User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 198

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ArbCom elections are now open!

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 08:51, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

No excuses, @Jimbo Wales: Get out there and vote! Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:45, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
BTW, if you want to view my recommendations for voting, please see User:Smallbones/ACE2015. If you want to see pretty much the opposite recommendations, please see User:Carrite/ACE2015. All other voters' guides are also linked to from the top of both pages. And if you'd like us to stop discussing the election on your talk page, just let us know. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:18, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

You could just plop the template right here, you know:

HTH --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 21:38, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Winner! Carrite (talk) 06:25, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I forgot to request inclusion of my voting guide in the template. I encourage all established editors not to forget to vote with their socks as well as their main accounts. Cla68 (talk) 06:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
@Cla68: voting with multiple accounts is not allowed (AFAIK), and can lead to votes being struck off. Mdann52 (talk) 06:57, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I see snark detection is working well today... Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Lingo: "HTD" = Hasten The Day. Carrite (talk) 00:16, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Meanwhile "HTH" means "happy to help".

HTH.--SB_Johnny | talk✌ 00:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, CLA68 is the one with a HTD voting list... Carrite (talk) 12:57, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Vote early, vote often! --Carnildo (talk) 03:15, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


I wonder if the developers of wikipedia would consider a turn book page option for articles instead of just the standard one page scrolling downwards. Like this at I actually find it easier to read and browse with a simple click between pages horizontally without having to keep scrolling downwards, especially for big articles. If we had a "Reader" function on wikipedia which converts articles to a book format, perhaps with two columns on each page I think I'd find it much more reader friendly and usable.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

This is a really good idea actually. I have been playing with the "Create a Book" option over the last few months and actually agree with Dr. Blofeld (oh heck...just saw "Spectre" yesterday. LOL!) that reading with the page turn option like a book is far easier. Some function that automatically does this to each page with a click or...even an option to turn the entire browsing experience into a book format would be a fantastic step forward for the project.--Mark Miller (talk) 19:05, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
If you browse through the magazines on you'll notice that browsing content puts much less strain on your fingers with a simple click and is actually a more convenient way of reading for the reader. You don't have to keep moving it down, but you work across and it's all in one place, page by page. I also think that as it is an encyclopedia, customizing it to resemble an old encyclopedia with pages would be a more attractive way to read content and consolidate knowledge. I think even for mobiles and iPads it would be a far easier way to browse to simply tap between pages. To allow room for the double page book format there could be the option to have a hidden sidebar which only appears when you hover over it to maximize reading space and appearance. Another feature I think, the option to browse articles by subject. Like you could browse a category alphabetically in a book format, going from article to article, or click on a letter at the bottom to find surnames or articles with that letter in a given category or section of the project.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:07, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, you are aware that Jimmy doesn't write the Wikipedia source code himself? You need to be posting this at WP:VPT (to discuss the feasibility) or Phabricator (once you know exactly what you want) to make anything happen. ‑ iridescent 09:35, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Lol. I think he might have an idea how things work. ;) For better or worse, this talk page seems to have become a catch-all venue though. Samsara 09:40, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Um, it's not addressed to Jimbo, it's just I know some of the developers watch his talk page and it's often a good place to raise things like this. Perhaps I should mention it at the village pump too.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I've mentioned it at the village pump.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:01, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

100th London Wikimeetup

I apologise if someone has thought of this before me1, but as you were directly responsible for the very first Wikimedia meetup and are at least somewhat responsible for Wikipedia (and hence there being editors of Wikipedia who can meet each other) I thought it appropriate to extend to you a formal invitation to the 100th London Wikimeet on Sunday 13 December (full details at the link).

Everyone is welcome, so if you are reading this, want to come along and are or will be in or near London on that date then it will be great to see you. If you know of someone who may be interested but who isn't reading this, please spread the word. There is also a Facebook event (not set-up by me) for those who like that sort of thing (the meta page is the primary location for expressions of interest though). Signing up in advance is optional - feel free to pop along.

The London meetups now happen regularly on the second Sunday of the month, so if you can't make this one you'll be more than welcome at subsequent events. There are also events in other parts of the UK and the wider world listed at m:Meetup if London isn't near where you are.

1: the archive search suggests they haven't, but I find that difficult to believe. Thryduulf (talk) 15:31, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Talking about anniversaries, can anybody count the nearest total round number for ALL meetups, not just London or Hong Kong, but plus Andorra as well? Staszek Lem (talk) 02:41, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Bassel Khartabil

I'm posting here to raise awareness amongst English and other Wikipedians about the plight of Wikipedian Bassel Khartabil. Amnesty International is reporting that he may be facing a death sentence. I'm preparing an editorial about this, but that seems woefully inadequate to help him. Arguably, there is nothing we can do to help him, but I hope we can try. I appeal to you for ideas.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:29, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

We are preparing an organised banner campaign at m:Talk:Banner:Free Bassel. I also plan to work on a blog post (or two) and a press release this evening/tonight. All help, ideas and suggestions are welcome. odder (talk) 10:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Straw poll

Please be aware that we have now started a straw poll trying to establish whether the global Wikimedia community supports running a banner campaign on Wikipedia to raise awareness of Bassel's situation and asking its readers to take action. Please also see Free Bassell and Free Bassel/Banner for details on the proposed action. Everyone is welcome to participate; please kindly do so. odder (talk) 21:57, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Images of Khartabil with possible license issues

There appear to several images of Khartabil available from Wikimedia Commons. Some of those appear to be rephotographed family pictures showing Khartabil as an infant. Many similar images from the same uploader (User:Jon Phillips) were deleted in March. Perhaps someone should delete these images before the press decides to use them. Protopone primigena (talk) 02:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo, I thought I'd make you aware of an RfD for Donal Wales (link). No one calls you that, right? --BDD (talk) 17:13, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

No one calls me that. But why on earth would we delete a redirect like that? It causes no harm and costs nothing to maintain. In my (brief) academic career, I co-authored a paper under the name "J. Donal Wales" so it is possible that someone somewhere might search for that name. (The paper was not particularly important, so it's unlikely, but hey, you never know.) And when you do so at Google right now, I'm the first result, which makes sense. I assume the redirect is responsible for that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:53, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Happy Thanksgiving! --BDD (talk) 03:29, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

October 2015 editing figures strong

The strong positive trend in the count of Very Active Editors (100+ edits/month) at English Wikipedia has continued in October. Per THE OFFICIAL STATS, there were 3,374 Very Active Editors at En-WP in October, a massive 13.2% increase over the previous year figure. In fact the October 2015 count topped the figures for the same month in 2011, 2012, and 2013, as well — more evidence that Sue Gardner's "Oh, Shit..." graph intimating mortal decline has been well stabilized.

Overall for all language Wikipedias (excluding Commons), the count of Very Active Editors is up by nearly 950 people (almost 10.5%). The 7 biggest Wikipedias (English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Italian) all showed growth over previous year figures, with French Wikipedia setting an all time record for October and Spanish WP coming within one person of its all time October mark.

The COUNT OF NEW ARTICLES PER DAY at En-WP continues to slide, as might be expected with a maturing project going over the 5 million mark, sitting at 801 per day. This figure was approached by the booming French WP, which was cranking out new material at the rate of 699 articles a day — far bigger than that encyclopedia's previous October peak, back in 2006. This may be skewed by a project mass creating stubs or some such, we've seen such spikes on some projects like the Vietnamese WP before. Hard to say without further investigation, but on the face of it it looks like Fr-WP is booming.

Reports of WP's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Carrite (talk) 03:02, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

How are things looking at mid-sized wikipedias? I know that's a very open ended question. To take a quick look I picked a fairly random number: 50,000 articles, and look at 5 Wikipedia which are just bigger than that, while requiring a 'depth' in the double digits. sq, br, be-tarask, te, and tl. The results for those 5 aggregated versus one year ago - for "very active editors" we are up 2.56% (39 to 40) and for "active editors" we are up 10.67%! These results are neither comprehensive nor scientific of course.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:23, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the overall figures for all language versions of wikipedia October is up on last year but appears to still be below the 2007/8 peak for editors saving over 100 edits in mainspace. However there are several things that have modified this - the move of interwiki links from a many to many design to a hub and spoke system based on wikidata, and to a much larger extent the rise of the edit filters have lost us a lot of goodfaith edits. In particular the edit filters lost us almost as many vandalism reversions as they prevent vandalism. Neither of those involves meaningful time consuming manual edits, but the rise of wikidata will have diverted some edits from the wikipedias, one figure I heard was that their community was a broadly even mix between people recruited from wikimedia projects and newbies. There is also a factor that depresses the older figures, as the proprtion of older articles deleted rises over time so the earlier stats fall as more editors drop below the 100 live edits in mainspace metric. A truer test would be to compare October 2015's editing as measured in November 2016 against October 2007's figures as measured in November 2008. ϢereSpielChequers 04:50, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes for the holiday!

Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:40, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Video: "Wikipedia, an introduction - Erasmus Prize 2015"

Wikipedia, an introduction - Erasmus Prize 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Jimbo and all. If you have a few minutes, you might enjoy this video that was recently published on Youtube. --Pine 19:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

YouTube? That's what we have Commons for. Gamaliel (talk) 19:54, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
It's probably a mpeg or something exotic like that, which is right out... Carrite (talk) 21:05, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Now on commons for your viewing enjoyment! Thanks to the uploaders. --Pine 23:14, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The real interesting thing is, this film is not about information. It is about a list, it is about pictures, it is about free internet, but not about reliable, useful information. If you are giving nonsens away for free you are helping nobody. Basically that's what wrong is here. This film is rubbish. But take it for grand, because I am only a Wikipedia-troll. Graaf Statler (talk) 00:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)


I was wondering if this was your idea? If not, I am wondering what your views on it are. I'm not being judgmental Jimbo, I'm just curious. — Ched :  ?  03:35, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

It is not my idea at all, and I've had nothing to do with it. I am preparing an editorial on the subject, but of course adding my voice to those calling for his release is a very small gesture in the current circumstances. Syria won't listen to any western countries, so they certainly aren't waiting to hear my opinion. Putting pressure on western governments is much easier, as they do more or less have to care, but in the current situation (war with many complicated geopolitical angles going on at once), it seems unlikely that we can pressure them to care about Bassel in particular.
In terms of the specific proposal, I would suggest something more dramatic but for a shorter time period. A 7 day site notice is both overkill and underkill - it's too long (by a couple of days in it will have already had it's primary impact on decision makers) and it's too little (it's just a banner).
I would also propose that we act very very VERY carefully in line with wishes of his family and expert advice. It is very important that we not make a bad situation worse. If to the Syrians he's just one of thousands of prisoners who they plan to execute eventually in a couple of years time, then highlighting him in a dramatic way that makes him a more valuable political football or gesture may actually get him killed. I don't know, we don't currently know, and so I'd like to see a real investigation of what is most likely to help.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Jimbo. I really do appreciate your time. I honestly do hope it works out well for him. — Ched :  ?  10:44, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

This looks worthy of a discussion

This story looks worthy of a discussion. I have long advocated that we should deal much more quickly and much more severely with COI editors. The usual objections (from some quarters - I think most people agree with me) have to do with it being hard to detect them, but in this case, the COI was called out, warnings were issued, and nothing was done. Now the editor has been called out by the media embarrassing him (he deserves it), his employer (who may not), and Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:08, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

In case anyone interested in discussing this isn't aware, there is also a thread at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Edwardpatrickalva and blatant COI.. -- Ed (Edgar181) 18:49, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
As the individual who initiated the ANI discussion, I feel that this user has also been fairly disingenuous about his actions. This extends beyond just simple COI, which is bad enough in its own right. I furthermore believe that what Mr. Alva is doing is a violation of WP:GAME, and is a flagrant disregard for all things factual and encyclopedic in nature. I looked through his contributions (that term can only be applied in the most literal sense), and the violations range from NPOV and WEIGHT, to IRS, GAME, and disruptive editing, with a healthy dose of shamelessly plugging the movie and the "stars" thereof. All this to make Wikipedia conform to the movie's narrative. Perhaps it's time for a consensus on a course of action? KirkCliff2 (talk) 15:05, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Edgar181: @KirkCliff2: Re J's in this case, the COI was called out, warnings were issued, and nothing was done. What are your views on that? Why was nothing done? Why does it take so long to stop abuse? What could be done to deal "much more quickly and much more severely" with egregious offenders? How would you improve WP:COI, esp the inconsequential "How to handle" section? I'll ask these questions and suggest some answers on COI Talk, but since Jimmy started the conversation here, I'm responding here first. - Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 01:41, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not really my place to speculate on why the inaction has persisted , but to give theAdministrators the benefit of the doubt, Mr. Alva's editing hasn't always been so noticeably egregious, and COI is a touchy and often less visible issue. Regardless of the Why's and How's of the matter, a statement needs to be made for the sake of the encyclopedia's very integrity: If Edward goes unpunished for deliberately flouting the rules and then disingenuously feigning ignorance, asserting his intentions were pure (as if that magically justifies his revisionist editing) when a brief look at his edit history would indicate otherwise, it would turn the criticism from him to us for permitting this "assistant producer" to essentially get away with slander, promoting a false narrative, disruptive editing, and making a mockery of the non-negotiable COI and GAME policies. A complete block would seemingly be the only logical course of action to ensure Wikipedia, BLP articles, and touchy subjects remain as neutral as possible, even if the block is issued by Jimbo himself (If memory serves correct, he hasn't banned anyone since 2010, and mostly renounced such powers ). It may not be my decision alone to make, but as a veteran editor who rarely even weighs in on such issues and has only been to ANI once before, but who is well-familiarized with how the system works, it would stand to argue that Mr. Alva must be banned for the reasons mentioned above. Now, we need to rally together and reach a necessary consensus on a course of action that preserves the values and principles Wikipedia stands upon. KirkCliff2 (talk) 13:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
LeoRomero, With regards to the COI policy itself, we need to take a very strict approach to violations thereof: Two warnings, and if the editor continues with the COI, it's a topic ban at the minimum. If coupled with other severe violations, which would show a complete disregard for Wikipedia policies, a total block outright. If we, as a community, start taking a more relaxed approach to a serious issue, it becomes a dangerous slope. KirkCliff2 (talk) 14:00, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
@KirkCliff2: I learned so much so quickly from your Admin Cliff Notes (ba dum bum), thanks! Would you mind bringing some Admins into this policy discussion? WP:COI, unlike some stronger policy docs, says nothing about block/ban procedures, or that Consensus process of which you speak. Are we supposed to being doing an emergency "sense of community" vote or something? Is it like the Supreme Court where advocates wrap up the case and a buncha people who are supposed to know stuff vote? Or can I just banish evildoers into Hades (like into Facebook or something)?
@Ryan Kaldari (WMF): You wrote Thanks and WikiLove - can you write WikiToughLove?
@Ryan Kaldari (WMF): @DannyH (WMF): PS: I added Better control of Conflict of Interest damage to the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey. Only because you don't have enough to do. Sorry/notsorry; LeoRomero (talk) 00:21, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, George "Jimbo" Washington, for your Solonic retirement. If the Community you founded can't deal with a little nuisance, who'll stand in front of the totalitarian tanks as we approach the Technological Singularity? Freedom and Responsibility Now!
LeoRomero (talk) 16:57, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I've debated applying to be an admin, and whereas I do act as the head Admin on a Wikia project (ironically, the position there is called a Bureaucrat, which I rather despise, since I hate bureaucracy, and Wikipedia is never to be one), I'm ambivalent about being one here, even if they deemed me fit to be granted such a privilege. If ever I should feel my being an Administrator can serve to fill a niche or add something novel, I might consider applying. For the time being, however, the lack of instruction on how to best go about handling COI matters (assuming it hasn't been delineated elsewhere) might potentially be the reason for this confusion, much as Jimbo alluded to. I'd imagine a good place start is by going to the COI talk page, and seeking answers on banning policy as it relates to such matters there. I'll take the initiative, and go visit the COI noticeboard to see if we can bring in specialists to redress the problem as it relates to Edward Alva. KirkCliff2 (talk) 17:26, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Some logical thoughts to consider so we don't look like a kangaroo court or lynching:

  1. He did declare his COI. Good.
  2. He did use the talk page. Good.
  3. If his edits were questioned, did he edit war over them? If so, a short block might be in order if he persisted. Did any of that happen?
  4. If his editing was questioned, was he willing to stick to using the talk page and cease editing the article(s) in question? If so, good.
  5. Questions about his editing will naturally tend to call out the worst assumptions made by human nature (such failure to AGF can be a blockable offense): "He has a COI, so hang him immediately, no matter what types of edits he made, and by all means immediately revert all of them, regardless if they improved the article!" We must still AGF. Misunderstandings occur between all good faith editors, and that includes COI editors.
  6. Lynching is the wrong approach because a COI does not absolutely forbid editing, but rather it's an admonishment to be careful. If a COI editor actually violates policies (not referring to COI here), then judge based on those infractions. While it's wise for them to only use the talk page, it's not totally forbidden to carefully edit and seek consensus.
  7. A topic ban might be wise, if such infractions are clearly proven to be more than just differences of opinions.

So go through those steps and don't jump immediately to blocks and topic bans unless necessary. We do need topic experts, and even a topic ban should be limited to the article itself, not the talk page, unless dealing with a really hardcore a##hole. Then just indef them. So carry on and good luck with this. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

@BullRangifer: Suggest we talk about the specific case not here but on its ANI section. (I just added a note there that it's way too long and ad hominem; requested a case summary) The conversation here pertains to Jimmy's long-standing concerns about WP:COI. I like your checklist/Qs. Work them into WP:COI#How to handle conflicts of interest? - Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 18:31, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:52, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
On COI problems in general, I've written some notes at Wikipedia:Hints on dealing with conflict of interest problems, based on experience at WP:COIN. This is not policy, just condensed experience from seeing similar problems over time. John Nagle (talk) 23:01, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Jimmy, having just posted a case summary draft of the Alva cases on ANI, I have one recommendation re COI: No Conflict of Interest Edits. All the drama, the anger, the wasted time, the misdirected energy. What for? If I truly believed that I'd earned myself a Wikipedia entry, I could just search a bit for 3-5 credible editors who're into what I'm into, ping them into a draft on my user space, and see if they'd discuss/edit/copy/paste. Done, and it's all legit. Why we gotta go and make things so complicated? You play COI, you're exiled to MySpace. - Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 09:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Yawl: I had a cozy and educational conversation at COI Talk yesterday, with two highly-regarded COI experts (Sarah & Risker). My conclusion (as of this moment) is this: COI is just one of the many consequences of more a fundamental problem at Wikipedia: We have lost our way. The counter-culture movement that was Wikipedia has been corrupted and co-opted by the cultures of our extra-wiki lives. It has become a bureaucracy, governed by rules. Worse, too many of these rules are vague, confusing - even contradictory - and therefore subject to endless interpretation and debate - much of it angry and hateful, and directed at the very volunteers who have invested in Wikipedia the most.

A small problem with rules: With each rule, another rule to break. Another heated debate. Another hundred pages of dissonant documents to read, interpret, and confuse. Another group of interpreters. Another group of cops. Some of them bad cops, who push away the very people we need to make us better.

A bigger problem: Our obsession with rules is distracting us, as a Community, from doing our job. Wikimedia Foundation describes that job well enough. Our "Mission" (another tell that we've been co-opted) is explicit. It's jargony - dominated by buzzwords (another co-optation tell) like "empower", "engage", "disseminate", and "effectively", so I'll try to put it plainly: Our job is to bring together people, from all over the world, to work as one, toward a common goal: to help each other gather knowledge, and keep it free, for everyone. I'll narrow that down further to just two words: Knowledge and Community.

COI -- like all those other failed and failing attempts to impose rule-based ethics on our anarchic community -- is preventing us from doing our job.

Radical solutions:

  1. Get to the roots (radix) of the problems, by simply asking Why? Why do we allow COI editing? Why do we allow paid editing? To each answer, ask Why at least two more times. I got nothing - beyond Freedom of Speech (lawlz) - and hope to see what you got.
  2. Uproot all the invasive species that are killing the garden: get rid of all those rules that do not directly help us do our job.
  3. Tend only to the roots that matter: Knowledge and Community.
    1. Focus on Content, and the three (just three) core rules: neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research
    2. Focus on Community - it is here that we have failed ourselves the worst. Wikipedia:Community portal and Wikipedia:Wikipedians say nothing about how, in the words of the "Mission", we "engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content". What are we doing to get that job done? And how much power do we spend doing that, compared to all the energy sucked away into Arbitration over matters that matter less?

I have shortened my recommendations below from two to one: Get rid of COI.

LeoRomero (talk) 18:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I proposed a major revision of WP:COI at COI Talk, here. LeoRomero (talk) 02:42, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Summary and discussion of recommendations

@KirkCliff2: Two warnings, and if the editor continues with the COI, it's a topic ban at the minimum. If coupled with other severe violations, which would show a complete disregard for Wikipedia policies, a total block outright ... the lack of instruction on how to best go about handling COI matters might be the reason for this confusion. A good place start is by going to the COI talk page, and seeking answers on banning policy as it relates to such matters there.


@BullRangifer: Checklist: Did User declare COI? Did s/he [ BR used "he" bec he was referring to Edward; s/he and h/er are Leo's gender-neutral revisions, pronounced "she" and "her", since these recommendations are meant to apply to all ] use the talk page? If edits were questioned, did s/he edit war over them? If so, a short block might be in order if s/he persists. If h/er editing was questioned, was s/he willing to stick to using the talk page and cease editing the article(s) in question? Are we assuming good faith? ... COI does not absolutely forbid editing, but rather it's an admonishment to be careful ... A topic ban might be wise, if such infractions are clearly proven to be more than just differences of opinions.


@Nagle: On COI problems in general, I've written some notes at Wikipedia:Hints on dealing with conflict of interest problems, based on experience at WP:COIN. This is not policy, just condensed experience from seeing similar problems over time.


