User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 135

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Concise wikipedia proposal

If anybody reading this hasn't commented here I really need some input on here whether you support or not.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 12:47, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Related discussions have been archived.
Wavelength (talk) 15:59, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Related activities for conciseness were noted: Beyond a separate concise website fork of WP, some other options have been noted, including:
  • Have an interwiki WikiProject to put other concise articles on Simple Wikipedia.
  • Create guidelines (or guideline sections) which prefer concise writing or displays.
  • Periodically teach the cost-benefit analysis for when conciseness should be promoted in WP activities.
  • Simply equate "conciseness" with writing proper wp:LEDE sections which are displayed by the Mobile website, or other tools, to quickly extract top paragraphs (and TOC) rather than the gargantuan Internet transfer of massive info-spam articles into handheld devices.
  • Remind people how typical readers only view Wikipedia for 5-minute visits.
  • Have automated tools generate periodic live lists of the Top 1,000 popular pages (perhaps for each major subject area), and then more people could focus on concise rewrites, page formats, or overview pages for some among each 1,000 pages.
There needs to be a focus on priorities, such as which pages need to be more concise, and when, or how much sooner than shortening the other pages/images. How many people, per 1,000, will benefit from conciseness, or will it even matter? -Wikid77 (talk) 01:39, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
See User:West.andrew.g/Popular pages
and Category:Lists of popular pages by WikiProject.
Wavelength (talk) 02:55, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
We do not need another Simple Wikipedia. Kumioko (talk) 10:41, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Simple wikipedia?? Who said anything about using simple English? Wikipedia's biggest problem as a encyclopedia is lack of readability and focus which is why I think something which strives to highlight the main points in short, concise and stylish entries is a positive thing, it would be nothing whatsoever like simple wikipedia. Have you stopped to consider that a different format would also be more mobile phone friendly for people wishing to retrieve quick facts? You could argue that the leads of every article should provide this but the reality is over 95% of articles don't have an adequate lead summary. We're failing at a basic level in terms of providing an encyclopedia consistently which can be trusted to effectively summarize the main points of each article in an easily digestible quick reference format. I've clearly wasted my time on this, proposing things on wikipedia is quite frankly useless. Its 6 months to the day that I proposed this and we've got no further than 33 supports and people saying "not another simple wikipedia." It's rather frustrating. Those are excellent points by Wiki 77 but would the foundation seriously consider them? I doubt it.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 10:55, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Its still another Wiki to pull more resources away from one project for little benefit. If we do something like concise what we should do is incorporate it into the existing project as another tab. IMO, same with simple. If there is a simple or concise version of the article then the tab appears, otherwise it doesn't. Probably as a subpage since some of the articles are pretty long it could affect loading times. Then rather than have to jump to another Wiki, the link is already here, in one place and easily accessible. I would also argue that readability and focus is the biggest problem. They are problems true, but not the biggest IMO. Too much time is spent arguing about trusted users, limiting who can help and petty internal powerstruggles. If we can eliminate some of the article ownership, allow people to help instead of tie their hands behind their backs and start fostering a collaborative envirnonment instead of all the us and them bullshit that currently goes on, a lot of the problems you mention will be mitigated. Kumioko (talk) 12:51, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Even another tab is a pointless waste of resources. The concise version of an article is its lead. There's no need to pull resources into a redundant playground. Resolute 13:39, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I do agree Resolute. I was only offering that if this happens it should happen in place and not create a whole new wiki. Kumioko (talk) 13:46, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I dunno. As a tab here, we'd have to spend the time maintaining it and watching for vandalism, etc. Put it into its own project, and it can pretty much just vanish into the dark corners of the web like other unnecessary projects such as Simple and Wikinews. Resolute 14:19, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we want to generally mess with our article structure, but I see no harm in starting a Micro: namespace where people can put summarized versions of existing articles. Obviously any effort to write simpler text begins with duplication of content (from the original long article) and will continue with it (because every way you choose to summarize an article demands a different assortment of content according to your priorities). But Wikipedia could afford a few pages for the effort, especially assuming that micro articles would be subject to higher notability standards than the mainspace (they should only exist when their target length is actually much shorter than what we would write in mainspace). Wnt (talk) 16:01, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
It could be something like Persondata. A meta template in the main article that gives a clear and shortened explaination of the topic. Again though it seems unnecessary to me. Kumioko (talk) 16:38, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I dislike having the persondata in the article - it burdens the text with stuff meant for some other purpose. I'd like to see data in a separate partition. We actually have a Wikidata project, which would seem like the logical place to keep that. Admittedly, in my one dealing with them I found it basically not worth trying to use it - they seem to have made it so difficult to set up data stores that you wouldn't want to try. But I'd be OK with having both Data: and Micro: namespaces and using a single standard template to transclude links or summaries of either if that is what is desired for a given skin setting. We get, what, 256 of the things, of which we use 16 or so? Might as well take advantage. Wnt (talk) 22:40, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, a discussion about readability has been archived.
Wavelength (talk) 16:05, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The lead of an article should be well-developed in accordance to WP:LEAD, but it shouldn't focus on statistics as a whole. Major statistics like population or GDP should be included in an appropriate infobox, the purpose of which is to give the reader quick facts about the birth of a person, a country's GDP, the number of people speaking a language, and so on. If anything, for a Concise Wikipedia, the use of infoboxes should be emphasized in addition to a well-developed lead. Albacore (talk) 16:55, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

The URL for the new concise Wikipedia: --B (talk) 20:23, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Design a conciseness plan as a "WMF initiative" to deploy

In order to get proper focus with WMF, then there needs to be a comprehensive "Conciseness Plan" which engages WMF resources, as a long-term priority of managers, developers, assistants, liaisons, etc. For example, the developers might need to create a new type of edit-screen, which is better-suited to concise writing, perhaps with "conciseness analysis" and a word-count feature to indicate how large the page is becoming during edit-preview. Another issue might be a "copy-lede" button to extract from another full-length page. By having an entire user-interface design, architected to the "Wikcropedia" mission and goals, then more attention could be focused on Concise WP, with tangible screens and gadgets to inspire "talking points" about all the related issues. It might seem ironic, or even contradictory, for a Concise WP to become an elaborate WMF initiative, but I think that is needed to apportion the adequate level of long-term support, beyond the work of a WikiProject which might fizzle out and leave future articles with no related "Concise WP" interwiki pages. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:07, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

We are a very, very small organisation; I constantly hear users (perfectly legitimately) taking issue with the level of support we provide non-English language projects, non-Wikipedia projects - basically anywhere that isn't here. I think I can say with some certainty we don't have the resourcing for this. Let's focus on making what we have work, first. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

The problem with Commons

The problem with Commons is twofold. Firstly, the central policy on content is so weakly worded that by a simple act of logic, it can be reduced to nothing at all. Secondly, the current group of Commons administrators are not interested in enforcing the spirit of the law, but only the letter, because it suits their interests.

Let's play a little game. It's called "How can I get my picture on Commons?"

First step: take a picture. It could be anything. As this is a thought experiment, let's say, perhaps, that the picture is of a naked and aroused middle-aged man with several genital piercings, masturbating with an improvised vibrator made out of an electric toothbrush, standing next to a refrigerator. (It is also poorly-framed and the man's head is cropped out of the image.) The challenge for us is, how can we guarantee that our home-made pornography will survive any attempt at deletion?

It's really quite simple.

The aim of Wikimedia Commons is to provide a media file repository:

that makes available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content to all, and that acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The expression "educational" is to be understood according to its broad meaning of "providing knowledge; instructional or informative".

To make any image "informative", simply ask the question, "What does X look like?" Replace X with the subject of any picture you have - and you're done. Your new upload answers the question, "What does a naked and aroused middle-aged man with several genital piercings, masturbating with an improvised vibrator made out of an electric toothbrush, standing next to a refrigerator look like?" Voilà - educational. It shall live on Commons ever more.

And this is why, unless something changes, the Wikimedia Foundation will remain, and remain to be known as, the provider of a free hosting service for exhibitionists and amateur porn collectors, fully independent of the Commons' original goal as an educational resource for all humanity. — Scott talk 08:08, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

And it's not fixable by the community because the people interested in images such as the one described above have a monopoly on Commons—even a dozen new and sensible contributors at Commons would be out-numbered and out-gunned. Johnuniq (talk) 11:04, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Exactly right. Cla68 (talk) 11:49, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
The irony is that the people most interested in those images are those who bitch and moan the most about them. Resolute 13:25, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
It may be that even a dozen new and sensible contributors at Commons would be out-numbered and out-gunned, but maybe not. A dozen is a lot in this situation, and I encourage people to try it anyway. That is Jimbo's current operative suggestion, I think, and the only solution that can be implemented quickly and without a major overhaul or intervention. If a dozen isn't enough maybe we can raise two dozen. It may be that we will triumph; but if not, let it at least be said that the we fought. Sign up there right now and get your shoulders to the wheel, Wikipedians! Herostratus (talk) 14:28, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
If that was going to happen it would have happened by now. There seems to be a correlation between disliking pictures of middle aged cocks and liking pointless whining and drama. Don't spoil their fun with your "let's actually do something" nonsense. Formerip (talk) 16:32, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Essay and proposal

I've written an essay which includes a proposal: User:Gigs/Tragedy_of_wikipedia_commons. I've been thinking about this for a long time. Gigs (talk) 16:01, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Any proposal that starts with "Commons must be shut down" is a waste of everyone's time. Not going to happen. You do have some valid points in your essay, though. I'll post some thoughts here in due course, but I'd encourage people to think realistically about how to approach this rather than coming up with wild fantasies (shut it down! sack all the admins!). Prioryman (talk) 19:33, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
No need to sack all the admins. About ten would do. As for shutting it down, WMF could do that with a click of the fingers without imperiling their legal protections by turning all illustrations over to the language encyclopedias. The only cost would be a bit more storage space due to duplication. Carrite (talk) 21:45, 31 May 2013 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 21:51, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say it wasn't possible. I said it wasn't going to happen, no matter how much Wikipediocracy members fantasise about it. Prioryman (talk) 23:09, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
If Commons cannot be shut down maybe the entire Wikipedia should be shut down, just asking. (talk) 01:50, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
So if a ridiculous solution cannot be enacted, an even more ridiculous one is the answer? Resolute 02:57, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
We have different opinions, and only the time will show, who was right today. (talk) 03:01, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
@Resolute: Why not? If you don't want to shut down Wikipedia, then let's shut down the entire Internet. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:22, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
It's Wikimedia Commons, not Wikipedia Commons (or Wikipedia's commons). Shutting the site down is not the answer, however. While I don't see that there would be any negative effects from Commons closing its doors, it should be clear to everyone at this point that that isn't going to happen. I'll be working on a more reasonable proposal myself. I hope to have it ready sometime next month. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 04:49, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Article's creation

Have you ever created an article since you found Wikipedia?--Grizoulas (talk) 09:21, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes. This gives an indication. Note well, though, that most of these are either redirects or article re-creations after I deleted them for some serious (sometimes legal) problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Jaron Lanier

Some of the critics here might be interested in the work of Jaron Lanier, who is just now giving a talk on BookTV (CSPAN2; [1]) in which he made a few small remarks continuing his criticism of Wikipedia, but in a broader context that makes us clearly a villain. As it happens, I feel that like so many social critics he identifies some problems correctly but gives entirely the wrong solutions, but his notion is that open source and projects like Wikipedia have contributed to a system in which the middle class is disappearing in favor of the concentration of wealth in the hands of "the people who own the biggest computers", and the way to fix this is with a system of universal micro-payments, in which anyone reading your Facebook page pays you a tiny fee, but you pay a fee likewise whenever you read. I feel that this would worsen, not improve the problem. In any case, whatever our side, Wikipedia needs to take on such criticisms of its social role. We need people to instead be bolder about proposing the end of the copyright/patent system and the lottery of wealth it creates. We need to find consistency between Wikipedia and the broader world, but I think they should follow the best of our principles (free information) not the other way around! Wnt (talk) 01:42, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Perhaps make Wikipedia more factual in tone such as Concise WP: I am thinking that creating the concise "Xxx (micro)" pages for each article "Xxx" might shift the focus back to simple, fact-based writing, with less room for the POV-pushing which has given Wikipedia a slant on issues. As readers view the combined entries of numerous small micro-pages, then the diversity of information would be likely to dispell notions of bias in Wikipedia operations. I wonder if people think Wikipedia "dictates" the acceptable truth about whatever topics, as somehow silencing the opposing voices. -Wikid77 13:04, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Nay, that wasn't Lanier's point. With the free culture movement, people do work for free, and then companies come along with huge amounts of capital and figure out a way to leverage the information thus provided to get even more capital. The question is, do we follow Lanier's advice and dive back into that rigged game, trying to extract our $0.00002 for writing a blog post while paying real dollars for the well-marketed media creations, or do we recognize that just as we have presently a very harsh, very arbitrary, very government-dependent mechanism by which people are forcibly taxed for royalties to pay to the wealthy who can control content distribution mechanisms, so we could, if we mobilized the power, simply demand higher taxes on this wealth and the redistribution of wealth to the masses in recognition for their uncredited contributions, and/or abolish the mechanisms that formally create business monopolies. When everyone is free to copy anything, to use any business model or sequence any gene without being told that is the sole privilege of whoever had the biggest business operation to get the first one done the fastest, there should be more equality than when most ways to make money are the legal property of a few. Wnt (talk) 13:55, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Lanier's suggestion of payment sounds like it would be of great benefit of those who control how that money is collected and distributed and perhaps secondly to those whose works are very widely read. I didnt see the video but I read his WP page. He forgets that the function of an encyclopedia is to remix and disseminate well-established information, not create something new.Thelmadatter (talk) 18:50, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
We have a phrase for that. And many ways of fighting back. John lilburne (talk) 20:50, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm... after we finish deciding who owns "Masai" we'll have to figure out who owns "America". Why do I have a feeling I'm not on the list? Wnt (talk) 23:36, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Well I'm pretty sure that it isn't some clothing company. Culture has been enclosed by capitalist interests, just as they enclosed the land in the 17th and 18th century. The means by which they have done this is to get tools to believe that 'freedom to copy' is anti-business. It is not. It simply destroys the value to the creator, the individuals, and places that value in the hands of corporate interests. In the digital age those are the ones that control the adnetworks, and the owners of sites with millions of pages of links to content. No individual creator can compete with that. John lilburne (talk) 06:50, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • WP articles about those business-model concepts and freedom: I am curious what articles have been written about the social controls and freedoms, as WP has page "free culture movement" as with "Drug liberalization" and "Latin American drug legalization" to inform our readers. I think one article noted early legalization efforts in Colombia showed, when partially legalized, cocaine addiction rates rose to only 5% from prior 2% but not sure medical impacts were covered. The WP "Cocaine" article had noted some medical effects, as some long-term cocaine users suffered brain deterioration similar to Alzheimer's, but not sure coverage remains long because formerly the medical articles were gutted back to popular talk about those topics, perhaps as reaction to excessive "med-speak" in texts. Anyway, I guess we could connect Internet use to redistribution of wealth, but some websites provide information, at home, that formerly required purchase of expensive printed encyclopedias, and that ties to "knowledge is power" etc. Not sure which articles cover those topics. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:32, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
I guess one related article is "Redistribution of wealth" as obvious, plus we have "Crowd sourcing" to leverage work by others. -Wikid77 19:11, 3 June, 04:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
We'd have to be careful not to pollute article space with our biases against the current patent and copyright system, though. Gigs (talk) 18:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, I think people have been mentioning major topics, so the WP articles would be reporting the views as noted in the "preponderance of wp:RS reliable sources" such as for the "Occupy Wall Street" article (1,650 pageviews/day), with text kept within wp:NPOV limits. -Wikid77 02:35, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Our coverage of OWS is terrible last I checked, with dozens of articles for local chapters that are little more than a monthly meeting in some cheap meeting space these days, and were barely notable during the peak of OWS. Gigs (talk) 20:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Criticism as "vandalism"

Does anyone find it a bit embarrassing how critical commentary on this page is removed and called "vandalism", and the user is blocked? But, if you're a "registered" malcontent, you can say things like "Jimbo, please shut up for once", and that will be accepted without consequences? - (talk) 19:16, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

It was not called "vandalism", it was called "trolling". Asking Jimbo to shut up may be "rude" and "obnoxious", but it is not "trolling". Looie496 (talk) 19:41, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Except that it was called vandalism. - (talk) 19:53, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
It was appropriate to remove the comment. You might call it trolling, you might call in vandalism, but in any event it was unhelpful and not welcome.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:09, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
So, by definition, anything found on Jimbo's talk page that is critical of Jimbo's behavior, if not expressed by a long-term user account, is "unhelpful and not welcome". That says quite a lot, I think, and it's a rather disappointing way for a grown man to handle criticism on a voluntary project that enshrines anonymity. - (talk) 23:08, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's about who you are, it's about what you said, and the tone of it in particular. And I might add that it's patently obvious that you're either an existing user or (I suspect more likely) a blocked user trying to hide their identity. Why not just express your concerns civily and constructively from your real account, assuming you're not blocked? Prioryman (talk) 23:21, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Frank Scalice

I noticed that you deleted and recreated Frank Scalice a few years ago. The deletion reason was "sourcing problem". Could you elaborate a bit to indicate what kind of sourcing problem justified such a drastic measure? Fram (talk) 12:37, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

For those just coming to this conversation, note that this is ongoing harassment by Fram continuing from a thread that I deleted in which he made insults about low quality article creations by me. This is not, therefore, an unmotivated inquiry, but trolling. If anyone wonders what kind of editor I think is most responsible for declining participation in Wikipedia, it is this: the kind who goes around digging up old stuff, with no factual basis, to insult and harass people. Fram, you should be ashamed and disappointed in yourself as a human being.
To answer the question: There was a legal complaint that the entry was plagiarized from Jay Robert Nash's Encyclopedia of World Crime. Upon investigation, we found that a number of entries related to organized crime figures either were directly plagiarized from that source or were closely paraphrased enough to suggest plagiarism. Additionally, I was informed by the author of that source that he had deliberately placed erroneous information into his encyclopedia to catch plagiarists, which to my mind destroys the credibility of the work as a legitimate source of any kind. There was a cleanup effort involving several editors, including me, and this is one of the ones that I handled. This was the right thing to do, of course.
I won't hold my breath waiting for your apology, but know that you should be making one pronto.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:08, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could have used the correct deletion rationale then, so that other editors don't have to guess what the problem is? A significant portion of your admin actions (here and on Commons) were incorrect, so it's only natural that other ones are questioned as well and not taken at face value (certainly when there is not enough information there to guess what the actual reason may have been). Perhaps this time it was justified (from what I can see from Google Books, I can detect no plagiarism though). That doesn't mean that you are above criticism or that your actions can't be questioned, even though you are the Founder. It is obvious you don't like this, but it's a situation you have brought upon yourself. I do like how your higher civility standards, which you promised for this talk page, only seem to apply when it suits you though. Nothing new, but still amusing. It's probably for the best that you don't hold your breath for that apology, it wouldn't be healthy. Just like we don't hold our breath waiting for all the things you promised to deliver the past few months. Fram (talk) 20:00, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I did use the correct deletion rationale. This action was not problematic in any way and was the part of a concerted effort to resolve a real problem. Go away now from my talk page and never come back.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:07, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I think it's interesting that he inserted incorrect information in his encyclopedia to catch plagiarists! Frankly I don't understand the logic behind that. While that would snare plagiarists, it also disseminates incorrect information. Perhaps I'm not correctly comprehending what he did. (And yes, as you point out, it certainly does destroy the value of that as a reference work.) Coretheapple (talk) 21:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:00, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
It's more common than you think - Fictitious entry --NeilN talk to me 02:30, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Did you just ban another critic from your talk page, Jimbo? Keep it up, quite a few more to go! Cla68 (talk) 23:20, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I've seen him ban a critic (whom I generally hold in high regard) who passed on a personal email to a journalist. I would shun anyone who did that to me, for disrespect, not criticism. I've just seen him ban Fram who, in my opinion, should be shunned by this entire project actually, for the reasons stated in Jimbo's first paragraph, disrespect. Respectful dealing is a minimum requirement in civilised discourse. Not deference, respect. This is a user talk page, not the stocks. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 02:14, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
"passed on a personal email to a journalist". Do you have some links to this story? Thanks. (talk) 04:13, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
It was a while back ... 12 months? Sorry, I can't be bothered looking. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:37, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Anthony, you know don't you, that emails are considered public communication and that there is no expectation of privacy? If you work in the business world, that should have been one of the first things that your organization informed you of. Anyway, shooting the messenger is an established tradition in Wikipedia and Jimbo is helping to institutionalize it in WP culture. Cla68 (talk) 22:36, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
There's no law against forwarding a private email to a journalist, but then, there's no law against most kinds of personal betrayal and insult. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 00:48, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

It's kinda complicated to me. This delete with no words from Jimbo makes things even more complicated to me. New worl (talk) 03:50, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Numerous enthusiastic people still joining

This is just a reminder that, despite years of negative people predicting "gloom and doom" and sending people to wp:ANI to be ridiculed and blocked, we still have over 6,100 new editor usernames created added each month[citation needed], in, and a broad sample of talk-page comments still shows widespread enthusiasm for the project, in many various areas. Plus of course, the activists and COI editors think Wikipedia is the "greatest website ever, man" and that inspires reactionary editors to continue working to reduce the slanting of text. Overall, there is so much positive energy, that all problems seem temporary, as long as they are judged over a multi-week period, not just fearing the worst on a bad day. It is because so many enthusiastic people are still joining. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Along these lines: I'm working on a piece of analysis that I will either float on the Signpost or as a post at Wikipediocracy taking a close look at every new article created in one single day — or the first 300 as a sample if I run out of gas, which might happen. One of the interesting phenomena of WP is the way that the count of active administrators has been declining and the count of so-called "very active editors" is no better than stagnant, yet the number of articles continues to escalate, now approaching 4.25 million on En-WP. I haven't rigorously studied the question, but my impression is that the pace of new article creation is actually increasing. Amongst my peers at WPO there is much beating of drums about the decline of the "key participation metrics" and erroneous theories about the continued growth of the content database. My sense is as follows: Wikipedia is doing fine. Good content is being produced, although not necessarily by the narrow circle of a few thousand "very active editors," but by a broader population. The bulk of the content being created is not machine scraping of public domain databases from the internet, but actual writing. The content is split fairly evenly between "serious" and "popular culture" topics. More to follow, I'm only about 125 pieces in on my target day... Carrite (talk) 01:13, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
With regard to the number of new usernames being created, "over 6,100" per month off by a factor of more than 100 - if you look here, you'll see more than 500 new useraccounts per hour. But the more important questions are (1) compared to what? [what was the rate, say, in early 2007, when the number of active editors peaked?], and (2) what percentage of new user accounts do even a single new edit? [hint: an astonishing low percentage].
As for new articles, I estimate that about 1,800 are created per day, and about 1,000 are deleted per day. So you might want to give new articles a day or two before you analyze them - otherwise they may not be there by the time you've finished. Also, the rate of increase in new articles (net new articles) is definitely slowing - take a look at the second chart at Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:28, 6 June 2013 (UTC)


  • Over 6,700 new editors per month, 6,000 new usernames per day: Beyond the 6,700 new active editors each month, the current Special:Log shows user accounts (usernames for readers) being created at the rate of 250/hour, or nearly 6,000 per day (5,920 on 5 June 2013 for Log option "type=newusers"). With all the new usernames being created, I had been worried about too many trivial new articles, but with the daily deletions, only about 800 net new articles survive per day, so there are still numerous people actively deleting many of the non-notable pages. Hence, the work needed to overcome "crowd sourcing" by editorial selection of notable topics is still being accomplished, and despite all the negative comments trying to demoralize editors to quit helping, they continue to improve Wikipedia. Imagine if more people were encouraged to join WikiProjects, and encouraged to talk with pro-active users. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:28, 6 June, 05:34, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Ooh, stats?
More stats! --Atlasowa (talk) 15:29, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for those other stats. -Wikid77 05:34, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes they are creating Useraccounts...but are they edititing, what are they editing and how many edits do they do before they had to the hills? That is the question. Also, how long do they stay? Just creating an account doesn't tell us much and it doesn't help the project if the only edit they do is to make their Userpage not be red. Or vandalism. The Checkuser tool can't even tell if these are mass socks until they are used to edit at least once sao they could just be sleepers to be used later. So although it is somewhat reassuring to know that 6100 people created an account, the better question really is what did they do with it. Kumioko (talk) 20:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The "6100" or 6,700 in April 2013 are the new editors, making 1 or more edits, but I agree that the "how many edits" data would help judge the types of activity. Unfortunately, the cumbersome way the stats have been gathered, up to April, has been a tedious 3-week process to recount all logged data, re-totalling activity from the founding of Wikipedia. There has been talk of running incremental reports, but not sure of the status. However, some issues can be deduced with the current data, such as 6,700 new editors, among 180,000 new usernames (per month), indicates 3.7% of new usernames are editing, as predicted by the "volunteer rule" where 3% of a given group will volunteer to help. -Wikid77 05:34, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
New editors on the stats chart is defined by making ten or more edits. Dragons flight (talk) 05:58, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The first link also has "Live accounts (%)" at the bottom. About 1/3 of the accounts created edited an article at least once. Whether that edit was constructive or reverted is a good question though, not answered there however. From my own gnoming experience, it's not worth bothering to log in for most article edits. A lot of people here are working to make that harder though. Ever increasing levels of protections are being added to articles. Sometimes that's maybe justified, although if a current top ANI thread is to be taken as a case study [2], in addition to the more recently famous Qworty, you can't really counteract self-promotion that way, until well after the act(s). Psychotropic sentence (talk) 21:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
It is great to see that many new editors, but I don't think the "doom and gloom" people have been shown to be wrong: just going by the number of new editors in April last year, that's a fall of approximately 6% from 2012, and April 2012 was 15% less than April 2011. We need more context, but there is still cause to be concerned about a downward trend. - Bilby (talk) 06:01, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

WP and Gibraltar

Related to the DYK discussion above, a Gibraltar-related FA article has been nominated for the front page. Cla68 (talk) 23:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Hey Jim!

