User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 154

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Hi Jimmy. I sometimes begin my day by patrolling Wikipedia:Recent changes (medicine). I have a feel for the reliability of our medical content. It's mostly not bad, and safe, It is about 10% complete, and hardly a day goes by when I don't notice someone - usually in good faith - putting seriously wrong health-related information into Wikipedia. Fortunately, there are editors far more diligent and dedicated than me scrupulously watching medical articles and catching a lot of the false information. But some slips through because it sounds plausible and cites a reliable source behind a paywall, or because the non-expert patrollers such as me who check the edit misread the source in the same way as the contributor. The errors that slip past patrollers usually sit in the article until a reader corrects it, which can be anywhere from days to years.

Sorry, I haven't kept a list of the medical errors I've encountered over the years, but there have been some awful ones. One that sat in an article for months told readers that the prognosis for a disease is far worse than it actually is. I have removed unsourced dosage information that had sat in Wikipedia for years.

Jimmy, we want to make the sum of all human knowledge readily available to all; but the present model militates against that goal.

I think Wikipedia needs to become a reliable source, with all of its published content reviewed for accuracy by the same standard (or higher, ideally) of scholar that reviews our highest quality reliable sources. We have a duty to provide reliable articles if we are to be true to the foundation's mission.

What do you think? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:39, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

And how should we achieve that? Should the WMF hire thousands of professionals to do full-time article reviews? Should we freeze all contributions until a professional has reviewed them? Shall we reinvent Nupedia? If you assume 3 million articles, and 10 minutes each for review, that would require something like 600,000 scholar-hours just for a first pass to say noting of keeping up with changes for continuing reviews, or 15 weeks full-time effort for a staff of 1,000. If you assume a more realistic 1 hour per article, that is 1 1/2 YEARS of work for that same staff of 1,000 working 40 hour weeks on this alone. This would cost something over US$100 million/year. And it would still drastically slow down volunteer contributions. I don't think this is practical. DES (talk) 15:00, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
It would be simpler to have top banner: "Don't believe a word of the following text". -Wikid77 15:47, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Seems unnecessary given so many people argue that Wikipedia is failing because they overheard their brother's best friend's father say that Wikipedia is so unreliable. Resolute 00:09, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I have an answer to your questions but take it to my talk page or open another thread. Here, I just want to know Jimmy's sentiment regarding Wikipedia becoming a reliable source. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 15:03, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Typically, Jimbo has advised people to place articles under pending-changes review (or similar). Medical pages are not a crisis, but for a real problem, consider distracted driving and especially "Texting while driving" (editing pages from car mobile phones) as perhaps much more dangerous (20x-100x?) than drunk-driving. Only allow WP usage from mobile phones with driver-detection lockout? -Wikid77 (talk) 15:47, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia follows the example of God: in order that people have the choice to do the right thing, they have the choice to do the wrong one. We can be confident that the right information will win out in the end. Any administrative structure - including the pending changes idea - simply takes that choice out of the hands of many and puts it into the hands of a few. There are many ways to do medical harm through deletion and rejection - for example, by the unthinking and sometimes bigoted or mercenary rejection of alternative ideas from other cultures. The United States has never been able to catch up with the progress made in the Soviet Union on phage therapy for bacterial infections and low-dose interferon treatment for flu, or Chinese traditional medical use of a wide range of natural substances such as ursodeoxycholic acid for avoiding gallstone surgery, simply due to bureaucratic and cultural obstacles. I do not want to enable any mechanism that could cause the knowledge of such things to be suppressed. Wnt (talk) 17:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
EC @Wikid. In my experience doing any sort of an edit from a mobile phone is difficult and though there are young and youngish people who will laugh at me for that, I suspect that is a major part of the reason why our editing community is broadly stable whilst our audience grows with the Internet. But with the mobile phone likely to be the internet access of choice for many of the areas of the world where we are currently weakest, I can't see the WMF agreeing to bar all but the most hi-tec mobiles from editing. ϢereSpielChequers 17:26, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Most people should know by now to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt, especially with smaller articles. I would support having a short medical disclaimer at the top of a page as discussed earlier here. KonveyorBelt 17:21, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Sure, and most people should know by now to wear their seatbelts, yet the average ER sees a steady stream of unrestrained passengers involved in motor-vehicle accidents. If our approach is to present seemingly authoritative information and to depend on the reader's inherent skepticism and critical-thinking faculties, then I think we're asking for trouble. I can describe instances in which real people have been negatively affected in very real ways through their misplaced faith in the accuracy of Wikipedia's medical content, although I've generally hesitated to do so because there are significant privacy issues involved. I've come to believe that some sort of visible medical disclaimer or expert editorial control is essential, and I say that as someone who's spent virtually his entire Wikipedia career trying to make this project a credible, reputable source of accurate health information. MastCell Talk 17:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • My experience is that on the whole quality is still increasing, but I for one would welcome a bit more priority on that. If the aim is to increase reliability there are several things that we could do, some being easier to sell to the community than others. For example, it would be good to see some research funded into the contrasting experiences of DE and EN wiki since DE went down the route of flagged revisions on all articles. If the result was that as some of us expect flagged revisions makes for a more effective barrier against vandalism then I think we could finally sell the idea of flagged revisions to the EN wiki community. ϢereSpielChequers 17:58, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Most people older than about 3 years know that they need to go to a doctor in case of medical problems. So, this issue isn't a problem in practice. What may be a problem is that people don't typically go to the doctor to ask about general health issues, like diet, exercise etc. But here we should note that official medical guidelines have typically been in the wrong. E.g. the amount of exercise people need has consistently been underestimated in the medical literature (assuming that the latest guidelines are correct). The results of medical science have been very useful to deal with diseases, but it has in general not been a big success to optimize the health of healthy people. Not only were healthy people prescribed too little exercise, they were also prescribed margarine containing 29% trans fats, told for many decades that vitamin D is dangerous for the unborn child etc. etc. Count Iblis (talk) 22:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
The angel on my shoulder is telling me to ignore your effort to drag this post off-topic. The devil on my other shoulder is telling me to spend the next 4 paragraphs explaining in detail how far off-base your contentions are. MastCell Talk 22:43, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Most people older than about 3 years know that they need to go to a doctor in case of medical problems. They know, but in actual practice they fail to do so sometimes. Knowing may be half the battle, but actually executing your knowledge is the other half, and sometimes people don't do that. KonveyorBelt 02:32, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia was not created by the World's dictator to enforce his nanny state policy. If you read Kip Thorne's book about black holes (forgot the exact title), you'll read about arguments he had with his Soviet colleagues about lack of freedom in the CCCP and homeless people freezing to death in the US.Count Iblis (talk) 10:28, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Everybody is allowed to be an idiot when it comes to medical advice. Still, Wikipedia shouldn't promote that. KonveyorBelt 17:15, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I love the appeal to emotion here, Anthony. Start with a non sequitur related to medical-themed articles to try and scare people then post the already tired argument of making all of Wikipedia a "reliable source". Except, you haven't actually given a reason why we even need to. You say the current model "militates against" the goal of making the sum of all knowledge available to all without explaining why. Truthfully, I think it is your proposal that militates against this goal, not the current approach. To be even remotely feasible, your approach would be required to build barriers that prevent editing, and would create a multi-tiered system for both articles and editors. Resolute 00:20, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Why are you always so rude? I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. The problem with the current model is anyone can live edit. Randy can go to our Squamous-cell carcinoma article and tell the world that sunbeds are the best treatment. There is nothing in the "anyone can edit" model that entails any nutter must be able to see his thought-bubble go live the moment he clicks "save."
To be clear, I'm proposing a two-tier model for articles: reliable and not so. Once an article achieves featured status via the current volunteer review process, it then goes to a group of independent scholars who fact-check. An article that passes FA and expert review is then locked, and further editing and updates are done in the Wikipedia:Drafts space. Once a draft has passed featured article review and expert review again, it goes live and the cycle repeats. Such articles would be labeled prominently for our readers as having been reviewed for accuracy by experts A,B,C and D on X date and each would carry a prominent invitation to readers to collaborate on the current draft.
Of the 25,000 medical articles on en.Wikipedia only 58 are featured medical articles, and some of those will need their featured status reviewed before they go to expert review. So, at least to start with, we're not talking about a huge task.
I'm not proposing two tiers of editors. Reviewers are not writers or editors.
I've started with medicine because that's a topic area I know, but if the physics project would like to start a similar process, why not?
Any costs incurred in the expert review should be picked up by one or more of the various charities in the topic area whose mission includes education or outreach. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:46, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
You don't see how your two-tiered system stifles Wikipedia? You are insisting that any article that reaches a certain level be blocked away from the masses until so-called experts can review, then re-review, then re-re-review, .... And yes, reviewers are editors in your model. They are the privileged class of editor permitted to dump all over those doing the hard work. But what is most curious to me is how your proposal doesn't even solve the problems you argue. You complain about how easy it is to vandalize these articles or add misinformation... yet you propose to leave 99.8% within the medicine scope alone as prone to any form of undesirable type of edit you can imagine. And for that remaining 0.2%, you propose that other charities waste their resources on a redundant process here? You'll have to forgive my bluntness, because I don't see how this proposal does more good than harm. Resolute 05:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Anthony, our more conscientious editors are probably more faithful with their sourcing than many medical researchers. You don't have to go far at all to find some ral sourcing gaffs and sweeping assumptions in medical papers. What would we do if WMF paid an expert and they introduced some assumptions, because "they know it's true" despite sources saying otherwise? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:31, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree about the slackness of some papers that slip through the peer review process in some journals. That's why we have to set a high standard for the expert-review of our FAs. Having named expert reviewers will help with that - they won't want to have their name on a poor-quality article.
I haven't made myself clear enough about the role I envision for the expert reviewers. They won't - can't actually if we are to keep the crowdsourcing process that is the engine of this project - have a veto. If reviewers have veracity concerns about an article, we can ignore them and publish - we just won't be able to tell our readers it's been checked by experts for accuracy. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:45, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I should indeed be relieved to hear you say that you're looking only to protect 58 or so featured articles, because it makes your scheme all but irrelevant. However, even in those 58 articles there are quite a few reasons to reject a lockdown scheme. To begin with, we have a few like Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany and Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act which are political or social articls. We have several biographies such as Ryan White which MEDRS should have very little role in at all, except for a few background sentences. And we have a lot of hard-core biological articles like DNA and virus and influenza which is where I really get concerned, because articles like this ought to be updated freely and continually to keep abreast of cutting edge research! Going through the list I would only acknowledge about 28 as being about medical conditions per se. Looking at the first of these, I see that Acute myeloid leukemia has one single unsourced sentence about various agents in clinical trials, presumably because the MEDRS fanatics would say heaven forfend that we actually link to useful sites that keep updated lists of clinical trials, primary sources describing the ongoing research ideas (even from good journals and accurately described), etc. (And no, the way to fix the article is not to delete that sentence!) So ... no. I'm not buying what you're selling. I should also add that the fallacies of "medical reliability" do have much in common with the fallacies of "filtering" content. You seem to assume that people can come to a consistent "editorial judgment" about what is good and bad, that people can agree on classifying content even when it affects what opinions will be presented, and that our concerns about presenting "bad" material should outweigh our imperative to allow good content to be assembled. None of these should be the case. Wnt (talk) 06:32, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @Anthony If your concern is that "There is nothing in the "anyone can edit" model that entails any nutter must be able to see his thought-bubble go live the moment he clicks "save."" Then though I might express things differently, broadly I agree with you, and would commend the German language Wikipedia where they have implemented a flagged revisions system. On DE wiki if you aren't a trusted editor then someone else has to approve that edit before it goes live. Pending changes does something similar, but only for selected articles. Either system I would contend could do more for our medical accuracy than something confined to 58 articles not chosen for their problematic nature. ϢereSpielChequers 07:27, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
WSC: 58 articles to start with. I expect that all important (or simply all) medical content will be reliable within five years if this model is actively supported by the WMF and the medical specialties and charities.
Jimmy supports the flagged revisions model, I believe. What I'm proposing for medical FAs is similar in principle but raises the bar to the level of "reliable". --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:45, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
OK in terms of outreach to medical charities etc you might be interested in what the chapters are up to (I'm a part time WMUK employee myself though I wasn't involved in the breast cancer event). It's currently early stages for this sort of expert collaboration, but yes we are working with outside experts to improve quality on Wikipedia. Of course as chapters we have to work with the grain of the community, so the exact form of outreach to medical expertise may not be as you wanted. But I like to think we are working in the same direction here, and I've yet to hear anyone object to this particular sort of expert outreach. ϢereSpielChequers 08:27, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we share the same goal as Doc James and several other WP:MED editors. But only I am saying outreach to specialist and expert bodies is futile unless we can offer them stringent peer-review and articles locked between reviews. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 12:34, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It makes sense to consider the inherent POV issues that arise from allowing a team of editors to represent one type of medicine and to silence all else, as it happening with WikiProject Medicine. The encyclopedia is not a health manual. Under the guise of saving gullible readers, information about medicines of other types, times and cultures is being systematically erased or spun so that only Western, alopathic medicine is represented here in a good light. I've seen articles on diet (GAPS), on acupuncture (German acupuncture trials), and herbal medicine succumb to the hostile takeover of this POV. The Western health care industry has saved many lives, but it is also the industry responsible for the third largest cause of death: medical mistakes. Scientifically-approved medicines accidentally kill someone every 19 minutes, and in 2010, were the fourth leading cause of death in the US. Given these stats, it makes sense that this industry, as much as Big Oil or Monsanto, would have an interest in controlling Wikipedia's coverage of related articles, but I think this should be heavily questioned. IMO, if we're going to hand this coverage over to a team, the encyclopedia should require a more well-balanced one that includes naturopaths, experts in herbal medicine, and so on, to offer a more well-informed, worldly view. petrarchan47tc 02:13, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Anywhere between 210,000 and 440,000 people needlessly die in U.S. hospitals every year due to medical errors.[1] Strangely, physicians in the U.S. earn more than those in Europe, Canada, and Australia.[2] Viriditas (talk) 03:30, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
    • A visible Do not take medical advice from Wikipedia disclaimer is a great idea, with the added benefit of allowing for a more universal (encyclopedic) coverage of issues. petrarchan47tc 02:57, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
    • "that includes naturopaths, experts in herbal medicine, and so on" ← not a good idea to let people who believe in various magicks have free reign over medical content. Fortunately Wikipedia at least aspires to be taken seriously and so there is policy keeping the woo at bay (just). I don't think anybody has proposed that the existence of a disclaimer should be an excuse to tolerate nonsense in medical articles. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:36, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, this would lead to the WP:GEVAL fallacy. Wikipedia articles on medicine should not be held to different standards of editing from other articles, but like WP:BLP articles, they need particular care and attention.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:59, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Alex, your understanding of nonsense is in another part of the world considered medicine. This is an encyclopedia. This obliteration of the Ayurveda article is a prime example of what I'm talking about. There must be a middle ground between a totally Western POV and dangerous quackery. You are arguing, if I understand correctly, that we are saving people by not including this information about Ayurveda, for example? You are calling herbal medicine "majick" and showing the very POV I'm trying to call attention to. Someone with that attitude should not be working on articles about herbal medicine. petrarchan47tc 09:52, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Any "middle ground" between correct and incorrect is ... incorrect.
  • You disapprove of my linked revert? Generally in any article (not just in Ayuervedic ones) we don't let edits stay which remove well-sourced content and dump a copyright-violating essay along with 95 crappy unformatted references into the article body. Is that how you want our medical articles to look?
  • We need to make sure that we follow policy is describing fringe things: it is important these topics are presented neutrally. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:19, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I think we should include references that explain other perspectives. Here's my try at it; to me this seems indeed to append the "correct" and the "incorrect", which I feel is appropriate. The sad truth is that no matter how dogmatic we are about our "scientific method", I have seen it defined in many different ways, and I have not seen experiments showing that one definition of the scientific method "works" better than another. In practice it involves some incredibly arbitrary decisions, like anything that is less than 5% likely to happen by chance is a publishable result. This Ayurvedic person says that Ayurveda uses inductive reasoning, which I would call the older, pre-Baconian version of the scientific method - I don't think it works as well as our scientific method, but I've never seen an experiment saying just how well, and I know that we have thousands of drugs that were discovered, at least as potent prototypes, by people armed with nothing but the bad old inductive way of doing things. Wnt (talk) 15:29, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
The article is in a sorry state, and IMO your edit improves it :-) Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:34, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Proper editing takes time and research; to delete material without looking at ways to fix the article, such as better sourcing, especially at the rate you're doing it, hurts the encyclopedia. petrarchan47tc 02:43, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Have you actually looked at the edit I reverted? You'd leave copyright violations and page-breaking text dumps in place would you? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:11, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The preceding edit was not good. However, I wish that people reverting edits would at least preserve the source as long as it is relevant, even if they delete all the text, and if they can keep a bit of the text, that's better still. It is my belief that the citations + direct sources (images/videos) make up 50% of the total value of an article (a sort of equipartition theorem) and generally speaking I try to preserve the ref even if I feel the associated content needs to go. Wnt (talk) 07:12, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It is this kind of blanket dismissal of ("magicks") that is the problem. Herbal medicine is based on a large database of empirical knowledge, which continues to expand to this day, and has been the source for many of the drugs since produced on a synthetic basis. Nor is the transition to chemical synthesis always a good thing (except for the person holding the patent). For example, modern society is accustomed to accepting that aspirin and related salicylate drugs cause many thousands of deaths every year from gastrointestinal bleeding.[3][4] By contrast, natural willow bark contains a mixture of salicin and other unidentified activities with similar effects, and does not cause gastrointestinal bleeding, because the complex natural esters that come on the salicylic acid hold together better during digestion than the ad hoc acetyl tacked on by drug merchants looking for a way to say that they 'neutralized the acid' in salicylic acid.[5][6] So yes, it is true, in the ancient city of Ur a thousand years before the birth of the biblical patriarch Abraham, the pharmacists sold a version of our best-known painkiller which was safer and better than one of the few drugs that the medical bureaucracy sees fit to allow on the shelves as 'safe' for use today. Wnt (talk) 10:05, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • What is horrifying to me is that folks who so easily dismiss these non-alopathic forms of healing have placed themselves 100% in charge of Wikipedia's coverage of the topic. They have come in to the suite of Cannabis articles, for instance, armed with little more than a (stated) anti-herb POV, and have completely rewritten the Cannabis articles using the MEDRS that falls in line with that POV, ignoring for the most part MEDRS which shows positive effects or less-damaging effects. THC has been used as a medicine for thousands of years without a documented death. Marinol, the pharmaceutical version of THC, has been around 35 years and has killed at least 4 people so far. "Western" medicine is a very new baby on the scene, and is mostly experimental, with a heap of dead bodies in its wake. I would call it both fringe and dangerous, and I would argue that the group representing this industry on Wikipedia needs to be closely monitored. I am complaining here because I can't possibly take them on; they are powerful, have no fear of using bullying tactics and revenge editing, work as a group and have the support of the most influential Wikipedians, from what I can see. Who is here to defend the encyclopedia? The fact that 90% of Wiki editors are Westerners is narrowing our focus more than we may appreciate, and certainly, one would assume, more than the millions around the world who use ancient and non-western healing modalities would appreciate. petrarchan47tc 00:46, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
""Western" medicine ... I would call it both fringe and dangerous" ← you're probably going to have a bad time editing medical content on Wikipedia then, particularly if you try and push that backwards view into the articles. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:34, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
No one should be able to push their views onto articles unless supported by RS - and your view of non-Western medicines is being pushed daily by your edits. To work on herbal medicine articles whilst holding an entirely negative view of the subject is akin to a born-again Christian editing the Abortion article. petrarchan47tc 20:10, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • An example of WikiProject Medicine and their use of MEDRS: in this version, the work of multiple independent editors who researched and discussed the science on the "death by cannabis" claim for months; in this, Project Medicine's fix. In the former, THC has only killed rats when hash oil was injected into the bloodstream (since, after-all, it is a non-toxic herb). In the latter, it turns out that humans have died from cannabis (but only the junkies). petrarchan47tc 03:15, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I find the cut-down version unsatisfactory also because it takes out the J Clin Pharmacol reference about occasional strokes and heart attacks and the recommendation against it for those with cardiovascular disease. I'm all for medical marijuana and drug legalization, but we have to face reality: there's nothing potent enough to do good that isn't potent enough to do harm. (where drugs that influence human metabolism are concerned) When sources exist to document that, we should include them, and if they're perhaps wrong, we should include the sources explaining why they might be wrong. In this case, however, it appears that the risk continues to be believed [7] - they could have updated to that source, and I'd be semi-alright with that (though I always like two better than one), but deleting it is just irresponsible. If WikiProject Medicine in fact is responsible for excluding sources that discuss potential risks of marijuana use, contributing to the popular party line that marijuana is absolutely risk-free, then they are the ones spreading dangerous misinformation. You don't have to add stuff to do that! Wnt (talk) 05:50, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The risk is due to an increased heart rate, which is the same risk that shoveling snow would have on one with heart problems, and lasts from 20-60 minutes. We did a lot of research for that section, and this came up in our findings. On another note, I just noticed the last paragraph in WikiProject Medicine's version in the Effects section is nothing but a complete dismissal of medical cannabis, and entirely US-centric. This is far from neutral coverage and an example of the kind of spin I'm trying to point out petrarchan47tc 07:15, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
In furtherance of the above, I added [8] - definitely not my best work, but at least a swipe of the paintbrush. Wnt (talk) 07:03, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The new source looks useful. There is some material on this topic at Effects of cannabis#Cardiovascular effects - one of the problems with this big "suite" of articles is that they're badly organized. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:56, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • In other words, dangers weren't removed, coverage exists in a different place. As for the Effects coverage, "it works for pain and nausea" are the only positive effects mentioned. Yet, when I added this MEDRS source to the Medical Cannabis page, it was removed by Dr Jim because "we already cover this with better sourcing". Since these positive effects are covered, there should be an indication of it in this summary. This summary does sound like it was written by someone who hates the subject. In this section, Cannabis sounds incredibly dangerous and barely effective as medicine. It is also the case that the majority of science comes from the West, where only 6% of studies are geared toward finding anything but negative effects. This understanding is not being allowed to be added to the encyclopedia, and has been removed/reverted every time, regardless of the MEDRS to support it. Basically, in my view, NPOV is more important that MEDRS. One can have a page full of proper sourcing, but it can be a hack-job all the same. petrarchan47tc 19:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Jimmy - as you've stated that you support a visible medical disclaimer, I think it would be really great of you to say so at the ongoing RfC on the topic. Seeing that you do could give a lot of people pause for thought and would almost certainly attract a lot of support that might otherwise have gone unsaid. — Scott talk 13:44, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Petra, regarding: "the inherent POV issues that arise from allowing a team of editors to represent one type of medicine and to silence all else, as is happening with WikiProject Medicine," I think we have the policy settings about right (insisting on reliable evidence for all safety and efficacy claims and implications) but I do see zealous editors on all sides gaming or simply ignoring the policies occasionally. In my experience, disputes in the alternative and fringe medicine area are mostly over misinterpretation of policies or sources - which if habitual is a behaviour not a policy problem - and about the weight to be given to different kinds of sources - self-published skeptic blogs, alternative medicine journals, etc. - and I can't envision a policy change that would resolve the latter by fiat. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 12:34, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Realize that some editors who don't work solely on medical or human health articles were/are not familiar with WP:MEDRS and may not be guilty of intentionally nefarious actions. petrarchan47tc 19:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Jimmy, as with the "invitation to edit" proposal below, my proposal in this thread - that we get subject-matter experts to fact-check out medical FAs and lock them until the next review - won't go anywhere without at least a nod from you and other board members. Yet, so far you have ignored this thread, and the last time I mentioned it you ignored my proposal and promoted your preferred pending changes/flagged revisions model. Can I assume that you disapprove of my proposal? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

