User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 170

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Archive 165 Archive 168 Archive 169 Archive 170 Archive 171 Archive 172 Archive 175

Fed up with the status quo...

... she takes her campaign for Wikipedia civility to the Twittersphere.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao-tzu

--Lightbreather (talk) 15:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

So why is this relevant exactly? Also: Hashtag activism may be of use. Tutelary (talk) 16:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I've read your tweets. This step seems not to be a call to action, but rather an attempt to tear down wikipedia as a whole. Isn't promoting that wikipedia is an awful place just going to keep away the type of people the projects you're a part of trying to attract?--Cube lurker (talk) 16:19, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe that promoting your twitter account is a valid use of this talk page or the project. Generally this sort of self-promotion is frowned upon. 208.76.111.243 (talk) 16:22, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
It would be interesting to create a designated Twitter handle that just tweets out rude things said on Wikipedia. Though it may technically be a form of off-wiki canvassing and there is a risk of quotes being taken out of context, it may be useful nonetheless. CorporateM (Talk) 16:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
If technically feasible, that would be an excellent idea; it could display results much the way @congressedits does. As for Lightbreather's posts, sometimes sunlight is the best disinfectant, so no problems at all here. Tarc (talk) 16:41, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
"Burn it down" is a legitimate philosophy. I just didn't think that was what the gender bias task force etc Lightbreather was going for.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
It is just more forum shopping, this time externally because even the umpteen sections opened on this talk page are not appeasing her. While just as legitimate a mode of criticism as, say, Wikipediocracy, Lightbreather needs to tread carefully otherwise a sudden influx of supporters here might look like WP:MEAT. I doubt that ultimately it will do her cause any favours. - Sitush (talk) 17:13, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Snippets of conversation taken entirely out of context? That's a less than superb way to open a dialog. Capeo (talk) 18:25, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
With examples like this she's moved past dialog and has gone directly to coercion. It's certainly not collaborative. Pity. 208.76.111.243 (talk) 18:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
It's all quite irrelevant. Mostly because, despite the rhetoric, Twitter is vastly less collaborative than Wikipedia -- what I would describe as a much higher Gini coefficient -- by which I mean a few famous people have lots of followers, but most tweets (like these) drop unheard into the memory hole, only to be seen again if somebody wants to make a case against the speaker. Here we are still part of the old Web, which is to say, the Web where people listened to each other rather than the new vision of the Web, which is essentially watching a few hundred channels of cable television but allowing companies to spy on you in the process. So she will find in the end that this or other low-Gini sites are vastly more amenable to serious collaborative development of ideas. Out there she'd have to win a PR campaign, which pretty much implies paying the right semi-famous people to do PR, or at least, laying a lot of groundwork to simulate a network of followers in advance; and even the winner doesn't get any real collaboration out of it, just parroting. Meanwhile, I don't think this should affect how we deal with these issues, and deal with them we still must -- but correctly. Wnt (talk) 19:41, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
That last tweet linked above just has me now saying "whatever". It is especially misrepresentative because we are not tolerating workplace hostility. We are not a workplace; we are a volunteer agency. Trust me, I have encountered enough real-life hostilty in a work environment that it literally put me on disability. Here we can just sign out and walk away, although wounded and unhappy. One is literally trapped in toxicity in a terrifying work environment. Here we are losing no paycheck nor benefits, such as one would if a workstation is deserted by a victim. Fylbecatulous talk 15:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd never say one person can't change the "world" I will say though that it probably won't happen here. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:50, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

No, of course not, because all y'all are too busy attacking the messenger, which doesn't change the message, it just distracts from it. Nice work. Viriditas (talk) 01:47, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Is calling somebody a "disruptionist" a personal attack? So, tell us about your topic ban — we'd like to hear about that. Carrite (talk) 02:31, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Well enough answered HERE. Carrite (talk) 00:38, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Quoting someone above discussing: "designated Twitter handle that just tweets out rude things said on Wikipedia." Not much of a twitter user myself, but it does seem like it could be a way of pointing out comments that really are not acceptable. Of course, it probably would be abused and cause more trouble than it's worth. (Same with a "rude comment of the day" box on the main page which I've long thought might be a lot of fun.)
The two actual quotes remain problematic, but changing the attitudes behind them is a long term project. A well-organized, high profile boycott campaign could be useful down the road if there was no Foundation and community response to more civil people's demands for a change in culture and some structures of Wikipedia, including to make it easier for women to edit free of harassment, double standard attitudes, etc. But even far less drastic forms of organizing are nascent, as the Gender Gap task force is still working on basic infrastructure/goals/projects/etc. and hardly even sending out invites yet. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 06:24, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I look forward to the boycott. The rest of us might get a bit of relief from the forum shopping/thread hijacking etc ;) And Wikipedia will still progress while it goes on. Since you've been told on umpteen occasions that there is a difference between a gender gap, sexism and obnoxious comments, I'm not sure that the GGTF really has the latter two within its remit. Add them to the remit and it might become more of a political exercise that a traditional wikiproject. At what point that would step over the bounds is moot; for example, the Article Rescue Squadron has had a few problems over the years regarding accusations of concerted action. - Sitush (talk) 06:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
If you want to see what it takes for Sitush to yell incivility (carefully couched as "Tendentious referencing of other people's motives"), see his ANI against me last fall here. Double standards ride again. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 07:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't yelled incivility and I haven't been incivil. I'm just bored with the tendentious campaigning and, one day, it will catch up with those doing it. If for no other reason than they repeatedly fail to back up their claims with decent evidence and they repeatedly misrepresent other people. As for the boycott, surely it is better to be inside the tent pissing out ...? - Sitush (talk) 07:41, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Geez, Sitush, first we're criticized for organizing in the tent, and then we're criticized for contemplating maybe some day, if and only if taking a week or two vacation from the tent. In any case, thanks for validating my analogy of dogs urinating on territory with the wikipedia editing of some (not all!) males. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 14:46, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't criticise you contemplating a boycott. Nor have I criticised the existence of the GGTF. I've criticised its name, and I've criticised any potential attempt to turn it into some sort of pseudo-political pressure group of the sort you get involved with in real life. Do you really struggle to understand what I say or are you just being deliberately obtuse? You seem to make a habit of it. I'm not even looking at the diff - it will be point-y and repeat what you've said hundreds of times before, doubtless. - Sitush (talk) 16:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not some all powerful activist, Sitush, just one of a number of "fed up" women on Wikipedia. Someone else proposed changing name to "GENDER GAP TASK FORCE". And several others besides me agreed. Do you want me to give you their names so you can hound them around Wikipedia, including on their talk pages after its necessary to ban you, and say nasty things about them and demand they follow your dictates of how Wikipedia operates? I think the first serious task the "GENDER GAP TASK FORCE" should take on is ending harassment/wikihounding of women (and guys of course) whose views and modus operandi don't live up to the standards of whatever male(s) who get a jones for following them around. I'm quite fed up with it myself. But we haven't started prioritizing yet, so time will tell... Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 15:19, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I've no idea what a "jones" is, sorry - some US-centric term, I guess. There isn't really anything for GGTF to do re: alleged harassment/wikihounding, except maybe in the case of a newbie who is unaware of the policy and of WP:ANI. If you have a complaint, take it there. - Sitush (talk) 15:26, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
A "jones" is a serious addiction. Harassment and wikihounding only seem to be taken seriously when its a guy editor who has lots of guy editor and admin friends; certain has been my anecdotal experience. (Ah, yes, another study needed to confirm or deny a feeling many women editors have.) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 15:48, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed you need to support such a statement with at least something. Otherwise you come across as poisoning the well with your oft-repeated vague, unsubstantiated rants. Have you ever thought that the reason your ANI complaints sometimes fail might be because sometimes they are not justified? Oh no, of course not: it's always the men's fault, isn't it? - Sitush (talk) 15:56, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, boo hoo. :-) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 18:57, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

{{od}minor correction; "jonesing" is a phase of the withdrawal, i.e. the angst and craving when the addiction is in need of satisfying. A "jones" is NOT "an addiction" and I've never heard the term used that way, nor without the -ing ending.Skookum1 (talk) 16:37, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

It most definitely can mean an addiction, craving, or better - obsession. See Basketball Jones. Lightbreather (talk) 18:29, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
See also Me and Mrs. Jones Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:50, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
It's a heroin term. A "jones" is a fix; "jonesing" is being in withdrawals for a fix; "The Basketball Jones" was a fix for basketball junkies. It is not a general term for "a serious addiction." Junkies suck, by the way. ('Cept for basketball junkies, who are less apt to break into your car or steal your television to support their habit...) Carrite (talk) 16:38, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually Jones disambiguation only leads to addiction article which doesn't use or define the term, so it all looks like WP:OR to me at this point :-) Wiktionary's definition mentions both relation to heroin and separately "An addiction or intense craving." For what that's worth. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 18:57, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
(sigh.) Quoting your own link just provided: "Etymology: Ed Boland, in The New York Times, March 2002, attributes the term to heroin addicts who frequented Great Jones Alley in New York City, off Great Jones Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street,[1] although the slang term has obviously been around much longer. Dan Waldorf explains that the noun use originated from heroin users." — muttermuttermutter... Carrite (talk) 05:12, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Could someone translate the Spanish for me? Does "puta" really mean an arsehole or bastard (which is roughly what the (British) English means)? --Boson (talk) 22:25, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
No, it's feminine and means "whore". An "arsehole" (my, that's quaint ;-)) or bastard would be pendejo or cabron, by idiom if not direct translation. The male form of puta is puto, used for a homosexual and roughly equivalent to faggot or queer; it was explained to me in Mexico that its sense was "a man with no self-respect", I guess with the same meaning implicit in the femining form puta. Ijo de puta is equivalent to "sonofabitch", it tends to be pronounced ija de puta, a feminine form, which adds to the insult.Skookum1 (talk) 04:17, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
So is this a deliberate mistranslation or does the English word really mean "whore" in American English? I had seen references to cultural differences, but this looks more like an actual linguistic difference. I now see that my Macmillan Dictionary of Contemporary [British] Slang gives "a fool, a dolt, an unpleasant person - of either sex (cf: prick)", while the equivalent dictionary of American slang by the same publisher gives "a woman" (though not "a whore"). Presumably, the term is not usually used as a term of endearment on either side of the Pond, but would this campaign have been started if the original utterance had been "the easiest way to avoid being called a prick is not to act like one"? -Boson (talk) 09:32, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
That British dictionary of slang must be giving what the meaning in British English is; it's decidedly now what it means in Spanish, which is "prostitute" or "whore", and I guess can be translated as "bitch" or ...the c-word. Curse words and insults do not readily translate in many cases; in Quebec French "hostie sacramang caaawww-LISS tabarNAC" could be many things, like "c**ks**king mother f**ker", "hot damn", "f**king asshole" and more, depending on context; literally it means "host sacrament chalice tabernacle".....Skookum1 (talk) 11:25, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Interesting! "Bitch" might be another example. In my 1995 edition of Macmillan Dictionary of American Slang, the meaning of "bitch" is given as "a woman one dislikes or disapproves of, esp. a malicious, devious, or heartless woman; the equivalent of the masculine bastard . . .", which exactly fits my (British) understanding of the word; you might call a woman manager who abuses her power "a real bitch". In British English, in my experience, the c-word would very rarely be used of a woman, and "bastard" might be be replaced by "bitch" . Surprisingly, the English version of the slang dictionary does not give this meaning. Increasingly, though, what I think of as the Black English Vernacular meaning of "bitch" has become known - if not used - in Britain, with the spread of Hip-Hop, as in "she my bitch", or Ali. G's "no disrespect to your bitch" in his interview with David and Victoria Beckham. The use of religious taboo words must be a Catholic thing; it's also common in southern (but not northern) Germany.--Boson (talk) 12:43, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Profanity in Spanish is complex as the meanings of words, and their intensity, vary by culture, city, region, and country. Both "puta" (feminine) and "puto" (masculine) are words that directly translate to English as "whore" or "bitch". However, the word has plenty of other meanings (both in context and by itself), which in English can be translated as "faggot" (as in homosexual, etc.), "cunt" (although in Spain the specific word for this is "coño"), and "swinger" (which is the "nicest" translation...and there are better words to translate "swinger" into Spanish). FIFA and the dictionaries that claim this word means "fool" are wrong; Mexicans don't live in a vacuum, and they know what this word means in most of the Spanish-speaking world. In fact, Mexicans also take great offence to the word because they know it means "fag" and "cunt"; it seems they only pretend otherwise so as to get away with using it on others. The fact the English-speaking world hasn't yet classified "puta" or "puto" as hate-speech is quite disturbing (all the more so as, after FIFA ruled it inoffensive, I even heard Italians using it during the 2014 FIFA World Cup). Regards.--MarshalN20 Talk 13:04, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

@Skookum1: You should have asked him why the man "had no self-respect". I bet that would have made the translator turn colors. I detest it when "translators" don't give full meaning to a word. It only serves to propagate the hate speech.--MarshalN20 Talk 13:07, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't a translator, it was a friend in Acapulco when I lived there who explained it that way, and who had good English; his sense was that of debasing oneself, and this is rooted in ancient times with kinaidos in Greek, the "humiliative form" used on men who had sold themselves for sex; the word hybrizei(n) was a bit more euphemistic and didn't necessarily refer to sex-for-money but could include rape; it means "to outrage" or in the form hybrizomai, "I was outraged", i.e. "an outrage was committed on me". Kinaidos was the charge against Timarchos made by Lysias, which disqualified Timarchos from taking part in the Assembly, as men who had been boy prostitutes, or prostitutes, period, could not appear in the Assembly, nor take part in politic (Timarchos had been about to file charges against Lysias on, um, similar grounds, the speech is Lysias' pre-emptive strike; what he goes on about I'm surprised Fellini or a Greek film director has never tried to make into a film...) So in the sense of someone who allows themselves to be debased, for money or not, it could apply in either female or male forms. Another translation of puta I've heard is simply "slut". And, well, yes, hate speech has been with us since pre-antiquity, and often is sexual in nature, and often emasculatory; Catullus is full of it....so to speak.....anyways my point is that my "translator" was trying to be if not euphemistic but explanatory. He nothing against homosexuals, he was trying to explain the context of the word in the culture of machismo that prevails in Mexican male culture (like it or not). "Bitch" of course would be perra or perrita; I remember a (very good) film called Amor es perros, its English title was "Love's a bitch", and figured five very complicated and intertwined stories about dog-owners and dogs.Skookum1 (talk) 15:54, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
This is quite interesting. I see we actually do have a good article on Spanish profanity, and I'd encourage you to see if you can add to it or check some of the unreferenced/dubious tagged claims there. The article is actually well worth a read by anyone -- for example, I suspect I missed some meaning even of the title of Livin' la Vida Loca for the past 15 years. Wnt (talk) 15:45, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Too long a reply Skookum. I'm also quite sure that the Mexicans who use the word "puto" know nothing about whatever roots it may have in Greece or its relation to "debasing oneself." They use "puto" in the same sense and meaning as in American English people use the word "fag." It doesn't matter if the user doesn't have any hatred towards homosexuals; it is still an offensive hate-speech term. I'd also like to add that "machismo" is predominant in most cultures; after all, there still is a strong womens' rights movement in the USA (which is indicative that the male-dominant status quo is still present in that country). Regards.--MarshalN20 Talk 13:10, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
As long as we have good Spanish speakers here, can someone pop over to es.wikipedia and see if they've ever found reason to comment on the use of "marica" as an affectionate term by Columbians, in a way which I'd guess might be equivalent to the Aussie use of "cunt"? Wnt (talk) 19:21, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

German study 2014

  • I really do hate to hijack this 9th sub-thread on this page (or is it the 12th?) on the same topic, but I will point out that researchers from Beuth University (Berlin) and Wikimedia Deutschland have released a 24 page summary report on various diversity issues, Charting Diversity: Working Together Towards Diversity in Wikipedia. My full-contact comments and criticism are in a thread on Wikipediocracy, for what it's worth. The report identifies the following 5 primary factors to explain the gender gap:
1. Lack of time. — Statistically, women have less.
2. Media preferences. — "They mostly prefer social media, such as Facebook and Pinterest, where the level of female participation is far higher than 50 percent,... as well as online and mobile games..."
3. Technical difficulty. — "8.8 percent stated that they would be more likely to edit Wikipedia if the technology were easier to use," with Visual Editor as the planned solution.
4. Lack of support. — 43% of contributors faced deletion of their work without comment, with the 2011 Lam study indicating that the contributions of women were deleted at a higher frequency than those of men.
5. Atmosphere and tone. — "Women (but also men) stated that they left Wikipedia because they felt personally attacked by other users, were confronted with prejudices and stereotypes, or simply lost their initial drive to edit because of the endless discussions the task involved... Women rate the general tone of communication in Wikipedia more negatively than men do." /// Carrite (talk) 07:28, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
This is probably not the right place, but...I wonder how solid those conclusions are, and what the relative weight is. For example, 5 items are mentioned, and the recent discussions have concentrated on the last one. How much does that one contribute? Some of the items are not in our control, specifically items 1 and 2. However, I'd like more information about item 1. Obviously it isn't meant literally, and should be read as referring to free time. However, while women with children are likely to have less free time than men with or without children, only 14% of editors are in that category, so how important is it? If, for example, women with childen have 20% less free time than men with children, then we are talking about a 3% difference, barely measurable. and not in our control.
Item 3 mentions Visual Editor, (which I am using more, as it gets better). Is there any study to see if this helps?
I am puzzled by item 4. Articles are not deleted without comment. I suppose there are some reversions without edit summaries, is that really ubiquitous enough to be a major issue? (to be clear, I think rude and dismissive edit summaries are a problem, but that's item 5, not this item).--S Philbrick(Talk) 12:06, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Rude and dismissive closing comments are also a problem; I won't name the ones I'm thinking of; others here know my opinion of things that have been said, and by whom.Skookum1 (talk) 11:16, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
After reading over the report, it seems obvious that #1 — free time — is the most important single factor related to contribution at WP. Sociology is rich in research illustrating that women with families have precious little of it, compared to men in the same position. The inevitable conclusion is that there is this enormous factor driving the gender gap. The argument I've made elsewhere is that if WMF is concerned about efficacy in terms of building the base of active content contributing volunteers, they shouldn't be so obsessed with the (horrid) gender numbers, they should be targeting older people, regardless of race or gender — particularly retired teachers and professors. Carrite (talk) 13:19, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Though choosing this spot to interject, as there are various spots this might fit here, not all women are married or have children; though the very prolific and much-missed [User:Phaedriel]] I know counted wanting to spend time raising her family was one of the many reasons she left (another big one was sexual harrassment from SPAs creating taunting usernames and shortcuts). User:KootenayVolcano was/is, I believe, an LGBT person; User:CindyBo runs a liquor stores and breeds Bernese....Carrite knows I've also had experience with women editors who are very aggressive in their actions and claims about others, yet express fear of those who they have criticized, and indignation when their actions are challenged and make various NPAs and AGFs, often without substance and often a very hypocritical one-way street; not just women do that, of course; which is implicitly AGF.....treating criticism of an action or interpretation of a cite or a guideline is often railed at as NPA, which means that nobody can say "boo" in some cases. I agree with the 'regardless of race of gender re older people; it's by no means a gender-specific issue when it comes down to widows and widowers, empty nesters, or single, older women or men, straight, childless for whatever reason, or otherwise. I don't buy the argument that a lack of civility or "tone" of discussions repel women. Encouraging older editors, many of whom do not like the rigidity of the wiki-bureacracy's mindset (one sfsorrow, who only briefly created an account and only raw-signed his IP posts, often made very valuable points on history and more, albeit in a very erratic "un-wikipedian" style. Too often ANI is full of alleged "un-wikipedian" claims, and there's even [[WP:NOTHERE}] to bolster that in the course of blocking or banning someone for life. WP:EXR should be referred to here; and a review of WP:Missing Wikipedians and their history and experiences could be very revealing, no?Skookum1 (talk) 16:04, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Follow up query: how much outreach has WMF done to retired women? How many people over age 50 does WMF have doing outreach? Carrite (talk) 13:26, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Can we revisit my point? If free time is the number one driver, only 14% of Wikipedians have children. Of course, that makes it mathematically possible that all female Wikipedians have children, but that is unlikely. My guess is that more than 14% of female Wikipedians have children, but the proportion would have to be materially higher to make this a major issue. Do we know?--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:15, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Children are very time-intensive pets, as anyone who has spent time around them and their owners knows... To me the detail "Only 14% of Wikipedians have kids" was the "a-ha" moment from the German report. Having kids = lack of WP participation, and the reason is time. I'm sure the Gender Gap Task Force could generate a report summarizing the work of sociologists doing comparative analysis of the time budgets of women and men with children. I'm certain it is a huge literature. Long story short: women have much, much less free time than men in the same family and employment situation due to traditional gender roles within the family unit. Having a Job + kids + being a woman, and there ya go, that's what's driving this thing... Not potty language. The detail on the disproportionately large amount of editing done by older editors further bolsters the notion that it's all about kids + Job + free time... The way to actually chip away at the gender gap AND actually bolster WP content, it would seem, would be to target older women. Carrite (talk) 14:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 14:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
(ecx3)Responding, in part, to your question regarding outreach to retired people, there was a session at Wikimania 2012. Good session, needs more followup. There are more retired women than men, and they do not have the time constraints of women with children in the home, so more efforts here might reap general benefits as well as gender gap benefits.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:34, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think husbands etc. failure to do their share of the housework should be an excuse for saying "there's nothing wikipedia can do about it." Obviously, Wikipedia is trying to do something about Media preferences and Technical difficulty, even if those of us who already know sufficient code may find the new interface annoying. Lack of support. (read "deletion of their work without comment") can be dealt with by considering chronic or targeted or obviously purposeful lacks of an edit summary to be an example of disruptive editing. Atmosphere and tone is what we've been discussing here, to sometimes hysterical caterwauling from various individuals which I summarize as "oh, we can say dirty words all we want but if they complain about it they're being tendendious and should be blocked." So many adjectives that could be used, so little time.... Anyway, teaching new women editors about, and encouraging them to go to, WP:ANI, sooner rather than later is certainly a worthy goal editors can take on voluntarily. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 14:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