@LeoRomero: The best way to get rid of the COI problem is to get rid of COI. No Conflict of Interest Edits. You get one warning. Ignore that, and you're done. Proposed major revision of WP:COI at COI Talk, here.


LeoRomero (talk) 19:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


Mister Jimbo, they called me a Troll on Dutch wikipedia. They blocked me twice, indefinitely , ok, the first time they were right because I had over 15 sockpuppets, and the other blocks were only a for shorter time. A TROLL ,THEY CALLED ME! DO YO HERE ME? A TROLL!!! What kind of organisation is this? They also blocked me on Wikimedia_Be because I called someone a Monkey. Only once. And on Dutch Wikimedia because I asked a few questions. YOU ARE A TROLL!!!! Graaf Statler (talk) 09:59, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

What is a troll?. The Avengers (talk) 14:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
O, that is a long thing to read. Later on the (euopean) evening I will read it, but it realy looks intersting! In fackt, what I understand is that many people don't behave themself like they should do on the internet. I mean, why shouldn't you behave youself the same like you do in the real society? You have to be always integer every were, so also anonymous on the internet! By the way, Jimbo is a troll but an very integer one. Graaf Statler (talk) 16:57, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I blame the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:01, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
And I blame the Wikipedia-system. You can't live under the bridge here. (Thank you The Avengers for that link.) You have to conform yourself to a group, the exiting wikipedia community. But I can't and I don't want that! I want to do my "work" in a peaceful surroundings with people who know were they are talking about, I 'm not looking for a kind of Facebook, and I am not here to belong to some community! I am on Wikipedia to write about thing what interests me. (And I know my english is shit, but I am an editor on the dutch Wikipedia.) Nobody is protecting me, because I am not a part of the Wikipedia family (and never will be.) That is my problem. Graaf Statler (talk) 00:33, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia - The Game

Noticed 'The Game about Wikipedia', complete with familiar font and logo, has been released. The makers state 'This game is not sold or endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation' but it certainly looks the part. AnonNep (talk) 21:54, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it has been out for a while. A while back, I saw it at Wal-Mart. I have to say, I don't know anything at all about the trademark arrangements but I assume it's legit.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:15, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the instructions, this looks like it could possibly be the most boring game ever devised. ("Wikipedia has kept track of all the page views or hits each of the 3 theme-related topics have received in one year. Their ranking is shown in the right column in blue, from most views to least views. The reader flips over the sand timer and reads the 3 topics aloud from the left column in black. The players use their markers and boards to rank those topics in order from most to least hits. When the sand timer runs out, time is up, and markers are put down. The reader announces the correct order and players receive one token for each correct ranking.") ‑ Iridescent 22:46, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Could be worse (?) Martinevans123 (talk) 23:01, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh Noes!! GamerGate started over depressing games. What havoc will be wrought with boring games? --DHeyward (talk) 06:56, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Ghettopoly was a spoof of Monopoly. This led to successful legal action from Hasbro.[1] Although Wikimedia material is supposed to be copyright free, it is surprising that the Wikipedia game can be sold without any official approval.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:34, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I believe there is approval from the trademark perspective, but that's not the same as 'endorsement'. However, as I indicated above, I am not sure.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:17, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, as long as any trademark licensing $s is going to feed the homeless in a long cold northern winter, or such like, I'm sure the volunteer army that builds this thing won't mind. *raises eyebrow* AnonNep (talk) 09:54, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
This were was a discussion about this a couple of weeks ago. User:Kaldari said "I doubt that the WMF approved this as a trademark use". User:Moonriddengirl said she would check with the "trademark team" but I didn't see a response. Protopone primigena (talk) 19:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, what I said actually is that I would contact the trademark team. :) I did, and alerted them to the potential problem. I don't expect a response. If there are issues, they will likely deal with the people directly, Protopone primigena. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 23:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I misunderstood. Could someone ask for a statement from the trademark team so that the rest of us know what the situation is? Jimbo? I don't want to buy a game that is using Wikipedia branding but doesn't actually have permission for it. And if the game is no good, it would be better if it wasn't associated with Wikipedia/WMF. Protopone primigena (talk) 22:10, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Surprised no-one has yet written an article about it, so that it can include itself. I'd write one myself over Christmas, but I'll be too busy playing the game. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:01, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Technically the Ghettopoly decision isn't a specific precedent - the manufacturer apparently didn't come up with some document and a default judgment was given, so it sounds like a commonplace application of the legal principle that the wealthier party always prevails. But Ghettopoly was a parody, which in the cloud-cuckooland of copyright law is ostensibly legal but prohibited as a rule since if you don't have more money than the person parodying you, you're not worth parodying. This is a direct use of the trademark, which is different. Wnt (talk) 20:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Phew! As if anyone would ever want to play games that were a parody of Wikipedia. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:19, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Hey! I've had fun playing varieties of Fictionary, and can't wait for Fikipedia with made-up infoboxes, citation-needed templates, talk-page discussions, inclusion of fringe-views, vandalisms and all! ---Sluzzelin talk 23:29, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
In that case you may enjoy Wikiopoly.... --Jules (Mrjulesd) 23:41, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The forfeit, of being forced to play in "the infobox", until the end of the game, seems a little harsh. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:45, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately branding-wise, this board game has latched itself onto Wikipedia, so if people deem it boring or a quick cashin, that might negatively affect the way they view Wikipedia...--Coin945 (talk) 23:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
That was my main concern. If someone put a Nike logo on something that was not an official Nike product, they would soon be sued to kingdom come until it was removed from the market. The Wikimedia Foundation is not litigious, and the game itself does not seem to contain harmful material. However, there does need to be a look at how to protect Wikimedia logos and content from this type of reuse without permission.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 03:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
How ridiculous, who would ever pursue litigation over a board game!? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:44, 28 November 2015 (UTC) p.s. maybe Wikipedia could branch out into sports sponsorship??

New Liquor portal

Bar Hard Rock Cafe Prague (cropped).png

Greetings Mr. Wales: Check out the new Liquor portal I created today. Pitch in to improve it if you'd like. Cheers, Face-smile.svg North America1000 12:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 25 November 2015

colloquy on intellectual property rights

In cases other than "slavish copying" (per the Corel case exception), ought museums be allowed to use their own copyrighted photographs to get monies for operations through royalties? See the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-11-25/Blog where I suggest the issue is clearly made out. Thanks to any who opine. Collect (talk) 01:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Enhanced protection and blocking

Hi Jimbo, I saw your post at ANI and thought that I'd let you know that a very similar proposal is in the works at meta with good support. I have commented there concerning your request. It is very encouraging that so many good ideas have been brought forward for the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey. Well worth looking over if you happen to have the time. Cheers,
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:01, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi Mr. Wales. Just popping in and saying hi!

Hi Mr. Wales, I've been a fan of wikipedia for a long timenad recently decided to start editing Wikipedia! Felt i need to come by and pay my respects to the legend (you)! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Winterysteppe (talkcontribs) 03:34, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Lundquist - 100 top Euro Companies on Wikipedia study

Forbes links to Lundquist which links to this study on Wikipedia articles of 100 European companies. I've only skimmed this study (maybe I should say it's a "PR study", but it looks like a cut above the usual). I'm interested in just about any research on company articles in Wikipedia and plan to contact Lundquist, e.g. to get their studies from the 7 previous years.

In the meantime, if anybody has comments to send along to them, ideas that you think should be adressed, etc. please place those here and I'll send them along. Eventually, I plan to re-do their study from a Wikipedian's POV.

BTW, with a quick skimming, I don't see the usual glaring mistakes in the report. The worst that I can see is that there is a small bit of confusion of WikiMedia Italia with the WMF. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:57, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

This is 75% promotional material for this consulting firm and 25% research IMO. This could be titled "How to maximize sales through increased presence on Wikipedia without pissing off the editors". Success is defined as increased profile and improved image through WP, and for one company that meant getting editors to create three new articles for them. Their goal is clear: influence Wikipedia according to their clients' interests. The actual "study" part of this article appears to give incentive for companies to hire this consulting firm, a sort of scare tactic. (Always beware of studies that make up their own non-validated scoring rubrics. The rubric itself can dictate the outcome.) I know companies are free to make money off of the work we do here. I'm fine with that. What I don't like is PR posing as research, with the goal of influencing WP. That's really what this article is about - how to influence WP in a nice way. The research component is almost incidental. Even if they all follow policy, the fact that PR people are being encouraged to have a presence here with the goal of influencing our encyclopedia troubles me greatly. Bit by bit, the changes they propose might seem reasonable, but the result can only be undue NPOV influence by these paid SPAs. A certain subset of corporate articles will look prettier than others, giving the impression that we consider those corporations more important than the ones whose articles are a little rough looking. Certain editors might be identified who are easier to work with - maybe newcomers wanting to create their first articles.
In fairness, two things I do like about this article are that they encourage abiding by our policies and full disclosure. Also, they're not really selling anything new that isn't already well known to most Wikipedians, or easily learned. You can pass along as much of this as you wish, but I hope we Wikipedians don't lose sight of why we're here and give in to the kind of corporate influence this PR piece advocates. Dcs002 (talk) 03:46, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I pretty much agree with everything you say. When I wrote "it looks like a cut above the usual" that was just a relative judgement. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:48, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Muhammad RFC

For anyone who wishes there is an RFC for one of the paragraphs in the Muhammad article. I am currently working on the article to bring it to FA status so if anyone wants to participate here is the link: Tivanir2 (talk) 23:08, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Financial support from Qatar Foundation

Jimmy, since you reverted another discussion as "trolling", how about a simple question that any open and transparent organization should not cower from? The Wikimedia Foundation at one time listed a contribution from the Qatar Foundation in the amount of "$100,000 to $999,999". While you may not know the answer off the top of your head, could you please find out exactly how much money the Wikimedia Foundation has accepted to date from the Qatar Foundation, then share it with us here? - Checking the checkers (talk) 12:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Why does it matter? What does it have to do with building an encyclopedia? Who we get donations from shouldn't matter. The important thing is that we stay running and be more open to how to improve the site for the better to promote content in the long term.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Could it be that Checking the checkers is working on an article titled Qatar Foundation? --MurderByDeadcopy"bang!" 18:44, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The "logic" here is that Jimbo is associated with Wikipedia, which took a donation from Qatar Foundation, which also funded a mosque, which had a Ramadan forum, which allowed a preacher to speak at it, who had said some insensitive and radical things at other times in his life. That's literally six degrees of separation. Wnt (talk) 20:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Precisely. Trolling.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:00, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to know how much they gave. WMF is in no position to deny the potential influence of large donors on its behaviour. Is there a good reason not to disclose the size of QF's donation? Short of a good reason not to, I'd hope the WMF would default to transparency. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 05:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
WMF is actually in a very strong position to deny the potential influence of large donors on its behaviour. Large donors have no influence on policy of any kind. This is very clear. The WMF does default to transparency, which is why the amount was disclosed freely, here: May 2012 Wikimedia Foundation Report and the report was promoted here in "highlights" version in the Wikimedia blog. The amount was $100,000.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:24, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for fishing that out. I'm concerned to hear you deny the potential influence of large donors on the WMF's behaviour. The WMF's employment of a Harvard Belfer Center associate was a serious error; an error highly unlikely to have been made if the Stanton Foundation were not a major contributor to the WMF.
I am enormously grateful to Stanton for their support, and the Belfer-Wikimedia collaboration while clearly very, very ill-thought-through and launched against the wise counsel of two very experienced Wikipedians, did not turn into the PR nightmare it might have. Still. The WMF - and you as a board member - need to be vigilant. It would be a very hubristic foundation, indeed, that, even without the Belfer debacle in its immediate past, believed its behaviour is immune to potential influence from large donors.
The current WMF management seems alert to this potential, and that's all we can ask. Your stance - to deny the existence of potential influence - is mistaken. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 08:37, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for providing that information, and for (implicitly) confirming that there were no other donations before or since, on top of the $100,000 gift. Feeling some sorrow that this was considered "trolling", but you have your perspective and I have mine. I think that the Wikimedia Foundation should be careful about accepting money from organizations that also provide financial support to Hamas and other controversial figures. - Checking the checkers (talk) 16:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I'll go further than that. I think that the Wikimedia Foundation should not accept money from the Qatar Foundation in the future. A lot has happened since 2012. But let's be clear - you were trolling, you know you were trolling. You included ridiculous and weird claims about "clock boy" and so on. It is quite clear to me from - nearly 10 years now - of your trolling (I hope you are planning a celebration of the anniversary) that you actually have no interest in much other than trying to paint anything and everything that I do in a negative light. (The only exceptions would be trying to frighten me and my family with obsession over where my children are and sly jokes about violence, emailed threats from anonymous accounts, etc.) For whatever sad reason, you're obsessed and I'm used to it by now. I'm sure it will never end. And I'm sure it will never be any less pathetic. I genuinely hope you seek help for it - it must be hard on your family to see you throw so much of your life away on this quest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:57, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
If you respond to trolls with citable, potentially newsworthy statements like the second sentence above, statements that potentially could even cost donor money or be useful for bureaucrats promoting censorship of Wikipedia, people will keep on trolling. Responses like that are a very valuable reward to get for truly trivial effort. It may be you were mistaken to consider Checkers a troll, or it may be you were mistaken to provide that answer, but to avoid making interview-by-troll a standard practice it would be best not to consider both correct, I think. My preference is somewhat for the former option, but I also think it is wrong to take a with-us-or-against-us approach. If donors of major money don't demand Wikipedia censor information to receive it, certainly the recipient should not be making such a demand of the Qatar Foundation and its mosque! Wnt (talk) 14:55, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Whatever the amount was, it was probably significant if it was over $100,000. Yes it would be nice to have transparency about the exact amount, but on the other hand there are reasons to respect donor wishes for privacy. And I very much doubt that a donation of even $999,999 is having a problematic influence on the Wikimedia Foundation; if anything, it would be nice if the Foundation used it to support initiatives like the Wikipedia Education Program in Arabic, Wiki Loves Monuments in Middle Eastern countries, and language translation software development. Unless some evidence emerges that there is an actual problem with this donation or how the Foundation is using it, I think that we should be grateful for the support of the Qatar Foundation. --Pine 07:20, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

The more money Qatar Foundation donates to Wikimedia, the less money they have left to donate to Hamas (which they allegedly do, I don't know if it's true). So it's a good thing when Wikimedia continues to accept donations from Qatar Foundation. --Distelfinck (talk) 12:53, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Compelling logic. Peter Damian (talk) 21:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Worth noting that Qatar denies that it funds Hamas. -- Euryalus (talk) 03:24, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
It’s hardly likely they’d donate to Wikipedia if it affected the funds earmarked for Hamas. Writegeist (talk) 21:21, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It makes me wonder why companies like Koch industries spend so much on donations to political parties when they could be spending it on manufacturing, refining, and distribution etc. (By the same logic above) Peter Damian (talk) 21:30, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Given that the Qatar Foundation funding is likely in the billions (the majority seemingly on education initiatives) it seems likely that the chickenfeed, by their standards, donation to Wikipedia would be unlikely to affect their funding elsewhere. But it was not the QF that donated to Hamas but the Qatari government, although the government also funds the QF. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 21:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
What do you think the Qatar Foundation would do with an extra $100,000 in their bank accounts? My best guess is, if last year let's say 70% of their spendings went into education, and 30% into research, they will also spend 70% of that $100,000 on education, and 30% of it on research. --Distelfinck (talk) 00:14, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It would be relevant only if there was any evidence that Qatari editors or articles on Qatar/Qatar Foundation and their interests were receiving favorable treatment somehow on Wikipedia. Otherwise, who cares? Do you have any idea how rich Qatar is? The average household income is $25k per month; compared that with $50k per year for USA. The Qatar Foundation is a massive behemoth and its annual budget is likely in the billions. $100k-$1 million is seriously nothing. МандичкаYO 😜 16:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It can be a problem at the margins to accept dough from bad sources even if it doesn't influence any WMF actions. The question is where are the margins. Qatar is pretty foreign and -- like every single polity on earth, including whichever one you live in, Dear Reader -- they do nasty stuff to a greater or lesser or degree. Whether they are so foreign or so nasty that the WMF shouldn't take their money I don't know. Probably not. Jimbo said not and he may be right. It's not high on my personal list of what's important though. Herostratus (talk) 05:29, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
You'd have to be a pretty extreme group for a non-profit to refuse your money ie ISIS, KKK, etc. Whatever issues Qatar has, the Qatar Foundation is not anywhere near that level of odiousness. МандичкаYO 😜 12:15, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, I don't know anything about the Qatar Foundation, but I find this chilling: "Why does it matter? What does it have to do with building an encyclopedia? Who we get donations from shouldn't matter. The important thing is that we stay running and be more open to how to improve the site for the better to promote content in the long term."

It matters because 1) if an organization receives funding from a suspicious group (not saying that about QF, but I think Checkers is), that suspicion transfers to the recipient (what if we received funds from organized crime?), 2) an organization whose very function is to provide neutral, reliable information can suffer from perceptions of non-neutrality if the organization receives funds from a group with an agenda (such as the NRA - again, not referring to QF), and 3) "We are getting enough funding to stay afloat, and that's all you need to know" (an over-simplification of the above quote, but the logic applies) is in itself a flagrant evasion of the truth, an excuse for concealing the truth, in an organization that has nothing else to offer but the truth. Our only product is truth. If the request comes from a troll, remember the troll is not the only one reading the reply. I think the two appropriate responses are "don't feed the trolls" or a truthful answer. I understand there is a long history here, and if that's the case, I think you took the bait.

Crap! It looks like I forgot to sign the above. Sorry. I made that comment on 21:47, 2 December 2015
Here's my sig for this one Dcs002 (talk) 18:46, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Comment unrelated to preceding conversation, new section heading applied

This is my first visit to this page Hi everybody! Hi Jimbo! Dcs002 (talk) 02:30, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Oh this is what happened! I didn't forget to sign the above comment. The last line of my previous comment was clipped off and made into a whole section? (I wish you had left a copy of my sig behind on the comment this was clipped from. It made it look like I didn't sign.) It was just me saying hi at the end of my message (a message I left after the conversation was already done - I gotta remember to look at those timestamps!). Oh well. Hi again! Dcs002 (talk) 18:51, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Hi Dcs002. Yup that's what happened. Confusing huh? I think that your sig should have been copied over really. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 21:22, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
There was no real need to refactor this one-off comment into a separate section. Apologies to Dcs002 for any confusion this may have caused. -- Euryalus (talk) 22:10, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks - no harm, no foul, just part of the fun :) I started editing in 2009, but I am a newbie still in so many ways. I'm just out exploring now. Stuff like this teaches me more about how WP works. (I learned what refactor means!) Now if I could learn all those dang acronyms... Dcs002 (talk) 03:15, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Updates on (1) proposed major revision to Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest rule, (2) Edwardpatrickalva COI case

Hi Jimmy - In response to your call for discussion, and since my vision (among other things) is unstable, I went (1) farsighted (read the Wikipedia Community's WP:COI rule (and many of its very many related rules), and (2) nearsighted (read - and tried to calm and clarify - the typically-warlike§ discussion in one of our many Arbitration coliseums (colisea?) on the specific case you cited, involving Edwardpatrickalva. My notes below. - Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 08:57, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Proposed major revision to COI rules

Upon seeing your note, I started a discussion on the COI Talk page. After trying to fix just the main page of our COI rulebook (esp its useless "How to handle" section), and reading pages and pages of COI fix-it proposals, I propose this: instead of trying to amend this rulebook, burn it and start over. Show and tell: scroll through the Community's current COI rule (N!: this 6+page guideline is just the main page of the rulebook, and already it includes ~41 links and ~16 shortcuts (irony) to other rules). Now compare that to my slightly shorter proposed COI page, Draft#2, which simply defines the "conflict" in terms of "Interests of Wikipedia Editor" vs "Interests of Wikipedia's Readers", tells you to put their interests over your own, and also what will happen if you don't. That's my burnt version of the law of the land. We can reweed it with more rules, if we must. No offense to weed.

Applying a "game-theoretic" approach (and Wikipedia is the best game ever!) to forming social contracts within the Wikipedia Community, I propose that for every rule that we already have, and for each rule that we are probably drafting right now, we oughta first ask (1) What problem are we trying to solve?, then (2) What social contract (rule) would solve that specific problem in the simplest, most elegant way possible? All the while keeping at the front of our face the people who matter most: Wikipedia's readers.

Hope to see your own views at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest. If our COI rules and procedures weren't such a mess, then we wouldn't even have to deal with a mess like this one:

The case of Edwardpatrickalva

I should immediately disclose that I have no personal interest in this case, the participants, or the topics involved. Since this case has also been taken up by "The Left", on the one hand, and "The Right", on the other hand, I should probably also declare that I am ambidextrous. I am interested in conflict resolution, and also confess that I wondered what it would be like for a powerless inmate to run around The Asylum with sharp razors.


Summary of facts I prepared for the group, as of 11/30:

  1. Incident submitted 11/19;
  2. two Wikipedians asked that Edward be banned altogether and outright;
  3. they did not present evidence, and stopped participating in this discussion on 11/20 and 11/25;
  4. as of 11/25, Edward was accused of breaking WP:COI, WP:BLP, WP:DIS, WP:NPV, WP:VER;
  5. as to those, we received two diffs (diff diff) relevant only to WP:COI and WP:BLP. They showed that Edward did make at least two COI edits to a BLP, over a span of months;
  6. we subsequently received two diffs (diff, diff) which showed that Edward did in fact consult other editors prior to posting the edits: Edward did not break COI, not in these two cases;
  7. there are indications of other COI edits, but no one who is still in this discussion thinks they're a big deal;
  8. recommendations on actions, as of 11/29: temporary topic ban, permanent topic ban, site ban;
  9. Edward had already volunteered to a temporary topic ban;
  10. no one at this point is proposing any ban or block against Edward;
  11. others have gotten away with worse.