WMF Strategic Plan

How's the strategic plan going - particularly in relation to the third point: "Improve quality"? What has the WMF done, and what user-generated initiatives has it actually supported that have had a measurable impact on the quality of, say, en.Wikipedia content? How much of last year's $40,000,000 did you spend on this important strategic goal? Did the foundation employ a single person tasked with improving quality? Did you commission a rigorous study into the reliability of Wikipedia across various sample topic areas so you could measure the effects of all your efforts to improve Wikipedia's quality? If not, how does the WMF track the quality of Wikimedia content? Did you establish a committee of experts to brainstorm the problem?

Is there a problem with Wikipedia's quality? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 06:16, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedian in Residence

Are these paid positions? Is there any evaluation of competence before this WMF stamp (or more substantial support, if any) is handed out? Someone not using his real name (talk) 21:54, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes. No. Eric Corbett 21:57, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Many WiR positions aren't paid, Malleus. And there's always at least some evaluation of competence done by the institution hosting the WiR - the degree of which varies depending on the institution. More than one museum has previously chosen not to host a WiR because they didn't believe the potential damage to their brand was worth it, and most WiR positions have competitive application processes. WMF isn't involved in vetting competence normally for the simple reason that WMF doesn't support most WiR positions much if any. Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:01, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
So some are paid then, as I said. Eric Corbett 22:03, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some are paid. I couldn't give you a good idea of what fraction are paid off the top of my head, but definitely a good bit are. I responded to your original post because it made it sound like all were paid and no competency evaluation was done, whereas only some are paid and at least some competency evaluation is almost always done by the hosting institution unless someone got snookered. Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:06, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Hi SNUHRN; some are paid and some are not - it usually depends on what the institution hosting the WiR wants or is able to offer. Some WiR's do receive support from the Wikimedia Foundation, but the number is normally very small. A few WiR's have been funded by the WMF - any WiR funded by the WMF should be listed here. Kevin Gorman (talk) 21:58, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

So, if some outside organization is paying someone to edit <whatever>, the WMF will just happily give the "Wikimedian in Residence" seal of approval, without any other checks? And does the WMF take its own cut from such funding? Someone not using his real name (talk) 22:25, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation generally isn't consulted about particular WiR positions before they're implemented. Anyone can go to a cultural institution and try to convince them to fund such a position, in the same way that anyone who edits Wikipedia can call themselves a Wikipedian. Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:30, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to be a very healthy position for the WMF to be in. Eric Corbett 22:33, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
How would we react if a private corporation, as opposed to a cultural institution, decided to fund a WiR? --S Philbrick(Talk) 22:37, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I think we could expect a Holy War. Eric Corbett 22:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
If the corporation were open about it, allowed the WiR full editorial freedom, encouraged collaboration with any corporate archivists, etc., why not? It could be a nice example of good-practice paid editing. It wouldn't be popular in the community, absolutely. I'd be wary, myself! But I'd support it as a valuable experiment. The worst-case scenario would be that the community backlash was too much for the corporate WiR. The best-case scenario would be that Wikipedia gained a shining example of good practices in corporate engagement—which helps make a case against people hiring sketchy PR outfits and other such nonsense unhelpful to our encyclopedic goals. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 22:58, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Consumer Reports had a WiR without controversy, and is not precisely a cultural institution. Plus many cultural institutions are private corporations with a mission of cultural preservation. – SJ + 18:17, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Ok, what I conclude from above is:

  1. If some external organization finances a WiR, it's "their money, their problem" with respect to evaluating the competency of the applicant
  2. if the paid-for content sucks badly enough, it lands in the lap of Wikipedia's editor community to WP:SOFIXIT
  3. still no word on whether the WMF takes a share from external WiR grants

Someone not using his real name (talk) 23:14, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Usually people hired as WiR's are pre-existing Wikimedians, so if their content sucks as a WiR it probably sucked beforehand. Competence is required, and Wikipedia's community can deal with incompetent WiRs in the same way it can deal with any other incompetent editor. The WMF doesn't take a share of funding that external entities put towards their WiRs, and generally speaking this both would not be worth it in terms of the overhead for WMF, and wouldn't be in WMF's interest anyway (because WiR partnerships are something that WMF should generally want to encourage.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:26, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Invitation to edit

A while ago you commented on a trial I was running of an invitation to edit. I didn't analyse the results because it quickly became obvious to me that the sample size and duration were too small to say anything at all.

I don't know how to determine the duration and sample size necessary to draw meaningful conclusions from a study like this, I wasn't confident anyone involved at the time did, and I don't know anyone who does. If I could get sound advice on the study design, and help with the data analysis, do you think I should proceed with a bigger trial? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 13:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

OK. I won't proceed with this then. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:14, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Jimmy - honestly

No "Disclaimers" link in mobile view

Presently, when you open a Wilipedia article in mobile view you don't see a link to our disclaimers (as you do at the bottom of articles in desktop view). It is hidden behind 3 horizontal bars at the top left corner of the page that most readers will never click. At the bottom of our articles in mobile view is the following:

Wikipedia ® Mobile | Desktop
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Terms of use | Privacy

On 6th January, Oliver advised bugzilla[9]:

If you look at the current set of mobile apps/the mobile view of WP, the disclaimer is in the sidebar rather than the article. The problem with this is that it conceptually distinguishes it from the content...which is what the disclaimer covers.

The response was

Legal cleared that this design is OK as they are flexible as to where this disclaimer is. kenan wang 2014-01-14 01:40:12 UTC

Resolution: WONTFIX[10]

Our articles used to say "The encyclopedia anyone can edit", which at least said something about the reliability of our content. The only indicator we presently offer our readers regarding the reliability of our content is the teeny weeny little Disclaimers link at the bottom of the article in desktop view. Is it really cool - disregarding for the moment the cover-WMF's-arse legal considerations - for our articles to give no hint anywhere in default mobile view regarding the freedom of Randy to plump any thought bubble he likes into the article? Do you think it would be better for our readers if the Disclaimers link was at least visible in the default mobile view, like copyright, terms of use and privacy? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 09:00, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I tried to get from my user page to my user talk page in the mobile view and failed. (As far as I could tell, it is not possible.) So yeah, there's a lot broken about it. I don't think "cover-WMF's-arse legal considerations" have anything to do with this issue by the way. Basically legal doesn't care one way or the other - they have no actual input for us here. (If they said we have to have them, or that we can't have them, that'd be a surprising and different issue. This is an editorial decision, and one which the community can insist on. Bugzilla is probably not the most productive forum for that, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:59, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
What do you think? Would it be better for our readers if the Disclaimers link was at least visible in the default mobile view, like copyright, terms of use and privacy? Who presently decides the mobile view format? I'd like to address that decision-maker with a request. (If you're on a laptop, just click the "Mobile view" link at the bottom of an article page to see what I'm talking about.) --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 10:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Though I disagreed with you on the article-specific disclaimers this does seem off to me - I tried raising it here but I guess that's not the right place to ask either. Wnt (talk) 11:01, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I've asked Maggie who decides these things. [11] --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 12:37, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Granted that the mobile view is fairly minimal, and that in order to make it usable it is necessary to cut down what is seen to some extent, I think that links to such side issues as "disclaimers" should be given a much lower priority than all of the stuff that is lost that actually impacts on the usability of Wikipedia, such as the link to talk page that Jimbo mentions, and other navigational stuff. JamesBWatson (talk) 17:36, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
We're talking about 2 minutes of coding: moving Disclaimers from the sidebar to the bottom of the page. But I agree, it's hardly the worst aspect of the mobile version. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 18:28, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There's a lot that's odd about the mobile view. If I'm talking to anyone about how reliable Wikipedia is(n't), I advise them to have a look at an article's history: how stable is it. But on mobile, the history isn't accessible except by switching to desktop view and fiddling around, zooming to find and click the "history" tab, etc. If I see from my watchlist, on mobile, that an editor has edited a page I'm interested in, I can't see their other contributions, or their talk page (I get access to a strange little page which shows me their latest edit and their latest file update, but no access to their user page or talk page). Given that a large number of people use a smartphone for most of their internet use, what sort of interface are we offering them? And where's the best place to discuss this? The mobile interface seems to be increasingly important but, at present, woefully inadequate. PamD 23:52, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Articles linked to by QRpedia

Category:Articles linked to by QRpedia has 83 entries and can probably have many more.
Wavelength (talk) 21:22, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Mentioning Sarah's cause for dismissal and her 'mistake'

Jimmy, why the hell is Frank Schulenburg making public statements about why Sarah was let go? This is opening the door for Sarah to sue WMF for damaging her reputation even if the statements are true. He also mentioned that, "everybody makes mistakes" which is damaging Sarah's reputation as Frank is implicitly stating that Sarah made a mistake. Frank is neither a legal nor an HR professional. If anything, it should be Joady Lohr (HR Director) making the announcement and it should be as short as possible: "The WMF announces that Sarah is no longer an employee of the Foundation. We wish Sarah the best in her future endeavors." But mentioning why she was let go? The scandal has now been picked by the media and Sarah's name and the cause for her dismissal and her alleged mistake are spreading out: [12] Bad mojo Jimmy, bad mojo. Can any HR American/California attorneys and Public Relations professionals chip in this discussion please? What would be the best course of action for the WMF right now? —Ahnoneemoos (talk) 13:12, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Your analysis is incorrect. Sarah did make a mistake.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Arguably, she made several mistakes: not declaring COI on the talk page of each piece and gibraltaring one on the main page as a Did You Know? snippet. As for the paid editing, that's not banned by en-WP policy although WMF may have employment contracts that you know about and we don't. Speaking of which, is there non-disclosure language which is keeping SS from speaking on the matter? Carrite (talk) 23:26, 10 January 2014 (UTC) ///// Note: redacting the comment on gibraltaring, after further scrutiny of her edit history it is my considered opinion that the piece in question wasn't a paying job, as it was worked on repeatedly over time. My apologies to Sarah. Carrite (talk) 04:03, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
What's done is done. Can't unring the bell. Reverse Streisand effect. Sorry for the cliches but it seems best to say little, now (especially given your speculation what someone may do or may not do in court). Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:48, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It's not libel if it is true. End of case. Also, she can be counter-sued as the door swings both ways, which people should remember every time someone mentions a lawsuit when raised as an alarm. Search legal records for massive countersuits awarded. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:30, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    No, it's defamatory whether or not it's true. That it can be proven to be true is a defence against a libel charge. Eric Corbett 22:48, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:

  • 1: a publication to one other than the person defamed;
  • 2: a false statement of fact;
that is understood as
*a. being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
*b. tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.

In addition, if the plaintiff is a public figure, he or she must also prove actual malice.

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation --Guy Macon (talk) 00:32, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Ahnoneemoos asked for a PR professional to chip-in and I do have a PR background. In my opinion, it was a pretty standard letter and the cause of the layoff would have been presumed by the media anyway, who regularly watch Jimbo's page for Wikipedia stories. If the community wanted it handled with discretion, the community would have had to do so in the first place, by emailing Jimbo/WMF rather than posting here, but in most cases that is not what the original poster wanted. However, it will be very hard for WMF to fight against covert, non-neutral paid editing when their own staff and partners have been exposed for similar practices. For that reason, if I were in WMF's shoes, I would have been forced to advise the same action, as regrettable as it may be. CorporateM (Talk) 18:16, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, this is real news now: [13] Unfortunately, Stierch is taking the media flak over the fact that we can't come up with a clear answer and a consistent policy, one way or the other, about anything. Wnt (talk) 23:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Real news? Are you sure? Have you compared the Independent piece with the Ars Technica piece, to see how much they differ and if they are separate articles? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 06:49, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not saying I want to start an article about it based on GNG (the thought may have crossed my mind, but it's absurd). All I'm saying is that sometimes I actually read The Independent, not as an external link but as a newspaper site. Wnt (talk) 06:58, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Jimmy, you and the WMF did the right thing. I hope this discovery will act as a catalyst to prompt further remedial actions by the WMF and yourself. The editing community should have little to no say; we are talking about the good reputation of the project, critical to editor retention and public trust and acceptance. As for the adminship status of this editor, enacted by over 200 !voters in 2012, it should be removed at once. Repeat, the administrator flag should be removed at once, by you or an office action if need be. Thanks again for seeing this overall problem as significant-to-crucial. Jusdafax 06:29, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Petition to un-gag Sarah

Oh my. I go away a few weeks and Miller (talk) 03:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Petition for administrator standards

The undersigned urge Jimmy Wales to pressure the WMF to insist that any newly-appointed administrator on the English Wikipedia, before taking up their office, avow they will not engage in paid editing; and also disclose any paid editing or COI editing that they have engaged in previously.

Is administrator status an "office"? If this is important to you, why not ask the question during RFA? What do you propose doing about the 2,000 or whatever administrators already minted? Do you think that the most problematic paid editors at WP are administrators, or are they actually non-administrators? What is the policy basis for JW having approval rights of those approved for administrative buttons? Carrite (talk) 00:56, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Nah, just unbundle the tools and return it to "no big deal". Rgrds. -- (talk) 00:53, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • SupportJohn Cline (talk) 01:00, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I have suggest this in the past and believe it is fundamentally required.—John Cline (talk) 01:00, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
You'll probably have to make sure they also provide an official notary public's affidavit that they did not cross fingers while swearing their oath of undying loyalty. Unless the WMF flies all newly elected admins to the nearest chapter to swear them in. MLauba (Talk) 02:09, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Your imagination is either very active, or very limited.—John Cline (talk) 08:01, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose until such time as a fixed policy which is 100% against paid editing is established. There is no reason to hold admins to an ideal which does not have wide enough support to actually become a coded policy. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:16, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • The only relevant "vow" is the WP:Terms of use; if the WMF wants to do this top down, they would need to consult some lawyers and try to work up a wording to go in there, whether it affects everyone or only admins, and then if desired editors could hold a plebiscite on it (at the rate things move on WP, if they get the ball rolling now, they might squeeze it in with the next ArbCom election). (note I'm not actually calling for this; a vote is a poor substitute for political organization) Wnt (talk) 06:40, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: minimal and obvious. If there really is a "bright line rule," and that's not just a figure of speech, then this should be a no-brainer. Don't you think so, Jimbo Wales? Further comment: I just read about the Sarah Stiertch dismissal for paid editing. Assuming the reports are correct that she left the Foundation for that reason, it's outrageous. There are no rules against paid editing on Wikipedia. There should be, but there are not. Rather than throwing this person under the bus, the Foundation should change its terms of use to prohibit paid editing. Persons currently engaged in the practice should stop what they're doing, but not subjected to ex post facto penalties. If the Foundation feels so strongly about paid editing (which would be great), it should take action. Coretheapple (talk) 21:12, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The English wikipedia can simply establish this as policy, including provisions for a desysopping process as appropriate. And that's not a bad idea. And it's probably unlikely that candidates who refuse to make this commitment will succeed in the future, even in the absence of a formal policy. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the very least. (Comment: knowing that some 'are' being paid to work on articles has taken the wind out of my sails, frankly, for working on this Project, and I am no longer willing to put long-term effort into difficult pages like BP, or into addressing the recent takeover and spin-job to the Cannabis articles by WikiProject Medicine. Not for free, anyway.) petrarchan47tc 22:01, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - who ever came up with the idea that it was ever ok for an admin to engage in paid editing? Hasn't it been obvious from the very beginning of the idea of "admin" that they would not be working for somebody else while they were working on Wikipedia? That said, I'm not sure that this page is the best spot for an RfC, or that the words "urge Jimmy Wales to pressure the WMF" are right. I think a simple petition to the WMF board to please make this clear, in light of the recent scandal, to the folks who are looking to create new "paid-editing rights" that it just doesn't fly to have an admin (or WMF employees for that matter) accepting pay from anybody other than the WMF to edit Wikipedia. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:31, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Administrators are just editors with extra buttons for the performance of site maintenance tasks. There are already mechanisms to remove tools from abusive administrators. I'm opposed to anything which creates the impression or reality that there are two distinct castes, administrators and non-administrators. Carrite (talk) 21:28, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Seek community consensus, instead of appealing to Jimbo. I would likely support a policy like this, but this is not the way to put it into place. Ross HillTalk to me! 22:17, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not think we should isolate sysops from other editors by holding them to a separate set of rules than that of other editors. In doing so you will be ultimately transforming being a sysop into something that should be no big deal. I agree that paid advocacy is a problem, but it is a community wide one. Mkdwtalk 02:39, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As pointed out above, we need to have a policy on paid editing that prohibits such activity before demanding that administrators not do it. I think it's clear by now that the bright line rule is not actually Wikipedia policy, either de jure or de facto, even though Jimbo wants it to be. I am also of the belief that such a policy is unwise because as a bright line rule it has no exceptions similar to the exceptions editing your own BLP has, and per IAR *everything* has exceptions. It also encourages outing. Ken Arromdee (talk) 01:08, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Paid editing or whatever one calls it has a corrosive, corrupting effect that ripples throughout this project. We hold admins to a higher standard, via community consensus, that they be given the tools. In my view it is absurd not to request a pledge from all admins to not take cash or favors of any kind in exchange for their broad powers, including the block button. These powers set them apart from other editors the way an armed policeman is different from the average citizen, in terms of influence and chilling effect. And no matter what some may say here or elsewhere, there is a very real caste system at work in Wikipedia. Jusdafax 01:43, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose What? First, Jimmy cannot do that. Second, the Wikimedia Foundation cannot do that. And third, the English Wikipedia community, by no means, has expressed unity against paid editing. — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 04:07, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment This suggestion is just unrealistic at this point, even if it had support, since we'd have to poke and prod the 1,400 administrators we currently have. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 04:23, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Heaven forbid we should upset admins with a poke or prod to pledge not to do COI editing or act in other ways as paid agents. And the Wikimedia Foundation can take any action it deems needful to preserve the perception and reputation of this online encyclopedia. Jusdafax 05:57, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Jusdafax: Back in reality, they have already made this "pledge" by going through the rigmarole of the dying RFA process, by showing they would not damage the project in any way with their tools, etc., etc. Why do we need extra confirmation that they won't do what they know is already frowned upon by the community? We wouldn't have given them tools if we thought they were going to be engaging in paid editing, that is pretty clear. We already expect them not to. Do you think a "petition" or "pledge" with a signature from every administrator would even make a difference here? Say this had already been the case, we had every administrator on record, including Sarah, who told us they would not engage in paid advocacy. She still engaged in paid editing as an administrator when she knew it would not be taken kindly to here in 2013/14. A pledge is empty, and we have to trust those we give the tools to. Likewise, we can't slap every administrator on the wrist for the actions of one editor. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 06:14, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you are unaware that another admin has recently admitted to "paid advocacy editing." To date I know of no actions taken to correct that. The community is deeply divided and arguably compromised. Something needs to be done asap to correct the existing precedent of admins editing for money. I take a hard line, myself, and call for such admins to be not only desysopped, but banned, as an example that there will be zero tolerance. Enough is enough. Jusdafax 06:39, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've followed the paid editing discussions as well, including the suspected paid editing of another administrator and other discussions, and I'm aware the deep divide. To me, if you previously expose your COI and still improve an article, then it shouldn't be a problem if it's a net positive for Wikipedia. The problem is secrecy and the 'shock' of exposing someone being a paid editor. We shouldn't be discouraging paid editing, as much as we should be encouraging transparency. Had Sarah previously disclosed that she was going to be using another account, linked to her main one so everyone knew who she was, that was used in mind of COI and relevant policies to improve articles for pay, there would be considerably less drama. Their edits could easily be scrutinized if they were making malicious edits (such as deleting criticisms of who they are getting paid from) and they wouldn't have to hide it from us. Paid editing is going to occur, just like vandalism will always be around. "Banning" paid editing isn't going to happen, because you can't stop it. It will only make paid editing harder to detect and that isn't what we need, we need to know where paid editing is happening. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 08:18, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Adminship is supposed to be no big deal, remember? KonveyorBelt 17:18, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There will undoubtedly have to be continuing discussion about it, in the foundation and outside. COI, as so far explored on wiki has basically been limited to a simple editorial issue. Admins actually present a whole different dimension, which appears to have been largely unexplored. The use of tools is largely "unregulated" except for criticism, and a promise by the admin to not act while "involved" - but involved is limited to a type of interaction "on wiki." To the extent that there are paid admins, acting as "the admin for Organization Y", or "the Admin for industry Z", or "the Admin for PR company ten" in thier admin actions - those are, it appears, basically unreviewable, at this time. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:00, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: I do not believe that Jimbo's talk page is an appropriate place for an (impromptu) RfC which is essentially the concern of the broad Wikipedia editing community. And, FWIW though, while I'm here, I do not believe that adminship is compatible with paid editing. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:46, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

For god's sake people...shut up. Stop dragging Sarah and the foundation through the mud. That is far more disgraceful than anything Sarah or Jimbo has ever done. Are you all seeking the destruction of all that these fine people have achieved...or is it that a controversy is just to enticing to avoid? Disgusting. I feel so much shame in being associated with those that cannot just shut the fuck up and let things die naturally.