After reading over the report, it seems obvious that #1 — free time — is the most important single factor related to contribution at WP
I haven't read the full report (if it's in English, I will), but I really doubt this. If women are answering "lack of free time" in a survey, I doubt they mean it literally. I might say "lack of free time" is the reason I haven't decided to read all the Harry Potter books, but it isn't strictly true. It's just that I don't have enough free time to do everything under the sun, and that one's not a priority. If, as the list above also says, far more than half of contributors to Facebook and Pinterest are women, then it seems clear that women do actually, collectively, have plenty of time available to idle away on the Internet, it's just that they are making decisions about how to spend it that don't favour Wikipedia. That's likely to be partly for reasons we can't help, and partly for reasons we can. Formerip (talk) 15:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
You are seriously suggesting that Wikipedia should do something about husbands who fail to do their share of housework? What did you have in mind? I'm an invertate optimistic, and love tilting at windmills even when there is a low chance of success, but even that sounds like a task outside Wikimedia/WMF remit.--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Lack of time/choices in how to spend it makes sense to me. Whether we can do anything to make WP as attractive a proposition as Facebook etc is moot but, yeah, something that positively encourages the older demographic might be a partial solution. - Sitush (talk) 16:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
A good place to start would be respecting them and understanding older points of view and personal life-experience et al in terms of content and input; and also, the increasing 'code-ization' of Wikipedia has made things like citations and infoboxes and templates more code-heavy; easier for younger generations to do and talk about but it leaves many older people cold and left out of the loop and often frustrated (sfsorrow again comes to mind; he's older than I am even). Similarly complaints that somebody is long-winded (ahem) is somehow unwelcome to the point of being treated hostilely by those from the point-form, I-have-no-time/patience people of the sped-up world this has become, is a generational culture difference that needs to be acknowledged...rather than dismissed and derided and punished.Skookum1 (talk) 16:13, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
It seems exactly right. I know my WP productivity crashes when I go to work or have stuff going on. We've had five days of wild wailing over naughty language intimating that it's what's driving the gender gap. In reality, it's probably an effect, not a cause. Carrite (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It isn't often that I have work but, yes, it obviously impacts. I also have to do my own housework, cooking, washing etc and, being generally unemployable, an awful lot of DIY that would otherwise be delegated to a tradesman. I hate to draw more flak but the Facebook involvement variation (apparently, 30% more female Wikipedians' time spent on FB than male Wikipedians around 2011) makes a lot of sense to me. At least where I am, women like to socialise, like to gab, like to swap photos of what they've been doing etc to a much greater degree than men - but Wikipedia is not really a social network. There are fundamental differences between males and females that extend beyond the physical, and that the figure is only 30% surprises me. Lady Astor made a brilliant comment about the physical one in the UK Parliament pre-WW2 - look it up) One bizarre quote at Gender bias on Wikipedia says that (paraphrase) WP's focus on facts is off-putting to women. I'm glad I was sat down when I read that one because I'm not sure that, for example, an encyclopaedia based on gossip would really cut the mustard. And, Carrite, I'd be wary about using "wailing" as you did - I got into trouble here for using "drama".
FWIW, I've been trying to improve what was a pretty dreadful article - Sara Jeannette Duncan - but am now out of my comfort zone. I've worked on quite a few bios about women but I'm not good when it comes to paraphrasing literary criticism, which is going to be a significant part of this one. Being concerned about it turning into a quote farm, I've left a note on a couple of project talk pages. One of those is the Feminism project. It will be interesting to see if anyone picks up on it, although I guess that announcing it here might make a difference. In any event, all I'm interested in is improving stuff, not all the sideshows. I'm good at improving things; I'm not good at politics. - Sitush (talk) 00:50, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"I don't think husbands etc. failure to do their share of the housework should be an excuse for saying "there's nothing wikipedia can do about it." That's not what he suggested. Carrite suggested targeting the retired (or generally 55+ I guess). I'm curious about this "deletion of their work without comment", it is a fact that pseudoscience true believers are generally much more likely to be women [1] (for example ~40% of women from a Canadian dataset [2] vs ~21% of men have paranormal beliefs), which leads me to wonder what are the natures of the articles being deleted? A qualitative study of what these people were actually trying to do before they quit would be interesting. I imagine there was generally a warning because they don't know how to use the technology (point 3), I assume they couldn't locate it Second Quantization (talk) 19:20, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I really can't wait for a female editor to chime on this sub-discussion. IF THEY HAVE TIME, and aren't writing pseudoscience articles.--Milowenthasspoken 21:02, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Although I'm not a woman, I think wikipedia has too many "History" sections. This could be one source of the problem. Brian Everlasting (talk) 21:13, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
So you want to get rid of or minimize history content in Wikipedia?? In favour of what??Skookum1 (talk) 16:07, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
More of the usual problematic claims from Second Quantization. The source you cite does not say "pseudoscience true believers are generally much more likely to be women". It says that some small surveys show that more women than men believe in ESP, and this makes a lot of sense considering how emotionally invested women are in children that they give birth to, while men are incapable of developing this kind of deep bond with another organism. As usual, Second Quantization cherry picks a meaningless survey to promote his own pet theory. It's hilarious to me how the biggest and loudest "skeptics" on Wikipedia are often promoting pseudoscience themselves. Viriditas (talk) 00:34, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah, now the New Agers come out of the woodwork. "In most cases, more women than men believe in these types of pseudoscience. In response to the 2001 NSF survey, women were more likely than men to believe in ESP. The percentages of men and women who said that they believed in UFOs were about equal, which contrasts with the findings of other surveys. In fact, in most other surveys of this type, aliens-from-outer-space-type questions are the only ones that show higher levels of belief among men than women" Also the canadian dataset is a sample of ~1800 people. Yeah, nice reading comprehension there, let's not let facts get in the way of your rant. You have no counter, so you dismiss it as cherry picking (despite it being the second result from a search [3]), I cherry picked the NSF too did I? Where are the counters? Neither article mentions children or emotion, so I wonder where you pulled that out of? I like how you think women believe in pseudoscience and the paranormal because men can't make deep bonds with their childre, weren't you a second ago criticising me for an alleged "pet theory". How embarrassing for you, Second Quantization (talk) 09:57, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I would be leery of concluding too much from this sort of study. So far as I'm concerned psychology is not undeserving of listing as a pseudo science. :) When women say something summarized as "believing in" something, does that mean that they are "true believers" or only that they express a sense of the diplomatic by speaking in a way that implies more open-mindedness? My perception is that culturally women have come from a bad position where it often behooved them to act as if they didn't know so much about the technical matters, lest they need to change their position under coercion later; but this does not imply actual ignorance.
I would also reject a bulk reaction to some definition of heretical beliefs that fails to take into account varying possibilities for a truth behind each. For example, the Japanese have a now-nonsensical belief that blood type affects personality; but if you look into the history it turns out that toxoplasmosis, susceptibility to which is greatly affected by blood type, was widespread there after the war. Astrological emanations from the planets may be bunk, but historically different foods were available when the Sun was in different signs of the zodiac. And as for precognition... it is amazing that the purely religious belief in causality is treated as a science while any consideration that the time-reversible mathematical descriptions might actually work in reverse now and then is treated as some kind of superstition. Wnt (talk) 15:23, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

A little bump

I added my comments in a couple of places previously, but the discussion was so fast moving, new sections added etc. that I have not had any replies. So I'll list them again. Post about how the BBC manage their message boards end of first part of this section (just prior to the "Early response from BHG & LB" section). Post about the idea of a jury-style solution for blocking decisions end of this section (just prior to the "Conflict resolution" section). --The Vintage Feminist (talk) 14:07, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

on my list to check out when start gathering more proposals of interest to add to bunch I've found on GP email list, etc.; starting to finally to organize mass of relevant links - including academic studies and mainstream articles - as resources. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 15:21, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

WMF superblocks its community

Hi,

since Erik doesn't answer, I'm now sending this remark to some other WMF officers and board members. I apologize for using your time.

I'm a crat in german wp. The so-called super-protections that Erik Möller/User:Eloquence and User:JEissfeldt (WMF) have put on our common.js on sunday, acting officially on behalf of WMF, have left some blood on the carpet. Many fellow wikipedians are upset, even those who accept the media viewer (which had been the conflict's origin). Several long-time contributors have left or stopped editing due to this. Journalists picked up the case.

Personally, I strongly protest against the WMF's action, and it's failure to communicate afterwards. Our communities are capable, and willing, to handle problems like this without office-actions.

There have been no official or private comments from WMF in the last days, so I'd like to suggest you have a look and give some response to the criticism.

(apologize again, for my translation errors)

Rfc: https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Requests_for_comment/Superprotect_rights

Links to ongoing discussions in german language: [4], [5], [6]

Greetings, -MBq (talk) 20:19, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi, i second MBq's request and also e.g. this post by Rich. This issue is not taken lightly especially among german wikipedians. Regards, Ca$e (talk) 20:55, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
If it's a Board issue then perhaps m:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard is the right venue. Deltahedron (talk) 21:22, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
There are two big problems I see here. The first is that WMF is losing credibility - you just can't believe what they say. They say software will be assessed to see if people want it, then claim that survey results consistently under 50% approval are a "rising trend", declare that anyone who beta-tests software can be claimed as supporting its use, claim that RfCs don't matter and instead of re-running them simply ignore them, make changes to back up superprotection without proper code review or developer consensus, and end up overruling multiple projects. They say that Office Actions will be for specific Good Legal Reasons decided by Experts, then come out saying that anything they want is an Office Action, even if they have to make it so retroactively because people disagreed with them. The other problem is that the superprotection continues the proliferation of hierarchies we saw when the Pending Changes "reviewer" right was rammed down the community's throat. Instead of being an encyclopedia anyone can edit, this is a media corporation which graciously allows some people to work as unpaid interns if they wish to do work that enhances the editorial vision that people come up with in the Head Office. IANAL, but I suspect a consequence of that will be that it won't continue to be possible for WMF to disclaim that their articles are user-submitted material for which they bear no liability - not when they have staff members watching over the wiki ready to superprotect anything they thing is being changed the wrong direction, with no apparent limitation on their authority. And of course there's very little difference between dickering with lawyers over what you can print without potential legal costs and sitting with PR people and dickering over what stories you should spike to get some outside revenue. A Wikipedia led from a head office might be a Fox News, might be a MSNBC, but what it won't be is neutral; each side is going to be looking to stack it with board members to vote for their POV to come out on top.
Now superprotection is nominally a solution for a real problem - the vulnerability of Common.js - but in order to reign in this debacle, WMF needs to a) say exactly how much authority it is taking and promise clearly that it will take absolutely no more (i.e. make it like things would be in the Ukraine if the Russians had simply taken Crimea and formally promised that would be it and not kept troops massed on the border waiting to go all the way to Kiev). b) look for better technical ways to take just that authority, i.e. by some kind of mandated code review for Common.js or a special status for that file rather than an unlimited superprotection. c) state in advance some genuine test criteria for new features and clearly promise not to impose them if they don't meet those criteria. d) follow through on those promises. Wnt (talk) 23:50, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
More of you should have stood up when Arbcom enshrined that concept that "office" actions did not need any credible legal basis.—Kww(talk) 00:46, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Kww, that is indeed peculiar. I knew that Office Actions could bar changes to pages, but I didn't know by increasing a page's protection level they mean to ban admins from increasing a page's protection level further. Especially when the one they set is not one used on the wiki. Was there actually a purpose on-page to setting the page's permissions like that, or was this a means of imposing yet another unwanted hierarchy-establishing "feature" (PC2)? Wnt (talk) 03:26, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
It was solely Philippe's personal preference, forced upon us because he had the power to do so and no one thought it worthwhile to resist.—Kww(talk) 03:40, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Just in case you missed it, Jimbo (or others whom it may concern), several issues - which many seem as of great impact regarding the current and future relationship between WMF and local communities in general and which already have lead to several very active administrators and editors, having to date provided tens and hundreds of thousands of contributions, quitting the project or their functions - are currently (also) discussed at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:LilaTretikov . Ca$e (talk) 18:54, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

A literal monopoly

I'll just leave here something somebody posted at the Meta RfC which I think Jimbo and the community at large should read:

I've been editors for many years now, but this page got me thinking. Sometime, somehow, someone got his Eureka moment: Wikipedia is monopolizing the open knowledge with virtually no competition (good luck on searching "wikipedia competition")1. It has become the de facto place, the expected #1 search result, to find information about any topic on earth. That's why the staff acted with no regard to the userbase. Jimbo at the State of the Wiki 2014 has essentially suggested that if you don't like with the way Wikipedia is handled right now, fork off! The new editors will keep coming (in diverse community such as en.wp, not necessarily in other languages). The encyclopedia has enough content and replenish rate as it is right now, and forking is so 2002 and there are so many disadvantages of doing it that is already displayed in this thread, for a project to literally follow the step of es.wp's fork, ... unless, of course, that multiple projects joined in the boat and there's some mean to support a multi-lingual exodus. Bennylin 22:08, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I find this disturbing to say the least. What this means essentially is that the WMF can screw with their software and we can't do anything about it because any attempts to fork will fail.

Jimbo, since you delivered that speech, would you mind explaining more fully your thoughts on this subject? KonveyorBelt 23:46, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

The phrase "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind. Anyone who thinks that the web is still an egalitarian free space is living in cloud-cuckoo land. I've been reading Lila's responses to concerns expressed on her Meta talk page. She's good; that is, she's a good corporate politician, adept at batting stuff away and filling space with "California-speak". I'm not hopeful. - Sitush (talk) 23:57, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
👍 Like. (I wouldn't normally use this template, but since Jimbo and the WMF are so fond of social media...) JMP EAX (talk) 09:33, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
By the way this is worth reading although I don't totally agree with the position expressed there. I think the WMF is at the point where it really doesn't care about editors. All they care is driving more traffic to the site to increase donations. This may seem shortsigthed, but once you have enough google juice you can make money for at least a decade even with crappy info. I have a good example of that from a different domain: there's certain website in Romania that's the first hit (from this country anyway) for "Bucharest taxi". That site lists perhpas a hundred taxi companies with their phone numbers. Awesome, eh? It is the first thing you'd like to see in google no? Except something like 90% of the phone numbers there are no longer valid nor calling them actually connects to a taxi company. You see, the site hasn't been updated since 2008. But it's still the 1st hit in google. The moral of the story is that you can make money for a long time with google juice by monetizing crap/outdated info. And a lot of the long tail of pages in Wikipedia are at that level of quality as well. JMP EAX (talk) 09:54, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
And you may think that Wikipedia is free to read and edit, but as monopoly is not really different from other monopolistic publishers, most notably Apple. JMP EAX (talk) 10:46, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Five pillars

Jimbo, do you recall the discussion that led to the page? I can't see where any discussion has been had over the page's identity, so I've decided to fling it open and see what all of the editors think. See Wikipedia_talk:Five_pillars#What_is_this_page.3F. Be great if someone who was around at the genesis of the page could talk about it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:01, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Interesting question. I dove into Archive.org's "Wayback Machine" at the start of 2004 and don't see any reference to 5 pillars there, although following a couple links brought me to "Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot," which is a line JW mentioned as common to many WPs as part of their formal civility rules. Civility and NPOV for Beginners (Pillars #4 and #2) are dealt with extensively there and that might be the root of a formal pillars page. (Ah, I see now that it still exists as an essay: Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot...) Carrite (talk) 16:46, 14 August 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 16:51, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Discussion on the 5 Pillars Talk page argues that the "Trifecta" (NPOV/Don't Be a Dick/IAR) was the forerunner of the 5 Pillars. I'm sure it was directly influential, but that started only in April 2005 and there are other, older layers of the onion to be peeled... Carrite (talk) 17:26, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Looking back at old editions of WP like this, one can really see mission creep in the Wikimedia project. Compare this Dec. 2003 mainpage statement about the nature and purpose of WP: "Wikipedia is a multilingual project to create a complete and accurate free content encyclopedia." with the soaring (Utopian) rhetoric of "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." Carrite (talk) 17:05, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Complete and accurate is rather ambitious, and, at the time it was written, perhaps free was too. Also, perhaps the possibilities and opportunities for Wikipedia have changed faster than Wikipedia's own mission has changed. In 2001 the majority of people with internet access would be North Americans and Europeans with above-average income and fluency in English. Thirteen years later, the statistic that six billion people have cellphones is rather impressive and indicates that the world has moved on rather a lot. Wikipedia's mission needs to move with it, and is doing so. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:21, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. Carrite (talk) 17:28, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe that's six billion cellphones, rather than six billion people? I haven't counted, but a fair proportion of that number are lying around in my bottom drawer. Not six billion, but. Maybe only three or four. --Pete (talk) 22:37, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, indeed. The statistic may also be "have access to a cellphone" not "own a cellphone". So the contents of your bottom drawer are made up for by some families in poorer nations where the head of household (perhaps) has a cellphone, and the rest of the family (and their friends?) get to use it, either directly or indirectly. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I hope it's six billion people with access. Cellphones are empowering people in all manner of ways. Access to information is a huge resource. --Pete (talk) 03:35, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Notice

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is If I may..... Thank you. Dusti*Let's talk!* 22:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Since you were mentioned I believe I have to notify you (or someone does anyway). Dusti*Let's talk!* 22:45, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Heise (bis)

They now have follow-up story [7]. I think someone is crossing fingers that the English press don't notice these. Insofar that was so. JMP EAX (talk) 15:49, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

The founder's opinions on Superprotect and MediaViewer

Dear Jimmy, since days now there are big discussions and huge irritations following the rollout of SP and MV against the communities' will. I am interested in what your personal views of these happenings are. In my eyes they are clearly against your own original project principles (esp. #4). Did you change them, without publishing it? (If someone can provide original messages by Jimbo according this, please post links here.) Thank you. --Trofobi (talk) 21:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Having an article deleted

Hi, Jimbo,

I recently did s site re-design for a client named Sandy Frank, and he contacted me last week about having his Wikipedia page removed from your system. I referred to your procedure for having this done and inserted the necessary code on the page to request removal, then gave it a week as your instructions state.

