User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 129

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Wikipedia (and me by name) attacked on the History Channel

Just found this after a post at Talk:Melungeon quoted it. "Wolter added that immediately prior to the premier of "America Unearthed," several articles he had written or contributed to in Wikipedia had been simultaneously “gutted” or deleted by a self-appointed Wikipedia editor in rural England named Doug Weller." This is submitted by Richard Thornton, a regular contributor to who has emailed me with insults in the past (he has an account here but not under his name). I used to be an active amateur archaeologist, hence the bit about me claiming to be an archeologist. I have no idea what a purple editor is, does anyone? Nor did I realise our management is now appointing editors. Dougweller (talk) 15:30, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Just read the last sentence of the article. Although he has emailed me and I did give him a warning, I never emailed him saying “If you attempt to change another article or submit another article without my approval, you will be permanently blocked from Wikipedia.” nor did I say that on his talk page. Dougweller (talk) 15:42, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
What was the result when you contacted them about this? --OnoremDil 16:20, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Since blog authors get paid according to the number of page views their blog receives, I'd be careful encouraging more attention to the Thornton blog than it deserves. LuckyLouie (talk) 16:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Damn, I know that but forgot the implications. And I only emailed HC an hour or so ago. Dougweller (talk) 16:55, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Also note that most of the article isn't about Wolter, though I'm mentioned a couple of times by the Thornton, who I believe is an architect and who wrote the article. Dougweller (talk) 17:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
IP editors seem to promote (?) that article in strange places; see Talk:America Unearthed#Examiner article. Huon (talk) 18:08, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
That's not so bad though, as like me he can't find evidence of biassed editing by me at Bartow County, Georgia, Gordon County, Georgia and Murray County, Georgia. Thornton wrote "this columnist re-inserted the deleted paragraphs in the Bartow, Gordon and Murray County, GA Wikipedia articles from the original sources in the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Within two hours, the re-insertions had been deleted by a man named Doug Weller, with a UK email address." But that didn't happen. If I've ever edited those articles it isn't recent and not in the first page of the contributors's list. Ironic that he sees his column as proof Wikipedia is inaccurate when his column is so inaccurate. Dougweller (talk) 18:42, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Although the History channel sounds like a reliable source, they regularly promote all sorts of fringe kookery, i.e. Ancient Aliens. America Unearthed seems to be in the same stream, except with the Knights Templar instead of aliens. So I wouldn't be too concerned what they think about us. Mark Arsten (talk) 20:36, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Personally I think of them as the Hitler Channel, since that seems to be one of their principal obsessions... Prioryman (talk) 21:02, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • An actual editor lurking somewhere in "rural England"? How very dare you. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:12, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Wolter, the 'forensic geologist', only has a bacherlor's in geology and his professional expertise is in concrete testing. His books are self-published, which is why and I others don't see him as a reliable source and removed use of them as sources. His main edits here were to remove criticism of him by a former colleague from his biography. Dougweller (talk) 05:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Sue Gardner stepping down

Wow...this hit me like a ton of bricks! [1] I don't think I have interacted very much with Ms. Gardner but she has done a lot for the project and her stepping down will be a huge loss for Wikipedia!--Amadscientist (talk) 04:54, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Time to fill out an RfCEO. What percentage support do you think I'll need? (seriously, what a surprise).--SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Giovanni di Stefano convicted of fraud

Jimbo, you may recall that a few years ago Giovanni Di Stefano, who represented Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic as their lawyer, made threats to sue Wikipedia for defamation over his article, which stated that he was not licensed to practice law in the UK or Italy. [2] You might be interested to know that he was convicted today of 25 counts of money laundering, fraud, and deception for falsely charging millions of pounds of legal fees, as he was indeed not licensed to practice law in the UK or Italy. He's now facing a lengthy jail sentence.[3] Shades of our old friend Edward Davenport... Prioryman (talk) 20:28, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Huh.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:11, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow. I have been chatting with some of his victims. He is every bit as unpleasant as you think he would be. A thug, in fact. Guy (Help!) 02:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Are we now allowed to make personal attacks against people who are committed for crimes and have acted against Wikipedia? Perhaps we should add that exception to the NPA and civility pages... Fram (talk) 08:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
That is mild compared with what judges have said. He is a convicted fraudster, a liar and a thug who bullied people into suppressing the truth about him, in order to sanitise his public profile and enable him to keep on committing fraud, ensuring that information which would have caused his victims to think twice was removed from the public domain. And that includes threats against individual Wikipedia editors, including at least one for whom I hold no brief whatsoever, but still feel they should not have been subject to the coercion which was forced on us. Guy (Help!) 10:17, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, the original post had "made threats to sue Wikipedia", which while not allowed for editors is in itself not a crime (and may be justified in some cases, though obviously not this one). Since you now add that he made "threats against individual Wikipedia editors", the situation is IMO quite different. Feel free to call him a thug or worse as much as you like; principles are all fine and good, but some people and some actions aren't worth defending. Fram (talk) 10:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── We should watch out, because in some prisons the inmates have limited internet access. Count Iblis (talk) 13:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Read-only access is my understanding and then only on a very limited basis. He won't be posting here any time soon; in the last hour he's been sentenced to 14 years, which means he'll serve at least 9 years 4 months before being eligible for parole. He also admitted committing another £150,000 fraud while on bail for fraud, which shows chutzpah, if nothing else. Regarding his conduct on Wikipedia, the article's talk page archives are full of angry statements from Di Stefano attacking editors for reporting (completely accurately) that he had multiple fraud convictions (see e.g. Talk:Giovanni Di Stefano (fraudster)/Archive 1#Complaint received from Giovanni di Stefano and subsequent archives). Ironically he had boasted that he "only" faced a maximum of 10 years if he was convicted of fraud. I guess he forgot about the 14-year maximum for money laundering... Prioryman (talk) 13:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By the way, I should note that the issue of describing him as a fraudster has been raised on the BLP noticeboard at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Fraudsters. Jimbo, I've quoted your words on the Davenport article naming - you may have a view on this one as well. Prioryman (talk) 13:50, 28 March 2013 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One more thing - for the Wikipediocracy clowns who are complaining about Guy's description of Di Stefano, I suggest you read the judge's comments quoted here, which are far harsher than anything Guy has said. Prioryman (talk) 14:01, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Precisely. This is his third time in court, his third conviction, and this time he's been sent down for 14 years. That is rather more than you get for fiddling your expenses. I had no idea that the comments above were from Wikipediocracy users, but I can't say it would surprise me since that site appears to be the usual shoulders bearing the usual chips. Guy (Help!) 16:03, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • None of the comments above are from Wikipediocracy users - the beclowning is taking place on Wikipediocracy, with a couple of indefinitely blocked users demonstrating once again why they're indefinitely blocked. By the way, it's his fourth conviction (the first was in Ireland and the next three in England). Prioryman (talk) 20:07, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Who cares what the clowns at wikipedi-idiot-ocracy "think"?--MONGO 16:26, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To note: The Devil's Advocate (talk · contribs) appears to be trying to whitewash the article by removing mention of Di Stefano being a convicted fraudster and retitling it as referring to him as a "legal counsellor", which he never claimed to be. He also appears to be move warring. This is evidently in response to agitation on Wikipediocracy. Prioryman (talk) 00:57, 29 March 2013 (UTC)


As the author of journal articles, not to mention a Wikipedia contributor, you might like to register (free, at ) for an Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier (ORCID). It's like an ISSN or DOI, but for people, to differentiate you from other people with similar names; and unite papers which appear under different variants of your name. Once you have one, it can be displayed on your user page, and the article about you, using {{Authority control}}. This invitation is open to all Wikipedia editors. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:13, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

English names of forergin cities etc, Phonetics

Hello ! I've found Your answer concidering my little point ,that there is a distinct line between latin-based alpabets and f.i. japanese signs etc. I understand and do appriciate Your answer. But the question about English names of f.i. Polish or German cities was not quite what I ment. However this part of Your answer is more interesting. If an English name do exist, this clearly overrides any local name in English. And this is English Wikipedia. I even think that, if a city (or other geographical term) outside the English-speaking world has a name in English, this proves that the city in question is fairly well-known to English speaking people. And is supposed to be reguarded as an honour, rather than offence. This is simular in all other languages aswell, I think. By the way, phonetic signs , I wonder how many Wikipedia users that really understand them correctly. I concider myself as a fairly educated person in general. When it comes to languages I'm fluid in Swedish, Danish and English. I can make myself understandable in German - and understand this language better text. This applies also to Dutch and Norwegian. In wrighting, I can to certain limits also understand Latin based languages. And talk Castellian Spanish at very basic level. But phonetic signs still just looks like "chinese" to me. (Perhaps I was ill the day this subject was teached in my schools ?...) And I do not think I'm alone in this matter. My question is, to the general English Wikipedia user, that reads an article like "Danish language" - which do You think help most readers in following example, the Danish-Norwegian letter "Ø" ? A. - a phonetic sign, or B. - an explination with example such as f.i. Danish letter "Ø" is pronounced like an English "i" in "bird" or "u" in "church" ? I'm unsure of which method that's most helpful. I notice You have lots of questions to answer, but this subject is of general interest, I belive. Best reguards Boeing720 (talk) 17:17, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

  • There is wp:Respelling of pronunciations: Jimbo has discussed the limitations of the wp:IPA pronunciation codes, and an alternative is to add wp:respelling with typical English-style syllables. So, for example, the regional pronunciation of "New Orleans" can be shown as "nu or-luns" while in the local who-dat lingo, they say "naw-lins" but the town is often called "NOLA" (for "New Orleans, LA"). A major problem with respelling is to avoid common vowel differences, such as Canadian "out" pronounced like American English "oot" or Australian "day" said as American English "dye". Yet overall, with avoiding those major vowel differences, then respelling is very effective and has been used since the 1890s in American society. Hence pronunciations can be respelled for "Kenya" as the colonial form "keen-yah" or after 1963 independence, the pronunciation changed to "ken-yah" (as short 'e' sound) with Jomo Kenyatta. In general, I think pronunciations should be placed into footnotes, to avoid the clutter of wp:data hoarding in the lede section, while allowing footnote space to explain variations in pronunciation by regional or time-based (1963) aspects. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:52, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Beyond foreign words, also names: The use of respelled pronunciations can also be used in personal names, such as "Einstein" as either /Eyen-stine/ or /Eyen-shtine/ with the "sh" sound. Similarly, there could be town names, such as "Rudesheim" (Germany) as /Roo-des-Hime/ when people might easily think the final syllable was "shime" with the "sh" sound, rather than the separated "Rudes-heim". -Wikid77 (talk) 21:10, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Billboard recently underwent major surgery. Chartbot (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been working around the clock trying to repair the damage the changes caused, and has managed to repair about 50,000 links to Billboard so far. I expect that it will be able to successfully repair about 20,000 more, leaving us with approximately 18,000 dead links to Billboard.

Billboard isn't all that excited about helping with this endeavour. Friendly, yes, but while they "appreciate that Wikipedia requires citations, we are not in the business of supporting Wikipedia." Currently at issue is a list of 668 articles that they intentionally deleted from the site. They have the text, and they have the ability to restore them. They can even restore them to a special section devoted to archaic articles if they wanted to, but they "are not in the business of supporting Wikipedia.".

With all the places in the world crying for higher recognition from Wikipedia, I find this frustrating. Any chance of using some political muscle to get someone at Billboard assigned to help poor Chartbot?—Kww(talk) 18:13, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

If we're going to spend foundation resources battling linkrot, I would think that finding ways to keep more newspaper/mass media articles online would be more valuable to Wikipedia than Billboard. Resolute 18:56, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
No argument that there's a general problem to be solved, but this is one of those moments where they have staff working on the revamp (that could fix this particular glitch in a few hours) and I'm still actively working on getting the remaining links repaired. Not being able to fix the entire problem doesn't mean that one should pass up an opportunity to fix a small part.—Kww(talk) 19:06, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Nothing on the internet is permanent. As has been demonstrated countless times, books, parchment, papyrus last 1000s of years, a page on the internet ~77 days. John lilburne (talk) 19:54, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm building a catalog of links as I go to support archiving, and building a templating system to support a rapid response when the next change to link formats inevitably occurs.—Kww(talk) 19:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
What are you going to archive? Nothing on the internet is permanent. John lilburne (talk) 21:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • An excellent reminder that web footnotes should include the author, title, publication, publication date, and page number (if possible), not just a raw URL. This is probably one of the most pervasive problems at Wikipedia, with histrionics about little things getting all the attention. Carrite (talk) 19:00, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, and Billboard Magazine are only tangentially related. A lot of the online content has no physical counterpart. I have the information I need to go trawling Google Books, and most of the missing information was never printed.—Kww(talk) 19:06, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Does that mean that the missing information was not especially notable, in the long term? Kevin (talk) 07:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Most of the 686 articles that they won't restore were advance notices of chart positions. Not particularly notable in themselves, but they do document the entry position of a recording on the charts, a fairly typical statistical item for an article about a single or album. I feel like I'm on the defensive here, and I don't understand why. No, Billboard isn't the New York Times, but 87,000 links spread across 16,000 articles was a lot of linkrot to allow to occur at one time, and I think it was worth the effort to prevent.—Kww(talk) 14:14, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps they have a more permanent record of such data. What happened before the internet? I recall that years before websites people talked about chart positions for songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s how were they getting that information? Don't they produce year books or something? John lilburne (talk) 15:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Absolutely they do. The physical magazine is still published on a weekly basis. Care to manually research a replacement for the links? It's a herculean task that can be avoided with an hour of effort on Billboard's part, followed by a few hours on my part to backup the page content in an archive.—Kww(talk) 15:52, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Well if you don't mind, maybe you could draft a short letter that we could mail or email or give us a phone number where people could call? I think we need a WP:Public relations noticeboard to organize responses to things like this. Biosthmors (talk) 18:08, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Not really, no. A plague on Billboard. Remove the broken links, cite the print mag by date, and bollocks to them. Guy (Help!) 01:39, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I won't go as far as that, but I think a grass-roots letter-writing campaign would be a poor choice.—Kww(talk) 21:30, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Cool Wikipedia mention in the media

If you were watching the Miami-Marquette game during the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament tonight, Verne Lundquist had a cool anecdote. "Jim Larranaga ... was the coach at George Mason and he decided to apply for the job at Miami, but he was visiting his son. They said, 'send a resume'. He said, 'I don't have one available.' So they faxed his Wikipedia page and that served as his application to Miami." --B (talk) 01:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

  • That's how we always imagined Wikipedia would become, as so dependable, a page could be sent as a reference document, and people could go online to WP to confirm the article. Hopefully, the Pending-changes interface will improve the dependability that way. -Wikid77 05:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Who's this "we" you speak of? Anybody that would use Wikipedia as a reference needs their head checked. Good starting point for info and sources? Sure. Reliable? Its on the Internet, so. --Malerooster (talk) 15:19, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, there is a while to go in the evolution of wp:Wiki-epistemology about accurate reporting, but printed books, magazines and newspapers are quickly vanishing. So... -Wikid77 (talk) 17:09, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
"but printed books...are quickly vanishing" wow, should I start collecting them j/k :) I hear you about the evolution of the project. --Malerooster (talk) 17:54, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Sales of print books dropped by 9% in 2012, with paperbacks dropping by 20%.[4] Print books aren't going to go completely away any time soon - but certainly they are going to gradually become less and less significant. --B (talk) 18:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Since fiction works are not generally sources for an encyclopedia <g>, what counts is "number of non-fiction titles issued" not "total sales of books." [5] Publishers Weekly ascribed 2500 new trade non-fiction titles to American publishers in 1916. [6] asserts only 1,201 non-fiction new titles in the US in 1959, and then a huge growth to 8,265 in 1966! Yes - the average nonfiction books sells only about 250 copies - but that is substantially because so many are extremely specialised - and thus priced in the $100 to $500 range. The demise of books is exaggerated. Collect (talk) 13:29, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

" a long and healthy future for Wikipedia."

Jimbo, you say Wikipedia is going to have "a long and healthy future ". I agree Wikipedia is going to have a long future, but will this future be a healthy one? Just look at your own talk page. An abusive admin blocks one of the most prolific contributors for a whole year, and many cannot even understand why, and how this block is going to help Wikipedia. Is it what you call "healthy"? Another prolific contributor is blocked by the same abusive admin, and although most users agree the block is punitive nobody reverts it. So could you please explain how exactly you, Jimbo Wales, see a healthy feature of Wikipedia? Thanks. (talk) 22:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know exactly why I came here, but let's drop the screaming about "abuse". This is abuse, the situation you reference is not. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:18, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Are you saying abuse of content editors by admins on Wikipedia doesn't happen unless it reaches a level similar to that described in the article you linked? --Epipelagic (talk) 03:40, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm saying I seem to have a very different idea of what constitutes abuse. A flaw with Wikipedia processes, even a major one- I can't comment on the gory details of this one, as I only just became aware of it by accident, but it seems a lot of people have a problem with it- is really only an issue on the workings of a website. Perhaps I'm a bit jaded from having read Gongsun Longzi, so take it for whatever you think it's worth; if that's nothing, so be it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:14, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
That people choose to ignore the reasons why Rich was blocked is not the same as their not not being able to understand those reasons. Crying about it loudly while hiding behind an IP address doesn't make it abuse either. Resolute 23:32, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems like you haven't spoken to actual content developers in a very long time. There is a section of editors, who are unfortunately running our encyclopedia, whose sole purpose here is to exercise political power over the thirty thousand others. I strongly urge Jimbo to grant a pardon to Rich, as enforcement of rules needs to be less about "justice" and retribution and more about maintaining an encyclopedia that is free of cancerous influences like the aforemented group of editors.

At some point, somebody needs to stand up for content contributors. Do you know what propelled the French Revolution, communism, and numerous other harmful movements? Too little reform, too late. Wer900talk 01:58, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I've done nothing but develop content for the last 3+ months; in that time, I think I have about 15-20 total edits to anything besides the above-linked article and my own talkpage. I also, as I alluded to above, have a sense of perspective. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:15, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
If you are somehow one of the thousands of content editors toiling endlessly for the encyclopedia, then why would you have so many user talk posts? Compare to my and Epipelagic's (a true content builder)'s record. Wer900talk 03:52, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Not that it matters, but that's because I normally do a lot of NPP; the pie chart doesn't count deleted edits, so for about 85% of my user talkpage posts there's a deleted article edit. Nice try, but I saw that coming a mile away. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:14, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't care if you wrote every featured article on Wikipedia, if you don't respect community and ArbCom decisions then I don't want you here. Your idea that because you write content means you're immune to blocking/the community/ArbCom is, frankly and bluntly, thoughtless and naive. gwickwiretalkediting 03:54, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • gwickwire, you are one of the most mature Wikipedians. Are you going to run for adminship? I will support your nomination. (talk) 04:42, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Hi 76.126.x.x, thank you for willing to contribute to Wikipedia constructively. Unfortuantely, if you vote as an IP, I don't think the vote will be counted. I hope I'm wrong, and please feel free to confirm with other editors, as I am also not very sure about this. Cheers, Arctic Kangaroo 04:47, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree. After all, Wikipedia is about content consensus among editors. Arctic Kangaroo 03:59, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
It's normal for people to disagree with each other, and that's when the user talk page comes into use. Even if you call yourself a "true content contributor", can't people just award you stuff (like barnstars)? Also, admins' user talk pages are always flooded with messages. These messages sometimes request guidiance and/or assistance. So, I don't think it is fair to judge an editor's value based on their number of user talk page edits. Arctic Kangaroo 03:59, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Here is my report, Wer900. It is pretty similar to yours. Can I assume I have your permission to comment then? Resolute 04:32, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Its about consensus, not weeding out everyone that doesn't agree. As stated above by Arctic Kangaroo it's normal for people to disagree with each other. You can't maintain neutrality without it. But if you are expecting everyone to agree with you on every move you make...your in the wrong place. Respect is the exact same thing. There is no expectation or assumption that every decision or body in Wikipedia requires' respect. What it does require is patience and the willingness to work with that group to find solutions. They may not want the help, there may not even be a route to help but, being willing to try is what is important. Not the ability to conform to any perception of what is correct.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Just some evidence here. This link is the edit count of a certain user. (I think the user's a) She has made very little edits to her user talk page, but I think the many reverts she made to Singapore MRT-related articles are controversial. So, just to support my point above as well. Arctic Kangaroo 05:06, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

It won't be long before Wikipedia will be edited exclusively by bots by like this one. Count Iblis (talk) 17:48, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Then, each bot will have to answer for their tendentious and wp:DE disruptive editing, at ArbCom, and so they will wish for the day they could speak to human editors again! -Wikid77 20:42, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Now thinking to use a snark-filter on talk-pages

As discussed before, to warn an editor (before SAVE) that the wording in a talk-page message might be inappropriate, so a snark-filter would check the message wording, and perhaps warn, "A ban on copy/paste editing, are you joking or just nutzoid?".... -Wikid77 (talk) 20:42, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Round Three again

A followup on my post here from a few days ago: we've added another proposal, "Probation", to Round Three. Have a look. - Dank (push to talk) 19:00, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

The First Dozen

The Editor of the Week sub-Project is proud to announce the twelfth recipient, User:Surtsicna. Would you like to nominate a fellow editor. Do you know of an editor that just works in the trenches and doesn't get the acknowlegemnet they are entitled to. Dont hesitate to Nominate. The nomination page|You will be happy that you did! ```Buster Seven Talk 07:14, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

How many readers?