Hi Jimbo, I am developing software so blind children so read Wikipedia, and I need to run some things by you. I do not have your e-mail address so I was wondering if you could telephone me on (Redacted). Thank You! --Ivilbderoneday (talk) 14:47, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

If you click the "User page" tab at the top of this page, you can then see email addresses and phone numbers for Jimbo and some of his staff. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 14:50, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
You will be happy to know that there is an ideological discussion going on at the Helpdesk, Wikipedia:Help_desk#Wikipedia, and we would like your opinion. Thank You. --Ivilbderoneday (talk) 15:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Sale — Cheap!

Begging your pardon for the intrusion during vacation time, but here's one for the in-basket when you get back... A link of an article brought to attention on the Utterly Without Redeeming Value Troll Site by a Wikipedian unfortunately banned from this page:

Tony Ahn & Co. Puts Daphne Osena-Paez on the Wikipedia Main Page

. . . “I reached a market I never thought I could,” wrote Ms. Oseña-Paez in an entry on her blog entitled My Wikipedia. “You could only imagine what kind of readership you’ll get once you appear on the Wikipedia main page. It was overwhelming.” In six hours, Daphne’s entry racked up over 17,000 views, giving her a new kind of international exposure she has never had before. Her entry was the 4th most viewed “Did You Know?” section article in the month of June, viewed more than 955 other articles that also were featured in the same section.

To date, Tony Ahn has been successful at every attempt to place a client on the Wikipedia main page. “We don’t charge extra for this, nor do we guarantee placement. I write high-quality articles that naturally lend themselves to main page placement. Getting my clients on the Wikipedia main page is just an added bonus both for me and my clients.” . . .

It is time to get serious about shutting down the abuse of DYK, which has been brewing for a long time. See you in a few weeks... Carrite (talk) 15:46, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

If it is a proper article passing GNG and worth of DYK, what's the problem with that? I know paid editing is discouraged, to use an euphemism, but as long as it just produces articles compliant with policies and guidelines, I see no problem. Perhaps it's her that should read WP:PROUD. --Cyclopiatalk 15:52, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Cyclopedia, that's a very naive and mistaken view of the world. Tony Ahn's actions are a disgrace.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:10, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I wish that for once you would not pass judgement until it's absolutely clear what all the facts are. You've done this before and it's not been helpful. If I was in your position, I'd say "let's get to the bottom of this, work out if any wrongdoing has happened and work out how to fix it", rather than metaphorically lighting burning torches and handing them out to a would-be mob. Can we approach this calmly rather than getting shouty about it from the outset? Prioryman (talk) 16:22, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Jimbo, I don't know in detail who Tony Ahn is or what he did honestly, he may be the worst enemy of WP as far as I know. I am talking about this article: Does it need to be deleted? Is the topic non-notable? Then let's bring it at AFD. Is it biased because of paid editing? Then let's discuss this on the appropriate venues to seek NPOV. Is it none of these two things? Then what are we discussing about? If this is naive, I accept it, but then please explain. --Cyclopiatalk 16:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Tony Ahn has actually been one of the most straightforward PR people writing Wikipedia content for clients. He's invited scrutiny, he hasn't hidden behind throwaway user-names, so far as I'm aware. I don't blame him personally, this is a structural problem here... The point is this: no matter what one thinks about paid writing of WP content (honest people may differ here), there needs to be a proverbial chinese wall segregating that content from DYK — absolutely incorruptible hardcore anti-PR types putting the kibosh upon attempts to use the main page to promote products, be they vacation destinations or record albums or celebrities seeking exposure to further their careers. That does not exist now and we have seen the results. Whether this happened two years ago or two days a go (per Prioryman below) is irrelevant... The fact is that Wikipedia's mainpage's multi-millions of page views per year are being turned into a commodity by the PR industry. That must stop. Carrite (talk) 16:36, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Why does it need to stop? If it leads to more well-sourced articles, I'd say it needs to be encouraged. Or does it make the encyclopedia worse? Really, what's wrong in having that article featuring in DYK? --Cyclopiatalk 16:54, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, on one level I must admit that I'm not keen to see DYK being used for overt PR purposes, but on the other hand, as others have said, if articles meet all the requirements then I can't really see a justification for excluding them. Wikipedia is non-commercial, true, but that doesn't mean to say that commercial interests shouldn't contribute to Wikipedia as long as content requirements are met. Jimbo has after all been doing a lot of work with the PR industry to make exactly that scenario possible. Prioryman (talk) 16:56, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
There needs to be both a quality review for DYK pieces (which exists now, at least nominally) and a Conflict of Interest/Promotion review, which does not. My opinion, of course... Carrite (talk) 17:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
What I do not understand is the advantage that the second review would add to DYK and to the encyclopedia. --Cyclopiatalk 17:33, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
It's not quite so simple because it involves delving into editors' motives. I don't think an article that was a blatant advertisement would get through DYK anyway because it would fail the NPOV requirements. That leaves articles which may have intentionally been written for a promotional purpose, or may simply have an unintended promotional side-effect. For instance, List of songs recorded by Dido ran not long ago. I don't think it had any promotional intent, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it prompted someone to buy some of her songs from iTunes or whatever. I'm not keen on the idea of judging the quality of DYKs on the basis of someone else's speculations about an editor's motives. It fundamentally violates the principle of assuming good faith and there is far too much danger of getting it wrong, as we've seen with the Wikipediocracy-driven harassment of anyone contributing content about Gibraltar. I would however think it a good idea if people writing articles for PR purposes would disclose that at the start of a DYK (or GA or FA) review so that extra attention can be paid to NPOV issues (which, to answer Cyclopedia's question, would be the main advantage of such a disclosure). Prioryman (talk) 17:37, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
why is everyone calling me Cyclopedia? :) --Cyclopiatalk 18:27, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
not sure, but you need to sack that PR agent of yours at once.Martinevans123 (talk) 18:56, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
at least they aren't calling you "Cyclops." Carrite (talk) 18:02, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
My question is, isn't *everything* promotional at some level? Unless DYK is to be a stream of articles about bad things and bad people, one could argue that just about any article about anything is promotional. Article about an artist who's been dead for 100 years? Driving up his work's auction prices! Article about an obscure historic building in a small American town? Promoting tourism for that community! Article about an endangered fish? Shilling for the environmental group trying to save its habitat! What would be the guidelines for a "this is too promotional/this isn't" review?
I'm interested to know because I had a perfectly-innocent hook about a wilderness area turned down because it described the place as a "peaceful" place for kayakers. If describing a wilderness area as "peaceful" is too promotional, where in heck is the line going to be drawn for anything else?
The DYK rules already require that the article be neutral - if that's not being enforced enough, the solution isn't to add another layer of bureaucratic review, it's to make sure DYK reviewers are doing serious NPOV checks of the article. I would also support a prohibition on paid-edited articles being nominated for DYK. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:16, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
"Neutral" isn't the same thing as "Non-Commercial." The line "The Sands Hotel and Casino is a luxury hotel located in Las Vegas, Nevada..." is neutral... Carrite (talk) 18:06, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, and what would be wrong with a DYK that said that? It's neutral, it's verifiable, it's relevant. It's kind of a boring hook and I'd think one could find something better, but what could one say about a commercial property that *isn't* commercial? Or are you saying that commercial things should be banned from DYK, or that we should only use negative hooks about "commercial" DYKs? What's commercial and what's not? Should we take down the DYK on Albert Swinden that's front-paged right now on the grounds that it's promoting his artworks? NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 19:58, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The weird thing is that I've lambasted about this issue more than once in regard to Square Enix software topics, which have been entitled to a Featured Ad every six months for the past seven years or so. But nobody cares about that - all they care about are DYKs that last a quarter of the time and take a tenth of the space. (They don't care about those awful feature ad-images either, pictures of phones and nobodies that have nothing for them except they're the best image of that product) Wnt (talk) 16:50, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The weirder thing is that you never reply to the replies about your inaccurate complaints. Or, at least, I've seen you complain about this twice and fail to reply twice. Third time's the charm, perhaps. BencherliteTalk 19:40, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I see nothing about inaccuracy there; I'll leave it to the audience to confirm that. I have people telling me I should have voted. Well, that's a problem - if you're not being paid, you probably have other things to do than be out there to vote every day. Wnt (talk) 03:28, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I've had a look at this, and it seems to be pretty old - it appeared on DYK on 17 June 2011, two years ago. This is stale and then some. But there's something that puzzles me about it - looking at the [3] "what links here" page, I can't see any link to a DYK review which one would normally expect. Who reviewed this and when? Prioryman (talk) 16:13, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
By the way, Tony Ahn is User:Noraft (no outing; he discloses it on his user page). He seems to be pretty up front about being a PR. I'll notify him of this discussion. Prioryman (talk) 16:24, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
A PR agency might be able do more than one kind of sleazy thing. One possibility would be to push through an article for a nobody and get paid for it. Another would be to slip in ahead of a crowd of people and claim credit for what would have happened anyway. Given that Daphne was the first Filipino UNICEF Special Advocate for Children and a "celebrity" in 2010, [4] I would find the second possibility more plausible than the first - and that one is not something we have to do anything about; that's between them and their clients. In any case, I suspect the number of clicks had something to do with her picture (as we have an unfortunate scarcity of more explicit Main Page images...) but I'm not sure how to look up the statistics on that. Because of her involvement with UNICEF I would urge people to show mercy! Wnt (talk) 16:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I would agree that the subject absolutely appears to pass the notability test, by a fair way. This disposes of the question of whether the subject is worth an article, but not whether the article itself is up to scratch. Prioryman (talk) 16:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The DYK review is here, to answer your insinuation that this was somehow an abuse of process. You might also want to see the discussion here. (talk) 16:35, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Prioryman (or at least what I think he is suggesting) that DYK editors can (or should be able to) deal with articles on the basis of existing policies--if an article doesn't pass the GNG or some other criterion, then it should be failed anyway, regardless of whether someone was being paid to edit it. The potential problem that comes up is that an editor who's being paid to put an article on DYK might of course fight back more vehemently than another editor if his/her article gets challenged. But I don't see how that's any worse or different than a Randy in Boise who fights back vehemently because he believes really hard in whatever thing he's trying to post, or for some other personal reason. Paid editors, just like nut-job editors, might have undesirable personal reasons for trying to push edits through, but in the end if they learn how to play by the rules and not let those personal reasons cause them to create content that goes against policy, it shouldn't make a difference. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:59, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
That is pretty much what I'm suggesting. If it meets GNG and all the other content guidelines then I don't really see how we can be justified in rejecting it because the contributor may have a commercial motive for writing it. Consider the following scenarios:
  • I'm a fan of Daphne Oseña-Paez and I write an article because I think she's the best person ever.
  • I'm someone who's interested in Filipino culture and I write an article on Daphne Oseña-Paez to document someone who's a celebrity there.
  • I'm a PR who writes an article on Daphne Oseña-Paez because she's my client.
  • I can't stand Daphne Oseña-Paez and I write an article because I want to tell the world about what she's doing.
Now suppose the article I write under any of those scenarios meets all the necessary GNG and DYK requirements. How do my motives invalidate the article meeting those requirements? (Thinking back to the old maxim of focusing on the content rather than the contributor.) Prioryman (talk) 17:12, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

One fairly recent front page DYK appearance was for Ingrid Chua-Go. Ahn stated on the talk page, "This article was created by me I'm Tony Ahn (talk) for the subject without monetary or other consideration...", although on the subject's blog, she has returned the favour by posting what can only be described as an ad for his services. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:44, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

  • I've worked with Tony Ahn over at the Paid Editors Noticeboard for quite some time now and he's always been open about all of his affiliations. And i've never had a problem with the articles he's submitted. In the beginning, there were a few wording issues, but he learned quickly and continually submits well-written, well-referenced articles that aren't promotional at all. SilverserenC 22:03, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
    • I think you're incredibly blase about the reputation of the project. This is completely and entirely unconvincing to me, and would be so to the general public - with good reason. This whole approach to Wikipedia is revolting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
      • Rather than throw around emotive words like "revolting", Jimbo, what exactly do you see as the problem with this and how would you change it? Prioryman (talk) 23:06, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
      • Can you please explain how? He is completely open about his affiliations, he uses the PAIDHELP board to get outside attention to proposed edits so they can be reviewed for neutrality, and he even contributes separately on his own accord to articles that he has no affiliations with. SilverserenC 23:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Just a big-picture comment, Jimmy: DYK as currently set up is a magnet for spam and paid-editing push. It needs reform both for this reason and because it often thrusts into our front window material of embarrassingly poor quality, and stubs that breach policies and guidelines, particularly those that involve verification and plagiarism. Just sayin'. Tony (talk) 10:47, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I personally think that putting in front imperfect material is a good thing, because people then rush to improve it. It puts them in the spotlight, probably more than the "Articles for improvement". I noticed the positive rush of activity on my DYK'd articles, and that's the main reason I submit stuff there. In general I feel WP is forgetting that it is mean to be a perennial work in progress, not a polished dead castle. --Cyclopiatalk 11:34, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a place of complex balances. For example, it might take 200 person-hours, heavy involvement by several editors, and scrutiny by 100 people and three layers of review (GA, FA, FA of the day) to be the featured article of the day. Or becoming a world-wide known news event to be in the news section. In that balance, I think that DYK is the easiest way to get content to the front page, and probably a bit too easy. Adding extra review for "does not serve commercial purposes" for DYK would be a good thing. Probably the same for featured picture. North8000 (talk) 11:42, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

"Does not serve commercial purposes" is far too vague. Does a list of songs recorded by Dido (recently on DYK) "serve" a commercial purpose, in that it might interest people in spending money on iTunes? Sure, but that's not its intention. It also doesn't cover articles that might have been created for noncommercial purposes, for instance on behalf of a pressure group or political campaign. What I might support would be a requirement for editors to disclose that that they have created an article on behalf of a third party, which they could have done as an employee, contractor or activist, This would need to trigger a heightened level of scrutiny (perhaps using two reviewers?) of NPOV aspects. Prioryman (talk) 11:56, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)But why would it be a good thing? It is still unfathomable what this would add, apart from creating a witch-hunt climate. --Cyclopiatalk 12:02, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
There's a legitimate concern in that content written for clients is potentially partial content - i.e. overly favourable towards the subject, playing down controversies etc. That's why a degree of extra scrutiny of NPOV would be desirable, to ensure that articles weren't being whitewashed. Prioryman (talk) 12:12, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The concern is indeed legitimate, and that's what WP:NPOV is for. If we want to have NPOV scrutiny, I agree, but this would be independent of paid editing -I suspect paid editing is a tiny minority of our NPOV problems. --Cyclopiatalk 12:14, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
My "does not serve commercial purposes" what just my crude name for some criteria to be worked out. My point is that regarding "bang for the buck for paid COI work" DYK is probably the weakest link in the whole Wikipedia and a slight tightening up there would be a good idea.North8000 (talk) 13:23, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Why is it a weak link? I am honestly perplexed. What is this obvious damage that nobody spells out? --Cyclopiatalk 13:38, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The one word is credibility. Page-views are money in terms of advertising exposure. If the mainpage is allowed to be undermined by those seeking to push content from which they gain a financial benefit, it reflects poorly upon the entire project, thereby undermining our fundamental mission of providing a free, accurate, coherent, non-commercial, neutral encyclopedia. Carrite (talk) 18:12, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Credibility comes from if and how balance is maintained in article, not on who and why writes the articles. A biased article is biased regardless of the agenda behind the bias. A biased article written by an automated algorithm wouldn't reflect less bad on our credibility. That people get a financial benefit from the WP pageviews is, in this respect, entirely irrelevant. If paid editors write NPOV-compliant articles, we both win: they win money, we win content. If the problem is that (as below) someone fears a flood of paid editors that can gang together to bias things, I think a better suggestion is 1)to mandate full disclosure 2)to let these people write in userspace and then move to mainspace only when non-paid editors have reviewed the article. Incidentally, it seems to me that's more or less what Ahn does, if I understood correctly. --Cyclopiatalk 18:50, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Why is it a weak link? Like water seeking the lowest point, or a crack, to flow through, or electricity seeking the lowest resistance, DYK makes it easy money for paid editors to get MP exposure. If you're uncharitable, you'd maybe use the analogy of a burglar looking for an open door or window. I'm making no judgement on the Daphne article, BTW. Tony knows that it's important to make client's WP articles look good, but like a good pro I've no doubt he is, he realises this is the best way (read "cost effective") to maximise hits is to first knock on the front door with an "interesting" sales pitch (blurb) – let's face it, many DYK blurbs are downright lame. -- Ohc ¡digame!¿que pasa? 01:48, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
How do you propose to create neutral criteria on what is and what is not "serving commercial purposes?" Does the article on Albert Swinden serve a commercial purpose by promoting his artworks, many of which are in private hands and worth significant amounts of money? There's a pending DYK on Jack McAuliffe (brewer), a well-cited biography of a pioneer American microbrewer. Is that unacceptable promotion of his brewery? Where does the line get drawn?
The test should be article and hook quality — Is the article adhering to WP:NPOV? Does the hook adhere to WP:NPOV? If so, it should be acceptable. If not, it should be unacceptable. That shouldn't require another layer of bureaucracy; rather, it means reviewing standards should be improved and reviews better-conducted. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:09, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

To be clear, DYK is not for sale by my agency. We do that gratis as an extra service to delight clients who have paid for us to develop an article, which is moved to mainspace by an independent editor who receives no consideration, money or otherwise. I'd like to explain our process further.

In the interest of keeping Wikipedia free of propaganda by regulating the unmitigated problem of secret paid edits that are against community standards, I'm pioneering another way. I have been clear that I am a public relations professional. I am also a community member who has been editing Wikipedia since long before I became one. My contributions include creating good & featured articles, developing Did You Know? entries, organizing backlog drives, creating a new citation template, and more. I think it is safe to say that I know the community standards and attempt to follow them. The conflict of interest guideline states:

A Wikipedia conflict of interest (COI) is an incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor. COI editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote your own interests or those of other individuals, companies, or groups. Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest.


But as a Wikipedian and a PR professional, I think there are plenty of times when there is no incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia (to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia) and my own professional aim: to produce a neutral, reliably sourced article about an occasional client of mine (98% of my time is spent on digital PR initiatives unrelated to Wikipedia). To this end, there are many times when clients request things that I cannot produce: product descriptions, leads that read like press releases or advertising copy, or simply an article on a non-notable company. In these cases I inform these clients that I can't write to their specifications, as doing so would both violate community standards and invite deletion of the work they've paid for.

So I set out to find ways to produce neutral, reliably sourced articles, even though someone is paying to write them. Scientists have developed robust ways to remove bias during experiments, and I believe methods can be employed to mitigate conflicts of interest and take advantage of a resource: competent, professional writers that can improve the encyclopedia.

In my quest to figure out how conflict of interest can be mitigated, I contacted User:Roger Davies, a member of the Arbitration Committee. I proposed that if I am engaged to write a Wikipedia article, I could write it in my sandbox, then invite a member of the Wikipedia community to independently review it. If it meets community standards, they could move it to mainspace. I also proposed creating an alternate account to separate professional edits from my personal edits. Roger circulated my proposal to the rest of the ArbCom. While ArbCom declined to comment officially one way or the other, Roger gave me his personal assessment:

What you propose doing with a "professional" account for existing articles sounds sensible. Be aware though that editing those articles from another account will almost certainly be linked sooner or later and may result in both accounts being blocked. So if you intend to also have a "personal" account you not only need to completely avoid editing articles you've commented professionally but also have a link somewhere from your "personal" account to your "professional" one. See the sockpuppet policy, especially the aspects about evading scrutiny, for further information:

— Roger Davies, Sept. 3, 2011

November 26, Saturday I had the good fortune to meet Asaf Bartov, Head of Grants and Global South Relationships for the Wikimedia Foundation, in person, when he made an official visit to Manila, supporting Wikimedia Philippines. We talked about PR firms editing Wikipedia, and he said a number of interesting things, which I'll enumerate here:

  1. "Jimmy Wales does not own Wikipedia. If he says yes to something, it is yes, but if he says no, it isn't necessarily no." This was in reference to me mentioning that Jimbo said that all PR firm edits were automatically COI and people doing it should be banned. He said I could quote him on that.
  2. I explained the system I proposed to ArbCom, where I'd create an article in my sandbox and invite another community member to move it to mainspace, and he thought that was a promising way to address the problem.
  3. He said "What you want to do is interesting, but you understand that because of the disrespectful way that PR firms have edited Wikipedia in the past, you aren't starting from zero but from negative two hundred. That said, I can see value in what you're trying to do." I agree with his assessment.

All this was discussed during a meeting of Wikimedia Philippines.

I seek to be radically transparent and subject myself to the full scrutiny and review of the community. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 19:32, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Tony, I really appreciate your willingness to discuss this. There is a wide range of opinion within the community about paid editing and I think it is helpful to have a conversation about it, rather than an argument. Can you expand on what you meant in this article entitled "How Wikipedia Allows You to Influence the Media", when you say "Make sure your Wikipedia entry provides those researching/checking up on you with the right information" (bolding mine)? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
My pleasure. What I meant is that since journalists often use Wikipedia as a starting point for research on a subject, it is preferable to present journalists with a complete, well-sourced article, rather than an unsourced stub or an article that leaves out major relevant facts. In addition, one can have at least some initial influence over how information is presented (subject to future edits, of course). For example, I had a client that owned a facility that was involved in a highly publicized spill of many tones of sediment into a river, caused by unusually heavy rainfall that caused a holding pond to breach. Nobody was hurt. There was some temporary environmental damage (fish were killed). Families that depend on the river for their livelihood were affected. The question is: when writing about it, do we call it an accident or a disaster? The media was split. Some used accident, some used disaster. I think it is clear that the latter term has a more negative connotation than the former. On Wikipedia, often whoever gets there first has a significant impact on what comes after. If I wrote the client's article and used "accident," there is a good chance that term would continue to be used, which would be favorable to my client (over "disaster") and not untrue. It certainly was an accident. Whether or not it was a disaster is relative and subjective, and there was not broad agreement about that here in the Philippines. I know someone out there is yelling "spindoctor!" right now. To that person, I say two things: 1) One has to pick a word. Every word connotes something. One could say someone was spinning the issue if they used "disaster" as well, if that person was working for a competing company. 2) One great thing about Wikipedia is that it is the free encyclopedia that anybody can edit. If the community generally agreed that "disaster" was a better term, they'd change it. And I wouldn't change it back. I might argue for why I think disaster is more appropriate on the talk page, but I would NEVER get into an edit war to push a POV. Doing so would undermine everything I have built in developing the method I currently use to place articles in Wikipedia. The difficult part of my job in that case would be going back to my client and explaining to them that the community saw fit to edit, and that's the way it is. I am very clear with my clients that I assume no responsibility for the content after it is released, and that they have very limited control over it at that point. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 04:45, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I heard an opinion during the first big discussion about paid editing on Jimbo's talk page (the one where Jimbo said that paid editing didn't exist because he saw "virtually no evidence" of it) that I really agreed with: One can never really know all the affiliations and possible COIs of editors, because many don't disclose them. Given that this is true, what you can know, 100% all of the time, is whether or not an article meets community standards. If it doesn't, you correct it. If an editor consistently violates community standards, you correct that editor. As a community, we have absolute control over our content. We do not have it over our members, which is why a lot of PR practitioners edit under the radar. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 04:45, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia Philipines

Jimbo, as you will see here, Tony Ahn is standing for election as a trustee of Wikimedia Philippines. His statement says in part "I was asked by a couple members of that Board to run". Is this another WMUK crisis waiting to happen? Is the WMF doing anything to reduce the number of marketers and self-promoters getting into positions of power in these groups? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:34, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

I think you should bring it to the attention of the WMF. And to potential voters.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:08, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, Jimbo, I sometimes forget that you don't represent the WMF here. What is the best way to bring this to their attention? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:54, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I'd ask Philippe.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:07, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that the WMF tends to take a lassez faire approach to pretty much everything, unless you (Jimmy) make a stink about it. Obviously not an ideal situation for you (or them), but that seems to be how things work more often than not.