I got a call from the client this morning informing me that the page is still up, and when I went to the page I saw your explanation that you couldn't rely on an anonymous user's request to remove a page (understandable) and the link to message you, so here I am.

The client does not know who initially set up the page (it may have been a former employee who is now deceased), so they've tasked me with trying to get this done. My question to you is this - if the person who set up the original page is now deceased and no one in their organization has any knowledge of an account corresponding to the page, how do we go about proving to you that our request is legitimate? Would providing contact information to the company or the subject of the page help? I'm at a loss as to how to prove that my request is legitimate, and would really appreciate any pointers on how to provide you with sufficient proof to legitimize the request.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Don Waller 74.101.141.17 (talk) 15:42, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's currently up for Proposed Deletion, but there's a few sources out there. Worthy of a Wikipedia article isn't defined as the person wanting it or not, it's about notability, especially through reliable websites. Supernerd11 Firemind ^_^ Pokedex 17:18, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Please understand that Wikipedia is a service for the reader, not the subject. We're not a Who's Who that you can (and have to) buy your way into; we're volunteers sharing what we read in public sources with one another and anyone else interested. What we choose to talk about is, therefore, ultimately up to us. Because this person has touched films that have entered the popular culture - apparently deciding (directly or via subordinate), for example, how much material to cut from films about Gamera when they were dubbed into English - the interest in his role is now inevitably part of the popular culture, and therefore, of Wikipedia. Wnt (talk) 17:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
We're a lot of things but one thing we're not is robots, so these things are complicated. People who are very marginally notable by our rules and standards (Sandy Frank's not even that, but supposing he was) who have requested that their article be deleted have a special stake and should (and do) get special consideration. Looking at the deletion discussion, I'm confident that the article will be deleted in a few days. Herostratus (talk) 00:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Cyclopia contributed a very important reference in the discussion, to a lawsuit he filed against Michigan for a system of film tax credits that had promised, but denied him, support for making a certain kind of show. The reason why we need to claim the right to look behind the curtain, to write articles about the people behind the scenes and how movies actually get made, is that when we look back there we find, for example, that what we might naively think of as a free market is really almost a state agency, receiving a 42% tax credit for making the right kind of film that portrays Michigan residents in a positive light. We have the right to see this and know this, not just to sit there in front of the boob tube sucking down Sandy Frank productions and taking them as some kind of a fiat from heaven that they're this way instead of that way and wondering why The Guys In Charge all make them like that. Wnt (talk) 10:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Whoa, relax. We're not The Nation, here. I get how you feel, but let's not use this guy as whipping boy for some ulterior motive; he should or should not have an article on the merits (a decision to be informed, though of course not controlled, by his desire not to have an article since we're in the grey area of notability (if even that)). Herostratus (talk) 00:34, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not using him as a whipping boy - he filed suit against this law on constitutional grounds, so I'm thinking of him more as the hero. The thing is, how often do we find the goodies left at the top of the rabbit hole? Figuratively, indeed sometimes literally, there has to be a certain leap of faith where you put aside pessimism and all rumors of sharp-toothed jackalopes and reach deep into the rabbit hole to find what fabulous treasures await. Wnt (talk) 12:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

DYK about early learning

Related to two threads in the last archive: DYK has more good news, such as the Inkpot Madonna. She returned to her cathedral today, after it was closed for restoration for four years, but I see also a woman, working on early education. - This user learned that the flowers of kindness, generosity, forgiveness and compassion do not grow well on a soil of people thinking of other people as toxic personalities. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:26, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

+1 All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:53, 15 August 2014 (UTC).

Arbcom

[[8]] Hell in a Bucket (talk) 18:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Monkey business

From the same BBC article: "the foundation rejected his claim on the grounds that the monkey had taken the photo, and was therefore the real copyright owner." Really? The WMF got involved in that? JMP EAX (talk) 00:20, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

The communications team is working overtime to get corrections about this. Of course the Foundation did not claim that the monkey owns the copyright. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:24, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales: it would appear that User:Odder is going the communications teams' job for them. Perhaps he should be given a job at the WMF as he is more effective than they are it would seem. 200.59.5.221 (talk) 11:01, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I guess I missed the memo [9] "Wikimedia Foundation revealed Wednesday, in its first-ever transparency report, that it denied Slater’s request to have the image removed from Wikimedia Commons." JMP EAX (talk) 00:25, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

For reference, the files in question are File:One-of-the-photos-taken-b-013.jpg and File:Macaca nigra self-portrait.jpg, and their derivatives. Seattle (talk) 02:51, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
In the news today (posted Aug 6th) “Photography is my only source of income,” he told ABC News.¸--Moxy (talk) 10:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
His source of income has nothing to do with the copyright status of the photos. Seattle (talk) 14:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
[Insert] If the shot is in the public domain, he can't sell it. If he is the copyright holder, he can. Writegeist (talk) 23:57, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, he's playing an appeal to emotion fallacy there. He's also invoked Godwin's Law. Dude certainly isn't endearing himself to any sympathy for his position. Resolute 16:14, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
And Wikimedia and its arrogant community of know-nothing-at-alls are not endearing any sympathy whatsoever; more like international derision. Photographers' associations and their considerable funds, and army of copyright lawyers, will fall in behind the photographer. Paraphrasing what Stalin said about the Pope, "how many lawyers does Wikimedia have". It certainly does not have unlimited funds, as appeals for donations constantly remind us; should people's donations to improve the Wikiverse be used to defend a copyright dispute and contest interntational copyright law? If so, it is an abuse of those funds. Wiki-lawyering and the pontificating of Wikipedians about someone's motives are quite irrelevant to copyright law. Yes, Slater does have a right to make a living, and there's nothing wrong with that, though you are all insinuating his motives are suspect. That kind of insinuation about another Wikipedian results in a block. He invested in the trip to Indonesia, and for his supplies for his days in the jungle, and for his cameras and more; Wikimedia invested nothing. This is the tyranny of the ignorant and arrogant over someone being victimized by wiki-foolishness. But being victimized and doing the victimizing is common fare in Wikipedia, as is a complete moral vacuum on too many things to list. This will end badly, and very expensively, for the Wikimedia Foundation; it is already an international laughingstock; the schadenfreude of the press when Wikimedia is brought to heel and forced to pay damages will be even more of a chorus of hilarity and the butt of jokes for years to come. A consensus of fools is only foolishness. The monkey has the common sense to stay in the jungle...and as observed below, has not filled out a wiki-license relinquishing her copyright to the public domain. Animals cannot own copyright.Skookum1 (talk) 16:51, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the Foundation lawyers will need to put in a lot of thinking about this one, because this is a very important issue affecting our attempts to try to protect the public domain. There are going to be a lot of arguments essentially appealing to some manner of "sweat of the brow" and various other circumstances that have favored various extensions of the copyright principle beyond the direct action of the photographer. For example, companies presently claim to own faithful photos of the Earth from orbit, even though any satellite in that orbit would have gotten pretty much the same thing. Modern artists fling paint at canvasses more or less randomly, or even paint it blank!, and claim it as an original protected work of art. You can purchase a commercial drone with a commercial camera, take a shot with all the default settings, and claim that simply because you controlled (with a very low level of accuracy) where the drone happened to be flying, that gives you a copyright over the photo. So what about handing a camera to a monkey?
However, once you abolish the sacred (if somewhat silly) principle that any monkey (literally) who presses the button owns the copyright, where do you stop? You go to the store, you buy a phone off the rack, you shoot a picture of the Taj Mahal and you upload it to Wikipedia as "own work". But why shouldn't the manufacturer, which spent years designing the CCD, lens, image adjustment software and physical layout of the camera, have the right to say that they put in all that design work, and you're just a monkey who pushed a button, no better or worse at it than the one who did the selfie? And say that that photo of the Taj Mahal you took is their copyright, and get it taken down off Wikipedia? There are other such examples, for example the very common "copyfraud" where people scan in a public domain document and claim to own it because it was their scanner. Well... why not, if the copyright goes to those who provided the camera?
I don't know how you draw a line on this one. A consistent theory of copyright won't be satisfied until a company can have a chip put in your head by court order to charge you when you think of a song, and with the power to make damn sure you never dare to hum it. All I see is a vast morass of inconsistent theory that depends mostly on who you are, and responds favorably to the application of large amounts of money. Wnt (talk) 17:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Herro Jimmy, I have just seen this tweet which has this photo of a ducklips selfie with a photo of the macaque. Do you not think that, aside from the photo not being funny, that it is in extremely poor taste that this image is being widely discussed in the news at the moment, and here are people at Nerdpalooza making light of the situation, led by none other than yourself. The projects are already taking a bit of a beating in the media, and if this photo comes to the attention of the media I can imagine that the wider public will be thinking "Jimmy, what an asshole"...because this is the general sentiment that a large proportion of commentators are saying about Wikimedia in general over the issue. Thoughts? 106.185.32.199 (talk) 23:23, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimmy you look great. So studious. But why does a monkey need glasses? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:48, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Several printouts of "the monkey" were propped up here on the Registration desk at Wikimania this morning, for attendees to take their own selfies with this newfound celebrity. But now, they have all been removed. I'm not sure by whom, or why. Censorship maybe? :) Arthur goes shopping (talk) 10:34, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it's clear the photographer hasn't a leg to stand on here, but at the same time I think the selfies and such are in extremely poor taste. We're talking about a regular guy trying to make a living

here, even if he's wrong, I don't see any reason for the mockery and teasing being conducted by the movement's best and brightest on the topic. Lankiveil (speak to me) 12:43, 8 August 2014 (UTC).

I have just taken a selfie of myself with a printout of Jimbo's selfie with the printout of the selfie of the Wikimonkey. Now I'm trying to decide who's the best looking guy in this photo.   Mandruss |talk  11:51, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

It's all a lot of fun (and I hope the photographer at least gets some useful publicity), but the coatracking at Macaque#Copyright test case and Celebes crested macaque#Copyright test case is a bit hard to swallow. Johnuniq (talk) 12:09, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm sure there's been a lot written on this, but I'm adding this Washington Post/Volokh link mainly because I remember reading the original post from three years ago. We've all seen stories that get parts of this wrong, and this one gets most of it right.--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:38, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

No opinion about the copyright of the pictures (not strong enough to mention, anyway) but... I have disagreed and agreed often with Jimbo in the past (not that he cares, off course :-) but I always thought of him as an intelligent person. That selfie with monkey-selfie does not make sense. Jimbo can't be that.. much.. well... he was high, or it is a fake. It must be... - Nabla (talk) 20:44, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I think it is very interesting that until the very moment he published that image to the internet it was totally within his control as to what happened to it. No one could demand he publish the image. If they took it out of his hands and downloaded the image and handed back the disk they would still be arrested for theft. Yet the very moment he publishes the image people think they may take it away from him saying it never belonged to him in the first place. Despite all this, I can see the merits to both sides of this debate, but I also think the clear precedent is not there. The bothersome part is the almost savage need to belittle and grab this image away from him because he doesn't hold to a free culturist's perspective. Frankly I think the WMF has and continues to be a bully in this situation. Saffron Blaze (talk) 01:13, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

This is embarrassing to Wikimedia, not just the photo dispute itself that the allows no edits there but that it is going on at all. The speciousness of the now-closed "keep" discussion is specious and evidence to me of the low IQ and lack of worldliness and sophistication of wiki-lurkers. Might as well change the description from "that anyone can edit" to "that any idiot can mess around with and screw up". Time and again Commons has seen images deleted for extremely minor issues with the license, or any whiff of a copyright dispute; even my own images and those from my family estate which I donated have been threatened by deletion for the merest flaw in the license, maps and images based on already-in-Commons maps and images have also been deleted, partly because there's a paltry 7-day warning notice and many people just aren't on Wikipedia all the time like the bandits who presume to power that they don't deserve. In the delete discussion, there's a bunch of "Keep" votes that observe that an animal cannot hold copyright, which by logic mean that their votes should be "Delete", not "Keep". US law, German law, UK law, Canadian law are all set aside saying "we'll keep it until the court decision" etc...well, have a nice lawsuit Mr Wales, I'm a photographer myself and know where this will end - with a big hole in the funds donated to support Wikipedia/Wikimedia et al, and a black mark (among many) in the history of the Wiki-verse; in the meantime it's all over the world media and making Wikimedians look like a bunch of jackasses. The Berne Convention is international, and US law is only a reflection of it. The Wikimedia Foundation is not a law unto itself; but that's definitely the position of the know-nothings in those discussions, very few of whom I recognize as regular Wikipedians, at least English-languages Wikipedia users. The last comment on the most recent keep/delete discussion, from User:Yann is the patronizing and loaded "Apprentice lawyers should look for padawan-lawyers.com"; but it applies most strongly to the "keep" voters being bulls***ers about copyright law that they do not understand but presume to interpret, and says "let the courts decide" . Oh, they WILL and it's going to be very, very, very expensive for you. But that's what happens when you let a bunch of monkeys and arm them with keyboards and let their chattering shipwreck the Commons' and Wikimedia's reputation....such as it is. Sadly, it's not Shakespeare. That macaque's wonderful smile will haunt this place for years to come; there are other pictures available of black macaques, is it so important that this one be kept - much less claimed copyright to by Wikimedia in the name of "public domain". Come again? The illogical nature of Wiki discussions and "votes" is one of the curses of the wiki-environment, and threats of lawsuits cause blocking and banning; here it's an invitation to lawsuits and the courts. You've got to find a way to cage the monkeys, they've turned the Wiki-zoo into a circus of mob-rule and tomfoolery. The photograher owning the camera and processing the images owns copyright, animals can not hold copyright under any int'l agreement or in US law, which supposedly governs Wikimedia; it's that simple. Unless the monkey's lawyers show up in court and argue for ownership of copyright, this will wind up decided in the photographer's favour and to immense cost to Wikimedia on top of the mounting international embarrassment still underway.Skookum1 (talk) 01:54, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

I think that anything that encourages hipsters not to harass wildlife with their first world money making schemes is a good thing.TM. AnonNep (talk) 02:19, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
that's just another stupid reason to support Wikimedia violating copyright law because of its own community of illogic+vanity+arrogance. Anything that brings that b.s. to heel, as this court case will do, is a much better thing, given all the abuses of logic and wiki's own guidelines that are being fielded to defend this nonsense and theft. And besides, if you've ever been around monkeys (as at Ubud in Bali, or on the wild trails in and out of Railay/Tonsai to Ao Nang in Thailand, you'd know that monkeys excel in harassing humans; let them out of the zoo they'd do the same in the Bronx or Compton or Yonkers. They steal, they tease, and this monkey was not being harassed, she was the one doing the harassing.Skookum1 (talk) 03:53, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
From the BBC (there are similar statements in other reputable sources): Mr Slater said he spent three days in Indonesia shadowing the monkeys in 2011.. AnonNep (talk) 06:50, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
So what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Jane Goodall spent years "harassing" gorillas by your logic. But your opinion, and that of the other arrogant-but-uneducated monkeys fielding their opinions on copyright law that have no basis in copyright law (wherein animals cannot own copyright) is beside the point. The court case, and the inevitable verdict in the camera-owner's favour is going to bankrupt the Wikimedia Foundation. A consensus of fools is only foolishness. Unless the monkey has lawyers and wants to press the case, it is none of Wikimedia's business to claim copyright. Wikimedia did not take the photo, and the monkey did NOT sign a release or fill out a Wikimedia copyright-release-to-public-domain license of any kind. American court costs and damage settlements are famously expensive, this is only going to end badly; it is already an international embarassment.Skookum1 (talk) 16:42, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Point of quote was to respond to your claim the monkeys were harassing him. And I've never heard Jane Goodall claim she must have copyright over Gorilla selfies to fund her holidays. AnonNep (talk) 16:59, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Yet another patronizing comment/accusation about this guy; photographers travel for a living, particularly nature photographers. Get a grip on this living person per BLP.Skookum1 (talk) 03:08, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
That also something else that he said in interviews (that he needed the money to pay for his holiday). It seems that you haven't read very widely on this issue before commenting. AnonNep (talk) 12:40, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
So WHAT does the fact he said that he needed the money to pay for his trip? He's a working photographer and ANY photo taken with cameras he bought and paid for is HIS. Your rationale is nasty, as if someone should be begrudged to make an income off their undertakings. That is NO reason to field a completely condescending attitude towards his RIGHT (aka copyright) to make earnings from his photography (which includes camera ownership, and contingencies such as accidental pictures taken, whether by a monkey looking at her reflection or a branch falling on the shutter or any other means). It's his camera, NOT Wikipedia's/Wikimedia's and it's most definitely NOT the monkey's. Appropriating it to the public domain, and then justifying it with weird rationalizations like "oh, he just wanted the money, as if that were a crime or suspect in any way is an argument that only someone with an axe to grind could make. A judge would certainly not tolerate it, and if Wikimedia's lawyers were to claim it in court the objection from Slater's counsel will be supported by the judge, just as it is supported by copyright law and the Berne Convention. You "obviously haven't read widely" on copyright law before shooting your tomfool mouth off about his motives; which are the motives of any artist of any kind about works undertaken with their equipment, at their cost. Argue as you are doing in a court and you would be held in contempt. You, and others with vindictive and self-righteous comments defending an untenable position not supporrted by law, definitely have mine and that of journalists (and photographers) all over the world. And since you clearly hold him in contempt, regarding YOU with contempt is fair game. And correct.Skookum1 (talk) 15:42, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I can't see this progressing constructively and I'll leave it at that. AnonNep (talk) 16:54, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I suspect, Skookum, that WMF legal has done a hell of a lot more reading about copyright than you have. Particularly since you think owning the camera automatically means you own copyright over everything created with it, regardless of the circumstances behind the creation of an image. Resolute 20:10, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
You can read all you want about copyright but if the precedents aren't there then the lawyers are just making it up as they go along. Saffron Blaze (talk) 01:23, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Resolute, where is your copyright "expertise" coming from? I know it only loosely, from being a creative person myself, though my years as a small-scale working photographer. Even within Wikipedia, in its own self-contained world of pompous irrelevance to reality and its disdain for WP:TRUTH vs "sources", that any copyright dispute exists at all should mean this photo should be removed from Commons until the case is decided in Wikimedia's favour. As someone here already observed, if a photographer's assistant is the one who fires the trigger, that assistant does not own copyright. As Saffron Blaze observes about "lawyers are just making it up as they go along", that is even more about "wiki-lawyers" and the bizarre babble and self-justification that's going on around here. I'm not an expert on copyright law, particularly on American copyright law....but unless you can demonstrate otherwise, neither are you. The monkey signed no release, and did not fill out a Commons license releasing "her work" into the public domain; she, being an animal, cannot have owned copyright; by default it goes to the owner of the camera; Saffron Blaze is right; though the precedents are there, as per the bit about photographic assistants; I can't cite them but I know they exist or commercial photography would be a very different thing than it is. The opinions on law and the derisive comments about the photographer here are not just BLP and AGF, they will also be used by the photographer's lawyers, and it's very very very likely that photographic associations and their lawyers will do the same. Any taint of legal action, or legal challenge, in Wikimedia/Wikipedia, is supposed to bring on a block or other punishment; yet here a pack of wiki-monkeys and wiki-baboons are chattering in the jungle of wiki-babble as if this were a closed arena. It's not; and much that is being said here can and probably will be used in the court of law. Curb thy tongue, knave; unless you can cite a portion of copyright law that says "pictures taken by monkeys who have grabbed a photographer's camera are public domain", you're talking through your fat hat like all the other wiki-simians here.Skookum1 (talk) 02:08, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
And about those lawyers....I object to the use of funds donated to Wikimedia for supporting Wikipedia for improving its content and interface being spent on a very questionable and obviously very controversial legal case; that is not what those donations are for; and the virulent mean-ness of comments about this photographer is indicative of a very very sad attitude of arrogance within the global fishtank and is not what those funds were donated for and should NOT be used for. You and others supporting the WMF's position here should start your own legal fund for this case; I reject the notion that charitable donations should be used for this case, period.Skookum1 (talk) 02:15, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Poor decision-making

