call it reasonably encyclopedic but slightly promotional. North8000 (talk) 19:56, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Can you define how it is encyclopedic? Matt Lewis (talk) 21:53, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a useful reference for people who wish to remind themselves about the subject/look up details. When it was introduced, who has produced it, that sort of thing. WilyD 08:35, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
For a cleaning product called Biz? Give me a break. It's just the insane inclusionism that made this place impossible to edit in. Matt Lewis (talk) 13:20, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Sure, why not? If you have no interest in a subject, don't work on its coverage. I have no interest in soap, so I don't work on articles about soap. Whether there are one, ten, a hundred, or a million articles about soap doesn't change how hard it is to author & edit articles in my areas of interest (mostly the history of Ontario these days. Articles you don't work on are benign. This isn't a printed book children's encyclopaedia, it can easily provide comprehensive coverage of the history of soap. WilyD 15:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
So a comprehensive coverage of the "history of soap" (as you say) involves giving a top-5 Google product page to all brands of cleaning products? Or is it to be most brands? The best brands perhaps? Perhaps Wikipedia should be the top 20 page for every single search result possible? Businesses spend a fortune to get as high as Wikipedia on Google, and in terms on educational content your suggested 'articles' provide 0% to anyone but advertising train spotters. If you're a list freak why don't go for a list. At lest then we can remove the picture CR Brands so kindly provided. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
If someone googling for information on the detergent Biz gets offered the Wikipedia article as a first or second result (and a corporate page as the other one), I would consider that ideal. If I google some product, I want the Wikipedia article and the maker's website as the first two hits. Maybe some retailers and product reviews after that. The education content of any article is 0% to someone uninterested in the subject. However, there's no advertising content in it (now - it did have some problematic style at one point). That we obtained a high quality freely licensed picture is a plus. Ideally, we'd get such photos of every branded product (and person, etc.) The picture does not, as far as I can see, misrepresent the product, and would be suitable for a featured article on the subject - what's not to like? If you're convinced it's an intrinsically evil thing that someone might read the article and decide to buy the soap, and that this evil must be stopped by cutting off our nose to spite our face; I can't agree with that (and I'll note it quickly leads to burning the whole encyclopaedia - I've chosen locations for dates with my wife from Wikipedia, but it'd do a terrible disservice to the readers to delete all the articles on Museums to stop me.) WilyD 16:16, 7 March 2013 (UTC
The whole existence of the 'article' is problematic, and regarding advertising 'style' it clearly needs to be policed just to remain being a basic advert, rather than actually reading like a corny one again. What a colossal waste of people's time. It's not just the brand name that people type into Google to find these pages is it? People type in query-searches like "detergent" and "enzymes", and they get the best-ranked Wikipedia advertising page at the top of the list. But best-ranked why in these cases? It's nothing but a cleaning product competing with other cleaning products. That whole industry is actually an exploitative one as it happens. You people just can't seem to mentally deal with the ethical side of these things. Nobody is "cutting off anyone's nose" and threatening to burn the best Wikipedia content! When reading comments like that, I always wonder what unconnected 'pov' on this encyclopedia that people like you are really trying to protect? You can almost guarantee that there is a position/article somewhere on Wikipedia that you protecting based entirely on the godless doctrine of 'NOCENSORSHIP!'. Remove Biz detergent and the like and you worry that the position on 'x' that you strive to maintain will be threatened by liberal, regulatory and (Oh my God!) exclusionist values. I've seen it a thousand times in this crazy place: it's all battles to win battles. Otherwise arguments like yours are just nothing but madness.
Obviously I didn't expect an response from Jimbo, I was just pretty disgusted with the polished and verified nature of the advert I found using Google and wanted to make a quick point somewhere, but maybe if he is reading he might want to chip in. I can't see how he can possibly agree with you on this, and neither can the majority of Wikipedians (not that any abstact majority means much here). What I think is insane is that the two positions are clearly allowed to co-exist here. On the face of it it's simply madness, and an utter, utter waste of people's time. A cynical would say it just has to be deliberate in some way: ie the foundation must somehow benefit. If anyone thinks that all decisions like this should come down to per-article consensus I would say that this encyclopedia will end up duly collapsing - over complications arising from obesity and exhaustion. Matt Lewis (talk) 18:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Typing "Detergent" into google, the first Wikipedia hit for a brand of detergent was on the 9th page of results - the notion that someone's getting top google placement out of this is entirely bunk. The position I'm defending is quite straightforward - arbitrary and capricious deletions based on a dislike for the subject, or wanting to use Wikipedia for advocacy as you're doing, are incredibly injurious to moral and chase away people who'd like to be involved in the project. When someone takes the position you're taking here, they need to be reminded that our goal is to write an encyclopaedia, and positions like yours that are expressly hostile to that are not only unhelpful, but actively detrimental to the collegial atmosphere that's necessary to encyclopaedia writing. The foundation has identified the shrinking rates of new users as an issue of top concern, and allowing this kind of hostility to people who're working on writing an encyclopaedia to rampage unchecked is a key component of the forces driving people away. Who would want to spend their time writing articles if you're going to come by and say "Well, I think this is dumb, you're a waste of everyone's time, and everything you've worked on should be deleted?" - in comparison, someone who comes by and says "Ah, this is a good start, but it has some tone problems, and some balance problems" or whatever - is a helpful colleague. If a reader is interested in Biz, we should do our best to give them a neutral, encyclopaedic reference. The same is true of any other subject they may be interested in. We shouldn't sacrifice that goal over concerns about what's sitting on the umpteenth page of google search results. WilyD 18:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
How am I going to politely say to people this is a "good start" for the article "but it can be improved", when I am TRYING to explain to you why I think it shouldn't exist? Why don't you argue with my actual arguments? I don't appreciate you Wikilawyering by typing "detergent" into Google to prove that these articles don't score highly (only 9 for a WP/product was it?). People often type in strings of connected words, and this product is just one example. I originally typed in 'detergent enzyme' (if I remember now) and the Biz advert which Wikipedia for a time flagrantly promoted was in the top few search results. You'd do well to appreciate exactly why people get so upset about these things, and perhaps respect someone who at least cared enough to actually bring it to your attention. I'd suggest that any shortage of editors here is not at all because of forthright question-askers like me - many editors surely leave because they simply can't make any sense of this place any more. I've never said anything was "so evil" (as you suggested), or that I even "dislike" anything (in the sense of IDONTLIKEIT) - imo that is rhetoric needed to defend what is a totally untenable inclusionist position. If only the Foundation could identify that as a problem: it's probably just a question of what they are looking for. And of course I am now "uncolleagiate" and "need to be reminded that we are here to write an encyclopedia". Well that is extremely tedious for me personally to read, but I've made my point and there is (literally) no point in me labouring it. And sorry I forgot you are actually an admin, I've made that mistake a few times when I've come back in recent times. Matt Lewis (talk) 20:12, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
If your goal isn't to produce and maintain an encyclopaedia, then we don't really have a common ground to work together here. If it is, it's quite easy to see that this article is a good stub/start for someone without alot of experience - yes, it has problems, but most newly involved editors are going to have a lot of problems when they start out - the learning curve is quite steep (and unforgiving) these days. Nobody's asking you to author articles about soap, nobody's asking you to edit articles about soap, nobody's asking you to maintain articles about soap. If you don't want to - don't. It's really okay. The point isn't Wikilawyering (by any definition), but that Wikipedia isn't being used to push information to the top of google that readers aren't looking for. If a reader wants to read about Biz, why send them away? No one's asking you to do work, they're only asking that you not try and prevent them from writing a quality, neutral encyclopaedia to benefit the readership. I find it tedious to remind people why we're here too, but (like many) I'm quite concerned about how intimidating the environment is so I feel it's necessary to push back where people are looking to exclude new users and deprioritise the readers over whatever cause they're promoting (such as what order things appear in a google search - we shouldn't care at all, except where we're harming people - but of course, "detergent enzyme" doesn't return any such articles for me either). There are plenty of places for you to engage in advocacy - but this isn't the place. For what it's worth, it doesn't matter that I'm an admin - it doesn't give me any extra clout, it just means I spend time deleting actual ads (and copyright violations, etc.), but I do have a horse in the race, since I have authored an article about a business, which I'd hate to see the effort of wasted. Why would anyone want to write and maintain an encyclopaedia if other people were successfully tearing it down?WilyD 21:34, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you've properly read a single damn thing that I've written. You've just felt you've got the general idea and have thrown cliches at me. You have understood next to nothing, and have said next to nothing. I'm not preventing anyone from contributing to Wikipedia, and I'm not looking to exclude new users. How can you suggest this stuff? And can take flipping my word for it when I tell you that the Biz article top-ranked when I typed in "enzymes detergent" (or whatever it was) into Google - it was simply what prompted me to come here, and the ranking has changed only because the article has been further condensed. Show 'Good Faith' for heaven's sake, and don't suggest I'm a bullshitter. I'm going to step out now before I get quite angry. What a surprise you have a 'horse in the race.' Don't be such a paranoid nutcase: policy combined with guidelines must dictate what works or not, not making sure everything is allowed so anything passable stays in too. Wikipedia has NEVER believed in it's own set of policies almost on principle. Admit it people - it never, ever has. Some people will surely know what I mean. And AGF just stops people from repeating the one great truth here: that whatever else this is, this place is a home to idiots. Matt Lewis (talk) 23:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, excellent point. Ryan Vesey 15:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you really mean that? I am 100% serious, because the argument above is completely insane. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I have no idea how much of your comments are meant to be taken sarcastically and how much isn't, and, as a native speaker of Smartass, that's saying something. Any company paying for advertising on a Wikimedia project would be putting themselves in an untenable situation, as the content is liable to be altered by anyone who sees a problem (you, for example) at any time (before wasting everyone's time at Jimbo's talk page, for example). Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 19:59, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
But the admin and the wikignome above saw nothing wrong did they? There is far too much plaster-correcting of these kind of problems on Wikipedia, and far too little pointed question-asking imo. To copy-edit an advert someone would normally charge money wouldn't they? Editing a valid Wikipedia article for free for the project is one thing obviously, but 'softening' (and that is exactly what is happening) a plain advert for a product is completely another. You just can't expect your average Joe to do that. Most people coming to that page from Google would naturally assume Wikipedia is a valid place to sell products, and far too many Wikipedians just assume the general public understand the vagaries of Wikipedia. Why would they? And how could they? Talk to them and see what they say.
I wonder if there's been a big battle over censorship here in recent times, and the warped logic of EVERYTHINGGOES won. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:53, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
If you believe that the article is an inappropriate topic, you could be bold and redirect it to CR Brands (the company that owns it) or you could be less bold and nominate it for deletion. --B (talk) 23:10, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
What's with your tirade against the IP who made the same point as you? Ryan Vesey 04:10, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
If that's a question to me I don't understand it. Are you saying I've missed something? Matt Lewis (talk) 13:20, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