Conclusion of Arbitration

Arbitrator Drmies closed the case yesterday with this note: "The COI is not in question, and plausible evidence is provided for the involved editor having played by the rules ... A COI itself is not a reason to block or ban ... this discussion provides no consensus to block or ban the editor, and the editor's defenders present very strong evidence that the system worked, so to speak, pace a news article."


Oh snap! (#thingsmykidsmademepromisetoneversayagain) The object of the Administrator's Latin was the same story that prompted your call for a discussion, and which prompted KirkCliff2 to bring Edward to Arbitration. Subsequent coverage mainly riffed on this Examiner theme: "I have long advocated that we should deal much more quickly and much more severely with [Conflict of Interest] editors," Wales wrote after citing the Examiner. "The usual objections (from some quarters — I think most people agree with me) have to do with it being hard to detect them, but in this case, the COI was called out, warnings were issued, and nothing was done. Now the editor has been called out by the media embarrassing him (he deserves it), his employer (who may not), and Wikipedia."

Problem is, after all this time, no one presented the Wikipedia Community with any evidence to support their charges against Edward. There was no case. You and "The Medias" may have found him guilty. The Wikipedia Community has not.

The enemy is not one rogue editor, or any number of them, Jimmy. The enemy is us.

... § and speaking of our warlike behavior ...

A medal for one battle in The Edit Wars

Was it you who started this whole Wikipedia is War metaphor thing? All the violence and deaths (I assume there is a body count) that our Community continues to suffer in The Never-ending Edit Wars and all our other wars? I blame them all (overgeneralization) on this warped way of wrapping Wikipedia. We celebrate Edit Wars. We honor Veterans of Edit Wars. We even hand out medals for valor in Edit Wars (see image on right). I promised my kids never to use these Wiktionary entries ever again, but, as a vegan and father of Veterans OMG LOL WT-?!

We keep whining about Gender bias on Wikipedia. Maybe it's this simple: girls don't like to play with boys because we're so violent. Also, stinky.

Cantcha just say Wikipedia is an Asylum or Wikipedia is a Playground or Wikipedia is Play or Wikipedia is Serious Play instead? [ For expert information on the benefits of play and the benefits of war, please see this Wikipedia entry Benefits of Play, and Wikipedia Search results for "benefits of play" for "benefits of war" and for "war with benefits" For the benefits of insanity to Wikipedia, read the bio of the First Inmate of the Asylum.
LeoRomero (talk) 08:57, 4 December 2015 (UTC)


My $0.02 - I agree with the edit warrior metaphor, and the idea of a badge of honor for being an edit warrior seriously bothers me. I suspect it usually means someone has done meritorious service to END an edit war, but it looks a though they have simply fought like hell, which s not what I like. We should be using dispute resolution strategies instead of fighting more. An alternative is to create a peace prize instead of an edit warrior prize. To me, being an edit warrior is not something to be proud of, but bringing peace, compromise, and a sense of cooperative investment in our encyclopedia definitely deserves recognition. Dcs002 (talk) 19:01, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Well the "medal" pertains to Template:Edit War Prestige. But as far as I can work out it has never been given out, perhaps it was created as a joke? And the doc says "reverting edits from mostly anon IP vandalism" so it's for anti-vandalism. Basically if this award was given out for non-vandalism-reverting edit warring then obviously this would be a problem, but as far I'm aware it's not in active use. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 22:46, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

China blocked Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo,

I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this situation. On IRC, admin Anna Frodesiak and a few other editors have said that they cannot access any WMF sites. According to this Reddit post, China has blocked Wikipedia completely. It looks like they are completely censoring all of Wikipedia now. --Stabila711 (talk) 23:03, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

There was some sensitive topic case have stimulated the CPC political system, so that's why the Chinese government have blocked Wikipedia. SA 13 Bro (talk) 07:04, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be back for now. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:30, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 02 December 2015

Does Wikipedia or the WMF receive donations from corporations that pay for industry-funded research?

I'm sure they do since so many corporations fund research these days. I was curious if there has ever been a breakdown in studying exactly how many dollars are donated by such companies and, perhaps, who donates the most? I know that when I have donated to Wikipedia I put my name on there and I'm sure you all keep that sort of thing on file, so I was just curious if someone has ever sorted through those donations to compile lists of groups like that? LesVegas (talk) 15:18, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

I have no idea. But part of the reason I have no idea is that such a route would be totally unproductive in terms of affecting the content of Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation has virtually no influence on what is written in Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:23, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, a big donation would draw the attention of He Who Shall Not Be Named, and that would ultimately prove to be a very unproductive investment indeed, what with excrement and air circulation devices. Carrite (talk) 02:44, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Urgent abuse report

Sorry I tried to find a better place where to report this but didn't. Pls fwd to so taking care: The page "" hosts a full copy of without proper attribution or licensing, even scamming the links looking like our original site: [http:/] + [2] for example... they are even faking the login page: http:/ ! --.js ((())) 03:43, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Just a WP:MIRROR, isn't it? Rcsprinter123 (gab) 10:52, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
More like a Live mirror.[3] Strictly speaking, these are more or less forbidden. -- zzuuzz (talk) 11:46, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Did you ever see The Boys from Brazil? The famous line, "There are Nazis in Paraguay." There are internet trolls in Russia. Big deal. So what. Ignore them. I broke your links on purpose. Don't restore them. Don't visit them or you could get infected with malware. Jehochman Talk 12:21, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Fundraising revisited

You may recall that about a year ago I brought up a discussion about WP's fundraising campaigns here after Andrew Orlowski wrote an article about them in the Register. Now the Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey (who has written about WP before [4]) has taken a similar approach, asking, "Wikipedia has a ton of money. So why is it begging you to donate yours?" [5] She states that although people who read the ads that are apparently up now (at least to non registered users) you "may well assume that the world’s seventh-largest site risks going dark if you don’t donate," but "In reality, that couldn’t be further from the case." Do you think it's misleading to run these ads when Wikipedia really is, in the words of Andrew Lih, "making more money than ever before and is at no risk of going away"? I think it's important to listen to what critics of our site are saying. Everymorning (talk) 03:34, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Actually I think this is presented as a news article rather than an opinion piece. She is not placing herself as a critic, but as a straight reporter. I do wonder why she reports on the bunch of cranks who don't want the WMF to raise money. I would suggest to those folks that if they don't want the WMF to raise money to support the various projects, that they form their own foundation and their own website and raise money according to their own standards. But please don't try to tell the world that the WMF fundraising campaign is unethical - it just isn't. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:03, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Did you just call Andrew Lih a "crank"??? The mind boggles. Carrite (talk) 13:37, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
I think you are misinterpreting what Smallbones said. He didn't say that everyone quoted in the article is a crank - he specified those "who don't want the WMF to raise money". Andrew Lih gave a presentation at Wikiconference USA 2015 in which he discussed the healthy state of the fundraiser under the topic "Good news". I haven't asked him directly, but I've known him for years and I very much don't think he holds the position that the WMF shouldn't raise money.
Having said all that, to answer Everymorning's question, I disagree strongly with the spin in that Washington Post article. I think it's quite unfair. The fundraising team informs the board reliably that fundraising is getting harder, in no small part because of the ongoing shift to mobile. (People are dramatically less likely to donate when they see a banner on a mobile device, largely because it's just a pain in the neck to do from a phone.) Desktop pageviews are being cannibalized by mobile, and this impacts us.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:15, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
I think it is a good sign of the tunnel-vision endemic at the WMF that reasons for fundraising getting harder is being blamed on mobile access rather than the core doners (People who donate year-on-year) being well aware the WMF has a *lot* of money in the pot, which it doesnt appear to be spending on value-for-money upgrades to Wikipedia or the wiki-software in general. Its true people are less likely to donate via mobile devices, but there are very simple solutions to donating via mobile phones and have been for over 10 years. That the WMF does not take advantage of these is really its own fault. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:29, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Well I seen a lot of criticism of WMF "honey pot", but relax its not going there, but it will ensure services continue barring unforeseen problems, and is not excessive by the standards of non-profit organizations, as a ratio of annual outgoings. And there is criticism of the wiki-software, but generally I feel it to be of a high standard, and is the basis of the majority of wikis on the web. Sure spending could be cut if and things would carry on, but I find allegations of misappropriation tenuous. And if people want to donate why not expand? But if a lot of the newspapers carry a lot of these sort of stories, then income will fall and cuts will have to be made. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 23:44, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Well with the current bank balance, even if funding stopped outright cuts would not have to be made for a long time. The criticism of the honey pot is not the existance of the honey pot, no one actually minds the WMF raising funds, its the slightly dishonest (or rather more kindly put, overstating) implication that the wiki will crumble that they use as justification that is a big problem. The other is of course, the spending of the money. If you say 'Give us your cash so we can improve the Wiki experience!' you actually need to spend it and improve the experience... Very little of that has been showing in the last few years with the various technical project failures, understandably people want to know what is being done with the money they do have. Which brings us back to: if the WMF cut 80% of their staff, it would have little impact on the Wiki-experience at all. It would stay the same. The pot would last a fair bit longer then. Its difficult to explain and justify the difference to people between 'spending your donations for no real improvement' and 'spending no money and no real improvement'. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:34, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
On a perhaps slightly irrelevant note, I'm pleased to see they're asking for £2 here in the UK, rather than £3: it always seemed a bit unfair that they asked for $3 in the US and £3 (more than half as much again) in the UK, especially when comparing both to the price of a cup of coffee. --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 15:41, 9 December 2015 (UTC)


NDTV published this article about Wikipedia, but all the people in the comments section came out in support of Wikipedia. --The Avengers 14:54, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

It's a pretty silly article, clickbait headline and all, so that makes sense to me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:39, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

"not a big deal"

Hi Jimbo. As you certainly know, you made a statement in 2003 which said that becoming an admin was "not a big deal." This statement has since been widely quoted by those who believe in less strict standards at RfA. However, others contend that the statement is outdated and is no longer relevant today, because now Wikipedia is much more popular than it was at the time. In light of this, I wanted to know if you still stand by that statement, and if you have the time to explain, why you still do. Thank you. Biblioworm 22:05, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Imagine a model for building an encyclopedia where all the editors are carefully vetted up front before being allowed to write. We called it Nupedia. It failed. What we learned from that is that for things which are reversible, it's better to be open. It's better to give people a shot, because they'll generally do good work and they'll learn as they go. Another thing that we learned is that the vetting process didn't really work at finding good writers and excluding bad ones.
Now look at how we manage the admin process. Everyone is so carefully vetted up front before being allowed the admin tools. And guess what? For things that are reversible, it's better to be open. It's better to give people a shot, because they'll generally do good work and they'll learn as they go. And the vetting process we use very likely selects for some wrong things, i.e. it doesn't necessarily really work at finding good admins and excluding bad ones.
I think admin rights should be much more easy come and easy go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:15, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Could not agree more. I'm still strongly of the opinion that if it were more "easy go", it would become more "easy come" but at the moment, as long as you are active, you are unlikely to lose the right. WormTT(talk) 11:39, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
... and "active" means making an edit (not even an admin action) once a year. There are a lot of current admins who are barely functioning as editors, never mind as admins. pablo 11:43, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
While inactive admins inflate the numbers of admins, perhaps concealing the extent of the issue for those who haven't looked at it closely, they don't actually cause any harm. And removing the admin bit from them is not a very nice thing to do and certainly not a path towards "easy come". Better to invite them back and get them excited again. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:42, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Jimmy, at the moment the only way for an admin bit to be removed from an active admin would be through arbcom, which is unpleasant for all involved. Do you have any opinions on how we might move to a more "easy go" system, whilst balancing the "not very nice thing to do" side of the equation? WormTT(talk) 14:51, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Becoming a sysop is unpleasant(RfA), why should losing the bit be pleasant? I have seen a lot of desysops recently. Who are these users that should not be an admin but the system has failed to desysop? Frankly in is far easier to lose ones admin bit than it is to get one. It took me a lot of time and effort and a lack of unwise action to become an admin. I could lose my bit today if I really wanted to. It is far easier to "go" than it is to "come".
I do remember a time when a sysop losing their bit was unheard of, but these days it is common place. The meme of "admin for life" is far from true now. Also from 8 years experience I can say that being an admin is not a big deal, you don't get extra authority or even respect(in fact you are automatically disrespected for many just because you a perceived to have authority). Anything you do that is disagreed with can be reversed just like anyone else. It is mostly routine maintenance. HighInBC 15:33, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I argued in a Signpost opinion piece a couple of years ago that the only workable solution is to create an elected committee with the responsibility of managing admins, with the power to give and take the bit. I still think that's the only workable solution. Looie496 (talk) 15:34, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Arbcom is an elected committee with the responsibility of taking away the bits. As for giving the bits, do you really think that should be taken away from the community? HighInBC 15:36, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, the community would still be in control indirectly, but yes, that's the whole point. The bottom line problem is that the RfA mechanism is too unwieldy, and no small change is going to fix that. Looie496 (talk) 17:31, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree with HighInBC, it takes years to develop the trust so that an editor can pass an RfA. But if an admin overturns an AE block or Checkuser block or spends an afternoon vandalizing articles (implying that the account might be compromised), I'm pretty sure that the bit would be removed by the end of the day. An admin who has a meltdown, for whatever reason, can expect to be desysopped. Of course, after discussion, they might get the bit back but it is by no means assured. Liz Read! Talk! 22:47, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
So, my understanding of your reply is that adminship should be easy to get (or "not a big deal") on the condition that it's easy to lose. Biblioworm 16:25, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
That was discussed at great length a short while ago and there was no consensus to change the way people are de-admined, as resistance from admins to keep the status quo was strong. Coretheapple (talk) 20:06, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

As I've opined before, at this point adminship is a medium-sized deal. Obtaining it, or losing it, should be neither too easy nor too hard. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:37, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Jimmy on this. Admin-for-life appointments are not the best way to go. Sole Flounder (talk) 20:00, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I'm more surprised that there are admins who stick around for 8 or 10 years. It's a pretty thankless job and now that I am one, I would expect admins to burn out more quickly than they do. It's easy to leave and become inactive, it takes determination to keep doing the job, year after year. And I'd say the same for editors, too. Liz Read! Talk! 22:50, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Unhelpful memes associated with adminship and RfA

There are a number of unhelpful memes associated with adminship, that taken together seriously risk the project.

"Make it easier for desysopping, and RfA will sort itself out"
I would liken this belief to believing in magic. That a terribly broken process will some how be transformed by a new method of desysopping beggars belief, as it simple does not address the long stand problems with RfA, that have been going on for years yet seem insolvable by the community, despite many many attempts at reform. RfA is incredibly broken, and attempts to fix this have to address RfA directly.
"Only content creators should be made admins"
Having this belief makes adminship into a badge of honor as opposed to determining how trustworthy a particular applicant is. And to suggest that editors can not establish trustworthiness from considerable contributions to copy-editing, vandal-fighting, template editing and other types of wikignoming is deeply flawed.
"Adminship is for life"
Again, patently false, there is plenty of desysoppings for inactivity, as well as numerous desysoppings for misconduct.
"Admins returning from breaks are irresponsible"
There is no scientific basis for this claim. People bandy anecdotal "evidence", but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests active admins can make poor decisions, look at the present WP:AN and WP:A/R/C for examples of this.
"Standards at RfA are falling"
You only need to examine some RfAs from yesteryear with some recent RfAs to see how false this is. Standards at RfA have risen considerably compared to how they were in the past.

--Jules (Mrjulesd) 18:08, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Speaking of "admins for life," it would be nice to encourage older editors to apply. The only editor I know of who did go for the tools was soundly defeated because of minor temperament issues, which was sad. The advantage of older editors is that their terms in office are naturally limited by longevity. Some admins are younger than handkerchiefs I have in the drawer. Coretheapple (talk) 02:42, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You should have given the kids a blue link for handkerchief so they would know what the hell you're talking about..... Carrite (talk) 06:12, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Get off my lawn, you damn kids. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:06, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia blocking in a particular country

... with Russia in mind :-) It is well known and much quoted your opinion on the matter, see for instance Russian Wikinews "ru:Джимми Уэйлс: Подчиняться давлению слабых и трусливых политиков — это не путь Википедии" (= "Catering to the demands of weak and cowardly politicians — is not the Wikipedia way"). It is said back in 2013 and I quote again:

For me, being blocked is always preferable to collaborating with censors. It’s important to understand that the fear of site-wide blocking is based in concerns that some (smaller, presumably) ISPs may lack sufficient technical resources to block individual pages, forcing them to block the entire site to comply with the law. Believe me, if those ISPs block the entire site, while other ISPs only block specific pages, the ones which block all of Wikipedia will lose customers very very quickly. We are not weak, we are very powerful. Catering to the demands of weak and cowardly politicians — the kind who fear the spread of knowledge — is not the Wikipedia way.

Nevertheless I see two significant changes ever since:

  1. Back in 2014, one year later, you said ("Russian alternative to Wikipedia"): "<...> unless the Russian government decides to block access to Wikipedia, a prospect that I previously considered highly unlikely, but one which the events of the past two years have suggested is entirely possible <...>"
  2. Since 2015 the Wikimedia projects' access model is fully changed from "take what you can" to "take it all or nothing". Because with HTTPS-only access with native certificate check and the majority of project on the same IP-pool there are not options anymore to ISPs to block specific pages, it doesn't matter, are they small or not, technically equipped or not.

The last change especially makes the rationale of your comment of 2013 rather obsolete, as properly pointed (not by me) at the talk page of the list of pages, included to the Common register of prohibited websites.

So I was wondering if you have a comment, correction or a more strong word formulation to your position of 2013 reflecting the changes listed above?

Respectfully, --Neolexx (talk) 11:20, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Great, thanks for asking. The first sentence still stands, as ever: "For me, being blocked is always preferable to collaborating with censors. " And the last two sentences still stand, "We are not weak, we are very powerful. Catering to the demands of weak and cowardly politicians — the kind who fear the spread of knowledge — is not the Wikipedia way." As this situation slowly unfolds, I am so far very proud of the Russian Wikipedia community and their agreement with this. (They banned a rogue admin who is pro-censorship and visited the regulator and apparently "agreed" to censorship demands.)

One of the techniques that the Russian Wikipedians have used to deal with the situation is one that I approve of heartily. For pages that the government complains about, they focus a lot of attention on the articles to improve them, to make them more scholarly, and more in line with what an ideal Wikipedia entry should be. This has resulted in the removal of demands which could have potentially led to blocking. However, press rhetoric is ramping up, and the future is difficult to predict. But Wikipedia is popular in Russia, Wikipedia is useful in Russia, and although the government there isn't the most responsive to popular demands, they really have no good reason to do something really unpopular over something so trivial in the grand scheme of things.

We can usefully compare the situation in Russia to the situation in China. In China, the sensitive topics are mainly those which might appear to some to directly threaten the authority of the Chinese government. In Russia, the sensitive topics to date have mainly been about drug use and homosexuality. One of the ones currently under dispute is Cocaine/ru:Cocaine. The Russian government's clear intention in passing a law regulating speech about illegal recreational drugs was to target those who are advocating the use of them - pro-drug 'propaganda'. It is not likely that they had any real intention of banning a serious encyclopedia article on the topic. This page, as one example, is on the Russian government's own website.

In the long run I am hopeful that we can resolve this issue, possibly by working to see a clarification in the law so that it clearly only targets "advocacy".

I should hasten to add: I do not support legal bans on the advocacy of drug use. My point is merely that I think that what is happening to us in Russia is an unfortunate side-effect.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:05, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your answer. As the topic and your opinion on it should be interesing to many other ru-wiki participants, I have it translated together with my original question at our Common (Общий) forum, en-wiki Village pump equivalent: Мнение Джимми Уэйлса. --Neolexx (talk) 23:31, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • It is nesessary to mention that editor, who was bloked, only declared intention to seek compromise on the content of the articles within the rules of Wikipedia, not to remove some information at the regulator's wish. Part of the community met with discontent this blocking, and now he is unblocked. Cathry (talk) 23:21, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Jimbo. As it was mentioned above Samal was not RuWP's admin when he took part in meeting with Roskomnadzor's representatives, and now he is unblocked by the intermediate decision of RuWP's Arbitration Commitee. I suppose that your opinion about articles about narcotics on RuWP is mainly based on mass media's interpretation rather than on primary sources. Fact is that articles about narcotics on RuWP had been written by drug addicts and drug dealers while their edits did not attracted attention of other RuWP's editors. Just for instance, article Cannabis smoking explained in detail to the readers how to "obstruct heel", how to make "steam locomotive" and article about Charas warned readers that in India instead of charas gullible buyers can get compressed dust. RuWP's administrator Grebenkov said about it: "We have ability to delete half of [Russian] Wikipedia as the information is not confirmed by sources". While Russian Wikimedia's representatives (Ctac and Dmitry Rozhkov) give interviews in which they try to represent RuWP in a favourable light and to make Roskomnadzor out a fool, others RuWP's editors eliminate errors, nonsense, freaky fantasies and links to drug addicts' trip-reports. Majority of Roskomnadzor's claims are just even in terms of the RuWP's rules. But some part of RuWP's editors (basicly living outside of Russia) instead of eliminating errors in articles decided to use the situation to get RuWP banned in Russia. Unfortunately these editors are not banned in RuWP because there are several administrators among them. Hhhggg (talk) 06:37, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Riiiight.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:28, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
 :-) / Basically there are currently two points of concern and discussion at ru-wiki. The first one is about the particular meeting: did anyone present himself as an admin or/and Russian Wikipedia community representative. The meeting appeared to be audio-recorded and the accused side is ready and willing to prove that the facts are fabricated and leaked to media for some purposes. It might have sense so do not let us into a worsened "Wikipedia Ouroboros" state: when the very participation/blocking of long-standing participants will depend on external media coverage and not on his/her actual proved activity.
The second one seems to be about the monopoly - is any exists or assumed - of Викимедиа РУ (Russian Federation local chapter) for any kind of communications with Russian authorities - or at the very least a necessary participant of any such communication. So the case АК:967 might be long and wordy before a resolution. --Neolexx (talk) 14:23, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I suppose that current Wikimedia RU's representatives ignore problems with articles about narcotics on RuWP and they do everything to get RuWP banned in Russia - instead of editing the articles to improve quality of the articles current Wikimedia RU's representatives give interviews in that they assert that there are excellent articles about narcotics on RuWP and that there are stupid Roskomnadzor's officials whishing to ban RuWP in Russia. Current Wikimedia RU's representatives ignore problems existing in the articles while other editors solve the problems. It raises question about changing personal composition of Wikimedia RU. I'm afraid that current Wikimedia RU's representatives will lead RuWP to be banned in Russia because of problems with articles about narcotics on RuWP. Hhhggg (talk) 10:10, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Jimbo! The situation around the Russian Wikipedia continues to evolve, and there are a large number of problems. I would like to discuss this issue with you.