Who's brilliant idea was it to print up the "monkey selfie" so that Wikimania participants could create "derivative works" from it? The photographer is already clearly posturing for a lawsuit (see "Monkey selfie sparks copyright battle,") ad infinitum. WMF refused a DMCA takedown request on the basis of a novel technical interpretation of the law, the photographer is alleging loss of income... This is certainly not a WMF position that I would want to bet money on holding up in court. So then we're going to make a game of the matter, with the public face of WP effectively taunting the potential litigant at London? Terrible breakdown in decision-making there... Carrite (talk) 13:50, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Derivative works was my phrasing to describe what they were making. The people who were doing it called them "selfies".  — Scott talk 21:55, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
My apologies if I have deprived you of royalties by lifting your excellent phrasing without credit... ;-) Carrite (talk) 05:04, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I must agree with Carrite on this. We are, legally, in the right, but morally this is wrong - we're effectively saying "ner-nerny-ner-ner". We should be making reasoned arguments to support our position, not behaving like bullies. -mattbuck (Talk) 09:00, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Morality in my estimation, and repeated experience, is in short supply in Wikipedia....Skookum1 (talk) 15:42, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I seriously doubt that WMF is legally in the right on this issue either. The obsession with who pressed the button is ridiculous. Carrite (talk) 01:22, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
As is also far too common in Wikipedia (ridiculous decisions/arguments).Skookum1 (talk) 04:20, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. It is the instruction to take the picture that establishes ownership, not who owns the camera or who presses the button. That's WMF's own legal opinion, published somewhere on the Foundation wiki. Mr Slater just has to convince the court that he deliberately left the camera with the monkeys in the hope they would use them, then it is his copyright. --Pgallert (talk) 07:22, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
That's complete hogwash; are you a copyright lawyer? I doubt it, or you wouldn't be opening your yap here; WMF's lawyers are simply holding the position that they have been assigned, nothing more. Wikimedia has to convince the court that public domain applies to an image they pirated, pure and simple. This is already an international laughing stock, and the jury's out until the court hands down its verdict. Donations made by people to the WMF to support Wikipedia and its sister projects should NOT be used to finance this case; if you're so ardent about supporting it, I suggest you and the others in the chattering chorus of wiki-monkeys babbling, rather gloatingly, about the photographer and in the gloriously incoherent way that is way too common in the self-referential universe that is the wiki bureaucracy need to establish a separate legal fund, rather than bankrupt Wikipedia et al. with this insane court case. Or do you expect that people donating money to improve the encyclopedia are all on-side with your claims and foolishness? Clearly a lot of us don't, huh? This is misdirection of funds and is full of BLP bullshit against the photographer, very much in contravention of Wikipedia policy about court actions, copyright and more....pay for it yourselves if you want to support this madness, it's an embarrassment and right now a global laughing-stock.Skookum1 (talk) 07:50, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think you grokked what I wrote, as I was arguing that Mr Slater does have copyright on the photo. The WMF legal opinion is a general one, unrelated to the selfie, and contradicting their stand on the selfie. Be that as it may, you don't need to answer this with yet another insulting rant; not sure what I have done to you to deserve it. --Pgallert (talk) 07:17, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
My apologies, then, it sounded like you were being snide about him, like so many others around here; and if you are not a copyright lawyer, then, still, "just has to convince the court that he deliberately left the camera with the monkeys" is a legal opinion on how to interpret copyright law per "instruction"; when a thief of any species takes a photo with a stolen camera, and the camera is gotten back, does the thief have copyright on any photos he/she might have taken? That the camera was set for shooting conditions is, to me, enough, but as monkeys cannot own copyright and, as the WMF claims (but is not to my knowledge anywhere in copyright law) the photo is then in the public domain, that also is an interpretation of copyright law not endorsed, as yet, by any court that I know of. And if you are in support of Mr Slater, then I think you see my point about it not being appropriate using funds donated to WMF for this very controversial legal test, and that is one of my core points; misappropriation of funds for a cause clearly not supported by all Wikipedians, yourself and myself included. As for insulting rants, there's enough of those here against Mr Slater to make this an open playing field; I'm sorry to have directed my opinion of the mounting idiocy about this in your direction, that resulted from a misinterpretation of your intent.Skookum1 (talk) 07:38, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Apology accepted; I can see how the general tone here can get people excited. No, I'm not a lawyer and don't intend to become one. For as long as I'm not in court I think I have the right to hold (and publish) a legal opinion, just like I could hold and publish an opinion on gardening or black holes. I have, however, witnessed that the legal fraternity in many parts of the world is open to logical arguments. That anything created with some degree of intentionality could be PD from the start sounds illogical to me, and yes, a camera thief would hold the copyright on pictures they take with it. In the US where such battles would eventually be fought that might all be different of course. According to legend it is all a bit different over there. Cheers, Pgallert (talk) 14:31, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
> camera thief would hold the copyright on pictures they take with it Not in the US and not in Russia at least. The fact of robbery or forced actions eliminates the copyright ownership rights. Same way that gang from Belgium that stole children and enforce them for porno in the house cellar and killing after are not "authors" and are not entitled for royalty fees for viewing or quoting their "creativity products".
Yet it is not a human thief, it is a monkey (Celebes crested macaque to be exact). And the issue gets crossed with many popular animal exploitations for money by human owners. That includes monkey paintings sold by many zoos and "pet-photo" business. The latter is getting especially popular (surprise, surprise) in the United Kingdom. I will remind that in the latter case a pet is sent for a walk with a camera on timer, and later sorted out by the owner. That might be (in no way I'm saying "that is") one of the roots of the ingrowing excitement over the issue.
Yet I see the current arguments of supporters of Slater's original copyright rather strange. Some superfluous wording away, they want to see a simple algorithm like "in a chain of events of any length go up to the first human met and (s)he will be the author". With such ideas it would be more reasonable to argue for a full PD of everything :-) Because if "going by a chain of events of any length", any creative work appertains then either to God (for creationists) or to Nature and its Big Bang (for evolutionists). --NeoLexx (talk) 16:16, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
[orgy in cellar] Hmm, and I would have thought that exactly this would form one of the charges, producing (=being the author of) child porn. And who would the author be if not members of the gang? Hope nobody is arguing it is PD now... --Pgallert (talk) 07:22, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It is not PD and it is not copyrighted, it is in the third category "copyright is not applicable", just like stamps and banknotes in those countries where this is stated. The traditional approach at Commons is to treat is as PD which is not really much sensual. It is like claming an exact color of the pure vacuum. That is the color of the pure vacuum? There is no answer for a by default senstless question.
As of "being the author of", there is a common misunderstanding of it at Commons, codified in "Author" field name. It is long time ago fixed at ru-wiki being named "Автор или правообладатель" ("Author or rights owner"). Indeed for copyright status it is very seldome necessary to know the author of a relatively modern work. One needs to know who is the copyright owner. The actual author and the year of his death (together with the year of the first lawfull publication) comes into play only when it is needed to assert PD-old status of the work. For the rest we don't care at all who's the author - yet why not to indicate if known - we do care who's the owner, if any exists. So that gang are the "authors and actors" of produced "artworks" but they never and for a second had copyright for it from the point of view of the law. Just like the pure vacuum never was black, white or rozy, not even for a nanosecond.
Coming back to the monkey :-) the only way I see to set it favorable for the photographer is to stick to the second public claim made after troubles for Caters News Agency started. I mean keep insisting that the camera was not stolen, but intentionally left in a place where monkeys are often in expectance of the regular monkeys curiosity. Neither first written statement (stolen, activated by monkey, dropped) nor second written statement (left intentionally, activated by monkey, dropped) are made under oath, just an interview to newspapers. Yet the sequence of the statements and the context of their appearance would make any neutral court triple demanding for arguments. --NeoLexx (talk) 11:17, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It is indeed true that obscene materials are barred from copyright. For example, when police agencies hold international conferences to convince politicians to pass international treaties requiring internet surveillance, they have been able to show child porn at the conferences for maximum dramatic effect, without having to obtain permission from the people depicted, let alone those who made it. Similarly, I've seen a few items on Wikipedia that actually list as their license that they've been banned in China and hence ineligible (sorry, I forget what they are now) Wnt (talk) 22:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
That may take us too far away from the monkey to the jungles. :-) Sticking to the US law there is a number of cases when the author doesn't get any copyrights, even for the initial moment, even if a real masterpiece produced. Stolen software as the tool, reinforcement for acting, "one buck deal" in corporate contracts — just to name a few. Yes, in say Beslan school hostage crisis the shotage of captured children before to explode them is attributed to an unknown terrorist and is not free. So good he was killed or his DMCA takedown would be well expected... :-) When I was young and energetic, such "lawyer role games" were making me ballistic. Now in such cases I am applying to nirvana technics mostly. Whatever however inside the project, and in case of a crucial (but only such) disconnection with the outside world there are office actions. --NeoLexx (talk) 10:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Still decided to express my own opinion within the subtopic "Poor decision-making". I do believe that it was a poor decision made to make that monkey nearly a mascot of Wikimania 2014 held in London. Wikimedia, Inc. is a purely US organization. And anywhere outside of the US we are all "damn Yankees, who are putting their legs on the table and moking up the local culture and traditions". Even those who are not American and badly speak English (the author of this post as a sample). American readers may refer to the sentiments by thinking of a US movie making fun of Americans and a foreign movie making fun of Americans. Mr. Slater is a British citizen, Caters News Agency is a British company. And a good effort was made to decline the initial neutrality of a British court where the case will be analized if ever submitted. It will be not an excuse of course for a prejustice if any detected. Yet the monkey should be used in Washington, D.C. or Hong Kong but not in London, where some US/Britain mutually neutral issue could be used as a landmark. IMHO, IMHO, IMHO. --NeoLexx (talk) 13:21, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Just a remark about tasteless Wikimanians: I saw the pic at Wikimania. The selfie story was shared widely there. However, I doubt that many who posed with the picture knew about the copyright argument. --Pgallert (talk) 20:02, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

How about the WMF fights for PD-ing something more worthily, like orphaned works?

How many animal selfies does Wikipedia or Commons have? And how many orphaned works photographs does it show, through the "graces" of national archives in various countries, which have appropriated the copyright to some such works, typically by a special interest [section of the] their national law. Some but not all of these are then "magnanimously" released on Commons with the copyright holder set to the national archive. (There's a Bulgarian saying about giving as gift somebody else's pie.) 188.27.81.64 (talk) 12:09, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Just a comment about that re national archives; it may vary on countries and lower-tier jurisdictions and institutions within them, but photos in the National Archives of Canada, the British Library (whose excellent collection of images is now in the Commons, the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver City Archives and more are in the public domain. The British Columbia Archives, a subdivision of the Royal British Columbia Museum, claims on its website to own the images thereon, but in actual fact that's a bluff; they only own copyright on images made from the negatives in their holdings; they are a profit-making subcontractor (actually run by Disney) and their claims in many cases are specious; the same photos are in public circulation and no formal copyright on many of them, such as the photographs of Artie Phair, are in postcard form or copies held by other museums and archives and in private collections; his estate (his descendants) claim copyright, but they are ignored by the BC Archives; those that were undertaken with public money had had Crown copyright, such as those of Frank Swannell, who was a prolific land surveyor photographer, are covered by the pd-50 license and even though digital copies are hosted on their site, and they have in most cases the negatives, any claim of copyright over them would not hold up in a court of law....there have been no test cases nor is there likely to be...because they know they'd lose. They're an exception, public domain in Canada is a dicey issue in Wikipedia, because American copyright law is 100 years, not 50 years, after the death of the photographer; but that's if the photographer owned the copyright, when photos are taken on government contract or on government payroll, the photographer does not; pictures taken under governemnt contract/payroll; Wikimedia's "rules" assert American extraterritoriality in these matters; but again, logic and morality and "doing the right thing" in Wikipedia are rare; in fact WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS is used to justify great wrongs, or at best to shrug off any responsibility. It may be different with teh Bulgarian national archives and in other countries; but the Berne Convention applies under international law in any case, including this one.Skookum1 (talk) 15:42, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

I am also rather disappointed with the triumphant and tactless gloating over the macaque selfie business. And I am a strong supporter the legal argument. This whole issue has sparked an unwholesome bout of coatracking across various Wikipedia versions. I have done my best to stem the tide. Some projects get the point, others simply balk and pretend that this is an appropriate way to illustrate an encyclopedic article about a primate species.

An Italian admin even went so far as to block me for a week without motivating her/his revert and without any warning. Just a blanket excuse that I had tried to revert coatracking, particularly in stubs.

Can we please apply a little off-wiki civility to this? We're part of one of the most influential open source enterprises in the world. What's the point of making an enemy out of someone like David Slater? People here seem to forgetting that while the legal argument is clearly for a free image, the moral argument is unequivocally on Slater's side. Without him, we wouldn't have these wonderful images to fool around with and rejoice at. In cases where museums and corporations try to lock up reproductions of ancient works of art and PD photos through technicalities, we tend to get very upset and protest their actions. But this is essentially the same thing, but in reverse. The least we could do in this case is to act with more humility. Peter Isotalo 13:09, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

I am awaiting the release from the WMF where they state they sympathise with the photographer and that by denying him copyright and moral rights in this image they may be doing him a favour by forcing the issue to court. Saffron Blaze (talk) 16:35, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

And I'm awaiting comment from whatever the national association of professional photographers is called....and their lawyers....Skookum1 (talk) 02:08, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Am I the only one who sees a massive disconnect between Jimbo's new crusade for "moral ambitiousness" and what's happened with this monkey's selfie? There can surely be no doubt that the photographer has suffered financial loss from WP's usurpation of his copyright, whether strictly by the letter of the law or not. But that's totally at odds with the focus not on the floor for what's right but on a higher moral purpose. Still, I suppose it's easier for some people than others to hold two inconsistent ideas in their heads simultaneously. Eric Corbett 21:14, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think anyone here has expressed a rational opinion on who legally or morally has the copyright. I am not a lawyer, but I have played one on USENET for a number of years, and have rarely been contradicted by a lawyer.
Under US law, the copyright normally belongs to the person actually taking the picture. If he's employed to take the picture, it belongs to the employer. The "photographer" (person pressing the button) can assign (or pre-assign) the copyright to someone or an entity by a written contract. The owner of the camera is irrelevant. This does lead to anomalies such as pictures taken with a stolen camera possibly belonging to the thief, and I don't want to deal with motion-sensor cameras.
Morally, he doesn't have any rights to the picture other than by owning and being the last person to control the camera. Seems inadequate to me.
If the monkey were considered a domestic animal, then its owner might hold the copyright, combining copyright law with the legal maxim that you are considered to have done what your property does.
But it's up to the Foundation whether they want to remove the picture as a copyright violation, and to Commons whether they want to remove the picture as a license violation. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:56, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Having an article deleted

Hi, Jimbo,

I recently did s site re-design for a client named Sandy Frank, and he contacted me last week about having his Wikipedia page removed from your system. I referred to your procedure for having this done and inserted the necessary code on the page to request removal, then gave it a week as your instructions state.

I got a call from the client this morning informing me that the page is still up, and when I went to the page I saw your explanation that you couldn't rely on an anonymous user's request to remove a page (understandable) and the link to message you, so here I am.

The client does not know who initially set up the page (it may have been a former employee who is now deceased), so they've tasked me with trying to get this done. My question to you is this - if the person who set up the original page is now deceased and no one in their organization has any knowledge of an account corresponding to the page, how do we go about proving to you that our request is legitimate? Would providing contact information to the company or the subject of the page help? I'm at a loss as to how to prove that my request is legitimate, and would really appreciate any pointers on how to provide you with sufficient proof to legitimize the request.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Don Waller 74.101.141.17 (talk) 15:42, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's currently up for Proposed Deletion, but there's a few sources out there. Worthy of a Wikipedia article isn't defined as the person wanting it or not, it's about notability, especially through reliable websites. Supernerd11 Firemind ^_^ Pokedex 17:18, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Please understand that Wikipedia is a service for the reader, not the subject. We're not a Who's Who that you can (and have to) buy your way into; we're volunteers sharing what we read in public sources with one another and anyone else interested. What we choose to talk about is, therefore, ultimately up to us. Because this person has touched films that have entered the popular culture - apparently deciding (directly or via subordinate), for example, how much material to cut from films about Gamera when they were dubbed into English - the interest in his role is now inevitably part of the popular culture, and therefore, of Wikipedia. Wnt (talk) 17:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
We're a lot of things but one thing we're not is robots, so these things are complicated. People who are very marginally notable by our rules and standards (Sandy Frank's not even that, but supposing he was) who have requested that their article be deleted have a special stake and should (and do) get special consideration. Looking at the deletion discussion, I'm confident that the article will be deleted in a few days. Herostratus (talk) 00:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Cyclopia contributed a very important reference in the discussion, to a lawsuit he filed against Michigan for a system of film tax credits that had promised, but denied him, support for making a certain kind of show. The reason why we need to claim the right to look behind the curtain, to write articles about the people behind the scenes and how movies actually get made, is that when we look back there we find, for example, that what we might naively think of as a free market is really almost a state agency, receiving a 42% tax credit for making the right kind of film that portrays Michigan residents in a positive light. We have the right to see this and know this, not just to sit there in front of the boob tube sucking down Sandy Frank productions and taking them as some kind of a fiat from heaven that they're this way instead of that way and wondering why The Guys In Charge all make them like that. Wnt (talk) 10:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Whoa, relax. We're not The Nation, here. I get how you feel, but let's not use this guy as whipping boy for some ulterior motive; he should or should not have an article on the merits (a decision to be informed, though of course not controlled, by his desire not to have an article since we're in the grey area of notability (if even that)). Herostratus (talk) 00:34, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not using him as a whipping boy - he filed suit against this law on constitutional grounds, so I'm thinking of him more as the hero. The thing is, how often do we find the goodies left at the top of the rabbit hole? Figuratively, indeed sometimes literally, there has to be a certain leap of faith where you put aside pessimism and all rumors of sharp-toothed jackalopes and reach deep into the rabbit hole to find what fabulous treasures await. Wnt (talk) 12:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

DYK about early learning

Related to two threads in the last archive: DYK has more good news, such as the Inkpot Madonna. She returned to her cathedral today, after it was closed for restoration for four years, but I see also a woman, working on early education. - This user learned that the flowers of kindness, generosity, forgiveness and compassion do not grow well on a soil of people thinking of other people as toxic personalities. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:26, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

+1 All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:53, 15 August 2014 (UTC).

Arbcom

[[10]] Hell in a Bucket (talk) 18:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Away

Post Wikimania I took a week's vacation with my family and I've been for the most part offline. I've glanced over some discussions (now archived) to which I really wanted to respond. I had anticipated being fully back to work tomorrow (Tuesday) but as it turns out I've been called away on a business trip for a few days and expect to have little access to the Internet for a few more days.