() I notified DGG since he was mentioned by name, not a requirement for this page, but seemed appropriate for this discussion. Rgrds. -- (talk) 07:52, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Looking at DGG's page he may be one of those ultra-inclusionists. Even now the Biz ad/article is just a bit more watered down (after how many views and edits since I commented here?) - why isn't it deleted and merged. ie made into a single line in the CR Brands article (sans company-included product picture)? What happens when you just water it down is that it gets built up again in the future. That is guaranteed unless you protect these articles (a decidedly 'anti-ideals' solution that WP is clearly prepared to take with certain of it articles to control the dancing content). It's about the unnecessary work load involved in future editing, and is why I wonder sometimes if these editing insanities are not just 'all in the game', a kind of acceptable ebb and flow that keeps Wikipedia forever ticking over. Perhaps that's a little more realistic than ad money exchanging hands for high-ranking Google placement. Either way WP is consistently counter-productive in pure 'labour' terms, ie the actual-anonymous 'man hours' I've always felt they should matter a little more than I think they've ever done to be frank. The people you can't give barnstars to – a not unlimited supply of people, many of whom will feel resentment quite quickly.
Regarding this Biz detergent example, it's pointless placing the onus onto people who will be disinclined to touch product advertising - it's Wikipedia itself that needs to deal with these things efficiently when the Wikipedians come across them: in my view not enough sensible decisions are made, and the amount of 'hymn sheets' there no-doubt are around cannot help. You should compile a careful questionnaire on how Wikipedians regard this place and analyse the results. Except you'll go loopy allowing/disallowing various questions, and it will simply highlight how hazy the whole 'ideal' has become. I also expect that WP cannot rely on editors like myself (and better) as much as it once could in these areas, largely because we've just had too many bad experiences with procedures like AfD's, eg through being patronised and seeing them quickly-closed etc. Newer members of the project may well actually assume that that ultimately anything goes here, just subject to a little tweaking. The big fear there of course is plagiarism itself. I've ignored 99.9% of the issues I've come across via Google for a long time now, and I can see things daily if I'm using Google a lot. Apart from the ever-present 'extra-Wikipedia' events and projects that come up in the watchlist, I see little improvement in terms of the base-level quality of Google results: the area that ultimately matters in my opinion. Matt Lewis (talk) 13:20, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
As suggested above, if you feel that strongly about it, either redirect it to CR Brands or send it to Afd, it's as simple as that.--ukexpat (talk) 14:55, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
What is clearly "simple" to you is plainly Wikipedia not working to others. Your suggestions shouldn't need to be embarked on especially at the stage the article had got to. I've given reasons why people just aren't doing what you suggest. Obviously I am taking my time to write this, although I do know that I am wasting that time too (that is in the sense of not being listened to, if you need that much explained). Eligibility for Wikipedia shouldn't be a case of how strong someone like me "feels" about removing it or not: that's almost a battleground suggestion. The 'remove-it-if-you-can' route plainly involves millions of hours of people's wasted time, and in my view is almost Stalinistic in its disregard for the humanity behind labour. I'm sorry to put it like that but as an editor I've seen scores of thousands of hours of people's work lead absolutely nowhere, with a strong feeling all along that nothing less was ever expected by those who stand a little higher here.
Encyclopedia-building should be based on clear guidelines and policy, but clearly nobody knows what that entails in this particular area. What we have is a giant free-for-all dumping ground (product adverts being an obvious part), where people have to work at arguing over the safety/toxicity of all the gathered stuff. When no one (admin or otherwise) can actually agree on what kind of things are suitable or not, endlessly going through it involves a colossal waste of people's time. When it comes to discussing the overriding matter, the curt suggestion of avoiding argument for the usual choices of "action!" at very best can only save a minuscule fraction of all the wasted time, and all too often proves to be a bum direction anyway (resulting of course in just more wasted time.) Look at North8000 and Ryan Vessay above. They think that a "comprehensive coverage of 'soap'" requires articles on detergent products like Biz. How people like them and me exist in the same encyclopedia? It's not about "agreeing to differ" - we just logically can't co-exist in the same place. To make it work involves about 95% needless bureaucracy (such as first spotting then continually watering down the tide of advertising) to what about 5% progression? I'm being kind I think. I just don't have life to squander like that, and neither do most. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I am not an inclusionist of any kind with respect to promotional articles; if fixable & a major company I fix; otherwise I nominate for deletion at AfD or if utterly hopeless tag for speedy. I've deleted over 13,000 articles, at least half half of them for promotionalism. Quite literally. a day never goes by when I don't delete at leas a few, as by log will show. In fact, I seem to be more strict than many, for not all my AfD nominations get deleted, and there have been occasions when other admins decline to delete my speedy tagging.In covering afield , any field, the purpose of our notability guidelines is to keep the major topics in, and the minor ones out--we only cover major-league baseball players, we only have politicians who actually get elected, we only write on the most important household products. The most critical reason to avoid the minor ones is that articles on them will inevitably be promotional, as there won't be anything else to say, and they will also get neglected because nobody cares about them and therefore accumulate all sorts of crud, negative as well as positive.
There are some fields I think WP over-represents; if there's a consensus to do so , I don't waste my time fruitlessly trying every means to change it, I just ignore those articles and let those who do care work on them and make the decisions about which ones to keep. If there happens to be an RfC over the matter, I'll give my view, but then go by whatever the decision may be.
All systems run down unless work is done to keep them going. Unless work is done, WP will degenerate into a mix of advertising, internet directory content, POV articles on politics & religion & everything else people can argue about, and a memorial of everyone whose family want an obituary. People can choose to make contributions to the work by writing good material, by fixing bad material, by correcting errors, by dealing with all sort of inevitable problems, or by deleting the unsuitable & unfixable the content & if necessary blocking the ones who insert it. All these are necessary. If you want to write or improve articles on those things you think are important, you should do so--we very much need people who continue to do that. As in the RW, we need janitors. In the RW they deserve respect, and here we respect both their work and the work of article writing so much that don't let anyone become one who has't first shown their ability to write or improve articles. DGG ( talk ) 20:13, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to be blunt, but why then didn't you just put the Biz page up for AfD instead of copy-editing some of the ad-speak out of it? You can do it in a click or two now it seems. Look at the time people are spending trying to justify it, on the edit table too. It mystifies me. And yes I know I can place it in Afd myself, but I felt that people really need to make this point. I think that many people here are frankly institutionalised - you basically look at Wikipedia from within, as a giant ongoing sandpox project. Can you imagine how it looks from without? And how it operates in real life - ie through Google, the primary distribution centre for all this information? Matt Lewis (talk) 18:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Trying to do the research to determine if a topic is truly notable takes a lot more time than just leaving an article that isn't in itself problematic anymore, IRWolfie- (talk) 21:57, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Then let me give people some advice. If there's nothing in the article to say that it is notable, use that useful little link in that top corner of your screen and let people at AfD have a look. It's what it's there for. Don't worry about any backlog. When it comes to a blatant advert like this it's crazy to edit out the excess ad-blurb and then give it the benefit of the doubt. Is Wikipedia really short of these kind of articles to watch over? Don't worry about offending people who put the wrong kind of things into Wikipedia (in this case CR Brands, or other comrades in arms), worry instead about offending people who spend time producing decent stuff who then find that it's part of giant marketing machine. And worry about those who think that the AfD system is crucial to Wikipedia and really want it to work properly. And worry about those who still have no idea where Wikipedia is going and what it is really about - and who find that something worth being critical about. Matt Lewis (talk) 23:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Advice flows both ways. In four days it will be six months since you've made an edit to mainspace. Perhaps a few contributions of new content would provide a more balanced perspective about the efforts of others, I suggest you give it a try. See also: Antandrus's Observation No. 59. Carrite (talk) 21:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Well advice can flow both ways... I appreciate that you are nearly in the top 1000 most active people here, but the past I've seen some users update their ticker account every few hours - it's hardly a game to see who can edit like mad. How much does Jimbo edit I wonder? Six edits an hour or six in a year is none of your business. You have no idea what my life entails: I have in the past edited at some personal expense when I've really committed to things, and I regret all of the time I've spent as 0% change has ever happened as a result. A lot of the time time has just gone and I've had to back out. Do you really believe that the only people who should be welcomed to comment on Wikipedia are the regular contributors?
Thanks for the link, though. I have to say I find the curious 74-point 'essay' a real mix of emotions: much of it is either rather rude about people or just plain ill-thought out. Much of what's sensible in it is rather obvious (and laboured), and the constant pitting of Wikipedian/Good Admin vs Troll/Dissenter is very repetitive I think: there's not a great deal of depth considering it's a such long list. The most interesting point to me is possibly the very first point on censorship, but it's hard to be sure which way it's actually intended. Comments like ”31. People who loudly accuse the community of some vice are almost invariably guilty of, but blind to, some variant of that vice themselves.”' and "72. Truth" is a big word. Editors who make abrupt claims about either having, knowing, or insisting on "truth", and editors who include the word in their usernames, are probably doing something that does not belong in an encyclopedia, and the more stridently they argue, the more suspicious you are right to be." are hardly sensible observations in any sense, and "17. There IS a cabal. It's a core group of editors united by the belief that the encyclopedia must protect itself against jerks, and against people who write junk" – hmmm. As for "4. People who have the insatiable need to retaliate for perceived wrongs should be removed from the project as quickly, but gently, as possible." - one of the attempts at humour perhaps, although that urge to remove non-performers is repeated a few times in the list.
A lot of the essay involves sharp solutions/judgements to ambiguous problems. Even probably its 'nicest' point ("71. The very existence of Wikipedia is a massive proof that there are more people in the world wanting to build than to tear down. Were that not true, vandals would have overwhelmed and destroyed us years ago.") crumbles when you really think about it. And to suggest that Wikipedians are "the few actually useful people on the internet" (73) underestimates the internet actually a little worryingly imo (there's a Freudian slip in there on "write" and "read" too - check it out, and no I don't think it's 'ironic.'). 'Wikipedians' were only ever part of the story of Wikipedia, and is probably the biggest reason the Foundation insists on accepting IP's. This encyclopedia partly survives on passers-by correcting Google-discovered mistakes on the fly, yet when it comes to bragging about Wikipedia's achievements they are always subsumed into "our great community", regardless of how each individual editor may personally feel. Think about it. And by the way, I may not be particularly welcomed here at times, but I've actually never not been constructive along with my criticism. I long ago realised that just "Going to work!" (fine if you want to do it) does not help the things that I can see are wrong at all: and in a sense it just continues those problems. "edit, edit, edit" is the biggest cliche on Wikipedia and certain people do plow it on, you know. Fifty fifty it's the first response that any considered but critical comment gets. And again the fourth, and then the seventh...
For sheer pretentiousness I have to include this one from the list: “56. As Freud observed, we are most courageous when we feel most loved. Conversely, the lonely are often the most craven, and their anger is the most vindictive. Wikipedia is filled with the lonely. “ Name-check Freud and conflate his observation with an unconnected (and rather vindictive) point of your own! Matt Lewis (talk) 01:11, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Matt, thank you for your criticisms: they encourage me to write more. It is exactly because some people wouldn't get it that I needed to write it. Right now I have over 500 backlinks, and I didn't put them there: other people who liked the essay, and understood it, put them there. A handful of them (now including yours) are hostile. I find this amusing, and very encouraging indeed. Antandrus (talk) 22:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Please, it's not really an essay, it's a numbered list – there is no need to abuse that word wholesale. 74 repeating points and counting then is it? Mercy on us all then. Perhaps now there is a barnstar for verbal diarrhoea. I am sorry you find my so-called hostility encouraging. I wonder if that feeling (along with the list in general) isn't just the kind of battleground mentality that causes the most permanent damage of all on Wikipedia? It's not the constant battling over POV here, but broader and wilder fire stemming from an entrenched 'them vs us' attitude. In my opinion your list is nothing but a link used by particularly arrogant people to insult a very wide variety of other people on and even off Wikipedia: it's no surprise to me at all 500 people here link to it. How you can even talk of such a scatterbrained list in terms of "getting it" (or not in my case apparently) really demonstrates the mystery of the human mind. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:26, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Articles on products

