User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 136

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An open honest question to the Community-at-Large

It is a perennial topic, but this isn't about the topic, this is about getting more insight into why editors feel so vehemently about this issue in favor of the viewpoint of the topic that I don't understand. The topic is- mentioning people (BLP and dead) as Jews. Why do people seem to get so emotional and vehemently opposed to Jews being mentioned as Jews? Addendum to the question if someone wishes to address this second question or just the first or both- Why do some people get so mad when it comes to Jews self-identifying as an ethnic group and instead insist that Jews are only a religion? (As far as I know no one gets that upset about "ethnic Muslims" in places like Bosnia, though perhaps that argument on WP happens where I don't read). I hope the comments (and responses to those comments) stay positive and on-topic to that own editor's reasoning and doesn't get insulting about the topic or other editors or try to show why someone is "wrong". Just trying to understand why some people hate people being labeled as Jews, especially when it is Jews who tend to be the most supportive of labeling (which makes it unlikely all the labeling is about anti-semites wanting to "out" Jews, Sandy Koufax was quite open about being Jewish and not playing on the Sabbath, if alive today he'd probably insist on being labeled as a Jew on Wikipedia).Camelbinky (talk) 20:11, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't know if he'd insist on being labeled "Jewish", but I'm pretty sure he'd insist on being labeled "alive". -- (talk) 17:27, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
The policy is that self-identification is what counts. There are, indeed, people with Jewish ancestry who do not wish to be labeled as "Jewish" just as there are those who are of Muslim ancestry who do not wish to be labeled as Muslim. If a person does not wish an ethnic, religious, national, sexual or other label, then it is reasonable for Wikipedia to follow suit. This has absolutely zilch to do with anti-anthingism at all -- it is a reasonable stance for Wikipedia to take, and the Wikipedia community has taken that stance. Sandy Koufax is, indeed, noted as "Jewish" in his BLP. Collect (talk) 20:38, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
It's funny you should bring this up, as I just did a quick review of active NHL hockey players, and found that someone went through and made a big point out of highlighting quite prominently any player who is Jewish. So I'd take the question and flip it - why do some feel so vehemently about the need to label everyone as Jewish? Particularly since we often don't care if a player is Christian or what their cultural ancestry is. So I would say your question is incorrectly framed, as it can apply to both sides. For myself, I don't much care (I didn't revert or remove any of those additions, except where it resulted in redundant statements), but I think Collect is right. If a person identifies as something, it can be mentioned. If they do not, then it should not. Fortunately in my case, the editor adequately utilized references. Resolute 20:45, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Camelbinky, I can only answer for myself, but I do not believe that religious belief is something that generally belongs in a biography. In some cases, a person's belief is part of the reason that they are well-known or plays an important role in their life, but generally it seems to be only a way to pigeonhole people. If someone is open about their religious belief (whatever it may be) and it is relevant to that person's notability, I have no problem if it is included in an article. It becomes an issue when editors insist on labeling someone when there is no clear statement from the subject themselves about their religious belief or if the subject's religious belief is not directly relevant to their notability. The fact that someone can be considered "a religious Jew" or "an ethnic Jew" just makes this problem worse since either can be used to label someone as "Jewish" without any regard to how the subject views themselves. The basic problem is not labeling people as Jewish, it is labelling people period. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:48, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree Resolute, the question should be open to both "sides" and encourage people on both viewpoints to put their personal beliefs here. Perhaps if we had an open airing of our feelings we could all stop talking past each other and actually understand and respect the other viewpoint instead of yelling and reinforcing our own deeply-held beliefs. And I agree with Delicious Carbuncle that labeling is the problem, but as I say in my next comment there are some who don't agree with you and me on Jews being ethnic and religious.Camelbinky (talk) 20:58, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
To Collect, I think you misunderstood what I was trying to ask. I understand the Wikipedia consensus, what I'm trying to understand is the psychology of editors, one of which I noticed at a talk page where someone ranted that Jews are only a religion and not a nationality, ethnic group, or part of a separate race (and I think the comment was several weeks old or could have been a year old, not sure) and it just struck me that the vitriol that was spilling on the page just was over the top and Im just hoping those that are against Jews as an ethnic grouping could explain their personal reasoning. Not trying to reverse Wikipedia consensus on any matter, just trying to understand the other side. And hopefully everyone on any "side" can explain themselves and help everyone be a bit more understanding.Camelbinky (talk) 20:58, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
See Who is a Jew?. This is an issue far larger than the Wikipedia, and as with most sensitive and thorny real-life issues, editors bring their outside beefs here to argue anew. Tarc (talk) 21:09, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Here's a quote from the reference #13 to Wikipedia article Charlie Chaplin: "Speculation about Chaplin's racial origin existed from the earliest days of his fame, and it was often reported that he was a Jew. Research has uncovered no evidence of this, however, and when a reporter asked in 1915 if it was true, Chaplin responded, "I have not that good fortune." The Nazi Party believed that he was Jewish, and banned The Gold Rush on this basis. Chaplin responded by playing a Jew in The Great Dictator and announced, "I did this film for the Jews of the world." He thereafter refused to deny claims that he was Jewish, saying, "Anyone who denies this aspect of himself plays into the hands of the anti-Semites". (talk) 02:56, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
This is a better conversation than most I've seen on Wikipedia about this issue. I am an editor who happens to be a convert to Judaism. But I am also an editor committed to the neutral point of view, and am opposed to vehemence about anything here, except adhering to our policies and guidelines, and our shared goal of building a free encyclopedia. I have only written three article related to Judaism, and don't concentrate on Jewish topics although they certainly interest me. My general feeling is that any biography of a person who openly identifies as a Jew, and whose notability is at least partially due to their involvement in Jewish religious or ethnic affairs, should include that information in the article. A good standard is whether a reliable source reports that the person openly identifies as Jewish, and whether that identification as a Jew is a factor in their notability. If so, mention it in the biography. Otherwise, leave it out.
The broader question of "Who is a Jew?" is multi-layered and very complex. Mentioned above is speculation about Chaplin. We hear similar speculation about the ancestry of Columbus, Lincoln, FDR and even Hitler himself. But when it comes to biographies of living people, we must be especially careful. Some Jews may not want their religion disclosed publicly. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were of this school. Though both born in the U.S., both had several cousins who perished in the Holocaust. They liked to remain silent in public, letting people assume that they were respectively Hungarian or Russian, but not Jews. Other people who may be the subjects of BLPs here may not care, and may even wish to be identified as Jews. But unless they are openly active in Jewish affairs, or have openly declared their Jewish identity as reported by reliable sources, that information does not belong in their biography.
This can be a dark discussion when we are documenting those who perished in the Holocaust, or especially their living descendants. But it is also a subject of some lightness and amusement and self-deprecation in the Jewish community. Jews are a very small but also very accomplished minority in Western society. They tend to be visible out of proportion to their numbers. This is the overt subtext of The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler and also websites such as Some regional Jewish newspapers and magazines delight in running little gossip pieces pointing out that minor celebrity so-and-so is Jewish or half-Jewish, whatever that means. There are lot of Jews who take pleasure in pointing out that people like Scarlett Johansson are Jewish, despite being a blonde with a Scandinavian surname. They write books about all the Jewish baseball players, and all the Jewish rock and roll stars. And so on. Much of this is tongue in cheek, and much of it is somewhat understandable ethnic and religious pride. In the end, there is no need for vehemence or bitterness or confrontation., if we just stick to the principles I've described. Do high quality reliable sources report a Jewish self-identification by the biography subject? Does the person comment on or participate in Jewsih causes or activities? If so, mention it and reference it properly. If not, pass on mentioning it. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:28, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about your last criterion. Leo Kanner did not practice as a Jewish psychiatrist, and although his work was influenced by his heritage Saba was not a poet of Judaism, and neither to the best of my knowledge was notable for speaking out on Jewish issues. Nevertheless, our articles on both mention their Jewish heritage and developmental milieu. Rightly so, in my opinion, because their Jewish identities affected the course of their lives.
I recently changed "Leo Kanner was a Jewish-American" to "American", though, because it's one thing to discuss a person's religion or heritage in their article if it demonstrably influenced their life trajectory, but another thing to say So-and-so is a Jewish-/Catholic-/black-/white-/Hispanic- in the defining sentence. When we define them in the lead by their race/religion/culture, it really needs to be a significant element of their notability, in my opinion. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 11:12, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Answering the original post: it's not an "editors at Wikipedia" issue. It's an issue in the world at large and Wikipedia editor attitudes are just a manifestation of this. The fact is that in subtle ways labeling someone a Jew is different. Different than labeling someone Irish or Baptist or whatever. It just is. I don't know why, and I'm not sure if anyone could explain it easily. But that doesn't matter. It just is. "My new boss is Irish" is OK and is likely to elicit the response "Oh", while my "My new boss is Jewish" is, in some vague way and subtle way, slightly impolite and is likely to elicit the response "So?" or something. Perhaps you have felt this and puzzled over it yourself as you've gone through life, but if not, take my word for it.
It's no good pretending that this isn't true. There are various ways of addressing this, and completely ignoring it reasonable. Not completely ignoring it is also reasonable. Holding that it oughtn't be true is not helpful, though. We are part of the real world, here. Anyway, that is why this is a contentious question here. It likely will continue to be, and the "ignore it" and "don't ignore it" camps will continue to vie, perhaps as long as there is a Wikipedia. I don't know of any perfect solution and there probably isn't one. Herostratus (talk) 12:33, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
@Herostratus re "The fact is that in subtle ways labeling someone a Jew is different" - I call shenanigans on that sir! Shenanigans! The fact is, that virtually any racial/ethnic/religious/national identification can be be quite controversial in right circumstances. Trust me. I've had bitter arguments over virtually every identification there is. "Was dude X English, or was he Scottish?". "Was Jane Doe really a Catholic or was she an atheist?". "Can we call Johnny Q an African American b/c his mother's mother was black?". Each one of those questions can get really really bitter in exactly the same way that the "Jewish" identifier can be a source of debate.
@Everyone - The bottom line - ALL racial/ethnic/religious/national identifications as well as sexual orientation can be super controversial. WP does a really really bad job at laying down policy which clearly and concisely addresses the issue. We could solve this whole mess by writing a simple policy that reads - "When it comes to racial/ethnic/religious/national identifications and sexual orientation don't mention it unless 1) It's obvious and beyond dispute and not a subject of controversy/debate, 2) It's clearly relevant to a subject's notability, 3) It's something the subject clearly self-identified with."
And that's the bottom line...... NickCT (talk) 13:45, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Yup. Says it all really. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:55, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • NickCT: as a test case how would we handle Roy Cohn under that policy?
  • Let's also flesh out this "simple policy" in practice: What is meant by "relevant to the subjects notability"? How is that determined, especially when it is "controversial"? Doesn't "controversial," often translate in practice to "notable"? Moreover, when we say someone is "American" or "French" how is that distinguishable? Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:34, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
To try to avoid this conversation spiralling out of control, I've responded to the comment above on Alan's talkpage. NickCT (talk) 14:59, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Don't know why you chose to respond there. What about my questions would spiral anything out-of-control? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:12, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong. Thought they were good questions. But good questions for something like a policy page or village pump discussion. Possibly not Jimbo's talkpage. NickCT (talk) 18:32, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Context is everything. I spend a huge part of my effort on early 20th Century American political and trade unionist biographies, heavy on various flavors of radicals. Ethnicity was a gargantuan part of that equation; the American Communist Parties, just for example, were something in the ballpark of 85% non-native speakers of English or first generation immigrants at the time of formation in 1919. It would be not only inadequate to write such a biography without noting ethnicity, it would border on the incompetent. There were more than a dozen different language groups, of which the Jewish (Yiddish language) was only one (and not the largest). On the other hand, going out of ones way to note that this or that contemporary political figure or entertainer or sports figure is of a particular ethnicity may or may not be appropriate on a case-by-case basis, in which self-identification or public activity is decisive. Rather than attempting to micro-manage content, it is best to simply be aware of the possible problem and to fix inappropriate "ethnicity-tagging" when one comes across it. Carrite (talk) 15:26, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Generally agree. My concern is that some of the above would seek to excise biographical content. Whose to say that Roy Cohn being born and raised in Jewish family has no effect on his life? But we need to still reflect what the sources say is noted about our subjects. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:33, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

There are also Atheist Jews, Catholic Jews, Protestant Jews, etc. etc. Count Iblis (talk) 16:20, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Iblis, however many do not. I hope we get some insight from those who believe there can not be Atheist Jews or Catholic Jews. And I agree with the editor who commented "how do we know someone is French, American, Chinese, in articles that start with "Sandy Koufax is an American baseball player"... well where is the source that says he is American? What about Michael J. Fox, William Shatner (a Jew), and Pamela Anderson. Shatner and Anderson are listed as Canadian actor/actress and Fox is noted as being Canadian American (he has dual citizenship); but so Pamela Anderson also has dual citizenship and that is not mentioned; and yet all three live in the US and are not exactly "Canadian actors" as in they are actors on Canadian TV/movies though they are Canadians who act. William Shatner is a poor example in that he maintains only Canadian citizenship to my understanding and only has residency here in the US (which you would think would be an inconvenience in some aspects). And then of course we all know the story of one very important man for whom just calling him an American gets lots people up at arms and therefore you could say it is controversial and by some people's definition above it should not be in his article, but really it would seem stupid to not say he is an American.Camelbinky (talk) 18:52, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Newyorkbrad's "special enforcement on biographies of living persons" action

Jimbo, as you probably already know, Newyorkbrad has imposed a topic ban on Russavia whereby he is "indefinitely topic-banned and prohibited from making any edit relating directly or indirectly to Jimmy Wales". Newyorkbrad has cited the "special enforcement on biographies of living persons" section of a 2008 ArbCom case which allows a wide range of administrative action in relation to enforcing WP:BLP. While I suspect that you and I are in complete agreement about Russavia's intentions here, I am concerned by Newyorkbrad's action for three reasons.

One, the "special enforcement" provision calls for "counselling" and "warning" users who violate WP:BLP. This does not appear to have been done. In fact, it looks like Newyorkbrad is imposing this sanction to prevent Russavia from doing something that he has not yet done (i.e., putting the much discussed image of you in a live article).

Two, I tried for months to have an editor topic banned from the biography of a person with whom they had an off-wiki dispute. Despite clear evidence of malice and the support of other editors, nothing was done until off-wiki actions lead to ArbCom banning that user entirely. I am aware of other, similar cases. If you were not the "living person" involved here, I very much doubt that this sanction would have been imposed. I am concerned that Newyorkbrad's action will simply reinforce the apparently accurate perception that the rules work one way for WP insiders and another way for biography subjects.

Third, this sanction is limited to the English-language WP. Russavia has stated that he intends to have the Pricasso article translated into other languages, just as he did with the Polandball article. I fully expect that if the images are deleted from Commons he will have them uploaded to each individual project. The sanction here does nothing to prevent that.

I believe that the correct way to deal with this situation is not the application of a local sanction, but the application of a project-wide ban under the WMF's "terms of use". Russavia appears to be violating one or more parts of Section 4 ("Refraining from Certain Activities"). I do not know how often the terms of use are actually used to ban users, but if Russavia is involved in hostile environment sexual harassment, as you claim, he should be removed from the project entirely, not topic banned from harassing you but otherwise allowed to continue his activities. I hope that the Qworty incident has at least taught us this much. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