It is time to let this go. Nothing will bring Sarah's reputation back but her own work. She did NOT overshadow the good she did by a mistake I know I can forgive.

She didn't kill anyone so just shove it back in and move forward....or was the point just further character assisnation. Srah let us all down. I can forgive that. I cannot forgive her being mutilated by a continued bullshit discussion. So shut the fuck up and move on or destroy the very ground you walk on. the c choice is yours. I am not sure which course this community will take but I have the fucking freedom to express myself. Not like I have anything left to lose here. Tis place has becaome a wasteland of arguments, hate and criticism of our very existence. As if the very people that work here are trying to destroy everything that has been built.

Fine......but expect resistance....STRONG RESISTANCE! This is an encyclopedia....but we act as if the very world we live in depends on us! It doesn't. We can be wiped away in an instance by people who care more about themselves and the income they receive from this site. STOP IT NNOW!!!! You disgrace yourselves and the very idea of free flowing information. People are putting their very lives on the line to shre with us. And you people just shit on it. You shame us all!--Mark Miller (talk) 05:33, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I, too, am disgusted by anyone who disgraces themselves and the very idea of free flowing information; also by people who shit on those putting their very lives on the line to share with us; by those who shame us all; by those who do not, as Mark puts it "just shove it back in and move forward"; by anyone who engages in character assassination; by those who engage in mutilation by a continued bullshit discussion; by those who do not, as Mark puts it, "shut the fuck up and move on or destroy the very ground you walk on"; and in general anyone who creates a wasteland of arguments, hate and criticism. Mark has a lot of very valid points here, and we should all learn from them. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:48, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Email from Miss Bono

Hi Jimbo, I am not spending a lot of time in Wikipedia for conection problems and I wanted to let you know that I have sent you a couple of emails. Please, if you read them, can you reply back? Also, if you see this message, can you reply via email? I dont know when I will be able to check my Wikipedia account. Thank you very much and have a wonderful 2014. Best wishes, -- Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 00:15, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Just answered!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:48, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
And best wishes to Miss Bono. Miss you!--Mark Miller (talk) 10:37, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I replied back as soon as I read the the email, please, let me know via email if you receive my answer. Thank you very much again. And thanks, Mark, I miss all of U 2 Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 22:46, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Jimbo, I too appreciate your efforts to reach out to Miss Bono, who tries very hard to contribute productively to this encyclopedia despite severe problems with internet access. I do my best to assist her whenever I can. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Instant CirrusSearch ready while indexing

Although the overall search-index is still being populated, we can already run instant near-real-time searches (including pages updated within recent minutes) by using the new CirrusSearch backend on typical Special:Search for text. For example, to search user-talk pages about recent "SOPA protest" discussion, use:

Note the user-talk prefix is "User_talk%3A" where colon ":" is encoded as "%3A" and spaces are "%20" in the URL encoding.
Alternatively, just run a typical wp:wikisearch (MWsearch), and then rerun the URL with "&srbackend=CirrusSearch" appended, to also search pages recently edited within the last few minutes. Currently, the search-index seems about half-populated, but it is being expanded ASAP without overloading the wp:Job_queue(s). Anyway, for recent edits, the CirrusSearch results seem current, while the remaining older pages might take another day week or two to be indexed. Because the search-results have the same format (except with recent edits also searched), I think the long-term plan is to switch to CirrusSearch as the default index, rather than MWsearch as re-indexed daily 4-6 am overnight, once users feel the overall instant results are dependable. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:31, 14 January 2014, 01:53, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Does it have the ability to search and find every place where User:Guy Macon has used the word "fleemishes" on Wikipedia without returning any of the places where other editors might have used that word? (See Wikipedia:Help desk#Fleemish Search). --Guy Macon (talk) 15:10, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that ability is above cloud computing, as perhaps a "HeavenSearch" system. ;-) -Wikid77 17:09, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
My goal is to drag Wikipedia, kicking and screaming, into the 1980s. We should not be missing basic functionality like this. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a tool at wp:WMFLabs could be developed to search the edits made by a specific user, as opposed to searching the current contents of pages up to the prior minute of recent edits posted. -Wikid77 05:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
That would sure help us out at WP:DRN, and I am sure that ANI and Arbcom would also benefit greatly. Right now, if I want to know whether Guy Macon has ever discussed fleemishes I manually cut and paste every talk page comment made by User:Guy Macon into a text file, then search it for occurrences of the "fleemishes". This is a lot of work if the editor has made a lot of edits. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • To show 100 results, append "&srbackend=CirrusSearch&limit=100": Remember that a wp:wikisearch defaults to 20-results-per-page, and so the option "&limit=" must also be appended to get more than 20 CirrusSearch results per page. The CirrusSearch index seems to be about 60% complete, but the re-populating of the index might become even slower as more articles are re-edited and must be re-indexed during each minute of each day, as the overall index is being expanded and populated for older pages in the CirrusSearch system. -Wikid77 01:53, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

IP's excluded again here

Jimbo, did you know this page is fully protected? I only stopped by to glance at something and I saw yet again that this page is fully protected. The message states due to socking but its really just admin laziness. A lot of IP's comment here and protecting this page prevents them from commenting and forces them to either create an account or not comment. Is your intent really to force people to create an account to edit or that IP's aren't welcome here? Just a rhetorical question, but I wanted to let you know the page was protected. Kumioko (talk) 22:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 22:55, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Was it really fully protected or just semi-protected. I generally prefer it to be unprotected, but there are some times when there's sufficient disruption that semi-protection may be necessary. It's hard to imagine why full protection would ever be needed!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:48, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
YW. It was protected because of "banned users socking with IPs", etc. The length was much longer than it should have been. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 12:46, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
It was fully protected and not scheduled to end until the 17th. For what its worth the over protection of content just so the admins won't have to do anything is only one example of how some admins are abusing the tools and it is a severe problem throughout the project. Not just on your page. If people can't edit it certainly makes things easier for the admins to control, but its not very healthy for the project. Kumioko (talk) 12:39, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
No, it was semi-protected. "Fully protected" means that only admins can edit the page. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 12:43, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Your right, sorry. It was still unnecessarily restrictive and long as you pointed out. Kumioko (talk) 14:24, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
While I agree that timing was excessive, I think it's not really appropriate to use such strong language as "abusing the tools" for such a minor thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:59, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify I have no problem with the admin that performed the protection, the existing climate in Wikipedia sees admins performing unnecessary blocks and protections on a daily basis. The action is a symptom of the times and not an isolated incident. So while you may think my wording to be harsh, the reality is there is no working mechanism for dealing with abusive admins. They are free to do whatever they want as long as they want until someone takes the time to perform a month long arbitration hearing...which frequently don't get resolved. According to a discussion recently on the bureaucrats noticeboard they have neither the power nor desire to be the admin police. Admins deal with editor abuses but who deals with admin abuse? No one! So bearing the scope of the problem in mind my comment was appropriate, because it is not a "minor problem" sitewide. Kumioko (talk) 17:31, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Transparency of the arbcom

Jimbo, I'd like to ask you to state your opinion on the transparency of the arbcom's proceedings. I understand that there are some cases, which cannot be discussed on public forums, but there are only few of these. Most cases could and should be discussed here on Wikipedia, and a person who's being discussed should have a full right to take a part in the discussions concerning him, of course as long as he acts within policies. I don't even say that doing otherwise looks more like closed tribunals, and looks like the Arbcom has something to hide, but besides no matter what as we all know truth will out. Sorry I asked you to state your opinion, but stated mine instead. Now I am ready to hear yours. Thanks. (talk) 03:36, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Nearly all cases should be public, and except in those rare exceptions all votes should be public. Clear reasons should be given in public. But some private discussion is perfectly ok. Certainly everyone should have the chance, in public, to face their accusers and rebut claims.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:52, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I suggest this should be the case with all committees... like AffComm, especially when there are COI issues.Thelmadatter (talk) 17:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a teenager

Possibly explains our bouts self-contradictory moodiness. :-) Happy Birthday to us!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:06, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

 :o ) Most likely. I admit it; Wikipedia is awesome. (But it has some growing up to do.) Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:37, 15 January 2014 (UTC) Add 16:09, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Lots of teenagers are awesome, too. Also crazy, of course - but so are we. Now we just have to figure out what to do when boys start coming 'round. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 15:00, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Not surprisingly I don't share the enthusiasm of some here. Wikipedia is like a child. It used to be fun to be around and enjoyable to associate with. Now that its reached its teen years its demanding, petulant and frustrating. A couple more years of the current environment and the police will be bringing it home for shoplifting and underage drinking. :-) Kumioko (talk) 16:12, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The teenage years are absolutely critical in terms of the development of any mature adult, shoplifting and underage drinking at this time would have long term repercussions♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 17:04, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm sure we'll be forgiven for the odd beer or nicked lolly. Seriously impacting someone's health by allowing any moron to live-edit our medical articles, maybe not. Fingers crossed. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 18:40, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
What if we put in a feature that lets you only see stuff that's been unchanged for, say, 2 weeks? If a user selects that setting, it can show the much-less-likely-to-be-vandalism stuff, keeping people who consult this for medical advice. Should this maybe be taken to the Village Pump? Supernerd11 (talk) 18:54, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I imagine the community's response would be somewhere between "You're not the boss of me" and "You're not my real Dad". UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 19:01, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Nice idea, but instead of not showing it (which would badly break the grammar) just have a faint yellow highlight for text that has been changed recently (and ideally, only if it was in a different version for some time). Note that this requires a better diff than the one we get in the present History, and that is long overdue. The one we have isn't exactly PSI-BLAST! Wnt (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikimones NE Ent 03:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Should Wikipedia become a repository for celebrity mugshots?

Per discussion at Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2014 January 8#File:Jimihendrix1969mug.jpg, it would seem that there is a building consensus that Wikipedia is an appropriate place to store and display celebrity mugshots. I was on the fence, then decided that, per WMF guidelines, a copyrighted work that is not the subject of sourced critical commentary in the article should not be used. Any thoughts? GabeMc (talk|contribs) 20:55, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Inclusion of one such image for specific reasons does not create broad consensus for general inclusion of such images. There are no BLP concerns, the image is neutral and by no means derogatory, and there was testimony at his trial about his attire, as reported by Toronto newspapers at the time and in books later. His defense attorney made that point while cross examining a prosecution witness. I would be happy to add referenced content to the article about the testimony at the trial. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:06, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
What Toronto newpapers at the time discussed his attire? I'm not aware of any books that discuss his attire on May 3, 1969. Which books are you talking about? GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:09, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
(ec)Several points: "Mug shots" are per se "primary sources" unless they have been reproduced in reliable secondary sources, and deemed to be specifically relevant to the person involved, whether dead or alive. They are not "neutral" as a rule -- they generally show a disheveled person holding a police department identification card. And if the person is at some point deemed "not guilty" the mugshots remain -- there are cases currently about "private companies" placing photos online and charging people to have them removed -- and such has been called extortion by some. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Collect, this mugshot appears in a respected biography of Hendrix by Roby, and has also been used in several periodical articles about his arrest and trial. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Globe and Mail, December 9, 1969. Archived copy is in The Torontoist source. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:15, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
So, just the one, and I'm still not seeing where they discuss his attire on May 3. They discuss his attire on subsequent court dates, but I'm not seeing any description of what Hendrix wore the day of the arrest. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:19, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Towards the end of the article, where cross examination of the customs agent is discussed. I am away from home and don't have access to the other sources right now. Collect, he looks great in the mugshot. There is nothing humiliating about the image. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:29, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
All I see is: "Wilson agreed with the defense lawyer that Hendrix had been a conspicuous sight at the airport, drawing attention to himself with his loud clothing." Which is directly contradicted by 'all eyewitness accounts, which assert that they had all been warned ahead of time that a bust was eminent. If Mitchell and Redding both say they were warned before landing in Toronto, then how was Hendrix's attire that day a factor? They planned to search him regardless of what he was wearing. Perhaps the customs agent was lying to cover the fact that they searched him without due cause. Also, "Wilson agreed with the defense lawyer", sounds like he was led by the defense to make a statement about Hendrix's appearance, i.e. "Did you notice Mr. Hendrix at the airport and was he wearing 'loud' clothing? GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:37, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The defense argument was that if he was actually trying to smuggle heroin, that he wouldn't have dressed in that "mod clothing" and been loud in the airport, and that if he was a heroin addict, he would have had needle marks on his arms. Those points buttressed the central claim that the drugs were planted. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:56, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Right, but unless I have completely misunderstood your FFD keep rationale, you think that how Hendrix was dressed that day (May 3) was a significant factor in his being searched and arrested, but I have provided multiple sources that confirm that the Experience knew about a planned bust the day before travelling to Toronto, when Hendrix was presumably wearing different clothes. My above point is that the Hendrix defense team wanted to build a case that he was not intentionally smuggling drugs because he would have dressed differently if he was, so they asked (read led) the customs agent if he thought Hendrix was "a conspicuous sight at the airport, drawing attention to himself with his loud clothing", he agreed with the defense, which implies that the point was already made, by the defense, not the customs agent. Hendrix's attire was absolutely not a factor in the pre-planned search that revealed he had drugs in his bag. In no way will a reader lose comprehension if this disparaging image is deleted.GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:11, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

The image is not disparaging, in my judgment. The Rolling Stone reported right after the arrest that his attire may have been a factor in the search. I don't think so but a source back then did. The attire was portrayed differently in the trial, but the attire was discussed by reliable sources after the arrest, and also after the trial seven months later. As I have read more, my understanding has deepened. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:28, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Cullen328, if you are talking about the May 31, 1969, Rolling Stone piece by Ritchie Yorke and Ben Fong-Torres, then I don't know what you are taking about, because they do not discuss Hendrix's appearance on May 3, 1969. They mention his attire at the May 5 arraignment hearing; I think you are confusing multiple general points about his style. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:46, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I believe that the paragraph beginning "The populace of Toronto . . ." is referring to his appearance and demeanor at the airport. I concede that the description of his dress at the court hearing is far more specific, presumably because one of the reporters was there. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:52, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Cullen328, nope. That's a 1) vague generalization about his appearance, and 2) a speculation by the writers; they are not in any way suggesting that its a formal report of his appearance on the day of the arrest. As far as I can tell, you havn't produced a single source that discussed his appearance on the day of the arrest. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I have never argued that he was searched because of his attire, but rather I pointed out than the Rolling Stone discussed that possibility in its initial coverage of the arrest, an article that anticipated much of the successful defense strategy many months later. His attire at the time of his arrest was the subject of testimony at the trial. The successful defense theory was not that he was searched because of his attire, but rather that his attire and demeanor at the airport was inconsistent with someone trying to smuggle heroin surreptitiously, as was the absence of needle marks on his arms and the lack of drug paraphernalia in his luggage.
On the matter of other mugshots and Wikipedia becoming a "repository, it is you GabeMc who is the one who uploaded a mugshot of a BLP today, and are proposing uploading many more. I have been discussing only one specific mugshot and will gladly accept community consensus (or even the intervention of the WMF) regarding this specific image. Let's not get pointy here please. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Cullen328, even if Hendrix's appearance on the day of the arrest was the subject of sourced critical commentary by reliable sources, and I still have not seen any proof that it was, the threshold for inclusion requires that the subject of sourced critical commentary is the actual work. From the upload Wizard: "The discussion is about the photograph or painting as such, as a creative work, not just about the thing or person it shows." (original emphasis) So even if you find sources that discuss his appearance on May 3, that still would not cover the requirement that the actual image be the subject of the discussion. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 18:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
The closing administrator will decide, based on the strength of the arguments pro and con, and I will not contest that. I find it incongruous that screen shots from copyrighted video games are routinely added to articles with no independent commentary about those specific images required. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Two wrongs do not make a right. If the writers of video game articles are uploading non-free images then that's an issue that should be dealt with in much the same way we are dealing with this non-free image that is not the subject of any critical commentary in the Wikipedia article or the high-quality reliable secondary sources. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
As a result of this debate, coverage of Hendrix's arrest and trial in the article is vastly better, and the impact of those events on his career is shown far more clearly. These debates improve the encyclopedia. As for "wrong", policy states that "Iconic and historical images which are not subject of commentary themselves but significantly aid in illustrating historical events may be used judiciously", doesn't it? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm just posting to say that I don't have strong opinions about the general case. I don't think we should be a "repository for celebrity mugshots" - but I don't think anyone is proposing that. In specific cases, there is no doubt that mugshots can be used in ways that do raise ethical (BLP) concerns. As I was thinking about this issue, I thought of the famous mugshot of Bill Gates and wondered if we had it in that article. I was preparing to argue that if we do, that's probably a problem because in the context of his entire career it is just an amusing curiosity. It would be tabloid-y to include such a silly detail. The arrest was for a minor traffic violation and had no impact on his further career, which has been long and incredibly noteworthy. But then I went to the article, saw the mugshot, and saw the text - which describes a humorous tv commercial he was in: "As Gates is buying the shoes, he holds up his discount card, which uses a slightly altered version of his own mugshot of his arrest in New Mexico in 1977 for a traffic violation."
Ok, then. Well one might argue that the commercial with Seinfeld wasn't significant enough to warrant a whole paragraph, and that's possibly interesting, but we aren't in the realm of a BLP issue anymore. Gates himself apparently views the image with some bemusement.
So that's the kind of case-by-case reasoning I'd have to go through for any given shot. I can imagine there must be many quite boring business executives who got arrested in their youths for minor traffic offenses and those photos have not been used in commercials and may not ever have even been published in any magazine or newspaper in such a way as to make them notable. And those may someday soon show up on some kind of celebrity mugshot website. If there were one of me, for example, I think it would be silly to include it. (Out of respect for Mr. 2001's time, I'll note that I've never been arrested, so there's no point in wasting your time on public records searches!)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Should the Wikimedia Foundation obtain classified documents about global surveillance and actively disclose them?

Over the past few months, numerous media outlets around the world have obtained and released some of the 1.7 million documents leaked by Edward Snowden. We now know that there is a global surveillance network spanning numerous countries, and involving countless commercial firms aiding government surveillance on entire populations across national borders.