Mr Wales. I've read that Wikipedia has upwards of 500 million visitors per month. Let's make a broad assumption and say that half (250 million) of those are Wikipedia editors busy doing their "duties"... which leaves us with 250 million readers per month. Let's assume that 90% of those are just casual readers, quick answer-looker-uppers. That leaves us with 2.5 million readers that may, by chance, (because they use Wikipedia as an imformation source to keep appraised of whats happening and because they TRUST us) go to the BP article for impartial information about BP. That's 2.5 million readers that come to us because our words are well trusted. Don't you think that those 2.5 million readers will be more than a little bit uncomfortable finding out that BP Corporate is editing the BP article? Whether its 5% or 44%. This is an issue of honesty to our reader. If we don't maintain our honesty, the integrity of our articles, we are doomed. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:00, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

If you are going to use numbers, then perhaps it is best to use real numbers. BP had nearly 100,000 visitors in the last 30 days [7]. You can follow that link and get numbers for other articles as well. Also, there are roughly 5000 readers for every one editor. Dragons flight (talk) 06:10, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
WP, not BP. But you make your point that someone could mis-read so I have edited. Thanks for pointing out some surprising numbers. I'm not implying BP has 2.5 million readers. I'm saying there are that many readers that are more than just casual visitors. They come to us for information about cruise ships, and shootings, and political information. and Companies like BP or Microsoft or facebook. They need to trust our articles. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:23, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) That is far too generous Buster. Currently there are only 77,000 active contributors. That would be something along the line of just below 0.16% of that figure (and even that would be lower as all these editors are not all editing every single month). Of the remaining readers we would not be able to assume that they are all going to end up at the BP article to begin with, but lets use the 250 million figure as your starting point. What we end up with are 2.5 million serious readers. Not casual, but serious readers. How many of those 2.5 million do you really think are going to end up at the BP article? Not all of them. Lets be generous and say that half of that amount or 1.25 million end up at the article. Do you really think that these serious readers are going believe that BP is editing the article when all the information has been transparent and discussed at such great length that these serious readers would not be able to understand that BP is not actually editing the article? So lets say half of the 1.25 (or just over 600,000) believe BP is editing the article from the unfounded accusations of a handful of editors. Of those, how many do you think are going see anything wrong based on the misinterpreted information? OK, so lets say half again. So 300,000 believe something from the misinterpreted information. If the issue is honesty then perhaps we should not be lying to our readers by telling them someone is editing the article when they are not. Lets start with being honest with ourselves before we attempt to do so with the readers.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:34, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

  • 1) Active editors make repeated contributions, some make hundreds a day.
  • 2) Unfounded? What about editing by proxy, with little or no discussion rather than "discussed at great length".
  • 3) Misinterpreted? BP is editing the article. I don't understand why you dont acknowledge that. If our reader misinterprets anything it's because of the sad fact that he doesnt know who the author is. He thinks its you and me. He doesnt know whats behind the article, he doesnt know about the talk page and the view history page. There is no tag on the article page to forewarn him.
  • 4) I think it was President Reagan who said, "We can not play innocents in a world that is not innocent".
  • 5) I'd prefer to wait for Jimbo to reply, if you don't mind. ```Buster Seven Talk 07:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
BP IS NOT EDITING THE ARTICLE. And you want to discuss honesty issues with Wikipedia Buster? Seriously? Editing by proxy? That's an accusation towards the editors that added the information and is outrageous. I don't know if Jimbo will reply here or not, but why wait?

Some conclusions and lessons to learn

This is not the right venue to repeat the discussion which has been during the last week all over the Wikipedia but some of the claims are incorrect. BP (that means Arturo) has made no edit to the BP article (or as the matter of fact—to any article at all). What he did, was making proposals at the talk page. Not all of his proposals were implemented and there are only few proposals which were implemented without changes. All editors who used these proposals are responsible for these edits like they are responsible for all edits they are making in Wikipedia. So, I don't see how this is more damaging to our integrity that dealing with all other potentially POV edits. But I agree that we should thing and discuss about the outcomes of this case. The outcomes and conclusions and probably lessons to learn are:

  • There was real witch hunt to the editor who followed all our policies by the book. The lesson for companies/PR people is that following rules does not protect you. So, it why do follow the rules and take a risk to be blamed while ignoring the COI rules (disclosure of COI connections) gives less attention to your edits and if caught the result is the same—you are blamed.
  • There were accusations that editors who implemented these proposals dis not review/were not able to review the proposed edits; however, no evidence for this was provided. As a result, the good name several editors where put under question. The sad thing is that there is no procedure to clean your name in the cases like that. I think that this should be a part of the code of conduct that you are very careful when making accusations; however, it was sad to see that even some very long-time and well established editors violated that rule. I would like to draw conclusion that we need more work to promote ethics of editing.
  • At COI talk page a proposal was maid that COI editors should be not allowed to make proposals while there is an ongoing court process to avoid impacting the court decision. Ironically, we have a vice-versa situation. Based on false accusations (44% of rewriting etc) there were news stories repeating the false information. At the same time, there is an ongoing court process against BP. Lets hope that there is no impact to the court ruling but it shows clearly that Wikipedia has gained a lot of power to impact the outside world and therefore we should be more responsible when letting a word out. We should to understand that our little games and fights here may have an impact to the outside world. This is again one aspect for promoting some ethical standards. Hopefully the spreading false information into media was an accident. Otherwise, we have some very serious ethical problems to deal with.

Beagel (talk) 06:54, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

More importantly, the editor that made that 44% accusation is editing the COI policy page with an active conflict of interest themselves. How ironic and disturbing at the same time.--Amadscientist (talk) 07:35, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Meanwhile the project trugdes on.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
As I suggest a few sections above, it is premature to look at learning lessons from this and drawing conclusions until the issues brought up in the recent press reports have been investigated. We should be trying to ensure that our readers have accurate and complete information rather than throwing around accusations of "witch hunt". Until the sections supplied by BP and Chevron have been thoroughly vetted (ideally by people not normally associated with these articles), we should not attempt to draw any conclusions. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It's nowhere near half, and Jimbo does not scale. Just sayin' Guy (Help!) 22:55, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@Beagel: Actually I think in any dispassionate analysis BP will come out of this OK and Arturo will look like the guy in the white hat. That will blow over. There will be soul-searching, and there will be a residual noisy bar fight between the usual suspects - which will be about them, not really about the issues here. I foresee that the guidelines will be tweaked a little, and for a while people will be a tad more wary about copying stuff from talk pages. But seriously if you someone doesn't spot that "Arturo_at_BP" is giving you a company line when he openly admits it, then the problem is not with Arturo. A penny dropped just now: so many people come here to write about their favourite band, hockey team, porn star or school, it's hardly surprising they haven't acquired much in the way of critical faculties. We should amend the editnotice of articles on companies (via the infobox template I guess) to remind people to double check that the information is neutral and independently sourced. Guy (Help!) 00:23, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Be ever thankful for the two sides, for always between them lies the way. Without the two sides there would be no way, and we would ever wander aimlesessly without a path. --Taoist priest (circa ?). ```Buster Seven Talk 15:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Beware also the fallacy of false equivalence. Guy (Help!) 15:30, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Beware also the ambiguity of ambiguous observations. ```Buster Seven Talk 18:19, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Is this neutral phrasing?

I'm absolutely serious. Is this a legitimate way to begin an article on an historical figure?:

"Mr. Smith held the position of (insert job title here) with (insert company name here). Although the man had horrible character flaws, including accusations of treating his wife horribly, he was notable for the following educational and cultural accomplishments..." (talk) 18:56, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
No. But the claim that one of his character flaws was a tendency to accuse himself of treating his wife horribly is delightful. Writegeist (talk) 19:16, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
"Have I stopped beating my wife?" Prioryman (talk) 19:25, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The use of horrible twice in the same sentence is horribly horrible.```Buster Seven Talk 19:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
👍 Like--Amadscientist (talk) 00:20, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh my god. My bad. But that IS funny!. Hopefully this is a better attempt:
''Mr. Smith held the position of (insert job title here) with (insert company name here). Although he was a jerk who picked fights and treated his wife horribly, he was notable for the following educational and cultural accomplishments...''(talk) 19:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Assuming User:Writegeist is correct, can some experienced editors cite a few reasons or policies as to why this kind of lead is not appropriate?(talk) 19:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE. This makes me think of the stub I wrote about George Washington Moon, where I was really tempted to write in that style but somehow avoided it. Looie496 (talk) 19:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ha. We need some Moon around here, sometimes :-)
Okay. But is this kind of phrasing allowable in the top lead if his contemporaries and some modern biographers also thought he was a jerk? If not, where do such character assessments belong and what kind of context should be provided? (talk)19:55, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It's impossible to answer that question in general terms, because it depends on the context and the specifics of the language used. Certainly it would almost never be appropriate to use the word "jerk", but I suspect that's not the case! Give us the specific example and I am sure it can be discussed properly :) --Errant (chat!) 20:23, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

It would be helpful if someone could find the article and let everyone here know the title so that (1) we can fix it and (2) we can examine our processes to see how to avoid this in the future.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:51, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I think the IP may be referring not to an existing article but to one he wants to write—about a soda jerk whom I happened to know. Name of Smith. Treated his wife horribly; suffered from hysteria. And educated a gerbil to sixth grade. In any culture, this would be quite a notable accomplishment. In soda-jerk culture, as far as I know, it's unique. Also unprecedented—and never repeated—in gerbil culture. The IP's "historical" may be a typo for "hysterical". Writegeist (talk) 21:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks everyone for the input. And yes, Errant, the article doesn't actually say "jerk", but some editors have literally said (on the talk page), "he was a shit, everyone says he was a shit, so we should say he was a shit". Admittedly, I hesitated to mention his name, for fear of bringing the haters to this page before I received a few independent responses. The article name is Edward de Vere and the line in question is (2nd line of lead):
"Although he had a reckless, unpredictable, and violent nature that precluded him from attaining any court or government responsibility and led to the ruination of his estate, Oxford was a patron of the arts and noted in his own time as a lyric poet and playwright".
I've never seen an article begin with a negative qualifier this way, and I've certainly never seen a historical bio start in this manner. Even Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan have more neutral phrasing that this poor Earl. BTW - I did check out a couple FA articles on such notoriously violent and despicable individuals as Thomas Percy (Gunpowder Plot) (note his paragraph 4) and Elizabeth's master spymaster (& torturer) Francis Walsingham, two of de Vere's contemporaries, whose articles do not start off their leads discussing how the subject's supposed 'character flaws' led them to their ruin. Smatprt (talk) 21:41, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Depends if that is the consensus judgment of history. Unlike a BLP, we have a lot of proper analytical sources with the perspective of years. Beware the Shakespeare authorship conspiracists and their tendency to talk up their favoured candidate. Guy (Help!) 22:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Here is the noticeboard discussion:[8]. Unfortunately, it's a bit long... Smatprt (talk) 22:20, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Uh oh, Shakespeare conspiracies. That's a shoddily written article, for sure, (I flicked through some prior revisions and it seems to flit from lauding to decrying) but probably not easily fixed with everyone so entrenched. --Errant (chat!) 23:23, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes. That's why it was nice to discuss the basic problem in non-specific terms. Once it's saddled with the conspiracy label, everyone chooses sides and goes to war-mode (or retreats completely). It's embarrassing.
But, as you saw, the article has nothing to do with any conspiracy (real or imagined). The way it was hacked apart, it barely even mentions the Authorship thing at this point. As it stands now, it's just another historical biography, and I'm hoping it could be treated as such. If we took all this angst out of the writing process, developing the lead would be pretty simple. We are still attempting a compromise at the NPOV noticeboard,[[9]] but more input is needed there. If anyone here has a helpful comment for that discussion, please feel free to add it. Smatprt (talk) 00:25, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Essays to beware speculation of a person's nature: More essays could be written to explain the problems about characterizing a person's traits. I have written "wp:Beware mindreader text" after an incident where critics attempted to ascribe a hidden "inspiration" as to why an author wrote about a particular character, and whether based on an actual living person. A media debate ensued as to whether the author was disingenuous about his real motives for writing the novel, and if Wikipedia editors had slanted that author's articles in speculating about his motives for writing. Similarly, to claim that a person's "nature" had "precluded him from attaining any court or government responsibility" is another area of speculation. These issues are limited by "what is knowable" and whether even a person's confessed motives should be considered objectively accurate (when actually a subjective self-opinion), to restrict such text to only direct quotes, and not a general characterization of a person's mindset (or "violent nature"). Furthermore, I think even direct quotes, in the lede of an article, pose a risk of wp:Grandstanding, when the text should be summarized, so the result is no text to be allowed in the lede about a person's motives, but rather only in a section containing a quoted phrase. -Wikid77 03:52, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
The example in question is a historical figure, and the judgment of history is as the article says. He was a selfish, venal, decadent man. Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of those who wish their preferred Shakespeare authorship conspiracy theory candidate were more credible. Guy (Help!) 12:15, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Well..., being "selfish, venal, & decadent" seem perfectly credible qualifications for an Elizabethan playwright. Smatprt (talk) 19:29, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
The badly phrased damnation, along with the red flag of a reference in the lead, suggests a deliberate attempt to smear more than anything else. If I recall this idiotic dispute, both "sides" are guilty of either hagiography or smear. Which just leaves us a shoddy article and endless arguments over a single sentence in the lead. --Errant (chat!) 13:25, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Selfish and decadent sounds like a modern metrosexual: And beyond De Vere being considered a metrosexual, I think he could become a renowned politician, in the style of JFK. In fact, I think professional historians would judge him as typical to hold government responsibility, or is Henry the Eighth excluded from history now? Remember, "In Adam's fall we sinned all" has been a guiding principle about avoiding judgmental attitudes. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:09, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Several suggested versions are now up and awaiting input (all are an improvement over the original, so that says something for the art of compromise): [10]. Smatprt (talk) 22:15, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I've got a great idea that would save a lot of server space. Why not just abolish all the various noticeboards and direct whoever has a complaint to run directly to Jimbo Wales' talkpage? Look at all the time it would save. Tom Reedy (talk) 20:47, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
"Bitter, party of one" ;-) Smatprt (talk) 19:15, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

MfD nomination of User:Jimbo Wales

User:Jimbo Wales, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Jimbo Wales (3rd nomination) and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of User:Jimbo Wales during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Eduemoni↑talk↓ 03:19, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
for the founding of the greatest least respected websites on the planet! -- Aunva6talk - contribs 03:21, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Hail Jimbo, GodKing of Wikipedia!

We've been evaluating your project for some time now, and based on an assessment of your core articles, especially: your most important living being, the Woodward effect, phased radioisotopes and Britney Spears; We would like to formally offer you integration into the wider encyclopaedia.

There are also some awkward issues about copyright, we're pretty confident that our licenses are mutually compatible, but there are a few other implications.

Some of the technological glitches may need a little work, In particular our logo is quite strongly visible in the Xray end of the electromagnetic spectrum. But as long as you look at your screen from an angle you should be quite safe.

Other implications are now up as a request for comment.

Integration of Wikimedia projects into the Galactic Encyclopaedia

Regards ϢereSpielChequers 04:36, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Article ownership warning

Welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to contribute constructively to Wikipedia. However, please know that editors do not own articles and should respect the work of their fellow contributors on Main Page. If you create or edit an article, know that others are free to change its content. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. See Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates/Main Page for more details. Thanks. FallingGravity (talk) 07:15, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

A tag has been placed on your user page, User:Jimbo Wales, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section G11 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because the page appears to be blatant advertising which only promotes a company, product, group or service, and which is a violation of our policies regarding acceptable use of user pages: user pages are intended for active editors of Wikipedia to communicate with one another as part of the process of creating encyclopedic content, and should not be mistaken for free webhosting resources. Please read the guidelines on spam, the guidelines on user pages, and, especially, our FAQ for Organizations.

If you can indicate why the page is not blatant advertising, contest the deletion by clicking on the button that looks like this: Click here to contest this speedy deletion which appears inside of the speedy deletion ({{db-...}}) tag (if no such tag exists, the page is no longer a speedy delete candidate). Doing so will take you to your user talk page where you will find a pre-formatted place for you to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. You can also edit this page directly to give your reasons, but be aware that once tagged for speedy deletion, if the page meets the criterion, it may be deleted without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag yourself, but don't hesitate to add information to the page that would help make it encyclopedic. Feel free to leave a note on my talk page if you have any questions about this. ☯ Bonkers The Clown \(^_^)/ Nonsensical Babble ☯ 11:09, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


You have been blocked indefinitely from editing because your account is being used only for vandalism. If you think there are good reasons why you should be unblocked, you may appeal this block by adding below this notice the text {{unblock|reason=Your reason here ~~~~}}, but you should read the guide to appealing blocks first.