the apparently accurate perception that the rules work one way for WP insiders and another way for biography subjects
It's not necessarily inappropriate for the rules to work differently. WP editors shouldn't be harassing anybody, but I don't see that it is wrong to take an approach which is specifically about harassment within the community (except that maybe BLP is not the correct policy area to enforce under). In this case, Russavia has allegedly targeted a WP editor (assuming it is true that this is what he has done). If he had asked for a painting of the Pope or Britney Spears, I think it is obvious that the issue would not be the same. Formerip (talk) 23:49, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Can you point to a diff where Russavia has said that he intends to translate the article into other languages? --Conti| 23:50, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
here. (talk) 23:53, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! --Conti| 23:54, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
"And he will soon have an article on enwp, once en:User:Russavia/Pricasso is unprotected after it was protected due to so-called BLP concerns. And I have arranged for it to be translated into multiple other languages too." Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:56, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
A promise which is, IMHO, deliberately destructive in intent and effect. Collect (talk) 00:00, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Isn't this essentially the same thing he did with that "Polandball" nonsense, spread it like a bad seed across multiple language wikis? This is quite a pattern this user is establishing. Tarc (talk) 00:10, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Honestly I am more concerned about this admission by Russavia "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) " . As Tarc mentioned above "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." I agree with him.
Also see another interesting statement "i've written sexual harassment and equal opportunity policy professionally -- jimmy's claim of sexual harassment is libellous and without merit - he also needs to deal with those who HAVE trolled him, and stop playing the victim by lying about me" (talk) 00:14, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
It is a longstanding tradition to use Wiki-culture in depictions of novel concepts.   — C M B J   00:23, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Please note this Commons deletion discussion in which Russavia is being accused of harassing User:Starscream in a Polandball cartoon. I do not know if there is any merit to this accusation, but Newyorkbrad's sanction has no effect on Commons or on Russavia's actions towards that user here. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:42, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Is there a WMF-level equivalent of WP:ANI? Cla68 (talk) 01:06, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
It's right here. Count Iblis (talk) 12:22, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Policy - all Wikipedia policy - is utterly irrelevant here. If a BLP is about a Bad Person, like "Qworty", you take out his complete list of books and make the article mostly about him getting banned from Wikipedia to prove revenge editing is wrong. Then you use the new restrictions you made in response to him to punish an editor for getting an artist to submit free content. Now you want Russavia banned for getting other-language translations made, of an article that many of his detractors have even admitted is about a notable person who ought to be covered. Or for saying that he talked to an artist in order to get an OTRS ticket, which in the new Wikipedia is an admission of any conspiracy one cares to allege. Wnt (talk) 01:42, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Penis art is interesting and artists that do it are potentially notable. But even the likes of you can't be so shortsighted to miss the point that it is rather on the vulgar side, and that subjects of such paintings aren't always going to greet it warmly. It becomes more problematic when one commissions such an image for no other reason than to troll Jimbo. Tarc (talk) 02:34, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Polandball is used to denigrate and mock Polish people. Pricasso is used to denigrate and mock Jimbo. It is not surprising that such abuse occurs because the open nature of Wikipedia attracts exhibitionists and others with an agenda. Moreover, if the community fails to enforce not an exercise in free speech, we will be overrun with those using every opportunity to push their "right" to do whatever they damn well please because of their human rights. Russavia should find another free website from which to troll, and Wnt should find another free website to pursue their ideals of liberty. Johnuniq (talk) 06:26, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia and Wnt are among our best contributors and ideological disagreements do not justify attacks on their worth.   — C M B J   09:43, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
If editors get a pass for reprehensible behavior simply because they have lots of good edits... well, that's a bit bothersome. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 12:11, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
So far as I know my only "reprehensible behavior" here has been to take the opposite position from you in this discussion. Wnt (talk) 16:47, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Then perhaps Russavia should drop his trolling/harassment campaign and return to being a productive contributor? Resolute 13:04, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Right, and it also helps if the other side learns to ignore these things a bit more. If one side is going to play the role of extremist Muslims and the other side is going to play the role of the people who want to make their point by burning Korans or by making Mohammed cartoons, then that's asking for problems. Count Iblis (talk) 13:18, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
"Vested editors" no longer get automatic free passes on the sole basis of their contributions. There are still some that can be the proverbial WP:DICK while they go about editing, but as long as they're largely in the right about whatever it is that they felt the need to be dickish about, that's the ticket. Ask ScienceApologist, Betacommand, and Rich Farmbrough how it goes when one doesn't meet all the criteria. Tarc (talk) 15:12, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
They found themselves fighting a consensus against their position and they refused to back down. In this case, the consensus isn't clear, and Russavia has backed down by removing Jimbo's painting from the article. Count Iblis (talk) 16:11, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia did not remove the image from the article. In fact, Russavia edit warred to keep the image in the article, and has only been stopped by a full protection and subsequent topic ban. --Conti| 16:15, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and that's why this is discussed. But the skirmish has ended, there is a cease fire. It's not that Russavia is continuing the war and we're asking ArbCom for military intervention to put a stop to it. Count Iblis (talk) 16:26, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Count Iblis, I am not suggesting that ArbCom do anything. On the contrary, I am suggesting that this is a matter best handled by the WMF and not by local admins. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:39, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
NewYorkBrad IMO did the right thing and if he didn't step up, who would've? I think it is always, in these cases, to err on the side of doing something instead of talking and talking. Havent we talked about Russavia enough? Just like everything around here, when we talk about something it seems the more we talk the less likely we are to do something.Camelbinky (talk) 20:00, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Russiavia may or may not ought to be admonished depending on his original intent, but that still does not justify attacks on his worthfulness, and I do not recall a time when Wnt was not within his right in a discussion yet his/her value was being attacked equally. I also cannot envision handling of Rich Farmbrough as being a model for comparison, as it still bothers me that I consciously turned a blind eye to his treatment in fear of retribution.   — C M B J   22:54, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
We could employ the principal of the wisdom of crowds to determin their worth. I'll start the ball rolling by saying that as far as I'm concerned both are priceless. Your turn. John lilburne (talk) 23:26, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Responding to the original post from Delicious Carbuncle ("DC"). My apologies for the delay in responding, but as noted on my talkpage, I was offline at a family event last night.

On my talkpage, Russavia has indicated that while he obviously disagrees with the restriction I imposed, he is not challenging it; he actually recommended that I not comment here. Therefore, I'm not going to get into a discussion of the basis for the specific restriction, nor of the reasons I believed Russavia had been sufficiently warned before I imposed it, but will focus on the broader issues.

I read DC's post as making two main points. The first is that the restriction I imposed could prove ineffectual and there should instead be a broader multi-project restriction. The second is that given that it was Jimmy Wales who was the target in this instance, I was misguided in imposing any restriction at all. I can understand both of these points. However, they are pretty much mutually exclusive.

In deciding to deal with this situation, I could only choose from the available options. I'm an administrator on the English Wikipedia. I have no role or participation (and am certainly not an administrator) on Commons or any other language project. Hence, my choices were to impose a restriction on English Wikipedia, or to do nothing at all. I did what I could, and recommended that the other projects consider doing the same.

DC opines that we would be better off dealing with certain types of issues on a basis applicable to all WMF sites, rather than on one project or project-by-project. To a certain extent I agree with him. However, the Wikimedia communities (on Meta, Commons, and elsewhere) have been very resistant to this type of approach. For example, global bans, even of users who are serially problematic across multiple projects, remain extremely controversial and have been implemented only rarely. And the Wikimedia Foundation Office has also been very reluctant to intervene except in genuinely extreme circumstances. (Incidentally, whether or not it would be desirable for the Office to become more pro-active in some areas, for some of the very reasons DC gives, addressing perceived on-wiki harassment of Jimbo Wales might not have been an ideal place to start.)

The other point DC raises is that by taking a BLP enforcement action relating to Jimbo, I added to the impression that "insiders" are more equal than others in being protected from BLP problems. I anticipated this criticism in the first paragraph of my post to Russavia, in which I pointed out that as a founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales is not entitled to greater protection under the BLP policy—but he is not entitled to lesser protection, either. That remains my view.

Sometimes it is difficult to decide what is or is not a BLP violation, what is or is not an undue invasion of an individual's personal privacy, what constitutes a misuse of Wikipedia in order to harass someone. We have community processes intended to address such cases. In this instance, without reopening the dispute that Russavia is content to leave closed, I did not consider this a difficult case. I would like to think that I would have reacted as I did no matter what living person was being made the subject, especially over his express objection and after the intervention of at least one other administrator, of this particular form of depiction. The fact that Jimmy was involved helped publicize awareness of the issue, both on-wiki and on an external site, but did not change the fundamental nature of the problem or what should be done to solve it.

DC, I do not know which specific incident you are referring to that lingered far too long before being resolved (please feel free to refresh my memory, perhaps on my talkpage). However, you do not need to convince me that—despite years of effort and some significant improvements—we still need to do a better job in promptly redressing BLP violations, including not only false or defamatory content, but privacy-invading and harassing content. I have written and spoken about these issues extensively, on-wiki and off, for six and one-half years and I don't think there's any doubt as to my views on this subject. Jimmy Wales is far from the only person I have tried to safeguard from BLP violations, nor will he be the last, although neither I nor any other individual has the time or ability to solve all of these problems on his or her own.

I would be glad for this unfortunate incident, in which I took what I perceived as a proportionate and timely action to avoid inappropriate edits concerning a living person who happened to be Jimmy Wales, to serve as yet another reminder that we must act timely and decisively to protect any and every other living person who may become the subject of abusive treatment on this site. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:12, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry to say that, until Commons is totally restructured and its independency of administration is stripped away, there's nothing we can do to prevent such harassment which happened off-project. Commons can't be independent due to the simple fact that its content is affecting its sister projects directly. If decisiveness is what required to right the wrong, shut down Commons immediately until we have a better solution to share media across all sister projects with better regulation than Commons currently has. Ah yes, I have little faith in the deletion of the portrait and video, even though I've voiced for deletion in Commons already. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:46, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Newyorkbrad, you say that "the Wikimedia communities (on Meta, Commons, and elsewhere) have been very resistant to this type of approach" (global bans). Leaving aside the fact that I am explicitly suggesting that this be handled by the WMF as a violation of the terms of use and not by the community, I have to suggest that the larger Community has not expressed any opinion, pro or con, about global bans. There was a discussion on Meta, but my recollection is that it had very few participants and most of those seemed to have been attracted there from Commons following the office action against Beta M. I note that accounts are regularly "locked" without any fuss or acrimony. I would prefer that this case involved neither Jimbo (since he is the consummate "insider") nor Russavia (since I have a history with him) but if an editor (any editor) has a legitimate claim that another editor (any editor) is harassing them, those claims should be taken seriously by the WMF and if there is merit to those claims, the harasser should be removed from all WMF projects. Topic bans or blocks on a single project are not sufficient to prevent other editors from being exposed to the same type of harassment. I do not know if this particular case rises to the level necessary for the WMF to act, but if Jimbo's claims are correct then anything other than removing Russavia entirely would seem to be negligent in protecting other users. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:56, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Let's be clear about this. Russavia allegedly helped persuade Pricasso to paint an image of Jimbo. Now suppose we knew for sure that he had commissioned or conspired to produce this artwork. Then his alleged TOS violation would have been committed entirely off-wiki. The logical consequence of this is that Wikipedia could begin preparing a list of thousands of people to globally-lock who have never even made a single edit on Wikipedia, on the basis that they have denigrated someone who has at some point in the past; our admins would be Arbiters To The World, defending Wikipedians over non-Wikipedians. Admittedly that is all logically inherent from the incorrect verdict on Michaeldsuarez (and I say this, as you recall, despite my belief that the person he was mocking was being badly wronged and had a right to a few modestly nasty comments about off-wiki persecutors without being declared "uncivil") The alternative option is that we recognize that the TOS about harassment is about on-wiki activities, not the whole wide world. If Russavia's actions were problematic, which I do not accept, then they at least would be solely the concern of the project on which they were made. Wnt (talk) 15:16, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
If Russavia commissioned that portrait and hung it in his home, that would be off-wiki. Jimbo would neither know nor care. Uploading the image and video to Commons and using those in an article here brought it on-wiki. I have no doubt that Russavia knew that this would be provocative. based on his pattern of behaviour, I have no doubt that Russavia will attempt to continue the provocation elsewhere now that he is blocked here. Pretending that actions made on Commons or other WMF projects have no bearing on issues here is an idea that should have been abandoned long ago. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:27, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Forget about the potrait being Jimbo, assume it is mahatma gandhi for a second and also that the editor in question has a topic ban to be away from anything related to mahatma gandhi - Would folks still side with the editor? I thin progressive blocks are necessary for persistent problem creators (i.e. persistent assuming the previous blocks were well reasoned - if not then that will be a different aspect). Amit (talk) 20:35, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I would not look at the incident in isolation but at the whole history of the editor and ask if letting the editor go about his/her business is harmful for Wikipedia in an objective sense (i.e. if there real disruption as opposed to the mere existence of a cabal of editors who make a lot of noise about this editor doing things they don't like but which doesn't actually hurt the encyclopedia). Count Iblis (talk) 00:03, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Greg Kohs

Rich Farmbrough

In the unlikely event that Jimbo wishes to read this drivel, he can unhat this - I don't see why anyone else should have to. If Mishae unhats it, I'll report him for trolling/WP:NPA. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:24, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, I tried to reach you previously about the issue but I guess I will start all over: I am a friend of Rich Farmbrough who is a great contributor on out site, but he was blocked for 1 year without a chance of being herd. 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. There was no message on user Sandstein's talkpage either.--Mishae (talk) 02:26, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Here is my link to the previous discussion to which you didn't show up!: diff
Jimbo has commented on other topics on this page before, after, and during your section above. That may be a bit of a hint that he really didn't take much interest in the subject? Tarc (talk) 19:37, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately I agree. I have been a vocal critic of the decision to ban him and I think the project loses every day he isn't allowed to edit. With that said and as I suggested before Jimbo really doesn't have the power to go against an Arbcom ruling. Even if he did he wouldn't. Kumioko (talk) 19:45, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe it was too long? However, I came to understanding that Jimbo just like everyone, thinks only about himself and money! I do appreciate that he founded such a great project, but his interest in videos over much more important thing such as this, clearly illustrates to me that he is either a child or a bit of a selfish type of founder. Maybe my negative review of him will get him on the edge?--Mishae (talk) 19:50, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • User:Rich_Farmbrough was restricted to not use "automated edits" and I think Jimbo learned that when Rich was suspected of a few copy/paste changes, instead of asking for reduced restrictions, Rich made an another edit which involved over 1,000 repeated changes (all of which seemed askew), and at that point, Jimbo wants people to cooperate in "good-faith" discussions, not violate the restriction over 1,000x times and expect support. Do you think Jimbo needs to clarify that reasoning any further? -Wikid77 (talk) 22:13, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Kumioko, in that case, why does Jimbo comments just like everyone else?--Mishae (talk) 19:49, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Not sure if you noticed but Jimbo's comments are usually ambiguous and generic and if they aren't they'll start with something like "if it were up to me" and end with something like "but its not really my decision". Kumioko (talk) 19:52, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
It sounds strange that a founder can't intervene. Like, he suppose to be in charge of the whole Wikipedia including ArbCom. Why he can't go against it. HE is a founder of this project, or did he denounce his title already?--Mishae (talk) 19:55, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
He's kinda like the Queen of England. Lots of status as a figurehead and founder...not much power. Kumioko (talk) 20:02, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Yea, you told me that numerous of times. I'm wondering, what will happen if that Queen of England will die?--Mishae (talk) 20:04, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
We'll probably start seeing the site generate revenue through advertisements or get sold to Google or something. Anyway, as I said before, I completely agree that banning Rich was an epically stupid decision but its not going to get revoked by Jimbo. The only exception would be, IMO, if Rich got hired on with WMF and he needed to have an account to edit in an official capacity but that's also doubtful. Kumioko (talk) 20:08, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe Jimbo will be nice guy and give him a job at the WMF... O' yea, I forgot he wont do it because he is a lousy cash cow! Nevermind.--Mishae (talk) 20:12, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
If you're just going to devolve into name-calling and trolling, I'll take the liberty of closing this discussion myself. Tarc (talk) 20:14, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
As far as Google goes, maybe Wikipedia should be bought by Microsoft or Apple?--Mishae (talk) 20:16, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Tarc, who are you here? An admin? You can close it, but I will open it again. I just think that Jimbo will react to name-calling, and then we will civilly discuss the matter. To be honest Tarc, I didn't called you anything, but if you want to I can you with the last words on my mouth...--Mishae (talk) 20:19, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Creeping credentialism

Can a WPdian's credentials serve as a RS? See here: Talk:Review journal.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 16:40, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Status of edit-conflict technology

As expected with edit-conflicts being considered a worldwide problem, I have found many groups who have tried various new algorithms to merge multiple revisions and auto-correct for edit-conflicts, as noted in article "Merge (revision control)" such as "weave merge". Plus, as could be expected with new technology, some algorithms are far beyond what is needed to simply append 2 replies at the same line number (and some complex merge algorithms are slow). Yet, the implications of the technology are exciting long-term; for example, it would be great if 5 editors changed a page, and the 3rd editor moved paragraph #7 to be paragraph #12, when meanwhile editor 5 changed old paragraph #7, and the merged updates were auto-moved to appear within #12. However, for now, the most-frustrating edit-conflicts are 2-reply conflicts (at the same line number) or simple changes to adjacent lines, which are much easier to merge. I have been looking at ways to merge most of Wikipedia's 2-reply conflicts, in reading a copy of the C-language source code for "diff3" (diff3.c at Originally, diff3 was designed to only merge the separate so-called "hunks" of text (separated by 1 or 2 unchanged lines), but it can already show 2 sets of lines in conflict at the same line number (called "overlaps"?), which is the first step to inserting both sets as 2 adjacent replies, in the merged revision. Although future pages could be encoded as complex document structures, with internal line id-codes, those structures are not needed for the 99.99% of edits which do not move paragraphs quickly. I think some simple changes to diff3.c could resolve 95% (or 98% perhaps?) of all recent edit-conflicts. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:24, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Tests confirm 1-line separation avoids edit-conflicts: Currently, the use of diff3, to merge multiple changes to the same page, is set to allow one-line separation between so-called "hunks" of changed lines, without causing "overlaps" with lines added above/below the separator line. I ran tests yesterday to confirm that even a blank line (extra newline separator), between two text lines allows them to both be changed by different editors at the same time. So, I have added the techniques of "text-separators" and "reply-separators" into essay "wp:Avoiding edit-conflicts" where using an HTML comment as separator ("<!--sentence below-->") will allow two sentences (or text lines) in the same paragraph to both be modified, during a flurry of busy editing, even though they can appear as modified within the same line of formatted text, once the intervening HTML comment is bypassed during a reformat. More later. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:44, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
  • VisualEditor got edit-conflict on slightest change and lost all text: The wp:VisualEditor (as of 17 June 2013) cannot handle any interim edits to the same page. The slightest edit-conflict is completely fatal, losing all changes so the page source shows only one word: "undefined". I tried several times to see how the WYSIWYG VisualEditor would react to interim changes by another username, and the results were a total disaster, where the slightest changes triggered edit-conflict against the interim revision (but the wikitext editor did auto-correct and merge changes into the interim revision). Plus, when I clicked "manual fix for edit conflict" then the VisualEditor showed the text of the edited page as one word: "undefined" and I was not even able to copy/paste any of the attempted changes for saving elsewhere. I think users will not react well to an edit-screen which craters on the slightest change, and then pretends there is a "manual" method for the user to salvage the VisualEditor session, which instead presents the one word "undefined" as the entire result of their keystrokes. -Wikid77 12:27, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Might be more constructive to mention that at the Visual Editor feedback page, rather than here. DoctorKubla (talk) 14:22, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I think they already know about the major problems with wp:VE, such as fatal edit-conflicts for any prior change, but are hoping to release them within a few days on many thousands of new, unsuspecting users to see the impacts. I imagine the new users will react with horror, as typical, getting edit-conflict trying to update major popular articles and then some, who do not quit, will realize there are fewer conflicts when working on obscure pages which no one edits (or reads), so the major pages are left to rot and fester with numerous errors because collaboration to fix text is thwarted by edit-conflicts. I have discussed edit-conflicts with several developers, but they seem unconcerned about the impacts, even thinking that 2 people editing the same line might make the exact same rare addition and be thankful that it was rejected as an edit-conflict, lest someone be left to edit the page to remove the rare duplicated text, as better to have all adjacent edits be rejected than risk one in 10,000 might add the same text without being stopped as an edit-conflict. On the surface, it seems like people who rationalize the benefits of being lazy, such as, "What if we did that work today and lightning struck or there was a fire which ruined it 10 minutes afterward..." It is interesting to see why things do not get improved more quickly, but instead often take years to make progress, such as the alignment of the Swiss/Nepal/Vatican flag icons, which took 6.5 years to correct. -Wikid77 22:25, 18 June, 22:13, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm curious myself about the status of real-time collaborative editing possibilities within the Visual Editor. I'll ping User:Jdforrester (WMF) about that, to ask if they could reply here. Biosthmors (talk) 15:23, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
@Biosthmors: Yes, next (fiscal) year one of our major tasks is to enable real-time collaboration on editing articles in VisualEditor; we hope to be able to get an alpha available on the English Wikipedia by this time next year. We don't know exactly how this will work from a user point of view yet - Are all editing sessions collaborative, or just some? If just some, is it opt-in per edit, per user, per page, per …? What happens to article history entries when multiple people are involved? How would offline drafting work? What do we do when 2000 people want to edit the same article at the same time (e.g. Michael Jackson's death)? etc. - and of course I'll be inviting comment once we've got our head around it a bit more. However, yes, potentially this approach could indeed mean the "end" to edit conflicts that users have to manually resolve after having pressed 'save', or at least their reduction in most cases, but I can't make any promises until we better understand how collaborative editing would work, and how it would change existing editing practices. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 15:56, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Sounds like edit-conflicts will be surpassed by VisualEditor keystroke-battles: I think there has been enough research done about people's "personal space" to beware multiple hands stirring the pot ("Too many cooks spoil the broth"), so any attempts to abandon revisions authored by specific individuals is likely to elevate the problems of communist collectivism. Instead, I was just advising to allow several people to edit adjacent lines, or eventually adjacent phrases, so that multiple small changes could be auto-merged among several editors each working with separate copies of a page. Currently, edit-conflicts can be avoided by splitting sentences, and paragraphs, into many short phrases, as separate short lines which can be edited by multiple editors all changing the same (long) sentences, but not (yet) adjacent phrases. -Wikid77 01:54, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