A significant portion of Snowden's documents are of a highly encyclopedic nature, and that is why I believe we should play an active role in disseminating such information to the world.

How far does the Wikipedia community agree with me? To what extent do you, Jimmy, agree that the Wikimedia Foundation should contact the journalists (e.g. Glenn Greenwald) with access to the documents and obtain some of them? We could start by releasing details that directly implicate Wikipedia, such as this particular NSA slide that explicitly includes Wikipedia as a surveillance target.

If I may quote from the vision statement of the Wikimedia Foundation:

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.

This proposal is not about political activism. It's about spreading encyclopedic knowledge that our readers should know. -A1candidate (talk) 12:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)


The premise is weird. You're suggesting Greenwald is setting on a vast trove of classified documents he hasn't released yet, and all he needs for that to happen is some organization to graciously walk up to him and say that they'll put them on the web for him? I think he can still get stuff on the web, though I feel like there's the appearance that the world's last reporter has been paid to shut up. And once these documents are on the web, anywhere, they're some of the few things we can freely copy, as US Federal work, ironically enough! What do we have to offer here? Wnt (talk) 13:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Documents prepared for the U.S. Federal Government might still be copyrighted to a contractor corporation, just as public-domain photos/videos must be filmed by a U.S. Govt employee while on duty or else have the copyright release granted by contractor personnel. Of course, if the document is stamped "TOP SECRET" then I recommend we do not post it into Wikisource! A released secret document will be re-stamped as "de-classified" as with those Manhattan Project papers declassified in 1967. -Wikid77 01:26, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, Glenn Greenwald has acknowledged that he needs more time to correcly analyze Snowden's information since the documents are quite complex, but we could also approach other sources like The New York Times or The Guardian or The Washington Post, who are in possession of at least tens of thousands of documents. Ultimately, we're not offering anything to these media outlets. We're doing this to improve our encyclopedia.
Take a look at Lustre - a secret treaty whose existence was revealed by Snowden but whose Wikipedia article remains nothing more than a stub because the corresponding documents were not released. In contrast to the newspapers, we don't have to suppress information just because it "damages national security". We simply release anything that adds value to our encyclopedia
Or take a look at the STATEROOM surveillance program. Imagine how much this article could be improved if we had access to more documents! -A1candidate (talk) 14:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
yah, the New York Times is going to gladly hand over their winter larder of scoops set aside for slow news days, once they know Wikipedia wants them. They'll gladly turn over the expert editorial discretion of carefully "vetting" the documents down to a shadow of their substance in the name of "ethics" and future favors to the legendary discretion of our legions of volunteer editors. There may be an issue of economics here. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing Snowden and Wikileaks must desire to dribble out these kinds of releases not solely for personal advantage (I think) but perhaps also because if the media doesn't have a way to profit off the stories they're just not going to cover them. By all means, we should welcome this stuff, but ... I wouldn't hold my breath. Wnt (talk) 15:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia does not publish or host documents from others, it publishes encyclopedia articles which are (supposed to be) sourced to works published elsewhere. I suppose in theory Wikisource or Wikibooks might host such files, I'm not as clear on what their policies are. DES (talk) 14:42, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Theoretically speaking, many of the documents are published by the NSA and its foreign partner agencies. -A1candidate (talk)
  • I was going to be meeting with Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian tomorrow morning but unfortunately had to cancel, but I'm sure that will be rescheduled and I'll see him soon. I could encourage him to release (or to encourage Greenwald to release) anything that has to do with us more quickly than they might have planned. I suppose they could do a global search through the documents for relevant keywords and see what comes up. I don't think we are well equipped to get into the business of being a point of publication for original documents, though, so other than me nicely asking, I'm not sure there is much to be done here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia does not use unpublished source documents, per WP:V and WP:OR. We can use what the Guardian, New York Times, publish about the documents, but we cannot cite the original documents directly. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with A1candidate that documents distributed in classified networks can still count as published. The whole point of the Bradley Manning disclosures were that something like 500,000 people had access to SIPRNet - a lot of the obscure paywalled academic journals are more restricted than that! Publication occurs because some established editorial process looked over a document, not because anyone can download it. Wnt (talk) 16:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes we can "cite the original documents directly". WP:PRIMARY doesn't contain such ham-fisted prohibition. (It says "Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them".) Actually, as I was working on the NSA ANT catalog article, I found that the original sources were often poorly interpreted or even misinterpreted by numerous low quality secondary sources in the cornucopia of on-line journalism (which is most journalism today). We did have this kind of discussion on Jimbo's page before of "verifiability not truth" and the consensus was that we want "verifiability and truth", and if primary sources have to be used to achieve that, there's nothing in Wikipedia policies prohibiting it. Someone not using his real name (talk) 16:28, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
PRIMARY has nothing to do with the matter, we can't cite the original documents because they have not been published. How and where will the average WP reader get access to these documents per WP:Verifiability. If that is not the case then there is nothing preventing me from using my great-grandfather's personal letters as sources to edit the article on Field Marshal Jan Smuts. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe most of the documents have been published on the NSA's official intranet site. In other words, if you have access to NSANet, you could verify almost all of the documents leaked. -A1candidate (talk) 17:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Not anymore if read the article you link to. They've changed their practices so the info is much more compartmentalized now, so much fewer people have access to all of it. Someone not using his real name (talk) 19:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
This is an interesting claim - it was my reaction about what they should do from the time Bradley Manning's material first came out. I don't know if others agree with me, but I do understand the idea that you need to keep some secrets. The identity of people working with U.S. forces in Afghanistan ought to be kept in the memory of a few soldiers, or if absolutely necessary, locked in a safe in the embassy next to the emergency paper shredder. The thing is, I want secrets to be secrets. It's one thing to have even a large group of trustworthy people to not tell the Germans where they're landing on D-day -- it's something else again to have an information caste system where a substantial fraction of a percent of the population is allowed to know everything, and they know that most other countries know it, but then they tell ordinary people that they won't get a government job if they read about it at a public website in a foreign country. But I don't see where any reform is mentioned in the article, and my feeling is I'll believe it when I see it; I suspect a caste system is exactly what they want. Wnt (talk) 07:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
An obvious Wikipedia issue would be that we should only uses secondary sources (whereas Snowden docs are arguably primary ones). However, taking a document and examining all of its mentions (people, places, strategies, organisations, facilities) and then looking at secondary sources for those is another thing. I worked on a similar, pre-Snowden, crowd-sourced project looking at the US/broader Surveillance state called ProjectPM (or 'Panther Moderns' to chose the favoured phrase of currently jailed project founder Barrett Brown). There may be some role for Wikipedia in developing/expanding articles based on secondary source references to mentions in Snowden primary source documents. In other words, to provide further context, in an organized way. Two notes of warning: (1) the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is sooooo broad that even linking to 'stolen' documents can be viewed as a crime, and, (2) Julian Assange originally set up (& named) WikiLeaks, with the intention that it would be a crowd-sourced wiki that wrote articles on leaked documents, and he didn't get enough interest, so it morphed into a publishing platform (at least initially) aligned to mainstream media outlets. In any case, worthwhile discussion to be had on the various issues. AnonNep (talk) 13:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Editors who support active disclosure of Snowden's documents
  • Support as nom -A1candidate (talk) 12:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia is not censored. Admiral Caius (talk) 16:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I agree that this is "selling the bear's skin before we have it" (great phrase!) and it's not going to happen. However, there is still a chance that someone involved with Snowden or Wikileaks would want to upload a document to Commons or publish an interview on Wikinews. We don't actually have a policy against this; despite much bluster to the contrary, it's not illegal for members of the public to retain such documents released to them. We may not be the New York Times, but the principle behind the Pentagon Papers still stands, even if there are some who might genuinely attempt to attack today's generation of journalists. Should that generation turn out to be some Commons admins who don't delete something the moment they start receiving threats, that would seem well matched to this generation - and they will need us to stand behind them. Wnt (talk) 05:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia is not Wikileaks. doktorb wordsdeeds 14:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment- While Wikileaks dumps everything, we're only interested in information that is of encyclopedic value. -A1candidate (talk) 15:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose' Wikipedia is not the place for original reporting, and the organizations who are doing it seem to be doing a good job. I am happy to inquire as to whether they have anything directly relevant to us that they'd like to publish sooner.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose' I believe these documents would fall under primary sources anyway.Thelmadatter (talk) 16:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Pointless. I seriously doubt Snowden or any of his press contacts will turn over documents in mass to some Wikipedian given that Snowden wants a measured, responsible release; quoting from [17]:

But Snowden also understood that giving the documents to WikiLeaks, or simply posting them himself, had drawbacks. "I don't desire to enable the Bradley Manning argument that these were released recklessly and unreviewed," Snowden later said. "I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."

So this poll is a waste of time. You're selling the bear's skin before you have it, as the saying goes. Someone not using his real name (talk) 16:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose. Why are we discussing this? We are not WikiLeaks. We are not here to reveal government documents. We also are not in the business of posting documents in general. That's Wikisource's job. We are here to create an encyclopedia, and should act like it. Obviously if access to these documents is legal and their content includes encyclopedic information, then I have no problem with citing them. But posting them on Wikipedia just to make some kind of political statement? (for that is what this reads as, despite A1candidate's claims otherwise) What is the point? --Jakob (talk) 16:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
The point is to use the documents to improve and expand on some of our articles such as Lustre, Stateroom, etc, which are currently nothing more than pitiful stubs despite their importance in international politics. -A1candidate (talk) 17:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not even remotely what Wikipedia is for. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Incompatible with Wikipedia's core values. The basic idea behind Wikileaks is that they get some secret data, share it with a select group of trusted journalists, and together they decide to publish that which is both newsworthy and does not endanger anyone by, for example, unmasking spies or revealing secret military capabilities. The whole idea of a select group of trusted individuals keeping secrets is against our core principles, which are to make the entire process of creating an article completely transparent. We do have some trusted individuals who are allowed access to confidential information, but those cases involve things like outing or checkuser results, not content creation. Everything about creating an article is open, with full histories of the state of the article and of the talk page discussions, and all citations, including the context, can be verified by anyone. This is incompatible with this proposal. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose and in any event object strongly to running this sort of discussion and straw poll on this particular page which seems to attract a disproportionate number self-publicists, kooks and cranks not entirely representative of our editors as a whole or, more importantly, our readership. Leaky Caldron 17:26, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose completely contrary to our purpose. I also doubt the nominator's claim that this proposal is not about "political activism". GabrielF (talk) 18:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per AndyTheGrump - the role of Wikipedia is not activism, leaking documents, fighting against international surveillance etc. etc. This isn't what we told our donors we would use their money for. Acather96 (click here to contact me) 18:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, though others have already said it better than I can by now. Snowden, Greenwald, and WikiLeaks know what they're doing, so let them do their thing and we'll do ours. Namely, creating articles about the notable released documents after people who know better than we do have ensured that they can be released safely. Novusuna talk 20:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Clearly a political venture. It wouldn't be a bad idea, however, for Jimmy Wales to use his bully pulpit as an individual to make original suggestions to help move the situation forward. Such as, for example, advocating that Snowden be allowed to live out his life in peace in Switzerland free from US government kidnapping or assassination. (I can't imagine a crueler fate for anyone with libertarian ethical values than being stuck in Putin's Russia...). Carrite (talk) 21:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - as with others above, I find this to be inconsistent with Wikipedia's mission. We are not Wikileaks. Resolute 21:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are academic organizations (George Washington University's National Security Archive, to name one) that are better-suited to handle these things...let alone more qualified. They also provide analysis of those documents. Not our business. Intothatdarkness 22:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose not encyclopedic. NE Ent 02:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose, This is not Wikileaks and in doing so would be an NPOV violation and would subject Wikipedia to a huge media storm. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 13:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Thanks for the reply. I replied back as soon as I read the the email, please, let me know via email if you receive my answer. Thank you very much again, Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 22:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I checked my e-mail and cannot locate anything. If you can, please resend!--Mark Miller (talk) 02:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Im waiting for an answer as well.Thelmadatter (talk) 15:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
These alerts are a little odd and sometimes I seem to be misdirected. For some reason I thought I had responded on my own talk page to something I was directed to. Weird, but I hope Miss Bono is well and I apologize to Jimbo for somehow getting his talk page confused here the other day. I was checking rather quickly and was a little ill (still not fully recovered). Sorry.--Mark Miller (talk) 07:42, 19 January 2014 (UTC)


Jimbo, a few days ago I asked you a question about the arbcom transparency, and he agreed with me that "everyone should have the chance, in public, to face their accusers and rebut claims". I have never had that chance, in public, to face my accusers and rebut claims. I have never had that chance in private either. When I email to the arbcom I get responses something like that: "The Arbitration Committee believes that the action taking regarding you on English Wikipedia was correct, and will not discuss the matter at all with you. Any further e-mails relating to this subject will be ignored." with no single evidence attached to clarify the reason of the arbcom belief. When I try to get my chance to rebut the accusers claim on Wiki, my posts are being ignored, getting reverted, and dynamic IPs I am using getting blocked for month. So could you please advise me how should I proceed to be able to rebut false accusations against me. I am user:mbz1. I have never harassed anybody. I have never kicked a person who was down. Thanks. (talk) 16:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

First thing to do is to stop editing for six months while banned, to at least have some hope of taking advantage of WP:STANDARDOFFER. I was under the impression, per your past communications, that you just want to walk away with dignity. The first step towards that is... walk away.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Jimbo, thanks for your comment, but my question is not answered. I asked you what should I do to be able to rebut the false accusation publicly, as you yourself stated everybody should get that chance to do. Besides
WP:STANDARDOFFER doesn't work like that. It is not like one will stop editing for 6 months and then get unblocked automatically. user willbeback did not sock, and he apologized publicly and he is still blocked. There are dozens of similar situations.
Yes, I am not going to edit Wikipedia, but I'd like you to understand that it is not my dignity that is at stake here, it is the dignity of the Wikipedia community (or rather a few dozens of users who call themselves "the Wikipedia community" ), and the dignity of the arbcom because no person should be treated as I have been treated. It might look that what I am doing I am doing only for myself, and it is a unique situation. It is not. I know many users in a similar situation. I was able to help this editor, and at least one other person who found themselves in a similar situation.
And now if for one reason or another the arbcom cannot present the valid evidences of an alleged harassment why should I wait for 6 months to get unblocked? “Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia, not to punish users” + I state I am not going to edit Wikipedia + Wikipedia:Assume good faith = unblock, right? (talk) 18:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Discussion has not reversed treatment but people understand: For years, we have tried to discuss "fairness" and "due process" in rulings here, but it has not caused a major shift in judgments. Fortunately, many people read this page, and have sympathy for "wrongful convictions" and that seems to be the best rebuttal possible where a user is understood to be wrongly accused. We have hoped to elect new ArbCom members who could shepherd improvements to the wp:AN procedures, or overturn peculiar style rules in the wp:MOS guidelines, but there are groups of entrenched people who have endless hours to thwart improvements, or delete new procedures, as if they never leave the keyboard or never see a weekend. I have concluded that WP must have term limits for admins, such as perhaps 5 years, and even term limits for users, except they might return as other usernames. Perhaps a mandatory 3-year break for 5-year admins would avoid the "lifer-admin" syndrome where we have seen the same people making most of the major tired decisions, year after year. Many people will tend to shift into other hobbies after a few years, and we often see contributions of typical users which tend to decline in months/years when people shift attention to other activities, but lifer fanaticism can lead to a "systemic bias" of subconscious (or overt) wp:OWNership of pages/rules, and so term limits, or per-article edit-limits should be imposed, on everyone not just some with topic-bans, to allow other people to make more decisions. The banned users are the pioneers of the term limits. However, already it is reassuring to post a few messages here, and notice how the people have listened, and then walk away knowing your messages were understood and have been vindicated in the minds of thoughtful people. As Plato said (in The Republic), "Those having torches will pass them on to others" and some will see the light, even as they travel past. -Wikid77 07:11, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Quoting Wikid77 saying: "there are groups of entrenched people who have endless hours to thwart improvements, or delete new procedures", this does not only apply to "general improvements of procedures" in WP's and such. There are so many articles where exactly the same is happening. Someone thinks an article's status quo is -the- ultimate state that shall remain forever and unchanged, being so fanatic about the topic that he is willing to fight for "his" (or her) version of the truth by all means and is willing to put all his time and energy into adamantly defending his prevarication of truth... Especially when it's about side or marginal topics/issues that require specialized expert knowledge and where there's a)not an amount of active users big enough to be called a "community" (often even merely 2 or 3) and b) there's zero expertise or interdisciplinary knowledge among those who shall judge the matter.-- (talk) 21:58, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, my case has absolutely nothing that requires any secrecy whatsoever. I am ready to face my accusers in public. As it stands now the only reason I am refused in my right to rebut the false accusations against me is the dishonesty and cowardness of my accusers, and the members of your arbcom.
  • Jimbo, you said: "everyone should have the chance, in public, to face their accusers and rebut claims". Jimbo, please protect your own dignity, please live up to your own words. (talk) 13:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor newsletter for January 2014

Since the last newsletter, the VisualEditor team has worked mostly minor features and fixing bugs. A few significant bugs include working around a bug in CSSJanus that was wrongly flipping images used in some templates in right-to-left (RTL) environments (bug 50910) a major bug that meant inserting any template or other transclusion failed (bug 59002), a major but quickly resolved problem due to an unannounced change in MediaWiki core, which caused VisualEditor to crash on trying to save (bug 59867). This last bugs did not appear on any Wikipedia. Additionally, significant work has been done in the background to make VisualEditor work as an independent editing system.

As of today, VisualEditor is now available as an opt-out feature to all users at 149 active Wikipedias.

  • The character inserter tool in the "Insert" menu has a very basic set of characters. The character inserter is especially important for languages that use Latin and Cyrillic alphabets with unusual characters or frequent diacritics. Your feedback on the character inserter is requested. In addition to feedback from any interested editor, the developers would particularly like to hear from anyone who speaks any of the 50+ languages listed under Phase 5 at mw:VisualEditor/Rollouts, including Breton, Mongolian, Icelandic, Welsh, Afrikaans, Macedonian, and Azerbaijani.
  • meta:Office hours on IRC have been heavily attended recently. The next one will be held this coming Wednesday, 22 January at 23:00 UTC.
  • You can now edit some of the page settings in the "options" dialog – __NOTOC__ and __FORCETOC__ as selection (forced on, forced off, or default setting; bugs 56866 and 56867) and __NOEDITSECTION__ as a checkbox (bug 57166).
  • The automated browser tests were adjusted to speed them up and bind more correctly to list items in lists, and updated to a newer version of their ruby dependencies. You can monitor the automated browser tests' results (triggered every twelve hours) live on the server.
  • Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide was updated recently to show some new and upcoming features.

Looking ahead: The character formatting menu on the toolbar will get a drop-down indicator next Thursday. The reference and media items will be the first two listed in the Insert menu. The help menu will get a page listing the keyboard shortcuts. Looking further out, image handling will be improved, including support for alignment (left, right, and center) and better control over image size (including default and upright sizes). The developers are also working on support for editing redirects and image galleries.