Arctic Kangaroo 14:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Happy April Fools Day, Mr Wales! Face-tongue.svg

Lawsuit against a Wikipedian

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy is filing suit against User:Benjamin Mako Hill according to his blog [11] and Boing Boing [12] for participating in an Articles for Deletion entry on the company. Can Wikipedia be of any help? If I (or any Wikipedian) contributed to a deletion discussion under their real name, could I (they) be sued too? Albacore (talk) 15:00, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

if it's legit, WMF has a policy Policy regarding this. besides, I don't think it would hold up in court, but you never know. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 15:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The letter linked to in the blog discloses no cause of action upon which a claim could be made against the recipient. However,in general, I don't think it can be doubted that we each of us are all potentially liable for every word we ourselves write on Wikipedia. Why wouldn't we be? DeCausa (talk) 15:25, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Their fundamental issue is that we deleted the article they wrote on themselves. We have seen this more times than I can count, especially any of us who handles OTRS tickets. If even DGG advocated deletion, we can be pretty sure that deletion was the right decision. If they find any plausible cause for action that a court will take on, I guess the Foundation has Benjamin's back, but that's unlikely to happen and even if it did I bet PopeHat or someone would find a pro-bono advocate to take it on for him. Guy (Help!) 15:36, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The case will obviously fail. They cannot have an article if they so choose because Wikipedia is a private site with rules and policies that they clearly violated. If 100 editors got involved in the discussion to delete their article, will they sue all 100 of them?Cyber :  Chat  15:52, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Mako is in contact with the WMF legal team. There's little to worry about here in my non-lawyerly opinion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:58, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
What about the company threatening to sue? They claimed they contacted Wikimedia and received no response.—Cyberpower (竜龙) 16:02, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
But if their issue is with Wikipedia, why would they expect to get an answer from Wikemedia? Basket Feudalist 16:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation owns and operates Wikipedia. The point is, they've got zero coherent grounds for a lawsuit here as far as I can tell. There's nothing even remotely plausible. It costs nothing to send a threatening letter. Going to court will cost them a chunk - including most likely Mako's court costs as the judge laughs them out of court. In any event, yeah, I'm not worried about it and I doubt if Mako is either. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:38, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Big up the fella. He can always frame it and hang it in the toilet Face-wink.svg Basket Feudalist 16:45, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Even so, an editor was threatened and understandably the threat worked, according to his blog. If I understand this correctly it was a threat, not a lawsuit. Assuming that, the initial posting was incorrect in saying that this editor was being sued. Coretheapple (talk) 17:04, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
In what sense did the threat work?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Benjamin says as follows on his blog, in the post that is linked above: "I have no problem with the ICD and I deeply regret being dragged into this whole mess simply because I wanted to improve Wikipedia. That said, Donfried’s threat has scared me off from attempts to improve the ICD articles. I suspect I will not edit ICD pages in Wikipedia in the future." Note what I've put in boldface. Coretheapple (talk) 20:25, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I see what you mean.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:28, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If the users involved don't mind, I'd like to add this to my essay on Chilling Effects on Wikipedia here. Thanks. gwickwiretalkediting 20:30, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Some homeowner policies have coverage for libel and slander suits. There's a name for such policies, I forget offhand what they're called. I think they're called "omnibus" policies or something like that. This editor may be covered without his even knowing it. Active editors may want to consider such policies. I found this via Google though it's dated and not necessarily accurate: Coretheapple (talk) 20:43, 1 April 2013 (UTC) They're called "umbrella" policies. Coretheapple (talk) 20:45, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I had a similar problem with organized crime. I got them very mad online. They hacked to get my IP, then used their influence to get my address from my ISP. They stole my car with all my tools in it. I didn't have insurance becuase it was a beater but at least they stopped there when I did online.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:01, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
What did you do to get them pissed? ZappaOMati 21:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The Hells Angels have factions in Second Life. Nuff said? link to IP hack --Canoe1967 (talk) 21:33, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
My point is if you anger powerful people online then they can get to you. The illegal methods are far easier and cheaper than the legal ones. Checkusers are probably their easiest 'in' to Wikipedia.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:57, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. These are all powerful arguments to take up butterfly collecting as a hobby instead of Wikipedia. Between the Hells Angels and corporate spin, this is too much. Coretheapple (talk) 23:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. I didn't mean to scare anybody away from editing. Editors should be aware that some articles are important to powerful people as to the way they are handled. I assumed that Linden Lab was protecting my IP and didn't realize that Emerald wasn't when mine was hacked. We may consider a 'privileged' notice board that is not seen by the public to discuss issues on contentious articles and then have the WMF add the edits after consensus is reached. I stayed away from a recent article like this because of my previous experience from Second Life. Wikipedia is big PR and free PR as well. The PR budgets of many or our subjects can buy mucho illegal influence here for lower costs if they are really serious.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:51, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
You should look in on the BP discussion elsewhere on this page and in various other venues. I'd be interested in your perspective. Just check out my contributions, as I've been doing a tour of that la-la land. Coretheapple (talk) 23:54, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Since I live the home of dirty oil I am COI with any greenhouse/oil articles. They used to sport bumper stickers when I lived in BC where logging was king that said: "Log it! Burn it! Pave it!". Philip Gaglardi won an election there with: "The smell of pollution is the smell of money."--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:06, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

The above hacking incident is testimony to the fact that "we'll protect your data" claims are all BS. The only "security" is to not try to collect, arm-twist to collect and store the data on individuals in the first place. To Wikipedia's credit it does not attempt to do this. I suppose that the weak link is that they are storing IP addresses with username log-in instances, which inevitably will someday get hacked or subpenaed. Wikipedia should have a fast delete cycle (~ 2 months) on those. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:11, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Fortunately, It does. Graham87 09:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. It's vague on the time period, but maybe it must be. North8000 (talk) 12:55, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't seem reassuring. Copyright lasts for a "limited period". If it were possible to specify any upper bound on retention, however large, wouldn't they? Wnt (talk) 23:00, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest

  • The blog post again highlights the importance of disclosure of COI. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:11, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Quote of the day, from L. Ron Hubbard:
    "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."[13]

This is arguably the most memorable thing that Hubbard ever said.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

"This is arguably the most memorable thing that Hubbard ever said." FTFY.--ukexpat (talk) 18:12, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The other contender for this title is "If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion", but there is no direct record of Hubbard saying this.[14]--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:23, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Why wikipedia is being editable?

You shall make wikipedia uneditable, too many editjokes! (talk) 17:07, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

it's april fools. joke edits are most common today, and should be over in a few hours. please Stand by until it is over — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aunva6 (talkcontribs) 17:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Inventor Chrisrus (talk) 19:06, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

A beer for you!

Export hell seidel steiner.png for putting up with the pestering from all of us.


Child protection

Arbcom is on the case. This entire thread is a violation of WP:CHILDPROTECT, and needs to be closed. Plesae do not re-open it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Jimbo, I find myself thinking today about the disconnect between what how the public sees Wikipedia and how "the Community" sees Wikipedia. I think the public has very little idea "how the sausage gets made". The annual crop of juvenile DYK jokes and April Fool's pranks reminds me that it isn't just knowing what questionable ingredients are going into that sausage, but also knowing who is turning the handle of the meat grinder. I have written previously about two editors who show an unhealthy interest in teen actors and kid's tv shows, but I was unable to get ArbCom to take any action. My latest blog post on Wikipediocracy is about an editor who is banned on the Norwegian-language Wikipedia, openly admits to trafficking in child pornography, but is an editor in good standing here. Just like the BP and Chevron oil company employees who wrote large portions of their Wikipedia articles, you will likely say that he has broken no rules here. Ignore all rules? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:19, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I think this falls under wikipedia:child protection, and, being an Office Action, is far more serious than COI. IAR does not release from accountability of one's actions, and almost certainly does not apply in this case at all. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 23:25, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
It seems that the WMF recently washed their hands of child protection: "Additionally, we just had a big discussion about child protection with the Office on functionaries-en and it seems pretty clear that the Foundation is not going to step in" its all up to untrained volunteers to deal with child porn distributors. John lilburne (talk) 09:46, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I will say (again) - this is untrue. That's just untrue. Staff agreed, together with the Arbcom's designated liaisons, that we would in fact step in and take over all enforcement on this when the arbcom sends us cases upon which to act, provided that the investigation is done. We do not have the manpower to investigate, but we are happy to handle enforcement. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 20:11, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
You are asking/expecting unpaid and untrained volunteers to investigate issues surrounding whether someone is or was a danger to children, because with some $42,000,000 in donations you don't have the time/inclination to do it yourselves? John lilburne (talk) 20:21, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
If your article is correct, it is highly disturbing that this editor is not prevented from editing and that he has not been arrested. If many of the things were said publicly, isn't that grounds for contacting the Norwegian police? IRWolfie- (talk) 16:12, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
"your article"? What article? - (talk) 17:32, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
User:Scottywong is continuing his campaign against linking to Wikipediocracy because people there called him mean names. He has removed my links, so you will have to make a few extra clicks to see the posts I referred to earlier. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:37, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Per WP:IAR only the edits matter. If the Norwegian prison authorities would allow Breivik to edit Wikipedia, we could only block him based on his edits, not based on who he is in real life. Count Iblis (talk) 17:34, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
So mass murderers, neo-Nazis, and pedophiles are welcome here until they violate WP:3RR? I wouldn't want to be part of a volunteer project like that. I don't think any sane person would. You've got WP:IAR back-asswards: it means that where an individual's real-life associations are so odious as to actively harm the project, they can be blocked or restricted from editing without the need to cite chapter and verse of policy. MastCell Talk 18:02, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
That's all assuming that some anonymous guy who made a blog post actually got all the details right, and all of the accusations he made against this editor are 100% correct. That's a big assumption to make. And verifying those types of claims is not something that Wikipedia is set up to do. We're not set up to be a court of law for the purpose of judging editors' off-wiki activities to determine if they are fit to edit here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning any of the activities described in the blog post, but I'm also not going to believe everything I read on the internet. ‑Scottywong| confer _ 18:09, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Scotty, I think there's a very simple way of determining if (Redacted) is the person I quoted in my blog, if anyone has any doubts about it. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:25, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
@MastCell, who decides which real-life associations are sufficiently odious to ban someone? Is the line drawn at Aryan Nations membership? or the British National Party? or the Family Research Council? etc. Is this something that will be decided by Arbcom? an ANI vote? the decision of an individual admin? I wouldn't want Brevik editing Wikipedia either, but policing off-wiki affiliations could become very problematic. Mark Arsten (talk) 18:20, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I was waiting for the "where-do-we-draw-the-line" argument, since that's usually how Wikipedians avoid confronting this issue. Look, no matter where we draw the line, pedophilia, mass murder, and Naziism are going to be on the wrong side of it. There are undoubtedly edge cases where community discussion might be useful, but there are also clear-cut examples of associations which are so odious as to be unacceptable. MastCell Talk 18:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree, there definitely are and will be mostly clear-cut examples, and I'm fine with bans in those cases. I guess I just worry about cowboy admins and ANI mobs getting carried away in the occasional grey areas. Mark Arsten (talk) 18:36, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but beyond the "where-do-we-draw-the-line" argument is the more difficult "how-do-we-prove-that-this-is-the-right-guy" argument. Sure, there might be some slightly convincing traces of evidence that are floating around the internet, but I doubt any of the evidence provided so far would be sufficient to prove that this user is guilty of any of these accusations in a court of law. ‑Scottywong| babble _ 18:39, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
We're not in a court of law. We're on a private website which blocks and bans dozens of people every single day for things like writing "Jimmy eats poop" or using automated tools to fix quotation marks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:43, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Surely the line is drawn by policies such as WP:IAR at the actual edits. If someone makes problematic edits promoting pedophilia in a way that is inconsistent with our policies, then the fact that this person is in real life a pedophile would be relevant information in order to make an assessment of how sanctions would affect the editing behavior of that editor. But if someone is a pedophile and doesn't have a problematic editing record, then I don't see why we should ban this person. The question we should ask is if we would have banned Alan Turing for simply being gay had Wikipedia existed at the time. Count Iblis (talk) 18:54, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it kind of offensive to equate homosexuality with child pornography? Mark Arsten (talk) 19:04, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it is, but I'm quite sure that Count Iblis wasn't doing that. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:11, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Exactly, we're not a court of law. If someone does something objectionable on-wiki, then we have all the evidence we need to point at him and say "yup, he's the guy, let's ban him." If someone does something objectionable off-wiki, then firstly, we have no way of judging whether that person is the same person who controls an anonymous user account on Wikipedia. And secondly, if they're not doing anything wrong on Wikipedia, then there isn't much reason for us to punish them on Wikipedia. If it doesn't affect Wikipedia, then it's not really any of Wikipedia's business. ‑Scottywong| spout _ 19:08, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Scotty, if you knew that some of the most active editors of biographies of child and teen actors were people who had a sexual interest in children and teens, how would that make you feel? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
It wouldn't make me feel anything, because writing about child and teen actors is not a crime, and there is no victim involved. If they are writing good articles and otherwise behaving, then there is no problem on Wikipedia. Obviously, if they are acting on their sexual interest in children in the real world, then they deserve real world consequences. Banning them from writing articles on Wikipedia doesn't make sense, nor does it prevent children from being abused. Being interested in a particular subject is not a conflict of interest, even if you are a middle-aged man and your interest is child actors. If you believe that this person is acting inappropriately with children in the real world, then the appropriate response is to call the police, not to lobby on Wikipedia to ban them from editing. ‑Scottywong| yak _ 19:19, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, are they? Because if they're not, that's one hell of a creepy hypothetical question to ask. And if they are, some evidence would be appropriate. --Conti| 19:31, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
You can take it as just a really creepy hypothetical if you like, but see my earlier blog posts on Wikipediocracy and make up your own mind. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:39, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I know about those. I'm just confused about what they have to do with editors editing child and teen actor biographies. Your blog posts don't seem to say much about that. --Conti|
That is the main subject area of two of the editors I have profiled. One is now blocked, the other is still active. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:54, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)DC, you're starting to sound like Glenn Beck. You publish a bunch of disconnected evidence, come to a hypothetical conclusion based on that evidence, and then say "I don't know, maybe he fucks little boys, or maybe he doesn't. You decide for yourself." There is no evidence on your blog post that this user was ever involved in physically abusing children, and to even suggest such a serious accusation about someone without evidence is reprehensible. Looking at kiddie porn and physically abusing children are two entirely different things. I don't condone either of them, but I also don't think it is even remotely fair to suggest that someone who has distributed child porn 15 years ago must logically also be pounding little boys today. This is getting ridiculous, and this entire thread should really be collapsed. We're talking about a real person here, and if they were aware of this discussion, I doubt they would appreciate it. This is not fair treatment for a Wikipedia editor, regardless of their history. ‑Scottywong| talk _ 19:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Scotty, I haven't said or implied anything like that and I don't appreciate your suggestion that I have. Perhaps you are conflating different cases here (although in none of them did I imply that anyone is actively abusing children). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:52, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I said, "If you believe that this person is acting inappropriately with children in the real world, then the appropriate response is to call the police." Conti asked, "Well are they?" And your response was, "...see my earlier blog posts on Wikipediocracy and make up your own mind." There may have been a misunderstanding somewhere along the line, but I can't figure out any other way to interpret that exchange. ‑Scottywong| gossip _ 20:02, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Conti was not responding to you, they were asking about edits to child and teen actor biographies. I was responding to Conti's question. If I had knowledge of children being sexually abused, or even strong reasons to suspect sexual abuse, I would take appropriate action, not post on Jimbo's talk page. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:12, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok, well maybe I misinterpreted the conversation, and if so, I apologize. In any case, I'm going to go out on a limb here and hat this thread. I don't think it's fair to (Redacted) to leave this discussion full of accusations about him on a widely-watched page. I hope you don't disagree with my decision. ‑Scottywong| comment _ 20:22, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • So, the brief version of the blog post in question is: in the mid-90s this user operated a server through which pictures of pre-pubescent boys were sometimes traded? Or am I leaving something important out? Mark Arsten (talk) 18:16, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
    • I think you know what has been left out, but I will assume that people will read the blog post for themselves if they are interested. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:45, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
      • No, I just skimmed through it quickly. In a few sentences, could you give a summary of the most problematic aspects of the situation? Mark Arsten (talk) 18:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
        • There are some lengthy quotes from (Redacted) describing the situation that I would prefer people read for themselves. You should probably take the time to read it fully before commenting here and offering a summary. I'm sure there are thousands of pictures of pre-pubescent boys on Flickr, but I'm not suggesting that Flickr users should be banned. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:00, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
          • Well, you said "trafficking in child pornography" above, so I was wondering if operating the FTP server was what you meant, since I don't know a whole lot about laws governing webservers. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:04, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I've just raised concerns about this thread at WP:ANI. Mark Arsten (talk) 23:04, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

I am bothered to no small degree by stuff like this. Someone needs to be the adult in the room and say, "nobody who advocates pedophilia, child pornography, or other forms of child abuse will be welcome on any Wikimedia project anywhere." You don't need to wait until someone makes problematic edits - if you cannot say unequivocally that {pedophilia, child pornography, child abuse} is wrong, period, you don't belong editing an encyclopedia. The reaction here is downright shameful. The Foundation ought to make this an official non-negotiable policy. --B (talk) 01:16, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

it is. WP:child protection. however, this is not the place to air laundry. the policy states

Reports of editors engaging in such conduct should be made to the Arbitration Committee for further action, and should not be the subject of community discussion, requests for comment or consensus.

-- Aunva6talk - contribs 01:42, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Let me get this straight, we have an editor who cannot be named, who links his user page to his Facebook page, where he states "Information about me that is highly controversial (relates to child pornography):[redacted]". In said link he tells a story about being arrested for "having made illegal pornography available to minors", and talks about setting up an FTP server for "...nude photos of prepubescent boys (aroused or not), photos showing such young boys engaged sexually with each other, or pictures of adult men having sex with these young boys...". Am I missing something? He's not exactly hiding it, theres a link right there on his user page. Kevin (talk) 02:24, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

this is why the policy says to send it to arbcom. do so if you see anything that makes you think he's a pedo. don't go spreading it all over the wiki. it's at ANI as well -- Aunva6talk - contribs 02:31, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that the policy was followed precisely (that is, a private email was sent to Arbcom). DC's complaint has always been that a couple of emails he has sent have not resulted in any action, and that's why the issue is sometimes raised here. Johnuniq (talk) 02:34, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh put a sock in it already Aunva, we all know what the damn wiki-policy says. Neither the WMF nor Arbcom has stepped up to take action with what has been reported to them so far. If feet are dragging,m then I have no qualms at all about these matters being aired in public if that is what finally prods people to act. This is called journalism, something that sometimes has to resort to public shaming to bring about change. Tarc (talk) 02:36, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a newspaper. if he has such issues, then he should have sent a message to WMF. as I understand it, spreading material like this should be a last resort in such cases. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 02:48, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
WP:NOTNEWSPAPER has nothing at all to do with what we're talking about at the moment. It'd help to actually read things before linking to them. Tarc (talk) 03:23, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

What exactly is up with all this redaction? I can (sort of) understand deleting the name, but censoring links to self-published comments? This is a talk page thread, not the Family Jewels. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:07, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

protecting the identity of the accused editor, see above. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 03:10, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Above where, exactly? At the Wikipediocracy post that's been black-markered or at the mutilated webcitation link? This page has been sufficiently sanitized and scrubbed of information that I would be surprised if anyone who wasn't here yesterday has any clue what's going on. I've read everything above, and I still don't. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:24, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
It is Easter. The WMF is doing the Pontius Pilot thing, ArbCom have scattered like the disciples, and over at ANI they are scurrying about like Catholic bishops. and there is a general chant of "Free Barabbas". Anyone for a chocolate egg? John lilburne (talk) 09:45, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

RFC about April Fools' jokes

See here. Count Iblis (talk) 17:16, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