I'm not denying that promotional or POV language is a big problem in the area of commerce, but I definitely feel that any product you've ever heard of, and most you haven't, should have an article about it. We have this weird disconnect between a culture that runs a fresh Today's Featured Ad every time somebody at Square Enix farts, and a culture that doesn't think you should have an article about most corporations unless there's literary criticism about it. I just ran into a speedy deletion over a stub I started at Topsy (social media) despite having a New York Times reference about it. Apparently there's some new threshold for speedy deletions, much stricter than that for AfDs, of "significance", which means whatever somebody wants it to. We had multiple mentions of the company in articles already, and a dozen people linking to its search results as references (to which I added one more, hence the stub). I have no real interest in it, but I thought we should have a short explanation of what it is. What is our article about a random company supposed to look like? Just a stub, because we don't want to promote it? Not a stub, because we don't explain significance? To be clear, I have no interest in trying to fight/resurrect for this article - Wikipedia doesn't deserve the effort, and it's a job only a paid specialist will want to take the time to learn to do effectively. This is becoming a system we should strive to learn from, not to contribute to; its time has passed. Wnt (talk) 21:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I think there's a real problem with (parts of) Wikipedia's culture in which any mention of articles having a possible economic value leads to accusations of COI, POV, commercialisation and bad faith editing. Fundamentally, I think that certain editors confuse effect with intention and, seeing a possible effect, accuse other editors of intending to cause that effect. For instance, an article about a place might inspire people to visit it, one about a product might make it more interesting to buyers, and one about a person might raise that person's profile. But unless the article is explicitly promotional, those are just side-effects of Wikipedia's main objective of compiling and disseminating reliably sourced information about topics of encyclopedic interest. Unfortunately there has been a trend lately of certain editors interpreting articles as being inherently "promotional" explicitly assuming bad faith on the part of the authors. In my experience, this has more often than not been based on unfounded speculation and paranoia. It's a destructive, demoralising pattern of behaviour and needs to stop; if we have to ban people who repeatedly engage in it, so be it. Prioryman (talk) 22:14, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Can you provide any evidence of that paranoid behaviour in parts of Wikipedia? (I can look at other arguments then, and get a better picture). What I think I see is a prevailing wish to include most things into Wikipedia and try and keep the problematic ones (like products) in as benign shape as possible, and I personally haven't seen much to the contrary (certainly in this conversation - although I admit I haven't looks far into WP). I find it extraordinary that you suggest banning people who express worry about this - I assume that was in jest. Regarding effect vs intention - we have to AGF I suppose (in some cases it will be impossible to know), but the effect is what matters at the end of the day. I think its Wikipedia's responsibility to consider the effects it has on society in general, however good the intentions are (and they are always good if you take AGF to extreme of course). Matt Lewis (talk) 00:44, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Sadly it's not hypothetical and I'm not speaking in jest. Over the past six months, editors who have been writing articles on Gibraltar - including myself and others - have been subjected to a campaign of harassment, defamation and personal attacks that's been unprecedented in my ten years of contributing to Wikipedia. It's been so bad that one well-regarded and very productive editor, User:ACP2011, quit Wikipedia after being threatened with outing and being accused of someone else's sockpuppet (she wasn't, obviously). This has been largely the work of a small group of editors associated with Wikipediocracy (notably User:Jayen466, who's banned from this page, and User:Cla68, who's now banned from Wikipedia) who have run a relentless campaign of attacks in the belief that any article relating to Gibraltar or several hundred square miles of Spain and Morocco near it is intended to be "promotional". In my own case, when I mentioned on-wiki that I was visiting Gibraltar on my way back from a trip to Morocco, these people and their friends started harassing me with demands on this page, on my talk page and elsewhere that I disclose who was paying for my trip, even though there was never any suggestion that anyone other than me was funding it. They persistently assumed bad faith of myself and others. In the process they caused considerable harm to the project, even going so far as to leak Jimbo's private emails to the media. In any sensibly-run community that kind of campaign wouldn't be tolerated and such people would have been kicked out. Prioryman (talk) 08:16, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
e/c Regarding having an article for every popular product (“that people have heard of, and some they haven't” - until it's on Wikipedia – so you end up having to include everything don't you?), I'd say about 80% of people who donate money to Wikipedia do not realise that this is the prevailing attitude now, and about half of that percentage would actually wish for their money back if they knew. Note that when it comes to non-donators I'd agree that most people out there hardly care - as long as they quickly get that useful titbit of information when they need it: I'm talking about honest donators. It's not just that the position is ethically shallow (shallow meaning without actual depth), it's detrimental in terms of progressing the encyclpodia - progressing in the sense of bettering rather that simply forever expanding it.
So far people have had to exaggerate the argument in some way in order to promote inclusionism, either by extending it into articles about actual corporations (not just products), or into frankly-silly areas of baby/bathwater either/or extremes (eg claiming it threatens all of Wikipedia, and that clear lines cannot be drawn - when they easily can in with the will to do it).
I've seen attitudes towards notability change radically in the time I've been on Wikipedia, and it's become a place where literally everything goes, from breaking news (where 'the community' is expected to correct the almost-guaranteed early-reporting mistakes that should never find their way into Wikipedia for any length of time), to copy-reducing articles on totally formulaic detergents: placing them in the Google-led chicken/egg popularity cycle that is the Holy Grail of political maneuverers on here. One person above has even admitted that the Biz argument for him is really about another article (which is I would say is the kind of 'borderline' article that is generally accepted - a now-closed bookshop with a most-minor politicised past), which he admits that he's emotionally invested in. In doing so he's effectively proved my argument that people really do fight for extreme inclusionism to keep in what they hold dear themselves.
Wnt mentions a company that he thought deserves an article because it's been mentioned in Wikipedia a few times. But didn't Jimmy Wales once say that the idea of Wikipedia is for people to follow links out of it (or rather - less problematically - be inspired to research for more information outside of it?) - ie use Wikipedia as a “starting point”? It seems to me that the idea now is to keep people within Wikipedia any way possible. I think the problem with Topsy (social media) was that it was just a stub, and the idea is to have more than that. If that's the reason for the 'speedy delete' then overall it's a good thing that it was deleted – not much gained, not much lost. Keeping stubs as stubs can just mean work, work, work, as Wikipedia clearly abhors a vacuum. I've Topsy deserves more then give it more.
Regarding Biz in this wikilinking sense I would say that Wikipedia itself should not be used as weight/sourcing in this way (that's even policy isn't it?), and on how many occasions would Biz need to be mentioned anyway? What would the BBC do, even if a bottle of Biz appeared on the screen? The vox would be something like "using an enzyme-based household detergent". Adding "often used for the job" is even going too far given the 'echotising' nature of these things. The BBC isn't perfect by any means, but Wikipedia could certainly take a leaf out of some of the standards it has regarding product reference. And I'm stretching to find a good reason for Biz's likely use. Wikipedia will be almost entirely the colour of linkable text before long. I don't know about anyone else, but the more links I see in a sentence/paragraph, the harder it is I find it to follow,
Sadly I suspect that some jaded people on Wikipedia now simply hope that it's easier just to include pretty-much everything possible, and trust that people will polish them up from time to time - it isn't, and they don't, won't (or won't properly) or just for whatever reason can't. Matt Lewis (talk) 00:21, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
The Topsy article was a starting point for research - though rudimentary, it made it perfectly clear what the company was, when it was started, who ran it, where its capital came from. While it could have been longer I frankly don't think it really needed much more effort than that unless somebody really cared to put it in someday. If you think I'm going to sit down for hours poring over an article about a company which I don't care about, just to get it up to some arbitrary threshold, guess again. If you want to be my Editor, hand me orders about just precisely how the article is supposed to be, but I have to do all the writing on my own, then try paying me $20 an hour to work for you. But even then Wikipedia would be at a disadvantage, because if I were writing for a company they would value the article, but here it would be likely to be thrown away or stripped back down to a stub anyway. Hell with it. If I write articles by myself for free then I am going to be the author and copyright holder of those articles, and if I then choose to give them away for free I'll look for some more reliable means of web publication.
The Golden Age of Wikipedia was not deletionist - you're at odds with the literature there. Wikipedia grew and flourished when people could write one sentence stubs, unsourced stubs, articles about anything, and deletion only came up if it wasn't actually anything useful at all.
If the color of links in your text is bothering you, that's a browser issue. We didn't do all this editing just to be told that hypertext is a bad idea. That is kin to the people who complain about "too many" references in an article - which is the very thing that makes it a good starting point for further research! Indeed, while we don't presently attempt it (with the current editing interface it would be mad, and it takes away from a useful extra function as a way of signifying conceptual flow) the notion of Wikilinking every phrase is conceptually sound, and perhaps a successor project can implement it effectively. Wnt (talk) 14:46, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Your Topsy article possibly proves that a) leaving in stub-form is not the best way to encourage research (and with investable topics it never stays in that form anyway), and b) the research to be 'encouraged', if such a thing is acceptable at all, should probably be just be regarding core-academic articles. People aren't completely stupid - they can use the internet outside of Google-Wikipedia when they want or need to. The is something a bit sloth-inducing (or mothering even), a bit pushy, and a bit dominating about it all: there's a real lack of perspective on what Wikipedia needs to be here I think, especially when the pitfalls are so real. Matt Lewis (talk) 16:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
You say that it is pointless for a company to pay someone to write a product article as they are guaranteed to be reduced to stubs? The Biz example (remember why I came here) showed me that if I was paid to write a product article, even senior admin/editors would merely water it down a bit - it would not be reduced to a stub (and even now Biz has it's professional company-provided image, with a link to the product page of course). Revising editors simply know that reducing to a stub is a thankless task. So as a paid editor I'd fill it with company blurb, see it edited-down a bit, then sit back as it becomes inclusionist ballast for a multitude of POV, and smile as the product sits at or near the top of Google for a variety of different searches.
I never once said that Wikipedia used to be "deletionist", esp when it was simply building articles. I said that I've seen Wikipedia become more and more inclusionist, and I think this discussion proves it. It probably runs parallel to the prevailing argument over censorship: ie that all information, however put, must be of benefit to at least someone out there, and that fact is all that matters. I don't remember seeing the prevailing attitudes I see now in the mid 00's. It could be minority power (and/or minority noise), but things have clearly (if maybe steadily) changed imo. At least there is that 'quick delete' now: perhaps that was introduced as a partial fix to this perception people have now that 'anything goes' here.