WMF activism re PRISM

According to the WMF is going to insert itself into this controversy sometime after Friday (the 21st) unless it becomes clear before then that the community doesn't support such a move. What are your views on this?--Brian Dell (talk) 18:54, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I very strongly support it. I can't think of any real reason why anyone would oppose such a mild action. To join with other well-respected civil rights organizations in a simple demand for transparency from the government doesn't strike me as a stretch at all. If it were up to me, we'd do a lot more and be a lot more noisy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:46, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia's protest against SOPA was widely supported because the proposed law was (rightly in my view) considered a threat to Wikipedia's own survival. What threat does PRISM pose to Wikipedia? (No opinion here, just genuinely curious about what the answer to that might be.) Prioryman (talk) 19:27, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I know of no reason for us to be so shortsighted as to only be in support of what is right if something wrong is a direct existential threat to the Wikimedia Foundation. We should be careful not to reach beyond things that have impact on our mission, but certainly this is one of them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:46, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Well - I guess the obvious question would be that there are lots of things in the world that are wrong but not direct existential threats to the WMF. How does one choose which to protest? Prioryman (talk) 19:50, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
That's a very good question. Because we don't have a long history of this kind of thing, I don't think we have very well worked out principles about it. I'd say that signing onto a letter with other reputable organizations requires a much lower threshold of caution than blanking the site for a day. So there's not going to be an easy yes/no answer for "protest or don't protest" - the question will often be: what sort of situation should we protest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:27, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo....there are very good reasons why we don't want the government to be too transparent.--MONGO 20:15, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with that. I don't see the point you are trying to make, though. Yes, there are some elements, even of PRISM, that surely can't be revealed. But allowing (for example) Google to say how many FISA-related orders they have seen is useful for public understanding and trust, and doesn't even remotely plausibly compromise national security. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:27, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
My comment was essentially rhetorical. I generally agree with the statement as it is currently posted at meta. The only issue that seems of concern is the vagueness in that posting as to what the transparency level should be. Perhaps that can be figured out later.--MONGO 02:42, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

We also have the effect of the news media, any terror attack however minor will be breaking news for at least a few days in a row. This then has an effect on the policies of the government; the public is going to hold the government accountable, but they are biased by what they see in the news. If e.g. a thousand lives per year could be saved by making roads safer, that may not happen if these deaths don't make news headlines. So, the public complaining about PRISM on privacy ground may also cause the government to take a deeper look at the wisdom of spending a lot of money and effort trying to prevent every terror attack no mater how insignificant. Count Iblis (talk) 23:38, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo is absolutely right to be concerned about PRISM, and to go beyond direct existential threats. However, in order to retain both credibility as being not merely political, and to bring home the importance of the situation, it is vital to demonstrate that PRISM is a potential existential threat. In order to do so, we should start by trying to understand the other side's perspective, then move on to how we protect our rights despite that. An example of a presumed police/NSA goal would be on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing: they want to know everyone who has read pressure cooker bomb in the Boston area in the past six months. The question is, how would they do that legally - subpoena, I assume? And how would they do it under PRISM - is it bribery or blackmail? We need to be able to argue effectively that if a list of readers of that article is really needed in a specific case (itself a debate, since it is likely a wild goose chase) that existing legal mechanisms are sufficient, and that we shouldn't be compelled to hand over everyone who read every article for the past year, even if maybe there are a half dozen other such ideas that people in Homeland Security could think up. We should ask how far things will go if the information is given out (for example, if they will use the list of readers of water bong to enhance borderline data they've collected from multispectral imaging to make a more effective list of back yard pot plants) We should also ask how they're figuring out what articles people read if we didn't hand over the information, or else, why else haven't they demanded it by now? Wnt (talk) 18:38, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
While I completely understand getting involved with this issue and the possible consequences it poses towards Wikipedia, I do have to ask/comment- we have made it clear in many places amongst our policies that we are involved in making an encyclopedia, we talk about this on guidelines stating that discussion on talk pages should only be concerned with making the encyclopedia better and not about the topic itself, we codify this in many other places as well. Wikipedia (or Wikimedia Foundation) being a social activist, while on a topic that can effect Wikipedia, does seem to be stretching our donors dollars to activities that donors may not have foreseen. While if I was "in charge" of the WMF I might be tempted to have the Foundation use its resources and free speech to work on democracy in China, Jewish rights, a free Tibet, secure Israel, gay rights, and civil rights for all minorities; and in fact my business does donate money and/or items to auction in support of those causes (and many more such as domestic abuse). But my business relies consumers, Wikipedia/WMF relies on donations and I assume is a non-profit. Just a concern I have, please understand I still support Jimbo's view on the situation, just concerned that the WMF is not the forum or format for a concerted effort on political matters.Camelbinky (talk) 19:47, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Where I get to when I follow this line of logic is that we shouldn't spend huge amounts of donor money on activism of any kind, and that whatever activism that we do pursue should be closely aligned with our mission and values, including such things as freedom of speech and freedom from surveillance and so on. One way of looking at this you do identify correctly - would activism tend to increase or decrease donations needed to sustain the encyclopedia. Here's what I come down: if activism tended to reduce donations, then we absolutely shouldn't do it. But the converse isn't necessarily true - if activism tends to increase donations (and this is almost certainly true) that doesn't mean we should do it.
One thing to remember is that we can have a powerful influence without spending much money at all.
And finally it's worth remembering that there are cases where silence can be taken to mean agreement and support. A failure to sign on to a broad industry letter could be interpreted in the press as ambivalence on the issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:00, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
And that's why Jimbo is a wiser businessman/executive than me.Camelbinky (talk) 19:55, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimmy, allow me to be one of the first to commend you and the WMF for taking a stand which is in my view altogether correct and proper, as obviously the collection of all electronic data into a gigantic searchable data base could be used against anyone, anytime, in an Orwellian fashion. I am proud to be a Wikipedian after reading the WMF statement, and your comments here. My sincere thanks. Jusdafax 20:05, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I was watching a biography (on bio channel of course!) on Sam Walton and it struck me as quite interesting that Sam Walton's philosophy on donating to politics was quite similar to Jimbo's statement above- keep it to a bare minimum and only on those interests that affected Walmart. Even though he claimed at one point to Hillary Clinton that his family only voted Republican, he had a deep relationship with the Clintons and never let politics get in the way of friendships or donating to what was right (even if it was left. Hillary was the first woman on the Walmart board of directors, quite an achievement in that era). Though of course Walton, and Walmart, had/have their issues we could all learn a lesson from that philosophy and wish that businesses such as Chick-fil-a, Dominos, and Hobby Lobby CEO's/owners/Presidents shut up about political discussions about social policy and keep their money out of it when representing their businesses and using business money which comes from consumers of all range of beliefs.Camelbinky (talk) 12:54, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

The NPOV policy has become a total sham and a fraud

Yet another thread has been opened up about me on ANI because I dared to add a tag calling for "more viewpoints" on the article on the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. This action challenges the status quo imposed by militant atheist editors dominating that Bible article who regard Christianity, Islam, and Judaism doctrines and theology as "fringe viewpoints" and therefore unworthy of mention unless being scoffed at. The important hing to them is that the wikipedia article offer readers a biased view of the topic that matches their perceptions and joins them in their anti-religious POV-pushing. Only one viewpoint is being tolerated on these articles.

I have worked with hundreds of Bible articles on wikipedia since 2005. On the standard Bible article, all relevant viewpoints of all denominations or sects are given with equal impartiality, even past viewpoints no longer held by anyone are generally elaborated, because historiography (the history of thought, what people used to think) is encyclopedic and interesting reading. However, there are a couple of notorious POV backwaters that cannot be described as standard Bible articles, because only one POV is allowed and enforced by a militant, polemic, hostile clique of users who want wikipedia to be solely a vehicle for pushing their views of the world, spirituality, and all things.

Because I had the nerve to add a tag requesting "more viewpoints" (Template:Toofewopinions) they are calling for me to be muzzled from the equation with a "topic ban", since by my suggesting there are other points of view out there beside just theirs I am clearly a heretic, a threat, and a "fringe theorist" Jimbo, something must be done to re-establish NPOV. I can't speak for anyone else, but I have little interest in contributing to an encyclopedia where Christianity, Judaism and Islamic doctrines are non-mentionable because they have been declared by the Council of Wikipedia to be "FRINGE theories".

I'm really interested in what Jimbo thinks about what has become of this project, not anyone else, that's why I am posting here and not somewhere else. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 12:58, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Addendum: I wanted to share a little bit about my wikipedia experience with you. When I first came to wikipedia in 2005, the article on Moses stated something like "It has been determined that Moses never existed because of the fact that no other ancient historian ever mentioned him except for the Bible. There is absolutely nothing that has ever been mentioned about Moses by any other source." Now it happens that I had just been watching Cecil B DeMille's Ten Commandments, and had noticed at the beginning of that film where DeMille describes how much additional information about Moses is given by Artapanus, Eupolemus, Josephus, Philo, Hecataeus of Abdera, Diodorus Siculus, Alexander Polyhistor, Manetho, Apion, Chaeremon of Alexandria, Tacitus and Porphyry - several of whom are pagan Roman and Greek historians. So after seeing that movie then I look to see what wikipedia has to say and I read the "It has been determined that Moses never existed because of the fact that no other ancient historian ever mentioned him except for the Bible. There is absolutely nothing that has ever been mentioned about Moses by any other source." blah blah blah (LIES)... I immediately took steps to rectify this by pointing out that all these other Greek and Roman historians mention Moses, and their material is clearly not derived from the Bible account, but I was met with the most puerile resistance imaginable, because these people actually don't WANT the truth to be told here. Well as time goes on, their position gets more and more untenable, as does their attempt to exercise monopoly on the "truth", and now at least there are more articles talking about these things they tried to deny in 2005. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:17, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

(begin moved subsection, moved by me, Doncram. All of the following was inserted later after TE's original posts):

Note: WP:FORUMSHOP. Original discussion is at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive820#Tendentious editing at The Exodus. Please try to centralize I suggest centralizing the discussion there rather than on multiple forums. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:56, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Correction: As Camelbinky correctly pointed out below, Jimbo explicitly allows discussions here that would be considered forum shopping elsewhere. I have stricken that part of my comment above and I apologize to Til Eulenspiegel. Sorry about that. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:26, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Editor Guy Macon hatted this discussion, removing it from view in this edit, and User:Til Eulenspiegel restored its display. I absolutely support Til Eulenspiegel's posting and restoration of his/her post. Jimbo Wales has clearly indicated that anyone can post here, and it is not proper to remove a good faith post clearly directed to Jimbo Wales, as posted by Til Eulenspiegel. Accusations of forum-shopping seem overblown to me, by the way, and I rather think Til Eulenspiegel has a good point in his/her post here. --doncram 20:08, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Til Eulenspiegel objected to the hatting, so I replaced it with a comment as seen above per WP:BRD. Whether or not Til Eulenspiegel has a good point, this is a discussion about the exact same issues that are being discussed in detail at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive820#Tendentious editing at The Exodus, and indeed many of the responses here have already been said there using different wording by different editors. If editors wish to duplicate discussions, that is none of my business, but for those editors who do not want to duplicate discussions, I recommend responding at ANI, possibly with a link here. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:48, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Posting at Jimbo's talk page is never considered forum shopping, and for you to put that note is not right, I suggest rewriting.Camelbinky (talk) 20:57, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
To reiterate: I came to discuss the current neutrality situation specifically with Jimbo, because I actually value his opinions on many occasions, much more than I value the opinion of the crowd of editors that flocked to the ANI you opened up about me. I feel no compulsion to contain all my discussions from henceforth on, to the ANI you opened about me. You have stalked and harassed me on other pages now, trying to close my other conversations down and redirect them there when they aren't even about the ANI discussion at all - under the pretext of accusing me of "forum shopping". I value Jimbo's opinion and have felt free in the past to raise matters here simply because I have come to trust his judgement over the years, that's all. Is that alright with you, Guy Macon? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 20:59, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

(end moved subsection--Doncram)

If you think that Cecil B DeMille is a legitimate source for an article on Moses, I'm not surprised that people don't want your 'truth' in articles... AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:24, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Nice attempt at confusion. But in truth, I never mentioned Cecil B DeMille as a source in any article about Moses. I added the sources he mentions at the beginning of his move - Artapanus, Eupolemus, Josephus, Philo, Hecataeus of Abdera, Diodorus Siculus, Alexander Polyhistor, Manetho, Apion, Chaeremon of Alexandria, Tacitus and Porphyry. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:27, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Given that Moses was supposedly circa 14th century Bc and the earliest source you mention looks to be about a thousand years after that, I'm not sure Cecil B DeMille is much less convincing as a source... DeCausa (talk) 13:45, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Can anyone say they are "sure"? This has been debated for centuries and continues to be controversial, no compelling new evidence falsifying or verifying any of these disparate traditions mentioning Moses has just suddenly come to light, and yet a select few editors want wikipedia to share their apparent conviction that the matter has now been finally resolved and only one viewpoint deserves to be given. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:49, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
See Moses#Historicity - our article does not assert that "the matter has finally been resolved". To the contrary, it makes clear that opinions differ. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:58, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
That sounds good, and I hope we will be able to say that about other articles on the topic. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:03, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Disregarding the content issue here, I'm just going to say that I hate it when editors try to force others to submit by vandalizing an article with tags. It is essentially a way of holding an article hostage, and it's very obnoxious. I think it's a great mistake for our policies to permit that sort of thing. Some types of article tags are obviously necessary (such as AfD notices, copyvio notices, and "hoax" tags), but we would be better off if article-level POV tags were banned. Looie496 (talk) 15:10, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, my favorite articles are the ones where you can get like twelve different points of view (a section giving the Jehovah's Witnesses view, a section giving the LDS view, a section giving the Seventh Day Adventist view, etc., and everyone else who considers a given topic significant to them). That's because I have always treasured wikipedia as a place where I could learn some insight into where these other points of view I disagree with are coming from, and actually let the reader make their own choice, not just see my own biases reflected in every article and shoved down other readers' throats like a book for grade-schoolers. I think that is a major difference between my philosophy and the philosophy of some newer editors who think articles should only endorse one single POV and trash everyone else's as "fringe" if they even get a mention at all. According to this philosophy, I should be "topic banned" because by asking for more than one opinion to be represented, I am getting in their way, and they want to establish a "consensus" verdict of "who's correct" all by themselves without any interference from other editors. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:33, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
From what I can see, you tagged the 'Historicity' section of our article on The Exodus, were asked to provide sources to justify your tagging, and failed to do so. Since articles aren't supposed to be based on the unverified opinions of contributors, the suggestion that you were 'getting in the way' may well have some truth to it... AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:40, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
The "more opinions needed" tag is inviting all editors to look for more points of view to be added to that section, because that section is laughable in its one-sidedness, and its pretense that there is a consensus and unanimity about matters that your yourself just conceded, there are significant differences of opinion on. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:43, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
So your intention was simply to tag the section, and then fail to offer any constructive suggestions regarding how it could be improved. Like I said, getting in the way. And where have I 'conceded' anything? I pointed out that our article on Moses indicates that opinions regarding his historicity differ. Which they do. Our article on The Exodus on the other hand states that "The consensus among biblical scholars today is that there was never any exodus of the proportions described in the Bible". Which also appears to be true. Or if it isn't, you need to provide the necessary evidence - i.e. by citing biblical scholars that differ from this supposed consensus regarding the historicity of the Exodus. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:02, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
So opinions differ on whether Moses existed, yet at the same time "everybody" agrees that the Exodus was nothing more than a fairy-tale, because those who dissent do not count as part of 'everybody"? Grow up. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 17:05, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
So no evidence to dispute the article's assertion regarding scholarly consensus regarding the historicity of Exodus, just misrepresentations and abuse? I can see why Til Eulenspiegel ended up at ANI... AndyTheGrump (talk)
Til, you have been asked to provide text and sources to improve the article. If you will not so so, there is little point in continuing discussion of what you think should exist (as that's not really what the talk page is for), and you should withdraw from the article and the article talk page. In short, it is fine for you to put on the talk page a comment that says, in effect, 'shouldn't this article cover X, because of y' but you begin to belabor the issue without benefit, when the response is in effect 'what sources and text are you proposing?' and you refuse or fail to provide what is requested. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:56, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Once again, the "more opinions needed" tag is inviting ALL editors to look for more points of view to be added to that section, because currently only one opinion and interpretation is being tolerated there. If asking for more opinions with that tag gets me topic banned, NPOV has truly become a sham and a fraud. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 18:09, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Hmm? "More opinions" is itself subject to normal editing and whether such a claim is warranted. By not backing up the claim with text and sources, it will easily and rightfully be dismissed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:23, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
What Looie496 said above is correct: often an editor will attempt to put something in an article (or remove something), then be reverted. A skirmish on the talk page shows that the change does not have consensus, so the editor tags the article. Perhaps the tag is a good-faith attempt to improve the encyclopedia, but often it looks like revenge—if I can't have it my way I'm going to express my displeasure in the article. That sort of thing used to erupt on evolution pages when passing creationists would want to challenge some point. I do not know whether the article mentioned here warrants a tag, but a tag must be justified with a plausible explanation on talk, and if it is rejected by consensus, the tag has to go. The matter can be taken to a noticeboard, however every dispute will leave one side disappointed, so it should not be a surprise that some think NPOV is a "total sham and a fraud". Johnuniq (talk) 00:36, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