Hello, Mr. Wales. (Please don't assume pretension. I just don't feel comfortable calling one of my idols "Jimmy.") I am theonesean, an internet citizen for 86% of my life, and Wikipedian for 13% of it. I have decided to more fully commit my time to Wikipedia, as of 1 April, so I just wanted to take this opportunity to say hello and formally introduce myself. Thanks! Theonesean (talk) 03:10, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

offensive communist symbols

may you ban to use offensive communist symbols in this your project for propaganda by users? Example: User:BokicaK shows File:Hammer and sickle.svg which is illegal in Hungary (Hungarian Criminal Code 269/B.§ 1993), Latvia, Lithuania and Poland but it is offensive for every democratic guy! You can read: mass killings under Communist regimes or RED HOLOCAUST — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I think that would go against policy. We had the same discussion with the Commonist symbol. The use and meaning of symbols can and does change. The Nazis used an ancient Chinese symbol, now fascist groups have adopted it. The hammer and and sickle seems more a symbol of socialism now than the USSR regime.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:44, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Indus Valley Civilization, actually. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:38, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I think you don't understand: is this project a site for propaganda by users in their presentation's pages with symbols of infamous and dictatorial regimes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Similar issues occur with the Nazi Swastika. See the Wikipedia:General disclaimer.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:59, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Hungarian Criminal Code is irrelevant to this discussion. The fact that something is offensive to you does not necessarily mean that it's offensive to others. For example, one of the main political parties in Hungary Jobbik has been described by scholars as fascist, racist and Neo-Nazi, but we didn't ban their symbol on Wikipedia, although in may be offensive to many people.--В и к и T 15:04, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Many of our religous editors may be offended by rainbow flags on user pages as well. They may have a stronger arguement that those should be removed because they go against God's laws and not just those of mortal man. Far more people have been killed in the name of God than any other regime that has existed. Should we remove all the symbols of God as well?--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:06, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
It is hard to believe that a Hungarian person will never have come across a swastika or a hammer and sickle. WP:NOTCENSORED applies here, although the use of these symbols on a user or talk page needs to be monitored carefully.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:11, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
A source for our article on Red star about this Hungarian Criminal Code 269/B spoke of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which decided last year [2008] that the ban was a violation of the freedom of expression, calling the Hungarian ban "indiscriminate" and "too broad." I hope that this has persuaded the Hungarians to drop this policy, and I also hope that at some point the Germans will learn to do without their swastika ban. I should note that the pivotal point in the rise of Hitler in 1924 came during the period when NSDAP was banned. Wnt (talk) 23:42, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I am not a communist (though I was briefly in my youth). I have written an article Ford Hunger March about a historical topic related to communism. Through that effort, I became aware of Portal:Communism, which is emblazoned with red banners and stars, and the hammer and sickle. Communist parties are legal in many countries, and still run several. Communists are welcome to edit Wikipedia, as long as they comply with our core policies. I regret that the IP editor takes offense, but this is a worldwide project, not a Hungarian one. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:03, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Your hope is in vain. Hungary is currently quite openly on a fascist path. Freedom of the press has already been abolished, violence against gypsies is encouraged from above, various European regulations are intentionally broken by the government, and claims to territories outside Hungary with Hungarian national minority are heard more loudly than ever before. Hans Adler 10:26, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid you're right. A Hungarian friend of ours had to bring her boss along last time she visited us here in the UK, and has now simply disappeared. So it's a matter of supreme indifference to me what symbols are or are not permitted in proto-fascist states. Malleus Fatuorum 10:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Damn it! I don't know what to make of the incident you describe, but a reading of Fidesz and Politics of Hungary does severely disappoint my outdated expectation. Wnt (talk) 13:08, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
They criminalized homelessness.[15][16] People don't have right to be homeless anymore. What else neeeds to be said?--В и к и T 14:41, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that homelessness is illegal modern day germany as well... it's nothing special... -- Aunva6talk - contribs 14:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I find that WP is less pro-communist than most "reliable sources." :-) -Borock (talk) 03:56, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
And this revisinist IP adreses likes to ignore that Hungary, Latvia, etc were Axis states. I very first days of occupation of Vojvodina in 1941, Hungarian solders killed several hundred colonist in town next to mine, throwed Serbs and Jews under ice during Novi Sad raid... while carrying green-white-red flag. So perhaps I have reason to associate this symbol with murderers... -- Bojan  Talk  04:04, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

revisionist? Do yuou know history of communism or marxist socialism? Do yuou know all criminal communist dictators and related crimes against humanity? And these criminals continue their terror in North Corea, Vietnam, China, Laos, Cuba — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

for all you: read Council of Europe resolution 1481,European Public Hearing on Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes

Wikipedia elitism?

Check out this AfD discussion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Extraterrestrial skies. I was the only delete voter, incidentally. I could be wrong, and I am also too smart to bring up this kind of issue in a AfD, but I have a feeling that there is an attitude here that editors who are smarter, better educated, better writers, etc. are less subject to WP policies. Borock (talk) 03:51, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

I really don't know what you are complaining about. I do realize that more experienced editors may be given more weight from time to time, but that is only natural. generally, I would give a statement from someone with 200,000 edits more credibility than one with only 5 or 6, with a few exceptions. while edit count isn't a true measure of experience, it works OK as a line of sorts. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 06:17, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Nothing about edit count or time on WP. I actually don't think the article's author spends that much time on WP. (Or else the article quality here would be better. :-) ) Borock (talk) 15:06, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Borock, for the life of me, I can't see anything in that AfD that would lead you to that conclusion. Do you have any specifics? RockMagnetist (talk) 15:00, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The article was of much better quality than 99% of what's on WP and was obviously written by someone on the level of a professional science writer. Because of that people voted to keep, and questions of WP policy raised by the nominator and by me were brushed off. I loved reading the article but its topic is not "encyclopedic" as I understand that to mean. Borock (talk) 15:04, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
You failed to establish that WP:OR and WP:SYNTH are grounds for deletion, and I pointed that out. David Eppstein tried to address WP:SYNTH with some general references for the subject. You didn't like those references, but they were a serious attempt to deal with your concerns. Your questions were not "brushed off". RockMagnetist (talk) 15:51, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • The fact is that we have a certain number of articles that are kept because many people like them even though they contain substantial synthesis. The canonical example is Argument from poor design, a term that was actually invented in our Wiki article. It's just one of many examples where the best thing we can do, given that the community wants the article to exist, is to make it as good as possible. Looie496 (talk) 15:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Ironically, a lot of Wikipedians believe that expert contributors tend to get driven out of Wikipedia. The talk page for the article creator supports that view to a degree that is almost comical - it is just one long string of deletion notices. RockMagnetist (talk) 16:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
    You might want to fix that wikilink -- cut and paste error perhaps? Looie496 (talk) 17:05, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
    Oh - The Singing Badger has contributed the most edits, so I assumed he/she was the creator. In fact, a few editors have contributed as much as or more than the article creator. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:13, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
    The Singing Badger was an admin who stopped editing in October 2006 in an attempt to cure wikipediholicism, which was apparently quite successful, as he never returned except to blank his personal pages a couple of years later. There is no reason to think that deletions had anything to do with it. Looie496 (talk) 19:18, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment I was the one who nominated the article, just for the record. While OR and SYNTH are not, per guidelines, a reason for deletion, when you combine various related topics in a novel way (SYNTH) and throw in some OR and some musings, you really get an essay. Now, mind you, I don't want to see this article deleted necessarily, but if you address the synth issues and OR issues... what's left? The comment from Lootie496 is interesting. Roodog2k (talk) 18:42, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

"Argument from poor design" was not invented for the Wikipedia article. I just found a Usenet post from 1994. If anything, "argument from poor design" is an excellent example of why our standards for use of Internet sources are bad--we are not permitted to use Usenet posts or other "self-published" sources to show notability. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:17, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Broke AfD

I think our Article for Deletion system is broken. Deletion requests are not sorted by subject but rather they are sorted by dates. I think we should propose a similar system as Request for Comment which is sorted into topic/subject arrangements. This would mean delete votes would be based on people knowledgeable about the subject rather than the bullshit and clueless voting crap we have now. Pass a Method talk 08:36, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Deletion requests ARE sorted by subject. You may find Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting helpful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't mean to be rude, but I think it takes a lot of gall to complain about "bullshit and clueless voting crap" when the totality of your last four contributions to AFD discussions has been delete obviously, delete per nom, delete per nom, and delete per jpacobb. Gnome de plume (talk) 16:44, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorting by date is also useful because it helps administrators find discussions that are ready to be closed. RockMagnetist (talk) 16:59, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • AfD is actually one of the things at WP that works pretty darned well. It is far from broken. More intelligent participants are always welcomed and administrators need to make a call and close things a bit quicker rather than taking the easy out of hitting the RELIST button, but all in all it is a fairly dispassionate and objective process with wide participation and consistent outcomes. Carrite (talk) 18:54, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Copyright laws and archival websites (again)

Is there something confusing about the above statement. Last year I had the IA remove about a dozen pages that they had archived from an old website of mine, took about 12hrs very quick and efficient. John lilburne (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Hi. I was invited to this discussion by Interestingly,, I saw and responded to your request to remove "It is currently acceptable to link to internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time. In articles about a website, it is acceptable to include a link to that website even if there are possible copyright violations somewhere on the site" from copyright policy and responded to it before following the talk page message notification to see your note. My response would be the same, however. Obviously, policies can change, but if you want to change policy, the best place to do it is generally WP:VPP, or in an RFC at the talk page of the policy itself. It might be helpful to point out any recent legal decisions which might play a role in deciding the issue. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:45, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yeah, but there's no point in a nasty lengthy RFC if this is a simple legal query, and WMF might over-ride any consensus it obtains. (talk) 20:49, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

If it's a simple legal query, why are you not asking the legal team? :/ I'm confused by this statement, given that above you say, "We could ask legal, but the answer would be furry; so I think this comes back to an ethical question." --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
MRG, re Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights#Web_archives - I can't see any consensus/discussion for the inclusion, so why do we need one for removal? (talk) 20:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Because it's been in policy for years, and it's widely used. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:54, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

My posit is, it's not a legal matter; there is nothing illegal about linking to copyright websites. Those websites may be breaking the law, but merely pointing to them is not.

However, Wikipedia does not link to such websites - per policy, widely accepted - "Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors".

Why on Earth do we offer a special condition for Waybackmachine? Why them, and not other 'archive' sites (which may include the archives on the blog site of Joe Bloggs)? (talk) 20:56, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

"it's been in policy for years, and it's widely used" doesn't make it right. (talk) 20:57, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand why, if you think it's not "a simple legal query" that might reach consensus that WMF would over-ride, we should not do an RFC or otherwise discuss a substantive policy change at an appropriate community venue. (Since you've added notes after I started writing this: policies require consensus. That's the way they work. :)) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:00, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why, now, I need to 'jump through hoops' and create a no-doubt lengthy RFC just to request a simple change to remove something that was inserted apparently at a whim. (talk) 21:03, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that there's much I can say to that. :/ If you want to change long-standing practice, you really need to discuss it. That's part of being in a collaborative community. You may be right - it may be best removed - but it isn't a unilateral decision. Internet archive links are everywhere on Wikipedia, and they have been for a very long time. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:08, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Since we probably won't get anywhere without the (I think unnecessary) paperwork, I've done as you requested. 21:15, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea, if you want to propose a change. I'll explain a bit more at my talk page, since I see you've left me a note there, too, and I don't want to puff up Jimmy's page. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:18, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Moved to Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights#Archival_websites_RFC

A previous discussion was archived to User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_128#violating_copyright_laws_by_linking_to_archived_sites_when_original_site_is_still_live, but you'd not responded to the specific query, so I'll ask again;

  • We're linking to web archives like WayBack / WebCitation. Those hold copies of copyrighted works. In the USA, there are some dispensations to specifically allow such archival; in many other countries, there are not.
  • Wikipedia avoids linking to copyright-infringing sites. Should these really be an exception?
  • We could ask legal, but the answer would be furry; so I think this comes back to an ethical question. We could discuss it via an RFC or something, but if it does conflict with WMF ethics, there's no point.

So, this is something you could perhaps help guide us on. Should we link to archives of copyrighted websites, or not? (talk) 13:06, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

  • The English Wikipedia also only honours US copyright law; works out of copyright in the US but copyrighted in the source country are still acceptable here. I'm assuming external links are treated the same: only US copyright law, and its exceptions, are considered. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:39, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Those archives clearly have copies of copyrighted websites, and the WP:COPYLINK policy-with-legal-implications says if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work.

Does that mean we should remove all use of Wayback/Webcitation? (talk) 14:53, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

  • If Wikipedia only follows US copyright laws, and there are exceptions for archiving in US copyright laws, then... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:54, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
What exceptions? (talk) 15:59, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
As I said before, I'm not convinced that there are exceptions for archiving. When we went over this recently, the "exception" that was brought up was the DMCA, which exempts the archive from liability if they remove the material upon request. Being exempt from liability if they remove it on request does not mean "they have permission until they receive the request"; the material was still a copyright violation before they got the request, they just can't be sued for it. If we link to material for which they have not yet received requests, we're still linking to copyright violations.
Moreover, Youtube has this same "exception" and yet we prohibit linking to copyrighted material on Youtube. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:06, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Since there are (literally) billion-dollar industries at stake here, Google and Microsoft have thrown the best their legal departments have at the issue of caching; one doesn't have to support what they do to concede that they've established the legal status (the ethics are a different matter, but this is a purely legal issue) of this kind of thing fairly thoroughly in the US (which is the only law that affects en-wiki in this context). See Field v Google if you want chapter-and-verse. If a copyright holder doesn't use any no-archive tags or robot exclusion standards to prevent caching, an implied license to archive is assumed to exist in US law; since any use of citation is by definition for a social benefit, fair use will also invariably apply provided the citation is used for a legitimate purpose. – iridescent 17:20, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Mostly you'll find that each case rests on specific facts. But in any case robots.txt does not stop Google it never has done, and never will do. When they say they obey robots.txt they are NOT telling the whole truth. For any complex site there are many ways by which the pages can be viewed. Additionally, meta-tags do not help either, there is no meta-tag that allows one to say Google is barred from archiving but Bing is allowed to archive. In essence robots.txt does not deter a determined thief, and meta-tags does not allow you to make provision for your friends to copy your work, whilst excluding the school bully. John lilburne (talk) 19:31, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

The fact that they may be exempt from liability does not effect our crystal-clear policy, "if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work".

I'd rather we didn't start the 'fair use' arguments, which are normally interminable - please note that there is absolutely no mention of "fair use" in that policy.

Is there any reason that all the links should not be removed, immediately? (talk) 18:57, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Um, yes? Because there's no reason they should be removed? They aren't breaking any law. They aren't maybe exempt, the courts have time and time again determined that archiving websites for no commercial reasons (i.e. not to replace the websites) is not a violation of copyright. Therefore, no reason to remove the links. gwickwiretalkediting 19:03, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Fair use is inherently relevant, as any use that is covered by fair use is by legal definition not a violation of the creator's copyright. If archive sites are allowed because of fair use, and the courts seem to think so (though I would be less absolutely certain about this then some of the people commenting here), then linking to such sites is acceptable within the spirit and intent of WP:COPYLINK. Incidentally, you quoted from the COPYLINK policy, but you left out the part where archiving is explicitly addressed in the same policy, namely: "It is currently acceptable to link to internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time." Dragons flight (talk) 19:54, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Sidebar structural note, 88., your argument is based on a Wikipedia policy, not a law, so it is not a matter of law. North8000 (talk · contribs) 19:23, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

That's correct.
A wikipedia policy clearly says, we need to remove 'em all. So tell me, is there any reason we shouldn't? (talk) 19:29, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Your argument rests on the false premise that archiving web content is a violation of copyright. Tarc (talk) 19:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
It is not a false premise at all. Purely as an example, BBC News from yesterday. Note that it is "BBC © 2013". That's a copy of a copyrighted work.
Why do you think that that is any more acceptable than any other link to a copy of a copyrighted work? (talk) 20:08, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
If the beed issued a DMCA take-down notice, they'd remove that page. They would probably not suffer legal damages. That makes no difference at all, it's still clearly a copyright-infringing link.
If I put a copy of that same website on my own blog, I'm sure you'd agree it was a copyright violation, and that we should not link to it.
Why is 'webcite' special? (talk) 20:10, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

@Dragons flight, I checked on that part of policy - I tried to check how/when that was added; I found this. I can't see any discussion or consensus to work out why certain sites should be given a special status. (talk) 20:16, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Actually, if they recieved a DCMA takedown notice, they could disregard it as wrong. The courts have mutliple times over said that archiving of web content is not a violation of copyright. Therefore, we are not linking to a work that is a copyvio. By the way, "other link to ... copyrighted work", uhm, almost every external link or reference on Wikipedia is to a copyrighted work. Regardless, the issue is that if they were issued a DCMA takedown notice, they are under absolutely no obligation to remove the content, as it is hosted legally. If you put a copy on your website, in it's complete entirety, you wouldn't be violating copyright either, as long as the copy is solely for web archival purposes. You are grasping at a straw, even after said that there is a copyright, but no violation, as required to remove links. By the way, the special status is not from Wikipedia, it's from the courts' decision that there is no violation there. gwickwiretalkediting 20:19, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm guessing you are not a lawyer.
You are not in a position to absolutely say that it's not a copyright violation to copy a website "in it's entirety" (sic).
Show me, please, where any court has said it's acceptable to make a copy of a copyrighted website. (talk) 20:28, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I am in a position to say what the courts say, and you trying to discredit my words because I may not be a lawyer on Wikipedia isn't okay. There are many cases discussed in different Circuts and levels. It's okay to archive for purposes of archival for use at a future date. Do your research please. gwickwiretalkediting 20:32, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Name three cases where it has been found permissible to copy a website in its entirety. Before you start looking check out Meltwater. John lilburne (talk) 20:37, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"the Copyright Act permits publishers, libraries, archives, and the public to take advantage of new technologies to preserve and distribute creative works to the public if no changes are made to the original work once republished in a different format." (from a legal case from someone suing the WayBack machine's owners decision)
Look here for more examples of where they have been dismissed as futile. It's nowhere near illegal, and is very permitted under fair use to archive websites for future use. Yes the IA settled the cases, but they were under no obligation to do so, as the cases were dismissed (in fact, their settlement was to remove it for moral reasons, not copyright reasons). gwickwiretalkediting 20:41, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I do understand Meltwater. Their issue was they published excerpts, i.e. not meeting the "no changes are made" part of the rulings on this issue. They are allowed to copy it in full for archival purposes, but not as Meltwater did in part for commercial purposes. 20:47, 4 April 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gwickwire (talkcontribs)
On April 25, 2007, Internet Archive and Suzanne Shell jointly announced the settlement of their lawsuit. The Internet Archive said, “Internet Archive has no interest in including materials in the Wayback Machine of persons who do not wish to have their Web content archived. We recognize that Ms. Shell has a valid and enforceable copyright in her Web site and we regret that the inclusion of her Web site in the Wayback Machine resulted in this litigation.


Jimbo how can i make a political protest here on wikipedia, online, about presidenital election in my country? because, u know, in the street we could get shot. best regards, K. K., Iran.

You can't, because Wikipedia is not a soapbox, it's an Encyclopaedia. (talk) 15:26, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
It is possible to do so in countries with censorship. Wikipedia's purpose is to be an encyclopedia, i.e. to document the truth, and when documenting the truth is illegal, contributing the truth to Wikipedia is a powerful political statement.
Nonetheless it is very important for those from repressive countries to be careful, use virtual private networks, anonymizers, or other means to ensure that their activities will not be used against them. A very basic step on Wikipedia is to sign up for a free account before editing so that your IP address is not publicly recorded in the History each time you edit. That offers a basic level of protection against nosy neighbors, at least.
It is also important to stick to the purpose of documenting the truth rather than making potentially biased or exaggerated statements, but this is not a bad tactic for effective political protest. Wnt (talk) 16:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Possible One City One Book variation for developing wikipedia?

Yeah, that is a rather silly looking headline, but the title I was thinking of, "The Big Read and Write," doesn't quite fit given what Big Read links directly to. As can be seen from the OCOB page, there are a lot of cities which have in recent years tried the "everybody read this book" programs. Have we ever made an attempt to maybe get the citizenry of a specific city, state, area, or whatever, to maybe make an effort to develop the content related to that subject here, with the possible result maybe a printed reference book based on that developed content? If the concise wikipedia ever gets launched along those lines, maybe one option would be to (1) determine what topics would be necessary for a print reference book on their topic, (2) develop the most significant of those articles in a concerted effort, probably involving the local history experts in the local libraries, if the topic is a "local" one, (3) after a few years, get together a group of "concise" articles based on that content which would be appropriate for a print reference book, and then finally (4) publish the collection of abbreviated articles in a print format, maybe with a CD or similar included in a pocket, which might contain the full articles on the topics included in concise form.