After a brief blocking of Wikipedia in Russia in August 2015, it became clear to me that there are big challenges. We create a free and open encyclopedia for humanity. We're arguing about opinions concerning sports, science, art, even politics. But there are also important social topics, and here comes the problem: how do we here to strike a balance of freedom of information in discussing "sensitive topics"? There are not plenty of these topics. Even there is a little of them, I can say. But objectively they exist. One of these topics is governed by our rule WP:ALIVE: "any Wikipedia page must be written with the greatest care and attention to verifiability, neutrality, and avoidance of original research", "the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment". Our rules balance between freedom and responsibility.

Obviously we cannot conceal any information; we should discuss these "problematic" topics. You're absolutely right, when you tell us about freedom of information, freedom is our highest value. But we should write on some topics responsibly, with careful approach to the selection of information (I mean WP:RS – Identifying reliable sources), paying some attention to the form and style of presenting information. For example, as described in the rule WP:ALIVE about biographies of living persons. This will allow maintaining a balance of openness and responsibility. And make the encyclopedia better, more “high-quality”. I'm sure of it. It is very important for me.

I want to say a little about interaction with Russian government. The government does not want conflict, and for many years only invites us to the discussion: "Roskomnadzor is actually interested in cooperation with the resource and expects to solve all the problems without resorting to blocking." [6]

One of the participants wrote: "If the Russian Wikipedia will be blocked due to badly written articles about drugs, it will be bad, very bad. It is fine if we were blocked for politics (political convictions), we should be proud of it. But poor articles on drugs are a shame". And I fully agree with him. If the Russian Wikipedia will be blocked, both authors and readers will suffer. Even if will be introduced methods to bypass the blocking, the development of the Russian WP will greatly slow down. In addition it will affect the reputation: there is not any good in headlines in media "Wikipedia is blocked for drugs".

Recently, the situation worsened again. I had a feeling that some of the participants even wish for blocking Wikipedia in Russia. Some of them provoked the authorities; they made very categorical statements in the media, and sometimes even distorted some facts it heighten this confrontation. The others prevented to make any amendments or insisted on amendments that violate our rules. There were not actual steps to resolve the situation. I even wrote about it on the forum of our project Social Responsibility: [7].

And after this post by Ghuron I decided to contact the authorities to understand their attitude and motives:

And I have little faith in the dialogue between the community and officials of Roscomnadzor or Federal Drug Control Service of Russia (I personally, would not resist in a civilised framework). Overall, if the regulator is interested in normalizing relations, they could be asked to get examples: how can you write about drugs from their point of view. That means what level of detail they believe it's appropriate in a conversation about the synthesis, consumption, etc. Not the fact that will help, but at least we can speculate about the boundaries. -- Ghuron 09:07, November 24, 2015 (UTC) [8]

So I had a meeting with representatives of the Roscomnadzor, and the experts have indicated their willingness to a constructive dialogue. I managed to figure out how examination is conducted and how they make a decision on recognition of information is prohibited, and was surprised: their rules are very similar to the rules of the Wikipedia. For example, they say, in the preamble of article about the drug should be written, that it is a drug; and that part of article, which describes addiction and dependence (psychological and/or physiological) is important, etc.

As you can see, these requirements are not contrary to the rules of Wikipedia. They will make the article better, fuller, more scientific (you told us, that these definitions are the best attributes of the "ideal" encyclopedia. It is a good idea and actually we'll look crazy if we abandon it just because of the fact that it was expressed by the representatives of the state. Some participants of the Russian WP reacted well to the proposals. Others even wrote that "if it is from the state, we appeal specifically to do the opposite." To do specifically the contrary is, as we say in Russia, "to freeze my ears to spite my grandmother ". This leads to the deterioration of the content of the encyclopedia.

Also we have an unresolved problem of articles-instructions. For example, here:[9]

This article has the statement that violates the rule about unacceptability of instructions in encyclopedic articles. In addition, these data may be not sufficiently objective and reliable (especially in terms of efficiency and safety of the medicine).

It's for medicine.

For drugs rules are the same or not? If not, this is real hypocrisy. We care about our users, we write carefully about the medication, we tell them, that they should take a professional consultation, visit a doctor. Then why some representatives of Wikipedia called the article about drugs (narcotics) and especially information about methods of application and doses "important (or even the most important) encyclopedic information"? And the section about the consequences they call "not so important". It is necessary to solve this problem. But obviously, direct confrontation and the "language of ultimatums" are unlikely to lead to constructive.

Many people asked me why I reduced my activity in Wikipedia. The reason for this is the condition of the Russian Wikipedia. Part of this process you can see on the example of the claim w:ru:АК:967 (Arbitration Committee) and on TP of this. Some participants violate the principle of civility, I constantly see different curses, political slogans – and all these causes are completely unacceptable, they violate and destroy the very essence of Wikipedia. Our ethics is the greatest basis of Wikipedia that makes Wikipedia truly free and democratic. When I saw this failure to comply with main principles, at first I was surprised, and then offended: I couldn't be more an administrator in the community that violates the principles of its existence.

My negotiations with the authorities were understood and accepted by one part of the community. The other part had not understood and not accepted them. I was accused that I didn't make and attributed what was not said. But I still hope to help: Russian Wikipedia actually stands on the verge of blocking, as long as the blocking is only postponed. Now these articles are on re-examination, and we have very little time to solve this problem; and representatives of Wikimedia in Russia do not make any steps to prevent possible blocking. Some participants rejected any discussion. These words are not the words of the supporters of freedom of information. I want Wikipedia to be continued and developed. And I want it to be available in Russia. The issues are complicated. But I'm sure we need to take constructive steps to resolve the situation. Samal (talk) 23:40, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Dear Samal, I hereby request you once more to cease your insinuations on Wikimedia RU's actions. We were undertaking, and are still undertaking steps to prevent the Wikipedia blocking in Russia (provided that we follow the Wikimedia movement consensus in general, and the Russian Wikipedia community consensus in particular), and you severely harm these efforts, especially by wrongly describing our position and actions - earlier, apparently, to RosKomNadzor, and now to Jimbo. Please stop doing this anymore. Now and forever. Thank you in advance. Dr Bug (Vladimir V. Medeyko) 21:09, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom election results live

Hi Jimbo (and watchers),

Just a note to say the ArbCom election have now concluded, and results have been posted. 9 Arbs have been elected in total, 8 on two-year terms and 1 on a one-year term. You can review the results in full here.

For the Election Commission, Mdann52 (talk) 19:20, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Those elected are:
Two-year terms: Casliber, Opabinia regalis, Keilana, Drmies, Callanecc, Kelapstick, GorillaWarfare, Kirill Lokshin and
Gamaliel One-year term

Congrats to all. The voters have spoken and we've got a good group. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:02, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Just to note that a third of those elected are female candidates Keilana ,GorillaWarfare ,Drmies and Opabinia regalis.The fact they have been elected to the highest decision making body that shows that is there no real gender bias for fully qualified candidates.Interestingly they appear to be the only 3 female candidates out of 20 which would be 100% success for female candidates. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 07:42, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Erm, I think you'll find Drmies is male --Hillbillyholiday talk 07:50, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing it out his User:Drmies lists the User in Female Wikipedians category .My apologies to Drmies for my error.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 07:54, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmmmm, maybe he's on to something — we can solve the gender gap the way that Colbert solved the elephant shortage... Carrite (talk) 17:02, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I'd say that the election of three women to arbcom, along with others who refuse to accept harassment of women - those that Carrite calls "safe spacers" - is an indication that there has been some gender bias in arbcom decisions (as perceived by the voters) and the voters said "we're not going to put up with this any longer." Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:16, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Possibly. Or it could be an indication that they were three really good candidates who would have been elected in any year they ran. -- Euryalus (talk) 07:02, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Which was great. We now have 4 women Arbs, is that a record? Doug Weller (talk) 22:28, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure you’re counting right? I believe the next year’s committee will have five. I agree with Smallbones that the results appear to represent a repudiation of the Gender Gap, Gamergate, and Lightbreather decisions. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:41, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I see Delta Quad, Opabinia regalis, Keilana and GorillaWarfare on next year's arbitration committee unless someone, like Drmies, is playing around with gender expectations. Liz Read! Talk! 23:00, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe that dastardly Drmies had sneakily re-gendered his opponents for an easier ArbCom ride?? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:09, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein: I think you may be thinking "two current ones and three just elected," but inadvertently counting GorillaWarfare twice as she's in both groups. Newyorkbrad Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:11, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Slaps head. Yep! MarkBernstein (talk) 23:15, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Saying GorillaWarfare is twice the woman Opabinia regalis is? NE Ent 01:55, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
True! ;) Opabinia regalis (talk) 19:55, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Does this mean my votes count double? GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:27, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Seems like Kevin Gorman's Gender Gap mailing list voting bloc plan[10] worked pretty well, except for himself, but atleast all the female candidates got in. Perhaps they should re-do the GamerGate ArbCom case, now with an orthodox feminist approach. --Pudeo' 03:26, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

What, do you think they're gonna ban everybody twice or something? Carrite (talk) 04:28, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
In all seriousness, that case and the GGTF one have been cited several times as examples how the Wikipedia community doesn't understand harassment of women and sexism. So I would guess they would unblock the female editors (despite evidence that they were disruptive) but keep the other side of the fracas banned. --Pudeo' 06:48, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
What's your point? The huge influx of women onto the Arbitration Committee means that past arbitrations are to be redone with an orthodox feminist approach? (what even is an "orthodox feminist approach"?) pablo 09:48, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
You can always tell an orthodox feminist—we're the ones with the peyos. GorillaWarfare (talk) 09:51, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
That's kind of what I was thinking, big black hat and a copy of The Second Sex under your arm. pablo 10:38, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I think that it says a lot about both the environment on Wikipedia and about your views that you find that an election resulting in a total of four women on a fifteen-person Arbitration Committee to be so shocking that it could only be the result of bloc voting. GorillaWarfare (talk) 09:16, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Also, women are roughly 50% of the world population, which is no doubt the result of orthodox feminist influences and bloc family planning. Gamaliel (talk) 20:21, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, I voted for all three of the women who were elected (and had previously voted for two of them when they stood in the past), but it had nothing whatsoever to do with any gender issues (and certainly not any off-wiki block vote attempt of which I was not a part). I supported them purely because I thought they were among the top nine candidates. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:46, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

What you all may have missed, is that many of us were not aware of the gender of the candidates when we voted. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:17, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Gender should not matter. To many of us it doesn't. — Ched :  ?  22:04, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
But it does. You might wish for a world where it doesn't matter. I'm not sure I do, because I find such a world very hard to imagine. But anyway, in this world, now, it matters. We need to think about it, talk about it, learn about it, reflect on our own prejudices in relation to it. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 20:38, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Just hastening the day until we have an arbitration committee consisting of only the Bene Tleilax who with their Axlotl tanks make, replicate and create any gender and are the ultimate group supporting any and all gender identification (they're all male of course) and their counterpart the Bene Gesserit (all female of course). The intrigue of having both on the same committee will be fascinating to watch. --DHeyward (talk) 03:44, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Smartphone editing

Hello Jimbo and others who read this page,

I know that you are interested in the mobile phone marketplace. I was a bit surprised to learn that in the past two years, several billion sophisticated Android and iOS smartphones have been sold worldwide, with average screen sizes significantly larger on average than a few years ago. These phones are perfectly capable of being used for editing Wikipedia.

I have been editing Wikipedia heavily by smartphone since 2011, and have written a personal essay, User:Cullen328/Smartphone editing. I would appreciate feedback, either here, or on the essay's talk page. Thank you. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:09, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Editing on on any device without a full sized keyboard is possible but without the ability to touch-type could never be as productive, Sadly, this appears to be another skill that seems to be dying. (edited from my iPad) Nyth63 10:12, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I guess that it depends on how you define "touch typing", Nyth83. I have developed the skill to type fast enough on a small keyboard to keep up with my brain as I ponder everything that goes into writing a good encyclopedia article. It just takes a little practice. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 17:28, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I can't comment on the essay but I am heartened to see another person of my approx. generation. Coretheapple (talk) 19:02, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Older than dirt? Is that what you mean, Coretheapple?
What a delightful essay. Hi Debra! I agree with everything you say there, Cullen. I've been without my laptop for a couple of months and have been relying on an iPad mini and a Samsung Android smartphone. It can be done. But it could and should be easier.
In his essay, Cullen invites those who edit on a smartphone to join the category "Wikipedians who edit by smartphone." Perhaps the WMF developers working on mobile editing can use us members of that category for input, and to bounce ideas off. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 20:23, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words, Anthonyhcole. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 20:42, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
It is fortunate that we don't have edit WP with a keypunch machine on Punch cards like I did for my first FORTRAN course in college. While I often edit on my iPad. I do have bluetooth keyboard attached. Nyth63 20:53, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, I guess that's one way to put it (dirt, etc.). Wouldn't it be nice to have more demographic balance in the ranks? Coretheapple (talk) 20:53, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, Coretheapple. I help out at edit-a-thons to try to recruit new editors from broader demographics. The Teahouse seems to help a bit. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:03, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to write about and document your experiences on mobile, Cullen328. I enjoyed reading it over! I've alerted some of our Mobile team to your essay, this discussion, and the new category you've created. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:24, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 09 December 2015

Response to message regarding UCC information addition

Why are you personally attacking me? All I did was add on to a page about Edward Larabee Barnes. Seriously.

AMC — Preceding unsigned comment added by Acronson (talkcontribs) 01:37, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

@Acronson: Jimbo did not make that edit, see this diff. It appears to have been a troll impersonating him. --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 01:39, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

That's what I thought. Thanks for clearing that up. The troll should probably be banned in all honesty. I didn't do anything wrong whatsoever.


Acronson (talk) 01:41, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
They've already been blocked, and I just deleted all of those pages (the editor seems to have made about 50 of them). --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 01:42, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Global point of view - ???

Hello! I just felt I had to go to the top with this one, so to speak. Someone has written a WP:TVINTL section, and this has suddenly been interpreted as all international broadcast of English speaking TV-series must not be mentioned. (Never mind that most countries uses underlining, not language dubbing..) But is it really of more encyclopedic value, if for instance a British TV-series has been aired in New Zeeland than in the Netherlands ? And what about our global point of view policy ? Thanks ! Boeing720 (talk) 05:26, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

I've come across articles where users gave chapter and verse detail of all the TV stations, reruns etc and this isn't necessary, particularly in the infobox. A TV show should be listed as being a production of the TV company that produced and originally aired it. For example, many BBC shows are shown overseas, but it wouldn't be necessary to say this. The same is true of reruns, as the original air date of the show is the most important.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:27, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Apologies for this discussion being brought here, Jimbo Wales. I have attempted to discuss this topic over and over again with this disruptive user, who attempts to bend WP:TVINTL to their own users. Someone has not just suddenly written the section, given that it has existed for years. We do not have a global perspective - the English server dictate an English perspective. Alex|The|Whovian 09:18, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I think AlexTheWhovian has mistunderstood. The language is English, but the perspective is Global. So the main question remains unanswered - Is it of greater encyclopedical value if a British TV-series has been broadcasted in New Zeeland than in the Netherlands ? There are obviously very many contributers who believes this is not the case. But if I exemplified this matter, then AlexTheWhovian just would delete the examples yet again, as he already has done with A Touch of Frost, Midsummer Murders and others. When I tried to discuss with him. In other words, what I attempted to discuss with AlexTheWhovian, just led to to a very disruptive behaviour from him.
To ianmacm - this can most certainly be discussed. About reruns etc, but it has to apply equally for all countries. Boeing720 (talk) 00:34, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. I totally misunderstood "editors are encouraged to instead detail noteworthy (see next paragraph) foreign broadcasts, from English-speaking countries". Extremely hard to misunderstand that. Especially when it was added almost half a decade ago. And I was disruptive? Says the edit-war'er who can't read policy. Alex|The|Whovian 01:04, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Alex, You have still not answered my question. Is it of greater encyclopedical value if a British TV-series has been broadcasted in New Zeeland than in the Netherlands ? And to "discuss" a matter, and then immediately respond by the deletion of given examples (made by some 50 to 100 other contributers) - that's quite disrupting in my eyes. And the differencies between English Wikipedia and all others wikis is mainly the language. This Wiki is also more thorough about sources than some others. But perspective is World Wide and sources written in other languages are permitted.
To Jimmy Wales - my first entry here was of general matter (and I had previously tried other ways). I didn't mention any names, and it was surely not my intention to discuss this matter with AlexTheWhovian here. I'm sorry for how this question has evolved here. But I still believe the WP:TVINTL section ought to be improved. Thanks. Boeing720 (talk) 20:26, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, apologies Jimmy Wales; whenever this particular discussion begins to turn out of their favour, the editor here in question begins it anew elsewhere, as they have done at least three times in the past. This is all repeating content for me. In reply to the editor: List the 50 to 100 other contributors. Do not pull fake numbers out to base your discussions on, that is lying. Yes, it is of "greater encyclopedical value" when it comes to the English server. Pointing out that you think that this wiki is more thorough than others is your own point of view - they do not includes content relating to us, we do not include content relating to them. Perspective = English. That's literally it. Can't get it through your head? Take it to the talk page for WP:TVINTL if you think a long-standing policy should be changed. Alex|The|Whovian 00:23, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not lying, and you know it ! Instead of discussing the matter, including the examples of "Broadcasting lists" of four British TV-series broadcasted in many European countries, you just deleted them. Each of those four TV-series was noted to have been broadcasted in 10-20 countries each. My estimation 50-100 is built on 4 (TV series) times 10 to 20 (broadcasting countries outside the UK). Of the four was A Touch of Frost, Wire in the Blood, Midsummer Murders and one more (which I can't recall right now) mentioned by me. And generally one single user can only add his own country to a such list (and possibly also a neighbouring country, but that's rare). So you have indeed destroyed the work of many other editors. And especially "Wire in the Blood" is translated very differently in different countries. In Swedish "Mord i sinnet" which means "Murder in mind". I found it very interesting to compare such translations between different languages. But that is something which well can be discussed. But by deleting as much as possible, it stands clear to me that you are more interested in decideing than discussing. Boeing720 (talk) 04:38, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
This kid just doesn't get it. I'm done with this. I'm banging my head against a brick wall. If they push the breaking of policy further, they'll be reverted and reported. Alex|The|Whovian 00:48, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
This type of information is given on IMDb but it isn't necessary for a Wikipedia article to have it.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:52, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Password strength requirements for users with advanced permissisons

Hi Jimbo,

As you may be aware, a while back we had an incident wherein a few admin accounts were compromised due to weak passwords and/or using passwords that they used on other websites that were subject to security breaches. This resulted in the Wikipedia:Security review RfC, which came to a conclusion that certain user groups (admins, crats, etc) should be required to have strong passwords. There was also a sort of advisory vote that global policy be changed to make the same or similar requirements be binding on the steward and founder user groups. The new policy on this is still a draft, but you can see it at Wikipedia:Password strength requirements

So, my point is, as you are the sole member of the "Founder" group, and presumabaly always will be, instead of bundling you up with the stewards you could just indicate your voluntary comliance with these new requirements, which you are probably (hopefully) already meeting or exceeding. When the global discussion is had at meta, it would be a simple matter to link to whatever statement you may care to make here on the subject. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:52, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

I voluntarily commit to maintaining a secure password for my Wikipedia account.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:04, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I saved that statement so that people can link to the diff as desired, but I had one comment on the policy as written at this moment: "Passwords must be at least 8 bits in length" is a pretty odd (wrong) thing to say.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I strongly suspect some Wikipedians are not "computer-literate" about the differences between "computer words", "bits" and "bytes." <g> Collect (talk) 14:46, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Jimbo. Frankly, I feel the same way, but you knoiw, consensus. I'm hoping the addition of a password strerngth bar will alleviate the need to explicitly explain how to reach "8 bits" in the policy. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:02, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, there's that but under any meaning that I know of for "8 bits" in this context, it isn't nearly enough. 8 bits is a byte. Or, if we are talking about entropy (a complicated topic when thinking about password selection) a typical entropy calculator shows that 'dog' (or other 3 letter passwords) have about 8 bits of entropy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:59, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
If I only had a dollar for every meaning of "8 bits"... --Noren (talk) 05:21, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
You'd have at least four shaves and haircuts. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:40, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • A robust standard needs to be set, then, anyone 'with advanced permissisons' who is compromised with a sub-standard password automatically loses said privileges. Seems fair. AnonNep (talk) 14:28, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo

Hello Jimbo, you know I've admired you a long time. I even donated money to Wikipedia one time, and you sent me an email the other day thanking me for it (and asking for more--but on my salary that's not going to be possible this year). Plus, I wrote you some articles and all that, and I haven't TOTALLY embarrassed our beautiful project. So, having said all that, do you think I can come with you to the Cotton Bowl? I KNOW you're going; I am sure someone gave you an envelope full of tickets. And can Tide rolls, an admin of impeccable behavior, come too? Please take me if only to stick it to Auburn fans like Volunteer Marek. Roll Tide! Drmies (talk) 01:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Have fun without me. Volunteer Marek  01:47, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
You're a good person, VM. Good luck against Memphis; you're welcome to stay over at my house on your way there or back. Drmies (talk) 02:26, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
What's with this recentism business? Who cares about 2015 games? You should emulate Carrite, who has put his never-ending project of writing biographies of late 19th century socialist politicians on temporary hold, in favor of expanding and referencing formerly miserable stubs about football players of the 1930s. That's work for real sports fans. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:17, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Cullen, if you had been watching Henry you would have known he transcends time and space. Numbers don't lie. Drmies (talk) 17:09, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

"impeccable", Professor? I'll settle for "adequate". RMFT Tiderolls 07:41, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

  • @Jim - Now you've gone and connected my name to those of a couple of fricken SEC fans.. Thanks a lot......... Carrite (talk) 11:24, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I'll admit that I'm a bit torn between my visceral hatred of Bama and wanting the SEC smack down all the lesser conferences. But only a bit. Volunteer Marek  16:52, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I will watch Alabama games just to see JK Scott. That guy is amazing. Otherwise I'm an all-pro football guy, fairly fresh off the right side of the Miracle in Motown. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:05, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia turning 15

Hello Jimmy, greetings from India. At the outset, congratulations on the 15th birthday of Wikipedia and a fantastic job done by you in creating Wikipedia. Jimmy, I am a huge fan of your work, of Wikipedia and am an active user myself. I started a small discussion here about the 15th anniversary and am taking the liberty of bringing the discussion to your notice. See if that makes sense. Wish you a Merry Christmas, a very Happy new year and all the best for your future endeavors. Cheers, Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 18:05, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Celebrity donation

It has been widely reported recently (e.g. here) that Justise Winslow has donated to Wikipedia because he "attributed a large part of his academic successes in both high school and his lone year at Duke to the online encyclopedia". This is good news for us, so I was wondering what you thought about Wikipedia hiring celebrity spokespeople to do this sort of thing (ie donate to us and encourage people to do the same), since it doesn't happen very often that a famous person donates to us. We'd still be relying on donations (and we already ask people to donate when they see this website) so I don't think this would qualify as advertising. Everymorning (talk) 19:17, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

I personally don't like the idea of hiring celebrity spokespeople, but if they wanted to donate their services and if the banners (or whatever) we'd do with them fit in with the message we want to send - then why not? I also question "it doesn't happen very often that a famous person donates to us." I'd guess quite a few famous people do. Say Justise Winslow is one of the most famous 100,000 people in the world. I'd guess that there are 100-1,000 people just as famous who also donate. But why limit ourselves just to famous people? Why not ask donors to send in a pic and 15 words or less on "why I donate?" Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:20, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
BTW, he seems to have donated $100 out of his $2.5 million salary. So we should definitely say thanks (and send some good CC-BY photos). Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:31, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 16 December 2015

Season's Greetings!