Phillipe is certainly capable, but there's a certain level of institutional inertia that makes it hard for them to "nip things in the bud". --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 00:54, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Why would Tony serving on the board of Wikimedia Philippines be a bad thing? Could an argument not be made that having a clueful PR professional on the board be a very good thing, not only to help WM PP promote Wikipedia in the country but to act as a liaison with other Filipino PR professionals? Again, I note that Jimbo has been working with the PR industry to get them on side and improve their understanding of how to deal with Wikipedia; could this not be a logical next step? Prioryman (talk) 11:56, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it would be a "bad thing". Why? Well, if Tony can be on the board all the while doing great things for his clients, and Mr X, his competitor decides to follow Tony's successful path, (and so on), eventually we'll have all of Wikipedia run by entirely by PR people who have the time, resources, personnel, and profit motive to do exactly what Tony is doing. I think this would discourage the volunteers who have been so key and are so necessary to Wikipedia's success from continuing to participate. Rklawton (talk) 13:51, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
This is a meaningful objection -reasonable slippery slope. Thanks. --Cyclopiatalk 14:15, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
What evidence do you have that Mr.X is a paid editor? If you have none then you should apologize to that editor immediately! ;) --The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:30, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
A "clueful PR professional" would understand the impropriety of serving as a board member of a chapter before, during, or after having offered professional services designed to promote businesses or people on Wikipedia. We had a massive scandal about this with WMF UK, a scandal which significantly set back the public image and internal standing of the chapter, a scandal which resulted directly in real impact on their functioning. To demonstrate good faith, Tony should withdraw his candidacy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:54, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
You're absolutely right about that, and I hope your comment there will get the ball rolling in the right direction. If it doesn't, please don't throw it on your "whatever pile". --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 22:08, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the WMF UK scandal, but would assume it had to do with something being hidden from the members or the public. I have always been transparent about my work, and the way I arrived at my process. I think that those that believe I should be barred from running from the board of trustees are doing a disservice to the democratic process of selection we have. As others have stated, I've always been open about my work and my affiliations. I agree with Jimbo that the electorate should be aware of the nature of my work in regards to Wikipedia, so I'll have a statement to that effect added to my candidate's statement and be sure to mention it at the annual convention in 8 days time. Please note that all of the current trustees and many of the members are already aware of my work as I have spoken openly about it at events. If the members of Wikimedia Philippines see fit to elect me, then they clearly see value in what I can contribute to WMPH. I appreciate all the feedback and the discussion on both sides of the issue. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 18:52, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi - just to note that I've seen this, and am reviewing the situation. No further need for people to alert me to this discussion, and thank you.  :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 19:45, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for reassuring us! If Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation himself is reviewing the situation, we all could rest assure that integrity and common sense will prevail... Or could we? (talk) 19:59, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Philippe, has the WMF taken care of the Gibraltarpedia situation or is the WP main page DYK section still being used for PR for tourism to Gibraltar? Cla68 (talk) 22:39, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
You mean the situation where completely independent editors were involved in creating articles and WO members went after them and tried to drive them off of Wikipedia? No, it clearly hasn't been resolved, as all of you haven't been blocked yet. SilverserenC 23:35, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

A disclosure was added at 20:21, 6 June 2013. New worl (talk) 04:05, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

I would like to respond to what User:Rklawton said above. He stated that if I can be on the board, "eventually we'll have all of Wikipedia run by entirely by PR people who have the time, resources, personnel, and profit motive to do exactly what Tony is doing." I see a fallacy in reasoning here. Boards of Trustees of local Wikimedia chapters do not "run Wikipedia." They run their chapters, and exert no influence over how Wikipedia is run by the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikipedia community. I have no profit motive to run for the board. In fact, I can't think of how being on the WMPH Board of Trustees would be profitable for Tony Ahn & Co. The first board had some organizational difficulties and I assisted them with those early on (I taught a seminar on basic parliamentary procedure, for example). I was a proponent of increased professionalization of the board so they operated more like established non-profits. Because of this, and because I have experience presiding over deliberative assemblies, I was approached by two current trustees who asked me to run. In light of this issue, I'll propose the new Board adopt COI rules regarding how those who edit for profit may interact with WMPH, its trustees, and its members. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 15:50, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

You are correct in that Chapters do not run Wikipedia in any direct sense, but they have the ability to influence what happens on Wikipedia. There are two ways in which they can do this: money and public relations. Some Chapters control a very significant amount of money. By funding some projects and not others, they can influence what types of things get done. Chapters also propose some of the projects that get funded, either by the Chapter or through WMF grants. As the "official" representative of Wikimedia, each Chapter engages in paid public relations. They hold a unique advantage over anyone else in that they hold the real or perceived authority to speak for the WMF. Using that influence, they can shape the public's view of what Wikipedia is or should be. For example, if one wished to advance the idea that PR professionals writing Wikipedia articles for money is ethical and welcome, they might be well served by being a trustee in the local Chapter. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:05, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
But that's not what User:Rklawton said. He said we'll have all of Wikipedia run by entirely PR people. He's predicting that my election to the WMPH Board of Trustees is (in a sense) the beginning of encyclopedic Armageddon, because it will lead to a takeover of Wikipedia by nefarious interests. And this is dead wrong. In response to your points, funding one project or another has no bearing on Tony Ahn & Co. and helps the company in no way. If one (ONE) wished to advance the idea that PR professionals writing Wikipedia articles for money is ethical and welcome, they'd have to contend with what everyone else thought as well. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 01:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Tony, I think you may be taking some of the comments here more personally than they are intended. If you are unfamiliar with the troubles at WMUK, a very brief and rough summary is that WMUK trustees abused the name and resources of WMUK for their own personal gain by advancing a PR scheme sponsored by the government of Gibraltar and the board was negligent in not dealing with obvious conflicts of interest. I suggest you start reading here for a fuller and more nuanced account. Several former WMUK trustees and/or close associates now earn money in Wikipedia-related businesses. As you will understand, this unfortunate background reflects on your candidacy even though you had no involvement in that situation. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything personal about any of this. Everything being discussed would apply to anyone with my background and in my position. I did some research and read up on the WMUK issue. I'm going to contact User:Philippe (WMF) and ask for some guidance. If WMF or WMPH thinks I should withdraw my candidacy, then I will do so. I will note that a member of the WMPH elections committee has informed me that they are monitoring the situation, and that my candidacy is in good standing according to WMPH's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. This means that any request for me to withdraw my candidacy will likely need to come from WMF. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 04:10, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

It seems I should clarify that my comments paraphrased above were my own opinion (which I still hold)-- not Foundation policy, not Wikipedia policy. Wikipedia policy is made by the editing community (of which I am an insignificant member in a volunteer capacity), not by WMF. Ijon (talk) 17:31, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

You can RfC these, you know (although you might want to wait)

By the way, as far as I know, anyone can open an RfC on whether a particular item should be published. I opened one recently (it's here: Wikipedia talk:Did you know#RfC: Should a DYK for Wikipediocracy be published?) and as far as I know it's operative and is the controlling authority on whether that item should be published. So this might be a better approach than just talking about it here, since RfC can actually decide issues like this. (You need to watch the appropriate pages to catch them before they're published.)

Now, I'm not certain that RfC on publishing main page are operative, or that the one mentioned above is the controlling authority. This a new thing and has not been traditionally done and there's been some pushback on this, even though RfC are supposed to be allowed on most any issue. So I don't know what's going to happen regarding that RfC. It's exciting! Can't wait to find out. (As a practical matter, it might be wise to not open too many RfC on main page items until we sees how this plays out, or the RfC described below is decided.)

Anyway, to clarify this one way or the other and put it to bed, I opened an RfC to settle this once and for all: Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment#RfC on validity of RfC on main page items. Come one come all, pay your dime and have your say. Remember to be careful what you wish for, though; this tool has a double-edged blade. Herostratus (talk) 18:12, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Is 1984 on the verizon?

On 8 May I made a "teensy query" to which you replied [5] that you would welcome the reposing of the query ( (If you ever ask me this question and I give a different answer of any material kind, you may speculate freely that the situation has changed and that I'm fighting it behind the scenes somehow)) I am, indeed, reposing the question in light of the Verizon case affecting well over a hundred million people. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:22, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Can we create a WP:REDIRECT from 2013 to Nineteen Eighty-Four? Bus stop (talk) 12:35, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Same answer as before. :-) Again, I welcome the question from time to time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:52, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
In the US if Republicans are in power Democrats will despair that Orwellian times are upon us and state 1984 such as under GW Bush and the Patriot Act; Democrats are in power and Republicans say the same, and not just against President Obama, this goes back to Kennedy and even before ("8 years of John plus 8 years of Bobby plus 8 years of Teddy equals 1984" was a popular saying in the early 60's regarding that potential dynasty). I think before someone makes such comparisons they should first state how the government's policy on... anything... has personally affected their life in any possible manner. ("I cant buy a grenade launcher" is not a way it affects your life unless you got mugged because you didn't have a grenade launcher, and neither is "I cant have an abortion if my life is at risk" unless your life really was at risk and you were denied an abortion. And in both examples individual states have much more control over that than the federal govt so your beef would be more against your individual state of residency than any individual president or "big brother" federal nemesis)Camelbinky (talk) 01:53, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Google linking to https versions of pages linked to PRISM?

As discussed here some time ago, Google is now linking to https pages when they are available (they do this for all websites, not just Wikipedia). I was wondering if this is done to prevent the information stored on internet servers from being read by the NSA. Count Iblis (talk) 16:08, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

I have no way of knowing why Google does that, but protection against snooping by all manner of people is a good reason to use https in as many cases as is practical. It's worth noting, though, that as a technical matter whether a page is served via https or http would have no material impact on the accessibility (or inaccessibility) of data about what was served that may be stored on google's servers.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
With Wikipedia pages, the Google https-protocol links might be related to the mobile website,, where access to pages will force the prefix "https:" and some might have bypassed the "http" prefix when linking to the "canonical" original page names at Once Google shifts a known URL address, from http to https, then it might be very difficult to reduce links back to "http:" prefix. In attempts to rename pages, the older "https:" page name was remembered (hidden within the Google index databases) for days after being renamed to another title with "http:" prefix, and upon re-renaming back to original page names, the old (remembered) "https:" entry consumed the re-renamed http-prefix entry. -Wikid77 03:26, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Optional new-messages box

This is just an FYI. After the May 2013 uproar about the removal of the orange new-messages bar, from top of page, the wp:Notifications developers (editor-engagement dept.) have added an option to show a floating new-messages box, at page bottom, by a setting in Special:Preferences to append the "floating" box when user-talk is updated. No JavaScript is needed. As of May 2013, the optional new-messages box has appeared as follows:


     You have new messages. (view changes)


Unlike the top new-messages bar (formerly instantly visible on every page), users can only see the floating messages box when they scroll to the extreme bottom of a page; otherwise, an edit-preview page only shows the " (1) " or short " New-messages " segment at page top, and users might view the upper portion of several pages before they ever view the bottom of a page. Again, users have to know to set the Preferences option to show the "floating" messages box. That is the status so far. -Wikid77 15:41, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Which of the many tabs of the Preferences options is this particular option on? I can't see it. Prioryman (talk) 17:53, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Option "[_] Display a floating alert when I have new talk page messages" in the "Appearances" section of Special:Preferences. -Wikid77 03:26, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • That has to be the most hideous thing I've ever seen. At least the OBoD was somewhat easy on the eyes. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:24, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Oh, come now, Crisco. It's a little better WARN NSFW DO NOT CLICK than this, isn't it? - Awaken lemon (talk) 04:04, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Seriously, was that image necessary? --Jorm (WMF) (talk) 04:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
What has been seen cannot be unseen... (talk) 06:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you hover over such links before clicking. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:25, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • So, compared to the orange bar which the WMF are so doggedly determined that we shall not have, this is (a) an ugly colour, (b) not in the most convenient place, and (c) not available to the people who really need a conspicuous new-message warning, the new users. Apart from that... JohnCD (talk) 21:39, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

April 2013 edits rise after 6 years

Checking stats:

I know you prefer to reserve judgment until the 12-month moving average shows a clear increase, but there has been a curious 1% uptick in the April 2013 editor-activity levels, compared to the prior year, for the first time in 6 years. April 2007 was the last year when April's editor counts (for 3, 5, 10, 100, 250 edits) rose higher, above the April 2006 levels. Each year, I keep checking the "pulse of editor activity" to look for clear signs of average activity growing, rather than slightly slowing, and this April 2013 rise is the first sign of editor-actvity growth, compared to the recent annual decline of 2% lower activity each year. I have not seen the May-editors data, yet, to confirm if the uptick has been sustained during May 2013. However, if considered together with topic "#Wikipedia Renaissance of improvements" then this might be a period when editor activity has broadened, as well as deepened, to re-fix some prior major problems. Beyond just a core group of intense editors re-focused to fix big issues, the whole community seems to be broadening its contributions, as would be expected from a larger "shotgun effect" which would hit more targets, including more major problems to be fixed. That is much more likely, than a "Wiki-enlightenment" revelation which suddenly focused on big improvements, which would be bizarre, compared to simply: more dedicated editing means finding more problems, both small and big. -Wikid77 15:41, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

It could be influenced by a WP:AFSE bump, which tend to ramp up in activity during the end of semesters. Biosthmors (talk) 17:56, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The key metric from my perspective is the Very Active Editor count, which sits just over 3300 for April, a decline of 30 from the previous year. That's off less than 1%, basically continuing the trend of a stable count. There is nothing to either worry about or celebrate, in my opinion. Carrite (talk) 23:51, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I think that metric is more reliable. New worl (talk) 00:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
It was probably all of the feverish editing that began mid-April on List of Wikipedia controversies, thanks to a Reward Board contest from Wikipediocracy. Awaken lemon (talk) 04:01, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
And, taking this as a cue, the contest winner donated his $150 prize to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition ( ) who used the bucks to buy a refrigerator for one client coming off the streets and pay for a telephone for another. It seems like a righteous organization halfway between Food Not Bombs and the Salvation Army and the guy running the show was so overwhelmed getting $150 from the clouds that he wrote a sweet thank you note. It motivated me to kick a few bucks into the pile. All of you can, too. Carrite (talk) 05:31, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Funny how paid editing is fine when it's Wikipediocracy members who do it, but THE WORST THING EVAH when someone else does it. Hypocrisy much? Prioryman (talk) 11:49, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
If you're speaking to me rather than making rhetorical statements for effect, you clearly haven't followed my line at CREWE and on-wiki on these matters. I'm a staunch formally-legalize-and-regulate advocate... I'm 100% sure that OrangeMike and I could settle the issue for good in a Milwaukee bar in three hours and three pitchers. (By the way, did you just call me a hypocrite? That's not very nice.) Carrite (talk) 17:46, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Someone gives money to a charitable organization, another person lauds the donation to plug the charity, and you call that person a hypocrite because the money came from an editing contest. Real classy Chris.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Comparison of April editor counts each year: The following table shows the broad uptick in the April-2013 editor levels of English Wikipedia, where seven levels show a rise (green up-arrow: ^) while only 2 editor levels (25/100) show a slight decline (red down-arrow: v) for April 2013 compared to the prior April 2012:
Edits ≥ 1 3 5 10 25 100 250 1000 2500 10000
Apr 2013 114296 ^ 50415 ^ 33511 ^ 19424 ^ 9563 v 3303 v 1452 ^ 240 ^ 54 ^ 4 -
Apr 2012 110891 v 50052 v 33221 v 19355 v 9664 v 3333 v 1410 v 208 - 47 ^ 4 ^
Apr 2011 125876 v 55822 v 36420 v 20842 v 10147 v 3381 v 1432 v 208 v 40 v 2 v
Apr 2010 128903 v 57843 v 37944 v 21539 v 10602 v 3710 v 1615 v 246 v 46 ^ 3 ^
Apr 2009 130808 v 59923 v 39649 v 22871 v 11360 v 3904 v 1662 v 251 v 39 ^ 1 -
Apr 2008 144750 v 67155 v 44208 v 24921 v 12278 v 4220 v 1795 v 266 ^ 38 ^ 1
Apr 2007 157812 ^ 75641 ^ 50319 ^ 28604 ^ 13912 ^ 4772 ^ 1926 ^ 230 ^ 27 ^
Apr 2006  80040 ^ 42028 ^ 29839 ^ 18410 ^ 9668 ^ 3267 ^ 1296 ^ 138 ^ 14 ^
Apr 2005 18322 - 10893 - 8235 - 5572 - 3270 - 1266 - 531 - 70 - 7 -

Some people thought the key concern was activity at 100+ edits, dropping from 3,333 editors in April 2012 to 3,303 in 2013, but those 30 editors are only a tiny aspect of the "big picture" overall. The interesting impact is not just a few editor-level counts which showed a decrease, but rather 7 of 9 counts (78%) which increased, system-wide, all showing the green up-arrow ( ^), with 6% higher activity than typical, after 6 prior years of reductions at most of the 9 editor levels. As a broad event, 3% more users edited at least 1 article, but also 15% more users logged 2500+ article edits in April compared to April 2012, with the broad increase totalling over 60,000 more edits than April 2012. Again, this is not the 12-month moving average, which could show a significant, long-term upward trend, and this is just a one-time uptick (so far). However, because the uptick occurred system-wide, among 114,000 active editors of article pages, it might indicate a systemic growth in overall encyclopedia editor patterns. This might be the turning point. -Wikid77 15:03, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

The two highest categories are basically bot-counts, or at least highly automated. Overall that's a picture of flat counts, not growth or decline, plus or minus 1%. Interesting to see counts for other edit levels outside of 1 and 100, what's the URL or wikilink for source of the data series? Carrite (talk) 18:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
See, for table of 1/3/5/10/25/100/250 /1000/2500 edits (search that page for unique count "19355" with no comma). -Wikid77 22:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
What is the significance of April in particular? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 15:30, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Most recent month for which data exists. Ya want to track the same month over time to eliminate seasonal fluctuations from the picture. Carrite (talk) 17:58, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
The most obvious explanation for this increase in activity is the Filipacchi imbroglio, which would hardly be a mark in anyone's favor.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:14, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── ·Need to explain 10,000-15,000 more editors in April 2013: Well, we need to account for over 60,000 more edits which involve 3,405 more one-edit users than in April 2012, including 42 more users who made over 250 edits each, plus 32 more people who needed to make over 1,000 edits (each) during the month of April 2013. Were there various April clean-up drives which prompted 74 users to make over 250-1000 edits per person? In fact, because the 6-year trend had been to decrease each year (at least 6% lower), then the unexpected uptick of 10,060 more active editors, at least, also needs to be explained. Overall maybe 15,000 more editors were active in April 2013, than the downward trend would have predicted, and that requires a lot of conspiracy planning to stage. -Wikid77 22:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

You're multiple-counting, the change in total number of editors is not a sum of changes in the columns. The great majority of the total editor increase (which is very small as a percentage of total editors) — about 3,000 — made either 1 or 2 edits in the month. This might be a matter of changing "of" to "off" or "teh" to "the." The top two categories, responsible for a large number of changes, show the marks of highly automated or highly repetitious actions, changing "Category:American novelists" to "Category:American female novelists" hundreds of times, for example. A person can't get to 10,000 writing content, even 1,000 is a push. The middle levels of activity, the ones of greatest interest to us, are a little up here and a little down there. It is a continuation of a trend of steady participation that we've seen for a year or 18 months, as you are aware. No, the sky is not falling. No, Wikipedia is not growing leaps and bounds. Steady and constant, which is fine. Carrite (talk) 00:11, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, just figured it out. Column 1 (at least 1 edit) shows the actual change in total editors, which would be 3405. Of these 363 made at least 3 edits, meaning 3042 of them made either 1 or 2 edits. Something like that. In any event, the actual total editor gain is 3405 and this gain is highly skewed to a small number of edits... Carrite (talk) 00:16, 9 June 2013 (UTC)


  • Extra 10,055 editors is new 3405+6650 remaining: Emphasizing only the 3,405 new editors, beyond the April 2012 count of 110,891, is like assuming those 110,891 users were destined to remain all year, stuck in place at the 2012 levels. Instead, the trend is like a math exercise of "guess-next-number" following 95-90-85-80-75-70-? where "65" would be expected next, but "73" occurred. I estimated the projected decrease, of active editors, as 6% per year, looking at April 2007 with 157812, then April 2008 with 144750, until April 2012 with 110,891, and expecting 2013 with "104,241" as 6,650 fewer editors (110,891/157,812=70% or -6% for 5 years). Instead, the data shows an extra 6650+3405, as 10,055 editors beyond the 110,891 as 114,296 in April 2013. This count of 10,055 extra editors represents a cross-section of typical editors, across all edit-count levels, 1/3/5/10/25/100/250, etc. This is a case of the "law of large numbers" and even the 3,405 editors should be viewed as a cross-section where most made 1-2 edits, but 44% of them made 3+ edits, while 17% made 10+ edits, etc. Now those 10,055 extra editors represent a projected 6% annual decrease; however, what if the April 2011-2012 decrease were repeated as 125,876 editors drop to 110,891 active, as 14,985 fewer editors? Then, the drop is closer to "15,000" extra editors who did not leave between 2012-2013, but did leave after April 2011. That is why I noted to "explain 10,000-15,000 extra editors" who would be a cross-section of users making a range of edits: 1/3/5/10/25/100/250, etc. In analyzing the editor-activity counts, it is necessary to "read between the numbers" and think about the impact of those estimated "10,055" editors who did not leave after April 2012. That is why this uptick is so significant: something big is out there. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:08, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
You're seeing something that I'm not, clearly. I think we can agree on this: the big trend of attrition from 2006 levels has been stayed. The levels of actual editors doing more than one-odd correction are stable. Creation of new articles remains steady. Carrite (talk) 18:09, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Probably increasing not stable: In such large populations, of 110,891 active editors in April 2012, the likelihood of "stable" activity is rare, where instead, the levels should rise and fall as up/down fluctuations. So, for the expected 6% decrease in April's active editors to be countered by a 9% uptick (10,055/110,891~=9%), then I would conclude there has been a huge (+9%) increase from prior editor activity, compared to the same month last year. That is why I noted "April 2013 edits rise after 6 years" but if people could explain that as an April-only 10,000-editor enrollment drive, or such, then perhaps the levels would drop back in editor-activity data for May 2013. -Wikid77 21:14, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Unhelpful threats given for expanding Minorities in Pakistan

I am being threatened with a topic ban for expanding the article about Minorities in Pakistan (from [6] to [7] in fairly short time) in collaboration with another editor (blocked now). Because of the shortage of time that article is written in strident tone and I am expecting help from more experienced editors in bringing that article closer to neutrality. I mostly used news reports (most of which are reliable for the claims) I didn't misrepresent anything wilfully, but still I am being threatened, vilified on a regular basis, not only that, every guy who is supporting me is being vituperated and vilified by random IPs, socks and sometimes veteran editors with known POV issues. I usually edit articles that are controversial that increases my chances of garnering hatred.