When I get back, I'll issue a call to please re-open any issues that I missed but also I'll dig through the archives and try to summarize and respond to some threads.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Thx so much for your notice. We[11] rely on you.
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” (Abe Lincoln)
Best Regards --Gruß Tom (talk) 08:37, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Tom is linking to a user survey on the German Wikipedia against the "superprotect" user right that the WMF created in order to force the new Media Viewer on the German Wikipedia. ArbCom's Media Viewer RfC case concerns a similar dispute on the English Wikipedia. For an explanation, and translation of the user survey, see this week's Signpost. —Neotarf (talk) 12:54, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Dear Jimbo, enjoy your vacation. I have received your super-secret message in a bottle (it landed in the pool yesterday--thanks for using a plastic bottle) and per your wishes I have assigned the job of Not Breaking The Wiki to Newyorkbrad. I will personally guard the Reichstag. Drop by on your way back up from the Gulf, if you like. Drmies (talk) 18:46, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo, a question was raised today about adding info to UDG Healthcare regarding its Ashfield Healthcare division, which is now the largest profit contributor to UDG. If a user posted a reward offering at WP:Reward Board for such sourced information to be added to the article, would this be seen as appropriate, one that would fulfill Wikipedia's mission? Also, would the appropriateness of such an edit/reward system be affected by any circumstances such as either editor (the reward-offerer or the reward-earner) being employed by Ashfield Healthcare, or a PR firm contracted by such, or even a competitor? Would there be privacy concerns if either the giver or the receiver were required to disclose such information? Or would disclosure be necessary to ensure the maximum transparency? Tarc (talk) 23:53, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, is the reward to be offered a barnstar or a Dogecoin (cash value $0.0002) or something of that nature? Those are the types of rewards offered on the Reward Board. Assuming this is so, what would be the a problem? It's hard to imagine a "PR firm contracted" for compensation consisting of a barnstar, so why bring the Reward Board into the discussion??? Herostratus (talk) 04:46, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, missed the edit war. OK, there was a really confusing and kind of weird post about paying five dollars for an edit... was reverted and Tarc's just reposting a version of that.. Tarc it's not really a good idea to be reposting stuff like this. If you have an actual question could you formulate it in some succinct and cogent form please. Herostratus (talk) 05:49, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
He's posting it on behalf of a banned user see summary here [[12]]. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 08:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I know. Jimbo gives a fair amount of leeway to that, just here on his talk page so don't worry about it. Actually Tarc's version is less inflammatory so that's good in that sense. Herostratus (talk) 08:14, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I was pressed for time and may have been a little hasty in summary, sorry. I don't feel that questions here should be suppressed unless the talk page owner himself decrees it, that is what the warring has been about lately. Tarc (talk) 13:17, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I would like to be able to have serious discussion on this page. About February I found that the banned user "Mr 2001" was making that impossible, so, in accordance with WP:REVERTBAN I declared that I would revert Mr 2001 on-sight wherever I saw him. I also declared that on this page, if Jimmy asked I would refrain. Jimmy has never asked me to refrain and I have reverted Mr 2001 about 30 times since..

Tarc disagrees, and boasts on my talk page about his ability to edit war on this matter.

Very well; I have reconsidered my practice of reverting Mr. 2001 on-sight on this page and I will start a new practice.

  • I will revert Mr 2001 and anybody WP:PROXYING for him on-sight on this page
  • If Jimmy wants me to stop doing this, he can let me know in any way he feels best, and I will stop.
  • If any admin wants me to stop, they can drop me a line on my talk page, and I will consider their reasoning. I will not necessarily agree, and per policy, I will not necessarily respond.
  • If anybody reverts my reverting of Mr 2001 or his proxies, I will warn the reverter after the 3rd reversion and after the 4th reversion will ask at ANI for the reverter to be blocked. This is automatic.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

If you remove a post of mine, it will be reverted. You will be taken to ANI, and failing a solution there, Arbcom. Good luck. Tarc (talk) 15:13, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I think Smallbones is out of line, presuming to be judge, jury, and executioner of alleged sockpuppets without evidence or investigation. I think the original post here was a troll and should have been hatted. I think the parties in the edit war should all, each and every one, knock it off. One would think that 3RR applies here and that both sides are already on the brink. Carrite (talk) 15:30, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • You are right Carrite, everyone should be held to the same standard. I suggest we wait 24 hours and then block every single person who is still violating 3RR on this page, regardless of who they are. This is getting silly. Chillum 15:38, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • WP:PROXYING is pretty clear that 3RR doesn't apply; but also that Tarc is free to repost a question from a banned user because Tarc wants to know the answer to the question (but not because Mr 2001 wants to know the answer). WilyD 15:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • There is no 3RR exemption for posting on other people's talk pages. Just because a policy allows for something does not make it 3RR exempt. 3RR is a bright line to prevent disruptive edit warring. Chillum 15:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Huh? WP:PROXYING (which is a policy) is quite clear that there's a 3RR exemption for removing the contributions (as far as I can tell, in all namespaces) by banned users or those acting on their behalf. However, if they make good/worthwhile edits, other users can make those edits for their own reasons. It's a little bit silly, but realistically, yes, reverting the restoration of Mr. 2001's question is not subject to 3RR, but removing someone else asking the same (or a very similar one) is subject to 3RR (and the prohibition on edit warring in general - I'd suggest that removing the talk page comments of a user in good standing is problematic the first time it happens, and waiting for 3RR to call it edit warring is overly cautious). WilyD 15:50, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • This is really overlapping more now with the discussion at ANI regarding Russavia's socks (link). What the overly-draconian rules-sticklers are going to do here is create a never-ending system of well-poisoning. Alleged Bad User A posts to Jimbo's talk page, or Alleged Bad User B adds an image to an article. We have several editors in both discussions suggesting that all such edits not only be reverted on sight, but also that no one else can re-post them due to literal "proxying" interpretations. So if a good question is asked on Jimbo's talk page, it'd be forever tarred and verboten. If a quality image of an airplane is added to that airplane's article, whoops!, that image can never appear again lest the adder be accused of proxying. This is fostering a culture of fear and paranoia, and I question the competence and sanity of a person who thinks he/she is doing the project a good service by doing this. Tarc (talk) 16:03, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Btw, 3RR never really came in to play in the current discussion like it did last week. I reverted twice, Hell did twice, Johnuniq once, and Smallbones 4x, and even the latter is moot now so there's nothing to really dig into regarding 3RR atm. Tarc (talk) 16:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, 3RR was brought up, with some implications that people are up for edit warring, so it's worth addressing. I don't think anyone has violated (Smallbones has 4 reverts, but I believe they're all actual edits of an actual banned user, so would be 3RR exempt), but the conversation certainly reads like someone might violate it, going forward. The question of the problems associated with banned-users-behaving-themselves-hunting is a separate one, I think, (and one more worth asking than the pedantics of when to disclose you're getting paid). WilyD 16:22, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

At ANI Monty suggested a compromise, just hat the offending material. Just in case anybody is unsure of the rule

Edits by and on behalf of banned editors
"Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule."

So even though Monty's hatting proposal looks like a reasonable compromise, I wouldn't feel bound by it since the policy says without qualification that I may revert. I wouldn't consider it binding on anybody else either. Nevertheless, depending if it was effective or not, I would likely leave the hatted material alone, and respect the hatter's wishes. I do encourage all other editors to participate in stopping the banned editor's trolling, whether they are hatting or reverting according to the rules. In particular, I think admins should be trying to stop this trolling and enforce the rules on banned editors.

I would also be open to any sort of moderation, arbitration, or any other sort of dispute resolution on this, with only one condition: Tarc agrees to follow the rules, e.g. banrevert. There's not much else for me to do. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:08, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

With all this discussion, we're still no closer to learning whether editors in good standing who earn cash Reward Board incentives (and disclose them) are subject to having their good-faith edits deleted if it is learned that the offer came from a banned user, or from a PR firm or self-interested corporation, for that matter. This comment isn't intended to make discussion "impossible", as Smallbones claims. The comment is intended to foster honest and appropriate discussion. But most seem more interested in playing the revert-unrevert-revert drama game. - 2001:558:1400:10:FC4F:3F4E:798A:2BBA (talk) 17:58, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
This is just dancing around the fundamental flaw with the Reward Board: anyone editing with the intention of earning the bounty already has a WP:COI justifying reversion. betafive 18:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Anyone is free to have whatever other motivations they want so long as they don't conflict with Wikipedia's goals. Merely being a paid editor isn't an excuse to revert good edits; one would need to judge whether the edits were good or bad before knowing whether reversion was acceptable. WilyD 13:17, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
That is factually incorrect; see WP:NOPAY. betafive 19:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
You'd be well advised to read things before linking them; that page says you're discouraged from writing if you're getting paid in such a fashion that it's likely to compromise your ability to remain neutral. So, as a I said, you're free to have whatever other motivations you like, including getting paid, as long as it doesn't conflict with the goal of writing a free, neutral encyclopaedia. WilyD 11:48, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose you're technically right, but that's a very fine and very dangerous hair to be splitting. betafive 01:01, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Smallbones - This will not end well — you are making accusations without evidence. Carrite (talk) 18:01, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Also, per the link you cite above, there is no 3RR exemption for repeated reversion of a proxy. It reads: "Reverting actions performed by banned users, and sockpuppets of banned and blocked users." Tarc is neither a banned user nor a sockpuppet of a banned user... Both of you would be strongly advised to knock it off. Carrite (talk) 18:11, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
The OP, here, and underlying series of edits appear to be breaching experiments. Regardless, the TOS is clear, you have violated the TOS if you do not disclose your employer and affiliation. Otherwise, you have denied readers any chance to find out that your material is written by the subject (at its direction) or by the competitor (at its direction), and mislead them - which is part of the encyclopedic information that we should impart. ('World: I know, I'm the subject (I'm the competitor), this is me making this statement'). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:48, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I should add that if there are questions about COI from legitimate accounts, you should post them at WP:COIN as it would be less disruptive or pointy, and then, after that discussion, if you legitimately still have questions for Jimbo, you can refer him to that discussion. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Banned editors should be reverted when they attempt to create drama or damage articles. However, the act of reverting an arguably productive edit can itself create drama. For that reason, a smart editor will look the other way when a banned editor makes what could be a productive edit. It's more beneficial, sometimes, to ignore than to revert. Be smart. If you make an edit and get reverted, for whatever reason, a smart editor will discuss the issue rather than revert warring. The perceived need to revert a banned editor does not give one license to engage in revert warring. Be smart. Stop and discuss it. Jehochman Talk 16:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker regarding a disclosure of a COI to readers, the only way to do that is with Template:COI. In my opinion (which is often changing/evolving) if the edits are genuinely neutral, the disclosure to readers is not material. However, if the content is bias/promotion/advert and it was written by someone with a financial connection that is not disclosed to readers, that is misleading to readers, even if another editor made the edit by proxy. I've seen a few cases where a paid editor followed the bright line and even following that process promotional material was added, controversies marginalized, and significant bias introduced on their behalf. By the same token, if a blogger is paid to do a product review and they ask someone else with no financial connection to review the neutrality of their review and hit the "publish" button on their behalf, I don't think anyone would take that seriously as a way of solving the problem. COI editors almost always insist their edits are neutral, though they almost never are. If the edits are neutral, they are ethical, if they are not, then they are advocacy, spin, manipulation or astroturfing, depending on the process in which they are obtained. CorporateM (Talk) 15:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not the "only" way, although there are undoubtedly more efficient ways and less efficient ways. Readers are researchers, and researchers can do as much research as they like, but cannot do it without some transparency. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:17, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
As for "genuinely neutral", you probably mean "approximately neutral", but regardless, when the reader can access the authorial interest, let them decide but don't deny them the information on which to decide. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:20, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker "approximately" neutral is indeed better. "Neutral" being an impossible ideal that is unachievable in a completely pure form and most editors not being completely neutral about most things. A disclosure on the Talk page is less ethically/legally ambiguous because readers that wish to investigate the article's authorship can reasonably determine the financial connection. However, the German court ruling I think was also reasonable, whereas they found that the disclosure was not clear and conspicuous enough for readers. I think it is unlikely there will ever be consensus for a more clear and conspicuous disclosure for readers that would technically meet legal requirements:
Therefore, paid editors should be especially cautious in ensuring their contributions are neutral-enough that the disclosure is immaterial, to avoid ethical and legal ambiguity or they should abstain. Thoughts? BTW, as most people probably already know, I am one such paid editor for a good amount of my contribs. (*uhem, speaking of disclosure ;-) ) CorporateM (Talk) 19:19, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Disclosure is not immaterial - no matter how neutral the author thinks their edits are. It is added (and required) information about the written work. Indeed, a type of disclosure would likely be preferable on the face of any article (perhaps a "note") but that's not what is now required by Wikipedia (some nation's law might). Nonetheless, TOS disclosure is still required regardless of where one contributes on the project, including in edits to the "Reward Board" where the underlying breaching experiments centered. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:22, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
As for ethics, that's pretty simple. The issue is not who you author are, but what - what is your relationship to the subject. That is uniquely in the contributor's knowledge, and not in the usual knowledge of the reader, so take some action to disclose. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Honourable mention

Honourable mention of Andy Mabbett at Wikimania: that is honourable! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Just one opinion

Dear Jimmy,

I would like to write you briefly (well, I tried being brief!) about why I am leaving Wikipedia.

I used to be a moderately active Wikipedia user (1,600 edits in 6 years), but I have not really edited Wikipedia in the past few months. Over the years I have repeatedly felt bullied by "more equal than thou" editors, and have had quite a few reasonable additions removed by tireless reverters, who do in fact own articles. It is an unspoken secret that article ownership is one of Wikipedia's main problems.

Despite Wikipedia's attempts to foment reasonable discussion, during a dispute it is invariably the tireless reverters and "owners" who win out. There was even one occasion where a single editor got his agenda through against myself and two others all trying to reason with him for over a week on a talk page. And we didn't even want to get rid of his opinion from the article, but rather to add that there are two opinions on the matter.

Many times I have wanted to write you about this, but thought you've got better things to do than waste your time with me. I essentially left Wikipedia about six months ago, but now I've got an editor removing some stuff I'd added a while back, that had never bothered anyone, and who's coming up with contradictory arguments for doing so.

Don't worry - I'm not here asking for you to defend me. That's not my point. My point is that much of Wikipedia editing operates like a clique, not like a community. So-called "experienced users" politely but firmly tell you that you're not welcome on their territory, they use jobsworthy arguments, and they are relentless in their agenda, which more often than not involves deleting stuff. This guy summarizes the problem succintly.

You may simply say to me "sorry to have lost you" (or you may not, I don't know), but that won't help the droves of enthusiastic new people coming into the project from being bullied out within their first year. And the enthusiastic new people are sometimes people with real knowledge, such as scholars and scientists, who get forced out by some kid in high school who sits in front of his computer all day, reverting article pages, adding barntars and/or userboxes to his user page, and quoting perfectly learned yet intentionally misinterpreted versions of Wikipedia policy at them.

I don't mind continuing to contribute, but it just feels ever more pointless when work you've researched meticulously because you're passionate about it and which you know is relevant to a given topic...gets erased, often without even a deletion comment. It's like a kick in the gut, man.

Thanks for your attention, and keep well! BigSteve (talk) 11:36, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Maybe we need a WP:Ownership noticeboard as a mild inducement for longer term editors to specific articles to chill (but only if the complainant shows all other policies are followed in their own edit). It would work for this long-time editor when ocassionally my hackles get up at some appropriate WP:RS statement that doesn't quite fit my vision of what the article needs... Face-smile.svg Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 13:19, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The real unspoken secret here is that the overwhelmimg majority of articles aren't crowdsourced but are instead written by a very few editors. Ownership is therefore a red herring, since without it there would be even more poorly developed articles than there are now. Ownership is both inevitable and beneficial in other words. Eric Corbett 13:47, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but good "owners" should be open-minded about improvements to "their" articles, and help others "fix" their desired improvements rather than flat-out revert them.
@Bigzteve: I don't know the longer history, but just looked at your recent edits to the single article that triggered your visit to Jimbo's talk page. You might ask the reverting editor, if "the numerical examples are nonstandard notation" can you change them to the standard notation please, rather than revert, and if there are links to "numerical planetary data" elsewhere on Wikipedia, please provide those links, to show me where such data can be found. Engage more on the talk page. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:36, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course they should. Did I suggest otherwise? Eric Corbett 16:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
No, the original premise was "article ownership is one of Wikipedia's main problems" and you called that a "red herring". Perhaps the better way to say it is abusive article ownership is one of Wikipedia's main problems—but, while I know such behavior is a problem (whether it's a "main" problem is debatable), I don't see that in this editor's recent history. Wbm1058 (talk) 17:07, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
So the original premise is arguably wrong, and from a wrong premise it's unlikely that the correct conclusions will be drawn except by accident. Eric Corbett 18:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Wbm1058 (talk) 18:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Eric Corbett, this statement: "The real unspoken secret here is that the overwhelmimg majority of articles aren't crowdsourced but are instead written by a very few editors." Could you give your evidence for that, please? What percentage is the "overwhelming majority of articles" and how many are the "very few editors"? Lightbreather (talk) 07:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Lightbreather: "Wikipedia seems like a good example of a crowd of people who have created a great resource. But at a conference last year I [Dan Woods of Forbes] asked Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales about how articles were created. He said that the vast majority are the product of a motivated individual ... if you took away all of the articles that were individual creations, Wikipedia would have very little left."[13] Eric Corbett 12:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The full quote, from 2009: "Wikipedia seems like a good example of a crowd of people who have created a great resource. But at a conference last year I asked Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales about how articles were created. He said that the vast majority are the product of a motivated individual. After articles are created, they are curated–corrected, improved and extended–by many different people. Some articles are indeed group creations that evolved out of a sentence or two. But if you took away all of the articles that were individual creations, Wikipedia would have very little left." AnonNep (talk) 12:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
When BigSteve says "My point is that much of Wikipedia editing operates like a clique, not like a community", I think he's absolutely right. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
And I don't. Eric Corbett 18:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't agree either. Perhaps there are some small cliques somewhere on Wikipedia—it's a big place, after all—but I'm not aware of any, or who might be members of one. You would think I'd have noticed by now, as I've recently climbed into the top 2,000 by # of edits. Wbm1058 (talk) 18:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Good lord, of course there are cliques here. Some are very positive, others are less so. Some of the positive ones involve interests in particular subjects. We even have a formalized system for them, we call them WikiProjects. Others, that are not positive are the non-formal packs of Editors who share beliefs about how WP should operate and what content should or should not be in it. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 21:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Yep, User:Scalhotrod, for you it is in spite of your not signing, wikipedia actually get users who enforce BLP in defiance of you, imagine that. Perhaps you would like to justify here as to why your favoured project, wikiporn, is being harrassed by our BLP policy and why BLP should not be enforced on porn articles when a consensus of porn editors deems that it should not be enforced, proposing topic bans for those who defy them by actually trying to enforce outr core policies. I say any cliques who try to disrupt our core policies should be disbanded. ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 21:34, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder Squeak. As for the rest, you seem to be off topic. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 00:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Umm, this is a user talk page not an article, so there is no topic to be on. ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 00:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yep, its those fundamental misconceptions that make you so misunderstood and get Editors ticked off at you. But hey, it's what makes you, you... :) Have a nice day Squeaker. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 05:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Then let me suggest an experiment. Establish a new user name and start editing a controversial article. You may experience things differently. Deltahedron (talk) 19:03, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, right. Now I remember. I have had such an experience editing as an IP, before I registered. That is a problem. I think it happens in many topics that are tagged as "pseudoscience". That is definitely an issue, allowing minority viewpoints to get heard. But no, much of Wikipedia editing does not operate like a clique, that stuff happens on a subset of articles. It is a problem that may need the Foundation to step in with a solution, if only they didn't have such an aversion to editing content. If there was an easy answer, it would have been solved by now. Wbm1058 (talk) 19:24, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Off-topic sniping; let's get back to the subject
Maybe those who consider themselves "owners" should just ask other editors if they've "ever improved anything"? Or say "Who cares what the article says? Haven't you got anything better to do?" Martinevans123 (talk) 16:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
That would not be constructive. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:59, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the reference is to the recent history of Talk:Moors murders. Deltahedron (talk) 17:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Which follows on from an editor who has written several featured articles being followed around by an editor who appears to be making some sort of point. It gets tedious after a while not to mention predictable. J3Mrs (talk) 17:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see. indeed. Trout-slaps to a certain editor here. Actually, at this point, I think using whales should be considered. Wbm1058 (talk) 17:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Probably a mistake to try and use wales. Especially here. Sorry that he feels he has to go. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Well I admit I had a laugh when I read the reply to my comment in the collapsed section. I did not make that connection until I read the reply. Honest! Sometimes I'm slow about such things.