I have seen that there are a huge number of cities, states, regions, and other topics which have had in recent years reference books on them published. Cleveland even had two, one a dictionary of local history, and another a dictionary of local biography. It might, for some places, even be possible to add a third on local culture, which might include the non-business and non-governmental regional topics on perhaps the arts and entertainment, religion, sports, and suchlike.

Like I said, I have seen a number of states and cities which already have one, or like Cleveland, more than one print book like these come out in recent years, and I think that maybe setting some specific concrete goals to achieve regarding some topics, like a print reference book, might help draw some more people into the project, at least insofar as that topic goes. And a lot of smaller cities, and even a lot of states, like Delaware, those in the northeast US and Great Plains, and elsewhere, don't have any such print reference sources on them out at all, although they have some "regional" encyclopedias.

Anyway, just an idea, but if we could get, perhaps, the governor of Delaware to make a public announcement that the state was working with us to develop a print/digital reference on the state, and requesting the help of the citizenry to develop the content to be published in that source, I think it might very possibly draw a significant number of editors to the project who might not otherwise think to edit. John Carter (talk) 17:10, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Would this not just be a print version of Gibraltarpedia? After what happened last time I think the odds of the WMF getting into bed with a city's boosters again is zero. – iridescent 18:53, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it necessarily would be, because, among other things, we would know up front that it is being done, and possibly, knowing that, we might be able to providing a bit of a guiding hand regarding what content is made, and also, hopefully, know to check the sourcing, possible POV issues, etc. If we were to do this, I tend to think I could possibly/probably find some extant reference sources on the topic which could be used as basic list of target articles, similar to those found in Category:WikiProject lists of encyclopedic articles. Admittedly, there is a real chance that some of the pages might need to get protection at least at some point during the efforts, but, if the preparatory work is sufficient, I think we could probably handle it with the various people we have assisting the existing academic class projects to develop wikipedia. John Carter (talk) 19:45, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
While there are some parallels here with the Wikicities/Gibralterpedia idea, it strikes me as more like Wikibooks or WP:Books. Note that Wikicities aren't forbidden, just that the Foundation doesn't want to officially get tied in with a contract or endorse one (as far as I can tell). So organize it yourself, attract the needed editors, publish in the form of a Wikibook or WP:Book. Looks pretty much like organizing any other project around here. I wouldn't get involved in a PR firm representing the city though, maybe the school board, a university, or the local history museum. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:12, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
My local area, which is the only one I could contact, is honestly even seen nationally as being a disorganized almost self-destructive mess. I don't think I would personally be able to get something started locally if I tried. But I do think that there are some other areas, like the Northeastern US states, Delaware, and the like, which might be more willing to do something, and possibly even get some sort of official, governmental, support. I remember seeing that there was an Encyclopedia of New York State some years ago which the state gave something like a million dollar budget for, which, given the number of copies it received in its libraries, ran to several hundred dollars a copy. Yeah, it would be nice to get that sort of funding for the foundation, but I don't think it would necessarily be necessary. And if the new concise wikipedia which has been proposed by Blofeld and others takes off, and it seems to have enough support, some things like this would be to my eyes almost inevitable anyway. But, hell, even though I managed to get all the varied races of Mars to unite under my incredible talents and charmind, humble self, I think any proposals of this type might be best coming from someone in a more formal capacity. Maybe if there are any states or cities approaching a centennial celebration or something like that, they might be the most receptive, but I don't know myself how to check on all of them, and doubt anything from me would be noticed anyway, humble and self-effacing as I am. John Carter (talk) 20:36, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Creation of articles is not allowed -> your work goes to junk.

Resolved: Obvious 'test page' was speedy-deleted, has been restored to userspace. (talk) 22:21, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Returned back to Wikipedia to create a product article after 2 years of being quiet. Started. 5 minutes of text compilation. Then article is marked as junk. In another minute all work I have done is deleted. Thank you. Great job. Give me a reason to remain Wikipedia's advocate and return here again. EugenyBrychkov (talk) 21:34, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

It could be because "the sum of all human knowledge" has been converted to "the sum of all human knowledge that deletionists approve".--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:42, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
if it wasn't BLP or copyright, ask it to be userfied, and some editors will take a look at it. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 21:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I can't see it, so...

Please restore Eugenys test page to userspace, so we can see what the trouble is. (Obviously, unless there is a compelling reason not to do so) Thx. (talk) 21:44, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

EugenyBrychkov, it's probably because you created it as a live article; it probably should've been User:EugenyBrychkov/Eugenys test page instead of just Eugenys test page.

We shall see. (talk) 21:46, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

From comments he made on another talk page, it appears Eugeny thought he was in his user space; a simple misunderstanding. I've undeleted and moved to his user space. --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:48, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Yep, thanks; it looks like it's now happily living in userspace, User:EugenyBrychkov/Eugenys test page.
EugenyBrychkov, I guess this matter is resolved? (talk) 21:51, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, thank you, but please do not do this way again! — Preceding unsigned comment added by EugenyBrychkov (talkcontribs) 22:18, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed...please don't, Eugeny....and welcome back (✉→BWilkins←✎) 22:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
If the "article" in question really looked like this at the time of deletion, then the article and the editor were treated quite properly. Tarc (talk) 23:26, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Tarc, you seem exceptionally decisive. Thank you. Making an analogy, "murder is ok if guy looks ugly/does not meet your criteria of beautifulness". Talking about this case seriously, there's a room for improvement for Wikipedia as it seems moderation processes are inconsistent. I propose, if some moderating user starts to perform cardinal chages to any page, s/he should be responsible for end-to-end moderation process, up to his/her judgement. In my case - Nick labeled article as junk, and then passed it to admin, who just looked that article is marked as junk and is located within main Wikipedia space, and killed it, however (probably) should have qualified if user who posted/is in process of posting article a real user, how to help user rather than just clean things up completely using admin superpower. — Preceding unsigned comment added by EugenyBrychkov (talkcontribs) 08:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC) EugenyBrychkov (talk) 08:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

I wonder why we don't just automatically speedy-userfy pages like this, rather than speedy-delete them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:43, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Interesting. Jimbo, what would you say if nearly all CSDs (except copyvios and such similar serious ones) were to be userfied instead of deleted?
Second question - What would you say to the above if it also included self and self-organisation's advertisement. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 12:13, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
@TheOriginalSoni - thank you, great insight for the second question. You are the only one who did some research. But please do not switch to personalities, diverging from the original issue. It seems I violated the rule described here Self_promotion#Wikipedia, because I started being logged in as myself. Starting article anonymously will prevent such allegations. Well, this reveals another issue in the Wikipedia's policies: if you are anonymous, you can do more, and have more chances to have your content accepted, than if you are registered. Having said that, I see the trend of degradation of the Wikipedia's content quality and increase in your moderation effort. Good luck looking through all existing articles and qualifying if they were created and/or edited for self-promotion reasons (by individuals, or employees of respective organizations). EugenyBrychkov (talk) 13:31, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I am not sure if you are being sarcastic with your first remark or not, and so I'll let it pass.
Regardless of whether you are the person in the article or not, you need to survive WP:NOTABLITY and need to be covered in reliable secondary sources to be given an article here.
And no. I am not diverging the issue or anything. I just am trying to ascertain whether or not it ought to be considered general practice to Userfy all articles that would be otherwise CSDed. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 17:00, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes was a bit. It was actually a compliment. I feel insecure to continue building the article - because in any case it will be considered as biased exhibiting conflict of interest. Would you agree to write a short article about the subject - how you see it from your point of view? If not, is it possible to request such help (which assumes not a formatting/templates/cleanup, but rather unbiased content creation)? Thank you.
I'd look at that problem from a different angle; why don't we prohibit new users from creating articles in userspace at first, and instead direct them towards Articles for Creation or something similar? Let them learn the ropes a bit, regarding both markup and editing guidelines. Once a few creations are approved to move from incubation to artiucle-space, hen thy can be turned loose. Tarc (talk) 12:24, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah...we already got a consensus to do that. But WMF refused to do it, even on a trial basis. WP:ACTRIAL. (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Jimmy, that is the obvious solution. However, the most direct way to solve this recurring problem, which drives so many new contributors away with what they see as unnecessary rudeness, is to add a userspace/sandbox tab next to User and Talk. Explain its use in the Welcome post. Have you ever read Wikipedia:Article development? No mention of creating the article in one's userspace. For most people, how one creates a userspace is not intuitive. So why not be helpful, Assume Good Faith, and simply provide one? (talk) 18:41, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

yeah, I agree. for IP users, the links to userspace pages in the upper right corner are not there, just "create account" and "log in". unless you either get a talk page message or know your external IP, there is no way to get to your userspace. it's like putting a cat's litterbox where he can't get at it, and then getting mad when he takes a dump on the carpet.... -- Aunva6talk - contribs 18:53, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Protected article: Hurricane Katrina

Can you unprotect this article. It's an old noticia. Senscape asylum kickstarter (talk) 11:35, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

The place is WP:RFPP at the bottom where it says unprotection requests. Vacation9 12:11, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

BP and Wikipedia redux - looking more closely at the content


Jimbo, I'm not sure if you've seen Violet Blue's follow-up to her recent piece on BP's involvement in writing their own article: Big Oil's Wikipedia cleanup: A brand management experiment out of control. This article looks more closely at some of the content supplied by an employee of BP's PR department. While BP may not have been editing the BP article themselves, it appears that at least some of the content supplied was less than objective or complete. From reading over the talk page, it is clear that the suggested edits were only reviewed by one or two editors and received very little discussion before being added to the article. These edits were replacements of whole sections of the article, not suggestions about changing a word or sentence. More concerning is that an employee of Chevron Corporation has apparently been editing their articles since 2009, with little success in getting editors to review their changes. I hope you would agree that any content supplied by PR professionals should be thoroughly vetted by unbiased Wikipedia editors. That does not seem to have happened in these cases. Can I suggest that a full review of affected articles be conducted by editors not normally associated with those articles? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:45, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

The Chevron case is a failure on our part, but not a failure on their part as far as I can tell. Violet Blue is sufficiently biased that her analysis is just useless to consider. The important point is that Arturo did exactly the right thing - he suggested changes, not all of which were accepted, and they were generally good. Did he suggest things that we might modify? Sure, why not? To beat up BP and Wikipedia for this is vicious nonsense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:01, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
So let's not beat up on BP or Arturo. He followed our rules. The real question is whether those rules make sense if we aspire to be a serious, respectable reference work. Do you think it's OK for a company's PR staff to play a substantial role in drafting our coverage of that company? A role which is entirely undisclosed to the casual reader? If so, then we're setting ourselves outside the boundaries that have normally defined credible, reputable reference works. MastCell Talk 23:18, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
We have failed in our duty to our readers and we deserve whatever criticism we get. Allowing PR agents and company employees to rewrite sections of articles without thoroughly vetting that content is both naive and foolhardy. It would be premature to say that BP's edits were "generally good". While BP is at the center of this latest episode, I think this applies equally to any other editor with a similar conflict of interest. We should learn from this rather than shooting the messenger again. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:25, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I share your view of Violet Blue's trashy analysis but sadly, Jimbo, the plain fact is that a segment of the editor community (I'm not sure how large; I get the feeling that they are more noisy than numerous) have an ideological objection to any commercially oriented organisation getting involved with Wikipedia. They see it as commercialising Wikipedia. BP is admittedly a particularly inviting target because of its awful environmental record, but we seem to have these spasms of outrage periodically. Remember when you wrote up a restaurant once, and the reaction that got? You have done a lot of work with PR groups to try to work out a modus vivendi that ostensibly works for all concerned, but the problem is that you haven't been able to sell this to the entire community (and I'm not even sure that the ultras would buy into it at any price). I don't know what the solution is to this problem, but I do think there's more that you personally can do to minimise the impact of such disputes. For instance, in the BP case, you could have involved yourself directly with the editing and given ongoing feedback on what Arturo was doing, which would have lent it a lot more public legitimacy. What people are doing now is trying to review things in hindsight, which I rarely find a satisfactory approach. There should also perhaps be more community-wide transparency about the activities of legitimate COI editors like Arturo. Perhaps we need to have some kind of centralised "register" of legitimate COI editors to make it easier to review what they are doing and where they are active, and I could also see a role for some kind of "PR interchange" WikiProject where experienced editors and COI editors could discuss issues and assist each other. Prioryman (talk) 23:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The editors that reviewed that content and added it to the article are established editors who have a good amount of experience. Arturo, by or behavioral guideline, is not a COI editor. To be considered such, one must be advancing their own interest above that of the project. Arturo does not fit that bill. He is certainly closely associated with the subject, but that alone is not a conflict of interest at Wikipedia.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:44, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
That is simply and flatly incorrect. Arturo does fit our definition of a "COI editor"; see WP:NOPR. I'm pretty pessimistic about our ability to have a serious discussion on this topic when we don't appear to inhabit a shared objective reality. MastCell Talk 23:49, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I have a lot of respect for you MastCell, but on this you are so off base it astounds me. NOTHING in that links suggest that Arturo is a COI editor. Because, he is not. That link you provided has guidelines that only show Arturo to be a "paid advocate" and that editors that fall under that definition are strongly discouraged from editing the article directly. Arturo has not edited the article directly. Could please stop exaggerating the situation because very time you refer to an editor as a "COI editor" incorrectly you are only name calling.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:00, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
If that's not a conflict of interest in Wiki's eyes, then Wikipedia has a far more serious problem defining and dealing with conflicts than i could possibly have imagined. Coretheapple (talk) 01:07, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It is not a conflict of interest. Your imagination isn't the issue. Our guidelines make it clear what a COI editor is and if you follow those guidelines and do everything right, one should not be dragged through the mud because other editors have convinced themselves or been convinced by others that there is a conflict when one does not exist. There is no problem defining a conflict of interest. Our COI behavioral guideline does that. The serious problem is getting editors to understand it and apply them in a disinterested way. Right now editors are truly on a witch hunt, pointing fingers and complaining because British Petroleum has a paid advocate making drafts that some editors agreed to use. Sorry that I don't see the project burning down from that.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to make my view clear, I have no idea if a BP employee editing about BP constitutes a conflict of interest in the cloud-cuckoo land of Wikipedia COI rules. Coretheapple (talk) 02:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, if the BP employee was editing the article itself, it would indeed constitute a conflict of interest. However, he isn't. User:Arturo from BP has followed our guidelines completely. He is using the talk page and making suggestions. He has no control over what goes into the article. That is still in the hands of established and experienced editors.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
BP, through that editor, its employee, drafted text that was incorporated in the article. That he didn't directly edit the article is a distinction without a difference anywhere but in the aforementioned cloud-cuckoo land. Coretheapple (talk) 02:36, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
And actually I also forgot to mention that even editing the article itself would not necessarily put the editor in Conflict of Interest unless their edits removed well sourced content or added content that showed their outside interest to be more important than Wikipedia's aims and goals. Welcome to Cloud-cuckoo land then Coretheapple, because that is indeed the distinction with a true difference as set by a number of different policies and guidelines of Wikipedia.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
MastCell is right that Arturo has a conflict of interest (he comes, I believe, from an academic background, this is precisely the sort of conflict that absolutely would have to be declared in an academic paper). However, he has not made any conflicted edits. He is doing the right thing in the right way, any failure is on our part for not applying sufficient critical judgment to the proposed changes. In other words, an article has been carelessly edited. How do we normally fix that? By talking to the editor who made the edits and by fixing up the article. And when I say normally, I do mean that: this is completely routine. Guy (Help!) 21:56, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When I joined Wikipedia, the rule was that every editor's edits were their own, and on their own recognisance. Arturo posted some suggestions that were pro-BP. He did that completely openly, acknowledging that he is a BP employee. I had a similar email from a celebrity, a household name, who made suggestions by email. In both cases a Wikipedia editor decided to make the changes. In my case I did not make all the changes requested, and explained why (they were not in MOS style, or whatever). In this case someone else made the edits - and they didn't apply enough critical judgment when doing so. Their bad, nobody died, we just fix it up and explain it to them. It's no different to someone finding a version of events on a company website, bringing it to Wikipedia, and then being pushed back (partway at least) because others with wider knowledge know it's not the whole story, or is a glossed-over version of events. All this is perfectly routine. It's how virtually every article on any commercial entity has been written, albeit this time without the usual round 1 of conflicted edits to the actual article which then involves us in educating the company rep to do exactly what Arturo did form the outset. Arturo has done nothing wrong, in fact quite the opposite. He has, it seems to me, played a completely straight bat. Any fault is with our own people - us, in other words - for failing to edit rather than copy and paste. Editing is a skill. The takeaway here is that we still ave a lot to learn, as a community, about the editing process. I think we could usefully try to run some workshops maybe even asking editors of actual dead tree products for input. Guy (Help!) 16:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