ANI notification

Proposal for drafting guidelines/MOS for religion, philosophy, politics, "ideas," what have you

Hi. There are, at present, no particular clear guidelines for religious material here, or, for that matter, guidelines for how to deal with ideas in general, particularly those ideas which might be accepted as true by individuals of a given religious, political, or scientific stance. There have been attempts in the past to draft such guidelines, but they have quickly been derailed. I am dropping this note on the talk pages of a number of editors who I believe have some interest in these topics, or have shown some ability and interest in helping to develop broad topic areas, such as yourself, and asking them to review the material at User:John Carter/Guidelines discussion and perhaps take part in an effort to decide what should be covered in such guidelines, should they be determined useful, and what phrasing should be used. I also raise a few questions about broader possible changes in some things here, which you might have some more clear interest in. I would be honored to have your input, or that of anyone else who sees this discussion and feels that they might have something productive to contribute. John Carter (talk) 20:37, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Could you possibly explain the section on spiritual revelation a bit more? I'm concerned that it might lead to supporting literalist intepretation when that may not have been the intent of people who wrote their revelations (see: John). Sceptre (talk) 20:52, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • WP:MOS for style religions: I think the wp:MOS is already the Bible for the "Church of Holy Punctuation" with the Holyland centered around God's Dash or Satan's Hyphen, or so it seems. In fact, there is great danger of being topic-banned if anyone dares to speak the blasphemy that no one separates hyphenated words with dashes any more, and even hyphens are disappearing from the world in words such as "co-operation" becoming "cooperation" and such. I worry about style-obsession being applied to the World's religions, after watching numerous people threatened with blocks at wp:ANI when they noted how some formal terms are spelled with hyphens (re "hyphenated Americans") or where dashes are officially given separate meanings in various scientific disciplines. There has been much smoke to obscure the truth as with the "Michelson-Morley Experiment" where even those two scientists spelled their experiment(s) with a hyphen (not a dash). When people try to explain it is wrong to rewrite the wp:COMMONNAME of a title, by respelling it with dashes, then the response has been, "Style is never wrong, merely inappropriate" as implying there is no true/false logic to stop people imposing more style rules, just restyle "false" to appear as "trualse". Imagine if the wp:MOS styles were expanded to demand what symbols could, or could not, be used when describing various religions or naming their articles. Far too dangerous. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:49, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Commons:Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people/Update 2013/Moral issues

There is a discussion on Portraits of people:Moral issues at Commons:Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people/Update 2013/Moral issues. JKadavoor Jee 04:50, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

After unhelpful and unexplained threats from an involved admin I am banned by the same admin

I'm being WP:BOLD, and I've left feedback on the users page. It's obvious that the editor is upset and angry at the moment, and he's being baited to stay angry. I believe it's best that everyone step back from this, allow the editor to cool down, and then decide where to go. The obvious forum is the place to go - and that's not here. Dusti*poke* 01:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The non-administrator closer of this thread whose user page this isn't, says on my talk, that the legitimacy of the edit upon which my block hinges "doesn't matter". That I "need to keep [my] head down low"[7]. Oh and my downfall - my fault... I care too much. What is this? Why are you allowing this Mr. Wales? Mr T(Talk?) 06:29, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
For the record - the entire conversation is on his talk page. I was trying to help Mr. T because I feel he can definitely benefit from adoption - either by myself or another editor - however, he's unable to tell the difference in a friend and a foe. Dusti*poke* 06:51, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Where I come from "friends" don't ask me to accept the blame for something I didn't do and with humility. Maybe you don't agree. If so, then let's agree to disagree. Mr T(Talk?) 07:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Swiss/Nepal/Vatican flag icons aligned after 6.5 years

This is just FYI as done. Well, after weeks of further discussions, I think the "consensus" is the new height of x16px for the Swiss/Vatican flag icons and x17px for Nepal's icon.

  • Current default sizes: Nepal Switzerland Vatican City Italy Russia (17–16–16–15–15px height)

Those icon heights, of x17px and x16px, allow all major nation/territory flags to be displayed within text lines, or wikitables, with precise, professional alignment. The size of the Swiss flag icon (in 27,000+ pages) had become the poster child of "delayed improvements" where the problem appeared by early 2007, was partially bypassed 5 years ago by Template:CHE size x17px, plus suggested for resizing in 2011, then re-suggested in May 2013, and finally fixed 6.5 years later (on 19 June 2013, but also fixing the Nepal and Vatican icon heights). This fixes the flag-icon alignment in all sports and Olympic articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:13, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to interrupt, but is this kind of content really germane to Jimbo's talk page? I mean, with all due respect to the great man, he isn't our technical GodKing. — This, that and the other (talk) 10:49, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Jimbo's advice, as both a computer programmer and a manager ...has provided remarkable improvements. When the wp:CS1 cite templates were slowing articles to edit-preview in 25-45 seconds (or reformat image sizes), you might recall I created a fix-it Template:Fcite (July 2012) as a desperate quick solution which some people wanted to delete because, even though 6x faster, it omitted some major parameters. Others were certain the path was to re-hammer/force {cite_web} to miraculously run faster, like a covered wagon upgraded to sportscar (by 300 more horses?), or perhaps as Francis Bacon "stuffing a chicken with snow" to preserve it? Instead, Jimbo advised to keep {Fcite}, use "sparingly" and treat it as a "experiment" (recall: dif631) for better solutions, so I worked on that experimentation path (rather than desperate fixes) for a few weeks and created Template:Cite_quick which handled all 45 major cite parameters, and allowed article "Barack Obama" to display all navboxes and reformat 2x faster just before(!) the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. Plus get this: {Cite_quick} still ran 5x faster than {cite_web} then and even handles more cites than the gargantuan, complex Lua script version with Module:Citation/CS1. In fact, when the Lua programmer User:Uncle_G went on 3-month wikibreaks, I finished rewriting the Lua-based version to match the wp:CS1 format of {cite_web} and {cite_book}, based on knowledge I had gained by Jimbo's advice to "experiment" and that is why the Lua-based cite templates were ready for use in early March this year (rather than a year later), because I had made hundreds of crucial corrections in the Lua module based on Jimbo's advice to treat {Fcite} as an experimental step. Well, the Lua-based cites made major articles reformat 3x-4x times faster (often within 7 seconds, not 25) and auto-corrected 15,000 typos, as of April 2013 (when 10,055 more users edited articles than expected), and it was Jimbo's support (recall: dif473 and other people's work) that made fast edits possible in early 2013. However, few of those extra ten thousand active editors (or 100,000 others) knew Jimbo's pivotal role in making their editing run 3x faster in April 2013. Why else experiment with 230 cite parameters? The key issue is advice about technology. So, answer the question now: "Is this kind of content really germane to Jimbo's talk page?". -Wikid77 15:05/16:25, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Personally I like reading Wikid77's updates. The hard work that he and others are doing is very much appreciated by us non-technical editors. I'm sure Jimbo doesn't mind being kept informed. Prioryman (talk) 19:03, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Completely agree with Prioryman and Wikid. Seems to me User talk:This, that and the other is being a bit of a troll in this instance. It's still Jimbo's personal talk page and not a policy talk page or village pump, this is the type of discussion that Jimbo has decided he likes having on his page, then that is his decision not even consensus of the Community can decide what someone can/cannot have on their talk page as long as it does not violate our policies.Camelbinky (talk) 20:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not trying to be a troll; I made the comment because I genuinely believed that no-one had any interest in these posts. But I can see now that that's obviously not true. Even so, I would be interested to know whether Jimbo is actually interested in them, since this is his talk page after all. — This, that and the other (talk) 02:00, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I'm keenly interested. I don't always respond but I always read. And as Albacore says, below, it's a nice break from all the bickering! :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:02, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, there you go. I've been proved wrong, and I think that's a good thing in this case. Nice to hear from you, Jimbo! — This, that and the other (talk) 07:52, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I enjoy reading the updates as well. It's nice to hear about the improvements we're doing on WP, and it's a nice break from all the bickering. Albacore (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Focus on fixing most irritating computer problems: What I try to emphasize, in computer technology, is to fix the problems which cause "98%" of frustration. This is like a variation of the "80/20 Rule" but as "98/2" where ~2% of computer problems cause 98% of all the I-hate-computers trouble. The amazing thing I discovered, by writing my own graphics or text-editing software for years, was that when I was able to upgrade the software myself to improve any problems (with no other "developers" to confront), then the software became "98% perfect" or "98% paradise" despite numerous people claiming that computers would always be frustrating. Not so; instead, people need to be able to tailor the computer interface to their own habits, quickly, to reduce many frustrations instantly. Just a few problems are the cause of 98% of frustrations. The 3 oversized flag icons were 3 out of 350, and caused the misalignment in many hundreds of articles, but now all that frustration is gone, by fixing 3 flag-icon sizes. I wish we could get people to focus on fixing the most-frustrating problems sooner, such as edit-conflicts, rather than all the bizarre "side-show" trinkets or widgets they seem to obsess over. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Collaboration and cooperation rather than frustration: Wider, faster cooperation is a big advantage in wiki editing, as seen by "99.9999% of Wikipedia was written by other people" without requesting much approval for cooperation. Although some minor user-interface glitches can be frustrating, such as buttons at bottom-of-screen rather than being mid-screen buttons, the blocks against cooperation can also be frustrating. In a sense, edit-conflicts which should be auto-corrected are blocking the automatic cooperation to work with other users, on the same paragraphs, without defining a "coordination plan" to schedule when users can edit which sections. If edit-conflicts were simply reduced to allow multi-user edits to adjacent lines, then that would mean better "automatic" cooperation between users. Now, in a broader sense, the MediaWiki software should empower users to gain better cooperation in wider updating of pages, plus the templates and tools. The quick aspect of "wiki" editing is due to bypassing approval cycles, such as in other systems which require pages to be "checked-out" for exclusive editing and then "checked-in" for verification, before allowing edits by other users. Instead, the wiki editing can allow instant cooperation of people editing different paragraphs, and if fixed, to allow editing of adjacent lines. The key concept is to reduce the levels of "pre-approval" or "conflict-awareness" so that the software facilitates easier cooperation between multiple users, editing adjacent lines or updating shared flag-icon templates with easier, automatic approval, rather than so much "discussion to gain collaboration". Bottom line: another major cause of frustration is the software blocking the cooperation possible in updating pages and tools. So we could also emphasize people to create a wider variety of edit-tools, or graphing-tools, without waiting for approval of others to write or update the tools. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:10, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Alternatives with easier approval steps: Given the risk of how many major templates must be protected, from hack-edits which could garble thousands of pages, then a possible avenue for advancement would be to encourage a "few" alternative templates (or computer tools or widgets or article micro-pages) with limited use, and also limited approval cycles, to allow quicker improvements (without as much edit-protected control). In a sense, for the Swiss flag-icon alignment, then the alternative template was Template:CHE, which had icon height x17px over 4 years ago, when {flag|Switzerland} was stuck in a set of 5 templates which needed to be updated together to reduce the x20px height. So, the general tactic should be formalized to have alternative, "lifeboat" templates (tools) which can provide for rapid fixes, or improvements, without the tedious approval cycles of the big templates used in thousands (or millions) of pages. In this vein, I really think there should be a separate edit-interface for the MSIE browsers which have locked-up after years of incompatible edit-screen changes. I guess the now-deleted skin "Nostalgia" might have been part of that alternative interface for the MSIE browsers, but again, there should be more alternatives to emphasize workarounds in each area of frustration. -Wikid77 00:44, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps the term "alternative templates" would work: I am still thinking of a suitable term to describe other templates (tools) to be used when the edit-protected templates cannot be updated to improve operations. So perhaps a good term would be "alternative templates". Numerous people have complained about the protected pages, saying, "This is not a wiki" but the danger from hack-edits must be averted by protections, where we have seen many editors hack unprotected templates which took days, or weeks or months to fix, such as a template hacked on New Years Day in 2012. So, the semi-protected, alternative templates (with new features) could be used in several articles, without the need for full-protection as admin-only editing. -Wikid77 23:41/15:55, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Some templates/tools trapped as internal bottlenecks: However, upon rethinking the use of "alternative templates (tools)" there is a limit when the item which needs to be improved is an internal template, called by name from outer templates. In that case, then the names of the internal templates could be parameter values, passed inside, which could name the alternative templates to be used, as internal steps, instead. A prime example, of stagnant internal technology for 3 years, was Template:BS-overlap in the road/river or train-route maps (wp:RDT), used as an internal map-formatter routine, which could have been bypassed 3 years ago but did not get upgraded until 28 April 2013, to format route-map segments as several times (10-30 seconds?) faster, in many articles which have large route-maps. -Wikid77 05:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps user-preference to merge edit-conflicts

At this point, I think it would be necessary to have an option in Special:Preferences to retain current edit-conflicts, because of some people claiming edit-conflicts are essential to "progress" among editors:

  • At least 3 developers have insisted that adjacent-line edits should not be merged.
  • One developer claimed that the risk of 2 editors both prepending the same duplicate tag-box should be halted by edit-conflict in non-duplicate cases.
  • Other editors have noted they like edit-conflicts for a chance to re-read the discussion, and re-think the reply.

With a sizeable number of editors wanting to be blocked from editing, by erstwhile changes made by other editors, then I feel the auto-merging of potential edit-conflicts should be an option which some editors can refuse, by clicking "keep edit-conflicts". Typically, the exact opposite is the case: most people do not want to seek "pre-approval" to add text, and either do not care if someone stated their same opinion(s) or feel that "many voices" might be a good thing, to repeat the similar replies.

The groundswell of people happy with edit-conflicts is another benefit of discussing the possibilities of auto-merging adjacent edits, because I would have never guessed how so many people like having their edits quickly rejected (or so they claim). But also, perhaps after a while, more editors might switch to no (about "keep edit-conflicts"), as part of a long-term evolution about easier ways to handle numerous replies to a discussion, or numerous changes to adjacent lines in a page. For new users, I would guess most would prefer to auto-merge multiple replies, and then they could re-edit to reword/remove replies that seemed out-of-sync with nearby replies. The most important point is to keep discussing the auto-merging of edit-conflicts and to fully explore how to gain consensus for faster discussions or frequent updates to busy pages. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:34, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm totally clueless about what you are trying to propose here? Could you perhaps include some context, and also perhaps some links to the postulates above. AzaToth 11:59, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for slow response, but see context, below, about VisualEditor and edit-conflicts. -Wikid77 15:55, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
If you'll accept something personal, you're good with Javascript, aren't you? It should be quite possible to add a "Resolve" button right at the top of the edit conflict page, and/or a tool that scans recent historical revisions of an article for improper edit conflict resolutions (i.e. edits that take one thing out and add another a long way away from it). Wnt (talk) 21:49, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • WMF forcing VisualEditor on new users but edit-conflicts fatal: For those unaware of the background about the looming nightmare, the plan is to mandate the VisualEditor for all new users, as hoping the WYSIWYG point-and-click edits are easier for them, but then ignoring the potential danger of edit-conflicts (which could be easily auto-merged), and instead waiting until the new user points-and-clicks their entire changes to the page, and then get this: upon the slightest erstwhile change to the prior revision, instead of auto-merging non-competing changes to different sections, the whole VisualEditor session aborts as "Edit-conflict!" but pretends to invite the user to a "manual edit-conflict" wp:copy/paste fixit screen of their keystroke updates, but instead (surprise!), their entire VisualEditor page is reduced to one word "undefined" and totally loses all the keystrokes from their tedious (slow) point-and-click (and scroll line-by-line), clicking here or there to change the text, all of which will be lost upon the slightest one-word change to the prior revision of the page. Meanwhile, I have discovered that most (95%-98%) of edit-conflicts could be auto-merged by "10-minute changes" to the old diff3.c version-merge utility currently used to combine sections edited by different people, but limited to one-unchanged line separating each person's edits. For example, the one-line separation could be reduced to a "zero-line separation" between changed lines (allow adjacent changes), and multiple insertions (additional list entries or talk-page replies) could be combined, to auto-merge the edit-conflict, as stacking both editors additional lines/replies in LIFO ("last-in, first-out") order, so that even a new "==Topic==" insertion (by a prior editor) would not affect the next editor who replies at the same old line in a page (above any new section(s) created by a prior editor). At the top of a page, each person who prepends a top-of-file tagbox would have their lines always inserted at the new top of the page, above any other additional lines prepended by a prior editor just minutes before the next editor does edit-save of changes. In fact, there is never a technical reason to have any "edit-conflict" (yes, because all lines could be auto-combined in some forced manner), but the auto-merging could be auto-halted when numerous lines differ from the other editor's version, as a potential danger of merging erstwhile vandalism or even a copy/paste into the wrong page as cause for so many differing lines. As a computer scientist, I anticipated the edit-conflicts would be fixed years ago (as easy to fix), but as years lapsed with no progress about edit-conflicts, then I suspected, "It must be the developer chow" where potential fixes were purposely rejected by developers, and that has been confirmed as part of the delay. Anyway, those aspects explain some background about auto-merging edit-conflicts, as to how easily it could be done (for most cases), and why changes should be auto-merged to avoid horrifying new users who would learn their entire tedious point-and-click VisualEditor session was a total waste of their time. Plus, long-term, it is exciting to see how almost all edit-conflicts could be merged, even allowing people to change 2 phrases on the same line, during conflicting edits, but have those phrases combined in the saved revision. Some technology even allows a prior editor to move multiple paragraphs in a page, and then the next editor's changes would auto-move to be inserted into those new locations ("weave merge"); however, that would likely be a special warning to the user, and perhaps enter edit-preview (for review of the auto-merge), if several sections had been moved. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:55, 25 June, 05:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

This isn't even "silly season" yet ...