Kindly see my talk. and my history for more. It might seem that I am hypocritical at one glance but if you look closely a different image might emerge. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 11:19, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Attack posting by ban-evading sock removed. – Fut.Perf. 11:53, 7 June 2013 (UTC) original comment
I am an Indian????? Haha.. Do you have a proof? How is my nationality, ethnicity relevant anyway? Is that the reason you attack me, you think I am an Indian and I have an agenda? That shows how civil and neutral you are. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 11:49, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Editor Future Perfect at Sunrise comes out of nowhere reverts[9] everything simply with an arbitrary accusation that I "turned an article into a tendentious POV screed in furtherance of a political agenda."[10] and he gets to be high and mighty. What the heck is going on? Is this anarchy now? Or a mob rule? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 11:42, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Oh and the diktats read,

  1. "emergency brake: blanket rv back to 9 May, before Mrt started messing the article up. If you want to re-expand coverage of human rights issues, rewrite that from scratch" [11]
  2. "if anybody seriously wants to clean up the article and make it neutral, this is the version to start out from. Editors who reinsert obviously non-neutral material will be blocked without further warning."[12]

Is there nobody who could take this up? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 11:46, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

  • I agree with his last edit per WP:TNT. If you'd like to improve the article, you better start at the most suitable version, which is his one. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 11:56, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree as well. Sometimes there has been so much damage done to an article you need to go back to an earlier, salvageable version. Make small, sourced changes from this point forward and ensure that there is appropriate WP:CONSENSUS for the edits as you go forward (✉→BWilkins←✎) 12:01, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
This is the problem with Wikipedia. People just somehow "agree" in the end no matter how disruptive it may be. Imagine if we went on imposing our own preferred versions devoid of all the relevant info, on every controversial article? What is this?
(edit conflict)You agree, Soni?? That is fine, but it's inherently a matter of opinion. I would have thought bullishly reverting 57,399 bytes of sourced information after weeks of its inclusion without even an attempt to rectify the issues or any discussion about the possibilities of improvement with the user who added them, is disruptive and an utterly unhealthy approach.
On top of that, add his explicit threats and allegations against me on my talk. I am not pushing a political agenda here I added what was reported and there might be some holes here and there. But framing that as grounds for block and removal of everything is unacceptable. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Bwilkins, do you wait for consensus before everything you do? I couldn't imagine that these sort of blanket reversals can occur in this manner. I couldn't imagine that admins will bully an editor like that.
I added scores of sources (news mostly) and I know I didn't wilfully distort anything why would I want to establish a consensus before adding what I think is relevant and legitimate info? This is disgusting!!! Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:12, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not silly enough to to massive, rapid, potentially controversial changes to any article. Article changes need to be close to glacial, as opposed to rapid-fire. You've got a positive opportunity to move forward slowly from a tabula rasa as opposed to automatically assuming bad faith. This kind of reversion happens often - it's not directed at you specifically (note: I am NOT calling anyone silly, I'm saying that I am not silly) (✉→BWilkins←✎) 12:17, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Mrt, Bwilkins happens to be atleast the fourth editor who disagrees with you. If that is the case, I suggest you drop the stick, and move on. Start at the suggested version, would you. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 12:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@BW that's your reason you're not silly enough? Are you joking with me? I will move forward at my own pace, but what about this trend of admins bullying editors who disagree with them? I am worried for Wikipedia as a whole.
@Soni, none of the reasons cited for disagreement is framed in a way that relates to any policy I know about. It is not a majority rule. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The reason for my disagreement is WP:NPOV. The best way I see to solve this is WP:TNT. NPOV is a majority rule, and what's previous there is not neutral. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 12:28, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
By "NPOV" you mean nitpicking about the minutiae of phraseology? Is that it? Minor tweaks here and there would have sufficed. That didn't merit a blanket reversal. And asking me start from scratch as if that is a motivator now after I have been arbitrarily reverted, who can guarantee that it won't happen again on this page or any other page???

Mr. Wales are you watching this? If an IP had done it, the it would be classified as vandalism but our editors are actually justifying it. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:34, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Read this essay and think about it, Mr. Wales.
Save our cherished Project. It has the power to be the greatest gift or the worst curse on the future of Mankind (I don't think I am exaggerating), which one would you choose, Sir? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:39, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Small observation: If Minorities in Pakistan is labelled as controversial then I believe everything is. There is no controversy about Minorities of Pakistan. There is a strong consensus among sources (at least those which I encountered) that they are suffering from every aspect, from terrorism to draconian laws. It's not me who's saying this, but the sources. How is it biased to put this info into article? Why should we sugar-coat the predicaments of Minorities in Pakistan and pussyfoot around it? Why? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:52, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The whole foundation relies heavily on the moral-basis for the edits we commit, that's why we emphasize on Assuming Good faith, that's why we take care before adding unsourced material about BLP and so on. But if these sort of bullish behaviour is allowed to go on (which is already the case) it sets bad precedence, and now none of the other articles are safe. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 12:46, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Reverting to a older version is one thing and threatening to block someone because they tried to expand an article is a different matter, was there any discussion regarding the content? I don't see any, editors should not be bullied.-sarvajna (talk) 12:54, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
You'll be threatened too, Sarvajna. You need not have come here but I appreciate your support. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 13:01, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Is that the "lesson" then? When you get bullied by admins, you should just meekly drop it and saunter on? Is that the lesson here, Mr. Wales? All that energy and time I spent to expand the article, to scour for reliable sources. All that was put to waste without even the minimum assurance that it won't happen again, and I am just supposed to accept it? Other editors are actually justifying what would have been classified as vandalism had it been done by a newbie or an IP.
He actually threatened to ban/block me if I didn't shut up. Is there no uninvolved editor who sees disruption in this approach? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 15:31, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any bullying by an admin. I see an editor (who happens to be an admin) forced to revert to an older version of an article due to horrendous edits. I see said editor suggesting that at least 1 or 2 people should be topic-banned due to said horrendously non-NPOV edits that were offensive to say the least. I see warnings. I see no "bullying". (✉→BWilkins←✎) 18:23, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Small, humble proposal: Let's cease the embellishment of our remarks with subjective qualifiers, like "horrendously", "massive", "rapid". That's entirely unnecessary and seems hyperbolic. I don't think that my edits were "rapid", "horrendous", etc, so to speak, what was unhelpful is the imperious reduction of a series of well-meaning contributions down to near zero state, that too in association with arbitrary threats of topic-ban, block, basing on a sheer autocratic appraisal of the info. Thanks, Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:38, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
What Future Perfect has done is to take a 4,000+ word article with 115 citations to reliable sources like BBC News, The New York Times, and The Sydney Morning Herald and reduced the article to 400 words and three sources. This is an appalling action and is disruptive to the progress of the encyclopedia. Future Perfect's position as expressed in his/her edit summary: "if anybody seriously wants to clean up the article and make it neutral, this is the version to start out from" is unreasonable and unnecessarily authoritative as well as intimidating. They should consider a more reasonable approach to making improvements to this article. Furthermore, I think this issue needs to be brought to an appropriate dispute resolution forum such as WP:DR rather than Jimbo's talk page which is for general discussions on WP issues not content disputes. Please notify me if it is opened somewhere else as I'd like to contribute to the discussion. Thank you.-- KeithbobTalk 19:00, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with you User_ talk:Keithbob. I think it is unacceptable for a sysop. New worl (talk) 00:31, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Mr. Bwilkins says, "I don't see any bullying by an admin." Is this intentional connivance? Why is Bwilkins deliberately condoning this sort of abuse of Admin privileges? I think he missed the part where I put the edit summaries the latest of which included, "Editors who reinsert obviously non-neutral material will be blocked without further warning"[13] along with the fact that, despite my repeated requests for clarification on my talk as well as Fut.perf's talk[14], there was no specific explanation anywhere as to what that "obviously non-neutral material" might be and why that needs a blanket reversal/deletion and not further edits.(cf. WP:PRESERVE) Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 06:47, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
"horrendously non-NPOV edits that were offensive" - offensive? If you're offended by the claims corroborated by multiple news media outlets then I don't know what to say. The "reality of it" is indeed horrendous (I have not concocted anything), the image that the reliable sources paint about the plight of Minorities of Pakistan is indeed horrifying, and that is all the more reason to include them ASAP as opposed to reduce exposure. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 08:35, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

I think it is proper to bring to Jimbo's notice. It is fundamental to Wikipedia that admins should not use admin powers to edit article content. Future Perfect at Sunrise is an admin who is now using threats of using admin powers to change article content. This should be known to Jimbo IMO. Future Perfect at Sunrise should have edited the article if they had NPOV or any other concerns. I can agree that the article is/was not perfect and always believe that there is room for improvement in any article. Future Perfect at Sunrise seems to believe that we should be giving equal validity to both sides of the coin. Not so. I have read hundreds of articles on the subject and my impression is that works like this [15][16] are typical for the subject and the article was only depicting what the sources reflect. Future Perfect at Sunrise does not seem to know where the weight of sources is pointing and does not seem to understand that "equal validity" is not neutrality. As I said, I agree that the article could be improved from the pre-mass-revert version, and I welcome Future Perfect at Sunrise to edit the article as an ed, but an admin using admin powers to change article content is a revolting proposition. I would appreciate some guidance from Jimbo. Thanks.OrangesRyellow (talk) 09:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, kindly give us some indication of where you stand on this issue. On what basis can I start re-expanding the article or any article for that matter? Who can say that this sort of blanket reversal won't happen again, what about the much touted "trust" we bestow upon the mechanism of Wikipedia? Despite my repeated requests on my talk as well as Fut.perf's talk[17], there was no specific explanation anywhere as to what that "obviously non-neutral material" might be and why that deserves a blanket reversal/deletion as opposed to further edits.
Should your silence be taken as a sign that you don't care? Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:01, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

I told you some of the issues with that article on the talk page, but rather than discuss those you instead went on about Anti-Muslim pogroms in India. Darkness Shines (talk) 07:06, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I see an alarming trend on WP whereby veteran editors cite policies like FRINGE or NPOV and then use it as a justification for the deletion of large amounts of reliably sourced content. If content is problematic then one should work in collaboration with other editors on the talk page or via a noticeboard or a WP project to clean up the article. If sources have been misrepresented then the text should be amended so that the text properly summarizes the sources. The wholesale deletion of sourced content without discussion is a disruptive and non-productive practice on WP in my opinion and can be a form of POV pushing in and of itself. -- KeithbobTalk 17:37, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Wales

This is a very legitimate question, and I hope you can take the time to answer. What is your opinion on "swag" and "yolo" in today's youth? thanks. (talk) 06:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)Pling2

I have no opinion about this topic.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:49, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
You only live once, and life is too short to waste it on swag. Looie496 (talk) 14:07, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe the IP was referring to YOLO Swag (talk · contribs), who has a rather quick flame-out in the last Arbcom election. Tarc (talk) 15:09, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I doubt it. Both these words are overused cliches used by the youth and mean what Looie said. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 16:20, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

An Open Letter to Jimmy Wales

Dear Mr. Wales,

I'm going to take this opportunity to respond directly to you regarding your views on public relations professionals editing Wikipedia.

While in a perfect world, one may be able to wave a magic wand that prevents all public relations and marketing professionals from editing this encyclopedia, the reality is that under Wikipedia's current format, one cannot. That leaves two functional options: ban PR/marketing professionals from editing (such ban being easy to evade by simply not declaring affiliations), or set guidelines to allow them to do in a way that the community can oversee their efforts. While a ban may make it easy to discover those PR/marketing professionals who write bad articles, it will also make those who write good articles and carefully manage their edit histories (so as to remain undetected) more valuable to brands and individuals who want to hire a Wikipedia editor. Experienced editors who were Wikipedians first and began editing for agencies/brands later are the best candidates to successfully evade detection, and these are the kinds of people that agencies like to hire.

Providing a mechanism for PR/marketing professionals to make edits that are supervised by the community means greater transparency and awareness of what we are doing on Wikipedia. This is the way that I have pioneered, as my articles are written in a sandbox and moved to mainspace by editors who have no affiliation with my agency, Tony Ahn & Co.

Regarding DYK, the current format allows almost every article that meets the DYK nomination criteria to appear on the main page. Attempting to ban PR/marketing professionals from nominating articles that qualify for DYK will be even more difficult than preventing them from making edits. I'm not sure what the functional solution is here, but until the community comes up with one that works in practice as well as theory, things will continue the way they are now. If the community definitively prohibits PR and marketing practitioners from using DYK, then I will stop nominating. However, the PR and marketing people who work under the radar will not.

If you outlaw PR editing, only outlaws will PR edit. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 03:28, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Completely right on at the start, but there needs to be a mechanism to stop promotionally-intended articles from being spammed to the main page. Independent oversight with teeth, beyond just saying "this subject is notable and this hook is interesting enough." I repeat that Tony is not the problem, the problem is structural. Carrite (talk) 18:15, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
We're perhaps looking at a DYK restructuring, maybe? TheOriginalSoni (talk) 18:37, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I support the community in whatever it deems best, and I'm happy to consult to help you achieve your goals. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 19:42, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to say I completely disagree and is not based on facts.The overwhelming majority of those doing promotional or COI edits whether they are PR/marketing professionals,freelancers like Elance ,companies and others editing are largely single-purpose account come directly edit merely pages for which they have been paid or there own company,organization page and leave they will not go beyond it.They are not interested in Wikipedia and it is very less likely that will become Wikipedians.This includes August institutions like the American Institute of Physics asked there librarian to add external links of interviews done by there institution and promote there resource here like in Facebook and Twitter . This led to an unfortunate dispute between RC Patrollers who warned the editor as it appeared like spamming to them and few other editors .If they are here to improve articles ,donate pictures,materials it is welcomed by all but mere mass linking was objected by some editors and supported by some as it was from an August organization. I had asked Senior editor Ocassi what was benefit of allowing PR advocates or in simple terms what was the benefit of paid/Coi editing to Wikipedia.I was told that There is an $81,000 study about paid editing currently being funded by Wikimedia Deutschland and another editor was tracking freelance editors through his conclusions were not known. I have to confess I could not continue the conversation with him due to a personal reasons.
PR/marketing professionals like the Editor above amongst are handful of those who come through WP:Cooperation and not SPA less than 100 compared to the Millions who are volunteers .Now that it has been raised can it be clarified what is the benefit to the project of allowing PR/marketing professionals to openly edit Wikipedia particularly given the negative press for high profile cases.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 23:52, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I think that was answered in my letter to Mr. Wales. The benefit is that you can oversee and regulate them. But further than that, we are providing both education and guidance to the brands that come to us. I turned a brand down just an hour ago, because they want me to insert a link to an article on their website. I explained WP:RS and why their corporate website is not a reliable source. A PR agency editing in the open will be less likely to cut corners, trample rules, or cause problems that require volunteer time to fix. If one is underground, there's less incentive not to. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 02:27, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
We tend to lump all paid editors together, and discuss the issue as "paid editors are good/bad". The problem is that it isn't that simple. There's a difference between, for example, freelance paid editors who only edit to make short-term profits without an ongoing relationship to their clients; paid editors who are professional marketing agencies who have a vested interest in ensuring that there is no negative impact on their clients; internal employees who claim no particular WP expertise but are required to do so by their employer; experienced editors doing a bit of paid editing on the side; and people paid to improve Wikipedia's coverage of an issue. When Tony talks of overseeing people, you can, at best, only oversee those willing to be overseen - and at best that will be the paid marketing professionals who understand the rules enough to want to be seen to do things above board. Many of the others will always cause problems, and will always want to be underground, as they can achieve more by using socks and editing on the edge of policy. - Bilby (talk) 07:19, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 13:12, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Call it keeping the ship afloat by plugging the leaks (unbalanced paid editing). It will be an ongoing and long-term job. So why allow the gushing split in the hull (DYK) to remain unreconstructed? DYK is a quick and dirty way of getting usually poor material onto the main page. It is an anachronism that should be redesigned promptly to reduce its attraction as an easy ride to millions of hits. It is an invitation to commercial spruikers to stretch the boundaries of our COI policies. Tony (talk) 12:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, to be fair, we're not talking about millions of hits. My best effort got about 17,000. I'm all for a redesign if it improves the quality of the material being presented. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 13:12, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't confuse "hits" with "views." That's 17,000 click-throughs, magnitudes more read the hook and were exposed to the subject. Carrite (talk) 13:55, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Tony, you seem to be downplaying the value of those 17,000 hits here. On your own website you say "In six hours, Daphne’s entry racked up over 17,000 views, giving her a new kind of international exposure she has never had before. Her entry was the 4th most viewed “Did You Know?” section article in the month of June, viewed more than 955 other articles that also were featured in the same section". And in a blog post on the subject's site, she says (although I suspect you actually wrote): "I reached a market I never thought I could. You could only imagine what kind of readership you’ll get once you appear on Wikipedia’s main page. It was overwhelming". Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:03, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • You are implying that I'm saying 17,000 isn't beneficial. It was very beneficial. What I'm actually doing is disagreeing with User:Tony1, who said DYK was "an easy ride to millions of hits." I'm just keeping the discussion factual and not let exaggerations run wild. I find it troubling that when someone ascribes a wildly inflated number to me, and I correct it with a factual number, I'm labeled as "downplaying." I think your bias is clear. And your suspicions about who wrote it are wrong. Have you seen other entries on her blog? She's been keeping one for a long time. Nobody writes for her. But thank you for making a baseless and unprovable insinuation. That's classy. For the record, when you do good work for clients, especially when you do it for free, some want to do something to repay the favor (especially in the Philippines, where networks and friendships are valued differently than the USA). Sometimes that means they refer new business to you. Other times it means they thank you on their website, or twitter, or elsewhere. But when that happens, it isn't requested, nor scripted. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 22:15, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Tony, this is a discussion, not a WP article - I don't have a "bias", I have a point of view. I didn't "insinuate" anything - I just said that I thought you were downplaying the value of 17,000 hits. Your own words suggest that those hits are quite valuable to you and your clients. But as someone else already pointed out, that 17,000 refers to the number of people who actually viewed that DYK article. Tony1's comment about millions of hits likely refers to the number of people who view the main page of WP on any given day and therefore might see one of your DYK items. As for the authorship of that blog post (and this one which is very similar) if you say you didn't write them, that's fine, I guess my impression was wrong. No need to get defensive. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:55, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The word bias exists outside of Wikipedia. Bias n. Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. MY point of view is that you do have a bias, as defined here. Insinuate v. Suggest or hint something negative in an indirect or unpleasant way. By saying you suspected that I wrote Daphne's blog post, you were suggesting something negative, in an indirect way. Be aware that when you do that with me, you're not casting aspersions on an anonymous username. You're casting aspersions on an identified person and his business reputation. I can think of no better reason to get defensive, since I'm defending something real. If we stick to the issues of DYK and paid editing in a more abstract sense, then you get my opinions and whatever help I can provide. If I perceive that you attack me, especially impugning my reputation for honesty and transparency, then I defend me. If User:Tony1 used hits when he meant views, then that was his error. But I had to clear it up for everyone who might not draw a distinction. What we know is that they day it went on the main page, the main page got 146,508,659 views. It was up for a quarter of the day (6 hours), which makes it safe to say that the DYK hook and her thumbnail was seen by millions of people. The link to her article got just over 17,000 clicks. The client was very happy about the exposure. No exaggeration, no downplaying. That's what happened. Now I suggest we get back to discussing the relevant issues if there is anything left to be discussed. Personally, I think all parties know where each other stands on the paid editing question, although there is no resolution in sight. The DYK issue now needs some sort of suggested revision or overhaul if the community wants introduce more objectivity into the selection process, a move I wholeheartedly support. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 00:36, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Tony, after reading that blog post I formed the impression that you had written it (and the very similar one to which I linked). If that impression was wrong -- and you say it was -- then I stand corrected, but I was not trying to cast aspersions on you. It seemed to be a reasonable conclusion to me and I'm not sure why you think it is in any way negative. If you had written them, what would be wrong with that? I hesitate to point out that you are making a false distinction between "views" and "hits" - one could just as easily say there were "millions of hits on the main page" as "millions of views of the main page". What you are actually differentiating is how many people clicked the link to see the article that you had written for your client (17,000 hits or views) versus the number of people who may have seen the DYK on the main page. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:51, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the correction. I don't know why it would be a reasonable conclusion that I was ghostwriting for my clients on their blogs, lauding my own performance, without any disclosure, but okay. I find it negative because at best such a practice is opaque, at worst it borders on dishonest. Regarding the hits/views issue, "hits" are not physically confined to parts of a page. A hit means the page was loaded/visited. Not everybody who registers a main page "hit" actually views DYK. That's the distinction. More specifically, User:Tony1 said "[DYK] is an anachronism that should be redesigned promptly to reduce its attraction as an easy ride to millions of hits." How a section of a page can be a gateway to hits on that same page (the main page) is beyond me. I think he meant views, which would be accurate (a "view" meaning that on a heat map it would register that a visitor glanced at DYK). It was important to me to make the distinction to keep the uninformed from thinking that my clients' articles are accessed "millions" of times. Journalists who are not Wikipedia editors/experts are following this discussion and I am writing with that in mind. Last thing I need is for a news article to come out saying that I get my clients millions of hits by putting them on the main page. I think that my point has been made and that everyone reading understands the metrics and what they mean. I'm Tony Ahn (talk) 08:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I`m from Twitter

Hello. Jimmy Wales. I`m Altostratus (or leedors). I meet you at South korea, Seoul, restaurant Eoll (얼) May 28th, 2012. Nice met to you. So, My asking to you is criteria of consensus what Jimmy Wales`s thinking. See Also Here section no.7

If there is one proposal guildline, although that is proposal, (Korean) wikipedia community are very often quote that guildline and quoting behavior also never negative from community and generally positive. In this case, this proposal guildline recognized Concensus? Without extra discussion about raise to guildline. I saying that proposal guildline is Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Altostratus (talkcontribs) 21:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Difficult to follow Korean discussions: The translations of Korean text processed by Google Translate are still nearly unintelligible, and while "User:Altostratus" does appear as "Leedors" in the text, many other phrases are scrambled, and a main issue is translated as "criteria of a gun" where the word "gun" in English typically refers to a device, such as a "shotgun" or "handgun" or even a "nailgun" when talking about roofing or construction. I suggest that policy changes in the Korean Wikipedia will need to rely on internal ideas about the guidelines, as most English-speaking people will be unable to offer suggestions due to limits in the language-translation abilities. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:57, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you

Jimbo, thank you for your stewardship and guidance of the great project we call Wikipedia. While sometimes controversial, I think your vision and steadying hand are ultimately appreciated by the majority of the community. I believe everyone deserves a thank-you for the good things they do, so here's yours. Powers T 01:00, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Status of edit-conflict problems

After months of analysis, I see the focus about the numerous edit-conflict problems has concentrated into several Bugzilla bug reports about various problems logged on 6 March 2013, plus earlier bugs such as Bugzilla: 4547. I have joined Bugzilla to help re-focus the discussions, which months ago had been sounding like "Plato and Socrates" discussing whether Honor is more important than Justice on Tuesday (or perhaps Verifiability versus Truth on Monday!), and the <<<eyes glaze over>>>. For example, some think 2 editors should be prevented from both prepending a message-box at the top of an article, because...? Hence, all the edit-conflict bugs need to be considered together, within Bugzilla as a set, and then pinpoint the changes which will resolve them as a set, rather than mulling over what-will-effect-what and just wondering. Technically, I think every edit-save must do a database page-level read-lock (as a test-and-set operation), then update, and finally unlock the page, to allow the next edit-save to read/update the latest revision, but perhaps the read-lock could be triggered only for large pages, rather than small talk-pages or stub articles. Many of the current edit-conflicts seem to have treated different revisions as being the latest revision to update (hence, a "one-second" read-lock is needed). More later. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:26, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Expanding the MediaWiki diff/merge utility diff3: As I feared, the typical MediaWiki processing of edit-conflicts seems to be handled by the famous UNIX-style (GNU) utility "diff3" which runs diff or text merge of 3 files (3 revisions) together (accessed as $wgDiff3 = "/usr/bin/diff3"), and so the developers would be reluctant to go beyond, as if programmers had embedded a complex tool as, "There are update conflicts in the table processed as an Excel spreadsheet". Fortunately, with diff3 being GNU-sourced software, we can write our own extension as a more sophisticated variation of diff3, and I am expecting some computer scientists have already discussed some new algorithms, or we will develop our own to reduce the edit-conflict sections where diff3 currently craters. However, I am already seeing 2 different conflict-resolution paths: when 2 sentences are added at the same line, they should append as FIFO order ("first-in, first-out"), but if one user inserts a new "==Header==" section, then the order should reverse as LIFO ("last-in, first-out"). Hence, if a user quickly inserts a new thread "==Thread==" in a section, then the 2nd user's addition would go before that new thread (LIFO order) rather than after it as would have been the case for 2 sentences added at the same line. The decision for how to resolve an edit-conflict is then not a "context-free" rule, but rather changes direction depending on what is contained in the added text. If that solution becomes too complex, for adjusting the relative line numbers, then all same-line additions could be auto-stacked upward as LIFO order, to ensure a 2nd reply does not auto-append into a newly-added sub-thread or section. At least, we are seeing direct solutions to the conflict problems, in more detail. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:10, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Renaissance of improvements

I think we always suspected, some day, there would be a WP Renaissance, or Awakening, where prior ideas would resurface with renewed enthusiasm, as if it were the Golden Age of Wikipedia to be re-guilded. I suspect the time has arrived. Previously, I had been lamenting the dwindling interest, when I noticed all pages from the Catholic Encyclopedia had been verified as complete WP articles in 2012, as 100% done. However, during the past few weeks, I have noticed a fascinating trend: several new people are requesting fixes to problems abandoned 2-4 years ago. It's not just me re-thinking what could have been fixed, in prior years (such as 2-reply edit-conflicts fixed by auto-merging as FIFO order). Instead, people (some as IP editors) are "re-inventing the wheel" to fix many separate problems from past years. For example:

  • One in New York noted kg-to-lb conversions are sloppy, so 62 kg (137 lb) should be "(137 lb)" as planned 4 years ago (but forgotten).
  • One in Bratislava noted Swiss flag icon oversized everywhere: Switzerland should be smaller 17px: Switzerland, as asked 2 years ago.
  • A regular user noted the wp:FRS list of RfC reviewers was halting at 60-second timeout, as during the past 2 years, so I fixed it to run in 4 seconds.
  • A regular user requested creation of the Old Style calendar leap-year pages, after 2 years since the common-year pages from 2011 (see: "Old Style leap year starting on Monday").