Regarding the amount of possible wikilinks in an average article sentence, the important issue isn't how hard it is to read is it? It's the quite-problematic question of why/when to wikilink to these products you want. But thank you for pointing out that in this regard legibility is clearly outside of Wikipedia's responsibility. Nobody is saying that hypertext is a bad idea: my main point was clear, and as usual routinely repositioned. Matt Lewis (talk) 16:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Your position seems to embody an attitude that I am running into here more and more here that Wikipedia is not a serious tool for research. You speak of 'core academic', 'effects on society', 'ethically shallow', 'titbits' ... if I interpret these things correctly, you are joining with those who essentially - even if you don't realize it - dividing the world between Things The Peasants Should Know and Things The Peasants Don't Have A Right To Know. This is the principle behind WP:MEDRS as overbearingly applied, behind removing "fancruft" and articles without "significance". The peasants need to know how to read, write, do calculus, sure. But peasants most assuredly do not need to know how to start a business or incorporate a non-profit organization, or look up the newest scientific literature about ideas of how to treat a disease that their doctor hasn't heard of yet. The reason why they look up a company is to buy its products, not to decide whether it has a good business model that they could learn from, or how the guy who ran it managed to negotiate his first venture capital. The result of this attitude is that, ironically, Wikipedia is made up of nonprofit chapters run by people who, judging by the recent FDC proposals and other controversies aired here, may have primary interest in legitimizing a paycheck and not so much interest in starting citizen cooperatives that work together non-hierarchically to crowdsource real world projects without costing money. Because the peasants don't know how to do that. Wikipedia is not a lot of things - Wikipedia is not the CRC Handbook, it is not the Open Directory Project, it is not a newspaper morgue, it is not a complete reference about much of anything. "Significance" is a good way to ensure that it will always remain a Cliff's Notes, an abstract, a coffee table book, a little free blurb that doesn't seriously threaten copyrighted competitors, and doesn't give its impoverished readers the power that paying for privileged access would give them. I see this as a social agenda, and a very bad one. I still picture the sum of all human knowledge available, free, to everyone. Starting with the smallest stub and progressing through a gentle inclusionist snowfall into a massive and transparent edifice. Wnt (talk) 22:05, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Well there we have it: yet more ultra-inclusionism, and yet again I feel at a cost to intelligent discourse. Where is your evidence that I (and the 'increasing others' you mention) say that Wikipedia is not a serious tool for research? Yes you are reading me" wrong. You've basically just gathered a handful of my phrases and suggested they show I'm an autocrat at heart, unconsciously keeping the 'peasants' from the information they need to liberate themselves. And (or so seems to read) with a 'bad social agenda' of course. It's just another variation of the same old regarding my non-inclusionist position basically, and I find it so silly. Regarding your digression on Chapters - they were always going to be treated like ladders to money and power, just as Wikipedia is always going to attract POV pushers. Unfortunately the WMF tends to believe it's own blurb when they exaggerate the great qualities of the 'community'. I'm not being cynical about Wikipedians, I'm just being observant and realistic. Wnt, I'd respect you much more if you just had the courage to proudly state your last lines, "I still picture the sum of all human knowledge available, free, to everyone. Starting with the smallest stub and progressing through a gentle inclusionist snowfall into a massive and transparent edifice." - ie without it appearing in part like a response to conjured-up threats.
I know Jimmy Wales must have at least scanned this discussion, as he's commenting on other discussions here today - so what do you say about the views arising here, Jimbo? Do you personally see this encyclopedia maintaining (acceptable or otherwise) articles on everything: the "sum of ALL 'knowledge'"? People need to know where others stand on this: I think there could be a huge divide here, and I think some direction is needed. My view is that the bigger this place gets, the weaker it gets - so please don't think I'm just out to belittle the show. Editing or not, I look at Wikipedia almost every day and like most of its readers I access it via Google, which perhaps not that many Wikipedians do. This encyclopedia is already astronomical, and nobody knows the extent of its hidden sins. Do you think that it will always be in a state of flux (which is surely guaranteed with limitless stubs and topics), or can you see it approaching at least some 'level' of completion? (although it can never be completed in ongoing and ever-changing world of course). One thing about the eternal state of flux is that it will keep Wikimedia going up to a point - but will people keep donating when they see problems continue to arise rather than content issues solved? Do you think there is a possible moral dilemma of the expanding charity finding there is longer such a cause? (ie Wikipedia becomes much safer and more complete). Or will people just donate for the server/admin costs?
Do you think (to go back to my original question) that Wikipedia should offer an 'article' (stub or otherwise) for every product on sale? It surely must be accepted that the only way to properly manage a product-filled encyclopdia is to provide a clear COI interface, and be a lot less fussy about who edits here and how: if editing content policy is truly believed in (for the first time ever as far as I can personally see) then it shouldn't matter who writes the content: style alone would dictate the acceptability of it, with 'the community' (working in tandem) checking and balancing. With such a massive amount of content you would frankly need that to be the case. Right now it seem the community has some very different ideas of what Wikipedia is supposed to be about: so nothing can be guaranteed on the error-correcting front. Personally I'd like to see some better guidelines on what kind of content is allowed here and not, and at least some direction what forms it should take (ie there are lists, articles, and sections etc). Matt Lewis (talk) 23:59, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia should be like the Vicsek fractal. A particular article will get more and more complete, but there should always be even more which are bare stubs. It should be the model of a new kind of public community that continually produces new offshoots, moving into new areas, implementing a federal model somewhat reminiscent of Bakunin. It should be, in short, like a living community, always replicating, growing and colonizing. It was not meant to be molded and confined.
Under present conditions, Wikipedia's encyclopedic form - which is only one part of the overall structure even now - cannot escape the WP:GNG, but it can and should interpret it minimally - i.e. two independent sources should be enough. That limitation, however, could be overcome by collaboration with existing or new parallel projects, such as using Wikinews or some other mechanism to get citable, reliable interviews on the record that document news from scratch (also better incorporation of government documents). I would say that under such circumstances we certainly should have an article for every corporation that hires employees on the open market. Documenting every product should, under ideal circumstances, be a natural part of that. I do recognize that every step forward requires social and technical progress - how we collaborate, how we search, even how we organize the labor market. We are stopped where we encounter resistance. But the resistance we encounter here and now is premature; it is a point where the original volunteers of the project should have been able to keep pushing through. They didn't throw up their hands at the idea to index every species or every protein or every chemical and cover "just the interesting ones". Wnt (talk) 05:14, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
We know it's the all-consuming flux with you: except it seems that you think it will eventually lead to some kind of socio-encyclopedic harmony. But are you trying to document the world or effectively take over it? Mother Wikipedia with a finger on everything? You really do read like a brain scientist in a sci-fi film. I don't yet know how but it WILL be done! No, no, think of how the species will benefit! I can't believe you said "We are stopped where we encounter resistance." I still need to know how many people your brand of inclusionists represent here, and the more I hear frankly the more I need to know.
I do still believe somewhere inside that Wikipedia can stabilise and genuinely work (though I can never be casual over any single thing it does wrong - I just don't think it has a God-given right to ever do any kind of harm, and especially not wilfully to achieve these kind of ludicrous aims), but I think I'd fight to the grisly death to stop it touching everything in the way you want it to. There has to be an escape - there has to ultimately be democracy in life (I don't mean the party-based system I mean the chance to decide and escape). Are these Chapters going to contain soldiers of peace I wonder? Warriors with a two finger pen? Survival often dictates that resistance eventually has to be fought. Can't you see that your road is the road to more problems, more work, more editor/encyclopedic decline and a whole bag of more trouble? Matt Lewis (talk) 12:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
The democracy should be internal; Wikipedia is already greatly limited by having a single internal authority and the endless struggles this creates. One approach that is ideologically appealing, but seems like a big step backward technically at least for now, is Ward Cunningham's The Federated Wiki. Another is simply to have lots of Wikis, which has happened, but they are not integrated with each other well enough. Dumping more and more articles in per se is for now not quite a perfect solution, because Wikipedia has been tainted by those trying to take control of the massive resources accumulated and shape them for their own purposes, but the underlying "inclusionist" ideal remains valid - that all knowledge can be brought out and effectively organized where people can freely and easily learn it. Wnt (talk) 14:18, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
It's like you're posing the ideal communism: the single-party democracy. Except that certainly here it will collapse under it's own weight and will never ultimately work for the people at all: especially with the influence of a completely separate world outside it. As I've said, inclusionism - both as an ideal and in practice - is just nuts as far as I'm concerned. One approach has to win out eventually, or things will steadily get worse and worse regardless. The one thing I would agree with is that 'breaking news' should be only allowed on the news wiki, if anywhere at all in wiki-form. Nobody is or can be trained to recompose and make-encyclopedic on-the-fly references at that level of legal and social importance – I find it just crazy that people think “we” can: we 100% can't – and it seems to me that it's largely enthusiastic but arrogant and often-ignorant kids who tend to pile in in this area: the very people with the least ability to achieve it. It only works at all on the basis that it can all be changed at some point – I find that 'get out' totally immoral in this area. It's been a real stain on Wikipedia that people will find hard to rub off if the crap ever really hits the fan for any reason. The last thing the WMF would want is for every dodgy matter to pile up all at once: the more they don't deal with, the more chance there is of that happening. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
You make it sound like it's so difficult. It's not. Just let people write what the sources say. No nonsense about this more important than that, this good to cover and that bad to cover, just let everybody work side by side and pile up reliably sourced data. Accurately rendering the world is not immoral. Your claim that "no one can be trained" to summarize breaking news stories is preposterous. Wnt (talk) 18:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Where is the evidence that even suggests reporting controversial breaking news isn't difficult? Look at Wikipedia for heaven's sake, and try and understand the complexity of life (esp crime and the media) please. It's Wikipedia echoing the percentage errors of the sources, crossing unacceptably into the grey areas of media ethics, and nowhere else on Wikipedia is the average editor's ever-present propensity to morph already-problematic text in sources into totally new standalone sentences so potentially damaging. I earnestly believe that you have a responsibility to be responsible, whatever extreme position you cling to over Not The Truth. I hope you are not suggesting that Wikipedia (or even Wikimedia) trains troops of Super Wikipedians for Breaking News (and other areas no doubt) and allow no one else in? Because that pretty much where your crazy vision is heading: it's the only way through for it. I genuinely find some of your responses disturbing. You always insist that everything remains a stub or a summary (in this case) - but it never ever does or it never initially is. And that will be sometimes because often the less you write Wnt, actually the harder (bordering on impossible sometimes in some areas not to expand) that it is. I wonder how much article writing you have actually done (actually having a little look you are lucky I can tolerate Chinese herbal medicine on here - I bet you've had some battles there old son. Inclusionism indeed.) Matt Lewis (talk) 19:39, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it's very clear that Wikipedia has covered controversial news events while they were happening in far more detail than for-profit breaking news releases while holding higher ethical standards than a majority of for-profit media. (Indeed, I would say too high - I think we should put a lot more emphasis on citing, though not believing, primary sources. "The Smoking Gun" is an example of a news publisher which uses primary sources the way I feel they should be.) Wnt (talk) 20:00, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
You accept that News is 'covered' here now do you? And in detail no less? With standards that are so good they are too high! And there's you saying news articles were meant to summarise. I think you are the encyclopedist of saying absolutely anything, and I honestly think all of it just to bull-out inclusionism and secure your other-place POV. Nobody can really go for all this - it's all POV, it has to be. It always is, always was, and always will be: that's ever the background story, and such is life. Wikipedia has to polish its policy and protect itself against all this insanity. END. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:52, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
My POV, sure. And yours. Also a few other sides of the story. Inclusionism leaves room for everyone's POV, navigated in a framework of reliable sources. NPOV is like white light, which can be produced only by building up all the component frequencies without omission. Wnt (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