Mike Gatto has a quite laudatory BLP - with a couple or three items which look rather like a campaign brochure (i.e. of no major importance, puffy, etc.). At what point will folks accept that Wikipedia is not a proper campaign site? Collect (talk) 21:25, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

That's obviously an automatic Keep at AfD (elected member of a state legislature), so the solution is to just fix it, if the POV offends thee... And WP will be used as a campaign tool forever and ever, a-men, in answer to your query. Huge traffic + no cost = gold. Carrite (talk) 04:29, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
BTW, this is a good example of why I think all candidates for office of this level should clear the notability bar automatically. Otherwise, WP is inherently biased in favor of incumbents. It is an unfair situation. Carrite (talk) 04:31, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Your suggestion is that ALL members of state legislatures are notable? That seems a tad hard to swallow. Good luck arguing that at Wikipedia:Notability_(people). NickCT (talk) 14:28, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Wikipedia:Notability_(people)#Politicians already says that all members of state legislatures are notable. Mark Arsten (talk) 21:50, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't see how removing what law firm he first worked for is supposed to improve his biography; nor removing which bills he proposed. Removing content from articles purely for the sake of doing so (or to reduce their potential usefulness in the campaign) really is vandalism, plain and simple. If you want to push the opposing POV the valid way to do that is to search up some sources that strike some sour notes and add them, not take out whatever you feel like based on a claim it is "not important" (to you, that is). I should note that for a politician there will always be sources that strike sour notes, so an article this sweet-and-light probably does need some of that kind of work. Wnt (talk) 19:56, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
"Gatto’s 2012 legislative program included bills: to keep utility rates low by allowing utilities to use biofuel; to crack down on lobbyists who improperly try to influence tax assessors; to make sporting events safer by preventing fan violence at stadiums; and measures to make it more difficult to write spending programs into the California Constitution." Minutiae which would look excellent on an election pamphlet, referenced to a primary source and no indication of the importance of the legislation (or what passed into law). --NeilN talk to me 20:25, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
WP:BLP requires a reliable, published source. Note lack of words like "secondary". Especially when the only "challenge" is based on the material being uninteresting. An indication of the importance is desirable - full legislative history is desirable - how is that supposed to get in the article if you don't leave what it has in it? It's not like it's that hard to find some of this for California Homemade Food Act, which was wikilinked all along. I feel like the people doing these deletions picture themselves as the one working in the nice glassed-in office with the big desk looking out over a sea of poor schmucks with typewriters who ought to be grateful they were given a job, who should come back with however many drafts it takes to satisfy the editor-in-chief's point of view. Well, you're not the editor in chief, and these people don't come back with their drafts, they leave, they do free work on other web sites that show more appreciation for their contributions. Wnt (talk) 20:40, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Really? What (non-partisan) websites are those? Wikipedia's job is not to copy a politician's "full legislative history" into their bio - that is not desirable. It's to figure out what's important, again not by looking at primary sources, but bylooking for secondary sources. --NeilN talk to me 21:09, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Of course our job is to copy full legislative history! If somebody does something in their life that is reported by the reliable sources, we should cover it. In the event that the legislative history became so big the rest of the article was lost in it, we should spin it off into a more specialized article. This is especially true when it comes to proposing bills, which is simultaneously notable, objective, important, yet profoundly personal and revealing of philosophy and character. Wnt (talk) 21:45, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Wnt is completely right and I'm not sure where Calibri gets this idea that secondary sources are the only place to look (wait... I do know, and it's a shame). We don't pick and choose what's important, that's why we use sources, we write what they say, if it wasn't important it wouldn't be in a source. Notability regards the subject, not the facts. If something bores you, don't worry about the article and work on something that grabs your attention. Not every subject has to be about things that grab you.Camelbinky (talk) 02:44, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Calibri? Are you referring to me? Gatto has authored 61 bills. Are we going to toss out WP:INDISCRIMINATE so we can include the important yet profoundly personal "...request that the Department of Transportation erect informational signs on State Highway Route 5 in the County of Los Angeles directing motorists to the Armenian Cathedral Complex"? Are we going to toss out WP:PRIMARY too, and let politicians dictate how important and notable all their work is? --NeilN talk to me 03:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't see that in the old version, so I assume this is hypothetical. Nonetheless, I answer hypotheticals, so here it is: Wikipedia cannot copy the entire world; it summarizes it. That means that if an editor finds an article about a bill to erect informational signs, it is valid to include a sentence about it. (Subject to possible splitting to a sub article per WP:Summary style) The existence of a source about it to cite and an editor interested to cite it is enough to mean it is worth mentioning. However, if what you can find about this bill is only an item within a computerized listing of his bills from the state assembly that lists 61 items, and that is one of the items, then it is more appropriate to summarize what the whole list was about rather than to detail each item however minor. Wnt (talk) 03:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Not exactly a hypothetical as you said our job is to "copy full legislative history" and that was one of his bills (source [8]). And it's hard to summarize the whole list given its disparate nature. I'm saying we should include items only if they have non-trivial coverage in independent secondary sources. --NeilN talk to me 04:24, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I love how editors through out WP:PRIMARY as if it says somewhere on it "Never use primary sources". In fact that section is probably written too far in restriction of primary sources than they are actually used or accepted at the RS/N. It isn't technically "wrong" as it does state that primary sources are allowed, you just cant make inferences or original research based off them. But of course those same restrictions apply to any source. It just may be easier to fall down an honest hole into inferring from a primary. But there is no distinction between primary and secondary, secondary sources are simply preferred if there is both a secondary and a primary.Camelbinky (talk) 18:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── And I love how you mischaracterize my position. Use primary sources to get a list of bills. Don't use primary sources, especially a politician's website, to say what impact or importance a bill has. --NeilN talk to me 20:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Once the contributions of the obvious conflict-of-interest account Ctrconstgovt are removed, the article looks fine. Tarc (talk) 20:05, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

How does Wikipedia treat a 'hero' like Snowden?

Well, like this.. -- Hillbillyholiday talk 14:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I looked through the history on that page, and I don't see that vandalism. When did it happen, and was it just some random IP address, and was it reverted a few minutes after it was made by someone else? "Wikipedia" isn't a living sentient entity, nor did the majority of editors vote to say such things. Its just one random person. Dream Focus 14:40, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. And yet, I think we should acknowledge that it is problematic when someone is suddenly in the news and people with an agenda post things like that. If it is just for a few minutes, that's better than if it were a major concerted effort. But it's never a good thing anyway. Solutions are nontrivial.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Semi-protecting all BLPs seems like it would be trivial to implement and could be done by a bot. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:01, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be similar to having only land-owners vote? Wikipedia should be adding freedoms and not removing them. Btw, Mr. Wales your talk page is semi-protected again.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It's only temporary and appeared to be in response to actual vandalism. In general, I think semi-protecting all BLPs is overkill, but being more liberal with semi-protection is a good idea. At the same time, I think that analogies like "having only land-owners vote" are too strong and overblown. All you have to do to edit a semi-protected BLP is be autoconfirmed - hardly a major barrier to participation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:13, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
All you have to do to vandalize a protected article is be auto confirmed as well. Semi protecting everything is never going to be the answer, though I am not surprised to see the usual overreactionaries are here pushing their agendas. Resolute 15:20, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Semi-protection is not an answer in itself, but it will go a long way to cutting down on the type of drive-by vandalism pointed out here. It is only one of a number of simple changes that have often been discussed as ways of mitigating this well-known and long-standing problem with WP. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:44, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, if you think semi-protection is "overkill", I presume that it is because IPs would not be able to make edits. If that is the case, would you object to a mechanism that allows IPs to edit, but does not make their edits visible until they have been reviewed? Call it, oh, "flagged revisions" or "pending changes" - if such a thing were available, would you support turning it on for all BLPs? And if not, why not? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:41, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Pending changes is available. Has been for a few months. I have repeatedly put BLPs on PC. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Tom, can you do me a favour and turn on pending changes for Jonah Falcon? It is the BLP of a man known for the size of his penis. Not surprisingly, it is frequently vandalized. When you're done with that, would you mind turning on pending changes for every other living person? Thanks! Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:47, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
For Mr Falcon, it is done. The rest you'll have to take one-by-one to WP:RFPP... Face-smile.svgTom Morris (talk) 20:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
"Wikipedia" isn't a living sentient entity". perhaps it is, i.e. Wikipedia and all its editors together could generate a conscious entity that strives to keep itself into some "ideal state", perturbations like vandalism are then subjectively perceived as "pain" or other forms of discomfort by the system. Count Iblis (talk) 15:12, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Or set most major BLPs to have Pending-Changes review: A bot could also check the prior month's pageviews and tag major BLPs for review of proposed changes made by IP users or anyone. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:55, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Vandalism is most likely to be found and reverted on the most viewed BLPs. Vandalism on little-viewed BLPs can persist for much longer. Pending changes should be enabled on all BLPs. That would be a start. One possible next step would be sanctions for persistent or overt violations of WP:BLP. There are many ways to deal with the problem if one actually wants to deal with it. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:06, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
Thank you so much for this wonderful encyclopedia, couldn't have been possible without you! Prabash.Akmeemana 18:06, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Florida's 9th district

Perhaps someone can help me call this problem to the attention of the right group of interested people. This map is significantly different from what we have at Florida's 9th congressional district and is pointed to by the State of Florida website. Additionally, the representative for the 9th district, Alan Grayson, lives in Orlando, suggesting the official map is correct and ours is wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The one from appears to be a plan for re-districting from 2012. Not a map of the actual districts at that time. The one we have appears to be a 'this is how the districts are' map at the time it was used. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:34, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Map from prior to 2012 courtesy of the Fish & Wildlife service appears to show it in the same place as us. Senate plan for redistricting dated Jan 2012 shows as complete. So as far as I am aware 9 should now be in the middle and ours is out of date. Which probably means all our Florida congressional district maps are out of date. Although since the FWS are too, cant really blame us ;) Although the article itself has been updated with the info that the congressman has changed due to redistricting, but no one changed the pic. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Now 27 congressional districts in 6(?) maps: That official document notes the plan as completed on January 25, 2012 (last year), with Florida having 27 congressional districts (expanded from 25). The document also lists 6 PDF maps which seem to cover all 27 districts:
Those maps should provide a sanity check for each of the 27 districts, as with number 9, "Florida's 9th congressional district" or "Florida's 15th..." etc. Then check back in a few days to see if maps were revised in June 2013. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:25, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Began updating maps for renumbered districts: It took me a while to get over the shock of the new locations of the 10th, 12th and 9th district (moved from the west half to east half of the Florida peninsula), but I finally wrote a description of the new 9th congressional district, as located from Orlando down around Osceola County. I re-captioned the old map as the "Former 9th district" and created an interim map box to show the new 9th district, until public-domain maps can be uploaded. There has been talk that the Florida state-government maps are "public domain" (PD), but we had trouble with claims that Italian police crime-scene photos are PD when I think "fair-use" is more accurate, and so the Florida state-govt maps might need to avoid Commons and be kept on WP as fair-use images. Meanwhile, I will put interim maps in articles where boundaries shifted the most:
Jimbo, I am glad you spotted the problems because it might have been years before the maps were adequately updated, to note the massive relocations of some of Florida's congressional districts, while the U.S. NationalAtlas maps are still outdated. What a nightmare. -Wikid77 01:54, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
There are some coding tasks that would help make things easier. First, we should have a map "reprojector" which lets you mark the location of a half dozen coordinates on any Wikipedia map and then gives you back a version that is reprocessed to whatever coordinate system you prefer. Next (or combined with this) we should have a map reader that takes data like those Florida maps, automatically recognizes the big colored areas, and turns them into SVG profiles according to their latitude/longitude (as transformed for the desired system). I've made a crude start at the third step with Module:MapClip which can zoom in on a piece of a large set of maps. Fourth, by overlaying multiple images with transparency (or computer generating divs directly from the SVG coordinates using Lua) it should be possible to rework arbitrary road map + congressional districts coordinate data into decent maps of the congressional districts. Hopefully the latitude and longitude coordinates of the congressional district boundaries are not copyrighted, even though there are few artistic works that involve more creativity and scheming in their creation! Wnt (talk) 18:02, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Using "concept diagrams" of congressional districts: To avoid any copyright issues, although rare, I am merely highlighting the boundaries of whole Florida counties in those districts and then displaying reddish square boxes, superimposed live, on adjacent areas in each district. Because squares are non-copyrighted "shapes" then showing the district boundaries, as rough shapes, is fine until we get U.S. Govt maps as public-domain images. -Wikid77 22:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Florida district articles were accurate but labels misleading: As would be expected after the U.S. national elections in 2012, the contents of the Wikipedia articles for the 27 congressional districts of Florida were accurate, in descriptions, but the map captions gave the misleading impression of being outdated, by saying "District of 2003 to 2013" which seems to mean "2013" as being current maps for this year. Instead, I have been rewording the captions as, "Former district 2003–2012" to omit 2013 and avoid confusion about 2013 being the current date of the maps. Ironically, those district maps had been added on "28 December 2012" just 4 days before they all became obsolete for 2013, despite no maps in those articles during the past 10 years when the maps would be showing the current boundaries. All around, it was a "series of unfortunate events" to put maps in those 27 district articles, with misleading labels, just 4 days before the maps became obsolete, after 10 years with no maps when they would have been appropriate. Anyway, the basic content of the articles has been accurate, and "all is well" (or getting better) in the world of Wikipedia pages about Florida districts. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Created color-square images to highlight map areas: An unexpecting side-effect of trying to provide current maps, for the 27 congressional districts of Florida, has been the creation of standard "color squares" to overlay and indicate areas on the district maps. Despite 10 years of map images, there were no obvious "red-square" or "white-square" images to overlay onto maps (but hundreds of special variations). Hence, I have created obvious name "File:Red_square.gif" (for "Red square.gif") on Commons, to work with any browser, while wondering why no one ever created "File:Red_square.svg" or "File:Red_square.png" as other obvious image-names to display a red square. I think other people have likely created some complex mapping techniques which require special knowledge to navigate, such as the train-route diagrams (wp:RDT). Anyway, those simple blue-square (etc.) images can be overlayed to highlight parts of maps, as when the official map might not be a public-domain image yet. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:10, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
 Congressional  District 23  (100x100)
 District 23 
Jimbo Wales/Archive 136
Jimbo Wales/Archive 136
Jimbo Wales/Archive 136
Jimbo Wales/Archive 136
Jimbo Wales/Archive 136
General location of the 23rd congressional district in Florida. ←This is an example of a map composed of 5 tiny squares (5 copies of File:Red_square.gif), as a "concept diagram" of the new 23rd district map, effective January 2013.
The former 23rd district, in 2003 to 2012, covered a major part of Broward County and parts of Palm Beach County. ←(This is an example of the recaption with "former...2012" in each article.)
  • Discovered Firefox map alignment differs from edit-preview when saved (fixed 26 June 2013?): As if there weren't enough MediaWiki user-interface problems, now I have discovered the map div-sections (this week) shift up/down after being edit-saved for Firefox browsers, as noticed when I was working on creating rough district maps for Florida's 27 congressional districts. After all the other, chaotic user-interface nightmares, then I don't mind shifting some map markers up/down to anticipate different alignments after being edit-saved, as being 2-pixel height lower when seen in edit-preview of map alignments. However, it makes me wonder just how much user-interface mush could new users tolerate before being driven away. I am really seeing strong evidence of why computer managers have warned for decades: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"  because computer systems tend to always be more complicated than the available manpower at hand, needed to correct the hideous problems caused by rampant changes to computer software. It takes many days with many people to verify all operations after major changes are made. Firefox browsers showing a shifted alignment between edit-preview and edit-save of map div-sections is a clear example of how bad it can get. -Wikid77 00:44, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Recaptioned old maps "former...2012" but few new maps: I just changed most of the district articles to recaption the old map as "former nth district, in 2003 to 2012" because I was distracting by fighting the misalignment bug in Firefox browser where the new map div-sections edit-preview as 2-pixel higher than edit-save (fixed 26 June 2013?). Fortunately, the bug only appeared in Firefox, while tests with MSIE show the map's div-section alignment is the same for both edit-preview & edit-save. If preview alignment cannot be fixed, then I'll write another error-essay to explain the 2-pixel higher edit-preview in Firefox, such as with essay "wp:98% table width anomaly". -Wikid77 23:41/15:55, 25 June, 05:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Map-alignment bug seems fixed, so all is well: After extensive tests on 26 June 2013 (all-day), I could not re-create the week's map div-section alignment bug (2-pixel up/down shift) in Firefox browser, so I conclude it was fixed. Hence, there are no other problems with updating Florida's 27 congressional district articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:08, 27 June 2013 (UTC)



Chrisrus (talk) 03:34, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Aligning text to the right: Is a political organization editing Wikipedia to suit its interests? (Haaretz, 17 June 2013)

Hi Jimmy and everybody else. I have wondered for some time, and with it making headlines in the Israeli daily Haaretz a few days ago (see article), I am outright curious – that's not an allusion, although I did read the Snowden discussion above – if the English Wikipedia does inform other Wikipedias about its findings and decisions if any in cases of "organizations engaged in tendentious editing," as Haaretz puts it, particularly regarding Israel-Palestine issues with cases like NGO Monitor and CAMERA, so that other Wikipedias which may also be targeted but are not aware of it can profit from the English Wikipedia's findings? The reason for my wondering is that, e.g. in the German Wikipedia, where I edit frequently, including Israel-Palestine related articles, I have never yet encountered even the slightest awareness of the problem, although it imo quite obviously should be considered. Cheers, Ajnem (talk) 15:42, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Your first sentence there is a bastard -- I had to read it five times before I could parse it. The answer is that there is no formal system for different-language Wikipedias to inform each other about anything. Looie496 (talk) 17:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
yes, I got quite stuck on the "everybody else" bit as well. And you're right - we're not even married. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Match-making was not what I had in mind, but how could that be changed, or shouldn't it be chaged? What's the use of going to all that trouble - I'm referring to having POV-pushing members of organizations infiltrating Wikipedia exposed and blocked - when they or other members of the same organization can happily go on with their POV-pushing in other languages? Ajnem (talk) 17:28, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
My first sentence is an outrage, now that I reread it. My apologies for that. Am I to understand, that informing other Wikipedias in cases like having discovered members of specific organizations editing in the English Wikipedia with the aim of doing harm to Wikipdia, to put it simply, has never been an issue? If so, I admit that I'm surprised and confused. If such attempts are being made, and knowing that they are being made in what shape and form ever, wouldn't it be prudent to assume that the same organizations will try their luck in other Wikipedias after having been discovered in one, even if they have not been active there before? I don't want to sound touchy, but there are other Wikipedias in other languages than English which also contribute to Wikipedia's reputation - good or bad. Cheers, Ajnem (talk) 13:19, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Russavia's troll in the news