I did take the time to read Talk:Moors murders. What I found was excellent bold-revert-discuss behavior on the article itself, but overly lengthy and dramatic discussion to just go from mass murdermultiple murderserial murder. It seems to me you got to the right place, but oh the ordeal to get there. And I'm not sure who to blame more for the problem. Can't y'all just work it out? Wbm1058 (talk) 18:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't see blame as a useful dimension. But surely new editor's contributions can be as valuable as those from established editors. Even established editors were new once. People tend to thrive on encouragement (unless they have some kind of debilitating personality disorder, of course). Martinevans123 (talk) 19:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
new editor's contributions can be as valuable as those from established editors Of course, does someone disagree? If a new editors contribution is rejected, it doesn't necessarily follow that it as rejected because the editor is new, it might be because there were issues with the contribution.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
As BigSteve says, the problem is more that an explanation for a revert may be lacking or even, of course, downright rude and derogatory. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I certainly had an unpleasant series of responses from an editor who took the view that as an established author of some very long articles, he was exempt from any requirement to explain his actions. That editor is now banned for harassment (not of me). The experience was extremely disheartening. Deltahedron (talk) 19:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Deltahedron, I'm sorry to hear that someone took that view, but it sounds like the community did the right thing. Why did you bring it up, are you still disheartened? Should the community have responded more swiftly? I don't know the circumstances, but I am unsure whether you are bringing it up as an example of the community doing the right things, or as an unsolved problem.--S Philbrick(Talk) 20:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the community did not do "the right thing", whatever that might have been – the editor in question was banned over quite another matter – so yes, I'm still disheartened. But I would rather use the experience constructively than replay it. My point is that refusal to engage in a constructive way is a toxic experience and one which is, in my opinion, likely to discourage other editors more than any other single factor. I may say that I still get that, although in a less extreme form, from a variety of other contributors, including one administrator and more than one member of WMF staff. Deltahedron (talk) 20:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Have you considered that the problem might lie with yourself as well? I have yet to edit an article in common with you where I didn't find at least some of your edits objectionable. JMP EAX (talk) 00:05, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for that. What strategy did you choose for dealing with "objectonable" edits? Did you try discussing them on the article talk page, explaining in detail what you were trying to achieve, citing appropriate policies, using reliable sources and striving to achieve consensus? Or did you refuse to discuss how to write the article and instead rely on remarks such as "Now I know why so many articles in Wikipedia suck", "Please stop writing new article about stuff you don't understand much", "helps to read a source before you cite it", "It's clear that you don't understand much about the topic", "You just refuse to hear", "your writing style in this article is extremely bad", "I do wonder however if you ever had to teach classes yourself anywhere and what if you did what kind of evaluations you've got", "I see you are also very fond of long logorheas and rules lawyering on the dramaz boards", "Allow me to very skeptical of your "improvements".". Which of the two strategies do you think likely to produce a better encyclopaedia? Deltahedron (talk) 13:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The one where WP:RANDYs are topic banned quickly. JMP EAX (talk) 14:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Also, be very offended at what anther editor wrote about another article you've contributed to: "Wikipedia is so bad at describing these academic concepts to laypersons, even the layperson who is interested and educated in a related field. So many Wikipedia articles on academic topics read like pages torn out a 600 page textbook, written by a LaTeX-babbling automaton, to borrow a term." JMP EAX (talk) 14:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Why would someone be "very offended" about a comment made about an article two years before they edited it? The issue of the appropriate level for technical articles in mathematics is a recurring topic, and can be seen, for example, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics/FAQ. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that remarks on the style and content of articles, however pointed, are capable, at least in principle, of being the start of a constructive discussion about how articles might be improved. Personal attacks on other editors, on the other hand, are almost never the start of a constructive discussion. Deltahedron (talk) 16:39, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm a day late to this discussion, but I have to say I agree with BigSteve about ownership issues. I've run into it repeatedly in my (currently) preferred subject area, which shall go unnamed since I am currently topic-banned from it. I have mostly been tag-teamed, but there are a few single-editor owners, too. The big thing I've experienced in those areas is a refusal to follow a key part of the consensus building process: Decision-making involving efforts to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns (while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines). No compromising. No discussing. Just reverting (usually with PA edit summaries). Lightbreather (talk) 08:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Who is individual creator of majority of WP content?

Jimbo Wales, after reading the beginning of this discussion, I am dying to know: Is there really one "motivated individual" responsible for the creation of a "vast majority" of Wikipedia articles? Will you please qualify/quantify that statement? WHO is this individual? Is it the Eric Corbett that everyone seems so hell-bent on coddling? If Wikipedia is truly an open project, certainly this - the fact (?) that there is a single individual responsible for the majority of WP content - is something that ought to be out in the open. It's something that ought to be discussed, because then the project is truly not what it advertises itself to be.

I'll be out of town for about a week, but I will follow this via my phone. Also, I hope to spend maybe an hour today looking at who created the majority of articles I've worked on in the past year - my first year as an active WP editor. Lightbreather (talk) 18:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I think what was meant is that most individual articles are largely the result of one person's efforts, with other people helping. Not that one person (even Eric) is responsible for the vast majority of WP articles.
So for example if you go to User:Demiurge1000 and then scroll down to and expand "Significant article contributions", each of the featured articles listed there were (mostly) written, improved or expanded by one person, but also (mostly) copyedited by me. And of the Good Articles there, most of the military ones were almost entirely written by Jim Sweeney and almost entirely copyedited by me.
But this doesn't quite tally with the claims made, since, especially in the case of the featured articles, huge amounts of effort were put in by many other people both during, before and after the featured article stage. Dozens of edits per person, across numerous persons, I think. It's more a case of half a dozen people making a great article great, not one or two.
Looking at who created a specific article is even less useful. If they created it as a stub in 2002, and it became a featured article in 2012, and they never touched it in between, what significance does that have? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There's a big difference between who writes an article – by which I mean who actually contributes the bulk of the text – and who has the highest edit count, as this report from Business Insider expands on. Eric Corbett 19:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Just so... Jim would normally start by deleting most or all of the existing text, which I must admit made me slightly uneasy! Some accomplished article writers add content in vast wholesale chunks, not by many edits.
My examples (above) could also be used to support the idea that well-developed articles mostly have a single author. All of the featured articles I list, would not have gained that status without a single editor determined to achieve it, and pursuing it over, as far as I recall, between one and several years.
But, this means "a single editor with drive and determination and competence is normally needed to bring an article to featured status". It certainly does not mean (this is borne out in my examples) that editor can do it alone. Nor that the crowdsourcing method is worthless. At least, if you consider 6 to 12 people as "crowdsourcing". --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Is there really one "motivated individual" responsible for the creation of a "vast majority" of Wikipedia articles? Will you please qualify/quantify that statement? WHO is this individual?. This makes me think of some classic dialogue from the '70's U.S. TV show All in the Family. I think its the Rob Reiner character that says something like "....a woman is raped in America every 15 minutes." To which the Edith Bunker character replies..."O the poor thing!". ```Buster Seven Talk 20:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Demiurge1000, for explaining. It may have indeed been an Edith Bunker moment, as Buster7 suggests. I have quickly read the articles in Business Insider and Forbes by Blodget and Woods, and I'll read them more closely on my trip if I get a chance. (BTW, Eric Corbett, those two together are much more meaningful, to me anyway, than the one by Woods alone that you gave first.)
Anyway, maybe it has to do with the subject matter, but there are ownership problems on WP (or as Wbm1058 put it, "abusive article ownership"). Maybe it's just in certain topic areas, but it's there. Lightbreather (talk) 01:53, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I can only apologise for not doing your literature search for you Lightbreather. Eric Corbett 16:52, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales, Regardless of who the "#1 contributor" is, I think the "issue" is far more simple and less "insidious" as some may perceive or suspect. I think many Editors are proud of the work that they contribute to Wikipedia and as such try to preserve (for better or worse) that material. Furthermore, IMO many Editors tend to be passionate (for better or worse) about the subjects they review. Ideally it would great if everyone edited with a dispassionate, but knowledgeable eye for all of the material that is on the site, but the site benefits greatly from experts in any number of fields. Additionally, the "zealots" of the site (Editors whose passion sometimes or even predominantly influences their contributions) have their benefits. Often this zeal attracts the attention of other (or just more) Editors that an article would not typically receive. I touched on this "silver lining" aspect in an essay I wrote in December 2013 here. Lastly AGF I would have to say that the primary source of this "problem" is the perception of the edits and actions by other editors who simply share a different opinion about the nature of the material in a particular article or how it should addressed on Wikipedia, not realizing that this is not the place to take a stand or make a point. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)Because some may think differently, for the record, the above statement is not directed at anyone in particular

Potential misuse of POTY photo

Does our attitude on the Monkey business back fired? Are we helpless when our contributors are cheated? Does the world sympathize with us? Jee 14:54, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Its not our image in the first place. Its one particular editor who granted us a non-exclusive license under the creative commons. For all we know, the uploader could have also sold the image under other licenses that do not require attribution. Even if its a copyright violation, its a violation of the uploader's copyright, nothing we could do about it even if we wanted to. Monty845 15:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That is inaccurate. The present files [14][15] are labelled public domain as the work of a non-human animal; there is no mention of CC-licensing. (The monkeys probably think that signing such elaborate agreements to keep their content free is beneath their dignity) Wnt (talk) 12:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, they fully understand what the public domain is? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Presumably. Wnt (talk) 22:01, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, I guess they use State (of Nature) copyright. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo has not been nominated yet?

It's only a matter of time.... Count Iblis (talk) 19:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

If it's good enough for Wierd Al, it's good enough for Jimbo. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

"wikipedia isn't perfect, but its model is sound" FOR JIMMY WALES, CO-FOUNDER

Can I suggest that you two guys read Professor John Naughton's excellent article in "THE OBSERVER" of 10.08.14? If it helps you understand it, I can get it translated into Belgian (French or Walloon?) and into Dutch? I use both Wikipedia and ODNB and both's editors are equally 'intransigent': "unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something.synonyms: uncompromising, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, diehard, unshakable, unwavering, resolute, rigid, unaccommodating, uncooperative, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, pigheaded, single-minded, iron-willed, stiff-necked"; intransigeant; onverzettelijk: in french/dutch?

I CAN DEBATE THE SHORTCOMINGS OF WIKIPEDIA UNTIL (AS WE SAY IN COLLOQUIAL ENGLISH) "THE COWS COME HOME", BUT THERE IS NO COMPLETE AGREEMENT ANYWHERE IN THE ACADEMIC WORLD AS TO WHO EXACTLY CONSTITUTED THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP, SO ALL THE MEMBERS ARE A MATTER OF OPINION AND NOT FACT GUYS.

WHAT IS CERTAIN IS THAT A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION OF MALE MEMBERS WERE CAMBRIDGE APOSTLES.

Understand the above points and we may have the basis for further discussion? Otherwise....2.27.131.74 (talk) 19:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC) 2.27.131.74 (talk) 19:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the IP who started this talk page section

See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Enough is enough., and before that: Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard#Talk:List of Bloomsbury Group people#The Bloomsbury Group --Francis Schonken (talk) 03:26, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Naughton's article

OP is probably referring to http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/10/wikipedia-isnt-perfect-model-channel-4-government. JMP EAX (talk) 21:40, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Since it turns out that this [link/article] is somewhat related to a discussion above, here is my critique of Naughton's thesis. His thesis hinges on "So anyone with the time and inclination can see the evolution and transformation of the page over its entire lifetime." Or you might read a source on such [controversial] topics where the text can't change every second. Depends how much time you're willing to put into such divination. And even then, there is no guarantee that any version of a wiki article is reasonable/informative enough to be worth reading. There is plenty of utter crap with no reasonable version to revert to around here... even on uncontroversial topics. JMP EAX (talk) 21:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Also Naughton seems rather uniformed about what else is out there on the Internet he so cherishes when he writes "Wikipedia may be imperfect (what isn't?) but at the moment it's the only model we have for addressing these problems." Stackoverflow and its network, which has more members than Wikipedia, I think, uses a different "truthiness" model, where contestants for the truth/answer don't revert each other, but post their opinions/answers independently and readers vote on those. I'm not saying that is necessarily always better. An old but problematic answer tends have more votes than a newer but more accurate one over there. But different models of collaboration/crowd-sourcing do exist, even at large scale. JMP EAX (talk) 22:06, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

  • WP pages tend to reflect popular interest: In general, after reviewing thousands of pages, the trend is for page contents to mirror the real-world interest, and any popular topic tends to be comprehensive and current. Admittedly, many minor pages/topics can contain marginal text, often slanted to a one-off or one-time event, but in general, the fullness of pages will reflect the broader coverage in contemporary sources. A subject area where WP has been lacking, recently, would be the field of antique furniture or collectibles, but even wine vintages were formerly hollow pages, and various people have added extensive details about many common varieties of wines. The model "poster child" for page-content growth could be "Theory of Knowledge" which was formerly about a college course at one university and now reflects the broader coverage as redirected to "Epistemology". By contrast, many popular topics tend to be quite balanced in coverage, yet tend to excessive "wp:data hoarding" which is the key reason to have Micropedia versions of major articles, each limited in size and scope for use in a list of blurbs about those topics. The thinking is that the Micropedia version would generate composite pages of related topics, or pop-up sections, rather than just be a set of smaller pages each linked to a current major WP page. Anyway, the above comments about "Stackoverflow" are interesting to consider, but many subjects tend to be well-covered in current form, where a sub-page should be created to reflect divergent, or controversial views, without wp:Grandstanding of those views in the topic's main page. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:40, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

A hurricane for you!

Hurricane Elena.jpg Hurricane
Yeah, I like hurricanes. xD Josh M (talk) 00:34, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Jimmy, A while ago you asked me to point out a particular situation where a good faith paid editor was trying to work within the system, but failing. Here's an example you can watch: Talk:Sunrun. Somebody asked me for help. I told them to identify themselves and post a request to the article talk page. That's been done. Jehochman Talk 00:41, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Wanna know why all the content writers are leaving?

Don't avert your eyes, dig into the history of Richard Norton and the sadism festival at Arbitration Enforcement being conducted against him. Callanecc declares that Richard's creation of THIS article in mainspace in violation of a topic ban on direct creation of articles is worth a "three to six month" ban! Of course, he's going to graciously allow Richard_Arthur_Norton_(1958-_) to explain himself before imposing God's Will. This is sickening and illustrative of Wikipedia's problems retaining content writers of any merit. Carrite (talk) 15:03, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

The original Norton case involved copyvio issues. Are there new copyright concerns? And why wasn't this brought to Clarification Requests; it seems people are using that process more lately. —Neotarf (talk) 15:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Some people like inflicting punishments. It's very attractive to them, sexy even. To me, all I see is a fat Southern cop on a motorbike, hiding behind a billboard with a radar gun reading 27 on a car with out of state plates, when all the locals know damned well that the speed limit is 20. Not sexy. But the reality is that Mr. Norton is one of Wikipedia's most prolific creators of new content and is on the verge of being driven out of WP by Vogonesque enforcement of WP:OBSERVEALLRULES, which replaced the ostensible 5th Pillar (IAR) long, long ago... Carrite (talk) 15:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec-ed away) - And no, there are no copyright issues, here or anywhere in Norton's recent work. Unfortunately, that isn't the issue at all. Carrite (talk) 15:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Why can't we have good content creators that also...behave? Tarc (talk) 15:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Because sitting around socializing and following rules and "behaving" is in many ways antithetical to the writing process. Some of the best content people are old and grumpy and just want to be left alone to work in peace. Richard Norton had the misfortune of making a passel of sourcing blunders years ago and it is an uncorrectable situation now that (a previous) ArbCom has ruled unwisely on the matter. Carrite (talk) 15:54, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
In that case, now we have a different ArbCom, take it to ARCA. For now, though, he still has a topic ban, and while I agree that if this incident was a mistake a block is an unfortunate outcome, there's no need to make borderline personal attacks on the enforcer. BethNaught (talk) 16:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, there's a lot of grizzled dinosaurs in IT too that would like nothing better than to be left alone in the server room. But y'know, it isn't 1991 anymore. Adapt, or die. Tarc (talk) 16:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Hm. Ageism is alive and well here, I see. Are we going to be morally ambitious about that, too? - Sitush (talk) 10:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
It isn't "ageism", what an ignorant thing to say. It's not ageist to expect older workers to perhaps not do some of the things they used to do in the workplace of the 70's and 80's. Tarc (talk) 18:21, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it? You obviously do not live in the real world, where such tolerance goes on every day. This place and attitudes such as yours stink just as much as those against whom some people rant when it comes to civility. We do not all move with the times and as we get older, it gets more difficult to do so. So just shove us all out, eh? - Sitush (talk) 20:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
If you can't stop clinging to some faint notion of a Good ol' Boys club, e.g. Mad Men, then yes, the shove is a'coming. Tarc (talk) 21:34, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Really? I doubt it very much. You seem to be living on borrowed time here yourself, so I doubt you'll be among the shovers. Eric Corbett 21:41, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Your colours are showing, Tarc, and they are not pretty. Much as I think this moral ambitiousness thing is a load of codswallop and I worry greatly about the common sense and even sanity of some people who adhere to it, the youth of this world get nothing without the sagacity of age. Or, as Newton said it, we stand on the shoulders of giants. People who favour reinventing the wheel at the turn of every generation are either incredibly immature or very stupid. For starters, such an approach would rule out all but current event sources here. - Sitush (talk) 23:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
@Carrite: I have understood the sexual component in these things for some time now, although it seems odd to say so. I suspect this is one of the real reasons it's so hard to get women and academics to contribute here, and not the socially acceptable "oh, I'm busy" excuse they usually give. But enforcement of these things has not been very consistent lately. —Neotarf (talk) 16:11, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
For a lot a of people the equation is simply "hassle > reward/self-motivation". It's surely true for me in some topic areas. Life is too short to spend it arguing with the loonies and the obsessed on the interwerbz; As one (real-life) college of mine put it: that battle is lost before you even begin it. Of course one can reason that providing good content in non-controversial areas is simply giving a high-profile/google-juice platform for the loonies and the obsessed to soapbox from. But I think that anyone trying to get accurate info from Wikipedia on any topic seriously controversial is already foolish beyond salvation. So I'm happy to ignore such areas, the crazies who write there [which might not be all editors working there, but surely a lot of them], and the fools who might read their works. JMP EAX (talk) 18:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
A prime example of how Wikipedia "solves" such problems is currently at ANI: [[16]] (I'm not involved, nor would I ever want to be.) JMP EAX (talk) 12:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Since Rand Paul and Corey Booker are looking at sentencing in the US criminal justice system, maybe it is time to rethink crime and punishment here at Wikipedia. We are criminalizing non disruptive behavior, solely because we can. We do not need escalating month-long blocks for people making typos. It does not serve a purpose. I am currently blocked from creating articles in Wikipedia space, and based on past performance, every 75 article creations or so, I will accidentally click a red link in Wikipedia space instead of my User space. No amount of draconian punishment will change the error rate. It makes no more sense than criminalizing spelling errors or arresting an Arizona State University professor for jaywalking. Look at the 150 or so articles I have created since being on probation at my user page. Will having me be discouraged for another year serve the readers of Wikipedia 10, 50 or 100 years from now? I have already dropped about 20 positions in my edit count since this started. Don't the people in the biographies I write deserve to have their stories read? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 14:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
    • It sounds like you have a slightly unhealthy obsession with your edit count, but otherwise I'm inclined to be sympathetic. There's a saying: who doesn't work can't make mistakes. The though question is of course how many mistakes are more trouble than worth... JMP EAX (talk) 19:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
      • It is not ego driven, it is one of the metrics of my productivity. The almost yearlong hiatus and drop in edits represents maybe 300 biographies that will never be written. I have an account with the New York Times and I read historical obituaries of obscure, but notable people. I work with the Library of Congress at Flickr Commons to identify people in historical images to give them context, and add biographies of those people to Wikipedia and add the images Wikimedia Commons. I asked if people would continue my work while I was banned but no one did. I doubt I will ever come across those people again in the New York Times in an archive that runs from 1851 to 2014 and must contain (163 years*365 days per year*5 notable obits per day= ) 250,000 or more notable obituaries. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 23:30, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
See, that's pretty much the attitude that caused this whole situation, no offense intended. Once a person has tens and tens and tens of thousands of edits, it becomes physically impossible to check them all. So, if some of the early editing is sketchy (and who among us is 100% perfect in our editing from Day One?) — as a significant part of Richard's early work was — it is just so much easier to say, "Oh, this is not worth my time figuring out who is right and who is wrong — let's just flush the problem away." And, let there be no mistake, there are people who remain actively committed to doing just that in Richard's case. Well, I argue that is not the right way to approach this. Richard's a productive editor, a very big net positive to WP who remains hampered by "This Is Too Big To Deconstruct, So Let's Fetter Him" restrictions... It's really frustrating. I can't imagine how Richard feels. It can't be good. We have to end this "gotcha" culture at WP if we are going to expand our active contributor base, as we need to do. Carrite (talk) 20:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
No one thinks of leaving messages on talk pages anymore, they just go straight for the drama boards. —Neotarf (talk) 20:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ):Not if you're copying them from someone else's material, no. Looking into your case, I see hundreds of man-hours spend on trying to check and fix your copyright violations, in two separate CCI's (those are Contributor Copyright Investigations, initiated when a pattern of copyright violation by an editor has been shown, where a bunch of editors stop their article work and go through the very time-consuming and tedious work of vetting an editor's entire body of edits, checking for and fixing copyright violations), in addition to ten appearances on the Administrator's Notice board plus a full-blown ArbCom case where you were strongly admonished (by 13-0 vote of the Arbcom), prohibited from creating articles (12-1), prohibited from uploading images (13-0), and prohibited from linking to any external sites to which you had contributed (13-0; this last being, I gather, to prevent you from from doing a clever end-around of our copyright rules by creating a website, posting copyrighted material there, and linking to it).
But you created an article anyway -- by mistake. So, you made a mistake. It's a pretty careless mistake but you can appeal on that basis and in all likelihood you'll be warned to be more careful and that's that. More worryingly, none of all this seems to have sunk in, as you seem to be living on the planet of I'm-a-special-exception self-justification and actually anticipate doing this again every now and then. This is troubling.
@Carrite:, It's reasonable that when a person who is prohibited from creating articles creates an article someone makes a case of this. So re your original post there's no excuse for describing this as a "sadism festival" for "fat southern cop" types who "like inflicting punishments". (Not only that, you disappoint by failing to even work in the phrase "jack-booted thugs", which is de rigeur for vicious and toxic rants like yours -- didn't you get the memo?). This is just loathsome and horrible as well as false. Don't do that. Herostratus (talk) 20:52, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
One must be an artist with hyperbole and use it only when absolutely necessary. best, —Tim /// Carrite (talk) 21:15, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

im dying of a parasite in Winnipeg Manitoba and no one believes me

please came at,<-redacted-> — Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.163.53.10 (talk) 21:58, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