Well, anyway, Biz Detergent is one thing, the world financial system another -- a bit more important, I think, and lots harder to understand. Now there's an area where we really want disinterested and intelligent experts to expound for the benefit our readers.

Instead, at least regarding Hedge fund and Short (finance), we've got that those articles were written by the Managed Funds Association "The Voice of the Global Alternative Investment Community". (If you want background on these topics, albeit by a non-neutral non-expert, you can un-hide the next paragraph.)

Anyway, this high-finance stuff is way beyond my pay grade -- and most everybody's. I see there's a lot of "Well, some say... but others say..." which is fine, or not, depending on the subject. It's fine if you're talking about whether Koufax was better than Grove. It's not fine if you're talking about whether the capital of New York State is Albany or Buffalo. It's not fine if you're talking about whether financial institutions should, or do, engage in naked shorting. For most of the other stuff, I don't know if it's fine or not. I do know that I don't trust The Managed Funds Association to decide.

I'd like to see, let's say, the respected financial journalist Matt Taibbi given equal time. (Admittedly, we don't use passages like Taibbi's "Goldman Sachs is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" and so forth, but I'm sure we could get the gist of the across another way) But Taibbi's busy. He's one guy, and he's got a job. That doesn't apply to The Managed Funds Association. So they get to write the article. Funny way to run an encyclopedia. Herostratus (talk) 04:57, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Sorry I didn't get your 2nd parag. Are you saying that the articles are biased, and largely written by an invested group? Matt Lewis (talk) 17:26, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and yes. But it's complicated and depends on one's interpretation of "written by" as well as "bias". It's off topic and too complicated to explain here (I may address this over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Integrity, but not tonight). I was just noting that it's one thing to push a product, quite another to control the public discussion, which is what the big boys do. It's the difference between BizCo pushing Biz Detergent and (let's say) the National Detergent Council quietly pushing the idea that, while there are some who do hold that detergents are not so great for our lakes and ponds, on the other hand and to be fair there are plenty of really expert experts who feel that a nice layer of suds in the old town pond is just what the doctor ordered. Herostratus (talk) 04:48, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Not all PRs have a positive message or are trying to hide, rather than exaggerate, negative information. For example, with a little help, PETA could add a lot of great content about how poultry and beef are processed, while a Beef trade association could add information about its health benefits, but the FDA may add some cautions RE health. I've done PR work for non-profits and they often do publicity around protests and criticisms. Also, legal antagonists will often do publicity for a lawsuit; for all intensive purposes, if the publicity is successful, they could request the lawsuit be added to the respective Wikipedia page. If both democratic and republican think-tanks pitch their side to an impartial editor on a heated political dispute, this could be an incredibly useful asset in equipping the editor to easily write a great piece.
Maybe there are some corporate "experts" advocating for suds in the pond, but there are also environmental special interest groups with their own "experts" motivated to exaggerate its effect. CorporateM (Talk) 20:20, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
He's saying that some PR people wish to put benign and genuinely useful things into Wikipedia, and if it comes from two sides of an argument, someone neutral person can produce a masterpiece from their input. Can't people just declare their 'interest' and go ahead and do things when it really is worthwhile? Either directly or via someone who knows how to (and who really cares if he or she's paid? Editing here can be a nightmare for many people in any number of different ways). Providing it fits genuine policy and it's not made by a blocked IP or something it's hardly going to be deleted. I don't think people really understand Conflict of Interest on WP - certainly many if not most 'interested' people out there are afraid of editing Wikipedia, which I find ludicrous. The stuff is about or effects them. It's mainly people who have little knowledge of the net worrying about netiquette and making a potentially-embarrassing ethical booboos I think. Just declare it and edit - they can't sue you. Policy/guidelines alone should prevail! And I'm not talking about product page ads! Matt Lewis (talk) 00:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I contribute as a PR person routinely. I find that requiring approval from a disinterested editor is a powerful way to incentivize good behavior. Meaning, if a company is only required to edit in a way that "sicks" this is a very low standard of neutrality and quality, while asking for permission in advance sets much higher standards. In principle if a COI editor edits directly and they include all the controversies and criticisms and write a genuinely neutral piece, this is a good thing, but in practice, this happens rarely enough with that model that it's practical to simple dean it inappropriate behavior. Also, most of my work has one or two things that need an impartial editor to take it over the home-stretch; where I have done everything I can from my position, but I can only take it so far. CorporateM (Talk) 16:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo, how do you deal with your "New Messages" box?

That must pop up 100 times a day. Just curious :) I'm also curious: does Larry Sagner have a username or did he delete it when he left for Citezendium? Thanks! — nerdfighter 02:23, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Here's a guess: the template probably doesn't appear for the founder. ZappaOMati 02:40, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) True, that would explain why he never seems to comment. — nerdfighter 02:50, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
You are both mistaken. The new messages box works the same for me as anyone, and I comment here very often.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:06, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
See Larry Sanger and Larry Sanger. Bielle (talk) 02:48, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay — nerdfighter 02:50, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh no!
When you see the orange message bar do you ever think "Oh crap, what did I do now?" Like some of us? LOL!--Amadscientist (talk) 09:22, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I for one always think that, though I have no idea why... Tarc (talk) 17:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Me too.... :-/. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:18, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Same here. It's pretty iconic. I recently proposed a de.Wikipedia magic mug with the orange message bar (You have new coffee) ;-) --Atlasowa (talk) 21:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
And I thought I was the only one....Lectonar (talk) 17:10, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Qorvis and WikiBilim

Is it safe to assume that the whole Qorvis issue (and its connection to WikiBilim) has been swept under the rug, or are you still working on a solution, Jimbo? (Oh, by the way, searching Google for Qorvis and WikiBilim no longer shows so much support for the notion that the two entities are not connected.) - 2001:558:1400:10:C4AB:899B:9151:74ED (talk) 17:40, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