Use {{subst:Season's Greetings}} to send this message

Merry Christmas

Christmas tree sxc hu.jpg
Merry Christmas!!
Hello, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

Thanks for all your help on the 'pedia! Face-smile.svg

   –Davey2010 Merry Xmas / Happy New Year 16:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Are persons with advanced permissions exempt from WP:DISCLOSE?

Everyone appears to agree that my question has been addressed more than adequately and that further conversation serves no useful purpose Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 17:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Some weeks ago, in a discussion at Talk:Wikipediocracy, User:Alison disclosed she was site cofounder. After she declined to do so, I placed her name in a connected contributor template at the top of the page per the guideline. Alison and others immediately treated that as a joke, adding nonconflicted editors. Alison herself has edit warred to remove the template after she and others crammed it with the names of nonconflicted editors. I view this situation as an editor with advanced permissions and many friends avoiding basic COI rules. My question is, do we give editors of long and distinguished service, and advanced permissions, a de facto exemption from WP:DISCLOSE? Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 14:17, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Coretheapple (talk) 19:24, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
No. -- Euryalus (talk) 22:47, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

A related question:

Do we disregard only the “foes” part of the COI guideline "You should not create or edit articles about yourself, your family, friends or foes”? If the guideline applies to Alison, then it must apply equally to Coretheapple, who makes no bones about regarding WO as a foe, yet fights tooth and nail against being held accountable to the guideline, and refuses to share a Connected Contributor template, which he wishes to keep in situ at the WO article talk page, with Alison.

Note: There is a Connected Contributor template /COI discussion at Talk:Wikipediocracy, including a common-sense solution in the form of a notice suggested by N Ent, which Coretheapple rejected as a substitute for the Connected Contributor template; and Smallbones opened another discussion on the same topic at COIN. Writegeist (talk) 22:17, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Honest to gosh, Mr. W, I have been as clear as crystal about my total indifference about the very sparse and rather old static about my username on an external site. I have said that much worse comes at me here, where it doesn't matter either because this is my hobby. I am not here to protect an article about a site I founded. I am not here to rake in bucks, as some other editors are. yadda yadda. I don't much care for editors claiming to have COI to disrupt the discussion on that page (as you and other editors have done), but I view that as a user conduct issue, it does not make me a "foe" of the article you are protecting.
And I might add, the efforts of you and other article WP:OWNers to stick my name on that template was removed by an administrator as a violation of WP:CIVIL, and it was further explained to the bunch of you on COIN that I do not have a COI. After that, you switched tactics, came up with a special, custom-made template for that article and that article alone, which would defeat the purpose of WP:DISCLOSE by not in fact, disclosing the identity of the editors who really are conflicted. And it goes on and on and on. You guys just simply do not want WP:COI applied where your pals and your favorite site are concerned. Coretheapple (talk) 23:42, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
The leitmotif in your Wikipedia hobby is the obsessional vendetta against COI and paid editing. You hate paid editing. You rage against it. You recently declared Wikipediocracy “a veritable Mission Control for paid editing, and in a very cynical fashion at that.” So it’s silly to pretend you don’t regard as opponents those whom you see as cynical perpetrators and enablers of a practice you detest—a practice you've been battling for years. Of the numerous episodes that lend the lie to the denial, two stand out: earlier this year one admin reverted your edits to MyWikiBiz (founder and owner: Gregory Kohs) as “POV additions dangerously close to a BLP vio”; and another, rolling back your BLP vio edits there, described your work on the article as “a BLP hatchet job”. Your response: “I thought my edits were pretty good. Of course, I usually feel that way.” Writegeist (talk) 08:06, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Core's edits to that article were approved by an RfC, so your selective rendition of history is disingenuous. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 12:53, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
(inserting) Sorry about that. Thank you for pointing out the RfC. Unfortunately I took the article off my watch list after that intervention by the administrators—up until then I’d viewed Coretheapple as a fellow of high principle who went in hard but fair. I regret I didn’t see the RfC until you drew my attention to it, so I didn’t know that thereby a consensual legitimacy had been conferred on what the administrators saw as BLP vios and a “hatchet job”—I assure you I’m not the kind of person to make a deliberate attempt to mislead in order to win an argument (and I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of that). I’d go so far as to say that, even if I was, say, ridiculed and vilified in public by a hostile crowd kicking me in the nuts and yelling that I have an undeservedly high opinion of my own importance, and that I’m a petty bullshitter, a loser, a cesspit full of turds, three kind of shit in a two-shit bag, a fuckstick, a smug brainless fool, a petty incompetent, a rotten, malicious character, a nasty bullying halfwit spewing bile, or any other horrible thing you can think of, and even if those guys offered money to the first person to track me down at home, or—OK, enough, you get the idea—well, even then, and even if I thought it might serve my purpose to claim I didn’t see them as antagonists in any way or that I didn’t feel any antagonism towards them in return, I promise you I wouldn’t do that. Seriously! i wouldn't! I'd come clean, and to Hell with the consequences! That's how I roll! So although I can see how you might have thought my post was disingenuous, I assure you it wasn’t. Writegeist (talk) 02:28, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
You lost me halfway through but I do appreciate the clarification. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:52, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
You wouldn’t have got lost if you’d spotted the thread provided by Coretheapple’s detractors at Wikipediocracy. It’s the April 2015 thread “Paid Editing / Coretheapple”, from which I borrowed the epithets (targeted there at Coretheapple) that Coretheapple dismisses above as “very sparse and rather old static” and towards which he feigns “total indifference’” (who is he trying to kid?) in order to evade the very obvious facts that (1) Wikipediocracy is (one of?) his “foe(s)” (to use the COI guideline word), therefore (2) he has a COI and should not edit the article directly, and (3) if he’s determined to have a Connected Contributor (i.e. COI) template on the article talk page, he should be on it. Fair's fair. Putting it as charitably as I can, I’m perplexed by his refusal to come clean about this. The only reasonable explanation that seems to fit is that he regards the template as a badge of shame, at the same time as insisting it isn't. Writegeist (talk) 20:23, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
That's been thoroughly hashed out at COIN, with a determination that Core does not go in the template, and his placement there was removed by administrator action. I fear also you may be conflating distress with editor behavior with hostility to the article subject. Given the cross-pollination between the two that's understandable. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 22:17, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
For absolute clarity: The crux of Coretheapple’s COI really has nothing to do with whatever feelings or indifference he declares. The COI rests not on his emotional response (or indifference) to Wikipediocracy’s commentary on him, but on the nature of the commentary itself. Would any reasonable person reading the epithets listed in my small font post see them as indicative of neutrality towards him or as indicative of opposition/antagonism/enmity/disgust etc? Obviously the latter. Equally clearly therefore Wikipediocracy is a foe of Coretheapple’s, and he has a COI in relation to editing the article. He should man up now, declare the hitherto concealed and oft-denied COI, and add himself to the template that he’s so keen to keep in situ. Writegeist (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
How many times have you repeated that point? Enough already. You guys just don't let up. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 00:22, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
That is correct. It was one of those things that never happens, which is a bad administrator call. My dear Mr. Writegeist, I used to have an essay on my talk page on paid editing. It is gone. I used to participate very actively in the discussions, still ongoing and very active, on paid editing. I no longer do. I used to patrol this page for depredations by a well known banned paid editor. Ditto. Not doing it anymore. I have been quite clear that I view this as a Jimbo/Foundation problem. I know you would love me to hate that off-wiki site, these people, these entities, but the only malice I see is what is directed at me from the editors controlling that article. Coretheapple (talk) 16:26, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
It would be great if anyone with a COI on Wikipediocracy simply ceased editing the article on it, per standard practice about people or organisations that editors have a direct association with. That includes people with roles in the site's administration, and people who feel so strongly about it that they can't edit it neutrally. No especial need to flag them all in templates, let's just have regard for apparently non-neutral editing in the article like we would on any other page. -- Euryalus (talk) 22:47, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
We have gotten to this point because Alison, the site founder, and her friends are adamant about their desire to control the article on the talk page and edit it. The template would not be an issue except for that. I'm really maxed out on the arrogance and hypocrisy I've encountered on that page. At the COIN discussion, a supporter posited that COI only matters for harmful edits. If so, what is the point of the guideline? These people have sought to manufacture a COI for Core by attacking him on the site, and I'm sure I'm next. I think Jimbo needs to state whether it is kosher for a checkuser to disregard the COI guideline. If so, I certainly won't pursue this further but it's not a great precedent. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 23:13, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
COI applies to anyone with a COI, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. But the CU status is a red herring. No one is suggesting there has been a misuse of the CU tool. -- Euryalus (talk) 23:45, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I assume he's referring to WP:ADMINCOND, which requires (with a straight face) that administrators "are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others. Administrators are expected to follow Wikipedia policies and to perform their duties to the best of their abilities." Etc. But note - aha! - that WP:COI is a guideline, not a policy. So it doesn't matter and the flabby and non-compulsory language of the guideline has been pointed out to me at the COI/N discussion. So I guess the question is whether admins need to lead by example on COI. In my experience, unrelated to this article, the answer is an emphatic no. In fact, I have found that admins with COI feel that they are privileged characters, and that they can slip-side past COI rules. After all, they know the rules, and they know how weak they are. Some example! Again, I am thinking of a much, much worse situation than this one. But the principle is the same, as is the admin not giving a shit about COI and getting oodles of support in that position. Coretheapple (talk) 23:59, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I am not "the site founder" - please stop repeating this bare-faced lie across multiple pages. Now, it's here on on Jimbo's talk page. Also, I was not informed that I was being discussed here - not cool - Alison 00:40, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Egad! I was wrong. It was a LIE with a capital L. Yes you are merely CO-founder. Changes everything. Totally. Sorry. So sorry. So very very very sorry. Coretheapple (talk) 00:57, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Could an uninvolved administrator please step in here? This is two days past ridiculous. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 01:14, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
To deal with the disruptive behavior on the Wikipediocracy talk page (cramming names into the "conflicted contributor" template) that you admitted here ("I was being POINTy"). ? Yes, overdue. The only admin action taken so far on that page has been to reverse your edit putting me in the COI template, as a violation of WP:CIVIL as well as WP:COI. Coretheapple (talk) 01:31, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I was referring to the vitriolic tone you have used in this discussion, your hounding of Alison, and your battleground approach (including that rather silly point scoring you're trying to apply to me). --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 15:12, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh, by hounding and vitriolic tone are you referring to [11] concerning a post not referring to her either directly or indirectly? By vitriolic do you mean "baying wolves" or this edit summary. And then we have this edit, reversed by an administrator as violating WP:CIVIL and WP:COI? I have more examples, from other editors, apart from your comment that you were being deliberately disruptive, but that's a start. Coretheapple (talk) 15:47, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
This^ is a prefect example of why it's been impossible to have a cool-headed discussion of the issue when you jump in, and it's why an uninvolved administrator should see to your needs. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 16:57, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
It's difficult to have a "cool headed conversation" because you and others protecting that page use terms like "baying dogs"? Yes, possibly, that's a factor. In this very conversation, Alison referred to a minor slip ("founder" instead of "co-founder") as a "bare-faced lie." Yes, that kind of overheated rhetoric does hamper "cool-headed conversation." SB_Johnny, while we're on the subject, why do you keep personalizing the discussion while then complaining that the discussion is personalized? Coretheapple (talk) 17:16, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Another example^. You can stop now. (Also it's baying wolves, not dogs. The zoot suit may or may not have been implied.) --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 18:21, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I know, I could quote from the Sermon on the Mount and you'd be saying "another example^." Coretheapple (talk) 18:45, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
SB Johnny, I think we get the point that you don't like Core and everything he writes is bad. Give it a rest, please. Right now the only user whose input is requested is Jimbo. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 19:02, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Apologies, Figureofnine, I'll duck back out. Please ping me if a real discussion starts somewhere on the subject and I'll weigh in there. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 21:53, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Also I noticed this post in response to a civil and serious post Figure made on Alison's talk page, trying to turn the whole thing into a joke. I can't blame FON for coming here in light of that, do you? Futile and all, but understandable. Coretheapple (talk) 17:31, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I think you guys might be surprised to learn who actually were the "founders/cofounders" of that swank site. And also disappointed, since they don't have active accounts on Wikipedia that you can harass. Cla68 (talk) 01:15, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • When Alison disclosed she was co-founder of her site, she said "we all know that." Are we all supposed to know the other co-founders of her site? Coretheapple (talk) 01:31, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
@Alison: Of course I'm not surprised Figureofnine Coretheapple didn't notify you. That's just also how he Coretheapple rolls: like how, while the template discussion was ongoing, he secretly started this discussion at WT:COI, which is clearly aimed at you and I and other people from this.  — Scott talk 11:04, 10 December 2015 (UTC) Corrected. All these weird screen names look alike to me.  — Scott talk 13:33, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Tell you what, I'm going to make a proposal. Alison and Coretheapple, leave each other alone and leave the article alone as well. Clearly, there are issues being caused, so remove yourselves from it and hopefully the drama will die down. This sort of thread is what is making Wikipedia look more and more silly to those who browse past the articles..... Mdann52 (talk) 08:34, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

I didn't ping Alison because she has not responded to numerous pings on this subject and, except for snark and inflammatory edit summaries, has never commented on her editing the article on a site she cofounded, except to say indignantly on her user talk page that she will continue to do so. In that position she has substantial support from the editors controlling that article. Core is incomplete on one point: Alison as well as SB Johnny were reversed by an admin for playing games with the template on that page. That kind of behavior is why I asked for an opinion from Jimbo. (And contrary to Alison's response above it is not forum shopping to come here.) Are people of advanced permissions expected to set an example on COI? Is it reasonable to expect that administrators will not directly edit articles on subjects with which they have a direct connection? I would like Jimbo to address this please. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 12:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Of course it was forum shopping. The same points are already being discussed at Talk:Wikipediocracy, User talk:Alison, WT:COI and WP:COIN. Having not liked the response received at any of those venues, you decided to raise them here for a fifth bite at the cherry... WJBscribe (talk) 13:29, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
This is where matters stand at Alison's talk page. Productive! At WT:COI, Alison came by to scream at me for referring to her, which I did not. It was nice to see a direct statement from that account, as ordinarily she only communicates by edit summary. At COIN, the only editor on the Alison team to make a substantive posting was you, and you said in sum and substance that COI was voluntary, only mattered as icing on caKe in the case of edits violating policy, and essentially that it has all the force of an essay. So that's where we stand. As for this discussion, my experience is that wild horses wouldn't drag Jimbo into a discussion such as this, but there's no harm in trying. And no, it is not forum shopping. It is never forum shopping to post on this page. Ever.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:46, 16 July 2012 (UTC) Of course, I'm sure you can look into the Wikilaw books and find an escape clause in there somewhere, as you have striven to do with WP:COI. Coretheapple (talk) 15:44, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe we've communicated prior to the discussions in relation to Wikipediocracy, but I find your approach here combative and unhelpful. Wikipedia is not a battleground for you to work through whatever issues you have with other editors/websites. Read back some of your posts and tell me if you think they set an appropriate collaborative tone. Because I disagree with you, you have dismissed me as part of "the Alison team". I have pointed out that WP:COI is a guideline should be applied with common sense, which you choose to represent as me saying that it has "all the force of an essay". Please do me the courtesy of not grossly misrepresenting my position. Your final straw is now to suggest, even before I have responded to your latest point, that I am going to engage in some elaborate form of wikilawyering. WJBscribe (talk) 16:38, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I've said four or five times that there is no Wikipediocracy "battleground" between me and that website, only that which is in the imaginations of people like yourself, the non-members of the Alison team. I know why you've chosen to misrepresent my concerns about puffery and COI in that article, and I imagine that is pretty much all you can do because there is nothing else to say. The COI guideline is clear, and your efforts to wikilawyer it so that it does not apply in a clearcut situation, ditto. Coretheapple (talk) 16:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
WJBscribe, as you've just experienced, using strawman rejoinders is a favorite debate tactic of Wikipedians. Cla68 (talk) 14:46, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Quite well established that it isn't. Note the FOF in the Banning Policy arbitration. I didn't come for anything more than an opinion from Jimbo. But while we are here, I have a proposed solution: instead of her friends going on the offensive and coming up with reasons for her not to comply, Alison complies with WP:COI. She confines her contributions in that article to the talk page. She makes the other disclosures required by the guideline, on the article talk page and her user page. That would resolve matters. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 14:21, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
As WJBscribe points out, after you didn't get what you wanted at COIN, you came here to get it: This dispute has become so ridiculous, and the number of administrators involved so high, that I've thrown it on Jimbo's lap. We can carve out a special exemption for Alison but let it be Jimbo's doing. And you claim not to be forum shopping. Now who's being disingenuous?  — Scott talk 15:39, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what you think figureofnine is trying to "get," as both the main COIN discussion and the subset were both initiated by other editors. And note above the "never forum shopping" quote from Jimbo above. Coretheapple (talk) 15:48, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Ignoring the personalities (please), it is pretty simple, really. COI disclosure belongs on an article talk page, where the COI editor has participated, this is true even if they are an admin. Disclosing COI is what we want on our talk pages. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:45, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

This rewrite of the connected contributor template is what the Wikipediocracy article regulars want on the talk page in lieu of the standard template. I think that's what Figure might have meant when he used the word "ridiculous" to describe the degeneration of the situation. Coretheapple (talk) 18:10, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
That, uh, creative one-off, makes no sense. Its, 'everyone has a POV' disclaimer - is not informative of anything and thus useless or worse - we already know everyone has a POV. Just use article talk templates, like any other talkpage - Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:21, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
That uninformative template is on the page, along with the standard one, and there are periodic edit wars to have the standard one taken off. Coretheapple (talk) 18:31, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You say "use article talk templates." Hello? That's what everyone is screaming about. They no like. They like their own. Coretheapple (talk) 18:32, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Tell them to stop screaming, and just use the template that discloses the User's COI - remind them we are here to provide information, not legal disclaimer. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:55, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Look, here's the timeline: first they accepted the standard template, but only if I was in it. They were reverted on that by an admin. Smallbones took it to COIN. You and others told them no. Then someone came up with this ridiculous template to replace the standard one. Then there was asn edit war over removing of the standard template. Then Figure came here. That's the situation at this point in time. Coretheapple (talk) 19:03, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

@Alanscottwalker: Since you are already participating in the COIN discussion on this article you may already have a sense of the kind of unreasonableness prevalent among the editors there . As you know, one can tell COI editors about the guideline until one is blue in the face and it doesn't matter if they are intent on disregarding it. In this instance, the majority of the editors are so wrapped up in the subject that they have declared their COI. Their position is that their COI should not be disclosed, however, they're against that. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:21, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Figureofnine, why is it so important to have this debate in three places? pablo 13:31, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
This is the first debate on this COI issue that I initiated. The COIN debates were launched by Core and Small. The talk page discussion of the custom COI template was launched by NE Ent. If you read my first post here you can see why I came here. We are having a discussion in now three places because of one administrator's refusal to abide by the COI guideline. Yes I feel that is something deserving of Jimbo input. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:52, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Because what it looks like is a group of editors (you, "Core" and "Small") continuing to raise the same issue at different venues in the hope of eventually getting the answer you are looking for (which I assume is not the answer(s) you have already got). pablo 14:12, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
FON naively believes that because there has been administrator misconduct that Jimbo is going to give a hoot. Please be kind to him. I once came here because I felt that there was some kind of evil machination going on in an article and good heavens! The silence from Mr. Wales was deafening. One must learn these things firsthand I guess. Coretheapple (talk) 14:34, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
There's really not much here for Jimmy to comment on as it stands. There probably is a philosophical issue of the sort he comments on buried under all of this, but it's rather hard to see the trees through the weeds at this point. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 15:12, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I can put the issue even more simply than FON. Does Jimbo approve of this rewrite of the connected contributor template? Is it ever OK? Well do you, Jimbo? @Jimbo Wales: Not a binding opinion but it is the one FON wants. Coretheapple (talk) 16:46, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

I am tempted to request this article be placed under discretionary sanctions. There's no way neutral editors are going to contribute to this war zone. Gamaliel (talk) 20:37, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Well have at it. Give in to your temptation. There seems to be quite an anti-Wikipediocracy animus going on, although from what I can see the article seems OK and in fact would benefit embiggening from the multiple s0urces covering the subject. pablo 21:01, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

There's plenty of animus on display from both sides. Gamaliel (talk) 21:18, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Any steps that will reduce the lack of civility and personalization of the discussion, in multiple venues, would be welcome. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 22:17, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Discretionary sanctions is a favorite tool of yours, isn't it, Gamaliel??? Carrite (talk) 07:39, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

I am puzzled as to why this is on Jimbo's talk page. Does he have special powers? What is he supposed to do about it? Just open an RfC or something. Kingsindian   08:22, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

It's quite clear why. Just look at the initial post. FON had a good question for which he wanted Jimbo input and was swiftly punished for it. It certainly is not a new question either, in a general sense. That is, whether "vested users(I believe that's the term) and administrators get away with things that mere mortals do not. Coretheapple (talk) 15:47, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
@Coretheapple: Unfortunately, you have not answered the question as to what Jimbo is supposed to do about it. WP:COIN exists, WP:RfC exists. WP:NPOVN exists. And WP:ANI exists for user conduct. Why is this here? Much verbiage and no results, is what I'm seeing here. Kingsindian   07:40, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't expect Jimbo to do or say a thing. It was naive of FON to raise the issue here. However, he was well-intentioned and had every right to do so, and his reason for doing so is clearly stated in his initial post. In fact, I'll go a step further: I'd say this outcome, with all the COI editors clamoring around and deliberately making a muck of things, was totally foreseeable. In fact, I'll go yet another step further: while FON was technically correct to add the "connected contributor" template to the article talk page, it was foreseeable that it would create an unholy row, as that article is WP:OWNed by the article subject and its fans and is a lost cause. Coretheapple (talk) 14:16, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Likewise, I'm puzzled about this being on Wales's talk. But while it is: @Figureofnine: Somewhere above you said of the Coretheapple COI issue that it had been “thoroughly hashed out at COIN”, where it had been "determined" that “Core does not go in the template”. [12]. I’m sorry, I missed that determination at COIN, and I can’t find it though I’ve tried. Would you be so kind as to supply the diff, to show the rationale for the determination?