Subscriptions to this newsletter are managed at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter. Please add or remove your name to change your subscription settings. If you have questions or suggestions for future improvements, or if you encounter problems, please let everyone know by posting a note at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback. Thank you! Whatamidoing (WMF) 20:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


You have mail, when you have a moment. Writ Keeper  21:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Banned paid advocacy editor using sockpuppets to influence discussions

User:I'm not that crazy and a series of IP addresses registered have been blocked as socks of banned user Thekohser/MyWikiBiz [18]. The user used the sockpuppets to enter into discussions concerning paid advocacy editing, including opposing proposals [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]. MyWikiBiz was run by Gregory Kohs as an outfit for paid advocacy editing on Wikipedia, but was subsequently barred from editing [25]. It is not clear if anyone else was involved in this activity. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC) I changed this post to avoid any misunderstanding. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:30, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I somewhat doubt that Comcast has any idea that he has been doing as such. Though I do find it amusing that Wikipediocracy in their outing efforts have often criticized people who edited from a workplace and made suggestions of informing their workplace about such non-work activity. Other than one situation, I do not think it was ever actually done though. I don't believe such action, however, is appropriate in any situation less than actual found law-breaking, so I hope you aren't suggesting Comcast is to be informed in your comment here. However, I do enjoy the irony of such criticism on Wikipediocracy and then it turns out that Kohser is someone that does the same as those being criticized there. SilverserenC 00:17, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Much as people are amused when us Wikipedia editors are similarly hypocritical, I'm sure. Wikipediocracy, like Wikipedia, isn't a single voice; it hosts many different users with many different opinions and goals. To think of them as a monolithic entity with a single set of principles would be a mistake. And credit where credit is due: I'm not as who should say an avid reader of Wikipediocracy, but I do browse it from time to time, and from what little I've seen, Kohs himself seems to be pretty consistent in this regard, whatever other issues one may have with him. I haven't seen any hypocrisy from him about this, though I'm sure people will be quick to provide counterexamples. Writ Keeper  00:30, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
(ec) I'm sure others can, but i'm not going to waste the time to. My comment was only to express some amusement at the revelation and to also suggest that, well, nothing to needs to be done about it at this point. I am firmly against any notification of Comcast, I do not believe forms of blackmail or job threatening are appropriate in any case. Not that you made such a suggestion, Athethnekos, i'm just making my opinion known on the subject. P.S. I don't think I should be commenting while watching Sherlock, it makes my sentences rather stilted in tone. I was seriously supporting the possibility of using imperilment rather than threatening there for a moment. SilverserenC 00:46, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, there is no evidence that this involved any workplace. To clarify the last statement: There is no evidence that anyone else at Comcast Business—and, in turn, the corporation itself—is implicated in anything disreputable. That being said, this user had a keen interest in the Wikipedia article Comcast Business, including advertising a list of clients [26], and the article's development at the Reward Board [27].--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 00:46, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Questions, Atethnekos. Questions.
  • "Comcast Business network resources were used for this purpose" but "there is no evidence that this involved any workplace". Well, which is it? Make your mind up.
  • How about you? Does your employer know about your Wikipedia editing habits? I mean, you do make a lot of edits during working hours. What kind of network resources did you use during the course of your investigations?
  • How do you justify your comments here when DoRD, a checkuser, declined your recent sockpuppet investigation, informing you that the Privacy policy prevents us from publicly linking named accounts to IP addresses?
Scott talk 18:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Okay, that's right; so perhaps there is evidence that it involved a workplace in some insignificant way (i.e., Comcast Business supplied the internet access, and they have a workplace), but what I mean to say is that there is no evidence that any of the relevant activity mentioned took place at a workplace.
I'm not sure of the relevance of that quote to my reporting here the results of the SPI, since what DoRD is talking about it is the use of checkuser, not the otherwise normal course of an SPI. Anyway, justification is that this page was a major centre for this sockpuppeting, and reporting the results of the SPI here helps affected people here be aware of what happened, not only so that they can have an improved understanding of the context of discussions that already happened, but also so that they can be more readied for any further activity. As can been seen in the archive for this case (Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Thekohser/Archive), this has been an ongoing issue, so it's not likely to stop now. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:15, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The phrase "using sockpuppets to influence discussions" implies that this person took part in discussions in multiple guises in order to drum up support/consensus for a particular point-of-view, but the diffs provided do not seem to support this assertion. Tarc (talk) 00:58, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's right, that's not my assertion. Assertions include: These accounts were sockpuppets. These accounts were used by the user to influence discussions. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 01:19, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Because of WP's anonymous editing policy, it's fairly common for banned or blocked editors to continue to participate with new accounts or without using a registered account. Although this fact seems to quickly screw a small percentage of WP admins to the ceiling, WP as a whole appears to continue to lurch ahead with minimal damage in spite of it. Cla68 (talk) 01:34, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
However, the possible POV editing is of actual concern. SilverserenC 02:44, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I'll have to strengthen my assertion: The user used both the account User:I'm not that crazy and the IP 2001:558:1400:10:AC79:7A9:FAF6:9668 in order to influence a discussion on this page about Jimbo's brightline-rule, while pretending that they were two different people [28] and [29]; and did this again for another such discussion here [30] and [31]. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:34, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Curious, should we even be associating real names with their employers let alone implying what they are doing is against their employer's internet acceptable use policy? Irrespective of this case, what you are telling any IP is that you are willing to out them to their employer just because you can. I guess if you don't like an 'encyclopedia anyone may edit' then the chilling effect would be most welcome. Saffron Blaze (talk) 02:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm saying that I'm willing to do that? Where did I say that? To be clear, I'm not willing to do that. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:01, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The line "It is not clear if anyone at Comcast Business—other than Kohs himself—is aware that Comcast Business network resources were used for this purpose" was a very strong insinuation that you would do just that. Tarc (talk) 17:53, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
No, I mean no such insinuation. That statement rightly makes clear that there is no evidence that Comcast Business (despite being mentioned) has any significant involvement with this activity. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:15, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
You're engaging in a bit of backpedaling and revisionism here, as that really has nothing to do with what I quoted. You were commenting on whether or not Comcast is/was aware of what once of its employees was doing on company time. Tarc (talk) 22:44, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Every editor or admin that I have challenged for doing this has claimed that it isn't outing to link an IP to his/her employer since it so easy to do. Yet, they only do this when they are annoyed at the IP and trying to intimidate or otherwise shut them up. Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:08, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I make no claim that anything took place on company time, even in my statement that you quoted. Yes, I regret making the statement because obviously it was understood not in the way I meant it, and for that I do mean to backpedal and revise. Yes, there is a connection here to Comcast Business in this activity (in terms of content of edits, and in the allocation of IPs, and the employment of Kohs who has and continues to run MyWikiBiz), but none of that should be taken as implying usage of company time. I'm sorry to anyone negatively affected by my misleading remarks; my only intention was to report on the results of the SPI. I'll try to keep it simpler in the future so that I don't mislead. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
@Atethnekos. You're being disingenuous, at a minimum. I will say here what I say over at Wikipediocracy when this sort of nudge-nudge-wink-wink real life retaliatory crap happens. It shouldn't. Narcs suck. People that try to win debates of principle or to win the "World of Wikipedia Warcraft" by real life retaliation against their opponents' jobs not only are out of line, they have no place here. I suggest you go back and do some redacting. It's needed. You should be ashamed that you ever went there. Carrite (talk) 03:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I hope you tell them off for it on Wikipediocracy every single time as well, since someone over there "goes there" at least every other week. SilverserenC 07:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It's less frequent than you intimate (generally taking the form of posting a home address and/or a phone number), and yes I do squeal every time I see it. Carrite (talk) 20:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Kohs is certainly effective in demonstrating how ethically challenged paid-POV editors tend to be. Resolute 03:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Resolute, we have a WP editor here outing an IP address and you attempt to insult the IP, who you apparently perceive to be an "enemy of the people" instead of correcting the WP editor who is violating our policies. This is as classic a passive-aggressive WP response as I've ever seen. Please keep it up! Cla68 (talk) 23:35, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh, come off it, Cla. Unless you're trying to say that all sockpuppet investigations are outings, which is ridiculous, you have no point at all here. You're just trying to defend Kohs for his unethical behavior because you're "friends" with him now. Though I suppose if you were an actual friend, you would try to get him to own up to his behavior, even though we all know that's never going to happen. SilverserenC 02:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Cla68, you listed Comcast Business on the reward board, with a $75 cash reward for creation of the article.[32]. Did you dig into your own funds to offer this reward, and if not, if it was Comcast who was paying you and/or is behind that payment, why aren't you disclosing that here? I notice that User:I'mnothtatcrazy chimed in on the Reward Board concerning that article, and has been very active and aggressive on it since. I have no idea whether he is connected to that article, paid or unpaid, but I have to tell you that I think this whole situation illustrates how pernicious it is to have paid editing, especially without any disclosure requirement. In this case we have a discussion of whether or not Comcast Business was involved with a particular editor. You chime in aggressively, but don't bother to tell us that you offered $75 for anyone willing to create an article on that very business. Nor are you required to, because our COI guidelines are a joke. Because of those policies, it's impossible to tell who's paid to edit and who isn't, which gums up the works and creates a healthy feeling of skepticism as well as a "why am I not on the gravy train" feeling that I think is perfectly natural. This is really a corrupting influence on Wikipedia. Coretheapple (talk) 19:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, if you wanna talk about the paid editing gravy train, may I point you to the Jan. 8 edition of Wikipedia Signpost, which notes: "The [Wikimedia] Foundation uses oDesk to pay its contractors and most of its non-US workforce; the screenshot clearly shows that [Sarah] Stierch's account had previously been credited for more than a thousand hours of work for a previous WMF position—a community fellowship—as far back as January 2012." So, you see, some paid editing through oDesk is fine and some is not, as the unfortunate Ms. Stierch learned when she took a few hundred dollars of private money instead of a five-figure amount from the Wikimedia Foundation. So much for the black-and-white worldview of this topic... Carrite (talk) 20:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It is black and white, and if you think that the Foundation's behavior on this, one way or another, makes it less black and white then you have another think coming. If the Foundation is being hypocritical on this issue, then that just magnifies it, it does not justify it. What you seem to be saying is that if the fire department employs arsonists, why bother fighting arson and why bother fighting fires? Coretheapple (talk) 22:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
What I'm saying is don't look to WMF for guidance here, they are hypocrites. We all agree — we all agree, we all agree — that POV editing is not only to be discouraged, but that it is to be ripped out at the roots. The question is how to do this. Whack-a-Mole just drives it underground. We need to regularize and supervise the inevitable paid editors. You might be interested in a video I saw last night, WIKIPEDIA WEEKLY 108. Jump in about 33 minutes and watch for half an hour. You'll find it stimulating. Carrite (talk) 22:33, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll try to get around to that. I agree with you only to the extent that the WMF is a big ball of nothing when it comes to this issue. I part company with you on the "regularize and supervise" stuff, which is akin to "regularizing and supervising" pickpockets just because they are "inevitable." Coretheapple (talk) 22:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I didn't see much of anything new in the Wikipedia Weekly video. However, I was struck by the youth of the people involved. It occurred to me that the situation is even worse than I thought: a powerful website administered by people who are too young, don't have the experience with these things, to appreciate the dangers of COI and the machinations of the PR industry. They keep on saying how "complicated" it all is, but it's really not complicated: they just don't understand it. Coretheapple (talk) 14:35, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
What you say should be highlighted. I was astonished too. What are the ramifications on decision-making with limited worldly experience, I wonder. petrarchan47tc 02:07, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Obviously I spoke incorrectly. To be clear: There is no evidence of any workplace impropriety. I only wished to report the results of the SPI here. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Another case

I'm glad Atethnekos helped clear this up. I had thought it pretty obvious that Mr. 2001 was a banned editor, but thought that perhaps Jimbo didn't mind him posting here -so that was up to him to take action (correct me if I'm wrong Jimbo). But the status of User:I'm not that crazy was not that clear and the idea of "them" editing other pages and discussions is completely disgusting.

Cla66 above mentioned something about banned or blocked users having the right to edit as anons (he seemed to approve). I'm not clear about this at all. Does this mean that B&B editors are allowed to sockpuppet? What would we do if we really wanted to ban somebody? Wouldn't a practice like this negate the entire meaning of our rules on banning and sockpuppeting?

In any case I've run into something similar recently [33] where a blocked editor says he will edit as an anon AGAIN unless somebody takes the actions he demands.

He was then blocked from his talk page, and soon unblocked by the same admin [34] on condition that he only calmly edit as an anon. Does this make sense?

I'm looking for general principles here, not comments on the individuals involved. If, after understanding the gps, I decide to do something about this individual case, I'll then probably take it to ANI and/or SPI. I'll notify the admin involved. Should I also notify the anon? Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Smallbones, here's my advise to you: don't look at the contributors look at the contributions: delete bad edits, let good ones to stay. Doing otherwise is simply absurd. I am not a friend of russavia, but if he wants to point out copy violations on his talk page, what's the problem? (talk) 02:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
There was a lengthy period quite recently where the majority of new sections created on this talkpage were obviously created either by one of three banned editors (let's call them G, M, and C), or by an editor who is not banned but got his former account globally locked deliberately, constantly insists he's left, but still edits alternately as an IP and a registered editor in a way that is potentially misleading. Edits here by actual unregistered editors (i.e. people who do not have any past or present account, banned or unbanned) are really rather few and far between. That's a ridiculous situation, and although a 7-day semi-protection is regarded as excessive, nor is it unreasonable for a number of admins to have tried to do something about that ridiculous situation. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Demiurge1000, it is you and others like you who create that "ridiculous situation" at least partly. As I told you quite a few times before, you and others like you should learn to let people go. By the way I forgot to complement you on your great knowledge of the Wikipedia community. I mean the last time when you first trolled my comments here, and then took my case to the drama board without my knowledge and my agreement, but of course you knew what you were doing, you know the Wikipedia community very well. (talk) 02:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • What a great observation, but honestly if I were you, I would have been more concerned that a human being is being treated as I am, than looking for socks.First behave as a human, and second behave as a human, and third behave as a human and only fourth as a Wikipedian. (talk) 13:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm just impressed with the 'guilty until proven innocent' attitude. You post diffs, so it looks 'professional' - but all you're saying is that a person using a Comcast IP said something, and then another comcast IP said something, thus they're a sock? FFS, you know policy; SPI or it didn't happen.
I thought personal attacks were frowned upon? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Naked woman in Niqāb as an illustration of adequate muslim dress

There is an article on Russian Wikinews on «How a muslim woman should dress in public» (translation). The picture in the lead section implies that they may go naked, provided that they wear niqāb (and site admins reverted my attempt to remove the picture). May I ask for your opinion: can this be an acceptable behavior on Wikimedia sites? --Grebenkov (talk) 13:27, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

It is ludicrous and wrong, and likely racist. Nothing can justify it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:01, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
The general stance upon the non-muslimic world is that girls should show parts of their body (like the face) who are judged to be as immodest as a bare breast. Yet, on Wikipedia, there's given the impression that everything execpt showing the face would be fine. This is not normal!-- (talk) 03:41, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Я напишу по русски, ибо уверен, что добровольцы охотно вам переведут. Пожалуй, я бы дал такую же оценку (смотри предыдущее сообщение) вашим обвинениям в расизме участника, о котором вы ничего толком не знаете. Я бы дал его потому, что мне этот участник известен давно. Ну а автору топика обратится к вам посоветовал я, но он откровенно слукавил, на форуме Википедии поднимался вопрос о допустимости ссылок на Викиновости и именно с этим вопросом я его к вам и отправил. Однако он похоже струсил и сжал обсуждение до формата допустимости иллюстрации. Если вы считаете, что ссылок из Википедии на Викиновости быть не должно, то скажите это. Или скажите что-то прямо противоположное. В этом вопросе давно пора поставить точку, уже откровенно надоело, что примерно раз в полгода форумные троли начинают подобные обсуждения. скажите уже наконец своё окончательное слово и мы его зафиксируем в правилах Викиновостей и Википедии. Заранее признателен. --Schekinov Alexey Victorovich (talk) 17:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Google translate, which is clearly broken in many respects: I write in Russian, because I am sure that you are willing volunteers translate . Perhaps I would have given the same evaluation (see previous post ) your accusations of racism party , which you did not really know . I would give it , because I have long known this party . Well, the author topic will appeal to you advised me, but he frankly slukavil Wikipedia forum raised the issue of the admissibility of references to Wikinews to this issue I had and sent to you . However, he chickened out and squeezed like the discussion to illustrate the format of admissibility . If you think that the links from Wikipedia to Wikinews should not be, then say it . Or say something quite the opposite . In this regard, it is high time to put an end already frankly fed up about once every six months forumnye Trolls begin such discussions . has finally tell his final word and we will fix the rules Wikinews and Wikipedia . Advance grateful . - Schekinov Alexey Victorovich (talk) 17:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Alexey asked me to translate his speech, so I'll make a try. "I'll write in Russian because I am sure that volunteers will help with translation. Perhaps I would have the same assessment (see previous message) to your accusation that a person you know nothing about is a racist. I would give it because I know that person for a long time. As for the user who started the thread, it is me who advise him to write you but he is somewhat cunning. The discussion at the Russian Wikipedia was about admissibility of the links to Wikinews, and this was the question I suggested him to ask you. However he, seemingly, quailed and shrink the discussion to the question of acceptability of the image. If you think that there must not be links from the Wikipedia to the Wikinews, say this. Or state something opposite. It's time to close this question, I really fed up with forum trolls starting this kind of discussions. Tell your final word and we'll fixate it in Wikinews and Wikipedia rules. Thank you in advance." Artem Korzhimanov (talk) 06:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
После того как я назвал вандалом человека, который массово убирал ссылки на Викиновости из Википедии без консенсуса Викисообщества меня заблокировал администратор русской Википедии David.s.kats. Я не желаю работать под "патронажем" таких персоналий и посему покидаю Википедию. Единственным условием моего возвращения может быть снятие флага с этого человека, который позорит админкорпус руВики. Я отдал много сил Википедии и давно уже являюсь человеком Викизависимым. Чтож, есть повод с этим покончить, есть немало более комфортных для созидания мест. Спасибо, Джимми за всё что вы сделали и делаете. Удачи вам в ваших дальнейших делах. С уважением, Алексей. --Schekinov Alexey Victorovich (talk) 21:27, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
English mutation: "After I called the vandal the man who cleaned the mass of links to [Russian] Wikinews Wikipedia without consensus [of] Wiki community, administrator has blocked me [by] Russian Wikipedia David.s.kats. I do not want to work under the "patronage" of personalities and therefore leaving Wikipedia. The only condition for my return may be the removal of the flag from the man who dishonors adminkorpus ruViki [ruwiki]. I put a lot of effort and Wikipedia has long been a man Vicky [wiki-]dependent. Well, there is reason to do away with it, there are a lot more comfortable for the building sites. Thanks, Jimmy for all that you have done and are doing. Good luck in your future business. Sincerely, Alex." --21:27, 14 January 2014 (Google Mutation from me. -Wikid77 07:34, 15 January 2014 (UTC))

The image is listed at MediaWiki:Bad image list. Shouldn't that make its use on Russian wikinews impossible? Or are Russian projects insulated from it? Formerip (talk) 22:53, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

It was uploaded directly onto ru.wikipedia and the uploader cited in the copyright and that bad image list is anyway en.wikipedia specific. ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 23:00, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • How is that even in scope for Commons? Wait, don't ask... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:44, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Indeed, asking that question and expecting a serious answer from commons is a pretty doomed approach. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:03, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
      • I beg your pardon? I seriously hope you were joking and if not, then this is totally unacceptable behaviour of a board member/founder. Trijnsteltalk 18:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
        • You wouldn't be the first person to miss seeing a smiley, I've made that mistake myself. There was a smiley at the end of Jimbo's post to which you're replying. If that's not enough, you should presumably start an RfC/U :-) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Could be wrong, but I don't believe that Jimbo was joking at all; the smiley was more of a "we all know what we're talking about here" rather than lol just kidding" thing. Commons is an embarrassment to the rest of the Wikimedia projects. From refusing to deal with a sexual predator on their own to fighting to retain that appalling Pricasso-in-action video, they are corrupt from top to bottom. Tarc (talk) 20:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
          • Thank you very much for the compliments. :-) (did you notice the smiley? I'm not sarcastic at all) +I would appreciate an answer of Jimmy. Trijnsteltalk 21:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
        • I read that as Mr Wales smiling while he slapped Commoners in the face again. Saffron Blaze (talk) 20:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
          • Those pesky commoners need a slap sometimes! :-) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:02, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
            • Hard to respect a leader of an organization that prefers to perpetuate the stereotype that Commoners are all deviants than address the specifics. Saffron Blaze (talk) 05:15, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
              • Indeed, but that's not what he said. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:08, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                • Not only is it not what I said, it is not even remotely close to what I believe. I do believe that there are certain commoners who, when presented with any comment of any kind about commons which isn't positive, will respond by making up out of thin air an allegation that was not said, in an attempt to spread the idea that only people who are not worthy of respect (because they hold such ridiculous ideas such as that "Commons are all deviants". And Tarc is right about the meaning of the smile - it means "we all know what we are talking about here" and Saffron Blaze has courteously stepped in to provide yet another example of why and how for so many Commoners, rational discussion of the problems of Commons has become a waste of time for the rest of us. If you aren't ready to listen, if you hear in every concern "Commoners are deviants" then there isn't a lot of point in trying to talk to you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                    • I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a way to say this in the nicest and most thoughtful way, but I'm afraid you've been the role model for that sort of behavior over the years, Jimbo. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 23:46, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                  • Thanks for the explanation; otherwise I too have to disagree with you. Please note that Commons is not the old Commons. The days Commons was hijacked by a closed group of people who always shout "Commons is not censored" had gone. There are so many fresh bloods there who know how to keep the community in a positive direction. Jee 16:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                    • Commons will gain quite a bit of credibility when it figures out how to rid itself of one problematic bureaucrat who happens to also be a troll. Until then, it's pretty much the WMF's version of the Wikipedia Review's Tar Pit. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 23:46, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                      • That bureaucrat is not a bureaucrat anymore. Trijnsteltalk 00:46, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
                  • I won't thank you for the explanation given it looks to demonize a Commoner that is trying to be helpful. It is hurtful when every chance you get you paint Commons as being broken. You frequently make snide comments, and I could provide numerous diffs, where you tar the lot with a wide brush, as you did here. Perhaps it is not what you mean, but it isn't unreasonable that many on Commons are perceiving it that way. I am simply asking for you to address the specifics, or the person, not the whole community. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                  • If Commons is so horrible Jimbo then why don't you do something about it? Stop acting like a lowly, regular contributor. You are not. That you got the Foundation to change their policy statement on living people when you felt personally slighted is a pretty good indicator that you are more than capable of getting things done when you are sufficiently motivated. Maybe you will take action that will not be popular or may even be abusive, but you bitching and moaning like you are powerless to do anything is far more annoying.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:14, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
                  • You claim that it's useless to begin a serious discussion with Commons users and admins, in fact, it's even "a waste of time for the rest of us" according to you. And you also claim that we apparantly don't want to listen to concerns. Well, first of all, that's not true. I know lots of admins and users who are always willing to help, to listen to complaints, and to spend their free time to make Commons better. They are all volunteers, as you know. Besides, I haven't read any serious concern in any of your comments on this topic. The few things you said are, summarized: 1) comments about the usage of an image (it's "ludicrous and wrong, and likely racist"), 2) the comment that "expecting a serious answer from commons is a pretty doomed approach" and 3) as a response on my comment: "rational discussion of the problems of Commons has become a waste of time for the rest of us". And then you tell us that we don't listen to complaints? You might be the founder and a board member, but I'm a steward. Does that make us any different of other volunteers? No. One thing maybe, that you're the face and spokesperson of Wikipedia. And I'm not. But that doesn't give you the right to complain about other projects, just because you disagree with policies, people or whatever. As I said on Commons, I just ask you for "a little understanding". A bit of respect for all the hardworking volunteers of Commons. @The Devil's Advocate: just because he's Jimmy doesn't give him the right to change the rules and policies per his wishes. He can probably arrange a bit more because of his contacts of board people, but he has no more rights than any other user. Trijnsteltalk 20:27, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I can get a general idea of the discussion from Google translate but it's definitely imperfect. The worst case is the russian discussion on this page. (I think Google was better with the article talk page and edit summaries. maybe someone wants to provide better versions for what's on this page) Anyway, in addition to ludicrous/racist it seems to be irrelevant to the content of the article. Seems at least one person tried to move it lower on the page and was reverted and ~3 removed it entirely and were reverted. (reverts generally referred people to discuss on talk first) --Jeremyb (talk) 14:37, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The Google Translate results for Russian-to-English have produced some confused phrases, so perhaps try a 3rd intermediate language, such as Russian-to-Arabic and then Arabic-to-English, as a trick to give some better phrases. I formerly used other websites, for machine translation, but some of them have quit translating whole paragraphs or switched to Google or others with problems. -Wikid77 19:51, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