What's to be swept under the rug? I think it's all out in the open, is it not? Is there new information or does it stand as it did the last time it was discussed here? What steps do you propose I take?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:06, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, a few days ago, you said "anyone who can explain to me what happened could email me, and I can make the decision what to do about it". We then largely explained what happened, out in the open. You did not re-engage in the discussion, and then it was removed by bot from your Talk page. So, some of us are wondering, did you "make the decision"? What do you intend to do about it, if anything? To say "swept under the rug" may have been an unsuitable comment -- apologies. However, to the outside observer, it did appear that you sought information, upon which you would act; but with no further updates, it did appear that the conversation went away without any "decision" whatsoever. - (talk) 19:01, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
No one produced any actionable information in email or otherwise. The story was just as I thought and so far nothing new has emerged. I made a clear statement here and to the press and to the spokesperson for Qorvis condemning the alleged actions of Qorvis. I'm afraid that so far, no one has shown me an NPOV writeup of the whole situation... that would be very valuable to me, to have a strong community consensus about the facts of the Qorvis case overall.
The connection to Wikibilim remains extremely tenuous, per my earlier remarks. Alexander Mirtchev was the apparent beneficiary of inappropriate editing alleged to be done by Qorvis. (As a side note, I personally think those allegations are true, but Qorvis has denied it, and it's incumbent upon us to be very very solid with evidence). He is one of 7 members of the Board of Directors of the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna of Kazakhstan. And that sovereign wealth fund is one of the funders (and the major funder) of Wikibilim. Keep in mind that according to Wikipedia, Samruk-Kazyna "controls $78 billion in assets, or nearly 56% of GDP" - this is a very large organization in an authoritarian country.
I thank you for your apology for the "swept under the rug" comment. It's important to understand that the "gotcha" some people are apparently hoping for just isn't going to happen. The UK papers tried to tie this to me knowing Tony Blair, a rather absurd connection that has nothing to do with anything. Some have hoped that I would show some inconsistency on the issue of freedom of speech, the independence of Wikipedia - that I would in some way condone allowing a dictator to control some aspect of Wikipedia. Well, no. I condemn it in no uncertain terms. I want us to continue along the trend line we've been on for the past year or two in terms of clarifying and tightening up on the issue of paid editing.
We also need to have a long philosophical discussion about how chapters are funded. Note that Wikibilim is an independent organization, not a chapter. They would like to become a chapter, and an important thing about chapters is that we can insist on clear standards for fundraising. We've never had to do that because there haven't been any major problems, but I think it's worth considering - what kind of money should chapters turn down? What kind of enforcement and monitoring mechanisms are feasible? Similarly, what kind of money should the Foundation turn down?
Anyway, going back to this particular case, I'm open to concrete suggestions about what I should do. Make it clear to Wikibilim that they should not accept money with strings attached? Done. Make it clear to the President's office in Kazakhstan that this sort of thing is extremely problematic? Done. Make it clear to Qorvis and the press that we won't stand for unethical Wikipedia editing? Done. Demand that Wikibilim give the money back? Not within my powers, I'm sorry to say, as they are an independent nonprofit organization halfway around the globe. (And, to be clear, I don't think Wikibilim has done anything wrong with the money: I regard them as information / free culture activists operating in a very difficult environment. The sad thing is that in the effort to jack me up about this, people who don't care one whit about Kazakhstan have given a completely false impression of Wikibilim.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:39, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Your response was very well handled. I would disagree only with your characterization of your association with Tony Blair as a "rather absurd connection that has nothing to do with anything". Most readers of the press articles about that issue seemed to conclude far differently than you, if the "comments" fields are to be believed. Anyway, not to get bogged down in that matter, it is very refreshing to see you speak up very clearly about your stance with regard to this tricky case of possible COI editing by Qorvis. I think two matters remain to benefit from your attention. (1) Does WP:OUTING apply to the letter, when it is a case of investigating COI or paid editing? (2) COI and paid editors continue to complain that following the "proper channels" of community engagement often leads nowhere, and you typically respond that if all else fails, they can come to your Talk page or send you an e-mail. Not every COI or paid editor feels that you will appropriately judge the content dispute, so are there any other efforts that might be extended to assist COI or paid editors with prompt and intelligent handling of their concerns through the "due process" that should exist long before your Talk page is a last resort? - 2001:558:1400:10:92:86AA:83DE:CEE0 (talk) 14:49, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
That various commenters on news articles "seemed to conclude far differently" doesn't explain to me why you might conclude differently. I have never spoken to Tony Blair about Kazakhstan nor any aspect of his political consulting business. I stand by my firm statement that trying to tie him into a story about Wikibilim is "an absurd connection that has nothing to do with anything."
To answer your questions. First, I think our WP:OUTING is deeply flawed for a number of reasons. Well-intentioned but poorly written. I'm not willing to make a blanket statement that it doesn't apply with respect to COI/paid editing investigations, because that would invite abuse and people would rightly yell at me for speaking carelessly. What I would recommend is that if people have information and fear that they may get into trouble for WP:OUTING, they should email ArbCom and me and possibly the Foundation to get guidance.
I think claims from COI and paid editors that following the proper channels of community engagement often leads nowhere are false, and in most cases, are deliberate lies designed to defend their unethical practices. To date, I have never seen even one example of someone who followed the right chain to the end and who didn't get appropriate results. Having said that, I think we could do a better job of making it clear to people what those steps are. I think we have seen a significant number of cases where someone misbehaves because they didn't know (because they didn't bother to ask anyone) what else to do. Well, even if I think the best thing to do is RTFM and do the right thing, I think we should continue to try to improve the instructions to make it easier. I'd like to see every company article and biography article tagged with a very simple "If you are the subject of this article, or in some way work for the subject of this article, and you think it needs to be improved CLICK HERE and follow these steps." And the steps should be super easy. But let's not forget that most of the people complaining about this are just liars. It's not that hard.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Clearly acknowledging the value and/or importance of those who are invested - that's exactly the ticket: your CLICK HERE is a very good idea I think. Whatever it leads to it will directly inform people (on and off the encyclopedia) who clearly have a number of different ideas on what Wikipedia is supposed to be about. Please don't forget that it is many of Wikipedia's longstanding editors who are actually creating these articles (see discussion above on the ideological quest for a fully inclusionist encyclopedia extending to products). You can't be too hard on people in the real world who want to participate in something that others (who could be anyone) have written about them. Ultimately policy and guidelines should dictate content whoever writes it, and imo there should be crystal clear rules on what's considered encyclopedic here, and where it goes. When people here can't agree on that then no wonder there are issues. Matt Lewis (talk) 18:52, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo, I have created a tag just like the one you have described above. I have pasted it below. It's my hope to build consensus to apply it to Category: Organizations

Even as a PR person and COI contributor myself, I agree that a lot of the defenses PR people use to validate clearly inappropriate behavior are spin and deceptive communications used to instill doubt among a gullible audience. It's growing into the de-facto response to victimize themselves and criticize Wikipedia, because it's an effective way to protect their reputation.

On the other hand, the tag above and a well-manned Request Edit process is all it takes to eliminate this excuse/complaint. It has a nice little "Click here" button that pre-fills a Request Edit with more instructions and information. Cheers. CorporateM (Talk) 19:13, 12 March 2013 (UTC) (PR guy and frequent COI contributor)

Hmmm, is someone subtly plying their wares here?(!) I'd suggest something a little less dogmatic, and maybe even broader: how about a clear and strong notice for anyone personally invested in the article/article creation? The linking page can always direct people a stage further if need be. You can't just discourage/block someone for editing it: people can declare interest and have a go you know, even if it's better in their case that they find help within Wikipedia. People choosing to try it themselves is not a bad way to get more people editing. And they could always be correcting something highly urgent too, or something mainly urgent to them (the other side of a story for example). So it shouldn't be too over-firm and negative I feel, more a clear-cut but friendly direction that people cannot avoid. Matt Lewis (talk) 20:14, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
It just says "advised" (as does WP:COI) and we have plenty of rules like IAR, common sense and NOTBUREAU to cover the exceptions, but we can't create new policies through a template, so you'd have to take that up at WP:COI, unless you feel the template is not reflective of WP:NOPAY CorporateM (Talk) 20:38, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Comments are welcome from Jimbo and Talk page stalkers about applying the template above more broadly at: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#COI_TemplateCorporateM (Talk) 19:36, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I wish you'd let Jimbo develop it a bit. Jesus. This is just for a corporation's talk page is it? They need something on the main page surely. Anyway this looks like a typical Wikipedian's rush of blood to me, and you've probably just given some hard-ass types the chance to hammer home the totally-unecessary aggression that seems to abound this area. You don't exactly have the credibility for it in my opinion - you have COI on COI you do. Still, good luck (on watching it fail, at least unmodified I think - it's just too too in an um ah area for enough people to sanction I think - do they really have that much of a moral right to come on this strongly authoritarian sounding? You have to be a bit more subtle when you are wording this kind of stuff surely). Unfortunately it looks like my little spurt of time for Wikipedia is coming to an end alas. A typically insane experience, as usual. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Just a little reminder of a case of a PR editor who rather diligently tried to go about all of the "proper channels" to contribute content to Wikipedia -- you know, Talk page, Wikiproject:Cooperation, reaching out to active editors on the pages she was interested in. Fat lot of good that did her. I wonder if she is one of the "liars" that Jimbo mentioned above? - 2001:558:1400:10:92:86AA:83DE:CEE0 (talk) 20:02, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata interwikis expanded for other browsers

This is just an FYI that Wikidata support has been added, today, for older browsers, such as IE7 and IE8 from 2009 or such, which now can access an "Edit links" option to modify interwiki links in the other-languages list. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:25, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Lua timeout raised above 55 seconds

This is another FYI that the Lua script execution limit, which is technically a 10-second timeout for pure Lua, has been raised in the Scribunto upgrade of enwiki, today, to allow longer processing time in the parameters passed into a Lua function, which has been tested to allow over 55 seconds of extensive formatting in those parameters. At this point, I think Lua can be used to safely transition wp:CS1 citations to the Lua-based cite templates which use Module:Citation/CS1. A similar Scribunto-interface upgrade is planned for the other-language wikipedias, this week, pending testing of the enwiki Scribunto upgrade. So, overall, it appears the Lua installation has become usable, for large-scale templates, within 1 month of the 19 February 2013 release.

For the future, the ability to process over 55 seconds, of formatted text, means that "smart wizard" Lua templates could be used to scan even huge formatted articles, during edit-preview, for perhaps, 200 common typos, where human proofreaders would tire of tediously re-reading a large page to hunt numerous tiny errors. In practice, the reality of copy-editing large articles reveals a clear pattern where the bottom sections of articles contain more clerical errors, probably due to "proofreader fatique" near the bottom of large pages. The reason the support for large pages is so crucial, compared to medium-size pages, is because the tendency of wp:Data hoarding has expanded many of the Top 5000 articles (wp:5000) into massive pages which many people tire of proofreading, even though read by millions of readers. Long term, we might even have some Lua "advisor templates" (for use in edit-preview) which could scan a large article and advise which sections contain too much detail, by looking for key phrases commonly used when obsessing too much about a common topic.