(ec) The segment of the editing community that works to protect the environment for our reader is in the majority. Our readers are entitled to know and we are duty bound to let our reader know that BP or Chevron or the Gingrich Campaign is over-bearingly involved in the construction of the article they are reading and depending on. They expect an impartial view not one from the top of Corporate Hearquarters. Our readers depend on us to protectr their interests. ```Buster Seven Talk 23:51, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Speaking as a new user, more of a reader than a Wiki editor, I can tell you from an outside perspective that this entire affair is jaw-dropping amazing. I agree with Delicious Carbuncle and MastCell. The difference between COI best practices on Wikipedia and in the real world is humungous. The refusal of some editors to acknowledge COI in a BP employee, editing Wikipedia within the scope of employment, is astonishing. I agree with the observation that Wikipedia deserves a horse-whipping in the press over this, and I'm frankly disappointed that I haven't seen it. Coretheapple (talk) 23:58, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
What astounds me is how many editors really don't, REFUSE to understand our policies just so they can hurl mud within our own community. There is no COI editing by Arturo and is the very reason many editors refuse to acknowledge that blatant misinterpretation of our guidelines.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:05, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Speaking as an editor of a decade's experience, I can tell you that flaps about supposedly "selling out to commercialisation" really aren't anything new - we seem to have one at least every year. Gibraltar ran into the buzzsaw last year, before then Jimbo's restaurant article caused a flap that was covered in the media (e.g. [17]). Yes, COI is a significant concern; yes, Arturo obviously does have a COI. But what we have here is an ideological divide between editors who believe that any hint of commercial involvement in Wikipedia is anathema and those who accept that commercially oriented outside organisations can be useful contributors as long as they act within strict parameters. (There are also a few people who argue that there should be a free-for-all, but their is a fringe view and can safely be ignored.) I don't see how you can bridge that divide; all you can do, it seems to me, is to create a situation where there are far more people on one side than the other. Marginalise the opposition, if you like, or at the very least persuade them to cross the divide. Prioryman (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Too bad that decade worth of experience hasn't helped you understand our guidelines. Arturo is not a COI editor.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:00, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "a COI editor". I said that he has a COI, by which I mean that his editing on Wikipedia is on behalf of his employer, which is a self-evident COI - his employer's interests are not necessarily Wikipedia's. But that's not a bad thing in itself! The dispute is not whether he has a COI but whether it is being properly managed. Prioryman (talk) 13:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the "flaps" that you mention, but if you are having regular issues of a similar nature, perhaps you have a recurrent problem that needs to be addressed? I know that this is a volunteer organization and not a business venture, but Wikipedia has a public image and it is not great. Perhaps an occasional outside view, not affected by years of being steeped in the Wiki culture, would be helpful at a time like this. Coretheapple (talk) 00:26, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't disagree that it needs to be addressed, and in fact Jimbo has been trying to do so by opening a dialogue with the PR industry to work out avenues of discussion (see past articles in PR Week here). The fundamental problem is that a chunk of the editing community is not reconciled to any interaction with PRs other than, essentially, saying "piss off". This is where Wikipedia's biggest weakness comes into play - its lack of effective leadership. The way this community works, it's far easier to block things through noisy objections than to advance them through persuasion. Prioryman (talk) 00:35, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I haven't been physically able to read through all of the many thousands of words on the BP issue that have appeared in various places on Wikipedia, but my impression is quite the opposite. That is, that Wiki people are unwilling to recognize the serious problem posed by corporate involvement in Wikipedia articles. In perusing what's been written I found one comment, I forget where or by whom, by an editor who pointed out that Wiki people are vulnerable to being manipulated by corporate operatives, that editors feel they can "outsmart" and control involvement of public relations professionals in articles about their companies. I agree with that perspective. If that attitude is more common than I have come to realize, than it is all for the good. My personal attitude is that PR people/corporate reps should be welcome in pointing out errors and omissions in articles, but should not be permitted to draft text. To me that would be akin to a newspaper or print encyclopedia doing the same thing. I.e., a disreputable practice. To be sure, that is what happens among small newspapers. There are "canned" travel and business articles to be found among bad newspapers. There are press releases and promotional articles that are published verbatim in newspapers but are written by companies. But I hope that Wikipedia is better than that, and that it does not fashion its policies after the very worst of American journalism. Coretheapple (talk) 00:56, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Coretheapple, do you notice that you are now talking about Wikipedia editors, not Wikipedia readers? Why does Wikipedia exist - so that people can edit it, or so that people can read it? Painting the community as polarized into two camps is an attempt to blame someone for the situation, not an attempt to address it. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 01:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
COI rules aren't about the reader, they're about the institution. Their purpose is to protect the integrity and reputation of the institution. In this case, the reader is affected to the extent that the BP article may have been slanted by the fact that four-tenths of its written or drafted by BP. But I think the main victim here is Wikipedia, because this incident exposes a flaw in Wikipedia's structure. Coretheapple (talk) 02:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh...there's a flaw showing alright....but is not what you think. Can we make something true on Wikipedia by just repeating the circular reference begun on a user's talk page, picked up by the media and then repeated as an absolute truth? If this is really possible...then we do have a very troublesome issue.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:49, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
The problem is not that there is misinformation circulating about Wikipedia, but information. Delicious Carbunkle said above that readers were being ill-served, but the problem is with the affect on editors who don't have COI, who aren't paid to write here, who are just doing this as a hobby. Why should they utilize their precious spare time to work on articles as a hobby when companies are allowed to have an active role in the drafting of articles about them? I suspect that antagonizes a lot of editors, as Prioryman alluded to earlier. Volunteer editors may feel less interested in contributing to Wikipedia if they feel that Wikipedia collectively lacks integrity by tolerating this kind of thing. That's the problem that arises from BP being quite this active in the BP article and the widespread acceptance of that by Jimbo and others as being allowed by COI rules. Coretheapple (talk) 03:08, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Who said anything about misinformation about Wikipedia. The misinformation is about an editor who is complying with our policies and guidelines. If someone is editing in a manner that goes against the encyclopedia's core principles, or even attempting to edit in a manner that would compromise the project they are warned then banned or blocked. Yes, I am sure the editor, Arturo of BP (who does not have a COI) is probably feeling a little confused by all of this. Just like everyone else however, he may choose to stay or leave at anytime on his own. Being antagonized by the fact that someone is doing the right thing and using best practice, getting upset and leaving over that reason is not a concern at all. I would rather people who don't get it stop editing and those that do get it remain. We lose far more editors over those that can't figure out the policies, procedures and guidelines and use their misinterpretations to go after innocent contributors.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
You keep acting as if this is about vilifying Arturo or BP. It's not, at least not for me. I think Arturo followed our rules. I'm not out to get him. I'm asking a bigger question, about whether our rules make sense or serve our goal of creating a serious, reputable reference work. I'd actually like to hear Jimbo's thoughts on the matter, if he's willing to comment: do you think it's OK for a company's PR staff to play a substantial role in drafting our coverage of that company? A role which is entirely undisclosed to the casual reader? MastCell Talk 04:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
In the edit summary to the above comment it states: "sometimes i wish wikipedians were capable of discussing abstract issues, rather than personalizing literally everything; However the comment left here was filled with "You keep", and "not for me" and "I think" and "I'm not" and "I'm asking". The last thing stated was "I'd actually like to hear Jimbo's thoughts on the matter, if he's willing to comment: do you think it's OK for a company's PR staff to play a substantial role in drafting our coverage of that company? A role which is entirely undisclosed to the casual reader?" Jimbo Wales made the first reply to this thread. He said point black: "The important point is that Arturo did exactly the right thing - he suggested changes, not all of which were accepted, and they were generally good. Did he suggest things that we might modify? Sure, why not? To beat up BP and Wikipedia for this is vicious nonsense." I agree with that completely.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
And if you read the other thread, Mr. Wales has said even more. If he would like to comment further, of course that would be great as always...but I feel editors keep asking the same things over and over almost expecting a different answer or a sudden reversal by just wearing him down.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
If Arturo is confused and decides to leave, someone else from the BP Corporate Communications Team will take his place. This is not about one editor. Or a team of editors. This is about millions of readers who are being protected from knowing too much about BP's or Company A's business. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Buster, it may not be a good idea to make such accusations. That sounds a lot like you are claiming BP is involved with a cover-up on Wikipedia.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:41, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, this certainly explains my experience here. petrarchan47tc 07:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
How so?--Amadscientist (talk) 08:24, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

@ Amadscientist. What does that mean? Do you think BP will be sending out the Corporate Communications Enforcement team? Why isn't it a good idea to defend Wikipedia and its readers? I'm not claiming a cover-up. It's more like a "smother-up". ```Buster Seven Talk 07:39, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

@Buster: There is no more conflict here than if BP had placed text on their own website released under GFDL and someone had copied and pasted it here. All articles are a work in progress, it rarely takes long for puff to be pruned back. A major issue here is that for some people the BP article will never be balanced until it makes them look like a cross between the Inquisition and the Mongol hordes. NPOV says that BP is an oil company, better than some, worse than others, pretty much normal for the breed. Some people don't like that: they think all oil companies are global supervillains. They are entitled to that view and I tend towards it myself, but it's not NPOV. Guy (Help!) 16:36, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • No. It's not the same. In the situation where it's a statement that can be attributed to BP with a citation, than we can write "BP, in a statement says, ... (citation). Here we cannot do so. This further demonstrates the disclosure issue (which at the very least would be attributed to BP by the citation, if they formally issued a statement or wrote something on their website). Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:54, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you read what I wrote (or maybe I didn't write what I meant). This is not about attribution, it's about editorial content. Copying text authored by a company is an editorial failing. If a company rep posts text that is not supported by citable sources, that should be explained to him and the text should not be used. Again, if it's inserted in the article without sources, it's an editorial failing. Much as it pains me to defend the buggers, BP have done nothing wrong. Arturo has certainly done nothing wrong, he has acted entirely honourably. Some of the Wikipedia community have fallen down on the job - this is an inevitability, we should just fix it and move on, as we normally do. Unfortunately some people seem determined to make something else of it (for reasons we can only guess but probably pretty shrewdly). There's no real need to play into their hands, I'd have said. Guy (Help!) 21:51, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Why are you trying to defend "the buggers" when nothing in my comment says anyone did anything wrong. The fact remains, however, that editorial content that comes from BP could and would be cited to BP in our article. However, here, it is not, because Arturo from BP wrote it on the talk page, instead of his company website. That is incongruous. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:10, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I think we are talking at cross purposes. What BP might say on its website is a primary source and not verifiable fact. We should be guiding Arturo towards providing secondary sources. He is paid, we're not, it's up to him to support his suggested edits with good sources. I don't think anyone here will consider me a defender of paid editing. A BP web page is as usable as a press release - i.e. basically not usable, or at least not if a better source is likely to exist. Almost everything discussed by Arturo seems to me to be amenable to independent sourcing. Guy (Help!) 01:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Anything BP writes on its website often could also be cited to independent sources -- that does not make the source we cite not BP's website, when that is where the information was put together. You are, of course, correct in one sense, information written about BP, written by BP (even using independent sources) has primary source elements and we identify primary sources in articles when they are the source (see, eg. autobiography - which is often a mixture of the primary and secondary)Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:26, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
It means exactly what it says. You should not be making accusations of this kind. It could be a BLP issue when it concerns individuals.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I think you are naive. There is a common belief that a press release reprinted by a trade publication is an "independent source", but it is erroneous. And don't forget, Arturo is not BP. He works for BP, but he is not BP. If BP told him to request an edit saying that Texaco kill bunny rabbits to power their death rays, I doubt he'd do it - and if he did, only an idiot would add it. There is nothing actually wrong with a company saying they would like to represent a certain topic in a certain way. Nothing. There is an awful lot wrong with just adding that to an article without thinking.
I work for $VENDOR. I could request an edit to the $VENDOR article saying that $VENDOR are widely recognised as the least arrogant top 10 IT company. I think it's true, but only an idiot would add it. How about if $VENDOR put a page on their website saying "$VENDOR is least arrogant vendor". Would that be OK? How about if they issued a press release and it appeared in The Register. Is that independent? I begin to wonder if people have even the most basic understanding of what we are supposed to be doing here.
In all this debate, nobody has yet suggested a better way for companies to address concerns about their articles. What do you suggest? Guy (Help!) 01:51, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
The idea that a corporation is not the people who work for it, although a well known legal fiction, is what's naive. A corporation can do nothing, nor even exist, without the people who work for it. You may review my previous proposal, on this page, which already resulted in improved disclosure on those article related pages. It's not, here, about what corporations or PR people should do (beside continue to be honest and ethical, which is expected of all editors here), it's what the Pedia should do given that it is known to it that people with acknowledged COI are involved in drafting articles: Disclosure is a good way to deal with that. How that disclosure is made is of some debate, but it is the ethical thing for the Pedia to do, regardless. This is especially the case since (1) it is already practice to cite to corporate sources, when the Pedia uses corporate sources (but, by ommission, states nothing in the article about the corporate source that went into drafting the article); and (2) it is standard academic practice to disclose COI to readers. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:03, 30 March 2013 (UTC)


I noticed earlier this comment "if we aspire to be a serious, respectable reference work", this isn't compatible with "anyone can edit anonymously", you have to pick one, and its pretty obvious that wikipedia has made its pick. Wikipedia is too popular to hope that companies will ignore it, so they either participate openly like Arturo/BP, or they do it (or pay someone to do it) covertly without disclosing their CoI. Completely preventing companies from affecting content is not simply possible with the way wikipedia currently functions.--Staberinde (talk) 09:35, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes. That is apparent. But what seems to be going on, in part, is that some want to pretend it does not happen (eg., that having company x suggest copy is, it is pretended, not influencing articles); some want to argue that it should not happen (with no way to implement the should); and some want more upfront disclosure of what happens. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I get an uneasiness with companies providing "copy" to be used by editors on Wikipedia. It however is better than allowing PR firms to edit directly. I guess Wikipedia is simply becoming too popular for commercial interests to ignore. I recently had a PR professional from a large biotech firm (and the group of editors he had brought with him) inform me that they had to "correct" the Wikipedia article in question as if the US government read it they might no longer agree to spent $1 Billion in tax dollars on coverage of the procedure. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 12:38, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ques: Currently, is the surreptitious PR substantive edit, subject to sanctions against that covert activity? Doing so would at least state where the Pedia stands on such things. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:36, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Several editors have raised an important point, which is company officials surreptitiously editing Wikipedia. In my brief time here I've already encountered what I think is probably such a situation. Very little can be done about that apart from enforcing the rules against biased content. However, in situations in which a company does overtly seek to influence content by exploiting loopholes in the COI rules, the solution is to place a notice in the article saying that the subject of the article played a role in the creation and shaping of the article. That notice should be done whenever a company goes beyond correcting errors in the article, but seeks instead to shape the article in general. Current procedures allow a similar notice but only under narrow circumstances. That way, casual readers could be informed that the article has been influenced by the company. This should not harm the subject of the article in any way. After all, the company wants to participate in Wikipedia. If the rules allow, why should it be ashamed of telling the public, including shareholders and customers, that it does so? This would, of course, have the impact of curbing the practice. In the real world, COI rules are disclosure rules, and on Wikipedia the disclosure is wanting, and is made only internally and not commonly to readers. That loophole is being exploited. Coretheapple (talk) 13:08, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Funny, I could have sworn there was some sort of interaction ban between Prioryman and Delicious Carbuncle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I've left a note at Arturo at BP's user page, asking him if he would voluntarily consent to the COI notice appearing on the top of the article. The COI notice is not required by current rules, but that is the only way to inform readers that the subject of the article is influencing content. I think that this would be an enormously helpful indication of good faith and I urged him, as BP's representative to Wikipedia, to consent to it as a voluntary gesture of disclosure to Wikipedia readers. I think that agreeing to it would go a long way to diffusing the situation. Let's see what he says. The ball is in BP's court. Coretheapple (talk) 13:51, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • No it wouldn't and no, the ball is not in BP's court. There is no way a notice like that is going to appear on the top of the article. I for one would remove such a notice if anyone was foolish enough to add one. Prioryman (talk) 14:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
This entire argument mystifies me. When company reps email OTRS asking what they can do to fix up issues with their company article, we give them the following advice: register an account, declare who you are and that you are making comments on their behalf, suggest changes on the talk page, do not edit the article directly other than to correct obvious vandalism, ask for help on-wiki if there is any problem with another editor, perhaps trying to push an anti company POV. As far as I can tell, that's pretty much exactly what Arturo did. What do people think he should have done differently? Most of the crap that's been kicked up seems to me to be agenda-serving by people who, it seems to me, only care whether any particular incident can be used as a stick with which to flog a dead horse one more time. In some ways the nature of the coverage and the identities of those involved is pretty good evidence that we got it pretty much right - not perfect, but definitely not evil. Guy (Help!) 16:21, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think Arturo should have done anything differently. He followed our rules as they currently exist. I'm trying to get a sense of whether people are comfortable with those rules. If a reference work routinely allows a company's PR staff to play a substantial and undisclosed (to the casual reader) role in developing coverage of that company, I'd be very hesitant to extend credibility to that reference work. That approach violates every basic precept governing how serious, reputable reference works handle conflicts of interest. I understand your point about OTRS, but I also think there's a practical difference between a small company which finds itself vilified on Wikipedia, versus BP which has a public-relations budget of $5 million per week ([18]). In the latter case, I don't think we can reasonably rely on a handful of pseudonymous volunteers to vet the material produced by a massive, dedicated, well-funded professional PR operation.

And while I don't think the mainstream press or the world at large cares a whit about various internal Wikipedia machinations and politics, I do think that it will look very bad for this project if/when the mainstream press (as opposed to, as you rightly point out, a handful of people with axes to grind) gets ahold of this. If we seriously expect to defend our practices by saying that we relied on a handful of pseudonymous volunteers to vet material provided by BP's public-relations department, and that we didn't disclose BP's role in drafting the content to the casual reader, then I think we're going to take a pretty big, and well-deserved, hit in terms of credibility. MastCell Talk 16:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Mastcell, thank you for this comment. I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:46, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Mastcell. Hammer...nail...head. ```Buster Seven Talk 18:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@MastCell: Sure, but at what point do we decide that a firm is officially "big"? Traditionally, Wikipedia edits have always been about individuals. It doesn't seem to me to be very important whether Arturo is a lone ranger or whether he has three hundred shiny-suited PR droids standing behind him. It's not a role account, Arturo is an individual. If thirty or forty individuals came along to hector us to make changes then I would be at the head of the posse to run them out of town. That hasn't happened. Isn't there a certain absence of the assumption of good faith here? Yes, BP is a massive transnational (and not my favourite one, speaking as a cyclist and card carrying woolly liberal) but we do not, as far as I am aware, have a better way for them to interact with us than individual representatives proposing individual edits and individual editors reviewing them. How would you handle it? Your instincts are sound, what would you have recommended Arturo to do? Guy (Help!) 22:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I would view the question of good faith a bit differently: I'm assuming Arturo is doing the job he's being paid to do, which is to promote BP's image here on Wikipedia. And I'm not out to vilify him - I think he did exactly what our guidelines told him to do, just as you said. I personally think the issue of how we handle corporate representatives - particularly representatives of large and controversial corporations like BP or, say, the Transcendental Meditation business - is a complex and fraught question where we'd ideally have some Foundation-level guidance.

I'm not sure how realistic that is... so what would I do? With the benefit of hindsight, I'd probably encourage Arturo (or anyone whose job description includes monitoring and influencing Wikipedia's coverage of his employer) to avoid drafting large sections of "company-approved" text, and instead restrict himself to commenting on the accuracy and neutrality of other editors' proposals and edits (admittedly, sort of a fine line). Another option (which I see SlimVirgin has proposed) would be to encourage Arturo et al. to post their preferred text on company Web servers rather than directly onto Wikipedia. That way, the material can be incorporated into the article (where appropriate), but its provenance would be clear to the casual reader. That approach would be more analogous to standard journalistic practices, where company-approved material can be used but is clearly marked as coming from the company.