When I first tried to look at the study first hand their site was broken. (HTTP status 504; seems fixed now) The article only seems to link to a page a few hops away from the actual study. direct link in case anyone else wants to read: --Jeremyb (talk) 04:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Perhaps you can explain, while you're here, why you added that image to the article? I recognize it is a strong socio-political statement by someone notable for creating provocative art, but I also recognize it as something that only should be used within the appropriate context. Plopping it into a generic article about Muslim dress seems like an attempt to demean, mock, or otherwise attack certain religious sects.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:07, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I would go as far to say that adding that image to that article is a blatant act of bigotry. Tarc (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Tarc, that gratuitous nudity is no more offensive to the average devout Muslim than the four gratuitous images of Muhammad on our article, Muhammad. The effective difference is you can empathise with the degree of offense in one case, but not the other. (The image was removed from the Russian Wikinews article on the 14th and hasn't been restored.[38]) --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 02:11, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Apples and oranges. This image's inclusion is an act of provocation; the Muhammad images are included for the sake of information. I view it the same as I view this that was once at Talk:Muhammad/FAQ. No purpose other than to piss someone off. Tarc (talk) 02:58, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • They're both apples. You don't know the thinking behind the inclusion of that offensive image on ru.Wikinews, any more than I know the thinking behind your defense of the gratuitous inclusion of offensive images on Muhammad. In both cases the images inform the reader. In the Russian case, it informs the reader what a naked woman in a niqāb looks like and tells them something about the work of an artist. In our case, it informs the reader how some artist imagined a scene from a remote time and place might have looked, and informs the reader about the art of a certain time and place quite remote from the life of Muhammad. One of them looks like an orange to you because you can't feel the degree of offense it causes many of our readers.
Gratuitously including artist's imaginings of Muhammad pretty much guarantees the very people who should be reading a historically accurate account of the life of Muhammad wouldn't touch that article with a barge pole, any more than a devout Muslim would bother reading that Russian article with the nude on it. All apples, really. You just don't get it.
Just to head off the usual eruption from onlookers (Tarc already knows this): our article may need one or two images of Muhammad to illustrate the "Western reception" and "Islamic depictions" sections. I'm addressing the gratuitous splattering of such images elsewhere in the article where they add about the same amount of useful information to Muhammad as the nude image does to the ru.Wikinews article. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 03:36, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • How about the fact that non-Muslims will generally not be offended by Muhammad images, whereas the nude would be considered offensive? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:37, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • That is the point I'm obviously failing to make clear. Tarc is neither offended by images of Muhammad nor insulted when they're added to Muhammad gratuitously, because he's from a culture where it's just not offensive, so he thinks our Muslim readers should just suck it up when we gratuitously pepper Muhammad with them. Whereas he's all full of sympathy and outrage (!) when we insult them by gratuitously inserting nudity into an article about Muslim dress, because, well it's nudity, innit? Nudity is just offensive. Everyone knows that. Innit?
But almost all culture is relative. I'm pretty sure the Yali wouldn't be offended by either example. But they might be offended if we included an image of a dead ancestor in Yali people, and insulted if we did it gratuitously, knowing they find it offensive. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 19:05, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • How about the fact that non-Christians will generally not be offended by this type of Jesus image, yet such depictions are unthinkable in the core articles on Christian topics, even in a reception context? That's systemic bias at work. As well as a kind of reverse censor ship. When the wrong kind of people want to censor something, then we will do it no matter whether it really makes sense.
  • On the wider topic: It's apples and pears, actually. Nudes are more universally offensive than depictions of religious leaders. But the motivation seems to be the same in both cases, with maybe a few more genuine anti-censorship extremists in the Muhammad images case. After all, the last sentence in my previous paragraph applies only to the Muhammad images, not to the recent Russian case. (Though maybe it does, as Russian culture seems about as relaxed about nudity as is European culture. So the image breaks a taboo, but only in the way in which an effective ad may break one.) Hans Adler 14:10, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, you and Anthonycole got crushed by the community consensus that the Muhammad images are not gratuitous and are not used with the intent to offend, whereas this image clearly is. Please stop hijacking this discussion to further your own limited and extremely minority POVs on censorship in this project. Both of you. Tarc (talk) 15:48, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry, am I supposed to let your "oh the poor offended Muslims" pose just sit there. If you don't want me drawing attention to your hypocrisy, don't, you know. I barely touched that farce and neither did Hans, as far as I recall, after the joke of an arbcom case where you, who should have been banned from the encyclopedia for your behaviour on that article's talk page,[1] were given a "tsk, tisk". As for that heaving mass of slack-jawed, no-neck bigots and oiks that rushed into that RfC concluding the images weren't gratuitous ... they would, wouldn't they. See you in round 2, Crusher. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 19:05, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @Anthonyhcole. Here's a hint. Let it go. There was a debate. A huge debate. Your perspective lost. Carrite (talk) 04:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • No, Tim, there was bullying and lying. Next time, and there will be a next time, I'll see that anyone who lies to the community or bullies others (such as telling them to shut up as you've just done here) in that argument is, at the very least, banned from the topic. I didn't know how to deal with outright lying and bullying then. Now I do. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 11:13, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • If there really ever is a "round 2", I have not detected any appreciable shift in the Wikipedia community that would produce a different result, so i'm not really sure why you are looking forward to such a thing. Recall that what we say here is part of a permanent record, so the moment where you dismissed those with an opposing p.o.v. in "round 1" as a "heaving mass of slack-jawed, no-neck bigots and oiks that rushed into that RfC..." is now set in stone. What makes it more egregious IMO is that it wasn't a heat-of-the-moment comment; you first posted that section of text at 15:05, whereas the charming line above was posted at 15:47. Forty-seven minutes to reflectand clarify one's words, most people tend to soften and tone down, yet you deliberately ramped the rhetoric up. IMO a case could be made to request that you be barred from participating in any future Muhammad image RfC, based on the above. Tarc (talk) 13:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
On what basis? While I'm sure almost every editor who opined in that RfC was acting in good faith, I'm also sure most of them were bigots and/or morons. If I'm not permitted to freely express that assessment (born out of a lot more than 47 minutes deliberation), then I've misunderstood something fundamental about this community.
That's your style, though. Bully and game the people you disagree with out of the debate, anything but engage them in actual debate, because that's not your strong suit, is it? Actual debate. When you do, rarely, timidly have a go at actual debate you tend to get eaten alive by any passing teenager. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 20:11, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Hm, well, I am sorry that you have chosen to take the discourse along this path, but I shall choose to disengage rather than fire back, as I am done with those sorts of antics these days. As I'e said before though, we all presented our opinions to the Wikipedia community; I judge that to be the measure of an effective debater; the one that makes the more convincing argument to the neutral observer. Yours did not. There's nothing else to say. Tarc (talk) 22:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
If your position is that you want both Muhammad and nudity to be censored, then you are on the wrong track. For example, Scientology followers apparently believe that even the mention of Xenu is a terrible thing, let alone open discussion of their religious "tech" as we do here. Will you take a 'bigoted' position and say that no, cults can't tell us to take down our articles because they think that people talking about their procedures will get sick? Free speech is a single, stable solution to the ethical dilemma that is the same for everyone. Censorship offers an infinite number of solutions, each precisely tailored to the wants and needs of a particular person in power.
To be clear, the use of that illustration is not strictly necessary for the article. It is arguably educational in that when you read niqab it takes closer inspection to see the boundaries of the garment; though it is also arguably deceptive if someone really does just look at the picture and get the impression the article is saying Islam accepts a woman wearing just a face veil. It may put off some people from reading, and it may draw in others by curiosity. All told, sure, probably it could best have been cut, but Wikinews articles are the ephemeral records of an author, not articles to be endlessly weighed and rebalanced. It is definitely not racist to include it - the abuse of that term to apply to dislike of some religions (Islam, Judaism) but not others (Christianity) should clearly be invalid. It does suggest an anti-Islamic sentiment, which I might hope is, but often isn't, limited to the rejection of the tenets of the religion rather than the rights of its followers. But none of us can be without bias in regard to religion, because ultimately there are some which we disbelieve and must condemn in no uncertain terms, and others that we may believe in with great intensity, or at least somewhat. That is a part of our politics - as is the display and criticism of this image. Wnt (talk) 21:03, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Wnt: not censorship - editorial discretion. Censorship would be removing the nudie niqāb image and Muhammad images from all the projects. I oppose that - they have a place, including: the former in Peter Klashorst and an article on the photo itself, the latter in Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, Depictions of Muhammad, Muhammad#Islamic depictions of Muhammad and Muhammad#Historical Western views.
Regarding the inclusion of the nudie niqāb image in a generic article about Muslim dress you say, "It may put off some people from reading, and it may draw in others by curiosity. All told, sure, probably it could best have been cut..." That's exactly what I'm advocating: exercising that kind of judgment when an image has little or no noteworthy (worthy of noting in the article in question) information to convey but creates such offense that, in sum, it does more harm than good to our mission. (See Principle of double effect.) --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:09, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, the thing is, Wikinews articles have authors; they're not the handiwork of some fungible community. Some authors have better judgment than others, in the view of some audiences, but with the English-language Wikinews always teetering on the very edge of oblivion, we're in no position to lambast the Russians for using and abusing their freedom to spice up an article. Wnt (talk) 06:32, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
This is a very reasonable point, almost entirely lost in the wildly over the top rhetoric you've been using in this discussion so far. WilyD 09:45, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Extant organizations

Years ago you commented on the Talk page of 1.800.Vending that the article was basically a collection of trivial complaints. The article relied exclusively on primary sources to include legal disputes from a prior company by the same founders.

When I deleted the poorly-sourced contentious material (again), an edit-summary accused me of being part of an organized white-washing attempt (I do not have a COI here). Also, two AfDs resulted in a KEEP consensus based on the premise that they were infamous, even though there were no reliable sources to verify that sentiment. I added a Template:COI editnotice to the Talk page and someone from the company dutifully followed the instructions and used Talk, only to be told by a well-meaning editor that they felt the lawsuits (only cited to court records) should be kept.

We have special policies for articles about medical topics and people. Given the tension around corporate pages, isn't a guide on pages on organizations long overdue?

While I am not planning on taking it out of user-space for the obvious reasons, I whipped something up in two hours that - for whatever faults you may find - would be a huge improvement to not having a policy: User:CorporateM/Extant Organizations. Certainly there are a few regular editors experienced with company articles that could do it better.

Sincerely, a former PR pro, frequent COI contributor, regular volunteer and author of 18 GA corporate/org pages.

CorporateM (Talk) 06:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

(For the record, we have no special policies for articles about medical topics. WP:MEDRS and WP:MEDMOS are guidelines. We're waiting for a high profile death, poisoning or maiming - the equivalent of the Seigenthaler scandal - before elevating WP:MEDRS to policy status.) --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 06:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure why this is here rather than at Village Pump. (Thanks to OP for notifying WikiProject Companies)
Is this limited to a small number of companies, or is this a huge problem that justifies instruction creep? Aren't the unverifiable complaints covered by existing policies and guidelines?
I really like the OP's proposed guideline on lawsuits and awards. Would you like discussion of the content of your proposal here or at the proposal's talk page?
--Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 12:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Because I have a conflict of interest with a large number of company articles, I do not think I should actually write it. That would inevitably lead to discomfort that someone with a potential financial interest in corporate pages wrote the guideline for them. My hope is to inspire someone else to. I noticed that large portions of both BLP and MEDRS are basically repeating or simply interpreting pre-existing policies, but they are helpful nonetheless. CorporateM (Talk) 13:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
If we have a special policy for every article, the outcome is that there is no policy at all, just groups of people mandating how each article must appear. There should be no need to have special rules for how to handle an article about a company as opposed to a religious cult, commune, scientific academy, sports team, etc. Wnt (talk) 13:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Since it's for "organizations" a scientific academy and maybe even cults would fall under the same category I would think, as would churches, non-profits, government organizations, etc. Promotional editing is equally problematic on articles about schools and non-profits, though the community tends to find it less offensive than on corporate pages IMO. Many of these issues like when to include awards/lawsuits are common topics of RfCs and editorial disputes and areas where policies need to be clarified and interpreted for a specific case. CorporateM (Talk) 13:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Going further, almost anything can get an award or be the topic of a lawsuit: a person, an artwork, a product or even a country. I wonder if a consensus on inclusion can be found by digging into all those RfCs and disputes. If not, your form of words makes sense to me. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 14:21, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think when it comes to actors for example, there are different community standards on when to include awards. I am not so sure though, because it is not an area where I edit heavily. CorporateM (Talk) 15:27, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that the "significant controversies" section is extremely problematic. And yes, as a COI editor, one who uses AfC to create articles you are paid to create, I think that you should not be proposing such things as a kind of template for people to work from. Very innocent title, very bad idea, coming from a paid editor. It's not "you" personally, I just don't think that people who derive an income stream from editing/creating Wikipedia articles should be involved in policy discussions concerning the format of the articles they are paid to write. Wikipedia COI practices are extremely weak, so obviously there isn't a force on earth to prevent you from engaging in this kind of thing, but I think that you should voluntarily not participate in such things. You make money off Wikipedia. It's allowed. Great. More power to you. But I think that the unpaid people should be originating and drafting stuff like this. Coretheapple (talk) 17:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • What he did was the equivalent of taking it to the talk page. He is being transparent about it. He provided a start and wants non-COI editors to take it the rest of the way. I fail to see the drama. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Yeah, that's my point. He shouldn't be doing it. I'm not saying he broke any rules here. That is the problem. I'm asking for self-restraint, for Pete's sake, for people who make money off Wikipedia to not make Wikipedia policy in any way shape or form. Is that so terribly unreasonable? Has Wikipedia gone so sour that it's just unimaginable that a paid editor be asked to not get involved in drafting policy about the articles he is paid to write? Coretheapple (talk) 17:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The chief problem is that when I say "like BLP" I only mean that it is a guideline for a group of articles in a similar category, not that we should slant NPOV in favor of the article-subject. So this is the best way to communicate an idea. The draft is not even intended as a starting point - it's terrible. But I hope someone will be inspired to do it better and if no one is inspired, then it probably was not a good idea. CorporateM (Talk) 17:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Gotcha. But someone other than a paid editor who writes corporate articles should be drafting policy on corporate articles, lest Wikipedia find itself in another p.r. debacle. See, even though you suggest otherwise, people will use your draft as a starting point. See the "take it from there" comment below. Coretheapple (talk) 17:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This draft includes the phrase "Unsourced or poorly-sourced promotion or contentious material should be removed immediately and without discussion." This is obviously baaed on the WP:BLP standard. It is probably needed on BLPs, and has gained wide consensus, but it has also lead to more than a little trouble and drama. IO don't think it should be extended into this area. Insted discussion should be recommended. On procedure, i think this should be made a proposal, or perhaps a pre-proposal at the idea lab or some other project-space page, so that it can be widely discussed, and the resulting text will not be uniquely identified with CorporateM or indeed any single user. DES (talk) 17:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