FYI, Kevin Morris, "How Wikimedia Commons Became a Massive Amateur Porn Hub." This does indicate that Russavia directly commissioned the Wales portrait and that he paid by trading a Wikipedia biography for the portrait — something for which the artist would usually charge $200, I note. The portrait survived a deletion challenge at Commons, which should surprise no one... Carrite (talk) 15:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Money quote: "Making things even worse are a small group of porn aficionados and exhibitionists who use the Commons as their personal playground, turning the high-minded educational repository into the world's crappiest amateur porn hub." Carrite (talk) 16:02, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo is a public figure. It is quite ridiculous to compare him to some random young woman who is undoubtedly a private individual. Were that young woman to say, "please delete this image of me" then I would support deleting it, but Jimbo isn't some unknown young woman who got photographed flashing her breasts at Mardis Gras. Honestly, this is turning into the Streisand Effect. The article on Pricasso has gotten about 1,500 views, most of them on a single day, while the image has gotten several hundred more views due to all the rancor.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 16:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
So it's perfectly fine to commission such an image just to get back at another user, just because that user is Jimbo Wales? --Conti| 16:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Who says it was to get back at him? Jimbo, being our Dear Leader and all, has many people who disagree with him and the idea that any of those people doing something with his image he doesn't like are "harassing" him out of some personal feud is really quite absurd. People will use Jimbo's image to make a point because he is the public face of Wikipedia, something he is more than happy to benefit from in his daily life. If Russavia was trolling or otherwise trying to be provocative, then he used Jimbo's image because he is Jimbo and not because of any personal grievance.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia has intentionally done this to annoy Jimbo, there's no other way to look at it. Russavia has been trolling, and when asked, Russavia has explicitly refused to answer even the simplest questions about all this. Now we know why. --Conti| 17:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It is easy to imagine Jimbo not fully grasping what it means to be a public figure, and I guess it makes sense that editors here who freely interact with him have difficulty grasping what it means for him to be a public figure, but the reality is that he is a public figure. Even if something was done knowing it would annoy him, it does not mean it is personal or even really about him.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:35, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Is that even intended to make sense? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:37, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't quite understand how being a public person means you can insult said public person in as many creative ways as you can think of on Wikipedia without having to fear any kind of repercussions. "He's a public person" has practically nothing to do with what happened here. --Conti| 17:39, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
"The Devil's Advocate", while living up to his namesake, is woefully and rather pathetically naive in this instance. Tarc (talk) 17:45, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The bottom line is that we don't let people use Wikipedia to settle real-life grudges. That was the lesson of the Qworty and Little green rosetta fiascos, and it applies here. MastCell Talk 17:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia isn't even remotely comparable to them, and even then we don't just undo all of their contributions even if it was a contribution with an ulterior motive. We evaluate the contribution on its own merits as though it were made with only the best of intent.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia is clearly comparable in that he's used Wikipedia/Commons as a tool to settle a real-life score with someone. In terms of magnitude, yes, the other two were far worse, but none of their actions are acceptable. MastCell Talk 18:17, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it has everything to do with it. He is the public face of Wikipedia and anyone disagreeing with something on Wikipedia is liable to invoke his name or image when expressing that disagreement. Presuming Russavia was trying to make a point or be provocative, Jimbo's image was used in the same fashion one would use an image of the President to make a point about U.S. policy or an image of the Prime Minister or Queen to make a point about British policy. All that said, I consider the basis for creating the image distinct from its utility.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:56, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The difference is that nobody who makes a point about US politics usually happens to have been in a personal conflict with the president. About sexually explicit pictures. Before commissioning a sexually explicit video about the president. --Conti| 18:02, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Saying Russavia was in a "personal conflict" with Jimbo is like saying someone who challenges Obama's policy at a speaking engagement was in a "personal conflict" with Obama.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 19:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo has told Russavia to be ashamed of himself at one point and has said other not so nice things about Russavia. Russavia, in turn, tends to treat Jimbo like a clueless newbie on Commons. How on earth is that not personal? And that's disregarding the fact that Jimbo and Russavia stand on opposite sides of the whole Commons-porn drama, and are both very vocal in their opinions on it. --Conti| 19:25, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo has criticized a whole assortment of random editors, as Obama has criticized a whole assortment of random citizens, and Jimbo is kind of oblivious to how things actually work on the various Wikimedia sites.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 19:37, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I dare say that neither of those statements are correct. --Conti| 20:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • When this first arose, analogies to these [in]famous "art" and "censorship" cases: [9], [10] came to mind, but here the issue seems to revolve around how and why it was created, rather than the artwork itself. Does anyone know of analogies from off-wikimedia where these were in issue? Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
With respect TDA, one would have to actively choose to be ignorant not to see that antagonism was one of the purposes behind Russavia's actions. He was quite successful in his trolling. Perhaps enough that the current block will become a de facto ban. Wonder if it was worth it? Resolute 19:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with that, but this has already been discussed more than is useful and the header to this section is using a fairly loose definition of "in the news". Just for variety, someone please open a new section so we can move on to the next dead horse in the cycle. Formerip (talk) 19:17, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I think it is very easy for people here who lack perspective to believe that it is some personal vendetta and that, once people believe it, convincing them otherwise is very difficult. People often assume malicious motives where none exist or assume the motive is more malicious then it is in reality. My personal impression is that Russavia probably did it partly for the lulz, because the idea of doing something so edgy tickled him pink, but did actually think it was worthwhile to have a free image of the artwork. Is the lulz a great reason to contribute something here? No, but it is hardly the worst reason and doesn't take away from the second reason.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 19:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
O.k. if we are going to start giving our 'personal impressions' of what motivates other people to post things on Wikipedia, here's mine. I think The Devil's Advocate is trolling here, probably due to an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance. I also think he is making a fool of himself... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:45, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
People like to throw around the term trolling on the Internet whenever someone raises an argument they don't like. It is rarely employed accurately and this is just another example of a reactionary use of the term.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:17, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
'Reactionary'? Are you sure you mean that? Are you accusing me of opposition to political and social change? Or have you just failed to use the term accurately? ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:25, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The word's meaning is not limited to the definition you give.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:49, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
So which definition was intended? Do tell... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It's possible that he intended to say that you have been participating in some sort of process involving the re-arrangement of atomic bonds to create one or more chemical compounds or elements. Formerip (talk) 21:59, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
You see, what you two are doing is trolling. Compare and contrast.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 22:10, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, no, I'm making fun of you, for which I apologise. But, really, if you're going to get on your high horse about people using words correctly, the least you could do is double check you understand all the words in your own sentence. Formerip (talk) 22:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I used the word correctly, it is as simple as that. End of discussion.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:43, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

You just have a conflict about Commons at the wrong venue. Because it's the wrong venue the objective can't be reached, people get frustrated and you get an escalation of the conflict until something gives way, in this case that was Russavia getting banned. But that only released the pressure temporarily, the volcano will erupt again unless the problem is dealt with at the right venue. Count Iblis (talk) 19:36, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Isn't the reporter on this story the same one that Jimmy previously qualified as "not a real journalist?" Jimbo, do you still stand by that comment? Cla68 (talk) 22:36, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It does depend what is meant by "real", but he is quite plainly a blogger who regurgitates emails people send him. Formerip (talk) 22:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
He is not a blogger and the Daily Dot is not a blog. It is a niche news source, sure, but a news source nonetheless and Morris is a journalist no doubt. Plenty of reputable journalists make mistakes or don't get all the facts straight, as do plenty of other generally reliable authors. If you think he got some details wrong then you should point them out.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:43, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Well since we are onto a new topic, should Morris have not disclosed, if Jimmy Wales said that about him? It did seem odd that he did not say anything about contacting Jimmy for his story/blog, what have you. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It's just that no-one told him to say that. Formerip (talk) 23:59, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Commons user here who does not contribute a lot to enwiki, but who has noticed that this seems to be the place where people feel is the right place to discuss Commons, and who therefore looks at it from time to time. Has anybody ever provided any evidence (≠ assumptions, conjectures) that russavia intended this as a provocation towards Jimbo, rather than as a simple illustration of Pricasso's painting style? To me, choosing Jimbo as a subject is just as reasonable as, when illustrating an article about web browsers, having Wikipedia open in the screenshot: it is simply a little self-reference, and I believe this is a textbook case of where AGF should be applied (in retrospect, it may well have been better to choose another subject). Note that I have not checked exactly what other things russavia did to get blocked here, and this isn't what I'm here for; this is a genuine question, and I am asking it here because the people who believe there is any bad faith here seem to be following this page. And, for all those who don't know yet, there is a discussion about the scope of Commons, and I invite everyone who thinks "Commons is broken™" to participate there. darkweasel94 (talk) 10:52, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe we do need a page that summarizes all the events that led up to this somewhere. The short version is that Jimbo and Russavia clashed multiple times in the past, for the most part over the Commons-porn issue(s). Jimbo has said some not very nice things about Russavia, Russavia has been treating Jimbo like a clueless newbie over at Commons at every opportunity. So there was some bad blood between the two before the image was commissioned by Russavia, who knew that Jimbo doesn't like the porn. It is very, very hard to imagine that Russavia did not know exactly how Jimbo would react to the image and video, once presented to him. --Conti| 11:31, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Well I don't pretend to be able to read russavia's or Jimbo's minds. When I saw the video, to me it portrayed "somebody painting with his penis". Not "somebody rubbing his penis against a picture of Jimbo" or "somebody implying oral sex with Jimbo" or anything like that; the fact that the subject was Jimbo seemed only marginally relevant, just like in the article Internet Explorer it is only marginally relevant that the site the screenshot portrays is Wikipedia. I could now (perhaps if the uploader of that screenshot were a known critic of Wikipedia) say that this was certainly also done in bad faith: after all, using Wikipedia to portray a browser which many people would consider the worst browser of all could be read to be an attack on Wikipedia. But if I said that, you would laugh at me, and you would be right. This situation seems similar to me. darkweasel94 (talk) 11:49, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
See Template:Did you know nominations/Pricasso and WT:Did you know#Pricasso. The perfect troll—figuratively rub your opponent's nose in someone's "penis, scrotum and buttocks", and put a drama link on the main page. And the best part is that no one can every prove that trolling is trolling. Well, perhaps the best part is that people will argue over whether the trolling is trolling. Johnuniq (talk) 11:55, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Does it follow from the unverifiability of trolling accusations that in unclear cases one should assume that a certain action is trolling? I hope not. darkweasel94 (talk) 12:03, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
If you are in a dispute with someone, and anonymously commission a portrait of that person created with someone's penis and buttocks, then publicly post the portrait and a video of the creation, it isn't a stretch to see that as harassment. Certainly it would be grounds for instant dismissal in any workplace I've been in. Perhaps it wasn't intended as deliberate harassment, but certainly it was interpreted as harassment by Jimbo, as the subject of the image, and under the circumstances (an anonymous commission within the context of a dispute), you'd have to make a fairly strong case to say that it wasn't. - Bilby (talk) 14:12, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Russavia lost the right to AGF on this matter long ago. Resolute 14:38, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I take those answers to mean "no" - it seems to still be just assumptions and conjectures that have made some people (especially on enwiki) think it was deliberate harassment and done in bad faith. Thank you for the information. darkweasel94 (talk) 16:16, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I have yet to see an even moderately convincing explanation how all of these actions could have been taken in good faith. I mean, sure, if you just completely ignore the context, and then hypothetically change the context into something entirely different, then you can create a scenario where all this happened in good faith. That's what a lot of people here and on Commons do. But if you look at the actual context? If you look at Russavia's history (hello, Polandball), if you look at the Commons/enwp dispute, if you look at the Jimbo/Russavia dispute, if you look at Russavia's reaction to the whole drama, and his outright and explicit refusal to do anything against it.. then no, I do not see a way to assume good faith. I'd love to be convinced that there was no bad faith involved here, but I just cannot do the mental gymnastics. --Conti| 16:50, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
So you are saying if I, who has not yet had any disputes with Jimbo, had uploaded the exact same work, your opinion would be different? darkweasel94 (talk) 17:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes. But if you would react exactly like Russavia did (explicitly not explaining whether it was his idea, explicitly not explaining why he chose Jimbo after it was revealed that it was his idea, explicitly opposing any form of alternative solution like asking the artist for a different image), I would start questioning your motives, too. I would ask you the same questions I asked Russavia, and if you would have told me that you did not mean to cause any distress for Jimbo, I would believe you. --Conti| 17:31, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
My dear darkweasel, don't pretend that you entered into this conversation with an open mind, your first post describing yourself as primarily a Commons user let us know exactly where you stand and what your preconceived notions are. The Daily Dot article tells how a person who "never revealed his name" commissioned the painting for an article he was writing on Pricasso. The artist himself states ""I was surprised that someone would do an article on me." So here at Wikipedia, Russavia created the article, and Russavia adds the Wales image to the article. If you can't connect the dots there, then the deficiency lies with you, not with the logic of anyone's argument here. Tarc (talk) 17:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes I am primarily a Commons user; I simply wanted to make this clear from the beginning on so that nobody could later tell me I didn't mention where I was coming from, though I don't know why that would make me inherently have any preconceived notions. And yes, it is clear that russavia commissioned those files in question. I'm not doubting this. I'm doubting he did so with the specific intention of annoying Jimbo, especially since (something I don't find good either) he first wanted to remove the link to the video from this talk page - why would somebody who wants to annoy Jimbo not want him to see it? However, I did not know that russavia first put the image, not the video, into the article; that may indeed be a hint, since the video would certainly have illustrated the article much better. However, I still wouldn't want to base accusations of bad faith on such a choice. darkweasel94 (talk) 17:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
darkweasel94, you've made one of the worst AGF I've ever seen. I call it hypocrisy. There's no more to add. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 00:54, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

8 pages here already, so this whole "trolling" allegation doesn't hold water. Russavia doesn't need to troll, he can just sit back and watch. Count Iblis (talk) 18:31, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

  • It is worth noting that the article contains a substantial inaccuracy: it claims that Commons has a policy that "Commons is supposed to remove any photos of identifiable people unless they have consented, especially if they were taken in a compromising position where the subject had some reasonable expectation of privacy." Whereas the Commons policy is "Hence, unless there are specific local laws to the contrary, overriding legal concerns (e.g., defamation) or moral concerns (e.g., picture unfairly obtained), the Commons community does not normally require that an identifiable subject of a photograph taken in a public place has consented to the image being taken or uploaded." The article uses this misinterpretation to give an impression that Commons regulars were men shouting BOOBIES! and throwing aside policy in their haste to keep that topless photo, whereas in reality they were preserving existing principle. Wnt (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
    • As usual, there are several things wrong in your comment. COM:IDENT, which you quote, is not a policy - it is a guideline. Yes, there isn't actually a polisy on Commons that deals with these crucial issues, just a guideline. And, as the WMF Board observed, that guideline is not consistently applied. They, the people who own the servers which Commons relies on, said "consent would usually be required from identifiable subjects in a photograph or video taken in a private place". I'm not sure they considered that paintings might come into it, but you will note how little that statement resembles normal practice at Commons. And although I saw no one shouting BOOBIES!, one merely has to look at the uploads of the user who added the Mardi Gras image under discussion to see that they are the very model of a user who treats Commons as an amateur porn site. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:23, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo's picture was released freely and was very public - used in fundraiser banner ads - so that doesn't apply. Wnt (talk) 12:25, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
The painting created by Pricasso is not the freely released image, even if it was the basis for the painting. Even you should be able to understand that. Perhaps you can use the painting in your fundraising banner ads when you fork WP and Commons. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:51, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

* The article does, however, make a strong suggestion that Pricasso was paid to produce the painting, which - if true -- would suggest that commercial personality rights might actually apply to his work. I truly and honestly have assumed throughout that Pricasso would contribute his work for free, as the publicity from his article is already a great boon. But if not, then Jimbo might have a legitimate legal issue against Pricasso, though not one I am personally happy about. Note however that this would be true of everyone Pricasso has ever painted. I think we may have an opportunity to see here whether personality rights are one of the many forms of "copyfraud" or whether they are actually held as meaningful obstacles by courts. Wnt (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

    • The article says that Pricasso was not paid for the painting. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow - yeah, I read part of that and somehow had the impression it was a denial, sorry. Wnt (talk) 12:25, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Russavia has a thing for offensive humor. He does troll by employing offensive humor, but he does seriously try to serve the educational purpose of these sites at the same time. The problem is that he has a hard time separating his troll side from his serious side and he does not respond well when he faces the consequences of that inability to compartmentalize. As a result, people such as those above are quick to assign everything objectionable he does to a malicious motive. Russavia, rationally speaking, should be someone of no consequence to Jimbo on a personal level and any interactions they have had should be recognized as rather trivial encounters. Unfortunately, people aren't being rational and so they assume Russavia is being malicious and inflate his interactions with Jimbo to make them into some intense personal conflict. Not assuming good faith doesn't mean you should assume the worst of someone, but not everyone gets that.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 07:21, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Call me utterly boring, but I do not want anyone to troll on Wikipedia, no matter how much good work he does elsewhere. Not to mention you simultaneously call Russavia's action trolling, while also saying that there are no malicious motives behind those actions. Isn't trolling by definition something done with malicious intent? Or is there such a thing as a good faith troll now, and we should all assume that Russavia's trolling was done with the best intentions? --Conti| 11:32, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
You know, I still haven't figured out what was supposed to be so terrible about Polandball. In any case, hopefully he will spend some of his additional free time working on coding skills. With all these beaks in its guts Wikipedia isn't long for this world - everything everyone has contributed is going to be property of somebody, and if you don't know how to code you don't get a seat at the roulette table. Wnt (talk) 12:21, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Again, editors here show they do not understand the terms they enjoy throwing around. Failing to act in good faith, is not the same as acting maliciously, and it is not even a simple question of either acting in good faith or acting in bad faith. You are falling for a bifurcation fallacy. If someone pulls a prank on you, do you accuse them of being malicious and acting in bad faith?--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:17, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • If someone acts like an obnoxious little shit, it isn't 'bad faith' to accuse them of acting like an obnoxious little shit. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:22, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Sure, good/bad faith is not binary. But I do not know of any definition of trolling that would allow for bad faith not to be present. If someone trolls, he does so in bad faith. --Conti| 20:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)