I'm not saying that either of these are good, or even workable, solutions; after all, the question of how to handle conflicts of interest fairly and effectively has bedeviled mainstream publishers and academic journals for decades. But I'd like to at least start the conversation and move it past the idea that this is a "witch hunt" aimed at Arturo or BP. MastCell Talk 22:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Guy, I think you're seriously mistaken about the concerns that have been raised, both on Wikipedia and in the real world, about BP's involvement in its article. If you think those concerns are somehow wacky or agenda-driven, or otherwise worthy of being summarily dismissed, you definitely have another think coming. Personally I'm horrified by the porosity of Wikipedia's conflict of interest rules. All the reassurances that BP's rep here has played by the rules simply underline my concern. Coretheapple (talk) 16:53, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
One thing that this incident shows is that the method BP/Arturo used, following our suggested guidelines of openly stating their COI and only making talk page suggestions, is not a good approach from a PR point of view. What BP has learned is that if you try to be honest, upfront, and open about your COI, you and your company will still be vilified. However, if you are surreptitious and stealthily edit your article, you may still be vilified if you get caught, but at least you have a chance to stay under the radar and get what you want. Deli nk (talk) 18:25, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, if that's the lesson then they didn't need anyone to tell them that, because everyone already knows that when one doesn't tell the truth and or follow ethical rules, one may gain much that one desires (especially, when not caught) -- one just becomes someone that doesn't tell the truth or follow ethical rules. Do you think they want to be that? Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:46, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I worry that we're making it harder for those that don't want to be like that. Deli nk (talk) 20:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Let's not go overboard in complimenting a BP employee for saying that he is a BP employee. Judging from the high praise that he has received for his work from various Wikipedia luminaries, up to and including Jimbo, there seems to be limited downside for a company that dispatches employees to Wikipedia for the purpose of influencing its content. BP seems totally unconcerned about the furor that this has unleashed and the publicity that has been generated. After all, what is a Wikipedia editing controversy compared to the recent unpleasantness in the Gulf of Mexico? Anyone who thinks that BP has any concern about Wikipedia's integrity is seriously in error. Coretheapple (talk) 20:52, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to make this very clear: Arturo has done precisely what we advise people to do, as a matter of course, when they contact OTRS. If the community genuinely believes that registering an account, declaring your interest, and suggesting changes on the Talk page to be assessed by editors independent of the subject, is the wrong way to do things, then the community needs to do two things:
First, the community needs to come up with a better way for article subjects to address content concerns. Would you prefer them to email OTRS and have OTRS agents make the changes? As an OTRS agent I would strongly resist that. Not only can we not handle the workload, it's not transparent. I have made a few edits on behalf of article subjects who have a good reason not to be able to work this way but only for content that is not even remotely contentious. Ronald Neame (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is an example (and I have to say it was an absolute pleasure to help Ronnie and Donna).
Second, they community needs to engage OTRS agents and ensure that the proposed solution will effectively resolve the kinds of things that article subjects routinely ask about.
I will repeat this: we have told probably some thousands of people to do what Arturo did. It was the understanding of OTRS agents that this is the preferred mechanism for transparently engaging with the Wikipedia community to address article concerns. We did think quite hard about it and could not come up with a better idea, as I recall. Feel free to propose some radical improvement, but in the mean time I firmly believe that people are shooting the wrong target. The problem here is not that a BP employee openly proposed changes, it's that a Wikipedia editor did not apply sufficient critical judgment when responding to those suggestions. We don't know how Arturo would have reacted had the changes been rejected. Maybe he'd have caused a ruckus, in which case we'd certainly want to take action, but I simply do not see any evil here. Guy (Help!) 22:09, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
What disturbs me is that a major corporation can, if it wishes, devote corporate resources to influencing the Wikipedia article about it, and that's just fine by Wikipedia rules. The procedures that you outline, innocent as you make them seem, seem to institutionalize that practice, which I feel is wrong. What I feel is more appropriate is that subjects of articles confine themselves to raising on talk page issues concerning inaccuracies and bias. If they go beyond that, if they are involved in the Wikipedia editorial process beyond correcting errors and bias, that should be disclosed on the article page itself. Surely they cannot object to such a disclosure. If they want to get involved in Wikipedia, they should be willing for that fact to be disclosed to Wikipedia readers. Coretheapple (talk) 22:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
That disturbs you? You live a sheltered life. Seriously. If you believe that every corporation i the world adopts a strictly ethical approach to Wikipedia, not trying to influence content in any way and leaving it to our good judgment, then I have a bridge I would like to sell you. The question is not whether it happens but how best it should be addressed. I happen to think that disclosure and transparency are the best tools, and that registering an account, declaring the interest, and restricting yourself to the talk page is both ethical and scalable. I have seen no evidence in this debate that either of these is seriously compromised. If firms employ dozens or hundreds of folks to post on talk pages then we can talk about that but this is just one guy. And while we're bashing him and his employer we are missing a much more important issue: Wikipedia editors can be total dunces. Check out any article on a Canadian hockey team - especially minor league and school teams - a wrestler, a MMA fighter, a porn "star" or any other subject where personal passions may play a part. I absolutely agree that there was a failure here, but I dispute the assertion that the failure was either Arturo's or BP's. If Arturo ad kicked up shit about changes being rejected then we could have a conversation, but he didn't.
Back to the core question. A company is unhapppy about some aspect of its article. How do you think that should be handled? And bear in mind that "suck it up" is a bad answer, because some poor sod will spend a lot of time - and I mean a lot of time - debating that with their PR department via OTRS. DAMHIKIJKOK? So, how should we handle it, in your view? Guy (Help!) 02:03, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
If there are errors, they can point them out. If they don't think the article paints a glorious enough picture of their fine company, highlighting its achievements and the marvelous things that it does, then they can wait until an independent editor discovers that. I don't think Wikipedia has an obligation to make subjects of articles "happy" about every aspect of their article. Let's say you figure out a way to make them happy. The next person who writes in may be a customer, competitor or somebody in litigation with them who feels that you've leaned too far in that company's direction. What about them? Aren't you supposed to make them happy? What if the person writing in isn't the company but one of those people, and he's not happy with the article about the company but because he thinks it's too puffy? Do you tell them to "suck it up" or would that put too much of a burden on the person debating with them at OTRS? Or does OTRS hang up on them and only give the "PR department" the privilege of hectoring them? Those are the questions that you face when Wikipedia turns over its editorial process to PR reps, as you've done. Maybe you, or an administrator more prone to self-reflection, could consider the harm that you can cause by trying to please PR reps. Coretheapple (talk) 15:39, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

A couple of points regarding MastCell's remarks above:

(1) "I don't think we can reasonably rely on a handful of pseudonymous volunteers to vet the material produced by a massive, dedicated, well-funded professional PR operation." I don't follow the logic here. Assuming (as in this case) that those with a COI only made suggestions on the talk page and scrupulously refrained from editing the article directly, why would the degree of PR funding by the organization have any impact on how well those without a COI could vet the material?

(2) "If a reference work routinely allows a company's PR staff to play a substantial and undisclosed (to the casual reader) role in developing coverage of that company, I'd be very hesitant to extend credibility to that reference work. That approach violates every basic precept governing how serious, reputable reference works handle conflicts of interest." This is a reasonable point, but we already allow similar approaches that equally (or more greatly) violate these precepts. Does any other serious, reputable reference work allow "anyone" to edit? Wikipedia's core premise is that liberally permitting pseudonymous contributions leads, on the whole, to a broadly objective and credible reference work. But within that population of pseudonymous editors are many who contribute from a vast spectrum of biases and conflicts of interest, and these are very seldom disclosed even informally. Despite the actual, direct editing of articles by people with real-world agendas, we don't place permanent warnings to the reader in our articles. Why does the reader need to be warned about the indirect (at best) influence of a company's PR staff on its article? Do similar warnings need to be made for, say, the talk-page remarks of an anti-corporate activist? A person suing a company? An employee of a company's competitor? The mother-in-law of the company's PR secretary? At what point should we assume that the reader understands the implications of "anyone can [pseudonomously] edit" and omit the disclosure? alanyst 19:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

We already often disclose when the subject of an article says (or their representative states) something of relevance in the text of the article through attribution, or at least by inline citation. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:14, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
As to your first point, there is a massive imbalance between the resources BP is capable of committing to promote itself on Wikipedia and the resources we are capable of committing to review their efforts. I see that as an issue. Perhaps you don't, which is fine, but surely the logical basis for my concern is obvious even if you don't share it?

As to your second point, I'm sort of tired of hearing our open-editing model put forth as a justification to ignore or downplay this issue. Yes, we differ from other reference works in that we allow open editing. But our open-editing model only makes it more important, rather than less, to craft a serious and responsible approach to corporate input. Do you see the paradox? We're much more vulnerable to editorial conflicts of interest than other reference works, but we take the subject much less seriously. It's dangerously narcissistic (although also typically Wikipedian) to believe that because our editing model is unique, we're therefore exempt from the usual concerns and responsibilities affecting other serious, reputable reference works.

As to your question about demarcating conflicts of interest, if you're seriously interested there are actually a number of published guidelines and other information about where editors should draw the line in terms of conflicts of interest. Often, the relevant standard is that any "relevant financial conflict of interest" must be disclosed; these would include stock ownership, employment, or litigation, but would exclude, for instance, strong personal feelings about a subject.

And let's talk about "anyone can edit". Our policies clearly state: "Wikipedia is free and open, but restricts both freedom and openness where they interfere with creating an encyclopedia." It is possible for us to maintain a free and open editing model and to create a cohesive and responsible policy constraining editorial conflicts of interest. MastCell Talk 20:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Weeelllll.... maybe. Arturo is a single person. The number of posts he makes to the talk page is not so huge. His behaviour was not flagged as problematic, and I honestly don't think it is problematic. A hundred Arturos? That would be a problem. One guy doing Wikipedia as part of social media engagement? Seems fair. I know people who have been the social media face of large companies, they are just folks (Marc Farley: if you're reading this, you are waaaaay more than just folks). A few are corporate droids but most really are not. We should look at editors and articles individually, as we always have. We do need to encourage more people to move from casual editing to proper content analysis, and I think that is not unrelated to the huge big deal that adminship has become. New admins are really easy to motivate, IMO. I am not a fan of badge collecting, but there is some merit in it, as was pointed out to me by Giano earlier, as a motivational process. Guy (Help!) 00:35, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
A person whose job it is to edit Wikipedia is going to be more motivated to edit Wikipedia than one who is not. The danger of your current practices is that they sanction the subjects of articles participating in article discussions and hence the article consensus. This is not a "slippery slope" argument; you are already at the bottom of the slope. It is happening right now in the BP talk page. That is only a problem if you believe that editorial decisions at Wikipedia, which are made by consensus, should be made by uninvolved editors and only uninvolved editors. Involved editors should not have a role in the decision making process, no matter how well-behaved they are - except when it comes to pointing out errors and bias. But no, I don't believe that a BP employee should have a voice in determining, for example, what a section header should say.[19](I happen to agree with the BP employee on that issue, by the way.) If this isn't the current policy then I think that your policy needs to be changed.
It's not a question of article bias, but how Wikipedia is run. It's unacceptable, I think, to say to a person who is concerned about this ridiculous situation that he or she needs to work on the article and rectify any bias that the corporate rep may have inserted in the article via his active talk page participation. The solution is to remove corporate reps from the editorial process. Coretheapple (talk) 01:08, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but you do not have consensus on your side. Wikipedia works with the consensus of editors not on the idealism of individuals. Point black, involved editors are not excluded from contributing. The local consensus can indeed determine if an editor has crossed a line and if there is some flaw to that, there are notice boards to gather a larger input from the general community. I see no reason to exclude a BP employee following best practices from adding there voice to the discussion and consensus and our policies and guidelines support this. You are really cherry picking your concerns. We still allow editors who are the actual subject to edit there Wikipedia page. It is strongly discouraged as it can cause real world embarrassment to the figure...but some people don't embarrass easily and some are able to edit properly and within our standards. That is the real issue. We do not chase off editors based on our perceptions of them.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:21, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
How you're judging "consensus" on something like this is beyond me. It involves a very serious philosophical issue that gets to the heart of the principle of uninvolved editors being principally responsible for what appears in the encyclopedia. Coretheapple (talk) 01:50, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I probably should have been specific there. When you said: "Involved editors should not have a role in the decision making process, no matter how well-behaved they are - except when it comes to pointing out errors and bias. But no, I don't believe that a BP employee should have a voice in determining, for example, what a section header should say." On that, you don't have consensus on your side. Our behavioral guideline specifically allow "involved" editors to take part in consensus discussions on the talk page. How much weight is given to their views would certainly depend on their neutrality and what they add to the discussion. But that is true with everyone.--Amadscientist (talk) 12:12, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, fine. Thanks for clarifying that. Then what I would suggest is that your policies on consensus contain a loophole big enough to steer a battleship through. Because of the misguided notion that COI is OK if it is disclosed to editors (not to readers), consensus can be dominated by one or more people whose job it is to edit Wikipedia. As indicated by IRWolfie below, this issue extends to "people with vested interests who aren't paid" but may otherwise be conflicted. But I don't see the existence of one problematic situation as justifying another. Coretheapple (talk) 13:32, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
More like your misinterpretation of policy is the battleship trying to force its way through the precise wording of "our" policy to get your way. Didn't you just tell me not to speak for others. Try that as well. I don't think you got IRWolfie's point at all.--Amadscientist (talk) 13:45, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • We let people with vested interests but who aren't paid (often with COIN declared conflicts of interest) edit articles and skew them. I consider it a lesser problem (but still a problem) if people who are paid advocates only edit the talk page. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:54, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Anyone interested in vetting the BP and Chevron additions?

My interest here is in having the contributions of oil company employees properly vetted, not vilifying particular editors or discussing paid editing in general. The most recent article has pointed out some specific concerns with just one of the sections rewritten by BP, as well as suggesting that several sections of Chevron Corporation were replaced with no review at all. Looking at the discussions on the BP talk page, my impression is that the suggestions from Arturo at BP were not discussed in any detail. The page view stats suggest that the talk page was surprisingly quiet for such a large and controversial company (at least until the story broke in the press). Can we please stop bickering and trying to assign blame and start looking at the articles under discussion here? I know very little about this topic area or I would do it myself. Until we undertake this exercise, much of the discussion here is pointless. Is anyone here willing to organize a thorough review of the changes (comparison of before and after, validation of sources, and correction of omissions)? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

  • No, Delicious carbuncle, No one is. I'm not, and you're not, and probably no one else. After all, former editor Petrarchan47 (she's retired in disgust, a result I expect we'll be seeing more and more of in future) took five hours away from playing with her children, watching TV, practicing the flute, or whatever else she might have done with the time and vetted a small section. It's here. No disinterested editors could be bothered to even look at it (I did, and so did Silver seren and Arturo, but none of us are disinterested) and no result or change was obtained. This is even for this highly publicized incident, so you can image the cricket chirping for less famous cases.
This is very understandable and to be expected. No one is willing to take time away from enjoyable and productive activities, here or in real life, to spend time working as an unpaid drone doing the scutwork of vetting press material from Big Oil, for free, and likely to no result anyway.
If we want this to be done, it'll probably have to be with editors paid to counter BP (and similar actors). Where the money might come from I don't know. I have some ideas, but I'm not going to digress into that now. Probably the sun is beginning to set on the day of the volunteer on the internet, which is a challenge to be faced. After all, you can buy Reddit upvotes and Facebook likes and friends and Twitter followers and Yelp reviews and so on, so there's no real reason why the Wikipedia should be exempt. All this is too bad IMO but life is change and I'm hopeful that this challenge can be dealt with if the Foundation is willing to be a little forward-looking. Herostratus (talk) 18:35, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, because Wikipedia has historically really struggled to find editors who support environmental concerns, as evidence the ongoing controversy abut how skewed our content on global warming is towards the interests of our massive Big Oil contingent. Seriously though, you are right. If the people kicking up a fuss devoted the same amount of effort to reviewing the actual content, then Wikipedia would be a better place. My main concern is (as I hope I made clear) to ensure that OTRS guidance to subjects remain in step with community values. Guy (Help!) 22:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I strongly support that these articles would be reviewed and vetted by additional editors. There are issues and not necessarily due to Arturo's proposals. Therefore, not only edits proposed by Arturo but these articles as wholes starting from the lead to the last section should be reviewed. Any fresh look on these articles is more than welcome. However, it is unpleasant to read comments that editors have failed to check these edits or that we can't reasonably rely on a handful of pseudonymous volunteers. Don't know about Chevron article but based on my experience editing on the BP article, I have to disagree. If said someone failed, it would be appropriate to show what is the exact problems with current wording. Otherwise, this is disrespectful regarding editors how have invested a lot of time improving the article. But again, fresh reviewers are needed and everybody is invited to take to examine the whole article. Beagel (talk) 09:09, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Right, and we have processes for that. Having to review articles for insidious bias is absolutely normal, we do it all the time. It's much rarer to find a case where the representative of the subject has identified themselves and where we can identify every word they have proposed, and review its effect on the article. So this time it should be easier than usual to fix the article. To clarify, by "people kicking up a fuss", I refer mainly to the small band of griefers who have seized on this to give their agenda yet another airing - I don't see you as one of them and have deliberately not tried to tie external identities to Wikipedia usernames. This is really just another case of Wikipedia content as sausage: best not to watch it being made. Guy (Help!) 12:26, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Guy, thank heavens for those "small band of griefers." They may save Wikipedia from itself, though I'll admit the odds are against it. Coretheapple (talk) 16:25, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
It's unlikely. Their leaders have been banned for good reason. They may, like a stopped watch, occasionally get it right, but most of the time it's a simple case of "how can we exploit this to make Wikipedia look evil and improve our sense of self-validation". Guy (Help!) 11:23, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Are we talking about the same people? I'm not seeing anyone who has raised a fuss over this getting in trouble over it. Coretheapple (talk) 15:34, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing myself. Who are you talking about, Guy? Or is this a threat of future action? Because we don't take too kindly to that sort of thing here. Am I exploiting this to make the Wikipedia look evil and improve my sense of self-validation? Is SlimVirgin? Is Coretheapple? This is not the kind of talk that is useful for discussing the proposition "How much influence should private corporations have over how they are presented in the Wikipedia?" I resent the the implications that it's not legitimate to even discuss this question and that people who do so are subject to insults and worse. That is not the best way to improve the Wikipedia, in my opinion. Herostratus (talk) 16:19, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

I've looked through the Chevron Corporation's multiple requests for textual additions to the article on that company. I urge all editors to do the same, and in particular to read the response of one of the tiny number of independent editors who monitor that page. This editor devoted unpaid hours to examining this professional public relations person's contributions, and he said as follows:

(quote)I have spent several hours to familiarize myself with this environmental disaster. I've never worked on an article where it was acceptable for a controversial section of a corporation article to be completely rewritten as the corporate rep has done in this case. I think that it should go without saying that this is completely unacceptable for Wikipedia. I find the rewrite a brazen attempt to bias our readers to the Chevron viewpoint rather than an unbiased telling of this unfolding incident. This paid editor has gotten rid of the Independent, the BBC, Reuters, and CBS and replaced them with court documents and Forbes saying, " currently written, lacks objectivity and is factually incomplete. We seek, in the spirit improving this entry, to provide additional information and context that will benefit this page and Wiki community as a whole. My proposed edits, as always, cite third-party sources and are factual in tone and substance." Very disturbing... Gandydancer (talk) 19:00, 27 December 2012 (UTC)(end quote)

It's unfair to suggest that Wikipedia is somehow amiss because unpaid volunteers haven't taken time off from their paying jobs in order to vet and scrutinize spin attempts by full-time corporate operatives. What is amiss is that such spin attempts are allowed to dominate article talk pages, and that protests are met with the explanation that the corporate operatives are behaving in exemplary fashion because they haven't edited the article. Coretheapple (talk) 20:28, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Modified COI tag?