?????? KonveyorBelt 22:31, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • True semitrue fact: parasites that kill their hosts imperil themselves and are thus biologically ineffective. So if you've got a parasite, maybe it is making you sick but it's probably not going to kill you... I hope this info brightens your day. Carrite (talk) 06:40, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
False: Some parasites kill their host as part of their lifecycle. One in particular will take control of its ant host's nervous system to force it to climb large blades of grass and sit there. This makes the ant an easy meal for a bird, which the parasite needs to reach its next life phase. Perhaps this parasite induces wiki editors to leave phone numbers for people to 'came at' them. 204.101.237.139 (talk) 14:54, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • What sort of parasite? Is it some sort of vampire moose? Jehochman Talk 16:13, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Folks, we all know the drill when someone states they have a medical problem (even if we think it may be spurious). IP editor, if you believe you have a medical problem, please seek medical attention at your nearest emergency/casualty department or from a qualified medical practitioner. Wikipedia and its editors (including Jimbo Wales) are not qualified to assist you medically simply by a post on the internet. Risker (talk) 17:18, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
"Drill" is clearly medical advice. This 'Risker' character should be permablockbanned immediately. 88.104.23.102 (talk) 21:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

WP:MEDICAL 88.104.23.102 (talk) 21:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Current arbitration request

Hi Jimmy. At a recent and still outstanding arbitration request, several editors have said that a statement from you would help clarify the dispute. See here for one example. Would you have time to comment here or there? Thanks. Carcharoth (talk) 23:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Are you suggesting that Sir Jimmy can override WP:Site ban at will? Why would his input be required? Don't get it. AnonNep (talk) 00:23, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Editors have always been given a degree of latitude on their own talk pages regarding this. Tarc (talk) 00:55, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
      • So WP:Site ban "Unless otherwise specified, a ban is a site ban. An editor who is site-banned is forbidden from making any edit, anywhere on Wikipedia, via any account or as an unregistered user, under any and all circumstances. The only exception is that editors with talk page access may appeal in accordance with the provisions below." needs to be changed? (It can be hard enough to keep up with formal rules, let alone informal ones) AnonNep (talk) 01:09, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
        • I think that it should be changed to reflect current practice which involves a fair amount of latitude particularly in mild or reasonable cases (as well as my user talk page which serves a somewhat special community function to some degree). It should not be changed, I hasten to add, to invite banned users to post here in general!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:46, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • There is nothing helpful that Jimbo can say—this one is up to the community. If Jimmy announces that the banned editor's comments can be removed, media outlets will get a space-filler to the effect that Jimmy Wales refuses to consider reasonable and good-faith comments from new users who are only trying to understand how great wrongs can be tolerated! If Jimmy says he does not want it removed, the troll can post forever while expanding threads based on hot air, trying to make muck stick. No media outlet is going to take the time to understand that the comments are extremely lame, and are part of a long-term campaign to attack the no paid advocacy ("brightline") position promoted by Jimmy Wales (and to settle old scores). Johnuniq (talk) 01:44, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Nail on the head.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:23, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
    • If you don't like reading the words of banned "trolls", perhaps you should just unwatch this talk page. Being here isn't a right, this is still at its core just a user's talk page; not ANI, not the Village Pump, nor any other public forum. Banning users from this page happens via a simple "Jimbo says go away", not a community vote. There's no reason to argue against the opposite, i.e. "it's ok for me to hear from this person". Tarc (talk) 04:21, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
      • That's not right—it's up to the community. For example, you might revert a banned user and I'm not going to restore that and tell you to unwatch the page if you don't like it. This page does not belong to Jimbo. Johnuniq (talk) 06:16, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
        • In fact, it does. As I've noted before, I have no problems with some banned users posting to my own talk page, and there's nothing you can really do about that either. Banned users adding content to articles is one thing (though if it is good content, it should remain); banned users simply asking questions of the project's nominal leader is quite another. If the question or comment is truly, crystal-clear trolling, then it can be removed by anyone. If the only reason you can give for a reversion is who the author was, then you're in the wrong. Tarc (talk) 13:49, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
          • This is an interesting philosophical debate whose answers we don't really need to reach in order to solve the current question. Speaking of all users, we neither want to have them beyond all community rules nor do we want to have them subject to absolute control. People should have some flexibility to manage their own space, while at the same time should be expected not to disrupt the project. Relaxation is a value. Beyond that, there's the additional and quite thorny question of what my ability is to set my own rules here, given that I have a (mostly theoretical) rule as a final court of appeal after ArbCom as well as a few other reserved powers (such as to dismiss ArbCom and call for elections). Those things make this page somewhat unique although not in my view in the sense of "beyond the rules" but in the sense of an aspiration to the highest values we can muster, including both firmly dealing with people who are being disruptive *and* a sense of generosity and forgiveness of past error for people who genuinely want to contribute.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:46, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
            • So, in Plain English ... AnonNep (talk) 17:04, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
            • Jimbo this is an arbitration case involving a specific set of circumstances. Why can't you just simply say, "no, if a suspected banned user posts on my page he should be allowed," or "... he should not be allowed" and "if a nonbanned user posts what the banned user says, that should be left alone" or "not left alone." There, that is it in a nutshell. These were editors pitching in to help you out and now they're in jeopardy over it, so why not give some clear guidance? Coretheapple (talk) 17:49, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
              • I refer the honourable apple to the answer given by Johnuniq, and affirmed by Jimbo, above. Although Jimbo may of course wish to adopt some option based on some of the wording you suggest, but that's up to him. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:20, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
                • I saw that. I guess I'm having trouble accepting that as a valid response. But if that's his final word, fine, let's close out this discussion and let Jimbo police his own talk page for Mr. 2001 and other banned users. I'm not a fan of Mr. 2001, and no longer believe he is constructive, but I'm not going to stick my neck out to make this page Mr. 2001rein and I don't understand why anyone else would be so inclined. Coretheapple (talk) 21:37, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

How banning works on Wikipedia

There seems to be a misunderstanding on the mechanism used to enforce banning on Wikipedia. Other sites might use strict technical measures or gather and keep information from the registration process to enforce bans, but Wikipedia has chosen, to a very large extent, not to use these measures. So how are bans enforced?

The key parts of enforcement are WP:Ban means banned and WP:BANREVERT.

  • WP:BMB states at length that all edits by the banned editor are covered, there is no need to review whether the edits are good, bad, or indifferent. This makes a ban much easier to enforce.

WP:BANREVERT says re: "Edits by and on behalf of banned editors" that "Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule" (bolding mine). This is stated without qualification. So

  • Anyone may revert a banned user's edit. This is not limited to admins, checkusers, the founder, arbcom members, or even to registered users. Anyone may revert a banned editor.
  • Any edits by a banned user may be reverted. It is not limited to article pages, user talk pages, your own user talk pages, or any other pages. Any edits from a banned user may be reverted.
  • The revert of a banned editor should go unquestioned. The reverter does not need to give any further reason. I'll suggest that the reverter decline to answer almost any questions on the matter, as the banned editors and their enablers may want to cause disruption by long, tedious, and inflammatory discussion on the matter.
  • The reverter is allowed to make as many reverts as needed without regard to the three-revert rule. Reverting banned editors is specificallly noted as not being WP:Edit warring
  • Note that "all editors are expected to respect the enforcement of policies by not undermining or sabotaging them," even though "no editor is personally obligated to help enforce any ban."

So putting this all together, if a banned user makes an edit anybody may revert it. If the banned user or an enabler puts that edit back, then anybody can revert that edit, if the banned user or an enabler reverts again, anybody can revert this edit again. Sooner or later the banned editor will discover that he can't force the edit onto the encyclopedia and will likely be blocked for 3RR. Admins can't interfere on the side of the banned editor, or even question the reverter.

Thus just a few editors can deny the banned editor the ability to force edits onto Wikipedia, just by reverting him (it always seems to be a him) on sight.

There have been some questions on Jimbo's role on this page. Personally, though I may revert any banned editor on sight on this page, I would not do it if I thought Jimbo was in general against this type of reverting here. He states at the top of this page that he has an "open door policy (business)" so that may suggest to some that he means that anything can be written on this page by anybody for any reason. I doubt it goes that far. Jimbo has also written on User:Jimbo (5th paragraph) that

"Over 3,000 Wikipedians monitor my user and user talk page via a watchlist, and I trust them to edit and remove errors or attacks. (my bolding)". So if anybody think "anything goes" on this page, or that Jimbo has said that nobody can be reverted on this page, they are just not reading what Jimbo has said.

So several folks have been demanding for about 2 weeks now that Jimbo make a statement that I (specifically me) am allowed to revert banned editors on this page. While I do not claim to speak for Jimbo, my answer to that would be "Why do I (Jimbo) have to make a specific statement to you that I support Wikipedia's policy on banned editors? Why do I have to repeat what I've already clearly stated on my user page? What are you trying to make me say?" Jimbo's silence on this matter speaks volumes.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:27, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I seem to have had an edit conflict with Jimbo on this. His "Nail on the head" comment above seems to say everything. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:30, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
"I trust them to edit and remove...attacks" That is a misrepresentation and a strawman. Most edits made here by Mr. 2001 and others are not attacks on Jimbo or anyone else, rather they are criticisms. KonveyorBelt 17:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)


How banning actually works on Wikipedia

It doesn't, because there is no real name registration through a verifiable email and sign-in to edit; IP editing is allowed and many IP addresses are by their nature "dynamic." Sock puppetry is rife and effectively unstoppable, outing is specifically prohibited, and unsubstantiated claims about presumed alternative identities strongly frowned upon. So, a dose of realism that should solve the problem... If the query by Mr. 2001 or whomever is clearly a troll — hat it, don't censor it. And if the query raises a valid point in a pointy way, grit your teeth and move along. Carrite (talk) 14:57, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

  • My feeling on this is very simple. In light of his latest comment and refusal to take a stance (albeit for good reasons) I think that people should stop patrolling this page for banned users. If Jimbo wants to remove them, he has a keyboard and he should use it. We have better things to do. Smallbones I admire you greatly but on some things we differ and this is one of them. Not only should there be no reversions when third parties re-post what banned users post here, but the banned users themselves should be allowed to post here unless Jimbo specifically removes them. This is his page, and like paid editing it is his problem. Coretheapple (talk) 16:05, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
    • What you're suggesting is that, in choosing not to comment, Sir Jimmy is endorsing an informal application of rules - as opposed to what is in policy. That may be what you hope but there is no evidence for that. All we can say is that 'no comment' leaves the rules as they stand. And, as they stand, IMHO, they don't support your position. AnonNep (talk) 16:23, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
      • I think you're overanalyzing it. A couple of users have gotten in hot water at arbcom (Smallbones and the guy who brought the case) for trying to protect this page from obvious banned users. Jimbo can't or won't intervene on their behalf, so to me this is a situation in which volunteer editors have better things to do with their time than patrolling his page for banned editors. Coretheapple (talk) 16:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Quite the opposite - I'm thinking of it in terms of existing policy rather than what someone might be able to get away with (doing that would be overanalysing it). Policy backs up what's happening, unless Sir Jimmy, and by extension, his talk page, are granted 'special snowflake' status, where anything goes. Problem with that is it brings us right back to the content of many of Mr. 2001's additions here - how policy seems to be applied arbitrarily. There are two options: go by policy, in which case those reverting are correct (and how they spend their time is their business) or the rules don't apply here, at all, ever. If its the latter then lets see it put forward as a policy suggestion and see what everyone thinks. In general, lets just settle this so everyone knows where they stand. AnonNep (talk) 17:30, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
          • But as happens so often, the policy conflicts. It's not clearcut. In this case a nonbanned user reinstated what the banned user posted, and he was reverted. Policy is not clear as to whether that was kosher. Added on to that is the question, "how do you know this is a banned editor and shouldn't it be determined someplace first." Above all there is the question "What does he want because this is his page." All that kind of crap muddies the waters. Yes, people can waste their time delving into this murky puddle of mud if they want but Jimbo isn't, so I can't understand why anyone would waste a minute (and maybe risk getting in trouble) by protecting this man if he won't himself. Coretheapple (talk) 17:36, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
            • Meat-puppetry is a failed proposal but to get to that you've acknowledged 'a nonbanned user reinstated what the banned user posted' and the policy on site banned users posting anywhere is clear... unless this is talk page is special (in which case it needs to be discussed and exceptions placed in existing policy). As to determining 'banned', I'd suggest there's agreement by omission: WP:BANREVERT refers to those suspected of ban evasion without proof, because, if there was proof, the username and/or IP would be banned from posting in the first place. And, personally, the motivations of those reverting are their own, I'm more concerned about policy being implemented without favour, or, if needs be, to be changed to reflect practice. Informal power structures and arbitrary decision making beep me off to no end. AnonNep (talk) 18:01, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
      • I just find it weird that this is a case involving his talk page, and editors working on his behalf, and he won't or can't step in at the case page and make a clear statement there on that situation. I did, even though it was at the risk being dragged into a total waste of time. Coretheapple (talk) 17:03, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

If sticking to the BANREVERT rule on Jimbo's talkpage would prevent Wikipedia from being improved or maintained, Jimbo will ignore this rule.. Count Iblis (talk) 02:01, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Correct abbreviation for September - Sep or Sept

Some (many? most?) American English grammar books suggest that the correct abbreviation for September is Sept. except when used in a table where it can be abbreviated as Sep (without a trialing period) to keep the columns a fixed width. In January 2014, a small group of editors used one of their bots to change all instances of Sept. to Sep throughout all articles - effectively stating that their new grammar will replace what reliable sources use. In my opinion, this violates the suggestion to use American English in articles. Robert - Northern VA (talk) 18:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Why are you asking this question here? And who has suggested that American English should be used in articles? Eric Corbett 19:36, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
See WP:ENGVAR.--ukexpat (talk) 19:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
According to WP:ENGVAR#Consistency within articles
While Wikipedia does not favor any national variety of English, within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently.
According to WP:ENGVAR#Retaining the existing variety
An article should not be edited or renamed simply to switch from one valid use of English to another.
I interpret these to mean that it is not appropriate to force one convention on every article - which is what their bot has done. So yes, I am trying to make it clear that a small group of people have violated the intent of the MOS by forcing a totally non-standard edit on the entire encyclopedia. Robert - Northern VA (talk) 00:03, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Look it says "SEP". That Jules was such a fall guy. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:50, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

"Sept" might be more common in AE, but I don't think "Sep" is actually inadmissible, so I don't think there's a real ENGVAR issue here. As to whether setting up a bot in this way is a good thing, that's a different question. Formerip (talk) 00:29, 23 August 2014 (UTC)


Really? "June" has the abbreviation Jun for one single reason - postmarks had space for three letters using interchangeable type - thus the earliest use I found for the three letter months is with them. Collect (talk) 12:51, 23 August 2014 (UTC) Appending: The "Bishop Marks" (first modern date stamps for letters) only had two letters for the month -- thus "IV" was June!). Collect (talk) 13:22, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

That tiled calendar from the ruins of Nero's villa at Antium seems to pre-date interchangeable type by about 1900 years? (Didn't Bishop Marks use "VI" for June?) But I thought we were discussing September? Martinevans123 (talk) 13:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I was addressing the modern three letter usage. And (to the English), I was J and V was U in the font used in the marks <g>. There was no need for any abbreviations being three letters until the era of the postage stamp and the need to date items in a fixed format. I found no earlier reasoning, but using a date stamp which had a specific limited space for the month "slug" was a clear basis for such abbreviations. Collect (talk) 13:45, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd be truly amazed if there was "no need to date items in a fixed format" before 1840. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:01, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The "Bishop mark" dates to 1661 -- but it was not until the invention of the postage stamp that significant amounts of mail existed which needed dates -- going from near zero to over 68 million Penny Blacks being sold in only nine months. Thus the need for accurate dating became more essential. Collect (talk) 21:11, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt it. I just doubt it was the "first need". Martinevans123 (talk) 21:14, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I recently drove past a shop which, under its stated opening hours, had abbreviated Friday to 'Frid', which I thought was novel. Perhaps the owners were Abba fans... PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:41, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
More likely fans of Neighbours or Dark Shadows. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:05, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Copyright of non-human origins

Hi, Jimbo and all your readers of this page.