When the users requested the improvements, they seemed totally unaware how the same (or similar) suggestions were made to the problems in 2009-2011, but dropped/lost or ignored in the confusion. Now, I am wondering if some of those new people will want to restart many of the 2,000 dormant wp:WikiProjects, which have faded since 2009. Possible explanations: (1) the Lua-based cite templates, running 13x faster, have allowed people to update major articles in 7 seconds (formerly "28 sec" per edit), and now they think this place is easy to improve; or (2) people have finished most simple fixes so the major issues are what remains to fix; or (3) the remaining people are not as negative and so new people offer more suggestions, or (4) what do you think is making so many people suggest major improvements, again? -Wikid77 (talk) 05:24, 1 June, 00:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Or perhaps the negative responses to suggestions just take longer to arrive these days? -Wikid77 13:04, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Of course, none of the three examples you give count as "major" improvements, just small fixes. I hadn't noticed a drop or rise in these, such things have always happened, so perhaps the right answer is 5) selection bias? Fram (talk) 07:41, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Each is a major improvement relative to related cases (see details below). -Wikid77 00:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Considering the non-controversial fixes: It's easy to say you will fix something, a lot harder to actually do it. It does make me wonder if an issue tracking style system might be better suited for these sorts of discussions. A wiki is a poor format for making sure things don't get forgotten. Gigs (talk) 16:48, 3 June 2013 (UTC)


  • Issue-tracking system would help prioritize major issues: That is a great idea, and I think if each problem had been tracked, from the outset, within an issue-tracking system, then they would have been fixed much sooner, years sooner, as in each case:
  • Swiss flag icon needing 17px height: Even the related Template:CHE had the Swiss flag icon (now in over 27,300 pages) resized as 17px over 5 years ago, and I noticed 20px was too large, and other editors discussed it, but the fix affects multiple templates and was dropped.
  • The kg-to-lb fix was logged/forgotten 4 years ago: Among the top, most-used measurement conversions, kg/lb, are in the top 5, where Template:Convert/kg is used in over 60,100 pages, inside many of the Who's-Who of major articles, compared to Convert/cm in 26,825 pages.
  • Common WP:FRS was slow for 2 years: I remember the wp:FRS list (wp:Feedback request service) has been popular, as viewed ~30x times per day (as compared to wp:Admin with 35 pageviews per day). The prior slow speed was a known issue, but not on a tracking list of problems to improve.
In all three cases, each issue would have remained near the very top of priorities, but they were in minor or busy talk-pages, where other newer issues were getting the attention, and people were coping, such as using {{CHE}} with 17px height when the {{flag|Switzerland}} icon was too large in the 27,300 pages, or using Convert/kg to override the poor default precision of 3-pound swings among 60,100 pages. So, yes, an issue-tracking system would have fixed each issue much sooner. The distractions which eclipsed each of the 3 complex issues occurred weekly, not daily, and all 3 could have been fixed by techniques known 3-4 years ago if reconsidered each day. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:11, 3 June, 04:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • A list of major issues for each template/report would work: Although it would be great to have an issues-tracking system, I think that even if there had been a written list of the major issues, expanded for each template set or report page, then that could have helped remind people to keep reassessing the unresolved problems. Perhaps there could be a subpage name, such as "Template_talk:Xxx/Issues_list" which could contain a simple sortable table of each issue noted, with link to each talk-page/archive thread, plus date, status, suggested importance level, and extra note. Even such a simple list could be periodically reviewed, at least every 3 months, so that the above problems would not be left unresolved for 2-4 years. In each table, the "status" column would indicate completion, and the "importance level" could be increased if a problem was noted as still causing much grief months later. In the case of multiple similar templates, then a common template-talk page could be used to keep the central issues list. -Wikid77 02:35, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Next step is how-to guide for issues-tracking pages: Because even a simple list, of ongoing issues to reconsider, could help remember them, repeatedly, during a year, then we should have a how-to guide, by creating expanding page wp:Tracking_issues, to explain the concepts, and give examples of how some major improvements were forgotten, for years, until re-suggested by new users. That is the next step to wider usage. -Wikid77 01:00, 6 June, 03:26/22:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Fixes delayed by protected pages and complexity: The delay in many fixes can be traced to protected templates (or other pages) where editors cannot be wp:BOLD and must wait days (or weeks) for some admin to say, "Need wider consensus" and reject the fixes, in an approval bottleneck. Instead, with semi-protected pages, there might be some failed attempts, but typically, several people work together and forge a middle-ground solution which typically works well, certainly better than no improvements for 2-4 years. Another reason, which delays the fixes, can be the complexity level, which ties to why admins note "need wider consensus" because many users cannot see the solution amid the complex structures of templates (or Lua script modules). However, a few extra months of analysis, and requesting admins to reconsider {editprotected} updates, can often solve problems which would be left for years. The long-term view, provided by wp:Tracking_issues, could overcome the complexity and protection delays. However, I am also thinking that any major template not updated after 3 years (Template:Flag or Template:Convert/kg since 1 April 2010) could indicate a bottleneck which has hindered improvements. -Wikid77 21:14, 9 June, 22:57, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Stagnant technology: I have seen several cases where some major templates (protected pages) had not been updated in years, and the requested improvements were stiffled during those years, often due to an approval bottleneck. The current problems with numerous edit-conflicts are traced to the old GNU file-merge utility "diff3" which was developed in 1988 (25 years ago), and I am not sure it was ever significantly improved since then, although there are other "list synchronization" merge-tools which have been developed elsewhere. It might be a good tactic to plan a significant update to tools at least every 2 years. I think if diff3 had been updated every 2 years, then by now there would be options to reduce the edit-conflicts which have been an obvious irksome problem for those 25 years. Beware stagnant technology. -Wikid77 10:24, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Gibraltar pay for placement on the home page

Despite past complains, the community appears incapable of preventing the commercial use of Wikipedia's home page to promote Gibraltar tourism. See [18] and [19]. What do you think is the next course of action? As I mentioned, some of the editors appear defiant after being criticised for participating in the play-for-play scheme (willingly or unwittingly), and are making a point by continuing to festoon our home page with Gibraltar related topics. This should not continue. Jehochman Talk 18:09, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

The Gibraltar DYKs will probably continue for as long as someone appears to be bothered by them. I am sure that some of the people most vocal about these DYKs are involved because they think that it bothers the folks at Wikipediocracy. It's personal. There's no way to fix this without dealing with the people issues. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:33, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Given the History of Gibraltar TFA request has probably the highest level of participation I've ever seen at TFAR, and given that support for running it exceeds 90%, I don't think this is a case of the community being incapable of stopping Gibraltar topics from appearing, but rather a very small, highly vocal subset of it being incapable of stopping it. The community itself doesn't have an issue with it. As far as the DYK entry goes, I would really like to see the number of Gibraltar related DYKs this year compared against something like baseball player DYKs. Resolute 18:45, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Some figures: since January there have been 24 Gibraltar-related DYKs on the Main Page, but 18 of these ran in January and February, and 17 of them were nominated in 2012 but were held up by up to 3 months because of a broken review process. The high frequency in those months is because of one of DYK's periodic drives to clear a backlog of old nominations. In the entirety of this year so far, only 10 Gibraltar-related DYKs have been nominated. The figures for the last three months are: March - 2 nominated, 0 ran; April - 2 nominated, 3 ran; May - 3 nominated, 2 ran. In other words, we have had just 5 Gibraltar-related DYKs running in those three months. Nobody is writing these articles to spite Wikipediocracy - they are primarily being written for Wikipedia:WikiProject Gibraltar, which is and always has been an entirely uncontentious WikiProject. Prioryman (talk) 18:51, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
And to answer the other half of the question, I count 33 DYKs from March 1 to May 31 that relate to baseball, almost exclusively North American. Why are we allowing Major League Baseball to spam our main page this way? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Resolute 19:02, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Major League Baseball is a commercial activity, isn't it? What a shocking display of promotion! Prioryman (talk) 19:06, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
And Bach cantatas (and related stuff). How many of those? Fortunately we seem to have run out of Governors of Kentucky. Johnbod (talk) 19:11, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I count 22 DYKs by a single contributor dealing with the Indonesian film industry (motion pictures, actors, and awards) for the March 1 to May 31 time period. Just imagine how many additional tickets were sold for all those films from the 1930s because of "promotion" on Wikipedia. --Allen3 talk 22:22, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't forget the mushrooms! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:02, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think the mycologists have been paying for exposure. Gibraltar has. Jehochman Talk 11:53, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • That is quite an important point that I hope people will not gloss over. There's an obvious quid pro quo here regarding what amounts to advertising for Gibraltar's tourism board. Tarc (talk) 12:36, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Jehochman, can you explain why what drives Gibraltar or mycologists is relevant in any way, provided the article is reviewed by non-involved editors? --Cyclopiatalk 14:03, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not alleging non-neutrality of the articles. They are nice articles, well-written. I'm complaining (as a marketing professional) that the home page of Wikipedia is being abused for sub rasa advertising. If you don't get my point, please come to my talk page and I'll explain it in more detail. Jehochman Talk 14:13, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • If the articles are nice and well written there is nothing to complain. That's the point. --Cyclopiatalk 16:19, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • No, that's not true. It would not at all be okay if the New York Yankees paid a group of Wikipedia editors to write about the Yankees and boost that content to the home page, day after day, for the purpose of increasing their ticket sales. Jehochman Talk 18:47, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • So it is not okay to have (your words) "nice articles, well-written" if they're paid by the NY Yankees (or whoever you want) because...? --Cyclopiatalk 19:16, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Given your posts on my talk page, I rephrase: it is not okay to have (your words) "nice articles, well-written" on the frontpage if they're paid by the NY Yankees (or whoever you want) because...? --Cyclopiatalk 20:03, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Jehochman, the next course of action is obvious. When you are losing a "battle" against a multitude of editors whom have pretty solid reasons for the promotion of a particular article to TFA, the loser turns to Jimmy's talk page to try and drum up support from others who are moar interested in the dramuh than in participating to the project. Good luck with recruiting editors to your battleground cause. Russavia (talk) 19:35, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Mr. Russavia, I have a long history here and have never been sanctioned as a battle editor. I don't care if we have lots of Gibraltar articles. I'm not telling editors they can't write about that topic. My concern is that the home page of Wikipedia is extremely valuable Internet real estate, and it should not be for sale. All topics should have an equal opportunity to appear. Gibraltar's paid marketing campaign to increase tourism could use Google AdWords, Bing, AdRoll or one of many other ad networks. They can use public relations to promote their tourism. What they must not do is utilize such a campaign to put their stuff on Wikipedia's home page with an unnatural frequency. Jehochman Talk 13:57, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
I do not personally see the TFA as a big deal as we aren't going to see a whole bunch of those popping up every day and I think the Gibraltar stuff at DYK is nowhere near as bad as it was last year. We are probably at the point where most of the restrictions should be relaxed, though I think a limit on the number of DYK entries would be good to keep. The issue was that a group of editors were pushing a whole bunch of Gibraltar content onto the main page in a very short period of time and the organization spearheading the project was a PR firm working with Gibraltar's government. As it stands, we don't have that much of an issue anymore. We are basically at the end of it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 19:49, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
"Nowhere near as bad". Last year it was terrible beyond awful. This year it's just an ordinary bad. We should stop all Gibraltar content from appearing on the home page until the past glut has been diluted by time. Once balance has been re-established, an occasional Gibraltar article could appear, but that should be very rare—because Gibraltar is just a tiny, tiny bit of "all human knowledge". One editor pointed out that the entire population of Gibraltar could invite a friend and they'd all fit in Yankee Stadium for one of the 81 games per year played there, and there are 30 such baseball teams. That's the relative unimportance of Gibraltar. I would not oppose a new guideline stating that topics should not be over-represented on the home page, including mushrooms and Indonesian films. However, there is a very big difference between editorial fascination with a niche topic and the cynical use of Wikipedia by paid propagandists. Our response should differ accordingly. Jehochman Talk 13:49, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Do you have any plausible evidence that the current TFA has been written or pushed by "cynical paid propagandists"? As for the comparison, you compare permanent residents with temporary visitors. And the importance of Gibraltar is indeed quite high for such a small place, because of its strategic position and long history. The world would not be significantly different if the Steelers won or loose the 1998 superbowl to the Freezers (substitute teams and dates as necessary), but it would be very different if Tariq ibn Ziyad had looked at the rock and decided that he did not want it, or if Franco had decided that he wanted it enough to try. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:06, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes. See Gibraltarpedia for the evidence of money used to manipulate Wikipedia's editorial community. Granted, population and size are not the sole determinants of importance, but I think London is a good bit more important to World History than Gibraltar, but it's appearing on the home page less often than Gibraltar. Jehochman Talk 14:11, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. But you mention a past event that may be reason for a certain level of suspicion, not concrete evidence for the current case. You have a point about London vs. Gibraltar, but you also keep confusing "cheap" processes like DYK with featured articles. London is not an FA. History of Gibraltar is. If London becomes featured, it can (and will, I bet) get onto the main page. And, picking January 2012 at random, Privy Council of the United Kingdom and Press Gang are arguably London-related, so it does appear on the main page. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:02, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I detect forum shopping. What should really not continue is people looking at the agendas instead of looking at articles. We could have a Gibraltar-related article every day for a year on our homepage, if it is a good, unbiased article, no matter if SPECTRE paid billions to do it. --Cyclopiatalk 19:41, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

...especially is SPECTRE is paying Blofeld for it, but the actual articles are written by Moneypenny in her spare time. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:56, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • On a related note, can I ask that for all future instances of this endlessly recurring discussion, people are not instructed to move away from the horse carcasses as has been done thus far, but instead should co-operate in storing them for future use. Horse carcasses have been used for food[citation needed] in critical moments of some of the more than a dozen sieges of Gibraltar, so it would seem sensible to store them up in readiness for the next siege. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:19, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you to the editors, especially the regulars who've already expressed their opinions plentitudinously. The reason I posted here is that I really wanted to hear Jimmy's opinion. As for TFA discussion, I am glad to have spurred increased participation on that page. Jehochman Talk 00:29, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't think this could have happened six years ago. Then, WP had high enough participation that it was more difficult for a small group of editors to take over an area in WP to push a particular agenda. One of the weaknesses of a crowdsourced effort is what can take place when the participant numbers decline. Cla68 (talk) 00:41, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
I count at least twenty-eight registered editors who have commented favourably at the TFA request mentioned above - in addition, several more of the authors writing content about Gibraltar have not (yet) commented there. Is thirty or so editors really "a small group" taking over? Seems an odd idea. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:12, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
I was referring to the DYK issues. Actually, I personally don't mind what took place with Gibraltar and the DYK section of the main page, because it helps show how broken of an idea Wikipedia is and how poorly it is administered. Cla68 (talk) 05:16, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
It's a natural progression for any community--cool when it starts, then square people take over and the cool people go some place else. Who knows, maybe it will become retro and the cool people will return some day. Jehochman Talk 11:53, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, the old Golden Age belief. Been here a long time have you? Feeling jaded? Don't spoil it for those who aren't, please.
As for "how broken of an idea Wikipedia is", yes indeed it is only "a small group of editors" who believe that, though whether, in Cla68's words, that small group of editors is trying to "take over", is open to opinion. (Cue User:Wnt.) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:52, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The above comparison of Major League Baseball and Gibraltar made me do a little research. "Did You Know" that if every resident of Gibraltar wanted to attend a Major League Baseball game at, say, my favorite stadium, at the same time, they could all fit? Actually, most of them (though not all of them) could each bring a friend who does not live in Gibraltar, and they'd still all fit. That's one game, of the 81 played at Yankee Stadium each season. And the Yankees are only one-thirtieth of Major League Baseball.
All seriousness aside, as someone who is not on any "side" of anything on Wikipedia, it really does seem to me that there has been some amount of abuse of the opportunity to place items on the main page regarding Gibraltar. Maybe that is also true of Indonesia. Maybe that is also true of Major League Baseball. I don't know. But I don't think one abuse excuses another. It may also be that the motivations behind the abuse in one case are different from the motivations in other cases, and maybe that makes a difference. I do know that the Treaty of Utrecht's 400th anniversary is coming up in only 100 years, and that seems like a fine time for an article about it -- well, not it, actually, but about a bunch of historical events, including it -- to be Today's Featured Article. Of course, if it is there on the 300th anniversary instead, Wikipedia will probably survive anyway. Neutron (talk) 04:48, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • As barely involved observer, one can see that whatever its merits the "solution" that "all Gibraltar related content is under main page interdict" has failed and is continuing to fail. So, saying the same arguments over again and proposing the same solution is just not worth it. If one wants reform rather than the same fruitless discussions over again, it would probably be best to concentrate on regulation of main page contests going forward. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:12, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you think people would agree to a policy like this? "Topics should not appear on the home page with a frequency that is excessive given their relative importance." If we have had three mushroom TFA's already this year, we should not have any more for a while. Wikipedia will be a better place if there is diversity of home page content, rather than these obsessions with particular topics, especially when those obsessions are fueled by contests, outside influences, or monies paid to editors. I would be happy to deal with this in a general way that is not connected to any particular topics. Jehochman Talk 14:19, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Rather doubt that the nebulous standard of importance will be definable or agreeable -- to a flea circus man all things flea are important. But "no material created for contests" or some refinement thereof, could work. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:30, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Everyone has their own things that tick them off, and excessive coverage of a place doesn't bother me nearly as much as excessive coverage of commercial products (especially certain video game franchises) or photos of nobodies contributed by publicists as "featured photos" (If it's a featured photo, how come the only reason I'd ever click on it is to see who is abusing our process?).
In the case of Gibraltar, how about an experiment - why don't you critics come up with one of your own - something that showcases the Spanish claims on the area, crime in the region, something they won't like, and see what happens? :) Wnt (talk) 14:34, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Given all your crying on the TFAR page is generating little support, I doubt this attempted proposal would work either, Jehochman. Ironically, your suggestion wouldn't even work, becuase I believe there has never been a Gibraltar-related TFA so you can not honestly make a claim for overrepresentation in the first place. Resolute 14:37, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • TFA bothers me very little. I am much more concerned about DYK, which is much easier to abuse. Jehochman Talk 18:49, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I would support a proposal to take DYK off the main page, but we all know how far that would go. At the same time, I would support a proposal to limit TFA's to subjects of some "importance", however that might be defined. All other things being equal, the History of Gibraltar would certainly qualify. My favorite recent example of one that would not qualify is the TFA from a few months ago about a video game that was never released -- not one that has not yet been released, but one that was "canceled" and apparently will never be released. I could not believe that such a thing was getting "top billing" on the main page. But I also know how far that proposal is likely to go. Neutron (talk) 21:14, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I would not support either of Neutron's proposals (every "importance" qualification is subjective and as such biased and to reject). But if all what Jehochman is concerned about is the domination of TFA/DYK by a single subject (which I can agree, regardless of how this domination happens) I would propose something on the lines of: no more than 3 TFA and 6 DYK belonging to the same category can appear in one month. (Yes, I know that some very broad categories like "Living people" need to be an exception, but I hope the idea is clear). --Cyclopiatalk 12:45, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Too narrow. I could do six hockey DYKs in a day if I wanted. So could others. So any topic area with multiple editors working to improve articles within that scope get screwed. And all because a few highly motivated complainers are attempting to paint a broad brush restriction in a bid to mask the fact that their objection is Gibraltar specifically. Lets be honest with ourselves here, this is about Gibraltar only, and attempts to claim otherwise are disingenuous. Resolute 16:40, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I have mentioned Gibraltar as a specific example, but if there were a daily DYK about hockey I would raise a complaint: "what the heck, is this Hockeypedia or Wikipedia?" No topic should be over-represented at DYK. "Over-represented" cannot be quantified with a number beforehand. It needs to be hashed out by discussion case by case. Eventually if a pattern emerges that might provide some numercal guidelines. How are you screwed if you write tons of hockey articles and get one into DYK once in a while? We're here to write an encylopedia, not collect honors. The honor is a writing a nice article that you can admire. We should not be keeping score at Wikipedia. Jehochman Talk 16:57, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, I've already shown that there have been more baseball TFAs than Gibraltar over the last three months, and by a large margin. There also is not currently anything close to a "daily DYK" on Gibraltar. So if your argument is honest, please show me where you have previously articulated your concern with the undue number of baseball-related DYK entries. Or, frankly, of any topic other than Gibraltar. Resolute 17:04, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Will Jimmy Wales say something about "Gibraltar pay for placement on the home page"?