I think that an appropriate disclosure might help resolve this recurrent problem. I'm experimenting with an altered COI tag in my sandbox [20]. The aim would be to 1. Provide notice to readers that a person connected to the subject matter has a major, continuing role on the talk page, as opposed to a limited, error-correction appearance; 2. To more visibly solicit subject matter experts who may not be regular Wikipedia editors. Based on the discussion above, I presume that there is a shortage of persons familiar with BP who would be able to check out the BP contributions without exerting major amounts of time; 3. To discourage large corporations from dispatching their employees to edit Wikipedia articles. Coretheapple (talk) 20:05, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

No one is going to tag the article itself with this sort of thing, that suggestion is quite frankly dead on arrival. If there is a problem with the article, then fix it via normal editing and dispute resolution processes. The fact that a person from BP edited the BP article is not in itself an actual problem, and there is no need to call such a thing to the readers' attention. Tarc (talk) 20:09, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
This tag would definitely require a change in the Wikipedia perception of "conflict of interest." It is not now considered a conflict of interest for a large corporation to assign an employee or a team of employees to have a continuing, significant influence on its article through the talk page. Indeed, such contributions are actively praised by the founder of Wikipedia. I'm working from the assumption that this loophole and mindset is absurd, and needs to be addressed. Disclosure is a traditional method of dealing with conflicts of interest. If a notice to readers is "dead on arrival," then I suggest that the COI policies of Wikipedia require change to bring them in line with real-world publishing requirements. Coretheapple (talk) 20:16, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I would really appreciate it if this section could be for discussing or organizing a review of the edits made by BP and Chevron employees. There are several other places on this talk page to discuss more general issues. Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:14, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I've put this in a separate section to address your concern. Coretheapple (talk) 20:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Start an article RfC or peer review. Reviewing content for bias is supposed to be a core project activity, guys, this is not exactly the first time some promotional BS has weaselled its way into and article is it? Guy (Help!) 00:26, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
That may be necessary, but it's also necessary to disclose to readers when corporate/government representatives are involved in the editorial process. Coretheapple (talk) 01:17, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
No it is not, and in many ways it is dishonest.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:24, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
They aren't involved in the editorial process. The editorial process is what happens between statements from the subject and content in the article. It's not BP's fault that our editors were asleep at the wheel, and the issues with the article can be fixed pretty easily to the point that almost immediately (FSVO immediately) the proposed tag would be irrelevant and misleading. If we had a hatnote to say "this article might have been edited by people who failed to apply due critical judgment" then we'd have to apply it to every other article as well. This is a classic case of {{sofixit}}. Guy (Help!) 12:22, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
No. Regardless of the placement of the tag, hairsplitting is not helpful. If one proposes words, language, and placement of sources, for an article, than one is involved in editing, by any ordinary meaning of the word. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:04, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Amadscientist, if it's happening, if the subject of an article is openly participating in the editorial process, why is it dishonest to disclose that to readers? The editors know it. They know that "Joe from Acme" is a regular on the Acme talk page, has been proposing text and is a great guy who follows all the rules. Why shouldn't readers know that someone from Acme is involved in the editorial process? And please, don't fall back on "that's not the consensus." I'm talking about what makes sense, not how Wikipedia does things. Coretheapple (talk) 13:49, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
By this test every article that includes any text from any primary source controlled by the subject should be tagged COI. The problem is not that a BP employee proposed changes. The problem is that the changes were implemented uncritically. To tag the article COI when no BP employee has provably edited the article, is tantamount to witch-hunting. Guy (Help!) 18:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not a test, it's definitional; but yes, there is a differrence between someone writing a source and someone writing copy for a Wikipedia article. The first is authoring a source (which we can cite) the second is participating in the proposed editing of an article (which we, apparently, cannot cite). Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:30, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, there are clear advantages from the subject's perspective to putting its side of the story on its website. Whatever is on the website can be used as editors see fit, and attributed to the company. There is no COI pitfall there. That is the fairest alternative from the perspective of everybody, and would obviate the need to make a disclosure. What's problematic is when a company comes to Wikipedia and says "Look, this is how the article should be written." That fosters resentment and, as we have seen lately, bad publicity for all concerned. Coretheapple (talk) 22:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
If BP published suggested text on its website, and it was then adopted en masse by an editor, apart from the copyright problem it would just be sloppy and lazy. What's happened here is of a totally different order of magnitude, really like day and night, and I'm baffled that you don't see the difference. Here, a BP employee has been one of the key editors on the talk page, suggesting changes, participating in the editorial process, suggesting text that was placed in the article. Disclosure of this active, ongoing participation isn't "witch hunting" by any stretch of the imagination. Doing so would not identify any editor by name, but would indicate that the subject of the article has actively participated in the editing of the article. Current procedures only allow that information to be disclosed to editors. There is a disclosure on the BP talk page. Why are you opposed to making an appropriate disclosure to readers? Coretheapple (talk) 18:17, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
If BP had information posted on their official website, that would be perfectly fine to use to source information about BP. This is a witch hunt.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:51, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Nonsense. The difference between the two situations has been repeatedly explained. I'm not going to repeat myself further. Coretheapple (talk) 22:58, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
No, not really. Unless the wording changed we actually encouraged figures that wanted information on their BLP to post it on their official page.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:49, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes. And then we have a cite for our readers and editors. Cited to BP. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:06, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
A "totally different order of magnitude"? Get real. A company representative came along, said "I am a company representative, I would like the article to say this". That is absolutely fine. What is not fine is simply adding that content to the article without reviewing and editing it first. Guy (Help!) 11:25, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
It's so "fine" that it has caused jaws to drop everywhere except the cloistered precincts of Wikipedia internal bulletin boards like this one. Coretheapple (talk) 13:37, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
No it hasn't. A cartoon version of it, containing innuendo, vitriol and wilful misrepresentations, has done that. We have been using this mechanism to interact with article subjects for years without any prior external comment, as far as I can tell. Guy (Help!) 15:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
That's just spin. These are reputable news outlets and these articles are damaging to Wikipedia. The main reason I'd surmise this practice doesn't get more attention is that outsiders don't know that it's happening, thanks to your policies that do not disclose to readers that corporate representatives have been involved in the articles as editors. Another factor to consider is that Wikipedia has a poor reputation to begin with because of inaccuracy and hoaxes, and that the corruption of Wikipedia is not startling and may not even be news. Coretheapple (talk) 15:42, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
The Register is a reputable outlet, therefore all the bullshit Cade Metz prints, spoon-fed to him by malcontents, is provable fact? Not in this world. This is a complete non-story whipped up by the usual suspects, whose agenda has, for a very long time, been to cause shit around the issue of conflicted editing, because one or more of them have been banned for that. Guy (Help!) 15:53, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Can you link to that article? I'm not finding it.[21] All I'm seeing are pieces in Salon, which is reputable, CNet, likewise, etc. Coretheapple (talk) 13:32, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

@Guy - You said: ...They aren't involved in the editorial process. The editorial process is what happens between statements from the subject and content in the article. It's not BP's fault that our editors were asleep at the wheel, and the issues with the article can be fixed pretty easily to the point that almost immediately (FSVO immediately) the proposed tag would be irrelevant and misleading.

You have made similar statements several times. That person that you call "asleep at the wheel", that would be me. I was the only editor that vetted the Prudhoe Bay segment, the only rewrite that Arturo did that (as far as I know) later turned out to be inaccurate. None of the editors that I have worked with put it into the article, an "outside" editor who does a lot of work for corporate articles but has never worked on the BP article added it. It had not even been up for review for a full week when he decided it was ready. I've spent many, many hours on the BP article. I'm wondering, have you actually taken the time to read the talk page? If you have read the talk page and still place blame on me and my fellow editors I'd have to disagree with you, but if you are placing blame without even reading the discussion, you are being highly irresponsible. Gandydancer (talk) 02:26, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Gandydancer, I don't think that attempting assigning blame here is helpful. And at this point, even if one wanted to assign blame, how would they know where to assign it? I have called for a review of all of the sections rewritten by BP and Chevron employees. That isn't an attempt to single out the one or two editors who were involved in reviewing BP's rewrites, but having looked at those talk pages quite closely, I hope you will admit that we should have had more editors involved and that a more thorough review could only have been beneficial. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:46, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
And what should Gandy have done? Canvas editors he knew would be concerned about "the spin" that was happening? How is an ediotr suppossed to handle a situation like that...when you are basically alone against a Corporate checkbook, the company line, and determined COI proxies? Where do you go to ring the alarm bell to warn the community that WP is in danger? ```Buster Seven Talk 05:42, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand Buster. Could you elaborate?--Amadscientist (talk) 05:55, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Not now. It's 1AM. Maybe Monday. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:08, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Reply to Amadscientist:My 5:42 entry asks for advice from fellow editors so that, if I am ever in gandy's situation (at a corporate article dealing with a paid to edit editor and a cut-n-paste situation) what should I (or anyone else) do. Gandy was the only neutral editor in the vicinity. My question, to whimever, is "What should he have done". Some editors did not see a problem. Gandy did, but until Slim Virgin arrived he was a lone voice in the wilderness. So...if I'm confronted by a member of BP's (or any businesses) corporate communications team and they seem to be working with editors that are willing to foreego any lengthy vetting-type discussion before cutting-n-pasting, what should I do??? ```Buster Seven Talk 13:10, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Nothing personal, and I have deliberately refrained from naming names because it is something that almost any editor could have done. Are you saying that the biased content int he article pointed out above was not, in fact, proposed by Arturo? There are a lot of diffs to wade through, so I would be happy to own up if I made a mistake in reading it that way. It would be surreal if it turns out that the bias did not come from Arturo's suggestions. Guy (Help!) 11:29, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
@ Delicious carbuncle - You hope I would admit that we should have had more editors involved and that a more thorough review could only have been beneficial! If you have looked closely at the talk pages you must know that I had no way to know that my review would be the only one and that it was not my decision to move the draft to the article. A previous draft had been argued for days and never was accepted by the group.
In fact I was very concerned that it had not been properly vetted and when Arturo presented his next draft and SlimVirgin made her first talk page edit I immediately went to her talk page to speak with her to express my concerns. In fact, I can hardly say how relieved I was when someone finally took note of the dangers of allowing paid editors to rewrite articles because it has been a concern of mine for years. To now ask me to admit to what I've been saying all along is really frustrating. Gandydancer (talk) 11:27, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm really not looking to blame anyone for anything here and I apologize if it was a poor choice of words on my part. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:53, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Why is this discussion here? Wouldn't it be better to discuss the article at the article talk page, and the COI policy at the COI policy talk page? Poor Jimmy's "You have new messages" lightbulb is going to burn out from all the excess usage. Jehochman Talk 14:03, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
    • The WMF has the funds to pay for a replacement bulb, but not enough to buy back a lost reputation. 14:53, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Any damage to Wikipedia's reputation is down to wilful misrepresentation of the situation by those who have an apparent agenda against the project, as far as I can tell. Guy (Help!) 15:32, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm interested in any evidence you have that the coverage is inaccurate. Were it not for the articles, the public wouldn't know that Chevron was edited by an employee and that a BP employee drafted segments of the article that were incorporated, and remains a part of the talk page consensus to this day. That information emerged externally and shamefully was not disclosed to readers of those articles. Instead of resisting any such disclosure and absurdly tagging it as a "witch hunt," you should try to fix this problem. Coretheapple (talk) 13:26, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
BP staffer proposes changes on talk, the normal practice recommended for years: fact. Changes get put into article: fact. BP have been covertly manipulating content: patent nonsense. Some content was put in the article which favours the subject: fact, but also true of virtually every Wikipedia article. Still looking for anything newsworthy or demanding action here... Guy (Help!) 15:51, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Still trying to figure out how your absurdly cherry-picked version of reality amounts to a "witch hunt." Still looking for inaccuracies in the coverage. In examining the numerous media links to this controversy at Wikipedia:WikiProject Integrity, which include CBS, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and other publications, the only ones that treat this controversy the way you do are the PR industry organs listed at the bottom. Coretheapple (talk) 13:34, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

What if BP hosts en.WP-ready text on their site?

If BP hosts a page on that contains an encyclopedia-style article about BP, licensed, formatted and sourced per en.Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, and, after due scrutiny for relevance and weight, the consensus on Talk:BP is to copy and paste a section of it into BP, should we? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 16:07, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree that off-loading their suggestions from the talk page, and removing themselves from the talk page consensus, is a necessary first step. But no, copy-and-paste of corporate spin and the "official version" of articles is not the goal. Articles need to be written by, and edited by, and discussed by, independent editors, with the exception of limited interaction in clearcut cases of bias and inaccuracy. Anything beyond that, is for them to place stuff on their website that can be cited from there. But no, I don't think a BP employee should participate in a discussion of whether a section in the BP article should refer to "incidents" or "accidents," as recently took place. That should be decided by independent, non-COI editors, and any rules allowing such editorial participation should rolled back. If BP (or any company) feels that the section header is wrong, on that kind of thing it can opine on its own website. Coretheapple (talk) 20:47, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd certain rather they contributed it here directly, like anyone else, and used their web site in the normal way to promote the company, and post information about their activities from their POV. There's a difference between promotion and encyclopedia writing, and when we use material from a company web site, we know what to expect and watch out for. Of all the company articles in WP, the one I have the least concerns about at this point is the BP article, because it has been watch by some many people, including some out to see if they can find anything wrong with the editing. Every article in WP would benefit from such scrutiny. Tens of thousands are badly in need of such attention. DGG ( talk ) 17:24, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
If there are tens of thousands, or even hundreds of articles in which corporate people have been active participants, Wikipedia is even more of a shambles than I realized. Coretheapple (talk) 17:31, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
No it isn't. It's not necessary at all. It's less transparent than the current situation. If you want to institute a policy requiring article subjects not to propose changes on talk pages then that needs community debate, because it has been our recommended practice to them for years. The idea that this is "necessary" represents one end of a continuum which has, as its opposite extreme, those who would like paid editing to be allowed. There is no evidence at all that yours is a consensus view. Guy (Help!) 15:48, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Where is this policy enunciated? I noticed that WP:COI is a behaviorial guideline, which sounds weaker than a policy. (P.S. I placed another hyphen before "less" in your post above as I think it was mistakenly omitted. If I'm wrong, kindly accept my regrets and revert that.) Coretheapple (talk) 16:58, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Are we now switching to beating a stick with a dead horse?--Amadscientist (talk) 17:34, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I have a feeling that the dialogue over this general subject, and disclosure in particular, is only just beginning. Perhaps not here. I'm not clear why this discussion started here in the first place. Coretheapple (talk) 20:32, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Lack of permission for File:Paul Myners.jpg

Hi Jimmy,
this is just to remind you — since you are not replying to comments left on your Commons talk page, and I am sure that you are getting notifications e-mails about them — that we are still waiting for your comments on the lack of proper CC-BY-SA 3.0 release for File:Paul Myners.jpg that you uploaded, and which has since been deleted from Commons. I left you a message on March 13, and on March 18 you wrote that you'd be back within a week. However, we haven't heard from you since, even though you were left a couple of reminders.

Would you mind explaining at last why did you upload a file, claiming that it was released under CC-BY-SA, and leaving so many comments about how Commons (and OTRS) are broken, when it turns out that the copyright holder did not agree to it being released under a free licence in the first place? There are people waiting for a proper comment from you for almost three months (since the file was tagged as missing permission on January 14). Looking forward to hearing from you, odder (talk) 11:17, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

It is taking longer to track down the source of the confusion than I had anticipated. It's been difficult to schedule a phone call, in no small part because I'm on a family holiday this week. There's no urgency to any of this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:27, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
There may not be any urgency, but this has been going on since mid January, and all I (and probably most people) have seen are either pompous replies about you being the Founder (with capital F), evasive replies about other files being a bigger problem, threatening (and rather unacceptable) replies like "Do not delete the file until you consult with Wikimedia Legal and me about it." or non-replies like the one above. This doesn't leave a very positive impression. Fram (talk) 12:18, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
That's right. He should've created a brand new account and upload the image as "own work" and slap a public domain tag on it. Nobody would've questioned that, and the image would've likely survived a deletion request. --Conti| 12:47, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
So? Because liars and socks can get away with stuff at Commons (and here), the actions of the Founder are somehow above criticism? I don't see what logic you are applying here. Are there more urgent problems than these pictures? Probably, but that applies to both sides, the uploader and the people wanting to delete it. That doesn't mean that reactions like ""Do not delete the file until you consult with Wikimedia Legal and me about it." are in any way acceptable or justified. Fram (talk) 13:40, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
As I pointed out on Commons, even if he was wrong this time and a different procedure would have been right, it doesn't prove that the different procedure is better. Sometimes something that's usually better will fail while something that's usually bad will work. The fact that someone died by keeping their seatbelt on, and someone was saved by keeping their seatbelt off, doesn't mean that seatbelts are a bad idea. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:35, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
We aren't discussing the procedure here, we are discussing some uploads Jimbo Wales made which were not policy compliant, but where his responses, varied though they were, were unsatisfactory at best and rather alarming at worst. Fram (talk) 17:12, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
The image is currently deleted, so there's no need for urgency of any kind. At worst, this was a honest mistake. --Conti| 17:23, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually Conti, "at worst", it was a deliberate fabrication followed by grandstanding that was hoped to stifle further inquiry into the facts behind the event. An "honest mistake" would kind of be the "at best" outcome. - 2001:558:1400:10:4C57:5FC3:DF40:AE76 (talk) 17:28, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
All this really goes to show is that this copyright crap isn't as easy to keep track of as some people think. I'm sure that there are many, many volunteers who have uploaded an image after they were told that "sure, it's OK to put it on Commons" only to find out afterward that its use is restricted. Heck, I bet most people who get professional photos taken of themselves assume that it is a "work for hire" that they can reuse at will - after all, that's what it's for, only to get surprised by claims after the fact that they don't own a picture of themselves they paid to have taken. For that matter ... just imagine how many self-photos in front of dramatic landscapes must be on Commons right now, put up by tourists who "had someone hold the camera". Someday, through the miracle of automated facial recognition and contextual processing of eternally archived surveillance footage, all of those anonymous strangers will probably get junk e-mails from spammy lawyers offering to help them sue for their rights. (Not that this will be the worst surprises being doled out by the surveillance state) Copyright doesn't make sense, and when we pretend it does, it makes for unfortunate unpleasantness. Wnt (talk) 18:08, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I just made a thingy for tourists and others that they may find handy: File:Photograph of tourists permission form.png.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:46, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Attack administrator

This is very strange, the attack administrator Fram, in the thread above accusing Jimbo of having a pattern of pomposity and evasiveness, as well as making threatening, indeed alarming replies. This is exactly the same pattern Fram displays himself, as can be seen this thread above as well as in the following thread. These threads show the degree to which Fram himself makes alarming responses, such as the degree of vitriol he displays here, a personal attack where he again accuses someone of engaging in the precise behaviours he displays himself. And the two threads put together make it very clear how evasive he is in his own refusal to be held accountable for his actions.

Fram has the modus operandi of an attack dog. He seems particularly attracted to trying to pull down the high flyers on Wikipedia. He recently succeeded in harassing Richard Farnborough, in a more hard core version of the way he harasses Jimbo, succeeding to the point where Richard Farnborough has been blocked for a year. Some taste of Fram's modus operandi occurs in the thread currently at the top of this page. Fram specialises in attacking minor issues concerning high flyers and worrying at them like a pitbull until he can turn them into gaping wounds. Here he is making an exploratory foray to see if he can savage Dr. Blofeld. His savaging of Richard Farnborough has resulted in his biggest trophy so far.

There is no redress on Wikipedia for out of control admins like this. Only ArbCom desops admins, and as far as I know they have never desopped an admin for attacking content builders. Admins are desopped if their behaviour threatens the power base of other admins. Content builders generally know this, and accept that attacks from admins is just the price you pay if you want to contribute on Wikipedia. Fram can attack editors like Richard Farnborough with little restraint, and I suppose even attack the Founder, knowing that, so long as he does not threaten the power base of other administrators he will not be sanctioned. --Epipelagic (talk) 02:50, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Although fortunate to myself have never been in the firing line of Fram et al, I completely sympathize with those content builders who have been harassed by such administrators. Some time back, I wrote an essay on the power brokers of Wikipedia, but it was quickly struck down as conspiracy-theorizing by (surprise, surprise) those same power brokers, who argued that the use of "cabal" implied a large-scale coordination. They knew that I was only referring to those groups united in actions such as incessant harassment of content builders, needless argument, and the securing of their own political power, rather than anything else. Wer900talk 02:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
/yawn. --OnoremDil 02:41, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Russian Wikipedia blacklisted?

Roskomnadzor wants to blacklist Russian version of Wikipedia because of their article Курение каннабиса (Cannabis smoking).[22] The article looks (to a large extent) like an instruction manual ... I suppose that's the main reason of the threats of Russian censors. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 16:41, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't see much "instruction", merely coverage of a social topic. The article has suffered substantial reduction during the past day from [23] to [24], which at a glance appears mostly targeted at suppressing description of medical use. (Not that the first version was much to begin with) In any case I would not take their reasons at face value. Wnt (talk) 20:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps its to do with the child porn? John lilburne (talk) 21:43, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
The situation is a very particular one, so no, it has nothing to do with "child porn". The Russian authorities have contacted the Russian Wikipedians about the page on Cannabis smoking.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:28, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I guess Putin will have to nominate new ArbCom members to deal with the problems. Count Iblis (talk) 22:38, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

British libraries archiving digital content

Six British libraries are about to begin (or have begun) archiving digital content.

Wavelength (talk) 03:51, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to WikiProject Breakfast

Hello, Jimbo Wales.

You are invited to join WikiProject Breakfast, a WikiProject and resource dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of breakfast-related topics.
To join the project, just add your name to the member list. Northamerica1000(talk) 04:53, 6 April 2013 (UTC)