When you say "[...] essentially close this page", what do you exactly mean? Albacore (talk) 21:43, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Most likely means to just discuss elsewhere: So, notifications here about wp:ANI incidents should just focus comments at those ANI threads, or concerns about a particular user could be discussed at that user's User_talk:___ page (no longer debated here). Many of the issues I have mentioned would just remain inside the "walled garden" of the wp:Village_pump (limited to reading by those users who wade through all the other topics), such as at wp:TECHPUMP for technical topics, or wp:VPIL (Idea Lab) when people want to imagine ways to better protect BLP bio-pages. The benefit of posting here had been to collect some diverse opinions with Jimbo's perspective or viewpoints, at a cross-roads meeting, where few of us follow the daily talks at other pages, where Jimbo does not indicate priorities of concerns there, such as checking wp:ANI daily to see whose talk-page is linked as a trail of concerns about their recent actions. For a person being investigated, then that is probably the best tactic, to politely inquire at each user's talk-page about their activities, and each user could archive any excessive remarks which would usually be enshrined (for days) at an ANI discussion. Meanwhile, for others wondering about Jimbo's advice, then perhaps re-read the archived sections of User_talk:Jimbo* in /Archive_135, /Archive_134, or /Archive_119 (etc.) to review earlier discussions. There is so much to re-read, and reconsider, to fill the weeks while Jimbo is gone. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I haven't fully decided. At least on the day of, I plan to blank the page and ask people to post elsewhere. I will protect it (or ask others to do so) if policy permits (haven't studied that). I'm not comfortable just leaving it open if people are using it thinking that they are talking to me. I'd like to encourage people to move the usual philosophical discussions elsewhere for awhile, or just take a thinking break with me so we can come back with new ideas. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:16, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, I hope you will forgive those of us who come back from that thinking break with renewed vigour for getting people to accept the same old ideas that we've been pushing for, well, years. Speaking of which, why don't we turn on pending changes for all BLPs? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:31, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

(talk page stalker)Sorry if I bother here but, Jimbo is right. People post here thinking Jimbo it is watching all the time but the man has his own life (I think)... I also think his talk page is for matters that involves him and only him... But again, I am just a small person in this huge encyclopedia Ms.Bono(zootalk) 14:41, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree that Jimbo should reduce this page to a wikibreak notice, then full-protect to "salt" this page. There are too many pranksters who would fill this page with insults while many of us are also on vacation and not here to redact insults, to be viewed by 1,000 people per day. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:08, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, though, he cannot do so. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:15, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest that people might think about staggering over to to liven that place up with some fresh takes on old and new issues. There is a registration delay, so it might be a good idea to get a head start on it. Carrite (talk) 04:35, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Could this page be redirected to a sub page with title and header note reflecting that Mr. Wales is on a break and probably won't be reading it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:35, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • All Jimbo needs to do really is set the archive time from "algo = old(1d)" to "algo = old(1h)". Most thing will just slide off. Tarc (talk) 15:57, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Other administrators do full-protect their own talk pages (for shorter lengths of time) in unusual circumstances, for example User:Kudpung has recently done so. Really the "talk page must be accessible" thing is because if someone is editing then they are supposed to accept feedback on that editing. Since we can presume Jimbo is not going to be editing during his break, then it should be fine for his talk page to be non-functional during the break. If we still have qualms over "oh my gosh an admin shouldn't do that to their own talk page", then someone else can full protect it for him. The 1-hour archiving idea is a good one, but somewhat open to gaming by people who desperately want their own noise to be heard. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:34, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Internet Hall of Fame

Congratulations on being recently inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame :) Andise1 (talk) 22:33, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

See "Internet Hall of Fame".—Wavelength (talk) 00:07, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, congratulations, Jimbo, if only they knew how hard you worked to make Wikipedia quick to use, and fought against slanting of articles, fringe takeover/images, verifiability-not-truth, and curbing of numerous insults to diffuse personal disputes. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:08, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
A shoo-in, but congratulations! Really, they needed him to bolster their list's credibility. :) Wnt (talk) 16:04, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Congrats! Ms.Bono(zootalk) 16:05, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

An AfD that Jimbo should probably be aware of

A bowl of strawberries for you!

Erdbeerteller01.jpg Hope you get an enjoyable summer holiday. Best wishes, Iselilja (talk) 22:33, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

He is in the UK -- he needs the cream as well. Collect (talk) 23:18, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Jimbo, just to let you know, if you feel like a nice refreshing drink to go with your strawberries, there is, according to the London Evening Standard - Shakespeare, Sebastian (28 June 2013). "The Assange saga really is a rum do". p. 19.  - now a "Wiki Tiki cocktail" served at the Rib Room Bar & Restaurant in Knightsbridge. It seems intended to gently mock Assange, who is only a short distance away, but it sounds nice anyway - "rum, maraschino liqueur, pineapple juice and cinnamon syrup". Rather sweet though.
(There seem to be a few similarly named restaurants - one at the Omni Royal Orleans and one at the Rock Hotel in Gibraltar.) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:26, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Snowden editing?

I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere. In the media there have been reports of user accounts used on various tech discussion sites by Edward Snowden. He was apparently quite an active person online, particularly a few years back when he was younger. It seems highly likely to me that he would have edited Wikipedia - most people who fit his profile (tech savvy, internet activist types) will have done so. Do we have any evidence of that, or suspicions about that?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Do we know what usernames he used on other websites? I expect they might have the same name as a possible account on Wikipedia. However, I'm curious as to why we need to know? — Richard BB 08:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we 'need' to know. I'm just curious, and I imagine many other people would be as well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:15, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Why do we care? This violates our outing policy, so please desist from attempting to connect Snowden to some Wikipedia account. Being "just curious" is no reason to out somebody. Reaper Eternal (talk) 10:29, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

This is the relevant statement published in Slate: 'Snowden's comments on the tech website were discovered by Anthony DeRosa after Reuters reported that the now-famous leaker had previously used the online handle "The True HOOHA" on an anime site. From there, it wasn't exactly a leap to his Ars username of "TheTrueHOOHA."' Slate Ars Technica, Independent, UK, and New York Times also cover the known facts.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be any account on Wikipedia named either TheTrueHOOHA (talk · contribs) or The True HOOHA (talk · contribs), so I think that's probably not the case. — Richard BB 09:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
That's my impression as well. I was mostly wondering, as per the original inquiry, whether this has been discussed extensively somewhere.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:04, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I know I am not a Wikipedia administrator, but right after this story was released I started investigating and I did find a user that was registered with the name 'snowden'. Not sure if that helps at all, but there is not a User page available for this user, but he is registered, I know that because if you search user:something, it would tell you if that user was registered or not. Gigabyte Giant (talk) 20:08, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow. Didn't take long for that one to explode into a big ol' ball of drama. Checking some of Snowden's aliases, I found one account that I'm curious about. Probably not him, and I guess I can't name it anyway. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 10:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Don't be intimidated - that drama isn't about Snowden, it's about drama for the sake of drama. If you aren't sure it would be appropriate to make it public, please do feel free to email me so that I can assess it. It seems likely that this is of interest to reporters as well, and so I think it is important that we be prepared with a full understanding of the facts. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
My concern is that your original post appears to be an invitation to ask people to post here information that risks Snowden's outing. That could have been a slip of the keyboard, but then your response when the outing issue was directly raised seems to suggest that it was intentional and you do not care if your question encouraged people to post such information. Do you think it is acceptable for people to speculate or provide evidence here of Snowden's WP identity? If you do, why isn't that outing? If you don't, why did you take the risk? DeCausa (talk) 11:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It is not 'outing' when the user ids in question are already published widely in the media in reliable sources. I looked for a couple of variant spellings and found nothing, so I asked to see if others could find anything. I think it is not only acceptable but highly desirable for people to openly discuss such matters. If someone discovers or knows something that they feel would be inappropriate to post publicly, then they should send it to me privately.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:10, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
We at the NSA applaud our friend Mr. Wales's ingenious suggestion for Wikipedia users to "email" him "privately" with information on our friend Mr. Snowden. We hereby reassure Wikipedia users that we shall of course fully respect the privacy of the emails, in accordance with long-established NSA practice. Writegeist (talk) 16:10, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Execept "Do we have any evidence of that, or suspicions about that?" (my emphasis) doesn't really convey that. I didn't read your post as saying has anyone in the media identified Snowden's account, if so what did it say. If that's what you're saying (as opposed to "let's do our own digging"), then I have no problem DeCausa (talk) 11:14, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the need for drama, but your comments could be seen as a call to action to out him, Jimmy. You are aware of how literal some will take your comments. Journalists are free to do what we aren't supposed to do as Wikipedians. Clearing that up might make some of the drama go away. Dennis Brown |  | © | WER 11:24, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I strongly encourage people to engage in an open discussion of publicly available information relating to this issue. I strongly discourage anyone from engaging in outing. Those who would seek to block even a conversation about this are mistaken. Wikipedia must always thrive on open and honest discussion and transparency.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Another website said that in addition to "The True Hooha" that he also used "Phish".--v/r - TP 12:40, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Reliable sources aren't infallible. My concern is that one typo and one enthusiastic editor can create a lot of pain for an innocent party here. The potential for harm shouldn't be underestimated. Dennis Brown |  | © | WER 13:04, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree. That's another good reason why we should have all the facts subject to careful scrutiny.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:32, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, and I don't really understand what is to be achieved by all this, other than "isn't that interesting". If someone discovers that User:xyz is Snowden then what? Look to see if he's dropped some revelatory WP:OR into an article! It doesn't feel like what we're here for. DeCausa (talk) 13:14, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
oops, User:xyz exists. Just to be clear that was meant to be random and no claim that that user is Snowden DeCausa (talk) 13:23, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like there are no contributions from xyz - someone started the page as a Wiki markup test. That's a pretty catchy TLA if somebody wants it... Wnt (talk) 19:16, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, you send mixed messages when you encourage us to out a Wikipedia editor just because he's in the news. I think it would be more appropriate for you to start this type of discussion at Wikipediocracy. That's one of the reasons that site exists, to discuss WP in a place where you don't have to worry about coming into conflict with WP's bizarre policies and the arbitrary administrative actions that half-heartedly enforce those policies. Cla68 (talk) 13:12, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think I'm sending any mixed message at all. To the extent that Wikipedia has "bizarre" policies, we should discuss them here - openly - and change them here. How would you propose changing policy in this instance?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
For starters, how about a BLP policy that prevents this sort of thing from appearing in a hugely viewed BLP -- Hillbillyholiday talk 13:46, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
What specific change do you suggest? I mean, such an edit is already against BLP policy, so what tweak or modification to policy do you think might best prevent it. I strongly support (as do many people) liberal semi-protection of BLPs of controversial people, particularly at a time when they are actively in the news. Are you thinking that we should strengthen the language around that? Seems reasonable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
@@Jimbo Wales:I strongly agree that articles like Snowden's should be semi-protected. The fact that it's not currently is baffling. I've encountered various instances in the past where admins have refused to semi-protect an article "pre-emptively". In an instance such as this, I think pre-emptive semi-protection is essential; would you not agree? — Richard BB 15:15, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I've just semi-protected it for a month, so hopefully there will be less of that for a while. Mark Arsten (talk) 15:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not really seeing the purpose of connecting Snowden to a Wikipedia account. You've taken "fight the man" stance on SOPA and related issues in the past, so even if you did uncover an account here used by him, wouldn't you want that fact kept from Big Government? Tarc (talk) 13:12, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't see the logic in that at all. I'm not talking about outing - I'm talking about a public discussion of public facts.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
      • (e/c)I don't think it is wise to invite something like this for discussion on such a widely tracked page. Outing can occur even if not intended. If we make a mistake, that person might be forced to out himself to prove he is NOT Snowden and that is not acceptable. Part of what I truly admired about Wikipedia's coverage of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was that the community actively prevented and ignored discussion about identities both IRL and digital until definitively proven. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:57, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
      • People around here have gotten blocked or banned for mentioning/linking to "public discussion of public facts" when they exposed the real name of a Wikipedia editor, so there is some hypocrisy in seeking it here. *Dan T.* (talk) 15:14, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
    • In the context of Wikipedia Snowden is also an innocent party. The request to dig up Snowden's identity, (clear call for outing as far as I can understand) and the subsequent clarification is unfortunate. Talk pages too have a purpose: "To discuss how to build a better encyclopaedia", I don't see how this discussion meets that criterion. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 13:17, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
      • I personally think in general Snowden is an "innocent party" - a hero, in fact. Discussion of questions surrounding identity, famous people in the news, editing of Wikipedia, and so on are all well within the scope of discussions about how to improve the encyclopedia. One of the important roles that we play in the world is to encourage and emphasize openness, honesty, and transparency.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
        • What value would information such as: "Snowden is user:X", even when it is sourced from the most reliable sources have? Wouldn't we need Snowden himself (as declared in a reliable source) to associate with a particular account in order that we may use that information in his biography or elsewhere on this project. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 13:36, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
        • Not everyone shares your views of him and linking the wrong editor to him here can cause a lot of grief for that editor by those same people. If Snowden wants to link his real identity to his account here (as I have) then he can. Again, the potential for harm to innocent parties is palpable here. The fact that we may accidentally violate an editor's privacy if they really are Snowden exists as well. I don't think an extended discussion (or fishing expedition) on who is or isn't Snowden is the wisest course of action, particularly when the only benefit is seemingly to feed an intellectual curiosity. Dennis Brown |  | © | WER 13:38, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
        • Jimbo...I have checked the editing history of a dozen likely articles and nothing is popping out with red flags. Maybe he just used an IP to edit if he ever even did edit.--MONGO 13:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
          • Thanks. If anything turns up, please do let me know. Probably best to do so privately given the high emotions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

People, please try to keep /some/ level of sanity on what is probably on of the most 'public' places on Wikipedia, ok? Saying "Has this been discussed?" is so far from a request for 'outing' that even /trying/ to read that into it verges on the's far easier to read it as "Have there been any discussions of this that I should be aware of since that /might/ violate outing policies?" My 'reading' at least somewhat acknowledges what Jimbo actually wrote..... just because he's the 'founder' doesn't mean people can violate WP:AGF and WP:NPA by 'assuming' something that's a distant stretch... Please drop the 'accusational' BS and act like adults, ok? Revent (talk) 13:41, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, Ravent, but I'm accustomed to it by now. It wouldn't be Wikipedia sometimes without the drama. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