I believe Jehochman was looking for a response from Jimmy (rather than the same old battle of the bands), so I thought I'd start a new subsection for that. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 22:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. Yes, I just wanted to hear what Jimmy thought, really, not start a huge community discussion. To have a community discussion we can all go to the village pump, and I think it would be useful to discuss measures to avoid contests (or corporate sponsored article drives) from distorting the frequency of various topics appearing on the home page. We need to solve the general problem, not beat up on Gibraltar, a specific example. Jehochman Talk 23:16, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Jehochman, I think it's pretty clear what Jimmy's stance is on Gibraltarpedia and the relationship between Gibraltar and the front page so he really doesn't need to comment here and I doubt he will, he's been very quiet of late. Wikipedia's main page extremely valuable real estate maybe, but I think you have to look at both the context and the timing of the History of Gibraltar article. It was mostly written before the apparent contentious Gibraltarpedia was ever established and for any other country would be warmly received as TFA. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be concerned with having an article on Gibraltar as TFA for a day's exposure given the Gibraltargate scandal, but I think declaring Gibraltar as owning every Gibraltar-related article and discriminating against all Gibrlatar articles, however unrelated to tourism, just because of what happened is wrong. At the end of the day we're an encyclopedia and "History of Gibraltar" is as legitimate and encyclopedic an article as any other. If something similar happened with Russia, would we ban all articles on Russian-related topics, even say a TFA on Tchaikovsky or Lenin just because of it? I think you have to look beyond Gibraltargate one TFA for Gibraltar a year is perfectly reasonable... In my opinion it would be an encyclopedic crime to reject a core encyclopedic article like the history of Gibraltar just because some panic that somehow masses of planes will suddenly arrive in Gibraltar the next day. Prioryman was interested in Gibraltarian history and that project long before Gibraltarpedia. I think you have to draw a line somewhere... ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 12:23, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Let's for the moment drop the issue of motivations. What I think we can all agree on is that the home page should reflect a diversity of content, and that we should strive to achieve that. If there's a nomination for an over-represented topic, it should be a valid reason to oppose based on "lack of diversity", or "we've already covered this topic a few times recently; let's pick something else". Editors should have the common sense to restrain themslves if they've already had a few DYKs in recent memory. Step back and give somebody else and some other topic a chance. I'd like to avoid firm numerical limits because they'll usually be too high or too low. Common sense can't be reduced to numbers. Jehochman Talk 13:03, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with this proposal (which sounds much different from what you seemed to imply before) but since common sense is not common at all, I'd like to have number requirements. See above. --Cyclopiatalk 13:30, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem with numbers (not more than one hook per day) is that they can be viewed as an entitlement (one hook per day is good, when in fact, one per day is way too many for most topics). It should come down to a discussion where editors can say "too many", "enough already" and those would be treated as valid points, not dismissed. Jehochman Talk 13:38, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Of course the point system for TFAs already has the "Main page representation" criterion, going from "A similar article has not been featured on the main page within six months" (2 points) to "a similar article was featured on the main page within two weeks" (−3 points). These are significant numbers (HoG had 8 points in total). This only looks at TFA, not at all main page content. It's debatable if this should be unified and applied for all main page content (I'd rather not, because it complicates things, and opens the extra question of how to handle "themed" main pages for special occasions. More WP:BURO is bad). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:38, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
You wish to "give somebody else and some other topic a chance." Can you name a single article that has been prevented from appearing on DYK because of anything remotely related to Gibraltar? As to your concerns about "lack of diversity" and "we've already covered this topic a few times recently; let's pick something else", what alternate material are you proposing be used? Wikipedia has a known systemic bias and common sense dictates that only articles that exist can be utilized by DYK and other sections of the Main page. If you wish for DYK to feature material not related to Gibraltar then please demonstrate the courage of your convictions by creating appropriate new content and nominating it for use by DYK. Your proposed method of controlling a problem that only you and a few others seem to believe exists is censorship. Common sense however makes it clear that punishing good faith contributors who are performing the desirable work of creating quality content for the encyclopedia is not consistent with Wikipedia's core goal of creating a free, online encyclopedia. --Allen3 talk 13:42, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
There are plenty of new articles and expanded articles that could go into DYK. Rather than continuing to push the same old topics, the editors wishing to participate in DYK should encourage diversity. They can even look around for other people's articles to nominate. There's no requirement to nominate only the articles one has worked on. I have nominated articles for DYK from time to time. Jehochman Talk 13:44, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
The way I see it is look at how many US/UK related articles become TFA. In a given year you count how many articles out of 365 are US/UK related. Then count how many articles potentially have some commercial link, whether it is a sports team season, video game or a film or whatever. Then look at how many Gibraltar or Spain articles make TFA. In my opinion anything other than US/UK and a commercial product is a good thing. I know Gibrlatar is a British entity but I don't think of it as such, I think geographically.. I'm perfectly happy to see one FA every year or two on Gibraltar. Would I feel the same if we had one a week or even a month? No, I'd consider it overkill and suspicious. But whatever agreement Gibraltar has made, I find it hard to believe that an article on the history of a country would be more commercially viable than an article on a contemporary video game or film. The difference is that it really irks you off the thought that Gibraltar might be using the front page of wikipedia for promotion rather than you not thinking it reasonable that Gibraltar could have a TFA every year or two. That is what you are so strongly opposed to and believe that any mention of Gibraltar should never appear on the front page again, I understand completely.

I just think Gibraltargate was massively blown out of proportion and was used as fuel to the anti-paid editing cause. I know that some people here and on 'ocracy think I was involved in it which always raises a smile. I generally support any project which collaborates on mass producing half decent content on here, but I've never supported the idea that Gibraltar or any editor here is using us for their own gain. Personally I'd rather the foundation actively supported such projects so everything is above board and nothing sneaky is going on outside of it. Whatever you think of Gibraltarpedia and the front page the fact is that the project has been very productive for producing content on wikipedia, except it might seem UNDUE on such a small area and has encouraged the growth of some rather lesser notable subjects. If we had that level of coverage for everywhere in the world, imagine how much better we'd be as a resource..♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 14:39, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Sure...I'd agree with most of that bit still think DYK should be based on the same point system as FA to get mainpaged...that would greatly reduce the chance of over-coverage of any particular topic.--MONGO 15:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I've long advocated DYK reform. I recently proposed a new mechanism to reduce the expected expansion of articles unedited in two years on here (classified as "officially stale") to just x 2 to try to get editors working on a range of older articles on here but it was practically ignored. As long as people on here make no effort to introduce mechanisms to try to improve the balance and nature of DYK articles there's no use complaining about it. I genuinely believe that the community is responsible for most of wikipedia's problems on both the admin and encyclopedia sides of wikipedia, stalling growth because of the range of opinions which exist and unwilling to make major changes which would eventually much improve the website. Many editors on DYK though have a "niche" interest though and like editing articles on one narrow topic only so it would be difficult to impose restrictions on their entries. And if we were to crackdown on that, at present it wouldn't really be Gibraltar causing most of the problems for UNDUE on any one topic..♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 15:18, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Jehochman writes: "one per day is way too many for most topics"—yup, I strongly agree. Topic-skew is hopelessly entwined with DYK's "ownership" of its rather large territory on the main page. Something needs to be done about it, and widening the scope beyond the poorly designed DYK process to include a good proportion of GAs would be a simple and easy way to go. Tony (talk) 16:16, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
You may wish to see this, to be run when Wikipedia:2013_main_page_redesign_proposal/RFC is closed.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 16:27, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

I am happy for projects producing mass quantities of content, even commercial support of projects, as long as everything is transparent. Such projects should not overwhelm a process like DYK which should present a diverse selection of content. Perhaps we could put a separate area on the home page to feature well-organized projects. Jehochman Talk 15:30, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

I quite agree, in fact I think we should have a team dedicated to forming partnerships with councils and governments to promote wikipedia and to encourage local people to contribute something to their locality by editing wikipedia. But everything should be done within the the confines of our project with no agenda... ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 18:45, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Jehochman's conduct

I am not sure what really is going on with Gibraltar, and have no time to investigate the matter, but no matter what Jehochman is the last user to call somebody out on PR editing. His conduct in Gibraltaria demonstrates how corrupt Wikipedia has became. (talk) 17:39, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Come, come IP editor. Don't be so afraid to take responsibility for your words. Be loud and proud! You have an impressive memory to recall conversations from 2007 and 2009. Jehochman Talk 19:12, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I would have been happy to sign with my real name, but I lost my real name to Wikipedia and to you personally, Jehochman. (talk) 21:30, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, a personal feud, yet another endearing feature of WP's culture. Cla68 (talk) 23:55, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, "WP's culture", and what is WP's culture anyway? Is it, when mostly anonymous bullies lie about a named person, defaming him in the process (on this I agree with Jehochman) and sometimes this named person cannot even defend himself? It is what you call "WP's culture"? Ah, and by the way I do not recall knowing your real name, Cla68. I do not blame you for that. A smart person should never edit Wikipedia under his real name. Anyway, my post was not about anonymity, it was about Jehochman's conduct, and I did provide evidences to support my words. End of story. (talk) 00:34, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

User is blocked for one year!

Hi Jimbo, I am a friend of Rich Farmbrough who is a great contributor on out site, but he was blocked for 1 year which is unheard of in the history of Wikipedia. What he did is a couple of useful contributions that the AC decided to be malicious, just because he did one mistake. Either way, why should I tell you the whole story if you can read it here. The conversation and uproar about his block continues to this day with ArbCom ignoring everything! Please read his talkpage for more info. Since you are a founder of this project I believe you have time and will to intervene. If you will help him, I will surrely help you!--Mishae (talk) 02:18, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

First, on the one hand, a one-year block is not unheard of. It is the usual length of a site ban by the ArbCom. Second, on the other hand, I have not researched the case in detail, but there does appear to be reason to think that the block was done precipitously and without consideration, and should be appealed to the ArbCom review panel, or the full ArbCom. Has a notice of this discussion been posted to User talk:Sandstein? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:32, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, here is what I found: diff where there is no mention of despite it happened in March of 2013, and then we have diff that confuses him with another user and thats pretty much it. However, a comment from Jimmy Wales himself regarding this issue will be of welcome.--Mishae (talk) 02:40, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Rich Farmbrough has been a problematic editor for a very long time, though some might argue that he has contributed a lot. The problem with Rich on one level is that he uses automated tools with little regard for the "collateral damage" that results. The more fundamental problem is that he substitutes his judgment for the consensus of the community, as expressed in many discussions about his editing. As this is a collaborative project, this unwillingness or inability to accept restrictions imposed through consensus processes made the one year block necessary, in my view. The situation is sad, but the relevant question is why Rich seems unable to control himself? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:09, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Rich Farmbrough#Amendments by motion for the crux of the present situation. To my eyes, the real mistake here lies in ArbCom's decision to respond to Rich's breach of sanctions (two weeks after the case closed) by imposing editing conditions so broad as to be almost certain to be breached, and whose enforcement appears prima facie ludicrous. Instead, Rich has mysteriously been transformed from an unresponsive admin who responds poorly to criticism to a martyr of unresponsive admins, ut supra. Choess (talk) 04:54, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

  • In general terms, not having reviewed the situation at hand, I think we give far too much latitude to productive contributors that have consistently failed to address problems that people bring up with them repeatedly. This is not just a Wikipedia phenomenon, I see it often in many Internet forums. If wider society worked this way, we'd be giving people a pass on dozens of minor crimes simply because they were a productive member of society. I don't think that's sustainable in the long run. Gigs (talk) 13:29, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
In wider society, you don't enforce minor workplace issues by firing productive employees. The boss really just doesn't care how many times his best salesman stole your food from the office refrigerator, sorry - or at least, his skill as a boss is measured by how good he is at arranging a way that you end up keeping your food somewhere else. Wnt (talk) 14:25, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Also in a wider society, employees that are serially semi-competent who flagrantly disregard instructions from their boss are terminated with cause and are not allowed back to work at all. So which is it here? Carrite (talk) 14:56, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
They are then free to find some other job, it's not that the boss goes to some court which imposes a topic ban on the employee doing a similar job elsewhere, the employee refuses, ends up in court and is then senteced to a year in jail. While what Gigs says about other internet forums is true, this isn't a good thing and society certainly shouldn't and doesn't work this way. If you are going to be treated like second class citizen, you will not accept that and one way or another, you will eventually be booted out. Websites where this happens don't do well on the long term (physicsforums is a good example, I was booted out from there a few years ago, and it has become a lot less prominent in the last year or so due to their stupid policies that are easily gamed by the Mods there, making the website primarily a personal playground for the Mods instead of about Physics). Here on Wikipedia, the ArbCom system isn't working well if the sanctions become more part of the problem than the solution after a while. Count Iblis (talk) 16:50, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • What we are seeing here is The War of the Dwarves and the Gnomes. Dwarves are editors who work mainly on content, and typically put a lot of thought into each edit; gnomes are editors who work mainly on form, and tend to make large numbers of edits doing things like changing a - to a –. The problem arises when gnomes use automated tools to generate edits that sometimes cause content errors. Because dwarves value information more than appearance, and gnomes the reverse, they can easily come into conflict. Rich is a Supergnome, and the comparatively small fraction of errors generated by his huge volume of automated edits ended up costing the dwarves who maintain articles an enormous amount of time. Eventually, after repeated failed attempts to rein him in, the outraged dwarves banded together to ban him. Looie496 (talk) 17:46, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Thats the thing, the people are happy when someone gets blocked. The admins don't have sensuality sometimes to understand what the editor is trying to do. Saying that blocks are ment to be preventive no punitive is another missconception here, Its hard to assume good faith after someone is blocked for even a day because it makes you feel being prejudiced against. I tried to tell admins that because I have a dissability I sometimes edit against consensus, because I don't understand it and I don't see it. People on the other hand, started accusing me of making a claim about it! Russian Wikipedia is the prime example, I tried to speak to folks there too, but even if they do call an admin a dick for example, they get warned once, and then they get blocked for a second offence, no matter how small bit it is...--Mishae (talk) 18:17, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
      • "Sensuality" ? I do not think that word means what you think it means. As for the rest of this, I really don't put much weight on editors who advocate on other editor's behalf. Rich is a big boy, if he wants to appeal his block, he knows the way in. Tarc (talk) 18:37, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
        • Maybe I ment something like that admins and ArbCom are playing the role of big dadies who want to fuck everything around them. Somebody told me on Russian Wikipedia that its a trend. Once you get to adminship you can pretty much do whatever. In result, it ends with abuse of power. Now for the "rest of it" is my example of how it was with me, and that its the same trent here, its called comparison. Now for user Cullen comment: So, as I can tell by your post that you are against Rich as a user, but I don't see it as fair. First of all, calling him a "problematic editor", I wont allow it. Second, I am problematic probably too, but you don't know do you? Maybe you are problematic too, but how do I know that for a fact? Thats right, I don't! As for Tarc's comment above: Rich is maybe a big boy but he can't appeal his block as mentions on his talkpage. His statement was that admin named Sandstein is denying his request! Maybe he doesn't do it right, but thats what his talkpage says. As far as user's Looie496 comment goes, (I partially answered it above, but decided to come back to it). You see guys, think of ArbCom as NKVD troika that decides who to punish and for what reason... Keep in mind that the verdict was in favour no matter how much the accused was pleaded. Now, I know that Wikipedia isn't a court, but here it looks like it. Because see, most admins try to ignore the good edits by any user and try to find as much bad ones so that they can block him. Which brings all this discussion to another point: Even though that Wikipedia isn't a democracy, is it in any form a fascist or socialist dictatorship? In my opinion, because of this and nemerous other cases it begins to look like it. However, its just my opinion folks, your thoughts?--Mishae (talk) 20:28, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
          • Now, let me continue with my comparison. Again, I will use Russian Wikipedia as a prime example, since I seen many evils among admins and ArbCom there. When I was blocked by an admin there, I was astounded to find out how "happy" people were there, when someone gets blocked. I go to admin forums and I see people screaming for indefinite block there, and, as soon as someone comes up and suggests something else, much less punitive way, they "gag" him. At first I thought its only their Wikipedia problem, but now I see the same trend here too. Instead of including a user into a society we isolate him with blocks that majority of people believe are not punitive. In reality they are, and anyone who believe otherwise I would suggest to look over this "illusion" because its a double standard here.--Mishae (talk) 20:04, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
            • First I want to state I also agree the block against Rich and the sanction that Arbcom gave him is ridiculous and a massive net loss to the pedia. He and his bots did more edits in one day than any other user did in a month. The one year block that he was given borders on admin abuse IMO and was far in excess of any wrong that Rich did. He was trying to contribute, how dare he! As for the sanction itself. Its a complete joke and was what really showed to me that the Arbcom as we know it today is more of a hindrance and problem than the users they are trying to "protect" the pedia from. I really think that Choess hit the nail on the head above. The restriction was written so poorly and so broadly that it really leaves the indication that the Arbcom intended for Rich to be blocked and then wrote the sanction in such a way that he wouldn't possibly be able to meet the expectations. As written, it could be argued that even using the four tildes for his signature would constitute automation. Bar none one of the worst decisions I have seen Arbcom make on this site and there have been several. I'm not going to rehash all the problem with the case because frankly I think don't think Jimbo has the power to do anything about it and even if he did, I don't think he would. So really this discussion is pointless and Wikipedia will continue to lose out on needed edits every day until Arbcom comes to their senses which is incredibly unlikely. Kumioko (talk) 21:45, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
              • Don't lose hope, as a founder, he should at least come here and comment on it, if he have a piece of conscience that is, which I don't yet deny in him. However, if he decides to go with ArbCom, I (or someone else) will encourage every editor to lieve Wikipedia and spread the word to others on how unfair and fascistic the project is. And no, I am not threatening ArbCom or Jimbo, or anyone else, just try to reson with people and the founder. Another thing to mention, I am glad that Wikipedia have some users to whom I come for help and whom I can trust, unfortunatelly such users are in huge minority here, and majority is made out of such users and admins like the ones that you all see above, or the ones that I met: Rkitko, PamD and Stemonitis. Maybe I shouldn't mention their names, but the attrocities that they commited are great too, starting from harrasing and ending with demands on ban of such users as myself and Rich. I should once again remind folks here that Wikipedia is a colaborative project and blocks don't prevent damage, as they intend to. Further more, I need to remind folks here that if the founder wont reply to my inquiry, I therefore will assume that the founder is just a greedy person that cares only about himself, and rumor will spread about Wikipedia being just a hostile site (that is still good to read though). :)--Mishae (talk) 04:10, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Since the new system alerted me to the fact that I was mentioned here, I'd point out that my "atrocities" in relation to Mishae start with edits like these. He later called me "reverting scum" and "fascistic", and removed conversation from a talk page. Harassment? PamD 07:04, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, Wikipedia is a fascistic (sic) project becuase an editor with a long history of disruptive editing (via incompetence or indiference rather than malice, but it does not matter) got blocked. *rolleyes*. Resolute 16:51, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Reso for your great input. You see, Jimbo, some users believe in you because you are a great guy that founded a great project, but the fascistic ArbCom that have a lot of admins like the above mentioned ones are the ones that make it look as Reso described above. User PamD likes to cover her butt with my words instead of looking at the mirror and admiting that she was wrong too in our little debate back then. Furthermore, I need to mention that even though that Jimbo hates and believes that every user who denies Holocaust should be blocked, I believe otherwise. Fascism is not a believe its what a person does, but to each his own. Unlike PamD, I wont be the one to tatle-tale on another user and to take them to AN/I. And, more so, if someone will call me a fascist or will deny a Holocaust or what ever, I wont take them to AN/I either, because being uncivil is not vandalism...--Mishae (talk) 17:05, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And yes, Reso, blocking editor for a whole year just because he had a long history of as you call desruptive editing, does mean that the ArbCom is a gang of Nazis that came to power and are dictating who should be blocked and for how long. Tell me, if you would have been blocked for a year, how would you feel (especially if you got blocked for using automated tools, and now am not allowed to edit your talkpage either, because every edit you make even on your talkpage is considered to be automatic?) Would you come here? Sure. Would you complain (or bring someone with you to complain) about the unjust motion by ArbCom? Yes. And if you don't get your answer, you will end up speaking like me. Trust me you will, because by that time you will be so angry at the whole system and all those admins and ArbCom, that you will have no other options. The only thing that Wikipedia's (or any other Wiki projects) admins know how to do, is to block users just because they are bored. In that case they need to find a reason to block the user, and thats when they invent "disruptive editing", "personal attacks", and other crap, that can get a user in huge mess. And that mess is caused not by a user but by a lean-mean admin who wants you out of project no matter what. Yes, it says in Wikipedia that it is not for everyone, and its sad but its true. Wanna know the reason why its not for everyone? I will tell you. Its designed for cool guys who know how to block and know how to avoid consequences (Russian Wikipedia is an example).--Mishae (talk) 17:43, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that he is the founder but he hasn't had a role here for sometime and his association is much like the Queen of england. Lots of pomp and circumstance but very little power. He rarely even comments on discussions here anymore leaving it to the editors. I wish I did have hope for the project but the wrong people with no vision are leading the project to a dark place. Kumioko (talk) 17:47, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Now, going back to user Cullen comment: You asked a question "Why Rich can't control himself?" I will answer it for you: Maybe he just like me have a disability and needs a mentor, or maybe he wants to be different from other users that are part of this project. I don't think that having a disability or being different from someone is against Wikipedia rules, however, as with Rich's case we can see that the ArbCom blocks him for what he is not what he is doing. My case was the same, and I do feel opressed, when I come to a project to contribute, do something that some of the fascistic admins don't like, and get blocked. And when I voice out my concern I get silenced just like Rich does. I personaly believe that Wikipedia blocks editors not for vandalism, nor for disruptive editing, not even for being uncivil, but just because of their difference, wheather its disability, race, religion, or all combined. And what worse, no one cares.--Mishae (talk) 17:59, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
People get blocked because someone has decided that their negative contributions outweigh their positive contributions. Farmbrough did a lot of great bot work, but his personal interactions when handling disputes with other editors was rather atrocious. The thing to keep in mind is that being a part of a Wikipedia project is not a right; you editorial existence can be snuffed out at any time by the powers-that-be, and if you're just a plain old unlikable person as Farmbrough was, well, sometimes they will set up such a person to fail so they can get rid of them. Life isn't fair. Either deal with it or move on, but this continue whinge o Jimbo's talk page isn't going to shave so much as a second off of rich's block. Tarc (talk) 18:16, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
"The thing to keep in mind is that being a part of a Wikipedia project is not a right; you editorial existence can be snuffed out at any time by the powers-that-be...Life isn't fair. Either deal with it or move on" ...Wow, that's something they don't teach you in Wikipedia 101. I think if you asked any Wikipedian, they would tell you the opposite is true. So either this needs to be made more clear in the way Wikipedia markets itself, or you are sorely mistaken. I'm not sure which one it is...--Coin945 (talk) 18:50, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
You are asking the wrong question, Mishae. If I had such a history, would I complain? Perhaps, but that's irrelevant. The real question is whether my complaints would be legitimate. And to that, my answer is no. A lot of time was wasted cleaning up after Rich and trying to impress on him to ensure his editing was proper and/or desiarable. He repeatedly refused to address the concerns raised, which led to his bot ban. He refused to adhere to that ban, which led to expansion of the restrictions coupled with blocks. He still refused to accept that his editing was problematic and his mistakes - right up to the end - were wasting other editor's time. Notwithstanding the fact that your need to call people with whom you disagree "Nazi's" or "fascists" completely undermines your credibility, your entire argument here is vacuous. You have failed to address the reason why Rich is blocked, and until that is addressed - by Rich himself - I have little expectation that his block will be lifted early. Resolute 18:25, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually I want to clarify something Tarc and Resolute said here. Tarc says that Rich wasn't a likable person and that Rich wasn't responsive to comments. Both of those statements are patently false. Rich was a good guy to most editors and was responsive. What Rich wasn't was responsive to editors who constantly attacked him, blocked his bots or reverted his efforts for no reason other than being A-holes and the constant harrassment by a couple of editors over petty reasons. Rich's main problem was doign bot edits that were minor. That was it. We blocked a million edit contributor because his bots and he did too many minor edits. Most of which would have been required if the articles were to be promoted to GA or better by the way. But because a couple of admins had a burr in their ass about too many articles shoing up on their watchlists with Rich or his bots names on it, he got Arbcommed and banned from the project. Too many edits too quickly has got to be the dumbest reason in the world to sanction and block an editor. So if it was me, I would have ignored or responded harshly to the editors harassing me as well. I do agree however that this discussion is not going to have any affect because frankly I don't think Jimbo even cares and even if he did he doesn't have the ability or desire to change it. @Resolute, Rich did address the issues repeatedly. What he didn't do was stop editing. He violated a ban that was impossible to follow. No one, not him, you or me could have. No one. If he hadn't been blocked for that it would have been something else. Some editors were gunning for him and they got what they wanted. Rich is gone, his bots are shutdown and the pedia has far less edits being done. Many of the tasks he did haven't even been duplicated in other bots after multiple requests from different users for them. Kumioko (talk) 18:37, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And your argument here is not vacuous? And its me who failed to address the reason why he got blocked? Here is my civil answer to it: He got blocked because the ArbCom got bored, and thats why they block him. Blocking Rich was a way for ArbCom to say: "Here, now laugh at it!" Get the point? His editing was problematic? How so? He made a lot of contributions and some people are in his support. Ofcourse there are some like you and Tarc that believe that we should block every user that is in our opinion is problematic. Let me ask you this: Have Rich done anything to you personally?--Mishae (talk) 18:51, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Kumioko - No, Rich's main problem was performing automated edits that were nonsensical and leaving the mess for others to clean up; e.g. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Rich Farmbrough/January 2011. Mishae - You still have failed to respond to the substance of why Rich is blocked, but I am impressed at your creative attempts at deflection. Resolute 18:58, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