(ec)For a paid editor to draft a policy on corporate articles, which is the very center of the paid editing controversy, and then for non-COI editors to "take it the rest of the way" is as much a potential public relations disaster, as any of the black eyes this project has gotten recently over paid editing. I can see the headline now "PR Man Drafts Wikipedia Corporate Articles Policy." It doesn't matter how much it's changed. Coretheapple (talk) 17:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with DES and Core. Someone should just start from scratch for the obvious reasons. I also do not want to foster detailed discussions or prepare a proposal, but I hope someone else will be inspired to do so. Cheers! CorporateM (Talk) 17:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
CorporateM, I happen to believe that you have a very good handle on this subject (paid editing) in some respects. I've actually quoted you on my user page (might not be there anymore, but I have). But it worries me sometimes that your objective is to make paid editing respectable. While individual paid editors may be fine individuals in their own right, I have a problem with paid editors becoming involved in what is essentially governance. Mind you, my point of view on this is in the distinct minority. Coretheapple (talk) 17:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with Coretheapple here. A good idea is a good idea, whoever it comes from. As long as CorporateM is being transparent (and he is) and as long as any ultimate proposal is thoroughly discussed by a wide range of editors, that he started the process or even that some of his suggested text is ultimately used is not a problem of any kind, in my view. But if Coretheapple thinks that a complete fresh start is needed, why not prepare a draft of his own and put it on an appropriate page for further discussion? CorporateM, would you have any objections if I used some of your text as a startling point for a draft on this subject, assuming no one else does one before I have time?? I know that under the CC license I don't need to ask, technically, as long as I attribute properly, but I would prefer to. DES (talk) 18:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that we have absolutely zero need for any such thing. Coretheapple (talk) 18:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. As you say, I have no authority to stop you, but I agree with Core that it is generally a bad idea. At some point an anti-COI extremist or a POV pusher unhappy that the guideline prevents them from adding non-neutral content will create a false narrative about my involvement and gullible passer-byers will believe it. It's just a recipe for disaster. But I think you have been inspired, which was my only objective.
Core, I don't know if I would really like to see COI participation legitimized. I think for a time I did, but I have grown increasingly skeptical over time (hypocritical I know). CorporateM (Talk) 18:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, then perhaps you could take the lead and cease representing companies here? Re "anti-COI extremist": I think you're dealing with a species as rare as the dodo bird. Wikipedia is probably the most backward major disseminator of information on concerning COI issues. Coretheapple (talk) 18:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Does CorporateM's polite and reasonable approach hold back progress, in your view? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
On the contrary, I think that it is the best way to advance the interests of his clients. I think that's true generally with paid editors who are hired for the purpose of getting their clients' name out there on Wikipedia. The ones who hire sockpuppets and go around acting like baboons are swiftly swept out. The smart ones play by the rules (except for maybe the so-called "Bright Line Rule," as that is not a rule). Coretheapple (talk) 18:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I like the baboon analogy; thank you for that. But their being blocked doesn't prevent them from opening dozens more accounts (as we've seen in recent cases). Don't you think that an honest, transparent and open COI editor in a place where we can keep a very close eye on him, is far less problematic than thousands of dishonest, untransparent, and absolutely unscrupulous COI editors in places where we don't even know about them? (This question is directed at you, but I would also be interested in Jimbo's views.) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:29, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
No, because dressed-up, officially sanctioned COI is, if anything, even worse than the current situation. It means that PR machinations are perfectly OK with Wikipedia as long as they are "transparent," which simply means that you know when you're being screwed rather than wondering what that weird feeling is coming from behind. It's just a convenient excuse for turning over Wikipedia to the PR crowd and paid advocates even more than it currently is. Coretheapple (talk) 21:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you establish a "Sanctioned COI Editing" thing, with transparent paid editors acting like boy scouts and pretending to be interested in working on behalf of the project, you'll still have the baboons creating sockpuppets. That's because we're talking about two different kind of outfits: respectable PR people and sleazy PR people and paid-editing types. The respectable ones either don't edit Wikipedia at all or they already are transparent about it. The unrespectable ones are and will continue to be troublemakers. So all you'll do is give a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to COI editing, get justifiably condemned in the press, and accomplish absolutely nothing. Coretheapple (talk) 21:47, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Core, over the years I have seen a few of the baboons develop into adequate or even excellent editors. I have also see the respectable ones become more stringent about their own practices as our expectations have evolved. We will always have troublemakers, but we will also always have people coming in ignorantly and looking like troublemakers who are prepared to learn. I agree it's not the usual situation, but it does happen. We will always have people trying to evade any rule or restriction, but that's no reason not to have rules. I'm not sure we should call it policy--doing that tends to lead to unanticipated over-rigidness, , but we do need agreement on guidelines. DGG ( talk ) 02:43, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
That's quite a quantum leap, from total permissiveness (which is what we currently have) to "over-rigidness." Right now we have a guideline that allows untrammeled participation in Wikipedia by the PR industry. PR people create articles, either outright or through the AfC process. People make a living doing this. They openly advertise to bring their clients into Wikipedia. This means that Wikipedia content, especially for small corporations, is skewed entirely toward organizations that have the PR savvy enough to do it. They are not more notable, just more anxious to get in Wikipedia and less scrupulous and ethical than ones that don't. Some pay-for-edit types actually advertise how they can get you in Wikipedia and raise your article to Good Article status. They can correctly claim that they uphold the highest standards of Wikipedia. I don't know if any of this is worse than the fact that Mr. Wales occasionally surfaces and says, against all evidence, that these victors are losing, that paid editing is not flourishing but on the run, and that generally black is white and one plus one equals three. Coretheapple (talk) 05:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Right now PR people and paid reps, if they adhere to the so-called Bright Line Rule, confine themselves to the talk pages of articles. I have heard this held up as a model of propriety and best practices. I think it's a terrible practice. That's because PR people have only one objective, which is to serve their clients. If their clients' interests intersect with Wikipedia, fine. But if they don't, whose interests do you think are sacrificed? PR people can be counted on to fix minor, picayune errors to the point of obsessiveness. But if there are gaping holes in an article that do not show his client or employer in a favorable light the PR rep will remain silent. "Oh not to worry," I hear. "Articles with PR reps draw a lot of scrutiny so that can't happen." Bullfeathers. It happened to an article on a major corporation that has drawn extensive scrutiny. Major details fell out at one point, and the PR rep was like the Sphinx, and he knew damn well they weren't there. Coretheapple (talk) 06:21, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
This discussion has veered terribly off-track from the actual topic at-hand. What Core is referring to is PR reps that are gaming the system through civil POV pushing. Volunteers are not professional journalists, so they tend to be overly sympathetic to the PR rep and begin to see things from their point-of-view, especially if they disclose and articulate their arguments well. I was surprised recently when I saw an article that went through the bright line and included a huge Corporate Social Responsibility-type section using mostly primary sources.
In the traditional business-sense it is a legitimate practice for corporations to advocate for their point-of-view, transparently and ethically and when independent publications like Wikipedia reflect that point-of-view, it is a job well-done. Wikipedia is the outlier, because we do not allow advocacy of any kind, civil or not, and expect PR reps to act as-if they were fellow editors.
However, like all things, it must be handled on a case-by-case basis. Individual editors can be blocked for gaming the system, whether they follow the Bright Line or not, which would lead to de-legitimizing their business. However, it is difficult to tell who is actually gaming the system and who is doing the best they can from their position. CorporateM (Talk) 15:06, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I actually wasn't referring to civil POV pushing but to behavior falling entirely within the current rules. Your point is correct regarding journalists vs. volunteer editors. However, I think it has more to do with lack of experience in dealing with PR representatives in any capacity whatsoever, as well as lack of corporate experience. Also, while this is no great revelation to anyone, it was to me: in viewing a "Wikipedia Weekly" video I was struck by the tender years (and, frankly, naivete) of the experienced editors participating, some of whom seemed to be administrators. Coretheapple (talk) 16:44, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I would somewhat lean towards the problem you describe not being with the behavior of PR reps, but that there are not enough processes and standards for the volunteers that collaborate with them. There is not necessarily any specific, clear solution, but rather varied ones that will each help a little to reach an imperfect but better state. A guideline for company pages should help any editor enforce higher standards of neutrality, regardless of which contributors are involved. CorporateM (Talk) 22:09, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

How would that help? We already have elaborate rules on neutrality, promotion, sourcing etc. What we don't have is the kind of rule found in every other web entity that requires disclosure to readers. Do you object to a meaningful disclosure to readers that a PR rep was involved in the organization of the article, its formulation and/or content? Coretheapple (talk) 22:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Also I'm concerned that an "extant organizations" policy might have the effect of legitimizing paid editing. To be quite frank about it, the fact that the idea originated from a paid editor, and your comments above, make me concerned about that.
Incidentally, I'm curious about something. You've been described as quite honest and transparent on your paid editing. However, your user page does not explicitly say that you are a paid editor. It says "I contribute to Wikipedia relatively equally in both a volunteer and a marketing role," which is not a clear disclosure that you are a paid editor. It seems to me that you should say that you are a paid editor, that you make a living doing this, that people pay you to write and edit articles about them. "Marketing role" doesn't provide that information. In addition to that, you have a website in which you solicit business and make certain claims about what you can and cannot do. I just think it's kind of strange that your user page emphasizes all the awards and accolades you've gotten and how you urge people to report astroturfing etc., while at the same time not saying explicitly that you are a paid editor, or providing a link to your web page in which you solicit business. This does not strike me as transparent at all. Your clients have this information and so does the general public (I read about this on an external website). Why don't you disclose this to your fellow editors? Coretheapple (talk) 15:19, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

This whole thing is related to why we do need to allow some corporate editing, and why we already allow some BLP editing by subjects: Often the party with the conflict of interest is the only party motivated to fix anything. If Wikipedia had had a sane policy of this sort created by non-shills, then there wouldn't have been any need for a shill to start one. But just like there's often no interest in fixing bad articles about corporations, and sometimes no interest in fixing bad BLPs, there was no interest in coming up with a workable extant organizations policy either. Ken Arromdee (talk) 17:51, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Completed evidence gathering on alleged irregularities on Croatian Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo! FYI, the process of evidence gathering on alleged irregularities on Croatian Wikipedia is finished. While there may be more info trickling in over time, the process is effectively over and whatever is there is ready to be evaluated. I've notified meta:SN, please forward the info wherever else you deem appropriate, or leave a note at the talk page if you have any questions or suggestions.

Also it would be great to get a sense of how long you think it may take for WMF to take a look at this info & offer some guidance.

Many thanks! – Miranche T C 08:37, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

@Jimmy, no need to read all that, we're already working on this and we will probably inform you privately when needed. Trijnsteltalk 21:46, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Trijnstel! Please let me know if there's any info I can help out with. – Miranche T C 23:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll try to read all that anyway as I'm quite interested in the issue. But as I may not have time to really get through it all, a private NPOV summary agreed by multiple people (preferably of different political viewpoints) as well as anyone's personal perspective would be good too.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:12, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Dear Jimbo, can you tell me have you really gave an exclusive interview to "Jutarnji list" newspaper that was published on the 14th September 2013? --Roberta F. (talk) 18:36, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your interest, Jimbo. The talk page discussions are largely in English but the submissions are both in English & Croatian, so if you need any help in translation or clarification please drop a note. – Miranche T C 06:32, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Holocaust coverage: The Croatian featured article about The Holocaust ("hr:Holokaust") still contains no photos of concentration camp inmates but instead Oskar Schindler (because "so many" survived?), although it does briefly mention the major camps by name: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen ("Berge-Belsen"), Buchenwald, Dachau, and Treblinka. Of those, only hr:Auschwitz has had a separate article. It might help there to have a related page for "Holocaust victims" of some sort. -Wikid77 11:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
    Wikid77, I've copied your comment to a new entry under Unsorted submissions to alleged irregularities in hrwiki content. There are a few Holocaust-related entries on the pages but not on the article hr:Holokaust. Although the Sorted submissions are now officially closed, this is an extraordinary topic and I believe noone will object to a late addition if you want to submit one. I encourage you or anyone else to do so, please drop us a note on the talk page for a heads-up if you choose to. Thank you! – Miranche T C 19:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

The Great Book of Knowledge

I listened to an amazing hour-long radio program analysis of Wikipedia's effect on the world, on CBC Radio Onel last Tuesday evening. It's called "The Great Book of Knowledge, Part 1", with Philip Coulter speaking to moderator Paul Kennedy in the program Ideas. It is posted for listening on the show's web site at Part 2 will be aired January 22. This is significant coverage; CBC Radio has about 4.3 million listeners per week (according to Wikipedia!). —Anne Delong (talk) 12:10, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Gives overview blurb plus audio replay link: I noticed there is a short overview, which lists the names of WMF personnel consulted, at:
    So, people can read that short summary, then click the listen/replay link if they wish. I worry that people might imagine another "The Wikipedia Revolution" of an encyclopedia created by "nobodies" because they fail to "read between the lines" and see the content of Wikipedia was created by relatively rare "somebodies" as a combination of Jimbo (prior founder of NuPedia, with multiple college degrees), plus subject-matter experts (SMEs), wp:WikiProjects which copied the contents of entire older encyclopedias (1911 Britannica, The Catholic Encyclopedia, etc.), plus talented copy-editors, and numerous other exceptional, dedicated people, beyond the occasional visitor who updates a few articles. One editor even revealed he/she would be paid high fees as a guest speaker. Many of the WP editors are not "nobodies" but rather being modest. However, I also wonder if Part 2 of that CBC audio/radio series will mention the technical disputes about the wp:VisualEditor, wp:LiquidThreads, or the tiny parser wp:expansion depth limit and such. I guess any 2-hour coverage is likely to omit many interesting aspects or bottlenecks of WP development. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:55, 19 January, 11:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Biggest lie

Jimbo, I am always fascinated by the things that different people might lie about, that they later regret, or that they feel confident that a lie served them or someone else better than if they had told the truth. If you feel comfortable sharing, what has been the biggest lie you've ever told, why did you tell it, and do you feel that it was justified or not? - (talk) 18:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

What's yours? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Reducing template usage

Jimbo, I did catch your major issue, to reduce excessive templates, and could be implemented by Bots which substitute text for unneeded template calls in thousands of pages, once decided by consensus as being excessive templates. The wp:VE users must be going crazy, when seeing another template used after "every 20" words. Bots to reduce templates would become a routine activity in Wikipedia. Another easy option is to change many giant navboxes (of 500 wikilinks) to auto-shrink as a simple one-line boxlink to a separate wp:navpage title, instead of spamming those 500 wikilinks at the bottom 400 pages using the navbox (400×500 = 200,000 wikilinks); see essay: "wp:Overlink crisis". We also need to start forking massive Lua modules into logical subsets where only a "few" 100,000 pages are reformatted when some template options are changed/expanded. We currently have several Lua-based templates which trigger the reformatting of 1 million to 7 million (or more) pages, such as with talk-pages and all archives. Adding a simple feature to a massive Lua module can bog the wp:Job_queue(s) for weeks, or months, as all the related pages are totally reformatted, simply because a new option was added for use in a few articles, among millions of articles, templates, talk-pages and user-space pages which are triggered to reformat. One solution would be wp:Configuation_forks, carefully selected to split the related pages into separate groups of perhaps "only" 200,000 pages each. Only rarely would all configuration forks need to be updated as a system-wide change. There would be an average formula to calculate the potential impact for reformatting of pages, just as software developers have found the average 1-update-in-10 generates another software bug (or IP-address users edit 27% as often as username-based editors). More later. -Wikid77 01:22, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I've commented on this myself: I think we should simply add a MOS guideline that navboxes should not have 50 links or be placed on more than 50 articles - and usually, it should be much less. We have a category system and list articles for that stuff. These spamlinks make it virtually impossible to look up, say, whether the same person was involved in recording two songs by the Beatles on Google, because instead of getting back results that have something in common between the two songs, you get hundreds and hundreds of links to Wikipedia articles about entirely different songs that have links to each in their navboxes. Wnt (talk) 19:15, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Possible COI editor at RfA

Jimbo...seeing that you had a tough discussion on COIs with a user named CorporateM, and that CorporateM and a user named Keithbob seem to overlap on a few articles, and that Keithbob has some suspicious COI and copyvio editing might be interested that Keithbob is being discussed at RfA.--ColonelHenry (talk) 07:04, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

If there are problematic edits with Keithbob, which you suspect may be linked to another account, then you should have taken this to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations and posted actual evidence. Posting an announcment of his RFA to Jimbo's talk page, one of the most visible talk pages on Wikipedia, did you no good in supporting your theory and made you look like a jerk trying to derail an RFA, considering you already placed an oppose !vote. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 10:07, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
An SPI was filed and  Confirmed in 2010 (link), directly linking the user in question with Transcendental meditation HQ and related accounts/IPs. It's unclear why the ArbCom case didn't seem to follow this up with this particular user. I agree the RfA talk page may be a better venue for this. benmoore 14:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
You might find an answer in one of their findings at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Transcendental Meditation movement#Sockpuppetry, meatpuppetry,_and collusion which states that The evidence presented has been carefully examined; investigating arbitrators have been unable to independently detect or confirm – other than in one isolated instance – sockpuppetry or meatpuppetry or collusion within the topic. That might be your answer why, as to why Keithbob was not "followed up" on, since there was a lack of actual evidence. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 16:12, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I actually read that section. I disagree there's a "lack of actual evidence", and that isn't what they claim (even opening with The evidence presented), instead the statement taken at face value says they can't verify "sockpuppetry or meatpuppetry or collusion"—which was not my claim above. The checkuser (hard to argue with IP history) puts Keithbob at the MUM editing TM articles, thereby motivating the COI we're talking about. benmoore 16:22, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
So, you say you disagree with the result of that SPI, while being fully aware of the ambiguous-at-best result of the SPI, but here mischaracterize it as I quote "An SPI was filed and  Confirmed in 2010"... That is not very honest, is it? Carrite (talk) 17:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
An IP address can only tell you so much. At one point, and it might still be the case because I don't know, the whole country of Qatar had a single IP address (which coincidentally got blocked one time). I don't know the particular results of the checkuser, and none of us do other than what is posted at the SPI. I'm not saying that he didn't sockpuppet, but for a lot of people to be tied up to one or a few IP addresses, and the resulting Arbitration case not addressing it like it did, and Keithbob not being sanctioned, tells me something wasn't right about the results of the checkuser results, or that Keithbob was not acting maliciously. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 17:43, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
@Carrite, I don't say I disagree with it, and it seems completely honest IMO, isn't that what happened?
@Moe, I think you're right, there wasn't malicious or overt meatpuppetry behaviour, they weren't backing each other up in discussions on-wiki etc., but the candidate has said he has no COI with TM, yet has been linked to an IP assigned to TM HQ (aside from the other aspects like making thousands of edits to TM articles). benmoore 18:06, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, we're not talking about a "possible COI editor". We're talking about an editor who has an obvious conflict of interest by any reasonable definition, but who is denying that he has a conflict of interest. MastCell Talk 00:45, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I rather presumed the allegations of Kbob having a COI was just the usual riff-raff accusations that occur during content disputes, however I did notice that the Transcendental meditation movement is promotional and I have started on some much-needed trimming and copyediting. Kbob and I have overlaps because I often ask for his input. He is actually the one that drilled WP:CRITICISM into my thick skull on articles like Credit Suisse and Public Relations Society of America. Wasn't sure what the angle was on pointing it out. CorporateM (Talk) 02:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Keithbob has withdrawn his RfA. Let's all be quiet now, and let him draw conclusions from the ordeal in peace. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

School filter censoring articles about WWII

Hi, I'm a school student doing an essay on wartime literature (poems, diary extracts, that sort of thing) about world wars one and two. However, my school's filter (London grid for learning) blocks pretty much all Wikipedia articles about the Nazis, which are obviously an essential part of the topic I need to research. Adolf Hitler is blocked, as is World War One, the Nazi Party, the SS and the Holocaust (as well as many, many others). On each of the block pages, the only reason given is "intolerance". No other online webpages I've found about world war two are blocked, so the only thing I can think of is that the Wikipedia articles have been blacklisted. I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to post this, but I think it's ridiculous that such an important learning resource is being censored just because it might somehow offend someone.


Aethersniper (talk) 12:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

A dig around LGfL website suggests that a company called Atomwide may be responsible for maintaining and updating these filters. Someone may wish to email them at the email address on that page to draw their attention to this discussion. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 13:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yikes, I hope not. I think the most useful thing whoever is behind this problem could do would be to go out of business. Wnt (talk) 13:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Not sure why you (Arthur) can't email the company yourself, but I've just done so - they have now been informed of this discussion (assuming they read their sales email). --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
@Aethersniper:, I'd say that this is the level of competence I expect from professional purveyors of "filter"s, but I have to admit... even I overestimate them at times! You have access to this page but not key educational articles ... geniuses at work. Anyway, try this: take any page (come to think of it, maybe not this one, depending on how annoying their program is, but any random page or a new one) and PREVIEW (don't save!) the following text: {{:Nazi Party}}. If that doesn't work let me know and we can get to work seeing what in the content sets off the "filter" and I can write a Lua script to strip it out without otherwise damaging the content. Wnt (talk) 13:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
To move ahead to the next step -- if their program blocks the content wherever it is, it might be triggered to spot the images (such as swastikas), so you can try Help:Options_to_hide_an_image#Hide_all_images_until_click_to_view and see if that circumvents the problem. Wnt (talk) 14:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
@Wnt: I honestly don't think it's any word or phrase that does it; I must've visited tons of obscure pages with phrases like "Nazi Party" or "Adolf Hitler" and it didn't block a single one of them. The only explanation seems to be that the Wikipedia articles have been manually blacklisted for whatever reason. The good news is one of the teachers finds it just as ridiculous as I do but the filter on those pages is so strict that even the staff can't access them. I'll help you as much as I can but I'm only able to see the effects of the filter while I'm in school. Probably the best thing I can do on my end is get one of the teachers to send a complaint to LGFL. Thanks again. Aethersniper (talk) 14:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Come to think of it, there's a risk that the school is under a "schoolblock" from the Wikipedia end (sigh...) and you won't be able to make edits there - can a blocked user/site preview a page?, I don't know - anyway, good luck and let me know how these ideas work for you. It should still be true that "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." Wnt (talk) 14:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Blocking does not prevent read access to Wikipedia, Wnt, so whether or not a schoolblock is in place isn't relevant here. They can still view the page's source while blocked, however. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 22:59, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think you got the idea. If a user has some pages blocked, but has access to preview any page (even his own talk page, come to think of it - do schoolblocks allow IP's own talk page access?) then he can type {{some article name he wants to see}} into the other page, the one that isn't censored, to get a copy of the one he wants. However, I still don't know if blocked users can preview pages, so maybe it's not a problem. Wnt (talk) 23:10, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Blocked users cannot preview pages because they cannot edit them. The sole exception to this is their own talk page. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 23:26, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