You also said his “placement there [i.e. on the template] was removed by administrator action”—as indeed it was. IMO the action was erroneous, as at that time the administrator clearly didn’t grasp why Coretheapple should be included, and apparently thought it depended on whether or not he had self-declared a COI. The administrator’s erroneous action was soon reverted by a non-admin, thereby restoring Coretheapple to the template. After that, AFAICT no action was taken to remove him again by the administrator who'd been reverted, or by any other administrator. Without that context—and if my understanding of it is correct—the inference to be drawn from your narrative of events might be rather misleading, which of course I doubt was your intention. Apologies in advance if I’ve misread the COIN discussion or the WO article history. It’s easy to miss even quite significant stuff now and then, as surely you'll agree. Writegeist (talk) 09:06, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

What's this, the fifteenth time you've repeated yourself on this? The sixteenth? Look, the position taken at COIN was simple: just because Alison started a topic about me on Wikipediocracy that resulted in people throwing crud at me, which I don't care about, that does not mean that I get a COI. No, she is the COI editor. She is the cofounder. Alison hates me. Fine. Her problem. Not mine. Enough nonsense on this please. Coretheapple (talk) 16:39, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
The haranguing schoolmarmish tone (which, along with outbursts of vitriolic antagonism, characterizes so much of your commentary re. Wikipediocracy) makes your replies vaguely amusing—thank you—even though the routine shrill exaggerations (e.g. your "fifteenth/sixteenth time" I've repeated my request for the diff—it's actually, I think, the first repetition; and Alison “screaming” at you is another choice example) tend to undermine the credibility of your take on the realities IMHO. Nevertheless, thank again for your reply on behalf of Figureofnine—such a common practice between you two that I’ve come to think of you as a single entity, "Corefigure", which incidentally sounds terrific if you imagine it sung by Shirley Bassey to the tune of Goldfinger. Unfortunately your reply doesn’t actually answer the question. I find myself sometimes having to repeat myself if I come up against a bad case of IDHT when I've asked for a simple clarification, and this is one of those times: where in the COIN discussion was it determined that Coretheapple has no COI? I can see plenty of argument from Corefigure claiming it, but i can’t find a conclusive determination. I’m sure it’s there, because you both say it is. I just can’t find it. (And surely it would be useful for others reading here to see it.) So I’m waiting for Figureofnine to help me out with a diff as requested. Or for you to—which I suppose is likely, given I asked F first. You have of course omitted to address, let alone counter, the main point in my post, and that's your prerogative. I may or may not reply when one or other of you provides the requested diff. I sincerely hope—if only for the sake of giving the schoolmarm a long-overdue rest—that I won’t have to repeat myself :) Writegeist (talk) 20:17, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree that repeating yourself for the seventh time is probably not a good idea. But here is something I haven't heard you address: Why did you add yourself as a COI editor to the "connected contributor" template and can you please explain your edit summary when you did so? Did you add yourself to that template because you felt in good faith that you had a COI, and if not, why did you do that? Coretheapple (talk) 20:33, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
So that’s twice I’ve asked for a diff to support what, in the diff’s absence, one might think is a deliberate distortion of the facts if one didn't know better, and twice I’ve been been met by IDHT and misrepresentation (twice is not fifteen, sixteen, or even seven times) in replies that also deny me the courtesy of the requested diff. I’m not interested in going on with this unproductive exchange beyond extending the courtesy of a reply to your own question: we’re known by the company we keep, and as a member of Wikipediocracy I am (1) proud to share the template with the other members listed there, all of whom have earned my respect, (2) likely to have a COI in relation to the article if I contribute to it, and (3) unable to see a reason to be ashamed of any of that. Sky’s blue, sun’s shining, trail’s waiting. Merry Christmas and adios. Writegeist (talk) 22:45, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Not trying to ignore your question, but I just felt that the comments on that issue, delivered repeatedly by Alanscottwalker, and then by Gamaliel, were clear. I also felt that the nastiness and personalization of the discussion, though common when COI editors are discussing subjects close to them, needed not to be fed. A good holiday to you and my apologies if you felt that I was ignoring you. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 16:02, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
You said it had been “thoroughly hashed out at COIN”, where it had been ”determined" that “Core does not go in the template”—i.e. after thorough discussion of the pros and cons, it was established that he should be excluded. Now you mention comments “delivered repeatedly by Alanscottwalker and then by Gamaliel”, as if they confirm it. (Thank you.) I’ve checked them. Actually no such “determination” was established. There were merely expressions of opinion (plus Gamaliel’s exhortation “let’s all be civil” in an edit summary—Gamaliel’s one and only comment throughout AFAICT, although I may have missed others—when removing Coretheapple from the template, apparently at his request; a change followed of course by non-admin reversion without further admin intervention). Nothing more than that. And certainly no consensus for exclusion. “Nicht daß du mich belogst, sondern daß ich dir nicht mehr glaube, hat mich erschüttert.“ Sorry, it's the time of year. I have a fondness for Stollen, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, and The Blue Angel—a cautionary tale for all Wikipedia regulars. Given time and cool heads, trust can be restored. Wishing you a good holiday too. Writegeist (talk) 21:39, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
On the "related question" -- clearly 'foes' can have a COI, but that COI (as for one which is positive) must be tangible. If someone from the Truman campaign edits Harry Truman's article, that's COI; if an operative of the Dewey campaign edits it (at least while they are contending in an election with each other) that is also COI. However, if someone just really really dislikes Truman, or is his Number One Fan, but not an employee, that is not COI, though of course these should be careful to keep their POV in check. It is not, of course, possible to avoid contributors who have a POV from contributing to an article; otherwise, who would write about ISIS? Wnt (talk) 11:49, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Case in point: I edited as an IP love me longtime. It took months editing under this nick to learn the finer points of the Wikipedia rules. But, by profession, as a librarian & historian, I always had the 'stick to the reliable source' thing in mind. As a result, despite inadvertently violating Arbcom sanctions as a member (if there is such a thing) of Anonymous (hence the name) I added historical sources (1940's-1970s) from Australia using the National Library of Australia TROVE newspaper digitisation project to Scientology pages. Every addition was a summary of the source & easily evaluated via a linked click-thru. In the years that have gone by not one of those edits has been overturned. I eventually found the Talk page warning & stopped editing on potential COI pages, but then discovered pages such as Landmark, where there were current, not historical, sources that showed the cult giving *coughs* 'training' to politicians & law enforcement (dudes with guns) not only in my country, but my state. I added carefully footnoted additions & they were swept away by a page protection posse, including those who openly espoused & identified with the cult, backed up by some, including a newly elected member of Arbcom, who always sided with the cult even if it meant removing legitimate edits. I've seen COI from both sides. Ultimately - you have the RS sources or you don't. Anything else is an organised power play. I did the wrong thing, early, unknowingly, without revert, & never did it again. Meanwhile well connected editors, admins & even - now - Arbs, can do it constantly, without fear of rebuke. The COI system of enforcement is tragically broken. AnonNep (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

A question

I have a Facebook account - should I avoid editing articles on Facebook, Mark Cheeseburger etc?
I have a couple of Twitter accounts, should I refrain from contributing to articles on Twitter, That Bloke Whose Name Escapes me, etc?
I have a Myspace account though whether it is still active I couldn't say. Should I eschew commenting on Myspace or that bloke Tom who claimed to be my friend?
I have a Wikipediocracy account. Fill in the rest for yourself.
I have a Wikipedia account. Should I disappear in a puff of logic? pablo 23:07, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

This was my question as we need to poll all editors of the Reddit article if they are active Reddit users? Does this mean they have a conflict of interest? Or exclude all editors who go to Burning Man from editing that article? Or ask that all editors who have strong pro or con feelings about Donald Trump not edit his presidential election page? As Pablo X infers, this low bar for COI would exclude all Wikipedia editors from editing Wikipedia. Liz Read! Talk! 23:12, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Uh, no. The only person ever asked to comply with WP:COI was the site's co-founder. No one else. Other names were added to the "connected contributor" template for purposes of disruption by those persons themselves, users of the site. Some of the edit summaries said "I am Spartacus." Solidarity with the COI editor. Coretheapple (talk) 23:48, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Alison is one of the site's co-founders (There are a few - not like Wikipedia where there are 1 or 2 depending on who you believe. Get that right at least).
Entertaining though all this is, I think I shall go to bed now, after phoning my broker and checking that I don't have a conflict of interest with my bedroom. I do hope not.  pablo 00:00, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
That is one heck of an incivil tone.It's immaterial how many cofounders are claimed by the subject of an article. That's my view at least. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 00:19, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
The problem of COI editing is proportional to the degree of non-NPOV editing of said subject. So if you have a weak connection, but your editing is still heavily biased, it becomes a problem. And likewise if you have a strong connection, but also strong NPOV, no real problem arises, unless a COI between you and the subject is known.
All this WP:COI business is a distraction really: the real problem is WP:NPOV editing. Even if you were the ceo of a company, it wouldn't be a problem editing the article on said company if strict attention was paid to NPOV. The real problem is that non-NPOV editing is sometimes hard to categorise as precisely that, and therefore hard to deal with. If then a COI could be established it becomes far easier to deal with. That's the reason for COI, it's a way of dealing with editing that is not NPOV but hard to categorically assert that it is non-NPOV. And to discourage editing from people who could have a bias.
So if you have a strong COI, and nobody knows about it, but you are sure your editing is unbiased, and you're actually correct, it's not really a problem. Unless you get found out! --Jules (Mrjulesd) 12:09, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Well of course that is the philosophical question that has surrounded paid editing and COI editing for years. The counterargument is that readers expect articles written by persons not connected with the article subject. In this instance, it's subject to dispute whether the edits were NPOV or promotional. In a now archived discussion and an RfC, opinion was split as to whether the word "investigate" was neutral. I favored the less POV "discuss." The COI guideline makes no distinction between neutral and POV edits. Likewise, whether the COI contributions on the talk page are NPOV or not also are worth pondering even if one accepts your argument. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 14:24, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
The undisclosed CEO edit is a problem, regardless of NPOV; it is a problem of information, whether or not there is an expectation. If you are reading the writing of the CEO in a supposed encyclopedia, that is, itself, information to learn about the subject. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:09, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Well I don't agree; if the editing is NPOV I don't see a problem overall, even though it contradicts WP:COI. Also I don't believe that readers have an expectation of COI-free editing; what they do have an expectation is NPOV editing, as, from an information point of view, that's all that matters.
My advice to the above discussion: if you suspect promotional editing, then sure, COI is a good way to go. But if you feel that an editor has a COI, but their editing seems to be NPOV, then it is best to ignore the COI for that particular editor, as it only waters down you arguments towards editors showing clear bias. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 16:58, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Opinion was split = no consensus for the proposition, repeated here, that "investigate", a common English word, is "POV". Hope this helps.  — Scott talk 12:06, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I think it's pretty straightforward: if you have an account on a site like Facebook, and you puff them up in their article, what do you stand to gain from it? They'll own a more valuable site, perhaps, but you'll still be the proud owner of a piddly little blog account designed to track and sell data about who you know. So there's no COI there. In the Wikipediocracy case, the question is, what can a co-founder get out of it? Is there money to be made? It may also be relevant whether you can simply put it on a resume, because I recall there have been cases where the designers of open source software tools have been raked over the coals for putting up articles about their software. I could live with that tendency being dialled back, however, so long as it is done across the board. Wnt (talk) 11:55, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
There's no money to be made, or a "conflict of interest" at all, since there's nothing at stake of any value. There's certainly interest in the sense of an avocation, but if that's the bar, then Coretheapple certainly belongs on it as much as any of the rest of the people on the template (who listed themselves because they are just as non-conflicted as Alison). More about that on my talk if you're interested. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 14:11, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
What not one person has mentioned during all of this is the part of WP:COI, WP:EXTERNALREL, that says:
While editing Wikipedia, an editor's primary role is to further the interests of the encyclopaedia. When an external role or relationship could reasonably be said to undermine that primary role, the editor has a conflict of interest.
Maybe this is because it would be impossible for Figureofnine/Coretheapple/Smallbones to actually demonstrate that latter contention.  — Scott talk 12:31, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
COI ordinarily is self-declared, as you did when you added your name to the "connected contributor" template, declaring that you have a close connection with the subject matter. No one has to "demonstrate" that User:Scott has a COI under the guideline as User:Scott said so. Coretheapple (talk) 13:18, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
That has nothing to do with what I said. All of you have been completely unable to "reasonably say" that my and her and others' roles at WO undermine our roles as editors at Wikipedia. You can't meet the threshold required by the guideline, as quoted above, to declare that any of us have a COI as it defines one. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You don't even have mundane evidence.
I added myself to that list because I have the same rank at WO as Alison, and if we're going to have an absurd list on the talk page, it might as well mention all of us.  — Scott talk 17:25, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Incorrect. A COI in reason exists because of the fact of a relationship with an article subject, not because either a state of mind nor the ability to say 'I'm still neutral'. When people declare a COI, it is usually not because they they think what they do lacks neutrality nor integrity, it is because it is information uniquely in their possession, which others learn from knowing. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:40, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure that's all very interesting. If you want to change the actual definition in our guideline, which I just quoted to you, then best of luck trying.  — Scott talk 21:27, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
What definition are you talking about, the definition of "reasonably say"? When the guideline says, COI "involves contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial or other relationships" and you are contributing about a subject (website) you co-founded, it is reasonable to say you have a conflict of interest, within that guideline. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:08, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
What part of "undermine their primary role as an editor of Wikipedia" is proving difficult for you to grasp?  — Scott talk 23:14, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Being involved in "contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial or other relationships" "undermines public confidence in Wikipedia". The primary role of a Wikipedia editor is to avoid involvement in contributing to those (few) subjects and thereby not undermining public confidence in Wikipedia, and where avoiding is not completely possible to disclose. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:02, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
"undermines public confidence in Wikipedia" Finally, you demonstrate the point I'm trying to make here. Your entire argument is based on making stuff up, or as it's also known, hand-waving. Thanks.  — Scott talk 09:58, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
No. That is what the guideline says. I did not make that up. That is quoting from the guideline. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:04, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
It does. But you've not been able to satisfy the definition of a COI (again: "When an external role or relationship could reasonably be said to undermine that primary role [of editing Wikipedia], the editor has a conflict of interest."), and gone straight to some alleged people reading Talk:Wikipediocracy, having their theoretical confidence in Wikipedia undermined by a completely baseless accusation of a COI. That's not even in the realm of fantasy, it's a fever dream.  — Scott talk 14:20, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
No, under that guideline, COI arises upon the very act of editing when the relationship with the subject exists. The COI guideline says that undermines Wikipedia, so should be 1) avoided or 2) disclosed. It applies to all articles not just that article, where a defined relationship exists. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:42, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
You're not listening. I'm done here.  — Scott talk 10:47, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
I did listen but the COI guideline is explicit, it says it is not about bias, nor about feelings, nor about advocacy, nor about personal integrity, it is about all editing where there is the defined relationship with the subject. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:20, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

To cut through the B/S, this is like the problem over at the 'Landmark' related articles, where someone who states they have paid for 'Landmark' courses (& thinks that training is tripple rainbow, dude) patrols the article. Same old. Same old. A Conflict of Interest is a Conflict of Interest. No matter how you wikilawyer it. (I keep away from certain articles for that very reason.) AnonNep (talk) 14:15, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Come on people, wikilinks! Landmark Worldwide is the article (which is under some sort of Arbcom sanction) and this appears to be the last COIN discussion of it; there is more available by searching the archives. Remember, only you can prevent dramatis interruptus. Wnt (talk) 15:47, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Friendly reminder - This entire wall of useless verbiage is the result of a COI editor attempting "naming and shaming" on a page of a site he opposes. Proof positive that the worst disruption at WP isn't necessarily the editing that is paid. Carrite (talk) 17:01, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
What COI does Figureofnine have? As for shaming - that's just a silly claim - who is ashamed of being a co-founder of a website, when they readily say they are. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:13, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

I think the take-home message from all of this is simple; "Never disclose a potential conflict of interests on Wikipedia. Doing so will result in your being hounded to the ends of hell and back, including four separate major fora, and will likely have you walking around with a bell tied around your neck to warn the populace of your shame and sin." In short, how is it possible to allow individuals to disclose any COI in a manner that will ensure it will not be used as a stick to beat them? It's perfectly okay within policy to edit pages in which you have a declared COI, but WP:NPOV must be paramount. So ... carrot or stick? The reason I'm not wading into the muck here is because it's largely pointless, IMO, is ostensibly a witch hunt and a forum-shopping exercise. Also, my other conflict of interests is sucking away all my free time. Fortunately, I get paid for that, so it gets priority :) - Alison 19:05, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Welcome to my world. Ding! Ding! Shame! Shame! Jehochman Talk 09:53, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
I think that's a rather selective rendition of what transpired. You omitted your role in fueling the drama. Let's review.
First, apparently FON made a fuss about you going into the "connected contributor" template. You reacted by adding Stanistani to the COI template with the edit summary It's a well-known fact that that scoundrel, Stanistani, is involved in that wretched hive of scum and villainy, too. Alphabetizing, just to spite him! I was added to the template, someone removed me, and you [13] added me back, with the edit summary let's not do that. It's already been shown, and you don't get to make that call. Openness and transparency!
SB Johnny then removed the entire template. I restored. You edit warred to remove the entire template, with the edit summary this is starting to smack of bullying, "badges of shame" and general silencing of undesirables. Not really the Wikipedia way, is it?
On your user page, FON asked if you would consider recusing. You responded in inflammatory fashion. (Absolutely not! I'll edit as I see fit, under the rules that govern Wikipedia. Same as I've always done. Nor will I be bullied into submission, thanks. And, unlike you baying wolves, I'm open about who I am. If you know me IRL, you'll know why I'm busy ;)
Then on this talk page, above, you said that calling you a "founder" rather than "cofounder" is a "bare-faced lie".
Then you went to the COI talk page[14] to comment on a proposal from me a few weeks ago to prohibit COIs among admins. "What a spiteful little missive. Clearly, you're not beyond bending and shaping policy to remove people you find unpalatable. Yet you don't have the fortitude to actually name those two admins you've come to despise, one of whom happens to be me. What a craven stunt indeed." But as I pointed out, your outburst was not warranted as I was not thinking of you, but paid editing situations, and that the name of those two editors was completely immaterial when drawing up additions to a guideline. Indeed, if I had named them (or you, if that was what I had in mind) it would have been improper.
So you left out the above. My "takeaway" is that this is an ordinary COI situation, with COI editors behaving as COI editors do. Coretheapple (talk) 04:08, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
^^^^ thus proving my point. Who in their right mind would want to wallow in this?? - Alison 07:26, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Quite. Much like common sense, right minds are in short supply around here.  — Scott talk 10:03, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Alison knows her George Bernard Shaw. All the WO contributors here might do well to heed his advice now. Writegeist (talk) 08:30, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
@Alison: "This" meaning your personal attacks, inflammatory edit summaries and behavior on the Wikipediocracy talk page and article? Such subjects are off-limits? Coretheapple (talk) 14:16, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
@Writegeist: Or, since the self-declared COI editors are all basically saying the same thing, you could appoint a spokesman. Coretheapple (talk) 15:03, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure glad you're bored and indifferent about WPO, Core — it shows. Actually, that's sarcasm, what we all see is an obsessive warrior on the topic. Hatred is your COI. You are absolutely incapable of observing NPOV on this topic. Carrite (talk) 07:56, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Evidently that personal attack bears repeating a multiple of times, from multiple tag-teaming editors. I am coming to see that given Jimbo's failure to offer an opinion as I requested, all this discussion has done is to serve as a forum for personal hostility and disdain for the COI guideline on the part of Wikipediocracy advocates, some of whom are administrators. Agree with User:AnonNep's comment above about well-connected editors being able to act as they please and without fear of consequences. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:30, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