So what you are saying Reso, is that I should agree with you in order for me not to fail? I'm surprised at how dictatorial you are. You know, maybe you should be elected as a leader of North Korea for example, I bet Kim Jong-Un will give you a nice palace there. :) Plus, I asked you a question and failed to answer it too: Have Rich personally done any harm to you?--Mishae (talk) 19:10, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And at this point, I think we can safely assume you are simply trolling. Good day. Resolute 19:18, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
That was one exceptional situation and there was a lot more too it than what is in that link. There are threads of it on Rich's page, Fram's and a few others. You know as well as I that link only shows about 10% of that discussion and skews it against Rich unfairly. So yes although he did create some bad categories, a lot of that situation was disagreements between how it should have been done or that some weren't needed at that time. Not that all the edits were bad. It was largely an I like it this way but he did it that way situation. And the reason Rich didn't respond was because Fram and CBM and a couple of other users where hounding his every edit day and night. He couldn't add a signature without one of those editors popping up to complain nfor months on end. There isn't an editor in the world who would put up with that nonsense. I would also add that a big part of his desysopping was based on his unblocking of his bots, a practice which has been and continues to be a common practice among bot operating admins. Not this other garbage you are trying to use to justify a bad decision. No one is saying (not even me) that every edit Rich made was correct or error free. What I am saying is that there was a lot more piss poor conduct by other editors, admins and the Arbcom than what Rich did or didn't do and nothing happened to any of them. Why? Because we have developed a culture where its better to do 10 edits error free than 1 million with 100 errors.
Mishae please, that's not helping and Resolute nor anyone else is going to change their mind about Rich. They would rather block an positive high output contributor who does 1 million edits with a hundred erors and keep an editor who does 10 edits with no errors. Whether we like it or not people are fostering an environment where less edits are preferred over a lot with a few errors. Its better not to edit or to only do a few than to be a high output contributor and make everyone else look bad. Kumioko (talk) 19:19, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And calling people trolls doesn't solve anything either. Did I call you something like a fascist or something? No. Still as a stubborn person I will wait for Jimbo...--Mishae (talk) 19:25, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Believe me Kumioko, if Rich's error rate was as low as 1 in 10,000, he would yet be a highly respected editor. But the error rate was much higher. And higher still if you discount all of his pointless automated edits that accomplished no function other than to fill up people's watchlists. Rich made a million edits, but only a very small fraction was functional or useful. As to his block, no, some random troll white knighting for Rich on Jimbo's talk page is not going to alter my view. But I am not necessarily opposed to considering an unblock (such as I, or any of us could given this is an AE block) if Rich requests one himself. But the request would have to be a little more substantial than Mishae's B"waaaaaah, it's just unfair" defence. Resolute 19:35, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Well we're just going to have to agree to disagree with the edit rate and need of the edits. I don't think either one of us is going to change the others mind but you are grossly exaggerating the errors and problems to fit your own desire to have and keep him gone. Also, Rich has on numerous occassions talked for himself but he seems too have, and rightly so, apparently become somewhat disgruntled and disappointed in a project and site that he has cared about and devoted a great amount of time and effort too. Only to have a handful of vested editors, many of which with their own problems, run him down and off the site. Also for what its worth I agree that some of Mishae's comments are out of line however your snide remarks and comments are not helping either. Its unfortunate that I sometimes make the same kinds of comments and I am called a troll and a nuisance by you and others but when you and your fellow admins do it its perfectly fine. If you don't like the comments I am making then you should probably listen to yourself talk because I say the exact same things in the exact same ways. The difference is I don't have a couple extra tools to block users I don't like but I do and have considered myself for a long time and admin without the tools. Kumioko (talk) 19:48, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And I will vote for you Kumioko if you will decide to become an admin. Now for Reso's comment: No, I don't have as you put it "B"waaaaaah, it's just unfair" defence". My defence is that he made a couple of edits that were not under ArbCom taste and therefore got blocked simply out of ArbCom boredom. ArbCom wanted to find a way how to block him and they did. They did it the way how NKVD troika used to do during Stalin times. Its called: "Find a victim and accuse him, but give him no chances for his defence".--Mishae (talk) 20:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

@Kumioko: "...using the four tildes for his signature would constitute automation"??? Surely this was not what arbcom intended in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Rich_Farmbrough, unless they said so somewhere else. (talk) 13:10, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

It doesn't really matter what the Arbcom believes or intended, they wrote the ruling so broadly and vaguely that anything that isn't typed in could be construed as automation. Using excel to sort tables offline, find and replace, anything, including using tildes for signatures. All it would take is some admin to come along and block him. He could argue it and maybe someone else woudl agree and unblock him but it is automation and it does fit the criteria as written. That is the problem with the lousy "broadly construed" language that Arbcom likes so much. Kumioko (talk) 14:05, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
The "broadly construed" phrasing does indeed declare open season on any unpopular editor. Eric Corbett 14:19, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
So "broadly construed" works better for topic restrictions than for technology? It seems they are tired of the whole thing, why haven't they thrown it back to the community? There ought to be an RFC/U or something. (talk) 14:33, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
No, what I am saying is broadly constued shouldn't be used at all. Its too subjective. We need to have defined and specific criteria. Its better to leave the person a little wiggle room and have to further refine it than to make the determination so broad and vague that its useless. The problem is the Arbcom feels they are above the community, beyond it, over it (kinda like the Men in Black). They don't have to ask us what to do they tell us what to do. Also, the Arbcom makes decisions the community can't and since the community can't make a decision on anything these days more and more is falling to Arbcom. The fact that Arbcom got Rich's case in the first place means that there was a rift in the community for and against him so it had to go to Arbcom to decide because the community couldn't get a consensus. When a case like this goes to Arbcom and they accept, that means the editor is guilty because they wouldn't even accept the case unless they thought so. There are so many problems with the Arbcom policy, structure and function I could go on for days. The simple answer is its a garbage process and no better than the problems its suppose to be fixing. Kumioko (talk) 15:40, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Very strongly agree about "broadly construed". From what I've observed of these processes, restrictions are not written to be sturdy fences, but rather are cast out like baited hooks with the intention of snagging editors and hauling them out for a final ban. It looks like admins measure their success by who they are able to throw out, not who they are able to engage productively. I think that this comes from a misplaced=social Darwinism - but Wikipedia is not genetics and it is in fact more a Lamarckian inheritance that has governed its evolution. Wnt (talk) 16:39, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, the intent behind "broadly construed" is very likely to short circuit attemps to wikilawyer around a restriction or to poke at the edges to see what one can get away with and what one can't. Rich's problems weren't related to the individual tools he used so much as the repeating pattern of behaviour - from bots to scripts to excel. The attempts to eliminate his usage of automated tools, "broadly construed" were intended to put a stop to that pattern. What could we use to replace "broadly construed" with that still effectively seeks to eliminate those repeating patterns of behviour? Resolute 16:54, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
We should stop trying to cut corners and be lazy and say the restriction is whatever the problem is. If we leave some wiggle room and need to revise it then fine. But we shouldn't be cutting down the forrest to prevent a fire. Kumioko (talk) 17:00, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually a common occurrence in fighting forest fires is cutting down the forest. As for not leaving wiggle room. That attempt was tried with him multiple times. He used up many chances. Now he requires broadly construed because anything else is the problem. -DJSasso (talk) 17:03, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
"Broadly construed" doesn't prohibit Wikilawyering - it merely directs that Wikilawyers against an editor will always have the upper hand, regardless of the facts of the case. Sorry, but the way to avoid Wikilawyering is by choosing clear, easy to make distinctions as your boundaries, not by phrasing something very vaguely and adding "and anything like that" at the end of it. Wnt (talk) 17:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Again we disagree here. He requires broadly constued because a few editors didn't like some of his edits and Rich got tired of responding to hate messages and complaints from the same three or four individuals and just started ignoring them. 98% of his and his bots edits were fine, its just that the volume of the 2% annoyed some people. But he didn't require broadly construed, its just that the few editors who were annoyed kept forcing the issue because its better no edits get done than some minor ones or a few errors. Ten edits with no errors is better than 1 million with 10 errors. Unfortunately somem editors have become so focused on being the minor edit police they are willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I don't expect you to agree with me but mybelief is that the loss of Rich and his bots is a severe net loss the pedia for the sake of minor edits and few errors. You and some others would rather all the good work that was done be prevented if it prevents a few easily fixable errors. I do not agree and I never will. Broadly construed is nothing but a lazy fix because the admins and Arbs didn't want to take the time to do it correctly. This way they can find a reason to block him at their discretion and leisure and be done with it. Its frankly a prime example of the abuses that admins perform on this site everyday. Kumioko (talk) 17:18, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Which goes to show you don't have any idea the scope of the issues he created. If I recall correctly his edits were looked into and something like 10% of them contained mistakes. If he made 1 million edits that 100,000 errors. That isn't chump change, that is nearly as many edits as I have managed to make in 7 years. The amount of man power that was required to clean up his edits which could have been used in more productive ways far surpasses the good edits he ever made. You always cry about the loss of his good edits, but you always fail to realize that the wiki lost even more good edits from other editors having to deal with his messes. So yes the wiki is considerably better off not having to waste valuable resources on fixing his mistakes. Everyone did take the time to deal with it correctly. It took years of trying to do it other ways before it came to this solution. If it was a lazy fix it would have been implemented years ago without trying other options. Rich refused to co-operate, he has nothing to blame but himself. -DJSasso (talk) 17:47, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Don't let the lack of admin tools fool you, I Actually understand them completely and you are massively exaggerating the problem. A trend which occurred during the witch hunts as well and that unfortunately Arbcom didn't investigate further. There were several individuals crying that Rich was making all these errors and Arbcom just went along with it but if they bothered to look they would have found some errors, mixed in with massive exageration along with honest attempts to fix the problems but every time he would start working to fix one someone would block his bot and drag him into a discussion for a month which prevented him from fixing it. So yes I understand the problem very well thank you. Kumioko (talk) 17:56, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
The person who will read this will be me, and I did. Here is my verdict, first of all user Kumioko does do typos, but hey, does he get blocked for it? No. Reason? Its because it is a talkpage. Second, all other posters here need to focus on Rich's edits and stop whining about it. If its so damn hard for you folks to clean up after one man mess, allow me to do it. I wont complain to a single admin, just because one guy does some poor editing. Maybe Rich need a guy like me or Kumioko to help him. Have anyone thought of it? Had ArbCom thought of it?--Mishae (talk) 22:16, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
That's a very interesting idea, Mishae. Does anyone with the technical expertise know if it is workable? There is a group to approve bots, but who do you go to if you need help with something, the bot equivalent of proofreading? (talk) 10:50, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm looking at the language of the Farmbrough case again and it doesn't seem to have the "broadly construed" language. The exact wording of the remedy is "Rich Farmbrough is indefinitely prohibited from using any automation whatsoever on Wikipedia. For the purposes of this remedy, any edits that reasonably appear to be automated shall be assumed to be so." And that was modified by a motion " make only completely manual edits (i.e. by selecting the [EDIT] button and typing changes into the editing window)". And there is a section on identifying automated edits by "speed, number, timing, and consistency". Nothing about tildes or keyclicks. So this case at least seems to rely heavily on the judgment and interpretations of the blocking admin; in this case it is the AE admin. And since the block was done from Arbitration Enforcement, there is little likelihood of another admin coming along and unblocking. If I am reading this correctly, Rich would have to appeal this to the same AE admin who has already blocked him twice.
So Kumioko, there are probably more people watching this thread than just the ones you have had unfruitful previous discussions with. If you have some idea of what is wrong and how to fix it, this might be as good a place as any for your two cents worth. (talk) 09:52, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, the whole discussion is ridiculous. Rich is a very prolific editor, but his interpersonal skills are.. well, lacking to the extreme. He was determined to use automation no matter what, even though there had been numerous issues with his use of automated tools in the past. He deliberately violated the spirit AND letter of his restrictions on numerous times. The reason for the wording on his restriction (which I will remind all, he voluntarily agreed to), was because he continually was searching for new loopholes to continue down his path. He denied doing so, until he was caught "red-handed", so to speak, and then apologized to his supporters for being caught. That is why the explicit restriction to what any other editor would get by hitting the edit button and typing in the changes. (claiming the four tildes is "automation" is a red herring). I understand wanting to support your friend, Mishae, but you are warping this situation beyond belief. SirFozzie (talk) 11:28, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Your right this discussion is ridiculous because it was started with the naive hopes that Jimbo would do anything about it or coudl. Neither of which is true. It would also assume that the Arbcom would undo the bad decision they made which is also not going to happen. So the pedia will continue to lose out on all the valuable contributions that aren't being done so a few mistakes can be avoided. Its really a shameful reason to block someone but that's what it boils down too. Kumioko (talk) 16:55, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
From the enforcement request: " appears very improbable that this sort of repetitive change was made without some sort of automation, if only the copy/paste or search/replace functions (which are forbidden under the terms of the decision, which prohibits 'any automation whatsoever')." (talk) 12:07, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
To SirFozzie: And I understand the other users desire to block someone for something and then make a happy "we got rid of a bad editor". You know, look at it this way, every edit a user makes is either helping the project or ruins it. Then, we have some edits like the ones of mine or Rich's that is both. On one hand, yes we do for example add a category, or remove unsourced material, or expanding on a subject... But sometimes for example we do typo here and there, or we condense something (my case), or we simply cite a wrong site... In such cases, we don't need blocks, we need explanation. You might ask, how much? Well it depends on a person. Let me use an example. I'm a part of WikiProject plants (by the way if Kumioko is sick and tired of fighting in WikiProject USA, he can join that one, I personaly invite him :)), and I had for an issue there once, i.e, putting a site as an external link that was just advertising site. Sure, I knew that advertising on Wikipedia is prohibited but I didn't knew that using such sites as Dave's Garden will not be appropriate to use as an externbal link jusdt because its not encyclopedic. So, how did our little conflict got resolved? A user came to my talkpage, a piecefully without "You have violated such and such policy" or "If you will do it again, I will do that...", expained what was my wrong. I understood and never step into the same problem again. Now, I understand that every user have a different problem which require a specific approach. For example, I am on special needs, (yes, I know Wikipedia is not a terapy and this is not an excuse), so after AN/I discussion user named Justin suggested himself and we even became best friends and so far I have a lot less conflicts. And no, I am not here to just help my friend, I am here just like user Kumioko to look for justice. Sure Wikipedia is no court and not a lawyering lobby, but it have rules and guidelines which are sometimes too broad and aren't specific... As far as the ridiculous discussion goes, heh, in my opinion its not that bad. I gave a concrete statement assuming that Jimbo will read it, but instead it went from I said to they said, and then completely went off topic. Thankfully I brought the discussion back, and we should continue on this topic to be honest, since the case have lots of hooks that are loose.

Now, the anonymous user asked me a keen question here to which I will keenly reply: bot equivalent of proofreading? you asked. A bot is a bot, so yes, it should be able to proofread. If not, can we write a code for it? Absolutelly! However, do talk to Village Pump guys...--Mishae (talk) 23:44, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I didn't mean "in general", Mishae, I was talking about your offer to correct the errors of Rich's bots. There is a group to approve bots, but as far as I know, there is no group to clean up the errors when bots go wrong. Maybe it isn't even possible. But you're right about one thing. They didn't give him a chance to defend himself, or give anyone else a chance at discussion. He was just accused and blocked. (talk) 13:38, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Interesting case of "verifiability not truth"?

I know you like these. See Wikipedia:ANI#Article Vera Renczi continuously vandalized. (talk) 22:19, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I think there was a discussion on your talk page not so long ago about an encyclopedia of crime seeded with bogus information. I wonder if that may have something to do with it... (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

  • "Verifiability Not Truth" is one of the biggest blunders of Wikipedia's official doctrine. The standard for inclusion actually, in real life, is verifiability and veracity. Wrong information is wrong information and has no "right" to be perpetuated at WP just because some so-called "reliable source" blundered first. Fix it and move along; if somebody attempts to restore wrong information, fight it. Accuracy is the main thing, the only thing. Carrite (talk) 02:36, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Note well that 'Verifiability not truth' is long since gone from policy. It was a misleading formulation that led to many problems. It's finally dead now. I have no comment on the current example other than that h2g2 should not be used as a source for anything.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:57, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Sadly, it is not as gone as you think it is. I do agree that the slogan as an unquestioned and unquestionable axiom to end debates has lost its luster. Carrite (talk) 17:36, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Carrite, but from experience I can tell you there are a huge number of "Wikipedia rules are laws" editors who do take Verifiability Not Truth at face value (and interpret it literally with no exemptions). They tend to bully till they get their way because.... well policy does state it. They don't subscribe to the view that if am otherwise "reliable" source got information wrong then in that case the source is not reliable anymore. To them a source is either reliable or not in all cases. I see this at many articles, and it has to go to RS/N quite a bit.Camelbinky (talk) 03:03, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
"Verifiability not truth" is sometimes wrong, but the alternatives are worse. Removing verifiable information because e.g. the subject of an article said it was wrong is a dangerous path to follow, as there are a number of pitfalls; the subject may be mistaken, may have reasons to lie, may be misquoted by some trusted editor who claims that the subject said X or Y... Having a single reliable source shouldn't be used as an excuse to post some clearly incorrect things, but not having a reliable source but knowing the "truth" nevertheless should be even less acceptable. Carrite above states "Accuracy is the main thing, the only thing.", but how are we going to decide what is "accurate" if not by following reliable sources? Fram (talk) 07:11, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Do note that I said "verifiability AND veracity." Nobody is arguing that truthful information should not be verifiable — which means "attributable to a valid published source." Note again that I'm not using the word "reliable," which is yet another blunder of official doctrine, in my view. This idea of "reliable sources" was apparently conjured up by a philosopher rather than a historian... Sources are sources, some are better than others, nothing in this world is automatically "reliable" for everything in every instance. We must use good sources with accurate information, seeking when available scholarly sources... We must weigh evidence rationally and make editorial judgments about content, striving at all times to achieve NPOV. Carrite (talk) 16:16, 12 June 2013 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 16:19, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Something that many folks seem to miss in the VNT debate is the simple concept that once a "reliable source" has been shown to be wrong about "fact x" it is no longer a "reliable source" for "fact x" and thus is no longer acceptable for verification of "fact x". "Reliable source" is not an unconditional status conferred on a publication/publisher for all eternity, it is subject to rebuttal in each and every instance that the source is cited. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:41, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I've got a half-finished essay at WP:TRUTHMATTERS that may be helpful. Gigs (talk) 13:29, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
This case demonstrates that "original research" belongs on talk pages; sometimes editors have been criticized (claims of "not a forum", etc.) for trying to work out the details of crime reports logically on those pages, but they should not be. Original research doesn't belong in our articles but it can guide our research; in this case, someone came up with a source saying the claim "lacked authority". There is no a priori way to guess for sure whether the story is badly garbled or entirely invented, and its notability means that it is rightly covered in the encyclopedia. We do as much service by having an article about a well known myth that lets people know it is a myth as we do by having an article about a fact and proving that, and sometimes we do best by letting people know that no one knows which, but here is the data we have. Wnt (talk) 21:35, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with that. We should seek truth in our research. That said, if a certain topic has controversial facts that keep taking over talk page discussions, I can understand the need to declare that topic finished at some point. Gigs (talk) 15:05, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

It might help to point out that "verifiability not truth" was ditched a while ago and is not Wikipedia policy. The phrasing is now: Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it. Fits less neatly on a placard, but it's better policy. Formerip (talk) 23:20, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

I suppose such disputes involving pseudo-reliable sources are rather common. There is another one today at ANI whether Ataturk was a freemason. (talk) 16:03, 17 June 2013 (UTC)


Jimbo, you look like Hugh Jackman to me. Albacore (talk) 04:09, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

I compared it, sad, but I need to disagree with you here... If his cheeks will get skinnier, then I might change my status.--Mishae (talk) 04:13, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Your cheque is in the mail Albacore.. Try Daniel Craig with a beard and you'll be closer..♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 12:07, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Daniel Craig does not have the singing voice, though. Important consideration. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 15:42, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't know who he does look like but he is cute and, in a kind way, interesting :) Miss Bono (zootalk) 16:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo doesn't always obey the rules of space and time...but he clearly is doing some time traveling. --Onorem (talk) 16:39, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