Followed the known recent clarification of the US Copyright Office, a discussion arose at ru-wiki about artworks of deities and supernatural beings. Namely with the clearly expressed position of copyright applicability to humans only, it seems quite obvious to upload at Wikisource The Urantia Book, which is clearly stated by publishers as "directly presented by numerous celestial beings appointed to the task". Opinions about that? --NeoLexx (talk) 16:38, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

According to our article, the book is in the public domain worldwide. Sorry if that short-circuits what might otherwise have been a fascinating discussion. Formerip (talk) 16:43, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
 :-(( :-) Public domain worldwide as a non-human work or by some expressed decision? Overall I am still curious about the US situation about works attributed in writting by the owner/founder to God, deities or supernatural beings. --NeoLexx (talk) 16:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
No, public domain because (a) a US court ruled that it was, and (b) because the publishers agree that it is. As for hypothetical situations, they really aren't Wikipedia's concern. We have enough problems dealing with real copyright issues, without getting into debate about imaginary ones. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:01, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I can picture the people at Wikisource arguing over whether the copyright on Mission Earth (novel) expires according to Hubbard's death. But I certainly hope that the concept of intellectual property is history by then. Wnt (talk) 18:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
A more relevant parallel was brought up at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine#A massive step forwards in copyright!. Apparently the Copyright Office has accepted or is close to accepting the argument that because medical photos are taken in a way that is not creatively staged but subject to standardized procedure, they lack the originality for copyright. This is an extremely important direct application of this principle for us, because even if it's an X-ray of your foot the usual copyright fanaticism would say that some technician somewhere, or the doctor, or the hospital, or somebody you're never going to track down and get a release from has absolute control over who you show it to. (If the doctor posted it... who knows what he would have to do to determine if the tech held copyright or if it was a work-for-hire owned by the hospital) So we really needed this decision to support us so that we can adequately illustrate our medical articles; otherwise we'd be down to a handful of snippets from PLOS articles where we would rely on the journal/author/doctor/etc. to do our copyvios for us. Wnt (talk) 17:06, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, medical records are protected by privacy laws, too. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:45, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I think implicit consent exists in some cases (see e.g. [17]); in any case that varies by the doctor's location and isn't feasible for Wikimedia to check up on. Wnt (talk) 18:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Why does that read to me like it's gonna turn into a new form of wikidoxing? Actually Commons has some rules prohibiting some kinds of privacy-violating photos: commons:Commons:Photographs of identifiable people. JMP EAX (talk) 21:09, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. But the important part of this determination is that it protects the photos we do have now that are important to our articles and not being used for some nefarious purpose, which could be lost if the requirement for creative decision-making is deprecated, as could happen if we accept that merely owning the camera gives you copyright over a monkey's snapshot. Wnt (talk) 01:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

'WIKIPEDIA' : "This place is a lunatic asylum!" * (*Quote from the Flash Gordon film)

For Editors : were they 'mad' to begin with or driven 'mad' by "Wikipedia" editing?

2.30.207.146 (talk) 11:57, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

That might just be a distinction without a difference :) but seriously, is there something specific you are concerned about that we can discuss? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:12, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

The WP:SIGNPOST and inappropriate images

(Redacted) Jimmy, in this weeks Signpost Traffic Report User:Milowent published it with a section for Power Girl (#8). It read:

Power Girl is a DC Comics heroine. Though she has all the powers and abilities of Superman, the picture at left, which is substituted for the non-free images of Power Girl on her article, illustrates one of the primary reasons for her popularity. The ability to fight villians with a large chest is apparently another one of her powers. This article enjoyed a burst of popularity on August 11 and 12, probably in advance of the August 13 release of Worlds' Finest issue number 26, which finally substituted the male fantasy version of Power Girl with someone a bit more 21st century; a hoodie-clad African American woman named Tanya Spears.

An editor, unknown, has removed the image with the comment:

is this for real? what the fuck

What the fuck indeed. Although the Power Girl article does discuss her breast size under the "Physical appearance and costumes" section, do you think there is any need for Signpost writers to be inserting random photos of tits into their publication? 175.136.66.69 (talk) 23:26, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Just to clarify, the Signpost's editor-in-chief is currently on wiki-break this week. —Neotarf (talk) 23:39, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
OK. I see User:Tony1 copy-edited the publication too. He is a long-term contributor to Signpost and should have picked this up. Both Milowent and Tony1 could comment. With random use of imagery such as this, is it little wonder Wikipedia has a reputation for being misogynistic amongst its female editors. 175.136.66.69 (talk) 23:46, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, the shock and horror, IP 175.136.66.69! And yet you insist on edit-warring to keep this image on Jimmy's talk page when you claim it does not belong in the Signpost. Misogynistic, indeed. —Neotarf (talk) 00:02, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
As a fellow woman, displaying the female body is not misogynistic. Additionally, how are we supposed to 'criticize' an image when we're not allowed to see it? Tutelary (talk) 01:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
No one really cares what you like to look at; if you feel the urge to conduct a more in-depth investigation of the image, it's still in the edit history. Continuing to revert an image that has already been removed several times is disruptive. Cullen is correct, a more level headed conversation would be useful here. —Neotarf (talk) 01:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Proof, if any were needed, that Wikipedia's gender imbalance is no cause for concern. Formerip (talk) 23:55, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

No comment on the goings-on at Signpost, which are a mystery to me, but if you are suggesting that showing or talking about female breasts is inherently unsuitable or a sign of systemic bias, Formerip, then I suspect you are missing the point. That said, I guess your comment is cryptic enough to be viewed in half-a-dozen different ways. Which perhaps makes it pointless? - Sitush (talk) 00:37, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
No, this is proof. User:DangerousPanda, one of Wikipedia's esteemed administrators removing the image from this talk page with the comment "nice, but they do not belong here". What the hell is this place? A frat house? 182.186.152.84 (talk) 00:38, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Did you read a different meaning into my statement? "Nice" as in "oh nice, someone is edit-warring to include this pic here when it doesn't belong", and "they do not belong here" refers to "inappropriate images do not belong on this page". Get your own mind out of the gutter the panda ₯’ 00:40, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
My mind is not in the gutter dear User:DangerousPanda. I don't have a problem with the image. What is wrong with a photo of a woman's cleavage that makes it so objectionable to be shown here? Is it you, who upon seeing the cleavage of a woman has their mind diving head first into the gutter? It would certainly explain your "nice" comment much better than the cocknbull reason you came up with just above. 182.186.201.225 (talk) 00:51, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, as the topic of this thread, including the photo here was quite appropriate. Reventtalk 00:52, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I also don't see how the image of the female human body displaying is 'misogynistic', seriously. I am a woman and I'm not seeing the big deal here. It seems like a bunch of people are having a knee jerk reaction to something that isn't even that big of a deal. I've boldly restored it. Tutelary (talk) 01:19, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Why don't y'all mosey over to the Ice Bucket Challenge edit war, and leave the Signpost alone. —Neotarf (talk) 01:00, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I copy-edited that page in edit-mode, and in the briefest of looks at the display mode didn't notice that unfortunate image. Every image of the subject on Commons shows an emphasis on breasts, so my search for a less gender-sensitive image of the subject failed. The substituted logo image solves the problem, as does the removal of one phrase in the accompanying text. Incidentally, an awful lot of non-free images are used in the article on this subject; I'm surprised that doesn't breach the non-free content policy. Tony (talk) 01:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec) What is clearly inappropriate about the use of the image in The Signpost is that it has no direct connection with the Power Girl character. Also of concern is that the editor over-focused on one physical attribute and selected a close-up photo. I also wonder about an article with quite a few images, if all are non-free. It seems that improved editorial judgment is in order all around, and a more level-headed conversation about it here might be helpful as well. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:08, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I've had enough of your criticism, Cullen, so don't push me. I'm contributing to the SP under duress, and I left partly because of your and Mr Wales's carry-on here, making me look like the enemy of every hearing-impaired person in the world. Tony (talk) 01:10, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I did not criticize you, Tony1, as it is clear you were not responsible for choosing the image and did not defend it. Your comment above is just fine and helps immensely, the "Traffic Report" is much improved now, and I don't have a single negative thought about your role in this matter. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:21, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
"this matter", right. Just remember that I'm not well disposed now to either you or Wales because you both did your best to drag me through the mud last time. It will take very little for me to again walk out of what is now a temporary help-out-in-emergency role with the SP. It's thankless, it's astoundingly hard work, and it's only for the community, not readers. I'm brittle about it, and I don't want to talk about it any more at the moment. Tony (talk) 01:31, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
@Tony1: it's true Cullen328 didn't criticise nor attack you. Might you be able to apologise to Cullen328 for your rhetorical response to him. It would certainly help to lower the tension you are feeling. 39.47.157.226 (talk) 01:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • That anon post is not worth replying to, and I note the sexual reference its writer has embedded invisibly in edit-mode. Tony (talk) 01:45, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Do you realize that you just made certain that everyone who passes by here hits edit and reads it? Also, replying to a post just to say it's not worth replying to? Sheesh. Reventtalk 01:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Since it's not there any more, I doubt it. —Neotarf (talk) 17:12, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the sigs can I call this the "green ink" section? Face-tongue.svg All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:43, 25 August 2014 (UTC).

Arbitrary break

  • My goodness this teapot is prone to tempests. The photo was not nearly as large and prominent in the Signpost as it is here; even so, sure, it wasn't really relevant to the article it illustrated, so somebody reverted and complained at the editor's talk page. Editing the Traffic Report is useful; beating ourselves up about it here, not so much. Credit the editors of the Signpost in total for doing yet another routine good job on the Traffic Report. Wnt (talk) 01:57, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, I wonder if someone such as User:Carolmooredc would agree with your comments on giving credit to the Signpost for another routine good job. 182.208.168.8 (talk) 02:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Is there anything to complain about in the present version? The point is, it was handled (with help from the IP), and without the need for a process here. Wnt (talk) 02:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
No, the present version is fine, Wnt. Please also allow me to mention that Tony1 came to my talk page with some gracious comments, which I very much appreciate. I encourage other editors to leave Tony alone at this point. Let's try kindness every once in a while. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:32, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

This is just one of those things that sooner or later someone's going to link to WP:NOTCENSORED. Oh whoops, looks like I just linked to it. The Signpost is part of Wikipedia, so quite naturally Wikipedia's policies and rules apply to it as well. Wikipedia is not censored. That's pretty much it. The only big issue I can see here is that the image had virtually no relevance to the entry, per Cullen328. --k6ka (talk | contribs) 02:29, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

It's not quite that simple. For example, if (recalling the Fuzzy Zoeller controversy) someone had made a similar substitution of a free image of collard greens for an article about a black superhero, it wouldn't be well received, even though there's nothing "offensive" about a picture of collard greens. (I don't know enough about the comic to know if this case is as clear-cut) Now this isn't a BLP, or even an article, just an internal communication, but we don't want to belittle women in general. Off-topic humor does need to yield to a more professional presentation, when we're talking about the final product; but that doesn't require us to make a big deal about every intermediate edit. Wnt (talk) 03:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Hello, evil alleged-misogynist author here! The photo was a free wikimedia one showing some cleavage. Holy shit, half of internet traffic is porn, and sad blokes who love power girl no doubt wank to her. My commentary was pro-feminist, though I can handle disagreement, and I can live with the vanillaization of the entry to avoid misunderstandings. I encourage more female editors to weigh in, so I can judge if I badly erred. At least you learned some Latin this week if you read the Traffic Report.--Milowenthasspoken 03:19, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Quick, run! Before they get their mouses and their keyboards! Fellow female editor here, it's somewhat interesting to see that when we want to discuss the image, it's not even OK to have on this talk page so we can accurately comment on it without clicking on a revision lest we make some editors unhappy. I will be the first to say that Power Girl is known for her bust...heck, it's even in the article. The character is consistently depicted as a large breasted young woman, and her physique is one of her most recognizable attributes—-to the extent that various writers have acknowledged it in both serious and humorous ways. I actually think it was a funny joke, I chuckled. Maybe some other people see some ulterior motive here...evil editor decides to depict a woman's bust to represent a character known for her...big bust along with a humorous line of text. I don't think it was bad at all. People here are getting mad that a woman's breast is depicted and I'm not sure why. Tutelary (talk) 03:39, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
It didn't deserve a keelhauling, but the main thing is I don't get the connection between the picture and the superhero. I mean, if there's a comic strip about Adonis and we can't use the comic illustrations would we just slap in a picture of Eka Darville and call it close enough? There's a certain sense of authenticity (relevancy) that we want to keep up. Wnt (talk) 03:44, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
The Signpost often needs to be more cautious about gender (and race/culture/sexuality/impairment) sensitivities than WP articles, since it inhabits an unusual semi-official space in the WM movement (a burden and an advantage at the same time). The image was too out-of-context as a thumb in the Traffic report table to avoid offending people; so that's good enough reason to replace it. This should be the end of the story, and those of us who care about the gender gap should get on with the daunting job of attracting and retaining more women editors. Tony (talk) 03:50, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Christ does no one actually review these things (or preview them outside of edit mode)? Nearly as stupid as the June 4 DYK. Focusing on the physical characteristics of a character and substituting an image with a pair of big tits was sexist. Though a running joke in the comic, it's a minor aspect of the comic. The lead of Power Girl doesn't mention it at all. WP:TROUT deserved here. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 04:06, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Minor aspect? The whole comic is misogynistic in its historical format. That's what I tried to illustrate. My wife approved.--Milowenthasspoken 04:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
    • So you have a wife who approves of her husband's sexist editing of Wikipedia. Tell me User:Milowent, did she approve before or after she brought you a sandwich? 41.58.246.153 (talk) 05:50, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
      • I think dropping this line of questioning would be a great idea, but some folks enjoy brawling even after the original issue has been resolved. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:01, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Tony is to be commended for his prompt and professional handling of this matter. Let us hope that Wikipedia can benefit from his leadership in the days to come. —Neotarf (talk) 06:09, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Prompt and professional handling? After it was pointed out, he's not the one who fixed it... other people did. Just what 'prompt handling' do you think you are referring to here? While it's nice that he works on the Signpost, and he gave an explanation for leaving it in, don't try to give him credit for what someone else did, please. Reventtalk 07:04, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some of us did some copyedits, and I don't mind doing some grunt-work on the Signpost now and then when they are short, but even though Tony unfortunately is no longer with the Signpost, he is the one putting everything together for publication this week in the absence of the regular editor. And now he has to deal with this tacky disturbance as well. He shouldn't have to listen to snarky remarks from individuals who use comic sans in their sigs. Is it really so unreasonable to expect a little professionalism here. —Neotarf (talk) 07:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Neotarf, would you like a tissue? You seem to have a brown spot left on the tip of your nose. This is an issue. For a long time now Wikipedia has had a reputation of being a website run by editors with a frat boy mentality. This incident is just a manifestation of that mentality. Regardless of how busy Tony is, or how upset he still is after the whole deafness episode, there is a severe lack of judgement on the part of people on the Signpost team. This is not the first time this has arisen. Quite honestly, I don't know why the Signpost even exists on Wikipedia. It should be moved off-site onto their own blog; just like everyone else. 197.242.117.173 (talk) 07:47, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
If anything it is Jimbo's talk page that should be moved off site. This thread seems to have attracted all the riff-raff from Commons. If you will remember back to that unfortunate deafness episode (and I think we should stop doing so), and the even less fortunate off-site personal attacks against Tony, then you will also remember that I was not afraid to earn Tony's undying animosity by restoring the transcript link. Likewise I am not afraid to say that in this case, once Tony was made aware of the situation, his actions here were entirely correct, although I seem to be taking a considerable amount of heat for doing so. This one should be a no-brainer. —Neotarf (talk) 12:18, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
You're criticizing me over the font in my sig? Hilarious. Reventtalk 07:52, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Jebus and all the other Jews! I've got decent cleavage (older and mammary - sorry for mental image). I think it was a tacky Signpost addition, and, yes, sexist, pic to use. But its been removed and it isn't worth dragging the drama out. Can we move on, please? AnonNep (talk) 11:14, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

First, why is this here, of all places? There's several perfectly good talk pages, such as on the article itself, that are much better suited for this and far less drama-inducing.

Now, there's two sides here. I can see why Milowent would have wanted to include it, and I think there would have been a very large problem had he chosen to feature that image. However, it was a tiny thumbnail included to discuss a very real problem with the character's past depiction, so I think we can all agree that he wasn't looking to cause offense.

If I was not on a break (grad school starts shortly, combined with the aftermath of a car crash while driving across the country to get there), I would have removed it, as it's a real person and is therefore not really representative of the character as-drawn. But I can see what Milowent's (good) intent was, so I don't think there's any need to crucify him. The replacement image is great, and I really feel that this could have been handled far quicker and easier with a short discussion elsewhere, rather than trying to blow it out of proportion here. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:09, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

You mean this photo of a couple of near-naked breasts and nothing else illustrating Power Girl If it is considered sensible, we must have a lot of 13 year olds with one hand on the key board and the other on their "pene virgen" reading or editing. (No one commenting on this thread, of course.) I mean, SHOCKINGLY PUERILE! Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 15:51, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Whew! You almost missed your chance to pour kerosine on the fire... I was worried there for a minute... Carrite (talk) 14:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Ways forward for Wikipedia and the WMF

Rather than complain about things I don't like but can't change, I thought I would run some ideas past you for where Wikipedia in particular and WMf in general might be going. Jan-Bart has expressed the view [18] that the movement is at a crossroads, and that change is needed. I certainly agree with that, but question the implied suggestion that we cn only go down one road at a time. It seems to me that there are various things we could and should be doing which are not contradictory but rather are complementary. For example, Jan-Bart also says [19] "It is one thing to build an encyclopedia of high quality, and quite another to get it into the hands of every human being on the planet, in their own language" and again [20] "Our entire approach on knowledge dissemination is based on the western idea of an encylopedia and referencing other written sources in order to back up articles. Yet a lot of cultures around the world have a different way of disseminating (and consuming) knowledge." What do these mean for Wikipedia, and especially the English-language version, which is perhaps one of the most mature, even if it is not quite finished yet. Here are a couple of ideas to kick off with.

  • What a mature encyclopaedia needs is to stabilise and establish its reliability: cf the neighbouring discussion
  • What a less mature encyclopaedia needs is more articles. The large language encyclopaedias have them. Where are the tools that allow automatic or semi-automatic translation? Can Wikidata, or other knowledge management tools, be used to generate stub articles across language barriers?

One thing that might resolve several of these issues. How can WP/WMF develop the relationship with academic bodies such as learned societies and universities? The WIR programme seems to work well for some of these, but WP has a pretty low reputation in mainstream academia still. How can WP present itself as a body of knowledge looking to stabilise and raise its standards? Can it connect with and been seen to enhance or complement the very well-developed peer-review mechanisms that have existed for centuries in academia? That's what a western-style encyclopaedia should be doing, and is in no way contradictory to the notion of exploring alternative ways of disseminating knowledge. Deltahedron (talk) 16:18, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

IMHO, collaboration (and in a formalized way) with universities and other traditional knowledge institutions is the future of Wikipedia. There is simply no other way to get the kind of quality knowledge that an encyclopedia which aims to have the "sum of human knowledge" needs. However, this kind of collaboration may mean attacking a few sacred cows such as limiting editing access to various types of articles. There are few experts on subjects who would be willing to write a) for free and b) with no visible credit and c) to watch a bunch of people take their work apart. Heck, "c" is part of the reason why I stick to relatively obscure topics.Thelmadatter (talk) 19:29, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Oral knowledge is all very well, but it leads to all sorts of problems that the written word doesn't have (or has ways around). If we want to create a work that records the There is no Ebola "knowledge" of some groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, then we can, but it won't be an encyclopaedia if it is done without editorial commentary. It will be a (spoken?) corpus, as such well within WikiMedia's remit.
It is a capital mistake to jump from ideals to implementation without a great deal of thought, and pilot processes. A good example is the Google "paid articles" for the Swahili Wikipedia. Many others will spring to mind I'm sure.
The current cost of accessing a site such as Wikipedia (as it was) is extremely low, and falling all the time. If we pursued embedded snapshots preloaded on phones, it could drop to almost nil - a suitable cost for third world countries.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough21:05, 25 August 2014 (UTC).
Just a quick answer to the original two points quoted from Jan-Bart. First, there is of course no contradiction between pursuing high quality and getting Wikipedia into the hands of every single person on the planet, at least not in general. In terms of specific investment by the Foundation (with limited funds) of course some investments will be more productive for one than the other to some degree. But I actually think they tend to go hand-in-hand. For example, an investment in caching servers to get Wikipedia load times down to a more reasonable level in India is *both* a way to improve readership *and* to make it reasonable for quality editors to participate from there.
Second, I think the question of oral citations and oral knowledge is an interesting and complex philosophical question especially in the languages of the developing world where traditional sources are lacking for all kinds of reasons. But in terms of our primary work, even in those languages, I think it's a secondary issue. There's much work that can be done even without a good solution to that sort of thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:06, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales, with regard to your second point, perhaps the Foundation could assist with fundraising or even just increasing general awareness for the oral history projects and organizations? The goal of many of these projects is to interview, document, and make available information that would otherwise be lost forever. There are a myriad of them trying to document everything from the experiences of Vietnam war veterans to the earliest drag racers and hot rodders. Just a thought... --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:38, 26 August 2014 (UTC)