@Carrite: Uh no, just don't much care for the COI editor tactics in that article, here, everywhere. Said that a bunch of times, and you guys just keep lying. Keep on keeping on. I have to admit that given the WP:OWN situation in that article, its control by COI editors, the line between the article and the subject has been blurred to such an extent that yes, perhaps "hating" the way that article is WP:OWNed and the tactics utilized to keep that control can be construed by the COI editors/fanboys as hating the subject. Coretheapple (talk) 17:17, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

It's not so much as a "disdain for the COI guideline", which I adhere to tho' it is a guideline and not binding policy. More, it's a disdain for you two and your relentless pursuit of the 'unclean', from forum to forum. Looks like this one's exhausted - time to move to another. Maybe WP:ANI? - Alison 06:40, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
FYI, this is compliance with the COI guideline (I will not make direct edits to this article because of my conflict of interest) this is not. A BP employee has more respect for the COI guideline than an administrator. Funny, that. Coretheapple (talk) 19:54, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
No, to have a COI is not to be unclean, it simply means one is subject to a guideline. If you were adhering to the COI guideline, which strongly discourages COI editors from directly participating in articles and requir es specific kinds of disclosure, I would not have come here out of exasperation with your resistance to doing so. In particular wp:coi requires self-disclosure by a connected contributor template. You and your friends fought that, sought to remove it entirely or, in the alternative, to add Core. Then you and your friends treated the template like a joke by adding names to the template with "I am Spartacus" edit summaries. Yes I agree that this shows contempt for the guideline. You resorted to snark and personal attacks throughout, and refused to discuss this in civil fashion on your talk page. Instead I just got more snark from your friends. You say you comply but you have no user page COI disclosure as suggested by the guideline. The sense I get is that you and other longstanding editors involved in this article feel you can pretty much act as you wish, especially in the use of personal attacks, without consequences and that the system has your back. That may be unfair but it is my sense of the situation and I believe it is accurate. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:26, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
The COI guideline "which I adhere to." Yup. [15][16][17][18] You can clearly get away with ignoring the guideline, so what is the point of ANI? Coretheapple (talk) 22:35, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
Awww, come on, bring it. Let's determine who the community deems are COI-blinded disruptionists and who are adhering to NPOV. Maybe we can get a couple topic bans out of the deal... Carrite (talk) 03:27, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
If you want a warranty deed for your WP:OWNership of your article the place for that is the county clerk's office, not whatever "community" you guys can bring over from that site. Coretheapple (talk) 15:28, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
You know where AN/I is... Give it a shot.... Carrite (talk) 21:09, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I know that there is a high degree of confidence that the "community" (i.e., friends of the site and the administrator who co-founded it) will turn up in force to give you a warranty deed to the article. Thank you for repeating yourself. I didn't understand you the first twelve times. Coretheapple (talk) 21:25, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure it's a total coincidence that most of the people who showed up here to complain about the injustice of being listed in a talkpage template that no one reads anyway are active and frequent Wikipediocracy posters. I presume if Mark Zuckerberg started editing Facebook the same people would argue that this shouldn't be noted on the talkpage because he's just a co-founder and you're assuming bad faith by saying he might have a COI and why are you trying to smear Facebook. Anyway someone just file the ArbCom case already. They're down to only three open cases! Gotta make sure the incoming arbs have enough work! Just be aware that participating has a good chance of getting you a nice page on Encyclopedia Dramatica if you don't already have one, with all the personal information people can ferret out about you. -- (talk) 06:23, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the hubris displayed by the Wikipediocracy contingent is quite remarkable. They are so well-connected that they are cynically confident they have mastered the website they criticize as "broken." Ironically their control of their article is Exhibit A for that proposition. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 14:07, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
An alternative thesis for you to consider, not that you are interested in exploring alternative theses, is that many of the people who post at the message board called Wikipediocracy are critically-minded Wikipedians, and that the "broken" POV behavior here is the ongoing IDONTLIKEIT warriorism of the site's opponents. Carrite (talk) 21:12, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "we're right" is always an alternative thesis, especially in situations like this in which administrators control an article. (And yes, I know, there is always ANI, you got that covered, blah blah blah). By the way, how many admins have been involved in this discussion on the "there ain't no such thing as COI" side. Four? Five? Counting the admin/checkuser? All "critically minded" Wikipedians I know but aren't you guys taking cynicism just a bit too far? Coretheapple (talk) 21:41, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Something—a very significant something—that Coretheapple and Figureofnine are too polite or perhaps afraid to mention is the fact that there is a Wikipediocracy cabal that meets once a month at undisclosed locations (never the same one twice) to discuss, strategize, and strengthen WO's WP:OWNership of the WP article and their control over ANI. Presiding over these meetings are Her Satanic Majesty herself (I dare not speak Her name but you know who I mean—all of Wikipediocracy is in thrall to Her) and The Evil One (ditto), banished from this Eden, who can only be referred to by the initials GK and no I don’t mean the God-King. The entire active contingent of the WP administrator corps is forced to participate (blackmail, natch; also threats of red-hot pokers up the ass etc., and—for those who brush that off as mere inconvenience—being locked in a room with a GOP presidential candidate for half an hour). It's to these hapless slaves that falls the task of supervising and enforcing OWNership of the Wikipediocracy article and control over ANI—as Coretheapple, who is no fool, has already guessed. I hardly need add: little heads are ripped from mewling kittens at these terrible meetings and much feline blood is quaffed. The cabal wanted virgins to sacrifice but the human ones are in short supply these days. But it's not all bad. The virgin kitties are rescued from the SPCA. Writegeist (talk) 23:46, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I'd put it more like this: COI + OWN + Admins= the Wikipediocracy article. I think that if you guys were candid you'd have to admit that this pretty much sums up the dynamic. Coretheapple (talk) 00:38, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Clearly this discussion indicates that the answer to my original question is "no." No editor is required to obey the COI guideline. Hence the schoolyard dare to "go to ANI" which they know will not enforce a guideline. The only difference as concerns admins/checkusers is that administrators and well-connected users can be blatant about defying the guideline and suffer no repercussions whatsoever. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 15:45, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Actually, that's not the question you asked 11 days and 12,000 words ago. But mission accomplished, I suppose, I congratulate you... Carrite (talk) 21:37, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Here's a different perspective. What this has actually shown is that when an editor voluntarily and openly declares a link to a subject, they will be ganged-up on, ostensibly bullied, and hounded from forum to forum across the wiki. This passive-aggressive, hectoring, almost-bullying tactic is used to silence those whom they disagree with. I see it in action here, and so does everyone else. Now again - why on earth would anyone want to disclose anything, in the face of this bullying by a pair of pseuds such as yourselves, when all that will happen is that it will be used as a stick to beat them? - Alison 22:48, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
^^^^^^^^is why this discussion has consumed 10K words. Because the COI editor and her buddies view compliance with the guideline as torture to be fought tooth and nail, and noticeboard posts resulting from her defiance as "hounding." And by the way, what was the outcome of this "hounding"? You still defy the COI guideline by directly editing the article, as you have in the past. When your name was put in the connected contributor template you removed the template. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Yeah you disclosed what you yourself said everybody already knew, which is that you were co-founder of the site. There then was drama which you caused by refusing to comply with the COI guideline. What in heaven's name is so hard to grasp about that plain fact? Coretheapple (talk) 00:35, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Blaming the victim again, I see. Yes, you and your buddy posted on four - possibly more as I wasn't being informed - separate fora, hounding and hectoring and basically being a butt. And I've broken no rules at all. Yep. And I'm not going to stop editing the article any time soon either, within those rules. Because if I do, I'm being cowed by bullies, and that ain't how I roll. Later, skater ;) - Alison 02:27, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not going to stop editing the article on the site you co-founded. Yes, that's what I just said, which is that you are declining to abide by WP:COI. That's how you "roll." Playing the victim is also how you roll. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 02:38, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
And WP:BATTLEGROUND is how you roll, apparently.

Jimbo isn't going to intervene here (and if he did I suspect you wouldn't like it), and you've already realized that AN/I, Arbcom, or whatever other forum you might shop at won't help you either. You don't seem to even hold that the article on Wikipediocracy isn't NPOV.

What's the point of all this, aside from fighting the good fight against the "other side"? --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 03:08, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this discussion has made it abundantly clear that the COI guideline is unenforceable, that it has no teeth. That's the reason for the invoking of ANI and arbcom by you and Alison as you both know there is no "rule" to enforce. And yes, you've made it abundantly clear your position is that raising this issue is a heinous crime against the law of Wikipedia and nature. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 03:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
As for the outcome of this discussion, I've already indicated the obvious, which is that Alison defies the guideline and that if anyone doesn’t like it they lump it. You and Alison concur. So yes there is no point in further discussion unless you or Alison want to say "black is white" for the umpteenth time Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 03:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
@:SB_Johnny What "forum shopping"? Smallbones went to the COI noticeboard because you, other editors and Alison edit-warred over inserting my name in the COI editors template before an uninvolved administrator told you guys to knock it off, that it was uncivil conduct. I'm reasonably certain that raising the issue here is the only place FON has come. As for Jimbo/arbcom, I'm not quite sure that he/they are willing to endorse admins editing articles in which they have a clear conflict, but I'm not quite as good a mind-reader as you are. Coretheapple (talk) 12:43, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Since the very act of discussing her COI purportedly inflicts distress on Alison ("hounding") then let's hat this conversation and I am doing so. But if Alison or her supporters prolong this further they have no reason to complain that there is further fruitless discussion. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 17:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Some may find this interesting

WSJ blog about China.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:47, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

It is still Nineteen Eighty-Four in the People's Republic. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 20:53, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
Ironic, maybe even deliberate. But I don't think it's that unusual for crude machine translations to be exactly backwards. And that phrase you used is tough: "...will become completely antiquated." Compare the translation if you'd said "...will become completely traditional." With Xi Jinping's attitude toward free expression, there are more than enough things to criticize unambiguously. Wnt (talk) 21:07, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

"We will see, not perfect, but very much improved machine translation, which will very much enhance person-to-person communication worldwide. This will be a very powerful thing. I believe as a result of this, the idea that any one government can control the flow of information of what people know in their territory will become completely antiquated and no longer possible". You tell em'! The idea of censoring widespread information in this day and age is unbelievable. Think how big Chinese wikipedia could be by now if they stopped messing about... It must be awful to live in a place where the government keep blocking and unblocking wikipedia.♦ Dr. Blofeld 23:04, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

I hate to say this (it causes stress and makes me cringe) but in the spirit of Free Speech would like to express what I really believe. Holocaust denial is censored/illegal in 14-European countries and any attempt to directly quote the "deniers" (regarding the practicality of using louse disinfestant and diesel exhaust for gassing and the logistics of cremating thousands/day) is censored on Wikipedia because they are not "reliable sources". People have been jailed in Germany -- extradited from the U.S. -- for discussing it. (See Ernst Zündel, Germar Rudolf.) I also think the Hillary Clinton email controversy article is censored, POV. Even giving estimates of the number killed by the United States' illegal bombing in Cambodia is censored. These are just a few of the articles on Wikipedia I think are censored. Raquel Baranow (talk) 01:06, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I encourage you to revisit these questions with a crucial distinction in mind that you appear to be missing. "Editorial judgment" and "censorship" are not the in the same category. One involves the threat of force (arrest, jail, etc.) and the other does not. On each of the elements within Wikipedia that you mention, there is no "censorship" but there is "editorial judgment". Now, you might argue that our editorial judgment is wrong - but no one is going to jail if they argue it. I should hasten to add that I do not agree with jailing Holocaust deniers, but that isn't really relevant to the point that I'm making. No one is being threatened with jail for the kind of Wikipedia editing you are discussing. In particular, editing about the Hilary Clinton email controversy is not even remotely close to something that anyone, anywhere, is in danger of being arrested for. You weaken whatever valid point you may have (if any) by saying things that are just transparently not true.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:04, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

“The thousand foreign guests who have agreed to attend the conference should be ashamed of themselves,” GreatFire co-founder Charlie Smith told RSF. “Lu Wei has at least been consistent with his messaging and his conditions for doing business in China. If foreign guests think that by attending the conference they can help to free China’s Internet then they are deluded. I would even go so far as to say that they are complicit actors in the Chinese censorship regime and are lending legitimacy to Lu Wei, CAC and their heavy-handed approach to Internet governance. They are, in effect, helping to put all Chinese who stand for their constitutional right to free speech behind bars.” Full article at Reporters Without Borders (RSF)here. Related GreatFire article, focused on LinkedIn in China, here. Writegeist (talk) 17:20, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Suffice to say, I disagree vehemently with Charlie Smith. As is common for him, his loud-mouthed rhetoric serves the interests of Chinese censorship perfectly. By attacking the only people who care enough to do something, he makes it much harder for progress to be made. If I listened to him - and I don't - I could just stay home and not go to China to lobby for change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:03, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
China is emerging as the world's powerhouse though. I always get the impression with them that they're super stubborn when it comes to decision making and unlikely to be swayed by that sort of lobbying. I support you and the others for standing up for what is right and making the effort though, but in this case they've clearly interpreted it as aggression and have responded by blocking it again. Perhaps in the long term gaining support from within China, even from certain government ministers individually, will win eventually, but it's clearly going to be very difficult to get them put mass censorship behind them and move on.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:51, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

I would just like to say, having studied Chinese for ten years and previously worked as a professional Chinese translator, I find it highly unlikely that this was the result of a machine translation error or anything else innocent. The Chinese is too smooth and native-like overall to be a machine translation, and there are definitely ways of coming close to your meaning in Chinese, despite the somewhat complex phrasing you used. As it stands, the meaning of the first part of your comment is translated quite well in the transcript, while the second part in the transcript is basically a completely different meaning from what you actually said, which doesn't make any sense. Also, while I won't echo Charlie Smith's overheated rhetoric, I do think that the Chinese government commonly exploits foreigners to create the appearance of Western support for its policies, and I fear that your presence at the conference has been used in exactly this way. The most your engagement will accomplish is to get Wikipedia unblocked in China, while simultaneously providing cover for the Chinese government to continue its overall "management" of the internet (to borrow Lu Wei's euphemism). Not a good tradeoff in my mind.--Danaman5 (talk) 20:22, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Speaking of “people who care enough to do something” about Chinese censorship: China-based dissident "Charlie Smith" (whose informed views Wales gratuitously insults as “loud-mouthed rhetoric”), and the two other dissidents who co-founded Greatfire with him, have a proven record of effective activism that includes mirroring “blocked websites on cloud services that the Chinese authorities deem too valuable to block”. And the Wikipedia co-founder? He flies to China to “lobby for change”—i.e. attends a Chinese propaganda junket that Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders urged him to boycott; whereupon the Chinese government use him as a stooge, effortlessly and really rather predictably spinning his words to support their agenda. In this the misgivings of Charlie Smith, Greatfire, Amnesty, RSF et al. were well-founded. Will Wales’s token gesture accomplish the unblocking of Wikipedia? When he spoke to Lu Wei he didn’t even mention it. Writegeist (talk) 08:08, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
"When he spoke to Lu Wei he didn't even mention it" - this is false. It was the only topic of our conversation. "...that Amnesty Iternational and Reporters without Borders urged him to boycott" - this is false, neither of them contacted me about it at all. I went at the request of the Wikimedia Foundation and upon the advice of the experts we consulted. I went with the objective of opening a conversation, and I was successful in doing that. Further meetings will take place. I was asked by the press if this meant that we would agree to modify content to meet the political demands of the Chinese government and I said "never". Will this dialogue ultimately be successful? It is hard to know at this point. My own estimate of the odds is that it is a long shot - but one worth pursuing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:48, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
“Mr. Wales told China Real Time his site’s status in China didn’t come up during a brief meeting he held early Thursday with Cyberspace Administration of China chief Lu Wei…” — Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal China correspondent James T Areddy
“Amnesty International has called upon technology companies to boycott the conference, saying that – if China is successful in influencing other countries on how to govern the internet – the crackdown on free speech and violations of human rights will become more rampant.” Vivienne Zeng, 12/18, Hong Kong Free Press
“Others, including press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders and China censorship watchdog, called for a boycott of China's World Internet Conference.” Reuters, 12/15
Btw, perhaps by now you have had enough time to formulate replies to the two questions above at Wikibilim: the unanswered questions?
Writegeist (talk) 18:37, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Mr Areddy is mistaken. I didn't actually speak to him, but to a colleague and clearly my remarks were not understood and were perhaps conveyed to him in a way that compounded the confusion. I was asked several very very specific questions about the meeting, and several things (such as when Wikipedia might be unblocked, in terms of a date) didn't come up. But the meeting was entirely about the status of Wikipedia in China.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:32, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

I read this this morning. Author seems to make a good point in comment area: "My concern isn’t that no debate occurs, it’s that the government can use these events to make it look like debate is occurring, to make it look like these figures endorse China’s internet system, and to generally give the impression that China’s internet is just like everyone else’s." Mr Wales, I would be interested to know, were any of the prominent attendees who spoke to the assembly paid for their time or their costs to visit? Were you offered any compensation, and if so, was it by the conference itself, and did you accept the payment. I think if you traveled to China voluntarily to speak out your opinion about censorship in China, that is a good thing. If they paid you to talk, and then modified your transcript, it undermines the integrity of your ideas. Whole milch (talk) 14:07, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

I obviously can't speak for any of the other prominent attendees. But I was not offered any compensation, and I did not receive any compensation. I traveled to China voluntarily to speak against censorship in China, and I did so, both to the press and to the minister himself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:48, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The choice of whether to engage or to protest is a tactical one, on which people always disagree, and there is little to be gained by trying to second-guess it. What matters is whether the engagement or protest is effective. I see little reason why we should expect Wales, having chosen to engage, to start making immediate accusations about deliberate mistranslation. It should be sufficient for him to point out the error and expect it to be fixed. If there were trouble getting that to happen, he could criticize it on technical grounds.
As engagement goes, I would have liked to have seen a direct response to the "Draft Wuzhen Declaration" from 2014, which is presented seriously by The Register and ridiculed by TechCrunch. This document encompasses many errors in thinking that are, indeed, not unique to China. It would be better to respond: (2) Respecting internet sovereignty means respecting their freedoms rather than collaborating in their censorship; (3) We need to recognize that, going all the way back to the 1980s, merely accessing a computer improperly should never have been a crime, that banning hacking created a sense of false security and international criminal opportunity, and people like User:Aaronsw show how badly this can go wrong; (4) "Cyber terrorism" is committed not by those who disseminate ideas, or even those who, without specific intent to cause harm, make attempts to hack into critical systems, but by those who act on those ideas, or who place critical systems under internet control that historically were entrusted only to human superintendants; (5) we should slow the arms race in surveillance technology, and question why we fund so much more research into surveilling Tweets than surveilling the infectious diseases that may one day end our civilization; (6) we should recognize that the best part of the internet is noncommercial, and try to reduce the role in civil discourse of businesses and the regulations that deny others the right to compete with them; (7) we should cherish and share global dissent and criticism and strive for a heightened respect of individuality; (8) we should teach children to protect themselves, not worrying about their exposure to 'illicit' material in itself but only their ability to deal with it; (9) work for a cyberspace that is governed by none.
But none of this works so long as the Western countries alternate their denunciations of Chinese practices with attempts to implement them on their own soil. People need to actually be proud of freedom of expression, stand up for it, and increase it, rather than continually throwing away rights for little if any reason, such as to avoid acts of terror that are less likely than being hit by lightning, or out of some sense of consistency with traditional bans that were never actually necessary. Until we feel confident in our own countries, how can we hope to preach at China? Wnt (talk) 17:05, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Appeal of ArbCom decision at GMO

Dear Jimbo, I believe I am allowed to appeal an ArbCom decision on your Talk page. I have actually e-mailed ArbCom today regarding this matter (please see below), however, I note that appeals here must be made within 7 days of the Arbcom decision. I am posting this to adhere to that 7-day time-limit, but I am happy for you not to consider this request until ArbCom make their decision on amending my topic ban.

Email to ArbCom

I would like to request an amendment to my recently imposed topic ban.[19] I am requesting the amendment deletes the inclusion of "genetically modified plants and". I am requesting this amendment because there is a total absence of evidence that I have been disruptive in this topic area. I respectfully quote the WP:banning policy as "The purpose of a topic ban is to forbid an editor from making edits related to a certain topic area where their contributions have been disruptive, but to allow them to edit the rest of Wikipedia." (my highlighting). Below, I provide evidence that I have not been disruptive in this topic area, in fact, I have not made a single content edit about GM-plants in my history of editing WP.

I have reviewed all the submissions relating to myself presented during the evidence phase of the GMO case. There was not a single diff provided by any party which related to me editing or discussing GM-plants.