NSFW - Wikimedia Commons video

I encourage people to go to commons and work to explain to the community there some of the concepts behind Hostile environment sexual harassment. I encourage everyone to seriously consider whether it is appropriate behavior to upload a clearly non-notable film of someone using his penis to paint a picture of a Wikipedia volunteer. It is harassment, it is trolling, and I am deeply disappointed to have to point this out to some people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:10, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hi Jimbo, a friend of mine told me about this video that was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons a few days ago. My friend is not an old fashioned person, but he was surprised to see this video on Commons. In particular he told me: "I thought Wikipedia is for education." This video is about the painting of your portrait, and I am very interested to find out what do you think about this video? Thanks. (talk) 03:37, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Ha. Unsurprisingly for something uploaded by russavia. Soon or later Commons will be a happy place to host all the porn video files and Mattbuck or Niabot would defend them "they're unique, educational. Commons is not censored!" -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:45, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Is Niabot still around? As for me, I nominate low quality sexuality images for deletion when they're uploaded. -mattbuck (Talk) 18:01, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
It should be known that the thread opener here is User:Vigilant. Why are they not being blocked? Russavia (talk) 05:27, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Probably because a month ago I I was user User:Captain Occam :-) but the post is about Jimbo's opinion on the video and not about me. (talk) 05:45, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
@Jimmy: Whack-a-Mole costs money in an arcade, Whack-a-Troll can be played for free. @Mattbuck, the issue isn't vaguely out-of-focus images of peni, it's clearly out-of-scope images of peni. Carrite (talk) 22:11, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Plural of penis is penes in British English or penises in American. Peni is an improper and irregular slang, just thought I'd pass that on.
As one can see, User:Vigilant (the IP) is a troll. He didn't just find out about this video (which I think is awesome by the way!), he's been talking about it on "that" website for some days now, and has been encouraging others to troll with it. Seeing as no-one took his encouragement, he's taken to the trolling himself. Jimmy, you are clearly being trolled here; I'd suggest you tell these Wikipediocracy clowns to let you be. :) Russavia (talk) 06:00, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia, it is clear that I'm being trolled, yes. But not by the person alerting me to your latest viciousness towards me, but by you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:34, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Yeah. Hey Russavia. That IP is not me. Thought you should know. Wikivigilant (talk) 06:01, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, Wikivigilant or should I call you simply, Vigilant :-) (talk) 06:09, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Pricasso is a notable artist.[20] He clearly has an excellent command of his tool. We should be very pleased to host his work. Even if the portrait does look like it's the wrong race... Wnt (talk) 07:05, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Nice 15 minutes of fame. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:15, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the IP isn't Vigilant. It's just another tiresome Wikipediocracy troll. Prioryman (talk) 07:26, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
It's bloody well apparent that you cannot defend this, given your personal attacks on whomever the messenger may be. No Personal Attacks isn't just for friends; it's a way of life. Mangoe (talk) 09:56, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
They can both be right at the same time. This is, however, one of those rare cases where the Wikipediocracy set is more right than the other side. Resolute 14:17, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Curious that as work progresses on User:Russavia/Pricasso, Mr. Pricasso there paints a picture of Jimbo Wales. Jimbo's celebrity status would charitably be described as minor (no offense), thus an odd subject choice considering the gallery of his usual famous types. Given Russavia's frequent antagonism of Jimbo of late, a curious person would wonder if there is a quid pro quo at play here; say, an article created in exchange for a custom photo of an enemy with which to adorn it. Tarc (talk) 12:57, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. I've removed the image and the link to the video from the userspace draft, and would recommend treating attempts at reinsertion as BLP violations, as the very concept of the image is evidently meant to be degrading and insulting. The files have been proposed for deletion at Commons (I've also blocked the above as an obvious troll though.) Fut.Perf. 15:26, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia has edit-warred the image back into his draft, which is regrettable. I'm still of the opinion that this is a BLP-enforceable issue and would like to hear opinions on that (though not from the usual partisans on either side). Fut.Perf. 16:20, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia is right - it definitely belongs. And Tarc, that conspiracy theory is unjustifiable - not compared to the very high bar of evidence the same people are demanding around here for things like the Square Enix WikiProject!!! Wnt (talk) 16:24, 14 June 2013 (UTC) (cf. Barack Obama "Joker" poster for a reminder about artistic license - it is not our job to muzzle artists)
It doesn't take a conspiracy theory to determine that the fact that the artist created an image of the Wikipedia founder on exactly the same day when somebody started to work on a Wikipedia article for him is not a coincidence. I'm not saying it was necessarily meant as an attack by the artist – he might have meant it as a jocular tribute of sorts. I also can't be sure if it was originally the artist's own idea or that of the Wikipedia editor who contacted him. But it certainly smells of an intended jibe on the part of the editor, given their prior history with Jimbo, and under these circumstances the fact that the subject of the painting is regarding it as an act of "viciousness" must be taken into account. It is perfectly understandable that the painting comes across to the subject as an insult, since the very act of painting it is basically just an extended practical metaphor of "I fuck you". Fut.Perf. 16:39, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
The "theory" is rather airtight as far as anyone with a shared of intelligence and common sense is concerned. Russavia has been antagonizing and trolling Jimbo for several years now over Commons issues. Do you really think a dick artist just happened to paint a picture, and record himself doing it, of non-celebrity Jimbo Wales at the same time Russavia just happened to be creating an article about the painter?
@Fut.Perf. may be good to head to WP:BLPN for non-party opinions, as your question may get lost in the haze here. Tarc (talk) 16:36, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't enjoy PI work, but suppose Russavia did contact the painter asking if he would contribute some video to Wikimedia Commons. Perfectly legitimate. And if the painter didn't have video (or video available for free license), but thought it was a good idea to make one for the purpose .. who would he draw a portrait of, the Queen of England? No, I think it's pretty obvious Jimbo would be his natural pick. I hope he will regard it as a tribute to be on another list of famous people.
I find it flabbergasting that you would regard a conspiratorial role for Russavia as "obvious", yet people think that having an entire WikiProject devoted to showcasing the work of a single company, getting its current products for sale showcased on the Main Page as a Featured Ad like clockwork every six months -- that is still treated as just coincidence! I imagine "fans" go out and wear clapboards and mascot suits in front of company headquarters as a spontaneous surge of volunteerism too... Wnt (talk) 16:49, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Meanwhile, it looks like Future Perfect has won the edit war the old-fashioned way - re-reverted to his version and protected it. Congratulations, you're the king of the userspace draft. Wnt (talk) 16:51, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Oh, please; you're about as "flabbergasted" as Captain Renault was "shocked", so save your faux outrage for someone who might actually be duped by it, Wnt. You've been squarely in the Russavia fanclub whenever any of these discussions crop up, no one here takes anything you have to say at face value. Tarc (talk) 16:56, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Whose "fanclub" are you in? The issue here is censorship - you're for it, I'm against it. I'm not anybody's henchman. Wnt (talk) 17:25, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
The main issue here is whether there is really any mission to serve as a repository for this stuff; "no censorship" in that context is a vote for being indiscriminate about the material, as long as it doesn't have copyright problems. The presenting issue at the moment is that the files being discussed seem to be a calculated provocation. Raising the issue of censorship is more or less a kind of personal attack upon those who object to indiscriminate storage, and a kind of crusade against "prudery". It does not give the impression to me of having any real intent towards genuinely educational intent, much less the original and more justifiable purpose of supporting the encyclopedia projects. Mangoe (talk) 18:09, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
This is Wnt's standard mode of operation, to reach for the "c" word without actually taking the time to see what the discussion is actually about. I'm not opposed to dick art and find the concept rather amusing, though obviously the very concept of how this art is created is going to be offensive to some. If the reliable sourcing supports the nobility of the artist (and it appears to do so), then by all means move it into mainspace. But Wnt well knows that Russavia and Jimbo have been at loggerheads over Commons porn problems and such lately, as do we all. The notion that Russavia created an article on Pricasso at the same time Pricasso painted a picture of Jimbo and allowed for it's free use on Commons, with no off-wiki collaboration or correspondence whatsoever between the two, strains all manner of credulity. The collaboration is clear, and the picture was commissioned to insult/degrade the subject. Tarc (talk) 18:23, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, so if I have this straight, opposing censorship is a personal attack on everyone who believes in it, because it suggests they might be censorious, but denigrating a contributor for getting a notable artist to submit video of his technique and writing an article about it, suppressing the publication of this by admin-protecting a draft according to your own personal preferred version, and coming up with some conspiracy theory about why an artist who paints famous people wouldn't possibly have thought of painting Jimbo Wales when submitting something to Commons, unless the idea came from someone else ... these are all just valid administrative processes? Wnt (talk) 19:07, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Nothing to do with censorship. As long as you keep carrying that tune, your responses will be skimmed and largely ignored. Tarc (talk) 19:23, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
People talk about garbage content and you call that "censorship". I don't know that he's a notable artist— my standards are high, at any rate, and in my opinion my teenage daughter does comparable work with more conventional materials— but the point of the art, even in its own context, is to create something to offend people. The point here is to put more stuff in commons which is deliberately offensive to most of mankind. My interpretation of Commons is that there's one group of people who are using it as a vehicle for publishing low-quality material that other sites either reject or hide because they have community standards, and there's another group (among which I number you, Wnt) which defends this useless material in order to make a statement about "censorship"— which comes out as an attack on having community standards in general. I do not object to "not censored" in the sense that I can accept that genuinely encyclopedic (and more generally educational) coverage of subjects should not be suppressed only because someone is offended by mention of it. But what I see happening in commons and here is that the offensive nature of the material is being used to defend it from criticism on other grounds; sexual imagery in particular is protected, as such, from being removed because of its low quality or its irrelevance to a real educational mission, simply because it is sexual. When people do object on these grounds, you and other people like you accuse us, the objectors, of being prudes. Your continued refusal to get our message straight comes across to me as a campaign that doesn't have anything to do with defending the quality of the project. Mangoe (talk) 20:22, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I am offended, shocked and offended that Wikipedia hosts and endorses garbage that blasphemes the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously an example of the atheist liberals who run it and their campaign to destroy good Christian society. Thankfully we have brave Christians fighting the good fight against them. -- (talk) 20:39, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Good thing there are still lots of brave liberal Jews like myself who fight the good fight against Christians pushing their version of "morality" upon others. Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion.Camelbinky (talk) 13:56, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, excellent points, but aren't you paid by WMF and hence not a volunteer.
No, I am not paid by the WMF. All my work for Wikipedia is as a volunteer. It has always been so.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:16, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I am not sure you realize that it is much worse than simply uploading that video. It looks like the video and the portrait were ordered in purpose to troll the project and you. Please see here and here. As you see Russavia was repeatedly asked, if he "asked/encouraged the artist to create the image and video in any way, shape or form", and in all situations Russavia has ignored the questions. (talk) 16:29, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
As a community we may not be legally subject to the laws regarding workplace sexual harassment. However, whether we are subject to these laws or not, or whether Jimbo is an employee or a volunteer, should be irrelevant. We should hold ourselves to the same standards of behavior that are required of any American voluntary organization. GabrielF (talk) 17:55, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. I hope you will make your views known over at commons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:43, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo and Gabe about the this video, but I think the prior edit has a valid and separate point about Jimbo really being a paid wiki person vice volunteer, but that point should be separate from this discussion about that sordid video.PumpkinSky talk 20:07, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
How could that possibly be a 'valid' point? Is it your position that hostile workplace harassment would be ok if I were a staff member?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:29, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, the point PumpkinSky made is absolutely invalid, but I think that if instead of saying "I encourage everyone to seriously consider whether it is appropriate behavior to upload a clearly non-notable film of someone using his penis to paint a picture of a Wikipedia volunteer" you said: "I encourage everyone to seriously consider whether it is appropriate behavior to upload a clearly non-notable film of someone using his penis to paint a picture of a person", nobody would have be talking about your status with the WMF. May I please suggest you to fix your language above because it is a very important point, and it should be written right. (talk) 13:58, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, your concern about harassment can be quite valid, but those of us who oppose censorship quite naturally oppose the use of "sexual harassment" as judicial legislation to force employers to ban all "pornography". The issue is by no means clear-cut, as our article suggests. I would hope that a reasonable court, if it had jurisdiction, would ask whether Pricasso's painting was really intended as an act of harassment meant to make Wikipedia a hostile place for you to take part in - and I think it would find that no, it is simply him doing homage in his own peculiar way. If you find that a prick-painting is a revolting means of tribute, well, imagine how God must feel when he hears our prayers! The other issue is whether Wikimedia has control over this, and that is even more clear cut - Wikimedia quite deliberately disclaims editorial control, leaving to individuals the power to determine what to upload and its legality, as well as its appropriateness.
All that said, both these things are influenced by the underlying consideration that you are a celebrity and a public figure. People respect you for all you've done, and no video of a prick-painting is ever going to change that. I can understand that if the Wikipediocracy crowd singled out some volunteer they dislike (there are so many) and tried something like this with the intent that when you looked him up on Google, this is what you'd find, that that would be more humiliating, while having much less artistic basis, and thus far more likely to be intended to harass, and thus more likely to offend the community at large and their sense of personality rights - a legal issue which I should add may be valid, but which I don't understand - the thing is, we generally assume a notable artist isn't going to target Joe Schmoe to annoy. I was hoping you'd take this whole episode as a complement to your importance in the world. Wnt (talk) 20:15, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
What's this got to do with Wikipediocracy? Russavia isn't a contributor and not exactly popular there. -- Hillbillyholiday talk 20:22, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
On the contrary, one regularly sees contributors there expressing their admiration for Russavia. (Or maybe I'm interpreting an emoticon as "applause" when it's actually "slow hand clap".) Anyway, I think this discussion is now closed with the recommendation from Jimbo that we all head over to Commons and sort things out. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:55, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
"Well, looks like we got ourselves a reader.." -- Bill Hicks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hillbillyholiday81 (talkcontribs) 21:12, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, to give an idea of how contorted things have gotten, Mattbuck voted to delete, and JN466 voted to keep. I feel like I'm the only one who sticks to my own opinion, though I suppose everyone thinks that. Wnt (talk) 22:38, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
It's like Chris Hayes's graphic about sides in the NSA leak thing. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:23, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Under the special BLP enforcement authority, I have topic-banned Russavia from editing concerning Jimmy Wales. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:18, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

....Which he wasn't doing anyway, except on talk pages which your topic-ban omits. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:23, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
You have misread things. Your further input here is unlikely to be helpful. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:28, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia and Mattbuck are only two of the numerous parasites on the encyclopedia and its associated projects. There are many, many, many more users on the encyclopedia who are members of mutual-admiration societies and power-playing cabals, interested only in intrigue and creation of independent fiefdoms than in the overall betterment of the project. That Wikipedia lacks any institutional structure to deal with them is a problem resultant from an idiotic, techno-libertarian-utopian fantasy. Private bureaucracies have sprung up to fill the power vacuums created by a lack of functioning institutions, namely the cabals I mentioned above and the POV pushers and abusive administrators who facilitate them. We need to end the madness, leave the illusion. Wikipedia should have content review boards (for FA, GA, DYK, and particularly contentious subjects), administrator control boards with actual power, and an elected assembly to unify them and give power to actual content creators. Anyone claiming that such a proposition is "bureaucratic" ignores the opaque, disunited, and self-interested bureaucracies, fiefdoms, and cabals that already exist. Wer900talk 23:37, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
No doubt one of the first things they'd enforce is a prohibition on personal attacks. Russavia wrote up a brand new article for the encyclopedia and you're calling him a "parasite" because you don't like one illustration because of who it depicts? Wnt (talk) 01:02, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
No, I'm calling Russavia a parasite because his primary purpose, like many others, is to be a "Wikipedia social networker"—half of [Russavia's edits from 2012 onward] have been in useless, non-content areas (note the huge amount of edits in the user talk namespace). Although Russavia has in the past been a content editor, this has recently changed dramatically in the past; to be fair, there are many, many people more parasitic than Russavia. On another topic, I am not annoyed at the subject Pricasso's art itself, only the gratuitously sexual nature that Russavia in which it has been presented, and that he is merely using his latest spat with Jimbo to call attention to himself and other self-interested cabals. I am by no means enamoured by Jimmy Wales—in fact, I wrote a Wikipediocracy blog post about Wales' misdeeds on this very talk page. Wer900talk 02:32, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I imagine my own ratio is taking a hard hit from this recent conversation, due to all this back-and-forth on a user talk page. Nonetheless, if posting here is "parasitic", why are you doing it? Truth is, when people use conversations on pages like this as a reason to destroy content and people's ability to make it, they end up making more and more edits here, and Russavia in particular has been encouraged, under shadow of administrative stick, to talk quite a few things over. Wnt (talk) 04:31, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Consider the following problem. How can you get 100,000 people to go naked on the streets of New York? The only thing that could conceivably work is for some politician to suggest making it compulsory to dress conservatively. That's why I suggested some time ago that one should have a discussion on Commons itself about the real problems with sexual content in which one does acknowledge that Commons is not censored. If the discussion is centered around issues such as child porn, possible lack of consent of people in the images etc. etc., you would not get this rather explicit demonstration that Commons is not censored. Count Iblis (talk) 01:04, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

A debate axiomatically granting the provision "Commons Is Not Censored" and held on that turf is doomed to failure. It's Politics 101. The Foundation created, the Foundation can dissolve. The basic problem is that Commons has developed its own agenda. Rather that the sharing of files between the various language encyclopedias — its original function — Commons has arrogated for itself the agenda of mass-accumulating any purportedly "free" file with any sort of vaguely "educational" purpose. Certainly a POINTy video of an artiste painting Jimmy Wales with his privates, apparently commissioned by an enemy, is nothing if not educational. It is also a thinly veiled personal attack on a living person and has no place in the encyclopedia. Forget the "stealth jihad" — WMF needs to wield the big cudgel and turn files and file sharing over to the language encyclopedias themselves. Admit that Commons is a good idea that has had an unintended outcome and move along... We at En-WP will know how to sort files with encyclopedic purpose from those which do not, unlike the Bad Boyz Club of "Commonz Iz Not Cenzored" land... Carrite (talk) 02:08, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
An alternative scenario of "Revolution Not Reform": Unilaterally ban off the 10 biggest Usual Suspects; then ban off the next 10 and the next 10 and the next 10 if that's what it takes until the field is cleared for proper administration — which starts with a shut-down of all Flicker-scraping bots and a purge of any file not used currently in any language encyclopedia. An extreme solution, sure, but it's a potential solution. Carrite (talk) 02:15, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I admire your zeal to purge Enemies of the Revolution, comrade! But why stop at Commons? Surely ENWP would be likewise improved if we were to begin mass purges of those with counterrevolutionary ideals! -- (talk) 09:14, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
En-WP is not the problem. Commons is the problem. There are all sorts of possible solutions, some better and some worse. Carrite (talk) 16:47, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem is fundamentally about there being freedom on the one hand while people still can get offended about things that are not illegal. Even if Commons where to change its rules, you would have some other site where people would poke fun at Jimbo or someone else. If the pictures are not illegal then any rules used to deal with this problem won't be universally adopted on all internet sites.
The way to deal with the problem is to start by acknowledging that people have the freedom to do this and then one explains why it's still a not good for people to actually do this. It is not any different from how Obama dealt with the pastor who wanted to burn Korans. Count Iblis (talk) 12:18, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think the legality matters here. It's about maintaining a healthy community by establishing the culture of mutual-respect. Every community has their own rules different than the U.S. laws. We just establish our own policies and guidelines in the best interest to all users in mind. If the behavior is going to crumble the community and eventually the whole project, we say it downright to the offenders "it is not OK" and ban them from causing further harms on-wiki. Whether they do that off-wiki is none of our business. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 12:34, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but just like in the real world, there is a gap between what is "illegal" and what is not good from the point of view of good manners, mutual respect etc. The latter should be self-policed, the former should be formally enforced. Things tend to go wrong when attempting to make laws to deal with the latter issue, because that is usually motivated by a significant part of the community not subscribing to some strict notion of that is good behavior, while laws on these matters can only be effective when there is a big consensus for it. The laws will then backfire, and you end up with even worse behavior than at the start. Count Iblis (talk) 12:51, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

I have suggested a solution in the commons deletion debate - delete the Jimbo video but ask Pricasso for a video showing him making a self-portrait. This would fulfill the encyclopedic purpose of illustratring the process of making his art on a subject who has no objections. It would allow Russavia to complete his draft BLP without any possible trolling. It would allow an illustrated wiki-policy compliant article on Pricasso. If this is truly not about Jimbo then I don't see any flaw in this approach. Does this seem reasonable? PS: to NYB, is Russavia allowed to comment on this idea? EdChem (talk) 04:13, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

It could be a portrait of anyone, as long as that person freely consents. The main issue here is that the subject (Jimbo) perceives this as harassment and trolling. Under the circumstances, I consider those to be entirely reasonable perceptions. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:26, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
It could be, yes, but a self-portrait would be the least controversial. Russavia is not accepting of the idea, unfortunately. EdChem (talk) 12:26, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
It isn't unfortunate at all, it is just irrelevant; Russavia no longer has a say in the matter per this topic ban. When/if the Pricasso draft moves into mainspace (despite all this, this is a notable artist IMO), he cannot restore the image. I would also note the wording of Russavia's statement in that link you provided, i.e.

"I would be embarrassed to go back to an artist who has donated their time and provided free content to this project and to ask them to donate yet more time and free content."

That's important there; "I would be embarrassed to go back..." and "...ask them to donate yet more time and free content." I believe that is the admission we were looking for, regarding the origin of the picture in question. Tarc (talk) 13:41, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
(ec) And with this "I would be embarrassed to go back to an artist who has donated their time and provided free content to this project and to ask them to donate yet more time and free content. And we as a project should be ashamed and embarrassed that this is even an issue. So count me out of that; I am not going to insult a notable artist by insisting that his art is not good enough for us. Russavia (talk) 09:53, 16 June 2013 (UTC) " Russavia has practically admitted that he asked the artist to paint the portrait. (talk) 13:43, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Tarc, I do think it is unfortunate as Russavia already has a relationship with the artist. He has already admitted to contact and his recent response to me confirms it. His "yet more time" comment is illuminating, as it appears to confirm that the portrait was done especially for Wikipedia, but that does not prove that using Jimbo as the subject was Russavia's idea. I suspect that you and others are correct in suspecting Russavia made the suggestion, it would be a logical start for the chain of events that have unfolded, but that is not proof. The article will go into mainspace at some point, or someone else will draft one, because you are right that notability seems satisfied (I have only had a cursory look). I believe that an illustration of his method is appropriate and encyclopedic and it would be great if the artist provides a suitable video. A self-portrait would be the least controversial and Russavia is presently best positioned to ask. If Russavia's motives are truly just preparing a suitable BLP for the artist then it should not matter whose portrait is used in a method video. It is unfortunate that Russavia may have a different agenda. EdChem (talk) 14:18, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
A noble defense of AGF, when what we clearly have here is a case of a Commons Administrator in it for the lulz against a prominent critic. Be advised: ceremonial kings do still have swords... Carrite (talk) 16:36, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I do try to follow AGF at all times, Carrite, and though I have suspicions (heightened by Russavia's response to my suggestion and his declared intention to have the article translated for other language wikis), I haven't seen anything definitive that proves Russavia asked for a video of a portrait of Jimbo. I am confused, however, by your advice about swords as I don't think I have done anything that would lead Jimbo to turning a sword on me. Please explain. Thanks. EdChem (talk) 00:49, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with Jimbo - it is of little matter who the "portrait" is of - the artist does not have, under US and common law, an automatic "right" to produce "portraits" of people for commercial use. The "means of production", moreover, is one which most people would find to be demeaning at best, and offensive to most as well. Since the "means of production" is not separable here from the image, neither the video nor "portrait" belong on Wikipedia. The folks arguing against "censorship" are at best disingenuous, and at worst, deliberately destructive of Wikipedia, and their acts are destructive of Wikipedia and of Wikimedia as well, and should be so treated. Collect (talk) 14:11, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Collect, would you object to a self-portrait and associated method video? EdChem (talk) 14:20, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Not to the "self-portrait" subject to the caveat the the artist must meet notability guidelines, of course. Yes to the video as being intrinsically objectionable to a great percentage of the population, and not being of specific encyclopedic value - we do not generally have videos of artists demonstrating their techniques, and this is less utile to our readers than having examples of water-color artists showing different painting texhniques. etc. Material which is of no apparent value for readers and which is also objectionable has no strong rationale for being on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 18:41, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
What possible encyclopedic rationale is there for an "associated method video"? Oh, I forgot, all anything has to be is vaguely educational to be part of Commons' self-developed mission... Therein is the essence of the problem with Commons, that and the clique who run it. Carrite (talk) 16:41, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I believe Russavia knew quite well that Jimbo would not like that portrait. Otherwise why Russavia tried to remove this topic so vigorously? Russavia went above and beyond with that artist and Jimbo's portrait and even has "arranged for it to be translated into multiple other languages too." (talk) 17:23, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

2012 Wikipedian of the Year prize money

I am pleased to announce that I have received the $5000 prize money for the 2012 Wikipedian of the Year. It took a while because there was some problem on the method of transfer, mostly from my end but it was finally sorted. I'll like to thank Jimbo for the prize and for his offer to pay my airline ticket to Hong Kong for Wikimania, though I had to decline. And I realized that the prize money had been a source of mini controversy around Jimbo through no fault of his own, and then the trouble he went through with my original chosen method of money transfer that didn't work, my sincere apology for any inconveniences caused by the matter. I also thank all those that showed interest on the matter. Demmy (talk) 14:56, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm glad that's finally sorted out!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:14, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Legal threats by American Academy of Financial Management

On a recent changes patrol, I reverted an IPs edit on the American Academy of Financial Management article here [21] which contained comments about legal action. I requested that they use the talk page instead. I now find myself being included in the legal action for my edit? here…[22] Please advise.Theroadislong (talk) 13:17, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Have a search for that "institution" on ANI ... indeed, there's a thread there right now. It's clearly a joke/unfiled "lawsuit" (the wording isn't even legal). Not sure how they'll serve you a summons :-) (✉→BWilkins←✎) 13:32, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I love how at the end of the notice it say "this communication is being kept secret"... so much for it being secret!Camelbinky (talk) 13:48, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
All the same, it would do no harm to contact the WMF Legal Dept. Email the General Counsel wmf:User:Gbrigham on JohnCD (talk) 13:50, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
They're already aware of this situation, but if someone wishes to contact them about it again then it'll do no harm. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 13:57, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Ooh, looks like someone using scary language to try and frighten people into allowing them to suppress criticism! IANAL, but I read Popehat enough to know a threat of a Strategic lawsuit against public participation when I see one. Resolute 22:14, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


Bagged and tagged. Dennis Brown / / © / @ 22:10, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Had to make an account just to write this! Just want to say thanks for lunch today, had a great time. I am organising a small unofficial 'Wikimeet' for us and some ArbCom members, as well as my wife and her work colleague. Will e-mail the details later today. Take it easy buddy. --20 Chicken Nuggets (talk) 20:35, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

This appears based on my cursory look at checkuser to be banned user Technoquat. In case anyone wonders what this means, I ate (alone) at McDonald's earlier today. I suppose I was recognized.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
If you'd invited me to join you, I would have come. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:07, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

can i fix some grammar errors?

because some of them are really confusing, and it is hard for me to understand— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

It seems unlikely that you will be able to recognize, much less fix any grammar errors, but you are encouraged to try. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:04, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I believe the OP's overt limitations relate to punctuation, or the lack thereof. His or her grammar seems acceptable; he or she didn't, for instance, leave out relevant information by using a passive sentence. Fortunately, Wikipedia's [WP:SOFIXIT] approach encourages us all to improve upon the work of others.  ;-) (talk) 23:10, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually this depends a lot on 'where'. You generally should not be fixing any grammar errors on this page, unless they are you own. The same applies to basically any signed (or currently unsigned but stll personal) comments on wikipedia i.e. any talk page as well as noticeboards etc. You can fix most grammar errors, on articles, wikipedia pages and similar, but not direct quotes or anything else where it would be misleading or otherwise unwarranted. Nil Einne (talk) 22:11, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Your wish list

Since you're taking a break from this "place" for a little bit soon, I'm curious: what would be your wish list of things that you would be pleasantly surprised to find fixed upon your return? --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 19:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)