All but one of the articles you mention are semi-protected, which implies that they are vandalism targets or otherwise problematic. I wonder if the filter might be crawling for that and blacklisting articles with a murky history. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 15:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I doubt it. I've been able to access semi protected articles before, and it's also blocking smaller pages such as obscure concentration camps and Nazi laws. As much as I'd like this to be true because it at least makes some sense, it doesn't look like it is. Aethersniper (talk) 18:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Besides, I don't think people doing this kind of thing put that much thought into it, or else... no, my suspicion - I'm looking forward to data! - is that it will turn out that the company blocks any page on which its software can identify a swastika in an image. Wnt (talk) 18:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Probably the best thing you can do is contact your local newspaper. Explain that due to the filtering, you can't do your homework. It's a good story and will embarrass the people who need to be embarrassed and will make it clear that these filters just don't work and do more harm than good.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Good plan. One of the teachers has sent an email to the company who provide the block, so I'm going to see what happens there before doing anything else. In the meantime I've been able to get around it by using HTTPS instead of HTTP, but this filter is in place all over the country so there's potentially millions of schoolkids who can't access these articles. Aethersniper (talk) 18:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll see you that local newspaper, and raise you WP:42.  :-)   If you can get a story about this specific incident of censorship published in multiple independent reliable sources... to include government publications (think political representatives that have a history of defending freedom of speech... especially if they have a blog) as well as academic publications (political science professors and historians and education-educators at the university level... again, especially if they have a blog) pretty soon you'll be able to get a dedicated article about this. And probably an A+ on your homework about how powerful modern-day entities can 'enact' retail-level Einsatzgruppen-style authoritah, without the bother of changing any laws. " Condemed to repeat it" comes to mind, as the moral of this story.
  Audio is always good. I'd recommend getting a phone number of the company, and calling them. Explain you are recording the call for quality assurance purposes. Then, explain you are doing homework, and trying to access ... you aren't able to see it. Keep asking to speak to a supervisor. Be patient and nice, but insist you want to know the specifics of exactly why *that* page is blocked from *your* school, to each and every person you talk to. Then, once you've finished with the call, use an audio editor like audicity to get the choice soundbites out. Not sure recording is legal where you live; you better leave this step to the journalists.
  Write up a few paragraphs explaining the situation; your helpful teacher can probably get you school letterhead. Then create a new blog at or weebly or something with the story-in-a-nutshell. Upload photos of the school-letterhead-write-up, screenshots of the censor-page, et cetera... and then email that story-URL (plus a teaser-paragraph) to one journalist or academic, per day. After a few days, somebody will bite, but keep emailing one per day. It's a good story; they'll appreciate it. You can quote Jimbo's advice above in your blog, he's a well-known internet thousandaire, or so I heard. Make sure you give the journalists the name of the CEO of the censorship-company (and their parent company if any), plus if possible, find out who *voted* for that company to be censoring students at your school. Hope this helps, and thanks for your efforts; even if you end up skipping this wild scheme, you've given me some hope.  :-)   Funny... usually when people come here asking for help with their homework problems, we have to turn them away.  ;-)   — (talk) 13:21, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Possible answer A nice trick I've learned to get around filters of that sort is to put the direct link into Google Translate and click the link in google translate. That might get around a manual filter. KonveyorBelt 17:27, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Based on this conversation, I've added some ideas to Help:Censorship. Wnt (talk) 18:54, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I encountered a similar problem in the early 00s and the only thing that appeared to offer any kind of explanation was that the company that provided the filter software was German and that they had formulated a very conservative block-list based on post-WWII incitement legislation. I complained to our IT dept (I was a Librarian and had to manually override the blocks for Library internet users) and they ended up removing the filtering entirely. I would have thought/hoped if automated filtering software was being used (personally not a fan) things would have improved in the last decade or so! AnonNep (talk) 11:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I've been told that the transclusion above does defeat the filter, and so does simply using https! [39] I wonder how much taxpayers spend for that "service". Wnt (talk) 13:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • First of all, can we stop throwing the word "censorship" around. Every school in the UK with students under 18yo is required to have a filtering system which must block clearly inappropriate websites (i.e. porn, drugs) in a similar manner to parental filters used in private homes. This is a legal requirement and failure to implement it (or to implement it properly) will lead to schools being judged inadequate in their child protection responsibilities, and even to legal action. However, there is no single provider of filtering software; schools either use their own or one is provided by the educational ISP that they use. Of course, this means that the way the filters work varies wildly between providers. They may block on word scanning, on categories or even on individual URLs. Also, the technical support at most school can override the filtering to whitelist URLs (in order to circumvent false positives) or blacklist them (in order to block inappropriate sites "missed" by the filter). Anyway, I tried to access the pages mentioned by the OP at our college on Friday, and they were all accessible. What may have happened in this case is that either these pages have been added to a category mistakenly, or someone operating the filtering system has simply made an error (it is, of course, ridiculous that an article on WWI is inaccessible to students). If I was the OP my first port of call would be their own school's IT support section. Black Kite (talk) 14:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Being mandated by the state certainly doesn't stop something being censorship. Or indeed being seen as censorship by those at whom it's directed. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
You can dance around it but politicians, in requiring that 'Every school in the UK with students under 18yo is required to have a filtering system which must block clearly inappropriate websites', is demanding censorship of internet access. In some cases, as it appears here, the IT Dept, doesn't have the knowledge, technical or otherwise, to differentiate between neo-nazis and WWII history, or, breast cancer research versus boobs, or, prize roosters and cocks, or spurious information and bollocks... Its still censorship and its why automated filtering will always be pathetically flawed in practice. Aside, of course, from giving politicians a brief media sound bite of success, that never mentions the years of mess and cost then created, but rarely funded. AnonNep (talk) 21:04, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Not really. You're stretching the definition of censorship when, as in this case, all parties have agreed to its use (parents and students have to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement when they enter the school). I totally agree, however, that technically flawed or badly administered automatic filters cause more problems than they solve (I could give you endless ridiculous examples from my own experience such as "Breaststroke" or "Bikini Atoll"). The problem is, of course, that given the sanctions that can be applied to schools if they fail to implement the filter properly, most are more likely to overcompensate rather than run the risk. Black Kite (talk) 23:26, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
You're using different terms for the same thing. Censorship is defined as "Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet or other controlling body" Do we have suppression? Yes. Is it considered harmful to schoolchildren? Yes. Has it been determined by the government? Yes. It is quick and simple. The British government is censoring Wikipedia. I myself do not like the idea of the UK enforcing its nanny state policies on Wikipedia, given that the site is largely benign. Perhaps the WMF should take a stand on this. KonveyorBelt 01:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow. I know that there are two common (and wrong) ways of disqualifying censorship from being censorship: the first being that when content is prohibited by the government, that is not censorship because it is illegal - and the second being that when content is prohibited by someone other than the government, that is not censorship because it is a voluntary private contractual relationship. But never have I seen one person argue both at the same time in the same paragraph before! Wnt (talk) 20:27, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
@Konveyor Belt, the UK government isn't censoring Wikipedia, in this case a faulty filter is doing so. For example, I checked this out on our own college system today and I couldn't find a single enwiki page that was blocked (and I tried quite a few that I thought might be obvious candidates). So there's nothing really for the WMF to "take a stand on" there.
@Wnt: my argument is that self-censorship isn't technically censorship. Any parent who disagrees with the policy not to allow their child access to inappropriate material at school is quite at will to home-educate their child. In 20 years in education I have never met one who has disagreed with it. In the end, though, you are obviously free to disagree with it yourself but in the real world that policy is not going to change any time soon. Black Kite (talk) 22:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, in the real world I just showed the OP how to read any page on Wikipedia he wants by simple transclusion, which he said his teachers couldn't do before, and then I added the information to Help:Censorship, so I'd say I just did change the policy, at least so far as people who RTFM are concerned. Wnt (talk) 22:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
No, all you've proved is that it's a faulty filter if it can be subverted. There are also other ways of doing so, although a watertight system with realtime content analysis will detect these as well. I think we're getting off the point, though, which is that those pages clearly shouldn't be blacklisted in the first place - I'd be interested to see why they are but I can only think that it's an error in the setup of the filter rather than some dark conspiracy theory. Black Kite (talk) 23:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah - I've just noticed that the OP said the block listing said "intolerance". That's your answer; someone in either the school's IT department or the LGFL has added the word "Nazi" to that category and set it up so that it blocks any page containing the word. That's simply just incompetence, I'm afraid. Black Kite (talk) 00:03, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
@Black Kite, being required (or even strongly pressured) to sign an agreement as a condition of attending a public school (or even a private one) does not make such suppression consensual or "self-censorship" and IMO it is still censorship. And I can tell you that my parents strongly objected to such censorship (manual rather than technological in those days) when i was in grade school, and that I object on principal now, although I am not a parent, and I think that I would object even more strongly if I were a parent. DES (talk) 23:33, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I quite agree that there is an argument as to whether a consensual agreement is still censorship. As a parent myself, my view is that my children's school would be failing in its duties if it did not filter sites such as pornographic ones, but I would completely disagree with blocking non-harmful sites on spurious grounds. Black Kite (talk) 23:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Black Kite, my argument is that such "agreements" are not in any meaningful sens "consensual" or "voluntary"; they are at best contracts of adhesion. Really they are simply regulations under a very thin disguise. Thus they are no less (and no more) censorship than if they were simply mandatory regulations in form. I disagbree about a school's duty, but that is a separate issue. DES (talk) 17:39, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Mmm, the bastards are blocking torrent sites too. I know we can laugh, and say that clearly those sites are 'illegal', but I still think it's the thin end of the wedge. UK customers of talk-talk, virgin, and most other ISPs can't access pirate bay or may other sites; we get redirected to instead. Pretty damn disgusting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:36, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, well that's a different issue - and I don't think anyone could argue that it's not censorship as it affects Internet feeds to everyone. Not that it takes too long to get round the filter... Black Kite (talk) 22:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree, 100%; sorry it's not totally on-topic; I'll not discuss that point further here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

"DEAR WIKIPEDIA READERS: To protect our independence, we'll never run ads."

and I want to donate in Bitcoin. Do you want to accept my Bitcoin? I can give you 50-100 SEK in Bitcoin if you want it. Wikipedia has extensive articles on Public-key cryptography and Cryptographic checksums, so why not take an interest to see what Bitcoin is, and then decide if you wish to accept donations in Bitcoin? This is basically all about education, and isn't Wikipedia about education? If you are finding it embarassing to accept Bitcoin because of controversies then why not accept Litecoin? They all function about the same way with minor differences that only geeks and mathematicians notice. If I posted this in the wrong section then please help me find the right section, but when I am confronted with a "please donate to us" and Bitcoin has reached world news and I see no willingness from the people behind wikipedia to learn about it I become a bit embarassed. I don't blame you if you didn't study Cryptography. Regards, Logictheo (talk) 11:48, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Bitcoin has been discussed quite a bit on wikimedia-l. You may be interested in these posts by members of the Foundation's Fundraising Technology Team: [40] [41] -- (talk) 13:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your help in helping me to know where I should contact the Wikimedia Foundation in offering them some CryptoCurrency. Analphabetism was once about not knowing how to read or write. Today not knowing Cryptography is some sort of analphabetism. Today all who use https use technologies inherent in Bitcoin, encryption excluded. A well known cryptographic checksum is used for the Certificate Authority fingerprint. Thank you, I'll continue further on the mailing list. Logictheo (talk) 21:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Why don't you simply cash out your bitcoins and make your donation in real currency? Or is the specific form of the donation being offered to advance some sort of agenda or make some sort of a point? Carrite (talk) 17:30, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello. I just checked and found out the answer. The point is that I want to give my Bitcoin to some person(could be even a single editor of Wikipedia) as a way to give to Wikipedia. If some person working in Wikipedia would personally accept my Bitcoin of 50-100 SEK then I will feel morally pleased with my donation, thus feel that I have donated. That's an idea I'm working on now. Wikipedia actually shows me a banner asking me to donate, but since they don't care about Cryptography out of interest but are just interested in the monetary values of currencies then I'm afraid they are not interested in my "Ways to Give". Logictheo (talk) 22:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe he just wants to pay in a different currency that he has mined. Assume good faith. KonveyorBelt —Preceding undated comment added 19:06, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Perhaps people should be allowed to pay in DYK credits and FA stars. After all, what's a digital currency? It's a combination of "proof of work" (for bitcoins, converting computer time into carbon emissions; for these, turning sources into public educational materials) plus a clear paper trail of ownership (for bitcoins, the bitcoin protocol, for us, talk page links saying that A deeds B these DYK credits in exchange for $$x) plus the absurd and contagious belief that worthless but uncommon things are somehow worth money. That last form is a sort of genuine magic practiced primarily by banks and dress designers, but if someone can master the spell, Wikipedia could entirely finance itself with money left over, just by reserving a small fraction of each edit award you receive! [I think I'm being facetious, but nowadays? I really can't tell!] Wnt (talk) 20:03, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Illegal content on servers of Florida state in USA

Hello, Jimmy Wales and other administrators of Wikipedia! As became known, on servers of Florida state are used materials, which violate reputation of many living and dead persons. Russian Wikipedia is placed on servers of Florida state. There is used the forbidden content: ("Кино с самого начала"). This book is the source in many articles of Russian Wikipedia. And this book contains forbidden materials vs living persons in very big number (vs dead persons also). We ask you ban these materials in accordance with the USA legislation and Florida state. A large number of rules of Wikipedia forbids use the such dirty literature also. If you can not do it in accordance with the rules of Wikipedia, we ask you to direct the needed info for ban of illegal materials - in relevant department of police of the United States: (or Florida state). You can find more of information on this criminal issue at this page of Wikipedia: (there are contained the words of Jimbo Wales personally).

Here is used the bot translator Google: (the synchronization on high level to understand my text). You can also translate whole websites via this tool. Thank you. - (talk) 12:31, 22 January 2014 (UTC).

If you want to raise a legal concern, a better place to do it would be with the WMF's legal team. See meta:Legal and Community Advocacy for more information and contact details. — Scott talk 12:40, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • All is very difficultly and longly. And English language - is barrier. Request was made on this page, because owner of this page (or some of his people), can find connection with the US president even - in a shortest time. The comparision, to show (connection with the US police can be found during several minutes). I am and other Russian people have no chance to implement such possibility. Here USA (I am in Russia). Respecting to Wikipedia: (the phenomenon known as Wikipedia). Note: phenomenon (miracle). The one of a large number of examples. Thank you! - (talk) 18:16, 24 January 2014 (UTC).


(kinda related to the other AFC discussions on this page)

I've not edited Wikipedia for over a year; I've stuck my toe back in an I am utterly amazed to find that we're speedy-deleting tens of thousands of draft articles just because they're 6 months old.

I came across one user page with dozens of notices about impending deletions, noticing most had been quickly deleted but one remained - that was on User_talk: and the only one that hadn't been deleted at the time was Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Lynne Page.

Noting that that one was probably salvagable, I requested undeletion of the others, so I could take a look [42]. A lot of those seem salvageable too.

I tried to find out more about the 'new' G13 - I found some of the discussion [43], but can't see any actual consensus for it.

Of course, I can't see deleted content, so I've no idea quite how huge this problem is - but it seems likely that 10,000+ articles have been deleted as G13. I've no idea how I could even find out. The bot tagging most of them is apparently supposed to log what it's doing, but I can't see any log postings in its contribs.

Unlike all other CSD categories, that means they've been deleted for no reason other than they're old. I thought there was no deadline?

G13 seems like we're just saying, "there's a whole bunch of pages, and we don't have the resources to check them; some might have BLP violations - therefore, we'll just delete them."

If Wikipedia can't handle new articles - if it's going to just delete them because editors don't have enough time to check them - then you might as well close the wiki completely. (talk) 21:49, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

If Wikipedia is content-creation vs deletion then deletion, outside of the obvious and understandable, BLP, NPOV and vandalism, seems to be 'winning'. :-( AnonNep (talk) 21:57, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Over 70000 articles have been deleted as G13. These were articles that were abandoned with no-one taking an interest. Well before the bot gets round to nominating, the creators are warned with a message on their talk page. They don't have to finish the article, theyjust have to make one token edit to keep it in circulation.
There is a sub-project to rescue articles from the backlog here- it is not fair or true to say that articles are going without being checked. Many articles are sifted and nominated by hand. (The bot which auto nominates is switched off, BTW) Rankersbo (talk) 22:11, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
RE:'it is not fair or true to say that articles are going without being checked'. I never suggested they weren't being checked. That they are, and then deleted in the thousands, is the truly sad part. If they're not BLP, NPOV or vandalism, then why delete based on some theoretical egg-timer count down? Is Wikipedia that desperate for space? AnonNep (talk) 22:31, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
AnonNep I like to think that admins aren't blind file-shredders who delete everything tagged as G13 simply because it is tagged as such. After all, the pages are tagged for G13 because they are considered for deletion - if the idea was to delete them all it would have been simpler to create a bot that tags and deletes each and every page in that category. I also realize that this may be overly optimistic, but that is another issue altogether.
As for removing the G13 drafts: I would actually describe this as a combination of housekeeping and rescue. G13 article's are not necessarily bad, but simply abandoned by their creator and thus stale. As a result we may actually have decent pages buried in a pile of drafts that will simply never be decent pages. If we do a cleanup after 6 months this will bring each draft to attention once more; The pages that are definite no-go's will be removed while the ones that are decent \ good enough will be filtered out. Hopefully that will result in a list of "Promising abandoned drafts" that other editors may be interested in improving, something that is fairly infeasible at the moment since searching decent drafts in the reject pile is similar to searching a needle in a stack of hay.
And let us be fair: The current pile of 12k G13 eligible article's was not created overnight. I am quite sure that - had G13 had not been created - these article's would still be collecting dust several years from now since no-one would have cared about them. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 00:12, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I can't see the pages, because they've already been deleted - so I can't possibly tell how many more are worthy. But I already showed that at least some are.

The user talk page I mentioned * is sickening. There's probably thousands more like it. New users, trying to add to Wikipedia, are getting spam-templated to death. Just glance at HausterBot's contribs [44].;

Can I put in a request to just undelete everything deleted as G13? (talk) 22:15, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

It's usually because they have some BLP or PROMO-type content, which we might have given some leeway if it was being actively worked on, but after lying abandoned should have been deleted. As someone who regularly patrols WP:REFUND, that's the standard case. As G13 was approved by community because Wikipedia is not an indefinite Webhost, I see no real issue when things have been appropriately removed as per the community wishes, and no, going to WP:REFUND en mass would be rather disruptive ES&L 22:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"It's usually because they have some BLP or PROMO-type content" - no it isn't; it's a bot, tagging pages just because they're old. The bot is incapable of checking if they breach BLP or PROMO. Maybe a lot do, but maybe a lot don't.
"we might have given some leeway if it was being actively worked on" - how am I, as a returning editor, supposed to actively work on them if they've been deleted?
"G13 was approved by community" - where? I've still not managed to find that decision.
"going to WP:REFUND en mass would be rather disruptive" - I think deleting 70,000 possible-articles is disruptive. But anyway - how many undeletes can I request without it being considered disruptive? Whatever number it is, can someone please undelete that-many G13s so I can have a look? Thanks. (talk) 22:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
EatsShootsAndLeaves, could it be that you principally defend Wikipedia regardless of the topic or arguments?-- (talk) 12:50, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
G13 was approved in an RFC and the 6-month period in a separate RFC. Undeleting the ~76,000 articles would amount to overturning G13; from what I see here there is unlikely to be a consensus for that. If you want to overturn G13, Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion may be a better place to discuss it. —rybec 01:20, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is in crisis - but that's kinda off-topic right here
Welcome back and welcome to the new Wikipedia where editors are now second class citizens, admins are the kings and queens of the Wiki and articles are stuck in the middle. Gone are the days when anyone could edit Wikipedia and AGF was the standard. Now its Assume no faith and some people can edit but they have to do it on the talk page and then ask an admin to implement the change. This place has become a disgrace...[shaking my head].Kumioko (talk) 22:29, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Kumiko. Hope you won't mind me collapsing this, in a probably-unsuccessful-attempt to keep the section on-topic. All that stuff was happening when I was active too, but I appreciate it's got worse. (talk) 22:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Article are tagged for deletion by a bot. They aren't tagged until a full month after the original creator has been notified, and they aren't tagged if anyone has made even one edit in the previous 6 months, really the previous 7, because the creator isn't notified until a page has gone with no edits at all for 6 months. Then they aren't deleted unless an admin actually hits the delete button. Admins are supposed to use judgement, and the reviewing admin can and should decline the deletion if there seems any plausible merit to the draft. I have declined a number in this way. In addition, there are a number of editors making an organized effort to examine all articles, or as many as they can, over the 6 month threshold before the bot gets to them, and to edit and mark for retention any that seem to have promise. Any editor can do that, no admin flag is required. I have done some of this, others have done far more. And any editor can request any of the drafts to be undeleted by name, and get it, pretty much automatically (assuming no copyvio or attack page or the like). DES (talk) 23:05, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
, as to where this criterion was discussed see Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion/Archive 48#Proposed new criterion: abandoned article drafts and subsequent threads for the rest of Archive48 and some of archive49. DES (talk) 23:08, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
It was requested that I post this: APerson (talk!) 00:20, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to be happening; for example:
  • It was tagged for speedy-deletion within the same minute' [46] and deleted 5 minutes later [47]. (talk) 00:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I would remind 88IP that there are 2 steps that the bot takes
  1. A notification that the page is eligible for deletion under G13 to give them a nudge reminding them that they need to do something about the article.
  2. and the actual deletion notice which is at least 1 month after the eligibility notice
As evidenced in the timestamps, the bot gave the creator more than one month between the poke that the page was eligible and when the page was acutally deleted. The bot was the creation of consensus agreements therefore it is only reasonable that those who show up get to define the consensus. Please feel free to open a new discussion at the Criteria for Speedy Deletion talkpage or at Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard which are more appropriate venues than the grand soapbox of wikipedia where anybody can try for argumentum ad Jimbonem. Hasteur (talk) 00:47, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Furthermore the notice is the {{db-afc-notice}} notice that is expected of every editor who nominates for speedy deletion to place on the creator's talk page. I strongly advise the 88IP to please review the Bot Requests For Approval discussions (Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/HasteurBot and Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/HasteurBot 2) which show how the bot's coding came to be. Hasteur (talk) 00:56, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
The Peter Raby article shows people are being given plenty of warning. The "heads up" came on 20th September. The message on the 16th January is just letting the user know that the tagging that they had been warned about nearly threee months previously was in the process of taking place. Rankersbo (talk) 01:00, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Please forgive me for giving the wrong impression but 70,000 is the number of abandoned AfC articles that have been removed from the backlog- not all of these have been deleted. Rankersbo (talk) 01:00, 24 January 2014 (UTC)