I have also reviewed all my edits for the year of 2015. This review showed that I have not made a single edit of article content relating to GM-plants. In the last 12 months, I have edited only two articles about GMOs which contain sections on GM-plants, i.e. Genetically modified food and Genetically modified organism.

I made a handful of edits (6) on the Genetically modified food article ([20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]) but these were all unrelated to GM-plants.

I made 13 edits to Genetically modified organism. The vast majority of these related to animals and were often simple editorial changes such as typos, links, redundant words. I made one edit potentially tangentially related to GM-plants - I reformatted a reference title to be lowercase rather than uppercase.[26] I reverted only a single edit here[27] and although my revert was itself reverted, I did not engage in any behaviour that might be considered disruptive.

Prior to the GMO case, I was heavily involved in editing Glyphosate and I accept the ArbCom's decision to topic ban me from the area of agricultural chemicals as a remedy. However, I think there has been an inadvertent "topic-creep" which has led to the unnecessary inclusion of GM-plants in my ban. I have not been disruptive in the slightest in the topic area of GM-plants. My overall concern here is that some editors believe that because my topic ban includes plants, general GMO articles such as Genetically modified organism are included in my ban. I would be very grateful for a clarification by ArbCom that if this amendment is approved, my topic ban does not include these general GMO articles. I respectfully await your decision on my request for an amendment.

Thank you for considering this. DrChrissy (talk) 03:14, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Uh, DrChrissy, Jimbo doesn't overturn ArbCom or community decisions. There's no point in appealing to him. Capeo (talk) 03:25, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, theoretically, he can do it. However, your chances are very small. It is - in my opinion - only for obvious Arbcom rights abuses - a ban without any evidence at all, for example.--Müdigkeit (talk) 08:44, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
As per above. The final 'Appeal to Jimbo' is always available - however a quick look through the cases where the user has appealed here will show that it rarely (in fact I can only think of one instance) results in any change due to the indepth community involvement before it gets to that point (which Jimbo is unlikely to overturn without very good reason). But I am sure he will be along presently to give his opinion. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:25, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
It is - but should it be? This is the right time to ask.  — Scott talk 13:54, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
In my opinion, the first question to ask is "what part of Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo are you having trouble understanding?" --Guy Macon (talk) 22:23, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
That's only an essay. I need to write an essay called "Why linking to essays to prove a point is silly." Carrite (talk) 16:08, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Excellent point, Carrite. Thanks. Jusdafax 17:16, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
So when multiple people ask Jimbo a question, linking to an essay where Jimbo himself answered that specific question in detail is somehow not good enough. Or, more likely, the issue is not that Jimbo's answer appeared in an essay, but rather that any answer from Jimbo other than the desired answer will be unacceptable to some here. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:46, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I hope that Jimbo at least will say if he is going to address this appeal. Coretheapple (talk) 16:12, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree. The case includes numerous irregularities, and to me Jimmy Wales is the Court of Last Appeal. The fact that he rarely takes note of such appeal would only make his comment and possible intervention more potent. Jimmy, at least please review this case and give your views. Thanks for your consideration. Jusdafax 16:53, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
If the answer is "no I won't intervene" perhaps he can also refresh everyone's memory as to whether he has ever changed an arbcom decision. A discussion on that point is proceeding elsewhere. Coretheapple (talk) 18:11, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
WikiLeaks account of Jimbo's previous intervention was removed (but Jimbo did clarify his actions after the page was deleted). :) Count Iblis (talk) 18:48, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Can you elaborate? Coretheapple (talk) 12:57, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
See here. I quote here only Jimbo's comment in full:

"Lest anyone think that there is a coverup here or that I said or did anything inappropriate requiring a "wikileaks" expose, here is the full text of what I wrote in that email: "I've let the ArbCom know I want them to look more closely at this. I believe, and this is just a personal opinion from watching all this from a bit of a distance, that David Tombe's rather vigorous and wordy advocacy on your behalf has done a great deal more harm than good, actually." I stand by that fully, and it isn't even remotely scandalous in any way. To claim that it is evidence of me instructing the ArbCom to do anything is ludicrous. I asked them to take a closer look. This is not unusual, and it is a role that I take that I am proud of - encouraging and coaching the ArbCom to be cautious and thoughtful. (Not that they need me to do it, as they are cautious and thoughtful by nature. Yet, I think it is good for me to advise, and particularly when difficult matters are brought to my attention, I hope that my advice sometimes is useful in helping to bring about a reflective moment of consideration. Our work is important.) That David Tombe's vigorous and wordy advocacy was counter-productive is, as I said, a personal opinion, and one that I would not have made public. It was a private remark intended to be helpful to Brews Ohare. I don't have my archives handy, but I'm pretty sure that I said to David Tombe's face that his many voluminous and lengthy emails to me (filled with strong accusations and anger) and others were not helping anything. I don't think either Brews or David were in any way scandalized or offended by this email, and so I can't conceive of why it should have been made public as if it were some kind of expose of something. Count Iblis, I think you owe me an apology, not so much for posting the email (though that was wrong) but for implying that it was some kind of "wikileak" of any importance.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:34, 14 September 2010 (UTC)"

So, I guess Jimbo's POV would be that he can take a look at things and advice the ArbCom to take a fresh look based on what he has seen. It's not an appeal in the sense that Jimbo is going to dictate to ArbCom to impose a different measure or Jiobo himself overruling an ArbCom decision and imposing some alternative remedy himself. Count Iblis (talk) 13:17, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Count Iblis (talk) 13:17, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, but I don't understand the context - have no idea what he's talking about. However, this does confirm my suspicion that he's not going to wade into complex-sounding disputes unless there is some kind of public scandal involved and some major arbcom screwup of a particularly colossal and majestic nature. Coretheapple (talk) 16:41, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • One of the curiosities of being a figurehead like Jimbo is that people seem to assume you're omniscient. It would take Jimbo at least a full week merely to read all the material that makes up this case -- probably more. Does anybody here really think that's the most productive way for him to spend his time? Looie496 (talk) 13:16, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
    • It's more to do about authority. The fundamental problem is that ArbCom is the de-facto SCOTUS of Wikipedia. Now contentious cases are often only looked at in detail for the first time at ArbCom. After a court case there can be a desire to appeal the ruling, so it's natural to expect that people will want to do that on at least some aspects of an ArbCom case, but then they see that the only authority who can take another look at a case is Jimbo. A way to deal with this problem would be for DR on Wikipedia to be expanded. You can think of cases having to fist go through binding DR first, rulings can then be appealed to ArbCom.
If the suggestion being made here is that there should be some form of binding process for dealing with conduct disputes below the ArbCom, which can be appealed to the ArbCom, I agree. There are currently three mechanisms for dealing with disruptive editors. A single administrator can block. This works reasonably well for most trolls, vandals, and flamers, at least when no other admin is willing to lift the block. "The community" can deal with cases at WP:ANI or WP:AN. However, that does not work on cases that divide or polarize the community. Those cases have to go to ArbCom, and ArbCom is slow and overloaded. I think that what is needed is not so much the ability to appeal from ArbCom, as some lesser form of conduct dispute resolution that can be appealed TO ArbCom. Is that what is being said? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:53, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Appeal to the WMF

It is my interpretation that, regardless of whether the policies or guidelines provide that ArbCom decisions may be appealed to the WMF, ArbCom decisions may be appealed to the WMF, because the WMF owns the servers and has ultimate authority. Since User:Jimbo Wales does not use the right to review or overturn decisions of the ArbCom (that right being similar to the right of the monarchs of the United Kingdom to veto Acts of Parliament), my questions are: first, is this talk page a reasonable place to file an appeal to the WMF of an ArbCom decision; second, does the filing party wish to appeal to the WMF? Robert McClenon (talk) 04:02, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

I will personally comment that, although I think the decision of the ArbCom was suboptimal, the real problem is that the issue so deeply divides and polarizes the community that there was no resolution by the ArbCom that would leave editors happy. I would ask the filing party whether they really just want a reputation as a "sore loser", which could lead to further consequences down the road. In other words, I suggest that, right or wrong, they withdraw this request, but they probably know beyond knowledge that they are right, which is unfortunate. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:02, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

I disagree. There is no doubt in my mind that some editors have a deep emotional investment in the content of those articles, and their views lie at one or other extreme of the spectrum of views on the subject. It is one of a number of subjects where there is a collision between deeply-held belief and the scientific consensus. Other examples include evolution, homeopathy and climate change. All have arrived at ArbCom. All have resulted in one or more partisans being topic banned, and further partisans being banned by the community going forward. I don't see this as a problem. In some cases there is problematic conduct by others (and yes, I put my hands up here having lost my temper with one of the partisans in the GMO case). A core difference is that I'm not here to Right Great Wrongs, and if I did end up banned from this area I would be irritated but ultimately not that badly affected. What we see here is evidence that some people are deeply emotionally invested in having Wikipedia content follow their views. And I think that's dangerous. The e-cig case is one I find especially interesting since the science is unsettled: they are almost certainly less harmful than smoking tobacco, but it's very unlikely indeed that they are harmless, and nicotine remains an addictive drug, so the regulatory concerns and legislative caution are entirely reasonable at this point in the evidence-gathering process. Needless to say tobacco industry sponsored research is unreliable, and the tobacco industry playbook, which worked so successfully in the past with both smoking and climate change, has been dusted off and given a fresh chapter. GMOs? We've been using them for decades, 85% of American maize is GM, and there is no credible evidence of risk or harm. A fresh generation is being indoctrinated by activists like the Food Babe (who sells products containing GM corn products, just fancy that), and we need to make sure that we keep content completely fact-based and neutral. That means every editor needs to edit with the mindset that they could be wrong. People who refuse to countenance that possibility, seriously impede progress by clogging up talk pages with endless demands for changes that get rejected every time. What we actually need is a process for binding content decisions with a moratorium on further discussion for at least six months. RfCs kind of do this, but the process around them is pretty creaky and although we occasionally close with a proposed moratorium there's no real consensus behind that process. Guy (Help!) 10:10, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand what Guy disagrees with me about. I think that he and I are saying the same thing, which is that some editors have too much emotional investment in a subject and are here to right great wrongs, and that community is polarized and divided. Can he explain where he disagrees with me? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:47, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
If we were to just adopt the SPOV instead of NPOV on Wikipedia then a lot of the cases like this would be far easier to deal with. E.g. in the climate change case there was a similar fallout, because of the logic used by ArbCom to construe things in terms of only behavioral issues (taking that as fundamental while that is is provoked by scientific nonsense creeping in via otherwise reliable sources). Count Iblis (talk) 13:03, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I think that it is now common ground that in matters which lie within the purview of scientific inquiry, the scientific point of view is the neutral point of view. I acknowledge that a small number of people disagree and constantly seek changes that would draw a false balance between the scientific consensus, which by its very nature encompasses all relevant and supportable views and data, and an activist view which lies well outside that. But that doesn't happen very often. Most of the disputes right now around climate change are a back-and-forth between those who have a visceral hatred for the word "denial" and those who are comfortable using it but have a strong view about the abuse of the word "skeptic" to describe those who are, in fact,driven largely by ideology, not honest inquiry.
IMO most of active disputes in this area could be solved if we simply settled on a less loaded term which nonetheless encapsulates the fact that climate change deniers are in denial.
Creationism and homeopathy are a done deal on Wikipedia, at least until there is a profound shift in the science. Cranks who come along to advocate The Truth™ don't last long. Guy (Help!) 14:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Question for Jimbo

Mr. Wales, current policy specifies you as person to whom Arbcom decisions can be appealed. Now some people have suggested reviewing that policy, but I believe that it would help to clarify current situation if you presented your own view on this. Reviewing an Arbcom decision, especially as a single person, is inevitably going to be a very time consuming process. Do you actually have time and interest to perform such duty, and continue doing so in future? Having an option of appeal is only meaningful if receiver of the appeal can review it in detail.--Staberinde (talk) 16:13, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

The original question had to do with whether, in practice, there is any appeal from ArbCom decisions, and whether the nominal appeal (that is extremely unlikely) should be to Jimbo personally or to the WMF. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:49, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but that is not true. I am the OP. My original posting was to lodge an appeal with Jimbo which I stated I was not expecting to be be considered by Jimbo until it had been through an appeal with ArbCom (I am still awaiting that decision from ArbCom so I am still not asking Jimbo to intervene). My posting and thread appear to have been "hijacked" (not meant as an attack - perhaps "piggy-backed" is better) by editors with meta-issues. I suspect wit the evidence I have provided, it would take Jimbo less than an hour to look at the findings relating to my OP that I have not edited in the GM-plant area, and then make a decision as to whether it is therefore legitimate for ArbCom to enforce a GM-Plant topic ban on me. This is actually a very simple case - there is no grey area about whether I have been disruptive or not, I simply have not edited the topic area so it is therefore impossible for me to have been disruptive. It is like finding someone guilty of burglary when there is no evidence whatsoever they were at the scene of the crime.DrChrissy (talk) 18:22, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Glyphosate was the area wherein you had the most issues and is a chemical inexorably linked to GM plants as the article makes clear (GM plants are even in the lede). That article is in the "GM-plant area", as you put it, so you did indeed edit in that area. Capeo (talk) 18:30, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
My edits there were only in relation to animals. Please supply diffs that I made any edits in relation to GM-plants.DrChrissy (talk) 19:14, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I think User:Staberinde asks basically the right question. The Arbitration Policy says the route of appeal from ArbCom decisions is to Jimbo. An appeal has been filed by User:DrChrissy. However, based on some past events, some people seem to doubt that Jimbo will actually consider an appeal. So the real question to Jimbo is, in two words: Will you? Neutron (talk) 19:17, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
The answer to the two questions Robert McClenon listed may be found at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Appeal of decisions and the direct quotes from Jimbo himself at Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo.
There is no such thing as an "appeal to the WMF", but, as detailed in Wikipedia:Office actions, if you have a grievance that is grounded in the law or a violations of Wikimedia (not Wikipedia) standards such as libel, unjustifiable invasion of personal privacy, or copyright infringement you may complain to the WMF off-wiki (postal mail, email, telephone, or in person).
The answer to Staberinde's question (does Jimbo have time to review Arbcom decisions) is that Jimbo does not review all or even most Arbcom decisions, and that appealing to Jimbo does not automatically trigger Jimbo doing any reviewing.
To answer Neutron's question, it is a demonstrable fact that the vast majority of appeals to Jimbo get no response from Jimbo. The reality is that if Arbcom really did something so bad that that Jimbo needed to review the decision, it wouldn't be just the person who was sanctioned complaining. Everybody would be complaining.
The bottom line is found at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Scope and responsibilities: The Arbitration Committee [acts] as a final binding decision-maker primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. Jimbo is here to intervene if, say, the Scientologists manage to elect a majority at Arbcom or it can be shown that a majority of Arbcom is taking bribes. He isn't here to undermine Arbcom being the "final binding decision-maker". --Guy Macon (talk) 19:31, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
You just don't get it, DrChrissy. ArbCom carved out an GF exemption for you from the standard TB everyone else received because editors said your edits to animal articles outside of the disputed area were worthwhile. They could have easily just applied the standard TB to you as well and it's looking more and more like they should have at this point. Capeo (talk) 19:52, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Capeo, you are totally correct. I do not get it. I was disruptive on the Glyphosate Talk page, but the bit I do not get is why I am banned from GM-plants. It is not a favour to "carve out" an exemption, accuse me of being disruptive there and then impose a ban on me for something I never did in the first place! The Glyphosate page is also linked to Weeds, Fish, Mammmals, Amphibians, etc. Where is the logic in banning me from just GM-plants? If you look at the disruption I caused on Talk/Glyphosate, it is all related to interactions with Jytdog. We are now both i-banned. Problem solved. In my book, it is never acceptable to find someone guilty of a crime they did not commit. And every single posting on here so far has failed to provide evidence of me making any posting whatsoever about GM-Plants, let alone being disruptive.DrChrissy (talk) 20:52, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
WP:NOJUSTICE. There was no crime and this isn't a court. ArbCom is responsible for ending existing conflict and, ideally, cutting off foreseeable conflicts before they happen. Capeo (talk) 21:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Again you are correct. There has been no crime because I have not edited on GM-Plant pages, and this is not a court, it is Jimbo's talk page where I have lodged a potential appeal against ArbCom which effectively is a court for the project.DrChrissy (talk) 21:34, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
There is no crime because there is no court because you have no right to edit here. Keep thinking in legalistic terms and you're liable to run into the "pursued too persistently or vigorously such claims may end up prompting the community to sanction you for disruption" clause of WP:NOJUSTICE. And that's what I mean by you don't get it. I've seen people go down the "too persistently or vigorously" road and it never ends well for them. Capeo (talk) 21:50, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh. I have no right to edit here? Please would you elaborate.DrChrissy (talk) 22:03, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
No legal right. Private servers. Hence people can be banned or restricted. Hence no justice. Capeo (talk) 22:12, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry - but I have completely lost the jist of your argument. I am simply a content editor who wants (or at least, did want) to edit articles on animals, ethology and animal welfare. I have no inclination to become involved in the legalities of editing on Jimbo's talk page, unless of course I am breaking a law?DrChrissy (talk) 23:34, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
You have no right to edit Wikipedia. Nobody does. Ultimately it's at the discretion of the WMF. So it's not right to invoke high concepts of justice. It's more akin to a pub where the landlord can bar rowdy customers. Alexbrn (talk) 04:41, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Read WP:FREESPEECH. Some editors, especially some combative editors, don't understand, and think that editing Wikipedia is a right rather than a privilege. Making Wikipedia the encyclopedia that almost anyone can edit requires, unfortunately, that a few restrictions be put on the privilege of a few editors to edit.
A more traditional example may be informative. If you want to publish a guest column in the Washington Post, and Jeffrey Bezos doesn't let you publish the column, that isn't censorship, and it isn't a violation of freedom of expression. It is indeed the exercise of freedom of the press, because he owns the presses. If Muriel Bowser were to deny you the ability to publish the column, that would be censorship and would be a violation of freedom of expression. You don't own the WMF servers. The WMF owns the servers, and has the right to make its own rules. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:58, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: Note, however, that WP:OWNership is discouraged. I understand that a corporate amusement feed like Time magazine is free, under the law, to hold a poll where people say Bernie Sanders should be Person of the Year, then correct the public's unfortunate political bent by saying that right-wing Trump and ubercreditor Merkel really are the better options. However, they are not an encyclopedia that actually strives for neutrality and to be a public project. To win respect, Wikipedia needs to have ideals, and (as a sociological application of Noether's theorem) ideals necessitate the creation of rights. Rights are not just the right way to organize a government or society; they are the right way to organize any club or company. (To be clear, I have not looked at the OP's case, but the opposition to rights should not pass unchallenged) Wnt (talk) 14:08, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
User:Guy Macon says: "...Jimbo does not review all or even most Arbcom decisions, and that appealing to Jimbo does not automatically trigger Jimbo doing any reviewing" and "To answer Neutron's question, it is a demonstrable fact that the vast majority of appeals to Jimbo get no response from Jimbo." I don't doubt that those statements are true, but if they are true, then the current wording of the Arbitration Policy is incorrect, or at best, misleading. It creates an expectation among parties to ArbCom cases, who are disappointed with the decision, that they can appeal to Jimbo and that they will get a response, one way or another. Maybe the policy should be changed to add something like "A party who files an appeal with Jimbo Wales and does not receive a response within 30 days should assume that the ArbCom decision will not be reversed or modified." The number of days is not the important thing, it could be 45, it could be 60. I wouldn't make it less than 30. (But whatever it is, if the appeal is made on this page, a "noarchive" code has to be included so it doesn't just get cleaned off the page a day or two after non-Jimbo-type-people stop commenting on it.) That way, the appeal doesn't just disappear into a black hole with no way of knowing whether it is ever going to emerge. There would be a "decision" of sorts, even if it is a decision solely through inaction. Neutron (talk) 20:03, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Ultimately the whole point is that Jimbo can intervene to do what's best for Wikipedia according to WP:IAR. This also means that there won't necessarily be any formal rule Jimbo will have to stick to, because whatever formal rules you can invent will also have the occasional exception. Any system you can invent will eventually encounter the exceptional case that it can't deal with well properly and then you have to make a choice about whether to respect the rules of the system or to do what the system intends to do. Here on Wikipedia we've made the latter choice as WP:IAR says. In the rare case that something isn't working well w.r.t. some ArbCom ruling, that requires Jimbo to get involved. Count Iblis (talk) 20:13, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, IAR is a "rule" too, so I guess we're supposed to ignore it. Neutron (talk) 21:01, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
If that's helpful to improve or maintain Wikipedia, which then implies that invoking IAR to not stick to some guideline or rule actually was not helpful to improve or maintain Wikipedia, therefore IAR was not invoked correctly in the first place. Count Iblis (talk) 23:50, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

I would note that my question is not really about current specific request, but in general. It is not hard to imagine that we could end up with extremely divisive Arbcom decision. Probably not "scientologist takeover" mentioned earlier, but more like Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Arbitration enforcement 3 becoming a blue link, assuming that eventually manage to finish the current one. If appeal to Jimbo only works then he has time, and he generally doesn't, then that part of policy is just a hot air and should be revised/deleted.--Staberinde (talk) 20:57, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

"Appeals to Jimbo only work when he has time, and he generally doesn't" is an example of thinking about it the wrong way. Try thinking this way: "Appeals to Jimbo only work when Jimbo sees an otherwise unsolvable problem that requires his intervention. If and when that happens, Jimbo will drop everything else and make time". The problem is not that Jimbo has limited time. the problem (if you want to call it that) is that Jimbo has purposely stepped away from a role that would involve him reviewing Arbcom decisions that are not an otherwise unsolvable problem that requires his intervention. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:04, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
That if there really is a problem or not is a completely separate issue. Just it would help to clarify whole situation if Jimbo provided his own view on this policy. While we all can make different assumptions, none of us can speak on his behalf.--Staberinde (talk) 13:46, 23 December 2015 (UTC)