The CIA will by now know exactly which accounts and IP addresses have been used by Snowden. There are likely quite a few CIA informers active here, and they could be instructed to assist the CIA to help track down Snowden. E.g. by provoking him to edit the NSA can find out his present location. Count Iblis (talk) 14:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, given that he's in the company (according to news reports) of legal support from Wikileaks, I think that's unlikely at the present time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Does anyone else not think it's a bit absurd that this debate is still going on considering we don't even know if he's even edited Wikipedia? The fact that users have actually now started searching edit histories for various different articles in an attempt to track down someone who quite possibly never even edited this site is a bit ridiculous. — Richard BB 14:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. Seems like an interest story more than a problem. Albacore (talk) 14:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Hum....Seems pretty unlikely that a techie would have not edited this website...a number of covert operatives like me might find such edits interesting...but I actually did some checking weeks ago and nothing overt popped up.--MONGO 14:18, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
That's worthwhile information. It's good to know that people have looked and haven't found anything obvious. Even that little bit is helpful to know.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Not everyone gets hooked on if I had to venture a guess I'd say yes he edited and probably only in passing and unregistered. Anymore than that such as possible username(s) will send you an email.--MONGO 15:37, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I just forwarded you an email I got this morning. I'm not sure if it's related or not, or if it could turn into something that's related or not. FWIW - Dusti*poke* 16:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I just want to say I'm a bit puzzled, Jimbo, on why you believe Mr. Snowden is a "hero". Now, as a minority I know that civil disobedience is necessary for the common good every once in awhile when a law is unjust, and that "I was following orders" is not a reason for allowing people to do despicable things and neither is it a reason to keep things secret.... but Mr. Snowden broke the law, he is not being framed or railroaded, he committed treason, allegedly. Now it would be one thing if he came forth, said I want a trial, I want to state my side in court, I want the people to know I am not ashamed. But he fled, he goes to countries and/or seeks asylum in countries not on the best terms with the US when it comes to extradition (Russia and Ecuador). To me, whatever you may thing of what he originally did, how he has carried himself since makes him a coward. I leave you with this thought- the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never hid after breaking the Jim Crow segregation laws or marching on Selma. He stood up, he got arrested, he spent time in jail. Would he or Rosa Parks be revered if they fled and hid? No, they stood up, they worked against the system by using the system. Snowden is a coward, not a hero. Dr. King is a hero.Camelbinky (talk) 22:34, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't see where Jimbo called Snowden a hero. Did I miss something? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:21, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
"I personally think in general Snowden is an "innocent party" - a hero, in fact." is what Jimbo said.Camelbinky (talk) 00:23, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I like that some people want to stand up to the NSA spying on us. But Snowden gave us the people a 41-slide Powerpoint presentation, through a media source that gave us a grand total of 4 slides. The Chinese government, on the other hand, have reported "drained" the contents of four laptops. [11] I mean, it's one thing begging for crumbs from the table but here we're scarcely even smelling the food. Somebody tell us how much insider trading goes on when people know everybody who is talking to anybody, what it means when they say "you talk, Sync listens", or precisely _how_ the Chinese drained those laptops, maybe I'll be in a better mood about it. Wnt (talk) 04:41, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Wnt, let me try to lift your mood. The article you link actually says that Western intelligence agents (not even Western Intelligence Agencies, much less Western Governments) had suggested that "agents had likely drained the contents". Do you consider "Eastern intelligence agents" (or indeed, Eastern governments) less likely to be reliable than Western governments or Western intelligence agencies or Western intelligence agents? If so, why?
Or were you asking about the exact means by which data could be copied, perhaps still encrypted, from an "encrypted laptop"? If so, either me or ErrantX may be able to expand on that, but is this actually what you are asking? Either way, if someone did so, they opened the luggage bags to do it. Trust me on that.
As for 4 slides of 41, ask the media source!
While I'm here, I think someone suggested the Chinese government encouraged or aided or abetted Snowden's movements. That's a rather naive view, and it's worth looking at the BBC's various analyses (and even The Register's various analyses) to see why. Beijing and Hong Kong are two different systems (one country, lol). Neither the people in Beijing nor the people in Hong Kong want an equivalent of an Assange-in-Embassy nuisance on their territory. What the BBC (a reliable source) put forward is that it's likely the Hong Kong government, with or without encouragement from Beijing, suggested to Snowden that either he find someplace other than Hong Kong to spend his time, or else they might get all co-operative with the Americans. And thus the departure. They didn't want to help him, they just wanted him to leave.
Russia is likely to take the same view. While they don't want to be pandering to the Americans, neither do they want the guy hanging around their territory and making a diplomatic conundrum for them. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:25, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's hard to believe that someone could fly through Russia without a valid passport and be taken down to some ... thorough... questioning, nor that their laptop wouldn't be searched. (Even Customs agents have been known to do that). I don't really trust the intelligence agencies but it's hard for me to believe they didn't have a way to drain the laptops ... otherwise why didn't they demand them at gunpoint to, um I dunno, "preserve the evidence"? (Just as a way of helping out, you know) I certainly am in no position to know, but I'd bet the number of backdoors in a Chinese made laptop (how many aren't) rivals a Texas cantina. They have built-in network cards, other potential transmissions... I'm thinking there must be a way to conceal passwords and perhaps even substantial amounts of unencrypted data. Wnt (talk) 07:13, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, there had been talk in US news that he might reveal more secrets than "(self-)righteous whistleblowing" as a tech guy who was trouble-shooting (and copying?) various computer network nodes around those offices, and it reminds me of the issue, years ago about the stealth-propellers on submarines (to evade sonar detection), where the design specs were traded "sleeping with the enemy" and they learned how the stealth propellers sounded on sonar, plus learned how to machine similar propellers themselves. However, if it adds any comfort, when I was travelling in rural China, those people seemed the friendliest I had ever met, even to laugh with a Chinese army officer who was also "huffing and puffing" when climbing the entire rebuilt section of the Great Wall of China. But, I did wonder what did the Chinese gov't gain by giving Snowden safe passage at the risk of alienating the US arrest order and his revoked US passport status. I guess we could update some related articles on tactics of "Treason" and "Bribery" unless that would be aiding and abetting the enemy. At least to better explain a "loose cannon". -Wikid77 (talk) 05:37, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm confused, are some people really suggesting that committing treason and leaking classified government documents is OK and should be excused from conviction of what is clearly a crime (or do you doubt that it is a crime?...)?????? I'm confused by people's reactions over Mr. Snowden's actions and that somehow the American public has a right to know things the government does not wish to tell us... There is no Constitutional provision that the government must be transparent and open and tell us EVERYTHING; there are sunshine laws at the Federal and state levels and provisions that allow FOIA requests (but again, you must ASK and you aren't always told "sure"); but those are laws and not Constitutional rights that are undeniable. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of self-expression, freedom of assembly, these rights, and any "penumbra" you can infer from their existence do not collectively give people or organizations the right to force information out from the government or make it legal to do so. The press has the right to not be interfered with when reporting, but the government is not required to do their job for them and hand over information; and there are, as with any Constitutional rights some common sense reasons that Congress and the courts have put restrictions on speech and the press (cant yell fire in a crowded theater, libel laws for some examples). And I haven't even gotten into the point that technically from the viewpoint of how the Constitution was originally written and interpreted prior to Marbury v. Madison that technically anything that Congress passes into law is by definition constitutional, it was the purpose of the President's veto to be used only to veto things he in his opinion thought was unconstitutional, and if Congress disagreed they could override; the Supreme Court was not envisioned to interfere; and Congress can theoretically and has many times actually threatened at any moment strip the Supreme Court of its self-appointed power of judicial review permanently or on a law-by-law case, though that could cause a constitutional crises. But I digress greatly, and I apologize. The point is- the law is the law and there is no right to knowledge about what the government does, ironic that both true liberals and conservatives agree that Mr. Snowden was in the wrong but it is the faux-liberal (actually libertarians, and libertarians are by no stretch liberals!) and the faux-conservatives (actually anti-anything that happens under President Obama's watch) who are the ones who are on Mr. Snowden's sideCamelbinky (talk) 19:47, 26 June 2013 (UTC) (As a historical aside- Congress did in fact put several Reconstruction laws out of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in fear the SC would declare them unconstitutional)Camelbinky (talk) 19:58, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Camelbinky, I think everyone on this talk page is now familiar with your very strong feelings on this issue; it's not really necessary for you to belabor your points (nor does it help the Wikipedia project or encyclopedia). More important, you really need to back away from your repeated assertions that Snowden committed "treason". He is not accused of the crime of treason by any authority, and it is doubtful that his actions – even assuming that everything said about him by the government is correct – meet the U.S. Consitution's very strict limitations on what constitutes "treason": [12]. He is charged with other serious crimes, but treason is not among them. As a matter of factual accuracy and also adherence to WP:BLP, if you can't reign in your editorializing, at least stop making unsupported accusations. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:09, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, when did this page become an article and therefore fall under BLP? Now if someone wants to sue me for libel, well Mr. Snowden please come forth to the US and sue me in civil court, as people in Wikipedia seem to assume it is a criminal act when it is actually civil and only you, Mr. Snowden have standing.Camelbinky (talk) 20:37, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
WP:BLP applies everywhere on Wikipedia, please read it and familiarise yourself with it. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:45, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Camelbinky, the consequences of upholding the law in this case is precisely what makes this case controvesial, because that leads to the conclusion that he could be sentenced to decades in prison for something that about 50% of Americans think was a good thing to do. Normally, when someone is guilty of a crime that leads to a decades long prison sentence, there wouldn't be a controversy of whether or not that person is a criminal (putting aside possible questions about whther or not the person is really guilty as charged). This case is different, and that's why other countries can have a different opinion (Russia or Hong Kong would not hesitate to extradite a mass murderer back to the US). Count Iblis (talk) 23:21, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I believe the polls are quite different depending on age; but yes overall it does seem to be 54% of Americans in favor of trying Snowden, now that's not a lot, but there have been elections considered a landslide at that percentage, and when broken down by political party both Democrats and Republicans are in majority of trying him; it is only when broken down by age range do you see such a disparity in what would normally only see in a "red state" "blue state" dichotomy (which doesn't really exist, see Morris Fiorina's book Culture War). What I was questioning and hoping someone would answer, especially Jimbo, is why do some believe he was a hero? Do they truly think it was not illegal? Do they believe in jury nullification? I don't know what states, if any actually have jury nullification as a legal consequence, most I believe allow the judge to determine in those cases that he will vacate that decision and substitute his own. I do not believe Federal law allows for jury nullification either.Camelbinky (talk) 18:41, 27 June 2013 (UTC)


If it is illegal to report illegal operations, conducted by the government on a massive scale, what meaning does "illegal" even have? It is a subjective, descriptive term about relative levels of power. For the poor, everything is illegal - they need merely be arrested on "probable cause", then they will serve a standard sentence in lieu of bail, and ultimately, except in the most extreme cases, there will be a brief, formal proceeding in which they go before a judge and formally put their signature to their "guilt", in exchange for being released. Only claiming innocence is further punishable. For the wealthy, of course, practically nothing is illegal: not forging signatures to false take people's homes, not crashing the economy. For the rest, there are lawyers. So if David Petraeus goes from being head of the CIA to working for KKR, what can we make of it? Nothing. By law. Every phone call made between any two low-level office workers in two companies about to merge are in the hands of secret agencies; we must merely look on with a worshipful trust, confident that these incorruptible people surely are not running their network simply to engage in insider trading transactions. And to commit the ultimate blasphemy of pushing aside the sacred veil, trying to expose the Holy of Holies to the unwashed masses? Well, it is clearly a crime, yet the masses don't seem disposed to care. Wnt (talk) 19:24, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
The are laws that should be broken. It might even be one's duty to country to break certain laws. And this could be one of those cases. North8000 (talk) 20:45, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Are you both F-ing kidding me? "Even be one's duty to country to break certain laws"... Ok, I can sort of get on board with that, but how about Mr. Snowden take responsibility and GO TO PRISON? Admit his guilt and take his sentence. As I stated above there have been true heros in America's past who were not ashamed to say "Yes, the law is wrong, but it is the law and I broke it. I have exposed that this is what the law is like in the USA, now change the laws". MLK never asked for the laws to simply be ignored, he wanted them CHANGED. And btw, the country IS the govt and the govt IS the country, despite the pseudo-legal wording of the US Constitution stating "We the People", it has and always been the GOVERNMENT of the individual states that created the US Federal govt, not the people directly, the social contract between citizens and the govt amounts to- for the people- if you wish to live here, obey the laws; for the govt- if you wish to have people you don't have to continue to fight and possibly kill or deport or have leave on their own, then don't abuse them. So, if you don't like the US laws or what the govt does, being a republic you have a couple options- 1) go to Canada. 2) vote 3) rebellion. If you choose 3 then don't be surprised when the govt uses ITS options. Disobeying the law has consequences. I wont even get into Wnt's class warfare idea, as it baffles my mind that people take the inequities of class and distort them out of reality; class inequities exist, though having been born into the top 1% I may be blind to how big the gap is, I just don't see the world as Wnt does.Camelbinky (talk) 12:10, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I think there is the problem that in most of the Western World the justice system has become more conservative in the last 40 years or so. You have to consider if in the rare case where a law is wrong (but consistent with the constitution), you can violate that law and win in court. I think this is no longer possible in the US since the late 1970s and in Europe it is also more difficult today than it used to be. In the late 1960s the last big political disputes about freedom were settled (what you see today in Turkey is analogous to what happened in Europe and the US in the late 1960s). After that period, the justice system is perceived to be solely about dealing with criminals, and not about social justice anymore. This has led to new laws that restrict the discretion of judges. In practice it means that if you are found to have violated a law, you can't escape the minimum sentence that is set for that. The justice system is in practice no longer a forum for you to argue that the law is wrong. On paper it still is, but in practice the law will be upheld. You can only win if the law is unconstitutional in a very narrow sense. Count Iblis (talk) 13:27, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
To shed some light on the class warfare, let's consider why Ecuador is offering Assange and Snowden asylum: [13] Their government found that two bankers, the Isaias brothers, looted about $264 million of public funds used for bank bailouts before fleeing, like all the rich and unethical of the world, to live out their days like kings in Miami. According to the Ecuador public news agency they even own a TV station there and are opening two more channels. Needless to say, the U.S. will not extradite, and people like Assange are apparently willing to stake their freedom on the confidence that the U.S. will never extradite, so firm is our resolve that no banker shall ever be called to justice for, well, anything. Wnt (talk) 19:39, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Possible explanation for question about Snowden editing

First, Jimbo was never suggesting that a pseudonym used by Snowden should be outed. Second, as Jimbo said, anyone who thinks that the Wikipedia policy on outing is "bizarre" can discuss why they think that, possibly on the talk page for the policy. Third, there is a perfectly good reason why Jimbo might be asking whether Snowden has been editing. The Wikimedia servers, as was mentioned in a different context, are not within the scope of British courts. They are within the scope of the US federal courts and the US Justice Department that are pursuing the case against Snowden. Wikimedia could be subject to a summons, subpoena, or other court order to provide information about whether Snowden was editing, either to obtain general background information to pursue the case, or (more seriously) to determine whether Snowden had saved secret information, either by posting secrets in article space, or by saving secret information in any other space. For those reasons, Jimbo should be asking whether Snowden has been edited, while abiding by Wikipedia policy as he is. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:20, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

If for instance he edited articles and put info in that was classified, it may have since been removed as "unsourced" since I assume he'd have no way to source his classified material... unless of course he did source it to a classified document. Either way if he posted classified information that was not to be shared with the general public of course the government has the right and need to know. Any contributions, if they can be traced to him, should be looked at by the government, and any attempt to destroy or hinder the government's ability to get the information would land that person (or organization) in contempt and prosecuted. I'm left-wing and even I don't think anyone should interfere or protect those that commit treason, or in any government's investigation. Anyone who calls themselves a liberal and thinks its ok to stimey the government and the government is "bad" is not a liberal (they'd be a hippie and a crackpot needing to look for the black helicopters).Camelbinky (talk) 00:30, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
So you think that the WMF/Jimbo should take proactive measures to assist the government in prosecution, even when not required to do so? That is an extreme stretch of the privacy policy. darkweasel94 (talk) 13:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
At least with respect to me, it is something that I would oppose - like secret mass surveillance, secret courts, etc. with every fiber of my being. There should be no illusions on the part of anyone that I would agree to any such thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:49, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

We try and try and try since years to become more respected as Wikipedia/Wikimedia-Community "outside" our special world. Thanks to you, that we getting such a terrible press. You know, if you not would be "Jimmy Wales" - you already had been blocked here?! Rules also there for you, not only for us. Maybe you should start to think about it. Everything you build with your hands you try to destroy with your back, it seems. You are becoming more and more a ptobolem for the movement. If you don't stop taking this way, we have to talk about your position in our movement. And yes, I know - I'm banned from now on from your site, I know, you can't handle critics. Marcus Cyron (talk) 11:59, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Marcus, that's absurd. All I did was ask if there has been any discussion of publicly available information. I am opposed to outing. I am a big fan and supporter of Snowden.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:39, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree, I found this discussion from that article as well. Its basic message is that Wikipedia is collaborating with the NSA and proactively trying to find Snowden's Wikipedia identity. I have to say I'm disappointed, since that is really not very far from the truth. darkweasel94 (talk) 13:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not collaborating with the NSA. I have said quite clearly that I am opposed to outing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:39, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Well ok, if all you did was "ask if there has been any discussion of publicly available information", then that's ok - though this talk page section seems to be the only place where any discussion of Swanson having edited Wikipedia has come up. Problem is, people here took this to mean they should look for user accounts likely owned and pages likely edited by him, and that is the definition of outing. Anyway thanks for clarifying what kind of information you want. darkweasel94 (talk) 13:49, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
The article now leads to an article in Spiegel online ([14]) that has a much higher impact in Germany and the german-reading world - and this is really rerrible press. Without knowing the backgrounds it really seems that you are searching for Snowdens identity and to make it available (and I think I and others in the de-community will get confronted with this). I really do not know about the backgrounds of this discussion and the backgrounds of the conflict with FRAM but I really would like to read and cite an official statement by you to oppose these press articles and to clarify the situation. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 15:35, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Don't know about Fram, but what Wales said is very much here, and my interpretaion (shared by others too) is how you tell us Spiegel interprets it. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 17:13, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

This was apparently quite some misunderstanding which should have been clarified by now. Even SPIEGEL-Online (website of a major German weekly magazine as refered to above) added a clarifying update in consideration of Jimbo's recent statements. --AFBorchert (talk) 17:24, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

The clarification in the final paragraph of Der Spiegel article reads (my translation follows): "Follow-up: Jimmy Wales has issued a statement on this issue. He is said to be a "passionate defender of anonimity and privacy on the web", and is dismayed to be presented differently. Following discussions, the Wikipedia Community did indeed question Edward Snowden's possible activity in the online encyclopaedia; Wales, however, is to have warned against an "outing". Where did the community discuss this issue beforehand? I find it very difficult to reconcile this account of things with the actual chain of events. WilliamH (talk) 10:26, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I found that interesting as well. Intothatdarkness 19:41, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a popularity contest. This is no different than other world news headlines in the form of "DANGEROUS SPEECH THREATENS, MUST BE SUPPRESSED". The fact that this caused uproar is nothing but a signal that the Wikipedia user base is becoming less American and more global (probably European, the land of civil rights human rights) and that this is running up against American political culture. WP:OUTING follows the classic European government architecture: ban conduct/speech because of recognized problem, make the details of the ban ambiguous, use arbitrary interpretation. Suffice to say that the world is actually very pro-censorship, the only thing that changes is what speech is verboten and who decides (hint: look for the guy with all the weapons; it ain't called a ban "hammer" for nothing.) Int21h (talk) 06:12, 28 June 2013 (UTC) Int21h (talk) 06:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely true. I don't miss some kind of "political cultue". Kind regards, --Kellerkind (talk) 07:41, 28 June 2013 (UTC) (Sorry for beeing unpolite) P.S. Ah, I see, you can say everything but not read everything? Hm. --Kellerkind (talk) 08:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
If Snowden posted anything here, it ain't secret no more. Doubtless Mr. Wales was driven by ordinary curiosity to know what it is in such a case. It is easy to forget about the outing policy where someone who seems unlikely to be in a position to care is involved.

Text of the Spiegel-ish article. Fair Use for discussion where it is most highly relevant. Also some easy German to practice with (pity that much is still so much trouble for me) Please fix copious inaccuracies...

Did Edward Snowden, wanted whistleblower and ex-secret service employee, hide himself in Wikipedia contributions? So supposed at least Jimbo Wales, co-founder [sic] and to this day the face of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Wales called for Snowden to be identified as Wikipedia author.

On his Wikipedia profile Wales wrote: "In the media there have been reports of user accounts used on various tech discussion sites" The 30-year-old was apparently quite an active person online, particularly a few years back when he was younger. Therefore it is highly likely that he would have edited Wikipedia - after all, many Internet activists with computer knowledge have done so.

"Do we have any evidence of that, or suspicions about that?", Wales would like to know. On the text platform "Examiner" one is little edified from the impact of the internet stars. What Wales must know better: Wikipedians are prohibited to sniff after the identity of other Wikipedia authors and out them against their will.

The regulations for the protection of the private sphere are very strongly worded. No wonder that Wales' initiative ran into criticism. The Belgian Wikipedia administrator "Fram" took up an interest in Snowden and criticized the outing attempt.

According to the "Examiner", Wales' reaction was not something in apology for his effort against the Wikipedia rules. On the contrary he declared he had already often bidden Fram to keep away from his talk page. That Fram there nevertheless reiterated with implausible complaints, bordered on harassment. In the Wikipedia community seemed to prevail.

More authors volunteered expressions of criticism about "Jimbo"'s attitude and actions. The Internet entrepreneur has seemed little affected by this and merely answered, "You can always contact me with your concerns on my 'Talk' page. Everybody except Fram may like to discuss further.."

Now what message can we take home from this? Well, I've normally thought of the Spiegel as having a good reputation - I think - but here they seem to have swallowed what less considerate young ladies would have spit out, straight from Gregory Kohs' vaunted Examiner self-publication - complete even with the "co-founder" dig. Wnt (talk) 08:44, 28 June 2013 (UTC)