Another possibility, for Lua lexical analysis, would be to scan a large page and offer a "text-quality rating" by some quick heuristic measures, such as counting typos, frequency of common words, or even the number of prepositions in the text, as a word-density aspect, to predict the complexity of the article to potential readers. It would not "fix" clerical problems or simplify wording, but might help some editors to reschedule, or sort out priorities, about which articles to edit next. I see clear evidence that regions of Wikipedia are still edited by "skeleton crews" of relatively few of the 9,200 semi-busy editors (25+ edits), to focus on each topic area, and even though those 9 thousand people are making over 25 article-edits per month, there is not enough time to revisit articles to proofread for the finishing touches. Some Lua text-scan templates could help pinpoint trouble-spots by "where there is text-smoke there is fire" as many clerical errors tend to cluster where text has other, more-complex issues. Quickly pinpoint many clerical errors, and often that is the same text section to reword for broader problems. That is a major reason why I object to people AWB-fixing of "2 spelling errors" in each of 10,000 articles, because those spelling errors had been the clues for how the surrounding text needed to be proofread, but removing those clues "lost the scent" during the hunt to improve articles. More later. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:25/01:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)


Welcome! Please vandalize the Main Page!--Seonoo of Kim (ANSWER IN MY T.A.L.K. P.A.G.E!!!!!!!!!) 07:20, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to join WikiProject Conflict Resolution

Wikipedia:WikiProject Conflict Resolution.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:02, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Protection of Pope Francis talk page

I never thought I'd write you, but I just wanted to make you aware of my frustration with the protection of the Pope Francis talk page. I totally understand and agree with the protection of the article mainspace, but the talk page?? I think it's outrageous. I wrote to the admin who protected the mainspace to ask them about it, but haven't heard back yet. In the many years I've been using Wikipedia, I've never seen a talk page protected. And what's particularly frustrating is that at the top of the article page, it said " If you cannot edit this article and you wish to make a change, you can request an edit, discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or create an account." So it says that an IP can still use the talk page, but when you go there you find that it's protected. Interestingly, someone just removed that tag in the past few minutes. -- (talk) 22:10, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Talk-page has been unprotected for edits now...Lectonar (talk) 22:13, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Admin Ezhiki deserves some sort of award for finally putting an end to the nonsense decision of protecting that talk page. I thanked him myself on his talk page. It's a shame that even though several editors were begging to have it unprotected for quite awhile, no one would help. Until Ezhiki. -- (talk) 00:20, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Please be aware that it was admin Mike V who locked the talk page, and DragonflySixtyseven who refused to remove it. Dragon's response to the request for removal was "I decline to involve myself further on this issue". Dragon was the one who locked the article (mainspace); a decision I actually supported. Lock the article, fine. Lock the talk page, no way. -- (talk) 03:08, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Chechen Wikipedia

Hello, Jimbo! Could you give a comment on the situation in the Chechen Wikipedia?--Soul Train (talk) 06:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know enough about it to make any useful comment, I'm afraid.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:13, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

::Jimbo, you do not have to know enough about Chechen Wikipedia.In case you did not notice there's a massive sysop abuse on every Wikipedia, and even you got your share of it on Commons. It is just how Wikipedia works, but somebody said it better than I could: "Wikipedia should not be a Gestapo type state. It should not operate on the word of secret informers and in-camera trials." except it is a Gestapo type state already. Wake up, Jimbo, the site you've created is falling into abyss. Regards. (talk) 15:09, 14 March 2013 (UTC) -- striking comments by User:Mbz1 who is indefinitely blocked from this project but still engages in trolling.

Godwin's law--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:07, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Welcome back to Wikipedia User:Mbz1, I didn't realise you had been unbanned. Oh wait, you haven't. Russavia (talk) 06:41, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Example of a bad, manipulated article

Jimbo, take a peek at Hotel television systems. This is a lousy article because it contains no references, it features loads of spam links (many of which are anchored to "Hotel TV", at the bottom of the page), it contains a falsehood about cable TV in hotels (that there is a "set-top box in each room"), and it's been edited almost entirely by IP addresses and one guy who seems strangely familiar with IPTV. One of the recently active IPs is User:, which points to a Sandvik office, and they've been doctoring Wikipedia for years, it seems, focusing on the articles about products where their materials are used.

Based on my experience, I estimate that this article is one of thousands that have been subverted to be little more than a spam link repository and an original research dumping ground. And it's not for lack of "crowd" to keep an eye on the article -- it gets nearly 2,000 page views per month. Is Wikipedia still working properly, or is this a sign of things to come, as more and more strong content editors are driven off or lose interest in the project? - 2001:558:1400:10:9881:9B5B:7FA5:A11A (talk) 14:08, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). (talk) 17:46, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, there's nothing particularly new about this sort of thing, so I wouldn't view it as a harbinger of things to come. And I don't agree that "strong content editors" are being driven off. (That's something I've been hearing for many many years as well. Some have been, but I don't think it can be established as an overall trend.) We've always had random crappy articles on topics too boring for anyone to really care about. In my opinion, we should just delete them. Unfortunately if you make a rule that says "every article with no sources should be deleted" then someone will get wound up to go around saving all the bad articles by adding one reference... which is improvement of course, but more or less misses the point. One of the most powerful counters to this sort of thing is to make sure that an appropriate and lively Wikiproject is aware of it... this article is cataloged under Wikiproject Television, but that might not be the best one. (But it is, however, an active project, so I'd bring it to their attention). --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
We already have BLPPROD which is a similar rule for BLPs only, which requires that the article contains at least one source. Articles actually do get deleted under BLPPROD; people don't go around saving all of them by adding one source each. (And I don't think all of them are unsourceable.) Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:04, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Eponymous categories

I would appreciate your thoughts on the administrative category, Category:Eponymous categories, categories named after Wikipedia article subjects, such as Category:Steve Jobs. This category tree has been discussed 3 times, in 2007, 2010 and 2012, and has of course been kept. I think I understand the rationales for it, and do appreciate what its trying to accomplish (I wont try to summarize, prefer you read the proponents rationales, to be fair to them, as I'm biased). However, I find it counter-intuitive to have the category for Steve Jobs not placed in a further content category, such as Category:American technology company founders (I do recognize that having the Steve Jobs category in EACH of his article's categories could appear as overkill). I also think its often a redundant category tree (as pointed out originally by Alan Liefting), since Category:Wikipedia categories named after cities in China‎ covers the same content as Category:Cities in China, and it mixes up administrative functions with reader/content functions, as a reader may wonder why the category for steve jobs doesnt "go" anywhere, and editors can erroneously place an eponymous category in a content category, as with Category:Wikipedia categories named after American people being in Category:American people. I know that there are serious, competent editors with differing/opposing views on this subject. If you feel your input would be at all useful, I invite you to do so, here or at the category talk page. Thanks so much for what you have done for all of us who always wanted to help write an encyclopedia, and didn't even know it!Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:10, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Graph of editor activity 10 years

The graph below, 2003-2013, shows the counts of article-edits (not talk-page edits), to easily see the stabilized pattern.

Active editors on English Wikipedia over time.png

During 2012, the numbers declined by about a slight 2% per year, like saying a hot day was only {{convert/2|96|not|98|F|C|1}}. Meanwhile, support for old MSIE browsers remained poor, and if support for the world's IE7 and IE8 browsers improved, then the pattern might reverse as a slight growth when supporting the world's most-popular browsers (although, more likely the world will move to IE9 faster than WP moves to support IE8). The middle (purple) line shows the typical "semi-busy" editors (now ~9,200 people), with 25+ edits per month, which includes most everyone we find talking, because many veteran editors just cannot handle 100+ edits per month, but instead make perhaps "19 changes" in each of fewer edit-saves each month. The top line of 3,400 busy editors (100+ edits) includes the frantic small changes, such as putting a category link into each of 45 articles, and many veteran editors rarely perform mass edits, and so, they rarely exceed 99 edits per month. In fact, many of the 3,400 busy editors might be too busy to even talk very much about their editing. Anyway, that quick graph of editor activity shows "They are here to stay" after the past 10 years. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:52, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Your conclusions might be valid (my guess is not, though), but one cannot tell from the graph. I think the edit counts of busy editors are down materially, in contrast to the claim of "stabilized" but it is difficult to see with that scale. Can you repost the numbers of the busy only, with a Y axis recalled to 0-5000? I think it will show a material drop, but one either needs the numbers, or a better scale.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:52, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
See monthly numbers in:, including counts of editors who made over 2500 edits per month. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. From a high of almost 4800 editors in 2007, it has dropped to 3400 in January of this year, an annualized drop of almost 6% per year. That is significant. The rate of drop has ameliorated in the last two years, but I would not yet call it stabilized.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:05, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
"support for old MSIE browsers remained poor" - how do you mean exactly? MediaWiki is one of a shrinking number of web platforms which still attempts to support the ancient horror that is IE6 (see mw:Compatibility#Browser). If you have examples of specific failings in IE, I suggest you bring them up at bugzilla. the wub "?!" 15:10, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the unformatted text and lockups have been reported in Bugzilla, where after a few edits, the text just scrolls down the page, such as a navbox listing "95" items down a page (not a rectangular box of 95 entries), or right-side images appear scrolled down the left-side margin, or wikitables have no border lines. I cannot confirm IE6, but multiple sites of IE7 and IE8 showed Vector or Monobook skin merely scrolling down the screen, with few boxed areas except Search[_____]. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
The stereotyping of "busy editors (100+ edits)" here is highly dubious - after all just over 3 edits per day, or 25 per week, will get you into this group, while hardly leaving most people "too busy to even talk very much about their editing". Johnbod (talk) 15:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, the numbers are there, as 9,200 make 25+ article-edits per month, but only 3,100 people log over 100 monthly edits. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I know that; what I am objecting to is your subjective characterization of those "frantic" people. Johnbod (talk) 15:45, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
@Johnbod. Editors making 100+ edits a month is one of the main metrics tracked by WMF. The official term is "very active Wikipedians," I believe. See: THIS. Carrite (talk) 17:39, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, now I see your objection to the characterization of these very active Wikipedians. I agree that 100 edits a month is not at all a "frantic" pace. One could hit that number just by stopping by AfD every morning and adding a few opinions each day. Carrite (talk) 17:44, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
That's over 100 article-edits not talk-edits: A common misread is thinking the 100+ article-edit counts include talk-pages, or template edits, and stop around 100, but instead, the count at 100+ includes higher, such as 750 article-edits but no "wp:" edits nor talk-pages nor templates nor images. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
This is hard to measure - I cant tell you by experience that older editors do fewer edits not because they are adding less, but due to the fact they edits smarter. Thus resulting in less edits for the same amount of information. Moxy (talk) 17:18, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I have also noticed those multi-change edits, where some long-term editors might make 37 changes during 1 edit-save, rather than 9 edits. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I both agree and disagree with this. I can write entire sections in one sweeping edit, then go off and make a half dozen one-byte changes because I realized I screwed up repeatedly. (My recent performance at 1988 Winter Olympics demonstrates both quite nicely.) Though I would lean to the general idea that veteran editors can edit smarter. Familiarity with the tools helps. Resolute 17:57, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
While there is still plenty of work to do, we do now have over 4 million articles, so there are fewer new articles to write as well. I would assume that as Wikipedia matures, the number of total edits will go down. Most of the "big" articles are already done, although I can easily picture us having over 20 million article topics that are worth writing about, they are just minor things, like red slaw or 1950s American automobile culture (two of my more recent starts, which are a bit obscure.). It took 10 years to get those articles written simply because so few people have even heard of it or thought to write them. The big topics, like Ford, Romania, and Freddie Mercury were covered early on and few big topics are left unstarted and are already past the "stub" stage because many were interested in writing them, and so many reliable sources exist to source them. The most obscure (or minor, if you will) topics take longer and build slower. When I started in 2006, I found more errors as the main articles were rougher than they are now, thus more chances to make minor edits. If anything, that chart shows very strong continuing interest, not a lack of interest. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 21:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps 1/3 of minor topics have articles: There are so many missing articles, for common notable topics, that I find them redlinked everyday, such as recent "prison blues" or "creative incompetence" or "salad fork" (but "dessert spoon") or "slave brick" (but "mudbrick") or "commercial loan" or minor TV character actors, or minor footballers, where WP has over 74,000 footballer articles but among 242,000 known players. Many other terms, not redlinked, are couched as redirects to related articles ("consumer loan" redirects), but the terms could be in separate articles. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
More to the point is the huge number of articles, many with high views, that have existed in a poor state for years, but have hardly been changed since an early spurt of editing. But statistics won't tell you that - only looking at some of them will. Johnbod (talk) 15:45, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Whenever I see this graph I always wonder what the impact of the growing legion of bots is, especially ClueBot NG. With many millions of quick and mindless edits being done by machines it may mean that human resources are freed-up, making fewer edits but overall more substantive ones. We may see an acceleration of this as Wikidata comes into force. Has this ever been investigated? --LukeSurl t c 23:55, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I find it rather hard to believe this graph is accurate. Even if it doesn't include bots or talk pages a lot of high output editors have punched out in the last few months to a year and I find it extremely difficult to believe that we have recruited enough new people to cover that. Rich F did over 10k a month and often more than 25K. I (Yes its Kumioko again) usually did over 10K edits a month and there were several months last year I didn't do any. That's just 2 of several. So although I find this graph interesting, its hardly believable. (talk) 00:11, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Other people have replaced the editors on break, even 5 people making 10,000 edits per month, or 50-60 who made over 2500 article-edits monthly. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That is actually a very good question. I also wonder what the number of vandalism/reverts is now, compared to 5 years ago, as each incident creates at least two edits that are essentially null, whether they are reverted by a human or a bot. You could ask User:Okeyes (WMF) who works for the Foundation and does data work like that (his regular admin/editor account is User:Ironholds). He has the access and skills to provide some useful answers to that question, and from my experience, he has a general interest in those kinds of questions. The chart above is interesting and informative, but it is only one piece of the puzzle, so it is difficult to draw any definitive conclusions without more information. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 00:16, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't really feel like anyone cares or wants to hear my comments these days so I won't be asking about those questions. I just felt compelled to leave a note about my skepticism in the data (although I have no knowledge of how it was generated or how old the source data might be). If you want to ask though you certainly have my permission to do so (not that its needed mind you). As an extra note I think the point you made about the Vandalism/Reversion cycle is a good point too. I wonder how hard it would be to build an algorithm to create some categorization. I also think that using the revision history of cluebot as a measure of vandalism or even maybe a combination of that and edit summaries (it'll never be perfect mind you) that would be a good vetting process for some of the zero sum gains. (talk) 00:26, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Graph shows live data as of January 2013: The graph above reflects the recent recounting of live Wikipedia article edit-history data, as dumped into data files for analysis. See data counts:

The edit-activity data is not from "old reports" to combine guesses from years ago, but rather regenerated from the live contents of all of Wikipedia's current 4.2 million articles (as of January 2013). The data also includes counts of editors who made over 1000, 2500, 10,000 article-edits (or more) per month, which has also stabilized for years. For talk-page edit counts, see numbers in that "stats" data file. -Wikid77 12:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Compare stability of other-language Wikipedias: There are numerous similar graphs for the other languages of Wikipedia. However, looking at just the German, French, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Russian or Japanese, all show a similar stability of editor activity levels in recent years. See others:
Numerous languages seem to have stabilized in their editor-activity levels, although some still vary widely. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:13, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I would bet that some of the growth on those other Wikis represents people who formerly edited in English Wikipedia, in spite of their having little ability to communicate in English, and have now started contributing to the Wikipedia in their own languages instead. --Orlady (talk) 15:28, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

To me, one of the reasons why it appears we hit a ceiling is because of the edit conflict, which is a technological barrier to collaboration. Jimbo, shouldn't the WMF put goal of having real-time collaborative editing (like google documents) down on paper, even if it is for year 2020? Biosthmors (talk) 16:43, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure why edit conflicts would have got worse over time. But of course edit conflicts are one of the major reasons why this site seems so snarky to newbies. It isn't that obvious how to resolve an edit conflict without losing your work, and I suspect that we only retain the editors who are sufficiently IT savvy to suss that out. There are several Bugzilla requests for various minor tweaks to our Mediawiki software that would reduce the number of edit conflicts (just treating the hash sign as a new paragraph and therefore a separately editable item would go a long way) Unfortunately the devs consistently rate such requests as less important than white elephants like the AFT and the Moodbar. This is something where Jimmy could intervene to great effect - a board level priority to the devs to find ways to resolve half the current edit conflicts without losing edits would make a real difference to this site and should be fairly easily achieved. ϢereSpielChequers 07:49, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me that the developers are by and large just kids, with no real IT experience or understanding of the real world. But they bought in to the Wikipedia way, which is all that matters. Malleus Fatuorum 08:09, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Consider major innovations to increase editor activity: For my editing, the biggest increase in edit-article levels comes when assisting the wp:GOCE backlog-elimination drives, every 2 months. However, I wonder if some better tools could make editing more enjoyable, to encourage more article-edits per typical editor. The idea is to improve more articles, rather than just repeatedly edit the same articles, more times, but I suppose either increase in edit-activity could be considered an improvement. Definitely, the upcoming Lua-based wp:CS1 cite templates, to reformat major article cites within 3 seconds rather than 11-35 seconds, should re-attract the users who often avoided editing when they realized every edit-preview had become intolerably slow, slow, S-L-O-W. What other improvements could encourage editors to edit more? -Wikid77 17:26, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Why editor activity stabilized in many languages

16 March 2013: After seeing clear evidence of a steady-state balance in the editor-activity levels, of many other-language wikipedias (but not Persian), then people question why editing continues, at a steady pace, regardless of either major problems or recent innovations. It seems there is some gigantic, over-arching force which attracts editors to contribute along an even keel, rather than have alternate periods of, perhaps, 50% higher offset by 50% lower swings in editor activity. However, some of the weekly variations have been smoothed, as disguised, by the small-scale chart shrinking the up/down curves into a narrow band. -Wikid77 06:18, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

There are probably several factors at work here. The big contrast is between our rapidly growing readership and our broadly stable editorship. One part of this is the rise of the edit filter, both in the sense that the more sophisticated the filters the more vandalism and vandal reversion we lose from these charts of editing, and because nowadays vandalism is rarely up long enough to be seen and reverted by our readers. So we need new ways to recruit editors to make up for those we no longer recruit as vandalfighters. We also need to improve the editing experience for mobile users. The Devs have done a great job at making Wikipedia readable on mobile phones, and our readership is now growing faster than the Internet. But we haven't yet cracked editing on a mobile, hence editing levels are not increasing in line with readership, and we are beginning to see the greying of the pedia as we become more dependant on the generation who are less mobile phone oriented. I'm documenting some of this at User:WereSpielChequers/Going off the boil ϢereSpielChequers 08:09, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

If you had to do it all over from the beginning...

If you had to go back and rebuild Wikipedia from the ground up, what- if anything, would you do differently?--Amadscientist (talk) 05:15, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Were there other ideas you thought should have been used sooner, in the earlier days of Wikipedia? -Wikid77 17:26, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Not really. Just curious.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:34, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Some issues Jimbo has noted: I am not sure what wording could be searched in the archives, to find things to have done differently years ago, but some issues I recall from Jimbo's comments:

  • Lower numerical consensus, perhaps as 63%: There have been several cases where a 2/3rds majority was needed, and the percentage was extremely close, such as a 64% majority, but not 66.7% or such. In some cases, Jimbo explained that the consensus was abundantly clear (unlikely to reverse), so that perhaps 63% in some decisions (among numerous editors) should be considered sufficient to decide an issue, but this would not apply to a small set of people making a decision, but rather when dozens of people respond with support/oppose. Such a redefinition for a two-thirds majority might have allowed major decisions to occur as months, or years, sooner. In the U.S. some obvious "landslide" votes are split only 55%-43%-2%, and it is often clear how the 55% are a sizable majority. -Wikid77 10:00, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Have a WYSIWYG interface sooner: Jimbo has commented extensively on the VisualEditor feature, as needed years ago, in possibly helping more people to edit articles. I am not convinced, because longer edits can be tedious in a point-and-click environment, where I think some people would tire of the too-many-keystrokes navigation needed to make multiple changes, and when edit-conflict occurs, then people would not have been using copy/paste to salvage their portions of the total page, so an edit-conflict would tend to require re-entering all those point-and-click keystrokes manually (rather than just cut/paste from the wikimarkup buffer we edit today). However, there has been talk of "forced-save" mode to ensure part of a WYSIWYG edit gets saved before an edit-conflict occurs, as less new text rejected by the edit-conflict. So, in that case, Jimbo is probably right about ease of use, with little loss from edit-conflict during longer edits. -Wikid77 10:00/14:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Some prior method to limit size of major articles: Jimbo has noted when many major articles were smaller, then they seemed easier to read, or more effective at covering topics (as well as faster to load or edit). If there could have been a smaller size limit, earlier, to insist on moving tangent text into subarticles for the myriad, rambing details, then perhaps major articles would still read like a comfortable overview of a topic, as perhaps 2-3 book pages, rather than 17-24 screens of text, tables, and lists. Now any talk of smaller pages might incur claims of "unfairness" against new topics, relative to older long pages. -Wikid77 10:00/14:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Higher thresholds for notability: Another issue has been too many articles about minor participants, such as villages of 23 people, or new schools of 35 senior students. So, there should have been more-stringent standards to require a school to have higher attendance, or longer history, before creating an article for every corporation who hires a few teachers and declares themselves a "school" rather than focus on larger public schools, or private schools with longer histories. -Wikid77 10:00/14:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

An issue from someone other than Jimbo

  • Auto-assign names - If I could do it all over again, I would auto-assign names to new editors, then let the ones that stick around choose their own name. This would mean that almost all of the 18 million names used up would still be available. It isn't too late to try the approach see User naming convention proposal, but it would have been better had it been implemented at the start.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:16, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I never got around to mentioning that the above was interesting and as Jimbo hasn't corrected anything I will assume this is pretty accurate. Thanks Wikid77 and SPhilbrick.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:17, 16 March 2013 (UTC)